Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

14 September 2008

Sambo Politics

1) If you're looking for the week in picks, go here.
2) The best part of Tina Fey's depiction of Sarah "Lil Piggie Went to Moose Market" Palin? Posing with an imaginary gun, good. "And I can see Russia from my house"? Even gooder. The accent, great ...

Now, onto some early reading since I'll be in front of HD for the Sunday NFL Ticket for the forseeable future.
My high school, Haddon Township, holla!, was a rather lily white place. We had a single-digit African-American population, even though it was about eight miles from the visible PSFS sign. I mention this today because a story about those Krazy Konservative Kristians reminded me of the time a student showed up for Halloween in Aunt Jemima attire, complete with blackface. It didn't go over all that well, marking one of my earliest memories of racial sensitivity. I mean, who knew, back then, that the 'burbs were filled to the hilt with families who rode the white flight east? I didn't.

Babbling, I know. So why the hell did the Values Voter Summit offer "Obama Waffles" novelty cereal boxes? Well, because the Republicans, who've shown zero compunction about lying because it stokes their base's inner-ignoramuses thanks to their inferior mental acumen. Their new motto: Nothing says funny like Sambo-izing the man who actually cares about the future of his nation in the world. (Side note to Inquirer columnist Kevin Ferris, who I respect: Your don't cry racism if Obama column today is absurdly flawed. White Democrats are able to see past color. White Republicans base their lives on the right to drop N-bombs in the comfort of their own home when nobody's listening. And they laugh every time. Believe me. I know some of them.)

Also mourning over here in Bluntland for the loss of Miles Mack, a Mantua legend who used basketball to try and steer troubled kids away from trouble yet, last week, was felled by troubled kids who decided it was acceptable to open fire on a rec-league award ceremony.

(Photo of Mack, left, from Inquirer)

Senseless. Infuriating. And even more senseless and infuriating when you consider that the kids to whom Mack so selflessly gave of himself have yet to cooperate with police. Miles deserves better. RIP.

The NY Times Magazine offers an in-depth piece about Peter Mandelstam and his Bluewater Wind, which would have wind farms built off Delaware that would triple the First State's energy production, with the cleanness.

And the New Yorker squeezes off two rounds against the "ladies" of the GOP ticket with a TV piece about Palin (the accompanying illo below sums it all up... check out proud papa in the background)...

... and a profile of an uncooperative Cindy McCain. In fact, it's rather easy to see why she wouldn't want to cooperate. To wit:

[Her father] James — whom everyone called Jim — and his brother Eugene Hensley built their wealth on alcohol. After Jim returned from service as a bombardier in the Second World War, the brothers entered the wholesale liquor market and began operating two warehouses — United Sales Company, in Phoenix, and United Distributors, Inc., in Tucson—in partnership with Kemper Marley, Sr., a Phoenix businessman.
(Police reportedly suspected Marley of having had a hand in the 1976 murder of Don Bolles, a reporter for the Arizona Republic who had written extensively about Marley’s business and political machinations. Marley died in 1990.)
In 1948, the Hensleys were convicted on federal conspiracy charges after filing more than twelve hundred fake invoices to cover up under-the-table sales of liquor to night clubs and bars throughout the state. Eugene was sentenced to a year in prison, Jim to six months, but, with the help of their lawyer, a former mayor of Phoenix, Jim had his sentence suspended.


Then she told another favorite story: she was twenty-four when she met John McCain at that cocktail party in Honolulu, but she told him that she was twenty-seven. McCain claimed to be thirty-seven; he was in fact forty-two. Cindy McCain giggled as she explained that they did not fess up until their marriage announcement was published in the local newspaper. “We started our marriage on a tissue of lies,” she said with a smile, as the audience laughed. ...

... on that first Hawaiian night when Cindy Hensley and her suitor were coy about their respective ages, John McCain was already married—to Carol McCain, a former swimsuit model, with whom he had a daughter, Sidney, and two adopted sons, Doug and Andrew. He had married Carol in 1965, two years before he was captured in North Vietnam.
On Christmas Eve, 1969, Carol was seriously injured in a car accident while she was visiting her family in Philadelphia. She spent six months in the hospital, with a ruptured spleen, both legs crushed, a broken pelvis, and a broken arm. She did not send word of the accident to her husband, according to Timberg, because she felt that he was suffering enough, nor did she tell him what was going on when, in the course of the next two years, she underwent twenty-three operations. After all the surgeries, Carol McCain was four inches shorter than she had been before the accident.
In his memoir “Worth the Fighting For,” John McCain said that when he started dating Cindy Hensley he “was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.” However, in his court petition for divorce, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, McCain stated that he and Carol had “cohabited as husband and wife” until January 7th of that year—nine months into his romance with Cindy Hensley. His divorce from Carol was finalized on April 2, 1980; he married Cindy five weeks later.


McCain then went on to something more serious: the story of her addiction to painkillers, from 1989 through 1992, another secret that she kept from her husband. “He never knew,” she told Jay Leno. “My parents came to me one day and said, ‘You know, Cindy, there’s something wrong with you’ . . . and I said, ‘You know, you’re right, you’re absolutely right,’ and I put them down and I never touched another one again.”

A match made in heaven.


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