Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Specter of Disaster

News of the dramatic defection of Arlen Specter from the GOP to the Democratic Party caused a brief, albeit intense media deluge causing many a head spin and eye roll from pundits, politicians and regular people on both sides of the isle. Accusations by the right that he had no chance to win the Republican primary in 2010 (thanks to the lunatics at The Club for Growth) and that he’s only switching to salvage what’s left of his career were pretty much expected. Also, the fact that they’re losing the only Jew in their ranks (Lieberman doesn’t really count) must have sent secret pangs of joy throughout the wingnuttia of the leadership. The Democratic side welcoming him with open arms, despite the fact that he doesn’t agree with them about 90% of the time, was also the predictable outcome of such an announcement. I see it as a lose/lose for both sides.
Right now the Republican Senate consists of not surprisingly twenty lawyers, two medical doctors, several business people, a couple of real estate brokers, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, an embarrassingly bad amateur musician and a former lawn equipment salesman. All proudly admit to practicing some form of Christianity – mostly of the Evangelical or goon variety. * All but six of these Constitutional mouth-breathers fall into the “Guns, God and Gays” category meaning that they are pro gun, anti abortion and total homophobes especially when it comes to marriage. It also attests to the fact that these three virtual non-issues (guns, God and gays) are the platforms on which they base their leadership. And a good many of them are guilty of providing a figurative blow job to Jack Abramoff. My personal favorite, David Vittner of Louisiana, was found to be one of the DC Madam’s best customers. He’s also one of the most vocal about the Family Values ™.
Specter leaving the party signals the demise of any hope of a rational discourse in the Senate. You can’t reason with a person who actually believes that God talks to them on a regular basis and that the jury is still out on Evolution. The loss of Specter is a loss for all of us. I don’t know about you, but I would love it if we as a nation could witness an intelligent debate in the Senate without invoking Jesus, the second amendment or “the definition of marriage.” None of these things matter to the vast majority of Americans who right now are screaming for some answers.
The club of semi-normal Republican senators is dwindling fast. All we’re left with are Lisa Murkowski, Mike Crapo, Dick Lugar, George Voinovich, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Keep in mind that Crapo ran unopposed in 2004. Is the Republican Party about to implode on itself? I’m sure many on the left are praying in a non-denominational way for this to happen. I say let’s not bust out the bubbly just yet.

*Full disclosure – I have absolutely no use for people who use religious dogma to dictate their moral decisions. Furthermore, the idea of using the Bible in any of its whacked out translations to enforce law is completely repulsive and should be ignored by anyone with the capacity for cognitive thought.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Email of the week....

We're all used to getting the occasional email from the government of Sweden informing us that we've just won the national lottery or the former finance minister of Zimbabwe offering us a hefty percentage of the $2 million he needs to safely transfer to a US bank.

Today the ballsiest of all requests arrived in my in box and I feel obligated to share this patriotic audacity with you, fair reader. I especially like that part about the prisoners confessing after being tortured, and their amazing find of an undisclosed number of "nuclearweapons."

Just in case you feel the need to thank this "patriot" for his service you can email him at his shell account:
. American scam artists are getting so sloppy lately. They seem to be running out of ideas at an alarming pace.

I am Steve Marthins from the hospitality state (Mississippi), of the US Marine Force on Monitoring and Peace –keeping mission in Baghdad-Iraq.

On the 21st day of December 2008, we were alerted on the sudden presence of some Terrorists camping in a suburb not too far from Karbala here in Iraq. After Immediate intervention, we captured three (3) of the Terrorists, twenty-six (26) were killed leaving seven (7) injured.

In the process of torture they confessed being rebels for late Ayman al-Zawahiri and took us to a cave in Karbala which served as their camp. Here we recovered several guns, bombs and other Ammunitions including some boxes among which two contains nuclearweapons, one filled with hard drugs(cocaine) and the other four to my amazement contain some US Dollars amounting to $23.2M a fter I and two of my junior intelligent officers counted them.

I however instructed them to keep this in high secrecy.

I am in keen need of a “Reliable and Trustworthy” person like you who would receive, secure and protect these boxes containing the US Dollars for me up on till my assignment elapses in here in Iraq.

I assure and=2 0promise to give you 15% of this fund, however feel free to
negotiate what you wish to have as your percentage in this

Please assure me of your keeping this topmost secret to protect my job with the US Monitoring and Peace-Keeping mission.
Please for the confidentiality of this deal.
Kind Regards,
Steve Marthins

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quote of the week....

So few remember that the Boston Tea Party began when George Washington and his ragtag group of Union soldiers holed up in the Alamo surrounded by Nazis. Luckily, before Napoleon could bring his Terminator reinforcements, Hannibal saved the patriot army with his elite corps of Elephant men. To this day, we still rally around the cry, “Remember the Ewoks."

Oh Stephen Colbert, how I love thee!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Absinthe is not for everyone....

It’s no secret that I am a long time connoisseur of the recently legalized libation known as absinthe. Admittedly, it was my great love of Oscar Wilde and Vincent van Gogh that prompted me to experiment with the drink, so I completely understand the temptation to dabble based on the stories of idols past – and sometimes present.

One of my greatest pleasures is sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© in New Orleans – away from the noise and 24/7 freak show that is Bourbon Street – and sipping a glass or two of the green fairy in late afternoon. I’ve done this on the few fortunate occasions that I’ve been able to visit the Big Easy. Somehow the atmosphere of Pirate’s Alley and the adjacent St. Louis cathedral heightens the experience for me, and I assume countless others. However, this last visit I witnessed some of the silliest examples of pop mentality since Coors beer became legal in Connecticut.

Scores of 20-nothings began flooding into the bar, cameras at the ready, to order their first taste of the ancient elixir. Perhaps they’d heard of Johnny Depp’s love for the drink, or worse still, Marilyn Manson’s. I’ve got nothing against either gentleman. It’s not their fault that they’ve unwittingly turned on (and quickly turned off) an entire new generation of sheep to Artemisia absinthium. Everyone should try it once.

What pissed me off as I was quietly trying to enjoy my $10 dram of Lucid was the asinine giddiness of the crowd. Girls in giggling groups wanting their pictures snapped holding the milky glasses. The constant requests for ice. Who the fuck puts ice in absinthe? Then the heartbreaking sight of half filled glasses lining the bar as the girls realized that they really didn’t like the taste and what was the big deal anyway? Off to get a Hurricane. What a waste!

Personally, I like my absinthe prepared in the classic French way. I don’t need the pyrotechnic display so popularized by the Czechs. Absinthe is a quiet sipping spirit. It takes time to hit you, and when it does, you should be in the right frame of mind. It’s not a race. You don’t drink it like a Kamikaze shot, and it doesn’t mix will with other forms of alcohol. Furthermore, it does not belong in a plastic cup to be consumed on the go.

Perhaps as time goes by the allure will subside a bit, or better still, people will know what they’re getting into before sidling up to the bar for their first experience with the over hyped thujone. Until then, fortunately, I’ve got a bottle of Grande and a stock of sugar cubes at home.

Musical Interlude....