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Clinton Cocktail Hour- Somewhere between a Tiki bar and Margaritaville

parrotheadsAre there any Parrotheads out there? Come on, ‘fess up. I’ve heard that Jimmy Buffet concerts are a blast. My cousins in Pittsburgh go whenever he’s in town. There’s dancin’ and drinkin’ and more drinkin’. And lots of good food in the parking lot tailgate parties. Plus, audience participation, singing along to “Margaritaville” and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk And…”

Did I mention there was drinkin’?

And besides Margaritas, what else would you drink at a Jimmy Buffet concert but a Hurricane? The home of the Hurricane is Pat O’Brien’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Last time I was in New Orleans to attend a professional conference, I took my Mom with me and we stepped out into the French Quarter a couple of nights. If you’ve never been to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, let’s just say that Mardi Gras in New Orleans is never *completely* over come Ash Wednesday. There’s a lot of people meandering down Bourbon street with their Hurricanes in their hands and stupid smiles on their faces.

We met up with some friends and new acquaintances at Pat’s and then went to Preservation Hall not far away. Even before Katrina, the French Quarter was premeated with the strong sense of decay and things falling away. It’s shabby chic, peeling paint and drapey old trees. Contrary to what you may expect, Preservation Hall is not like the Carnegie Hall of Dixieland jazz. It’s more like the living room of some decrepit old southern shotgun mansion. The place is dark and dank and you have to sit on small wooden benches and it smells a little like pee and liquor. But the music is jumping and the musicians sit back in their wooden chairs and play like “ain’t nobody’s business if I do”. Each one takes a turn while the others take a break to wipe the sweat from their faces or sit patiently with their trumpets on their knees. Then they all join together for one last cacophony and musical gumbo. It’s divine.

That night, my Mom was accompanied everywhere by a nice looking man her own age that my friends and I had met during the conference. He had his left arm stuck in his pocket and I sometimes got a glimpse of the stump that was at the end of it. We drank some Hurricanes and bar hopped to hear some Zeidico. On the way, the man lured my mother into one of the ubiquitous adult toy stores on Bourbon Street. I tried to warn her before she went in but she was paying no attention to me. So, I waited outside for her. A few minutes later, she flew out of the store clearly shocked by what she’d seen. I asked one of my boy scout friends to take her back to my hotel and we partied without her.

The next morning, I asked her what had gone on in the store and she said the man said he would buy her anything she wanted so she bolted. I laughed and said something about I never expected that from such a shy guy with one hand. She looked at me funny and said, “He only had one hand?”

Did I mention there was drinkin’?

Hey, here’s the recipe for the Pat O’Brien Hurricane. This is an easy one to make virgin for those of you in recovery. It sounds like it would be just as tasty with iced tea instead of dark rum.

Hurricane Recipe

1 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 ounces dark rum
4 ounces passion fruit syrup
Crushed ice
Orange slice
Maraschino Cherry

In a cocktail shaker, add lemon juice, rum, passion fruit syrup, and crushed ice; shake vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes and then strain into a tall glass or hurricane glass.

Garnish with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.

Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously. (Didja see Rico’s flair?)

PS. If you feel so inclined, the good people of New Orleans have a project you might like called, Make It Right. Show Brad a little love.

Everyone Remain Calm

oxygenI have gotten a lot of comments in the last couple of days about how many of the regular sites, DailyKos, MyDD and others, seem to have lost their collective minds. Everyone is fighting with one another. Obamaphiles are accusing Clintonistas of being baby-eaters and Clintonistas are accusing Obamaphiles of being the devil’s spawn.

Anyone who has ever read Tolkien will recognize what is going on here. Remember the Trolls who captured the Dwarves and were provoked to argue with one another by a hidden wizard? They argued with each other all night and were so distracted that they didn’t notice dawn approaching and they were turned to stone. This is what I think is happening. The world is not falling apart. Obamaphiles are not our enemies any we are not theirs. We are being provoked into fighring with each other because when we are busy squabbling, we aren’t able to work together effectively.

Yes, you are not imagining things. There is something weird going on. The media is on the ropes. The pundits are losing it because Clinton won’t stay dead. They GOP operatives are running amok through the blogosphere and our lovely coalition is falling apart. Don’t you let it happen. Remember our core values, remember YearlyKos, remember all the friends we have made and remember that if we don’t calm down and pull together, the GOP will win.

Now, chill!

Good rule of thumb when reading blog posts: If it is virulently anti anyone, regard it with suspicion, even from formerly trusted sources. Sometimes, their egos and ad revenues get in the way. Try humor and ridicule in an absurd way to make your point and target the media, not each other.

The good news is that things are reaching such a fevered pitch that something is bound to happen to resolve the situation. Hang in there.

Raindrops from around the web- Monday

Here are a few good links for your perusal:

If you have any good links of your own, share them in the comments.  Use this as an open thread.


Hillary, Obama and Abraham

No, not Lincoln. Abraham Maslow. Some of you who took psych in High School or college may recall Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow was the founder of Humanistic psychology and his greatest contribution was the theory of the Hierarchy of Needs. To summarize, humans can not achieve self-actualization or the fulfillment of their human potentials unless their physiological, safety and emotional needs are satisfied first. See the hierarchy below:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Those of you who might have studied the History and Philosophy of Science may also remember that the ascent of man from nomadic huntsman to farmer was followed by irrigation and the priestly class, charged with watching the stars, recording events, writing, literature, taxation, government and schools of learning. It wasn’t until ancient man was able to park his tent that he was able to take the time to think. When your stomach is full and you are safe from enemies, then you have time to dabble in music. ( A more modern treatment of the ascent of man may be found in the book Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Highly recommended for a tasty read.)

‘m bringing this up because this is what I think separates Clinton supporters from Obama supporters. Obama supporters are jumping to the top of the pyramid. They are ready for self-actualization and Obama encourages a higher level of thought in them but he skips the stuff below the top. That will require negotiation and further planning.

Hillary voters prefer working our way from the bottom up because we know that unless you stabilize the bottom layers, you can not reach the top. There are no shortcuts.

After Bush, we will be left with a pyramid that will have a bottom layer completely undermined. He and his friends have robbed us of the resources to keep the lower layers stable. And this is where I think Obama supporters are in error. Because once in office, Obama will be so consumed with reinforcing the bottom layers that he may never get to be that inspirational leader of self-actualization. Hillary may never get there either but by the end of her term(s), we will be ready for Obama.

By the way, that doesn’t mean I don’t think Hillary is incapable of bringing us to the top of the pyramid and leading us to greatness. It’s just that realistically, the job this year calls for a worker, an architect, an engineer. Not a dreamer.

John Adams summed it up a little differently but the idea is similar:

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

To Adams it was safety and political stability first, followed by ensuring prosperity, followed by the fruits of the mind at leisure.

OK, now I really DO have to work. Ta-ta for now.

Credo: What do YOU believe?

What do you believe?

Some of you may have seen this before.  It seems appropriate that we reflect on what makes us Deomcrats. We will all need to come together before the fall. Let’s craft a message that even wingers will envy. Here is my credo post from last fall:

Some of us have lost our minds lately. We are putting conditions and litmus tests on our candidates. We are getting lost in the trees while failing to see the forest. We have lost the common goals that will help us stick together in the coming year and make us an effective force in setting this country back on the proper course- forward. So, I came up with my credo, my personal belief. This is what makes me a Democrat and is why I’m here. It is what makes me a proud American. Help me make it better. I am a Democrat and I believe in the common good. I believe Americans can accomplish great things when we watch each other’s backs and help each other take risks without fear of the lifetime consequences of failure.

    I believe in social justice. That is, we may not all be born with the same advantages but we are born with the right to be treated equally before the law. I believe in quality public education, the right to vote without obstructions, that individuals have the right to be treated equally regardless of sex, age, religion, marital status, national origin, disability or sexuality. I believe it is important that individuals excrcise personal responsibility but I’m not going to ask them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and then deny them the boots. I believe in the right of employees to unionize and negotiate for better working conditions and benefits. I believe that immigrants should be offered a path to citizenship and not treated as a permanent underclass. I believe that no child in America should go to bed hungry, should forgo college because they can’t afford it or suffer from illnesss their parents can’t afford to treat.

    I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe in using tax payer’s money responsibly. I believe in paying my taxes for the common good. I believe in a progressive tax structure. I believe that deficit spending is justified to pay for infrastructure but not for unnecessary wars. I believe in Social Security and the entrepreneurship that blossoms when citizens know they have a safety net. I believe in universal healthcare because when we are all insured, the cost of healthcare will go down for all of us.

    I believe in preserving a healthy planet. ‘Cos where else are you going to go? I believe in reducing greenhouse gases, in moving away from an oil based economy. I believe in research into alternative fuels. I believe in investment in mass transit. I believe in reducing pesticides and antibiotics in our environment. I believe in being a good global citizen and joining in committments to protect our environment.

    I believe in privacy for citizens and the right to be left alone. I believe in a citizens right to worship or not worship without penalty or reward from the state. I believe that government should stay out of our bedrooms and the sex lives of consenting adults. I believe that the government has no state interest in interfering with a woman’s right to choose to have children or not. I believe that citizens have a right to believe that their private conversations are not wiretapped, that their homes are sacrosanct and shouldn’t be searched without a warrant.

    I believe in the wise use of our forces. I believe that national security is best when our military is well-prepared, well-equipped and well rested. I believe that the national guard should be used to defend us at home and not abroad except under the direst circumstances. I believe in treating our soldiers with dignity and respect because we are asking them to put their most precious possession on the line for us. I believe we have an obligation to defend the helpless from genocide. I believe we should not pre-emptively invade a country that has not threatened us. I believe we should participate in peaceful negotiations in regions of the world where there is conflict. I believe we should not throw our weight around just because we are a superpower. I believe we should go to war only as a last resort, do the job efficiently and thoroughly and have an exit strategy.

    I believe that all of the Democratic candidates match my beliefs but that they have different ways to achieve their goals. I am going to vote for the best prepared, strongest candidate who I feel is the most capable of putting America on the path forward with solid policy and vision.

    What do YOU believe?