Thursday, January 31, 2008
An unaffiliated constituent
There only two issues I'd like to take up with my council rep. The first is that I want a police patrol car passing this corner every night of the week. But that would involve a level of police management I haven't seen in this city. It would be pointless for me to mention that some years ago Rahway improved patrol coverage in one month by promoting to chief someone with professional administrative training. Presumably, all the new chief did was restructure the patrol routes & beats & then tell his cops they damned well better do them rather than meeting in the Italian Club parking lot for long chats on quiet evenings.
The other suggestion is for the Public Library to rotate large print & childrens' books through the branches rather than letting them gather dust in the main library. The problem with this is the library assigns books permanently to the main building & branches & marks them accordingly with an indelible ink stamp. I say that computers make this stamping unnecessary, since patrons search for books, & librarians check them in & out, on the computer. The books are really inventoried, assigned, & tracked on the computer, not with the stamp that says, "Elmora Branch." Move a book, change the location on the computer, that's all. Oh, you troublesome unaffiliated constituent!
The things we did last summer
TAMPA, Fla. - Two Egyptian college students arrested near a South Carolina Navy weapons station last year were carrying low-grade fireworks, as they claimed, not the dangerous explosives as charged by federal prosecutors, the FBI has determined.There's enough evidence to prove they're stupid, not that it's illegal in America, or uncommon among south Florida college students. It's reasonable to wonder why anyone in the south needs to construct their own fireworks. Mohamed is here on a student visa, & he fired an expensive lawyer the Egyptian Consulate had hired for him. Megahed has a green card & lives with his family. Since the Feds have weak cases, these two knuckleheads ought to be given bail & whispered advice from two governments that they will not be prevented from purchasing & using one-way tickets to Egypt. Rights? Sure, you got rights. But we have enough problems. Save us the effort & expense of staging a judicial spectacle in an election year. If you stay & fight, good luck finding an impartial jury.
Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 26, and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, have been in jail since sheriff's deputies found what they called bomb-making materials in the trunk of their car during a traffic stop near Charleston, S.C.
The FBI report said the items found in the trunk of the car - PVC pipe containing a mixture of sugar, potassium nitrate and cat litter - are ingredients for a "pyrotechnic mixture" that burned but didn't explode in tests.
"Simply put, based on the FBI expert testing, the PVC pipes found in the trunk of the vehicle were harmless pyrotechnic materials similar to those found in fireworks and road flares," wrote public defender Adam Allen in a motion asking a judge to reconsider letting Megahed out on bail.
Still problematic for Mohamed is a video found on a laptop in the car in which, prosecutors contend, he demonstrates how to convert a remote-control toy into a detonator for a bomb. According to an FBI affidavit, he told authorities that he made the video "to assist those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries."
Besides the explosives charge, Mohamed faces a terrorism-related count of demonstrating how to use a destructive device for violence. According to the FBI, the laptop also contained stored information on building destructive explosives. Bullets and gun-cleaning kits also were found in the car, the FBI said.
Allen contends Megahed didn't know anything about the information on the laptop or the items in the trunk of the car Mohamed was driving when he was stopped for speeding. Allen said the students were on an innocent road trip to Sunset Beach, N.C., which was the destination programmed into the GPS unit in the car.
The midway and the fun, the kewpie dolls we won,
The bell I rang to prove that I was strong;
The things we did last summer we'll remember all winter long.
Labels: count the yoyos
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I am not pleased with John Edwards leaving the presidential race today. I didn't realistically expect him to make it to the convention given his percentages, but I wanted him to roll the dice on Super Tuesday & let his supporters nationwide have our say. Media gives Edwards' exit more importance than it ever gave his candidacy. I think his presence balanced the see saw of Clinton & Obama, both of whom would carry obvious handicaps into the general election. More importantly, he set the bar high on opposition to the Iraq War & on support for health care, the working poor, veterans, labor unions, & other traditional Democratic social justice issues, & the other candidates had to jump higher as a result. But in a primary race, there isn't a whole lot of space to move around between Clinton's old Democrats & Obama's new thing style. The bigshots are choosing sides & they're not choosing John Edwards. I thought Edwards was the only candidate who could put Tennessee, Arkansas, & Louisiana into play in November. His populist message was substantial, endearingly Democratic, & appealing to independent voters. I also think that progressive southerners still arrive at their views through a different process & with deeper insight than yankees or Californians. John Edwards didn't cynically change his positions; he had a series of profound epiphanies.
Thompson is gone. Giuliani is gone, thank heavens, although there was so much more America should have learned about "America's Mayor" before he quit; voters felt dirtied enough by what they did learn. Huckabee's appeal is as narrow as his theology. Ron Paul is the screwballs' screwball. Which leaves McCain & Romney. So the general election is now reduced to four possible matchups. Don't overestimate the impact of the vice presidential candidates, they rarely have any. No Dem VP can rescue Hillary from "Billary" & "icy bitch" or Obama from "Obama-Osama" & that other word never said in polite company. Because that's what lies ahead for Democrats. The Repugs run campaigns on two levels; one has to look into the ugliest places to find the lower one. I hope Hillary & Barack are prepared for the worst. I hope each of them has thought far enough ahead to have a map with 270 Electoral votes worth of blue states.
Labels: THE election
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
seven or eight
Today, the president is getting little credit for improved security in Iraq, as the public increasingly focuses on a struggling U.S. economy.Probably? Does Abramowitz suspect something?
That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight.
Actually, the SOTU address is a flexible matter according to the Constitution & as explained at The American Presidency Project. GWB has delivered 8, but the first was billed as a "Budget Message." Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Ford, & Carter gave one just prior to leaving office. Reagan passed on his 8th but delivered an Oval Office farewell address.
Giving Bush "credit" for improved security in Iraq is like giving an arsonist credit for calling the fire department.
Margaret Truman Daniel, daughter of President Harry S. Truman, died at age 83. An intelligent, talented, attractive woman. Sixty years ago, her father desegregated the armed forces by executive order. It took several more years, constant pressure from civil rights organizations, & the Korean War to kick the services into compliance, but it happened.
Labels: count the yoyos
Monday, January 28, 2008
Boop Boop A Doop
I made a mistake when I passed up the plastic talking Betty Boop on my way out of of 7-11 yesterday; three models including Betty wearing a sexy bathing suit, in a little box with heart lollipop, $3.49. Those will sell fast, I told myself.
Had to post this photo, a wink & a smirk. Like we just got snapped with a wet towel in the boys locker room.
Oy I'm becoming a political blogger
Our memory of John F. Kennedy is colored by an alternative timeline where he doesn't get murdered. In that timeline, he stomps Goldwater, wins a clear mandate, then accomplishes everything Lyndon Johnson does except ratchet up the Vietnam War. I don't buy it. JFK didn't have LBJ's giant ambition of completing The New Deal with the Great Society. He was every bit the anticommunist Lyndon was. & he didn't have Johnson's bullying, arm-twisting political muscle or insight into the white reactionary mind (which Johnson knew could often be bought off). I remember JFK mostly as a classy president who talked a good game but had the fighting style more of a counterpuncher. I was a kid, not deeply interested or informed. Kennedy was only 4 years younger than Nixon, so the '60 election was a passing of the torch no matter who won it. That generation kept the White House until Bill Clinton, 32 years. The "lost generation" is that of Ted Kennedy & John McCain, born during the Great Depression, coming of age in the 1950's, just before Elvis. I've never trusted the non-swingin' middlebrow music of that bunch; Johnny Ray, Patti Page, Eddie Fisher, Guy Mitchell, enjoyable only if you listen to it from the margins of the era's jazz, rhythm & blues, & country-western.
We have a primary here next week, & not a winner-takes-all. Conceivably, Hillary could "win" but pick up a disappointing number of delegates. The Hispanic vote counts for something in Jersey; they're the largest voting demographic in my city, anchor the city's middle class, they trust Sen. Bob Menendez, a Clinton supporter, & I think they'll go overwhelmingly for Hillary. My vote goes to John Edwards. I reject the either/or calculations of a two person race at this time. I have to vote on that basis every November when the regular Dem party stacks the ballot with "it's my turn" players & hardly any of them know when it's time to leave the game & go sit on the bench.
I'll skip tonight's State of the Union address. I detest Bush & his speaking style. Can't tell the difference between nuance & clumsiness in his voice. Takes only five minutes to read the transcript.
Labels: THE election
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Belvidere is a little town in western Jersey on the Delaware River, so the 24 hour Greyhound Bus rest stop & snack bar didn't just feel like the middle of nowhere; it was. I've stumbled off a long distance bus into a joint like this for 20 minutes at 3 am.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Astounding victory, fine speech by Obama, great turnout. Add John Edwards' disappointing 18% to Obama's 55% & the rejection of Hillary (& Bill) by SC Democrats is more than emphatic. It'll bump Barack for sure. But..
South Carolina is a Repug presidential state. Democrats there don't even need to show up in November for all the difference it'll make in the Electoral College. Super Tuesday has broader demographics, if you get the meaning. Which is why Hillary just shrugged & kept going. The Clintons head to their strengths now; a national campaign geared to win delegates rather than single state media showcases. The new Democratic voters registering in record numbers are not doing it to jump on bandwagons. They're excited by what's happening in the Democratic Party. All three remaining candidates are a significant "change." Obama can win it, more mountain to climb.
Repugs are trying to pick the candidate of least change, but don't have one in the race taking the required hat trick of corporate lackey, neocon puppet, & protestant theocrat.
Labels: THE election
Friday, January 25, 2008
Rudy the Tyrant
The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.& that's without mentioning anything about Rudy's miserable personal life. Or that this paranoid ex-mayor has zilch compunctions about persecuting anyone, public employees & private citizens, who publicly disagree with him - including his current Repug opponents should Caligula ascend to the throne. He has behind him a trail of broken & ruined lives. It's fact, not gossip. It takes some truly repulsive attributes to be held in contempt by so many hardened New York politicians, disliked by cynical reporters who've covered likably corrupt politicians, & hated by New York's tough breed of firefighters. The support Giuliani gets from tri-state establishment Repugs is not only transparently swinish, one suspects it is also motivated by fear. Think our personal liberty is under attack by the government now? A Giuliani presidency would be capable of turning bankrupt Catskill Mountain resorts into a razor wire gulag for dissenters. He's that screwy.
Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn’t share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.
The Rudolph Giuliani of 2008 first shamelessly turned the horror of 9/11 into a lucrative business, with a secret client list, then exploited his city’s and the country’s nightmare to promote his presidential campaign.
(Jill at BaB reminds us that Rudy was wandering around cluelessly on 9/11 with his entourage because his Emergency Operations Center had been destroyed - as the NYPD had warned him could happen when he chose to locate it in on the 23rd floor of the World Trade Center next to the Twin Towers. The Center is now in Brooklyn, with a backup elsewhere. )
Labels: THE election
Show the Funny Beatle some respect
Last night, Craig Ferguson gave Ringo all the time he needed & more on The Late Late Show. With a band anchored by Dave Stewart, Ringo warbled & wobbled his way through "Liverpool 8," "Photograph," " Boys," & "A Little Help From My Friends." He played drums on "Boys," but he sings closer to on key if he doesn't have to provide the beat, too.
Having suggested the Royal Family be abolished, Ringo is not likely to receive a knighthood. Anyway, he's said he'd rather be a prince. He already is - in the Kingdom of Elvis.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
On Tuesday, the #5 women Scarlet Knights had one of their few really dominating performances of the season at Cincinnati, 71-41. At 16-2, with a little more focus & luck they'd be undefeated, but it's better they're not carrying that burden. The problem with this wonderfully talented team - & I'm not saying anything Coach Stringer would dispute - is that they often play down to the level of lesser opponents, which are most of the teams on a schedule not designed to serve up any sleepwalk wins. After the Louisville game on Sunday, Coach Stringer said, ""We should be much better. We rush and we strain. I don't like to just win. We're not executing; we turn the ball over 20 times. Give me a break. You kidding me? The problem is, soon as I say something they all get tight." It's great to hear this team on the radio; the suspense is in their tendency to play only half the game like they're capable of winning the National Championship. & in that half, they're so good you know they can. This year, they're regularly headlined with photos on the Yahoo women's NCAA basketball page.
The Surge is like temporarily funding extra police to suppress street corner gang activity in a specific neighborhood. It's working, but the gangs are still there. & the people we're protecting from the gangs aren't showing much interest in taking advantage of it. & the gangs are on the move. & it's so expensive that the city can't afford to pay overtime to the snow plow drivers. & we're running out of cops & have to hire private security guards at twice the cost.***
FEMA = fire & rescue. It's not overcentralized. Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. The mayor thought hiring his golf buddy's wife's brother was a good idea. When the plane crashed into the hospital, turned out it wasn't such a good idea.
That's why we think of Hillary Clinton as "establishment." She views policy in terms of continuity & adjustment rather than change. GWB turned out to be radical because his administration believed that real change was possible. Of course, everything changed for the worse.***
I wonder if experience is overstated, because an inexperienced GWB brought people into his administration like Cheney & Rove who were just as good at manipulating & bullying as Lyndon Johnson was himself. My concern is that the Democratic congressional leadership isn't up to the tasks at hand regardless of who is in the Oval Office. Hillary's establishment support in New York & New Jersey is based on what those politicians believe is best for the states; our percentage of the federal tax dollar. Just as the local Repugs know Giuliani is the best bet for a windfall in Homeland Security funds. So I hardly blame them.***
Without the 9/11 attacks, the Bush adminstration would have been much more gradualist. His ratings tanked after Katrina, when the gradualist policies of ignoring or underminding federal agencies were exposed. Screwing up FEMA was a betrayal not only of his Bible Belt supporters, but of everyone living in places subject to weather events of Biblical proportions. People who couldn't care less about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Dept. care a lot about what happens after an F4 tornado comes to town.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
A Granite Icon
Why poor Southern whites fought exposes the ruse of racism as a cover for maintaining class divisions by setting have-nots against have-nothings. Today, it's about illegal immigrant day laborers threatening to take away low-paying, non-union jobs. The current generation of Bosses think it's great when Americans have to work three jobs to survive, they call it productivity.
To strike at the heart of racism requires identifying the actual sources of oppression, exposing what is gained from promoting racial & ethnic discord, & drawing people together on the basis of true self-interest. In his final years, Dr. King sought to create a coalition that included the very white underclass that had most visibly & violently opposed civil rights in the South. The Johnson White House considered Dr. King disloyal for opposing the Vietnam War. But Dr. King saw who was actually fighting the war - draftees without college student deferments or trade skills. He was killed while in Memphis in support of a labor union. We must be careful not to accept a granite icon in place of the real Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Happy Birthday David
We made a memorable journey to Asbury Park together in the 80's, 6 crammed into poet Jim Ruggia's Volks Beetle on a hot day, Parkway traffic jams, declining to pay beach fees for sand hardly anyone wanted to use. Dave wasn't especially surprised or disappointed by the desperate condition of that place; he saw right through it to the former splendor, & to the evil allliance of local government & organized crime that was sucking remaining life out of it. The town was also a bastion of rock & roll anthemic traditionalism (it was never "punk") in the growing Springsteen mythos. Asbury Park was the kind of bummer scene a downstate Michiganer could relate to without stretching. I was sorry we couldn't end the day with a Sandy Hook sunset or a carousel ride at Seaside Heights.
Dave just turned 60. He's featured in a new Wikipedia entry, Postbeat Poets. I have some quibbles with the idea of "Postbeat." Jack Kerouac was born in 1922, Allen Ginsberg in 1926. I consider myself two generations removed from the Beat writers, with Ed Sanders (b. 1939) & Anne Waldman (b. 1945) more direct successors. The poets in the article that emerged in the 70's are, as I sort them out, post-postbeat, & have a more than coincidental connection with "punk" rock. I think this is especially true of poets from the Detroit & New York City areas, which generated proto-punk scenes in the late 60's & early 70's that were not about peace, love & wearing flowers in your hair. Dave was not a hippie dreamer or a coffeehouse philosopher. Many of his earlier poems came literally out of a public school boiler room, where he worked for some years. But it doesn't matter. The absence of these "postbeat poets" as national voices is one reason why poetry doesn't count for shit in America. Unless you think the occasional "name" poets featured on public radio or at the Library of Congress are culturally significant & influential. Most of them are greased gears in a whispering machine they helped to build, & from which Ginsberg's heirs are excluded lest they make it squeak. Barbaric yawps get a poet marginalized in an already marginal art, & that is a pathetic situation. Ginsberg's generation - not only The Beats - made poetry matter outside of grad schools & other habitations of literary connoisseurs where poetry is prepared & consumed like sushi.
A bland photo, a reminder of how infrequently this part of Jersey has a long, hard freeze now.
Current Green Bay temp: -2F.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
A Bible and a Shotgun
Arranged marriages between male & female, Southern Baptist, 12 year old first cousins from Arkansas: Four Opposable Thumbs Up!
Thanks to FranIAm.
Oh yeah, whenever I see a Confederate flag on a beach towel, a bumper sticker, a tee shirt, flying over a state capitol, anywhere but on a Confederate soldier's grave, in a museum, or in a historical re-enactment, I think, That's racist.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Decorating children's wards with paintings of clowns to create a nurturing atmosphere could backfire, research suggests.I've never liked them. Or paintings of them. or horror movies about them. I dated a girl who occasionally played a clown for children's parties, weird driving her to the gigs when she was in costume. I wasn't sure if she enjoyed it or if it was just something easy for her to pick up a few dollars; or why kids would rather have a clown than a regular magician or someone dressed in a superhero costume, or an inflatable Moonwalk?
A University of Sheffield study of more than 250 children, aged four to 16, found the images were widely disliked.
Even some of the oldest children found the images scary.
Patricia Doorbar is a child psychologist in North Wales who has carried out research into children's views on healthcare and art therapy.
She said: "Very few children like clowns. They are unfamiliar and come from a different era. They don't look funny, they just look odd."
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Other Bedside Books
- Mark Twain, Life On the Mississippi. Reread nearly all of this, including the tedious Chamber of Commerce hype & stats Twain packs into the second half. The first part -Old Times - is masterly.
- Selected Journals of Henry David Thoreau. He wasn't a sociable man.
- The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version. Various authors.
- Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse.
- Richard Forman, Pine Barrens, Ecosystem & Landscape. Much of this book is too arcane for me, the photos are lousy, but I enjoy the maps, graphs, descriptions of flora & fauna, & even the soil types.
- Best Short Stories of the Paris Review. 1961.
- Weird N.J. #29. Very entertaining. The amateur historian in me gets grumpy at the poor writing & research - many interesting places reduced to rumors & a couple of factoids, but it's the nature of the beast, a magazine written by its readers. Every issue has loads of great stuff, too.
- Parish Cuisine, St. Mary of the Assumption, Elizabeth, New Jersey. 1979. A true cultural artifact. Snapshot of the kind of large, urban, working/middle class, multiethnic parish that no longer exists in Jersey. Also a compendium of post-WWII home cooking, odd mix of treasured family recipes, basics (perogies, meatloaf - golden or soupier, lasagne, stuffed cabbage, soda bread, borscht), & the pre-enlightenment quicky suppers of working moms (Macaroni-Cheese Puff, Hamburger Pie, Leftover Casserole - chicken or turkey). Also Frogs Legs with Mushrooms, Impossible Pie, Yum Yum Cake, Fantasy Ambrosia using Miracle Whip. Contributions from men are segregated to a single section at the back. Nostalgic if not always mouth-watering for most middle class Jerseyans 40 & up.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Reverend Huck
I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.We're supposed to assume he's referring only to abortion & gay marriage, & to opponents such as McCain, Romney & Giuliani. But Huckabee's "word of the living God" comes filtered through the Southern Baptist Convention, which hardly has a monopoly on how believers hear that word. Anyway, conservative Christians have had so much success denying rights on a state-by-state basis that moderate New Jersey looks like a small enclave of ultra-liberalism on a map of the United States. It's an appalling statement about a document never intended to match "God's standards." The Constitution is no more a religious test or text than the qualifications it contains for becoming president.
Behind Huck's Ah shucks faux populist facade there's a southern cracker preacher combined with an Arkansas politician, & I can't think of a more potentially demogogic combination. I can even envision him sneaking out behind the chicken coop to smoke a cigar & taste Jack Daniels.
Monday, January 14, 2008
President John Edwards
We've had seven years of utter insanity in the White House. Where's the righteous anger? Got it for you right here: John Edwards.
I'm not inclined to put out language about the Democratic presidential candidates that I'd have to eat in September. Because no Repug can cut it for me. Nor can Mike Billionaire Bloomberg, now associating with the "moderate" Christine "It's My Party" Whitman; neither one has uttered a bitter word about George W. Bush. Whose Party are they?
The endorsements of Obama by John Kerry & Bill Bradley could not induce me to vote for Barack, but those endorsements are reassuring because I think both men would have been fine presidents, & they wouldn't support somebody who wasn't up to the job. I didn't want an uncertainty about Obama's qualifications & preparedness to be a factor in choosing Edwards. Nothing the Obama or Clinton campaigns say convince me that the most serious problem is too much partisanship, or temporary incompetency. Both view the Bush adminstration as an aberration, & the Republican leadership as open to reason & reasonableness. A kind of forgetfulness has overtaken those two candidates, with their gauzy appeals to our desire for unity & experience. Fine, but first the Bush machine must be shut down & dismantled, the White House swept clean of neocons & theocrats.
John Edwards has experience, & unity of purpose. He tries, against massive media resistance, to stay focused on the particulars of why this election is so crucial. He has listened, learned, & grown since 2004. John Edwards is the best candidate for pissed off progressives & populists, & for America, & he is electable.
(The New Jersey Democratic primary is proportional with a 15% threshold for the allocation of district & statewide at-large delegates, so a vote for John Edwards really matters. No need to explain why if the primaries fail to give Obama or Clinton the nomination).
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Supermarket with snow forecast
Not much more busy. But I was stuck in line behind a food voucher customer. I like food vouchers, they specifiy healthy food items for children, like milk & 100% fruit juices, can't use them to buy Frosted Sugar Bombs. Sometimes the parent has three or four of the vouchers, each with a short list of items, & the cashier has to sort out the order & then match everything against the vouchers, & ring each voucher up separately. The most time-consuming customers are the shopping expeditions from group homes. Can't complain about these people. Usually four or five of them bunched up, each with their own cart because they all have their own food budget, shepherded through the store by an incredibly patient live-in counselor who wants each to feel some sense of independence & personal accomplishment while doing actual, practical weekly shopping. They're easy to get around in the aisles, very polite if they even notice you, but never join a checkout with them ahead of you. You'll have the time to digest Soap Opera Digest magazine & memorize 100 suppers you can make in 30 minutes or less.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Chinese and Bowling
That was Chinese & bowling until a few years ago, & it sounded like a fun night to me.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
If John Kerry's endorsement of Obama means anything, it should be to remind Barack of the words, "Swift Boat" (verb: swiftboating). The shit thrown at the honorable war vet in 2004 was rose petals compared to what's in store for a black man. Barack hasn't gotten it worse up to this point only because the Repugs & their lying, cheating, bigoted flying monkey brigades are holding back their most evil organized smear efforts for the Democratic nominee.
President Monkeybrain found new depths of naivete & ignorance in his comments today on Israeli-Palestinian peace, & I wondered how former President Jimmy Carter reacted, maybe with an expression worthy of Edgar Kennedy, Master of Slow Burn Comedy. If you dare, read this horribly vulgar, funny piece in The Onion.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Oh my God he's gone?
NEW YORK - Detective Travis Rapp has seen his share of corpses, but this was new: two men wheeling a rigid, pale body down a Manhattan street in a red office chair, drawing a crowd of suspicious onlookers.These guys were such losers, it never occurred to them that with a bit of planning they might have come close to success. But when were they going to get rid of the body?
Looking out the window of the restaurant where he was having lunch, Rapp initially assumed "it was a mannequin or a dummy," he said. "I thought it was a joke, honestly."
A closer inspection showed that it wasn't. The man was dead, and two of his friends had hauled his corpse to a store to cash his $355 Social Security check, police said. They were arrested before they could get the money.
Labels: count the yoyos
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Briefly tuned into Charlie Rose. The talking heads spinning off garbage like, "Hillary sent out direct mailing lying that Barack doesn't support choice." "Oh yeah, Barack had a campaign staffer denying he's a lobbyist for big pharma." Click! Misrepresenting an opponent's positions. Professional campaign staffers with questionable resumes. Golly, how scandalous.
Labels: THE election
Monday, January 07, 2008
False Hope Real Voters
To be sure, Obama could take a serious pratfall. One mis-spoken sentence - one word even - has brought politicians down. How Hillary Clinton handles defeat & an underdog status, & how Obama responds to being the frontrunner, could be very revealing.
Currently, I am an unaffiliated voter. I did not expect either the Clinton or Giuliani campaigns to make any appeals for my primary vote in Jersey, so certain they were of winning this state easily. But we may be in the game now.
Labels: THE election
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I love postcards like this one. No distinctive landmark, unique scenery, vacation spot, or subject of civic pride. But it's from an era when every town had a postcard series. So the photographer gives us a muddy farm road & a drainage ditch next to what appears to be a railroad.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The Clinton way is that if the outside is changed, we'll believe the inside is changed, too. Call it Aluminum Siding Strategy. So Hillary thinks changing the "message" is the corrective to her Iowa showing. As if over the course of 18 years we haven't gotten to know the "real" Hillary. Of course, we know. The Clintons take whatever is working well for the opposition & decorate themselves with it. Hillary brags how she's stood up to the worst the Repugs have thrown at her. But we can also recall Bill's crippled second term, & consider if Hillary's presidency would begin right where that one left off. If enough voters up in New Hampshire like her, she'll win. But adopting an Obamamama facade won't fool anyone.
Labels: THE election
Rob, Buddy and Sally
Friday, January 04, 2008
& what is it I don't like about Hillary? That less than 24 hours after she's on stage with hubby Bill & Madeline Albright in Iowa, she shows up in New Hampshire surrounded by young people. You want change, she'll change the wrapping paper.
The Repugs got who they deserved: An undisguised flat-earth religionist lifted to victory by large turnout of the kind of white, rural protestants who think root beer is too stimulating. They kicked the asses of the neocons & quasi-libertarians & anyone else who believes the Repugs are a balanced wingnut alliance. If those folks coalesce as a popular movement for Huckabee, ignoring the various endorsements of their many self-annointed leaders, they'll prove their strength once again.
Labels: THE election
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I'm still leaning toward Edwards because he says he'll pull all American troops except one brigade out of Iraq within his first year in office, & promises to kick some asses.
Labels: THE election
When the Iowa caucus results are known tonight, & the money spent divided by votes, the amount spent per single vote will be shocking. It was in the 2004 Dem caucus, I forget the number but it surprised me then. This year it'll be really something.
Huckabee sneaked in the back door at NBC yeaterday so he wouldn't have to cross a picket line for his Tonight Show appearance. I don't see how it makes much difference. No one thinks Repugs support organized labor anymore. They drove all their pro-union people out to make room for the bigots who no longer were welcome in the Democratic Party. The Repugs have never fielded a scarier group of candidates.
Watched a few minutes of Conan O'Brien. Even with his improv experience, he's gonna run out of material very quickly. He doesn't have a strong enough supporting cast to pick up the slack. His band - which has some colorful, interesting people - has, as with all talk show bands, been reduced to one dimensional cartoon characters, silly faces & reaction shots.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
You make me feel mighty real
I turned on the TV near midnight to see the new Times Square ball - it was impressive, although Carson Daly nearly missed the countdown because he was intent on interviewing Alex Rodriguez, definitely a B list celebrity in New York, D list on network TV two months after the end of the baseball season. A quick look at the Dick Clark / Ryan Seacrest broadcast on ABC exposed an alien culture on stage: Miley Cyrus & the Jonas Brothers. They creeped me out; I was unaware Disney had created such lifelike animatronics & liberated them from the confines of theme parks. Perhaps they were only holographic projections. Meanwhile, PBS was giving Paul Simon the "George Gershwin Award for Popular Song." I didn't feel old, just ignored. So I turned to Evan "Funk" Davies on WFMU, who was demonically possessed by the spirit of 70s disco/funk.