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, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Hello, my name is Ashley, and I’ll be your server this evening.  This summer, our chef has a season long special: WeinerSpitzle.  WeinerSpitzle is an only in NY combination of hubris, stupidity, perversion, and blatant disregard for the law.  We take a little bit of working class Bronx-boy-made-good-goes-bad, mix it in with the fallen star of an uber-powerful real estate dynasty, and serve it up to voters too shocked at the utter gall of it not to order it. So far, it’s the clear winner!

 

Only in NY.

 

It’s hard to believe that this election cycle we have not one but two formerly-disgraced-now-looking-for-redemption politicians in the mix.  Former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s transgression – mistakenly sending semi-nude (not even nude!) photos of his – ahem, weiner – out on Twitter, rather than to a private, consenting adult, and then blatantly lying about it, was stupid and showed lack of judgement and lack of respect for his wife, but wasn’t criminal.   Elliot Spitzer, on the other hand, flaunted the laws he had sworn to protect first as Attorney General, and then as land-slide elected Governor, when he frequented a “high-class prostitute”. (I love the distinction – isn’t  “high class” prostitute an oxymoron?  Do high class hookers have better manners?  Do low class whores chew with their mouths open?)

And now they both want back in. And according to a poll released today - they just may get their wish. (more…)

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Wordless Wednesday: DNC 1992


I was there. Tonight, he’s here.

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Bulletstorm

Image by Dekuwa via Flickr

Remember a few years back when Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction gave the youth of America a glimpse of her breast? People went bananas.  “Our kids saw that!” They cried. And the courts fined CBS for broadcasting the flash of flesh. But right now, there are any number of video games that encourage players to beat people to death, to rape women, to blow off people’s heads, and this week, the Supreme Court said kids don’t need to be protected from that.

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that a California Law banning the sale of violent video games to minors violates those minors’ first amendment rights, and was – as a lower court had determined – unconstitutional.

Justice Antonin Scalia argued that while sexual content has long been regulated for children, there is no precedent for limiting children’s access to violent content. The Court determined that the government’s “legitimate power to protect children from harm… does not include a free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed.”

So what the Supreme Court is saying is, kids shouldn’t be exposed to sex, but if they rack up points by shooting someone – more points for shooting them in the head, and even more for shooting them in their private parts while playing a video game (in Bulletstorm), or if they shoot up a street full of Russian civilians whose blood spatters everywhere (Modern Warfare 2) — well, that’s freedom of speech. (more…)

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A navy photographer snapped this photograph of...

Image via Wikipedia

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the terrible attack on US Soil that finally (finally) got the United States to fully engage in World War II, and not too many people seem to care.

Of course there are remembrances here and there, and moments of silence on military bases and ships around the globe, but in the general, everyday consciousness of Americans…this huge, historic, sad, shocking event is all but forgotten.  I know virtually no details of what happened.  But from what I hear, for years and years afterwards, it was treated the same way the September 11th attacks are treated now. So what happened?

You might say, well, it’s been 69 years.  No one remembers.  But I wonder, would you be so quick to dismiss commemoration of the 9/11 attacks?  Can you imagine a time when no one really thinks about the those attacks anymore?  When the site downtown is just another place of business? The Plaza they build just another place for office workers to catch some rays, have a cigarette, and enjoy their lunch?  It seems impossible.  But so did it seem impossible for the same thing to happen with Pearl Harbor.

And yet here we are.

Is there a shelf-life for remembrance?  Is there an expiration date on honoring those who lost their lives in a tragic attack?

Every year in NYC on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, the families of those who died gather and listen and the names of the dead are read aloud.   If the attitude towards the anniversary of Pearl Harbor is any indication, that level of remembrance will be long over, long before I’ve forgotten that day.  In some day in the not-too-distant future, the 9/11 attacks will be reduced to a mention on the local news and an interview with some octogenarian who was there. Seems impossible, but inevitable.

I’m not even sure how I feel about that.  Maybe it’s better not to hold onto our grief forever.  Maybe it’s healthier not to relive, year after year, our loss.  Maybe, once the vast majority of people directly effected by the loss of life – the families and friends – of those who died have died themselves, it’s time to move on.

But maybe we shouldn’t forget.  Maybe the names of those who died in Pearl Harbor should be read aloud every year, even if there aren’t as many people standing there to hear them.

Living through September 11th, smelling the smoke days later, cooking and delivering food to the people working at the site in the days and months following the attacks, watching week after week of funerals at the church around the corner – funerals for firefighters, and fathers, and secretaries, and who knows who else…it’s not something I want to remember…but it’s certainly something I’ll never forget.

I may not have been alive during the Pearl Harbor attacks. And before September 11th, 2001, Pearl Harbor Day may not have been on my radar.  But it is now.  So to those who did live through it.  Or to those who lost family and friends.  Here’s to you. Here’s to the men (because then, it was mostly men) who lost their lives.

You are not forgotten.

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Now that it’s all over, now that John McCain has gone back to Mavericking, and Barak Obama has gone on to make history, now that Joe Sixpack only has empties, Joe Biden has the Vice Presidency, and Joe the Plumber has gone back to doing whatever it is an unlicensed plumber does,  I can’t help but wonder: what’s Sarah Palin going to do?

Here are some ideas for What Sarah Palin Can do, now that she won’t be in the runner-up position, ready to assume the winner’s duties, should, for some reason, he be unable, unwilling, or unelected to fulfill them:

1. She could start her own line of eye-wear.

I’m not talking just any eyeglasses.  I’m talking the kind that Sarah Palin has.  The kind that let you see who the “real Americans’ are.  With these glasses, everyone would know who was a “real American” and who was just a tax paying, law-abiding, free-choice supporting, Chardonnay drinking liberal.  They’d know who they could sell a house to (not some un-American), who they should hire for a new job (no un-Americans allowed!), who they should allow to marry (un-Americans need not apply.)

They’d sale like moose-cakes.

2. She could be her own action figure.

Imagine the possibilities!!  Paratrooper Palin! Comes clad in her own skin-tight fatigues and spiked army boots with an additional $150,000 wardrobe fit for any climate!  Six pack, moose and rifle sold seperately.

3. She could host her own game show:

Are you Smarter Than a Vice Presidential Candidate?  Regular Americans would face-off against the political beauty and try not be stumped by such tough questions as: what newspapers do you read?  What does the Vice President do? And can you spell MAVERICK?

4. She could get her own show on Fox News.

Sadly, I’m not joking.  She’d fit right in: no regard for facts, no ability or desire to hide her complete and total bias, and an uncanny ability to make the absurd seem reasonable. Plus, she could break up that boring old news genre with a talent portion of the show each night.

Monday Night: Moose Dressing (by which I mean undressing, in the most permanent sense.)

Tuesday night: Pageant Walking (thanks Tina Fey),

Wednesday Night: A guest appearance by Todd…and his snow mobile (how manly)!

Thursday Night: guess how many more babies I’m going to have game, and

Friday Night: a duet with former US Attorney General John Ashcroft of “Let the Eagle Soar” fame.

It’ll be a ratings phenomenon.

5. She could land on an aircraft carrier (clad in her skin-tight fatigues and spiked army boots) and declare victory for John McCain.

The Republicans already have a precedent for this. Declare war whether you’re right or not, then declare victory whether you’ve won or not.  There are endless permutations along these lines: declare knowledge, whether you have any or not, declare experience whether you’ve had any that’s relevant or not, declare maverick status every chance you get.

6. She could go back to Alaska just in time for the frigid, snowy, winter, get trapped in her home by an avalanche, and then float away sometime in the early spring when the thaw comes much earlier than expected because of global warming, and never be seen or heard from again.

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

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I walked past a job fair yesterday.  Usually, I find them quaint: young, fresh faced, newly graduated and full of hope candidates line up, looking excited at the prospect of their first job, their grown-up life.

This group of people, however, looked neither young, nor fresh-faced, nor hopeful.  I saw middle-aged men in expensive looking business suits who looked shell-shocked, as if they couldn’t understand where they were.  I saw 30-something wheeler-dealer types, who until the last few weeks had probably thought themselves invincible. There more people lined up for that job fair than I’d ever seen.  The line snaked down Sixth Avenue, across 19th Street, and around the corner of 18th Street almost halfway to 7th Avenue.  For the first time, I saw the ramifications of the current financial crisis up close.  These people weren’t starting out excited down the path to success, they were desperately clinging to what they already had, and were afraid to lose.

To most people, the financial crisis is happening in some mysterious place called Wall Street.  Evidently, the rest of America is “Main Street” and only this one street — the epicenter of the crisis, the “ground zero” of the financial downfall, is to blame.  To New Yorkers, Wall Street isn’t some figurative place, some metaphor for greed.  It’s just another street, with offices, and shops and a few not-very-good restaurants. It’s just another part of the City we call home. (more…)

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Today, I got this email from my brother:

Gee willikers, wasn’t Sarah Palin swell last night. Let those East
Coast media elites
say what they will, but that was one heckuva
whizbang show ole Sarah put on. Gosh oh golly she was great. What a
nifty VP she’ll make, dontcha think?

For those of you who aren’t from New York:  that’s called sarcasm.

Because while Sarah Palin didn’t humiliate herself, didn’t fumble, didn’t tell anyone she’d “get back to” ‘em. She also didn’t impress anyone (certainly not my brother, a proud, card carrying, ivy-educated member of the East Coast Elite) with the depth of her intellect and understanding.  Still, give credit where credit is due.  It was a great performance.  I can’t wait to see how she does in the evening gown portion of the event.

What my brother doesn’t know is, and what secret sources have recently revealed to this blogger, is that that wasn’t  really Sarah Palin up there.  It was (scary music sting) STEPFORD SARAH.

Whereas most candidates are coached before a debate, Sarah Palin was, quite literally, programmed, evidently by a former writer of that great American show, Hee-Haw.  Stepford Sarah was programmed in folksy overdrive.  I half expected her to ask for a break so she could check on the RV she had parked outside, grab a brewsky, and make sure she didn’t let down her bowling league on their big night.

Lord knows I’m fair and impartial, so I’ll admit that Joe Biden was working the working class thing, too.  But at least when he said “working class” there was a “g” at the end of the word.

I have done some quick mathematical calculation of the folksiness quotient of each of the debators.  You’ll see that it clearly shows that Sarah Palin was folksier by a quotient of Chuckie Cheese³. Click here to see my expert mathematical calculation of folksiness

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Ok. So he didn’t really change his slogan. He might as well have.

I mean, far be it from me to accuse a decorated war hero of being less than patriotic…but does anyone out there really believe that McCain was thinking “Country First” when he picked the TOTALLY unprepared (albeit quite perky) Sarah Palin as his running mate? I think not. I think it was out with Country First and in with Campaign First. And now that Palin is being exposed as the underinformed lightweight that she is (thanks, Katie) I think McCain should dump her and pick someone new as his running mate. I’ve already nominated myself and Anna Faris, but here are a few more suggestions:

1. David Hasselhoff

Hey, this guy could really shore up our foreign relations. Not only do they love The Hoff in Germany, but he’s a HUGE hit in — well, everywhere. This is a quote from his own social network (and any guy with his own social network knows how to use “the Google” for sure.)

In my travels round (sic) the world I have always been surprised that no matter where I go people recognize and know me, from Europe, Australia and India to the Philippines and the Zulu Nation in South Africa. This got me thinking… I realized that while two people from two entirely different countries and backgrounds may seem to have nothing in common, the only thing they might have in common is me.

He’s not just looking out his window at other countries, people in other countries are looking at him — in a bathing suit! The Hoff even knows about The Zulu Nation!!

Plus, we all know he makes measured, fair decisions. His judgment is sound. Haven’t you seen him on America’s Got Talent?

2. Elmo

Who could not like Elmo? World leaders would find him so darn cute they’d put aside petty complaints like our unfounded invasions of other countries, the war crimes perpetrated against detainees in Abu Gharaib and GTMO, and our infliction of Paris Hilton on the world at large.

He’s excellent at teaching all about cooperation, this guy could reach right across the aisle with his furry little hand.  Also, remember all that hullabaloo about the Alaska governor’s private jet? Elmo doesn’t need a jet! Just fold him up, put him in a suitcase, and you’re set to go.

Of course, having a president with a puppet as VP would take some adjusting. We’re so used to it being the other way around.

3. Bullwinkle.

For all those deeply disturbed by Palin’s propensity for mooseburgers. This guy IS a moose! The Anti-Palin incarnate!!

4. Glinda the Good Witch

There’s just something about Palin that reminds me of Glinda. So if McCain chooses her (and yes, I know she’s fictional….this whole exercise is fictional…do you really think I think McCain is going to believe that The Hoff knows anything abou the Zulu nation?) Anyway — if McCain chooses Glinda, he’ll have a change, but he’ll still have a perky, can-do, kinda gal. And the similarities don’t end there:

  • Like Palin, Glinda flies. Granted, the Good Witch flies without a helicopter or assault rifle, and instead of killing defenseless little furry creatures, she saves defenseless little munchkin creatures…but let’s not nitpick, shall we?
  • In the face of difficulty, Glinda doesn’t blink. She may flutter her eyelashes a lot, but she doesn’t blink. Did you see her take on The Wicked Witch of the West? You can’t blink.  You just can’t.
  • Palin is kept from the media in a protective bubble. Glinda travels in an actual bubble.

The similarities are mind-boggling!

5. Tina Fey

This one is a no-brainer.  She does a pitch perfect impression of Palin…but she has a brain!! It’s Palin without Palin! All the perkiness, all the spunk, she even wears glasses! Plus, if things ever get awkward on an international visit, she can always do a comic riff to loosen things up a bit. An added bonus…she’s friends with Alec Baldwin. Much better than that snow-mobiling hick the real Palin hangs around with.

There you have it. A comprehensive, vetted list of a “vast variety” (to quote Scary Sarah) replacements for Sarah Palin should McCain choose to dump her at this late date. (As if!) They all have name recognition, they all know have experience handling the “gotcha media,” and they all have at least as much claim on the job as Palin.

I hope he picks David Hasselhoff, though.  He’s got that really cool car! Kitt is way better than a motorcade. It’s even got artificial intelligence. So it’ll fit right in with the rest of the Republican administration. The Maverick and The Hoff. Makes as much sense as anything else that’s been happening this election. I like it.

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Last night, I went to see a neighbor’s cabaret show.  You know, one of those things where you rent out the space, hire the band, and then invite all your friends to pay a cover charge, drink the two drink minimum and come to hear you sing.  And all I could think about, the whole time I sat there, was Sarah Palin.  Because  – and this is just between you and me — my neighbor can’t sing.  I mean, he can carry a tune and all.  But that’s about it.  The thing is, though, he was good.   Neighbor Man is a great performer.  He was charming.  He was funny.  He was warm.  He was, quite clearly, having the time of his life.  And so I didn’t (much) care that when he held a note for more than a beat or so it started to go flat.  I didn’t care that his voice was, shall we say, less than fabulous.  He was truly entertaining. I liked him.

I think that that’s how people feel about Sarah Palin.  Maybe she doesn’t know her stuff.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough experience, maybe she can’t really sing, but gosh darnit, isn’t she just the greatest?

Last night in her exclusive interview on CBS news, Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin to give her even  “one example of John McCain pressing for more regulation” on Wall Street.

“He’s a Maverick.” Palin answered, non-sequitorally.

Couric pressed again, asking for a specific example.

“Well, we need to really be behind new regulations.”

Couric, promising that she wouldn’t beat this to the ground, asked one last time for specific examples.

“I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring ‘em to ya.” answered Palin.  Her folksy smile and phony eyeglasses gleaming for the cameras.

So there you have it:  she can’t sing, but she’s entertaining.

On the Cabaret stage, when your friends are in the house, that’s a good thing.  But on the international stage, when the country and the world are depending on you — well, you’d better have your facts straight.. or at least your script;  you’d better be able to belt it out like Bette or Barbara.

Because out there in the real world, where everyone isn’t your friend, charm and likability just aren’t enough.  And even a really big cover charge won’t cover that up.

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Every time I see Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen (runner up), mother of many, not all that experienced governor of a state that has about as many residents as my building.  I cannot believe that John McCain would do this.  I mean, why not pick Elisabeth Hasselbeck?  She’s cute. She’s conservative.  And people have actually HEARD of her. Or, why not just pick me?  Never mind that I’m a  pro-choice, pro-gun control, seriously left of center liberal — I don’t blink. I stay the course.  And I really need my glasses.

But in case you still need convincing…read on

1. I am the Mayor of my own domain.

  • I do all the budgeting (you try to send two kids to private school in NYC).
  • I do all the scheduling: gymnastics, piano, guitar, roller blading, cooking, Tae Kwan Do.(It’s a wonder they have time for school at all.)
  • I take meetings about matters important to my constituency: how much tv can they watch, when can they get a dog, do they have to kiss their Great Uncle hello, even though he’s the kind of guy strangers offer to buy food for when they see him on the street?
  • Pretty much everything I do is a photo op, what with the cuteness of my little ones.

(more…)

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