Tuesday, September 29

I think I'm disqualified overqualified.

As you probably know by now, Washington Post is having a contest to find America's Next Great Pundit. Really, they astonish me with their 1969 understanding of the internet. But make sure to read the fine print, ma hunnies:

Entrants may not have previously written or contributed to a regular column in a major national publication in print or online.

Sponsor shall determine, in its sole discretion, what constitutes a "regular column", "major national publication" and "contributed".

That's funny, they never determined the meaning of those words when they hired Bill Kristol.

In addition, entrants should be aware that if you ever typed "Wapo must suck on purpose" and clicked on the "Publish Post" button, you're out.

UPDATE: At the urging of a couple colleagues who think I might slip by, and also on the ground that if I'm disqualified by virtue of blogging, that's bloggable, I entered the contest.

If I'm not disqualified, then Digby will probably win. Maybe this is all a conspiracy to get her on the roster without going through the hiring rigamarole.

UPDATE II: Okay, Digby and I** thrown together in some hot blogger action RedTube pretense could not match Sandy Underpantses qualifications for dat job.

I think torture's great. I'm a fuckin' shoe-in.

And I think I should win because then I'll be able to travel to DC and make myself accessible so wapo editors can stop by and suck my dick.

** Understanding of course, that this is an intermediate level feminist blog.

The Song for Teabagger Astroturfers on Medicare. Honestly.

The counter-protesters should just sing this song at the top of their lungs. Except the Raging Grannies sound so much better.

Monday, September 28

Um, we've got a teensy typo problem, Mrs. Palin.

Your publisher's press release says your upcoming book is called "Going Rogue." That can't be true...that's a French word. Whoops, so's "rouge." Oh, whatEVER!

Did your Hong Kong trip reveal that your image has some sort of publicity expiration date? Because they moved up the publication of your book with the same unexpected urgency that I eat cottage cheese after I buy it.

I don't know why they decided to let us know the title during "Banned Books Week" instead of "Remaindered Books Week," but notice me and Wonkette are among the first and most enthusiastic blogs pimping it! ***

But hey, your BFF's at Mudflats have actually promised to buy a copy so they can write helpful corrections in the margins, so there's one.

***That can't be good.

Meet the New Unemployed.

I'm not being glib here, this is really bad, and I woke up this morning fully intending to write about the FIFTY-TWO POINT TWO percent unemployment rate among young people. This is a problem. It's going to require political economic government socialist program action to fix it, particularly lots and lots of job training and with the boomers retiring that better happen right quick.

I went to Google News to find the story about the unemployment numbers. I had to dig and go through a Huffpo link to find this story. It's not on the front page of Google News, even. On the other hand, every single page I clicked through had a sidebar link to a story about the wedding of Khloe Kardashian (as one gossip site helpfully pointed out, "not the pregnant one") and some NBA star. And one sidebar had this lovely picture of the couple heading off to their wedding night abode:

Oh, this is gonna be a really interesting wedding night, everything happening with one hand on an I-Phone and the E! cameras rolling. Congrats to Apple on their two BILLIONTH app download, btw. I have a feeling a few of those came from unemployed young people, poor things.

I don't want to turn into one of those old people who ramble on about "kids today," even though when I WAS 22 I lived on the first floor of a house with two roommates. One lived in the "living" room, the large entry way between "living" and "dining" was blocked over with bookcases so the second roommate could live in the "dining" room. So that we could have a common area, we sacrificed the third room and my bedroom was the back porch, no really. Nice big windows and the landlord had helpfully cut a hole in the drywall, removed the insulation, and installed a door so that it would count as a closet and therefore was in real-estate technicalities, a "bedroom." Window plus closet equals bedroom, did you know that?

When one of my roommates "forgot" to pay the power bill one winter, we put the milk in my closet to keep it cold until the power could get turned back on. I am not making that up.

We had no cable. And internet and cell phones were not in homes. Period. This was only 25 years ago, too.

And no offense to my wonderful parents, but I would have sold a kidney before I left Boston to move to western Pennsylvania to live "at home." The apartment porch chillspace WAS home. I think I was making about $210 a week and paying one paycheck for rent. I would not have had the money or the credit to pay a fifty dollar a month cell phone bill, even in 1987 dollars. These were not the good old days, not by a long shot. But pardon me if I don't bust a hernia about "lifetime earning potential" of any generation. Nobody in the real world measures money that way, and it appears a few "kids today" are not on the streets creating world revolution and protesting these horrible unemployment numbers and advocating for healthcare for all (which would be a huge full-time job creator for this generation, by the way) because


Sorry bout that, whippersnappers, but hey, at least you don't have to go on Khloe's honeymoon. Kthxbye.

UPDATE: Here's a tweet on the subject worth reading.

Sunday, September 27

Blogging at that little blog across the street this weekend.

Temping (?) in the big blog complex: did two round ups and a late night music club, but I really want folks to go click the links on last night's open thread. The photoshops that came from my Algonquin roundtable of photoshoppers are fine, indeed. We'll do that again, though organizing photoshoppers is like herding Mensans. Or something.

PS. There are personal friends and family who read this blog who know that October means we'll have an eleven-year-old at Casa BG. For them, a hint:

Saturday, September 26

Saturday Song

I can't remember who on my blogroll first ran the second Peter Mulvey (Black Rabbit) youtube; if it was you, thanks.

UPDATE: D.R. Scott's Pop Culture owns up to it. Thanks, D.R.

Friday, September 25

Actually, Eric Cantor's Health Insurance Plan is Very Zen...

...Buddhist Monk. If you get really sick and have lost your job and insurance, first you sell all your possessions, then you go door to door and beg.

No, really. That's the GOP Minority Whip's Plan.

I can't write any more about this hypocritical, privileged, self-contradicting, uncompassionate, babbling idiocy. Another image will have to suffice:

H/T C&L; Inspirational poster ripped off from here.

Thursday, September 24

Wherein I become (temporarily?) a whore AND make Catherine Zeta-Jones cry a little.

Oh don't turn away Catherine, you're so beautiful when you're sad.

I have to bring up at this point that I'm reading and loving Kathy Griffin's memoir and when I got to the chapter that begins "I wasn't always a whore." I doubled over laughing.

Feel free to say to yourselves as you read, "That Blue Gal, she wasn't always a whore to cell phone companies. Alas, those days are gone." ***

Hey I don't want to engage in regular blogvertising posts, nor do I want to spam my email list, ever, but honestly this is a really amazing marketing thing to liberals (rare) and it's worth it to whore this space out for one post only to let my readers know about it.

I've been meaning to switch to Credo cell phone service for a long time -- they give money to Doctors without Borders and lots of other causes I believe in -- but my contract with Zeta-Jones expires in January and I thought I'd wait. Credo is obviously motivated in making sure I don't wait.

They gave me

- a totally free phone, including shipping and handling free (okay it's not a Blackberry or I-phone, but I seriously don't need that much technology in my purse when 5yo decides I should "hold" her opened juice box for her.)
- keep my old number
- pay off my old contract with Catherine (sob!)
- 10% discount on my bill for 24 months
- no activation fee

In the end for no real inconvenience or added expense on my part I'm splitting my monthly cell phone bill in half and the profit they make off of me is going to Doctors Without Borders instead of Catherine Zeta-Jones' waterproof mascara budget?

That's a no-brainer.

PS if you're on AT&T, Open Secrets wants you to know:

During the 2000 election cycle, AT&T was the country's top corporate contributor, donating $5.9 million to federal candidates and parties, including $47,400 to George Bush for his presidential run. The company supplied another $1 million to the GOP for the Republican national convention in Philadelphia, where Bush won his party's nomination.

And you're reading THIS blog? Switch before you come back here. I'll wait.

If you want this same deal I got, call 1-877-76CREDO with the special offer code: 800222 and the coupon code ZCJGG. If you give them the coupon code that gives me an even lower phone bill next month, and you are completely absolved from participating in my October fundraiser, the end. Website is here, where they still say you have to call them. I hate that social interaction part, but there it is.

We now return to regularly-scheduled deep thought posting of political and socialistic import; and to make this ad thing up to you the post below is on sex toys and condoms. Yay! xoxo

***Then call Catherine Zeta-Jones and after weeping a few tears with her, tell her you're calling from a CREDO cell phone and, in your best Kathy Griffin impersonation, let her know she can "suck it."

(Obviously not wanking the right way)
Wanker of the Decade

I don't know if you guys are aware that the Alabama Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on the sale of vibrators in the state. Reason number 853,234 why I left Alabama with no plans to return, ever.

Our Wanker who obviously can't wank comes (?) to us via AL.com:

When the issue arose back in the last decade, Emory Folmar, the current head of the State ABC [liquor license] operations but formerly the colorful and never-at-a-loss-for-words mayor of Montgomery, was challenged on a locally broadcast talk show by a female caller as he defended the sex toy ban. After the lady hung up Folmar had an answer and stated it in the highest degree of his ever familiar faux tact. "If she needs a vibrator tell her to just go sit on her washing machine," the mayor quipped.

Here's a picture of Emery Folmar. Where shall we tell him to sit?

Also, don't tell Emery, but there's a new sex toy in town called a "condom." I would have never thought to market them like this, gawd:

If I were Planned Parenthood, I would start another ad campaign, targeting Alabama:

Wednesday, September 23

The real problem for the teabaggers

I'm convinced, is that in addition to being Black, Obama is, let's face it, Better Smarter Faster than you. Obama is a threat because Americans are racist? Not so they would admit it. But will Americans admit to being anti-intellectual?

You betcha.

I took President Obama's speech to the United Nations from this morning and pasted it into a grade-level readability analyzer:

A Fleish Reading Ease score between 50 and 60 corresponds to a 10th/12th grade level of reading difficulty. The LOWER the score, the more difficult the reading. Obama's speech scored at 65.52, or about a 9th grade reading level.

The Fog Scale compares syllables and sentence lengths. 'Foggy' words are words that contain 3 or more syllables. "A fog score of 5 is readable, 10 is hard, 15 is difficult, and 20 is very difficult." Obama's speech to the UN had a Fog Scale of 11.9.

"The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level heuristic indicates that the average student in the grade level produced by the scale can read the text." Heuristic is an awfully foggy word, by the way. Obama's speech to the UN had a Flesch-Kincaid Grade level heuristic of 9.12.

Government agency standards for website writing indicate that half of Americans read no higher than the 8th grade level.

I'm not suggesting that Obama dumb-down his speech to the Muther frakin' United Nations. One would expect a UN Ambassador to be educated, and for sure, I didn't grade Obama's stump speech for readability. Just hearing that speech in my head I know was much more folksy and used, well, shorter words.

But I think it's really important that we intellectuals/liberals,

[and yes the terms are nowadays pretty much interchangable, given that the David Gergen/John Dean/and yeah George HW Bush 'intellectual' wing of the GOP has been interred with what was left of John McCain's integrity pre-2008]

keep constantly in mind, especially when confronted with "the Mob", that even on the radio Obama is a threat. Every time that man opens his mouth, he's smart, and that is anti-American. Pathetic as it is, Glenn Beck getting a chalkboard on his set is a perfect foil to / illustration of the real threat posed by Obama: Glenn Beck makes slightly racist and definitely anti-intellectual people feel informed and smart.

I would have loved it if Senator Specter had responded to Katie Abrams' lecture about returning to the Constitution (I'm not sure how she spelled that in her notes so I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt) "Ma'am, I appreciate and support your concern: which branch of the Federal Government do you feel is most responsible for upholding the Constitution?" just to watch the deer freeze in the headlights.

It came as no surprise when Daily Show/Colbert viewers turned out to be smarter than O'Reilly viewers. Let's face it, Colbert's IQ? It's called having so many brain cells, that you can cast a whole bunch to the floor so they can jump up and dance an endless jig around your opponent's sleepy brain cells:

And then we have to deal with the Jewish Intellectual Conspiracy and represented by one Senator (still can't stop smiling) Al Franken, who decided to read the Fourth Amendment to the 'Consitution' (sorry Al, no benefit of the doubt for YOU) to a DoJ official who was defending the "Patriot" Act. [I'm asking the C&L team to get video.]

Noting that he received a copy of the Constitution when he was sworn in as a Senator, he proceeded to read it to Kris, emphasizing this part: “no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

“That’s pretty explicit language,” noted Franken, asking Kris how the “roving wiretap” provision of the Patriot Act can meet that requirement if it doesn’t require the government to name its target.

Kris looked flustered and mumbled that “this is surreal,” apparently referring to having to respond to Franken’s question. “I would defer to the other branch of government,” he said, referring to the courts, prompting Franken to interject: “I know what that is.”

Oh I'm sure you do know, Mister Smartypants Harvardite just like that colored fella in the White House. You think yer Harvard educations just make you better than the rest of us, don'cha? I guess DoJ guy never got asked about the "consitution' under BUSH. Bush was a good Christian man, a fool for Christ. And we were politically asleep while he raped the 'Consitution,' but we sure were prayin' for him. In our sleep.

And DoJ stooge thinks a Senate Hearing where a member reads the Constitution, and unlike Katie Abrams knows his branches of government, is "Surreal"? Are you fucking kidding me?

Full disclosure I have a Master's Degree from Harvard Divinity School, where Socialist Jesus and I used to hang out, drink too much coffee, listen to old skool Elvis Costello, and plot against The Man (Reagan).

In the driveway this afternoon.

We have a lot of loose rabbits here in southern Illinois. I was stupid enough to plant lettuce this year, too. Now the long ear suns-o-bitchez have left a Sharpie-penned Gurney's Seed catalog on the front porch, for crying out loud.

I'm not a serious gardener and I have to admit I love the critters. (sorry AL)

Tuesday, September 22

93 days until Christmas? Shut UP.

Seriously, I'm getting Christmas catalogs in the mail. And I'm telling my kids NO WE CANNOT PUT OUT HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS UNTIL COLUMBUS DAY.

Photo from the "ugly sweater project" pool on Flickr, most of which are Christmas sweaters, natch.

Monday, September 21

Salon tonight? Yes, when I'm not
seeing to my imaginary bf

Tonight at 9 eastern I will try to log on during commercials.

Salon is here, I hope to catch up with you...but you know, House says (rude as ever even in Detox) that I'm gonna be BUSY.

Chat is chat only no special equipment or account needed, though it seems to work best in Firefox.

Okay please note in comments we're talking about the premiere and if you don't like spoilers don't go there.

The good news is, we never have to talk about
Bjork's swan dress ever again.

It's some never-heard-of-her soap opera actress at last night's Emmys.

That ship is going down....

As the judge said to Orly Taitz as he threw out her birther "case":

"Although the First Amendment may allow Plaintiff’s counsel to make these wild accusations on her blog or in her press conferences, the federal courts are reserved for hearing genuine legal disputes and not as a platform for political rhetoric that is disconnected from any legitimate legal cause of action."

h/t Wonkette. Previously on BG: Cat on a Hot Taitz Proof

Sunday, September 20

Irony is Dead.

-Gov-- Keep your hands off MY Healthcare sign on Peace Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Grabbed from this video.

Knitting finished and brief blog announcement

Baby Sweater (gift)

One sock and the other one started (also a gift)

Also one of my dear readers wanted me to get back to posting at my Quaker Blog and also I thought to start a knitting blog at one time as well, but really, I have enough space right here at Blue Gal to write about religion, knitting, politics, whatever I fancy. No point segmenting my life online any more than it already is.

But I think the dear reader wanted a little more religion/faith posting from me, where ever I might decide to do that. I've gotten involved in my local United Methodist congregation here and have finally come out of my shell enough to join more than one of the religion discussion groups they offer. I'm kind of amazed at the sheer number of paperback books on faith, all around six chapters/120 pages, about how to apply basic white-person love Jesus and your neighbor "spirituality" in your daily life. These books are obviously designed for the six week "Bible-Study" set, and they vary in quality as much as they vary in emphasis. But what I've found is that actually sitting down with other people and discussing how to get through the week with patience, joy, and gratitude is very salutary. I've never been a terribly social person, though I fake it well, and so this feels like new territory for me.

I apologize if those who want me to share more online about faith and spirituality find that my face-to-face outlet somehow leaves little of that for my blogging. I don't want, for reasons of confidentiality and respect, to come back to the blog with a church meeting report. But I'll try to remember my readers' interest and mention some of the ideas I learn as I move through my week.

I did have a minor revelation this week. I have long struggled with the idea of chores for my children. I didn't have assigned chores as a child and I really wasn't interested in giving my kids lots of work in an angry or controlling "top-down" manner. Also I don't follow a real "chore chart" for me, though I do have a list, and the chore chart idea seemed to have little hope in terms of the attention span of the household in general, including me. I forsee implementing a workable chore chart in this house right after I purchase a "Hello, Kitty!" vacuum cleaner:

But we had a little visitor this week who trashed the girl's bedroom while "playing" with them; the game really truly appeared to be "lets see how messy we can make this room" complete with overturned chairs and dis-assembled bedding. That incident got me mad enough to demand their participation in clean up. As we were working I said to them that this room was theirs, this is their stuff, and they have to take care of their stuff. Since I hear the words "No that's mine!" about twelve thousand times a day, I concluded that their stuff kind of matters to them, and they'd better show it. I've found it much easier to demand their participation in household matters by reminding them that this is their house and we all take care of it together. Rewarding them (yes, my son too) with "wow YOUR room looks really nice" seems to be helping.

I'm grateful for small areas of personal growth and household peace. Amen.

I haven't been posting much about politics lately because I don't want to write about healthcare reform, and that is the all-encompassing issue these days. I don't resent that I just don't want to write about it.

Saturday, September 19

What a cool job....

Sorry for the ad content.

Saturday Song

Ye know what today is, me hearties?

There be no better way t'celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day than to link to and visit the blogger who keeps her brave ship sailing the high blogosphere seas through storms of Bushwacker idiocy 365/24/7!

T'day be talk like a pirate day? Nay, not only that, bloggers of the high seas. T'day be lLink to Cap'n Dyke Day! Or ye walk the plank.

Friday, September 18


When I get down about all the racist crap going on in this nation of ours, it helps to remember that a Black President is the first President my younger children will remember.

And oh my god you should hear the way the older one says "Bush."

h/t for the thought and the photo to The Grand Panjandrum.

Why I Read Esquire Rather Than Cosmo

Cosmo's sex advice for women: Wear your thong as a hair tie.

Esquire's sex advice for men: "Your primary objective must be to make her very, very, very happy. Because it is easy to make you happy. You can do that all by yourself--even with one hand tied behind your back."And from the latest issue, which is not online yet: "When she says 'don't move' while you're having sex? She means it. Really. Don't. Move."

Also, Esquire realizes that just because a blanket is brown on one side and pink on the other, this does not make the bedroom "set", as the catalog would indicate, "UNISEX":

Ladies? Be fair. Bedroom "sets" are not unisex, pretty much ever. And really, that comforter there, on the bed of a grown woman who points out she picked out the brown curtains 'for you', is justifiable grounds for the boyfriend to blurt: "Oh God, I suddenly remembered a very important appointment that will take... the rest of my life."

Joe Wilson is your pre-existing condition

A clever rip-off of Barack Obama is your new bicycle...

Joe Wilson is your preexisting condition.

Go to either site, click the words to refresh. Clever internet types, ya gotta love 'em.

Thursday, September 17

I can't go there anymore.

I just want everyone to know that if you're looking for an "advanced feminist blog," this ain't it.

I say that with no animosity for those blogs who aspire to that name. There's an infinite number of pixels in the universe, and so far, Blogger is free to every customer. Knock yourself out. I'm jus' gonna sit out any battles that involve those kind of distinctions.

I'm off to a school conference today to talk with teachers and administrators about test scores. Scores in my kids' school were (gasp!) down last year, primarily it appears because several teachers were out with flu for several weeks. But test scores are a huge issue, and we all know they shouldn't be. So I'll go off to real life knock my head against that brick wall for a couple hours today. Unlike blog world head-against-wall parties, the school people give me free mediocre pizza.

Wednesday, September 16

The lesson for ACORN and the rest of us...

...is that angel or devil, everyone has a FlipCam. (Apologies to MC Escher)
Assume forever that you are being videotaped, especially at work. We Lefties make hay when it's a "family-values" Republican bragging about lobbyist sex-spanking, but when it's an ACORN activist finding tax loopholes for prostitutes, that counts, too.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The ACORN video is devastating, and there's no point putting lipstick on it. We lose the point on this one, even though many will point out that anti-ACORN is simply anti-Black, wow, what ammo to give the Right Wing, folks.

There's talk that ACORN will sue FOX News because the law in Maryland is that taping someone when they don't know it is illegal in that commonwealth. It would be nice if Rupert Murdoch's wallet could make up for what will clearly be lost in federal funding as a result of this total embarrassment. Ugh.

It's Anti-Procrastination Day

But don't worry, you can put it off until next week, FlyLady does it every Wednesday.

And I wouldn't mention it at all except there are two items I keep meaning to blog and haven't yet.

BAC at Yikes! is asking people to join the National Organization for Women on her behalf. Unfortunately I think the contest she was involved in is over now, son-of-a-seacook, but if you are new to NOW and join at this link, she may still get credit for your membership. I love BAC and wish I had blogged this earlier.

John Sundman of WetMachine has sent me copies of his three novels, which look awesome. I look forward to reading them and reviewing them here, John. I especially look forward to reading "The Pains":

Let's say you're the Savior, Fred Christ. Would you want your frozen head to be reanimated in 1984?


Tuesday, September 15

My car broken into by well-meaning
Glenn Greenwald-ites! (True Story)

True Story:

I took my kids to the grocery store after school yesterday and as is my habit, I took all the valuables out of my car (steal my broken car stereo, please) and left the car unlocked. It's kind of a Boston/Midwest thing, you get in the habit of being terrified of frozen locks even in the summer.

Anyhow, I come back to my minivan which of course has the left-wing bumpersticker heaven on the back.

Plus an Obama 08 sticker which yeah, I leave up. Wouldn't want anyone to think I voted for Palin after saying God is not a Republican.

So I come back to the car after shopping and someone had left on the driver's SEAT of my car a photocopy of this Ted Rall Op-Ed, "Obama doesn't talk like Bush; he just acts like him." The editorial is heavily based on the writings of this guy Glenn Greenwald, ever heard of HIM? Huh, liberal Obama-loving minivan driver?

While I wouldn't go so far as Rall and call for Obama's resignation (yeah) it made me laugh and laugh that some well-meaning liberal (and trespasser, but I forgive you) thinks, based apparently on my bumper stickers, that I need a lesson in the importance of limiting Presidential power...

(my YouTube Debate Question, unused, from 2007)

...and in criticizing Obama for his stand on torture and detainee policy in general.

from my April, 2009 post "We aren't REALLY having this dance, are we, Mister P?"

Also, this person keeps photocopies of Ted Rall op-eds on his/her person for distribution in parking lots? Oh honey, you need to blog. (PS to my blogging readers send me links I'm due for some round-up duty you-know-where.)

(And love on you, Glenn honey. You drink my milkshake.)

Monday, September 14

Something more wrong than even Glenn Beck.

...That would be Politico's "DC's Most Eligible Singles".

I resisted all morning blogging this, thinking I could reduce it to a twitter message, but really. Starting off an article with "DC is not Hollywood for ugly people."

And then the list...

Steny Hoyer? Ezekiel Emanuel? Maureen Dowd?

Look at the write-up for Patrick Kennedy:

If you can overlook his occasional stints in rehab, Kennedy possesses a boyish look that keeps him on the radar screens of many.

Holy Shit! The publicity agents who arranged this travesty? Helloooo? Fired very much? If this is an exercise in journalistic cruelty, kudos to Politico. But I'm thinking not.

I had to blog about this, because this quote-unquote "article" is living proof of what is so very wrong with the people who purport to Govern This Nation. The President has absolutely no prayer when it comes to "changing the way Washington operates" when the whole town is buzzing about when can poor Janet Napolitano find time to date.

Never in our history has the DC social scene interfered more with the nation's ability to fix what's wrong with Washington, and Washington's ability to fix what's broken in our nation.

The number one reason we will never see justice for the torture of prisoners under American jurisdiction is that bitterness will ruin DC's social scene. Healthcare? Better make it bi-partisan, you know Andrea Mitchell expects all smiles at next year's prom.

Apparently the DC media cohorts can't cover Steny Hoyer without gasping that the congressman is single and probably straight. If his secretary RSVP's, call the Georgetown caterer and double the mini-quiche order, won't you, dear?

Washington is a horny town, full of young and not-so-young party-goers all of whom find power to be the ultimate aphrodesiac. And they're too busy scheduling the next party, to have any idea how pathetic and disempowering 'power as aphrodesiac' really is.

Why does what Senator Ensign actually did, pay a staffer and her entire family so he could have cheating-on-his-wife sex with her, not lead to his immediate censure and expulsion from not only the Senate, but Washington society? Because if the divorce comes through, he'll have a nice 200 word profile in the next Politico list of sexy Washington batchelors:

If you can overlook his use of party funds to turn an employee into a prostitute, Ensign possesses a handsome "George Clooney" look that keeps him on the names-whispered-while-humping-my-pillow list of Maureen Dowd.

When the doorbell rings and standing in the doorway is a jobless recession "recovery" bringing the no-healthcare reform pizza that John McLaughlin ordered while pretending to go to the bathroom, that's the signal:

It's time for the Stephanopoulos cocktail party to END.

Let's break it up, and move the party over to that new wine bar in Georgetown: I hear their paper napkins are actually cut-up scraps of the Geneva Convention.

A [Not So] Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Healthcare Reform

I received this email and picture from my cousin. I am reprinting it with his permission, and I trust him that this is a true and accurate account of what happened to him. It's also a sad story, showing that we on the "right side" of the Healthcare debate can be prejudiced hooligans when we get riled and scared.

I've either been self-employed or a small-business owner for most of the past 25 years, and, as such, I'm used to seeing insurance premiums go up at least about 12% per year. This year, United HC just raised my rates 18%, during a recession, when they're already making billions in profit. But the problem was just as bad when I had Aetna before. My insurance broker says there are no good deals for health insurance. In my experience there is no competition in this industry any longer, and something like a "public-option" government insurance plan is needed to force the companies to give back some profit in the form of reduced premiums or increased coverage.

Feeling that this problem is under-reported in the health care "debate", I've wanted to be able to express it in some public forum but, alas, in central Florida most politicians are Republicans and they have no interest in discussing the current health care system.

However, just yesterday I saw that there was going to be a meeting in support of health care reform in downtown Orlando (sponsored by Healthcare for America Now). So I bought my "supplies" and made a sign saying "My health insurance just went up 18% (again)" and headed for downtown.

When I arrived at the event, many people complimented me on my sign and asked me to stand for a picture. But at the entrance, I was told the event required a prior ticket (which was not indicated on their website). Fortunately, a man just outside was handing out free tickets to late arrivals and gave me one. Although the ticket collector-girl was skeptical, she took my ticket and let me in.

And so I entered the gymnasium and climbed up into the seats behind others so my sign would not block their view. I felt a little out of place, as the event was in a poor black neighborhood and it seemed there were few whites there. But all seemed to agree that some reform of the health insurance system was needed, and there several signs condemning corporate profit over health.

As we waited, people began chants like "Healthcare Now!" with an aggressive vigor. That's not really my style, but I thought my sign said it all, so I sat and took in my first "political" event.

Then, suddenly, I was surrounded by several angry young black event personnel and a white "union representative" demanding to know what union I was in and saying that I would have to give up my sign. Dumbfounded, I asked why, pointing out that there were many signs which said essentially the same thing. Then, within seconds, brawny policemen sidled up to me, and the other men accused me of sneaking into the event. I tried to explain that I came in just like everybody else, but, obviously a "decision had been made" that I must be ejected from this "private" event.

As I was "escorted" down the stands, more and more people noticed and began to jeer me, as if I were some sinister double-agent. I pleaded with them, saying, "I AGREE with you", but nobody listened. I even felt a strong undercurrent of racism from some present, as if any bearded middle-aged white guy with a SIGN must be up to no good! It seemed that the collective anger over health care, and even some black racism, of hundreds of people was directed towards me as the police lead me out!

At the front entrance, the ticket girl snarled and jeered at me, thrilled that I had gotten "caught". I pleaded with everybody that I was "on their side", but the thuggish policeman just shoved me and made sure that my footsteps lead me to shortest route off the property, and that I did not "loiter" on the sidewalk.

In trying to intuit what happened, I can only guess that some pompous, angry and perhaps (yes) racist "Organizer", seeing me behind the others and not yelling enough, concluded that I must have been a hostile plant, without even THINKING about my sign, and therefore flexed his muscles by sic-ing his minions on me. I do feel that there is a good measure of racism in the protests against health care reform, but overreacting to perceived racism can also become racist.

This whole dynamic calls to mind the many famous historical tales of mad collective Anger Gone Wild (like the French Revolution, for example), where people abandon all sense of reason and even begin "feeding on their own". Such a combination of ignorant and righteous mob anger is always treacherous.

And so ended my first attempt at "grass roots" civic participation!

One of my Montana readers emailed me at the same time. His comments are germane to my cousin's experience:

I am thinking it is time for someone to go away from snarky and call neo-cons’ and Republicans’ public utterances “silly” and “unserious.” When there is so much work to do, why spend all that time and energy going toe to toe with them? I don’t want to demonize them—they are motivated by an odd mixture of fear, greed and love of country. I get that. But they live it more proudly and confidently than they deserve to. Snarky is as snarky does and it makes the public debate stand on a foundation of derision—both deserved and undeserved. Which is not to say I don’t value clever exchanges in public debate. It’s just that I am not consistently clever enough(although I do have a moment now and then) to bang on things that way. Tell them they are silly and unserious, and let us get back to work. Why aren’t more bloggers trying to be like Mark Twain?

Going all Mark Twain means we laugh at everybody, including ourselves. And I'm for that, because I think what happened to my cousin, by people who are supposed to know better, is stupid, silly, and unserious. But we've got to uncover (and if we've got the gumption, laugh at) our own failings, and this was a complete FAIL on the part of Healthcare Now.

But right now, I'm not laughing.

Sunday, September 13

Gotta hand it to the South Carolina Tourism Board

All of a sudden, they've got the toughest sell in the world. Nope, you couldn't pay me enough, Myrtle Beach.

Saturday, September 12

The Worst Day in the History of the Republican Party, Ever.

This day will be remembered as the beginning of the end for the Republican Party. Any thinking person whose politics is being formulated today (anyone from say, 18-25, has got to be looking at the signs at the 9/12 "Million Moron March" (thanks, Bill Maher) and thinking, wow, these guys are about as un-cool as you can get, and besides, they're racist. They'll be thinking that, and voting against it, for the next 40 years.

Picture from this flickr set, which would be funny if it weren't our fellow Americans.

Saturday Song

For Rupert Murdoch, the man who gave us the yo-yo.

Thursday, September 10

Log another "win" for the GOP.

Honestly, the look on Pelosi's face last night was priceless. I look like that when a kid dumps tub water on the bathroom floor.

Wednesday, September 9

Commissioned Work and "new" laptop

One of the Crooks and Liars team requested an illustration of Senator Snowe looking like a queen, so I totally ripped off Driftglass and made this:


By the way, you know it's a bad day for Boehner when a GOP lawmaker bragging in front of a hot mic about sex spanking a lobbyist is NOT the worst thing to happen to the party all day. Now we find out Congressman "you LIE" Wilson has amended his financial records and is in massive debt. Why do these guys need so much negative attention? They're emotional toddlers. Look at Mark Sanford: my five-year-old does not scream "not fair!" with the emotion that guy brings to his "job."


Computer update for those interested in the end of the soap opera:

After re-installing Windows, repair guy ran checkdisk and found sector errors all over the place. Nothing lost that wasn't already lost with the re-install, though, except the hardware and his time. Nice guy. I started talking "deals" with him and bought a refurbished machine from him for a hundred dollars off with "trade-in" (trade in my machine with a dead battery and bad hard drive? Do I have to?) and no charge for the labor on my old machine. This one comes, even used, with a one year warranty on the hardware. It's a slight financial hit but not what it might have been. I'll fundraise in October. And when I win the MacArthur Prize I promise I'll buy a Mac.

Thanks to the reader who threw me some scratch because he felt I must "stay in the fight." And more than one local reader has offered to configure an old desktop for me from stuff they have in their garage. Be warned I already own a "boat anchor" CRT monitor in the basement...doesn't everybody?

Politics, Tea Baggers, and "At Least That's Not Me" Syndrome

You may or may not have seen "Ruby" on the Style Network but these reality shows are ubiquitous on cable television. Stories of morbidly obese people and their struggle (and in some cases, death) are on constantly.

And if it's not Fat TV it's house makeover reality. The worst bathroom in the world. The ugliest real estate listing. The most cluttered house in the entire universe. And don't get me started about the relationship/dating and wardrobe shows. Both of them are "watch people shop" in the most inhumane and sad display you can imagine.

But there's something behind these displays that, I think, speaks to politics during this recent August Congressional break with the ugliness that came out of Health Care Town Hall Meetings. People sit on their LaZBoy Recliner eating pork rinds and watching equally bad junk, but hey, at least they're not what they're watching: a six hundred pound woman who needs a special double-wide operating table for her gastric bypass surgery.

They may be sitting in a house with a sink full of dirty dishes, but hey, they can find the sink.

And sure, they believe in their heart of hearts that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did no real harm to the country, he lost the election and what's past is past. Politics is nasty business. Both sides do it. And that Obama Care bill is too long for anybody to understand it, and might make them pay for abortion and kill Grandma. It's all so suspicious and why on earth would Obama WANT to talk to school kids if not to convert them to his way, which might be Socialist or Muslim or ya know, even if it's just a Democrat being pro-education that's bad enough. Keep that stuff outta school, ya know.

We're all good Americans, as long as we're not one of those crazy people out there yelling at a meeting. Sit in the LaZBoy, be nice to your (white) neighbors, collect your social security and pray the Obama government keeps their hands off of it. Don't change your attitude, diet, housekeeping, motives, and above all, prejudices. Most of all, the fact that you are JUST NOW "waking up to politics"? Well, don't worry, you, like George W. Bush, are a good Christian man, and also basically a good person.

Anyone who watched Bush destroy this country's standing in the world and set up the corporate whoredom for which we are now paying the price, and makes the excuse that they were "politically asleep" during the Bush Administration and are now "awake," is using word-for-word Glenn Beck code for racism. This is the third person this past month I've heard use that asleep/awake analogy, and it's a sure sign that you're dealing with a racist LaZBoy who is putty in the hands of Hate Radio. And they are afraid of indoctrination? Really.


Take note, America, your heart is not washed clean from the pork rinds of George W. Bush just because you were asleep when you ate them. Before that heart attack hits you, hop up and down a few times about the black fella in the White House and tell yourself it's good aerobics that'll make up for the eight solid years you let your country go to pot. And don't forget your self-esteem affirmations: look in that red white and blue mirror and keep telling yourself you're fine just the way you are.

"The world just fucking blew up, Mister President. Act natural for the kiddies. Tell them to work hard and stay in...oh nevermind."

Tuesday, September 8

Stuff my kids say

There's a very funny and popular Twitter account called Shitmydadsays. Whether it's a real dad or made up it's very well-written and you WILL laugh your butt off.

I'm thinking I may need to start a 'stuff my kids say' hashtag:

10 yo: "Mom, we have five billion years until the sun burns out. We'd better use those five billion years wisely."

5 yo: "Mom, whatever you do, don't stick your hair in the toilet."

7 yo: "Mom, can we get...[many attempts at pronounciation] mistletoe? I want to kiss somebody."

5 yo, when a guest sat too close to the paper and crayons: "Don't ruin my art!"

10 yo again: "Mom, you have NO IDEA what I put up with from living with those two sisters of mine."

My Personal Medicaid Statistics

Population of the city in which I live: 110,000

Number of hits Google provides when searching for "Orthodontists in [my city and state]: 118

Number of orthodontists in my city who take Medicaid: Zero

Number of miles I drove today (round-trip) to take my son to an orthodontist who takes Medicaid: 165.08

Number of minutes I was early for the appointment: four

Number of minutes we waited to see the orthodontist: fifty

Number of minutes the orthodontist spent with my son: two and a half

Amount Medicaid will cover for his "non-severe" orthodontic needs: zero

Cost of a tank of gas today when I got back: Just under $36.00

Number of times on the way home I swore under my breath: lost count

Number of times I thanked God I was 'unemployed' and not taking paid time off of work (ha)** to make this stupid trip: three

**Percentage of US workers who have NO paid sick leave: 48

Estimated cost of braces (which he'll likely need down the road) as private payee: $5000

Amount I am allowed to have in the bank, ever, before I lose food stamp benefits for me and my three kids: $2000

Good News! As a private payee, maybe I can get one of the 118 orthodontic practices in my hometown to fix my kid's teeth, and be grateful for the savings on gasoline!

Seriously, I KNOW my situation is not a dire as many parents'. I feel for those parents WITH insurance whose child's severe illness (not just crooked teeth) STILL bankrupts the family. I sincerely feel for medical specialists who can't pay the light bills on what Medicaid reimburses them.

I feel more for parents who can't afford to TAKE their child to a doctor who will take public insurance.


ps. still waiting to hear if my laptop is or can be repaired. I'm really grateful for all the advice my readers have given me. Please don't ask me to buy another one, buy a Mac, buy ANYTHING. Not today. Not today.

Update: They called from the shop ...pretty good guy. Says the machine itself is fine but totally corrupted so he's reinstalling windows. What I "lose" is mostly replaceable. He offered to back up whatever I wanted but I said screw it. Google backs up every image posted to the blog (you old skool Blogger types know that, right?), and the old skool software I like (especially movie maker 2.6) is still available for download.

Whatever you do to Michele Bachmann...

...don't let them Palinize her....

...she might become President.

Don't Palinize her? I guess becoming a verb is a positive goal for the former Governor of Alaska. But then again, it automatically begs the definition, my version of which seemed rather popular amongst the Twitterati:

Bachmannize (v.) - to expose one's abandonment of all reason and intelligence in the name of wingnut ideology.

She claims I and other Democrats want to sabotage her? Oh honey. Are you KIDDING me?

I'm actually with Wonkette on this one: if Michele Bachmann wants to charge a day-fee for each time she opens her mouth, I'll buy the next three years up-front.

I'll send five bucks to her 2012 exploratory committee just to be on the mailing list. I swear.

I'll even dump any presidential-run hopes for Rick Santorum (now there's a dictionary word for ya) if only you'll announce, Congresswoman. You've now got that in writing. Love, Blue Gal

Original fabulous lesbian pulp fiction cover (I put Sarah in her t-shirt because I didn't think that subtext really added anything, ya know) here.

Sunday, September 6

What I DON'T want to write about.

Lisa at That's Why recommended Natalie Goldberg's latest book, "Old Friend from Far Away." I've always liked Goldberg's exercises; Writing Down the Bones is a get off your butt and get your pen moving Bible.

In this latest book Goldberg reminds us of the "Here's what I do/don't want to say" prompt.

Here is what I don't want to write about:

I don't want to write about health insurance reform, healthcare, Obama, public option, Medicare, or any of it. If the opponents of reform had any ideas beyond the selfish greedy interests of the status quo, if they were unwilling to lie and fear monger in order to accomplish their goals, if their goals were in the best interest of any segment of the American population rather than their own party's soulless ambition, I would debate the facts and make a case. No one opposed to reform is interested in debate. They don't have a plan.

I don't want to write about Republicans. It must be awful to have nothing to base your politics upon except the failure of the current President. What is more awful is that so many Americans go along, squeeze their eyes shut to that which is in their own interest, in order to retain their prejudices.

I don't want to write about fake Christianists who drive so much of the "debate": those who scream god-talk the loudest are the most embarrassing. If the only words allowed in this debate or any other were truth, there would be silence for three solid days, at least. And Newt Gingrich would not open his silver-tongued mouth for a decade.

I don't want to write about him.

I want to write about Life. The culture of life that so many say we're lacking in this country, well yes, if we're willing to believe and promulgate the belief as a US Senator, that safety is in carrying a gun so that the Black president will not euthanize your mother?

The culture of life? Really. And we as a nation have this huge generation facing retirement and aging and they have health insurance, believe it or not, and all you have to do is say "death panel" and "grandma" and "abortion" and the collective freak out from people who HAVE... I just want to scream to them, you are MORTAL and your time on this earth is ticking away and you scream about it but what you really truly want is for a white leader to tell you you don't have to worry about sickness and death forever because he will keep you safe to the point of starting fake wars and torturing the brown people and paying off the insurance people with your money, and the white guy is, guess what, not Jesus Christ. Jesus was born to an unwed mother in Egypt. He didn't have a birth certificate. And his skin? You'd grab your gun if Jesus knocked on your door, asshole.