Monday, February 28, 2011

Austin rally to support Wisconsin

It was a lot of fun, and by most measures, pretty successful I'd say. I have no idea how many people were there, but the area around the Capitol steps was jam-packed. My friends and I actually wormed our way up to the area where the speakers' platform was, so we were out of the crowd and mostly behind the speakers. It was hard to hear, probably because the speakers were pointed out at the crowd, but we cheered and waved our signs along with everyone else. Most gratifying was the loud and long "Booooooo!" that came up when Gov. Rick Perry's name was mentioned. Jim Hightower was a crowd-pleaser, as usual, and it was fun watching him wearing a cheese hat and having his picture taken with a couple of the Wisconsin folks who were there. Gotta love that man!

My friends and I tried to get tickets to A Red Hot Patriot but they were sold out - too bad. So we went out for Indian food instead.

Vic was our cameraman - and I hope to have some pictures soon.

UPDATE: Until Vic's pictures come through, here's a nice photo essay of the rallys across the country from MoveOn, the events' host. (Hey! Note picture #26! Someone stole Cap's idea!) At some point, a woman took my picture and said somthing about posting them on MoveOn's site, but - with some relief, I admit - I don't find my picture there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Support the Unions!

Am off to Austin this morning to join a rally at the Capitol in support of the unions in Wisconsin - really in support of workers' rights nationwide. My Austin friends will be there and with any luck, There Will Be Pictures! Hope my car doesn't die on me......

What should my sign say? Legally, it can't be partisan, so my original idea: "Remember Wisconsin in 2012 and Vote For Democrats!" is out. Too long, anyway. Capconnundrum suggested: "Enjoy your weekend? Thank a Union!" which is great, but also kinda long. I'll probably end up with something generic and boring like "Support Our Unions!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Crystal Ball

My local NPR station this morning told me that Texas is poised to pass a law mandating that all state universities allow their students and faculty to carry concealed handguns. I confess that I was wrong: Last fall, when Republicans won a super majority in the Texas legislature, I predicted that this would be their first move. It was, instead, their second; first order of the day was to pass mandatory sonograms for women seeking abortions.

It seems to me that Texas can reasonably be perceived as a microcosm of Wingnut Heaven. Our nation had a good helping of Texas Wingnuttism in charge of things for eight years under the non-leadership of George W. Bush, so we should know what to expect if they should manage to wrest control of the reins of national power again.

I think TexasFred is a good barometer of Texas Wingnuttism too. The other day he had a post up extolling the virtues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, renowned Confederate Hero and KKK Grand PooPah. According to Fred, this guy has been unjustly maligned by "libberpukes". Uh huh. So when I see things like this playing out all over the place, and not just in The South - that is, with wingnuts everywhere falling all over themselves to re-define not just the Civil War, but history and science in general, my Crystal Ball kicks into action and tells me that as soon as wingnuts achieve their goals of destroying unions, women, and the rest of our tattered economy, their next target will be restoring that venerated institution of slavery. You just wait. You read it here first!

I think the rebellion in Wisconsin is pivotal. If Brown wins, we all lose. It's as simple as that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Too Bad Bill Crawford Took Such a Cowardly Dive

...and is no longer around to answer for all the bull-caca he promulgated in the run-up to and during the early days of the Iraq war.

I don't know what happened to Bill or why he shut down his blog with no explanation, but he is one of many who have a lot of 'splaining to do.

Maybe it could start with an apology to Cindy Sheehan, who not only lost her son but also took an amazing amount of ugly crap from rightwingers like Bill for daring to lead a crusade to hold George W. Bush and his administration accountable for blatant lies.

Yeah. Like that's ever gonna happen. Look Forward, Not Back! Let's not Look Back at those nearly 5000 US soldiers killed or, say, millions of dead Iraqi civilians. And that's just deaths - let's not talk about the US soldiers who have come home with debilitating injuries that will take years (if not lifetimes) and lots&lots of money to recover from. Oh goodness, let's not even talk about money....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moral Relativism?

This morning as I was pulling into my parking space at work, the DJ at the college radio station I listen to was reading the news and this was the last item I heard. Now, I don't know if I mis-heard the news, or if the DJ misspoke (it's college radio - it happens) but as I heard it, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was being awarded to George W. Bush, and I nearly had a heart attack. I stomped into my office and ripped off an angry email to a few friends, then got around to actually reading the news article.

Sheesh. That should teach me. So, having recovered from that rude scare, I now have to re-evaluate how I feel about this news. Not great, for sure, but what does it say about Barack Obama that I should be so quick to assume that my original fear was true? That that acutally seemed POSSIBLE?

In an ideal world, things like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Freedom would be awarded on merit and not for political purposes, but of course that world doesn't exist. That said, I suppose some small amount of satisfaction can be derived from seeing this award granted to Bush, Sr. whose policies Bush, Jr. so arrogantly and disastrously reversed. Suck on that, Chimpy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines' Day

One of my favorite love songs:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thank you, Ann Friedman!

When are our Democratic leaders going to wake up?? And to the commenter who said:
Fuck safe, legal, and "rare". Safe, legal, and easily available to anyone who needs one
I would just add...."for ANY reason what. so. ever. No questions asked!"

Repeal the Hyde Amendment. Fully fund abortion services. Now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"one of American history's epic missed moments"

I shall never forget how America's rightwing lunatics spent 8 years extolling the virtues of George W. Bush, Codpiece Man!, and accusing those of us who despised the man as being terrorist sympathizers, then turned around and mocked those who found Obama's campaign rhetoric of Hope and Change compelling by suggesting that we worshiped him as "Obamessiah". It goes without saying that they were wrong - they always are - but it is nevertheless true that even those of us who are longtime observers of national politics (and thus deeply cynical - hard not to be) found ourselves moved by the idea of our first black President and, yes, even against our will, hopeful.

I contend that we were right to be. 2008 did seem like a confluence of circumstances that set the stage for a new liberalism that would finally be a resounding rebuttal to the creeping and noxious authoritarian reactionary movement that American society has been embracing since the election of, gag me, Ronald fracking Reagan. Here's Digby (emphasis mine):
Kuttner's critique of Obama is on the money --- in my view, if there was ever a president who had the economic circumstances and political mandate to challenge the prevailing wisdom, it was him. But for reasons about which we can only speculate, he didn't do it. I agree with Alterman that the deck is stacked against progressives, but it always is. Money never welcomes the hippies into the country club. But it's a rare president who has a huge mandate for change, a once in a generation economic crisis, a reputation for rhetorical brilliance and a congressional majority. I just don't agree with the conventional wisdom that Ben Nelson had more power over policy than he did.

Alas, it was not to be. And many of us fear that the failure of this moment will seal the fate of liberal policies for generations to come, a fear that exacerbates our disappointment. So what happened? Digby points us to a review of a couple of books about the Obama presidency, one good and one bad, but it is the review itself that she recommends reading. I agree.