Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hey Joe Six-Pack...

via Doghouse Riley over at Bats Left/Throws Right:

The Republican National Committee paid more than $150,000 for clothing, makeup and accessories in September that apparently went to Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, according to an article on

That included $9,447.71 to Macy’s, $789.72 to Barneys New York, $5,102.71 to Bloomingdales; $49,425.74 to Saks Fifth Avenue and $4,902.45 to Atelier.

In one heavyweight shopping trip in early September, $75,062.63 was spent at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, a host city of the Republican National Convention.

The expenditures were listed on the R.N.C.’s monthly financial disclosure forms.


NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Pettigrew principle


Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency is nothing less than a history-marking event, regardless of how it turns out. For those of us who attended Catholic school in the 1960s, however, the campaign is not entirely unfamiliar.

If you were attending Catholic school at that time, you could subscribe to a comic book called Treasure Chest. As you might imagine, given the time and the audience, there were lots of “educational “and “inspirational” stories in Treasure Chest. As an adult, I would probably find these stories stupid or offensive, or both…if I remembered them. Fortunately, the stories I remember are the ones that slipped in under the radar. There was a series about kids living on a space station that I remember liking, and there was 1976: Pettigrew For President..

From what I’ve been able to put together so far, 1976: Pettigrew For President ran for 10 chapters in 1964. Treasure Chest came out every two weeks, so the story played out over roughly half a school year. The title character was Gov. Timothy Pettigrew, who was running for his party’s presidential nomination in that exotic future year of 1976. I would’ve been in fifth grade when the series ran, but my parents were already wondering how much longer would I be reading those weird funnybooks.

It probably took me a couple of chapters before I realized that there was something strange about “Pettigrew.” We would never see the governor’s face. We would hear his voice as part of a telephone conversation, but, if he was in the room, his head would always be blocked by something, or someone. I knew that the strip’s creators were building up to something, but I don’t think I had any theories about what it was. So I was definitely surprised when, on the last page of the story, as he accepts his party’s nomination, Tim Pettigrew is revealed to be African-American.

I know: to an adult, this all sounds heavy-handed, at best. To a fifth-grader, though, it was anything but, even though we never find out if the governor was elected president.
For what it’s worth, there’s a similar reveal in “Judgment Day,” a story that appeared in one of the classic EC science fiction comics. In this story, a man from Earth comes to Cybrinia, a planet where humans had deposited a colony of super-intelligent robots sometime in the distant past. The visitor was to evaluate the culture the robots had developed, to see if Cybrinia was worthy for inclusion in the Galactic Republic.

While many aspects of the cybernetic culture are positive, the Earthman quickly discovers that the robots with orange skins are discriminating against the robots with blue skins. This disqualifies the Cybrinians for membership in the Republic. Throughout the story, the human visitor wears a spacesuit that obscures his face. In the last panel, though, he takes his helmet off and “the instrument lights made the beads of perspiration on his dark skin twinkle like distant stars.”

“Judgment Day” first appeared in 1953, but I first read it in Tales Of the Incredible, a paperback reprint which came out in 1965 (and is sitting beside my computer right now).

Someone named Bob Wundrock—another survivor of the Catholic School system, I’m guessing—has posted some pages from 1976: Pettigrew For President on YouTube. They confirm another memory I had of the series—Pettigrew actually looks a bit like Obama—and they provide some plot points that I’d forgotten.

Pettigrew’s major opponent for the nomination is the ominously-named Senator Oilengass. The governor picks Oilengass to as his vice president , but a typo adds some unintentional humor to the invitation. The word balloon reads: “Senator, will you run as vice-president with me? I’d be proud to have you?”

Go ahead, look at it again. I’ll wait.

Even in fifth grade, I was far enough into comics that I was looking at credit boxes and noticing artists’ signatures. So it registered on me at the time that 1976: Pettigrew For President was drawn by Joe Sinnott. Sinnott is probably best known as Jack Kirby’s inker on the Fantastic Four comic, but he was providing both pencils and inks here.

As for the writer, I still don’t know much about him. He appears to be someone named Barry Reese, but that’s all I’ve been able to find out. For the record, “Judgment Day” was drawn by Joe Orlando. I haven’t been able to find a writing credit for this story either, but stories in the classic EC comics are usually credited to Al Feldstein.

1776:Pettigrew For President may have been an indicator of the liberal trends in the Catholic Church at the time. Or it may have just slipped in under the radar. In either case, the so-called real world is finally catching up to it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barack O'Bama

 Obama is as white as he is black.

And he is neither as well.

This song hits exactly the right tone about something that has always baffled me about the subject of race in America. Oh I understand the "reasoning" about a "drop" of the fatal blood and all that. But if being white is so superior you'd think that well, the "good" would overcome the "bad'. Seems to me.

Of  course that doesn't stop someone who has a cousin who dated a woman who once kissed an Irishman from claiming that that makes him Irish as well.

Oh and by the way, you fucking racist asshats coming out to Gov. Palin's rallies..


Submitted without comment

From the end of last night's debate

Thursday, October 09, 2008

This is so appalling

These are the people Sarah Palin is bringing out. My God. If I were McCain I'd hang my head in shame that I'm depending on them for their votes. Unbelievably foul human beings.

This is scary friends

And all McPalin can talk about is Bill Ayers, a former radical activist who is now a Distiguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A man who has worked closely with that known bunch of radicals The Annenburg Education Foundation (snark). A man who was named "Chicago Citizen of the Year" in 1997.

The economic world is crashing down around us largely because of the policies championed by McCain and his chief economic wiz, Phil Gramm.

And all they can talk about is this meaningless gossip. 

It is to weep.

From the Mighty Pen of the Great John Cleese

via TPM:

Ode to Sean Hannity

by John Cleese

Aping urbanity 
Oozing with vanity 
Plump as a manatee 
Faking humanity 
Journalistic calamity 
Intellectual inanity 
Fox Noise insanity 
You’re a profanity 

Monday, October 06, 2008

Mr Maverick Republican

Feel the Love.

John McCain voted to support Bush over 90% of the time.

Has your life gotten better under Bush?

Has the country been made stronger?

John McCain, the original Bush Baby.

Go ahead George, you can burp him now.