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Marinara Sauce, the Economy, & John McCain

Marinara sauce! My Sicilian grandmother’s recipe! The latest onslaught in my ongoing battle to use up all those goddam tomatoes!

In case you are wondering, it’s called “marinara” because it was first made by Neapolitan sailors who decided to smash up some of those weird red fruits they found in the New World to use on their spaghetti.


I’ve been avoiding writing about politics because I’ve been avoiding thinking about politics. As in: I would rather stick my fingers in my ears and sing La la la! at the top of my voice than venture an opinion about the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections.

Is my Cassandra complex showing?

I know polls are predicting a Democratic wave, but you’d think the 2016 Presidential election would have taught Democrats to be cautious about polls or at least to augment them with astrology or haruspicy (your new word for the day!)

Yes, everybody outside the Base—that 30% of America’s population that lives in remote wooden houses with broken porches surrounded by dead refrigerators, gutted washing machines and Confederate flags—dislikes Trump, but here’s the thing: The economy is awfully strong. The bully tactics did seem to work with the NAFTA renegotiations, and the stock market is booming.

Of course, I don’t trust a single one of the statistics coming out of government agencies right now. I’m a policy geek; I was trained to manipulate statistics. I don’t believe for a single second, for example, that second-quarter GDP rate in the U.S. was 4.2%. Auto sales are falling; the housing market is falling. Those are the markers I look at.

But consumer confidence is higher than it has been in a couple of years.

And I gotta think that when Trump waves his fat little finger and sez, If I’m impeached, it’s all gonna go away!, independent voters are likely to get nervous. Sure, Trump is a racist prick who only managed to last two minutes in the sack bonking sexy porn star with the Double D titZ. Nevertheless, your 401(k) is probably 20% higher than it was in 2016.

Polarized voters who identify with one party or another may vote from conviction, but I think independent voters vote from their wallets.


I’m also a bit perplexed about how John McCain has metamorphosed into a Hero of the Left.

I gotta think the reason is because The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Don’t get me wrong: There are things to admire about John McCain. He exhibited amazing grace under pressure—the prime Hemingway virtue!—and I approve of his efforts on behalf of campaign reform. His affection for bipartisan dialogue harkens back to those kinder, gentler pre-Gingrich days—though one does suspect he did it to look prettier for the cameras.


He sold himself to Charles Keating in the late 1980s. God knows how McCain managed to wiggle out of a corruption indictment on that one.

McCain was in favor of a constitutional amendment banning abortion. He argued that the most expeditious way to support the George Bush tax cuts was by reducing social security.

There has never been an opportunity for America to bomb brown people in some remote corner of the world that McCain didn’t support. In fact, he was Bush’s most vociferous cheerleader throughout the Iraq War.

Worst of all, in my never-humble opinion, McCain gave a platform to Sarah Palin, thus legitimatizing the rise of white partisanship (I won’t call it “nationalism”) in the U.S. once again.

I would hardly call him a hero. So all these emotional displays from people whom you’d think would know their history better are a bit puzzling.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2018 04:23 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you on the McCain canonization.

That sauce looks yummy! Is that a cast iron skillet? We got one not long ago, and it has been great! My wife loves it, too. It makes me think of childhood. This is a pretty cool site for cast iron skillet recipes: http://www.lodgemfg.com/recipes

I like to make putanesca sauce, even though my people are from Lombardia and Piemonte in the north. The etymology of the name cracks me up. :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_alla_puttanesca
Aug. 30th, 2018 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yep, iron skillet. I eat very little red meat—I'm not a vegetarian; I just don't like the flavor—so iron cookware helps prevent me from becoming anemic.
Aug. 30th, 2018 11:41 pm (UTC)
Wow! I had not considered that iron is imparted to the user! I have a big copper pot, and I have thought of the properties it imparts, but not iron. This is a concern for women. Thanks for the info!

I always thought my sister looked really pretty when anemic.
Aug. 30th, 2018 11:55 pm (UTC)
Well, very pale, certainly. :-)
Aug. 31st, 2018 09:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, pallid. And she had dark circles under her blue eyes. She could have been a patient in a 19th century sanatorium. :) You know, the pretty dead girl look. Poe would've been into it.
Aug. 30th, 2018 05:17 pm (UTC)
Is anyone, I mean anyone, being taken in by this hypocritical veneration? He was an obstreperous hawk (and I say that with a bit of respect), and what about his first family? It's really off-putting and there must be a circle in Hell for those who laud you in death because it's a poke in the eye of a man they detest. Ugh.

Growing up with my father, a Vietnam Vet, McCain was part of my world order. My father never forgave Trump for his hero remarks.

My sister, who cannot stand the president, has had her IRA leap forward into *clears throat* the millions and refuses to acknowledge anyone but herself for this astronomical change.

Edited at 2018-08-30 05:23 pm (UTC)
Aug. 30th, 2018 05:45 pm (UTC)
Well, your sister is incorrect. And I say this as someone who shares her feelings toward the President. :-) We'll see what happens as a result of the trade war with China, and of course, I haven't seen the details of the new NAFTA, but it does appear to me as though Trump has been successful in the economic realm. And that is what he ran on.

It's hard for me not to have some affection for McCain—he's very much a manly man, and for whatever reason, that's an archetype close to my heart. But this secular canonization shit is waaaay over the top.
Aug. 30th, 2018 05:47 pm (UTC)
Omg. I do want to see a little astrology & heruspicy thrown in the predictions :’D!
Aug. 30th, 2018 11:03 pm (UTC)

Aug. 30th, 2018 06:48 pm (UTC)
When I lived in Az, I did not vote for McCain the first two times he ran for the Senate (I actually voted back then because I legitimately thought I was a US citizen...). Although his POW story is a definite Profile in Courage, inasmuch as it's factual, the truth is that he was a warmongering pig. I maintained that negative perception of him during his campaign for president and onward, even though McCain's concession speech when he lost to Obama was everything it should have been.

Fast-forward to the current Shitbag-in-Chief in the White House.
Any politician or public figure who can display even a scintilla of class, or grace, or even civility, is immediately elevated in status in comparison to the disgusting public displays from Trump.
McCain requesting that Trump not be invited to his funeral is mostly just posthumous political bickering, but I have to admire him for that.
Aug. 30th, 2018 11:05 pm (UTC)
Wait! You're not a U.S. citizen?

Well. like, I said, there are things to admire about McCain. I just don't think he deserves the level of reverence he's receiving.
Aug. 31st, 2018 05:19 am (UTC)

There's a certain amount of media-glorification that happens when any public figure dies (except for maybe the overtly criminal ones) and most of this goody-good talk about McCain is just that. In turn, people hear that kind of stuff and it becomes part of their own talking points.
Also, it's just bad form (remember that concept?) to harp on the misdeeds of someone right after he dies.
Sep. 2nd, 2018 12:24 am (UTC)
it's just bad form (remember that concept?) to harp on the misdeeds of someone right after he dies.

That is to say, bad for for most news-type media.
We here, in personal conversation, can talk as bad as we want about him...
Sep. 1st, 2018 02:25 am (UTC)
The stupid economy
My set of anecdata comes from recent travels in a number of States, Maine, NH, Vermont, NY, and most recently Idaho. What struck me were the number of places putting out "help wanted" signs. These ranged from tech firms, through construction jobs, and even a plaint at my local fish monger for more help--please.

So whatever the big stats show, down on the ground, things look good for workers looking for work, and that means wages will finally start to rise. I mean, if you know they really NEED filleters, you're not going to settle for minimum wage, are you?

In support of that, the big stats seem to indicate inflation finally taking off. Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Yellin, but I suspect there won't be a panic stop over at the Fed anytime soon.
Sep. 1st, 2018 12:38 pm (UTC)
Re: The stupid economy
Ohhh! "Anecdata"! Your coinage? I like!

Yeah, the economy does seem to be strong right now. Everyone is warning that the bubble's gonna burst, but no one has a hard and fast moment for moving $$$$ out of stocks and into a money market account. So, I dunno.

I want a midterm Dem sweep. I just don't like counting chickens.
Sep. 3rd, 2018 04:52 am (UTC)
I like politics.
I am partisan.
However -- if ***ANYBODY*** stands up at my funeral and uses it as a political soapbox, I will haunt them and their children for seven generations.
Sep. 3rd, 2018 12:52 pm (UTC)
Well, hey.

It's a time-honored tradition that goes back to Julius Caesar. :-)
Sep. 3rd, 2018 04:20 pm (UTC)
So is cursing the person who wrongs you, and passing the curse on down to the grandchildren of their grandchildren...
Sep. 4th, 2018 04:03 pm (UTC)
All I hear about is how few people even have 401k especially outside of blue states so that whole argument seems weird to me. It took 5 years for me to see any of the benefit from Obama era policies so I am confused why anyone would say well pussygrabber negotiated a better deal yesterday and that's why my life improved today. If I have 6 people I am close to 2 have had a brush with death where one lost and the other was bankrupted by it but survived. 4 are being priced out of their neighborhoods and actually try and get 14 or 15 month leases if they can to buy more time before they have to move further away. 3 have been contractors or survive on two jobs and a side gig. But again 3 are MAGAs 2 are independents 1 dem. 1 admits he doesn't vote when you know the number is closer to 6. With numbers like those does it really matter what the media says about the polls?
Sep. 4th, 2018 05:27 pm (UTC)
I can only reiterate that consumer confidence is high. :-)

On a personal level, I'd much prefer the Dems to take back the House.

I am just wary of overconfidence.
Sep. 4th, 2018 05:47 pm (UTC)
I wish I could be confident but I am doubtful. I am perfectly happy to be surprised though.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )