Sunday, October 31, 2004

On real, visceral fear

Okay, so this morning, I've been talking with The Family about the upcoming election (or, really, the ongoing election, since early voting in Georgia started a week ago), and my father brought up the point that most incumbents who poll this well this close to the election end up back in office. That's a scary, scary prospect. Sure, most of Dubya's leads fall within the margin of error, but the same can be said for Kerry; at this point, the election really is too close to call.

It's no surprise that the prospect of another Bush presidency scares me. For one thing, it would only be confirmation to him that all of the crap that he's pulled over the past four years has been okay - not only okay, but good. Worse than more-of-same, I can see us facing four years of worse-than-same as Bush and his evil advisors take all of his past policy and multiply it by three. And then there's the Supreme Court to think about; W II could be in the position to replace three or four Supreme Court justices, with the result that, as my dad so eloquently put it, "the Christian Coalition could put their brand on the Constitution for the next twenty years."

I don't like to pray about politics or football. Both, I think, are too trivial to bother The Almighty, and I know that both sides are usually praying for a big win anyway. But this election strikes me as worthy of a rosary or two. This election affects not just our country but really the entire world. And right now, precisely fifty percent of American voters want Dubya back and the rest of the world wants him gone. I'm sure that God knows that already, Him being omniscient and all. That's not going to stop me from reminding him, though. I know where my vote is going; all I do is hope - pray - that there are legions of Eminem voters out there ready and willing to vote the same way. I have faith.

On celebrations

Okay, so obviously the good-good news of the day is UGA's righteous victory over the Gators after, like, a million years. For those poor sots who missed it, it was a really fantastic game; both teams had their rockin' moments and their suckin' moments, and both teams were in it until the very end. I'll have to attribute our victory in some part to the chicken quesadillas I cooked before the game; Georgia has never lost on a day that I ate quesadillas. Y'all can thank me later. The bad news is that I re-injured my hamstring in my ecstatic dance of celebration; those cheerleader high-kicks aren't for sissies.

In other good news, commenter Tami had the dubious honor of watching my little counter thingy turn over from 999 to 1,000. For her diligent attention to a blog not really all that worthy of diligent attention, Tami wins a pleasant sense of self-satisfaction, an Attagirl from the management, and a suggestion that she devote more of her free time to volunteer work. Way to go, Tami.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

On another one of those round numbers

Okay, so we're cruising up on one of those numbers with a comma in it. If you're fortunate and blessed enough to watch the counter turn over 1,000, put it in the comments and I'll see about getting you a t-shirt or something. Or a button and a rubber band. Or a swift kick in the ass. Whatever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

On being smart and insightful?!

Okay, so what the crap?

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.

Blame World O'Crap for pointing me at that little disaster.

Monday, October 25, 2004

On physical beauty

Okay, so this past weekend, my ego got stroked like a cuddly kitten. Over the course of three days, I was told that I was gorgeous/beautiful/hot etc. by probably a good half-dozen guys. Granted, a respectable number of these were trying to get into my pants, but the words were spoken.

Here's the thing: I'm pretty sure I'm not gorgeous. Don't get me wrong, I'm plenty pretty; I'm just not about to loose a thousand ships at their mooring. But with all of the exhortations that yes, I really am beautiful, and that I would look still more beautiful with my sweater in a pile on the floor, I got to wondering: what is beauty, anyway?

This isn't one of those deep philosophical questions. I'm actually curious about current standards of female beauty. Working in the industry that I do, where cadaverous runway models are held up as the gold standard, it's not unlikely that my perception has been skewed a wee bit. So all you guys who have stumbled here in a fruitless search for Michelle Malkin naked: What makes a girl hot?

We'll make it an informal survey. Forget the Gisele Bundchens and Tyra Bankses of the world; they get paid for being hot. We're talking that girl at the bar on Friday night. What about a girl makes you walk over to the end of the bar and talk to her? Conversely, what about her makes you just sit with your friends and say, "Dude, I would totally tap that," and then your buddy says, "Dude, I did tap that," and then you say, "Dude, you're so full of shit," and he says, "Dude, I'm not," and then your other friend says, "Dude, that's my sister, dude," and then you shut up and drink your PBR.

Throw your answers down in the comments section below.

On The Record

Okay, so I watched the Dick Cheney interview on the Today show this morning, and he kept telling us to check the record. Kerry as a legislator? Check the record. Kerry on terror? Check the record. Kerry as president of the US? Check the record. And while I will concede that Kerry does, in fact, lack experience at being the leader of the free world, Cheney's suggestions inspire me to actually go and check the record.

So here, for your viewing pleasure, is George W. Bush: The Record.

  • Coalition troops killed in Iraq: 1,243, and counting
  • Of those, number of US troops: 1,104, and counting
  • Civilians killed in Iraq: approx. 14,000, and counting
  • Iraqi presidents involved in the 9/11 attacks: 0
  • "Most Wanted" al Qaeda leaders killed and/or captured: 3
  • Osama bin Ladens killed and/or captured: 0

    Quite a record.
  • Monday, October 18, 2004

    On big fat liars

    Okay, so lazy as I am, it being a Monday and all, I'm just going to kick you over to Kevin at Political Animal. It seems that the clever man has come up with a fairly spiffy system to qualify and quantify the lies told during last Friday's presidential debate and come up with what amounts to a Big Fat Liar Score for each candidate.

    The result? Bush was the winner with 18 lies for a total of 118 points; Kerry trailed far behind with only 10 lies and 51 points.

    And speaking of point disparities (and big fat liars, while we're at it), great big ups to Your Georgia Bulldogs, who whupped Vanderbilt 33-3 in honor of UGA's Homecoming. Sure, yeah, whupping up on Vandy isn't exactly a feat of football wonder, but considering that this is all in the face of thirteen - count 'em, thirteen - bullshit penalties, for a loss of 120 yards, I think we did fairly well. This was almost exactly the morale boost we needed after our less-than-stellar performance against Tennessee. It would have been exactly the boost we needed had the stupid refs not thrown a damn flag on a timeout.

    A timeout.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    On the closing of debate season

    Okay, so after three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate, I can state conclusively that I'm going to vote for the guy that I was going to vote for anyway. I really do wonder if any undecided voters had their minds made up by the four largely content-free moderated games of grabass. If anyone knows of anyone who was convinced - and I'm not talking about the "I'm thinking Kerry but I'm not sure" types, I'm talking the "I seriously have no idea who should get my vote" types - let me know, because I'd really like to know what they saw and I didn't.

    I know that Bush's supporters are probably all patting themselves on the back until it hurts right now because their candidate didn't blink and pout and smack his lips like a meth addict and he didn't shout like the crazy lady down the street. It's so easy to be impressed when your candidate sets his expectations low. Regardless of Bush's performance by his own standards, I feel quite comfortable in saying that Kerry met or exceeded his own standards, which meant that he still kicked ass, even if it wasn't the overwhelming ass that he kicked in the first two debates.

    People who know me know that I really, really don't like being lied to. I don't. I would rather hear the dirty truth than a pretty half-truth. So you can imagine how pissed I was when Bush kept lying outright. Ooh, that got to me. Like that comment about how he never said that he wasn't concerned about Osama bin Laden - dude, I watched that press conference. Everybody did. It's on tape. We've had this conversation already with Dick Cheney - don't tell a lie if the public has a videotape of the truth. And the majority of his tax cuts go to the middle class? Say what?

    But what pissed me off even more than that was his assertion that everything comes down to education. Or trial lawyers. Mostly education. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about education. I've been to good schools and crappy schools, and I can tell you for a fact that good schools are better and teachers don't get paid enough and cafeteria pizza never tastes good, ever, even if you put sausage on it. However, I don't think that a good, solid grasp of division and subtraction is what's standing between today's newly unemployed and a steady job. Somehow, Bush expects No Child Left Behind to magically retrieve tech jobs from India and re-employ the recently downsized.

    When asked what he would say to a guy who had just lost his job because it got sent over to Bangalore for half the pay, Bush basically said he would tell the guy to go to community college. What a freaking huge insult. I can't even express it. Kevin Drum did, and I thank him for it. All I can say is that my bachelor's degree (with honors, beeyatch) got me a job that just barely pays the bills. On the off chance that my job gets outsourced, a semester at Atlanta Metro and a job flipping burgers will do nothing but get me evicted for nonpayment of rent. So here's what you say to Mr. My-Tech-Job-Got-Sent-to-India, Mr. President: "Wow, sorry we don't have any job protection for you there, Mr. Master's-in-Information-Technology. Why don't you get yourself an associate's degree and work at one of the gazillion new minimum-wage jobs I've created to replace the two-million-plus jobs lost in the last four years? Sure, it won't pay the bills, but Susie didn't really need braces, now, did she?"

    Vote for Kerry, people. Please. Eighteen days from now, we decide whether we want a president with real, viable plans for national security and domestic tranquility, or one who will lie his freaking ass off, when he's not spouting crap that he doesn't even know is untrue. Eighteen days from now, you've got the opportunity to save the world. Don't fuck up.

    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    On weapons that aren't there

    Okay, so the conclusive report has finally come out stating that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when the US came in with shock and awe and bombs bursting in air. Obviously, this comes as a huge shock to me, as I was totally convinced that Saddam was sitting on stockpiles of nuclear weapons that he was just waiting to send our way and that he cleverly flushed down the toilet when he heard SWAT breaking down the door. I mean, the Bush administration said so, they said that's why they invaded Iraq in the first place, and they wouldn't, like, lie, right?

    Yeah, I know, we're all shocked, but it looks like, per the report, Saddam Hussein hasn't had the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction, or even weapons of mass destruction-related program activities, nor was he making any "concerted efforts to restart the program," since Gulf War the First in 1991. No stockpiles. No stocks. No materials. Charles A. Duefler, personally chosen by the Bush administration to come up with something to support the invasion, came out and told a Senate panel that "we were almost all wrong" on Iraq.


    Of course, Bush and Cheney immediately apologized to the nation for sending their sons and daughters to war over weapons of mass destruction that most of us knew never existed in the first place. Facing the nation with a tear in his eye, Bush took a deep breath and said, ""There was a risk -- a real risk -- that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist networks. In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take." Yes, heaven forbid that Saddam Hussein should pass on weapons that didn't exist and information that he didn't have. That would be tragic.

    But how did the rest of the world respond to the news? Sadly, No! points us to a comment by Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh "pointing to evidence that Saddam was diverting money from the U.N. food-for-oil humanitarian program to buy new weapons." Thus, per Sadly, "There's evidence that Saddam was diverting money to buy weapons of which there is no evidence."

    Mr. President, feel free to leave your apologies and excuses in the comment section below. I'll just wait here until I hear from you.

    Update: German intelligence services tell us that Osama bin Laden is still alive, kicking, and leading al Qaeda with an iron fist. News just gets better and better.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    On something completely unrelated to politics

    Warning: The following post is completely unrelated to politics.

    Okay, so sometimes I indulge in that self-indulgent practice of telling a story that no one cares about, just because it makes me grin. And this one does, it makes me grin. And every time I tell it, I grin a little more, so let's call this'n self-indulgence for the sake of a big grin.

    Some of my lovely readers (hi, Daddy) know that I've got an ex. To avoid revealing any sensitive details, because I'm cool like that where others might not be, I'm going to call him Farley, which is obviously a fake name because I'd never date a guy named Farley. But let's say that I did, and let's say that we were together for four and a half years and engaged at one point but no longer together because he dumped me unceremoniously for a chick named Sunny - and yes, actually, that is her real name, although in the realm of fake names, it seems to me that a guy named Farley would dump me for a girl named Sunny.

    Anyway, I've moved on (couldn't you tell?). I actually had a date today - nothing huge, just a pleasant lunch date with a guy we'll call Todd, again a fake name because I'd never date a guy named Todd (although I'd be more likely to date a Todd than a Farley). Anyway, we're going to say that Todd is a bricklayer (not his real occupation). As you know, Farley is also a bricklayer; I don't chase after bricklayers, but it has to be said that bricklayers usually fit my "type" as far as guys go.

    Anyway. I'm out with Todd, and during the course of the conversation it comes out that Farley, my ex, is also a bricklayer. And of course Todd asks where Farley lays bricks, since there aren't that many places to lay bricks in town. And when I tell him where Farley lays bricks, Todd immediately recognizes him and goes. Freaking. Nuts.

    "Oh, my God. You dated him? Oh, my God! Everyone hates him. He is such an asshole. He's the biggest asshole. Nobody likes him, because he's such an asshole. I can't believe you dated that asshole. How did you date him? I can't believe it. Oh, my God. He's just such an asshole."

    Word for word, I swear. And Todd goes on to tell me about a dozen stories about how horrible Farley is to work with, what an asshole he is, how everyone hates him, and how unfathomable it is that I ever actually dated him. And I'll tell you, the stories differ quite a bit from the hero stories that Farley used to tell, the stories where he used to deliver babies and rescue kittens and compose magnum opi between bricks and everybody just lur-hur-hurved him, and if Todd's stories are true, Farley is, in fact, a real asshole. Really, I can believe it - throughout the relationship, Farley exhibited a gracious many characteristics that, allowed to run unchecked, could rocket him into asshole territory. Todd said that next time he's at the brickyard, he intends to go on and on about how he banged this totally hot chick named ACG the other day, that she was just incredible, like some kind of jungle cat and/or Chinese gymnast, and gosh, Farley, your face is turning red.

    And that's pretty much the story, in the end. Nothing huge or earth-shattering; just a really satisfying story from a really nice guy for a girl who's still at the gosh-I'd-like-to-back-over-him-in-my-friend-Jiho's-Touareg stage of the breakup process. Did it make me a better person? Hell, no. Was it satisfying? Indubitably.

    Oh, and I didn't actually sleep with Todd. But I'm okay with him telling Farley that I did, just to hear about his reaction.

    On the Veep debate, again - post-debate AM update

    Okay, so a good night's sleep has given me time to sort through the mass of crap spewed at me by last night's debates (and to have a wholly pleasant dream involving Jason Statham and an Audi A6 - you call me, baby). And a lazy morning has given me time to sift through other bloggers' thoughts on said debates so that I can steal their ideas and blog them myself. But being the good girl that I am (snicker), I'll give credit where credit is due, 'cause I'm cool like that.

    Debate-blogger wrapup:

  • Political Animal's Kevin Drum liveblogs the debate, then follows up a little. High points: "Cheney: Americans aren't taking 90% of the casualties in Iraq, we're only taking 50% of the casualties — if you count all the Iraqis who are dying. Something tells me that's not going to fly." Also, the whole versus issue - vive la difference! Furthermore, Dick's inability to stick with the truth - I've never met John Edwards, I never said that there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11. Dick, Dick, Dick - don't lie publicly if there's videotape that contradicts you.

  • Basket Full of Puppies summarizes the debate, and it's, like, totally funny. Hee.

  • The Daily Kos gives us pictures of Dick Cheney not never having met John Edwards. Oh, Dick.

  • World O'Crap does her best to bring us the debate from the perspective of an undecided voter. High points: the hell was up with that whole "discuss your platform but don't mention your running mate by name" thing? Gwen, you lose. You just do. By WOC's calculation, it looks like Edwards beat Cheney 5.9 to -8.8. Go figure.

  • Further updates as events warrant.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    On the Veep debate

    Okay, so this one wasn't nearly as easy to call as Thursday's presidential debate. That was easy - Kerry came off as twenty-six and a half times smarter, more put-together, and more presidential than the current President of the United States. This one was far more even - both candidates made a good showing, if for different reasons.

    I don't think that John Edwards made as much headway with the Democratic platform as Kerry did before; he did, however, directly address a lot of the attacks that had heretofore been unaddressed. I just don't think he did it well enough. Assuming that anyone besides myself was actually watching the debate, I think we needed to see John Edwards leap out of his chair, overturn the table and come after Cheney fighting. As it was, he came across as just a little bit tame. His general attitude, though, seemed to be very open and direct and approachable, which is a nice contrast to Kerry's relative austerity. Edwards seems like the kind of guy that you could just sit down with and say, "Hey, John, what's up with Medicare?" and he'd say, "Yeah, sure, what do you want to know?"

    And I'll say that Cheney did a good job, too. Compared to Bush, I'd say he did a fantastic job. He did little to nothing more than spewing the same damn Republican talking points that were spewed on Thursday and at every opportunity before that - but he did it in an intelligent, articulate way. Dick Cheney came across as twelve and a quarter times more presidential than the current President of the United States. One of the Repub pundits made the comment that it's good to know that Cheney is just a heartbeat away from the presidency (and I know he didn't mean to sound like he wished Bush were dead) - I would agree, 'cause Cheney sounded really good, if I didn't know that he was inherently evil and will go home and eat two babies to recover from the debate.

    So I'm calling this one a draw. If anything - choke - Cheney came out a little bit on top. I don't, however, think that it's going to have a lot of effect on the polls, and it's not going to convince any swing voters, because both were really playing to their bases. But I think that Cheney regained some of the credibility that Bush seriously lost less than a week ago ("You forgot Poland," hee hee).

    Question, though - what's the point of Spin Alley? Is anyone even a little bit surprised by the spinning done by the pundits? Karen Hughes pretended to believe that Bush won Thursday's debate; it's just more political crap identical to the political crap that we've been getting for the past year, except now they're spreading it for free.

    And a final point - NBC held up Ana Cox, Wonkette herself, as an example of a liberal blogger. Don't get me wrong - I love Wonkette, read it every day, frequently laugh out loud and/or spit coffee over my computer monitor - at work. I just wouldn't really call her a political blogger. Now, if Dick Cheney had worn, like, totally the wrong tie, or if John Edwards had slipped up and implied that he was boinking an intern, she'd be all over it; under current circumstances, I might have gone with a Kos or an Atrios. Or, y'know, a Practically Harmless. That's all.

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    On cross-dressing baseball players

    Okay, so Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Denney avoided serious injury after being shot in the leg late Wednesday night. What saved him? Unarguably it was the white leather go-go boots from the USC cheerleader uniform he was wearing.

    Hey, I don't judge.

    On a kickass presidential debate

    Okay, so if last night's debate was a portent of things to come, this election's in the bag. Of course I knock on wood as I say that, and of course I'm completely biased toward the Kerry camp, but I've got to say that last night Kerry came off looking intelligent and thoughtful and clever and poised and, 'kay, presidential while Bush came off looking like an petulant, eye-rolling, lip-smacking frattie who still - still - can't pronounce the word "nuclear." Kerry was concise and showed that he does, in fact, have a plan for both foreign and domestic policy; Bush spluttered, called terrorists "some folks" and couldn't remember whether we're after Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden. And had this bizarre obsession with Poland.

    Moreover, though, Kerry had the opportunity to really explain his policy. Bush has an advantage in that "stay the course, even if the course is wrong" can lead to quality soundbites that fit nicely into a fifteen-second TV spot or a newspaper sidebar. The thing is, life doesn't fit into soundbites. You can't lead a country with soundbite policy. Kerry's policy is a little more complex, dare I say nuanced, and harder to fit into a ten-second quote on the evening news. Last night, he had the opportunity to say exactly what he thought was wrong with Bush's approach to the war on terror and homeland security and exactly what he would do differently. And his plans are good ones. A lot of people have been wondering why they should vote for Kerry (outside of the "anyone but Bush" meme), how he'll handle the tough issues and why he's better than Bush. There's your answer, folks.

    My fave highlights:

    Bush's "Saddam Huss - er, Osama bin Laden."
    Followed by his "[bin Laden]'s isolated. Seventy-five percent of his people have been brought to justice." Unfortunately, not the seventy-five percent in charge of kidnapping and beheading.
    Bush's "You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can." Now, it's none of my business what he and Missy do in the privacy of their own homes, but I think this just reinforces the idea that America is being screwed by the Bush administration.
    Kerry's "Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 would be like FDR invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor."
    The whole Korea thing. Friend, editor, and slavedriver-in-chief Georgia made an interesting point this morning as we lazily stirred our coffee and tried to avoid getting to work. Why is it that we absolutely had to go into Iraq without any international cooperation, but as far as Korea is concerned, it's crucial to have a six-nation summit?
    Poland. Poland, Poland, Poland, Poland, Poland. Poland-Poland.
    Every single Bush stammer and long pause. Your president, live, unscripted, and unrehearsed. He's winging it, and it's hi-larious.

    On a sidenote - I think that if you're going to be talking to the press after a debate, it would help to actually watch the debate. Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. Giuliani. The flip-flopper label doesn't work any more, if it ever did. You can't say, "Oh, well, John Kerry said that Saddam Hussein was a threat, and then he said he wasn't a threat" - it's all on tape, he didn't say that. Kerry said that Saddam Hussein was a threat, but that Bush went about addressing the threat the wrong way. You can't say, "Oh, well, John Kerry voted for the war and then said it was wrong" - on tape, didn't say it. He voted to give the president authority to use force if necessary, and Bush abused that authority. This isn't criticism, Rudy, it's advice - before you open your mouth, make sure they can't go to the instant replay and make you look like a big fat stupe.

    Update - I'm not alone on this one. Via the Daily Kos, a whole slew of conservative bloggers who think that Bush was kind of lousy.

    Freepers agree with me. Ew. I feel all dirty now.