Monday, April 28, 2008


I do this thing, where I keep stories/blogs open that I feel like I want to post about, and create new tabs in my browser to accommodate them. Sometimes I don't end up posting on the material because it seems less interesting later, and sometimes I put it off and have a little collection going. Now I have so many tabs open on Firefox, that something has to be done. So here's my current political milieu:

A recent NYT oped by Frank Rich on why McCain still should worry about dissent within his own party (Repubs in PA voted in the Primary apparently just to show that they *don't* support McCain). Which is interesting, because he's flip flopped on so many issues in his mad dash to pay homage to the "lunatic fringe" of the right. So either the deference is too much too late, or some Republican voters are catching on that they don't want another 4 years of McSame policies. Anyways, I'm most interested in McCain and his attitude to the working class and working poor:

Last week found Mr. McCain visiting economically stricken and “forgotten” communities (forgotten by Republicans, that is) in what his campaign bills as the “It’s Time for Action Tour.” It kicked off in Selma, Ala., a predominantly black town where he confirmed his maverick image by drawing an almost exclusively white audience.

The “action” the candidate outlined in the text of his speeches may strike many voters as running the gamut from inaction to inertia. Mr. McCain vowed that he would not “roll out a long list of policy initiatives.” (He can’t, given his long list of tax cuts.) He said he would not bring back lost jobs, lost wages or lost houses. But, as The Birmingham News reported, this stand against government bailouts for struggling Americans didn’t prevent his campaign from helping itself to free labor underwritten by taxpayers: inmates from a local jail were recruited to set up tables and chairs for a private fund-raiser.

And this digestion (at Down with Tyranny) of why McCain is hypocritical when he says that Obama is "insensitive to poor people" (if I knew of an adjectival form of "cognitive dissonance" I'd include that as a likely diagnosis):

...when it comes to giving working families a break, McCain has been a nightmare. You want to know why American jobs get shipped overseas and why American workers who lose their jobs are left in the lurch? Just examine McCain's voting record, a voting record that has tossed the poor, native Americans, veterans, our country's children, and the unemployed under the bus. McCain was one of only 28 right-wing extremists who voted to kill the minimum wage and has long opposed legislation to increase the minimum wage, even filibustering to prevent working people from getting a hike in the minimum wage. Similarly, McCain has opposed health care for poor children and when Bush vetoed a bill that increased health care for children, McCain loudly rubber stamped his decision. Clearly, John McCain has been no friend to poor people.

Also, I kind of feel like adopting Arianna Huffington's Right is Wrong for some fun reading. Because it wouldn't hurt this country to reflect on the fear mongering tactics that the right will likely pull out again in this election:

During the 2004 race, there was an endless line of members of the Right's establishment eager to parrot the "al Qaeda wants Kerry to win" talking point -- including Senator Orrin Hatch, who made the despicable claim that terrorists "are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry."

Even without a photoshopped photo of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi sporting a Kerry-Edwards campaign button, this "terrorists for Democrats" routine was laughable, loathsome, and a new low in American politics. It was also patently untrue. Why in the world would the terrorists have wanted to get rid of George Bush? He is their chief recruiter: a man who has alienated our allies, isolated us, and united the Muslim world against us.

The president's preemptive invasion of Iraq has been such a boon to al Qaeda that in 2004 the British ambassador to Italy, Ivor Roberts, called Bush the terrorist organization's "best recruiting sergeant."

And now I can finally close some tabs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

*this* is elitism

Better Off?

I've seen some of the "younger than McCain" ads, and while those are entertaining, they need to be making the point that *this* commercial makes: McCain is seriously out of touch with the economic realities of the average American, and has earned his nickname McSame for some very good reasons.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

on being done

My oral exam was on Friday. After Alex said "congratulations, you passed," he said I should take the weekend off. Which I proceeded to do.

Friday was kind of shot -- after decompressing with Jill and Meredith over sangria, I came back and *tried* to take a nap. It didn't work: I kept thinking about the questions and how I'd handled/not handled them. So I got back up, and had soup for dinner. It had to be soup because my voice was failing: after practicing my 15-20 min. talk twice, giving the talk, talking for like an hour and a half after that, and then decompressing, and then talking to Mum and Andrew, it was becoming painful to speak. So soup and internet tv: I watched the Medium and Desperate Housewives that I had missed earlier in the week.

Saturday was blissful. I woke up with nothing to do. I decided to take a walk through campus and down Palm Drive, to Anthropologie, where I proceeded to waste money. Shopping is therapeutic. I bought two sale things, and one thing full price (which I rarely do): but it's a flowy white shirt with yellow flowers, and how could I not? I decided that I can wear yellow as long as it's with another color that doesn't have a tendency to make me look cadaverously white.

Then I took my happy shopping bag with my parcels wrapped in pretty paper and went to Whole Foods: which is *also* therapeutic. I love trying new things.

And then I caught a bus back home, where I had time to watch Bill Maher and do laundry before taking a little nap and getting ready for dinner at Bridget and Nicki's.

Dinner was a dream -- Bridget and Nicki are delightful, and Nicki made *way* too much food, all of which was vegetarian and yummy. And between the steamed artichokes and homemade pizza and watermelon with mint, I got excited about returning to cooking. [Because food before orals was getting ridiculous: I relied upon cups of soups for evening study sessions at school, and by the 48 hours before the exam, I was eating bread with a hard boiled egg and tomato -- not together, just a whole tomato, a whole egg, and bread with brummel and brown, because what was the use of making egg salad sandwich if I could barely stand to eat, anyways?] I sorely needed the inspiration. So tonight I made green curry.

Today I slept till 10:30, went to the farmer's market with Jill, made lunch, watched Our Mutual Friend and took a nap, took a walk and caught up with Andrew, made dinner, started leisurely reading The Old Curiosity Shop because Dickens is my favorite, watched Desperate Housewives, cleaned my shower (it needed it: the homemade solution of baking soda, vinegar, and soap that Mum recommended worked wonders on the soap scummy layer that I had just about given up on -- thanks Mum!), took a shower, and now... I think I'm gonna eat some chocolate.

This is kind of how I feel (and probably what I would have been doing today if it had been just *slightly* warmer):

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Till Friday

I just need to make it until 3:30 on Friday. Then I can begin drinking and forgetting the name of characters. Like Ivanhoe's love interest: Rowena. I never remember that name. Probably because it's so similar to *Waverley's* love interests (Rose, Flora -- which are kind of too similar, now that I see them together).

And then I can stop worrying about marriage plots and the development of the lyric and realism vs. naturalism... and start worrying about a dissertation.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Christopher Walken and PLANTS

Apparently NBC was being an ass and made youtube take this down, despite the fact that NBC *doesn't* have the equivalent video up on its site. Yes, I looked. Because my oral exam is in ELEVEN DAYS, NBC, and I freaking need some GOOGLY EYES on some freaking PLANTS.