Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Santa

Latest Newspaper Column:
Once again for the holiday season, your Intrepid Columnist and his team of researchers have obtained, at great personal risk, the following documents from a secret facility high in the Arctic:

Dear Santa:

I don't know what happened. One minute it was like me and Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin were best buddies. We were like the Three Amigos. Everywhere they went it was "Joe the Plumber this," and "Joe the Plumber that," and "Where's Joe the Plumber?"

Gov. Palin even winked at me one time. I'm pretty sure it was me. I mean, I was home watching it on TV, but she had that special smile that said. "That Joe the Plumber, he's a heckuva regular, rugged, real American-type guy, what with the shaved head and the plumbin' and the not pallin' around with terrorists."

But now, Sen. McCain won't return my phone calls and Sarah -- I mean Gov. Palin -- seems to have changed her phone number. And all those creeps in the liberal media won't even let me on their shows and make stuff up about Obama and Israel anymore. It's gotten kind of lonely out here in Ohio.

So what I'd really like for Christmas is another 15 minutes of fame. If I can't have that, do you have Sarah's -- I mean Gov. Palin's -- home phone number?

-- Joe W. (the Plumber), Ohio

(Note to staff: Let's see if we can pull a few strings and get Little Joey the plumber's license he didn't have so he can be a plumber for real and not just a pretend one for a change. -- S.)

Dear Santa:

OK, ya fat [bleep], I know you're a guy who'll play ball.

I got this [bleeping] Senate seat here and it's really [bleeping] valuable. I'm not going to [bleeping] give it up for [bleeping] nothing. So whaddya say? You wanna be a senator from Illinois? It's gonna cost ya.

I want a Wii. One of the good ones, with extra controllers. And an iPod. And about a dozen of those [bleeping] Elmo Live dolls, so I can sell them to friends whose kids really want them. I bet that [bleep] Obama will be ready to deal when those kids of his start wailing for the Elmo. That'll show the [bleep].

Anyway, give me a call. But call me on my cell, because the [bleeping] office phones have this funny buzzing noise on the line.

-- Rod B, Chicago

(Note to staff: How many lumps of coal do we have in stock to give this [bleep]? -- S.)

Dear Santa:

I have been extra good this year. I didn't start a war with anyone over phony WMDs, and when it looked like a major city was going to get hit by a hurricane, I actually didn't go on vacation.

I was going to ask for a new pair of shoes, but a nice Iraqi reporter gave me his when I was there. He seemed real enthusiastical about giving them to me, too. I thought that was nice to give me a gift at the Christmas season even though he was probably one of those Islam guys.

So to show my own big heartitude at the season of giving, could you bring him some new shoes in whatever rat-infested torture chamber the new Iraqi government is keeping him in? Thanks.

-- George, Washington, D.C.

(Note to staff: I thought we were going to get little Georgie a sense of irony last year? Did that fall through? Please advise. -- S.)

Dear Santa:

I know I asked last year for a big win for the party in 2008. But wow. I mean, when we nominated a black guy with a Muslim name, I was thinking it was all over. But man, John McCain and Sarah Palin -- what a gift they turned out to be!

I'm so happy, in fact, that I really don't have much to ask for this year. I hear that the Republicans are talking about how they need to be more like Gov. Palin and keep making up scary stuff about the other guy and talking about who's a real American and who's not.

So all I really ask for, Santa, is: Please please please let them keep doing that. Because I know we haven't won much, but I'm kind of starting to like it.

-- Howard, Democratic National Committee

(Note to staff: No need to act on this one. Just let nature take its course. -- S.)

Dear Santa:

If we don't get $25 billion, right now, we're going to destroy the economy. Don't think we're bluffing, and don't think of asking how we plan to spend it. We want to keep building gas guzzlers, we're gonna do it, see? Oh, and our jets. We want our jets back. We mean it, fat boy. Dec. 26, we start tossing out bodies.

-- The Big Three, Detroit

(Note to staff: It's not going to work with me, either. I think we're going to need to order more coal. -- S.)

The Place Where I Live

From the Letters Section of My Hometown Paper: :
During the election you could not breathe Barack Obama's middle name Hussein without being accused by left-wing critics and their friends in the equally left-wing media, including The Pilot, of being an anti-Muslim, racist, right-wing kook pandering to the Christian religious right's obvious bigotry.

Ah! But Obama has delivered on his promise of change. Now we find that at his swearing-in as president, Obama insists in being sworn in with his full name Barack Hussein Obama so as to ingratiate himself to all the Muslims of the world. Take that, you right-wing religious bigots.

So now what? Expect the same left-wing critics and darlings of the press that railed against the use of the name Hussein before the election to extol its use now as another sign of President-Elect Obama's gift for reconciliation and statesmanship for identifying with all those folks who before the election were thought of as a liability. Another example of "change you can believe in."

Sounds like just another Chicago pol on the make to me. As phony as the proverbial $3 bill.

Bernadine Olsen

Foxfire Village

Got that? Barack Obama is "just another Chicago pol" and a phony because he wants to be sworn in using his actual name, one he has never once tried to hide.

This is the type of person I put up with every day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Republican Christmas Carol

The National Review Online: Ebenezer Was Right, Or, how I became a compassionless Conservative.

by Jennifer Graham

Except for a brief, irrational fling with Jimmy Carter during my high-school years, I've always been a Republican.

Until recently, however, I was a squishy one, teetering dangerously to the left on a few select issues such as coastline management and welfare reform. I want to be a good conservative — really, I do — but I've got this weakness for intact sand dunes and latchkey kids.

But then I met Tiffany. Or, more precisely, Tiffany's mother. And, after a ten-month crash course in why the poor are poor, I am squishy no more.

Tiffany moved to our cul-de-sac in February, the same week that we moved in. Initially, we were thrilled to see another set of movers unloading Little Tykes products a few houses down. But it didn't take long to realize that Tiffany's family were not, as we Grahams lightly put it, PLU: People Like Us.

Okay, I thought when I read this, this has to be parody. But this person is dead serious, because the rest of Tiffany's story is just too depressing. What's even more depressing is the writer's reaction to it.

I'll summarize the rest: I met a poor person, and she was kind of icky, so now I hate poor people.

And so it is, that on the eve of the merriest of seasons, I have finally become a compassionless conservative, because of a deadbeat mother who bowls. I now stand in defense of Darwin and natural selection, and of Ebenezer Scrooge, the real Scrooge — before he went soft like me — Scrooge, at his noblest, the way he was before the onset of those pesky midnight visitors. I think of him fondly and recall his inspiring words: "Are there no prisons? Are there no poorhouses?"

It's time to rethink old Scrooge. Ebenezer knew the truth: No good deed goes unpunished.

Apparently, this good Republican hasn't read the story to the end. The part where Scrooge, after being shown where the compassionless life leads--to a lonely, unmourned and unhappy end--goes out on Christmas morning with a song in his heart and actually helps people, even though they're Not Like Him.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Absolutely Will Not Believe Your Eyes

Swedish Dance Bands of the 70's

And you thought YOU had some embarrassing pics from that era...

Hat tip to the amazing Nikki Leone for this one.

Who Said It?

Think Progress:
The top priorities for the Senator who will raise his right hand on January 20, 2009, and say “I do solemnly swear” are obvious: keeping America safe and growing the economy.

Less obvious is how to create a White House where forceful debate can take place. Plain speaking, straight talk, and dissent must be encouraged, with participants thoroughly prepared, ideas offered with deference for opposing views, and colleagues not subjected to self-serving leaks. The power of the Oval Office can cower critics and silence disagreement; the Chief Executive must labor hard to make it a place of debate and vigorous debate.

I guarantee you won't believe who this quote is from.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Credit Where Credit Is Due
In his first Sunday political TV appearance since November 4, [Senator John] McCain also promised to work to build consensus in tackling America's challenges, and criticized his own party for its latest attack on Obama.

McCain rejected complaints from the Republican National Committee that Obama has not been transparent about his contacts with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

"I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary," McCain told ABC's "This Week."

"You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody -- right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy, stimulus package, reforms that are necessary."

McCain, somewhat surprisingly, refused to commit himself to backing the egregious wingnut Sarah Palin if she runs next time.

Now, I know this may seem a little hollow coming from the same guy who pushed the Ayers non-issue so hard. But I'll be gracious (because I'm awesome like that) and try to believe  that McCain is returning to the fundamentally reasonable and decent  guy he was before he ran for President. In fact, had he run more like this and not put all his principles in hock to the party extremists, he might not have gotten his ass whipped so soundly.

Hat tip to my sometime stalker and fellow blogger at Murderati, the fiercely talented Toni McGee Causey,  for sending this one my way.

Not the Christmas Present You Expected

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I suppose, after the deranged behavior of some so-called "conservatives" during the Clinton presidency, it should come as no surprise that there is already a large cohort of wingnuts whose burning hatred for President-Elect Barack Obama makes the rage-zombies from the movie "28 Days" look like a bunch of mildly vexed Sunday school teachers.

It must have seemed like an early Christmas present to them when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich got arrested for trying to sell Obama's now-vacant Senate seat.

Unfortunately, when you look at the facts alleged in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Blagojevich, that "Christmas present" seems a lot more like the cheap polyester socks you found under the tree when you thought you were getting a new bike.

Not that this is any defense of Blagojevich. The guy was not only a corrupt sleazeball, but a particularly brazen one. He let it be known far and wide that the Senate seat (which, as governor, he was empowered to fill) was up to the highest bidder, and if he didn't like what was being offered, he'd just appoint himself.

He did everything but put the seat up on eBay.

He also tried to tie state aid to the embattled (and now bankrupt) Tribune Company to the firing of Chicago Tribune editors who had criticized him.

But tying Barack Obama to Blagojevich's corrupt ways is going to take a lot of s stretching, even by the relaxed standards of truth and nonexistent standards of logic currently in place in the Republican Party.

When the president-elect comes up in the allegations, it's in the context of Blagojevich either speculating about how he may try to leverage a Cabinet post or ambassadorship out of the new administration, or cursing them bitterly for refusing to play ball.

To quote the affidavit that's attached to the indictment: "Rod Blagojevich said he knows that the president-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but 'they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. [Bad word] them.'" Fitzgerald noted in his inevitable press conference touting Blagojevich's arrest that "We make no allegations that he (Obama) was aware of anything."

Let's sum up: There's no evidence that President-Elect Barack Obama was in any way involved in Blagojevich's schemes or even knew of them. Blagojevich even calls President-Elect Barack Obama and his staff rude names because they won't play along or offer him "anything but appreciation" for appointing President-Elect Barack Obama's favorite candidate. President-Elect Barack Obama has now called for Blagojevich to step down.

Clearly this is a huge blot on the reputation of the president-elect. How can he possibly govern now?

(And yes, I know I used "President-Elect Barack Obama" a lot in that last paragraph. While the frequent repetition of that phrase may seem a bit clumsy, prose-wise, I'm just tickled by the thought of wingnut heads exploding whenever they read those words. But I'll quit now.)

But, you say, this just shows that Obama is tainted by the corrupt political environment of Chicago. After all, when you swim in waters this polluted, certainly some of that pollution sticks to you.

Oh, really? Seems to me that two of the GOP's "rising stars," Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, preside over states with a fair amount of political corruption. Louisiana is as legendary for political corruption as Chicago ever was, and recent revelations out of the previously little-known corridors of Alaska government have led some pundits to christen it "the Louisiana of the Arctic."

If we can assume that some high-profile politician being dirty in a state taints all other high profile politicians in that state, then the indictment and conviction of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter's recent hooker-related scandal ought to doom the political futures of Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.

Funny, isn't it, how the GOP gets all indignant when you bring that up.

It's like I've said before: The Republicans may have thrown down and danced upon every principle for which they once claimed to stand, but they are rock-solid on one core belief: Everything's OK if you're a Republican.

Oh, I'm sure the Republicans will attempt to spin this as an "Obama scandal." They've already started, judging from RNC press releases. It's just like when they tried during the campaign to make Obama out as a terrorist because he was on a committee with a washed-up Sixties radical.

To the Republican spin doctors, guilt by osmosis is an article of faith. You can be tainted by being in the same room with an unsavory character, whether or not there's any evidence you even knew the guy was a scoundrel. Unless, of course, you're a Republican.

Well, we all saw how well that trick worked.

Someday, maybe, the Republicans will actually come forward with some reasons to like them, rather than tying themselves in knots trying to find reasons to hate
and fear the other guys.