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ladym55

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Member since: Tue Jan 31, 2006, 11:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,783

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"We cheer for cruelty ..."

I just finished reading this piece by Charlie Pierce from Esquire Politics Blog. It really pulled me up short and got me to thinking, which is why I wanted to share it with you all. First, some excerpts ...

We have politicians, most of whom will never have to work another day in their lives, making the argument seriously that there is no role in self-government for the protection and welfare of the political commonwealth as that term applies to the poorest among us. We have politicians, most of whom have gilt-edged health care plans, making the argument seriously that an insurance-friendly system of health-care reform is in some way bad for the people whom it is helping the most, and we have politicians seriously arguing that those without health-care somehow are more free than the people who have turned to their government, their self-government, for help in this area. ....

We cheer for cruelty and say that we are asking for personal responsibility among those people who are not us, because the people who are not us do not deserve the same benefits of the political commonwealth that we have. In our politics, we have become masters of camouflage. We practice fiscal cruelty and call it an economy. We practice legal cruelty and call it justice. We practice environmental cruelty and call it opportunity. We practice vicarious cruelty and call it entertainment. We practice rhetorical cruelty and call it debate.


Full essay (well worth reading): http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/24448-the-united-states-of-cruelty

He argues that we need to DO better and BE better.

"Cruelty is cruelty. It should be recognized as a fundamental heresy against the political commonwealth and wrung out of all its institutions." Amen, amen, amen.

Shout out to Red State Liberals

I guess I live in what the pundits call a "purple" state, Ohio. My one senator is SHERROD BROWN -- the other, Rob Portman. MARCIA FUDGE represents me in Congress, but my state regularly sends the orange guy back to Washington to cry in his bourbon.

My current governor is John Kasich (we don't need no stinkin' transparency), and thanks to the magic of gerrymandering, we have a Republican super majority in the Ohio House and Senate. That means tax cuts for the wealthy, attacks on women's health care, attacks on public education, and lots and lots of fracking. We just turned back renewable energy standards.

I know what it is like worry about whether my car will be vandalized in the parking deck because of its Obama sticker. I've been sworn at phone banking (and I'm supposedly calling other Democrats!). It's hard to have conversations sometimes because I guess being a liberal makes me a non-Christian (who knew?). I know what it's like to never, ever, ever get a response from my state representative or my state senator no matter how many times I contact their offices.

I have family in New England and the Bay Area, so I know how wonderful it feels to be in a place where progressive values are the norm. It is just so relaxing. I love it!!! Trust me, our car with its Ohio plates got lots of glares in Massachusetts in 2005. They couldn't tell that everyone IN the car had not only voted for Kerry, but had worked on his campaign.

Here's to ALL of you in the states they call red. Cheers to your courage, your values, and your hard work. I know it ain't easy.

A few words about teachers

I'm drawing this information from Dave Lindorf's op-ed in Nation of Change:

Letís just note that the heroic teachers who died while courageously trying to protect their kids at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and the others who survived but stayed to protect the kids, were all part of a school system where the employees are members of the American Federation of Teachers. (I'm adding the bold)

Letís just let that sink in for a moment. Those teachers, who are routinely being accused by our politicians of being drones and selfish, incompetent money grubbers worried more about their pensions than about teaching our children ... stood their ground when confronted with a psychotic assailant armed with semi-automatic pistols and an automatic rifle, and protected their kids.

snip

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Newtown school board, like school boards all over this country, was considering cutting the schoolís elementary music program and library program. It should be noted that both the school librarian and the school music teacher, whose jobs were on the line at the school board, stayed with the kids they were teaching when the attack began.


The most powerful part of the op-ed comes from a discussion post written by a local citizen about teacher pay last spring:

You, as a public sector employee, donít generate ANY revenue. Every penny of the budget of your public sector enterprise is TAKEN from producers. Itís other peopleís money versus money your organization EARNED. Your salary is not market based. .... You are insulated from that reality. Your private (sic) sector salary only goes up. How is that fair? Especially in light of the fact that you donít even generate the revenue that pays for your constantly rising salary?You, as a public sector employee, donít generate ANY revenue. Every penny of the budget of your public sector enterprise is TAKEN from producers. Itís other peopleís money versus money your organization EARNED.


I wonder how that writer feels today, knowing that these "public sector employees" paid the ultimate price protecting the lives of his children or grandchildren? Does he still feel that these brave women are insulated from reality? This is just one more area that we as a nation need to address. We need to respect teachers and their professionalism. Sandy Hook needs to change our dialog in many areas.

Here's the link to the full article:

http://www.nationofchange.org/america-s-teachers-heroes-or-greedy-moochers-public-trough-1355674260

Keep an eye on Husted

I just saw a story on Ed Schultz tonight. Husted wants to change how our Electoral College votes are assigned to presidential candidates. See it wouldn't matter who won the majority of votes in the state, the Electoral votes would be assigned by our very gerrymandered Congressional districts. So in this past election, even though Obama won the majority of votes in the state, Rmoney would have been given 8 of the 12 electoral votes because those districts had Republican majorities.

These guys just won't quit.

Ohio Legislature is back in action against women

Two house bills are moving forward. The first, HB 298, could be voted out of the Health Committee Wednesday and calls to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio. The second, HB 125, is the unconstitutional and notorious "heartbeat bill." The Ohio Senate is looking at moving forward with that.

It's a great time to contact your Ohio rep and senator and let them know what you think.

These non-stop attacks on women and reproductive rights are getting old.

A few cranky words about M$M

This election cycle has brought out the very worst in the M$M and got me thinking about the past few election cycles. This election should be a landslide for Obama. He is done so much good over the past four years and with so little help and so much obstruction. And it would be a landslide for Obama if the "journalists" in the M$M did any work at all.

In 2000, the press went NUTS about how "wooden" Al Gore was and made sure we all knew that Gore LIED about the internet. At the same time, they gushed about Dubya's folksy appearance and his supposed every man appeal. Gosh, wouldn't we all want to have a beer with him? In 2012, Romney has been caught in so many lies it makes my head spin, and yet the press is subdued in its response. Instead I hear how Romney looks presidential and how job numbers are hurting the president. The president's supporters aren't "enthusiastic."

In 2004, John Kerry was portrayed as a flip-flopper for changing his mind on the Iraq War. Kerry was also too rich and too out of touch with the common person. In 2012, we have a Republican whose positions change so much they could make a whirligig spin. All is quiet on the M$M front. Billionaire Mitt with off-shore accounts in Switzerland and the Caymans can put on his fake jeans and shirt, and the M$M is quiet. Apparently, when your name is Mitt Romney you don't have to release your complete tax returns. When your name is Mitt Romney you can say horrible things about 47% of the nation's population, and it will a blip on the news cycle.

M$M sets the narrative. They have let Tea Party lies stand unquestioned (Obamacare has taken money out of Medicare), permitted Romney to change positions every 30 seconds or so, and made the entire narrative about the "horse race." ROMNEY'S GAINING!!! The president is losing ground with his base!!!! The entire election was decided by the first debate (the second two don't count cuz the president schooled Romney).

I have turned off NBC, CNN, and NPR. I get my news via Twitter by following some journalists who actually still try to be journalists. But that takes a lot of work. Most voters don't have the time, interest, or energy to do what I do. A free press is necessary to support an informed electorate. Unfortunately, we have corporate hacks unwilling to do their jobs.


JK in Ohio

I know there is another post with JK's Tweets from Ohio, but I want to talk about something else. I live in Ohio, and I can't tell you all in this group how THRILLED I am that he is here. Today he was in the SW corner of the state (John BOehner territory), which is so very, very important. The Rethugs dominate in that part of the state. JK's presence will help energize the GOTV efforts in a critical part of the state.



BTW, I'll be canvassing in Akron tomorrow, which is my home.

To right-wing bloviators: How can I miss you if you don't go away?

It's been a long week of stupid, and it has left me wondering why. Why is it that so much media time and attention are spent on the useless and worthless spewings of the hateful and the ignorant?

Why is it that when Ann Coulter spews, she gets days of attention and media coverage? When is the last time she actually contributed anything of meaning to the conversation? The president is a "retard." That is third grade male playground talk. My life is enriched with her contribution to the national discussion.

Donald Trump was back again, this time demanding the president's college records. He is a ill-informed bad joke with a bad toupee. He makes the rounds of talk shows and is interviewed, and each time claims that "many" have questions about Obama's "qualifications" as president. Why are we supposed to care about what he thinks? Perhaps our next roundtable of pundits should be all casino owners, since that apparently qualifies someone to enter the national discussion.

Sarah Pallin, the epitome of brilliance and insight, referred to President Obama as "shucking and jiving." Her 15 minutes of fame were over a LONG time ago, but yet, when she speaks, she gets media coverage.

And then there's Rush Limbaugh. I have never listened to his radio show, and yet I hear about what he has to say almost daily. Yep, he is racist and misogynistic, but he gets the spotlight. He really does fit the description "drug-addled gas bag." Nice to know he has lots of influence.

John Sununu is a little different. He actually speaks for the Romney campaign, so technically he should be covered. Unfortunately, when he does speak, he says racially offensive things, like Colin Powell supports President Obama because Obama is black. Gee, that must mean that Donald, Ann, Sarah, and Rush support Mitt because he's white. Oh, wait ...

MSM sets the narrative of the news cycle. Instead of focusing on things that matter, they focus on gathering these tidbits of stupid and mean. These words and viewpoints have an impact. Our public discourse is affected. We think that throwing insults or race-baiting is discussion.

If MSM chose not to cover the words of Ann Coulter or Donald Trump or Sarah Pallin or Rush Limbaugh, we wouldn't miss them.

I'm so tired of stupid, angry white people

It's been a long week, and I've kind of had it.

My last nerve was activated when I picked up my local paper on Wednesday to see pictures of the contentious county BOE meeting ... the room was packed with local tea partiers lobbying to make it HARDER for all of us to vote early. "Don't waste our tax dollars on off-site voting." Translate: Let's make sure that ALL of us need to wait in long lines to vote early. These weren't wealthy people ... they are the very people off-site early voting is for. The idea is to make it convenient so that working people will have an easier time voting. But, no, don't waste tax dollars on something that will benefit all of us because ... I don't know why.

The president visited my community last week and stayed in a local hotel. Oh, my. HOW DARE HE! He required SECURITY! THAT COST TAXPAYERS MONEY!!!! He apparently had a motorcade (duh) that inconvenienced people going to work. He sure had nerve (at least that's what I read in the LTTEs this week.) Silly me. I was so excited that the president visited here I sent all the articles to my children living out of state.

In addition to today's LTTE complaint entry about President Obama's visit, I learned that Mitt Romney has EVERY right to do exactly as he pleases with his money. It's his right. Taxes are bad. I also learned (something I read at least 3 times per week) that Obamacare is BAD and will kill business (and the bill is has too many pages). And Representative Betty Sutton hates business and hurts our local economy. (Hello? Remember "Cash for Clunkers"? That was Betty Sutton ... yep, she sure has done NOTHING to boost OUR local economy.)

I see a common thread in much of this .... the divide and conquer that Scott Walker boasted of in Wisconsin. The angry white people are SO afraid that some of THEIR money (which many don't have enough of to live comfortably) might go to someone undeserving (translate: person of color) It angers them that an African-American PRESIDENT gets "special treatment." They are so angry that they are irrational. It just wears me out dealing with the anger every day ... in the newspaper, on the job, and out in the community.

Divide and conquer in action in Akron, Ohio

One of the ways the Republicans are working to suppress voter turnout in Ohio is by making it harder to cast a ballot. In 2008, Summit County used an off-site location for early voting, and tens of thousands of county residents took advantage of the convenience and extended hours.

Now, one of the "big issues" is to keep early voting at the tiny BOE, ensuring long lines and parking problems. It will save money, claim the Republican BOE members.

As the BOE has worked to push forward the Republican agenda to make voting more difficult, a small group of "BOE Watchers" began to attend meetings to let the Republicans know that their actions were being seen and noted. Yesterday, the BOE Watchers were surrounded by what I call stupid, angry white people who don't want "their tax dollars" wasted on making voting accessible.

I've included a link to the story in the Beacon Journal. Check out the photos. Look at the dignity of the BOE watchers and the people who don't want THEIR tax dollars wasted. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Easy access to early voting will make it easier for ALL Summit County residents to cast their votes this November.

http://www.ohio.com/news/summit-county-elections-board-deadlocks-on-early-voting-sends-three-more-ties-to-secretary-of-state-1.319300
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