To Whom It May Concern:
From this day forward, Wednesday, September 17, 2008, I will no longer have the debate about universal healthcare. I just won't. Now, I know up to this point I have taken the argument on full force, armed with facts and statistics. But, after this day, a day in which the motherfucking federal government is doling out 85 million motherfucking dollars over to AIG, the largest private insurance provider in the nation, I just won't do it again. My heart, my poor, overstressed heart cannot take the conversation. So, if you want to debate it with me, when you get to the part of your argument where you roll out the potential cost to tax payers, I will just say three things: A I G. I will not mule over how your taxes will be raised so that we are all guaranteed healthcare that won't wipe out our life's savings. I will tell you that your taxes will, in fact, at some point be higher because you and me, the American taxpayers, are bailing out a company ran by some of the most educated folks in the USA because they made risky and greedy investments, lusting after huge profits.
When the Bush folks stormed Washington with a GOP majority in the Congress, I listened to their argument that deregulating the markets was the most American option on the table because, according to their expert opinions, the free markets always take care of things. They told me that they didn't need to regulate it because if someone practiced poor business, they would run flat out of cash. Now that has happened, but these companies aren't suffering the wrath of the free market gods. Oh hell no, they are getting YOUR get out of jail free care. Well, look around you. Each month's foreclosure numbers beat out the month before and each month's jobless claims come in crashing the last month's records. Is the government "bailing out" individuals who overextended themselves in the home mortgage? Why, hell no they aren't. If anyone even considered it, the country would collectively crinkle their noses and insist that welfare is not deserving of the greedy and/or lazy. But, group a whole bunch of upper crust assholes together and call them a corporation and Washington goes ape shit crazy at notion of them losing their shit. I've learned this week if the helping hand is extended to families, those folks not privy to highly padded no bid contracts, it is deemed "welfare." "Bail outs" are for companies. And to make the whole deal even more damned irritating for me is that these AIG folks won't have to pay any of the money back. That's right. Even though YOUR tax dollars are going to fund their poor practices, their future profits will remain private. Ain't that some shit?
This is called socialized capitalism. The government is paying the overhead for private business.
So, as I said at the start, from this day forward, I will no longer debate universal healthcare. I just won't.
I Love You,
Oh, and AIG, if you are reading this, I DO EXPECT a thank you card. Assholes.
To Whom It May Concern:
Last night’s bombshell by the Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was not subjected to a lengthy in-person background interview with the head Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential vetting team until last Wednesday in Arizona, the day before McCain asked her to be his running mate, and she did not disclose the fact that her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant until that meeting, two knowledgeable McCain officials acknowledged Tuesday.”
The Atlantic’s Josh Green writes about how Republicans could replace Palin on the ticket. “At any point before [tonight], McCain could simply replace Palin. But once she formally accepts her nomination, he’ll no longer have the power to do so unilaterally. According to Ben Ginsberg, the former general council at the Republican National Committee, Republican rules stipulate that the 168 members of the national committee would need to ratify any replacement to make it official.”
Salon’s Mike Madden looks at some of the more interesting GOP responses given to questions about Palin’s experience. “If you ask McCain's team, the skepticism about Palin's experience is totally unwarranted. ‘She's more qualified than Obama,’ senior advisor Mark Salter told Salon, citing her 13 years in elected office (including her time on the Wasilla, Ala., city council). ‘He has no business being president.’ Campaign aides seem unwilling to drop the line that Palin's command of the Alaska National Guard gives her an important credential, even though it sometimes sounds a little silly coming from Republican loyalists. ‘She's run her own military,’ said Joseph LeBlanc, 82, a delegate from Mountain Home, Ark. ‘Alaska is the biggest land [area] state,’ said Betty Kiene, an alternate from Piedmont, Okla. ‘Her neighbors are Canada and Russia, which means she's dealt with international problems.’”
"McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has asked the state's personnel board to review allegations that she improperly ordered the firing of the former public safety commissioner. … The new filing was accompanied by a 13-page accounting of Palin's version of the events, denying any abuse of power. Palin's attorney has long contended that the investigation belonged in the personnel system and not the legislature."
Here’s another piece on the earmarks Palin obtained, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times: “For much of his long career in Washington, John McCain has been throwing darts at the special spending system known as earmarking, through which powerful members of Congress can deliver federal cash for pet projects back home with little or no public scrutiny. He's even gone so far as to publish ‘pork lists’ detailing these financial favors.”
But: “Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of ‘objectionable’ spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin. Now, McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has chosen Palin as his running mate, touting her as a reformer just like him.”
"McCain's campaign hoped that the five days between the introduction of Sarah Palin as his running mate and her high-stakes speech tonight to the Republican National Convention would let it weave a narrative about the Alaska governor as a kindred maverick reformer who shares McCain's disdain for pork barrel projects and political corruption. But almost from the moment of her unveiling, one report after another has deconstructed that story line. Instead, voters are seeing reports that have questioned whether she really opposed the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" as she claimed, whether she abused her office's power in firing a state official, and why she hired a lobbying firm to land nearly $27 million in federal projects while she was mayor of Wasilla.
"These issues, going to the heart of her reputation as a reformer, are being raised as the campaign continued to deal with Monday's disclosure that Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant. The issues have spurred questions about whether Palin's record and background were fully reviewed before she was put on the ticket."
Maureen Dowd has a scathing column on Palin and McCain. “When McCain gets in trouble, he pulls out the P.O.W. card. Now Republicans are pulling out the sexist card. Hillary cried sexism to cover up her incompetent management of her campaign, and now Republicans have picked up that trick. But when you use sexism as an across-the-board shield for any legitimate question, you only hurt women. And that’s just another splash of reality.”
So does Tom Friedman. Going into this election, I thought that - for the first time - we would have a choice between two ‘green’ candidates. That view is no longer operative… With his choice of Sarah Palin - the Alaska governor who has advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and does not believe mankind is playing any role in climate change - for vice president, John McCain has completed his makeover from the greenest Republican to run for president to just another representative of big oil.”
The New York Times profiles Palin’s original bid for mayor. “The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics. The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people - Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? - seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein. Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin’s behalf.”
The Boston Globe went to Palin's home town: "As Palin prepares to accept the Republican nomination for vice president tonight, in a speech that will mark her sudden ascent to national fame, neighbors in her Alaskan town are responding with a mix of pride, amazement, and, in some cases, trepidation."
I think I'm going to vote Republican. They're right, I don't deserve health care, because Texas needs a few more billionaires, because I need the government to tell me who I can love and how I can love them. Watch the video. You might find a few reasons yourself.
Good Morning, Readers. I totally bloglifted this from my friend Suzanna over that The Campaign for the Unshaved Snatch. To find her witty blog, either visit http://cussandotherrants.com or click here. Thanks, Suzanne, for letting me swipe your entire post. It's brilliant and I'm lazy.
So the Bush administration really did it. Yesterday, they re-wrote Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines to allow people to impose their personal definitions of abortion on women seeking health care services. It's a convoluted regulatory change that basically cuts off funding to family planning clinics that tend to serve low income women. (More information at NARAL and National Partnership for Women & Families.) You know, the same population who the Bush administration also denies health care coverage for their children. The same people who are always being told to take responsibility for their lives. Also? If you are raped? You don't have the right to get emergency contraception if you want it. Have a nice life.
We have 30 days to register our thoughts on this. Planned Parenthood is asking for donations specifically to fight this insanity. You can also sign petitions at NARAL (use the link above) and MoveOn, but of course, the Bush administration will just ignore them. (Still, it doesn't hurt to go on the record as a defender of your rights.)
If people wonder why I am bummed that our move to London was canceled even though it would have meant living apart from Husband for a part of the year so I could finish my MFA, you are now reminded why. Oh, yeah, and according to a report by the New York Times, the Bush administration is also "preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans — without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime," so you know damn well that anyone who works for reproductive justice is going to be spied on. I can't wait to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to read the nice fat file they'll put together on me. Maybe you want to rethink signing that petition...
Okay, folks, now that Elk City's had their first day of uniforms in schools, now what do you think?
Do you still hate it?
Do you still love it?
Are you pissed that your kid was dressed to the heel while their classmates seemed to miss the bar?
My kids aren't school aged, nor do I live in Elk City. SO, for those of you who don't live locally, please feel free to leave your thoughts? We've already talked about this once and we want opinions not so close to the fire.
When the handsome, smooth talking John Edwards, a charming North Carolina senator, first appeared on my political radar about 6 years ago, I remember telling my husband that he reminded me of John Kennedy. I have always loved all things Kennedy, so from me this is a supreme compliment. You might recall the blubbering mess I was for the entire summer of 1999, grief-riddled in mourning for the loss of my darling John Jr.
As I logged onto msn yesterday, my jaw gaped open as I read the headline, "John Edwards admits affair, denies fathering child."
What? Are there two John Edwards?
The first thought running through my mind as I clicked on the article's link was that this affair had to be ancient history. Although stumbling onto the headline and then opening the full article only took a matter of a few seconds, I had already convinced myself that this was going to be the unearthing of some ancient love affair, a slip in John's distant past.
Boy, was I wrong about that! The lurid facts of John's not-so-ancient liaison flooded my brain. So, in 2006, as John was kicking up the volume to his presidential campaign, which was relatively successful in spite of his early withdrawal from the race, he was also puttin' it to a woman not his wife.
As I absorbed all sordid details of John's romance with Rielle Hunter, I realized that John Edwards was more like John Kennedy than I realized when I made that comparison a few years ago. Rowdy and I watched watched a documentary on The History Channel last week about the American Mafia's business in Cuba during the 1950s. One of the gangsters, now wrinkled and withered grandfather almost unfathomable as a former black-hearted crime boss, recounted a threesome he and another underworld figured orchestrated for the future president John Kennedy. Reading this unbelievable article about the secret life of John Edwards, I shook my head and thought of that.
And then, of course, I thought of John's wife Elizabeth. She's already fighting an uphill battle against stage 4 breast cancer, holding tightly to her life and reconciling to her young children, Cate, 26, Emma Claire, 10, and Jack, 8, that she very likely will be absent for the bulk of their lives. As soon as I noticed John, I noticed Elizabeth. I've admired the class and frank honesty she's displayed while raising a family in and around hectic and often brutal national politics, speaking candidly about her disease and the stern reality that it will likely end her life prematurely and, of course, the never-ending pain of losing a child. In 1996, she and John's oldest son Wade was killed in a car accident. He was 16.
My admiration for Elizbeth Edwards sparked to full-blown, unfettering love when she phoned that nasty, distasteful Ann Coulter, while Ann was on Harball with Chris Matthews to ask that tacky harpy to leave her deceased child out of her insane political rants. If you don't recall, Ann not only claimed that John is "a faggot," which is totally unacceptable hate talk, she also said she wishes he would've been killed by terrorist and, most disgusting of all, suggested that John Edwards has a bumper sticker on his car asking the public to ask about his dead son, thus accusing him of using his son's tragic death for political gain.
I'm calling you … in the South when someone does something that displeases us, we wanna ask them politely to stop doing it. Uh - I'd like to ask Ann Coulter -- if she wants to debate on issues, on positions -- we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today -- but uh it's quite another matter for these personal attacks that the things she has said over the years not just about John but about other candidates. It lowers our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it. So I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely stop the personal attacks.....
You wrote a column a couple years ago which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean's death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said ask me about my dead son. This is not legitimate political dialogue.
So, as I've come to know and love Elizabeth over the past few years, I was mortified for her yesterday. No one likes to look like a fool, especially in front of the entire country. And, I'm in no way suggesting that Elizabeth looks foolish. She doesn't, John does. But, when you've been cheated on, that is one of your many emotions.
As I continued to process all this yesterday, I had some of the same feelings as one of my favorite bloggers, PunditMom. She wrote:
Whether it's our business or not, when you get caught (and people always get caught), it will pretty much be the end of your career, unless you are an uber-politician like Bill Clinton.
John, how could you not know that? The only way I would be more ticked off right now, is if you HAD become the Democratic nominee and this news was coming out 2 1/2 weeks before the convention. In any event, the GOP is still going to find a way to make hay with this. I know they are working on the ad even as I am typing this post.
If we held John Edwards to his campaign rhetoric, he knew as much or more than anyone how important this election is. We have no idea not only how to end this war, but are also dangerously close to expanding it in other Middle Eastern countries. The world's overall opinion of our country has never been worse. In order to keep these Bush tax cuts, the first tax cuts we've ever had during wartime during the history of this country, we borrow in the ball park of $3 billion each month from China, India and various other nations. Few things are more dangerous to a country's vitality than mounting war debt. Just ask the Romans or the English Empire or the Russians circa 1992. Each month's home foreclosure numbers breaks the last month's record for the worst month in history. We cheer when Wall Street reports flat retail numbers instead of declining ones, which has been the norm since last summer. Salaries have remained stagnant while the cost of fuel, food and health care have skyrocketed. John repeatedly sited these things and many others on the campaign trail.
So, why would he jeopardize this important election by screwing up like this? Screwing, by the way, is the operative word in the sentence.
I still get pissed off when I think of the ridicules Monica Lewinksy witch hunt this nation went through in the late 1990s. That bottom-feeding, media whore Ken Starr wasted billions of tax payers' dollars investigating a blowjob as though it were a high-profile murder. Can you imagine how many unsolved crimes would have been, well, solved if we devoted to them even half the resources he did toward defining whether oral sex is or is not, in fact, sex? And Congress and Newt Gingrich, who coincidentally was screwing his intern at the time, seriously shut down the government to flex their powerful muscles during this nonsense.
Now, I could see pre-Lewinsky where politician could feel brazen enough to dip their wick outside the marriage ink pool. Almost every important leader in this country from Thomas Jefferson to Richard Nixon did the very same. This post would go on literally forever it I typed out the illicit presidential nookie that I personally have read about. Of course, we took a little break from it during the Reagan-Bush I years, but that's only because The Gipper was 200 years old and Viagra hadn't been invented yet. Trust me, 'Ole Ronnie had many successful years of whore mongering out in Hollywood.
So, I don't care who a president is sleeping with. Some of our best leaders have been the biggest tom cats in the bunch. However, I apparently stand nearly alone in this and John knows that. I am not pissed off that he cheated on Elizabeth, though I do have great sympathy for her in that. Either way, it's in between them. I am pissed off that, with his great knowledge of what the Clinton-Lewinksy circus did to our nation and our party, that he would still seek the presidency knowing this would feed our need for sex scandals. Until the last decades, the sex lives of our presidents were largely considered off limits to the press and, yet, we still know that Jefferson fathered a child with his slave and that FDR died with his mistress and that, among Kennedy's numerous extra martial trysts, that he had a freakin' threesome in Cuba 60 damn years ago! Now we report president's and presidential candidate's sex lives more passionately than we do their positions. Get your head of the gutter. I mean positions like tax policy and health care reform not missionary and doggie style. If you tuned into a nightly news broadcast now for the first time, you would honestly think it was the latter, though.
So, seriously John, even after this was rumored in The National Enquirer last year, you went to visit this woman in a hotel room this last week? Did you think that since you weren't the nominee you wouldn't be followed? Every nice word Barack Obama has ever said about you most assuredly will be dug up and played next to clips of Jeremiah Wright. I really wanted to see what kind of president you would've been, but I am now so thankful you weren't our nominee. Whatever reason you went to visit Ms. Hunter, you were breaking some rule in doing so.
John Edwards released a statement last night and it contained several sentences that made me want to shake my head in disbelief, as though he truly learned nothing from the Clinton ordeal. Not so appalling was that he claimed to have already told his family of his slip and I truly hope that is true. I can imagine no way is worse than the way Hillary found out about Bill's infidelity. John needed to apologize publicly and there are certainly parts of the statement that no one could debate, like this one,
In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.
However, I fear that other portions of it will come back to bite him in his pretty ass just like Bill Clinton's, "Define what 'is' is."
When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough.
99 percent? Are you fucking for real, John?
With allegations already stemming all over the internet that he gave Rielle Hunter hush money, you can bet that investigations into donor fraud will ensue. He swears Rielle's six-month-old daughter Francis Quinn Hunter isn't his child and, if the affair truly ended when he says it did, that should be true. Maury Show, here we come! But, the problem is that John's denied this story before, so no one believes him now. You know Maury does the lie detector tests, too.
With Eliot Spitzer's young prostitute girlfriend Ashley Dupree now taking million dollar reality TV deals, you can bet that Rielle Hunter will be the dirty story of the year. As soon as the Olympics is over, I'm sure she'll have mascara running down her shivering face as she confides to Barbara Walters and all of America the plight of love-torn, adulterous heart. And if this seems to do any damage to Barack Obama's campaign, you can bet that some group pulling for him will air ads about John McCain's colorful sex life. Just so you know, while I am an Obama Momma, I neither care nor want to know about who John McCain has or has not screwed. I don't think it has anything to do with presidenting, as George Bush calls it. If anything, being a practicing horn dog only seems to make presidents more efficient. I sure wish George would go out for some strange, you know what I mean?
By November, this election is going to make The Jerry Springer Show look like a Tony Award winning play. You know how much I love, love, love those "Who's Your Daddy?" Maury shows. I just think Washington is incestuous and dysfunctional enough without sensational paternity tests.
Way to go, John!
For your entertainment, I've written a three-act play for you, my brilliant readers. Now because you are you, I know you are on a higher intellectual playing field. That's why I didn't act it out and post it up through youtube. So, just perform this masterpiece in your mind. Oh, and by the way, this is all totally hypothetical, totally.
SETTING: Country Living Room, any living room. Young couple are unpacking the female's stuff, let's call her Sadie, into the slightly older male's, Duke, home. They've recently made the decision to co-inhabit with one another, a first for Sadie, third for The Duke. (What dude doesn't want to be named Duke?)
SADIE (super giddy): Hey baby, I'll start cooking those enchiladas as soon as I put away the rest of the dishes.
DUKE: Sounds good.
Telephone begins to ring.
SADIE: I've got it.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Good evening ma'am, is Debbie home?
Awkward silence as Sadie looks at Duke, shakes head and grins.
SADIE: I'm sorry she no longer lives here.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Ma'am, this is the number we have listed for her.
SADIE: Yes, but this is no longer her number.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR (all sarcastic, as though Sadie is lying): Ma'am, we need to speak with Debbie about an important matter.
SADIE: Well, sir, I would love to help you reach her, but I don't know her. She lived with my boyfriend before I did. So, you see, I don't know her number.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: I'm sorry for your time, ma'am.
Repeat similar scene once or twice a month for the following year.
ONE YEAR LATER
SADIE (7 months pregnant): Duke, what time will you be in for lunch today? I was thinking I would fry chicken fried steak and just make up some sandwiches. Is that okay with you?
DUKE: That'll work!
Sadie putters around the house, refills her coffee mug with some decaf and turns on The Today Show.
The phone rings.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Hello, Debbie please.
SADIE: There's no Debbie here.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Is this 555-XXX-5555?
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Well, this is the number we have listed for her.
SADIE: Yes, I realize that it probably is, but she no longer lives here and hasn't for quite some time now.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Are you sure?
SADIE: Oh, I'm quite sure.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: This is the number listed on her application.
SADIE: Uh-huh, she did live here at one time, but she doesn't any more.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Do you know how to reach her then?
SADIE: No, I don't.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: If she once lived there and, further, you know that, how can you not know how to reach her.
SADIE (quite pregnant and quite peeved): Well, let me tell you how. Before my husband and I met, she lived with him. Now naturally she had moved out before I moved in. Hell, she'd moved out long before I met him. I've gotten these calls for a long time and I've been very patient with them, but I'm pregnant and hormonal and, frankly, I don't need a periodical reminder from you bloodsuckers that my husband once shared this house with another woman.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: I apologize, ma'am. I'll take your number off the list.
Sadie hangs up the phone, half embarrassed that she snapped at bottom-feeding
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR and half hopes he spreads that effin' DO NOT CALL onto the team of other callers frequently ringing her line for her husband's old flame.
Over the following three years, various companies continue to call for Duke's ex-girlfriend. In fact, one even calls for her daughter. Sadie typically laughs them, periodically writing the calls down as messages to joke with her husband.
The calls eventually wane down to once every two or three months. Sadie never thinks of the calls except when she is randomly ambushed by one.
THREE MORE YEARS LATER
Sadie and Duke are playing with two children in the living room floor.
SADIE: Do you know what this week is?
DUKE (nervously): No, what?
SADIE: Our anniversary.
DUKE (eyes darting, cussing his thoughtful little brother in his head for not reminding him): Our anniversary, really?
SADIE: Not our wedding anniversary, jackass. It was five years ago that I moved out here with you.
DUKE: Am I suppose to get you a present or take you out to eat for that?
SADIE: No, I'm just telling you that it's been five years of blissful living.
DUKE (clearly relieved): Oh.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Hello miss, is Debbie in?
SADIE: Um, no, no she's not. In fact, she hasn't been in over five years. Do you know how I know she hasn't lived here in five years?
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Hmmm....no ma'am, I don't.
SADIE: Well, let me tell you freakin' how. I know she hasn't lived here in five years because I've lived here for five years. Do you know why she wouldn't be living here while I was living here?
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR (all passive and frightened): No?
SADIE: Because I wouldn't have moved in with my husband if he were still living with his ex-girlfriend in the same house no less. Further, I wouldn't have turned the spare room into a nursery and brought not one, but two kids into it if the father was living there with his old girlfriend.
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Well, no need to fret miss. I was calling to inform Debbie that she has been entered into a million dollar sweepstakes. But, since she no longer lives there and I called you at a bad time, let's just enter you in the contest instead. Can I have your name please?
SADIE: Are you fucking kidding me?
TELEMARKETER/BILL COLLECTOR: Excuse me, ma'am.
Sadie hangs up the phone, looks at Duke and shakes her head. Five years later, still getting calls.