Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dan Sullivan should come with a warning label

Finally, we have reached the last weekend before Tuesday's election and frankly, it's been upsetting and tiring. If this election weren't so important, I'd let it go, but it is important and perhaps the very fabric of our nation depends on the outcome. We all know what the Republicans have done and want to do in Congress, an attack on regular folks, old folks, the poor, the working poor, students, education, health care, the list goes on and on. At the same time they want to continue tax cuts for the very wealthy, in essence reversing Robin Hood to take from the poor and give to the rich.

Here in Alaska we have a candidate for the U. S. Senate who could be the poster boy for that Republican agenda. In fact most of his comments during the campaign have been more about what he sees as national issues like stopping the president and he has said very little about Alaska or issues specific to the state.

His campaign comes right out of the Republican book of tricks and the things he stands for, if from the generalities he spouts you can even figure out exactly what he stands for, follow right along with that agenda. You only have to see who's helping him: Rand Paul in ads on YouTube and Ted Cruz in Fairbanks. Do we want either of them having some influence over Alaska issues?

For starters, on this last weekend, according to the Mudflats blog, despite being funded by the Koch brothers and questionable donations from his wealthy family in Ohio, he has sent a last-minute appeal for funding: “Make an emergency contribution of at least $25 – without it we're not going 2 defeat Mark Begich.” He says the money is needed to combat his opponent's out-of state money. That is typical Republican mind-screwing, do what you want and then blame the other guys for doing it.

The other day, being alternately tired and outraged by his advertisements, and their generalities I dissected one of his ads. To begin with he has this smarmy condescending way of speaking except when he says the president's name and then he effects this complicated tone that at once projects masked outrage and is said in a way that assumes everyone hates President Obama and his policies, particularly Obamacare.

In one of his ads he says he will protect Alaskans. Gee, thanks padrone from what?

In this particular one he starts out by saying he will "stand up to Obama… ." If elected this guy would be the junior senator from a red state with three electoral votes. He is not going to stand up to anybody. If he expects to gain anything to "protect us" he will be kissing ass all over Congress to have any effect at all.

That particular phrase goes on: "… and his failed policies." What failed policies? By most measures the president has been very effective despite the hatred and opposition aimed at him by the party this guy hopes to join in Congress. He particularly says he will get rid of Obamacare. Now, Congress has voted as many as 51 times to repeal that act and failed every time. By any measure it has been deemed a success, with more than 10 million people who now have health insurance who didn't have it before. That should be a dead issue, but he is going to protect us from it anyway. He points to some Alaskans who have seen costs increase but fails to mention that Alaska, governed by his party and the administration he was part of, is one of the few states that did not go along with the law and expand Medicaid to take advantage of it.

Chart detailing the president's "failed policies" provided by the Democratic party. All of the numbers are easily verified.
The next point he makes is that he will attack the president's wasteful spending. That is just an outright lie. By every measure this administration has made gains in that area and reduced the federal deficit by a considerable amount.  He might look at wasteful spending in the form of subsidies given to the largest corporations operating in this country, including a few that have moved their headquarters offshore to avoid taxes the rest of us pay.

In another stated objective he says he will promote Alaska energy. Does that mean putting vitamins in the water supply? Mostly he has said in the past he wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to petroleum drilling. He blames his opponent for not getting that done. Well, that's been an issue for years and every Alaska member of Congress since the 1970s has not managed to get it done. A lot of people who this guy hopes to represent don't want it to happen anyway. "Wildlife refuge" means just that.

The last point the ad makes is that this candidate will strengthen national security. What is he going to do along that front that already hasn't been done? President Obama got Osama bin Laden, something his GOP predecessor couldn't do despite starting two very expensive wars and not achieving that goal. Is he going to vote like this last Congress did to spend money on tanks the Defense Department says it doesn't even want? Is he going to put anyone who has even heard the word "ebola" in quarantine? Is he going to back a ground war against ISIS? Another empty statement.

Those four points were the main ones in this ad and they generally followed what's been put forward in all of his campaign materials. Empty statements that don't stand up under scrutiny, pure hatred for America’s president and his policies and projections of himself as a superman who is going to change everything while he stands up to the Goliath, Barack Obama.

In short, he stands against a whole lot of things, but hasn't named one specific positive goal he hopes to accomplish. He simply wants to join the rest of the Republistructionists and stop Obama.

No thanks, Dan Sullivan, Alaska wants to move forward, not backward and Alaskans definitely don't need his protection. What would be better is if we did with him what was done with unwanted, dangerous people in past years: tie an airline ticket around his neck and leave him at the airport.

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve