Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
Ramona used to write nice feature pieces for newspapers and magazines, along with columns that, yes, got testy once in a while (Ronald Reagan was president. What could she do?) but were basically and overall nice.
But then. . .
. . .then came the hanky-panky and subsequent impeachment of Bill Clinton! Then Bush v. Gore! Hanging Chads! Katherine Harris! Supreme Court busy bodies! 9/11! War with Iraq! (Iraq??) The right wing! The religious right! The TEA PARTY, for God's sake!
Whatever she is today is the fault of all of the above. She is not to blame.
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe. Carl Sagan
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker
"Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow ... money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands" - Abraham Lincoln
It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. - John Steinbeck
As I write this my sense of humor is intact and waiting, as always, for something funny to happen. I can get tickled at the least little thing--adorable babies and clumsy dogs and tripping on sidewalk cracks--and I can howl at even the worst, god-awful jokes. I can't explain them and I've never been able to repeat them with any kind of comedic skill, but I know funny when I hear it.
I can say without even having to think about it that I've never laughed at a thing Rush Limbaugh has said or done. I don't get him. His performances are like those of a mean, out-of-control drunk who thinks everything coming out of his mouth is either hilarious or golden. He begins every riff quietly, taking his time, pausing, letting his words sink in, and builds to an awesome, wiggly, crazed crescendo. Oh, my God. Electrifying to dittoheads and the uninitiated. Wow! But to those of us who have been exposed to his antics for decades, they're nothing more than the usual carefully calculated theatrics. Ho hum.
That's what makes his latest rantings against a Georgetown University law student fighting her college's policies on insuring birth control aids so mystifying. His initial comments about this young female student were so breathtaking in their vile putridity, the reactions against them were, at last, refreshingly awesome and swift. Hundreds of thousands of people protested his words. Even his usual defenders could be seen slinking away from the ten-foot pole they wouldn't use to touch them. Yes! Limbaugh is a pariah! [Read more]
Rick Santorum didn't win in Michigan yesterday. That's the good news. The bad news is that Mitt Romney did. In a better world, the vote would have been for "NotOnYourLife", but we've come to accept that even those destined to be harmed the most by that bunch will vote for the one who promises to hurt them hard enough to leave scars.
Because Michigan is an open primary state, there was a push by certain of the left to make it a win for Santorum. The reasoning was that his relentless, escalating, off-the-wall, on-the-pulpit rantings would finally do him in and, come November, nobody in their right mind would vote for him. With Santorum in the race Obama would handily claim the prize.  [Read more]
The grandkids are visiting and have been here for almost a week, so any attempts at writing even a semi-serious blog have been totally wasted efforts. I would much rather be with my darlings anyway, but in order to keep my standing as a weekly blog columnist (something only I, apparently, care about) I pulled this out of the cyber-drawer where it's been sitting for a while. If you weren't expecting much, this should do it for you. I'm off now. See you soon.
I can't think of a time when I've ever agreed with Cal Thomas. I confess I don't seek him out, but when I see him on an occasional Op-Ed page I'll read him just to see what he's going to say that's going to infuriate me. I'm rarely disappointed.
So as he sat on a panel at this year's CPAC and said what he said about Rachel Maddow, I wasn't shocked. He was at CPAC with his own peeps. It was cool.
Hello, women of the Republican Party: Democratic female of the liberal persuasion here. I know it looks like we couldn't be any farther apart when it comes to ideology, but I know us. I know when it comes to the big issues--our futures and the well-being of the ones we love--we're sisters under the skin.
We should talk. I mean really talk. I don't mean the usual chit-chat, the talk about kids and work and what's for dinner. I mean about politics. When we're together we do everything we can to side-step the issue and it does keep us friendly, but you must have noticed that the upcoming presidential election is becoming the bull elephant in the room. [Read more]
(Breaking news: President Obama just moments ago provided a brilliant compromise to the contraceptive controversy, as I mention at the end of this piece. I wrote this before he made the announcement, but the arguments still hold and they bear remembering. These are the kinds of battles we'll go on fighting, and a major victory such as today's doesn't mean the war is over. Not by a long shot.)  [Read more]
Effective August 1, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act, most working women will have their contraceptives fully paid for, without a co-pay. That's the good news. The bad news (you knew there had to be bad news, right?) is that the unenlightened among us see it as nothing more than an unconscionable threat against virile manhood. Especially Catholic virile manhood.
We progressive types are working overtime these days marching, rallying, sitting, petitioning. We place ourselves prominently on Twitter (with our #p2, #OWS, and #CTL hashtags) and on Facebook. More and more of us have taken to writing political blogs. Our blogrolls feature other bloggers, other writers who work as hard or harder than we do in trying to sort out the truths behind America's astonishing decline and the Rightward drift that led us here. Our job is to route out the bad guys, to expose them and make sure justice take its course. Some days we actually think we're winning.
When the whole SOPA/PIPA blackout was going on, most of us, like the sheeple we are, just grabbed something someone else did and closed up shop, but The Oatmeal, like the creative peeple they are, got creative. You can see it here.
Carlsberg Beer, like the creative peeple they are, (I didn't know that about Carlsberg, did you?) pulled a stunt involving tattooed bikers in a movie theater. You can watch it here.
Here it is nearing the end of January and at long last, after 17 Republican debates--count 'em, 17!--we're down to two actual contenders and a couple of valiant bench-warmers. While Ron Paul and Rick Santorum work hard to make some headway, it looks like it's Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, neck and neck, fighting it out for a chance to clobber the current White House occupant and show this country what a real president looks like.