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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 5, 2011 5:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was From the Fukushima theater of the absurd. The next post in this blog is A couple of open letters re: Occupy Portland. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, December 5, 2011

Two words

On his radio show on Saturday, musicologist Jonathan Schwartz urged us listeners to think about the following phrase: President Gingrich.

Comments (36)

More pleasing to the ears than "President OBama".

He blames Romney for flip flops? Newt was ra ra ra over the Viet Nam war but dodged it..Newt was 100% for Freddie Mac when they were showing him 1.9 million as a consultant, and then threw them under the bus saying it was "Insanity what was going on there"....He was all for backing the rebels in Libya and then said he would have never gone there.....Climate Change all over the map.
Back when Bill was getting BJs from Monica he was calling for Clintons head (pardon pun)...while sneaking around with his intern. Lets not forget walking out on wife #2 in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Hey pay your bill at Tiffany & Co, they are still waiting for payment! If he becomes President I will throw up,

Was it South Park that said presidential politics had been reduced to a turd versus a douche sandwich?

To me, it has come down to a chess game move, based on two conditions, which are to be either interchangeable, mutually exclusive, or equally necessary to satisfy. (I have not decided on the qualifying rules, only the conditions). Think Venn.

Condition number one: decide which ONE issue matters the most to you and then decide who you think would manage that issue the best, and vote for them.

Condition number two: decide who is more likely to be HONEST, and vote for that person.

I am definitely leaning toward ditching condition 2, which would set me on a course either not to vote at all, or to vote for Gingrich, who I do not think can win, due to likeability deficit.

As it is, Romney is the only person I have anything resembling an urge to vote for, aside from Hillary Clinton, who, after dealing with the clown in the WH these last 4 years, all the time knowing she lost to him, has most likely permanently transcended politics.

I've barfed every election day-after since 1980. Then I turn on the stereo and play Neil Young's Journey Through The Past album, which ends with the beautiful instrumental, "Let's Go Away For Awhile" by The Beach Boys.

President Newt....just think of the cartoonist possibilities, and the possible Supreme Court nominations.

I quit listening to his XM shows because methinks he talks too much. Now I know he does.

Back in 1994, I made three observations. Oliver North's proved that a known felon could run for high office and stand a good chance of winning. Marion Barry proved that a convicted criminal could run for high office, win, and be forgiven of his crimes by the electorate. Finally, Newt Gingrich proved that a vindictive science fiction fanboy could get one of the most powerful positions in the world. The fact that Gingrich actually stands a chance is why I'm campaigning for Charles Manson in 2012, with the slogan "Because A Nation of Freaks Deserves To Be Led By One."

I love this clip. Rowan at his absolute best.

Comedy sketch featuring Rowan Atkinson.

Less frightening than "Barack Obama - The Second Term!"

Chris Rock:

“There’s a f***ing art to the first term because you’re always running for a second term the whole time. It’s like Clinton’s first term. You can’t really do your gangsta s*** until your second term . . . Even Bush couldn’t really f*** up the world until his second term. That’s when he put the hammer down.”

Well, he tried to, anyway (I presume you mean the early '05 sneak attack on Social Security). Otherwise, the second Bush term didn't do much except put a couple more right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court. His limitations were just too obvious by then, and Congress pretty much went its own way even before the '06 elections.

I don't think Gingrich has a serious chance of being president because women (other than movement conservatives) almost universally hate him. He might get the nomination, though I suspect the party elite will mobilize big-time to stop him if he actually starts winning primaries. His general-election gender gap would be insurmountably huge, no matter how bad the economy gets.

Newt Gingrich wants to debate President Obama and he says it’s okay if Obama uses a teleprompter. But President Obama has his own plan. He’s going to hold the debate in a donut shop so Newt’s mouth will be too full to talk.

I can just see the powdered sugar dusting on his lapels.

Still, The O-man's probably going to be up to 2 packs-a-day by Memorial Day.

Can the Rs even put a viable candidate on the ballot? The heavy-duty conservatives and subsequent Tea Party types have promoted candidates that can win primaries, but have no chance of getting elected. Romney is the most electable R candidate for the general election, but the party is doing all they can to snuff him out. (Besides, his personality makes Al Gore look absolutely warm and fuzzy.)

Newt is the essence of everything wrong with politics - a pathological liar, a real nasty streak bordering on the sadistic, and an uber-boot licker of the rich and powerful.

I'm sad to say that I've been in the room when Newt has spoken a couple of times back in my banquet days. My impression was that his speeches were like college lectures where the professor gathers wisdom from dozens of sources, recites it, and then stands back looking smart. Oh, and he says "frankly" a lot to indicate some kind of blunt insight.
Yes, Newt is smart, but let's not get carried away. One reason he appears so smart now is that the Republicans have spewed forth the likes of Rick Perry, Herm Cain and Michele Bachmann.

I also noticed back then that Newt was on an incredible ego trip that made him sound quite ridiculous at times, like when he pompously announced that he had left politics and gone into the vision business. Bite me.

Anyway, at the end of one banquet Newt asked all the waiters to gather for a group picture with him. Right afterwards we had an emergency meeting and decided that if he used the picture in any future campaign literature or commercial, we would sue.

The waiters were not feeling the love for the Newtster.

I quit listening to his XM shows because methinks he talks too much.

But don't tell me -- you listen to Rush Limbaugh and Lars Larson every day.

To gaye harris.

In South Park the decision was between a turd sandwich and a giant dousche. I'm a big fan of that series. Something about shock value really resonates with me. Maybe I'm too jaded to be amused by more subtle comedy.

As for the upcoming presidential auction I don't think it really matters. Obama or Gingrich or Romney. It's all the same. We will remain corrupt until elections are no longer bought and sold.

For deep political insight, I always consult a musicologist.

Oh man Jack I have to listen to people quote Lars Larson on a daily basis. Fox and Right Wing Radio is so pervasive out here (Eastern Oregon) it's taken as gospel.

Taken so literally and at face value it's become a sort of cultural reference point. Jokes about the president being assassinated are like dumb blonde jokes. Common, lame and cliche.

Here it is just common knowledge that Obama was born in Kenya, is not an American, is a Muslim, is a socialist (whatever that means anymore) and is the single worst thing to ever happen to this country.

Maybe I'm just an "overeducated nitwit" (I've actually heard this phrase) but I just cannot fathom having that level of misinformation shot into my brain. How does one allow oneself to be told what to think?

There are a great number of things to criticize a president for. Tons. Why just make things up?

I'm still pulling for Huntsman. At least with him in the race we'd have too sharp as nails leaders going at it. Refreshing.

Everytime someone has risen above Romney in the polls the butcher knives have come out and that canidate has been cut to shreds. In Newt's case, there's a lot of material out there already and he almost always steps in his own doodoo. Give it a few weeks and Romney will be back on top again.

Make that 'TWO'...I feel dumb.

You know Darrin a good Romney v. Obama battle would be entertaining. Say what you will but they are both pretty slick. And I think both are trying for the inspirational angle. I have no hope for either to help out the country much. But I do hope for an entertaining fight.

When Huntsman was polling zero % a while back, my joke was, "Finally a candidate who doesn't owe anything to anybody."

"But don't tell me -- you listen to Rush Limbaugh and Lars Larson every day."

OK, I won't!

I gave up on terrestrial radio right after I was fired from the last of the local "all-news" stations.

For deep political insight, I always consult a musicologist.

Oh, that's so clever! Thank you.

For deep political insight, you consult what? The Wall Street Journal editorial page? Fox News? The AARP newsletter?

“More Americans now get food stamps therefore and we now give it away as cash.  You don’t get food stamps. You get a credit card and the credit card can be used for anything. We’ve had people take their food stamp money and use it to go to Hawaii.”

–Newt Gingrich campaigning in Iowa on 11/30/2011

This from the allegedly intelligent, "policy wonk." So, is he really so ignorant and/or uninformed? Or is he just trying to whip up some of that good ol' animus toward the poor that Newtie loves so well? (Remember how he advocated sending the children of welfare recipients to orphanages?) Either way, score another winner for the GOP.

Newt better not bash those food stamp "credit cards". His buddies at the "too big to fail" banks are making billions of dollars of pure profit in fees off those cards every year.

Newt's orphanage talk wasn't so wild. Soon I will be writing a detailed piece on my experience with the mentally ill in France. Quite a range of troubadours in the Paris train stations, beating time to a different drum, to be sure. The French have an acronym, "SDF". I asked a French man on the Seattle-Paris flight what SDF meant, after I saw he had a plastic bag with the letters, as did a number of other people, and I was curious. Not understanding the reference to his plastic bag, he says:

"oh, SDF, ziss means 'omeless, you know, Sans Domicile Fixe..."
I stared at him and asked:
"the letters on your plastic bag are for Sans Domicile Fixe????"
"Ah, non, ha ha, c'est le Seattle Duty Free, pardon..."

The worst thing I have ever seen, in terms of beggarhood, was a few days later in the rich town of Nice. A baby of six or seven months, who was learning to crawl, being trained to crawl up and down his mom's legs, which were splayed out on the narrow pavement from her seated position against a street lamp. It was nervous breakdown time. It was whiten, shudder, gasp, croak, retch, and scream time. Please, dear God, take these children away from the insensient dependent personality-disorder monsters that are their parents, and give them to others who might be able to give them a chance, please, dear God.

For deep political insight, you consult what? The Wall Street Journal editorial page? Fox News? The AARP newsletter?


Sorry, man - I thought it was funny.

But then I don't take myself very seriously and never thought anyone else did.

I'll go to the corner now and get in whatever box you think appropriate.


Please, dear God, take these children away from the insensient dependent personality-disorder monsters that are their parents, and give them to others who might be able to give them a chance, please, dear God.

Wow. Sounds like Newt's your man then. You both appear to have difficulty with the concept that poverty - i.e., a lack of financial resources - does not equate to, nor stem from, a lack of character, morality, or basic human decency. How ironic that you would endorse the ideas of an ethically challenged individual like Gingrich when it comes to such things... when it comes to anything, for that matter. "[I]nsensient [sic] dependent personality-disorder monsters" is a good (albeit garbled) description of ol' Newtie and his followers, I dare say. The irony abounds.

It is disgusting and despicable that you would seek to equate all welfare recipients with your guttersnipe stereotype. Of course children who are neglected or abused need to be taken from those perpetuating it and placed with those who can care for them, duh. In case you hadn't noticed there's already a large system in place for that purpose. Removing children from their homes to be placed in an orphanage for the "crime" of being poor is truly monstrous.


Insensient is a perfectly good word that has a slightly different meaning than the word whose spelling you may be thinking of.

I know it's really hard for you to imagine being wrong about anything, but actually, beggars have a bigger problem than "poverty" in places like France and the US; they usually suffer from a combination of personality disorders, substance abuse disorders, and the like. Mostly, though, they suffer from the way societies fail to handle them, including letting them beg on the streets with infant children in tow. And they are allowed to do things like that because of the misguided sympathies of the masses of folks who think like you do.

This might help you loosen up and quit using all those d-words.

To the contrary, I am frequently wrong, and have even been known to admit it from time to time. Insensient... mea culpa.

I'm not arguing that the homeless don't often have many issues beside poverty with which to deal. If you've been paying half attention to things right here in Portland, that's obvious. No one needs a treatise on your experiences in France to understand this.

No, my issue with your anecdote of French "beggars" is that you used it to justify Gingrich's -yes, monstrous- proposal that we open orphanages to care for the children of those we kick off the welfare rolls. Drawing a parallel between a mother on TANF with a woman lolling, splay legged in the gutter while her infant learns to crawl atop her, is the same type of scapegoat-the-poor tactics of which Gingrich is so very fond.

I volunteer with organizations that serve the low-income population. Without exception, every one of them works hard to keep people off the street. Not a single one advocates for letting people beg with infants in tow. Seriously, where do you get this stuff? Here's a newsflash... taking away the only, albeit minimal, support.a family has by slashing the welfare rolls leads to situations like you describe. And blaming those that advocate for the poor for "allowing" this to happen is just bass-ackward.

Perhaps you should turn your scholarly pursuits to the history of child welfare in this country and why we turned away from orphanages: horrendous outcomes for generations of institutionalized people, all at enormous cost. We determined almost a century ago that it was best to try to preserve the family, and barring that, to place children in home settings. Thus, the foster care system. Which, though it has major problems, is far superior to institutionalized care. But Newtie - the "historian" - knows better.

Sorry you don't like my "d" words. But I find the type of false moral equivalency that people like Gingrich practice (welfare mom = neglectful guttersnipe, poor black kid = lazy, immoral criminal) just that: disgusting and despicable. Even more so when it is practiced by one who is so ethically challenged.

Gingrich, I mean; not you. I don't know you well enough to make that judgement. Just like you - or anyone - don't know "the poor" well enough to make that judgement.

Well I may not know you well still Gaye, but after clicking on your link I feel I do understand a little better.

Referencing a piece from the Koch brothers funded Manhattan Institute that claims it's purely class resentment that fuels the flames of unrest we have seen in Europe and are now seeing here, speaks volumes.

It would behoove your persuasiveness if you could say a single thing about Theodore Dalrymple's article , instead of doing what members of your political class always do- make their arguments on the basis of pure, raw accusation. One of the standard gifts of US public education is a pathetic absence of instruction in critical thinking, resulting in retorts like yours: a little sentence referencing those eeevil rich conservative people, who, because they are evil, rich, conservative, racist, or whatever else you want to believe about them and call them, could never have any association with anything accurate, decent, believable, or even worthy of debate.

And it would behoove you, Ms. Harris, to read a bit more carefully. Especially when critiquing another's critical thinking skills.

Without going into a dissertation on your link, the single thing I did say was that it "claims it's purely class resentment that fuels the flames of unrest we have seen in Europe and are now seeing here." That is an accurate, if extremely brief, synopsis of the article. Sorry if I did not follow your attempt to lead away from the subject at hand on this thread or your previous comments. Which you have conveniently not addressed here, I see. So, are you still advocating for orphanages for the children of welfare moms Gaye, or not? Are you still standing by that pillar of virtue and logic, Newt Gingrich?

It's humorous how you worked in your little dig about public education while reciting a virtual litany of logical fallacies. I am not so partisan, ill-informed, or ignorant to label all conservatives or rich people as evil or racist or whatever negative, absolutist label you can throw out there. I notice that didn't stop you from claiming I do.

Tell me, from what private school does one purchase the education for such amazing debating prowess? Because you got ripped off.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
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Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
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Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
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Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
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Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
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Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

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