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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

October 28, 2008

 

What If?

They foiled an attempt to assassinate Barack Obama and kill what could have been hundreds of innocent, mostly African Americans. Authorities caught two skinheads in Tennessee who intended to kill and be killed for their twisted cause of keeping a Black man out of the White House.

Funny how I haven't heard a peep about the plot and capture from Obama's opponents John McCain or Sarah Palin.

This brings to mind a question: What if the two young, stupid men (ages 20 and 18) were successful in their attempt at getting rid of Obama just one week away from the election?

Allow me to answer my own rhetorical question: More than likely, Joe Biden would have been the Presidential nominee and, perhaps, Hillary Clinton would have been chosen as his running mate. Certainly two qualified people would have been able to step in and take over.

But what if the shoe was on the other party's foot? What if the attempt which was foiled was instead an attempt at getting to Republican nominee John McCain. What if it were successful?

The case for Sarah Palin has been made by some on the Right that she doesn't have to be ready to become President "on day one", although that is a requirement (one of the few) of those who seek to become Vice President. They say that she can actually learn how to become Commander-in-Chief with " with on the job training"; that the position of VP allows her to be tutored by John McCain.

What would these same people say had Senator McCain been the target and been killed or hurt badly enough to have to drop out of this election. By their own admission, many on the Right know that Sarah Palin is not ready to become President today (and many of believe that she will never be).

John McCain suffers from the deadliest type of skin cancer there is - melanoma. The chances of surviving another bout with the disease as a seventy-two year old man are slim at best. Further, the chances that he will survive even though a first term as President is likewise a fair question. Assuming the worst, as we have to when it comes to those who lead our nation, will Sarah Palin be ready on that day?

That's a question which shouldn't even have to be asked. But McCain's choice of Palin made it pertinent.

There is little question that Joe Biden is ready to become President on day one. He has the right stuff to become President if the need arises. Biden would be taken seriously by those in other nations who would do us harm if given the chance, and would make a real ally to our friends overseas.

What does Sarah Palin bring to the table other than "Aw shucks" and "golly gee"?

There is so much scary about the proposition of a Palin presidency that one doesn't even know where to begin. From her husband who acts as "co-anything-he-wants-to-be" (and he is no Hillary Clinton to her Bill Clinton); to her wild, uncontrollable "abstinent-but-still-pregnant", seventeen year old daughter; to her use of the Alaskan State treasury as her family's own travel fund, Palin is not worthy of the top spot in our nation.

Palin is unapologetic in anything she's done. Whether she is ripping off the people of Alaska to have her kids with her on the road or her unabashed use of a State Police search and rescue aircraft (more than anyone else had used it) for her personal travel. the Governor doesn't seem to care.

McCain deserves to lose if for no other reason than the person he leaves us with in case he no longer can function as President just isn't qualified.

And that's all we need to know.

-Noah Greenberg



THE LAVENDER TUBE: COUNTDOWN
by Victoria A. Brownworth
copyright c 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Reporter, Inc.

The clock is ticking out on the longest presidential campaign in U.S. history.

As the curtain starts to close on the most embarrassing Administration in U.S. history (who thought Nixon could ever be beaten?), someone asked us this week what we thought the most memorable TV moments of the Bush Administration were. Nothing will top 9/11, of course–but that was a catastrophe for the nation and George Bush seemed to have little to do with it. It was a long time before we actually *saw* the president in America’s worst crisis.

That replayed with the next worst crisis–Hurricane Katrina. Who could forget Bush’s TV press conference *five days* after the levees broke, flood-lit in Jackson Square in New Orleans mouthing platitudes while men, women and children were suffering horribly a few blocks away at the Superdome?

We also remember the vitriolic “axis of evil” declaration before the Iraq war and other bellicose Bushisms.

Then there was Bush manhandling Angela Merkel with an unasked for and clearly unwanted massage. And Bush walking hand in hand with the Saudi prince.
But frankly, what stands out in our memory are the innumerable small idiocies over the years. Thank the goddess for YouTube, so we can watch President Bush unable to leave the room in China, smiling and pulling on the ceremonial door over and over again. Priceless.

Our all-time favorite “Bush makes a fool of himself,” however, was Bush doing an African tribal dance for Malaria Week. Late night fed off that one for months. Every now and again Jimmy Kimmel resurrects it. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLYyMJ6XY6U)

Imagine how great it will be to have a smart president again who can read to the end of the sentence instead of the end of the line on the Teleprompter.

Tick, tick, tick. It can’t come soon enough for us. The endless election season has yielded another defining positive for our team, and that’s the ratings hit on MSNBC which just happens to also be the first TV news show anchored by an out lesbian.

*The Rachel Maddow Show* is a direct response to Maddow’s political punditry during the primary when the *Air America* host was a frequent guest on *Countdown with Keith Olbermann.* MSNBC realized they could capitalize on her and has. We’ve already seen Maddow doing the talk show tour, which can only mean one thing: She’s officially a star. (We want to see her on *Ellen,* though, to see what happens when two dykes fill all the space.)

Be sure to watch Maddow for your pre- and post-election coverage.

Speaking of women talking politics, how tired are we of the carping women of *The View*? So *very*tired.

Alas, it is not Maddow’s intellectual riposte that majority America is watching on the tube, it is...*The View.* (Rhymes with *ew.*)

It would be one thing if these women were truly smart. We actually remember back when Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg *were* smart, in fact, and when Joy Behar could at least put up a good show. Sherri Shepherd (“the Earth is flat” and “evolution is just a theory”) and Elisabeth “I heart all things wingnut” Hasselbeck–never smart.

This week the View women went pretty nuts and now even their fan base seems to have had enough. Apparently no one told them that if you are going to pretend to have balance, you have to let the other side speak, in this case Hasselbeck, who ended up just coming on with a McCain t-shirt since none of the other women would let her talk.

We haven’t ever liked Hasselbeck, even when she was on *Survivor,* but we do think she has a very rough time on *The View* and toughs it out pretty well, considering that Mama Walters really plays favorites.

This week’s feuding over politics led once again to tabloid TV show rumors that Hasselbeck was getting the ax from Big Babs.

But Whoopi told *Good Morning America* and *The Insider* that the so-called feud between Hasselbeck and Joy Behar is totally untrue and that Hasselbeck is not getting canned by Barbara.

Meanwhile, last week Behar listed Hasselbeck with conservative female pundits Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter to which Hasselbeck replied, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Please don't put me in the same sentence as Ann Coulter, thank you very much.”

How awful is Coulter when even her own people don’t want to be associated with her?

Speaking of politics, we’ve been pleased to see Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silberman) return to the front-burner over at CBS’s *As the World Turns* in a highly political storyline.

The gay college couple who have made on-the-mouth kissing between gay men *de rigeur* for daytime are back. (Prime time will only get with the kissing program when it gets some gay male couples instead of lone wandering gay men. And don’t say “what about Kevin and Scotty on *Brothers&Sisters*” because they are the most asexual gay couple in American history–except for possibly the now-non-existent gay couple of Bob and Lee over at *Desperate Housewives.* James Spader and William Shatner have more sexual chemistry in their rooftop bromance on *Boston Legal* than these guys.)

Even more amazing than Luke and Noah kissing all the time (and seeming *so* not to be acting, which just proves what terrific actors they are) is that now–drum roll, please–there is a *gay male triangle.*

One has only truly arrived as a supercouple on daytime when there is a third person in the mix. Now Noah did marry Ameera so she wouldn’t be deported back to Iraq, but this is a real triangle–with another man.

Luke has decided to run for student body president and the cards are stacked against him–he’s not a football star and he is openly gay. The other team is playing the homophobia card with abandon. And Luke’s competition? The wildly popular and straight Kevin, Luke’s heart-throb from high school who used to drink and get high with him and then let Luke massage him until he found out Luke was gay. Of course Luke also saved his life when a crazed serial killer was going after kids at the lake last summer, but....

Kevin wants to play fair and just run on issues, but his campaign manager wants to smear Luke and make his sexuality, not issues, the basis for the campaign.
Art imitating life, again?

*ATWT* has the homophobia down completely. And also the left over unresolved feelings Luke has for Kevin (who is not nearly as cute as Noah, so we don’t get it, but still). Looks like *ATWT* actually spoke to gay men about the story line. Imagine that.

No such thing happened over at *House* or *Grey’s Anatomy* where lesbianism/bisexuality is being presented in ways we haven’t seen since D.H. Lawrence wrote *The Fox.*

Thirteen (the gorgeous Olivia Wilde) got a death sentence diagnosis of Huntingdon’s. How long does she have left before she starts to show signs of the harrowing and incurable disease? No one knows. But she is dealing with the news the way many people do–she’s stuffing as much living into every day as possible.

This includes sex. With women. (Thirteen is supposed to be bisexual, but we’ve never seen her with a man.)

House being House, he rips into her about both her diagnosis and her sexual orientation(s) constantly. When Thirteen has a one-nighter with a woman who then collapses and ends up in the hospital, House is all over Thirteen–and not in a good way.

We loved the practically pornographic sex scenes with Thirteen and her lover, but we found the vileness of the homophobia that ensued beyond palatability.

It’s one thing for House to be his usual asswipe self–after all the shtick is that he’s insensitive to a fault and emotionally damaged. Nevertheless, *we* don’t view lesbian sex as “self-destructive” or an act of desperation, but that’s how House spun it.

Boo hiss to Fox and the *House* team. What should be a positive storyline is anything but.

Meanwhile, over on *Grey’s Anatomy,* the writers just can’t seem to figure out how to play the Callie (Sara Ramirez)/Erica (Brooke Smith) romance. We understand the trepidation between the two women. Callie has been badly hurt by her failed marriage to George (T.R. Knight) and Erica has been a cold, sometimes unfeeling doctor with a hidden past. So they bring issues to their budding romance.

But this week Callie, after a not-so-perfect first sexual experience with Erica, went to Mark “McSteamy” Sloan to tell him of her failed attempt at “going down there.”

Then Erica proposed they get together again.

Back Callie goes to Mark and asks him to teach her how to perform oral sex. She then drops her scrubs and *justlikethat* he gives her the one, two, three of cunnilingus.

Then Callie goes back to Erica and tells *her* to drop *her* pants.

Isn’t it romantic?

Not to be a stickler for detail, but the most common sexual complaint of heterosexual women is that straight men do not perform oral sex on them. Why would a bisexual woman go to a straight man to get him to show her–using her as the prop–how to do something women understand and men do not? Wouldn’t it make way more sense for Callie to ask Erica to show her what to do?

Not in the straight TV version of lesbian sex which is apparently just about titillation for straight male viewers. Why let reality get in the way of a good fantasy?

Speaking of reality, remember when the war on Iraq was an actual issue? ABC’s Bob Woodruff seems to think it still is. Check out his gut-wrenching report on mental illness and the military at ABCnews.com.

Woodruff, who was severely injured while reporting in Iraq in 2006, has made it his special mission to keep the issues of our troops front and center, even as other news media ignore those issues.

In Woodruff’s most recent report last week, he profiled the issue of PTSD and other war-related mental illness among soldiers and Marines. What Woodruff found was a pattern of the military sending severely mentally ill soldiers and Marines back for redeployment. One wife explained how her husband was in a mental hospital for severe depression and was sent back to Iraq 18 hours after his release from the hospital. Yes, *18 hours later.*

The widow of another soldier told how her husband was sent back to Iraq on medication–medication he then took in an overdose and killed himself.

Meanwhile the Pentagon official in charge of mental health issues told Woodruff that “PTSD is curable” and “not all cases are severe” and so there’s nothing wrong with sending troops back if they’ve been diagnosed with PTSD.

We so will not miss the Bush Administration....

Finally, Jimmy Kimmel noted on his October 25th show that John McCain had “made a strange choice in his Joe the Plumber tour. Seems a mistake when your campaign is already in the toilet....”

Vote early and often and stay tuned.



In response to Palin's future, Denise writes:

Palin defined herself in her latest speeches when she proclaimed she is a redneck and proud of it. I am from the South. Rednecks are usually the bullies in the schools who continue their intolerance, conceitedness, and lack of respect throughout their lives. I think this is what Palin sees as "real Americans." Redneck - yeah Mrs. Palin, that is a good way to define yourself. I couldn't agree with you more and we don't need you in any public office, especially Vice-President of the United States. I just hope the polls are correct and Palin and McCain will be history in one week.



In response to Powell, in a Nutshell, Victoria Brownworth writes:

Colin Powell is probably the most dishonest person who has served in the Bush Administration. Powell was asked to leave---he didn't choose to leave. He sat in the U.N. with made-up pie charts and aerial photos of things that didn't exist--WMD in Iraq. Powell has used Obama as a means to try and rehab his own deeply tarnished reputation. I can only hope that Obama isn't sucked in by Powell's deception the way the rest of the country was. Obama/Powell? Why not Obama/Cheney or Obama/Rice? Please! Powell was once an honorable man. But remember--he CHOOSES to be Republican and he CHOSE to side with Bush on the war and he CHOSE to remain silent. He's no better than Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rice. Anyone who thinks he is has missed the war on Iraq. By his own admission Powell orchestrated it.


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-Noah Greenberg