I'm rather against the sort of person who thinks "The Handmaid's Tale" was a template and not a warning.

A far-reaching anti-choice bill, introduced by Republican Chris Smith and supported by 173 members of the House, includes a provision that could redefine rape and set women's rights back by decades. Right now, federal dollars can't be used for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman's life is in danger. But the Smith bill would narrow that use to "cases of 'forcible' rape but not statutory or coerced rape." As far too many women know, bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. Please sign the petition today.

A compiled petition with your individual comment will be presented to your Senators and Representative.


moveon.org -- Full petition text:

"Bruises and broken bones do not define rape - a lack of consent does. Stand up and oppose the dangerous GOP legislation to redefine rape."
Supreme Court Justices Reject Corporate Spending Limit because it supposedly ATTACKS FREE SPEECH. Of corporations. Which are corporations and not citizens.

I think perhaps my current precaffeinated state of mind is not capable of the necessary nuanced thinking here, or something. I can't see how this is a partisan issue, I can't see how it would be any good to any body, in any way, at all to allow any corporation (international or not???) to donate unlimited funds to whatever political effort will smooth their way at the expense of individual citizens.

I think it would be an excellent idea for my fellow Americans to go here:


...and attempt to let their Congresspersons know that they disapprove of the Supreme Court allowing corporate entities to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.

I don't understand why this isn't all across the headlines today, I really don't..
"There are people who think presidential politics--from a voter's perspective--is about electing someone who will do exactly what you say and enact every single one of your priorities in exactly the same manner as you would.

And then there are people who think presidential politics--from a voter's perspective--is about electing someone who shares many of your priorities, but not all of them, who may not enact them as you would, and yet whose wisdom you trust. That, for me, is the point."


I like how Lance Manion said it a little while back...On the definition of nothing...
I... don't want to be here for this.

Yanked column suggests coup against Obama

These people are insane and have no clue what true suffering is.
Ta-Nehisi on Paterson: See, it is POSSIBLE to be anti without being DEMEANING.

"Allow me to push back a little, on this notion. I think people who don't take "legitimate" cries of racism seriously because of something David Paterson said weren't likely to take them seriously anyway.

Look people make unfounded claims of victimhood all the time--about everything from anti-semitism to sexism to racism. Sarah Palin claims people looked down on her because she was from a small town. I'd suggest that if you take that as a reason to believe that people don't actually look down on small towns, you probably didn't believe it from jump.

Expecting black politicians to be more virtuous in how they deploy victimhood than white politicians is unrealistic. Marion Barry was a snake. So what. Equality means black people get to be snakes too.

The urge to ignore actual victims for the snakes among them, betrays an urge to ignore them anyway. Think about this in the grand sweep of history. It's not like we ever had an era when America was especially vigilant about racism."

I can't remember hearing anything more disgusting than the following in my life. I could have holes in my memory at present. But damn.

"2. Every health care system rations care. The Canadians, Brits, and Cubans do it on a rational basis of cost vs. quality of life or productive life determined by a panel. In the US, which the right ignores, we ration care through the invisible hand of the market. Those who are the most productive can afford the quickest care. Those less productive receive it less timely. "Collapse" by Jared Diamond and "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, might provide some background on why nations need to promote productivity. It’s not a matter of who gets healthcare, it’s a matter of “when”. There is no “when” in America, however, if the medical procedure is statim."

(Please note that Mr. Gill is not complaining.)

(One "Karl" answers back point-by-point)

"2. Yes, every system rations care. The first sentence is correct, but then you fall apart again. By the way, I know exactly where you get the idea that there is a "panel" somewhere with a big stack of files in front of them. It's that panel where they're all wearing furry hats, smoking filterless cigarettes, and proclaiming "DA" or "NYET" to every decision a doctor makes. It's called an "Insurance Claim Review Board" and they're all over the United States. Now here in Canada (you probably won't believe this, but *shrug*), there is no such thing as an Insurance Claim Review Board. The decision on treatment is completely in the hands of the doctor. He or She doesn't have to seek pre-approval from any insurance provider. From the documentaries I've seen, this is the exact opposite in the USA where every doctor must spend an enormous amount of time dealing with insurers and fighting for coverage.

But as far as rationing goes, you got it wrong. Health care in Canada is rationed on the basis of need, period. The level of care is exactly the same as any average American with good health insurance would get. The difference is for the people that have no insurance. It's funny that you mention angina. Many of the documentaries that I've seen have stated the same thing, namely that heart attacks are the main cause of bankruptcy in the USA.

Your quip about being 'sent home with pills' in point number one is also a projection of your own system and no one else's. I've seen the varies investigations that we've all seen on TV when it comes to this. A huge number of Americans do not seek medical care during all the stages that lead up to serious illness simply because they can not afford it. If they are prescribed drugs, some will cut their dosages in half without telling their doctors so that it lasts longer. Or, they will seek out Canadian pharmacies to buy the exact same drugs at a reasonable price. Do you know that there have been news reports on Canadian television showing American families with vans full of kids, or granny and gramps in their wheelchairs, driving across the border to visit Canadian pharmacies because it's the only way they can afford 6 months worth of pills? And why do they rely solely on the pills? Because there is no way they can afford the operation that would correct the problem, that's why."

(the Ebert article from the top)
GOP: We're fighting for YOU!

LOL! -- I just noticed I have three different "politics" tags, two misspelled. That's what automatic field fill-in will do for your butt... I guess it's helpful for the overflow.
The Tragedy and Betrayal of Booker T. Washington

Really good Ta Nehisi post on the derailment of the black conservative tradition in the U.S.

I've been (slowly) making my way through this Booker T. Washington biography. It really is a great read. But that aside, I think that it also highlights a great tragedy in race relations in this country. Washington is arguably the most effective and powerful black conservative in this country's history.


You must understand the chilling effect this had to have on black people. To actually concede to all the racist propaganda out there, and then to be rewarded by hooligans burning down your community must have been psychologically devastating. People wondering why the GOP can't get a foothold in the black community, need to not just think about Goldwater and Nixon. They should think about Du Bois telling black men to go fight in The Great War, and then having those veterans come home to the Red Summer of 1919. They should think about the pogroms that greeted Booker T's compromise. There's a lot of hurt out there. A lot of ancient hurt. A lot of it, even in these times, quite deep.
It's like watching toddlers break their toys, so that no one else can have them. (Then again, having lived in DC in the early to mid '90s I should not be surprised.)

Please Go Galt!

Be Like Reagan and Thatcher!
I don't know. I just don't know.


I think there's an element of shrewdness going on here (particularly when I stop to consider how they have the white homophobic guy giving the invocation and, in the wake of Prop 8, the black defender of gay rights and gay marriage giving the benediction -- there's some attempted symbolism at work, I suspect) but I'm not sure if it's working.

(Maybe it is working in political realms whose blogs I don't frequent much?)

At any rate, here is a nice clip of Rev. Lowery speaking.



Extra Linkage:
Greenwald, Salon.com: How new is Obama's new politics?

The above piece references the following links:
pro or at least explanatory

Oh dear this is a good point too

To answer John’s question: give it a month. Barack Obama will then sit down with, and promote at state events, a parade of very non-metaphorical racists, anti-Semites, murders, tyrants, torturers, and worse, many of whom are our very great friends. (The bolded bits were links in the original.)

Do intro speeches or exit speeches tend to garner the most attention and memory? I know that writing classes tell you to load the info and/or images you most want readers to remember at the end of a sentence, where they will seem to be more important, have more impact.

I am uncomfortable. It will all hinge, I suppose, on what Obama says in his own speech. I have had a distinct dearth of faith in the man (and the party) all along, and I've been spectacularly wrong, so here's hoping.

Something Old: T-N C, Then there's this stuff:One thing I do not understand about this traditional marriage


Dec. 10th, 2008 12:52 pm
Joe the Plumber feels tainted by the McCain Campaign

"Wurzelbacher told conservative radio host Glenn Beck that he felt "dirty" after "being on the campaign trail and seeing some of the things that take place..."
Is that not the most annoying phrase in the galaxy? Don’t have issues, don’t have concerns, don’t be angry/indignant/upset… You’re interfering with MY happiness! (My feelings being, by default, more important than yours. Obviously. Shhhh. Quiet now. Squelch. Censor. Stomp.) Don't harsh my squee.

I have, as I’ve gotten older, become slightly more wary of leaping onto "Other People’s Causes" – not of the believing in them, because belief is belief and right is right, but of the not talking about them out loud quite so often.

You run quite a bit of danger if you step outside the politics of your own identity, especially if you’re the least bit tetchy:

-- Overzealousness. Converts seem to tend towards being more rambunctious than those who are born-in, and it can get pretty outrageous to the native, who might possibly even see you as counterproductive. (Hell, you might even BE counterproductive.)

-- Hubris. Cockily, or lazily, assuming you understand or empathize more than you actually do; failing to shut up and LISTEN.

-- Being accused of not understanding the things that you really might, a little. Ass-U-ME-ing aboundeth.

--This phenomenon will never cease to amaze me -- those people who will listen to you talk and hear the exact opposite of what you said, simply because your face/religious paraphernalia or lack thereof/gender/gender of partner does not mesh with expectation.

-- "What are you overcompensating for?" suspicion.

-- The option of nonchalance. Yes, this is a detriment. "Well, I can take a break, I don’t want to think about this right now." (Yes you most assuredly can, and think of what that means for those who cannot. Ever.)

This isn’t a comprehensive list at all.

Not really belonging messes with your credibility on both sides. Why are you talking like THEM when you’re really THIS? or, Don’t criticize because you don’t really get it, unless oh I see you’re really just like THEM all along anyway you traitor I expected as much. (You don’t really get to build up credit, per se.)

There are some advantages as well. I confess I have enjoyed the double-take that happens when I respond to something particularly ignorant with "Weeeeeeeelll, I’ve actually been to Israel, and this than and the other thing, blah blah blah nuance-cakes," or, "no, you’re right, being gay ISN’T like being black, because for one this we have a built-in support and empathy structure in our families with they can’t necessarily depend on." But these fun things, while they can result in the lightbulb, can also result in backlash. [1]

So it’s a risk. And I am not a risk-taker. (I don’t think.)

But I am sick about the way the vote went down in California this week. I am sick that black Americans might have even remotely been the swing factor. (A multitude [2] of other factors went into this, but this is my group, and it’s the one I’m concerned about today.) I am disturbed that this is the mindset. I am disturbed at how counterintuitive it seems for a member of a group (I’m going to try continue to talk in terms of individuals) to be granted something and to then attempt to take something away from someone else. I am heartsick, over some young black kid who now knows that his family would vote against his future; I hate that my cousin and her wife are still made mock of by our family (although, I guess happily, she does not live in CA).

This week it hit me that suddenly, I feel like my countrymen sorta kinda see me as a full-fledged person -- this week, people who are not me had that taken (even more) away.

Other states passed measures far more draconian this week, but I honestly thought better of California. Far better. I doubted the presidential race from the get-go up until the 11 pm concession speech, but I never doubted California. Shows what I know about life.

There's a lot under here. )

I am specifically enjoying the end of this article:

A new openly gay member of Congress, Jared Polis of Colorado, will go to the House in January. [...] Democrats took the New York senate. The entire New York legislature is now in Democratic hands, and New York's governor, David Paterson, is one of the nation's most eloquent pro-marriage-equality representatives. He is also, by the way, African American. Perhaps he can help bridge the gap between gays and blacks that widened on Nov. 4.

New York recognizes same-sex marriage but does not perform them. Our black, blind new governor has come out in support. So we will have an especial duty to not fuck this up, New York.

There is nothing on earth that has ever or could ever have turned my brain quite so completely backwards as the outcome of this election. I desperately want to wallow in it, joyously, mindlessly, for days. DAYS. No, I did not believe it for a second, not until the concession speech was well underway -- I never, never, never thought my country had this in them us, and I was wrong, and I am so, so ecstatic to have the opportunity to be ashamed of myself for that right now. Although I am still not shaving my head, Stefan.

But my squee is well and truly harshed. And you know? It needs harshing.

We have a lot of work to do.

Footnotes. Yes, there are footnotes. )

(I can't believe this all FIT. I'd do better if I had a week of free time and some textbooks, guys; I'm sorry for any mistakes. Will probably come back to it, but I needed to get this off my chest.)
Dear President Obama,

I am so happy you are our new president! And it is not just because you are black, it is because you have some great ideas! And I wanted to be a singer, dancer, and actress but you open new doors for me. You open the doors for everybody. Now I think that now I can be the first female black president! And we went from black people not being able to vote and that changed and then black people never got a chance to be president but you changed that. And for that, it is like you are my and the whole world's hero!

Love (a 9 year old),

P.S. I won't put TV before homework.

(From Huffington Post: "Fourth-graders' letters to Obama")
1. Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] darkflame!

2. I think it's more than a little lame for McCain and Co to be bashing Palin now.

3. Rumination on Proposition 8 forthcoming.

4. Man. If Sherman Alexie were not married I would stalk him so hard, mainly for this, but the following helps:

Sherman Alexie, novelist and poet
1. Yes, it's historic and incredible that a black man is president of the United States. But, dang it, it's just as important that a black woman is the first lady. Think about it. Jackie O! Lady Bird Johnson! And Michelle Obama in her Gap dresses! Please don't discount the cultural power of the first lady. I am very excited to see how Michelle Obama also revolutionizes the White House.

5. I hereby order that 'mandate' immediately be stricken from all the dictionaries and vocabularies of every Democrat in the country. That dirty word has no place in a democracy. That said, feel free to use the phrase, 'Wow, we kicked some ass.' )
I got two congratulatory e-mails today, one from France, one from Japan, from former students, neither of whom I've heard from in ages and ages. So cute! And one more message from abroad, which I'd like to share:


Oh, God, there is this little girl on the news (well, she looks twelve but must be about 19, I suppose) saying she never thought it would happen in her lifetime. Not even in

Here is one of the many reasons why I am so happy: For years now I've been hearing usually-conservative commentators, both British and American, shaking their heads about potentially dangerous levels of "knee-jerk anti-Americanism" in Britain/Europe/Everywhere that is not America, how it was
fashionable, and it's always pissed me off, because I think it's been my knee jerking, and it wasn't the slightest bit of fun. I've said, "Oh, God, bloody America," and variations thereof, and worse, many and many a time all these years. But it's not as it I WANT to do that. It's not as if I didn't know there were plenty of reasonable, compassionate people in America who don't see subtlety and intelligence and rationality as moral faults, who have watched all this unnecessary crap in worse horror and cynicism and despair than I've felt myself. Of course I know they exist, I've been talking to them on the internet the entire time! But then, I'd never think that any country moronically throwing its weight around in the world I have to live in would have the monolithic approval of its citizenship, but knowing that, and adding the disclaimer, mentally or even aloud: "---except for all the many, many nice sensible ones, and their excellent musical and dramatic offerings" doesn't really change the effects or how impotent one feels. But I want to like America. Christ, I even want to admire America.

And today I do, and I wish I was there! A friend of mine is in Chicago, and I am so jealous of him. And I know this doesn't make the last eight years worthwhile, not really, because no one who is dead is coming back, but today I do not feel it is a curse to be living in interesting times.

He did it! You all did it! Congratulations! Thank you!

(Yeah... I can't see this as a bad thing. Sorry.

God -- a poor dear friend of mine actually had a conversation LAST NIGHT with an individual who (when she mentioned joy at belonging to a country that might possibly regain some lost respect) insisted, more or less, that what did she mean??? OF COURSE America is still respected, our military can kick the ass of... yadda yadda.

Except we can't, and God, flies with honey much? Holy... wrong set of criteria.)

(I run out of breath just THINKING about how to argue this one without dropping dead.)



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