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Gingrich? You've got to be kidding me.

I feel like I've spent my whole life disgusted by that man. I can't even think about him as president. Egomaniac lacking basic compassion- I really think he may be a psychopath. Guh.

Gail Collins had a nice amusing column on his infidelities, here, and this is a choice bit:"There is, however, a lot of difference between giving up drinking on the eve of middle age and giving up adultery at about the time you’re qualifying for Social Security. Cynics might suggest that Newt didn’t so much reform as poop out." I do like Gail Collins, I feel like she carries the tradition of Molly Ivins very well. I cannot get over the fact that people are so willing to forgive his hypocrisy in trying to impeach Clinton. Why does nearly everyone in the media give him a pass on that? Oy oh boy. Its gonna be a long year in politics. I'm not exactly over the moon about Obama (nor am I negative about him, I am planning on voting for him) but criminy I'd volunteer for a dead anteaters re-election campaign if it meant not having the sorry excuse for a human that Gingrich is as president.

At least Gingrich likes science fiction. I can relate to that, the way I related to Reagan's liking Monkey Bread, which I also adore. Small, insignificant things but they humanize them an iota at least.
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I was thinking of writing something similar, but somebody a bit higher profile and more eloquent beat me to it: http://robertreich.org/post/13567144944#

I wish I could post these things elsewhere (like, ahem, Facebook) but I feel like until I have a steady job at the very least, it behooves me to keep my political views quiet on forums where employers can look me up.

As an aside: I should be getting ready for bed but I'm bouncy up. Erg. I think I ate too much chocolate today. And slept in a bit (only an hour) but its enough. Well, I'll threaten myself with doing the dishes and that should get me to bed. Bed or dishes? Bed. Always.

Second aside: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Shortbread Stars? Absurdly yummy.
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I just posted this on another forum, but I figured what the hell, for the record I'd post it here too.

This bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (at Open Congress) currently before the Congress is really troubling. It will, essentially, make the internet more like television, in the sense that content from the masses will be limited.

This is because say, you upload a video of some folks singing happy birthday at a family event. Happy Birthday is a song under copy write. You have, under this bill, committed a felony (same goes for a video of singing a copywrited song at karoke, or whatever). But it doesn't stop there. YouTube, or where ever you upload the video is also culpable for the felony, as is your internet service provider.

What that means is that in order to protect themselves from lawsuits, internet service providers and hosts are going to have to severely limit who is allowed to upload content, so they can manage it. Or they are going to have to aggressively screen it, which means that if they want to block, say, videos of police brutality they can very easily. More details here at the Wiki page.

Yahoo has left the Chamber of Commerce over this bill, and Google is considering following suit, here is a WaPo article discussing their concerns. They are taking this very seriously.

I urge you all to contact your representatives with concerns over this bill. The senators don't seem to have a good understanding of the implications of the bill, I doubt many of them even understand the implications of this bill. It is very important that citizens let them know they are concerned.
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I am horrified by the capitulation happening amongst the Dems. The Bush tax cuts need to expire. Especially for the top 1%. I emailed my reps about it, and got a very tone deaf form letter (the form letter wasn't the problem, it was the tone deaf part) from Sen. Kay Hagen, her letter basically said "I know taxes are bad and will work to reduce them" oy oh boy. I rather expect my fellow constituents writing her are not the brightest bulbs if she feels she has to pander to the no taxes crowd.

Wil Wheaton tweeted this today, and I agree: I wish President Obama would get as upset with obstructionist Republicans as he does with disappointed Democrats.

The Republicans need to be made to fight. I want Obama to make them take the heat for failing to pass the unemployment extension. There needs to be a fight, not constant one-sided capitulation.
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Why the hell isn't John Kerry senate majority leader? John Kerry is in Pakistan right now, witnessing, which is a good thing. I can't recollect Reid doing anything similar. I mean, seriously. Kerry would be so much better than the Milquetoast Reid. Hell, that's not saying much though, my cat would make a better senate majority leader than Reid (Marx has a very forceful meow, I think a visit from him would get votes lined up quick).

Oy, I think tofu is going on the do not eat list. I didn't have a headache before lunch and now I do. Another banned item. I intend to do a post about the diet saga at some point.
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In this NYT article about dengue fever, I noticed this tidbit:

"Dr. Peter J. Hotez, a tropical medicine expert at George Washington University, said he thought the potential was “pretty high” for dengue to spread up the Gulf Coast, where another species of Aedes mosquito that can carry the virus is common. If the disease does get there, it will strike poor people hardest, he predicted, because many of them lack screens and air-conditioning. There is no vaccine.

“I believe the threat is very real,” he said. “And we understand that the C.D.C. is about to close its dengue branch. Can you imagine anything so stupid? This is the worst time possible.”

The disease centers confirmed that the 2011 budget does eliminate financing for the “vector-borne” disease branch, which tracks dengue, West Nile virus, plague, encephalitis and other illnesses carried by insects. "

Global warming (never mind that "debate" the climate is changing) means that we are going to be finding more and more vector borne illnesses in places we haven't found them before. The CDC needs to find and track these new out breaks so the medical community can stay informed. Eliminating that branch from the CDC seems highly foolish to me.

I don't normally approve of politicians interfering with scientific agencies but dang, this is nuts. Maybe requesting that they fund the CDC a little better so they can fulfill their mission is in order.
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Everything has been derailed by headaches for the last month. As of today I've had 3 migraine/headache free days with only low nausea. This is the longest free stretch for at least a month, if not a month and a half. I'm continuing with acupuncture. I am about to pull the trigger on the Topomax, if things ramp up again, but I'm going to try to finish as many writing projects as I can before I do (major side effect of Topomax: loss of words). I've got one tiny (so tiny its a challenge) edited volume chapter to finish, I want to get at least 2 weeks of my Hist Eco class lectures done, and I need to finish my chunks of the article I'm co-authoring. So it'll be three weeks, at a minimum.

So I've been stunningly anti-social as a result of all the headaches.

And I can't seem to get anything done. It is appalling. I still haven't gotten all the garden beds done. I have hopes of finishing this week. The soil I had trucked in sight unseen needs so much work its just outrageous. Fortunately I have lots of leaves to compost. But things are growing. I have lettuce. The tomatoes have fruit growing. The silly little potted Kaffir Lime has finally, finally decided to grow after a year of just sitting there with two large leaves and nothing else. And the fig starts mes amis [livejournal.com profile] borea and Eric kindly brought me lost all their leaves but are happily popping out new ones.

In politics... oh Richard Burr, our incumbent senator officially announced his re-election campaign. Such the money bags, 19 million raised all ready (were he to give all that to Gulf clean-up I might vote for him). Is there any hope of defeating him? Probably not. Which is a damn pity.

And this Helen Thomas rail-roading out is sad. I feel so bad for her. Can no one speak their mind anymore? Are journalists not allowed to be against Palestinian occupation? (I have decidedly mixed feelings about the occupation myself) Yes, her phrasing was poor, but she's 89 years old and speaking off the cuff is not always going to be polished at 89.

Erg. I don't think I like millet, I'll have to agree with the ancient Romans on that one. I'm trying to vary my diet more so I made millet and mixed veggies for lunch instead of the usual pasta, and its not sitting well in my tummy. Any one out there have any millet recipes that are likely to improve my opinion?

Ah, washing machine is done. Time to put the wash out on the line.
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Oh boy. I really need to just quit with the NPR. Really. They talk about discontent with politicians, well, I'm all about throwing the journalists out. The way the fallout has been covered, and how they let Newt speak without comment at all, the majority of journalists (especially at NPR) deserve to see the door flap behind them.

Newt Gingrich, you see, thinks that all the inappropriate insults, threats, spitting on etc. that the democrats have been receiving is the democrats fault. Yup. Blame the victim. Its all their fault for using "shady" tactics and ramming the legislation through. Um, dude, your party is the one that had a speaker nicknamed "The Hammer" and your party used the exact same tactics. Yes, I have said some nasty things about Newt, but I didn't march over and spit on him. Hell, I had a really good opportunity to spit on Paul Wolfowitz and I didn't do it. Come on. The journalists need to stand up and call the Republicans on this nonsense. And they aren't. They can't even attach racism to the Tea Party, when its screaming at them.

I think its time for some counter protest. But oh, that probably wouldn't be covered. Because you know how liberal the media is... sigh. And, I'm So Very Tired of Mr. Newt. I've been railing against him for almost half my life- literally. Enough. Go away Newt! Go far away! Retire to the Bermudas and take a vow of silence. I don't care why or how but Go Away! Please!

Oh, ouch

Feb. 25th, 2010 04:11 pm
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The BBC calls a spade a spade:
"The US is the world's richest nation and the only industrialized democracy that does not provide healthcare coverage to all its citizens."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8536469.stm

I tried to listen to the health care conference, but then a Republican started talking about how we were risking losing consumer choices and my head just about exploded. What consumer choice? I'm at the mercy of employers and what the insurance companies will offer and their restrictions. I don't have any choices about my health care and I never have. I just want to quit worrying about being bankrupted by health problems. So frustrating!

And then there is the fact that the bill that the Democrats are pushing resembles a Republican bill from 10 years ago and the Republicans (some of whom proposed the original bill) can't bring themselves to support it.

How many letters have I written to my representatives about this? I've lost count and there seems to be no point whatsoever to doing so again.

I'm so disgusted with politics and our country. Canada seems lovely just now, I just wish it wasn't so cold there.

The one bonus to all this political hoopla is it does distract me from pending unemployment and not knowing what the hell I'm going to do for a career, since my current career track doesn't seem to be leading to employment.
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Not support anti-bullying legislation?

From the WaPo:

"Anti-Bullying Law Debated in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A fight is brewing in the North Carolina legislature over protecting schoolchildren from bullies. Supporters of an anti-bullying proposal on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require school districts to adopt policies protecting students from violence and harassment. A similar proposal got hung up last year on the issue of identifying gay students as potential bullying targets. The House passed a bill that included them, but the Senate balked after social conservatives who opposed the measure flooded their offices with phone calls and e-mails. "

Now, why are "social conservatives" opposed? Because they claim that gay students are unfairly favored under the bill. Because everyone who gets bullied is gay, right? And gays who are being bullied don't deserve protection, right? These sorts of Christians aren't Christians. They are just evil. I wish everyone would wake up and recognize that they are as evil and insidious as Nazis.

I will now go and hit my head against a wall in frustration (gently and respectfully towards my head). Then fire off an email to my rep and see if I can find anything else to do in support of the bill.

If the mortgage guy and the dean that's (supposedly) hiring me to teach at Elon next winter would call back, that'd be spiffy. I'm starting to freak out about those loose ends.
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I have never been impressed by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. But good grief... this article just sends my low opinion lower. He's a depressed extreme conservative. Lovely. I think he's just so depressed and that's why he can't offer any questions or complex opinions. The man needs help. Now, I will grant you, this article may be skewed, but holy crap: "he admitted to an uneasy relationship with the whole idea of rights." Egad!

Here's the NYT article.
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Okay, my home peeps, y'all need to start getting uppity with your local reps to work a bit harder on your voting systems, etc. This Al Franken/Coleman recount thing is embarrassing. I like seeing the stomping grounds of my youth in the NYT ("The Senate, Snowe and Dinkytown") but under better circumstances would be nicer. Sheesh.
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From my last post, it might be assumed that I am a Clinton fan. I am not. I'd like to see them exit the stage post haste. Hillary in the senate is okay, because I think she'll do a good job pushing universal health care along.

But if we must have a Clinton in the cabinet, I'd rather have Bill than Hillary. Hence my question (thanks for all the replies, people!).

If I had to pick an SoS, I'd pick Gov. Bill Richardson or my favorite politician, Gov. Brian Schweitzer (he speaks fluent Arabic! but his big flaw is that he is really attached to oil extraction from coal, which doesn't seem like a good idea at all to me). Or promote a long time professional in the Foreign Service, how novel would that be.
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Is there some reason Bill Clinton can't be made secretary of state? I like Hillary in the senate, and honestly, I think Bill would be a better SoS. But maybe there is some technicality about that, like is SoS in the line of succession?
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The honking horns and cheering were really nice last night. It all made me smile. Today is a good day.

Someone had a nice quote regarding Liddy Dole: "Didn't anyone tell Liddy that a nasty Southern woman is an unfortunate thing?" Bless her heart, she's outta here- back to Kansas with you, nasty opportunist.

I'm glad the country has a shot at fixing the mess we are in. A thinking man who can see multiple sides of issues as president... aaaahhhh... now that's a relief.
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Do NOT vote a straight ticket. Fill in all those pesky bubbles. Especially in NC, because voting a straight ticket makes it look like it includes president. It does not, according to this link. You have to fill your presidential choice separately. Also, its easier to mess with a straight ticket, as only one selection has to be switched. So best not to just vote straight ticket.
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It occurred to me that when folks of my persuasion are feeling particularly politically desperate and dire, we sometimes talk of "Moving to Canada" or France or where ever. But where could conservatives go? I mean, there aren't that many countries that are to the right of us that aren't Islamic. Australia might work. But I guess I wasn't the only one to think of this.

And the lack of a good place might explain this cruise. Where are the Somali pirates when you need them?
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I rather liked this short article: "Is This the Beginning of the End for the Republican Party?" by the Commentator formerly known as NC Steve (what a name, eh? oy.)
Not only is does this article present a happy thought about the break up of the Republican party, but it also goes over some history of political parties in the US in a very digestible way.

From the article:

"If one thing should be clear to us, it is that a political party run by delusional ignoramuses cannot survive. If that premise is granted, I confess that I can see only two possible futures for the Republican Party as I write today. Either the professionals, the country clubbers, the elitists and the libertarians take advantage of the seismic defeat they're about to suffer as an excuse to stamp out the power of the belligerent delusional ignoramuses, or else the ignoramuses keep control and the Republican Party follows the the Whigs and the Federalists across the bridge to oblivion."

[I feel the need to add a comment: my thought that the fall of the republican party would be a good thing is not just out of a hatred for the current state of it. It is also because I think the democratic party could use a good shaking up as well. Both parties have become too far right, and too well, vague in their agendas. I don't feel like my "regulate the hell out of organizations, and leave individuals alone/have some fiscal responsibility but make sure that the basics that the free market can't handle are covered" position is really represented in either party, but its more likely with the Dems]

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