Sunday, December 28, 2008

You've really got to stop shopping at Wal-Mart

Just a little while ago there was a brief story on the 10 o' clock news that Wal-Mart, unlike almost ALL other retailers in the country, actually saw its sales increase by 3% this past Christmas season.

Wal-Mart happily mid-wifed the birth of our crappy economy by forcing American manufacturers to close American factories and ship those jobs to China. And for this they get repaid by being the only place Americans can now afford to shop.

Less Drugs, More Alcohol

I've been narcotic free for over a week. Which is good because pharmacoepia was getting in the way of wine drinking. Though holiday excess has made me decide that this year I think I will give up alcohol. Unlike last year when I enlisted the entire family in the Buy USA challenge, I think the kids will find it fairly easy to give up alcohol. (Don't kid yourselves, they love them some mouthwash.)

Since it is still 2008 I may wander over to the kitchen and rustle me up a chardonnay.

Hey, the Packers managed to not lose to the Lions. It wasn't such a sure thing throughout. We went over to my aunt's house for her partner's 50th birthday party and watched the game. On the way home we listened to Aaron Rodgers interview on the radio. The guy is a real class act. He said that as a football quarterback there is a lot he can control but that far more happens that is out of his control. You can only trouble yourself with that which you can control, he said. Considering that he spent the pre-season submerged in the Brett Favre unretirement brouha, I think he is an admirable soul.

I wonder how Brett Favre is feeling have lost to Mike Holmgren in Mike's last home game and to Chad Pennington today?

te he.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

One more mishap




My life is beginning to resemble a sit-com. Following closely on the heels of those madcap adventures-the problems with RD at work, the faux heart attack and subsequent vicodin bender, then jury duty and the twenty hour deliberation, I went back to work promising not to miss a day unless I was bleeding out my eyes.
The very next morning my back seized up on me while I was in the laundry room. I went up to my bedroom, called work and told them I'd be in as soon as the drugs kicked in. Then I hollered at Ben to bring me the prescription ibuprofen they gave me at the hospital. "Not the vicodin!" I added.

I took two of the 600mg ibuprofen pills and sent Ben to Walgreens for some Doan's pills.

When Ben got back I took two of the Doans.

Eight hours later, when the workday was nearly done, I woke up.

The next day I discovered that I did not take ibuprofen, I took two prescription muscle relaxers my doctor had prescribed and that Ben had filled while I was zonked out on the vicodin bender, plus the two Doan's pills.

I shall heretofore refer to this as the incident of the 'Lude bender.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Working My Way Back To You

Zowie. The last month has been insane. First there was the problem at work and the 12 hour days that followed, then faux heart attack scare and subsequent vicodin bender, then jury duty.

Let me tell you about jury duty.

We had jury selection on Monday, listened to testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, heard closing arguments then we deliberated for 11 hours on Thursday (we left the courthouse at 11pm) and we deliberated for nine more hours on Friday.

The case was an accusation of rape against a not very savory man. The accuser was his daughter. She was a teen at the time of the allegations; prosecution said that he took her virginity. He was also accused of raping her on a weekly basis for over a year.

Yuck.

The problem with the case was that I didn't believe the young woman's story. She reported it ten years after the fact, yet there was no claim of repressed memory. She says she didn't report because she was afraid of the man, yet when her baby daughter (worse than if it were a son, imo) was born she took her to meet him. Defense claimed that she often asked for rent money. After the money stopped he was accused. We learned through a defense witness that she threatened that she said "I'm going to make you pay, you son of a bitch".

I'm trying to give you the largest swaths of the case. We listened to testimony for two days. We deliberated for 20 hours.

Though there were four counts in the case and the vote was different for each, essentially nine people thought that we should convict and three people felt the verdict should be not guilty. I was in the minority. The major difference was that 11 of 12 people felt that the state did not make its case against the man, but that 8 of those people felt the reasonable doubt threshold had been reached. The twelth juror was a nutcase who said straight out that rape stories are NEVER fabricated. (She also said that she could not vote for innocence in a case where the defendant didn't testify on his own behalf. Screw you, fifth amendment!)

When this lovely young woman took the stand, she had my faith and my belief in her. I wanted to do right by her. But as she spoke, she struck me as a bullshit artist. In my scribbled notes there were circles and arrows and question marks and the word "Contradicts". I would go into detail for you here but that would make a lengthy post that I don't have much of a stomach for. I've been living with this story in my head for over a week. It's there when I wake up and when I go to sleep. I truly truly wish that I could have believed her. The easiest thing to have done would have been to say 'guilty'. But I believe that it is worse to put an innocent man in jail than to let a guilty man go free. The state did not make the case against the man. One woman on the jury said the polar opposite: "I can't stand the thought that there's a possibility I'd let a rapist walk around on the streets". Screw you, reasonable doubt!

Though deliberations lasted for over 20 hours for the most part they were respectful, thoughtful deliberations. There were some heated exchanges but very little animosity. In the end, we were a hung jury and a mistrial was declared.

Ask me questions in comments about the case, if you like. I'll answer and/or give greater detail as to why, as much as it pained me to say so, I thought the accuser was lying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry War on Christmas!


I am reposting my Christmas Card from last year. Feel free to download it for your personal War On Christmas Use. Onward, Christmas Soldiers!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jury Duty


Because I didn't miss enough work with my faux heart attack scare and subsequent vicodin bender, today I reported for jury duty to find myself empaneled on a jury for a case that should take all week.

I have always wanted to be on jury duty. But somehow the county couldn't find me for the last five years when I had no job (or at least gainful employment). Let's just say the timing sux.

Of course, I'd love to tell you all about it, but rules are rules. It is a criminal case, I think that's all I'm allowed to divulge.

Cross your fingers that they do not make me foreman. I plan to pick my nose in public for the first part of the day tomorrow.

If I ever get there, I should add. Big snowstorm is predicted for tonight. The kids stand a good chance of having a snow day tomorrow. Have fun, Ben!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Not Much, You?

As Freida Bee always says "oh yeah, I have a blog". I haven't meant to be lax but let me tell you the last two weeks have been beyond. Major shake up at work. Without going into too much detail, Republican Dude (RD) was doing an even worse job than I had originally suspected. So, careful what you bitch for, because I went from working 20 or so hours a week and setting my own schedule to full time and more, lately putting in 10 hour day averages. Man.

And then last Wednesday night I went to the emergency room with chest pains. I thought of Dr. Monkey, who was my age when he had his heart attack. I thought about mattyboy who went in last year for some chest pain issues. Let me just say that when a whole lotta people come rushing at you with little stickers and wires and machines that go 'bing', it can be pretty scary. I had to stay in the hospital until a little after 1 am. I sent Ben and the girls home at 9 pm and called a cab to get me. Thus far the conclusion is that it was some kind of a pulled muscle in my back or rib cage area. Thursday and Friday are vicodin indused hazes.

Here it is, Sunday night and I am tapping this out on my new laptop while I sit in my armchair. How cool is that? Just wait until we get the wifi router at our house, I'll take all you guys to bed with me. Or something like that. (I wonder if my hit counter will go up with that last statement?)

So that's what's been up with me. Sorry I haven't visited all y'all. I'll be around soon.

Love,

Jess.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Last night I dreamt that Paris Hilton told me I was fat.

Dear Psyche, haven't we got better things to do with our dreams? Tonight is she going to come and tell me I'm poor?

Oh, and as far as messengers go, I know you've got a Mark Rufalo or a Kenneth Branagh (as Hamlet) in there somewhere.

Let's shape up up there, shall we?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hopefully, Spelling Is Not a Requirement for These Jobs


I found this list this morning of Lotta's goals. Lotta is going to be eight in a few weeks.

They are:
Scientist
Archeologist
Music Composer
Athlete
Inventor
Photographer (this one took me a long time to figure out)
Teacher
Chef
Author
Host on a TV show
Veterinarian
Artist
Manager (of what I do not know. Hopefully not a Taco Bell. No offense Taco Bell Managers)

Monday, November 24, 2008

These things do not remain

Maybe it is the coming on of Thanksgiving, or the thought of how much has been lost and gained in the last year, but I find myself searching through landscapes and buildings that exist only in my mind these days.

I was a child in the late sixties and early seventies. First generation off the farm on dad's side of the family, an extra generation removed on mom's side. A city playground was exotic to me, but a barn, a chicken coop, a dynamite shack - all abandoned - were my familiars.

Suburban homes are tombstones to those places, now. It's not worth grief or a maudlin sensibility but it comes to me that my children haven't the faintest notion of these places.

My grandfather quit farming sometime before I was born. The father of eight, but only two boys, no body wanted his farms. My aunt and her family lived at one but didn't farm it, Grandpa and Grandma retired and lived at the other. Some of the land was used for gravel pits, some for shacks that were specially built to store dynamite road crews were using to carve new roads into the limestone bedrock of the state in the 1950's. Snowmobiles, old cars and furniture were stored in the barn.

I don't know how many years passed between the last cow to have lived in Grandpa's barn and the time that I came to know it. Great big hewn log beams were still whitewashed down below by the cow stalls. Hay decayed on the dirt floor. A manure smell still clung to the timbers, with a topnote of dust and straw. That barn and the dairy barns of today have little in common.

At some point in the middle of the last century, the old highway that passed just outside Grandpa's front door was moved. They ran it along side the railroad tracks that divided the farmhouse from the barns. The new highway was just feet away from the big red barn with the "King Midas" flour sign painted 20 feet high on the eastern side of the barn.

There were 1000 abandoned acres for playing in. There were those dynamite shacks I mentioned. They were gunmetal gray and had no windows, but one small tightly locked door. The rumor was that if we searched the area we might find a stick or two of dynamite that fell off a truck once upon a time a long long time ago. Never did.

The gravel pit had giant piles of gravel. I've never slid down a mountain scree, but as a child knew how to slide down gravel. It gave way under your feet, you dig your heels in a little, bring your feet to parallel with the earth, not the hill. Were the gravel was dug were ponds. We were told they were as deep as 90 feet. Swimming was not allowed. I remember being with my dad on at least one occasion were strangers had to be yelled at, told to get out of the ponds before the sheriff was called and trespassing was charged. There was never any real trouble.

At my cousin's house there was a chicken coop. Plastic forts and 'play structures' have nothing on the beautiful simplicity of a chicken coop for a playhouse. The scale was perfect for little girls. There were windows, both at our eye level and up near the top. An old abandoned silo housed only bats. Dares were made about who could go in and for how long.

Old cars were another thing. There were abandoned cars to make forts out of everywhere. Like skeletons, the stripped out cars didn't offer clues about what they had been if a former life. But I'm guessing old Buicks or DeSoto's from the thirties. They were so commonplace then that it is sometimes catches me that my kids have never been in an old stripped out car. There were at least two in the woods behind my house. There was a junk pit next to my friend's house. In that was a Volkswagen Beetle. At the edges of my memory are so many old trucks. Some working, others not. Cracked leather over horsehair seats, dust and grease. If you bottled the smell, I'd buy it and sit on my porch remembering a child's eye view petulant gear boxes, cigarettes, rolled up sleeves, itchy seats where tears showed springs and stuffing. Rust and hope.

There were cellars. In cellars were salamanders and low ceilings and dark corners. At one farm of a not-relative but damned close, the men spent parties down in the cellar, near where the farmer put up wine. Nobody drank that wine, we heard it was godawful from our folks. But down there inside the cellar built up of field stones, ones that actually did come from out of the fields the farmers tried to coax from land poured over by glacial till, there was a smell of grapes and yeast and lime mortar and dirt. And that night's spilled beer. Kids liked to hang off the wooden stair rail and eavesdrop on the men. Until we gave up trying to translate their stories or spot the funny part of the story that got them all laughing. Then we'd run outside beneath the halogen light that formed the big greening circle around the yard, the darkened edges of it evoking mystery and danger. Run, run out into the dark, it is time for 'moonlight starlight'. A million places around the farmhouse to hide in the dark, listening for Olly olly ump ump free.

And we ran.

If I could find the road back to a soft June night, under a farmyard light inside its circle, outside of it beneath stars, pumping my legs and screaming and running back to 'home', right now I would take that road. I would like just a little visit back. Only for the evening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Five Years Out. Two Months In. Conclusion: Work Sucks.

I have been working part time since my daughter started kindergarten. I am in a very unusual position of having gone back to work for the guy I hired nine years ago to take over my job. At this point I'm sure he views me as subordinate to him, because in the interim my parents, who started the business, sold it to my brothers who each have a 40% share and to republican dude who has a 20% share.

I haven't being doing the job that I did way back when. I've been going in to do the financials. For two months it has been breaking my heart to see what this guy has been doing to the company that my dad built from the ground up. In essence, Mr. Republican Dude is returning it right back to the ground from which it came.

Everything blew up on Tuesday. No sense going into it here, just suffice it to say that at a point where he insulted MY intelligence by admitting that he was incapable of doing something therefore so would I, too, be incapable, I asked the accountant to explain the checks written out by Republican Dude to himself on a Cost of Goods Sold account and not a reimbursement account. It was not a clear accusation of theft, but a point of incompetence with serious repercussions. And I was making the point that both RD and the accountant are not doing their jobs.

Well, today I go back to work. Bet they're going to be happy to see me, eh?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Senator Palin Stevens Loses in Alaska

Look, I never went in for the fables the right wing told about Sarah Palin. Every single trope they threw up was easily dispelled by facts. The right loved to tout her resume as a corruption buster. Yet in the middle of the Ted Stevens Corruption Affair she would not commit to condemnation of his activities until the court rendered its verdict.

As grown ups we know that there is a valley vast and wide between the truth and what is actionable in a court of law. I believe that in ethics circles (not recently traversed by republicans) the term is impropriety or the APPEARANCE of impropriety. Palin could have, ball buster she's supposed to be, declaimed Stevens merely on the appearance of impropriety.

Well not only did Stevens get busted for felony indictments while our Sarah did nothing, now it seems the angels have found way for Stevens to lose his election bid.

There will be a D behind the name of the Senator from Alaska, one Honorable Mark Begich, which means that Mrs. Palin cannot dismiss Stevens and claim the job for herself.

Now, lets all sit back and see how she (retroactively) tackles this corruption.

Car Trouble. (Or, Can You Drive With Your Nose Up in the Air?)



There's a commercial on television that shows young girls playing. The voice over talks about how she was your friend when you were young and how together you got in all kinds of trouble that your dad secretly laughed about. The commercial urges you to call her.

Whenever I see that ad I think of my childhood best friend. Except that there is no way that I could ever call her. Nor would I want to. When I was thirty I made the mistake of marrying her brother. Eighteen months later he had a new girlfriend and I was asked to leave.

She never spoke to me again. She never called during the divorce process to say...what? Anything, I guess. She could have said she was sorry that I was going through a hard time, without being sorry for being related to an asshole. Assholes, by the way, were in extreme abundance in her family. That was ten years ago.

I was relieved after my divorce to move away from my hometown so that I wouldn't have to run into any of the ex's relatives, most especially my childhood friend, and to a lesser extent, her parents. But five years ago we moved back. I'm just blocks from my high school alma mater. I can refer to the house I live in by the name of the family who we bought it from and people know where I live. Last month I skipped a funeral where I knew my ex or members of his family would be, but otherwise our paths don't seem to cross.

Two years ago I was in a car accident. I was in Milwaukee, about 90 miles from home, when a woman ran an intersection and T-boned my car. The police officer took me to a car rental shop and arranged for my car to be towed to the auto body place. The car rental agency sent me home with a PT Cruiser.

If any of you own PT Cruisers or are fond of them, I apologize in advance. I don't like those cars and having to drive around in one for six weeks didn't improve my opinion of them. Call me snobby, but I was embarrassed to be seen in the car. Had it said "LOANER CAR" in great big letters on the door that would be one thing, I probably wouldn't have minded. But as it was, when I had that car it looked like it was mine own. My taste.

My daughters take dance classes at a studio that shares the building with a gymnastics company. One night after dance class I saw my childhood friend's husband watching their children in gymnastics. Every week after that I tried to time my exit so that I wouldn't run into them, rushing my girls out of their dance shoes and into their parkas and fleeing for the parking lot.

One night the timing was off. As I was getting into my PT Cruiser, I looked up and saw an enormous Cadillac Escalade parked too close to my passenger side. Inside was you-know-who staring down at me and my little PT Cruiser.

I've no idea what she was thinking. I don't know if I imagined scorn or ridicule. It was the last time I saw her in person.

The question at the end of this story is: Who is the biggest snob?

I think, though I would never never ever want to be seen in an Escalade either, the answer is probably me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Hope It Doesn't Hurt (Maybe They Have Nicely Scented Lube)


There's a beautiful old hotel in Milwaukee called the Pfister. I never gave the name any thought until Beck came to Milwaukee for Summerfest and on a national interview claimed he was a little nervous to be staying in a luxury hotel called the "Fister".

Yikes.

We are going there tonight for a little fete, called the Lombardi Challenge. It's a fundraiser with a silent auction, dozens of restaurant samples and wine tasting.

I believe I'll open my gullet, but tighten my sphincter.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remember the "Glamour Don'ts"?

Oh, anonymous politician, what were you thinking?

(From a post at the Glamour-Do Princess Sparkle Pony's House. Go see what Condi Rice has gone and done to herself. Extreme Makeover? You decide.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Those mavericky maverikkkers 'll be right back! Ka-pow pow!


Click to embiggen

If not for that liberal media, you'd believe that John McCain lost ...why? It's too bad GDP is already in widespread use as an acronym because The Grand Delusion Party seems just about right.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Say What?


There's been a lot of chatter in the last few days about how a resurgent democratic party should treat the republicans who've just gotten tossed. I'm going to bet that no one ever told Newt Gingrich when he took over a republican congress in 95 that he ought to play nice. Demonizing the opposition was chapter one of his playbook.

Two of the conversations on this topic can be found at D-Caps place as well as D-Cups.

As far as republicans being utterly clueless and tone deaf, you've got to read this letter to the editor in my morning paper. Amazing me and that guy even exist on the same planet!

Too bad respect didn't extend to Bush

While your recent editorial urging the country to "pull together" following the election was right on the mark and appropriate, we should not overlook what we've witnessed over the past six or eight years. That has been the constant uncivil, cruel and disgraceful attacks launched against President Bush.

He has been disparaged, vilified, disrespected and demonized without end by commentators, political pundits, editorial cartoonists and late night comedians, among others.

Lost in this frenzy of ridicule is the fact that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Bush came to office or were beyond his control.

We do need more civility and respect for one another, as your editorial stated. It's just too bad such generous thoughts were not put forth long ago on behalf of President Bush. I'm sure the political right will give our new president better treatment and the respect he deserves.

- Fred Wagner, Clinton


I bet that this guy just HATES that he lives in a town named "Clinton".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Up The Stairs the Slaves Laid


This morning I heard Donna Brazile say that the steps of the Capitol were laid by slaves. Nearly 200 years later, a black man is going to climb those stairs, raise his hand and take the oath of office to be the president of all of us.

Hope may take a few hundred years to float. But here we are.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Little things you should know

It's election night. Here in my area there was a bomb threat that sent all the voters in a 75% dem ward to a new polling place. I volunteered at the office where ALL of the Wisconsin voters who needed voting assistance or a ride to the polls had their phones mysteriously fail this afternoon.

Think the republicans love a clean campaign?

(FYI: calls were not being received at the Statewide Obama campaign number today. BUT- people who called and asked for rides to the polls and were disconnected by phone failures, we got their numbers and we called them back.)

Maybe in four years from now we will welcome everyone's vote. Maybe by then Americans won't hope that the way to power is through suppression of the will of the American people.

We Voted.

The alarm went off at 5:30, but I was already awake. (The end of daylight saving time helped). I made breakfast, coffee, got the paper. Woke the kids. We did our usual morning routine, just an hour earlier than we normally would.

Then we went to our polling place to be there when the doors opened at 7 am.

The line was long, but our volunteers were organized. We saw lots of neighbors in line too. Some who've got McCain signs out, but others who we know are Obama supporters.

Lotta came to my booth with me. I showed her the ballot and pointed to Barack Obama's name. We have a paper ballot thats marked with a number two pencil. You fill in the center of an arrow that points to the candidate's name. My votes all went to democrats, but I fill each one out anyway.

My daughter saw me cast a ballot for the first black candidate. She saw me vote to re-elect our openly gay congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin. None of these votes were probable, if not impossible, when I was seven years old.

I took the girls door-to-door canvassing on Sunday. I really want them to remember this election. Even when they are 95 years old, I want them to tell their great-grandchildren that they helped elect Barack Obama. Lotta will say she saw my vote. She'll say she put it into the counting machine for me.

Ima went in the voting booth with her father. "Who'd he vote for, Ima?" I asked.

"I don't know" she said, rolling her eyes. "I can't read!"

"Well did the name start with an 'O' or an 'M'?"

Ben, the republican in the house, laughed. "That's why I took her with me. So she wouldn't know."

"This is a historic vote, Ben. Don't you want your girls to know how you voted?"

After telling us he voted for a man, that he voted for a man with an 'A' in his name, that he voted for a man with an 'A' in his name who is running for president, he broke down and told us he voted for Barack Obama.

I hope many many more of us vote for Obama than for the other candidate with an 'A' in his name.

Peace, friends. I hope tomorrow brings us joy.

Hope.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Write Up the Goddamned Nominating Papers.

I want that fucking mother of the year trophy, bitches. I just sat through High School Musical. Spoiler Alert: Troy never does get laid.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Fabulous Time Was Had by All

I am a wonder of science. My bout with pinkeye lasted from approx. 3 am Friday morning to 9 pm Friday night, which was just enough time for me to have to go to the doctor (hatehatehateyhate) but not enough time to even get my prescription filled.

Ima and Lotta went with their grandparents Friday after school so I was all alone until Sunday at 1:30.

This is what I did:

Friday - Went to see doctor at 4 pm. Went to Walgreens, but prescription wasn't ready. Left with Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, a can of cream of mushroom soup and minute rice plus two moonpies. (This is the crappy way I ate in college. Ah, memories). Fell asleep on the couch at 8:30. Woke up at 9:30 with miraculously cured eyeball. Trust me, Lourdes has nothing on my couch. Only tell this to pilgrims who will shell out $100 dollars for the privilege of falling asleep on my couch to obtain curative miracle. Curative miracles guaranteed only to those whose faith is beyond reproach.

Saturday - Built a fire in the fireplace and read magazines all morning. People seem to really like this Obama guy. They do not seem to care for that McCain fellow. At least in the magazines I read this weekend. National Geographic is still in its wrapper, but I'm guessing not so much on McCain for them either. 1 pm filled prescription that I don't really need. Went shopping for Halloween costume odds and ends at JoAnn Fabrics. Went to Savers and got a suede winter coat for 40 bucks. Eat it, retail!!! Ate lunch at old people's dinner time (4:30) at the Hubbard Avenue Diner. Always think I should buy Mattyboy a t-shirt from there. Will do that after I get the local "Missouri Tavern" t-shirt for Dr. Zaius. Worked on Halloween costumes. Wondered if 'Supermom Sarah Palin' ever made a Halloween costume for Pogo or Sapling or Fig. Drank wine. Finished a stars and stripes themed sock for my mother. She has patriotic feet.

Sunday morning - took dogs for a walk while wearing my cool suede winter coat from Savers because it was cold as a witch's what-y-hoo. Dogs seemed to appreciate my new sense of style. Probably I'll find out that I'm way out of style. Dogs still won't care as long as I bag their doo for them. Cleaned house with amazing speed. Wished I had bought more Moonpies. (Moonpies are very very new to our local Walgreens. We're pretty far north for the usual moonpie territory). Everyone got home at about 1:30. At 2pm I secretly longed for a little more alone time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Great Weekend


This weekend is the Food and Wine show in Kohler, Wisconsin. Ben and I have plans to attend. In addition to all kinds of food and wine tastings, educational seminars, good eats, there are shows too. Ilan and Hung, winners from Top Chef seasons two and three will be having a cook-off. I met a woman who attended last year who said her only complaint was that the tequila tastings were at ten in the morning. Whoo-hoo. The in-laws are on their way to pick up Lotta and Ima. They are going back to Grandma and Grand-dads for a Halloween party and weekend o' fun. Up whose alley does this whole thing run? Mine, dammit.

Until I woke up this morning with pinkeye.

Crap.

(On the bright side **not too bright, the lights hurt** I will have the house to myself for the whooooooole weekend).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Presented Without Comment



But I'd love to see yours.

(Just don't pick on the lady's woman's weight, kay? There's enough material there without going down that drive-thru.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Palin Wardrobe


Okay, it's been discussed to death. But have you considered that $150,000 worth of clothes is $2000 every day for the two months that Governor Palin will have been on the campaign trail?

And they are going to solve our fiscal problems? Lady, here's a suggestion: Wear something twice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lotta Wundrun; Conversations with the 7 yo

Lotta: Momma, if you could go back in time and change anything what would it be?

Me: How far back can I go?

Lotta: 7 years. [ed. note- 7 years = 1 lifetime to a 7 yo]

Me: Could I cheat and go back 8 years?

Lotta: Sure.

Me: I'd go to Florida and work my butt off to make sure they changed those butterfly ballots that gave the Jewish vote to anti-Semite Pat Buchanan and 500 too many votes to George W. Bush.

Lotta: If I could go back in time I'd go back 2000 years and stop the first war.

Me: Oh, sweetie, the first war was probably 200,000 years ago when more than 10 cavemen decided they all wanted a bigger piece of the mastodon.

Lotta: (60 Minutes piece on the War in Afghanistan is on TV) Well, I'd like to go back and stop this war.

Me: If Al Gore had won we wouldn't have had these wars. So my trip to Florida would save you your trip.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber is full of shit.

Apparently Joe the Plumber doesn't have a plumbing license. Guess what? It is illegal in Ohio Toledo to perform plumbing work without a license. Given Joe's age (mid 30's) he could have registered to become an apprentice, but one can only be an apprentice for five years. Joe says he's been plumbing illegally for 6 years. If Joe really wants to buy that business, he'll need a Masters Plumbing License, unless he wants to keep his boss on as his employee. Every plumbing shop needs a licensed master plumber on board.

If he starts now it will take at least seven years of schooling, testing and professional experience for Joe to obtain his Masters license, so his concern about Obama's tax plan seems to be the least of his worries in his dream to make $250,000/yr.

Most plumbers today are scrambling for work. With housing starts down, many plumbers are laid off or are cooling their heels on the union 'bench'. Even remodeling which usually picks up when housing starts fall is down because of the credit crisis.

Joe says he works in a two man shop. It is not legal for Joe to work unless he is directly and constantly supervised by his boss. If they charge $100 an hour for their labor the most money they could gross would be $208,000 a year. If they charge $100 an hour for both plumbers they need to be turned in to the Better Business Bureau, because, again, Joe is qualified to do nothing more than manual labor. That $208,000 is their max gross profit working 52 weeks a year/40 hours a week. From that, they need to pay for their plumbing van, their tools, their gas (the price of which more than doubled in the last eight years, Joe. Real plumbing companies are more concerned about that), their healthcare and so on.

If Joe's boss is talking about selling the business for $250,000 trust me it will be a looooong time before they net that profit in a year.

If McCain is going to send shills around to Obama's appearances, he should at least send genuine Americans who have genuine concerns. McCain's problem is that he has never met a genuine American.

P.S. If McCain sold Cindy's $300,000 convention night get up he could buy Joe's business for him. If Ohio officials look into Joe's illegal plumbing activities and shut him down it is the least Daddy Beerbucks could do for his "old buddy Joe".

Separated at Birth?


That spittle sucking noise he kept making at last night's debate reminded me of someone....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finally Something Broke Our Way

If you believe the thesis of the wildly popular book 'Blink' most people make up their minds in an instant. Really, we don't have undecided voters we have people who need to be assured that their first instinct is okay. If you think of Obama and McCain as brands it is obvious why Obama is ahead in the polls.

No one wants to be associated with the people who are currently buying the McCain dish soap. All weekend long the news showed that clip of the freaky lady from Minnesota who called Obama an Arab. They showed it as proof that McCain hadn't slipped over the edge into racist creepy bashing because he tells that lady 'no, no my opponent is a family man'.

The problem is that the world saw BATSHITCRAZY40CATSINTHEHOUSE lady and said 'whoa wait a minute-I'm not buying the same crap that lady buys'.

Not even Joe Sixpack wants to be associated with that crap.

How do I know? I asked.

Jess: Hi Joe. Say, did you see that all the guys in wife beaters are out for McCain?

Joe: Yeah, I did. But so's that crazy freaked hair lady. Fuck. I'm not on her stinky ass side.

Jess: Really? Why?

Joe: Do you think I'd ever get laid again if people thought I was in deep with the cat people? I fucking think not.

Jess: It's true that if you vote for the half black guy people might think you've got some mojo to go.

Joe: Fuckin' A. Plus, have you noticed that the republicans don't really seem to have my interests at heart?

Jess: yes, Joe I have. I have.

Me me me me me me Meme

Lord lord. You open yourself up for one meme and then there's more. It's like meme porn. I'm expecting the pizza delivery guy to ask me to type the answers to five questions about myself.

Brownchickenbrowncow. (sing that, you'll get it).

Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein has tagged me with this meme he got from Splotchy who has made silliness an art form.

Here goes:

The rules.


1. Post the rules

2. Close your eyes

3. Count to five seconds

4. Type a whole bunch of random crap on the keyboard while you're counting

5. Open your eyes

6. Tag a few people



alkjd

lkeowsekmn

b kjsoekn mcaciani

kmamaoendoiken

lkmea

amel.


There, look! It is a prayer in maninka that John McCain go home to Arizona ne'er to bother us no more. Lovely. And even though it was thrust upon me from a monkey, it was not 1000 monkeys typing for 1000 years to come up with Hamlet. Or however that stupid trope goes.

I never tag anyone because I am a brat like that.

Kisses.
Jess.



Say a Little Meme with Me

The Delightful DGuzman of Impeachment and other dreams tagged me with a meme. Little questions, little answers. Let's see how this goes:

1. Clothes Shop: Savers. Like Goodwill, but money goes to Easter Seals. Whenever you take something there for donation, they give you a 20% off coupon. I started shopping there because the Wundruns are trying to only buy American made products or second hand items. I may never go back to "real" clothes stores again. Honestly, I've probably never bought nicer clothes for myself than since I started buying second hand. (Most of which have never been worn). My little secret is that I've been buying shoes there, too. An amazing amount of shoes come in never worn. I've taken to wearing chunky heels to work, I threaten Artie, the republican dude with a kick to the crotcheola if he pisses me off. Heels are very empowering. Whoops, I digress.

2. Furniture Shop: My sofas came from a local boutique and were manufactured in North Carolina. My kitchen set is a '50s chrome and vinyl retro deal I got at an antique store. My dining room table is from Ikea (it seats ten). My bed is still the one I had when I was married to the ex. Feng Shui acolytes will tell me I ought to get rid of it, what with the fact that ex boned his girlfriend on it. Oh well.

3. Sweet: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

4. City: Middleton Wisconsin, population 16,000. If I run for mayor, maybe the next stop would be the White House?

5. Drink: pinot grigio. (red wine makes my tummy go whoo.) I'll never turn down a Margarita on the rocks no salt, though.

6. Music: it dawned on me today that I have a thing for wussy bands: Cold Play, Snow Patrol, Oasis. But this is just a phase. It could be worse, I could have said Toby Keith.

7. TV Series: Mad Men

8. Film: Auntie Mame (but you knew that)

9. Workout: yoga. There's a nap at the end for pete's sake! Oh, and I should mention here that I finally got the kayak I was dreaming about last spring. More on that later.

10: Pastries: birthday cake (particularly if it is mine)

11. Coffee: Fair Trade whole bean. I like Guatemalan and Costa Rican. (Coffee is exempt from our 'buy American' program, though Maui Girl says I should buy Hawaiian Kona coffee.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

m. yu's humble pie

m. yu who has the fabulous but NSFW bondage blog The Jade Gate and the political blog Social Seppuku wrote a post the other day about the heightened anxiety of Americans as our consumption-based economy comes crashing down around us. I loved the post and thought it would make a good movie. Here's the movie. You can read the original post here

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Tooth Fairy Has Experienced a Derivitives Meltdown


It finally happened.

I have a few recurring fears about motherhood

  • 1. After big Christmas dinner w/wine, will fall asleep and forget about Santa coming.
  • 2. After big Easter dinner w/wine, will fall asleep and forget about Easterbunny coming.
  • 3. After nothing in particular will forget that even the tenth lost tooth requires trip from tooth fairy, will fall asleep and forget.

#3 happened last night.

We hear today that Governor Sarah Palin has written her own report on trooper gate and has exonerated herself. According to Princess Sparkle Pony, today should be celebrated as "Clear Yourself of All Wrongdoing Day".

Then, in the interest of honoring this day, I officially know nothing about why the fairy did not show up. I was asleep after all, how would I know?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

True Story


Artie (Republican Dude or R.D.) at work says that the economic mess is the fault of poor people who took out mortgages they can't afford. I argue that is why we have government oversight, to prevent predatory lending practices. Me: blame goes to predatory lenders. He: blame goes to irresponsible borrowers.

Not two minutes after above debate, he tells me that if he had foreseen the current economic crisis he wouldn't have bought the house he is in.

"Why's that" I say, just wondering.

"It's too much mortgage for me".

Kid you not. Exact quotes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Umm, Why?


Why did McCain want to do so many town hall style debates? He is breathing heavy, writing copious notes and for all the world sounding like the guy who wants you off his lawn. He seemed LOADS more presidential behind the podium.

Note to Barack: accept the offer for another 11 townhall style debates in the next month!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

When She Wallows in the Mud with Her Lipstick On, What Shall We Call Her?


The McCain Campaign, dewy with anxious flop sweat, has determined that the road to the Whitehouse is not paved with anything, but that it is indeed just a muddy rutted back-country road.

Today, free from fear that someone will call her on her bullshit, Sarah Palin called Obama a terrorist for palling around with William Ayers, a 60's radical member of the Weather Underground who is now a professor of English at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Every leading mainstream newsource has discredited any association between Obama and Ayers as a passing acquaintance.

Righties have been trying to push this meme for longer than the Jeremiah Wright canard. One would almost think that Obama hates his country so much he would sleep with a secessionist, and that secessionists business partner to boot. (I mean of course, Todd Palin and his ex-business partner, in case you hadn't heard).

Inside that glass house of Ms. Palin's from whence she is tossing these stones are the other glaring inadequacies of her own:

  • Drug-addicted son with anger management difficulties swept off to Iraq.
  • Pregnant teen daughter set to wed high school drop-out boyfriend.
  • Illegal tax evasion for not paying taxes on unethical per diem charges against the State of Alaska, taken for the days she stayed home and worked out of her house in Wasilla
  • The bending of zoning rules for her own profit while mayor of Wasilla
  • The failure of the new Alaska pipeline, thanks to a plan to build it straight through Native American property in Canada (that would require diplomacy with a hostile foreign nation, I guess). Even though Palin asked constituents to pray that God's will be done in building the pipeline.
  • The continued lie about a "Bridge to Nowhere" and reformer fight to take on her own party. As yet she has not distanced herself from indicted Senator Ted Stevens
  • The witch hunting pastor.
  • The troopergate coverup
  • The tens of thousands of dollars in gifts she received illegally while in office.
  • The number of people she had fired for disloyalty
  • Defying open records laws by conducting government business on an easily hackable yahoo mail account.
  • Todd Palin's inclusion in government business.
  • All the hypocrisy.

Add yer own.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Make me a pundit

Last week I hit the depths of despair because I thought that Obama might have not done as well as expected.

This week I saw a solid win by Joe Biden. Palin had notes--wait, I'll capitalize SARAH PALIN SPOKE FROM NOTES and still made no sense.

If anyone says Palin won it is only because she didn't throw up on her shoes.

The one clincher moment that Biden let go by was when they were talking about the commander in chief Biden should have said "Are you prepared?"

That would have won the election by twenty points.

Sarah Palin is Dumber Than.....


A few days ago I mentioned that I hope I don't get called an anti-woman woman for calling Sarah Palin dumber than a box of rocks. Since then I've come across several uses of this same colloquialism for Sarah's endumberment. So I thought, as a public service to both of you reading this that I would google up a list of instances where other bloggers call Sarah dumber than something. And the results are:

Sarah Palin is dumber than Bush
Sarah Palin is dumber than a box of rocks (also plain rocks, a bunch of rocks, a bag of rocks)
Sarah Palin is dumber than a sack of doorknobs
Sarah Palin is dumber than me
Sarah Palin is dumber than a sack of hammers
Sarah Palin is dumber than we thought
Sarah Palin is dumber than John McCain's daughter
Sarah Palin is dumber than a stick
Sarah Palin is dumber than a moose
Sarah Palin is dumber than a snail
Sarah Palin is dumber than a seventh grader
Sarah Palin is dumber than a doornail (yikes!)
Sarah Palin is dumber than a dumb thing from dumbsville
Sarah Palin is dumber than a fence post
Sarah Palin is dumber than a tub of Elmers Paste
Sarah Palin is dumber than a box of Sarah Palins
Sarah Palin is dumber than a bag of cat shit
Sarah Palin is dumber than a pile of bricks

My two faves? Sarah Palin is dumber than a dumb thing from dumbsville and Sarah Palin is dumber than a box of Sarah Palins.

Dear Family Values Voters: Thanks for bringing down the empire.


let us eat cake


Regular readers will attest that I am no genius. Just one of many (ha ha, I kid). But whenever I've come across a blog that asks what will be the legacy of the Bush presidency, for five years at least my answer has been "His presidency will mark the beginning of the end of the United States' role as world superpower". Generally, my opinion was that we wouldn't notice ourselves in a post-American era until after he left office, but it seems that the end of the empire is all too evident right this moment.

In 1989 I was an intern at the United Nations (yes, this gives me more foreign policy experience in spades than Sarah Palin.)That September, I saw George H. W. Bush give his speech before the UN General Assembly. At that time the Berlin Wall had a little less than two months left to go but the jokes at the UN went that GDR (the acronym for East Germany-German Democratic Republic) stood for Gradually Disappearing Republic. History was flipping over in those days, but honestly, inside the UN there wasn't alot of discussion of re-alignment, or the "New World Order".

I don't even recall what Bush talked about. I think it was fairly standard fare. The General Assembly hall was full to the rafters. I sat up in the gallery, next to a Russian staffer. When Bush concluded, the General Assembly cleared. "Who's next?" asked the Russian next to me. "I think Poland speaks next" I said. "Oh," contemplated the Russian" and then in thick Boris accent he said "Unnn Luckkky Poe-lund!" You see, the president of the United States was always such a big draw that any following speaker was left feeling deflated giving a speech to the backs of exiting diplomats.

Reports from Bush v.43.2 at Tuesday's UN General Assembly speech are that many attendants were anything but attentive.

According to the German journal Spiegel

George W. Bush has grown old, erratic and rosy in the eight years of his presidency. Little remains of his combativeness or his enthusiasm for physical fitness. On this sunny Tuesday morning in New York, even his hair seemed messy and unkempt, his blue suit a little baggy around the shoulders, as Bush stepped onto the stage, for the eighth time, at the United Nations General Assembly.

He talked about terrorism and terrorist regimes, and about governments that allegedly support terror. He failed to notice that the delegates sitting in front of and below him were shaking their heads, smiling and whispering, or if he did notice, he was no longer capable of reacting. The US president gave a speech similar to the ones he gave in 2004 and 2007, mentioning the word "terror" 32 times in 22 minutes. At the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations, George W. Bush was the only one still talking about terror and not about the topic that currently has the rest of the world's attention.

"Absurd, absurd, absurd," said one German diplomat. A French woman called him "yesterday's man" over coffee on the East River. There is another way to put it, too: Bush was a laughing stock in the gray corridors of the UN


The Post American Era. Welcome to it.

Now here is the thing. The last two elections were so close that one was stolen and the next one was so close that it probably was stolen. What got W re-elected after a dismal four years was reportedly "Family Values Voters" meaning not family values at all, but hysterically anti-choice people voting for Bush on the dream and a prayer that he would make abortions illegal and that all cell divisions past the second one would be protected with the might and weight of the full United States Government-all the way up until birth. (And then those babies formerly known as fetuses are on their own.)

In two hundred years and beyond, students of history are going to be baffled by the idea that the right wing fundamentalist hope that women must be forced to bear children that they could not afford nor raise responsibly would be the issue that brought down the greatest superpower in history. This is particularly true because we are also at the end of an era where sustainability is a polite and hopeful word and turning toward an era where every activity of human commerce will need to be sustainable.

I use an easy definition of sustainable as "anything the 6 billion inhabitants of the world can engage in without destroying the earth". The stock market, because it measures progress only in growth is not sustainable. Our shopping malls and markets that produce more waste than useable products that will glut refuse sites and continue to pollute the earth are not sustainable. Having unlimited children and increasing the population further is not sustainable. How the future deals with over population is beyond me. I simply have no idea, but I do know there will be a fundamental shift in thinking between now and then. Perhaps it is a bit like looking back and trying to figure out how a fear of witches could produce hysteria in the new world. We're pretty far removed from the supernatural hopes and fears that guided people in the 17th century.

So, right wing fundie mouth breathers: for bringing us two terms of George W. Bush's reign of error- thanks so much for the Post-American Era. I hope you enjoy your Chinese overlords. BTW, have you heard about their ideas for family planning? Bet you're not too thrilled with those.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Onion Nails the Care Bear

Watch clip. You may be tempted to believe it's true, but it is from the Onion.

Obama Runs Constructive Criticism Ad Against McCain

Monday, September 29, 2008

Republican Cannibals

If they're going to eat their own, I should hope they send out the disclaimer about eating raw or undercooked meat. With the GOP you never know where that flank steak has been!



Okay, Newt is sorta kinda sticking by Palin.

Kathleen Parker says most feminists are hairy, so ain't it great that she could get behind Sarah Palin, until she discovered that there's no there there. The link is to NPR, who has a link to the original article at National Review Online.

Speaking of - Wick Wilson former editor of the National Review is actually claiming that he'll vote for Obama. This is a great column about how the conservatives have lost their way, degenerating into a party he does not recognize.


Today I casually mentioned to Republican Dude (RD) at work that I think after the shenanigans of the last few weeks that it must be embarrassing to follow McCain. Te he. Naturally, he disagreed, thinking that Joe Biden is more of an embarrassment than McCain's little temper tantrumy stunts at the end of the week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman has died.


It seems silly to be so saddened by the death of a person I don't know, but I am. What a great man. What a sad loss.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

We Watch as Sarah Palin Endumbens Herself Before Our Eyes



"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is — from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to ... to our state," -Sarah Palin to Katie Couric


Um, why is Putin flying around in Alaska? Does Sarah know that Russia is actually quite large and that if he's going to Washington he's got no reason to go thousands of miles out of his way to fly around above Alaska? Will someone call her on it? Is pointing out that she's stupider than a box of rocks sexist?

I am just wondering.

Help Shape the Debates


Free Press is looking for a few good men and women to provide instant feedback on how the media is presenting the debates. If you sign up you'll be asked to watch whichever debates you want and respond on how you feel the debates are being covered. The data will be used to provide media and moderators with a scorecard on their own performance. If you don't sign up a horrible recession, war, famine and a Britney Spears comeback will surely follow! Help.

Here's the link: www.freepress.net/debates

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Now All We Need is a Plague of Frogs...


Zowie, that John McCain sure feels like it's important to govern these days. Remember how they sort of shut down the first day of the convention because there was a hurricane brewing down south? That helped McCain keep Bushie away, a bonus. Sadly, when Katrina struck McCain was eating birthday cake with the big chimpster.

Now McCain thinks that perhaps he should not appear with Barack Obama at their scheduled debate because there's this financial thing a ma roo going down. McCain says he ought to git on back to Washington and start doing some senatorin'.

Great idea, John. You know, way back when you might have considered actually casting a vote on the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act rather than simply "present".

Maybe McCain's campaign slogan should change from "Country First" to "Better Late than Never".

Nah, too honest for the Straight Talk Express.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BREAKING: Clay Aiken Is....

Gay!!!

I know. Shocking isn't it? Not since Rock Hudson came out of the closet has-

Oh forget it. I don't even have the heart to go on. Say, did you see the FBI is going to investigate the Welfare Queens for possible financial hankery pankery. Ya think?

Welfare Queens


If I had a billion dollars for every time I heard a jackass on tee vee this week exclaim that corporate executives being handed free money FROM THE TAXPAYERS deserve to make whatever salary they can get away with cuz hey that's capitalism, I could actually bail us out of this mess.

If the government gives your company more money than it is worth to fix the mess you made that is not capitalism, no matter how hard you try to spin that onion.


I heard some con on the other day say that in America everyone has the right to go before their employer and ask for what they are worth. This in defense of the CEO's who brought down our economy. I thought 'damn, what an eloquent argument for collective bargaining'. Somehow I'm sure that's not what the guy had in mind.

UPDATE: If you are so inclined, here is a petition: http://action.seiu.org/bailout/

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Ten Places to See Before You're Ten


Travel and Leisure magazine has produced a list of ten places kids should see before they are ten. Having both children and a love of travel, this kind of list is right up my alley. (If an alley is a geographical entity, have I mixed my metaphors? Care.)

Here's the list:

1. The American Visionary Museum, Baltimore
2. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
3. Ellis Island, New York
4. Niagara Falls, New York
5. The Sears Tower, Chicago
6. The Grand Canyon
7. Disneyland, Anaheim, California
8. Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
9. Muir Woods, Marin County California
10. Monterey Aquarium, Monterey California

One nice thing about this list is that it could be done in two family vacations. One to the west coast for the Grand Canyon and all points California, and the rest on a loop south to Virginia up through Baltimore, over to Niagara and home to Wisconsin through Chicago.

One bad thing about this list is that with the exception of the Sears Tower in Chicago, and sort of Niagara Falls it completely ignores us here in 'flyover country'.

The other place I'd have put on this list is Any Foreign Country. Any. My kids' passports show pictures of little babies, which cracks up the much older and wiser 5 and 7 year old travelers. Foreign travel teaches kids that America is not the center of the universe. They will meet people who don't share the same cultural values, for good or for ill. It opens up their thinking in ways that travel within the United States can't.

George Bush and Sarah Palin didn't do any foreign travel until they were in their 40's. Barack Obama traveled all over the world before he was ten. Just sayin.

So what are your suggestions for places my kids should see before they are ten? I'm just wondering.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Social Security, Busted Flat in B'an Rouge Waiting For A Train



It has been said but bears repeating over and over and over to our rightie friends on the streets and in their cubicles: If we had privatized social security the way that McCain and Bush wanted, fully 25% of the Social Security fund would be gone as of today. And we've got no idea what crisis tomorrow will bring.

It must be the republican efficiency brought to us by the first MBA preznit: He told us Social Security would be busted by 2018. (Others said 2042, making the republicans even more remarkable!) If they had their way they'd have hit that mark a full ten years earlier.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back From the West

Hey all y'all. I was out west last week enjoying the spoils of my radio contest victory in which I won a stay at the London Hotel just off Sunset in West Hollywood and dinner at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the same hotel.

Really, I need to get myself a laptop. When we travel, Ben takes his work computer with us. Innocent googling of tourist traps and directions to freak shows are allowed. Logging in to my blogger account - not. There's lots and lots I want to say about our trip, but I haven't got the time to plop it all down in one post. Maybe I'll just be an ass and sprinkle little tidbits in all my conversations, on my own blog and yours too: 'Well, when I was following that Bentley up the Pacific Coast Highway it dawned on me....." Yeah, no.

Perhaps you recall that before I left for this trip I positively expected to hate Newport Beach and to love L.A. Well, I got that backwards. (Except that "The O.C.TM is so conservative there were McCain signs in the art gallery windows. I ain't saying I'd live there!) More on that later.

Here's a nugget: We had lunch at a sidewalk cafe in Venice Beach. Across the sidewalk was a black man selling Barack Obama t-shirts. A mother and her young son, also black, walked up to the man's table. I saw the man put his hand on the young boy's shoulder, bend down and whisper something to the boy. That child grinned from ear to ear and happily put on his Obama shirt. I've no idea what was said between the man and the child, but what I saw on the boy's face was what Obama is all about - Hope. The future. Change.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Quick Note About Ratings

I saw someone on the intertubes worrying that Palin and McCain got higher television ratings than Obama and Biden for their respective speeches. If someone mentions this to you remind them that many regular venues are not included in ratings. PBS, C-Span and the Democratic National Convention feed are not included.

Considering that republicans tend to need to have their ideas formed for them by talking heads on the news channels and networks and democrats tend toward PBS, I'm fairly certain more of us were watching than were counted. I started the dem con week on PBS until the fantasy images I had of a waterboarded (not torture! just a nice spa treatment like at Gitmo!) David Brooks made me tune into the jackass-free DNC feed.

Auntie Jess wants you to be in the know.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Shout Out For Country First!!!



Seems the McCain theme is "Country First". That's Great! I have been spending the last few months in the exact same endeavor. If you don't normally read my blog, that makes you a) visitor 31 today and b) unaware of my pledge to spend all of my discretionary dollars on products that are Made In America. Yay!!!

You know, Barack Obama has not made a "Country First" pledge. But John McCain has! Doubtless this means that John McCain is doing all he can to buy American products. I bet his family does too. Let's check on Cindy.

Cindy is NOT an elitist even though she claims with a straight face that one cannot get around that big bumpy windy forested state of Arizona by Prius-try as you might. No, all Arizonans get about by means of private jet. That state rocks!!! I am so moving there once I figure out how to fly. 'Cause the lessons and the gas for learnin' are free too!!!

Cindy's outfit for her little fund-raising-not-mentioning-George-Bush-or-what-she-was doing-when-Katrina-struck-not-drugs-kay?-so-fuck-you-libbie speech at the RNC with Laura-my-cheeks-hurt-from-smilin'-so-wicked-I-WILL-go-to rehab!! while not being elitist cost approximately 1/3 more than my house. Here's the math: My house= $200,000. Cindy's outfit= $300,000. I'm sure that if I lose my house the McCain's will feel my pain. It'd be almost like Cindy accidently forgot those diamond earrings on the desk in the suite at the Marriot. Fuck! I hate when that happens. Then again, they have insurance for stupid bonehead moves like that, all I have is a personal sense of dropping out of that promising "ownership society". Crap.

You know there is a figure given by one of my 'buy America first' sources that says that if all American households shifted $20 of their discretionary dollars away from a product made overseas to a product made in America, we would create 5,ooo,ooo new jobs. Imagine that! Criminy, if Cindy's outfit was domestic there'd be 4 people who'd have pensions and kids headed for college. On one outfit! Really don't you think we ought to elect them? By that math, every day the McCain's are in office 4 new jobs are created just so the crypt keeper can drape herself in jewels and chintz. That's economy and if you don't think so, then you're just anti....well, anti something. It'll come to me.

Ok. It's next to impossible to discern whether McCain's tour bus is an American product or if it is imported. If you know let ME know. Thanks.

Also, could you please find out where those McCain T-shirts are coming from? Doubtless they are Union Made USA worker products, hell we probably don't even need to check. But if you can, would you? Thanks, you're a dear.

The Unreported Side of the Trooper Scandal

I'm fairly certain that the Trooper scandal as it's reported doesn't really have legs. Because the story now centers around the fact that ex-bro-in-law Wooten is an idiot of the first degree, Palin comes off as sympathetic. Fer criminy sakes, tha guy thret'nd tha daaaaad. What is a poor girl to do?

Aside from the claim that all complaints against Wooten seem to have originated in the Heath and Palin families and haven't been proven (we've been admonished to stick to the facts, folks. Let's do!) most of us would probably love to punish a pesky ex-relative if we had access to some channel of power.

One unassailable fact is often missing from this story. Monegan was fired, and the reasons given were that Palin wanted to take the department in a new direction. Palin appointed his replacement. His replacement lasted 10 whole days.

Chuck Kopp, the successor, had been accused of sexual harrassment in his previous job as police chief of Kenai, where he had been responsible for a staff of about eight troopers. After the scandal broke, Kopp resigned.

If you think that this story is about Palin's bad judgement in not properly vetting an appointment (a theme?) it is but there's more.

For ten days' work on the taxpayers' dime, Kopp was given a $10,000 severance check. A thousand dollars a day. Monegan, who worked in his capacity since the start of Palin's administration was given nothing. (All things being equal, Monegan could make a claim for $590,000 dollars, given that he worked for Palin for 590 days.)

That's real fiscal responsibility.

Wikipedia

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Four More Years!!! (for Jack Abramoff)


Jack Abramoff was sentenced today to an additional (sort of) 4 year sentence for corruption charges. You know I bet those Maverick reformers working hard to convince us to vote for them up in St. Paul have no links to Abramoff.

I shall now consult my magic Google ball:

Oh, um oops. It looks like John McCain tried awfully darn hard to keep Abramoff isolated as a rogue player in the whole lobbying scandal. And he suppressed 750,000 documents. Way to go Mr. Clean!!!

Yah but Shotgun Granny Palin der hey, she's a real reformer who takes on her own party ta fight tha c'ruption, yah?

Oh notso fast der youse. It seems Shotgun Granny hired a lobbyist to secure federal funds for her 2nd biggest town in the country's largest state*. That lobbyist was Steven Silver. Steven Silver listed Abramoff's lobbying firm as his client. Together they worked on "issues relating to Indian/Native American policy," "exploration for oil and gas" and "legislation relating to gaming issues"

Additionally, for those of you who enjoy a little extra icing on your cupcakes, Silver yoostabee Senator Ted Stevens chief of staff.

*I'm using the republicans own geographical facts. Palin was, you know, governor of the country's largest state. According to John McCain.

Going Back to The Well or Kicking a Dead Horse?

The last few days have been truly astounding. I was going to drop the whole Sarah Palin Trig Palin birth scandal and wait for the National Enquirer to touch the story the MSM won't. But in tilting at windmills on the internets, or just being an ass, whichever you prefer, I've been dismayed by a few things that I want to talk about.

There was a comment left here and elsewhere that it's silly for me to believe that Palin should be exposed as a liar. Since all politicians lie we've no business pursuing that. Remind Bill Clinton of that one, would you?

Here's hopefully the last I'm going to post on this matter: Alaskans have been bandying this baby parentage story around since Trig was born in April. In all that time, the Palins never swatted the "silly rumor" down with a doctor's affidavit, a birth certificate, or even a simple hospital photo. Her name has been tossed about for veep since January. This is a simple little duck that could have been placed in its row in a half a second.

Tell you what. If someone questioned where Ima came from (actually, someone once asked me if I adopted her from Central America) I'd waste no time showing them this:

Flattering, I know.

It is a legitimate question to ask "Well, why should they have to produce those things? Isn't that an invasion of privacy?" And my answer is yes. If she didn't make the birth story a cornerstone of her qualifications to be president of the United States of America. And second, a charming loving family values photo is a whole lot nicer than a statement that your daughter couldn't have given birth to child #5 because she's working on grandchild #1. That is an inconceivable invasion of privacy, as BlueGal continues to point out, that was perpetrated by the mother.

And it is the only thing they have produced to rebut the rumor.

When they announced Sarah Palin's nomination, they should have said right away who they considered to be members of her family, and what their family story was as well. Levi got left out of the bio until he was expedient to them. That's sleazy. Apparently, according to my critics, so is pointing it out.

Now back to the issue of Sarah Palin being a liar. Of course it has been confirmed in a myriad of ways that she has lied about lots of things. You know, George W. Bush told a lie so big that more than half a million people lie six feet under for it. And in reply, the American public says "who's on American Idol tonight?" But if someone continues to explore these allegations that she is not Trig's mother and they are found to be true, she is not just a liar but a nutjob. These are things Karl Rove understands and exploits. Al Gore did not say he invented the internet, yet 90% of Americans believe he did, and they believe that if he said them then he's a little touched in the head. What Karl Rove did was lie about Al Gore. What I would like us to do is to search for the truth about Sarah Palin. Therein lies the difference between us and them. Is it distasteful? Extremely.

So are the photos of Katrina and the hundreds of thousands of people in the Gulf who were left without a government to help them because John Kerry wouldn't fight as hard as Karl Rove did four years ago. As I have said elsewhere: The high road is a road to nowhere. Your Eckhart Tolle books and your Randy Pausch books are meaningless until the people who hold power in this country are on our side. Until then it's Sun Tzu and The Prince.

Over at Shakesville I butted in on a thread where the poster said that this idea that Sarah should be home with her special needs son is just so much 1950's throwback bullshit. I left a comment saying that once you decide to have children, they should be your first priority. Sarah Palin said in an interview in January (supposedly six months pregnant) that she routinely works until 9 or 10 at night. If you believe her story, she was doing this while her teenage daughter was home sick with such an infectious and debilitating case of mono that she had to be kept out of school for five months. (How long was Levi out sick with mono? I am going to assume that he exposed himself to that disease whilst impregnating Bristol). What the other children were doing, who knows? Todd Palin's job involves him being gone from the home for two weeks of every month, so it's not like dad, equally responsible for their welfare, was home raising children. I said that for me, I chose to be a stay home mom because I chose to have my children and nothing, nothing that I have ever done is more important than that. Todd and Sarah Palin's priorities seem to be Todd and Sarah Palin.

I was immediately called self-righteous.

Apparently, it is okay to be proud of yourself in a profession, but shut your damn mouth if your career choice is not to have one, lest you make others feel bad. You know, I don't hold it against my doctor that she chose to go to medical school and I'm hoping that she worked then and now to be the best damned doctor she could be. I reject the idea that you can't be critical of another woman's parenting skills if you are a mother yourself. Judge lest ye be judged, I guess. My kids are too young for me to say how they are going to turn out. They may wind up in a boatload of trouble when they get older and the theory is that I wouldn't want people to claim that I'm a crappy mom because Lotta can't put down the pipe. That's true. But I'm not trying to run the most powerful nation on earth (well, not counting China) based on the idea that I'm great at what I do. I like to think of it as 'peer review'. Lady, if you don't ask for my opinion or my praise, I won't give it. I won't even think about it. But if you do, best be prepared for what you get.

Two parent and single parent working families can raise fantastic children, but only if the children are a priority. Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton are the democrats shining examples of that.

When I mentioned that in reply over at Shakesville, a commenter said that Joe could be a great dad because he had lots of resources many other people don't. Well, duh. He was also a senator who could have chosen to let the nanny do it. Choices - do you see the recurring theme?

Sarah Palin is for forced childbirth. And she is anti-contraception. Anti-choice. How many resources will be available to people who are forced to have children? And who are forced to work at the same time. But who can't get childcare. Who are denied the right to make their own choice. The fundamentalist Palin-ite republicans love love love to rail on the idea of welfare queens and people expecting handouts from the government for the children they just pop out willy nilly, yet do not see that it is irresponsible to bring children into this world when the parents are improperly prepared to care for them. That is true if the parents are seventeen years old or are 44.

In other news, today is a happy one for me and my anti-career choice. Ima is spending her first day in kindergarten as I post this. I hesitate to say that I sacrificed for her and her sister by staying home. In some ways that is true. But everyone who raises children responsibly sacrifices for them. Everyone who chooses a career makes a sacrifice. Anyway, I did the best I could. And I am proud of myself and of her. My next step is to work at a part time job with flexible hours, and to start a business that will allow me to be at home next summer when school lets out.

And because I have that choice, I think that still gives me my feminist cred. Even if others would disagree.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?


Sarah Palin's first photo-op at the convention. Anybody notice anything kinda...weird? If this is a politician's spousal confab, um, shouldn't Todd Palin be the one tossing back watercress sandwiches and iced tea? (okay, that' entire hypothetical. Between Laura and Cindy a luncheon is xanax and Jack Daniels)

To republicans this is perfectly natural. The girls chit chat in the parlor, the boys stand out in the garage drinking beer. Or something like that.

They do not take her seriously. Tell me, why should we?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tax Widget - Check Out Your Obama Tax Cut


Click to embiggen.

Actually, given my real circumstances (I do not make 500k/yr yet), my tax cut would be about $500 dollars. Which is a real tax cut and not borrowing against my tax return to give me an economic stimulus check. Kinda cool, eh?

Here's your link

The High Road? Oh, Really?



Yeah, let's play nice. That's a great idea. Cuz, you know, the other side is nothing but honorable.

Sarah Palin's Future Son-In-Law to be Indicted?

Alaska Statutory Rape Laws

Statutory rape is defined as sexual activity – without the use of force or violence – with anyone defined as a minor. The thought behind these laws is that a minor is unable to legally consent to sexual activity. Statutory rape is so common in the United States that the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services commissioned a report on this type of crime in 2004.

State laws vary slightly in terms of defining the term “minor” and in the criminal and financial penalties that can be applied to statutory rape cases. At this time I’d like to discuss Alaska statutory rape laws with you for a few minutes.

The age of consent is defined as 16 years old, according to Alaska statutory rape laws. If a person who is at least 18 years old engages in sexual activity with a person who is 16 years old or younger, he or she will be charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. This charge is a felony in Alaska. And remember, it does not matter if you did not force or threaten the other person into performing this sexual act with you. It is still a crime under Alaska statutory rape laws.

Any person who is 16 years old or older who has sexual intercourse with a minor who is 13-, 14-, or 15-years-old will be charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. Again, this charge is also a felony.

You can also be charged with a felony – sexual abuse in the third degree – if you are at least 16 years old and you have sex with anyone who is age 13-15, or if the person is a minor at least three years younger than you. In addition, Alaska statutory rape laws declare that anyone who is 18 years old or older who has sex with a person who is 16 or 17, or who is at least three years younger than the offender, can be charged with sexual abuse in the third degree. This is also a felony.

Alaska statutory rape laws carry punishments that include imprisonment and fines.


McCain says he knew. Really?

Just Wondering.

From 'Maverick' to 'Sidekick'
to Just 'Kicked Around'
How Palin Proves McCain is Wrong.

John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin has been described in every possible manner. Sweaty, desperate and increasingly shrill right wing partisans are trying to convince us that she's the greatest thing since sliced baby seal.

I heard some buffoon at the convention say that 4 years ago [constitutional law professor, Harvard graduate] Obama was merely a state senator [representing a district in a city that is 4 times larger than Palin's state, in a state that is the 5th largest compared to the 48th], though he failed to mention that 4 years ago Palin was mayor of a town of 6000. [In towns that size, don't they just take turns being mayor?]

On the left some of us [including me] find her family hypocrisy to be relevant to the race. In short, she is at best a hypocrite and a crappy mother and at worse a cover-up artist. Others are more interested in Troopergate. [BTW - when Hillary fired people in the Travel Office at the White House, that was a scandal. When Sarah fires enemies in Alaska government, that's reform?]

Here's one thing we ought to discuss:

She wasn't McCain's pick.

The "Maverick" wanted Lieberman or Tom Ridge. Well, since he stands up to his party so often and so well, what happened here?

Take it away, New York Times:

"Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.

But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party. As word leaked out that Mr. McCain was seriously considering the men, the campaign was bombarded by outrage from influential conservatives who predicted an explosive floor fight at the convention and vowed rejection of Mr. Ridge or Mr. Lieberman by the delegates."


If elected, "Maverick" McSame needs to hire [nominate, pickypants] as many as 3 Supreme Court justices, and an entire administration, dozens of federal judges as well as name ambassadors, and probably CIA, FBI and Homeland Security personnel.

His own party finds him incapable of picking his running mate all by himself. We should believe he'll stand up to them on anything else...why?