Ohio Lawmakers are Special People

As usual, I have been neglecting you, readers. But expect my neglect to continue. I have been frying bigger fish. For example, I have just been made a section editor at my school newspaper that comes with a handsome scholarship. And my Daddy said people didn’t want to read what I write!

I am appropriately heading the opinion section of the Newspaper. If you are wondering what newspaper I’m going to be an editor at, you can check it out here.  In fact, help a sister out and please do check it out. We’re trying to increase readership and plan on doing some revamping, so feedback is always helpful.

But something alarming has recently (five minutes ago) come to my attention. The ‘Hearrtbeat’ Bill has just passed the House in Ohio.

COLUMBUS, Ohio— The Ohio House has approved three abortion-related bills, including a measure that would impose the strictest abortion limit in the nation.

The Republican-led House on Tuesday voted 54-43 on the measure to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

The House also approved 64-32 a measure to prohibit abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy if a doctor determines the fetus could survive outside the womb. It voted 62-35 to approve a bill that would prevent certain health insurers from covering abortions.

That means Ohio Right to Life has been put in an awkward position after they opposed the bill and created the stiffest anti-abortion restrictions in the country.

Planned Parenthood said that they’ll file a lawsuit the minute Kasich puts his signature on it.

DAMN STRAIGHT! This is not only unconstitutional, but disgusting. I always joke about being an Ohioan. And normally I would say I’m almost always ashamed of being an Ohioan, but I’m not. Ohioans are good, resilient people. The weather sucks and the economy sucks. That often results in depression, and Ohioans are seldom unmedicated, but our glazed smiles when you say hi to us will tell you that we do what it takes to pull through. And if that means running pill factories near the Ohio river, well by God, we’ll do it!

Ohioans get a bad rap from things like this. We’re a swing state because most of the state is rural, but we have liberal and moderate pockets here and there like Northeast Ohio and Columbus- which was recently referred to by a gay couple on an episode of True Life: I’m Getting Married! as “The San Francisco of the Midwest.”

As a resident of Northeast Ohio I run into all sorts- both wildly liberal and freakishly reactionary, and most of the people I know are one fry short of a happy meal. This may be because I am a magnet for mental illness- even my cat is on prozac. Or it is more likely because Ohio is filled with characters. But we are good people, and the women of Ohio- who all ready struggle with a sluggish economy, do not deserve this shit.

Ohioans are special people, but Ohio Lawmakers should be committed. And if Kasich signs the Heartbeat Bill, he should go to Hell.

Back to the Pipe and the Pole

Here is a letter I received a few days ago from the President of my University.

Last summer, I formed an advisory task force to assist the University in developing a plan to prepare for probable reductions in state funding for higher education and to assist the University in developing a new instructional resource model. The task force consists of faculty, academic deans, administrators, and staff.

On December 18, 2010, the task force held an open forum. At that forum, Provost Mearns, who is co-chair of the task force, discussed the status of the task force’s efforts to assist in developing a contingency plan for next year’s budget. I attended the forum.

Since then, the task force has continued to provide me with additional recommendations. Those recommendations are detailed in a written report that is now available on the task force’s webpage.

This report recommends overall budget target ranges for each of the University’s major sectors: academic colleges, academic support units, and university administrative units. I have accepted these sector recommendations. In December, I provided differentiated budget targets to each of the vice presidents who manage university administrative units, and I directed them to prepare a contingency plan to meet their unit’s respective target. They have submitted their plans to me, which I am currently reviewing.

The task force’s report also provided specific recommendations about differentiated targets for each of the academic colleges. After developing a list of strategic factors and applying those factors to readily available data, the task force assigned each academic college to one of three groups, or bands. As discussed in the report, a college or an administrative unit can meet its proposed budget target through both permanent expense reductions and reliable revenue enhancements.

After reviewing an initial draft of the report, I met at length with Provost Mearns, Vice President George Walker and Tim Long, the University’s Budget Director, to review the strategic factors and the data relied upon by the task force to develop its differentiated recommendations for each of the academic colleges. In making my decisions, I relied upon the same strategic factors developed by the task force, including: how a college’s programs aligned with the University’s primary strategic goals; a college’s financial performance relative to the other colleges at the University; the extent to which a college has programs, including doctoral programs, with relatively few students; an assessment of the productivity and impact of the college’s research faculty; the success of a college’s students as measured by undergraduate retention and graduation rates and post-graduate licensing exams; and the ability of a college to develop differential tuition plans or increase enrollment above existing limits.

After this review, I accepted all of the task force’s recommendations with respect to the colleges’ budget targets, with one exception. I have delegated to Provost Mearns the responsibility of establishing differentiated targets for the various academic support units that report to him.

Provost Mearns has communicated the college targets to the deans, and he has asked them to provide him with their college’s plan by February 22, 2011. He has also directed the deans to consult with their respective faculties and staff in developing their college’s plan.

By early March, I anticipate that our collective strategy for meeting this financial challenge will begin to become more clear. Governor Kasich will present his proposed budget to the legislature on or before March 15. I anticipate that, when his budget is released, we will know much more about two of the most important factors that are driving this process: the approximate amount of any reduction in the state subsidy for higher education, and the limit on any possible increase in undergraduate tuition. By that time, we will also have had an opportunity to evaluate the various college and administrative plans that have been submitted.

When we have more information from the Governor, I will hold an open forum in March to discuss our University plan.

I know that this process is difficult and that it is causing some anxiety and uncertainty. I believe, however, that we have established a collaborative and transparent process that will enable the University to overcome this challenge. Indeed, I am encouraged by the constructive contributions that so many of you have already made to our contingency planning process. Therefore, I am confident that we will emerge from this process as a stronger institution — which is our goal.

Thank you for your service to our students, our University, and our community.

Indeed. To those of you who still believe in the American Dream, let me explain how it really works for you. Say Jane wants to grow up and become a Doctor. But Jane and her family live piss poor, so she works hard in High School, gets good grades in accelerated courses and takes part in track and cheerleading or  some such other extracurricular nonsense that will look good on college applications. She gets accepted into a good school and manages to keep from getting pregnant. What a stand up gal Jane is, don’t you think? She gets some scholarships. Good for her! She gets Pell Grants and subsidized and unsubsidized loans through FAFSA. That’s our girl.

Before you know it she is accepted into Harvard Medical School and graduates with honors. Bravo! The problem is, now Jane has upwards of $200,000 worth of student loans to pay back. She gets married and begins practice as a pediatrician, her lifelong dream. But it will be a while before she begins to really rake in the dough and there are medical malpractice lawsuits on the horizon. Nonetheless, she and her husband, a college professor, are living well, having babies and attending church on Sundays. Everything seems fine until disaster strikes. Her mother is still piss poor and has just suffered from a stroke. A neighbor finds her laying face down in her apartment surrounded by urine and her own feces. Jane’s mother is admitted to the hospital and is soon discharged. Incontinent, paralyzed from the waist down and unable to take care of herself, Jane’s mother is just above the income threshold for medicaid and there are limited funds. She has no Health Insurance and therefore cannot afford to live in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility, so Jane has to quit her job to take care of her mother, as her husband is unwilling to quit his. The financial problems caused by the fact that Jane can no longer supplement the family income as well as the demands of taking care of a sick elderly woman takes a toll on their marriage, and Jane’s husband starts banging his secretary. They get a divorce and the children are heartbroken. Jane is now a single mother with no job. She still has student loans and legal fees to pay back, no home because she can’t afford a mortgage, and three kids to put through college. Her oldest daughter Sarah is devastated by the break up of her family and commits suicide.  Three months later, Jane’s mother dies due to inadequate medical care. Jane’s American Dream has turned into an American Nightmare.

Sounds extreme, right? Wrong. Things like this are happening everywhere. I can tell you that it is extremely difficult to pay for college, and I will explain why. Most people have an idea of the average college student’s financial situation. A freshman will have mom and dad foot most of the bill and private loans will take care of the rest, right?

Wrong.

Take me for example. I graduated from that Shithole High School a semester early with decent grades and community service. Go me, right? I figured I might as well try to go to college, so I briefly (and by briefly, I mean for about two seconds) thought about going into the military and even told the Hell Hole High School that those were my plans so they would let me graduate early. I took the ASVAB tests and got excellent scores, fielding calls from every military branch recruiter known to man telling me to join so I could become an officer. Of course, I am not going to go into the Military. I am a pacifist. So I changed my phone number to get rid of the recruiters and enrolled at the local junior college, with plans to save money on Gen Eds in mind. Problem was, my Dad makes too much money for me to get FAFSA and we are somewhat estranged. I had to work my tail off and go to School part time so I could get taken off of his tax returns, as a student has to be enrolled in school full time to be on their parents tax returns after they’re eighteen and to still be on their parents health insurance plan.

In any case, I no longer have Health Insurance but now that I’m off his taxes I go to School overtime, supplemented by a hefty financial aid award. But get this!

President Obama and his aides have spent a good bit of time over the last several weeks talking about the importance of education. Now they announce that they plan to cut spending on Pell grants, the big student-aid program that helps students in (roughly) the bottom half of the income distribution. As Jackie Calmes explains:

Pell grants for needy college students would be eliminated for summer classes, and graduate students would start accruing interest immediately on federal loans, though they would not have to pay until after they graduate; both changes are intended to help save $100 billion over 10 years to offset the costs of maintaining Pell grants for nine million students, according to administration officials.

Oh, fantastic! Keep in mind that my situation is not unique. Many students are like me, with families either too poor or too unwilling to help pay for school. I have a friend, for example, who had to run away from home when she was in Hell High School because her Step Father was beating her mother. She supported herself with two jobs and help from family and friends until she graduated, and now she has classes with me. I don’t know how she does it, because she is forced by FAFSA to file as a dependent even though she receives no help from her family and supports herself completely. She is awarded funds based on the assumption that her parents help her when in reality she has to pay for full time school as well as everything else.

And why is it that school is so expensive? Gods only know. The cost of living has increased exponentially since my parents were in college. It is easy for some stuck-in-the past 1950’s holdover to lecture one of us stupid delinquent teenagers about how THEY did it when they were our age so why can’t we? Well, I feel like saying to these idiots, you’re the ignorant fools who elected conservative Presidents and congresses for the past several decades and caused the inflation and budget cuts that led to all of these problems. Get over yourself.

Not only that, but tuition is obscenely expensive since now colleges are run more like businesses instead of academic institutions that shape young minds and prepare the leaders of tomorrow. I have to pay thousands of dollars for Professors to teach me the same bull shit I’ve been learning since the sixth grade (which is not to say I don’t learn a lot in College these days from certain professors, but I digress) and then once I and many students have paid several more thousands to complete an undergraduate degree two thirds of us STILL won’t be able to get a job. And people wonder why our education system is so behind.

Well, one might say, you may not be achieving all of your fancy starry eyed dreams but at least you are bettering yourself for the real world. Maybe you’ll be a hospital administrator instead of a chemical engineer but at least you have the right to a comfortable lifestyle and a reasonable retirement, right? Wrong.

So far, Obama has had the following “bright ideas” and has proposed them to Congress:

(1) Obama proposed (and Congress passed) a $112 Billion REDUCTION in revenues coming into the Social Security trust fund for this year; that is a cut of 30% in workers’ contributions to the Fund.  I think we can be pretty sure this $112 Billion annual cut in Social Security taxes will be made permanent with the full agreement of Obama. It won’t take long, at that rate, for Social Security to drain its fund (and current surplus) and go out of business.

(2) Obama has proposed a 50% REDUCTION in federal aid to the program that helps poor people pay heating bills for their homes

(3) Obama is proposing that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac go out of business, which will make it harder — if not impossible — for lower-income and middle-income people to buy their homes instead of paying endless rents

(4) Obama is proposing that the interest homeowners pay for their mortgages NO longer be fully deductible on their income taxes. In the early years of any mortgage, the bulk of the monthly mortgage payment goes to pay the interest on the mortgage; having that great sum be deductible has made it possible for people to buy homes and not default on their mortgages when finances are tight (as they often are when new homeowners are just starting out).

The result of Obama’s “bright” ideas, numbers (3) and (4), will be to make it harder for current homeowners to SELL their homes, will DEFLATE the value of their homes, will cause more people to default on their mortgages, and will create a situation where communities will take in LESS in the way of property taxes because of the number of vacant, abandoned homes that will become liabilities.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
And Obama is doing all of this cutting less than two months after signing into law tax CUTS for the wealthiest Americans.

The Republicans have the EXACT right Democrat in the White House for their evil purposes. Obama is: (1)  helping the Republicans realize their decades-long goal of destroying the Social Security program, (2) proposing policies that will create an even wider division between the “haves” and “have-nots” in America, and (3)proposing policies that will create a sub-class of Americans that the top one percent of Americans will be able to reduce to economic slavery.

That’s right. So long house in the ‘burbs. Bye bye white picket fence, 2.4 children and Labrador Retriever. S’later retirement fund, pensions, IRA. Hi poverty, what it do destitution? We’re the leaders of tomorrow. Nice to meetcha!

It just won’t do. Obama is a Republican Dream, not an American Dream. Why, just look at the cover of one of his famous “books.”

The Audacity of Nope

To Obama, this is the American Dream. Jane’s life would be everyone’s life with the policies he is currently championing. Can you believe this is happening? Well, I can. I’ve been saying who Obama is from the get-go. All it took was reading his idea of the American Dream in the pages of this book, where he talked about cutting Social Security and used Reagan as an example of a President to emulate. He’s stuck to his word, too. And has managed to unite this divided nation of ours- against him. On the 100the anniversary of Reagan’s whatever it was I was subjected to fawning book covers and pages about Obama’s hero for days. And now he is cutting Social Security with his bipartisan Republican pals, just like he promised.

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t jive with the Obama the fauxgressives were selling us. This whole thing just isn’t going to work for me. I’m sure it won’t work for a lot of you, either, so run for office instead of electing more morons who will continue to pull this crap on us and expect to get reelected. My plan is to go to Law School and try to change these problems from within instead of sitting here and bitching about it.

But Isis, I can hear some people saying. Law School is expensive. You depend on those Pell Grants Obama and the Tea Party losers are cutting left and right and spending on unnecessary wars, a shitty Health Care Law and Michelle’s vacations in Spain to pay for your tuition, books and other fees. What are you going to do?

Well, shit. Whatever FAFSA doesn’t cover anymore I’ll supplement with scholarships. I just got a job that will pay for my Master’s Degree in Social Work so long as I get a good GPA. And certain agencies and non profits in my field of study will pay back all of my tuition if I end up working for them. As for the rest, it’s back to the pole and the pipe. And don’t think I’ll be the only one.

Call Your CongressCreeps now and tell them what you think

I know he's from Ohio, but don't hold it against me

Just when Congress couldn’t get any more out of touch with Americans, Speaker John Boehner declares their “highest legislative priority.”

We call Smith’s bill “Stupak on Steroids,” a because it goes even further than former Rep. Bart Stupak’s failed attempt to impose an abortion-coverage ban on the new health system. “Stupak on Steroids” is a very serious threat to women’s access to abortion.Most notably, “Stupak on Steroids” would force millions of American families to pay more taxes if their health plan covers abortion care, jeopardizing abortion coverage in the private market. Keep in mind, about 87 percent of insurance plans on the market currently offer abortion coverage.

Some might note the irony here that the very politicians who railed against government interference in our lives on the campaign trail now want to tell Americans what kind of insurance they can buy with their own money.

“Stupak on Steroids” does not stop with insurance interference.  The bill includes other alarming examples of political intrusion into our personal, private decisions, from callous disregard for women in heart-breaking situations to an attack on local government:

  • It would narrow the already severely limited rape and incest exceptions in the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion care. This new restriction would deny Medicaid coverage for abortion to survivors of statutory rape and any incest survivor who is 18 years of age or older.
  • It would reimpose the ban on Washington, D.C.’s use of its own local funds for abortion for low-income women, an unfair restriction which Congress lifted in 2009, with the support of President Obama.
  • It would permanently deny women in the military access to abortion care at overseas military hospitals, even if they pay for the service with their own money.

Alarmingly, “Stupak on Steroids” is just one of many anti-choice proposals on the horizon.

A bill written by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) would dismantle Title X, the country’s family-planning network, which provides basic health-care services, including birth control and cancer screenings.  The Republican Study Committee called for the elimination of the Title X family planning programs—refusing to acknowledge that better access to birth control is one of the best ways to prevent unintended pregnancy and thereby reducing the need for abortion.

I’m disappointed in the Republicans, really. They are not going far enough here. What happened to their campaign promise to make it illegal to have a vagina? Pat Robertson expected more.

This is just sad. The average person you meet on the street would be repulsed by such a bill. How is it that our country is run by these clowns? They don’t belong in Congress, they belong in Outer Space. Actually, I’m not even sure if they belong there.

Let’s face it: this Bill is an abhorrent anti-woman pile of dog crap. Denying victims of rape and incest federal funding for an abortion? Are you kidding me with this? To top it all off, the Bill has ONE HUNDRED sponsors. Here are their names, via Violet Socks.

Robert Aderholt [R-AL4]
Todd Akin [R-MO2]
Steve Austria [R-OH7]
Michele Bachmann [R-MN6]
Spencer Bachus [R-AL6]
Joe Barton [R-TX6]

Gus Bilirakis [R-FL9]
Diane Black [R-TN6]
Marsha Blackburn [R-TN7]
Kevin Brady [R-TX8]
Paul Broun [R-GA10]
Vern Buchanan [R-FL13]

Ann Marie Buerkle [R-NY25]
Michael Burgess [R-TX26]
Francisco Canseco [R-TX23]
John Carter [R-TX31]
Bill Cassidy [R-LA6]
Jason Chaffetz [R-UT3]

Mike Coffman [R-CO6]
Michael Conaway [R-TX11]
Jerry Costello [D-IL12]
Eric Crawford [R-AR1]
Mark Critz [D-PA12]
Geoff Davis [R-KY4]

Renee Ellmers [R-NC2]
Jeff Flake [R-AZ6]
John Fleming [R-LA4]
Bill Flores [R-TX17]
Jeffrey Fortenberry [R-NE1]
Scott Garrett [R-NJ5]

Bob Gibbs [R-OH18]
John Gingrey [R-GA11]
Louis Gohmert [R-TX1]
Samuel Graves [R-MO6]
Brett Guthrie [R-KY2]
Ralph Hall [R-TX4]

Gregg Harper [R-MS3]
Andy Harris [R-MD1]
Vicky Hartzler [R-MO4]
Tim Huelskamp [R-KS1]
Bill Huizenga [R-MI2]
Lynn Jenkins [R-KS2]

Timothy Johnson [R-IL15]
Walter Jones [R-NC3]
Jim Jordan [R-OH4]
Mike Kelly [R-PA3]
Jack Kingston [R-GA1]
Adam Kinzinger [R-IL11]

John Kline [R-MN2]
Doug Lamborn [R-CO5]
Leonard Lance [R-NJ7]
Thomas Latham [R-IA4]
Robert Latta [R-OH5]
Christopher Lee [R-NY26]

Daniel Lipinski [D-IL3]
Billy Long [R-MO7]
Blaine Luetkemeyer [R-MO9]
Daniel Lungren [R-CA3]
Donald Manzullo [R-IL16]
Kenny Marchant [R-TX24]

Michael McCaul [R-TX10]
Tom McClintock [R-CA4]
Thaddeus McCotter [R-MI11]
David McKinley [R-WV1]
Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R-WA5]
Candice Miller [R-MI10]

Jeff Miller [R-FL1]
Tim Murphy [R-PA18]
Randy Neugebauer [R-TX19]
Alan Nunnelee [R-MS1]
Pete Olson [R-TX22]
Ronald Paul [R-TX14]

Mike Pence [R-IN6]
Thomas Petri [R-WI6]
Ted Poe [R-TX2]
Mike Pompeo [R-KS4]
Phil Roe [R-TN1]
Harold Rogers [R-KY5]

Michael Rogers [R-AL3]
Michael Rogers [R-MI8]
Peter Roskam [R-IL6]
Dennis Ross [R-FL12]
Mike Ross [D-AR4]
Paul Ryan [R-WI1]

Steve Scalise [R-LA1]
Jean Schmidt [R-OH2]
Peter Sessions [R-TX32]
John Shimkus [R-IL19]
Heath Shuler [D-NC11]
William Shuster [R-PA9]

Christopher Smith [R-NJ4]
Lamar Smith [R-TX21]
Marlin Stutzman [R-IN3]
John Sullivan [R-OK1]
Lee Terry [R-NE2]
Glenn Thompson [R-PA5]

Frederick Upton [R-MI6]
Timothy Walberg [R-MI7]
Edward Whitfield [R-KY1]
Bill Young [R-FL10]

Here is what we are going to do. I want everyone who is reading this and sees that one of the congresscritters on that list represents their district to call them up immediately and tell them that they will not be getting your vote in the next election. And if they blow you off, tell them you will run against them. I want everyone to raise hell. I will not take this sitting down. Let’s make them remember this day as they day they tried to mess with the women of America. I’m leaving! *hair flip*

When Fear Is All Around You

Kevin Drum has a new article up at Mother Jones that is, in my opinion, worth reading. Actually, I’m not 100% sure it’s worth reading because I was too lazy to do anything but skim through it, but I got the general idea. Basically, the National Park Service wants to bring a higher level of security to the Washington Monument and Bruce Schneier thinks we should just shut it down.

Kevin Drum, like me, could really care less what happens to the Washington Monument. I didn’t even know people visited it. Like most Americans, I just see it in movies and I think, “Oh… the Washington Monument.” That sums up my opinion on the whole thing. But Drum sums up my opinion on something else very clearly: the intellectual laziness of Bruce’s attitude.

Maybe we should just shut it down. But that particular issue aside, I think Bruce’s attitude needs some major pushback.

There’s a certain class of people to whom his prescription sounds great. Refuse to be terrorized! Stop being such babies! I’m a member of that class. I would happily accept a slightly increased risk of terrorist attack in return for a less intrusive security regime. I think we’re way too willing to let fear rule our culture. On a purely personal level, this stuff infuriates me.

But those of us who feel that way really have an obligation to understand just how out of the mainstream we are. I’m willing to bet that most of us are a bit nerdy, sort of hyperanalytical, maybe even slightly Aspergers-ish. We’re comfortable — too comfortable, probably — viewing the ebb and flow of human lives as an accounting exercise. We’re also very sure of ourselves, generally pretty verbal, and we have soapboxes to shout from.

And, at a guess, we represent maybe 10% of the population. At most.

I have a friend who does not represent this 10% of the population. Like most people my age, she pretends to be non conformist and unique… but really isn’t. At least on this particular issue, her non conformism is purely commercial. If I go out in the middle of the night to take a walk or stop by the 24 hour drug store to grab some eggs, I get a tut and a shake of the head from her. “Oh… that’s smart. You’ll get raped and killed.”

Neither of us have spent much of our lives in particularly bad neighborhoods. We have been comfortably safe in suburbia and have never had our lives threatened in any way. But like most Americans we watch the nightly news and stories about murder and general destruction are plastered across the screen. Yes, I do run the risk of danger if I go out at night. I try to let this frighten me or deter me but… it just doesn’t. I don’t care.

Maybe I’m just a reckless young person who believes in her own invincibility. My answer to that is: well, I’ve been reckless for a while now and I’m still here, right? Or maybe I’m just an idiot. Actually, I’m probably just an idiot, but I think I’m losing my point here.

The point is, I have a certain attitude about the things I do, and it’s a simple one: I do what I want. I run the risk of dying when I get in a car to drive. Hell, I could drop dead or be struck down at any moment. My attitude is the exact opposite of reckless belief in my own invincibility. I know the grim reaper could pay a visit at any time, unannounced, and I wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing about it. That’s why I don’t care about death. It’s inevitable. I accept her dark embrace. And I’m not going to sit around and be so worried about death that I forget to live. As far as I’m concerned, she can call me anytime, because frankly I would rather die young knowing I stood up for something than die old and realize I threw my life away.

Our modern society is deathly afraid of death. Go figure. And violence. And since I was a child, terrorism was thrown into the mix. When you can’t even go through a scanner at the airport without having your private business groped, you have to stop and take a look  around you and wonder, “why?”

I am growing up in an age of fear and it is getting old fast.

We’re afraid of Cancer. “Watermelons cause Cancer!” a Woman’s Health article screams at at us when we’re in the Grocery Line. Jesus Christ. EVERYTHING causes Cancer! Who cares??? Eat a god damned watermelon! They’re friggin’ delicious!

We’re afraid of teen pregnancy and sexual activity. Oh my goodness. It’s not that hard. Teenagers want to have sex because they’re HORNY. Just teach them about sex education, give them some condoms and birth control pills and send them on there way. Everyone gets sex and everyone wins. Simple.

But then, what about morals? Our culture of sex and drugs is degrading our preciously valued beliefs and traditions! The sky is falling! No, it’s not. Who cares about morals? Morals are boring. As long as you aren’t hurting anyone else do what you want. I have low moral fiber and I am proud of it.

But… Terrorism kills people! Yeah, it does. But Terrorism isn’t just about violence. It’s about using violence… to make people SCARED. I’m sorry, but groping my hoo ha when I’m at an airport is not the way to fight Terrorism. Closing the Washington Monument would just tell our enemies just how afraid of them we really are. I’d rather we stood up to them.

And most importantly, people are scared for America. Or of America. Which one? I don’t know, probably both. China is gaining influence, the media tells us ominously. And we are declining. Our standard of living is declining, our government is imploding from the inside out. The economy is down and won’t get back up for a while, if ever. What are we going to do? We won’t be the world’s biggest superpower anymore! By 2040 white people will be a minority! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?

It’s all mass hysteria and it’s all silly. Stop giving into fear. That’s what you do. Don’t sit there and complain and let it happen. Don’t say, “America is doomed” and then go to Wal Mart to buy cups.  Do something. Vote. Get your shit together and get yourself organized. Protest. Raise Hell. It’s what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. They cared a lot more about that than “Family Values” and “American Security.”

And most importantly, stop being afraid for America. Fight for her if you love her. Don’t just let her go.

 

Monday Morning: He’s Baaaa-aaack!

Keith Olbermann has returned from exile at MSNBC:

Liberal groups had taken on Olbermann’s suspension as a cause. An online petition calling for his reinstatement, run by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, had exceeded 300,000 signatures Sunday, and Michael Moore had tweeted his support. The committee’s Adam Green said Griffin was repeatedly e-mailed updates on the petition drives.

“Progressives proved that when one of our own are targeted, we will have their backs,” he said.

That’s right. Why fight for REAL Health Care Reform or hold some kind of rally for the unemployed when you can fight to get a screaming moron back on the air?

Oh well. Moving on! Representative Eric Cantor refuses to take another Government shut down or a default on the National Debt off the table.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday this morning, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the #2 Republican in the House, threatened to take the nation’s economy hostage if President Obama does not comply with House GOPers’ as yet undefined demands. When asked if he would take a government shutdown on forcing the United States to default on its debt off the table, Cantor responded that it would somehow be President Obama’s fault if House Republicans press this agenda:

QUESTION: Are you willing to say right now we’re not going to let the country go into default, and we won’t allow a government shutdown?

CANTOR:  Chris, look at this now.  The chief executive, the president, is as responsible as any in terms of running this government. The president has a responsibility, as much or more so than Congress, to make sure that we are continuing to function in a way that the people want.

Wow. Do these imbeciles ever learn? Never mind the fact that the public sector is almost the only place where people actually have jobs now, Obama is ALL READY saying he will compromise on extending the Bush Tax cuts. I wouldn’t worry, folks. No way is Bam going to have the cojones to let it come to a showdown between him and the House GOP. He might actually have to stand on his principles if that happens, and he has none. Even if it’s true that the GOP won’t accept compromise now, he will cave.

Cantor elaborates on The Hill about what message electing Nancy as House Minority Leader would send to Americans:

“I mean, the voters outright rejected the agenda that she’s been about. And here they’re going to put her back in charge,” Cantor, in line to become the House majority leader in the next Congress, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I mean this is the woman who really, I think, puts ideology first, and there have been no results for the American people,” he said. “And that seems the direction they want to take again. It just doesn’t make sense.”

She hardly puts her ideology first. This is a gal who claims to be pro choice and then passed HCR on our uteruses to please her backers in the Insurance Industry. Maybe if she had stuck to her scary socialist ideology more women would have showed up at the polls when she and Harry needed them.

And the  party doesn’t stop there. At least not the Tea party. The GOP also promises to “roll back” HCR.

Republicans, who will control the House starting in January but will remain in the minority in the Senate, acknowledge that they do not have the votes for their ultimate goal of repealing the health law, the most polarizing of Mr. Obama’s signature initiatives.

But they said they hoped to use the power of the purse to challenge main elements of the law, forcing Democrats — especially those in the Senate who will be up for re-election in 2012 — into a series of votes to defend it.

How’s that “New Coalition” working out for ya?

How many times do we have to have this conversation?

Yesterday my room mate and I met our new neighbor across the hall. She is an extremely kind woman whose cat had just died, and we baked her cookies to extend our condolences. She invited us in for hot chocolate and gave us some of her cats old toys, and we had a very pleasant visit. She was a solid white lady, probably in her seventies and recently widowed. We had a smoke together and she told me about her family back in Chicago. My grandma just died recently and hanging around with her lifted my spirits a great deal.

She also had a book by Bill O’Reilly on her coffee table. Fox news was blaring in plain site on her TV, there was a magnet on her refrigerator that said “God Loves You,” and she had a book about the rapture in her shelf. Yup, white older female, Christian and well within the Tea Party Demographic. I tried for a few seconds to give a shit, and found that I couldn’t.

See, I get people like Beverly-that is her name. I grew up around her. Salt of the Earth folk. Well in my case, salt of the earth stoners, alcoholics and nutcases but I am still proud god dammit. My father’s family came from a small train station town called Urichsville, Ohio. My grandpa beat pipes with hammers and went fishin’ out on Lake Tappan and my dad learned how to play the guitar on a rock overhang next to the lake. He had three brothers and to this day my uncles are still guitar strummin’ hillbilly white trash and don’t you forget it.  They even have a band to prove it. It’s  called “Bad Idea,” because when they formed it my dad said, “This is a bad idea.” They sing a variety of songs but this is their favorite tune to jam to:

 

My dad left Urichsville to be an accountant and went to Kent State. He wasn’t handsome or charming but at least he was good with numbers. He traded all that for a yuppy house in the suburbs, plastic surgery and a second wife with a boob job and his conservatism is based on economic rather than social policy, but it comes from a humble place.

My mom has had a hard life and she relies on her faith and friends for support, most of which I have known my whole life. They are good if not misguided people and I do not begrudge them their political and religious differences from me, because in their eyes I am accepted as well.

These people work hard and they are bombarded daily with media that is patriarchal, monotheistic and right wing. The MSM has probably been selling the “this country is center-right” lie since the age of movement conservatism and they do this while selling the issues from a left vs. right perspective that is framed from the “center right.”

To be frank, most people in this country are neither liberal nor conservative, and the number of registered independents proves my point. Every time I get into a discussion of politics with someone, they tell me, “I just want to support whatever works.” That is what we all want, regardless of ideology. Politics should be about making people’s lives better, but most of the time it is turned into a game and it’s purpose is to fill the pockets of the elites. The silliest of Americans understand that.

The Tea Party has it’s origins in populism and since then it has been astroturfed by crazy right wingers. They are running candidates that make me want to hide under my bed and cry. But Americans just want solutions to problems, and the Teabaggers may be telling some of them what they want to hear. They could care less about the kooky religahoon xion flag waving social conservatism even if it’s weird even for them. Loony conservatives in the Republican Party have been saying for years that they want to control women’s uterus’, teach creationism in public schools and put queers on death row but it has never happened (mostly). We have checks and balances in our political system that prevents extremism from being legislated.

Christine O’Donnell makes me whimper, but I want a witchhunt on her platform, not her panini. If I child shows up at my doorstep dressed as Sharon Angle on Halloween I am going to run away screaming but calling a woman a b*tch is unacceptable unless it is meant as a term of endearment. And Sarah Palin makes my left eye twitch sometimes when she says some of the things she says, but putting her on the cover of mother jones as a scantily clad she-monster is taking it a step or two too far. Come on, guys.

That being said, I will never vote for a Tea Party member or a Republican. I am a liberal and I vote for candidates who have earned my vote. The founding fathers did not write the constitution and form the first Democratic Republic in history so I could waste my vote and my free speech on Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio. Are you kidding me with this? And I did not file my tax returns last year so I could vote for Kendrick Meeks, who put a government patent on my uterus when he voted for “HCR” and Stupakistan. Hell no.

Alex Sink seems vote worthy and there are some amendments I have my eye on, but for now I say “none of the above.” America is at a crossroads. We have to decide, in times like this, whether we stick by our principles and only vote for candidates who have earned our vote or we reward those who do not have our best interests at heart and have demonstrated it repeatedly with our tax dollars and our trust.

I’ve made my decision. I might just be plain white trash but liberal is my game. What’s yours?

Christine O’Donnell, Please Stop Existing Now

It’s like my friend Hecate says,

Last person I heard say, “I’m you,” was Linda Tripp.Who was, you know, not me.

You’re right Christine, you’re not a witch, but you’re not me either.

The saddest thing about this ad is it’s mere existence. Women in politics have been called witches for a long time. For example:

I just want you to know, that was the worse google image search I have ever had to do in my entire life, but I digress. As I was saying, calling women in politics witches is par for the course. This is mostly due to jealousy. O’Donnell WISHES she could be as bad ass as a witch. But it is also because people seem to think it is a demeaning and derogatory insult to call a woman a witch. I mean, when people call me a witch I toss my hair and say, “why, thank you.” But maybe that’s just me.

By saying, “I’m not a witch,” O’Donnell, may not be mimicking Nixon’s “I’m not a crook.” Obviously, everyone knows she isn’t a witch, because that is extremely silly. But what is even sillier is the fact that PINOs have been so shrill about her “dabbling in witchcraft” comments when instead they could have been focusing on her extreme views and stances on the issues, which are much more alarming.

A recent study by Captain Obvious found that sexist attacks and sexist media coverage hurt women who run for public office politically, and that when faced with such obstacles, they should always respond to them. By responding to Obots who would rather call her a witch (And seriously, WHY? We don’t want her) than point out things like this:

My Deal With Delaware is that I pledge I will always vote in favor of life and families. Now more than ever we must elect Senators who have a real understanding and deep appreciation for human life. There has been a profound loss of respect for all human life. Women are starting to come forward to break the silence about the mental and physical scars left on their lives by abortion. We must renew the commitment to respect all human life on which the Republican Party was founded.

O’Donnell is combating sexist attacks and media coverage aimed at her, and that’s smart politics, which is too bad for us.