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Posted by: Helen Philpot | August 3, 2009

The President Acted Stupidly

Margaret, we’re old.  We were born in 1925.  Well, I was anyway.  You were born in 1926, but whose counting?  Either way, we are still a couple of old broads.  When we were born the Ku Klux Klan had 5 million members and Catholics and Jews were hated almost as much as the blacks… almost.  Today the KKK membership is about 5,000.   And now we have a black President who appointed a Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court and then had a beer with a white cop and a black Harvard professor on the White House lawn.  My goodness, but look how far we’ve come.

It only took 144 years after the Civil War before a  black man finally made it to the highest office in the land and a hispanic woman made it to the Supreme Court.  We were doing so well,  and then Obama had to take one more question from one more  reporter.   Like a house of cards it all fell apart because he had to go and suggest the police acted stupidly when they arrested that Harvard Professor.   Clearly something is wrong.  How could this happen?  Is it reverse racism?  Could it be we’ve come that far?

Take it from someone who has been around the block a few times too many.  We’re not even close.

A police officer mistakenly arrested a Harvard professor for breaking into his own home.  It doesn’t matter the skin color of anyone involved.  That was stupid.

A President who wasn’t there decided to talk about it at a press conference on healthcare reform instead of staying focused on the issue thereby allowing the media to once again take our eye off the ball.  Again, it doesn’t matter the skin color of that President.  That was stupid.

Sarah Palin quit her day job.  Now that was really stupid.

Rush Limbaugh called the President a racist.  Now come on folks.  That’s not just stupid,  that’s… well that’s… uhhh… well that is… hmmm… that has become pretty typical for ‘ole Rush.  And when stupid becomes typical you can’t really use the word stupid anymore.  It’s not politically correct.  Instead you have to call him mentally challenged which seems like an insult to all those who came by it naturally like Miss California and most of the mayors in New Jersey.  But I digress…

Honestly the most stupid thing of all that came out of this is the number of white people calling into their favorite AM radio hate talk show about how the President is out to get white people.  Which do you think makes them more mad – the fact that the President is black or that they now know at least one Harvard professor is black?  After all, that’s a tough pill to swallow coming on the heels of the whole Sotamayor uprising .   Or maybe what really makes them mad is that electing a black President wasn’t the end of the civil rights movement.  It was really just the beginning.   Suddenly our black and white world is becoming various shades of grey… or is it gray?

The last time I checked, white people still have it pretty good in the world.  Of course, I’m no Harvard professor so what do I know?   What I do know, however,  is that this particular episode was a whole lot of something about absolutely nothing.  How about we get back to talking about healtcare reform?  I mean it really.

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  1. Highly descriptive blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be a
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  5. I’ve been following some of your posts. Well done. I think you and I are on the same page. My blog is also for soclial/political/cultural ranting and it is such a pleasure! Only wish I had the time for as many posts! Keep it going.

  6. Yes, there is a lot of stupidity going around these days. But, it’s not all the police. Professor Gates was arrested because he failed to identify himself as the home owner and because he started screaming at the policeman. Any of us would have been arrested under those circumstances. Professor Gates should have acted like a responsible adult instead of like a raving adolescent. Come on.

  7. good lord, we have traveled thus far but we still like to see colors of the rainbow.

    Sometimes I wanna be red, or blue, but now the favorite is green, so perhaps I wanna be green too.

    Can anyone help.

  8. Anonymous,

    We don’t have cable. We watch the network Fox News talk show on Sunday mornings.

    Thank you other Anonymous, and vgman.

    margaretandhelenfan, Fox News’ slant doesn’t surprise any more than the other networks do. I watch the network evening news and the Sunday talk shows. We subscribe to Time, US News and World Report, Atlantic and other news magazines.

    I do see both sides. It is interesting to me that Fox has higher ratings than the competition this week.

    Likely few will read this abandoned thread, but at least my post is here.

  9. I’d like to offer a new description of Rush Limbaugh….how about bombastic moron?

  10. Seeings there is such a hubbub about this healthcare reform bill….why can’t they just have a special election and let “WE THE PEOPLE” show them where we stand. So disheartening to see what is going on. been gone awhile due to health issues. don’t have time to research and find out who to ask this to so I am bringing it it the smartest ladies I know of. Seeings my mother passed. Can you help or anyone here? please. Who would you contact or how would you go about seeing about doing this before their “rest session” is over? Thanks and M & H you ladies are spot on as always. Love the posts and I have soooo missed being here.

  11. “People talk about the government takeover of the system … that’s a buzz term that comes straight out of the insurance industry,”


  12. “Thought you didn’t have cable James, how are you watching Fox News?” —Anonymous

    You have got a serious hate-on going for James, Anonymous. You keep trying to catch him in a lie, and so many of your posts are simply directed vitriol aimed straight at him. Why is that? You attack UAW a fair amount too, so maybe we can assume it’s just plain old political profiling hate, but I’m just wondering if there’s anything more to it than that? Did he offend you in some way or does he remind you of someone who has wounded you?

  13. Hi gang,

    My timetable for being unavailable got moved up to early October because of our non-event hurricane.

    So in the interim, I’ve got a proposition for ya, folks. THERE IS NO HEALTH CARE BILL – - YET. The house more or less came up with a PROPOSED bill as did the senate. But neither bears even the remotest resemblance to what will eventually wind up as a bill on the president’s desk to be signed into LAW (or not).

    I think it would be useful to know IN DETAIL the EXACT steps required for an idea, if you will, or a concept to be debated and make it through the various committees of both houses of congress; then voted upon by each house. Next the various joint committees’ debates to submit for votes on approval by both houses. THEN – - THERE MAY BE A HEALTH CARE BILL for the president to sign or veto.

    Here’s my proposition. Research and document your SOURCES on the steps, the exact committees and members thereof, (numbers of democrats and republicans, no need to name names). In short, detail how a bill comes into being from inception to law. OK?

    I think it will be interesting to see the various interpretations from different people here on the blog. The more people who participate, the merrier!

    Aloha! :-)


  14. Actually, Margaret & Helen are probably visiting with the Sarah Palin Down Right Evil Death Panel to get the skinny for the next post. I sure hope they get out of there, fast! That’s one scary panel, alright. Their eyes are red and they have sharp teeth!

  15. Thought you didn’t have cable James, how are you watching Fox News?

  16. “…did not break the law. the same can not always be said for American soldiers”. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, margaretandhelenfan……….

  17. james: Are you at all surprised that by watching Fox News you are hearing a right wing and, it must be said, twisted and inaccurate view of things? Do you ever watched news sources (not that I consider Fox a real news source) to see the other side of the arguement?

    I used to watch Fox news because I thought it was important to get both sides of an issue. It was around the time the Scooter Libby was being exposed for his miss-deeds and I was really interested to hear how Fox was going to handle it. Here’s how they handled it: They didn’t mention it at all. Not in the two hours of news broadcasts I watched, although Little Scooter’s name was front page news at the time. Never mentioned his name once. I stopped watching after that. Clearly this was a waste of my time.

  18. James,
    One of the things I like about your posts is that you always paint a picture in the mind with your words. I saw your daughter looking up at you while patting your hand in front of the travelling Wall. Thanks for the tug on the heart. We may not always agree, but respect for your thoughts and service are duly noted.

  19. In the spirit of bipartisanship, I submit a quote from Jackie Kennedy in 1960.
    She was supporting her husband, JFK, in the presidential primaries. Ronald Reagan, a Democrat at the time, had been urged to remain so–and headed a push called “Democrates for Nixon”. His wife, Nancy, was a Republican.
    Jackie admitted that though “born and reared a Republican,” she was happy to be so no longer.

    “You have to be a Republican to realize how nice it is to be a Democrat.”

    In that spirit, I toast with my morning coffee….May our representatives rise above the bickering and remove themselves from any special interest as they continue to debate health care. I would expect that they understand their role as participants in a representative democracy.
    We all want them to vote a particular way, whichever that way takes–without that, we wouldn’t be the representative democracy that we are.
    But I know that many of our public servants will allow despicable manipulations to sway their thinking.
    Sigh….Oh for the day when an elected official made a decision from their heart that they knew went against the popular thought at the time.
    Majority, minority, opinion polls…..
    Our strongest presence is felt the most when messages from our hearts reach their hearts.

    During these doldrum days of August, let’s keep up the pressure in a civilized way. They need to hear us. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over…..
    whichever way you think they should vote.

    Anything less would be a slap in the face to the representative democracy we call home.

    Here’s to bipartisanship!


  20. whewwww rushing to get you one of my world renown margaritas Fluxux! Or if you prefer a piece of pie? Δ

    It is obvious I bug the shit out of you… That’s ok… I have a remedy for that….. scrollll baby scrolll when you see my name…On my computer the button is on the left.

    If you wish however, to engage in political discussion with me I’d be delighted to do so.

    Spell check… writing rules…. general all around blogging rage and grumpiness… bores me to tears and won’t solicit the attention and distraction you desire.. sorry love…xxoxoxo

  21. Lori,
    Congratulations on your many achievements in life. It’s respectful to credit the real writers of lifted website content and it is disingenuous not to. I finally responded after the third time (on this topic alone) that you blatantly cut large quantities of content from other sites and pasted it here without any reference or indication whatsoever that the content was not original. Just asking that you practice a few internet manners.

  22. Another example of how lucky I am happened when we first visited the traveling Wall. Our son was seven and our daughter five at the time. They thought I looked sad, so while our son sang the Star Bangled Banner, Our daughter patted my hand. No one could be luckier than that.

  23. Fluxux, there are a few things in life I’ve achieved excellence, so I’ve been told… I make a kick ass lasagna, a tingle your toes margarita. I’m a great lover, friend, mother and wife…. I also know lots about politics… HOWEVER writing, spelling, and balancing a checkbook (thank the good lord we don’t have to do that anymore) are not my forte’, and anyone who bothers to read my attempts know that… Hence I would NEVER be so silly as to try and pass off a well written, correctly spelled, paragraph as mine! LOL But thanks for the compliment… namaste’

  24. The Drudge Report links to Camile Pagilia’s “Obama’s healthcare horror” at Salon.com. She voted for Obama.

    She wrote “Who would have thought that the sober deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises–or that he would so easily cede the leadership of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious,solipsistic Congress?”

    “…Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a health care plan that doesn’t even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land.”

    “You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it Obama keeps assuring us in soothing tones.

    Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards ruling access on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting to its government-bankrolled competitor. Face it: Virtually all nationalzed health systems neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment eventually lead to rationing… ”

    “…Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill in three weeks? And why such an abject failure of the administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way The US is gigantic… The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever saving Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy…

    …With the Republican party leaderless and in back-biting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherant George W Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade…Both major parities have become a rats’ nest of hypocrisy and incompetence…

    And what does either party stand for these days? Republican politicians with their endless scandals are hardly exemplars of traditional moral values. Nor have they generated new ideas for health care…

    But what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the “mob” a word betraying Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wants of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960′s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech…

    The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than the near total silence fo liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If the Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it. ”

    Two other columns which I didn’t have time to read are titled “Are Liberals seceding from sanity?” and “by Micheal Lind, “White House deal with Big :Parma undermines democracy” by Robert Reich.

    Last night Fox cable news beat the competion. I wonder if it is related to growing public discontent.

    The easy route is to make sport of bashing we few who disagree with established orthodoxy. Proving Paglia wrong is harder.

  25. Thank you Susan in CT, Greytdog and any one I missed. I think you would make a great neighbors too.

    I was gone yesterday and will be many times this week, so I haven’t had time to do much except required computer work.

    Thus, I take Lori’s word for it that Rep Pelosi said the incivility, not the protests were un -American. My point still stands. I don’t remember Pelosi calling anti-Bush demonstrations un-American, and I don’t believe she criticized the assaults pro -health care demonstrators inflicted on their counterparts.

    Democrats are demonizing the opposition because the most prominent of health care versions, HR 3200 is indefensible. Posters on this message board supported my case with their silence. I may have missed a post, but no one was able to defend the bill on its merits isolated from other issues.

    I asked for examples illustrating the bill’s feasibility in other states or nations. Lori presented Taiwan, but their system, while apparently good faces deficits and other problems too. No one could or would find other examples. That is disappointing.

    One reaction to a weak case is to throw mud at the messenger. When I wrote it was “fun” I referred to the childish and stupid multiple personality attacks. That was fun, because it reminded me of our children when they were twelve. Charles R. is too slow play a game like that. His imagination seems barely adequate to let him find his way home.

    Bush rammed through a war, the Patriot Act, and a fall stimulus bill which for their possible merits attracted relatively little discussion from the press or voters. Democrats are doing the same. But this time, some people are getting involved and taking time to read the legislation. Some are over reacting, but so far the assaults come from the pro-health care demonstrators. I hope this is the beginning of a trend when voters think for themselves and dismiss politicians’ lies.

    A Democratic administration practically bankrupted Omaha, and now a new Democratic administration must raise money fast. It is like a microcosm of our nation. Last night, local television stations made the public meeting their lead story. National Town hall meetings are now worthy of television time. That is a good thing.

    MargaretandHelenfan, of course I feel an affinity for Dr. Tiller. I even have an indirect connection to him via Dr. LeRoy Carhart who was his friend and who brought some of Dr. Tiller’s staff to his abortion clinic near Omaha. I earlier wrote how Capt. Carhart, two others, and I were detained on an Italian air base when he mistakenly landed there. The former Captain and I still remember each other, and we live only about fifty miles apart.

    Dr. Tiller’s death was horrible for him and his family. He was providing a legal service and did not deserve his fate. However, I have visited the traveling Wall six times over the years, because dead people I used to know reside there. They all suffered more than I did. I was lucky.

  26. Poolman, no I am not surprised at all, no one should be. Death threats against Obama are up something like 400 percent from the past administration.

    Geeeze I wonder why that is??????

    off topic:

    Greytdog, thanks we love the new addition to our family. , I am eager to see what she tries to do when our pool freezes over this winter, I think we are going to have to get some sort of baby gate for the deck! OY ve I thought I was done with that stage of my life! She has three (4 legged) sisters. So far she has been an angel, now our yellow lab that that just turned two is a fire cracker! Good heavens, that puppy gives my old bones a run for their money!!! ;-)

  27. Susan in CT, I wouldn’t worry about James. As he said, he likes exchanges like that.

  28. “Militia groups with gripes against the government are regrouping across the country and could grow rapidly, according to an organization that tracks such trends.”


    Are we surprised? I don’t think the right to bear arms was intended to create a threat to law abiding citizens that merely exercise their right to vote. I suppose soon we will need to redefine “civilized” society.

  29. Oops!

    The UN Declaration of Human Rights was signed by the US in 1948. How long did it take for the US to enact CIVIL RIGHTS, just ONE of the tenents of the UN Declaration.

    We need to get on board with another of the Human Rights, that of medical care.

    I’m tired and punchy, so off to beddie-bye.

    Aloha! :-)


  30. Hi gang and Poolman,

    Thank you for the link and the quote from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    It is time the US got on board with the UN Declaration, just as we FINALLY did, long after the Human Rights Declaration. We are bringing up the rear – again!

    Aloha! :-)


  31. Is Healthcare A Right Or A Privilege?


    In 1948, America signed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 25 of that document states that:

    “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

  32. Susan in CT, love your expose on being a conservative. Yeah!!! the government can’t do anything right!! So asinine! All the crap out there in the name of conservatism is unbelievable. Just look at the audience of the screamers at the town hall meetings. A lot of them are on medicare I could tell by just looking at them! Don’t you dare touch medicare they would tell you though! As if medicare isn’t a government run program! Some of them probably benefit from USDA dole outs. Don’t you dare touch those! It is all about us and not the rest. That is what it boils down to.

  33. I don’t know if this is what you meant, but I was by no means making fun of James or his Viet Nam experience. I just wondered if he was able to make the leap from what he was called by Americans who had no idea what it was like over there but who also did not have a microphone in front of them, and what Dr. Tiller was repeatedly called by Bill O’Reilly who had a massive forum through which to denegrate a doctor also doing his job. It’s the “shoe on the other foot” situation and I’m always interested to learn if that gives one a fresh perspective. One thing for sure, Dr. Tiller did not break the law. the same can not always be said for American soldiers, but James, I don’t imply in any way that that means you. there is one big difference, however: James is still alive. Tiller was murdered.

    James and UAW, you may be misguided and drinking too much kool aide but that doesn’t mean your voice should not be heard. But seriously, step away from the kool aide.

  34. Susan in CT: hear! hear! I second those thoughts. In fact, I personally think it would be great fun to sit around with James and just bounce from topic to topic to topic. . .and then bounce the beer cans off of UAW’s head (ok, just teasing UAW). But in all honesty, that’s the nicest thing about M&H’s porch – it’s very welcoming and we end up actually listening to one another. Oh it gets spirited and all, but at the end of the day, we all agree on eating pie! oh yeah!

  35. Hi gang,

    All clear on Hurricane Felicia/downgraded to tropical storm/downgraded to tropical depression. It fizzled out. We didn’t even lose power.

    However, the whole state was on alert and the National, State and Local officals (bureaucrats?) kept everyone very well informed. Civil Defense was in place as well as shelters, just in case. It was beautifully organized and ran like a well oiled machine. A far cry from our Hurricane Iniki (during the first Bush Administration) and of course, Katrina.

    I think ‘socialism’ under the present administration is working very well. What do you think? Maybe it has something to do with intelligence and efficency more than ‘socialism’.

    Aloha! :-)


  36. Is insulting James the new sport here, like “protesting” at town-hall meetings? I may be wrong but I think James is pretty damn smart, has told us some amazing stories, and seems to have a really good heart. I don’t agree with him a lot of the time, but I think he’d make a great neighbor.

  37. “The Bush administration did NOT tap our phones, read our emails, do whatever, in the name of national security ”

    Do y’all know about CREDO Mobile, a cell-phone service that was NOT involved in the wire-taps the way my previous service, Verizon, was? Their profits go toward good causes, and they don’t charge you for calls to your reps. You can also round up your bill (about the same as other services) and have that little extra go to those causes. And no, I’m not a paid rep for them!

    They’ll buy you out of your current contract if need be.

  38. Don’t be too hard on James…apparently he didn’t get enough oxygen when he was a baby…or something like that…Just smile and wave at him….he is pretty harmless.

    He likes bacon.

  39. UAW tradesman: It is sad that you think only a teacher should know proper grammer…something one should have learned by the third grade. don’t get me wrong, i make mistakes from time to time as well but I know when i do and I’m not a teacher. but I guess I was just a student who paid attention in class, and that was as public school class at that. then again, this sort of thing was actually TAUGHT when I was in school. I’m am constantly appalled by what I hear being spoken by people who have college degrees and responsible jobs. You have no right to belittle me because I think educated people should speak our language properly.

    Also, one of your links worked, the other didn’t. perhaps because it wasn’t any good to begin with. The Bush administration did NOT tap our phones, read our emails, do whatever, in the name of national security and everyone knows it. But nice try, really. Thank God in heaven those thugs are out of the White House.

    James: in a post past, you spoke of your experiences upon returning from Viet Nam and people calling you ‘baby killer.’ Yours was a heart-felt post and one that I truly wish you did not have to write. I was rather young during that war, but I remember the anguish people felt about going/not going and what it did to their lives. It was a nasty war and a nasty time. That said, did you have any affinity at all with Dr. Tiller who was called the very same thing yet who was providing a medical service to women who were in the most desparate of situations, and a LEGAL service at that? Do people really think that women in their 5th or 6th month of pregnancy just decided, “Oh, you know, I think I don’t want this baby after all.” If they do, they are idiots. No one, but NO ONE, makes a decision like that for some light-hearted reason.

    And on that topic, when it comes to the issue of a woman’s right to choose, MEN, UNTIL YOU CAN GET PREGNANT, YOU JUST NEED TO SHUT THE F**K UP ABOUT THIS. I MEAN IT. REALLY.

  40. GEICO has pulled its ads off of Glenn Beck!!

  41. lori, congratulations on your newfie. They are really smart & gentle giants. And they need a job otherwise they get themselves into trouble. After Willie finishes up his water trials, I’m gonna talk to his dad about getting him into water search & rescue work.

    And speaking of jobs, gotta go work. Three more hours before my next break. Yippee!!

  42. Two more good links:

    Death by Bad Health Care


    Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work


  43. Lori, I personally think that Doocy and Carlson are thoroughly lacking in talent and journalistic integrity. That said, if you’re going to cut and paste that much content word for word from another site, you should credit the site or just post a link. The way you posted it makes it seem like those observations are your own.


  44. Margaret & Helen,
    Park those scooters ladies…time for another post! :-)

  45. Glenn Beck calls the president racist. Chris Matthews calls the town hall protestors racist. They all just want ratings and in lieu of any real integrity, they rely on the Jerry Springer mentality of a whole lot of people who just want to shout and call people names and point the crazy finger at each other and condemn each other to hell and throw chairs and insults across the aisle.

  46. Discussing the recent health care town hall protests, Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed, “Nancy Pelosi says anyone who speaks out is un-American,” and Steve Doocy falsely claimed, “Pelosi [said] that apparently the opposing view to her view is un-American.” In fact, in a USA Today op-ed, Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote that “it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue,” and that “[d]rowning out opposing views is simply un-American.”

  47. A Rasmussen poll shows 45% of those asked say a single-payer system would lead to higher health care costs while 24% think lower costs would result. 19% think prices would remain about the same. 62% of Democrats favor a single-payer system and 87% of Republicans are opposed. 22% of independents favor a single payer plan while 63% don’t.

    This is only one poll for one day, but it illustrates the Democratic dilema. No wonder George spends another five million dollars for astroturf anti -protesters and Nancy calls her opponents “un -American.”

  48. BB Queen, you can insult me better than that.

    I am self employed and live on the farm we own. It is easy to walk into the house use the computer and leave again. I must do computer work every day for my other jobs. As boss, I have freedom to do what and when I choose. Thanks for your concern.

    Charles, no you don’t.

    I like the concept of Cash for Clunkers in spite of mismanagement and some unintended consequences. It is a good way to get money directly into the system to stimulate business. The two stimulus bills would have worked better had we done that.

    Radio station KFAB spoke to someone who said our health care system, for its imperfections, is a safety valve for Canadians who come here when treatment is unavailable to them because of long waits. He is concerned our leaders are trying to force a bill before adequate point by point debate.

    I asked a question about HR 3200, and so far no one has answered.

    I don’t have a direct connection to God, so it is presumptuous of me to judge. However, if I did, I would guess a number of Democrats would join them.

  49. *pool deck

  50. Off topic…

    Greytdog, we have a newfie puppy. She sits on our deck all day just waiting to save anything that happens to need her help…. yesterday she saved a few Japanese beetles, several leaves, and a butterfly or two..;-) Our hero!

  51. A 70 + year old conservative friend of mine sent me an e-mail yesterday. It was a forward warning Americans NOT to click on a link car.gov… or something like that… the e-mail then goes on to say if you do click on this link the government would steal all your person info. My friend then goes on to say he was very disappointed to “learn” this information because his son (who is a struggling teacher with two new babies) was planning on taking advantage of the car for clunker program to purchase a new fuel efficient car, but now he won’t be able to because he doesn’t want Obama to have his personal data.

    Of course I sent my friend (for the 100000th time) the link to fackcheck.org and assured him no one was collecting private citizens personal info.

    My point is, my friend is an educated man, he holds a masters in education, served in the Navy as an officer, and taught high school history for 30 plus years. With all that wealth of knowledge he still believes Glenn Beck twisted propaganda?

    I ask Jim why he would believe such nonsense, and his short reply was poignant. He said, “I saw it on Fox News. An anchor reported it too. So it had to be true otherwise they wouldn’t have reported it.” That “anchor” he was referring to was Glen Beck he did a whole segment on this nonsense. http://factcheck.org/2009/08/cash-for-clunkers/

    It makes me sad to think of all the people out there that are believing the healthcare propaganda being dispersed and funded by a man who’s hospitals robbed 1.7 BILLION dollars from medicare. Especially since our nation spends the MOST on healthcare, and fall way down on the list (46 ) in infant mortality, life expectancy, and quality of life. Surely we can do better than that.

    The Glen Becks, Palins, Rushes all have a special little place in hell waiting for them!


  52. Another thing to consider…if the government does NOT get a man in the outfield. In 10 years there will only be 3 or 4 players in the game as business gobbles business gobbles business gobbles business gobbles business :mrgreen:

    Happens all the time. Thank you Walmart. Thank you GM. Thank you Exxon. Thank you Blue Cross. Thank you Enron…

    God Bless you, Bernie Madoff. Thanks for the memories, cause that’s all some of us have left.
    The rest of us rather not bring it up or can’t seem to connect the dots. I’m set for my life. Leave me alone. Just go away. Shoo! Stay out of my yard.

    A Free market sounds soooooo good. Free? Wheres the free part? Where is the equality part? Let’s see…we don’t even play our sacred sports without a referee. And that is for fun. Hmmmm…no wait…That’s big business now too!

    You’re just trading one greedy machine for one that is hungrier. Mmmmmmm! A people eater.

  53. “A police officer mistakenly arrested a Harvard professor for breaking into his own home. It doesn’t matter the skin color of anyone involved. That was stupid.”
    I’m a newbie, loved finding your blog! You have summed it up.

    You are a very lovely lady I think! Wow, you’ve seen so much happen in your life, I’m only 53 and I’ve seen change, but you have seen so much more.

    I’m so thrilled about our country moving forward on the surface, with “minorities” gaining in various sectors. Of course there are still deep prejudicial things that will be obstacles, and we’re still finding various scapegoats to blame our troubles on. I just hope we move forward some more, and not backward, as appears to be the case at this juncture. The insanity that abounds right now will have to settle down at some point. And all those instigating it are missing out on so much with all their hatred and poorly disguised bigotry.

    Be blessed, dear lady!

  54. Sorry, Poolman. It was your link.
    Anyways, good night.

  55. Whew! I had to wince through that one, Whirled Peas. I can’t believe I watched the whole thing.
    And he even sings!

  56. Whirled! Sign me up! Oh, wait. Let me check my health coverage first. :grin:

  57. Poolman,

    Don’t do that again! ;)

    Try THIS.

    PEACE {~Δ~}

  58. Wow! I just found Rush Limbaugh’s black twin.


  59. James. James. James. Life is out there. Go enjoy it. More than twice a day EVERY day suggests you haven’t got one.

  60. Well, Judith, you sure know how to win a mama’s heart. (Tell her her kids are well-behaved and lovely. Works every time.)

    We left right after your set. Missed the neighbor girl’s dance performance, but it would’ve been another hour waiting in the muddy steambath that was the dance tent. The kids had lasted that long without self-destructing; we decided to quit while we were ahead.

    Love the mental image of the Minnesota Nice revolt. Perfect!

    How on earth did you guess that “Hard Times” was one of our faves? We weren’t sitting close enough for you to hear us talking about it. That’s just freaky.

    Our other fave was “The Fox.” I have good memories of that song. Hubby and I heard Spider John Koerner play it live in a small, intimate setting once. We also have a Nickel Creek recording, which my kids *adore.* They dance crazily around the house whenever they hear it. :)

  61. “Wouldn’t it be sweet if all the money being spent out there to oppose and promote this legislation was actually going to improve people’s health? How many lives would we be able to save? ”

    Ah, that the protesters on all sides would consider these questions. But no — gotta make the profit, gotta please the stockholders.

  62. I did learn that Canada has a 14-payer system. Several providences have a 2 tiered system, where they can buy into private insurance for supplimental care. We would have a 51-payer system, if we adopted Canada’s system.

  63. People need perspective. 1/3 of the WORLD lives on a dollar or less a day. Another 1/3 of the WORLD lives on two dollars a day. But hey, you can’t see them from my back porch. Especially if I build a tall enough fence.

  64. Christian the Jew, I believe if there is any public option that it will get rid of all the for profit providers. I believe that is the plan. I know Obama supported single-payer until 2007, but there is no way the rest of our representatives who get soooooooo much money from these groups would let us support single payer. Too much money. Way too much money. Big business runs our government. That is what needs to change, IMO.

  65. Oh yeah, vgman! I need a piece of pie and something strong in my tea, thank you. Oh hell, skip the tea, I’ll take it straight. I have been debating and trying to reason with a group over on FB called “1,000,000 against government run health care”. What a battle. First of all, the group was started by a higher up in the health insurance industry. I knew it was going to be a battle going in, but whew! I feel so beat up. There are a reasoned few, a couple doctors, a few others from Canada and one from Massachusetts. But the bulk are just Obama bashers and don’t believe government can do ANYTHING right. They deleted some posts that were not rude, but were opposing and too thought provoking, I guess.

    Wouldn’t it be sweet if all the money being spent out there to oppose and promote this legislation was actually going to improve people’s health? How many lives would we be able to save? We will sure have a lot to answer for.

  66. I am sitting here savoring some Glen Livet tonight. And read some blogs before I wander off to read my new Dean Koontz book . . . James, you may write crazy sometimes, but I don’t think you are at all. UAW, you can be a real asshat but I’m glad you’re sticking around the place. And everyone else, I just wanted to say Thanks for making the porch and parlor at M&H a nice place to come visit. So y’all have a good evening, don’t beat up each other too awfully much. Tomorrow I’m off to see the surgeon to schedule knee surgery. Sigh.
    (vgman, I’m on page 513. . .but it’s gonna have to wait, dean koontz is calling)

  67. Tonight’s Special – Bullshit Pie baked especially for you by our very own vg-I read the bill did you-man.

  68. Poolman:
    I agree with your interpretation to an extent. Hamilton would not be in favor of a government takeover, one that according to Rep. John Barrow of Ga(who we spoke to last year) this is the way to push out private industry. He stated this in a meeting with lifeomike.org last fall. This is indeed a goal and I wish that people would be upfront with it rather than hide behind rhetoric

  69. Evening, Matthew: You have a couple of losers clogging things. Might want to give them the hook.

  70. Oh, I’m sorry Noes!–this is the parlor. And we keep that private.
    Would anyone like a piece of pie?

  71. Hiya vgman,
    Viagra anyone………
    Double Question Mark.

  72. No, James, I think everyone knows how crazy you are…

  73. Oh Noes!
    I can see that you love the exclamation point.
    So different than the question mark…….
    That’s all I wanted to say.

  74. I see its care giver has taken the multiple personality away. Janice P. you have no idea how crazy I am. That little exchange was fun. I like stuff like that.

    It’s good news for the mother and other cancer victims.

  75. ΔTine – it was great to meet you, too. And your family is lovely. How long did the kids last before they melted down? I thought they were being extremely patient and interested.

    It was stinkin’ hot, wasn’t it? Got even more interesting when the tornado sirens went off just as security was trying to close down the only building on the island. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I love Minnesota revolts – they’re so polite. No abuse, no loss of temper, just – nobody leaving the building.

    Glad we did your favorites – Hard Times, and what was the other one?

  76. Something Big Pharma does not want you to know. Interesting article from the Chicago Tribune

    Grapefruit juice could aid anti-cancer treatment

    …”When Albina Duggan of Bourbonnais was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, it had spread from her liver to her spine and lymph nodes.

    “[The doctor] told me I had three years — if lucky, five — to live,” she said. Having endured four surgeries and intensive radiation treatment, Duggan enrolled in clinical trials as a last resort.

    Five years later, the 41-year-old mother of four has defied expectations: Her tumors have shrunk by half and doctors no longer are setting limits on her life expectancy.

    Duggan attributes her new hope to an unusual cancer treatment being tested at the University of Chicago — the drug rapamycin, supplemented by grapefruit juice…”


  77. Oh, now. James is just plain bat shit crazy.

  78. Visitez une tete depannage homme tout d’ suit!

  79. Can you hear me now?

  80. Sorry! Must be my computer?? :-)

  81. Melissa why do you keep using two question marks?? What does that mean?? Are you having some sort of double vision?? Are you trying to send us a signal that you have been kidnapped by double agents?? Melissa?? MELISSA??

  82. James, Did you miss some of your meds today??
    Is there maybe someone we should notify??
    Maybe you should take a break from the keyboard and go out and get some fresh air. Looks like you might be having some sort of break down or something. We know you are a bit of a whack job to start with but you seem just a bit more out there today. Check your blood sugar much??

  83. Anonymous number one: Et vous aussi!

  84. Stop that!

  85. Anonymous, what are you talking about?

  86. James, to quote from DoverSoul’s post

    “We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.”

  87. BB Queen and Mike Mathers, you are a fine argument against marriage of close relatives .

    I read “The Age of Reform” and “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”. He was a good writer, but many of his theories were later debunked. For example, he took a dim view of the Populists fighting against rulers of the Gilded Age.

    “peas=Mary J. Blige–as Mary’s housekeeper.

    Lori. A little trouble with “bilge”? George Soros plans to spend another five million dollars on Democratic astroturfers. Bet you could find a sugar daddy like that. Bet he could teach you reading comprehension.

  88. Rawwwwk! Shiny objects! Namaste! Not this time! That does not compute! Not this time! Not this time! Miles to go before we rest! Polly wanna cracker! LOL XOXOXOXOX I’m a lllllloooooooooonnnnnnie bird! Rawwwk! Shiny object! Whooo hooooooooOOOOOOOOoooooooO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanna Helth Care Now! Rawwwwwk! lmao lol rotfl roflmao roflol rawwwWWWWK!

  89. whooooo hooo…. peas = Mary J. Blige….. kool! or bigle or is it bigel or bilge???? No matter all the same coming from a batshitcrazy wingnut! lmao

  90. The rational thinker versus the paranoid
    Presented with the same evidence for a mystery, the rational thinker and the paranoid respond very differently.

    The right column fits SPalin to a T.


  91. OECD: Econ output consumed by #healthcare-Finland: 7.4% v US: 15.2% Sounds like US does a poor job rationing
    OECD: Econ output consumed by #healthcare-Japan: 8.0%% v US: 15.2%
    OECD: Econ output consumed by #healthcare-Japan: 8.0%% v US: 15.2%

    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development http://bit.ly/ViPmu

  92. The Paranoid Style in American Politics

    by Richard Hofstadter
    Harper’s Magazine, November 1964

    “…A distinguished historian has said that one of the most valuable things about history is that it teaches us how things do not happen. It is precisely this kind of awareness that the paranoid fails to develop. He has a special resistance of his own, of course, to developing such awareness, but circumstances often deprive him of exposure to events that might enlighten him-and in any case he resists enlightenment.

    We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well.”


  93. James. It was a pleasure meeting you. Normally one would have to go to a bowling alley to meet someone of your stature.

  94. James…you are pure crap.

  95. Whirled Peas A, when you and others fight views with which you disagree, with name calling, you reveal more about yourselves than the object of your derision.

    Only a true believer like you could swallow all of the bilge you do and call it delicious. You and Jim Jones would have had a good laugh over Kool aid.

  96. Taiwan seems to have a pretty good system though I prefer the French version. However, I don’t believe it has the expensive and complex features of HR 3200. Why not scrap it and borrow from Taiwan and France?

    Unfortunately, France is considering borrowing from the United States system to cut costs. Taiwan is experiencing health care budget short falls and increasing national debt which some observers fear may exert a negative impact on health care in the long run. We would have to study both plans and cut what makes them unstainable.

    Nice try. I’m still waiting.

  97. What Pelosi and Hoyer said today is not helpful or constructive. It’s also hypocritical. I haven’t seen anything in the videos of the ‘angry mob’ that I haven’t seen here on this blog or in the videos of demonstrations on Prop 8, the Iraq war, etc. I also haven’t heard (or clicked on) anything regarding the organized effort that is new to politics.

    The public is conflicted. The people “disrupting” the town hall meetings want to understand what is being sold to them. None of us know what is going to be in this bill. There are at least 5 bills out there and even the Democrats aren’t unified on them.

    It doesn’t help to impugn anyone’s motives or call them un-American. It makes me suspicious to see our leaders seeming to attempt to squelch the free and vigorous debate that they embrace when it suits them.

  98. People who live on Social Security are not getting “PAYBACK for what has been PAID INTO It.” If that were true, payments would be smaller than they are. Recipients are getting money from the labor of people still working. Everyone gets more than he/she paid into it. If I take money when I don’t need it, I am stealing from the younger generation.

    My wife’s health insurance costs us about $7,000 per year. Thus, when she retired from teaching, the policy would cost us around $14,000 per year. That is money we’d spend, not keep. A neighboring farmer who’s wife has a difficult to insure condition pays $18,000 per year. Unlike us, he doesn’t have dental coverage.

    HR 3200 is not Social Security. Choice of doctors is not inevitable under the program.

    I agree with UAW Tradesman, and I don’t own a Brooks Brothers suit. I only own one suit.

  99. Gallup broke down Obama’s approval #’s, state by state. Above 50% (57% in Texas) in all but 2 states: http://is.gd/2aHym

  100. I met Margaret in the Hannaford’s parking lot this weekend! She really is a hoot!

    Keep up the good work Ladies!

  101. Off topic: I met Judith, one of our regulars here in the parlor, on Sat. at the MN Irish Fair. It was fun to put a real live face to a familiar cyber-name.

    In addition, that lady has a kick-@ss alto voice! We really enjoyed the set, Judith, despite the withering heat. Thank you for the groovy harmonies and for (unknowingly) playing 2 of our family’s favorite songs. :)

  102. Wow! I am incommunicado for a day and look what happens!

    Someone e-mailed me about Fred Thompson declaring that on page 425 of HR 3200 the government was going to promote suicide for old people. Well, I looked it up and boy! What was he smoking!

    From what I can tell, its about living wills. So help me if you go into a hospital today for a quick in and out surgery on a hang-nail, you had better have a living will and even the hospital will tell you that! You had also better have a last will and testament. Better yet, you should look them over on a regular basis and get some good advice on any updates. Also, my CHURCH – yep, that’s spelled c h u r c h also advises on this and they call it end of life consultation. What the heck else would you call it? Neonatal?

    Ah, the Flat Earth Society! And Fred Thompson, their latest lobbyist! Ten to one they will declare that all the churches are urging suicide!


  103. China has answer for tension at town halls….


  104. this is funny…..


    this isn’t…


    this is….
    “your Chief of Staff looked in our direction, looked right into our eyes and smiled and extended his middle finger. ”


  105. Jean, It is my understanding Taiwan modeled their NATIONAL healthcare plan on the US medicare system. By most accounts it is working well. I am sure I am being too simplistic, and the only experience I have had with medicare is when I was left to sort out my Mother’s medical bills after her death, but I agree it sure seems like that is a good solution.
    I hope you and hubby stay safe!

    Greytdog you crack me up!


  106. I made a simple request. Cite an example of how a single payer insurance system as envisioned by 3200 works successfully on a national scale anywhere in the world. Show how the CBO and other analysts are wrong so I can tell my representatives. So far, you have failed.

  107. Ok, much misinformation here. Mr Gates was not arrested for breaking into his home, nor for yelling at a cop, nor for being uncooperative, nor while in his home. He was arrested outside his house where he was attracting attention and creating a disturbance AFTER Sgt Crowley, in spite of Mr Gates immediate and continuing resistance, had ascertained that Mr Gates was the occupant of the house, that nobody else had broken in and was endangering Mr Gates, and while THE POLICE WERE TRYING TO LEAVE. Mr Gates essentially refused to take yes for an answer and let the cops leave, attracted a crowd, and was asked repeatedly to calm down before the cuffs finally came out. Before we start arguing about race and class and who was acting “stupidly” we should get the facts.

  108. It’s 6AM in FL. . .what the hell am I doing up??? Been up since 3AM…which means I got exactly 1 hour of sleep. SIGH. UAW, I really don’t expect this new generation to know American History – hell, they can barely remember their home addresses. But YOU of my generation should know at least the year of the Kent State killings if not the actually date (For a refresher listen to CS&N – OHIO) Just like the big DC moratorium was in 68, the crazed Dem convention was in 68 (already in turmoil with the assassination of RFK) and I don’t think you will find anyone alive today who will state that Richard Daly was anything but a corrupt, backroom mobster who rode to power and stayed there through the graces of the Mafia. Hell half the politicians in Cleveland at that time owed their “offices” to the Mafia – This was when the Mob was really at the peak of their powers. . .before the competition from the drug cartels, the little bambinos, the rise of the yakuza, etc…

    And this weekend is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. . .and we’re remembering that 40 years ago Manson and his cult went on a killing rampage in Laurel Canyon . . .god almighty 68-69 was just downright. . .up in flames.

    The townhalls remind of the hard-hat brickbats that descended on the anti-war protesters in NYC. . .why do people think they’re acting patriotically when they beat up fellow citizens? When did intimidation because the go-to tactic in politics? When did we become complacent enough to see this as “normal”?

    Think I’ll go for a walk. It’s quiet out, morning rush hour just starting to hum a bit. . .and Harley my big red dog wants to head to the park. . .see you all later. And UAW, if there is a Whole Foods market near you, see if they have those “rest-stops” massage – last anywhere from 5-15 minutes. . .mostly neck & shoulders. I think you & your wife would enjoy that. It’s a nice break from the everyday arrrrggghhh! :)

  109. Words…
    …I’m laughing sooo hard !!!

    Wisdom tells us: Know Your Audience!

    Want MORE?

    Some background on Dan Tubagoo.

    ENJOY (~Δ~)

  110. Hi gang and Susan in CT,

    It has been a gorgeous day here, the typical calm before the storm. We are battening down the hatches and awaiting the arrival of Felicia, down-graded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. (50mph with gusts up to 85.) So our plans have been postponed – temporarily. We ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have contingency plans during hurricane season. Having been through Level 5 Hurricane Iniki and lived to tell about it, we don’t hit the panic button about ANYTHING anymore. We will probably lose power but we can deal with it. The trajectory for eye of the storm is for the Big Island (about 400-500 miles SE of us) and Maui, (about 200-300 miles SE.)

    I haven’t been here for a while, so have not read through many of the comments. I scanned, but ‘speed reading’ doesn’t cut it for missing a small word or two that changes the nuance of the whole thing. I did read and very much enjoyed your piece, Susan in CT (10:02PM) on all of the ‘socialism’ we take for granted. It should have opened plenty of people’s eyes, that is, if they have them open at all.

    I want to clarify some of the misinformation being put out there in the news and here on this blog regarding ‘Single Payer Health Care’. Many of you are not old enough for Social Security yet, but I’m sure you notice on your paycheck stub the amount deducted for FICA. This amount is on a sliding scale according to your salary. That is the money you pay INTO the Social Security Trust Fund to be paid out to you when you retire. (Get ready for the Republican SCREAMS about the Trust Fund being raided, going to run out of money in 20something and assorted horror stories, blah, blah, blah.)

    My husband retired at age 60 on a pension (after 3 heart attacks, 3 angiograms, I forgot how many angioplasties (balloons) and the usual hospitalizations. He had his fourth heart attack after we retired out here. (He has a congenital heart anomaly. The major cardiac arteries are considerably larger than the average persons, and the smaller arteries are much smaller than average.) At age 62 he went on Social Security and Medicare. A year later I did too. Our checks are deposited directly into the bank. A certain amount is deducted every month for taxes and Medicare insurance payments.

    James said something about not wanting to drain the taxpayer by going on Social Security. Social Security is PAYBACK for what is PAID INTO IT over the years!!! GOT THAT??? Off the top of my head, I don’t have the EXACT FIGURES for our current deductions for Medicare Insurance. But they are less than ONE THIRD of the $14,000 James says he plans to keep with his wife’s insurance when she retires. Is that $14,000 each or for both together?

    I don’t know the particulars of how FICA works for self-employed people such as farmers. But for sure, we would not be interested in helping to finance a Blue Cross-Blue Shield executive’s villa on the French Riviera with the delta between $14,000 and one third of that!

    We have had the same internist OF OUR OWN CHOOSING for over 10 years and are very well satisfied with him. (Our previous doctor left the island for a promotion.) We have both had a bevy of specialists. NOT ONCE has a government ‘bureaucrat’ intervened in treatment options! I will not bore you by deliver an organ recital of all our intervening minor ailments except for a couple of big expensive ones. I had an endarterectomy (rotor rooter job of the carotid artery in Honolulu), my husband had two stents put in his heart and a hip replacement (also in Honolulu). Medicare paid 80% of ALL medical bills, doctors and hospitals. Our co-pay from the pension package picked up ALL of the rest.

    Now what’s wrong with that?

    If you will please excuse me, I will get back to what I was doing before I was so rudely interrupted by Felicia, James, UAW and all the other bullshit put out by the ‘conservative’ provincial xenophobes. You can teach a parrot to mimic a whole lot of words, but as far as we know, it is incapable if critical deductive thinking on its own.

    Aloha! :-)


  111. Alright Republicans, We Give Up.


  112. it’s been a half hour and I haven’t been kicked again…..I should have checked before posting……sorry again…….It was the DNC convention and riots in Chicago in 68……

  113. for some reason I was sure it was 68…I was wrong …sorry……….doesn’t mean it can’t happen again

  114. UAW….you are an idiot.

  115. Kent State shootings occurred during Nixon’s regime and the Ohio National Guard were ordered on campus by Jim Rhodes the Republican Governor of Ohio. Either get your damn facts straight or shut the hell up. Don’t even assume that the folks on this blog will buy your effed up twisted “facts”. You want Kent State to happen again? Maybe another Oklahoma City bombing? Or would you just be satisfied to have another Presidential assassination? UAW, you can be such a jerk

  116. http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/permalink.asp?artist=garymccoy&date=090807

  117. http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/permalink.asp?artist=bish&date=090808

  118. margaretandhelenfan…….
    I never said I was a teacher……If you want me to start using some of the 35+years of shop talk I will…..and I learned most of the language from milking cows starting from when I was 6…….the big question is….did I jerk her chain a little…..she tried to jerk mine….

    food for thought……could these protests escalate into something like Kent State……yes….and it could be the same people getting shot at….not college students anymore but retired people…..and both when the Dems are in power…..

  119. I keep hearing about Brooks brother suits but only one pic from 2001…….a lot of the tea baggers and health care questioners were dressed in blue jeans and t-shirts…….and a lot of them voted for a Dem(not just Barack) and are now yelling”I WANT MY VOTE BACK”…..come on 2010

    and I’m sure James as well as I are now royally pissed because now were UNAMERICAN…..Pelosi made a bigger mistake than Obama and even Helen called him stupid….

  120. Susan in CT……

    “After a nice supper of USDA-inspected food, I logged on to the internet (which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration)”

    you missed the memo…Al Gore did it…..and you know that Dems NEVER misrepresent themselves or their ideas…

  121. helenandmargaretFan….
    check the names….read the first one and then the second…..and yes page back years…..and yes it’s bipartisan…..



  122. Whirled, you said it :LOL:

    keep up the “sod” work
    oops I meant good

  123. Well, Ed has more points to make than just who’s got a beef about the potential plan. I think what he was leading up to is this:

    “we are at the point where a disenfranchised conservative movement is grasping at the last straws of racism, purity and patriotism, to engage a core base, who in their fear is willing to rise up to destroy what they see as threats to their country, their religion, their morality and their way of life. Intellectually, of course, these screaming idiots are easy to dismiss, but what’s impossible to dismiss is the fact that a movement is afoot, and its being abetted by the demagoguery of ratings-hungry broadcasters, desperate politicians, and corporations willing to do anything to preserve their bottom line.”

  124. Here’s one for you Greytdog:


    PEACE ~ Δ

  125. Yes you did whirled peas! You called it way back when…. Kudos your way, I have lots to learn!

    Susan in CT.. atta girl… keep em comin! Good job…


  126. You’re welcome James. Glad I can help. I rightly pegged you as a wingnut back when you showed up here, no matter how independent you might try to act. Only a true dittohead/birther/teabagger could look at ALL the evidence of well-funded, corporate astroturfing of harassment mobs and see it as a positive. Authoritarian followers are very predictable.

    As Sarah Palin always says: ‘The measure of a good con is when the mark cons himself.’

    Done and done. ;)


  127. Thankyou Whirled Peas A and Susan in Ct. for supporting my point. My point was supporters cannot defend the House bill 3200, so they create a smokescreen and defame demonstrators who oppose it. Pro and anti protesters have nothing to do with the bill’s content. Thanks again.

  128. Ed McKeon, at CT blogger, has a well-reasoned post on this this morning –


  129. Right on cue…
    …the next talking point:

    Let pretend it’s about
    ‘free speech rights’.

    Don’t scroll by, click my links and inform yourself.

    GOP Mobs Disrupt Town Halls


  130. I hope some of the Lori’s “looney toones” scroll by. They won’t like this. Radio station KFAB in Omaha has a show called Money Matters. This morning, they discussed the House version of the health insurance plan and focused on various sections some of us have read.

    They cited the CBO report which shows the bill will cost, not save money, steal freedoms, and it won’t even insure everyone. One of the moderators said that to say otherwise is to lie.

    Public protest is an old tradition. Hillary observed that it is patriotic to demonstrate. Its funny how fast the worm turns when we see genuine expressions of populist discontent instead of the Democratic party’s often hired and bussed protesters.

    We’re suddenly hearing charges of “mob rule” and demands for civility from the Democrats. The Obama administration and its corps of willing supporters in the press have set the tone, and they are now in a poor position to complain.

    The Democrats don’t need Republicans to pass the legislation. Its the Blue Dogs’ fear that they will be thrown out of office if they vote for this bill 3200 that put the party in this perdicament.

    Supporters of the bill cannot defend it, so they demonize opponents to avoid addressing questions they can’t answer.

  131. This is long, so scroll on by if you’re not in the mood for reading a lot. It’s a variation on the “Joe the Republican” essay that made the rounds about … five years ago, maybe? I edited this one a little for syntax, so it’s not exactly what I received.

    “I am an American Conservative”

    This morning I was awakened by my alarm clock (powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy). I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like (using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). I watched this while eating my breakfast of US-Department-of-Agriculture-inspected food and taking the prescriptions and supplements which have been pronounced safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

    At my usual time (as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory), I got into my National-Highway-Traffic-Safety-Administration- approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, stopping along the way to fill my car with gas (of a quality-level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency). I paid for my purchase with cash issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. I also stopped to deposit my mail in a mailbox (to be delivered via the US Postal Service) and to drop the kids off at the public school.

    After I spent another day not being maimed or killed at work (thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), I drove to my house which had not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal’s inspection, and which was not plundered of all its valuables (thanks at least in part to the protection of the local police department).

    After a nice supper of USDA-inspected food, I logged on to the internet (which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration) and posted on freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

  132. Goering, asked at Nuremberg how the Nazis managed to send the most sophisticated nation in the world down the bestial path it descended into, said, “Frighten the people, and they will do anything you want.” So now we have the likes of Michelle Bachman actually getting elected to our Congress and the likes of CNN’s Lou Dobbs providing a nationwide platform for those who insist that Obama was not born in the United States. As one wag wrote, “The World: Flat. We report, you decide.”

    The GOP fear tactics got us into an unnecessary war, facilitated the chipping away at our civil rights and allowed them to disregard the Constituion. I guess they figured if it worked before, it will work again, decency and truth be damned. They certainly see the US as a country of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation….

  133. To Jean & Honolulu Sally – tropical storm heading your way! Glad it was downgraded from a hurricane. Stay safe ladies!!! & remember these come with rain/sun bands so no venturing around until the all clear is given! ((HUGS))

  134. “I love Rachel too. Can I say she’s this generation’s Cronkite?”

    No, I don’t think that’s the right comparison. I don’t know if you can equate her with anyone — she’s snarky without quite the nastiness I often associate with Olbermann (who’s valuable too), and she’s VERY funny in a VERY smart way, and she’s definitely not balanced in her reporting as I think Cronkite tried to be about most things. And as much as I love Jon Stewart, Maddow’s doing a real news show (with a slant), while Stewart’s is a comedy show about the news. So I don’t know where you’d find a parallel.

  135. Whirled peas…I want to thank you and all others who are doing their part to tell the truth… also…. I was ready for it to get ugly and personal, and I knew the looneys would be out in full force. But I have to admit I did not realize the level of desperation these right wing nutsos felt. They lost and they feel powerless …. that doesn’t bring out the best in em… ;-)

    We had a lil sneek preview when we watched the tea baggers, We should have realized then, but this healthcare smear campaign is to the 10th power batshit…

    But no fear!!!!! On we go…Push back with truth and logic on all fronts. Expose the looneys for what they are. Have REASONABLE debate with reasonable people (because there are liget concerns). But Scrollllllll baby scroll past the looney tunes.

    YES we can have affordable healthcare for ALL…. Truth to the power! Enjoy your weekend all…. namaste’

  136. You’re welcome Susan (& Raji). I glad you like my links. I love Rachel too. Can I say she’s this generation’s Cronkite?

    More RM, now with Frank Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God. They talk about the desperation of right-wing fear-mongers and their responsibility for the actions of their ‘followers’.
    *2 videos

    Have a great Sunday all.

    PEACE ~ Δ

  137. Sigh ….. over and over the media and everyone else calls Obama black. He is BIRACIAL. He is just as much white as he is black! Funny how that gets overlooked because he has dark skin.

  138. Health care survey from Susan Davis (D) CA. I had to post the link here. It is posted on a rw site so much of the answers are, of course, reflecting their view.


  139. In fact, thanks EVERYBODY for the excellent links that keep me online for too long! At least I know that the whole world isn’t nuts…….

  140. Thanks, Whirled Peas, for the Maddow link.

    Could we, like, get her canonized or something?

  141. back up & moving slowly about; thought I’d peek in and share a couple of items:

    From Daily Kos: Hesiod reports: Teabaggers Disrupt Sermon on the Mount. http://bit.ly/ZraVG

    From MOMocrats: A Response to Sarah Palin’s “Death Panel” Comment http://bit.ly/F2CYV

    ‘night everyone

  142. Some call it ‘Grassroots’, others say ‘Astroturf’. I think of it as ‘SOD’. You know, that pretty stuff the monied corporate types have their servants put down over some old, half-dead patch of dirt in order to make it look nice while the pictures are being taken. Afterwards, it’s left to die once the crowd is gone.

    Rachel Maddow exposes the fake grassroots campaigns that promote corporate interests.

    “To talk about these town hall events as some organic outpouring of average American folks who have concerns about health care is to be willfully blind to what is really going on, which is professional P.R. operatives generating exploitative, manufactured, strategically deployed outrage in order to line their own pocket.”

    ~ snip ~

    “This is professional, corporate funded Republican staffed P.R., and it should be reported as such.”


  143. Here’s a link that explains Palin’s ranting of the Death Squad coming for Trig. It’s the same old, same old — use the children to get attention.
    Or at least try to distract from any possible indictment.


  144. I live in NYC. I can’t believe we are seeing another airplane, um, incident, in the Hudson River. “Someone wasn’t paying attention” is an understatement.

  145. UAW Tradesman, when you said “I don’t really care what Palin has on her facebook page….I didn’t know you and her were friends”
    - sorry to have to point this out but that the proper grammer is “you and she”. Don’t take it too personally; every time someone “axes” me a question I am compelled to correct them. I also find myself telling teenagers to say “Please’ and “Thank you.” I guess a public school education isn’t what it used to be.

  146. Let’s see…shouting and uproar to shut down the Democratic process…

    Where have I seen this tactic before?

    Oh yeah…The Brooks Brothers Riot

    It worked before…let’s run it again.


  147. Raji,

    some people from the right were complaining about the Patriot Act . I read several editorials and blog posts to that effect. Glenn Beck believed it was a bad idea and at least the act should have a set time to end. He said as soon as the threat passed we needed to get rid of it. The Patriot Act was un -American. I don’t know if he actually said “un American” but it was what he seemed to mean.

    He said it is easy to tolerate such an act when “our” side owns the power, but what happens when the “other side” takes over? I was uncomfortable with the act for similar reasons.

    Most didn’t pay attention as long as “their guy” held power. Now, they do. Hypocracy rules.

  148. jsri,

    I love your marrying your most memorable student. My experience was close. I married an eighteen year old freshman who accidently bumped into my library chair. I’m very happy for you both.

    Moving through air ports is a pain as you write, but it is the only way we can visit our son and his wife in California. My wife calls it “canned people.”

    Once we are flying I am like a little kid, I sit by the window and take pictures of the clouds and landscape below. I even like flying through the tops of thunderstorms when the wings slightly flap. I can’t understand how passengers can be so blaze with such a show outside their windows. Maybe its my child- like mind.

    That’s too bad about the collision. In such heavy traffic areas, pilots and air traffic control workers are surely stressed. Your familiarity of the route, must make it less abstract than for the average person.

  149. Battle Hymn of the republic:

  150. James:

    Just heard that a chopper and a light plane collided over the Hudson River in NYC. I know the area well, used to fly it regularly and am surprised that this hasn’t happened before. There is a VFR corridor down the west side of NYC over the Hudson but all light aircraft traffic is restricted to below 1400 feet. At least that was the rule when I flew down there and I think it still exists. It is like a funnel and you have to have your head on a swivel all the time.

    Someone wasn’t paying attention.

  151. James:

    The most memorable college student I ever met was long before I began teaching. I married her over 56 years ago.

    Actually, I hate flying now. The indignities of getting through airport security and getting herded like cattle are not my idea of good times. We don’t travel anymore. We were lucky enough to do a fair amount of it while it was still enjoyable

  152. Raji, Willie wins. Four paws down. He went bouncing out to Daddy’s truck, wanting to go play. . .I dragged myself back into the house and after cleaning the cat box, I now plan to sleep. ‘night all

  153. Greytdog, as the saying goes “you are having way too much fun” ;-)
    Who wins the best condition award, you or Willie?

  154. Whirled, keep it coming! Batshit is right but we all need to know what is being said out there.

    Check out this article about our loss of freedom.Where were all these people when we lost our freedom with the Patriotic Act?


    “The freedom the protesters are defending can sometimes be messy and imperfect. A lack of freedom, however, is eternally oppressive. It is an unrelenting prison that poisons the human spirit, even when cloaked in allegedly humane programs such as government-run health care.”

  155. I didn’t read any of the articles I listed. The titles are enough to express what is happening. Sarah Palin and Lori apparently share a commonality. Palin is making overwrought generalizations about bureaucratic baby murderers. Lori’s “racist teabagger sponsors “is just as overwrought and wrong. And how is this “greedy wingnut billionaire” different from George Soros?

    The national mood is degenerating into a mud slinging contest when the question of what are the best changes we need and can afford is ignored. Why is no one discussing HR 676 and other alternatives?

  156. jsri,

    I remember a little about the debate over significance of the Watson/Crick DNA model, but not much. I was still in grade school or junior high. It sounds like you have and are living a good life. You must have met some memorable students over the years.

    Our late family lawyer was a pilot too. He imagined flying across the country in his retirement. But arthritis crippled him so he couldn’t even hold a golf club well. He didn’t seem bitter about it, just disappointed.

    Do you still enjoy flying as a passenger?

  157. James:

    Taught Bio and Genetics but when I began Grad school in the late 50′s they were still debating about the significance of the Watson/Crick DNA model. I later moved into administration and then retired more than 20 years ago.

    Quit flying about 30 years ago long before GPS and glass instrument panels came down to general aviation. Still miss it though but medical issues pretty much rule out that idea.

  158. Now you get a feel for what Alaska had to deal with for the last couple of years.

    Glad she is in NY!

    I must say that I am sorry for the rest of the US now.

    Bat Shit Crazy Palin pretty much says it all.

  159. “wherein she warns that health care reform will lead to Trig being euthanized. ”

    You have GOT to be kidding! PLEASE say you’re kidding.

  160. A quick refresher:

    Teaching Democratic
    Civil Discourse 101…

    …Republican style.

    Be disruptive early and often. The goal is to rattle him…stand up and shout out and sit right back down.

    Authoritarian followers get their marching orders and carry them out like good little robots.
    ;) ~ Δ

  161. What?



  162. Willie Update – we’re back. He’s been bathed. He’s resting on the bed. . . I’m exhausted. Saw one small pod (3) of dolphins & Willie tried to get their attention but they were busy. He towed in the kayak through some pretty rough surf, then we did some life-saving techniques (in other words, Willie & I went body surfing. . .). We left early cuz the flag went up for shark warning and sure enough, there were about 4 or 5 swimming close by. So we boogied back to shore, romped on the beach, Willie got admired by the lifeguards who were quite impressed with his abilities. He goes in two weeks for his water trials in NC. I’m going to bed once his dad comes by & picks him up.

  163. When just CRAZY won’t do…

    …and more BATSH*T.

    “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

    Sarah Palin

    ‘Whiners always quit and quitters always whine.’
    ;) ~ Δ

  164. Seriously – does Sarah Palin think we need further proof that she’s an idiot? ” Obama’s Death Panels”…W…T…F!!!!!

  165. http://ricksanchez.blogs.cnn.com/2009/08/06/the-politics-of-chaos/#comments

    said link… LOL namaste’

  166. Good link: The politics of chaos

    Watch the interview with the man who is organizing and funding the disruptions of the town hall meetings. He is:

    Richard Lynn “Rick” Scott (born 1953) is an American entrepreneur, former hospital executive, and founder of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR). An attorney by trade, in 2009 he founded CPR, a group opposed to President Barack Obama’s stated health-care policy goals.

    Scott founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1987, but was ousted by the company’s board of directors in 1997 in the midst of the nation’s biggest health care fraud scandal, which involved Medicaid and Medicare fraud. Scott’s company was ordered to pay 1.7 BILLION dollars (yes BILLIONS with a B) in a settlement for defauding medicare/medicade. In 2001, Scott co-founded the Solantic Corporation, which operates walk-in medical care centers. He also owns Continental Structural Plastics, North America’s largest industrial composites molder.

    Between FOX News (the racist teabaggers sponsers) and this greedy wingnut billionarie ginning up old people with ruthless propaganda it is going to take LOTS of push back by us ordinary people to set the record straight.

    God give us strength!!!!!!

  167. Fox & Friends / Brian Kilmeade: Anti-Healthcare Protesters Should Be Tazed, “Beaten To A Pulp”


    He suggested that “these people” should expect to be brutally punished for exercising their right to free speech;

    “At one point with security so high and tensions on edge, don’t you think they’re going to get at the very least tazed or beaten to a pulp by somebody?”
    Ooops…my bad…old story…
    He was talking about Code Pink antiwar protesters in ’07.
    ;) ~ Δ

  168. Obama’s soliciting “fishy” information from private citizens ratting each other out raises many questions from an increasingly paranoid electorate. Is he making an “enemies list?” Probably not, but no one knows. Moreover his fishing expedition may be illegal.

    Former chairman of the DNC, Brian Lund, is a moderate Democrat. He said Obama “outsourced his health care policy, deferred to the congressional wing–and now its his. Now, he’s trying to sell something that wasn’t his.”

    Blogger Riehl World View writes “when you try to significantly move a mountain like America radically in a short period of time you get the equivalent of two tectonic plates that have suddenly lost their locked-grip onto one another, something that has existed for years, in America, especially post-sixties.

    Drudge headlines which include these support the point:

    Protests spread over Obama health care reform plans

    White House to Dems: ‘Punch back twice as hard.”


    Six arrested after St. Louis meeting Video.

    Physicians jam meeting in Houston: “Don’t socialize medicine.”

    Tempers flare in Michigan

    People Shouting at Pelosi in Denver

    Palin calls health plan ‘evil’..cites threats to her son

    OBAMA: ‘I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess’

    US deficite climbs to $1.3 trillion

    REID Scolds health care protesters

    Pelosi: Protesters are carrying swastikas

    Dem Congressman” ‘ What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics

    DEAF: AARP Ignores then walks out on members

    Denver photo journlist El Marco was at the Pelosi event in Denver, and he produced a pictorial essay detailing how the pro -health insurance bill astroturfers were coached by professional organizers. Several day laborers couldn’t speak English or read the signs they were holding.

    Both sides are making each other increasingly angry, and it looks like the early sixties. I wonder if we will have riots and protest songs before this ends. Or, will passions cool after the bill succeeds or fails?

  169. President Obama’s
    Weekly Address 8/8/09

    Necessary Reform,
    Absurd Attacks


  170. jsri,

    I guess our pilot was right when he kissed the ground and said he never thought we’d make it back alive. Other risky situations occurred on that trip, and dangerous things happened on airliners I rode too.

    One time as our prop jet airliner sped down the runway , I told my wife, “that engine has failed.” She told me to stop trying to scare her. Then, the pilot aborted our takeoff because of the engine.

    When I was twelve our neighbor promised to take us for a ride in his airplane. My mother opposed it, but she was out numbered. The big day came, and my brother and I were as excited as on the night before Christmas. His plane might have been a Piper Cub because only one of us at a time would ride with him. We never got the chance. Our neighbor died in a plane crash the previous evening.

    Paul Harvey used to mention an organization of flying farmers who flew to their convention sites. I think he gave several speeches to them.

    I’m guessing the academic world was richer for your decision and flying poorer. What did you teach?

  171. I guess the birth certificate issue and the tea parties aren’t bringing in enough attention. Oh and also the “Kill Granny” issues. Do they really think they can unelect a President ;-)

  172. Has anyone else gotten this email called “Willing to Watch!!!

    Copy of email: Quote

    “Mark your calendar – This Sunday Aug.9th on Fox. Sean Hannity,
    > > of Hannity & Colmes ~ Fox news, is going to air a very important
    > > documentary about Barack Obama, Sunday night at 8:00 PM central /
    > > 9 PM eastern. He stated on the air this evening that no one in the
    > > news media was willing to do this. Hannity is going back to
    > > Obama’s earlier days, showing even then his ties to radical
    > > professors, friends, spiritual advisers, etc., he stated this
    > > evening that he will show in detail his ties to Rev. Wright for 20+
    > > yrs. How he was participating with this man, and not for the
    > > reasons he states! He has uncovered more of Obama’s radical
    > > leaders and we will see things that no one in the media is willing
    > > to put out there. This will be a night that you will learn more
    > > about Obama than ever before Hannity is very passionate about this
    > > program and asked that everyone please, please watch~~
    > > Sunday night, 8 PM. CT; 9 PM ET
    > >
    > > Please pass this on to everyone you know. Democrat or Republican,
    > > you can learn from this. It is critical for our country.”

  173. UAW, how is your wife doing?
    My ‘friend’ Sarah and I haven’t corresponded. . .someone took a webshot of her facebook page & postd it online. It was a typical diatribe of misinformation, gobbleygook and tortured syntax.

    Well in another hour Willie the Newfoundland and I head out for the beach workout. Gotta get there early to beat the heat. We’re hoping for some dolphins to join us. Today’s workout includes another kayak tow, resistence work in choppy water, and some life-saving techniques. He learns so fast. . . Then back home for a complete bath to desalinize the beastie boy before his dad comes to pick him up. He’s been fun to have around, but he’s so HUGE – I couldnt’ imagine have two or three Newfies in this house…would need a bigger bigger house. . . Have a good day all!

  174. I love y’all sweet ladies, thanks for the hilarious AND true words ya speak! Your new freind Marty

  175. James:

    I’d say you’re probably lucky to still be alive. Whenever I had first time passengers, I’d let them fly a bit by guiding them through a few gentle coordinated turns and explain in detail what each of the controls and instruments were for. You’d be surprised at how much less stressful it was for them.

    Also, even though I was instrument rated I would go far out of my way to avoid bad weather, not because I couldn’t handle it but because I hated carrying passengers who were on the edge of panic.

    By the late the 60′s after finishing grad school I had accumulated a couple thousand hours of flight experience and had even contemplated applying to the airlines. But hiring prospects were dim so I went the academic route instead but continued flying as a hobby. For me it was a great stress reducer because flying requires total attention and while you are doing it, everything else takes a back seat.

    BTW, I knew several flying farmers and most of the flew Piper Cubs off strips at their farms.

  176. talked health care with my wife’s oncologist…..past post about malpractice ins and military hospital record keeping

  177. UAW, you didn’t talk politics with your doc before the physical, did you? :lol:

  178. went for my yearly physical yesterday(over 50)…..what the doc did felt like what congress is trying to do……I didn’t like it and probably won’t like what congress does either…….I almost signed the petition…..the thought of congress getting what I got made me chuckle….

  179. poolman….
    LIked the part about Obama painted up like the Joker…..don’t see how that’s racists …..typical Chicago politics …yes

  180. greytdog….
    I don’t really care what Palin has on her facebook page….I didn’t know you and her were friends…..keep checking and fill the others in

  181. Shannyn Moore has an excellent post regarding these “protesters”.


  182. This is a petition to take away our representative healthcare until they pass legislation with a public option.


  183. UAW, you’ll be happy to know that Palin has resurfaced on her Facebook page. (if you want to go there, you’ll have to google it. . .I’m not providing a link) – wherein she warns that health care reform will lead to Trig being euthanized. Honestly, the woman truly needs to have an anal probe done by aliens. . .they might find her brain.

  184. This is what everyone is so paranoid about:

    “There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov. ”

    Where does it say they are taking names? Sounds like they want the information to use to refute the BS. W was the one intercepting our calls and emails secretly in the name of homeland security. Sheesh! :roll:

  185. UAW Tradesman,

    collecting those “fishy” e mails is almost Nixonian isn’t it? Long live Big Brother down on the “Animal Farm”.

  186. jsri,

    thanks for the information. I wish you had been in the plane that day to explain the amount of time we had. You could have saved my stomach from trying to escape though my throat. The engine can’t have been off very long, but of course it seemed like it.

    The most dangerous part of the trip happened on the way home. We were signed for Monday , and on Sunday, we were told if we didn’t leave immediately, we faced several days’ delay as two cold fronts approached with thunderstorms and later snow squalls.We had to leave fast to avoid being AWOL. There was no time to replace the missing engine cover.

    Instead of hugging the Mediterranean coast, we flew southwest across the middle of the Sea and then north. We had no life preservers or other water gear. That concerned me until I realized the doors opened toward the outside. I figured we would drown before the water pressure equalized, so it didn’t matter.

    The pilot said “You know weather. Let me know when we approach thunderstorms. I thought he was joking until we bounced around near a strong one.

  187. vgman, I liked your discourse on the New Deal and Eleanor Roosevelt. She sure left an imprint before leaving this sphere. Think she was a rare and great human being.

  188. wasn’t the book 1984 mentioned….
    The ACLU said in a statement to FOXNews.com that the White House blog is a “bad idea that could send a troublesome message.”
    But the organization added, “While it is unclear at this point what the government is doing with the information it is collecting, critics of the administration’s health care proposal should not fear that their names will end up in some government database that could be used to chill their right to free speech.”

    The White House Thursday denied that it was playing “Big Brother.”


  189. poolman….
    you missed the point….there are people that are terrified by what they think the government is forcing on them…..the final bill hasn’t been written yet and people are worried about what is in it……right or wrong isn’t the point…. they are worried and that is true……debate the bill, discus the bill,listen to all constituents after they have studied it…..then vote……….
    and it doesn’t help when the Prez is calling the retirees part of the problem and don’t listen to them…….look out 2010….or are we going to have more Black Panthers(with clubs) in front of voting districts

  190. typical Chicago politics….http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Town-hall-violence—-by-Obama-supporters-52640632.html

  191. long thought out plans for conservatives….
    “Rosemary Kennedy (September 13, 1918 – January 7, 2005) was the third child and first daughter of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Kennedy née Fitzgerald, born a year after her brother, future U.S. President John F. Kennedy. She underwent a lobotomy at the age of 23, after which she was mentally incapacitated for the rest of her life.”

  192. http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/pccartoons/permalink.asp?artist=asay&date=090806

  193. Completly out of context, Smile allert!

    in case you missed him:

    The Genius Of George Bush

  194. Well I have been on FB kicking around ideas for healthcare. I must say I had to join the opposition’s group to be part of the discussion. But I wasn’t the only one doing that and it has been rather lively. It is good that there is much discussion going on. Not just the disruptive forces out to derail anything that this administration is doing.

    Oh and UAW. Peggy Noonan? I think I have only agreed with her one time in the past. Anyone who can’t see through these “protests” definitely needs good healthcare. Yes some are legit, but most are ochestrated with funding from the GOP and their intent is to promote chaos. Real productive. Real grownup. Yeah, get real.

    Anonymous, that redstate video cracks me up. :lol:

  195. I understand your thinking, however, I think that the role of Hillary is different than the role of Michelle. Hillary was a strong part of the policy and promotion of the already planned proposal. It sort of dropped on the Capitol’s porch and fell flat.
    Michelle could elevate the focus of President Obama’s main effort–meaningful reform.
    The same old, same old isn’t going to work anymore. She could foster an atmosphere where true reform comes from the ideas of the general public and shine a light on the task that the President gave to lawmakers–legislate this for us.
    That’s their job.

  196. Vgman, I wonder… Could Michelle Obama be trying to avoid comparisons with Hillary? Either for PR reasons or out of deference to Hillary herself?

    The last time we tried this, it was a First Lady spearheading the (failed) effort. Could that have something to do with it?

    Just thinking aloud….

  197. I only bring up the idea for our First Lady because as I was reading about Eleanor Roosevelt, I came across her statement to a Congressional Committee (House District of Columbia Committee)–regarding a retirement home she visited among other public institutions in the DC area:
    “Mr. Chairman, if this is our conception of how to care for the aged, we are at a pretty low ebb of civilization”
    and on a children’s home:
    “the story should be told, and told and told!”

    Michelle Obama needs to get the story from average Americans out to the public for more support.

  198. I happen to think that Michelle Obama has a unique role to play in the health care reform arena.
    She should be hosting live conferences with all views represented and field questions via email, twitter, etc.
    She is a calm, graceful, and accomplished woman who could really set a tone for how we should discuss the health care for us all as we move ahead as a nation.
    Go, Michelle!

  199. James:

    I was just trying to tweak a little response out of you. I figured it was some other Piper model you were flying because the Piper Cub has only 2 seats in tandem and a 65 HP motor. With four crammed inside (if that is even possible), it wouldn’t even get off the ground. Piper makes several four seaters.

    But as far as the plane’s engine quitting, you just have a heavy glider and if you can find a space big enough and smooth enough to land it you are in no great danger. Captain Sullenberger showed how it can be done. But waiting too long to make a decision can get your name in the newspapers.

    Single engine planes without power have a glide ratio about 7.5 to one meaning that for every thousand feet of altitude, you can glide about a mile and a half across the ground. From 11,000 feet altitude the diameter of potential landing sites expands to almost 35 miles.

    I also know the feeling in the pit of your stomach when the engine dies. I did it once by accident but in training you learn to immediately assume you are flying a glider and try to think back to what you might have just done, then undo it. Nine out of ten times you have solved your problem.

  200. I never knew if was grey or gray?! lol The whole thing was very stupid, and I should know, I live in Boston – there’s a whole lot of stupidity around here in the land of academia. At least it was pointed out. haha. Nice one, ladies.

  201. For all of my favorite Reps and Dems


  202. And you, Anonymous, are a cowardly, rude, and stupid troll.

    Didn’t dare use your name or even a pseudonym, huh? Never occurred to you to scroll by Lori’s comments? Ever heard of civil debate?

    Go away, please.

  203. just wondering why Dems are so mad about Repubs using Dem tactics….

    “the crowds were ginned up by insurance companies, lobbyists and the Republican National Committee. But you can’t get people to leave their homes and go to a meeting with a congressman (of all people) unless they are engaged to the point of passion.”


  204. Helen, great post as always. I believe it was a testoterone issue than a race or even class issue.
    Haven’t stopped by in a few days and admit I haven’t read all of the comments yet but it looks likes you’ve all been busy eating pie and sharing opinions.
    I wanted to share with all of you a list of Glenn Beck’s advertisers w/email addresses. I just sent letters to each of them encouraging them to discontinue their advertising on this whackjob’s show. Forgive me if this has already been posted.


    Take a few minutes to send them a note and let’s see if we can get more of his sponsors to drop him.

  205. lori, I’ll mail you $1,000 cash if you’ll stop with that shiny object regurgishit. You sound like you’re cramming for a high school debate. Memorizing other people’s observations and opinions does not pass for intelligence or insight. Your friends here won’t tell you the truth – but you’re a real dipshit.

  206. shiny objects guys…. don’t for one second believe some people are here by happenstance…. this is and has always been an orchestration… shiny objects in the room..

    I KNEW, eventually, people in this room would see things clearly…

    xoxoxoxo alll

  207. You’re right, Anonymous, the doctor wasn’t thinking of me when he moved to Omaha. He was stationed at Offutt AFB some years before. He and his wife decided they liked the area. I called him after we read an article about him in the paper. Otherwise we would have been unknown to each other. So far, he is the first and only person I knew before who moved to our area.

    Most of my friends left the service after four years. Others may be living around Offutt now, but we don’t know about each other. My wife and I keep in touch with friends eighty miles west, because we had exchanged addresses before.

    Your guess about male/female concepts of murder sound right. A murder trial is a big deal. I’d have done as you did, but it would have been stressful, especially if evidence was conflicting.

  208. Christian the Jew, what is your motivation here? I see you prefer the opinion of Jefferson over the interpretation of Hamilton. The middle ground would be Madison. But you have shown your colors here. Obviously you think the last bunch of yahoos we had in power were better for this country than the present administration. Time will definitely tell. Your predictions are just your opinions, and I’m sure you have heard what people say regarding opinions. If you have anything positive to contribute I think we would like to hear it. Otherwise, I suggest you plant your seeds of hate and sarcasm in someone else’s yard.

  209. Wow..
    Everyone’s excited about something that’s not going to pass anyway. They don’t want it to, certainly not with the 29 year life extension that mbha mul was talking of. You people really think the libs in congress want to win this?
    And take away another of the great wedge issues they’ve found comfort in for decades. (both parties want the wedge issues, otherwise you would care about election day)
    It won’t pass in any form near what has been promised, and there will be no savings as a result…
    Also, to those eager enough to brag about the economic uptic, please be mindful that now we have to stomp our way through at least 5-7 years of massive inflation before our GDP will ever regain footing. The man you love and adore at this moment will be Cursed by you children for what he is doing.

  210. It is not at all unusual that an Air force retiree would reside near Omaha, Offutt Air Force Base is right there, he might have been stationed there at some point in his career, and I seriously doubt he located there to be near you. Would I be correct?
    In answer to your question, no I didn’t relate to either the victim or the defendant, but afterwards (until we decided the verdict, I deliberately stuck to just the facts), I could relate to both families, they were victims too. I think perhaps second degree murder is more likely a male crime James, second degree murder is a rash act without premeditation, but the intent is never-the-less to kill. Much as I hate to say it, I think women would be more deliberate, and plan, as in case of first degree murder, of course that also means women are less likely to murder, because they have time to both contemplate the consequences and to get over their anger.

  211. It occurs to me UAW, if a jury contemplated the cost of care for lifetime for a patient who was severely damaged by a doctor’s err, and the fact that the patient would never again be insurable and that medical costs are constantly rising, in all good conscience that jury would have to award a enormous amount money, just to be certain the person would receive adequate care. In Canada or Germany, a jury would know that even though a mistake has impacted the patient’s wellbeing and livelihood, they at least will have their medical care guaranteed for the rest of their life. Thus a smaller settlement is justified in those countries and others with national health services.

  212. The name dropping is because I think the odds of meeting someone I knew in the Air force near home, and his becoming a locally well-known doctor are slim. Most people know his name around here.

  213. Something is strange James, why the name dropping?

  214. Anonymous, I agree with you. We may look different, but we are basically the same. We all can let our emotions make us do foolish things. When you were on the jury of a murder trial, did you ever think “there but for the grace of God go I?” I might have.

  215. jsri and Anonymous, we were packed as tight as sardines, and after the pilot landed for the last time, he kissed the ground and said “I never thought we’d make it back alive.” I remember it as a Piper Cub, but that is a long time ago. I probably didn’t have remembered the model correctly. The plane had four seats. I never flew in a private plane before or after that trip. That trip cured me. Never again.

    I am not a pilot, but I assume the man flying the plane had a flight plan. Given all of the mishaps we had, the pilot probably made a correct judgment about not making it back alive. The plane had a fuel tank near each wing, and while we were at 11,000 feet, the person beside the pilot forgot to switch tanks, and the engine died. The engine restarted after the switch was pulled and we began to fall. The pilot yelled “pull the switch you twit!!” Then he appologized.

    You, who are actual pilots, how much danger were we really in when the engine cut out? It felt dangerous, but being airborne in a silent plane was a unique experience for me. I also assumed when the nose cowling or whatever the engine cover is called tore off leaving the little motor exposed was a bad thing. That worried me a lot, but our pilot didn’t seem expecially concerned. I was.

    I took lots of pictures in case they were found in the wreckage and rescuers might publish them. Some people should never be allowed near the controls of an airplane.

    Our night on the Italian air base was fun as we wondered if we would serve time in the base stockade or an Italian prison. They were furious and interrogated us for a very long time. During the first half hour, we all stared at each other until someone who could speak English showed up.

    Another person who should have known better was a doctor learning to fly a glider on the English air base where I was stationed at the time. He got lost and looked for a place to land. Then the doctor saw an abandoned WW11 air strip. He wondered why it had a checkerboard pattern, but he didn’t think enough. The locals had removed every other slab of concrete to prevent pilots from using it. Good bye aireoclub glider.

    Fate takes odd twists. The pilot was Captain LeRoy Carhart from New Jersey. He ended up in Omaha as an abortion doctor. Carhart sued Nebraska over an anti- abortion law on the grounds it didn’t provide enough protection for the mother. I believe the case was Carhart v. Steinburg, and it went to the Supreme Court.

    He was a friend of the abortion doctor murdered in Kansas, and for a time, he planed to reopen that doctor’s clinic. Dr.Carhart brought some of the workers up to Belview, Nebraska where his clinic is. We’ve spoken over the phone but not recently.

  216. Claire… XX……. and you would be always welcome to have a beer around my picnic table any day of the week as well…

  217. , the stock market is up the unemployment rate is down!!!!!!!! Housing market is up 11 percent (a personal boom) and the cash for clunker program has been funded, which will help my neighbors…literally… since I live in Michigan and nearly everyone in my lil development has generational ties to the auto industry!

    THANK the good lord for our president and his wisdom and his good sense to surround himself with intelligent forward looking advisors…! Can you imagine where we would be if Mc Cain and Palin…. the party of NO…. would have been elected???? Lord have mercy.

    We have miles to go before we rest…. However we have rounded the first turn and can imagine the finish line!!!! Health care for alllllll is next!!!!! Don’t lose faith we can do it!


  218. HI UAW and all
    I haven’t gone through all the posts but just wanted a little info from you….I was at the ongoigist’s with my wife and we got onto medical cost and he said one of the biggest expenses is medical malpractice and they don’t have that expense in other countries….how about Canada…do the doctors there pay any malpractice ins…… just wondering….any other countries…… ….

    In Canada as in Germany and the most countries where I am aware of, the malpractice compensations are paid, but much much less than in the US, we have I think 2 caseses of VERY SEVERE malptractice that awarded around 1 million Euro in Germany in the last 20 years, otheres range from a few grand to max. 150.000 Euros for very severe caseses with long term care (which is covered ussually by the health-insurance anyway)

    So yes in the EU they p0ay malpractice but much less so also lesser risk for inmsurancess = lesser premiums = lesser costs….. and insurance fees are taxdeductable and by this don’t hit the health care bill too much. I think GB France Italy and Spain are very similar.

  219. jsri, I had the same thought and if they did manage to get off the ground what was their flight plan? ;-)

  220. Obama White House Can Save $3.7 Trillion and Extend Lifespan 29+ Years,

    Predicts Revolutionary A4M Healthcare Plan
    The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; http://www.worldhealth.net), the world’s largest professional organization dedicated to advancing research and clinical pursuits that enhance the quality, and extend the quantity, of the human lifespan. unveils an innovative, technology-based fix to healthcare with the potential to:
    * Increase the lifespan, or improve the healthspan, of all Americans by 29+ years;
    * Slash healthcare costs, saving $3.7 Trillion; and
    * Replace the disease-based approach to medicine with a wellness-oriented model
    A comprehensive program to reform and advance healthcare in the United States, The A4M Twelve-Point Actionable Healthcare Plan: A Blueprint for A Low Cost, High Yield Wellness Model of Healthcare by 2012 has garnered support from 35 professional medical organizations and educational institutions and was developed with invaluable input from the 24,000 physician, health practitioner, and scientist members of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M; http://www.worldhealth.net) who represent 110 nations worldwide.
    When legislators on Capitol Hill return for the Fall Congress Session, they will continue to debate a $1.65 trillion, 10-year plan to overhaul the nation’s failing healthcare system. The majority of the plan focuses on how to pay for health insurance, rather than formulating a comprehensive plan of action for reform itself. The contributing editors, authors and endorsing organizations of The Twelve-Point Plan submit that the underlying philosophy of healthcare in this nation must be reformed in revolutionary new ways. In place of the disease-based approach that treats people after they exhibit signs of illness, we submit that it is time for the nation to adopt a wellness-oriented model to healthcare. Such a model stresses very early detection of illness and promotes disease prevention, yielding opportunities for the best prognoses and economical treatments. As reported by the Congressional Budget Office, up to one-third of this nation’s healthcare spending — more than $700 billion — does not improve Americans’ health outcomes.
    To compound the issue of healthcare reform, the United States is a driving force in a trend of unprecedented global aging. The average age of the world’s population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The number of people worldwide ages 65+ was 506 million as of midyear 2008; by 2040, that number will hit 1.3 billion. Thus, in just over 30 years, the proportion of older people will double from 7% to 14% of the total world population. In the United States, men and women ages 65+ represented 12.4% of the population in the year 2000, with that age bracket projected to swell to stand at 20% of the population by 2030. In 2007 in the United States, six major diseases among Americans ages 65+ resulted in medical and lost productivity costs of more than $196 billion. In the coming years, the cases of these six diseases, namely — chronic lung disease, ischemic heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, pneumonia and gastrointestinal illness — are expected to surge as the population ages, potentially sending the costs of age-related diseases skyrocketing. Steps to prepare the nation to address the social, economic, and personal ramifications of a graying society now, are urgently necessary.
    Anti-aging medicine is the pinnacle of biotechnology joined with advanced clinical preventive medicine. Adoption of the anti-aging medical model delivers the best of advanced preventive medicine to all Americans, not merely our older population segments. The contributing editors, authors and endorsing organizations of The Twelve-Point Plan urge this nation to adopt a wellness-oriented model to healthcare.
    The elements of The Twelve-Point Plan will significantly improve and extend the healthy human lifespan. Each of the points of this Program will also deliver a profound net economic savings via three major mechanisms:
    Conservation of worker productivity
    Reduction of disability and hospitalization costs
    Reduction of the burden of costs associated with chronic long-term medical conditions.
    The Twelve-Point Plan provides practicable “here and now” solutions to reform and advance healthcare in the United States, while addressing the challenges of global aging. Indeed, the implementation of The A4M Twelve-Point Actionable Healthcare Plan: A Blueprint for A Low Cost, High Yield Wellness Model of Healthcare by 2012 may save our society a projected $3.64 Trillion in healthcare costs, and extend the healthy lifespan of each of our nation’s residents by up to 29 productive, vital years.
    Complete references and supporting data for projections may be viewed in the full version of The A4M Twelve-Point Actionable Healthcare Plan: A Blueprint for A Low Cost, High Yield Wellness Model of Healthcare by 2012. Request your free copy of this White Paper, at: http://www.waaam.org/twelvepointssummary.php.
    Contributing Editors
    Ronald M. Klatz, M.D., D.O., President & Physician Co-Founder, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M); Appointed member, Global Action Council on the Challenges of Gerontology, World Economic Forum; Director, World Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine

    Robert M. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., D.O., FAASP, Chairman & Physician Co-Founder, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M); World Chairman, International Medical Commission; Chairman, World Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine; President Emeritis, National Academy of Sports Medicine

    Joseph C. Maroon, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery, Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience and Vice Chairman of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Member of the International Editorial Board, Neurological Research and the Journal of Sports Medicine; Past President, Congress of Neurological Surgeons

    Nicholas A. DiNubile, M.D., Orthopaedic Consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Team and Pennsylvania Ballet

    Michael Klentze, M.D., Ph.D., Secretary-General, European Society of Anti-Aging Medicine; Medical Director, Vitalife Wellness Center of Bumrungrad Hospital, Thailand

  221. I really appreciate your honesty in your opinion. I have heard many people who love Obama say that this was a pure and simple case of Racism, which it was not. The Police was called out to a suspicious situation where a possible break in was happening. I think that the Professor should have been more respectful to the Police and not start screaming about racism and this whole thing would have been over with. The President should also have left his opinion to himself, especially since he didn’t have all the facts.

  222. JAMES: re your Rome experience;

    As a one time airplane driver who has flown almost every single engine model Piper aircraft and some of their twins. I’d like to know how you guys got four people into a Piper Cub. Even more, I’d like to know how you got it off the ground.

  223. Was there was ever any doubt that Flush Limbaugh is a nut?

  224. POOLMAN, please do as any lawyer or judge would, and refer to the writings of the founding fathers. “Any attempt by government to assist in lives is guaranteed to be an eventuality of government takeover of lives…” Thomas Jefferson

  225. Any propaganda that’s propped up with the “tell on your neighbors to the government” is totally out of 1984. Doesn’t matter what’s being said; when a government begins regulating decent, freedoms have been completely abandoned.

  226. Thank you Doversoul; I’ve signed and sent and I think we all should do the same.

  227. In respect to the misinformation being spread about the dire consequences that would ensue should we have public option health care, I found the following and find it incredibly on target:

    “Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (…) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.” – Adolph Hitler from Mein Kampf

    Think about it!

    Keith in NM

  228. Poolman said:
    “promote the general welfare”

    What about this doesn’t anyone get? I think we should have national health insurance just based on that statement alone.

    You are absolutely correct, IMHO. Other than plain, unadulterated greed, I simply can not think of any reason why anyone would be against health care being made available to everyone. Every person who claims to be a “Christian” should be doing everything within his/her power to insure that every American has access to quality health care without having to decide between medicine and eating or between health care and having a roof over his/her head. Every single Senator and Congressman/Congresswoman who claims to be against “government run” health care should be asked to relinquish his/her government run health care. I’ve always been a firm believer in put up or shut up.

  229. This just in from the DCCC…If there was any more doubt that the right wing fringe is reaching shocking new lows by the day, Rush Limbaugh is now openly comparing the Democratic Party to Nazis and using swastikas on his website.

    Please sign the petition and pass it along.


  230. I think James all we know about this incident is hearsay, so we can think anything we want. I was once a juror on a murder trial, it was an incident which should never have happened, people reacted to the moment. If either man had said or done something different, one of them wouldn’t be dead and the other convicted of second degree murder. Another thing I learned from being a juror (four times) is witnesses do not remember things the same way, and jurors do not necessarily place the same emphasis on the same set of facts. We all bring our past experiences into the equation.

    Since I am a white woman married to a black man, I could say oh it was all about racism, but that would be too easy, human beings are complicated. Most people today are not out and out racists, but we just naturally feel more comfortable with people who look like us, because we assume they share our experiences and are more likely to agree with us. Once we realize that, we grow as human beings.

  231. Anonymous, I forgot to answer your question. In my opinion, though race may have been involved beneath the surface, the main problem was class exacerbated by town and gown attitudes combined with testosterone. Have you seen a rooster fight? The incident reminds me of one.

  232. It’s amazing to see the look on my students’ faces when they realize, after memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution and reciting it for me, that they are a part of this social contract and have been since birth.

    Everyone has a stake in this future before us.

  233. Thank you Anonymous.
    As you write, the discrimination was not race based. Unless I spoke of my past, no one knew. People told me I was a swell guy. Still, I had little choice but to reveal my past to a prospective employer.

    Blacks don’t have that privilege, we both agree. I have seen just a hint of what they have endured, and it makes me sad.

    This is just my theory based on what I might have done in his position. Professor Gates may have been overcome by residual anger over past mistreatment, and perhaps he was profiling. Maybe Sgt Crowly felt working class resentment toward an elite. This may have been as much town and gown resentment as racial. Police officers have a dangerous job, and they don’t like surprises.

    Professor Gates allegedly said “I’ll see your momma out side.” He was disturbing the peace with his yelling. Insulting a police officer who is trying to make sense of a situation is unwise. I think a police officer must give his badge number if asked. Professor Gates should have been polite and presented his ID. Then, he could have later reported the incident to the police department whether or not he got the badge number.

    Composure and self disclipine do wonders, and I think had Professor Gates kept his, we wouldn’t be discussing the incident now. Experience taught me a few things.

    Four of us Airmen had to put our single engined Piper Cub down for an emergency landing at Rome’s airport. We touched down during late dusk. I wondered why so many fighter planes were parked on the tarmac, and then we saw the hordes of uniformed Italians with drawn side arms running toward our plane. We had landed on an Italian air base by mistake. We displayed a h— of a lot of composure that long night.

  234. The Constitution of the United States of America:

    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    “promote the general welfare”

    What about this doesn’t anyone get? I think we should have national health insurance just based on that statement alone.

  235. This is my possible scenario of what went down between Prof. Gates and the policeman, I emphasis the term “possible,” because I wasn’t there and can’t possibly know for sure what happened. One man, tired from a long flight, his arthritic hip hurting worse than usual because he had to sit so long, already crabby because he didn’t feel good and the last straw was then he discovered his door was stuck and he was confronted in his own home by the police. A stressed policeman, who possibly just received some bad news affecting one of his loved ones, lost his tempter and made an arrest he knew would not stick, but somehow it made him feel just a little better for the moment. It makes just as much sense to me as white vs. black, town vs. gown, or two authority figures oozing testosterone. Sometimes things just go wrong.

  236. Yes! We can effect change! That is great regarding Beck. Money talks and if sponsors walk, he needs to change his song and dance or get someone in there with some integrity.

    Oh Happy Day! Let’s keep pushing this Health Care Reform. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

  237. On the New Deal–

    Eleanor Roosevelt said,

    “The code of ethics is changing. The things that were all right ten years ago are not now, because people as a whole are changing in their standards, I believe for the better. You are for what is good not for you but for your fellow citizens. This is the new social-minded code. You do not wish special privileges. You wish privileges for all. With this code goes an open-mind–a real inquiry into how to use that mind to best advantage. With it goes a real determination that what you have gained you are going to give back to your country and its people, not only looking to your own gain, but to the gain of others. You will never get the greatest joy of living until you feel you are one with a great many people–a whole country perhaps.”

    So………if someone is healthy because they get the same care as anyone else…..they are more likely to take pride in a country that gave them the opportunity to be healthy and consequently give back to that country in more ways than one.

    If other countries can provide health care for ALL their citizens, why can’t we?

    The United States Constitution is a social contract that binds ALL of us together. What we do to it is the subject of our collective debate.

    I see the “social-minded code” of Eleanor’s words to equal “social contract”. We must keep working on making life better for ALL of us. Discrimination in any form reveals the urgency our task holds within. We have a long ways to go to make it better……but we had better keep working on making it better.

    Now, I have a dining room to finish painting downstairs.

  238. and not just that!!! Lawyers.com, Proctor & Gamble, and Progressive Insurance have all pulled their ads from Glenn Beck!!!!

  239. Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to Supreme Court!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  240. James, I understand better where you are coming from, but I don’t think bad experiences equate to discrimination, and I will tell you why. When you enter a room or speak, no one automatically assumes certain things about you. Would I know rather you were an officer or enlisted when you served our country? By the way, thank you for serving our country.
    To say Prof. Gates harassed the police is to suggest he followed them back to the police station doesn’t it, besides he was charged with disturbing the peace, not harashment. Who’s peace did he disturb I wonder, did he run inside and turn his stereo on full blast? Did he lose his second admendment rights, because he was black or because he was speaking to a police officer in your opinion?

  241. To Lori:
    Such a well-written, thought-provoking post. Thank you for putting my feelings in words; and, sounding so mature and level-headed while you were at it!!

    You can stop by my place any time you want! You are MOST welcome here.

  242. Greytdog–
    What does your new avatar symbol signify?

  243. Is it all right with everyone if I take the liberty to insert the word “are” in the first sentence of my last post? Thank you!
    Anybody need a napkin to go with your piece of pie?

  244. Andrew Sullivan has a new take on the Cambridge PD http://bit.ly/yQSgX
    I suspect the Gates incident has less to do with race and more to do with “class” or as was put earlier, townie vs gownie.

  245. UAW–
    Since you correct that the word asshat should be preceded by “an” rather than “a”–
    I wanted to point out that in one of your previous posts, I noticed that you repeatedly spelled your
    for you’re, as in “you are”.
    Piece of pie, anyone?

  246. Die already, UAW.

  247. “Did you hear they now attribute Hiliary’s trip to Kenya to her asking the Kenyan gov’t to continue the cover-up!?!?!?!”

    Where did you see/hear that????

  248. The Washington Post reports a possible Senate compromise would replace the public plan with co-ops. It would eventually provide coverage to 94% of Americans and tax generous private insurance policies. Three Republicans and three Democrats are working on the compromise.

  249. Margaret & Helen, I can’t wait for your comments on the ‘birthers’! Did you hear they now attribute Hiliary’s trip to Kenya to her asking the Kenyan gov’t to continue the cover-up!?!?!?!

  250. Don’t know if this has been previously mentioned —

    July 10, 2009
    With almost 20 years inside the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter saw for-profit insurers hijack our health care system and put profits before patients. Now, he speaks with Bill Moyers about how those companies are standing in the way of health care reform.


  251. UAW, here is the report about the protesters and disrupters sent to the town meetings. Prominent GOP figures with major infuence and funds are behind them:


  252. UAW, what law did professor Gates break in your opinion?

    Remember the district attorney’s office did not agree with your perception because they dismissed the charges..

    The other stuff you wrote is just words words words that has no relevance to this particular discussion or any other IMHO and I won’t waste time addressing such silliness. Shiny objects…

  253. Speaking of healthcare reform, here’s a DVD that the folks from Daily Kos put together. (BTW, M&H, they have posted parts of your blog on their website recently. Way to go ladies!)


  254. Anonymous….
    we think alike….and it’s an asshat not a asshat…

  255. And no one should go bankrupt and/or lose their home because of medical bills. That’s unconscionable.

  256. Paige sez “To some of you, health care reform is the most important issue and should be discussed before anything else. However, you are interested in health care reform in case you may need health care and can’t afford it.”

    No, actually I know how good I have it and I want EVERYBODY to have the same. NO ONE should have to worry about getting sick or being injured for financial reasons. That’s inhumane

  257. lori…
    I think Gates behavior caused him to break a law…..I believe Gate’s character thought that he should be able to “get away” with anything because he’s not only an elitist but black….

    Why is it OK to protest and smash windows and burn cars if your a liberal and not OK to go to a Town Hall meeting and voice concerns or opposition if your a conservative….

    “the Town Hall protesters who seemed elderly,white,scared ”


    town hall protestors are “carrying swastikas”


    isn’t that really nice of Nancy…..didn’t someone wish for rain before….

  258. Anonymous, yes, I am a lily white blue eyed American farm boy, but discrimination comes in many forms. I spent a year living on a base where the commander told us enlisted trash we had better watch our steps because in any dispute he would automatically take the officers’ side. A captain goaded one of my friends into hitting him so he would lose a stripe. He and his friends thought it was a wonderful joke.

    I hung around with five black friends. They told me our being treated like dogs was how it was for them on the outside. This would pass for us whites, but when blacks became civilians, nothing would change.

    After I returned to the United States, I soon learned that because I was a Vietnam era veteran, people didn’t like my kind. The first night, I attended a grad school orientation party, I said I didn’t need an assistanceship because I had what was left of the GI Bill of Rights aid. A chill developed over our part of the room. One student said “you don’t belong here you fascist. We’ll get rid of you.” Four of them tried and failed to sabatage my work, but I was the one who hurt them.

    After I earned my MA and nine hours toward a PHD in four semesters, a job counselor told one of my Navy veteran friends that he should hide his military service from a prospective employer. I checked and a counselor told me the same thing. Several of my friends transferred to law school. I still had nightmares and needed a knife under my pillow to sleep well. I dropped out to farm.

    People called me “baby killer, murderer, and fascist” as well as unprintable names. The University of Iowa was a big place. Unlike blacks, I could take the coward’s way out and pretend I had never seen a uniform.

    Someone called the police when my wife and I broke into our apartment because we had locked ourselves out. The police wouldn’t believe us, in spite of our drivers licenses until they spoke to our downstairs neighbors. An officer then appologized because we looked like “hippy agitators.” His concern was understandable. Anti -war protesters caused such mayhem the governor called out the National Guard. So, he was profiling us in negative fashion.

    Our son married a Korean-American woman. Her family likes our son, but the marriage is secret because her family opposes interracial marriage.

    I have a notion of how Professor Gates and Sgt Cowly reacted on an elemental level . I hated anti -war liberals of a certain age for a long time, though they never knew it. It was irrational because they weren’t the people who had tried to hurt me. I couldn’t shake the anger, and I was profiling.

    We say we have moved beyond race but it is a crock. Our racism is just more subtle, now as we congratulate ourselves on what enlightened beings we have become. In some ways it is harder to confront than the racism of fifty years ago. As I project my own feelings, I suspect the intentional and unintentional slights blacks encounter every day may foster anger similar to what I felt, at least subconsciously.

    Prof. Gates was wrong to harass the police. For all they knew, he was a criminal preparing to shoot them. However, both may have had chips on their shoulder’s because of past treatment. I might have profiled and reacted the same way had I not learned to control myself.

    Gates and Cowly have agreed to discuss the matter privately, maybe at a ball game. Sgt Crowly, not President Obama helped Professor Gates down some steps. Professor Gates joked to Sgt Crowly that if he doesn’t arrest him again, he will get his children into Harvard.

  259. UAW, I’ve had plenty of time to form an opinion about your character, you are a asshat.

  260. greytdog….
    I think behavior and character are the same thing……

  261. UAW, the character of a person is a subjective assessment. Thank heavens we live in a country that does not arrest people because of what ONE person perceives as bad character. We arrest people because they break a LAW….

    I happen to think anyone who doesn’t believe in proper health care for ALL citizens doesn’t have the best character…. ;-) (that was just a light hearted TEEE HE, not meant to be an assesment of anyone’s character) LOL! Enjoy the full moon everyone… !!!!

  262. Paige and Barbara – thank you so much for sharing your point of view. I happen to agree with everything you both said as well as with BB Queen.

    We still have a long way to go regarding equality in this country and the momentary joy many of us felt after seeing that we could actually elect a black man president has dissipated as we watch the racism ratcheting up among the rightwing haters and fanatics.

    When a jerk of the magnitude of Glenn Beck can say on national teevee that our president is racist who hates white people and then you read that death threats to the president are up 400%, you know we have a big problem.

    Ladies, again, thank you for your perspective. I stand with you and your view on this matter.

  263. Don’t confuse economic systems with forms of government, socialism, communism,and capitalism are economic systems. No one can call China communism any more, but they are still a dictatorship. On the other hand Cuba and North Korea are communist countries ruled by dictators. A lot of countries have a mixture of capitalism and socialism including the United States.

  264. Barbara, We have racial profiling here in Arizona. Our Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has been accused of that toward the hispanics in our communities as he has taken on the illegal immigration problem. He has a lot of support and is very popular with most of the people here. He has ignited much tension in the hispanic community here and uses the publicity to further promote himself and his causes.

  265. UAW, it’s not the cop’s call to judge someone by character or color. Only by behavior. And Gates was arrested in his own house for disorderly conduct. Everyone who has ever had a rip roaring yelling argument in their own house now faces the same potential charge. And that is a very dangerous precedent

  266. UAW, the point of that article is that if it is “socialism” we fear, we ALREADY have public institutions that would quailify under the same definition. We even embrace them and feel they are good. We are more afraid of the word than the practice. “Socialism” in our minds equals communism equals evil. That is how we have been groomed. The biggest battle we face in this is ignorance.

    As far as the computerization of medical records, that is cited as ONE reason our present system is inefficient and it is written into HR 676 as part of the proposed law. That alone would save big bucks.

    As far as lawyers’ lobbies, they are huge and you can bet lawyers do well with the system as it is. They are certainly PROFITTING from the status quo. Medical malpractice has driven costs and has discouraged many from pursuing a career in the medical profession. Some have left the practice due to this cost and the fear of lawsuit.

    Additionally, we have complicated our institutions and our lives with so much legaleese that we need lawyers to decipher them for us. Talk about job security! There is a movement for “plain” english to rewrite a lot of our paperwork, so the layman can understand the meanings without the need to consult a lawyer. Much of this has now been required for the credit card industry when all the new legislation regarding reform takes effect. It is s l o w l y getting around to making those changes.

    There is MUCH left to be done. Obama promised to “clean up” a lot of our government. I am sure we could eliminate waste and shine a light in every corner of our system in an effort to rid ourselves of redundancy and inefficiencies. My GUESS that alone would reduce costs to the American people by near 50 percent.

  267. lori….
    my take on Gateagate….
    he wasn’t judge by his color but by his character….isn’t that what King wanted…

  268. Judith, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been telling my hubby the Gates thing was a classic case of testosterone poisoning since the start. (He agrees.) You described the situation so much more entertainingly, though! I will be snickering at the line “full-bore ass-off” all day. :)

    Thank you for the Irish Fair PSA. I was planning to be there anyway. We go every year, just because it’s fun. (Plus, our favorite young neighbor/babysitter is a fantastic stepdancer, and we love watching her.) I will be sure to seek out your band at the Tea Room. I’ll be the 40-year-old mom clutching two kids with one hand and a hard cider with the other.

  269. poolman….
    “Yes, we pay taxes to support our cops. But we’re glad to, because they help keep us safe. ”
    but remember…
    When seconds count help is just minutes away…

  270. werner….
    I haven’t gone through all the posts but just wanted a little info from you….I was at the ongoigist’s with my wife and we got onto medical cost and he said one of the biggest expenses is medical malpractice and they don’t have that expense in other countries….how about Canada…do the doctors there pay any malpractice ins…… just wondering….any other countries……

    he also mentioned that as far as emergency room costs and unneeded tests the doctors call for these tests so they don’t miss something and then get sued…I mentioned about another poster (Military?) that had all info on a card…swipe that and there’s your medical history……he said that the military is 15 years ahead of Mainstream hospitals in computerized record keeping but wasn’t sure how it interacts with HIPA rules….

    as far a BCBS paying lobbyists do a check on the lawyers paying lobbists

  271. IMHO President Obama spoke accurately. The Cambridge police officer was shown Prof. Gates’ driver’s license and college ID. At that point, HE SHOULD HAVE LEFT. But he didn’t.

    This incident served to show that we’ve not gotten beyond race. And as an African-American I can tell you profiling is still something we have to deal with on a daily basis. It is depressing and demeaning and demoralizing. Yes, we can talk about health care and enact reforms to better peoples’ lives. But our country needs to continue the hard work of self-examination about race, and how whole segments of our citizens are treated.

  272. I don’t get it James, I thought you were a All-American lily-white Iowa farm boy, why were you discriminated against?

  273. I think the thing that really bothered me about Gategate, almost above the race issue, is the absolute POWER our society has given certain professions.

    I know Im gonna catch hell for this post but it really is how I feel.

    Why do we as a society automatically “believe” a police officers’ report and not the alleged perp? Why do we believe a “teachers” rendition of an incident and not the student? Why do we believe the “priest” but not the alter boy? Why have we decided that these people who have decided to choose these professions are all heroes or Gods? Granted all of these professions are noble and certainly there are heroes among their members but the absolute “power” we have allowed these people can and have in many many cases corrupted a certain percentage.

    I have yet to witness in my 50 years of life a police officer “ratting” on another and remain in the profession. I have YET to hear of a principal to agree with a parent over a teacher, I have YET to see a religion acknowledge and take responsibility for rouge clergy.

    Your profession does NOT make you a hero, your actions do.

    Even though my own loving father was a part time police officer, and I am grateful for his/their choice of profession, they do not automatically get my respect just because of their vocation. No one does, including the police officer in this case. The responsibility rested on his shoulders, it is his profession, it is his training that needed to apply, that is what we pay him to do. Hell I am not trained and I could think of way to defuse that situation without arresting the man! I’m sorry but no one is going to convience me this was not in some recesses of the police officers mind, race related AND a absolute power issue. He didn’t have to defuse it or try and handle it well, automatically a majority of the people would “side” with him, most wouldn’t question him, after all he is a “hero”…. I think we do ourselves a real diservice when we elevate certain professions to absolute power. If you start out with hero status there is no where to go but down is there?


  274. I hope a lot of folks scroll on by. This is directed toward people who still have open minds about fixing health insurance.

    Eugene Morse a professor of business law at Creighton University in Omaha wrote “Shrinking of health care makes Obama plan flawed” in yesterday’s Omaha World Herald.

    His article described the deficiencies of our current system and said they must be changed. However, he wrote “… within this system consumers, intermediaries, and providers retain significant choices…”

    “Health care costs have risen significantly but so have advances in modern medicine…”

    “Obama’s approach to this problem–rather than returning more discretion to individuals and moving toward more market -based reforms–is to increase the role of government. The current plan would not achieve reductions in health care costs, but it would ultimately eliminate innovations…” People may be “shocked to learn that this new found equality ( in HB 3200) may ultimately be imposed with an iron fist.”

    “Concerns are appropriate however, when a sub- stantial portion of these costs will be borne by a government without the apparent means to finance them.”

    HB 676 has won a convert. While I think it needs changes, that bill is better than the alternative. I believe a version of the French system would serve us better, but it is too much to hope for.

  275. I read Black Like Me, and heard John Howard Griffin speak at our college. I disagree that no white person can imagine how it is to be black or vise versa. No one can feel exactly what another group experiences, of course, but our commonality and imaginations let us know enough to understand a little.

    Many of you know how I was discriminated against. Many ethnic groups like Irish, Germans, and Italians faced discrimination.

    The difference is people like me could blend in and hide our pasts because we looked like almost everyone else. Blacks could not. They lived in a prison of their skin pigment. No matter where they go or how successful they become, they will always be black. They will always stand out here in a sea of white faces, and they cannot hide negative and positive stereotypes attached to their skin color as most others do. Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans can hide in the white crowd much better than blacks.

    Racism is built into us all. We have much farther to go than we know.

  276. Paige, I read “Black Like Me” in grade school. It was required reading. It was a very enlightening book. And yes, I agree. We whites have no idea what it is like to grow up black in America. Much of this country was built on the backs of black slaves. During that time and even after slavery was abolished, the black family structure was broken by the white oppressers and it still suffers from that deteriorization to this day. The whole treatment of the blacks in our society is one of those things that makes one question how we can call ourselves Christians, as many do. It is that same hypocrisy that is still prevalent today as we see many purport to have Christ as Lord, and yet do not follow His teachings. We still have a long way to go to. Some of us realize that more than others. We do need to hear your perspective, and I want to thank you for that.

  277. I loved the post except for one small thing. You, and quite a few of the other posters seem to think that President Obama claimed it was a racially motivated issue. He made a point to say that he did not know if race played a part. He simply said that he felt the police department acted stupidly. Evidently, they thought so too, or they wouldn’t have dropped the charges. I in no way wish to imply that health care reform is not a very important issue. However, for many Americans, especially Americans “of color”, race relations is just as much of a life threatening issue. I have no ill will toward policemen, in fact, my brother is a retired police officer, but very often, policemen forget that they are supposed to uphold the law, not BE the law. You don’t arrest someone because you don’t like how they talked to you in their own home. Make no mistake, at the time he arrested Professor Gates, Sergeant Crowley knew that Professor Gates was the homeowner. And for all of you who wish to mention that Sgt. Crowley taught racial sensitivity classes, I had a professor in college in a class called “Ethnic and Racial Relations” who taught the class (or rather attempted to) that black people had not advanced as far as other ethnic groups because they had not lived in cities until the 1950′s and that until that time, they all were in the south picking cotton and sharecropping. To some of you, health care reform is the most important issue and should be discussed before anything else. However, you are interested in health care reform in case you may need health care and can’t afford it. It is possible, although unlikely, that you never need to use the insurance you seek. However, I will always be a black person living in America and will always have a need for race relations to be improved to a point where I am not judged by my skin color, but rather by my accomplishments as a person. Although I may not agree with the manner in which she expressed her displeasure, I have to agree with BB Queen that you can not understand, no matter how many black friends you have, what it is like to be “Black In America”. The only white person who can possibly understand is John Howard Griffin, the author of “Black Like Me”. Even he had the advantage of knowing that the hell he was going through was only temporary and would be over when he went back to being a white man. Try reading that book, or if that’s too much trouble, perhaps you can find the movie on DVD.

  278. Judith, I’ll trade you a McCain, Kyl, or Shadegg, for any one of yours right now. I used to like all those guys too. There are some dems in there that are just as bad, but we are definitely fighting an uphill battle with these guys. That Franken is going to be quite an asset.

    I agree with you on the “guy thing”. Testosterone is a powerful stupifior.

  279. Thanks Susan in CT, needed to get this off my chest! Just sick and tired of the hypocrisy!

  280. Easier: EXACTLY!

  281. “Commercial alert, get ready to scroll.”

    Careful Judith, don’t want to write too much here, people will yell at you!

    “Handful of Fun group at the tea room, I’ll be the funny-looking old broad with the concertina.””

    But does the Fair’s website show a picture of you-all? No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

    Thanks for the excellent treatise on asses et al!

  282. I missed this new post by two whole days! Been working too hard, not enough time for fun. Thanks Helen, good post as usual. Yes, wished President Obama has stayed above the fray, or gotten more informed before speaking about the issue of Dr. Gates’ arrest. However, liked that he recovered and chastised himself. That is why I like him, his humanity always shines through, regardless.

    Insurance companies do not care about health care. They are scared stiff of anything that would challenge the status quo and would fight tooth and nail to defend their turf. The newsmedia is willing to help them in this endeavor too, by not exposing what they really stand for. We should not let up this time. How threatening is it, to provide decent health care, preventative and otherwise to people that need it? It defies common sense. Anybody against health care reform has none either. The right keeps using the smoke screens of socialism, and communism, and whatever suits their selfish views of what life on earth should be. These are the same people that call themselves Christians? Would Christ have stood for the neglect some people have to live with? Sometimes dying needless death just because of not having health insurance? Where is our compassion? It is heartbreaking, to hear some of the stories out there. Please, let us support health care reform!

  283. Good, good post.

    Yes, there were various undercurrents in Gatesgate. Racial, certainly. Townie vs gownie, goes back to when the university was created. And challenging a policeman’s authority in public will get you brought in every time even though the officer knows damn well the charge won’t stand.

    My favorite undercurrent, though, is the ‘guy thing’. There’s just something about testosterone under stress.

    Imagine a woman who sees someone being, well, an ass’s behind. Most will think “Oh, that’s an ass’s behind”, after which they will do her best to extricate themself from the scene. Preferably without attracting the ass’s attention.

    A guy who sees the same thing. – different reaction completely. They get…competitive. They’re going to show him, teach him a lesson. They’re going to be a bigger ass. They’re going to be a better ass. They’re going to be an ass for All The Right Reasons. Before you know it, there’s a full-boar Ass-Off. And this is upon just observing an ass. If the ass gets right up in their face at the get-go – hoo, boy, look out!

    In our house, this is called “taking a normal bad situation and making it Truly Memorable”. Ah, the memories…..

    Both parties should have known better. Since they didn’t, hopefully the embarrassment has taught them better. And I hope Obama learned, too. That was a rookie mistake.

    Now let’s move on to meaningful health care with a public option. The legislators are coming home and I want them to get their ears blistered. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’ve got Klobuchar, Franken and Ellison, so I’ve got nobody to moron-slap. We elect ‘em good, here. I have no explanation for Bachman, but I’d love to run into her someday. That might be a memorable moment to treasure.

    Commercial alert, get ready to scroll. Anybody in Minnesota, this weekend is the Irish Fair on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Free, great music, fair food and plenty of culture and kitsch, whichever is your pleasure. Handful of Fun group at the tea room, I’ll be the funny-looking old broad with the concertina.

  284. Thanks to all who are sending cool vibes to AZ. Hopefully we’ll get a storm soon. That would help. I’m heading to PA next week – I can hardly wait!

  285. Not that you need any more followers, but I linked you on my blog as part of the “Five Funniest Things to Tickle Your Bone, FUNNY Bone, That Is!…”


    You might also like my latest post on our favorite hometown gal from Alaska, you betcha!


  286. Imaginista & Poolman, if I could, I would send our daily afternoon thunderstorms your way. It would be nice to have a day free of thunder, lightning, and gullywashers. . .I guess it could be worse – cuz we are in the middle of hurricane season, after all.

  287. Make me cry, Greytdog. That was a touching story.

    I know that we are all worried about the Health Care Reform. But, I humbly ask that everyone keep our deployed soldiers in their hearts and minds. The election in Afghanistan is August 20th. Everyone involved needs our prayers, well-wishes, and positive energies.

    Have a good evening, all!!

  288. Its true Hillary will have to get rid of the money, but her contacts, contributors, and staff will be accessible. Restarting a campaign will be easier than starting from scratch.

    Greytdog, it was the same benediction we heard in our church when I was a boy. Nice that you sensed your father’s presence.

    Poolman and Imagista A. High of 80 and a low of 54 degrees here. 100 by Saturday.

  289. Poolman, to quote a very famous movie line… “I’m melting!”

    Praying for rain. You?

  290. vgman, my dad always closed each service, no matter where he was – in a house in the Laotian mountains, a cathedral in Bern, or a church stateside – he always used that benediction. It is part and parcel of my being. And at his funeral, it was my honor to offer up that benediction at the end of the service. I swear he stood next to me – I could feel his hand on my shoulder.

  291. “She cannot collect more than the debt,” said former FEC general counsel Larry Noble, “but she is allowed to put aside money to pay lawyers, accountants, rent, etc. for winding down the committee.”

    The latest round of contributions capped an intensive fundraising effort by Clinton and her supporters that included months of personal appeals by her family, the launch of a Web site soliciting donations and an effort to rent out the campaign’s e-mail list for a fee.

    Groups including the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America and her husband’s nonprofit group The William J. Clinton Foundation paid what staffers called a “fair market” price for access to the extensive contact list — presumed to have millions of names.

    And in one recent e-mail appeal, Democratic strategist and Clinton ally James Carville offered potential contributors a chance to win one of three “exclusive prizes:” spending a day with President Clinton in New York, attending the “American Idol” season finale, and having lunch with Carville and fellow Democratic pundit Paul Begala in Washington.

    To further alleviate the debt, in December Clinton wrote off her $13.2 million personal loan to the campaign, foregoing any chance of recouping her own money.

    BY law, Hillary Clinton can not keep money aside to wait and see if it is feasible to run agqain. She will have to RESTART her campaign fundraising efforts if she decides to run again.

  292. Imaginista, how bout these nice temps?

  293. Thanks Kieth and A Tine.

    Poolman, yes Hilary, McCain and many others took money from insurance lobbies. They took money from farm lobbies too. We know the lobbyists expect something in return.

    Hillary still has campaign money and a few staff in place. She claims it will be dispersed, but maybe she will wait to see if it is feasible to run again.

  294. “Why Obama’s Public Option Is Defective, and Why We Need Single-Payer.”


  295. Thanks jsri, I mentioned the Massachusetts plan as something to borrow from several months ago. I don’t know enough details, but it looks promising. It is getting more expensive than expected, but maybe alterations could fix the problem.

    I think the Democrats need to look for alternatives others can agree on like maybe the Massachusetts plan or HB 676. House bill 3200 looks like a politically costly gambit.

    The administration’s latest snitch line is another sign they are in trouble. Wait until late night comedians laugh at it.

  296. That’s the ticket!

  297. I think that the first goal of their trip across the country would be to demonstrate how important their oath is–
    to care for all who are sick.
    That would be sending a message to all who want to stick their hands into the health care mess.

    Anything they could do to publicize the “human element” of health reform would help the dialogue.

    Go, doctors!

  298. Mageen, the college I attended has definitely divided into townies & gownies. Now my dad was a townie who was also a gownie. . .and my mom was a gownie who married into a family of townie/gownies. My aunt owned the general store – & I used to laugh when some of the gownies would mock her for being an ignorant townie – the woman had a PhD from Oxford & had married a townie. . . But underneath all the rivalry was a real friendship – the students helped out in all manner of ways (we staffed the volunteer FD & EMT squads, worked as tutors, joined the church, etc) and the town gave back generously by hosting community get togethers that connected us to & taught us the rich history of Appalachia. I love that place still – it was both my dad’s hometown and my growing up place. . .

  299. “On September 8, 2009 a group of dedicated Oregon physicians will take the message of Universal Health Care “on the road” in a wrapped and branded Motor Home headed for Washington D.C.”


  300. Margaret and Helen, you can blame my husband for this one! Ever since he came up with that nerd vs. jock thing I have been hitting some old history books and found something that started hundreds of years ago called “town and gown”. This was a huge thing in towns with big universities and lots and lots of students. The townies were dependent on the students as in sale or clothes, food, beer etc. and resented it. I guess the university was the only business in town. The students also resented being so dependent on the townies for certain things. There was a lot of friction and fighting in the streets between town and gown, including professors who got caught in the melee. Townies often chased the gownies right back onto the campus which was built something like a fort and the gownies would slam the gates shut and lock them. Townies were constantly insisting that gownies owed them money. They also felt that an education and/or educated people looked down on them as just barely tolerable.

    So there you have it! Goes back a long ways, doesn’t it!

  301. Dearest Margaret and Helen,
    Thank you for always coming into the parlor, or stepping out on the porch to start the conversation! As an often reader and an occasional contributor, it is refreshing to hear your views and enjoy your wit and spirit!

    What I like about the blog is how so many people have been invited to linger and hang around to keep the conversation going–in whatever direction it takes.

    I’ve been reading about the First Wives of our nation and I realize that you were born at a time when women were truly organizing their lives around a newly-strengthened voice with the vote.

    It’s been interesting to read how the First Wives used their influence to help the country and shape its future.

    In some ways, you are products of that spirit.
    Thank you for your bluntness. Many of the First Ladies of our country took it upon themselves to make sure their husbands paid attention.

    So, I think that Michelle Obama has a two-fold responsibility in the very near future:

    1. Promote the historic nature of the soon to be? confirmed Justice Sotomayor. We need to be ready for that.

    2. Speak out more about the need for all stakeholders to communicate as informed citizens as we transform the way we care for each other. She could do a lot to bring many to the table. Didn’t she work for Chicago Hospitals earlier in her professional career?

    Anyways, it’s heartwarming to see the two journalists back home again. Home, sweet home!

  302. Greytdog–
    Your benediction brings back memories from my childhood in church. After waking up from a nap with my head on my mother’s lap, I saw the dimmed ceiling lights brightened by the custodian during the singing of the last hymn–
    and then the pastor raising his hands and saying those words.
    It signalled both the end of something and the beginning of something.
    I think that as people of our country, we should be able to work together and care for each other.
    What else do we have if we don’t do that for each other?
    In the spirit of those words from that benediction,
    may our leaders move forward and put all sense of self-interest, self-preservation, and arrogance aside and focus……….

    Caring for our people is our goal.
    How we do that is a Health Plan that accomplishes that goal.

    I hope that our elected leaders think about that while they read the bill, meet with constituents, take a vacation, and come back to DC ready to do the right thing.

  303. This is for Colorful, and I mean this sincerely:

    The Lord bless you, and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine on you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.

    Okay folks – off to see the MD. ciao

  304. Donna, I agree it is similar to the preacher in the porn shop scenerio as you described. And that is funny and also sad. But if you follow Colorful’s posts throughout this blog, they have become less and less damning one to the next. Though somewhat disillusioned, IMO they are sincere. Some people just are not diplomatic in their effort to sway others to see their side. You know, you attract more flies with honey…

  305. A good day for the United states, and certainly a good day for the freed prisoners and their families. Atta boy Bill, Al, Hill, and of course the Prez.

    Poolman remember Hill no longer takes money from anyone, she is no longer a lawmaker. Besides we all remember where she stood on healthcare, she was for universal healthcare….no exceptions…. no opt outs. I don’t think the money influenced her much! LOL


  306. Aw, Poolman…you don’t think that there’s something funny about someone repeatedly coming onto this site that he/she claims is the work of Satan? Not even a little bit?

  307. Another brilliant post, Helen!!!! :-)

  308. James, of all the democrats that received the most money from the health industry, Hillary is by far in the lead. McCain is right up there with her, receiving the most monetary support. I guess the health industry was trying to influence the next POTUS. I’m sure Hillary and McCain are obligated to many. They don’t throw all that money at a candidate without expecting a return. After all, they are FOR PROFIT companies. IMO, that could be why the DNC caused Obama to change from his original position of supporting a single-payer plan, to this huge and ugly insurance heavy HR 3200. Insurance and big Pharma lose big time if we go to a single-payer plan.

    jsri, that is a very interesting report on the MA health care situation. All I have heard is the negative that is spouting by those that oppose a public option. I’m sure it is all part of the misinformation we are being fed to scare us from wanting change. It is like the message we are getting from Canada and others. Those that are involved seem to have a favorable view. Those opposed cite “examples” that are not befitting of the norm.

    It’s politics as usual. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

    Donna and Keith, now that wasn’t nice. Colorful came in and was very nonjudgmental. Everyday is a new day. Let go of the past. We all carry enough baggage in this journey. Play nice together.

  309. TLC, That was just awful. Have you no shame?

  310. James & Poolman:

    I don’t know if this link will work but here is another take on an all-inclusive health coverage plan currently in effect in Massachusetts. By all accounts it seems to be working satisfactorily. The editorial was in the Boston Globe this morning.


  311. Here’s my problem though… I never respected a the professor, because most of his life has been spent Race Bating to prove his points(am black, not racist to point out his)
    Rush, hell, Rush pointed out a legitimate point(the one I just made, but I guess he can’t because he’s white)
    And the Prez, who I voted for, has shown himself to be stupid, and yes, he erred on the side of race instead of waiting for facts. ‘
    Point is, it appears the cop is the only one in all of this who was just trying to do his job

  312. Wow, look what a little diplomacy and quiet talking can accomplish.

  313. Great…now they can get back to work…those tennis shoes don’t make themselves, you know.

  314. It is now 9:08AM EST and the plane carrying Euna Lee & Laura Ling home has landed at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank – where their families wait. Welcome home ladies, welcome home! And thanks to all who worked this chess game of diplomacy to facilitate this homecoming. Thank you thank you!

  315. For those of you jumping on James… give it up. James has been a contributor to the discussion on this blog for a long time. Do his comments/beliefs always mirror the majority? No. But James’ comments/beliefs come from his own personal experience, thoughtful research and obviously from his heart. We listen and come to our own personal conclusions as to whether we agree with him or not. We don’t get ugly, and neither does James. We’re all about an open, honest discussion of the issues…. an integral part of what makes this country work.

    Colorful, on the other hand, is an ass-hat.

    Keith in NM

  316. Two thumbs up, Helen! Way to go! Keep up the good work. I love reading your blog although sometimes it’s difficult reading through my tears. I laugh so hard I have wipe my eyes to continue reading.

  317. claire, my experiences and others’ provide an image of what Professor Gates may have felt. His comments also show he probably harbors negative stereotypes based on his past.

    Some working class people harbor resentments toward elites like Gates. Put those feelings together irrespective of race and bad things happen. Professor Gates should have not have been disruptive.

    The “lunatic fringe” both right and left cannot and should not be silenced because we have freedom of speech.

  318. Poolman, a selling point of the democratic health care plan is it will save money. The week of July 17, the director of the Congressional Budget office testified that the Democratic health care proposals only make the health care cost much greater. It would make an all ready bleak budget outlook even worse.

    kellabeck, Glenn Beck is a smart man so riddled with attention deficite disorder, past drug and alcohol abuse, and guilt he gives the impression he could unravel at any moment. I agree, he is wrong about what he said about Obama, and I agree he is a piece of work, just like Mary Jane and K. Thorp who will have to live with their headaches. Scroll baby scroll.

    Thanks Colorful. Peace to you also.

  319. mmm, mmm, mmm. Colorful just couldn’t stay away, could he/she? For someone who claims to disapprove of this site, he/she sure slinks around an awful lot. Reminds me of a sanctimonious preacher who’s scurrying into a porn shop (over and over and over).

  320. Do you guys take requests?? Because I love to read what you have to say. And because I would just love, love, love to read your take on the very odious and despicable Glenn Beck.
    Beck recently said that the President had a deep-seated hatred for white people and white culture (and one presumes, his mother and grandparents and half of himself) and then a minute later he said he didn’t think Obama disliked white people.

    He’s a piece of work.

  321. God Bless you Colorful. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer. I hope you are praying for our leaders as well. They need all the prayer we can give them. Peace be with you.

  322. Peace be with everyone on this site. The Lord will save us all if we open our hearts and minds to his way. See the light and turn from the darkness. Believe.


  323. MaryJane is that you? My head hurts too. For a long, long time. Feels like I have a hole in my head.

  324. I agree with Frank. James, shut the hell up. You’re boring the hell out of us. And while you’re at it, put the girls to bed. I had a hard day at bible study and my head hurts.

  325. It’s so sad to read the posts of those who think that Gates was being arrogant to the cop because of class!! My former boss was a young, black man who got stopped EVERY DAY on his way home from work because cops just couldn’t believe that a black man owned a new car. He was ALWAYS polite even though it made his commute home much, much longer because he was always afraid of the consequences.
    What I’m trying to say, is walk a mile as a black man in this country and then you’ll have the right to comment on this event. Mr. Gates has lived a LIFETIME as a black man in this racist country.
    The hateful rhetoric against Obama started on Day One of his Presidency and the lunatic fringe really should be silenced.

  326. I don’t know if you guys are privy to this site. I just found it and it is very informative. You can thumbs up or down the bill. :grin:


  327. Blackwater/Xe is nothing more than a mercenary group. And part of the ages-old pact of mercs was pillaging, plundering, and raping. Seems Blackwater is upholding that part of the heritage quite well. But as with most mercs, you get what you pay for – and Blackwater was fancy, but still crap.

  328. “Under a single-payer system, all Americans would be covered for all medically necessary services, including: doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. Patients would regain free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care…


    …A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.”

  329. “The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $7,129 per capita. Yet our system performs poorly in comparison and still leaves 45.7 million without health coverage and millions more inadequately covered.

    This is because private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume one-third (31 percent) of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.”


  330. Poolman, I always thought Backwater was shady.

  331. Poolman, we have been lucky without too many life threatening problems. Most of our health care is at the nearest small town sixteen miles away.

    So far, we have not had a problem with shopping around from Omaha, Nebraska to Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. Maybe it is because MRI scans emergency surgery after an accident, and eye treatment were not locally available.

    I like some parts of HR 676. Compared to that thousand page monstrosity it is a winner. I favor change, but I want proof it won’t make us worse off than we are now.

    We know the French system which I tend to favor apparently works. It has a long history. Please give examples of how our representatives’ proposed single payer systems are succeeding without creating deficites and rationing.

  332. “Thank goodness for our publicly funded, universal police force! There’s only one number to call, and the service is free at point of use. Yes, we pay taxes to support our cops. But we’re glad to, because they help keep us safe. Everyone’s covered. And nobody is making a calculation about whether you “deserve” police protection or not.”


  333. The thing is, Changingwinds, is that the only folks allowed on the playground are the bullies. And as long as we allow the bullies to dominate, there won’t be healthcare reform, civil discourse, or leadership. The bullies are out in force, and the real teachable moment is for us to speak truth to their bullshit. Surely, as a person interested in leadership, you can understand that?

  334. Amen sisters. Finally some lucid talk. I fear that America is losing it (or lost it?). Sure, let’s get on with healthcare talk, but chill while the House is on recess. The boys (and girls) need their time in the playground.

  335. A President who wasn’t there decided to talk about it at a press conference on healthcare reform instead of staying focused on the issue thereby allowing the media to once again take our eye off the ball. Again, it doesn’t matter the skin color of that President. That was stupid.
    Very well typed and spot on!

  336. Helen, thanks for another marvelous post.
    Margaret, haven’t seen you for awhile. I hope all is well.

    Ladies, I so appreciate your common sense in this crazy, crazy world.

  337. James, of course they treat you nice. You are providing them with everything they want. But then they are not the ones that are delivering the care, either. Tell them you are going to shop around and then see how nice they treat you.

    The propaganda machine is already rolling out the scare tactics to instill fear in the hearts of us all to attempt to keep the status quo. I hope we all hold our ground and seek out the truth and not the lies. We don’t have the money to compete with an ad campaign. Another big spend that doesn’t help people get healthier. :mad:

  338. This m oorning I received an email request to sign a petitiion fffffor a healthcare bill by REppppp Fleming oof Louisiana. It sounds good but when I scrolled down to get the list of those who back it I get the uneasy feeling that they are all REpugs. If so, where have th ey been the past 8 y ears? If they have such a wonderful bill why haven’t they worked to incorpooorate their ideas in the one being voted on?

    I get the imprssion there is a skunk in the wood pile. and not going to sign it.

  339. Lori, I am not “spewing crap.” What about the lies you have quoted? Bilge. Learn to speed read and type fast. This isn’t stealing any time from me. I can still work and make noise.

    I could be on Social Security or Medicare but I’m not since I don’t need to drain the tax payers’ money.

  340. OT, but Shannyn Moore has just posted regarding this:

    “Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder”


    or go to SM site:


  341. I like reading others’ long posts, but then I am a speed reader and a fast typist.

    Poolman, Blue Cross has treated our family and my wife’s co- workers very well.

    The content and writing style of HB676 is far superior to the House bill. I would chose it over the long one.

    Look before you leap. The Art of War gives the same advice. It is not time to make up our minds. We have at least a month.

    Brief enough for you Frank?

  342. I just remembered a particularly difficult situation: a musician whose music I like has a son who has a rare and very painful joint disease. The musician had faithfully paid his health-insurance premiums — and then the insurance company went bankrupt, leaving the family uninsured, and, of course, out all the money spent on premiums. And now no insurance company will take them because the son has (all together now) a Pre-Existing Condition.

    As a CT resident I haven’t always been thrilled with our senior senator, but at least Chris Dodd has had the grace to acknowledge, both now with the announcement of his prostate cancer and earlier when he had orthopedic surgery, that he’s very lucky to have the coverage that he does, and he wants ALL Americans to have equal coverage.

  343. Thank you, Ladies, once again the voice of reason in an unreasonable sphere.

  344. Greytdog, I don’t know what is at issue with your knee, but you might check into Reiki treatments. My wife has had some success there with some of her issues. Just a thought…

  345. theshank, I glad you are able to afford to line the pockets of your insurance company’s CEOs, along with our public servants and also the pharma industry. Good for you, sitting in your smug position. Your security is only temporary, and certainly NOT guaranteed.

    Many who can’t get health care are not in the “poverty class” Many are middle class that are having difficulty making ends meet. Or they have a pre-existing condition and have been denied care.

    In a country as rich as ours, it is pathetic that we don’t care for our own. We WILL answer for that. There is something very wrong when we come in 37th in the world as far as health care is concerned. That is unAmerican. It is unacceptable. It MUST change. You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. There is no room for middle ground anymore. You decide.

    As far as “You dont insult police officers and call them racists.” That is common sense, and some will never get that. However, a police officer is a public servant that SHOULD be tolerant of verbal abuse and should know how to diffuse the situation without force or violence or arresting citizens. It is an abuse of power. They have training to teach them that. But behind the uniform is a human, and we fail often to live up to our ideals. Thank God no tasers or guns were used in THIS incident.

  346. My man BILL!!!!!!!!!!!! We Arkansans aren’t all bad. ~batting eyelashes~ ;)

  347. Since I am white, I asked a co-worker and friend of mine, who happens to be black, what she thought of the Gates/Crowley incident. She said she suspected it was more of a “I’m a professer, who the hell are you?” kind of thing that disintegrated into a pissing match. Having known several professors in my time (my father being one) I can picture this. I wanted to smack my forehead when I heard Obama put his foot in his mouth. It completely detracted from the rest of the press conference. The thing that’s really sad is, despite all this talk about how we should be having a national discussion about race, when white people bring it up, we have to be afraid of people like BB Queen jumping down our throats and telling us we can never understand what it’s like to be black. Well, yeah, not if we don’t talk about it, dumbass.

  348. Poolman wrote: “When I need to go to the doctor, I have to come out of pocket for the expense. Trust me, I put off going unless it is dire.”

    I’m there with ya! Acupuncture ain’t working on my knee so now have to consider the real possibility of surgery – which means at least two weeks outta work. . .which means no income. . .which means no bills get paid. . .but I’m lucky. I have an excellent doctor who is looking at other avenues, less invasive, and less time off. . .plus payment plans.

  349. Just Blue Cross, one of the many. Here is SOME of their spend for 2008 to push their agenda. None of these millions helped care for even one person. All self promotion. It’s absurd:


  350. “You dont insult police officers and call them racists. ”

    So those things are arrestable offenses now, are they?

    “Healthcare Reform ? Well it depends. Do health care costs need to be brought under control ? Absolutely. Do we need to make sure everybody has insurance . Hell no !!”

    I just hope, for your sake, that you don’t fall on hard times, theshank — YOU could be one of the uninsured at a time when you are beset by major illness or injury.

    “Say no to socialism. There will always be a poverty class.”

    And you’re okay with that…… THOSE people can suffer and die as long as it doesn’t happen to you and yours, eh?

    What do you say about free public schools? Socialism? Free public highways? Socialism? Free public libraries? Socialism too?

    Open your heart, theshank.

  351. It is his money, the majority of people, myself included, think it is almost criminal. Let’s do everything we can to get you and the millions like you affordable healthcare. James can take care of himself.

  352. Stupid of Obama , yes. Stupid of woe is me professor , yes. Not so sure arresting him was the wrong thing to do. You dont insult police officers and call them racists.

    Healthcare Reform ? Well it depends. Do health care costs need to be brought under control ? Absolutely. Do we need to make sure everybody has insurance . Hell no !!

    The government can’t govern. They certainly dont know how to run a business. i.e. The U.S. Postal Service.

    Say no to socialism. There will always be a poverty class.

  353. Anonymous, those people without health insurance, and I am one of them, still need health care. I have not spent $14,000 in my whole life on my health care. When I need to go to the doctor, I have to come out of pocket for the expense. Trust me, I put off going unless it is dire.
    Much of James’ $14,000.00 per year is paying bonuses for CEOs and buying nice things for our representatives. And your okay with that?

  354. Hey Poolman, James is good with paying $14,000 a year for health insurance for himself and the wife. No one says, he can’t continue to pay that and more as prices rise. Not everyone can afford insurance and some people can’t get it at any price, those are the people who concern me.

  355. Hey Frank take Tine’s advice scrollllll baby scrolll, most of us do when we see who is posting….I know it’s tempting… Believeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee me I know…. The more time he wastes here the less he has to spew his crap where people might actually read his ramblings. It’s all good..

    YES ….. They are free..!!! Good day all around..

  356. Hooray! Go Bill!

  357. Yay, Euna Lee and Laura Ling have been pardoned!


  358. Now I can’t find which post-er mentioned that some people are up in arms because not all beer consumed was Amurrican.

    Right, and after complaining about that, those people drove their American (but with parts made in Mexico) cars over to WalMart to buy a lot of furrin-made crap. Sigh…….

  359. two crows sez “And the cop rolled his eyes and said something to the effect of, “Yeah, and I’m the pope.”

    I somehow doubt THAT, although I think (based on what we’ve heard) everybody acted badly. The Cop (Crowley) teaches about racial profiling, for heaven’s sake, and his father (reportedly) voted for Obama.

  360. :-)

  361. :P

  362. So, do you need to see my hall pass or something…or can I go now?

  363. Some of us are more loquacious than others. If it bugs ya, scroll on by.

  364. My point was that he didn’t need 800 words to make a point. But apparently he does. My mistake.

  365. Hey there, Frank. Though I rarely agree with James, I’d rather have him around here than a rude troll like you who has nothing civilized or useful to say. Go away and come back after you’ve grown up, please.

  366. Sorry there, James. Didn’t think you were retarded too.

  367. Frank, are you asking me to kill myself? We know what sort of person you are.

  368. James, have you read HB676? It is only 30 pages and well written. It has provision for rural care and training of more health care professionals. It can go into force it a little over a year, if it becomes law. It beats the pants off any other proposal. The health insurance and pharma industries are throwing out huge bucks to try to stop it, or any reform. They like things the way they are. They are rich from the status quo.

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of the largest insurance lobbies in DC. The hundreds of millions they have spent to keep these folks voting their way is atrocious. That money is coming out of your premiums and NOT going for care.

    You sure teeter-totter alot. I, for one want to plow forward till we get this. Fence straddlers frustrate me. Shit or get off the pot, my dad always said. There is not time to search every alley and under every rock. Life is much faster pace in this century.

  369. James…pull the trigger, Boss.

  370. They are fighting with the big guns. Let’s be vigilant! :mad:


  371. Once had a cop in So. GA stop me. He was the epitome of Sheriff Bubba. Asked me if I knew what an 8-sided red sign was. . . to which I responded:”You guys give pop tests down here?”
    He responded by taking me down to the police station for “backtalk”. Charges were dismissed but I was one hoppin’ angry bitch – especially since he chose to ride my bumper whenever he saw me around town. I took great care to follow all the rules of the road and to flip him off every time I noticed him behind me.

  372. Anonymous, we get healthy young people to buy insurance the way we get farmers to purchase crop insurance or motorists to buy auto insurance. We make the alternative too expensive to ignore. Subsidies can make insurance affordable for all as in the farm system. Financial help will be income based.

    A tax or fine can be charged against anyone who refuses to buy health insurance. If that still isn’t enough to convince them and they have to visit an emergency room, garnish their wages or welfare checks. Repossess house hold goods. Anything to prevent them from clogging emergency rooms. The fine would help pay the cost of their treatment and act as a deterrent to freeloading. Illegal aliens who couldn’t prove why they were in the United States would be treated, detained and deported.

    I live in an isolated rural county with only five electric traffic lights. Small local hospitals are struggling in part because Medicare payments are disproportionatly applied to rural areas. The doctor I saw opposes the proposed House program as future government monopoly. She knows more of the hospital’s issues than I do, so I can’t comment on details of why she believes as she does.

    General practitioners are a dying breed. More doctors become specialists or surgeons because it is where the money is. In addition to medical school loans they must pay as much as $200,000. per year for malpractice insurance. Such onerous expenses accerbate the rural medical drain.

    If we want more rural doctors we need to give them a financial incentive. Northern Exposure was fiction, but the Alaskan’s town’s persuading a doctor to practice there could become reality. Our government or private entity could pay doctor’s expenses if they agree to serve in rural or inner city areas for a certain number of years.

    My wife and I have Blue Cross coverage, and we are so happy with it, we are considering keeping the policy though the entire bill would be over $14,000 after my wife retires from teaching. For us, it would be superior to Medicare. Polls show many are in our position.

    Rising deductibles and other expenses are inevitable if for no reason than inflation. Prices for everything rise over time. Cars, for example cost much more than they did twenty years ago. One reason is they are better cars. The same applies to health care.

    Again, the government could subsidize clients who cannot afford the bills. It would be cheaper than the government’s bearing the entire cost if a health insurance program. People who live healthy lives could be charged lower rates than the rest. Preventive medicine and the incentive to take care of one’s self would slow the onset of disease and lower health care costs.

    Financial incentives would encourage people not to visit a doctor for every sniffle, ache and pain. On line basic medical information and Ask a Nurse phone services would also keep more folks who don’t really need to see a doctor out of the office.

    For example, when my right arm went numb, and I was so sore, I couldn’t sleep more than a couple of hours, I checked the internet and then called a nurse to learn the best way to cope with my condition. Two years later, my right hand is still sometimes numb, but neither I, insurance or the doctor paid one penny for my care. I did pay $250 to a traveling health screen service to make sure I was in no danger of a heart attack or a stroke.

    As before, I cite France as a pretty good combination of private and public service which provides about 100% coverage of citizens. It is much cheaper than the proposed Obama plan. Obama said he doesn’t want to change what works in the system. He is deceiving us. Read the bill.

    You presented your case well until your paragraph about birthers and tea party protesters. You later wrote we would have to be mentalists to read what was in Gates and Crowly’s minds, and yet you attempted to read the thoughts and motives of people who oppose the Democratic insurance bill. Your argument is inconsistent as you project unknowns onto others while criticizing others who do the same.

    . You introduce extraneous material to cloud the discussion, and you indulge in untrue negative stereotypes to damage a point of view you oppose. Have you read any of Saul Alynski’s books? I think you are following his rule number 13, but I would have to reread the book to be sure. You seem to be an intelligent person, and it ill becomes you to stoop so low.

    I would be happy to discuss those other issues with you, but in your post, they are nonsequitars. Weren’t we discussing health insurance and care?

    By the way, I think the birther issue is as stupid as the 9/11 Truther movement.

    As Hillary said a few years ago, it is our duty to dissent when we disagree with our government. That is what the protesters are doing.

    At least some of what went on at Professor Gate’s home is a matter of record. I have read what Gates and others said about the incident. The woman who made the 911 call did not know Gates was trying to break into his own house, and she did her duty by calling the police.

    We don’t need to be mentalists. People are alike. We can judge how we would react in a situation and fairly accurately understand what they were thinking. Your projecting such evil intent on people who oppose the health insurance bill makes me wonder about your predjudices and biases.

    Why wouldn’t the prosecutor drop the case? He/she isn’t stupid. A disturbing the peace charge would have been swamped by stories about a black man arrested by a white policeman for breaking into his own house. I would have dropped the case too.

    I would be in Washington DC also, but I can’t so I make phone calls as should we all.

  373. 1. Any cop, regardless of color, is going to exert his/her authority if sassed by someone, regardless of color. This is not a racial issue, it’s a respect issue – probably on both parts — but I have a hard time believing a cop arrested Gates because Gates was being polite and cooperative.

    2. The fact that insurance and pharmaceutical companies are fighting healthcare reform with such force should be a clear indication that we need healthcare reform. Years ago, when I first started out in the world, I joined a company, got health insurance, could go to any doctor I wanted and insurance consistently paid 80% (and on one job, it actually paid 100%) of the bill and I paid the balance. There was no argument by the insurance company whether the doctor could charge what he/she charged, no argument whether I was entitled to the treatment in the first place. The system worked pretty well. Then HMO’s came into being and it all went to hell. It became all about profit, denying payment, deciding how a doctor should treat a patient (determined by office hacks who never went to med school), and deciding that no, the doctor shouldn’t bill you $100 for this service, it should only be $80 so we’re only going to pay 20% of the $80 even though the doctor hasn’t raised his rates in 6 years. The doctor still charged $100 but now my out of pocket had increased. This is NOT controlling health-care costs, just passing the responsibility onto the patient.

    3. IMO, the it’s not that the Republicans don’t want a black president to succeed, it’s that they don’t want a Democrat president to succeed. They would rather see the USA go up in smoke before doing right by the people they represent and let a Democrat look good besides. They are so busy trying to keep their jobs, they don’t have time to DO their jobs. There’s just no getting around it – Republicans and ridiculous, self-serving assholes. (but enough about sarah palin.)

  374. Mageen in Old Virginny has a husband in old Virginny and this is what his take was on the Gates-gate situation:

    Jock vs. Nerd

    Now if you think race and class is a humdinger of a crack to be caught in, those old frat boy stereotypes are just as troublesome! (All you have to do is remember high school!)

  375. What ship is that you gals are on?

  376. By: BB Queen on August 3, 2009 at 11:57 PM

    You said, “That is my point. All I know is white people don’t understand that growing up black in America means you look at the police differently than white poeple do. Has anyone checked the prison populations recently? Lots of black people behind bars considering we are in the minority population. You think that just might make our American experience a little different than your American experience?”

    I get it. I really do. And I have enough black friends to remind me. But we are all captives of our own experiences and mine have not always been positive either. Over the past 25 years. my wife or I have been held up, assaulted or been the focus of attempted robberies six different times – and none of the perpetrators were white. So if I look sideways at someone of color approaching me I’m sure you’ll forgive me because, as much as I would like to make these experiences go away, they will not.

    On the other hand. my life was saved one time by a black man and I am forever grateful for that. And we have many black friends who are horrified by the experiences we have had with an element of the black population they cannot identify with.

    All I’m trying to say here is that our perceptions are controlled by our experiences and sometimes they become so ingrained, we can’t always control them and respond spontaneously. And I still think this was more of a class issue than a racial issue.

  377. I think everyone invoved in the Gates case acted with some degree of stupidity. And I would like the national conversation to move along to other issues now. That said, I don’t think the public discussion of what happened has been completely useless. Race relations is an issue we all need to think about sometimes.

    BB Queen (love your screen name, BTW, and welcome), I hear what you’re saying. But if you could just turn down your indignation a notch, you might realize that you’re preaching (mostly) to the choir here. Regular commenters at this blog are people who *do* realize that the American experience is different for different races.

  378. Helen,

    You’re just fantastic. :) Just like the one other person said, you had the guts to call the President out on something even if you support him. I wholeheartedly agree that it was not very presidential of him to use such language and to pass judgement on a situation in which he was not present.

    That being said, how presidential was it for Bush to call a few countries the Axis of Evil????? And, the issue with Gates and hte policeman is still an important one. Those who think that it did not have an element of racism in it have their heads in the sand.

    I often find that politics for me is choosing the lesser of two evils. I vote democratic since that’s more in line with my values and philosophy, but once the president is in the White House, who thehell knows what they deal with and how complicated it might be. It all seems like a lot of self-serving finger pointing to me, with huge promises being made that cannot be kept. And for some reason, humans really do enjoy drama. For some reason, talking about the smoke screen is more fun than what’s behind the screen. That’s why we really have to push our representatives to make progress on the things that matter.

  379. “In Vino Veritas”


    “In Wine…Truth”


  380. Yak, yak, yak, and maybe the sun will rise in the west. James how does buying insurance across state lines improve healthcare, will it get healthy young people to buy health insurance, which would balance the pay ins to the pay outs of insurance carriers. And as we more experienced individuals know, not all young people are as healthy as they think they are, so if they remain uncovered we still have crowded emergency wards and patients unable to pay their medical expenses, thus our (collectively speaking of course since I have single payer insurance myself). You James are blinded by the small picture. How are any of your ideas going to result in more doctors in sparely populated areas, how is your local hospital stay afloat (I believe you mentioned that was a issue), how do your ideas result in computerized medical records? Maybe we could just leave sick uninsured people on the curb? Maybe you don’t mind having your out of pocket health costs (the price of your insurance and your deductible) increase year after year. That puts you in the company of the tea partiers and the birthers, who in my opinion are nothing more than obstructionists who do not want the Obama administration to succeed, God forbid a Black man solves one of the most critical problems in America. Oh my, that makes them racists doesn’t it? Well big surprise. Only difference between them and the KKK is they can venomously spread fear and hate over the internet, scream like Banshees at town meetings (wouldn’t doubt a bit these people are bused from one town meeting to another) over the defunct issue of Obama’s birth certificate.

    And I don’t care if you are Black, Caucasian, Asian, or Martian you were not at Gates’ house, so you don’t know what was said, and unless you are a mentalist, you sure as hell don’t know what was in either man’s mind. What we do know for a fact is the police report does not match with the recorded 911 call, which suggested Gates was trying to get in to his own house. Oh and by the way, the prosecutor immediately dropped the charge. A cooler head prevailed, end of the situation.

    This is from the heart folks, I think there is only one way that Congress can be moved to include the public option in the healthcare bill, enough people must show up in Washington when Congress returns from their vacation to march and meet with their elected officials in their offices. Signing petitions, going to town meetings, etc you are going to be out numbered by the loonies and outspent by the insurance companies. I know there are a lot of people here who can’t go for any number of reasons, but find people who can and help pay their way. Start now looking for websites planning a march in D C. I am 30 minutes away, I’ll be there if enough people make the effort, D. C. is where peaceful protests count, they get national media coverage.

  381. Truer words and all that, Helen………..you are a gem. We all know that the Repubs have nothing else to talk about. They are the party of no, of do nothing, of hate, of fear. They have nothing to offer but obstructionism and quite frankly they are the party of STUPID.

    All congressional Repubs voted against the stimulus and then went home and told everyone how they helped get that money for their state. Now Repub govs refuse to use it…………STUPID

    They take the finest healthcare package available FROM the government , but do not want anyone else to have what they have……STUPID

    They lie every chance they get about how scary healthcare reform will be as they fill their re-election war chests with money from all parts of the healthcare system……..STUPID

    They go to church and talk about “what would Jesus do” and then despise the very people that Jesus helped……STUPID

    They worship the biggest moron to come along in political history, Sarah Palin, and
    want her to run in 2012……..STUPID

    Yes, they are the party of stupid. They are also the party who is still fighting the Civil War. They despise our President because he is black first and foremost and second because he is a Democrat. How absolutely sickening and disgusting these people are.

    All Democrats make sure to attend the townhall meetings of your congress people.
    The right wing lunatics plan to disrupt all townhall meetings, especially of Democrats who represent RED states or RED areas of states. We can beat them at their own game. They are desperate to kill the healthcare reform bill because passage of a healthcare bill will keep the Democrats in the majority for years to come.

    The Republicans want to talk about anything that will take the focus away from what needs to be done. The Boston incident was incredibly STUPID. The gum flapping by the media and the Repubs about the “beer party” was incredibly STUPID. All of it is much ado about nothing when there is so much to
    be done. I guess Forrest Gumps mama was right: STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.

  382. I’m not so sure it was stupid. Now we have a prominent black man who will learn what it’s like to be a white cop in a minority world of law enforcement. And a white cop who will learn what racial profiling really is all about.

    The cop’s smart enough to become a politician if you watched his press conference after the “Beer Summit.”

    So, we have someone that may go far in the police department, city, state or even federal government that knows a lot more about being a minority than most of his counterparts will ever know.

    Not necessarily a bad thing. As many commentators said, “The President doesn’t misspeak. Now we just need to understand why he said what he said.”

  383. Carleigh…you were an idiot yesterday….you are one today….really…I mean it.

  384. Happy un-Birthday to you, Greytdog!!! (My daughter and I love Alice in Wonderland). :-D

  385. Goodness Gracious!!! What a variety of comments.

    I couldn’t be more proud of OUR President. What he did was take an emotionally charged issue that could have quickly spiraled out of control and turned it into a positive. He opted to handle it like adults: sit down together, listen to eachother, and put it to rest. BRILLIANT IMHO!!! Essentially, he dispelled the situation causing all of the biased (on each side) to have to sit down and shut the “F” up. Gates and Crowley have moved past it. So, why are people still spewing venom? Bob Marley so wisely said, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”

    On the related topic of Health Care, I am so thankful to the countless hours that you all have spent researching and informing us of the Health Care Bills. I am a single mother who works full-time and goes to school full-time. I’m kinda busy. But through your posts, I have been able to cut to the chase and read the need to know. THANKS, you all!! See what happens when we work together? TEAMWORK!!!

    I hope that everyone has a wonderful day!!

  386. Happy Birthday to President Barack Obama.

  387. BB Queen….Please know there are many of us who know how hard it must be to be black. You speak for many. We have come a long way but not far enough. I think you annomoys reply on this blog is real and sincere and we should all listen to you.

    On the issue of the white Kop and black Kop.
    You don’t think for a minute the black kop would question the white kop. He wouldn’t be a kop very long.

  388. I miss Margaret….where is she??

  389. One area where we should be talking about racial disparity is with health issues. Minorities are under-represented in research studies, may not have access to good healthcare, may not seek preventive care and are under or uninsured. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/disparit.htm.

    Maybe we can put all this energy we’re using to rant at one another on this blog into getting good health care for ALL.

    BTW, loved Keith Olberman’s special comment last night. If you missed it, be sure to check it out.

  390. succinct and very much appreciated, ladies. Media desperate to make something of presidents skin color. this IS America, some people still want to make a hat out of it!

    Incident illuminated the police, but nothing people of color don’t already know. I wish Obama hadn’t given that policeman his ‘shot at stardom, book deal opportunity,’” – he is just another cop…who really didnt deserve press for being…what they sometimes are…



  391. The reason Obama was elected in the first place was because he’s black.

  392. I’m OK with what the President said but as Helen mentioned, it took our eyes off the ball. We need to re-focus on healthcare reform.

  393. That comment wasn’t bigoted Christian. He said “The police acted stupidly…” He didn’t say the white police acted stupidly. The Police in general acted stupidly…Which they did.

  394. So I’m confused, you didn’t think the presidents actions were racist. I am a black man, and I’ll tell you now, he was just as bigoted as anyone out there who is bigoted in a “politically correct” manner.
    Political correctness(if there is such a thing) has only caused those of a bigoted nature to have a stump to hide behind.

  395. I just think the Pres. should say “No Comment” next time. Granted, I think he was totally correct but America is full of idiots who prefer to bury their heads in the sand and act as though police abuse of power is a non issue.

  396. Racism seems to be an intractable problem around the globe. It’s a tough nut to crack.

  397. Kitkat, you may be right about state based insurance companies, but maybe some of those problems could be fixed. I didn’t think about conflicting state regulations.

    But what would happen if Arizonians bought insurance in say Colorado because the deal was better? One would think the
    contract would be covered under Colorado laws but health care payments for good cost would still be the same, no matter which state the customers lived. Is that true? I’m not arguing. I just trying to make up my mind.

    Maybe health insurance companies can be turned into non -profit organizations like churches. They would be virtually immune to taxes, and rather than expect a profit, share holders would be regarding insurance companies as tax shelters. In return for government help, they would take every citizen as a customer. I imagine, though I don’t know, many retirement and other funds invest in insurance companies to provide income to retired teachers and others.

    Again, I cite the French system which combines private and government. It is cheaper than this one, and it provides choices. The current House bill is stacked against private insurance companies, and as Barney Frank acknowledged, the bill will ultimately leave us with a government monopoly. The CBO estimates the House plan will be extremely expensive, and future savings are speculative. Our taxes will go up, and care will be rationed to a greater degree than it is now.

    BB Queen, your comment about me shows the chip on your shoulder. I agree with Poolman. Based on Professor Gate’s comments, I think I accurately guessed what he was thinking. This was probably a class issue too. A noted upper crust scholar encounters a working class police officer. Blacks, Asians and other groups are as racist as whites, because we are all human. Its expression lies in who has most of the power.

    We all have survived horrible times. Their nature may be different, but they give us a commonality. Racism continues , but this is not the fifties, sixties or seventies.

    The Omaha World Herald reported on a speech Professor Gates made this week. Neither person changed his position or applogised. Gates said he Sgt Crowly, and their families had glazed deer in the headlights expressions when they first met at the White House. Gates and Crowly plan to meet again, maybe watch a ball game together to reach an understanding. The professor joked “if you don’t arrest me again, I’ll get your kids into Harvard.” They are setting a fine example for us all.

  398. ooopppsss prematurely submitted… hate when that happens oh wellllll, I am sure yenzes are use to my poor typing/ spelling skills by now… xoxo

  399. M&H good post, thank you for reminding us there is much work to be done. There are miles to go before we rest!

    Obama is such a polished astute politican so it was unusal to see him make a political misstep. As a political advisor I cringed as a human I applauded him allowing his raw feelings to flow. Sometimes it’s nice to see the human being behind the podium. I believe there are no accidents in this life……… Obama’s honesty, albeit a stupid poliotical move, was pure yellow IMHO. ;-)

    Race relations have improved with the generation x and y ers, that’s the good news. Unfortunately that is where it ends. It only takes a post like this one to see the term “the angry white man” come to life orrrrrrr you could vist a “conservitive blog” either one gets you and ear full!

    ImaginistaΔ I agree 100 percent with your entire post… Right on !! After health care reform we HAVE to talk about campaign finace/election reform. That will be the only way we can take back our nation. If you think healthcare is making the right crazier then usual wait till we try and take away their money! Whewwwww


  400. BB Queen, I do know that the prisons hold a greater ratio of blacks than whites. Probably followed by hispanics. I also realize blacks have been sorely abused in this nation. I know it still takes place. As a representative of a white male, I apologize for that. Hatred brews in hearts of all peoples. It isn’t prejudiced.

    I am responsible for MY thoughts and actions toward my fellow human being. We each have choices we make every minute. We can’t change the past. What will you do with it from here?

    Now can we talk health care? I hope you are behind this HB 676. If not, get with the program! Our battle is with the big guns that have been shoveling out the big money to sway our public servants vote to keep their hands up our asses and hold all our inards hostage. Got it? Let’s roll! :grin:

  401. Hi gang,

    Just calm down everybody.

    We will be unavailable starting tomorrow until late September. (Yikes! I’ll be 80 years old by then.)

    Anyway, I will continue to sing my Health Care song to anyone I can collar to listen to it. I know all of you here will do the same. It is essential to get it done. Of course, there will be bugs in it at first – any great human endeavor always has initial problems – but in the long run it should help to straighten out the Gawd-awful mess we have going now.

    Aloha! And Namesta! :-)

    Auntie Jean

  402. Kathy, is that you? How’s the head?

  403. Get a room you two.

    Hey. Where is UAW? You think he’s out screaming bloody murder at some town hall meeting with all the other wack jobs?

  404. No actually I wasn’t speculating. That is my point. All I know is white people don’t understand that growing up black in America means you look at the police differently than white poeple do. Has anyone checked the prison populations recently? Lots of black people behind bars considering we are in the minority population. You think that just might make our American experience a little different than your American experience?

  405. Hey Helen & Margaret..Glad your back…Hope this one is put to bed for good..Think our new Pres. needs to really think before he answers some of these reporters.There like a bunch of sharks just waiting to be fed..Fool me once shame on you..Fool me twice shame on me…

  406. BB Queen, I am sorry for all the BS that has happened in your life to to give you such a racist outlook. You do know there were 2 cops that answered the 911 call and that one of them WAS black, right?

    I wasn’t there. You weren’t there. You are just speculating on how it went down too. I think (with my stupid ass opinion) that the president handled it quite nicely, after putting his foot in his mouth. Can we move on?

  407. I’ve read [though I'm not positive it was true -- I wasn't there] that Gates provided his driver’s license when asked.
    When asked his profession, he told the policeman he was a professor at Harvard. And the cop rolled his eyes and said something to the effect of, “Yeah, and I’m the pope.”

    Gates then asked the policeman, as he is legally allowed to do, for his name and badge number. According to law, the policeman is required to give any citizen that information. Instead, he arrested Gates for disorderly conduct.
    For asking for his name and badge number.

    That the charges were dropped as soon as the policeman’s superior ascertained the facts speaks for itself, I think.

  408. I never said you were the enemy and oh my but how I would LOVE to know what it is to grow up white in America. Maybe then I too could have some stupid ass opioniion about what went through Dr. Gate’s mind when the cops showed up. You just don’t get it. You never will. I long for a day when a white person starts the comment with: “I can only imagine what it might be like to grow up black in American and therefore do something as strange as overreacting to the cops showing up at your front door. I wonder what that might feel like when much of your life you knew that most folks just look at your skin and drew a conclusion that might cause you to cross the street, lock your car door or call the cops to report a black man appears to be breaking in that house over there where my neighbor lives although I have NO IDEA what he looks like eventhough he’s been my neighbor for years???????????????????

  409. BB Queen, when I am “hanging out by the pool getting (my)self a lovely tan”, I am at work. That is my job. I BUILD pools for a living.

    I don’t always “see help” when I see the police. I have known many that were corrupt and I have been abused in the past by cops with attitudes. I have had innocent friends killed by cops that did a poor job of identifying themselves and they made poor judgments with guns. And I experienced the coverup that comes with the corruption.

    Most of my run ins were because they didn’t like my “long-haired hippy” look, I was told. But that was a long time ago. I have moved on from there.

    So no, I do not know how it feels to grow up black in America. But then you don’t know how it feels to grow up white in America, either. So we should be able to learn from each other and respect other. Just because I am not black, doesn’t mean I’m the enemy.

  410. Keith Olbermann’s
    Special Comment
    on Health Care Reform


  411. My point sir is that unless you have grown up black in American then you have no idea what was going through Dr. Gates mind the moment the cops pulled up. Are you people really that stupid that you can’t realize that when white people see the police they see help but when a black person sees the police they have to stop and think twice about what happens next. Think about that the next time you are hanging out by the pool getting yourself a lovely tan.

  412. BB Queen, by your comments, I am going to assume you are black. Black, white, brown, yellow, red – I have seen stupid come in all colors. I don’t think any one race has the monopoly on stupid. I think we all have our stupid moments. The goal is to move beyond that and try to not repeat it. We can ALL express our own point of view here. That keeps it lively. Now about that chip on your shoulder…..

  413. Mrs. Crandle you need to behave.

  414. Matthew!!!
    Clean up on aisle five!!!! :-)

  415. Sheesh, now we got turds getting on the computer. Who put the computer in the bathroom?

  416. This is a very good post, Helen. It looks as if it has brought about some very interesting comments as well. I really don’t see this as a race issue. Blacks just can’t help it. Plain and simple. Now, Let’s discuss healthcare…shall we?

  417. Lots of people think my husband is half black. I don’t care. Besides our children look nothing like him.

  418. The President is stupid. You got that right. Dr. Gates is stupid. You got that right. Sarah Palin is one smart cookie. You got that wrong you fat ass bitch.

    Stick it in the ‘ole corn holer you old bag!

  419. Is any of you people black? Cause white people need to learn to keep their mouths shut about stuff they know nothing about.

  420. Helen,
    Your posts are a delight. I am amazed by your following. I’m also surprised you haven’t been approached by a publisher by now. You and Margaret should have been on the Best Seller list by now. May your Blog success continue for years and years!!!

  421. Hi Helen!
    We love you here on the big Island!!!
    Come see us some time!

    Aloha!!! :-)

  422. Like Oprah said in The Color Purple, “Girl child ain’t safe in a house full of mens”.

  423. ZZZZZ

    That is what Helen said. Did you read the post?

  424. “I don’t know about you, but if I’m stopped by a cop, I act polite, whether he’s making a mistake or not. It’s common sense, and it’s good manners. Apparently, Gates (admittedly jetlagged and flustered) used neither.”

    Suburban, are you black? It makes a difference.

  425. “I believe that past treatment may have prompted Gates to over- react. Prof. Gates formed an opinion of Sgt Crowly based on scant evidence and his own predjudices about the group to which Sgt. Crowly belongs.”

    James, unless your ass is black, who gives a damn what you think.

  426. I LOVE Margaret and Helen!!!!
    You two ladies make me smile!!!!

    You need to swear more. Cracks me the hell up each and every time.

  427. kitkat sez:

    “If private insurance can provide good service at low costs with low overhead, they can compete with the public option. If not, why would we want them? IMO we don’t have real competition right now.”

    I just think that the health of all of the nation’s citizens and visitors should not be relegated to companies who make profits from it. I truly do think good health should be a given, all things considered. Our taxes pay for roads that not everyone uses and schools that not everyone uses and libraries that not everyone uses, and these things are important. So is good health.

    The things that we “want,” the material items that we can live without if need be, can be made for a profit. The excesses (more rooms, more horsepower, more shoes) can be profit-making. But poor or rich, we should be able to be taken care of when we need care.

    Now: someone will want to talk about personal responsibility, and that’s fine. Don’t smoke, don’t use alcohol, don’t eat fatty foods, do exercise, do rest as needed, that’s all good. But some of the things that happen to us are outside our control — Dodd’s prostate cancer, Hillary’s broken elbow, my friend’s Parkinson’s Disease, my niece’s headaches after her car slid on ice and hit another car — should only the wealthy be able to tend to their ills? I don’t think so.

  428. HI Helen,

    I think this is your very best post yet! Like a great vintage wine, you just get better with age.

    It is always a pleasure to turn on and see a new post. Thank you.

    Aloha! :-)


  429. HR 676 (The U.S. National Health Insurance Act / single-payer option) will have its day in Congress. It will be debated and voted on when Congress returns from the break.

    If you support this type of reform, please contact your congressman/woman and let them know how you feel.

  430. Ladies, thank you. I love your blog. You tell it like it is. Keep it up! :)

  431. James,
    The only way that crossing state lines for health insurance will work is if there are equal and consistent governing regulations for every state. Currently there are not. This idea could lead to all kinds of problems because the insurance company is guided by the laws where it operates, not in the state where the coverage is purchased and used. I believe AZ has horrible health insurance laws (for the consumer) and companies based there would love to sell everyone else insurance.

    Also, why does an insurance company need to be for profit and be beholden to stock holders? My insurance company is a not-for-profit. It is well run, with all my records digital. As long as I go to one of the system doctors/hospitals, they can pull up my data, even xrays, on line. I’ve got great doctors and hospitals to choose from. I’d like to see all the companies be not-for-profit and think it will be what is needed to keep insurance companies honest. Back to that Mutual idea, not the What’s-in-it-for-me idea.

    If private insurance can provide good service at low costs with low overhead, they can compete with the public option. If not, why would we want them? IMO we don’t have real competition right now.

  432. Prof Gates was engaging in profiling and stereotyping, I believe. Based on his own words, he seemed quick to think a white man would have been treated differently than he.

    The woman who made the call feared for her safety after venimous verbal attacks when she had done nothing wrong. That was why she called the press conference– to defend her good name.

    I believe that past treatment may have prompted Gates to over- react. Prof. Gates formed an opinion of Sgt Crowly based on scant evidence and his own predjudices about the group to which Sgt. Crowly belongs. Gates was a fool to tell Crowly “I’ll see your mama outside.”

    The opinion that Crowly was a racist who needed educating was apparently wrong. If Crowly was a racist, so was Gates. Obama was also a fool to inflame the issue after he admitted he didn’t know the details.

    Obama proved himself to be a gifted politician, and his inviting the protagonists for a beer was a master stroke. He took himself out of the fray. Obama hit a home run.

    Prof. Gates has a physical disability. One picture showed President Obama striding several steps ahead while Sgt Crowly was the man helping Professor Gates down stairs. That was class. The two of them plan to talk again.

    While we ought not stop thinking of health care insurance, I think this episode provided a good opening for discussion of our race relations. We need one. However, the issue is already being forgotten.

    A free lunch is a myth. Even the government must earn a profit during the long run. Insurance companies must earn enough to settle claims, pay their employees, support their stock holders, and maintain their companies. They need to compete against each other after being forbidden to drop clients because they have expensive health conditions. Customers need to be able to cross state lines and buy from agencies offering the lowest price.
    Perhaps they can be subsidized as agricultural crop insurance is.

    The French system allows the government to compete with private insurance companies. The House bill will slowly destroy the private sector. Barney Frank admitted it will. Once the private insurance companies are gone competition will be gone. I am overstating it a little because others are overstating the other side if the argument.

    If I could, I would clone Blue Dog Democrats. We need many more than we have to give us a little fiscal sanity.

    We were ready for a black president. Its true there is some racism, but Obama’s main problems come from his policies, not his race.

  433. So, yes, I think they should just both apologize and kiss and make up. But I’m an optimist.

    And for heaven’s sake, let’s get back to health reform….which, from what I’ve heard, consists solely of taking away your doctor and telling old people when to die. At least, that’s what Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck told me….

  434. A great post as usual, Helen. Living in San Antonio, I understand and agree with what you other Texans are saying. It does get lonesome sometime. My like-minded neighbor moved to Arkansas, but I do have a couple of friends.

    My mother told me after I had my son, “Don’t ever call a child stupid; instead say he did a stupid thing.” We all do stupid things sometimes and unfortunately it doesn’t have an off switch.

  435. I’m still scratching my head over how someone can be smart enough to be a professor at Harvard, but dumb enough to yell at a cop.

    Seriously, though, it was a class thing, not a race thing. Essentially, Gates was saying to the cop, “Who do you think you are, asking for my ID?” I dunno, maybe a police officer doing his job? It wasn’t as if the cop trailed him walking down the street and decided to bother him. The cop was told to go to the house and make sure there were no intruders there. And he gets yelled at and called racist…nice…

    I don’t know about you, but if I’m stopped by a cop, I act polite, whether he’s making a mistake or not. It’s common sense, and it’s good manners. Apparently, Gates (admittedly jetlagged and flustered) used neither.

  436. I’ve seen Gates in action and he has a way of coming across that may be seen as pompous but as soon as the original arrest issue came up, it was obvious that this would be seen as a racial issue. In fact it may be as much a class issue as anything else, the elitist professor vs the low class cop.

    But when Obama inserted himself into the argument with his impromptu and ill informed assessment, it became blown all out of proportion by the attack dogs of the press and the Obama haters and it was guaranteed that this was not going to go away very easily.

    But President Obama did not disappoint in the end. He used his great conciliatory powers to tone down the rhetoric and there is some hope that this teaching moment could have some lasting impact.

  437. What was healthcare like before insurance companies? Did you live in fear of something happening? Were costs just as atrocious?

  438. You nailed it perfectly! Hat’s off to you ladies.

  439. I respectfully disagree. I don’t think what the President said was stupid at all. The police officer did, in this case, act in a stupid manner. It is not against the law anywhere in this country to yell at a police officer who is arresting you in your own home when you’ve done nothing illegal. I just spent 15 minutes listening to a library patron scream at me because we don’t have an online subscription to a particular journal. When she got done having her little meltdown, I showed her how to fill out the interlibrary loan form, then I processed it in front of her. Sometimes when dealing with the public you just have to stand there and take it.

  440. Rush is not mentally challenged – he is a sociopath. And, as much as I love you, I am from New Jersey and my mayor is honest – i think…..

  441. Another winner Helen. Keep it up. You’re goin’ viral. ;)

    I been watching The Civil War


    following along with Wikipedia.

    The only way to learn ~ Δ

  442. I’m used to Obama being extremely articulate and measured in his speech. It’s such a change that even times when I don’t agree, I gratefully listen. I also want and need our leaders to know when it is most appropriate to multi-task and when it’s smartest to zero in with powerful radar.
    His speech on health care was diluted in the last few seconds.

  443. This whole “Gates”-gate is just another example of the conservatives/Christian right/republicans controlling the dialogue. They do it all the time. With all that’s going on, THIS is what they latch on like a pit-bull and shake it but good. No cries about it being the deadliest month in Iraq to date…no, no, no! Obama spoke out of turn on something about which he admitted up front he did not have all the facts so let’s run with that for weeks.

    Limbaugh has the audacity to call Obama a racists. That fat, rich, pampered, privileged white man who sure as shit wouldn’t be where he is if he weren’t white and had a following of like-minded, racist, reactionary white people has got some nerve.

  444. I AGREE. I AGREE. I AGREE. Get back to the issue. Enough pointing fingers and trying to distract each other from the real issue, HEALTH CARE.


  445. The problem is that stupid sells (look at TV programming) and intelligent takes too much explaining. In our current 90 miles an hour, 2 second attention span world, stupid rules.

    IMO, both Gates and the policeman were wrong and it would have been nice to hear them both say — maybe we both overreacted. Like SMH said – we’re human and I’m sure we’ve all over-reacted at one time or another. I just hate that the right hijacks things like this to distract from the real issues and that the dems don’t act more strongly and stand up to the attacks.

  446. Helen,
    Another great post! Thank you. Because of you & several of the people from Texas who comment here, I do not completely despair living here.

    I like your idea for the spay/neuter clinic for the blue dogs. Can we add the C-Streeters in there, too?

  447. UAW, the third cartoon of that link – it nailed it, IMO

  448. Susan & Jo:

    I am almost as old as H&M and I remember our insurance agent who came around every week to collect a whole dime for each of my brothers and sisters and me for a twenty year pay life insurance policy that would be worth a whole hundred dollars if we croaked.

    I also remember my first car insurance policy in the late 1940′s where the insurance company had the word “Mutual” in its title. That meant that liabilities were shared and insurance costs went up or down depending on the payouts of the previous year. When they changed over to a stock company, payments never again fluctuated. They had no other way to go except up.

  449. Mageen wrote: “And the private insurance industry does need competition! When it insists that they are being bullied, I run out my crocodile and make him cry!”

    ROFL!!! Oh excellent! I may need to borrow that line for sure!

  450. Helen, You are a hoot. I just tried that new Activia Yogurt. The one that makes you go to the bathroom alot. Not bad. You should try it!
    There is a coupon in the USA today paper.

  451. Carleigh – I do agree that racism is still alive, it definitely never went away, just simmered under the surface for a long time. But for the hate filled righties you mention, President Obama’s half blackness is only an excuse to hate him for what he really is to them – a Damn Democrat. One-a them thur durned librals. Any Democratic Party President, whether it be Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman (god forbid) or the 2nd coming of JFK is going to be demonized for whatever the non-reality-based party no governance can dream up. Because they are the party of no, the party of obstruction, the party of no positive ideas.

    They are the party of win at all costs, after which they let the country devolve into chaos, and then, when voted out again they stand on the sidelines and jeer at the efforts of the Democrats who are left to clean up yet another diarrhetic explosion of elephant poo.

    The Gates-gate incident and all of the birth certificate nonsense is just noise and smoke, courtesy of the conservative corporate media masters to distract and confuse us. Luckily we have become a culture of multi taskers and I hope we are able to fend of the silliness while simultaneously fighting for health care equity.

    Matt, IN – he’s been in office 6 months. I’m not minimizing the issues you mention, but look at the mess he walked into and all that he has managed to do and the promises he has already kept. What I see is tireless effort and an awesome work ethic. I guess I am just a glass 3/4 full rather than glass 1/4 empty kinda girl. Let’s see how this healthcare mess shakes out before we write him off.

    One more thought – the healthcare fight makes it more obvious than ever that we need election reform. The fact that our elected reps NEED money from the likes of the Insurance Mafia to even be contenders points directly to why we are not being adequately represented by those who get elected.

    Last, but definitely not least: Brava Helen – you hit yet another one out of the ballpark. I heart you – immensely!

  452. You were there UAW?

  453. Exactly!!

  454. “Single-payer to be introduced on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives”


    Now is the time to ramp up the support!

  455. Susan @11:14 I agree completely. Insurance is to protect against loss, not to make someone a fortune.

  456. It was the one dumb thing Obama has said so far, and the vultures are having a feeding frenzy. If they would have pounced on the thousands of asinine things W said in his first term alone, there wouldn’t have been a second term. Then we wouldn’t be in nearly the financial mess we’re in, and the rest of the world would have realized sooner we’re not a bunch of arrogant, cowboy jackasses.

    But alas, I digress…

  457. Carleigh…really? Really???

  458. Excellent idea, returning to fixing healthcare and our other problems!

  459. Time to talk about the real issue. I’m not as old as you ladies but I’ve lived long enough to see a lot of changes.

    The real issue…We as a nation were not ready for a black president. I supported President Obama from day 1. But I never thought for a minute he would win. I was one happy white woman when he won. Of course a lot of my friends voted mccain/palin so I had no one to be happy with. They didn’t speak to us for weeks(about the election).

    The computer allows me to read a lot of different opinions from a lot of different people. The pure hate and racism I see in many blogs and post.It is very disheartening. We are so divided by race. It scares me. When will it get so bad that they bring out the white sheets again. There is no racial tolerance by many, many people. And this unrest is coming from young and old. No understanding or compassion for those of another color.

    So what I thought …this could really work( a black President) I now have doubts. There are just too many still stuck in the days of slavery. It couldn’t be a Republican- Democratic issue. Somehow I believe if Hilliary had won we would be in the same place only from a different perspective.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I sincerely hope President Obama teaches the world new ways to be tolerant of different races. We are one. I think he has already been a great teacher of racial tolerance.

  460. http://www.cagle.msnbc.com/news/GatesArrest/main.asp

    I like the third one

  461. Prof Gates kept saying….”you don’t know who you’re messing with”……and…….Crowley’s actions said…”I don’t really give a f$*k who you are”….

    wondering if this was staged and when is Gates new book going on sale…..

  462. I like Margaret better…where is she??

  463. Here is our biggest battle in getting real reform of of Healthcare system. Money talks:


  464. The whole affair was much ado about nothing. It would have stayed nothing if Mr Gates had simply responded like most Americans in the same situation. ‘Sure officer. Here is my ID and thanks for coming over. I had to break into my own house, but yes, it is my house.’

    What was so hard about that? And yes, let’s get back to important things.

  465. Why is it exactly that the health insurance industry thinks it has a RIGHT to a profit?

    Take the profit out of health care. Take away the ridiculously-paid executive-positions (I live near the one-time “Insurance Capital of The World” — there’s a lot of money that’s been made here, and not by the people who do the day-to-day work). Keep whatever you can of the clerical positions in order to maintain employment and to keep the system organized — but take away the positions that have a say over who gets care and who doesn’t.

    I’m not saying don’t pay people decently — but maybe we can think about med school not being so expensive, and then maybe doctors won’t feel so pressured to make a lot of money in order to pay off their education debts.

    I dunno — there seem to be a lot of ways to look at this and to help the situation, and the millions of dollars being spent by the insurance companies sure seem to be obscene.

  466. Thanks again for the laugh and the viewpoint. Could you run for President?

  467. I loved your post as usual M&H, sad and funny at the same time – just like life.

    And that Mageen in Old Virginny gives great comment too.

  468. Greytdog, LMAO! That’s the way, uhuh uhuh, I like it. :lol:

  469. Brava …

    Tho its still not been explained to me WHY Gates was arrested AND I would like to know WHY the police are supposed to be respected without earning that respect … this instance is not the first time a white police person over reacted to a black person’s actions… at least its not the first time here in NYC

  470. Another great post!

    I read Obama’s face when he made his reply to the question concerning Prof. Gates. He is a constitutional lawyer and taught the subject as well. You could see just from his face where he was coming from. I happen to agree with him. The police report written by the arresting officer actually comes out more like a confession of false arrest. Even the woman who called the cops has hired a lawyer to protect her from the false statement in the report that she at one point told the officer the men on the porch were African American.

    When I first heard about Prof. Gates arrest I immediately knew that this was not something happening in a vacuum. That is also tremendously important to realize and remember. The local police department has a really hard time believing African Americans can not only own a nice house like Prof Gates’ but like a college student actually own a bicycle and the key for the bike lock.

    Yes, this was a diversion from the health care reform issue but in a way we needed some kind of diversion. Health care reform debate is shaping up to be more like war, which we sure as heck don’t need.

    I have no beef with a public option. I’m on Medicare. How could I complain! And the private insurance industry does need competition! When it insists that they are being bullied, I run out my crocodile and make him cry!

  471. Matt,I believe the Democratic Party needs to show responsible pet ownership by holding a spay/neuter clinic for the Blue Dogs.

  472. Thanks for being brave enough to call a spade a spade. I mean it, really.

  473. Smoke & mirrors, shell games, “hey everyone look over there!!!”

    I agree with you on many topics, especially the last one – How about we get back to talking about healtcare reform? I mean it really.

    We have the choice to be distracted by stuff that has not a thing in the world to do with us here and now … or we can look at the differences between HR676 and HR3200 health care bills. It is a no-brainer: HR676 wins hands down, and coincidentally it is the one the big healthcare lobbyists as well as congress hopes we stay quiet about.

    I say, don’t be quiet. Urge congress to vote yes on HR676 and no on HR3200.

    Here’s my viewpoint:


    Here are two cents two hundred cents from Reclusive Leftist:


    And here’s the last word on the subject:


  474. There’s a phrase to describe the folks that call Obama a racist…”Not even wrong”.

    It’s interesting that the same people that are pissing themselves in fear that “Obama hates white people” are the same ones who opined that “Obama shouldn’t say he’s black” because he’s half white.

    Jesus christ, you maroons, make up your mind.

  475. Sometimes I think stupid is winning. Very scary. But then you write and I think, well, maybe we stand a chance against stupid.

  476. You took the words right out of my mouth!
    And Matt..I agree with you too…the President and Congress need to get on with what we elected them for!!!! No more pandering!!!!!!

  477. Quite frankly, I’ve been disappointed with Obama on a number of different issues that were clearly supported by the people during the ’08 election:

    * End of DADT

    * End of unlawful detentions & torture

    * Closing of Guantanamo Bay Prison

    * Ending Federal Reserve hanky-panky of printing money and lending vast sums to foreign companies and governments with no oversight

    * Lack of leadership and vision on health care (single payer only, please! — if it’s good enough for 37 out of 38 industrialized countries, it’s good enough for us!)

    * Lack of sternness with so-called Blue Dog “Democrats” or right-wing nutjob Republicans

  478. Thank you ladies for once again being the clarion call of common sense!! And for pointing out that stupidity is not limited to one group of people. . .unfortunately it does seem to be rampant. Maybe the election of the 1st african-american president simply activated the long-dormant stupidity gene in our common gene pool? I’m hoping we can get back on track with healthcare reform, the economy, & other more pressing issues. But I think not. We like our shiny objects so that we don’t have to really buckle down and do the hard work of progress.

  479. Yes! There is plenty of stupid to go around! Great Post, Helen. And then all the people could focus on was, “why aren’t they drinking American made brews?” Oy vey :roll:

  480. You are so wonderfully, sanely sensible. And funny to boot! It’s always a treat to read your posts.

  481. Right on!

    Unfortunately, the average American would much rather read about the beer brouhaha than about what really matters–health care, the economy, the world going to hell in a handbasket.

  482. Spot on ladies. There was a good bit of stupid punch flowing around all of this and everyone took a sip – such is the human condition. Gates reacted after a long, tiresome flight and one of life’s unfortunate annoyances getting locked out of your house after a long day and just wanting to go to bed. Cop reacted to the adrenaline rush to a testy individual he is supposed to protect and serve. He forgot that in that role he needs to be the adult supervision to people occasionally acting like cranky 5 year olds. ID established, cranky person – goodnight and goodbye – next case. Pres was not there – did not have the full picture defended a friend – noble but not always well advised again human nature. Point being – being human knows no bounds of color – we are all human and all equally capable of stupid. Unfortunately some folks make it a way of life – ya gotta laugh or join the madness.

  483. Right on sister. So much is being made of this that it’s taking away from another nearly as important topic, the birth certificate. Apparently these two topics are far more important than health care, the economy, Afghanistan, Iraq, nuclear proliferation, and who’s on first.

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