Thursday, October 23, 2008

Muzzy Headed Stupid

It's parent/teacher conferences today and tomorrow and the kid doesn't have school.

So I slept in an extra hour this morning, sue me.

Sleeping in is not actually a good thing for me.  Extra sleep leaves me muzzy headed and dull witted and usually gives me a headache - but you know, it's a matter of principle, damnit, and this morning I was willing to make the sacrifice.

So, anyway, this morning I was scanning my news feeds, like I always do - except an hour later than usual.  Hunched over a cup of coffee and wishing to hell I could find a way to quadruple its caffeine content, my blood sounds like sludge pounding through the arteries in my ears and I've got to reread each paragraph one word at a time because nothing is making any sense. I mean, I understand the words, they just don't make any sense together - this is normal for me, not all of my neurons wake up at the same time.

So, it took me a while to notice that something was weird in my Google Alaska-specific newsreader.

Off kilter.

See, if you can spot it:

Top Story: Palin spends $150,000 on clothes: blah blah something about campaign funds, outrage, Neiman-Marcus, blah, blah, a designer handbag and her kid (not the preggo one, a different one, apparently she's got a couple), democrats and burst blood vessels, ooh ooh squeak, ooh ooh squawk, and etc. Jimmy crack corn and I don't care.

Actually, in the reader I'm using, this is like the top fifteen articles. Palin, clothes, campaign funds. Got it, ferchristsake lets get to something that doesn't sound like Paris Hilton and Entertainment News Tonight.

Next: Five die when boat sinks off Alaska: the usual stock picture of a Coast Guard rescue helicopter (which I find amusing, since I'm just alert enough to realize it's a picture of an ancient H-3, which the CG hasn't used in like, I dunno, a hundred years or something), which makes me think of my friend Jeff, who's a Warrant in the Coast Guard, which reminds me of the movie The Guardian - which in turn reminds me of Kevin Costner, and then my head really starts to hurt. No mention of how much the Coasties spent on their clothes however.

Next: Something about the property market in Alaska.  More about money. Yeah, like I'm going to read about the Alaskan economy with a head full of cotton. Sure. Frankly, I don't need tortured comparisons of how rural Alaskans are losing their shirts while Palin is buying hers at Saks Fifth Avenue - it's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't care before the second pot of coffee.  I'm looking for something funny, or something with a lot of pictures.

And I get it, the funny with the pictures.

All the way down in the feed something catches my eye. It's a headline about how a conviction wouldn't actually bar Ted Stevens (R-AK) from the Senate.  What's that? And I read it again, sounding each word out and covering one eye - and it still says the same thing.  See, if Uncle Teddy wins reelection, something he's likely to do at this point, and is convicted of financial chicanery, well, he could still serve in the Senate unless, and until, that body votes to expel him by two thirds majority.  The story mentions that Representative Don Young  (R-AK and our only representative) is also under investigation, and that, I dunno, like everybody in Juneau has been convicted of either giving bribes or taking them.

Did you spot the weirdness?  Palin's pantsuit, a fishing boat capsizing (of which there's like ten a week here), and the price of houses, a moose on the Glenn Highway, A story about Alaskan winter produce  - all come before the fact that damned near our entire state government is either under indictment or facing serious jail time - or is, in fact, already in jail.  Google, I think your sort algorithm heuristics are more muzzy headed than I am this morning.  Seriously, Google, buy that software a big cup of double-shot capachino with four extra sugars and an espresso brownie.

Then the rest of the weirdness hit me:

Palin spent what? $150 grand on clothes, which she'll eventually donate to charity says she.  I mean, shit, a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on clothes?  Damn, you people in the lower 48 sure buy some expensive duds, because a $150,000 would buy every working stiff in Alaska a new pair of Carhartt overalls and really, you only need one pair, you just wear 'em until there's nothing but grease and stink left (we have contests, seriously, at the state fair to determine who has the most disgusting Carhartt jacket. I'd like to see Palin wear one of those to a $4000 a plate GOP fund raiser). 

Here's the part I find funny, Palin spent $150,000 on new skivvies - and people are outraged. $150,000 that's a shitload of money, right?  But, see, here's the thing, Stevens is going to go to jail over $250,000 in bribes - yeah, not even double what Palin spent on shoes. 

But wait, $250,000 over seven years, that's $35K a year.  $35 thousand?  Fuck, I could do that.

Hell, if I'd have known I could buy my own Senator for a piddly $35 thousand things would be very different right now.  For starters people would be flying in and out of the Jim Wright Anchorage International Spaceport, and not the Ted Stevens Memorial House of Grease My Palm or whatever they call it right now.   I mean, seriously here, $250K isn't enough to get Teddy above the fold on the Google News Reader, and he's going to go to jail over it?

How stupid does he feel right now?

Yeah, that's what I get for sleeping in this morning. Good thing I didn't sleep for two extra hours.


  1. Um... Can I point out that $150 would buy my house?


  2. When Tom Anderson was going down one of the lobbyists said soemthing along the lines of "$12K? I could have had a legislator for $12K? If I'd known they were that cheap I'd bought at least two!"

    Two of my friends from college were staffers for Tom Anderson. Heh.

  3. I tease them about it. One writes him letters, so the guy'll have something to read in jail.

    Sorry, I hit enter before I was done.

  4. Would it help, Michelle, if I pointed out that $150K would just about buy my shop (well, the building, not the tools)? No? Sorry.

  5. $150K for clothes? I am no fashion plate, but I seriously doubt that I will spend $150K for clothes over my lifetime (including my husband's and kid's clothes too). I literally can't imagine that. Sorry, my cheapness got the better of me for a second.

  6. If you didn't live in such a posh, expensive, urban area, prices wouldn't be so high Jim.

  7. No, I'd just have a smaller shop is all.

  8. No I'd just have a bigger shop. or something. Give me a break here, Michelle, I working an article.

    Details, whatever.

  9. Give Jim a break!
    Give Jim a break!
    Break Jim off a piece of that Kit! Kat! Bar!

  10. Now you're just being silly.

    And I like that about you. Well, that and your willingness to help dispose of the bodies...

  11. Shh!

    They aren't supposed to know about that!

  12. The story I heard included that Palin's JACKET for her speech at the RNC cost $2,500!!

    $2,500??? I don't think all the clothes I've bought in the last 10 years would total $2,500!!

    Yeesh. Don't remember right now how much it cost to buy new clothes for Palin's husband & kids.

  13. I don't see what the big deal about Governor Palin's clothes budget is. She could be the leader of the free world in a few years: you don't want her dressing like some ordinary, just plain folks, small town, heartland America, Joe Six-Pack type, do...

    Oh. Wait. Hm, yeah. (Slaps the side of the irony detector, a shoebox-sized black box with a long V-antenna sticking out of one end and big chrome handles on the sides.) Sorry about that. Stuck dial. Nevermind, then.

  14. Jim, my eagle-eyed hub found an absolutely hilarious weird ass video of AIP candidate Daniel DeNardo on the Alaska Politics blog. I posted it on mine today for my family & friends' entertainment. This guy pegs the weird-meter - you have got to watch him - but do not try to drink coffee while you do.

  15. Oh - and that's what Palin gets for shopping in the L48. If she'd shop in AK like she should, she wouldn't have enough choices to rack up that kind of bill - it's a self limiting shopping spree. :D

    And really, who the hell cares how much Obama or Biden has spent on clothing? Because Italian suits are not cheap either.

  16. Yes, Jeri, but they're elitists and don't know any better.


    (Seriously, and for the record: this comment and my other were just snark for it's own sake. I truly, believe it or not, do not care about this clothes issue any more than I care about Edwards' ridiculous haircut. Nutty, declasse, silly--sure. But really not something I'm going to, you know, waste much thought on.

    It was just fun to take the cheap shots, is all. :-) )


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