Friday, October 31, 2008

Rachel Maddow: the gay is not the measles

My girl crush speaks to the infectious nature (or not) of the gay, as expressed by Republican asshat Kit Bond of Missouri.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

barack obama touches my heart

I haven't experienced this with politicians before. Oh, I've heard rousing speeches and speeches that excited me or stirred some patriotic urge. But I haven't encountered a politician who reaches right into my soul and makes me feel . . . comforted. That's it, he comforts me. He speaks to me in ways no politician ever has. Maybe it's life experience and where I am at this point in George Bush's America. I don't know what it is, but when I hear his calm voice telling me his plans for this country (and I'm smart enough and informed enough to know that his plans could work), I feel better.

Watching what is widely known as Obama's Infomercial last evening, I found myself in tears from the waving wheat. Inside of me is still that child who recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning before class at First Lutheran. The one who felt that the possibilities for my life were countless and that optimism and hard work would always be rewarded.

Hearing from the couple who'd planned a comfortable retirement, then had to refinance their home to pay for medical bills just wrecked me. When the 72 year old man put on the Wal-Mart cap to go to work for his wife's car, to save their home, I wept. Hard.

My house, too, was paid for. My retirement was secure and then Mike got sick. I'm a can-do all American gal, so I buckled down and started a business so I could take care of him. And I worked 100+ hours a week for four straight years. Forty hours for the health care we desperately needed and the rest to cover the copays and deductibles and "experimental" drugs that were the only cure for him. American dream turned nightmare.

It shouldn't be this hard. I have worked since I was 14 years old. I had a great retirement planned until the stock market bottomed out. I am still comfortable, relatively safe, safer than most I know. And I have health insurance ~ $1500 a month in health care costs ~ and I am fortunate.

My sweet friend Crixi van Cheek, who's had more than his share of health care nightmares to deal with, said this about the Infomercial, being billed by the right as just another slick marketing tool:

We watched sitting at the kitchen table. On the same day that the doctor told me I may need more surgery on the same day that Aetna denied coverage for more chemo and told me my co-pay would be over $4,000.00. And I watched that man on TV and I cried because despite the circumstances of my health, our finances and utter wreckage of the Bush years he provides hope.

Thats enough. Just give me hope.

And that's enough for me too. Give me hope. Barack Obama did that last night and I can only trust that he touched others as well. Hope. A little bit of help. It's all we need.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i. can't. fucking. take. it.

Six more days? How many more days? Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, TUESDAY. It's unbearable.

I have a romping case of Election Related Anxiety Disorder and I need something, some massive doses of valium, alcohol, some fucking thing to get me through Tuesday and what I hope will be, what must be, the beginning of getting this country turned around. I compulsively check HuffPo, Wonkette, Talking Points Memo, Kos, Americablog, Shakesville, Jack & Jill Politics, Joe.My.God, Digby, knowing if disaster strikes, they'll hear it first. I've taken ~ God help me ~ to checking Free Republic, that maniac Malkin, the Fox News website, Town Hall, always with a sense of impending doom, as if the rantings of lunatics could somehow reassure me.

Are you feeling this? I am losing my mind. Mike too. We're constantly running each other down throughout the day to share the latest positive (sometimes negative) indicator. The polls in . . . The turnout in . . . Flyers in Philly telling Dems to vote Wednesday!!!! Could all the polls be . . . What will we do if . . Rachel said. . . In 2004, the polls at this point . . . Oh God, now there's a tape! a video! can you bear it? How fast can we get that house in Mexico? What will we do . . . They can't win again, can they? CAN THEY???


Do you think they can pull it off again??? One more election stolen by the rat bastards who promised a permanent Republican majority eons ago, back in 2000, when the abominations of the Bush administration were only neocon wet dreams?

I am terrified. I can't sleep. Lordy, I can eat though, my constant companion in times of unbearable stress. I wish I could drink ~ just one after 26 years, wouldn't that be okay? just to get through? ~ or pop a pill or just have someone put me to sleep for six days. My 1st grade biracial grandson comes into the warehouse after school all riled up. "Grandma! If that old white man wins, he's gonna make all us black people slaves again!" Even the children. I reassure him. I can't reassure myself. Six days. I can't bear it. Can you?

So I take a deep breath and remind myself of the outpouring of support we're seeing across this nation, of the unprecedented turnout and the stunning level of involvement in the Democratic campaigns at every level, and I think that we can. We can do this. They can't take it away, not this time. We can make this happen. Right? Right??? Tell me we can do this.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Donna Brazile: "I'm not going to the back of the bus!"

Love this woman. Love her. "I am not going to the back of the bus. I am going forward." I hope we are all going to go forward in this country.

Hat tip to Jack & Jill Politics.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"milton friedman's misfortune is that his policies have been tried"

That's John Kenneth Galbraith's take on the economist whose theories of the free market are held as gospel by the right wingers and the Wall Street scum who have taken this country hostage as a result of their rampant greed.

Galbraith was quoted by Naomi Klein, whose evisceration of Friedman and his ideas was precise and thorough in her book Shock Doctrine, when she spoke recently at the University of Chicago. If you've not read Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, add it to your reading list sooner rather than later. Klein is brilliant in assessing the damage done around the globe as a result of unbridled capitalism and the free market theories of Friedman and his Chicago School of economic jackbooted thugs.

There's an effective case to be made for Chile, China, Russia and all the rest serving as warm-up for what's happening in the US right now. Chilling, to say the least, but an informed citizenry is a citizenry inoculated against the effect of massive shock and resulting chaos. Shock and chaos create a ripe climate for sweeping changes for good or for ill. In Chile, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Iraq, the changes were for ill. Economic chaos in the '30s in this country produced a state of shock which allowed Roosevelt to institute sweeping changes for good, resulting in the longest and most sustained period of economic growth ever seen in this nation. Changes for good as a result of shock and chaos.

The truth about right wing economic ideology is that it is a complete failure. Not only a failure, but it is a destructive force and should be eliminated by serious people from any further discussion about how to effectively run this country. Tried and failed. Over.

As Klein said in Chicago:

More than that, what we are seeing with the crash on Wall Street, I believe, should be for Friedmanism what the fall of the Berlin Wall was for authoritarian communism: an indictment of ideology. It cannot simply be written off as corruption or greed, because what we have been living, since Reagan, is a policy of liberating the forces of greed to discard the idea of the government as regulator, of protecting citizens and consumers from the detrimental impact of greed, ideas that, of course, gained great currency after the market crash of 1929, but that really what we have been living is a liberation movement, indeed the most successful liberation movement of our time, which is the movement by capital to liberate itself from all constraints on its accumulation.

I couldn't agree more and it's time to hold these bastards accountable. Let's shake off the shock of what's happened here and use this time to our advantage: a new New Deal, a middle class resurgent, a reindustrialization of our deindustrialized economy.

These bastards are already on the move with the Wall Street crisis. Treasury's outsourcing implementation of the bailout bill, handing no-bid contracts to the same thieves who perpetrated this robbery of the American people. American citizens everywhere are recognizing that their lives have been irrevocably changed by the rampant greed of people they don't even know. Shock waves will continue to course through our nation as those who still have jobs open their quarterly IRA statements and see that their hopes and dreams for the future have been destroyed.

Information is shock resistance. Arm yourself.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

israelis for obama

This brought tears to my eyes. Maybe you too. Pass it on. If you feel like it. I wonder if it's even possible to bring this country back. We have deindustrialized this nation to the point that we do nothing but churn money. We produce almost nothing. The end goal of money churning, of course, is to get most of the money in one spot. I think that's been accomplished, ergo no more money to churn and all of us dumb bunnies sitting around thinking "what the hell happened?" Retirement account statements ought to be appearing in folks' mailboxes over the next few days. Yippee, eh?

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