Chances are that if you are reading this you already know me. But if you are a stranger and you are looking for left-of-center political opinions, rambling, senseless rants, and coverage of the Atlanta Braves that can only be described as severely manic-depressive...Welcome!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


This morning I headed down to the Brady St. Pharmacy for breakfast. This has become one of my regular haunts because I like authentic diner-style joints, and this place is as authentic as they get. The restaurant is also cheap (a massive stack of pancakes, bacon, and a bottomless cup of coffee for around six bucks, can't beat that) and of course it being Brady St. you never know what you're going to see, kinda where this post is going.

So I plop down at the counter, unfold my Journal Sentinel and flag down the waitress. Then I gaze around the eatery and my eyes freeze when I see him/her/it. There was a drag queen at the other end of the counter, wearing something akin to the costume Tim Curry wore in the Rocky Horror picture show but off the shoulder, and with netting in the front.

Now it is already well-documented that politically I am somewhere to the left of Lenin, and I am as strong a civil libertarian as they come. In fact this is what I like about living on the East Side, it is the kind of neighborhood where you can spot a haggard grad student, a construction worker, and a transvestite all sitting shoulder to shoulder at the same lunch counter and not think anything of it. It is a neighborhood that fosters the kind of liberal openness that makes the Fallwells and Dobsons of this world wretch and stay away, and that's suits us just fine.

But back to this particular drag queen. He was a little long in the tooth (mid 50's possibly) and had not taken care of himself well. His hair, blonde with grey roots, was long, thin, and hairsprayed to within an inch of its life, but it was not enough to cover the receding hairline and massive bald spot. the outfit he was wearing was not the least bit flattering as the netting on the front was stretched to the limit by the massive beer gut, and the off the shoulder number revealed a dense forest of backhair. His makeup put him somewhere between Tammy Faye Bakker and Bozo the Clown, and it appeared that most of his lipstick had wound up on his teeth not his lips.

Now there is nothing wrong with men wearing womens clothes in public. Nevertheless being a transvestite is not something you can half-ass, you really have to go all the way with it. From a distance it would appear that being a drag queen requires a level of commitment and dedication that this guy just didn't have. You've got to be willing to invest the time, money, and effort into wigs, outfits, makeup, and attitude that will trick the world into thinking you're a woman, or at the very least make them wonder. Otherwise you're just a dude in a dress.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Just like some other bloggers I know I, from time to time, have bits, pieces, McNuggets, whatever you want to call them that need to get out but do not warrant their own post. Here are some...

-I demand a Traveling Wilburys reunion. I don't care that both Roy Orbison and George Harrison are dead. Dig them up and sling a guitar around them, they'll know what to do.

-There is not one person, not one, born in the United States between 1970 and 1980 who doesn't know all the lyrics to Tom Petty's Free Fallin'. Don't believe me? Play the first five chords to various people throughout your day. I guarantee that even the retarded guy bagging your groceries will start in..."She's a good girl, loves her mama, loves Jeeeesus, and America too"...

-Did you know that Hootie and the Blowfish are still together and recording music? Is that cool or sad? I can't decide.

-Just about every time I got laid in the 90's Dave Matthews was playing in the background. To this day every time I hear Satellite, I get an erection. Pavlov would be proud.

-The B-777 in all its versions is a vastly superior aircraft to the A-340 in all its versions. There will be no debating this.

-I think that Will and Janna should get their own show. No guests, no pre-taped segments, just the two of them sitting in chairs (bolted down to avoid any Springer moments) and yelling at each other...I would watch that.

-I'm still pissed at NBC for canceling LAX two years ago. You had Heather Locklier and Blair Underwood fighting with each other and playing with airplanes. How could they not make this work!?!? Because of the peacock's ineptness a crack was opened wide enough for Howie Mandel to slip back into the cultural either. For shame NBC, for shame.

-On the other side of the coin I want to give NBC props for sticking with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for at least a whole season. Aaron Sorkin is a brilliant writer (just compare West Wing episodes from before and after he left) Nevertheless I feel like each episode is a separate therapy session for him. Maybe that's what good writers do.

-Speaking of good writers Carl Hiassen has a new book out. Picked up one of the first copies yesterday and put it on ice for the inevitable downtime during the parental units Thanksgiving visit/inspection. I will need the escape. Carl is a one-trick pony, but he plays that trick well over and over again and is always fun to read. He has spent the last couple of years transferring his genre to the young adult level, but these were always disappointing works because you really can't run with the transvestite, drug-dealing, murderous, land developer characters as much when you're writing for the kiddies.

-Yes, you read correctly, the parents are coming. And for some reason we are renting a condo in Door County. A condo I just know will have a heart-shaped hot tub in it, and that won't be awkward. Nope, not the least bit awkward at all. Thank god for booze.

-I love The Simpsons, always have and always will. But Family Guy has fully lapped them by now. Seth MacFarline is willing to go to, and write about things that Matt Groening was never willing to touch, and I think it's pretty clear that the torch has been passed. Nevertheless we must pay homage because without Homer there never would have been a Peter. I said pay homage bitch!

-I have been fortunate in my life to have lived in both Milwaukee and Japan. Two of the last places on this earth where binge drinking is not only acceptable, but expected. I think often of moving, and fantasize about places where I could go. Nevertheless I don't think I would adapt well to the title of "raging alcoholic" so I'm pretty much stuck where I am. That screaming you liver.

-I see that Trent Lott has crept back into the Republican leadership after their latest electoral debacle. I think this is a classic example of continuing to dig after striking rock bottom. And as a Democrat I'm fine with it.

-My TIVO croaked recently and I had to swap out the carcass with the cable company for a new one. Which meant that I had to reset all the season passes, and I am sad to say, Nessa, that Grey's Anatomy did not make the cut. I just fell out with the show. In order to like a program there has to be one likeable character in the bunch and Grey's has none. I hate them all, passionately, I watch the program and wish for bad things to happen to each and every cast member. Seeing that a nuke going off in Seattle Grace is unlikely to happen anytime soon, the show has been cancelled in my living room.

-I'm writing this in the computer lab in the education building at Stritch. One of my classmates just came in with Leinies for everybody. The person next to me (with whom I am doing an hour-long presentation at 4:30) refused as she already had a Snapple bottle that was half lemonade and half vodka. We toasted to the concept that there isn't a teacher out there who isn't on a first-name basis wit a bartender or liquor store owner. Prost!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Na na na nah...

Last week: Rumsfeld will stay until the end.
Today: Buh bye

Amazing what a splash of reality can do.


Just yay.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A moment

So Saddam Hussein has been convicted of crimes against humanity. I think we will have to file this one under “w” for well duh! As fun as it will be to watch the ‘ol butcher of Baghdad swing from the gallows, hearing about Saddam getting sentenced to death is like hearing about an ex contracting an STD…it may be gratifying at first, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still not getting laid. This doesn’t really change anything, and I think the odds are 6-5 against Saddam ever actually meeting the executioner.

Nevertheless this is a huge symbolic moment in a war where symbolic moments are all we’ve got, so I think we should take this chance to do something big.

Declare victory and get out.

Why not? Saddam is gone and headed to the gallows, and that’s what we wanted right? So let’s say mission accomplished (for real this time) spend the $20 mil Congress set aside for a victory celebration, and get the fuck outta Dodge!

This may be the only chance we ever get, so let’s not blow it. Pack up the plantation, get the tanks and the humvees on the C-130s, hand back the keys to Abu Ghraib, wish the Iraqis luck with the whole civil war thing, and we can have all the troops home by Christmas! Seriously, this is what we’ve been waiting for; clear out now before another bomb bl…aw shit...never mind, get everybody together and make a run for the border Taco Bell style!

We gave it our best shot. Three and a half years of our best half-assed efforts and let's face it, this is as good as it's gonna get. We had some fun, blew some shit up, made some millionaire defense contractors multi-millionaires, and we have created enough crippled veterans to give the VA something to fuck up for another 60 years. What else do we want?

Or we can stick around the sandbox for a little longer, burn a few more hundred billion dollars, send more soldiers through the meat grinder, and listen to the dear leader tell us that we are turning the corner every six months. Just remember, if you turn the corner 4 times you end up right back where you statrted.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's about competence

I have no idea what will happen on Tuesday. Most unbiased observers seem to agree that a Democratic takeover in the house is likely, and a takeover in the Senate less so, but not out of the realm of possibilities. While that seems to line up with the general consensus, I have been around for enough elections not to put too much credence in such predictions. Besides nobody ever got rich by underestimating the Democratic Party’s ability to screw itself when all was going their way.

That being said I believe that this country needs a change in the legislative branch like never before. Not because the Democratic Party has earned such an opportunity, but rather because Democracy can only function when there is a healthy opposition. Our constitution is unique in the clear delineation made between the three branches of government and in the amount of faith given to the concept of checks and balances. The president is not a monarch but rather an equal partner in the governing of this nation.

However this administration has made unprecedented power grabs from the legislative branch, power grabs in which the Republican congress has been eagerly complicit. Whatever your position on domestic spying, detention and torture, or war powers may be one thing is clear; the last time the chief executive of this land wielded such concentrated unchecked power he was overthrown in a revolution.

And similar to the King George of old, our current chief executive has governed, for the most part, by fiat. Independent of public opinion and scrutiny he has charted a bewildering course of governance with a rubber-stamp congress in tow. Free of any oversight he has taken this country into an ill-advised Middle Eastern adventure which even by the rosiest views has evolved into a bungled, mishandled quagmire out of which the only victors seem to be those companies with the foresight to bankroll his previous campaign.

It is of interest to note that during WWII (a conflict whose duration is now shorter then the one in which we are currently engaged) a little-known senator from Missouri made his name by chairing a commission that went after war profiteers, and other companies that had bilked the government during the war. Harry Truman investigated them all, Republican or Democrat, and had no compunction to taking down those who were connected to the President. He rightly called such persons traitors and as a result of his commission many of those under scrutiny went to jail. Today Truman would be shouted down by the right-wing noise machine as unpatriotic, and as unsupportive of the troops, while those who profit by putting those same troops at risk lobby for tax reform so that they may save their ill gotten gains.

And what of those who directed this Arabian misadventure. For getting almost every aspect of the war wrong (WMDs, the amount of troops needed, the support of the Iraqi people, the lack of any post-invasion planning, how long do I need to go on?) not only are they not run out of town on the rails but they are showered with praise and awards by the commander in chief and his lackeys on the hill. When they predicted that we would be greeted with flowers and parades perhaps this is to what they were referring.

The Democratic Party is complicit only in their inability to run a presidential candidate that was even the slightest bit presidential. With an iron clad grip on all functions of government for the past six years the sorry state of this nation is the result of unchecked Republican arrogance, nothing else. Given the lack of any other option the only place to turn is to the Democrats, because this congress has failed on every front to keep the wild and dangerous ambitions of this president in check. Like a small child in a Toys R’ Us, from time to time the chief executive must be told no, instead this congress has bought him everything he has desired and we get to pay the bill, both in dollars and in blood.

While the Democratic Party has made a coherent argument for legislative oversight, and of the return of competence to government, the only refuge the Republicans have in turn is childish name-calling, personal attacks, and fear mongering. These are the last-ditch efforts of an organization in full-on panic mode. Without reason, common sense, or the facts on their side they throw the kitchen sink hoping that even though the majority of Americans don’t even know who Nancy Pelosi is, if they can call her a an unpatriotic liberal who doesn’t support the troops, that will be what sticks. Hoping in the end that by waving the flag and tugging on patriotic heartstrings most Americans will realize the only way to support the troops is by re-electing those who put them in harms way, and placing a yellow ribbon on the back of an SUV getting 15 mpg.

The shrinking middle class, corprate greed, a growing and invasive theocracy, rampant political corruption, Katrina, the inaccessibility of health care, the denial of science in all realms educational, medicinal, and environmental are all good reasons in and of themselves to kick out the Republican congress on Tuesday. But greater than all those reasons is competence and accountability. For many years now the Republican Party has run on the idea that government should be run like a business. Well what if it was? With all that has gone on in the last six years the United States’ stock price would be trading at record lows today. And the stockholders of any such company would have jettisoned the CEO and the board a long time ago.

Democracy demands accountability, the nation demands competence. Our government has given us neither, and thus deserves to be replaced.