The last I heard Alice Cooper was a Republican. Perhaps this moldy oldie should be Willard's campaign song. It beats the hell out of anything by Meatloaf:
Okay, throw it down. Who are you most excited about voting for this year? Doesn't have to be president, could be a downticket race you're just really thrilled about.
I'm not in Wisconsin anymore but the note Tammy "I kick more ass before breakfast than you do all day long" Baldwin sent me thanking me for my donation is on the fridge. I hope she beats Thompson like a thing that gets beaten very badly.
I was thrilled 3 or 4 years ago when I belated learned that Tina Fey was half-Greek. It's an ethnic pride thing; plus I've had a crush on the funny and brilliant Ms. Fey for years. It's just a pity that I never had this classic recitation, uh, recited by my late father, Lou: "Tina Fey is Greek. She's doing very well, you know."
“Colin Powell, interestingly enough, said that Obama got us out of Iraq,” McCain told the National Review. “But it was Colin Powell, with his testimony before the U.N. Security Council, that got us into Iraq.”
Um, um, Senator, who was one of the leading cheerleaders for invading Iraq? Look in the mirror, dude.
I was strongly opposed to the war BUT a lot of otherwise decent people-Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden to name a few-went nutty after 9/11 and publicly backed the war whatever their private misgivings. Powell along with his British counterpart Jack Straw opposed the war in internal debates but neither resigned in protest, which in Powell's case could have torpedoed the the whole disastrous enterprise. Unfortunately, other than Cryus Vance quitting after the botched hostage rescue in 1980, we don't have a tradition of principled resignations over policy. Powell is also a soldier and when he lost the debate to the Vulcans, he saluted the flag and supported his Commander-in-Chief. I believe he was wrong to do that, and wish he hadn't BUT at least I understand why.
On the other hand, John McCain enthusiastically beat the drums for war and now it's all Powell's fault? Fuck you, Senator and your little racist running dog Sununu too.
There’s something to be said for a fresh perspective on a problem that only a decent night’s sleep and a general sense that you’ve turned the corner can provide. The day after I basically alienated my family, took a Sawzall to my car and was about two seconds away from calling Charlie Sheen for some mental health advice, I managed to put the car back together.
I added coolant, turned her on and watched the core heat up. The venting on the car wasn’t as good as it used to be, but it was no longer pouring a chemical that clearly noted “DANGER: DO NOT INHALE” into the footwell of the passenger’s seat. The majority of the pieces were back in place and the car had heat, albeit undirectable heat.
It was good enough.
Somewhere along the way, the phone rang. It was Mom, wondering how my week of hell was concluding. I gave her the breakdown as I put some tools away and mopped up the giant puddles of various crap from the garage floor.
“Well,” she said. “I’m so glad you’re going to be done with that car soon. It’ll be nice to be in a much better car.”
“It’s not a better car,” I said with an unexpected flash of anger. “It’s a different car. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have.”
“Well…” she began. “There was that thing in Madison when it broke down on your wife. And this heat thing…”
“Cars have problems, Mom,” I said, gritting my teeth. “I seem to remember the blue Cadillac was no great shakes.”
My parents bought a 2-year-old Caddy one year from a reputable dealer. Dad loved it as it had every button imaginable. One day when he was on the freeway, it just shut itself off. He slammed it into park and push-button started the hell out of it. It started again and he got home in a panic.
The garage guys couldn’t find anything wrong with it. They rebooted all the systems and told him it was a one in a million glitch.
About a week later, Dad hit the “Whoa Shit” lottery again, as it died on him in the middle of town. He immediately went back to the dealer and got his money back.
“Yes, but, you’ve had—“
I cut her off. “It’s a good car. It served me well and I’m doing something different now.”
The conversation ended and I went back to doing whatever it was I was doing before it started. I kept thinking back on it though. I was defending a car that was not anything special. I was not happy about selling it, even though it was the right move. I was getting away from something that was clearly about to be on the decline.
Yet, it was mine. It was comfortable. It was just not easy talking about it.
Fifteen years ago, I made the mistake of going to my high school reunion. It was the dumbest of reunions: the 5-year one.
At that point, the “best” among us were just out of college or barely married. It was really a collection of half-formed post-collegians who were trying to figure things out in life. Add some booze, a few ex-girlfriend/ex-boyfriend wounds to open and you had all the makings of a massive disaster.
The 10-year reunion was about two weeks before our wedding. We were living three states away and frazzled from all of the “Are you sure this is taken care of?” questions we were getting, so I passed.
My uncle died right about that time. I couldn’t get back for his funeral, which was the same day as that reunion. If had cared enough to make the reunion, I would have been there for the family. My aunt said she understood. I still felt like crap.
The 15-year either didn’t happen or I missed it.
The info for the 20-year reunion showed up a few months back. I pondered the idea of going to this thing. I was old enough to have some stories to tell, interested in how people turned out and there were probably a couple teachers I wouldn’t mind seeing again.
As the day got closer, I started to realize that the people I wanted to see were among the least likely to go to the reunion. They had found jobs on the coast or were living abroad. They were busy and involved. And, to be fair, out of the 422 people who walked across that stage all those years ago, I could think of about three I really wanted to run into. Not exactly the best odds.
The people who were going to show up were the people for whom high school was the crowning achievement.
Just like A mentioned a week or two ago, it might have been fun to roll up there in my 1968 Mustang. I could wear a suit that costs more than their rent check, flash the doctoral ring and regale them with tales of the books I’ve published and such before saying, “So, I heard you work for a fast food restaurant. How’s that going?”
And yet it all seemed so exhausting and pointless.
I also found it weird that I had no real memories of value from that time, but instead I was spending the weekend a few miles from the reunion thinking about how I’d likely be parting company with the Civic this weekend.
I went home to Milwaukee for the weekend to help Dad with a card show and to help Mom figure out how to finish cleaning out my uncle’s apartment. There wasn’t much left but it was something that had to be done.
A bedroom set, a desk and a dining room table were all that remained when we got there. The items were all brought with him to the apartment after he sold my great-grandmother’s house decades earlier.
Years of age and dirt had grown on them and little was salvageable.
The one really nice dresser we left behind for the guy who was being given the apartment. He was an elderly man with almost no possessions and was so grateful to be getting this low-cost home. He ran into my father as Dad was moving out some of my uncle’s personal effects and asked him that if there was anything at all that he planned to throw away, could he just leave it behind in the apartment?
Anything, he said, was better than the nothing he had.
Dad left him a couple old velour chairs that Mom noted she didn’t want. Mom later decided the guy should have a place to put his clothes and that she didn’t have a place for the larger dresser anyway.
We pulled the small dresser out so that I could refinish it next summer and The Midget would have something to use when she stayed at my folks’ place.
The dining room set was kind of a wreck and we debated its value for a bit.
“Was that great-grandma’s?” I asked.
“Yes,” Mom said before pausing. “We used to have every family dinner, every holiday meal… That table was the holidays. I just don’t know now…”
I looked at what had to be 25 to 30 years of paint splotches, watermarks, food stains and scorches on it. It wasn’t even a question.
“Take it. I’ll figure out how to refinish it.”
We moved all this stuff down to the truck and packed it up. We had one last task for the day: find a TV for Uncle Ron.
The one he had died or was dying and he didn’t have anything to watch in the new place. All the money he had would be slowly drained away by the healthcare system, so Mom decided that before it was all gone, she should spend his money on anything that would give him some comfort.
We bought a 27-inch flat screen and headed over to the assisted living place. When we got inside the room, he was in bed, under the covers, staring at the ceiling.
Dad and I are usually horribly awkward in hospitals and with illness, so we set about trying to put the TV together. Mom went inside and tried talking to my uncle to pretty much no avail.
After about 10 minutes, I realized we needed a screwdriver to put the base onto the TV. Mom and Dad left to go and find one, leaving me alone with my great uncle.
“Hi Uncle Ron. How are you doing?”
“It’s a nice day out. Glad we could swing by and see you. Did you get outside?”
I paused. I realized this was bullshit. He wasn’t going to talk. He didn’t want to be here. He didn’t want to live. Still, I needed to tell him something.
“I wanted to thank you for selling me your car. I loved my Civic and you really took great care of that car. I’m sorry you can’t drive it any more, but I’ll do my best to keep her on the road.”
I turned away.
“I always did what the car people told me,” he said, breaking the silence. “I kept up with the oil changes, the tires, everything. It was a really great car and it was really good to me. It was a good car. A good, good car.”
The weekend blew by in a blink. A card show was interrupted by about four or five dozen phone calls, texts and emails. I went between having five people wanting to see the car to no one wanted to see the car. By the time I was heading home, I had two people coming to see the car.
The first guy showed up from in town. He was clearly a mechanic.
Before he did anything else, he examined the underside of the car for rust and leaks. He rubbed the body in spots to make sure there was no rust anywhere. He opened the hood and looked for anything that was not in the right spot.
He noticed immediately that the seals were wearing in spots with some minor leaking. He also noticed a crap-ton of the new parts I had put into this thing.
He took it for a ride up and down the outlying farm roads before coming back with a simple assessment:
“I like it, but the heat doesn’t work the way I want it to.”
I explained that the core was good, the vents needed work and that overall, it was a keeper.
“It’s either a core blockage or it’s a vent thing or whatever. I can fix it, but I really don’t want to.”
“Look,” I told him. “I know this sounds like bullshit, but I’ve got another guy who’s interested and he’s coming later today. You’re here first, so if you want it, you get the first shot at it.”
“Uh-huh,” he said with a “yeah right” smirk. At that point, a car pulled up. A kid who looked like he was about 19 and his girlfriend got out.
“I’ll be right there,” I called out to the kid as the guy’s demeanor changed a bit.
He left me an offer about $500 less than what I really set as the bottom for what I would take for the car before he got in his car and drove off.
My dad’s brother was 18 years younger than my Dad. Grandma used to love to tell the story about how she was about 40 and she didn’t feel well, so she went to the doctor.
“I think I’m going through ‘The Change,’” she said, referring to menopause as they did in those days.
The doctor smiled. “You’re going to get a change, all right. You’re pregnant.”
Uncle Fred lived through his young adulthood without a father, since Grandpa died when he was about 16. A few years after Grandpa passed, his sister, Agnes, died as well.
Aunt Aggie had no children of her own. She lived with my great-grandparents, worked hard and saved money her whole life.
In her will, she left Uncle Fred a chunk of money, the size of which I was never really told. It wasn’t enough to make him rich, but it was in the four or five-figure range, enough to buy something fairly price.
He decided he wanted a car and a lot of car lots wouldn’t take him seriously. He was about 20 years old, loved fast cars and came onto the property alone. He appeared to be the “anti-sale,” to use a salesman-friend’s term: A guy who sucked up a lot of time and played with the toys but never had the money to buy one.
A Ford dealership operated a mile or so from Grandma’s house and Uncle Fred just happened to be looking on the lot that day when a trailer pulled up full of new 1982 cars. One of them was a black Boss 302 Mustang.
My uncle had found his muse and he made an inquiry as the car was gliding off the truck.
“Here,” the salesman said, tossing him the keys. “Go sell yourself a car.”
My uncle said that made all the difference to him. He drove it, loved it and bought it.
“The guy wanted me to own it and thought I should,” he once said to me.
30 years later, he still owns it.
The first thing I noticed about the kid was that he seemed to be looking for a reason to buy the car as opposed to a reason not to buy it. He looked at all the same things the other guy did, but he got in the car faster. He checked simple things like if the backup lights worked, if the horn beeped and if the radio came on. He pushed buttons and moved the seat around.
It appeared as if he was trying to imagine himself in the driver’s seat.
The car was running as we talked about price and condition and everything else. Finally, I asked him, “Do you guys want to take it for a ride?”
The guy said he did and the girl started to move away from the passenger’s side door.
“Do you want to go with him?” I asked.
“Well, sure, but …” she started.
“Aren’t you going to want to come with us?” the guy asked.
“Nah. I trust you. Take her for a run. Sell yourself a car.”
While he was out driving it, the first guy texted me.
“I think we can make a deal on the price you wanted. LMK.”
Bird in the hand, I suppose…
When they got back from the ride, the mentioned the heat issue. I repeated what I told the first guy. The kid said he understood.
He then started just kind of looking at the car.
It’s a hard thing to describe, but it wasn’t like he was looking for damage or for leaks or anything else. It was like he was looking at someone he just met, maybe a nice girl he wanted to ask on a date. Maybe a person on the bus he wanted to befriend. It was just a look, but so much more.
“I need to tell you something,” I began. “The guy who was here before you left me an offer. It’s not bullshit. I can show you the text. I told him that you drove out here from two hours away and that since you were still here, you could have first shot at it.”
He asked what the offer was and I told him. He seemed a bit deflated. He then countered.
“I have cash in the car.”
I smiled. I totally would have said the same thing. Maybe I wasn’t looking for the right amount of money but the right guy to sell it to.
Maybe I found him.
“Look, you don’t have to match or beat the offer. Tell me what you want to pay and if it’s close, you should have her.”
He came close after we finagled a bit. We shook on it. I had sold the Civic.
While we waited for The Missus to come home and co-sign the title, I pulled the plates off the car, gave him a “License Applied For” sign and just generally shot the shit.
“You know I didn’t want to sell her, right? My goal was to put a quarter million miles on her and then drive her in the parade with classic plates.”
The kid looked at me.
“Do you think she has another 100,000 miles in her?”
“I’d love to know for sure. Call me when you get to that point.”
Five minutes later, my wife was home and she signed the title. The kid put the sign in the rear window and he drove off into the darkness.
He turned left as he left the cul de sac and that was the last I ever saw of the Civic.
A buddy of mine used to say that a mechanic can’t call a car truly his (or her) own until he fixes one thing on her and breaks one thing on her.
I did both in the same day.
The Green Civic had power locks that didn’t work when we bought it. I looked around and talked to my guys at the parts place about this, only to find out that the lock actuators on this model were notorious for dying off.
I picked up two actuators and set about trying to replace them.
To reach the locking mechanism, you have to remove the door panels and then reach around inside the door. It’s like a wide metal bowl with a narrow metal mouth. A lot of possibility for cuts and bleeding.
Before I could even get to the passenger’s side actuator, I practically snapped the inside door panel in half. A small crack in the plastic door lining was hidden from sight. When I tugged on the panel, the crack caught a bit on the door and a giant gash formed all along the top of the inside of the door.
No amount of epoxy was fixing that.
Still, I pressed on and got the actuators in. I put everything back together and had that “There! Fixed!” feeling going on when my wife called.
“Are the locks fixed?” she asked.
“Yep. And I broke the door.” I could hear her sigh.
She told me that the Midget was a bit confused with the name of the car, since I kept calling it “The Civic.”
“I thought Daddy sold the Civic,” my child told my wife.
She asked if the car had a name yet. I told her no. You can’t just name a car. It has to come from somewhere. I doubt my uncle named it, but at the very least, I couldn’t just say, “Hi, car, you are now named X.”
We hung up and I looked to the left of the phone in the garage. I had a piece of the door I had failed to reinstall on the driver’s side.
I pulled the panel off again, hoping to avoid a matching crack on this side. The panel started to groan like disaster was just one erg away.
“Come on, Sparky, dammit, don’t do this to me.”
The panel popped free. I put it down and looked the car over. It was the same look the kid had when he bought the car from me.
“Sparky. That’ll play.”
Here's a snap of Oscar that my pal Elspeth/Wendy texted me. It was taken during Carnival on Thoth Sunday.. We don't have coolers stacked up 12 months a year but maybe we should. I suspect that Mother Mary is lurking somewhere nearby, she's part of our regular krewe on that day as well as various Hackenbergs.
Anyhoo, here's Oskie:
It comes from President Obama's appearance last night on The Tonight Show. It's a zinger aimed at Malakatude Hall of Famer, Donald Trump:
"This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya. We had constant run-ins on the soccer field. He wasn't very good and resented it. When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over."
Despite the fact that low-income women who give birth to children would logically need increased assistance to care for their larger family, Pennsylvania lawmakers — State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R) — don’t want their state’s food stamp program to provide additional benefits for that newborn. If a woman gives birth to a child who was conceived from rape, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her food stamp benefits aren’t slashed, but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser’s identity to the police.
The primary sponsor of this bill, oddly, doesn't list it among her many accomplishments (including but not limited to promoting "American Law for American Courts"). Even more disheartening, a Democrat is co-sponsoring the thing, though he at least has the stones to put it out there.
Nowhere in the bill is it mentioned that perhaps the men who can't govern their own dicks should have benefits reduced to them, because women are the ones tasked with providing for their children, and women bear those children, and women raise those children, and women are shamed for getting pregnant and shamed for not getting pregnant and shamed for being raped and shamed for reporting their rapes and shamed for not reporting their rapes and shamed for giving birth and shamed for getting abortions because stupid bitches and that's why.
As to the actual dollar amount that will be saved by the state through eliminating the horrible scourge of poor fake-rape babies, the bill is silent. There were eight entire cases of fraud proven overall, according to this, in the past month.
So clearly this is a crisis we all need to get working on. Fuck this. If you added up all the fraud and waste and horror that poor people supposedly cause, I doubt it would total a month's worth of time blowing shit up in Afghanistan, but hey, people on public assistance are already down, so that makes them much easier to kick.
I do not understand what we get out of this, as a society. I really, really don't. If I thought making poor people feel like shit about themselves would actually end poverty maybe I'd be a little more in favor of doing it, but you know, it's not about the objects of our charity. It's about us, and what we deserve to do. To send outward into the world. To show others.
And all of the testing, the probing, the constant suspicion that somebody somewhere is getting away with something, that doesn't do shit to make people any less poor. All it does is make those of us who are not poor a little less rich.
I thought Sharron Angle's "made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade" was about as batshit insane as wingnuttery could get when it came to denying a woman's right to choose...but Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock saw her batshittery and raised her one "gift from God," as you've probably read or seen.
And then, of course, there was the non-apology expression of regret that his words were "misinterpreted." But...Mourdock's position -- aside form being ignorant and cruel beyond belief -- are pretty much mainstream Redumblican these days. Mitt Romney, who, in typically cloddish style, endorsed and recently recorded a television commercial for Mourdock, is allegedly "moderate" by party standards in "allowing" rape and incest exceptions...if that can even be considerd moderate...but the party itself has gone off the cliff. When it comes to choice, they're more than willing to make government as big and intrusive as it can get.
Then, as we all know, once the child is born, they couldn't care any less about "sanctity of life." Hell, they demand we spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on stuff designed to kill them.
I'm talking Panda as in Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval who waddled around the bases thrice tonight as my boys thrashed the Tigers 8-3. Two of his taters were off Goochland's Justin Verlander who had his first bad outing in a month. Heh, heh, heh.
There's a crazy new list for a list crazy sport: Ruth, Reggie, Pujols, Panda. Sandoval? Holy listomania, Batman.
Reporters show up to cover something they know is likely to be bullshit, only to complain that it is in fact bullshit:
Donald Trump today pledged $5 million to a charity of President Obama's choice, provided the president makes public his college applications and transcripts and releases his passport history, a far cry from the October-surprise bombshell Trump had promised.
Calling the offer a "major announcement," Trump released a video via Twitter at noon to much ballyhoo, and his online followers grew by the hundreds in the moments before the video was released.
Why yes. It's almost as if he benefitted from high-profile media coverage of some kind.
Trump had been teeing up this announcement for days, and many hoped for a game-changing October surprise.
They had? Who are these people? Quote them, name them, at least tell us many of WHAT had been hoping for an October surprise. Many Republicans? Many voters? Many hairdressers? Many clowns?
How exactly was Trump "teeing up this announcement?" By sending gullible, lazy and stupid national pundits and reporters endless press releases and Twittering things? Is that how he forced them all to attend his press conference? I was sort of hoping it was something more extreme, like maybe he held a gun to their heads, given that this story is written as if under duress.
Oh, and no piece of total bullshit would be complete without false equivalency:
Separately, liberals were also hoping for a late-breaking smear on Mitt Romney that would alter a neck-and-neck race for the White House, but that also fell flat today.
A Massachusetts judge will hold another hearing Thursday before deciding whether to unseal testimony Romney gave in a 1990s divorce case. Some people have accused Romney of lying under oath so a friend and political backer, Staples founder Tom Stemberg, would not have to pay a settlement his wife.
That didn't "fall flat." It hasn't happened yet. We don't know what's in those records. We don't know it's a "smear." Might be nothing, but it's certainly not equivalent to Trump throwing open Al Capone's safe only to find a squeaky toy and a half-eaten Twinkie in there, not yet.
You know, I don't fault Trump at all for his antics. He's doing exactly what he's good at, which is being a better-dressed Joey Buttafuoco. But it is blindingly clear by now that absolutely nothing he says is important in any way, and 90 percent of it is false. So why is he being covered as though he has anything that matters in his head?
The stories themselves say flat-out that this was crap, which makes me wonder why there were stories at all. Instead of covering something only to bemoan how demeaning it is to cover it, why not ... not cover it? Call your assignment editor and say sorry, nothing new here, the thing died on the table? I had to do that all the time, and it sucked, but we have a limited amount of time on this planet and not everything was worth the ten minutes it would take one of our readers to get through the story.
Politicians and others are always calling press conferences to talk about things that don't get covered. It's perfectly possible (and at times even honorable) to refuse to listen when somebody wants to lie to you, to refuse to broadcast those lies, and above all to make clear that it is your goddamn job to make those decisions.
Once upon a time journalists took pride in not getting played so easily. Now they describe the precise ways in which they got worked and expect us to be outraged on their behalf. It's exhausting. Just shut up and go home and the next time Trump drunk-dials you promising he has Jimmy Hoffa in his car trunk, use the caller ID God gave you and don't pick up.
They have demonstrated that the worst thing you can say to a woman with an opinion is that she’s a) ugly b) sexually frustrated c) bitter d) childless e) slutty, or f) some combination of the above. Koenig has been on the receiving end of all of it, despite the fact that Keonig in a committed relationship and has mentioned, many times, that she has never ruled out motherhood.
It's shit like this that made me not want kids once upon a time. If Doc hadn't told me I didn't have to automatically love other people or their kids if I had my own, I think I'd still be on the pill. As it is, I want a kid desperately, and I think STFU Parents is hilarious, and here's why:
It's not about parents, good or bad.
It's about shitty behavior on social media.
It's about oversharing. It's about posting incessant updates about banality. It's about hijacking other people's statuses and using bad grammar and generally being a total asshole who doesn't know what the Internet is for. Just like STFU, Conservatives and STFU, Liberals and STFU, Believers and every other STFU site out there.
But that this one challenges the general assertion that parenthood is somehow above mockery is cause to call the author an ugly, unlovable whore.
Because if she had kids, she'd automatically become a total asshole with no sense of humor, too?
That's a pretty lousy way to encourage someone to breed, and a much more stinging indictment of parenthood than anything posted on B's site.
It's hard being a corrupt Attorney General. Harry Daugherty is under investigation and his pudgy bag man, Jess Smith, has a meltdown at a Boy Scout shebang, which was probably caused by the Scouts rendition of the excreable dirt sleeping anthem, Ging Gang Goolie. I know that it gave me nightmares. My skin crawls at the very thought of camping. I am a city boy and damn proud of it.
Now where was I? Oh yeah, Nucky is pissed off at Harry who reciprocates by having the Nuckster tossed in the hoosegow. Nucky chills in the cooler, and then is fined $5 at the night court by a judge who looks nothing like Harry Anderson.
The Nuckster runs into his old nemesis, Esther Randolph, who has been demoted to trying cases in front of Judge Not Harry Anderson. Hey, at least Dan Fielding isn't there to pinch her ass. Anyway, Nucky is concerned that Daugherty is planning to throw him under the trolley car and comes up with a plan to make this boomerang on the crooked AG. His attempt to sell this idea to Ms. Randolph flops. For now, for now.
Okey doke, on to some brief comments:
Seeing Double: Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian's life continues to suck ass. She catches Charlie Lucky encouraging one of her "hoors" (his word, not mine, Imam) to sell heroin to the johns. Jillian wants to run a respectable bordello and fires her ass after being mocked by Charlie Lucky for having "hoors" who dress like school marms. Roaring Twenties snap.
After her encounter with the future boss of bosses, she gathers Jimmy's pictures and puts them in a jar that she keeps by the door. What is it for? Oops, that's Eleanor Rigby, not Madam Mommie Dearest Jillian.
She hits the boardwalk, meets a young Hoosier named Roger who resembles Jimmy. She beds him and calls him James because "that's the name of a king." I shall call him Roger James.
Jillian is a fascinating, twisted and very disturbed character. Her sick and incestuous relationship with Jimmy was deeply creepy, and the new thing with Roger James is as well. I love casting the sweet faced and adorable Gretchen Moll as the skeezy, hopelessly messed up Jillian. And Gretchen rocks the part, y'all.
Scrapbooking with Richard Harrow: Speaking of creepily endearing characters, Richard has a new fixation. He meets a nice young lady when he helped her drunken lout of a father after he got his blotto butt kicked at the Legion Hall. Stomp. Hmm, that sounds like a country song; maybe something for George Jones...
Richard likes this woman because she'll look him in the eye, and not call him "half moon" like her drunken lout of a father did. Hereinafter referred to as DLOAF. DLOAF? That sounds like day old bread or well-worn, uh, loafers.
Richard goes home, takes off his Guy Fawkes mask, and breaks out his scrapbook. Jack Huston is astonishing as Richard. He's a third generation thespian and has a silent film star vibe going on. He moves very gracefully, sort of like Charlie Chaplin and has that shell shocked John Gilbert look. I hope Richard finds his Garbo.
Btw, if you'd like to see an *excellent* silent film, Gilbert is awesome in King Vidor's The Big Parade. It's the first great Hollywood war film, and it was fresh and contemporaneous when it came out in 1925. It's set in what Wilson called the war to end all wars. Woodrow was meshuggah when he said that...
Striking Matches: It's the case of the burning greenhouse. Nucky and Margaret have a greenhouse? Who knew? I wonder if Teddy will eventually become the marijuana king of Atlantic City? Probably not. Enough with the questions, already.
Margaret suspects her creepily endearing pyromaniacal son of setting the blaze. Teddy loves matches but is not guilty: a "vagrant" did it. An aside: Not a word we use today but perhaps I should revive it. I got nothing better to do right now. Plus it rhymes with fragrant and flagrant...
Speaking of fire, Margaret and IRA Man Owen (I'm dead serious about this multiple name thing, y'all) reignite their smoldering passion in (where else?) the greenhouse. We didn't see much of Nucky's greenhouse: I wonder if it was anything like the one in The Big Sleep wherein Bogie sweated like Willard Romney during the last debate. Pardon the digression but what's a little digression among friends? The Crack Van is all about digression, yo.
I'll let the great Chris Difford have the last word with a croaky voiced rendition of a tune from Babylon and On, which is what I just did:
Last Friday I posted a live version of the opening medley of Traffic's John Barleycorn LP. Here's Steve Winwood and his killer band performing the 3rd track of side-1. Is it time to flip the record?
The Etch-a-sketch brigade is at it again. The Romney-ites are peddling a "we gonna win" meme and some of the usual MSM suspects are falling for this shell game. The interwebs is full of pieces that described a different debate to the one that I saw. Romney got his sweaty, lying ass kicked but even some folks who should know better wrote "Obama won the debate but" posts.
This is the same shell game the GOP trots out every election cycle. This time Romney's minions announced they were pulling staff out of North Carolina and they did: one guy. One fucking guy. In 2000, Dubya campaigned in LA to rattle the Dems. Hell, in 2004 Vice President Duce flew to Hawaii for the same reason.
In recent days, the vibe emanating from Mitt Romney’s campaign has grown downright giddy. Despite a lack of any evident positive momentum over the last week — indeed, in the face of a slight decline from its post-Denver high — the Romney camp is suddenly bursting with talk that it will not only win but win handily. (“We’re going to win,” said one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest advisers. “Seriously, 305 electoral votes.”)
This is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Also last week, Paul Ryan held a rally in Pittsburgh. Romney moving in to Pennsylvania! On the offensive! Skeptical reporters noted that Ryan’s rally would bleed into the media coverage in southeast Ohio and that Romney was not devoting any real money to Pennsylvania. Romney’s campaign keeps leaking that it is planning to spend money there. (Today’s leak: “Republicans are genuinely intrigued by the prospect of a strike in Pennsylvania and, POLITICO has learned, are considering going up on TV there outside the expensive Philadelphia market.” Note the noncommittal terms: intrigued and considering.) The story also floats Romney’s belief that, since Pennsylvania has no early voting, it can postpone its planned, any-day-now move into Pennsylvania until the end. This allows Romney to keep the Pennsylvania bluff going until, what, a couple of days before the election?
Several of my more apolitical friends have decided to vote for Obama because Willard reminds them of a particularly sleazy used car salesman. Like the Mittbot, they'll do anything to close a sale. Here's hoping the MSM won't help that lying sack of shit peddle his prevarications. It reminds me of this circa 1960 saying about my anti-hero, Tricky Dick:
In that instance, the American people were against Nixon before they were for him in '68 and '72. In 1973, the country woke up with a hangover and an enormous case of buyer's remorse. Let's hope we send Romney back to his two-car elevator instead of putting the pandering weasel on the public payroll. I betcha $10K he loses...
I'll let the Who have the last word, in this case without Laurence O'Donnell:
A blimp-like aircraft that carried advertising showing a beaming Mitt Romney was forced to make an emergency landing in a heavily Democratic part of Florida on Sunday, The Miami Herald reported.
No one was injured in the crash, according to local authorities who spoke with The Herald. Two people were aboard.
The blimp started its flight in Boca Raton, the site of tonight’s debate, and moved south, according to The Herald. The airship carried a message: “America Needs Romney,” along with a picture of the grinning candidate.
The pilot encountered strong winds, according to The Herald. “He just knew he wasn't going to make it,” a spokesman for the the local police told The Herald, and instead landed the blimp about 150 yards from two homes in a development.
What exactly prompted the emergency landing is under investigation, according to authorities. And while the aircraft has been described as a blimp, authorities say it is actually a “thermal airship.”
A Romney spokesperson said the campaign was not behind the stunt.
Hopefully, this will be a premonitory metaphor for his candidacy. Okay folks, caption away:
Via reader JW, here's a bit of heartening news:
More than 100 Seattle Times news staffers signed a protest letter Thursday against The Times Co.'s decision to sponsor political ads promoting Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and the Ref. 74 campaign to legalize gay marriage.
The Times launched the campaign with a full-page pro-McKenna ad in Wednesday's editions. Company officials described the campaign as an effort to demonstrate the effectiveness of newspaper advertising and attract new political-ad revenue.
But the letter from Times newsroom staffers, delivered Thursday to Publisher Frank Blethen, warned the campaign threatened the newspaper's credibility with readers.
"We strive to remain independent from the institutions we cover. We shine a light on the process from the outside. We are not part of the process. This ad threatens to compromise that integrity," the letter said, noting The Times had become "part of the campaign's machinery, creating a perception that we are not an independent watchdog."
Which is exactly right, and would have been right if the paper's ads had said the opposite as well. You can't life the rest of us about how you're the last bastion of independent democracy while letting your bosses make a mockery of that upstandingness every single day. There's always a risk in this kind of protest, sure, but in the end the greater risk is looking like you don't notice, or don't care, what is being done in your name.
That is not a misprint, it is what Obama turned Romney into this evening: pudding, very vanilla pudding. For the first half hour, Mittbot held his own but then his synapses misfired and he went all 404 error messagey out there. Hell, he even started sweating like Tricky Dick and his spray tan began melting. Boehner beware...
Seriously, other than a few astonishing issue pirouettes, Mitt went into rope-a-dope mode, and played for a draw. He didn't get it; although his stance as a born again dove was calculated to appeal to undecided women voters in (where else?) the Ohio suburbs. Guess they're not calling them soccer moms this time around, which is a great relief to me. Why not little league moms?
In the end, this election will boil down to the ground game and who gets their voters to the polls in the swing states. At times, it feels as if they're running for President of Ohio but that's the electoral college for you; as long as we have that anachronism, it will always boil down to a few swing states. Hopefully this time around they won't:
In other good news, my San Francisco Giants rallied from a 3-1 series deficit and beat the St Louis Cardinals 9-0. The game ended in a driving rain but, hey, I didn't have to sit through it so it didn't bother me. I did, however, suffer through Joe Buck, the Luke Russert of sportscasters, but not for the entire game, most of which I spent hunkered down in the Crack Van snickering at Romney.
I am looking forward to the upcoming blue state World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Of course, the Giants' reward for beating the Cards is having to face Justin Verlander who has been pitching like a gentile Sandy Koufax for the last month or so. Yeah, I know, Verlander is a right-hander but I wanted to use the phrase gentile Sandy Koufax so sue me. Btw, Verlander hails from Goochland, Virginia, which is within spitting distance of Dr. A's hometown. Okay, that's not true either. (Staunton is 83 miles away from Goochland, which is a gloriously silly name.) I blame it on an overexposure to Willard the mendacious. These debates have been hard on my verisimilitude, y'all.
Finally, "I love teachers" who are, of course, associated with binders but that was last week's meme...
You say that you're not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq but just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now. And the challenge we have, I know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you've offered an opinion, you've been wrong. You said we should have gone into Iraq despite the fact there were no weapons of mass destruction. You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day. You indicated that we shouldn't be passing nuclear treaties with Russia despite the fact that 71 senators, Democrats and Republicans, voted for it. You said that first we should not have a time line in Afghanistan. Then you said we should. Now you say maybe. Or it depends. Which means not only were you wrong but you're also confusing in sending mixed messages to our troops and our allies.
Here's what I kept saying in the van last night: You can't debate somebody who just flat-out makes different shit up every time. Mitt Romney tonight said he wanted troops out of Iraq, and he wanted to bomb Arabs into loving us, and he wanted to keep all our foreign aid going so as to gentrify the unruly foreign hordes, and he wanted to support free elections, except for when they elect people who are super-Muslim-like, in which case we need to arm them, but only once we're sure they're not our enemies but our allies.
I mean it was this incoherent morass of just ... things ... and stuff. I'm actually surprised Obama was able to respond to as much of it as he did, given how random Romney was. I think the most offensive things Romney said had to do with civilizing the Islamic world, which a) isn't an actual thing and b) name me a world of any kind that has responded particularly well to people bigfooting in with plans to make it better through benevolent condescension and killing of its children. But honestly, it was hard to get too worked up about anything given how little it actually mattered from one moment to the next.
If the genius of George W. Bush was fully realizing the power of incumbency, that once in office polls didn't matter and protests didn't matter and pundits didn't matter and nobody could do shit about shit, then the genius of Mitt Romney is in realizing that our press is so cowed, and our public so fragmented, that he is not beholden to consistency from one moment to the next. And so there's no need for a public domestic policy, or a foreign policy that's anything other than BOO THE WHOLE WORLD, because none of it matters. Forget a post-fact politics. We're living in a post-reality politics, where nothing exists, not even enough to find repugnant and argue against.
Obama to Romney:
But I think Gov. Romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mention the Navy, and how we have fewer ships than 1916. We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. We have aircraft carriers; we have ships that go underwater; nuclear submarines.
And so the question is not a game of 'Battleship' where we're counting ships. It's: What are our capabilities?
No violence. Save some HAMZ for election night, I have a feeling we're going to need them.
VAN CLOSED. Be here all election day and all night for crack van goodness, with a rotating cast of drivers including probably Mr. A, if I can bribe him with beer and ferrets.
Greg Peters had a regular feature at his much missed blog, Suspect Device: lazy quotes from better writers; or something like that. This is one of those times. This is the first paragraph of a pre-debate post by the political poet laureate of Esquire, Charles P. Pierce:
Tonight, the existential absurdity of having Willard Romney, a complete creature of the financial elite, at even money to be elected president of the United States a mere four years after that same elite burned down the world economy and looted what was left, will be compounded by the existential absurdity of having two men argue about when — and, in Romney's case, if — we should remove our troops from a country in which young women are beheaded if they refuse to prostitute themselves.
Be here tonight for all the hotness. I hope Obama bring his BISH PLEASE face again. "Please proceed, governor," has become the new code word in my house for "yeah, I see you're about to set yourself on fire, lemme get the camera."
Feral Liberal sends in this photo of his Pippin following last week's curb-stomping:
The CEO of a Florida-based software firm has repeatedly solicited his more than 1,300 employees not only to support Mitt Romney, but to donate up to the maximum $2,500 to Romney’s presidential campaign, suggesting that their jobs may be at stake if Romney doesn’t win, according to emails obtained exclusively by Up w/ Chris Hayes.
Arthur Allen, the CEO of ASG Software Solutions — a $375 million company, according to Forbes magazine — sent an email to his employees on August 27th, the day before the scheduled start of the Republican National Convention, asking them to give up to the maximum individual donation to the Romney campaign in order to help the company stave off financial ruin and save employees’ jobs.
Mr. Allen is not the only CEO pressuring his employees into supporting Romney but he's one of the most overt. Hmm, I wonder if their software is part of the Mittbot's programming? Romney, of course, thinks CEO arm twisting, threats and employee coercion is jolly good.
Nothing is new in politics. Employers threatened their workers with firing if they voted for FDR in 1936. The economy was recovering too slowly for most tastes that year too, after having been driven into a ditch by the so-called Great Engineer, Herbert Hoover. Btw, the next time a GOPer complains to you about the Dems talking about Dubya, remind them that we ran against Hoover for 30-odd years, and that they're still running against Carter 32 years after "whipping his ass," a term used by the Deacon to describe how he'd beat Kennedy for the nomination. Reagan was the one who really had the whip hand that year. Guess he borrowed it from Nancy who always struck me as the dominatrix behind the Gipper's throne...
Here's hoping that these employees remember that it's a SECRET FUCKING BALLOT and ignore their CEO's pressuring them to vote for one of their own. It looks as if Mitt and his fellow CEOs have moved from easy street to Shakedown Street:
Good morning, gentle people - let's get a few of the fresher drums of Freeperati toxic waste up to the front of the line and take a peek inside.
Suits on - blowers on - hams secured - here we go!
First up - Dinesh - Don't Tell !
Dinesh D'Souza Resigns as Head of Christian College Amid Controversy http://www.christianpost.com/news/dinesh-dsouza-resigns-as-head-of-christian-college-amid-controversy-83538/cpf ^
Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:27:36 PM by HokieMom
Dinesh D'Souza resigned as president of The King's College after a magazine story revealed that he was engaged to another woman while still married to his wife of 20 years. The Board of Trustees of The King's College, a Christian institution based in New York, accepted his resignation Thursday.
A leftist would have doubled down.
I had no idea that Randy Hopper (heh) was a "leftist". Do tell me more.
Yep! Maybe now he can concentrate on digging up more dirt on Obama..
He did, that was the problem.
“The board spent hours in meetings this week after World Magazine reported that D’Souza and a young woman, Denise Odie Joseph II, stayed in the same hotel room last month. The two were attending an apologetics conference...”
Bedding down with a lady that is not your wife at an apologetics conference?
At lease D’Souza has a great sense for what is ironic sleazy.
I think Christian conservative leaders do more harm to Christianity when they get caught in these sexual escapades than all the trash liberals and atheists throw at it combined.
Forget Obama, Dinesh was one of the leading Christian apologists in the country defending Christianity(anywhere, anytime), as well as objective morality, and now he is just another hypocrite who got caught with his pants down and has not only humiliated himself but has made Christian conservatism a national laughingstock, again.12 posted on Thursday, October 18, 2012 1:43:30 PM by radpolis (Liberals: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy)..
What kind of nitwit gets engaged to one woman while still being married to another?
This is what is known as "begging the question"
He’s just asking for his wife’s lawyers to take him to the cleaners (I’d say he was also asking to get fired, but I guess that’s a moot point).
Now a good man is getting borked. By our side.
She looks like it’s worth it, in the short run at least.
To: hosepipeAn honorable man doesn't make it his business to point out the moral shortcomings of others while banging some woman who was nine years old when said man married his current wife. It's also pretty clear he didn't just resign - he was no doubt told to, lest the college rightfully pressure him to return the 7 figure salary he collected while spending his time attending to his own personal business rather than the school's. Not only is he an adulterer, his love interest is one as well, and she's been married all of 10 months. The man disgusts me - just another charlatan fleecing the flock while completely ignoring the message that he touts.
It sure wasn’t smart to wait until after he made millions off of 2016 to get the divorce.
Criticized the Messiah so he’ll now be joePlumberized —no prob I’ll simply like him more...
Prez is STILL a homo, ya know....
The best convention acceptance speech that almost nobody saw. Senator McGovern hit the stage at 3AM EST and joked about it. It's a pity they didn't have the YouTube back then. Here we go:
Conrad comes slithering out of his hole to opine that this Rupert Murdoch chap is a bit of a douche:
When the extent of his skullduggery finally oozed out, sluggish and filthy, including the details of the British government's dotage on him, this summer, Murdoch's old possum routine didn't play as convincingly as it had in its many previous auditions, when he purported to be contrite over the shortcomings of errant employees. Bumbling into a parliamentary hearing in London, supported on each arm like a centenarian semi-cadaver, mumbling about humility, trying to represent News Corporation's board as independent when it is public corporate America's most docile board of directors and is composed entirely of hacks, retainers, and ex-employees; scrambling and whimpering and paying millions to victims of his outrages; putting his name on a Journal op-ed piece about education; it's all of a piece and none of it resonates anymore. In bygone days, he somehow carried off sprawling in a black costume on a bed in a glossy magazine and ruminating about being an "ambassador to Joe Six Pack," a champion of the little guy, and a spiritual person contemplating the consolations of Catholicism. At its most imaginative, it was a passably imaginative imposture.
My admiration for his boldness and acumen and our previous 25 years of more than civil relations make it unpleasant, despite his unspeakable assault on me, to have to conclude that he is, in my personal belief, a psychopath.
(BTW, I would yell about HuffPo giving a platform to one of the greatest assholes of our time, but the Sun-Times just gave Jenny McCarthy a column, and I think the argument that media needs more self-respect is over. Self-respect did not win, BTW.)
This piece is like a football game between Nazis and child molesters, where you're primarily rooting for violent injuries. I think my favorite part is when ex-con Conrad basically admits that it was all fine and dandy for Rupert to rape and pillage so long as he did it with his pinky finger properly crooked:
As I have often written before, he is probably the greatest media-owner in history, and his achievements in becoming the tabloid leader in London, in cracking the egregious Luddite print unions there, in breaking the triopoly of American television networks, promoting vertical integration with television outlets and film production, and his pioneering breakthroughs in satellite television worldwide, are Napoleonic in boldness of concept and skill of execution. And no one has been more vocal or consistent than I in saluting them.
I competed with Murdoch, successful and quite cordially, in Britain for 15 years when we had theTelegraph newspapers, and for a time in Australia. Our relations and those of our wives were always quite convivial.
Sure, he broke unions and slashed prices and generally acted like all the world was fuel for his personal bonfire. Sure, the wars Murdoch and his allies championed are still sending boys and girls home in boxes, years after it became clear that those wars would never be won, because his influence was such that it is treason to speak of the drawbacks to blowing up the entirety of the Middle East.
Sure, he poured poison in all our wells, and sure, he dug his claws into all of our backs, and sure, we are meaner and smaller and poorer and sicker than we have ever been in no small part because of the work he did, but he's from such a lovely family, and he's so well-spoken, too.
But when he said mean things about me, when he made fun of me, when he pointed out that I was filthy, then I was offended. and then I was outraged, and then I was compelled to call him a monster. Because that was a bridge too far.
The Democratic Party's 1972 Presidential nominee George McGovern has died at the age of 90. The despicable campaign against him by Tricky Dick and CREEP created the template for future GOP campaigns. McGovern was demonized, characitured and slandered in a race that Nixon would have won anyway. McGovern was a decorated bomber pilot in World War, who was accused of treason over his opposition to our stupid war in Vietnam by GOPers whose own standard bearer spent WWII in uniform but safely out of the combat zone. Sound familiar?
McGovern spent 3 terms in the Senate, and along with Bob Dole, was one of the creators of the food stamp program, which was aimed at helping farmers as much as poor folks. That aspect of the program has been forgotten, alas.
The 1972 election was the first one I was old enough to pay attention to. It was a horror for Democrats as not only did we lose but we looked horrible doing so. It wasn't just Trick Dick and the ratfuckers: McGovern's disastrous pick of Tom Eagleton and the serial turn downs by his top replacement choices sealed his fate. BUT his primary campaign was a classic, it was essentially the model for most subsequent nomination candidacies. Yup, it wrote the template. 1972 was a big template year.
I do feel that McGovern had a case that he shouldn’t be portrayed as a loser, but a victim. Not even a noble loser because that sends a message that all morally driven politics is destined to fail nobly. He was the victim of a crook and liar covering up an illegal war killing our own people and countless innocent Asian peasants. He was the misfortune of competing against a man who had no regard for the Constitution he had sworn to defend.
Looking back now on my phone conversation with McGovern, I think I thought at the time he was being unrealistic. If so, I was wrong.
I think George McGovern deserves to be remembered as a winner.
Elected to the Senate in 1962, Mr. McGovern left no special mark in his three terms, but he voted consistently in favor of civil rights and antipoverty bills, was instrumental in developing and expanding food stamp and nutrition programs, and helped lead opposition to the Vietnam War in the Senate.
He would have been an extraordinary president.
I've developed a lethal addiction to some of the SyFy channel's reality shows. This is an episode of Monster Man wherein a zany make-up artiste does some work for new wave legends, Devo: