Politics: Are Palin, Rush Limbaugh, & Republicans retarded?

So, dear Rush Limbaugh is being taken to task for the use of the word ‘retard’ on his radio show. This–in and of itself–is completely unsurprising and not very interesting. I mean, this IS the guy with all the taste and class to imitate Michael J. Fox having a seizure, after all.

No, the delicious part is this:

“Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult has taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, ‘retards,” Limbaugh said of the report on Wednesday’s show. “These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes.”

Liberal activists, you say?

You mean, like that tea-baggin’, moose-shooter Sarah Palin? Just a scant few days before Rush ate his foot, Palin was chastising her own colleagues for use of the same word, which in turn was only a day or so after wanting White House Chief of Staff Rom Emmanuel (D) fired for using the same word … about liberals.

Does everyone in D.C. have their heads so far up their own whazoos that no one can see they’re drowning in irony? Honestly, I think these people might be r… ah, challenged.

Life/Politic: The Codger

I’m feeling … codger-ly of late. The weather has kept me off the bike for far too many weeks. I’ve got a couple of nagging injuries from ramping up my running distances too far too fast. And I have a child with some sort of mystery congestion I’m trying to figure out.

And now, the Democrats have miraculously pissed away any meaningful control of congress a year after Obama gets elected. In Massachusetts of all places. Seriously, I’ve never seen Harry Reid do anything other than stand behind Nancy Pelosi, who in turn always looks like she’s at least thought about some terrible tragedy knocking out Obama and Biden at the same time (Hello, third-in-line to the Presidency!). Remember the Republicans in the same position? They were absolutely railroading stuff through Congress. Sadly, the Dems can’t seem to get out of their own way. Sheez.

To wit: Harumph. I am codgerly.

News Flash! Obama Scandal!

While most major news outlets today are celebrating the inauguration of the the nations first African-American President, correspondents here at MadeOfGlass News have uncovered remarkable information concerning the new president. It seems, in fact, that Barack Obama’s mother was actually–prepare yourself, because this is startling–WHITE! Yes, I know this is astounding. In fact, further research into his parentage indicates that his father may not have actually been African-American, but just African…

Okay, so I’m being a bit of a snot. But I do have a point. It seems that in our media’s rush–and our nation’s need–to assuage our long bout of white guilt, we’re happily labeling the new President as African-American and leaving it at that.

I think that is too simplistic of a view, and more disconcertingly, ignores an even more important point: he’s biracial.

What does this mean? Why is it important? Well, beyond the idea of a purely black man climbing to the top of the ladder, I think the idea that he is the product of black AND white races symbolizes what we can accomplish together. Sadly, I think this is a topic too scary for media to address, that perhaps a large portion of the population would rather not think about inter-racial relationships. Tack onto it that he’s the son of an immigrant, and you have a whole host of other issues our country still doesn’t want to deal with.

It is as if we’re finally able to talk about something we have been struggling with for a century or more. But we’re not quite ready to talk about more recent issues: bi-racial marriages, or the power of recent immigrants.

I see great hope in today, in the election of this man, in what it implies for the future. But I see so many more troubling things in how we as a society are choosing to frame this day. 

Politic/Parenting: Electoral college, err, elementary school

On Monday, Reed got off the bus and told me he voted for president at school. About a thousand thoughts ran through my mind as I asked: “Oh, really?” then paused before asking, “And who did you vote for?” while not quite sure I could handle the answer I might get. You see, I haven’t really discussed the election a bunch with the kids because, well, they’re kids. Reed knows we go to vote and how it’s something important, but I’m not the parent who actively pushes a candidate or idea on a five-year-old.

In his best, clearly-enunciated child’s voice, he says, “Barack Obama.”

“Oh, yeah?” I ask with a smile. “Why’d you vote for him.”

“Because.” and then adding an explanation in case I didn’t already know: “He’s the best.”

Later on Tuesday evening, we were talking about voting again, where I mentioned that in a few years when he turns 18 he’ll get to vote to.

“But I already voted. Yesterday.”

Such was his earnestness, I didn’t dare disabuse him of the notion that Kindergardeners could vote in national elections. It was just to sweet an idea.

He’s really getting engaged with conversations now. Tonight, for instance, we were discussing something he’d written in school today. The sheet had a drawing of a mountain and the words “George Washington is on a mountain. He is dead. He is our first president.” Interestingly, this prompted a discussion that ranged from Washington to Mount Rushmore to the Revolutionary War, Constitutional Congress, the monarchy in England and then he asks “Not the emperor?” So I tried to explain the difference between a king and an emperor, and how we typically think of emperors as being in Japan or China, wherein he noted that the emperor’s birthday is next month. Looking at the calendar, I found he was spot on. Then we started talking about China, and how they don’t have an emperor anymore, and then what communism is, versus what a democracy is. 

Neat, huh?

Oh, and as we were reading his encyclopedia tonight going over land features (mountains, valleys and such), he noted he’d seen lots of signs for McCain – “Plain”. I can just imagine him wondering where the McCain plain is on his map.

the morning after

Everyone and their mother has something to say about last night. I am going to try to keep it brief, though each of these bullet points is probably worthy of its own post.

  • I am on the train to work right now. In the last 12 hours, I bet I have almost broken into tears no less than 4 times. I haven’t yet cried, but it’s pretty much going to happen before I sleep tonight. Did I say 4? I meant 5 now. I am not the only one — both male and female friends have already told me they have cried as well. This is almost insane. We are crying because a presidential candidate won. I’m not ashamed of it at all, but it’s something I would have never expected.
  • mightygodking has a good post about the two points I have talked the most about with people in the last 12 hours: 1. race, 2. how we actually elected someone that the majority of the country agrees is a decent human being. “The idea that Barack Obama could be a genuinely decent human being and win the Presidency – be a person capable of making the hard choices required of the job but nonetheless doing so while maintaining, as best he can, a state of moral grace – is exciting, and terrifying, and awe-inspiring.”
  • Kurt and Keren came over to watch results, eat and drink last night. At 8pm, when the polls closed and the election called, the text messages started. The three of us, for a while, sat in my den and txted friends around the country. And I realized: last night, the entire world was united. The entire fucking planet was partying with us. I told K&K that the World Cup and the Olympics are similar but because they are competitive, the entire world is never on the same side. Last night, we were. We were united as an entire planet. MSNBC said that the president of Kenya had declared today a national holiday. They showed the village where Obama’s father’s mother still lives. The world has shrunk and the idea that a family could go from a Kenyan village to the White House in 2 generations is beyond amazing.
  • Race. Having lived in Richmond, Va for 26 years and being there for the literal fury that existed when it came time to honor Arthur Ashe on Monument Ave makes last night no small feat. It was something I never thought I would live to see and the impact it has already had on me is staggering. With this decision, we, as a country, have moved into the 21st century. We do live in a world where anything can happen.
  • And this morning, I am more proud to be a citizen of this country than ever before. We have not just broken the glass ceiling — we are in the stratosphere. No longer will people debate about a woman being president; we have bounded past that. And the hope that this man will unite us and move us forward, much like Kennedy did is huge. I have to assume that this is like Kennedy coming along; a once a generation leader who can unite the country.
  • And finally, it is such a relief to know, even if it is in the future, that I can somewhat trust the decisions of my government, that even if I disagree with the decisions, I might no longer have to make excuses, be embarrassed or outraged is awesome. It’s one less thing to feel upset over in my mind.

I am proud to be an American today in a way I never have before. And it rules.

McCain is a liar

Everyone I speak to is panicked. No one expected the Republicans to re-hire Karl Rove and run plays straight from his book. Leonard links to TPM:

What can we do? We’ve got a dangerously reckless contender for the presidency and a vice presidential candidate who distinguished her self by abuse of office even on the comparatively small political stage of Alaska. They’ve both embraced a level of dishonesty that disqualifies them for high office. Democrats owe it to the country to make clear who these people are. No apologies or excuses. If Democrats can say at the end of this campaign that they made clear exactly how and why these two are unfit for high office they can be satisfied they served their country.

This is about what I came up with laying in bed last night. It’s really depressing; McCain is turning this from a race about issues and intelligence to a TMZ paparazzi race.

Here are a couple more links for you, pointing out what should be semi-obvious points, if the media was actually speaking out instead of buying in:

More soon, I’m sure.