Thursday, August 25, 2005

Read My Lips...

Driving to work this morning, I was in a bit of stop-and-go traffic on the Mass. Pike. At one point, I looked in my rearview mirror and watched a woman read my bumper sticker with her lips moving. Yes, she was alone in the car. Yes, she pursed her lips afterwords. Yes, I laughed out loud.

Here's my bumper sticker.

Roll Your Own

Want your own Bullshit Protector? Here ya go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Joe Trippi: Will You Give Me a Job?

A few months ago, I read Joe Trippi's book "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." It's must reading for anyone wanting to know more about a bunch of things: how to have a career in campaign management, how to use the internet to advance a cause, the inner workings of the Dean 2004 campaign, and why citizen journalism is the future.

Joe's one of the reasons I started this blog.

Today's post on his site is another reason. Read it.

I watched Joe try to make his way as an MSNBC analyst after the Dean campaign closed up shop, and he did a fine job, especially considering the nutjobs he was up that lightweight Joe Scarborough and Andrea Mitchell, another reporter supposedly complicit in the Plame case.

But overall, I like the way Joe thinks, his humanity and his credibility. He's the kind of guy I would love to work for. Any chance you're hiring, Joe?

Take the Democratic Loyalty Quiz

Time for some fun!

I ended up scoring (drumroll......) 10 out of a possible 10. Surprise!

Here's my description: You are a pure, unabashed, die-hard Democratic loyalist. You are appalled by the way Republicans are turning America into a theocratic, corpo-fascist police state, and you'd gladly walk through a furnace in a gasoline suit to elect a Democratic president. In your view, there is no higher form of patriotism than defending America against the Republican Party and every intolerant, puritanical, imperialistic, greed-mongering, Constitution-shredding ideal for which it stands.

From TalkLeft.

This One's For Tony

As has been previously documented in this blog, my late father was a rabid Bush hater - from GHWB to his sons who were governors of Texas and Florida when my Dad passed away. As a veteran and member of the American Legion, I suspect Dad would have had exactly the same reaction as this guy to listening to the Chimp speak. Isn't this a fabulous picture?

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear while President George W. Bush addresses the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Courtesy of kos and atrios.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Worse than Nixon?

Well, the Chimp's approval rating has now dipped below Nixon's during Watergate. More here on a survey done between August 18 and 21, 2005.

"George W. Bush's overall job approval ratings have dropped from a month ago even as Americans who approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president are turning more optimistic about their personal financial situations according to the latest survey from the American Research Group. Among all Americans, 36% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 58% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 33% approve and 62% disapprove.

Among Americans registered to vote, 38% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 56% disapprove, and 36% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 60% disapprove."

Think Progress tell us Nixon's rating during the 1973 was 39%, by the way.

And, here's this interesting point:

"The increases in the personal financial ratings, however, are coming mainly from those approving of the way Bush is handling his job. A total of 54% of those approving the way Bush is handling his job say their personal financial situations are getting better, compared to 5% of those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job, and 61% of those saying they approve of the way Bush is handling his job say they expect to be better off a year from now, compared to 6% of those saying they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job."

Lonely Boy

Things are lonely in Crawford, but the Chimp's answering machine has been busy. (Courtesy of the Randi Rhodes Show.)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Anti-War Vigil: Wednesday, August 17

Almost forgot to record for posterity the pro-Cindy Sheehan candlelight vigil I attended. There were about 60 people who gathered on the rotary in the center of Westboro, Mass. My friend, Rita, and I attended, along with people of various ages and sizes. Not much to report other than people came, lit candles, stood on the perimeter of the rotary facing traffic (which was mostly unaware or reacted positively).

I was shocked to hear that more than 400 people showed up on Fountain Square in Cincinnati. Is that true?

Here's a picture of our vigil:

Learning from the Past

From the Illustrated Daily Scribble.

Bush Vacations for a YEAR

Did you know that the Chimp has spent more than an ENTIRE YEAR of his presidency at his fake ranch in Texas? Amazing. Here's a funny post on that topic from The Huffington Post site:

"Since he's been in office, Bush Jr. has had almost 400 days at his play ranch in Crawford. I make silly comedies for a living and I haven't had 400 days off total in my whole life. This guy is the president, and he is riding his bike like a seven year old who just figured out it makes a cool sound when you put baseball cards in your wheel spokes.

And George Jr. isn't just vacationing. He's vacationing mad. You know, like when people drive mad? "Well then fine! Let's just go to the store!" And then the person goes 110 in a 25 zone while insisting everything’s all right. Well George W is vacationing mad. "You think my war is a mess? Well I'm going to Crawford to ride bikes and I don't care what you say!" "You think I made a terrible appointment in sending Bolton to the U.N.? I don’t care... I'm going to Texas and I'm not even wearing a tie! So screw you all!"

and this:

"But George's vacation isn't all idyllic little league games and bicycle rides against sun-rimmed Texan horizon lines. All vacations have their spoilers. Occasionally there are mosquitoes or rain showers or the mother of a dead Army soldier living on your lawn. What a drag that must be. Imagine you're the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. You start a war based on manipulated intelligence -- or, as some people call them, lies. Now thousands are dying because of your hubris and deceit. Rather than face up to the problem you go for an extended vacation to Texas to ride your bicycle. But then the mother of one of the boys you basically sent to their death comes and lives on your lawn! Talk about your Shakespearian hijinks! Only instead of "out damn spot" it's "away damn brush!" or "ride damn bicycle!"

Why I Booed Barbara Bush

At a recent Red Sox game, the first pitch was thrown by former First Lady and Chimp-mother Barbara Bush. I booed her loudly from the cheap seats at Fenway, and many people cheered her and her goofball husband, aka 41. Someone I mentioned this to said "What did she ever do to you?" Here's what. This quote from the Today show (prior to the opening of the Iraqi war):

"Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Perhaps this is a question Cindy Sheehan could answer for her.

Anarchy in a Bookstore

For years, I've performed my own small anarchy when I visit bookstores, particularly the large chains (Barnes & Noble and Borders). When I see a particularly disagreeable book on display, I cover it with a more agreeable book. For instance, a few years ago there was a nauseating book extolling the loving relationship of Ronnie and Nancy Reagan. That usually got covered with something by an author like Hunter S. Thompson (or someone of his ilk).

In recent years, books about the Bush Family have been particular targets. For every happy little Barbara Bush book I find one in praise of Hillary Clinton, which I place on top of it. For the past few years, the Clinton biographies have been excellent ammunition for my own little propaganda war.

This morning in the Boston Globe, I found the perfect add-on to my anarchy in the form of "reshelving." In this particular performance art, bookstore customers re-invent the categories in which books are found.

Here's the story (which I include below in its entirety) and I encourage all like-minded individuals to become a Minister of Reshelving. I plan to do it at my next visit.

The Ministry of Reshelving
By Joshua Glenn | August 21, 2005

"EARLIER THIS SUMMER, Jane McGonigal and three dinner companions were chatting about doublespeak, censorship, and surveillance when someone idly commented that George Orwell's dystopian novel ''1984" should be reclassified as Non-Fiction, or even filed under Current Events. ''Five seconds later, I said, 'Wait--we could actually do that,"' recounts McGonigal. So last Monday she took the lead in launching the Ministry of Reshelving project, an ambitious, opt-in performance piece whose goal it is to secretly reshelve 1,984 copies of Orwell's book in bookstores in all 50 states.

Though such an undertaking sounds daunting, it's child's play for McGonigal, a doctoral candidate in performance studies at UC-Berkeley who earns a living working as a designer and ''puppetmaster" for 42 Entertainment, an Emeryville, Calif.-based outfit that creates elaborate ''alternate reality games"--played by thousands via chatroom, cell phone, e-mail, even billboards and want ads--in order to drum up excitement for various new products. But McGonigal's true passion, she said via e-mail from San Francisco, is ''making games that give people a platform for changing social norms and public policy." As of this writing, she reports, some 55 ''ministers"--from California, New York, Idaho, Kentucky, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and a half dozen other states--have relocated over 100 copies of ''1984." Evidence of these hijinks is being posted around the clock to the photo-sharing website Flickr (

Is Boston behind the curve? By no means! On Thursday morning, McGonigal said, a Bostonian ''minister" informed her that a copy of ''1984" had just been moved from the Fiction section of the Borders in Downtown Crossing to the Political Science section, where it was reshelved next to a book titled ''Inside the Mind of Bush."

This was too good not to pass along. I hope someone reading this will join the fun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ashes to Ashes

Here's how Hunter S. Thompson is going into the afterlife this weekend. I ab-so-lute-ly LOVE this idea. Do you think Johnny Depp will pay for my funeral?

A Marvelous Piece of Writing from Today's NY Times

Left Behind (an excerpt):

"LIKE President Bush, I enjoy clearing brush in August. We both like quittance of the suit and tie, freedom from duty and detail and to breathe deeply the insouciant air of summer.

He makes for his ranch in Crawford, Tex., a town with no bars and five churches. I come to my holdings near Carrigaholt, here in County Clare, where there are six bars and one church and the house my great-grandfather left more than a century ago for a better life in America.

Of course, we have our differences - the president and I. He flies on Air Force One with an entourage. I fly steerage with hopes for an aisle seat. His ranch runs to 1,600 acres. My cottage sits on something less than two. He fishes for bass stocked in his private lake. I fish for mackerel in the North Atlantic. He keeps cattle and horses. I have a pair of piebald asses - Charles and Camilla I call them, after the sweethearts on the neighboring island.

I suppose we're just trying to reconnect with our roots and home places - Mr. Bush and I. He identifies as a Texan in the John Wayne sense as I do with the Irish in the Barry Fitzgerald sense. And we're both in our 50's, white, male, Christian and American with all the perks. We both went into our fathers' businesses: he does leadership of the free world; I do mostly local funerals. Neither of us went to Vietnam, and we both quit drink for all of the usual reasons. I imagine we both pray for our children to outlive us and that we have the usual performance anxieties.

The president works out a couple of hours a day. I go for long walks by the sea. We occupy that fraction of a fraction of the planet's inhabitants for whom keeping body and soul together - shelter, safety, food and drink - is not the immediate, everyday concern. We count ourselves among the blessed and elect who struggle with the troubles of surfeit rather than shortfall. "

Read the whole story - it's worth it! Most interesting, the article's author is Thomas Lynch, a funeral director/poet from Michigan. He's also written two other books: "The Undertaking" and "Booking Passage: We Irish and Americans." Both books look quite intriguing to me. Hmmmmmmm...perhaps I'll spend my birthday money this way?

One Mother to Another

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I have a fairly strong affinity for John and Elizabeth Edwards (you remember...the former VP candidate? Ha ha). I'm on their mailing list and yesterday I got an email from Elizabeth, which I thought was touching.

Here's an excerpt:

"Casey Sheehan was born May 29, 1979, the first born child of Cindy and Pat Sheehan. It was a long labor. Fifty-one days after Casey was born, our first child, Wade was born, also after a long labor. They started school the same year, played the same games, watched the same television shows, loved the same country. On April 4, 1996, three weeks after going to Washington as a winner in a national contest about what America meant to him, Wade died in an automobile accident. On April 4, 2004, eight years later to the day, Casey, who loved his country enough to wear its uniform, died in Iraq. Cindy and Pat's hearts broke, as had ours.
We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them compassion and honor. We teach them the dignity of each life. And then, sometimes, the lessons we taught are turned on their heads. Cindy Sheehan is asking a very simple thing of her government, and she and her family, and most particularly Casey, have paid a very dear price for the right to ask this.

Cindy wants Casey's death to have meant as much as his life - lived fully - might have meant. I know this, as does every mother who has ever stood where we stand. And the President says he knows enough, doesn't need to hear from Casey's mother, doesn't need to assure her that Casey's is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home. He doesn't need to hear from her, he says. He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq."

I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child. Although I continue to support Cindy Sheehan's vigil (in fact, I'm attending a local event tonight in support), you get kind of blase after seeing it on the news and on every progressive blog. But reading Elizabeth's words reminded me again of the genuine loss of Casey Sheehan and his breathren (and sister-en?) in Iraq. What a waste. No wonder people are pissed off.

I know I am.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The King...and Us

For reasons that even I don't recall, one of my nieces and I developed a "thing" for Elvis Presley when she was a kid. I truly have no idea exactly what started our mutual fetish, but for anyone who knows our family's wacky sense of humor, I think it might be kinda clear. So, to demonstrate our devotion to the King, Molly and I would give each other the tackiest, most off-beat Elvis memorabilia we could find - for birthdays or Christmas, or as souveniers from vacations we took over the years.

We even had our own Elvis sighting when she was about 9 or 10 years old at, of all places, a chili parlor (only Cincinnatians will know what that is). We spied, through the kitchen door, a dishwasher with very black sideburns, but never could get a good look at his face...which prompted my crazy girl to leave a note for him on our table, written in shredded cheese: "Are You Elvis?" We'll never know for certain, but for a bit of time (and over the years), we enjoyed the idea of meeting our hero.

But, should you be one of the "dis-believers" who think The King actually left us in 1977, I remind you that it has been 28 years since Elvis keeled over while supposedly taking a dump. So, let's take that as a reminder to be careful out there, folks!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Wish I'd Said That

Love this post about our Bipolar President. Har!

A Guest Posting

Someone near and dear to me recently shared his outrage about recruiting. Thought I would share it with you all, too.

"I think this latest news story is just disgusting. What's even more disgusting is the Pentagon's public statement, and our willingness to accept it! Are they [the Pentagon, the press and the public] SO oblivious as to provide and accept this explanation?!

An excerpt: 'The Pentagon has blamed recent recruiting shortfalls in part on an economy that's providing other opportunities to high school and college graduates.'

In other words...we no longer can get enough POOR PEOPLE to fight our wars? What, THE MINIMUM WAGE ISN'T LOW ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN OUR 'NATIONAL SECURITY' or any other excuse for troop deployment?

The Pentagon has to admit now that poor people and disadvantaged might actually be smart enough to know 'shit from Shinola'-- that given the chance between risking death for uncertain causes or finding jobs with a even a slightly better longevity quotient attached to their meager paycheck is a better choice.

What is our country coming to when it admits the ALL VOLUNTEER ARMY is based on the lousy economic opportunities afforded our most disadvantaged citizens?! And what does it say about our population and our press when we accept such statements from the department that puts these troops, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, in mortal danger?

Like other such Pentagon/White House dogma such as 'We're fighting them in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here' it shows the blatant disregard our 'leaders' have for the value of any lives other than the privileged and entitled.

Perhaps someday we'll just offer land mines with our Happy Meals or let our garbage collectors round up the terrorists in a brilliant lower-class economies of scale labor coup, but till then just buy another magnet for your car and 'Support the Troops.'

Wanna really support the troops? RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE or else reinstate the draft to provide some equity in our public share of the 'defense' burden!!"

Phew, couldn't have said it better myself!

Sox Vs. Yanks? Sox Win Again!

In the battle of Web sites, Sox hammer Yanks (again!)

You Couldn't Make This Up

Believe it or not, the Chimp actually said he can't meet with Cindy Sheehan because he has to "get on with his life." Too bad Casey Sheehan didn't have that choice, eh?

Here's the story from which this quote comes:

"I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy," he said when asked about bike riding while a grieving mom wanted to speak with him. "And part of my being is to be outside exercising."

Do you believe this shit? I think we've truly entered the Twilight Zone.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pictures of the Fallen

I've stumbled across a link to a series of pictures of the caskets coming home from Iraq. It says it's from the National Security Archive, which is is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

From their website: "The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals. On March 17, 2000, Long Island University named the National Security Archive as winner of a Special George Polk Award for 1999 for "piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy" and "serving as an essential journalistic resource."

Please, if you have a blog, publish a link to these pictures. Americans need to see the results of the war in Iraq. It's NOT just a TV show, you know. More than 1800 Americans have died (as of this writing) and untold thousands of Iraqi's, many of whom are totally innocent.

The war has got to stop.

Remember the 'Plame' Leak?

Here's the list of 21 Bush officials who are part of the treason regarding the outing of the CIA agent - from "Think Progress." You get a full description of each individual, their so-called responsibilities and how they're involved in the case. A remarkable compilation! Thanks to the folks at Think Progress for this remarkable compilation! Important to keep the heat on this!

Hey, How 'Bout Swift Boat Mothers for Peace?

Cindy Sheehan's got some good stuff happening down there in be-YOU-ti-ful Crawford, Texas. In fact, she's now running an ad to appear on the local cable tv stations there. But, like the Swift Boat Veterans during the election, the news channels are picking up the appropriate segments of the ad, that says things like: "Why did you lie to us about WMD?" Ha! Can we beat them at their own game. We're giving it a good try, so it seems.

Check this out.

Hang in there, Cindy! If you'd like to keep up with the doings at "Camp Casey," Cindy's keeping a diary on Daily Kos. Does anybody know of local events being organized in support of Cindy Sheehan's demonstration? I've heard of it happening in other parts of the country. If there is anything going on in Massachusetts, I'd love to hear about it and participate. In fact, I'd love to hear about anything happening in New England, southern Ohio, Portland (Oregon), or southwestern New Mexico as I have friends and family in those locations.

Go Cindy!

Breaking News: Jesus Blogs LIVE on Intelligent Design

Yes, kids, you heard it here first! Jesus is commenting about the latest scientific breakthrough "intelligent design." An excerpt:

"Anyway. Can I tell you something about Intelligent Design? Like, real insider stuff? I know, it's like passing out a cheat sheet for a final exam, but my dad is so pissed with all the crap going on down here that he's threatening to put his fist through the time-space continuum. Try living with that. You have no idea."

Actually, as you'll find out, this post is the work of a very talented-and snarky-writer who writes regularly on Daily Kos. This poster, "Bill in Portland, Maine" writes a daily "Cheers & Jeers" column that makes me wonder why I ever even try to blog. Bill is compassionate, silly, childish, smart, clever and friendly. Plus, he's got a great handle on the issues of the day, and a huge cult following. If you're interested, check out Daily Kos around mid-morning Monday through Friday. Although during the summer he takes Monday off, like any sensible person who lives near the beach.

Enjoy! It is highly recommended to improve your workday. Cheers to BinPM!

Oh. My. Fucking. God. He's a MADMAN!

Today's ridiculousness from the Crawford Chimpanzee: He doesn't rule out using force in IRAN.

When will he be stopped? When he kills all our children? When he spends ALL our tax dollars?

This is depressing. (I was only kidding in the post from a few days ago, but this shit is getting ridiculous.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005 a landslide

Celebrating my birthday at Fenway Park was a delight! The Sox cooperated by beating the tar out of the Texas Rangers 16-5 (scoring 9 runs in the eighth inning alone)! The evening was toasty warm, we had a wonderful pre-game dinner at a place called "The Summer Shack," and got home at the ungodly hour of 12:30 a.m. And, we got to witness one of Manny's incredibly long home runs.

The only fly in the ointment, were the two dopes who threw out the ceremonial first pitch. None other than the Chimp's parents! I am in agreement with this blogger, who thinks that the Chimp's mom isn't necessarily the sweet little white-haired grandmotherly type. Ever since she dissed Geraldine Ferraro back in the '80s, I haven't had much good to say about her.

However, despite the minor interruption from Grandma and Grandpa Wingnut, a good time was had by all. (And, I must admit, I booed the shit out of them...not that they could hear me from the cheap seats. Oh well...I did my part. Kinda wanted to ask them to put a good word in with the Chimp to sit down with Cindy Sheehan, or ask them why Barbara and Jenna weren't signing up for the Marine Corps.)

Anyway, another birthday come and gone. Do I have any profound things to say? Nah..just enjoy 'em as it's better than the alternative!

Here's a pic from the ending of last night's game, for your enjoyment (we're 5.5 games ahead of the MFYs!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Uh Oh, Playing the Iran Card Now

As if we didn't have enough to worry about, the idiot Secretary of Defense, had this to say about Iran:

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that weapons recently confiscated in Iraq were "clearly, unambiguously from Iran" and admonished Tehran for allowing the explosives to cross the border."

Perhaps we're trying to change the subject again, eh? Like magicians, you can expect the administration to continue the politics of distraction. They want us to stop thinking about Rove, stop thinking about the dead soldiers in Iraq, stop thinking about rising health care costs, stop thinking about rising gas prices. Just think about the next possibility of "shock and awe" coming to a TV near you. Are we that stupid. I sure hope not.

Somebody Help Me With This

I'm sorry, but I'm stumped.

I know I live in a very BLUE state, but I don't understand this phenomenon:

"Dissatisfaction over the war in Iraq, the economy and rising health care costs might spell trouble for Republicans, but a study by Democratic strategists warns that their party's failure to connect with voters on cultural issues could prevent Democratic candidates from reaping gains in upcoming national elections.

Democrats have expressed bewilderment over Republican gains among lower-income, less-educated voters, saying they are voting against their economic self-interest by supporting Republican candidates. But the new Democracy Corps study concludes that cultural issues trump economic issues by a wide margin for many of these voters -- giving the GOP a significant electoral advantage."

Clearly, I'm one of those who don't get it. Maybe I have to read my copy of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" to really get a handle on this. Maybe I'm just too old and remember the days when people weren't scared of one another's differences (like gay people, non-Christians, non-traditional families). Maybe I live in a place where people aren't freaked out by differences. But I don't necessarily agree that we should (in the immortal words of Howard Dean) become "Republican Lite." So I guess I should get accustomed to losing federal elections in the near future because I would rather lose 'em than turn into hypocritical, win-at-any-cost Democrats.

I agree with those who say that "privacy" issues might bring some centrists over to our side. In other words, having a government that values privacy means that it won't have a say in who you marry, what you do with your reproductive organs, whether you attend a church regularly or not at all, etc. In fact, in some ways, this sounds like the kind of party the Republicans used to be, doesn't it? (It's strange to live long enough to see such changes; if you had asked me in 1973 if I would ever think like this, I would have been shocked.)

Having said that, I think there is room in this "privacy" discussion for political privacy, which means the ability to talk how you'd like, read the books or web sites that interest you, take public stands on issues that might go against the so-called mainstream, and not worry about repurcussions. This also means speaking up, or acting up, when you disagree with the government. With this type of public privacy allowed (if not enouraged), I hope lefties would be able to to live with the centrists in harmony.

But in the meantime, can anyone explain how liberal policies (gay marriage, abortion rights, etc) have adverse impacts on individual families? In my view, if you don't want a gay marriage or abortion, don't get one. Also, if someone could help me understand how these cultural differences affect voting, I'm all ears. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, there was a time when people voted to improve their financial or social situation (Social Security, voting rights, health care). Apparently, today people are willing to part with those things in order to have a "safe" society where life is orderly and everybody is the same.

Yes, I'm one of the bewildered.

Birthday Sox

Going to see the boys at Fenway tonight...happy birthday to me!

Maureen's Back From Vacation

NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd appears to be rested and ready to continue the textual assault on the Chimp. Here's today's offering on the state of the Iraq war and Cindy Sheehan's efforts in Crawford. (And our buddy Paul Hackett makes a cameo appearance, too.)

Here's a bit of it:

"It's amazing that the White House does not have the elementary shrewdness to have Mr. Bush simply walk down the driveway and hear the woman out, or invite her in for a cup of tea. But W., who has spent nearly 20 percent of his presidency at his ranch, is burrowed into his five-week vacation and two-hour daily workouts. He may be in great shape, but Iraq sure isn't.

It's hard to think of another president who lived in such meta-insulation. His rigidly controlled environment allows no chance encounters with anyone who disagrees. He never has to defend himself to anyone, and that is cognitively injurious. He's a populist who never meets people - an ordinary guy who clears brush, and brush is the only thing he talks to. Mr. Bush hails Texas as a place where he can return to his roots. But is he mixing it up there with anyone besides Vulcans, Pioneers and Rangers?"
For Cindy and her mates in Crawford:

Masters of War (Dylan)

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
Even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead

Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

Monday, August 08, 2005

9/11 Commission Looking for More Info

As if the Chimp hasn't pissed us off enough, we're reminded of his reluctance (or perhaps fear) of the 9/11 Commission. They want to do some follow-up work and the administration won't release some of the information they are seeking. Can you believe it? Wouldn't it make sense to get AS MUCH information into the public space as possible? I guess that's just too damn much to ask for from a President who was too scared to meet with them without his Darth Vader of a VP holding his hand. Good God.

This from a Republican:

"Thomas H. Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey who led the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission, said he was surprised and disappointed that the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and several other executive branch agencies had failed to respond to requests made two months ago for updated information on the government's antiterrorism programs."

You'd Gag Too, If It Happened To You

Here's something completely gross. A 99-pound woman ate 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes. In case you're curious (and have eaten a brat or two recently), here's the nutrition information:

But, having said all that, I love brats, but have recently decided to remove them from my diet...after a close study of the nutrition information. Don't you hate being a grown-up?

Support Our Troops' Moms

...especially when she has lost her son and is pissed off. When you think of it, is there anyone more horribly wronged than a parent of a son or daughter killed in Iraq? Having your child die because of lies, deceit, hubris and downright incompetence must make it impossible to focus on anything else...and now Cindy Sheehan is taking that pain to the right place - Crawford, Texas - where the Chimp is supposed to be vacationing. And now, rumor has it she's going to be arrested on Thursday if she doesn't give up her vigil because she's a security threat? Just when you think the story from these assholes can't get any more heartless, they threaten to throw a soldiers' mom in jail just because she's standing on a street in a backwater like Crawford. Unbelievable.

Read more about Cindy's quest here. Talk about heroes...count Cindy Sheehan among 'em.

This picture from over the past weekend when Cindy and her posse marched in Crawford:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Five Games Up!

Don't look now, but the Red Sox have a 5 game lead over the MF Yankees! We've now won eight in a row and Captain Jason hit his first grand slam today. Wahooooo! We're on a roll!

Books That Change Your Life

Last night, Bob and I were having one of our typical scintillating conversations over dinner rehashing the day and he mentioned an NPR segment he heard, called "Books That Changed My Life." Naturally, this segued to books that changed ours. Here's mine...and I invite you to share yours.

Ever try to figure out how your political philosophy was formed? To some degree, I trace mine back to reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" when I was around 12 years old. My older sister had been assigned to read it for school and, because I devoured books at the time, I jumped right on it.

Not being a very "girly girl" type, I totally related to Scout and her desire to wear overalls, go barefoot, ask inappropriate questions, and chase after an older sibling. And because I related so much to her, I was in awe of Atticus Finch and the important lessons he taught his children regarding tolerance of those who were different from the Finches: from the Ewell family, to Calpernia, to Tom Robinson...and of course Boo Radley. I think this had a tremendous influence on me.

Honorable mentions (for different reasons) include: Little Women (what girl didn't want to be Jo?); The Women's Room (one of the first novels about the women's movement); Small Changes (the first time I read a book that was about becoming gay - not that there's anything wrong with that); M*A*S*H (before the movie or the TV series, there was the book - a total hoot and my first anti-war novel); and "A Prayer for Owen Meaney," my favorite John Irving novel (though I love all his books).

And you?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Are You a Luddite?

Tom Friedman from today's NYTimes column: Calling All Luddites

"I've been thinking of running for high office on a one-issue platform: I promise, if elected, that within four years America will have cellphone service as good as Ghana's. If re-elected, I promise that in eight years America will have cellphone service as good as Japan's, provided Japan agrees not to forge ahead on wireless technology. My campaign bumper sticker: "Can You Hear Me Now?"

I began thinking about this after watching the Japanese use cellphones and laptops to get on the Internet from speeding bullet trains and subways deep underground. But the last straw was when I couldn't get cellphone service while visiting I.B.M.'s headquarters in Armonk, N.Y.

But don't worry - Congress is on the case. It dropped everything last week to pass a bill to protect gun makers from shooting victims' lawsuits. The fact that the U.S. has fallen to 16th in the world in broadband connectivity aroused no interest. Look, I don't even like cellphones, but this is not about gadgets. The world is moving to an Internet-based platform for commerce, education, innovation and entertainment. Wealth and productivity will go to those countries or companies that get more of their innovators, educators, students, workers and suppliers connected to this platform via computers, phones and P.D.A.'s...."

Tom, I agree whole-heartedly. Getting politicians and the media off ridiculous issues and onto things like this that matter (and perhaps even provide jobs or preparation for a meaningful job?) will be a freakin' miracle.

Not Quite There...For Now

Yesterday Paul Hackett didn't actually manage to pull off a miracle, but he only lost by 3.5% in the end. As I posted yesterday, this is my hometown district and I do know there are Democrats there (I'm even related to a few). There is HOPE that we can pick up this and other districts in the 2006 election.

As a small contributor to Major Hackett's campaign, I received this email today:

"Yesterday, one of the reddest regions in America turned a whole lot bluer.

I ran in a special election to serve in the United States House of Representatives from the 2nd District of Ohio. I am a Marine recently returned from Iraq, a husband, a father, an attorney, and a Democrat.

When I won the Democratic primary for this contest, few people believed we had a shot at victory. But DFA put its faith in me -- and went to work organizing on the ground and online. Your support helped build the greatest Democratic get-out-the-vote effort this district has ever known.

While we didn't pull out a victory yesterday -- we came incredibly close. We got 48 percent of the vote. And in those results rests hope for the future.

It had been 15 years since a Democratic candidate for Congress received more than 30 percent of the vote in Ohio's 2nd District and decades since a Democrat held the seat. Your support helped me improve Democratic performance by nearly 20 percent. This is a victory for democracy. And if we can do this in Ohio -- we can do it anywhere."

Paul, you have my admiration for making the attempt -- let's get 'em next time, ok?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

He's Falling and Hopefully Can't Get Up

Here's a little fun for your down time -- watch "Chimpy McFlightsuit" fall.

Sending Good Vibes

Well, it's an hour and a half till the polls close in my hometown Congressional district (OH-02). As any good Democrat knows, there is a special election there today to replace the Republican who had been appointed to a Bush Administration post. Right now, it will be a very long shot, but Democrat Paul Hackett is doing a great job of at least energizing our party. Whether Hackett wins is still to be seen...I made my small monetary contribution and am sending him all good thoughts (if not prayers) that he will actually pull it out. Who the hell knows? But people are saying it could be close enough to scare the Repugs at least. (Just re-reading that statement, it's really sad that all we're doing now is hoping to scare Republicans, not actually beat them. Arghhhh!)

Anyway, here's a scary picture to keep you awake tonight. Which of these people would you like representing you in Congress?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oh, Happy Day!

Although I'm disappointed the Sox didn't pick up more pitching help, I'm very excited that they kept Manny, in spite of his clearly immature behavior. Yesterday's game was, in turns, silly and heart-poundingly suspenseful. Either they say...Manny was Manny.