This is now our national discourse?  WTF?  How about if you don’t like what you hear, instead of tearing it down, Build It, Tough CHick.

Ugh, I have stooped to her level.  Soon I’ll be sending my son to appear on Dancing With Famous People’s Children who should be home taking care of their love children.

But the person who out-Sarahs Sarah is Michele Bachmann.  Our founding fathers fought to end slavery?  Ever hear of the 3/5th Compromise in the Constitution that effectively legitimized slavery and kicked the issue down the road for a century?

Everyone has a right to an opinion.  And I have a right to determine that someone’s opinion is stupid, ill-informed and baseless.  And I have the right to believe that a scholar’s view has more weight than someone’s who has not studied the topic and relies on talking heads (on any network) for opinions.

WTF, indeed.  As in:  “Sarah Palin??? WTF is that Grizzly Mama saying?”

President, pundits and Palin

I watched the President’s speech last night.  He spoke as our nation’s leader, as a parent, as a person and as a professor.   He clearly choked up when talking about the young girl who was killed.  In that moment, he was a father who couldn’t imagine losing one of his daughters.  

It is something that is remarkable about this President.  He has young children and he often talks about the world he wants to pass down to them and their generation.  They are our future.  Last night, as President and father, he asked us to live up to the ideals of that young girl who was killed.  Let’s move beyond the cynicism and the vitriol.  Let’s make our kids proud.  This wasn’t fake rhetoric or soaring oratory; this has been his message and his example since the campaign days.  

(And yes, he is professorial, so sometimes you have to struggle through the abstract and long-winded parts.) 

I noticed how naturally his and Mrs. Obama’s hands intertwined when he was seated.  Theirs seems a relaxed affection that belies his stoic and Mr. Spock-like reputation.  That comforted me although I am not yet sure why.

It was startling that it was a rolicking good time at the auditorium.  I think those tuning in expected something more somber.  But, having been in mourning more than once, I know it is the start of a personal journey and not something to be judged by outsiders.

Then I watched portions of Sarah Palin’s podcast.  I am not sure what I would do if people blamed me for the deaths of innocent people.  She is who she is: an agitator but not a leader.

The conservative, liberal and middle-of-the-road pundits were out-doing themselves last night.  They must get paid by the word and get bonus dollars for picking things apart in ways that become senseless.   And I think there is an even bigger bonus if you say something really inane and it gets repeated by another pundit on another show. 

All in all, I think we and our democracy are best served when we, as citizens, go to sources — reading the books and listening to the speeches and debates —  and making the decisions, rather than relying on talking heads to tell us what we ought to think.  They get paid to incite controversy.  If we just listened to each other, maybe the tone of the rhetoric would naturally tone down.

Tragedy on so many levels

In Tucson, many are dead and injured as a result of a deranged man with a deranged message.

Let’s put aside the left blaming the right and whether it is foreseeable that a lunatic would do this.  That conversation will get us nowhere and misses the point.

I think it is more worthwhile to wonder why politics is a bloodsport these days in a way that we haven’t seen since in perhaps a century.

Let’s think instead about how our politician are so invested in being right that they vilify the oppositional view and the integrity of its proponents.  In 2008, when Michele Bachmann said that then candidate Barack Obama and Michele Obama were “anti-American” because they hold views different from hers, that is a code that our country is being infiltrated by enemies.  Think about it, she said that the likely 44th President was the Manchurian Candidate of the movies.  And in the movies, a lone gunman (the good guy) kills the Manchurian Candidate.

Then Sarah Palin has a website that has a target on Rep. Giffords’ district (“in the cross-hairs”) for some reason or other.  Or the famous, Palinism: “don’t back down, just reload” or something like that.  Words have meaning, even if you try afterward to refudiate them.

This is war-speak.  And in war, enemies are killed, and our soldiers come home to heroes’ welcomes (ideally).  But war produces body-bags, brutality, starvation, desperation and carnage.

Is that the fevered pitch we want in our national discourse?  So, let us speak gently and with respect when we debate.  Even if we have to fake it.

Let’s set some ground rules:

  1. A socialist and tea-party member can love this country and protect the very institutions of government that make us strong.
  2. It isn’t about being right; it is about building a consensus and keeping this country great.
  3. Political defeat is hard to take but you can’t take your marbles and go home or start threatening people.
  4. The media does more to stoke the divisions than provide any useful information.
  5. If our nation tacks to the left or right, some people will not be pleased, but they must always remain the loyal opposition. (It is hard; I know. I had to endure the policies of George Bush and Dick Cheney and even some of President Obama’s policies I don’t like).
  6. Exemplifying and practicing the principles of this nation are essential for this country to move forward in one piece and in peace.

Thank you, Bristol


Dear Bristol:

I was having a really bad few days.  But your trials and tributions on “Dancing With the Stars” made me realize that I take life and politics too seriously. 
I have never seen the show but popular culture has a way of seeping into my protected sanctuary.
And we learned again that good looks and popularity only get you so far.  And not always to the winner’s circle. 
And, Bristol, dear, no one hates you.  We don’t conflate you and your mom.  We hate HER. 
Most teen moms don’t have the resources you have, so they couldn’t be away from their little ones to go on, let’s say, for example, a television contest show.  Maybe, that will be the focus of your energies — bringing opportunities to young mothers. 
Use your fame for good, not for your mother.
Anyway, thanks for the levity. 
~ Blogger

The Audacity of Stupidity and the Audacity of Hypocrisy


I am constantly amazed that politicians will say anything to anyone without regard to facts and the interests of our country.  


Here is one audaciously stupid thing:

Jon Stewart’s satire is spot-on about the anti-Islam fervor in this country spewed by those — like the Governor of Tennessee — who have the nerve to say in the same paragraph that freedom of religion is a cornerstone of our nation’s laws.  According to the Governor, unencumbered as he is by facts or knowledge, Islam is a culture.  [Note to self:  wonder about the education systems in our country.]

Stop. Think. Vomit.

Now let’s move on to the audaciously hypocritical.  I have TWO things that rile me.


Jon Stewart is also spot-on about the outrageous things politicians will say just to sully an opponent’s record.  For example, Jon Stewart highlighted Newt Gringrich’s decrying Obama-Reid-Pelosi socialism in the same sentence that he touts zero capital gains tax in Communist China.  

Remember, Newt Gingrich famously shut down the ENTIRE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT because — his own words — he didn’t like that he was put in the back of Air Force One when a delegation of US leaders went to the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Rabin.

Remember, too, that Newt Gingrich famously carried on an affair with a staffer while pushing the impeachment of then-President Clinton over lying about extra-marital sex.

Stop. Think. Worry that people will believe him.

Bush Tax Cuts: 

I think any responsible economist (and even those in the Bush Administration) would agree that tax cuts “don’t pay for themselves” and that tax cuts should only be effectuated in connection with reduced federal spending.  The Bush tax cuts were in fact followed by outrageous over-spending.  This is something that should have shocked the fiscal conservatives such as Sens. McCain, McConnell and DeMint, and Reps. Boehner and others, but apparently, not so much.  They voted on those spending bills.  Now we are supposed to trust them that they should be in charge?

Letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans lapse could reduce the deficit by $300 billion.  Do the wealthiest Americans really need help in this economic climate?  As one of least wealthy of the wealthiest Americans, going back to the Clinton Era tax structure will not make a material difference in my family’s life.  I imagine that those wealthier than I are not counting on the tax cut either to make ends meet or go on vacation or send their kids to school or whatever.

But, listen to the GOP leaders — they want to keep those cuts.  They are trying to fashion it as a tax “increase” for political gain.  Another step toward socialism, they suggest.


Stop.  Think.  Worry even more that people will believe these clowns.

Are you wondering where the audacity of stupidity and the audacity of hypocrisy meet, join forces and become a near-nuclear threat?  Drum roll . . .

Sarah Palin

If only it were an SNL skit and she were Tina Fey

Sarah Palin thinks President Obama is in over his head and cannot handle running this country (see article excerpts below).

Is it because:

  • the President can’t see Russia from his home either? [but he’s been there, at least] 
  • the President knows “refudiate” is not a word? 
  • the President isn’t all maverick-y and changin’ his views on immigration reform like John McCain?
  • the President prefers golf  to huntin’ wolves from helicopters with automatic rifles?
  • the President doesn’t quit his job when the goin’ gets tough (umm, ex-Governor Sarah)?
  • the President knows more about any topic of national importance than you know on all such topics COMBINED?
  • the President pronounces the “g” at the end of a gerund?

If only this were a joke and after her comment, she said:

“LIVE .  .  .  from New York .  .  . it’s Saturday Niiiiiiight!!!” 

But she didn’t.  All the more to pity.


The DNC's response to former Gov. Palin Thurssday was reminiscent of questions about her background that were raised immediately after she debuted as Sen. McCain's running mate in 2008.
Washington (CNN)From

In an appearance on Fox News Wednesday night, Palin essentially said Obama is not up to the task of holding the nation’s highest office.

“I think he’s quite complacent,” the former Republican vice presidential hopeful said. “And I think he’s in over his head. And I think he has poor advisers around him. And I think he’s really in flux kind of when it comes to what his governing philosophy actually is. Some of this though is a result of he not having much experience and then a complicit media and maybe some voters who chose to not to allow him to be vetted very closely.”

The Health Care Debate

Let’s just hold this space for my rant, once I get it under control.  Setting aside what you believe, there are people in the country who have behaved so abominably in the tactics they used and the violence they unleashed.  And they are maybe worse than unpatriotic, because what they did undermines our system of government and our society.  I believe that these people are traitors to our nation and its government because they want to win at all costs, without thought to the preservation of the union.  In contra-distinction, those opposed to government action under the Bush-Cheney years did not physically and verbally attack lawmakers who put us in debt for generations, have rifle scopes put on where lawmakers live, and say things like, “you’re a dead man!”

Sen. McCain wants to repeal some of the very things that were part of his platform, until he changed with the direction of the wind.  Some maverick.

Many of our representatives have breached their oaths of office.  And in the process, they have stoked class warfare and racial distrust and enabled fringe groups to deny the legitimacy of Barack Obama as president of the United States.

But, still, I haven’t gotten my thoughts together yet, so stay tuned.

Why is Sarah still in my life?

How does a woman deride hope and faith in our democracy and receive standing ovations?

I am going out on a limb here, but not everyone can be president of the United States.  Neither Joe Six Pack nor Joe the Plumber can run a nuclear superpower.  Also, not every opinion is worth as much as any other.  To think otherwise is ridiculous.  One may have a right to one’s opinion, but if it is illogical or ill-informed, it should be ignored.  Remember how much flack then-President Carter got when he said he asked his daughter Amy what she thought of nuclear disarmament?  Because we knew that a 13 year-old is not an expert (to be fair, he was making a point about that younger generation’s desire to live nuclear bomb-free).  The GOP lambasted him.

Now, the GOP thinks that every stupid idea based on half-truths and discredited sources should be held as on par with those of the President of the United States and his cabinet and advisers.  That is just mean-spirited, corrupt and disrespectful [Now, I didn’t think much of the ideas of GWB, his cabinet and his advisers, but I certainly agree that they knew more than most people and that the relevant opinions were those of experts who thought the Bush doctrine and the Cheney secret police were ill-conceived and ignorant.]

Sarah Palin has some great one-liners but a stand-up comic is not good training for president.  Also, other than one-liners, she cannot put together a string of words to make a coherent sentence.

Ok, I am going to pretend I am a GOP operative and Sarah is a Democrat (G-d forbid).  Here is my theory:

No matter how many times she makes mistakes or shares her baseless views and ideas, there is this invisible machine that rehabilitates and spins the mistakes and idiotic policy statements into victories for the true America.  Any ordinary candidate — especially a female candidate — would be left to tend the embers of her political career after the various Sarah fiascoes.  But there is an invisible force that will not let her fail.  Why are people so invested?  Well, I just keep thinking of that cold war movie about a sleeper mole who is in line for the presidency . . . . maybe . . . naw . . . yes? . . . Is Sarah Palin the real Manchurian Candidate?

Hey, according to the GOP, my opinion is as important and valid as that of any politician or commentator.  So, my opinion is that Sarah Palin is the Manchurian Candidate and she was sent to the US to ruin us.  In your face, lady in the McCain town hall who believed that President Obama is Arab (and so what if he was).

But Sarah was right about one thing:  “President Palin” breeds fear in my heart AND, I hope, all those who love their children and want the world to survive for a few more generations.

Tea Party-ers in Revolutionary Get-Ups

Ok, I don’t get what was so great about the pre-Revolutionary War period.

Milk and water had deadly bacteria, “medicine” consisted of bloodletting and leaches, and the economies of the colonies went through more boom and bust cycles than we have in the 20th and 21st centuries combined.

Also, women didn’t vote, slavery was legal and an education was a luxury.  Life expectancy was short and infant mortality high.  You were either born into poverty or great wealth — no in-between.  There was war and its unspeakable human carnage.

In case the tea party-ers are not students of history, they are in the costumes of either the unofficial American aristocracy who made incredible fortunes from smuggling and the slave trade or those who were the impoverished masses and were controlled by that unofficial aristrocracy.  And the Boston tea party was a Samuel Adams’ instigated mob riot intended to rile everyone against the king of England.  All engineered by the wealthy colonials, not the “common people”.

If you are looking for grass roots democracy, try the Native American tribes on which Jefferson based his vision of government.

So, tea party-ers, what is your point?  If you want to go back to that time, well, have fun but count me out.  I would rather deal with a spoiled society on the verge of global devastation, but with the brain power and ultimately, I hope, the conscience and the technology and intelligence, to figure out how to save our earth and our humanity.

But if you just want to dress in knickers and wigs, then knock yourselves out.



It is more than a word; it is an emotive state, conveying sadness or disgust and sympathy, even empathy, with those harmed by the event all in one syllable. You can even understand it in a flat, toneless medium such as an email.

Compare that to “oh” or “wow”.  You need context and knowledge of sender in order to decipher the intended meaning and, even then, still not clear.

Don’t get me started on those emoticons. Although I have used them, I do so sparingly and with a requisite ooky feeling.

Let me use it two sentences:  Sarah Palin signed a contract with Fox News.  Oy.

‘nough said.