Sunday, May 6, 2012

Last Call

As widely expected, French Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande has beaten French President Nicholas Sarkozy for his job.

Hollande received 52 percent of the vote to the 48 percent garnered by the conservative Sarkozy, who conceded to his opponent an hour after projected results were in.

The outcome makes Hollande the first candidate from the country’s Socialist Party to become president in France since 1988. It also makes Sarkozy the first president to not get re-elected to a second term in France since Valery Giscard d’Estaing in 1981.

Sarkozy, who was rumored by local channel France 24 as leaving politics altogether after the result, told his audience that he would not spearhead his conservative party into June’s parliamentary elections.

“Stay together, we must win the battle of the legislatives,” he said while reading a draft of his concession speech to senior party officials. “I will not lead that campaign.” 

The big winner here is ultra right-wing nutjob and unapologetic racist Marine La Pen of the National Front party.   With Sarkozy's center-right party leaderless and in tatters, Le Pen plans to swoop in as the face of the opposition to Hollande, and her main goal is to drive France further to the right.  Sound familiar?  It worked for the Tea Party here in 2010, after all.

But the big difference between Le Pen's blithely casual racists and our own is she doesn't have the backing of hundreds of millions of dollars, and Le Pen's clowns will blow up the second they have to govern.  Here in the US, the GOP was only saved from that particular fate by Citizens United and FOX News.

We'll see how this goes down.

A Glass Half Empty, A Field House Three-Quarters Full

They're the same thing if you're the wingnut blogs attacking the President in any way you can.  Breitbart's Big Liar:

Obama Launches Campaign in Empty Arena
Barack Obama launched his campaign in unspectacular fashion today at the Ohio State University, the largest college in this crucial swing state.  According to a photo posted to twitter by Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesman Ryan Williams, the event was poorly attended. 

And then the reality:

About 14,000 filed into the 18,300-seat Schottenstein Center, with the arena’s upper deck nearly empty. Student attendance at the rally was modest.

So surely Mitt Romney can do better right?

Despite falling short of expectations, the crowd at Obama’s Ohio State University event was still many times larger than Romney’s biggest crowd this year so far. Romney has drawn crowds of several thousand people during the GOP primary race, but none topping 10,000.

On Twitter on Saturday, campaign operatives jousted over the visuals of the Ohio rally.
“View from floor during @BarackObama speech. Not the “overflow” crowd he promised,” tweeted Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse fired back with a photo of Romney’s February economic speech in Detroit, where 1,200 people turned out for an event in a stadium that seats 65,000.

Yes, let's talk about empty stadiums, shall we?

Three-quarters full is an "empty arena" when the President is Barack Obama.  They hate him this much because he says things like this:

So in the world of Big Moron, Obama game a speech to an "empty arena".  There's no downside to the lie, of course.  It's not like our liberal media will call them on it.  In fact, it's more likely they will repeat the lie until it becomes fact, then a trend consisting of facts, then a President locked in a tight race for his political survival (when the opposite its true.) It may demoralize voters.  It will give observers the illusion of a close race, and of course the opinion-makers of the Village must be heeded in a situation like that.  A boring, lop-sided competition becomes a razor-thin slugfest.  You know, just like 2008 wasn't.

When he wins, it will be "How could he possibly have won when he gave campaign" rallies at empty arenas?  He couldn't possibly have won without his Chicago thuggery!  It must be VOTER FRAUD ON AN UNPRECEDENTED SCALE!  IMPEACH!  IMPEEEEEEEACH!"

And let's be honest:  The next six months of this aren't really about helping Romney win.  He can't and they know it.  It's all about pre-emptively delegitimizing Obama's second term now.  The plan really is simple.  Six months of "empty arenas" and "unspectacular attendance" will prove that the polls showing the President ahead are all "suspect".  When he wins, it will be "hard for the country to accept how it happened when nobody came to the President's rallies".

And that of course, Republican in Congress will have to investigate because the "people will be clamoring to know".  The people lied to by Breitbart, and FOX, and Drudge, and the rest.

Really is that simple.  How well it will work?  For tens of millions who only get their info from FOX and still believe the President's birth certificate isn't real?  For tens of millions more who get their news from the Villagers who insist only they have the power to see the future of this race that's "too close to call"?

What do you think?

The Octomom Lesson

Republicans, listen up.  Octomom is making porn. And accepting state money.  And rumor has it, that while the babies were conceived IVF, she's had sex.  And now, she's done it on camera.

TMZ reports that she has successfully finished her first porn scene, and that they were told she "is a natural" on film.

We could learn a lot from this generally useless woman, who unsuccessfully pimped her kids and herself out and has lived on the scraps of pity ever since. She is the face of greed and stupidity, despite her education.  Her fame has backfired, and all of her children will pay the price.  But not her, no.  She's still enjoying the television circuit amid reports that her children are "living in squalor" and that she is one step ahead of eviction.

What will happen to the kids when they grow up and realize they were an experiment, a means to grab attention and nothing more?  What will it do to their sense of self-worth to be stamped with the Octomom brand, and forever be ashamed of where they came from?

Or how about this: when they watch the porn video she just filmed to show her desperation and try to grab one last fleeting glimpse of "fame" as we know it today?

Save the kids.  Please.

A Small Victory, But We'll Take It

The case of a tortured Afghan child bride whose treatment shocked the world has led to three members of her husband's family being jailed for 10 years, an official said on Saturday.
Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out was found in the basement of her husband's house last December in northeastern Baghlan province, where she had been locked in a toilet for six months.
"The court sentenced her father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law each to 10 years in prison on Tuesday," Afghanistan's supreme court spokesman Abdul Wakil Omari told AFP.

Hell yes, finally.  We covered this a long time ago, when the story originally broke.  I have kept Sahar's story on my follow-up list and waited, praying for the world to care about this young woman who was treated so badly that reading the story makes tears of rage come to my eyes.

Some groups protest that it isn't enough, and they are right.  There is no price tag on abuse of this level, no amount of punishment can ever make this right.  But ten years is a good start, and in a country where this is still considered acceptable by portions of the public, the best they're going to get.

Still think women have a fair chance in this world?  Read this:

According to figures by British charity organisation Oxfam, 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.
Yeah.  Keep fighting, but let victories like this encourage us to focus.

Too Much Even For The GOP

It turns out that in an election year anyway, there are places not even the Republican party is willing to go.

A stark mug shot of domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski briefly took center stage in the increasingly ugly debate over climate change Friday as the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank funded by major corporations, launched a billboard campaign equating people convinced that global warming is real to the convicted killer.

“I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” read big orange letters next to the Unabomber’s infamously grizzled face on an electronic billboard along the Eisenhower Expressway outside Chicago, the Heartland Institute’s home.

The billboard went live Thursday afternoon. But by 4 p.m. Eastern time, an outcry from allies and opponents alike led the Heartland Institute’s president, Joe Bast, to say he would switch off the sign within the hour.

“The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate,” Bast wrote in an e-mail to some of the institute’s supporters, explaining his decision to end the campaign.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), scheduled to headline the Heartland Institute’s annual conclave of climate-change skeptics this month, said through a spokeswoman that he “will not participate in the upcoming climate-change conference if the Heartland Institute decides to continue this ad campaign.” 

You read that right.  With Sensenbrenner up for re-election like the rest of the House, not even he's willing to go to the mat for the Heartland Institute if they're openly calling global warming proponents terrorists.  Apparently that's actually a step too far for these groups.

Go figure.
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