Monday, October 04, 2004

just like chili palmer...always the minivan

A couple of months ago, some jackass sideswipes my car and tears off the driver's side side-view mirror, also doing some damage to the front bumper and scratching up the side panels.

A couple of witnesses saw him, including one guy who got a good look at him to the point where he (witness) asked the driver "you know you just hit that car?" to which the driver replies "what do you care, it's not yours, is it?".

Buncha savages in this town.

So finally I've got the car in the shop for repairs. Thru my insurance company I rent thru Enterprise. Of course all they have is a mini-van. So today I'm cruising around in a Pontiac somethingorother. Bleh. Forget that I had a reservation (cue Seinfeld bit) for an economy car. Now I gotta go back there tomorrow to try and get a smaller car. It may have worked for Chili Palmer in Get Shorty, but not for me.

What's odd is, the only other time I've rented a car this year, I got stuck with a mini-van. That was in Nebraska in June, for Tim's wedding. That worked out well, though, as it meant a bunch of us could ride together. Is that some sign from above that I should hurry up and get married and become a suburban soccer-dad?

fox news and the edumacation president

Fair and balanced? Fair and balanced? My butt is fair and balanced, Fox News sure as shit isn't. Moreover, it's a downright irresponsible and mean organization.

Carl Crawford, whose wife was a Bush campaign operative in 2000, was caught writing and posting a story mocking Kerry's grooming. Then they got scammed by "Communists for Kerry", so gleefully wanting to discredit Kerry that they didn't realize they were being hosed.

Go to,2933,134324,00.html for the weak-assed mea culpas.

But that's not the worst of it...

Bill O'Reilly's interview with Bush, aired during the week of September 27, was a journalistic farce. As Jon Stewart mockingly pointed out, that O'Reilly would trumpet the fact that he wasn't subject to prior restraint by having to submit questions is ridiculous -- it isn't something you praise the President and yourself for, it's the least you should expect as a journalist.

But that's not the worst of the interview...(from the transcript up at,2933,133854,00.html)

O’REILLY: Cause you went to Yale and Harvard.

BUSH: I did.

O’REILLY: And they’re all, pinhead liberals over there, right?

BUSH: I haven’t spent a lot of time why professors feel the way they feel…
O’REILLY: You just wanted to get out of the class. I was the same way. I don't care what you think.

It's one thing for O'Reilly to make these kind of innane comments about college professors in his talking points memo, or with a regular guest or with a panel. But not in an interview with THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!

I don't particularly care if Duhbya does it in private (though his wife should take exception), but he should not do this kind of stuff in an interview.

In a discussion with the President you don't mock and denigrate other people (they also snickered about the French), especially teachers! This is a president who runs on his education reform record and he participates in this? Shameful.

Friday, October 01, 2004

tacos, 90 minutes in line, and a kerry rebound

Tons of words have and will be written and spoken about the first debate, so no need to rehash things here. The story is the event at the Miami Arena, a debate watch party followed by a rally featuring the Johns, Kerry and Mellencamp along with Teresa, a Kerry daughter, and Babyface.

Let's forget the potentially troubling symbolism of Kerry's campaign holding a rally at a "white elephant" building that is doomed to be demolished after having been left orphaned by the rich people that wanted it built for their sports teams. The rally itself was a success, some minor glitches aside.

Having scored the pink tickets that got us to the floor (though nobody was checking so it didn't matter), the four of us (Eric, Lynn, Brian and me {started the night by meeting Eric and Lynn for tacos at this great hole-in-the-wall taqueria on Calle Ocho at 5th}) got in a line that wasn't moving. This being Miami, it should be no surprise that the rally stated out with a major screw up, this screw-up being that the doors didn't open until about 8:45. This means that we didn't get in until about 9:30 or so. Yes, I understand that given Kerry's appearance there needed to be strict security. But seriously, WTF? Get your shit together and make sure the event goes as planned? Why can't anything in this town go unclusterfucked?

Anyway, we get in and grab seats, watch the debate. Again, the content of the debate isn't worth rehashing here. Kerry kicked ass, Bush looked like a petulant brat. What was great about watching this in the company of a few thousand other folks was that finally I got a sense of community in my politics. When Bush responded to Lehrer's question about the justification for pre-emptive war by saying "the enemy attacked", *everyone* in the building gasped and I just knew we were all thinking the same thing..."SAY IT!!" The guys in front of us said "say it", I said it...all of us wanted Kerry to come back with "Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11". He did and the place went wild. There were a few other moments like that, but that one was the strongest. It was union folks, college students, regular people...people who've been left behind and ignored, making their voices heard together.

About 20 minutes later, John Mellencamp and his band played a short acoustic set. They played what you'd expect...."Small Town", "Pink Houses", "Rain on the Scarecrow" and "Paper and Fire". Babyface joined him for one song, forget which one.

A little while later out comes Kerry, along with his wife and one of the daughters. We had moved to the floor right after the debate ended, and were right along the runway to the podium. Kerry came out and stayed mainly to our side, and I got a brief handshake.

So the crowd is going crazy as the Kerrys came in. Teresa, who looks kinda scary up close, proceeds to just about suck all the energy out of the room by trying to quiet us down, not speaking for a long stretch, then asking for quiet...seriously's a POLITICAL RALLY! You have a pumped up crowd, don't sush it.

Finally she introduces John and he gives the bullet-points of the stump speech, brings Mellencamp and Babyface out again (from the phone cam...why oh why did I not bring my camera? dumb, dumb, dumb) and calls it a night. Again, a good evening overall.