The Maximum Leader has posted a list of what he wants to see in a 2008 Presidential Candidate. I'd link the post, but the archives thingy isn't working.
What I will say is, I find little to gripe about in The Maximum Leader's post. I would definitely vote for The Maximum Leader's candidate and support his candidacy in other ways. Frankly, I think Our Maximum Leader needs to run on just this ticket!
I too believe that we need
-- a plain-speaking leader who says what he means in a no-bones, don't-paint-me-in-a-box-with-words, no-nonsense way.
-- a leader who lets the Iraqis know that they need to start getting control of their own house or we are going to fix the situation for them in a way that will feel a lot like too-tight underwear.
-- a leader who doesn't apologize for terrorists or try to negotiate with them, one who let's the terrorists know that our daisy cutters can easily be replaced with something that gives them a permanent glow (for the short time they have left on this earth). They can give up their dreams of world domination and a global caliphate, or we're going to bomb their asses to carbon. I want him to start playing on terms that they understand. We are going to hunt you down. We are going to hunt down every goddamned bowel movement you've ever had. We are going to put a bounty on every terrorist assholes head and start laying out cash to anybody with information like new money trying to buy a brand new caddy. I want him to insist upon making the world free for democracy and the basic freedoms of man because our children deserve no less.
-- a simplified tax code sounds wonderful. We also need to permanently abolish the estate tax (on all estates) so that we can continue to feed this nation in the years to come.
-- a real fiscal conservative. I'm looking for someone to say: "Look. Ya'll are spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors in port for the first time in a decade. This must stop. As such, I am going to veto every damn bill, no matter what, if there is a single non-essential bit of spending in it. We aren't going to be building anymore bridges to nowhere on the taxpayer's dime until the war is won. If you want to spend, our military could use a few things. I'll put together a list.
-- a realist on Social Security. I want my candidate to say that the crisis of Social Security can not be pushed on the back burner any longer because of politics. I want him to clarify to crystal the fact that it is a pyramid scheme and the people on the bottom are gonna get screwed. I want him to give tax credits to those people who are doing their best to provide for themselves. I want him to plaining speak to the boomers about how taking a cut in benefits is in the best interests of the country and their children. Unless they want their children entering into lives of endless indentured servitude.
-- a cowboy on border security. The rule of law should stand and he should make it plain that we aren't going to tolerate any more illegal entries. We are not going to fast-track, excuse, or otherwise make it easy for cheaters to cut in front of the citizenship line. We are going to make their lives so uncomfortable that they'd rather wait in their homeland for two years to enter legally than face the consequences of entering illegally. Furthermore, I want him to require a decision on citizenship within 3 years of entry. If you want to be here, become a citizen. If not, go home.
-- a gun owner. My candidate will be a friend of all gun owners as they are the best defense they have for the preservation of their lives and their property. They are also the only chance we have at a final line of defense should we ever be invaded. My candidate will not take issue with whatever weapon you choose, nor will he allow Congress to sweepingly decide what should be illegal because it looks scary.
-- a man of conviction and integrity. My candidate will be faithful to his wife and not float a poll before he decides which direction to take. His guides will be freedom for all and the Constitution of this land.
What I wouldn't give for a man who had some backbone.
Call me bitchy if you want, but I have a major bone to pick with a "thank you card" we recently received.
Good golly am I becoming curmudgeonly...And yet, I can not let it go.
Several weeks ago, Prince Charming and I were unable to attend a wedding for one of his cousins due to his work schedule. It just wasn't going to work, so we sent our regrets (through his mother since no RSVP was requested by the bride or groom) and a lovely card and nice check.
I went to Hallmark, chose a card, wrote a lovely note of best wishes, and enclosed a tidy sum. I mailed it so that they would receive it just before the nuptials.
Last night, we received a "thank you card" for our efforts. I put "thank you card" in quotes because, although that is what they intended it to be, I feel it is a slip-shod, sorry excuse for an pretense at observing the social niceties.
The card is nothing less than a picture of them printed on an oversized piece of Kodak paper that leaves a 2 inch-wide blank at the bottom of the photo. I'm sure you've seen these. They are often used to send out Christmas greetings and have the words "Happy Holidays from The Smiths" or some such.
The photo is a picture of the bride and groom. He is holding a hand-made shoddy sign at an angle that says "Thank." She is holding her own sign beside him and it says "You." At the bottom of the "card" in that blank white space, a sloppy one-line message has been written: "Thanks so much for the gift of money!"
And the envelope that this came in? Our address appeared on a sticker. There was no return address.
Am I wrong for feeling that they sort of phoned-it-in? For heaven's sake! I put more effort into throwing away my trash! I despise these picture card thank yous - this is not the first we've received. But, what really offends me is that I took the time to purchase a card, write a note (including addressing the envelope), and enclose a check. In return, I receive some mass-market POS with a careless 1-line note scrawled on it.
The entire back of this card is blank, providing ample room for a more thoughtful and elaborate message, but NO! That would be too much trouble, apparently.
It was only 4 years ago that I was married, so I'm not talking out of my ass here. Each of our thank you cards was at least six sentences in length, some a great deal longer, and were carefully thought-out messages to our thoughtful guests. I took the time to thank them in my own words, expressing joy over the item(s) and our plans for them. In the event that we received a gift of cash, I was careful to express our plans for spending the money. It wasn't that difficult. I wrote from the heart, providing the recipients with a look into our lives together. Most of the time I even shared light-hearted anecdotes of our post-wedding bliss. All of my thank yous went out within 3 weeks of our wedding. I realize this is ambitious, but I felt that the people who cared enough to give us a gift deserved prompt thank yous. Prompt, gracious, and polite thank yous. Thank yous that indicated our real regard for them and their gift. I took it quite seriously and still do.
I followed this same recipe when I completed the thank yous for the gifts that we received for the baby shower.
So perhaps you can see why it chaps my ass when someone does this kind of thing. It is as though our gift and the time I put into it was irrelevant to them. I realize I spent less than 30 minutes preparing their gift, but they spent less than 3 minutes on their gratitude. That Sucks. Seriously. That. Sucks.
Show a little class! It doesn't take that much more time to do it right and it pays dividends.
So tell me, am I wrong? Am I over-reacting? It is true, it could have been worse. We could have received a bcc: mass email saying thank you, I suppose.
Can I have a little Polonium-210 on my spring roll, please?
Are you following this story? It is bizarre and freaky, scary and fascinating. Just like a SpySistah story in many ways. Here's the gist:
Central to this story is a Russian man named Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko was a real-life ex-KGB spy. He became disenchanted with Putin and the Kremlin and the Russian Security Services, his former employer. Upon this disenchantment, Litvinenko sought asylum in Great Britain and only last month became a citizen.
This Polonium-210 stuff, being radioactive, leaves a trail behind. As such, traces of the Polonium-210 have been found in seven locations visited by Litvinenko on the day he fell ill. Ace has a link to this map and timeline that you might find handy.
Now, to muddy the waters even further, this radioactive trail leads to the home of fellow Russian exile and billionaire Kremlin-critic Boris Berezovsky. It seems that Berezovsky and Litvinenko fled Mother Russia together.
In 1998, Litvinenko, then a spy for the Russian FSB service, the successor to the KGB, announced at a news conference that his superiors had ordered him to kill Berezovsky, who at the time was one of Boris Yeltsin's top security officials. Both men fled to London.
This thing has more twists and turns than cold spaghetti!
In 2001, Litvinenko authored a book titled "Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within", in which he asserted that the Russian FSB (Security Services) were behind the 1999 apartment bombings that killed 300 people that were blamed on Chechen rebels in order to necessitate the following invasion of Chechnya.
Interestingly enough, Politkovskaya was also looking into events in Chechnya.
Politkovskaya's editors said the martyred reporter had been due to publish an investigative article about torture and kidnappings in Chechnya based on witness accounts and photos of tortured bodies.
None of which looks good if you happen to be Vladimir Putin, if-you-know-what-I-mean-and-I-think-you-do.
Scaramella said he showed Litvinenko e-mails from a confidential source identifying the possible killers of a Russian investigative journalist and listing other potential targets for assassination -- including himself and Litvinenko.
Other possible suspects include the shadowy Russian figures that Litvinenko met with in a hotel that same day. Traces of the radioactive isotope have also been discovered at the hotel. Another suspect appears to be Anatoly Kirov, a former employee of the Russian Consulate in London, and the person Litvinenko believed was the manager of Russia's agent network.
Personally, I think it was murder. For one thing, it is not unusual for critics of the Kremlin to suddenly cock up their toes. For another thing, it is not an easy death, poisoning, and I can't imagine that somebody would choose that as their self-inflicted ticket off the planet, even if they were trying to frame someone else. Frankly, there are a lot less painful and flashier ways to go and you can still frame somebody else in doing things that way. Besides, this guy was a professional spy. He's used to looking around corners and dodging bullets. I'm guessing a murderer would have to go to exceptional lengths to finish the job.
You can bet that I'll be watching this story as it unfolds.
The President has a long and well-established record of actually caring about our men and women of the military. He was no doubt posing a very real and concerned question and making a noble gesture. This Webb guy seems to be a first class prick, at least in my opinion.
For the record, my original post was written based on the 6 or 7 news items I found about the incident initially. Those articles had conflicting information, some claiming the men in question had prayed in the terminal, some on the flight. I continue by my assertion that they get over themselves, however. New details of these men's actions only make me more suspicious. I am supremely pleased that the passengers, crew, and airline acted on the side of prudence and kicked those fellows to the curb.
What additional suspicious activity?
Glad you asked.
It seems that they did do their praying in the terminal, but they acted kinda funny once on board. For example,
Three of the men asked for seat-belt extenders, although two flight attendants told police the men were not oversized.
Rather than attach the extensions, the men placed the straps and buckles on the cabin floor, the flight attendant said.
[W]itnesses told law enforcement that the men spoke in Arabic and English, criticizing the war in Iraq and President Bush, and talking about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
And, particularly odd is this:
The imams who claimed two first-class seats said their tickets were upgraded. The gate agent told police that when the imams asked to be upgraded,they were told no such seats were available. Nevertheless, the two men were seated in first class when removed.
I don't care who you are, you should be seated in the seat that the airline has assigned you unless crew moves you or authorizes the move. It is particularly strange to me that they snagged the front seats a la September 11. Ask yourself this, when was the last time that you requested an upgrade, were denied, and then took the seat of your own volition anyway? It isn't done and it ought not be done.
Would you feel comfortable on that plane?
Passengers and flight attendants told law-enforcement officials the imams switched from their assigned seats to a pattern associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks and also found in probes of U.S. security since the attacks -- two in the front row first-class, two in the middle of the plane on the exit aisle and two in the rear of the cabin.
"That would alarm me," said a federal air marshal who asked to remain anonymous. "They now control all of the entry and exit routes to the plane."
But the CAIR I'm-A-Victim Campaign wants you to only take away this message:
Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called removing the imams an act of Islamophobia and compared it to racism against blacks.
"It's a shame that as an African-American and a Muslim I have the double whammy of having to worry about driving while black and flying while Muslim," Mr. Bray said.
These folks want Congress to pass a law against identifying this sort of suspicious behavior so as to protect the feelings of the offended Muslim Imams.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas Democrat, said the September 11 terrorist attacks "cannot be permitted to be used to justify racial profiling, harassment and discrimination of Muslim and Arab Americans."
"Understandably, the imams felt profiled, humiliated, and discriminated against by their treatment," she said.
Poor babies. Humiliated and profiled all on one day.
This is stupid. I don't care what color you are or what religion you practice. This is suspicious behavior and should be monitored. I suppose Sheila Jackson-Lee would prefer we wait to raise the hue and cry until there's a hole in the earth and charred bodies strewn everywhere.
I am glad that the passengers, crew, and airline did what they did. We must all practice constant vigilance.
Are you cut out for work at the agency? Take the quiz. It is a hoot! It turns out I'm an Impressive Mastermind. This should not come as a surprise - I do have a SpySistah afterall - and some of the traits surely are passed genetically...
We have returned to the bounty that is the land of milk and cheese. And football and beer.
We have returned home to the crunch that is the holiday build-up. But, before I get into all of that, a quick (or not so quick) post on our travel adventures.
Last Tuesday after work, I drove home, picked up Bunny Boop and Prince Charming and the luggage, and turned around again to drive us all to Milwaukee. We stayed there in a hotel overnight because our flight out of General Mitchell International Airport left really early Wednesday morning.
Likely because of this super-early departure, getting through check-in and security was a breeze. We ended up waiting at the gate for an hour and a half, but no big deal. We flew Midwest Airlines on our flight from Milwaukee to Dallas. This was heaven!
If you haven't flown Midwest, let me tell you how things were. The seats are extremely roomy - like First Class seats - only in the entire cabin. There is an armrest between you and your seat mate that is five or six inches wide and the seats are a leather or a leather-ish material. There are even foot rests that extend down from the seat in front of you. It was a delight, and a particular joy considering the extra room meant Bunny had plenty of room in which to wiggle over the two hours we were in the air. She was able to sleep in our laps, with her head cushioned on this large armrest, quite comfortably. The in-flight service was also nice. It was an early flight, so there was a full complement of beverages and complimentary granola and fruit bars. Just right. Moreover, the flight staff was especially accomodating about our traveling with an infant. They spent extra time with us going over our specific emergency procedures and made sure we knew they were there if we needed assistance. We didn't feel like cattle at all!
Navigating the DFW airport was easy with the aid of that skyway tram thingy. I swear, a monkey could do it! We had an hour layover and then boarded the American Eagle flight from DFW to Amarillo. Not as nice accomodations, but the flight was very short so it wasn't too terrible. Bunny did not sleep through this flight, there was too much going on. Instead, she busied herself with the emergency procedures card. I am sorry to say that it did not stand up well to the episode.
We arrived in Amarillo early and bustled off to the baggage claim. This is where things went to hell. Prince Charming's bag (his clothes and Bunny's food) arrived safely. My bag (with Bunny's and my clothes), on the other hand, was nowhere to be found. Bunny was on my lap sleeping there at the baggage claim so I handed her off to grandpa while I wrangled with the baggage claim authorities. Actually, there was only one person. Her name was Jennifer and she was perfectly lovely and helpful. I was just frustrated because this always happens to me. My luggage frequently gets stuck en route, and sometimes when my route doesn't go anywhere near Texas, my bags still go to Dallas. People who know me have heard the stories and my suspicions about the reasoning. Anyway, there I was with only the clothes on my back.
So we went out for lunch and hit the mall for some undies. Then we made the 4 hour drive home to the farm. An hour after we arrived, we got a phone call. A courier was 30-minutes away with my bag and looking for directions to our physical location. Gratefully, we instructed him to save himself an hour's drive time and drop the bag at the police station in town and we would pick it up. And we did. Eureka! I was really worried for most of the afternoon and evening, but thankfully the contents were intact.
We had Christmas that evening, opening gifts and having a good time. Prince Charming was particularly pleased with his gift and has already begun choosing books with his Barnes & Noble giftcard. Bunny and I were equally pleased for him.
We woke early Thanksgiving morning, thanks to Bunny, and began preparing the food for the big meal. We had ham and turkey leftovers (long story) and a full compliment of traditional holiday dishes. The meal was good and the company better as we played cards until 1 am. Early that morning, Bunny took her first steps - something I'll remember long after the meal has left the recesses of my instant recall. We are very excited.
Friday brought some R&R and a trip to the nursing home to visit my grandmother. She is still with us, much to everyone's surprise. She played with Bunny and we snapped some pictures before finally departing. That evening we did some laundry and played with Bunny. Saturday morning we did some sewing and packed up for the return trip to Amarillo. Before leaving, we made another visit to the nursing home to say goodbye. Upon arriving in Amarillo, we had supper at the Texas Roadhouse.
This would have been great if not for the fact that on a Saturday night at 7 p.m. they had run out of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. If they aren't careful, they are going to drive away the customer base.
We stayed in a hotel that night and were back at the airport at 5:20 am on Sunday morning. We encountered no trouble at security or check-in, though I will note that the Amarillo airport is vastly more thorough in their security procedures than any other airport I've been to in a long while.
Our trip to Dallas was easy and our connecting flight back to Milwaukee was wonderful, if a tad bit late. We were again treated to the lush accomodations of the Midwest Boeing 717. On this flight, however, we received an even better treat. Midway through the flight, the flight staff delivered 2 warm chocolate chip cookies to each passenger. I'm telling you, the chocolate chips were still wet and gooey. It was sublime! Traffic back to Madison was light in our direction and we were home by 3 pm on Sunday afternoon. We ordered a pizza and started putting things back in order.
All in all, our trip was enjoyable but we are glad to be back. Now, however, I have half a million things to do. Time to make a list...
I want to wish everyone a Very Happy Thanksgiving.
I'm about to hit the trail and join the rest of the nation at the airports and in the friendly skies as Prince Charming, the Little Princess, and I make our way from Milwaukee to Dallas to Amarillo (not by morning) but by tomorrow noon. Then we'll make the drive home to the farm.
On one hand, I am really proud that if the crew and passengers felt uncomfortable and threatened that they did something about it.
On the other hand, I am royally pissed that CAIR feels that these people have been victimized.
These men stood and performed an act on a plane in unison. Just because it was a religious act they feel that they should be protected. Screw that! They can pray in their seats just like everybody else. How would they feel if all of the Christians on the plane stood up and did something? How about all the Jews?
This is stupid. Stay in your damn seat like a normal person. If your flight interfers with your religious obligations, make other damn travel arrangements.
Here's why...If I had a dollar for everytime I had heard an African-American comedian use that word I could fund a 3-month world vacation.
Non-issue, people. If a black man can use the term with impunity, then there is no reason a white man can't use the term. I personally wouldn't use it and don't like it, but if we are being honest, there is no difference. I realize that he was using it in a derogatory way and not necessarily as part of his schtick, but in my opinion it doesn't matter. I've heard people refer generically to all women as "bitches", and this doesn't make me happy either. But, we don't get all shocked when people use this terminology, so why this time?
It is political-correctness run amok. And I'm sick of it.
Crazy Kook #2, (#1 is the "esteemed" leader of the DPRK) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad feels free to pursue his nuclear agenda at will because Israel is "weak."
He likely thinks this because Israel "lost" the recent war against Hezbollah. This guy needs to stop smoking his breakfast fruit. He doesn't honestly think that Israel is going to stand idly by and wait for Iran to develop a bomb so that Ahmadinejad can follow through on his threat to "wipe Israel off the map", does he?
Israel will turn him into a Rice Crispy faster than you can say "Oy!"
In case you haven't heard, the honorable Charles Rangel, Democrat, and Representative of the State of New York wants to resurrect the draft. He seems to feel that having a larger army will keep us from going to war. I'm not sure I follow his logic on that, but I find this ironic.
Previously, Rangel had brought this up as a political ploy and as a way of making a statement about Iraq. Indeed, when the Republicans were in charge of the House, they brought his Bill to a vote so as to make him put up or shut up, as it were, knowing full well that it would be defeated. At that time, even Rangel was found to vote against his own Bill. He voted against bringing back the draft. Amazing.
But now that the Democrats are in control, ol' Charlie wants another run at the draft. He thinks our fighting forces should more accurately reflect the makeup of the nation. I don't think he means illegal aliens, either. He wants to see more "rich white kids" and the children of politicians in harms way. Are you following? This Democrat wants to see more dead soldiers coming back to make a statement.
What an idiot. Having more fighting forces - I'm all for that! But, I think it should be by choice, not by edict. The military is a great start to a career in a great many fields. I would be proud if my children would serve, but they should do it by choice. And the reason, beyond freedom issues, is because it makes a better fighting force.
When people resent being somewhere and feel that there is no way out, well...let's just say those aren't your best employees. I think an all-volunteer force is the only way to go.
But, I sure hope the MTV crowd is aware that it is a DEMOCRAT who is threatening their freedom a hell of a lot more than the Patriot Act ever has...
If the United States had no military at all, the following would be more likely to occur:
(A) Peace on earth for every man, woman, and child. (B) A hellish nightmare in which brutal dictators scheme to destroy the prosperous West and steal its riches unimpeded, bringing untold misery to billions of people.
I am losing my grip on the details of our lives and falling behind on critical tasks like cleaning.
It is not intentional, I swear, and these feelings of slippage are starting to impact my mental health.
I'm a control freak. Fortunately, I am aware of it and can admit it. They tell me that's the first step toward recovery, but I'll be damned if I know what step two is. And the thing is, as a control freak, even that bothers me.
Let's look at a few examples, shall we?
I got a new cell phone last weekend, complete with a headset so that I can talk and drive more safely. However, my new phone and headset aren't playing well together. I don't know why. My phone works perfectly until I plug in the headset attachment. At that point, my phone starts dialing numbers of its own accord, with absolutely no input from me. In fact, even when I manually try to stop the call, it dials the same number again. It is infuriating me and I am ready to hurl the damn phone and its happy tones right out the window and onto the pavement where it will be smashed to the quark level under the tire of a tractor-trailer.
I am so far behind on my housecleaning that it is royally pissing me off. There is a layer of dust everywhere, as though we've either survived the Dust Bowl, or the nuclear decimation of Des Moines has drifted to Wisconsin. My floors need cleaning. My bathrooms need cleaning. We are drowning in the drift of detritus in several rooms. Clutter! Clutter is pissing me off.
And, before you ask, no - it isn't baby stuff that I'm talking about. On the contrary, I am so absorbed in caring for the baby and her stuff that it is everything else that is coming unglued. I swear, I'm just going to start throwing shit in the trash. So much easier that way.
And then, there is the stuff that I have half-done. I have a couple of sewing projects that I need to finish. I have party stuff I need to finish. I am sick to death of the haphazard fashion that currently incorporates our kitchen calendar and desire something cleaner and neater and more organized and hidden. I desire clean surfaces clear of stuff. I want to go sit in one of those rubber rooms, I think, and just be at peace with the cleanliness. I have a stack of Christmas gifts wrapped and ready to slide under the tree. Currently they are making a tower in the corner of the office. The office, I should point out, that is also a project-in-process because it still isn't how I want it.
I need to clean out my closet and donate a pile of stuff. I need to clean out the cabinets and donate some stuff. I need to clean out the basement and donate/garage sale a bunch of stuff.
I have reached that point. That place where I either become the guardian of my shit or it takes over. The tipping point, as it were. Hear me, now, Stuff! I am taking our lives back. You can either get in line or you are getting kicked to the curb!
I am going to have some stern (okay shrieking may come into play) with the cell phone guys on Saturday. I am going to have my house clean by bedtime Friday night. I am going to clean out storage spaces on Saturday afternoon.
I just can't live like this anymore. There's too much on my mind. I have to finish my cookbook. I have to track down the doll lady. I have to arrange for passports, update the will, finish Christmas shopping, start baking (2 weeks worth of work there), decorate the house for the holidays, and maintain my mental health.
The picture doesn't really do it justice. It is teal silk with an organza skirt overlay that has little flowers floating on it in relief. Mommy and Grandma made the dress, but it will be prettier on Bunny.
To that end, he sketched out an expansive federal agenda: Teaming up with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on gun control, passing new tax incentives for urban job programs, and redirecting federal money to New York in return for the outsize tax collections that the federal government makes here.
“Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” Mr. Rangel said.
You can expect even more disrespect like this now that his stature and that of other Democrats has increased. As far as most of them are concerned, anything between Chicago and Los Angeles is wild territory filled with crass, bible-thumping, flag-waving, rednecks. The thing is, every state in the union is important. Each state has important gifts that she contributes to this nation. No state should be demeaned and dismissed in this casual way - in particular not by someone who represents another state.
But, can you honestly admit that while he said "Mississippi" that Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, or any other middle-of-the-country states could easily be interchanged in his statement? He's an ass. And, he's not alone.
Maybe if you only eat Kobe Beef and sushi you don't need Kansas Beef and Bread, but that doesn't mean that nobody needs it. The impoverished of this nation - who the Democrats claim to defend (but not eat lunch with) - need the flyover country for the food it puts so very cheaply in their mouths. But that uncomfortable fact is not something that Charles Rangel likes to talk about in front of a camera. This is my problem with the Democratic party. They aren't like me.
John Kerry's wife had never been in a Wendy's. John Kerry doesn't know that the Green Bay Packers don't play football at a St. Louis airport. John Kerry thinks that our American Servicemen and women are stupid, uneducated dolts. It is all so...Marie Antoinette - Let-them-eat-cake.
If somebody is going to represent you, I think they should be familiar with how you make your living and not be dismissive of the way that you live. If I don't dine on truffles and Cristal every night, I don't think my representative should. Frankly, I'd like him to make Hamburger Helper a staple in his diet so that he understands about living within your means (not crying because jet fuel has gotten so expensive and the weekend trip to Aspen is...you get my point, I think).
But, Democrats don't learn well. Example 1: the minimum wage. Democrats in Congress have announced their intention to raise the minimum wage not that they are in charge of the agenda. Nevermind the fact that while raising the minimum wage may increase the money in the pockets of the employed minimum wage earners, it has a nasty way of reducing the number of available positions. You need look no further than Madison, WI for the proof in the pudding on that. Madison has been passing and trying to pass a number of anti-business measures, including an increase of the local minimum wage and mandatory paid sick days for hourly workers. Locally, business owners have had enough and many are unhappy. I guess the Democrats feel that more money in the pocket of one and no money in the pocket of another is the best solution. Of course, they won't forget that second guy - he can go on welfare and you and I will put money in his pocket.
I'm against a minimum wage in principal as well. I feel that a job should pay what the market will bear. You prove your worth and move up the compensation scale because of your own value. Nothing is a better stimulus of ambition than an empty wallet. I'd like to see more ambition, that's all.
But, I digress. It seems that a Representative Chip Pickering of Mississippi took offense at good ol' Charlie's comments and replied:
“Last year, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast. We have been working hard not only to rebuild our own homes and communities, but also to repair and protect the network of refineries, pipelines, and transmission grids that supply energy, gas, and oil to the rest of the country, including New York. If Mr. Rangel believes those efforts required more than our fair share of federal money, he is welcome to send that energy back to our state and find an alternative supply..."
Again, emphasis mine. Yeah, New York, why don't you send that energy back along with the food grown in those contemptible flyover states. See how that works out for ya, and be sure to thank your Honorable Representative for the gifts.
Last night, I was watching ER when the local NBC affiliate had a teaser for the 10 o'clock news during commercials. Get This Take on Tuesday's Election Results - according to the teaser, it was a Democratic Landslide.
That's like calling Nicole Richie "of average weight."
It wasn't a landslide. A landslide would be 90% of governorships, 90% of the legislature, more than 425 seats in the House and better than 65 senators. A moderate majority in the House and a slim margin in the Senate do not a landslide make. Yeah, the governor here is Wisconsin remains a Democrat - but their high hopes for the AG failed. Falk lost to Van Hollen. My own state representative, Eugene Hahn (whose office has been exceedingly helpful to me in the past) a Republican, beat his Democratic challenger in a three-peat. Moreover, these were not the only 2 Republicans elected in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Yes, the insipid Baldwin and Kohl won reelection, and the Democrats may have retaken the State Assembly, but the State Senate remains in GOP control.
Calling Tuesday's results a Democratic Landslide is like calling Paris Hilton a great beauty. Or Rosie O'Donnell a major media maven. Or Kevin Federline the Artist Who Epitomizes Our Times. Or Tara Reid a "great mind."
I get it, you are excited. But, before you wet your pants, a little reality might be advisable.
Of course, this isn't an isolated incident. All of a sudden the MSM is seizing on the positive economic news of the recent past (ok - to be fair they are only interested in showing this week's results) and claiming it is all due to the change in power in Congress. See Ace's post here to see what I mean. Several weeks ago the Dow climbed over 12000 - but only now they are making a big deal about it. Before the election, they'd have to admit who is President during all of this and manage to deny anything positive that could come from his leadership. But now, the world is a sea of sunshine because Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker.
I imagine they'll also claim the victory of the recent unemployment numbers as further endorsement from the business world.
The Republicans managed to squander their good will with their electorate and the Demorats have regained the House. To make matters worse, Rumsfeld has resigned from SecDef.
I imagine the Libs are wetting themselves with glee at this news and no doubt Cindy Sheehan has given up that hunger strike/weight gain plan she was on.
Kudos to them, they managed to do it.
But frankly, I'm worried. Not that the Chicken Littles in the Democratic party have been endorsed by the public, Iraq is going to become an Islamofascist state. Those poor bastards are in for a long haul full of IED's and eventually another reign of plastic-shredder interrogations. I am really sorry that it has come to this, for their sake. Here we have a fledgling nation trying to pull themselves out of the dark ages of fear and repression and struggling to give birth to a democracy with personal liberties for all, and we go and elect a bunch of pussies who aren't going to honor the commitment we made to them. Pelosi and her pals are going to run from Iraq faster than you can say "Check, please!"
This will embolden the terrorists, mark my words. They will now be convinced of our weakness and lack of fortitude. They'll send Americans home in body bags from all over the world, waiting for the day when the global caliphate spreads from Alberta to Florida and Sacramento to Osaka. The next two years will likely see another huge terrorist attack because first chance they get, the Dems are going to gut security to fund such social programs as universal healthcare. Fuck me. Then, all of the Dems are going to get real fussy when all of a sudden some Government Hack gets to make the decision about whether you really need that surgery or abortion. Sounds just wonderful, doesn't it, This "New Direction"?
The sacrifices of those Americans who fought bravely will be squandered as we cut and run, or as Murtha likes to say "Redeploy to Okinawa." Fuck me.
Even here in Wisconsin we managed to once again get royally fucked, reelected that scam artist Doyle and his staff of dirty-dealers. So, once again, we've elected someone who doesn't trust us to protect ourselves. I suppose that will comfort me as I lie dieing waiting for my rapist to finish me off. We've disallowed gay marriage and recommended the reintroduction of the Death Penalty - not that it is binding on the legislature, of course. But, without concealed carry, there does exist the hope that my murderer will fry for his actions. Oh, wait, this is bleeding heart Wisconsin - that'll never happen.
And then there is the dual dim spots of likely increased property taxes here in Wisconsin with Doyle at the helm for another 4 years and Democrats in power in Washington means that Charlie Rangel's going to do his best to roll back the Bush tax cuts that have fueled this economy and resulted in increased home ownership and record-low unemployment levels and increased tax revenues and the cutting of the deficit. Yep - all that's going the way of the dodo if the Dems have any say in the matter. This means less money in college funds and more fucking taxes. Assholes.
The Democrats may have won, but the US taxpayer lost. Big Time.
Oh, and you can absolutely forget any serious action on Illegal Immigration reform. The Democrats are going to start bringing illegal aliens in by the fucking dumptruck. More people to suck at the free healthcare teat that the taxpayer provides. Lovely.
There are, however, three bright spots as I see them:
First: President Bush does have the power to veto any bill that comes to his desk and they'll have to have 2/3 of both houses to override. That is something. Of course, he'll have to have the will to veto it first.
Secondly: The possibility exists that the Democrats will screw the pooch so thoroughly in the next two years that a real Moderate Conservative will land in the Whitehouse in 2008.
Lastly: Two whole years to play "Scrutinize the Dems." That should be entertaining blog fodder.
A few moments ago, I made a Christmas gift purchase at Stormy Kromer. I learned about this product from Made in America, which I've written about before. They make these excellent caps for Farmer-type guys who spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter. My dad will be opening his very own this year.
Anyway, I just received the email that confirms my order from the company and thought I should share it with you, because it is so darn cute:
Just thought we would let you know that in just a few minutes, your order will be carefully removed from our Stormy Kromer shelves, placed into some sort of container, and sent on its way to you. And if it's cold where you are, then you are correct in feeling pretty darn good about that. If it's warm where you are, keep it to yourself... no point in rubbing it in.
Prior to its departure, a semi-qualified team of almost 50 inspectors actually, it'll be just one person, but she's really good) will check your order to make sure it passes muster. Our "packing specialist" will then ask for a collective moment of silence, and a reverent calm will fall over the entire factory as we all watch her place your order into some sort of shipping thingamajig.
Of course, all of this excitement gave rise to a big party afterwards, resulting in the whole factory taking the remainder of the day off to walk your package to the local post office, where most of our town will show up and join in to wish it a cheerful Bon Voyage!
I hope you enjoyed shopping with us. As you can tell, we sure do. In fact, we are considering nominating you for Customer of the Year! We'll see.
Here's some information about your order:
Isn't that clever? I usually don't read these emails except to confirm that they say what they are supposed to, but this one is a treasure. This appears to be a fabulous company. I hope the product is as good so that I can give them more accolades later.
Today, as you would have to be an idiot to not know, is Election Day.
Today is the day that American citizens in good standing cast their ballots in self-determination.
I urge you to become informed and do your duty.
Twenty brownie points for you if you vote today.
I will not urge you to vote one way or another, electioneering is wrong within close proximity to a polling place and I have no idea where you are. Therefore, I will only direct you to judge on the big picture and get as much information as you can before making your choices.
So, if you were watching any college football this past weekend, you probably heard that there was an unexpected injury in the Badgers/Penn State game.
In spectacular fashion, a Badger and a Nittany Lion jointly took out the Penn State coach, Joe "Joepa" Paterno. When I say "took out", I mean the man was under a pile. It was most unfortunate.
You probably know this, but in case you don't, Joe Paterno is old. Like older than dirt. He probably was around (and coaching) when they invented football. I would not be surprised. He's in his mid-eighties, I think, and still coaching. And those bones, not what they once were.
Anyhoo, I bring it up because I heard this morning that he's had surgery and his leg is broken. I'm no fan of Penn State, but I wouldn't wish this on anybody. I hope he recovers quickly and returns to the field. His team and the fans think quite a lot of him.
But, of course, I have a quote for this situation that is making me giggle. Two brownie points if you can name the film:
Prince Charming and I attempted to go out to eat at this new place here in Madison on Saturday night. I should point out that it is a chain steakhouse. There is one down in Janesville and we have eaten in one in Amarillo, TX. Our neice even works there.
So, we walk into this place at 6:45 pm and the hostess informs me that it is going to be a 95 to 105-minute wait. "Is that okay?"
No. No, That's NOT Okay!
I can't imagine why they were still letting people in the door if the wait was that long. At 6 freakin' 45! I mean, maybe if we were showing up at 7:45, but come on! Was there a run on the early bird special or something? Ridiculous.
And, let's discuss the terminology she used, shall we? Am I expected to be so dumb as to not notice the fact that 95 minutes is basically an hour and a half? Just how stupid do I look? It is pretty obvious that they quote the time this way so as to convince people to stay. Perhaps they think that people don't know that 105 minutes is one hour and forty-five minutes? Basic math may be beyond some people, but I'm not one of them.
Instead, we drove down the street and had a horrid meal at another place. My steak was tough and undercooked. It pissed me off.
You've heard the old adage I'm sure: Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
I personally don't think this is very sound advice.
I mean, sure, if your neighbor brings you cookies for your birthday or a holiday or as a thank you it would be churlish to question their motives. On the other hand, it is just good policy in general to look gift horses in the mouth.
It would have done the Trojans a world of good, if you know what I mean.
Maybe I'm a cynic, but I think that in these times it is only wise to look a gift horse in the mouth.
For example, why all of a sudden, after soooo much protestation, and demands of unilateral talks with the US, has the DPRK agreed to return to 6-party talks...just after they've tested their first nuke? Hmmm?
And why in the world would a career politician make such a tremendous gaffe as John Kerry did yesterday? Could it have been on purpose? It is my understanding that Phil Angelides, the candidate for Governor that Kerry was stumping for when he made the offensive blunder, is trailing behind Schwarzenegger in the polls. One might wonder if there is a darker conspiracy afoot here. Did Kerry do this to throw the election to the Republicans everywhere else in the country but play to the Far Left in California who hate the troops and want peace, love, and free sex with their granola in the morning? I mean, did he say this to appease the Loons and help dash Democratic gains elsewhere in the country hoping that two more years of Republican control of Congress would mean a Democrat in the Whitehouse in 2008? See, I can come up with a conspiracy theory if I try. Everybody thinks that Karl Rove is a mastermind. Step off, Karl, here comes Jonny-boy. Wicked evil genius!
Or, consider the gift horse of the very very late apology. I once had a boyfriend call me 8 years later to offer an apology for the way that he ended our engagement. Was it an apology? Or, was it a wishful booty call disguised as a very late and repentant apology?
Or, consider the soon-to-be-ex-husband who starts being awfully nice...question the motives folks, that's all I'm saying.
Look that gift horse in the mouth. You know you want to.