Why I’ll never run for Congress.

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A few confessions first:

1-I live with a guy that I’m not married to and have for the last six years. We have no immediate intention to get married. In fact, we just talked about it this morning and agreed that our relationship as it stands now is pretty good and won’t necessarily lose anything from not having piece of paper notarized by a judge.

2-On July 14, 1994, I was raped. It was a guy that I used to date and I probably should have pressed charges, but I was far too freaked out by it and I also didn’t want to put my friends and family through a date rape trial governed by Pennsylvania’s antiquated date rape laws, laws that required bruises to prove rape.

(In some states, that hasn’t changed a whole lot.)

3-If you’ve read this blog even once, you know that I swear. I also pull no punches when it comes to saying exactly what I think. While I’m always a lady, I’m not always, necessarily, lady-like.

And there are a few more things about me that might make your mouth hang open for a little while longer, so I won’t get into them here. Suffice it to say that they’re fairly personal things and some of them I’m not real proud of.

But while all of the stuff above is true, so is the following:

1-I mentor to the point that there are young people all over the country that have my cell phone number…on purpose.

2-Once I’ve had you in one of my classes, you’re stuck with me forever, meaning that you can come to me five or 10 years later and I’ll still try and help you find a job, get into graduate school, or do anything else you need me to.

3-I know the Constitution better than Sarah Palin, although that’s not really hard for anyone to do.


4-I work my tail off, sometimes to the point where I forget to do little stuff like eat and sleep.

I thought about all of this as I watched Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York join the seemingly endless line of politicians who have had to have what I call the Mea Culpa press conference. This kind of press conference usually takes place when you do something stupid, illegal, illegally stupid, or just so incredibly dumb that you should be taken out and flogged.

Now don’t get me wrong. Taking pictures of your body parts and sending them to folks via Twitter and Facebook is dumb. Real dumb. Continuing to do it after you got married is real, real dumb. Lying about doing it is dumb-diddy-dum-dum-dum. Doing all of the above when you’re a prominent Democratic Congressman who enjoys showing the rest of the world when Republicans are at they’re dumbest especially when there are folks with no scruples like Andrew Breitbart on their side is Sarah Palin-level Dumb.

But the fact that people are crying out for Rep. Weiner’s resignation kind of explains to me why folks the nation’s best and brightest are taking a pass on politics.

You see, the list of stuff I have listed above would indicate that I’ve had some things happen in my life that might be considered bad for a politician’s image. The ones I didn’t include would really do me in.

However, none of these things would stop me from doing my job if elected. But you’d never get to know that because that’s all the media would allow me to talk about.

And that’s kind of sad.

When you’re in a country where the economy is going to hell in a bucket, unemployment is at 9 percent, people can’t access health care because it’s far too costly despite there being a health care reform bill passed and folks are taking out bank loans to do little stuff like fill their gas tanks and eat, we need our best and brightest on the case. We need serious people with serious ideas that can turn said ideas into action.

We need people for whom a tea party is a gathering, not an excuse to take us back 200 years.

But because the media these days have become so focused on digging into someone’s life so intensely that all of your most irrelevant scars are put out for all the world to see, folks that would have made really good legislators, mayors, governors and even presidents are taking a pass on sharing their talents.

We don’t have time for our focus to be on whether or not a Congressman was stupid enough to send pix of his privates to a friend out west. Is it yucky that we have pictures of the weiner of a guy named Weiner running around on the Internet? Yes. But if I have a choice of focus when it comes to Congressman Weiner, I’d rather focus on the fact that he fought like a demon for single-payer health care than what I can find on his Twitpix file.

But then again, we also don’t have time to focus resources on covering the family trip of a woman so dumb that she couldn’t pass elementary American History either. But we sure seem to make it.

Listen, I’m not saying that the media shouldn’t cover the Weiner story at all. But hell, Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the first diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and there was next to no coverage of that compared to the ink that Sarah Palin’s Magical Mystery Tour and Congressman Weiner’s weiner has received. I would think that since there was no money from campaign funds (or rich parents) exchanged to keep husbands (Sen. John Ensign), or baby mamas (Sen. John Edwards) from talking to reporters, this story should go away relatively soon.

Besides, don’t we have a flag pin debate, birth certificate hunt or other bit of stupidity for the media to focus on?

A Good Texas Education

Before he became the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall brought Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka Kansas before that body. As Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Marshall successfully argued this school desegregation case and others that paved the way for African Americans to fully realize their rights as American citizens.

Before Barack Obama rode the motto to the White House, Cesar Chavez led the members of what would become the United Farm Workers Union to say “Yes, we can!” (or “Si, se puede!”)as they fought to organize and improve working conditions for farm workers in California. Chavez and his movement pioneered some of the tactics used by those who fight for social justice today such as boycotts.

In addition to being one of America’s founding fathers, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson inspired revolutionaries in the 18th and 19th centuries to fight for freedom in other countries. He also fought for freedom of religion (or freedom from religion) in this country.

Now why do I bring up the accomplishments of these three people?

Because if you live in Texas, you’ll have to teach this stuff to your kids yourself.

On Friday, the Texas Board of Education voted 10-5 to require the state’s history textbooks to have a more conservative slant, meaning the following will be part of what you learn about history in Texas:

*There was never such a thing as the separation of church and state.

*”Capitalism” is being replaced by “free-market system” in all books that talk about economics because “free-market system” is warmer and fuzzier because we all know that “capitalism” is great!

*Sen. Joseph McCarthy was right. There were communists in all branches of government so he had a right to bring people before Congress, accuse them of stuff, and cause folks to rat out their neighbors.

*The Japanese Internment wasn’t racist because we locked up Germans during World War II as well.

*While the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was the face of the Civil Rights Movement, those violent Black Panthers were there, too. Besides, King and the other African Americans who marched for their rights weren’t the main people responsible for the advancements in civil rights. They wouldn’t have been able to do anything without the votes of those kind, white Republicans in Congress.

(Wow. Somewhere Hillary Clinton is smiling. Her argument during the 2008 Presidential Campaign has now become a part of someone’s curriculum!)

*The students will be taught about the Republican resurgence, the Moral Majority, the Contract With America, and the National Rifle Association.

These are just the highlights. Other bits include the “unintended consequences” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Great Society programs, Title IX, and Affirmative Action, a unit on teenage suicide that includes a discussion on “the personal responsibility for life choices” and more of the writings of John Calvin, William Blackistone, and St. Thomas Aquinas because they, unlike Jefferson, believe that there is no separation between church and state.

Now here’s the funny part of all of this. Teachers, actual teachers, approved these revisions.

(If you’re paying attention President Obama, the next time that you want to fire some teachers, might I recommend these guys?)

Now under normal circumstances, I’d just laugh this off and say, “Well, if Texas wants to perpetrate its own special brand of miseducation, it’s more than welcome to it.”

But when you consider that textbook publishers tailor their textbooks to places like Texas because of the volume of kids they educate, it could have an impact on states where, I don’t know, people want their kids to learn all of America’s history, not just the parts that make us look good.

Besides, unless all of the kids in Texas wind up at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, they’re going to learn all of the truths the folks on the Texas Board of Education are trying to keep from them in college. The complaints about this that these kids will surely register will most likely bring David Horowitz and his “we believe in free thought unless it’s thought we don’t like” crusaders to their various campuses.

My Significant Other and I heard about this decision on NPR while going out to brunch today and it inspired the kind of profanity laden tirade that could only come from a true educator. He believes that kids are only truly educated if that education is all-inclusive.

As someone who’s trying to be an educator herself, I can’t say as though I disagree with him.

The rules are supposed to come up for a final vote in May. Because the board will probably still be dominated by conservatives, they’re probably going to pass.

One of my Best Buds has a granddaughter who lives in Texas. She’s a really bright kid who has, fortunately, been taught a lot of the stuff that’s going to be banned from history education in Texas from her grandmother.

But if my friend wants to make sure that her head doesn’t end up totally twisted, she might want to bring her, and her other grandkids, to Pennsylvania. We may not be perfect, but you can learn about Thomas Jefferson here.

My Old Kentucky Fool and Other Tales of Political Chickanery

Were it not for the Army giving my parents the good fortune of being transferred to Fort Dix, New Jersey shortly before my birth, I would have been born in Kentucky, the state that continues to send the man on your left, Jim Bunning, to Congress.

My entire family was born and raised there. Many of them still live there. Some of them have been ravaged by the economy in Kentucky. Heck, one of my cousins works two jobs to keep her head above water.

It is because of these relatives that I’m kind pissed off at the Distinguished Gentleman from Kentucky. Bunning decided to have an attack of Fiscal Conservatism and until today held up a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and health care assistance for most of this week. As his reason he cited concerns about what the $10 billion bill would do to the deficit.

(There are always two things that I find hilarious when Republicans say stuff like this: one, that they never got these attacks of fiscal conservatism when President George W. Bush asked for $87 million a shot to fight the War in Iraq off the books and two, that they can say this crap with a straight face!)

After getting a lot of constituent reaction (including some from folks who thought he was doing the right thing believe it or not), Bunning decided to let the unemployment extension bill come to the floor for a vote.

On behalf of all of the unemployed folks who lost their health care subsidy, their unemployment benefits, and all of the other things this money was used for thanks to your actions, I say thanks a lot….dickhead.

The next time that you decide to have one of your concussion flashbacks from the fastball that you obviously took to the head when you were pitching for the Phillies Sen. Bunning, do us all a favor and take an extra Aleve. I’m so glad that this clown is retiring after this year!

While Bunning and his craziness stood out because of who it impacted, he wasn’t the only person playing the nut role this week. Nuts and other bad political actors were hanging out all over the place.

For example, I have to put the person who wants to slap Ronald Reagan’s visage on the $50 on this week’s Nut List.

Congressman Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican, has proposed putting Ronnie Raygun on the $50. Citing a need to give this generation a dollar bill with one of their “heroes” on it, he’s suggesting that Ulysses S. Grant should step aside. Thirteen other Republicans agree with him on this.


While I wouldn’t mind having Ronald Reagan’s face on a roll of toilet paper, having his mug on a $50 bill, something he made damned sure that most of us couldn’t get our hands on during his eight-year reign of terror, is more than a little disingenuous.

First of all, we still haven’t quite recovered from the “let business go nuts” fiscal policies that led to the deficit mess that Bill Clinton had to clean up as president. Secondly, any so-called human who allows thousands of people to die from a disease that he feels can be ignored because of who has it doesn’t deserve a tribute of any kind, much less his face on our currency.

But considering the fact that Republicans still think that this B-Movie actor practically walked on fucking water, I’m not surprised they’re looking for another way to remind us that many of us bought Reagan’s Morning in America bullshit. I guess they believe that we haven’t been screwed over enough yet.

Lest anyone believe that my Nut List only has room for Republicans, I end this post with Congressman Charles Rangel. Until yesterday, Rangel had one of the most powerful positions in Congress, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

However, he obviously didn’t learn the Adam Clayton Powell lesson and got busted accepting corporately financed travel. Now he’s under an ethic investigation and the Republicans are dancing in the streets, mostly because they see his departure as helping the Bush tax cuts inch one step closer to permanent.

If you’re making the kind of money that you make as a Congressman, I think that you should be able to buy your own plane tickets, especially if you’re a powerful Democrat with Republicans circling you like sharks.

What pisses me off the most about this is that Rangel was sloppy. Now is not the time to be sloppy in Congress, Charlie. You’ve been there long enough to know that.

Stay tuned for more Nuts. I’m sure they’ll be some.

The Cabin Fever Blog

In case you don’t have access to the Weather Channel (or any of the many overwrought weathermen that seemed to be coming out of the woodwork on television yesterday), where I live, Philadelphia, was hit with a pretty massive snowstorm.

Because this latest snowstorm came on top of the snowstorm we were hit with last Saturday, a snowstorm that dumped a foot of snow on the City of Brotherly Love, I haven’t been really able to leave my house, something that has given me entirely too much time to think.

So, here is a bunch of random thoughts that sprung from my Cabin Fevered mind….

*President Bill Clinton was admitted to the hospital today. He was complaining of chest pains and had to have one of his arteries unblocked. According to his doctor, he’s going to be okay. Get well Mr. President. There are young ladies in Harlem just waiting for you to chase them!

(oops! Did I say that?)

*If we believe our friends at the National Enquirer, John Edwards is about to become the Democratic Party’s version of Newt Gingrich.

(For those of you wondering what I mean by this, here’s the story. Newt Gingrich handed his wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital battling cancer.)

Weeks after finally admitting (without a “Maury” style DNA test I might add) that he was the father of mistress Rielle Hunter’s baby, the NE is reporting that Edwards is gonna divorce his long suffering wife Elizabeth (who finally kicked him to the curb, thank God)and marry his baby mama.

Now Edwards says that isn’t true, but let’s remember that the National Enquirer is the “news” organization that broke the story about the Edwards/Hunter affair. I wouldn’t dismiss this out of hand.

*If you want to get a weatherperson all hot and bothered, say the word “blizzard”. They look at a blizzard in the same way that all of the exotic dancers in Dallas will be looking at their poles during NBA All-Star Weekend: it’s their time to shine and they know it.

“Blizzard” also seems to have the same impact on climate change deniers. They came out of the woodwork as the snow fell on my little hamlet of Philadelphia. Many of them, most notably Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, hopped on their poles immediately and started swinging their panties around their fingers.

(sorry for that visual. It’s grossing me out too!)

The thing is, climate change is the reason why we’re gonna see more snow here in Philly this year than I did the entire time I was in Upstate New York. The damage that’s been done to our environment has caused me to be able to a variety of things ranging from putting on shorts to see a Mummers parade (Google it. It’s hard to explain)to having my air conditioner attached to me during the summer because Philly is on it’s 10th day in a row where the temperatures are 90 degrees or higher.

Usually, the prospect of Philadelphia having two blizzards in four days is something that no one even discusses. But this year, we’ve gone through most of our snow removal budget because, well, we had two blizzards in four days.

So the next time that your favorite climate change denier tries to throw the whole “Al Gore is a fraud! Look, it’s snowing!” thing at you, tell him (or her) that your bud The Mad (political) Scientist was able to go Christmas shopping in a sweatshirt. In Philadelphia. In December. Without a jacket. You get what I mean…

*I tend not to namecheck people like singer John Mayer. He’s a little too folky for my tastes and this is more a Gil Scott Heron kind of blog.

But this week, Mr. Mayer became a cautionary tale for the Twitter generation through an interview that he gave Playboy magazine. In said interview, which I read because there are certain things that you’ve just gotta see for yourself, Mayer shared enough to cement his reputation as one of music’s biggest douchebags.

Rather than tell you what he said, here it is:

Mayer: Someone asked me the other day, “What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?” And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a nigger pass. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood pass if you really have a hood pass? But I said, “I can’t really have a hood pass. I’ve never walked into a restaurant, asked for a table and been told, ‘We’re full.’”

PLAYBOY: It is true; a lot of rappers love you. You recorded with Common and Kanye West, played live with Jay-Z.

MAYER: What is being black? It’s making the most of your life, not taking a single moment for granted. Taking something that’s seen as a struggle and making it work for you, or you’ll die inside. Not to say that my struggle is like the collective struggle of black America. But maybe my struggle is similar to one black dude’s.

Now if he had stopped there, even with the use of the N-word, he might have been okay. Sure, dropping an N-bomb is still gonna piss off a lot of people, but that might have gone under the radar with most news organizations.

But because Mayer apparently has the worst case of diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain in music today, he didn’t stop and ended up in the crosshairs of a group of people you don’t want to be in the crosshairs of:

Black women.

PLAYBOY: Do black women throw themselves at you?

MAYER: I don’t think I open myself to it. My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.

PLAYBOY: Let’s put some names out there. Let’s get specific.

MAYER: I always thought Holly Robinson Peete was gorgeous. Every white dude loved Hilary from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And Kerry Washington. She’s superhot, and she’s also white-girl crazy. Kerry Washington would break your heart like a white girl. Just all of a sudden she’d be like, “Yeah, I sucked his dick. Whatever.” And you’d be like, “What? We weren’t talking about that.” That’s what “Heartbreak Warfare” is all about, when a girl uses jealousy as a tactic.

Now this last part makes me ask three questions: What is white-girl crazy? Is it different than black-girl crazy?

And most importantly, when are Holly Robinson Peete and Kerry Washington going to bitchslap this silly motherfucker in his head and can the folks from TMZ make sure it gets on the air when it happens?

I have no problem with people being upfront with their feelings. Let’s face it, I don’t see any sista with a sense of self saying “ooh, I’ve gotta go get me some John Mayer!”

But where I got mad was when I saw this piece on my Facebook page. It was a piece from Salon.com where writer LaToya Tooles writes the following:

“I doubt you have any idea what it feels like to be invisible, to come to a party looking for a little sexual validation and have white men look through you like you’re wearing sweats. I doubt you know what it’s like to feel the weight of cultural expectations every time you stand on a dance floor, knowing that your dance card will be empty since you won’t play the freak. I doubt you know what it’s like to question everything about yourself — how you stood, how you dressed, how you smiled, trying to figure out what you did so wrong that men simply stayed away? I’m not ignorant enough to think my color is the only reason men would dismiss me, but when that happens enough times, it’s hard to ignore the common factor. Do you know what it’s like to be ignored in a roomful of romantic partners your age? Well, multiply that by 300 years of servitude.

I grew up hearing black is beautiful. I grew up knowing black men and women who believed that in their bones. But that lesson just seems to be lost on too many seemingly smart white men like you.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I have dated a few white dudes in my time. One of them broke my heart so badly that I took a nearly two year sabbatical from men because of it.

But I didn’t let that incident make me feel invalidated. It saddens me that the woman in this piece has allowed John Mayer and his lack of brain engagement to make her feel that way.

But I have hope for LaToya. Maybe she’ll find herself in Dallas during All-Star Weekend and Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki will slip her his phone number. He likes black girls…especially ones with identity theft records….

Well, that’s it for the Cabin Fever blog. Hopefully, it won’t snow enough for me to write another one.

It must be in the water

Except for layovers when I’m headed south, I’ve never been to South Carolina.

I know folks who live there and they say it’s nice, so I’ve gotta take their word for it. I applied for a job at the state’s main newspaper, The State, once, and the folks were nice to me when I talked with them. I didn’t get the job, but at least I had a good interview.

Because South Carolina contains Myrtle Beach, I know that I’ll get there eventually because any place with a beach is a-ok with me.

But when I do, I’ll be bringing my own water, thank you.

Why? Because if the politicians that represent South Carolina are any indication, President Obama needs to send an EPA Emergency Response Team down there with the quickness. Someone’s septic tank obviously went nuts and the water around the state house has something wrong with it.

For those of you who have managed to miss South Carolina’s political faux pas, here’s a rundown:

*Thanks to South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford, we have a whole new meaning for the phrase “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” You see, that’s where Sanford told folks he was when he went missing for a few days in June. In truth, he was nowhere near the Appalachian Trail, unless the trail now stretches as far as Buenos Aires, which is where Sanford was holed up with his mistress and “soul mate” Maria Belen Chapur. Unlike some politicial wives, Sanford’s wife Jenny figured out how she wanted to solve a problem like Maria: she kicked her hiking hubby to the curb.

*Next we have Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who made news on Sept. 9 when he shouted “You lie!” at President Obama during a speech he was making to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform. Depending on which side of the fence you sit, Wilson was either totally disrespectful or your new hero. All I have to say is this: no one shouted “You lie!” at President Bush during the eight years that he got behind a microphone and said things that some of us would definitely consider whoppers. I’m just sayin’….

*But during the Sanford imbroglio, I found myself asking why no one was calling for his impeachment, not because he had an affair, but because he had abandoned his office.

I have since found out why Sanford is still in office. It’s because even South Carolinians aren’t ready for Andre Bauer to be their next head of state.

Why? Because it’s bad enough you have a governor who’s geographically challenged. Why have one who doesn’t appear to know the difference between stray animals and poor people…or maybe he doesn’t think there is one…

He’s since apologized to the citizens of South Carolina for making all Southern grandmothers look bad, but Bauer’s on the record for this crap. In fact, one of his opponents has pretty much said “I can’t do no more!”

Wow. Just wow.

Don’t get me wrong. I live in Pennsylvania, a place that has some foibles of its own. I mean, we did have a politician shoot himself in the head on live televison because he was being indicted (Google Bud Dwyer but avoid the video.),we have a legislature that tends to vote in illegal pay raises for itself, we haven’t had a state budget passed on time for as long as I can remember, and the former mayor of the city I call home, Philadelphia, had an FBI bug in his office.

But the next time that I complain about my representatives here, I’ll remember that it could be worse.

I could be living in South Carolina.

But look at the bright side: as long as it exists, Jon Stewart will always have material….

Thank You, South Carolina – Andre Bauer
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A "Ward" of Contradictions

Have you ever seen a conundrum in person?

If you haven’t, please look to the right of my column here and avail yourself of the visage of one Wardell Anthony Connerly.

If you’re wondering why I consider Mr. Connerly a conundrum, it’s because one minute he can be totally right about something, and on the other hand be totally and completely wrong about something else.

For example, Connerly’s group, the American Civil Rights Institute, believes that thinking that discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is wrong. But the group also believes, as I alluded to on Monday, that the 1965 Voting Rights Act should be repealed because Barack Obama is now the president and because of this, people of color have no more problems utilizing their franchise.

Folks who think that the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s were just the beginning of the struggle for equality for people of color have spent countless hours damn near scratching holes in their heads in an attempt to understand Ward Connerly.

This gentleman has spent most the last 20 years trying his best to pretend that racism and discrimination still doesn’t exist in this country. From California’s Proposition 200 to Michigan’s Proposal 2, this dude’s been busy in the name of something else that has made me damn near scratch a hole into my head at times….the notion that white folks have been hurt by people of color asserting themselves into society.

And his next target is the Voting Rights Act. People of color don’t need it anymore, you know. One of us is president. (Although in Connerly’s world, Obama is only black for the purposes of saying that racism is dead.) There’s no more impediment to voting.

That Connerly believes that tells me that he doesn’t get out much. Because if he did, he might have seen black students finding a hard way to go when they tried to vote in Florida in 2000. Or he might have seen some of the irregularities that have taken place since when it comes to voting.

You know, if Connerly actually left the Church of the Poisoned Mind that he lives in, he’d probably notice that the folks demanding enforcement of the Voting Rights Act the loudest are white.

Yeah, dude. White. White folks are complaining about being denied the right to vote. Check that out!

There are so many blogs, websites, and other things in cyberspace complaining about the voting system in this country that it’s ridiculous. And almost all of them are run by white folks. White folks that saw a guy that they didn’t want in the White House go in and stay for 8 years took to the Internets and started logging all of the voting irregularities they saw.

So, Mr. Conundrum, might I suggest before you start assuming that this particular group right needs to go the way of the DoDo, you check out who you’ll be tangling with this time around.

Well, at least I don’t live in Illinois

I live in Pennsylvania, where we have a governor, Ed Rendell, that I really wish would shut up every once in awhile.

Ed Rendell and a live microphone is almost always a recipe for disaster. He tends to do stuff like equate the public review process for the state’s budget with “whining”, get on national news programs and compare his party’s presidential nominee with Adlai Stephenson (who got his ass kicked in a presidential campaign for being seen as “too brainy”) and other things too numerous to mention.

But, I can take some solace in the fact that at least he’s not Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. While Ed can say and do some off the wall stuff, at least he’s not doing stuff like going on The View and begging for his political life.

In case you’ve been in a bunker somewhere, here’s the whole Blagojevich scene: The United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago arrested the governor before Christmas on charges that he tried to sell President Barack Obama’s senate seat. Since Obama obviously isn’t going to finish his term, the governor has the constitutional right to appoint someone to fill the expired term.

While Chicago is famous for it’s political horsetrading, I think that Blagojevich has taken it to a new level. Some of the highlights from the tapes include such things as him calling Obama’s senate seat: a fucking valuable thing. You don’t just give it away…I’ve got this thing and it’s fucking golden!”

Or, my personal favorite Blagojevich response regarding the Obama folks and the “gratitude” they offered if he appointed someone they liked: “Gratitude! Fuck them!”

(It’s the Def Comedy Jam of politics folks!)

Despite being asked not to appoint someone to Obama’s seat because the person would be considered tainted automatically, he did appoint someone, Roland Burris, and after much saber rattling on the part of Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, he was seated two weeks ago. Granted, he will probably get his clock cleaned in the next election, but Burris is a senator for now.

Naturally, the Illinois legislature, a group that he’s been beefing with for quite some time, has issued articles of impeachment because that’s what you do when your governor gets indicted and he refuses to resign. The House has already voted to impeach him. The Senate trial is going on now.

Yet, Blagojevich is making the national rounds trying to get the rest of the United States to stand behind him. Personally, I think that the rest of us don’t have a dog in this hunt. Blagojevich needs to take his case to the citizens of Illinois…unless they’ve already decided that they’ve had enough.

And my guess is that they have.

But they, like us, are going to have to stick with it for awhile.

No one expects the American Electorate!

I saw this on LA Times.com and as a Monty Python fan, I just couldn’t resist!

He’s a lumberjack and he’s okay, and he knows what to do with a dead parrot. Besides, it beats the crap out of hearing John McCain tell us how we should vote for him because he’s a war hero, despite his having no knowledge of the economy.

And he’s certainly more amusing than Sarah Palin, “Fargo” voice not withstanding.


Sarah Speaks

If I did nothing else this evening, I wanted to make sure that I was home by 10 p.m. tonight so I could hear John McCain’s vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin make her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

After days of hearing about her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, her possible ethics violations (she seems to be particularly fond of firing police officers for not bending to her will) and the controversy surrounding her youngest son, I was ready to hear what she had to say about herself, her vision for the country, and what she had to offer.

So I sat in my car, as I seem to have done for most of the speeches I’ve heard during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, and listened to Palin’s speech. I heard a lot of attacks on Barack Obama. I heard a lot of the usual Republican themes of “The Washington Elites hate us” (although her running mate is among them), “I speak for real people and they (the Democrats) don’t” and my personal favorite “What’s the difference between a Hockey Mom and a Pit Bull? Lipstick.”

(In case you don’t know what that last one was, that’s the usual sexist reference. That it was delivered by a woman gives it special resonance, I guess.)
I listened to the speech, then I grabbed a copy from MSNBC.com. I read it and read it, and read it again, looking for anything that didn’t look, sound, or feel like a McCain talking point. Something that felt like it was genuinely hers.

I’m still looking. In fact, here’s exactly what I got from that speech:

(a)While I’m not proud of this, I have to say to you that if the Coen Brothers decide that they want to do a remake of their hit movie “Fargo”, Frances McDormand won’t have to reprise her role as Sheriff Marge Gunderson if this whole political thing doesn’t work out for Sarah Palin. Most of the time she was speaking, I kept imagining this scene:

(b)As a member of the media, I’m tired of politicians with skeleton factories in their closets attacking us when we bring them out. If you don’t want your skeletons unveiled, don’t make them. If you want us to talk about your experience, have some. Otherwise, take your lumps and keep moving.


(c) During their speeches last week, most of the Democrats pointed out that because the Republicans have either (a) bad ideas or (b) no ideas, they’d go on the attack. Unfortunately, they were right. I saw or heard very few ideas here. But there was plenty of attack, and I expect to hear the same tomorrow when McCain does his acceptance speech.

So my assessment of this speech is that it served one of its purposes: providing red meat to the Right Wing Republican Base, but didn’t serve the other, which was to make me think of this woman as anything other than a Hockey Mom with an abuse of power problem.

But at least my assessment is kinder than the one given by a friend of mine. His two-word response: Fuck her!

Feel free to take another look at it and judge for yourself. If I missed something, tell me.