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.

Friday, September 26, 2008

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....


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.


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?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jack Booted Thugs.

Here is your press freedom, America. This is Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, a credentialed journalist at the RNC. She is being arrested at the convention for what seems to be "probable cause for a riot".

UPDATE: Washington Post has this story.