February 26, 2009

What Was He Thinking?
More to the point—does he think? Does he have a brain?
Senator Schultheis of the Colorado General Assembly stated publicly that he opposes the AIDS testing of pregnant women. Even having a private thought like this, imnsho, disqualifies him from holding office.

When he received the inevitable and well deserved flak for making such a statement, he defended it. He said that he hoped the child born to a woman with AIDS would contract the disease—thereby causing its mother to feel guilty.
To his mind, the child’s suffering and premature death takes second chair to making a statement about the woman’s “promiscuity”.
Of course, it is not a given that the mother had engaged in promiscuous sexual behavior. Furthermore, if she had, by Schultheis’ lights, acted in such a fashion, that does not mean that any objective observer might agree with his view.
And if she had, even in an objective light, acted irresponsibly? According to Schultheis, we should condemn her child to this deadly disease.

Oh, and by the way—Senator Schultheis is on the Health and Human Services Committee of Colorado. I'm not kidding—I couldn't make this stuff up.

For what it’s worth, I sent an email to Senator Schultheis calling him out as the misogynist and child-hater he is and urging him to step down from office. I think we should stuff his inbox!
In case you’re interested in joining the fray, here is his email address:
Some Things Never Change
I’m watching a documentary about train wrecks during the 1800’s. It stated that two different sources of the time, The Railroad Gazette and the National Census, reported on railroad accidents. In 1875, the Gazette stated that there were 1,201 wrecks while the National Census reported 8,216. So, depending on which source you read, you were told that there were either 3 or 21 wrecks per day.

Companies and their employees were reluctant to adopt innovations like the air-brake and the telegraph. Brakemen didn’t like the air-brakes because, if they were implemented, they would lose their jobs. Companies didn’t like them because they cost money to install on the trains.
Often, the companies either didn’t buy telegraph equipment or the employees failed to use it to warn other stations of blocked tracks or scheduling problems.

Bridges were allowed to deteriorate until they collapsed. After one huge disaster, two men who were blamed for it but were not prosecuted committed suicide.

It took a number of lawsuits and criminal indictments before even minor changes began to be made piecemeal within the systems.
Eventually, the federal government stepped in, creating the standardized time system we use today and eliminating hundreds of local time zones. This measure prevented hundreds of wrecks per year.
A number of measures passed by federal, state and city governments required the railroads to either use the technology available to them or face being shut down.

Probably because the story is so old, the program was not hesitant to point out that profits and expansion were more important to the railroad companies than the loss of life and the terrible injuries that were inflicted by negligence and the refusal to impliment the technology that was available at the time.

Let’s see—failure to regulate, allowing the system to police itself, profits trumping pain, suffering and life itself—
Does any of this sound familiar?

February 24, 2009

Charlie Flubbed It

I watch Charlie Rose’s interview show regularly and for the first time ever, I’m disappointed in him.

Tonight, he interviewed John Mack, the CEO of Morgan Stanley. Before the interview commenced, he told the audience that he and Mack grew up together—lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same school. During the conversation, they mentioned the fact that Charlie introduced John to his wife.

The interview seemed, to me, to be an exercise during which Charlie lobbed softballs over the plate. He didn’t seem to be interested in holding his friend accountable for his part in the crisis.
And John spewed a good bit of self-congratulation. He denied having taken bonuses “in 2007 and 2008” claiming that, though Morgan Stanley showed profits during those years, it was not profitable enough to merit a bonus. However, he mentioned only those two years—which suggests to me that he has taken bonuses in other years—and we all know how obscene those can be. And Charlie didn’t ask him about other years. That’s what I mean when I say that he played softball with his friend. In fact, generally, Charlie didn’t confront Mack about the crisis at all. He simply allowed him to dictate the direction and tenor of the conversation.

Now, maybe Charlie had to invite a friend in order to air any program of this type. Maybe Mack was the only CEO Charlie could get to sit down in front of a camera. Even so, though, I think he spent more time placating his friend than he did illuminating his audience. While this may be human nature and, therefore, understandable—I rather wish he had, instead, asked a scientist to discuss the environment or an author to plug his latest novel.

February 21, 2009

Sean Hannity Froths at the Mouth

From the Huffington Post:
Sean Hannity's Ridiculous War Against Socialism -- Bob Cesca

Sean Hannity ought to heroically command his viewers in these states to not accept those jobs. They're socialist jobs, after all.

While he's at it, Hannity might as well refuse delivery on the president's new socialized home rescue plan as well. I wonder how many McCain-Palin voters who ripped into Barack Obama for "redistributing the wealth" will actually participate in the program.

Funny what happens to ridiculous Neo-McCarthyite sloganeering when the shit really hits the fan.
Click here for the complete text.
I hear lots of folks suggesting that the representatives and governors turn down the money. It all sounds so satisfying -- let their states go down the crapper, right?

Of course, it wouldn't work out that way.
First of all, no way will the lawmakers not take the money.
And, second, our states aren't independent of each other. If Michigan goes down-- so does California --since both are so dependent on cars. If North Carolina goes down-- what will Florida do? Lots of N. Carolinians love to go to Disney World and Epcot Center. If Kansas goes down-- what will Colorado do? Many, many Kansans vacation in the Rockies, seeing as how it's less than one day's travel.

So, I guess we can be grateful that our lawmakers are such hypocrites, after all.
I cringe to think what would happen to Florida if Jeb Bush was still our governor. He just might try to set himself up for a presidential bid by betraying us. Fortunately, Crist has already gone on record. He wants the money-- no matter what Martinez says.

February 20, 2009

From the Huffington Post:
How the New York Post Monkey Cartoon Should've Looked-- by Lee Camp

February 15, 2009

Another Week, Another Ulcer

I was watching This Week with George Stephanopolous and feeling sick. Again.

Congressman Peter King [R-NY], Congressman Lindsay Graham [R-NC], Congresswoman Maxine Waters [D-CA] and Senator Charles Schumer [D-NY] were on the panel.

King and Graham belly-ached about the [fact? I don't know] that they were frozen out of writing the economic bill. When Congresswoman Waters pointed out that the three senators who stepped up to vote for the bill proposed amendments that were, across the board, accepted, they just kept on beating the same drum. They ignored the concept that, if you say NO, you don't get to change things.
They dissed the Democrats, saying that they gloated, "We won, we get to write the bill."
But, how quickly they forget what was happening for the first 6 years under Bush. The Republicans wrote new Congressional rules that froze out the minority party.
Apparently, they believed they would never again be in the minority. And didn’t they SCREAM when the Democrats enforced those same rules for the first hundred days after they gained the majority!
imo, Democrats were just too nice. They should have kept those rules for a lot longer than one hundred days.

When asked, King denied that he voted against the bill in order to present a united front. However, when it was brought up that he was in favor of the infrastructure and tax cut parts of the bill [the largest parts], he protested that he was against the tax cuts for the arts [a miniscule part] thereby admitting that the reason he voted against it was in order to present a united front. Period.

I’m so sick of the Rethuglicans I could vomit.
It's not often that I agree with Kathleen Parker. But, this time I believe she got it right:
Phelps Takes a Hit by Kathleen Parker
The Washington Post
It's hell being a celebrity, especially if you're young and find yourself at a party, where marijuana and cameras should never mix.

And it's not exactly heaven being sheriff of a county with escalating drug crimes and pressure to treat all offenders equally.

Thus it is that Olympian swimmer Michael Phelps and Sheriff Leon Lott of South Carolina's Richland County are being forced to treat seriously a crime that shouldn't be one.
Click here for the complete text.

February 13, 2009

The Frantic Voices

From the Huffington Post:
President Obama Is Driving Republicans Insane -- by Bob Cesca

By . . . merely presenting a contrast of character, President Obama is making the Republican A-listers appear small, petty and absolutely befuddled.

[I]f the Republicans are at all interested in continued survival, someone they respect should probably smack their hands and scold: Drop that filthy Limbaugh quote! You don't know where it's been!

But if this is their "voice" and they're satisfied with it, I for one welcome the new Republican "voice" and wish them a hearty and very sincere: Good luck with that.
Click here for the complete text.
Bob makes very good points. Still, I get a little nervous.
In my mind's eye, I see a little girl all dressed in white-- and the neighborhood bullies are throwing mud at her. No matter how much Scotchguard her mom laundered into her dress, won't some of the mud eventually stick? The little girl didn't get her dress dirty. But, she'll be muddy, just the same.

February 11, 2009

Starr, Once Again, Tries to Destroy America

Kenneth Starr [remember him? He's the guy who sniped at Clinton's heels for 6 years looking for something, anything, to hang on him] has filed a brief with the Supreme Court seeking to divorce all the Gay couples in California who married before Proposition 8 passed.

If you disagree with this idea, please go here, view a very moving video and sign a petition asking that these marriages be upheld and that Prop 8 be overturned.
If our Constitution means anything, it should mean that all people are equal.
It's hard to believe that people can try to destroy marriages in the name of "morality".


February 9, 2009

Once Again, the Party is Deemed More Important Than the Nation

From the Washington Post:
GOP Sees Positives In Negative Stand
by Alec MacGillis and Perry Bacon, Jr.

Three months after their Election Day drubbing, Republican leaders see glimmers of rebirth . . . .
After giving the package zero votes in the House, and with their counterparts in the Senate likely to provide in a crucial procedural vote today only the handful of votes needed to avoid a filibuster, Republicans are relishing the opportunity to make a big statement. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) suggested last week that the party is learning from the disruptive tactics of the Taliban, and the GOP these days does have the bravado of an insurgent band that has pulled together after a big defeat to carry off a quick, if not particularly damaging, raid on the powers that be.
Click here for the complete text.

Oh, that’s rich. They’re taking a page from the Taliban's playbook, now!

And, ‘Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), said “[Our] core principle that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty. That was the tallest pole in our tent, and we took an ax to it, but now we're building it back."’

So, they can dump fiscal conservatism overboard when a failing president leads them into a disastrous war based on lies. But when it comes to saving our country from the catastrophic economic policies that have been in force since Reagan, suddenly they find their “principles” again?

This is no more and no less than pitting their party’s interests against those of the nation. Again. And we’re not supposed to notice?

I don’t think so.

February 8, 2009

From the Washington Post:
Capitalist Punishment by Harold Meyerson
We demand that welfare recipients do an honest day's work for their checks.

[W]hat's the moral distinction between welfare recipients and the wizards of Wall Street, other than that the welfare recipients aren't the ones responsible for tanking the global economy?

Is this any way to treat our best and our brightest? The guys who shuttered our industrial base, indebted us to Communist China, hooked us on plastic and subprime mortgages, bought our politicians, eluded our regulations, wiped out our retirement plans -- and then turned to us for help when their house of debt collapsed? Damn straight it is. Bring on the pillories.

Click here for the complete text.

February 5, 2009

From the Huffington Post:
Daschle's Premature Dash by Dylan Loewe

The only thing more implausible than believing that a multi-millionaire with national ambitions would willfully try to defraud the IRS of $140,000 is believing that a man like that actually does his own taxes. Of course, he signs his name to them and is, as such, legally responsible for their content. But morally reprehensible? It was an error on his taxes, most likely committed by his CPA.

Tom Daschle . . . was to spearhead an effort to bring real, lasting health care reform to a country desperately seeking it. He has unique relationships with the Senators he once led, an unmatched knowledge of legislative strategy and procedure, and was an eye-witness to what went wrong when reform was attempted in 1994. He is exceptionally qualified.
Click here for the complete text.
Maybe the 2nd paragraph above was the point all along. I'm certain there are parties who do not want health care reform. And, bank on it, many of those parties have certain Congress people's ears.

On a kind of related note: People are gnashing their teeth over the fact that Daschle knew about this oversight and did nothing for several months.
Here's a fairly comparable situation: Several months ago, I was mailed a check I was supposed to cash or deposit. Now, a check for $3.43 doesn't call a lot of attention to itself and I put it aside and forgot about it. I went to the bank several times over the several months it sat on my desk and never remembered to take it with me.
Last week, the bank that issued it needed to settle its books and sent me a letter asking what had become of the check. Today, I finally cashed it.
To my mind, for Tom Daschle, $146,000.00 is probably about the equivalent of $3.43 for me. I knew the check was there-- but kept on putting off doing anything about it. I'll bet the same was true for him.

Acourse, I wonder what I'd be thinking if this post had been about Cheney or Rove. Hmmmmm.

February 2, 2009

From Truthout:
The Anti-Stimulus Crowd Blows a Gasket
-- Dean Baker

The anti-stimulus crowd is getting desperate. The possibility that a young charismatic new president will push through an ambitious package that begins to set the economy right is truly terrifying to this crew. After all, if the economy begins to turn around and has largely recovered in three or four years, the Republican leadership can look forward to spending most of their careers in the political wilderness.

President Obama will cakewalk to re-election, and even his designated successor will be able to benefit from the glow of his success.

This explains the need that many Republicans feel to block the stimulus package. This desperation led them to fabricate a report from the Congressional Budget Office . . . .
Click here for the complete text.
Don't these people read? Even when the handwriting is on the wall?
Everyone I'm reading these days says that the House Republicans are going to fall down the slippery slope of their own making by working against the country's interests yet again. They've been caught out but they just keep blundering on.

The definition of neurosis applies here: Just keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome, Rethuglicans. And, come November of 2010, you'll get to pack up your desks and go home.