Friday, October 31, 2008
• The always reliable (not) NY Post says Elizabeth Edwards has dumped her no-good cheating husband. She wasn't wearing her ring when she gave a speech Monday night and he's allegedly moved out of their house.
• There's more to Iowa than pigs and cornfields. We have naked bowling too:
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Wall Lake bowling alley owner who faced suspension of his liquor license after a half-naked customer slid down a beer covered lane during RAGBRAI in 2004 will be able to keep his license.
• You have a new form of TB. It kills 1 out of 6 people, and the only treatment is a toxic drug that causes stomach aches, diarrhea and psychosis. Which would you choose?
• Bird brained: When Chicago bird watchers discovered a rare owl in their vicinity, they called all their friends. The result: everybody showed up, flushed the owl out of its hiding place so they could see it, which resulted in it getting ripped to shreds by a hawk. Ta da.
• Top 10 things dogs eat that they shouldn't: 1. Socks 2. Underwear 3. Pantyhose 4. Rocks 5. Balls 6. Chew toys 7. Corn cobs 8. Bones 9. Hair ties 10. Sticks
Maybe it wasn't the dryer that ate your sock.
• Fark headline of the day: Politically motivated suicide squirrel leaps from a tree to a power line, causing electrical failure at an early voting facility. No word whether a backwards "McC" was found on squirrel.
It's better than hoarding live cats, right?
My lips are still tingling - I think it's probably caused by bad teeth. I have so many cavities, mainly on the left side. I have one tooth that's going to break if I bite down on it the wrong way. Must. Not. Chew. Ice.
I can't afford to go to the dentist so I'm pretty much screwed. If it does break, my insurance will cover an oral surgeon so I'll have to have it pulled.
And now I'm afraid my family doctor's going to think I'm just making stuff up to get attention. A few months ago, I went in because I was having stomach problems. After lots of tests, they said my gall bladder was mildly dysfunctional but not enough to need surgery. They wanted to do more tests to make sure it wasn't anything else. By that time, my symptoms had calmed down so I didn't follow through. The doctor didn't even mention it when I saw her this week.
I've been very sad and weepy the last few days, lots of anxiety and suicide thoughts. I'm not going there but the thoughts are obsessive. As long as I keep myself occupied - lots of surfing, mostly political sites, and doing jigsaws on the compter. There's an online game I love - Sporcles - where you list all the items in a particular category, like Brad Pitt movies.
Did you know there are 195 countries in the world? The first time I tried, I couldn't name half of them. Now, I've got them memorized and I do that list once a day, trying to improve my time. I've also memorized the American Film Institute's 100 best movies but some days I forget a few. I've got all 43 presidents down and now I'm working on Best Picture Oscar winners from 1970 to 2007. It's good mental exercise - and it keeps me from slashing my wrists. You gotta do what you gotta do.
I hate going to bed. That's the one time I can't turn off the suicide thoughts. I try making lists in my head, like Robert Redford movies (he hasn't made it to Sporcles yet) or counting backwards from 1000 by 7s. Nothing like that works.
Tonight I went for poll watchers training. Earlier this year, the Dems were begging for poll workers - the ones who get paid for sitting there all day - and I never made the call. Stupid. I could really use the extra money but they've got the positions filled now.
This year, they've also got lawyers assigned to most precincts - especially in the heavily Democratic neighborhoods and areas with lots of minorities, which includes the precinct I'm in. I'm annoyed there'll be someone basically watching over my shoulder.
The site is in a school hallway and the area where the workers and watchers sit is very tight. There's hardly room for the 3 workers and Dem and Rep watchers to sit. Now there'll be another guy there?
This is my 3rd election at that precinct. The workers there are honest and dedicated to fair elections. I can't imagine them trying to pull anything and they wouldn't let anyone else get away with it either. They've made mistakes a few times when the line was backed up, forgetting to let people do provisional ballots when they had absentee ballots outstanding. All it took was a gentle reminder and they did it right.
Four years ago when Kerry ran, a lawyer from Omaha was there to observe. She didn't know what the hell she was doing and I had to explain everything to her.
If the guy this year doesn't know his stuff, I'm liable to tell him to get stuffed.
I wouldn't really. I'd just sit there feeling superior. It's not often I get to do that.
Turn ons: feeling superior
Turn offs: voter suppression
Thursday, October 30, 2008
One of the most toxic effects of the decline of the two parties as political institutions and the rise of the modern TV-based political campaign, with its cult of personality politics, is that the election becomes a referendum on the candidates themselves, rather than on broad policies or platforms.
The peril of the modern political campaign is not its nastiness (come on, we're all adults). It's that it supplants a real debate, so that by the time the election actually happens and a victor is declared, it's not entirely clear what we all collectively just decided. Did we just vote for universal health care, or against that cranky old man and his dimwitted running mate?
~ David Kurtz, TPM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten ... I shared my -- I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
~ Barack Obama on McCain's latest attacks
• The court has placed Britney Spears under a permanent conservatorship:
Under the permanent conservatorship a medical team will oversee Britney's career to make sure what she does will not compromise her mental health.
The commish said, "The conservatorship is necessary and appropriate for the complexity of financial and business entities and her being susceptible to undue influence."
• There's a new book about etiquette expert Emily Post. I knew nothing about her background - she was born in a wealthy, upperclass family and got married at 19 to a guy who was only interested in her money and cheated on her from the start. She preferred to live a lie and pretend they were happy rather than face the social embarrassment of a divorce, until a lawsuit concerning his adultery forced the issue. A critic on Slate says the book is too sympathetic to Post:
She never cooked a meal and never spent a day without her maid in attendance. She stayed aloof from the suffrage movement, hated the New Deal, couldn't abide Eleanor Roosevelt and her many causes, and lobbied the Social Register to banish any mention of a mixed-race laundress who had married into a prominent family. In 1947, she explained that if you happen to see or hear "something definitely threatening to our government," the correct thing to do was write to the FBI or a local government official.
After the divorce, she still presented herself as an expert on marriage. In her Etiquette book, she wrote:
"The man who publicly besmirches his wife's name, besmirches still more his own, and proves that he is not, was not, and never will be, a gentleman."
• Speaking of bitter, Sarah Palin is blaming her handlers - primarily McCain aide Nicole Wallace - for her sagging approval ratings. And she won't shut up about the $150,000 wardrobe the RNC provided. Her friends say Wallace was the one went to the stores, picked out the clothes and put them on her own credit card and they're mad that she won't take the blame. But none of that is true:
At McCain HQ, senior aides rolled their eyes, unable to believe that Palin was continuing to give the story more airtime.
And some Republicans are starting to now say they should have seen this coming, since Palin has a reputation for making friends who can help her and then screwing them over.
One of McCain's top advisers has called her a "whack job." But what does that say about McCain and the advisers who chose her? They're taking the risk of putting this woman in the White House. America first?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I've always wondered what companies were thinking - who's going to buy their products if working people can't afford them? It's well past time to take from the rich to give to the poor. McCain seems to forget that Robin Hood was very popular with the masses.
Yesterday, dozens of workers at an Indiana telemarketing firm walked off the job rather than make the calls and read the anti-Obama scripts they were hired to read. The peasants are uprising. McCain needs to be careful or they'll start taking up pitchforks and torches soon.
TPM had a link to this GQ blog with some interesting insight about the Palin problem:
I’m sympathetic to Eskew and Wallace [Palin's handlers], and not just because they’re decent people. They’ve held their tongue from leaking what a couple of McCain higher-ups have told me—namely, that Palin simply knew nothing about national and international issues ... It’s a grim binary choice, but apparently it came down to whether to make Palin look like a scripted robot or an unscripted ignoramus. I was told that Palin chafed at being defined by her discomfiting performances in the Couric, Charlie Gibson, and Sean Hannity interviews. She wanted to get back out there and do more. Well, if you’re Eskew and Wallace, what do you say to that? Your responsibility isn’t the care and feeding of Sarah Palin’s ego; it’s the furtherance of John McCain’s quest for the presidency ...
I’ve heard from one well-placed source that McCain has snubbed her on one long bus ride aboard the Straight Talk Express, to the embarrassment of those sitting nearby. It has surely been implied to the governor that she should be eternally grateful to have been plucked from obscurity. And yet the high water mark of John McCain’s campaign for the presidency unquestionably began on September 3, when Palin gave her nomination speech—and ended precisely twelve days later, when McCain went off-script—I have that on the authority of the person who participated in the writing of said script—and told an audience that he still believed the fundamentals of the economy were strong.
In other words, Palin's a disaster but McCain has only his own rambling brain and big mouth to blame for his (hopefully) impending defeat.
• Check out this chart that shows where Obama stands in polls in battleground states compared to where Kerry stood at this time 4 years ago.
I've been on their mail, email and phone list since last December (maybe earlier). I signed up before the Iowa caucus because I wanted to know what his campaign was putting out. Of the Republicans running at the time, he was the one who scared me the least.
Boy, was that a mistaken impression!
But this is the first time they've contacted me since he wrapped up the nomination. How fucked up is that? I already voted a week ago.
So I went to their website and told them I already voted and they lost any chance of ever getting my vote when he chose Palin.
We did beat Russia - #141.
Campbell Brown was on The Daily Show tonight. She said her show on CNN, "No Bias, No Bull," is trying to find a middle ground somewhere between Olbermann and O'Reilly. Jon Stewart was teasing her about her interview with McCain rep Tucker Bounds, where she embarrassed the hell out of the little weasel.
McCain refused to appear on Larry King because he was PO'd over what she did to Bounds. She talked about how the campaigns try to punish reporters or news outlets that challenge them by denying reporters access, and she said she thought maybe reporters were better off keeping some distance from campaigns so they didn't get caught up in the group-think that develops when they're embedded with a candidate.
Hallelujah. I'm so tired of hearing the same talking points over and over again. Journalists are too lazy - just repeating what the campaigns tell them instead of going out and trying to get the real story themselves.
In part, that's a product of the corporations that own the media. They've cut budgets to the bone, getting rid of reporters and making it difficult for the ones who are left to really report everything. And no matter how much they deny it, the news divisions are influenced by fear of losing advertising dollars if they say the "wrong" thing.
There was one point Brown made that I disagreed with. She said people don't want straight news shows from the networks anymore - that analysis and opinion shows are the only way to go.
Bullshit. I miss the days when CNN actually reported news, almost as much as I miss the music on MTV. Straight news shows are such a rare commodity nowadays that it would be refreshing. Especially if they broke free of the campaign spokesmen, press releases and propaganda and went out and dug up the stories themselves.
So much of what's wrong with the mainstream media is the herd mentality. No matter which evening network news or cable news show you watch, all you hear are the same stories over and over again.
It seems like 60 Minutes is the only TV show doing real reporting. And those guys are dinosaurs well on the way to becoming extinct.
Like Lucy, a human ancestor. She was named after the Beatles song because it was playing in the anthropologists' camp the day she was discovered.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
But going without hot water SUCKS. I used my little heater to warm up the bathroom while I boiled water. It took me a half hour to boil enough to have an inch or two of chilly water in the tub, just so I could get a sponge bath and rinse off.
My dishes are piling up. I want to brown some hamburger to make spaghetti for supper but that's going to require boiling more water so I can wash the frying pan.
I've been hearing all these stories about tenants around the country being evicted with no warning because their landlords were foreclosed on. It occurred to me that maybe my landlord didn't pay his gas bill. But the lights are still on in the hall - the power company would have turned those off too.
I do worry that he's in over his head. He lives in Colorado but owns a couple of apartment complexes here in town and more in other states. Judging by the high turnover with tenants moving in and out every month and apartments sitting empty, plus the stupid letters he keeps sending us complaining about people not paying their rent, I don't think he's making as much money as he expected.
And speaking of his stupid letters, last time he sent one, I wrote an anonymous letter. I said it's not fair that the rest of us get scolded because some people don't pay rent on time, and that he's lost tenants because of it and he's about to lose another if it continues.
Tonight I noticed that all the signs he had posted by the outside doors - nagging us to close the door, wipe your feet, take your shoes off if they're muddy, etc. - are gone now.
Maybe the guy actually paid attention to what I said. Or maybe one of the other tenants took them down.
She reminds me of myself - even looks a little bit like me. Back when I was her age, I used to hit myself and pinch myself to cause bruises. I only cut my face once - very shallow scratches that didn't leave scars - but I used to cut my wrists all the time. I also burned myself with a curling iron, pulled my hair. One time, I cut most of my hair off.
I was never stupid (or desperate) enough to get the police involved and make up complicated stories like that. I feel for her though.
It was obvious to almost everyone that her injuries were self-inflicted. What guy is going to carve a mirror image of a 'B' on someone's face? And even if he was dyslexic, wouldn't he have cut her deeper than that? If she was struggling to get away, the 'B' wouldn't have been quite so perfectly drawn.
None of that stopped McCain's minions from exploiting her though. His Pennsylvania communications director Peter Feldman told the press details that didn't appear in the police report, including quotes from the assailant telling Todd he was attacking her because she had McCain stickers and the 'B' stood for Barack.
Now, McCain's camp is denying Feldman even did that. But there are 2 reporters from 2 different outlets who included those details in their stories, and both swear it came from Feldman.
And there are questions about whether or not the national campaign had anything to do with fanning the flames. Both McCain and Palin called the girl and that detail was also released to the press.
Another big co-inky-dinky: At the same time this story of a racist attack on behalf of Obama was going out, the campaign was emailing 75,000 Jewish voters in Pennsylvania. The emails warned that an Obama presidency could lead to another holocaust. Feldman is blaming that on a rogue - or should I say maverick - consultant they hired. Nope, not their fault at all.
Race baiting. Not just for guys in white hoods anymore.
There's no heat in my apartment. A week or two ago, they turned it on and the temp in here was in the 90s for a day or so. Then they turned it off again.
All this week, the temp outside has been in the 40s and 50s and it's just as cold in here. Hasn't bothered me too much, but now there's no hot water either. And it's the weekend, so we can be pretty much guaranteed there won't be hot water until Monday.
My landlord sucks. I've mentioned that before. And before and before and before and before. Those are just a few of the times I've blogged about him. Total asshole.
I've been something of a space cadet the last few days. Very short attention span, mind wandering all over the place.
Tonight I was thinking about Barack Obama and his book The Audacity of Hope. I haven't read it yet but I'd like to. He seems like an old soul to me - so composed, self-confident, smart, wise beyond his years. A born leader.
It occurred to me that maybe he's the reincarnation of Thomas Jefferson, come back to repair the damage that's been done to his beloved Constitution. Makes sense that he'd come back as someone who's mixed race - he has some karma to deal with because of the way he treated his children with Sally Hemings.
It also makes sense that he'd choose to be born into a family where there'd be lots of opportunity for travel. Like Jefferson, Obama is a good writer with diverse interests and a lot of talent.
Hey, it's no crazier than that babe in the manger story.
Friday, October 24, 2008
• The McCain groupie with the mirror image of a B scratched on her cheek confessed she made the whole thing up
• One of McCain's advisors, former Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried, has endorsed Obama. Other Republicans who have publicly endorsed Obama include: Colin Powell, former MN governor Arne Carlson, former MA governor William Weld, columnist Christopher Buckley
• Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an article about voter suppression in Rolling Stone. Talk about un-American. Republicans not only want to defeat Democrats. They're trying to destroy democracy as well.
• Reductio ad nazium: A Republican county clerk in Indiana passed around memos at work that refer to Obama as a black Hitler. What's worse: This chick is in charge of administering the election in that county.
• This story is so crazy I just copied a paragraph from TPM:
The New York Times reports that Amy Strozzi, the traveling makeup artist for Sarah Palin, is in fact the top-paid staffer on the campaign. Strozzi was paid $22,800 during just the first two weeks of October, compared to only $12,500 for top foreign-policy adviser Randy Scheunemann.
Talk about a rip off. Palin's makeup is awful! She's got so much paint plastered on her face that she reminds me of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard.
• Palin denied that the RNC spent $150,000 on her wardrobe. But the RNC has already confirmed it. Reminds me of when the Troopergate report came out and said what she'd done was both illegal and unethical. The next day she said she was happy the report found no evidence that she'd done anything illegal or unethical. What???
• This is the best article of the bunch: McCain campaign announces top-level shakeup. They're dumping McCain.
• No, wait. This one is the best: CDC announces a new virus is sweeping the country. It causes sanity and a rapidly increasing ability to think clearly. The people who seem to have the most immunity to the virus are evangelicals and citizens of red states.
"If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."
~ a Fox News executive yesterday, referring to the McCain campaign volunteer who claimed she was attacked by a big black Obama lover
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
But there was also that little matter of the USSR's ill-conceived war in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden put out a statement about that:
"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat."
Which is why bin Laden released that tape shortly before the 2004 election. He wanted Bush to win because the neocons' obsession with proving to the world that the U.S. has the biggest dick is plunging us into a deep recession. As bin Laden said in that tape:
"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy."
As bin Laden pointed out, al Qaeda only spent $500,000 on 9/11. It's already cost us more than $500 billion, and the price is still going up.
Personally, I've always wondered if bin Laden's really dead and the CIA put out that tape to help Bush. A bin Laden lookalike under their control would serve their purposes better than a bin Laden corpse.
Now, the AP and the Washington Post are reporting that some analysts say al Qaeda may be planning a terrorist attack to throw the election to McCain. That has his peeps in a tizzy - it won't help them if voters believe the terrorists want McCain to win.
If an attack does occur before November 4, what do you want to bet McCain blames it on William Ayers or Jeremiah Wright or digs up an old Black Panther to take the rap? You know, one of those terrorists Obama likes to pal around with.
Another thing I'm wondering: How much money do bin Laden's allies and sympathizers have invested in the U.S.? What happens when they decide to pull it out?
By the way, there are reports that the voting machines in Florida are breaking down. And they're not sure the ones that are "working" are properly recording votes.
One of their supporters explains:
Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children. Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion.
A leader of a Christian organization responded, "People don't like being preached at."
Not sure if he saw the irony in that.
• I'm not sure which is more inane: The fact that the undercover officer allowed masseuses to put a condom on him and start performing a sex act, or the fact that he told them to stop so he could use the phone.
• When Michelle Weeks was raped by a stranger 25 years ago, the police accused her of lying to cover up an affair. The attack, the treatment she received afterwards, and the resulting emotional trauma led to a divorce, even though her husband believed her, and years of pain and suffering. Thanks to DNA testing, her attacker has finally been brought to justice. She wasn't the only woman he had raped.
• Fark calls Britain the "nanny state," and it's because of things like this: A businessman was fined $600 because he didn't have a contract with a waste removal business. He says he doesn't need one because the only garbage produced at his place of business are the sandwich wrappers and used tea bags from his lunch. He takes them home with him every night and tosses them there.
• This shit adds up: Did you know the federal government pays from $7000 to $50,000 for portraits of all the members of the Cabinet, as well as the heads of various agencies, such as NASA and the EPA? A photo's not good enough?
• A pizzeria in Michigan is giving away free pizzas to people who turn in their McCain signs. She says McCain gave up on Michigan so the people there should give up on McCain.
• Speaking of yard signs: A black guy in Florida had his Obama sign stolen and replaced with a Confederate flag.
• The real reason they want to drill, baby, drill: The Department of Energy is allowing ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil already to export natural gas to Japan and other Pacific rim countries. Democratic Congressman Ron Biden of Oregon objects:
The Administration is trying to have it both ways – arguing that we need to drill everywhere because we don’t have adequate energy supplies, while finding that we have so much energy that big oil companies can export it overseas and keep prices here at home higher than they would otherwise be.
• According to a new poll, choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate is the #1 reason why voters don't trust McCain. People are more afraid of her than they are that McCain will continue Bush's policies.
The latest Gallup poll shows Obama leading by an average of 26% in blue states and by 8% in purple states. He's only down by 6% in red states.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It was a busy day for me. I worked on my booth at the flea market and got groceries. And I voted . There were only 3 other people voting at the same time, but more than 200 had voted as of the 5:00 news. The irony? The satellite voting site is called The Long Lines Center.
I'm kind of sad that early voting is becoming so popular. It's good if it helps Democrats' turn out, which it appears to be doing. But there's something special about having everyone show up on the same day. People are usually excited - there's a sense of unity and fellowship even when we're voting for different candidates.
I agreed to do poll watching on election day. It'll be interesting to see what happens then.
In 2004, a Democratic lawyer from Omaha came to observe at the precinct where I was volunteering. She kept asking me all kinds of questions - what are they doing, are they allowed to do that, is that right, etc. WTF was she doing there if she didn't know the answers?
I thought of this because people at TPM are trying to recruit lawyers to go to battleground states like Ohio on election day to prevent voter suppression. It does absolutely no good for them to be there if they don't know the ins and outs of what's supposed to happen.
The last time I volunteered at the polls, the workers tried to turn away people who had been sent absentee ballots but hadn't turned them in. The correct procedure is they're supposed to be allowed to vote with a provisional ballot. It wasn't malice or an attempt at voter suppression - the workers just didn't know the correct procedure. They were harried because of the long lines so they kept forgetting, even after I reminded them a couple of times. A whole bunch of Republicans got sent home without voting. But the Democrats got to vote because I spoke up for them. That's the benefit of having poll watchers present. If the stupid lawyer had been there instead of me, we would've lost those votes.
Not that it mattered anyway, since Kerry lost. But I did my bit.
It would be nice, for just once more before I die, if the presidential candidate I voted for actually won. We've got a chance this year. But I thought the same thing with Kerry and Gore.
Question for all the Republicans who are accusing Democrats of registering dead people: Why would we do when we know the zombies would probably vote for one of their own?
• In 1991, a passenger jet coming in for a landing at Heathrow had a near-miss with a UFO. In 1957, a U.S. pilot was ordered to shoot down a UFO over Norwich, England. The object, which was as big as an aircraft carrier disappeared right before he fired. All this info is contained in files recently released from the British Ministry of Defense.
• My wife's not a lawn mower. That's what the guy said after a judge ordered him to tear down the metal shed in his back yard. The shed his wife lives in.
• A sure sign you have too much time and money on your hands: You get plastic surgery to have your toes shortened so you can wear designer shoes. And I thought Chinese foot-binding was crazy.
• The guy who published that calendar with half-naked Mormon hunks? Excommunicated. BYU revoked his dipolma too. Getting kicked out of the church I can understand. But should an accredited university be allowed to take away your degree because you sold pictures of guys without their shirts?
• Dick Hunter. He's an Episcopalian. And yes, he's gay.
• Today's Jeopardy answer: A British scientist, snail hunter and orgy king. The question: Who was the guy wrote The Joy of Sex?
The book was recently updated. They got rid of the hairy bodies because the revisioinist said she was "terrified" by them. Am I the only person left who thinks fur is sexy?
• She can see the Russian dressing from her checkout stand. Sarah Palen the Safeway clerk has the experience to be VP.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Yesterday, I had MSNBC on all afternoon while I was painting a bookshelf. Every single political interview is so predictable that it's a complete waste of time. One spokesperson spins everything in favor of McCain and the other spokesperson spins in favor of Obama. Neither one actually answers the questions they're being asked or seems to have any regard for the truth. The reporters make no attempt to pin them down.
It's like the Wizard of Oz, an opium dream.
Colin Powell endorsed Obama. Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan say it's only because he's supporting his own race. Rush is just insane. Buchanan's upset because Powell criticized his darling Sarah.
Even Sarah Palin is complaining about McCain's sleazy campaign. Obama answers:
As you know, you really have to work hard to violate Governor Palin's standards on negative campaigning.
For anyone who's not a political junkie like me, maybe you missed this gem from MN Rep. Michele Bachmann. She went into a wild-eyed rant where she called Obama anti-American and said journalists should start an inquest to determine which members of Congress are pro-American and which are anti-American.
As a result, this weekend online donors contributed more than $650,000 to her opponent's campaign. That's twice what he had on hand at the end of September. Looks like Dems might pick up another seat in the House.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
As one guy commented on TPM:
Who would have thought so many anti-American, terrorist-sympathizing, vote-stealing, baby-killing, communists could be living in one midwestern city?
The Republicans are going to have to work double time to steal this election. And they are.
Turn offs: Fear-mongering, hate-mongering and lies
Turn ons: Democracy
Thursday, October 16, 2008
But she's not a racist.
This is not an isolated incident in Calif. The Sacramento County Republican website had a picture of Obama in a turban next to Osama bin Laden and said "The only difference between Osama and Obama is a little B.S." They also told members to "Waterboard Obama."
To their credit, Republican leaders there are speaking out against it. One of them said:
"Unfortunately, I don't know what you do to correct ignorance like this, but we will do what we can."
I've bought 3 pounds of bacon in the last month. All of a sudden, it's my comfort food.
What set it off was seeing some doctor on a talk show (I think it was Dr. Oz on Oprah) saying that bacon is healthy for breakfast. It's good protein. But he was talking about eating 2 strips of very crispy bacon with the fat drained off maybe once a week. I don't think he meant eating a pound in a few days time.
The good news is I won't die from a diabetic coma from sugar binges. The bad news is I'll die of a heart attack.
Which brings me back to what first inspired this post. Today is my father's birthday. He would've been 72. He died of a heart attack 18 years ago, after years of suffering the debilitating after effects of the stroke he had at 44.
Yeah, eating bacon is real smart, Debbie.
It's not only the taste that comforts me. I love the smell. I wish they'd make bacon-scented candles.
If there are any entrepreneurs reading, that's an idea for you. A line of candles that smell like bacon or coffee or even pipe tobacco or barbecued ribs or roast turkey. Vanilla and lavender are so boring.
Turn ons: bacon cheeseburgers dripping with ketchup and mayo
Turn offs: clogged arteries
This is the same state where the GOP leader gave canvassers instructions to go out and tell everyone how much Obama is like Osama.
And last night, John McCain was at the debate sniveling about how hurt he was that Rep. John Lewis compared his campaign to the atmosphere George Wallace created.
McCain wants Obama to repudiate John Lewis. Is McCain going to repudiate the Virginia GOP?
In my eight years with him, I learned that John just hates it when you disagree with him. If you press it, he just falls back on his patriotism. And then he blows up.
~ former Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini on John McCain
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This was not a Christian website - it was a board about TV on a website that's supposed to appeal to all women. It used to be a great site but the Christian fascists have taken it over and do their best to drive away everyone who doesn't agree with them.
Just to be clear - I don't think all Christians are fascists. Just the ones who are so fucking sure of themselves.
• When asked about the odds of two identical trucks from the same company headed in opposite directions colliding on a rural stretch of highway, Collins said ... "It’s not something you see every day." They were Frito Lays trucks. What do you want to bet the drivers were playing chicken with each other?
• A guy goes into a stripper bar and gets punched in the face and loses his vision in one eye. You'd think he'd learn his lesson right? Three months later, he goes back and gets punched in the other eye. Now he's blind. The bar is called Mavericks. I'm telling you - mavericks are dangerous.
• Millions of new voters have registered to vote in this election, most of them Democrats, and the Republicans are doing everything they can to keep them from voting. The ACORN voter fraud story is all over the news - and the accusations are pure bullshit. Republicans in Michigan and elsewhere plan to use foreclosure lists to challenger voters, mostly minorities. In other states, they're making election officials jump through hoops to verify voters and they're purging thousands of names from the lists.
I think Americans are already disgusted by the way this country's being run. What's going to happen when all these people show up on election day and are told they can't vote? I predict riots.
• Sweet potato pie: Click here for one of the best campaign stump speeches ever.
Rach wasn't having any of it. When he tried to talk over her, she didn't tell him to shut up like O'Reilly would have (and like I wanted to). She just said "Excuse me" forcefully enough that he did shut up long enough for her to make her point that he was using "false equivalency." (That's the new catch phrase among media critics.) I love that chick.
Last month, I mentioned McCain's people had been overestimating (lying) about the size of their crowds. This week, they claimed 25,000 people attended a rally in Virginia Beach. The venue only holds 16,000 and the fire marshall says only 12,000 were there.
I bet John told Cindy he has a 9 inch dick. And she's blonde enough not to measure it for herself.
Turn ons: the dolphins swimming offshore at Virginia beach
Monday, October 13, 2008
"They come in all shapes and sizes. You may say nice girls don't do that, but they do and they enjoy it."
Love it! By the way, that's a cider press, not a sex toy.
Time for some quickies:
• The Little Old Lady from Pasadena: The police chased a Pasadena woman 28 miles, at speeds over 100 miles an hour, until she crashed. And, um, she was naked.
• A funny thing happened on the way to the morgue: After a Delaware hospital informed a man that his wife had died of a heart attack, personnel discovered that she was still breathing. Oops. That's a suing.
• Fark headline of the day: Woman writes in diary every day without fail from 1941-2008. Actual entry: "President Kennedy was assassinated as he drove through Dallas today. Shot through the head. Baked macaroons and scones. Did knitting." (the story)
• Another Fark headline: Obama officially linked to Weather Undergound.
• From the department of Duh! Seven years ago, a Seattle high school decided to stop giving Fs. Instead, students received an 'N' which stood for 'no credit,' and the failure was not figured into their grade point average. What happened?
Some students decided it was better for their GPAs if they just gave up and lost credit for a class rather than earn a D or even a low C.
The school has now changed the policy.
• Why didn't I think of this? There's a new website called The Four Word Film Review which features reviews and summaries. Here's what they say about Oliver Stone's new movie, W: Drunk coke-head gets elected.
• Speaking of Dubya, more info is coming out about the NSA spying on Americans. Journalists and aid workers were specifically targeted, including Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and the U.N. Development Program. One of the whistle blowers, Adrienne Kinne, said journalists within the U.S. were targeted as well:
"People wrote reports on what journalists said all the time."
So much for freedom of the press. Kinne also believes some Iraqis fed the NSA false info which was then passed on to the White House. Other NSA veterans dispute many of her allegations.
• Did you know that, historically, suicide rates actually drop during times of society-wide hardship, such as the Great Depression? People are more likely to eat junk food and gain weight though. Except for guys on Wall Street, who are more likely to pay $1000 for a lap dance, bottle of champagne and souvenir g-string.
• Are you a viral video nut? Take the quiz. (I got 56 points with the easy questions.)
• Today's vocabulary lesson:
Omphaloskepsis - navel gazing, the state of being self-absorbed
Spanghew - to cause (esp. a toad or frog) to fly into the air off the end of a stick
Quidnunc - one who gossips
Petrichor - the sweet smell of rain on dry earth
Kakistocracy - the government of a state by the worst citizens
Susurrus - a soft murmuring or rustling sound
Borborygmus - the rumbling sound that comes from an empty stomach
Slubberdegullion - a worthless person
Turn ons: the susurrus of a gentle breeze through long grasses
Turn offs: the slubberdegullion Bush and his kakistocracy
Sunday, October 12, 2008
What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. But not once did he or his running mate bother to admonish the people yelling these obscene -- and potentially dangerous -- words. They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not.
No, they haven't. In fact, they're doing just the opposite. When Obama criticized people shouting "terrorist" or "kill him" at McCain/Palin rallies, McCain responded:
"Barack Obama's attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn't understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo.
"Even worse, he attacks anyone who dares to question his readiness to serve as their commander in chief in chief. Raising legitimate questions about record, character and judgment are a vital part of the Democratic process, and Barack Obama's effort to silence and shame those who seek answers should make everyone wonder exactly what he is hiding."
He makes no attempt to differentiate between the people who shout "terrorist" or "kill him" and the normal people who attend his rallies. Maybe there aren't any normal people there anymore.
During the invocation before McCain's rally in Davenport, IA, yesterday, the minister said:
"There are millions of people around this world praying to their god - whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah - that [McCain's] opponent wins, for a variety of reasons ... And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens."
The old my god is bigger than your god argument. Just what we need right now.
Congressman John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement, has issued a statement comparing McCain's tactics to George Wallace.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Before you watch that, check out this video of Rep. Brad Sherman speaking in Congress. He says there were private meetings where some members of Congress were threatened that the president would have to declare martial law if they didn't pass the bail out bill:
Yes, he really is a Congressman.
Who made these threats? Sherman doesn't say but I have a theory. On Sept. 23rd, Cheney visited Congress to lobby for Treasury Secretary Paulson's bill. And remember, Cheney has a history of making threats like that.
Former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey says that Cheney lied to him in 2002. Armey wasn't on board for giving Bush the authority to invade Iraq until Cheney told him, in a private meeting, that Saddam had direct ties to al Qaeda and was close to getting a nuclear suitcase bomb.
Turn ons: truth tellers
Turn offs: evil warlords
1. Where is your cell phone? don't have one
2. Where is your significant other? don't have one
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? likes my brother better than me
5. Your father? died 18 years ago
6. Your favorite thing? my cats
7. Your dream last night? disturbing but I don't remember it
8. Your dream/goal? get one of my novels published
9. The room you're in? living room
10. Your hobby? writing
11. Your fear? dying (not being dead, the process of getting there)
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? I don't know (no wonder I never get there)
13. Where were you last night? writers group
14. What you're not? happy
15. One of your wish-list items? more money
16. Where you grew up? Iowa
17. The last thing you did? combed my cat
18. What are you wearing? nightgown
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? feels neglected
21. Your computer? annoys the hell out of me but can't live without it
22. Your mood? okay
23. Missing someone? my former psychiatrist
24. Your car? 20 years old
25. Something you're not wearing? bra
26. Favorite store? Fareway (staff is so friendly there)
27. Your summer? glad it's over
28. Love someone? probably not
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? watching The Daily Show tonight
31. Last time you cried? earlier today
32. Who do you want to tag? I don't do tags
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I've promised myself that I'll do one whole post without mentioning politics at all. Let's see if I can do it.
• Sci fi comes to life: A guy in Germany received a double arm transplant. He lost his arms when they got caught in a combine 6 years ago. (These kinds of accidents are far too common in Iowa, especially this time of year.) So far, it looks like the transplants are working.
Remember that movie The Hand, where a guy's hand was chopped off in a car accident and the hand scooted around killing people? I couldn't find the original listed on IMDb but Oliver Stone did a remake 20 years ago. I saw it in the 1960s. Seriously warped my young, impressionable mind.
• More sci fi reality. Not sure I like where this is going:
Police could one day predict the surname of male suspects or victims of crime from DNA alone, British researchers said on Wednesday.
Scientists at Leicester University, where DNA fingerprinting was invented in 1984, said they had demonstrated that men with the same surname were highly likely to be genetically linked.
The finding could help genealogy researchers as well detectives investigating crimes using traces of DNA found in blood, hair, saliva or semen.
• "Open up, let me in, b**ch!... If you don't open up, you're not getting your (pleasure toy) back."
That's what soon-to-be has-been actress Michelle Rodriguez allegedly screamed at her girlfriend in Florida, awakening other guests at the hotel.
Pleasure toy? Hmm, a Ferrari? A yacht? Or a big purple vibrating penis?
• This one time at band camp: The UC Davis marching band is in trouble for sexually harassing their male director. Among other things, members have been accused of destroying school property, dropping their pants at rehearsals, taping condoms to the walls of the rehearsal room, and urinating in school elevators. Who knew music nerds could be so naughty?
• Fark headline of the day: Iraqi wife of Norwegian diplomat posted to Vietnam gets drunk in Australia, grabs cop's ass and says: "I love you guys. You look so farking hot with your 9 millimeters." Then it gets weird. (That's pretty much the whole story.)
• From the stupid ways to die department: A woman in Colorado fell into her freezer and couldn't get out.
• Another Fark headline of the day: Medical board rules fellatio is not an acceptable treatment for kidney pain. (The story.)
• Um, yeah, I don't think I want to go to Australia: A teenage girl woke up in bed when a large snake bit her and slithered around her neck.
It is the fifth case reported at Royal Darwin Hospital in 18 years where a victim has woken in the middle of the night to find a large snake "chewing on an extremity''.
"You could call these overambitious feeding attempts,'' he said.
Turn ons: pleasure toys
Turn offs: artificial purple penises
It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember.
They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia.
~ NY Times editorial
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
A close McCain friend said the reason is clear: McCain is miserable about having to run a campaign that’s antithetical to his persona.
“He is basically having to be somebody that he isn’t,” said the friend, who remains strongly supportive. “He is just not a guy that goes on the attack in public. For him to be on the attack constantly, attacking Obama’s character … McCain is uncomfortable with that, and it’s made him grumpy.”
Notice they said "persona." As in, carefully constructed persona. If you read the Rolling Stone article about McCain's history, you'll see that this campaign and his snarky behavior are entirely consistent with his normal personality.
Meanwhile, Palin is out on the campaign trail calling Obama a terrorist, while she and her husband have ties with the Alaska secessionist party. And their ties are much closer than Obama's casual acquaintance with Bill Ayers. The secessionist leader, who called for armed insurrection against the U.S., once said:
"My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand."
And he had persuaded Iran to sponsor him giving a speech at the U.N. Who's your terrorist now?
Some believe that our government may have had a hand in his murder before he could speak.
McCain/Palin have been stirring up so much anger and hatred at their rallies that their fans have been shouting out calling Obama a "terrorist" and "kill him." Yesterday, a M/P supporter called an African American camerman an "uppity negro" and told him to "Sit down, boy." (More here.)
Finally, I just watched the debate. Bor-ing. Instant polls say Obama won.
From an article called 25 Fascinating Love Facts:
#1 - Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don't.
#3 - When it comes to doing the deed early in the relationship, 78 percent of women would decline an intimate rendezvous if they had not shaved their legs or underarms.
#8 - Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses — pupil dilation, sweaty palms, and increased heart rate.
#20 - A man's beard grows fastest when he anticipates sex.
My "fiend" is mad because I didn't post any eye candy this weekend and I forgot to email him pictures of Daniel Craig's penis. So here's David Duchovny in a speedo and the penis is in the mail.
Someone knocking on the door isn't something normal people are afraid of, but I'm slightly paranoid right now. And whenever there's a knock, it's something that upsets me. Usually my landlord bringing by one of his stupid letters or coming to collect my rent after it's already paid. (You'd think the asshole would check the drop box in the office before he starts pounding on doors.)
• "The tails are real bushy and pretty and thick this time of year." That's what the wildlife officer said about the fox that got hit by an SUV. The driver thought it was dead and decided to take it home and cut off its tail as a souvenir. But the fox wasn't dead and wasn't happy, the driver panicked, and the SUV ended up flipped on its top. Best part of the story: The driver's name was Tommy Fox.
• Sworn virgins, an Albanian tradition:
In this strongly patriarchal society where for centuries women had virtually no standing, sworn virgins enjoyed the same rights and respect as men. They could inherit property, work for a living and sit on the village council, although without the right to vote. The privileges came at a price. They took an oath of celibacy and could never have sexual relations. And they could never go back to being women ...
In Albania's male-dominated society, a woman had virtually no rights: According to the Kanun, "a woman is known as a sack, made to endure as long as she lives in her husband's house."
• Men and Cats. It's safe to come out of the closet now. The cat closet, that is.
• Artificial foreskin. Yes, there is such a thing.
• Check out this article about the role race is playing in Democratic politics in Virginia.
• Matthew Shepard was murdered 10 years ago today. Ten years later and the Republican hate mongers still use gay rights as a wedge issue to get out the fundie vote. Elton John remembers Matthew in this haunting song.
Monday, October 06, 2008
When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn't allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.
Does this remind anyone else of Soviet Russia?
And here's what's happening with McCain, from an editorial in the Des Moines Register:
John McCain is angry.
You can feel it in the clenched muscles in his throat, the narrowing of his eyes, the controlled tone with which he handles a question he doesn't like, as if struggling to contain something that might spill out. We've seen that body language on TV. But around a Des Moines Register table Tuesday, the anger and tension were palpable. And unsettling.McCain's volatility has been written and whispered about by staff and Senate colleagues: the mercurial temper, the quixotic outbursts of reproach, then jocularity. But those alleged episodes were behind the scenes. The combative, prickly McCain we saw was seeking the Register's endorsement. He already got it in the caucuses.
He took frequent offense at questions, characterizing them as personal viewpoints of the questioners rather than legitimate topics ...
The presidency requires a special temperament. It demands statesmanship with foreign leaders, persuasiveness with Congress and calm assuredness with the public. If McCain is so flustered in an editorial meeting, how would he guide a nation in crisis?
Here's a video of the interview they're referring to.
And today, after years of McCain apologizing and admitting he made mistakes during the Keating Five scandal, his campaign now says he did nothing wrong. Barack Obama - and history - beg to differ.
Josh Marshall at TPM says this:
One interesting thing to consider is that we may be on the verge of seeing McCain not only lose the presidency but his entire reputation as well. He'll lose everything but the houses and the fancy lifestyle.
I think he's going to lose those too. Cindy's not going to stick around with an old geezer who calls her a cunt once her dream of living in the White House goes out the window. I bet she's got a pre-nup.
Some of McCain's surrogates are trying to paint Obama as un-American and unpatriotic because he criticizes the president and the direction the country has been taking in recent years. God forbid anyone should actually use their free speech to tell the truth.
A Republican official in Buchanan County, VA, wrote an article in a local paper that is an openly racist attack on Obama.
For the other side of the story, Rolling Stone has a stinging article about McCain called "Make-Believe Maverick." Excerpts:
This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather ...
Few politicians have so actively, or successfully, crafted their own myth of greatness ...
The article goes on to document McCain's true character, from his childhood through his college years and beyond. It portrays his petulance and explosive temper, as well as his inability to "play well with others." Among other little known facts, McCain crashed 3 Navy planes, in addition to the one that was shot down in Vietnam, mostly through his own negligence and ineptitude. Ronald and Nancy Reagan, who once considered him a friend, dropped him because of the way he treated his first wife. Another excerpt:
At least three of McCain's GOP colleagues have gone on record to say that they consider him temperamentally unsuited to be commander in chief. Smith, the former senator from New Hampshire, has said that McCain's "temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him." Sen. Domenici of New Mexico has said he doesn't "want this guy anywhere near a trigger." And Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi weighed in that "the thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded."
The story is a must read.
The good news: Karl Rove says Obama would win if the election were held today.
Click here to watch a fantastic speech by one of the leaders of the AFL/CIO. He confronts racism head on.
And here's this week's SNL sketch with Tina Fey as Palin doing the VP debate.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
• OJ Simpson has been found guilty of 12 counts, including conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, assault and kidnapping with a deadly weapon, all springing from an episode last year in Las Vegas. He could get life in prison. Here's hoping they don't let him go free while he appeals.
• Something I haven't heard on the news: Estimates say about 300 people from the Galveston area are still missing after Hurricane Ike.
• The AARP is sponsoring a national conference on gays and aging. Elderly gay people are more likely to live alone and less likely to have children to help them. Many of them are alienated from their extended family and lost many of their friends to AIDS. They grew up in a generation when they were forced to stay in the closet. Garrison Phillips, a 79 year old retired actor, says:
"You were forced to lie every single day of your life ... I lied to my parents, I lied to my teachers, I lied to get into the Army. Now you don't have to lie anymore."
• I'm having olfactory hallucinations again. It smells like formaldehyde. It's the weirdest thing. Once it starts, it goes on for hours, sometimes for days. This time, they started at 4 p.m. yesterday and I'm still having them.
[Palin's] record in Alaska strongly suggests she lacks the character to be trusted with high office. Though the troopergate scandal is tied narrowly to Palin's firing of Alaska's top cop, Walt Monegan, the heart of the story is about a private vendetta that Palin tried to settle using her new powers as the chief executive of the state of Alaska. Thwarted in doing so, all evidence suggests she fired the public official who refused to execute her plan ...
Both as mayor and governor, Palin has shown the tell-tale signs of a politician who hires cronies and fires or blackballs critics.
And Palin has finally released her tax records. They show that she collected more than $16,000 in per diems for 312 nights she spent in her own home in Wasilla. Her husband and children billed the state for more than $43,000 in per diems and travel expenses. Supporters say all of this is allowed under Alaska law, but others say some of the claims are questionable, especially those on behalf of the children.
What gets a little stickier is that she should have claimed the per diems as taxable income and she didn't.
The McCain campaign plans to spend the rest of this month attacking Obama's character. Obama responds:
"We understand that it's not easy for John McCain to defend the worst economic record of our lifetime, but he will have to explain to the people struggling to pay their bills and stay in their homes why he would rather spend his time tearing down Barack Obama than laying out a plan to build up our economy."
They've already put out an ad saying that Obama killed babies, and this morning, Palin attacked his patriotism. Which seems a little odd coming from her, considering her association with the Alaska secessionist party.
Meanwhile, Obama's newest ads attack McCain's health care plan, which includes counting employers' health benefits as taxable income and giving a $5000 tax credit to insurance companies.
Today's Gallup poll shows Obama leading, 50% to 42%.
Friday, October 03, 2008
She told one lie after another last night. You could tell Joe was getting fed up with her but he held his tongue. Looks like it paid off because today the polls show that most people say he won.
Among her lies, she said that he'd supported McCain's Iraq policies "pretty adamantly until this race" and had opposed Obama's. TPM says the last example they can find where Biden expressed support for McCain's policies was four years ago.
A report on TPM also says that almost 100% of McCain's ad spending is going to negative ads now. Less than half Obama's ads are negative. The best part? Obama is outspending McCain nearly 2 to 1.
The debate last night: I don't think Palin gave a straight answer to a single question. She even went so far as to say she wasn't going to answer the questions the moderator (Gwen Ifill) asked, and she implied she has no intention of doing any more interviews.
Overall, she wasn't as bad as I thought she'd be. But everything she said was pure bullshit and/or outright lies. She winked at the audience and used all her cutesie little expressions like "doggone it."
I just can't stand the bitch.
The instant polls of Independents that some of the networks did showed Biden winning. He certainly won in my book. The more I see the guy, the more I love him.