Friday, August 29, 2008

Goodnight, Gracie!


Well that didn't take long. The Republican ticket of Burns and Allen is already in hot water.

Turns out Alaska Governor Palin is under investigation for abuse of power. Oh, and don't worry: it's unseemly!

The story goes, she fired Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner because he refused to fire a State Trooper she wanted axed.
What's that? You want to know why she wanted the State Trooper axed? Well, because he was in a bitter child custody battle at the time with the Governor's sister, Molly. Family's gotta come first!

She could even face impeachment over the matter. Who's doing the vetting over there at the McCain campaign?

Oh well, if he has to drop Palin from the ticket he can still go with Harriet Myers.

Well, well, Gracie, that's pretty shocking! In light of this potential scandal, do you think McCain will keep Palin?

Why George, if McCain keeps palin' he's likely to disappear altogether!


Roister doister, it's been a busy weekend for Governor Palin! I can't keep up, but here's a screenshot:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vulgar Exclamation!

I'm clicking around during the Convention (nice job, drummer for Will.I.Am and John Legend!) and I see this tag:

McCain's Prickly TIME Interview

It was a weird interview on McCain's (wife's) plane where he behaved really strangely. Couple highlights:

[Your] campaign today is more disciplined, more traditional, more aggressive. From your point of view, why the change?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

But beyond the press, sir, just in terms of ...
I think we're running a fine campaign, and this is where we are.

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? Come on, Senator.
I'll provide as much access as possible ...

In 2000, after the primaries, you went back to South Carolina to talk about what you felt was a mistake you had made on the Confederate flag. Is there anything so far about this campaign that you wish you could take back or you might revisit when it's over?
[Does not answer.]

Do I know you? [Says with a laugh.]
[Long pause.] I'm very happy with the way our campaign has been conducted, and I am very pleased and humbled to have the nomination of the Republican Party.

You do acknowledge there was a change in the campaign, in the way you had run the campaign?
[Shakes his head.]

You don't acknowledge that? O.K., when your aides came to you and you decided, having been attacked by Barack Obama, to run some of those ads, was there a debate?
The campaign responded as planned.

So OK. Then I find this article from the BBC:


This is alarming. Take your time -- go read the article. McCain's top, A-number-one foreign policy advisor -- a guy named Randall Scheunemann -- is a paid lobbyist to McCain on behalf of the country of Georgia. You already know that, right? Today, though, check this: Putin is saying that the U.S. worked with Georgia to provoke the Russians into a conflict in order to impact the U.S. election. He's saying the U.S. trained Georgian troops, both in Georgia and in Iraq, then flew the Iraq-based Georgian troops on U.S. planes back to Georgia during the Russian invasion, and provided U.S. boots on the ground to actually participate in the combat. This is a very grave charge and it's got a real ring of truth to it.

Remember during the height of the Russo-Georgian conflict, the Georgian president was calling on John McCain to "move from words to deeds"? I remember wondering why he was calling out McCain instead of Bush. Did he really expect a candidate for president to be able to send troops and, even if he could, why would he want to go to war with Russia just for Georgia? But now I think McCain's man Scheunemann must have promised Georgia that McCain would fly in and make a big deal out of it if/when Russia responded to Georgia's provocation, and Georgia would get South Ossetia back in the process. Georgia would also have an indebted friend in the White House if McCain won the presidency.

Did you read the article? You didn't? OK, at least read this quote from Putin:

"We have serious reasons to believe that American citizens were right at the heart of the military action," Putin said.

If it is true, then
  1. the Republicans, including both McCain and the Bush administration, actually started a war between two sovereign countries solely to manipulate the American electorate. Does it get any more cynical?
  2. yes, it could get more cynical. Because Putin's Russia responded so much more strongly than Georgia (and, allegedly, the U.S. Republicans) expected, Georgia got crushed and McCain didn't have a chance to step in and show American voters his strong yet diplomatic side. Therefore
  3. my grave concern is that those same Rovian Republicans will try again -- this time with something more manageable, like a terrorist attack within the U.S..
  4. if there is an attack in the U.S., it's easy to imagine the Bush administration taking some pretty drastic measures in response to the catastrophic emergency.

Convention Just Got Better Than The Olympics

I know Bill Clinton reads a lot, but I had no idea he reads my blog. His speech last night did many of the things that Hillary's failed to do. In particular, he referred to Barack Obama the man, not Obama the agenda.

Just an aside: I noticed during Bill's speech that Hillary, Michelle, Jill Biden and even Mama Biden all wore blue dresses last night. And I thought, "Well
that's a strong show of support for Bill." It reminded me of my brother's post the other day about how Jackie Robinson's teammates all wore his number as a show of solidarity. Blue dresses for Bill. Funny.

Anyway, he gave a great speech and he wore a very expensive tie that wasn't orange. So. I don't know. I just couldn't help thinking as I listened that Bill's main objective was just to give a better speech than Hillary. But I can't really prove that. Favorite line:

"People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."

Now, Beau Biden? That was a heartfelt introduction of his Dad. I was crying (I love you, Dad!). Just watch it, that's all.

Joe Biden also did a great job. At one point, though, he told about how his mother made him go back outside and at least bloody the nose of a bully who'd attacked him so he'd be able to walk down the street after that. Great American stuff! Except, I thought, that's probably the same thing the Iraqi insurgents tell one another while they're placing their IEDs along the road, and we're the bully. Anyway, he sold it.

Also, since the Fourth Amendment and Habeus Corpus still haven't been seen or heard from at the Democratic National Convinfomercial, I'll go ahead and mention them here:

Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Writ of Habeus Corpus
(Latin: [We command] that you have the body) is the name of a legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention of himself or another person. The writ of habeus corpus has historically --since the 12th century-- been an import
ant instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action. Also known as "The Great Writ," it's a summons with the force of a court order addressed to the custodian (such as a prison official) demanding that a prisoner be brought before the court, together with proof of the custodian's authority, so the court can decide whether the prisoner is being legally held or, if not, that the person should be released.

Now, the FIRST Amendment has been seen, but it was bleeding in a gutter trying to wash the pepper spray from its eyes. Here's that old favorite amendment for anybody who'd like to sing along:

First Amendment to the US Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And for dessert, why not? My personal favorite:


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Substance Abuse


Oh, Fox. Someday your overt propaganda will all be subtle, and we'll so miss these screen shots. This is the kind of thing that explains why somebody stuck a dollar bill in a Faux News vj's bra during a live segment from the DNC. Enjoy:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Convention Needs More Beach Volleyball.

Here are my thoughts on the Hillary speech: I found it tepid.

I thought Hillary should have shown John McCain's "Passed Over" ad claiming that Clinton backers had been betrayed by Obama -- she should have grabbed a stool and a water bottle and watched it on the jumbo-tron with the audience. Then she should have stood back at the podium shaking her head (her signature move) and said, "What a load of crap. Aren't you a little tired of this cheap manipulation? This is like Monica trying to win Bill by telling me he's a cheater." That would have made some headlines. Why don't they listen to me?

Regarding the most substantive issue of the evening, I hated the pant suit (who likes a pant suit?) but I liked the necklace. Hey, how come the women of cable news have stopped wearing necklaces now? Notice that? It's curious. Michelle Obama's beautiful outfits last night and tonight were a striking contrast to Hillary, who seemed to be purposely emphasizing her frumpiness and her ... orangeness. I really cringed at her line about the "sisterhood of the travelling pant suit." What's with all the little insider gal-pal talk? Maggie Thatcher would never have done that. And Obama's not all, "where my niggas at -- what-what?"

She took a couple of pointed but collegial jabs at McCain, but she didn't say anything positive about her candidate's character. She didn't say he's a nice guy or funny or that his kids are cute or that he talks good or anything remotely personal. I thought that was a little bit of cold broth, right there.

Finally, I thought she should have mentioned Ted Kennedy as a hero and promised to emulate him. With that framing, she could have outlined each of her favorite initiatives, followed by "let's make sure over the next four years that President Obama hears plenty from us about getting that one handled."

Oh, and you know what would be really nice? If somebody would step up to the mic and mention torture, civil liberties, even our occupation of Iraq for pete's sake. No, it's been all nice, nice, "We're no threat! We're not leftists! We're just like you. Just good moms and sisters and midwesterners and corporate whores." So far, this convention has been like a birthday party for a retarded princess.

By the way, here's a great video of convention Democrats calling the cops on liberal journalists with full media passes just for asking their names as they walk into a super-secret soiree thrown for them by now-immune AT&T.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Megan Calls the Cops On Our Yard Gnome

This morning Jude's cell phone rang at about 3:15. It woke me up, but it was in the other room so I ignored it. "If somebody's dead," I thought, "they'll still be dead at sunrise." But then my cell phone rang. I wasn't out of bed quick enough to answer, but that call did get me vertical to go listen to the message. It was Megan, next door.

"I heard a loud bang over there and I can see some guy in your yard," she said.

Bravely, boldly, I peeked through an eensy weensy crack in our living room curtain. I could see a supine body in the yard, its bare feet twitching, and on the porch I could see an ammo belt with about 50 bullets. I thought, "Is this guy shot?" Fortunately I didn't have to learn whether I had enough nerve to go out and check on him myself, because a police cruiser pulled up and shone his spotlight on the guy. I'd say he was about 28, blondish, and dressed to party with some loud Loverboy tunes and a whole lot of Miller High Life.

I went out onto the porch and said, "Officer, there's some ammo up here on the porch."

"I think that's probably Mr. Hardcore's belt," he answered, indicating the splendor on the grass, "since it goes so well with his boots."

The guy was a rocker, still wearing his rocker gear from a night of hard drinking. I'm no CSI officer, but the perp left a pretty clear trail of destruction marking his recent activity. He'd apparently decided to take a little napsky on our porch bench; he'd begun to disrobe there, knocked over Jude's planter and beat a hasty retreat to the yard, where our lush lawn was too inviting to pass up. Off came his black and chrome boots, his badass jean jacket, his badass black bandanna with skull pattern, and down goes Lightweight Larry.

The cop roused him with, "Hey! Hey, do you know where you are?"

"No. Yes. I'm right here. None of your business. I can do whatever."

"Is that why you knocked over this guy's plant pot? Put your hands behind you."

"But not your plant pot. Not yours."

The cop actually apologized to me for my trouble as he loaded Drunky Dan's effects into the trunk. I felt like a real taxpayer. I picked a wallet up from the walkway and handed it to the officer, wishing I had some muffins or something to give him. He opened the wallet and took a look. "He's from out of state. Probably a student -- school's starting." Then, to the guy in the backseat, he said, "Welcome to Oregon! Have you seen our drunk tank?" and off they went. You say no to drugs, kids.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh my God!

This morning at about 05:00 Jude jerked awake, just like in the movies. "I've got to call my Mom," she said.

In her dream, she and her Mom were talking on the phone like they always do and, suddenly, Wilma said, "Oh my God!" and the phone went dead.

"I think she might be in trouble. People laugh at me but I've had this happen before."

I didn't laugh. Even though it's ridiculous.

"It sounded like maybe somebody had broken into her house. It might be happening right now." So, at 05:05, she called Wilma, who answered (which I'm surprised to report considering she doesn't wear her hearing aids to bed). Jude told her the dream and wandered out of the bedroom. I could hear her telling Wilma to check the locks and I could hear Jude checking our locks. They always talk for a long time. I went back to sleep.

Around 06:00, Jude came back in the bedroom and said, "Well, that's figured out!"

"We were talking about dreams in general and how, sometimes, people in your dreams actually represent other people, or a specific feeling or fear. And we were talking about recurring dreams and nightmares and I mentioned that one that I had for about fifteen years. She didn't know what I was talking about. I said, 'Well, I may never have told you because it involves Aunt Maxie and Mike [Jude's brother]. I probably didn't want to upset you.'"

"Tell it to me fast honey, the cell phone's beeping that my battery's dying."

"OK. I'm just a little girl. Mike and Aunt Max are babysitting me and I do something that makes them very angry. It's night time. They put me in the back seat of Mike's big old Ford and we drive out to this corn field. We get out of the car there in the dark and I can see there's a hole in the ground, already dug. They put me down into the hole, and they bury me alive."

"Oh my God!" Wilma said. And then the phone went dead.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Like, Urgent

We don’t trust the veterinary company where we've been taking Jackson. We signed him up for the annual cat care plan they sell you as if it’s insurance, though they steer well clear of that word. It’s about $300 a year, but oh! what you get. Thousands and thousands of dollars in savings for the tests and tune-ups he simply must have annually, quarterly, monthly; whatever the vets' fiscal calendar requires. The whole clinic is twenty-year-old girls who wear pajamas to work and speak with no punctuation. You pay that money, and they call and leave you messages: “This is Banfield Pet Hospital calling about Jackson it’s time for his physical and dental exam day after tomorrow all day we look forward to seeing Jackson.” So we take him in and, guess what? There’s something wrong with him. Every time. And it’s causing him pain. And we’d better jump right on it. Right now. Today. He’s in pain. Just like real estate agents, vets have a profit motive that is at cross purposes, I feel, strongly, with their oath.

This afternoon, after Jackson had been there a few hours, the receptionist called and she liked Jude that he, like, needed two teeth pulled. Like, right now. $147 (not $150). Jude said we can’t afford it. (We can – don’t worry, Mom.) So fifteen minutes later the actual vet called back and explained that Jackson is likely in great pain. Jude said we’ll get it handled as soon as possible. Then, two hours later, the same vet called again. Bad news. Jackson has diabetes, no doubt about it. He needs a special diet and insulin shots right away.

Like, suffering

So Lucy at work told me we should call her vet and get a second opinion. “Dr. Dillon’s wonderful,” she said. Dr. Dillon returned Jude’s call tonight at about 8:00 and they talked for 45 minutes. The second opinion will cost $200. OK, whatever – we really want to know if he’s at death’s door or not. Jude makes the appointment and they set up a new patient record in the vetabase.

“And what’s your kitty’s name?” Dr. Dillon asks.


“And does Jackson have the same last name as you?”

Jude takes the phone from her ear and looks at it, holding it the way Captain Kirk holds his communicator. “His last name is Bon Jovi,” she says into it.