Friday, August 29, 2008


( in "Quit your Blagojebitching")

I got word, yesterday, that Weldon Springs is being closed on Nov. 1. More accurately, I got word that big meanie, Rod Blagojevich, is closing our park. *sigh*

The loss of our State Park is a particularly devastating blow to Clinton and DeWitt County in lost tourism dollars, loss of a heavily used & enjoyed park, loss of jobs, loss of a business (Boondocks 2,) loss of a valuable feature to attract new businesses and residents to the area, etc.

This closure is a small part of the Governor's greater effort to get a balanced budget written and passed.

It may not be a popular view and I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but I fully support Rod's efforts to get a balanced budget written and passed. That doesn't mean I want my park to close -- quite the contrary! I NEED for it to stay open.

But I also know that we cannot continue the pattern of
spending in excess of revenues. That's a recipe for financial ruin whether at the household, local, state or the federal level.

Everybody wants the things our taxes pay for, but how many are willing to invest in this great state or this great nation to pay for those things? As a taxpaying resident of the state of Illinois, I am part owner in the park -- as is every resident of the state. It's a wise investment of my tax dollars.

Today, at 11 am, there will be a rally and press conference at the entrance to the park. Representative Mitchell (R) will be there, many area residents and community leaders will be there and I will be there. But, my being FOR keeping the park open is coming from a very different place than most of the people who will attend the rally to protest its closure.

It should not have come to this. The rift in the party has gone too far. Petty jealousies and bickering have gone too far. The legislators who submitted a budget that called for spending far in excess of next year's revenues KNEW Blagojevich would not sign it, KNEW Rod would make deep interim cuts while the state is without a balanced budget, KNEW that Rod would be vilified in the press and the court of public opinion, while they got a free pass on culpability. It was a strategic move made without the slightest care or thought given to those who might be felled in the crossfire.

I want a balanced budget passed, with real pork barrel spending cut, so that my park doesn't have to close. ...And I didn't wake up to the world going on around me, just yesterday. If taxes have to go up to balance the budget even after wise cuts are made, as so many are worried will be the case, I won't blame Rod for that necessity. I will blame years of rampant, frivolous spend and borrow Republican administrations in the Capitol that left us with a staggering state debt to pay off -- the interest alone on which eats up a significant portion of state revenues before a single pothole is filled or paycheck cut or park grounds mowed...

It's time for the people, economy and issues of this state to come before dynastic ambitions, petty bickering, etc.

Editing to update:

1. A friend and fellow Dem put it very nicely: "When the revenues won't cover everything something has to go and it's going to be parks before public safety."

2. I'm receiving useless Blago-bashing crap in e-mail, thinly disguised as an effort to keep the parks open. If you don't like Rod, fine, but that's a separate issue and bashing him isn't going to get you what you want from him. Revenue will get you those things.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Let's Stage An Election

I wrote these parody lyrics back in '04 to express the direction I've seen our elections heading. We seem to have arrived. Can I call 'em or can I call 'em? Enjoy!

Let's Stage An Election
alternate lyrics by Melhi, Oct 2004
To the tune of: Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles

Watch the old man sing on the tube
He'll do the fad dance for their vote
With the youthful clique (Oh way, oh!)
He's younger now, quite the daddio!

If the younger man's sense of style
Is not so manly, make him flex
Girl's love his smile? (Polls say so!)
Then flash his teeth on the TV set!

Give 'em hype, get it spinnin' tight, hey!
Way oh, hey yo! Oh way, oh way, oh!
Let's stage an election!

The bald net execs, script the race
They push the polls, for the ratings score
Exciting news! (Oh way, oh!)
It pops! It zings! See the numbers soar!

All the viewers so into looks
That's how they judge who's the better man
If he's wrinkl-ing (No way, oh!)
They schedule him for inject-i-ons

Do the lids, nip and tuck his face, hey!
Way oh, hey yo! Oh way, oh way, oh!
Let's stage an election!

Make the scene on the screen, stay on track
Flex their arms, then they talk some smack
Must rock the vote (Oh way, oh!)
So strike a pose with the quarterback

Autographs to sign, photo ops
And hanging out in the union shops
Now sing and dance (Oh way, oh!)
Go with the platoon on their walk

All the ragazines follow them
The party boys pay to fly them in
On the radio (Oh way, oh!)
They know their lines, keep repeating them

"Mindless schlock! Someone make it stop, hey!"
Hey, no way, yo. No way, Jose` oh!
Let's stage an election...
Let's stage an election...

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Are a Few Broken Commandments?

Ok, so I've been hearing little murmered concerns about whether McCain might be a closet atheist. Frankly, I don't know if he is or isn't and don't care. He's not asking for the job of pastor, he's asking for the job of President. So, it shouldn't matter, but just as some people are concerned that Obama might be a Muslim, which we do know he is not, even though it shouldn't matter to anyone, it does to them and that means both candidates have to work at making it clear that they're not whatever people are worried they might be.

Obama, of course, pointed to his membership in a Christian congregation led by someone who certainly drew enough attention for people to notice... and then THAT became a major concern.

McCain, however, seems rather oblivious to the speculation concerning him and to the world going on around him... and to the difference between his own personal experiences and tales he read in a book. ...And he has no problem breaking the "thou shalt not lie" commandment, in a church.

This last weekend, both Obama and McCain (in that order) sat down with Rick Warren of the Saddleback church to answer some questions. Mr. Warren assured viewers that McCain was secured in a "cone of silence" during Obama's interview. McCain confirmed this, on the program. But, it was later discovered that McCain was not even in the building during Obama's portion of the interview. He was in his car.

Did he listen to Obama's interview, so he'd have the advantage in his own interview? A savvy viewer caught a flub on McCain's part, that proves he did! ...And before anyone points out that McCain would have had to have satellite or cable tv in his car to view the program -- forcing me to go into how every senior citizen with a motor home has had satellite in those since the 80s and that McCain isn't exactly struggling, financially, bear in mind that McCain needed no special equipment to listen to the live radio broadcast of the event.

But, McCain didn't limit his dishonesty to lying about cheating on the interview. Oh no. He had to trot out a lie he's been telling for awhile... the moving cross in the dirt story he lifted from Solzhenitsyn, an author McCain's often referenced and has made very clear is one of his favorites. According to McCain's own biography, he was being moved from one prison camp to another on the Christmas in question and did not spend the day in his cell except for a few moments standing across from a guard who drew a cross in the dirt to worship with him.

But hey, maybe he didn't lie or intentionally steal from Solzhenitsyn. Maybe McCain is genuinely confusing the events of his own life with the events in his favorite author's book. Cutting him that generous measure of slack on this, though, calls his mental fitness to lead into serious question.

All of that, plus his geographical confusion, his obscenity laden quick temper, one copyright/performance theft after another from various music artists, lifting speeches directly from Wikipedia, using celebs in his ads without securing likeness/publicity rights, advertising Obama's campaign by handing out Obama tire guages at his events, trying to pimp out his wife Cindy (she's the make-up plastered trollup McCain cheated on his first wife with and whom McCain has affectionately nicknamed "You Cunt.") at Sturgis, plus, plus, plus...

Sheesh, no wonder I'm hearing Barr's name whispering up from the red grass, with increasing frequency, despite his almost complete invisibility in the media. Mind you, I don't have any more use for Barr than I do for McCain and I'm more than a little perplexed as to how Barr went from being Libertarian enemy number one to being the Libertarian nominee, so quickly, but I gotta hand it to Barr, his campaign strategy seems to be working... just smile, keep his mouth shut and win votes by not being McCain... or Obama, for that matter.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Banana Split?

Earlier this week, I attended the Gov's/Dems Day events in Springfield, IL. This included a brunch with Gov. Richardson from NM as our keynote speaker, the opportunity to observe the state party convention and a rally at the state fair grounds.

In the weeks and months leading up to this event, I've heard and read countless reports of rifts in the party... at the state level and between Obama & Clinton supporters. But, here's what I saw and overheard as I mingled with a few thousand of my fellow Democrats:

At the convention, I saw Speaker Madigan and Gov. Blagovich seated next to one another on the stage, quietly conversing and laughing with another.

At the brunch and at the rally, I overheard countless conversations about the Presidential primaries and how fortunate those conversing on the topic felt having so many good candidates to choose from, how hard it was to pick just one over others they liked, and how great if felt knowing that even if the candidate they voted for did not win the nomination, someone else they were excited about would. I heard several participants in these conversations mention who they'd chosen as their top pick from the broad field and I heard almost as many names as there were primary candidates. (The only two names I did not happen to hear were Dodd and Gravel.)

I also heard numerous people discussing the Edwards scandal. These discussions ranged from speculation as to the paternity of the child to some humorous off-color joking (nobody will have more fun with this than we Dems will.) But, as the day wore on and the conversations continued on the topic, one thing became very clear... we think John Edwards' penis is none of our business. If Edwards had run on a genitalia platform instead of an economic platform or if he'd written, co-sponsored or in any way supported an ammendment or bill criminalizing adultery, effectively making the sex lives of private, consenting citizens his business, only to be caught having an extramarital relationship, fling or one-nighter, THEN it would have been our business. But, he didn't. So, we don't care. The lying -- frankly, we think he shouldn't have been asked and because he shouldn't have been asked, was under no obligation to answer, much less answer truthfully.

At all three events our speakers, including our Governor, Gov. Richardson, Senator Durbin, Speaker Madigan, etc. move all of us to our feet amid thunderous applause, whistles and cheers. We are a party of individuals, we have as many unique positions on any given issue and how best to reach the goals we do set in common, as we have members. But, we agree on Barack and we agree that we would be just as enthusiastic and supportive of Hillary if she had won.

I've spoken with a few die hard party-loyal Republicans who are planning to vote Libertarian, this year and who call it a "hard choice." Whether they'll actually cross party lines when the curtain closes behind them in November... I have my doubts that they'll do it in those final seconds, but that remains to be seen.

By contrast, I've talked with a LOT more Democrats, from yellow dogs down to casual supporters and I've yet to meet even one self-described Democrat who's planning to cross party lines to vote for McCain, as the press and the RNC are going out of their way to make people believe.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Have a Hot Dog With Me Stephen

... on your show, while you interview me... I'll even bring the hot dogs.

Gee whiz, what does it take to get booked on the Colbert Report? My press release has been out there for a couple of hours, I've been blogged and I introduced a whole new symbol for today's Republican party that I know Stephen secretly wishes he'd thought of first (only fair, I've often wished I'd thought of "truthiness" first... every time I have to send Stephen a nickel for saying it.)

Seriously, The General has everything...

He's dressed up like a 5 star general, even though he's seen combat only from the good safe distance of a live satellite feed.

His uniform is red, white and blue, so it's like he's wrapping himself in the flag to show how much more patriotic he is than the rest of us.

He's a pig... and you know how the enemy feels about pigs... really cheeses them off and I don't know if you've ever tried pig cheese, but, we could win the war with that stuff! Why, the smell alone...

The General's shiny new acronym is G.I.P. which is short for "Gipper" - patron saint of today's Republican party, PLUS it stands for Greed and Ignorance Party. Now, now... I know what you're thinking. But, it's not yet another of my mean, snark infested jabs at the opposing party. No. I'm reaching across the aisle to my conservative American brothers and sisters in all sincerity here. Need proof?

OK. Who's more conservative than Stephen? Nobody. So, if he'd like it, you know it's OK. ...And since he'd LOVE it, it's way better than OK. Right? Right!

Think about it: Greed is the opposite of giving poor people all of your money, so it's a no-brainer that Stephen likes greed. How many times has he said that if poor people want money, they should get a show of their own? Well, trust me, he'll say it eventually. Ignorance is bliss -- who doesn't like bliss?

We interrupt this blog article for an URGENT UPDATE:
Aug. 6, 2008 - Stephen came out of the closet as an Ignorant American, on The Colbert Report, embracing his ignorance, pleading for the anti-ignorant bigotry to stop and calling for Febtember to be named Ignorance Month. (See, I told you he was down with ignorance! Nyah!!)

...And party? Please... if you look up party in the dictionary, there's a picture of Stephen... rolling the drunk kids passed out in puddles of their own puke, on the lawn so he can turn their IDs into law enforcement.

Plus... The General has dozens of campaign slogans he can really get behind -- literally... the slogans are printed on the fronts of the shirts and it would be really cool of him to let the market speak through him to me by buying at least one of each. Slogans like... "Together We Can Prevent Change," "Together We Can Make Sure Our Troops NEVER Come Home" and "Vote Republican Or We'll Put You On The Terrorist List."

Seriously, Stephen... call me.