The Virtual Pub Is Open

TFIF, Shakers!

Belly up to the bar,
and name your poison!

Open Wide...

hey my chicagoland shakers

Anyone going to the Obama rally in Highland tonight?

Open Wide...

Random YouTubery: Tim Curry in The Worst Witch

[H/T to Shaker Chromosome Crawl, who sent it along with the note: "lol your 80's greenscreen."]

Open Wide...

Pondering the absence of the Queen of Rancidity…

Crossposted from

A bitch has been working the front lines of this election battle in Missouri and this battleground shit is fierce! I keep telling myself that there will be time enough for sleep after November 4th.


Anyhoo, I couldn’t fall asleep last night and this bitch found my thoughts wandering to the current line-up of political pundits getting their talk on.

And it hit me that Ann Coulter has been missing in action.


The last time a bitch saw the Queen of Rancidity on television she was vowing to vote for anyone but McCain.

Where for art thou Ann?

Don’t get me wrong…this Coulterless election season has been refreshing as a motherfucker. And its not as if others haven’t picked up the nastification slack in her absence.

I know that she’s still churning out outrageous shit somewhere, but a bitch hasn’t been assaulted by her presence on morning television for months. Mayhap the faithful aren’t buying her brand of chili the way they used to.


Could it be that a new version of the Republican ‘fear the other and resist reality’ brand is being developed during this election cycle?

I was so sure Coulter would emerge when the Edwards sex scandal broke since she adores hating on all things Edwards…but, if she held a party a bitch sure as shit didn’t see anything about it.

‘Tis a mystery, for sure.

And a bitch wonders if the absence of Coulter, even as the presidential campaign dissolves into the kind of fear-based revival of the Red Scare that she’d usually be all over like a fly on shit, signals the emergence of a changing of the guard in the social conservative ig’nant rhetoric club.

Bitch may not be the new black…

…but mayhap Elizabeth Hasselbeck is the new Coulter.

Open Wide...

First Lesson

A couple of weeks ago I said that talk-radio host Bob Grant set the standard for "too dumb to play dead in a cowboy movie." I stand corrected. He has been surpassed at warp speed by Sarah Palin.

How did she earn that honor? She told an interviewer on a conservative talk-radio show that being criticized by the media endangers her First Amendment rights.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."
I'll give you a moment to absorb that.

Okay, I'll type this slowly so even an elected official of one of our states can understand it: the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press. In other words, it makes sure that the mainstream media can do exactly what it is doing when it "attacks" her.

One heartbeat away, people.

Open Wide...

Friday Cat Blogging

The Tilsinator

The Livsatron

The Sophmeister

Open Wide...


[Trigger warning.]

Question: What do Aaron P. Taylor and God have in common?

Answer: They both think naughty girls who have the audacity to flirt with boys deserve to be raped.

At least, that's what the good Christians of the Cedar Hill, Texas, Trinity Church's "Hell House: The Devil's Playground" would have mebelieve:

A girl makes friends with a guy on Facebook. They decide to go out on a date. When they meet, the guy brutally rapes her. A demon emerges from the shadows, sneering, and tells her she deserved it. It's her fault she was raped. She shouldn't have agreed to meet someone from one of those sinful online communities.

Next up? A young girl is sexually assaulted by a family member and in despair commits suicide. She is promptly consigned to the fires of hell for an eternity of pain and suffering.

Welcome to Hell House - The Devil's Playground.
Any Christians got a problem with these interpretations of scripture…? [At the link, Max shares the story of one group of local Christian teens who did and peacefully protested the Hell House. Right on.] I mean, I know that it's a "demon" telling the rape victim that she deserved it—but if there's no condemnation of the victim-blaming, isn't the takeaway message that bad girls get raped and then deservedly taunted by demons? If "God" doesn't endorse victim-blaming, then why isn't the scene a girl being told it's her fault she was raped, and then the blamer being smited?

Wev. I can't spend any more time trying to parse this horseshit to make some kind of sense of it. It's like asking an actual piece of string to explain string theory and waiting for an answer.

Open Wide...

For LGBTQ Community, words translate into actions and actions are ignored



  • "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." -- Jerry Falwell

  • "We will see a breakdown of the family and family values if we decide to approve same-sex marriage, and if we decide to establish homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle with all the benefits that go with equating it with the heterosexual lifestyle. -- Jerry Falwell

  • "This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon." -- Chuck Colson.

  • "[they are] watching the destruction of Western civilization." -- Rev. Jim Garlow

  • "I am appealing to you who have stood by The Call these years to drop everything to come to Qualcomm Stadium and join this mighty prayer battle that is going on....There are certain spiritual powers of darkness that will not be restrained unless we are willing to gather. God promises if we will do that. He will fight for us." -- Rev. Jim Engle.

  • “One cannot ignore the negative consequences that can stem from the ordination of people with deeply-rooted homosexual tendencies.” -- The Vatican.


  • Hate crimes incidents decreased slightly last year despite a surge in those targeting gays and lesbians.

  • Simmie Williams Jr., 17, was shot to death while dressed as a woman on Feb. 22 in an area of Fort Lauderdale known as a popular place for transgender prostitutes. Williams, who was wearing a dress, was known in the area by his first name or as “Chris” or “Beyonce.” Williams’ mother said her son was openly gay, but she didn’t know what he did when he went out at night, and she didn’t know he wore women’s clothes. Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

  • Tony Randolph Hunter, 37, a resident of Clinton, Md., was brutally beaten on Sept. 7 as he and a friend walked to the Washington, D.C., gay club, BeBar. He died 10 days later. Activists are decrying the attack as an anti-gay hate crime but police said they had insufficient evidence to label Hunter’s killing a hate crime.

    Two weeks ago, D.C. police identified Robert Hannah, 18, as the man wanted in connection with the death of Hunter. He is wanted on a felony warrant for voluntary manslaughter.

  • D.C. police listed as a hate crime an incident on Oct. 24 in which two men leaving the D.C. Eagle, a gay bar on the 600 block of New York Avenue, N.W., were assaulted by a group of men shouting anti-gay names.

    Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, said the incident occurred near the corner of 7th Street and New York Avenue, N.W., a short distance from the Eagle’s entrance.

    “The victims, who state they were walking through a group of 6 black males, were punched and called homophobic names,” Parson said in an e-mail alert.

  • TORRANCE -- Authorities say a Torrance man who used an anti-gay marriage "Yes on Prop. 8" sign to attack an openly gay man has been charged with a felony hate crime.

    Joseph Storm, 23, got into a scuffle with a 22-year-old man wearing a "No on 8" button early Sunday in Torrance, according to Deputy District Attorney Janet Wilson.
    Storm and the victim, whose identity has not been released, have known each other since junior high school, she said.

    During the fight, Storm took the lawn sign and knocked the victim down with it, then punched him in the face and choked him, Wilson said.

    Storm is also accused of calling the victim a derogatory name for homosexuals.

  • (Jimmy Lee Dean was severely beaten and pistol-whipped in the early morning hours of July 17 in the 3900 block of Dickason Avenue, just a few feet from a parking lot serving Dallas’ largest gay nightclubs.

    The suspects in the attack — Bobby Jack Singleton and Jonathan Russell Gunter, both of Garland —are awaiting trial on charges of aggravated robbery.

    Singleton and Gunter reportedly yelled anti-gay epithets before, during and after the attack, and police said Singleton and Gunter admitted they felt it would be easier to rob a gay man

  • One week after Washington State University’s Week Without Violence celebration, the Pullman community was shocked by four attacks against Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender individuals whose incidents were separated by days.

    On Oct. 16, Kristopher Shultz, WSU junior, was walking home for a book when he said he heard someone shout at him. The moment he turned around, his face was met with a fist, followed by kicks in his side. ...

    At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jackson Hogan, junior, was attacked in a campus-parking garage while walking to the elevator.

    “A guy passed, I said a quick ‘hi’ and kept walking,” Hogan said. “Then he turned and started kicking and beating me.”

  • INDIANAPOLIS -- The friends of two elderly men found dead in their southwest-side home on Monday said they believe the men were killed because they were gay.

    Milton Lindgren, 70, and Eric Hendricks, 73, were found dead Monday morning in their home at 9160 Middlebury Way. Police would not say how they were killed or how long their bodies had been inside the home, only that their deaths came by "violent means."

    The victims bodies were found inside their home Monday morning by a friend who had't seen or heard from them in two weeks. The bodies were found lying in blood and their heads were battered.

    Patrick Beard, a friend of the victims, told 6News' Rick Hightower that he believed the men were targeted.

    "I firmly believe it was definitely a hate crime. Milt was 70 and his partner was 73 and to go into someone's home and do something like that, it's just too coincidental," he said.

    Police reports show that the men had their phone and cable lines cut twice in the past few months, and that anti-gay statements were posted on their front door.

  • Several local organizations will hold a vigil Tuesday, February 19 in remembrance of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old junior high student in Oxnard, California, who was shot by a fellow classmate Tuesday, February 12.

    King, who was perceived to be gay and gender non-conforming, was taken off life support Friday.

  • Surveillance tape from a Memphis police station shows police officers hitting a transsexual who they had taken into custody.

    One of the officers involved has been fired and another has been placed on leave, Memphis police said Wednesday. The tape was made in February.

    Duanna Johnson was in the booking area at the Memphis Police Department after an arrest on prostitution charges. The videotape showed an officer walk over and hit her in the face several times.

  • He said he was beat up until he was unconscious because he's gay, and police agree. Now police are looking to arrest a suspect in what they're calling a hate crime. News 10NBC talked exclusively with the victim.

    Lance Neve said he was in the bar minding his own business and was then attacked.

    “I was punched and I went to the floor,” Lance said. “He continued to beat my head into the floor.”

  • Two teenagers were ordered held without bail yesterday in the death of a Randallstown High School student who was stabbed and stomped to death after his fellow Bloods gang members found messages on his phone that suggested he was gay.

    Steven T. Hollis III, 18, of Randallstown and Juan L. Flythe, 17, of West Baltimore - both of whom are members of the Bloods gang, according to police - were arrested and charged Thursday evening with first-degree murder. They are accused of killing a fellow gang member days before his high school graduation in May.

    The body of Steven Parrish, 18, was found May 29 in a wooded area near his parents' home and Woodlawn Cemetery.

  • A 33-year old man is charged with murder in the brutal killing of Patrick Murphy regarded by most in Albuquerque's LGBT community as a drag icon.

    Police allege that Dana Madsen shot Murphy three times in the head. He was arrested shortly after calling police to report a shooting inside his apartment.

  • Stacy Brown, Baltimore, January 8 2008. Found dead inside a house in the 300 block of W. North Avenue near Gwynns Falls Park. Shot in the head, in the house shared with Brown's mother and sister. People were home when police arrivede, but have yet to explain the circumstances of Brown's death.

  • N. CHARLESTON, S.C. — News that a gender non-conforming teenager was shot down here more than a month ago has been slow to reach regional and national LGBT media organizations.

    Adolphus Simmons, 18, was shot at the Bradford Apartments complex by a 15-year-old boy on Jan. 21. Police arrested and charged the suspect on Jan. 24. Another juvenile was arrested and charged later. The names of the suspects are not being released by authorities.

  • DETROIT - The identity of a young transgender woman found dead in Detroit Feb. 4 was revealed late last week in response to a FOIA request filed by this newspaper. The Detroit Police Department announced that the body found dumped near the intersection of Canfield and Ellery streets on Detroit's East Side was that of Michael Dionthe Sweeney. Between The Lines has also learned that the victim was more commonly known by the name of Ashley and will, henceforth, refer to her as such.

  • A man named Steve McMillian apparently stabbed Sanesha Stewart to death on Saturday morning. Who was she? She lived in the Bronx. She was tall and femme and well-liked by her neighbors. She was a client at the law project where I volunteer, but I never met her myself. Some of my colleagues helped her get her name legally changed more than a year ago. None of the above mattered at all to the news media, which handled this tragedy with the appropriate combination of sensitivity, respect for the victim, and a very cold eye for the man who the police dragged from her apartment, covered in her blood.

    Oh no… wait one second and back up. There was no respect and no cold eye, none at all. I must be imagining some completely different universe where young trans women of color aren’t automatically treated like human trash. Where we all live, business as usual is to make a lot of comments about what the murder victim dressed like and looked like, reveal what her name was before she changed it, automatically assume she’s getting paid for sex, and to make excuses for the alleged killer.

  • Lloyd Nixon, Location: West Palm Beach, Florida, Cause of Death: Repeatedly beat in the head with a brick, Date of Death: April 16, 2008, Lloyd was 45 years old.

  • Memphis, TN - Tears well up in Claudia Blair's eyes when she thinks about her 20 year-old cousin, Ebony (Rodney) Whitaker, as a child.

    "I used to change his diapers," she says. "He was a good child. How all this ended up...abandoned building, clothes everywhere, condoms...he didn't have to die like that. He didn't."

    Claudia and her 19 year-old daughter Porshia, say whoever killed Ebony (Rodney), killed a young man with a heart of gold. A young man, they say, whose family always suspected she was gay.

  • This is an extremely upsetting story about a man who went on a date with a trans woman, and, upon discovering she still had male genitalia, bludgeoned her to death. I'm not going to recount the details of the gruesome murder, which you can find at the link if you are so inclined, but I want to highlight one thing that the murderer, Allen Ray Andrade, said to investigators while describing the murder: His first attempt failed, and he was surprised to discover Angie Zapata was still alive, as he thought he had "killed it."

  • WAILUKU » The stabbing death of a transvestite last month under a highway overpass in Makiki was not a hate crime, Honolulu police Detective Theodore Coons said Thursday.

    Coons said that while the motive is still not known, the victim, Jason L. Namauu, and his alleged assailant, Joel Chris Allen, knew each other and appeared to have been living in the same car.

    Namauu, 35, a former Maui resident, was allegedly stabbed repeatedly by Allen in the car near Cartwright Neighborhood Park in Makiki at about 6:30 p.m. July 17.

  • On August 20, Nakhia Williams, an African American transgender woman, was found by police outside her Louisville, Kentucky apartment beside a dumpster. She died of multiple wounds including a gun shot wound. Williams was transported to The University of Louisville Hospital where she died 10 days later. Subsequent media coverage of her murder by WLKY-CBS 32 and WDRB-Fox 41 used inaccurate terminology, including male pronouns, and failed to use Williams’ correct name. There have been no follow-up stories offered by Louisville media outlets covering the investigation of this crime.

  • The body of the transgender woman who was found in the American River in Sacramento last week has been identified by police as Ruby (nee Fernando) Molina. The police are citing it as a “suspicious” death and need more information: Anyone who knew the victim, the victim’s recent whereabouts, or who has other information about this case is asked to contact the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 443-HELP. A $1,000 reward is currently being offered

  • A Des Moines teenager is accused of committing a hate crime Friday night after he allegedly threw bricks at some men near an East Village gay bar and called them anti-homosexual names, according to Des Moines police.

    Sander "Sam" O'Dale Johnson, 18, of 912 24th St. in Des Moines, was arrested for assault with a hate crime and violation of individual rights, records show.

    Police also suspect Johnson and his friends may have been involved with a similar hate crime on Sept. 6 that also happened near the Blazing Saddle bar in the 400 block of East Fifth Street.

  • Last week, Todd Metrokin, whose brutal beating on Kalorama Road we wrote about, told City Desk police were close to making an arrest in his case. Today, via the Washington Blade, we learned one unnamed juvenile has been charged.

  • A Magna man has been charged with attacking a Salt Lake man apparently because he was gay.

    Fa Junior Moimoi, 20, took a picture with an 18-year-old man he met Aug. 9 at an overlook of the city on Churchill Drive, according to charges filed Thursday in 3rd District Court. A girl with Moimoi asked the teen if he was gay, and later Moimoi and four other men attacked the teen and his friends, according to the charges.

    Moimoi faces two counts of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony, and one count of misdemeanor assault.

  • (Bourbonnais, Illinois) An elementary school bus driver has been charged with leading a homophobic attack on a 10-year old student passenger.

    The Kankakee Sheriff’s Police Department said that the boy was taunted by the driver who then encouraged other students to chase and beat the child.

    Chief Deputy Ken McCabe said the incident occurred on a Bourbonnais Elementary School District bus which was returning students to their homes last Friday.

    McCabe said the driver repeatedly called the boy “gay.”

  • PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) -- Police in Portland are investigating what they say was a random, hate crime that left a man unconscious. Investigators say the victim was assaulted because his attackers thought he was gay.

    The victim was hospitalized. He is now at home recovering from a head injury.

    It happened early Saturday morning near the corner of Forest and Cumberland Avenues. Police say the victim was walking home when he was approached by Two men. The men used homophobic slurs and proceeded to attack him.

  • He does not want to get a handgun, but a Boston man who was among four people victimized in what authorities say was a homophobic attack wants to start carrying pepper spray.

    "I'm very, very nervous," said Jeff, who asked that his last name not be published. "I am going to be very cautious."

    Jeff was interviewed yesterday hours after a Framingham man pleaded not guilty to four counts of civil rights violations and multiple counts of assault and battery for his alleged role in the Aug. 24 attack in the South End.

  • Rest in peace, Greg McKendry.
    Rest in peace, Linda Kraeger.

    You were loved, and will be missed.

"Ten years later, Shepard's mom sees little change"

CHEYENNE, Wyoming (AP) -- Matthew Shepard's mother still mourns lost opportunities to battle hate crimes and promote a greater tolerance of gays in the 10 years since her 21-year-old son was beaten, tied to a wooden fence and left for dead in a frigid Wyoming pasture.

Though Congress has not passed a federal hate crime law, Judy Shepard is buoyed by enhanced punishments for crimes based on sexual orientation in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

"Ten years have gone by and not that much has changed, and I think that's just really disappointing," said Shepard, who with her husband formed the Matthew Shepard Foundation to promote equality for the gay community.

"We passed up a golden opportunity to set things in motion and make a change and set an example and let it go," she said.

In a case that outraged gay activists and their advocates around the country, Matthew Shepard died October 12, 1998, five days after he was kidnapped, robbed and pistol-whipped by two men he met in a bar. Both men are serving life in prison for the murder, which police said was partly motivated by the fact that Matthew was gay.
People for the American Way
Associated Press

*This is by no means a comprehensive list. If there are incidents of crimes against the LGBTQ Community that you would like to add, or personal experiences you would like to share, please leave them in the comments section.


Crossposted at

Open Wide...


I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the upcoming election. We both lamented how we had problems with the prospective candidates. (My concerns are well-documented, should you be interested.) I didn't press her on her issues with McCain. I figure it's either the obvious stuff, or I really don't care. I'd have been more interested if she said she liked him, because that would have been something I was unable to comprehend, and I'm often intrigued by that which I don't understand.

But then we got to talking about Obama, and how she didn't trust him. A statement like that is hard to resist. "Oh?" I asked. "Why not?" She replied "He's too calm." Hmmm... I agreed, relating how I'd heard someone on NPR voice a concern similar, one that I've held as long as I've been aware of Obama. He is calm. He's almost passionless, at times. An even keel, for sure, and a brilliant counterpoint to McCain's zig zag clusterfuck of a campaign. I have felt, as did the bloke on NPR, that the accusation that Obama is "passionless" isn't too far off the mark. When has he ever stood up for anything that didn't seem politically expedient, when it wasn't the safe maneuver? Not that any of that matters, not that that is really relevant here. It was just a point I'd heard, agreed with, and communicated to my co-worker.

But apparently Mancow had got her thinking. (Yeah, I know, that should have brought the conversation to an end right there.) "He's too calm," she repeated. "Too calm?" I asked. "Yeah, almost like he's been trained."

Super. I have got to get to the bottom of this. And you know, I'm not one to bite my tongue. (Call me tactless, call me socially maladjusted, call me a crusader for truth. Whatever.) "Like he's a sleeper agent or something?"


That led to my final question before she left for lunch: "And what would be the point of a terrorist becoming president?"

"Because that's what they want."


If you haven't already voted, please do so Tuesday.

Open Wide...

Joe the Senator

So, longtime Shakers will know I've never been a huge fan of Joe the Biden, which is frankly quite the understatement, though I have come to understand him a little better, and I'm trying to take my evolving "good bits and bad bits don't cancel each other out, but coexist" approach with my feelings about Biden, too. VAWA good; offensive jokes bad. (Evidently this campaign has turned me into a Buddhist Frankenstein's Monster. Great.)

Anyway, one of the things by which I have actually been really tickled during this election, during my daily perusal of news photos, is seeing how much goddamned fun Barack Obama and Joe Biden seem to be having together. I was reminded of it by Lauredhel's Thursday Cheezburger, which used one of my favorite Obama-Biden shots from the campaign trail, where both of them are just totally cracking up while buying ice cream:

So, since lots of people have liked other recent photo essays, here's a collection of some of my favorite snaps of Obama and Biden on the campaign trail (with a couple of shots at the end of them having a laugh with another favorite Senator around these parts). Enjoy!

This picture of the two of them sharing a pretzel kills me:

And, as promised:

Open Wide...

James Dobson Has Issues

Speaking of your gay blogaround...

Dr. James Dobson, the grand pooh bah of Focus on the Family, has issued a screed called Letter from 2012 in Obama's America in which, among other things, he envisions homosexuals having free rein in America.

Now in October of 2012, many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more.


The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.


Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness of homosexuality as one possible personal choice.


There are no more Roman Catholic or evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States. Following earlier rulings in New York and Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that these agencies had to agree to place children with homosexual couples or lose their licenses.


The Bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such 'offensive' doctrines as homosexual conduct or the claim that people will go to hell if they do not believe in Jesus Christ.
Are you sensing a pattern here? Okay, how about an obsession? I mean, wow. Dr. Dobson is really and seriously hung up on gays and what he envisions they do to the point that he's way beyond what locking himself in the bathroom with a bottle of baby oil and a copy of the International Male catalogue could cure. And yet he has a media empire that stretches around the world, and Christianists hang on his every word.

Trust me, I'd be a lot more worried if people like James Dobson were in charge than if the Supreme Court ruled that the LGBT community were, at long last, granted all the rights they are entitled to as citizens of the United States.

HT to David Waters.

Open Wide...

Friday Blogaround

hey your gay blogaround

Recommended Reading:

BAC: Stop the War on Women Now!

Tanglethis: Focus Pocus

Daniel: More Fauxgressivism

Amanda: Why We Need Universal Health Care

Kevin: What Is Bob Kerry Smoking?

Andy: Wildlife Photography Awards Handed Out

Bookmark Alert: Jordan is compiling links to full texts of feminist works of fiction and nonfiction available on the Internet. Excellent resource.

Leave your links in comments...

Open Wide...

From the Great Moments in Presidential Campaigning Files

This video was running pretty much on a loop on CNN and MSNBC last night, and I laughed every single time I saw it:

McCain: You know, we've learned more, we've learned more about Senator Obama's real goals for our country over the last two weeks than we learned over the last two years—and that's only because Joe the Plumber asked him the right question right here in Ohio! [cheers] That's when Senator Obama revealed he wants to, quote, [airquotes] spread the wealth around, [airquotes] spread your income around. Joe's with us today; Joe, where are ya? [looks around] Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? [looks around] Joe, I thought you were here today. [pause; audience murmurs] All right, well…you're all Joe the Plumbers! So all of ya stand up and say—[thumbs up]! I thank you.

Cheese showed up at an event later in the day.

Open Wide...

Shaker Gourmet: Samhain Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup

The recipe this week comes from the same book that the recipe last week came from!

Samhain Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup

2 sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled or scrubbed, and diced
1 medium onion
1 -2 cloves garlic, Minced
2 Tbs butter or olive oil
4 - 6 cups vegetable stock or broth
1/3 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin
Freshly grated nutmeg and ginger, to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 cup light cream

Cook potatoes, onion, and garlic in the butter or oilve oil for several minutes until slightly golden. Add stock (or broth) to cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes.

Add pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and puree this mixture in batches in a blender or food processor. Add in the cream and return mixture to the saucepan. Heath, thin with more stock/broth if necessary, to make a creamy soup. Serve in small hollowed-out pumpkins, with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
If you'd like to participate in Shaker Gourmet, email me at: shakergourmet (at)

Blessed Samhain!
Happy Halloween!

Open Wide...

Loose Cannon

In spite of the fact that a New York Times/CBS poll finds that Gov. Sarah Palin is a drag on the McCain candidacy (59% say she's not qualified for the job), Eugene Robinson notes that win or lose, we haven't seen the last of Sarah Palin.

It's tempting to think of Palin as a kind of pop star, the latest flash in the pan who rockets to the top of the charts and then fades to obscurity -- Alec Baldwin referred to her as "Bible Spice" the other day. But that smug assessment ignores the evidence that she has the chops to be much more than a one-hit wonder.

Palin's introduction to the nation was disastrous, at least in terms of appealing to a constituency beyond the conservative wing of the Republican Party. It was obvious from the beginning that she wasn't remotely prepared for high national office. The red-meat Republican base was energized, but others saw McCain's decision to put her on the ticket as cynical and irresponsible.

Palin herself must have realized that her debut was premature. But as Vernon Jordan likes to say, "Opportunity is never convenient."

I should make clear that I believe Palin is wrong about basically everything, at least to the extent that we know what she really believes. The McCain campaign gave her a job to do -- slash, burn, fire up the base, accuse Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," accuse Obama supporters of not living in "pro-America" parts of the country -- and she went out and did it. McCain's campaign rallies often have a sense of purpose and duty about them; Palin's have a sense of electricity.


That she wasn't ready to meet the national media became clear when she sat down with Katie Couric for those embarrassing sessions. But compare the bunny-in-the-headlights Sarah Palin of just a few weeks ago with the much more poised and confident Sarah Palin of today. Ignorance isn't the same thing as stupidity. When Palin talks about economic policy these days, her sentences don't meander into the Twilight Zone the way they once did. She has more to say about foreign policy besides the fact that Russia is just across the Bering Strait. She has learned much in a very short period.

And she will learn more. I predict we'll have Sarah Palin to kick around for a long, long time.
The term loose cannon comes from the old days of naval warfare when the artillery got loose after firing on another ship, wreaking havoc on the deck of the ship that fired the shot, while the cannonball it fired usually fell harmlessly into the sea. As flashy and electrifying Sarah Palin may be on the stump, I predict that she will become more of a burden to the Republicans than she will to the Democrats. And she will give us in the blogosphere hours of endless fun and mockery.

Bonus Track: Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, one of John McCain's senior advisers, offered a "stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise."

(Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.)

Open Wide...

Important Announcement

If I see McCain sarcastically using air quotes one more fucking time, I swear to Maude I will "blow" a "gasket."

Addendum: If I have to spend the next four years listening to him saying "my friends," I am 99.4% likely to gouge out my eardrums with a rusty spanner.

Open Wide...

You're Missing the Point...Which Is That You're Not Supposed to Challenge Anything I Say, No Matter How Ludicrous!

This has already been all over the blogosphere, but just in case no one's seen it yet, or anyone needs to have another laugh at it, here's video of McCain spokesperson Michael Goldfarb engaging in wanton fuckneckery during an interview with CNN's Rick Sanchez yesterday. I really don't understand why the media doesn't require such a basic qualification of wild assertions like this all the time. It makes for great TV, apart from anything else—like truth and accuracy, those little things. (Transcript is below, and thanks to Shaker Juliemania for passing it along.)

UPDATE: I forgot to mention this Joe Klein piece, in which he points out rather amusingly that Khalidi "is (a) Palestinian and therefore (b) a semite." And it should also be noted that Khalidi is "an entirely respectable, highly respected scholar" whose views, as John Judis notes in the video at the link, are shared by many leftist Israelis.

Sanchez: I just need to parse this out as best I can from ya, Michael. The fact that John McCain's organization gave $448,000 to this group that was founded by Mr. Khalidi—is there no reason for some to be critical of that as well, just as some might be critical of Barack Obama for being at a meeting with some girl who read a poem, for example?

Goldfarb: Look, you're missing the point again, Rick. The point is that Barack Obama has a long track record of being around anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American rhetoric.

Sanchez: Can you name one other person besides Khalidi who he hangs around with who is anti-Semitic?

Goldfarb: Yeah, he pals around with, with William Ayers, who is [crosstalk] a domestic terrorist.

Sanchez: William Ayers is not— No, no, I— The question I asked you is: Can you name one other person that he hangs around with who's anti-Semitic, because that's what you said.

Goldfarb: Look, we all know that there are people who Barack Obama has been in hot water—

Sanchez: Michael, I asked you name one person. One!

Goldfarb: Rick—

Sanchez: You said he hangs around with people who are anti-Semitic! You—okay, we got Khalidi on the table; give me number two. Who's the other anti-Semitic person that he hangs around with that we, quote, all know about?

Goldfarb: Rick, we both know who number two is.

[long pause]

Sanchez: WHO?!

[long pause]

Sanchez: Would you tell us?

Goldfarb: No, Rick. I think we all know who we're talking about here.

Sanchez: Somebody who's anti-Semitic that he hangs around with?

Goldfarb: Absolutely.

Sanchez: Well, say it!

Goldfarb: I think we know who we're talking about, Rick.

Sanchez: All right. Again, you charged that Khalidi is anti-Semitic; he would say that his policies on Israel differ from those of Barack Obama and many other people, but, either way, I guess we'll have to leave it at that. Michael Goldfarb, thanks so much. We really do appreciate it; this is a good discussion. We really do appreciate your coming here to talk to us.

Goldfarb: Thank you, Rick.

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime


Open Wide...

Read These Now to Find Your Soulgasm or Zombie

I'll go with ZOMBIE.

Tasmanian Cannibals attract Tourists.

Pagan Values and Politics. (WP Blogs)

Number of pagan prisoners has doubled over four years. (Times Online)

You who, like the stab of a knife,
Entered my plaintive heart;
You who, strong as a herd
Of demons, came, ardent and adorned,( Le Vampire)

Ghosts, Ghosts, and more Ghosts.

Halloween at Europa-Park. (Guardian)

Somalia's pirates. (NY)

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Halloween but this title was in my Times Online news feed: Many Evangelicals tout the Song of Solomon as a guide to genital stimulation.

Zombies needed for Thriller Dance World Record.

How Zombies Work.

The Man Who Brought Halloween to Germany. (Spiegel)

Mysterious Bat Disease Decimates Colonies. (Science Daily)

Best Geeky Halloween costumes. (Wired)

Our Vanishing Night: Most city skies have become virtually empty of stars.

90 years of vampires on the screen. (Time)

Iceman Mummy Lost Darwin's Game: He Seems to Have No Modern Kin.

Giant Lego Man washes ashore. (Daily Mail)

Leave any links in comments. I need more coffee.

Open Wide...

Question of the Day

Suggested by Shaker flynd: What one thing do you immediately add to your environment to make it 'yours'?

Like - As soon as I buy a car, I put the fuzzy dice on the rearview.

Or - When I get a new job, the first thing I put on my desk is the picture of my dad.

Or - The apartment wasn't home until I hung the Thomas Kincaid painting over my futon.
My workspace is always immediately recognizable as Melissa McEwan's by the abundance of Post-It notes. Classic pale yellow. Covered in scribbles of various things about which I need to remind myself, phone numbers, email addresses, titles of books that sound good, names of songs I need to own, post ideas, phrases that lose all meaning 10 seconds after I've written them down—two days later: "What the fuck does 'spangle brain on the lovely cucumber spot' mean?!"

They are everywhere.

Open Wide...


Fred Bramante, Member of McCain's New Hampshire Leadership Committee and 2008 Alternate RNC Delegate, Endorses Barack Obama for President: "His endorsement marks the first time nationally that a delegate or alternate delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention has publicly announced their decision to support Sen. Obama."

lol your party hates you

[H/T to Shaker MaryB.]

Open Wide...

The World Watches With Bated Breath

The Economist, which today endorsed Barack Obama, has on its site a Global Electoral College Map, showing how the world would vote if it could.

Obama is currently crushing McCain 9,048 electoral votes to 324. The only indubitably red nation in the world is Iraq.

Not exactly a scientific model, but it's still pretty interesting. Explanation is here.

Open Wide...

Yes We Can (Answer Letters)

[Please note new "Blub Alert" icon—and consider yourself duly warned.]

Shaker Constant Comment just sent me this story, which, had it happened to me when I was 7, would have been like my birthday, Halloween, and Christmas all rolled into one:

A little more than a month [ago], teacher Joyce Ben-KiKi had [7-year-old Aron Mondschein and his second-grade classmates] each send letters to a famous person as part of a language arts lesson. Ben-KiKi wrapped the exercise around well-known children's book character "Flat Stanley," so along with the letters, the children each tucked a Flat Stanley figure they had made into each envelope.

"I told them not to expect a letter back," Ben-KiKi said. "I told them these people are very busy and most likely will not write back."

The list of recipients was impressive: Yankee third basemen Alex Rodriguez; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Olympic gold medalist Mark Spitz; Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. John McCain. [Aron wrote his letter to Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.]

Obama was the only one to write back.

…Obama's three-page letter to Aron described Flat Stanley's visit with him and his staff in Washington, D.C. It chronicled their busy day together, which included coffee with constituents, a Senate committee meeting and a trip to the gym. It also had historical facts about the U.S. Capitol, details of Obama's job and a confession from Obama.

"Sometimes I get a little nervous before talking in front of a crowd, but Flat Stanley helped me practice the speech," Obama wrote. "He made me recite it in front of him and then even gave me some advice so the speech would go smoothly. Flat Stanley is really a great coach."
Two other boys in the class also wrote letters to Obama, and they received replies shortly afterward.

Amy Mondschein, who is Aron's mother, says she and her husband rarely talk politics at home, except to teach Aron "that everybody has a choice in the election, and we have to respect that. It's their right to like whichever candidate they do and that's the way it is in the United States. That's why we live here." He excitedly told her the other day: "Mommy, when I'm 18 I get to vote."

Given this post, you can imagine how I feel about that.

[As an aside, this should go without saying, and yet probably doesn't: I'm not presuming Obama actually took time himself to write the letters, although he probably did sign them. I'm crediting him with running a campaign in which stuff like this gets paid attention to. It's not always the case. Hillary Clinton also has a great reputation for details like these, as another example. I don't know and have never spoken to anyone involved in Obama's campaign, but I do know some people who work for Clinton, and I obviously know some people who worked for John Edwards, and there are serious efforts made within campaigns who prioritize responsiveness to respond to as many people as possible.]

Open Wide...

Caption This Photo

Mac and Cheese

Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as 'Joe the Plumber', with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, waves during a McCain campaign stop in Sandusky, Ohio, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Open Wide...

Sunday School, Thursday Edition: Bible Stories With Deeky: Moses and the Golden Calf, Parts 1 & 2

Sermon on the Mount, bitchez!A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away there once was a boy named Moses. He survived a very late-term (fourth trimester) abortion at the hands of a Muslim and enemy of freedom named The Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was a pro-abortion baby-hater and advocate of same-sex marriage. Needless to say, he had no business being around children, so Moses's caretaker (Grandma Moses) chucked him in the Nile. Because he loved the baby Jesus and prayed a bunch, Moses was not eaten by crocs, but instead rescued and made an honorary Egyptian.

That was all cool until God got a wild hair and decided to start giving a shit about the Israelites and commanded Moses to lead them to the Promised Land. The Egyptians didn't like this idea because they were lazy and didn't like to do anything themselves and had made all the Jews their slaves. "Sucks to be you," said Moses and told Yul Brenner they were gonna book. Yul was pissed and asked Allah to stop them, but Moses's God was bigger than Yul's God and He put the serious smackdown on the Egyptians.

God unleashed the Ten Plagues™ on Egypt which included: rivers of blood, raining frogs, prop comics, stubbed toes, and halitosis. God even killed all the Egyptian babies, just to show he wasn't fucking around. (As if raining frogs wasn't proof enough.) God's pro-life street cred was not tarnished by that last one. This was later made into a movie starring Hilary Swank.

So, Moses and the Israelites wandered the desert for forty years. There was no MapQuest back then. And even though God had no problem raining fire and locusts down on an entire country, He couldn't be bothered to give Moses a fucking compass.

While camped out near Mt. Sinai, God turned into a burning bush, and told Moses to come visit him up at his ski cabin in the hills. He had something for him. Moses put his son in charge while he was on vacation, which turned out to be just like that movie Risky Business, where all hell breaks loose while Dad is away.

Moses's son Aaron went around the village and demanded everyone give him their bling so he could melt it down into a statue of a calf. This was not socialism, by the way. The Israelites worshipped the Golden Calf, and when Moses got back, boy was he pissed! As it turns out, that was at the top of The List of Very Bad Things he had just been given by God. Moses then smashed the Golden Calf and killed everyone who had worshipped it. "Sucks to be you."

The moral of this story: Worshipping God = Good. Worshipping Idols = Bad. (Also, Don't fuck with God, he kills babies.)

Fast-forward 9,000 or so years.

Nouveau-Israelite, God Channel TV host and biblical scholar Cindy Jacobs attempted to prove you can serve God and Mammon. How? By worshipping a Golden Calf. Like Moses, God speaks directly to her, and He recently said "Nevermind all that shit I wrote in the Ten Commandments, get a bunch of people down to Wall Street, tout de suite. I need you to get your prayer on. And I hate gays."

The ever-obedient Jacobs put together the Day of Prayer for the World's Economies, which culminated with the laying of hands upon Wall Street's Golden Bull yesterday. (See image here.) God responded with a 2% increase on the Dow Jones.


Open Wide...


I just got back from voting. Yay, me.

The library that I went to obviously wasn't prepared for today. I wouldn't say there was chaos, but the line wound around the library in a really ridiculous fashion, and when you finally got to the room with the voting machines, everything was a mess. Still, I waited patiently (glad I brought a book) for two hours, and cast my vote.

Electronic voting machine.


The little paper printout on the side reassured me a little bit, but I just have too much mistrust for these things to feel completely relaxed. However, upon returning to my office, Melissa had sent me this link that made me feel better.

Yesterday we posted a quick round-up of the various voter-suppression schemes being pushed by Republicans in swing states around the country. And after looking at the list, one thing quickly becomes clear: most of the efforts have failed.
It's a nice little list of various vote suppression schemes that aren't working, so if you need a little pick-me-up, check it out. This isn't to say, of course, that all of them are failing, so we must remain alert and ready to stop this whenever it happens. Examples:

  • In Nevada, Secretary of State Ross Miller denied a request from the state GOP to require voters to cast provisional ballots if they fixed mistakes in their voting information at the polls.
  • In Colorado, a bid by Republican Secretary of State Mike Coffman -- who himself is running for a seat in the U.S. House -- to purge 14,000 voters from the rolls was only partially successful. After voting-rights groups sued, a settlement was reached yesterday allowing the voters to cast provisional ballots. According to the Rocky Mountain News, those ballots would "be presumed to be valid unless state and county officials prove otherwise." A lawyer for the voting-rights groups called the deal "a win-win."
Meanwhile, hilariously, Michelle Malkin (no link, you know where to find her if you must) is continuing to gripe about voter fraud, but her big issue is this evil, sinister, horrible, vote suppressing button available at The Gap:

This button, by the way, was designed by John Waters.

Sometimes life is beautiful.

Update: I just looked at some of the comments on Malkin's post about this button, and I started laughing so hard at this one that I had to step out of my office for a moment:
Did anyone else notice that there is red on the top of the button and many stars as well? Perhaps i’m off on a limb, but is it possible they are sending subconscious communist propaganda?
I wish I could buy John Waters a drink, right now.

Open Wide...

Here is a picture of two men who hate each other.

So the media keeps telling me. And I believe it—because they look like they will tear each other's throats out any moment now…!

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks with former president Bill Clinton at a rally at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(More like: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and former president Bill Clinton grin like they're hopped up on goofballs from a combination of exhaustion and ZOMG we might actually win this thing.)

Open Wide...

Money Well Spent?

The Obama campaign reportedly paid around $3 million to air their 30-minute commercial last night. So how'd it work out?

The combined overall household rating for Senator Barack Obama’s Wednesday night infomercial, in the top 56 local television markets where Nielsen maintains electronic TV meters, was 21.7.
$3 million to reach more than 1 out of 5 households across the country sounds like a pretty good investment. (I'm kind of surprised it was that cheap—although politicians do get the bargain-basement ad rates.)

I've read a few people complaining about the expenditure—in almost every case the rhetorical is about how many hungry children that could feed. Well, $3 million could indeed feed lots of hungry children, but a McCain administration would undoubtedly, like the Bush administration, create millions more hungry bellies, under the age of 18 or not, across the nation. So, in the long view, the investment makes sense, if it helps Obama beat McCain—and if Obama's going to pursue policies that reverse that trend (which is probably the one thing I feel most comfortable trusting he'll do).

None of that changes my belief that presidential campaigns should be 90 days with a maximum expenditure of like 30 bucks. (Okay, maybe a little more than that.) But within the current state of campaign law and practice, it was justifiable. Reasonable within an unreasonable paradigm. And, by the way, perhaps the greatest incentive for the GOP to start seriously advocating campaign reform, now that there's a Dem on the scene who's gaming the system more successfully than they are. Oh, the irony.

What do you think?

Open Wide...

Action Item

Shaker LizardOC emailed me that there was a DOS attack on the No on 8 website, which is the main informational and fundraising portal for the No on 8 campaign.

I'm getting to the No on 8 website just fine now, but it's a good reminder about the reality that activism isn't free. It costs money to maintain a website—never mind the costs of the extremely important campaign it's supporting to protect marriage equality in California.

So, if you can, go to No on 8 or Equality California's No on 8 donation page and make a donation.

Teaspoons ahoy!

UPDATE: Also give some love to Vote No on Prop 102 in Arizona, Vote No on Act 1 in Arkansas, and Vote No on Amendment 2 in Florida! (Thanks, Shaker LibraryPrincess!)

Open Wide...

Spying and Terrorism are Hilarious

John McCain is a huge jackass. I know that's like the hugest "duh" of all time at this point, but I'm running out of ways to convey my well-earned contempt for him.

For those who can't hear the audio at the link, here's a transcript of the relevant bit:

Reporter: Senator McCain's day began with a round of interviews on some of Miami's popular Spanish-language radio stations. One of the hosts, Enrique Santos, told McCain he was planning to cast his ballot the next day and remained undecided.

McCain: We have surveillance cameras, and we'll know how you vote, okay? [laughter] So, you, uh, I would suggest, if you vote the wrong way, you hire someone to start your car tomorrow morning. [laughter]

Reporter: That was a joke.
Of course it was. Because spying on American citizens and terrorism are fucking hilarious. Just like bombing Iran, murdering Jon Stewart, calling Hillary Clinton a bitch, domestic violence, and rape are fucking hilarious.

Quite an awesome sense of humor that guy's got.

[H/T to Shaker Denise in comments.]

Open Wide...

Daily Kitteh

"Adopt Us!" Edition

Shaker Darla's friend Elaine rescued a mother and her kittens recently and is committed to finding all five kittens good homes. She's already paid for the first round of shots, and is desperate to find adoptive parents for these little dolls, so if you're interested, and are near (or can get to) the Madison, NC area, email me and I'll put you in contact with Elaine. (UPDATE: Elaine also adds she'd be willing to drive 3 hours one way to meet someone with a kitten.)

Hi there! We were born under a bush next to Elaine's front door. My mom is scared of humans, so she picked out a really nice bush for us to hide under. When the humans in the house found us, they got very nervous and were afraid we might be eaten by a nasty opossum. So they saved us and put us in a warm bed on the porch.

Now the humans feed us from a bottle three times a day to give my mom a break. And she does the rest. My mom is starting to trust the humans more, because she realizes they are here to help us grow strong and healthy. She sits close to the humans now, and watches over us as they try to feed all 5 of us with just two bottles. It can get a little messy sometimes.

Like all kids, though, kittens grow up fast and our mom can't take care of us forever. We need to find humans who love fluffy, adorable kittens and will raise them as their own. We promise to use the litter box, leave your Christmas ornaments on the tree, and purr in your ear every night. Will you help us? Unlike our mom, we are not afraid of humans. We love to cuddle. We will love you.

If you can take one of us home, email Liss.

Open Wide...

Quote of the Day

He said, "I’m tired of these judges who want to follow what the Founding Fathers said and the Constitution. I want judges who have a heart, have an empathy for the teenage mom, the minority, the gay, the disabled. We want them to show empathy. We want them to show compassion." - Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) on Barack Obama's judicial appointment philosophy.

In the first place, I can't find any record of Barack Obama saying any such thing.

And second, it's not "the gay," Senator. It's "teh gay." If you're going to bash us, at least get it right.

Open Wide...

Dora the Voter

North Charleston Woman Uses Last Moments In Life to Vote:

Very little was missing in Dora Fitzgerald's 93 years of life, she had a marriage of 65 years and family that spreads generations, but politics was never a passion until the final year of her life.

"She was very moved for Barack Obama's passion for fixing things, and his articulate way of delivering his message and she just decided she was going to vote for him," said her daughter, M. Fitzgerald. …"She said I don't know if I'm going to live that long, but I plan on sticking around to vote for him."

Fearful that November was too long to wait, her daughter sent for an absentee ballot. It arrived last week.

"She made her mark, and we put it in the envelope, my brother and I walked to the mailbox, it was 11 o'clock Wednesday morning and I said 'Mom it's in the mail, you've done your thing, Barack's going to win,' and she kind of smiled and it was kind of a deep sigh, a sigh of relief, and in less than an hour later, she died," said M. Fitzgerald.

…Mrs. Fitzgerald was born in 1915 and according to her family, she voted in 19 presidential elections.
Mrs. Fitzgerald was born before American women had the right to vote. That women born pre-suffrage and children of slaves are voting in this election, it really underlines how immediate that history still actually is, and why this election has been fucking awesome for so many people.

[H/T to Shaker CJ_in_VA.]

Open Wide...


McCain loses Thatcher voter (!) Anne Applebaum, prompts George Will to go off on him, and can't even secure the endorsement of Francis Fukuyama; says Emptywheel: "That's right, the guy who literally wrote The End of History has figured out that Barack Obama is history in the making." Zoinks.

Though I'm not sure anything makes McCain look more destined to lose than his own campaign preemptively scapegoating their veep nominee for a loss that has yet to happen.

Open Wide...

On the Campaignvertisement

I've got a new piece up at The Guardian's Comment is free America about Obama's broadcast last night:

[R]ealizing that millions upon millions of people, more than I ever would have imagined at the outset of this thing (and how pleased to have been wrong I am) across the nation were concurrently noting his presidentialicious deportment, I considered how genuinely amazing it is that in less than a week, America could have its first-ever African-American president-elect. The enormity of it enveloped me as I watched – and letting myself be overcome with (dare I say it?) hope, felt thrilling and scary and silly and profound at the same time, and most of all reckless.

As I am a progressive, a feminist, and typically a Democratic voter who voted for Bill Clinton just because I hoped to have Al Gore as my president someday (sob), one could say I've become rather adept at managing my political expectations – a self-defence mechanism exacerbated by the grim steeliness required to manage the despondence induced by eight interminably long years of wretched Bushery. The resulting abnegation of unfettered hopefulness has meant that it's really only been in the past couple of weeks I've allowed myself to contemplate the increasingly likely possibility of a President Obama.

Now that the rigid containment of my expectations, in preparation for and fear of yet another Republican administration, starts to slack with the encouragement of enticing polls and the promising echoes of what sounds suspiciously like a death rattle emanating from the McCain campaign's general direction, there emerges a glimmer of Hope.
Read the whole thing.

Open Wide...

Are You Experienced?

The latest McCain ad asks,

Would you get on a plane with a pilot who has never flown? Would you trust your child with someone who has never cared for children? Would you go under with a surgeon who has never operated?
The job of President of the United States is unique. So by their logic, the only person qualified to be elected president is a former president.

By the way, given John McCain's history of crashing jets, using the pilot analogy is probably not a good idea.

HT to TPM...and Jimi Hendrix.


Open Wide...

David Tennant leaving Doctor Who

Sad news for some Doctor Who fans:

Tennant stepped into the Tardis in 2005, and will leave the role after four special episodes are broadcast next year.

He made the announcement after winning the outstanding drama performance prize at the National Television Awards.

"When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won't be with me," he said.


Tennant will appear in a Christmas special, titled The Next Doctor, before filming four more specials in January.

"They'll be the four last stories that I do," he said.
There's a video interview at the link. The person who get tapped to be the next Doctor will have some big shoes to fill.

Open Wide...

Two-Minute Nostalgia Sublime

Double Trouble

Open Wide...

Sale Nuit, Nuit de Fleurs, Nuit de RĂ¢les

Here we are again kittens. Halloween approaches with an Election afterglow; excuse me, RADIATING NIGHTMARES. When will it end? The most holy of holidays approaches, let's play Exquisite Corpse or my sordid, solitary bastard version. I ignore all the RSS news feeds and exist elsewhere. And drift...


Nuclear Tears

Hans Belmer Doll 1936 TATE

"I know despair in its broad outlines. Despair has no wings, ______"

Mon Amie la ___

If I were a caterpillar what should I do?

A man after midnight_________ DROLL? Tedious? Expected?


Confusion leaves a poor lad wondering if he is droid in need.

A night of filth and flowers makes a boy groan.

Andrei Codrescu did his lovely Exquisite Corpse publications in my years of uncertainty and though those publications were an endless fold, this pitiful lad has them tucked away.

In the grand tradition of an EXQUISITE CORPSE:

A night of filth, night of flowers, night of groans, ____________


Open Wide...