May Robert Gibbs find solace someday, after the savaging he received at the wit of Bill Clinton’s ex-wife Maureen Dowd.
“I don’t normally read Maureen,” Gibbs, now an MSNBC contributor, said during an appearance on the network. “I don’t largely because it’s sort of largely the same column for the last, like, eight years.”
Most wingnuts go straight for the “uppity” angle when criticizing President Obama for asking two Marines to hold umbrellas over himself and the Turkish Prime Minister at an outdoor press conference during a downpour.
Noted boxed wine enthusiast Ann Althouse digs a bit deeper in a post entitled, “The word ‘umbrella’ appears exactly once in Obama’s ‘Dreams from My Father.’” Do think I’m kidding? No, I am not.
I’m astounded to see that the umbrella figures importantly in the book — and it is even an umbrella held over him by another man (his younger brother Bernard). This happens at the end of what is the most dramatic scene in the book, on the last page of the final chapter.
So — as he dramatizes it —it is at the moment when he finds out who he really is that another man suddenly appears and is sheltering him with an umbrella. He’s been crying, but now it all makes sense, and — with the prompting of the younger man — he sees that he is okay.
Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet. He has to order the Marine to shelter him. It isn’t Bernard squatting with a bent-up old umbrella. It’s a Marine in full-dress uniform, with a fine unbent umbrella, which is nevertheless not correct under the official — male, rigid — Marine Corps regulations… And here he is, the center of the whole world’s attention, and he had to call for the umbrella. He is not okay.
Wingnuts have demonstrated amazing super powers in the past, including the ability to conduct a comprehensive neurological assessment via a snippet of grainy videotape and audit a family’s finances by peering through the kitchen window at their countertops.
In her analysis of the meaning of UmbrellaGate, Althouse has taken it a step further, investing that “famously Freudian symbol” with powers that far surpass Mary Poppins’ foul weather gear, including the ability to emasculate US Marines and transform the POTUS into an insecure child. It’s both insane and fascinating.
Two items in the news about Cuba (optional soundtrack below):
As Balloon Juice commenter Lamh35 pointed out in the bitchfest thread, it’s probably unwise for Marco Rubio to try to turn Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s trip to Cuba into Benghazi II: The Castro-ation. It’s dumb for several reasons:
1) Castro is a doddering, toothless old fart whose utility as a wingnut bogeyman is receding faster than his gum line.
2) Beyoncé may be more widely worshipped than Jesus at this point, so Rubio will piss off her millions of fans, and for what? The Cuban exile vote can’t even swing an election in Florida anymore, much less the US.
3) The only reason our absurd Cuba policy continues is because, a) most Americans don’t know / don’t give a shit about it, and b) numbers 1 and 2 above haven’t quite sunk in yet with the political-media industrial complex.
Rubio released a statement on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip, saying, “U.S. law clearly bans tourism to Cuba by American citizens because it provides money to a cruel, repressive and murderous regime.”
Well, yeah, but Saudi Arabia is a medieval dictatorship that openly enslaves half of its population and beheads people for fucking sorcery, and yet I’m allowed to travel there as an American citizen. If I had to be parachuted into either Cuba or Saudi Arabia, I’d damn well go where the cigars and mojitos are.
Second news item out of Cuba:
The parents who kidnapped their own children from the kids’ grandmother and sailed out of Tampa Bay earlier this week have turned up in Cuba. Several things about this story smell fishier than Hemingway’s tackle box:
1) The parents, whom the media characterize as “anti-government protesters,” were busted last June in Louisiana for pot and firearms after a disturbance at a hotel. The cops allege they made bizarre references to Armageddon, prompting the court to put the kids in foster care. The father later confronted the foster parents, waving a gun around and demanding his children before running off before the cops arrived.
2) This supposedly prompted the authorities to terminate parental rights and pass custody of the kids to the grandmother in Florida. Practically everyone in Louisiana and Florida is “anti-government” and skulks around with pot and guns mumbling about Armageddon. And from what friends in CPS tell me, terminating parental rights is REALLY, REALLY hard, even for people who have a documented history of thrashing their kids half to death. And yet these people’s parental rights were terminated in less than a year for guns, pot and Armageddon talk?
But now the government of Cuba says it’s going to hand them over to the US, apparently without even pausing to wring any anti-US propaganda mileage out of them. Even if the parents are bona fide, bug-eyed loons and / or the most annoying Paultroons in the universe, that’s unusual. There’s more here than meets the eye.
This really happened. One year, right after Christmas, my mom decided to drive herself, my little sister and me up to North Carolina to see snow. As native Floridians, my sister and I had never seen snow before. We complained bitterly about this fact, especially during the holidays when all the TV specials featured snowmen, sleigh rides, etc.
This was a very long time ago, back when people drove ugly green station wagons with fake wood paneling. Anyhoo, we had a little dog—a poodle mix of some sort. He was a kind of goldish color, so we named him Butterscotch. But we all called him Scotch.
We couldn’t take Scotch with us since we were staying with dog-phobic relatives in North Carolina. So my mom asked her younger sister to housesit and watch after Scotch. Auntie agreed to do this for us and promised to take good care of our beloved pet:
Poor Auntie had to spend New Year’s Eve all by herself. However, my mom had generously given Auntie permission to raid the liquor cabinet. She polished off a few cocktails and then rang in the New Year watching Dick Clark on TV as she lounged in our recliner and finished an entire bottle of champagne:
Poll, if I may interrupt for a second, I am really irritated at the way they allow Newt Gingrich to continue living on.
—my mother, at noon, and not a drop taken (so far).
Mama-San arrived yesterday, with her traditional complement of leftovers in baggies, family-size bottles of vino in case Chez Polly does not provide, and the non-crushable Shirt Which Must Be Carried Separately, which must not be housed in any kind of luggage, but travel with its own hanger, not to be confused with any other hanger which could not possibly be as good. I had been introducing her to Charles Pierce with this piece, which is how we got to Newt, though with Mama-San, we could just as easily have gotten from there to her hatred of English toast racks or “EC cetera.”
My nonagenarian mother will be here taking care of me while I do a four-day internship taking care of youngsters in their eighties, starting Christmas Eve. So if I don’t get another chance to say it, Roasters, how rare and wonderful it is to spend another year with you! And Merry Whatever You Wish.
The Truth is both sad and inescapable: our sagacious forebears left us only two devices by which to reliably divine our future as a collective species—(1) a wonky paleolithic calendar so wobbly and complex it runs out of dates before the end of time, and (2) a Stone Age alarm clock that scares Anglo Saxons and only goes off on weekends.
As we feared, both the Mayan calendar and Stonehenge concur that this year’s Christmas is going to be indefinitely postponed. This year, don’t bother watching It’s A Wonderful Life, just drink buckets of plum wine and go caroling nude.
Thanks to my highly productive Reds and Australorps, I will have no egg shortage to contend with during this year’s eggnog season. Maybe it’s too soon to talk about eggnog—we haven’t even had Thanksgiving in the US. Oh well.
I have what I consider a very fine eggnog recipe, which I post at Rumproast each year and am sharing below. It not only tastes good, it’s deceptively strong and is highly effective for silencing tiresome wingnut relatives, dispatching the Sandman to whisk them to Dreamland in front of the television. That way the bakers don’t have to hear the self-described makers bitching about the goddamned takers:
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Southern Comfort*
1/2 cup rum**
1/2 cup bourbon***
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
Separate eggs and reserve whites in fridge in a separate container. In a large bowl, beat yolks until lemony, gradually adding sugar. Add the booze. Refrigerate mixture overnight.****
Next day, add milk to booze mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peak stage. Separately beat whipping cream to the consistency of that nasty Cool Whip crap. Fold egg whites into booze mixture, then fold in whipped cream. Don’t over-mix—leave it a little lumpy. Grate nutmeg over top and enjoy!
* As vile and hideous as Southern Comfort is (and no one despises it more than I do, having once yerked up great quantities of it all over a golf course during a teenage drinking binge), it is for some reason an essential ingredient in this recipe. I tried doubling the GOOD bourbon once and eliminating the SoCo, and it wasn’t as good. Really.
** I generally use Appleton’s, but last year I tried it with Kraken rum, which is just insanely good. In my opinion.
*** I usually use Maker’s Mark or Knob Creek. Because I care.
**** We’ve omitted the refrigerate overnight step a time or two. If you’ve already had several cups of it made the proper way, you won’t notice the difference. If you haven’t you will. Funny how that works.
I haven’t found a recipe to rival this one, but I am open-minded. Please feel free to share your all-time favorite eggnog recipe. Or talk about whatever.
I realize it’s early (at least on the Eastern coast of the US) to talk about cocktails, but I formulated a new recipe last night that I’m eager to share. And since there is a highly consequential debate tonight, you may want to get liquored up early so you’ll be prepared to slur your encouragement to President Obama on the teevee, urging him to take the fight to whichever Rombot shows up.
I’ve loved the flavor profile of piña coladas ever since I tried my first several at age 12 via room service at a fancy beach hotel. My mother had foolishly left my sister and me to our own devices in our hotel room while she met friends for cocktails at the bar downstairs. After she was gone, I called room service and ordered two piña coladas (even at 12 I had a whisky voice and could thus pull this off). Why piña coladas? Maybe that dumb 70s song? Maybe because that’s what people drank on “The Love Boat”? I don’t know.
Anyhoo, my little sister and I executed our plan: When the room service dude came to the door with the drinks, I pretended to be Mom in the shower. I was sitting in the bathroom with the shower on, and I turned the water off when my sister knocked, opened the door a crack and took and signed the receipt my sister passed to me while the room service dude deposited our drinks on the table. It worked like a charm! It worked so well that we did it again, ordering DOUBLES in the next round and fortunately getting a different room service guy so our ruse continued to work.
We didn’t get busted until we checked out and Mom wondered why there were charges for room service piña coladas (and a handsome tip) on our bill. But when we confessed, she was so impressed with our ingenuity that she just paid up and didn’t punish us.
However, the characteristics that made the drink perfect for a pair of prepubescent rebels – the sugary taste, gloppy consistency and over-adorned presentation – made the piña colada distinctly less appealing to me as an adult. But I still like pineapple, coconut and rum.
Which is why yesterday evening, as hubby and I were wrapping up our kitchen renovation labors for the day and accepting the fact that we would have to face at least 24 more hours without plumbing, I started thinking about piña coladas with a more grown-up twist, and thus the Kraken Kolada was born. It’s more of a martini-style cocktail than the alcoholic sundae that is the classic piña colada, but it delivers on the pineapple and coconut themes:
1 or 2 parts Kraken Black Spiced Rum
2 parts pineapple juice
2 parts coconut water (not coconut milk or, FSM forbid, coconut cream but coconut water)
I shook mine up with ice in the above-pictured cocktail shaker, and it was cool, refreshing heaven in a plastic cup (since we have no working kitchen sink or dishwasher to deal with dirty martini glasses). If you like rum but haven’t tried Kraken, by all means do so. Even if you’re normally not that keen on spiced rum. It’s really good.
Anyone else have tasty cocktail recipes to share? Beer finds? Good wines? No? Then feel free to discuss whatever.
Live coverage will begin around 8:30 ET. For those feeling a leetle skittish about Mittbot’s seeeming surge of late, let the Big Dawg explain the flawed math behind Romney’s great tax plan and soothe your nerves a little:
Still have questions? John Cole has found a valuable source of information regarding the specifics of Romney’s plan right here. Heh.
Drink if you must (and I’m not sure who mustn’t), grab some popcorn and a cushy seat and tune in later this evening for some Roastie comaraderie.
Okay, I thought the debate sucked: President Obama looked like he wanted to get the hell out of there and go celebrate his anniversary with the First Lady, and Romney managed to be both assertive and mendacious without totally coming across as a smarmy prick and a shameless liar, which is something of a small miracle since he is both. Will it matter? Who the fuck knows?
But I was disappointed since I was hoping for a total Romney faceplant, and during one commercial break, after it became clear that wasn’t going to happen, I went to my laundry room/pantry to retrieve a jar of Cherry Bounce I had put up awhile back, hoping to improve my mood. This is what I saw on the bottom shelf:
Yes, my shelves need a good dusting, but forget that please and share my horror and consternation because—sweet Jesus! That’s a big fucking snakeskin! Which can only mean that at least one large snake has been slithering amongst my jars of homemade cordials! In my laundry room/pantry!
This type of event has a way of completely refocusing the mind, let me tell you. Instead of watching Tweety flip the fuck out in the post-debate analysis or reading Andrew Sullivan’s blow-by-blow account of covering himself in beagle shit and running through the streets bellowing doom and woe, I shook my husband awake and demanded that he find an all-night Home Depot and immediately create an airtight seal on every door, window, awning and roofline in this drafty fucking house.
He didn’t, of course, and that fucking snake—or maybe its thousands of babies!—are probably lurking in my unmentionables drawer at this very moment! So yeah, I’m not happy about how the debate went, but I now realize there are more important things happening. Like motherfucking snakes in my motherfucking laundry room/pantry. The end.
Speaking of butts: it turns out they can improve art! As some of you may have heard, I am a leading WineFoilSculptress, which is sort of like being Ann Althouse, only with better wine and less douchebaggery.
Anyway, the other evening, I constructed an armadillo. I used a ballpoint pen (Papermate, medium point) to define the ridges:
Meh. Something wasn’t quite right. Maybe the snout was too long? Or too high up? Tail too short? Anyhoo, I walked away for awhile, leaving it on the surface of my tiki bar.
When I returned a short time later and sat down on a bar stool, I felt something under my posterior and immediately leapt up, thinking I had accidentally squished a frog or giant cockroach. But Mr. C had moved the armadillo sculpture to the seat while I was gone so he could wipe up the cabernet I’d slopped on the surface of the bar during my drunken gesticulations as I was ranting about whatever topic we were ranting about previously, and I’d sat on the armadillo.
And you know what? NOW it looked EXACTLY like the roadkill armadillos that litter our highways down here:
I’m exceedingly proud of my Irish heritage, which I assume I’ve got some of, judging by the way precancerous lookin’ shit pops up every time I wear a tank top outside. But whatever kind of white person I am, I’m also an amateur mixologist! I’ve come up with some festive St. Patrick’s Day concoctions, which I present here for your subjective emotional response which may or may not be classifiable as enjoyment.
The Pot O’Gold 1 liter Amstel Light in fishbowl
1 little person/child/average size adult with shoes on his knees like Dorf, dressed as leprechaun
Taunt “leprechaun” in between swigs. Suggested jeers: “Boy, the foot of a rainbow sure was a brilliant hiding place!” “Better make a boat and sail away, ‘cause your Lucky Charms are next!” “You’re short!”
Operation Cloverlord 1 pint Harp Lager
1 oz. green food coloring, dumped into the sink and replaced without your knowledge by 1 oz. Andes Crème de Menthe liqueur
Mix together and drink up! Tastes great, right? Yeah, asshole, that’s what you get for being one of those green-beer-drinking assholes, you asshole.
The Flaming Crotch 3 Pints Killian’s Irish Red
Down pints in quick succession, tamping down inhibition; ask a passing attractive redhead if the carpet matches the drapes. When she kicks you square in the nuts, express surprise at what the name of this drink ended up referring to, because you were on a different page entirely.
The Riverdance 1 pint Guinness in plastic cup with sturdy lip around rim
Drink without using hands. If you manage not to spill any on your lap, declare yourself “Lord of the Pants.” If single, try to accomplish all of this out of public view or you’ll definitely have to use your hands.
Cherry Adams 5 Porterhouse IPAs, bottled
With Sharpie, write “Harrod’s of London” on forehead and add extra line to the “P” on IPA bottles so they look like “R.” Chug beer to kill a few brain cells and maim hundreds more. Say “Mmm, that’s Sinn FINE!” Pour grenadine on face because you’re making a statement about political violence or whatever.
The Audited Diocese 1 oz. each of beers listed above, in shot glasses
Just keep doing shots and shuffling glasses around, refill as necessary. Continue until unconscious or until somebody in a position of authority steps in and puts a stop to this madness, so basically, until unconscious.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day, and as the old Irish blessing goes, “May the road rise to meet you, and Lord grant you the wisdom to know the difference between that and passing out face-first in the street.”