Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Did You Know Joe Biden's, like, Old?

Bish plz.

Did I hear this correctly? Did I hear Sarah Palin mocking Joe Biden for being old?

"I'm looking forward to meeting him. I've never met him," she said at a rally here. "I've been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, the second grade."

Like, OMG, I did hear that correctly! About 27 seconds into the video, check out McCain leaning in to wife Cindy right after that statement to ask what she said, and then laughing heh-heh-heh afterwards. It's not an insult when Sarah Palin does it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Palin update

Since I look to be spending the rest of the day on hold with various financial customer service reps as I continue to track down the swath of destruction my identity thief has left across the greater Southwest (motherfucker), it's as good a time as any to fling up the best Palin videos from the weekend. First, Jack Cafferty saying out loud what I honestly didn't think I'd hear a regular news guy say out loud on TV.

The second best part is him smacking down Wolf Blitzer's lame "but she was cramming a lot of information in there" excuse for her. The best best thing is Couric not even trying to hide her contempt. Which was dripping off her face and probably soaking the carpet. Call it what it is. Palin was playing McCain Mad Libs. We are fucked.

The scary thing about this one? Tina Fey's lines are lifted almost verbatim from Palin's actual responses to Katie Couric.

This post not sponsored by T-Mobile or Sprint, since Boltgirl totally anti-endorses them now for the unnerving way in which they apparently shrug and start up accounts for people whose "name" does not match the name on the credit report that comes back on the social security number they give. Which would be mine.

An Open Letter

To the nice person in Glendale who thought it would be fun to use my name and social security number to open cell phone accounts and lord knows what else: the next time you go to the trouble of the whole identity theft thing, you might as well pick someone who has actual assets. And since I don't like having to talk to credit reporting agencies, and really don't like people stealing my good name and heretofore sterling credit score, well, fuck you. Hope you cut some killer drug deals with the phones before they were cut off this morning, asshole.

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Is Here to Help!

Dare I say it? Uh... thanks, but no thanks.

Six days of contentious negotiations looked like they were just about to culminate in a bailout proposal that House Democrats, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans didn't necessarily love, but could at least shudder equally at, when things came to a screeching halt courtesy of everyone's favorite screechers, House Republicans.
The result was a chaotic turnaround on a day that had seemed headed for a success that President Bush, both political parties and their presidential candidates could celebrate at an extraordinary White House meeting.

Weary congressional negotiators worked into the night, joined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in an effort to revive or rework the $700 billion proposal that Bush said must be quickly approved by Congress to stave off potentially "a long and deep recession."

They gave up after 10 p.m. EDT, more than an hour after the lone House Republican involved, Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, left the room. Democrats blamed the House Republicans for the apparent stalemate.

Well, it did take John McCain a while to actually make it to Washington, but since he suspended his campaign and all to--how did he put it? Ah, yes, to "meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans" and solve the crisis. Things must have gotten better when he finally did show up to exercise some bipartisan leadership in that meeting he ordered up with Bush and Obama, right? Right?

At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting.

In subsequent television interviews, Mr. McCain suggested that he saw the bipartisan plan that came apart at the White House meeting as the proper basis for an eventual agreement, but he did not tip his hand as to whether he would give any support to the alternative put on the table by angry House Republicans, with whom he had met before going to the White House.

He said he was hopeful that a deal could be struck quickly and that he could then show up for his scheduled debate on Friday night against his Democratic rival in the presidential race, Senator Barack Obama. But there was no evidence that he was playing a major role in the frantic efforts on Capitol Hill to put a deal back together again.

Oh. I've seen mutterings that Bachus' walkout was actually orchestrated by McCain so that he could swoop in and save the day with his own top-secret bailout plan, but the only competing proposal put forth thus far has been written by ten House Republicans shepherded by John Boehner, and which would appear to have less than a snowball's chance at passing.

Instead of the government buying the distressed securities, the new plan would have banks, financial firms and other investors that hold such loans pay the Treasury to insure them. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a chief sponsor, said it was clear that Bush's plan "was not going to pass the House."

But Democrats said the same was true of the conservatives' plan. It calls for tax cuts and insurance provisions the majority party will not accept, they said.

At one point, several minutes into the session, Obama said it was time to hear from McCain. According to a Republican who was there, "all he said was, 'I support the principles that House Republicans are fighting for.'"

So a guy who has admitted he does not understand the details of the economy injects himself into proceedings he realistically has no business in, all in the name of bipartisanship and country first, and winds up in the corner of the guys who end up derailing what looked like an agreement on the first steps out of the mess.

Ah, it was just announced he'll go ahead and do the debate tonight, and we can assume Jim Lehrer will steer things much more toward the economy than had been originally planned. Maybe McCain realized that insisting on skipping the debate would only tie more anvils to his sinking ship. The ploy might have worked if he somehow had managed to at least present the image of leadership he inexplicably claimed in an area that is clearly outside of his expertise, unless he's finally ready to own that Keating Five line on his resume, but once his theatrical flouncing buildup fizzled into 40 minutes of silence in his showpiece meeting, well, that about did it. So stock up the cooler and ready your debate bingo cards. Obama has to recognize that the guy's on the ropes, and better come out swinging. Despite McCain's blunder, and, actually, because of it, this is a moment that has to be seized. Carpe that diem, Barack. You won't have a better chance.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And That Was Quick

Look what an awesome leaderly leader John McCain is! All he has to do is suspend his campaign and threaten a return to Warshington to sort out this mess, and voila, mess sorted out. Just like Chuck Norris!

Can I assume this means the debate's still on for tomorrow night? And that the VP debate is continuing as scheduled?

Somewhere in Alaska, Sarah Palin hops up and down, fists clenched, muttering dammitdammitDAMMIT between gritting teeth, before getting back to the cram session.

Oh My.

Well, that went... well. in an exchange captured by television cameras, Ms. Palin was greeted by Asif Ali Zardari, the new president of Pakistan, and a delegation of Pakistani officials.
“I am honored to meet you,” Ms. Palin said.

“You are even more gorgeous than you are on the (inaudible),” Mr. Zardari said.

“You are so nice,” Ms. Palin replied. “Thank you.”

“Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you,” Mr. Zardari continued. At which point an aide told the two to shake hands.

“I’m supposed to pose again,” Ms. Palin said.

“If he’s insisting,” Mr. Zardari said, “I might hug.”

Holy Christ. The Pakistanis think she's a GILF too! And George W. Bush no longer has sole possession of the trophy for World Leader Who Says the Darndest Things All the Goddamn Time! Awesome on two counts! Angela Merkel must be so pleased! And writers at SNL and the Onion are again sobbing into their beer, since nothing they come up with can top the absurdity that follows this woman's wake on a daily basis. As Jon Stewart said, we can't make this stuff up... and, unfortunately, we don't have to.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In Which We Think We Like Campbell Brown

Had noticed her from time to time, not that I can recall why, but yeah. Way to take back the "sexism" charges surrounding Sarah Palin and turn them on their heads! For realz.

Good News! Oh, Wait.

John McCain suddenly remembered he has a day job! But! He's rushing back to Congress to vote on the Protect Our Children Act I mean secure sorely needed infrastructure funding for Arizona single-handedly solve the bailout crisis! Which, you might recall, he knows exactly fuck-all about:

And which he can do about exactly fuck-all about in an official capacity, since he doesn't sit on any committees that are tasked with responding to the bailout proposal. So what's Bomb Bomb have in mind?

"I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself," McCain told reporters in New York. "It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem."

There was no immediate response from the Obama campaign.

There was no immediate response from the Obama campaign because they were trying to tone their gales of hysterical laughter down to a low giggle at the thought of one of the biggest deregulation whores in American history stomping up the steps of the capital to lecture Bernake and Paulson on what they need to do to fix this mess.

In short, this is political grandstanding at its finest. There's not a damn actually constructive thing McCain can do here, and he knows it, so instead he'll take the opportunity to leap into random action and imply that Obama Just Doesn't Care if he doesn't join in the thrashing about, while at the same time conveniently buying time by postponing a debate he may not have been ready to enter after a nine-point drop in the polls. Stay classy, Senator!

Full disclosure: I don't have the foggiest idea of how to fix things either, other than a $700B get-out-of-jail-free card for the firms that led the way to the crash not sounding like possibly the best thing we could have come up with. I am not, however, suspending my campaign for archaeological truth in order to storm Washington and make that fact abundantly clear to anyone who's listening.

Please Join Me in Encouraging Tom Coburn to Get Up Off His Inexplicably Anchored Ass

Lesson one: nobody gets shit done like Oprah. She has mobilized her hundreds of thousands of viewers to push the Senate to bring SB 1738 (the Protect Our Children Act) to a floor vote, where enough bipartisan support is already lined up to pass it and provide a billion dollars of funding for law enforcement dedicated to prosecuting the subhuman assholes who rape little kids and circulate the resulting video and photos around on the internet. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? I mean, who could be against protecting children from the most hideous abuse you can imagine?

Oh. Tom Coburn (R-Hell) can. Coburn has put a hold on this legislation, hoping to string it out until the Senate recesses on September 30 so it will die without seeing the floor. Mr. Family Values hisself thinks it's less important to stop people who would anally rape an infant and then post the video along with how-to instructions in a chat room than to stop discretionary spending that hasn't been pre-sourced down to the penny. He doesn't like the fact that it will cost a billion dollars.

Yo, Tom: bring the guys home from Iraq a day and a half earlier than planned and voila, there's your billion right there.

Fucking asshole.

I know far too many women who were raped as children by their male family members. Full stop. So I get enraged to the point of murder when I hear someone brushing off the issue of child rape, particularly when it's a person who's in a position of power to make a difference. This is not a time when it's okay to do some partisan grandstanding for your own profit. If you live in Oklahoma, please call Senator Coburn's office and politely ask him to get his head out of his ass and let the Senate proceed on their first, best duty, which is ensuring the well-being of the American people. Promise to talk to them about the abortion thing later, if you must, but for now, remind the senator that it's really a good thing to protect the most defenseless among us who have had the sad fate to have already been born into a family where they are treated as disposable sex toys rather than as children. If you don't live in Oklahoma, call your senators and ask them to turn the screws on Coburn if they're Republicans, or on Harry Reid if they're Dems. Ask them to act like goddamn adults for once and do the right thing. And do it quickly.

Thank you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Science Monday

Back in the saddle, three spreadsheets open and bucking and snorting as I shovel data into them, utterly disregarding the inelegant clanging of mixed metaphors, hot on the trail of the secret lives of a few people who hung out on top of a hill outside Payson, Arizona about 1700 years ago and made a mess of things. These people were inveterate recyclers, resharpening just about everything they had down to a nub. This is highly unusual behavior for the geographic setting and time period, so I need to figure out what all was all up in they grillz to make them do that. That's my job. That, and replenishing the coffee pot.

Puzzling evidence.

In completely unrelated news, the Emmys managed to top the previous edition of Completely Pointless and Stupid Format Tweaking we last saw when an awards show made a big hoo-hah of being In The Round, as it was uttered breathlessly and repeatedly, although "in the round" in that context simply meant "maintaining the same two-camera format despite half the audience being seated behind your mark." Cutting edge, that. Anyway. To top that, last night's Emmys featured the Worst! Idea! Ever! by being hosted by five reality show hosts, simultaneously and painfully unscripted. When both Ryan Seacrest and Tom Bergeron fidget and look distinctly uncomfortable, you know you have a serious dog. And I thought Howie Mandel creeped me out before. Holy shit. Uh, yeah, so I guess some people won awards and stuff. I didn't pay a lot of attention since more and more of the nominees are for things I can't see since I don't have HBO. I did see the bit at the beginning with Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell, which was howlingly funny and should have earned both of them another Emmy on the spot.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eggs for a Sad World

After 48 hours of an eye-popping headache, during which I mainlined Excedrin, Advil, and Irish Breakfast tea every couple of hours just to remain functional, food did not sound at all good. Watching Notre Dame-Michigan State did not help in the slightest. However, this worked pretty well and left me wishing I'd made more:

Saute in a bit of hot oil until onions are soft:
1 clove of garlic, more or less, crushed
2 slabs of sweet onion, chopped

1 Roma tomato, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
4-5 basil leaves, finely slivered

Cook over medium heat until spinach is wilty and most of the liquid from the tomatoes has cooked off.

Scramble two eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper and dump over vegetables in skillet. Cook, tossing around a little, until eggs are almost set. Add a sprinkle of mozzarella and flop around until cheese is melted and eggs are set to your liking.

Flip onto a plate with a triumphant flourish and nom nom nom.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why I Want Hillary to Be Our Lioness in the Senate

This is why. Like, for the next thirty years.
Last month, the Bush administration launched the latest salvo in its eight-year campaign to undermine women’s rights and women’s health by placing ideology ahead of science: a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would govern family planning. It would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable...

The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified “other medical procedures” that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.

Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of “other medical procedures.” Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

Maybe it feels like a crap-ass consolation prize after being denied a run at the White House. But Jesus, she could stay in the Senate forever and fight for us there in a very effective, very important way. I don't know if four or eight years of a bully pulpit would have the same effect, especially as people inevitably start ignoring years six through eight except for monumental fuckups. But I do know that she's the first woman senator to be loudly and continuously vocal about the HHS situation, and if we've finally found someone to carry that banner, well, I hope she doesn't give it up any time soon.

Friday Fulminations

A long overdue edition! Of! Things we hate!

1. Migraines! Would you like to experience the Boltversion of a migraine? Get two icepicks. Jam one laterally into your temple and one vertically through the top of your head so that they meet directly behind your left eye. Stir and enjoy!

2. Sleep disruptions induced by said migraines! Last night the migraine was accompanied by random itchiness, probably courtesy of our newly arrived dry fall air and the hordes of mosquitoes that have refused to acknowledge the end of monsoon season and keep sucking our blood. My half-asleep brain managed to conflate the onset of each itch with lingering fears of Sarah Palin, translating the whole experience into a nightmare in which every new itch signalled Palin banning essential household goods. Itch on my face? She just banned buckets. On my shoulder? There go the forks. And so on. It was awful. It is very difficult being inside my head sometimes.

3. Googly bits showing up in my chicken! Do you want me to vomit?

4. People who scream at the ref! I am heading back onto the pitch in two weeks. Please be polite.

5. Writer's block! Yes, I am home recovering from a goddamn migraine, but I'm also trying to work, and since half my work requires this thing called "writing," the ten-ton cinder block currently parked on top of my writing lobe is getting me down. Sledgehammers, anyone? Anyone?

6. Self-indulgent blathering masquerading as a blog post! Aaaaiiiieeeee!!!! Time to take down the blog!

7. Also getting pinched, and that annoying rattle in my right front quarter panel, and paper cuts, and running out of coffee before I'm ready, and bacon that's not crispy, and USC.

And whiners. Jesus god, do I hate whiners. Ha!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

WPS Draft Notes

Posting for the day is suspended due to extreme unrest somewhere south of my ribcage--who knew the Uterine Republic would go nuclear on East Fallopia so soon after last month's debacle that only featured mortars and possibly biological warfare, and paper cuts? not me--but before I go collapse into a ball of will someone please make me some hot chocolate and call my mommy, a note on the WPS player allocations.

The Red Stars made out marginally, I think, with Lloyd, Tarpley, and Markgraf. Despite Tarp's tendency to get fatigued by about the 70th minute in the Olympics, she's a steady and occasionally threatening presence on the wing, and depending on the players surrounding her, she could provide some decent offensive production. Markgraf is past the sell-by date on her international career, but will probably manage to stick around for a few more years at center back at the WPS level, and will certainly make an excellent mentor for up-and-coming young defenders. Lloyd? Wow. Despite her cannon of a leg and gold medal-winning goal against hated Brazil, her accuracy is suspect at best and her conscience is on permanent hold when it comes to continuing to fire away after her first several shots come closer to the corner flag than to the frame, and her touch in the short possession game is not exactly there. She does have a killer work ethic and appears to value team outcomes over petty infighting, which will make the average Chicagoan want to adopt her even though she's from New Jersey, so if she can get the gunsight calibrated a little better and turn her workout focus to the first touch and recognizing the proper passing lanes on the field, she'll do pretty okay for herself at Toyota Park. If not, well, at least they'll be better than Washington.

LA and Washington looked like they were trying to see who could pull off the least subtle tank job in hopes of landing Marta in the international draft, and from my vantage point it was a tossup. Cox-Boxx-Wagner or Whitehill-Wambach-Krieger? Slow-old-rusty or ACL-snapped leg-who? Not sure who the loser in that derby will go after next.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In Which We Come to a Sad Realization

Oh, "in which we are dragged kicking and screaming out of denial" might be a more apt title, but the sad sad fact I can no longer ignore is that the Democratic Party exists solely to piss me off. Sure, McCain has ramped up the McNasty in the past few weeks, but he's been spouting distortions and misdirection and, and, what's the word that means the deliberate opposite of the truth? Oh, yes, lies, pretty much from day one of his candidacy. And the best Obama and the Dems can do as the electorate laps it up and runs around the house on a sugar high, crashing into the side tables and wrecking our best knickknacks from that trip to the National Archives, is say nyah nyah, old fart can't send an e-mail, but we sure do appreciate his heroic service to our country. They refuse to hit back hard because they said they'd stay on the high road--as did some other guy, if we recall correctly, some guy named Hero McHonor or something--and by god, they're going to stay out of the mud no matter how much the other guy flings into their faces as he merrily trip-traps into the White House and the country goes around the last bend into the deepest depths of the shitter.

Then we have the brave and mighty House Democrats getting so spooked by the spectre of thousands of Republicans chanting "drill, baby, drill" at the convention and tens of Republicans chanting "drill, baby, drill" at McCain's last campaign appearance that they abandon scientific evidence, economic evidence, and their own good sense and vote to allow offshore drilling that will do exactly nothing to solve either the current energy crisis or the future crises we keep putting off solving by adopting this kind of idiotic no-effect stopgap measure.

Maddow always says it better than I do:

A three-word chant is all it takes to make the Democratic majority knuckle under to a knucklehead position? I'm sure glad we all worked so hard two years ago to put more blue butts in those seats. I'm sure glad Nancy Pelosi has morphed into such a firebrand leader who works tirelessly to right the wrongs perpetrated by years of Republican control.

I'm mostly glad I'm too old to drink much any more, because these motherfuckers would have me under the table every damn night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just One More

So I've read a couple of pieces in which people opine that we need to get away from Palin-bashing and back to Obama-promoting. I'll do that in just a second, honest, but before I go back to real newshounding we need to talk about the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator. Plugging in my first name gives me Buster Taint, and my middle name--which I go by--returns Bomb Locomotive, so I feel completely justified in referring to myself in the future exclusively as Buster Locomotive, which may be the most awesome name ever. Ever! If your name manages to top that--and I wish you luck in that endeavor--leave it in the comments. I still win.

Warmest regards,
Buster Locomotive Boltgirl

Public Service Announcement

Today is Homer's 45th birthday, so go right over there and wish him 45 more!

While We Are Still Moderately on a Soccer Binge

The player allocation for the new Women's Professional Soccer league begins today at 12:30 eastern time; follow it on Twitter or go to the WPS page for other instructions. I'm planning on being a Chicago Red Stars fangirl myself, so I hope they get... hmmm. Oh, yes, Chupa. I hope they take Lori Chalupny. That would be several shades of awesome.

To kill time between now and then, here's a little something from our friends across the pond.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The First of a Few

I hope there are more; I fervently hope there are no more after November 4.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


In sporting news, Boltgirl scored a fairly routine goal from six yards out last night that was still fairly significant because it (1) came off her left foot and (2) was her first goal from the run of play in 32 FREAKING YEARS OF PLAYING SOCCER.

Jesus, that took long enough.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh My

In a brilliant move calculated to win the heart and vote of every middle-aged former slacker who was ever called on in class unexpectedly after a night of MTV and Atari 2600 instead of the assigned reading for civics class, Palin nails this exchange with ABC's Charles Gibson:
Gibson: Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?

Palin: *blink*

Palin: In what respect, Charlie?

Gibson: The Bush -- well, what do you interpret it to be?

Palin: His world view?


Oh, absofuckinglutely beautiful! I got that look so many times from Mr. Chandler back in 1985! But! I was not running for Vice President of the US at the time!

I will not jump on Palin for saying we might perhaps have to go to war with Russia if Georgia were admitted to NATO and Russia happened to invade them again, since pledged military assistance is kind of the whole point of NATO in the first place. A better question might have been on her position on Georgia's (and other former Soviet republics') attempts to get into the military BFF club, given our current over-taxed military and substantially diminished standing as the world's primary law enforcement officer. That would be particularly interesting in light of Randy Scheunemann's preeminent position in the McCain campaign. Alas, it will have to wait until the debates.

Oh, and one more thing. I cannot take four more years of anyone in the executive branch pronouncing "nuclear" as "nookyooler." Please. If you cannot take a stand for responsibile foreign policy, environmental protection, renewable energy, women's rights, universal healthcare, and financial recovery, please at least take one for the language.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

McCain/Palin: Perhaps Not the Best Ticket at All if You're a Woman. Or if You're Not But Still Respect Women.

I might crank out some original content again one of these days, but for now there is too much important stuff flying around I need to point out in case you missed it. Remember the teeny tiny hiccup the media managed over the former Wasilla, AK policy of charging rape victims for their rape kits? They need to clear their throats and make another small choking sound now that it's being pointed out exactly how that makes her a stellar fit for McCain's own thinking on the matter. Per the Jed Report, and please Jesus coming to an actual news outlet near you very soon:
In 1994, John McCain voted against legislation -- pushed through Congress by Joe Biden -- that helped put an end to the practice of charging rape victims for sexual assault exams.

Biden's legislation required that state, local, and Indian governments provide the rape exams to victims free of charge as a condition of receiving federal funds under the Violence Against Women Act.

McCain not only opposed Biden's legislation, but also has voted against funding it as recently as October 2007.

Neat! Maybe Walnuts should spent less energy getting worked up about non-existent insults to his running mate and more working to stop actual threats to women's well being. And maybe the Dems should pull the muzzle off Biden and let him flog his own awesome record of working to end violence against women. Heck, it might just knock lipstick stories off the front page for all of fifteen minutes or so.

Why America Is Fucked--Graphically at Least

Shamelessly ripped from Jess Gibson via Crappy Hour. This one's for my editor/publications designer girlfriend.

America Is F*cked.......(Graphically at least) from Jess Gibson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All I Am Going to Say About Lipstick

We're getting perilously close to that breaking point I didn't think would come for me, the one where I back away from the campaign in disgust and resign myself to being fucked over by my Dumbfuckistan brethren yet again. Wanna get depressed? Read the inevitable comment threads following any online organ's coverage of this non-story that nonetheless has morphed into proof positive that Democrats are elitist sexist misogynist bigots who hate strong women. Did I say "depressed?" Perhaps I meant by that "fucking ready to strangle the next motherfucker who utters the words hockey mom or Bridge to Nowhere to me."

Let me see if got this straight. When someone at John McCain's town hall directly references Hillary Clinton by asking, "How do we beat the bitch?" it's something to be laughed at and cheered. When Barack Obama uses the phrase "lipstick on a pig" in reference to John McCain's policies and only John McCain's policies, somehow it's a disgraceful insult to Sarah Palin specifically and all women on the planet generally. Because Sarah Palin said the word "lipstick" in her convention speech. One time. So obviously every future use of the word can only be understood as a direct personal reference to Sarah Palin.

Other words that by default are now out of play: mom, hockey, mayor, son, daughter, America, responsibility, dude, snow machine, my, an, the. Good luck with that, rational America. Oops! Shouldn't have let my thinly disguised hatred of country and motherhood and Maybelline pitbulls slip out like that!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


What the fucking fuck? Watch this and see if you can not fling something through the screen.

Seriously, how... what... *sputter* what the fucking hell is wrong with these people?

Go back and watch it again. Specifically, watch what they do with the image of Obama's face beginning at the :22 mark. As the words "Learning About Sex" flash on and fade from the screen, his face is subtly altered by shortening his chin and amplifying the width of his lips--in short, transforming a photo of what appeared to be a quietly reflective smile into a creepy leer.

I've watched it ten times in a row. I'm not making this up. It's blatant and completely disgusting. It's completely shameless. Watch it and please tell me I'm wrong.

Oh, and the "sex ed for kindergarteners?" It was designed to teach five-years-olds to discern inappropriate touching. To protect them from sexual abuse. And while Obama voted for the legislation, he didn't sponsor it, so pinning its existence on him in the first place is a lie. In the face of the absolutely reprehensible content of the rest of the add, that's a pretty fucking small quibble, but there's McCain for you. Start with a false premise and never look back.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton was the first to strike back at McCain, but he sure better not be the last. Obama himself needs to stand up and say ENOUGH. He needs to echo Burton and amplify him a hundredfold:

"It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

Burton noted that in a recent interview with Time magazine, McCain refused to define 'honor.' "Now we know why," Burton said.

You can't make a big enough deal about this. McCain misrepresented Obama's role in the legislation, twisted the purpose of the legislation, and digitally altered an image of Obama to make him look like a creep who gets off thinking about five-year-olds talking about sex. McCain has no shame. McCain has no honor. He is a lying bastard who has not a shred of decency and deserves nothing but public vilification. It's beyond the pale. There is no lie too blatant, no disgusting conduct too brazen for this guy. I do not have enough words to express it.

In Which We Watch a New Show

And so the new era begins. I liked the content, I liked the packaging. I liked a guest lineup that included none of the usual Robinson-Fineman-Turley fallback crowd from Countdown. I did not like the fake eyelashes, and think Maddow needs to be a tad more aggressive in reining in or smacking down Pat Buchanan if she's going to have him on there in the first place. And maybe find a more creative use for Kent Jones than just sticking him in the guest chair to run not-particularly-amusing pop culture video.

The best moment in the toss from Countdown came when Olbermann commented on her spinning red-white-and-blue graphics, and Maddow replied, "It looks like someone might win me at roulette." Ahem. Yes, me. Me me me.

Video should be available daily from MSNBC.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Happy MaddowDay!

Rachel Maddow's new show premieres tonight, sandwiched between Countdown and, well, the repeat of Countdown. Check you local listings. Two clips to whet your appetite for smart news and political discussion:

No word yet on any upcoming contract offers for your intrepid blogger, but I'm keeping my phone turned up all the way tonight just in case.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

On Voting Records

Boltgirl Hopeless Cynicism Watch, Day Three. Status: hopeless, wondering where the bourbon is.

You do remember the bit about Obama's "present" votes from Rudy Giuliani's laugh-fest of a keynote address at the RNC, right? Here's some food for thought. At least Obama managed to show up for work in the Illinois legislature, and even managed to show up in the Senate while simultaneously running for president. John McCain couldn't even manage a "present" vote the majority of times Congress was in session this time around, as he missed more than 60 percent of them. That's a worse attendance record than Obama, Clinton, and that guy who had a stroke. Follow the link to OpenLeft so you can see the list of bills that died at the hands of the Republican minority, when a single vote from Mr. Maverick Reach-Across-the-Aisle McCain could have saved them. Little things like energy independence, gender equity in pay, and Medicare weren't important enough to compel McCain to show up for work, despite continuing to draw his salary and claim to be representing the people of Arizona (oh, and I suppose the people of the entire country and both parties, per his remarks at the convention) while jetting around on Beer One to hold town hall meetings.

In fairness, almost four out of every ten votes did see Walnuts participating. He came into the office a few times to vote for things like denying habeus corpus to detainees and denying active-duty troops a minimum amount of time between deployments, so maybe we should be glad he was such a duty-derelicting piece of work this year.

So, to review, John McCain can't be bothered to do his job, even when it provides ideal opportunities to act on his promises regarding bipartisanship and the best interests of Americans when it comes to energy, their wallets, and their military sons and daughters being treated right. Barack Obama managed to go to work and even managed to do actual bipartisan stuff, assuming Richard Lugar didn't switch his affiliation when nobody was looking. Too bad truth fails to resonate when it requires more than a one-word label or three-word-chant to explain.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Liveblogging the Real Start of the College Football Season

Notre Dame-San Diego State! Let's dive right in!




Ah Christ.

Wait, no, nononono!!!!

Ah shite. Seriously?


Oh, wait, they just scored after a blocked punt. Huh.

And that takes us to halftime! Not optimistic! Beer time!

Can I Please Get a Day Off from Sarah Palin?

No. No, I apparently cannot.

The girlfriend looked up from the paper and asked if I'd read the news roundup on the bottom of the page she was looking at. Nope, I hadn't. So do you want to get pissed off and have your brain explode, or just have a nice enjoyable morning? Ah, no point in messing with the mojo, so I'll take pissed off for the win. She read it out loud:
Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through the power of prayer.

"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of the Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.

Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice presidential choice.

Neat! I cannot wait to see what else will be required of McCain as he does the bidding of his religious right overlords. I also cannot wait to hear her explanation for why we should not be concerned about that or about her insistence that government is useless if the people's hearts aren't right with God, although since she's ducking the Sunday morning talk shows and every other unscripted appearance, I may be quivering in anticipation for some time waiting on that one.

In other news, not everyone is being fooled by her presence on the ticket.

So why on earth would [McCain] overlook dozens of far more qualified candidates (Tim Pawlenty and Lieberman, for example) only to choose Palin, whose national experience could be described (kindly) as negligible?

Because Palin's a woman. And because Rove, currently serving as an "informal adviser" to McCain's campaign, once read a book about women that convinced him the only thing women love more than a good white sale is casting a vote for another woman. (OK, I just made that up. I have no idea whether Karl Rove has ever read a book).

Here's something McCain might have considered during the 45 minutes his aides apparently spent vetting Palin, whose slowly expanding biography keeps yielding unpleasant surprises: Women aren't interested in voting for just any woman. They want to vote for an experienced, competent woman whose accomplishments can stand up to any man's, not someone they have to make excuses for.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just One More

Hey, check out this representative excerpt from a OMG awesome op-ed in the Daily Star about the GOP convention!!!11!1!!
Everyone who has been to a sports event knows how the emotion of the crowd is contagious. The most fun chant for me was "drill, baby, drill" used by three separate speakers. There are probably enough Democrats who would vote for domestic drilling so that it would pass, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi probably will not allow a vote. This appears to me to be wildly irrational.

We are sending almost $700 billion a year overseas — the largest transfer of wealth in human history — and it is going to our enemies: Iran, Venezuela, Russia, who will do us harm with it. With all the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, there has been not one major spill.

Such as. It's an all-over-the-place non sequitur fest! The most fun chant for me was "drill, baby, drill" used by three separate speakers! Fun! Was this written by a seventh grader? No! It was not! It was written by Tom Horne. Who is the superintendent of public schools in the state of Arizona.

More Good News!

This would have been a good day to stay away from the newspaper.

Our esteemed vegan bishop, Gerald Kicanas, really really wants Arizona to pass the constitutional amendment that will outlaw marriage equality. No surprise there. What piqued my interest a bit was one of the loops of his convoluted reasoning.
"The purpose of this proposition is to assure the fact that in the state of Arizona, the institution of marriage, as from time immemorial, is a relationship between one man and one woman," he said.

When asked how that definition reflected the Old Testament of men with multiple wives, Kicanas said, "The reality is there have always been people who have lived in common-law relationships or perhaps have polygamous relationships.

"But that doesn't necessarily change the understanding of the institution of marriage because there are other possibilities."

Well, the reality is that there was plenty of God-sanctioned polygamy in the Old Testament, and that there's plenty of the same right now in other countries (which, amazingly, also claim to both know God and have his go-ahead for taking multiple wives). And the bishop seems to think that the existence of those "other possibilities," those competing models of marriage, don't threaten the understanding of one-man, one-woman marriage at all. If it's not a stretch for him to say one man-many women doesn't change his understanding of marriage, it's not a stretch for me to say that one man-one man or one woman-one woman shouldn't change it either.

Deep Breath, and...

Ah Christ. Can't blog. Too enraged.

Understanding that watching the McCain speech live would be an unhealthy choice, I waited until this morning to read about it in the paper and listen to whatever NPR happened to be saying during the ten minutes or so it takes to drive to work. Figured that would, you know, give me a better chance of postponing the inevitable stroke by another day or two.

Ha. Ha!

Yes, the AP Washington bureau now lives in the pants of the GOP, but the lede still grabbed me by something painful and then twisted hard. John McCain, a POW turned political rebel,

Blink. Yes, that is all we need to know. Reading the fawning op-eds in the Daily Star, listening to the NPR soundbites grabbed from convention-goers (Maverick! Maverick! Maverick!), all bring it home in a very disheartening way that all the reasoned thought, in-depth exploration of issues, nuance, and logic in the world simply doesn't matter. If you can find one word or catchphrase that gets repeated enough times, once it's drilled into Joe Public's forehead it's there to stay and becomes truth, and that singular truth swells up and crowds every other thought or room for new thoughts clean out of that noggin, and a man who dumped his faithful first wife after she was crippled in a car wreck in favor of a millionaire heiress and immediately jumped into bed with crooked bankers upon entering Congress and verbally and physically threatens his colleagues and has a campaign staff composed in large part of corporate and foreign lobbyists and spends 26 years in Washington and puts his wife on stage dripping with close to $300,000 worth of clothing and accessories and owns 8 or 9 or 10 houses and budgets a quarter of a million bucks a year on servant wages and mixes up foreign countries and leaders and outright lies about his own record and the record of his opponent and claims to support the troops while consistently voting against veterans' interests and spent the past eight years voting for Bush's position 90% of the time and dumped his first two picks for VP because the religious right went into conniptions over them somehow gets branded as a regular-guy man of honor who goes against the Washington establishment to do the right thing.

Did you hear he was a POW?

Here. Fast-forward to the 3:25 mark for the executive summary of the campaign.

It's like we skipped eight years back in time. It's a year 2000 do-over and all we need to know about the world is that the Democratic nominee wants to kill babies, Democrats wanna raise your taxes, and John McCain was a POW. That's all we need to know, and nothing for the last eight years has happened.


Thursday, September 04, 2008


Inexplicably still unable to embed Daily Show videos, so head over to the Blend and watch.

In Which We Watch as Much of the Rudy and Palin Speeches As Our Stomach Can Manage

Oh, boy. I started with a little Giuliani here and there, flipping between him and a very bad CONCACAF Champions League game when I couldn't take any more of either, and am at a loss for words to describe my reaction to both the words coming out of his mouth and the rabid response they elicited from the GOP convention crowd, although "dumbfounded" and "appalled" are strong contenders. "Zero" appears to be the nickname they're settled on for Obama, given that the conventioneers jeered zero, zero, while incongruously waving the index finger/thumb "okay" circle sign in the air every time Rudy mentioned him not having the kind of executive experience mayors of major urban centers like New York or Wasilla have. And as they jeered, Rudy cackled and egged them on. Decorous, it was not.

I keep forgetting this is the group that gleefully waved purple band-aids in the air in 2004 to mock John Kerry's combat injuries in Vietnam. The "zero" thing was a touch classier than that, but not by much.

And mock they did. They mocked Obama's past as a community organizer. They mocked his (still borne out by available evidence) assertion that a troop surge alone would not be sufficient for stabilizing Iraq. They mocked his desire for change. They mocked his audacity in pointing out that increased oil drilling will do exactly nothing to alleviate the petroleum-based energy crisis.

They never met a one- or two-syllable chant they didn't like. "Drill baby drill" was another good one.

Ancestors of the GOP, imprinting proper convention behavior into genetic memory.

Sigh. Then there was Palin.

My girlfriend had the good fortune to get a phone call, so she spent a lot of the speech in the back not having to hear it, leaving the dogs to field my repeated questions that alternated between what the hell is this and seriously, can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on here?

They didn't know either. Palin smirked and echoed Giuliani's mocking of the whole community organizer thing. For a party that's made a cottage industry of faith-based community organizations as the entities best equipped for dealing with social problems, they spent an awful lot of time belittling the people who beat the bushes at that lowest community level in an attempt to work for positive change. Maybe if more community organizers had been active during Palin's mayorship, Wasilla wouldn't have been the meth capital of Alaska?

She repeated McCain's absurd accusation that Obama would prefer to lose Iraq if it meant him winning the White House. She repeated the unfortunately nuance-required guns 'n' religion bitterness statement. She repeated the Obama-as-Washington-elite meme. She repeated the lie that she stamped her foot and said no to the Bridge to Nowhere. Did you know John McCain was a POW? She mentioned that too. She dismissed Obama's legislative record, including his bipartisan work on laws that halted weapons shipping and his co-sponsorship of ethics reform legislation. Then there were the oversimplified or stretched truths on taxes. And the fear-mongering on Al Qaeda, since John McCain wants to protect America and Barack Obama is terrified that the terrorists won't be read their rights.

All of this in a folksy, smirking, sing-songy voice (I am either deeply relieved or deeply disappointed that she didn't point out her husband's cute butt) that is guaranteed to win the hearts of middle America. Isn't she adorable? Oh, what a spitfire! And she didn't need any feminists' help to get there!

Pardon me while I vomit.

It is very interesting that at least some Republican analysts don't get the Palin selection (Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy caught on an open mike, YouTube video here, h/t Top!Secret G-Woman). If you have half a brain, you see what a disaster this is. But since the majority of the voting public acts like they don't even have that much, I think it's a real possibility that we're fucked. The average voter is going to lap this shit up and ask for more, reveling in the barbed attacks and snide delivery and giddy crowd noise, probably never noticing that Palin didn't say a word about what her administration was actually going to do beyond drill baby drill.

Note 1: Oh, and by the way... I'm really done thinking about the pregnant kid. But since the Palin camp was the one that announced the pregnancy, and since Palin decided to haul the boy involved along to DC for the convention and stick him up on the stage, and since the McCain campaign decided to make a photo op of Walnuts greeting the boy at the airport, please spare me any forthcoming crap about desiring privacy for your family during this difficult time. You played this perfectly, Hockeymom, by building up your kid as a saint for choosing to keep the baby and for having planned to get married anyway. So no more.

Note 2: Rundowns here: the text of the speech, Yahoo fact-checking, Jezebel liveblogging.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Want More? Unfortunately, I Got a Million of 'Em.

Sarah Palin believes the Iraq war is God's will. Oh, and also a $30 billion natural gas pipeline. Thanks, Governor! I guess I'll quit feeling bad about my brother's buddy getting blown up in Baghdad now, since obviously it's all part of your god's awesome plan.

A bit of Palin's speech that wasn't quoted on HuffPo gives me more than a little pause (regarding the pipeline she wanted to find funding for; it comes in at 4:21 of the video):
But I can do my job there, in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved, and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and, and making sure our public schools are funded, but really, all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God. And that's gonna be your job--as I'm doing my job, let's strike this deal: your job is gonna be to be out there reaching the people, hurtin' (zuh? herding, maybe? is that better?) people throughout Alaska, and we can work together to be sure God's will be done here.

Rewind and listen to that again. She's pretty clearly saying she believes government is ineffective unless it goes hand in hand with evangelism. I'll govern, but it ain't a-gonna do squat unless you and you and you get out there and bring people to Jesus, and so my job performance is based at least by half and possibly more on you going out and evangelizing, so get a move on already. Neat! Thanks, John McCain!

Add Another One to the List

Of B-things Sarah Palin doesn't like. So far we have bears and 'bortions for rape victims, and now, via Crooks & Liars, we have books!
[Former Wasilla, Alaska mayor John] Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

Awesome! I was going to thank John McCain for this amazing gift of a VP pick, but the credit apparently really needs to go to the Council for National Policy, a super!secret, super!right-wing, super!Christian cabal of super!conservatives who totally jerked McCain's marionette strings on this one. I can't wait to see what other demands they might make should McCain gain the White House, on issues like, say, hypothetically, three Supreme Court justice nominations. Stay classy, maverick man!

Not That You Need Another Reason, But...

If the hypocrisy on congressional earmarks, the strident anti-abortion stance, the lifetime NRA membership, the spouting of Christian revisionist history, the equating of geographic proximity to Russia with foreign policy expertise, and the conflation of small-town mayorship and 22 months as small-state governor with so much more awesome and directly transferrable experience than Obama can ever dream of were not enough, now there's this. Sarah Palin enthusiastically supports "hunting" by shooting wolves and bears from airplanes. It may be a step up from Cheney-style "hunting" that involves shooing functionally domesticated quail out of cages and into the line of fire, but, aside from the the fact that trophy hunting of any kind is disgusting, the airplane-assisted version doesn't even pretend to be sporting.

Wanna be a real tough Alaska guy or gal who will impress me? Get out there and kill a bear with a pocketknife. High-powered rifles with scopes from a plane? Not so much. And wolves, no matter how you kill them? Forget it. I'm really sorry that wolves who have fought their way back from the brink of extinction, caused by government-sponsored or sanctioned eradication programs, are eating so many moose that you can't just walk out your back door and shoot one without working for it a little. But when Palin offers cash incentives--$150 per set of wolf legs you turn in--for you to go airborne and eliminate the need for stealth or tracking skill just as long as you have enough ammo, she becomes, in my mind, exactly like the idiots I know in Illinois who go out on Saturdays to see how many coyotes they can shoot because the coyotes eat rabbits, which said idiots also like to eat and don't want to be out-competed for. Which is kinda hard considering that a single pair of rabbits can crank out upwards of 35 new little rabbits each year, which in turn start their jobs on the rabbit production line in about six months. If you set out to exterminate a predator like that, I hope you also go out the other six days of the week to shoot the vermin the coyotes are taking care of for you, and if you aim to exterminate wolves from Alaska you'd best get out and perform all the other roles they take care of in that ecosystem.

And if you do it from a plane? Way to go, tough guy.

Will I concede that there's anything to like about Palin? Sure. She appears to bathe regularly. Always a plus. But I have yet to hear a single goddamn policy position that makes me do anything other than scream.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Like We Didn't See This Coming

The triple-A Tucson Sidewinders played their last game ever last night, ending 40 years of minor-league baseball in Tucson with a whimper, so it was perhaps inevitable that mascot Sandy Sidewinder would end up in the median at Speedway and Campbell this evening. My son adored Sandy when he was a tyke, and was heartbroken to see the depths to which the poor snake has been reduced.

Another down on his luck out of work mascot.

Finally freed from the constraints of ballpark mascot decorum, Sandy chatted up the drivers in the turn lane as he wandered up and down, clutching his sign and a banana. I took the photo at 6:00; he said he'd been out there since five and couldn't believe the cops hadn't run him off yet. I asked if he might have a shot at being the Tucson Toro when the independent Golden League comes to town next summer, and he said maybe if he's lucky. At least he got to keep the snake suit.


Oh, Labor Day was the gift that kept on giving. Gustav ended up being not as bad as feared, the weather in Tucson considerately kept it at a mild swelter, and, oh yeah, we found out that Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. If it's wrong to pull a Nelson and point and say HA-ha at that, well, I don't wanna be right. Of course the Palins are delighted and proud that their daughter decided to keep the baby--weirdly implying that she had any choice in the matter--and of course she's going to marry the boy child who was the other half of that little conception tango, and of course teenagers make great parents and have long-lasting, rewarding marriages, so who wouldn't be delighted and proud of all that?


Oh, and Palin's hired a lawyer to help her deal with that bit of nastiness surrounding the state trooper who was embroiled in a custody dispute with Palin's sister, and found himself summarily out of a job after a phone call from the governor's office to his boss.

John McCain must be so... what are the words? Ah yes. Delighted and proud. Me, I'm just plain delighted. It's so sad when blatant pandering goes so, so wrong. I mean, who could have seen any problems there? As a friend of Top!Secret G-woman points out,
At least there's no inconsistency when it comes to supporting gun rights. They'll come in very handy for a shotgun wedding.

Greg Sargent has the complete Palin summary over at Talking Points Memo. Have a great convention, GOP!