Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Amazing How Much Context a Sound Bite Misses

I have a friend whose in-laws are strong Southern conservative Republicans, and since his marriage, I've noticed strange (for him) talking points creeping into our conversations about politics.  The one that bothered me the most was the oft cited claim that some large percentage of Americans don't pay federal income taxes.  Right from the off, I would argue about the other taxes that people pay, but to no avail.  My buddy, rightly, sees himself and his family as a part of the middle class that is being squeezed from all sides.  However, he saves his strongest criticisms for those below him on the economic ladder, a point I've raised to him continually.  Finally, a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has come out essentially de-bunking that tax line by providing a more complete picture of the tax burdens of the lower classes.  It is well worth the read.

And on a final note, I find it totally tiresome, this effort to demonize the middle class, working class and the working poor, and the various government programs currently in place to help ease their financial burdens.  That demonization is made easier when you play class warfare, but not in the way that most people hear it from conservatives and Republicans.  This particular brand of class warfare is from the top down, and I would argue that this brand of top down warfare started in January 1981 (and that war is almost won, in my opinion).  The idea that only some are paying federal income taxes, while others leech off of the success of their "economic betters," fits comfortably within that brand.  How many times have we heard about "punishing the successful?"

Folks like my friend, I believe, understand that they will not be able to go after folks like the Wall Street denizens who brought this country to its knees, because they bought the fictional line from the movie "Wall Street" that "greed is good."  Folks like my friend, I believe, understand that most of our politicians are bought and paid for, regardless of party, and only grandstand for the middle classes and below.  Yet, folks like my friend, I believe, feel the need, maybe to build self-esteem or to re-direct their frustrations, to snarl at those who aren't as fortunate.  They are comfortable using the phrase "my tax dollars," when speaking derisively about someone with food stamps, for example.  Yet, they rarely express that same derision toward American corporations that make the old "welfare queen" look as poor as she actually is. 

This report on how the lower classes pay a multiplicity of taxes will help to blunt the context free statement that some large percentage of Americans "don't even pay federal income taxes (which of course becomes shortened to just "taxes")."  But until these same folks look more closely at who actually has been "taking" from the rest of us, we will continue to bankroll those least in need of our hard earned money.

"Heartless" Just Isn't the Right Descriptor for Cantor

I decided to take time before writing about House Majority Leader Cantor's move to hold up emergency funding for Joplin, MO, in order to score political points.  There are moments when "offsetting costs with spending cuts" is not the phrase that should come to mind.  Joplin, MO had sections of it utterly destroyed, and the federal government is in a unique position to offer help quickly.  That that standard procedure has been stalled by Cantor, and that he has the gall to suggest that the President is a part of the reason for the hold up, is, in my estimation, just evil.  Yeah, I said it.  Cantor would be (and should be) the first person to lose his shit, if a Democrat uttered the same thoughts, while communities in his district (northern or western Richmond, for example) lay in ruins, desperate for all the help they could get.  And I would support him in his indignation.  There are just some circumstances when politics should not figure into the equation.  Cantor likely will never understand that.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Post Citizens United, Why be Surprised?

Earlier today, I read that federal judge in VA declared unconstitutional the ban on corporations donating directly to candidates, and that the judge cited the infamous Citizens United case in his reasoning.  I, like many, many people, felt that the Citizens United decision was a travesty, and that it represented Pandora's Box with regard to American elections.  The only seemingly redeemable aspect of that case was that it upheld the very ban that a judge has now declared unconstitutional.  I cannot see how this conclusion is not upheld by the SCOTUS, should the case come to it. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vermont is Sounding Better by the Day II

Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the legislation creating a single payer health care system in the state of Vermont.  The state is now looking for an exception to the national health care law in 2014, three years earlier than the law allows for exceptions.  I've been looking for possible opportunities in Vermont, including keeping an eye out for teaching opportunities.  I am sure one of my grad school classmates will suggest Massachusetts again, but I am not so sure.  This health care move will make Vermont even more desirable than it already is, and there is a strong preservation ethic in the state (which is important to me).  Like many others with the potential for mobility, but lacking health insurance, I will be watching Vermont's progress closely.

Be Warned, I Have Something Favorable to Say About Palin

Anyone who knows me knows full well that Sarah Palin and I are far from politically or ideologically compatible, and what I am going to say is not about to change.  However, in spite of those obvious differences, I hope that her proposed national tour to various historic sites will provide needed attention to those sites (and I hope that she learns actual fact based American history in the process). 

I think that historic sites play critical roles in expanding our understanding of the nation's past.  I am also confident that Palin's trip will draw visitors to those sites, and I know that the sites will appreciate the traffic.  Hopefully, some of the sites on the tour will be places I've had the privilege of visiting, and if they are, I will write about my experiences at those sites.  For those people who read this blog and are fans of Palin (I know there aren't too many, but you never know), I hope that if she comes to an historic site in your town that you will visit the site as well. 

Regardless of who it is, I will always be in favor of someone with that level of visibility visiting American historic sites.  Those sites deserve the attention, the visitors and the potential revenue.  Good for Palin for doing her part to promote them.

Wisconsin VI: Updates

Even as a layperson not from Wisconsin, I recognized that the passage of the law dismantling collective bargaining for state workers was shady, and if I recall correctly, there were immediate accusations that WI's Open Meetings law had been violated.  Yesterday, a judge agreed.  So, it will be interesting to see how this will affect getting that law passed, since, as it was noted in the article, that that ruling focused on procedure, as opposed the the actual policy.  The WI Republicans are free to essentially do it over again, and making sure that the Open Meetings law is adhered to.  However, considering that three WI Senate districts gained enough legitimate signatures to hold actual recall elections for their Republican state Senators, I am not sure re-opening that fight would be the top priority.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not the Happiest Day for American Civil Liberties II

I knew that Salon's Glenn Greenwald would have something to say following the passage of the Patriot Act extension, and I was not disappointed.  Meanwhile, I am trying to deal with the fact that I agree with Sen. Rand Paul on anything, but I am glad that he was one of the 8 (including 4 Republicans) Senators who voted against it.  And Greenwald is right to call out Democratic hypocrisy on this issue, and the charge is well deserved.

She Done Lost Her Mind!

I always thought there was something off about former Representative Cynthia McKinney, but Damn!  Really?  She went on Libyan state television and trash talk the U.S?  Really?  Lord Jesus.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If Only More Republicans with Higher Visibility and Real Authority Supported This

Frankly, I was shocked to read that a sitting Republican member of Congress stated publicly that he thought that a New Deal-like public jobs program would be a "good idea."  How many hundreds of thousands of people could have been employed in public works and conservation projects, akin to the way our grandparents were during the Great Depression?  I wonder how long it will be before he denies having said it?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not the Happiest Day for American Civil Liberties

I am always interested in seeing where bipartisanship seems to work with little to no drama, as we saw with the four year extension of the Patriot Act.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

All That Glitters is Definitely Not Gold

Hell, I knew that about Newt Gingrich back in the 90s, long before he was showered in glitter (I do not advocate throwing things on political opponents).  And because I like to think twice and speak once, I will hold back on all of my true feelings about this hypocritical man.  But I will say that the drubbing that he is getting from his own party is just desserts for all of the shit he offered American political thought.  That he is being beaten up by his own party for speaking some version of the truth he thinks he believes is just plain fitting.  Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.  I also think folks are counting him out just a bit too soon.  Americans have the world's shortest attention span.  Gingrich will say something outlandish about President Obama and be welcomed back into the fold in no time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Open Mouth, Insert Thigh

My left eyebrow was reaching mighty high toward my hair line as I heard more and more about Dr. Cornel West's comments regarding President Obama.  By the time I read through what West was saying, I was done.  President Obama, as with any President, deserves principled criticism, but for West to say things like "All he has known culturally is white" (among other things) is not far from the crazy things that Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich have said about Obama.  Yes, Obama could have found his inner Roosevelt (either one) and done monumental things with Wall Street, or with job relief programs.  Yes, Obama could have found his inner historian and decided to look back over the prosecution of the "war on terror" to help the nation regain its moral standing and leave the possibility of criminal prosecutions on the table.  Yes, Obama could retreat from the civil liberties madness that the Bush administration ran with, and that he is continuing.  But to call him out as West did is, well, pitiful (in my perfect "Clair Huxtable" intonation). 

Check out the commentaries written by Melissa Harris-Perry and Adam Serwer.  They are well worth the read.

Is Anyone Surprised By the Senate Vote to End Oil Subsidies?

Over at Huffington Post, I saw that the Senate had a vote on ending the subsidies to the nation's five largest oil companies.  The proposal failed, and the breakdown of the votes was not really surprising.  Democratic Senators Nelson, Landrieu and Begich sided with the GOP, and Senators Snowe and Collins sided with the Democrats.  There were no surprises here.  I hope that Sen. Reid will soon schedule a vote on the House approved Ryan budget, so that we can see the marriage of GOP votes to end Medicare and uphold subsidies for the wealthiest industries in the nation (that are creating all sorts of jobs overseas).

A Breakthrough for Natural Gas?

Several weeks ago, I watched the documentary "Gasland."  I have to say that I was both surprised and disturbed by the information provided in the film.  For example, I'd heard of the house where you could light the running water out of the faucet on fire, but I didn't realize that "Gasland" was the film that really focused on the possibilities of why that was happening.  And I will admit that I'd never really considered the process of obtaining natural gas.  I found that the film did a good job of not only explaining hydrofracking, but I thought that it was particularly helpful to learn about the exemptions from the various environmental safety laws (I've recently found and started reading a paper about energy company exemptions to U.S. environmental laws).

Today, I was checking out the Reason Magazine website, and I found a really interesting article on the front page about a possible solution to the problems associated with hydrofracking described in "Gasland."  What I appreciated about the article is that it didn't vilify those who are opposed to hydrofracking.  Instead, the author suggests that a new fracking process using petroleum, as opposed to water, might alleviate the problem of potentially contaminating ground water.  If that is proven to be true, then I think that we really should look to that possibility.

With that said, I do believe that the energy industries, particularly the oil and gas industries, should have the exemption that was given them during the Bush administration (and with the GOP controlled House and Senate) revoked.  Yes, we should offer some support to industries working to help reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources, and I am particularly fond of providing subsidies to renewable energy outfits (like we did at the beginning of the oil industry, and should eliminate now).  However, these outfits should always be subject to our environmental laws.  Let's hope that this new fracking process will prove to be much more environmentally friendly than the current process, and then get to extracting.

Reasonableness in the Health Care Reform Debate

It should surprise no one who knows me that I simply do not support Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to eliminate Medicare "as we know it," and block grant Medicaid into oblivion.  With that said, I understand fully that the system that we have currently needs to be reformed significantly, in order to sustain the programs, particularly cost containment. 

Back in '09, I wrote a post about an interesting article I'd read in The Atlantic (written by David Goldhill) that offered, what I thought, was a meaningful series of suggestions for tackling our health care problems.  I've just finished reading a post by Alice Rivlin, who worked recently with Ryan on ways to tackle Medicare and Medicaid.  Take a look at Rivlin's suggestions.  I found them quite reasonable, and far from radical, like Ryan's (and the House Republicans', save four) plan.

Really Santorum, Really?

After I read (over at The Daily Dish and Salon) that Rick Santorum had the gall to say, essentially, that Sen. John McCain didn't understand how torture works, I just had to shake my head.  And then it hit me that there are probably thousands on the right who agree with Santorum.  Let's hope that the millions of people across ideological lines who agree with McCain will hear voices on the right verbally smack Santorum upside his head for sheer stupidity.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gotta Love Those "Family Values"

I feel like I am playing catch up today.  I realized that I'd not said a thing about former Senator John Ensign and his growing scandal.  I will try to remember to post something, if the hammer comes down on Sen. Tom Coburn (who I think got immunity).  But I will say this for now.  I don't think there is anything wrong with being a "family values" supporter.  All I ask is that you actually have the family values you profess to represent.  And yes, I bet that Ensign was a supporter of "defending marriage" from the gays.  I guess he forgot about defending his own marriage or the marriage of the Hamptons.  Maybe the gays wanting to get married made him do those things?

And Speaking of Coming Out

I'd already written a post congratulating Don Lemon of CNN and Rick Welts of the Phoenix Suns for coming out publicly, but after I published the post, I read that former Villanova University basketball player, Will Sheridan, also came out publicly over at ESPN.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I think that Lemon's coming out, and now Sheridan's, is huge particularly for black gay men.  I've never been a fan of the clandestine "down low" culture that has a strange appeal in some circles, and I've long felt that black folks coming out publicly would do so much to kill this notion that black folks are especially homophobic (like white conservative Christians aren't equally so somehow).  It's long overdue.

An Overarching Strategy

As I read stories about the United States now having hit our debt ceiling, as well as hearing commentary from Republicans about creating hostage-like scenarios to get their way on budgetary cuts, I cannot help but go back to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that the number one priority of the GOP is to make sure President Obama has just one term.  I also cannot help but think about something Maya Angelou has said:  "When people tell you who they are, believe them."  I believe Mitch McConnell, and I think that he and the GOP would be willing to deep-six the nation purely in the hope that the blame will go to President Obama, thus putting him in a position to lose his re-election.

I have begun looking at this situation with regard to our economy in that manner.  For example, the 2010 mid-term elections were framed as one where the GOP would dedicate its time and energy on creating jobs.  Remember the variations of the line, the "job killing failed stimulus?"  The GOP was in a position to claim relentlessly that the President and the Congress were not focused on job creation (I've certainly stated my case for thinking in a 21st century New Deal manner, but that's a different subject).  The voters responded by turning the House over to the GOP (though I still think much of that was just a clear backlash against the election of President Obama).  The last I checked, we haven't seen a single jobs proposal from anyone in the GOP.  I think the reason is simple:  they don't want to see job creation, because that helps the President.  Remember, the number one GOP priority is to deny Obama re-election.

I feel sorry for all of those folks who actually believed that the GOP really represented the interests of those most in need, that they believed that the GOP would help to create jobs.  They weren't paying attention to what McConnell and his teammates were saying.  And I think the debt ceiling debate really will be framed with a false sense of "trying to get our fiscal house in order," when the only thing that the GOP cares about is doing everything they can, even if it means doing nothing, to bring this President down in '12. 

If they pull it off and secure the White House in '12, then the strategy will have worked.  But if that happens, then I would recommend that a huge proportion of younger people prepare to join the military or land a defense contracting job, because that will be the only way to guarantee the basic needs that they and their families will require.  Everything else will disappear, from Medicare to Medicaid to Social Security to the various health care advances that the weak health care law put in place.  And I would recommend boning up on your understanding of Randian and Darwinian perspectives, because our society will be moved in those directions. 

It will be interesting to see if the strategy works.

I'm Shocked I Tell You, Just Shocked!

I am so glad that I wasted little space on this blog on Donald Trump.  I agreed with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell who, ages ago, told his viewers that Trump was not going to run.  I am glad that he got his faced cracked publicly at the White House Correspondents' Dinner; he deserved every syllable of the criticism he faced that night.

On CNN's Don Lemon and the Phoenix Suns' Rick Welts

I would like to offer my heart felt congratulations to CNN anchor Don Lemon for coming out publicly.  It is always a tricky decision to come out to family and friends (I've been extraordinarily lucky and blessed there), but to do so as a public figure is even more so.  But I would be silly not to add that Don Lemon being a black man, and a national journalist, who is coming out so publicly is huge, and so, so important.  Lemon is following in Johnathan Capehart's (Washington Post) footsteps, though I believe Capehart is a less well known figure. 

I cannot stress the importance of more black folks coming out.  I've found that by being out, honest and forthright, I've earned folks' respect, even those who may disagree with the "lifestyle" (which remains a very stupid term).  It boils down to being honest, and looking your fears in the face.  It's not about the detractors, the haters; it's about being true to yourself.

I would also like to extend congratulations to Rick Welts, President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, for coming out, as well.  As with the black community, it is extremely important for the sports world in this country to know that gays are there too, whether on the field of play or behind the scenes.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On Torture: I Agree with Most of What McCain Says

I was glad to hear that Sen. John McCain, a survivor of torture, is being forthright about denouncing its practice by the United States.  I was sick of hearing the Orwellian term "enhanced interrogation techniques," when plain English would have sufficed:  torture.  I disagree with McCain on taking potential prosecutions off the table.  I agree with Andrew Sullivan, in that there should be an independent investigation on the interrogation programs and on the Guantanamo Bay detention center.  Once that investigation is concluded, then we should talk about potential prosecutions, and hopefully shut up the crazy commentary coming former Bush administration officials.  McCain is definitely correct in saying that torture threatens the idea of America.

Your Lack of Familiarity with Common Sense is Showing

I've needed a good laugh lately, and Jon Stewart gave me a good one last night.  For some reason, known only to media conservatives and Fox News, it was decided that the rapper and poet Common should be declared an enemy of the state...well, for political purposes anyway.  For those who are familiar with Common's music, the "revelation" that he is a "thug" was met with open laughter, and it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that media conservatives are fucking clueless about hip hop and its purveyors.  At this point, I turn it over to Jon Stewart.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Will Being Gay in Uganda Lead to Execution or Imprisonment? XIII

Well, it looks like the buzz has returned in Uganda regarding the "Kill the Gays" bill.  Over at Box Turtle Bulletin, it's being reported that the bill is going to be up for debate and a vote on Friday, and that earlier press reports that the bill had been dropped were incorrect.  When I read that, I thought I would check in to see what Towleroad had to say about it, and I was glad to see that Rep. Barney Frank has weighed in on this subject.

Monday, May 9, 2011

On Foreign Policy: Obama v. Bush

I started to read Andrew Sullivan's response to a column Ross Douthat wrote regarding the continuity of the foreign policy strategies of the Obama and Bush administrations.  I stopped myself, however, because I thought it would be better first to read Douthat and then read Sullivan's critique.  I am glad that I did.  Here is Douthat, and here is Sullivan.  I side completely with Sullivan on this one, completely.

A Battle Over Labor

I just finished reading an article that referenced a situation in South Carolina that a friend of mine, a conservative, brought to my attention during the madness in Wisconsin.  I can't recall his specific comment, but it essentially was one where he suggested that the Obama administration was hindering job creation in South Carolina.  On its face, that does sound bad indeed.  However, as with anything, the situation is more complicated than it seems.

Anyone who has bothered to study the history of the South knows that anti-union feelings are generational, particularly for white Southerners, and that feeling was one part of the reason that the South lagged behind the rest of the nation for generations in terms of the creation of strong middle class workers.  Government (local through federal) and government related jobs really represented the back bone of the middle class in the South, jobs where collective bargaining never gained a real foothold in the region.

In all honesty, I don't know where I stand on this.  I think that it's important for workers to have livable wages and benefits, something that has helped millions of Americans move into the middle class in generations past.  And I will admit that I am not a fan of right to work states.  The presumption is that they are more "pro-business."  I think a more apt description is that they are more "pro-profits for the top tier of management, and if workers get a bonus every now and then, fine."  I also have a problem with the notion that all of labor is bad.  Much of what we know of, in terms of our work environment, is due directly to the sacrifices made through the American Labor Movement. 

Yet, in times as tough as these, job creation is important.  It is true that a job is better than no job in tough, but I think it's important that folks not pretend that "a job" always means "a good job."  Boeing is looking for a way keep more of its profits (for upper management and shareholders, of course), and it sounds like they are taking a swipe at the labor groups in Washington state that they have had to deal with, because their demands hinder that profit goal.  I want to say that South Carolina's asset is that it agrees with the management's perspective; workers deserve what they get, and should just be happy to have a job.  That sensibility always will give me pause.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Old Idea in the Midst of New Realities

I read with interest both David Brooks op-ed "The Politics of Solipsism" and Joan Walsh's critique "The Politics of Selfishness."  There is no question that I found Walsh's critique particularly persuasive.  Brooks correctly explains that our country was founded as a republic, not a democracy, and he continues by providing a solid understanding of the Founding Fathers' republican perspective.  However, I agree with Walsh in that by citing Irving Kristol, Brooks gave away his argument. 

I believe that the idea of "public spiritedness," within the context of the Founders, was lost with the rise of conservatism in the middle and late 20th century.  As Walsh explains in her critique, decisions were made to begin a class war against those who were not rich or directly connected with the corporation.  And it was Kristol who was at the forefront of that effort by providing intellectual cover for abandoning "public spiritedness" in its traditional sense.  Few of our leaders today actually think of the "public," when it comes to public policy; most are concerned first and foremost with the maintenance of personal power.  They are next concerned with ensuring public policy meets the needs of their largest donors.  And only when the actual public shows real concern for political overreaches (see the Ryan budget proposal), do we see our leaders back off, or pretend to have the public's interest at heart.

Walsh is correct in noting that Brooks, though I doubt he would ever say it plainly, has supported the very people who have decimated the actual tradition of "public spiritedness."  This discussion reminded me of the post I wrote just yesterday citing Glenn Greenwald's points about how far we are from our old principles.  I wondered, in these post-bin Laden days, what we will become of us as a nation.  My concern was that we had forever abandoned important principles that made our nation the moral leader of the world, and all in the name of a false sense of security.  As with our civil liberties, so too has the idea of "public spiritedness" been corrupted for selfish gain and a concentration of power.

Maybe I can borrow this from the Tea Party set:  I want my country back.

Friday, May 6, 2011

What Will Become of Us?

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't glad to see Osama bin Laden dead, and I am glad that it was our military members who did it.  But in the midst of my cheering, and wishing that I had been in DC last Sunday night, I felt uncomfortable.  I couldn't really put my finger on it, and I wasn't ready to try writing it out for this blog.  However, after reading an article about John Yoo claiming that President Obama was afraid to have bin Laden taken to Guantanamo, and after having read a post from Glenn Greenwald about what all of this may mean, particularly with regard to civil liberties, I've sorted some of my thoughts.

In his post, Greenwald cited the opening statement of the Nuremberg Trials, and I was reminded of something that I've long wondered:  Have we,as Americans, lost the ability to stand by our professed principles, even in the face of real challenges?  I think that Justice Jackson's comment at the Nuremberg Trials is instructive, because I am not sure if we are now able to "...stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit [our] captive enemies to the judgment of the law...."  And I say this because I still believe that we allowed torture to be done in our name, and all for the hope of greater security.

I know that we will never see anything like war crimes charges against people like Yoo and others who sought ways around the Geneva Conventions, and our own international treaties.  But, can we ever get to a point where we can return to a pre-Bush administration understanding of the rule of law and civil liberties?  The joy that I felt upon hearing that bin Laden was dead suggests to me that we probably will not.  To do so, I am sure people would speak derisively about a "pre-9-11" mind set, or some such.  I doubt that something like the Nuremberg Trials would have been held had the previous administration's folks been in charge.

We used to be a country that did not torture, and we were once proud of that.  We were a country that tried to keep vengeance in check.  So now, bin Laden is no longer a threat.  I wonder what type of country we will become now?  Maybe the better question is what other long standing principles will our country abandon in the name of greater security?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Navigating the World of the Uninsured: Bills and Revelations

So, it has been roughly six weeks since I suffered my episode with sciatica.  Thankfully, my back feels significantly better, and I am walking with less of a limp.  Sadly, the numbness and tingling in my left foot remains, and my balance has been compromised noticeably (which was a concern that was mentioned), in that it is difficult for me to balance myself on my left foot, with my right foot raised.

I am also now contending with the bills related to all of this.  The total that I owe so far is approximately $1,500.  The largest bills are for the Emergency Room and for lab work; those two alone were over $1,000.  I do have an opportunity to reduce the Emergency Room bill, because I am paying for it directly.  I am waiting now to see if I can get that fee reduced by half.  We'll see.  The lab work costs were a total and complete surprise.  I had no idea of the costs associated with someone analyzing my blood.

With all of that said, I am bracing myself for the second bill for lab work to arrive in the mailbox.  Last Friday, I was asked to do more lab work by my doctor, because of a concern in my results.  And on Tuesday, I learned that I have Type 2 Diabetes.  Once again, the first thing that came to my mind was the cost associated with medications.  Thankfully, I didn't say that to my doctor.  Instead, I wanted assurance that if I made changes to my overall lifestyle, then there was a real possibility that I could beat this.  I got that assurance.

So what began as a nasty episode related to sciatica has become something more.  Now, I get to find out what it is like to be uninsured while fighting Diabetes.  It's my new reality.  Anything can happen, and my job is to make sure that the better things come my way.  I have a very strong support network, which makes me think about those who are less fortunate than I am.  I think about those who don't have the options I have.  But, I also have to think about myself, make a plan, and execute it to the best of my ability.  So, the adventure continues.

Monday, May 2, 2011

So What Exactly Was Our Ally Doing All This Time?

I just read that Sen. Carl Levin is seeking answers to really good questions regarding Pakistan's intelligence community, and why it's taken so long to get bin Laden.

UPDATE:  Here is a post from HuffPo giving more details about Abbottabad, Pakistan, the "cave" where bin Laden was hiding.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And So it is Finally Done

It is incredible to know that Osama bin Laden is dead, that his death has been confirmed, and that the President could make that announcement.  Justice has been served, and that chapter can be closed.  Of course, there remain other terrorists tied to al qaeda who need to be captured or killed.  And I wish that I was in my old place in DC, so I could join those gathering in Lafayette Square to cheer this excellent news. 

Obama and Meyers Shut it Down Last Night

I am glad that I was able to see this live, and it is well worth watching. I particularly like the camera cut aways to Donald Trump, who, in my opinion, deserved every syllable of the comedic jabs tossed his way.

President Obama

Seth Meyers

Though Colbert still remains champion.