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Sarah Palin and Joe Biden VP Debate

The VP Debate is over ~ the bells have chimed. And Lady Miss Sarah may now be possibly reprising the famous Ascot scene in My Fair Lady, after Eliza has been made over into an acceptably trained high society babe and allowed to mingle with the privileged class. Am I the only one who pictures Palin stamping a red high heel and yelling at her maverick principal, “Come on, McCain, move yer bloomin’ arse!”

Ah yes, the debate. Talk about must-see TV. Yes, she was bubbly, charming, engaging. She was the girl next door, she was the mom you sit next to at the hockey game, the mom who became the mayor, then the governor. Yet still just folks. Don’t forget, she and Todd have been in the middle class of America all of their lives – they know what it’s like to not have health insurance and also what it’s like to sit around a kitchen table.

The debate opened with both vice presidential candidates coming out of the wings and shaking hands, during which Palin revealed a frisson of nervousness while greeting Joe Biden amicably, “Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?” - simultaneously melting Republican hearts while attempting to dismiss and demean him. Totally scripted I’m sure, and completely brilliant. Let’s face it – they’re not exactly on a level playing field.

Was she cute? Yes. Was she funny? Yes. Was she perky? Yes. Was she friendly? Yes. Was she the person you want anywhere near the Nuclear Football? Gosh darn it – NO. Such is the stuff of nightmares.

Palin was a-bursting with platitudes and grand oversimplifications. If a question didn’t tickle her fancy, well, doggone it, she was just going to gloss right over it and go right back to the topic of energy. Because her state, Alaska, is an energy-producing state that snarky East Coast politicians want to legislate those silly regulations all over in order to preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Don’t forget, Joe Biden, the chant is “drill, baby, drill.”

I was profoundly depressed at first by the debate. I thought she did very well and she spoke in the obtuse and simplistic terms that (forgive me) Joe Six-Pack understands. But she had no substance, skirted hard questions, and blatantly refused to answer questions about things she knew nothing about, instead stubbornly sticking with her talking points and dissing Gwen Ifill. Sure, she gets an A for effort. For someone who went from a veritable cameo on Northern Exposure to a Vice Presidential debate in front of roughly 70 million people, she was phenomenal.

But you know what? I believe Mr. Six-Pack is a lot smarter and well informed than he was four years ago. Even though he may be a registered Republican, his son or daughter might be serving in Iraq and he has no idea when – or if – they will return home. He might now have had his job downsized and/or disappeared, had his pension cut drastically, or lost his home – or all of the above. He might have been bankrupted by health care costs that weren’t covered by his insurance.

The world is simply not the same as it was the last time delusional thinking folks like Mr. Six-Pack elected George Bush to a second term. People are smarter now and they have seen the little man with the Texas accent behind the curtain. And they’re sick and tired of living this way. They need change, real change – not the empty promises and banal clichés of these two so-called mavericks. Maverick my white ass ~

By the way, I’d like to tell you what the official definition of the word maverick actually is, according to the dictionary:

  1. An unbranded range animal, especially a calf that has become separated from its mother, traditionally considered the property of the first person who brands it. [Possibly after Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803-1870), an American cattleman who left the calves in his herd unbranded.]
  2. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

I would like to plead the Fifth Amendment on the grounds that the first definition of maverick might tend to incriminate me with hysterical laughter. Um, perhaps not the best choice of words after all?

As for McCain, he both looks and acts like a character in Grumpy Old Men, sans the irascible lovableness of Walter Matthau. You can practically smell his panic as he realizes the presidency is falling from his grip. During interviews and speeches it is obvious he has to remember to smile while delivering his message. He doesn’t want to – but knows he has to. Totally creepy. Palin is his savior, his angel, his rescuer. He probably has a shrine to her in one (or all) of his eight houses.

Let’s hope that McMaverick has the guts to look at Obama at the next Presidential debate. It would seem to me that a man who lived in the Hanoi Hilton for five and a half years and was subjected to unimaginable torture by his captors, a man who is the descendent of a father and grandfather who were both admirals and in the top echelon of the military, a man who is a decorated war hero, would have the courage to greet his opponent like a man and look him in the eye.

Maybe Palin should debate Obama tomorrow night instead of McBlame. She’s Miss Congeniality, Miss Personality, and she knows how to work the camera in a way that McSame does not – and, let’s face it, probably never will at his age. She couldn’t be more dissimilar from the unfriendly cold stiffness of McCain, who’s body language at the First Presidential Debate was similar to that of a spoiled child not getting his way.

Charles Dickens has the final word on the state of the election, the state of the country, and the state of the world: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

last night on the Daily Show, Senator Harry Reid told Jon Stewart that we are spending $5 per second in Iraq. yes, O Best Beloved, this number is echoed in a NY Times editorial by Nicholas D. Kristof from March 23, 2008 that somehow crept by me without me seeing it.

In his piece, Kristof quotes Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist: “The present economic mess is very much related to the Iraq war…. It was at least partially responsible for soaring oil prices. …Moreover, money spent on Iraq did not stimulate the economy as much as the same dollars spent at home would have done. To cover up these weaknesses in the American economy, the Fed let forth a flood of liquidity; that, together with lax regulations, led to a housing bubble and a consumption boom.”

And here is the soul-shattering, frightening and sickening bottom line, per Kristof: Granted, the cost estimates are squishy and controversial, partly because the $12.5 billion a month that we’re now paying for Iraq is only a down payment. We’ll still be making disability payments to Iraq war veterans 50 years from now.

Thanks to the Bush administration, we will never see the end of this in our lifetime.

Feb 13

tim & jon

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well this was mighty fine, two of my favorite guys together at last, with jon stewart revealing that he is a closet project runway fanatic (oui!! mais oui!! moi aussi!). tim gunn as usual is awesome. especially when he discloses that he frequently does not agree with the P.R. judges’ rulings.

thank you St. Clare, o patron saint of television, for bringing back JON STEWART to us after this long and arid drought!

if it’s possible, the lack of writers has made him even more ascerbic and witty than before. maybe it’s the fact that he’s been absent from my home & hearth for lo these many weeks, but to my mind the droll factor has increased tremendously.

watch as he explains the writer’s strike in layman’s terms.