Take These Broken Wings

I could just puke. How can anyone vote against habeas corpus?

Alphabetical by Senator Name
Akaka (D-HI), Yea
Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Allard (R-CO), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Bayh (D-IN), Yea
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Biden (D-DE), Yea
Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Nay
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Not Voting
Clinton (D-NY), Yea
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Coleman (R-MN), Nay
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Conrad (D-ND), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Craig (R-ID), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Yea
Dole (R-NC), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Nay
Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Nay
Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Yea
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Kohl (D-WI), Yea
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Lieberman (ID-CT), Nay
Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
Lott (R-MS), Nay
Lugar (R-IN), Yea
Martinez (R-FL), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Yea
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Salazar (D-CO), Yea
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Smith (R-OR), Yea
Snowe (R-ME), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Stevens (R-AK), Nay
Sununu (R-NH), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Voinovich (R-OH), Nay
Warner (R-VA), Nay
Webb (D-VA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Yea

Despite what you may hear, the issue is simply not that complicated. There is no excuse for cowardice, and no day will dawn when this will become a glorious moment. There is only infamy here, and shame.

All Things To Everyone

International Talk Like A Pirate Day reminded me of this, which is still a hoot. I’m just a little busy at the moment, but I’m thinking of you and you and you. You, however, are on your own!

Slade was one of Dad’s favorite bands, too.

Walking Where the Wildlife Goes

Part I

You can get so tangled up in the events of your life that you forget the rest of the world entirely. Tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Last week, I wrote a blog post in which my verbs were all over like snot on a toddler, and I see now I neglected to mention that the video came from Petulant via Melissa McEwan. This is not at all like me. I credit the pavement as I walk down the street, so who knows what was going on in my brain before we went to Virginia – all we know is what I am thinking when we arrive.

Tata: Pete, will you please do something tasty to these pork chops so I can eat them?

Time as you know it does not exist in the Casa Con Cows. During the month Dad was dying, we developed a syncopated rhythm, yes, but a steady beat – nope. Our days worked something like this:

1. Get up too early. Make tea and coffee. Crank up the laptop. Peek to see if Dad’s awake, possibly sit and talk with Dad. Empty garbage. Address needs of the cat herd. Eat fantastic leftovers.
2. Answer email. Work on laundry and the family store’s website while other members of the household work on Dad’s papers, errands or shopping. We grocery shop almost every day.
3. In the afternoon, we consider dinner.
4. It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where dinner is?

It doesn’t sound busy but Daria, Darla and I were lucky to get showers every other day. To combat this, we started thinking about dinner around 10 a.m., but that was then and this is now, and I want to eat the yummy pork chops before breakfast. We know from experience we fall right back into this whirling vortex the moment we hit the driveway but hope our esteemed colleague has some fight in him.

Daria: Take the panko and go on without me!
Pete: Um…got eggs?
Tata: I’m standing next to the fridge. If only I could reach…
Pete: Flour?

Daria walks around the corner to the pantry and returns with a pail of flour that reaches halfway up her thigh. She smiles knowingly.

Pete: Oil?

Daria holds one finger up in the air and disappears back into the pantry. She returns lugging a bottle the size of a gas can. Since we can’t lift the thing and most of us grew up during the gas crisis of the seventies, siphoning is no problem and the taste is more appetizing than Exxon Regular. The mass of spaghetti, mysteriously still growing in a back burner pot, is a handy canvas for the fresh sauce Daria concocts from the neighbors’ tomatoes. Pete breads and fries the pork chops. We make plates for ourselves and sit, but some habits are hard to break.

Darla: Oh, minions?
Dara: Can I get you another pork chop?
Daria: Do you need salad?
Tata: I’ll get you another glass of wine.
Darla: I was going to say it’s good to have you back but the servitude is nice, too.

To the Will Of the Night

Against all odds, Pete and I packed the car and headed out Friday morning. As late as Thursday evening, I expected him to tell me he had to work Saturday night, but bad news never came. Traveling back and forth to Virginia exhausts me and I was afraid I might have to make the drive alone. Friday morning, I buzzed around my apartment, a whirlwind of dread and To Do lists. At some point, I began speaking in tongues.

Tata: Kmumu bikka bing?
Pete: Sure, but is that all the garbage?
Tata: Dibi coo mokmok soooooob?
Pete: I don’t remember seeing the balsamic vinegar, no.
Tata: Rurrrrow mobby tek!
Pete: Sweetheart, you don’t have a lemur.
Tata: True, but if I had one would it be in the trunk?

We were on Route 78 headed toward the Pennsylvania border before I stopped hyperventilating. This will prove ironic later but for now, I relaxed and let the radio, the man, the sunlight, and the fact of the journey under way work their magic on me. Windows wide and windblown, we talked for hours.

Pete: …we can get methanol there.
Tata: Methanol? Doesn’t that come from cows?
Pete: It’s made of corn!
Tata: It’s made of p0rn? I want the first p0rn-electric hybrid!

All things at our destination had not gone as planned. My sister Daria did not get a chance to shop for groceries, leaving us with Dad’s gargantuan stash of pasta, the neighbors’ fresh tomatoes and whatever we’d brought with us. This was also the first time Pete caught a glimpse of what happened when my sisters had both cell phones and price guns in hand. In preparation for Saturday’s yard sale, Daria, Dara and our stepmother Darla were pricing and boxing Dad’s possessions. While on Route 81, I focused on the important things.

Tata: What are you making me for dinner?
Daria: Three for a buck, like the books.
Tata: We’re bringing pie!
Daria: Ply?
Tata: Pie!
Daria: Bly?
Tata: Pie! P-I-E! Pie!
Tata: Delicious pie! Two kinds of pie!
Tata: Maaaaaybe! What’s for dinner?
Daria: Remember that time I called you while I was making spaghetti and kept making spaghetti and it grew and grew?
Tata: It was like the Little Rascals cake, only al dente!
Daria: Yeah, well, now you’re gonna eat it.

Naturally, we stopped at a grocery store and bought pork chops.

The Wine And Take That Pearl

This morning, Matt Lauer was in Teheran. I had only a minute to watch but I sat down anyway because I couldn’t pick up my jaw. Lauer interviewed Seyyid Mohammad Marandi, Professor of North American Studies at the University of Tehran, who grew up in Virginia and spoke perfect English. Things were kind of moving along with the Republican talking points interview, starting at about 5:00 into the clip, and you can actually SEE the professor, who does his best to answer questions framed in the madness of King George, hesitate a few times before he answers. It’s plain he wants to tell Matt he’s being deceived. The thing that will take your breath away is that by the end of the interview, where Marandi has remained rational and patient, Lauer gets a little jumpy and tries to persuade the professor to agree. This morning, I couldn’t hear what Lauer was saying because his body language was happily shouting, “So you SEE, don’t you, that we absolutely have to nuke your country? It’s obvious, right?”

One more thing: Marandi delivered a line with some real punch and Lauer passed it by. The professor said that the United States should not attack Iran because the United States has got the other two wars with weaker countries but war with Iran, which is much stronger, would be “a calamity.” I heard it loud and clear. Who knows what Lauer heard?

Something To Slow Me Down

Happy New Year!


It was written by Dee Dee Ramone, Jean Beauvoir, and Joey Ramone as a reaction to Ronald Reagan’s visit to a soldiers’ cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany in May 1985. The name Bonzo is not that of a person, but rather refers to the name of the chimpanzee title character to one of Reagan’s movies, Bedtime for Bonzo.

Reagan’s visit to the Bitburg cemetery had been criticised in Europe as well as in the United States because 49 members of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization that helped run the extermination camps during World War II, were buried there. Some of SS members buried at Bitburg came from units that committed atrocities, including the murder of American POWs. According to White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, in Reagan’s view the majority of the soldiers who were buried at the cemetery were “simply soldiers of the German army…. There were thousands of such soldiers for whom Nazism meant nothing but the brutal end of a short life”.

The lyrics are a departure from the Ramones’ usual style, with a more outwardly serious content. Joey and Dee Dee Ramone had written the song with producer and former Plasmatics bassist/keyboardist Jean Beauvoir. Joey, who was Jewish, has stated that he started on the song lyrics after being almost physically sickened by the Reagan visit, feeling that the President had disrespected the six million victims of the Holocaust by visiting Bitburg.

“Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” was originally meant to be the sole title of the song, but guitarist Johnny Ramone, a conservative Republican and a Reagan supporter, insisted that the refrain of “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down” be the title on American releases of the song and that the reference to Reagan (“Bonzo”) be in parentheses.

This song has been on my mind. No mystery there.