Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Democracy Now! and meeting Nina's parents

Good evening. We'll kick things off with Democracy Now! as usual but I'm pinching from The Common Ills tonight because I'm late getting started.

Pentagon: USS Bataan Waited Days For Orders to Help Out
Criticism of the federal government's response is also coming from some unlikely sources including the Pentagon. Lt. Commander Sean Kelly, a Pentagon spokesman for Northern Command, revealed on the BBC that NorthCom was prepared to send in search and rescue helicopters from the USS Bataan almost immediately after the hurricane hit. He said, "We had things ready. The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so." That authorization didn't happen for days even though the ship was docked just outside New Orleans. On board the ship had doctors, hospital beds, food and the ability to make up to 100,000 gallons of water a day.

P. Diddy Offers Support to Kanye West
A number of musicians and actors have come to the defense of hip-hop star Kanye West. On Friday night West appeared on a live NBC telethon and said that President Bush doesn't care about Black people. He also criticized the media for its portrayal of African-Americans in New Orleans. Fellow hip-hop star P. Diddy told the program Access Hollywood "I think he spoke from his heart. He spoke what a lot of people feel." In New York at least one participant in the West Indian Day Parade was seen carrying a sign that read "Kanye West was Right."

Barbara Bush: Relocation is "Working Very Well For Them"
While the federal government has been widely criticized for its slow response, former First Lady Barbara Bush told the radio show Marketplace that the relocation is "working very well" for some of those forced out of New Orleans since they were "underprivileged anyway." This is Barbara Bush speaking at the Astrodome in Houston. "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this working very well for them," Bush said.

I want to thank Rob, Tomika and Shane who selected those items for The Common Ills and I want to thank C.I. Usually, I offer a line or two about each item. I think these three all pull together to form one big story. The Pentagon waited so what do you say to Kanye West now? He was right in my opinion. And if you have any doubts about how stupid Bully Boy is you just have to listen to his mother. You want to know what I'm like, you can check out Ma and Dad. They raised me and we're pretty much in line with our thoughts. That Barbara Bush could say what she said and be so stupid and so out of touch says a lot because she was a First Lady a long time ago and it also says a lot about her son Bully Boy. All three reinforce each other. The first one tells you the problem, the second one has Kanye calling out that problem and the third one shows you the Bully Boy mentality.

Tomorrow night, I have an interview with Elaine so look for that. If you didn't know, Elaine substituted for Rebecca for like six weeks at Rebecca' Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. Elaine also has helped out a lot at The Third Estate Sunday Review. And her and me used to get on the phone to plan what Democracy Now! stories we were going to note. I go "used to get" like it was months ago or something but it was just last week.

I'm trying to get Elaine to agree to do her own blog because she is like so smart and has a way of seeing stuff that's important to hear. So I'll be pressing her on that tomorrow night. Hopefully, we'll also have some fun questions because she's got a really nice laugh.

Most of the e-mails are asking how it went with Nina's parents tonight. Nina's my girlfriend and tonight I met her parents for the first time. I'm not sure how it went for them but I felt like I was all thumbs and elbows and they were thinking, "Who is the big ox that our daughter's dating?"

I'm really tall, six foot, and Nina's a small person. Her parents are about the same height and I just felt like Gulliver and like I was taking up all this space and this wasn't anything that they did. Usually I don't mind being tall but I did feel like the big oaf. I was aware of everything tonight. Like if I laughed too quick at a joke or too hard, and I did both a lot, I would realize it like right after and think, "You are so stupid!"

They were really nice but I was too focused on worrying what they were going to think about me to relax. Hopefully next time I won't feel so awkward.

Mike Burke has a scary thing up at CounterRecruiter about the military targeting three year olds now.

I'm really out of it tonight, I know. I just keep going over everything I did. Like I wasn't trying to shake her father's hand hard to impress him or anything but I'm shaking his hand and realize I'm gripping too tight. I keep thinking about stuff like that and thinking what an idiot I am.

Tomorrow night will probably be a little late in the posts because I'll be interviewing Elaine at the usual time I start typing and I'll have to type that up and all.