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Archive for October, 2008

Thursday, Oct. 30, Bill Clinton jetted into Minneapolis. With Al Franken at his side, the former president spoke like the commander in chief he was – with august and resplendence. For a while, the clock rolled back to the ’90s when America was led by a president who cared about the middle class, who cared about creating jobs, who cared about doing the right thing for our country as a whole.

Guess what? Clinton still cares and he’s still a great speaker. We shook his hand last night – not just a touch of hands, but I firmly shook the former president’s hand. Standing there on the rope line with the flag looking over the 4,000 people who packed into the convention center, I paused and thought, even with the blanket of turmoil we’re under today, we’re still a great country and we can get our swagger back.

Vote on Nov. 4, people. Vote. Vote. Vote.

President Clinton and senate candidate Al Franken arrived together after an intermission. Everyone quickly forgot we’d been standing on concrete for three hours once they took the stage.

Al Franken (seated) and the rest of us listened to Clinton speak for a solid 40 minutes. I would have stood another hour had he continued.

Working the rope line, Clinton did his best to shake every hand as the crowd sent shout outs like, “We miss you Mr. President,” and “Thanks for coming to Minneapolis, Bill.”

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Vote or Die

I recently took time to watch the latest viral video on Funnyordie.com featuring Ron Howard, Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler. These three celebrities who worked with each other on popular sitcoms in the ’60s and ’70s got together for a “get out the vote” kind of message, conveyed brilliantly. I particularly liked how Ron kept up with the hairstyles he wore in both television shows.

You can see the video right here.

The lines of people waiting to vote on Nov. 4 are forecast to be long. I’ll be standing in the queue with hundreds of my neighbors who walk, drive and bike to our polling place at 5:30 p.m. Here are a few tips on making the wait seem less tedious…

  1. Arrive with a flask of whiskey. Offer “a nip” to those around you.
  2. Wear a Richard Nixon Halloween mask. Invite people nearby to come and see your tricky dick.
  3. Ask those in line with you who they intend to vote for and why. No matter the response, in a sarcastic tone of voice say, “Oh that’s a brilliant choice.”
  4. Comment about how the polling place officials likely voted for Abe Lincoln, “back in the day.”
  5. In a very loud voice say, “ACORN volunteers told you to both file an absentee ballot AND vote on election day.”
  6. Commiserate with those in line with you about the lack of food and beverages served at polling places.  Ask if someone in line will hold your place for you while you go to Subway.
  7. Shuffle your feet and mumble how you sure wish you could vote for GW for a third term.
  8. Tape the words, “I AM A HANGING CHAD” on the back of your coat with masking tape. When people ask you about it, act like you had no idea it was on there.
  9. After voting, walk slowly past those still standing in line with a big smile and thrust your thumbs in the air saying, “I feel your pain” over and over.
  10. Tell a polling place official that you left your colostomy bag in the voting booth and need to get back in there to get it. Double over and pretend to be in severe pain while you say this.

There.  Any or all of these tips should help you make the wait seem much more worthwhile. And if that’s not enough for you, keep in mind that voting in this presidential election is probably the most historic vote that you will ever cast in your lifetime.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I’ve been uneasy with the McCain campaign long before Sarah Palin was part of it. This photo, by Stephen Crowley, in today’s The New York Times screams “ugly” in many, many ways.

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Junk Mail

There’s a particular junk mail sender that I’m sick with up to here (holding my hand at eyeball level).

The offender, Twin Cities Values, puts more worthless paper in the form of a multi-page ad supplement, which represents nothing but worthless crap, in my mail box than even the most offensive politician 10 days before election day.  Twin Cities Values is owned by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The lovely ad mistress sales rep responsible for actually managing the ad space sold in this waste of paper is Shelly Neilson. Not my best friend, dear Shelly. The ad circular is mailed to all “Valued Customers” in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities region and features worthless advertising paid for by the likes of Menards, Rainbow, Northstar Home Fitness, Pizza Hut, Screen Mobile (a full page ad), Milios Sub Sandwich Shop, El Rodeo Restaurant and The World Market.

Local business owners and managers who choose to waste part of your valuable advertising budget on the  Twin Cities Values rag published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, please be aware, this twice weekly circular goes immediately into my recycling bin. I’m adamant about it. However, many of my neighbors (valued customers, one and all) aren’t all so diligent. They allow the worthless piece of shit that is distributed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, to be blown around the neighborhood streets and lawns, filling up the gutters and littering the ground no matter where one looks.

Nice job Star Tribune. Nice work Shelly and all your underlings at Twin Cities Values.  Your worthless piece of shit advertising circular and the local businesses in my community who choose to waste their money supporting this rag of a paper now reside on my “worst” of all-time list.

And I refuse to step foot into any of the businesses that continue to support your effort bent on wasting trees and littering the neighborhood.

There. I said it.

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From a Real Alaskan

A recent guest column in the Seattle Post Intelligencer is definitely worth a read.  Seth Kanter, an Alaskan native, does an informative (and humorous) job explaining how people in our 50th state advance in business and in politics.

Here’s an excerpt…

That Sarah Palin is one unreal Alaskan

By SETH KANTNER
GUEST COLUMNIST

I’m sitting on my bearskin chair beside the woodstove, in Kotzebue, Alaska, 50 miles above the Arctic Circle, while outside the ocean begins to freeze over. Inside I have about 49 things piling up to say to you, America.

I’m an Alaskan — born in an igloo, enjoy whale muktuk, all that — and in case you aren’t sick of our state by now, I’ll start off with an apology for one of our residents: Sarah Palin.

We Alaskans are not generally so magazine-pretty like her, nor are we so confrontational and vapid. Most of us don’t have those peachy cheeks — we have sunburn, windburn and frostbite. Our fingernails are dirty from actually gutting moose, not yakking about it. Our hands are chapped from picking thousands of salmon out of nets, not holding one up for the camera.

Having said that, here in Alaska we are accustomed to getting jobs we’re not qualified to fill. In our far-flung villages and towns we have big money surrounded by big wilderness; the combination causes warped career opportunities. Sort of an Edge of Nowhere phenomenon — cousin to the Bridge to Nowhere one.

For example, in the village closest to the wilderness homestead where I was raised, I remember standing in my friend’s cabin when his dad got a call on the CB radio: “People are writing you in for mayor.”

“Nope!” my friend’s dad transmitted. “Tell ’em no, I ain’t doing that.” He spit in a can, peered out the door at his Honda generator — idling rough — an extension cord running up the hill and under his door, to power the rerun of “Dukes of Hazzard” he was watching.

If he’d lived in Wasilla 25 years later, he could have responded, “Call Sarah, she’ll want it.”

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Here’s an excerpt from a column written by Dowd and published in The New York Times on Tuesday that so eloquently puts to rest the qualms many Americans have about traits like judgment and diplomacy when thinking about who to vote for in November.

In Dowd’s column she points to Colin Powell and his comments from a recent appearance on Meet the Press in which he said, when referencing continued rumors about Barack Obama’s faith,

…the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no. That’s not America. Is something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?”

Experience is important, you bet it is. But clearly, this election must be about finding the right person with good judgment and who will work with others – in the U.S. and internationally – in order to regain trust and respect…and elevate America to where she once was as a country. Do we really want someone with a quick temper and itchy trigger finger in the White House given all the diplomatic issues and global economic turmoils facing the world?

Good judgment.

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Word has it Seth Meyers from SNL wrote the rap that Amy Poehler performed so perfectly on SNL on Oct. 18.

It’s just as funny this morning as it was last night.  You can watch the video by clicking here.

Lyrics:

One, two, three

My name is Sarah Palin and you all know me.
Vice presidential nominee of the GOP.
Gonna need your vote in the next election
Can I get a “what what” from the senior section?

McCain got experience, McCain got style
But don’t let him freak you out when he tries to smile,
Cuz that smile be creepy, but when I’m VP
All the leaders in the world gonna finally meet me.

How’s it go Eskimos?
“Eskimos.”
Tell me tell me what you know Eskimos.
“Eskimos.”
How you feel Eskimos?
“Ice cold.”
Tell me tell me what you feel Eskimos.
“Super cool!”

I’m not Jeremiah Wright, but tonight I’m the preacher.
I’ve got a bookish look and you’re all hot for teacher.
Todd looking fine on his snow machine,
So hot for each other, he’s a go between.
In Wasilla, we just chill baby – chilla
But when I see oil – “Drill baby, drilla”

My country tis of thee.
From my porch I can see
Russia and such

All the mavericks in the house put your hands up.
All the mavericks in the house put your hands up.
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up.
All the plumbers in the house pull your pants up.

When I say Obama, you say Ayers.
“Obama. Ayers.”
“Obama. Ayers.”
I built me a bridge, it ain’t goin’ no where.
“Ohhhhhhhhhhhh”

McCain and Palin, gonna put the nail in the coffin
Of the media elite.
“She likes red meat.”
Shoot a mutha humpin moose eight days of the week.

(gun fire)

Now you’re dead. Now you’re dead cuz I’m an animal
And I’m bigger than you!
Load up the shot gun, walk in the pub
Everybody party, we’re goin’ to hunt!

La la la la la la la laaaaaaa

(more gun fire)

Yo I’m Palin, I’m out!

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