The next President.

This mysterious blogger, who apparently lives not very far down the road from where I do, does a fine job of presenting the dilemma likely to be facing the liberal wing of the Democratic Party in 2016:

The coalition that put Barack Obama in office is stronger than ever and appears to be more favorably disposed to Clinton than I expected. Does she want to pick up their banner or does she want to shove Lanny Davis and Mark Penn in our faces and ask us to like it?

If she wants to pick a fight with progressives, there’s a good chance that she’ll see her support diminish substantially, at least in Democratic circles. Yet, she probably has that luxury and it might be too tempting to resist. There is so much room to run in the middle that it probably seems like the logical way to go. It might even maximize the size of her victory and lead, paradoxically, to more progressive outcomes.

This presents a quandary for progressives. Should we resist her coronation with every fiber of our bodies even though only about ten Democrats in a hundred agree with us? Or should we be solicitous of her campaign in the hope that we can have some influence over it? Should we give her a chance to run less as a New Democrat and more as a leader of the actual left-wing governing coalition?

Based on the polls I am seeing, Hillary Clinton doesn’t need us and may even benefit most by marginalizing us. Yet, this could benefit us in the end if she has the coattails to bring in a much more progressive Congress.

I’ve made no secret of my affection for Joe Biden in recent days and would be delighted to see him in the Oval Office. On the other hand, I would very much like to see a woman elected President in my lifetime and there is little doubt that Hillary Clinton has the experience and qualifications for the job. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty, I am, quite simply, for the Democratic candidate who has the best chance of winning and I will vote that way unless said candidate is somehow, some freakin’ near impossible how, worse that whomever or whatever the GOP has to offer. And if she (surely the appropriate pronoun at this point in time) can provide the coattails to bring along with her new members of Congress who can begin the long, hard struggle to recapture the House from the Crazies, that would be a grand thing indeed.

I hope the people who call themselves Progressives will vote for actual progress and not ideological purity.

Run, Joe, run.

Great long piece about our loveable Veep in the current issue of The New Yorker. Here’s a “money quote” which shows his, shall we say, unconventional style and, more important, ability to see through all the BS to the truth:

Biden recalled visiting Putin at the Kremlin in 2011: “I had an interpreter, and when he was showing me his office I said, ‘It’s amazing what capitalism will do, won’t it? A magnificent office!’ And he laughed. As I turned, I was this close to him.” Biden held his hand a few inches from his nose. “I said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I’m looking into your eyes, and I don’t think you have a soul.’ ”

“You said that?” I asked. It sounded like a movie line.

“Absolutely, positively,” Biden said, and continued, “And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, ‘We understand one another.’ ” Biden sat back, and said, “This is who this guy is!”

If only dogs could talk to us.

My post on Saturday about Sleep was inspired in large part by my thinking about dogs a lot these days. My dog is approaching the end of his time with me, whether in weeks, months or another year or two is not clear, but that which will kill him is already part of his being, He is an old dog and sleeps a lot; all old dogs sleep a lot. I have long held the opinion (excuse the language) know shit we humans cannot imagine. They chose to be domesticated because we are such perfect servants, giving them food, water and shelter; amusing them, picking up their excrement; making them feel safe. They approach the end more calmly that most of us, perhaps because they have no illusions about a paradise in the afterlife. Or, yes, because they actually know there is one.

Living well is not the best revenge; living lucky is.

Comfortably distant (geographically speaking) pal and frequent contributor to this and most every blog I’ve ever done (some might call it stalking) Carl P. just posted a slam re: ridiculous traffic police stops on the Book of Face (I’ve seen that crap before. [You didn't use your blinker] is usually a lousy excuse for profiling someone based on their looks or the condition and age of their car or truck. I know, I had it done to me before when I drove a beat up Nissan Pick Up. The look on a cop’s face when he walked up and found a guy in a Border Patrol uniform and armed to boot? PRICELESS!”) and it reminded me of the day, first with the forgiving nature of a NY state trooper and then with unintended but very welcome intervention of a pony-tailed lad in gun-racked pickup truck, of the lucky day I beat a potential ticket twice within an hour(yes, this was nothing like one of those phoney stops but you folks will to work with me here when inspiration strikes becuase it doesn’t happen that often).

I was driving home from Toronto on a Saturday morning, having dropped my daughter off to get a flight to Switzerland and semester abroad rather than in Happy Valley, a semester in which she actually became known to American Express agents everywhere as she spent large amounts of time and money in just about every city on the continent with the AE card I’d given her for “emergencies,” leading to monthly phone calls which eventually always started out with “Mr. Curtin, it’s about Kathy again. Will you approve…?” As if I had any choice.

Anyway, my car started overheating after an hour or so and the only way to keep it under control was to drive fast, really fast, leading to a situation where I came tearing around a bend and smack through the middle of a little mountain town in upstate New York. A trooper was parked on the far side of town a quickly chased me down. I explained why the crazy speed and, amazingly, he let me go after extracting a promise that I would drive within the limit the rest of the way. I am not good person and, to repeat, it wasn’t liked I had any choice. Soon I was back up 75 or 80mph.

About half a hour down the road, I came around another bend and I found a speed trap in place and a trooper waving at me to pull over and join the lineup of drivers already in its clutches. Before I could comply, out of nowhere came this pickup truck from behind, roaring by us at close to 100mph. The trooper waved me on and ran back to his car to give chase and I, good citizen personified, made sure to pull over when I saw him coming up behind me so he could pass. And I resisted the urge to wave when I passed the pickup truck and its occupant surrounded by three trooper cars a couple of miles further on.

I managed to get to Woodstock, where I was staying overnight with a friend, without further troubles despite having to stay above the speed limit most of the way. The next day would bring an amazing, damned near impossible to believe, happy ending to this tale. I’ll have to tell you about that sometime.

I think I’ll wait a bit.

I had every intention of writing something profound about the moon landing 45 years ago today when I got up this morning but I’ve lost the urge and the energy for reasons unknown. I’ll hold off on that until later this week and take a longer look at what we thought we were seeing, what we didn’t see coming and whether or not that one special moment was enough to save the reputation of what might be see as the worst decade in American history in the past 60 years in terms of how events affected our psyches, our future and our dreams. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?


I’ve been up and about for a while now and wonder why. I am more and more convinced that sleep is our natural state, the perfect alternative to the tiresome task of being awake and dealing with all the annoying issues that condition creates. Were I of a religious bent, I’d suspect that having to deal with long stretches of not being asleep is our punishment because Eve ate that damned apple.That’s something she could only have done while awake.

Does a re-post count as a post?

Let’s say it does. This is something I posted at Liquid Diet shortly before making the decision to launch this site. It definitely is better suited here.


Count me among those who thought this comic would NEVER be adapted for movies, much less TV.

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have begun breaking down the story for the pilot episode of Preacher, their AMC TV show adaptation of the comic series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. preacher_comic_art1Why did I think that one of my favorite Vertigo Comics series ever (right behindSandman and fighting for second with Y the Last Man, Sandman Mystery Theater and Swamp Thing (Alan Moore issues), would ever be broadcast to a (relatively, this is AMC after all) mass audience?

Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, demanding answers, and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire who seems to prefer a pint in the pub to the blood of the innocent. On his tail is one of the most iconic bad guys in print – an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers – a western lone gunman archetype whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Jesse.

I can already hear the Christianist wingnuts going wing-nutty.

The more things change….

Speaking of politics as we were in the last post, do you think that the GOP blaming the Democrat in the White House for everything that they can (even if they can’t) is some new tactic? It is to laugh. Here’s the weekly cartoon Rob Davis and I put up at The Dubya Chronicles* on March 10, 2002. Look familiar?


*The Dubya Chronicles is a now defunct website on which we did a weekly cartoon about the buffoon in the Oval Office and his mendacious team every single week from 20 January 2001 to 20 January 2009 except for a three or four week hiatus when my brother died unexpectedly in September 2003.

The freak flag option in 2016.

The thought-provoking conclusion to a post last night by the wonderful Charles Pierce on his wonderful political blog at the Esquire Magazine website:

The general feeling here is that Biden will not run for president if Hillary Clinton does. This is unfortunate. If there was ever a contrast to be made with the dour, mechanized, winning-through-effort style of the former Secretary of State, it is Biden’s Humphrey-esque joie de pancake breakfast. As much as he deplored the politics of division in this country, which he did throughout the last third of his speech, Biden finds in politics the kind of joy and the kind of outlet for the goofier angels of our nature that have been bred out of our politicians by four generations of political consultants. Biden is Lyndon with his beagles, and FDR with a cocktail shaker. He is the last real eccentric, and he knows it, and he plays it to the hilt because it is so much of what he is. Tattered and worn and old as it is. Joe Biden’s freak flag still flies high and proud.

The whole thing is worth a read. I like Joe Biden, always have.