11.25.2008

on hiatus

... for any of you who care ... mamma's on break for a bit.

11.11.2008

11.06.2008

what to do, what to do ...

Post election: Obama supporters realize how empty their lives are ...


via videosift.com

LOL!!!! Courtesy of friend, Tommi

Maybe I should start w/ feeding my kids healthy meals again ... or go back to yoga ... or as Jason says "GET A JOB!"


Seriously tho, will be pausing here a bit.

11.05.2008

the good ol' days ...

I would like to take this opportunity to channel a memory from high school [and believe me, I don't like to do that so often]
V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

Victory is our battlecry!

um ... Oh, Yes We Can and Oh, Yes We Did!!!
or something like that

10.31.2008

10.30.2008

to redistribute or not to redistribute, that is the question america answered eons ago

by Mike Bullis

The idea that taxation is really government confiscation of "my" resources seems so simple and obvious, that it's hard to argue with. Particularly when I look at my paycheck. The problem is we just haven't come up with a better way.

At one level, the problem is wealth and intelligence and success aren't distributed equally. God knows I wish they were. Roughly ten percent of the people alive today will be very successful as measured by money accumulation. Partly because they're smarter than the rest of us, and partly because they're luckier. Then there is a broad group of about seventy percent of the population who will pretty much eek out a living, not being able to save much, and working from day to day. When they get old or have a crisis in health, they'll either be thrown over the side of the boat or we'll find a way to help them. We used to send them to poor farms here in the U.S. and in other societies we just let them die.

Then there is the bottom fifteen or twenty percent. They're just plain too stupid or lazy or, well, hell, you could say lots of things about them. They're a drain on society because no matter how much we spend on them they don't ever seem to get to the place that they'll really contribute to the over all good. So, what do we do with or about them?

What seems to happen in societies is that if we just leave them to fend for themselves, they unite with some of that broader seventy percent group and overthrow the rest of society. They're starving and desperate and eventually they get behind some new leader who promises them a piece of the pie that they, either through inability or lack of initiative, have been unable to get for themselves.

Much of the government turmoil in Central America, Central Africa, Indonesia and other places can give you a glimpse of what happens when you let massive parts of the population starve or fend for themselves. It leads to social instability, rampant crime and government instability--which translate into revolutions. The solution is often brutal dictatorships to keep the masses under control.

The honest truth is that we really struggle with this as a society. It offends our sense of justice that people who haven't contributed should get what "we" earned. But, again, we just haven't found a better way.

Republicans have used mantras against "socialism" and "wealth redistribution” very successfully since the 1980's. It plays well with voters, particularly if they're young and healthy--read as in baby-boomers. The dirty little secret is that Republican leadership knows what I've said above as well. They know that our society would not long tolerate the abandoning of the poor. They know it wouldn't be tolerated not just because it's ultimately cruel and destabilizing to society, but, it's destabilizing to Capitalism.

When John McCain calls Barack Obama a socialist he's really saying that the Democrats are far more willing than he is to pander to these unworthy groups and promise them more of the money they haven't earned than are the Republicans.

Every society has interest groups that form around particular issues. In the simplistic view, there are the free enterprise business interests and the humanitarian interests.

Although we capitalists talk about the fact that capitalism raises all boats, we've never been able to prove our contention. Yes, we can argue that capitalism raises the overall level of society's value (whether measured in dollars or production or standard of living), but the truth is that many are still left out.

Our country, in the 1930's came to a crisis point. We had had several major recessions in our history. The one in the 1890's was horrendous. The one after the Civil War was also very ugly. Millions out on the roads without a place to live, people dying without help. It was truly awful.

In the 1930's we decided that, whatever we may think about society, we had to do something to keep society from disintegration. We were being hit by the Communists, saying that capitalism was using workers and not giving them the value for their work. We had Hitler who argued that the superior amongst us should be allowed to cull out the inferior.

Our nation truly stood at a brink. Would we intervene to stabilize or simply let the chips fall where they would.

We chose to stabilize. I don't regret that decision.

Rather than simply inflame the masses against government and against programs we truly need for social stability, I'd rather work toward a government that produces results more efficiently.

The problem right now, is that for the past thirty years, the distance between the top and the bottom is increasing. That seventy percent in the middle is getting smaller and smaller. Their incomes are going down. Those kindly companies that we work for have found it more expedient to reward shareholders than employees. Although unions got greedy and out of control, the thing they did provide through the 70's in our country, was a baseline for wages and benefits. They gave workers some bargaining power, a place at the corporate table if you will. When unions declined, working people had no bargaining power. No matter what we capitalists say, we don't give up our profits willingly to workers. Yes, yes, I know, the marketplace should fix that.

But, the truth is that the marketplace devalues workers because company owners can use a so-so worker almost as well as a really good one. And, a really good worker just isn't that much more valuable to them. In other words, the rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer and the middle class has been moving toward the bottom.

There's no doubt that what we will see under Obama and a Democratically controlled Congress will be an attempt to change this. For millions in the 1930's the problem was that they simply couldn't ride out an economic crisis. Do you have two years worth of income in the bank ready for any problem that comes? If you don't, you're going to need help from someone if things get tough. Can you afford to pay your mortgage if you lose your job? If not, what will you do? If you lose your job how will you feed your kids? Put a garden plot in the backyard? That's a great idea but it won't help enough. Are you going to shoot deer in the neighborhood? Probably not a likely option for most people.

When we were a simpler society it was a bit easier for people to "live off the land" but with most of our population in cities it just isn't easy.

If, God forbid, your wife or mother should get breast cancer and die, what should happen? Will the kids just go to orphanages or live on the streets? What test do we give those in need for worthiness? How will we decide whether they're the ones who should receive help?

Look, there's no doubt that the Democrats go further than I would on helping those at the bottom. There's a fine line between too much help, cutting off the development of survival instincts and making people dependent, and not giving enough help, pushing people further toward the bottom.

My own feeling, for now, is that the Democrats will help rebalance society for a time in the direction of restabilizing the middle class. They'll probably overshoot and the Republicans will take power again to rebalance the other way. In the mean time, John McCain and the Republicans just don't answer the basic questions that we're wrestling with. The trickle down theory of economics has never worked as efficiently as they would have liked. The reality of capitalism is that in any large society, left to itself, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. What we have to do is find a way to rebalance that very real effect.

Yes, that's wealth redistribution. We should acknowledge that from the get go. We're a society that does that. Every society that has been at all successful over time has realized that it needs to be done.

If somebody finds a better way then I'm all for looking at it.

people in the middle for obama

http://www.peopleinthemiddleforobama.org/

10.29.2008

this man is why progressives-liberals, whatever you wanna call us, exist

Saw this today on Bob Cesca's site. Posted by Elvis. A phenomenal writer-human.

It's the best clip I've seen at highlighting the essence behind Barack Obama's support. As a daughter of Depression-era babies, I say it shines a bright light on what's too frequently been dim of late. This IS the heart of a liberal ...

Read all and watch. It's well worth your time.

[...]

There's no denying these videos can border on the hagiographic, and by now Republicans must be inventing new drinking games for every Obama Video Tearjerker starring some iconic figure from America's troubled past finding Hope and Salvation in the prospect of the Senator's winning this election. And I understand that "Because it's Historic" is not reason enough to support a candidate for president; electing a particularly retarded eggplant would make history, too, but surely there were more legitimate reasons for voting for George W. Bush (POW! ZAP! I've still got it, baby!).

But this video does what no ad or stump speech or vapid, smirking, sarcastic punchline of the McCain campaign's has been able to accomplish [...] It puts a human face, and real Hope, on this long march of ours. It makes it personal, and gives us all a sense of pride and purpose in what we're doing. While their side tears Barack Obama down, and calls names and scrambles for any last shred of humanity in the chum buckets of their anger and vitriol and fear, our side talks about what this man, and his candidacy, mean to us. As people. As Democrats. As Americans.

Their side can roll their eyes and mock these personal stories for their treacle and their tears, but we know it's precisely these moments of humanity that, when taken in aggregate and amplified across this aching country, are the reason we're here, and the reason we'll win.


sarah palin is a SOCIALIST!

man, when Olbermann is firing on all cylinders, he just rocks ...

i wish i could make my inlaws watch this.

10.28.2008

then there's this: more much ado

McCain Campaign Falsely Claims Obama Described Court's Failure to Redistribute Wealth As "Tragedy"
By Greg Sargent - October 27, 2008, 12:16PM

The McCain campaign's efforts to portray Barack Obama as a closet socialist took a turn into the burlesque today, with the McCain camp falsely claiming that in a seven year old interview, Obama said that it was a "tragedy" that the Supreme Court hadn't redistributed wealth away from hard-working Americans.

The Obama interview in question is being pushed relentlessly today by the wingnuts, who are circulating this audio of it.

The McCain campaign just blasted out a quote from senior economics adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin hammering Obama. In the interview, Holtz-Eakin claimed, "Obama expressed his regret that the Supreme Court hadn't been more 'radical' and described as a 'tragedy' the Court's refusal to take up 'the issues of redistribution of wealth.'"

Holtz-Eakin asserted that this proves that Obama wants to take money "away from people who work for it" and give it to people "Obama believes deserves it." Apparently McCain himself is going to pick up this cudgel on the trail today, too.

But as usual, this latest attack rests on a complete falsehood.

If you look at Obama's full quote -- which you can read right here -- it's very clear that Obama was not directly "regretting" the failure of the court to be "radical." Rather, he was saying that the court's failure to take up redistributive issues proved that it wasn't as "radical" as some have claimed. The "radical" line was clearly a dispassionate claim about the reality of history.

What's more, take a look at the operative part of Obama's quote that includes the "tragedy" line:

One of the I think the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was because the Civil Rights movement became so court focused I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change and in some ways we still suffer from that.

READ ON

oh, for cryin' out loud (as my mother used to say)

Well, the nutwings are at it again. Of course, that's no surprise, but lord, this is getting exhausting. So, in an interview from 2001 Obama said the Consititution is flawed (something any first year law student could tell you ... or any first year high school student) and the conspiracy theorists are slobbering over themselves. Claiming this is proof of Obama's radical, ultra-left wing leanings. So, when did they start holding the Constitution with the same regard they hold the Bible? Certainly not during the Bush Administration.

Anyway, I found this today. Clearly he's irritated (and who can blame him), but spot-on:


The Majority of Blog Pundits (and their readers) are Idiots
The American Pundit embedded a YouTube video of Obama saying the Consititution is flawed. OK, even the Founders believed that, but they ratified it anyway. Benjamin Franklin is on the record as having said the document isn’t perfect but it’ll do. I guess it would have had to, wouldn’t it?

Blog pundits are notorious for making much ado about nothing. We’ve heard that Obama is a Muslim, that he “pals around” with terrorists, and that he is a socialist - none of which are true. They are only inferences derived at from half-truths, fear, and irrational thought processes. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, we’ve heard similar
urban legends about Sarah Palin.

I’ve got no problem with people choosing the candidate they feel best represents their values. Everyone must support someone and if an individual does the research then makes a decision based on solid, provable evidence, they’ve done what is required of a dutiful citizen. But most of what we hear coming from talk radio and the blog pundits is ludicrous and damaging. There is no critical thought that goes into most of it and my fear is that the majority of Americans will cast a vote on election day based on one of the urban myths they read in an e-mail without investigating whether or not there is any truth to it. That certainly is not what the Founders had in mind.

Watch the video yourself and then ask yourself, “What’s the big deal?”
Read and view on ...

happy obamaween!

Here to download election stencils/designs

feeding frenzy

Well now. Do they really want to do this? For her?

[...] the GOP is set splinter into a trio of factions: the Palin-philes, the Romney remainders, and those excommunicated from the movement for daring to make a lick of sense at one point.

This is, indeed, a "bloodbath," and for what? A distinctly semi-pro Alaskan governor who's more or less made the charisma-free Tim Pawlenty look like What Could Have Been? Additionally, this sort of line-in-the-sand drawing avoids another obvious truth -- come 2012, someone besides Palin is going to vie for the GOP nomination. Someone like, say, Mitt Romney, who famously earned the backing of the National Review, which called him a "full-spectrum conservative." What happens to Romney, now that he's on the wrong side of the Palin line?

[...] Fitting isn't it, that a McCain loss might precipitate his party coming to resemble the factionalism of the Iraqi misadventure they all cooked up in the first place. Maybe Joe Biden can help them reach some sort of triple-partition solution!

Read on for complete commentary.