30 September 2008

And a happy October to you too

Man, am I glad to see September go away.  More stuff has happened this month that I can recall, not all of it bad, but it has been way too eventful.

The aftermath of our flooded basement can be summed up like this: eh.  It could have been so much worse.  We were fortunate to have someone come out the next day to rip up the carpet and dry the floors and walls out.  Most of the material stuff that had to be pitched belonged to people who don't live here--the basement is mostly used for storage--and should have been dealt with a while ago.  I hate to sound unsympathetic, but procrastination will get you every time.  The residual aggravation is that the garage is full of things that I hate looking at (mostly because little of it actually belongs to us) and I doubt I can create enough room for the cars before it gets cold out.  I can't wait to move out of this joint.

Desmond (9 months) has now been out of the womb longer than he was in it.  He seems more like a little man than a baby recently, albeit one that still only has five teeth (three new ones--we've had some long nights here recently),is dependent on us for almost everything and eats meat from a jar.  He is sufficiently mobile and trying to get into everything, which means the door to the basement is closed 24/7 now.  He is not an expert at crawling as he still cannot seem to scoot on his knees but does the army crawl very well.  He babbles incessantly whenever he is awake and it is music to my ears.  He is such a happy kid.  There were many times this month where it seemed that all we had was stress, and every time all it took was a look in his direction to be reminded that we have it pretty good.  What an amazing little boy.  How did we get to be so lucky?

I'm happy to see the tide of the election starting to stretch more and more towards Obama.  I've decided that I can't watch the VP debate this week because I can't take the cringe moments of Sarah Palin anymore.  It's become uncomfortable to watch.  I almost feel sorry for her.  Almost.

Who am I kidding?  I'm not going to watch the debate because it falls smack dab in the middle of Game 2 of the playoffs.  I have been low key about baseball this summer, and intentionally so.  I have enjoyed this season as I have no other, but the "real" season starts now.  I'm 41, been following the Cubs since I was 5 and no team ever won 97 games until this year.  Number of wins aside, this is clearly the best Cubs team of my lifetime; best pitching, best defense, best management.  The time is right.  This should be the year.

However, I am not assuming anything.  I don't believe in curses, jinxes or anything of the sort.  Every past post-season failure of the Cubs has been the result of not being the best team.  They were outplayed last year by Arizona, much as they were in previous playoff series by Florida, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego. 

They should beat Los Angeles, and then they should beat Philadelphia or Milwaukee, and then they should beat Boston or Anaheim or Tampa or the White Sox (gulp) in the World Series.  They should.  Do it, please.  I am not getting any younger.

By the way, this is the first time in 102 years that both Chicago baseball teams have made the playoffs in the same season.  If both somehow managed to make it to the World Series I am fairly certain that this city would implode.  The Sox took a bit of the luster off that possibility by actually winning a World Series three years ago, but it would still be the most intense ten days in the history of Chicago.  I'm not rooting for or against the Sox to get there; all my energy is focused on the Cubs.

Do it please.  I beseech thee.

14 September 2008

Some days are better than others

Thursday, September 11, was a beautiful day here just outside Chicago.  It's that way every single year it seems since 2001, when it was one of those perfect late-summer days where there isn't a cloud in the sky, the air is warm but there is little humidity and you tell yourself that you could handle living in a place where it would be like that 365 days a year.

And yet I was grumpy as hell.

First, and I don't know how to say this without sounding like an arrogant jerk, but I am completely fed up with never being able to approach 9/11 without being bombarded with the command to "never forget."  Really?  Gee, I've lived by O'Hare airport pretty much my entire life.  Every time I see the underside of a plane I think about watching the second plane hit the WTC.  The only way I'll ever forget September 11 is when I die.

Here's the thing, though, I want to forget it.  Well, in a way.  If I had my druthers, I'd forget about September 11, 2002.  See, every year, when the rest of the nation flashes back to 2001, I can't help but think about 2002.  My father died that June and the first anniversary of the attacks three months later drove me crazy.  I was encased with grief over my sudden loss, and I couldn't stand the collective grief of an entire nation.  I wanted to stand up and scream, demanding that my father be remembered in the way that every one else was-read his name, toss a flower into a pond, ring a bell.

It wasn't the most rational of reactions, but then grief discriminates when someone you love dies; that person automatically goes to the head of the line.

I must be the only person in the world who thinks more about 9/11/02 than 2001.  I can recall most of where I was all day in 2001.  I guarantee that I can recall every single thing about 2002.

Second, I went to the doctor Thursday afternoon for a cortisone shot.  My back is better but still iffy, and my doctor recommended a shot.  Big deal.  I was born with a kidney defect that didn't show up until I was nine and necessitated major surgery.  I have had other medical issues since and I bet that I have had a needle jammed into me over one thousand times.  I've never had any kind of reaction to one.  Until this one, of course.  Heck, I blanched just at the shot of Novocaine  they gave me to numb my spine and had to wait thirty minutes before they could give me the cortisone shot.  That one didn't hurt at all, yet within two minutes of getting it I was puking into a garbage can in the doctor's office.

What should have been a fifteen minute process took two hours.  I was sleeping this morning when I felt a tug on my lower back.  It was Desmond pulling at a band-aid that they must have applied after the shot.  I had no idea it was there.  Forty-eight hours later Desmond tried to take it off but couldn't.  He did succeed in making me yelp.  As did Kristen when she yanked it off.

Some days are dry, some days are leaky

Yesterday (Friday) we had a plumber come out to investigate a leak in a pipe running from the first floor toilet to the basement.  The leak itself wasn't bad, but the growth accompanying it was, in a word, nasty.  Sure enough, the seal beneath the toilet blew and there has been a trickle of "stuff" seeping steadily into the surrounding area for who knows how long.  And what we can see growing on the outside of the pipe is but a smidgen of what is inside the Petry dish.  A floor has to be ripped up; baseboards have to be replaced.

Some days come clean, other days are sneaky

Around the time that we found this out it started to rain, and it pretty much hasn't stopped.  According to the news, the area where we live has had about eight inches of rain since Friday midnight.  We have a basement.  A nice full, finished basement that we barely use.  Other people use it store stuff.  Stuff like furniture that doesn't fit into smaller homes now.  Stuff like boxes of crap that should have been dealt with a long time ago.

Some days take less, but most days take more

Well, it's been dealt with now.  There's been water coming into the basement all day.  The pump works, it just can't keep up with the volume.  There is a lake behind our home that wasn't there yesterday.  Many backyards are now part of this lake.  Neighbors behind us have first-floor flooding.  I know things for us could be a lot worse.

Some slip through your fingers and onto the floor

Still, there's carpeting that's been destroyed, and wood work that will need to be replaced.  The water keeps coming in slowly and every time I think I have a handle on it I come back in fifteen minutes and feel my feet sink a little deeper into the water-logged rug.  We got most of what needed to be salvaged up off the floor, but it is going to have to be moved upstairs eventually so that the carpeting can be ripped out. 

Some days are sulky, some days have a grin

As I said, it could be worse.  We could be in Galveston or Houston.  Of course, I heard a forecast just an hour or so ago that gives the possibility of seven more inches of rain here in the next 24 hours, courtesy of what is left of Ike.  It's not raining here right now, but it is supposed to start again in about two hours, and it looks like once it does that it won't stop for a while.  I'm seriously concerned about waking up to two feet of water in the basement instead of two inches.  I don't think I can do anything to stop it.

And some days have bouncers and won't let you in

12 September 2008

Breaking news

There's been a shakeup in the McCain campaign:


09 September 2008

Riddle me this

A question for any of the white woman who have switched their support from Obama to McCain in light of Sarah Palin being named the VP nominee for the GOP:

Why?  What could possibly be the reason that you would switch?  Has Sarah Palin caused you to have an epiphany on women's issues? 

I'd wager that it has a lot more to do with skin color than reproductive organs.

I'm not female, obviously, but I would think that the stark differences on womens' issues in the two campaigns equate this as a vote between Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly.  And I don't see how one could change their mind simply because a woman is part of the ticket now.

Last question: Where the hell is Hillary Clinton?  Why isn't she out there clearly defining the differnces between her and Sarah Palin? 

It couldn't be that she is thinking more about 2012 is it?

08 September 2008

Just a brief interlude

Two things:

1. Read this.

2. Then go here.

(Salty language warning in effect)

Carry on...

06 September 2008

La La La La La I Can't Hear You

I'm thinking now that the RNC is over that it is time for a self-imposed political hiatus, because frankly I don't think I can last for sixty more days at the rate that my head is spinning.

I did watch McCain.  I tried not to, but ultimately I had to so that I could compare the two (he and Obama, not Palin); it's amazing how different two people and events can be.  Obama's speech was electric; McCain's was as dull as year-old sandpaper.  I continue to be amused at the length that the GOP goes to discredit Obama as a public speaker ("When you strip away the glitz...") as if Obama's motivation is to fool the country into thinking that he is eloquent and presidential, and once he gets into the Oval Office he'll start using (gasp!) split infinitives.

I think that there are thinly veiled racial overtones to that type of ad strategy, of course, and paired with Palin's "community organizer" slams we are starting to see the "BOO!" factor here.  Unlike 2004, they won't spend all of their fear fuel just on terrorism; some of it will go towards the idea of whites not being in power.  It will all be just hinted at, of course.

Just asking:  what is the racial/religious makeup of Palin's staff in Alaska?  Why hasn't this been looked at?

I think it is vital not too get bogged down on race though, because there are other things that are more obvious to prove that McCain/Palin is a hypocritical ticket.  For example, I dug McCain's finger-wagging at Washington all throughout his speech, and how he claimed that the tone in DC will change if he is elected.  First, that is the EXACT same thing GWB said all through the 2000 race, and he was right-the tone became even more polarizing than before.  Does McCain seriously believe we buy this?  Did he even listen to the speeches at his own convention?  They were nothing but polarizing!  Giuliani, Huckabee, Romney, Thompson, etc.  Do you think that if McCain wins that these folks will not be part of his administration in some capacity?  Of course they will!  Do you think that every one of them will suddenly have an epiphany and stop demonizing the other side?

The hypocrisy of the GOP is huge and examples are ample.  For instance, how many times has it been mentioned that Sarah Palin, in a moment of reform so daring that Martin Luther came back from the grave to kiss her feet, sold the Alaska state plane on Ebay?  You'd think she built the plane herself from spare parts and then tugged to the airport with her teeth from the way this story has been all over the place.  There's only one problem: it's not true.  She put the plane up for sale on Ebay, but it did not sell, and when it did sell through a broker, the net loss was half a million dollars.  Oh, and the company that bought the plane wants Alaska to give back some of the money because there have been a ton of maintenance issues.

There's nothing wrong with her trying to sell the plane.  That's not the issue.  The issue is that the backstory being told isn't truthful. 

This video from the Daily Show is brilliant.  I don't see how Karl Rove has any credibility when he is shown to be such a duplicitous liar, but I'll go to my grave not understanding a lot of things about conservative punditry.  People like Rive think that a majority of Americans have the intelligence of an ear wig, and I am sorry to say that most of the time, we seem to prove him right.  How else to explain George W. Bush being re-elected?

I have to take a break from the political spectrum because I can feel my sanity seeping out of my pores.  I can't stand another presidential election that becomes all about God again.  I can't watch as poll after poll shows the country moving away from common sense even though we've lived through eight years of an example of how screwed up this country can get when people who have no clear right to hold office are elected anyway.

I didn't hear one thing from John McCain Thursday night related to policy.  Nothing.  Not a mention of health care, no reference to ending the war in Iraq, nada about energy (except DRILL DRILL DRILL!).  It was devoid of information. 

Why should that be rewarded?  St. Paul was nothing but a hurricane of anti-Obamaism.  Shouldn't they have spent some time telling us why to vote for them instead of against Obama?

I still have high hopes for this election, though it is going to get worse before it gets better.  The pro-life attacks should be getting started any day now, and it will be uglier than ever before.  I'll have more to say when relevant, but be prepared to hear this phrase over and over again: "Barack Obama is for infanticide."

See, that's why I have to self-impose for a bit.  I'll spontaneously combust if I keep going at thispace.

04 September 2008

In the theater of the surreal and absurd

First: Gustav, Chicago.  Chicago, Gustav.

Yesterday might very well have been the strangest of my life.  I went to the doctor to discuss the results of the MRI on my back Tuesday (and let me say that I managed to survive being shoved into a tube for an hour or so without wigging out but there is no way I could have done that when I was a kid-I was so claustrophobic as a child that I could barely wear hats) and things could be a lot worse.  There is no herniation in the disc that I hurt and I seem to be responding well to treatment.  Today is the first day that I have been able to do stuff around the house (to which my lovely wife screams "AMEN!" as she should, because she was awesome these last two weeks and deserves to take the next year or so off) and so far I feel fine.  I still need some follow up because I am not 100% symptom free.

The most interesting part of the appointment is when the doctor put one of my x-rays up and asked me what I did ten years or so ago to break three vertebrae just at the end of the rib cage.  Huh?  Are you sure that's my x-ray we're looking at?  Yep, that's my name, birth date, time I was here, etc.  Hmm.  Yep, I see the three vertebrae that have fused towards the end in a bit of self-healing and look quite unlike the other ones that have never been fractured (think tuna cans, and the broken ones have bent sides).

I guess that car accident that I was in during July 1998 was more serious than I thought.  It was early in the morning and I was on my way to some BS meeting that was forcing me to rearrange my day off, which meant that I had to cancel a golf outing.  Traffic on the Eisenhower was horrible so I took Roosevelt Road, and at Cicero some clown pulled out in front of me to make a left turn.  I smacked him just above the back wheel, and he was kind enough to flee.  The front of my car crumpled, and the first auto I ever owned totaled.

I remember seeing the accident unfold in front of me, closing my eyes and gripping the wheel.  I know they say that you aren't supposed to brace for a collision, but I did.  I walked away from the crash without a scratch, or so I thought.  I never got checked out, never felt any pain.

When I relayed this to my doctor yesterday he said: "this looks like an injury consist with someone who either was wearing their seat belt (I was) and hit the steering wheel (I didn't), or went through the windshield and flew into a light pole." 

I don't know what to tell him or myself.  I don't recall it being that big of a deal.  There is now danger or risk from it now, but it sure does explain why my back has ached so much since then.

I could not resist the RNC last night, and I would have sworn that I was hopped on some very effective pain pills while listening to the cavalcade of speakers, because those were some unbelievable auditory hallucinations I experienced.  Wait, they were real?  The heck you say!

Mitt Romney?  Bat shit crazy.  There's just no other way to say it.  Well, yes, there is:

Mitt Romney seems to use the word "liberal" in a randomly pejorative fashion.  I half expect him to say "I was eating breakfast this morning, and my hash browns were all liberal.  I sent them back and told the waitress to bring me some good, conservative hash browns.

Damn skippy!  Next was Mike Huckabee.  For some reason, I like this man.  He seems like a really nice guy.  I think it's because he avoids much of the nasty rhetoric that the majority of the GOP spews.  He's still nuts though.  His speech was all rah-rah faith, troops, John-McCain-can't-raise-his-arms stuff, but it also included the single funniest moment I've witnessed in the political arena.  Funny how?  Well, I probably cannot do the story justice, so I urge those who have not seen it to watch the speech, but towards the end Huckabee told the story of an Arkansas school teacher who removed the desks from her classroom on the first day of school, and vowed that no student would get one until they knew where the desks "came from".

Now I'm listening to this and trying to figure how out how the manufacturing of desks at some factory bleeds into Republican policy, but then Huck revealed how the teacher revealed the answer: one by one she had a uniformed soldier walk into the classroom with a desk.  Get it?  It's the troops, man. The GOP "old reliable." All those times that the US went to war was about desks!  I never knew that!  It wasn't for freedom, or bashing Nazi oppression, or defeating communism (all noble causes for sure)-nope, just desks.  Millions made the ultimate sacrifice...for desks. 

Huckabee then thanked John McCain for spending all that time in the Hanoi Hilton, because it allowed him "to get a desk."  Huckabee said that he wanted to give McCain a desk of his own-the one in the Oval Office.

Of course now I picture a President McCain walking into the OO on his first day, seeing that there is an empty space were his desk should be,and bellowing in his best Ricky Ricardo "Huckabeeeeeee!!!!"

(Seriously, you have to watch or read the end of Huckabee's speech.  I am not doing it justice.  It was completely ridiculous, a perfect ten on the scale of unintentional comedy).

Next was the female governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, who stepped in it big time I thought when she took a dig at Joe Biden's home state of Delaware.  She mentioned that both Alaska and Delaware have the same amount of electoral votes (3) even though "you could fit 250 Delawares into Alaska."  Think about that.  Lingle is obviously inferring that Sarah Palin is better qualified to be VP because she's governor of such a large state while Biden represents tiny, tiny Delaware in the Senate. 

Her logic might be witty if electoral votes were awarded according to land area.  They're not; they're awarded according to congressional representation, which is determined by population.  So despite being 250 times smaller than Alaska, as many people (actually more) live in Delaware.  And this makes Palin more qualified how?  Because she governs more moose, salmon and glaciers?

It was almost Palin-time, but we had to suffer through Rudy Guiliani first.  Rudy is all teeth and 9/11 these days.  As to further make the point, the screen behind the stage featured a shot of the NYC skyline with the spot where the twin towers of the WTC centered perfectly.  Deep.  Guiliani was embarrassing; he openly mocked Obama's "only in America" story and made googly eyes at his voting record.  He is repulsive.  The less said about him the better.

By the time Palin emerged, I knew it was going to be all pit-bull, all the time.  She didn't disappoint.  She lied about Obama's record again and again, which was to be expected and didn't bother me so much.  What else was she there for really?  But one thing she did really irked me, and made me lose just about any respect that I could ever muster for her: she mocked Obama's time as a "community organizer" in Chicago-her exact quote was "I guess being a small town mayor is like being a community organizer except that you have responsibilities."

How dare she?  She was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a town of about 9000 people.  Obama worked in poor neighborhoods that might have had as many people living within a square mile.  And which area was less economically viable?

It was a bitchy comment, ignorant and unnecessary.  I spent about three years working at stores in the inner city (not as a community organizer, but a retail manager.  They were some of the highest performing stores I worked at, yet the inner city has challenges unique to other spots) and I can't imagine Sarah Palin working there.  She made Obama sound like a city worker who sleeps in his truck all day.  What's more, it is extremely insulting to the people who take pride in the places where they live, no matter the societal factors.  Palin told the world yesterday that it is far more important to be a mayor in rural Alaska than to work as an organizer in the inner city, that gun-owning hunters are more deserving of representation of inner city poor.

Remind me who is supposed to be elite in this race again?  And when was it written that being a mayor qualifies one for being president?  I grew up in a town with almost fifty thousand people.  Is the guy who was mayor throughout most of my childhood five times more qualified to be president than Sarah Palin?  He's about ninety now.  I wonder if McCain knew he was available?

And let's not forget Sarah Palin's family.  How could we?  They were plastered all over the TV during her speech last night, including the newest member, the boyfriend of the pregnant 17 year old daughter.  Talk about surreal: this dude (who looks like Joe from Blue's Clues, I think) has been whisked off on a whirlwind adventure from Alaska to the Midwest, getting to meet countless well-known GOPers and shake the hand of the Republican nominee for president. He gets rock star treatment for knocking up his girl friend! What do you think John McCain said to him on stage?  "Well done"?

Amazing.  Just try to imagine if Barack Obama'a eldest daughter was seven years older, pregnant, unmarried, and parading on stage at the DNC.  Tell me that the Republicans would not be all over it.  Go ahead.  I'm waiting.  Tell me that if the Obama's had a special-needs infant and insisted on having it passed around in full view of the cameras (and having a seven-year old sibling lick her hand to slick his hair back-ick) that they would not be vilified as using the baby as a "prop."

The same folks having aneurysms about Palin's family being attacked are the same ones who made sure to call him "Barack Hussein Obama," are the same people who swore that there was a video of Michelle Obama trashing "Whitey" and are the same folks forwarding e-mails that still suggest Obama is a Muslim.

Republicans live in the largest glass houses, and they also toss the largest stones.  They can't have it both ways.

Back to Palin: she did her job.  The VP is supposed to be the attack dog.  Never mind she contradicts her presidential running mate when she chastises both Obama and Biden for being senators only and therefore having no executive experience (like, um, say John McCain); never mind that she has no experience when it comes to national security in a time when the GOP swears that if they lose the White House that we are all going to die; never mind that she lies every time she says that she was against the infamous "bridge to nowhere."  She had them frothing last night, convinced that Obama wants to take all of your money, destroy America and kill every single conceived baby.

I have no idea what world I am living in anymore.  Maybe I did go through the windshield ten years ago.  Maybe.  I do know that I am skipping McCain tonight.  I'll read the speech instead.  I can't stomach hearing anymore of whatever Bizarro World I have been inhabiting lately.

03 September 2008

Pop Quiz

I am dealing with a feeling of sickness in my stomach that I've never quite felt before, nausea of indescribable measure, and almost--almost--feel like dying is a better option.  Have I:

1. Eaten a pound of raw oysters left out in the sun for half a day?

2. Spent the last week on a fishing boat in Antarctic waters without any Dramamine?

3. Watched five minutes of the Republican National Convention?

Who had two minutes in the "how long until the first time 9/11 is referenced at the RNC" pool?  You've won an authentic Alaskan Wilderness chastity belt.

Did you know that the GOP is now "The Party of Unwed Mothers"?  I actually heard someone say this on television.  He (of course it was a "he") was being serious.

There isn't enough Pepto Bismol in the world to save me.  Must...turn...off...TV...now...

01 September 2008

The gathering storm

This is one of those times when I know that I am about to write for two hours or so.  It's 12:31 as I begin.  Let's see where I end up.

The back is better for now, but it looks like I have a herniated disc, which means that some gelatinous goo has burst through the side of one of my vertebrae and is pressing up against a whole lotta nerve endings.  Rest and medication help, but nothing is guaranteed until I subject myself to a claustrophobic morning in an MRI on Tuesday.  I am back on planet Earth, at least for now, but for a few days there it felt like my back was a break away Soviet Republic and the Russian army was throwing all it had at it.  There were times where I felt like I had been tasered for about one month straight.  I am not looking forward to the possibility of re-visiting this type of pain anytime soon.  At least I can pick up Des again, for now.

I've had some time to further reflect on Obama's convention speech, and the same word comes to mind: presidential.  He's the one.  This might be the most profound difference among the two candidates in my lifetime.

The GOP is starting to implode.  Someone please explain to me why the RNC has to cancel most of their convention activities because of Hurricane Gustav hitting Louisiana; I don't get it.  It's not like the convention is in New Orleans, though I certainly would not have been surprised if they tried to have it there.  Remember how the Republicans couldn't wait to get to NYC for the 2004 convention so that they could tap dance all over 9/11 and Ground Zero? 

So McCain has decreed that tomorrow is nothing but business at the convention, which crushes me, truly, because both Bush and Cheney were supposed to speak in St. Paul tomorrow.  There are millions of Republicans praising the powers that be for delivering this hurricane, thus sparing the spectacle of the worst president/vice-president tandem in history from the thrashing that the media would have so deservedly given them. 

Perhaps you heard that in the build up to the Dems convention in Denver last week that several bigwigs from "Focus on the Family" (I feel so dirty even writing that) called for people to pray for "significant, torrential, historical" rain during Obama's speech at Mile High Stadium last week.  What better to way to establish the moral high rode through meteorological censorship?  It didn't work; the weather was perfect last Thursday night in Denver and Obama nailed his speech.  But hmm, less than a week after a significant rain event is bearing down on the one part of the country that surely doesn't need it.  How do James Dobson and his boys feel about that?  What a pity Jerry Falwell isn't still around to contemplate this.

Now McCain and his running mate (more on her, oh so much more, in a sec) are in Mississippi being briefed on what's being done in preparation for the storm.  Why?  Are they the head of FEMA now?  What could they possibly do to help?  McCain does have seven homes, remember, so surely he could help out and put up some folks who need to evacuate for a few days.  If Obama went to New Orleans today, he'd be vilified for getting in the way.  He's stayed for away, and rightly so.  The storm isn't about him, and it's not about the GOP.  Have your convention already; you couldn't possibly look more uncaring or inept than you did the last time New Orleans got hit.

Now, on to Sarah Palin.  I freely admit that before Friday I had no idea who this person was.  I thought Mitt Romney was going to be McCain's veep choice, but silly me: Romney is a Mormon, and much of the evangelical base don't like Mormons.  I never felt the rumors about Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman were worth taking serious despite their "strong" national security credentials (you do remember that if anyone but a Republican is in the White House that we are all going to die right?) because they also happen to be pro-choice.  Mickey Mouse could be McCain's running mate and he'd get more votes than a ticket with a pro-choice running mate on it.

I digress.  Enter Sarah Palin.  She's got guns.  She likes to eat moose.  And, most importantly, she is 44 years old and has an infant son who has Downs Syndrome.  The inference here is as large as the storm surge about to hit the bayou: she had a baby with Downs; she could have aborted it instead; she is a pro-life hero; ergo, she is qualified to be president of the United States.

Now let me clarify something here: I'm a cynical, cynical person who believes that each and every move on the presidential stage is carefully calculated, and since the abortion debate is so heated, I certainly believe that the infant son with Downs is being used as a thinly-veiled political pawn.

National security?  Over-rated.  Besides, according to Cindy McCain, Palin is qualified to be president because she is governor of the state closest to Russia. Good to clear that up.  By the way, Palin's oldest son is in the army and is being deployed to Iraq soon.  Remember, Joe Biden has a son who is being sent to Iraq as well.  Push.

Let's go back to the baby issue: how do I continue without sounding sexist?  I don't understand how a mother of four month old can leave the baby for the campaign trail, especially a baby with special needs.  I don't understand how any parent could; there is no way I would leave Desmond to spend eighteen hours a day campaigning all over the country for the next few months whether he had special needs or not.  Others have expressed that opinion, and combined with some other observations there is a rumbling starting that suggests perhaps that this baby is instead Palin's grandson, the son of her eldest daughter.  It's a lengthy story that can be read here, and I have to say that I am now inclined not to believe it.  However, it also brings up this point, which I believe is quite insane.  I am speaking to the issue with the airline flights.  Why would any mother who has already four kids and knows that the kid she is carrying now is special needs be so reckless with her decision making?  It seems more than a little risky to me, but apparently, Gov. Palin has a little bit of Russell Crowe in her.

Here's the deal: this whole thing is not about Sarah Palin.  It's not about a baby boy with Downs Syndrome (and the parents of the child deserve praise and respect for going ahead and having the little guy-while I'd like to think that I would make the same decision I will not judge anyone who actually has to do it).  It's not about anyone else but John McCain.  It's about his decision making process, how he didn't bother to recognize the potential land mines of his decision.

And I haven't even got into the offensive implications of how this pick assumes that Hillary Clinton supporters who are not thrilled by Barack Obama will now flock to McCain.

Almost at two hours.  I feel that this is terribly unorganized and unclear.  I have a feeling that Gustav isn't the only storm approaching.