LJ Pic of the Day

I dug a little for this one, taken at an election night reception at Ljubljana’s Hotel Union on 4 November 2008.

A Palin aide said today that her boss’s notorious crosshairs map had nothing to do with inciting violence or the use of guns. She didn’t explain, however, why their first response to the shootings in Tucson was to remove the ad from the campaign website.

The Last Picture of Sarah Palin I Ever Want to See, originally uploaded by pirano.

Sarah, let the sunshine in

Not only was the press kept away from a Sarah Palin’s speech hosted by Wisconsin Right to Life in Milwaukee on Friday, but there was also a long list of prohibited items as well as a bag search. Among the no-nos:

• No exit and re-entry allowed
• No cell phones
• No recording devices
• No video or still cameras
• No laptops
• No photos or recording allowed
• No strollers or car seats

Lots of no-nos, no?

Du Silence, by Fernand Khnopff, originally uploaded by pirano.

Love: Coming Soon, a twenty-four hour memoir – Available now! – first 13,000 downloads free

From the intro to Love: Coming Soon

Never say never. It’s true. The world and I thank Sarah Palin as the primary inspiration behind his memoir.

When he heard that the former vice presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska had produced a 400-page memoir in just four months, Time magazine reporter Joel Stein wondered, “What took her so long?”

Since time is a precious commodity, his response was to write his own memoir in a day. It was a challenge and exercise I thought worthy enough to devote an entire day to, so I decided to produce one as well. The only difference is that unlike Palin and Stein, I didn’t employ a ghost writer or editor. As you’ll soon see, that was a major hole that should have been filled.

This was written in just under eighteen hours, five less than it took Band-Aid to record Feed the World back on November 25, 1984, a holiday season in which I witnessed first hand the outrageous lengths to which intelligent, mature adults would go just to score a grotesquely ugly Cabbage Patch doll for their spoiled children. They could have just bought them a copy of Feed the World.

The only advance work involved was a very rough outline sketched out a few days ago which sat on my cluttered desk largely ignored, and a long walk through Ljubljana’s pleasant early fall chill on Tuesday night when I muttered an occasional thought into my tape recorder. Those digital notes haven’t been transcribed yet, and it’s too late. I’m sleepy and time’s up.

The title?

It’s from some graffiti I stumbled across a few weeks ago. I’m an optimistic pessimist. I like to think that in spite of it all, something nicer could be lying in wait just around the corner.

You can download it here (PDF, 173k).

Leaving Drama behind, originally uploaded by pirano.

Obama Wines

Keeping with the St. Martin’s day theme and before I forget, notes on a few wines that were uncorked before the champagne during the election watching party the other night:

First was this 2006 Bonvin Humagne Rouge, made from a little known grape grown in Switzerland which I picked up a little over a year ago in Zurich. I’ve never tried or even heard of it before, but fell for a cute red-headed saleswoman’s pitch when I asked about local reds. I’m glad I did. It reminded me of a good zin, fruity with solid tannins. If anything it was opened at least two years too soon. Drink this with something Sarah Palin and Nicholas Sarkozy might shoot on their next helicopter-hunting trip.

I have no idea on its availability elsewhere, but my guess is that very little, if any, actually makes it out of Switzerland. Price tag was CHF 22.50 (today, EUR 15, USD 19). Nothing’s cheap in Switzerland, so this is definitely worth jumping on if you’re passing through.

Chateau Haut Padernac 2004. I picked this up in Paris on 07/07/07, and although my gut instinct was to wait, I yanked it out of the cellar simply because a Linz, Austria-based radio journalist from France, in town to cover the HAIP Festival, came by for the watching party. And I wanted him to feel at home. It rocks!

Produced by Pauillac’s Chateau Pedesclaux (sorry, don’t feel like googling the estate’s website right now), it’s a solid wine, with delightful layers of fruit and with just enough tannins to last until the next election when you can celebrate the Republicans losing even more seats in the House. By far, the best EUR 11.95 (USD 15.20 today, 16.20 on day of purchase) I spent that fabulous Saturday afternoon.

I’m heading to Greece today for a week, a little work in Athens, and a little play and time for reflection on Syros. I’ve never been. The weather forecast is warm and sunny.


Obama wines, originally uploaded by pirano.

Palin Prank: Her Six-Minute Telephone Conversation With ‘Sarkozy’

For nearly six minutes, U.S. VP wannabe Sarah Palin carried on a telephone conversation with French President Nikolas Sarkozy before she was told it was a prank. The pranksters? Quebec comedy duo Marc Antoine Audette and Sebastian Trudel Audette, known as the Masked Avengers.

Listen to the complete conversation below. This woman wants to wake up Wednesday morning a heartbeat away from the presidency. Did the Masked Avengers, in their wildest dreams, think the call would last so long that they could actually bring up Hustler’s Nailin’ Palin?

Some highlights from a transcript via Daily Kos:

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I, I was wondering because you are also next to him, one of my good friends, also, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois [a famous Quebec radio host], have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?
Sarah Palin: Uh, haven’t seen him at one of the rallies, but it’s been great working with the Canadian officials in my role as governor; we have a great cooperative effort there as we work on all of our resource development projects. You know I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife, oh my goodness, you’ve added a lot of energy to your country, even, with that beautiful family of yours.


Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she’s so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.
Sarah Palin: Oh my goodness! I didn’t know that.


Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler’s “Nailin Palin.”
Sarah Palin:  Oh, good, thank you. Yes.

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: That was really edgy.
Sarah Palin: [Laughs] Well good.

and, finally

Fake Nicolas Sarkozy: I really love you. And I must say something, so, Governor, you’ve been pranked. By the Master Avengers. We’re two comedians from Montreal.

In case that disappears, you can download here as MP3.

Still Looking for a Halloween Mask? Try These Election Celebrity Options

Happy Halloween!

Piran Café kicks off its party with an option for last minute mask shoppers. In these tough times, these are perfect, because they’re absolutely free.

Austin, Texas-based comic archivist Ethan Persoff is sharing these frightening creations, drawn by comic artist Scott Marshall, of several 2008 political celebrities.

Here is his version of Vice President wannabe Sarah Palin and below, McCain campaign hero wannabe Ashley Todd, the racist McCain campaign volunteer who made up a story that she was attacked, sexually assaulted, and had a ‘B’ carved into her cheek by a “big black man” at an ATM machine in Pittsburgh after he saw the McCain bumper sticker on her car.

Which one’s scarier? You can download and print here!

Also available from the Rotten Monsters collection are other election season luminaries including RNC Chair Mike Duncan, Sean Hannity, Henry Kissinger, Joe Lieberman, Greta Van Susteren, Laura Bush, and Charles Krauthammer.

Alaska’s Largest Paper Endorses Obama

Looking inwards?

The Anchorage Daily News, the largest paper in Sarah Palin’s home state, today endorsed Barack Obama.

Not quite as blunt as other Obama endorsements, the paper said nonetheless:

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Old Snaps 001 – Geraldine Ferraro

Since Europe is busy scanning its cultural heritage, it inspired me to start scanning my own.

Well before there was Sarah Palin there was Geraldine Ferraro, a former New York congresswoman who in 1984 became the first woman selected by a major party as a Vice Presidential candidate. She and former V.P. Walter Mondale were later thrashed in the general election by Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, 59-41 per cent. Electorally speaking, Mondale/Ferraro only won Mondale’s home state of Minnesota and Washington D.C.

This was taken at a rally in downtown Cleveland in the summer of 1984, shortly after she was picked by Mondale in early July. More on Ferraro here.

10 Reasons Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Give a Press Conference Before Nov. 4

I can’t think of one. Can anyone? Please, just one?

Would the far-right base the she was selected to appease not demand the same if the Democrats had selected a virtual unknown as the second in command, someone who in their few media appearances has only shown how clearly out their league they are? Plenty of conservatives have, and clearly aren’t impressed.

Picking up on The Daily Dish‘s call, Christopher Hitchens writes in Speak Up! Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference that without a forum in which to raise her dubious nonsense from the campaign trail, that

continued media coverage of her appearances is no better than lending a megaphone to a demagogue, the better to amplify her propaganda.

What has she brought to the table besides the resurrection of Saturday Night Live and material for a Larry Flynt porn flick? Not a whole lot besides copy for a growing number of Obama campaign endorsements.

Gov. Palin, stop hiding. You want to be Vice President, and you think you’re up for the No. 1 spot as well. Hiding isn’t very presidential.

From recent Obama newspaper endorsements -

Houston Chronicle:

Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.

Los Angeles Times:

Indeed, the presidential campaign has rendered McCain nearly unrecognizable. His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate was, as a short-term political tactic, brilliant. It was also irresponsible, as Palin is the most unqualified vice presidential nominee of a major party in living memory. The decision calls into question just what kind of thinking — if that’s the appropriate word — would drive the White House in a McCain presidency. Fortunately, the public has shown more discernment, and the early enthusiasm for Palin has given way to national ridicule of her candidacy and McCain’s judgment.

Washington Post:

And we find no way to square his professed passion for America’s national security with his choice of a running mate who, no matter what her other strengths, is not prepared to be commander in chief.

Dayton Daily News:

His selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate was stunning. She is shockingly lacking in presidential qualifications. Some of Sen. McCain’s most enthusiastic supporters have been forced to admit this. Her defenders say her resume compares well with Sen. Obama’s, but it does not.

Kansas City Star:

Despite his age and previous health problems, McCain chose a vice presidential candidate who is so clearly unqualified for high office that the thought of her stepping into the presidency is frightening. That irresponsible decision casts serious doubt on McCain’s judgment at this point in his political career. And over the past eight years, Americans have come to know, all too well, the high price of carelessness and ineptitude in the White House.

Chicago Sun Times:

Most egregiously for a man of advanced age who knew how important this decision could be, he chose the unqualified Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice president.

San Francisco Chronicle:

McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been largely sequestered from the news media since her selection in late August. She has yet to have anything resembling a traditional news conference, where the full range of her knowledge and views can be explored. Her avoidance of questions and reliance on cue-card talking points in the one vice presidential debate did nothing to allay doubts about whether the 44-year-old governor of two years is capable of assuming the reins of the presidency. Her selection was but an act of political calculation by McCain.

And the Chicago Tribune, in its first-ever endorsement of a Democrat for president in its 161 year history:

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate–but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin’s exposure to the public. But it’s clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment’s notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

Parliament, originally uploaded by pirano.

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