Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mr. Blackwell Was Not a Bitch

Mr. Blackwell, whose real name was Richard Selzer, famous for his annual “worst dressed list,” died Sunday [10/19/08] afternoon at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

In "An Interview With Mr. Blackwell and His Partner Robert Spencer," Andy Towle wrote:

Of the list, Blackwell told me: “The worst of anything was never done before me. I mean I love everything it did for me, but unfortunately it overtook my real life and it became a double-edged sword. It just was not the whole image I wanted to leave with the world, and today if you ask, Who’s Blackwell? He’s a bitch.”

Blackwell said he felt “terrible” about his public image: “Why I feel terrible is that that’s all they think of me. It wouldn’t be bad if that was one of the things. Fine. I think the list today is needed more than ever before. There has to be someone who has an opinion of what’s going on. I get hundreds of letters saying thank you for remembering that there is such a thing as taste. Hundreds.”

Mr. Blackwell was not a bitch. My parents met Mr. Blackwell and Mr. Spencer on a cruise. They came home talking about how much they enjoyed getting to know them both, and how much fun they were. I never had the pleasure of meeting either man in person, but Mr. Blackwell gave my daughter a very special gift that neither of us will ever forget.

Katie is #11 on Richard Blackwell’s “10 Worst Dressed Women” list for 1989. When she was a year old, I wrote to about 160 celebrities in a variety of fields: entertainment, sports, law, science, medicine, music, etc. and asked them to send her birthday greetings, since a first birthday is a major milestone in her life, but not one she’s likely to remember. Over half of them wrote back. My parents had been on two cruises with Mr. Blackwell, and he asked which list we thought Katie would like to be on: Best Dressed, or Worst. Well, who remembers who’s on the BEST Dressed list?

Katie on Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed List of 1989. The last name is my maiden name; he got a little confused.

It truly was a first birthday to remember, and a gift to cherish for a lifetime.

My sincere condolences to Robert Spencer, Mr. Blackwell's partner of fifty-eight years.

Mood Swings

Mood Swings
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cheers, Barack! (Let McCain Take What's Left of the Y2K Champagne)


The cheering drowned out the "pop!" of the champagne. Right? Riiiiiight.


It feels oh-so-sweet to finally be able to toast a Democrat into the White House again!


Okay, maybe eight-year-old Korbel that looks like pee, tastes like Port, and doesn't go "pop!" when you open it isn't such a good thing, but it's still a celebration!

Yes, We Can - and We Did!

In 2000, we visited the White House and had a personal tour of the West Wing.




champagneWe were given a few souvenirs, including a couple of splits of Korbel with the White House seal. It was our intention to celebrate the election of Al Gore by breaking open those bottles, but sadly, that was not to be. We resolved then and there not to open them until a Democrat was elected President.My husband's ready to open them now.

Here's to Barack Obama! Congratulations, President Obama. Well done. Kudos also to Nancy W. of Cypress for Obama for her tireless efforts to educate and energize voters and volunteers. Special thanks to Lynn Wilson for registering my daughter and making this a memorable election year for a young, first-time voter.

And congratulations (I hope) to Judge Ed Emmett - the only Republican I voted for. He's winning by a very narrow margin - here's hoping there are no surprises there in the morning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Protect the Vote

Don't Fall for Election Day Misinformation!

Onslaught of dirty tricks as Election Day nears
In the final hours of the campaign, bogus fliers, e-mails and calls increase

Get the straight scoop from the folks at who want to PROTECT your right to vote.

If you are heading to the polls tomorrow, please be sure to take this number with you: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683). This national, toll-free election protection hotline can help with any voting-related questions or problems you might encounter.

Before going to vote, please be sure to:

* Find out in advance where your polling place is. You can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE to find your polling place and confirm your registration, or look up your voting location here.

* Know what you need to bring to the polls. Check out our website for state-by-state voting information.

* Give yourself plenty of time to vote. Lines will likely be long in many places.

You can help Protect the Vote by passing the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline number on to everyone you know who will be voting tomorrow. The national election protection coalition, which Common Cause is proud to be part of, is committed to making sure every eligible voter is able to cast a ballot, and every ballot is counted accurately. If there are problems on Election Day, we want to be able to get to the bottom of them as fast as possible.

Also, Common Cause will hold an hour-long briefing call on Election Day at 5:30pm eastern time for all members and activists to talk about what we're hearing and seeing around the country. We'll have representatives from our national office on the line to talk about big-picture trends, and our staff who are on the ground in states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and North Carolina to give reports from the field.

Please RSVP now, and we'll send you the toll-free dial-in information. We will take questions at the end of the call; however, please do not wait for this briefing call if you have a problem to report. Call the Election Protection hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE to relay any problems in your area.

Thanks for all you do,

Susannah Goodman
and the rest of the team at Common Cause

P.S. Here are a few more ways that you can help Protect the Vote tomorrow:

* Use your Twitter account, cell phone or any touch-tone phone to report on your voting experience. It's easy -- click here for more information about how to "Tweet Your Vote".

* Rate your polling place and your experience of voting. Your rating and those of other voters will produce a real-time map of voting conditions throughout the country on November 4.

* Video the Vote: Shoot a video of your experience on Election Day and share it with the world. Some states have laws restricting when and where you can take pictures or video at voting sites – so be sure to check out the rules in your state before taking out your camera.

Voting is your RIGHT. Do not let tricksters and cheaters deprive you of it tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tough Questions for John McCain

A post by Juan Jimenez, an old friend of mine, reposted here with his permission:

So, this late in the campaign, shall we ask what are the remaining seriously open questions of the McCain Campaign?

Sure, why not. I sat down and did the homework and came up with this list. Your mileage may vary.

1. John, explain your calling Rashid Khalidi a PLO spokesperson, terrorist and other crap, and blasting Barack Obama for knowing him, while in fact you had previously FUNDED Mr. Khalidi to the tune of $448,000+.

2. John, explain why you celebrated your 70th birthday aboard a yacht, the Celine Ashley, rented by A-list con man Raffaello Follieri and his then-movie star girlfriend Anne Hathaway, in the company of your campaign manager and government lobbyist Rick Davis. Follieri, who posed as Vatican chief financial officer in order to win friends and investments, pleaded guilty in September in a Manhattan district court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering. As part of the plea, Follieri admitted to misappropriating at least $2.4 million of investor money and redirecting it to foreign personal bank accounts that were disguised as business accounts.

3. John, explain your ties to former mafia boss Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano. In 1995, you sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.

4. John, explain how you classify as "command experience" 12 months as CO of some bullshit Navy squadron in Florida, when in fact you spent the majority of that time screwing around on your crippled wife.

5. John, explain why you insist on violating copyright law by using music in your campaign for which you have not obtained licenses.

6. John, while campaigning in Defiance, Ohio, news reports broke of yet another quarter of record profits for Exxon/Mobile of $14.83 Billion dollars. You responded to the news by saying, "[When I'm President,] we're not gonna let that happen." Explain how that relates to your "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!" comments at the repukeblican convention.

7. John, explain why you attack Barack Obama for being a "socialist" and a proponent of "spread the wealth" when Larry King confronted you on this issue and you clearly admitted our tax system is in fact a way to 'spread the wealth." You were asked during an interview with CNN's Larry King a question regarding the "graduated income tax" system we've been using for decades as a form of "spreading the wealth": You: " Well, that's spreading the wealth in the respect that we do have a graduated income tax. That's a far cry from taking from one group of Americans and giving to another. I mean, that's dramatically different." King: "Doesn't [sic] taxes pay for services?" McCain: "Taxes pay for 'services'... Taxes pay to keep our government secure, to help those who can't help themselves and other functions of government." In other words, "spread the wealth".

8. John, explain how during an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity, you claimed it was a "far-left liberal view that you need to take money from one group of Americans and give it to another." And in the same interview you said, "So the point is, yes, a society and government takes care of citizens who need our help. That's what America is all about." How is it that you can be a critic of "National Health care", when you have been a recipient of either "Socialized Medicine" or "Single Payer Health Care" you entire life (born on a military base in Panama, disabled in Vietnam, served in Congress since 1982).

9. John, explain why despite your wife being worth over $100 Million dollars, you still receive a monthly Social Security check worth $1,930 from a system you have described as "broken". You don't think you should be an honest man and return that money?

10. John, explain why you have flip-flopped on higher taxes on the wealthy and tax cuts for the middle class like a salmon out of water. At an October 2000 town hall on MSNBC's Hardball, an audience member asked you why the rich pay higher taxes than the middle class. You defended progressive taxation, stating, "I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more. The very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages So, look, here's what I really believe, that when you are — reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. … And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first."

11. John, explain why you flip-flopped on the subject of using robocalls in political campaigns. You hired the same Republican smear-merchant, Tucker Eskew. that produced "robo-calls" back in 2000 for then-Governor Bush during the South Carolina primary suggesting to voters that your adoptive Bengali daughter was actually the product of an interracial extra-marital affair. At the time, back in 2000, you denounced the practice, claiming "I promise you, I have never, and will never, have anything to do with that kind of political tactic." Unhuh.

12. John, explain why you flip-flopped on your campaign's references to William Ayers. Last May, while appearing on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor", you said "This campaign isn't going to be about Reverend Wright or Mr. Ayers. It's going to be about 'vision'. It's going to be about a plan of action for the American people who are hurting right now." With less than a month to go till Election Day, your campaign began utilizing pre-recorded robo-calls attacking Senator Obama on the subject of "Bill Ayers": "You need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. capital, the Pentagon, a judges home, and killed Americans."

13. John, explain your relationship to convict G. Gordon Liddy; you stated that you "pal around" with "domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy", and defended your actions saying Liddy "served his time"... And yet Liddy has instructed listeners to his radio show on how to kill Federal Agents during the Waco siege, he's broken into the office of psychiatrist Daniel Ellsberg and planned to fire bomb the Brookings Institute where Ellsberg's "Pentagon Papers" were stored, threatened to kill investigative journalist Jack Anderson. Obama was just an eight-year-old kid when Ayers committed his actions. You were 35 years old when Liddy was breaking into the Watergate building, 56 when Liddy was instructing listeners on "the proper way" to kill ATF Agents ("head shots" to circumvent their body armor), and 71 during YOUR SIXTH APPEARANCE on "old friend" Liddy's radio show last May where you praised Liddy, saying: "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family.It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

14. John, explain why you picked a VP running mate whose husband is associated with a political party that wants Alaska to secede, and whose leader once said he hated the United States. Is that how you define Country First?

15. Along those lines, John, explain why your running mate seems to be pushing her own candidacy rather than yours, to the point that we're seeing political propaganda material that says PALIN is what the country needs and doesn't even mention your name. If she believes that you are the best person to lead the country -- at least that's why she accepted your invitation to be your running mate, no? -- why is she pushing her own candidacy and talking about 2010 and 2012? Is that how you and your running mate demonstrate "Country first"? Or is this another case of useless politicians putting ME FIRST and country second?

16. Finally, John, care to explain all these flip flops of yours....

- You are now for off-shore drilling, after being against it for 26 YEARS.
- You were against torture, now you're for it.
- You were against warrantless wiretapping now you're for it.
- You were against tax cuts, then for tax cuts, then against tax cuts and now for raising FICA taxes.
- You were against privatizing Social Security and now you're for it.
- You were pro-choice and now you're anti-choice.
- You were against storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain now for it.
- You were against engaging in diplomacy with Hamas now for it.
- You were against diplomacy in Syria and now for it.
- You were against going after Al Qaeda in Pakistan now for it.
- You were against talking to Iran and now for it.
- You were against talking to North Korea and now for it.
- You were for Lieberman-Warner to curb Global Warming now against it.
- You were both FOR and AGAINST attacking Obamas' former Pastor.
- You were against inflating your tires and getting a tune up, now for it.
- You were for disclosure of campaign donations, now against it.
- You were for the Iraq War because it would be quick and easy and against anyone who said Iraq would be quick and easy.
- You thought we were on the right course in Iraq in 2004 now you say you were always against Rumsfeld's strategy in Iraq.
- You were for gay marriage and now against it.
- You were for Affirmative Action and now against it.
- You were against a timetable for withdrawal until you were for it.
- You were for the troops until you voted repeatedly against their body armor, helmets, vest inserts, R&R at home after a one year deployment and Senator Webb's GI Bill.

What do you stand for, McCain? Do you stand for ANYTHING? Do you believe in ANYTHING other than your bizarre, hysterical desire to sit in the White House with a lipsticked chihuahua on a leash at your side? Is that why you were caught on live TV checking out her butt? Because quite frankly, that's the only explanation I can find for your picking her as your running mate that aligns with your track record...