zanzjan: (Default)
In 2010, Mitt Romney made my annual salary in 1 day 1 hours 28 minutes and 40 seconds.

What I pay for daycare over one year, which constitutes not quite half of my *gross* income (ie, before taxes), he earns in almost exactly 8 hrs.

The amount I am allowed to deduct on my taxes towards that childcare expense is equal to what Mitt earns in approximately 29 minutes, or roughly half the length of the lunch break I almost never take because I'm too busy at work, because there aren't enough people to cover the workload.

And yet when he was the governor of my state, he froze my salary, railed constantly against "overpaid and lazy state workers", and slashed my benefits.

Do your own math.

(This is all because I don't have a penis and a nice suit, right?)
zanzjan: (dead elephant)
Apparently the latest scary-scary see-this-is-what-you-get-for-electing-a-black-man-who-is-secretly-a-muslim-and-hates-America shit to come out of the badly flailing right wing is a gross misrepresentation of a small subsection of the Healthcare overhaul bill: Sec. 440.

Here's the text from the actual section of the bill (starting on pg. 837 for anyone playing along at home):
------
SEC. 440. HOME VISITATION PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES EXPECTING CHILDREN.

(a) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to improve the well-being, health, and development of children by enabling the establishment and expansion of high quality programs providing voluntary[1] home visitation for families with young children and families expecting children.
rest of sec. 400 behind the cut )
------

Now, any reasonable person would most likely interpret the above as clearly stating the intent to provide funds at the state level for the support of families, such that when a family with small children or children on the way feels like they need help, need some support, need some information and assistance, there's a program available that can provide that help. (Not that, y'know, there are a lot of families out there struggling, or with too little information or education to make good parenting decisions and who could maybe use some help.)[2]

However, this is being spun as -- wait for it, wait for it -- yes, OBAMA wants to send GOVERNMENT THUGS into the private homes of good, God-fearing Americans to indoctrinate their children (presumably in the evil ways of Islam and liberalism[3].) I assume, for practical reasons, these will have to be different thugs than those going around pulling the plug on Grandma and Grandpa because socialized medicine for everybody means OLD PEOPLE MUST DIE!

This is a war against women and children. This is a race war. This is a class war. This is all about keeping people down and so brainwashed by increasingly-ludicrous hype and spin that they're grateful to be saved from having health care, saved from having jobs, saved from having breathable air or food that's not slathered in toxins, saved from having to ever fire up a neuron and think for themselves because someone in charge will tell them what to think, when to rise up and what to say when they do. Because here and now they've been convinced to rally against trying to reduce the incidence of children being neglected and/or abused. Since when is that a controversial goal?

If people are really worried about thugs coming into their homes to indoctrinate themselves and their children, maybe they should turn Fox news THE FUCK OFF and go find an actual, non-partisan, facts-based news source. There still are a few out there.


---
[1] emphasis mine.
[2] I never want to have to look at, much less compile, links like those again.
[3] "liberalism:" an obscure, radical political and social position that advocates, among many other crazy things, treating children with love, care, and respect.[4]
[4] and generally I feel that way towards my fellow human beings too, though right now I am Mightily Peeved at people who have been so obviously manipulated into loudly and rudely advocating against basic quality of life rights for other people (and sadly, themselves.)

---
ETA: After this, whenever there's a news story about some poor kid neglected or beaten to death and everyone is asking, "How could this happen? Why wasn't there anyone to help them?", these people can proudly raise their hand, waving their little plastic American flag that makes them feel oh so proud, and say, "It was me! I personally helped that child have their opportunity to suffer and die!"
zanzjan: (dead elephant)
So I was listening to the news tonight and caught the tail end of a story about some political event in NY state that was reasonably well-attended -- might've been the recent Joe Biden visit, but honestly I missed that part of the story -- and seemed to be some low-key Dem thing. The commentator mentioned in passing that there were a small number of people outside the event carrying "Sarah Palin 2012" signs.

Really, is there any difference between that and holding a sign saying "I'm with Stupid!"?
zanzjan: (Default)
So, did Palin know Africa was a continent or not? It turns out to be a very interesting question.
zanzjan: (Default)
Okay, I lied, I stayed up to watch Obama's speech as well.

My Elder Daughter asked me an interesting question in the car on the way home this afternoon: if I'd known that Obama was going to be the Democrat nominee, and was likely to win the election, would I have changed who I voted for in the primary?

The answer is no. And no, I didn't vote for Obama in the primary. I didn't vote for Hillary either, so there. I voted for Kucinich, even though I knew he didn't have a shot in hell of winning the party nomination, because I wanted it on record that there was one more person that stood behind Kucinich's positions on the issues in the hope that when we did have a nominee, those voices would not be entirely discounted.

Having said that, yes I'm thrilled Obama has been elected. Do I think he's going to solve all (or even most) of our problems? Probably not. Heck, there's always a chance he'll turn out to be another useless disappointment like Deval Patrick. I do hope that he'll make progress towards solving at least a few of the catastrophic issues we are facing, and put us on a path to solving more. I feel like our civilization -- by which I mean not just America, but humanity -- is standing right at the edge of a cliff, having drunkenly stumbled our way up here by means of a combination of short-sighted decisions, whim, and a certain hostile contrariness that manifests as an abject failure to consider our own best interests. I honestly believe McCain would have, if not leapt us right off that edge, still brought us to where we'd fall. I believe he would have gotten us into a war with Iran. I believe he would've lacked the political will, flexibility, and insight to move us away from oil and other non-renewable energy sources. I believe the middle class would've dwindled even further as the division between the haves and the have-nots grew wider. I don't know that I think he really gave a crap about most of us, that we are anything more than just background noise and static to him. I do think he cares deeply about America and believed he would do right by it, but I think his idea of what is good for America is what is mostly good for big business and other people with power and influence. People who, y'know, don't actually know off-hand how many houses they own. So yes, believing that of McCain, how could I not be thrilled for a Democratic victory, especially one that as an aside refutes that idea that racism could triumph over reason, that fearmongering could triumph over hope, that isolationism could be better for our nation than cooperation?

So yeah, I'm not especially convinced that Obama's going to get us free and clear from that metaphorical cliff which represents the slow demise of our economy, our environment, and our ideals and our commitments to civil and human rights. But if he takes us even just one step away from that edge, that's something significant. What I see as the greatest potential of the Obama presidency is not so much those things he himself might accomplish, but the fact that he inspires people. He has given a lot of people hope again. He makes us feel like we can in fact do what needs to be done. And, you know, if enough of us believe that, if we buy into the crazy idea that we can in fact change the future by working together, just maybe we will do exactly that. And that, really, is what we need now more than anything else.
zanzjan: (Default)
thank the gods. i want to hear the concession speech, then i'm going to bed.
zanzjan: (Default)
Now that's just plain mean!
zanzjan: (Default)
Having become a bit obsessive about all this election stuff over the last few weeks and practically living with my eyeballs glued to fivethirtyeight.com (at least until my cable modem tanked last Friday) I decided I needed an information sheet thingy to follow along on election day to keep myself from getting too frazzled. It's just my brain, don't ask. Being a bit of an insomniac last night, I combined poll data from fivethirtyeight.com with info about when voting closes in each state, senate races, and important ballot questions, and I came up with this. In the faint chance someone else might find it useful, please help yourself. And if it does help, please drop me a comment so I know I'm not alone out here.

See y'all on the flip side of history.
zanzjan: (republican shit)
via fivethirtyeight.com:

Not at all surprised to learn that Sarah Palin (who said this: "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.") spends the vast majority of her time campaigning in towns that are significantly more white than the American average.
zanzjan: (Default)
Anyone else notice how much John McCain looks more and more like a pale version of Rygel from Farscape? Same oversized cheeks and creepy little goat teeth, same beady eyes and untrustworthy demeanor, same range of motion with his arms, similar moral character.

If he's elected, would he zoom around the White House in a floaty chair? If not elected, would he lurk in the woodwork and occasionally sneak out and steal shit from Obama and his staff?
zanzjan: (Default)
The Rude Pundit (who is very rude), on what Biden should have said: "And you know what else? I don't wanna hear about the wisdom of small town America. You know where the Founders spent their time? In the cities. In Paris. In London. Small towns? That's called 'isolation.' And it's bullshit political talk for 'white,' Gwen. Oh, do I sound elitist? If it's elitist to want to elect people who actually have a thought in their head about more than whether or not to name the next child 'Remington' or 'Colt,' then, fine, fuck me, it's elitist."

And, from elsewhere, The Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart
zanzjan: (republican shit)
From last night's debate, the following exchange was possibly the single most important thing that has been said in this entire election:

Gwen Ifill: Governor, you mentioned a moment ago the constitution might give the vice president more power than it has in the past. Do you believe as Vice President Cheney does, that the Executive Branch does not hold complete sway over the office of the vice presidency, that it is also a member of the Legislative Branch?

Sarah Palin: Well, our founding fathers were very wise there in allowing through the Constitution much flexibility there in the office of the vice president. And we will do what is best for the American people in tapping into that position and ushering in an agenda that is supportive and cooperative with the president's agenda in that position. Yeah, so I do agree with him that we have a lot of flexibility in there, and we'll do what we have to do to administer very appropriately the plans that are needed for this nation.


The Constitution very clearly set apart the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches as a way of having checks and balances against corruption or severe wingnuttery in any one branch. As we have seen, Bush as President (Executive Branch) has managed to subvert the Supreme Court (Judicial Branch) by putting on the court hand-picked cronies who are more interested in furthering Bush's agenda than in serving in that high office with integrity. The problem is that, while Bush and the neo-cons can pick judges, they can't pick members of congress. Sure, they can throw lots of money at their candidate of choice and put the large chunks of the mass-media that they control onto undermining opponents ("Swiftboating") but sometimes the voters fail to be the docile sheeple the neo-cons want them to be and go vote for the other guy anyhow. Hence Cheney's attempts to shift powers from the Legislative to the Executive Branch, all of which is why Biden said:

Joe Biden: Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous Vice president we've had probably in American history.

So, what Palin is telling us, directly and to our faces, is that she and McCain fully intend to continue and expand the disempowerment of the Legislative Branch, disenfranchise every voter who thinks they should have a voice in our government, and to intentionally undermine and destroy the system of checks and balances laid out by those same founding fathers she invokes, because they know what's right for America and they don't see any reason they shouldn't be able to implement their own policies as they see fit.

Most of what Palin said in the debate was clearly scripted in advance, and she gave her memorized answers even when it didn't quite fit the question. She's vapid, crazily narcissistic, dishonest and deceptive, condescending, woefully uninformed about the issues, and disinterested in the difficulties of anyone other than the wealthy neo-con elite. You can pretty much ignore every single thing that came out of her mouth over the entire debate, except this. She just voiced out loud an obvious but unstated truth about the agenda of the neo-cons, and if a shiver didn't go down your spine like someone was walking on the grave of this country when she said it, you weren't paying attention.

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