politics

The Politics of Dating

In Broadcasting, you collect a lot of unemployment and you end up out of desperation,  doing odd jobs for very odd people who really, really liked you on the air.   They almost only ever agreed to an interview just to see if one  looked  as hot as one sounded.     I made it through a couple of interviews….I guess that was because I was actually worthy of being the subject of  their fantasy; Laurinella, Queen of SultryVox, Land of CarboHydratia.    Eeewwwww.   I can remember having some of the creepiest temporary bosses.

Anyway, I was thinking back on my long  career and one particular  period of unemployment appeared front and center on ye olde memory banks or in my mammary banks according to some of my creepier bosses.

I’d been doing a little freelance work for a Houston magazine (heavy on the “free”, by the way).   Days earlier, my editor asked me what I wanted to do next in terms of a subject.

I told her that I really didn’t care–anything would be fine–I wasn’t picky. Whatever. I suggested  she throw out a couple of potential topics.

Right off the bat, she suggested I do an in-depth piece on the Interior Department’s finalized proposal to open 48 jillion  acres of previously off-limits land for oil exploration and drilling.

“Nah, that’s a little heavy. Too many facts and numbers”, I said. “But anything else would be fine. Really. I’m amenable to anything,  seriously.  Just name it.  What other topics do you have in mind?”

She then suggested that I write an article on Venezuelan despot, Hugo Chavez (he was still and alive and killing back then) and his ardent criticism of neo-liberal globalization.

I shook my head and told her no; too many abstract political principles. Nor was I in the mood to do a lot of boring research. Plus my head started to spin. I told her I’d do anything , ANYTHING but that.

She then suggested an overview of Nancy Pelosi’s first two years as Speaker of the House.

I vomited a little in my mouth, then suggested an overview of anything else.

She then told me of her idea for a story about the dating world for older Houstonians. (And by older, I mean age 40 and up)

I thought about it for a second: it had possibilities; some creative potential. There would be no mention of Hugo Chavez or Nancy P.  that I could think of and besides, I was a Houstonian over 40.

I told her I’d do it.

But I quickly learned that I wouldn’t be talking to older Houstonians trying to date. I’d have to become one of the older Houstonians trying to date.

The story, as it was conveyed to me, would be far more interesting if I participated in it. First person perspective.

As in, I should actually go out on a date.

Yeah, uh-huh.

A date.

I’m not even sure what constitutes a date in 2017 much less in what it was in 2008 when I was given this assignment,   Certainly not for a woman whose birth  predates Eisenhower’s incessant rants about then military- industrial complex.   

See, at the time, I hasn’t had a real by God date per se since December 2004.    I was Tin Man rusty and way off my game, but a few years earliermImhad some success at what I called “guerrilla dating”. I attacked it with Gunga Din-like precision; I had the enthusiasm of a Sandinista with new boots during the rainy season.

This was my M.O.—I’d get all tarted up and go to the nearest Barnes and Noble Bookstore (ALWAYS date a literate man and do brick and mortar book stores still esxist?).   I’d find a pretentious stack of books to stand near. If I saw a nice looking man, I’d grab a book and open it. Remember, the book really doesn’t matter, but the title and cover made all the difference .  Just make sure whatever you grab as a prop, makes you look intellectual and even a bit mysterious.

I remember on one occasion, I actually trained my eyes to go Marty Feldman. Seriously! One eye scanned the room looking for a mark, while the other focused on the book allowing me to feign interest in the Runic alphabet. I didn’t get that many dates, but I learned that Runic/Futhark is Runic for “how’s it hanging”.

That should come in handy if I’m ever going out with a holdover who’s lineage is that of the ancient Goths.

Still, I remember being nervous about all of it.  The dynamics of dating had changed since I last went out one a date four years prior.  Should I be worried I hadn’t changed enough to accommodate all the social changes? But surely, some of the basics were still in existence, right?

All the latest books and authors insisted that men and women have innate “hard wiring” that time can’t change.    They  wrote that it all goes back to that feral thing; when we lived in caves, communicated through grunts and screeches and were the mono-browed forebearers to that clever caveman Geico ad campaign eight years ago.

We all saw the movie, “Quest for Fire”, right?    We learned from that flick that prehistoric men looked at women and sized them up as breeding stock. They’d ask themselves, “Is she physically able to bare my progeny and propagate my DNA for generations to come?….Ugh!” If so, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the cave where he would proceed make a big carnal Mesozoic smack dab all over her Jurassic.

So, what’s changed?  Women still do as they did way back then; we look at every man and subconsciously wonder if “he’s the one?”  . We can’t help it. We want to know if these brave, hunter/gatherers can provide for our families.   And by that I don’t  necessarily mean bringing home a brontosaurus or fire..

But we’re older now, so more than likely, we’ll still size each other up, but for entirely different reasons.

Older men look at older women and hope that we can prepare a meal that’s either low or no sodium and we older women will be hoping that men will still be able to—–my God! Is that a crease in his pants or is that his prostate???

Oh yes, things have changed.

And what if sex enters the picture??? There are so many factors now in place that weren’t there years ago. I was 49 then…..(Jeez, really?????) and at the time inconvenienced with “free range” periods–they came and went as they pleased and usually at the worst times!    I had to deal with that, plus, there was the awkward issue of Cialis and Viagra; performance anxiety and feminine…. whatever.

There’s nothing scarier than a “first anything”. Especially a first date. You’ve got a 50-50 chance you won’t like each other physically and if that attraction isn’t there, you know it right off the bat. That’s not to say that perceived looks won’t change as you get to know each other, but rarely will a couple on their first date, ever feel that need and desire at the same time.

The truth is we’re older. Much older.

In fact, too damn old to be dating in the first place.   Writing about it would be fiction.    I’d be Steven Glass  Glass with a better rack.

This whole damn idea is nuts.  Completely insane.   I remember sweating, feeling nauseous and burping up something akin to sulfur.   I stayed at home in fetal thought when Inshould have been out researching and  writing this story.   All it resulted in were days of complete panic.     My editor must have sensed this.  She called to check on my progress.   I was honest.  I vomited my panic through the phone.

So, long story short, s few days lster  my piece on how Hugo Chavez’s disdain of neo-liberal globalization affected his dating rituals  was on her desk and ready to go to print.

Jeez……The things  we do for a paycheck.

,

The Political Cause Celeb For Kim Davis

The Kentucky County Clerk who was arrested for refusing to issue a same-sex marriage license due to her religious convictions,  is home.    She spent six days in an uncomfortable, cramped jell call, perhaps with Brawny Big Sal in the other bunk.     Wow.   Kim Davis is made of strong stuff.

But Kim Davis is also in violation of the law.  I say that feeling certain she shouldn’t have gone to jail for it either

Same sex marriages are on books.    The Supreme Court says marriage is an equal opportunity for all.      As someone elected to her post, she swore she to uphold the laws of the land, not her creed.   This isn’t s theocracy.

What it is, is her job as an instrument of the U.S. Constitution.  She has to put her religious paradigms on hold.    I don’t care if she’s a cloistered nun who’s a rabbi on the side with a son who’s a mullah.

If the possibility of Sharia law governing this country is appalling, overt Christianity should be a concern as well as.  The same applies to any other religious or societal factions, whether they be in the form of Kim Davis or for that matter, Morey Sclechtman, Mohammed Alabaster or recently engaged Misters James and Brad So-In-So.    There are some things you can decide for yourself…and some things you can’t.

Davis can be a conscientious objector, but to do so (in my opinion) means she must be willing to reach a compromise of some sort.  Well, the reason why Davis is out of jail is because she asked for and was granted an accommodation—-she’s not requesting same-sex marriages be outlawed, she simply doesn’t want her signature on any legal documentation.  It’s against what she personally believes, but that belief is an obstruction.

It didn’t need to get to this point.   It was completely unavoidable and its exhausting to watch.  It’s been a situation of extremes.   The judge who put Davis in the Bastille over-corrected.    The punishment didn’t fit the crime.   Plus, her past has been brought up and dragged through the mud.  She been married over and over, divorced amost  as any times.  As best I can tell, Davis Is a fairly recent convert to Christianity, Born Again as they say.     Some find solace and centeredness at the gym, in therapy, others find it in religio, all viable entrees to finding inner peace.    Groovy.     She, like everyone else, she deserves a life edit, a do over.   She has that— for now—but no doubt, someone will enter the picture and either politicize the shit out of it even further or shame and guilt society into seeing his or her version of moral righteousness.

But the long and short of it is as follows:  she didn’t have to go to jail, neither did she have to turn this into a statement which now has been polarized.    She should have respectfully disagreed  to sign the marriage certificate and if it possible, “deputize” a willing coworker for the brief time it takes add a signature to a document.    I don’t know how this got so crazy, who complained to who or what was the motivation.    I’m all for religious freedom, part of the constitutional bedrock of this country, but I don’t like martyrdom in any form or fashion.

This is why Non-politicians are being heralded this election season.    Everyone is tired of the rhetorical narrative spewed by the opposition.  I am this, I am that.   America needs this, it needs that.    PPfffffft.   Republican POTUS hopefuls, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz are both in Kentucky, Huckabee on on stage, arm in arm with Davis.   Cruz is somewhere in the crowd, taking selfies, to post if this mishegas becomes generally positive; or to delete just in case it all goes south.   Personally, I feel they’re making a vast political mistake by even contemplating a jump on this constitutional defiance bandwagon.  How can one legitimately run for a position which is  contingent upon upholding the  established laws of the parchment all the while saying it is bollocks to being with????

Then again, what the hell?   I personally don’t think either contender has or will ever have a realistic shot at winning the primary.   Maybe deep down they know this is true.   If Cruz or Huckabee are going down, they have a right to pick their blaze of glory, but invariably, these guys also have to know to they’ll burn someone  in the process.

Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation

I turned 55 last week. If we break that down, I was born in April 1959. I was four when JFK was assassinated, ten when Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. Thirteen during the fateful Munich Olympics. Fourteen at the discovery of Watergate break in. In graduated from High school in 1977. I was 20 when all those middle aged looking “college” students overtook the American embassy in Iran.

Chrome or Firefox can help you figure out the remaining milestones in my life.

Those helped me learn that More than 79 million children were born during the boom years between 1946 and 1964. And despite a definitive trailing off of stork deliveries between 1958 and 1964, babies were a bumper crop. As a side notes, I hardly EVER meet people my own age. Advances in birth control perhaps……more saltpeter in the diet.

Anyway.

Essentially, what this means is that I’m at the very tail end of the storied baby boomer generation, that post war period in which our fighting boys came home from the Pacific and European Theaters to a country of burgeoning prosperity, growth and massive randiness. Lots of babies were conceived to the dulcet tones of Harry James, The Ink Spots, Elvis, Patsy Cline, Puccini and countless others who performed all the many languages of love…..even the sweaty operettas that were the one white stands.

I’ve had many discussions with people born two years ahead of me and three years behind me. Most agree that our years under the boomer heading left us feeling undefined and lacking a purpose.

Those born in 1946 to 1954 got to be Hippies. Peace, love, dope were ways they “countered” the Vietnam war. Protests in front of the university’s administrative office and eventually taking it over was the order of the day. Tossing a Molotov cocktail in the ROTC building and watching it burn, baby burn. Getting gassed by the National Guard when a gathering for draft card burning became a bonfire. They defied their parents and grew out there hair, wore the weirdest clothes and attempt to live in their version of Utopia, no rules, just love…..and lots of it.

The problem is, perfect worlds take work and these communes needed money. Nature can sustain but it’s a helluva lot easier to buy the seeds and the equipment needed for everything to take root. An all for one and one for all mind set has it’s merits, but not in a practical across the board application, not in a working self sufficient commune. They ‘re still around I know, but would guess they number in the tens….if that much.

The basic structure of a fully functioning society currently and always will consist of leaders and followers and with any luck at all, the followers get to decide who these leaders are in office

And when they must leave said office

Then, suddenly with crows feet and receding hairlines comes insight and awareness.

We traded the tie/dye for Brooks Brothers and Ferragamo and thought to,ourselves, “Gee, there’s something to this capitalism stuff. This Madison Avenue gig sure beats helping Arlo and his old ladies, Moonbeam and Starlight slop hogs back at the commune. And yet, we’re still groovy people so communal living can work……but for a profit; as apartment complexes, but instead of working for the common good, tenants “pay”to live there”. They’re on their own for everything else.”

“Cool, no more mass feedings And guess what? This college degree thing is helping me make money!!!! That shit is more magic than mushrooms!!!

“And we need to make all of this happen with cars of our own. Our own stereo equipment, fabulous furnishings An the occasional four cocktail lunch at Trader Vic’s is nice. ”

Growing our own food turned into trips to the supermarket and if we still felt compelled, climate permitting, all we needed was the occasional trellis of tomatoes growing on the balcony of the 24th floor two bedroom/2 bath apartment on the Upper Eastside.

We were entrapped by the trappings. We became the very thing we tried to convince ourselves we weren’t. The Establishment.

And so it goes.

I was too young to be a hippie. It might have been in the generation that gave birth to them, but I didn’t feel apart of the chaos, which really didn’t change things. I watched the Sixties unfold on the nightly news. President Johnson kept sending troops and the North Vietnamese kept sending them back to us in body bags. I got the fact that this war felt futile. I remember looking up where Vietnam on the map. Texas is bigger, I thought. And at the same time, I didn’t see civil disobedience helping the country return to peacetime any faster either.

I heard my father’s views on the the war, Commie Pinkos and damned grass smoking Hippies and crazy women who went braless; How LBJ looked like an opossum and Nixon seemed sleazy. And the more criticism I heard, the more I wanted to be one of these, cool, indignant, stand up people. In tried. At 12, I bought peace symbol,patches and black light posters and a cool mobile with the word, “moratorium” in neon letters hanging down.

Moratorium? Isn’t that stage thing at a school with seating?????

But as I said, my timing was off…..as were my verbal skills.

I entered High School in the fall of 1973.. Troop withdrawal from Vietnam happened in ’75. Nixon left office shortly after that, then came the American Bi-Centennial and after that, we welcomed in the insidious disco era and with that came THEE ugliest clothing style EVER.

By the time I graduated from HS, there weren’t any grandiose causes. Sure there was Save The Whales effort, the ecology, inflation, gas shortages, feminism struggled and while that worked to a degree, women still make less than men, but by God, Title 9 allowed us femmes to participate in sports. Strides were made but that which didn’t work, didn’t prompt mass protest.

Why?

A couple of years ago the Hipsters decided socialism was the order of the day so the Occupy movement began…..then ended. There was a fair degree of good ol’ 60’s style anarchy at the WTO protests in Seattle a few years ago and every once in a while you see protest marches, picket lines, union disputes rear their heads, but nothing like that which happened on a daily basis on college campuses and outside political conventions 45-49 years ago.

Why is that? Why do we no longer go all Abbie Hoffman and The Weather Underground over issues?

Protests do work. Women and African Americans can vote and are offered the same freedoms as everyone else thanks to the bravery and bloodshed of those who dared to take on the mysogenists and the bigots.

Union demands are met with walk outs by the members. Am organization can’t make money is no one is running the factory, but that only benefits the members. Very often the rest of us have to pick up the tab fir their pay increases. Unfair??? Only if you choose to look at it that way.

Your piece of the pie is out there, but please understand once and for all YOU have to bake the damn thing yourself. Baking a pie takes time and the right ingredients. It’s a labor of love. But as in life, work, effort the driving force to make it a pie rivaling anything Martha Stewart could create.

But I do believe what we learned from the Hippie era was valuable. They, like every other know-it-all generation eventually grew up. Being hip doesn’t help the new titanium one that you had to surgically inserted a few weeks ago feel any better. We’ve grown up. Time mellows us all. Logic infused by mature reality replaces ideals.

Now don’t get me wrong; to rise up for a Common Cause is great, but what do protests and huge rallies with placard holding hordes of people shouting rhyming insults en masse do today, other than make great headlines?

I appreciate everyone who devoted their time and in some cases, their lives to causes that brought about true change and forced a nation to stop, rethink and rewrite it’s Constitution.

I appreciate the Peaceniks and Pacifists. Change can come by a persistent belief in a cause through non violent means.

But this is America and still a Democracy when I last checked. We thrive in a free market system. Capitalism. Free speech, the right to assembly within limits. L-I-M-I-T-S. Everyone has the chance to grab the brass ring of his or her making. Individual “failure to launch” in its truest form, is the fault and the responsibility of the person.

Lots of things contribute to bad economic times. The fault lies everywhere; In big business, sure— corporate greed is real, but not destructively rampant. If so, there would be repeats of Enron and World Com happening every day. Do corporate giants play a role? Only to a degree. They get away with what they’re allowed to get away with. Wall Street isn’t entirely to blame for the whole magilla, neither is Big Oil or Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Banking. All the problems start , as they have and always will—in Washington. The lawmakers there are the ones who allow tax breaks for corporations, these are the people who allow subsidies, who make the laws that work for some, while impeding others. Laws are the unfair way to keep us equal. And we as a citizenry put lawmakers in office, we actively chose the people, these professional politicians and their federal regulations. Washington is a mess. It’s in dire need of deep analysis and meds. Lots of meds. Thorazine drip time.

The next time you want to participate at a sit-in in a bank lobby or fire bomb a building or go out and fight the forces that were sent there to keep you from getting violent in the process of exercising your free speech, stop and think. Save for the glorious triumph of Civil Rights and certain other causes, protests—a la the Chicago 7—-don’t work. Not like they did or ver did, for that matter. These bloody, anger fueled rages didn’t bring US troops home any sooner. Whales are still being killed, the ecology is still gasping for clean air, as is the economy.

As Dorothy learned from Glenda, The Good Witch, you hadthe power the entire time.

The next time you want hope and change, vote…not only at the ballot, but with your wallet. Affect the bottom line if anyone or anything bothers you that much. In this day and age, refuse to buy a product because you disagree that its manufacturer has relocated its headquarters in a country ruled by tyrannical regime. Or they dont hire homosexuals or ban prayer from the classroom.

Then take it one step further by voting against then governmental tool who allowed the move and grant the tax break it guaranteed.

Vote people in and out of office, refuse to purchase certain things made by companies whose policies you despise…these things are the new Molotov cocktails. Do this and embrace your own version of a scorched policy.

Trust me, someone will get burned.

“Game Change”

Last weekend, I watched the HBO movie about the GOP’s effort to get John McClain and Sarah Palin,  his Vice-Presidential running mate to the White House back in 2008.

I watched it a few times to make sure my perceptions of the movie and its subject matter were real and not some knee jerk reaction to all that the Sarah Palin character was portrayed.    Because I’ll tell you what, the movie aside, I immediately disliked this woman the second she became a public figure in the Lower 48.

Why?   I’ve been asked that repeatedly by Libs and Righties alike.   My answer has always been that I have no explanation.   It was just this visceral reaction I had when I first laid eyes on her.  It was automatic; instantaneous.   I didn’t find her to be this  breath of fresh air that others did.  I didn’t find her necessarily smart or poised and her folksy ‘doggone rights” , the incessant “you betcha’s”  and dropping the ‘g’ in every word endin’ in i-n-g drove me crazy.    It still does whenever I hear her in an interview setting.   My one defense is that I can’t stomach listening to her for more than a few seconds before the automatic reflect of desperately seeking the TV remote in order to change the channel takes over.  I’d rather watch a Marie Osmond Nutri-System infomercial in Spanish with Greek subtitles.

I say this while being a moderate Republican, if such a beast exists.

And since I do have a degree of  party allegiance and that said,  I will admit that I think Palin was treated unfairly to a degree.  In her defense, I think questions were asked of her that would never have been asked of a man or  for that matter, Hillary Clinton either.    And Palin from what I understand was asked some whoppers.  From queries about the state of her amniotic fluid during her pregnancy with Trigg, her special needs baby, to  “How can a woman with five children–one with special needs–offer a needy nation the attentive governance it deserves?”    The National Organization for Women didn’t come to her defense because she wasn’t a Liberal.   The fact that she was a woman meant nothing.   She wasn’t ‘their’ kind of woman.  She was/is was the antithesis of everything NOW supports.   She’s hetersexual;  religious– a fundamentalist Christian to be exact.   She was/is staunchly opposed to abortion, loves the right to bear arms and loves shooting moose or elks or .    She’s pretty in a sterile, antiseptic way, but outer beauty can sugar coat an arrogant core only so much.   And she’s always come across, to me at least, as exceedingly arrogant.

Well, nice or not…..arrogant or not, I think she is relatable only to those who share her beliefs at their deepest level.  Otherwise, Sarah Palin can be as politically offensive to Lefties as Hillary Clinton is to Conservatives.   But, I will say in this woman’s defense,  I don’t doubt that there were liberties taken with the Palin character in Game Change, but something tells me generally speaking, it wasn’t that much of a stretch. I have a feeling that she was probably quite a handful and arrogant and annoyingly defiant to McCain staffers–to the point there were prepared resignation letter was always within their reach.   I would imagine that the movie made some viewers, especially those who lived and breathed the McCain/Palin campaign,  feel uncomfortable and awkward because  it was far more ON the mark than it wasn’t.  It was, at times, awkward and uncomfortable for me to watch.

I saw the original Katie Couric interview.  The movie’s recreation was just as gut wrenching.

Make no mistake–I think a woman can be a Vice President.   A woman can be President….BUT….the woman whose campaign I would not only support but donate to generously,   would have to be that of a candidate who’s this perfect amalgam of smarts and personality, independence, wit  and brazen fearlessness.

And not so politically myopic.

I’m talking about a melding of Hillary Clinton, Palin, Erma Bombeck,  Flannery O’Connor and maybe even a smidge of Kristin Wiig thrown in as sorbet when the other personalities in this seven headed political Hydra  become overpowering and warrant necessary  pallet cleansing.

I don’t know how many of us middle-roaders are out there but I feel sure we’re outnumbered by  Palin fanatics and most assuredly, the Obama minions.    Both are revered by their legions and both have legions of loons.

In closing, I just don’t like Palin.   I’m definitely not a fan of Obama  and I definitely DO NOT like  lima beans either, but the best thing about my personal legume dislike, is when people find out about it,  I’m not given the third degree to find out why nor are there attempts to get in my face and tell me why I’m wrong for feeling as I do.

Here’s the deal:  I know what I know;  I feel what I feel.

I’m also very much aware of  what I don’t feel.

Had the concept been edible, the FDA would have recalled it immediately.Besides, what does it matter?    This November, I’ll probably end up voting for a bean anyway.   What choices do I have?   One candidate is a has-‘bean” whose religious based stance on certain issues makes me  uncomfortable (yeah, I said it) and the other is a mysterious hypocritical beanificiary of some crazy puppet masters  and master fabricators with enough money to have created the illusion of all that storied  “hope” and “change” we’ve been hearing about and waiting for it to materlize.  It’s the very ‘hope’ and ‘change’ that are now represented by nothing but faded, crumped, four-year old campaign posters.

Beans, beans the political fruit………

The HPV Controversy

I was a news reporter for years and when I wasn’t reporting it, I anchored  newscasts.  I was inundated with news..I was swimming in it daily, which left me feeling news water-logged. As result,  I rarely watch the news these days which means I am completely out of the loop and oh so unenlightened.   Frankly, I’d rather keep it that way. 

So, when a friend sent me an email about the recent GOP debates and how Michelle Bachman tried to rip Texas Governor, Rick Perry a new one for signing an Executive Order in 2007  requiring middle-school girls to get vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, known as HPV, I decided to get involved with this story.    I mean, I am a native Texan and vested in all things Texas.  And once involved, I tend to get into the facts and wallow in them.

And here’s what I’m wallowing in these days.

It’s been proven that HPV vaccinations prevent some 70 percent of the instances of cervical cancer in women.    Recent evidence also supports giving the vaccine to young men — to protect their sexual partners and the men themselves from  warts.   But here’s the deal and what probably motivated Perry’s decision, at least in part:  the vaccinations have to be given to young people before they’re exposed to the virus, which means before they are sexually active. The vaccine is substantially more effective in girls aged 9 to 11 than in older girls or young women.

 Why didn’t Bachman know this BEFORE thinking the vaccine info would be a salvo that could sink Perry’s ship, The USS GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.     She’s misguided in her thinking that this vaccine might give young women the impression that it’s okay to have sex at an early age?   The  prevention  of genital warts with a link to cancer could possibly serve as a motivation to hop in the sack????

I think not, especially since there are so many other STD’s out there that can kill you….not to mention the kind of death that can occur when an angry dad gets even angrier that his 15-year-old is pregnant by some pimple- faced, 16 year-old metal shop reject.   

I doubt seriously Bachman really cares about the young girls of Texas or HPV or its link to cancer.   She merely used that in an attempt to take the political spotlight off  Perry and instead paint him into a very ugly corner.    She used the vaccine as a prelude to an upper cut.  

BACKGROUND:  The Texas Legislature shot down Perry’s attempts to mandate the vaccine.  A  major beneficiary of the order would have been the drug company Merck, which manufactures the vaccine Gardasil, and employed former Perry  Chief of Staff, Mike Toomey as a lobbyist.    Merck  has also made a series of small contributions to Perry’s campaign over the years–in amounts in the neighborhood of $3000 each time.   Not a huge amount by any means.

Perry has expressed regret for attempting to implement a vaccine mandate through executive order and offers a simple explanation for why he tried in the first place.

He said, “I hate cancer.”   A spokesman for the governor’s presidential campaign, said the whole incident stemmed from Perry having “erred on the side of life.”

That was actually a move well-played by Perry.  He’s been a staunch supporter of “right to life” issues here in Texas and by claiming his intentions were life based, keeps him viable  and makes this “political hiccup” one more easily shoved under the rug,  providing, of course, you support Perry.  And even if you don’t support Perry, you HAVE to admit that on this matter, Bachman is wrong and Perry is right…even if technically he made the correct decision  allegedly for all the wrong reasons.  But this decision, regardless or how or why it was reached would have saved lives in the long run.

As for Perry, No other state has implemented a HPV policy as aggressive as the one Perry tried to put forward in Texas. The connections between Toomey and  Merck should make one think and yes, even  force  questions about Perry’s decision-making.    But it hasn’t….not really.  

A source within the ranks of religious Republicans  said he hasn’t  heard a tweet, a peep or a comment about HPV anywhere and to him, that means there’s growing consensus among the leaders in evangelical circles, that Rick Perry is the best candidate.

As for Bachman?  Well, she won’t let the matter die and considering the backlash, she really should.  Yet, she still contends,  days after the debate that Perry abused his power as governor  and rewarded political donors, just like President Obama. 

“It’s wrong to abuse executive authority with unilateral action, and of course the governor of Texas admitted as much that he made a mistake,” Bachman told reporters after holding a recent rally in Costa Mesa . “People don’t want a president or a governor making decisions based on political connections. It’s wrong.”

And to make matters worse, it’s been reported that  Bachman supposedly linked the vaccine to mental retardation.  Medical experts had a fit over that comment and soundly disputed the claim, calling it both irresponsible and dangerous.  According to the CDC, even among people who have the most severe reactions, the vaccine does not cause cognitive disability whatsoever.

Bachman has repeatedly refused to back down, saying she’d heard from a mother whose daughter experienced such a reaction.

“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist. I was just relating what the woman had told me about her daughter,” she said.

When asked if she’d apologize, she said she wouldn’t answer that question.  

Oh really???   And why not???????    Man, talk about picking a very unwise battle. 

Again, I will reiterate– I’m a Texan, but  NOT a Perry advocate and I like Bachman even less.  She seems rife with artiface…like  a Disney creations’ one of those automons in the Hall of Presidents at Disney Land,  but much less life-like.    And I feel she really stepped in it this time.  It’ll be Perry, not Bachman who’ll triumph here in the end.  Perry will more than likely come out of this smelling like a  rose, Bachman will be lucky if she can emerge smelling as good as a Skunk Cabbage.    Which trust me, is vile.

Now, there are people who might not get vaccinated, all because they listened to an ignorant presidential hopeful  who decided an unfounded comment from a woman she didn’t know was good enough info on which she could launch her attack.   

And make no mistake;  that she attacked Perry was fine.  That’s  political strategy; what she used as weaponry was incredibly  irresponsible.  She should be ashamed of herself. 

Michelle Bachman  may be the Tea Party’s darling, but it’s going to be tough towing the party line and repeating the necessary rhetoric to stay on top, with her own  foot in her mouth. 

Frankly, I hope it stays there.  More lives might be saved.

More Thoughts On Osama’s Death & Its Aftermath

I’m starting to hear people bemoan the fact that Osama bin Laden was shot when unarmed; that he wasn’t captured alive and tried for all eight zillion of his crimes against humanity, thus allowing mankind to witness due process and then ultimately his death  either strapped to a gurney drifting off to that big sleep or dangling in that “tell-tell way” from some gallows near The Hague.   So, he wasn’t armed…so what? Did just under three thousand innocent souls at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon have anti-aircraft artillery at their disposal when they were killed on a balmy September Tuesday ten years ago?

If a man ever needed dyin’, he did —Singer/Songwriter Lobo, from his 1971 hit, “Indiana Wants Me”
This was justice; swift street  justice.  Short and sweet.  The ultimate (and literal)  eye for an eye.   Osama bin Laden lived by the Soviet assault rifle,  it was fitting he died by an American one.
 
What scares me is this sinking feeling I have and have had since news broke that Osama had been killed. I fear that Osama’s death will become one gigantic recruiting tool for al Qaeda. Everyone in DC knows this; hell everyone on the planet knows this. As I see it, killing Osama in retaliation for 9/11 and a host of other bloody terrorist attacks is as much psychological as it is anything else. For Americans, anyway. But outside our borders? Well, I don’t foresee this show of intel, fire power and precision marksmanship doing much to restore our global reputation. In fact, I fear it’s already accomplishing the contrary. Osama’s death is incendiary and will be on many levels for some time to come in the extremist’s world.  In  ordering Osama’s death, I fear this decision will place more innocent people in the crosshairs of every radical, West loathing Muslim extremist on the planet.    And really,  will this help Obama politically?
 
Ask Bush to regale you with his memories of bombing Bagdad on his own accord and then ask him about approval points domestic and globally after that. I fear we have cut ourselves off at the knees even further in the Arab world and that fear, grows larger everyday. Sure, there are sleeper cells in this country and Obama with his ridiculous open border policy has in effect, continues to welcome them with open arms. But my biggest concern are those homegrown sympathizers who can figure out how to rig a nail and shrapnel-filled backpack to explode via a timer or remote control in a crowded mall….on a busy subway platform….at a packed NBA playoff game this summer.
 
Many folks on both sides of the political fence are thinking this will do nothing but elevate the President in the eyes of his fellow Americans–something he’s desperately needed. Let’s take a look at this, shall we??? The Osama body dump means and Obama ratings bump. We’re talking something like 13 points and an average presidential bump lasts about an average of 22 weeks.  The experts say the Osama lead Obama bump will probably run through next year BUT ONLY if the economy improves, offering a one/two punch of good presidential tidings. I can’t blame Obama for using this as I know he will; as his sword of Oval Office righteousness…even as a means to convince the Right that he’s a no-nonsense, stick to his work kind of guy who just happened to accomplish in three years in office what George W. Bush couldn’t in eight.
 
Some question the timing in all of this.  In all honesty, I don’t. I suppose it was all a matter of having to act NOW. Obama probably had one rock solid opportunity to get this man and he needed to execute the plans based on that intel, which as we all know, is fleeting and often flawed. But right or wrong, that opportunity was Sunday, May 1st and it was a risky chance Obama took. I’ll give him that much because come on…let’s face it: Osama was an elusive little bugger.  He also made a gutsy call to shoot as opposed to bomb.   Kudos for his choice of precision, but as for making this out to be ALL about politics and more specifically timing? Frankly, I don’t see how timing comes into play, especially since Obama would have been much better served had the Navy Seals delivered a stiff, room temperature Osama bin Laden, a little bit closer to the first Tuesday in November of 2012.
 
So, there you go.   Political ploys and political highs never last.   Bush 41 had it,  enjoyed it….then lost it.  Clinton had it….and lost it as did Bush 43 in the weeks and months following 9/11.   The reality is,  we’re too devoted to our political affiliations; to the point we’re unwavering and we’re  too critical of our presidents to allow them to rest on their laurels for any length of time.
 
But really, it’s more than that.  You see, Osama bin Laden’s death is big now; but what will its magnitude be in about 17 months from now?  Sure, what happened on September 11th will never leave our collective consciousness, nor should it, but I assure you, unless you lost a friend or family member in the terror attacks or in the military lead firefights that followed it,  9/11 won’t be  in the forefront of our daily thoughts.  The man who’s been out of work for 23 months  isn’t going to care much about bin Laden’s death or who ordered it. He only cares about feeding his family.   The educated single mother of three in Cleveland, a prime example of the country’s working poor, doesn’t qualify for federal assistance, because as broke as she is, still makes too much. She won’t care one iota whether bin Laden is dead or alive,  nor will the family of a cancer patient in Tacoma who had to wait way too long for what amounts to socialized medicine to kick in to get chemo. His malignancies killed him before that ever happened. 
 
“It’s the economy stupid.”
 
And yes, it is.  
 
In the grand scheme of things, presidential bumps don’t matter and they never have when the American people are struggling.   And we are. People often vote with their pocketbooks, which these days are empty.   The economy is horrible and Obama promised to fix it and he hasn’t and he won’t–and no, not even this magical, mystical dark skin Jinn can, not with all that AND the GOP’s “Deficit Reduction” (economic growth inhibiting) strategy nipping at his heals.  In Obama’s defense,  I don’ think anyone can repair much of anything at all.  I hate feeling this jaded, but that’s where I am.
 
In closing, the reality is Bin Laden is dead,  which truly is great and all, but can this euphoria last long enough “to matter” politically?
 
By November 2012, I doubt seriously if anyone will give a damn.
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It’s Been A While

And it has…in terms of my mocking our President. 

So, I figure I’m due.  Besides, didn’t I promise that I’d return to blogging if the subject matter merited it?   And in this case, it does.  I feel that I have A-Material.

Let’s start at the start, shall we?

Our first offering:  a real, by God obituary notice from Rome, GA:

The technology of Photoshop was MADE for poking fun at politicians, it seems.  No politician is immune to it, nor should they be.

Behold!!!   The other Obama Girl.

Che what???   Obama Guevera.

Fab…Gear…Mod

Obama FINALLY scores with Hillary.

Some would argue that this card expires in November 2012.

Is Obama just a ‘one hit’ wonder??????

And finally, I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, waiting for just the right time to use it.  And even though the homeless GOLDEN THROATED  Ted Williams isn’t in the news as much as he was a few months ago, this is still quite applicable in the hoot department.  What’s funny is that I can actually see the genetic mutation er, uh…combination.

Scary.

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