Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Won't Darth Vader Just Shut Up? (Part 2)

I am told I always see the best in people, and I really try to. This doesn't always pertain to politics, however. This is especially true when you have people doing very stupid and/or crooked things, people who are just plain not qualified - or in the case of Dick Cheney, just downright evil. Why oh why this man keeps getting a forum to spew his out-of-control fear and spread his evil...well, it is beyond me.

I can say all I like about Dick, but I doubt I can say it as well as Helen on Margaret and Helen. She is smart, outspoken - and just plain cracks me up. Here is part of her take on Dick from a very funny blog post (I suggest reading all of it). I could not have said it any better:
"I have to admit that I am more than a little perplexed by Dick’s rise to power. He flunked out of Yale – something even George W. Bush didn’t do – and has at least two DWI’s on his record – one more than Georgie Boy. So basically from 2001 to 2009 we had two dry-drunk idiots running the country. But only one of them has had the good sense to shut the hell up since leaving office.

Cheney came into politics as part of the Nixon administration and ended his political career with George W. Bush. Along the way he managed to skip the Reagan years opting instead to represent the least populous state in the Union. In fact, of the past five Republican presidents since Cheney got into politics, the only one that Dick didn’t work for was Ronald Reagan. Talk about a guy who can’t pick a winning horse. He works for Nixon, Ford, skips Reagan, and then comes back for the two Bushes. Four failed Presidencies and this guy still thinks his shit doesn’t stink. Of course this is the guy who headed up the vice presidential search for George W. Bush only to decide to pick himself as the candidate. I’d say he’s mastered the art of not smelling his own shit.

During his tenure as Secretary of Defense he actively worked to reduce the size of our military. And when asked about the FIVE deferments that kept him from serving in the military he responded by saying, “I had other priorities in the sixties than military service.” And yet today he wants us to listen to him pontificate on how best to protect our nation? He shot his friend in the face for goodness sakes. Too bad for his hunting buddies that he got those deferments because the military might have helped him with his aim.

And let’s not forget about his co-workers and family members. When someone manages to pull Scooter Libby out from under the bus, be sure to ask him what he thinks about his former boss. And then there’s his daughter, the lesbian. His own daughter is in a same sex relationship but Dick won’t stand up against his party’s stance on gay marriage. So in addition to shooting his friends in the face and pushing employees under the bus, he also eats his young. Now that, my friend, is one hell of a big bitch.

Hey Dick. Stick a cork in it you good for nothing jackass. You and George were elected with the narrowest of margins and you never looked back. Eight years later an overwhelming majority put Obama in office and as far as I am concerned, he has the green-light to put this country back on track. If you don’t like it, you can kiss my ass, because if I had to choose between liberating Iraq from Saddam or liberating us from you, there would be one more Hussein in the world and one less Cheney. Given the opportunity, I would have stuffed you down that hole in the ground with Saddam and sealed the door shut.

I mean it. Really."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination...with Unnecessary Comments

Congrats to Sonia Sotomayor on her nomination today. Not only is she a good choice - she is also an Hispanic woman that has lived a life of hard knocks and risen above it. She graduated second in her class from Princeton. This is an historic day and a great nomination.

On the flip side, guess who has offered his comments about what he will do after he is re-elected? Believe it or not: Norm Coleman. The man who has prevented Minnesota from having two senators for months now, cannot admit he is the loser - and in fact becomes more of a loser everyday he drags this thing out. On Daily Kos he stated:

"When debating judges, I was firm that I would use the same standard to evaluate judges under a Democrat President as I would a Republican President. Are they intellectually competent, do they have a record of integrity, and most importantly, are they committed to following the Constitution rather than creating new law and policy. When I am re-elected, I intend to review Judge Sotomayor's record using this process. Certainly, the nomination of a Hispanic woman to the nation's highest court is something all Americans should applaud."

Is he high? We know he is crooked, but, again - is he high? This guy lives on another planet. It is not only certain he will not be re-elected, he will be lucky if he is elected to dog catcher after what he has put Minnesota - not to mention Amy Klobuchar - through in the last few months.

So, again, congrats to Ms. Sotomayor...but really, Norm. It isn't funny, even if you didn't mean it to be. It's actually quite sad. Give it rest, and give it up while you're at it.

Why Won't Darth Vader Just Shut Up?

Years ago I was walking through the Mall of America behind a young couple strolling hand in hand. As they talked quietly, I caught something one of them said. "Yeah, but that Cheney. He's just plain evil." I've always remembered that. I can't say I disagree.

Most presidents and vice presidents fade quietly into the background after they have left office. There is some amount of respect for the new administration even when there isn't total agreement. With the mess the past administration has left this country in, you would think they would really be quiet. Former President Bush has done this. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, feels it is his duty to keep spreading his venom, show incredible disrespect to the new president, and defend his appalling behavior and policies during his run. It also shows who was really running the show. According to the Associated Press:
When he walked in Bush's shadow he had to temper his public remarks, stay on the White House message. He could manipulate the levers of powers behind the scenes, which conjured up the image of "Star Wars" villain Darth Vader.
It is bad enough that this man is so fearful that he has to spread this fear to others, and it is bad enough that he is defending torture and other terrible practices. But, to give him a forum to do this is equally sickening:

"I would think the Republicans ought to be shy in using him as their front," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He dismisses Cheney's appearances as if they were old TV reruns.

The worst part? Defending repulsive practices like torture and not taking responsibility for the economic mess left to the current administration:

In his first television interview after leaving office, just 54 days after Obama was sworn in, Cheney said that it's not fair to blame the economic woes on the Bush administration. Cheney said it was a global financial problem that he feared the new administration could use to justify a massive expansion in the government and meddling in the private sector.

Enough already. Go back to Wyoming into the wild blue yonder, put on your cowboy hat, and shut the hell up. The last thing Americans need right now is someone spreading fear. And we certainly don't need your defense of evil. It will take a long time to repair everything - including the United States' reputation around the world.

It was bad enough he was in office for eight years. Just shut your mouth and let the new administration attempt to clean up your mess and quit defending something you should be ashamed of. And while you're at it, show some respect to the new president. President Obama can not only run circles around you in intelligence, but has more commitment and integrity than you'll ever understand.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So He Agrees with Bachmann?

Remember the stupid comment made about Sarah Palin having foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from her house? It was a ridiculous statement that took on a life of its own and was actually repeated over and over serious!

Now we have another one. After Michele Bachmann, in another one of her genius moments, declared that carbon dioxide could not be harmful because it is natural, many of us had a good laugh over it. Many of us also wrote about it - including me (see April 25, 2009 post) - and it was chalked up as another dumb moment for the forever embarrassing representative from Minnesota.

But, apparently, Representative Joe Barton of Texas agrees with Bachmann and has furthered her comments to a whole other level. Barton, a long-time skeptic of global warming, has now added more of his bizarre wisdom. According to the Huffington Post:

Barton, who has resisted proposals to reduce the country's oil dependence, explained that there shouldn't be any concern about carbon-dioxide emissions because CO2 is relatively harmless:

"I'm creating it as I talk to you. It's in your Coca-Cola, your Dr. Pepper, and your Perrier water. It's necessary for human life. It's odorless, colorless, tasteless, doesn't cause cancer, doesn't cause asthma. There's nobody that's ever been admitted to a hospital because of CO2 poisoning."
This is beyond moronic, of course. If he can't understand something this basic, how about at least doing a search on his computer? At the very least, wouldn't you check your information before you get in front of congress and announce this in a formal presentation? Most people know something this elementary - and even do some research to prepare for a presentation.

It is one thing to think something stupid, it is another to get up and do a little speech on it. Besides the fact that it is dangerously wrong, would you really want to be known for agreeing with something that Michele Bachmann presented?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So Texas Really Wants to Secede?

Keith Olbermann has a new segment on Countdown that is called the "WTF Moment." I would imagine he will have endless material to fill this nightly slot. This particular one was about Governor Rick Perry of Texas. He thinks that Texas should secede....and there are many in the state that agree with him.

They just don't seem to like the new president and can't seem to get over the fact that: a) They lost, b) The new guy is not a Republican, c) He isn't from their state, and d) He isn't an old white guy. So, their answer is to be truly patriotic by seceding? Perhaps they have not thoroughly thought out the real consequences of this idea. Olbermann says it better than I ever could:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Famous Person Gets a Book Deal

It must be nice to be famous. Sometimes you get an honorary degree without working for it. Other times you get a book deal when you can't really write. Or perhaps your memoir at the ripe old age of forty-five.

Hence, the latest: Sarah Palin. The gift that just won't fade away and govern her great state of Alaska. The ever so entertaining Republican feels she has been misrepresented too much in the media, so she has signed a book deal for an undisclosed amount.

Although Palin says she would like to put her journalism degree to work in writing the book, of course a writer will be hired to help her. According to AP Politics:
"Palin will collaborate on the book with a professional writer, who is expected to be chosen soon."
Perhaps the cover will have some turkeys on it, or perhaps her view of Russia through binoculars. Most likely it will have her family paraded across the front as they were during the campaign.

Either way, HarperCollins jumped on the idea of a book by Palin:

HarperCollins President and CEO Brian Murray said in a written statement that "Governor Palin is one of the most charismatic, inspiring and controversial figures to appear on the national political stage for many years. She has a fascinating story to tell and we look forward to publishing what surely will be a captivating book," he said.

Captivating? Really? Well, perhaps humorous without the intention of being so. But, I think I'll take a pass. I haven't always seen her as the brightest bulb and although I was certain she wasn't qualified to be vice president, I'm even more certain she isn't qualified to be a writer. Besides, who wants to read a story so redneck-sounding that it cuts off all the "g's" at the end of "ing" words.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Reflective May 11th

In a brief break from a political post, today was a bit of a reflective day for me.

Today would have been my twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Fortunately, considering the state of the marriage, I only made it to thirteen.

It is funny how you remember that day even if it is long ago, and even if you are ever so thankful you got out. As it turned out, I married a man when I was way too young - and he stayed young, or never grew up. We had some good years, but I never should have married him in the first place. As with anything else, however, learning from an experience is always good. And I learned a lot.

I also learned that after many years completely on my own, I really appreciate the man I am with now. He is the complete opposite of my former husband in almost every way. And I never would have found him or appreciated him if I had not been through the crushing I got from a terrible year of one blow after another - topped off with the even bigger blow of losing any spousal support I ever had to deal with it. Live and learn. The memories are there to reflect on.

In another note on learning, I also saw a client today that I have worked with for several years. She is quite precious to me and I have learned a great deal from her. At ninety-eight years old, her spunk, intelligence, experience, and wonderful sense of humor have actually made her a friend. She has always acted young, always kept her mind sharp. Suddenly today, she was different. It was like everything had caught up to her. She was paranoid, fearful, confused, forgetful, suddenly old. She said she was giving up.

Something today made me reschedule my scheduled client and go see her instead. It felt necessary. When I left I was filled with a sadness and realization that this might be one of the last times I see her. And, as far as memories go, she mentioned how she is having one dream after another and her memories are plaguing her.

People grow old, people change, and life goes on. In both experiences, we realize our limitations, our humility, our vulnerability. In both cases, we have the memories.

What we can take away from any experience is the appreciation of the time we had with that person, even if it isn't all good. My former husband is a distant memory that I don't see nor care to. But I wish him well. My ninety-eight year old client - well, she is not so distant. And, I suspect, that when the time does come, I will carry her with me more than I ever will him.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Franken & Biden Meet

In a positive, forward move by Vice President Joe Biden, he met with Al Franken today in Washington. According to the Associated Press:

Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken met privately with Vice President Joe Biden late Wednesday afternoon to update him on the still-contested Minnesota Senate race.

Franken, who said he is eager to join the Senate, said the two men also discussed President Barack Obama's policy goals.

Biden said he and President Obama are looking forward to working with Franken after the Minnesota Supreme Court issues a final ruling.

So, even though our Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty, will not end this ridiculous stalling ploy by Norm Coleman that will allow Franken to sit in his rightfully earned seat, at least President Obama and Vice President Biden are not only behind him, but looking forward to working with him.

Even the Wall Street Journal commented on the meeting in a positive tone:

After the White House meeting, Biden praised Minnesota’s election process as “meticulous.” He noted that for five months, Minnesota, alone among the states, has been represented by a single senator, Democrat Amy Klobuchar.

“Once the Minnesota Supreme Court has issued its final ruling in this case, the President and I look forward to working with Mr. Franken on building an economy for the 21st century,” Biden said.

I praise our Vice President for moving forward and seeing things as they not only are but as they should be - and I praise Franken for not only his patience but his tenacity. If only our Minnesota governor had the same level of integrity that either of these men have. If he did, this game would have ended already and Minnesota would not be overworking Amy Klobuchar - and finally have two filled Senate seats and full representation.

Vice President Joe Biden meets with Senator-Elect Al Franken

Sunday, May 3, 2009

That Coulter Woman

I have never understood the popularity of Ann Coulter. She is so purposefully mean and hateful - what is the entertainment in that? I know she has her own following, but I just don't get it. Even as a writer she is, at best, mediocre and cites her own quotes. Seems a little off.

It appears her book sales are down a bit. According to Portfolio Magazine, just over 100,000 copies of her book have sold in two months on the market. Although this is still a large number, her past books have sold far more. Portfolio reports: "2006's "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," sold 279,100 copies in hardcover, 2003's "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terror," sold 396,600 hardcover copies, and 2002's "Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right," sold 333,100 copies and an additional 108,300 in paperback."

So it seems that her following is also dwindling a bit, and she seems to be quiet lately - quite a blessing, I might add (at least before she starts her new tour). Now Meghan McCain has jumped into the mix. On, her comments on both Republicans and Coulter are quite insightful and amusing:
In a new blog post for the Daily Beast as Ann Coulter and HBO host Bill Maher are kicking off a week-long debate tour today in New York, McCain calls President Obama “the hippest politician around” and says being a Republican is “about as edgy as Donny Osmond.”

And she blasts Coulter for helping to “perpetuate negative stereotypes” about Republican women. “I straight up don’t understand this woman or her popularity,” says McCain. “I find her offensive, radical, insulting, and confusing all at the same time.”

She concedes that Coulter seems to be followed by a “cult that cannot be denied,” and was a popular headliner at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, but adds that “when your competition is a teenager who has a dream about the Republican Party and Stephen Baldwin, it’s not really saying that much.”

It’s not Coulter’s politics, says McCain — it’s her personality. “Maybe her popularity stems from the fact that watching her is sometimes like watching a train wreck,” she says.

Maybe people are just plain sick and tired of her nasty, malevolent comments all the time. Or maybe they too wonder why she is clearly rich, but always wears the same black cocktail dress - not only on every book cover, but everywhere else she goes.