Why Republicans Need Grunge

Dan Matthews is the longshot challenger of Washington state congressman Rick Larsen. He’s just cut his first ad titled “Drinking Away the Deficit” capitalizing on the low-grade scandal that erupted this year when it came out that Larsen’s staffers had loose Twitter lips. Here’s the video (more comments below):

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Once More Around the Sun

On days like this I like to remind myself that age is just a number — an ever-growing, horrifying number.

I Owe My Guardian Angel a Beer

Your diarist pulled the Subaru off Sunset Drive in Bellingham today followed by a cop car with the lights flashing and the siren sirening. The gray matter started totting up an estimate of how much this ticket was going to cost, and what that would do to insurance.

The officer peeled out of the east-going traffic and had me dead to rights. I had accidentally run a red light making a left turn onto Sunset because the car was trailing a semi. Didn’t see the left turn light was red until I was smack dab in the middle of the intersection, and there’s no point stopping then.

It also happened that I had just checked my text messages in defiance of Washington state’s fascist cellphone laws. I wondered if he saw that as well.

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Margie Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

True story: The other day, I got two calls from the same 800 number in about an hour. Normally, it’s best not to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers but this one was more persistent than most, so I picked up the second time. The person at the other end of the line, who spoke in unaccented American English, asked to speak with Margie.

This has happened a couple of times over the years, so I gather a Margie had my cellphone number before I got it. I told this to the woman. Rather than thank me, she said, “This call may be monitored or recorded and you have a nice day.” Click.

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Lawnmower(proof) Man

The lawnmower blade pictured below tried to kill your diarist the other day. I was driving up Northwest road just above Bakerview when — pow! — there was a serious commotion with my front right tire followed by a curious metallic clanging sound.

Thought I might have blown it or done something worse, so I eased the silver Subaru onto the shoulder and opened the door to investigate. The tire was intact and there wasn’t any obvious damage to the car. I retraced my treads. After much searching, I found this blade, which had been kicked over into the shoulder. Because of the rust and the angle of sunlight, it did a good job not sticking out against the pavement. Which might explain why I ran over it in the first place.

Several people have assured me since that it is a very bad idea to run over a lawnmower blade. Blowing a tire is the least of your worries. Hit it at the right angle and it can go up into the underside of the car and wreck all kinds of things. Do that at 50+ miles an hour and you’d better hope your guardian angel ate his Wheaties that morning.

Yet I am unscratched and the potential agent of my destruction sits safely on the floor on the passenger’s side of my car. Would it be tempting fate overmuch to hang it on the wall?

Hey Google, Don’t Be Evil

So I just typed “Republicans” into Google. The autofill suggested

… are the problem

… for Obama

… for Voldermort

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My Thoughts on Rapegate

Your diarist was not shocked to hear Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s thoughts on rape and conception that sprang from a question on abortion.

Akin, who is against legal abortion, was asked, OK, what about pregnancies that result from rape? He said that such pregnancies are “really rare.” He explained that in cases of “legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that down.”

Cue: feminist outrage, partisan point making, and Republican damage control.

I was not shocked because, though Akin put it more baldly and offensively than most, I heard variations on that theme growing up in pro-life Baptist circles. Folks would ask the rape question. Since there is no good answer, people, like Akin (“From what I understand from doctors…”), would reach for “science” to muddy the waters.

That answer is not absurd on its face. All kinds of things can affect conception. That all the stressors produced by a rape might make conception or implantation less likely is at least a plausible point. I doubted the point, then and now, because nature doesn’t seem to give a fig about our notions of consent.

The uproar over Akin’s dumb comments is infuriating to pro-lifers because this is the debate that Planned Parenthood and Nancy Pelosi want to have.

Oppose abortion generally — as most Americans now do? Then you’re not against sex-selective abortions, abortions as contraception, abortion as an absolute legal right right up to the moment of full delivery (and, according to some trailblazing theorists, for some time after). No, you’re really an apologist for rapists. You probably want to take away condoms and the pill, too.