Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reach Out and Touch Someone

It's hardest on Saturdays, because that is when I would call and we would talk for awhile

Saturday, 27 September -- 5 months since the accident

Friday, September 26, 2008

re: extension?
September 24, 2008 in history and current events by dana

subject: extension?

Dear John,

While I sympathize with the demands of balancing both legislative and campaign issues, I cannot, in accord with historical policy, grant your request for an extension on the debate. Dean’s excuses can only be granted in the cases of health or personal emergencies, and would need to be submitted to me in writing. A physician’s note is also acceptable.

Dana McCourt

On Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 12:00pm, John McCain wrote:

sorry to bother you and i know this request is late but i have been really busy and i want to call an emergency meeting with the president and understanding all the material is taking up a lot of my time so i find myself woefully underprepared and i am throwing myself on your mercy. can i get an extension over the weekend on the debate so i can present my best work to you? or should i get a dean’s excuse?



-- The Edge of the American West

Another Reason I Can't Wait to Finally Pull the Trigger

I'm sick of seeing Christian Slater's Smirk-o-Tron Eyebrow leering at me from the billboard at Olympic and Westwood five days a week. I can't stand gazing up at that rumpled motherfucker David Duchovny and his pillowcase of a face at Westwood and Rochester. And even though the attempt to wallpaper L.A. in cheeky images of Michael C. Hall has moved beyond this ad,

all the new ads do is remind me of that creepy ass dead arm and ugh. Stop it, America. I'm not interested in this show and I'm not interested in purchasing any more narcotics to help me sleep at night.

I will say though, I'm surprised by how much better looking Michael C. Hall is in Dexter, because I remember that in the .2 picoseconds of Six Feet Under that I managed to sit through, I thought he had a Charlie Brown blockhead. But look! His longish serial killer locks actually make him look kind of handsome. Weird. America, we need to talk about this.

But before we start that discussion, I should re-emphasize that, no, I'm not interested in that jive ass show. I'm also not interested in Weeds, so quit trying to get me to watch that shit, too. Are you listening, Bernie? I'm not going to start watching Bones and I ain't going to start watching motherfucking Weeds!

Why am I so angry?!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can't Stop, Won't Stop (Part 7)

What Part of McCain's Campaign Has Been Suspended? --yanked from over there at DailyKos.

by Scout Finch
Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 03:00:03 PM PDT
John McCain shocked everyone with his announcement yesterday that he was "suspending" his campaign to deal with the financial crisis and he suggested there was simply no time for a debate with Obama.
But, what - exactly - did he "suspend"? His surrogates are all over television, attacking Obama. His campaign ads are still running and his Internet fundraising is still operational. McCain's press crew is fully operational. He spent the day with Rick Davis, his lobbyist campaign manager. And all of his campaign offices are still open and fully operational.
And now comes word via Jonathan Martin at The Politico that McCain will spend the evening doing interviews on ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Sounds like the only thing John McCain wants to put on hold is the debate with Barack Obama. And who could blame him? He's got a lot of explaining to do to the American people about how the GOP and their cronies got us into this mess.

Hold Up, Wait a Minute


Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. You have to watch this. Sarah Palin's explanation of her foreign policy experience. Don't just read the transcript. You actually have to watch it happen.

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

The latest from Glenn Greenwald, formerly a Palin-sympathizer:

"But Sarah Palin's
performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue [in the Katie Couric interview] in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening -- really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology -- were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous."

Get In Where You Fit In

Before I forget, and before it disappears into the ether, go clap ears on the lastest episode of "God's Jukebox" (link good until 3pm PST). My request gets shouted out around an hour and 49 minutes into the show (bonus: you can fast forward directly to my hot-ass choice with the new BBC iplayer).

Mark Lamarr still loves me, etc, etc.

This show has a lot of stand out tracks, kids. You'll be glad you listened.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Did everybody know this except for me? Well? Did you?!

Did you know that Martha Plimpton ol' Foxy Funderburke's kid?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Deed It

My dad flies out tomorrow morning, and I am going to miss his crazy ass. He's been schooling me in Dad-style for the past week: apparently, I haven't been giving him enough credit for being such an iconic trend-setter and tastemaker . According to Pops Jugo, he is responsible for -- among other things - the popularity of cargo shorts, small cars, Stella Artois, and running. "I was doing that shit back in the 70s," he says, with only a soupcon of irony. "People thought I was crazy."

So if you have problems with the prevalence of any of those things, take it up with my Dad.

Think of it Like This

Tim Wise continues to nail it:

"White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected."

This is Your Nation on White Privilege

(NOTE: I added some things to this piece, and made a few changes to other parts for accuracy and clarity. So, if you are going to send the piece around to more people m please send this version if possible)

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.

White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.

White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly twenty years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."

White privilege is being able to sing a song about bombing Iran and still be viewed as a sober and rational statesman, with the maturity to be president, while being black and suggesting that the U.S. should speak with other nations, even when we have disagreements with them, makes you "dangerously naive and immature."

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism and an absent father is apparently among the "lesser adversities" faced by other politicians, as Sarah Palin explained in her convention speech.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

Friday, September 12, 2008

You Must Learn


(if you want to take the time to confirm this information yourself, go to the independent Tax Policy Center.)

Updated chart to take into account weighted averages, which the prior chart apparently did not do.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is How It Happens

Hey, ducks. I am going to be back with the good shit in a few days. Trust me. Pops Jugo is in town, and he is coming with the most amazing Dad-style ridiculousness. Damn, family!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Rhetorical Flourishes

Analysis of Palin's most incendiary and "wtf" moment in last night's speech, courtesy of ding over at bitchphd.

Another take, plus some astute reasons as to why the mockery might backfire.

Oh, how about another awesome one?

Like these writers, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around why a group ostensibly devoted to personal responsibility considers the vital work of local civic engagement something worthy of mockery. But then, for all their snide derision of Sen. Obama as being more flash than substance, as someone punching out of his weight class, as a demagogue blinding the masses with his empty rhetoric, the Republicans have proven time and time again over the last 12 years that they will say and do absolutely anything that shores up the unprecedented power they've accumulated over the last 20 years in the halls of Washington. To paint themselves as plain-speaking regular folks makes me want to fucking scream.

*and yes, Bernie, let's have that conversation about why it is that in every election in recent memory the Republicans have gone on and on about needing to "shake up the system" -- I don't know what motherfucking country y'all live in but have we not had a Republican president for the last 8 years? And before that, a Republican-dominated Congress during Clinton's tenure? What exactly are you shaking up?! Or, as Barry Crimmins would have it, they want to "come in as a reformer without mentioning that the reason there is a need for reform is because of people like [them]."*

Two of my good friends are Republicans. I will never ever understand why, although Todd would be happy to explain AT LENGTH his manifold reasons. But just to show him that I'm not ignoring his wingnut texts, a little something about his candidate's maverick choice for VP. Also? The hand-wringing and po'-faced shock at the sexism underlying some (not all, or even most, by my estimation) of Democrats' sneering at the Palin choice is a bit fucking rich after the commentary from rightwing pundits we've endured this political season regarding Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

There are many, many reasons to be struck dumb at McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for vice-president, but the following will do nicely. This woman is an irregular heartbeat away from the Oval Office, people. Chew on that. Think of that. I'd rather eat a bowl of scabs than have another Republican in the White House, but if you insist on making a craven and manipulative grab for voters (although I have to admit, it is kind of genius: distracting the naive who'll waste time and energy going on about this attempt to woo Hillary-voters won't work, when it's obvious this is designed to galvanize the evangelical base, who are the real voters McCain needs to worry about finessing) you couldn't have gone with Kay Bailey Hutchinson? Olympia Snowe?

Also, homes, believe that Sarah Palin is not the real pick. She's going to bow out in a couple of weeks, having "belatedly realized the toll this is taking on her young family," and the real pick is going to sail by, Alito-style.

A View From Wasilla

Not Politics As Usual

Allowed to Make Choices That Others are Denied

Yeah, I Know We're All Thinking It

But it's still weird when you actually see it, right?

Life Magazine, September 2004