Seattle area artist Deborah Lawrence found out earlier this week that her congressionally commissioned Christmas bulb won't be hanging this year on the Bush Christmas tree. Lawrence was one of dozens of artists tapped by Congress to submit decorations for the tree. She chose to use her submission as a tribute to her local Congressman, Rep. Jim McDermott, a left-leaning statesman who had pushed for an impeachment of Bush. Lawrence's submission, a nine-inch bulb covered in swirling red and white strips with text alluding to McDermott's support for Bush's impeachment also referenced Washington's 1919 labor strike and the state's suffrage movement. But it's the impeachment references that caught the attention of the public after McDermott started telling her friends about the political message on her submission, which was initially accepted by the White House.
Lawrence said she was originally put off by the idea of contributing to the White House Christmas celebration.
"I was at first nauseated, then I saw it as an opportunity," she told the Washington Post.
The newspaper contacted the White House on Monday, which said through a spokesperson that the decoration would remain even though it was inappropriate. The administration changed course a day later, saying that it would no longer allow the decoration.
Personally, Upfront thinks we should relish these few remaining gaffes. And what's one more white washing after an eight-year blizzard?
Obligatory Sex Item
This one from the Ugandan news wire...
Police in this African country were warning amorous men to be on the lookout for women who are using their breasts to knock men unconscious and rob them. The victims have apparently been found unconscious, and stripped of all their belongings, including their clothes.
Ugandan authorities say the women are sprinkling chloroform on their bosom and luring in men who are left unconscious and with little memory of what happened other than they were in the act of "romancing," according to a report on Yahoo.com. Now this sounds a lot like one of Upfront's teenage fantasies, including the whole stripping part, but it's apparently real and one more reason to heed your mother's advice and stay away from strangers (and their breasts).
Recession, What Recession?
The nation's foremost economic minds finally announced what everyone not living on life support in a cave five miles under the sea has known for like, oh a year.
WE'RE IN A FREAKING RECESSION!
Upfront wonders what their first clue was? Oil prices tumbling to half of what they were just a few months ago? Record numbers of people filing for unemployment and food stamps? The nation's biggest banks falling like dominoes? The Big Three automakers groveling before Congress?
Seriously, I hope nobody is paying these people to tell us this shit.
Upfront is just wondering if this is the same cabal that is going to finally determine that global warming is in fact real and caused by humans as we're washed out to sea on a polar ice cap wave.
A Quick Note to Mother Nature
Ya know what Mother Nature? Upfront is well aware that Source nature columnist Jim Anderson thinks you're the cat's pajamas (which is why we're pretty sure you're reading this right now), but that doesn't mean our column can't take issue with some of your recent actions.
Guess what? It's f'in December. Yeah, as in the month with Christmas and eggnog and rampant depression. So, start acting like it and knock off the near-70-degree days. It's starting to get a little weird. Some of us would like a little snowfall on our ski hill or maybe crisp days to remind us that we're not permanently stuck in early fall.
Don't listen to these weatherman who are delighted with all this "sparkling" weather. But Upfront wants season-appropriate weather. But not too much snow or too much cold - because we'll complain about that as well.
Oh yeah, and we don't want to hear how this is just global warming and all our fault. Got it?
Share the Wealth
An Ohio school district has done what many Americans have joked about in the months since the federal bank bailout was announced, it's asking for a piece of the pie. Olmstead Falls Superintendent Todd Hoadley has asked the U.S. Treasury for $100 million to help plug a shortfall in funding for the suburban Cleveland school district.
While Treasurer Hank Paulson has been unwilling to extend funds beyond the banking sector and Wall Street, where he formerly worked as Chairman of Goldman Sachs, Hoadley isn't giving up yet. And he's got at least one thing going for him - he's in Rep. Dennis Kucinich's district.