Wednesday, October 22, 2008

campaign accessories

i had to check out this story about the $150K of campaign money spent on styling sarah palin. is this sexism "rearing its head", as ms. palin might put it? after all, we haven't really heard anything about money spent on styling the men in this race... we don't even really hear about what they are wearing.

well, after reading up a little on this, i'm concluding that the story is not sexist. first of all, it was campaign money, not personal expenditures, and the money was apparently used to style the entire (extended) palin family. there are laws prohibiting expenditure of campaign funds for personal use, so there are potentially questions about legality and ethics here. second, when men have spent campaign money on personal styling, they've gotten just as much media attention (for example, al gore's image and color consultation from naomi wolf and john edward's $400 haircuts). and finally, i will repeat myself and say that sarah palin can't be mrs. middle class hockey mom and approve of this kind of spending on clothing and accessories. maybe if it was just for herself (after all, if one needs to look professional and polished and comfortable for 18 hours a day, it makes sense to spend more for good quality stuff), but baby stuff too?

UPDATE: this was not technically campaign money. according to this piece, because the money came from the republican national committee and not the mccain campaign, there is nothing illegal or unethical about the expenditures.

Friday, October 10, 2008

can't have your cake and eat it too

sarah palin can be "just one of the folks." but she can't be joe six-pack hockey mom and complain about not having her photos retouched. the background on this: the october 13th issue of newsweek magazine featured an extreme close-up of sarah palin (click on the photo to enlarge) on the cover. it is a good picture of her, but it is so close up that you can see all the gory, unflattering details (pores, wrinkles, make-up, facial hair). fox news was quite upset about this:

(thanks to my sis for a heads up on this and for the video) now, i don't even like to look at myself in a magnifying mirror, so i can empathize with not wanting an unflattering photo on a national magazine cover. but, the flaws that fox news thinks should have been retouched are features of EVERY woman, every person's face. so, if you're going to be one of the folks, you have to look like one of the folks, even if it is on a national magazine cover. to be fair, palin hasn't personally publicly complained about the photo, but i interpret fox news' report as evidence of her tacit recognition of this as an actual issue. (newsweek's statement on this: "As a news magazine, it is not our policy to cosmetically retouch the photography we publish.")

more importantly, you can't try to get your ex-brother-in-law fired and steer clear of ethics violations. an investigation by the alaska legislature has concluded that palin abused her powers as governor and violated the alaska executive branch ethics act.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the snack trap

one of the great gifts from our baby shower was the snack-trap, a cup with a split silicone lid designed to allow fingers in but keep snacks from falling out. great idea... unless you have a child like ours! the other day, on the way out the door, i put some multigrain cheerios (lightly sweetened but multigrain, so that makes them at least as good as regular cheerios, right?) in bryn's snack-trap and gave it to her for the first time ever. about a mile from the house, i look back in my mirror, and bryn has the whole lid off the cup. but, wonder of wonders, the cup is sitting upright between her leg and the side of the car seat with almost all the cheerios still intact. well, i think, that was probably a fluke, or maybe i didn't put the lid on all the way. so, at the next light, i grab the cup and put the lid back on, double-checking my work. looks good, bryn gets the cup back. another half a mile, and we are on the freeway. i look back again, just as bryn manages to yank the lid off. but the lid doesn't just come off, it pops off, because it takes a lot of force from an 11-month old. so the lid goes one way, the cup goes the other way, and the cheerios go flying EVERYWHERE. now we still have the whole car ride ahead of us, bryn has nothing to entertain her, and she, and my backseat, are covered in sticky bits of multigrain (here's where lightly sweetened is a *really* bad idea) because, of course, before getting the lid off, bryn had been sticking her slobbery fingers in and mangling all the cheerios.

so, as a friend put it, bryn is either: very clever (i bet grandma and grandpa go for this one), very brutish, very impatient or very lazy. whatever it is, she is only allowed to have the snack-trap under close supervision and within arm's reach of me. also because she likes to hold the cup by the lid, thereby pushing in one or two of the flaps, and then dangle it upside down to shake out the contents bit by bit. still, the snack-trap is better than just giving bryn a regular bowl or cup and, hopefully, she will use it as directed when she gets a little older. but i doubt that, for some reason...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


and a shout out to the third grade class... you all get extra credit for watching this video. (wink)