Yes We Might Still Can

31 01 2010

So I’ve got to be frank y’all… I didn’t really have high hopes for this address.  I had, at most, medium hopes for this address because I 1. was (am) still waiting for comprehensive HCR 2. was (am)  still waiting for a comprehensive plan to end our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and 3. was (am) still waiting for DOMA to be history and for everyone to be able to ask and tell.
And also, I was all like “What in the Sam-Goody” about this whole spending freeze business.

So yeah, I was more than happy to smart-alack the State of the Union address.

To get me through this I was aided and comforted by the following players:
Heineken Light
Peaco
RHS
And the music of Funny Girl (which RHS started her FIRST viewing of two nights ago].

Let’s get this crack-alacking…

8:57PM Oh, Michelle you are a vision in purple.  The hair.  The makeup.  The Michelleness.  I shall call this look Purple Reign.

First Lady of Fabulous

RHS: I like Michelle’s short hair.
BPD: I know, right?  That is one magic hot comb.  I hope that she wears it that way when we get married.
RHS: You and I?
BPD: Uhm, sure, that’ll work too.

8:58PM I like the that all the Black People have taken to wearing their Church colors to the Chamber since Obama’s been in office.

9:05AM Who are these two old guys?  Are these really the two guys you want leading you in?

9:06PM Here he is.  Clapter ensues, but with far less rock-star fawning than the last time.  It’s hard to separate the sound of the cheers from the sound of the boos.  Even Michelle looks bored.  That’s not a good thing.  She usually gives him at least fifteen minutes before tuning out.

9:07PM
Nancy Pelosi: Look at my beautiful mother of pearl necklace.  I will choke a bitch with it if necessary.
Joe Biden: He’s so beautiful, even with all of the gray hairs.  I could cry.

9:08PM
Barack Obama: We must answer history’s call.
History: I don’t know how.  Y’all haven’t paid the phone bill in nearly ten years.

Barack Obama:
Change has not come fast enough.
Joe Biden: I hope he says, “I feel the need for speed.”  It really sends a shiver down my spine.  I’m so proud to be his Goose.

Barack Obama: “It is because of this spirit, this great decency and great strength that I have never been more hopeful about America’s future than I am tonight. Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We do not allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it’s time the American people get a government that matches their decency, that embodies their strength.”

Chamber: This is the part where we clap.
Pelosi: Do it!
Joe Biden:  The clapping keeps me from crying.

Barack Obama: We all hated the bank bailout.  Well, not you Citibank, or you Goldman Sachs, or you, JP Morgan.  “But when I ran for president, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular — I would do what was necessary.”

BPD: I don’t feel like writing that line on my dry-erase board when you unveil this spending freeze crapscape.  I need to go to my happy place.
Babs: Nicky Arstein.  Nicky Arnstein.


BPD: Thanks Babs.

9:20ish
Barack Obama: “So I supported the last administration’s efforts to create the financial rescue program… As a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we have recovered most of the money we spent on the banks.  To recover the rest, I have proposed a fee on the biggest banks. I know Wall Street isn’t keen on this idea, but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need.”

…We cut taxes.

BPD: I’m eating ramen.

Barack Obama: Let me repeat: we cut taxes.

BPD: Let me repeat: Spicy Chili Ramen.

Barack Obama:
We haven’t raised taxes on a single person.  That’s why we can’t afford the shit you want like healthcare.

9:26PM
Barack Obama: The stimulus worked.  Sort of.  “That is why jobs must be our number one focus for 2010” (not HCR, you just put that out of your pretty little heads) and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.

Also “…tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit — one that will go to over 1 million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment.”
How ‘bout them apples?

BPD:  How small, does the business have to be?  Like, for example… this being a smart-ass thing is sort of my business.  Does that count.

Michelle Obama’s bob: Glare.
BPD: You’re right, I shouldn’t have asked.

Barack: We lost 7M jobs over 2 years.

RHS: Holy shit.
Michelle Obama’s bob: Language.

9:32PM
Barack Obama: “From the day I took office, I have been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious — that such efforts would be too contentious, that our political system is too gridlocked and that we should just put things on hold for awhile.
For those who make these claims, I have one simple question:
How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?”

BPD: It looks like we’re going to wait until we get rid of the misuse of the filibuster.

Barack Obama: I don’t want to pick on the banks… but I will because that’s kind of all that I’ve got going for me right now, and I want you to remember this when I tell you about the spending freeze I want to enact.

We need clean energy jobs.  “…We need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies.”

BPD: This all sounds very dirty.

Barack Obama: And I’m sure that if I say the word bipartisan enough, it will be come real.

BPD: Oh, Barack, I bet you still believe in the Easter Bunny, too.

Barack Obama: We will double our exports over the next five years…

Peaco: He’s just fattening them up for the slaughter.

Barack Obama: Trade shmade.

The Chamber: Beatlemania.
Rahm Emmanuel:  Rahm Emmanuel stands for no man.

9:40PM
Barack Obama: “In the 21st century, one of the best anti-poverty programs is a world-class education. In this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than their potential.
When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families. To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let’s tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years — and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service. Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. And it’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs — because they too have a responsibility to help solve this problem.”

BPD: Oooh!  That sounds super sexy.
Peaco: You always were a soft touch.
RHS: Christ, Nancy Pelosi, sit down.
BPD: Nancy just got these new hips, she wants to take them for a spin.

9:47PM
Barack Obama:
I know that I’ve fucked up HCR y’all… but you need to give me just a little more time.

Babs: People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.

9:50PM
Barack Obama: Remember all the shit I inherited?  Doesn’t that distract you from my failures and short comings?  Bush was worse than I was!  You all still hate his mess more than you hate mine.

Republicans: BOO!
BPD: Booing the truth doesn’t make it less true.

9:51PM
Barack Obama: SPENDING FREEZE.  Just think of it as the Big Chill, or alternately, the reason why your Grandmother hides her money all around the house and doesn’t trust banks.

Babs: Is motherfucker trying to rain on my parade?
Michelle Obama’s bob:  Language.

Peaco:  This guy sure does look a lot like the scalpel guy you voted for.
BPD:  That’s just want I was thinking.

9:54PM
Barack Obama: I know some (that’s you Rachel Maddow) have said that we can’t address the deficit by freezing deficit spending when so many are still hurting.  That’s why you won’t get really screwed until next year.

Dr. Rachel Maddow: Oh, BPD you’re so dreamy!
RHS: Hunny you’re talking to yourself out loud again.

9:59PM
Barack Obama: You think that I’m screwing you with the spending freeze… the Supreme Court REALLY screwed you.  “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well, I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.”

Supreme Court Justices: Remember people, this is just like those bear drills we do.  Sit very quietly and very still and the danger will pass.

10:00PM
Barack Obama: Shit is still really gritty in Washington DC because y’all can’t get along.  And you’re killing America.
Yes, YOU.
Democrats, grow a pair.  Bo has bigger balls than you do.

Bo knows politics

“And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. So let’s show the American people that we can do it together. This week, I’ll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. And I would like to begin monthly meetings with both the Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can’t wait.”

BPD: Oooh, you’re in trouble.

10:05PM
Barack Obama: Security.  Uhm… we’re kind of secure.  We could be more secure but … uhm… Quick!  Everyone, clap for Michelle!

BPD: Clapping for Michelle does in fact distract me from Pakistan and the spending freeze and the whole gays are second class citizens thing.

10:13PM
Barack Obama: This year I will work with Congress to end DODT.  Or, maybe next year.

“In the end, it is our ideals, our values, that built America — values that allowed us to forge a nation made up of immigrants from every corner of the globe, values that drive our citizens still. Every day, Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers. Time and again, they lend a hand to their neighbors and give back to their country. They take pride in their labor, and are generous in spirit. These aren’t Republican values or Democratic values they’re living by, business values or labor values. They are American values.”

Joe Biden: This is the good part.  I love him.  I wonder if I can discretely get my hanky out without Nancy noticing.
Nancy Pelosi: I bet Joe doesn’t know where his hanky is and he’s going to end up snotting all over me.  I have got to switch chairs.

10:18PM
Barack Obama: I am still eloquent.  And also, I love Newsies!  Arise and seize the day.  “Let’s seize this moment — to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more.”
Peace out homies.

~~~
In the end, I think that it was a great return to the rhetorical highs of candidate Obama but you know.  Spending freeze.  And Wars.  And DADT.  And DOMA.  And HCR.  And ramen has become a major staple of my diet.

But, all of that aside, I haven’t erased the dry-erase board yet.  Because still have hope.

I just hope the Obama administration has got hustle.

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So far. So good.

24 01 2009

Getting a jump start on the crucial first 100 days of his presidency, Barack Obama accomplishes the following in the first 100 hours (as of noon on Saturday, January 24th).

  1. Convinced Aretha Franklin to dig out her church hat and go to town.

    Bad-ass hat.

    Bad-ass hat.

  2. Increased his swoonability factor to the one-trakallionth degree.

    (The answer, by the way, is “very good looking.”)
  3. Took the Oath of Office twice.
  4. Revamped www.whitehouse.gov to make it more user-friendly and promote the transparency of the Obama Administration [which, “Obama Administration” totally just sent shivers down my spine].
  5. Proved that he has much better luck as President than Wyclef Jean.
  6. Ordered the closure of Guantanamo.
  7. Took a firm stand against torture.
  8. Put firm limits on lobbying.
  9. Put the freedom back into the Freedom of Information Act.
  10. Raised a ruckus over the International Gag Rule.
  11. Caused Aaron McGruder to make a big ol’ fool out of his sour grapes self.
  12. Made a whole bunch more money for Blackberry.
  13. Put the smack-down on Rush Limbaugh’s listeners in the Congress.
  14. Delivered his weekly address.  Online.
    Vodpod videos no longer available.
  15. Gave my girlfriend, Rachel Maddow, something new (though I must say, a something far less worrisome than before) to worry about.

I guess, essentially, during his first 100 hours the Obama Administration has achieved more awesomeness than the Bush Administration did in eight years.

Sweet!





Putting (Fire Sale) on the Ritz.

1 10 2008

Okay, so… I guess I’m just going to come right out and say it, I’m broke.

That’s right, every body’s favourite power dyke in training does not have a pot to piss in. I’ve got maybe a shot glass at best. But now I’ve got the image of a urine filled shot glass in my mind and I’m very very uncomfortable.

Anyhoods, after a losing an epic battle with credit cards (that I lived off of when I was 20 and in NYC and subsisting on one bagel with butter, a cup of tea and a packet of ramen noodles a day [but at least I paid rent {after I moved out of hostels}! And my phone bill!]), about six months ago I put myself into a debt management program. I felt completely irresponsible about the debt situation I was in and walked around feeling shamed for the first few months. I felt guilty about the sorry state that I’d gotten myself in and I felt that, as it was my own dumb fault, I needed to get my shit together and take the steps to set shit right so that I could have the future that I wanted to have.

And the thing about that future is that it’s a future for and with my Girl and our future kid (who I will refer to a Theo -because that’s what I want to name her. Ideally I’d name her Theo Rudith… but that’s getting into my Cosby Show obsession and I think that that’s a post for another time.).
It’s nice when I think about framing it as a desire to do right for my chosen family. It’s also pretty sweet when I think about framing it as a desire not to have creditors calling my ass at all times. Like when Rachel Maddow is on. Or when I’m at work wondering what Rachel Maddow will say on that evening’s show. Or when I’m in the shower racking my brain for ways to make Tina Fey my friend. These are all inconvenient times for me.

So I’ve got no credit. I’m with a great program that has reduced my ARPs and taken over the negotiations with my creditors. I pay a set monthly amount and in five years I’ll be debt free. It will take me more than five years to repair the initial damage that I did to my credit but I am in it for the long hall.

So what, then, do I think about the current financial crisis?

I dunno.

That’s the real and true answer. I go back and forth several times daily about whether or not I’m indifferent or smug or scared.
Mostly I just feel like, Damn! I was beating myself up over less than $20K of debt (and not even the shoes to show for it) and these fuckers at these hugeHUGE institutions were turning the whole market into a charnel house and they are totally uncowed/bowed/repentant.

They’re not.
They’re pissed.
The bigbig guys at the very top of the chain are throwing their hands up in the air, shrugging and saying, “MarciaMarciaMaria, little people! I mean, I’m going to have to pass on that little island that I’ve had my eye on this year. Do you know how crappy it’s going to be to have to go to the villa again this year? Italian villas are so last quarter. I wanted my island!”

Rachel Maddow has been working out this charming metaphor about Halloween and candy and kid barf for the past week or so.


Senator Judd Gregg has likened the whole thing to a massive wreck on a highway.

I like to think of it as chickens coming home to roost. And you know what happens when chickens come home to roost: shit. And lots of it.

Indifferent BPD thinks:
Well, this is how the market works. We have bull times. We have bear times. We haven’t had a real game-shaking dip since my grandma was a white-girl knifer in the backwoods of Tennessee. The market needs these generation shaping dramatic swings to self-clean/adjust. Everything will be fine. In six months we’ll be a more manageable place and in 10 years from now the market will be much healthier. Oh well.

Smug BPD thinks:
I’ll be in a better financial state long before Wall Street will. Serves ‘em right. Haha!

Scared BPD thinks:
People have lost their homes. There is no credit available to restructuring these toxic mortgages.
If the GOP succeeds and disqualifying voters who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure what’s that going to do to votes for Barack Obama.
Our dependency on foreign oil is soon to be replaced by our dependency on foreign currency and then what’ve we got?
Do we have enough money to make sure that this doesn’t adversely affect the troops getting the materials that they need to stay safe?
Oh shit!

These conflicting BPDs leave me unable to come up with a definitive vote for or against the idea of a “bail out.”

First of all, “bail out” is the wrong thing to say to try and get the support of most Americans. Most Americans have anywhere between a thimble and a bowl to piss in and aren’t spilling any of that by trying their fortunes (heh!) on Wall Street.
You’ll be hard pressed to gain the support of your constituents, many of whom have lost their homes, are in the process of trying not to lose their homes or know someone who has or is in the process of trying not to lose their homes by packaging this as a “bail out” for Wall Street.
You’ll be hard pressed to gain support of constituents whose sons or daughters or mothers or fathers or brothers or sisters or aunts or uncles or nieces or nephews are fighting on the front lines in shoddy armor supporting a “bail out” amounting to billions of dollars for assflakes on Wall Street.
The same goes for constituents who can’t afford health insurance and have been told that universal (or hell, even just wide-range and widely accessible) health insurance is bad because of the damage that socializing industry poses on the market supporting a government welfare package for that same market.
And don’t even get me started about the people on welfare who’ve been treated as pariahs by this Administration.

So what I’m saying is I totally get why people are fucking pissed off about the idea of the average taxpayers being told that the bill is ours to foot.

It’s like when you go out to dinner with a group of friends when you’re on a budget.
The waiter comes to the table and asks, “One check for the table or separate?”
You say, “Separate checks” but other members at the table say, “No just one check, it’s okay. We’ll split it ourselves.”
And then some of those same fucking friends order expensive dish after expensive dish and like five appetizers and you have like a fucking house salad and some tap water and then some of your friends leave early and leave like, exactly the price of their entrees and omit money for the appetizers (which you didn’t eat because you couldn’t afford to pay), tax and tip.
And there you are with your fucking 40 bucks which is supposed to last you for the next three days until pay day and your 15 dollar meal (which, whatthefuck! It was a salad with wilted lettuce. I swear sometimes these New York prices are fucking unbelievable!) and you realize that these so-called friends of yours have just cost you all $40.
That kind of shit is enough to make you want to set your friends’ pants on fire.

And that’s friends.

Wall Street, is not, and has never been friends with most American taxpayers and yet here we are sitting at the fucking table looking at the money in our sweaty slowly convulsively tightening fist and knowing that those bitchnasties stiffed us again.

That makes a person want to call up the representative and, being careful not to yell at her because she still might be smarting from not winning the nomination of her party (especially when it’s obvious that her husband who, at one time, you greatly respected, can’t get over it and has better things to say about McSame than the DNC’s nominee and you kind of want to tell her to get his ass in check), tell her firmly that you are against this whole “bail out” business.

On the other hand, I’m a little nervous that without some sort of solution to increase liquidity in the market the global markets will realize that they really don’t need America at all. And that, I think, could almost be worse than what’s happening right now.

Let’s face it, the dollar is already deep in the crapper. America’s exports have fallen to their lowest in generations. Our educational system is in shambles and no one’s even stealing our technology anymore. All that we’ve got is the illusion that the world markets need the American market in order to play.

It’s like America has convinced everyone that the sandbox in the park is actually America’s very own private sandbox and the park is their very own backyard and that the other kids can only play if America is there to let them.
Right now, America is fucking grounded. Like, all summer AND a good part of Fall grounded.
For the first couple of days the rest of the kids will be totally bummed. And then one of them, (it only takes one) will swing by the sandbox and realize that it’s not America’s. It’s a fucking PARK and anyone can play at will. That kid tells the other kids and soon, it’s a free for all. Late Autumn rolls around and America’s finally free and says, “I’m back! We can play again!” and the other kids scoff and say, “Dude, it’s not your sandbox. It’s OURS now and we don’t want you to play with us. We don’t need you.”

And dudes, I know that America can totally be a bully. And know that most people don’t want to play with us anyway. But I don’t think that I’m ready for the world to know that it doesn’t NEED us.
Because then where would we be?

I guess we’re going to find out because, as you know, the bail out totally wiped out.

Dead.

It is as dead as Elvis.

And here’s where I think that it went wrong: asked for too much money. Seven hundred billion dollars is too much. Sometimes even the most trendy fashionista has to say to herself, “I cannot afford these Jimmy Choos.” (Sexy as though they may be.)

Your favourite power dyke in training OFTEN says to herself, “I just cannot afford this Slim Jim.” And I love me a Slim Jim. The point is that sometimes spending limits are necessary for the future health of our wallets.

The most recent plan was for $700B was at least $450B too much to ask for. At least.
Especially when the plan called for an initial installment of $250B. I just think that if $700B were the actual amount needed to stem the tide it wouldn’t be parsed out. The fact is that $700B is not what is needed to stem the tide; it’s the price for building a whole dam.
And what does the government’s building of the dam do for the Wall Street Execs who blew the fucker up in the first place?
Nothing.
Not a single thing. Would you give a child an exact replacement of the toy that they wantonly destroyed?
No. You would withhold the toy to teach the child a lesson. You would make the child, if he so desired, buy another toy with his own money. You wouldn’t just say, “Here Billy, here’s another fire truck for you!”

Well, not if you want a responsible respectful child.
But it seems that by offering to completely repave Wall Street instead of making it at least partially responsible for its self-inflicted pot holes the government has given up all hope (and interest) of having a responsible healthy Wall Street.

But you know what REALLY gets my goat?

That’s right, the eldest Billy Goat Gruff in the barn, John “Maverick” McCain. With the current president running around saying things like, “This sucker could go down” and freaking people out it would be really great to be able to turn somewhere comforting.

It was incredibly disappointing, more so than I anticipated, that John McCain once again showed no concern for comforting America.
His concern was for gaining points in the election.

“Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process,” Mr. McCain said, before adding in almost the same breath: “Now is not the time to fix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem.”

That’s right, “now is not the time to fix the blame” that’s because thirty-seconds ago, when he was blaming Barack Obama, was time to “fix the blame.”

This is your candidate, GOP.

This is my candidate:

“It’s important for the American public and the markets to stay calm – because things are never smooth in Congress – and to understand that it will get done,” Mr. Obama said. “We are going to make sure that an emergency package is put together, because it is required for us to stabilize the markets.”

See you at the polls bitches.