Saturday, August 30, 2008

So, Steve Wants an Election...

When parliament broke for the summer, there was speculation about when the Cons might start the fall session or if they would at all since they'd basically run out of agenda items. Since that time, Harper has done everything possible to try to convince Canadians that parliament is "dysfunctional", despite the passage of numerous bills with the help of the other parties.

Flashback to 2006: Harper promises law to set election date every four years

"Fixed election dates prevent governments from calling snap elections for short-term political advantage," Harper said. "They level the playing field for all parties and the rules are clear for everybody."

Because the government could be defeated in the Commons before the end of a four-year term, "the will of a majority in Parliament will always prevail," he said.

"But fixed election dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar simply for partisan political advantage."

That bill eventually became law and the scheduled date for the next election is supposed to be Oct. 19, 2009.

Stephen Harper has proven he's just another political opportunist (not that that's news) by threatening, once again, to send the public to the polls this fall while he's holding meetings with Layton and Duceppe in a lame attempt to prove that the parties can't work together. Well, cry me a river and lie to me one more time, Steve.

After talks with Harper on Friday, Duceppe said the Conservative minority could continue to work with various opposition parties to pass legislation, as it has over the last two years, but that Harper "absolutely" wants to call a snap election.

"Instead of making efforts to try finding solutions in the best interest of the population, he wants an election in the best interest of his party," Duceppe said.

Later in the day, senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office said it's probable Harper will seek to dissolve Parliament next week, sending the country to the ballot box on Oct. 14.

Meanhwile, the Green Party scored a coup of sorts when it managed to recruit sitting independent MP Blair Wilson thus securing a place for party leader Elizabeth May in the debates. In response to that news, spokespuppet for the Harper regime Kory Teneycke told reporters Saturday afternoon that he didn't think May should be allowed to debate because she's said she publicly supports Dion for PM. He said they're effectively two members of the same party - more proof that the Cons don't understand the concept of democracy.

Here's the actual Green Party statement from May, 2007:

We have agreed that the country needs a strong signal that puts progress ahead of partisanship. To achieve Kyoto, Canada needs MPs and a government that actually understand the threat of climate change and the need for urgent action. This reality has impelled us to seek limited cooperation. While the need for cooperation may be obvious to the average Canadian, within political parties, one is not supposed to allow even limited cooperation.

We admit we are different from most adversarial, political leaders. We respect each other. We will always put the country and the planet first.

Out of respect for each other and out of our shared commitment to a greener Canada, we are not running candidates in each other’s ridings.

We recognize that a government in which St├ęphane Dion served as Prime Minister could work well with a Green Caucus of MPs, led by Elizabeth May, committed to action on climate. On many issues, we would have policy disagreements; on others cooperation would be possible. No matter what the issue, we recognize that, although opponents in the political sphere, we are committed to doing politics differently. That means open and transparent, fair-minded communication. Another issue where we believe progress could be made is in the potential for electoral reform.

Today there are larger issues at stake than the petty partisanship of politics. We are confident that Canadians will appreciate this shared commitment and our efforts to protect our children’s future.

Let's see just how far the Cons go to try to muzzle May if an election is called and they refuse to debate her.

Update: Dion agrees to meet Harper [on Labour Day] for election talk
 

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Fun: Got change?



Denver (cnn) - In what was the biggest convention of panhandlers the United States has ever seen, tens of thousands of people demanded "CHANGE" from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday nite.

Rumour has it that several people were stampeded over when one of Obama's flustered handlers tossed out a few nickels and dimes in an attempt to quell the crowd. However, no serious injuries were reported.

Story courtesy of cnn, the catnip news network.
 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Drama? Obama's Big Speech


pic borrowed from The Swamp. I hope they don't mind.


Sitting in the stand of the sports arena, waiting for the show to begin.
Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine, a good friend of mine
follows the stars, Venus and Mars are alright tonight.
[...]
If there's a rock show at the Concertgebow, they've got long hair at the Madison Square, you've got rock and roll at the Hollywood Bowl, we'll be there, oo yeah.

- Venus and Mars, Paul McCartney & Wings

"One of the great strengths of this campaign from the very beginning has been the cohesion, the sense of camaraderie, and the lack of drama," said David Axelrod, a leader of the no-drama movement with his casual wardrobe and low-key demeanor.

- Huffington Post, August 3/08

“I know that Senator McCain and his people are shooting barbs on the opulence of our convention from the mountaintop in Sedona from the McCain estate,” said David Axelrod, the campaign’s chief strategist. “I don’t think it warrants a response.”

- NYT, August 28/08

Really? No response required?

Wrong.

If you're one of those "working class" Americans Obama and the Democrats claim to champion and you just lost your home due to foreclosure while watching banks being bailed out; if you desperately need health care or can no longer afford to feed your kids with the proper nutrition they need to thrive; if you scrimped to send $10 to Obama as a campaign contribution; if you can't afford to buy gas; if you're still struggling from the damage Hurricane Katrina and so many other natural disasters have caused; if your job has been outsourced; if your utility bills are making your financial life unmanageable; if you truly want an end to war (all wars); are you going to watch this Rock Show tonite (and it will be a rock show including performers like Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder) on a stage built with Roman or Greco styled-columns made to reflect the opulence of we're not sure exactly what because the Obama campaign isn't offering any clues feeling like Obama's speaking for or to you?

One would think that if your candidate has been tagged as being elitist and arrogant, the first thing he'd want to do is to reflect the common man in this historically important acceptance speech. Instead, the Obama campaign has decided to stretch the limits of grandeur to epic proportions. Is this what MLK Jr. would have wanted on the anniversary of his "I Have a Dream" speech from which Obama borrowed his "fierce urgency of now" rhetoric?

There's pride and then there's gratitude with humility.

Via Black Agenda Report:

To the most hopelessly besotted Obamites, their candidate's speech on Thursday will herald a crack in time, after which posterity will speak of Before-Obama (BO) and After-Obama (AO) eras, and the transcendental Age of Obama.

Having conjured up a nonexistent "mass movement" to describe what is actually a corporate financed and directed electoral campaign that has not championed a single issue worthy of historical note (don't dare cite partial Iraq withdrawal and for-profit health care schemes), the Democrats now patch Dr. King's speech into the prologue to the Book of Obama for the purpose of consigning real mass agitation strategies to the past, for all time.

Yet, the unedited version of history - the real deal - commemorates another imminent anniversary, one that starkly illuminates the true political character of the age: Katrina.

read on...

Perhaps the timing of the ironically named tropical storm Gustav (which means "staff of the gods") is a cosmic reminder of sorts of the continuing inequality Glen Ford writes about. Obama certainly hasn't and will not claim that his nomination is the be all and end all of the civil rights movement - it is merely one step ahead on a very long road - but neither has he promised much in recognition of what the African-American community still sorely needs. He's "post-racial", you see. But I'll leave that analysis to the experts at BAR. They're much more qualified than I am to dissect the mood among what is definitely not a monolithic AA voice - and they do it well.

What I do know is this: if those are indeed Roman columns, that symbolism is all too fitting for a nation whose stint as a empire is crumbling under the weight of its hubris - and that hubris is not limited only the Republicans. Both parties have created this monster and neither is willing to take full responsibility for it and the Democrats refuse to hold the Bush administration responsible for its crimes in furtherance of that empire.

So, the American people are left to literally clean up the mess and you don't do that by simply showing up at a voting booth in November, hoping you've picked the best new emperor. You change the system from the ground up and you don't rely on a president or congress to do what you want them to. How often does the voting public need to be let down to figure that out? Is it any wonder congress has a 9% approval rating? And, yet, 2 senators are the presidential candidates both promising "change"? Does that make any sense?

Change happens when citizens make it happen. That's why real, on the ground movements are absolutely critical. In an era of big government trashing human and civil rights (with both parties enabling the police state), the voices of opposition to the entrenched, corrupted government are even more important. Where are they? They're out there, if you know where to look. Sending your hard-earned $10 to the Democrats is not an answer. How much of one of those columns did your $10 buy? Is that what you wanted?

And, if those Mile High Stadium columns are in fact Greco-inspired, can there be a more obvious statement of god(s)-like power about to descend from on high? Holy Mother of Zeus. Greece - the birthplace of democracy. Plato must be rolling over in his grave as Obama tries to sell himself as a philosopher king.

When a close circle of his top advisers presented Mr. Obama with $6 million plans to move his acceptance speech to the football stadium in early July, the candidate asked one question, said Anita Dunn, a senior strategist: “Will it rain?”

Update: Text of Obama's speech. (h/t marisa)
 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Meet Joebama O'Biden

Jonah Goldberg may have coined "O'Biden" today, but I'm claiming "Joebama". Madman gets the bonus points for putting the names together.

Saturday was definitely mush mouth day for pundits and politicians alike. Both of MSNBC's head bloviators, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, slipped and called Biden "O'Biden" today - more than once - while Biden couldn't seem to manage to get Obama's name right during his coming out speech, ending it by calling him "Barack America" after Obama had introduced Joe as the "next president". (Freudian slip.) Whoops all around.

Just one question about the pick: If Biden is so beloved, why has his presidential bid failed - twice?

Fear not though, suddenly most Democrats (and their biased pundit puppets) are madly in lust with Biden as the attack dog - the guy who can flash his (really bright) pearly whites while biting your arm and smiling at the same time. In other words, he's a better-looking Dick Cheney.

Yes, not only will Joebama fix the ills the world but he'll do it by 10 pm and travel home by train to spend the nite with his family. Awesome. On top of that, he has a "drop dead gorgeous wife", as he reminded the crowd in Springfield on Saturday. Beats Lynn Cheney, doesn't it? Or maybe he's trying to reassure the voting public that he's not another John what affair? Edwards.

Of course, the big question of the day was whether Biden could manage to keep his big mouth shut so he doesn't embarrass poor Barack. Good luck with that. Biden as The Invisible Man? It's just not.gonna.happen. and as much as Dems like his attack-dog style, you can bet that Joebama will say something incredibly stupid during the next few months. That's just his way. (You know that horrified cringe you'd feel if your new puppy just pissed on your boss's leg? That'll be the vibe Dem supporters will have to fight off when Joe pulls one of his infamous boners.)

I'll say one thing: it'll be interesting to see if all of the Democratic supporters who had their ageism on full display as they've gone after McCain will now actually eat some crow and stop the age-based jokes and slams. I kind of doubt it though. Howard Fineman called Biden a "young 65" this afternoon. See. That's the trick. McCain is an old 71. Biden is young-er "codger" and he proved that by running up onto the platform to deliver his speech. Plus he has more hair than McSurge. That has to count for something.

I have a feeling the next few months are going to be absolutely intolerable. Thank Dog a new and improved 90210 is back. And that I actually have a life (of sorts). And stuff to crochet. That should help.
 

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quote du Jour: Tease

Is Obama taking the tease too far?


That was CNN's Wolf Blitzer today, commenting on the Big Wait for Obama's VP announcement.

The "tease"?

What is this to you, Blitzer? Foreplay?

Update: It's Joe Biden or "Obama Picks Older White Male Washington Insider" to be his changeyness VP. (At least he's clean and articulate.)



Wolfie must be orgasmic.

Bonus flashback to an old post of mine: Why Joe Biden Should Never Be President

Bonus humiliating moment: Poor Markos. Here he was, all excited that Obama was going to get those new-fangled text messages about his VP pick out to the masses before the MSM, so he decided to mock the "old media". (I guess that's like "old Europe".)

And is there a better example than this that old media is getting left out in the cold?

Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room begging viewers to stay tuned so CNN can bring them coverage of a text message.

Brilliant! We've got a lot of campaign a head [sic] of us, but this has been the Obama campaign's finest operation thus far.

But...ooops! As it turns out, that "old media" channel CNN got the breaking news about Biden Friday nite while Obamakins will just have to wait til the morning for those text messages. Yes kos, "Brilliant". You showed 'em!

(Maybe one of these days he'll figure out that, since Obama didn't make one appearance on his site throughout this entire campaign, all of this "netroots" hoopla the Obama campaign was pushing was just an effort to max out campaign contributions from so-called progressives who gathered round the Daily Obama watercooler ATM.)
 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Breaking News: John McCain is Rich

What? You already knew that?

"We can be a party that tries to beat the other side by practicing the same do-anything, say-anything, divisive politics that has stood in the way of progress, or we can be a party that puts an end to it," he said.

- Barack Obama, January 2008


Barack Obama, today:



Obama campaign to deploy surrogates to hit McCain's houses

I'm still waiting (but not holding my breath) for this brand of "new politics" Obama promised.

Can I just say: WHO CARES HOW MANY HOUSES McCAIN HAS? The yanks are involved in 2 wars in which people are being killed every day. Hello?
 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Send in the C[l]o[w]ns: Redux

If you missed last week's Ethics committee hearings into the Conservatives' in and out election funding scheme, a most arrogant display of obstruction and contempt of parliament, fear not. CPAC (schedule) is rerunning the circus performances of the Incredibly Disorderly Cons this week. We all know now what their summer reading consisted of and it wasn't Danielle Steele. Never have so many known so little about points of order or, as I would tend to believe, never have so many known exactly what a point of order actually is and tried to twist it repeatedly in ways that would make balloon animal aficionados jealous.

Grab your popcorn. Please refrain from throwing tomatoes at your teevee. You'd just have to clean that up later anyway.



Related:

11 Tories no-shows at campaign-funding probe

Harper hints at triggering election "because Parliament is not functioning anymore." Gee, and whose fault is that? Exhibit A: Tory official ousted from committee meeting probing ad spending.

Afterthought:

It would be nice if CPAC had video archives available online. I think the public should demand that they provide this service to bring it into the 21st century. You can contact CPAC here.
 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who has the biggest halo?

Here we go again. On Saturday nite, CNN will once again be holding a "faith forum" so all of America can decide if the presidential candidates pass the religious test. Don't expect an actual debate though. Instead, Pastor Rick Warren will be interviewing Obama and McCain separately for one hour in front of a crowd of evangelical Christians - one of the most over-pandered to lobby groups of this century.

According to the so-called "best political team on television", and as the name of their daily news show and all of the polls this year declare, "Issue #1" is actually the economy. So where's the CNN economic forum with Obama and McCain being grilled by economic experts? Or how about one led by foreign policy experts considering the global mess the US government has created? Energy policy, anyone?

No. It's more important for Obama to defend himself against the secret Muslim charges and for McCain to prove that he won't wobble on abortion or let teh gays take over the country. And, of course, everybody knows that you can't actually have values or morals unless you're religious.

I'll tell you what: name one Christian president who's faithfully followed the commandment 'thou shalt not kill' and then we'll talk about why it's so bloody important that whoever is in the White House believe in Jesus.

Just in time for the media mass, an ad touting Obama's religiosity is also being released:

(CNN) — A political action committee organized by Christian voters who support Barack Obama will run an ad this weekend suggesting “the character and faith of each candidate” should be a major factor for religious voters making their presidential pick – and that the presumptive Democratic nominee may hold an edge on that front.

Really? And just how do you measure somebody's faith and the impact that will have on a future president?

Let's flashback to 2001.



Excuse me if I really don't care who or what these politicians claim to pray to - or if they pray at all. I'm just amazed that Onward, Christian Soldiers hasn't yet replaced the US national anthem.
 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Let's Play "Spot the Irony"

 

With its actions in recent days Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world. Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.

- George W Bush

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Olympic-sized Shame

It will be, and should be for everyone watching, nearly impossible to really enjoy the 2008 Olympics knowing the horrendous backdrop in which it is set - a modern-day China that is centuries behind in the way its government treats its native peoples and those it has colonized in places like Tibet.

As Johann Hari writes in Britain's The Independent:

...many of us want to believe we are being tolerant – and even anti-racist – by sticking our fingers in our ears when it comes to the conflict within China. Why? Because our silent societal taboo: we aid and abet the Chinese dictatorship every day. Through our government. Through our corporations. And – crucially – through our choices at the till. At some semiconscious level, we don't want the Chinese people to be allowed to speak and assemble and think freely – because it would mean we had to pay more.

How many times have you chosen a store item, seen the label "Made in China", felt a tiny twinge of guilt - aware of the many human rights abuses of the Chinese government - yet bought the item anyway because it was cheap? Companies like Wal-Mart count on that appeal:

...there is no question that the chain is helping accelerate the loss of American jobs to low-wage countries such as China. Wal-Mart, which in the late 1980s and early 1990s trumpeted its claim to "Buy American," has doubled its imports from China in the past five years alone, buying some $12 billion in merchandise in 2002. That's nearly 10% of all Chinese exports to the United States.

That's what human rights have become in this world: cheap.

And we further cheapen them not just by the shopping choices we make but by turning the other way when faced with the stark reality of oppression and cruelty dressed up in the guise of healthy capitalism or fighting for our freedoms in the wars we endlessly fund and excuse.

The subjugation of human rights is big business. While the current outrage in the US is over the furor about the Iraqi government oil profits not being directed to reconstruction (guess what, Americans? you destroyed the place, you didn't impeach the warmongers, you fix it), have you heard anyone lately complaining about the fact the the CIA's "black budget" is classified?

Although figures are not available after 2000, the Inspector General calculated the CIA has siphoned $1.7 trillion in 1998, $2.3 trillion in 1999 and $1.1 trillion in 2000. This entire CIA funding process, of course, has dubious constitutional authority, but is allowed by various Congressional enactments and secret approval given by the Executive branch and high-ranking congressional leaders.

Trillions of US dollars unaccounted for - used for foreign coups, torture programs, secret prisons, kidnappings, murders, and covert ops that no one will ever know about - and Americans are complaining that the Iraqi government has $80 billion stashed away for its future?

So, while George Bush is predictably performing political theatre by scolding the Chinese government over its human rights abuses - (is this the face of a man who's seriously concerned about human rights?) - a message from a president who once mused about how things would be so much easier if he was a dictator (and he's been a de facto one anyway, considering the lack of congressional willingness to oversee his long list of abuses and crimes) - the shade is still very much drawn over what the CIA and world leaders do behind closed doors in the name of "furthering capitalism" or "protecting national interests" while pretending to care about rights. Code phrases for patting each other on the back while looking the other way as ordinary people are severely harmed by whatever policies they choose to cook up without ever consulting the very people they're supposed to represent. See: Energy Policy, Cheney ie. the death of the Kyoto Protocol and the massive enrichment of oil tycoons and war profiteers thus resulting in US corporate monsters like Exxon-Mobil running teevee ads suddenly trying to convince everyone how "green" they are. It's all one gigantic propaganda farce.

China is just another link in that chain and far be it for any corporation's employees to actually state what's really going on, as CNN's Jack Cafferty found out earlier this year when he was forced to semi-apologize for stating the truth about China's governmental "goons and thugs" - an apt description of most world leaders at one time or another. And, as Cafferty noted, China owns so much US debt that although the USA likes to tout itself as Number One in every possible way, it's actually becoming a subsidiary of China's wealth. How's that for back door colonization?

The biggest dollar surplus country today [2006] is China. Globalization is in fact just a code word for dollarization. The Chinese Yuan is fixed to the dollar. The US is being flooded with cheap Chinese goods, often outsourced by US multinationals. China today has the largest trade surplus with the US, more than $100 billion a year. Japan is second with $70 billion. Canada with $48 bn, Mexico with $37 bn and Germany with $36 bn make the top 5 trade deficit countries, a total deficit of almost $300 billion of the colossal $480 deficit in 2002. This gives a clue to US foreign policy priorities.

What is perverse about this system is the fact that Washington has succeeded in getting foreign surplus countries to invest their own savings, to be a creditor to the US, buying Treasury bonds. Asian countries like Indonesia export capital to the US instead of the reverse!

The US Treasury and Greenspan are certain that its trade partners will be forced to always buy more US debt to prevent the global monetary system from collapsing, as nearly happened in 1998 with the Russia default and the LTCM hedge fund crisis.
[...]
But debt must be repaid you say? Does it ever? The central banks just keep buying new debt, rolling the old debts over. The debts of the USA are the assets of the rest of the world, the basis of their credit systems!

The second key to the Dollar System deals with poorer debtor countries. Here the US influence is strategic in the key multilateral institutions of finance—World Bank and IMF, WTO. Entire countries like Argentina or Brazil or Indonesia are forced to devalue currencies relative to the dollar, privatize key state industries, cut subsidies, all to repay dollar debt, most often to private US banks. When they resist selling off their best assets, tehy are charged with being corrupt. The growth of offshore money centers in the Caribbean, a key part of the drug money cycle, is also a direct consequence of the decisions in Washington in the 1970's and after, to deregulate financial markets and banks. As long as the dollar is the global currency, the US gains, or at least its big banks.

This is a kind of Dollar Imperialism more slick than anything the British Empire even dreamed of. It is a part of the current America "Empire" debate no one mentions. Instead of the US investing in colonies like England to earn profits on the trade, the money comes from the client states into the US economy. The problem is that Washington has allowed this perverse system to get out of all control to the point today it threatens to bring the entire world to the point of collapse. Had the US instead promoted long-term policy of investing in the economic growth and self-sufficiency of countries like Argentina or Congo, rather than bleeding them in repayment of unpayable dollar debts, the world would look far less unstable today.

Again, the US government - Republicans and the precious Democrats - have allowed this situation to become what it is today. That's why Bush's little scold has absolutely no meaning. All of the major world powers are in these abuses together. No need to wonder why the genocide in Darfur continues or why a leader like Hugo Chavez poses such a threat to this world order.

While the mainstream media has now been forced to at least provide some coverage of China's human rights abuses, aided by groups like Amnesty International which has thankfully been on the case for decades, the spotlight is at least now shining on the continual suffering in Tibet, the plight of parents under house arrest who lost children in the Sichuan province earthquake now forbidden to speak to foreign journalists about how the Chinese government's shoddy building standards contributed to those deaths, the continuing oppression of members of religious groups like Falun Gong, the ever-present deadly threat of unbelievable pollution, the jailing of political dissidents and the seemingly never-ending list of other governmental abuses of the Chinese people - all aided and abetted by western governments.

In the days to come, however, we will again be treated to clips of Chinese Olympic volunteers learning proper etiquette (no spitting!) so as not to insult foreign visitors while the networks will go out of their way to no doubt show the tourist attractions of China as if that can provide cover for the horrendous reality so many Chinese people suffer daily. People like those forced out of their homes (in an effort not unlike the US eminent domain scheme) in order to beautify the country as Chinese government leaders attempt to save face.

There's nothing small about the Olympics but even the massive spectacle of a show put on by the Chinese government can't hide its true shame. In the end then, we are all victims - the athletes, the spectators who just want to watch some friendly competition - knowing that, as Amnesty International reports (video), China's human rights situation has become worse since it was awarded the games. The idea that the Olympics would bring positive changes for the Chinese people is a myth.

Let the (political) games begin continue...
 

Monday, August 04, 2008

US Election '08: Reasons Not to Pay Attention

Really.

With stuff like this going on right now, what's the point?

1. Far be it for me to ever link to Newsbusters, but here it is. NYT columnist Bob Herbert sees phallic symbols in the McCain ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Really, Bob? Sheesh.

(And can y'all drop the race card discussion about that ad? It was about a lack of substance, clearly. You pundits out there who are asking why the ad didn't compare Obama to Denzel Washington or Oprah and then go on to compare it to the ridiculous 2006 anti Harold Ford ad clearly need some naps...or vacations...or lives...or something.)

2. Reason #346 Countdown With Keith Olbermann is becoming increasingly annoying to watch: this evening, Keith announced the heave ho "resignation" of WaPo correspondent Dana Milbank. Was that Milbank's "You can't fire me. I quit!" moment? As Olbermann explained to his audience, it seems Milbank's refusal to correct a quote he made in a column about Obama last week was the final straw for Big Keith.

Funny thing though - just prior to that little announcement, Olbermann had played the latest Obama campaign ad, "New Energy for America". The problem is that it seems Keith's staff forgot to actually fact check the ad. Who's going to be forced to resign for not giving those corrections, Olbermann?

Sidebar: TPM reports that "Multiple Oil Company Executives Gave Huge Contributions To Electing McCain Just Days After Offshore Drilling Reversal". We'll see how that pans out. I would add, however, that both campaigns have taken money from execs/employees/families of people in various industries throughout this campaign season and the point has been beaten to death that while actual corporate donations can't be accepted, both campaigns are equally guilty of receiving money in this roundabout way. Don't let the glossy ads fool you.

What happened to the "new" politics both of these candidates promised? I know it's officially the "silly season" but I have a suspicion the tenor of both campaigns is going to be this slow, grinding, nails on a chalkboard style until November. Wonderful.

(And Obama supporting offshore drilling now? Mon dieu. I hope someone's keeping a scorecard of his ever-changing positions. I sure can't keep up.)

Is it over yet?