Monday, October 22, 2012

Odds and Sods: Final debate edition

Talented Jill Andrews at Fall for Greenville, last Sunday.

Admittedly, I haven't been writing about the debates, because I find the entire spectacle depressing. (I have been dutifully covering them on the weekly radio show, which of course you have been listening to!) I have a hard time taking these things seriously... all that pacing around the stage during the last debate, made me nostalgic for Johnny Carson, or anybody else who knew how to freaking STAND STILL on a stage and still command the attention of an audience.

Are people now so accustomed to razzle-dazzle, special effects and music videos, that we have to turn somersaults and cartwheels to keep them engaged?

Tonight is the much-heralded "last debate" between the two major candidates. Only TWO candidates allowed, even though there are others. Not included: Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whom I have interviewed on my show), Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, Libertarian Party nominee (and former New Mexico governor) Gary Johnson, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode and Peace and Freedom Party nominee Rosanne Barr. (Biographical aside: Your humble narrator was registered as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party while a resident of California.)

I'm sure there are countless others, but these are the best-known of the 'minor' candidates.

To his credit, Gary Johnson has filed a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, protesting his exclusion:

On Friday, the Libertarian presidential ticket of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson and former California Superior Court judge Jim Gray filed another lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates to attempt to force their way into the foreign policy debate tonight.

This lawsuit argues that Gary Johnson has met the 15% polling requirement for inclusion in the debates because polls that have included only President Obama and Gov. Johnson have showed Johnson with much more than 15% support. This is because polls that exclude the name of one candidate (Republican nominee Mitt Romney) should be just as valid as polls that exclude the name of another candidate (Johnson).
Good luck with that, Governor... but I think we all know how that is going to shake out.

It should be noted that Jill Stein has also filed a similar lawsuit, after her arrest last week in Hempstead, New York:
Last week Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein was arrested, along with VP candidate Cheri Honkala, attempting to get into the presidential debates in Hempstead, New York. This week her fight continues with a lawsuit filed today against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), claiming that the CPD, Democratic National Committee, and Republican National Committee, together with the Federal Election Commission and Lynn University, had deprived her of her constitutional rights to due process, equal protection, and free speech, as well as her statutorily protected civil rights.
Free And Equal
will be hosting a debate of several 'minor' candidates, tomorrow in Chicago. Ironically, no American networks will be covering this debate, but Al Jazeera and Russia Today will be covering it! (Larry King will be moderating.)

Meanwhile: In this corner, the living fulfillment of the White Horse Prophecy--Mittens Romney!!! And in this corner, the current leader of these great United States (and reigning champ)--Barack Hussein Obama!!!! (((huzzahs, whistles, screams, applause, etc)))

I usually end up watching just to see if someone screws up... I will never forget the hugely-entertaining Rick Perry moment of last November's primary debate. I am heartily wishing for one of those; Romney's humorous "binders of women" came awfully close.

Stay tuned, sports fans.


Our plucky heroine at the 4th annual Voices Against Violence event, brought to you by the awesome Traci Young Fant and

Along these lines, I'd like to share this thoughtful piece by Lionel Foster, titled Freeing Young Men from the Trap of Aggression.

An article about the new trend of "gang sweeps": 'New Jim Crow' or Public Safety? Check the comments, too.


Comment on a recent affirmative action thread at Alas, A Blog, from (someone named) nobody, really:
I recently read an analysis of polling data comparing this [racial] sense of grievance to abortion rights. Popular wisdom says that abortion rights are a controversial issue politically, driving certain white working-class people from the Democratic Party. But polls regularly show that most Americans, most white working class Americans, most white Catholic working-class Americans, etc. … favor abortion rights. Rather, the data suggests that white working class people are driven away from the Democrats by the latent perception that government is intervening to help undeserving OTHERS – others at home, others abroad. This was the core of Nixon’s Southern Strategy, and it remains the core of the Republican faith.

Paul Ryan withdraws endorsement of State Rep. Roger Rivard:
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker have dropped their endorsements of a Wisconsin lawmaker who said that his father had told him "some girls, they rape so easy" as a way to warn him that women could consent to sex but then later claim they hadn't.

In a further blow to state Rep. Roger Rivard's re-election bid, the operation committed to maintaining a Republican majority in the state Assembly on Thursday ended its financial support for Rivard.

Ryan pulled his support for Rivard, of Rice Lake, just hours after the Journal Sentinel reported on his rape comments Wednesday
Not to worry, Sen. Jim DeMint will likely endorse him.

In a recent piece on Rivard in Feministe, Jill Filipovic wrote an excellent summary of conservative views of gender. An excerpt:
The socially conservative worldview believes that men and women are fundamentally different — not just physically and emotionally and biologically, but in terms of what role they are supposed to fill in society. The conservative worldview sees a society in which these traditional, “natural” roles are filled as the best society. Conservatives believe that men are naturally aggressive and desiring of sex; in the best world, men are heads of households and responsible for action in the public sphere. They care for their families as financial supporters and physical protectors. But they have to be coerced into entering into that family model through a system in which they cannot get sex without marital commitment. Women, on the other hand, could take or leave sex, but they deeply desire monogamy, romantic love, commitment and support. Women are naturally subservient and desiring of stability; in the best world, women are helpmeets to their husbands and responsible for the private sphere — homemaking and caretaking of children and family. They are responsible for civilizing men, partially by withholding sex in order to get the marital commitment they want, and by establishing a nuclear family that is ultimately the best foundation for society.

In that view, sex is essentially a bartering chip. It’s not something that is good in and of itself. It’s good only when it’s used for both parties to get what they want in a socially-sanctioned way. It is something women “give” to men, once men give women what women want.

Sex as something that’s “given” — sex as a commodity — allows for sex to be constructed as something that can be taken.
Rape, in the conservative worldview, isn’t about violating consent or forcing sex on someone against their will; rape is about who the victim is and whether or not she plays by right-wing rules. It’s about whether she’s already given up her right to say no.

At the same time, as the conservative female is naturally chaste and subservient and refusing of sex unless she falls from grace, the conservative male ideal is aggressive, animalistic and virtually uncontrollable (except by a good woman, of course). Men, in the right-wing view, are going to tirelessly try to get sex. “We have forgotten that before we began calling this date rape,” says conservative activist and author of The Myth of Male Power Warren Farrell, “we called it exciting.”

More stuff:

CNBC Host Accuses Obama Of Manipulating Libya Facts To Cut Military Spending (Reality Check)

Three Reasons Why the Race Is So Close; Nine Reasons Why Obama Will Win (Huffington Post)

Voter Intimidation Billboards Will Be Pulled Down In Cleveland (Think Progress)

CNN will be live-blogging the debate tonight (CNN) If you flip channels compulsively, as I do, this is a good way to keep up!

Poll: Who will win the Presidential election? (The Good Men Project) Rates mention for the discussion in comment section.

Americans Way More Interested in Paul Ryan’s Naked, Heaving Chest Than His Budget (Jezebel) I've never doubted it.

And finally... Democracy Now will be EXPANDING THE DEBATE, hosting a debate between the aforementioned candidates Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson in about 2 minutes, at 8:30pm, extending to midnight. (Democracy Now) Yall come!