Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who is Today's Saint - OR -
Putting the "Hag" in Hagiography


One of the soundburps I caught on the newsfotainment program I watch to catch the weather was Willard (DubbaYooToo) Mitt Romney scolding John McCain for dirty campaign tricks. McCain saying that Romney was for a timetable for troop withdrawal, according to Mittens "sort of falls into the dirty tricks I think Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible".

Somewhere deep in the bowels of hell, Lee Atwater looked up from the steaming pile of crap he was assigned to shovel for the day and laughed.

Even if you love, love, love, lovey love Ronald Reagan you have to be on such a super deluded Brylcreem high to suggest that Reagan was above dirty campaign tricks. Conservatives admit there was the issue of the stolen briefing book, what they haven't come up with is the name of the person who actually stole it.

A few years ago I heard Jimmy Carter tell Terry Gross that a reporter who was a Reagan supporter stole his debate briefing book from the White House during the 1980 election. He said it was George F. Will. George Will's reaction? David Stockman already had it. And Will never recused himself nor pointed out his obvious lack of objectivity covering that race either.

And then there's the whole "October Surprise". Which was the secret endo of Reagan insiders (including CIA big George H.W. Bush and our current Defense Secretary Bob Gates) illegally negotiating with an enemy to delay the release of hostages until after the 1980 election.

Lee Atwater signed on with Reagan in 1984 where he brought us such gems as 'Geraldine Ferraro's parents were involved in the numbers racket'. False lies stirred through with a little Italian bigotry. Yeah, Reagan was above it and spanked Atwater mightily. (Ha, I kid.) And Atwater's protege? You know it: Karl Rove.

Someday soon, Willard is going to try to get us to believe that Reagan was conceived via virgin birth. I mean, do we really know all that much about his dad?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not Making This Up:


Count Rush Limbaugh among the voters confused by Palm Beach County’s touch-screen machines.

"On his syndicated talk show this afternoon, Limbaugh said he was trying to vote in today’s primary when the screen seemed to freeze or “stick” on the list of presidential candidates.

“I hit ‘Next’ and it didn’t go there,” said Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach and often recounts the county’s electoral foibles on his show.

Then he hit the “Back” button and “got my candidate page again with the vote already recorded there. So I said ‘hmmmmm, I wonder if this is going to count twice.”

So he unclicked his favored candidate, clicked that candidate again and hit “Next” a second time - and it worked.

“I don’t know if I voted twice,” he said. “Probably not.”"




via Buzzflash and Bradblog. Photo credit About.com

Well, that backfired. In Florida only poor people, black people, old liberal jewish people and democrats should have slight difficulties voting. And even that is made up because they're all so whiny.

Sorry to see him go.

Time magazine without the least hint of irony says this:

"But even Edwards' boundless optimism and energy has his limits, and today he is admitting what all the pundits and politicos have been saying for the past month: the Democratic contest is a two-person race, and Edwards is not one of them."

Jeez, Time Magazine maybe if you and the rest of the liberal left wing media had covered Edwards campaign, your little self-fulfilling prophecy wouldn't have come true.

When basement dweller Giuliani garnered more press after Iowa than Edwards' second place finish, I guess we can assume that populists are not welcome at the banquet. Suck it little people.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

But it's a dry cold.

Monday it was 44 out. Yesterday 38ish. Today? Minus 10. And they called off school.
Pansies.


(The phrase is 'cold as a witch's tit', in case you were just wondering.)
(Yes, I may have been channeling my inner Bossy)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SOTU at the Wundruns




It took an awful lot to get through it.

I perked up when he started talking about exploring alternative energy sources. I did tequila shots when he mentioned that those sources are coal gasification and nuclear energy.

A whole 'nother year. Sigh.

Also: Right after the speech, NBC did an unpaid 5 minute advertorial with Mitt Romney. What gives? Romney promised us that he would stay the course by being the agent of change. His hair looked Great! Then, following a fantastic rebuttal by Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (read it here) the same favor was done for Obama and Clinton. Where was Edwards?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Live-blogging the SOTU


Much like last Halloween, I am sitting here in anticipation of the big event. What will the night bring? How well can I type while drinking wine. Is two bottles of wine per one person problematic?

So, for your reading pleasure and political edification, I am live blogging the last ever State of the Union by the sorriest sumbitch to ever take the State of the Union from "Whoohahhooie" to "feckin a'-screwin' myself would be cheaper and more pleasin'"

I hope the stupid bastard begins with "At long last, I can declare our dream of national prosperity to be over". Much later than the leftie pundits, but then, when have the rightie pundits been ahead of the curve? Okay, theoretically, they could be ahead of the curve by insisting that certain problems don't exist. For example, once the lefties have solved global warming and sustainability and other economic problems, the righties will say "See, we told you-no problems". (That also explains everything Clinton did for the Reagan legacy by reinstating practical taxation policies and creating a surplus out of the economic disaster that was the eighties).

Ooooh oooh here we go:

8:00 The guy is knocking on the door. I hope Pelosi says "If the chamber's a rockin' don't come a knockin'".

8:01 They let the creepy little bastard in.

8:02 Glad handing. Is Leiberman going down on his knees? Is that- is that Joe trying to fellate OHMYGOD!!!!!

8:10 Couldn't update for a bit. Had to rinse my eyes out with a bottle of Wollersheim Winery's Prairie Fume. Also gargled a bit. gad.

8:11 What the f***?

8:13 No, he did not have the balls to say that!

8:15 Holy crap is he deluded!!!!

8:17 In your dreams Chimpy McBingbang!

8:20 Did Darth Cheney just pick his nose? Yes. Oh yes he did! His sneer is so high and mighty now that he can actually flick boogers with his upper lip! Man, I'm going to miss that guy. No I'm not, it just cracks me up to make a joke that involves him back at his secret lair. Mhua ha ha.

8:25 No, door knob that's not how we feel and it's not the democrats fault, so just back off that crap okay? You've got no one to blame but yourself and your hideous alcoholic mother who is pro-choice cuz she knows the pain of bringing YOU into this world!!!

8:30 Going well? If your definition of going well is that when the bus that has been staying the course crashes into the ravine and explodes in a hideous conflagration still results in some recognizable corpses, then yes. It's going well.

8:31 Have I mentioned that I hate you and the sight of you makes my skin crawl?

8:32 It occurs to me that the best thing about the State of the Union is that no matter how inane you sound at least you don't do that weaselly giggle. I'm thankful for that.

8:35 Don't invoke God. He doesn't exist and if he did, he'd have forsaken you a long, long time ago.

8:40 Are you still babbling? Crap. The only way you could use up this much time is if you'd tell the truth and list all your fuck ups.

8:41 Sommelier, more wine, please. No, I can drink three bottles in a sitting. I'm still typing aren

Signs that they are abandoning the "Competency Legacy"


The Bush Administration has dropped all pretense of hoping to be found competent by historians and nearly everyone with a pulse.

In an amazing act of brash 'fuq-U-it-tude', Paul Wolfowitz has been appointed to a panel that advises the State Department.

Wolfowitz, now a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, will head Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's International Security Advisory Board, the State Department said yesterday in a statement.

"The ISAB provides the Department of State with a source of independent insight, advice, and innovation on all aspects of arms control, disarmament, nonproliferation, political-military issues, and international security and related aspects of public diplomacy," the State Department said


Yeah, that same Paul Wolfowitz who got booted from the enormously corrupt World Bank for being too openly corrupt. The same Paul Wolfowitz who brought us a quick war in Iraq that would pay for itself.

Tellya what guys. I've got tea leaves that are more often correct than that chump. Were Michael Brown or L. Paul (Jerry) Bremer busy?

Friday, January 25, 2008

The way I feel about the "Economic Stimulus Plan" is like...

the way a woman feels when her no-good, cheatin', thievin', lyin' abusive husband brings her flowers and tells her to forget about all that bad stuff that happened before.

'Weren't nuthin''.

Smart people talk about it:

Distributorcap
Pygalgia
D-Cup at Jonestown
Chris in Seattle
Tengrain

Okay, Smartypants





Match each statement below with the person who said it. Answers will be in comments.

A. Play it again, Sam

B. You dirty rat!

C. Beam me up, Scotty

D. I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears

E. Let them eat cake

F. I only regret that I have but one life to give to my country

G. Give me liberty or give me death

H. The British are coming

I. Any man who hates children and dogs can't be all bad

J. I rob banks because that's where the money is

K. We don't need no stinkin' badges

L. Elementary, my dear Watson

M. Me Tarzan, you Jane

===========================================================================

1. Winston Churchill

2. Captain Kirk

3. Nathan Hale

4. Mexican federales in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre"

5. Tarzan

6. W.C. Fields

7. Marie Antoinette

8. James Cagney

9. Patrick Henry

10. Willie Sutton

11. Rick (Bogart) in "Casablanca"

12. Sherlock Holmes

13. Paul Revere

14. Nobody

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Made in the USA update


It's been a week, and what occurs to me most is "why the hell am I doing this"? I've (tried) to give up products not made in the United States and there have already been very frustrating moments.

Some of your comments, too, have me concerned: Chris in Seattle says that even if just one small component is US made, the entire product can be labeled thus. Randal brings up the whole travesty of the Marianas Islands- a scheme brought to life by Tom DeLay et. al. where products made in sweatshops by asian women (who may be forced to undergo abortions just to stay on the job-whassat? christian right?) are still able to be labeled Made in the USA.

Frankly, I think that no one is even trying that hard to deceive anymore because no one is paying attention.

And its so convoluted to try to figure out the place of origin on some things. Yesterday I went to spend a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. CDs and DVDs are marked 'printed in the US'. But does this mean that the package is printed here or are the CDs and DVDs printed here? No doubt the jewel cases are Chinese. Should I care? And another point-I wouldn't ordinarily buy from Barnes and Noble except for the gift certificate. I prefer to buy CDs from a locally owned store rather than to download (I'm probably 50/50 right now). Downloading is environmentally better, but buying locally is economically better. I havent' figured that out on the hierarchy yet.

I just came from the grocery store. Today I broke down and bought straws for my daughter. I don't buy them because she tends to spill when she uses one, she tips her glass toward her like she's drinking but still has the straw; also single use plastic items are just kind of a 'no'. So I bought them and Ben pulled them out of the bag. "Busted", said he. "China?" "China". Crap. They're probably 100% phthalate neon glow straws. I did find a face scrubbie thing since I can't buy Biore strips; those dandy little wonders that yank stuff out of your pores are made in Canada. I wonder if the lady in the HABA aisle thought the little "whoo hoo" I squeaked out was weird. 3M corp. Minnesota. Made in the USA.

Ben got stuck out of town one night last week. He needed clothes for work and stopped at Kohl's to get a dress shirt for the next day's meeting. You absolutely can't impulse-buy on this program.

I also had clothes to exchange at the Gap. I can't tell you how deflated I felt walking in to the mall knowing that there is probably not a single thing in those 5 acres of mall store product that was manufactured here.

And tomorrow is Ben's birthday. I also went to Kohls yesterday to see if I could find a kitchen gadget miraculously made in the USA. Wisconsin used to be home to three or four manufacturers, like the Mirro company who make small appliances and pots and pans. The closest I came to something for Ben was a product labeled 'Engineered in the USA. Made in China'. We'll be going out for dinner.

We won't order the Chilean Sea bass. (I knew better before this experiment anyway).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Let it snow let it snow let it snow



I made this short video for a class project many years ago. I just want you to know that I shot all the video footage in the second half of the video hanging off the back of a snowmobile. We were going eighty.

Lots has changed since I made the video. The field it was shot in now holds $700,000 homes on 1/8 acre lots. I don't snowmobile any more. You can probably guess all the reasons why, plus one more: that was something my ex-husband loved. 'Nuff said.

Enjoy the video. It's about a minute long.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Who is Today's Saint?


Today is the feast day of Saint Agnes.

According to my Saint-A-Day book, Agnes was a "famously pulchritudinous virgin martyr". Did you know that pulchitrudinous means exhibiting great physical beauty? What an ugly word. Kind of like it ought to mean the opposite. I feel the same way about the word 'copious'. For some reason, copious seems like a word better suited to describe something stashed away, or doled out miserly. Not a word that means bountiful. Well, when I'm in charge I'll make some of these important changes. But for now, lets talk saints, shall we?

Agnes is the patron saint of girl scouts and virgins. Redundant? These days, who knows.

Take it away, Saint-A-Day:

In 304, when she was thirteen years old, this beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde Roman maiden rejected all her ardent suitors, among them Eutropis, the governor's son. Spurning his costly love gifts, she declared, "I have chosen a spouse who cannot be seen with mortal eyes, whose mouth drips with milk and honey." (All dialogue according to one official biographer, Saint Augustine, who wasn't there.) Understandably jealous her pagan swain waxed ill for love, and his father summoned the maiden, offering honors and estates if she would marry his son--and threatening her if she did not. Agnes was unmoved when exposed to the cruel instruments of torture. "You will learn that my God is a God of purity. He will bring your wicked purpose to naught," said she. The governor ordered that she be stripped naked and paraded through the streets to a den of iniquity. Miraculously, her golden hair suddenly grew in great profusion and entirely concealed her shame. At the brothel the only customer bold enough to approach her lewdly was Eutropis himself--whereupon he was immediately struck blind or dead (accounts differ). Agnes out of kindness, cured (or resurrected) him, whereupon she was charged with witchcraft and sentenced to the stake. Saint Ambrose (who wasn't there either) assures us that Agnes "went to the place of execution more cheerfully than others go to their weddings." Legend has it that unmarried girls dream of their future husbands on the eve of her Feast Day, but only if they have fasted for twenty-four hours and eaten an egg with salt just before bedtime. Because the name Agnes sounds like agnus--which is Latin for lamb--on her Feast Day the Pope with great ceremony used to bless a pair of sheep and send their wool to his archbishops.


If Agnes were alive today she would not be a saint, she would be the spokesmodel for Bluefly.com

Friday, January 18, 2008

He's a Moran. But you knew that



There's a petition. But be careful, if you sign it O'Reilly might come to your home and stick a camera up your nose.

What do we want?
The C-Word!
When do we want it?
meh.


Change has become so overwrought that pundits are now saying the "C-word" rather than have to force their fingers to type out the h-a-n-g-e. But look, there's fresh change right there because only in 2007 or so did the C-word mean "cunt". Looks like we've got to come up with something else to call Ann Coulter. She has so owned the term, though. It'll be hard to make the, er, change.

Now that the word is entirely meaningless, I'd like to harken back to the halcyon days of maybe July to remind ourselves that when we mean change we can be talking about a new direction for the Iraq occupation (that direction being home), or for the economy (trickled on long enough. T'aint working.) We could even pin our hopes on John Edwards and think that change could mean a return to populism, casting out this mystifying elitism that has struck us dumb. Overarching these specifics, change to me means that we are sick and tired of the day to day acceptance of lyin', thievin' politicians.

And folks, that includes parsing. We all remember Bill Clinton's famous instance- 'it depends on what your definition of 'is' is'- We are suffering through the after-effects of the worst case in history: the link between Saddam and Al Qaida. Between Saddam and 9/11. Between Saddam and terrorism. John Edwards created a video of some world-class parsing by Hillary Clinton in the debates. Yesterday I watched the Willard M. Romney clip where he says he has no lobbyists in his campaign. He very carefully states to the reporter that there are no lobbyists running his campaign. No lobbyists attend senior strategy meetings. Then the reporter asks about a specific lobbyist and Willard says that guy ain't being paid. So far so good for the new W. Technically not lying. Probably acceptable to the mormon god, I don't know, I never took those Latter Day Saints up on the offer for the free book. But then, right after technically not lying to the reporter, the new DubbaYoo says "I don't have any lobbyists at my elbow that are arguing for one industry or another industry". Bzzzzzt. Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist. Paid or unpaid, he is frequently with Romney on the campaign trail. How do I know this? Easy, mere seconds prior Romney admits as much.

The C-word. Change. Look, even if the words are technically true thanks to careful placement of modifiers if the intent is to deceive, it is a lie.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

3 Dog Nite

Holy Frack! It is a three dog night out there and I've only got two. And they're small. And the fat, warm one smells. And looks like this:

Look for the Union Label - Made in the USA update


My daughter has excema. When I put her hair up for dance class I noticed that she has been scratching at her face and neck. I told her that we would stop on the way home from class and buy some lotion for her. On our route we had two options: the Green Earth store that sells organics and homeopathics and Walgreens. I chose Walgreens because I thought a pharmacist might have a suggestion for us, and I decided that I would tell him regardless we needed only USA-made lotion.

Bad choice. The line looked like the wait for Hannah Montana tickets. We set off on our own to find something. Nivea? Love it. Out- made in Mexico. At least that was prominently labelled. Most products just say 'distributed by' which could mean anything.

What's worse is that thanks to our ever declining standards of regulation, in the health and beauty aisle, made in the USA is not necessarily a good thing. That's because just prior to the turn of the century the European Union created a list of banned substances for cosmetics and health items. The United States doesn't follow this list at all, going so far as to sell different formulations for products for sale in Europe as are sold in the United States. European countries can use the US as a dumping ground for inferior products it cannot sell at home. Other countries are following the lead of the Europeans and adopting tougher guidelines. We are being left behind.

The vast majority of chemical compounds used in the ointments, creams, shampoos and cosmetics we douse ourselves with daily have never been tested. Europeans however, have a different mindset than we do. In Europe if a substance is suspect through testing, yet not 100% certain to be toxic, it is banned. In the United States, it has to be clearly shown to be linked to some danger or another. We take a much greater after-the-fact approach. And ironically, some manufacturers claim that Americans are safe because we have such an active torts system. Which at the same time they spend oodles of bucks to undermine through lobbying efforts and tort reform.

So in my own buying decision I still went with the made in the USA claim. Organics are a very good choice and I should have gone to the other organic store. Live and learn.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Made in the USA


Last night at dinner I cheerfully announced to the family that for the remainder of 2008 we are going to buy only products made in these United States of America. Ben didn't say much except 'why'? and I answered that I thought it might be important for us and the kids to pay more attention to where the things we buy come from, and that how we spend our money ought to help people here at home.

The motion passed - 1 enthusiastic vote and 3 here-she-goes-again votes.

Like Barbara Kingsolver, the author who wrote "Animal Vegetable Miracle" about spending a year eating only local food, we had to decide on some exceptions to the rule. Like Barbara we chose to exempt coffee (mom, dad) and unlike Barbara chose to exempt bananas (7yo, 4yo). Sorry, but there's only so much one can do with apples, applesauce, and frozen berries. Florida citrus is in. Colombian grapes are buh-bye. Maybe next year we'll ditch the bananas.

I think that our biggest challenge will be with clothes. We made a little subrule there too. If we cannot find clothing for the kids that was made in the USA, we'll allow second hand clothes from garage sales, re-stores or Goodwill/Savers/St. Vincent de Paul. Also allowed are what the 4yo calls "handy downs" from older cousins.

I wanted to get a new laptop this year. I'll have to ditch that idea. Waiting until next year isn't going to change the world, that's for certain, and I realize it is just a deferment, but a big part of this challenge is for us to stop and think about the things that we buy, rather than just gettin' and spendin' and layin' waste our powers.

We haven't decided how to handle gifts from others. I guess we'll just have to go with it and graciously accept something given to us, just as long as the kids don't use birthdays and christmas lists as an endo around the rule. We did decide that Ben's work supplies will have to be exempt. He may use that as his own endo. That would be cheating.

I will keep you posted throughout the year on what we find.

>>Before I could hit post, Ben called. He wanted to know if he should buy some Christmas lights he found on sale for 50 cents a string. "Where were they made?" I asked. He said he'd check. Bet we aren't getting cheap lights.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Cheerleaders are always with us


From John Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley"

While I was still in Texas late in 1960 , the incident most reported and pictured in the newspapers was the matriculation of a couple of tiny Negro children in a New Orleans school. Behind these small dark mites were the law's majesty and the law's power to enforce--both the scales and the sword were allied with the infants--while against them were three hundred years of fear and anger and terror of change in a changing world. I had seen photographs in the papers every day and motion pictures on the television screen. What made the newsmen love the story was a group of stout middle-aged women who, by some curious definition of the word "mother," gathered every day to scream invectives at children. Further, a small group of them had become so expert that they were known as the Cheerleaders, and a crowd gathered every day to enjoy and to applaud their performance.


Last week I mentioned that I heard a brief snippet on Bill O'Reilly's radio program of a frightened woman asking O'Reilly if it were true that Barack Obama is a muslim who insisted on being sworn into the senate on a Koran.

The very next day I received an e-mail from a woman who is the wife of one of my husband's high school friends. I'll post the entire e-mail in comments. I'm guessing that it was the radio woman's source for her Obama misinformation, since it not only contains the Koran/swearing in nugget, but claims that Obama refuses to say the pledge of allegiance and turns his back to the flag and slouches when it is being said in his presence.

It ends like this
"The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the US from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!
----Remember he only move [sic] to this country three years ago. It is scary. Who is funding his campaign? Who is pushing to get him in!!
How did he rise so high in 3 years?"


I was really angry after I read the entire e-mail. I thought of about eight different ways to respond to the e-mail. The first three started with 'fuck you, moron'. Instead, I put it away for a few days. Yesterday I wrote my answer. Here it is:


Snopes.com has a decent rebuttal of the claims made in this e-mail. You can read it here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/muslim.asp

Without even going to Snopes for clarification, I should think a few glaring errors would have shown this e-mail to be highly flawed, such as the declaration that Obama has only been in the US for only 3 years, or that a United States' senator would refuse to say the pledge of allegiance.

I am saddened that this piece of bigoted misinformation is making the rounds. I respect anyone's right to make an informed choice about candidates-preferably based on their stand on the issues. But this hatchet piece reeks of the same kind of religious hatred used against John F. Kennedy in 1960.

The tenor of anti-muslim hatred in this country is fast approaching the German hatred for the Jews in the 1930s. I would like to think that if I were a German living then I'd have spoken up per the words of Reverend Neimoller who said
"First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me." Well, as an American in the new millenium, I will speak up for the muslims. This e-mail is just wrong.

I would like to point out that much of the misinformation printed here came from a piece in the Washington Times - owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, just so you know your sources.

In the mean time, Mike Huckabee was hosted yesterday by a southern baptist minister who wrote the following:

"I'm going to submit to you that as believers in Christ Jesus, we are not even of America," Wilton said. "We march according to a different drumbeat. Ours is not the Constitution of America; ours is the constitution of the Almighty God."

http://www.biblicalrecorder.org/content/news/2006/06_14_2006/ne140606sc.shtml

That frightens me a whole lot more than a Harvard Law graduate community activist member of the United Church of Christ (Obama) running the country. That is a christian saying that christians are above the constitution. I imagine that if those words were uttered by a muslim you'd realize how frightening they are to those of us who aren't christian.


I tried to send my e-mail to everyone this woman had sent it to, but my e-mail editor doesn't allow me to do a batch mailing unless I set it up putting everyone in my address book. I would do it, but you can't change idiots with such complicated devices as the facts. I'm afraid I would be wasting my time.

If you get this e-mail and you would like to reply, feel free to use mine. And thank you internet lords for Snopes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

That Navy Commander mighta known




That the Iranian boat wasn't a serious threat.

Putting Wisconsin into Play

Last week I quipped that I hoped that the primaries wouldn't produce a clear front runner making every one important. With a glimmer of hope, it just could happen. For my second wish, Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, David Brooks, et. al. collectively admit to having their asses handed to them for the last time and they exit stage left en masse.

Wisconsin used to have the second primary in the country. Wisconsin voters used to get the kind of attention reserved for Iowa today. And it used to be in April. In 1984 I was a high school senior and I got to skip school to see a Jessie Jackson rally and a Gary Hart (I think) rally. Our primary has moved to February 19th, which means that if no clear winner emerges from "Super Tuesday" we could get some ass baby-kissing politicians to come our way. As a swing state in the last two presidential elections we did get plenty of luvin' - Bruce Springsteen and John Kerry got a major downtown street shut down for a big gig, f'rinstance - it would be nice to have our state in play for the primaries, too.

Maybe if the delegate count is really close among (fingers crossed) three contenders all the way through, states will realize that in economic terms the least shall be first. Then everyone will rush to move their primaries back again.

Because, really, primaries in January are just freaking ridiculous.

For your general trivia file: primaries are only 95 years old. The first was held in North Dakota in March of 1912. In 1964, Barry Goldwater didn't seal the deal on his nomination until the June 2 California primary. JUNE 2.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Real Quotes by Rapidly Fading Politicians

h/t Buzzflash, who may be thinking this was said recently. It was not. Nosferatiuliani's comments were made a mere 7 years prior to 9/11.

The Album Cover Meme

I saw this at Freida Bee's and at Dr. Z's. It's the album meme, created by random generators for your amusement.

Goes like this:

Let’s Make a Band:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first article title on the page is the name of your band.

2.http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album.

3.http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days/
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

You then take the pic and add your band name and the album title to it, then post your pic.

Here's mine:



If the Salvation Army Nashville Area Command already has a band, let me say I'm sorry. The rambot made me do it. Can we borrow your uniforms, we've got a gig at the Club Tavereen this weekend.

Did you know that O'Reilly sucks?


Yesterday I was trying to find my local am public radio station on an old radio whose dial bears little resemblance to reality. I paused on a station for a mere ten seconds and caught this exchange:

[Little old lady, obvious concern in her voice] But what I want to know is, is it true that Obama was sworn into the congress on the (gasp) Koran?

[Radio guy] Oh, I think there's some islamic in him somewhere back. But you know this is the kind of smear job the left likes to do. Likes to bring up these things and spread things.

[Me, realizing the asshat is O'Reilly] *click*

I don't know how people can listen to any of these frightwingers for any length of time at all. A mere ten seconds and I was steamed. First - O'Reilly knows full well that Barack Obama is a practicing christian and that it was Mike Ellison from Minnesota who considered using a Koran in his swearing-in picture - but not for his swearing in because no congressperson is sworn in on anything. And second, somehow O'Reilly manages to make a frightie trope all the fault of the left when it bears no relation to anything the left has ever done to any candidate on any side of the aisle ever.

Ugghh.

You know when people say they don't wish any ill on someone with whom they disagree? I am not one of those people. I hope Bill O'Reilly is found expired in a two bit whore house with a falafel in his nethers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It Bodes Well for The Democrats



New Hampshire's registered voters are broken down as 26% Democrats, 30% Republicans and 44% Independents.

Hillary Clinton has received 27,000 votes so far (It's 9 pm eastern time). The republican winner, McCain has received 17,000 votes.

Over 73,000 votes are counted on the democratic side so far. For the repubs it is 49,000.


Once again, as in Iowa, new people are showing up and independents are voting with the dems.

It is rare that things in politics can make me smile. I'm heading off to find a bottle of wine. It's time for cheer.

UPDATE: The final tally according to CNN this morning was 279,276 votes in the dem primary and 228,531 votes cast in the repub primary.

Can anyone explain how Chris Dodd came in
behind Mike Gravel? Ouch.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Huckster

This is a little hard to keep straight, but I will try.

Mike Huckabee said he was an upright godly man who would never run nasty attack ads against his opponents.

The Huck then showed a roomful of reporters just one such ad he would never dare to run because it was too negative.

Then, it turns out the negative attack ad actually did run several times just before the Iowa caucus.

Here's the clincher: at the end of the ad the Huck says "If a man’s dishonest to obtain a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job. Iowans deserve better."

I'm telling you, these people have no grasp of either irony or hypocrisy.

The baby Jesus is weeping, Michael.

Before and After



The light bulb went out on the old refrigerator so we had to get a new one.

*Yes, that's my TAB. I am addicted and cannot give it up.
**True, that bottom shelf is almost entirely yellow mustard. Need any?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Weighing in on the Bhutto Assassination

While I was away the incredibly brave Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Robert Fisk made the most succinct observation on those who are most likely culpable for her death. It has been widely quoted on the nets and so I won't repeat it, but the link is here.

I saw Benazir Bhutto in person when she visited the United Nations in the fall of 1989. I was working for the Bangladeshi mission at the time as an intern. One of the Bangladeshis, regarding her as she walked past us in the basement coffee lounge, said he felt a little sorry for her. There was a mixture of pathos and admiration in his tone. He tried to explain that for a woman in a muslim culture, power can be very isolating. He thought she was probably a little lonely.

I thought of that when I saw the pictures of her addressing the crowd in her white headscarf. And the pictures of anguished men trying to grasp the immediate violence of her death. It seems she wasn't alone at all.

I no longer wade through the swamps of rightwing internet vitriology, but I suppose they are placing the blame with al Qaeda. Yes, Bhutto was a woman and the islamic fundamentalists are anti-woman. But trumping that, they are anti-west. Bhutto's campaign promise was to return Pakistan to the Pakistani people. Musharraf is in the pocket of the west and al Qaeda has allowed him to live. Why?

I am currently reading the second of two "Economic Hitmen" books written by John Perkins. This may be causing me to see a US based conspiracy under every rock, but let me reprint here an excerpt from the book concerning the death of Jaime Roldos, president of Ecuador from August 1979 to May 1981. Some of the events surrounding Bhutto's death bring to mind Roldos' death.

What do you think?


According to a friend of President Roldos:


"Jaime flew to a secret meeting with oil company executives in Houston in May 1981. Several top government officials joined him. He thought one of them would be especially helpful because he previously had worked for the oil companies. Jaime figured he'd make a good ally...How mistaken he was. In any case, that was it--just the Ecuadorians and the oil men, who insisted on secrecy. No press, no announcements. The Americans presented the Ecuadorians with their offer. They knew that Jaime had promised to rein them in during his campaign, but they demanded the same sort of deal they had received previously in Ecuador and were getting in other countries. Their companies would conduct initial explorations and Ecuador would pay in dollars or crude.

"Jaime assured them that he did not mind paying a reasonable price for services rendered in dollars, but would not consider doing so in crude. 'I intend to build petrochemical complexes in my country, so my people can benefit from the value added,' he said. 'We want to retain all our crude.' This infuriated the executives. It was not the deal they had enjoyed with previous administrations and was contrary to their global policies. Discussions grew heated. According to what Jaime told me later, the meeting turned ugly. Finally, he'd had enough. he got up and walked out, expecting the other Ecuadorians to join him. They did not.

"Our president, my friend Jaime, flew back to Quito and called a meeting with his closest advisors. They told him they felt he was in a very precarious situation, that his life was in danger. But it didn't deter him. He continued to speak out. He went on TV and said he would nationalize foreign companies unless they implemented plans to help Ecuador's people. He gave a speech at Atahualpa Olympic Stadium, where he talked extensivelyabout the sovereign rights of a nation to take care of its people, expecially the poor. Not long after that, he and his wife boarded their small plane and headed for another destination. They never made it. They both died in that crash on May 24, 1981, less than a month after the secret Houston meeting. There is absolutely no question that Jaime Roldos was assassinated.

..."In our country our police were kept away from the crash site where our president died. U.S. authorities were allowed in, but not Ecuadorian police investigators. Figure that one out."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gooooood Moooooorninnnggg Bloggernam!

Thankfully, 2007 has been put to rest and we've a hell of a year to come. Olympics in China? Check those medals, athletes, before wearing for too long - we're not sure what is a safe exposure rate and if you get sick, well only high profile athletes might get help. Lest we forget the Olympic sport with the most participants is target shooting. Kid you not. But then again lead poisoning isn't unusual for people who play with guns. Am I channeling John Wayne? I'll stop.

The Iowa Caucus is tomorrow. I hope for all of our sakes that this year echoes times past when no candidate is a front-runner and each primary or caucus is meaningful. Yes, I have seen our media and no, I don't really think that is going to happen.

Dr. Zaius needs to take down that Pelosi 2007 ad in his sidebar. That didn't come to fruition did it? You know, power is meaningless unless you know how to use it. Personally, I thought she was quite crafty when she said 'impeachment is off the table'. I naively hoped that she said that to calm the opposition but privately would yield the specter whilst holding the president by the short hairs. Oh she held his short hairs all right. And she sort of massaged them and jostled them and got naughty with her perfectly manicured nails. Thanks, Nancy.

I see that Dennis Kucinich is going to throw his weight behind Obama if he doesn't pass a 15% threshold in the Iowa caucuses. What? Sorry, buddy but you just totally lost the fight right there. Truly, though I have not been one of his supporters I absolutely feel for the people who have been. That one move showed an almost Pelosi-like inability to show unwavering presidential-like strength. Yes, flexibility is nice in a candidate. Our current administration shows us the joke of "Stay the Course". But "Abandon Ship"?

Since I flew into and out of Phoenix' Sky Harbor Airport twice last month, I guess my name is not on any lists. That's a good thing. While I was in Phoenix I saw the headline of an article in the local rag that said that Sky Harbor has a social worker who is employed to help distraught passengers. People there are just dying to see her. Very gruesome humor indeed.

I have internalized all the same New Year's resolutions that I always do: walk every day. finally start my business. lose the baby fat now that the eldest is 7. It's only day two of the New Year but I can tell you this: rather than walking, I need to hurry up and get ready to go out to breakfast with a friend.

Last year I don't think I'd have guessed that I'd be blogging by now. (I cannot come to think of myself as a blogger). So I guess anything is possible, ain'a? Of my New Year's resolutions, I really do think this is the year to start my own business. The biggest reason is that I don't think anyone would hire me, so I'll have to start my own. I promise to keep y'all up to date on how that goes. Maybe we can all start it together. Would you like to buy some shares? Imagine if Bill Gates had asked you that in the seventies.

Oh, I kid.

It's good to be back.

Remember, life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.