A New Leaf

Hey, I’ll bet the Republicans in Congress are glad now they didn’t invoke the “nuclear option.”

You remember — that was when they were holding confirmation hearings on President Bush’s right-wing Supreme Court nominees, Roberts and Alito, and the Democrats, in the minority and with no other choices if they didn’t approve of the nominees, were saying they might filibuster the appointments. The filibuster, for you nonparliamentarians, is a tactic whereby you talk and talk and talk, refusing to end the “debate,” until the other side can’t stand it any more and makes some sort of compromise with you, or just gives up.

The Republicans, who had control of everything in DC at the time, said they would change the rules so they could stop the filibuster, thus not only getting their way, but taking away the only way for a legislative minority to have any influence in government for all time. At first they called this “the nuclear option,” apparently because of it’s potential to scorch the political earth, but then they backed away from that unsavory metaphor and started calling it “the constitutional option.”

Then one day they woke up in the minority.

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So now that the Democrats have won, I am learning to relax a little. I used to be a fun guy. I wrote about possums and persimmons and kinky sex. Six years of a demagogue in the White House and his pre-emptive war and other criminal behavior and his rubber-stamp Congress made me a little cranky. It seemed that the only time I had the energy to post here was when I was pissed off or scared about something the neocons were foisting on us. Most of my blog friends went away, so I know it must not have been all that interesting, but I couldn’t help it.

Look, I know that the Democrats (my side) didn’t win a Great Victory last week. I know that voters were just sick and tired of the war in Iraq, thought it wasn’t working, we weren’t winning, it was costing too much money and too many lives. I know they were just sending a message to Washington that they were dissatisfied.

It was an election the Republicans lost, rather than one the Democrats won.

I’ll take it, but I have no illusions, and the Democrats shouldn’t either, if they know what’s good for them. Now that they have gained a little power and they have a voice, I hope they will take strong and moral positions on the great questions of our time, and show us why they should be given a further mandate in 2008.

I hope they’ll be honest, hard-working, inspirational, effective and worth voting for again. They only have two years, and there is a big mess to clean up, and the Republicans will probably try to block a lot of their efforts, but today, at least, I have hope.

And so, in the spirit of reaching out, and in the hope that some of The Precious Few who used to read here and sometimes even participate will return, I hereby pledge to knock off my tedious and cranky political rants and start having good old bipartisan, meaningless fun.

For as long as I can.

But really, that might be a long time.

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Now, have any of you space travelers seen this really large image of The Colonel? I saw it when I was in orbit the other day, and I had to go around a few more times to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. An 87,500 square foot KFC logo. Gotta get me some o’ that Popcorn Chicken.

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18 Replies to “A New Leaf”

  1. You know, I know exactly how you feel. The whole *horrible cloud not hanging over our heads anymore* feeling. It’s weird, cuz, what Bush&Co.’s been doing has not *directly* affected me. But, still it has. Hard to explain.

    And my hopes for the Democrats are the same as yours. Please, please, please don’t pull any shananigans and just work hard and clean to get things back on track.

    It’s like we’ve been living in some sort of bizarro-world for the last five years. So happy and proud the American people finally said…Enough! Makes me proud again.

    Oh. And you’re relevant~!

  2. Blue Girl – It is a relief, isn’t it? But I have become obsessed with politics over these past six years, I guess because I had started to feel like an outsider in my own country. I had the first four phases: Anger, denial, bargaining, depression (then anger again), but I never got to acceptance, and I fear that I preached too much to the choir and to those who didn’t care at all one way or the other, and I became a boring, one-note blogger.

    I grew up with liberal values and I still believe in them. Tolerance, generosity, nonviolence and yes, even peace and love. I don’t kid myself about the true nature of political parties in this country. I know they have to make deals to get anything done, and once you start making deals it’s hard to know exactly when you are dealing with the devil. But if I can have a generality here, I think the Democrats are the party that more represents my values, and I’m glad they’re in the majority now, and it will be my pleasure to let them try to promote their agenda. I will hold them to a higher standard than I did the previous majority, but I’m not going to hamper their efforts by busting them for every misstep.

    At least not for a while.

    In the meantime, I’m so happy to get back to my core interests: sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, the nature of the universe, and baby animals. I think there is a unified theory that will cover them all, and I’m looking for it.

  3. Aaaah, it’s good to be back from the abyss.

    At least I had the luxury of assuming that 90% of my neighbors and colleagues shared my liberal political views through the Dark Neocon Years. There’s something nice about living in a blue state.

    Viva la Massachusetts!

  4. kStyle – Even here in blue, blue California, we have suffered. Remember the Great Electricity Shortage of 2001? That was our punishment for not “going red” in 2000. And don’t get too complacent about being back from the abyss. Just because I won’t be ranting for a while doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. Just means we have a little breathing room.

  5. I upset some of my friends with my own steam-release in the wake of the Democratic sweep. They felt it was too negative. But after six years…well, a person can only hold their breath for so long. Excellent post, by the way.

  6. Though I’m very happy for the November 7th power shift, and I hate to think of you being the least bit distressed or uncomfortable, I’m going to miss your rants a little bit. As with everything else, you say it with style, my friend.

  7. …what Bush&Co.’s been doing has not *directly* affected me. But, still it has. Hard to explain.

    I thinks it’s been so important to talk politics these last few years because thousands of people have been dying for a U.S. point of view, as negotiated amongst Dictators.

    It effects us all if our governments are seen as untrustworthy and brutally archaic.

    Man! You twos got me off on my own rant. Thanks!

    🙂

  8. Rob – Welcome! And an excellent release it was. Your friends’ll get over it.

    Theresa – Baby! You’re back! How was Rio? Let’s do lunch!

    Michael – You rant with the best of them, but let’s remember, life is about baking, singing, coupling and laughing.

    As always, my heart beats with fevered best wishes for you all.

  9. How ’bout that screen name?

    🙂

    Now i feel bad about what I wrote in my last comment, cuz of the way I didn’t expand on exactly what I meant. I agree, it does affect us all. I know it does. I meant it in the most basic sense — I have been ripped out of bed in the middle of the night yet and sent to Blogmo.

    🙂

  10. Blue Girl, you are really an in-your-face kind of blogger, aren’t you? But I understood your first comment, and it’s OK: We can’t say everything we’re thinking every time we type a comment.

    Michael Baines – She’s so judgemental, isn’t she? Hope your recipe is as good as mine, although you won’t have to compete with me directly, due to BG’s rigid deadline.

  11. As much as I’d like to celebrate, I keep having the nagging suspicion that both the Dems and Reps are slightly distorted reflections of each other, albeit the meth taking, gay prostitute dating, underage sexual perversions, and shotguns to the face antics of the reps.

    Is it wrong for me to secretly hope that this kind of crazy fun doens’t go away so I can laugh and laugh at the Republicans, or anyone else for that matter?

    And what about Trent fucking Lott? Ugh…

    It’s like in that South Park episode: You have the choice between a turd sandwich and a giant douche. In this case, the giant douche seems to be a little better than the alternative.

  12. Aydreeyin – Alas, we have only two political parties in serious contention here. And by the nature of politics, they must do similar things. But don’t kid yourself – there are real differences. Ask yourself if Al Gore would have chosen to rain death on 655,000 Iraquis, handed out tens of billions in corporate tax cuts and bankrupted the U.S. treasury for generations to come.

    For those Precious Few who read here and who don’t know Aydreeyin, he is blogging a novel. This is like walking a tightrope in bunny slippers while juggling chain saws. There is great danger, and meager reward. He is taking for-fucking-ever, but he has finished thirteen chapters and I cut him all the slack he needs because his task is so admirable. Go read it here.

  13. Now that our side has a majority in both houses they should actually USE the subpoena power in January and launch a REAL independent investigation into 9/11. Let’s take a few moments and look at some of the details of the horrible event that precipitated the “war on terror” and around which America’s foreign policy has been inextricably wrapped ever since.

    One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying “We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]”. Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I’ve ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four “pilots” among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake “pilot” of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn’t work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn’t work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won’t let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you “aren’t supposed to think about”. Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name (“Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham”), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn’t respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn’t happen, not even close. Somehow these “hijackers” must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn’t have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were “supposed to see”. Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these “hijackers” wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn’t even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying “We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down” attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers’ magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be “Muslim hijackers” the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don’t laugh) one of their passports was “found” a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously “surviving” the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also “survived” the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be “indestructable” like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn’t bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the “official story” being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only “testifying” together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their “testimonies” not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the “nineteen hijackers” is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

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