Barbara's Blog

Gone, but not forgotten?

May 20, 2006 by barbara

Did you know that Lew Anderson died this week? I just found out.

Think Howdy Doody. Think Mr. Bluster, Chief Thunderthud, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, Flub-a-Dub, Dilly Dally and Buffalo Bob. Most of all, think Clarabell Clown.

Yes, its true. Anderson, who was the last man to play Clarabell (after Bob Keeshan, no less), has gone to that final horn toot roundup under The Really Big Top. Kids everywhere are safe now from seltzer bottle spray.

Actually, theyve been safe for a long time. Howdy Doody left TV in 1960 after a pretty amazing 12-year run. But that silly show was part and parcel of my childhood. The era of huge TV sets with tiny little screens. Everything was broadcast in black and white. No room for gray in the early 1950s. Apparently color showed up in about 1955, but who knew?

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Divine retribution

May 18, 2006 by barbara

by barbara miller

Scary God stories.
Wickedness will be punished.
Goodbye, George and Dick.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Listen up, everyone. That national emblem of intolerance, Pat (Ariel Sharons stroke is divine retribution) Robertson, announced he has it straight from God that there will be major storms and a tsunami in the U.S. this year. For once, Robertson has it right (trending left).

On November 7, twin tsunamis will rage in from east coast and west coast. Heck, maybe from the Gulf of Mexico, too. Trifecta! There will be tremendous snarling and moaning and gnashing of teeth.

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Is this the time for optimism?

May 15, 2006 by barbara

by Barbara Miller

There is a fine line between optimism and eyeball-popping spin. New York Times columnist David Brooks has crossed the line.

Last week, Brooks blathered on about the sunny political landscape. "Look around at all the green shoots of political renewal," he wrote.

The calendar tells us it's May, but I would respectfully submit that it's actually harvest time. And guess what. Republicans are reaping what they have sowed.

What Brooks described in his breathless monologue as "a sense of flexibility and promise" is actually incumbents bending over backward trying to distance themselves from their own broken promises and their indicted colleagues. May their numbers increase, beginning at the top.

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Is anybody listening?

May 12, 2006 by barbara

by Barbara Miller

Remember party lines " where multiple families shared the same phone line? Remember how good we got at sliding a finger under the receiver to hold down the button while we carefully removed the receiver from its cradle? How we tucked the mouthpiece end under our chin so our breathing couldnt be detected? Then we let the button come up verrrry slowwwwly.

Turns out the Bush administration has been giving us the finger for several years. This is not a new thing, but the most recent example has set off a perfect storm of furious and justified indignation.

Our government (i.e., the Government of the United States of America) has been tracking domestic phone calls by collecting records from AT&T, Verizon and Bell South. Those are just the ones we know about. We are told that these three behemoths collectively deal with nearly three-quarters of U.S. telephone transactions.

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The Emperor's New Pick

May 08, 2006 by barbara

by Barbara Miller

Here we go again. Bush is trying to foist another iffy pick on the American people.

General Michael Hayden is being tapped by Bush to head up the CIA. Hayden is John Negropontes principal deputy in the National Intelligence Agency. Bush appointed Hayden to that position, too. So clearly he is Bushs boy. Foxes and henhouses, don't you know. It is the way of things in Bush World.

So do we know who Michael Hayden is? Until yesterday, probably not. But every time George W. Bush claims that his appointee du jour is "supremely qualified," stand back for a stunning display of red flags. (Wikipedia says that red flags are the international symbol for "blood of angry workers." Yeah, pretty much.)

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Save the last dance for me

May 01, 2006 by barbara

By Barbara Miller

Oh, frabjous day! The first week of May. Time to commemorate spring, revolution and the pairing up of political odd fellows. Yes, once again, Karl Rove reigns supreme in the match-making biz. And this year, that crafty Beltway Yentl has his eye on our very own Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty.

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