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Political Roundup

B., loyal reader and master of reverse psychology, recently urged me to "Please please please stop writing about politics," adding "you don't have any insight I couldn't get from any other other blog equipped 30 something urban liberal guy."

True, true enough. But B., you are not thinking this all the way through. Since you already read this site, isn't it convenient that I summarize the insights of all 30-something urban liberal guy blogs, freeing you from having to read them in addition to my own?

Once I integrate celebrity gossip, LOLCATS, and fawning reviews of Apple products into my posting schedule, this will become the only pitstop you ever need take in the blogosphere. That's a little something we call "value-added service."

Don't Think Of An Elephant

The whole Elliot Spitzer debacle happened during my blogging hiatus, but someone wanted to know my opinion of it. Well, my opinion on scandals of this nature has remained fairly consistent throughout my adult, political life: I DO NOT WANT TO THINK ABOUT OLD WHITE GUYS HAVING SEX SO STOP TRICKING ME INTO DOING SO! I don't want to think about Spitzer having sex, or Larry Craig having sex, or Gray Davis having sex, or Jerry Falwell having sex, or Bill Clinton having something that was not strictly sex pursuant to the legal definition provided in statute §§21050, etc. I don't care who or what they are having sex with because thinking about this aspect of the sex would involve thinking about the sex, which, as I have stated previously, I do not wish to do. Please, can we just assign a taxpayer-funded hooker to every member of congress to ensure that these liaisons become so routine that they are no longer newsworthy?

Stop! Grammar Time!

In a speech recently, Obama said the following:

We cannot prevail until we reduce our commitment in Iraq, which will allow us to do what I called for last August: providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts in Afghanistan. This increased commitment in turn can be used to leverage greater assistance--with less, uh, fewer restrictions--from our NATO allies.
Whoa, nice on-the-fly less/fewer correction there, smart guy. Possibly staged to sew up the grammarian vote, I concede, but even that possibility is kind of endearing.

Hell, he ought to just adopt that as his bumper sticker slogan.

If I catch him correctly referring to "data" as a plural, I may well swoon.

The Neverending Story

Listening to NPR the other evening, they had a story about how the Bush administration desperately needed to, I dunno, read some eight year-old girl's diary or something, to protect us all from TERRORISM and TERROR and possibly also TERRARIUMS. And they had some Bush flunky on there going on and on about how terrorists were RIGHT THIS SECOND planning to poison the nation's supply of fillet-o-fishes, and the only thing we, as a nation, could do to stop them to give Bush the authority to do whatever he wants, up to and including drilling in ANWR and abandonment of the longstanding tradition of US Presidents wearing pants.

At some point it occurred to me that the White House's depiction of terrorism has now become so at odds with reality that they might as well be warning us about gelatinous cubes. And, having thought this, I could no longer not hear the phrase "gelatinous cube" whenever this guy spoke, e.g., "The NSA's Gelatinous Cube Surveillance Program is a vital tool for preventing gelatinous cube attacks here at home and preventing the spread of gelatinous cubism worldwide." And you know they'll be hyping the threat of owlbears again before the 2008 election.

Going For A Dip

Speaking of which ...

At the aquatics center Squiggle and I frequent they have a bulletin board near the pool, on which they often post news articles relating to swimming. Yesterday it featured a page from the local paper's recent "Living" section, with the 36-point headline "WATERPROOFING YOUR CHILDREN." Except, for one crazy moment when I first glanced at it, I thought it said "WATERBOARDING YOUR CHILDREN" and was all like "Really? It's come to this?"

Headline News, January 20, 2009


Inauguration of African-American Heralds New Era of America Politics

Clinton continues to pursue nomination, dismisses Obama as "unelectable"

Posted on May 07, 2008 to Politics


I hesitate to ask what a "pistop" involves.

Going over the top, I guess.

Posted by: Paul Camp on May 7, 2008 11:48 PM

Please, can we just assign a taxpayer-funded hooker to every member of congress to ensure that these liaisons become so routine that they are no longer newsworthy?

I believe they already do this in France. (Mitterrands mistress even attended his funeral) And it seems to work because they live longer and their media occasionally contains some relevant news instead of the carnal antics of a few seedy hypocrites.

Posted by: Lung the Younger on May 8, 2008 12:36 AM

@ Paul



I think you've stumbled into a major difference between the "reigning class" of professional political pundits and "regular Americans"...

Highly paid, high profile pundits simply cannot stop thinking about who politicians are having sex with and what sort of sex they are having, and can't imagine why anyone would think or feel differently. This tends to distract them from paying attention to anything done by politicians that doesn't involve sex.

( This is different from chasing ratings; I seriously mean that most pundits are fixated like the archetypal little old lady who spends all her time trying to figure out which of their neighbors are cheating on their spouses. )

Meanwhile, every other American is mostly to totally disgusted by the sexual exploits of politicians and want that coverage to go away (I suspect this extends to the politicians' functionaries, except that they choke down their disgust in order to better exploit the high punditry's sexual obsessions).

Amazingly, coming to this conclusion didn't make Tim Russert, et al. any ickier for me; apparently they had reached some sort of ickiness saturation point so long ago that it didn't matter.

( Seriously, Russert is starting to look like a Lovecraftian fish-man, and the rest of that crowd appears to be perusing the Necronomicon a bit too often, as well... )

Posted by: jdbo on May 8, 2008 12:44 AM

Whoa, it's like 5 posts in one! Can the intertubes handle so much defective yeti in one shot?

(in slight more relevant commenting, why can't Clinton and Obama just be co-presidents? two birds, one stone right?)

Posted by: karan on May 8, 2008 1:48 AM

Woah, we should be worried about terrapins?

Posted by: Mark on May 8, 2008 4:08 AM

It's fast-talking-probably-gay-city people like you who, by downplaying the very real gelatinous cube threat, continue to put our country in danger from terrorizers.

Posted by: Jonathon Morgan on May 8, 2008 4:42 AM

Sure, terrapins are worrisome. That Gamara is pretty dangerous.

Posted by: girdtmom on May 8, 2008 5:51 AM

Except when you're talking about a reduction in count by one, it's usually conceded that the proper word to use is, in fact, "less," not "fewer." See http://tenser.typepad.com/tenser_said_the_tensor/2005/03/one_fewer_wheel.html.

Posted by: Sandy on May 8, 2008 5:55 AM

I thought my kids were watefproof on delivery. I hope we haven't voided the warranty by bathing them.

Posted by: Lost Poke on May 8, 2008 7:16 AM

I thought my kids were watefproof on delivery. I hope we haven't voided the warranty by bathing them.

Posted by: Lost Poke on May 8, 2008 7:20 AM

That last bit there made me laugh out loud. Having spent this last weekend canvassing a nearby subdivision for Obama's campaign, let's just say I agree wholeheartedly with you. I avoided getting involved in the campaign (except for donations and sporting a bumpersticker) until Hillary started taking the lead here in IN. Then I got involved and, darn it, got invested. I was bummed when she 'won' IN by 22,000 stinkin' votes. I'd bet half of those were necons subscribing to Limbaugh's operation chaos. (Seriously, how can Repub's continue to claim moral authority when they actively push retardation of the election process??)

Posted by: Imanitsud on May 8, 2008 7:50 AM

Gelatinous cubes. Oh, crap. Now I won't be able to read the paper for weeks without laughing like a hyena.

Which, it could be argued, is a definite improvement.

Posted by: Lene on May 8, 2008 9:34 AM

Sure, Obama gets the necessity of understanding "less/fewer". But he doesn't seem to get the necessity of understanding verb forms.

This sentence:
We cannot prevail until we reduce our commitment in Iraq, which will allow us to do what I called for last August: providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts in Afghanistan.

Should really be:
We cannot prevail until we reduce our commitment in Iraq, which will allow us to do what I called for last August: provide at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts in Afghanistan.

Still, a vast improvement on daily bushisms!

Posted by: Diane47 on May 8, 2008 10:09 AM

You are the only person keeping politics funny for people without cable. Thank you.

Posted by: Amber on May 8, 2008 11:19 AM

Does anyone refer "data" as not as plural? I zoned out my fair share of English classes but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone having "datas".

Not using the singluar "datum", sure.

Posted by: Craig on May 8, 2008 12:56 PM

Re: Craig at 12:56

People are (incorrectly) using data as a mass noun, like fish or deer, meaning that it's used as both singular and plural.

Posted by: Brendan on May 8, 2008 4:02 PM

"Gelatinous Cubes" AND "Owlbears" in the same post? One about politics, nonetheless? Sir, you did make me swoon.

Posted by: Craig on May 8, 2008 5:45 PM

Umm... hate to spoil the show, but what's an "Africa-American"?

Posted by: NevDull on May 8, 2008 5:46 PM

I do believe that GW, once encouraged to expand his vocabalary with its use, will pronouce the word jel-at-shun-us. Of course the other uses will be jel-at-shun-o-mee, jel-at-shun and jel-at-shun-mag=on-o-mus. I can't even begin to imagine his conjugashuns.

Hey...there's another Karan up there!

Posted by: Karan on May 8, 2008 6:27 PM

Oh please, please puh-lease keep the political stuff coming. I'm mainlining media these days, and you're the proverbial jello to the mainstream's spam.

WAIT! Jello! That's gelatinous cubes! They're everywhere!

Posted by: David in NC on May 8, 2008 8:18 PM

That's pretty awesome dude. Didn't Clinton start the tradition of Presidents not wearing pants? Or was that Dubya when the Saudis came to town?

Posted by: Hipster Douchebag IV, Esq. on May 8, 2008 9:19 PM

Grammar responses:

I would be impressed if Obama treated data as a plural (which, Craig, people mistakenly use singular verbs and demonstratives for such as "this data shows" when they should say "these data show"). I would even be impressed if he pronounced data with a short "a".

[Now I'm nervous that since I'm commenting on grammar that I've made some glaring grammatical mistake.]

Posted by: That guy on May 9, 2008 7:35 AM

And look! I made a mistaken anyway! Just like the Grammar Olympics of 1992, I choked under pressure.

Posted by: That guy on May 9, 2008 7:43 AM

Thanks for alerting us to the ominous dangers of gelatinous cubes. Indeed, we should each call our congresspersons and urge them to comply with W's relentless demands for unchecked power.

Oh, wait. They're already doing that. Never mind.

Posted by: Rabid Child on May 9, 2008 10:35 AM

Instead of stimulus checks, the government should send us all squirt guns filled with pineapple juice. Everyone knows Jello doesn't set up if you put pineapple in it. If you were walking down the street and saw a gelatinous cube, all you'd have to do is shoot it with your squirt gun, and it would melt into a pile of goo. We'd finally be safe from the gelatinous cubes lurking on every street corner, back alley, and cow pasture in America.

Posted by: Amy on May 10, 2008 6:08 AM

Also, what in the world is "America politics"?

See, this is the problem of both being a blogger and then advertising yourself as a grammar Nazi. :)

Posted by: Manders on May 10, 2008 1:18 PM

What's a Nubian?

Posted by: Banky on May 10, 2008 8:48 PM

So how do you waterproof your children then? Do you have to apply a special varnish or will PVA do?

Posted by: Andrew on May 11, 2008 3:26 PM

OK, now I am trying NOT think about Barack Obama with no pants on having sex with a gelatinous cube. Inside your head must be a scary place.

Posted by: Friendless on May 11, 2008 9:58 PM

Am I the only one just as concerned with waterproofing your children as waterboarding them? I mean, you just can't plug up all those holes.

Posted by: Terri on May 12, 2008 10:49 PM

Gelatinous cubes... squirt guns... nope, can't see them in the same scene. You'd have to throw a potion filled with pineapple juice (and topped by a mini-umbrella).

Posted by: emdalton on May 19, 2008 6:43 PM