We gather together: Random musings

November 21, 2007 by barbara

barbara writes

Even though I’m more aware than ever before of the love of friends and family, that doesn’t close down the snark machine in my head. The same head that is full up and rising with random thoughts as we move into Thanksgiving and beyond.

Let’s just think of the following as turkey turds:

The Current Occupant now declares that Pakistan’s Musharraf is One Swell Guy. Says Musharraf "truly is somebody who believes in democracy." The mind reels. And yet not, for it depends what one means by “democracy.” BushCo’s democracy operates separate and apart from America’s Constitution, carefully constructed separation of powers, civil liberties and any possible definition of decency and honor. The “leader” of the free world wears tailored suits and the ubiquitous American flag on his lapel. It’s a chameleon thing. Who is more dangerous – Musharraf of Pakistan or George II of Crawford? More musings.

Scott McClellan has blown the whistle on BushCo. Says they lied and made him perpetuate their lies. Big bullies all. But you gotta wonder about a guy who stifles himself until it’s time to promote sales of his just-published book. Stifles himself about wholesale, dangerous deceit. What the hell was he thinking? Is there anyone in BushCo who has current-time integrity? Who, given a whistle, would blow the damn thing because they actually believe in the “protect and defend the Constitution of the USA” thingie? Just askin’.

The New York Times leads with a piece about the uneasy pairing of John Kerry and John Edwards in 2004. Brought to us by the same geniuses who coupled (in the political sense) Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. May I suggest that we have a serious tops-down problem in the Democratic party?

The Democratic front-runners continue snipping and sniping amongst and between themselves. By and large, it involves tag-teaming against Hillary, whose principal tag-team partner is Bill. I used to like Bill, in spite of, oh, you know, everything. But his taste in women calls much into question. Whatever. This election cycle is a pathetic mess.

Actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins were given a massive overdose of a blood-thinning drug in the hospital. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. Big national coverage. Reminds me of my brother, an adult with mental retardation, who was given a massive overdose of a killer antibiotic. Somehow, he survived after a frenetic year-long struggle. We were told afterwards it was all pretty much moot because his life has no value.

In the closer-to-home department, we have the Wisconsin man who shot one of his family’s pet goats when his wife refused to buy him (more?) beer. Also in Wisconsin, a young teen had his hat shot off his head while hunting. Today’s human interest stories.

I have absolutely no idea where Britney, Paris and Lindsay are spending Thanksgiving. I don’t give a fig.

Okay. Here it comes.

I do care about a lot of things. I’m full up and rising with gratitude for kind and supportive friends and family. For medical skill. For a relatively new car that will get us wherever we need to go over the next few months. For infusions of Caribou coffee (okay, I’m shallow). For progressives who keep trying, however imperfectly. For Stephen Colbert and Keith Olbermann. For a state with very few roundabouts. For the loyal birds who tough out Minnesota winters and show up at our feeders. For my brother, the survivor. Learned a lot from him. And for you, dear readers, I give thanks. Amen.

Posted in


susan | November 21, 2007 - 9:41pm

Love you for this post. The fab mix of macro outrage and micro compassion -- for the birds, for all of us.
May blessings shower down.


Poet (not verified) | November 24, 2007 - 5:03am

Being a ways from Minnesota, I am aware that Al Franken is running for the DFL nomination for Senator for the next election. Is he still running, is he a serious candidate, do his prospects look good for the nomination? Just wondering.


Anonymous (not verified) | November 24, 2007 - 10:01am

Yes he is "running" and no, he is not a serious candidate.


barbara says (not verified) | November 24, 2007 - 10:31am

Franken is running and he is a serious candidate. I'm supporting him. At issue is his role as one who is not part of the good ol' boys insider backroom (a la Ciresi). That said, either of them can and will take Coleman down, since Coleman has the stench of Bush all over him. Coleman has more faces and mouths than China. He is the consummate chameleon, always and ever in support of his personal, self-aggrandizing agenda.


susan | November 26, 2007 - 2:19am

After serious deliberation, I'm also strongly supporting Franken. I'm not as sanguine as Barb that he can unseat the smarmy Norm Coleman (unless someone goes public with "family values" Norm's not so family friendly private life.) but I think he stands a far better chance than the other leading contender, Mike Ciresi. (There's also a man named Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer running as a peace candiate -- good guy, totally unknown and not a chance of winning the nomination or the seat.)

Now, there are some polls showing that Franken has much higher name recognition than Ciresi, but also much higher negatives associated with that name. But I don't buy it. I think he's putting those negatives behind him.

For one thing, I don't think the polls are tracking college kids and those who no longer have land line phones. And Al is doing great on campuses.

Second, Ciresi is a nice, smart guy, but I think he's gotten too -- lawyerly or urban to play well outstate. Al is an odd candidate, no doubt, but he's learning the ropes and he has a secret weapon -- his wife Franni. She's just great, and she's taken to the campaign trail in a way that reminds me a bit of how Sheila Wellstone came into her own during Paul's first campaign. Franni's the real deal and she's from a hard-scrabble past in Maine. I've seen her working the room, and she's a natural.

Third, Al is so dang smart. His command of the issues is impressive, and I think his time on the radio helped him learn to be agile with all the info he's stored in that big brain. He's gotten much better at delivering his message with a mix of humor and substance. The last speech I saw him give was at a women's fundraiser, and it was an A+. And his old 4th grade teacher was there to agree!

Fourth, Al isn't afraid to fight back, and the Repug slime machine will be in full throttle. He's civil and measured, but will give back as good as he gets. If nothing else, watching Al Franken take on Norm Coleman will be a much more exciting and engaging race. And Minnesotans are just quirky enough to go for someone like Al.

Fifth, Al is completely sincere in his passion for this race and for taking on the hard work of being a US Senator. He's not just showing up because he's bored or has run out of jokes. He's entertained the troops as a comedian for years, and been to Iraq 3-4 times. He is so completely on their side that at times he breaks with emotion when talking about them. (And others suffering hardships.)

I admit that at first Al was a hard sell for me for the obvious reasons. But after viewing his introductory video, watching him learn the ropes on the campaign trail, seeing him work tirelessly day after day with Franni at his side and getting to know them both, I've come to respect his intellect, admire his passion, and be moved by his generosity of spirit. He may not be -- smooth all the time, (if you want smooth, as in slick, Norm Coleman's your guy) but he'll be honest and straightforward and, I believe, a senator we can count on to help restore the America we all miss.

Go to www.alfranken.com
and see what a serious, good candidate he really is. You'll find his video there too -- make sure you watch it. He may be a comedian, but he's no joker. And he's deadly serious about winning this race.


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