Monday, January 26, 2009


Re-Creating Ourselves

You have to hand it to old Rod Blagojevich; he's really all about re-inventing himself. There he is, on a one-man media blitz to convince the American people that he shouldn't be impeached because he hasn't been found guilty, blah-blah-blah. From getting noogies on The View to trying to snow Larry King, he'll make his case in order to create that reasonable doubt, without all the strictures of a court of law, and without those incriminating audiotapes the FBI compiled. The ultimate changeling, he is Ghandi, he is Martin Luther King, he is King Kong. Most of all, he is you and me, except, of course, when he's not.

For sheer chutzpah, he's hard to beat.

Nevertheless, he will soon need all the help he can get for those legal bills, a fresh income stream, as it were, and here I offer him a chance to develop just that: He's sitting on a cash cow, or rather, a cash cow has generously pooped upon his head. What a gift! He can rent out his wiggy-wig to people with challenges of their own.

Karl Rove, for example, could use a new look. Apparently Congress is closing in on him, and he is all too recognizable in his current form. Imagine the Blago mane as an aura, as something having the power to cloud men's minds as the summons server searches in vain for his quarry.

Then there is Elliott Spitzer, former governor of New York. I know that Elliott's off writing for Slate or some other such second-best pursuit these days, but I wonder what else he's up to. With his predilection for working girls, he could probably use a little cover for his walks on the wild side. Surely Blago's prepossessing pompadour could maintain his precious provacy.

Finally, there' s old Rush. Rush could use a lot of help at the moment; he's gotten virtuous Bill Bennett mad at him for saying that he hopes Obama fails, which doubtless has him stressed out enough to be out trolling for a lot of extra Oxycontin in his spare time. Lord knows he's recognizable. What's a fat, dishonest bigot to do?

Answer: Rent a Rod-'do. You can slip around a city's mean streets undetected. Even if somebody spots you, you resemble a Democrat! What could be more satisfying than thaLLt?

Last, and by no means least, is Larry Craig, who is now out of the Senate and out and about with a great deal of time on his hands. Who knows what he'll do with all that time? But a new self, whether at home or in the stall, would certainly be such a comfort, either to Mrs. Craig or to those chance encounters that are such a rich part of life on the road. I'm sure that Rod would love to contribute to the unlucky solon's luck, perhaps crowning him with a new start.

Some of you are muttering to yourselves that I've sold out, offering aid and comfort to The Enemy. You could say that, I guess, although I have always had a soft spot for the underdog, however vile and smelly.

However, I guess my overriding conviction is my unshakable belief that everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Being the Change We've Been Waiting For

The World Has Changed
A poem written for these times by Alice Walker

The World Has Changed:
Wake up & smell
The possibility.
The world
Has changed:
It did not
Your prayers
Your faith
Your determination
In liberation
Through the years
The world has changed:
It did not
Of self
It did not
The world has
Wake up!
Give yourself
The gift
Of a new
The world has changed:
This does not mean
You were never
The world
Has changed:
Resist the siren
The world has changed:
Don't let

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This 'Glorious Burden'

What we've been missing for the past 8 years is gravitas: that anchor of purpose and vision that must be central in a person who would govern.

Thank God it's back. The Presidency is for big kids, not smug frat boys who think that a connection to Jesus is a free pass to arranging the world to his comfort.

Citizenship itself is a state of labor: to stay thoughtful, to stay connected and informed, to ask plenty of questions, to analyze and reflect, to participate in a meaningful way.

Check out President Obama's first proclamation:

A National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation


- - - - - - -



As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of America is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven.

On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright -- it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.

So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

Okay, Boss. It's time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


At Last!

The end of the countdown, just hours away. This is a morning for the words of poets and the bodies of dancers. The promise of music fills the air. It is a national wedding day, and we are all the brides and grooms!

Let's join hands and say I do. Poet Suzan Lori Parks can teach us our vows:

U Being U

U Being U
Mr. President-Elect
Makes me wanna get MY stuff

I feel like starting with something RADICAL
Love my Neighbor
Like share what I've got
Like think for myself
Like ask the hard questions
Like lean toward the good and help keep the peace

U being U
Makes me wanna do something new
Like Go Green, or at least try to.

You being you, Mr. President-Elect
Makes me want to look on others with respect
Makes me wanna
practice Radical Inclusion, you know,
Open my heart wide, especially in the presence of folks who
Are not like me, you know,
work to see my Brother
In the Other
You make me want to entertain all my far-out ideas
Make me wanna represent the race, as in the human race,
And know that, like You, I too am Prized.

And to those who say yr a Magic Negro,
I love them just the same
And my love helps us weave a United States.

Mr. President,
Heaven sent
Since heaven is just a place where possibility
becomes possible
And where hostility
its hostile,
I feel like picking up the trash in the park or on the beach
I think I'll teach, and learn, from all I meet
I think I'll apologize in person for all our faults
and try to make amends for our shortcomings
And also, I think,
I'll brag,
Just a little bit,
About how cool We The People are

Oh, I just had to sing you a little something
Because you,
Mr. President,
You are embarking with Us on an awesome and beautiful
And potentially perilous journey
And so I am giving you
All the Love
All the Love
All the Love
All the Love
Mr. President
That I've got
Because I believe
In the dream
And I am ready
To wake up
And live it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Palin-Plumber in '12!!

I'm sure I'm not the only one titillated by Joe the Plumber's current posting in the Holy Land. He can add yet another sterling item to his resume, after author and country singer, and of course, unlicensed plumber.

Such a profile begs for a high ranking post in the Palin Administration!

Of course, I don't really mean that he is my VP pick. That honor, of course, will have to revert to our retiring vice president, whose acumen has given us the last 8 years. He only needs to mentor another airhead who lacks gravitas to achieve similarly dazzling results as we move further into the Twenty-First Century.

By the time we reach '12, Joe will be a slam-dunk for Secretary of State. Stand aside, Hillary; here comes authenticity we can trust!

Speaking of authenticity (or its sly cousin, authentitty), wasn't Bush's final press conference a hoot? He thinks that we're mad at him because he didn't land Air Force One in the middle of Katrina! Of course, this is the number one son of the woman who offered tens of thousands of dollars to Katrina survivors, on the condition that it be spent on software developed by a company run by another of her baby boys.

We are offered no end of surrealistic parting shots of the Grand Old Party as we move into the age of Obama. Now, if the Big O can strike a balance between the new politics he advocates and knowledge of what it's going to take to restore our credibility--first, to ourselves, and then to the world, we may begin again to live up to our promise.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


On the Watch for Obama Time

He may have a bitch of a job before him, but already the iconography surrounding the man portends great things.

My colleague Lisa's daughter wanted only one thing for Christmas: an Obama waving watch. Unfortunately, they were all sold out. More are supposed to be ready for inauguration day, but we'll see. Lisa certainly hasn't given up on Fifi's fondest wish. I even sort of wanted one for a time, but being the old and practical bag that I am, I knew that I'd tire of the waving thing quickly... it would turn into a sort of windshield wiper on the wrist, and besides, it would probably crap out well before the end of the first term.

What does 60-plus years on the planet get you? An advanced case of consumer jaundice, that's what.

So I contemplated the novelty watch. I had a Mickey Mouse watch when I was nine. Would that ever be worth something today, had I not childishly worn it into the Pacific for some serious salt and sand damage.

I wondered: was there a George W Bush watch? Well, yes, to Google it would certainly yield lots of Image Results. However, they were mostly in the form of George W Bush watching something, usually military reviews and the like, or the media watching George W Bush, likely where he and Laura were going, whether or not there was actual hootch in that so-called non-alcoholic beer, etc.

But no watch. If anybody has one (perhaps rushed out in the wake of 9/11), it's probably stuffed into some archive, waiting for the market for such treasures to be stimulated by a stretch of historical forgetfulness, that precursor to all periods of nostalgia. I did find this dandy Mission Accomplished Bush Action Figure on eBay, though. It does feature a tiny chronometer on W's wrist, less than the size of a dime, and someone has thoughtfully inserted an electric toothbrush up his ass, no extra charge. 3 days left on this must-have auction item!

But other than Obama, whose election has spawned an entire generation of watches, the waving one being an action figure of sorts, the novelty watch seems to be more about Betty Boop than it is about Dubya.

Purists, of course, will want to move beyond mere idolatry around political figures and declare their nonpartisan passion for Jesus Christ, who among other radical political acts, changed Dubya's heart, just in time for the debate season at the turn of the millennium. Those were the days! Of course, then Dick Cheney changed it right back for him, but if he had purchased this handsome watch, he might have never lost his way.

In the meantime my best friend in California has sent me a countdown keychain... not on the number of days Bush has left in office, (which she also sent, in her time), but the number of days till Obama takes office.

Thanks to his work ethic (and the lack of same in that flaccid-bottomed lame duck, who saves it all for clearing brush), he already has.

But what the hell. As I always say, Any excuse for a party.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


An Ice Floe of One's Own

Clearly Vaclav Klaus needs to go on an extended field trip.

Now that the Czech Republic has stepped up to assume leadership of the European Union, they have their ol' figurehead Vaclav saying that there's no such thing as global warming.

Just to show how comparatively invisible the Czech Republic is, Klaus is president (a largely ceremonial position, but one that makes this bloke the Face of the Nation, as it were.)

Some mug.

I was pretty skeptical when Nicolas Sarcozy was elected President of France, but I've been very impressed by his hard work on developing a treaty among EU nations for reducing carbon emissions.

Now we're back to square one, with a clown who compares the EU to a communist organization, largely because treaties require participants who will uphold the goals agreed upon.

Stick that bastard on a melting ice floe and let him take polar swimming lessons from the bears.

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