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TBMimsTheThird

Finding Time to Write Is Not Easy

Posted on 2008.10.05 at 21:36
One of these days, though. 

 Robert Steel, the CEO of Wachovia Bank (not to mention former head of Goldman Equities and former Treasury Department D-Bag) was on “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer tonight. Listen to him. Seriously. Take the eight minutes out of your life to hear the head of one of America’s largest financial institutions talk about the past few days, as well as the years to come. You’ll hear the same narrative over the coming weeks. Listen between the lines for Rich People Code. Then play along at home as I translate.


Rich People Code: “People began to think of their homes as the equivalent of an ATM.”
Translation: This whole thing is your fault.

Remember the fat years? Remember when you got 1,000 pieces of junk mail a day from 100 banks (like Wachovia) with 10,000 exclamation points telling you to “Take Out a Home Equity Line of Credit Now!!!” Well, you were weak. And you did it. You took that money and bought a snowblower and went to Disneyworld and paid off your high-interest credit cards. And now, just because you didn’t want to stay home and shovel, the entire global economy is at risk. Thanks a whole fucking lot.
 

Rich People Code: “We have lots of friends who worked hard and cared a lot about their firms…This is about [Wall Street] people and their careers.”
Translation: Your snowblower fucked up our drinking buddies’ lives.

There are a lot of people from Lehman out of work today because you were worried about your bad back and bought that Toro with the SuperSpeed Auger. These people were hardworking, upstanding American white men with seven-figure incomes. And like all Rich People, we liked them. They picked up the tab at Cipriani. They had their driver take us home every Thursday after HeadQuarters where we dropped a few grand one Jackson at a time paying for that sweet, little Phantasia's rent. (Dear God, her tits.) Besides, they had nice ties. And now they’ll have to wear those ties while actually working. At a job. With people like you. Have you no shame?
 

Rich People Code: “The Fed has done a good job trying to provide liquidity…and there’s progress being made.”
Translation: We’re going to make you pay.

Bernanke’s going to fire up the Fed’s printing presses and run a few hundred thousand sheets of Benjamins tonight. And when AIG comes calling, we’re gonna give it to them. Oh, we might give it to Citi and JP Morgan and BofA and our friends at Goldman Sachs first. But we’re going to get them all they need. Even if they need, let’s say, $70 billion by, let’s say, tomorrow. Whatever. We’ll get it to them. And when we do, you and every other scumsucking taxpayer will eat it. Every fucking dime. Just like you will for Bear Sterns and Freddie Mac and Fannie May and IndyMac and the 1000 other banks that are going to die because you couldn't get your ass up an hour earlier and pick up snow with your hands. We can’t just let those Rich People fail. They’re not like our friends at Lehman. Well, okay, so they’re exactly like our friends over at Lehman. But there are thousands more of them. And if they fail, who’s going to give us jobs when our stock shares drop below $2? Fuck inflation and deflation. Fuck a weak dollar. There are Rich People at stake. So fuck you too, Lazy McBlowpants.


TBMimsTheThird

Sloganeerist Hits the Trifecta

Posted on 2008.09.15 at 00:44
Congrats to Brother Sloganeerist. In a single day, he:
  • Became his own website (no more of that blogger.sloganeerist.com bullshit for him). 
  • Watched Carlos Zambrano throw the first no-hitter for the Cubs since 1972.
  • Saw his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers beat their arch-nemesis Cleveland Browns.
Not a bad Sunday. For him.

 I know rich people.

Went to school with some. Worked for some. Fished with some. Snorted pure MDMA with a lot of them on a particular night back in 1990.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m friends with the rich. Rich people only befriend other rich people. But they let non-rich people occasionally watch them at close range to remind themselves that they’re not non-rich. That was me on numerous occasions.

Anyway, you’ll have to trust me on this: I have rich credentials. (And I’m not talking money-in-the-bank rich. I’m talking owning-the-bank rich.) These experiences have led me to several conclusions regarding our more affluent brethren:

  1. Rich people know everything.
  2. Rich people like to own a lot of stuff.
  3. Rich people like time to themselves to enjoy that stuff.

If you believe these three things, it seems that today – September 14, 2008 – we have officially entered into Big Darkness.

We’re fucked.

Right now, as you watch the Steelers/Browns game or a shitty rerun of one shitty show or another, there are people on another channel in an emergency session that has preempted the regularly scheduled rerun of an even shittier show.

You see, Lehman Brothers – one of Wall Street’s five investment banks – is going belly up. Kaput. Nada. Gone. Just like you and me, they’re in debt. Unlike you and me (hopefully), their debt-to-asset ratio is estimated to be as much as 40:1. Imagine owing $4000 to a guy named Vinny and all you had to give him was a hundred bucks. Imagine how pissed Vinny would be. Now imagine you owed Vinny $60 billion and could only come up with a little over a billion. So that’s Lehman.

On the same day and at the same time (at the same fucking time, people), Bank of America had to bail out Merrill Lynch. In the last year, Merrill’s lost 80% of its value and its downfall was gaining momentum. In fact, it was starting to tank faster than John Goodman at a Boston Marathon. So BofA stepped in again. Again? Yup. For those of you with short memories, Bank of America was also forced to acquire another fantastically shitty company a mere 2 ½ months ago.

 But wait. There’s more.

Today also saw AIG – one of the world’s 20 largest companies – begin to sell off everything but their Herman Miller Aerons to try and raise a little cash after their stock dropped almost 50% last week. Last fucking week. So how much do they need? Somewhere between $40 and $50 billion. Why? Because if they can’t touch it soon, Vinny’s coming for them after he puts a bullet in the back of Lehman’s skull.

Holy mother of fucknuggets, folks.

You can go out and do the research on why this is all happening if you’d like. You can follow the trail from the subprime market to the prime market to the entire credit market. You can familiarize yourself with CDOs and SIVs. You can read a little about Derivatives Time Bombs. But in order to truly understand how dire the situation is economically in this country today, all you really have to do is look back at those Rich People Rules we started out with:

 

  1. Rich people know everything.
  2. Rich people like to own a lot of stuff.
  3. Rich people like time to themselves to enjoy that stuff.

 

First, take the second. Today, a whole bunch of rich people are selling a lot of stuff they own. Whole companies worth billions of dollars up for grabs. Hell, AIG was even going to auction off its luxury airline timeshare division. Are you kidding me? Rich people selling off a way to sip Krug in leather at 450 knots while avoiding TSA and sitting next to me? Desperate, desperate times.

Now look at Number Three and remember: everything I’ve talked about so far has happened on a Sunday. No Hamptons or Cape Cod. No Poconos or Catskills for the old rich people. Fuck, rich people didn’t even get as far as New Jersey today. Think about it: they opened up the stock market. On a Sunday. For trading. I’m assuming they rang the bell and everything. 

So what does it all mean? No one seems to know. And that violates Rule Number 1. I mean, when haven’t you heard some rich douchebag lecture a crowd about the benefits of America’s secret war against Pakistan,* or how he prefers Grindelwald to Banff, or why the National League should be forced to implement the designated hitter?

For the past several hours, CNBC has trotted out or phoned in every rich person that isn’t hunkered down in New York’s Federal Reserve building to give their opinion on what this all means to the economy. By the way, “the economy” is Rich People Code for “all the poor people who have to work.” It’s kind of like a white sports announcer calling a basketball team “remarkably athletic,” when he actually means “really fucking Black.”

Anyway, none of these pundits know shit. Not a one. Not guys from Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. Not guys who used to work at Treasury. Not low-level Fed lackeys. Not Ivy League economists. None of them will even venture a guess. All they know is that it’s "not good." In fact, “not good” is usual Rich People Code for “poor people are fucked.” And several of these guys – including the douchebag** who's at least partially behind our current predicament – are actually using the word “bad.” And when rich people use the word "bad" while talking about their money, that can’t be good.***

 * Not calling William Pfaff a douchebag. The brandy-swilling asshole one table over from you who won’t shut the fuck up about foreign policy while you try to enjoy your anniversary dinner? He’s the douchebag.

** This is the most frightening thing I’ve seen in a long time. Start listening to Stephanopolous’ question with about 8:10 left to go. Then listen to Greenspan’s answer. Then tell me whether or not you believe his “best guess.”

*** I didn’t even mention Washington Mutual. Maybe that’s next Sunday.
 


Let’s take a quick break from politics for a moment and talk about something much more pleasant, albeit with just as much shit involved. Let’s talk dogs.

I’ve had a few dogs in my day.

I was born into a Pekingese household. Hated it. Almost took off my big toe when I was four. Soon after it met its natural demise, we got an Irish setter. Good dog. Then came a West Highland White Terrier. Another good dog.

The first dog I ever called my own was an Akita. Good dog, bad idea. My roommate and I bought it one June day between school years. We did a lot that summer. Drinking and smoking weed were a few of the more popular activities. Apparently, thinking wasn’t. Because it never really crossed our minds that we had to move back into a dorm two months after we brought her home. Thankfully, my parents were both very forgiving and the owners of a decent-sized backyard. Casey (named after the Grateful Dead’s “Casey Jones” in case you were wondering just how stoned we were) lived out her years behind their house.

Abe was a Rottweiler and the second dog I brought home. Named after Abita Brewing’s Turbodog brown ale (I’d cut way back on the weed by this point), my wife and I brought him home two weeks after our honeymoon. He was My Dog. And I loved him. And he loved me. As you can tell by the pic, he loved my kids even more. And because his task in this world was taking care of them, he hung onto life – and we hung onto him – a little too long. He was 12 years old with terrible hips when we put him down a couple of summers ago.

Abe was not the kind of dog you replace suddenly. You savor the memory before starting over. Which is precisely what we did.

Eventually, however, we went to the Humane Society, because we fancy ourselves socially responsible. We walked out with a full-grown Chesapeake Bay retriever mix that had been found wandering a back road. In our minds, we made up a sad story of a terrible meth-addled bastard abandoning her on the side of the road. In reality, I’m pretty sure she was on that road because she was insane. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the extent of her chronic madness until we got her home. After a few intense weeks, we gave up and took her back. Spare me the bullshit about proper training, perseverance and praise. The dog was fucking nuts. That said, she did take a good picture one night during her stay.

I give you all of this history so that you understand my Dog Theory was developed over the course of a lifetime, not by the occasional game of Frisbee or fetch with friends’ dogs after post-graduate bong hits. That said, I did a boatload of that, too.

So what is my Dog Theory? Thanks for asking, but let’s phrase that in the past tense. My Dog Theory was that dogs were dogs. I mean, they were big or small. Their hair length varied. They came in different colors. Some were prone to barking more than others. But deep down, they were the same thing: a furry sack of love whose sole responsibility was to walk beside you through life and occasionally chase down a tennis ball. There were personality differences, obviously. But that’s what truly differentiated one dog from another: personality.

Last Christmas, I destroyed my theory. Last Christmas, I brought home two Old English Sheepdog puppies.

Two. Which was mistake number one.

Oh, they were cute. Take a look for yourself. Better yet, watch a video.



Prety fucking cute, right? Well. Not. So. God. Damn. Fast.

Behind the fluff. Behind the Disney movie mystique. Behind the puppy innocence. Behind all that shit, you won’t find dogs. These are beasts. With beast brains. And beast genetics. And a love of mud that only a beast can have.

These are not dogs. These are filthy fucking farm animals. The funny thing? It says it right there in the name. Sheepdog. I should have known, right? Yes. Yes, I should have. There’s no reason other than a lifetime of non-beastish beasts to make me think that these dogs were going to be anything other than as advertised.

But I never saw it coming. Ever.

Now I have two long-haired filth muppets that are putting off enough debris that Pigpen* would walk into our house, turn to Charlie Brown and say: “This is fucking disgusting, Chuck. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

So next time you’re in the dog market, think. Think about me. And think about that cute little pup staring at you with those adorable eyes. And then walk away. Put it out of your mind, do a bong hit, and go play Frisbee with a friend’s dog. That dog will love you just as much and probably never take a Schlitz malt liquor bottle-sized shit in your yard.**


* My apologies to all of you who ended up here from a Google search for Pigpen + Grateful Dead. But while you’re here, I agree: Bruce Hornsby was no Pigpen.

** Hat tip to Sloganeerist for prophesying the exact nature of these dogs' piles. Now go visit his place. His dogs are funnier than mine.

Let me preface this by saying: I don’t currently drink. I’ve certainly boozed it up in the past. And there’s no reason to think that I won’t one day return to a life of excessive, detrimental daily alcohol consumption. But not right now. So no one can accuse me of developing my Immigration Policy after downing a fifth of Czech absinthe (which I highly recommend and should be readily available online these days since I’m on the Sober Stagecoach).

Okay, enough disclaimers. Let’s mosey on down to the logic and anecdotes.

I recently overheard a business guy in a hotel lobby bar go on a fifteen-minute tirade about how “we’re not building the wall on the Mexican border fast enough.” This was funny (funny sad, not funny ha-ha) for two reasons. First, it turns out he was from Toronto. Secondly, he was drinking a margarita (rocks, extra salt).

Canadians can be hilarious. This guy wasn’t working towards a punchline, though. He was just a dick. But I’m way too sober and out-of-shape these days to interject myself into a xenophobic rant. So I tuned the guy out, ate my burger and watched the wall. That’s when I noticed the liquor bottles.

The Irish were there with Bushmills and Jameson. Next to them the Scots with The Glenlivet, Glenmorangie and Macallan (12, 18 and 24 years). Brits and their Beefeater and Gilbey’s weren’t far away. And then there was an array of vodkas, with The NetherlandsSwedenFinland, and Denmark all represented. 

Chances are, you’d be happy to sit next to someone from any of these booze-distilling countries on a plane. You might even enjoy the quality of the conversation enough to co-exist peacefully on an extended international flight with one of their funny-sounding (but undoubtedly English-fluent) citizens.

When my eyes found the next array of bottles, though, it started to get dicey. Apparently, this was the summer of small batch rum. And as I checked the labels, the people in charge of their distilling process got a lot browner. There were Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Venezuelans in the mix.

So I thought to myself WWTCDD? (For the acronymically challenged: What Would The Canadian Douchebag Do?)

That’s when I realized he’d probably be okay with these folks, too. Don’t get me wrong: I think he’d wear his noise-cancelling headphones while on a plane with them. And if he were a halfway knowledgeable  asshole, he’d undoubtedly make a semi-joke about assassinating the Venezuelan head of state while he was out to dinner after his flight landed.

Generally, though, I don’t think he’d protest their entrance into his…er, our…country. After all, those particular brown-skinned people produce something we value even more than good, cane-based booze. They give us brown-skinned men who hit a lot of home runs. And if there’s one thing we value in this country more than something that tastes good with mint, it’s home fucking runs.

But as my eyes left the rum, they settled on the next shelf down. And there it was. Our national hypocrisy. Tequila.

People love tequila.

College would be unbearable without it. So would most first marriages. Monday sucks unless you put the word “margarita” in front of it. And when it’s last call and you still haven’t found any prospects of getting laid, grabbing a shot of Patron lowers your standards enough that you don’t have to abandon all hope.*

I mean, we really love tequila in this country. But we hate us some fucking Mexicans.

Why? It generally falls into one of two loudly stated complaints. They don’t speak the language. And they’re stealing jobs from good, hardworking American people (read: American white people).

By not “speaking the language,” I assume the fat old white fuck in overalls that’s complaining is talking about English. Sometimes, he even says it.

“Whyowncha speak English round here, Pepe?”

That was the question asked by a crotchety old bastard once who was – I shit you not – hanging out at the DMV. I’d listened to him blather for nearly an hour when he asked that of a rhetorical Mexican who (lucky for him) wasn’t in the room with us.

So I turned and asked him: “Why don’t you speak Spanish, assholé?” (Rhymes with Pepe, by the way.)

It’s as valid a question as his. In fact, it’s more valid. Know why? Because America doesn’t have an official language. There is no language for “them” to speak. Don’t believe me? Look here. Or in the sidebar here. Or a third of the way down the page here.

“Well, okay. Yeah, all right. You got me on the language thing there. But they’re not just roofing our houses anymore. They’re starting to move into the neighborhood.”

Well, now you know how real rich people felt when mortgage rates began to drop in 2002. Do you think they wanted your champagne-colored Chrysler 300 parked in the driveway across from their brick Tudor? Do you think their designer poodle mix was welcoming you when it barked incessantly after you got home from work? Fuck no. It was telling you to take your ass back to the split-level ranch in Oak Park Lake Hollow where you belong.

“But. But. What about the jobs?”

I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you valued cleaning homes so much. Or picking strawberries. Or selling tacos at lunch out of the back of your pickup.

Last I looked, you needed a Social Security Number for your job, no matter how shitty. It’s not as if a bunch of “illegal” immigrants are undercutting your opportunities to dress mannequins at J. Crew. Or fill Coke cups at the local cineplex. Or sell used Hyundais off the lot at Bob’s Car Barn.

And who gets to call them “illegal”? You think the passengers on the Mayflower or the Santa Maria applied for a work visa with the Iroquois or Cree?

Listen, if you want to hate brown people, you're an asshole. But whatever. It's America. That's your right. But stop spending my money on a fence across the Rio Grande. If you want to build a fence, build it at the Laguardia and LAX counters of Air France. Not because they don’t speak the language. Or because we supposedly “saved their asses” in a couple of wars.

No, fuck the French because they’re generally arrogant douchebags, and we don't need their booze. When I start drinking again, I can go without Grey Goose and Pernod. But I’m going to need a glass of Patron.

 

*A few tips on tequila from a semi-retired professional:

·      Instead of buying a shot for yourself at last call, buy the hottest woman in the bar a shot and hope it lowers her standards enough that she takes you home.

·      Try Patron Gran. Not at last call. No, no. God no. Order it as the first drink of the night. Neat, but in a rocks glass. Squeeze of lime, but toss the wedge somewhere other than the glass. You won’t believe you just paid close to $50 for a shot of tequila. You also won’t believe that you don’t mind at all, because it was worth every peso. 


I saw something today for the thousandth time that bothered me for the first: a McCain/Palin window sticker. It was affixed to the rear window of a big honking GMC Yukon that had seen better days and better gas prices. And due to unavoidable traffic, I had to stare at it for the better part of five minutes, which actually made me think about its message.

Country First.

At first, I found it funny: the McCain/Palin ticket was perched above the slogan and in bigger type. So if it’s “Country First,” why do the Wonder Twins get top billing? (Ah, the GOP. Sweet lovers of irony.)

The Fear, however, took over fairly soon after the smug, superior feeling began to subside.

Country First.

I’ve thought about it the better part of the evening, trying to put my finger on its exact doctrine. I’ve googled. I’ve wiki-ed (which doesn’t look that great as a verb in the past tense). I’ve even (gasp) looked in books. But I never quite found an -ism or an -ocracy to describe it.

Don’t get me wrong. I found a lot of scary shit. For instance, read a little of this.  And a bit of this. Not to mention this.

Any of those remind you of a certain Western nation that’s been around for, say, 232 years? Rhymes with Schmamerica? Anyone?

See, that’s what terrified me. “Country First” is a fine slogan. For Nazi Germany. Or Fascist Italy. Or Maoist China. If you put anything else first in those particular regimes, it resulted in rapid lead poisoning. In other words, you got your ass shot. (In China, you'll still get your ass shot. Although they could get a little nostalgic for the Dynasty days and schedule some good old public drownings at the new Olympic Water Cube for future dissenters.)

But the whole point of the United States — according to a certain “goddamned piece of paper” — is that it’s not Country First. It’s You First.

You. First.

Before the government. Before political party. Before a figurehead (or two).

Hopefully, before it’s too late.


This one took very little investigation. Case closed. 

 I created this blog a few months ago. It was intended as a place for me to share the occasional insight. Things I’d figured out on any given day. Some simple. Some complex. All of them deriving from a lucky life that provides a lot of diverse experiences, which often trigger A-Ha Moments.

But then I got busy. Who really has time to blog, you know? Who even likes the word “blog”? So The Little Blog That Could didn’t. Until now, I suppose.

One thing about me: I don’t sleep very well. I guess that means I actually do have time to blog. But instead I read. A lot. This is funny, because I don’t believe anything I read these days. Everyone has an agenda. Telling the Truth is on the agenda of very few people — especially not the corporate-owned media.

Corporations not only own the media, they own the politicians. (Ever heard of lobbying? Ever heard of quid pro quo? I rest my case.) When someone on TV or in a magazine tells you something about a politician, it’s rarely the Truth. It’s simply what they want you to believe. After all, if you believe it, that makes it the truth. But if you want the Truth, you have to search for it. That’s what I do when I can’t sleep.

One other thing you should know: I hate everyone equally. I have no partisan agenda. Barack Obama is no sooner going to change anything than his Republican counterpart. Know how I know? Because he’s had the chance for years, and he hasn’t done a thing. If he truly wanted change, he would have walked into office in January 2005 and begun pushing for prosecution (not just impeachment) of those who have eviscerated the Constitution. And he would’ve tried to cut off funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. But he didn’t.

Barack Obama doesn’t want change. Barack Obama wants elected. So fuck him along with the rest of them. 

But this post isn’t about Barack. It’s about our newest candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. VPOTUS. Or VPILF, if you prefer. (I don’t.)

A lot trickled into the media about Mrs. Palin when she was nominated last Thursday. Hockey mom. Moose shooter. Petty person in a position of authority. Liar.

But they all lie. I expect her to crow about selling her plane on Ebay for profit, when the state actually lost several hundred thousand dollars. I expect her to say she was against Senator Ted Stevens’ Bridge to Nowhere, when she actually took the money, kept it and never built the bridge. I expect her to call herself a “reformer,” when she’s actually the Queen of Earmarks.

Little Trig, though? I never saw that coming.

Some background for those of you who can actually sleep. Within a day or two of her announcement as nominee, one of the DailyKos bloggers (there’s that stupid word again) posted an article that accused Governor Palin of being Trig’s grandmother, not his mother. That’s right, long (in terms of this campaign) before it was announced that Bristol Palin was pregnant, a lot of people were speculating that she’d already been pregnant and her mom had stepped in to carry the weight (so to speak).

There was a lot of chatter around the interwebs about the article. There was also a lot of discussion as to whether Democrats should even try to use this speculation against the new nominee. Apparently, DailyKos didn’t think it should, so they took the post down and banned the writer from posting anything else on the website again.

Thank god for Google cache, right? I mean, it lets you view any webpage that no longer exists. It’s Mr. Peabody’s Interwebs Wayback Machine. Except…Google scrubbed the article, too.

Lucky for all of you Governor Grandma newbies, though, there was a blogger (blech) out there who was prescient enough to capture the original in case it was disappeared. Thanks to her, it’s still available here.

All right. The DailyKos article comes out. There’s a lot of discussion board back-and-forth. There are a lot of other articles. (A whole lot.) I follow them. A few days later, I run across an article from Open Salon that sums up the situation better than anything else I read and also provides a good foundation of what the various possibilities “mean.”  Either way, it’s not really favorable. 

Republicans have a problem if anyone starts asking questions. Sarah Palin either looks like a terrible mother. Or she looks like…a terrible mother. So how do you make her look like Governor Supermom? Announce that Bristol is currently five months pregnant, which makes it basically impossible for her to be Trig’s mother. Then tell the media the whole topic is off limits. (After all, when the GOP isn’t parading Bristol around at their convention as an Ode to Unwed Teenage Mothers, we need to respect the family’s privacy during their very tough ordeal.)

So that’s where we currently stand in terms of the story:

1)    Bristol couldn’t have been pregnant, because…

2)    Bristol is pregnant.

3)    No further questions.

Phew. I’m glad we solved that, and we can all move on.

Right.

As I’ve said, I don’t believe anything I read. And I sure as fuck don’t believe anything a politician tells me. So what do I believe? My own two eyes and common sense.

Of course, if I’m going to use my eyes, I need reference. And since I don’t have any Palins lying around my house (that I know of, although they seem to be multiplying rather quickly these days), I’m going to need some photos. But before delving into photos, let me tell you one more thing that I don’t trust: photos.

Like this one:

Pretty damn funny. If only it were true. Which it’s not. And that’s why I don’t trust photos. Unless I can verify the source.

[As a side note to all you Schlitz-swilling, Pall Mall-puffing partisans out there: Why is it the end of the world if an American flag touches the ground, but it’s perfectly acceptable to wrap your wife’s hoo-ha in the Stars and Stripes before boarding the party barge down at the lake?]

Okay, so no photos unless there’s a more-than-decent chance that they haven’t seen the insides of Photoshop. Like this one: 

This shot is straight from the Governor’s own state website. Here’s the original link. When I found this pic, it was listed as taken at a holiday event in 2007. We can’t really tell for sure anymore, because it only resides in a photo folder on the back end of the Alaska website now. The event itself is no longer shown in the Gov’s photo gallery on the site, and I doubt anyone in the office will field any questions about it. So we can’t vet it completely.

But we can with this one.

It’s dated March 9, 2008 and is straight from the Anchorage Daily News site

Much has already been made in the DailyKos piece about this photo. But I’m not showing it as evidence of some kind of “baby bump” (a term that makes me taste even more puke in my mouth than “blog”). Supposedly, she was laid up with mono at this time. So it’s just as possible that she gained a few pounds in her belly from skarfing down Dorito’s while laying on a couch watching Oprah for six months.

No. The reason I’m offering up these two photos is for you to absorb Bristol Palin in late 2007 and early 2008. Take a good look. She has the body of a teenager. Her metabolism is at its prime. She’s like every annoying, gum-smacking, I-could-give-a-shit-about-you-because-I-get-off-work-in-two-hours-and-my-boyfriend’s-picking-me-up-in-his-Trans-Am-and-we’re-going-to-grab-a-bite-at-Applebee’s checkout girl at Claire’s in your local mall.

Cut to the next available and verifiable pictures of her. They just happen to be from the day of her mother’s announcement as the nominee. Dateline Dayton, Ohio. Friday, August 29. I grabbed them from a Yahoo! photo slideshow (link no longer available, although a duplicate of the shot can be found here).

But…before we take a look at the Palins, let’s just review. In the rest of the pictures shown here, the official story is that:

1)    Governor Palin delivered a child on April 18, 2008 just 4 months and 11 days before these pictures were taken.

2)    Bristol Palin is “about” five months pregnant (although no one knows this at the time, because that news isn’t made public until Monday, September 1, 2008).

Biologically speaking, that means that Governor Palin should be trying to shed weight from only having a child several short months ago. And Bristol Palin should be beginning to move from her non-pregnant teenage body (again, see those photos above) into the body of a woman whose child at 20 weeks weighs about nine ounces. According to WomensHealthcareTopics.com, that means that “onlookers are definitely starting to notice your bump!” (Next person to say “bump” takes a pie plate of custard to the face and a swift kick of foot to the ass.)

So let’s take a look at the Palin ladies on that fateful Dayton day as they prep backstage for the grand entrance with John and Cindy in the background. 

Holy shit. Wait a minute. Who’s supposed to be shedding pounds from her recent pregnancy? Which one is supposed to only be starting to show…oh, all right…a bump? The one on the left or the one on the right? Does the Governor do all of her governing perched atop a Pilates machine? Has she eaten anything since giving birth? Has Bristol not stopped eating since her child’s conception? Is she trying to get her pregnancy sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s?

Seriously. Look at Sarah Palin. Look at Bristol Palin. Who had a child four-and-a-half months ago? Does anyone really want to argue for the “official story”? If so, look again.

And as long as we’re asking questions, let me ask one more. But first, another photo. This one was taken the day that Bristol’s self-described “fuckin’ redneck” boyfriend arrived on the tarmac in Minneapolis to meet the McCains and have his 15 minutes of infamy at the RNC. This is Bristol descending the steps of an RNC bus before heading backstage for her mother’s speech on Wednesday. Have a look. It’s from another Yahoo! photo slideshow

Scroll back up and take a look at Bristol in the first couple of pics. Now the question: Are those the breasts of a woman who’s five months pregnant? Or are those the breasts of a breastfeeding mother? 

See what you want to see. Believe what you want to believe. And do your own research. There are only two million photos from the past couple of weeks that I didn’t post here.

And I don’t purport that this “proves” anything. You know what would prove something? Medical records. With names of physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists. With Trig’s info. With Trig’s birth certificate.

Until then, someone should start asking questions fairly soon. (The rest of us should wait for the announcement of a miscarriage or adoption after the election regardless of the outcome.)

And I can’t believe I have to say this, but I’ve seen the wrath of the People Who Are Unable to Think for Themselves over the last couple of weeks. So I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m not picking on Bristol Palin. I wish her – and Trig – nothing but luck. She’s obviously not had much lately. She’s due. Okay, poor choice of words. But she’s a 17-year-old kid. Why would I have it out for a 17-year-old? No. I want her mom to burn, politically speaking. This whole thing is about the Governor, not her children or grandchildren.

While I hate all politicians, I’m certainly not saying they’re equally evil. McCain is batshit crazy. And his finger is only a few electoral votes away from ICBMs. Sarah Palin’s fingers are just a bad heartbeat away, too. If she’ll throw her own daughter under the bus, she won’t think twice about throwing you and your kids under it, too.

Don’t dismiss it. And don’t say that the topic should be cast aside to concentrate on the “real” issues. This is an election. And like all elections from High School Homecoming Queen to President of the United States, real issues don’t matter to anyone involved.