Saturday, November 1, 2008

The last endorsement McCain will ever need

Canuckistanians Punk Palin

[A big Brain welcome to Larisa's readers - F]

Be very careful about ingesting liquids for the next few minutes. Hot or carbonated ones especially. They'll make yer nose hurt on the way out...

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — In an over-the-top accent, one half of a notorious Quebec comedy duo claims to be the president of France as he describes sex with his famous wife, the joy of killing animals and Hustler magazine's latest Sarah Palin porno spoof.

At the other end of the line? An oblivious Sarah Palin.

The Masked Avengers, a radio pairing notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state, notched its latest victory Saturday when it released a recording of a six-minute call with Palin, who thought she was talking with Nicolas Sarkozy.

Throughout the conversation, Audette drops plenty of clues that something's amiss.

He identifies French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday as his special adviser to the U.S., singer Stef Carse as Canada's prime minister and Quebec comedian and radio host Richard Z. Sirois as the provincial premier.

Gee, I thought Moosebreath would have been able to see Canada from her house easier than Russia...

Audette then tells her his wife, Carla Bruni, a singer and former model, was jealous to hear Sarkozy would be speaking to Palin. "Give her a big hug for me," Palin responds.

Audette goes on to describe Bruni as "hot in bed" and claims she's written a song for Palin, the French title of which translates as "Lipstick on a Pig." In English, Audette says the song is about Joe the Plumber.

Finally, he mentions a notorious Hustler video titled "Nailin' Paylin," describing it as "the documentary they made on your life."

"Oh, good, thank you, yes," Palin replies.

In an interview Saturday, Audette told The Canadian Press it wasn't easy setting up the interview with Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate, and described the accomplishment as the pair's biggest triumph to date.

"It really took a lot of work," he said.

"We had to go through the Secret Service, the people in her entourage. It's the biggest coup so far. We're proud to add (this prank) to our top hits."

It took the pair, known for securing surreptitious interviews with celebrities, politicians and heads of state, five days to set up the call, Audette said. The secret to getting powerful people on the line? Time and persistence.

"I wanted to see how (Palin) was on an intellectual level," Audette said, comparing the latest prank to the duo's crank call with pop idol Britney Spears.

"You can see that she's, well, not really brilliant."

We actually had sort of an inkling of that anyway, mon frere, but thanks just the same.

Audette, too, was contrite afterward.

"I hope we won't have a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay."

We'll let ya out on January 20. It was a good gag and well worth you doing a little time in a tropical paradise. Hell, you Canucks are tough. You can do 78 days standin' on yer heads with yer balls on fire. Heh.

Known as the "Masked Avengers," they've been popular on the Quebec comedy scene for a decade.

The Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, will air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections. It can also be heard in full on their website

It's funny, but a little scary too. Ol' Sarah fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I wonder if she's waitin' for a buncha checks from Nigerian royalty to put back into Alaska's treasury?

Music for the next 90 or so hours

Peter, Paul, Mary and John Sebastian — The Times They Are A Changin'

Quote of the Day

Charles M. Blow, NYT:

Of course, anything could happen. There are three days left. McCain could still win. And, a drunk man wearing a blindfold could get a puck past Marc-André Fleury.

As the Girl Of My Dreams sez, "It could happen!"

McCain's First Question to God on Judgment Day: "I really blew it with Palin, did I not?"

To which God replied,"Ya sure as shit did, Sparky, but at least ya didn't throw 'my friend' inta yer question. Good thing. Ya barely made Purgatory anyway and it's gonna be long enough as it is."

P.M. Carpenter

The Christian Right, God love 'em, must be slippin' a bit. Or at least they are in Ohio, home of the Lord's once-red 20 electoral votes.

According to the New York Times this morning there are, in the Buckeye State, "evangelical radio stations featur[ing] pastors praying for God to help voters ignore these 'awful' polls and vote His will."

I had to read that twice to sort out the inherent, medieval hocus-pocus and comprehend the revised, contemporary chain of command, but mostly I read it again -- and again, and yet again, I confess -- to savor the dawn of their disbelief.

In the real world -- the one in which it is human actions that portend human consequences -- one still marvels at just how badly John McCain balled things up; so badly, even the unholiest of holy rollers now suspect that God Himself won't pull his sorry butt out of the fire. Or so it is written.

But they should relax and pause and consider the one truly miraculous aspect of John McCain's campaign. We don't witness many honest-to-God miracles these days -- in fact, I'm told, it's been at least a couple thousand years -- but McCain, with or without celestial assistance, managed to pull one off.

Just as an aside, that's pretty much the whole basis of pie-in-the-sky christianity - miracles yesterday, miracles tomorrow. Sorry, no miracles today. In McCain's case, I think it's more karma than miracle. Garbage in, garbage out.

He managed, that is, to accomplish what had heretofore been regarded as the absolutely humanly impossible: He managed to make his presidential candidacy about his vice-presidential choice.

At one time McCain might have been able to bamboozle just enough of the GOP base and wandering independents on policy matters of the economy, war, energy, and so on. But with Palin he undercut his claim to judgment, and the general electorate's ensuing lack of confidence in that judgment then bled over.

Doubtless there were many electoral factors over which McCain had no direct control -- the timing of the housing bust, the stock market's implosion, increasing joblessness, a brutally unpopular president of GOP brand, etc. etc. These, combined, likely doomed McCain from the get-go. All he needed to seal the deal was Gov. Sarah Palin. And till the day he meets his maker, he'll kick himself for having taken that gamble, mournfully wondering if things could have been different.

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe God's just feeling guilty and ashamed of himself for the awful practical joke he's played on us since 1980 and the capper, the flaming bag of dog poop on our doorstep since 2001. And well he should.

Saturday Historical Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Kitty Wells earned the title "Queen of Country Music" back when it wasn't easy.

In 1952, Paul Cohen, then A&R for Decca Records, was looking for a female singer to record the answer to Hank Thompson's number one hit, "The Wild Side Of Life". He asked if Kitty would be interested in recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels". Even though the Grand Ole Opry banned the song and she was not allowed to perform it on the air at the time, the song became a million seller. Kitty Wells became the very first woman to top the US country charts.

Thanks to Gatorrock786.

Sin City

Even after forty years this is still one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups.

Flying Burrito Brothers

Dia De Los Muertos

Halloween the way us gabachos do it is just dumb. For 364 days a year, parents tell their kids not to take candy from strangers. Then on one grand and glorious night, they are to go ask as many strangers as they can for as much candy as they can. Yeesh. I guess the metaphorical idea is that when death comes calling, you better give it something so it'll go away and leave you alone. Kinda like the IRS.

Mexicans do it right. They live a lot closer to death than we do and accept it as part of life instead of being scared shitless of it like we are. Their ghosts and ghoulies don't come out, they come home. Dia De Los Muertos is a family affair. Hit the link. It'll keep ya busy for hours if ya get into it.

Catrinas, one of the most popular figures of the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico

They remind me of a coupla ol' gals I useta know, too...

Plans for the festival are made throughout the year, including gathering the goods to be offered to the dead. During the period of November 1 and November 2, families usually clean and decorate graves;[2] most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas, or offerings, which often include orange marigolds called "cempasúchitl" (originally named cempoalxochitl, Nahuatl for "twenty (i.e., many) flowers"). In modern Mexico this name is often replaced with the term "Flor de Muerto" ("Flower of the Dead"). These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings.

Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or little angels), and bottles of tequila, mezcal, pulque or atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased's favorite candies on the grave. Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto ("bread of the dead") or sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased.[2] Some people believe the spirits of the dead eat the "spiritual essence" of the ofrenda food, so even though the celebrators eat the food after the festivities, they believe it lacks nutritional value. Pillows and blankets are left out so that the deceased can rest after their long journey. In some parts of Mexico, such as the towns of Mixquic, Pátzcuaro and Janitzio, people spend all night beside the graves of their relatives.

That'd get ya arrested most places in this country!

Many other cultures around the world have similar traditions of a day set aside to visit the graves of deceased family members. Often included in these traditions are celebrations, food and beverages, in addition to prayers and remembrances of the departed.

During the Nepali holiday of Gai Jatra ("Cow Pilgrimage"), every family who has lost a family member during the previous year makes a construction of bamboo branches, cloth, paper decorations and portraits of the deceased, called a "gai." Traditionally, a cow leads the spirits of the dead into the next land. Depending on local custom, either an actual live cow, or a construct representing a cow may be used. The festival is also a time to dress up in costume, including costumes involving political comments and satire.

Costumes, political comments, satire, and barnyard animals? Wheeeeee! Now there's a party!

Americans in general are pretty religious, sometimes in very confused and awful ways, but not very spiritual. I think I like the way other cultures do it a lot better.

Friday, October 31, 2008

You tell him, Jarhead!

McCain Endorses Obama!

From McCain's closing ad:

Don't hope for a stronger America. Vote for one.

Gotcha, you betcha!

Fernando Sez

I'm a huge Ry Cooder fan. Enjoy the song and the slide show.


Got this by e-mail just now. Amazing how these things happen.

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

Everybody should troop on over to deuddersun's place and see this video.

Absolute worst-case election scenarios. Let us purge.

Mark Morford

So then, here is what we'll do. In the large block of text below, I'll attempt to squeeze in all those nasty scenarios, all the worst-case jinxes and tricks and circumstances I've heard to date which have even the slightest chance in remote burning hell of coming to pass -- and maybe a few that don't, just in case.

I will include every insane curveball that could possibly go wrong next week, things that could somehow derail Obama's meteoric run and put Angry Grandpa and Caribou Barbie into office. I will trick the coding to put this text into relatively tiny type so as to make it all less apt to swarm your consciousness with Thoughts That Should Not Be.

One snag: The limitations of this format preclude me from surrounding this text with powerful glyphs and talismans so as to create a positive countercharge. That's where you come in. Before you continue, I encourage you to first take a deep breath, ground yourself, perhaps hold onto something meaningful and cosmically supercharged. Buddha necklace? Mala beads? Shot of dark rum and silver vibrator and a Pocket Bible dipped in dark chocolate and lavender body oil blessed by a pagan witch? Perfect.

Ready? Here we go ...

The Bradley effect strikes hard. An NYT poll found a third of all voters personally know someone who won't vote for Obama solely because he's black. Upshot: America's latent racism rears up like Cthulhu and millions vote for Angry Grandpa out of sheer bigotry and fear of gangsta rap. Obama is assassinated. Obama is struck by a meteor. Obama is killed by giant knobby tire accidentally flung from nearby monster truck rally in West Virginia. McCain pulls Osama bin Laden out the rec room of one of his seven homes and shoots him dead on live TV, right before Sarah Palin lifts her $800 Valentino pencil skirt to reveal a shocking birthmark on her right ass cheek that looks exactly like Jesus shooting a moose from a snowmobile. The Undecideds all go for McCain because, when in doubt, vote for the guy who wants to bomb all the scary turban-wearing people. McCain wins because record numbers of blissed-out young liberals think Obama's a lock, and therefore forget to vote because they're too busy texting their champagne preferences to their Twitter feeds via iPhone. The GOP cooks the voter rolls in Missouri. The GOP cooks the voter rolls in Indiana. The GOP cooks the voter rolls in a half-dozen other battleground states and steals Florida by promising free pudding and Lipitor to every retiree who votes for McPalin. The U.S. economy rebounds in 24 hours and people decide they have no more need for hope and progress because there's a ginormous sale at Old Navy. China invades. Russia invades. India invades, but mostly to offer tech support. Bush declares martial law, but misunderstands and calls it "partial law" and hence everyone starts raping and pillaging, but only a little. Joe the Plumber is revealed to be the father of Bristol Palin's baby and Bristol Palin. Rupert Murdoch buys all media and threatens that unless the nation votes for McCain, he's killing off everything except Fox News and putting Bill O'Reilly in charge of the New York Times. John McCain pulls one final Hail Mary stunt, dumps Sarah Palin and brings on Angelina Jolie, then quickly dumps Jolie and brings on David Beckham, dumps Becks and brings on the Dark Lord Sauron, safe in the knowledge that King Aragorn is off in elf-land nailing Liv Tyler. Finally, Reverse Rapture strikes: All Christians and conservatives are crammed into a giant vacant Wal-Mart in Salt Lake City while all hippies and liberals are whisked straight to heaven, which turns out to be exactly like Hawaii, but with better Mexican food.

There now. Don't you feel better? All phantom demons purged? Excellent. Have fun voting. Should be one hell of a party.

Oh yeah, that helped. I feel much better now. Not good enough yet. Wednesday morning will tell the tale.

McCain to give 30-minute closing argument


PHOENIX -- (PTSD News) -- To counter Senator Barack Obama's unprecedented half-hour "Closing Argument to the Everyman" that aired on several networks, Senator John McCain announced that he will be airing his own closing argument on Fox tomorrow night. Entitled "Thanks for Nothing, You Ungrateful Whores," the speech is basically a rant of all "the unfiltered straight talk the party bosses stifled me from saying for all these long months," according to McCain.

The presentation begins with McCain in full military uniform holding a picture of Barack Obama and saying "terrorist Muslim socialist" for ten minutes. McCain then blasts his own party for putting "the straight talker in a straight jacket." He calls the Republican party a bunch of bible-thumping morons who are following George W. Bush to the gates of hell because "that's surely where that sadist is headed."

"And thanks a lot, you imbeciles, who made me select Palin over Lieberman," McCain says. "Friggin' Mike Tyson would have been a better choice. He would have split the black vote and could have at least bitten off Biden’s ear at the debate. Seeing Russia from her house, my ass," McCain sneers as he pumps a cardboard cutout of Sarah Palin full of lead.

The last ten minutes are almost completely incomprehensible except for the phrase "friggin' economy" and "eight, nine houses, what's the goddamn difference?" The presentation ends with McCain staring into the camera and saying, "I'm John McCain, and I didn't approve of any of this crap."

"Once the American people can see the real John McCain giving them the unfettered straight talk," said Rick Davis, head of the McCain campaign, "they will know exactly who to vote for."

I hope McCain realizes that if he had gone back to his former set of bad principles instead of sticking to the ones he had to espouse to whore himself to his party to get their nomination, he'da at least stood a chance.

Note to Johnny boy: If ya really wanta make a newsworthy splash with your 'closing argument' time it so yer head, heart, and ass simultaneously explode just before the credits roll.

"Bastille moments" ...

I've been saying the U.S. needs a "Bastille moment" for years. Comrade Misfit found this, via Krugman, that illustrates my point perfectly:

Ckick to ensharpen.

This is why ...

The Dems piss me off:


One Democratic source said Lieberman is not likely to lose his position in the Democratic caucus, even if the party picks up several seats in next week's election... "There's no sense in cutting off our nose to spite our face," one source said.


Fuck Lieberman. He should be kicked to the curb and made to sit by himself in a corner of the Senate chamber. Better yet, make him sit with his butt buddies, the Republicans.

This asshole has done more to undermine the Dems over the past few years and now is not the time to let bygones be bygones. He chaired the committee that looked into Katrina abuses and mismanagement and didn't even hold a hearing. He's given too much cover to Rethugs to let him slide.

And just an addendum: I shouldn't have to explain this to the Dems but, and I'm making a big assumption that things will go well on Tuesday, now is the time to make people pay for what went on over the past 8 years, not "let bygones be bygones". It's time to exact a price for running this nation into the ground and Lieberman owes a lot.

"Tinker to Evers to Chance"*

Check how KO builds a daisy chain with the help of Turdblossom and Julieannie.

*Given KO's knowledge and love of America's pastime, I'm surprised he didn't break into a little Baseball's Sad Lexicon by Franklin Pierce Adams, 1910.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here it comes...

ABC News

U.S. Expects Bin Laden Message Near Election

As we race toward Election Day, sources say a number of intelligence analysts have concluded it is critical for al Qaeda's top leader to be seen or heard, if only for public relations purposes. Those analysts believe that if bin Laden is not heard from, he runs the risk of being considered irrelevant or impotent. The U.S. intelligence community has some indication that there is some confusion among Islamic radicals about their leadership.

According to sources, the full weight of the intelligence electronic eavesdropping and human sourcing is right now desperately looking for any hint of a bin Laden statement. So far there is only rumor, no hard evidence a message is coming, officials said.

Well, you know damn good and well that McCain is "desperately looking for any hint of a bin Laden statement". It may be the only 'Hail Mary' that will help him.

Note to McCain: Call Bush. He can get his old family friend Osama to cough something up for you. The last time he did that was for himself, and it worked.

In 2004, bin Laden released a message in the days just before the election. Though some believe that the message affected the outcome in favor of President Bush, exit poll data do not support that notion. Among voters who called the tape "very important" in their vote, Kerry won, 53-47 percent. Among those who called it either very or somewhat important, the vote was 50-50. It was among those who called it unimportant that Bush won, by 56-43 percent.

It helped Bush and hurt Kerry. I'm not sure it would have the same effect on McCain and Obama this time. I hope we don't have to find out.

The Angry Old Man of the Desert and Whoopee the Ice Queen

Garrison Keillor

[...] The country longs for a president who can talk and think at the same time. We've been locked up with the Current Occupant for way too long and the thought of replacing him with the Angry Old Man of the Desert and Whoopee the Ice Queen is miserable in the extreme.

Most of my Republican friends are people who are not ashamed of having worked hard and done well in school, and their party's frantic appeal to anti-intellectualism is nothing they care to sign up for. Time to nip that sucker in the bud. The party needs to reform itself around some coherent philosophy of governance and vision of the future and for that, it must take a trip to the wilderness. They are quietly supporting the skinny guy this time around. They might tell a pollster otherwise but that's what they will do. Call it the Palin Effect.

Even Mr. Burly of Tulsa expressed sorrow over McCain's campaign, the jerkiness and desperation of it, and admiration for Barack's steadiness, his cool, his straightforward articulation and the old-fashioned story of his rise in the world. I thought about that the next day, flying to Philly and walking over to Independence Hall and riding the train to Lancaster through the little towns of old brick row houses, the red and golden trees, the trim farmyards and the fields of tan stubble, a state McCain has scrapped hard for even as he sank in the polls. I suppose he looks at that classic Rockwell landscape and those hardy German Lutheran faces and thinks those are his people and how can they possibly go for a Harvard Law graduate from the South Side of Chicago whose last name is Obama, for crying out loud?

They can and they will. Colin Powell was right when he called the guy a transformational candidate. We walk through the door and we close it behind us and the simplicity of it is dazzling. That's how it happens. You walk aboard a plane and glance into the cockpit and there's a woman in the left-hand seat, and who these days would even think this worthy of comment? You see Latino men and women moving up whose grandparents picked row crops for a living. In Tulsa, in 1921, there was a big race riot following the arrest of a young black man who was alleged to have touched a white woman on the arm. Fighting in the streets, neighborhoods torched, the National Guard called in -- and this story seems medieval to us, a dark age almost beyond our ken. That culture is gone, gone, gone, and on Tuesday we bury it by the simple democratic process of voting for the best man even though his father was African.

In America, a man is not held responsible for choosing his parents, only for his own life and conduct. This man promises to take us into a new era where we aren't defined by our differences, Short vs. Tall, Pale vs. Freckled, and can take a deep breath and do what's best for the country.


Credit where credit is due dept.: I got linked to this and the next two posts down via YubaNet. In related news, I gotta go find my snowthrower and gas it up.

Worst Campaign Ever

Will Durst

[...] Maybe John McCain is deliberately trying to throw the election. "Let me get this straight. Ten trillion in debt? Losing two wars? Tampa Bay in the World Series? Not what I envisioned when I gave this country the best five years of my life. Barack, my man, this one is all yours."

Have you seen him lately? The GOP nominee is running around the country like an ornery troll with irritable bowel syndrome. Stamping his feet and shaking his fists and spitting and shouting and whose playbook is that a page out of? Rumplestilskin, Ross Perot or Naomi Campbell?

Much, much more.

McCain's Concession Speech

We should only hope. By one of my new FFCs*, Chris Buckley:

My friends, thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

I have just called Senator Obama to congratulate him on – (Boos. Shouts of “Terrorist!” “Arab!”). No, no, please – none of that, now. Let’s all just breathe into a paper bag and calm down.

My friends, this is a historic night. Tonight America elected its first African-American president.

Well, as that great philosopher, Yogi Berra, said when someone told him a Jewish man had been elected mayor of Dublin: “Only in America.”

My friends, now is not the time for recrimination. There will be time for that. Like tomorrow morning. For now, let me just say, I thank you for your tremendous effort and hard work. I could not have done this without you all. I’m just sorry that so many of you will now not get patronage jobs in the federal government.

I would like to thank Governor Palin for her (looking away from TelePrompTer) ... well, OK, maybe that wasn’t such a smart choice, after all. But look – did you really want Mitt Romney? Heck, I wanted Joe Lieberman. He’s Jewish. “Only in America”, right? But, foolishly, I let my so-called “brain trust” (makes quotation mark sign) talk me out of that. Good move, McCain. They said: “Governor Palin will appeal to the base. We need the base.”

The base (sighs heavily). In other words, the same people who were credulous enough to believe Karl Rove’s [expletive deleted] robo-callers in South Carolina back in 2000 that my adopted Bangladeshi daughter, Bridget, was my love child. The base. Well named, aren’t they? You’ve got to appeal to them, they told me. Well, my friends, I guess this time around I was the credulous one. Because I bought into their brilliant genius idea that my running mate should be a ... (sighs) . . . Oh, well, what’s the use. As she would say, go tell it to the fruit flies. (Returning to script.) So let me thank Governor Palin for ... all that she did to me. For me, I mean. Little Freudian thing, there.

My friends, in what years remain to me, I will continue to fight the good fight in Washington. I just won’t be living in that nice government housing down there on Pennsylvania Avenue.

But I’ll be in Washington. Oh, yes. Along with my fellow – sheesh, what a night – 38 Republican senators.

You know the story of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. They didn’t have it so easy, either. I and my fellow Spartans will be the only thing standing between the taxpayers and an army of big spenders.

When the Spartans were told that the Persian army was so numerous that their arrows blotted out the sun, one of the Spartan captains said: “Great! Then we shall have our fight in the shade!”

Well, my friends, as someone who’s had skin cancer, let me say, fighting in the shade suits me just fine.

It'll be shady enough under yer rock, Johnny boy.

*FFC - Favorite Fuckin' Conservative


Being somewhat old and slow, I just discovered Dickipedia. Excerpts:

Sarah Louise Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current governor of Alaska, Republican vice presidential candidate, a compulsive breeder, and a major lady dick.

The only thing Sarah Palin seems to enjoy more than having children is giving those children ridiculous names and inadequate sex education.

John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior United States Senator from Arizona, the presumptive Republican Party nominee in the 2008 presidential election, an angry old man, and a dick.

McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in 1958, ranked 894th out of 899. As historians have noted, there were five people in his class who were actually bigger fuckups than McCain, but none of them are running for president.

[...] On October 26, 1967, McCain began his political career by being shot down. [...]

But in February of 2007, even though he had become the presumptive GOP nominee for president, McCain had still not secured the enthusiastic support of right-wing goons and thugs whose sexual inadequacy has manifested in an extreme love of torture. This group is also sometimes referred to as "The Republican Party."

In speaking about whether he had ever witnessed McCain's notorious temper problem, former Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum said, "I don't know anybody in the Senate who hasn't. Everybody has their McCain story."

And if America elects this temperamental, dangerously unstable, angry old asshole, America will have its own McCain story too.

Great! We can sit around a fire in the rubble and swap before-the-apocalypse stories!

Many, many more. Enjoy.

A little realism ...

To temper our exhuberance. While it looks like most Dems will do well in their races, please don't take for granted we'll have a filibuster-proof Senate. Paradox lays out the reality:


As Digby notes the real number to reach is 61, because after Lieberman has campaigned for McCain and Palin there is no way he’s staying in the Democratic caucus next term. Without getting into it, the continued presence of Lieberman was one of the secondary reasons I didn’t attend the Democratic convention this year.

Furthermore, as a constituent of Dianne Feinstein I can assure you it is not possible to discipline her votes—if there’s a stupid regressive way to hurt the country she’ll do it, positively irresolute in her cluelessness. Democrats don’t do party discipline.

While we’re on the subject the new House majority announced next week should also be viewed with extreme skepticism, somewhere around 20-35 House Democrats are "blue dogs," meaning they’re Democrats like Dianne Feinstein. Very, very little is said about this subject, naturally liberals don’t like to talk about it and it’s likely a major party faux paus to discuss it right before an election.


No one has to worry about the Dems turning this country into a 'socialist state' with a majority in the House and Senate, there are a lot of Dems that'll do the Rethugs' work for 'em.

Remember, this is the only good Blue Dog:

Princess Shayna, construction supervisor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quote of the Day


Alaska GOP still backs re-election for corrupt felon. Who'll be having his tubes widened in prison soon ...

Don't Let Up

Because it can't be stressed enough between now and next Tuesday . . .

We are almost there, folks, let's keep up the momentum.


Democratic Victory Guaranteed!

There's morons, then there's fuckin' morons, then there's F** News.

Hockey Mama for Obama

"Don't speak for me Sarah Palin"

I can get ya in ...

For $4500.

You can thank Ronald Reagan for it, but everyone knew it would end up like this:

Diana Moore learned the news through the neighborhood grapevine. Her family's primary-care physician of seven years would no longer accept Moore, her husband and daughter as patients - unless the family paid a $4,500 annual fee.

The physicians at Charter Internal Medicine in Columbia are overhauling the practice, ditching the insurance-dependent model and instead charging a flat yearlyfee in exchange for the promise of 24-hour access to doctors, unhurried appointments, home visits and state-of-the-art annual physicals.


I was working as a mechanic in a body shop when the body repair industry was being pressured into becoming 'pro shops', working for agreed prices with insurance companies in return for the insurance companies directing work to the shops. 20 years later, if you're a body shop, you can't stay in business without insurance work (unless you're a specialty resto place and different rules apply).

And don't get me wrong, I'm not shedding any tears for doctors (who, for the majority, lead the lifestyle mortgage bankers used to) but, like the body shops, they have to rely on volume to cover costs. When the profit - cost margin gets too low, the first thing that suffers is quality. A fucked up paint job on a fender is one thing, with health care, lives are at stake.


Known as "boutique" medicine or "concierge" care, the national trend appears to be sweeping across Maryland as primary-care doctors feel the financial crush of rising costs and low insurance reimbursement rates. Physicians say the model allows them to trim their patient loads and give patients quality care without worrying whether insurance will cover it.

"Primary-care doctors are seeing 30 to 40 patients a day - that's too many," said Dr. Harry A. Oken, who has been with Charter Internal Medicine for more than 20 years. "It's not about the money. It's about having the time to spend with your patients to keep them healthy."


Once upon a time, I remember when it wasn't a necessity to have health insurance. The first time I broke a bone (1967; I was 5) my dad paid cash for my emergency room visit, not wanting to go through insurance for fear his permiums would go up (he'd started his own business a few years before and things were tight). Nowadays, you can't walk into an emergency room without a $1000 bill.

The U.S. health care and insurance industries need an overhaul, some serious regulation, and a rethinking of the way the health of the nation should be addressed. Hopefully, President Obama (fingers crossed, knock on wood) will live up to his campaign promises.

Going to work ...

Great thanks to Cookie Jill for the link.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stevens must be going to resign

Think Progress

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today called for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) to step down after yesterday’s conviction on seven felony counts:

Stevens' ouster must be a done deal if McLame's handlers even let him know about the verdict, let alone speak out.

It may be the single right call in his campaign.


Palin has jumped on the bandwagon.

I think her scenario calls for him to be re-elected and then quit or be thrown out. Then, as Governor, she could appoint herself as his replacement.

Do the right thing, Stevens. It's never too late to start. Quit before next Tuesday. You're toast either way.

Auto Industry Comes Calling

Whackjob or Whack Job? Mox Nix


One of John McCain's advisers recently called his running mate Sarah Palin a "diva" after she went off-script at a rally, and suggested she was looking after her own political future over the current campaign. Now another adviser ups the ante in a conversation with the Politico's Playbook, labeling Palin a "whack job."

'Whackjob' is one word as usually applied to her ilk, but when it's used as two words it's still entirely valid although it brings up an entirely different concept. I'm sure Moosebreath gave someone some kind of job to get on the ticket. There's no other explanation. See 'casting couch'.

"Sarah Oh-Twelve!" bellowed a man in field coat and jeans, one of several thousand at the Leesburg rally, when Palin spoke about her tax policies yesterday.

With any luck, we'll remember the stain on Monica's dress longer than we'll remember Palin.

Confused McCain Claims the Endorsement of Former SecState Charles Schulz

"He always said the McCain-Palin ticket is classic Americana."

Thanks, Don.

Bush's Looming Defeat in Iraq

Robert Parry

John McCain continues to talk about a U.S. “victory” in Iraq and Sarah Palin baits Barack Obama for not using the word “win” when he discusses the war. But the hard reality facing whoever becomes President is a looming strategic defeat.

Over the past several months as the agreement has taken shape, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government has escalated its demands, and the Bush administration has made concession after concession. Yet even now, many powerful Iraqi politicians -- especially among the Shiites -- are demanding that American troops get out even faster.

Iraq seems intent on telling the United States the diplomatic equivalent of “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

A smart, or even realistic, president would get the hint. We ain't got one of those yet.

So, the neocon dream of transforming Iraq into a land-based aircraft carrier for carrying out military strikes against Iran, Syria and other perceived enemies appears to be ending, regardless of whether neocon favorite, McCain, succeeds President Bush, or Obama does with his plan to remove U.S. combat forces over 16 months.

Under the latest version of the status-of-forces agreement, the only option for carrying out the neocon plan would seem to be the raw imposition of American imperial dominance, a move that would meet widespread international resistance and likely rekindle the insurrection inside Iraq.

The far more likely outcome in Iraq is the gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces, with Washington left with little to show for its investment in blood and treasure.

Despite the terrible price in blood, treasure and prestige, little may remain of Bush’s adventure besides the recognition of a painful strategic defeat for the United States and a historical reminder about the arrogance of power.

Given our penchant for forgetting the lessons of history, said 'reminder' will be purged from memory the next time we let some imperialistic bunch like the neocons seize power.

Note to President Obama: The right-wing is going to blame you for Bush's defeat. Don't let them get away with it. Keep the focus where it belongs. I suggest his, and many others', arrests and very public high-profile trials for war crimes and treason followed by public executions. If you do it right, there's enough of them we can put the hangmen on shift work.

Too dumb to breathe

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe, links at site.

You’ve probably seen the absurd — laughable really — “interview” Florida news anchor, Barbara West, conducted of Joe Biden. Not satisfied with merely repeating official GOP talking points, West, instead, jumped the media shark all the way to repeating the talking points of the party’s most extreme nutcases.

What I find most fascinating about this isn’t that some unknown local television ”personality” decided to make a pitch for Fox News glory. Hell, a talking head has only one soul to sell: why not sell it to Rupert Murdoch? No, what’s fascinating is the right wing’s response.

[...] Suffice it to say, the wingers are in ecstasy over this.

Apparently to the twisted minds of the far right GOP base, West’s questioning of Biden wasn’t an embarrassment: it was Pulitzer Prize quality journalism. They’re laughably wrong, of course, but what’s really striking is their cluelessness about the broader public mood. Despite everything that’s happened, these people still have no idea — not the slightest inkling — of how badly this type of ignorant hate-mongering is damaging the GOP brand.

There’s good reason to hope for more than McCain’s defeat this year’s election, of course — to dream even that it may represent the beginning of the extinction of today’s ultra-radical conservatism. And if so, this time it won’t be an asteroid that takes out the (political) dinosaurs.

Nope, this time it turns out that they were just too dumb to breathe.

It's a heartwarming thought, but I'm not going to hold my breath. A good selective pin-point right-wing-targeting asteroid would be a big help.

Crossing the line ...

One of the reasons I didn't join the Navy (it was my second choice) is I didn't want to get locked up on a ship for months at a time with a buncha guys (I was a horny little bastid when I was 17).

Now, we did some strange shit in the Air Force, but the Squids got some fucked up rituals (which, I assume, comes from locking up a buncha guys on a ship for months at a time), such as the one McLame is participating in as we speak.

Famous last words ...

Leave us not forget:

So when I hear:

Wash Post talking about a possible Obama "landslide"

I worry people will get complacent and not go out to vote, especially in states like NY, where there's no early voting and the lines threaten to be outrageous. Listen to me; it's worth the hassle this time. In 7 days, this will all be over. If you really do want to end this national nightmare, get out there next Tuesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama


Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

I wasn't gonna bother posting this because I figured these clowns never had a snowball's chance in hell of pulling it off with their igloo-temperature IQs, until I realized it has a certain 'Public Service Announcement' value. For The Children. Here's my PSA to da yout's of America:

Kids, this is the kind of delusions of grandeur ya get when ya use forty bucks worth of crank in yer coffee over a long period of time.

Just say No.

The rest of you who ain't kids may hit me now.

My brain ...

Gord tossed up a YouTube at F & G illustrating how his brain works.

What it's like to be me: I went on this whole thing yesterday about country music and opera. So what's been going through my head since then?


Waylon Jennings - Good Ol' Boys


Nucks reminds us what we're voting for.

Quote of the Day


... A leader does not rape a nation for a score. John McCain is not a leader. He is an opportunist, at best ...

Downhill run ...

A week left until Election Day; wait for it:

Be prepared for the final onslaught of the really stupid, when the media feels the need to balance reality with whatever horseshit the McCain/Drudge are spewing that day.


Gonna come in like high tide in the Bay of Fundy.

Am I the only one ...

Whose sphincter tightens at the sound of Heather Wilson's voice? God what an annoying person. It seems Wolfie always likes to toss her and Debbie Wasserman - Schulz in the ring and let them snipe at each other. I heard this yesterday when I was up on a ladder and I thought I was gonna fall off.

She just had to go there. During an exchange on Late Edition Oct. 26, 2008, Heather Wilson could just not resist taking a cheap shot at Biden for his hair transplants and compares the money spent by the RNC on Palin's clothing to what Obama spends on his ties as well.


Now, I'm a tie guy (as you all know), and I own hundreds (literally) and, have yet to spend $1500 for all of 'em. For $150,000, I could buy's (I'm a customer) entire line.

The Rethugs got nuthin'.

Stevens found guilty on all seven counts


It is the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and an almost unprecedented conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.

Now, voters will decide whether Stevens, who has represented the state in the U.S. Senate since 1968 and before that helped usher in statehood for Alaska, should continue to serve as their senator. For the first time in his career, Stevens faces a competitive re-election fight, against Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

Stevens, who was indicted in late July, sought an early trial date, gambling he would face voters as an innocent man. Even without the conviction, though, to re-elect Stevens, voters would have to overlook four weeks of testimony that exposed some of the senator’s innermost financial and personal secrets to the world.

The guilty verdict will complicate not only his re-election bid but also the remainder of his term in the Senate. His colleagues have the option — never actually exercised — of voting to expel him before his term ends in January. Four U.S. senators have been convicted of crimes, historians note, but not one has ever received a presidential pardon.

Convicted on seven felony counts and still running for his office. The old crook's got a pair o' brass ones, I'll say that for him.

Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation's Televisions

This one's for all you Appleheads out there. The rest of us are already familiar with the phenomena. From America's Finest News Source:

The new ad campaign, which features footage of everyday Americans using PCs, was launched as an upgrade to the poorly performing Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates commercials, which suffered unspecified failures in two-thirds of U.S. households. Microsoft pulled the defective ads in mid-September, but the move came too late, as countless televisions had already been infected with viruses and spyware.

So far over a half million television users have complained about the new ads. Some, such as Louisville, KY native Andrew Ryland, said they were instructed by tech support to press and hold the power, mute, and number seven buttons on their remotes in an attempt to shut down their television sets.

When that failed, many television owners said they were left with no other option but to manually restart their devices.

"I tried to push the power button, but nothing happened," said Andover, CT resident David Lax, who claimed that his television has never had any compatibility issues with commercials in the past. "Luckily I called my buddy Todd, who's pretty good with televisions, and he told me that you just have to unplug it and plug it back in."

[...] A press release issued by the software giant also advised televisions users to avoid quickly switching back and forth between programs to prevent any future crashes.

"Our engineers have repeatedly tested this commercial to work out all the bugs, and we proudly stand behind this advertisement," Machen said. "We've heard numerous complaints about a virus, so we urge all users to remember that there are untrustworthy cable channels out there that they should never visit."

Chicago resident Rick Yoder, 33, said he brought the 36-inch Sony Trinitron he purchased in 1999 into a licensed Microsoft dealer and paid well over $1,000 to add a graphic accelerator card and new motherboard that his television lacked.

Recent frustrations with Microsoft have not been limited to its television ads, however. Earlier this week, a billboard promoting the company's latest Windows platform angered hundreds in Detroit when it fell onto three cars, instantly killing all passengers.

More. I'm glad Microsoft doesn't make motorcycles!

Hubris a cover for insecurity

Good op-ed by Gregory Rodriguez:

Americans like a little cockiness. We implicitly know that you've got to act like a winner to be a winner; you've got to fake it to make it. In our market-driven worldview, we tend to think that we're all pretty much worth what we say we're worth. Anyone who's ever been on a date or worked in retail knows that a little bravado can go a long way. I'm not talking about tacky post-touchdown victory dances, but more on the level of self-assured pride and confidence. Think Gary Cooper.

But we also know that excessive bragging can simply be a cover for deeper insecurities. How many times have you chalked up a colleague's arrogance to feelings of inferiority? We have names for people with too much pride: snobbish, pompous, stuck-up. And though it's their superiority that annoys us, we often suspect that these very people are overcompensating for their internal doubts and sense of inadequacy.

Right now we're assaulted with charges and countercharges about a certain kind of pride -- the red, white and blue nationalistic variety. Who and where are the most patriotic Americans, and how can you tell? To answer the question, it should help you to know that the categories of authentic and hubristic pride apply to groups as well as individuals.

Last Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology in Sacramento, UC Davis psychologist Cynthia Pickett presented findings from a series of studies that couldn't have been released at a more appropriate moment. Not surprisingly, she and her co-investigators found that displays of hubristic group pride "might actually be a sign of group insecurity as opposed to a sign of strength."

Clearly, these studies shed some light on all the loose-lipped campaign rhetoric about who and what parts of the country are more patriotic than the rest. They suggest that not all pride is good, and they raise the question of whether hubristic pride is actually counterproductive. After all, if flag-waving braggadocio is no more than a mask for deep doubts about the viability of your "side," it just makes sense to put down Old Glory and stop shouting. That's the only way you're going to be able to engage in the hard work, sacrifice and practice you need for authentic achievement and authentic pride.

May the real patriots win.

Amen. Trouble is, the Repugs ain't interested in 'authentic achievement and authentic pride'. They're perfectly content to just graze on the radical right-wing horseshit they've been fed. Their favorite snack is about to be yanked away from 'em and they're pissed that their 'side' ain't gonna be in charge any longer. They're desperate and showing it.

It's going to make some of them lose what little grip they have and become dangerous too. Keep a tire thumper close at hand.

Tony Hillerman 1925-2008

This one saddens me no end. I've read almost everything he wrote and am a huge fan. Please go read about him.


PHOENIX — Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes -- Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee -- died Sunday of pulmonary failure. He was 83.

Lt. Joe Leaphorn, introduced in "The Blessing Way" in 1970, was an experienced police officer who understood, but did not share, his people's traditional belief in a rich spirit world. Officer Jim Chee, introduced in "People of Darkness" in 1978, was a younger officer studying to become a "hathaali" -- Navajo for "shaman."

Together, they struggled daily to bridge the cultural divide between the dominant Anglo society and the impoverished people who call themselves the Dineh.

Occasionally, he was accused of exploiting his knowledge of Navajo culture for personal gain, but in 1987, the Navajo Tribal Council honored him with its Special Friend of the Dineh award. He took greater pride in that, he often said, than in the many awards bestowed by his peers, including the Golden Spur Award from Western Writers of America and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, which elected him its president.

Hollywood was less kind to Hillerman. Its adaptation of his 1981 novel, "Dark Wind," with Lou Diamond Phillips and Fred Ward regrettably cast as Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, was a bomb.

Heh. No shit! You wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get it on VHS! I think they had to re-import it so I could have one. I still liked it. PBS did movies of some of his other books with Wes Studi and Adam Beach. I have those too.

In 1943, he interrupted his education at the University of Oklahoma to join the Army. He lugged his mortar ashore at D-Day with the 103rd Infantry Division and was severely wounded in battle at Alsace, France. He returned from Europe a genuine war hero with a Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, temporary blindness and two shattered legs that never stopped causing him pain.

Hillerman was still teaching when he wrote his first novel, "Blessing Way." A story that always made him chuckle: His first agent advised him that if he wanted to get published, he would have to "get rid of that Indian stuff."

I think that agent is now 'advising' people to "super-size it" out a drive-thru window somewhere!

Walk in beauty, Tony. That's a Navajo expression you taught me.



Rove And Kristol Fault Disloyal, Ill-Serving Campaign Staff For McCain’s Struggles

It's just getting too wonderful for words!

Think Progress

Today on Fox News Sunday, “master strategist” Karl Rove joined the finger-pointing, blaming the McCain staff for being “undisciplined” and expressing insufficient “loyalty” for McCain:

Gee, Karl, that's your old crowd, ain't it? I guess they lost direction without your masterful, manly hand on the stick like it was on Bush's stick.

Later in the show, right-wing columnist Bill Kristol blamed McCain staffers for “ill-serving” Palin by mishandling the story about spending $150,000 on new designer clothes for her. “The staff has not served her well by hiding her and not having confidence,” he said. Watch both clips here:

Hint: Prior to watching this crap if you must, I suggest you proceed to a safe area and puke in a controlled situation so as not to fuse your keyboard into a toxic, un-recyclable lump.

It makes sense that Kristol is trying to direct blame onto staffers and away from Palin: after all, McCain insiders have credited Kristol with convincing them to go with Palin to begin with. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said Kristol was “the most ardent promoter” of Palin, repeatedly talking up her electoral prowess on Fox News and urging McCain to choose her for vice president.

Some recent polls have shown her selection to be a bigger drag on McCain’s campaign than Bush.

Wait a minute here - Palin. Drag. Hmmmmm...

Someone grab her crotch and see if she's still pre-op. Come to think of it, before you wash your hands, check Turdblossom and Krystall for the same thing.

Hitchens: McCain is borderline senile

Greatscat! with Noball video actually worth watching.

Christopher Hitchens tells Tweety that its become 'morally and intellectually impossible to vote Republican.' He goes on to blast the 'nutbag' in Pennsylvania, and says McCain is 'borderline senile.'

Even as smarmy as Hitchens is, sometimes he's right.

U.S. threatens to halt services to Iraq without troop accord


BAGHDAD _ The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn't agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq.

In addition to halting all military actions, U.S. forces would cease activities that support Iraq’s economy, educational sector and other areas _ "everything" _ said Tariq al Hashimi, the country’s Sunni Muslim vice president. "I didn’t know the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services."

I probably shoulda put this in "Oh, the irony...". Since the U.N. lunch room pass that allows US troops to be in Iraq expires on December 31st, Bush is actually threatening to OBEY THE LAW!!!

Note to Iraq: Call his bluff. We'll say 'Ooops' and bring our troops home.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Bush to Host Emergency International Summit After Election
Could be final chance for world leaders to ridicule him behind his back.

Report: RNC Spent $150,000 On Palin's Wardrobe
$1.50 on vetting.

Fed to Provide $540 Billion to Money Market Mutual Funds
Includes cost of disguises, getaway cars.

Study: Our Kids Less Likely to Graduate or Earn as Much as We Did
Their kids less likely to walk upright, use tools.

Study: Inequality in Some Major U.S. Cities Rivals Cities in Africa
Why travel overseas when you can observe the vast gap between rich and poor right here, in the good ol' USA?

Many more.

Not "no" ...

But "fuck no"!

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., the largest U.S. automaker, has asked the Treasury Department for financial aid to help complete a merger with Cerberus Capital Management LP's Chrysler LLC, two people with knowledge of the matter said.


$10 bln worth at last count.

Didn't we just hand the U.S. majors $25 bln last month so they "could modernize in order to be competitive"? Fuck them. Sorry you decent, hard working folks who work for GM, I feel for you, but enough is enough. GM and the other major U.S. auto houses have made one bad business decision after another since 1978 and I'm tired of bailing them out.

The reason they can't compete is because they refused to learn from the Japanese and Europeans, even when the writing's been on the wall for the last 25 years, longer for the more perceptive.

Fuck them. Let 'em drown.

Off to work on their crap ...

Cross-posted at F & G.

Short and sweet ...

Because I overslept, but Comrade Misfit hits it right on the head:

Things probably are not going too well in your national campaign when your hometown newspaper endorses the other guy.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Heh ...

Sent to me via email from Grandpa Eddie:

Click to engorge

Weekend whorage

The next chapter of Birthright is up at The Practical Press.

Sorry I ain't been around much this weekend but I been working my ass off on the house.

And for your listening pleasure, I do something a bit out of character. People who know me know I love most kinds of music, save opera and country music (and I can only take Broadway show tunes in very small doses) ... in general.

To me, opera sounds like somebody doing something bad to a cat, and country music sounds like somebody doing something bad to a sheep. That said, I enjoy a lot of the country selections Gord posts and there are a few operatic pieces I like. This one, for instance. The Habanera aria from Bizet's Carmen. It still sounds like someone doing something bad to a cat, but something about it grabs me.

Angela Gheorghiu - Habanera

And as a complete counterpoint, one of my favorite artists, genres, and tunes.

Bob Marley and the Wailers - Buffalo Soldier

Sunday Crazy Limey Hillbilly Music and Line Dance Blogging

I proudly present what's billed as No. 17 of the Ultimate 100 Really Bad Songs. It ain't that bad. What do Limey music critics know about American music anyway?

There's a little story goin' on too. There's an amplitudinous young beauty in blue denim who is most definitely at this shindig to have a good time. Watch at about 1:56 when the guy with short red hair realizes he's in deep trouble! Maybe in for the time of his life too! Heh.

The Woolpackers* - Hillbilly Rock, Hillbilly Roll

*Please let that mean something in England other than what first crossed my mind...

Gumbo Granny Blogs From the Bayou

This is heartwarming. We need a little of that. It's a quick read and you'll like it.


A blog called "the wounded bird," which originates from a town a half hour away from my "headquarters," here on the delta was a source for the link. How good could it possibly get? OfftheBus's gift from the Muse! Cajuns for Obama! Obama Zydeco! A gumbo Granny, bloggin' from the bayou, was a writer's dream come true, and she was a short drive away. Oui, On Peut!

Dissatisfaction with the Bush administration, as well as a developing realization that the mainstream media was not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, combined with the discovery of the infant blogosphere, changed her life.

"The last eight years, I have wanted France to buy Louisiana back," Mimi says, and you get the feeling she is not joking.

Oooh! Euros...

"Now for a little soul-baring. I am a wreck, and I will be a wreck until the election is over."

No shit, lady!

Then, watch out President Obama. Mimi made up her mind that you are a smart man and will take care of Louisiana, and she will most likely hold you to it.


The (non-union) elephant in the room

Joe The Unlicensed Plumber – Meet Chris The Union Carpenter

[...] I'm trying to show Joe the Plumber that it's not as glamorous as it looks. So go ahead Joe, buy that company. Run a legitimate business. Put in the hours to make it work. Build yourself up to make that $250-300,00.00. Believe me, if I get to $300k, I'll pay the 4-5% extra taxes and never blink.

Can ya put lipstick on a varnished moose turd?

Go read this one. Pants, meet ankles.

I'm an Alaskan -- born in an igloo, enjoy whale muktuk, all that -- and in case you aren't sick of our state by now, I'll start off with an apology for one of our residents: Sarah Palin.

We Alaskans are not generally so magazine-pretty like her, nor are we so confrontational and vapid. Most of us don't have those peachy cheeks -- we have sunburn, windburn and frostbite. Our fingernails are dirty from actually gutting moose, not yakking about it. Our hands are chapped from picking thousands of salmon out of nets, not holding one up for the camera.

Out beyond my window, the slush ice is thickening. In the west lie the Bering Straits. Yes, Vladimir Putin and Moscow are over there somewhere -- a little closer than London. Plenty of us reside hundreds of miles closer to Russia than Palin ever did down in the big-cities of Wasilla or Juneau. In the past 40 years, Russians have motored across a handful of times, Russian Eskimos, in homemade boats. One that I know stayed and married. She's an Eskimo dancer and ivory carver, very capable and beautiful, in a real way. And, I guess like the rest of us now, an overnight foreign policy expert.

By now the world knows our Gov. Palin is an expert at swishing around in color-coordinated this and that, with her makeup, fake Minnesota accent, and her mooseburger and mean-spirited commentary. We can only hope people realize she's a pretty unreal Alaskan, one who is simply skimming the gravy off our hard-earned Alaskan mystique to mix with her varnished nonsense.

(And yes, some Alaskans do sell varnished moose turds, also.)

From up here in the Arctic -- not left or right but north of the campaign trail -- the reality is clear and cold: When John McCain chose Sarah Palin, he wrote America out of his will. It's time for us to write him out of our future.

I would not presume to add to so beautiful a thing as that.

Pops on Race

I wanta be just like our Daddy Frank when I grow up! A 'must read'. Links at site.

There are at least two larger national lessons to be learned from what is likely to be the last gasp of Allen-McCain-Palin politics in 2008. The first, and easy one, is that Republican leaders have no idea what “real America” is. In the eight years since the first Bush-Cheney convention pledged inclusiveness and showcased Colin Powell as its opening-night speaker, the G.O.P. has terminally alienated black Americans (Powell himself now included), immigrant Americans (including the Hispanics who once gave Bush-Cheney as much as 44 percent of their votes) and the extended families of gay Americans (Palin has now revived a constitutional crusade against same-sex marriage). Subtract all those players from the actual America, and you don’t have enough of a bench to field a junior varsity volleyball team, let alone a serious campaign for the Electoral College.

But the other, less noticed lesson of the year has to do with the white people the McCain campaign has been pandering to. As we saw first in the Democratic primary results and see now in the widespread revulsion at the McCain-Palin tactics, white Americans are not remotely the bigots the G.O.P. would have us believe. Just because a campaign trades in racism doesn’t mean that the country is racist. It’s past time to come to the unfairly maligned white America’s defense.

Yeah, my reaction to that was "Huh!!?" too. Wait for it...

The McCain campaign is so dumb that it bought into the press’s confirmation of its own prejudices. Even though registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million in Pennsylvania (more than double the 2004 gap), even though Obama leads by double digits in almost every recent Pennsylvania poll and even though no national Republican ticket has won there since 1988, McCain started pouring his dwindling resources into the state this month. When the Democratic Representative John Murtha described his own western Pennsylvania district as a “racist area,” McCain feigned outrage and put down even more chips on the race card, calling the region the “most patriotic, most God-loving” part of America.

Well, there are racists in western Pennsylvania, as there are in most pockets of our country. But despite the months-long drumbeat of punditry to the contrary, there are not and have never been enough racists in 2008 to flip this election. In the latest New York Times/CBS News and Pew national polls, Obama is now pulling even with McCain among white men, a feat accomplished by no Democratic presidential candidate in three decades, Bill Clinton included. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey finds age doing more damage to McCain than race to Obama.

Nor is America’s remaining racism all that it once was, or that the McCain camp has been hoping for it to be. There are even “racists for Obama,” as Politico labels the phenomenon: White Americans whose distrust of black people in general crumbles when they actually get to know specific black people (my em), including a presidential candidate who extends a genuine helping hand in a time of national crisis.

I think my emphasized phrase there is the crux of the biscuit. I'm sure that an awful lot of white people have never met a black person socially. The military is a good ice-breaker - all races are thrown together willy-nilly and the chickenshit is spread (like mayonnaise) on all fairly equally - but the splibs and the chucks tend to socialize by race. (That's the way it was in my day anyway. Maybe it has changed.) The saving grace is that sometimes their lives depend on trusting one another. The 'content of a man's character' is the important thing: will he be there when you need him?

I have formed a theory from my own experience and I hope none of you ever get to formulate it yourselves: one of the very few places that black and white can speak openly and honestly in this country is in rehab. I did mine through the VA, so everyone was a Veteran and we had that in common going in. The other thing in common was some kind of addiction and we were all there to kick. Just about the first thing you learn in treatment is that you absolutely, positively, have to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a problem before you stand any chance to kick it. You also have to be honest with yourself in order to be honest with others. Black, white, green, whatever, the spirit of being open and honest pervades the atmosphere towards a common goal of getting clean & sober and getting your life back.

Honesty builds respect. Color, or to be more politically correct, 'cultural diversity', is no bar to this. Having gone this far, I may as well prance all the way out to the end of the limb - a good way to tell when mutual respect has been achieved is when normally wary people can kid each other about race, even try to top each other, and laugh about it. Hint: be careful. Hard won respect can be undone very quickly.

Once you get to know someone and see him as an individual, he is no longer part of a stereotype and the stereotype can go ahead and crumble to dust. No stereotype is valid anyway. Well, except the ones about Repugs.

The corollary, and it should come as no surprise, is that assholes come in all shades too. The trick is to realize that he's an asshole and not a _________(fill in favorite demeaning racial epithet) because of it.

The original “racist for Obama,” after all, was none other than Obama’s own white, Kansas-raised grandmother, the gravely ill Madelyn Dunham, whom he visited in Hawaii on Friday. In “Dreams From My Father,” Obama wrote of how shaken he was when he learned of her overwhelming fear of black men on the street. But he weighed that reality against his unshakeable love for her and hers for him, and he got past it.

When Obama cited her in his speech on race last spring, the right immediately accused him of “throwing his grandmother under the bus.” But Obama’s critics were merely projecting their own racial hang-ups. He still loves his grandmother. He was merely speaking candidly and generously — like an adult — about the strange, complex and ever-changing racial dynamics of America. He hit a chord because many of us have had white relatives of our own like his, and we, too, see them in full and often love them anyway.

Such human nuances are lost on conservative warriors of the Allen-McCain-Palin ilk. They see all Americans as only white or black, as either us or them. The dirty little secret of such divisive politicians has always been that their rage toward the Others is exceeded only by their cynical conviction that Real Americans are a benighted bunch of easily manipulated bigots. This seems to be the election year when voters in most of our myriad Americas are figuring that out.

Mr. Rich referred to something like 'pockets of racism'. The Republican Party is probably the largest one remaining, and hopefully the last.