Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Turn For the Worse Is Still Change

A group of anarchist protesters at the RNC convention in St. Paul
were sitting down to eat dinner and watch a movie when police conducted a no-knock raid, breaking down doors and entering the space with guns drawn. There were children there.

Police claimed that they were searching for bomb-making materials. Later the charge was a fire code violation.

Outrageous. Where is the media that kept an eagle eye on the Chinese waiting for a juicy story of governmental abuse of power?

In other news, Blackwater has put out a call for mercenaries, preferably cops with semi-automatic weapons-not revolver only-to report to the Gulf. Evacuees are being bar-coded and recorded so that authorities will know where they are going and what they are doing.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Granny Palin

John McCain became the presumptive republican nominee on March 4th.

Sarah Palin announced to stunned colleagues that she was pregnant on March 5th.

And yes, veep rumors were swirling at the time.


Just wondering.

UPDATE: Here is the story of Sarah and Todd Palin's wedding: " When they married in 1988, Sarah and Todd were coming off a mediocre fishing season in Bristol Bay. She didn’t want to burden her parents with the costs of a lavish wedding, something the young couple felt was unnecessary.

So they took the practical approach. One day in August, they simply drove to the Palmer courthouse and bought a marriage license. But they still needed two witnesses to stand for them at the ceremony.

“So they went to the senior center there in Palmer and got two old people as witnesses,” Heath said. “They didn’t know them at all. I’d love to have seen that. When Sarah came home, she said, ‘By the way, we got married today.’”

Guess who had a baby eight months later.

Lying about babies and family values seems to be a theme. Teh hypocrisy. It burns.

I Guess that Experience Thingy Wasn't So Important After All.

If elected, do you think they'll make her secret service code name 'Trollop'?

Just wondering.

UPDATE: There is all kinds of wackiness flying around the interwebs about Sarah Palin covering for her daughter and claiming her daughter's out of wedlock child as her own. Particularly weird is that her water broke in Texas and she flew an 11 hour commercial flight home to give birth.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I flew to Germany when I was six months pregnant. Trust me, nobody who thinks they may be going in to labor would ever board a flight. First, can you imagine the inconvenience to other passengers? Second, she claims that they knew that the baby had downs' syndrome. She was 44 years old. Everything about that pregnancy screams 'high risk'. Third, when I flew pregnant I was warned to be very careful about sitting for too long. It is possible to develop blood clots that can become fatal.

I think they need to produce some hospital baby pictures. Otherwise it seems to me that yet another 'family values' republican has children who aren't exactly taking the abstinence only education to heart. That is hypocrisy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Quickie

According to a story at CNN, John McCain hopes that 15,000 people will turn out for his rally tomorrow where he'll announce his running mate. They say that will be five times the number of people at his largest event so far.


They did a good job of getting this across last night at the convention.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Pee Wee!

Happy 56th B-Day Paul Reubens, my adopted actor.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Best Line of the Night at the Convention

Bob Casey, Jr: "John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. That's not a maverick. That's a sidekick."


I would like to write something about Michelle Obama's speech last night but I fell asleep. Rather, let me say that I watched Ted Kennedy's speech with Lotta, who is 7. I tried to watch and answer her questions all at the same time. She wanted to know who Kennedy was. I answered that he has been a senator for over 40 years, that he had three brothers all of whom gave their lives for our country.

Is he a hero? she asked.

Yes. I answered.

Ken Burns put together the tribute to Kennedy. It opened and closed with images of the Kennedys sailing. A timid democratic party would probably shy away from that, given their sensitivity to the utter ridiculousness of the rightwing claim that Obama is elitist.

You know what I loved about it? Kennedy is elitist. And yet the Kennedys never ever have been accused of not having the best interest of the people at heart in all their signature legislation.

In short: Noblesse Oblige. Or, the Kennedy motto: "To whom much is given, much is expected" [Luke 12:48]

This is in complete opposition to the blue-blooded Bushes of Connecticut, who have always acted under the free market modus operandi "To whom much is given, much is never enough".

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cindy McCain: "The Pills Made Me Feel Euphoric and Free"

Just Say No is apparently only for people of color and kids. Wealthy heiresses? Pass the scrip baby!

The Rude Pundit shares a bit of the story of Cindy's drug use. Cliffnotes version: it was John's Keating Five scandal's fault.

"[M]y pain was more than just physical. The Keating Five savings and loan scandal had just blown up, and my husband was implicated. (I became a focus of the investigation when I couldn't find receipts showing that John and I had reimbursed the Keatings for a vacation we took to the Bahamas.) The first time I ever heard of the Keating Five, I was in the hospital, recovering from my first back surgery. A resident came in, threw a newspaper down on my bed and said, 'Gee, I guess your husband's not so perfect after all.' Throughout the investigation, the painkillers cushioned me. The newspaper articles didn't hurt as much, and I didn't hurt as much. I can remember sitting in the Senate hearings, listening to Howell Heflin saying terrible things not just about my husband but about me. The pills made me feel euphoric and free."

Jesus, imagine if she had a really shitty life. You know, like only having three houses!

Who Is Today's Saint?

Today we celebrate the Feast of Saint Symphorian. My Saint-A-Day guide describes him as a "mother-encouraged martyr". Insert your own Catholic Guilt joke here.

Saint-A-Day says:
In the town of Autun, France (then the Roman province of Gaul) this Christian schoolboy staunchly refused to participate in the pagan rites honoring the harvest goddess Cybele. Symphorian carried on an edifying theological debate with the local magistrate while being flogged and was then escorted outside the town and beheaded while his proud mother stood on the walls and shouted encouragement to her son.

Okay. On a personal note, Lotta swam with swim team this summer and turned out to be pretty good. It was hard not to overdo the, shall we say, parental encouragement. But what I can say for certain is that I would not stage-mother her into a beheading. Whack.

Symphorian is the Patron Saint of children (I suggest a re-vote) and students; is invoked against syphilis. (Does it seem to you that an inordinate amount of Saints get invoked against sexually transmitted diseases? Particularly when the Christian Fundamentalists would have you believe that extra-marital sex was invented right after the birth control pill? Just wondering.)

If Symphorian were alive today he would not be a saint, he would be that even lesser-talented Lohan chick or Jamie Lynn Spears.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do They Make a Power Flip Flop?

Guess who's headed back to the world of paychecks and racing away from home in the morning, happy to see the house in her rear-view mirror?

Yep. Ima is starting kindergarten in a few weeks. I managed to be a stay home mom for five and a half years. When Lotta was a baby I took a job at a daycare center just so that I could always be with her. So Lotta had a little daycare experience, but I was there for all the times she bit other kids, ate twice her share of snacks, and said her first word. (It was "more" -- which we tell her still fits her personality).

So I'm going back to work at the job I quit when I met Ben and moved to Virginia. The guy I hired has hired me back to help out. I think I'm actually getting a raise of 25 cents an hour over what I left at. Is that good or bad after a nine year hiatus?

Anyway, it's part time. Oh, and that guy I hired who hired me back? Raging republican. So much fodder for future posts, it practically makes me think they could pay me less! Nah.

Now I'll need to think up a fake name for him. I won't start until mid-September, so I (meaning you guys) have plenty of time to come up with something.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm Going To Hell.


Next month Ben and I are heading to Los Angeles to recoup the vacation I won by writing a story about a kitchen nightmare I experienced. This is not the hell we are headed for.

Rather, because I bought a vacation from Marriott Resorts over a year ago that we weren't able to use, we transferred that package to their resort nearest LA, where we'll stay for a few days before heading to the London Hotel in Hollywood.

Here's a clippy from an e-mail from the Newport Beach tourism board:

I stroke a cashmere scarf so soft that my hand seems to float weightlessly upon it. Today the good life is mine as I sail through my private island, cloaked in contentment.

Newport Beach is perhaps best known for its unrivaled life of privilege. Mariner's Mile must be experienced to be believed with its endless stream of exotic automobiles and lavish yachts, and its
restaurant row boasting million-dollar views These are the vehicles used to transport their owners to the mansions and boutiques of Balboa and surrounding islands.

But perhaps the island you prefer is Fashion Island with its 200 specialty boutiques, just waiting for your discerning perusal.

Yeah, I'm going there. Maybe sunshine and salt air will cure the hives I'm sure to break out in.

(This image is taken from Shop Till They Drop and shows the tin shacks that Bangladeshi garment workers live in, unable to afford better.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Size

Hi all. I'm back. What'd I miss? Ha. I was paying attention. Apparently 11,000 people are competing in sporting events in China, but without cable I was able to watch only one. Let me say I think Michael Phelps is outstanding. I think media coverage of Michael Phelps sucked. Dear NBC: every other swimmer in that pool also spent nearly every day of their lives in the water, deserving their own moment in the spotlight. But every 'caster just had to ask every athlete they talked to about whether they'd maybe gotten to touch the sacred hem of Phelps swim trunks.

Oh well. I tivo'd the Olympics while I was away and spent a good deal of today looking through the stuff I missed last week.

On NBC's enhanced coverage through our DirectTV I found this little gem. It's an isolated camera on Usain Bolt's "stride" and "celebration" in slow motion. Ladies, you'll notice if you watch to the end of the short clip that Mr. Bolt doesn't wear any impeding undergarments that reign in his "celebration".

Ben had to tell me to quit looking.


Friday, August 8, 2008

I think the Packer management did the right thing.

Hey, it's not a popular opinion, but then I recently got up the guts to announce my true hidden feelings about the Beatles.

Talk amongst yourselves. I'll berate your dumb opinion love to see what y'all've got to say when I get back.

(Time for some vacation).

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen: Miss Buffalo Chip!

The McCain's go to Sturgis. Those boys over there've pissed out more Cindy product than you'll drink in a lifetime, kids.*

The story goes that McCain offered Cindy up for the topless and sometimes bottomless Miss Buffalo Chip contest. You know if he's willing to throw the trollop to the wolves half naked in South Dakota for the votes of a few drunken racists, for God's sake can you imagine what he'd offer the Saudis?

*My brothers were in a bar in far northern Wisconsin when a grizzly old drunk told them he'd pissed out more beer in his lifetime than they could hope to drink. Ummm, I'm guessing he wasn't real well informed in biology.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Re-Posted: The Day of the PDB

Last year there was a blogswarm around the theme of the August 6th, 2001 Preznechal Briefing which warned our Commander in Chief of an imminent attack on American soil. His response, as we all recall, was "Well, you've covered your ass".

Here's my post from last year.

What if?

A favorite anecdote among historians who play the 'what if' game is the story of Annie Oakley and Kaiser Wilhelm. It is said that Annie performed a gun trick that involved shooting the lit end of a cigarette from the mouth of a male audience volunteer. The volunteer was a shill - her husband. But while on tour in Europe with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie asked for a volunteer for the trick and got a real one: Prince Wilhelm of Germany. Though Annie had spent the night before in a beer garden, her aim was true and she performed the stunt without incident.

But, ask historians, what if she hadn't? What if she had shot the future Kaiser in the ear, killing him? If not for Kaiser Wilhelm we wouldn't have had World War One. Some say we are still battling the repercussions of that war: it spun itself out into the conflicts that engulf the middle east to this day. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was, according to Iraq anyway, predicated on the fact that Kuwait should not have been partitioned by the British following the First World War. In more obvious examples, the First World War gave rise to the bitter German who eagerly embraced fascism. Without the kaiser there wouldn't have been Hitler. Without Hitler there wouldn't have been the millions of deaths at the hands of his reich.

What if Thomas Jefferson hadn't been such a fan of John Locke's? What if George Washington thought like John Hancock and believed the United States of America should be ruled by a king? What if Abraham Lincoln weren't the president during the civil war? What if FDR wasn't president during World War Two. What if Kennedy wasn't president during the Cuban Missile Crisis? These are fortunate what ifs.

There are unfortunate what ifs, like the assassinations of Kennedy and Lincoln, of Martin Luther King, Jr. They fill my chest with a weight like buckshot. And today, August 6, 2007 the ghosts of two thousand nine hundred seventy four terror victims, the ghosts of four thousand six hundred and nine coalition soldiers, the ghosts of thousands of Afghanis, the ghosts of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis beg the question 'what if?'

What if George Bush took seriously a memo entitled 'bin Ladin Determined to Strike in the US'? What if he asked the question 'How would that be likely?' What if our intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tasked with estimating how that attack might happen? What if FBI agents in Minneapolis and Arizona and Florida were granted the search warrants they had requested just days after the August 6th PDB for suspicious foreigners taking lessons at local flight schools? What if the president, upon reading the PDB, reached out to the Hart Rudman commission and implemented its recommendations, rather than the path he chose, which was to reject Hart Rudman and turn the issue of terrorism over to the vice president who did nothing but hand the issue over to FEMA.

Would there have been the Afghan war?
Would there have been the Iraq war?
Would Americans stand for the Patriot Act?
Would Americans approve of the suspension of Habeas Corpus?
Would Americans allow total information awareness data mining?
Would Americans have voted in record numbers to return the worst president in American history to office?
Would Americans agree that torture is situationally okay?
Would we have New Orleans rebuilt by now?
Would our bridges and tunnels get fixed before falling down?
Would we still be held with esteem by most of the other nations of the world?
Would we still be improving our country with the money in our 'peace dividend' account?

Would the towers still stand?

If that memo had been taken seriously, if the president acted with the same determined haste he managed to show for Terri Schiavo's parents, how different would our lives be today?

One afternoon. One piece of paper. One choice.

A frozen accident

Monday, August 4, 2008

You Know What?

I don't like the Beatles.

There. I've said it. It was hard to do, but I feel like a great weight has been lifted.

Carry on.