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Archive for the ‘ridiculousness’ Category

The Hamilton County Sheriff is running for re-election this year–unopposed.

To remind people of the kind of man he is, I’ll copy here his infamous 2005 speech on Fountain Square, which is fondly known as “Sheriff Leis vs. Satan.” (Note: My apology for the caps. The sheriff’s department released the speech that way and I’m not re-typing it.)

FORTY YEARS AGO WHEN I FIRST BECAME A LAWYER AND ENTERED PUBLIC LIFE AS A PROSECUTOR, LITTLE DID I REALIZE, AS I SPEAK TODAY, I WOULD HAVE TO TAKE A STAUNCH MORAL STANCE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES. OUR COURTS AT THAT TIME UPHELD THE RULE OF LAW, SUPPORTED LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND RECOGNIZED GOD AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A LAW ABIDING SOCIETY. NOT ANY MORE.

SEALED UNDER GLASS IN WASHINGTON D.C., THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, LULLS AMERICANS INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY, BELIEVING THAT NOTHING CAN CHANGE THE IDEALS AND INTENT OF ITS GOD-FEARING FRAMERS. MOST AMERICANS, BELIEVE THAT OUR CONSTITUTION HAS SURVIVED INTACT FOR MORE THAN 200 YEARS WITHOUT ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE. NOTHING CAN BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, AFTER 150 YEARS OF BIBLE STUDY IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THIS COUNTRY, BANNED BIBLE READING AND PRAYER IN OUR PUBLIC CLASSROOMS, AND DECLARED STARTING IN THE 60’S, THE FOLLOWING PRACTICES TO BE VIOLATIONS OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT: THE RECITATION OF PRAYERS COMPOSED BY ANYONE INCLUDING SCHOOL OFFICIALS, BIBLE READING, RECITATION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER, AND PRAYERS AT PUBLIC SCHOOL GRADUATIONS.

SINCE THE FIRST OF THOSE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS, JUVENILE CRIME HAS SKY-ROCKETED, TEEN PREGNANCY AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES HAVE INCREASED DRAMATICALLY; VIOLENT CRIME (INCLUDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) HAS RISEN 600% OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS; TEEN SUICIDE IS UP 300%; AND DEPRESSION AMONG CHILDREN IS UP 1000%. EVERY DAY, TELEVISION AND NEWSPAPERS INUNDATE US WITH HORRIFIC ACCOUNTS OF CRIME IN OUR COMMUNITIES. AS LAW ENFORCMENT OFFICERS WE CONFRONT THESE SITUATIONS EVERY DAY.

DAILY WE LEARN OF THE MASS KILLING OF STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS, SHOOTINGS TAKING PLACE IN DAY-CARE CENTERS AND PLACES OF WORSHIP. IS THERE ANY WONDER, WHY SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE COMMITTING SUCH HORRIBLE CRIMES AGAINST INNOCENT VICTIMS, WHEN WE PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF ATHEISTS, AND ABOLISH THE RECOGNITION OF ALMIGHTY GOD IN OUR CLASSROOMS?

THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS ARE HARD WORKING, GOD FEARING PEOPLE BUSILY CARING FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, CONTRIBUTING TO THEIR COMMUNITIES, PAYING THEIR TAXES, AND TRUSTING PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO RUN THE DAILY BUSINESS OF THEIR GOVERNMENT IN THEIR BEST INTEREST, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT.

WHAT MANY FAIL TO SEE, HOWEVER, ARE THE FORCES OF MORAL CORRUPTION WORKING FEVERISHLY, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. THEY ARE OUT THERE EVERY DAY WALKING THROUGH THE HALLS OF CONGRESS, STATE LEGISLATURES, AND THE COURTS. THE GAY AND LESBIAN COALITIONS, RABID FEMINIST GROUPS, AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION ALL COMPETING FOR POWER. MANY USE THEIR POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE FUNDS, TO INFLUENCE ELECTED OFFICIALS, TO REPRESENT THESE PARASITIC GROUPS WHO PROSELYTIZE AND FORCE US UNDER THE PROTECTION OF LAW, TO TOLERATE AND ACCEPT THEIR DESPICABLE CONDUCT AND AGENDA.

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION CONSTANTLY USE THEIR INFLUENCE TO PROMOTE THEIR OWN SELF-CENTERED PHILOSOPHY. ALL THE WHILE, THESE INDIVIDUALS MAKE CONCERTED EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT ANY PUBLIC REFERENCE TO GOD, PRAYER, OR FAMILY VALUES, REMAIN RELICS OF THE PAST. THEIR MEMBERS BECOME UPSET, WHEN CARING PARENTS SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE PERVERSION OF THE INTERNET, CYBER-PORN AND CYBER-SEX CHAT ROOMS, VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES, AND MUSIC VIDEOS, DESIGNED AND TARGETED TO COMPROMISE THE MORALS OF INNOCENT CHILDREN. WE ARE LOSING OUR VOICE IN AMERICA; WE HAVE ALLOWED SPECIAL INTERESTS AND LOBBYISTS TO CONTROL OUR GOVERNMENT.

SO MANY CONTRADICTIONS CONFRONT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE STOOD BY SILENTLY AND WATCHED ATHEISTS ABOLISH SCHOOL PRAYER AND REPLACE IT WITH (THE ALL TOO FAMILIAR) YELLOW CRIME SCENE TAPE, METAL DETECTORS, AND DRUG-SNIFFING DOGS.

DAILY, WE WITNESS DEVIATE BEHAVIOR IN THE CLASSROOMS BECAUSE WE HAVE STRIPPED TEACHERS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE AUTHORITY NECESSARY TO DO THEIR JOBS. AS PARENTS, WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE ALSO PLEDGE THAT WE ARE ONE NATION “UNDER GOD.” BUT TO SOME, THAT’S NOT TRUE, THANKS TO LIBERAL JUDGES WHO WAGE TYRANNICAL POWER AGAINST THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY. POWER HUNGRY POLITICIANS ARE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT, THAN MORALLY WRONG, AND SELL THEIR VOTE TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER OR SUPPORT GROUP, WHO WILL RADICALLY DISTORT THE MANDATE OF OUR CONSTITUTION TO FIT THEIR AGENDA. HOW DO WE COMBAT THIS INSANITY?

AS CONCERNED CITIZENS AND CHRISTIANS, WE NEED TO DISPLAY AND READ IN OUR CLASSROOMS ONCE AGAIN, AND WITH PRIDE, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION OF OUR ENTIRE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM OF LAW. WE NEED TO DISPLAY THEM IN OTHER PUBLIC BUILDINGS WITH AS MUCH PRIDE AS THEY ARE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.

TO OUR DISGRACE AS A NATION, WE HAVE CAVED IN TO THE WISHES OF THE DEPRAVED, AND HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDE GOD FROM OUR MIDST. ALL AT AN INCALCULABLE COST TO OUR VERY SURVIVAL.

LIKE YOU, I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE SAFETY AND QUALITY OF LIFE FOR OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITY. AS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT OUR CITIZENS AND STRIVE TO REDUCE CRIME. I CANNOT HELP BUT WONDER: IS THERE A CORRELATION BETWEEN THE SICKENING MORAL BANKRUPTCY OF TODAY AND THE LIBERAL COURT DECISIONS THAT BEGAN IN THE ’60S? AS A PEOPLE, WE HAVE FAILED TO ACCEPT THE HARD EVIDENCE OF SUBTLE BUT DRAMATIC DESTRUCTIVE CHANGE THAT COMMENCED IN THIS COUNTRY WITH THOSE DECISIONS OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT.

AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, THE COURT INTERPRETED ACKNOWLEDGING GOD, UNDER WHOSE PROTECTION WE PUBLICLY PLACE OUR NATION, AS A VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT WHEN IT IS RECITED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. FOR THESE REASONS, AND WITH AN URGENT CRY, I STATE, WAKE UP, AMERICA! AMERICANS ARE BEING LULLED INTO APATHY AND CARELESSNESS; BE AWARE, THERE IS AN INSIDIOUS SCHEME SUPPORTED BY THE MEDIA, AND WASHINGTON POLITICOS THAT ARE ROBBING US OF OUR TRUE RELIGIOUS HERITAGE AND CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS.

OUR COUNTRY IS IN GREAT PERIL, NOT FROM AN APPROACHING ARMY, BUT FROM A SATANIC PESTILENCE THAT HAS ALREADY INVADED OUR NATION, WITH A DRUG-INFESTED CULTURE, LITTERING OUR COUNTRY AND NEIGHBORHOODS WITH UNTOLD CORPSES, AND ITS COLLATERAL FAMILY DAMAGE. CRIME WILL CONTINUE AT A HIGH LEVEL, OUR PRISONS WILL BE OVERFLOWING, AND UNFORTUNATELY MORE OF OUR BRETHREN WILL BE KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. IT IS THE UNITED STATE GOVERNMENT PROHIBITION AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD THAT CONTINUES TO FEED THIS IMMORALITY AND INSULT HIS SUPREME MAJESTY.

UNTIL OUR NATION PUTS GOD AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BACK IN OUR SCHOOLS AND THE WORK PLACE THIS MORAL DECAY WILL CONTINUE.

Taking this speech into account, I hereby offer my endorsement for Sheriff of Hamilton County to:

Timothy Olyphant, who played Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO’s Deadwood. I’m writing him in–just as Sheriff Bullock, for short. How about you?

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My brain works in bullet points on mornings I haven’t had enough sleep but, for whatever reason, can’t go back to sleep. Consider this a cleaning session.

  • Gross-out: My dog woke me up by vomiting. On my armpit.
  • Every time I see the word “Pain” I first think I see “Palin.” Oh, the beautiful irony.
  • I said a very stupid thing in yesterday’s blog post. In order to be optimistic and/or happy about a single public issue, I apparently need to block out everything else. Like the banking crisis which, I presumed, didn’t really affect me. Riiiight. What I had was a failure of comprehension. It didn’t really make sense to me at that point, and I didn’t understand that the Fed taking on bad debt (or even the rumor of it) is another example of cronyism and bailing out the big guys. Does the fed step in to save a failing small business, or all those near-mythical family-owned businesses destroyed when a big-box store comes to the neighborhood? No–only when mega-conglomerates implement extremely poor business practices and operate at the edge of a proverbial cliff, and that cliff crumbles beneath them do the feds step in. And yet there’s no consensus about what caused this bubble. Who is running this f-ing government, anyhow? At least Krugman’s article in the Times today shows a basic understanding of the financial system–and the government’s involvement in it–so start there, I guess. I don’t understand!

See? That’s my brain waking up, and there’s typically anger involved in the clearing of the fog. Kind of like learning.

Okay, now I need to edit, edit, edit, work, get hair cut, go to library, go to bank, etc. etc.

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Day 2.5

Is everyong going to watch Palin tonight? I’m going to try. Even though conventions are just pep rallies, and the debates are the public appearances that matter, her convention speech is still her official introduction. I don’t think a large amount of people watched the speech she gave when she accepted the Republicans’ offer (lest we remain comfortable with the notion that McCain chose her; he wanted Lieberman, but the party people said they’d throw their full support behind him only if he chose Palin).

I tried to watch some last night. PBS is, without a doubt, the only station to watch. Not only do they cover all of the speeches (at least in the evening; I’ve never checked to see if they run anything during the day), but they avoid the endless garbage coming out of the mouths of most of the network folks.

Anyhow, I turned coverage on during GW’s satellite speech and, well, noun-verb-9/11. Then came Fred Thompson’s speech, which made me run from the room and hide behind a closed door. He was the initial GOP candidate who scared me during the primary–until he showed even less spunk than McCain.  He still freaks me out; I know it’s irrational, but ET still freaks me out, too. The speech (even though I couldn’t see it, I could still hear it) wasn’t very good, but Republicans don’t like good speeches–they don’t trust anyone who might be smarter than Joe the cable guy–so it was a roaring success. While watching the Dems at their convention, I often wondered at these “true believers” in the crowd, but the true believers in the GOP are a whole other beast. And I mean that quite literally; these people are absolutely alien to me. Barack Obama will eat your babies!

And then came Lieberman. Not a baby-eater, but one weird dude. I sat and watched his whole speech, tepid applause and all. I found myself not disagreeing with many of the ideas he mentioned, things like putting country before party, and caring about our fellow citizens without the encouragement of a natural disaster, but these aren’t values the GOP stands for. He got virtually no applause for the mildly Democratic notions he put forth, but rousing applause whenever he raised the volume of his voice and said “McCain!” or anything about defeating Obama. I can’t help but feel that racism is the entire foundation of the GOP. Maybe I’ll explore that idea in another post.

Happy watching!

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Who is Sarah Palin? Here’s some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska’s governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.
  • She’s doesn’t think humans are the cause of climate change.
  • She’s solidly in line with John McCain’s “Big Oil first” energy policy. She’s pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won’t be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

I don’t know much about her beyond these points. I’m shocked, insulted, disappointed, appalled, horrified…you get the picture? The things she said in that acceptance speech made me sick to my stomach. How dare she speak of the cracked glass ceiling. Shame, shame, shame on them.

I’ve not been the biggest Obama supporter, and I still stand by my belief that Sen. Clinton would’ve been a better choice for the nominee (not to mention the VP). However, I’ve never even considered voting outside my party, and I believe these “hard-core” Hillary supporters that the right is courting are largely a media creation. This latest move by the GOP–this deeply, deeply cynical move–makes me want to campaign for Obama.

In the words of someone I admire very much, “No how, no way, no McCain.” Especially not now.

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I knew I never liked that guy.

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…especially now that we’re in the final year of GWB.

Here are the top 50 stupidest things George W. Bush has said (at least on record). Some are genuinely funny slips, but most remind us how terrible these years have been.

Enjoy!

50. “I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn’t here.” -at the President’s Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

49. “We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.” -Gothenburg, Sweden, June 14, 2001

48. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” -Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

47. “I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport.” –Washington, D.C., Oct. 3, 2001

46. “Tribal sovereignty means that; it’s sovereign. I mean, you’re a — you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.” –Washington, D.C., Aug. 6, 2004

45. “I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah.” –at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

44. “You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” –interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

43. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.” –Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

42. “I’m the commander — see, I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president.” –as quoted in Bob Woodward’s Bush at War

41. “F*ck Saddam. We’re taking him out.” –to three U.S. senators in March 2002, one year before the Iraq invasion, as quoted by Time magazine

40. “Oh, no, we’re not going to have any casualties.” –discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson in 2003, as quoted by Robertson

39. “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.” –talking to key Republicans about Iraq, as quoted by Bob Woodward

38. “I hear there’s rumors on the Internets that we’re going to have a draft.” –presidential debate, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 8, 2004

37. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” –Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

36. “Do you have blacks, too?” –to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

35. “This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating.” –as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002

34. “My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we’re going to run out of debt to retire.” –radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

33. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” –on “Good Morning America,” Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

32. “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” –Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

31. “I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake.” –on his best moment in office, interview with the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, May 7, 2006

30. “They misunderestimated me.” –Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

29. “Because the — all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There’s a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those — changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be — or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It’s kind of muddled.” –explaining his plan to save Social Security, Tampa, Fla., Feb. 4, 2005

28. “For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It’s just unacceptable. And we’re going to do something about it.” –Philadelphia, Penn., May 14, 2001

27. “This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have mores. Some people call you the elite — I call you my base.” –at the 2000 Al Smith dinner

26. “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” –LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

25. “I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right.” –Rome, Italy, July 22, 2001

24. “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” –Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

23. “People say, how can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil? You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in’s house and say I love you.” –Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

22. “I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it…I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet…I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t — you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.” –after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004

21. “You forgot Poland.” –to Sen. John Kerry during the first presidential debate, after Kerry failed to mention Poland’s contributions to the Iraq war coalition, Miami, Fla., Sept. 30, 2004

20. “We’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do. First, we’re going to save lives and stabilize the situation. And then we’re going to help these communities rebuild. The good news is — and it’s hard for some to see it now — that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott’s house — he’s lost his entire house — there’s going to be a fantastic house. And I’m looking forward to sitting on the porch.” (Laughter) –touring hurricane damage, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005

19. “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” –State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, making a claim that administration officials knew at the time to be false

18. “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” –Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001

17. “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.” –Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002

16. “Can we win? I don’t think you can win it.” –after being asked whether the war on terror was winnable, “Today” show interview, Aug. 30, 2004

15. “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.” –Washington, D.C. June 18, 2002

14. “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.” –to a group of Amish he met with privately, July 9, 2004

13. “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” –speaking underneath a “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003

12. “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories … And we’ll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven’t found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they’re wrong, we found them.” –Washington, D.C., May 30, 2003

11. “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!” –joking about his administration’s failure to find WMDs in Iraq as he narrated a comic slideshow during the Radio & TV Correspondents’ Association dinner, Washington, D.C., March 24, 2004

10. “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” –Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

9. “As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” –on the No Child Left Behind Act, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007

8. “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” –Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

7. “I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense.” –Washington, D.C. April 18, 2006

6. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on –shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” –Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

5. “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” –Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

4. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” –Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

3. “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” –to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

2. “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” –to FEMA director Michael Brown, who resigned 10 days later amid criticism over his handling of the Hurricane Katrina debacle, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005

1. “My answer is bring them on.” –on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

Any favorites? I’m partial to #28 and #21.

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For Wanda, Chicky.

Barney Fife 1. Barney Fife.

In a tiny town near my tiny hometown, there’s an annual “Mayberry Festival.” My first real job involved making lopsided ice cream cones at the Dairy Queen, and one afternoon Don Knotts stopped in after his appearance at the festival. He may or may not have ordered an ice cream cone with sprinkles, and I may or may not have made it for him. Our sprinkles were weird, though–not like normal sprinkles at all–and he may or may not have been unhappy with the confection.

John Denver 2. John Denver

Unlike all you other cool kids, my first concert was John Denver. My not-at-all-hippie family–and I mean that; my uncle referenced my “screwed-up politics” in a get-well note after my big surgery a few years ago– had backstage passes. John wore a button-up white shirt with “Love” sewn on in psychedelic lettering, and was very sweet. I was at an age when just about anything made me burn with embarrassment, and I wish I had the photo taken with him, in which I wore my hair in a poodle-puff, thick glasses, and a smirk.

3. Vicente Fox

Yes, that’s Mexico’s answer to Bill Clinton–former President Vicente Fox. His family has roots in Cincinnati, and before that in Germany. When his family immigrated, they Anglo-cized “Fuchs” into Fox. My family story matches, including the years in which these events occurred. He recently visited the city, and apparently reunited with local family members. I wasn’t contacted, but I wouldn’t be; a full half of my family likes to pretend I don’t exist. So what if Fuchs is like Smith. Are you out there Cousin Vicente? It’s me, Coral.

The Flaming Lips 4. The Flaming Lips

My fiance’s cousin’s band opened for them on tour recently, for a series of shows. When Wayne heard their van broke down, he fixed it for them. Magically. Or something like that.

Ashley Judd 5. Ashley Judd

Why? First, there are no women on the list. Second, half the people on my list are dead. Finally–and most importantly–she’s my celebrity look-alike. And by that I mean…one person told me I look like her. That may have happened in the nineties, too. Anyhow.

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