Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Samhain!

That's Wiccan for "Halloween," mes amis. And how will your blogstress be spending hers? Well, apparently without phone service and running water. And, yes, the bills, perchance, happen to be paid up. Verizon cannot say what happened in the rainstorm that took out your cybertrix's landline, and the District of Columbia will only say that they absolutely, positively must conduct some vital operation on the water system on Halloween.

Sounds like an anti-pagan, Francofilephobic conspiracy to moi.


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The case against Mukasey

Anyone who thinks the Democrats should let through the nomination of Giuliani advisor Michael Mukasey for Attorney General of the United States needs to read this insightful piece from last month's In These Times by your blogstress's buddy, Hans Johnson. Here's a taste:

When Senators soon take up the nomination of Michael Mukasey to be attorney general, they have a special obligation to probe him on abuses of power in the Voting Section of the Department of Justice. Hearings for the would-be boss at DOJ must not pass without a proper accounting of how a Bush-appointed gang of dirty-tricksters, acting under a badge of federal authority and alleging voter fraud, has pressured states to spurn their own policies and erase voters from the rolls. Imagine an election board stacked with Nixon’s Plumbers.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Dennis the K, phoning home

Kucinich says he saw U.F.O.
Kucinich says he saw U.F.O.

Unless you've been living on Mars, you've no doubt heard that, Dennis Kucinich, the peace-mongering congressman from Ohio, confirmed Shirley MacLaine's assertion that he saw a UFO while at her house.

And in a post-game interview, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson urged the government to stop holding back the goods on what really happened in his state's eerily famous burg of Roswell.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Hillary and immigration

MSNBC's Chris Matthews is going nuts, trying to frame Hillary Clinton's support for giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants as a sinker for her campaign. While it's not likely to be a popular position in a nation populated by a number of demoralized chest-thumpers looking for a scapegoat, it's a courageous one. This really is, as Clinton says, a public safety issue. You get hit by a truck, you want to know who did it.

The crazy thing is that she's being attacked for being "confusing" and "not decisive" by her male opponents when, in fact, she was pretty clear on this one. She may not have lept up to say, "Oh yeah, licenses to illegals, I'm big on that," but she didn't deny it, and she did defend it.

Where she's more vulnerable, thinks your blogstress, is on her vote for the Senate's war-mongering resolution about Iran. Several of her opponents were quick to point out that the price of oil is climbing high, thanks to this resolution.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Obama: I know I'm a little different

The folks at National Review -- well, Jim Gereghty, to be specfic -- are not amused by one of the NBC moderators using the term "Swift-boating" like it's a bad thing: "[L]et us not ignore that the question from Brian Williams uses 'Swift-boating' as a synonym as an unfair attack," Gereghty writes.

The unfair attack about which Williams inquired was the right-wing stage-whisper campaign alleging Obama to have been educated in a jihadi madrassah, and G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney's slipping tongue that simply can't help but pronounce "Obama" as "Osama". The Illinois senator handled the question with characteristic grace, saying, "Look, I know I'm not the typical presidential candidate."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate

When asked if she would, like her husband, support the tax plan unveiled this week by New York Congressman Charles Rangel that would raise taxes on upper crust while giving a break to those in the middle class, Hillary Clinton first said she couldn't endorse the plan because she didn't know all the details, then later said she couldn't endorse the plan because she didn't agree with all the details. Oy.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Biden's making sense

Too bad alway seems so damn eccentric when he does. About Rudy Giuliani, Joe Biden, the senator from Delaware, said, "He says three things in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11." Called Rudy the "most unqualified under-qualified candidate to run for president since George W. Bush.

Earlier in the evening, when moderator Tim Russert challenged the candidates to pledge to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Biden rightly contended that saber-rattling at Iran made no sense when Pakistan was about ready to blow. Chris Dodd all but said, "Right on."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Edwards gets smacked around

When Bill Richardson went after John Edwards for being "holier than thou," he redeemed himself after grandstanding about having gotten two Americans released from Abu Ghraib in the days of Saddam Hussein. Then Dodd jumped on and Kucinich finished the job.

Edwards was going after Hillary Clinton for taking money from "Washington lobbyists;" Kucinich reminded the audience that Edwards took money from a "New York hedge fund."

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Obama's warmed up

Barack Obama just landed one hard on the senator from New York when he piled on to Tim Russert's question to HRC about Bill Clinton's request that the National Archives not release records of his communications with his wife until 2012. Reminding the audience of Clinton's pledge to "turn the page," Obama declared, "that's not turning the page" when once considers the secrecy of the current administration.

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Live-blogging the Democratic debate
Hillary is kickin' butt

She's tougher than Rudy, more experienced than Obama, done more for poor folks than Edwards, and smarter than everybody. That's the subtext of her responses on Social Security and her vote for the Iran resolution. Biden and Dodd are making sense in taking her on about her Iran vote, but her tone and body language trump their pleas. (My TAPPED colleague, Dana Goldstein, is right about Obama; the offensive stance does not become him.) And though it may be sexist of me to notice, Hillary's somber suit -- a black pantsuit with brown accessories (including a pocket square) -- look to your blogstress like fightin' duds.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Craven Senate confirms bane of blacks and bisexuals

At last weekend's Values Voter summit, James C. Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, fretted that, come November, the Democrats could "win the triple crown," which consists of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. That may well be true, but given the Senate's behavior today, it doesn't look as though the right has much to fear from that outcome. In today's New York Times, David Stout writes of the Senate confirmaton of a federal judge who doesn't find the use of racial epithets in the workplace a firing offence, and who apparently thinks that bisexuals should not be permitted to raise their own children:

Judge Southwick’s critics have pointed to some of his decisions as a Mississippi state appeals court judge. In one case, he upheld the reinstatement with back pay of a white state employee who had used a racial epithet about another worker; in another, he joined a majority opinion that denied a bisexual mother custody of her child.
Speaking of the Values Voter Summit, you can catch your blogstress's recap here at The American Prospect Online.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rudy on Facebook

photo of Rudolph Giuliani from Right Wing Facebook

For all you social network Web-heads out there, you won't want to miss this: Rudy Giuliani's Facebook page (well, kinda).

Our friends at People For the American Way have put together a spectacular feature, the Right Wing Facebook, where you will find pages for each of the right-wing presidential candidates. Your blogstress's personal favorite is the Rudy page. From his "About Me" description:

I want the leaders of the Religious Right to know: I'm pro-family. My family isn't pro-me, but I think that's because I've been spending most of my time over these last few years being America's Mayor...

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sources and Methods
Girlrillas wear green (shantung)

Just when you thought, mes amis, that your blogstress had forgotten her promise to fill you in on the story of how she came to be in possession, a decade ago, of the double-super-secret-background speech delivered by Paul Weyrich, the paleo-Catholic architect of the religious right, to the super-duper-secret Council for National Policy, in she waltzes from a blitz of writing mind-numbing prose for hire to tell you this little tale.

The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a coalition of mostly well-heeled right-wingers -- a majority from the Christo-fascist portion of the winger faction, and the rest from the simply kleptocratic kamp. Because they are Very Important People set on taking over the country, they meet behind doors guarded beefy by men with curlique earpieces.

"They really shouldn't be allowed to get away with that," thought your blogstress, who hatched a plan based around her keen sense of fashion and issues with authoritarianism that would allow her to do what the bear did when he went over the proverbial mountain. Ms. magazine sponsored her reconnaissance mission.

The 1996 summer meeting of the CNP took place, a few days ahead of the Republican National Convention, at the Loews resort on Coronado Island, just over the bridge from the San Diego convention center where the party would gather to nominate Bob Dole as its presidential candidate.

The Loews is an opulent destination resort on one of the world's great pieces of Pacific real estate. Having done her homework, your écrivaine had a pretty good idea of whom she would find there, and what their oh-so-perfectly-done wives would look like.

And so she scoured her closet for a suit, left from her days in the publishing biz, that might be adapted to the kind of hyper-structured, lady-who-lunches sort of ensemble that a Betsy DeVos, for example, might favor. Ah yes, that emerald green silk number would do, with a few nips and tucks and a sterner set of shoulder pads.

Now, what to do for a blouse? Surely, the black turtleneck and ethnic-printed shawl that had once been the suit's standard accessories would hardly pass muster with this crowd. A visit to a discount fabric store that took in a lot of odds and ends from bridal manufacturers solved that. A piece of ivory shantung and matching covered buttons would yield the perfect little structured top. A pair of ivory silk sling-backs from a clothing outlet in Secaucus would round out the look. If she did her own nails, she could afford to have her hair coaxed into a hard-sprayed French twist in the hotel salon.

Early in her hotel stay, your cybertrix purloined a copy of the CNP's schedule of events. She would hold her fire, she decided, until the final night. In the days leading up to the climactic gala, your Webwench would hang around the lobby, blend in and listen.

At last, the big night arrived. Now, mind you, your net-tête did not have anything that even resembled the conference badges worn by the CNPers. She did not pretend to be anyone but herself. She simply wore the right clothes and walked with confidence, past the beefy men with the earpieces, into a cocktail reception on a patio with a spectacular view, where she stood among a throng surrounding Oliver North. She stayed at the cocktail reception just long enough to register as part of the scene, and then discreetly disappeared. And lurked.

When the doors opened to the ballroom where dinner had been served, and the wingers, decked in their finery, strolled out, your blogstress subtly found her way to the room, as if in pursuit of something accidentally left something behind. And, indeed something had been. Why, it was the text of Mr. Weyrich's secret speech, in which he condemned the leadership of the whole Republican Party, and all but damned then-Speaker Newt Gingrich to Hell. And up on a Web site it went.

Goes to show you what a few yards of silk and a half a can of hairspray can get a girl.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

There's something about Rudy...

...that kinda stinks.

Over at The Nation, Ari Berman is spilling those pungent beans. Check out his enterprise story on how Rudy got rich while helping to pollute the planet. Your blogstress's favorite riff:

He needed money and, more important, political connections. Bracewell [a law firm that lobbies on behalf of energy bigs] offered a gateway into the lavish world of Texas Republican fundraising and easy access to the same titans of industry who had helped make the Bush family rich and propelled W. into the White House. The former mayor of one of the bluest cities in the country had just inked a whole lot of red.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Giuliani and his queer friends

Over at The American Prospect Online, your blogstress dares to prognosticate on the strategy currently in play by such religious right leaders as James Dobson of Focus on the family and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council against Republican presidential front-runner Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York.

Your cybertrix will fill you in with some backstory when next she graces her devotees with an apparation.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Crossing the pond

A critical discussion has been taking place among journalists, mes amis, on the characteristics of Hillary Clinton's laugh. No merde. This is really what occupies the better part of our massive brain capacity here in Our Nation's Capital.

To that end, your blogstress, of course, saw fit to weigh in, this time for the British paper, The Guardian. (Now these are people who recognize absurdity when they hear it.)

Do check it out, s'il vous plaît:

I Am Woman, Hear Me Laugh

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