Ding Dong. It’s Brendan Calling.
My name's Brendan Skwire and this is my first post at Firedoglake! Before anything else, I want to thank Jane and Pach and Christy for inviting me on board, and special thanks to RBG for leading me through a last minute backstage tour.
Frankly, I have no idea how this happened: I feel a little bit like Fielding Mellish in Bananas, a midget among real writers, real reporters. Me, I'm just a loud-mouthed guy from Philadelphia by way of Rhode Island (with an accent that falls somewhere between Raymond Marble and Peter Griffin) who lives a couple paychecks away from the federal poverty line, doing what he can to get by. I got into blogging because my friends got tired of reading my outraged emails after the shameful appointment of Mr. Bush to the Oval Office, and it's been pretty much nonstop since.
Oy. My blog. A repository of angst, bile, profanity, filth, and fist-shaking eye-popping outrage. The kind of stuff that would shock my mother if she wasn't a repository of angst, bile, profanity, filth, and fist-shaking eye-popping outrage.
What's a schmuck like am I doing in a nice place like this?
I'll be honest with everyone. I'm a just writer and a person with a strong social conscience, plain and simple. I have no special qualifications to write about politics, and I am consistently in awe of my colleagues' work. I mean, Booman Tribune's arguments for impeachment? Glenn Greenwald's masterful arguments? And everyone here at FDL? Dude! I am so not worthy.
On the other hand: I live in a state that until recently was represented by two of the pre-eminent assholes in the US Senate. The one that couldn't stop obsessing about fucking dogs got fired: the one that:
- decried the the Military Commissions Act of 2006 as un-Constitutional then voted for it anyway (and is now trying to run to the front of the parade for the repeal thereof);
- the one who tried to give the President retroactive immunity from prosecution from charges related to the illegal NSA wiretap program and lied about it repeatedly;
- the one who boasted
"When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think that is unlikely. The president is well aware of what happened when a bunch of his nominees were sent up with the filibuster. And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning."
- …and then voted to confirm Alito;
- the one who inserted language into the re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act that allowed Bush to conduct the ongoing purge of politically inconvenient attorneys, and who then pled ignorance, blaming it on his staff; and last but certainly not least,
- the one who sat on the Veterans Affairs Committee since goddamn 19-fucking-81 and has the audacity to have his staff claim "well, he's aware now" about the way our troops are treated when they return injured from Iraq?
Yeah, Arlen Specter's still around: the guy's like a case of the crabs: he sucks and sucks and sucks the blood out of you, he's irritating as hell, and he gives you a bad reputation. What's to like?
Also, I live in Philadelphia, one of our greatest and most schizophrenic cities. On the one hand we languish without a decent public transport system, goofy recycling, some of the worst gun violence in the country, and an entrenched and corrupt political machine. On the other, our extremely active progressive movement is trying its hardest to change all that, nationally AND locally. And Booman lives here too!
On top of all this I'm a member of the working poor, a separated parent, a homeowner, and a musician. I work in social services, and see people in far worse straits than me fighting for their very survival. In short, a guy with a lot on his mind. And on that note, I gotta put the kiddo to bed. What's on YOUR mind? I'll be back after bedtime stories and songs to chat with the grownups.