Friday, October 31, 2008

And Obama's only down 1 point in Indiana

In this bizzarro election season, I have come to expect the tax cuts to be called socialist, the unethical to be called ethical, Christians to worship a golden calf, and some guy who's neither a Joe nor a plumber to be known as Joe the Plumber.

What I didn't expect, is for The Economist to endorse Obama. Wowza:

Most of the hoopla about him has been about what he is, rather than what he would do. His identity is not as irrelevant as it sounds. Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism...

Political fire, far from rattling Mr Obama, seems to bring out the best in him: the furore about his (admittedly ghastly) preacher prompted one of the most thoughtful speeches of the campaign. On the financial crisis his performance has been as assured as Mr McCain’s has been febrile. He seems a quick learner and has built up an impressive team of advisers, drawing in seasoned hands like Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Of course, Mr Obama will make mistakes; but this is a man who listens, learns and manages well.
That's it, folks. Next year the Cubs are definitely winning the World Series.

The Devil wears nada

As a special Halloween treat for his fans, god among men Bruce Springsteen has recorded "A Night with the Jersey Devil," an electric blues tribute to the mythical monster that supposedly haunts the woods of southern New Jersey.

As a special Halloween treat for me, the video features footage of the Boss, soaking wet and singing "kiss me baby, 'til it hurts."

Mmmm. Feels like Christmas, suddenly.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Victory with honor

I’m going to resist talking about former feminist turned idiot Palin zombie Elaine Lafferty, and instead bring up what not enough people seem to be acknowledging: that McCain’s policy on Iraq is not only wrong-headed and dangerous, but it’s also kind of impossible.

The U.N. resolution that governs the operations of U.S. forces in Iraq is set to expire at the end of the year. Iraq has said it will not seek a renewal.

We have negotiated with the Iraqi government an agreement to basically replace that resolution. The agreement will define the terms under which we operate there.

Stay with me. It gets slightly less boring.

BushCo has been so anxious to leave office with an agreement in place, that they have kinda sorta agreed to everything Bush said he would never agree to, mainly that U.S. forces would pull out of cities and back to bases by June of ‘09, and would be out of the country by the end of 2011.

Yes, it’s a timeline for withdrawal, y’all!

And it smells remarkable similar to the timeline that Obama has proposed.

The fuck?

How many times did Bush pinkie swear to us that he would never agree to a timeline? I think the reasoning was if there was a timeline, then the terrorists could just hide behind some trees until we left. Never mind that if that was their goal, to survive the occupation, then they could’ve simply taken up the tree-hiding strategy at any point in our five-and-a-half-year clusterfuck.

Does anyone ever get the feeling that in spite of their preoccupation with terrorists, BushCo doesn’t really understand what they do? The terrorists in Iraq want to kill U.S. forces. Whenever we say we’re going to leave, they’ll keep trying to kill us until that day comes. They’re not going to hide out until the game is over, and then pop up and claim victory like that douche I played paintball with that one time.

In other words, a terrorist hiding out until the enemies leave isn’t really, strictly speaking, much of a terrorist.

But it doesn’t really matter that BushCo caved to their every demand like some divorced dad at Chuck E. Cheese. Because the Iraqi government sent the agreement to their parliament, who must approve it for it to become law, and the parliament came back with a big fat DENY.

Yeah, they said no. They want more concessions.

And they’ll probably get them, because the U.S. is all tick-tock on the 12/31/08 deadline, and we SURE AS FUCK do not want to be caught playing security guard in a country with no little piece of paper with some rules written on it to back our ass up on the world stage.

So, okay, I’m not going to keep going on about that whole mess, but do you understand now that when McCain says that he is going to let conditions on the ground dictate our withdrawal from Iraq, that he might as propose that each American be given a $2500 tax rebate for EVERY MONKEY THAT FLIES OUT OF THEIR ASS? What he’s proposing is impossible! I mean, that whole “conditions on the ground” thing is so 3 years ago. Hello! It’s 2008! We’re negotiating an agreement to bug the fuck out! The Iraqis are going to want to see, oh, SOME FUCKING DATES in the goddamn thing!

What’s the matter, Mr. Maverick? Is Lieberman not whispering sweet foreign policy nothings in your ear anymore? Is that why your grasp of the war in Iraq is starting to sound about as deep as Palin’s grasp of the Mesozoic Era? Look, Gramps, I understand that you feel humiliated about the whole Vietnam debacle. This is not that. Do you understand me? This is not that. You’re having a flashback or something. Plus, you’re doing that old man thing where you can’t seem to keep your tongue in your mouth anymore. You’re done, Gramps, you’re done. Bush stole your dreams in 2000. Join the fucking club, already.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin says Obama palling around with terriers

I’m sorry, but it’s so hard to take this shit seriously – except in how it could cause idiots absent the sense god gave a chicken to vote for McCain.

But you know what, readers? It doesn’t sway anyone. It only gives people an excuse to do what they were going to do anyway. Serious voters don’t think Obama’s a socialist, because serious voters know how the freakin tax system works (hint: it redistributes wealth). They don’t think Obama’s secretly a terrorist, or hiding a “muslin” agenda. But they might use those stories to rationalize voting against him.

Why would they have to rationalize their decision? Why not just simply state their motivations?

Good question.

Enter Joe the Plumber. Yeah, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about the guy. But stay with me, because I so know that guy. I grew up with that guy. I got a couple of uncles who are that guy.

The guy’s a racist. And he sees Mr. Hotshot Obama shaking hands with voters, acting like he’s so much better than everyone else, and Joe decides he’s gonna take that boy down a peg or two. So he makes up a scenario that he’s gonna use to try and make Mr. Smartypants looks stupid in front of the cameras. He decides to say that he’s a plumber – which he’s technically not. And that he’s intending to buy the company that he currently works for – which he is not even close to being able to do. And that the company that he would then own would make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year – which it does not currently make. And that he would then have his taxes raised by Obama’s tax plan – for an income he doesn’t have owning something he doesn’t own doing something he doesn’t do.

I know, he’s got McCain campaign centerpiece written all over him!

Sweet fucking Jesus, I know that guy. They spin impossible webs of justification rather than face the realities of their own lives. Hey, you, Joe the Plumber, yeah, you - the guy who doesn’t want to pay his taxes! You do not make 250k. Obama will cut your taxes! Hear me? He will cut your taxes! Isn’t that what you want? Isn’t it?

So why the attempted take-down on Obama, then? Why the façade, the fairy tale, the big act?

Good question.

I don’t believe in the Bradley effect, but I believe that the Republicans profit from us believing in it. They want to sell the scenario wherein Obama’s lead evaporates for reasons other than their own manipulations. They want us to believe that there are legions of racists out there that are lying about voting for Obama because they don’t want people to know they’re racists. Because then when Democrats are wiped from voting rolls, which they have been, and when Democratic precincts are given defective machines and not enough personnel, which they have been, and when Democrats are kept from voting by election day mischief, the Republicans can point and say see? Bradley effect. Too bad those darn racists led y’all to believe you could win.

But let me tell you, readers, some of my best friends are bigots, and bigots do not say they are going to vote for Obama and then vote for McCain. Here’s what they will do:

Say they’re going to vote for McCain and then not vote.

Say they’re going to vote for McCain but lie about why.

Say they’re going to vote for McCain but then secretly vote for Obama because they think he’ll cut their taxes.

What bigots don’t do, is SAY THEY’RE VOTING FOR A BLACK GUY.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now you’ve gone too far. You’ve upset Tim Gunn.

Proposition eight, on the November 4th ballot in my state, will basically rewrite the our constitution to take away the right of gay people to form unions that are recognized as matrimony in the eyes of the state of California. Make no mistake, ANY form of “civil union” might hereafter be challenged as unconstitutional under state law if this proposition passes.

Prop 8 has been gaining electoral ground in the state recently, thanks to the efforts of the bigoted minions of – guess who?

The Mormons.

I’m trying to think of a greater force for evil in the United States right now than the Mormon Church, and I’m coming up empty, readers. Sure, there are still pockets of the Klan, and skinheads and such, but they don’t have the financial backing of 12 million tithing motherfuckers worldwide like the LDS does.

Because it’s not just local LDS temples that are organizing. Their whole operation is being run at the highest levels of church leadership in Salt Lake City:

Members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the second-highest church governing body, explained their plan to pass the ballot initiative. They asked each California congregation to commit 30 volunteers to donate four hours a week to Proposition 8. They also urged young people to use technology -- such as social networks, text messaging, and blogging -- to spread the word.

And that’s not all. LDS dollars now constitute 77% of Yes on Prop 8 funds. Not since the 1970s, when the Mormons were instrumental in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, has church leadership been so intent in denying one sector of the population of this country the very rights that they themselves enjoy.

Here’s some typical propaganda that Mormon volunteers have been passing out in malls and church parking lots. It’s called “Six Consequences if Prop 8 Fails,” and believe me, this shit is right out of the anti-ERA women-and-men-will-have-to-use-the-same-public-restrooms playbook from the ‘70s:

1. Public Schools will teach that homosexuality and same-sex marriage are normal and acceptable-and if you disagree, you are a bigot. Books like "Heather has Two Mommies" or "Daddy's Wedding" will be used to teach kindergartners about homosexual relationships. When parents in Boston complained about an eighth-grade teacher instructing students about gay sex, the teacher responded, "Give me a break. It's legal now."

First of all, you are a bigot, so you might as well get used to being called one. Secondly, the teacher in question was teaching SEX EDUCATION, so yes, part of what she was teaching was gay sex education. Gay sex is a kind of sex, you know, no matter how tightly you shut your eyes and wish otherwise.

2. Churches will be required to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies or face prosecution under anti-discrimination laws. The California Supreme Court recently ruled that medical professionals may not defer treatment to another professional based on their religious objections. In other words, Christians and those with moral beliefs must check their conscience at the door when they arrive at work. The same case law will apply to churches. Pastors will no longer be allowed to refuse marrying homosexuals based on their religious beliefs.

Churches are not subject to anti-discrimination laws, you silly motherfuckers. Can Catholics sue a Jewish temple for not admitting them as members? No. See how that works? See how easy? As for medical professionals – exactly what kind of treatment are you proposing that they deny to gay people? And how does refusing to “first, do no harm” constitute “checking their conscience”? Goddamn, you are some fucking cold motherfuckers. And you don’t understand that doctors are not churches, either, so you’re fairly stupid as well.

3. Businesses will be prosecuted for not participating in homosexual ceremonies. A New Mexico photography company is being prosecuted for refusing to photograph the "commitment ceremony" of a homosexual couple. The full force of the government will be used to make citizens publicly accept homosexuality.

Well, you’ve got me there, businesses that discriminate against a portion of the lawful citizenry of the United States might be fined (not prosecuted), as the company you mention was. You know what else businesses might be forced to do? Allow black people to sit at luncheon counters. I know, we’re just asking for trouble, aren’t we?

4. Married couples will no longer be considered "bride and groom," but "Party A and Party B." A young couple in Placer County wrote the terms "bride" and "groom" on their marriage license, which was returned from the state as an "unacceptable alteration." A husband and wife are legally referred to now as Party A and Party B according to the California government. By redefining marriage, every marriage has already been affected.

Wow, you know, your self-esteem seems very dependent upon how you’re referred to on a California state marriage application form. Are you seeing someone about that?

5. The role of parents will be diminished. The family unit is already under assault with no-fault divorce, acceptance of single parenthood, and nanny government usurping the role of fathers. Homosexual marriage worsens this trend by giving government approval to single-sex parenting. Children need both a mother and a father. By approving homosexual marriage, government and society denies children their right and need for both parents.

So, your premise is that Christians are very concerned about children growing up in stable marriages? Then Christians should have a very low divorce rate! Let’s look at the divorce rates per capita (leaving out Nevada for, um, obvious reasons). We’ll start with the highest rate of divorce, and work our way down to the lowest, shall we?

1. Arkansas

2. Oklahoma

3. Tennessee

4. Wyoming

5. Indiana

6. Alabama

7. Idaho

Oops, this is awkward. Is it just me, or are we sensing a trend? Well, why don’t we just look to see which state has the lowest divorce rate, then. I’ll bet it’s Utah!

Oh, no, it’s Massachusetts.

Say, don’t they have gay marriage there?

And, whoa, wait a minute, where is reason #6? Oh no, don’t tell me that the publication that posted this list called “Six Consequences…” didn’t even notice that there are only five? Dang, readers, ya’ll can just make up your own joke about that one.

At any rate, I have a solution for all this political activity that the Mormons seem hell-bent on orchestrating: Tax the motherfuckers! Tax them! Tax their fucking property! I have to pay taxes on my property, why should they be exempt?

A church in Pasadena, California almost lost their tax-exempt status for suggesting that Jesus would be critical of the Bush Doctrine.*

And the Mormons are fucking rich! They have 17 MILLION DOLLARS to spend on trying to make the lives of gay people miserable. Tax the fuck out of the tax-exempt motherfuckers, I say. Put the argument in terms they can understand.

*Note to Sarah Palin: The Bush Doctrine asserts this country’s right to pre-emptive war if another country is, you know, looking at us funny. Jesus was, and you’re an Evangelical Christian so you may not know this, very anti-war.

WTF Happened

Of all the weasels that BushCo has tapped to sell their lies to the American public, Scott McClellan at least had the good grace to be really bad at it.

He was eventually forced out by BushCo when his defense of the administration became increasingly weak, ineffective and convoluted. Earlier this year, he published a memoir of his years in the WH titled What Happened. It was critical of BushCo, if not exactly condemning it outright. BushCo responding by calling McClellan everything from disgruntled to possibly insane. Rove basically suggested that McClellan must have fallen asleep next to some left-wing blogger pods.

Aw, but payback, she is the bitch, and political payback may be the biggest bitch of them all, because McClellan has endorsed Obama.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You buy the gal $150k worth of designer suits...

...and she's still gonna stick a cheap-ass animal pin on the lapel.

Is Sarah Palin secretly an Avon lady? Because my mom is, and I'm pretty sure I got that pin for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spreading the wealth around

And thus the legend of "jumbo shrimp" was born

So, back from my sun- and booze-fueled mini vacay in Mexico and I’ve got a couple of thoughts.

First of all, I really am getting, in the words of Danny Glover, too old for this shit. So, thanks to my body for a solid quarter-century plus of consequences-free partying, and I’m going to go drink water and eat oat bran now until my hands stop shaking.

Secondly, there’s nothing like a trip south of the border to pound home how extraordinarily hard are the lives of Mexican children. Everywhere you look in Mexico, you see children standing or walking for hours in the sun and the sweltering heat selling toys, selling souvenirs, selling Chicklets, sometimes selling only the fact that they’re adorable and photogenic.

And if you are being charmed by one of these children in a bar or restaurant, you may, at some point, become concerned for the welfare of the child because they seem to have been left entirely on their own. It is at that moment of that the mother will inevitably appear, arms laden down with tortillas or beaded necklaces or whatever else she is selling, and will wearily herd the child and the rest of her brood on to the next bar or restaurant in their nightly rounds.

Contrast to the lives of the children I saw on the way home in the Phoenix airport, whose parents seemed interested in endowing them with 1) a precious name, and 2) a sense of entitlement, and very little else.

And I think somewhere in between the two extremes, the truth, as usual, lies.

I try to avoid romanticizing my own upbringing, because lord knows there is plenty wrong with the attitudes Midwesterners harbor regarding the rearing of children. For one thing, I wish they would get through their thick skulls that affection is not necessarily a sign of weakness. But one thing that I am grateful for is that I would never have been allowed to lie prone across three seats in a waiting area while other people were forced to stand. That definitely would have earned me an arm jostle and a sternly delivered admonition to pay attention to others and to stop being so selfish.

Curmudgeons are forever claiming that the latest generation of humans are the worst ever, and I’m not saying that, exactly, but I do think that there has been a subtle paradigm shift in the attitudes of parents over the last 50 years. Now, when faced with a crowded airport gate and insufficient seating, parents seem to think “I will provide my children with seats before they are all taken. That is what a good parent does,” whereas my own mother would’ve said, “You’re a child, you can sit on the floor.”

She also would’ve said “Go help that woman pick up those packages she dropped,” and “Go help our neighbor carry out her trash,” and “Are you blind, or can you not see that that gentleman needs help opening that door?”

Don’t get me wrong, I did not particularly enjoy being so helpful, in fact I spent the majority of my childhood asking my mother who her personal slave had been before I’d been given the job. But what I realize now is that they were teaching us, in that typically Midwestern way, that we were not the most important things in the goddamn world. They were teaching us to be, well, liberals. And not by whining about the underprivileged at dinner parties while the maid cleaned up after us. My mother didn’t need a maid – she had children. And while I frequently took pains to remind her that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, she no trouble understanding, instinctively, that all play and no work makes Jack a fucking asshole.

In Mexico, there were eight of us, four couples, and so we were able to afford to rent a huge 4 bedroom & 4 bathroom condo right on the beach. However, when we got there, there was a lone maid, a tiny, thin girl still maybe in her teens, who was still cleaning up from the previous tenants, and it was plain that she would not finish cleaning for some time. Surveying the scene, which included garbage strewn on the floors and penises drawn on the bathroom mirror in soap, for pete’s sake, I cringed to think what kind of frat-boy douchebags had preceded us.

We called the rental company and asked them to send more maids to help the girl, which I knew might be construed by her as a complaint about her job performance, and sure enough, the maids that arrived subsequently eyed us warily. There we were, us Americans with our overpriced flip-flops, and our coolers full of beer, and our sunglasses that cost more than they make in a month, probably. There we were, with less Spanish between us than a Mexican two-year old could speak, even though we’d been vacationing in their country for 20 years or more. There we were, waiting on them to finish working so that we could play.

It occurred to me that the least I could do would be to sweep the sand off the deck, but I didn’t. No doubt it would have mortified my companions and dismayed the help even further. And so I waited until they were finished and loading up to leave, and I quietly walked after the girl who had been there since we arrived. I didn’t want her supervisor, the young man with the walkie-talkie who refused to do any work himself, or any of the other maids, to see us. “Senorita,” I said. She turned to look at me, expecting…I don’t know what, but nothing good. “Gracias,” I said, and I pressed a ten-dollar bill into her hand. She flashed a big smile and said “Gracias” to me, and then they all left us to commence our party.

Look, I know it’s her job to clean beach houses, not mine. And I know that I cannot single-handedly reform the image of asshat Americans abroad. But I also know that I could have helped her instead of given her money, or I could have even done both. It would have gotten me what I wanted - a clean condo - sooner if I had. But instead I calculated the value of my inaction. It came to ten dollars. I paid it willingly, with relief even. I wonder what my mother would’ve thought of that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

La señora protesta demasiado, yo piensa

I had a dream last night in which I was involved with a group of people who wanted to protest the war. The idea they came up with, was to make full body casts of themselves in poses that suggested protest, and then to fill the molds with molten Lucite. The result was these transparent sculptures of people protesting that the group then displayed publicly.

At that point my clock radio went off, and before the dream could be pushed from my brain by news of closures on the 118, I remember thinking, “Why not just protest?”

How little we know of real protest anymore. Because everywhere, all around us, is fake protest. Despite the demise of the uber-partisan prevaricating of CNN’s CrossFire, fake protest and phony defense doth make up the better part of our national dialogue, or at least that’s the way it seems with 19 days to go.

So poor John McCain couldn’t seem to rattle Mr. Unflappable last night, and over the course of the debate you could tell it began to bother him more and more. At one point I began picturing him à la Looney Tunes, with his face bright red, steam coming out of his ears, and blowing breath through his lips like the whistle of a very angry little choo-choo who’s pretty sure that the tracks should belong to him.

McCampaign has tried to gain traction by invoking the Holy Joe Trinity: Joe Lieberman, Joe 6-Pack, and now, Joe the Plumber. It’s interesting that they think a plumber who’s worried that his quarter of a million dollar profit might get taxed at a higher rate will somehow become this country’s economic touchstone. Because I know quite a few guys who make bread in that neighborhood. They drive Lexuses and Jaguars. Their kids go to private school. They own vacation homes. I’m not fucking worried about Joe the Plumber, ya fucking idiot Rovian assclowns. In fact, I think I got ripped off by Joe the Plumber once, when he charged me $800 to replace my S-trap.

But McCain, fucking clueless as ever, continued to pound his point about the hypothetical future earnings of some overpaid schmuck in Ohio, and he even threw in another reference to Obama meeting world leaders “without preconditions,” because THAT niggling foreign policy point has so resonated with voters afraid of turning on the radio in the morning for fear of finding out that the company they work for doesn’t exist anymore.

The Republicans are either listlessly going through the motions at this point, or else wildly stabbing at the heart of the Democrats with very dull knives. Last Friday I saw conservative columnist Steve Moore on Real Time, freshly armed with RNC talking points about the voter registration organization ACORN. The Republicans’ latest scapegoat in their whole ongoing pumped-up phony voter fraud teapot tempest was so hot off the RNC presses that even political junkie host Bill Maher had not heard of them yet. “What does ACORN stand for?” he asked Moore. Moore admitted he didn’t know. Fellow panelist Maxine Waters (D-CA) countered “well, if you don't know anything about it, then you should probably stop talking about it.” Moore then checked his talking points for a response to Waters, and finding nothing, shrugged and changed the subject to his less than convincing protestations that Palin was absolutely qualified for the most important job in the world. Without a doubt. Sure, she was. I could tell Moore was more interested in the single-malt scotch waiting for him in his airport limo than he was in mounting a credible case for Governor Flailin’, but he continued his ridiculous assertions nevertheless.

It’s an interesting turn of events to see the Republicans play the role of victim in this election, hence the Republicans and McCampaign testing the waters on this whole ACORN story, seeing if the press will bite. They probably will. They’ve shown themselves all too willing in the past to balance real stories of disenfranchised minority (mostly Democrat) voters with baseless charges from the RNC that Democrats are handing out ballots at prison gates and setting up voting booths in Tijuana.

But no matter what the outcome of the election, I relish the thought of so many Republicans holding their noses in the election booth. Their candidate hasn’t smelled so bad since…okay, well, since the last election, but still. They had no incumbent. They had the entire country to choose from, and they picked Grandpa Grumpy and the 80s beauty queen who spent 6 years getting a degree in broadcast news journalism, which, forgive me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you used to be able to get one of those free inside every box of Breeze detergent?

Well, readers, as that last joke clearly indicates, I need a vacation, and I’m getting a mini one. I’ll be taking a long weekend with Spooney, sis & her beau, and a few other people down in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, celebrating my sister’s birthday. Vive el cumpleaños de mi hermana, bitches. So, drop by her blog and wish her a happy. I’m going to go find my swim suit, my sunscreen, and my voter registration forms.

I'll be back late next week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Unintenionally hilarious Fox News item of the day

Via Wonkette comes this story from Fox News about how Colin Powell's speech about his African heritage at a London African music and arts festival, and his subsequent impromptu "hip hop" dancing onstage at that festival means he is about to endorse Obama.

I'm skeptical. Now, if Fox News had seen Powell eating fried chicken or watermelon, or smoking Kools, then that would be different.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Burning. And itching.

Why, yes, that wildfire is burning a mere ten miles from my house, thank you for asking.

But truthfully, I’m not sweating it. Because if the fire burned through ten miles of dense LA suburbs to reach my house, I’d have a whole lot more to worry about than the fire reaching my house.

Poor Spooney, however, is plagued by the annual Santa Ana-fueled airborne nasties. Which reminds me, the next time I am inspired to make a mental list of things that keep me from wanting to shuffle off this mortal coil, I must remember to put “do not suffer from allergies” at the top of the list.

One thing I’ve been wondering recently is, now that Sarah Palin has let down her hair, is she going to whip off those glasses in dramatic sexy fashion next? It sure would make the whole winking thing she’s got going on a lot more effective. Also, it would make her transformation into repressed Republican sex symbol complete, don’t you think? You betcha!

I’ve noticed that Cindy McCain has let her hair down as well, no doubt to soften her image, which is a tad on the Ice-Queen-from-those-Narnia-books-ish. I have to say, however, that her down ‘do is not flattering. I mean, okay, is it wrong of me to think that women of a certain age need to not do this:

Blech. Who’s her style icon, Loni Anderson? And another thing: that cut is just too young for her. There, I said it. Revoke my feminist credentials if you can, but with women like Palin calling themselves feminists I doubt that the membership qualifications can get any lower. And who among the conservatives would dare criticize me for talking about Palin’s hair, anyway? The same people who hit the talk shows in full battle cry over the fact that Newsweek did not airbrush Palin’s cover photo?

Although, I have to ask myself, if I ever made the cover of Newsweek, would I expect to be given the benefit of the brush? Please, baby, it would be the first clause in the contract, just like Barbara Walters’s rider stipulating the thickness of the Vaseline on the camera lens for her Oscar specials. However, if women want to be taken seriously as viable leaders of the so-called “free world,” we should maybe stop thinking of Photoshop as a birthright.

Meanwhile, McClain is flailing like a, well…like a McCain. His McCampaign is now resorting to flinging all manner of poo at that electoral fan, hoping and praying that something, anything will still be sticking to the brains of voters on the morning of November 4. They’ve tried to paint Obama as a black nationalist, as terrorist-adjacent, as left of Kucinich, hell, the only thing they haven’t tried is having Palin start up a rally chant of “Obama and Ahmadinejad, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”

The Republicans chose to run on “national security,” and yet no matter how many times Tom Brokaw says that we are going to vote on that issue, voters insist on their own agenda, mainly that they’re worrying less about buildings falling down and more about whether the company they work for will even exist anymore when they get up to go to work in the morning. I recently have even dared to think that the voters might be coming to the conclusion that sending American troops to die on the sands of distant oil-rich lands might not be the best possible foreign policy.

And it’s funny, because if McCain had run the same campaign he ran in 2000, he probably would be winning right now. I wouldn’t vote for the motherfucker, because for one thing, he seems to no likey the women so much, but I bet a lot of people would’ve fallen for it. But he had to go and drink the Rove-flavored Kool-Aid, adopt the scorched earth tactics, kiss up to the power-hungry Christian douchebags, throw red meat to the bigots and jarheads, and appoint a semi-functional local weathergirl to his #2 spot. In other words, he packed his campaign with bile, and he’s fucking choking on it. So it’s no wonder he shuffled and mumbled around the stage at the last debate like Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett show. He blew it, the glory is behind him, and even if he manages by some strange event or election day mischief to pull out a win, his best days are gone, daddy, gone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Welcome to the new world order

If you haven't yet read this article in Rolling Stone about John McCain, you may be shocked at what you don't know. I was:

In 1998, he formed a political alliance with William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard, who became one of his closest advisers. Randy Scheunemann — a hard-right lobbyist who was promoting Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi — came aboard as McCain's top foreign-policy adviser. Before long, the senator who once cautioned against "trading American blood for Iraqi blood" had been reborn as a fire-breathing neoconservative who believes in using American military might to spread American ideals — a belief he describes as a "sacred duty to suffer hardship and risk danger to protect the values of our civilization and impart them to humanity." By 1999, McCain was championing what he called "rogue state rollback." First on the hit list: Iraq.

Privately, McCain brags that he was the "original neocon." And after 9/11, he took the lead in agitating for war with Iraq, outpacing even Dick Cheney in the dissemination of bogus intelligence about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

Yeah, no shit. You really should read it. Then ask the next douchenozzle who says they can't decide who to vote for if they want to spend the next 20 years paying for the wars that this cabal of greedy motherfuckers wants us to start.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

McCain campaign's latest charge against Obama

Obama totally eats white babies.

The McCain campaign went on to say that according to their information, he always starts by nibbling their delicious plumb white baby fingers.

The Obama campaign declined to "dignify the outrageous charge with a comment," prompting the McCain campaign to counter that their campaign was made of rubber, whereas Obama's was made out of glue.

I know you are, but what am I?

McCain is now saying, apparently with a straight face, that Obama gets “touchy” and “angry” when questioned about his policies or experience.

Geez, McGeezer, project much?

I know the campaign’s not going well, especially since Obama’s lead has now inched beyond the margin of error, but you really should try to not be so defensive, and face your deficiencies honestly, without trying to pawn them off onto other people. I think that finally all the lies about your record on the issues, and all this nonsense about legitimate concerns being spun as “gotcha” journalism, is starting to take its psychological toll. Remember John, that as Nietzsche once observed, “when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dancing with the fella what brung ya

You know, I think putting together a well-written and cohesive post about the veep debate last night would be like trying to diagram one of Sarah Palin’s sentences. I’m just not up to the task. I thought I would, though, throw out some random thoughts:

-When the first words out to her mouth were “Nice to meet ya, can I call you Joe?” I thought, uh-oh, here we go. She’s going to try to force him to call her Sarah, something his handlers have told him not to do. He’s supposed to refer to her only as “Governor Palin,” to show respect. But then she ended up letting him call her that all night, while she called him “Joe.” So, that’s kinda rude. If I asked to call someone by their first name, I would definitely extend the same offer to them. Whatevs.

-By the way, did you notice how the microphones picked up her voice during that exchange, even though they weren’t miked and they weren’t at the podiums yet? Lord, she has a loud voice.

-The Mat-Su Valley, where she’s from in Alaska, was supposedly settled by transplants from Minnesota. Which explains why she sounds like she’s in a bad “Prairie Home Companion” sketch.

-Palin: When McCain said the fundamentals of the economy are strong, he meant that the American workers are awesome! Also apple pie and puppies! Hockey mom! 6 six-pack!

-Palin: I may not answer the questions the way you want me to, or at all, because to tell ya the truth, it is darn hard keeping all these index cards straight! You know, I have about 10 different cards just for code words I’m supposed to use when I talk about minorities. Here’s one: personal responsibility! That’s a good one! Here’s how ya use that one, according to those guys that coached me there: home buyers need to take more personal responsibility and not buy houses that they can’t afford. See! Wasn’t that good?

-Palin said “I’m not one to attribute every activity of man to global climate change,” and it’s not the first time she’s said it exactly that way, either. I so wanted her to do that Willie Wonka thing and say “Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.”

-Did she actually correct Biden (who said “Drill, drill, drill!”)on the “Drill, baby, drill!” chant? She did. She corrected him. Because in a vice presidential debate, it’s so important to be precise when quoting the scary meatheaded rantings of fanatical mobs.

-Biden is just a refute meister, isn’t he? Refute! Refute! Refute! Good for him.


Biden: Sorry, Democrats, but if we say we’re for gay marriage, we’re sunk.


Biden: We will, however, gay people, do our best to protect you from the Christians.


-Does anyone care about this whole “meeting evil world leaders without preconditions” deal? Anyone? Seriously, is the McCain camp really trying to hang their Obama-no-good-at-foreign-policy hat on that?

-I guess someone forgot to write the word “nuclear” out phonetically on Palin’s index cards.


Palin forbids anyone from judging McCain on his past actions. Because that’s not what mavericks do.

-Palin: 2nd Holocaust! They told me to say that!

-I’m loving the statistic that Biden repeated about how 3 weeks of war in Iraq equals everything we’ve spent so far in Afghanistan.

Palin: It’s so obvious that I’m a Washington outsider! Maverick! Soccer mom! Wait, hockey mom! I meant hockey mom!

Palin asserts that we “need a little bit of Wasilla,” the meth capital of Alaska, in Washington. Which, you know, is awesome, because I am dying to see some tweaker vs. crackhead action on the streets of our nation’s capital.

Palin: I’m just going to say the word “maverick” until my time is up on this one, Gwen. Maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick….

Palin said that “John McCain knows how to win a war” like that is a verifiable statement. Wait a minute, does she think we won Vietnam?

Palin: Say it ain’t so, Joe! There you go again! Where’s the Beef? Tastes Great! Less Filling!

Palin’s cute and folksy “shout” to the 3rd graders is so obviously scripted within an inch of its life. I feel like I’m watching Romper Room.

Biden needs to stop speaking of his deep and abiding love for John McCain , I mean, unless he WANTS to hear Chris Mathews’s old “Brokeback Mountain” jokes.

Palin: Is it too weird if I say “Drill in ANWAR!” and then wink? Will people think I might mean something dirty?

-I have to say that when Biden almost choked up, it really moved me. I was not expecting him to address the whole mommy-worship of Palin in such a personal way:

But the notion that somehow, because I'm a man, I don't know what it's like to raise two kids alone, I don't know what it's like to have a child you're not sure is going to -- is going to make it -- I understand.

I understand, as well as, with all due respect, the governor or anybody else, what it's like for those people sitting around that kitchen table. And guess what? They're looking for help. They're looking for help. They're not looking for more of the same.

-The hello, Freud? moment of the evening came when Palin said about McCain, “he is the man we need to leave – lead in these next four years”

-When Palin said she would like to expand the legislative powers of the vice president, I thought I heard the sound of a hundred pundit’s heads exploding all at once.

-The debate is over, and the families come onstage. WHY ISN’T THAT BABY IN BED?

-Are they seriously going to drag that poor baby in front of the camera every time there’s a national audience? The cameraman can’t help but keep cutting to Palin with the baby in her arms. It’s obviously a planned photo op. To which I say, hey, if you want to bombard the American public with images of the veep candidate mothering an infant, then you deserve whatever that strategy brings down upon your head. You better be real sure of those yokels you’re trying to appeal to, lady. Real damn sure.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Soft bigotry & lowering expectations

In St. Louis, Washington University students stand in for Biden and Palin.

Governor Palin finally got something right.

Palin asserted on Sean Hannity’s radio show that she is eager to debate her views, because the press has been “censoring” her.

No doubt she was referring to the fact that CBS cut out a part of her interview with Katie Couric wherein she demonstrated that she could not name another Supreme Court case besides Roe v. Wade, and only aired the exchange after its existence was anonymously leaked. I would say that CBS’s actions most definitely fit the definition of censorship. It’s not the usual kind of censorship, wherein dangerous or unpopular ideas are prevented from being exposed to the public by government or corporate (I presume a distinction) entities. It’s the kind of censorship where…CBS couldn’t really plumb the bottomless depths of her ignorance without looking like a big meanie.

As an added bonus, the clip also reveals that Palin doesn’t understand the hook upon which Roe V. Wade hangs its hat, nor indeed even the basic premise of constitutionality:

COURIC (to Palin): Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.

COURIC: The cornerstone of Roe v Wade.

PALIN: I do. And I believe that --individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.

In other words, the states can’t write laws that defy the United States Constitution, except when they can. Sigh.

But (as I thank the universe for every morning) it’s not my job to make sense of the words that dart from Palin’s mouth and run in circles above her head like so many startled squirrels. That job, at least for tonight, falls tonight to Gwen Ifill, a PBS news anchor and correspondent who’s also in the process of writing a book about the history of black political candidates since the civil rights movement. To a reasonable person, that last bit might elicit a response such as “Wow. She sounds incredibly well-informed.” To the right-wing brain, however, it means SHE IS IN LOVE WITH OBAMA, and they want her out. McCain has taken a slightly less bloodthirsty tack than the likes of Michelle “I heart the Japanese internment camps” Malkin, saying “I think Gwen Ifill is a professional,” and “I think she will do a totally objective job because she is a highly respected professional,” and “I have confidence that Gwen Ifill will do a professional job.”

I hope that my source for those McCain quotes is using the quotation marks because it’s grammatically correct, and not because McCain was making those little air quotes with his hands while he was saying it.

McCain’s campaign for a grumpier America could not let the issue go by, however, without taking at least one stance worthy of their increasingly curmudgeonly candidate; mainly, that regarding the moderator of tonight’s debate, they wish a different choice had been made. One might argue that, 1) her book was public knowledge when she was suggested for the job – which I guess means that McCain’s not the only one in his campaign who doesn’t know how to work the internets, and 2) the debate’s number one sponsor is Anheuser Busch, source of the Cindy McCain fortune, and you don’t hear Obama whining about it, and 3) when the campaigns agreed, as McCain’s did, to the choice of moderator, the choice became their choice as well. It may sound like semantics, but perhaps the larger point is that it’s hardly the kind of niggling that becomes a man who wants people to think of him as “presidential,” as opposed to “Walter Matthau-esque.”

Which brings me to McCain’s latest “get off my lawn!” moment:

As [Obama & McCain] shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.

So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman — both of whom greeted him more warmly — and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.

Hardly surprising, given McCain’s behavior toward Obama at the first debate, where he couldn't bear to even look him in the eye. Some people I’ve spoken to have suggested that McCain’s inability to be civil toward his opponent is because he’s…um…not exactly comfortable with people of color. To be fair, I think his ill-manners can be attributed to a more obvious character flaw: he’s a sore loser. Remember when he and Obama were merely senators, and he wrote that sarcastic smack-down letter to him, because he thought Obama showed up him up? And then he made the letter public?

But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party’s effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.

Yes, good luck to Senator Obama. And to Senator Biden as well. Hell, I’ll even wish good luck tonight to Governor Palin , and remind all her detractors that the title “Governor” in front of one’s name does tend to raise expectations, perhaps unfairly. And if you don’t believe me, perhaps it would be wise to bear this former Governor in mind:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Spoiler Alert!

Some would have stopped after painting it the world's ugliest car color.

Others would have called it a day after installing the "Hi, I'm an asshole" tires and rims.

Not you.