You ever have one of those days when you say, “Gee, it seems I’m all caught up on my work, the day is ready to roll out before me and I have extra time. Where did it come from?” and then you realize it’s because you forgot to tend your blog?
I did, yesterday. It was accompanied by the pleasant realization that I had some extra money in my checking account and all my bills were paid, so how the hell did that happen, and then I realized I’d forgotten to make my car payment, which was due 10 days ago. Oops. I made November’s payment while I was at it. Just to smooth everything over with the Volkswagen people.
Better get back to the blogging routine. My life seems to fall apart without it.
I was telling someone night before last that I was glad Halloween was over. “Yes,” she replied. “Those pumpkins were really starting to look weird next to the Christmas decorations.”
Don’t laugh. Our “Christmas music” radio station here kicked off its all-carols-all-the-time at midnight Nov. 1.
But really, Halloween exhausts me. (Everything exhausts me, lately.) I blame the candy — one sugar buzz after another, followed by a crash. Maybe if I went dye-free and dairy-free, it would be better, but maybe not. Anyway, we now have more candy in the house than we did before, and such quality! Giant Hershey bars, full-size Snickers, licorice whips as long as my arm. I told Kate it can’t go to her room, ostensibly so the dog won’t discover it but really so I don’t have to drag my candy butt up a flight of steps to plunder it. Mommies are alone in the kitchen most of the time, and this is our reward.
Think I’ll go snag some Starburst. I promise to brush my teeth vigorously and thoroughly afterward.
OK, so. One reason I’ve been reluctant to drag myself to the keyboard is, it seems there’s only one topic to write about — the election — and there’s only one thing to say about it, which is: Can you believe this shit?
As for me, I think I’d rather live in the Twilight Zone. Much better nightlife, eh Beav?
brian stouder said on November 2, 2006 at 10:23 am
But – soon to be over. I am voting D wherever I can (for sheriff, but she will lose; for congress – and he might just win; but not against Lugar – because firstly he is the Real Deal, and in any case, the Ds didn’t even run anyone against him!) –
and I think the D’s will retake the house and retake the senate (no thanks to John ‘it was a joke!’ Kerry), and W will have to become a bit more humble and moderate, as he promised to be six years ago
James said on November 2, 2006 at 10:54 am
Vernon Robertson; he crazy.
So he wants to go back to the time when middle-class folks were exclusively (or at least, visibly so in the media) white, like Leave it to Beaver?
Seriously. This man has brain damage.
“Jesse Helms is back! And this time, he’s black.”
Kirk said on November 2, 2006 at 11:29 am
wow. and i thought ken blackwell was crazy
danno said on November 2, 2006 at 11:31 am
All I can say is…Oh..My..Go..sh? According to that wack job.
Scarey, but funny.
Did you catch Keith Olbermann http://www.crooksandliars.com/category/countdownkeith-olbermann/ last night? All I could say was..You Go Girl!!!
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 11:43 am
The only interesting election day issues here are the ballot measures, as usual, the very faint possibility that Schwarzeneggar might not win, but that’s reeeeeeealllllly faint, and secretary of state candidate Jerry Brown (yes, THAT Jerry Brown.)
John said on November 2, 2006 at 11:45 am
Man o’ Man did Keith O rip someone a new one last night!
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 11:47 am
Mary, have you looked at any of the ballot measures? I haven’t yet. Just wondering what your thoughts are.
nancy said on November 2, 2006 at 12:18 pm
Man that Olbermann thing just went on and on, like great sex.
I think I need a cigarette.
MarkH said on November 2, 2006 at 12:18 pm
Mary, make sure you’re looking over that ballot carefully; Jerry Brown is running for Attorney General, I believe.
Brian, I respectfully disagree. Obviously much of the polling press shows democratic leanings, but there seems to be so much back and forth among the numbers depending on the day and the media outlet. The D’s are going to gain, no question, but I doubt a slam dunk. I keep looking at the overall dissatisfaction numbers with congress in general, very justified in my opinion. I would not want to be an incumbent of either party right now. This could make for some surprises. Many people might just wait until Tuesday at the polling booth and decide to vote their gut regardless of how they felt during the lead-up.
I think the GOP keeps the senate by one seat. Dems will likely take the House, but whichever side wins, it will be by 2-3 seats max. Just my $.02; we’ll see.
John said on November 2, 2006 at 12:22 pm
“Man that Olbermann thing just went on and on, like great sex.”
Tip of the hat if Alan is still going 11 minutes and 29 seconds.
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 12:37 pm
You’re right, Mark, Sorry. I should remember that because one of the ads against him criticizes his statement that he would enforce laws he disagrees with, saying he’s a flip flopper.
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 1:21 pm
Uh oh. Now letter carriers are getting attacked by squirrels!
brian stouder said on November 2, 2006 at 1:25 pm
Mark – agreed that these pre-election polls are a little squirrelly (so to speak). They (the polls) are a sort of mysterious amalgam of attempts at an observer-created reality (by crafty partisan pollsters) and blurry snapshots of some ethereal ‘national mood’; a genuine ‘black art’.
but about 10 days ago I concluded that the GOP was going down bigtime, based on superstition and observation. My superstition is that Karl Rove really is one of those evil-genius types who has a whole boiling cauldrin full of ‘internal polls’ that he actually understands(!), and knows how to utilize.
It is worth noting that about a week and half ago, President Bush and his White House press operation suddenly DROPPED “stay the course, stay the course, stay the course” – which is a simple and understandable incantation of the sort that they excel at inventing and running on……
and they replaced it with absolutely nothing! The GOP is in a nationalized election and they have no simple message at all; in fact they spiked the one they had – which indicates (to me) that Rove (et al) could clearly see a wipeout coming, and why, and they decided NO message was better than THAT message.
So anyway – I’m probably wrong, but based on all that, my guess is that the Democrats will earn back control of the United States House of Representatives, and also control of the United States Senate
MarkH said on November 2, 2006 at 1:39 pm
This squirrel thing is becoming Hitchcockian…
MarkH said on November 2, 2006 at 1:51 pm
Good points, Brian. The mix is such a mix it gets harder to get a real sense of any Dem margin of victory, if it happens, in either house.
Charlie Cook is about as reliable a pollster as any, has a good track record since 2000, and echoes much of what you predict.
Out here in Wyoming, with barely 500,000 people, we are stuck with one US Rep. Just so you people in Indiana and Michigan don’t feel isolated in your dissatisfaction with your pols, here she is…
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 1:52 pm
Brian, that would be my best guess too, but I think there is a further angle where I’ve not heard discussion: That the GOP secretly wants these two things to happen. There could be several good reasons for this. Among the ones I can think of quickly (all having to do with 2008):
1) Iraq: If it devolves even more completely into utter chaos, there would be some opportunity to partially blame a Dem congress. And this would be regardless of if the newly empowered party does nothing (i.e. “Hey, they had the power and yet, they did NOTHING!?!?”) or if they do something (i.e. “Hey, they thwarted the president’s plans and made a complete mess of things!”).
2) Corruption: Both parties have severe corruption problems. The majority party, by default, is held under a more powerful microscope.
3) Lack of Ideas: You are spot on when you indicate that the GOP has retracted their message and replaced it with nothing. I would go further to point out that the Dems are in the same predicament. Everytime they open their mouths, they embarress themselves (e.g. John Kerry with the troops, Nancy Pelosi with pronouncements that she will take whatever damn office she pleases, and Howard Dean continuously). Both parties seem out of ideas, incapable of governing and seem soley motivated by the need to be in power for power’s sake.
4) Sympathy: The president will be shat upon by the new congress. Repeatedly, Vociferously. So will the rest of the minority party. They may be able to garner some sympathy.
It all plays into a possible 2008 stategy.
Dwight the Troubled Teen said on November 2, 2006 at 2:11 pm
When I take over the world, kids of any shape/size/or cuteness factor will be banned from political advertisements.
No more “This is my granddaughter, Betsy, and I’m thinking about her future.”
No shots of politicians standing in the middle of a second grade classroom.
No daisies and mushroom clouds.
Kids are apolitical creatures and it pisses me off to see them exploited for political gain by any party or ideology.
MarkH said on November 2, 2006 at 2:14 pm
Nice prognostication, Danny. It falls in with all the evidence I’ve seen that BOTH parties are held in such low esteem, and this seems to be under the radar. Of course the GOP will be playing off this, and IF incumbent Dems are tossed, as well as Reps., the power shift may not be as significant as some think. Another Pelosi-ism is her threat to put Alcee Hastings in as chairman of the house intelligence committee.
BTW, sorry for the double post on the squirrel going postal; didn’t see yours at first!
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 4:45 pm
Speaking of paying Volkswagen…
I was on the phone making my monthly payment, since I forgot to mail it. I’m entering my account number, routing number, checking account number, and my intercom phone is ringing and ringing. Usually people give up after five or six rings, seeing that I’m on the other line, but this one keeps going, so I figure it’s something really important. I hang up before completing my payment with VW.
It’s my assistant on the phone. She says her computer mouse is moving the little arrow on the screen all over the place, without her touching it. I recommend calling the IT people. She says, no, she thinks it’s a ghost. She’s not kidding, and she’s not in the Halloween holiday mode. She seriously thinks it’s a ghost. I tell her to call IT just in case it isn’t. She says she doesn’t want to waste their time, because this office is haunted. She’s never seen the ghost, but other people have.
brian stouder said on November 2, 2006 at 5:07 pm
Well Mary – you might console your assistant with the idea that these computers work AT ALL only because of unseen ghosts; and that they only malfunction when the spirits grow tired of inhabiting them.
Think of the leap of faith we increasingly make with these things; personally, I find that I am making payments by phone or by internet more frequently (and, as you described, offering up all of these sacred numbers), and just trusting to the gods that it will all work out, and that we won’t find that our checking account suddenly dropped to zero and all our credit gets maxed out.
brian stouder said on November 2, 2006 at 5:13 pm
(I suppose putting a check in an envelope and then affixing a sticker to the corner of it and dropping it into a mailbox, with unthinking faith that the envelope will go across the country and arrive where its supposed to in a timely fashion is no less an act of faith)
Laura said on November 2, 2006 at 5:14 pm
“Kids are apolitical creatures”
Oh yeah? My ten-year-old is still wears his Kerry/Edwards button and lives to see Worst Person in the World every weeknight.
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 5:28 pm
How about handing your credit card to a waiter who disappears into the back of the restaurant? I’ve paid bills and bought things by phone and online many times and never had a problem, but my citibank card got into the hands of someone who managed to make duplicates with my number, and in three days ten grand, mostly in gasoline, was charged to my card.
This was a very posh hotel dining room, by the way, where we had gone for Easter brunch.
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 5:34 pm
And this is all with no influence, whatsoever? Right, Laura?
Nancy, do you remember that picture you linked to years ago where the palestinian tot was dressed up like a cute little, suicide bomber? I was suddenly reminded of that and why I believe kids should play more soccer and watch less TV.
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 5:36 pm
Yep, Mary, I’ve heard of that scam. Did they catch the perp?
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 6:06 pm
I don’t know if they caught the person, no. I know Citibank was very good about getting me all the documentation I needed to get a new card and my credit back. I had to sign a statement swearing that I hadn’t been the person buying thousands of gallons of gas in three days, and since the last charge I made was at the Ritz Carlton, it sure looked like that was where the card was copied.
Laura said on November 2, 2006 at 6:43 pm
No influence, I swear. You’ve got to know the kid. He’s a strange little agent. And I mean this in the most loving and motherly way.
Danny said on November 2, 2006 at 6:47 pm
Hmm. Well, then that is actually pretty cool that your kid is taking an interest in current events.
Laura said on November 2, 2006 at 7:02 pm
Yup, he’s something. Must be all that dairy free candy that keeps his wheels turning.
Bob said on November 2, 2006 at 7:38 pm
“Well Mary – you might console your assistant with the idea that these computers work AT ALL only because of unseen ghosts; and that they only malfunction when the spirits grow tired of inhabiting them.”
One of the tech support guys I worked with said they work by smoke. The way he knew that was that whenever the smoke came out, they quit working. I saw him proved right on a couple of occasions.
mary said on November 2, 2006 at 9:24 pm
That man’s a genius, Bob.
Peter said on November 2, 2006 at 10:09 pm
Not to brag TOO much, but kids are really political. We were out for dinner with my parents a few weeks ago when my Dad mentioned the new Robin Williams film. My ten year old said he wanted to see it, and my Dad agreed. Dad then said “Hey Michael, could you ever imagine that they would elect a comedian as President” to which my son replied “What do you mean, they allready have – Bush is a sick joke!”
nancy said on November 2, 2006 at 10:12 pm
Every week at the Eastern Market, there are these radical weirdos there, selling newspapers. I don’t know if they’re LaRouchies or Communists or what, but they all wear the same T-shirt, featuring a picture of Bush under the legend, “INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST.”
Kate was with me last week and said, “I want one of those T-shirts.”
Dorothy said on November 3, 2006 at 9:06 am
Kate is one smart cookie. Kids who are in elementary school are still influenced by their parents, of course. But they also absorb what they hear at school, on the news, and even just headlines in the newspapers, if they don’t read the whole thing.
Danny said on November 3, 2006 at 10:48 am
While you are all having so much fun with Bush-bashing and and tales of misspent youth, you’ll have to excuse me. I think I just vomited a little in my mouth.
brian stouder said on November 3, 2006 at 11:23 am
I think I just vomited a little in my mouth.
Well, this remark sent me away with a resigned sigh, but THEN I ran into this article –
an excerpt –
VIENNA – Four urinals shaped like a woman’s lips went on sale on eBay on Thursday after being removed from a public toilet in Vienna following protests from women’s groups who said they were sexist. Designed by Viennese artist Rudolf Scheffel for the “toilet-bar Vienna�? next to the National Opera, the urinals featured lips covered in red, orange or blue lipstick, a bright red tongue and gleaming white teeth. The urinals were in the toilets for three years but raised an outcry in the run-up to Austria’s Oct. 1 parliamentary election when they were used by political party supporters attending rallies nearby.
and I remembered to close the tag! Huzzah!!
mary said on November 3, 2006 at 11:29 am
Anyone who runs for office is fair game for bashing. Personally I think Bush is a war criminal, and I look forward to the day he leaves office. I think he has brought shame on the country and degraded the constitution.
Danny said on November 3, 2006 at 12:11 pm
Can you interpret your “resigned sigh” a little for me, Brian? Because it sounds to me like you have very delicate sensibilities regarding the use words like vomit, but far too iron of a constitution when it comes to gulping down the BS around here that passes for wisdom.
Bush a war criminal or international terrorist? Puh-Lease.
mary said on November 3, 2006 at 12:20 pm
He sanctions torture. He’s a war criminal. He has made the
“shining city on the hill” concept a pathetic joke.
Here’s a quote from Molly Ivins column about what this election is about. It isn’t about gay marriage, that’s for sure.
May I remind you what this election is about? Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, unprecedented presidential powers, unmatched incompetence, unparalleled corruption, unwarranted eavesdropping, Katrina, Enron, Halliburton, global warming, Cheney’s secret energy task force, record oil company profits, $3 gasoline, FEMA, the Supreme Court, Diebold, Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004, Terri Schiavo, stem cell research, golden parachutes, shrunken pensions, unavailable and expensive health care, habeas corpus, no weapons of mass destruction, sacrificed soldiers and Iraqi civilians, wasted billions, Taliban resurgence, expiration of the assault weapons ban, North Korea, Iran, intelligent design, swift boat hit squads, and on and on.
This election is about that, but much more — it’s about honor, dignity and comity in this country. It’s about the Constitution, which gives us this great nation. Bush ran on a pledge of “restoring honor and integrity” to the White House. Instead, he brought us Tom DeLay, Roy Blunt, Katherine Harris, John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Richard Pombo, Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Karl Rove and an illegal and immoral war in Iraq. People, it’s up to you.
Maureen said on November 3, 2006 at 12:34 pm
I stopped reading the comments on this site quite some time ago because of the quality of the commentary. I clicked through today, I suppose, because of the topic and because I couldn’t avert my eyes from the wreck.
My own politics are radical, and so I say this not as a Bush supporter or Republican or Democrat, but really Nancy, you of all people should be interested in promoting vigorous, thoughtful political commentary. And taking some smug pride in your daughter’s “International Terrorist” wardrobe desires is really counter-productive for someone who is interested in preserving some relevance for print media. It all begins at home, and someone who raises a child who wishes to post inflammatory, vituperative, and disrespectful (of the office, not the man) commentary on her chest, is preparing her for a type of intellectual life that can only be at cross purposes to an elevated vision of our first amendment.
Do we really want to raise a generation of people who think that screaming and name-calling comprises “free thinking�? and “debate�?? Do we really want to degrade our political process so that, as Mary suggested, all candidates should be willing to be “bashed�? and slandered? Do we really want to consider a person a “smart cookie�? who generates an opinion based on a headline and not on actually reading the story, as Dorothy implied? I am trying to raise children who question, think, and debate without resorting to emotion, ad hominem attacks, and disregard for the basic respect due to every person. I would think I had failed if my 12 year old son wanted such a t-shirt.
I won’t be checking back, but if it makes you feel better (and sadly, it probably will), go ahead and have your way with me.
brian stouder said on November 3, 2006 at 12:38 pm
Mary, I agree with about 1/2 of Molly’s checklist – which is about 4X enough to turn the incumbent power out.
Danny – take a breath. Throwing tomatoes (such as ‘war criminal’, etc) at the president and/or the governing party or coalition in congress is as American as apple pie (to mix our figurative produce a bit) – and quite as healthy
nancy said on November 3, 2006 at 12:40 pm
Since Maureen won’t be checking back, I suppose this is a waste of time, but:
I never said I was “proud” of Kate for wanting an incendiary T-shirt, and rest assured, I’m not buying her one. I’m more interested in why she wants it, as I expect it’s just a reflection of what she hears around the house — on the radio, in our conversation — and elsewhere. We’re not whack-ass Bush-haters here, but we’re not happy with him, either. Can’t help but pick up on that, I guess. Honestly, I think more of it comes from a conversation she had with a friend last summer, about Green Day’s “American Idiot” album, which she perceives as being about GWB.
Anyway, just calm down. It’s not worth it.
mary said on November 3, 2006 at 12:43 pm
Candidates have been bashed for as long as there have been candidates. It’s part of the job.
brian stouder said on November 3, 2006 at 12:44 pm
Maureen – what Madam Telling Tales said!
Dorothy said on November 3, 2006 at 6:43 pm
My referring to Kate as a “smart cookie” had more to do with applauding her for recognizing what the shirt said and what it represented rather than the bent of her political thought pattern, even at the tender age of (what is she? 10?). I make no secret of my dislike of Bush but I don’t hate him or support anyone who would make threatening comments about him as a person. However I do not support the way he is running the country and the war in Iraq. I think he is needlessly putting our young soldiers in harms way all for his own political face-saving over the WMD theory/oil/Saddam wanted to kill his dad/etc. etc. My gut instinct tells me Bush is an idiot, a bully, and seriously lacking in the ability to see the long term consequences of his policies.
mary said on November 3, 2006 at 8:27 pm
Molly Ivins says Bush isn’t an idiot. That makes him even worse, I think. If he’s doing all this by plan he must be pretty terrible.
Dorothy said on November 3, 2006 at 9:55 pm
Amen to that.
joodyb said on November 4, 2006 at 12:57 am
i’ve got a couple t-shirts that’d singe your eyebrows off. i don’t wear them to the market, of course.
ye gods. that people have time to troll comment strings, looking for others to scold. heartwarming. and she had to get pretty far down, too!
i think y’all are fascinating, every one.