Wait a Minute, Haven’t We Seen Him Before?

Best Seen, Heard, and Read

Hampton Roads Talks About Race Before Virginia Beach Rally

I thought that this was an interesting extra piece that The Virginian-Pilot did in the long wait before Senator Obama took the stage at his appearance in Virginia Beach yesterday. For me, his race has always just been an afterthought, truthfully. I have always been drawn to his intelligence, his insight, and his abilities as a speaker. Even though he is not as experienced as some of the other Democrats he faced, I believe that his other qualities will serve him well. The fact that he happens to be half black is about as meaningful to me as the fact that I am half Filipino. Oh well.

However, I do not kid myself. I realize that I am not like most people, or some people or a lot of people. But it was nice to see this piece, so I thought that I would share it with you. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Just a Funny Aside

Last night, a phone number showed up on the caller ID that looked vaguely familiar, so I answered it. Turns out it was someone from the Barack Obama Headquarters wanting to speak with Corey to see if he wanted to volunteer his time. I politely told the woman that he already volunteered his time and that, in fact, we both did and that we would be in the following evening to work the phones. Corey said, “what do you want to bet she calls back and wants to speak to you?” About a minute later the phone rings, and sure enough, same thing. I said, “Hi. Just talked to you. We’ll both be in tomorrow night.”

I know that it’s not nice to screw around with phone bank people, but really, it was during the beginning of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” so you understand.

Joe the Plumber, Again?

I really didn’t think this guy would have a shelf-life of more than a couple of days, but it seems that Sarah Palin isn’t the only one with pit bull tendencies. I almost felt sorry for John McCain yesterday when he called out for Joe the Plumber, and the bald-headed nonplumber didn’t respond from the crowd. I said almost.

Seems someone forgot to let Joe know that he was supposed to be there. He was probably at home shaving his head. Personally, I think that he’s losing some brain cells every time he cleans that dome because he certainly isn’t getting any smarter with each appearance, but that’s just my opinion.

Seems Joe has gotten himself a publicist, is looking for a book deal,* a country record deal, and has absolutely no qualms about answering off-the-cuff political policy questions on camera. I’m sorry, but perhaps everyone else knows something about this man that I don’t. When he first arrived mise en scène, McCain heralded him as an everyman (21 times an everyman) who would be devastated by Obama’s tax plan and be unable to buy the business he so wanted to buy. Well a reveal of the facts showed that Samuel J. Wurzelbacher never had the money to buy any business and, in fact, would benefit from Obama’s tax plan.

Never let a fact stop McCain. He has trotted Joe the Plumber around the nation, and JTP has eagerly joined the campaign trail, and now, like Palin, answers his own questions sans handlers. Take this exchange in Ohio just a few days ago: A Jewish McCain supporter asked him during an election rally in Ohio if he believed that ‘a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel.’ JTP replied: “I’ll go ahead and agree with you on that.” In response to Joe’s insightful commentary, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying “while he’s clearly his own man, so far Joe has offered some penetrating and clear analysis that cuts to the core of many of the concerns that people have with Barack Obama’s statements and policies” (Haaretz.com).

They’re kidding, right? They’re not kidding? Holy smokes, Batman. Someone needs to send out the Bat signal because Gotham has gone bonkers. Relying on the “penetrating and clear analysis” of Joe the Plumber”? I think that Bill Kristol may have had something when he suggested (strongly) that McCain fire his campaign. Well, at least someone at Fox (yes Fox) skewered Joe the Plumber for his nincompoop comments. Shepard Smith, in what turned out to be one of the best “you’ve gotta be kidding me” moments of the campaign hammered the pseudo plumber, and then finally gave up and closed the interview with a disclaimer. I won’t even try to summarize because it’s something best viewed in person:

 

 

On that note, more later. Peace.

*By the way, what to you want to bet JTP does get a book deal, and the rest of us working writers keep struggling for years just to get noticed? Ah, the ironies of life . . .

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Amber Waves of Grain

After 9/11, More Justifications and Some Pre-Election Reflections

Someone Needs To Remind W. That Lame-Duck Means No More Global Pissing Contests

Why aren’t more people up in arms about Syria? Granted, I myself am late in posting anything about this latest questionable move by the Bush administration, but the Sunday incursion into sovereign territory, namely Syria, is getting hardly any media coverage. Why? Is it because it was on Bush’s watch, and no one wants to go there? The White House refuses to comment on the raid.

The few details that I can find are from the following AP report:

U.S. military helicopters attacked an area along the country’s border with Iraq, causing casualties, Syria’s state-run television and witnesses said Sunday.

The TV report quoted unnamed Syrian officials and said the area is near the Syrian border town of Abu Kamal. It gave no other details on Sunday’s attack.

Local residents told The Associated Press by telephone that two helicopters carrying U.S. soldiers raided the village of Hwijeh, 10 miles inside Syria’s border, killing seven people and wounding five.

An unnamed U.S. official claims that the target was Abu Ghadiyah, an Iraqi from Mosul, and supposedly a key figure in smuggling fighters into Iraq. Syria has protested to the UN Security Council, and Iraq has denounced the attack, saying that it does not want its land used as a launching pad for attacks on neighboring lands.

According to an article in the New York Times, the raid is in keeping with what many are calling the Bush Doctrine II, which in essence, allows for an “expansive definition of self-defense that provided a rationale for strikes on militant targets in sovereign nations without those countries’ consent.” Bush elaborated on this expansion of his doctrine during his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month:

“As sovereign states, we have an obligation to govern responsibly, and solve problems before they spill across borders,” Mr. Bush said. “We have an obligation to prevent our territory from being used as a sanctuary for terrorism and proliferation and human trafficking and organized crime.”

As with all things George Bush, the frightening part is that a) He believes it, and b) He means it. Hence, we cross the Iraqi border with Special Forces helicopters and carry out a raid on Syria.

You know those lines on maps? Pshaw, they don’t really mean anything to us. We’re Americans. We can go where we want to. It would almost be funny if it weren’t true.

America the Beautiful

Bear with me here while I ask you to follow me on a little bit of a journey, a journey into Lola logic. I will get to my point, which is about Barack Obama’s thirty minutes of ready-for-prime-time, but I have to start with 9/11. Trust me, it will work.

In those days immediately following the collapse of the Twin Towers, when Americans were feeling the collapse of everything we took for granted—security, safety, normalcy, the sanctity of the very ground beneath our feet—many of us flocked to our places of worship in that first weekend following the destruction that unfolded in real time. Our family did; we went to our church, which was, quite literally, standing room only. This is saying a lot since our church is quite a large, old, stately church, which seats hundreds of people.

Normally, I do not do well in crowds, and I begin to fidget when I am pressed in closely next to people for more than a few minutes, but that Sunday, I really didn’t notice. Most of the hymns that day were patriotic, and one of the first was “America the Beautiful.” Now I have always loved this song, preferred it over the national anthem, not just because it is much more adaptable to any voice, but also because it is more prosaic. And on that Sunday, by the time I got to “amber waves of grain,” I had tears running down my face as did numerous people around me. I suspect it was because many of us were unsure if our America would ever again be that beautiful, unsullied land of which we were singing.

Cut to last night at 8 p.m. and the opening shot of Barack Obama’s thirty-minute, strategical media buy, and what did I see but a field of waving, golden wheat, and for just a moment, I was back in that church, surrounded by those people, singing that song, being buoyed by not just a room but a nation that was sustaining each other in a common cause, in our grief, in our fear, in our despair, but also in our resolve to hope and to be the country that we knew that we could be, no matter what fate had handed us.

All of this went through my body in just a nano second and gave me a chill, and I knew in that second—call me the hopeless romantic that I am—that Barack Obama would be elected president and that we would move out of the quagmire of the past eight years and come together as a country again and become the country that the world knows and respects as a nation. I felt down to my soul that this country can move beyond its differences, can move beyond the ugliness, can move beyond this time of feeling helpless and desperate and lost. This one man and his vision and his sincerity and his true hope for this counry is the right person to do this. And all of that was just from the opening scene.

So kudos to whoever produced that segment. Was it a good media buy? Was it worth the $5 million or so? You betcha, gee golly, bless yer little heart. Right up to and through the last 60 seconds when it cut to live in Florida, it was flawless, and you know the McCain campaign was gritting their collective teeth that they didn’t have the funds to produce their own gnarly rebuttal. Obama has elevated campaigning to a whole new level. He has raised the bar so high that everyone who comes after is going to be hard pressed to live up to this kind of presidential campaign. But then again, everyone who comes after is going to be hard pressed to live up to this kind of candidate.

More later. Peace.

Muckraking, Mud, and Mickey?

Hello? Is Anyone Out There With a Brain?

Dirty Tricks—A New Low

Someone has distributed a flyer in Hampton Roads that bears the official state seal and the seal of the State Board of Elections. The flyer advises that Republican party supporters should vote on Tuesday, November 4th, and Democratic party supporters should vote on Wednesday, November 5th.

The State Board of Elections has issued an official rumor-busting document telling voters to disregard the fake flyer. Distribution of the flyer has included the Hampton Roads cities of Virginia Beach, Hampton, and Newport News.

Pretty despicable stuff, huh? Now, I know that there are those of you out there who would say that anyone foolish enough to fall for something like this deserves what they get. But remember, there are people who are voting for the first time ever, for the first time in decades, for the first time in this country, not to mention the people who are already a little paranoid about voter fraud and don’t want to do anything wrong.

We’re dealing with a whole new body of voters, and the point is not to make assumptions, or worse, to be condescending. I cannot help but remember the first free elections in South Africa and the lines that those people stood in for days for their chance to participate in Democracy for the first time in their lives. Well, I don’t mean to overreact, but I’ve talked to people who are in their eighties, their eighties, who haven’t participated in the democratic process for years because they saw no point, and for the first time in a long time, they actually believe that their vote will count. What if one of these individuals received this flier and became confused? What if one of these elderly voters were to believe this heinous piece of idiocy, this malarkey. We cannot sit back and allow them to be stripped of hope just when they have found it again.

And yes, the typos should be a tip off, but I’ve seen government documents with typos. Nevertheless, the whole thing is incredibly lame and desperate, and it leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I should very much like to find the perpetrator(s) of this bilge, and just ask them why. Why? Do they believe that this is humorous in some way? Do they think that this is scoring one for their side? Do they understand what Democracy in a free society means? Do they not realize how much is being sacrificed for this very act right now? And then . . . well, I would very much like to hand them over to Richard Simmons for one week of Sweatin’ it to the Oldies. (It was that, or something illegal, and hey, they aren’t worth it.)

(Go to http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/28/fake.sbe.flyer.pdfto see a full-sized copy of the fake flyer.)

Obama’s Tuesday Campaign Trail No Place for Sissies

Obama supporters proved themselves diehards in Pennsylvania and Virginia on Tuesday by braving the elements to see the man who would be president. The Senator’s first stop in a key swing state was a brutal one. Cold winds and icy rain in Hershey, Pennsylvania didn’t stop a crowd of approximately 9,000 supporters from turning out to see Obama at Widener University in Chester. Television clips showed the crowd covered in rain ponchos and garbage bags, and the Senator standing there in a rain jacket, still delivering his message: “if we’re willing to reach deep down inside us, when times are tough, when it’s cold, when it’s raining, when it’s hard — that’s when we when stand up.” 

 Meanwhile McCain and Palin bailed on their planned stop in Quakertown for an outdoor rally yesterday morning because of the weather. You have to wonder about that decision. But, what do I know?

And then the big rally in Norfolk last night brought in an estimated 20,000 Obama supporters—12,000 in the seats, and then another 8,000 on the field. I wasn’t one of them, unfortunately; I was left watching the live cast on my computer. Temperatures at Harbor Park were in the 40’s, and the wind was blowing off the Elizabeth RIver. I made the right decision, between the bright stadium lights and the bracing wind, my head would have exploded, and aliens would have popped out. And even though the Senator’s speech still wowed the crowd, watching it from home, I could tell that the poor man was tired. Who wouldn’t be? Three stops in one day, one in the pouring rain?

That makes nine visits to Virginia, and he has one more planned on Thursday in Virginia Beach. Am I planning to go? You betcha, gee golly. I’m hoping President Clinton will be tagging along for this one since the duo is doing stops together this week. Now that would be worth waiting for.

The Big Wednesday Night Television Appearance

It seems that Barack Obama doesn’t impress everyone. Obama’s 10-year-old daughter isn’t that excited about it, so said Michelle Obama on Leno on Monday Night. Malia overheard her father talking about the thirty-minute spot and was a bit put out: “You’re going to be on all the TV? … Are you going to interrupt my TV?’” Michelle Obama recalled. “He said, ‘No, we didn’t buy time on Disney and Nick.’ And she said, ‘Oh, good.’ And she got up and walked away. She was just like, ‘Don’t mess with my TV.’”

That’s why you have children. They keep things in perspective and keep you humble, even when you are running for the highest office in the land.

More on the big show later. Peace.

My Own Worst Enemy

Same Song. Different Day

The Migraine that Ate Cleveland

I know that you’ve heard this lament before, but some days, it really is better not to get out of bed. I’m on the second day of a killer migraine, and it looks as if there will be no Obama rally for me tonight. My only solace is that we did make it to the Richmond rally last week; otherwise, I would be pulling myself into two sweaters, and double-dosing on the meds to go there, probably paying for it big time later tonight.

My Migraine (Balrog Image by Frank de Shacher)

This is one of those sound/light/smell sensitive, full-throttle migraines. I’m typing this with all of the lights off in my bedroom, after taking my meds about an hour ago. Not sure how long I’m going to last in this position, though. The wonderful thing about my huge screen is that it’s not only big, but I can also adjust the contrast ratio automatically, so right now I have it set lower than usual, which is also helpful.

Migraines are gnarly beasts. I can go weeks and weeks without a peep from these insidious monsters, and then without warning, they pounce. Granted, they are much better than they used to be, and I have no doubt that their (almost typed there for their, egads) lessening frequency is due in large part to my no longer having a full-time job. Overhead office lighting has long been a trigger for me, so I have always had lamps in my offices, and when I have been fortunate enough to have window offices, I have usually just worked with ambient light. It used to drive some of my bosses and co-workers crazy. They would make comments about not thinking that anyone was in my office and such. Whatever. It kept me from being in pain, which kept me in the office. You would have thought that they would have been happy . . .

But Words Live On Forever

But, I don’t have to worry about that any more. Do I? But of course, I still do. I still carry around with me all of the slings and arrows from years of negative comments from the workplace because in spite of my outward insistence on being such a hard-nosed, world-weary, seen-it-all, done-it-all, cynic, I am the exact opposite inside. Every harsh word, every criticism I took to heart, and it wounded me so, even when I tried so hard to be a bitch on the outside. You do realize, of course, that those of us who are so very certain and self-assured on the outside are the most insecure on the inside? At least, I have always found that to be the case for myself and my fellow blowhards.

I can remember harsh words from years ago. It’s not that I want to hold onto them. It’s that they are embedded in my psyche, echoing every time I make an error, mocking me. I am truly my own worst enemy. Years of friends and psychotherapy trying to patch my insecure ego have helped but not fixed the problem, which for me, began a lifetime ago.

I am an only child you see. Many people think that it would be wonderful to be an only, but trust me, in so many ways, it is not. While you benefit in material ways, the loneliness can be overpowering. I compensated by immersing myself in books and by being creative, but this did not prepare me to deal with other children, so by the time I went to school, I was not prepared to defend myself. The first time I was teased, I took it to heart and cried. Bad mistake. I had shown my weakness. It took months and months before I overcame, and by then, there was always the stigma of otherness about me.

And then, when we came back from England, I was enrolled in Little Creek School. I had a right proper British accent, a Filipino last name, and olive skin. Again, I was a gazelle waiting to be pounced on by the herd. It took a long time to learn the rules of this tribe and to toughen up, but again, I never quite fit in. My way of fitting in was always to stand out just enough to call attention to myself: surrender but with victory. And so, I always got A’s, got awards, joined clubs. Teachers loved me, and the cool kids hated me. It was great, but it sucked.

By the time I was 16, I was getting migraines. By the time I graduated when I was 17, I was already having symptoms of IBS. When I started working full-time at the newspaper when I was a freshman in college, my IBS was full blown. This is the price you pay when you are an overachiever and you internalize. This was the cycle that I started that continued throughout my entire work career: I volunteered for special events, extra shifts. I was in the newsroom before I was 20.  I was working full time, going to school full time, and already looking at life through jaded eyes. People commented that everything came easily to me. If only they knew how very untrue this was.

I worked for everything that I have achieved. I have my father to thank for instilling that work ethic in me. I know that I’ve written about my father numerous times, but truly, as far as working goes, he was amazing. Actually, both of my parents used to tell me something pretty progressive for the time: Never be dependent on anyone for your livelihood. Since neither of them had gone to college, they were going to make damned sure that I did, and I did. Changed majors several times, but I made it.

That Word

My, how I digressed. How did I end up talking so much about school? My point was actually about fitting in and the n-word. When we came back from England, a kid at school called me the n-word (I hate using that term, n-word, but I hate the word more). Truthfully, I had never heard the word before, so I went home and asked my mother what the word meant. She was outraged. She made me stand outside on the porch with her as the kids walked home from school and point out the child who had called me that. I did. She, as we like to call it in the South, lit into him like there was no tomorrow. As it turns out, this boy and I become really good friends and actually dated for a while. Neither one of us remembered the name-calling, but my mother did. She chalked it up to childhood stupidity. Personally, I’m glad that it’s one incident that I actually don’t remember other than through my mother’s retelling.

The point is, words hurt, and can even leave scars. Some people never let on that the words you are using are penetrating. Corey, who has felt my wrath at home before, has asked me why I never stood up for myself more at work. It’s a valid question. I think that it’s because I fight passionately with those with whom I have passion, him, for instance. Only one of my former bosses, who is no longer at my most recent job, actually saw my raw emotions, and that’s because I actually felt close enough to him to be honest enough with him to fight with him. Others with whom I do not feel enough respect, I do not engage. I know, I know. That’s my arrogance showing. Can’t help it.

As someone once said to me, “Life is too short to spend with people you do not like.” I really did not appreciate that quote until I got older and wiser. I have rambled on and on about much and nothing at all, but in the rambling, I have quieted my soul and now can rest.

More later. Peace.

Counting Down: Only Eight Days to Go

Things Are Getting Crazy All Over The Place

A Breakdown of Discipline

Love the Boots & Suit, Governor
Love the Boots & Red Suit, Governor

It seems that the McCain camp is imploding. Says on aide an the campaign in general: “The lack of discipline . . . is unreal” (Politico). Unnamed sources within the camp are turning on Sarah P., saying things such as, “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone,” said a McCain adviser. “She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.” One aide has described her as “going rogue” (cnn.com).

Whoa. The election isn’t even over yet, and already they are shooting arrows at each other. And the governor?

Seems she’s only taking advice from that maverick from “The View,” Elizabeth Hasselbeck. The two women decided to keep up the rant on the RNC’s clothes fiasco, pointing out that the governator was back to wearing her own clothes and accessories and labeling the fixation on her wardrobe “sexist,” even when Palin’s handlers had clearly sent the message that the wardrobe topic was, um, off-topic.

And, well governor, actually, no. It’s not sexist. It’s justified criticism at largesse in a time in which real Americans, as the governor likes to call them, are thinking about real issues, you know, bills, mortage payments, health care, 401k’s losing half of their value overnight? Things like that. If John McCain had spent the same amount of money, it would still be an issue, believe me. 

Neo Nazis Take a Road Trip

The very thing that so many people have been worried about has had its first on-the-books attempt. At least it was a half-baked attempt by a couple of supposed neo-nazis with the brain power of Beavis and Butthead. The ATF reports that there is no evidence at this early stage of the investigation that the two men,  Daniel Cowart, 18, and Paul Schlesselman, 20, had ever taken the plan beyond the talking stage. The two met on the Internet. Both are in custody.

Now That’s A Holiday Bonus

“NBC Nightly News” reported tonight that three of the big Wall Street firms involved in the big rescue have set aside money to pay their traders and bankers year-end bonuses . . . yes, I said bonuses. These employees, who normally earn between $80 to $600k annually, depend on these bonuses to make their really big money. The bonuses keep the best employees from jumping ship. I like bonuses. I used to get a Holiday bonus at the newspaper eons ago. It equalled one week’s pay. I thought that was a really great bonus. That being said, let me clarify what these companies are calling bonuses.

Goldman Sachs has set aside $6.8 billion, for an average of $210,000 per employee in bonuses; of course, bonuses would be higher for their bigger earners. Morgan Stanley has set aside only $6.4 billion, for an average of $138,700 per employee; they are being a bit more frugal. Merrill Lynch has set aside $6.7 billion, for an average of $110,000 per employee, which is slightly higher than last year’s bonuses, but that’s because they laid of 3,000 employees recently.

Now, the average American earns $45,000 annually. That figure also comes from the news report. I’m not sure where they got that figure, probably from the IRS. But there is something terribly wrong when the average salary doesn’t begin to come close to the average bonus being proposed on Wall Street, especially since the average American is paying for these bonuses.

Of course, these companies are saying that nothing is set in stone and that the bonuses have yet to be distributed. But these are the same ilk of people as the AIG personnel who went on a junket one week after their bailout and had personalized spa treaments.

I am reminded of the Ronald Reagan quote: The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” If the government helps us out any more on Wall Street, these people are going to end 2008 feeling great, and real Americans are going to need a lifetime supply of antacids.

Getting Closer to that Senate Sixty

Alasksa Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of lying about receiving free gifts from a contractor and convicted on seven corruption charges. The longest-serving Republican Senator who is running for re-election has undoubetedly hurt his political career. But the good news is that the Democrats have probably picked up one more seat towards the sixty-seat majority needed to be filibuster proof.

The 84-year-old senator faces up to five years in prison.

Battleground States No More?

Well, it seems that Obama’s Virginia lead is really a lead. Polls (Washington Post, CNN) are anywhere from 6 to 14 points ahead. Still, I am not counting my chickens and all of that. Other key battleground states that appear to be going blue include Colorado, New Hampshire, and New Mexico.

The Senator will be in Norfolk tomorrow night. I don’t know if I’m ready for another huge crowd, but I’m going to try. Virginia is too important to become complacent. It’s supposed to be a chilly fall night under the stars. I asked for fall, didn’t I? I’ll report back tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

More later. Peace.

My $150,000 Shopping Spree

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I don’t think that I’m the only one. Even though I’m not a Republican, I imagine that I’m not the only person who is more than a little torqued out of shape by the RNC’s decision to spend $150,000 on Sarah P. and family’s wardrobe update, not to mention $24k a month on a personal makeup artist.

Now, Corey and I have made a few contributions to Obama’s campaign, not substantial by any means, but they were what we could afford to contribute, and as the Obama campaign has proven, every little bit counts. But if I had contributed money to the campaign, and then that campaign used campaign money to buy Joe Biden $150,000 worth of ties, I think that I just might think twice about donating funds in the future. Now granted, the governator probably needed a style update for the trail (we all know that the Todders did), but to the tune of $150,000? Couldn’t they have found one of their rich benefactors to underwrite such an expenditure so that it did not come out of campaign funds? That certainly would have gone down easier with the Joe the Plumber electorate making $40k a year. I know that I would have been less pissed off, and I’m not even a Republican.

But, let’s just suppose that someone decided out of the goodness of his or her heart to give my family $150,000 to spend as we needed. Here is how we would spend it (and even though we all know that I love clothes and black boots and squishy leather bags, that’s not where it would go):

This is my $150,000 fantasy shopping spree:

  • I’d pay off all of the back balances on my utilities, especially the huge one that we owe on the gas bill so that we could have heat this winter.
  • Then there would be the past due amount on my health insurance. I figure that’s probably a good thing to take care of given my situation.
  • Speaking of health insurance, Corey hasn’t had any since he’s been out of work. I’m counting on the Obama health plan, but who knows how long that will take to implement . . .
  • It would probably be prudent to get caught up on the payments on our life insurance, you know, make sure the kids are taken care of, just in case.
  • I don’t even want to think about the mortgage payments and the late charges that we’ve accrued. That one gives me the cold sweats at night, but it would be great to get ahead by one or two payments
  • There’s the second mortgage we took out to try to stave off bill collectors, but that was ill-conceived, and now it’s just one more bill.
  • We started remodeling the house over a year ago, but haven’t had the funds to do anything with it in ages. It would be nice to finish that. But that comes at the bottom of the priorities for now. Although, I have to say, having a house that isn’t in a constant state of disarray would do wonders for my peace of mind. But hey, who needs peace of mind?
  • The dogs need to go to the vet; I wonder if the Louis Vuitton bag that one of the governator’s daughters got would cover that bill?
  • Both the Trooper and the truck need new brakes, and the Trooper needs a new passenger side window. I’m thinking that the red leather jacket that the governor was wearing would probably cover the cost of those repairs
  • And then there are the little things like the boys’ orthodontist bill, my doctors bills, the MRI that I need on my back, the glasses that my oldest son needs, the money that we still owe to the hospital for my back surgery.
  • The boys could use some new Levis and some new shoes, nothing fancy, maybe some Sketchers.
  • I could use a good night’s sleep and for my shoulders and back not to be tied up in knots.
  • Corey could use a job.

That’s my fantasy shopping spree. I don’t think that it even comes close to $150,000. I’d return the unused portion so that someone else could go wild and pay some bills. I’ll bet we could take care of at least three or four joe six-pack families out there, you know, real Americans who are going under just like us.

Real Americans who have worked, paid their taxes, served their country, and now find themselves in the unenviable position of being a one-income family with two-income bills, and that income is a disability income at that. I have to tell you, Governor Palin, being real Americans isn’t really making that much of a difference for us. We might have our honor, our pride, our patriotism, but we can’t eat that for dinner. It won’t keep us warm this winter, and it’s not going to get me the MRI that I need on my back. Sorry to be so cynical. Just cannot help myself.

So wink, wink right back atcha. You look mahvelous. As well you should, but have you thought about T. J. Maxx?

More later. Peace.

And The Winner Is . . .

Mixed Nuts

“Hey joe, Where you gonna run to now where you gonna go”

Obviously Senator John McCain’s brother Joe doesn’t believe that little things like the law applies to people like him, as is witnessed by this 911 call that he placed on October 21 into Alexandria’s 911 system:

Operator: 911 state your emergency
Caller: It’s not an emergency but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic’s coming the other way?

Operator: Sir, are you calling 911 to complain about traffic? (pause)
Caller: “&%@k you.” (caller hangs up)

The 911 operator, apparently, unnerved by use of the 911 emergency number to complain about bad traffic, called back the phone number that placed the call.

The operator reached a voice mail message that said, “Hi this is Joe McCain I can’t take this message now because I’m involved in a very (inaudible) important political project… I hope on Nov. 4th we have elected John.”

Outraged by the operator’s action, the man called 911 a second time. That conversation went as follows:

Caller: Somebody gave me this riot act about the violation of police.
Operator: Did you just call 911 in reference to this?
Caller: Yeah.
Operator: 911 is to be used for emergencies only, not just because you’re sitting in traffic.  (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/report-john-mcc.html)

Those McCain brothers sure have problems with their tempers, but calling 911 because you’re stuck in traffic? I’m glad Joe’s hand won’t be anywhere near any important buttons . . .

Stories From The Phone Bank

I was doing more work on the phones at Obama headquarters, and I have to share two stories with you. The first one is really wonderful but a bit disheartening at the same time. I spoke with a woman who is a very big Obama supporter who was telling me that her mother lives in Florida and is voting for the first time in 76 years. The woman’s mother is Puerto Rican, and at first, she had no plans to vote even though her daughter was pressing her do to so. What changed her mind? The women at her church.

Seems that the lovely church ladies accosted her mother and said something along the lines of “you aren’t going to vote for that n**** are you?” Her mother was so insulted that she registered to vote the next day. She proudly called her daughter and told her what happened and how she had registered in protest of the women’s close-minded, racist remarks. They had helped her mother to cement her position.

Score one for the good guys!

I also spoke to another lovely woman who was very concerned about voter fraud. She wanted to be assured that she wouldn’t have any problems once she got to her precinct on election day. I did what I could to reassure her. I reminded her about Virginia’s laws about not allowing anyone to vote if they were wearing any kind of political garments or buttons, and told her to make sure she had a valid driver’s license. Other than that, I really wasn’t sure what else I could tell her. The thing that really disturbed me about her question was that it was a valid concern, one that I really hadn’t given much thought to in Virginia before. I cannot tell you how naive I felt, and how much it sickened me to realize that voter fraud may play a big part in this election.

The Obama campaign has registered unprecedented numbers in Virginia this year. It’s one of the reasons Democrats actually have a chance of winning not only the presidential election, but also numerous House seats, and the Senatorial race in Virginia. The grass roots campaign has been extremely well organized and executed. And the thought of losing because of people being turned away at the polls, well, it just makes me violently ill. Shades of Jim Crow.

The Unbelievable Stupidity of it All

I cannot let this pass. I was going to; I really was. But some things just need to have a spotlight shone upon them because, well, they are just so incredibly stupid and because some people are going to believe them. But I won’t give them excess coverage. Conservative radio hosts Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh (and I use the term radio host very loosely when speaking of Limbaugh), actually had the audacity to question Obama’s trip to Hawaii to spend time with his grandmother, claiming that in fact, it was a ruse to cover up the Senator’s ongoing problem with his birth certificate.

Birth certificate???? Dear god men, have you no shame. Simply because Obama did not leave days earlier, they claim that his grandmother could not have really been that ill and that he was going to Hawaii to create a birth certificate. EGADS!!! What about John McCain rushing off to Washington immediately during the financial crisis, only to leave a day and a half later after doing an interview with Katie Couric and having a sumptuous lobster dinner?

These people (and I use the term loosely) are scum.

No Real Winners Here

And finally, there is the story of Ashley Todd, a McCain field supporter. Todd is a 20-year-old college student who claims she was mugged by a 6’4″ black man who became enraged when he saw her McCain bumper sticker. The man, claims Todd, stole $60 and carved a B on her cheek. One big problem with Todd’s story, the B was backwards.

The good part of this story is that the Pittsburgh police who heard Todd’s story did not immediately lose their heads and start rounding up tall black men, reminiscent of what happened in the Charles Stuart case in Boston almost two decades ago when Stuart claimed that a black man had assaulted him and killed his pregnant wife after a birthing class. The Boston police overreacted by rounding up every Black man who fit Stuart’s description. However, in this case, the Pittsburgh police immediately suspected that something was not right with Todd’s story.

The sad part of this story is that Todd suffers from emotional problems, and as a result, she is being held for psychological evaluation instead of being charged for filing a false police report.

The pathetic part of this story is how it was handled by some in the press. Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin is jumping up and down saying “I told you so” because she decried Todd’s story as a hoax as soon as it hit the airwaves. To which I reply, so what?

No one wins in a situation like this. Not McCain. Not Obama. And certainly, not Ashley Todd. If not for the cooler heads that prevailed, this could have escalated into a horrible situation all the way around. Now, perhaps Todd will get the treatment she needs instead of the publicity she sought but did not need.

More later. Peace.