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Cindy Lou… Who?

Cindy Lou and the Grinch

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Kristol Klarity

Bill KristolI’ve written about this weasel before. I guess I find it amusingly ironic that someone with the name “Kristol” would see it as his duty to muddy issues — to make them anything but crystal clear.

Let’s look at the weasel’s latest spray of piss in the Times. Billy boy writes…

Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

“It’s not surprising then that they get bitter…” Does that clause seem a little odd to you? What’s the “then” for? Ah, of course. Rule #1 in the mudslinger’s handbook: if you’re going to quote your target, be sure to take it out of context. So maybe we should look at the full quote:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

There’s your “then.” Whether you agree with the statement or not, at least you understand the history that Obama is blaming for the situation. I can see why his opponents and their supporters would jump all over this. It’s incredibly easy to grab that last sentence and claim it’s equivalent to something like, “I need to find a way to tell these simple-minded rednecks that I can help them.”

But you need to think about the source. If I had said this (if I were stupid enough to try to run for elective office), it would be pretty safe to conclude that I meant it the way people are describing it. But that’s because I’m an atheist, I would support an effort to rewrite the second amendment to make it clear that it’s not about private ownership of guns, I feel thoroughly alienated when I’m in the Midwest (and I felt that way for the year and a half that I lived there), and frankly, I’m not particularly patriotic. I don’t personally think of myself as an elitist, but that’s just my opinion. But if I were a politician and I said something like that, I think it’s fair to say that my opponents would be justified in saying about me what they’re saying about Obama.

I’m not Obama. I didn’t lose my father when I was a baby. I didn’t lose my mother when I was a teenager. I wasn’t raised by my grandparents. I didn’t go to school on scholarships. For the most part, my parents paid my way. And I’m not a Christian. He is.

When the weasel compares Obama to Marx, he knows that it’s not applicable.

…[I]t’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to … religion” out of economic frustration.

And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”

What’s more, he’s written eloquently in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” of his own religious awakening upon hearing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “Audacity of Hope” sermon, and of the complexity of his religious commitment. You’d think he’d do other believers the courtesy of assuming they’ve also thought about their religious beliefs.

I agree. It doesn’t make sense. If I’d said it, no problem, because you’re not going to find a record of me saying the opposite. If Obama says it, considering his history, you can conclude that either his apparent respect for religion for the past twenty years has been an attempt to fool people, you can conclude that, for some reason, he wasn’t being honest to the people he was speaking with that day, or you can conclude that what Obama’s quoted as saying in California has some meaning other than the easily attacked “elitist” interpretation. See, weasel? More than one easy conclusion, and the one that you, your pals at Fox, McCain and Clinton have chosen, it seems to me, is the one that makes the least sense. Why would a religious person believe that religion is the opiate of the masses?

But whatever you choose to believe, don’t you have to wonder what Obama’s point was in making the statement in question? What does it mean that these people who didn’t experience much if any of the growth of the national economy during good times, and who’ve borne the brunt of bad economic periods more than most others happen to put a lot of reliance in (that is, “cling to”) the elements of their lives about which they feel most secure?

It’s pretty simple, if you ask me. They’re the Reagan Democrats. They’re a big part of the people who’ve been targeted for decades by operatives like Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. And what strategy was used on those people? Take the aspects of their lives that these people rely on, and scare them into thinking that your political opponents plan to take them away. Make them believe they’re going to lose their guns, that there’s a plot to seriously weaken their religious freedoms, or that their bitterness is the fault of someone other than the government that’s ignored them and the corporations that used them and then threw them away. In other words, they’re the people who receive nothing more than pandering and lip service from most politicians, who play on their fears to turn them into single-issue voters.

With that in mind, look at how Obama’s opponents and detractors have responded to what he said: they’ve denied that there’s any truth in his statement, and they’ve told the people he spoke of that they’re not bitter at all; that they’re proud, godly people with strong traditions. That is to say, they’ve pandered to them and blamed their troubles on someone else. Clinton in particular has tried to get their votes (most of which she already had) by pretending to be one of them and convincing them that people like Obama (the “elite”) are the enemy. She’s giving them one issue to override any other issue they may have been considering, hoping it will scare them enough to get them to vote for the alternative to the enemy she’s pointed out to them. And who is that alternative?

Atwater would be proud.

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Mitt Romney – Friend of the Working Class

Our boy Mitt is in his other-other-other home state of Michigan, where he’s expressing his view of the state’s unemployment problem — a view that differs greatly from that of John McCain. McCain is telling people that jobs that have been sent overseas are “not coming back,” but ever the optimist, Romney takes exception with McCain’s sad sack stance:

Romney wearing Ford cap and UAW pin

At an unscheduled press conference in front of a General Motors factory where 200 employees were recently laid off, Romney said that he wasn’t there to criticize GM for making a necessary business decision but that he was tired of Washington not doing enough for the domestic automobile industry.

“You hear some say that these are jobs that are just going away and we better get used to it, but where does it stop?” Romney asked. “Is there a point at which someone says you know that’s enough? Or are we gonna let the entire automobile industry — domestic manufacturer automotive industry — disappear and just say, ‘Well that was tough, that’s just the way it is.’ That’s not what I believe.”

As he has stumped around Michigan, Romney has been criticizing John McCain for saying that some lost automobile industry jobs are not going to come back to Michigan.

So it’s clear that Mitt stands strongly on the side of the American worker, right? Sure! And just to show you how much Mitt cares for the working class, I’d like to remind you of some of his professional history.

The Boston Phoenix

In fact, Bain Capital under Romney frequently rewarded those at the top, and paid itself millions in consulting fees (see, “Guaranteed Profits”), even when, beneath them, their companies turned to dust. Despite a reputation for wise corporate guidance — observers have always considered Bain Capital’s management-consulting prowess its strength compared with other LBO firms — many of its companies withered after Romney’s team cashed out. Stage Stores, DDi, KB Toys, Babbages, Holson-Burnes, Dade-Behring — they all collapsed. But by the time they did, Romney and his team had already made money for themselves, their investors, their executive teams, and their bankers, legal consultants, and accountants.

[snip]

While showering execs with bonuses and stock options, Bain was typically slashing costs elsewhere, through layoffs and budget reductions.

One of the best-known examples is Dallas-based American Pad & Paper (AmPad), which Bain Capital bought in 1992. During Romney’s unsuccessful campaign for the US Senate in 1994, Ted Kennedy assailed him for Bain’s ruthless firing of hundreds of AmPad employees — and then offering to rehire some of them at lower wages and fewer benefits.

Bain Capital and its investors made more than $100 million on AmPad, even though the company eventually filed for bankruptcy.

This was hardly atypical. Bain Capital’s record shows the same treatment for many companies: slashing jobs, benefits, research-and-development budgets, and other items to show quick profitability before selling or taking the company’s stock public.

The Los Angeles Times

From 1984 until 1999, Romney led Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity group that earned jaw-dropping profits through leveraged buyouts, debt hedge funds, offshore tax havens and other financial strategies. In some cases, Romney’s team closed U.S. factories, causing hundreds of layoffs, or pocketed huge fees shortly before companies collapsed.

[snip]

Making his first bid for elected office, Romney boasted that he had helped create more than 10,000 jobs at companies he had retooled. But Kennedy painted him as someone “who puts profits over people,” and an ugly labor dispute soon helped sink Romney’s campaign.

Bain Capital had bought a controlling interest in a paper products company called Ampad for $5 million in 1992. Two years later, after Ampad bought a factory in Marion, Ind., the new management team dismissed about 200 workers, slashed salaries and benefits, and hired strikebreakers after the union called a walkout.

“We were just fired,” Randy Johnson, a former worker and union officer at the Marion plant, recalled in a telephone interview. “They came in and said, ‘You’re all fired. If you want to work for us, here’s an application.’ We had insurance until the end of the week. That was it. It was brutal.”

In October 1994, Johnson and other striking workers drove to Massachusetts to protest Romney’s Senate campaign. “We chased him everywhere,” Johnson recalled. “He took good jobs with benefits, and created low-wage, part-time, no-benefit jobs. That’s what he was creating with his investments.”

At first, Romney tried to justify the Indiana layoffs as necessary in “the real world.” He then sought to distance himself, arguing that he took a leave of absence from Bain Capital before Ampad bought the factory. The dispute proved potent, however, and Kennedy trounced him in the election.

The New York Times

Citing his business experience, Mr. Romney has urged voters to reject “lifetime politicians” who “have never run a corner store, let alone the largest enterprise in the world.”

Mr. Romney, though, never ran a corner store or a traditional business. Instead, he excelled as a deal maker, a buyer and seller of companies, a master at the art of persuasion that he demonstrated in the talks that led to the forming of Bain Capital.

“Mitt ran a private equity firm, not a cement company,” Eric A. Kriss, a former Bain Capital partner, told The Times. “He was not a businessman in the sense of running a company,” Mr. Kriss said, adding, “He was a great presenter, a great spokesman and a great salesman.”

But leveraged buyouts often lead to layoffs, a business reality that has impinged on Mr. Romney’s political hopes at least once before. In his 1994 campaign for the Senate, Mr. Romney’s efforts to unseat Edward M. Kennedy were derailed in part because of accusations that Bain Capital had fired union workers at an Indiana company it controlled. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign cut a series of commercials, focusing on laid-off workers, that cut to the quick. (Those ads are available on The Huffington Post.) Mr. Romney has said that he had nothing to do with the firings.

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Romney acknowledged that Bain Capital’s acquisitions has sometimes led to layoffs, but that he could explain them to voters.

“Sometimes the medicine is a little bitter but it is necessary to save the life of the patient,” he said. “My job was to try and make the enterprise successful, and in my view the best security a family can have is that the business they work for is strong.”

Yeah! Can you hear it? That sound rising from the factories and warehouses and docks of America… They’re calling your name, Mitt Romney, for you are the one true friend and hope of the worker! You are the Tom Joad of the 21st century!

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Somebody Set Up Us the Googlebomb

googlebombAn old college chum of mine is a fairly well-known leftie political (and sex, religion and knitting) blogger. She also writes for Crooks and Liars, so yeah — she’s pretty big in that pond. About a week ago, she published a post announcing that she was joining a googlebomb associating the phrase “Liberal Fascism” (the title of Jonah Goldberg’s latest screed) with the word “fuckwad.”

Smarty-pants SEO that I am, I left the following comment on her post:

Sadly, googlebombs don’t work anymore. If they did, I’d be telling everyone to do this: lying sack of shit.

Anybody who follows these matters knows that Google modified their algorithm a year ago to diminish the chances of a googlebomb succeeding. Right?

Well, all I can say is that I’m glad I don’t have a hat, or I’d be eating it. In spite of the fact that, as liberals, their concerted effort wasn’t all that concerted — they didn’t all link to the same URL — it looks like they’ve pulled it off. Check out result #8 in the SERP below.

Google results for liberal fascism

Go ahead. Take a look at the page and its source code. No sign of either “liberal” or “fascism” in there, much less the exact phrase. Have a look at the page’s backlinks — left-wing political blog after left-wing political blog.

Go figure.

Update, January 13

As of this morning, the Urban Dictionary page is at #1 for the search. However, someone has edited the page to include two instances of the keyword phrase, so sadly, it doesn’t really count as a bomb anymore.

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Concord Monitor: Anyone But Mitt

Mitt Romney‘Tis the season, as the saying goes, for newspapers, particularly in Iowa and New Hampshire, to publish their endorsements in the current political races. This time around, the Des Moines Register endorsed McCain and Clinton, and the Boston Globe (which is pretty widely read up in New Hampshire) went for McCain and Obama.

In New Hampshire itself, it appears that just about every newspaper leans to the right, so they generally only give their endorsement on the Republican side. The Union Leader of Manchester declared McCain “the man to lead America.” The Concord Monitor chose to do something I’ve never seen before: rather than endorsing a candidate, they asked their readers not to vote for one of them. And that one is the former governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Willard Mitt Romney.

Romney’s been leading all the polls in New Hampshire since he announced his candidacy, and that was no surprise, given that a lot of people in NH commute down to Boston for their work. A generally conservative state like New Hampshire is bound to have an affinity for a Massachusetts Republican — especially one as pretty as Romney. But a poll in the Globe from a few days ago shows McCain closing the gap, coming within three percentage points of Romney. Do we see a trend here, kids?

So this Just Say No to Mitt editorial in the Monitor is just a thing of beauty, as far as I’m concerned. You should definitely click through and read the whole thing, but I’ll give you the first two paragraphs and the last two, just to wet your whistle.

Romney should not be the next president

If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit, imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit. You’d add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business career and just enough executive government experience. You’d pour in some old GOP bromides – spending cuts and lower taxes – plus some new positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped.

[snip]

When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we’ll know it.

Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.

I love it! Of course, it would be nice if they’d run a couple more editorials, one explaining that Giuliani is a lying sack of shit and the other pointing out that Huckabee is… well, he’s Huckabee. We already know Fred Thompson flashed before he even got into the pan, and Tancredo is gone, so what’s that leave us with? Ron Paul, who (sorry, interweb denizens) really doesn’t represent what the GOP has stood for since Reagan, and Duncan Hunter, who is such a hyper-Reaganite that even Reaganites find him comical.

I wonder — What if they held a Republican primary, and no one showed up?

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Romney’s Big Speech

Mitt Romney with haloIf you’re a regular reader here (as if) you know that I’ve got a bit of a problem with the strategy Mitt Romney is apparently using to deal with people who have a problem with the fact that he’s a Mormon. Basically, he’s stressing that he’s a person of faith, pointing out what he has in common with the majority of people. That would be more or less acceptable to me, but the rhetoric Romney uses very clearly alienates those of us who don’t adhere to any religious faith. I’ve written about this before.

Today, Romney gave a speech at the George Bush library at Texas A&M, the purpose of which was to assuage the fears of those who are worried about what it would mean to have a Mormon president — much like John Kennedy did in 1960, assuring people that as president, he wouldn’t be taking orders from the pope. You can read the entire transcript of the speech at the site of the Wall Street Journal, but I thought I’d give you my comments on a few excerpts. This is basically what I was shouting back at the eye of hell while Mitzi spoke.

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom.

So I take it that means that those of us who don’t have a religion aren’t free, or can’t be free. Why is that?

As a young man, Lincoln described what he called America’s ‘political religion’ – the commitment to defend the rule of law and the Constitution. When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.

This one’s a little odd. When Lincoln gave his Lyceum Speech on January 27, 1838 in Springfiield Illinois, his point was pretty much what Romney says: commitment to the rule of law. As such, it’s really got nothing to do with the real theme of Romney’s speech. It’s about faith in something strictly secular. Here’s an excerpt from Lincoln’s speech:

The question recurs, “how shall we fortify against [mob law]?” The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;–let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;–let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

Back to Romney:

Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they are right, so be it. But I think they underestimate the American people. Americans do not respect believers of convenience.

Americans tire of those who would jettison their beliefs, even to gain the world.

I wonder if that includes all the beliefs he professed to the people of Massachusetts when he was running for office here.

There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church’s distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution.

And yet he seems to be just fine with a more general religious test — if you adhere to a religion, you pass. If not, fuck off.

The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation ‘Under God’ and in God, we do indeed trust.

We should acknowledge the Creator as did the Founders – in ceremony and word. He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places. Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests. I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.’

Of course this is a reference to US currency and the pledge of allegiance, but “In God We Trust” was added to our money in 1864 and “under God” was added to the pledge in 1954, so this really has nothing at all to do with the Founders.

Nor would I separate us from our religious heritage. Perhaps the most important question to ask a person of faith who seeks a political office, is this: does he share these American values: the equality of human kind, the obligation to serve one another, and a steadfast commitment to liberty?

They are not unique to any one denomination. They belong to the great moral inheritance we hold in common. They are the firm ground on which Americans of different faiths meet and stand as a nation, united.

You wouldn’t ask those questions of a person who didn’t profess some faith? Why? Are you assuming the answers would be “no”?

These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours.

Assuming you have one, that is. If not, fuck off.

In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation’s symphony of faith.

I guess I need to break this one down a bit… “…we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty…” Well, in some aspects of the cause of liberty, I suppose, but not all. A lot of school boards want the liberty to teach intelligent design. Reason finds that concept either laughable or disgusting.

“Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me.” If he means one has to be a member of both of those groups to be his ally, I guess that’s OK. But those could certainly be two separate groups, and the sentence doesn’t indicate to me that he’s saying one has to be in both groups. I think it would be fair to say that I believe in religious liberty, but I’m not seeking Mitt’s support for my views, and it’s pretty clear he wouldn’t support them. And there are certainly many people who have “knelt in prayer to the Almighty” but aren’t Mitt’s kind of people. Those folks for whom Mitt says he wants to double the size of Gitmo come to mind, for example.

“And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation’s symphony of faith.” We do not insist on a single strain of religion, but it appears we (that is, he and those to whom he’s pandering) do insist on some strain of religion. After all, in our nation’s symphony of faith, those of us who don’t have a faith don’t even get to sit with the orchestra.

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Wave That Lapel

Rudy GiulianiThis is an open letter to just about every politician here in the US of A.

Dear American Politician,

What’s that I see on your lapel? It looks like a pin of some sort. Oh, I see. It’s an American flag pin. What’s it for? I think everyone already knows you’re an American. You really don’t need to remind us.

Oh, I think I get it. You want people to know that you’re patriotic, right?

It’s awfully small, though. Are you saying you’re just a little patriotic? Are you trying to be subtle? This is America, remember?

If you’re going to wear Old Glory, you should make a point of making it more noticeable than you are. Wrap yourself up in a big flag. Cover your face. A true patriot knows that the only thing we need to know about their identity is that they love America. Anything less says the opposite.

Your tiny pin mocks this great nation.

Traitor.

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More Prayers to the Rain God of Dixie

Remember back in July, when Bob Riley, the governor of Alabammy, issued a proclamation calling for a week of prayer for rain? One could argue that it met with some degree of success. One would be wrong, but that never stopped anybody.

On Sunday, a series of strong thunderstorms brought torrential rain, flash floods and lightning to the area, but apparently not enough to bring much relief to the drought-stricken area.

“I don’t think it made a big dent,” said Patrick Gatlin with the National Weather Service’s Huntsville office. “… This is the most rain we’ve seen in quite some time but it definitely won’t get us back to normal.”

Sonny PerdueWith a record of success like that, it should come as no surprise that in Georgia, where they’re dealing with a drought of historic proportions, Governor Sonny Perdue would put that tried and true method to use:

Bowing his head outside the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a newly repentant figure as he publicly prayed for rain to end the region’s historic drought.

“Oh father, we acknowledge our wastefulness,” Perdue said. “But we’re doing better. And I thought it was time to acknowledge that to the creator, the provider of water and land, and to tell him that we will do better.”

Hundreds of Georgians — ministers and lawmakers, landscapers and office workers — gathered in downtown Atlanta for the prayer vigil. Some held bibles and crucifixes. Many swayed and linked arms as a choir sang “What a Mighty God We Serve” and “Amazing Grace.”

As Perdue described it, “We have come together, very simply, for one reason and one reason only: To very reverently and respectfully pray up a storm.”

And did the Rain God deliver?

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday morning that he’s not gloating over the fact that it rained a day after he held a prayer vigil at the Capitol.

“This is hopefully the beginning of more,” Perdue said from Canada, where he is on a trade mission. “One rain won’t refill the reservoirs. It is great affirmation of what we asked for.”

Most of metro Atlanta got a little rain overnight ahead of a strong cold front that blew through North Georgia, and a wind advisory was in effect for gusty conditions behind the front on Thursday.

“As we do all we can from a conservation standpoint, virtually all of us know we are dependent on rain. I am just a person who believes it comes from God,” Perdue said.

While almost all of metro Atlanta got rain, most rainfall totals were only around a quarter-inch or less.

Overnight rainfall totals included .14 inch at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, .21 inch at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport and .28 inch at Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

The rain was a little heavier north of town, with Cartersville reporting .82 inch and Gainesville .75 inch.

The wind advisory for 20 mph winds gusting to 30 to 35 mph was in effect from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

“Such strong winds may result in weak or small trees being blown down, some possibly onto power lines,” the Weather Service said. “Loose outdoor objects such as lawn furniture and garbage cans, should be secured or stored indoors.”

The forecast for metro Atlanta calls for sunny skies on Friday, with early-morning lows in the mid-30s and afternoon highs in the upper 50s.

Lows will be in the low 30s Friday night under mostly clear skies, forecasters said.

The weekend outlook is for mostly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday, with highs in the mid-60s and lows in the low 40s.

There is a 20 percent chance of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday, the Weather Service said.

Praise be.

While we’re on the subject, what’s the deal with the names of Southern politicians? You’ve got Sonny Perdue, Trent Lott, Saxby Chambliss, and I’m sure plenty of others. I’m guessing that Lott and Chambliss carry old family names that remind their constituents of the glory days of the region, kind of like the confederate flag.

Do you think anybody with a name like that could be taken seriously up here? I mean, “Trent Lott” sounds like a name Elvis would call out in the middle of a song to introduce a bass solo, and “Saxby Chambliss” has to be the sort of effete upper-class fellow Scarlett O’Hara’s family would have tried to marry her off to, but he just wasn’t manly enough for her.

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Mitch McConnell Visits the Dentist

Mitch McConnellHey Mitch, good to see you.

Yep.

How’s business back in Washington?

Fine.

Keeping those Democrats in their place, huh?

Yep.

OK, well let’s have us a look at those old choppers.

Open, please.

Open.

Open, please.

Open.

A little wider, please Mitch.

Oooopen.

Senator, I can’t check your teeth if you don’t open your mouth for me.

Open.

Open.

Open open open open open.

Come on, Mitch. All I can see are those five pointy little brown ones along the bottom. I need you to open your mouth so I can check the rest.

Open wide, now.

Open.

Open your mouth.

Open it.

You open your mouth now, or I’m going to slice you open and you’ll need safety pins to close it, you old fool.

I’m warning you, McConnell.

Just so you know, I never voted for your backwards ass. You want me to cut you, I’ll cut you.

Fine. This is going to be fun.

OK, rinse please.

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Google’s Political Connections

No, I’m not talking about relationships between the company and any political figures. I just want to point out something I noticed regarding Google suggesting other searches when I look for information about a politician.

Let’s start with the names of the leaders of the two major parties in the US Senate:

I was planning on writing a post that would serve to mock Mitch McConnell’s minuscule mouth, so I ran a search on his name and then clicked “Images”. What did I see? This:

Google image results for Mitch McConnell

Why is Google suggesting I try searches for Durbin and Lott? And why are they leaving out Reid, who is (at least officially) the most powerful of the four? I doubt it has anything to do with the relative size of their mouths — only McConnell’s is comically tiny.

If I run an image search for Harry Reid, Dick Durbin or Trent Lott, I don’t get a recommendation to look at other people. It’s as if Google is telling me to avoid looking at pictures of McConnell, which is totally unnecessary. I know he isn’t pretty, but I can handle it.

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