Friday, December 19, 2008

Maybe Not A Lame Duck, But Lame?

It's pretty low on the totem pole, in terms of progressive politics, but the annual Bush White House Xmas video has provided brief tiny prismatic windows into the minds of the first family.

Each entry has gotten progressively loopier and this year's no exception, what with canine-centered summer Olympic events, slumming athletes and the stiffest line readings this side of local TV commercials (Laura makes Michael Phelps look like Dustin Hoffman).

Marvel at conservative humor. Makes you wonder how strong their medication is doesn't it?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's Spiritual Choice Causes Major Progressive Rift

Ladies and Gents, here's the first major rip in the Progressive fabric of hope and feel good ga-ga, which President-Elect Obama has so far woven: on Wednesday, the transition team and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced that Rick Warren, pastor of the almighTAY powerful Saddleback Church, will give the invocation on January 20th.

Although the selection may not have been incredibly surprising---Obama and Warren are reportedly close; Obama praised the Megachurch leader in his second book "The Audacity of Hope"---this Progressive and humble contributing writer is mega-church-pissed. Warren is deeply entrenched in the religious right, and his position on social issues like gay rights, stem cell research, and women's rights are all out of the mainstream and are very much opposed to the progressive agenda on which Obama ran. As expected, the announcement of his selection yesterday set off a round of criticism by gay rights groups angered by Warren's support for California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The choice of Warren is presumably an olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals, which at first thought might make sense when looking toward re-election in 2012, but on closer inspection it's somewhat of a lost cause as the conservative Christian movement is highly unlikely to vote for Obama, no matter the state of the country in four years.

Or, perhaps, as another esteemed contributor to this site suggested privately: this is Obama's way of shoving the middle finger up the evangelical posterior, basically saying it doesn't much matter who makes him put his hand on the Good Book--as the Good Book ain't gonna be much help to those half-mil (and growing) unemployed waiting in line for their monthly check.

The nice thing about the ceremonies on January 20, however, is that in a departure from past inaugurations, which usually feature mundane, suicide-inducing operatic soloists, Aretha Franklin will perform. To that I tip my nonexistent fedora and give an un-affiliated and non-denominational AMEN MOTHA-SISTAH!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008



I was watching a lot of the news shows over the weekend and there were several of the pundit types asking a similar question. They were speculating whether or not Rod Blagojevich might have a mental disorder, citing the brashness of his demands and thinking he could get away with it.

Really? Have we really gone this far in our call-everything-a-disease society that we now consider being a narcissistic prick a mental diagnosis?

You know, sometimes an ass hole is just an ass hole.

Circus, Circus

Take two women who haven't had a real job in years, one open, highly-visible Senate seat, throw in a blind governor with his own personal problems, a strong dash of nepotism from the closest royal family we'll ever claim, and you have yourself a show worth getting the big tub of popcorn and large soda for.

Yesterday, Caroline Kennedy ended weeks of silence with a series of rapid-fire phone calls to New York state’s leading political figures, including Gov. David A. Paterson, in which she emphatically and enthusiastically declared herself interested in Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

Governor Paterson, who has sole authority to fill the Senate vacancy, insisted that he had not yet chosen a successor to Mrs. Clinton and said that Monday’s conversation with Ms. Kennedy was the first he had had with her since an initial discussion almost two weeks ago. Meantime, "CK" is now launching a public effort to demonstrate that she has both the ability and the stomach to perform the job, with plans to visit parts of the upstate region--although as of today I imagine she and her overzealous team of politicos are still waiting for the roads to be salted and cleared up around Utica and Rochester.

But hold the equines Pointdexter; coming up strong down the stretch in this mondo bizarro of politics is Fran "Da Senate Nanny" Drescher who also believes she's qualified. And why not? If Stuart Smalley née Al Franken can contest the Minnesota seat, why not Tony Manero's dance partner representin' proper? Hae-hae-hae-hae-hae-hae-hae-hae.

According to New York magazine:
"I've just been given the appointment of U.S. diplomat," (Drescher) said at a party for dining establishment Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven on December 3. "My title is public diplomacy envoy for women's health issues, and I just got back from a four-country European tour of duty. I believe next I'll be sent to the Middle East." What else makes her a good candidate? "I'm an authentic and honest person," she said. "And I think Capitol Hill needs more of that."

She was either eloquent or drunk; I'm not yet sure which. For those who've been out of the entertainment loop (present company included), Drescher was diagnosed with uterine cancer several years ago and has been in remission for a while.

According to The Huff Post:
Along the way, (Drescher) says she won first lady Laura Bush's help in supporting women's health issues, and was rewarded with a nomination to be a special U.S. envoy. Her appointment is stuck in the usual bureaucracy, but she swears there are no skeletons in her closet. "I'm a good girl, I am," Drescher says.

Meantime, Caroline Kennedy has moved aggressively into campaign-like mode, albeit with careful attention to political protocol. Besides Mr. Paterson and Christine C. Quinn, the New York City Council speaker, Kennedy called upstate officials like Representative Louise M. Slaughter and Byron Brown, the mayor of Buffalo; the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Charles E. Schumer, New York’s senior senator.

Stay tuned for the Bad Craziness. Perhaps we can lure Jesse Ventura out of retirement to add an extra pinch of spice to this pot of jambalaya.

(sources: NY Times, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Mediabistro)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Quite a Lame Duck Yet


Hey, you got to at least give it to the man; he's leaving office with his reflexes sharp as hell. I mean, it took less than a second for Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi to hurl his weapons of locomotion at our man's head, but Señor Jorge came out unscathed. True, on the second try (the right shoe?) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki intervened and blocked the projectile (we used to call that a Yo Mama moment on the playground), but the first duck was Bush all by himself. There's a good joke in here about the outgoing Prez being used to successfully dodging flying shite and various other detritus flung in his direction, but I'll leave that to the commenters (commentators?).

As the recipient of many a flying shoe in my boyhood, I am somewhat jealous. Slippers, galoshes, boots, and even wooden clogs were Mummy's weapon of choice as I was growing up and frequently pissing her off. To my defense, however, she always chose to pelt me with these missiles while my back was turned, but still. I should've heard them coming--if thrown with enough passion (and believe you me, they were), those things whistle through the air like Nazi .88s. I'm still envious, though. But I suppose if you're launching objects at a former baseball team owner you're bound to miss here and there. I mean you know Georgie took at least a couple of batting practice sessions with the Rangers, during the time he co-owned them.

Apparently White House Press Secretary Dana Perino may have suffered a black eye in the wake of the shoe-throwing incident. "Politico" is reporting that Ms. Perino was injured by a microphone in the ensuing melee.

This makes the inner, repressed 5th Grader in me giddy. I don't know, as a former TV audio guy there's something about being whacked upside yo' head with a flying mic that makes me laugh. That and seeing people slip on ice. I know, I know! I am striving to be more compassionate, more empathetic, a better human being, but I have been a Pavlov's dog for too long. Suppressing my idiotic, childish impulses has been a hard struggle. But I ain't giving up. No sir.