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What Will Republicans Fixate on as the New Big Scary Evil?

Who can say for sure, but this new Harris poll (via The Daily Beast) about Republican attitudes sure is frightening.

67 percent of Republicans think Obama is a socialist.

57 percent of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim.

(A. If these were true, why does that scare people?
B. They're not true, so that's like doubly not scary.)

45 percent of Republicans agree with the birthers.

38 percent of Republicans believe that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did."

24 percent of Republicans think that Obama may be the Antichrist.

Are you a Republican who is mostly non-crazy? (Leaving the belief that most taxes are bad aside.) Then, hey: Um, tell your fellow party members to stop being so batshit. It's hard for Democrats to want to make concessions with sane Republicans (Olympia Snowe, and, hold on ... I'll get back to you) when dingholes like Texas Rep. Neugebauer (the latest in what's becoming a trend of grown men who yell inappropriate things at work, which I can tell you from experience is not a luxury most of us have. His shout; "baby killer") stinking up the wings.

Anyway. Craziness. There were plenty of people spouting crazy theories about Bush Jr. during his presidency, but most of those people were sitting outside of Winnings coffee, not in Congress. Sigh.

The iPad is Here

Hey look! It's some gadget my husband will insist he needs!

The iPad, unveiled today (read a live blog here) is apparently like a giant iPhone, for old people, I'm guessing. Those little numbers are hard to push.

Also, this is a terrible name. Like Apple just came out with its own line of sanitary napkins. Which makes me wonder what kind of apps would come with that.

Balloon Fiesta Blues

When the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning, I was surprisingly alert. Two years ago, I woke up at that time nearly every day, but times have changed. Though I was a couple hours short of my MSR (minimum sleep requirement), I was excited to go to the Balloon Fiesta for the first time in 18 years.

Warmly dressed and with coffee in hand, we left the house a bit after 6 to get to the park in time for the 7 a.m. lift off. Unfortunately, we ended up in our car in traffic until well after 7, at one point not moving for 20 minutes. For the city's largest event of the year, this seemed like bad planning. We did, however, get to hear six different stories on NPR about Obama's surprise Nobel Prize win, so that was something.

Once there, we were surprised to find that there was only one gate open, and two ticket windows selling tickets to get through that one gate. There were a few hundred people in line ahead of us, and the balloons had already started floating overhead, moving north.

We were in line just long enough so that all but about four balloons took off, so we decided to forget the $12 we'd have to pay to get in (already having paid $10 to park). A glance into the park revealed thousands and thousands and maybe still thousands of bodies, seemingly alive and stuffed with funnel cake. We jumped in our car and beat the traffic out. We then had breakfast at the Garcia's at 4th and Mountain. The green was delicious.

I'm not sure what time we should have left the house to get there in time. 5:30? That's bullshit. Get six more people to sell tickets and examine traffic patterns, Albuquerque. We had considered taking the train, but that still would have put us there about the same time, waiting in the same long line.

Verdict: Kind of cool balloons, a lot of nonsense. I'm glad I got to go with my hubby, but this is more evidence of why Albuquerque can't have nice things. We don't know how to handle it.

Pretty pictures, though!

Republicans have little time for windswept moors.


Divide and Conquer

Though Albuquerque’s mayoral race is non-partisan in theory, nobody’s fooled. Martin Chavez and Richard Romero are Democrats, while R.J Berry seems to have been manufactured in some sort of Republican factory that used no publicly financed roads to get there and where no workers or owners benefitted from things like public school or fire departments (he hates taxes, see?).

It was supposed to be Chavez all the way, maybe with some bruising delivered from Romero. But as these two are dividing the progressive and moderate vote, along comes Berry to snap up the conservatives who once went for Chavez. Will Albuquerque, for all of its true-blueness, get a Republican mayor just because the Dems split the vote? Will that lead to cries for a primary system for mayoral elections? Will I save about $25 a year in taxes only to find that the library is only stocking book covers and handwritten summations of books because we cut funding to everythimg?

(Possible example: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. I am a gypsy, maybe. You are a girl. I love you. I love you, no I don’t. Heathcliff!! Are we dead? Hey kids, don’t love each other. I hate love. Catherine!! Do I die? I don’t remember the ending.)

The horror.

You can kiss this goodbye.

Crazy Pregnancy Stories

Babies are cute, and the other day I tried on a most fabulous coat without realizing it was maternity wear, so that’s cool now too. But what are some of the possible uncute consequences of deciding to get pregnant?

You could find out you’re carrying another couple’s embryo.

You could fall in love with an alien and give birth to twins who freak you out. (Skip ahead to 1:30 in the video.)

Maybe you’re kinda chubby with a nacho addiction and don’t know you’re pregnant.

Or maybe this happens.

Pregancy. Keep your pants on.

The Nazis marching into Warsaw. Contrary to current belief, they did not do this to force upon the Poles universal health care.

Seventy Years Ago Today

On Sept. 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland under the pretense of having been attacked by the Poles (it was staged by Nazis). This is generally regarded as being the beginning of World War II. Tens of millions of people would be killed in Europe and Asia before the end of the war.

Here is the British poet W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939” about the break-out of the war.

This poster’s balanced use of rhetorical appeals, namely that of logos, clearly drives home its rational point.

Crazy Moments in American History

I don’t mean the crazy stuff that’s happened to us, like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, both of which we can all agree, crazy. Instead, I’m talking about moments when the crazy level in America (a measurement of our citizens’ craziness) goes off the charts. Just this month, we’ve had the Birthers and the Health Care Town Hall Shouters, who liken Obama to Hitler because they think Obama’s a socialist and Hitler was a National Socialist (a movement which was actually fascist, but hey, words are confusing). Oh, and Sarah Palin.

So, there’s three. McCarthyism was pretty batshit as well. Also, waterbeds. What’s your vote?

What Would You Look Like in 1962?

“Mad Men” is coming back on August 16. It’s a really, really great show about advertising in the ‘60s. And sexism, racism, classism. With fabulous clothes. AMC is spreading the word through a variety of 21st century ways, like allowing you to make your own “Mad Men”-style avatar. Here is me. This is actually quite an accurate depiction of how I conduct meetings/teach class. Go here to make your own. Share them, won’t you?

Harry Potter and the Real Life Anime Character

Oh, the Internet. We’ve had a love/hate relationship for the past 14 years or so, but for this, I take it all back. I love you.

The premise behind these videos is simple. Japanese girl wins a contest to visit the set of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the film that was just released. She interviews Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) and Rupert Grint (Ron).

And yet, this is so much more. Dare I say that these are the two most perfect interviews of any celebrities, ever? I propose that all star interviews be conducted by 13-year-old fangirls, preferably with a language barrier.

Via Japan Probe.

Jaysus! Frank McCourt Is Feckin’ Dead

As Nick Brown reported in this morning’s Daily Word, Frank McCourt, American Irish American (read his books if you’re confused) passed away at the age of 78. His books were funny and lively, but they also talked about poverty, the intolerance of religion, alcoholism and abuse in a way that was no less raw just because it made you laugh. When an American writes a memoir, it’s all, “Oh, my emotional scars. My therapist says I need to construct healthy boundaries in my relationship with food. Blah blah.”

May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows your dead, Francis McCourt.