Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Pelosi’

Sometimes, I think about doing things I’ve wanted to do for years but couldn’t for any number of legitimate reasons. Like, I want to drive across the U.S. from Seattle to New York. I’ve done the Southern thing and the Heartland drive, but that was when I was younger and drove like a bat out of hell to reach my destination.

Now, I’m in a more leisurely frame of mind. I want to meander. Like a lot of things, though, there’s a hitch. Embarking on a trip like I have in mind is just a boring drive unless there is someone else along to share the driving and chat about the sights along the way.

Unfortunately, everyone today is busy making a living, except one of my cousins, who likes to catch snakes and make durable goods out of snakeskin. I’m afraid the guy would want to pull over somewhere in Wyoming and tromp through the brush looking for a rattler. I have absolutely no desire to drive down the main street of Cheyenne with a bunch of rattle snake skins flapping from a side view mirror. So, on this fantasy, the drive is still alive but my cousin is out.

In addition to cruising across the scenic U.S., I have other adventures in mind. Here are a few.

  • Pack a sky diving parachute for Michelle Bachman
  • Bungee jump in tandem with Lady Gaga
  • Referee a cage fight between Nancy Pelosi and John McCain
  • Become a long haul big rig driving philosopher-disk jockey
  • Light the fuse on the first manned space flight to Mars
  • Dance with the Stars
  • Be attacked in an elevator by Diane Lane
  • Write, produce, direct, and star in a movie of my life
  • Develop a political ideology based on E=MC2, where E equals Extraneous Gas, M equals Open Mouth, and C equals the Speed of Flapping Lips. In plain English—Extraneous Gas equals Open Mouth times the Speed of Flapping Lips Squared
  • Perform miraculous, life-altering brain surgery on John Boehner on the day the anesthesiologist calls in on sick leave

Okay, those are some of my fantasies. What are a few of yours?


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Open Salon recently put out a call for the sexiest man living. That’s patently unfair to heterosexual males like me because we don’t look at other men as sexy. Speaking only for myself, I view men in general as dorks. There’s no hotness, no sexiness to a dork.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is no dork. She is sexy as all get out and has more balls than most men I know. She’s strong and independent, with nerve above that of Nancy Pelosi, my runner-up selection in case a sex-tape of Sarah and Levi Johnston pops up.

Sarah epitomizes your American ideal of maleness. She’s an outdoorsman par excellence, a hunter, a fisherman, a camper, ready at a moment’s notice to fight a salmon until it tires and then slap it skin, bones, eyes, and entrails over an open-fire or eat it raw.

She definitely dominates the landscape around her, exuding charisma by the bucketful. Beside her, John McCain is a wizened, shriveled shadow of a real man. If I could bottle and sell her essence, I’d be a millionaire in short order.

And talk about testosterone, it shines from her forehead like a glinting diamond, catching the eye and holding it until she disappears from view.

As far as outward physical attributes go, she has an amazing skull. With her prognathous jaw, heavy brow, deep-set eyes, high cheekbones, and ruby red lips, she signals her genetic superiority to all potential mates.

Put all of the above together with a pair of legs to die for, and you have Sarah Palin as My Sexiest Man Living.

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I confess straight up and down that I didn’t watch much of Barack’s speech yesterday. I was too engrossed in the audience.

There was Turncoat Joe, sitting up front somewhere with his classic just-been-hit-in-the-forehead-with-a-rubber-mallet vacant stare, silly grin and all. Sure, he hugged Barack later, but that was just another blatant example of his opportunistic sincerity.

And then Senator Shelby of Alabama. He just stared down at his desk or something, like a sixth grader waiting for the recess bell to ring. To refresh our memories, Shelby not too long ago wandered through fields of poppies and came out wondering if Obama was really qualified to be the President. Then, when someone asked him if he really believed what he had said, he parsed and ‘splained until he worked himself around to his original statement. I think he was tripping through Oz for sure and I bet it galled him that he had to look upward from his seat at Obama behind a kingly dais.

Not to mention Sarah Palin’s ex. Ole John Boy sat there indolently like a Navy captain sneering at some poor seaman. Isn’t it odd that when we think of John, the first image that pops up in our minds is of Sarah as a Miss Alaska Runner-up?

And who could fail to notice Madam Pelosi, even more elevated than Barack, cheering him on with such enthusiasm that at one point she leaped out of her chair and exhorted the crowd to cheer and clap in the manner of a high school cheerleader? This is the same Madam Pelosi who, not long ago, warned Barack that he and Joe better not impinge on her turf. And who, before that, seemed enthralled with GB II’s Iraq war spending. (Note that I did not capitalize the word “war” or classify the operation over there as a real war. I view Iraq as one battle in a larger war, the war for hearts and minds, which we rapidly began losing with the ascendancy of Rush Limnbaugh to the shadow office of Uber-President.)

As for the speech itself, presidential speeches serve many purposes, paramount among them rallying the party and instilling a sense of public confidence in the President. Obama certainly achieved the latter. In a day-after poll, the percentage of those confident in him and his abilities hovered at 91 percent.

Presidential speeches also function as a road map for the nation. They envision the President’s goals and his means of achieving them (programs, e.g.). In the latter sense, only time will tell. A great deal will depend on a cooperative Congress as well as an improving economy. Not all events and outcomes are at the President’s pleasure. However, I am optimistic that Obama’s vision will trump Bobby Jindal’s any day.

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One of our esteemed California Senators, Dianne Feinstein, was prominently on display during Barack Obama’s inauguration as our 44th President. Ordinarily, that would be a meaningless occurrence except as a photo op. But Dianne was one of the Democratic Senators who voted in favor of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General in the Bush Administration, even though Mukassey testified before Congress that he didn’t know if waterboarding is torture or not.

Dianne’s rationale for supporting Mukassey seemed odd. Mukasey admited that he is as dumb as dirt. Why would Dianne want a person in office who lacked the smarts to read a comic strip much less the U.S. Constitution? Well, she said, the Office of Attorney General has been vacant too long. The office neededs an effective leader.

We all agreed then and agree now with the second part, but the office had effectively been without leadership for the past seven years at the time of Mukassey’s hearing. So, what’s another year? Why couldn’t Dianne have waited for a new president? Only Dianne can answer the question and she doesn’t seem inclined to expand on her original “reasoning.”

However, if she wants a few facts to help her see the light, I refer her to Evan Wallach who wrote a compelling opinion piece for the Washington Post about waterboarding titled Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime.

As an ex-Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the Nevada National Guard, he cited a number of legal precedents for the argument that torture in general and waterboarding specifically are illegal under both U.S. domestic law and international law.

He recounted the case of two American soldiers court-martialed in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American War for waterboarding two Filipino guerillas.

He also described in detail the process of waterboarding and its effects on the victims, including excerpts of testimony from the records of the Tokyo War Crimes Trial by two Americans who were waterboarded by Japanese interrogators during World War II.

And as late as 1983, a federal jury convicted a Texas sheriff and three deputies of civil rights violations for waterboarding a prisoner. The four were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

These are sketchy examples, to be sure, but the point is that waterboarding has a long history of illegality and any fool ought to know it. Maybe the fools in Congress didn’t, but clearly, the legal record cannot be ignored by any rational person. Not only is waterboarding a form of torture, United States courts have consistently held it to be a crime.

Now, today, we have Dianne Feinstein standing next to Obama and acting as if the whole thing never happened. And right in there among the power group was Nancy Pelosi who has vowed to take no crap from the commander in chief. Plus, there was Barbara Boxer in the mix. She’s an enigma to me, but if she follows in the footsteps of her Bay Area cohorts, look out, Barry.

We ought to be scratching our heads at the thought of any lawmaker waffling over the issue of torture. We further ought to be perplexed at Nancy for her sudden display of guts after her possum-like career as Speaker of the House of Representatives when Bush was President. And we need to watch Barbara Boxer closely for signs that she may have decided to join the Opposition Wing of the Democratic Party.

Then when election time rolls around, all good citizens should take into account any and all recalcitrant behavior by these individuals. If one or more of them stands for any future political office, whether the office is another term as a Senator, a Representative, the Governor of California, or dogcatcher, the voters should summarily dispatch one or all to the furthest reaches of political purgatory as the evidence may suggest.

I realize that America is in a joyous mood at the moment (except Republicans), and  I recognize my tendencies here toward negatives. I don’t wish to cast cold water on Barack’s vision of a new beginning for our country. But we need to recognize at the outset that Barack is going to face Congressional opposition on many fronts from members of his own party. We should be watchful for signs  that Pelosi, Feinstein, and Boxer may coalesce into an Axis of Opposition. Such an occurrence would be the coldest water of all.

However, our daughter is optimistic. She remarked succinctly, “I have a hunch Obama will not take any crap from those two (referring to Dianne and Nancy Pelosi). I hope she is right.

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Suddenly, Nancy Perlosi is going to get tough. With Raul Emmanuel. With Harry Reid. With Barack Obama. With George Bush.

Whoops. Scratch Bush. Nancy knows when to fold ’em and when to hold ’em. She’s folded ’em so many times with Bush, she throws her hand in automatically when he sits down at the table.

But now, she’s banking on Obama and his crew and the new Democratic Congress folding every time she ups the ante.

She may very well win. According to Politico, Nancy has set her own rules beginning in January. There’s a new game in town, boys, and one suspects that Bush’s Office Spouse is running things. Here’s the guts of the way it’s going to be.

  • No White House interference in the House Democratic Caucus.
  • The Obama crew must tell Pelosi whenever anyone from the Obama camp has contact with rank and file Democratic House members—and why.
  • Pelosi must be informed whenever Senate leader Harry Reid contacts any House Democrat.

All of this is somewhat puzzling. Where was Nancy’s backbone when Bush rammed the surge and other dictatorial measures down the throats of the Democratic controlled House and Senate?

Or when Bush just flat refused to budge on any matter whatsoever connected to the Iraq fiasco? Rather than call him, Nancy folded.

Now with friendly forces taking over the Oval Office, she suddenly wants to get tough. Why? Why establish rules of engagement to deter or complicate the establishment of programs and goals of the highly popular Obama? Aren’t these people on the same sheet of music?

Perhaps not. Perhaps there is more to Democratic infighting than meets the eye. Perhaps that’s how the small cadre of Republicans in Congress has consistently managed to outmaneuver the Democratic majority, by just plain old outsmarting them and if that failed, calling them un-American traitors.

We’ll have to wait and see how relationships progress or regress when January 20th rolls around and Obama takes over the Oval Office.  One thing is certain, if the Democrats can’t move the country forward because of petty turf wars, the Democrats stand to lose it all the next time around.

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Probably a little redundant, but the two words combined seem to do a good job of summing up my present stage of interest in political happenings.

These moods strike unexpectedly and I look around for something to re-energize me.

Even Gavin’s road trip up and down the California countryside in support of Hillary is boring. Ordinarily I would rant about how dumb she is to permit his name to be associated with her in any contest after her debacle in Iowa. But if she wants to take a chance on losing California, that’s her problem. Ordinarily, I agitate on behalf of women, but a woman widely admired by George Bush and other Republicans? Well, now…

And do I care if Peskin has blocked (monetarily) Gavin’s grand scheme for his second term, thus setting Gavin on edge and motivating a livid Gavo rant to the press? No. What’s $749,242 among friends who don’t ride things like busses and street cars, anyway?

(By the way, I am absolutely, frigging livid, at Word 2007’s continuing crashes every time I write a blog post. I’ve just spent five minutes coping with a crash, a restart, and a confusing recovery. At this moment, I say screw 2007).

Where was I? Oh, yeah, ennui. Or do I care who will be the Republican candidate for president? No. Hillary or Barack will handily take McCain or Romney unless Florida generate some hanging chads, thereby leaving the matter in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court where one vote trumps an overwhelming popular vote any day.

Or is it important to me that Willie Brown believes Mitt Romney will be the easiest Republican to beat in the November election? No. I believe he’s wrong. McCain is so ancient even a toddler would give him a run for his money. But a disagreement between gentlemen is a minor matter. I respect Willie because he dresses right and stands in the presence of the ladies. In my book, any man who respects American womanhood is entitled to be wrong as often as he wants.

Nor do I worry too much about the Cindy Sheehan-Nancy Pelosi contest? Nancy will win by a mile. Although I love Cindy, the inevitable is somehow quite predictable.

So, for the moment anyway, other things occupy my mind.

Think I’ll relocate to the Mississippi Delta where the livin’s easy and the blues are great.

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Cindy Sheehan is now a resident of California’s 8th Congressional District and preparing to challenge Nancy Pelosi in this year’s election, a long time in the future, but it provides Cindy with ample opportunity to devise an effective campaign strategy. She may already have done so and is merely waiting to set it in motion. Her move into a Mission District home is a positive clue.

Even so, what are her chances of unseating Nancy? Slim to none is a reasonable guess. Nancy has the power structure behind her, money to burn, name recognition, seniority, and a reputation as the first woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives. She begins her campaign for re-election with a royal flush.

Cindy, on the other hand, has a mélange of cards adding up to nothing. What’s a person to do against such overwhelming odds?

Her strong point in San Francisco is her active opposition to the war in Iraq coupled with a fearless approach to calling Bush’s hand at every opportunity. She also has a few recent Pelosi criticisms to work with, most notably Nancy’s perceived inability to lead a Democratic congressional majority in concordance with Harry Reid against Bush and the Republicans.

Regardless of the arcane technicalities hidden in the rules of Congress that prevent a political party from accomplishing much of anything without an overwhelming majority, Pelosi is weak on one charge: she hasn’t tried hard enough, she should have done more. Cindy could well profit if she repeats that theme endlessly. Nothing succeeds like constant repetition.

Pelosi’s weaknesses are all well and good, but how is Cindy to approach the task of getting people to recognize them and vote for Cindy instead?

For starters, she would be wise to cultivate the real 21st Century main stream media. The large, institutional media are losing readership and their editorial opinions and endorsement are widely regarded as serving an existing power structure, a configuration that fails to address the real concerns of real people.

Increasingly, the younger public gets its information from non-institutional on-line and print newspapers and magazines, from the blogosphere, and from social networks like Facebook and MySpace. Cindy would be wise to concentrate on this crowd, using on-line and off-line cadres to carry her message throughout the 8th District.

If Cindy can successfully tap the younger generation, which in the past hasn’t voted in large numbers, she will increase her chances of either winning or making a showing respectable enough to attract more attention and more support on the way to future elections.

Possibly, she has considered all of these approaches and more. If so, she’s ahead of the game. If not, the time to start is immediately.

Okay, Cindy, throw the first pitch of the season.

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