Sunday, November 30, 2008

My People

Until the GOP can come to grips with...

the farce that is Sarah Palin, they will continue in the wilderness.

Until the religious right can come to grips with the farce that is Sarah Palin, they will continue in the wilderness.

Intellect is back in style.

Check back in three years.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The statistics of strangers

Statistics suggest that today, during my interactions with strangers throughout New York City, I will encounter at least one person who knows they have less than six months to live.

Statistics tell me that today, while riding the subway, I will be within five feet of at least fifteen people who have a close friend or relative who will be dead within a month’s time.

Statistics tell me that today, while walking up Madison Avenue to work, I will pass at least three people with AIDS, three people with cancer and at least twenty people who cannot pay their medical bills from the previous year.

Statistics suggest that today, while eating my lunch at the southeast corner of Central Park, at least sixty people that cross my path will be unemployed, ten will be homeless and twelve will get their food for the week from a food bank.

Statistics suggest that today, while waiting on the platform for my train, at least one person around me will commit suicide within a year, three will come out of the closet to the rejection of their family and ten will have their electricity turned off before the month ends.

But ultimately there is something that these statistics cannot tell me. They cannot tell me that today, without precondition, I have been charged to love my neighbor as myself because within every stranger that I pass there is a life worthy of my respect simply because it is lived.

Got fear?

Breaking News: The FBI has issued an alert that terrorists may be planning an attack on the New York City subway this holiday season.

I have lived here for a while and these alerts are nothing new but even to this day when I hear something like this, it makes me a bit frightened. Which I suppose is the point, right?

However, the husband and I have to go to work and live our lives -- lives that include riding the subway every single day.


Ps. I schedule some posts ahead of time so if they appear and you comment, I may not be around right then to approve instantly. Just keep that in mind if you comment and it does not appear right way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Straining for Gratitude

Just a quick thought since I don’t have much time for posting this week:

Today while reviewing our finances and figuring how to pay the bills while still having enough money for food, a thought hit me…a kind of depressing thought, but a thought nonetheless.

A year ago, the husband and I had more money than we knew what to do with. We were busy making plans with the security that the money brought. Then, my husband got very sick, lost his job, got sicker and within two months we had burned through all our savings on doctors.

This Thanksgiving we have been forced to borrow money from a friend just to pay the rent, are trying to decide whether to pay the electricity bill or the phone bill, have given up trying to sift through all the medical bills and are praying that somehow we make it through the holidays with a roof over our heads.

It is an amazing turn of events. But the most amazing thing about it is how grateful we are to have what little we have. We have a car that’s paid for, a nice loft (for the time being) and we have each other and our wonderful dog, Trotter.

I try not to look at the bank account much anymore unless I have to (like today) because there are only so many ways you can make zero go into zero. But I do look at my life. Though the money is gone and the luxuries are a distant memory, I am grateful.

I am grateful that, for today, I am safe. I am grateful that, for today, I have the love of my life still in my life. I am grateful that, for today, I know where my next meal is coming from.

But most importantly, I am grateful that, for today, I have not been brought this far only to be abandoned now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Devil's Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting

This is cross posted at my baking website,
The recipe can be found here

The Naked Baker, Jon-Marc McDonald, makes the Devil's Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting from the December issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. This is a two part video. NOTE: If you would like to watch the videos in "high-quality, watch them on their respective YouTube pages and click "watch in high-quality" below the screen on the right side. Part 1 here. Part 2 here.

Part 1:

Part II

Joe the Turkey Slaughterer

Please God, let Sarah Palin run in 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028, 2032...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A pie chart on marriage

Broadway's American Buffalo put out to Pasture

Well, that was quick wasn't it? The revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, starring Cedric the Entertainer, John Leguizamo and Haley Joel Osment, is set to close less than a week after it opened.

My review is here.

Details to come.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Silence on the Rooftop

Some things have come up and I will not be able to post for a few days. Sorry. Be back soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Over 300 Hundred Protests Tomorrow

How my heart aches that I will not be able to attend the protest(s) tomorrow but I have a prior commitment that I cannot get out of (trust me, I thought of every way possible).

But please, go to one if you can. They are happening in every state in the country. It is truly amazing to see what is happening across the land. The pride I have in my community (and our straight allies) is too much for words.

Check here for a protest near you.

Ps. send me pictures and I will try and post them tomorrow night. My email is jon-marc@LiveDotCom

Family News in Focus: Where truth goes to die

I have listened to Focus on the Family's (FOTF) Family News In Focus (FNIF) for most of my life. As a child my mother would have the radio on a "Christian" station at all times and FNIF was continually broadcast.

As an adult, I have payed close attention to both FNIF AND FOTF due to the bizarre influence James Dobson has on many in my family (and millions of others families).

But over the past few months FNIF and FOTF have become more unhinged than usual. Sure, they have always been peddlers of half-truths but over the past few months they have taken to outright, unabashed lying. Almost everything they air (which consist of at least a 40% daily helping of "focus" on the "gay agenda") is so blatently false and so verifiably refutable I am genuinely concerned with what's going on.

Therefore I have decided to start a somewhat regular series on Screaming devoted to exposing FOTF in general and FNIF in particular. Look for it soon.

What should I call the series? I'm thinking "Focus on the Faggot" or "Family News that Fucsus"
What say you, bloggers? And ideas?

Ps, all comments are moderated so if you don't see it right away, don't fret. It will be there soon enough (though I reserve the right to discard all comments I deem worthless).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pictures from Prop 8 protest in New York City (NYC) on November 12, 2008 (11/12/2008)

UPDATE: More pictures can be found here

Pictures from the Prop 8 protest in New York City on November 12, 2008. More pictures to come l8er today. A rough cut video of the protest is in the post below the pictures

Larry Kramer

Me (Jon-Marc McDonald, on the left) and my friend Doug. The blue armband I'm wearing is because I was a marshal or sumthin'?

Dan Savage

Andy Towle, who is pretty darn cute

Prop 8 Protest in New York on November 12, 2008 (11/12/2008)

This is the rough cut of the Prop 8 protest march (rally) on November 12, 2008 (11/12/2008) in New York Cith (NYC). There were well over 10,000 people there. More pictures tomorrow.

Among those marching were Larry Kramer, Whoopi Goldberg, Jake Shears, Dan Savage, Andy Towle, Jefferey Self along with sidekick Cole Escola

The Great Awakening

My friend Doug (MFD): What are you up to?

Me: Working

MFD: Me too. Actually, I’m not working as much as I am facebooking my ass off at work.

Me: Must be nice. You should be a good gay and go to the protest tonight at the Mormon Temple.

MFD: I AM! Are you going?

Me: I AM!

MFD: Well we should meet up and march together!

If you live in the NYC area, you should be there too at 125 Columbus Avenue at 65th street at 6:30. It's gonna be big! Pictures tomorrow.

What kind of world do you want?

Why Sarah Palin Still Matters

Read this and then read it a second time and then forward it to everyone you know.

Andrew Sullivan:

Some readers think my continuing attempt to expose all the lies and flim-flam and bizarre behavior of Sarah Palin is now moot. She's history - they argue. Move on. I think she probably is history. Even Bill Kristol and his minions in the McCain-Palin campaign may not be able to resuscitate her political viability now. But even if she is history, she is history that matters.

Let's be real in a way the national media seems incapable of: this person should never have been placed on a national ticket in a mature democracy. She was incapable of running a town in Alaska competently. The impulsive, unvetted selection of a total unknown, with no knowledge of or interest in the wider world, as a replacement president remains one of the most disturbing events in modern American history. That the press felt required to maintain a facade of normalcy for two months - and not to declare the whole thing a farce from start to finish - is a sign of their total loss of nerve. That the Palin absurdity should follow the two-term presidency of another individual utterly out of his depth in national government is particularly troubling. 46 percent of Americans voted for the possibility of this blank slate as president because she somehow echoed their own sense of religious or cultural "identity". Until we figure out how this happened, we will not be able to prevent it from happening again. And we have to find a way to prevent this from recurring.

It happened because John McCain is an incompetent and a cynic and reckless beyond measure. To have picked someone he'd only met once before, without any serious vetting procedure, revealed McCain as an utterly unserious character, a man whose devotion to the shallowest form of political gamesmanship trumped concern for his country's or his party's interest. We need a full accounting of the vetting process: who was responsible for this act of political malpractice? How could a veep not be vetted in any serious way? Why was she not asked to withdraw as soon as the facts of her massive ignorance and delusional psyche were revealed?

The Palin nightmare also happened because a tiny faction of political professionals has far too much sway in the GOP and conservative circles. This was Bill Kristol's achievement.

It was a final product of the now-exhausted strategy of fomenting fundamentalist resentment to elect politicians dedicated to the defense of Israel and the extension of American military hegemony in every corner of the globe. Palin was the reductio ad absurdum of this mindset: a mannequin candidate, easily controlled ideologically, deployed to fool and corral the resentful and the frightened, removed from serious scrutiny and sold on propaganda networks like a food product.

This deluded and delusional woman still doesn't understand what happened to her; still has no self-awareness; and has never been forced to accept her obvious limitations. She cannot keep even the most trivial story straight; she repeats untruths with a ferocity and calm that is reserved only to the clinically unhinged; she has the educational level of a high school drop-out; and regards ignorance as some kind of achievement. It is excruciating to watch her - but more excruciating to watch those who feel obliged to defend her.

Her candidacy, in short, was indefensible. It remains indefensible. Until the mainstream media, the GOP establishment, and the conservative intelligentsia acknowledge the depth of their error, this blog will keep demanding basic accountability.

My point is not to persecute or hound some random person. I wish I had never heard of Sarah Palin. I wish this nightmare had never happened. I wish totally innocent by-standers, like Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston and Heather Bruce and Trig Palin, had not had their lives disrupted by this circus. It's distressing to everyone, which is why most journalists left many aspects of this charade alone. But Palin is claiming vindication, is on every cable show, is at the National Governors Association Conference, and is touted as a future leader of the GOP. There comes a point at which you have to simply call a time out and insist that this farce cease and some basic accountability and transparency be restored to the process. Since no one else seems willing to do so, the Dish will stay on the case. So where are those medical records anyway?


Monday, November 10, 2008

The role of a lifetime

It has been quite a week. Last Tuesday I went to bed euphoric. Wednesday I woke up to news that sent my spirit spiraling into an abyss of hopelessness, the likes of which I do not think I have experienced in all my life. And believe me, there have been some dark times in my past.

I cannot properly articulate the devastation I felt upon hearing the news that Prop 8 passed in California. In all my life, both in and out of politics, I have never experienced something so psychologically damning to my spirit as I did on Wednesday morning.

Within hours my sorrow turned to utter, pure, unadulterated rage. My anger was as black as thunder and as dark as night. I wanted the merchants of faith and the purveyors of “truth” who so willfully and masterfully peddled outright lies and distortions to pay for their mortal sins. I wanted to be the judge, jury and executioner that personally inflicted as much heartache on them as they have on my gay brothers and sisters.

But at just the moment when my rage was reaching the tipping point I realized something I have never realized before. I realized that I had a role in the outcome.

I contributed to the success of Prop 8. I consented to the lies and misinformation.

Every time I hid my sexuality or identified my husband as my friend, I played a role. Every time I stayed silent as a member of my family referred to my husband simply as my friend, I played a role. Every time I said to those on the other side that we would have to agree to disagree, I played a role. Every time I heard the word “faggot” on the subway and did not object, I played a role. Every time I used a neutral pronoun so as not to offend someone when talking about my husband, I played a role. Every time I did not send an email to the media when they were reporting inaccuracies about my community, I played a role. Every time I walked into a church that did not accept my people, I played a role. Every time I left my husband at home while I visited family, I played a role. Every time I applied for a job at a company that did not have a non-discrimination policy, I played a role. Every time I allowed a supposedly heterosexual man who was married to hit on me, I played a role. Every time I stayed silent at the family dinner table when gays were brought up, I played a role. Every time I decided to go to the bar instead of the march, I played a role. Every time I watched as a family member married a closet case, I played a role. Every time I watched a television show or a movie where a gay person was the punch-line, I played a role.

And every time I said thank you instead of fuck you to those that told me that I could ride on the bus as long as I sat in the back, I played a role.

I’m done playing that role!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My review of David Mamet's American Buffalo on Broadway

I finally saw American Buffalo last night. I was supposed to go to a dress rehearsal two weeks ago but some things came up and I was unable to attend. So last night, while the show is still in previews, I made my way to the Belasco Theatre on 44th, the “wrong side of Broadway”.

I should note (for those living under a rock) that American Buffalo is a David Mamet play. Mamet is considered one of the premiere playwrights of our time. His plays are often infused with both acerbic dialogue and a dizzying tempo. Such characteristics require the full and continuous attention of the audience lest they miss a thing.

The current revival of American Buffalo on Broadway stars Cedric the Entertainer, John Leguizamo, Haley Joel Osment and is directed by the legendary Robert Falls. The setting, Don’s Resale Shop – a junkshop, was designed by the inimitable three time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto.

So on with the show.

It is clearly evident from the start who among the three principals is the Broadway veteran. While Cedric and Haley do a respectable job, they are no match for John. He spits out “Mamet-speak” so effortlessly that he makes it look easy. Cedric and Haley, on the other hand, both seem to struggle with letting go of the nuances of screen acting for the hyper-enunciation, in both word and form, that is required on stage. Also, I can't imagine how daunting it must be to make your Broadway debut with American Buffalo. There is so much dialogue. In fact, Cedric is on stage the entire play!

The limitations of both Cedric and Haley are in no way detrimental to the show and, in fact, I believe it is something they will be able to correct as they grow into their respective roles. For instance, Haley’s character, Bobby, is a heroin addict, and though Haley does an admirable job in his attempt to convey the nervous tics of an addict, his mannerisms on stage appear at times simply nervous. What would certainly be conveyed through the intimacy of the screen is instead not so apparent on the enormity of the stage.

Also there were quite a few lines dropped as well as one line added after a door malfunctioned that clearly threw Cedric off. These lines, both dropped and adlibbed, are not devastating and I doubt the audience even noticed.

But hey, this is exactly what previews are for. None of the negatives of the show are insurmountable and even with their presence, the show holds up quite well. Will it be able to escape the comparisons, fair or unfair, of Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, also currently on Broadway? Probably not. We will find out next week.

But I certainly hope the critics will refrain from an either/or mentality with regards to American Buffalo and Speed-the-Plow. The whole “If you have to pick which Mamet play to go see this season go see…” is a bit over the top . Such mutual exclusivity is not fair since both shows are quite different.

I imagine that Mamet fans will try and see both. And far more people will buy tickets for the leads, without a clue as to who Mamet even is.

My final analysis is that the show is worth the money. It has its wrinkles and it feels a bit strained at times but I have no doubt that the problems are so minor that they can (and should) be worked out by opening night.

As a side note, backstage I had the opportunity to meet Haley Joel Osment. He is extremely nice, genuinely humble and has not let fame go to his head.

Go see it! And tell ‘em I sent ‘ya.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bakari Sellers may be our nation's second African-American president

Who is this kid (he's 24) out of South Carolina?

He's a state representative of South Carolina. He was on Hardball tonight with Chris Matthews and as my grandfather would say, my soul!

Watch for this kid's star to rise. He will not even be eligible to run for president for 11 years, but when he is, watch out! He gave me chills.

Spontaneous Patriotism on the Streets of New York City

The peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country -- when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right."
Carl Schurz

If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.

Carl Schurz
Via Andy:

I beg my gay brothers and sisters: do not let them drive you back to the "psychosis and depression" of the closet. No one can make you feel inferior. Know that your love is real; cherish it; hold your spouses closer; build your families; take care of your kids; live your dream.

What the Christianists want is to destroy your self-esteem and self-worth. It's over the wounded souls of gay people that they construct their politics of fear and division. But we endured centuries of cruelty, and after our first taste of liberation, we faced a plague of devastating proportions. But we came back stronger than ever. For the sake of those who never dreamed we would ever see civil unions, for those who died of the plague, for those whose marriages over the ages were never recognized but were as real as any backed by law: fight on. Do not lose faith. Law never trumps love. And one day it will echo it.

It's a wonder we won...

I received this just a few minutes ago. I think I might be reconsidering my donations in the future

We hold these truths to be self evident

It's the answer spoken by young and old rich and poor Democrat and Republican black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled

For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bumper sticker fever

Tomorrow start looking for all the "Don't blame me, I voted for McCain" bumper stickers popping up.

If you see one of these, and can get a word to the driver, reply happily "Dearie, we don't blame you for voting for McCain. We blame you for voting for Bush".

Elisabeth Hasselbeck in pure panic mode

Today on The View, Elisabeth Hassselbeck displayed what doctors would call Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). She is in pure survival mode, gasping and grasping at anything she can to make sure Barack Obama does not become president.

She is exhibiting symptoms that many are feeling. They are absolutely panicked that the world as they know it (a world where George W. Bush is president) is coming to an end.

I think they should relax. Get all panicked if Obama wins. You all (McCain supporters) are worrying yourself needlessly. Get all crazy tomorrow if president-elect Obama is reality.

Today, just enjoy it.

Like a kid at Christmas...

I was up at 430 this morning.

Now, everyone, GO VOTE! The world is watching!

Monday, November 3, 2008

And may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest

She knew in her heart how it would all turn out. She left knowing what would happen tomorrow.

You did her proud, Barack!

I wish Jeremiah Wright would shut the hell up

Barack Obama's former pastor is at it again. Today on a radio broadcast of one of his sermons he said "...God will destroy America and God should destroy America"

I totally understand what so many on the right have been saying for months now. That Barack Obama sat in the pew of this man is indefensible.

I am so glad I heard this today. It puts it all in perspective for me. In fact, I may change my vote due to the disgusting things this man represents and that Obama listened to for so many years.



Oh my God! You mean to tell me that was not Jeremiah Wright I was listening to? It was who?

A man by the name of Laurence White, you say?

Who is Laurence White?

He was the featured speaker today on the radio broadcast of Focus on the Family in a sermon entitled "For Such a Time as This". And he said that God SHOULD destroy America if abortion continues. In context, that is pretty appalling but taken out of context and people could question Dobson's patriotism, his associations and his affiliation with the Republican party.

I wish our side would fight as nasty as their side and take out an ad highlighting this and saying that Sarah Palin, by associating with James Dobson, believes God should destroy America.

Furthermore, at this years so-called "Values-Voters Summit", hosted by The Family Research Council and perennially primped choir boy Tony Perkins, a choir sang the song "WHY should God Bless America" sung to the tune of "God Bless America". The words were:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ‘62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”
O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God, has gone astray

Why should God bless America?
Shes’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

In ‘73 the Courts said we
Could take the unborn lives
The choice is yours don’t worry now
It’s not a wrong, it’s your right

But just because they made it law
Does not change God’s command
The most that we can hope for is
God’s mercy on our land

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sins and heal our land

And these people have the audacity (that's a Jeremiah Wright word) to say that liberals are the ones who are unpatriotic.

What point in time would they prefer we as a country return to?

This is the key difference between liberals and conservatives:

Conservatives envision America as she was. Liberals envision America as she could be.

I'll take the latter. Every. Single. Time!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

PALIN-eroles: Profiteroles for election night

This is cross posted at Jon-Marc's baking website,

Below you will find my twist on profiteroles, the PALIN-eroles, perfect for your election night party.
Why are they called "PALIN-eroles? Well, as I say in the video below,

  1. They're easy, just like a Palin
  2. They're cheap (unless you are using other people's money. Then you can buy top notch)
  3. They are nice looking, but inside they are empty (and must be filled)
  4. They require a lot of hot air in order to be effective

So, without further ado, here I am making the PALIN-eroles, where I also discuss Palin, James Dobson, prop 8 and more. The recipe is after the vid


• 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 3/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 1/2 cup water
• ½ cup milk
• 4 large eggs

a small (about 1 1/2-inch) ice cream scoop; a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip

Make profiteroles:
Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 18 ice cream balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster).
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Line a large baking sheet with Silpat or parchment.
Bring butter, water, and milk to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. At the boil, remove from heat then add flour mixture and combine
Return to heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in figure eights until mixture looks like mashed potatoes, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, stirring until mixture is 180 degrees.
Add eggs 1 at a time, stirring to combine after each addition.
Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.
Bake until pastry begins to rise, 10minutes. Reduce heat to 350, prop oven door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.

For chocolate sauce (recipe from Gourmet Magazine March, 2008):
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy (optional)

Make chocolate sauce (recipe from Gourmet Magazine March, 2008):

• Heat sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.
• Remove from heat, then add cream and a pinch of salt (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until caramel has dissolved.
• Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted, then whisk in vanilla and Cognac (if using). Keep warm, covered.
Serve profiteroles:
• Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our want of tradition

Via Andy

Virginia Postrel:

The drive for gay marriage represents the end of the sexual revolution. Marriage lost its glamour. It lost its connection to sex. Divorce got so easy that "single mom" became a sympathetic political trope. Cohabitation became normal. Nowadays, nobody--least of all gays--has to get married to be a respectable member of society. And yet people want to get married. They want to bind themselves to be monogamous. They want to promise in public to face bad breath in the morning. That's pretty remarkable.

And one of the most historically radical of communities, the gay and lesbian population, has chosen to add this conservative choice to its array of possibilities. In so many ways, real conservatives should be rejoicing. How did such a marginalized group come to seek such a traditional way forward? And yet so many "conservatives", rather than hailing this socially positive development, demonized those of us who stood up for it, cast us out of respectable conservative discourse, and tried to do all they can to destroy and uproot our families.

It's an emblem of what went so horribly wrong with conservatism. Fixing it will be a critical element of putting it right. Until the Republican party finds a way to talk to gay and lesbian people and our families, they will fail to become a modern political movement.

My brush with Dick Armey and Tom Delay

Tonight I was watching the special edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews. Dick Armey was on talking about how he believes John McCain is not like George W. Bush. On this point, I believe Armey believes what he said. Armey can't stand George W. Bush, as I learned first hand. What follows is something I wrote three days ago and am reposting now.

The other night I was watching David Gregory’s Race for the White House and there was Dick Armey. Then, on Hardball with Chris Matthews there was Tom DeLay saying Obama was a Marxist, Socialist and anti-American.

I have a past with these men.

In 1998 I managed a congressional campaign in Texas for Brian Babin in which both of these men played a part. DeLay and the candidate for whom I was working were under investigation by the Justice Department for illegal campaign contributions. And Dick Armey, then the Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives, did a fundraiser for us.

Let’s start with Dick:

Mr. Armey flew in on some corporate jet to some airport in Beaumont, Texas. Babin and I met him on the tarmac and the three of us then drove (actually, I was driving) to the fundraiser. The drive there was uneventful. But the drive back? Let me tell you.

After the fundraiser was over I pulled the car around and Armey got in the front seat. It was just the two of us in the car for a few minutes and I decided to make small talk with the majority leader as he lit a cigarette (in the Suburban without asking).

“You know what’s funny? The first time I ever saw you in person was one day on the floor of the House. I was sitting in the gallery and you walked in and lit a cigarette even though there were ‘no-smoking’ signs all over the capital”

He took a long drag of his cigarette and finally said “Son, I’m the majority leader of the United States House of Representatives. I’ll do what I damn well please!”

We’ll alrighty then!

At that moment Babin and his wife joined us in the car.

Remember that this was 1998. Bush was not president. He was governor. There was a lot of talk that Bush would run and everyone assumed that he would.

Which led Babin to ask Armey “Do you think he’s going to win if he runs?”

“Of course he’ll win. He’s gonna ride in on his daddy’s boots. He’s a God damned idiot. And the only person he cares about is him”


Well, at least he was right about Bush. But moving on to other things. Babin’s wife chimed in.

“That was certainly a great speech you gave. Very moving” she said.

“Glad you liked it. That’s the one I use to make the women to cry. If you can get them to cry you can get them to open their pocketbooks and fork over obscene amounts of money. Works every damn time”.

Babin, his wife and I were stunned. We could all not believe we heard what we heard.

After we dropped off the majority leader at his jet to fly him back the nation’s capital, Babin’s wife unleashed a fury that she had every right to unleash.

“ Brian! You let him smoke in my car! You let him Smoke! In! My! Car!”

“He didn’t ask if he could. He just did” Babin said to his wife

“He didn’t ask? I don’t care if he didn’t ask! You should have told him to throw the cigarette out!”

I will never forget that day as long as I live.

Now on to DeLay. DeLay was implicated in a money funneling scheme where, allegedly, DeLay told a business owner, Peter Cloeren, to give money to his employees that in turn should donate to Babin.

It is one of those things that is highly illegal and will get the FEC on a campaign faster than anything. I had nothing to do with whatever happened since the alleged funneling occurred two years prior during Babin’s first failed congressional campaign.

I should be clear and say that I do not know for sure if the allegations were true or not. But what I can tell you is that, with what I saw during the campaign, DeLay is the slimiest person I have ever encountered.

Seeing both Armey and DeLay on MSNBC today reminded me of my days on the campaign and also reminded me why I will never vote or work for a Republican again. They all lack even a shred of integrity.
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