Saturday, October 31

Ready to make nice? Well...

I've been thinking a lot this weekend, in light of the celebration of evil versus good in the whole Halloween/All Saint's Day dichotomy, about what it means to be "good."

A good woman...
A good wife/homemaker/mother...
A good liberal.

The good woman debate got a bit of a jolt this week with the publication of some racy sexual fantasies over at Double X, a "sex article" site run by Wapo/Newsweek. (Yeah, they're desperate at Wapo, but we knew that.) One African-American woman fantasizes about being degraded, and the other is entitled "We Act Out Rape, Then We Snuggle."

As the church lady would say, "Now isn't that special?"

Of course, the definition of rape includes coerced and non-consensual, so if the two partners want this whatever it is, and both have an equal say in what happens and what doesn't -- it's not rape. I say this fully aware of the horrible gang rape crimes discussed in the news recently.

But there are blog communities that would still have debates about that. I've suffered through many comment threads where ironically, it just doesn't matter what a woman wants because the women at the blog thread "aren't comfortable" with what she is doing and find it threatening/triggering. And that brings me to a related illustration concerning the housework/parenting/spousal goodness that came up this week at another website.

Someone posted an "instant mocha" recipe at a "organize your life" community which I read on occasion. This site deals primarily with home organization but has also branched out into saving money, eating healthy and getting exercise, the whole idea is to take care of yourself and your home because you're worth it, etc.

Anyway some nice lady suggested mixing instant coffee with cocoa mix and dried milk and voila, you never have to go to Starbucks again.

And a commenter chided her for publishing such a calorie-laden high carb prescription AGAINST the organizers of the online community. No, really:

Do [the website organizers] know that [this forum] is promoting this recipe? This recipe is very high in calories (and carbs), and one cup should be considered [our rule book's] "one dessert a week'! Drinking a cup or more of this every day is very likely to add to your weight.

"Nothing says I love you like a cup of something warm and wonderful" Such self-pampering is not blessing your body. It is shortening your life to your detriment and to that of your loved ones.

Stick to water or black coffee.

P.S. Is it your brat or your princess that tells you drinking this is a way to pamper yourself?

Wow. Name calling over calories. You think we on the political side are bad? But now we have the purist liberal "Obama sucks because he didn't give us single payer" commenters at several big liberal blogs. Watch this video, which was apparently made by a conservative to show what liars we on the left are on the public option thing...HA!

You are reading the blog of a unabashed liberal woman who cut her political teeth on Kennedy 80, made videos for Kucinich 08, and wants single payer without apology.

I also watched Reagan get elected in '80. I am not going to freak out at this point because, frankly, I think I can find a way to diss Rahm Emmanuel without electing Mitt Romney. And for now, I'm going to write the history of what happened as "liberals dug in their heels and did not flinch, finally, when told they were asking for too much when they had ALREADY compromised." I hope those who think we've "failed" at this point will not freak out about the carbs in the coffee and the rape that isn't there.

And we really have to let the dust settle on this one, assess where to go next, and fight on for what is right. There's more to do, obviously.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday Song

Today I'll dress up like a vampire and spend the rest of the day raking leaves in full costume. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30

Movie Review - Astro Boy SPOILER ALERT

On the surface, Astro Boy is Wall-E without the subtlety.

The city of Seattle (veiled? I don't think so.) is elevated and suspended above the air pollution of the earth below. The result is a two-tiered society of city dwellers served by robots, and surface dwellers living in the garbage dump of the city above them.

Scientists, funded by the military, develop an endless supply of energy harvested from a far off star. It must be stored in two separate conditions: blue energy which restores the environment, brings peace and prosperity, and makes all things new again, and red energy which is military and kills people. The incumbent President running for re-election in this movie loves him some red energy.

I could go on and mention that the President doesn't want a dirty hippie sitting in his oval office (that line is actually in this movie, really) but there is a much more pernicious theme in this film. For all its 'gag me with a pro-Democratic agenda' political correctness, this movie teaches kids that under no circumstances can they trust that the love of a parent will be consistent and unconditional. Dad (Nicholas Cage) made him indestructible and put a blue energy heart in his mechanical body, and then decides the robot can't fill the void left by his dead son, so kicksthe robot-with-the-soul-of-the-boy out of the house so he can work out his own emotional loss. Astroboy's search for someone who will provide him with consistent unconditional love? Well, it kind of happens at the end but then again, he's a frikken robot with the power (and urgent sequel-predicting opportunity) to save the world, so who needs a Dad? And as in many children's movies, especially Disney products but also John Hughes movies, moms are almost completely absent or invisible. Astroboy's surface-dweller gang of friends are parentless, too, except for a robot repairman voiced by Nathan Lane, who we think is going to be the substitute father, but in the end is crazy, abandoning, and destructive.

Sorry to sugarcoat it, but Astroboy is a noisy, non-educational and emotionally damaging piece of crap, and I'm sorry I took my kids to see it.

Is it me, or is Washington now like a bad remake of "Sixteen Candles"?

"Score. A direct hit." Disgusting geeks on the [teaparty express] bus.

And does she really have to go to the dance with Long Reid Dong? "Stop yankee my wankee, the Donger needs campaign contributions!"

A song and a video clip for a friend...

Congratulations and many happy returns of the day....

Thursday, October 29

Performance Art is in the Eye of the Beholder?

There's a website, I won't provide a link and I'll explain why in a minute, that claims its purpose to be: a place where women who are shaped like me can post their "outfit of the day."

I am not a cruel person and do not generally mock non-celebrity fashion. I think it's mean and unfair to make fun of everyday women who have nothing on me in terms of weight issues. But bear with me about the three outfits below.

Fashion Model A lets us know that she was on the phone with her long-distance boyfriend for several hours last night, and that things are not going well. In fact, the relationship is probably going to end, so, to cheer herself up she decided to put together some outfits made entirely from clothes purchased in stores whose names end in "-mart" and post pictures of herself in them for comment/voting. She says she cheated a little in this photo because the top did not come from a store ending in "-mart" it came from a store ending in "-bug" so take that into account.

Model B calls this her "international" outfit because each item (sweater, skirt, tights, and oversized Doc Martens) "comes" from a different country. Surprise! Every country in the world is now called "China."

"One quick snapshot before I leave for work."

As I say, I am not a cruel person and because I am not sure about this website I am not linking it, and I did pixilate the faces in these images to protect the potential innocence of the people in question. But please allow me to add that...

...if this is performance art you gals fucking rock.

Update: I'm grateful to be informed that Paris Fashion Week has just as bad and worse than the above, but without the irony.

Wednesday, October 28

The Word of the Day is: Whore

GMB at I can't believe it's not a democracy! says what needs to be said. Beltway whores freak out over being called whores.

Anyone who wants to make that into an anti-feminist comment can bite me. Joe Lieberman is a whore. It's the term I choose, as a writer and a feminist, to describe what he is doing to SELL OUT AMERICA. If in this era of deep change and national crisis certain feminists choose to sit on their vaginas and debate nomenclature because "words have power"? Glad your trust fund allows you all that time to major in women's studies, sister.

I really think that's the silver lining in this healthcare debate, is the uncovering of just how much lobbyists OWN the Congress. The whole "take your country back" thing?

If only.

Tuesday, October 27

Sarah Palin's Audiobook -- FRIST!

Since I beat even Comedy Central by a day in making a "Going Rouge" joke, and now the liberals actually have a book out by the same name....

I call frist on noting that the audio version of Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue, due out December 1 and read by the author, is only available in abridged format.

Obvious joke: she recorded three whole pages and then quit.

Next month is Blog Every Day Month (NaBloPoMo)

For those of you not writing a 50,000 word novel next month...

PROMPT: "Beautiful young steampunk vampires who are deeply, deeply in love battle forces threatening the eco-destruction of their world -- a world unlike any other. " GO! have an opportunity to commit to posting to your blog every day for 30 days in November.

I won't be officially joining NaBloPoMo because I already post every day, but I want to encourage those of you who find that a challenge to get on board. Blogging / writing every day for a month will make you a better blogger / writer.

I'm not the rule-maker here, but if I were, the following posts would not count:

  • "What Atrios/Huffpo/Paul Krugman said" posts
  • Wow, here's a very cool youtube/photoshop/twitter hashtag that I didn't make myself
  • Kitteh!

If it weren't for the writing prompt above, this post wouldn't count either.

Write every day for a month. Post it. Get it out there. It will bless you in ways you can't imagine.

On topic, I'm so sorry to see all the broken links on my blogpostings for 2006. Some people even went to the trouble to buy a unique url and hosting space, but didn't bother to keep at the writing. For those of you who are not old-skool, or who think you might want to try this blogging thing, it is never too late. Trust me, if some voice is whispering to you to do this, it's not too late.

And if you have already gone to the trouble to set up a blog, then you, my dear blogger, have something to say that no one else can.


Monday, October 26

My entry in the Steve Martin video contest

Daily Motion and Steve Martin are holding a music video contest. The rules are, you have to use Steve Martin's song "Wally on the Run" as your soundtrack, and the video must have a dog in it. I don't expect to win, but I had fun with this. Enjoy.

Free Speech on the Internet? Well...

I've been avoiding writing up this story. It's complicated.

A person commenting on a blog has been arrested in southern Illinois for something he said on that blog.

Ordinarily, that would lead to big outrage here at Casa BG. Indeed, my ex brought the story to my attention with cries of "outrage" and "free speech" yadda yadda.

And there is that component to this. But there is more, and as someone familiar with the blog commenting history and tradition, I'm probably obligated to put some of this into context.

The context, first and foremost, is that the blog and comments in question involve (1)

you will notice I put those words in an embedded image, rather than in type, because I do not want anyone who might search for those words on a search engine to wind up at this post. Traffic is nice, but many of you have been to a blog where every single comment is from some douchebag typing incessantly (2):

over and over again under different usernames and logins. A great many blogs, including the big blog I occasionally write for, has been forced to ban all commenting on the subject because certain people see fit to use discussion of said issue to completely hijack (yes I use the term consciously and without irony) blog space that would otherwise be used for mature discussion.

The other issue that is tangentally involved in this 'arrest' issue is (3)

I can tell you that IP is another issue a great many blogs will not touch because the emotions involved lead to a lot of hijacking, screaming, and yes, personal threats being bandied about. I have posted in the past about certain of these issues, and have even issued a

(4) against commenters who might think they can bully me on these issues.

We all want free speech in theory, but the sad fact is, speech in so many ways in America, and especially electronic speech, isn't free. Someone pays for the bandwidth, and big blogs who pay for their own bandwidth have huge costs when someone leaves forty five automatically generated (2) comments which have no value because the screaming has by now outweighed the debate on that issue.

There's also the issue of internet access for all races and incomes, and the issue of whether we're going as a society to let corporations determine how internet is divvied out to various sites (net neutrality is such a bad term for it; I wish we could call it 'corporate welfare wants to take away your computer freedom and no ice cream sprinkles for hard working Americans over 50' or something).

And there's the issue that when speech IS free and in an open forum where all are welcome, certain News Corporations (listed there by name) use that as an opportunity to again, hijack debate and push false agendas through the manipulation of an ignorant and frightened public.

Speech isn't free. And while the people shown are "free" to engage in this kind of protest, many of them are collecting single payer healthcare and are willfully ignorant of the issues they are marching about. And they are encouraged in their ignorance daily by Glenn Beck, who makes a lot of money to organize them.

There is no "public square" any more. You at your laptop are sitting in it. Net neutrality is essential. But so is an understanding that a few bullies can do just as much damage to free speech as big corporations.

Okay, but back to the blog story: it appears that a commenter at a certain blog regarding the, you know, (1) issue, took offense at an op-ed written by someone regarding some (3) issues. It appears the op-ed regarded blaming P's for being killed in g.a.z.a, which was like, totally all the P's fault for getting bombed and starved and stuff. Yeah.

So guy at the (1) blog got bent out of shape about that article and made two mistakes. One, he let it be known that he knew where the author of the article lives, at least to the extent that he knew he lived in the same town as said author.

Whatever you do as a commenter at a blog, never, NEVER, cross the line into real world. Don't talk about where an opponent lives, what their phone number is, or even divulge personal emails if they are not given out by the person themselves. Don't say, 'this is personal because we share the same air', etc. That gets you in trouble, and is patently offensive in the blog world. For those who don't know, there's a very popular blogger named Malkin who pulls that kind of thing on her detractors all the time. Publishes phone numbers and therefore locations of people who disagree or even attack her at her blog. Some of those attacks on her are also deeply offensive and unfair, but Malkin has negated any sympathy I might have for her by sending her "flying monkeys" as the internet calls Malkin's minions, to harrass, threaten, and in some cases allegedly endanger people who dare to start it up with her. This is an abuse of the privilege of having a blog audience, and I think Malkin should be fined big time every time she does it. We're still in the wild west of blogging, though, and hopefully the law will catch up with her eventually.

The second mistake this commenter made was to write poorly. To me, it looks like he was taking a true story from work, where a rat got trapped in a trash can and was released by the said commenter, and turning it into an analogy about his feelings for the writer of the op-ed, who commenter had already pointed out lived in the same town as commenter did. He did all of this in a way that left a barn door open into which could blow some FBI wind. Not a good idea, particularly since, in my opinion, bullies specializing in being on the wrong right-wing z.i.o,n,i,.s.,.t side of the (3) debate have no qualms about using the FBI or any available cop, large bouncer, or thug, to do their bullying for them.

It's pretty obvious to me that this is a case of too much testosterone; as a friend always says, "one boy, one brain; two boys, half a brain." Everybody needs to get over it, and op-ed guy seriously needs to drop the effin' charges, point made, for crying out loud. If he doesn't, the local ACLU should get involved. It's made the front page of the weekly indie rag, I hope that means the issue will be resolved without further unnecessary posturing.

Sunday, October 25

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Why I care.

Back in November of 2006 I noted this quote from National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez:

"Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful — to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy."

Oh honey. By the time I got your invitation, that show had opened on Broadway:

call her crazy

Now it turns out she's at it again, via Sadly, No!:

I may be delusional, but I think the American Revolution still trumps the urban dictionary in much of the country.

And my question isn't why she thinks the American Revolution trumps the Urban Dictionary in much of the country. Honestly, that ship has sailed.

She may be a victim of her own political lunacy, but in terms of her whole "call me crazy" "maybe I'm delusional" rhetorical, um, flourish? Maybe she thinks it's self-effacing. Maybe it's a cry for help.

Kathryn: speaking as one committed plump brunette leading political blogger to another, what it is, is bad writing. Take a good hard look at your NRO official keychain and just. stop. it.

Saturday, October 24

Saturday Song and knitting finished

The second sock is done and they'll be in the mail this week, J.R., hopefully before the snow flies where you are!

And my dear pal Akabini, fab friend, knitter, and now marathon runner (if she weren't so fabulous I'd hate her) sent me some gorgeous yarn from Twisted Sisters, and in the bag she'd enclosed a swatch/tube in lovely oranges...I topped it off with some leftover blue variegated to make a hat....

...which looks lovely on little BIG girls:

Friday, October 23

Dick Cheney: Free Speech
at Five Hundred Dollars a Plate

The thing that's been completely left out of the Dick Cheney "how dare anyone dither when it comes to blowing up our enemies and rewarding our torturers" speech is the context in which that speech was given.

The Villagers don't like to talk about specifics when it comes to the beltway dinner circuit at which so many of them feed.

This dinner, minimum $500.00 a plate, was to given by the self-described, and I am not making this up, "non-partisan organization" The Center for Security Policy. Dick Cheney was speaking at their 20th anniversary dinner, at which he received the, hold back your breakfast now, the "Keeper of the Flame" award. Cheney was introduced by, among others, Don Rumsfeld, a former awardee himself. You know who else has this prize sitting on a shelf in their well-appointed Georgetown dens?

Joe Lieberman
Duncan Hunter
James Inhofe
Paul Wolfowitz
Newt Gingrich
Ronald Reagan
Jon Kyl
Caspar Weinberger

Okay, then. So why would anyone not expect a bowl full of neocon crazy in his acceptance speech? He's among friends.

Why can't the press be honest? And how, at this point in history, has that become a completely rhetorical question?

Thursday, October 22

You guys DO know I'm a bad commie on occasion.

In order to get my cranky 5 year old to put on her school clothes this morning, I, Blue Gal, noted commie and anti-commercialist, actually played the "Santa Claus is coming to town" gambit. On OCTOBER 22. I know.

After school, she'll get a dose of the Bruce Springsteen version:

Hey, if she better be good for goodness' sake, that'll do.

You know the title of my [unwritten] parenting book, right?

Wednesday, October 21

What's in your briefcase, big boy?

Several bloggers including Echidne have pointed out the stupidity of the Freakonomics piece on prostitution. Working up outrage (over their utilitarian arguments re paying for sex) is difficult when faced with the Total Asperger Blinders of the authors: borderline autistic economists who don't insert "humanity" into their equations don't deserve a lot of 'analysis.' (Next up: the economy is down, so why aren't more parents eating their babies?) But my eye did catch this little jem:

Allie [a high-priced "escort"] says she is “a little more liberal” than some prostitutes when it comes to satisfying a client’s unusual request. There was, for instance, the fellow back in Texas who still flew her in regularly and asked her to incorporate some devices he kept in a briefcase in a session most people wouldn’t even recognize as sex per se.
I've always been intrigued that if you are paying a woman to have sex with you, she's a prostitute, but if you are paying her to be filmed having sex with you, she's a porn star. And the second one is legal? Somehow, I don't see prostitutes carrying Flip Cams and calling themselves "actresses" having an impact on the prostitution debate.

And trust me, I'm down with the "prostitution is not a victimless crime" argument, completely and sympathetically. But how can you tell it's prostitution if what they do can't be recognized "as sex per se"? What if it's really just play acting for money? Look at what Jesus' General advised one wife to buy to 'turn on' her newly-sober and recently impotent husband:

What you need are things that excite a man. Go to town and get a trapeze, a sheepskin, a tube of carpet adhesive, a bag of pork rinds, a roll of duct tape, a ratchet (preferably a 10 inch flip lever tear drop with an 1/2 in. drive), and a copy of the abridged video version of Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead."

So if a playdate with those items is what you're paying for? I defy anyone on God's green earth to call THAT prostitution.

And if you send a woman a plane ticket and she willingly gets on the plane to fly to you so you can "play" with said items, or even items that are more, ahem, titillating? No analyst can rightly call that rape, even if it gets them off to do so.

But hey, if you're playing, and you pull out the Hello Kitty fingerless biker gloves? Shit, dude, I'm having you arrested.

Shockingly Not A Photoshop. From Hot Chicks With Douchebags, which specializes in highlighting the objectified and oppressed womanhood of the Jersey Shore.

Tuesday, October 20

The Intermediate Feminists HAVE AN ANTHEM! And surprise, it's not work-safe.

So you're singing a song called "My Vagina is Eight Miles Wide" and at 3:14 you shout "Just the boys!" and they turn away from the pole dancers to help you out?

THAT, sisters, is what feminism is all about here at BG.

Storm Large is her real name, according to her interview with Ellen, so it's gotta be true.

h/t to The Bloggess, who is made of awesome anyway.

And important update, commenter Opalmirror points out

Storm wrote this song as a response to being rejected by Lilith Fair for not being womanly enough. "Tell me what is womanly to you? Strong but not too much of a brute? It's good to be powerful, but way better if she's cute?"

Rejected by Lilith Fair? Oh I love her even more.


Special note to Blogenfreude at Stinque, Driftglass, and Jesus General. These guys turned away from the pole dancers and did the unthinkable: they posted my skoal rebel fundraiser video at their own blogs and I didn't ask them to. They just did it. Because they love me. And I love them back.

Of course, they really just love me for my teaspoon, which I bought off Ebay from the estate of Sophia Loren.

Monday, October 19

Bargain of the Day

For the low, low price of $12.99, you can own a high quality 4X6 lustre print of Peggy Noonan, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, James Baker, and Henry Kissinger snubbing John McCain at the Reagan Foundation Dinner held at the US Capitol Building.

It's brought to you by Washington Life Magazine, which has it categorized on its "blog" under, and I am not making this up, "Pol-lywood Events."

Some Mondays, satire just fails me.

Sunday, October 18

Winners of the Sunday News Show Costume Contest!

Forget it, Stephanopoulos, I won't be photoshopping the "Two Virgins" version, no matter how much ya beg me.

Saturday, October 17

Friday, October 16

Could we please stop it with the fairy tale revisionism?

All this rehashing of the 2008 election is getting on my last nerve.

Let's be clear: a lot of the chatter about Sarah Palin is book buzz. The price for "Going Rogue" is dropping so fast you'd think it was Saks Fifth Avenue stock.

Also, like many others, former McCain adviser Steve Schmidt is looking for a job. So the push-me/pull-you regarding the choice of Sarah Palin--she would have been a disaster as Vice-President but inflicting her on the nation and the party was my Best Idea Ever--seems an effort to keep his name in the news so Michael Steele will put him on staff just to shut him up.

And then there's Hillary Clinton, who woulda shoulda coulda won the White House (we'll just have to MAKE her run again, it's SO unfair!) and NOW she's more popular than Obama and really honey didn't I just TELL YOU OVER AND OVER THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN I just knew it you never listen to me!

And when I see a right-wing website title its article: "Hillary Clinton Now Viewed More Favorably Than Barack Obama, Especially Among Republicans"?

Are you kidding me? Republicans like Hillary now? They've wanted her DESTROYED from day one!

But it's the enemy within that I'm talking about here. Any Hillary supporter who wants to relive the glory days of the primary season and have a do-over nine months later or even seven years from now, is

a. Showing a lack of respect for the office of Secretary of State
b. Showing a lack of respect for the woman who currently holds that office

and c. has bigger blinders on than ANY Sarah Palin supporter. Really.

You have to assume that Palinites are completely mesmerized by the wink and the Christianist fascism. They'll support her regardless of her incapacities because anti-abortionists do that. They'll swear to the end of the earth that George Bush is a good Christian man, for crying out loud.

Hillaryites who sit with broken hearts because she was their last best hope for a vagina in the Oval Office in their lifetimes, are believing in something far more sinister. They are NOT SUPPORTING the human being they purport to elevate. And they kinda refuse to listen to her HINT when she talks about the Afghan government, even:

By the way, Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination because she ran the most ham-handed, tone-deaf, freaked-out sense of entitlement campaign in the history of Democratic politics. The Ellen Jamesians of the PUMA movement plug their ears and rage against Mark Penn (and they're damn right to put much of this at his feet) but really, I hate to bring this up AGAIN, but anyone wanting a do-over in the primaries needs to review the highlights of her campaign in detail:

"Bill can't have any onion rings" advertisement.

The Celine Dion campaign song.

The "any nuclear option is not off the table" and "obliterate Iran" statements. (Hey, where's that Nobel Peace Prize, anyhoo?)

Hill-ar-ee for you and mee "Up With People" events. (If I were as soulless as Dick Cheney, I'd bombard PUMA headquarters with that song turned up to 11 like they do in sleep deprivation torture.)

The nefarious and much parodied 3AM phone call ad.

"Shame on you, Barack Obama".

Yes there was sexism, but none of the above failures can be blamed on sexism, especially the Celine Dion theme song, which, you'll remember, was the winner of a "pick Hillary's song" contest. Ugh.

Oh, speaking of Barack Obama, he has an answer to the "popularity" question--a fourth grader asked why everybody hates him so much (h/t @OreoDCW)"

Watch CBS News Videos Online

I don't always agree with him, and I'm certainly not going to revise history to say how he's betrayed the liberals, since he never campaigned as one, no matter what. But his grown-up-ness in this instance is very refreshing.

Thursday, October 15

Dang, Doctor Dean, why didn't we think of that before?

Here's a minute of Doctor Dean (love him, really) talking about his proposal to let those 50 and older buy Medicare coverage.

It's instant public option, and is being billed as "Public Option Plus for Over 50."

And it seems to be gaining some traction, because Congress Critters can take it home before the 2010 elections. Along with another $250.00 check for Seniors who can't do inflation math. I don't begrudge them that, and I'm glad my mom and dad will get it.

But what drives me nuts is the politics. Apparently, if you coin something as merely benefitting everyone born before 1958, you can pass the whole damn liberal agenda in a month.

I mean JEEZ! If we'd only known sooner that all ya have to do is make it a sop for boomers/seniors. Maybe there's time yet! Think of what we might accomplish:

Don't call it gay marriage, call it

"Catering and event planning stimulus plus for 50 and over"***.

***plus other gay people.

Don't call it ACORN / Census / fair electoral representation for people of color, call it

"People counting and free ice cream plus sprinkles for 50 and over"

Don't call it pro-choice, call it

"White-grandchildren-only credit for 50 and older"

Don't call it cap and trade, call it

"Clean Air for 50 and older, plus bonus clean air for your white grandchildren"

Lou Dobbs and his soup eater viewers would be struck dumb.

No extra charge for the free advice, Congress Critters.

Speaking of clean air, today is Blog Action Day on Climate Change. In support, I posted last night's open thread and a guest post today over at Crooks and Liars, and I encourage folks to check out posts by other participants. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 14


I don't know who is more amateurish:

1. John Harwood, quoting an anonymous WH source as saying

"those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult."

2. The alleged commenter, because blogger=pajamas is SO 1994.

3. The blogs that have had a first-class hissy fit over said quote.

Really, if I ever show signs of giving a badger's ass what anyone inside the beltway thinks of me and my blog, show me the exit. If the quote is real, the person who said it and the person who reported it are idiots.

Glenn Greenwald puts meat on the bones and brings us back to, ahem, real issues. Thanks be to Allah, we fringe Leftys are gonna keep pushing. I really don't give a rat what Rahm or anybody else in that building thinks of me.

Wanna get lucky, I mean, appear to be a complete douche? There's an app for that.

This app is supposedly tongue-in-cheek, Pepsi has apologized, we can all go back to the kitchen and bring sammiches and Pepsi to da guys while they watch the playoffs. It's a joke, honey. (H/t @smassing)

And not only plays off the overt sexism of categorizing women into types in order to "score," it implies you really can't do so without technology.

Because really, nothing says "desirable sex partner" than when he stares at his IPhone in order to figure out what to say next, where he's taking you to dinner, and how to make you like him enough in the short term to, you know, do it.

Columnist Dan Naumovich is my hero for saying what I wish I'd said:

...Stephen Stills once advised that if we can’t be with the ones we love, we should love the ones we’re with...[but it's] not a total exaggeration to say that we live in time when many wouldn’t notice that the guy in line ahead of them at Wal-Mart was on fire unless someone texted them a link to the YouTube video that the cashier was shooting with her cell phone.

Which points out the other problem, impatience. If a male has to "get to know" a female in order to gain the only thing of value about her, namely, what's in her panties, then he obviously wants to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here's a letter in the latest Advice Goddess column:

I've gone on more dates with this girl than I've ever had with any other girl. I've always gone out for drinks, then to a girl's place or mine for no-strings-attached sex. When I make moves on this girl, she pulls away, saying, "It's too soon." I feel our dates have been a waste.

Dude! You're too sensitive! Here's a deal for you. Look up "date" on your IPhone thesaurus [hopefully that came standard], and I'll define "no-strings-attached sex." Is "she faked an orgasm" part of the picture, dude? How would you know? Pepsi hasn't developed an app for determining if your partner is enjoying sex with you, because there's no demand for or even irony about that. Maybe you can claim on Twitter that all the "no-strings-attached sex" you've had was tongue in cheek.


Tuesday, October 13

Ending the Fall Fundraiser with a Dip!

Thanks everyone for your love and support. And a major hattip to Wonkette for their discovery of the original Skoal Rebel.

PS I am far more likely to put your contribution toward last week's brake pad bill than for commie reading material. Bad liberal!

Thanks for your five dollar contribution, and for those who give I really appreciate the support, folks.

Monday, October 12

Where our healthcare dollars go.

I had to read the letter I received from my pediatrician's medical practice several times over:

Dear Valued Patient:

SIU Physicians & Surgeons has exciting news to share with you. flu shots for everybody? A new parking garage? An upgrade to the waiting room TV cable lineup? Anything, anything, that might actually improve my personal experience with this medical practice?

Effective on October 1, 2009 we changed our name to SIU HealthCare....

... Along with our new name of SIU HealthCare, you will also see the phrase, "Exceptional Medicine. Partners in Care." We believe this change will make it easier for you to identify and recognize who we are and to know what to expect when you visit one of our medical clinics.

and their website press release notes:

Changing to the new logo on items has begun as current supplies such as stationery items are used up*** – the conversion is expected to be completed by June 2010.

*** but for the letter announcing the change they used new name letterhead.

I'm actually considering wasting the toner and paper to respond in kind:

Dear Dr. Bradley, MD, CEO, SIU HealthCare:

I am writing in response to the recent letter regarding a change in name for SIU HealthCare.

You indicate in your letter that this change in name will "make it easier" for me "to identify and recognize who we are."

Oh Doctor Bradley. Don't get me started.

I immediately identified and recognized lots of things from your letter. Here's three:

  • You hired a consultant. High five figure contract if it postdates the current recession, but given that you signed off on this letter, it's possible you were stupid and vain enough to be convinced that low-six was okay with your budget.
  • You place a value on branding in health care. Oh, I'm sorry, "HealthCare." That phraseology alone means your consultant is back via the revolving door of Dante's Sixth Circle of Hell, and she'll (oh yeah, she'll...I can see the pencil skirt from here and so can you, John) be heading back from whence she came if Douglas Adams's B Ark for society-draining occupations doesn't get her first. Perhaps she has a choice: eternity burning on a fiery rack or several lifetimes discussing "Total Quality Improvement" with a bunch of telephone sanitizer quality supervisors. I know I'd have a hard time deciding if I was on her death panel, you betcha.
  • According to your letter, your "new identity is intended to capture the full array of health care services that we provide" (Okay, telephone sanitizers. Definitely the telephone sanitizers). John honey, tell the truth: isn't this really a last-ditch effort to snatch 'low-risk pregnancy patients with employer-provided Blue Cross' (HealthCare Consumer "A" on your consultant's PowerPoint handout) before the revolution comes?
I would bet one month of Medicaid coverage (which at least several of your doctors no longer take) that your consultant ALREADY has a PowerPoint training session on "managing" that revolution when it comes. Let her know in your next teleconferencing meeting how much I admire her devotion to her own "HealthCare" and job security, and, um... good luck with your new logo.

Sincerely yours,

Frances Langum

Sunday, October 11

This Thursday's Blogswarm

This Thursday bloggers are invited to blog about, and one would presume, against, global warming/climate change.

When injected into coversations about global warming, I have found it helpful to substitute the words "clean air for my children" for anything else I might have to say. People who want to "debate" global warming all of a sudden really can't have an argument with me.

Looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to say, especially the science bloggers, and if you'd like to make your participation "official" or grab a badge similar to the one above (I doctored that one because I didn't like theirs, no offense) you can find more info here.

Saturday, October 10

Beware those Czars

Saturday Song

Take it from someone who has stayed up until two working on a mashup: getting them this right is hard.

Audrey Hepburn's Beatnik Dance in "Funny Face" meets Rikki-Lee's "Can't Touch This".

Thursday, October 8

Resurrected from last April: My favorite fundraising video

I really like this one. While I'm waiting to re-do the one that won't publish, I hope you enjoy it, too.

Thanks to those who gave to me this week. Your modest contributions (some not so modest, but heh, that's how my readers roll) humble and flatter me more than you know. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 7

Halliburton Rape

If you don't have ten minutes, at least start watching at the 7:00 mark. I usually don't cover stuff already covered at Big Orange, but....

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

Of the 40 Republicans in the Senate, only 10 voted for the Franken amendment, including all four women in the Senate GOP. Of the six Republican males who voted for the amendment, all of them represented states outside the deep South -- Bennett (UT), Hatch (UT), Grassley (IA), LeMieux (FL), Lugar (IN), and Voinovich (OH). The other 30 men, including luminaries like David Vitter, John Ensign, and John McCain, didn't think the amendment warranted passage.

This is interesting. According to Republicans, a fake pimp and ho, reported to the police, was apparently so beyond the pale that they've worked to strip ACORN of all federal funding. But denying employees actual redress from gang rapes is no big deal?

PS. Vitter and Ensign? Should be in jail. Anyone who votes for them on the basis that "they're good Christian men" should rot in hell. The end.

Like a virgin redux....

iron hymen

"I'd like to be nice if I knew how."

If she knew how.

There is no knowing "how" for a girl in that matter. If Nature and her mother have not done it for her, there is no hope for her in that head.

Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington, 1864

I came across this LA Times article about a plastic made in China gadget which allows a woman to "fake" virginity, presumably on her wedding night. It's got jockstraps-in-a-twist for the double-standard bearers of the right wing Islamic world.

And no where in the debate is the sense that women are supposed to enjoy themselves sexually either before or after marriage. We don't hear from the female sex partners, to put the term most generically, of Ensign, Sanford, Vitter, and even Letterman as to whether or not they enjoyed the sex. Well, in the case of MRS. Vitter, we kinda do know, don't we? As the ol' joke goes,

Q: What did the prostitute do for David Vitter that his wife wouldn't?

A. Everything.

And I see from his wiki page that when Ensign was in college, "he and his wife, Darlene, were active in the Promise Keepers, an evangelical group." How's that promise keeping working out for ya, John?

So I went internet hopping to find videos and quotes to piece together a post on this, and not to be snooty, but the most germane item I found was this piece I happened to write myself back in January of 2008. I love having archives!


Oh don't worry, ma hunnies, I would never run the youtube here at this here blog.

OH WAIT. There's a version with Madonna, Britney, AND Christina Aguilera? Oh well in THAT case... And look, there was a time when BS could walk down stairs in high heels sans assistance...

Anyone know who the rapper is at the end? [UPDATE: It's Missy Elliot.]

My favorite part is that the overarching camp of the whole performance means the Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy are having a fuckin' ball. But my political/social commentary point, and I do have one, is that I wrote an open thread at the big blog linking Susie Bright on the poster child for abstinence, Jamie Lynn Spears. And one commenter said, "Boy, those Spears girls sure do like to fuck."


Jamie Lynn, like ALL sixteen year old girls, had a choice between two types of partners: she could do it with a teenage boy, or she could be done by a statutory rapist. It's possible she did and was done both ways, and I would put real money down that she didn't enjoy it they way Mother Nature, whose own orgasms are earth-shaking indeed, intends women to enjoy sex. (It also appears the rapist wins the "who's the daddy" contest for JL's baby. Sad.)

Britney, on the other hand, was able to choose her sex partners from a very large group of men, whose only requirement was that they have the taste, intelligence, and patience of, well, Kevin Federline. You know the type. Their letters to Maxim Magazine are always the same:

Oh, just keep being the amazing lover you obviously are, Dan.

I've talked with a large number of women about this topic over the years and asked lots and lots of girlfriends the following questions: How old were you when you first had sex, and how old were you when you had your first orgasm? The orgasm gap is pretty damn wide for a great many women. I have yet to meet an honest girlfriend who had their first good sex before the age of twenty-two. Lots and lots of women have had lots and lots of sex before they actually enjoyed it.

And sadly, some men and women never figure out which female erogenous buttons to push.

And nearly all of my readers know the button is nowhere near here:

And is much more likely to be somewhere in here:


Today I discovered what I'll have to do to fix the fundraising video I worked on yesterday: starting over from square two with a new coding on the source vids, which will have to wait until the weekend. So I'll do one more fundraising day next week sometime and in the meantime, thanks for the support thus far. I really appreciate it. xo

Tuesday, October 6

An old tintype

of Czar Rushbo, who of all people is complaining about unelected influence. Really.

I wish I could knit a car and that movie maker worked better.

I should be in a very bad mood.

I worked two hours on a fundraising video and Windows Movie Maker won't convert it into a movie. I've saved my WORK, rebooted, and still. No movie. No export.

And then I had to get new brake pads for the trusty minivan, $263.00, which is about what I make all year in total from four fundraisers.

But I'm actually in a GOOD mood. People say so many nice things when they give me five bucks. You guys make me CRY, in a good way:

You're my favorite blogger.

I officially love your blog. (Honey I'm not sure what that means but I'll take "official love" any time.)

You MUST keep going. I read you every day. Wish it could be more. xo

Hey, my mechanic does, too.

One other reason I'm in a good mood is that a knit buddy on the west coast sent me a box of SOCK YARN in the mail. You have to sing this to the Batman TV Theme from the sixties, actually:


da na nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh


nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh na



That cheers me right up. Even if I can't knit new brake pads with it.

I'm really grateful for all the love and support my readers give me. Does this blog mean something to you? If you have five bucks or more to spare for day two of my three day quarterly fundraiser, show me some "official" love. And thanks.

Monday, October 5

Oh noes! Blue Gal drinks with da boys! (VIDEO MASHUP)

Today is the start of my quarterly three day fundraiser. I ask for five bucks, with the notion that twenty bucks a year is about what "O - The Oprah Magazine" costs. Yeah. But hey, feel free to contribute any amount. This blog is my art studio, and I consider every visitor to it an amazing gift. Thank you.

Sunday, October 4

Does that make Voldemort a Teabagger?

So I'm watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with Junior Dude and at the end the good wizard/headmaster Dumbledore is suggesting to the evil Lucius Malfoy that while he can't prove all the evil shenanigans Lucius allegedly committed during the past two hours of movie, any future shenanigans would have grave consequences.

Did Lucius scoff? Laugh? Call Dumbledore a liar and demand proof?


He said, in a tone that would melt an anvil:

How. Dare. You!

And I thought, how very Republican of him:

[Yeah Rachel clip is ten minutes but if you haven't seen it, it's well worth your time.]

Friday, October 2

Ya want Rio? I can getcha Rio...

Poor Mare Daley. Put all dose eggs in dat basket...

David Letterman's Training Session

Sanford, Vitter, and Ensign need two hours in a Powerpoint presentation on "How to Deal with Your Sex Scandal" with Dave. The slides include, 1. You might lose your job, and probably should. 2. Get a sense of humor. 3. Don't be an effin' hypocrite.

Do it like this:

The things you don't do are:

Decide to be the point person to criticize ACORN and prostitution. (Vitter)

Break the law in order to make your staffer, who is also your mistress's husband go away. (Ensign)

And above all, you boys, don't belong to a political party that thinks abstinence only education health policy is a good idea.

'Cause that's a joke. And it isn't funny.

Thursday, October 1

Stuff my kids say...

So after getting ready for school this morning we had a few minutes left to take in some Dora the Explorer, something the older brother (turning 11 this month) does not appreciate: "I wish Dora had weapons."

Really, I can't believe no one thought of that before.

[many thanks to the alert reader who corrected my spelling of "Sandinista".