Hostile Takeover.

26 01 2010

It turns out that adding Justice Sotomayor to the Supreme Court really does make for a radical activist bench.

‘Course this is not exactly the radical that I had in mind.

As usual, Dr. Maddow does a fine job of breaking down how the ruling on Citizens [insert derisive chortle here] United v. Federal Election Commission is a giant crock of step-on-the-little-guy shit and I will pretty much use any excuse to link to her Doctorate of Awesomeness here.  She’s all smart like and I’m all: This totally sucks y’all.

But there’s something even more than just the Oh, Great, Now Coca Cola will have not only my soul but my vote too that’s getting to me.   It’s that suddenly, Coca Cola is a person now.  It has taken me nearly thirty years to become a person.   And yet in ten months with some clever legal maneuvering Coca Cola is a person now too.  Only, more of a person than me.
I’m not fantastically wealthy (yet).  I’m not international (yet).  I don’t rot your teeth right out of your head.  I’m not locked in a bitter battle against Pepsi Co. for the wallets and gullets of the world.  [yet]
But more than that.  Coca Cola (and that bastard Pepsi Co.) is a regular first class citizen.  Unlike the gays.  Coca Cola’s rights are protected and upheld under the law.  Unlike the gays.   Hell, Coca Cola and Pepsi Co. Can even marry if they’d like.  Corporations do it all of the time.  Unlike the gays.

That’s some kind of justice.

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Déjà BOOO

4 11 2009

It looks like it’s 2001 all over again.

  1. New Jersey and Virginia have Republican Governors¹ 
  2. Mike Bloomberg has used-car salesmanned himself into the NYC Mayor’s seat²
  3. Maine has second-class citizens³
     

.

Same you can believe in.

.

.

¹In 2001 Donald DiFrancesco succeeded Christine Todd Whitman as governor of New Jersey.  In 2001 Jim Gilmore was the governor of Virginia.

²In 2001 Mike Bloomberg switched his registration from Democrat to Republican before switching his registration to Independent in 2007 and then hoodwinking NYC citizens so that he could be eligible for a third term.

³In 2001 Maine’s partnered gay citizens were not afforded the same rights under the law as their married heterosexual counterparts.  For a brief shining moment this year that wrong was righted.  Last night citizens and neighbors in Maine voted to disenfranchise and relegate second class status to other citizens and neighbors in Maine.  Those voters chose to protect marriage at the cost of their dignity and integrity. 
That seems like too heavy a price to pay to me.





L8r Tr8r

5 10 2009

Do me a favor, if you wouldn’t mind.

Read this.
And then read this, specifically this part:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

Now, am I stroking out or is John L. Perry talking treason?

I know that I’m not what one would call a Constitutional scholar, but I can read.  And when I read a man talking about a military coup against the sitting President of the United States of America during a time of war, that just reads to me like John L. Perry might be traitor what with his “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Who knows, maybe he’s taking notes from Mr. Please Osama Bin Laden Attack Us Again Michael Scheuer.

I wonder what it will take for this kind of threat against the well-being of America and her President to be taken seriously.

I wonder why this…

Nowhere near the President.

Nowhere near the President. (Not so much treason.)

…is more threatening than this?

Very near the President.

Very near the President. (Smells like teen-treason.)

It’s kind of a beautiful thing I guess that the Constitution protects the freedoms of even the most treasonous among us.  It’s also a beautiful thing the the President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, respects the Constitution.  That makes Mr. Perry and Mr. Scheuer pretty lucky to be in this America.  They would be wise to remember that and stop plotting against her.





Interwebs lift us up where we belong…

28 09 2009

Last week was a hard week.
I was totally stressed out at work.
I was audited by the IRS and had the first of my installment payments due and had to figure out what I wouldn’t be paying in order to give the government its due  (fingers crossed this gets me the Public Option I want).
I’ve been a bit worried about something coming up in my offline life that’s been keeping me distracted and I found a line on my face.  The worst part is that the line on my face is probably caused by the frequent and painful multiple day-long headaches that I have (which are probably migraines).
Also, I found out the the Phelps clan would be in my fair borough to picket outside of synagogues on Yom Kippur because they’re classy-McClassersons who are still protected by Free Speech. And though I am not Jewish and I didn’t spend the day fasting (I did spent the day tidying and meditating on things that I might need to atone for [like calling my sister “stupid” a lot when I was younger]) this kind of… just nastiness by the Westboro klan really floored me.

There were some bright spots.

RHS booked an Off-Broadway gig (which pays) and is now finally able to turn Equity.  This makes us a two Equity-card household.
Oprah Winfrey kicked off her 24th Season with interviews with Whitney Houston, and in a double whammy Jay-Z and, the light of my life, Barbra Streisand.

But the brightest spots were found on the interwebs.
I was browsing my favourite blogs and discovered Wordle.net (beautiful world cloud maker) at CKHB’s blog.  Here’s the wordle from last week’s entries.

Every silver lining has a word cloud.

Every silver lining has a word cloud.

I found out where the limited edition Barbra Streisand Barbie doll can be purchased.  (Wink, wink.  Hint, hint.)  And I found videos of the Vanguard performance (that I, sadly, did not win tickets to).

Hello, dolly.

Hello, dolly.

Some smartasses after my own heart found a way to counter the non-housebroken-ness of the Phelps clan.

Amen, dude.

Amen, dude.

And finally… Oprah gets surprised.

Thank you interwebs.





Voodoo Child

9 09 2009

Another day, another opportunity to make smart ass comments about the things that happen in politics.

7:49PM

Let’s introduce the players while we’re waiting for things to get started:

  • Presidential Address Buffet.
    Leftover Chinese food from last night.  Leftover pizza from two night’s ago.  Mini-Heinekens.  Can of coke.
  • My fiance the lovely and talented Red Headed Stepchild (RHS).
  • Peaco

7:57PM
CNN Pundits are trying to low-ball our expectations and prepare us for the eventuality that Obama will punk-out on the public option.  RHS starts yelling at the TV and then goes into the kitchen to get a mini-Heineken for herself.  (That’s my girl, just drink the pain away, sweetheart.  Drink the pain away.)
I feel like I should say right now, that logically I am prepared for Obama to punk out on public option, but emotionally I am not.  I really don’t want to have to end this post with “Fucking Grow a Pair Obama.”  But… we’ll see.

8:01PM
It’s go time!

RHS:  Peaco is a central presence at any political event.
Peaco: Silence.

8:02PM
Michelle Obama enters.  I think that she has her very own wind-machine for her hair.  That’s the kind of power I want, ya’ll.  Also, I love the color on her, but I am not sure about the pleats.  The Snobs on the Blacksnob group chat totally agreed.

Is it just me, or does Eric Holder look a lot like Oprah’s Stedman Graham?

Eric Holder

Obama's man

Oprahs man

Oprah's man

8:05PM
Ed Rollins, Republican Strategist,  wants to “argue on the merits.”  I want to be a former lover of Angelina Jolie.  We can’t always get what we want (especially if Republicans are in the vicinity).

8:11PM
Obama enters as I sing the Rocky theme song in my head.  Clapter ensues.

8:14PM
These people sure do love to clap.

8:15PM
No, thank you!

8:16PM
Nancy Pelosi:  I have a gavel!  And some pearls!
Members of Congress:  Eh!  Oh!
Arsenio Hall:  Woot!  Woot!

8:17PM
Obama:  When I spoke here last winter, you all liked me so much better.  Remember liking me?  Let’s go back to that happy place.

8:21PM
Obama: Middle class Americans are being bankrupted by health care costs.  The fact that America can’t provide health care for Americans makes us an embarrassment to the world.  I’ve got the numbers to prove it.

8:23PM
Miami Sound Machine: Get on your feet! Stand up and take some action!
RHS:  The members of Congress or worse than Broadway audiences.  They’ll clap at anything.

8:25PM
Obama:  We know that we must reform the system.  The question is how.
BPD:  The answer is single payer.  At least a public option.
Obama:  I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t.
Whitney Houston:  I believe in you and me.

8:27PM
Obama: Let’s focus on how we have been able to come together and get unprecedented work done.

8:28PM
Obama: “The time for games has passed.

8:29PM
Obama:  All right America.  Let’s get it cracking.

  1. If you’re already covered, you’re straight.
    1. This plan will just make your shit all the more tight.
    2. You can’t get dropped for pre-existing conditions.
    3. Limits on out of pocket expenses.
    4. Routine check-ups and preventive care are covered.
  2. If your insurance situation is jacked up you’re going to get something you can afford.
    1. An insurance exchange will be created.  (It will take four years to get rolling.)
    2. If you can’t afford it, we’ll provide tax credits.
    3. In the meantime we’re going to provide you with affordable options.
    4. Individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance.
    5. Business will be required to provide health care or chip in to cover the cost of their workers.
    6. Small businesses will get a nice little deal.
    7. Big business will get the wrath of Sasha Obama if they don’t.
  3. Improving our health care system only works if everyone does their part.

8:37PM
Obama:

“…given all the misinformation that’s been spread over the past few months, I realize — I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. So tonight, I want to address some of the key controversies that are still out there.

Some of people’s concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but by prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens.

Now, such a charge would be laughable if it weren’t so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie plain and simple.”

Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, just interrupted the President and called him a liar.  In the words of The Coasters, “yakity yak.  Don’t talk back.”
In the words of my Grandmother, “Child, sit down and be quiet.  Can’t you see grown folks is talking.”

WTF Break

RHS:  Did someone just boo the President of the United States, Commander and Chief of our Armed Forces and Leader of the Free World, and call him a liar?
BPD:  You heard it too?  I thought that I was stroking out.  That is some mess.  This is a joint session of Congress not an Octagon match.
Peaco:  I wonder if that would have happened if the color of his skin doesn’t make him fair game to many people in the room?  This denial of rank and privilege is a common thread of White Americans in response to people of color.  No one was going around hanging images of Dubya in effigy.  I know.  I am a man of color too.

8:45PM
Obama
I will not back down on the basic principle that, if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice.  (How you like them apples, BPD?)
BPD:  Sweet, hunny, listen, the POTUS’ balls just dropped!

8:46PM
Obama:  I have no idea how I’m going to pay for this.

8:47PM
RHS & BPD: We’ll pay for it, Jesus!  Just get the shit done!

8:48PM

ObamaNow, part of the reason I faced a trillion-dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for, from the Iraq war to tax breaks for the wealthy.
I will not make that same mistake with health care.

8:49PM
Obama:  Old people, Medicare is safe.

8:55PM
Obama
My door is always open.  But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than to improve it.
BPD
I think that Obama got my letter.

8:56PM
Obama:  We will call you out your lies.  And we will stare right at the Republicans while we do it.

8:57PM
Obama: Ted Kennedy
Biden: Joe Biden is a real man!  Joe Biden cries!
Pelosi:  Thank goodness I wore my waterproof mascara.
Obama:  Now I’m going to put some Republicans on the spot and make them feel bad about punking Ted Kennedy’s memory.
Pelosi:  Joe?
Joe:  Don’t look at me woman, I’m barely keeping it together.  I am two gentlemanly sniffles away from breaking into full out sobs.

9:03PM
It is over.  Barack Obama just lit that shit on fire and gyrated over it.

I stand up next to a mountain, and I chop it down with the edge of my hand.

I stand up next to a mountain, and I chop it down with the edge of my hand.

9:04PM
The crowd loses its mind.

9:07PM  – RETORT
Rep.  BoustanyLord Boustany here responding.  My arms sort of flap at my sides when I’m not wearing my crown.  I think that when people get sick, it’s their own fault.  Ta! Ta! peons!

BPD:  Loud Boustany = FAIL.  When you make Bobby Jindal seem like he’s got Ferris Bueller charm you’re not doing anything but helping my team.

~~~

Dudes, Barack fucking killed it.  The speech was well structured and I really applauded when he got forceful.  I was glad to hear him clearly articulate what he wants.  I am very interested to see how the wonks work it all out.  I was really pleased with the way that he directed a great deal of his address to the Republicans.  Equally pleased was the, “I think I just soiled my pants” face that most of them started to make.

He really brought it home at the end with the Ted Kennedy bit.  That was just masterful.  I feel good that he’s still in the fight.

And I know, that it’s not cogent policy, but enough cannot be said for how useful a little hope injection can be.





All signs point to crazy.

18 08 2009

… outside a town hall the summer of aught nine.

I can haz magic marker.

I can haz magic marker.

So this has been floating around the Facebook (and most probably the interwebs) and I could not resist floating it around here.

You, sir, in your horizontally striped blue and white, short-sleeved polo are my hero. 

  1. Properly fitted jeans – check.
  2. Aforementioned super cute polo shirt – check.
  3. Arms the perfect length for subversive sign wielding – check.
  4. Grin – check.

Simply awesome, my man.  Simply awesome.

But let’s take a look at the signs that he’s competing with.
 

First at bat is the gentleman who appears to be camera-shy and is holding a sign that says, “‘We the People’ are the Government.” RHS was quick to assert that, uhm, he’s totally wrong about that but I decided to play the Devil’s Advocate. 

Let’s assume that he is correct and “we the people” are, in fact, the government. 
If that’s so, why the big deal about a “government take-over” or “government overhaul” of health-care?  What’s there to be afraid of?  What’s there to picket?

Unless you’re calling us dumb, Camera-Shy… and I just want you to know that my inner nerd will not suffer that gladly.

Then there’s the poor little girl who’s missing her Hannah Montana to stand out in the sun carrying a sign that one of her parents made her use all of her best glitter markers on.  Her sign says, “Oh, I’m sorry we thought READING the bill was UR job.”

Seriously, good try kid.  Because it’s clear that the American school system has failed you what with your pitiable grasp of grammar and that fact that you can’t even spell y-o-u-r.  I also wonder if maybe you think it’s the government’s job to read the bill because you can’t read.  And if that’s true, take comfort, Camera-Shy behind you is the government.

And the lady next to you with the Term Limits Now sign is your mom.  Dude, kid, you are fucked.

Your mom isn’t aware that the town hall discussion she’s picketing is about health care.  But then again most of the picketers don’t. 
Your mom also isn’t aware of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.  Or hell, maybe she is and she’s talking about term limits for members of Congress, which okay, point one for the lady whose kid can’t punctuate, spell or read.

And lastly the Red-Shirt.

Fella… I just.  Well, let’s start at the beginning.

Health Care Reform | | Drug Testing Piss in Cup First

Well that just about says it all, doesn’t it?  I think that he means: Health Care Reform = Drug Testing: Piss in Cup First.  Which, on its surface is a somewhat odd stance.  You know, the stance against drug testing – I honestly didn’t know that drug testing was an issue that people protested against.  But to each his OxyContin loving own.  But if we take this in the metaphorical sense… what the fuck kind of metaphor is this?

Oh… I get it, the kind of metaphor that sounds like the true meaning of life when you’re totally high.  Because you’d have to be totally, in Rush Limbaugh’s words “loop[ed] out” to think that the American health-care system as it is, is just fine and not in need of reform.

Either that or peeing in a cup is just too great a challenge for you and if that’s the case Red-Shirt, then you’ve got bigger fish to fry than making a jack-ass out of yourself at town hall.

The signs are clear.  These people are scared, delusional and misinformed but I am glad that they brought their silly signs and not their guns.





Wise, indeed.

17 08 2009

Tim Wise defends his view that racism is “driving force behind the outpouring of anger” that we’ve been seeing this summer in town halls in this essay entitled, “Racism, Right-Wing Rage and the Politics of White Nostalgia“.

My favourite is this bit:

This second writer sought to explain herself further however, just so as not to be misunderstood. When people like her claim they want to return to “what our forefathers started,” she continued, they simply mean the part about being dependent on God, rather than government.

Of course, last time I checked God wasn’t offering to pick up the tab for chemo treatments, organ transplants, or any other medical procedure for that matter. Oh, and not to put too fine a point on it, but the founders actually did foster quite a lot of government dependence: enshrining slavery was about government protecting white people from the competition of free black labor, and white folks becoming quite dependent on that protection. Stealing native land and then redistributing it to white people was about dependence on government-imposed violence. And later, yet still in the supposedly “good old days,” government dependence was at the heart of segregation–which artificially subsidized white people in the job, school and housing markets–and was at the heart of the FHA and VA loans that white families used (and from which black families were all but completely blocked) in the 40s and 50s, which literally built the white middle class.

But I’m guessing that when she uses a phrase like “dependence on government” she isn’t thinking about the white folks who were given 270 million acres of essentially free land under the Homestead Act. Or the 15 million or so white families who got those racially preferential home loans, with government underwriting and guarantees, thanks to programs implemented by liberals and thanks to pressure from the left. I’m thinking she isn’t talking about the white soldiers (but typically not the black ones) who were able to return from World War II and make use of the GI Bill to go to college, or get job training. And the fact that she likely doesn’t think of those kinds of things and those kinds of people as being dependent on government is, of course, precisely the problem, and the point I was trying to make.

Indeed several of the e-mails made this same argument about opposing “government dependence,” all the while oblivious, it appears, to the way in which that concept has become so color-coded in the white imagination over the past several decades. In fact, this is a point I had made on the program: that according to a significant body of social science research (among the most prominent, Martin Gilens’s brilliant book, Why Americans Hate Welfare), most whites perceive social program spending aimed at helping the have-nots (be they income have-nots, housing have-nots, or health care-have nots) as being about giving something to those people, who are, of course, conceived of in black and brown terms, and taking from “hard-working” white folks in order to do it. So if the notion of government dependence itself has been racialized–and the evidence says it has been–to say that it is only this dependence you oppose, and that racism has nothing to do with it is to either lie or engage in self-deception of a most unfortunate and unbecoming variety.

He really gets into it and I really appreciate that he does.  Please give it a look-see. 

That Tim Wise, he certainly lives up to his name.