Monday, April 28, 2008

Candidate's Night: Red Herring Bait

Tonight in the Community Center, Muttonchop City performs its own Passion Play, an ugly bit of business held under the misapprehension that it is informational. Only confirmed partisans show up, the same hundred and fifty people year after year. The factions gather, the *Monetizers lurking near the back, much as they probably did in high school, the *Fernando-Lamas supporters (many of whom are tiny, elderly ladies), huddling together towards the front.

The candidates sit elbow to elbow at folding tables in the front, studying their 3-minute speeches. They will give their speeches, then answer questions submitted from the audience, drawn at random from a box. Each question must be addressed to a particular candidate, from a particular shareholder, signed, which quashes spontaneity, thank God.

The factions' minds are already entirely made up, so speeches have no effect but to allow the audience the pleasure of either cheering or booing.

Monetizers have a unique, emphatic style of applause: it is stiff-armed, arch-backed, and thunderous, like a cross between the universal soldier and a performing seal:

The only point of the Q and A is to embarrass the enemy. The factions brew the questions in their secret conclaves, decide which enemy candidate is either the weakest or simply the most hated, and bombard that person with poison loaded question-bombs:

To Vincent Piano: "Are you going to tell us which of your children you are illegally putting on your income affadavit this year?"

To Mr. Polly: "After only living here for two years, how did you jump the list and get a two-bedroom apartment?"

Could laypersons manage to compact so much misinformation into such a small amount of space, or does it take a lawyer's touch?


Carefully timed to coincide with Candidate's Night, a masterpiece of concentrated untruth arrives in all 1,600 Muttonchop City mailboxes.

Oh the fatigue and eyestrain! More prevarication per square inch than Ahmed Chalabi's Medal of Freedom application. I can't set you straight lie-by-lie, but just as an example of MuttonChop Rights methodology:

  • see where it says that those "opposing *Fernando-Lamas reconstitutions argue that such and such a tax should be assessed"? That's entirely untrue. The *Bureau of Taxing People may charge a huge, honking tax on *ko-ops that priv---er, *monetize. Our poor little group, which should be called Cassandras for Fernanado-Lamas, has been WARNING that this big, honking tax MIGHT be assessed.
  • Our poor, little anti-*monetization group has never requested that the Bureau of Taxing People charge this big, honking tax; we don't have the power. If we are pushed over the cliff into Monetization, the last thing we want is that tax. The Bureau of Taxing People is looking into this tax because they want the money. They don't give a rat's behind what *Ko-operators for Fernando-Lamas want.
  • On the other hand, that honking big tax would be on the three to nine-hundred THOUSAND dollars that these apartments might fetch us at market rates, apartments we *ko-operators got, and pay almost nothing for, thanks to YOU THE TAXPAYER. THAT'S YOU THE TAXPAYER. WHO PAYS THE TAXES WE DON'T. YOU. NOT US. YOU.
  • Don't you think you should get your money back?

And later, more about the death threats!

It's late, Mr. Polly and I are tired. But yes, more death threats. Mr. Polly came back from Candidate's Night (Mrs. Polly cannot attend thanks to a predisposition to bullshit-induced nausea). According to some of the Monetizers, we are interfering with their God-Given right to monetize.

*all names, appearances and search terms have been changed to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors. Except that pale woman---she looks EXACTLY like that.


The Vertical Trailer Park, a non-fiction comic

*all names, search terms and some appearances changed to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Color Scheme

In a way, Hillary has Righty Wingnuts' undying admiration.
This little pink-and-black number is a tribute any Hillary supporter would be proud to wear. Oh, to be one of Hillary's Hellcats!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today is my father's birthday. Above, I present one of his favorite ties, complete with coffee stain. This tie went out on the town and soaked up some excellent conversation along with the occasional spot of Bordeaux.

For his birthday, I propose a holiday: Burtday. Take your wildest tie to dinner, laugh with your family and friends, fight for the check and over tip the waitstaff.

Or eat in, and donate what you would have spent. But still you can wear the tie, and drink a toast to wonderful wearers of wild ties, like my father.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pulp Non-Fiction: the Muttonchop City Election Guide

What if Ahmed Chalabi, Kathy Lee Gifford, Travis Bickle and Fredo Corleone ran for the board of the same apartment complex? You'd have election season at *Muttonchop City, the development for middling-income people where Mr. Polly and I all too really live. How awful is it? We escape from the tension by following the national election. That's how awful.

Muttonchop Election season heralds itself when beauties like this are slipped under Muttonchop doors:

from Donnie Angler, the lawyer who sued a 92-year-old lady for slander, this solid block of 4 point type completely filled the legal size paper. It didn't fit on our scanner.
Donnie Angler
One of New York's most colorful (single color, that is) neighborhoods moved almost as a single unit wholesale into Muttonchop, where they ran smack into another Ethnic group. Which Ethnic group? Doesn't matter--it's not the right one. Enough said.
From a proud mother of two, whose husband's name might have been---

oh, I don't know----Dominick?
Dom Boy, over six feet tall without his gelled hair spikes, stood up one Candidate's Night and thundered at the little Ethnic candidate: "ARE YOU GOING TO WORK FOR EVERYBODY, OR ARE YOU JUST HERE FOR THE ETHNICS?"

Finally, we have this from Toby Mugg, Esq., Personal Injury Lawyer, Titular Head of Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated, and counsel for Lonnie Angler, the lawyer who sued the 92 year old:
Note: the use of the word "NORMAL"--as in *ko-ops where people who haven't accepted subsidies can sell them for market rate. Muttonchop City IS subsidized----by YOU THE TAXPAYER. We pay 10% of the property taxes YOU pay. Mr. Polly and I pay $562 a month to live in a one bedroom, with balcony, including electricity and cable. We paid $25,000 for this *ko-op apartment in New York City, in a great location. We needed it, we qualified, and we are grateful and happy. YOU THE TAXPAYER made a difference in our lives. Now, if we sell our apartment for over ten times what we paid, don't you think YOU THE TAXPAYER should get your money back? YOUR property taxes are higher to cover the taxes we don't pay, year after year after year.Whew. Excuse me.
Mr. Mugg never uses the dirty word priv---oops, I can't either, it's that dirty, but it ends in "atization". I don't use it because I don't want my neighbors to Google this blog---we get death threats enough already---but Mr. Mugg doesn't want people using it because it sounds bad, it sounds so, so, so-----PRIVATE. So he uses "Normalize". And "Reconstitute." For convenience, we'll say "Monetization." But you know what we mean. When a lawyer tries to recast the language, you know he's up to something.

*all names, appearances and search terms changed to protect the Pollys from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Political Discourse in Twenty-First Century America

They tell you in Blogging school, first thing: unless you're aiming for a real niche market, don't nauseate your readers. So I hate to mention last night's Democratic debate. It stunk up the joint.

ABC thoroughly scraped its barrel bottom, where dwell Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopolous. The Costello and Costello of ABC did their best to put the moron in the oxymoron of TV journalism.
The first policy question, noted Andrew Sullivan, didn't occur till 53 minutes into the debate.
No, "debate" isn't the word for it. Show. The ABC Dumb Show.
Until minute 53, it was flag pins, Bosnia and bitterness. Mostly bitterness. On the part of the viewers.
ABC switchboard: 212-456-7777. Direct comment line: 818-460-7477.

Mr. Polly's position is that Reverend Wright, the flag pin question and the bitterness question are simply good excuses for whites looking for an excuse to not vote for a black. He thinks the country is too racist. I disagreed with him. I thought young people really don't have latent racism, really are beyond it, even if older voters still harbor prejudices they may not even recognize.

Perhaps Bill Clinton's rant against younger voters is because he feels this too. It's not that he's racist; he wants to blow Obama out of the----oops, unfortunate choice of words, he wants to torpedo Obama and regain the White House. For Hillary. Really.

Of course, Obama did remark that working-class Pennsylvania had problems that preceded Bush's presidency.

Bill took that as a slam against his spectacular legacy, and let the worser angels of his nature dictate what happened next: a full-out paranoid explosion. How dare Obama say that Bill never did anything for the working people of Pennsylvania! Well, Obama didn't say that. But let truthiness guide your spleen, and the rest is easy.

By now, you might suspect I'm not a fan of either Clinton. Not hardly.That being said, if by some exceptionally Byzantine politicking, Hillary gets the nomination, ugly as that thought is, I'll vote for her. Simply because she is likely to support policies I support. Policies. Policies. POLICIES!

Policy: "1. A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters. 2.a. A course of action, guiding principle, or procedure considered expedient, prudent, or advantageous. b. Prudence, shrewdness, or sagacity in practical matters."---American Heritage College dictionary, 3rd edition.

We are not a reasoning culture. We are a reactive culture. After eight surreal, disastrous years of the guy we wanted to have a beer with, we don't know better. Are we voting for plans of action? No. We're voting for mascots of what we've determined is our team. Which is the warm and fuzziest? The other mascot's fans are so mean! (note: any resemblance to the Joker is unintentionally intentional)

I visited the Hilary Clinton website, to look at the blog. Like the comments sections of all the big blogs, it's full of cheerleading and teenage angst-filled grousing---from forty-year-olds. " Did you read what those others said on their blog? They're such snobs. I'm never voting for their team. Well they started it." And on the other blog: " No you did." "No you did." "No, you did."
Hillary and Obama's policies are virtually identical. McCain's policies and Bush's policies are virtually identical. Which is it you want now, health care or no health care? Fewer wars, or more wars? Decide.

If you want warm and fuzzy, buy a Beanie Baby. Of course, they're all made in China....

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dishing Cindy McCain

So a lowly intern lifted Food Network recipes for the McCain campaign! So they tell us. Another gift-wrapped three minute filler for cable news's Chattering Classes. Stretched to ten minutes.

Actually, this non-story says much about the quality of Lowly Interns these days:

  1. Ethics: Even lowly unpaid interns should know enough not to plagiarize in anyone's name, much less that of a candidate for First Lady. After all, when they buy their term papers online, they pay for them fair and square.

  2. Stupidity: Nothing says tradition like exotic fruit desserts! Obviously, Lowly Intern is too young to remember a time when every family didn't have the resources to whip up a batch of Passionfruit Mousse. I love going through my Gramma's recipe box and taking out that dog-eared card, written in her elegant copperplate, for oil-poached Meyer Lemons with Yuzu gastrique.

  3. Tastelessness: Rachel Ray, for God's sake. They plagiarized Rachel Ray. Inventor of the Cheeseburger Salad.

And in particular, the passionfruit mousse recipe also calls for baby bananas and a blowtorch. How's that for elitist?

16 years ago,Elite Big Lawyer Hillary outraged the citizenry by announcing that she wasn't staying home baking cookies. Then in expiation she had to produce a chocolate chip cookie recipe for the nation's consumption. And she did, differing only slightly from the recipe on the chocolate chip bag. Although it really ought to be Bill's turn to show off his kitchen chops, at least with a barbecued something, it's still Hillary's cookie recipe in the paper (Hillary's F.U. Cookies) along with Lawyer Michelle Obama's Apple Cobbler and Beer Heiress Cindy's purloined passionfruit.

To be sure, the Obama Cobbler sounds good, fattening, and easy to make: toss a bag of frozen apples with sugar and spices, stash them in the fridge overnight, "so the spice goes all through the apples"--an evocative, compelling phrase---and sling them into a pan with sticks of butter and ready-made piecrust dough. Bake until "it's all crusty on top like Obama likes it." Obama? Hell, everybody! Nothing elitist about all crusty on top cobbler.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dirty MacroPoliticks

This is the actual office-issued campaign flier for the anti *monetization* board candidate here at Muttonchop City. All the candidates are included in one official handout, but nobody else's picture was so unrecognizable. *Vincent is convinced it was done on purpose, and fired off an Email to *Will Waskoal, the pro-*monetization President of the Board.
Will and his *Monetizers control the board, and instituted "open" board meetings---except that all the real business is done behind closed doors, beforehand, without the input of Vincent and the two other anti*Monetizers. The rest is theatre.
Note from Mr. Polly: he just got back from visiting the 95-year-old lady who had been sued by another *Monetizer represented by the titular head of *Muttonchop Rights (She was a springy 91 at the time). She's had a death threat: someone mailed her one of her anti-Monetization letters to the editor, with this message: "Die ASAP, You Piece of Sh*t."

*all names, appearances and search terms changed to protect Mr. and Mrs. Polly from the wrath of their lovely neighbors.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The news is that the President of the United States said in an ABC interview that he knew his top advisors specifically discussed what tortures our country should apply: which, how often, when, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation:

This is one day after Associated Press reported that administration officials "took care to insulate Bush." Naturally, Bush didn't get that memo.

That's real news. We aren't hearing it, though. Instead, networks prefer the easy, research and reporting-free option of sitting in TV studios, replaying the soundbite of the day to rent-a-pundits.

While the chattering classes--CNN, MSNBC, et al. enjoy the no-thinking-necessary bitter primary horserace, bloggers sit at home, calling our outrage each to each.

Lord knows calling Bush a pimply-bottomed frog detonator on a blog is temporarily satisfying, but let's not mistake it for action. Sending money to anti-torture candidates is better but sometimes it's not enough either.

The phone number for the ABC switchboard is 212-456-7777. I called it. Essie the operator asked if I wanted the comment line. I told her I preferred a human, so she put me through to the newsroom. I told the young woman who answered that ABC had run an interview with the President and Martha Raddatz (on the phone, nobody cares how you spell) about his awareness that his top advisors had discussed torture, and that I wanted the story to get more play.
"Okay! I'll pass that along! Thank you!" said the sprightly newsroom minion.
This meagre act of non-heroism took one minute, without requiring me to disconnect from these my homely comforts even a little bit. But it may have had some slight effect. So instead of hammering away in the comments sections of digby and crooksandliars exclusively, complain to the offenders themselves:

And for blasting off actual letters on your most impressive letterhead:

NBC News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10011
Anybody who wants to provide other actual addresses and phone numbers, go right ahead.
Just be nice to Essie. She only works there.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just Because Just Because, It's Spring It's Spring It's Spring

heralding balmy zephyrs
The new post, Muttonchop City II, is actually below, listed as April 9th. That's when I started it, but it's just freshly finished, all new, all true, today. Now to get out of the house and into the blooming groves. So scroll down, past Randi Rhodes, and then get outside!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

R.R. Gives A.A. The Air, Moves to San Francisco

There goes the franchise...or most of it. Take-no-prisoners talk show host Randi Rhodes quit Air America rather than back down from calling Hillary a f#%&ing whore at a San Francisco comedy club. (See 1st Randi Rhodes post--yes folks, I should be able to link to it, but I can't).

The station for which she was appearing has snapped her up, and, intriguingly, seems to be part of two liberal networks: AA, and Nova M radio. Nova M radio has glommed onto other ex-AA hosts, was started by AA founders, and seems to be learning from AA's assorted blunders.

Hillary supporter Mark Green recently bought the AA network, and may have been instrumental in RR's decision to jump, instead of climbing down from her high dudgeon. Or not, because his purchase is worth ever so much less now. She was the only experienced AA host, and she brought her own audience with her. Those who can, will stream her when she begins her new show Monday:

The question of whether Hillary should have been called a big f#&%ing whore, is or is not a big f#%&ing whore, and insults intended or unintended to regular big f#$%ing whores will be addressed when I get over the flu I'm evidently coming down with.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pulp Non-Fiction: Muttonchop City II

Another chapter in the real true story of the Vertical Trailer Park where we live, *Muttonchop City:"I wouldn't be telling you this if you weren't Jewish, but people here want to crush your skull." The comradely concern of the messenger, Mr. *Blatz, (profession: taxi driver. Rumored favorite sleeping companion: his gun) was only outweighed by the hatred radiating from his sunken, bloodshot eyes. Oh, I am corrected here by Mr. P; Mr. Blatz actually said people wanted him to have an accident in the elevator. Like decapitation. Mr. P and I aren't everybody's best friends here in *Muttonchop City ever since Mr. P helped start the *Kooperators for Fernando-Lamas And Against Greediness*.

Let's call the other movement here *Monetizers, (It's actually "Priv"--oops! Avoiding the search engines, you know. But you can figure it out---ends in "atizers") and their group *Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated. They wish to sell their you-the-taxpayer-subsidized *kooperatives for market rate, much more than they agreed to when they moved here. *Muttonchop City's a complex built in the 70's under the*Fernando Lamas program. The intent was to help out middle class city people facing a housing crunch. Mr. Fernando and Mr. Lamas didn't foresee the crunch getting---crunchier. Now, loopholes subsequently added to their legislation allow Fernando-Lamas kooperatives to vote themselves out of the program and into the market---at the expense of losing the special tax umbrella, and barring other middle-income people from being able to move in, forever.

Never, ever tell Muttonchop City residents they're subsidized. No, they're compensated for moving here--this neighborhood was nothing, they made this neighborhood! So they're entitled to reap the profits from selling out. The unending toil of living in a high-rise apartment with a balcony needs to be rewarded.

Even some of the people in our own group can't admit their homes are subsidized. "Oh no," intoned our eminence gris *Vincent Piano. "Not subsidized--we get tax benefits, but so do many buildings." Indeed---but they don't get nine-tenths of their property tax forgiven, by law, every year. Costing the rest of you-the-taxpayers. This tax break is the continuing glory of the *Fernando Lamas program. It's why Mr. P and I paid less for our balcony and our view than a Tennessee resident would pay for a double-wide.

The titular head of Muttonchop Rights, Incorporated, is a personal injury lawyer, *Toby Mugg, Esq. That's almost condemnation enough right there. Peace, trial lawyers, you know some of your colleagues make you cringe. Lawyer Mugg is one of them. His skills are unquestionably excellent for what Muttonchop Rights, Inc. needs to do: encourage the mar---I mean client, to feel injured. Imagine all of Muttonchop City wearing a giant whiplash collar.

But the real brains of the outfit is a quiet man who'd have been good in espionage work: *Will Wascoal.
He's an administrator. He's also President of the Board. Note his shell-pink ear is ideally formed for rumor collection. Then his pearly white brain cognites upon what he hears, and his spidery fingers pull the Muttonchop City strings.

One of his continual headaches, or two perhaps, are the *Anglers, Lonnie and her criminal lawyer husband Donald. Donnie, a ringer for Jerry Lewis' Nutty Professor, specializes in frivolous lawsuits: he once sued a 91 year-old lady for slander.
She had complained to the Board that he threatened her. Muttonchop Rights' titular head, Toby Mugg, was his attorney.

The suit was laughed out of court. Mr. Mugg and Mr. Angler parted company thereafter. The Anglers' temprements don't lend themselves to direction, so they are now independent Monetizers, running their own third-party candidate every year, assuring that one of Muttonchop Rights' candidates loses to one of ours.

While Donnie terrorizes 91 year olds, his spouse handles the rest of the world: almost anybody is subject to Lonnie's outbreaks of bizarre, hostile behavior. She once tried to snatch a paper out of the hands of one of our group at a meeting, and the two women had to be separated. She sneered,"Sit down, old woman," at another target, and, to a third, "Everybody laughs at you--you deserve to be laughed at."

She once actually, touchingly, prepared an exhibit for Mr. Polly: she approached him with an article about the resurgence of his old, outer-borough neighborhood. "You should move back," she told him. "You're a miserable man who likes making everybody else unhappy."

"Lonnie, I've heard a lot about you, and may I say you've lived up to your reputation," Mr. Polly replied.

Lonnie stomped off and found her husband. Observers in the field (at a safe distance) later reported lip reading," are you going to let him talk to me that way?"

Shortly thereafter, Donnie Angler approached Mr. Polly: "Well, well, I've heard a lot about you too!" he sputtered, "and you live up to everything I've heard about you!"

"Thank you." said Mr. Polly. Lonnie has been giving him a wide berth since then.

After Mr. Blatz conveyed his message to Mr. Polly, I began to carry pepper spray. I wondered if this was enough. I considered what other weaponry might be legal, effective, and available.
A nail gun. On his show, Keith Olbermann had shown a montage : X-rays of the otherwise empty skulls pierced by home depot's best: real friendly fire.
Sad to say, nail guns aren't good to use as concealed weapons. They're large, they have to be pressed against the targeted surface, usually, and the ones with the real fire power require air compressors. I couldn't very well ask our home intruder to wait while I plugged in the air compressor.
We finally divulged to Vincent Piano that Mr. Polly had been threatened. "Ohh, that," said Mr. Piano. "We've ALL been threatened! It's a rite of passage. You get used to it."
Not so far.
*Names, keywords, and appearances changed to protect Mr. and Mrs. Polly. Actually, the portraits aren't technically accurate, but spiritually, oh yes.

Muttonchop City Part One: Election Season Home Opener

THIS JUST IN: Newly arrived under our door, the first evil snowflake. Board election season is opening, as if one ugly election weren't enough. Soon we'll have the same blizzard of hatemail, accusations and verbal projectile vomiting. Mr. P and I are, guess what, the opposition.
Here's where I try to hide from my neighbors' search engines: we live in an apartment complex, *Muttonchop City,* that's part of the *Fernando Lamas* Program. Anyone searching Fernando Lamas for real, you can stay, but you won't find him here. More important, the neighbors who've threatened Mr. P and me won't find us here.

If you live in New York, you might know that a program sounding like the *Fernando Lamas* Program created buildings throughout the city for the non-wealthy. It allows middle class people to live in either rentals or kooperatives for very little. Kooperatives: non-googleable misspelling. Fairly large, elevators, laundry rooms and landscaping--nice. More than the residents would ever be able to hope for otherwise. Your tax dollars at work.

These complexes were often built in what were remote areas that have since become hot neighborhoods. If your income qualifies, you enter a lottery for a space on a waiting list, and should you win the lottery, you wait for years, and finally you're notified that you're in. Or you can cheat; Fernando Lamas buildings are full of professional, highly competant cheaters. And people who got here honestly, like Mr. P and me.

The proviso is that you can only sell the place for what you paid. Mr. Fernando and Mr. Lamas didn't foresee the kooperatives growing intensely valuable. A loophole in their law allows kooperatives to vote on whether to stay in the program, or leave it. By leave it, I mean gather all the profit on the now valuable kooperative you helped them buy with your taxes. Take the place private. Which also screws everybody on the waiting list. It's like the immigration debate, in a way: We got in, now you stay out.

When Mr. P and I first moved in, we thought *Muttonchop City* would be full of residents skipping through the plaza singing "Tralala! We live for nothing in the heart of Gotham! Whee!"
They don't do that. The corner pizzeria owner says these are the sourest beings he has ever encountered. "They've forgotten where they came from," he told us. "I grew up like they did--in a tenement, walk-up apartment: bathtub in the kitchen, the toilet in the hall--no elevator. No nice tiled shower. No laundry room. Now they got used to their good fortune and it's not enough for them. They come in and chew over how everybody's screwing them, while I'm paying thousands of dollars more a month than they do and I don't have a balcony! I'd give my left one to live here! They're the unhappiest SOBs, I'm telling you, I've never seen anything like it. "

*Names, key words and search terms changed to protect Mr. and Mrs. Polly

Iraq-Ribbed Republicans

The Three Foreheads of the Apocalypse

Once the conservatives accept their nominee, and he accepts them, Hell will experience a hard frost. And so will cartoonists; John McCain is hard to draw. His square, All-American jaw has softened into jowelly chipmunk cheeks, which, when c0mbined with near-eyebrowlessness and expanse of overhanging, luminous forehead, drawn imprecisely, could slop over into Rush Limbauggery. That would be mid-addiction, middleweight Limbauggery; lately Rush has risen, like an unbaked bun, to new, doughy heights, his little poppy-seed eyes have all but disappeared. I'd say he's off the Oxycontin. For now.

I checked out the cartoon archive at Slate, and sure enough, all the political cartoonists are having trouble with McCain. Most, including Luckovich, (who does the funniest W I've ever seen), have to label McCain. They usually put a McCain button on him. Otherwise, he's a generic old guy with white hair.

Karl Rove is astonishingly easy to draw, for somebody who is essentially featureless. His bland Scandinavian pastiness is interrupted by surprisingly liquid blue eyes, with dark lashes. Rather like Damien. His baby-smooth brow says that persecuting Democrats and smearing war heroes doesn't interfere with his sleep any.

Employing the same group who once smeared him and his family, including his little adopted daughter (from Bangladesh, called "John McCain's black love-child" in a notorious telephone push-poll during McCain's run against Bush in 2000), may have caused McCain to lose sleep.

But I doubt it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I Busted Petraeus

Really! General Petraeus came to the Armed Forces committee hearing armed with an array of pretty charts, showing provinces now more under control than ever before except for sometimes and in certain places arguably not, and then these two beauties:

Is that an 8 billion dollar projection, or are they just glad to see us? How can it be accurate unless we're lending/giving them the money?

Then we have this:
The surge was working just great, till recently, when the corner we thought we'd turned brought us back to the last corner we thought we'd turned. Perhaps we're just circling a square post.

John McCain, as the co-chair, luminous as a light bulb, made his opening statement supporting the war, because if we were to withdraw, what would Al-Queda In Iraq think? So we must continue to make war because we're worried about what the enemy will think of us.

The hearing was also notable for introducing the Sons of Iraq. They are concerned Iraqi civilians who just want a free country, like our Sons of Liberty, who were trying to throw off the yoke of colon----um, well, the analogy breaks down a little. Well, and unlike the Sons of Liberty, being a Son of Iraq is a paid position.

They do say freedom ain't free.

Friday, April 4, 2008


That's Our Girl!

How Do You Make a Hormone?

Compare her to Hillary Clinton. Old jokes, newly mutilated. Thanks, folks, the tip jar is on the piano.

Randi Rhodes, squawky motormouth host on Air America, has been suspended for a routine she did at a comedy club, where she likened Hillary to a prostitute, and Geraldine Ferraro too, by the most direct route:


"You know why she's a big f&%$ng whore? Because her deal is always, 'Read the fine print, a%%&*le!' Not quite what Air America had in mind for their on-air personalities, even when the personalities aren't on the air, so they suspended her--after her routine was uploaded to Youtube.

Leaving aside all the important issues, civility/freedom, Obama/Hillary, this really upset my mother, the redoubtable Louise. RL has been a fan of Randi's since Air America was a weak, mewling infant network, much as it is today. Randi's four hour Tarzan yell of a show gave a voice, a harsh, funny, New York honking voice, to Mom's frustrations as they had never been voiced before (except by Mom, every blinking day of her adult life. But let's not get into that).

The Redoubtable Louise has also been a ferocious defender of the Clintons, from the first fuzzy tone that blatted out of Bill's saxophone. "He's brilliant, brilliant!" she would say. How my father sighed when she swept all the nice James Beard cookbooks off the dining room shelf and replaced them with Al Franken books. "They're my weapons," she said, her eyes narrowed.

RL devotedly followed Air America through its travails, as her favorite shows were cancelled, loyally supporting even Jerry Springer's Radio Snoozefest. Who knew the Ringmaster of Topless Chairthrowing Lesbians could be so dull? When AA was dropped by its original "flagship," Mom tried to follow the beleaguered network across the dial to its new, underpowered station (the flag-dinghy). Of all the shows, only Randi's air-horn delivery was audible, on certain days, on the radio in the upstairs bathroom.

Split Down the Middle

The Redoubtable Louise called me to urge that Mr. P. and I send money to Hillary. After being subjected to barking laughter on my end of the phone, RL said, "You're just prejudiced against her!" "No," I said, "I've just never heard of a candidate in one party saying that the nominee of the other party was better than her primary opponent."

"Nonsense! You just want to throw her to the curb!"

If I were smart, I'd have said, "Mom, I want to thank your generation for all the struggles you went through for us, and we'll never throw you to the curb." But color me deaf to nuance.

"Mom, guess what! Randi Rhodes was suspended for calling Hillary Clinton a whore!"

That took the ginger out of Mom: (Cautiously) " Why would Randi say that?"

"I don't know," I said, "Perhaps it had something to do with Hillary cozying up to Richard Mellon Scaife!"

"Cozying up to Mellon-Scaife!" Pause. "I don't even want to hear it. I don't even want to know,"she said weakly. "You know, it's about time I got ready for bed. I have to floss my teeth."


Well, he is the publisher of the Pittsburgh Gazette, after all. So all the years he hounded the Clintons, the vendettas against their hapless friends, the book and then the movie about Mellon-Scaife that my mother eagerly devoured (the Hunting of the President), did not stop Hillary from marching in to the Pittsburgh Gazette and sitting down with the guy.

To be fair, I'd have gone too if I were Hillary, just out of simple curiosity, to see if he exudes sulphur in person the way he does on the page. But it was all too much for my mother.