Tuesday, June 30

Governor, I knew Gaius Baltar....



Honestly, Governor Mark Sanford has been watchin a lil too much BSG. Gaius Baltar is not someone you want to emulate, Sanford. His blind love for his own pee-nee destroyed the entire planet Earth. But Sanford clearly thinks that the season must go on with his own indispensible space soap opera character. Like he can't be cancelled. Or something.

Admitting to more meetings with the Argentinian and then 'clarifying' that there were other women but you didn't go, what, past second base with any of them? Third? Please don't tell me you've told yourself the whole Clinton/Gingrich "sucking isn't sleeping" canard. Women, especially, are really fraking sick of that one.

From the Frakmap:

In possibly the mother of all reversals, Gaius Baltar was but a step from being airlocked when he was miraculously acquitted of crimes against humanity. Set free aboard Galactica (and quite reasonably fearing for his life), Baltar was taken in by a commune of beautiful, nubile, adoring women who saw to his every need (every need) and worshipped him like a Messiah.

Baltar found this arrangement as perplexing as it was delightful, but quickly reinvented himself as a prophet, in order to remain safely under the protection and amorous care of Jeanne, Tracey, Paulla, and many, many others.


Mark? Seriously, Dude. You're Leoben, not Baltar. Ask your very political wife:

RIP Billy Mays

The folks at Salon last night had me laughing so hard I was outta breath. I think it was Fairlane, who came up with Billy May's casket polisher: $19.95! I had to do this, then.

Monday, June 29

I'm sorry, Mister Orwell has turned off his pager.

We need a corrolary to Godwin's Law of Nazi analogies, related to bringing up George Orwell every time some so-called 'journalist' uses language to push a right-wing political agenda.

It's just too cheap and easy for Lefty bloggers to use Animal Farm to write about this stuff, but still, I've had two powerful examples of Right Wing Corporate Media Wackitude thrown at me in the past 24 hours. This morning this new MSNBC Morning Joe followup dickwad Dylan Ratigan, renames President Kennedy's Executive Order 10925 (sorry to be so specific, Dylan).

You have to watch this to believe it. Dylan Ratigan uses his newfound MSNBC podium to rename Affirmative Action, reverse racism. How very Rush of you, Mister Ratigan.





But ahem, I'm impressed that the black guy and the Hispanic woman on your show had training on how to stay civil on the air, I would not have waited 'til almost commercial break to whisper "you're a dick" to your face. Notice they also set you straight on your nomenclature.

Watching Dylan Ratigan I initially thought, God, this guy's background must be either former NFL sportscaster or a big bizness fluffer from CNBC. But after a few minutes you could smell his Wall Street smegma-breath through the screen: he's a co-creator of the Dow Industrial Whore House "Fast Money." Nuff said.

-------

The other example is from perhaps the worst article on paper I have ever read. Time Magazine's two-pager on "An Enduring New Deal: A look at how FDR's programs have shaped today's society." I usually wouldn't waste the scroll down space on naming the authors of this travesty, but Eric Dodds and Rebecca Kaplan deserve a piece of Orwell pie with two forks for this utter crapola.

Instead of pointing out that what the New Deal did, germane to, um, TODAY, is regulate unchecked capitalism, this 'article' uses one sentence word salad bites to indicate just how different everything is today. The most glaring example is here:

Social Security Today:

With baby boomers approaching retirement, the Social Security trust fund is running low. Obama's challenge: to maintain an overburdened system without privatizing it.


WITHOUT PRIVATIZING IT?

Somehow I don't think President Obama, or anyone else with the political will to not get bulldozed out of office by every voter over the age of 40, is thinking about the Bush 'privatization of Social Security' model. I can just as easily see Obama suggesting we give the problem to Bernie Madoff so he'll have something to do in prison.

Gee, with journalism like Time Magazine, doncha just wonder why 'journalists' get huffy when bloggers call them on their bullshit?

Sunday, June 28

The religious favoritism thing is not just here. OY!

I heard from my friend Shunra earlier this week about this mindblowing miscarriage of justice in Israel, but unfortunately all the news stories about it were in Hebrew.

Finally a friend of hers, Ricky B, has blogged about it in English. This is not "a shoplifting rabbi walked out of a store" joke. It really happened:

This religious dude tried to leave [an Israeli] supermarket without paying. Cashier tried to stand in his way even as he got in his car. So he ran her over.

It was ALL captured on security cam.

Open and shut case, right? No. The judge, one Moshe Drori, decided to simply refuse to convict the defendant, because it would “put a blemish on his career”.

Defendant is studying to be a religious lawyer – what they call a rabbinical pleader. Which means an officer of the court, since if you want to be recognized as married in Israel, and can't get married abroad, you gotta go through a religious court. Again: The defendant slo-mo ran over a woman trying to do her job. But she was Ethiopian, and he's religious and maybe connected, so it's ok and nothing he did should impede him from a position of authority.


Kinda puts the whole Sanford read the Bible thing in an equally ridiculous perspective. But hey, at least Sanford didn't try to evade arrest for shoplifting by attempted vehicular assult.

Don't say it can only happen here.

Friday, June 26

Look, Justice Thomas can speak!

And when he does, surprise! He's a complete dick. The lone dissenter from common sense. Thomas thinks schools should be able to strip-search a thirteen year old female honor student for prescription ibuprofen, (because obviously if the pills aren't in her backpack there's probable cause she's stashed them in her panties). Thomas for the first time in my memory actually said a few words:

"...today’s decision... announces the safest place to secrete contraband in school."

I know, we need to make sure today's rebellious youngsters don't find out about this decision. They might want to soak medications in their underwear before ingesting, just to get back at The Man.



And Clarence: a little free advice. Your lifetime appointment isn't worth much if you disagree publicly with Fat Tony.

For my houseguest.

I have a girlfriend from Boston visiting me in Illinois this weekend and she's a huge Scott Simon fan. I just finished his novel Windy City this morning, and one of his tweets pointed me to this interview he did with the great Chicago broadcaster John Callaway, who died this week. He starts talking about the book at the 16:20 mark, but I have a feeling houseguest will want to watch the whole interview with "MY Scott Simon", as she calls him.

RIP


Indebted to my artist mom for this idea. She did a terrific oil painting of Black Panther Huey Newton and Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, who also died the same day (August 22, 1989), touring heaven's bathroom.

Thursday, June 25

Sacrificing my bad boys? Really.

Photobucket

This post started out as a comment in response to this at the previous post below. It got long and full of links very quickly, so here it is instead. Anonymous said:
Let's end this business of Double, and even Triple Standards for republicans [sic] and Democrats. ...Have the decency to sacrifice your bad boys, as the Republicans have done. There will be a lot more civility if you do.


UM. OKAY. Each of these cases have their unique details, but to summarize:

Clinton - impeached. That is glossed over because he did not leave office and was acquitted by the Senate. But the impeachment of Bill Clinton paralyzed his administration for months on end, which was certainly in part the motivation of those pursuing it. And both Ensign and Sanford were self-righteous components in that effort. I wonder why the Right didn't do more to thank Paula Jones, the original accuser, who ultimately felt she had to pose nude for Penthouse magazine in 2000 to "secure" a future for her children.

Edwards - A total disgrace. I expect he will never run for anything again.

Spitzer - resigned on the spot.

Then...

David Vitter - Did not resign and is running for reelection to the Senate. His campaign website posts a Politico article which states, "The Republican establishment is all behind him." He appears to have saved his ass by becoming a 'leader' in anti-Obama circles, particularly in regard to Tea Party National Holiday referendums. See, and I am not making this up, teaparty.davidvitter.com. Also, he loves that number one old time GOP distract-o-matic, the muddafukkin Flag Amendment.

I hope the porn star beats him. I mean that figuratively, Senator.

Ensign - not resigned, applauded by GOP Senators after he showed 'candor.'

Larry Craig - did not resign, even though he initially promised to. Served out his term as Senator. Was "admonished" by Senate Ethics Committee, which also said they didn't like him spending $200,000 dollars of campaign money on his legal defense but did NOTHING about it.

Sanford - not resigning as yet. Several GOPers in SC said yesterday they would "stand by him and help him" with his "repentance". Yeah.

I HEREBY SACRIFICE "MY" BAD BOYS.

Clinton, Edwards, and Spitzer should have resigned/withdrawn/been removed from positions of elected office not due to their cheating ways, but for lying about it. In the case of Vitter, oh sorry, I mean Spitzer, prostitution is illegal and using the services of one should have just as many consequences for the John as for the prostitute.

Is that good enough for you, Anonymous? Because it isn't nearly good enough for me. In the cases above, I don't see where Republicans have sacrificed a single sweat bead. The jury is still out on Sanford? If we correctly remove his marriage/affair from the debate, HIS "crime" was abandoning his post and leaving the state in Constitutional crisis. The Republican State Legislature of South Carolina seems far too busy tripping over themselves to pray for their Governor to impeach him even for that.

Perhaps that is commendable. It certainly works politically.

There is a religious element to this of sin/perfectibility among fundamentalist Republicans that we're all sinners and the right amount of God talk bandages all sins. Notice that link is to a Bible-quoting guest editorial in the same exact paper that broke the stories of Sanford's actual whereabouts (and the love-your-tan-line hold-your-two-body-parts emails) that apparently led to his confession.

We're all sinners, we're all forgiven if we repent. But of course, this is notably only true for Republicans.

Of course, heavy-handed God talk is less present in the more secular Democratic politics. And maybe that's our fault. If we rose to the rhetoric of Republicans and...

...applauded everytime one of our Senators fucked a staffer and gave her and her family jobs and pay raises...

...knelt down in prayer everytime one of our Governors disappeared overseas to fuck a married woman he pursued on the internet....

...support an entire news network specifically so disgraced criminals like Ralph Reed, Tom Delay, and not to mention, Dick Cheney can resurrect their reputations...

But that would be a monumental FAIL, because while the Christianist GOP wing has all this forgiveness in their hearts for their own, there is also in right wing GOP/FOX discourse, a demonizing of Democrats as defenders of infanticide and as helping terrorists, and a blatant use of anti-sex moralizing to appear better than one's opponents. As much as I often chide Chris Matthews, he was absolutely right yesterday when he pushed hard on his question to Ken Blackwell**:



Blackwell will never say it, but Matthews knows full well that the GOP's core constituency has a very inconsistent, non-forgiving, "good and evil" view of the world when it comes to the other side of the aisle. This allows the right wing of the GOP to run against any Democrat who strays from their marital vows, or promotes choice, or endorses gay marriage or um, goes on record as favoring spending on healthcare. The GOP will throw up against such a Democrat yet another "family values" candidate who has yet to let his sin out of his pants, and particularly in the deeply "religious" deep South, they will win. There seems to be a bottomless trough of ambitious Republican politicians willing to run as holier than thou, knowing that if and likely when the subsequent gained political power becomes too much of an aphrodisiac, they will be forgiven by their political flock. Notice how the GOP forgiveness model is completely acknowledged and bowed to by the most notorious motherfucking hypocrite of them all, Newt Gingrich.

It's a no win situation for Democrats, even without people like Anonymous who are blind to the history that's being made before their very eyes.



**RE the Matthews/Blackwell clip: notice I'm using Crooks and Liars new swanky, free and way-easy-to-use embed code for the video above. Click on the title of ANY post there and a customizable embed code for the video in the post is on the right hand side. You can set the width (mine is 400) and the color of the frame. Shameless plug and gift from the gods. Thanks John Amato and team (especially Heather for videos and Jamie for webmastering) for your everlivin' kindness of always thinking of the small blogs and sharing the love (and bandwidth).

Wednesday, June 24

Sanford's real problem - The "Bubble"


He started off the presser talking about selfishness and sin, but the Governor of South Carolina needs some help further examining his worldview. His formulation that he is "inside a bubble" when he is fulfilling his obligations as a Governor, (nevermind husband and father, that's a personal matter but is germane to any divorce action his wife might take) and it is from that "bubble" that he is entitled to an escape....

Clearly, the bubble that Sanford escaped TO is the one that got him in trouble. An average cheating spouse can use a cell phone and email account to cover his/her affair, anywhere in the world. Sanford did more than travel and cheat. He consciously disappeared. That is a form of hate toward anyone who cared about him or depended upon him, at work or at home.

There is something psychotically narcissistic about a need to disappear from the world in which you have real-life obligations. He should resign for "[mental] health reasons," which is perfectly accurate.

Dear Mrs. Sanford,


Update: of course now that we all know that startling revelation, nothing below changes one bit. There is an amazing ability for Southern Baptist Republicans to forgive a weakness like this, unless of course, the man's name is Clinton. That's the double standard Sarah Palin never discusses...

I could go on all day telling you what I think of a husband goes on an overseas pleasure trip to get away from the kids and clear his head. Really, I could. All day long.

To his credit, my ex (yeah, there's a hint) always let me know his itinerary. And disappearing Father's Day Weekend to drive along the Argentinian coast? Well that does make your situation an extra special case. Not to mention, my ex would never EVER desert his employer like yours did with the State of South Carolina and its Lieutenant Governor, gubernatorial staff, and legislature. Something tells me there's a line behind you of fellow dope-slappers, but they all want you to go first and take all the time you need.

Regardless of what unfolds in terms of information, one of two things must be true: either he didn't tell you where he was going and when he'd return, or he did and he asked you to lie FOR him. And you've got four kids with this guy. Oh honey.

Good luck.

PS. A year later my kids love their dad and have lots of time with him. I'm glad of that.

PSS. I'm proud of you, Mrs. Sanford, for not doing the loyal wife bit at the press conference. Finally.

Sunday, June 21

Happy Father's Day



I'm very grateful that both my parents are alive and well. Happy Father's Day, Dad.

And a special prayer for those who've lost their fathers. Today is a day of remembrance and I hope, gratitude for the good. Especially thinking of dear John Amato of Crooks and Liars. The funeral for his dad was yesterday. xxx

[Photo is me with my dad in 1969.]

A great idea. Million Can March







I'm already in the process of cleaning out my pantry and getting some food over to the local food bank.

In case you haven't heard the Million Can March is a counter protest to the teabagging protest redux that is supposed to happen on Fourth of July. Good luck wi dat.



The idea is to do something positive in response to the Teabagger business. As the wonderful instigator of this project, Rev. Phat of Les Enrages, points out:

This all started with a vague notion that we should do something more than just have a good laugh at the next round of tea parties scheduled for July 4th. I thought that if teabaggers are so afraid of socialism, maybe we could show 'em socialism on a national scale. And what is more socialistic than sharing our food with others.


And then we can give 'em a sign upgrade!


PS. For those of you who don't want moving images in your posts/sidebar, Tengrain has done a bunch of lovely, embeddable sizes for his version of the Million Can March logo:

Friday, June 19

Caption This Photo(shop)



"No amniocentesis could ever prepare me for THIS..."

Leave yours in comments, thanks!

Wednesday, June 17

Wish I could help you, MoveOn....


Got my bi-daily urgent action email from MoveOn.org yesterday, but this one made me laugh and laugh...

Dear MoveOn member,

For years, Christian County Generation has been trying to build a dirty, coal-fired power plant in Taylorville, not far from you. If built, the Taylorville Power Plant would spew out smog and soot pollution, and you'd be in the high-risk zone for health effects.1

Until now, local activists with groups like the Sierra Club have been able to stop this and other plants. Relying on the Clean Air Act and other protections, activists have heroically battled Christian County to keep this giant new polluter out of Taylorville.

But now, coal industry lobbyists have forced a terrible provision into the new energy bill—it would repeal crucial sections of the Clean Air Act and remove some key remaining roadblocks to Christian County's plant.3

Congress is voting next week. Can you call Rep. Shimkus right away?

You can say something like this: "I don't want a new dirty coal plant in Taylorville. Please oppose the repeal of the Clean Air Act provisions in the energy bill."

Representative John Shimkus
Phone: 202-225-5271


Well, I could call my "respresentative," MoveOn, but you and I both know that's a joke. He might maybe represent me if I needed a last minute passport, I suppose, but help me and my kids breathe clean air?


[from opensecrets]

And money Blue Gal has contributed to his re-election? Zero.

Bwa ha ha ha.

I heard him on C-Span Tuesday morning. Direct quote, because I ran to type it down as soon as I heard it:

"...the fossil fuel infrastructure, that has made America great..."

And you all remember this gem:



I can't call him, can't argue with him, won't do it. I'll donate to his opponent, knock on doors, but no way I'm going to deal with an insane political whore to the coal industry. Forget it.

Sex Sells but not vicee versee

So much 'sex in advertising' crap has come across my computer screen in the past 48 hours (not to mention a certain Nevada Senator and his defense of marriage/affair with staffer, don't get me started) that I really have to respond.

First up is the W Magazine supposed S&M spread modeled by a very buff Bruce Willis and his new bride Emma Heming. Shocking and graphic and daring oh my! The fact that Bruce models gloves from an actual medical sex toy website is supposed to make this photo spread authenticly kinky? And what exactly is authentic about an Alexander McQueen fox fur jacket and leather harness, which are only available to order from the designer? If this was sex porn instead of sales porn, we wouldn't be distracted from the sex by the stated fact that "Mrs. Willis shakes up the city with Chanel Long-Lasting Soft Matte Makeup in Soft Bisque." Not that you can see it under the fur helmet:


Dear Mister Willis: You dressed Chris Tucker in your vehicle 'The Fifth Element' in sexier clothes (via Jean Paul Gautier) than you do your new wife in W. Here's proof:


Love that dress--always have--always will.

But this whole bs "shocking" sexual images in advertising thing has got to stop. Because whenever sex is used to sell something, even sex, it's not shocking, it's boring. Terribly terribly boring. That's why the coral suited lady newscasters on CBS Morning can cover it, do "on the street interviews," re the "shocking" Threesome Calvin Klein ad in Soho.

It's boring because it's commerce rather than carnality, which means it is expressly designed for the public space and public sphere, something that is the opposite of illicit sex. If someone gets sexually excited by doing something illicit, shocking, and unacceptable to polite society, they will NOT do that thing on a five foot high billboard. That ruins the fun. We are not seeing Bruce and Emma's private honeymoon photos in W. That's perhaps the fantasy they were going for, but really. Who packs Fox fur? (Don't answer that. Furries can go with God and all that, but sex with animals is not what He in His Divine Wisdom had in mind. Nevermind Nevada Senators, don't get me started about those poor horses.)

But if Bruce and Emma are actually exhibitionists, this would still not be the result. Face it, to slake their thirst for real exhibitionism, they would have 'leaked' actual honeymoon sex video to some sleazy celebrity scandal website (no link but you know the one, dahlink) and the lighting would have been terrible and Alexander McQueen would have asked for his made-to-order harness back. Instead we have a "spread" designed to create [blog] buzz for a printed magazine, and look, it succeeded.

All of this reminds me of a wonderful New York Times review, entitled "The Empress has No Clothes," (good writing and germane to my argument; go read the whole thing) for that "Sex" book Madonna came out with several years ago. I never forgot the tagline Caryn James came up with for the book:

"No sex please, we're posing."


Monday, June 15

Condolences

To John Amato of Crooks and Liars, whose father passed away yesterday. Please leave condolences over there: you'll have to register, but netcitizens! You should do that anyway.

I may or may not be busy over there this week. What they need I'll do.

Salon tonight I'm kid free for the week. xo

Sunday, June 14

What I've been working on - C&L fundraising vids.

My regular readers will recognize this one as a retread from my own April fundraiser:



And barring any unforseen circumstances, this will run at Open Thread tonight:

Saturday, June 13

Friday, June 12

Cussed out again for the sake of a blog post!

This is a cell phone pic I took in Springfield, Illinois this morning. There's this Texas artist, David Adickes, who has made giant busts of all the Presidents, and this is the last one. Giant Obama Head is making a road trip through the heartland before joining the other 43 giant President's heads in President's Park in Lead, South Dakota.

I stopped the car and snapped this photo, and a white woman in a white SUV behind drove around me and pulled into a bank driveway just to shout some sentence with "you" and the F word at me.

The photo is bloggable, my van's rear bumper was worth the risk, and she can stay classy someplace else.

Update: Dear Wonkette, you have more than one spy in the heartland? Who knew?

Thursday, June 11

Why I love my own archives.

There's something absolutely fantastic, and I mean that in the gee whiz science fictiony way, in having a searchable archive of your own writing for the past almost five years.

Thinking last night about the horrible shooting at the Holocaust Museum yesterday, and the arrest of Hal Turner, who apparently does not have the constitutional right to brag on his blog that he has "enough bullets to take down" those he disagrees with, as well as the "uppity" police. The police didn't like that last part especially, Hal. They got just uppity enough to put you in jail where you've got plenty of constitutionally protected speech to your lawyer via webcam.

Here's where my archives come in. In the middle of the night I remembered this 2006 article by Ben Metcalf in Harper's. It's a wonderful examination of his own hate feelings for George Bush, which lead him so far as to fantasize about killing George W. "with his own bare hands." Of course, the free speech threshold applies, because...why, exactly? That's what the article is about.

I recommend it highly to those writing about hate speech and thresholds and such. Very timely, yet linked by Blue Gal back in 2006. Found it in under three minutes. Rock on.

Wednesday, June 10

Sexism and Sarah


I had a terrific exchange via Twitter with Joan Walsh of Salon.com this weekend. It concerned Sarah Palin and sexism. I think Walsh and I agreed that sexism definitely exists where Sarah Palin or any woman politician is running, but it's hard to pin down the sexism with Palin because she is so uniquely unqualified. Pointing out her lack of qualifications as well as making fun of her ignorance is not necessarily sexism.

I tried to make the point on Twitter, which is hard in 140 characters, natch, that the story of the Republican Party since Reagan has been to abandon qualifications in favor of ideological purity, particularly when it comes to abortion. I don't know why the religious Right continues to be fooled on this; Karl Rove never stopped an abortion and never will, but figuring out Republicans is, as Obama once said about when life begins (stupidest thing he ever said) above my pay grade.

Sarah Palin's prominence within the Republican party is a direct beneficiary of that trend. Her pure conservative ideology trumps her lack of qualifications/knowledge with the party base. Notice this is true of many male politicians in the GOP as well. Tom Tancredo, Kit Bond, the entire staff of the National Review Online: intellectual lightweights who gain prominence in conservative circles solely because of their ideological 'purity'.

No one should be surprised when David Letterman or Chris Matthews makes a sexist comment about Palin. Consider the source, call them out as sexist bastards, and move on. And if Letterman ever flies a commercial airline again, I hope some non-slutty flight attendant spills bad coffee right on his testosterone also too.

But it's hard to know what to do when MSM (and it's high time to include Huffpo in that category) points its laser beam eye onto Sarah Palin's toenails.

Which is worse, that the media is focused on such nonsense, or that a person who is clearly planning on running for the highest office in the land paints her toenails to look like Minnie Mouse on acid?

Dear Governor Palin, as the mother of two very young girls I get it if little Piper did your toes. But mom to mom? Wipe off the polka dots before you do the Autism fundraiser. And you probably already know this, but your red shoe fetish often distracts from everything else about you. Dear gawd, of course you know that. Nevermind.

On topic and in Sarah Palin's defense, I also think every party's Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees should be given a clothing/grooming budget for themselves and their families by the national party apparatus for their campaign appearances. All pundits should simply STFU about that. Let's agree that after the conventions, Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama and Joe Biden alike can do their hair and buy their suits on their party's dime (and on a budget, please) without criticism.

Of course, when the budget includes white nail polish for the toe polka dots, let alone suits from Neimans during an economic crash, we won't be able to resist. We'll also pay attention to the candidate's recall of Supreme Court decisions and basic world geography. That's not sexism. That's politics.

Tuesday, June 9

ruh roh.



If anyone else is attending BlogHer at the end of July in Chicago, send me an email. bluegalsblog AT gmail... thanks.

(And thanks to rehctaw for refining my vision.)

Monday, June 8

What I learned today.

Number One:

No matter how much they insist, do not allow your young child to change her underwear inside a fast food bathroom.

She had a slight "accident" and insisted that the back of the minivan was not private enough. So we went inside.

Clean underpants on and then she sits on the fast food restaurant public bathroom floor to put her pants on.

Thank God for protecting drunks, small children, and The United States of America.

Number Two
:

To determine how long it will take to get somewhere, take the estimated trip time from Mapquest and multiply it by the number of children with whom you are traveling.

Number Three
:

Had dinner in a restaurant with big screen CNN. No matter how much I can't stand Newt Gingrich, I would buy him a goddamn drink before I would climb on the same public bus with Nancy Grace. I mean that.

Sunday, June 7

Pittsburgh Penguin Fever



Not hockey, though don't tell my two sisters, for whom we scheduled dinner early so they could get to a tv screen in time for the puck drop.

And I'm genuinely sorry the Pens were shut out last night in Detroit, though it's hard to know which rust belt city needs a lift more at this point.

The photo above was taken with my phone this morning at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. What a little gem. If you're going to Netroots Nation in August definitely make time for this, and while you're on the North Side stop in Max's Allegheny Tavern for a dark microbrew and a...take this in slowly...

potato
pancake
Reuben.


Food nirvana. OH. MY. GOD.

I love both my sisters, but I have to laugh that never once in my life have I ever attempted to convert them to my religious way of thinking, yet both of them saw fit this trip to wax evangelical on the subject of vegetarianism. Youngest sister had LITERATURE for me. M and H, if you're reading this, just know I took it with good humor and I'll think about it. Then I'll think summore about that Reuben.

Friday, June 5

One more thing...

RevPhat has a post up with an idea to counter the teabag protests schedule for July 4 with some positive action related to hunger awareness and donations to food banks.

Sounds like a great idea; she'd like some ideas from us as to how best to approach this as a blog community. Leave comments over at her place so the ideas are all together. Thanks much.

On our way...



And while that may drive you crazy, just imagine how many Star Wars Planets I had described to me in detail by Junior Dude on the 10 hours on the road yesterday. Turns out he could name fourteen off the top of his head before lunch, when I gave him the "field guide to Star Wars planets" book which kept him occupied for the rest of the trip.

Please not to mention washable marker battles in the back seat. Honestly, when she wants the purple marker, my 5 year old makes Darth Vader look like a pussy.

Actually the kids were good and we've got some time to swim at the hotel this morning.

We're all fine and today is a much shorter day for driving. Granny and Grandpa haven't seen the kids in three years, so this is a big deal.

Have a good one.

Thursday, June 4

Please don't go!



"...when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws till Max said "BE STILL!" and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all..." - Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are.

Obama sails away a night and a day from the FOX Wild Things: Beck, O'Reilly, Coulter, Hannity, and Kristol.

Click here for larger image.


Travelling through the weekend.

Wednesday, June 3

Euclid alone has Hello Kitty's stare


Let all who knit this Kitty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
Their own hold upon their yarn, and while they compare
cuteness, confiscate their stash and where
Were wools in skein and cone; let sheep
Rise up and yield no fiber for those peeps
who dare knit a Hello Kitty for a victim's wear.

O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When needle first struck yarn to knit a kitty!
Wearing such is not cute, ironic, witty,
Or proper flaunting of le Perez Hilton gay.
And the knitting of such saccharin schmaltz is shitty.

Perhaps in writing this I am too brave.
I assure you Edna's rolling in her grave.
And since her poems are fine, and this is tripe,
I'll admit my bad verse sucks this tailpipe:

tailpipe courtesy Zaius.

Tuesday, June 2

A day without computer and the meaning of life.

I had several things go wrong with my house in three days, not the least of which was just the housework piling up to where even I could no longer ignore it. After a major meltdown by me caused in part by broken air conditioning, it was brought to my attention that perhaps I should leave the computer off for the daylight hours Tuesday and just attend to other things, like waiting for the air conditioner repair man. "Doug" actually came on time and got things fixed quickly.

I turned on the computer for the first time today at 8:10 pm.

93 new emails only 22 of which needed any attention whatsoever.

The absolute beauty and curse of Twitter is, it's always now. There's no catching up to do, even if you wanted to.

And look, the blog got posted to by the end of the day. So it can be done.

The other day I filled the gas tank, and the final price showed me Douglas Adams is always with us to share the giggle and find the meaning of life in everyday things.

Light posting for the next week. I'm taking the kids to see my parents for the first time in three years. Good times.

Monday, June 1

Defending Sarah Palin? Yer kidding.



"I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, 'What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today's event in Kansas?'

Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller's abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message."

Governor Sarah Palin


OMG I have to defend Sarah Palin?

I think this statement is right on the mark. Yesterday was the absolute worst day for the pro-life movement. They can't take the moral high ground with calculated murder in a church going on on their behalf. And holier than thou moral high ground is the one thing pro-lifers have going for them when looking for votes but more importantly, dollars. Pro-life is the biggest cash cow the Right has, and this hurts their wallet, you betcha.

She's delusional that there's anyone of any mental consequence who hasn't made up their minds on the abortion issue though. I think young women take choice for granted a bit much, but then again so do their baptist church-going parents when their daughter Missy makes a mistake with some football player.

From 2006:

"The Center For Reason, a private research group, undertook a study to test the premise: “Christians have fewer abortions than non-Christians”. The results disproved the premise.

The study, available as a downloadable report, reveals that Christians have just as many abortions as non-Christians. Data analyzed for all fifty states show that the rate of abortion is the same in the most-Christian segments of the population as it is in the least-Christian. The most-Catholic segments, on the other hand, showed significantly higher abortion rates."


The Tiller murder has already started a serious re-framing of abortion as an issue first and foremost about women's physical health. The testimonies coming out of vigils for Tiller are primarily about how the health of his patients was always Tiller's main concern and motivation.

I pray some good comes out of this horrible crime, and that the non-murdering majority of pro-life citizens wake up to the consequences of their agenda.

What Rahm Emanuel doesn't give for my opinion:



A rat's behind. (And just be thankful it's not a horse's head, neither, Blue Gal)

That's understandable. His job is to make things politically easier for the White House. That's his job. Nevermind party leadership.

But there's a really big problem in our democracy today, and Rahm Emanuel is poster child for it. The problem is politicians who want to forgo or avoid the democratic process in order to keep their cushy jobs. Arlen Specter is only one example of what has become a blatant practice among several elected officials.

Here's Mayor Bloomberg of New York City:



And then there's Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of the same state. It turns out Rahm Emanuel had a little talk, a little chat, ya know, wit' summa the lady's possible competitors. He persuaded some guys on behalf of the President, who indicated he'd even take the lady by the hand and walk some of the old neighborhood on her behalf.

Emanuel indicated that the nation’s first black president was prepared to barnstorm through New York’s black neighborhoods hand-in-hand with the junior senator, employing his appeal to African-Americans to a political degree he usually avoids.


And in the end, it wasn't as New York Magazine put it, "an offer they couldn't refuse" it was more like...



Rahm Emanuel doesn't give a shit about lefty blog idealistic fantasies that voters should have a choice. He's from Chicago, where voters are not choosers. You have yours, they have theirs, but the decision is made by the one who has the most boots on the ground to get theirs to the polls. And if you can stack the deck ahead of time to make a deal, so much the better.

Warning: this all works if the snow is plowed in a timely manner. Otherwise all bets are off. Why do you think Streets and Sanitation is run by the mob?

But here's where I part company with Mr. Emanuel and particularly Ms. Gillibrand, is a line of bullshit these Democratic incumbents are pressing, about we're streamlining the election process because of the current economic crisis. Gillibrand is taking dictation from Bloomberg and Specter and a host of other incumbent politicians who argue "stay the course" because we need them:

Sen. Gillibrand, on a visit Thursday to Newsday, was asked this question for the record: Why should she, as a governor's appointee to the post, get to avoid the prospect of a Democratic primary?

Her reply: "With an unemployment rate as high as 8.5 percent nationally, with a local unemployment rate in parts of New York as high as 12 percent, an unemployment rate at 15 percent for communities of color, we are in the greatest economic crisis, certainly in my lifetime.

"And I do think it matters that we have as many resources as possible, all our elected leaders focused on solving those problems. And having a united delegation, I think, does make a difference in getting that agenda passed through the House, passed in the Senate, and getting the resources we need onto Long Island and into New York."


So it's about pork for New York, and we incumbent Democrats are indispensible because these are dangerous days? Please. Obama as FDR, maybe, but Kristin, you're no Eleanor or even Frances Folsom, if you're looking out for number one and the five boroughs above all else.

I have a lot of sympathy for people considering facing a horrendously expensive Senate Race. They cost a million bucks, at least, and that is no more democratic-small-d than Rahm Emanuel's backroom deal of the week. But there are two options for avoiding this expense:

change the system or
don't run.

The grueling election you go through periodically is more than aptly rewarded by lunch in the Senate dining room alone, people. You're bobbing and weaving around primary challengers to keep the most sumptuous job on the planet. It's expensive, but remember, Senators and wannabes, unless your a self-financed millionaire (and voters are often squeamish about electing those) it's usually other people's money.



I seem to remember a lot of blogger angst that Cheney/Bush might pull a repeal of the 22nd Amendment and keep the Presidency permanently, arguing some national crisis. It was the big April Fool's joke of 2008.

If we put up with that kind of crap from Democratic candidates, who's the fool now?