Monday, February 09, 2004

Dear Abby, You Suck

Dear Abby:

I have a 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. She thinks my husband is her real father. She even carries his last name. Her real dad was an abusive drug addict who has had no contact with us.

Should I tell her the truth now? One day? Ever? I don't want him in her life, but I'm afraid that someday someone may slip and tell her, and then she will never forgive me.

Abby, this is so hard. I don't want to hurt my daughter, my husband or my other kids.

Needs Help in Texas

Tell your daughter now that you were married once before. She will have questions. Answer them honestly. The longer you put this off, the greater her shock will be. So do it now.

And the award for missing the point goes to... Abby!* Because your daughter will really care that you were married previously. Sure, minor heartache for a kid, but no serious re-evaluation of their identity nor yours. Now, if you have the conversation you actucally asked about the, "Honey, your daddy ain't your daddy" talk, the kid will care. She'll re-evaluate you, herself, her former daddy, her siblings... oh lord.

First, mom. You needing a horse whipping for allowing this big lie to roll down the hill for 10 years. Before you talk to your daughter, talk to an actual professional. It never fails to amaze me, by the way, how Abby is ever ready to recommend counseling except in the really important, it's not advisable to deal with this without professionals, type of situations. Prepare yourself. Prepare a network of support (inside and outside the family). And, almost importantly as all the rest of this, talk to her with your husband present, loving, and supportive. By the way, do her siblings know? Get ready for that shit storm as well. This is why you start out honest.

* Yes, I may not be giving Abbs enough credit here, she may not have missed the point. Best case scenario, she punted on second down. Unacceptable.

Why Am I Not Doing that Already?

Ok. I owe the bank money on a car loan. At a good, but not great, interest rate. Today, on unrelated business, I was on the phone with my credit card provider and they tried throwing all these little offers at me until one stuck with me... 1.9% on balance transfers until August. Why don't I transfer a manageable portion of my car note over, save on the interest in two ways (lower rate on the transferred balance, lower principal subject to the higher rate), and la ti da. And then it occurs to me- I get card offers similar in one or another to this situation, all the time. Why don't I farm my debt out- small, short, manageable chunks all over the place? The goal is to pay off the debt in short order, this just makes the whole process that much easier. Hardly revolutionary, but nonetheless, Why am I not doing this already?

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Joe Lieberman Death Watch: Mission Accomplished

No mo' MoJoe. He threw in the towel before 9 PM last night.

The final straw, apparently, was Twiggy's decision to endorse Wes Clark.

With priorities like these...

The Washington Post highlights budget items the Bush administration has scheduled for cuts in the 2005 budget

Comprehensive School Reform grants for low-income schools. 2004: $234 million; 2005: 0. Leaving No Child Behind since...

Community Development Block Grants. 2004: $334 million; 2005: 0. (Block grants to states, should be a Republican pet so long as states don't get too liberal with the money. Oops.)

Brownfields Redevelopment. 2004: $25 million; 2005: 0. eh, Just sprawl it.

Homeland Security first responders. 2004: $4.37 billion; 2005: $3.56 billion. (This is a typo, right?)

Election Reform. 2004: $1.49 billion; 2005: $65 million. (In fairness, election reform in 2005 is pretty useless. The symbolism, however, priceless.)

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Joe Lieberman Death Watch, Day #6

Does it get any worse? I ask this, in all seriousness.

From Monday's New York Times:
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman conducted seven radio interviews earlier today before taking his case to a fidgeting crowd of about 200 elementary school students in Albuquerque.

He had shaken hands with dozens of voters on Sunday at a boat show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and had delighted a crowd of youngsters by appearing with Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel. But today, instead of standing side-by-side, as planned, with Gov. Bill Richardson, Mr. Lieberman was alone, defending his stance on Iraq to a fourth-grader.

Yes, an alleged presidential candidate just did a joint appearance with a squirrel. Sigh. Wandering off the beaten path, here's a local account of the Twiggy and Joe show:

"Tell your mom and dad to go out and vote for Lieberman," he told a little girl at the event...

Before leaving the boat show, Lieberman made time to watch a performance by the show's star, Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel.

"That was unbelievable," Lieberman said after Twiggy's performance. "Who would have guessed?"

Oh, where to begin. First, he's going Soupy Sales (search for wallet) on kids for their parents' vote, then he's Upstaged By A Squirrel.

Joe said it best. "Unbelievable."

The Books. The damn Books.

They'll get you every time. Particularly in our modern multiple news cycles in a day, everything reported becomes both more permanent (or at least, a bit easier to find in the archivals) and more transient (the article you read might not be in the same spot tomorrow, good luck finding it again) era of ours. But books. They're a stumbling block. There is a lag between authoring and publishing. They are on paper and harder to make 'disappear.' At least, that is, until the e-book takes over. Which might not happen soon enough for the Bush administration.

It seems a forthcoming book, Bush vs. the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror by Laurie Mylroie is no longer "on message" with current events. Or, as Josh Marshall puts it, zigging when they have switched to zagging. Discrediting Mylorie will be both simple and difficult (simple in that she is nutty, difficult in that she is connected and useful and a building block for much of their other work).

Makes me wonder what other books are out there which might gum up the relentlessly spinning (which is a kind way to put it) ways of the administration.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Joe Lieberman Death Watch, Day #5

Going back to Joe's press bio one last time (after all, how many more chances will we have before nobody pretends to care anymore). Were you aware he "Earned more votes for Vice President than any other Democrat in history." Obviously, they were voting for Joe not Al. Which would have to make his abject failure this year that much more embarassing, no?

Intelligence Probe? Bush administration?

Nice work on Dana Milbank's part giving the story behind the news. In short, Bush has ordered a review/ probe/ investigation of pre-war intelligence failures when compared to reality. The main goals of the administration are political appearances- not seeming weak and inviting criticism, etc. Excelpt Milbank misses a point:

Bush has lately found many of his rationales for the war in Iraq being challenged. Just as Kay has undermined the WMD rationale, a report published by the Army War College challenged the notion that the war in Iraq was part of the overall war on terrorism, while the group Human Rights Watch has disputed Bush's notion that the Iraq war was a humanitarian mission. Vice President Cheney has implicitly acknowledged that the Iraq war has not spurred peace in the Middle East, saying peace is not possible while Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat remains in power.

He forgot Colin Powell admitting that there were no meaningful links between al Qaeda and Iraq. What's left?

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Joe Lieberman Death Watch, Day #4

Remember Campaign 2000? Joe's Senate seat was up for re-election. Joe was the Democrats vice-presidential nominee. Joe was faced with a tough choice. Connecticut's ethically challenged and Republican Governor John Rowland (he's not even good at hiding his graft) would get to appoint the Senator to Lieberman's seat should he win both elections. The Senate race nationwide was shaping up to be among the closest in history (indeed, it worked out to be precisely that- the closest ever). Joe could have dropped out of the Senate race, allowing the Democrats to run a candidate guaranteed to serve the term if elected or he could stay in the race. In a fit of leaderhsip, Joe chose to run for both offices. Guaranteeing either a Republican President or a Republican Senator from Connecticut.

The ability to make the tough choices. That's what America loves about you Joe. Time for you to make another one. I know you can do it.