Monday, November 30, 2009

Hip Hop Remembrances: MC Lyte

Okay, so technically I was around 20 when MC Lyte came onto the scene, but man did she have an intro to the world with the classic "Paper Thin."

Lyte reminds me of the best aspects of hip hop, before all of the openly violent, homophobic and misogynistic lyrics really took over. Just sit back and enjoy pure talent.

"Lyte as a Rock"

"Cha Cha Cha"

Wanda Sykes Broke Down the Tiger Woods Story So That it is Forever Broke

Sunday, November 29, 2009

They Let Our Top Enemy Get Away in 2001

As we prepare to listen to Obama speak to the nation from West Point on Tuesday night, I think that it is important to remember something that was known years ago: George W. Bush and his minion Don Rumsfeld let Osama bin Laden get away. The war in Afghanistan was justified. We had the world on our side, and our troops were getting it done. Yet, the requests for support to go after bin Laden while he was at Tora Bora, were denied time and again. It's believed that bin Laden escaped in mid-December 2001 into the nether world of northwest Pakistan.

I just finished reading the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report (not including the appendices), and the reading was as fascinating as it was infuriating. The report makes clear that at the time our forces had bin Laden cornered, the "deciders" in this conflict, from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to Gen. Franks and Lt. Gen. DeLong either didn't believe the overwhelming evidence that bin Laden was close to being captured or killed, or they were focused on Iraq (which again had nothing to do with 9/11).

What is remarkable to me is that I am sure that people who supported Bush during his presidency (and called anyone who challenged him unpatriotic) will see this report as nothing more than some "liberal" hatchet job designed to embarrass Bush. Hell, some of them still think that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

Imagine if this was a report about Obama's failing to capture bin Laden.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The "Horror" of Two Men Kissing on Television

I just saw this post over at Towleroad, and I have to say that I am not surprised. The faux controversy surrounding Adam Lambert's performance on the American Music Awards has reached a new level of stupidity. As the post at Towleroad noted, the CBS Early Show blurred the kiss between Lambert and a dude, and then went right into the lesbianic kisses among Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera:

For me, this shows how the reaction to male homosexual images is essentially rooted in misogyny. I would love to know why the person who green lit those clips thought that it would be fine to "expose" an early morning audience to women kissing, but felt the need to shield us from men doing the same. Of course the het male fantasy of two women going at it seems to have moved safely enough into the culture that two attractive women can kiss, even with passion, without much fanfare.

I wonder what it will take for a male/male kiss to become as non-controversial as a female/female kiss? I am glad that Lambert has given the country a teachable moment on just this very point.

Dana Perino Misspoke (?) in Her Haste to Pin a "Terrorist Attack" on Obama's Watch

I must have simply dismissed it as a misprint, or that clearly Dana Perino, the former Press Secretary under George W. Bush, misspoke. That she could say, in all seriousness, that we did not suffer a terrorist attack (two, if you count the anthrax scare that had all of us in DC freaked out for weeks, just after 9/11) during the Bush administration is bat shit crazy.

Maybe in her haste to suggest that the events at Fort Hood constituted a terrorist attack, which I don't think it does, she misspoke. I will look forward to her retraction and correction for the record. I also wonder if Ms. Perino believes that all mass murders qualify as terrorist attacks. If that is the case, then perhaps we need to re-examine the past to see how many lone gun did things similar to the Fort Hood shooter.

Sadly, I bet there will now be some viewers of Fox News who will begin thinking that 9/11 happened under Clinton and the ACORN helped to organize it. Actually, some of them may have felt that way already, now that I think of it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Black GLBT Youth Are Under Siege, and the Broader Black Community Seems Not to Care

There were a couple of posts that I read over at Rod 2.0 that truly hurt my heart. The first involved the rape and murder of a black openly gay teenager in Baltimore, apparently by a family friend. The second involved the beating of a black openly gay teenager in Houston, by schoolmates, while school authorities failed to heed the boy's pleas for help.

In a letter to the editor of the "Baltimore Sun" honoring the memory of Jason Mattison, Jr., Baltimore teacher J.B. Salganik asked an extremely important question: "Why does the black community reject civil rights for gays?" This is a question that needs an answer.

When I think of these two stories, coupled with the psychological abuse inflicted upon black gay youth by Donnie McClurkin, I cannot help but get angry. Too many within the black community are digging their heels in on this issue. I don't understand it. Religion and religion as a crutch seem to me to be the biggest culprits, combined with the classic "eww factor" that hets have regarding sexual relations among members of the same sex (how about getting out of our beds, because Lord knows I am not trying to envision hets having sex when I see them).

I am offended by the selfish hording of the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. What happened in this country in the middle 20th century was something that the world recognized as both remarkable and worthy of emulation. Several groups, the world over, seeking civil rights have looked to the Civil Rights Movement as a template. The gay rights movement does the same, just as the women's movement and any other movement one can think of in this country. The fact that the GLBT community, which represents the totality of the racial and ethnic communities in this nation, looks to the Civil Rights Movement in reverence should be seen as an honor. Instead, the so called defenders of the realm see it as a usurpation, and I call them, each and every one, fools for doing so.

Too often, the black GLBT community is ignored by the larger black community, summarily dismissed to try to maintain some bizarre fiction that homosexuality is a "white thing." Too many within the broader black GLBT community cower within the confines of the closet more concerned about "clockability," masculinity and perceived femininity than with their own sense of dignity and self worth. Mind you, I am not talking about the people who are really working their way toward more full and open lives as out black folks. No. I am talking about the people who have given up and convinced themselves that some half-life is better than owning their truth and letting the world know it.

Those of us who are out need to speak more forcefully, and we need to remind the black community. We need to continue participating in the advancement of the community. But we need also to be out as black gay adults, if only to remind black GLBT youth under siege that they can make it through, that the bullying, whether from the school yard or the pulpit, isn't really about them.

I need to do more to help out. The future generation of black GLBT youth deserves our help. We can't let more of our youth die or be beaten because of who they are. This has to stop. Black GLBT adults need to come out in droves, need to show the world that we are an integral part of the broader black community, as well as an integral part of the broader GLBT community.

We owe it to people like Jason Mattison, Jr. and Sakia Gunn and Jayron Martin and the thousands of other black GLBT youth who suffer at the hands of a community that tries continually to say that you are not welcome, worthy or wanted.

Man, I hate it when I get emotional.

A Clear Case of Straight Up Chicken: Joe Lieberman

I agree with others who say that Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is afraid to go on Rachel Maddow's show. I am confident that he knows that she would have him for lunch regarding the claims he has made with regard to the health insurance reform effort meandering through the Senate as we speak. I am sure that she would want to discuss what he had to say about the Senate legislation on Sunday.

Check out this dodge:

"Velvet Goldmine"-ish Circa 2009

I didn't check out Adam Lambert's American Music Awards performance until this morning, and for all of the talk going on about it, I immediately thought of "Velvet Goldmine." I also thought that this guy was paying tribute to the golden age of Glam Rock, which is a really interesting period in music history, and I am glad to see someone attempt to bring some of that back.

But I find it funny that there is a bit of an uproar about Lambert's antics on stage (well after a normal bedtime for many children on a school night). The man was going for shock value. I was glad to know that the country saw an openly gay performer do things akin to what a straight performer would do for shock value. What I don't understand, however, is this continual discomfort with things sexual.

Our society continues to embrace violence in ways that are truly disturbing, and the Christianists don't really say much about that (I mean just check out "The Passion of the Christ" to see pornographic violence; and I was in a theatre with children when I saw it). Yet, sex continues to be something that we must "save children" from understanding.


I hope that Lambert continues to go down this path, bringing an open gay sensibility to the realm of rock and pop music, and pulling the rest of us with him. And as for my rememberances of "Velvet Goldmine," enjoy this little clip. By the way, Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks perfectly fetching in this film.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fire Geithner and Summers? FINALLY!!!

Right now, I am totally loving Rep. Peter DeFazio. Citing the dubious connections to Wall Street that Obama's two top economic appointees have (not to mention Summers role in decimating Great Depression era restrictions that kept the economy in good stead for decades, while he was under the Clinton administration), DeFazio is calling for increasing the unemployment numbers by two.

I've registered my complaints with these two in the past (see here), and I have yet to believe that they are beneficial to our economy. I know that there are those who feel that Obama has all of these long range, chess strategy based moves that he will make over the course of his administration, but the appointments of these two have always just left me cold. Always. The bizarre ties with Goldman Sachs, an organization that Matt Taibbi has been eviscerating with each new blog post, are only the beginning. And it seems that Rep. DeFazio has had enough.

I hope that there is a groundswell of support for dumping these two men from the Obama economic team. Paul Volker, Robert Reich and/or Paul Krugman would be much better choices for dealing with this economy. And God knows that Elizabeth Warren has been doing everything but self-flagellation to bring attention to the problems that are not changing under these men.

It's time for change we can believe in, and I will not believe that change is beginning to come economically until Geithner and Summers are out of work, and some people with genuine concern and empathy for Main Street are devising economic policy for the Obama administration.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Love of Palin: Is It a White Thing, and I Just Don't Understand?

Remember that annoying tag line from the '80s: "It's a black thing; you wouldn't understand?" Well, I feel like Sarah Palin is a phenomenon that really is a kind of "white thing," because whites seem to be the only demographic group that really likes her. I want to hear from white folks (well really anyone who wants to chime in, but....). In the past, I've tried to explain Marion Barry for a white buddy of mine. Now, I am asking for help understanding the appeal of Palin. The best I've heard thus far, from conservative friends of mine, is that she reminds them of themselves.

Is that really it? I think of myself as a smart guy, but I can tell you that I want someone as POTUS who is beyond smarter than I am. I want someone who is, at the very least, curious about the world. Palin is not that person. She strikes me as someone I would see at Target who somehow managed to do well in politics, sort of.

After I watched this installment of "Countdown," I was just lost regarding the appeal that she continues to have. And, it is clear that she has some real difficulty with the truth.

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Furthermore, there is no substance to much of anything that she has to say. If this post really is quoting Palin from her appearance on Rush Limbaugh's show, then I am mortified for her supporters. Asked a series of policy-like questions by Limbaugh, Palin provided nothing that could even be construed as substantive in her answers.

So, I am asking for help here. Help me understand Palin's appeal, because it just makes no sense to me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Washington Blade Shutting Down?

If the report that I just saw on Towleroad is correct (and I don't have any reason to doubt it), then the venerable "Washington Blade" will be shutting down.

I am in shock frankly. This is the 40th anniversary of the publication, and the Blade is a total institution here in Washington. I hope that the Blade will manage to weather this storm. Perhaps someone(s) with deep pockets here in DC can help to save it.

UPDATE: Here is another story coming in about the closing of Window Media. And here is a segment of NPR's show "Tell Me More" on the Blade journalist Lou Chibarro, Jr. (a 2009 Community Pioneer recognized by the Rainbow History Project). This is really sad.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Overreach by the Archdiocese of Washington

We have a very interesting situation developing here in Washington, DC.

For all intents and purposes, the city is poised to approve civil marriage equality next month. The majority of the City Council supports the measure, and Mayor Adrian Fenty is prepared to sign the legislation when it reaches his desk. Of course, there is that pesky little 30 Congressional review period for all of the District's laws. Barring any real problems there (and it is far from guaranteed that there will not be problems during the review period), then Washington should have civil marriage equality in early 2010.

However, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has issued a full on threat to the city. If civil marriage equality comes to Washington, then the all social service programs administered by the Catholic Church in the city will have to come to an end; so they say. The Church is concerned that the Human Rights Act of 1977, and the religious exceptions within it, do not provide it with sufficient coverage to discriminate against GLBT residents of the city who may want to use some of the social services that the church provides. Therefore, if the Church cannot secure an exemption from the civil marriage legislation, which is essentially an exemption from the Human Rights Act of 1977, then it is prepared to abandon all of those individuals (gay, straight and all in between) aided by its programs.

The Human Rights Act of 1977 is quite comprehensive in terms of who is covered. It even bars discrimination based on appearance. I, however, am more interested in the exceptions. Section 2-1401.03 (b) states the following:

"Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to bar any religious or political organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious or political organization, from limiting employment, or admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or political persuasion as is calculated by the organization to promote the religious or political principles for which it is established or maintained."

Section 2-1401.03 (d) states the following:

"Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any religious organization, association, or society or non-profit organization which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association or society from limiting sales, rental or occupancy of housing accommodations which it owns and operates for other than a commercial purpose to members of the same religion or organization, or from giving preference to these persons, unless the entity restricts its membership on the basis of race, color, or national origin. This chapter does not prohibit a private club, not open to the public, which incident to its primary purpose, provides lodgings which it owns and operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of these lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members."

After reading these two exceptions to the Human Rights Act of 1977, it seems to me that the Catholic Church will be well within the law if it stopped taking money from the city, and generated its revenue from its members, and if it simply restricted its services to practicing Catholics. Yes, there would be thousands of people who would temporarily be in trouble because of the loss of services currently provided. However, Rev. Dennis W. Wiley (co-chairman of D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality) made it clear to the "Washington Post" that "[t]here are others who can step up to the plate who would love to have the contracts [that the Catholic Church currently holds]."

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington wants to have its cake and eat it too. It has no intention of operating within the existing laws of the District. It did not have to seek public money to do its charitable work. The Church can continue to provide all of the services that it currently provides, but it will need to do it within the confines of the Human Rights Act of 1977. I don't think that is too much to ask.

This whole situation is essentially a power play. As D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells stated in an article in the "Washington Post," [i]t's a dangerous thing when the Catholic Church starts writing and determining the legislation and laws of the District of Columbia...."

I agree.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Abolish Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions II

I just finished reading this post over at Towleroad about the Archdiocese of DC threatening to sever its ties with DC government over the possibility of civil marriage equality coming to the District.

Once again, if religious institutions want to play politics, and try to dictate policy, then have at it. Just make sure you make that check out to the IRS. Regarding DC, I pay taxes here, so should I start demanding that the city not direct its funds to the various church services? Should I begin a campaign to pass legislation forbidding religious institutions from seeking government funds of any sort?

This issue needs a genuine remedy. I think that if you accept public funds, then you need to adhere to the public laws. David Catania crafted the legislation for marriage equality in a way that affords religious institutions real breathing room. The Archdiocese of DC, on the other hand, is indeed trying to strike fear into the city council. Catania's response that the city should end its relationship with the Catholic church was the right one.

If churches really want to jump into the political fray, from either the left or the right, then have at it. But they also need to have those tax exemptions abolished. We still need that money, and the new revenue would be most welcome.

Everybody wins, right?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Regarding the Black Church II: On Gay Youth and Vampires

I want to give credit to the blog Rod 2.0 for posting this bit of sad information about gospel singer and "ex-gay" Donnie McClurkin, a man whom the Obama campaign asked to help out in the South Carolina primary back in 2008 (raising the ire of the GLBT community generally). Apparently, McClurkin felt the need to attack gay youth last week. He blasted fem boys and butch girls, and chastised another gospel singer (someone called Tonex) who recently decided to be honest and come out of the closet, which seems like a minor miracle in that world.

As I read the post, I could not help but think about the young people who have been struggling with their sexuality having to be subjected to nothing short of psychological child abuse. Gays as vampires? Really? I think the gentleman doth protest too much, if the comments on Rod 2.0 are even close to correct. And let's not start on the completely mixed signals most likely coming from all of the closet cases that abound.

It was just another reminder of why I'd stated before that I am glad I was not raised within the church; I would have been a mess. How many of those children, who had to listen to the propagandist crap put forth by McClurkin, will end up like that kid "Jeffrey" from the "Tyra Banks Show" who was subjected to an "exorcism" to cast out the "gay demon?"

For every one of those children struggling and suffering within their faith communities, there are other children who are coming out to welcoming families and communities. Those children will be able to develop into healthy and happy adults. I pray that those children in that hall in Memphis last Saturday who continue to struggle with being honest about who they are will find their way from the real vampires in their paths (closeted and so called "ex-gay" church folks, and their straight enablers) toward their own happiness. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adolescent Music Flashback: Frankie Goes to Hollywood

I was one of those kids who would stay up late on Friday nights to see if I could catch a racy music video that a television show like "Night Flight" would play on occasion. One of those racy videos that I remember seeing one late night was "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (FGTH).


Now I'd seen the non-banned concert style video of the song, but the racy version was a revelation to me. I also realized that I totally had the hots for the openly gay Paul Rutherford (in his leather gear at the beginning of the video).

Of course growing up in the era of the Cold War (albeit the end of the Cold War, which was unbeknownst to any of us at the time), there was always the concern that the Russians might launch a nuclear attack, so FGTH's single "Two Tribes" was not only a cool song, but culturally appropriate.

"Two Tribes"

The only other song (and video) of FGTH that I really liked was "Welcome to the Pleasuredome." I just thought it was an interesting conceptual video in the tradition of the others that they'd done.

"Welcome to the Pleasuredome"

It seemed back then that saying you were a fan of FGTH was like a badge of coolness. Clearly, one stayed up late at night to catch the racy "Relax" vid, or one was quasi-intellectual for embracing the meaning behind "Two Tribes." For me, FGTH represented another link in the chain toward my acknowledging being gay. And I would like personally to thank Paul Rutherford for his part in that process.

Binging and Purging, GOP Style

I learned years ago that politics is essentially the art of compromise. No one really gets exactly what he/she wants. Legislation is cobbled together. There is give and take from all sides, and then you push forward with something that can appeal to the broadest segments of your constituency. It makes perfectly good sense, even when some of the compromises seem maddening (the best current example is the Democratic sponsored House health insurance legislation, and that was just compromise among Democrats).

I raise this because I simply don't understand this current push to make the Republican Party into a purely ideologically conservative political party. There is a cool story in the Washington Post today that zeroes in on what happened in New York last week, with the solidly Republican New York 23rd congressional district voting for a Democrat for the first time since the Grant administration (yep, Grant). The GOP choice, Dede Scozzafava, came under fire from her right, and eventually withdrew from the race, and endorsed her Democratic challenger. Meanwhile, the conservative candidate went on to lose the race on Election Day.

There is an even better interview that Michael Smerconish (very bear-like, by the way) did with Scozzafava on his radio show. In the interview, Scozzafava presented what she felt were eight primary principles of the Republican Party: "...less government dependency, promoting self sufficiency, believing in lower taxes, believing in fewer government regulations, believing in less government spending, or believing in individual liberty, individual freedom, and less government interference in the lives of people." Why do these principles not somehow jibe with conservatives?

I simply do not believe that the GOP, as a party, can thrive on basically the ideology of a conservative straight Christianist white male Southerner (and those who love them). That seems to me what this push for "purification" of the party means. It's binging on a very narrow perspective of the world. And it is remarkable that the idea of having a variety of positions within a political party is so offensive to conservatives. Liberals within the Democratic Party certainly complain about their more conservative colleagues, but conservatives are literally prepared to boot their moderate (are there even liberal Republicans anymore?) colleagues out of the party altogether. Remember those comments about Colin Powell?

Some of the aforementioned principles named by Scozzafava were reasons why I considered the GOP when I was younger, reasons enough to join the party. The fact that the rising conservatives within the party seemed not remotely to be about many of those principles genuinely turned me off with the quickness, and I left. Conservatives were horrified, for example, by Scozzafava's pro-choice position, and by her support of gay marriage. Those two issues, I think, actually fit the principles of Republicanism she articulated, specifically individual freedom and less government interference.

Maybe what conservatives need to admit is that they would really rather have a theocratic, fear-based defense state, where the people they don't like would suffer at the hands of government, and the people they like would benefit financially (if they have the right credentials, associations and networks) or be placated by having people around them to look down upon and bully.

The GOP cannot survive as simply a party of conservatives, but I think the party will do its best, in the end, to prove me right.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wanna Know What Happens When Crazy Meets Silly?

I just finished reading Sam Stein's post on Thursday's rally on the U.S Capitol grounds. I'd considered going down there myself, but I suspect my laughter would have given away my position. Lately, I haven't been sure whether I should laugh or shake my head at the open ignorance of what these tea party types espouse.

I certainly would not be surprised if many within that lot would go all Malcolm X on us to get Obama out of the White House. Meanwhile, watching House Republicans spew their sham patriotism was sickening, especially, as Rachel Maddow showed, when a couple of them didn't seem to know basics things related to American civics:

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Maddow even provides a correction to the above segment that includes the perfect "School House Rock" reference and video:

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So what happens when crazy meets silly? You end up with what we have witnessed coming from the GOP. These people have offered painfully little to the broader health insurance reform debate that is substantive. And even when the little substance that they have offered is considered, say tort reform for example, we already know that Republicans on the Hill have no intention of supporting any bill that is not their own.

You also end up with these people protesting here in Washington who seek only to complain about being pissed that Obama and Democrats won last year's election. You end up with people who most likely could not tell you the distinctions among fascism, communism and socialism, because they are on the ready to invoke Hilter and or Mao, for whom I am sure they know just as much. It's pitiful to watch.

As I've said in my various posts on health insurance reform, there are plenty of areas where critiques of the Democratic plans could be beneficial, where substantive debate could help to craft stronger health insurance reform that would benefit the overwhelming majority of Americans. The GOP and these tea party people are not interested in substance or debate, and they should recognize how far off of the cliff they've fallen, because these folks are following the lead of the queen of crazy herself, Michele Bachmann. That more than anything says oh so much.

Praying, Cringing and Dealing with Realities Following the Horror at Fort Hood

I fully admit that I am one of those black people who, when looking at the local news, prays that the latest crime being discussed does not have a black suspect. Yes, I am one of those people who cringes at the notion of yet another crime committed by a black person, thus adding one more reason law abiding black men like myself have to deal with the fears and suspicions of virtually everyone else.

In light of the horror that took place at the hands, allegedly, of a Muslim American at Fort Hood, I am sure that Muslims around the U.S. prayed that the suspects were not Muslims, and then likely cringed when it was revealed that Major Nidal Hasan was the named suspect. Over at Huffington Post, Jamal Dajani posted his reaction to all of the calls he was receiving from media types looking for a "Muslim perspective." Exhausting, I can imagine. Wajahat Ali, also at Huffington Post, stated the following: "Ultimately, this use -- or misuse -- of fear and rumors over Hasan's Islamic faith should be moot in light of the record of thousands of Muslim American soldiers who have served and made sacrifice...."

But in our post 9/11 world, that record that Ali references does not matter to a large swath of Americans. What they see are "Muzlims," and those are the people who want to kill all Americans and hate "our freedoms." We are a panic ridden society now, and it would not surprise me if calls for thorough checks and examinations, and even beginning thoughts of the internment of Muslim American communities didn't get louder. Yet, we have to make sure that we maintain who we are as Americans with an open society, while insisting on providing top tier national security protection to all of us, so that we do not have to experience tragedies like this one again.

The question is how will we do it?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Playing with Words, Limbaugh-like

After reading Maureen Dowd's latest, I couldn't help but feel my inner "Michael Evans" from "Good Times" come forth. So, when Rush Limbaugh calls Barack Obama a "man-child...," is that just a cute way of calling the man "boy" in the old school sense?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Abolish Tax Exemptions For Religious Institutions

I'll keep this post short and sweet. If churches, regardless of perspective want to get in the game of politics, then churches need to lose every tax exemption that is currently in place. It is offensive to me to know that many, particularly conservative, church leaders conflate their personal political positions with what they interpret as the word of God, thus suggesting to their congregations that, say, voting Republican is akin to voting the way God would. The whole purpose of the exemption, if I am recalling it correctly, was to protect churches from the whims of the secular and political worlds, as well as to offer somewhat neutral territory.

Besides, we need the tax revenue.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Holtz-Eakin: Reality is a Bitch

When I saw this "Washington Post" article on Doug Holtz-Eakin (a former McCain campaign economic advisor), I realized that as much as I wanted to laugh at his situation, I could not do it. Holtz-Eakin's sitch cuts too close to home. I know that pain, and that sense of fear. Yes it does hurt, and yes there is fear there. My mother has said the exact same thing as his does, even as we work our networks to change our circumstances, whether it's getting more clients or a full time gig.

I do hope that this humbles Holtz-Eakin. I know that he has made it clear that he is not in favor of what is happening on the Hill with regard to health insurance reform, yet this is a rare chance for a high and mighty person to see and feel what's it's like for the rest of us. He is getting a healthy dose of that, and perhaps he will be inspired to devise a conservative approach to health insurance reform that is genuinely effective. Only time will tell. I wish him the best in securing some form of affordable health insurance, because I, too, know that reality can be a bitch.