Archive: June, 2009

How Mark Sanford and the Gnats Helped Me Find a Hose Nozzle

After watching the Mark Sanford press conference, I tried taking a shower, but it didn’t help. So I decided to try and pull myself out of my gender funk by going to the Gnats/Red Sox game and cheering at least half the time for the Shame of Our Nation’s Capitol. It didn’t help much, they still lost 6-4. But I did discover the best way to enjoy a game at Nationals Park is to get there well before 7:05 and watch a real professional team at work. And I think I finally found a hose nozzle that will last an entire gardening season.

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Love Notes for Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm

Would that we could end the UNITE HERE de-merger brawl just by saying, “A pox on both your houses.” Trouble is, the pox is on the House of Labor, and at a time when we need extreme solidarity in order to complete Phase One of the Obama Revolution. Remember the freedom to join a union for every worker? A fair economy for every family? Health care for every woman, man and child? What’s this about? It’s about two 1960s boy radicals who’ve grown older, but not wiser. John Wilhelm and Bruce Raynor can’t stop drawing lines in the sand. And it’s time we said, “Enough, already.” (More)

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Run, Newt, Run

First he joined the Limbaugh/Tancredo chorus and called Judge Sonia Sotomayor a “Latina woman racist” (redundancy his). Then he recanted, only to re-accuse her of making racist comments. This week he elbowed out Sarah Palin and spoke to the GOP’s giant fundraiser in Washington, declaring, “I am not a citizen of the world,” distancing himself from Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Thomas Jefferson. His boneheaded behavior gives me an inspired thought: we should nurture Newt’s no longer nascent longing to run for President. He’s the only politician on the national stage who consistently represents the whole of the back-asswards, bankrupt philosophies of the Republican party and he deserves a shot at the top slot. Likewise, most of us have been long denied a moment with Newt in a voting booth, and we deserve a crack at him. (More)

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June 5, 2009

Kirstin Downey/Frances Perkins

Check out my review of Kirstin Downey’s  The Woman Behind the New Deal; The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and his Moral Conscience at

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June 3, 2009

Obama in Cairo

In recognition of President Obama’s historic trip to, and speech in Cairo, I offer this little short story, which was just named one of 10 runnersup in the annual Potomac Review fiction competition. Good deeds can change history, don’t you think?

Behold, the Raisin!
by Ray Abernathy

Cairo. Everything is moving. Small, square Russian cars, junkers all, speeding down the broad boulevard next to the Nile, slowing neither for traffic circles nor for pedestrians dodging in and out of lanes. Young men riding cranky bicycles past crumbling French, Soviet and Italianate buildings, right hands gripping handlebars, left hands balancing wide wooden trays of precious flatbread. A bus careens wildly around a tiny girl riding side-saddle astride a donkey, the donkey piled 20 feet high with used tires, the girl furiously beating the slow-moving animal with a stick. Two black armored personnel carriers with no windows, only slits for rifles, lumber off the boulevard into the Garden City district, crawl up narrow streets and come to a stop at the back entrance to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia just as two identical vehicles leave. A boy of twelve skips down the walk of an apartment building, crosses the street, pulls himself up by the gun slits on one of the carriers, sticks his tongue out at the soldiers inside and greets them with the refrain from his favorite cartoon show: “Yabba-dabba-do.” The soldiers, most of them little older than children themselves laugh and reply, “da-da-da-da …. da-da-da-da ….dadadadadadadooo.” (More)

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