Thursday, August 28, 2008

Get Off Bill Clinton's D*** Already

Barack Obama won the Democratic Party nomination last night by acclamation - and yes, it's a historic accomplishment. But can everyone get off Bill Clinton's d*** already?

Bill gave some sort of speech last night claiming that in the past 72 hours, Barack has become ready to lead. Fine, the Dems are putting on a united front which means they'll have to eat their words in order to put Barack in the White House. But doesn't it seem like the Dems want us to think Barack's chances at the Presidency hinge on the Clintons? Bill Clinton may have a way with the ladies but a svengali of the American electorate he is not. Further, the Dems have to decide if Bill is a hero or a pervert because on the one hand they're feeding stories about his purported stubborn streak while looking to him to save the election.

But you know what this speaks to? The Dems Monday Morning Quarterbacking ways. For the past eight years the Dems haven't been able to win the White House. Failing to realize that they aren't connecting with Americans, failing to actually stand for SOMETHING, the Dems just heckle the players on the field, much like that whiny kid that gets picked last for dodgeball.

And now that the Dems have found Jesus - er- Obama, they're making it seem as if Big Whitey, embodied by Bill and Hillary Clinton - are the obstacles to progress.

Sad how when the Dems do manage to articulate an opinion, it's to undo all the work of the most luminary figures in the Party.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Smells Like Team Spirit

The reviews are in and everyone agrees: Hillary Clinton has saved the Democratic Party. Decked out in a saffron pant suit and her trademark surprised joker face, Hillary called for unity within the party and offered her undying support for Barack Obama. As McCain gains on Obama in the polls and the Dems hurdle toward another November fumble, the Dems have brought in the big guns to save the election.

What we saw last night was a Hillary Clinton in protective lioness mode. We've seen this before when she stood up to Congress in defense of her husband when the Lewsinky scandal almost cost him his Presidency. We saw it during the Whitewater inquiries.

Funny how when times get rough, Hillary is called in as the closer. Everyone (and by everyone I mean the press who can only cover Obama's miracle of the loaves and walking on water so many times in a week)expected Hillary to show up as an untamed shrew, wagging a finger at the Party to say "told you so" before hopping a plane for the Amalfi Coast. Instead Hillary made a wise investment in her own political future. She knows the deal: Obama isn't winning this election and it only helps her to go on the record as a staunch supporter of the Obama-Biden ticket. Well, at least for the next two months.

OK, so the Dems have the unity part down. Kinda. Now it's time for change. It's time for Barack to get tough, get a solid opinion on the economy, the environment and the war on terror and get someone to write a catchy song about him like Team McCain has.

And then November is a steal. Right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Use What You Got

Day 1 of the Democratic Convention came to a teary finish last night; legacy, vision, possibility were the themes of the evening. CNN pointed out that the Dems still haven't learned how to play dirty, foregoing opportunities to blast the Republican leadership of the past eight years to strike a concilliatory tone. The Dems message: "We're just like you, only better, and you need us to lead."

First up in the Primetime telecast was Caroline Kennedy, who walked on stage to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" blasting in the background. She introduced her uncle, Senator Edward Kennedy, as the people's tireless Senator, one who has fought to make education, fair pay and healthcare a right for all (he also helped end Apartheid?). And then a video on Senator Kennedy's achievments and legacy played with images of him commandeering a massive schooner against snippets from fiery speeches. Sadly, the lavish production just made me think of The Old Man and the Sea, but I did tear up.

And then came Michelle Obama, South Side Girl, and once again, she won my heart. It's a very long way from Chicago's south side to the marquee speaking spot at the Democratic Convention, but Michelle told her story in a way that didn't make her achievements remarkable but instead attainable for everyone. Why haven't you gotten a degree from Princeton yet?

The juxtaposition of elder statesman against boot-strap accomplishment was brilliant and is at the core of the Democratic Party's value system: give people a chance and watch them do great things. But then again, isn't that Hillary's story, too?

OK, Team Obama, you scored points on Day 1. But, while you guys are playing the "See How Much Better Things Can Be" card, know that the GOP is certain to remind Americans just how bad things can be and will point to Osama, Obama, gay marriage and universal healthcare as the harbingers of the Apocalypse.

The Dems have three days to paint a stark picture on our future, let's see if Hillary takes the dialogue in that direction tonight.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Jimes!

Allow me to gush for two seconds about my boyfriend James (whom I call Jimes...when we first met there was a time when, for want of being polite, I ran out of things to say so I just started calling him Jimes, as in, March of Dimes.) Today is his birthday and I wish I could give him a spectacle that's worthy of the Olympics; for now, though, I'll just say "Happy Birthday,, you're the greatest."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Brand Loyalty

Poor Barack picked the wrong buzz words for a campaign: unity and change. The only thing that somewhat unites the Dems these days is a panic that all their hemming and hawing and leading-by-the-direction-of-the-wind is going to cost them the White House.

It already has.

The Obama-Biden ticket is making its debut today, giving us a preview of the disjointed, personal-agenda-driven cabinet Barack would assemble to lead this country.

While the Democrats have perfected the art of the apology ("We're sorry your gas prices are high," "We're sorry we've fumbled two elections," "We're sorry we voted for the war") and forge alliances the same way teenage girls (or twentysomething gay men)do, the Republicans blast ahead, bombing, re-writing the Constitution, taking rights away and putting guns on the streets.

Why? Because Republicans have their act together. They're a brand, after all, and they're selling not just a white picket fence future for America, but the legacy of Regan, Eisenhower...Lincoln even! The Republicans aren't blasting Regan or Bush Sr in their scramble for the Oval Office, they're not undoing all the works they celebrated in times past, but the Dems...well, they can't flay the Clintons in public yet because the GOP has been sitting on the bill.

Whereas the Republicans are blasted for being arrogant and heartless, the Dems need to know that they are the party of self-important intellectuals who will eat each other's babies for power. Unity? Change?

Kudos, once again, to Team McCain for pointing out how desperate the Dems are. In a Top-Model-like "why should you stay and Obama go?" moment, Biden, a candidate that I very much liked, stated that he did not think Obama was ready to lead.

And that's the best running mate Obama could find? Could it be that maybe no one wants anything to do with this narcissistic juggernaut? I wonder if the Dems are planning on buying evening gowns for a January inauguration or doing pilates for a January retreat to Puerto Rico?

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Just Want Y'all to Like Me

That's Louisiana Governor Piyush (Bobby to you) Jindal to the right and he's letting a provision in the State's legislature that bans workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation expire next month. (Queerty)Whoever that white guy in the background is looks like Satan, which is appropriate, seeing as Jindal is absolutely the GOP's next sock puppet. In black face.

To prove it, he's slated to be the final speaker at the Republican Convention in September, an indication that the GOP has anointed the wunderkind politician as the party's rising (colored) superstar. Obama-lite if you will.

I'm so over these Buppie politicians. Between Obama's increasingly obvious ineptitude, and this Bobby freak show's brazen elbows-out political maneuvering, I'm beginning to think that politicians morph into some sort of super, or sub-human, race and are devoid of any human context and simply rule on predator mode. I'm sure Aristotle pondered this, and, duh, I'm no Aristotle, but I'm just saying we're being ruled by an unlikable bunch. Argh.

Too bad the weather in Paris sucks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And the Vice President Is...

...who the hell cares? My friends, here's the deal: the War in Iraq isn't going to end anytime soon and your choices for Commander in Chief are a "community organizer" with a Bono complex and a once visionary politician who now has to support the right wing agenda.

For Team Obama, the possibilities for a runnning mate include Senator Joe Biden from Deleware, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

VPs often take the hardline for a candidate's political base; whereas a Presidential candidate has to temper whatever real opinions they have to appease everyone, a running mate is usually a signal to voters on where, exactly, the President stands on the issues. George Bush found an unflinching, uncompromising right wing warmonger in Dick Cheney and John Kerry joined forces with bleeding heart liberal John Edwards. So the saying goes: tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.

Barack, according to the Chicago Sun Times, may have a soul mate in Tim Kaine, but it looks like the smart choice is Joe Biden, a centrist, Catholic Dem.

Whoever the candidate is we'll see him - and it is going to be a him because Barack is in no position to get risque and bring a woman on the ticket - on Saturday when the campaign heads back to Springfield, Illinois, where Obama first announced his bid for office back in February 2007.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What the Hell is a Rick Warren and Why are the Candidates Such Imbecils?

Question: What makes a mega church Pastor an appropriate moderator for a nationally televised Presidential debate?

This past weekend some cult leader named Rick Warren sat down with McCain and Obama to chat about life, politics and moral transgressions. Nothing too riveting to report: McCain is staunchly pro-life, Obama is pro-choice but not pro-abortion and he also dabbled in drugs; as for who came out on top in this freak show of political discourse, it appears McCain edged Obama simply by having a firm point of view. Take note Dems: you gotta get a gimmick.

Also, the more I see Obama in these "candid" interviews, the more shifty and uncomfortable he looks.

The big issue for me, however, is that the Evangelical mega-church movement, which is nothing short of an epidemic, continues to find ways to assert itself in American politics. If the media wanted to get soft and personal with the candidates they should have asked yours truly or Tyra Banks to host a sit-down, not some megalomaniac in a Hawaiian t-shirt who commandeers the faith of thousands of people on a weekly basis. But seeing as Jim Jones and David Koresh aren't around to host these sorts of chats, Rick Warren will have to do.

Here's a snippet from Saturday's interviews at the Saddleback Church.

Both candidates on abortion:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Are You Happy With the Way This Country is Going?

That was the question posed to me by a friend of a friend two nights ago over cocktails. Swishing a dirty martini in my hand, I didn't have to stop and think. "Yes," I said.

"It might be going fine for you," sassed another friend, "but what about the country in general?"

Still, my answer is yes.

Don't get me wrong. There are a few things I'm not pleased about with this American life, but it has more to do with individual Americans than with anything any one leader can fix. That's why I can't stand up and cheer for anyone who thinks they can save us from ourselves.

How Barack Obama or John McCain are going to fix anything is beyond me, when the America's biggest problem is stupid Americans. We've lost that post-World War II umph and spirit of collaboration and now think that greatness is owed to us. Well, some of us. I still work to get paid, keep my stomach flat and what's left of my hair on my head (can Barack make Propecia a part of my health insurance plan?)But when it comes to entitlement, a disease that's killing America, there's no greater example of "I deserve it because I want it" than Barack Obama, who seems to think he is descended from heaven and owed a crown and sceptor.

I can't blame George Bush for the things that irk me about Americans. That many of us are lazy and can't locate our own country on a map isn't his fault, it's the fault of ignorant people who have TV's-a-plenty in their homes for their over-caffeinated children but nary a book or map in sight, even for decoration. It isn't the President's fault that stupid Americans can't make a connection between the high price of oil and our love of Hummers and other monstrous vehicles, and it isn't his fault that people are losing their homes after some very ill-advised financial decisions. Bush and his cronies may be cashing in on it, but that's the price of a capitalist society. People are encouraged to create and seize opportunities for profit.

How are Barack and McCain going to stop the Chinese from beating us into submission? How are we going to stick it to Iran and Venezuela? Is Barack going to make one of his rock-star appearances in Caracas and charm Chavez into giving us oil for free? Is McCain going to let people like T. Boone Pickens switch us over to wind power?

I think it's going to take a very long time for us to shake the stupor of the Bush-Cheney years. We might be another four years away from that, but right now we're still in the haze of the nuke-ular era and we're going to see John McCain win the election in November. And it's not going to make any difference -- Americans don't want change, they (me, for the most part) love how this country is working, so if it ain't entirely broke why fix it?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama Supporter Will Kidnap and Rape Your Kids

I've decided that Barack Obama isn't going to win the election in November. America is not in the mood to take chances on a starlet politician who is going to want to loop in Dr. Phil to mediate talks with Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela. We want someone who is going to push that panic button at 3 a.m. and show wannabe imperialists who's boss. Besides, this isn't France, where Barack and Michelle would pretty much be royalty. America doesn't want pretty and exciting in the White House; they want pudgy, meat-and-potatoes-eating, trigger-happy folk running the show.

America is also not going to vibe with politicians whose supporters produce songs that say "Gee wiz, mothaf***ers still in my biz, don't they know my nigga gonna f***in' kidnap kids, f*** em' in they a**, throw them over the bridge? that's how it it is."

Back in his days as Puff Daddy, Sean Combs was producing tracks for drug-dealer-turned MC Biggie Smalls, and those choice rhymes are from a number called "What's Beef?"

Scroll over to 1:02:

The Dems, ever so out of touch with what Americans want (hint: it's not John Kerry and world peace), haven't learned the most important rule about modern day American politics: Talk of raping and killing kids can cost someone an election. That's how it is.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Said Barack was the Antichrist First, Dammit

Team McCain's new TV ad renders Obama as...the Antichrist. I made that comparison here back in March.

In an ad called "The One," Obama's vainglorious references to himself as the savior of this country are spliced against apocalyptic images and scenes from "The Ten Commandments." Call it mud-slinging-politics at its best if you want, but I give kudos to John McCain's team for coming up with two ads, one after the other,that speak to a more keen understanding of popular culture than one would expect from an elder statesman. The ads could very well be another one of Karl Rove's Machiavellian tactics but they're good. Hell, even I'm on the fence again.

Check out the ad here:

But just when I thought I could be a team player and support Barack, albeit begrudgingly, I caught a re-run of his appearance on The View and I have to say two things: First, don't judge me because I DVR The View, and second, Barack is a shifty, lying politico on as grand a scale as Nixon, the Bushes and Bill Clinton. When asked about his association with the Reverend Wright he ducked, covered, stuttered and tried to bridge back to his "change, change, change" rhetoric. He sort of defended the Reverend, but we all know that in the end he would wind up renouncing any association with him.

When an issue got too hot to handle, Barack did what any politican would do - he lied, delivered a statement that read something like "oh my god, I can't believe this happened under my nose," and hoped the problem would go away. Whether it's Monica-gate, Watergate, Nuke-ular Weapons that were never found or racist comments, politicians, by nature, are ready to lie and throw their grandmas under a bus in order to stay ahead.

I'm all about electing a Democrat, even if it's Barack, but as we enter the final stretch of the campaign, we're going to see that halo of his lopped off and the emergence of a cunning, brass-knuckled politican. You know, change you can believe in...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

When I Grow Up

Was out last night with some ladies and we agreed that we love the new Pussycat Dolls song "When I Grow Up." Then it occurred to me that as I approach my 28th birthday, I need to come up with a plan for when I grow up. How many haters will I have to slap off on my quest for world domination? How much smiling and nodding will I have to do before I get to throw phones and staplers at people? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? And, more importantly, will I be sexy?

I'll ponder all of this on the stairmaster, you watch the Pussycat Dolls:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I Love a Fierce Lady Carla Bruni, First Lady of France and former model, who stumbled into the world of G-8 politics after marrying Nicholas Sarkozy last year. In a time of crotch-grabbing, mine-is-bigger-than-yours diplomacy, Madame Bruni is the ultimate status symbol for a relative newcomer to the world stage.

Of course, that one can easily find nude photos of France's first lady (artsy, fashionista ones, mind you) online, and the fact that she's quite candid about her love of powerful men, makes the "controversy" over Michelle Obama seem ridiculous. While we're fretting about Michelle's "patriotism," the French are buying up Carla Bruni's albums, which she records between vacations, social calls with the Queen of England and posing for the cover of Vanity Fair.

Could we handle such a pistol on this side of the Atlantic?

Seeing as the two most riveting women in our political system are in menopause and the press still attacks them mercilessly, it's safe to say probably not.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Enough with Gene Robinson

Anglican clerics have just wrapped up the Lambeth Conference, a three week gathering of bishops that takes place every ten years in the UK. This year's conference was marked by the debate over how to preserve the unity of the church as it teeters on the brink of self combustion over the issue of homosexuality.

The star of the caucus was Gene Robinson, the openly gay and spotlight-seeking bishop of New Hampshire, who was not invited to the proceedings but showed up anyway to remind the clerics of their gay and lesbian parishioners back home. His consecration in 2003 caused an international uproar but turned the right reverend into a media sensation.

And he's been loving the attention ever since.

Robinson's most notable TV appearance was in 2004 when he allowed a 60 Minutes camera crew follow him to XL, a then Chelsea hotspot for us boys. The visual of a priest sipping cocktails while sitting underneath plasma screens playing male erotica may make for salty Sunday night television, but it also confirmed that Robinson is not only out of touch with the needs of his church, but with the teachings of Jesus Christ all together.

As a gay Christian, I'm offended by Robinson's "look-at-me" antics. They reinforce negative stereotypes about gays - that we're out to corrupt pious institutions and force our point of view on others - and they create unnecessary turmoil for gay Christians who have come to terms with their faith and sexuality. While Jesus may have preached to all sorts of people he also spent a lot of time reflecting on his faith in private, and forging a relationship with God. That's what many gay Christians do today as they look past the hate and ignorance of some of the "faithful." They draw close to God in prayer, humbly, hoping that He understands their needs.

The Bible is very clear on homosexuality, and as long as the Anglican Church chooses to use the Bible as its play book, Robinson has no business being a bishop. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for him in the world, that doesn't mean he can't help communities in need - as he claimed to want to do in an interview with Episcopal Life, " it just means he can't run a church.

And there's the rub. Strip Robinson, the consomate showman, of the power of the pulpit and suddenly helping people becomes a less exciting and worthwhile pursuit.