Posted by: Helen Philpot | March 26, 2009

Bye Bye Evan Bayh

For several weeks now, we have watched as one idiot Republican spokesman after another has stepped up to the microphone and whined endlessly about how much they don’t like anything or anyone.  It’s been embarrassing to say the least.  I guess when you’ve been kicked in the ass, it’s difficult to lick your wounds.   And honestly, watching Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh lick their wounds is more than my stomach can handle.

But now we have a small group of Democrats who have decided to kiss those same kicked asses.  They want to stop the President’s  agenda. Really?  We barely survived 8 years of the Bush/Cheney administration and now we have the opportunity to correct those mistakes and take the country in a new direction.  So what could these Don’t-0-crats be thinking?

From what I can tell, the Obama agenda emphasizes healthcare, education and energy.  I just don’t understand how anyone can argue those priorities.  Let’s take them one at a time.

Healthcare.  The argument for fixing healthcare is that it is too expensive and too many people don’t have insurance.  Seems pretty clear to me.  The argument against it would be that it is too expensive to fix so poor families including children should just suffer and die needlessly.  Hmmm. If anyone knows Senator Evan Bayh, can you ask him if he enjoys the government sponsored health insurance plan he gets as a Senator?

Education.  The argument for spending money on education is that the United States has fallen from the best in the world to middle of the pack.  In fact students in the United States now rank behind students in 28 other countries in problem solving,  27 other countries in Math and 21 other countries in Science.  The argument for not prioritizing education is… uhh… hnmm…. I don’t know.  Maybe Senator Bayh can hire someone from Korea (1), China (2), Japan (4) or even Poland (25) to solve that problem for us.

Energy.  The argument for prioritizing energy issues and in particular green energy efforts would be our dependency on foriegn oil and climate issues.  The argument against it would be that ExxonMoblile profits in 2008 were $45.2 billion.   That is almost enough money to cover the cost of 5 months of the war in Iraq.

I don’t know Margaret.  I am just so tired of fighting.  I thought this last election meant something but it seems that 16 Democrats have proven me and about 69 million Americans  who voted for Obama wrong. 

And for goodness sakes, one of these Don’t-O-crats is Joe Lieberman.  Who didn’t see that coming? Left? Right? In the middle? Breathing?  You just don’t know with that guy.

This Purple Party idea is sounding better and better each day.

Are you represented by one of these 16 Don’t-O-crats?  If so, I want to know what you think.   Really.  I mean it.


  1. […] Bye Bye Evan Bayh « Margaret and Helen Great piece, Helen. I'm happy to report that I'm represented by the good guys (actually, good gals – I'm from California), but if one of my Senators was in this pack I'd be fit to be tied. As it is, these people take it Go ahead and hate him, but not because he's beautiful, –because he's an out-of touch, spineless Semi-crat who happens to resemble a beast of the desert Have a nice day and may God bless, Cactusgal. By: cactusgal on March 28, 2009 […]


  2. Interesting post! Thanks for the information.


  3. Happy Mother’s Day, Margaret and Helen!


  4. Everyone seems to be so polarized by the issues that they don’t understand what they are arguing about anymore.

    In my view we need to ask ourselves a few basic questions every time an issue comes up. They are: 1) Is this an issue of basic human needs or a privilege? 2) Is this a moral issue? If so, is there a clear right or wrong? 3) Should the government be involved, or would another group or organization be better suited to handle it? 4) If the government is best suited to handle it, then at what level? Federal, State, or local?


  5. I am a former Republican who has seen my old party be infiltrated by sanctimonious hypocritical “Christians” who are adamant about being what they call “Right to Life” or “Pro-Life”. It’s really a shame that they don’t understand that they are actually pro BIRTH, because they don’t give a flying fart about anyone once they’ve been born. Children can be sick, poor, hungry, uneducated, mistreated and suffer every possible hardship, but as long as we fight for their right to be born, we’re still good Christians, NOT. Once they’ve been born, these so called Christians don’t care what happens to them. Although I don’t believe in abortion for myself, (the only person I have the right to make that decision for), I can not in good conscience tell a woman that she must give birth to child number five when it means that children one through four will not have enough food, proper education, healthcare, etc. A person who is pro-life of the unborn seems to have forgotten that those are real lives which were lost in the immoral, illegal war that the “Christian” President conned us into fighting.


  6. M & H-
    Sadly, I am represented by a “Don’t-a-crat”, Mark Begich (who barely defeated Uncle Ted Stevens, a convicted felon at the time). It’s REALLY difficult to be liberal/democrat/progressive in Alaska. Senator Mark knows he has to be as close to Repub as possible to maybe get reelected in 6 years. When I spoke with Mark as he was campaigning, he seemed pretty liberal (although he has always supported the opening of ANWR to drilling), so it’s disappointing that he’s working to stop President Obama.


  7. I am DEFINITELY fit to be tied — not one, but BOTH Senators from Colorado are among this group! I heard about the ConservaDems (ConservaDumbs?) on Rachel Maddow’s show, and as soon as I saw both Colo Senators among the group, I immediately emailed both (and the Colorado Democractic Party). I told Udall I was sorry I voted for him, that I did not believe he was representing Colo voters the way they had voted, and that I will not vote for him if he runs for another term. Bennet wasn’t elected; he was appointed to replace Ken Salazar who became Secretary of the Interior. I told him also that I didn’t think he was representing Colo the way the voters voted, and that I would not vote for him if he runs for another term.

    It was very disappointing at first to hear that it’s not the Republicans we have to fight, now it’s a group of Democrats that we elected. But when I found out both Senators from Colorado were among a group whose purpose was to block President Obama’s agenda, it was pure outrage.


  8. Thanks, Jean. I consider you an e friend too. You sound like someone who “collects” people’s stories. I do too. Reality is better than a novel. So was your description of people you met.

    You also mentioned Ugly Americans. My wife and I went native when we lived in England. We had Europass tickets in France with a foreign tourist discount. A conductor took us aside and asked for our identification because he suspected we weren’t Americans.

    One day in London, we winced because several loud tourists stood out like sour thumbs. The British were casting side long glances, and we felt embarrassed to be Americans. Then, it was all right. They were Canadians!

    I don’t know how we can get on the Devils’ good side either–as long as it doesn’t involve human sacrifice. Does the Embroidery Institute look like a going concern which is adapting to changing times? I hope so.

    Its too bad the film broke. Did you keep it anyway? Could it be repaired to approximate how it was? I like the refrigerator magnet idea. We do the same thing.

    What do individual Chinese think of Americans? What sort of television and radio shows do they have? My sick imagionation carries an image of a Chinese Rush Limbaugh or Randi Rhodes. Do they have many American television shows? Has Bollyhood made inroads yet?

    I also take many pictures and videos. To insure nothing happens to them, I put them on tape and DVD before deleting the memory card. Before we got our digital camera, I put the taped stuff onto DVD and kept the origional tape too. Those things are perishable. Someone said the average shelf life of a video tape is 18 years, and I don’t think anyone really knows about DVDs either. We have some video tapes which are 26 years old. They are still viewable, but not like new. Some have lost the picture and only have sound. I have duplicated them though.

    Last summer while we were on a plane, I overheard a conversation with a Chinese man and a teen aged girl. He told her that in a straight math test, Chinese students would beat the Americans. However, if a test required ingenuity and creative thinking, the Americans would win. He thought American students weren’t as serious as Chinese.

    Through a quirk, mosquitoes don’t like me. They buzz around and bite once in a while, but not if someone else is near by. Quebec mosquitoes didn’t bother me. I don’t know about the huge ones in Alaska, but the flying beasts in Florida could carry away a compact car if enough of them decided to do it.

    Most of my family is from Wales, but I also have some Viking genes. It is interesting to see blond blue eyed Italians and Spanish. They certainly got around. I have heard stories of light skinned Indians in North Carolina and a theory they may have been descended from Vikings or early British colonists.

    Climate change during the Little Ice age, before, and after changed cod and other fish’s habitats, and fishing boats followed them. While the Vikings explored Greenland and parts of North America, British fishing boats ventured far into the Atlantic to the Grand Banks off Labrador. Storms likely blew their boats ashore. Some might have explored a bit.

    Columbus knew more of what was out there than school history books say. He went to Iceland to consult maps, and he talked to British fishermen. He knew where to sail to catch prevailing winds driving his ships west and which winds to follow on the way home.

    Our written history is a tiny part of our human lives. Great dramas played out to be long forgotten because no one knew how to write. Those Templar Knights, Celtic carvings and other artifacts are intriguing. I’m also betting on the Scots Irish though. Scientists are learning more with genetics. Maybe some day their studies will provide a hint.

    You are to be commended, Kieth. Not everyone would help your parents as you do. Congress giving itself a raise in these times is obscene.


  9. Jean,
    you love mosquitos? Come to Quebec in early spring (about now and the next 4 – 6 weeks)
    We have the famous black flies!

    sounds harmless? even looks harmless! (Very small black flies, as the name says….)

    But they byte THROUGH a Jeans and take a piece of meat with them when they leave or die!!!

    No Joke!


    There aer (founded) roumors that 11th/12th century grail seekers (Templar knights, the only ones with a functioning mediterranean marine) where in the eastern states of the US and went as far up as the Quebec border (Lake Champlain watersystem)
    As Evidence count a lot of carved stones in the area that are definitly NOT indigenous!


  10. Hi gang, Werner and James,

    Thanks for your vote of confidence, Werner. As I have said many times, those of you who aren’t interested in any comments, scroll on down. I often do! There is plenty of room in cyberspace.

    James, thank you also. We are friends now. You too have interesting little tidbits of historical information just to prove that we humans have lots more in common than differences.

    To answer some of your questions. Gee, I hope the River Devils of the Chinese Pagodas give kind people a pass on mischief. How do any of us get on the good side of the Devils’ list?

    About the Embroidery Institute. We were only there the better part of one day. Since there was such an investment of six years to become proficient at the embroidery, I assume the women stayed there most of their working lives. They are probably artistically incined to begin with. The women design the pieces and then execute them. No two are alike. There is evidently some collaboration on the larger pieces. The pieces are very, very expensive. The ladies we saw working were into heavy concentration and silent as we watched them. I have no idea how well they were paid but it was obviously a labor of love. There didn’t seem to be any supervisors at all. I don’t know about their socialization.

    We bought a small round embroidered piece, 7”
    in diameter. It is of red flowers with leaves and stems, all beautifully shaded in as an oil or water color painting would be. It also has a delicate little butterfly in it. It is encased in glass, back and front, in a dark wood frame with its own stand. To show you how taut and fine the film of almost clear silk background is, unfortunately it was knocked off of a shelf here. The shock of the fall popped the film and it split in three directions. Bummer.

    The 20 people on our tour group came from all walks of life. We bonded rather quickly except for 2 of them. Talk about how small the world is becoming! There was a banker and his wife from 40 miles of my husband’s home town in New England. Another couple was from within a mile of where we once lived in Southeastern PA. He had a chain of well known bakeries in that part of the Eastern Seaboard. A couple, both doctors, from NYC who had lived through and helped with the horrors treating victims of 9/11. A couple from the UK celebrating their 50th anniversary. An English lady from Northern Ireland traveling alone. We sort of took her under our wings. She had an interesting perspective on the English/Northern Irish conflict. A couple from Northern CA. He had been an airport architect in Saudia Arabia. His charming wife was from San Salvadore. A couple from Costa Rica. We found out at the end of the cruise when we exchanged cards that he had been the Minister of Agriculture in their country. Two widows from Southern CA.

    Then there was the couple from somewhere in the Northwest. He was the original Ugly American Prick. His wife was very sweet and obviously the soul of patience, often embarrassed by his behavior. He complained and whined about EVERYTHING; the food, the service, the accommodations and the people. Nothing lived up to the standard of excellence where he came from. I got fed up at one point and politely asked him, “Then why didn’t you stay home?” That quieted him down for a little while, but not for long.

    And an aging floozy from Florida who was always late, holding up everybody and spending her evenings in the bar, drinking and unsuccessfully trying to attract a male, any male. Would you believe, the prick and the floozy got into a PHYSICAL tussle at the end of the cruise that according to each would result in lawsuits. Ah, well, there are one or two in every crowd.

    Here are some tips for people thinking about travel when they are retired. On all of our travels we have a video camera. We are not the greatest videographers, so we have plenty of amateurish footage of our feet! We have six hours of China though. Also I keep a hap-hazard daily journal. Once we get home, IF I can decipher my gawd-awful scribbles, I organize, type them up and incorporate the brochures, etc., we pick up along the way into large albums. It is fun to share with friends and family if we can trap them into watching and reading.

    Heaven knows we have enough ‘stuff’ so with rare exceptions, we don’t go for souvenirs. We always find a book store and buy National Geographic type books by professional writers and with professionally done photographs. These books are thicker than the NatGeos and often bi- or multi-lingual. We also buy other books that catch our fancy written by people ‘from the inside out’. We can read and see enough right here in the US about other countries ‘from the outside in’. That way we get various viewpoints on any given country. At this point, we have quite a collection of timeless books on countries from all around the world.

    Our only other big purchase is a refrigerator magnet! Whenever we open the fridge, we are reminded of someplace with fond memories.
    Out here we have tiny little mosquitoes but they have a vicious bite. When we ‘did’ Alaska a number of years ago, we saw the biggest meanest mosquitoes ever in Anchorage.

    My personal favorite refrigerator magnet however is the one we got in Finland. It is a styalized mosquito that says, “Send More Tourists!!! Any Blood Type Will Do!!!”




  11. Sorry about the off topic thingy with the Vikings in West Virginia – I had scanned the comments; saw a blurb about a blue eyed mummy; and my brain went pffft!!!! Anyway. Long exhausting week already and it’s only Tuesday evening. . . wandering off to bed. . .bouncing off walls down hallway. . . tripping over dogs. . . sprawling face down. . . zzzzz


  12. Although I agree with the author of this article and don’t really believe that the Vikings ventured deep enough inland to have done these carvings, still. . . it’s fascinating

    or maybe this is easier

    Anyway – the carvings do indeed resemble the Celtic Ogham to some extent. And considering that the Vikings/Celts did settle at L’anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland long before Columbus was a thought in his mother’s brain. . . who really knows? More than likely though is that one of the Scots-Irish ancestors who still remembered the old language/ways carved those markings – maybe as an act of remembrance or an act of defiance or both


  13. Beck sure can blow wind out of his ass!


  14. Keith, this is my cynical opinion only, but “they” get away with it because “we” let them. We laugh at Palin’s word salads, but jeez, I’d say every person in Congress does the same thing – it’s just that they are more experienced at “sounding” like they know more than we do. . . we like sheep are lead astray. . .


  15. Wow, so much to comment on.

    I’m technically unemployed and living in New Mexico (thank God). I’m a full time care giver to my mom (COPD Stage 3, compression fractures in her 5th and 6th vertabrae, advanced wet macular degeneration… you get my point by now). My father is still working but I’m not sure how long his mental faculties will allow that, not to mention he’s car salesman (at least it’s a Ford dealership) so there’s not much income there. So we survive on their social security. They of course have all their insurance, but I had none until last year.

    New Mexico has a program that is providing me with full coverage health insurance, and the one I qualify for has no co-pay, no deductible, no out-of-pocket. This equals peace of mind.

    I had the opportunity to use my insurance five weeks ago. Seems I’m not one that should spend any time trimming the pecan trees out front. Ended up with a pretty nice cut on my hand, deep enough I could see a tendon. So I went to the ER (it was Sunday, no other alternative) for five stitches and a tetnus shot. The bill was $847. Really, for five stitches and a shot? And this was the discounted price for the insured…. God if I’d not had the insurance I would have had to sit at home and bleed to death.

    ALL Americans should have the right to the same coverage Congress gives themselves.

    And while I’m on the subject of what Congress gives themselves…. let’s talk about raises….. Congress should NEVER get more than a cost of living raise based on the rate of inflation, just like social security. And while we’re at it, minimum wage should get the same respect….. and should have PRECEDENCE over Congressional raises….. they give themselves a raise at least every year but how many years pass between raises in the minimum wage?

    Why do they fare better than us, the ones that elected them? It’s not like they’re working harder!



  16. James:

    Interesting about the blue eyed mummies.
    PBS did a series a bit ago about the Viking traders.
    They were everywhere!
    Also, the so called Amazon warriors were said to have traveled to some regions of Mongolia. There have been DNA studies on this and there are women there with lovely red hair. Can’t remember what the show was called, but it was really interesting.


  17. Helen,
    Here in Colorado we have 2 conservadems. And I’m not happy. I’ve written to them both and expressed my frustration. One of them you can almost understand, he’s very fence riding, but the other comes from one of the most liberal parts of Colorado! Frustrating doesn’t even cover it!


  18. Ladies, as usual, you slice through the crap out there with great finesse.

    Thank you. Since I say that to myself at the end of each blog entry, it’s time I say it to you: Thank you.

    Please keep writing!


  19. MirrorMan, concerning the “Quest”:

    Nope, he/she is only a lonely person that wants us to know she/he is on a quest, but has nothing else to tell us…..

    You know, just the usual deranged “I don’t know what I am on about but I have the urge to tell y’all!” kinda thingy

    Sad side effect from our modern times…..

    And to answer your question
    (As not to be more unpolite than necessary)

    No these are not our comments, those we ussually do in our FIRST posts after we read, everything thereafter is a discussion forum on multiple topics, created and by invitation of Maragret and Helen……

    Got it?
    Discussion as in: IF you got something to say you’re very welcome to say it.

    You may get a bashing if people don’t agree and find your comments “free of facts”, but usually, if you have facts to back it up your post, we listen and discuss.

    But IF you got nothing to say, best thing is just to STFU!



  20. Get-a-life, that was your comment?


  21. Get-a-life

    Great idea, pls go off on search, you may tell us if you found some…..


  22. Jean

    Someone once said (I think it was Karlchen Marx, but not sure) that:

    Socialism has capital problems,
    Capitalism has social problems…..

    So far, no change!

    OR what I alson like, but is equaly sad:

    Socialism is one of the best Ideas that happend to mankind, pitty is, no one was able to make it work, yet!


  23. Really?? These are your comments to this woman’s blog post??!?!?!?!


  24. Greytdog

    agree to the fights, but demand blow up sumo suits, makes us fighters look as stupid/sheepish when we fight as we do when we share that beer afterwards 😉

    (Don’t misunderstand, with my two closesd friends I actaully had to fight BEFORE we became friends)


  25. Maven

    Donauschwaben and Hungarian is no contradiction.

    While the Donauschwaben actually came from Southeast Swabia and Soutwest Bavaria (between the Cities of Ulm (check this on the net!!!) and Passau), they moved a few times in history down the river and settled on different spots between Austria and the Black Sea.


  26. Thanks for sharing, Jean. You would be fun to hang out with. I could learn a lot from you. I don’t remember why China turned inward when it did either. The Mongols reemerged as a regional power, and they were causing trouble. Sea based trade was attracting pirates too.

    Did you know mumified blue eyed Europeans with red hair have been found in western China? They may have migrated from central Europe over six thousand years ago. According the the article I read, an old Chinese legend spoke of great healers who could remove tumors from inside bodies. One of the mummies had had throat surgery which was closed with stitches.

    Some of the women appeared to be warriors, and their descendants may have contributed to the Greeks’ Amazon legend.

    That’s interesting about the evil spirits not being able to travel in straight lines. Do the Devils give the people who maintain their homes a pass from their evil?

    The embroidery Institute sounds amazing. Do most of the women there work at the same job until retirement? Do you know if they make mistakes such as after a years’ work a silk thread breaks? Do they socialize while they are working, or only when they take their breaks? Who plans the designs? Do the women do it, or is it the work of supervisors? Are the designs the same, or do they change over the years? Are the women relatively well-paid for their hard work?

    Have you noticed what I have noticed when I lived or traveled in other countries? People of the same occupation group have more in common with each other than many of their own countrymen.

    For example, Brazilian, British, and Canadian, and American farmers connect easily because they live similar lives and concerns. One time a Canadian farmer and I had such a long conversation we didn’t realize it was the small town restaurants’ closing time. The manager-owner patiently let us talk until my wife interrupted to point out that we were the only ones left. We all helped the woman and her staff clean up the place before we left. Did you get to speak with any Chinese farmers?

    Connections like that are good. Like you I hope they can play a small part in preventing wars, and like you, the more I know, the more questions I have.

    Did you know during the Cold War, the Soviets and United States had similar connections? In the fifties, the Garst family hosted Khrushev and a delegation of ag experts to study our farming methods. It was the start of years of visits and information exchanges. The grand daughter hosted a tour of the farmstead which is about 70 miles from our home. She said they were told to stay away from the Russians, but being kids, they sneaked around anyway. They played catch with several off duty KGB agents.


  27. Good Lord, Helen….please post something new soon…


  28. Hi gang and James,

    Yes, I knew about China’s exploration ambitions at one time. Somewhere I have some info about a huge navy they were building but for some reason abandon the plan. Sometime I’ll look it up again.

    I do agree with what you say about China needing our markets and we needing their money. That’s an uneasy relationship that may benefit some but in the long run, may or not benefit either country. They have creeping capitalism and we have creeping socialism. Basically, most countries have the same problems. Maybe we can meet in the middle somewhere and avoid wars that have ALWAYS been so costly in both blood and money.

    China has an ancient and often violent history. The US, by comparison, has a short but also often violent history. We can learn from each other.

    Afterthoughts I forgot about China for any of you interested in that fascinating country.

    On that same trip, we took a five-day ‘cruise’ on the Yangtze River in a sorry, miserable old tub of a riverboat. It belched, sputtered and spewed out black smoke every mile of the river into the pristine air of the countryside. The Yangtze is the longest river system in the world. Our cruise sailed 800 miles of it. At some places it snaked between spectacular 3000’ cliffs rivaling the Grand Canyon.

    We saw the controversial Three Gorges Dam under construction with a host of heavy equipment and men working around the clock. When it was completed, it was supposed to supply much of the whole country with electricity that was surely needed. (The air pollution (smog) in Beijing was as bad as Los Angeles.)

    We also took a sampan up one of the gorges. It had a rickety little outboard motor for power. Two guys used long poles to steer it along and away from the banks of the narrow and shallow river water. At one point, our guide stopped the sampan and waded in the river. She collected some fossil stones from the riverbed and gave them to us. None of the fossil stones will ever be recovered again.

    The down side of the whole project was that villages and even one large city along the way were being moved and the people relocated by the Chinese government. These would all be underwater when the dam was finished and the resulting reservoir lake filled up. The jury is still out on the benefits of the dam versus the damage to people’s lives. Many of the families had lived there for multiple generations.

    Up on the high hillsides were darling little pagodas painted bright red. (Precursors of gazebos perhaps?) They had been built as homes for the ‘River Devils’. The premise being that if the ‘Devils’ had homes of their own, they would be comfy and stay there, not be out stirring up mischief on the river such as swamping boats, causing storms and havoc of other kinds. They had been there for centuries and were still working!

    Another interesting feature is of Oriental architecture. Have you ever noticed that their roofs of buildings sweep up in a graceful curve? Well, there is a reason for that. Evil Spirits can only travel in straight lines. When they bump up against the curve, they are deflected off and away from the building into the air and presumably back safe to there homes in the pagodas. Makes sense to me!

    Suzhou was a delightful city. It is home to the ancient and exquisite Embroidery Institute. An extremely thin panel of silk is stretched over a frame then beautiful scenes of every kind are embroidered on it. The frames vary in size from small ones, round, square or rectangular to huge ones such as three 6’ folding screens. The embroidery is done with a SINGLE thread of colored silk smaller than a human hair. The pieces are reversible, in that there are no knots or end threads showing on either side. Some of them take years to execute.

    It takes six years for the women who work there to complete the training for their art. They start by making the scene; landscapes, flowers, animals, people, etc. Many of the scenes are made to order from around the world. They can only work on the embroidery for 40 minutes out of an hour and then rest their eyes for 20 minutes. The patience of the Chinese people since the beginning of time is amazing!!!

    Whenever I have actually seen and learned about other people and how they live, well, it has given me a different perspective. I’m not so almighty sure that I have a handle on what is absolute about anything.




  29. Jean, did you know China may have “discovered” America before Columbus and the Vikings? The Chinese began to turn inward around 1450, I think. Otherwise, history might have been different.


  30. Hi Jean, I enjoy your comments. Much of what I wrote as a rebuttal to your interpretation of several years of history was fact. Carter, near the end of his term, for example did realize he couldn’t trust the Soviets. The Soviets did think Star Wars technology was possible, and they knew they couldn’t afford it.

    Our niece and other people we know have visited China also. One worked at a school They liked the people too. Our son’s college friend who he nicknamed “God boy” visited China to help establish new Christian churches which are illegal. The authorities nearly caught him once. He had to flee quickly.

    The Chinese run a brutal government as we can see with their treatment of Tibetans and others. They have made an uneasy peace with their citizens who accept their lack of freedom for a chance at prosperity. China’s quasi- friendship with the United States and Wal Mart is based on mutual need. They need our markets, and we need their money.

    Individuals can become friends. Nations rarely let anything besides their political or economic interests guide them. Individual Chinese are nice people, but their influence on their government is nil. The same applies to north Vietnamese during the war. General Curtis LeMay offered to bomb the North Vietnamese into the stone age. Is that what you were referring to?

    North Vietnam was a cruel regime who’s requirement for friendship was to let them get their way. I met some of the boat people who barely escaped with their lives.
    The nicest way to influence some countries is to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

    I don’t know enough about the Massachusettes Plan to say it could be used across the country. However, one feature I like is once a person is insured, the coverage remains no matter how many jobs he/she changes. My understanding is you would get to keep your ex husbands’ insurance coverage and the state would help pay for it if your income was too low. I could be wrong because all I know about it is what I heard on the radio.

    I save health care money by taking free screening tests and checking the internet for diagnosis. I haven’t been to a doctor in such a long time, I am out of their computer system. Besides my back, a nerve is pinched in my neck after an auto accident. My right arm was numb most of last year. Now, only three fingers are numb. A nurse practitioner gave me all of the information I needed with several phone calls. Of course, it helps that I was a medic in the service. My wife saved money by not getting new glasses for four years.


  31. The thing that really bothers me with the healthcare system we currently have is that each employer has a different contract with the same insurance carrier. For example, my ex-husband had a union job. Because the union was strong, we had fabulous health insurance.

    After my divorce, I ended up going without insurance for a year because the monthly deduction from my paycheck was prohibitive. It was something like $200 for just one person. I simply couldn’t afford it. AFter I changed jobs, I ended up going with the health insurance because I knew I would need gall bladder surgery. The insurance company ended up being the same insurer that I had while I was with my ex-husband. Of course, the plan was different, and I had to pay a shit-load of money every month for coverage (that ultimately wasn’t even worth it because they denied my coverage AFTER my surgery was complete!)

    If we keep insurance companies, we need to make them more accessible to people who don’t have the benefit of a union job to negotiate the best contracts. We need lower deductibles, better access to doctors, and less restrictions in care, etc.


  32. Hi gang, Whirled Peas, voltairesneighbor, Werner and James,

    While we are waiting for Helen and Margaret to change the subject, we can continue our discussions by agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable. Thank you Whirled Peas for your follow up on Ben Ladin. Voltairesneighbor, welcome to the Grannies Club! We will take on anybody, anytime! Werner, on account of we are buddies, right? James, here is my rebuttal to yours. Our opinions are always subjective based on our own experience.

    A week after 9/11 we went on an extended tour of China; Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuhan, Xian, and Beijing, including tramping around on the Great Wall. What the hell. If World War III broke out, we might just as well be in China as under the bed at home. We already had our plans, tickets and reservations made. We went as private American citizens in all our travels, not affiliated with the military or any government. There were 20 of us in a tour group from different parts of the world. Between the largest cities we flew on Chinese Airlines. We couldn’t tell the difference from any other country’s airlines.

    China is a country with an ancient history and as such is a study in contrast. From Shanghai to Xian to Beijing, we saw modern skyscrapers, freeways and traffic of all kinds. On the streets we also saw bicycles with loads attached, the size that would be in the back of a pickup truck in our country. I could only imagine the strength of the cyclist to maneuver those loads through traffic on muscle power alone!

    The Chinese people are extremely enterprising and industrious. Hustle and bustle preceded us wherever we went. They are also friendly and most polite. Our guide told us that the people are as curious about us as we were about them. We were approached on the streets any number of times with smiling faces pointing to their cameras and wanting to have our picture taken with them. Of course we obliged and reciprocated with our arms around each other.

    In Wuhan there was a celebration going on that is apparently the equivalent of our 4th of July except that it goes on for a week. Wuhan is a large industrial city on the banks of the Yangtze River. It is the seat of a number of institutions of higher learning including a university and a school of medicine.

    One early evening after dinner we were strolling down the streets of Wuhan in a kind of a mall. We were in the midst of a festive atmosphere when a boy of about ten came up to me with his little chest proudly pushed out and said, “Hello!” most emphatically. I put out my hand and said, “Hello!” He shook it and said, “My name is Johnny (at least it sounded like Johnny), what’s yours?” I told him and then asked him how old he was and complimented him on his English. He replied that he was learning it in school. We had a dandy conversation while all of his relatives, mother, father, grandparents, aunts and uncles stood nearby in a semi-circle, beaming proudly as their young charge talked to the nice grandmotherly American lady. In a few minutes we attracted quite a crowd! All of us were enjoying ourselves immensely. Later when we got on the bus to leave, we were all waving out the windows and the people were smiling and waving back. One woman had a little dog and she held up its paw waving to us. It was great fun. Such warm and friendly people.

    This happened throughout the country in cities and villages, from college students wanting to practice their English, to people of all ages. Sometimes they spoke no English and we, of course, no Chinese. All of us understood the international language of smiles, handshakes, nods, gestures and laughter.

    The SPOKEN Chinese language has several interesting characteristics. One of them is their use of ‘tones’. It has a number of different ‘tones’ best described as similar to that of singing. Different ‘tones’ can relay different meanings of words with the same basic sound. If you have heard Chinese spoken, it does sound ‘sing-song’.

    For example, the sound of “A” is pronounced “Ah” in a flat tone with no inflection. Sometimes “Ah” is drawn out ending with the intonation going up as in an English question. Other times the inflection drops down as at the end of a sentence with a period.

    Try it. Now it gets complicated! “Ah” drawn out, inflecting down means, “curse”. Further, “Ah” inflecting down then rising back up means “horse”. The wrong ‘tone’ can convey and an entirely dissimilar meaning! Now you know two words in Chinese. A third would be “Mehou” (Me-how’ no accent on either syllable.) It is the greeting, “How are you?”

    Getting into Chinese characters of WRITING is mind-boggling to Western thought. The 40,000 characters of pictorial script represent, not SOUNDS but IDEAS. It would probably take up to fifty years to learn all 40,000. The average Chinese gets along nicely with 3,000-4,000. Most of the characters have been unchanged since time immemorial. That is quite an advantage, because manuscripts that are CENTURIES old can be read by scholars today the same way they were read when they were written. (Have you ever tried to read Shakespeare in the original old English?)

    Another advantage is that the written language is not affected by the myriad dialects in that huge country. People may speak differently, even not be able to understand each other at all. Yet they can easily read the same written passages. In fact, Chinese is an Oriental international written language in that Japanese and Koreans are able to read it as easily as any literate Chinese.

    This is an interesting example: There is a character for ‘home’. Superimpose another character of ‘mother-in-law’ on it and you have the word, ‘discord. Insightful, the Chinese!

    So to my way of thinking, if people are approached staring down the business end of an M-16 or threats to bomb them back to the Stone Age, well, that’s not a very NICE way to win friends and influence them. It is better to get to know different people, understand them and let them understand us so we can become friends. Friends don’t generally want to kill each other.




  33. I was just thinking what a blast a potluck dinner would be with all of you – each bringing a special dish and pie, kegs of beer (or in my case, Newcastle Brown Ale), loads of wine, and killer martinis. . . the only rule: be nice (as in no fist fights without at least a $5-in betting pool)


  34. werner ….
    isn’t it strange that two people that have pretty much told each other to F&$K O&& can have things in common…good food and beer for instance…..some times the ingredients are more important than the amount….some like more salt,some more pepper and some want garlic…..kinda like politics…AY


  35. I have to agree with the women who say that there would be a lot more abortions and they would be paid with insurance if men got pregnant. I do like the beer on tap idea.

    I love my kids but I can guarantee I would be childless if having them were up to me.


  36. Quoting Little Bird 6:41p

    “…if men could get pregnant abortion clinics would be open 24/7. AND they would be covered by health insurance!”

    Are you kidding? IF men could get pregnant, clinics would be drive thru, with beer on tap and ESPN on the tube.



  37. hmmm, not so sure about the validity of the argument regarding men & abortion. I think that if a man and woman are in a committed relationship (whatever that means to them), then the man should be consulted. . . but ultimately the decision must be the woman’s – Roe v Wade is, in its intent, about privacy rights more than abortion rights. Women have the right to privacy in medical choices – until Roe v Wade, women’s medical decisions were rarely individual, but familial or patriarchal. The right to an abortion is part of the foundation of Roe v Wade, but not the entire case. Of course, if you were Sarah Palin, you’d know this. . . snark.
    Anyway, with transgenderism, ‘men’ are having babies – so eventually I expect to hear a case in which a baby born to a transgendered man is not in fact a real baby but an abomination in eyes of the Lord. . . ahh eugenics can be practiced by even the most pious among us. . .


  38. I have had this argument with my extended family for YEARS. Their argument is religion. They say abortion is murder. They are each and every one of them for the death penalty. Oh, the irony. Because of my genetic condition (that no one else in the family has, let’s hear it for spontaneous mutations) a pregnancy could kill me. They think this means I can never get married. And I’m with Imaginista on this one, if men could get pregnant abortion clinics would be open 24/7. AND they would be covered by health insurance!


  39. ImaginistaA, women disagree on abortion, so if men could get pregnant not much would change. Besides, I think science is getting closer to the day when men can become pregnant.

    I was primary care giver of our children during the winter when they were pre -schoolers because my wife was teaching at school. We planned them to be born in July so my wife would be ready to teach in late August. Both children were born within two days of each other. she had them when they were teenagers and in her classes. My wife said I got the better deal.

    We have an old cook book my mother made with some of her mother’s recipies. Our daughter still makes my mother’s sugar cookies as a Christmas gift for me.


  40. 2 more tangential things about healthcare:

    Former Governor/candidate/DNC head Howard Dean, who’s also an MD, has this message:

    “If Barack Obama’s healthcare plan gets changed to exclude a public option like Medicare, then it is not healthcare reform. Legislation rises and falls on whether the American public is allowed to choose a universally available public option or not.”

    Find out more about that at

    And — although there are a lot of questions and concerns about Senator Dodd right now, at least there’s this: when he had orthopedic surgery (knee? hip?) a year or so ago, he did acknowledge that he has great coverage and would like to see EVERYONE be so covered.


  41. Hey werner. I have childhood memories of my parents making sausage in the basement with my aunt and uncle. My mom STILL has that hand meat grinder (she is 86). I don’t remember them following a recipe, but I DO remember that as they added the spices to the meat (churning by hand), someone would pull off a bit of the meat and taste it to see if it was *right* (yeah, raw pork!) I don’t know the name of that sausage; the German butcher I visit in Chicago calls it “Hungarian” sausage. (BTW, my parents are Donauschwaben; you may know that term.)


  42. Little Bird, we agree. I think that beyond a male parent getting some say in the CHOICE (and this too depends on circumstances) the fact that so many male legislators have their spoons in this pot is bogus. If men could get pregnant there is no way we’d even be having these discussions about choice. Fact is, a high percentage of pro-choice people wouldn’t choose to have an abortion themselves.

    Roe v Wade is still legal after 8 years of Bush, with 6 years of Pub rule of the House and Senate, and with a Supreme Court stacked in the anti-choice favor. Which says to me that the right wing just pays lip service to this issue to keep that certain faction of the base energized.


  43. Greytdog and Judith – just read your most recent posts. For several years I have been writing dooown items from my memory of growning up during the 30’s. Will get busy one of t h ese days a get it all put together. The ideas of putting old family recipes is great. If it isn’t lost (I hope) but in storage with other remnants of my life is an old cookbooth that belonged to my grandmother. It has een recovered in bluechecked gingham that is faded now and well worn. I can’t remember the name of the company nut they sold cooking supplies, something like Jewel TEa. I remember coming from school and way down the blok was the fragrance of ChlilSauce! I it started out in a huge blue speckled enamel kettle filled with chopped tommtoes, green peppers, oniooonsbrown sugar vinegar and I don’t remember what else. It took hours tocook down.
    DElicious. It is innteresting ow cooking has changed over the past 100 years….
    I liked the responses to IAW and James. Guess I keepreding them just to stiiir up my adrenaline and make me think.


  44. Oh, yeah, if you don’t have a family cookbook, you need to start one. Otherwise, it’s just a pile of clippings and cards, and you can never find your great aunt’s whatever again. At least, until you tear out the cabinets.

    One of the towns we lived in, growing up, was Sheboygan Wisconsin. Sausage is big there, and not just bratwurst. I can never find my favorite here in Minneapolis, not even at Kramurczyk’s.

    It was called kranska, or something like that. Coarse ground, and I think it was fresh. At least, it took forever to cook before my mother would declare it safe. (Of course, she was known for cooking canned veg at a hard boil for 20 minutes to ‘kill the botulism’, so she wasn’t entirely to be trusted on this point. And she is no longer around to ask.)

    By the time it was done, it had huge blister-like pockets of scalding liquid fat which exploded and burnt your mouth, or sprayed up off the plate to hit whatever would be most awkward to explain. I loved this stuff, and I haven’t had it since I was 12. Only good thing in Sheboygan – that and the music program, which started in the 4th grade. Probably doesn’t any more.

    The complaints about any health care improvements fall into 1) sham and 2) real.

    Sham consists of “We can’t ever do enough, we can’t fix it this year, it won’t be perfect, it has flaws, what’s the point?”. So, let me get this straight – it’s better to do nothing? We can’t have perfect, so let’s not bother with better? Do you apply this line of thinking to other problems? If you step in a deep hole, do you leave your leg there because if you pull it out, your shoe will be muddy? And God forbid you should ever have to choose between a ditch and an oncoming train.

    Real is not spoken, but thought very quietly “If I spend any money, if I cost my constituents $50. this year, they will vote me out of office. They are too stupid to understand that this will save them $500 or $5000 at a later time. If I do nothing, they can’t blame me, I’m not responsible.”

    We are not that stupid or that self-centered, as a whole. Some of us are, but we call them jerks (and worse. Much, much worse.) and move on. Explain it to us. The majority of your constituency are adults and can handle it. We can also handle the minority of constituents that aren’t and can’t. Suck it up.

    And if you’re compounding your cowardice with graft – that is, taking huge sums of money and favors to keep things the way they are, you’re on your way out anyway. That oncoming train is almost here, and we’re getting out of the way. Even if we have to deal with the ditch.


  45. Little Bird, no disrespect intended. However, your logic carried to its destination, would offer undesirable rules. I am pro- choice and I have as much right to express my opinion as anyone with a uterus. The same applies to pro life people.

    By your logic, you would not be allowed an opinion about farm legislation because you are not a farmer. Women would not be allowed an opinion if the draft was reinstated and restricted to men.

    Extenuating circumstances for one are not for another. I knew a woman who aborted a baby because she thought two children was enough.

    Health care education, and the environment are in a sense inter related, but they need to be debated on their own merits, not as part of a bail out bill. Our main concern is economic viability and solvency.

    I agree it is not fair to blame Obama for a lack of real change so far, though it is becoming “his” recession now. The “last guy” had a lot of help to make this mess– the Democratic Congress. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are two of the main culprits.


  46. About the abortion issue: If you don’t have a uterus, you shouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion. Also, so many of the right-to-lifers seem to ignore the fact that there are ALWAYS extenuating circumstances. State of the mothers health and all the other possible reasons.
    It seems that (and some of you won’t agree with this) we don’t need a quick fix. We need a real fix. If we concentrated on healthcare, education and the environment the rest might (I think) fall into place.
    Get people healthy so they can work.
    Get people educated so they can work and make informed decisions.
    Get the environment cleaned up so we can breathe and have safe drinking water and work.
    It IS all interrelated.
    I keep reading about how folks are mad at Obama because he hasn’t effected any real change yet. He’s only been in office for what 10 weeks? It took the last guy EIGHT YEARS to make this mess!!


  47. oh a BTW – mudflats forum (see JuneauJoe’s post about mudflats) has a really good Internet security posting – and how to protect yourself online by using “alternate” names. . . not only on the how but the why. having been through an internet brouhaha a few years ago, I’ve become more cautious, but the forum notes really helped to finetune it for me. Anyhoo, it’s good information to have on hand.


  48. UAW, one of my most treasured possessions is the handwritten “receipt” book handed down from mother to daughter. I was so lucky to get it. In this wondrous trove are recipes for homemade catsup (oh my god, I use to sell jars of that stuff at college – and always had orders for more than mom could make), cinnamon rolls to die for, bread recipes that still rock the house, pickles (including “icebox” pickles), how to smoke your own hams (and other meats), etc. Over the years I’ve copied those recipes, bound them, and given them to the new brides of the family as a wedding gift. And I’ve updated them with current family recipes for stroganoff, sauerbraten, even recipes from my childhood that have since become family favorites (indonesian chicken curry is the big hit with the new generation). And just recently my nephew emailed me for my mango-black bean salsa recipe and the one for my Jamaican Jerk chicken. . . yeah we’re a bunch of cooks and chefs and eaters here. . .


  49. Was just checjing Ukuele tunings for a project I plan and found this

    This one for the gals:

    Woman is at a uke festival with a lovely soprano ukulele under her arm. Another woman walks up and gazes admiringly at the first woman’s uke, at which point the woman holding the uke looks over and says with a smile; “I got it for my husband.” Second woman nods and says, “good trade.”


  50. Thanks JuneauJoeA. That mudflats parable was so good I wish I had written it. I am “James” wherever I post because it is my name, and I am proud of it, but I understand why people use nick names.

    What classes do you teach? My wife teaches English, college prep, psychology, and she used to teach French. Our school district is broke because the superintendent miss spent. The school district fired him and now he is only allowed to enter the school to sign papers.

    Bill Cosby, and to a lessor degree President Obama have told parents they must be more involved in their children’s education. That is a good thing.

    President Obama has continued many of Bush’s war policies, including a small surge in Afghanistan and more aid to Pakistan. I see some problems, but basically like what he is doing.

    Thanks for the link troutay. He is not “my” Johnah Goldberg, and I don’t read National Review. I quoted from his article which appeared in yesterday’s Omaha World Herald, because I assumed his facts were accurate. Some of the criticisms in the link are untrue. Bush, for example is not a traditional conservative. Many conservatives, including Rush would agree with me. Not that I care what they think.

    I suspected FEMA and Homeland Security were mismanaged before we knew for certain. People on a message board devoted to Janeane Garafalo played rough. Some leftists decided Republicans didn’t belong there, and they tried to drive us out. I was the only survivor.

    One of the posters who had become an e friend and I were joking about explosives and guns if society fell apart. A poster wrote he had notified Homeland Security and another agency that I had made terroristic threats when it was obvious I had not. He was only trying to shut me up and scare me, but I called Homeland Security and the bureau which regulates explosives.

    One would expect the government could communicate with itself, but I learned it couldn’t. I called the FBI and another agency, but no one had a working phone number for Homeland Security. Some referred me to other agencies. One number they gave me was a home safe company in California. I gave up after that. So, I had a pretty good idea Katrina would reveal problems.

    Last summer’s tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms illicited a different response. FEMA reps gave us all forms and phone numbers to call if we needed help.


  51. I do not have it at hand, only at home.

    Will try to look if I don’t forget (keeps happening, LOL)

    problem is always translation, I have approx 400 cook books but most are either in french or in german (I have less than 10 in English…..)
    So I will see, but if it hasd not been transalted in english it might be a while (My butcher uses only recipe3s in french or rumanian)

    So lemme check


  52. werner…
    quit teasing…
    a 250 year old brat recipe…
    what is it????
    2k,5k,10k. batch…doesn’t matter
    we’ve had pie recipies…
    we’ve had soup recipes…
    come on….give…
    we do this because we are forgetting what our Grandparents used to do….even my Mom doesn’t remember the recipes…what she remembers is that my Grandfather was the one to keep the edge on the knives and him being up to his elbows in the ground meat…


  53. James:

    I used to get the National Review. Couldn’t stand it.

    Here’s something on your Jonah Goldberg:


  54. James,

    Great information, thanks.

    As a teacher, I agree with influencing the culture of the student and the family.

    In Alaska, we have The Mudflats situation happening.
    A blogger, AKMuckraker, had her identity exposed by a Democratic Politician. AKM wrote a parable and I will provide a link to it. i feel Rep Doogan was wrong in what he did.


  55. Hi Jean,

    I hope your are feeling better. Yes, the West and Soviet Union used surrogates to fight their battles because they were afraid of starting a nuclear war. Vietnam was another proxy battle. The Soviets were emboldened by our departure from Vietnam and our general low moral. Afghanistan was one of several of their attempts to out flank us.

    We used Muslim jihadists because they were our best chance of turning Afghanistan into the Soviet’s Vietnam, and it worked. A diplomat once said there are no friendships in foreign affairs, only common interests. We helped Iraq with its war against Iran for the same reason. Iran appeared to be a larger long term threat to our interests than Iraq. Our big mistake was abandoning Afghanistan and letting the Taliban fill the political vacume the end of the Cold War left.

    Countries, like businesses and families prioritize. Our national survival was at stake, and our victory was more important than complete attention to economic development. Through the Cold War, both countries had narrow escapes with their nuclear weapons.

    Computers and suspicious information provided the basis for faulty conclusions as did political posturing. We came close during the Cuban missile crisis. I believe during the late sixties, the Soviets were afraid we had launched an attack, and one general over rode the system. That Russian general probably saved the world. It was only a matter of time before someone made a mistake. The Cold War had to be our first priority.

    Paul Volker, I think put us through a severe recession to squeeze inflation out of the system, and his success helped lay the foundation for good economic times for the country as a whole. We in rural America did not share the good times. John Melencamp’s Blood on the Plow is descriptive. Remember Farm Aid. A high school friend shot himself because he lost his farm. Our lives were much worse then than now, but the country as a whole prospered.

    Reagan spent a lot on the military in part to rebuild what Carter had started to dismantle. I think Carter budged more military spending in his last budget because he finally understood the threat the Soviets presented.

    The Soviets tried to sway public opinion against Reagan’s spending because their economy could not keep up with ours. Gorbachev said they were worried, and they believed Star Wars was technologically feasible. It is too simplistic to say we spent the Soviets into submission, but it helped. The Pope, Margarette Thatcher. men like Lech Lewiniska (SP) played important roles as did Gorbachev who tried and failed to preserve the Soviet Union. Ours was money well spent because it helped rid us of an evil empire responsible for millions of deaths.

    Bill Clinton was a lucky and smart man. The first years of his administration were less successful than later because he worked with the Republican majority after The Contract With America won them control. He owes much of his success to that informal partnership. In fact Bill and Newt were discussing joining forces to reconstruct Social Security and maybe health care when the Monica scandal broke to poison the political atmosphere.

    Clinton was lucky because we were leaving a slight recession when he entered office, and the defeat of the Soviets gave us more money to spend on domestic projects. The internet and dot com company bubbles contributed to a boom some economists said had repealed basic laws of economics. Bush the elder’s tax increase provided more money, and Clinton’s (with Republican help and encouragement) welfare reforms also added a boost.

    Jonah Goldberg of National Review wrote that Bush was hardly a laissez faire president. He was just more laissez faire than Obama. Education spending under Bush rose 58% faster than inflation. Medicare spending, thanks largely to Bush’s prescription drug benefit rose 51%. It was the greatest entitlement spending since LBJ’s Great Society. Spending on health research, and regulation rose 55%, and highway and mass transit expenditures rose 22%.

    ” Maybe that’s too little in Obama’s eyes, but it hardly validates Obama’s fictions about the last eight years.” Rahm Emanual said a crisis should not be wasted. Obama is adding many good programs which have little to do with our immediate problems . He is feeding us a line when he says the revival will unravel if we don’t fix everything at once. Otherwise, we would not have had previous prosperity with the problems still unfixed. The Russians and Chinese have warned us about over spending. Obama’s plans will place us in economic trouble if his economists’ calculations are wrong. We will face inflation.

    Bush’s Wall Street bailout efforts were “hardly indistinguishable from Obama’s. Indeed, Obamas’ treasury secretary, Timothy Geigthner was the co-pilot for Bush’s treasury secretary Hank Paulson. Now that Geithner is in the captain’s chair, there haven’t been many course corrections.”

    My wife has taught school for many years, and she knows education. Yes, schools need money to function, but students also must live in the proper culture. All of the money in the world will not help without families encouraging and supporting their children. They must demand their children do well. Sadly that drive is lacking in many places. Indian and Chinese young people know education will change their lives. Money helps but without the proper attitude schools will still fail.

    Our children’s experiences illustrate my point. Several of our son’s classmates lost their homes, had divorces or died because of the farm crisis. Our children had to do without a lot of things, and they worked in the fields with us as soon as they could hold corn knives. Though we tried to keep it from them, they knew we were on the edge of losing everything.

    Sometime around Junior High our son’s class of 29 made a bargain with itself. They decided education would take them from their crumby lives and they promised each other that all or none would make it. They had invented their own No Child Left Behind. Our son’s class was so obsessed with getting out they sometimes shared student offices from year to year to improve more of their resume lines.

    Though some hated each other, they became one huge clique. They didn’t do drugs, and when a girl was raped, they handled it. She didn’t tell anyone but her class mates. They did have class sleepovers with all night drinking binges no one knew about until later. Even, then, they usually studied part of the time.

    Our son’s class earned more college aid money than any class in twenty five years, and over half of the class was on the National Honor Society. 70% were on the Honor Roll. On their last class day, the seniors left at 5 AM and drove to a casino in Council Bluffs for their last good bye breakfast.

    They were fine when together, but things fell apart when they went their separate ways. One girl was living in her car six months after graduation. After our son graduated from college, he attended the high school graduation party of a class mate’s younger brother. The class mate had also just graduated from college. The first thing she said to our son when he walked over to talk was “not many of us made it did we?” Our son was a close call too. He used to say he intended to be dead by the time he was thirty.

    Our daughter’s class copied their older siblings with similar results. Both children save about 6% of each pay check and our daughter, especially has trouble spending money. They are still in their twenties, own their own homes, have good jobs, and work very hard. Our son, for example won a plaque and $700 reward for improving the efficiency of his department.

    Their classmates who initially failed have pulled themselves together and several returned to college or started their own businesses.

    Our neighborhood children would have made themselves successful money or not. I think we need to spend more on education, but we must also influence the culture or we will be wasting the money.


  56. And last, even if I stated it before:
    I have NOTHING against Muslims, but a hell of a lot agains Fundamentalistic extremist of ANY color, religon and political flavor!

    And there is nothing wrong with my hold on reality, I have it maintned every two weeks…..


  57. And I disagree to the dog bites owner statement:

    US gave a lot of money to Osama and his buddies, but they didn’t own him for that (You don’t own a whore if you pay her for her services, No?)

    And I wouldn’t like to insult dogs with that kind of comparison, even a dog with rabies has more dignity than that murdering braindead zealot!


  58. Whirled Peas
    … that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation………

    This goes a long way to explaining why Osama has such a strang support within the Pakistani Establishment and Military, old buddies from the Afghan wars……


  59. Quoting Jean 3/29 10:38p:

    “Osama Ben-Ladin had been expelled from his native Saudi Arabia and wound up in Afghanistan.”

    *Historical note:


    As anyone who has bothered to read this far certainly knows by now, bin Laden is the heir to Saudi construction fortune who, at least since the early 1990s, has used that money to finance countless attacks on U.S. interests and those of its Arab allies around the world.

    As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.

    What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.

    ~ snip ~

    Osama bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.

    Another case of dog bites owner.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  60. offer


  61. irisclara
    ….The only answer for multinational corporations is multinational unions. Don’t let them hide in Africa. Go in after them….

    I lift my hat to your common sense, now how we gonna go about thaat practically? (Money, resource etc.?)

    Could the industrilized countries not ovver some money to unionized the third world to protect jobs at home?

    Sounds crazy, but think a moment, makes perfect sens to me….


  62. Fighting Grannies…
    Actually, do you have a “Gray Panther” movment here in the US, as we have in Europe? (Esp. Germany and GB)?

    IF NOT , make one!


  63. Gramiam
    Doogan and the “lower 48″

    I assume you referring to IQ rather than lattitude?


  64. Gramiam
    it’s recipes we’re after, not devinitions.

    I (and I think also UWA) are more after the “bloody” version (After all, boudin stands for “blood-sausage”) and white boudin is only a crotch for french people that can’t wrap there tounge around “Weisswurst”! ;-P

    …..the French/Belgian version typically uses milk, and is therefore generally more delicate than the Cajun variety……

    and much less stable in uncooled environments (gets off rather fast)

    An interessting law that existed in the City of Munich until the turn off the last Century:

    “Weisswurst must be a product of the day and be EATEN UNITL LUNCH the same day, otherwise it was FORBIDDEN to be sold.”

    Reason was the mix of veal and milk that esp. in the summer would go off rather fast without propper cooling. (Made for nice fresh sausages too!)

    Now, sausaqe out.
    (This off topic was provided to you through the guise of education!)


  65. Werner Oderwer, I don’t trust any politicians. They say what they have say to get elected. I like the German saying because its true.

    Today’s Parade Magazine has a short article on a new specialty, the patient navigator. They help patients navigate insurance forms and treatment. They are affiliated with the National Cancer Society. It sounds like it could help some people.


  66. avotresanteΔ,

    Here try this link (it;s the source story for the McClatchey lead)


  67. Well, now that link doesn’t work. I read the story on Huffington Post titled “How Insurers Secretly Blacklist Millions With Common Ailments.”


  68. I think Margaret and Helen should get paid for this!


  69. After thinking about the comments regarding healthcare for a couple days, I keep coming back to the idea that the perk of healthcare benefits should absolutely be cut for anyone and everyone elected or appointed to represent us. Not just for a year, but permanently. And yesterday wouldn’t be a minute too soon. Even if they all vote themselves raises, that won’t guarantee they’ll get private coverage.
    First of all, most of us here seem to be familiar with this:

    Then, if any of them could still even get insurance coverage, they’d probably run into another common situation, where a diagnosis is made by some pencil pusher at the insurance company (which also denys diagnostic testing) rather than a doctor. And if somehow the insurance company is forced to pay for testing, they have an endless supply of insurance-whore doctors willing to lie about anything they’re paid to lie about.
    There are what?… 45(?)+ million who don’t have healthcare coverage, and countless others whose coverage is piss poor at best — I think it’s time to add everyone elected or appointed to those rolls.
    They obviously don’t get that they’re clueless, so I think the best remedy for that is personal experience.
    I know I’m dreaming… but just imagine how quickly something might get done.


  70. I live in Indiana and have made several attempts to contact Sen. Bayh’s office to express my feelings on his obstructionism. He didn’t hesitate to run up huge deficits for the (unbudgeted) war in Iraq. Now he’s got qualms about deficit spending.
    It’s like he’s saying “it’s ok to take out a loan to take time off work to stalk your ex-girlfriend but don’t borrow money for a car. That would be wasteful.”
    My father always told me to only borrow money for the important things that will improve your life for years to come. In other words, a car not a few months off work to be evil.
    I wish Bayh would let us spend some fo the borrowed money on something that will help us like civil engineering, climate change, health care or a sustainable post-manufacturing economy.

    UAW: I’m from WV and I’m union in my blood. That said, the unions need to get off their lazy asses and quit strangling American companies. If you don’t like seeing your jobs go to Mexico, go unionize Mexico. If the unions would work to level the playing field for workers then the companies wouldn’t be in such a hurry to go overseas. Don’t rest until you’ve got the whole third world organized and fighting for workers’ rights. The only answer for multinational corporations is multinational unions. Don’t let them hide in Africa. Go in after them.


  71. Good morning, Margaret and Helen fans! To the few who aren’t, you are your own worst problems. Think about it.

    Werner: in re your message WAY upthread and things not changing since the 18th century, the French have a saying that is very true: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same).

    Fortunately, my state is not represented by any on the list of Don’t-o-crats. Because the power of the purse speaks loudly, however, I will NOT be contributing to the DSCC IF they support ANY of these sorry excuses for Dems for re-election and I will certainly not give any one of them even one penny.

    Someone upthread mentioned slicing off DC and letting it float away (I know that it wasn’t meant seriously … LOL). It’s not DC that’s the problem though. DC voters are among the most liberal in the nation. It is those out-of-town Sens and Reps and their hangers-on who get to DC and who forget that they are supposed to stand for what they told us they would that are the problem. It’s time for the people in their own states to do something about them, and yes, I know that there are quite a few who tried, especially in the case of Lieberschmuck. Those of us who are not there will be happy to contribute to progressive alternatives to help out.

    And please count me as yet another of the fighting grannies here. It’s because of our young ones that we are very concerned about our nation’s future.


  72. wvfurandroot,
    As another fan of Mudflats, I have been following the issue of Rep, Doogan’s “outing” of akmuckraker with great interest. It would appear that we “outsiders” have more knowledge of ethics and First Amendment rules, than this”so-called” journalist/politician. It is very much in our interests to put this turkey in his place so that the dittoheads in the “lower 48” won’t take it into their little pea brains to attack the rest of us. The battles over ethics, civil rights and the Constitution are going to be fought over the internet in this century. We need to remain vigilant, and LOUD.


  73. To UAW and Werner, I followed with interest your sausage comments. Below is The Wikipedia definition of my personal and family favorite, Boudin. This is a treat from “Cajun” country in Southwestern Louisiana,where my family can be traced back to the 1700’s. Before that they were German, Werner.

    Boudin blanc: A white sausage made of pork without the blood. Pork liver and heart meat are typically included. In Cajun versions, the sausage is made from a pork rice dressing, (much like dirty rice) which is stuffed into pork casings. Rice is always used in Cajun cuisine, whereas the French/Belgian version typically uses milk, and is therefore generally more delicate than the Cajun variety. In French/Belgian cuisine, the sausage is sauteed or grilled. The Louisiana version is normally simmered or braised, although coating with oil and slow grilling for tailgating is becoming a popular option in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.


  74. Hi gang,

    President Obama has been roundly criticized for taking on too many issues at once – the economy, health care, education, the environment and mopping up the mess of the war on terror. These issues are all interrelated! After about 28 years of neglect, it would be almost impossible to solve any one effectively without the others.

    Here’s why from my selective memory. Remember, I am old enough to have lived through and remember most of these events. This is off the top of my head except for the spelling of some names and dates that I looked up. Feel free to refute any and all points.

    In 1979, the U.S. and Russia were at a standoff as nuclear powers. Still they both played a good game of “Let’s you and him fight on THEIR territory with THEIR blood.” Both powers supplied arms, ammunition and encouragement to the favored side of each when Russia invaded Afghanistan.

    Osama Ben-Ladin had been expelled from his native Saudi Arabia and wound up in Afghanistan. To support the Afghan rebels, Ben-Ladin brought in a number of his followers as well as money from his wealthy father’s enterprises. After years of fighting the rebels, Ben Ladin and his band of merry men succeeded in driving the Russians out of Afghanistan. Hooray! Them Russian Commies were beat!!!

    Reagan became president in 1980 for eight years followed by four years of G.H.W. Bush. Both were preoccupied with beating Russia to the neglect of domestic issues. Reagan ran up the largest deficit in history until that time. Remember ‘Star Wars’ and a host of other Gee Whiz expensive weapons? Support for the Military-Industrial Complex complete with relaxed regulation and pro-business policies were the order of the day for both administrations.

    Clinton helped clean up the economy to a certain extent and after eight years, left office with a surplus. Hillary Clinton tried with all her might to get a national healthcare system going but you know how that went. However, Bill’s admittedly foolish dalliance with an intern consumed so much time, energy and money, there wasn’t much left for education, healthcare or anything else of consequence to the American people. More neglect.

    Then comes G. W. Bush for eight years who wanted to play Caesar and made a complete mess of everything.

    You do the math. A total of 20 years of Republican domination against 8 years of Democratic and we have almost two generations of kids growing up in an educational system on the skids. Does anyone see a pattern of either GOP incompetence or obstruction for the past 28 years?

    Meanwhile at about the same time, India gained her independence from the British Empire and became a brand new democracy. Her first Prime Minister was Jawaharlal Nehru. His daughter, Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) followed him for three terms as Prime Minister from 1966-77. She had a turbulent career so lost her post for three years but returned for a fourth term, 1980-84. She was quite aggressive in instituting and reforming India’s educational system. Sadly, she was assassinated by a Sikh religious extremist.

    After several generations, the RESULTS of her educational reforms are evident today in that India EXPORTS some of the best, brightest and well-educated work force around the world. Now, India is IMPORTING jobs from US corporations to boost her economy at home while our economy tanks.

    One of the First Ladies tried to promote pre-school education. Wasn’t it Lady Bird Johnson? Education begins there, through elementary and on into secondary schools and beyond.

    For an effective healthcare system, we need qualified doctors, nurses and technicians for the increasingly high-tech and expensive equipment that is medicine today. What educational system are they going to come from?

    If all of Obama’s reforms were in place tomorrow, it would still take several generations for kids to catch-up in the area of education.

    These are daunting tasks! For heaven’s sake, lets forget about the back and forth bickering and get on with tackling solutions!




  75. Even though Dianne mentioned it upthread, there is a certain Democrat in the Alaska legislature who is just asking for a good dose of Margaret and Helen’s woodshed.

    His name is Mike Doogan. For a detailed description of how big a .. well.. doogan he is, please read AKMuckraker’s post on Mudflats blog from Friday.

    I’m still very very angry about it, so I’ll not say more. But suffice it to say that this issue concerns every one of us who uses a pseudonym online to express an opinion.


  76. And IBM gets out of the service sector (different focus) so isn’it handy that we have a recession at hand?

    I work in a building (Cite Electronique, downtown Montreal) with the main 3 competitors in IT under one roof, so you hear a lot in elevators food court etc.


  77. JubeauJoe and UWA

    no use figthing about workers in the US autoindustrie, in two years from now, five at the very most, there will be 50 -70 % less production jobs over here and minimum 50 % administrative jobs too.


    uuups sorry caps, but they fit.

    Didn’t you see how many companies will and do use the recession as an excuse to cut jobs they wouldn’t have dared to cut a mere 3 years ago?

    And I am talking healthy companies

    Just look at the IBM IT service sector those 3700 job cuts would have never gone through without recession, they would have to find a buyer for that sector….. (IT Helpdesk and hands on services usually don’t make money, as a manager your already excellent when you keep your workforce down enough so you run at cost, but the follow up contracts for Software maintenance, Networking etc. is what makes those companies so profitable, so IT services is a main door-opener)


  78. UWA
    checked your sausage site and first (cooked) sausage shwos the whole problem with the north-american sites, they use names without knowing what they actully on about, example (no right wing bashing, just about meat stuffed into intestines (sausages)):


    On the website this is cajun style pork sausage that has nothing in commen with ther real one, which is a central/northern french sausage made from pork tripe, which defenitly is not everybodies kind of food.

    Since these peopel make Andouille like that, and with that, since several hundrets of years, I do think that they have a right to use the name……

    But I have to admit, at times the real stuff can be “hard to stomach”, I had it a few times but never became a real fan of it.

    …L’Andouille artisanale de Vire est composée de l’appareil digestif du porc, à savoir le gros intestin, l’estomac et l’intestin grêle.
    L’Andouille is made of the intestine system of pork, the major intestine, the stomch and the lower intestine…….

    Après les avoir nettoyés puis découpés à la main, ils seront rassemblés sur une ficelle, c’est le Montage Traditionnel……

    This is from the Andouillerie artisanal in Normandy.
    Link with production pictures:

    Check the Rillettes while you there, now this is something yummy, (Forget “low fat” though)

    Same for Octoberfest sausages (Only available in North and South America), as a born Bavarian, and after testing them, I wouldn’t touch ’em with a pair of pliers! (Even my rumanian butcher hated to make them, since the spieces where making him all itchy, so I gave him a 250 year old bratwurst recipe that he know makes with some success)

    Or to say it otherwise:
    In Bavaria we quarter peopel for far less…..

    So, I do not want to diminish the recipes on that or any other site, but would rather make the statement that not all is what it seams……

    But we Germans are crazy about our sausages anyway, check this survival kit:

    The little info on the lower left says:
    German Sausage, everything else is cheese!

    Sausage out!


  79. UAW, listen to you, you are a philosopher, it sounds like you are describing Karma. I am sorry to be snarky in light of your wife’s health, but you really should listen to yourself.
    “Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers
    What you do today, might Burn Your Ass Tomorrow”


  80. I am not surprised that of the handful of issues Helen presented for our consideration healthcare has enlisted the most response; it seems no one is apathetic about healthcare or health insurance. I do wonder if we have forgotten that we have a vested interest in everyone else’s health or lack of health. Some of us remember Polio epidemics, it seems when disease is epidemic or worst, pandemic, ability to pay is not the most pressing consideration. The non-treatment of contagious diseases, insurance or no insurance, ability to pay or not, subjecting all of us to infection, would I think be a moral outrage and completely unacceptable to all of us. I, for one, would not deny anyone treatment for any medical problem because of their lack of insurance or inability to pay, I understand not everyone is as fortunate as I am. That said, I know that the treatment of some indigent person might lead to a treatment or cure that I or a love one might benefit from someday. My husband’s first wife died from a form of cancer several years ago, that today is treated as a chronic disease. You might recall there was a very frisky female former Vice-Presidential candidate who lent her opinions to the Presidential race in 2008, so you know that patients with this type of cancer live a rather normal life. My husband is comforted to think that perhaps all the suffering his dear Bernie endured might have led to the successful treatment of others. And it is quite possible her case did advance medical science in this regard. Even of the day of her death, she was scheduled for even another experimental treatment; her will to live or to serve humanity was strong. Neither my husband nor I think everyone who contributed towards the treatment of this form of cancer necessarily had health insurance. So if you can’t muster altruism for the rest of mankind, give your fellow man a break for selfish reasons.


  81. UAW: You worked for your health care and retirement – granted. However, with your complaining, you would let those same benefits be denied others WHO ARE WORKING often two jobs.

    Bush gave the banks BILLIONS and no complaint but when Auto Manufacturers get a bail out – GO AFTER THE WORKERS, not fair. Can those auto workers now working expect the same benefits upon retirement as you are getting?

    Health care is a major issue AND IT SHOULD BE A PRIORITY.


  82. werner…
    I just thought that your mom might remember the old recepies….if she’s like most people her mom just used a handful of this and a pinch of that….my friends and I only did 11 pigs this spring(net wt. 2500#)(yes they were alive when we got them)and we made approx 300# of sausage…always looking for recipies…
    some of these aren’t bad…


  83. juneao joe… I don’t have the…I got mine-you go to hell attitude…I have the- I worked for mine and so can you attitude…there’s always something to do….walk dogs ,hoe fields,pick fruit…and some people wait

    Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers

    What you do today, might Burn Your Ass Tomorrow”


  84. Unfortunately th is system is great but there are no nurses here, just caregivers, therefore insurance does not cover it. It is much better than a nursing home. I am still officially employed, just on leave of absence!! as I was still teaching when this happened.


  85. Despite my complaint that there is no coverage for long term care I wish to clarify things.
    I have a group called SEcure Horiiiizons. Got it whenI tuurned 65. It is the SEnior coverage of a group called Pacific Care. I promptly was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and chemo. Noow I had the stroke and I am still covered!
    CAlifornia has a wonderful system called Board a n d Care REsiiiidences. The concept is sssslowly spreading over the US. There are only 6 residents maximum. Oops call for lunch MOre later


  86. And yes, my company pays for a “well-care” as well as a health-care insurance, and quiet a bit, but with several billion profits last year I am not so much worried that I’d bring them in the poor house.


  87. UWA
    my moms not a butcher and I researched this recipes myself, but I stay to what I said above…..

    The millionaer bit was sarcastic since you seemed to expect a Heli aside of every Ski hill in Quebec (Sarcsm!) and only Millionaers can afford Heli-skiing.


  88. UAW – People would love to have the opportunity you have and have had. You have the American dream but you are willing to deny the same dream to those who follow in your footsteps.

    You have the, ‘I got mine’ you can go to hell attitude.

    We can spend 3 Trillion on a war which lies got us in to, but raise hell if anyone tries to get health insurance and rich folks have to have their taxes raised a bit.


  89. Werner…
    I like your bit with two-tier…
    What we need is something for the catastrophic care…..Insurance wouldn’t be that much if all it had to cover was broken bones,colds,stitches,or colonoscopies…some of what you talk about is well-care not health care…and I do have a problem with people that want something for nothing…I pay for my office calls


  90. Werner…
    what do you mean millionaire…I worked for a living…apparently you don’t know what a tradesman(millwright)does…Ive got the scars and burn marks that went with the job…I’ve put the “asbestos suit” on to work near the flames(when you run low on air you step back and someone else takes your helmet off-gloves smoke))….maybe you’ve rolled one to many fat-boys….
    and I’m still trying to get to you through your blog to get your mom’s recipe for swarzamegan(???)


  91. James
    no problem with selfhelp here (In Germany we always say, “you want it done good, better do it yourself” as long as the politicians main occupation is NOT stealing from the people.

    About Sarah Lying we always will have different views, but since you say she is not lying more than most, I even have to agree, I think most politicians lie minimum half the time or MORE.

    I think there was no more politician that belived that you can get anywhere while being honest since the German Revolutionof 1848, and even than the where called “romantics” or worse.

    If someone can proof me wrong on this and back it up with real facts, I’d be more than happy to appologize to any politician I’d have done wrong.


  92. necessary, sorry the typos


  93. Werner Oderwer, your advice about “Fair trade” groups it is good. I hope it works. I don’t believe Palin is more stupid or lies more than the average politician, but even if she is, we ought not rely on the government to cure all of our ills.

    My wife’s sister and brother in law had a rabbit co operative and they hauled rabbits to Quebec. My father in law visited with stores as in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota and persuaded them to sell rabbit products. They experimented with products like rabbit burgers which they produced in their converted garage. They did it all without any help from the government, and only bank loans. Its too bad they didn’t know about micro loans.


  94. What trhe use is a healthcare i9nsurance that only takes the healthy?

    Doesn’t make much sense (either than finacial) to me.

    I’d opt for basic care (with long wait lists if ecessay) by the state and than when you ave a good job / extra money you can by additional insurance that will cover the “perks”

    Like we have in Canada……….

    Still two tear, but (nearly) no sick left behind, and if you get REAL bad there is always emergency care that will let you jump the line if a doctor (by very strict guide lines) says so.

    Like her if you on basic (most elderly) you pay a maximum of, (I think) $300.00 per annum, the rest is covered.

    This even my mother in law can afford with an income (from her house, renting, plus VERY small pension (self-employed)) of just above 20K

    Makes perfect sense to me, so If Obama needs to come back to have a look, (or send someone) he/they will always be welcome here, he knows that by now.


  95. On healthcare currently. . .
    Excerpt from article Cost of Care posted today 03/29/09 @ The Miami Herald:
    “Insurers have different criteria. Sleep apnea and fainting for no known cause are reasons for denial for the Nebraska plan, but not for other plans. Vista doesn’t want to cover severe acne, but other guides seen don’t mention it. Insurers often use measures of body mass index to reject those who are too heavy or too thin.

    For cancer, the key is how patients have been doing in remission. Wellpoint, a national insurer, rejects applicants who have had breast or prostate cancer within the past five years. With other types of cancer, 10 years must have passed. Assurant Health, based in Milwaukee, rejects most patients whose cancer has not been in remission for at least eight years.

    Other reasons for automatic denial by various companies: alcohol-related problems of people who have not been abstinent for at least six years, chronic bronchitis, severe migraines, and a cardiac pacemaker installed within the last two years.

    Some insurers will automatically reject applicants who are using certain prescription drugs. Wellpoint denies anyone who within the past year has taken Abilify and Zyprexa for mental disorders as well as Neupogen, which is used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy. Vista lists the anticoagulant Warfarin and the pain medication Oxycontin. Both companies list insulin.”
    Click here for article:


  96. Pilot Point Food Drive
    C/O Pilot Point Tribal Council
    PO Box 449
    Pilot Point,Ak.99649

    While long term solutions are being worked on , it is still winter in rural Alaska. The need for food and fuel is continuing. I heard from Victoria that Pilot Point had no food. Please send flat rate boxes.

    To learn more.


  97. rose.rau

    contact “Fair trade” groups and see if they haven’t got an Idea on how to get smoked fish (so it keeps) on the market soemhow? Might take a few months to work something out, (Apply form microloan to get vacuum packing machine) but since you are looking for longterm, it might be worth a shot!

    And Forget Stupid Lying Palin, she won’t do anything!


  98. Darlings:
    I have long thought that Congress should be required to have the same health “coverage” as the rest of us until they fix this gawdawful mess. Hubby and I are now over 60 and he is staring retirement in the face. If it comes too early (i.e. if the Governator cuts the education budget some more and he gets laid off) we will have to use his pension to pay for COBRA until Medicare kicks in. (COBRA’s a damn joke, financially.) We have good coverage now, but on the open market we are both uninsurable due to the accumulation of ailments.

    We’re better off than my sis and her hubs. They moved from one state to another and have experienced a coverage gap of a couple of months for leaving the region. It’s the same damn insurance company — what the hell is that about? He has a legitimate prescription he can’t fill because it’s for a substance that elite athletes have abused, so his new pharmacists are giving him the fish-eye. She self-treated a hurt back with leftover meds and whiskey (hey, it worked). They are employed, but their savings have taken a terrible hit thanks to the New Depression. Their son is unemployed and so has no insurance at all: she’s pretty sure he’s in need of anti-depressants, but he can’t afford to go to the doctor.

    We’ve all done everything according to the book, whatever that means. My hubby and I especially — paid off our little house and everything.

    But when the major cause of bankruptcy in this country is catastrophic medical expenses, it tends to make me feel insecure, and frankly, really angry as well. When the local school or church holds a bake sale to help pay for a neighbor’s chemo, something is very, very wrong with this picture.

    I’m glad my two Senators and my Congressional Representative are Democrats and not Conservadems, but they can’t do it by themselves.

    Thanks for being here, Helen and Margaret. My sis and my best friend and I all want to be like you in 20 years. I mean it.


  99. H & M-
    Ladies my hat is off to you.
    Education, health care and the rest is a mess.

    I have been watching this entire example of a mess in Alaska that just shows me that none but the purple party can fix it!!

    I have read, stayed quiet and packed my food boxes for the villages but NO MORE. I just read the latest defense of the state on how much they are “helping” and I am pi$$ed.

    Do you notice that not one village that is involved in the food drive is being helped with food? No food to Nunam Iqua or Pilot Point!!

    Food went to places and organizations that are not involved in the drive. Have the villages that need it most, besides Emmonak, gotten one little bit. NO!!!

    Politics!! Red, blue, Native or not – who cares – fix it!!

    In fact nothing said about the issues faced in those Bristol Bay villages. Nothing is talked about to support the issues the women are talking about; by-catch and getting more locally grown food.

    Why listen to the villagers when you can ask a bunch of self serving tribal groups what they want – more money for their projects, nothing that makes long term jobs in the villages???

    The same old “jobs out of the area” are being offered. Oh goodie!

    We have two women with a whole bunch of encouragement and help from “PJ clad anonymous bloggers” who have stuck their necks out to help their fellow villagers.

    Support Ann and Victoria!! Believe me I am sure they are catching crap for standing up for what they believe in.

    Has anyone from the state bothered to talk to them about their ideas for long term solutions?

    They have a group of forward thinking people in their villages who give a darn that can’t speak out without penalty.

    I have family in those BB villages and I can tell you that those citizens have been seeking help from the state, to help themselves, for four years!!

    They have been without a market for their fish for going on 4 years and no help!

    The CDQ- a Steven’s give away, native groups and state are ALL ‘looking into it” and NOTHING.

    Now the fishermen are again putting their livelihood at stake by forming a group to market their own fish. Most likely if anyone is even thought to be involved they will be threatened and will one group help them?? NOPE.

    Sarah you want to see ‘new leadership’ in these villages THEN get behind these two women and help them. You might be surprised how much support would come from those bloggers if you did!

    They are working without the village councils ‘cause all the councils can do is whine. Believe me I hear it from my family members who sit on those councils. They don’t like it that these two are standing up and doing something.

    They are being confrontational.

    They want change.

    The want a chance to raise their families where and how they want.

    They think of others over themselves.

    They work for free and are not looking for long term handouts.

    Come on Sarah, use your power as the LEADER of the state and go sit down with them.

    LISTEN and then see how you can help.

    It might not involve much money. It might just change your press and give you the biggest damn boost in ratings yet.

    The rest of us need to get after all the rest of the groups– and tell them —

    Native Groups, CDQ’s and the State of Alaska sit down with them and start TALKING to THEM.
    Stop feathering your own nests and get to it, cause if you don’t this might just shatter your world of privilege.

    Visit that web site of thier’s and voice your support. I can see they need more of our help and we MUST VOICE it.

    Sorry for the semi off thread but I am sick of the excuses and silence while people are just trying to earn a living and support thier families against odds most of us can’t even imagine!!

    With family that is toughing it out in this crap!


  100. Stupid leftyies that always have to re-vamp their statements:
    So UWA, IF I can find anything that would help your wifes cancer, THIS I will still support!
    It’s just you that I am through with, but WGAF anyway………


  101. troutay
    there is an easy trick to it:

    Make Healthcare the major issue, grassroot, vote and promote it until it comes out of the politicians ears……

    Easiest way to achive what you ALL need.


  102. Craig and James
    I STILL don’t want UWA off the blog, but I needed to tell him where I stand with him, and I, for myself are through with either helping, explaining or defending him.

    I know he will not die of it, but since I always plaid my game open and do hate backstabbing I needed to make that point.


  103. chimneysign
    go ahead and marry, If you don’t do it for the healthcare, do it for the party!

    And you seam to be loving each other anyway, so marriage can’t do much damage…..


  104. Doug
    Ronald Reagan was the first physical proof that you don’t need a brain to become president of the US, just acting skills, “W” was the other….
    just MHO


  105. UWA another load of bull:
    ….I’m glad your father-in-law made it but you never heard the stories about rolling your(father,in-law,buddy)in a blanket and waiting 4 days for the guide to fly in…
    we loose people here fishing(summer and winter)…haven’t you heard…SHIT HAPPENS……

    Yup your shit happens, in Canada, flynig to remote camps they even give you the posibillity to radio in and get flown out if you don’t LIKE it there after a day! Nevfer mind medical emergency, they won’;t refund your money, but you need to leave early, jsut use the radio!

    So, this shit musta happend back home your side, No?

    As stated above:
    Pompous ass


  106. UAW Tradesman

    you dumb ass just don’t get it:

    Yes we bash some right wing asses here from time to time, but the only one that I bashed in my post was YOU!

    So if you feel personaly insulted by this post:


    And, WTF, has a Heli service to do with a healthcare system?

    And, as much as I respect Liam Nieson, he’s had enough cash to pay for a Heli to fly his wife IF he thought it would have made sense.

    But getting a Heli from any nearby Airport to Mt. Tremblant and Flying her to Sacre Cour Hospital would’n have save a minute since the damn Heli NEEDS TO GET THERE FIRST, dumbass!

    The closesd Heli was on the Bell Heli Factory inbetween Montreal and the mountain, but they where closed! (I do some of their Techsupport here, so I know and minimum wages security personel in Quebec isn’t allowed to fly those things, you know!)

    And they did actually do some emergency flights, same as canadian military, WHEN IT MADE SENSE! But for Mrs Richardson, there was no time window to get a Heli there.

    And please show me ANY US just out of town recriantional skiing center (And that’s what Mt. Trembaly is, not a Heli skiing place for millionaers like you) that has Helis on standby ON SITE!

    Come of your pompous horse and , damit, eat some of the shit you seam constantly wading through!

    rant finished, and do not expect any support from me any more, I had with you and yours.

    I truly belief that you have either acid in your veins or are so far beyond reason that you don’t need any attention from me anymore.


  107. My daughter had a series of 3 shots to prevent cervical cancer? and it was pre approved by the insurance company. A year later, the doctor sent my daughter a bill for the shots. Seems the insurance company went back a year later, changed their mind and took the payment back. I ended up paying for it.

    Health care today has little to do with the doctor and patient – IT HAS TO DO WITH INSURANCE COMPANY PROFITS!!!!!!!


  108. Last spring I had to have my gall bladder removed. I had an HMO coverage. I had been having problems with my gall bladder for a year and at that point last spring, it just came to a point where I was practically unable to function, the pain was so bad.

    I contacted the insurance company, made sure my premium was paid and got approval for the surgery. The insurance company then said they would cover it.

    Fast forward several months after surgery. I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they were refusing coverage of my surgery for some bullshit reason (they determined it wasn’t a necessary) and I was absolutely livid. I’m still battling it.

    For those people who think what we have is just fine, or that universal health care isn’t the right way to go, I ask this: what is YOUR solution to this magnificent problem?


  109. James, I am still learning about the Mass. healthcare plan. My sense is that let’s look at the various programs out there – who’s doing what, what are the issues they face, how are those issues faced and answered, let’s look at what if scenarios and see what we can do or not do – we already know what doesn’t work for the most part – so why not look at what does? We’ve become so accustomed to immediate gratification and instant feedback that if we don’t get exactly what we want when we want it then we believe something’s wrong and toss everything out. For instance, under HIPAA, I now have the right to demand immediate test results from the attending technician (ie.ultrasound tech, radiology etc) and they are obligated to provide those immediate results. BUT that immediacy does not equate to full knowledge nor does it mean that the tech’s finding are provided in conjunction with results of other tests listed in your chart. So at that specific moment – who is treating whom? The patient is self-treating. Medical tests are not a T/F test where it is or it isn’t. Results have to weighted against one another to gain a full understanding – and that is why doctors often take several days (when time is not of essence) to review, re-review, and often consult other doctors and specialists. I’m glad I have the right to ask for immediate results – but just cuz I have them doesn’t mean I HAVE to utilize them.


  110. Grandma KatieA. I have a good shot at reaching your age and beyond since most of my family has lived till 95 or 100. My father combined corn at age 92. I feel bad for you all, and have friends with similar stories.

    As awful as it is to say, our country, like a business or family can only afford so much. We need better health care, but if we aren’t careful in how we choose it, the country will be broke and a government board will be rationing medical treatment. The cost of whatever we create will grow over the years. How will we pay for a single payer program with Baby boomers beginning to retire and collect Social Security and Medicare payments? Children and grandchildren will carry a heavy burden as it is.

    Tonight, I heard a radio conversation about the Massachusettes plan. Ed Hazelmeir, one of its creators said Utah is considering adopting it. One feature is once a person has health insurance it stays with him/her in case of a job change. He said each state could adapt it to its own circumstances, and it would be less costly to the federal government. All I know is what I heard. I don’t know if what I heard is true, but it might be something to consider.

    JuneauJoeA, Rick Scott’s plan sounds like what we don’t want.


  111. twobigboobs….if you haven’t heard about the “moderate dems”…it was originally 15…then u must never watch CSpan Or any news … its been all over the place since they ‘exposed’ themselves to the public!


  112. if paul wellstone hadn’t died, i don’t think there would not have been a second bush-cheney reign.

    norm coleman: crybaby of the year!

    we need to ask for legislation that stops those payraises.

    harry mitchell and ron paul: true leaders who see ‘the hill’ and comprehend the needs of ‘the people’

    message going out to senate and congress from this household is ~~~
    for crying out loud, anyway. back off from the feeding trough, piggies. the economy is in a crisis!


  113. Indeed we are here in Colorado…represented by not only one, but TWO “Don’t-O-Crats”…and I am furious!

    One was appointed, the other used to be a Representative!

    I have written to both of them…I could send you the reply I got from one…the least communicative one…but he called me by name in HIS form letter…the other one…the appointee…never answers any quesions or concerns…he only sends form letters asking for donations for his planned candidacy in 2010. He replaced a terrific Senator who is now the Secretary of the Interior with President Obama.

    Secretary Salazar at least answered my questions each time I wrote to him with a specific concern…I may not have agreed with him all the time, but at least he had the honesty and guts to say how he felt and what he felt about any specific bill or act.

    Let me say to those 16 ‘moderates’…GET A SPINE!!!!! None of you are getting a dime from this lady!!!!


  114. Well unfortunately Florida has Nelson (D) who is part of the ConservaDem movement, and Martinez (R) who sees everything in terms of only Cuba. Cuba Cuba Cuba. jeez it gets so monotonous that sometimes I won’t go see a movie simply because an actor with the name Cuba is starring. . .(well not really, but it feels that way sometimes). Sometimes Florida politicians can’t see the bigger picture because their vision is fixed on that tiny little island and its dying revolution. . . .As for Nelson, I’ve met that man several times over the years and a few times had to sit through dinners with his folksy pontifications. . .YAWN. What a waste – folks love him though cuz he promotes NASA – but that’s about all he does. Oh, and promote himself by taking a major joyride at taxpayer expense – talk about a junket! Wow – outer space. That still ticks me off.
    Anyway the day was sunny, still keeping fingers crossed on the Red River cresting below predicted level, and the shuttle returned home safe and sound.


  115. Hi gang,

    While I’m hanging out ‘healing’ the inflammation of my Sciatica, I thought I would share some stuff that maybe SOME of you don’t know. If you already do, scroll on by.

    BTW (is that the right computerese term?), I saw my MRI report and had a chance to study it a little this week. It is not a pretty picture. Since I am not a radiologist, I await further interpretation from the spinal surgeon. I do have a congenital heart anomaly, that is, two flaps instead of three in the valve between the heart chambers. (A Functional murmur. A Pre-existing Condition from birth???). It has some age related thickening. That fact has always made doctors stroke their chins and say, “Hmmmm.”

    As a surgical ‘candidate’, the good news is that my blood chemistry is that of a 16 year-old, not a 79 year-old. Cholesterol, Tri-glycerides, Blood sugar, etc., etc., etc. Another good news factor is that my weight has not varied more than 10-15 pounds in all of my adult life. For now, I’m just waiting to see what develops.

    On another topic, I thought you might be interested in some tid-bits about the physiology of Reward and Punishment. There are several structures deeply imbedded within the brain that control emotional and motivational experience and thus behavior. The hypothalamus is one of them. These structures are present in and apply to all creatures in what we like to think of as self-preservation, hunger, thirst and sex. The MEANS of satisfying these basic drives are generally LEARNED more than INSTINCTUAL in higher animals like humans. We feel good when they are and have been gratified. We feel not so good when they are thwarted or worse, especially if punishment or pain are involved. Since time immemorial, man has tried to come up with explanations for these phenomena, usually having to do with the supernatural.

    There were some famous “self-stimulation” experiments conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada by two scientists, Olds and Milner in 1954. They dropped an electrode into the brain of a rat. The electrode was connected to wires to a lever and then to an electrical current source. When the lever was depressed a weak pulse was delivered to the brain that apparently produced a pleasurable ‘reward’ sensation to the rat. With the lever easily available to it, the rat quickly learned to press it to receive the brain stimulation.

    Soon the rat was pressing the lever up to 1000 times an hour! He loved it!!! He would press that lever for 15-20 hours a day until he dropped from exhaustion. Then sleep and go right back to punching the lever. If the current were turned off, the rat quickly learned to ignore the lever.

    The rat had already learned to run through a complex maze to reach food and/or water. But if the current were turned back on, he would run right on past the food and water to get to lever. They even put a female rat in heat in the cage. Again, the not-so-gallant rat would run right by her and go for the fun lever. (Sort of like the principal of pulling the lever of a ‘one-armed’ bandit in a casino.)

    These experiments have been replicated many times with different variations and the outcome is remarkably the same. They tend to explain plenty of addictive behaviors and even motivations in modes of thinking. The ramifications for people as social groups are practically unlimited. I find it all fascinating!

    It kinda reminds me of SOME of the CEO’s, executives and politician who persist in punching away at the levers of Power and Money to the exclusion of everything else in life. No matter how luxurious the numerous cages they inhabit, there is little difference between them and those laboratory rats.




  116. And we wouldn’t even have to deal with Normy if only Paul Wellstone hadn’t died.



  117. At least ya’ll have your two senators. We in MN are STILL waiting for Norm Coleman to realize that he didn’t win the election.

    I lived in WI, and while I appreciated Root Beer milk for a quarter at the Herb Kohl Milk Stand at the state fair, I wish he’d stop being an asshat.

    You know that some hospitals are making people pre-pay because some can’t afford their bills? Does it really take a Helen to see where this is wrong?


  118. Gramma Rocks, You are right on the money! I am proud to say that the Congressman in the Article below is right here in Arizona and has been fighting to get these raises stopped every year. Makes me proud to be from Arizona once again. Rep, Mitchell takes the raise and donates it to charity locally. He says he will continue to do so until the raises stop.
    U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell is a lead sponsor of federal legislation to block congressional pay raises in 2010. Mitchell and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul argue that Congress should not be getting automatic $4,700 pay raises while the U.S. economy is in recession and consumers and various industries are hurting.

    “We’re in the midst of a recession, and our elected leaders need to do the right thing,” said Mitchell, D-Ariz., in a statement. “For Congress to give itself a pay raise at a time when so many hardworking Americans are suffering is unconscionable.”

    Mitchell represents Scottsdale, Tempe and Ahwatukee.

    Congressional members just received a $4,700 raise bringing their salaries to $169,300 annually. They will get the automatic increase for 2009 without legislation to block it.

    Mitchell and Paul, R-Texas, also opposed the 2008 increase.


  119. By the was I have almost no assets to fall back on. No house, apartment or anything of value. Only thing left besides clothin and some household items is in storage scattered pllaces, BUT, I have a lovely room with space for guesswhat—my computer!! Hooked up to wireless!! and so each day I can see what all of you have to say!Q Oldest son is the one who turned me on to this blog.


  120. I appreciate all the kind words of support from all of you. I appreciate UAW and the position he is in. I have been there, done that. For over 15 years and I am still here.

    I just spent 2 1/2 hours in dentist chaiir. Youngest daughter and son communed over the phone and are going to foot bill for filling and crown.

    Icannot tell y ou how much my kids have done for me.
    Nor can I tell all of you and M&H ffor the privilege of entertaining me with this blog. It really gives my brain a workout each day.

    there are so many here who are full of information from politics to history to many other things. It is of great pleasure meeting all of youi. I feel as th o I have an extended family.


  121. I would also know where I was bitching. I was commiserating with Grandma Katie about health and insurance. this was a fact, not me bemoaning my place in the world. I wish you would read things before making stupid assumptions.

    Whats the point? If we say the sky is blue, you will say the sky is black. I just get tired of the constant cuts to others. What is the purpose?


  122. okay then, this gramma thinks it’s time to start a grass roots movement to let those bloated egos on the hill know that if they vote themselves a payraise this round they can start packing their bags and sending out their resumes for jobs in the private sector. if they don’t tighten their belts like they expect john and jane q. public to do,
    they don’t need to be making any more decisions for how to spend our country’s money.


  123. Thanks Greytdog. I was about to jump on UAW regarding Granma Katie, but you did a better job of slamming him.
    UAW, you need to think about Granma Katie’s situation. No insurance pays for her situation.
    In fact as I age I have to consider the future and that includes what happens after Medicare when Medicaid takes over your life and your home, literally!! Oh, they allow you $2000 a year after they have taken your home.
    What Granma Katie’s sons have done is allow her to keep her assets in the event she can leave the care center she is currently in.


  124. Lieberman is my senator, and it’s been uphill with this moron since he wormed his way around Ned Lamont and won back in 2006.

    Call him? I do. Every single time he moves his slimy lips to kiss some Republican butt. It doesn’t work with him – he does NOT listen to his constituents and never will, which is why I called out virtually every Democratic dumbbell in this state who fell for his whiny diatribe in 2006. It frustrates the living daylights out of me, it really does.


  125. UAW, what are you referring to???? Grandma Katie never said that – what she said is that IF she was a nasty person, she would. . . BUT she made the assumption that the postings on this blog between she and you were enough for an understanding that SHE is not a nasty person. She is, however, a person caught between a rock and hard place – that, thanks to the union, you will never have to negotiate the chasm between affordable/accessible healthcare and insured healthcare. The main problem with healthcare in this country is that is not about health, but about sickness. It is sick care. And only if you can pay the piper (insurance carriers). I laugh at anyone who asks “Do you really want Congress/Obama to make your medical decisions?” What ignorance and arrogance.
    And UAW you know that the folks on this blog – even my own tirade yesterday – has nothing whatsoever to do with your home situation. Buddy boy, I may think you need a slap upside your head, but not once would I wish harm to you or yours. I think you can be a real jerk – but so can I. I also know you love your wife and that you’re just as scared as I am with my own situation. But wish you dead? Nope. Never. Your wife needs you – and that, buddy boy, is what’s important.


  126. Grandma Katie:

    You were not bitching, not even close. You were stating a reality which millions in the US face on a daily basis. You have great kids to help.

    UAW: Cancer sucks but you and your wife have health insurance because of your union. How would you like to face cancer without insurance?

    Bitching: UAW – I see you as the one who is bitching. The average young person is simply trying to get a life and job as good as you and I have had it. Bush and the boys felt that the top 1% got everything and the poor Joes can pay for the top 1% luxury.

    RICK SCOTT: Made many Millions by ripping off the tax payer with his hospitals. HIM BEING IN CHARGE OF THE ANTI OBAMA HEALTH PROPOSAL IS LIKE ENRON MAKING OUR ENERGY POLICY!


  127. Grandma Kate…
    I can’t understand your hatred…
    You’d actually feel better if I died tomorrow and left my cancer stricken wife to fend for herself….not to mention my 86 year old mother and my 88 year old mother-in law…


  128. President Obama’s Weekly
    Address: “Crisis and Service”

    with transcript.



  129. troutay…I’m sorry for your daughter…I can understand your fears and concern…my own wife is taking chemo and thinking of stopping…she says she needs a new dress to get buried in…and all I did was post two sites that thought Montreal should have a helicopter for emergencies…and yes you were bitching…


  130. Diane
    Thanks for the heads up on Mike Doogan. Everyone needs to get over to Mudflats and see what’s going on.


  131. Well we DID dodge a bullet; wasn’t Byh under consideration for VP? Isn’t that irrationally conservative, CNN, pundit Birch, his sister? 2 cats from the same litter!
    Thanks for the list Bama gal, although I KNEW WHO they were! They are the same ones who have enabled the Repigs for the past 8 years.
    Probably somebody HAS SOMETHING ON THEM! Depending on who you’ve got, they listen or not. The 2 moderate Female Senators from Maine, are FINALLY listening.
    Of course they are partially responsible for Roberts & Alito, & the bankruptcy bill, but their state is turning blue and they are responding!


  132. Troutay – Thank y ou for your kind thoughts.
    It is much appreciuiated
    So bad about yur daughter. She can live quite nicely with thyroid medication. My thyroid is simply asleep and I have been on medication for well over 30 years. I know one youngman who had his burned out with radioactive something, been on medication for almost 20 years. My oldest son has a genetic muscle disease. He now has a doctorate. However he has been unemployed for three days and already bored!! He wwill have something soon.
    ssso main thing is to keepp up positive thought for your daughter and believer that she can do anything she sets out to do!


  133. CAt – it is obvous you don’ t know any of “grannnes” Ther are a bunch of us here. Slowly businesses were beginning to realize that us grannies have a lot to offer and were willing to put us to work.
    I have fired a Dr or two because He looked at me and proceeded to not listen to me. He had looked at me an d my chart and decided it was all old age.
    Several years agoo I was entering teacher’s work room behind a new Medical Instructor. She was muttering tht she was too old to be there. WhenI asked her age she replied that she was 65 and a retired OB DR. I just laughed and gave her my age(10years older)
    So we became good friends)
    So just because we are grannies, past retirement age doesn’t automatically put us in a chair in front of the TV with knitting. absolutely not, many are working, attending classes of all kinds, volunteer work, etc.
    Let’s see how you feel when you reach an older age!!


  134. Grandma Katie:

    I wish I could help. We are in the same circumstances as we will be losing our insurance because my husband’s boss is struggling to keep the company afloat. My daughter has pre existing issues:
    Cancer as a child
    Severe Asthma
    Allergies to Peanut Butter
    Because of all the treatment with the cancer, it killed her thyroid gland and now she has to take meds for that for the rest of her life. I do not know how this child will survive in the future without a decent job. she is in her final year of college and I worry so much.

    This is not bitching UAW. this is fact.


  135. As I said in a previous post, you could take the District, saw it off , saw it off and float itout to sea and sunj it.(with all the Senators etc. No one would miss th em.

    Yes health care needs reforming. Especially the drug plan and idiotic “dough nut hole” provision. What makes those idioots think most MedicAre people can pay those exorbitant drug prices full price.

    In this past year or so, I have used up all my savings because of having to pay full price ourselves for my care. Two sons have been picking u p slack, but now oldest son has no job. I am past needing nursing care, just need someone close by. So I am inbetwween nursing home and assisted living.
    Social Security doesn’t go far.

    If I were nasty, I would h ope UAW, Doug and h oug and James never reach my age and have used up all savings. I am most fortunte to have willing kids to help/

    So, for every one that is now in than I can vote for, I am voting them out.


  136. Your blog nailed the real question–Why are members of Congress entitled to a lifetime of the best healthcare around, and the rest of us poor schmucks told to call Jack Kevorkian? It’s outrageous. Then the worthless bastards have the nerve to solicit funds for their re-election campaigns. If I get any spare coin it’s going to St. Jude’s Childrens’ Hospital, not the pocket of some two-bit pol.

    Lastly, I’m freakin’ fed up with people who say they hate Evan Bayh, but that he’s “good-looking.” He’s NOT GOOD-LOOKING unless you’re attracted to a guy whose face looks like a camel. Go ahead and hate him, but not because he’s beautiful, –because he’s an out-of touch, spineless Semi-crat who happens to resemble a beast of the desert.

    Have a nice day and may God bless,


  137. RICK SCOTT –
    ‘Having Scott lead the charge against healthcare reform is like tapping Bernie Madoff to campaign against tighter securities regulation. You see, the for-profit hospital chain Scott helped found–the one he ran and built his entire reputation on–was discovered to be in the habit of defrauding the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars’


  138. RICK SCOTT – This is the fellow leading the fight AGAINST the Obama health care proposals.

    You need to know his background.


  139. Me too. If everyone agreed, life would be boring.


  140. I think UAW brings a lot to this blog. His rhetoric is no more flawed than anyone else here, including Helen. I’m not sure why he’s an ass, or inadequately informed or sickening, but it seems to me that until he agrees with the predominant point of view here and accepts the “fact” that he’s just plain wrong – he will remain suspect.

    So for at least one of us who reads this blog, I appreciate your posts UAW and hope that you don’t go away.


  141. I have to respond to the person writing about the health care system.

    I live on the Canadian border. I too have heard horror stories about the wait for services. Which in my mind means the system is overloaded because people are getting the care they need!
    There is no worry about paying for or accessing care, it is available to all.
    I know of 2 older individuals who after living in the US, returned to Canada so they could receive health care denied to them here, due to expense and MD’s limiting the number of Medicare patients.
    My daughter attended McGill University. For a small sum each year, she had total health care coverage, Dr. visits and all meds paid for.
    She became ill several times and was taken care expertly and for free.
    She has taken horrible jobs here in the US just for the health care coverage.
    I am disabled, mid 50’s and have been on Medicare for 10 years.
    I am lucky to also have health care coverage through my husband.
    There has to be a way that we as a nation can extend health care to all people. We are the greatest nation in the world, so we tell ourselves, but I see other nations passing us by in all areas, education, health care, productivity etc.
    It’s time we wake up and smell the roses and get back on our pedestal.

    Diane Patyjewicz


  142. “shake down Mexican drug lords, go sell their weed to Kucinich” LMAO


  143. Health care economics 101

    Health care providers that accept Medicare patients: Billing system
    1. Medicare patient pays $180 for 4 X-rays. Medicare pays $10 and Supplemental insurance pays $25, Medicare patient owes $00.

    2. Insured patient pays $250 for 4 X-rays and insurance pays 80% which is $200 and insured patient owes $50.

    3. Uninsured patient pays $300 for 4 X-rays and uninsured patient owes $300.

    Assuming the actual cost of 4 X-rays is $180, Health care provider will receive
    $190 from patients #2 and #3 to offset their loss of $135 from patient #1.

    Assuming I am a Medicare patient, I should be happy with this scenario, right? Wrong!! I am restricted to health care providers that are willing to accept Medicare and that restricts my choice of health care providers and my ability to get timely appointments. So please explain to me why socialized medicine is so bad?

    The entire health care system needs to be revamped along with Medicare and Medicaid. FYI, for the privilege of being a Medicare recipient, one pays $247 a month.


  144. Here is another democrat to add to the list.
    Yesterday rep. mike dugan(D) of Alaska, citing his first amendment rights, outed on his Legislative blog the name of the blogger of AKMuckracker

    mike doogan does have freedom of speech. But with that freedom or any freedom in a good and just society responsibility for one’s actions is paramount. That is what makes us a civilized society. That is what gives We, the People, the opportunity to write what we want to online. These blogs are not newspapers, whose role is to write the news of the day. In an impartial and non partisan way.
    mike doogan has not acted in a civilized manner. Nor has he respected the rights also guaranteed to others, to write what they feel without giving their name.
    I fear that this was an act vengeance. The other liberal blog, Celtic Diva, was also threatened the other day by fox news. Sarah palin and her conservative friends are getting frightened by that fact that their actions are being observed and reported. And others, outside Alaska are learning about them.
    If nothing else, the last 8 years of the bush presidency and its accommodating press, taught us that a free flow of ideas is vital to a democracy.
    Why does mike dugan thinks he gets to decide how others impart knowledge? And is he working in conjunction with the Palin administration?
    So, here is another democrat that is using republican tactics of intimidation.
    Attacking the messenger because they cannot stand that the truth is being told.

    Diane Patyjewicz


  145. Health care economics 101

    Health care providers that accept Medicare patients
    Billing system
    1. Medicare patient 4 X-rays $180
    Medicare pays -10
    Supplemental Insurance -25
    Medicare patient owes $ 00

    2. Insured patient 4 X-rays $250
    Insurance pays 80% -200
    Insured patient owes $ 50

    3. Uninsured patient 4 X-rays $300
    Uninsured patient owes – 300

    Assuming the actual cost of 4 X-rays is $180, Health care provider will receive
    $190 from patients #2 and #3 to offset their loss of $135 from patient #1.

    Assuming I am a Medicare patient, I should be happy with this scenario, right? Wrong!! I am restricted to health care providers that are willing to accept Medicare and that restricts my choice of health care providers and my ability to get timely appointments. So please explain to me why socialized medicine is so bad?

    The entire health care system needs to be revamped along with Medicare and Medicaid. FYI, for the privilege of being a Medicare recipient, one pays $247 a month.


  146. Ladies,

    Count me in among the legions of Daily Kos readers who were brought here by the excerpts that Bill in Portland Maine posted on the front page over there. Consider me knocked out, you are a blast.

    What a great stroke of fortune that the two of you have had each other, all these decades.

    Got you bookmarked now, and am looking forward to many hours of delight reading your words. Keep ’em coming.

    Greetings from an Ahian ex-patriate in Germany


  147. Just a minor note of correction to this statement:

    (BTW- Most critics of the time believed that RR was worthy of an Academy Award nomination for his role in “Kings Row.” Bad acting doesn’t usually generate such praise).

    The Academy Awards is an award of peers – not critics. If critics had their way, Die Hard would be considered great drama.


  148. wow–go out of town for a day or so and look at the trolls. I again marvel at how sad someone must be to offer such drivel. If you don’t like the tone or message of a blog, don’t go there.

    As for the abortion issue, I have been active in legal issues relating to keeping clinics open and staff/doctors safe–in an area of the country that’s “ground zero” for the anti-abortion movement. I can say with a great deal of certainty (based on first hand knowledge) that the most vehement leaders of the movement are the ones who, when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, avail themselves of the service.

    Nobody involved in clinic protection or in choice issues views abortions as a good thing, much less a “sacrament.” Those charges are brought by two groups: the people who exploit the issue for financial gain, notoriety, or power and those who have been manipulated by them. Buzz words such as “killing mill” or “sacrament” or the like are the equivalent of the insistence on a Sean Hannity on referring to “Prince Harry” or “Rahmbo ‘Dead fish’ Emmanuel” or “Taxcheat
    Geithner.” Say something often enough and the intellectually limited will accept it.


  149. Blue dog Democrats and like minded Republicans were elected because they expressed views similar to what the majority of voters in their districts believed. That is why they are in office. For every letter condemning Bayes’ “Gang of 15” or other allied groups, at least one letter comes from voters who support them.

    I have heard anecdotes about Canadians coming to the United States to escape long waits and inferior care in Canada, just as we know some here buy Canadian drugs because they are cheaper. We also know many Canadians get care for less than they would pay here. However, individual stories don’t give us the true picture, nor do they tell us if the Canadian system is cost effective. I have also heard Canada has problems paying for its health care program. I don’t know if it is true or not. I don’t have time to google government reports etc, but they probably are available to offer a more definitive reality than stories and opinions.

    I think our leaders need to study the Canadian and other health care systems to see what works and what doesn’t. If individual states set up their own health care programs, the government could adopt which were more or less successful. I read that Gov. Romney with Teddy Kennedy’s help set up a health program in Mass. What works and what doesn’t work?

    I had head trauma in an auto accident, and I spent two days in the hospital with nurses waking me every two hours to check my eyes. A few hours after I left the hospital, the right side of my body got numb and one pupil was dilated while the other wasn’t. Sometimes stuff happens when you are not near a hospital.

    I agree with Greytdog. If Congress has the power to raise its wages, it will. They are more equal than we are.


  150. Gramma Rock wrote: “i think that senate and congress need to have all their ‘perks’ , including
    health care cut for one year. so they can learn about priorities by living them again.”

    Won’t matter if we take their health care perks away – they are due for their annual cost of living increase – and despite Congress’s outcry about the AIG bonuses, you can bet that Congress – despite a failing economy, despite high unemployment, despite the rising foreclosures, despite the demise of thousands of small businesses – you can bet that Congress will give themselves a raise. Oh I know many of the junior Senators and Reps live in less than luxurious housing. . . but that one small item doesn’t discount the fact that they will receive outstanding healthcare at OUR expense, and it doesn’t offset the fact that they will be able to triple dip (or in some cases, quadruple dip) upon retirement (social security, corporate pension, government pension, corporate pension)


  151. Maybe the Reps are promoting marriage by fighting health care reform, just like they’re trapping folks in shitty jobs to keep their benefits.
    If I marry my girlfriend, I’ll have real insurance for $80 a month, lose the $3,500 deductible that is costing me over $900 a month. She cooks great too!


  152. Nate Silver has put up a flow chart outlining the GOP budget proposal.


  153. sick of the whining on the hill also.
    sick of the games and brokering too.
    sick of corporate manipulation of d.c. power.

    i think that senate and congress
    need to have all their ‘perks’ , including
    health care cut for one year. so they
    can learn about priorities by living them


  154. I just found this site tonight – and I love it! Thank you Helen and Margaret.

    I have called the Senators on that list that I donated money to in 2006 and 2008 to unseat the Republicans in their State – and expressed my dismay at their joining with Senator Bayh. Senator McCaskill’s office listened to me and took me seriously and said they would pass the message on. Senator Hagan’s office kind of blew me off. When I called Senator Bayh’s office to explain that I worked for several hundred hours in Indiana to get President Obama elected as did thousands of my fellow Chicagoans, and that if he wanted my help in getting out the vote for him in 2011 he should take note that his State voted for President Obama and the CHANGE he promised – I got an answering machine. I will call again next week.

    I have wanted to start a grassroots movement to make our elected officials at least pay for their own health insurance, if not take that benefit away altogether and make them find their own insurance. Anyone know of any movements like that out there that I can join?


  155. Cat,

    You are a fool and an idiot!

    I need to learn that people with a few years on them can teach you a thing of two, if you decide to pay attention.

    If you have a point, make it, if not – go play your video game.


  156. To “Cat:”

    WHO CARES? Their points are rational, valid, and often funny.

    I don’t care if they are 80-somethings or 20-somethings, they MAKE SENSE.

    Unlike you.

    Don’t like the blog? Don’t visit here you idiot.


  157. One word, and this applies to ALL the Dont-o-crats:


    Boot their sorry butts out of office. And if that doesn’t work, don’t vote for them again. EVER.

    Eff them and their lifetime healthcare and pension. You clean out your effing penny jar to pay for your insulin you self-righteous, arrogant muthereffers.



  158. I’m sorry, but this blog is bogus. No grannies here.



    It has no numbers though.

    They were serious! A budget with no numbers – takes an idiot or two or three to do that.


  160. UAW – You are one angry man and all because you lost. It would be nice to have y ou disappear.
    Doug the same goes for you. If you two “gentlemen” keep it up just so y ou can make people change their opinions, forget it. We Won’t.


  161. “Is our children learning?” Evidently not, from a couple of the posters above.

    See if you can spot them. 😉


  162. Doug:

    Reagan brought more illegal drugs, higher quality and lower prices with Ollie North running a drug operation in the White House.

    Reagan also brought with him a big deficit!

    Stem Cell: Thank you Nancy!


  163. so joe l is a senator… whoopy-friggen-do…
    he still won the election and if someone from CT wants to have him recalled then fine…. if your not from CT your opinion don’t mean jack…then again maybe Acorn can get you 5-6 absentee ballots….remember…vote early and vote often…


  164. I see my last note (which I started before I went out for the evening, and finished before reading all the recent comments) is a bit of a repeat of lorbe103’s comment — sorry about that.

    As far as “keeping abortion a sacrament,” Obama and others have spoken about doing our best to reduce the number of abortions by teaching good judgement and contraception. So — is abortion a sacrament? More like an unhappy choice, I’d say.


  165. The Hypocrisy of Rove..

    I read that the current cost of the Iraq war is 3 Trillion dollars once you factor in the Medical Care for the injured which will need life long care.

    Remember: Weapons of Mass Destruction!


  166. Helen the fact that the Dems don’t lock step behind their President is actually a good thing and what we should expect from people who are supposed to be thinking .Repubs however understand politics a bit better and vote with the party even when they know better…hopefully in the end the Dems will unite and get their differences ironed out.. I just wish Mr O would drop the Geo Bush two cash for trash programs and come up with some new ideas of his own..Frustrating that we supposedly have all these smart people and all we are getting is an extension of what schrub was doing..


  167. UAW Tradesman: you should know that Joe Lieberman is a Senator, so his “district” is the state of CT. And yes, a plurality of people voted for him over the few that voted for the official Republican nominee and the many who voted for the official Democratic nominee, and some are now sorry. But yes, he was voted in (to quote you, “shit happens”).


  168. No, Greytdog, I don’t despise Nancy Reagan. I pity her that she has been ill-informed about stem cell research and that she has been ill-used by the pro-abortion lobby. “Stem cell research” has nothing to do with this agenda. Keeping abortion the sacrament of the Holy Progressive Church is the real impetus behind disputes over stem cell research. Cloaking abortion politics with unfounded appeals to desperately ill people and their families is a rotten practice, in my opinion.

    As for Reagan, well, I’m still waiting for any Democrat to win 49 states. Forty-nine states…not too shabby for a “mediocre” actor, huh? (BTW- Most critics of the time believed that RR was worthy of an Academy Award nomination for his role in “Kings Row.” Bad acting doesn’t usually generate such praise).


  169. graydog..
    like I said before…
    Werner made a comment about how much better healthcare was in Canada and I posted some other opinions…if they’d had a helicopter it sounded like she would have been in Montreal 3 hr. sooner ….that could have made a big difference…NO…isn’t speed sometimes useful…but NO ..lets shit on UAW…he doesn’t think exactly like us…come on comrade UAW. …get in step….


  170. Sadly Helen, I have to confess to two of these butt munches – Lieberman AND Dodd. IMHO, both have been in politics for way too long and need to be swept out.

    Too long in Washington and the stink starts to stick.


  171. DougN wrote: “Is it wrong of me to hope that these two old bags run their Little Rascals right off the edge of that ship? If it is wrong, I don’t care.”

    You’re so wingnut it’s pathetic. You worship at the altar of a has-been B actor who parlayed his mediocre acting skills into being “the great communicator” for the uber conservative front. How you must despise his widow for applauding and supporting President Obama’s reversal of the stem cell research ban.


  172. Here ya go UAW – educate yourself. I’d suggest you read the referenced research articles – most should be available at any library of a medical school near you. Oh – and not one single pundit or blogger among these references: have at it, buddy


  173. vgman, keep straightening the pillows, you prissy fruit. Next, you can begin rearranging the deck chairs on this Titanic of a presidential administration. You boast of your “dialogue rich parlor” while using such frightful language! Really, old boy, can’t you do better?

    troutay, I realize you won. Enjoy it. Savor it. You must be so proud of this humorously inept administration and their corrupt pals in Congress. Don’t get used to it, friend. We will be back. Remember 1980? Obama will make Carter look like Winston Churchill by comparison.


  174. pundit talking points as if God him/herself had come down and placed them on your monitor…
    and I follow links and get sent to Daily Kos or Huffpo…
    give me a friggen break…
    and troutay…I haven’t heard to much wisdom…just bitching




  176. Susan in Ct,

    I actually do not wish that people have cancer with no insurance for telling people they need to work for insurance.

    As a child, I spent 1/2 of my youth without insurance because my mom worked low wage jobs without insurance. We had to wait to be sick until we had insurance. This lady worked 60 hours a week and no insurance for 6 kids. (Dad ran off with the bottle.)fa

    Now I have a daughter who finds it hard to get crappy insurance because she has a pre-existing condition. What a game they play with health insurance.

    For those who pull the old, ‘work to get insurance’ need to live without health insurance.

    I just heard some company like IBM is sending jobs to India because they would pay less for health insurance.

    Single Payer should be a priority. ALL PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE!!
    Forget Wars – fund Insurance instead!


  177. UAW I have no problem with a “difference of opinion” – I have a serious problem with anyone who forms an opinion without knowledge of the topic or who simply parrots off pundit talking points as if God him/herself had come down and placed them on your monitor. As I said, educate yourself on brain trauma injuries and BTI medical facilities before you use a death from brain trauma simply to make an asinine political point.


  178. Dear Eileen and gang,

    Yours is such a tragic story, Eileen. My heart goes out to you. If any of us have never walked in the shoes of others who have had to climb hard paths, then the least we can do is reach out and speak up for those who have. Who knows what tomorrow brings? Depression in varying degrees is a perfectly natural response to the untimely death of a loved one. Like any other deep wound, yours will heal in time, but the scar will remain. I sincerely believe, Eileen, you will be able to reconstruct your life and I wish you only the best.

    Look folks, “Pre-existing Conditions” are called the “Vicissitudes of Life”. People who are lucky enough to skip through life without ever collecting on their dutifully paid insurance premiums, well, they can chalk it up to good fortune. Surely, no one out there believes health insurance companies are justified in finding loopholes you could drive a truck through in order to weasel out of paying for services promised.

    That’s what we have to fix. Other countries have and are doing it and we can too. The plan will no doubt have to be tweaked from time to time, but we are long overdue for a decent system here.

    A very wise man, Teihard de Chardin, was speaking metaphorically when he once said,
    “The fires of Heaven and the fires of Hell are not two separate entities, but CONTRARY MANIFESTATIONS of the same ENERGY.” Anger is energizing. It gets us moving to DO something about an intolerable situation. We did it with the election, didn’t we? We can either expend more energy by sitting back and railing at ‘them’ who have and are ‘doing us wrong’, or we can get busy, come up together with ideas and remedies.

    Obama’s team is working on doing just that. Let’s get on it, keep informed and support the elected officials who are doing their jobs without whining and obstructing. I expect them to do it quickly.

    Eileen and everybody else, I send you my Aloha!



  179. And while I am pissed off:

    More people think like us than think like you.
    You lost, remember?


  180. You know UAW, the more I read your comments, the more I think you are an ass.

    You whine about everything, yet you give no advice on how things could be better. Are you even trying to make things better? No, just bitch bitch bitch.

    You make me sick


  181. To Doug
    Look who’s calling our dialogue rich parlor ‘piffle’. You are a pissypiffler. Take your stench elsewhere and piss on yourself. You and your fellow pissers can whiz on down the drain–cuz that’s where the Republican party is headed.
    There’s a new group around now–one that looks at problems and tries to come up with the best ideas possible. Not pissy ones. So just go and piss in the wind with your piffling self.

    There……..I feel like I just straightened a few pillows in the parlor.

    Have a good weekend everybody.


  182. Just came across this piffle via reading the equally deranged Daily Kos. Is it wrong of me to hope that these two old bags run their Little Rascals right off the edge of that ship? If it is wrong, I don’t care.


  183. Congrats Margaret and Helen… !!!!!


  184. vote for two and he won…sounds like a mandate to me!!!


  185. M&H make the big time
    at The Daily Kos:

    Margaret and Helen speak for me.

    “Margaret lives in Maine, Helen lives in Texas. They’re 80-something spitfires who maintain their own must-read blog and aren’t timid about letting loose with salty language. Here are a few of their “concepts we think most everyone could get behind if that fat ass Rush wasn’t blocking the view”



  186. UAW: FYI

    Lieberman doesn’t have a district, he is a senator not a representative.


  187. And JuneauJoe, c’mon. You’re too smart and compassionate for that comment. NObody deserves to get cancer, health insurance or no.


  188. Peanut Gallery, you ARE aware that unemployment is at a record high? So how can poor people (or ANY people) go to work to “earn” insurance? Why should only employed people have insurance? Why isn’t it a basic human right?

    And as for fart fart fart, what are you, a 9-year-old?


  189. I’m glad your father-in-law made it but you never heard the stories about rolling your(father,in-law,buddy)in a blanket and waiting 4 days for the guide to fly in…
    we loose people here fishing(summer and winter)…haven’t you heard…SHIT HAPPENS…


  190. Reid To Critics Of
    ‘Moderate’ Democrats:

    You’re ‘Very Unwise And Not Helpful’



  191. UAW

    My father in law was fishing in a remote part of Canada and experienced a heart attack. Not only did the Canadians go above and beyond to get to him, they also saved his life.

    I can’t say that this would have happened if he had been in some remote part of the U.S.


  192. Helen:

    It looks like UPS has dropped ads during Bill O’s
    show. Yep, he is even too crazy for them.


  193. graydog…Werner(3-27-09 9:14 AM) was the one that said Canadian health care was better than south of the border…I just thought that I should point out that some people have a different opinion…
    but then I forgot…this is a bash the right blog…


  194. tine…check your facts…
    The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, common in the United States and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal’s top head trauma doctor said Friday that may have played a role in Richardson’s death.

    Compounding the problem, Quebec has no helicopter services to trauma centers in Montreal. Richardson was transferred by ambulance to Hospital du Sacre-Coeur, a trauma center 50 miles away in Montreal — a further delay of over an hour.


  195. on healthcare –
    UAW, your use of Natasha Richardson’s death to make a political point is beyond me – left me totally flabbergasted and appalled. But that seems to be your M.O.
    So here’s a trauma lesson: the hour following a trauma injury is the most critical. When dealing with a brain injury, time is even more of essence. BUT medical personnel cannot require a walking head trauma patient (or any patient) to receive the necessary medical care. Brain trauma injuries are among the most insidious and most fatal. And because of the tendency of the injury to manifest literally hours afterwards, many of our brain injured vets have been denied coverage because their COs reported them to be walking, talking, laughing after said incident. Only later as the bleeding into the brain causes that organ to swell (which BTW, is usually too late to prevent brain damage) does the injury manifest.
    As for the Canadian health care personnel who responded – all reports point out that the ski resort (at a remote location – similar to the resorts out west) personnel did exactly what protocol required – and the patient REFUSED CARE. Medivac facilities are NOT S.O.P. for most hospitals since medivac is relegated to trauma centers only. And guess what, chickie, I live in a major urban area – and out of the 5 hospitals, only ONE is deemed a trauma center and not all TCs treat brain trauma. In the state of Florida we have FOUR designated trauma centers – Jax, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. UF/Gainesville is know for ortho trauma and Mayo in Jax is cardio. Miami only has ONE brain trauma center for the millions of people who live there PLUS the tourists. The next closest center to Florida??? Texas or Maryland. Atlanta GA has a trauma center but not for brain trauma. So shut the hell up about healthcare anywhere else in this world until you fully understand the extent of the LACK of available facilities within this country and the fact that most Americans do not have access to even the least of these facilities.


  196. Montreal doesn’t have a helicopter…why not just drive around for a few hours!!!!
    and as far as lying to get elected are you saying that the blue dog Dems lied and the people should have actually voted Rep…


  197. troutay, I’m sorry your back is sore. I wouldn’t want to wish the pain on anyone.

    I can flex my lower vertabrae with my back muscles. If you keep your back muscles strong, they can act as sort of a brace by holding your back in place. At least it works for me. When I change a tire, I lie on the ground to save bending over. I have herniated discs and lower degenerative disease, so if you have a different condition, it might not work for you. Like you, I don’t want to drop dead for quite a while, but having it quick beats long term suffering.


  198. uncomonsense, Blue Dog Democrats have some of the same problems as Republicans. I think Rahm Emaual searched for conservative to moderate Democrats to run against vulnerable Republicans. They were almost like Republicans but didn’t have the toxic name. They will naturally try to slow the Democratic agenda because they want to be re- elected.

    The worm turns constantly. After Barry Goldwater’s defeat, one Senator complained they didn’t have enough survivors to play four hands of bridge. Democrats wandered in the wilderness so long, pundits wondered if they had the talent and institutional memory to run a White House.

    Obama is rushing things because he knows his window of opportunity will close quickly, and it will be much harder to turn his plans into law a couple of years from now. Republicans and Blue Dogs’ interests dictate slowing him down.


  199. James
    I hope I can just drop dead and not cost my family any money. Hopefully not any time soon though.

    And I feel your back pain. Mine is not so bad, but getting there quicker than I would like.


  200. I save medical expenses by not going to the doctor. Four years ago, a doctor told me I might not be walking in two years. My left leg had a tendency to collapse and go numb. A neurosurgeon told me as long as I could stand the pain, I should never let a doctor like him operate on my back. I’m still walking and being careful. My back is in such bad shape because a pickup hit me and I did a lot of heavy lifting on the farm.

    A car crashed into mine eight years ago and gave me whip lash. The doctor was a waste of time. Last winter when my arm went numb, and I was in too much pain to sleep well, I called a nurse practitioner after researching on the internet and asked what I should do. He gave me some hints, and my arm got better.

    A traveling medical exam group checked me over, just in case, and they discovered my heart, arteries and the rest are fine. Now, my arm is good, though it still gets numb. Had I not self medicated, I would have spent a pile of money. I haven’t been in a doctor’s office in four years, though I see a dentist and have my glaucoma checked every four to six months. My wife says I’m crazy, but it has saved us a lot of money so far. One of these days I may drop dead.


  201. Any Mudflatters in here?
    Better go read the blog.
    Pretty disgusting, I’d say.


  202. George Carlin:

    Why U.S. Education sucks!

    Mission Accomplished ~ Δ


  203. Elected Republicans really are between a rock and a hard place, they have to toe the conservative line or they will be challenged in their primaries, but they have to attract Independents during the general election. Remember the last election, McCain portrayed himself as a Bible thumping conservative Republican during the primaries, not that it got him any votes from the religious far right, they couldn’t stand him, at their convention he needed Sarah Palin. After that, even if poor old John was nimble, which he wasn’t, he couldn’t twist like a cat falling off a ledge, right himself, and land on his feet. He was Palin’s running mate not the other way around. And the GOP offered no new policies, nothing new about “Drill baby drill.” Therefore they lost the vote of enlightened Republicans and the Independents. Quite frankly they don’t know how get them back without losing their base. Since fiscal conservatives and the religious right have nothing in common, I think before 2012 the Republicans will split into two parties. We live in interesting times people; in the meantime I hope we and President Obama can persuade enough of Congress to do the right thing for the American people. Guess that explains the Republicans’ pity party.


  204. Werner Oderwer, I think but don’t know that Nebraska allows recalls of office holders. It has an ostensive non- partisan unicameral.

    We have the representatives we deserve. “Vote early and vote often” after studying their records. Then make a lot of noise when you agree and disagree with them. You know you have gone too far, if you attend a political meeting and your representative hides under the table when you enter the room.


  205. Just a little humor Werner couldn’t resist. Say guten tag to the wife.

    A fan incognito


  206. that was:


  207. thnaks Tine
    and notty, leave my wiener alone, my wife is rather jealous, so above for possibly impact! ;-P


  208. UAW, check yer facts before casting aspersions on Canadian healthcare via Natasha Richardson. By all accounts, her hospital care was excellent. But she didn’t get it soon enough, due to a combination of bad decisions all made before she received care.

    An ambulance came right away. Richardson and her family refused care, and the EMTs backed off. Hours later, it became clear something was very wrong, and she was helicoptered to a hospital. But by then it was too late.

    The resort apparently had inadequate procedures/policies for responding to such injuries. Richardson and her family shouldn’t have blown off the injury. The individual EMTs should have at least examined her.

    But her death had ZIP to do with Canadian healthcare.


  209. Werner now that we have twobigboobsin the house don’t be getting any ideas about changing your Gravatar to Werner’s Wiener.

    Cheers 🙂


  210. Natasha Richardson
    She was in a good Montreal hospital, where my son was born and my mother in law was treated 3 times with no trouble, and what did your high price medicine help, she’s stilldead!

    If you have a serious injury and REFUSE a doctor’s help (as she did until it was to late) don’t blame the sytem…

    I wouldn’t have thaught you so cheap, really!


  211. UWA
    how do elections work in your world?

    Lie to the people, get elected and be a Dictator for the next four years?

    Banana Republics Democratur is what I call that.

    I think there should be a law that any asshole can be de-voted with 75% of the votes given to him in the election if he really screws up.

    Can’t change party within the 4 years term, but replace candidate kinda thing.

    And that applied to ANY politician.

    What you think, really, I mean it!


  212. to the people that are complaining about Joe “the Traitor” Lieberman…..
    He won the election in his district and apparantly has a mandate from those people to keep voting the way he has…he would be doing a disservice to his disctrict if he didn’t…apparently you don’t like the fact that not everyone has exactly the same identical ideas as you….
    you complain about Bayh but maybe the people that elected him don’t want him to change either….
    maybe the people in the flyover states don’t agree with the coasts either…..
    isn’t politics fun…..
    and tell Natasha Richardson how good Canadian health care is…


  213. Uhh yeah, last one, Grog works too with hot chocolate, (same ammount of Rhum)

    Than they call it a Lumumba!


  214. Tine
    One thing that is improtant with Grog (another one is: Only one “G”) is to drink it while hot!

    Lukewarm still works, but less, cold it’s usless (except to get drunk!)

    So, when you get to the point that you can’t finish it before it get’s cold, it’s time to hit the bed!

    Get well and if the hubby complains, blame me!

    (I am not afraid, I am protected by my Quebecois wife, she spits and scrateches and throws with sand, too! 😉 )


  215. Sophronia: is Claire one of the dems on Bayh’s side on this issue?


  216. The snorts of laughter and kind sympathy I’m getting here is making me feel better already!

    (Well….that and the chocolate I’m eating….)

    Got my grogg ready to go as soon as hubby walks in the door. 60 minutes and counting….


  217. Cyrano
    screening is done by Matthew (Helen’s grandson) who, I am pretty sure, has a dayjob.

    So there are some trolls left (before he catches them) for us to vent our anger at, not the worst thing, don’t you think?


  218. elsie09
    I know it’s a bit on the harsh side for most, but if you keep your knifes and axes extremly sharp (as I do in my kitchen) it’s as smooth as cutting butter with a hot knife!


    (Sarcasm out)


  219. Thanks as usual! If you screen these posts and left in “peanut-brain”, I can’t imagine what you’ve actually removed!

    Lucky in Washington State where we have two dems who will support Obama’s (and our) agenda.


  220. Tine,
    I don’t have a cold, but that grogg remedy sounds pretty darn good regardless. Hope you feel better soon, like, right after the mister takes ownership of the youngsters this evening.

    And, Werner, you gave me a smile with that idea:

    “Know thy enemy, and deal with it accordingly!
    (Choppedy, chopp chopp!)”

    It’s a wee bit on the harsh side, but I understand where you are comin’ from!


  221. Since the Republican Party is brain dead, the only debate can be with Blue Dog Democrats. I think they are wrong, but I live in Northern California and feel somewhat safe. Obama won some states that voted for Bush (I have no clue why), so we got purple states. It takes some red with blue to make purple, I want more blue and less red.
    I saw Blyh and Shaneen on the Rachel Maddow (sic), and they like reasonable people and supported most of Obama’s agenda, with some reservations. I believe Obama will get his health care and green jobs. And it is such a pleasure having an intelligent and reasonable person as our President.


  222. Mageen in Old Virginny

    ………It is the one thing that reminds me the most of the aristocrats in France just before the Revolution. They felt they had the god-given right to get away with anything they wanted inasmuch as they were obviously an entirely different breed of human from the miserable starving masses around them that kept them fed. And we all know what happened then!

    Keep your pitchfork handy…….

    While pitchforks are handy, the french proofed that chopping of a few heads
    (EVEN with votes 😉 )
    is so much more efficient, just don’t let it get out of hand (We don’t want a Rob(esPierre) Slimepouch) and DON’T do it the German way:

    When the french make a revolution they chopp off a few heads……

    When the Germans make a revolution they go to the TownHall first and ask for permission……

    And on all the complaining about dis-honest politicians, remeber the most [prominent oxiMoron:
    A honest politician!

    Know thy enemiy, and deal with it accordingly!
    (Choppedy, chopp chopp!)

    Ahhhh 30 sec of VIRTUAL bloodlust are so relieving……


  223. Tine

    don’t know about the cold outside, but a good Grog (that’s what its called) will make it soooo much more bearble!

    We have +15 C in Montreal tomorrow, People will sit on terrasses drinking the first spring beers !(Not me, still on lent for 2 more weeks 😦 )

    So even for you it can only be a matter of months (HeHeHe)

    In Montreal after the winter people tent to react to sun rays with panic, they rip their clothes off!


  224. M & H, love your post today but thats not unusual! You ring the bell every time!

    I live and work in the D.C. area and worked my digits to a nub during the campaign for Obama. I really haven’t anything against what he has put forward financially. I know that most of it will put people to work very quickly and that things like “volcano monitoring” is scientifically necessary and prudent considering the volcano in Alaska that keeps blowing up lately. I wonder if any of these objectors have ever seen a map of all the volcanos located on the west coast! It would blow their minds! Most of them are dormant but that doesn’t mean they will always stay peaceful! Its the nature of these things to blow their tops every so often (remember Mt. St. Helen?).

    I do not really know why any Democrat would be fudging the game and dragging their feet after eight years of nightmares. OK, so some of these states have been historically (and hysterically) Republican for generations. However, the Republican party isn’t what it used to be so they can’t make the argument that they have to be careful if they want to be re-elected.

    Yes, I do want President Obama to require all the congress critters on the Hill to pay for their own insurance plan. That should be a bucket of ice water right in the face! This one issue – health care – and the freebie Congress gets away with is one ofthe most burning topics among voters today. It is the one thing that reminds me the most of the aristocrats in France just before the Revolution. They felt they had the god-given right to get away with anything they wanted inasmuch as they were obviously an entirely different breed of human from the miserable starving masses around them that kept them fed. And we all know what happened then!

    Keep your pitchfork handy.


  225. Werner:

    That cold remedy sounds fabulous. Will try it tonight. Better wait till my husband returns from his trip and I’m not solely responsible for 2 kids. When the remedy makes the cold in my head go away, will it make the cold outdoors go away too? Endless wintertime is half my problem, I think.

    Thanks for the tip on avoiding jail whilst assaulting idiots. I’m old enough for “forgetfulness” to be a plausible defense. 😉


    Thanks for the good wishes.


  226. Δ Tine – Hope you get to feeling better. I’m with ya, I am so sick of people saying, get a job, etc. You are spot on, most people I know that don’t have insurance DO work fulltime and either their employer’s does not provide insurance due to the high cost, the employee cannot afford a private policy on their own or they have been excluded due to a pre-existing condition. I have a guy in my office who is desperately trying to keep his head above water while paying for his wife’s cancer treatment (3rd round), they have been denied coverage. He makes 90K, they live very frugally and are struggling not only with the health issue but how to pay for it.


  227. strang sign, please read “Black eight ball” for the sunglass smiley


  228. Tine

    should you ever get caught beating someone with thaty bag, claim the billard ball (ALWAYS use a black 8) is a good luck charm and you forgot all about it.

    Beating someone with a weapon is a punishable offence, being forgetable at a certain age is only human! 😉


  229. Voltairesneighbor

    Frederick the Ggreat of Prussia once said:

    “God protect me from my friends, my enemies I can handle myself!”

    Not much changed since the 18th century, I guess…..


    2 fingers of Rhum in a mug, fill up with hot water add sugar to taste, drink, repeat!
    do this 2 – 4 times until well sated than put on joggings and a sweater (NO, don’t go out jogging!!!) and go in bed, cover with at least 2 covers and sweat the sh*t out!

    You’ll be fine (not even a big head) after a good sleep (If you wake up in between, change into something dry before you sleep on!)

    North-German cold remedy, works like a charm!


  230. I know, Werner…I was kinda harsh with little Peanut Brain. (I’m crabby this morning. Stupid cold will. not. go. away.)

    So I decided to follow your advice and take out some of my frustrations with a billiard-ball-laden handbag.


  231. Good one, Helen! Unfortunately true … and unfortunately not funny.

    Evan Bayh and his DINOs (loved the spelling out of “DINOSAUR” upthread for Holy Joe the Traitor … who is in a distinct class of his own) need to get with the program … or get out of the way.

    We WILL remember them.

    With “friends” like these, President Obama doesn’t need enemies. What a bunch of sniveling weenies!


  232. Some morning Palin: The soap opera continues.


  233. Tine
    don’t be so hard, Peanut gallery refers to brain size……….

    you bite, gal! 😉


  234. Health care:

    Just copy the Canadian system, not perfect, we still got a two tier HC system, but IT WORKS!

    When I came over from Germany in ’95 I was shocked how “BAD” canadian HC was…. until I met people from down south (US) and saw how really bad it can be!

    I have a friend in Glouchester, Mass. who had to opt out of HC since his two adult boys where unemployed and moved in with them again and suddenly he had a HC bill for $1200.00 a friggin month!

    Now he’s 55 and has problems getting new HC he can afford or that is worth the premium, (He can find some, but whats it worth paying 7-800.00 bucks/month and all you get is emergency coverage, nothing else payed)

    Your private system is a complete rip-off.

    He now faces to loose his house and live savings when he gets really sick….

    This stinks big time!


  235. Kewalo beat me to it. Our Washington state senators are great – Murray and Cantwell. And the interesting thing is that they are both women. Makes me happy.

    Helen, every time one of the republicans gets up to give their solution I try to listen. But they never actually say anything. One of the reporters was ranting about it the other day (CNN or MSNBC?) because she tuned out of the White House Town Hall to listen to the big plan from the republicans, and they, once again, didn’t say anything. Just whined and said there would be more later, but they “have a plan”. Apparently it’s the same plan we had under Bush. Yeah, that worked really well, so let’s do that again.

    Good grief. They act worse than four year olds who aren’t getting their way. Can we make them go stand in a corner while the grown ups get some work done? And those Conservadems can go with them.


  236. Peanut gallery:

    Every goddamn person I know without health insurance is working FULL TIME.

    Most uninsured people are employed. Check any source you like to back that up.

    Look at the facts before you open your mouth again, moron.


  237. I agree chloe. Either that or let us all share our representatives’ health care plan.

    There is no free lunch. No matter what we do, we will be rationing health care. It is happening here under our system, and in most foreign government health care programs .

    I watched a British Parliament discussion, and they painted a bleak picture. Two e friends from England describe long waits, and the National Health Care’s refusing to treat a rare form of cancer with a new drug because it is too expensive.

    An Omaha talk show host suggested health care modeled on auto insurance. I read the French have a pretty good program combining private and government providers. Making a workable system is like buying a new car, we need it , but we had better do some research first. We do need a change. Personally, my glaucoma medicine costs $7.00 a drop.


  238. I have always felt that the only way that healthcare will be addressed is by taking away the healthcare benefits of politicians and put them in the same boat as everyone else. They’d get on it immediately!


  239. twobigboobs

    quoting you:
    Which Democrats, specifically, are you talking about who are opposed to Obama’s agenda? How do you come up with the number 16; by what criteria to you label someone a “Don’t-o-crat?”

    If you’d just look out a wee bit further over those tow big thingies, (to apporx. your computer screen) you’d be able to READ the why, where and when, it’s all there in plain english!


  240. ImaginistaΔ (On that reps (jswesner @4:38) first sight above)

    How come such a badly constructed lie still confuses you? Would have thought better of you….. LOL

    But, now, IF you only pretended to be confused to show off the lie to people who are confused….. would be more the imaginista I thought I knew…..?

    To all:
    Otherwise an exceptionally nice job for ignoring a “trollet” (not enough substance for a full troll)


  241. Maven Δ

    ZIP code block…

    next time just google an address within the district and fake the ZIP code with the results you get….

    Faster, easier and shows te idiots that hidding is futile!


  242. Healthcare Story…So I went to the Pulmomologist last week for a check up about my Nov. $12,000 reduced to $4,ooo cause my Mom wrote a check before I was discharged;for bronchitis for which I was given 3x the wrong antibiotic from Drs over the phone because they could not see me~ Hospitalization and the receptionist said”Insurance?” …………………………
    “None,self-pay” said I …………………………………
    She pulled the wrong chart, and I had to return to the window…………………………………………….

    An elderly Lady with an oxygen tank(BTW:they were all elderly with tanks) said, “I think she was surprised that you(nice Jewish Girl from nice family) did not have insurance.”

    “Oh”,I said. ” Why? This is The United States of America.”


  243. Delany55

    let me extend your very nice comment on reps vs Obama:
    ….but at least he is taking the bull by the horns so to speak…..


    ….but at least he is taking the bull by the horns instead of by the (bull)shit, so to speak……..


  244. Greytdog, thanks for the Rogers quote–I love it! I own both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, because they were recommended to me in my senior year of hs as such influential and important books that I HAD to read. I got about 3/4 through The Fountainhead and realized that I really didn’t want to read about a bunch of obnoxious arrogant asshats–I actually disliked the characters and really couldn’t care less how the story turned out. I can’t believe that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is held up as a moral standard! I saved myself the time and haven’t even cracked Atlas. My copy of the Rings trilogy, however is falling apart from being read so many times!


  245. Margalit wrote: “much of congress are just liars and crooks that don’t give a damn what you and I think. They are in it for the job security, free health insurance, and perks of being in Congress.”

    And apparently for the fact that this is a high-paying position without any real day to day duties except maybe bending over & grabbing one’s ankles while groveling/sniveling before lobbyists, wingnuts, and pundits. Joe Davidson in WaPo reports on a committee hearing in which only 2 members of the committee attended. Small potatoes? Could be – but if these folks are going to represent us, I expect a full days work for that salary we’re paying.


  246. mid-morning chuckle:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” (John Rogers)


  247. margallit: your *truth be told* statement was, um, true.

    I am beginning to think I hate them all. Wait. It’s late and I’m delusional…. I actually TRY to get here (delusional state) every once in a while, just for the respite. Nevermind. Think I’ll have a piece of pie instead. Δ


  248. I live in between Joe the Shanda Liberman and Jeanne “I’ll say anything to get elected” Shaheen in the liberal state of Massachusetts. My senators are Kerry and Kennedy, and both of them are totally in synch with Obama’s plans for health care as well as his other Reforms. My congressman is the most wonderful, funny, smart and delightful Barney Frank, who lives in my city and is dedicated to his constituancy. I’m very lucky to be represented by the best and the brightest on Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t excuse me from contacting my reps when I want them to be sure to know how I feel about an issue. When you’re in touch, eventually their office knows who you are, and if you have an issue that needs to be resolved, they’re much more likely to work hard for you. It’s a give an take situation.

    I’m appalled that some dems have decided to break with Obama, but I”m not surprised. The number one item on any reps agenda is to be re-elected. Over and over. They will do ANYTHING to ensure that they will get votes, and if they are in a marginal state like New Hampshire, they are going to pander to the voters rather than to represent their consituants.

    Because, truth be told, much of congress are just liars and crooks that don’t give a damn what you and I think. They are in it for the job security, free health insurance, and perks of being in Congress.


  249. Peanut Gallery: You deserve to get cancer with no health insurance!

    Colorful: You really need to start praying – hard, for yourself! You have been talking to yourself again.


  250. Great post, Helen. I couldn’t agree more.

    Me too, BamaGal, thanks for the info re: the Conservadem petition at ThePetitionSite! I signed it, and several other petitions.



  251. “I guess when you’ve been kicked in the ass, it’s difficult to lick your wounds.”

    Funny line. LOL


  252. What a bunch of fat wind bags. Who cares what you think. He is going to ruin this country with so much debt. If poor people want health insurance, they need to get jobs and earn it. Fart on you. Fart. Fart. Fart.


  253. Ummmm… Colorful? You aren’t helping.


  254. Obama is working against God. He will be stopped by these indviduals who have been touched by the Holy Spirit and will save our country from his immoral plans.


  255. Well said! I’m glad to hear that there are others that feel this way too.


  256. Susan in CT

    Right back at ya, religion and morality certainly are not the same thing. Not everyone can muster belief, but everyone, except possibly a sociopath, can manage morality, it is an innate human characteristic, even some animals demonstrate a capacity for empathy. Can all of these selfish people be sociopaths or are they normal people indoctrinated by right –wing media nut jobs? I think President Obama is doing a terrific job trying to reach out to them to reassure them and welcome them into the national dialogue. How anyone can think education, healthcare… is a bad thing for anyone in this country is beyond me.


  257. whether we’re formally “represented” by one of these asshats or not, we’re ultimately ALL represented by them if they slow down the process or worse, kill it. i think they should be thrown out on their ears – earplugs and all. surely they must wear them to STILL not get it. i’m with you on the 15 million plus on either side of the extreme coin. the purple party . . . we could have an eggplant flag of grapes, red wine, lavender and amethyst. the indigo girls could write and perform the platform’s song. i’m loving it – for real! maybe the lavender and amethyst needs to be something a little more center.
    speaking of purple, we just got back to austin with buddy – spent the last 4 days at a&m where he had his heart operated on. (i kept telling myself all the maroon was a variety of purple . . . ) i posted some photos of him and a little bit about his surgery here

    my mom even bought him an a&m blanket! with zero aggies and 500 longhorns in the immediate family – the next family gathering should be interesting. i think all anyone cares about is that he’s gonna make it. funny how the really important things can – at least temporarily – cut through the crap.

    politically speaking – very few politicians are individuals with whom we are “safe.” i think obama is an exception. otherwise, we’re as “safe” as their next self-interest initiative or agenda. we’re numbers and paper dolls to them at that point. what we have to do is ensure they remember we are people with a voice and people who can take action and kick butt. i swear – 4 months after the election where there WAS a real mandate – and 2 months after obama was sworn in – it’s mind-boggling the degree at which some’s selective memory is operating. vote of no confidence – let’s bring it on starting with a few democraps who seem to have forgotten so soon what this is all about.

    peace out from bee caves


  258. For more on how moving to swiftly was the cause of the AIG bonus fiasco, please take a look at the following link:


  259. Which Democrats, specifically, are you talking about who are opposed to Obama’s agenda? How do you come up with the number 16; by what criteria to you label someone a “Don’t-o-crat?”

    As for Obama’s priorities, I don’t think anyone can legitimately argue that education, healthcare, and energy are important issues. It is the specific proposals that people are objecting to. Obama has said that we need to move fast on implementing a cap-and-trade energy policy. Have we fully studied the possible economic and environmental effects? Isn’t this the same mistake we made on the stimulus, specifically, passing judgment and implementing an action before we’ve had time for a full debate? This is what caused the AIG bonus fiasco: government moving too swiftly and not considering all the ramifications.


  260. jswesner @4:38 said
    “I cannot believe this is the first thing that I see when I sign in. Ridiculous!”
    not once but twice!
    “I guess I do see why this is the first thing I see when I sign in.”

    I guess I don’t see why either since this blog doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. Why would your computer be set so that this is the first thing you see? I’m honestly confused by your entire post.


  261. May I just add an offshoot to the health care discussion? SCROLL ALERT.

    There is another WHOLE layer that’s been added in recent years: The *managed* health care, where companies are hired as Gatekeepers (by the insurance companies) as the middle-man between the person seeking care and the people who provide it.

    When my appendix ruptured and I didn’t realize it until it became dire, I was denied full coverage by my insurance (50% paid on the claim instead of 90%) because I didn’t “ask first” to be admitted to the hospital. I was supposed to call the Gatekeeper company and let THEM approve me before getting surgery. Baloney. (Post script, I fought them like hell, and won.)


  262. On the subject of health care: I don’t have health insurance. I have a genetic disease that precludes me from obtaining it. It is a very long and drawn out story to really explain it all.
    That extended family of mine? They don’t want universal health care because they don’t want to shoulder someone else’s burden. Did I mention that they are insanely religious? The one relative who is most vocal about how she doesn’t think she should have to pay for someone else’s health care also was fired from her teaching position at a Lutheran school for being TOO Lutheran (so much for love thy neighbor). She is also the worst hypochondriac on the planet. She’s now at a public school (I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall in her classroom) and ironically she thinks I should not be on medication (because of the stigma attached- it’s an SSRI) but she complains that her students aren’t medicated ENOUGH! No matter that almost all of her students come from poor families that can’t afford said medications.
    Needless to say, I am all for universal health care.
    I could easily rant about this for days (literally) so I’ll stop now. But we REALLY need to get the country healthy and feeling safe, I think it would help in more ways than one.


  263. It’s funny how a gov’t-sponsored health plan is okay for Congressmen and not for ordinary working folk. I guess we don’t work hard enough?


  264. OK. I haven’t been paying very good attention to cable news today and yesterday. Has this been the controversy du jour?

    I found an interesting article on The Official Blog of the PNHP dated March 23. Here is the link:

    PNHP stands for Physicians for a National Health Program. Apparently this group believes in single payer health care reform. President Obama ran on the idea of reforming the present messed up system, but patching in a way to cover anyone who opts in.

    On this issue, the Blue Dog Senators (there is not an actual offical name for the moderate senators. Blue Dogs refer to moderate Dem reps) “are major boosters of the congressional ‘pay as you go’ budget rule that requires new mandatory spending or tax cuts to be fully offset with increases in revenue or spending cuts elsewhere.”

    To me, this sounds as if the mods want to make sure that reform can be paid with offsets or new revenue.

    Wanting to secure actual funding, instead of borrowing from China, to secure healthcare reform, is not the same as wanting to obstruct Pres. Obama’s agenda.

    The writer of the article cited above, goes on to say that a single payer system would be a better fit for a pay as you go system. I would prefer pay as you go, all things being equal, and I definitely would prefer single payer.


  265. AlaskanΔ

    I am *safe* in Illinois with my Senator (Durbin), but wanted to write Rep. Manzullo and play the “mom” regarding his actions in Washington.

    He is not MY representative (in my district, we have a Dem), but he is a fellow Illinoisan and I wanted to write to him. I found his Website, clicked the link to send an email, and then was faced with a zip-code block. Apparently, Rep. Manzullo doesn’t have the time to respond to emails sent from people outside his district.

    So I am going to email my message to some friends who DO live in his district and ask that THEY send it.


  266. Dear Helen and gang,

    Helen, once again, you have posted your point of view to give all of us something to think about and comment on.

    Do the names Ross Perot (a Texan I believe) and Ralph Nader and others ring bells? It is my opinion that we would be better off to try and REFORM politics from within each party. More to the point, reforms in each state where we happen to live, first at the local level, then the state and finally at the national and international levels. This is an ongoing process that was started in our country by the words “WE THE PEOPLE”.

    A little history on my part – – – again, but more recent history. It is my understanding that Karl Rove once told George W. Bush that he would make him the governor of Texas and then president of the United States. He did. Rove’s expertise was in the area of demographics; that is, groups of people categorized according to sex, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. He targeted those groups with a blitz of advertising. We all know from commercials that sex sells and if something is repeated often enough, people tend to believe it whether it is has any real basis or not. And so, trading on the Bush name and dynasty, GW was unleashed on Texas and consequently, the country and the world. So blame Texans, right? Sixteen years altogether.

    Now, wait just a damn minute. Texas is a BIG state that has had a long history of an economy based on oil. Lots and lots of people’s jobs and livelihood were and are dependant on the fringe benefits of oil.

    Next, lets blame California. Another BIG state that gets national attention partly because of the entertainment industry. So what does the GOP do in order to win elections? Go after name recognition there. Who doesn’t like movies and TV shows? Enter Reagan. Eight years as governor and eight years as president. If we HAD to go with a movie star, we might have been better off with John Wayne or Charleton Heston. They were better actors. With Reagan, sixteen more years of GOP ‘leadership’ with behind the scene characters pulling the strings of self-interest.

    How many times has the GOP trotted out the clip of Reagan single-handed taking down the USSR with his tough guy, “Mr. Gorbechov, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!!!” Nobody seems to pay any attention that, among other factors Russia was collapsing from within because of the huge expenditures for the Arms and Space Race. Both countries were vying to be the biggest and toughest “World Power Dominators.” So what happened to education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc., along the way? Little or no funding for these major concerns so they went down the drain.

    The GOP especially has a long, fond tradition of putting up war heroes, dynasties and celebrities as political candidates whether they have any qualifications or experience or not. Any time it wants to find a candidate with some intellectual expertise, I would be most grateful. And age is certainly of great consequence. Alas, I have learned the hard way that it takes youth and physical stamina just to keep up with the demands of the workload. In the meantime, we have an administration now that I think demonstrates it can do the job. Only more time will tell. I have high hopes!

    Like any other specie, humans are often naïve and fall into the ‘me-tooism’ of herd mentality. We need to look at that from time to time.

    My formal education and ‘expertise’ if you could call it that are in music and the sciences of Physio-psychology. Other avocations such as the other arts, history, and politics grab my attention, yes. Do I wish I had studied more and frolicked less when I was young and foolish in school and college? Yes. But the frolicking was sure a lot of fun!




  267. Two more scattered thoughts:

    The major problem with health-care is that it’s based on insurance, which is based on profit. I have NO clue as to how to solve this problem, and I wish I could think of a way of removing insurance companies from the equation without throwing a lot of people out of work. But operating with the idea that wealthy or well-employed people are worthy of health-care and poor or under-employed people are NOT is immoral.

    Religion and morality are not necessarily the same thing. Morality is making an effort not to have your actions hurt, religion is something entirely different. I know that many religious people are moral people, but I don’t necessarily believe it’s because they are religious.


  268. JuneauJoe Δ:
    I have read Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone for years. (He alone is worth the price of the subscription.)Thanks for the link. Can’t wait to read the full article.



  269. Evan Bayh’s dad must be rolling over in his grave. I was originally a Buckeye, but I admired and revered Birch Bayh, mainly because he stood out so favorably against the backdrop of the goofballs who ran Ohio.

    But then I moved to Florida where politics has achieved a whole new level of insanity or, maybe, moronity (that’s probably not a word, but it ought to be).

    Naturally one of our boys is on the Bad List. I’m not surprised… other than it is somewhat shocking to hear of Nelson taking a position at all. If we wait a minute, he’ll change his mind.

    Sigh. I’m all for that Purple Party thing. But we in Florida would probably screw that up, too.


  270. BamaGal, thanks for the Conservadem petition at ThePetitionSite!


  271. OH what a disappointment LIE-berman is! (Not that Dodd is making many friends right now….) Lieberman lost in the primary to a newbie, Ned Lamont; Lieberman had said a while back that he wouldn’t be running again, but changed his mind, ran and lost, so he started his own party, CT for Lieberman (rather than Lieberman for CT); the Republican candidate was a cipher; so the Republican money (and College Republicans) flooded our state and the guy won the general election.

    People are still pretty upset a couple of years later, and he’s done nothing to calm our upset — I can see wanting to look forward and not back, but Joe’s presidential-campaign-behavior was abominable, and I do think he should have lost his committee posts.


  272. Yup, one of those senators is from my district. I am furious, I have let her know via phone, and email. When I heard her say she knew how ‘working together’ is important, I immediately sent a message that we are done, done, done with accepting that kind of lobbyists run corporate government. Working together is what got us in this god awful place in this country, we voted for CHANGE and looks like her term in the senate may be a short one! How anyone could pull this sh** and call themselves a democrat and be a part of this conserdem party after the last eight years is totally beyond my comprehension, and I am a fairly bright person. Again, I am furious. Thanks for letting me vent, I appreciate it. I also appreciate your wonderful blog, love you ladies!


  273. […] Bye Bye Evan Bayh For several weeks now, we have watched as one idiot Republican spokesman after another has stepped up to the microphone […] […]


  274. Sorry to say one of our Senators is a turncoat. Herb Kohl ,Wisconsins’ dullest. I hope some strong Democrat runs & defeats him in a primary and then in the general election.

    I expect the repukes to battle Obama , it’s a lot harder to understand from your own party. Shame on all of them.

    Keep up the writing Helen, it’s thoughful,thought provoking and more often than not funny as hell.Take care.


  275. Claire McCaskill is my senator, and I am with her far more times than against her. The pundits say that Obama is getting pushback from some of his fellow Dems because of the cost of the programs he wants to implement.

    And folks the costs will be astronomical. I think the pushback is coming from contributors who pressure their senators not to support higher taxes for them. The very affluent do not want to pay their fair share.

    In my opinion, our president should be working on the economy and health care. The 2 go hand in hand. The other stuff should be put off for a year. Did you see where IBM is firinng 4% of its US staff and sending the jobs to India? Health care costs are a big reason jobs leave the states for other places.

    Not to mention that Americans throughout our country cannot get decent, affordable health care. Heaven forbid, they should get sick! They should go to the emergency rooms!

    Of course, it may be that our president feels he can get things done now, that he will not be able to get done in the future.

    Evan Bayh is trying to be influential in the Senate. Always struck me as a lightweight.


  276. How dare you say the $45.2 billion in ExxonMoblile profits from 2008 is almost enough money to cover the cost of 5 months of the war in Iraq? That money belongs to private shareholders, who need it to pay their corporate executives, despoil the environment and pad their already excessive fortunes.

    If the government needs money to fight a war for oil that might directly benefit companies like ExxonMoblile, they should tax those middle class Americans who are losing their homes and ‘working’ for wages! LEAVE OUR CORPORATE PROFITS ALONE!



  277. I cannot believe this is the first thing that I see when I sign in. Ridiculous! I am from Indiana and I never voted for Mr. Bayh, but I just find this blog frustrating.

    And to comment on our education system: The United States Education system is nothing more than daycare with all the bells and whistles. I am all for privatization. Let us spend our money where we see fit. If our children are not receiving the education that will actually further them, why continue throwing money after bad? Let us invest in institutions that value the final product.

    I guess I do see why this is the first thing I see when I sign in. It ignited my passion enough to write a response.


  278. As someone who voted for Evan Bayh last time around, I will tell you why people vote for him in Indiana; 1) He is the son of a politician everyone loved, and bad as he is, he is usually the lesser of two evils on the ticket.

    If someone progressive would run against him in the primary, I know lots of people who would happily vote for anyone to the left of Bayh. Someone just needs to run, who can win, and doesn’t have any dirt in his closet for Bayh or the local republicans to dig up.


  279. Imaginista, At least in Arizona, we have Republicans who act like Republicans, not faux Democrats. Nice to know right off who the elephant in the living room is, don’t you think? Sounds to me like we better be keeping our eyes peeled for The right kind of Democrats to run against these turkeys, McCain and Kyl. Kyl we are stuck with for 4 more years, but McCain should be in every Democrat’s sights starting right now. He has GOT to go.


  280. I just don’t understand why anyone wants to argue with Obama on his priorities. But I definitely think he needs to stop the bi-partisan shit and tell them to shut up or put up.

    Notice that none of these naysayers have an alternate plan beyond NO?


  281. Expat on the go

    It is debatable rather the United States is a ‘religious’ country, as you pointed out as a country we do not behave very Christ-like. Many individuals and politicians promote their ‘godliness’ by a holier-than-thou attitude, maybe it is high time we called them on it, my father had a phrase for the very verbal pseudo-pious cons of this world, “time to lock the barn door.” There are some very nice fundamental Christians, granted that I personally think that they are naïve, most uneducated, and too unimaginative, who are fully convinced that the Bible thumping politicians are looking out for them. As a matter of fact, it is not in their, the politicians’, best interest for the Christian right to ever achieve their goals. Once they, the C. R., got their way, they’d want other things, like good wages, education, healthcare, uncontaminated foods, and so on. It is far easier for unscrupulous politicians to get the C. R. vote by professing the same values as these constituents, legislating ‘morality’, than dealing with the country’s genuine problems.


  282. Time to break up these, ‘too big to fail companies.’

    This helps explain how we got into this mess.


  283. well I actually didn’t laugh at your post this time – you usually have me chuckling at the humor. It is looking more and more like the same old Washington – well anything get done?


  284. I am also sick of all the “Anti-Obama” blogs out there where that is all the post. Any cartoon, news bite etc. that is against Obama winds up on these blogs. I have yet to see them suggest anything to fix the mess we are in and they are all complaining that everything Obama has done has made things worse and why (even though it hasn’t been that long) hasn’t he fixed everything if he is so great?

    Makes me want to puke. I won’t say that Obama is perfect, no one is, but at least he is taking the bull by the horns so to speak and actually doing something and not hiding what he is doing. He is forcing everyone in government step up to the plate and I think that’s part of the problem. Most of these idiots have skated by without hard work or hard decisions and now they have to step up and work.

    I am thankful every day that McCain and Barbie didn’t win especially when you see what a mess Barbie is making in Alaska.


  285. Helen, Are the people represented by their congresscritters any longer? Either party? Either house? Doesn’t seem like it to me. There may be a very few who represent those who elected them. I’m from NC so you can see how I have become so jaded on politicians. You’d be surprised at the number of people who still believe in the sainthood of Jesse Helms. I guess Barney Frank represents my ideas the best tho the state of NC doesn’t allow me to vote for him.


  286. Great letter to your Senator, Allan! Almost wish I could copy and use it for our Hawaii Senators, but they are Democrats to the max and voting the right way. Dinosaurs, but tried and true Democrats.

    Currently in back to back workshops and have 6 hours before my next 4 day immersion in learning. Great to see TWO new great posts from Helen and Margaret, and the comments section full of good stuff.

    Thanks for the Sicko movie link, Whirled. Will view later when my brains are less fried.

    Miss you all, keep on keeping on!


  287. I’m from CT, so Lieberman supposedly represents me. Most of us wish he would just crawl into a hole and try to figure out what the hell he is. He was going to get his butt handed to him, so he switched from being a Democrat to an Independent, which just means he’s a Republican in sheep’s clothing. I wish we could throw him and Dodd in a ring and see who wins. (my money is on Dodd). What really burns me is that he KNEW that if he ran as a Republican he wouldn’t have gotten the vote. Grrrr….that sad sack needs an ass whoopin’.


  288. Expat, I totally agree with you about the environment and education. There are more American parents than ever homeschooling their children! Gee, I wonder why? 🙂

    I’m somewhat amused that you think the US is a “religious” country. Maybe we are compared to other places…maybe. But our morals went down the drain so long ago, as an American I’d never think to label us as religious.


  289. Good piece Helen. I have been storming around ever since this news came out. I am in North Carolina, a pretty red state. We pulled it together this time and went for Obama and kicked out that waste of time Liddy Dole.

    Well, we voted in Kay Hagan and here she goes and joins this cabal of idiots. I have already written her and told her that if I wanted an idiot in the Senate I would have left old lady Dole in there.

    Boy 1 step forward and two steps back. Don’t these folks know that we elect them to WORK for us, not to just go to Washington and be “special”! Guess I’m going to have to vote Green next time.

    It does get tiresome and I sure wish we could transplant some functioning brains into these folks. Well, who knows, maybe with some stem cell research we will be able to do that soon.

    Keep up the great work


  290. I hail from Indiana and I’m pretty disheartened by Bayh’s involvment in this group.

    I was also disheartened when he threw his support to Hillary Clinton.

    I’m left thinking all that Evan Bayh has going for him are his good looks.

    He IS easy on the eyes.

    I think Americans sent a pretty strong message when we voted Obama AND his agenda into office. Apparently Bayh didn’t get the memo.


  291. expat on the go

    explanation from a German livin in Canada:

    dumb is dumb and stays dumb since dumb never learns…..

    If someone hasn’t got the braincells to understand simple issues ther is no use in explaining the only reaction you get is “Huh?”

    ahhhhrrrrggggg soooo frustrating!


  292. I’m a new American (from Canada) – I have lived in 5 countries. The US is far, far behind in education. When you have an Asian person tell you that Montreal is ‘French Canada’ and MOST Americans, next door, don’t have a clue…. you ask yourself questions!
    With regards to environment – so behind, I can’t even begin to talk about that – we do need to lower our consumerism – that’s for sure!!!
    Health care, coming from Canada – you need to have it in ‘between’. I don’t believe in total government health care – but, people please, those that are fortunate to make the bucks, should pay more taxes to help the needy!
    Canada is not a ‘religious’ country like the US, but we sure act more ‘christianly’ when it comes to paying more taxes to help the less fortunate with education, food, health care and education (it cost me and my husband about 500$ a year to go to college).
    I have a friend who votes repub. just because they are anti-abortion – Whhhaaaattttt??
    She’s so-called ‘christian’ you see – she doesn’t want to pay more taxes to help the needy, she was for a (useless) war that killed tens-of-thousands, etc….
    I don’t get that logic, can someone explain?


  293. I live in FL – a virtual paradise for idiots of all political persuasions where the legistlature thinks they can continue to cut 20% from the state budget and yet still refuse to take steps to increase future revenue by revamping the antiquated tax structure.

    I am disappointed in Evan Bayh but, being from Indiana myself, I understand that being a Dem there is kind of like being a Republican in most other places, so his defection is no real surprise.

    All of this smacks of grandstanding. After all, midterm elections are only a year and a half away. They are gambling on the economy still being bad so they can say they did not vote for more spending. Cowards. Instead of trying to make a true long term investment in real change, they prefer to pander to the short-sighted lowest common demominator in an effort to keep their jobs.


  294. Δ Tine

    there is a time to be ladylike….. and than there are times where you just take your ladylike purse with the billard ball and hit the idiots over the head with it….


  295. Michael Moore’s ‘SICKO’
    *Complete 2h04m



  296. And this is why there is never a democratic majority in practical terms. They can never agree with each other on anything. I hate to see a party line vote, but when an issue is important, it would be nice if the Dems could get together from time to time.


  297. All of this whining and not being able to work together is just getting so embarrassing! I can’t even stand to watch the news any more…I haven’t done a political post in quite a while…I’m keeping my eyes open for activity around health care for now, and that’s it. It’s even been hard to watch Rachel, and I love her show! Hey, we’re suppose to be inspired and excited!!! What happened to that?


  298. Fortunately, I live in Uber-liberal Massachussetts, so we’ve got Kerry and Kennedy keeping up the good fight for us. (not that I’ve never disagreed with them.)

    However, our senators should hear from us when they do what we want, not just when they don’t. Thank your true-blue Democratic (or moderate Republican) senators (and reps too) for their good work. Let them know their constituents support their stances and votes. Compromise is sometimes key to getting things done, but we have to let our leaders know when we want them to stand firm.

    And, as always, Helen, you rock. I mean it. Really.


  299. We are unfortunate to have Michael Bennet (CO). We didn’t even get to vote for this guy as he was appointed as replacement for Ken Salazar (now Secretary of Interior).

    Just don’t get sick, use heat, or want to read and you’ll thrive in this country.


  300. Helen, as usual I am totally with you. I am from Calif. and my senators seem to not have lost their minds (yet). I guess it’s all just politics–most of the Conservadems are up for reelection in 2010 and they are scared about losing their cushy seats in Congress. Every day, I hear 30% of the idiots out there complaining that Obama is a communist, fascist or some bizarre combination of the two, while the left wing of the country whines about him being too near the middle and utterly useless. Good grief, can we give the man some time to get his work done without all the mealy-mouthed kvetching? He cannot fix problems that started with the Reagan administration in 75 days–I have turned off MSNBC and CNN several times in the past few days because I hate all their constant picking at everything he says and does–who cares if he laughs during an interview? It’s all about ratings and/or politics–and we are stuck with that, even though we don’t like it. Keep up the great work–you are my shining hero, Helen!!


  301. uhhh… I meant BamaGal not BabaGal! Sorry for the name screw up.


  302. Bayh is ours….SORRY, Indiana just doesn’t pay attention. We finally got it this time around & went blue. Give us some time we will get there. Bayh is from a political family & rural folk stick with what they know. Lugar is another one of our bad seeds we keep watering. They are brand names is all I can say.


  303. I defy the right leaners that read this blog to come up with any cogent argument against anything Helen wrote about these three issues. At this low point in our national history there is absolutely no reason NOT to make these sweeping improvements.

    As for those doofy DINOs, what are they thinking? They act like it’s still 2004 and they’ll get their asses kicked if they don’t bow in obedience to King Boy George. Honestly, what is motivating them to screw up possibly the only chance in a long time to enact meaningful policy? It must be money. That and ties to powerful lobbies. Vote the bastards out.

    None of the DINO senators named are any of mine – although even they would probably be an improvement over McCain/Kyl, the dreadful asshattery twins that the idiots in my state enthusiastically re-elect every chance they get.

    Great post, Helen – right on as always.

    BabaGal, thanks for posting the petition. I’ve signed.


  304. Hi Helen!

    Landrieu & Diaper Boy are my senators.

    Here’s what I wrote to her in an e-mail the other day:

    I’ve voted for you in every election in which you’ve run, but as a “Democrat” — which means to me that you will look out for the needs of the people.

    My husband is disabled & I have a son who is mentally disabled. With very limited insurance coverage, one of my biggest worries is that someone in my family could have a catastrophic illness. Huge medical bills would be devastating to our financial well-being as well as emotionally.

    I enthusiastically voted for Obama because I craved change from the callous, greedy, dishonest, & corporate-friendly leadership of the last 8 years. I ask that you cooperate with him & support his policies to the utmost. He is clearly trying to make this a better country for the common people. Please do not stand in his way.

    Thank you, Senator Landrieu.

    Helen, I’ve been a reader of your blog since I found out about you about a year ago. You’re one awesome lady! Take care.


  305. I am so lucky to live in WA and two great Senators, Murray and Cantwell. They are just terrific.

    And for anyone that has trouble with the color purple?

    Also, there is a website for progressives that is set up so we can target our money to help the right people.

    I have so little money that it’s nice to be able to give it to people I think will help the country.

    And great post Margaret. IMO we need to let those damn blue dogs know that we’re mad!!


  306. This is what it must sound like in session:

    Mom, the rebublicans are looking at me.

    Yeah, well the democrats started it first.

    Mom, republican is touching MY side.

    But that is because the democrats are doing it all wrong.

    The American people are MOM and it is at this point in the argument where all moms say “Just knock it off and work it out. I don’t care who touch who first, just find a way to get along.”


  307. It looks to me like too many of them can’t stand the idea of a popular president who doesn’t seem to be playing politician. They must feel threatened, especially if things start to turn around and prove he’s right.



    lets CONSERVe a few of these DEMS (best in cans, so they keep) until the Reps run out of members.

    Than we can try to sell this trash for money (a few billions should do) that than can be put to better use than these “shit for brains” ever where…..

    I Hate People without any spine, they turn their coats in the wind and fly with it, nevermind the reason what they got their mandate in the first place for!


  309. I am unhappy to say that I live in the state of Connecticut with good ol’ Joe Lieberman, who can’t decide which party he belongs to. It’s my understanding that I’m not the only one that thinks “JOE MUST GO”.


  310. BTW, I just saw that Clair McCaskill is in that group of 16! oh no, I thought better of her. what a shame.


  311. great piece, Helen! I am sending this to all my friends. remind me not to move to any of these 16 states!


  312. Helen (and Margaret) I live in Connecticut. The doofus Joe (lying so-and-so) Lieberman is a senator from this state. I worked hard to get him gone. Ned Lamont came so close, but saw fit to play fair and thus couldn’t quite make it.

    Best we here can hope for is that Joe is marginalized until we can rid ourselves of him. The ratfink.

    I have no opinion on the matter.

    Thanks for you “work.” I mean it.



  313. We tried to evict Traitor Joe but it didn’t work. Over at Pundit Kitchen he was described as a DINOSAUR Democrat-In-Name-Only-Sorry-Ass-Undercover-Republican. Unfortunately we are stuck with him until 2012.


  314. Health Care, Education and Energy. Who in their right minds could possibly not want Mr. Obama to work on these three

    The more I learn about the people we have sent to Washington, the more angry I get. I’m angry at US for not doing our homework and learning just where these people stand. Not just what they tell us, but what their records show is the truth. When will we learn?


  315. I was surprised that our Repub governor (Charlie Suntan) publicly support the Recovery but now our one Dem Senator (Nelson) is going the other way.

    Big sigh – Florida…New slogan: If it sounds crazy or kooky, count on us!


  316. Shaheen in my senator in NH. She is one of these “bad dogs” calling themselves democrats. She was quite content to ride Obama’s coattails in being elected and is now thumbing her nose at us. Unfortunately we are stuck with her for 6 years.


  317. As a Hoosier, I gave up on Bayh a long time ago. I received an answer to my email to him regarding his support of the flag burning amendment. I had informed him that I would never vote for him again, and I meant it.

    Tried to convince me that I was wrong, but that he was still my senator, and valued my opinion.

    Yeah, right.


  318. I’m happy to say our Klobuchar is not among the “conservadem” idiots. Nor would Franken be, if he were allowed to take his seat.

    (*insert unladylike expletive about Norm Coleman here*)


  319. Helen, I contacted Senator Bayh’s office and let him know my thoughts. In a nutshell:

    Senator Bayh, you wrote an op-ed that warned if Democrats actually attempt to enact the agenda they got elected to deliver, the Republicans will win back control of Congress. Because that’s what happened in 1994.

    Senator Bayh, 2009 is not 1993. Clinton didn’t even win a majority of the popular vote, he came to office in a divided three-way contest. The country was not in the same state then that it is now.

    In 2008, Americans overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama as President based on the incredibly detailed agenda he laid out during the campaign. We also elected clear majorities in both houses of Congress. You have no more excuses for failing to act on the peoples’ agenda.

    We are watching you, Evan Bayh. If you impede the implementation of Obama’s agenda, you will feel our wrath the next time you come around trying to raise campaign funds and we will vote you out of office and replace you with an actual Democrat.


  320. I am a NYer and so our senior Senator is okay, the jury is still out on the new Jr Senator who replaced Senator now Secretary Clinton… hopefully our replacement Gov will be out when elections roll ’round again and I am hoping so will all those on both side of the aisle who have thwarting this economic recovery with their asshat actions


  321. there is an online petition—head over there and sign it

    this is from the petition:

    “EVAN BAYH (IN) has organized a conservative democratic caucus called CONSERVADEMS specifically organized to oppose several Obama agenda items that we voted FOR him because we hoped they would be accomplished! There are 15 senators that are willing to admit to being CONSERVADEMS AND 3 OR 4 MORE WHO attend the meetings but refuse to be named. They actually want to PREVENT HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION FROM PASSING BY MAKING SURE THAT IT IS BROUGHT UP IN A WAY THAT WILL BE SUBJECT TO REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTERING. They also want to water down the president’s climate change legislation and reduce federal spending.
    Didn’t we work, contribute and vote for President Obama and his agenda for a reason? Now 59 days into his term and they are fast at work undermining him and us!! These turncoats need to go!! The other 14 CONSERVADEMS are TOM CARPER (DE), BLANCH LINCOLN (AR), MICHAEL BENNET (CO), MARK BEGICH (AK), KAY HAGAN (NC), HERB KOHL (WI), MARY LANDRIEU (LA), JOE LIEBERMAN (CT), CLAIRE MCCASKILL (MO), BEN NELSON (NE), BILL NELSON (FL), JEANNE SHAHEEN (NH), MARK WARNER (VA) & MARK UDALL (CO).”

    CONSERVADEMS You Should Be Replaced! – The Petition Site


  322. “I don’t know Margaret. I am just so tired of fighting. I thought this last election meant something but it seems that 16 Democrats have proven me and about 69 million Americans who voted for Obama wrong.”

    Makes you want to give them a V-8 bonk!

    Do a Mitzhah for Rural Alaska this Passover!


  323. Yes, I’m represented by an idiot who apparently buys the line that if there’s a hospital in your area, you have health insurance.

    I say we take away the government-sponsored health insurance from all these old, white guys and see how great they think ER care is.


  324. Helen: Great Post! As usual. We need to wake up Evan Bayh and his friends.

    Now, How do we get out of this mess?

    Check out:

    It explains how we got into the mess.

    We need to break up these ‘Too Big to Fail companies’ so if one company goes down, the whole economy does not sink.


  325. At least the Democrats offered an alternative budget to consider. The Republicans on the other hand predictably flailed about on the floor in a tantrum while whining that Democrats are being sooo unfair to their under-taxed rich white oligarch owners.

    It’s annoying to be sure that some Democrats feel the need to find fig leaves for shelter from the discredited snivelings of the Conservative smear machine, but I bet the work of thinking Americans will still get done.

    Super J.


  326. This is exactly why I am an independent, now. I can’t stand Joe Lieberman, what a traitor! I would have kicked him off of every committee, he really earned that… he needs to officially submit to his inner republican and register as such.
    As for the rest of these whiners who helped create these messes, the term is “economic stimulus” which means we need to spend money in order to create jobs and technology! The stupidity is mind-boggling.


  327. Helen,
    Purple still works for me as a blend of red and blue.

    Bruises are not purple. Red, blue, black, yellow maybe as they go through the process and people actually turn “red” with rage.

    America is becoming more aware of politics and should be sending wake up calls to the bickering children of both parties who are members of congress.


  328. Helen, I just can’t stand any of this either. It just seems like a constant back and forth and total lack of compromise. All politicians, it seems, have their hands so deep in private interest’s pockets that they forgot that ours, are empty.


  329. I have a great idea, lets drop health care coverage for the senate and congress. Let them try to buy their own coverage.
    I bet they will have a change of heart when they have to list all their pre-existing conditions and no one will touch them with a ten foot pole.
    Is drug addiction a pre existing condition? Geeze, all of them would be denied.

    My story:
    Husband drops dead. Wife no longer has insurance. Wife has masters degree, but since wife stayed home to raise kids, degree is pretty much worthless. Wife goes back to work. Wife works for dentist office but has to purchase own insurance. Wife applies for health insurance. Wife denied insurance.
    REASON: History of depression.
    Wife says: WTF, history of depression??????

    Turns out after husband dropped dead in kitchen, wife just happened to have Dr. appt. about a month later. Started crying in Dr. office after Dr. asked me how I was doing. So Dr. gave me Prozac. With two refills. I filled the Rx . Took it for a few weeks. It got a little easier as each day went on. I was finally able to complete sentences. (notice I didn’t say write complete sentences!) Never felt the need to refill Rx.

    Fast, fast forward. Wife applies for health insurance. They deny me because I have a history of depression.

    (sorry for the language, but they make me so angry)
    So now I am a single parent using a week and a half of my pay each week to pay for health care.
    It’s a cryin’ shame.
    I WILL remember what Democrats do not share Obama’s adgenda.


  330. Helen:
    This Purple Party idea is sounding better and better each day.

    I still don’t like the COLOR! The idea is great, but as someone pointed out, purple is also the color of bruising and other nasty things, etc. So:

    Well how about a CS party? (Common Sense) could choose any coulor it wants (even purple if need be…..) and woukld state in the name the main thing it drives on, plain and simple common sense.

    IF something makes sense the the main body of the memebers, (50%+ 1 exactly!) than the party will support it, vote for it never mind which side came up with the thing. In Germany we have something called “Volksentscheid” where people can vote directly about an issue (for or against depends on the “Volksentscheid” called) butnit needs a certain percentage of eligable voters so you can start one, don’t you have this in the US too? If not, GET IT ASAP!

    this is not for your next community bylaw (even if soemthing similar exists on the communal level too, “Buergerentscheid”) but for wider issues it makes sure those clowns elected do what they have been elected for, if not always be free will….. LOL

    So, until there is a better opportunity, call a “CS” party to live and work on the line of direct grassroot influence……

    Boycotting AIG for Insurances and Chevron products, both for the reason of extremly dumb management decisions, could be a start!

    WE got the power, it’s just s question of organizing it and useing it.


  331. It’s a lot like having two kids that fight all the time and then blame the other for starting it. After awhile you get tired of it and you say enough from both of you. It’s the same with the dems and repubs. I’m tired of all the god dammed finger pointing from both sides of the aisle. Both of them go to your rooms.
    Also, how many zillion dollars for an insurance company? What if that were spent on upgrading schools? That would be real insurance for the future.


  332. Hawaii is represented by a completely Democratic delegation in D.C. At home the legislature has an overwhelming Democratic majority. Yes, we have a Republican governor, but she never has to veto anything our conservative legislature passes. Result of all this. Sad!!! In DC our crew is better than most, which isn’t saying much. At home, we just turned down a domestic partners bill–which wasn’t even close to marriage. When you say, “I am just so tired of fighting,” I know what you mean.


  333. Great piece, Helen. I’m happy to report that I’m represented by the good guys (actually, good gals – I’m from California), but if one of my Senators was in this pack I’d be fit to be tied. As it is, these people take it upon themselves to mess with all of us when they side with the whingers on the right. I have to believe that too many of them can’t get their heads out of the Beltway. They have no idea how angry most Americans are over the last eight years of Republican crapola.



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