“He broke the Eww-O-Meter.” ~ John Oliver, “The Daily Show”

Note: I’m not sure why Hulu video isn’t appearing in the text. It was there in the draft but then reverted to the link. Sorry.

"He broke the Eww-O-Meter."

                   

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

Nooooooo . . . please . . . not yet . . . 2016 is three years away . . .

From The Huffington Post:

John Oliver tore into Chris Matthews on Thursday’s “The Daily Show” for participating in the what he called the media’s ridiculous speculation over the 2016 presidential election.

Oliver begged the media to hold its premature 2016 speculation till Jon Stewart returned to the show in September. He also ran a clip of Matthews observing the new hairstyle and dark suit Hillary Clinton wore when she lunched with President Obama earlier this week. Matthews said that he knew “he shouldn’t talk about her looks,” but that the former secretary of state looked “ready for primetime” and “presidential as hell.”

“How have you made the word ‘presidential’ sound pervy?” Oliver asked. “Just a little tip to Chris Matthews: when you say you shouldn’t talk about something, why not not actually talk about it? That way, everyone wins!”

And speaking of John Oliver—and I was—here’s a clip from his epic skewering of San Diego’s slimeball mayor Bob Filner. This guy Filner puts Anthony Weiner to shame, and that’s saying something.

From The Raw Story:

Oliver prefaced his attack on Mayor Bob Filner by warning his viewers to apologize to their skin, “because it is not just going to crawl, it is going to spider-walk across the ceiling like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.”

Eight women have accused San Diego’s mayor of sexual harassment. Filner allegedly grabbed and french kissed his female subordinates without their consent, touched his female subordinates on the buttocks without their consent, grabbed his female subordinates’ breasts without their consent, “slobbered” on his female subordinates without their consent, and asked his female subordinates to come to work without underwear on.

“This man is revolting,” Oliver remarked. “He should probably be arrested. He is at the very least unfit for public office. Please tell me that unlike Anthony Weiner, Filner knows when to quit.”

Filner has admitted to sexual harassing women but refused to resign. Instead, he said he would participate in sexual harassment training and change his behavior. Filner also wants the people of San Diego to pay for his legal fees in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

“I think he’s better off trying to raise the money on Prickstarter,” Oliver concluded.

Virginia is for lovers . . . of forcible assault on women

“You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.” ~ Hillary Clinton

Years ago, the state of Virginia had as its slogan “Virginia is for Lovers.” The commercials expounded on this theme by showing tourists enjoying themselves and the voice over saying things like beach lovers, history lovers, etc. But lately, Virginia’s elected officials have shown more and more that they are indeed not lovers of women’s rights, especially with this latest piece of proposed legislation: the bill to force any woman who wants to get an abortion to first undergo a transvaginal ultrasound.

For those of you who might not know, a transvaginal ultrasound is performed by inserting a plastic wand into a woman’s vagina. The procedure is uncomfortable and invasive. The thinking behind the bill’s supporters, I suppose, is that if a woman actually sees the ultrasound picture of the fetus, then she will be less likely to follow through with the abortion.

Let me pause here to just say Piss Off.

I have long been a proponent for reproductive rights, and I am more than a bit familiar with the anti-abortion people’s tactics. This particular one is pretty abhorrent. Don’t think so? Then just consider this particular scenario, a scenario that is not at all far-fetched:

A woman is raped. She becomes pregnant as a result of that rape. She knows that she cannot carry this pregnancy to term. Virginia now requires that this particular woman be assaulted again, that she be put in the stirrups and have yet another unwanted object inserted into her vagina, all in some attempt to convince this already victimized woman that she should take one look at the fetus and instantly fall in love with it.

I. Don’t. Think. So.

“The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.” ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I have never encountered a single woman who undertook the decision to have an abortion lightly. That is not to say that there is not that small percentage of females who have used abortion as birth control, having multiple procedures. I don’t think that you will find any person who fights for reproductive rights who will agree that this is a responsible approach to birth control.

Abortion is not easy. The decision to undergo the procedure is not easy. Far from it. And while I personally don’t believe that I could ever undergo the procedure, I will support to my dying breath any woman’s right to have a safe termination.

Let me clarify here: I am not delving into that arena of late-term abortion, which is a thicket of hot coals. I am referring to first-trimester abortions. I refuse to engage in the whole argument of personhood, or the Catholic stance that life begins at conception, meaning literally that at the instant that an oocyte encounters a strong-swimming sperm, life begins.

I have been relatively quiet about the ongoing male-driven debate about making contraception available for any woman who wishes to have it, even if she, say, happens to work for a Catholic hospital. All of the testerone-fueled chest thumping by men wearing white collars is beyond the pale. President Obama’s compromise is sound: the institutions do not have to do anything that goes against their beliefs. The contraception will be made available to the women via the insurance companies. How is this bad?

But this latest volley by the extremists is happening right here in my home state, and quite frankily, it makes me beyond irate. As we used to say back in the day of VOKAL (Virginia Organization to Keep Abortion Legal) and NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League):

KEEP YOUR LAWS OFF MY BODY

Enough. Here is Jon Stewart’s segment on the issue from his February 21, 2012 show:

 

Punanny State: Virginia’s Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart | Comedy Central

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remnants . . .

Where was I?

More Palin Please

I knew that when Hillary Clinton threw her hat into the ring, she would have absolutely no problems holding her own with the big boys, so to speak. After all, this woman once worked for one of the biggest law firms in the country, out earning her governor husband by several zeros. She was already a proven speaker, and her knowledge of issues both domestic and abroad was as good if not better than many of the men she was running against. I also knew that the press would probably push her harder, expect more of her, and be less forgiving, forced largely in part by the public’s desire to test this woman who desired the highest office in the land. Hillary stood strong, and although I was an Obama supporter from the start, I was damned proud of Ms. Rodham Clinton and never doubted her ability to lead.

Which leads me to Sarah Palin, who has had two, count them two interviews, one with Fox news, so that one doesn’t even count. This is the woman who has the country “fired up” and “energized.” Explain to me exactly why. What has she said, on her own, in public, that has supported the idea that she could lead this country should something happen to John McCain if this duo were to win the White House. Even her own party won’t roll her out except for photo ops. There is something terribly wrong when the Republican party openly says that the press should treat Palin “deferentially” and there isn’t more of a hue and cry about it. Why should she be treated deferentially? Because she doesn’t wear pant suits? Because she is prettier and more stylish than Hillary? Because she wears lipstick? Excuse me but this is fucking bullshit. I want to know what this woman knows that makes her able to run this country, and I’m tired of waiting.

Putting Lipstick on a (pick your favorite animal)

Speaking of lipstick, I forgot to mention in my blog on obsessions that I am addicted to lipstick. I have to be wearing something on my lips, even at home. Okay, at home I don’t go around wearing Passion Red, but I do wear lip conditioner or chapstick.

I used to have very dry lips that were chapped all of the time because I didn’t intake enough fluids, and I had a very bad habit of biting the skin on my lips until they bled. I found that if I wore lipstick, that helped to keep me from biting my lips because most lipstick doesn’t really taste wonderful. I broke myself of the habit, and I also drink more fluids and more water. Now, I wear mostly glosses, but I don’t go out in public without something on my lips.

So when the whole issue of hockey moms and pigs and lipstick was raised in the campaign, I found it to be terribly insensitive to those of us with a lipstick addiction. I’m planning to write a letter of protest just as soon as I form the CLWASA (Compulsive Lipstick Wearers Anonymous Society of America). I’m hoping to get a grant, although, that may be a bit hard given the meltdown of last week.

By the way, one of my Jack Russells, Shakes, has a dark line around his mouth that gives him the appearance of wearing lipstick. I find it terribly endearing. The other one, Alfie, has one eye that looks like it has been outlined in black eyeliner. Makeup on my dogs and I didn’t even put it there.

The Todders

Perhaps someone should hire a stylist for Todd Palin. I remember Bush I’s big gaffe of wearing a short-sleeved shirt with a tie on the campaign trail. He was told never to do it again because he wouldn’t be taken seriously. Roll up your sleeves and look like a working man, but never wear a short-sleeved shirt with a tie because then you’ll just look like a sartorial idiot.

Todd Palin keeps showing up on camera behind the beauty queen in all manner of dress. If the Todders is hoping to keep his position as de facto chief of staff, he needs to put on dress shirts and learn how to wear a tie, kind of like Biden et al wore coordinating tie colors during the DNC. Very snazzy.

And Finally, a Word from Our Sponsor

It wouldn’t be fair of me to end my chat without mentioning John McCain, and so I have saved the best for last. Conservative columnist George Will of the Washington Post does not think that McCain has the right disposition to be president. In a recent column, Will compared McCain to the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland who went around saying “off with their heads” before knowing all of the facts. I never thought that I would be agreeing with a column by George Will, but it’s been a strange year, after all.

The New American Dream: Barack Obama’s Speech to the DNC

I watched the Democratic National Convention last week with a sense of nostalgia. I hadn’t seen the Dems this pumped since Clinton/Gore. For the first time in a long time, the party actually pulled it off: Hillary and Bill got on board; Kerry delivered the speech he should have delivered four years ago; Al Gore was polished, but he should have paused just a bit more. But Biden, Biden delivered big time for Barack Obama and set the stage for the Thursday night speech that ran 42 minutes and left this full-time cynic actually willing to believe again. More people tuned in to watch this man speak than watched the opening of the Olympics, and that alone should tell you something. The first outdoor acceptance speech since JFK was predicted to be light on substance and heavy on political rhetoric, in other words, dream-filled and abstract.

Obama’s speech was packed with proposed policy details, specifically the country’s current economic crisis. It was bold and liberal and unifying. His speech contained strong statements such as this: “We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.” I actually got chills. Remarkable. In a less effective speaker’s hands, the words would not have had such a dramatic effect.

The man is a born orator, the kind this country hasn’t seen since JFK. He knows how to reach beyond rhetoric and touch the hearts of the common man and woman who are aching to hear something that will give them something to cling to. Like this: “America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this . . . We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.”

I know that I want to be part of a better country than the American of these last eight years. I know that I do not want another four years of the same, no matter how honorable McCain is as a person. We need more than a man who is respected by many people because of his past deeds but who believes that America is on the right track. And Obama was clearly aware of this difference by targeting McCain’s policies in his speech, but never attacking the man himself.

And for those who still want to believe in some type of American Dream, hold on to this:

“You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

“We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put away a little extra money at the end of each month so that you can someday watch your child receive her diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

……….

“And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”

The American Dream may have been lost for a while. We may have forgotten how to dream because we were so busy just trying to make do in this harsh reality that has been our lives–the lives in which milk costs $6 a gallon and bread almost $2 a loaf; health insurance is a luxury for many, and dental insurance is completely out of reach. City public schools have classroom sizes of up to 40. A college education without assistance for most families is not possible. The infant mortality rate for the U.S. still ranks with some third world countries. Some of our warriors are on their third tour of duty in Iraq. Foreclosures on homes continue to rise, as do the number of bankruptcies. Families in which both parents work, forcing more latchkey children, continue to become the necessity, not the exception. Three years after Katrina, we still have people who have not been helped. So tell me, is it any wonder that our dreams have taken a back seat? The have-nots far outnumber the haves, yet those who continue to live with platinum parachutes and bypass paying taxes through loopholes don’t have to wonder about the price of gas, bread, or milk, and health insurance is hardly a concern.

Yet the intrepid doers still hold on. We still put out our flags on Memorial Day and the 4th of July because something in us continues to believe in this country of ours. And with luck, perhaps more people than ever will exercise their right to vote this November, instead of taking that right for granted. I don’t care if they are voting because they don’t want a black man as president or a woman as vice president. At least they are participating in the process, and that is their right, whether or not I agree with their choice.

But dammit, at least they have that right, and with any luck, maybe they’ll have a taste of a new American Dream, or at least a remembrance of the old one. We deserve that. We all deserve that. It is not too much to hope for. I refuse to believe that.