Is that a shrub in your pocket...

or are you just a corporate profiteer?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Furahi Siku Ya Uzalishi, Barry

Barry-OIt was 45 years ago today that little Barack Obama was born in Kenya, prompting his family to post a birth notice in the Honolulu Sunday Advertiser nine days later - exactly the number of days it would have taken back in 1961 for a check to be mailed from Mombasa to Honolulu, and then clear from the Mombasa branch of the Central Bank of Kenya. Coincidence? I think not. And never mind the fact that the Central Bank of Kenya wasn’t established until 1966, or that Mombasa was part of Zanzibar (not Kenya) in 1961.

Oh, I know you O-bots will never believe the truth, but I’m currently in confidential negotiations with Dr Altaka Yurmani, presently residing in Lagos, Nigeria, and formerly the head obstetrician at the Provincial General Hospital in Mombasa from 1957 - 1963. Dr. Yurmani is in possession of the original Obama birth certificate, bearing a seal and the official signature of the Kenyan Minister of Live Births, Simba Mufasa. Once the good doctor receives my checking account and routing numbers, he will be deducting a small fee to cover shipping, handling and other miscellaneous fees, and forwarding the document forthwith. Then I’m gonna sell it to Orly Taints (or whatever her name is), Lou Dobbs, or whomever is the highest bidder. Then we can overturn this past illegal election.

Sadly, as Chris Kelly points out, we may not be able to elect a new president unless we amend the US Constitution. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution states (quite unambiguously, given the founders’ penchant for comma splices) that:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

So, unless you were born in, and/or a citizen of, the United States on June 21, 1788 (when Delaware became the ninth State to ratify it), you can’t be President. Even John McCain isn’t that old (Kelly suggests that only Robert Byrd is qualified).

Until we find a 221 year old person (or change the constitution), I propose that we appoint Obama as US Ombudsman. Other than a small (but vocal) group of ignorant wingnuts, the Obama presidency makes us all feel better about ourselves here in the US, and the folks overseas seem to pretty much love him and his family. So, he makes a really nice goodwill ambassador. Congress appears unlikely to let him accomplish much of anything (anything that lobbyists aren’t willing to pay for), and his leadership is appearing less and less “bold” with each passing day of his failed presidency anyway, so this will let him off the hook for the failure of Congress to act on anything.

Then we can elect some long dead (nothing in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 says they have to be alive) white guy as President (maybe Franklin? Everybody loves Ben Franklin), with Dick Cheney as his VP, and get back to invading countries, torturing people, and blowing shit up. Maybe kill a few Indians for old time’s sake.

With Obama as our Ombudsman this time, though, the rest of the world will still love us while we do it.

posted by pjs 9:57 AM
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Nationalism

Batman and the CatwomanOur streets are filled with classic cars, custom trucks, and hot rods, which can only mean that it’s Syracuse Nationals weekend. Last year they had Shirley Feeney and the Fonz, but this year the mayor of Quahog himself, Adam West, and the original catwoman, Julie Newmar, will be on hand to meet and greet. Appropriately, one of the vehicles in town is the batmobile from the 60’s TV show. Well, I guess it isn’t the original (which is in a museum someplace), but it looks cool anyway. I wonder if either one of these folks ever thought, “some day, I hope my career takes me to a car show in Syracuse to sign autographs”?

Sticking with the car theme for a moment, the Chief of a local volunteer fire department slammed into another car, sending its two occupants to the hospital (the driver of the other car - a teenage girl - had to be airlifted with “critical head injuries”). Police determined the the fire chief dude didn’t notice that the other car had slowed down to turn into a driveway. I mention this only because no tickets were issued, with the police explanation being “…failure to pay attention is not a violation of vehicle and traffic law.” Really?

Somehow, I think if it was the teenage girl who’d slammed into the Fire Chief, they’d have come up with a couple of tickets.

Personally, I think “paying attention” ought to be at the top of the list (and that includes while you’re in motion as well as when you’re sitting at the goddamn red light in front of me - especially that very short left turn arrow on the way to the grocery store; WTF!).

Driving a motor vehicle is not the time to pick your nose, brush your hair, adjust your underwear, futz with your makeup, paw through the glove box, find the “perfect” radio station, read the newspaper, catch up on your goddamn e-mail, or chat on the friggin’ phone. Driving is not “wasted” time when you need to multitask to be more productive. Pay attention, or take the freakin’ bus.

And for chrissakes, if you’re gonna pop it into neutral ‘cuz it’s too much trouble to keep your foot on the clutch, be prepared to put it back into gear in less than five minutes, OK? First gear is in the same place it’s always been; you shouldn’t need to look to find it. Practice blindfolded in your driveway, if necessary.

The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, was in our neck of the woods yesterday, visiting the troops of the 10th Mountain Division (those who aren’t currently deployed, anyway) up at Fort Drum in Watertown. He had cheerful news: he may send more troops to Afghanistan this year than he expected. The 10th Mountain has had more troops killed in the past month in Obama’s war in Afghanistan than they did in their previous Bush-era deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The Express” has taken the ESPY for best sports movie, beating out “The Wrestler” and “Sugar.” You haven’t seen it yet? Shame on you. Sadly, the 6 OT SU-UCONN basketball game lost out to some football game between Pittsburgh and Arizona. In other ESPY news, Michael Phelps won out over Tiger Woods as best male athlete. I think the voters might have been stoned.

In addition to the Breaking News of Michael Jackson’s hair getting set on fire 25 years ago, the Today Show is touting a story about a dachshund named Smoky who was impaled (through the head) with a barbecue fork. I don’t know what the “official” story is on this, but here’s some free advice: when dad’s grilling out in the back yard with a fork in one hand and a cold frosty in the other, keep the frickin’ hotdog and/or sausage-shaped critters locked in the house.

Speaking of the Today Show, Erin Burnett is on again with Matt Lauer, filling in for Meredith Viera, who is “on assignment.” Watch out, Meredith. Erin is young and shiny and new (and looks pretty good in HD), while you’re, well, not. And we all know what happened to Sue Ellicott when she went on to do “field reports” for Morning Sedition (and now she doesn’t even seem to be on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me anymore; no doubt she’ll be signing autographs in Syracuse soon).

Heh, that could became a new euphemism, like “hiking the Appalachian Trail.”

His career was going along great until he got caught on video screaming out the ‘N’ word. Now he’s “signing autographs in Syracuse,” if you know what I mean.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Mmmmm.... Donuts

The lo-cal news twit just informed me that today is National Donut Day, reigniting the eternal controversy: “donuts” or “doughnuts.” I’ll go with ‘donuts,’ since it’s almost 35% easier to type (and ‘doenuts’ would be a contradiction in terms). Plus I’m pretty sure it’s how Homer would spell it. But, even without Donut Day, this would still be a big weekend up here in the hinterland.

For one thing, it’s the annual “Taste of Syracuse” celebration, with this year’s big ticket item (well, it’s actually free, so there aren’t any tickets, but anyways…) being the Saturday evening performance by the band “Modern West,” led by Kevin Costner. I have no idea what kind of music they play (I’m thinking some sort of Country/Western thing, based on the name), but, as you may have heard, Kevin Costner is a very famous person, so lots of folks will no doubt be going out to look at him (plus, did I mention, it’s free).

As part of TOS, tonight is the annual Syracuse Area Music (aka SAMMY) Awards, and this year’s SAMMY Hall of Fame inductees are Donna Colton, The Dean Brothers, Otis Smith, Mike Greenstein and Carrie Pardee. Never heard of them? Well, too bad for you. Besides, Libba Cotten was inducted years ago, and they had to pick somebody.

As if that wasn’t enough, party girl and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be coming to nearby Auburn to participate in the annual Founders’ Day celebration. Lock up your sons (and maybe your daughters, too ;-) ), CNY’ers, Sarah’s comin’!

The esteemed Governor and wolf murderer will be meetin’ and greetin’ and paradin’ and stuff. And if you’ve got $250 (seems kind of cheap - not unlike the Governor herself - don’t it?), on Saturday afternoon you can have your pitcher takin’ with her at the William H Seward House library, and then go and set a spell with her at a garden party reception. Well, except you better already have your ticket, ‘cuz they’re all sold out (to be fair, there were only 125 of them to begin with, so that wasn’t too tough). But the event is raising $31 grand for the Seward museum, so I reckon that’s a good thing.

But wait, there’s more! It’s also “Oz-Stravaganza!” weekend in Chittenango, birthplace of L. Frank Baum (women’s suffrage advocate, supporter of ‘Redskin’ extirmination [sic] - at least in two editorials he wrote for the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer - and author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - the first of something like 40 ‘Oz’ books, and possibly one of the 12,853 books Dubya read - or had read to him - while pretending to be president). It’s also the 70th anniversary of the release of the movie, and the 100th anniversary of the publication of the fifth book in the series, “The Road to Oz” (where Dorothy meets the Shaggy Man, and while trying to find the road to Butterfield, they get lost on an enchanted road) so this should be quite an affair. Oh, there’ll be parades (we love our parades, here in the provinces) and munchkins (well, the widow of a munchkin, anyway; I don’t know if the others will make the trip this year. Sadly, our favorite munchkin - Clarence Swensen - passed away in February, leaving us with only 8 of the original 124) and all sorts of yellow brick road type of stuff, and the whole darn town of Chittenango will be abuzz.

Oh, go ahead and make fun of us yokels, but I guarantee this would never happen here. They’d have towed the sucker after the first couple tickets.

Denise Richards has apparently fessed up to have three boob jobs. I didn’t actually read the story (and I’m not real clear on who she is, though I gather she’s famous), so I don’t know if she had her boobs done three times, or if she has three boobs. Is this her?

Time to make the donuts.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Twofer

So, pretty much as expected, President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to be the next Supreme Court Justice. Republicans, of course, are overjoyed to have an actual person to express their rage (in the same way that dogs express their anal glands, only not as pretty) over. They’re calling her a “Harriet Miers” pick, and Pat Buchanan says she’s “not very bright” (I suspect the actual quote was more like “dumb spic”). This, despite the fact that she graduated Summa Cum Laude (and #2 in her class) from Princeton, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979 (where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal).

She worked as an Assistant DA in New York City (I think she was the one between Jill Hennessey and Angie Harmon - which conjures up an interesting image in my brain), and was nominated to the U.S. District Court by that bleeding heart liberal, George H. W. Bush, and then by Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals (and was under consideration for the Supreme Court in 2005, when dubya eventually picked Sammy Alito).

She’s no Clarence Thomas, that’s for sure.

But never mind all that. The reason I’m backing Sonia is because her brother the doctor, Juan, lives here. And when she visits, she takes his kids out for a bite to eat and a movie a Carousel Mall. Case closed. I just hope I can manage to avoid hearing most of the hate and venom that’s going to be spewed forth over the next few months. It’s so tiresome. You really can’t get a more middle of the road pick. Republicans want another Fat Tony Scalia, but tough shit. Personally, I want another Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or Maxine Waters).

I watched the Marc Maron/Colin Firth (I don’t actually know who he is, but I gather he’s famous) interview yesterday, and was shamed into ordering a couple pounds of Fair Trade coffee. Sure, it’s more than twice as expensive (not counting the $7 shipping) as what I buy locally, but it helps assuage my liberal guilt. And if an apparently famous person tells me I should do something, I try and do it. Hopefully the coffee at least won’t suck.

Speaking of famous people, Brooke Shields has announced that she lost her virginity at 22 (and regrets not doing it sooner). Really? Is this information we’re supposed to feel entitled to (or care about)? Brooke, please. No offense, but unless you have video, I don’t really care. And, as long as we’re sharing, I regret not losing mine when I was in third grade. I’m not quite sure I actually had all the details down at that time (I pretty much had had my side of things worked out though), but I sure did lust after our student teacher, Miss Le Freight :hubba: (talk about summa cum loudly). It’s a shame that hot teachers having sex with minors wasn’t fashionable back in my day.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're #1

If you don’t follow lacrosse, well, you missed one hell of a game yesterday. Otherwise, not much else going on, other than trying to reconcile myself to the idea of going back to work again today. Not that I really mind going to work, but there’s something about a three-day weekend that makes it tough to go back again (especially when you haven’t had an “extra” day off in, well, in longer than I can remember; not since New Years Day, I think).

A court decision on Prop 8 is expected in California today. That won’t end things, of course. If the homo-haters don’t get their way, they’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court. And gay rights supporters will put a proposition on the ballot in 2010 or 2012. I’m hopeful that the gay marriage legislation introduced in NY will make it though the State Senate. It’s already passed the Assembly, but it’ll need a east a few Republican votes in the Senate. It’d be nice to see the NY State legislature do something I can be proud of for a change. Their cowardice goes all the way back to 1776 when they abstained (twice) from the vote for independence. Way to take a stand.

Speaking of taking a stand, SEIU is taking one against CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Barack Obama, as a new series of ads are set to run Wednesday. This is because the Obama Administration, in what is becoming a rather frequent occurrence, has decided to cave in to pressure from the right.

When Schwarzenegger decided to cut pay for home health care workers and cut $750 billion healthcare programs for the poor, the Obama administration threatened to withhold $6.8 billion in federal stimulus funds unless the California legislature revoked the wage cut. But then the right got all pissy, and Obama caved in. I wonder if this is the same strategy Obama will use in dealing with the North Koreans? Not that that would necessarily a bad thing.

Turns out that North Koreans saber rattling and missile launching has caused the value of the Japanese Yen and US dollar to increase. Go figure. If a World War breaks out, we could be back in black in no time. Or at least on a permanent 3-day weekend.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Ah, Memorial Day, when politicians pretend to honor the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, and then continue to treat them like the disposable pawns of global corporate interests. Never mind not sending them to their deaths halfway around the world for no good reason, and forget about giving them the proper equipment to keep them as safe as possible. We aren’t even willing to give them shower facilities that won’t electrocute them (note to the no-bid contractors out there: electricity and water is not a good mix).

Memorial Day is also the day when those of us who haven’t lost any loved ones in the military have barbecues, plant flowers, maybe visit the graves of our parents, catch a fighter jet flyover or two (this will be the last year for that here, as our National Guard unit will soon be trading in its F-16s for unmanned drones), and basically kick back and enjoy a day off. Oh, and watch the NCAA Division I lacrosse championship game, of course.

Just in case you didn’t think the “Democrats” suck, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (a “Democrat”) threatened to join the Republicans in filibustering “Democratic” President Obama’s Supreme Court pick (uh, when he actually picks somebody). Pretty funny shit, huh?

I find it rather ironic, personally. You may recall that, during the Alito nomination process, Obama was pressured into voting against cloture, though before the vote he declared that it was a bad idea, wouldn’t work, and he would vote for cloture in any subsequent vote. Now his own party is threatening him with a filibuster to be certain he doesn’t nominate a progressive. Not that he will, of course. He’ll appoint some middle of the road “safe” pick that will be vilified by the Republicans and their media lackeys as a godless Communist, and then turn around and bit us all in the ass after her confirmation.

This is why Harry Reid has to go. He’s a worthless piece of crap, and needs to be replaced. The Democrats need a Majority Leader that will run the Senate with an iron fist. Ben Nelson’s office should be moved to a janitor’s closet in the basement of the Senate Office Building.

But, that won’t happen. Not with spineless Harry at the con.

Oh well, have a happy Memorial Day. And let’s go Orange!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Have a Cuppa Tea

If you didn’t catch Bill Moyers’ show on single-payer healthcare last night, you can view it online. One of my favorite parts was video of a 2003 speech by a certain Illinois State Senator who claimed to favor a single-payer healthcare system. We might not be able to do it right away, he said, because we had to do three things first: take back the White House, take back the US Senate, and take back the US House of Representatives.

Gee, if only we could do all that, single-payer advocates would at least get a seat at the table alongside the insurance industry lobbyists. Right?

I don’t know who that 2003 Illinois State Senator was, but I sure wish he was still around today. We could use him.

In the meantime, if you’re not feeling well, don’t fret. No need for healthcare or insurance. Just have a cuppa tea.

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