Palin: Injection of Chanel into a Fog of Ben Gay?

Looks like America’s Hockey Mom Governor is the new Republican Veepstakes winner! Congratulations to Gov. Palin on joining the sinking ship — surely her pearly whites will add that touch of magic to a campaign held together by Fixodent (and forget it!) and Ben Gay. The former mayor of a town of 5,500 that stretches over 12 vast miles of unfettered sprawl, gas stations, strip malls and conservative churches has made good on her “every woman” doctrine.  She’s not just a former Ms. Wasilla, she’s a former city councilwoman as well and subsequent mayor! If you’ve ever been to the Wasilla Texaco, you know just how far and wide her public policy initiatives have reached. I mean, Wasilla is like the Paris of Southcentral Alaska compared to say dumps like Huston or Willow! Ouch! Just so you know where she stands on the issues here is a recitation of some interesting facts about her life!

  • Supports teaching of creationism in school
  • Opposes same-sex marriage
  • Virulent Pro-life activist
  • Avid snow machinist
  • Born in Idaho
  • Played flute in Ms. Alaska Beauty Pageant (finished 2nd)
  • Won Ms. Congeniality for same competition
  • Took on corrupt Alaska Republican Party
  • Fired Public Safety Commissioner for not firing state trooper who harassed her sister
  • Husband named Todd

Punditdad suspects that this pick would not have been made if Johnny Mac thought he could become president with a Huckabee, Romney or Pawlenty.  Why take the risk? Punditdad has only one bit of advice for Mrs. Palin: learn the differencebetween the Sunni and Shiite muslims of Iraq…and quick.

SAHDS in Hell & Rage Against the SAHD?

I’m committed to this blog two times a week (Tuesday/Friday) in an effort to get more readers, more practice writing and explore some of the issues surrounding stay at home dad.  I’m putting together some guidelines for effective SAHD survival, something that I would want to pass on to me if I was just starting over again. But that may come in chunks rather than all at once. Besides there is too much happening in politics for me to NOT be watching MSNBC every night. And there’s the baby too…she requires some attention. So in the meantime I’m going to be posting random thoughts and useless ramblings.

SAHDS in Hell

The YouTube video above that includes Rev. Hagee saying that Mr. Moms are going to hell was especially thought provoking.  If there is any doubt he represents the forces of evil who are against the love of the teachings of Jesus, this pretty much puts it in the goal box.  I’m not a big believer in a fiery hell, but somehow how I doubt an omnipotent being is going to send me there for changing diapers, playing with blocks and feeding prunes with a little spoon.  Sadly, the idiots in his congregation seem to agree with him.  What happened to the people in Darfur committing genocide or the Junta in Burma slaughtering its own people? Those guys seem a bit higher up the “evil” chain than SAHDS don’t you think?

Rage Against the SAHD

The second thought I had was remembering my attendance at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in LA. I was mere 28 year old Democrat who got the Alaska Party to give me page credentials for 2 of the 4 nights.  We had fun and there was lots to see.  The night of Bill Clinton’s speech was one night that I didn’t have anything to do and all my friends where in the Staples Center.  I chose to go to the protest area and see the thousands of protesters and ultimately Rage Against the Machine as they performed before a young and energetic crowd.  I have inserted actual footage of that concert there — and yes, there were thousands of cops — more than I had seen in my life. They were amongst thousands of anti-nuke, pro-gay, environmental and fringe protesters that felt anger at the Democrats.

It seemed like a different time, that we were taking for granted the state of the union. We didn’t know how bad it could be under an administration that was intent on implementing it’s right wing agenda at the cost of American lives, the economy and our children’s futures.  I’ve grown up a lot since that convention (I didn’t protest, just watched) and I’m sure the people who got sprayed with high powered hoses have too.  Maybe they have children and worry about the war in Iraq or our economy or global warming? I certainly don’t think those people would protest Al Gore’s nomination if they new that George Bush would spit on the American dream they were looking to live.  Maybe most of them were like me, with nothing to do and looking for some excitement…just wanting to be close to the action and to see a free band.  Who can blame them?

Oh Diaper Genie, Please Grant Me 3 Wishes!

My genie doesn't come from a lamp and he doesn't smell like incense!

My genie does not come from a lamp and certainly doesn't smell like incense!

When Punditdad was a rookie daddy he had illusions about using cloth diapers, dissolving diapers or whatever type of diapers make Al Gore giddy like a school girl.  But, like all things, man is tested by his own limitations and the great and powerful god of Pampers soon reared it’s ugly head and has taunted me ever since.

My “green” intention was to not add more poopy diapers to the worlds burgeoning landfills.  But the simplicity, convenience and ease of use for the disposables quickly dashed those hopes.  From day one, if you don’t have an easy alternative to the disposable, then you’re out of luck, because my friend, the poop never stops.  Chalk it up to laziness or my ineptitude about baby-care, but it was one thing I couldn’t get a “plan” together on.

I didn’t really notice the amount of our diaper consumption until moving behind the Orange Curtain.  Despite the rampant political fascism that exists here, the curbside recycling is incredible.  If our household didn’t have  20 pounds of poopy diapers every week, our trash would amount to a small kitchen bag! Literally, our curbside would be an enormous amount of recyclables and a very small amount of actual trash.

But our trash is a like a smelly, pre-teen bully who doesn’t wear deodorant,  he jeers and laughs knowing that I took the easy way out. I could have bought the cloth diapers and done god knows what to my washing machine.  Something using a lot bleach. Word from my elders is that in the “old days” diligent moms used to soak the dirty cloth diapers in the toilet to let them “soak out”.  My god what a process.

To put it bluntly, everything I put in the Bean’s mouth, goes into a landfill rather than the Orange Curtain’s fantastic new sewage-to-drinking water project discussed here (aside: the professors at the water district are taking raw sewage, using some sort of amethyst-type sorcery and spells and turning it into good drinking water.  Of course, people who live like the people who live behind the Orange Curtain don’t drink water that several days previous was raw HUMAN sewage so the District is forced to pipe it to a lake miles away, let it sit for a year and then pipe it back to the faucet.  Yes, they put the SUPER CLEAN water into a water basin to mingle with the old regular water. Then after awhile they pump it back.  This is entirely psychological for the benefit of those living in the OC).

What is the impact of disposable diapers? Here are some facts I’ve completely cut and pasted from another site:

  • Eighty percent of the diapering in this nation are done with disposables. That comes to 18 BILLION diapers a year. Each one has an outer layer of waterproof polypropylene and an inner layer of fluff made from wood pulp plus super-slurper sodium polyacrylate that can hold a hundred times its weight in water.
  • Those 18 billion diapers add up to 82,000 tons of plastic a year and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp — 250,000 trees. After a few hours of active service these materials are trucked away, primarily to landfills, where they sit, neatly wrapped packages of excrement, entombed undegraded for several hundred years.

There is some debate amongst those who parse this sort of thing about whether the total amount of energy expended by disposable diapers is greater than cloth diapers. Disposables use 10 times more resources (measured by weight and including fuels) than cloth diapers and produce 50 times more solid waste. But disposables use only half as much energy and two-thirds as much water. Cloth diapers save landfills but load washing machines and sewage systems (by putting sewage where it belongs).

Either way, I feel the same middle class self-loathing that comes with knowing enough about the environment and the process to know you’re hurting it.  Maybe I can rationalize it by praying that the Bean, who is so well protected from diaper rash (we’ve had none), UTI, blood infection and E. Coli that she will grow up finding ways to heal her father’s harmful ways? Pray she finds a way to use diapers to fuel cars or heat our homes? One can only hope.

6 and 1/2 Things I Know About the 2008 Presidential Race

Yes, you’re reading this post and you realize that as a two bit political hack I might have some insider information I have gleaned from the vast amount of political resources at my beck and call to thrill, inform and mystify you in your search for the golden “political truths” out there in America. Well, during the dog days of August, when the Olympics and Mikey Phelps are dominating the news and Pat Buchanan is but a barking dog on Hardball.  Here are 6 and 1/2  things you might want to keep in mind when the CONVENTIONS start in a few weeks. They will waiver between glass half empty and glass half full so get ready and keep your beers cold and your DVR hot!

6. There has never been a black president.

There. I said it. You didn’t believe me then you remembered that J.J. the guy with the beanie from Good Times never made it. Neither did Al Sharpton. Not even Mayor of Brooklyn.  So, when you’re watching Barry get his acceptance speech in Denver, remember there are a ton of white people out there who just aren’t “comfortable” with him being president. Does that mean they are racist? No. Does that mean they have small minds controlled by a white culture bent on conformity and oppression? Maybe.  One sure thing: if there isn’t really a sea change after 8 years of Bush, then McCain gets it. If there is, then Barry gets to change American history forever.

5. John McCain has a great narrative until you get to the part about cheating on his wife and his new wife being a beer baroness who inherited all of her wealth.

Listen, Johnny M was a war hero blah blah blah just like Johnny E was the son of a mill worker and by the way is that what they do with the help at the mill? We all know the story. But as anyone thought about Johnny M as a cheater? As a guy who married to wealth? Sure, the file taxes separately, but that’s because he’s in politics and her $$$ is a liability.  Now just the other day Johnny M admitted that his breaking of one of God’s Commandments was his greatest moral failure so as to get it out in the open. Good move since those rabid dogs at MoveOn.org are probably ready to napalm all of Hotlanta, Little Rock, St. Paul and Pittsburgh with fliers detailing the thing. Maybe he gets out in front on this, maybe not.

4. Denver will LOOK and BE more fun than Minneapolis.

Listen, Democrats have more fun and look “happier” than Republicans at conventions. They have weird old people covered in buttons wandering around asking for more buttons with sickly grins on their faces.  If you didn’t already know, the people who go to conventions are “hardcore”.  Sometimes not in a good way either. People get drunk too. And protest.Punditdad went to the 2000 Democratic Convention in LA and saw Rage Against the Machine outside the night Clinton gave his speech. Do you think all those idiots (the ones who made something of themselves like Punditdad) would now have preferred to have Gore in office and maybe protesting the D’s wasn’t as cool in hindsight? But I digress.

Despite the chattering class’ wish of a brokered convention, these two will be mostly for show and an opportunity to unite the base(s) of the parties under one roof and have a great moment with the nominees on stage for that kodak moment.  All my instincts tell me that Billary and Co. will help Obama rather than hurt and that the roll call vote will be truly cathartic for people who like to scream, yell, wave, cry, jump up and down and generally pout about the all too real nature of our political system (and it’s inherent unfairness!). Hope the D’s have bought tissues by the crate.

3. Veeps don’t matter as much as the base would like.

The only think a Veep can do is harm. Unless they have a truly compelling life story about saving kittens, working with the indigent or fighting “activist judges”, most Veeps are just trying not to screw it up.  With Biden on the shortlist and Ridge apparently on the short list, I see opportunities for Biden to put his foot in his mouth and Ridge to drive the anti-choice crowd completely nuts. But at this point, whaddya going to do? The choice is made and no amount of cajoling could get Dan Quayle off the ticket despite his spelling abilities.

2. It’s NOT THAT LONG until Nov. 4th.

Listen, Obama is rolling out plans to compeletly carpet bomb many in-play states with workers, slack jawed collge dropouts hoping to be Secretary of the Inferior and generally registering every breathing mammal to vote. But this stuff takes time and the clock is rocking and rolling.  Just like the Gore election where the Bush drunk driving story dropped the weekend before, a few more days can always make the difference. Why? Because there are a phenomenal number of idgets out there who actually THINK about who to vote for. They aren’t knee jerk partisans who vote for anyone with an R or a D next to their name. Thankfully though pollsters tell me they may be extinct by 2012.

1.  Things happen.

Well duh.  You know it and I know it. But when the pollsters tell you in August what’s going on in the suburbs of Philadelphia, it’s important to remember that things happen. Whether it’s a tape from Osama Bin Laden or a nuclear reactor leak in upstate New York or an oil spill off the coast of California. Stuff happens, and depending on what it is, can be hugely influential on the race. Like Russia invading Georgia (unfortunately the wrong Georgia, the other I would have looked the other way on), tanks, machine guns, people wailing and crying usually means someone has a foriegn policy opinion and the candidate better be able to articulate it.  Punditdad personally believes that the higher the quotient of danger, tyranny, bloodshed and military activity the foriegn policy event incurs the higher the quotient of decisivness, strength, indomitable spirit and patriotism the candidate should exude. Just sayin.

1/2.  People vote for the candidate they percieve, not the candidate they want.

That’s how we got Bush. Strength, compassion, gut instincts.  Gore was percieved as a needle-meir and in some ways he is. His genuine character came through despite the best efforts of Naomi Wolf.   But did America want to slog through the debris of the Bush presidency? I don’t believe they’d vote the same way again.   This is why Obama’s fight is so tough.  Not just the color of his skin or all the vowels he has in his name, but that his recipe for change may be too dramatic, even a country thirsty for us to get back on to the golden podium of the world stage.  McCain seems to be spiraling into George Bush’s vortex of strength, but it has its dangers along with its rewards. We shall see.

PunditTrailer OR Some Projects Actually Get Finished

Punditdad has absolutely NO reason to be slacking on this blog since his child sleeps more than yours and is exquisitely well behaved. She in fact waits for me to spell check this blog prior to screaming, peeing or going red faced on me for the most part and only is ill behaved on days that end in “y”. Punditdad will try and get a new posting up on Tuesdays and Fridays to keep the crazy PunditCommunity alive, awake and eager for more of the red meat of parenting and politics.

Punditdad has recently invested in a bike and a bike trailer to pull around the Bean, get exercise and find more ways to get hot, sweaty and not really travel anywhere at all.

First, the bike trailer idea is simply another of 1000 diversions that stay at home parents invent to create a “goal”. This goal isn’t to be achieved but processed. You see, if you don’t have goals when you stay home you slowly go insane. Therefore, the actualization of the bike trailer isn’t as important as the “going after” it.  Therefore, it was with slight regret when Punditdad put the final bolt on the DadBike and took the Bean out for the “test ride”.

Horrors? Screams of pain? Not quite but the clock was ticking on her patience nonetheless. No century rides to LA or Malibu for us. Yet.

The Bean is a small child of 9 months with a “slack-jawed youth” style of slouching that allows her to fit into any space. A beach towel under the bum and tightening all the straps to their highest amounts brought about a fairly safe looking ensemble.  But the helmet is the sticky wicket my friends.  Should a 9 month baby wear a helmet that’s 3 times bigger than her body? Yes, afraid so but if I’m on the slow and safe bike paths of the Orange Curtain and not crossing streets on a hot day maybe daddy will let the bean go without for a few miles. Maybe.

Initially, filling the PunditTrailer full of toys, red meat and assorted emergency supplies seemed like an good idea, the Bean seemed resentful when those items bounced into her face on the dips. Everyone’s a critic.  So, now we’ve had the bike setup for a week and have been out 3 times and I can say with all the confidence of a well heeled stay at home parent that we’ve got a few rides left in us. Preferrably to places that have a surplus of Cheerios.