Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Just Have to Write This: Has the World Gone Nuts?

Let me just say, straight up, I am old(er) and the world was once fairly predictable for me. That life-long nuance has changed into something that I just want to kick the crap out of! I am so frazzled I could just spit!

Time. I don't have a lot of it, it is precious, and I expect others to keep that in mind when dealing with me.

So... let me review the last week and why I just went outside (I did warn my one neighbor) and gave out a good loud frigging scream of exasperation.


I haven't been to one, not having health insurance (and being a former cancer patient, can't get it), for 11 years. But I spend more time dealing with doctors than a human should ever have to. I have a 94 year old mom, and that should explain it right there.

Well, mom slipped, caught her foot under the couch about 2 weeks ago, and got a mighty bad bruise and swollen foot from it all. Four days later, at the kidney doc, he looked at it, diagnosed a probable sprain, said to stay off it and keep ice on it. Of course, I had said the latter two things and said I really thought she should go to the bone doc to check. She didn't want to. Nor has she felt compelled to put ice on it to reduce swelling (my mom just doesn't ever get that one can help themselves a bit through common sense). I told her to keep it elevated. That makes no sense to her, so she doesn't.

A few days later, at the internist, we tell him about it, and he sends her for an x-ray. We wait 2.5 hours for an x-ray, and in the meantime, he sends me to get a lace up shoe for her. I thought this was an amazingly stupid idea given she doesn't wear laced shoes and I know that will be a challenge for her and I also know she will never wear the damn thing. But I go in search of the ever loving thing while she waits for the illusive x-ray.

The first place I go to that he sends me doesn't have it. They call his office. I am there for thirty minutes. No shoe. He tells them to send me to place #2. I go. The road is under repair. It makes a 20 minutes drive, one way, a 45 minute drive. I get there only to have them tell me she has to be fit for such a thing, and by now I am not a happy camper. Fit? The doc doesn't know this? I am frazzled and pissed.

So I take an alternate route back to the doctor and catch my mom as she is just being called to go in for x-rays. I wait. We leave to get the infamous lace-up shoe that she will never wear.

We wait a full 40 minutes for others until someone helps us. Fit? LOL! He looks on the back of the package, asks what size shoe she wears, takes it out of the package, bends a wee bit of metal on the front (like I could not have done any of this!) and suggests two pairs of non-slip socks, and after almost a hundred dollars, we leave with a shoe she cannot lace up (I made her try and she could not do it) and some peds with non-slip ziggies on the bottom.

I am so frazzled it is unimaginable. I got up at 5am to make the appointment, and got home at 6:30pm. I am tired, have hours of work in front of me.

I call her the next day, no she isn't wearing the shoe. Great. Doctor called and said she has a broken foot. Refers us to another doctor. And no one got that perhaps we could have done this, um, earlier while we were at the doctor?

So, today we go to the other doctor. I get up at 5am, feed the animals, clean, go to work, take off the rest of the day, drive my two dogs to the groomer, drop them off, then head to mom's, which is 70 miles one way. I take her cat and drop at the vet. I do her grocery shopping. I go to pay and ... zaap, they won't take the check like they do every single week. We changed banks. I am told I have to have a note from my mom, even though I am a signer on the account. I drive back to mom's, get the "note", drive back tot he market (this time in her car). They still won't take it... my name is not on the check. I go back home, get the old account checkbook which I left some money in, and go back, for the third time, to the market. I get the #($%&^($%()$*%* groceries, finally.

I return back at mom's, get her in the car and we head to doctor #1. We stop to pick up the x-rays which are supposed to be at one place, but end up completely at another. They never moved them. ARGH.

We then proceed to doctor #1, the foot doctor. We fill out the plethora of forms, they take her to the room, then tell us we have to go for more x-rays. Huh? Why are we even here if the x-rays don't show a broken foot? Doc says that the views are not complete. So off we go. We return, x-rays in hand, and yes, the foot is broken... the right fifth meta carpel, the most common and easy to fix break. They want to give her a shoe...

Oh God, help me.

I tell them that if a five year old cannot do it, my mom can't either. They ask if mom is using a walker. She says yes, I say no. (Mom hates the thing and doesn't want to use it, and mostly doesn't. I get the dirty look.) They don't have the right shoe size. They have to find one in storage. They return with a men's small, and eventually someone comes with a woman's large. It has two Velcro strips. I make her take it off and put it on to see if she can do it. She can.

She's hungry, I find a place to eat, but it is lunch time and there is no seating available. I get her back in the car and we finally find a place to eat near doctor #2 (where they are trying a new treatment requiring we go every week for 12 weeks). This, fortunately, goes decently.

I return mom home, get her settled, and head to the vet to pick up her cat. The cat was $499.86. He has a flea allergy and a heart murmur. Giving him a cortico steroid could cause heart failure (even in a young cat--or a dog--this is the case). They do an EKG and three x rays to check his lungs and heart. Everything looks fine. They give him the shot. The actual highlight of my day is having the vet spend 30 minutes with me explaining this interesting ratio/calc on heart size/weight... it really is interesting. He knows I love vet med stuff.

I get back, call the groomer. No I didn't get your four messages (I forgot my cell)... One of my dogs collapsed during grooming and had to be rushed to the vet. Vet gave this dog lasix to save her life--she had a heart attack. This is a dog I found wandering on the 55 mph road late last week and picked her up. She is totally blind, about 16 yo, and has probable glaucoma (she has to go to the eye specialist), which means probable removal of her left eye. She is matted to the skin, covered in foxtails (which I stay up until three in the morning pulling out), and her toenails are beginning to embed in her foot pads. Bastard that left her here to die or be eaten by a predator... you bastard.

I have to call the family of the person that committed suicide last Friday in my mom's front apartment (she owns a triplex) I was supposed to be there for an hour last Friday and was there for 12 hours. I couldn't leave her there amid the police tape and zillion cops by herself. I call. They have some really odd caller ID. I call number #2 number, she just left work. I give up. They want to know how long they have to move stuff. Well, after three bounced checks, you have 24 hours... but I calculate the rent, by day, and leave the figure with my mom. She will forget. This will end up a nightmare. There is blood stained carpeting and walls. She blew her brains out, or it was a homicide. They are still investigating. This will be a nightmare for me. And I know it and am bracing myself for it.

I jump in the car speed to the groomer... thank God she is still there. At least the dog's body is shaved. Her ears are two inches thick with matted fur, though, and she didn't get to her feet or nails. I can finish that... I hope. But her vet says this poor doggie probably needs to be PTS, her heart is so bad that she could never take the anesthetic to do the eye surgery. I wonder why my vet didn't catch this... I have to call vet tomorrow on this.

I get home at 6:00. I missed the tree trimmer. This is very, very bad. I will now be fined by the fire department. They have been patient.

The tree trimmer #1 was doing me a "favor" to trim my trees after I took care of his dog for a month. That would be "this" dog. I have taken care of this one, Joey, three times before for long periods, not to mention the others. He is back on drugs. He doesn't show. I contact his dad, (tree trimmer #2). He didn't show when he was supposed to either, now, TWICE. Both times I changed plans to be home. Why I keep believing these folks, after 30 years of dealing with them, is evidence that I am fatally hopeful, and incredibly stupid.

I then head out to buy food for the fair. They forgot my order. I have to go back tomorrow.

I swear. I must have the time curse. I have hundreds of pounds of food to cook and have ready by Saturday morning. ARGH.

I have two things to say about all this: Our healthcare system totally sucks. I lost my job during a fire started by an arsonist, was evacuated for 13 days, and could not get unemployment because I was 1099. I can no longer work a regular job because of my mom. Okay.

So I get a bunch of small jobs to be able to cart my mom around from doctor to doctor and take care of every part of her life, AND mine. There is exactly zero help. I am the sole survivor of my family. I have the whole burden. The system doesn't help, and actually makes things worse sometimes as they give doctors about 5 minutes per patient and thus they don't ever do a thorough or right job as evidenced by this post. I have story after story about this. And I am sure I am not the only one.

I'm praying and piecing my life together at this point which is stressful beyond comprehension to begin with. My ex just asked me to pick up the entire payment for the house AND all the taxes, raising everything significantly for me. I will manage it somehow. I always do.

Palin Seriously Dissed by AK Newspaper

It would appear that Sarah Palin's elevation to VP nominee has changed just about everything in her home state and folks, they ain't at all happy.

Read it here.

When McCain returns to the Senate and Palin to Alaska, their worlds will not be the same, and Palin, having taken a major, if well deserved, hit may never recover, politically.

Unless Palin pulls a bunny out of her hat on Thursday against Biden, it may, indeed, be over for the McCain/Palin campaign. Their numbers are waning.

Additionally, many top conservatives are calling for Palin to remove herself from the campaign for the good of the country. CBS will be airing, apparently one or possibly two more very embarrassing segments of her interview with Katie Couric/CBS, before Thursday. It cannot get much worse than it was with Couric as it is. However, we are told these segments are as bad or worse.

Here's one!

Um, wow. No one can really say much about that.

Short of bailing out the US, I cannot imagine what McCain can do now to shore up his campaign--especially where Palin is concerned. Palin will be doing some conservative radio shows, but that is not likely to do much of anything. These are the folks likely already voting for her.

It was a roll of the dice. Maybe there is a miracle roll out there of sixes, but right now, it sure doesn't look that way.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Doxy gets it Totally Right!

Doxy has an excellent post up about why she votes the way she does and I highly recommend you take a few minutes to read it. I could not have said it this well.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

For Matthew Shepard and Those Before and After

This beautiful human being died at the hands of hate on October 12, 1998. Matthew, an Episcopalian, was 21 years old.

I write this today as Chicagoans hold a tenth demonstration since Matthew's murder.

Watch these two beautiful tributes to Matthew.

Hate was not born with Matthew. Sadly, it did not die with him either:

After Matthew's murder, his mother, Judy, and friends began a foundation called the Matthew Shepard Foundation which fought for comprehensive hate crimes legislation in Wyoming, Matthew's home state, to include lgbt people and all others. Please go and buy a 'stop hate' tee shirt if you don't have one. Stop hate means... stop hate, no matter who.

Here is his mother, Judy, when hate crime legislation was passed in her state, Wyoming:

Today, for the tenth straight year, a march was held in Chicago, Illinois to demand equal rights for lgbt persons. For everyone that reads this site, you know it means equal rights for everyone... everyone. Every single one. This march began as a huge protest in response to Matthew's death.

And today, a bench was dedicated to the University of Wyoming in his memory.

You all know from reading this site how important equal rights are to me. And if you are reading here, I know you also support them.

Please say a prayer for Matthew, and light a candle.

The Peace of the Lord Be With You.

Spit it Out: The Election and the "R" Word

Having traveled a lot within the United States, and having worked in a number of states as well as having lived in several, I have never doubted that racism is alive and well. I also know it rests heavier in some states and regions than others.

I have heard it, seen it and felt it. I am fairly certain you have, too. Statistics on the current presidential election show it potentially effecting the next election.

What is racism?

Racism is racial prejudice that has been incorporated into the activities and procedures of major institutions, corporations, social systems (such as those related to housing, education, and health), and other arenas of major social activity (such as politics, the media, finance, and banking). Racism serves both to discriminate against ethnic minorities and to maintain advantages and benefits for White Americans.

--American Psycological Association

I started to write on this topic a month ago but found it so personally depressing, I stopped and left my draft to simmer. After some shocking comments I heard yesterday from an acquaintence, I cannot remain silent.

But nobody -- well, hardly anybody -- acknowledged their own prejudices. Both blacks and whites instead blamed "they," a vague and unaccountable surrogate for their own racial attitudes.

Four of every 10 white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, calling them "lazy," or "violent" or blaming them for the ills of black America, according to the AP-Yahoo poll. Such surveys draw criticism from whites who say the numbers are exaggerated and from blacks who say the numbers are too low.
--Associated Press, 9-28-2008

And it's not just African Americans, it is Arab Americans, Mexican Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and what are generally referred to as European Americans. Each doles it out, each gets it back. And this doesn't even begin to cover classism or sexism.

How might this effect the election?

"What kind of choice do guys like me have? A black guy or a woman," Coccia says. "It's a lesser of two evils."
--Associated Press, 9-28-2008

An Associated Press-Yahoo poll conducted with Stanford University has some telling statistics. In the linked article, you can go to the PDF and look at the questions and various stats. The segment on racial beliefs begins on page 12.

But the bottom line is this: Race DOES make a difference in elections and in the case of Obama, perhaps a 6 point difference something the "Bradley Effect" seems to agree with, at least on paper. In a nutshell, the Bradley Effect is a theory about outcome when a white and non-white candidate are running against one another for the same position.

A May 14, 2008 article in the Huffington Post concludes that not only is West Virginia the most racially prejudiced state in the union, but that exit polling shows that 17% of voters had a racial element in their voting deliberations, noting this topped the previous Arkansas standing of 13.7%.

The Republican Party's rise to power in recent decades has largely depended upon the fact that impoverished whites blame blacks rather than corporations for their problems. Without these racist whites, Republicans such as Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush could never have won. The biggest hope for the future of the Democratic Party is the dying off of the old racists who helped bring the Republicans to power. But West Virginia skews very old, and poorly educated, which is the worst possible demographic for Obama.
--Huffington Post, May 14, 2008

I know racism is a factor because I personally hear it from folks who surprise me and don't. Interestingly, I hear more of it from men than women, and far more from my age group than 18-30 year olds (who hold my greatest hope in helping to conquer racism, sexism, classism, ageism and all the other isms and gender identity issues that drag us down as a nation).

I know I am not alone. And it comes through in other respects, as well.

Anyone that scours the net daily as I do, sees another alarming trend: Increasingly hostile racist comments, and more internet sites dedicated to the white nationalist movement and its variations.

"The truth is, we're finding an explosion in these kinds of hateful sentiments on the Net, and it's a growing problem," said Deborah Lauter, civil rights director for the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors hate group activity. "There are probably thousands of Web sites that do this now. I couldn't even tell you how many are out there because it's growing so fast."

Neo-Nazi and white power groups acknowledge that they have little ability to derail Obama's candidacy, so instead some have decided to take advantage of its potential. White-power leaders who once feared Obama's campaign have come to regard it as a recruiting tool. The groups now portray his candidacy as a vehicle to disenfranchise whites and polarize America.

--Washington Post, June 22, 2008

This Palm Beach, Florida online new site, PalmBeachPost.com, carried a July 26, 2008 article that is almost a must-read on the issue as a primer. The largest white nationalist group in the country is located in Palm Beach (yes, eh hem, that Palm Beach!), and several others, likewise, hearken from Florida.

Remaining silent about the elephant in the room does little to supress its behavior, something I have argued with myself about for a month. We cannot change it in others, each of us, but we can remain vigilant for it's appearance and each of us can let it be known that this kind of talk and thinking is neither appreciated or tolerated. It can be done kindly, but it must be done.

The bottom line is this: We must not stop working for Obama until the polls close on November 4. The race is close if the Bradley Effect and polling are right, and even if they are not it is extremely close at this point with 37 days left.

Please, as Brave Net Films says..."pssst... do something."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Not One Red Cent! No to the Bailout!

NOTE: I will be bumping this to the top of my blog consistently. Other newer information on the election will be below. Bumpity bumpity bump.

UPDATE 2: These poll numbers (Sat, 9/27/08), show 24% now favor the bailout.

These poll change numbers in regard to the public feeling about the bailout are VERY significant. You are not alone.

I don't normally do this, but am today. It is time that we speak up loud and clear about who we are as Americans and how we feel about bailing out Wall Street.

So here are a couple of issues to consider:

1. Should ANY CEO of any failing company get even one red cent through a tax-payer bailout? When your small business fails, are YOU bailed out and compensated? Does size have anything to do with bad business decision making?

UPDATE: WaMu (whose stock is now at $0.16/share) has a new 18 day-old CEO. In the bailout, he will receive $7.5 million. Sweet, huh?

2. Should we bail out these institutions at all? Paulson meets with republicans and democrat mucky mucks. WHY didn't Paulson go on TV and talk to the public? Are we REALLY supposed to have such party allegiance (one way or the other) and belief in our political leaders that LET this happen (BTW... this all happened under Bush's watch, but started with Reagan, and continued through several administrations) to solve it again without our public oversight? Remember, democrats are just as guilty, and some more than others.

3. Part of the bailout will be to help foreign institutions. Excuse me but since we cannot regulate what THEY do, why the heck are we even including them? Is it because we are in such debt (remember, Clinton left a surplus... long gone after one year of the Bush and neo con bunch decided to squander our surplus on a war that was staged through overt lying to, as Greenspan put it, go to war over oil?) to them given NAFTA and several other trade agreements allowed jobs to flow overseas? And while we Americans were busy shopping at WalMart, we were, in fact, supporting that dismal economical thinking? If cheap labor is the issue--and it is--what has this done to our economy as manufacturing jobs bolted and left our workers jobless? Was that supposed to be a buoy? US was the consumer under NAFTA, Mexico the cheap labor force, and Canada the materials (ore and wood). That worked well, didn't it?

Now get on the telephone, or e-mail, and fax:

Here is where to find your house and senate contacts.

This is an easy to use way to do it. Just put in your zip code (without the rest of the info) and for most that are not in divided districts, your members will come up.

IN ADDITION contact:

Pelosi (who I think should be yanked along with Reid... they have done a TERRIBLE job through this since they took dem leadership). Let's get some REAL leaders in there soon!). Let them know how you feel on this matter:

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Speaker of the House:
e-mail: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov
tel: (202) 225-0100
fax: (202) 225-8259

Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader:
e-mail: http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html (best to fax or call)
tel: 202-224-3542
tel toll free for Nevadans: 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343)
fax: 202-224-7327

Biden 1:45 on the Debate: Oooo doggies! Go Joe!

Imagine Biden and Palin in a debate. Biden knows his stuff, is an "on your feet" thinker and speaker, and Palin can barely survive with her in-lap talking points... her verbiage almost unintelligible.

I gotta tell ya: I just LOVE this man! He's strong, smart, experienced, and he can be a streetfighting take-no-prisoners kinda guy when needed.


Prayers for Paul Newman and Family

Please include them in your prayers and those of your parish. This is a man that spent a great deal of his life working for the good of the country and its people beyond being a fine actor.

Go with God, Paul. Much of you will stay with me.

You have leapt off that cliff for the final time, God Bless you.

"Oh shiiiiiiiiiiit......."

McCain Says It Himself: I am Bush! 47 seconds

Get it out!

New Obama Vet Add: Oooooo! (a 527)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayer Request: Sen. Ted Kennedy

This stalwart man has fought for the little guy his entire life. An imperfect man--as are we all, male and female alike--he has lived the life of two assassinated brothers, taking on their very mantles of justice in Congress.

Tonight, he was again taken to the hospital, returning shortly thereafter. Complaining of not feeling well, family spokespersons attribute it to a negative reaction to new medication.

Please keep Ted Kennedy and his family on your prayer list.

Personal Post: Thanks for the notes to my email!

A lot of you have said you missed the updates and have come to rely on them v. having to scratch the "news" from the news yourselves. I so appreciate the support and comments. This is a major interest of mine and as you have probably surmised, I am a huge reader.

Also, a lot of you have wished me well in my temporary mild posting knowing I had family issues. Well... not only thank you, but this week was a terror!

First, the beloved came to town. It was wonderful to see him again. I have missed him.

Second, my 94 yo mom broke her foot, and I have been running around like mad (among the normal madness) trying to get things set and settled, so to speak.

Third, I get to mom's this morning, and the entire place is taped off with police tape: Her front tenant was dead... not natural causes, either. Suicide or Homicide. Please say a prayer for Sylvia. When I drove up you can imagine my heart rate!

Police, sheriffs, crime scene investigators and detectives of all kinds and sorts were there for almost 12 hours until the tape was down and bag after bag of things were taken out for labeling and off to examination. Not only that, they let the dang cat out... and her cat was an inside only cat. So, I got them to let me get the cat (who was scared to death and actually dangerous to pick up, but I didn't get bit or scratched, minor miracle!) and got her into my mom's den.

I finally drove home in the dastardly rush hour, let the dogs out... and listened to the debate...

Sheesh! What a couple of days! I need some sleep and a strong scotch and water and some stress-free time (an hour would be good!).

But I am back at it.

Thanks for all your inquiries and notes of support. When I am absent... there is a good reason. Thank you for thinking of me.

And, BTW, MY cat, BOB, is doing great (eating like a pig). But I need you prayer warriors to help me out with one more thing. The cat needs to eat something other than fried chicken, so if you can ask God to whisper a little about food in this cat's ear, that would be real helpful. I can keep him healthy even with this eccentricity, but the real matter is keeping him stable and being sure he is adoptable. As you might imagine, most new owners are not interested in a cat they have to buy or cook fried (not baked, not boiled...) chicken for, shred it and give vitamins for support.

So the next task is getting beyond this. Pray for Bob! And, as I do, put him on your parish's prayer list please!

Again, thank you so much for your thoughtful notes. They are greatly appreciated.

Speak Up! What did you think? (zip commentary)

If you watched the debate tonight, what did you think and why... what did you like and not like about each candidate?

Where were they weak? Stong?

(as an aside, do you know how many times McCain mentioned Reagan?)

Have at it!

Speak up!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain Bails In Several Ways: Letterman goes Nuts

You really MUST see this entire thing... it is almost minute x minute. McCain is a liar.

McCain was scheduled to be on Letterman's show last night. Having yesterday literally suspended his campaign, including pulling ALL commercials (maybe he finally thinks he should review them before airing them?), he also calls Letterman and says... I am literally flying back to D.C.... gotta get on this bailout thing and fix it.

As it turns out, he is in the studio next door with Katie Couric interviewing WHILE Letterman is on, and Letterman shows the interview...

Hardly on a plane... maybe more like trying to bail out Sarah Palin from her rather disastrous interview with Couric.

Watch what happens... This is just classic. It doesn't get ANY better than this. This is 10 min of Letterman on this issue.

If you want to skip to Letterman talking about McCain not showing up--and the extremely last minute bail of McCain--skip to about 2:25.

On Palin and Katie Coric Interview: Oy!

Watch her talk. She is checking her notes. She looks like she is 500% adrenaline... nervous and scared. Watch her eyes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HSUS Leg . Fund Endorces Obama!

Alright you dogs and cats... get out and support Obama! Humane Society of the US does!

Tonight, after my EFM class, we were talking about the election and the infamous P word came up. I am a rescuer and have been for many, many years. I was speaking to two died-in-the- wool republicans.

We had a long conversation about Palin's support of aerial wolf hunting and sow and cub bear hunting, likewise.

Two more republicans will not be supporting McSame/Killer Palin!

Animals, unite your humans!

If there is one thing I know for sure, you don't mess with animal lovers, rescuers or animal welfare advocates. They are among the most passionate people on the planet and have very strong views on animals.

I said it when she was announced and I stand by it: The animal welfare/rescue community will not support McSame/Killer Palin. In fact, the most effective campaign add yet was released by Defenders of Wildlife, a 527 group, on aerial wolf slaughter something that Palin not only supports, but spent $400K "educating" the Alaskan public on the issue just prior to the recent initiative vote. Most hunters don't like it either and feel it is very unethical.

Palin also proposed giving $150.00 for the left front foreleg of every freshly killed wolf claiming it was an "incentive".

Quote of the Day Goes to the Aussies

"Unless Obama makes a major slip-up, he should comfortably win the presidential election. And Sarah Palin most likely will go back to Alaska and the political obscurity she richly deserves."
--Michael Gawenda in the Sydney Morning Herald, 9/25/2008

The Mark of the Feminist, McCain Advisor on Health Care

Palin, falsely branded as a feminist, might best be judged by her actions: She is seen but not heard.

In continuing efforts to keep her away from press that knows more about world affairs and foreign policy--let alone economics--that she does, her "handlers" have again taken the unusual tactic of shutting out the press. Note this is a CBS article, nothing from a progressive journal.

Anyone who has dealt with media knows that there is nothing sweeter than good press, and nothing more devastating than bad press. The Palin approach is to avoid the latter since the former is impossible at least when it comes to issues of the day.

There was an alleged reason (maybe communication was in the wrong astrological house?), as mentioned here in The Atlantic.com.

I just don't know how much more obvious they can be... until, of course today when McSame decided to bow out of the debate on Friday. That is an entirely 'nother post.

When they cannot answer, scream 'sexism'. When you know you are going to get beaten up in a debate, bow out to attend to business. Nevermind that McCain is directly responsible for the anti-regulatory schemes and privatization that has knifed Americans in the back while lifting our wallets. And nevermind that he has 27 lobbyists working for his campaign, including his rove-child, Steve. Nevermind that he lied about lobbying for Freddie (and being paid for it) to its dissolution, lying about his status.

No one in that campaign is able to tell the truth. No one.


I have been meaning to touch upon the issue of health care coming from the McCain camp. More Bizzaro World, from the Dallas Morning News:

But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

I don't know what planet Goodman lives on but perhaps he has never HAD to have this kind of intervention as a policy of last resort. But I have.

When I was uninsured and broke my elbow, I went to the emergency. They x-rayed it, confirmed what I already knew, put it in a sling and told me to go see a doctor. I had just lost my job where I didn't have insurance to start with.

For two days, I called every clinic and bone doc in the county. NOT ONE would take payments. So, I let it heal on its own. I had limited movement of that arm for almost one year. I am also a cancer survivor, so just ask yourself how easy I am to insure.

My ex, who has juvenile onset diabetes, cannot even GET insurance. When very ill and in the hospital, they would not have a specialist in to see him because he was uninsured. The treating physician told me this to my face when I asked. He was visibly embarassed, as he should have been even though it was not his fault. I told him--and this was 15 years ago--he should get off his butt and do something about it. My ex cannot possibly be the only one who has experienced this.

The irony is that McCain, married to money, is covered by the Senate's insurance coverage and of course has the ability to pay way beyond that. He cannot be privately insured as he is a four-time cancer patient.

Ironically, his ticket partner, Palin, has a Down's child--meaning, unable to get private insurance there either.

But Goodman goes even farther:

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

Neocon-speak. If you don't like reality, just change the reality.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And On The Domestic Side of Life...

The musician ex is in town for a few days, so am tending to domestic affairs. Hope to be back blogging tomorrow night. Had a plumbing melt down, so had to do that today... plumber left
at 11:30 tonight, returning at 7am. Sheesh! Old houses. Only one old house, BTW.

But for now...


What is P up to now? Well, in brief, she has agreed to testify before a board she appointed instead of the investigative body she told she would cooperate with. Details, details. She, as gov, can fire each of these three folks she wants to testify to. Knowing her alleged tendency and reputation for retaliation, you tell me how this works out. Would be like Nixon being investigated by his own cabinet. Or Bush by his own DOJ--and we know how well that worked out.

The economic meltdown is not being taken lightly. Well, at least not by the dems. McCain still cannot figure out how to make his causal anti-regulation stance wash. And if you haven't yet figured out the big deal, well oil went up by $20/barrel in the last four days, and future prices (against the euro) is further diminished meaning that whatever you buy will, in the future, cost a WHOLE lot more. Those in poverty now... well, that class will expand likewise. Anyone up for a 'war on poverty'?

Here's McCain's nonsense... listen carefully. Did he every answer the questions? Um, no.

On the melt down, Obama is holding steady and has done very well through the econ crisis consulting the best of the best. Yes, we can. He is positioning himself right--and thoughtfully. God help him, he is going to have a bizarre first term.

Bill Clinton is making some headlines--and as far as I am concerned, he is walking a curved line. What is this, the year of living nicely? He should know better. When canvassing, however, never mention her. She does arouse some strong emotions which might be what he is going after (though I confess to not knowing one woman that likes her). It is, and should be, about policy, but given she has none, hard to go after that. And yes, it really is about McCain and his anti-regulatory stance. So Bill is right, but he is also wrong.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Schaeffer, Son of Evangelist, Levels the GOP

This is a very interesting read.

Obama's New Social Security Add--30 Sec of Truth!

Powerful Video of Obama's Speech Today! Watch!

This is just great!

Obama's Numbers Up Again

Go here to read the whole thing.

Also, fivethirtyeight.com has very complex statistical information. Overall, Obama is ahead. Read here.

This is a tight race in a couple of states, and the work isn't over until the polls close at 8pm election night. There is a lot of GOP caging in various states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Virgina and Colorado. I am sure it is happening in other states, as well.

PLEASE, let everyone you know, if receiving any kind of a ballot in the mail, to get it both to the registrar of voters AND the local dem office. All kinds of investigations are going on.

Remember, since 1980, the GOP has been under court order to stop caging, but they ignore it and so do republican attorneys general. Obviously, the DOJ won't do anything either.

Keep fighting and go volunteer for Obama! Moveon.org is organizing calling parties for Sunday (tomorrow), go there and sign up.

We have a long way to go and many things can go wrong. The debates (the first is this coming Friday) may or may not tell the tale.

With the market crash, the issue of privatizing social security (something McCain supports (still, if you can believe it!)) will come up.

Keep your chin up and keep working for Obama!

Equal Pay for Equal Work: Lilly Ledbetter (31 sec)

This is the new Obama add. It made me cry. I grew up in a single parent home, my parent a woman. My father refused to pay child support, my mother taking the jobs she could until she started a business on a whim and a prayer. There were days she had no idea what we would eat. We had no money.

That scourge McCain voted against equal pay for equal work.

I faced the same battle in 1980.

Friday, September 19, 2008

P's Dead Lake: Wasilla's Land Use Lobotomy

As you may know from reading my blog, I am considered a lay expert in land use. I found this article in salon.com very instructive not only about Wasilla but what P did and did not do in this regard.

We know about her feelings regarding the ecological balance between species which involves aerial slaughter of wolves AND bear sows and cubs so that more caribou and moose are available for tourist hunters. We know about her attacks and litigation on the endangered species act listing of the polar bear.

We know she is fighting the listing of the beluga whale in Alaska.

We know she is fighting the listing of three seal species in Alaska.

We know she opposed legislation that would have watched out for water quality in the face of a mine (Pebble Mine) in Alaska.

We know she supports drilling in ANWR, and has lied about the project's alleged 2,000 sq. ft. foot print (this really cracks me up... common parlance for someone trying to make a project look small).

We know she doesn't believe that humans are causing global warming/climate change. She recently has allegedly softened on this, but I don't believe it. You cannot smile and cheer at "Drill, baby, drill," and simultaneously support use of carbon based fuels. 430K years of carbon levels in ice don't lie.

We know she advocates for nuclear power and "clean coal" (no such thing). She has experience with neither, and no experience of knowledge whatsoever on the various radioactive waste streams.

We know she defeated a wind project in her state.

This is a woman McP suggests is a world expert on energy (and even if you consider oil alone, it is not true). This is a woman he says he will put in charge of our energy planning. Swell. This is a woman with NO science background and no interest in environmental science and a woman who also lied about the science findings on the polar bear which was discovered by a persistent scientist through an open records act request (they originally wanted to charge him in excess of $450,000 for the materials--some transparency!).

I deal with slugs like P all the time. They could care less about the environment and pay experts to help them through the process--read lie.

The fact that her town is a land use mess speaks volumes about her approach to the environment in which she, herself, lives... a standard she would certainly not hesitate to insist is likewise suitable for us all.

So, if you eat, breath or drink water you cannot possibly support this candidate.

BTW: The ESA is in serious trouble. I will be posting and hope you all will take action.

Updates: First Dude Ignores Subpoenas: Investigation Proceeds

UPDATE: Palin is lying again. Boy. Read on the issue here.

read AP article, here. Compares the current situation to the legal manipulations of the GOP in 2000, "the year of the hanging chad". Kos has a piece up as well, read it here.

This could, in fact, be the wind on the house of cards that is the GOP presidential campaign.

Todd Palin, and the other twelve folks who received subpoenas to testify before the largely Republican committee on Palin's "interference" in a case regarding a state trooper formerly married to Sarah Palin's sister.

"Troopergate", as it has come to be called, will apparently end on October 10 with or without their testimony as announced today. Three of the five folks on the investigating committee, which Sarah Palin invited and said she would cooperate with, are Republicans. Both Palins have done an about-face on the matter, now refusing to testify.

The GOP sent a cadre of attorney's to Alaska to stymie the case. Among their actions, the group advised all those receiving subpoenas to refuse to testify and ignore the subpoenas. Among the more bizarre comments from the McP campaign is that the process was politicized by democrats faulting Obama. The case, however, began prior to McCain's choice of Sarah Palinas his vice presidential candidate.

Sound familiar?

This is Palin's version of transparency, something she has advocated through the campaign that she would advocate for as a "reformer". She has also refused to hand over e-mails and information sitting on her personal yahoo account that she used to avoid public scrutiny.

That's a "reformer's" transparency.

Glen Greenwald writes an excellent piece over at Salon.com which is a worthwhile read and pretty well sums things up to this point.

October 10 could be a banner day for Palin--or not.

I'm Likin' This Here Trend! and More On McP

And on the P...

--Maybe we won't have to explain to our world counterparts the stupidity of Americans after all? Go here and take a peek.

--New polling data (multiples) showing Obama/Biden rising, McCain/P slipping check it out here. Good news.

--On another note, former US Army Brigadier General (retired) Janis L. Karpinski writes about how the P could launch us back in time. VERY worth the read. An excerpt:

Palin, however, is a dangerous choice and her style goes against the grain of feminists and women everywhere. We spent years seeking equality, and ask only for a level playing field where we can find credit for our accomplishments and capabilities and the opportunities to compete fairly. Sarah Palin can launch us back in time and remove years of progress, albeit slow and incomplete.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Cannot Get His Campaign In One Bucket...

If you follow politics, you know (much younger face, much more putrefied brain) Phil Gramm. That smiling face to the right is him pondering deregulation and privatization.

How is your face doin' today? Smiling like he is over the bright and fundamentally sound economy?

Two paragraphs from an online Austrailian Newspaper pretty much get it right, as I see it.

DESPITE trying to distance himself from the way his party has done business in Washington, John McCain is seen by voters as less likely to bring change to Washington than Barack Obama.

Here's Phil Gramm on July 9, 2008, telling us we are whining about the US loss of competitiveness (31 seconds):

So, who the hell is Phil Gramm (for you that don't recognized that well-healed, very right wing GOP name)? Read this from cron.com, the Houston Chronicle (his home-state newspaper), titled Phil Gramm's fingerprints are all over market mess. Elected Texans must have it out for the economy.

Yes, this is the same Phil Gramm that was McCain's Sr. economic advisor (from summer of 2007 until July 18, 2008. Gives an entirely new meaning to the word 'whip') that called Americans 'whiners'. Gramm "stepped down" from his McCain position nine days after calling millions of people whiners though he still advises McCain's campaign, which explains oh so much.

Here's a quote from the article:

Last February, Fortune Magazine called Gramm "McCain's Econ Brain.

"Gramm lost the official title of economic adviser for making an impolitic remark about this being "a nation of whiners." But Gramm's belief in letting speculators do as they please was never an issue. And even after he left the campaign, Gramm had been mentioned as a possible Treasury secretary in a McCain administration.

Another Gramm contribution was the "Enron loophole," which prevented federal oversight of Enron's electronic energy trading. Such favors proved very expensive to consumers but profitable to the Gramms. Enron CEO Ken Lay chaired Gramm's 1992 re-election campaign, and wife Wendy Gramm spent years on the Enron board, earning as much as $1.8 million, according to Public Citizen, a consumer advocate.

Golly. He does sound like a brain, doesn't he? Never mind the "impolite remarks". Gramm was out to screw the American people through his failed economic philosophy, and he succeeded. During the Bush administration, he had considerable weight.

McCain hired him, advocated his positions and now has the absolute gall to tell us he has a clue and will "reform" the gov, first saying he was against increased regulatory oversight, then saying he was for it.

And never mind what the "P" said. That would be Rove talking, and she has absolutely nothing to bring to this table absent memorization and she can barely get that right. P inherited a healthy economy in her little town and left them $20million in debt. Yup, she is a Republican alright. Yup, that would be the same Rove that not only developed Bush's positions, he now develops McCains as well, and P's likewise. Rove told her what her positions were, then, as a staff contributor for Fox News, Rove reviewed her fake Hannity interview and his own positions. That's Fox's brand of 'no conflict'. And that's totally Rove.

Gramm also wrote and shepherded laws through congress, while a senator from Texas, advantaging the very kinds of business that we are all concerned about now.

Gramm's wife was on the Board of Directors of the Enron Corporation while he was drafting legislation to advantage Enron and corporations like them.

This is what voting for McCain will do... more of the same, or worse. For now, P (as in pathetic, her rating by the American public plummeting) is being outshined as people actually focus on the issues.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two Minutes From Obama--Watch It


The Cat is Finally Eating!

I recently took a very sick cat, a chocolate point Siamese, in to our rescue. He was jaundiced, had hepatic lipidosis and would not eat on his own. We ran blood tests, re-hydrated the cat and began a regimen of force feeding, though not through the tube method, but by hand once he came home from the vet. This cat has/had idiopathic hepatic lipidosis as we were unable to find another primary cause. Probably stress of being abandoned, then shelter stress, then stressed again moving here. Poor cat.

The first days of force feeding were rough. He could only eat VERY tiny amounts of food at one time. So, we fed him every half an hour for the first 48 hours, then every two hours, until we got to four-five times/day, then finally down to three large meals/day.

I have tried every food under the sun, moon and stars, of every texture and flavor and brand offering them once/week while force feeding. Cats whose systems are coming back to normal will eat at some point assuming they like what you are offering.

So, this morning, I got the fried chicken out that I bought yesterday, removing the skin and pulling the meat apart. I put it directly on the towel he was laying on and lo and behold, he ate! For some reason, many cats like fried (over baked) chicken, so I gave it a try.

We force fed this cat for 10 weeks... the longest I have ever had to force feed. It is a big commitment because you just cannot get off schedule, and in meeting the cat's caloric requirements, you also need to give higher protein foods in many cases which is not an easy balance. Because we started with Gerber's chicken (100 cals/bottle), and this cat required about 275 cals/day, we had to be really careful not to under feed... though the cat had trouble handling that much food. Also, since baby food is for babies, not cats, we gave a cat vitamin.

After the cat was more stable on force feeding, we mixed in various higher protein foods that we ordered, alternating with Hill's A/D. It was harder to force feed, but the results were better, and as time went by we saw normal stool and a more active (this is a very relative thing) cat, then began to see the kitty grooming (something we did regularly for him). A sick cat will not groom themselves, so when you start to see grooming, you know you are headed in an upward direction and hopefully it lasts.

Had the cat not eaten on his own by this Friday (as I kept reminding him!), the vet was going to try some different meds.

I put the cat on the church prayer list last Wednesday (yeah, I am frequently laughed at so I now give my cats human names and ask for prayers of healthful recovery. They may think they are praying for a human, but God knows the truth!). Hard for some to take a prayer for Fluffy seriously which I find puzzling, actually.

So the really great news is that the situation is seriously looking up! I will remain force feeding (smaller amount) until his appetite is stable. I just gave him more chicken, and he ate it. This little guy eats very slowly and carefully, so it takes him quite a while to eat a small meal on his own.

So, keep "Bob" on your prayer list, would you?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now Hear This! The McRovian Approach to Attention

Wherever you are... do this.

Sit still for three minutes, eyes open. Track what gets your attention.

Is it the siren coming closer and closer, the odd unexpected sound, a sudden silence in the midst of noise, the color of someones shirt, a guy running through the parking lot, the screams of a woman, the moaning of an injured animal you can hear but not see, something someone said in stark contrast to perceived or agreed reality. What is it that tracks attention?

There are a million things that get our attention, breaking our concentration. Things that move us off track. Things that take priority.

If you did the suggested in paragraph one, your brain made decisions on events... it perceived and made decisions.

The sound of a car driving by with loud music on did not have the same effect as gun shots from a passing car.

In a crowd, a streaker had more effect than a fabulously beautiful woman standing next to you.

At the dog park, a threatening dog had your attention over the compassionate and lazy golden retriever with a tennis ball in its mouth that everyone adores.

The ten wild kids in the grocery store with their mom stole the attention away from the person looking for the perfect zucchini.

Two balls, one red, one blue, and a red frisbee. Go back to your Highlights days. What doesn't fit?

And not only that, you made instantaneous judgments and decisions about each event. Like, don't like. Threatening, safe. Annoying, sweet. Different, beautiful. Care, don't. Noted, unimportant.

Welcome to the world of politics. This is how it is done.


On a day when the stock market plummets 504 points downward, three days prior Lehman goes duck-up, and the press is just short of calling it the next depression, John McCain makes a statement that the "fundamentals of our economy are strong" (28 sec video):

Let's just take the first couple of lines here, and the most important.

If you see the statement made (and track audio), and are watching, you note that McCain is badly following script (unprepared, incapable, worry), the message is grim in the first section (fear), delivery is terrible (incompetent), and McCain looks terribly uncomfortable (unease).

Then he breaks to the we'll save you message: where he is 'changing' (reassuring), comfortable (gets rid of fear, whew), and looks more natural and happy (fear turned to happy... all is well).

That is what he just did. He gave you the tail between the legs routine, then bounced away as a happy puppy against applauding (reinforcement) mass.

He sent to your split-second brain these things and many, many, many more. The tie color against the suit, against the background.

But WHAT did he REALLY do?

He attracted one helluva lot of attention. There wasn't a blog or a newspaper or online news pundit that wasn't talking about the absurdity of it all. He stole the news of the day... then elaborated. If you think for a minute this isn't calculated, you are wrong.

THIS is exactly WHY Palin is so effective, and why Obama is having a difficult time responding.

McCain is using an old skill: attention getting. It works for babies and kids, and it works VERY well for McCain.

And not only did McCain steal the attention, he did something even more seemingly stupid but, actually, more brilliant.

McCain retraced his steps. And then lied again and got even more coverage! He actually got someone to listen to his lies on his affection and respect for labor. Double play by McCain and the hits just keep on coming!

In theory, everything he just did was ridiculous. But it wasn't. It worked well.

He took us from the economy (something he has admitted he is terrible at) to labor (something we all know he is terrible at) in 24 hours. And media is writing about it. Who would have given a damn about his thoughts on labor 24 hours ago?

McCain is the streaker at the dinner party. It's all they will talk about all night, every night for the next number of nights. Never mind the reason for the dinner party or how marvelous it was up to that point. It's the streaker. In all contexts and the majority of all contexts.

McCain may not completely understand what he is doing. I think it is perfectly clear he doesn't though I must say Cindy looks a little tense these days standing there in the background like a statue at the back of the younger and more attractive, charismatic Palin. She looks uncomfortable and perhaps she is the only one that truly does get it though that wouldn't change a thing.

McCain's strategist, a Rove child, does get it. It's not about McCain, it is about the GOP and their shifts ever farther right and hanging on to whatever political geography they can in the face of a rather disastrous congressional shift.

McCain gets the attention because of lies, absurdities, for wearing his pants on their head. Whatever it is, he ultimately wins. If the Rove child told McCain to wear a poodle shirt, grunt and eat socks, he would. Both McCain and Palin do what they are told. I mean seriously, what normal human being could get up and give the same speech over and over? I'd be bored to tears.

This bunch doesn't do well with issues, as we so clearly know. So they fight with the tools they have, all else be damned. To date, clown shoes and all, they are winning the heart of America. We could, if we don't pay attention and work our silly butts off, have Bozo as the next prez.

I don't believe they will ultimately win, but for now, the Rove child is in control.

Watch for it... you will see it in every move.

And, this is enlightening: read it.

FINALLY, FINALLY! Hillary on Palin and McCain

This is a really great article, with three interview videos on this post. PLEASE watch this, ladies (and gents!). The three videos are really a must see. She redirects... Good on her! Class act.

This is what it is all about, and Hillary hits the nail on the head.

Ooooooo doggies!

Someone is not having a happy day. Read it here. And another here. And another here, and here from WaPo...

By George, I think Palin has awakened the sleeping dog with a kick to their pissed off sensibilities. The media, if reluctantly, is waking up.

You know, the press had it coming for not doing their job for the last 8 years. But it's one hell of a gamble on McCain's part!

What next? McCain calls the press whiners? Ha! That puts the American people AND the press in the same boxcar.

Train to nowhere? Iffy strategy, but interesting.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sexism: Um, can we talk?

Republican women are having a field day on the issue of sexism. It seems to be their new pet project.

Many who read this blog are women, and of course only the smartest of men do also and moved way beyond sexism years ago. It was that or face the frying pan. I joke of course. No decent woman cooks.

We all know sexism is real, it exists, just like racism, homophobia and all the other social malfeasance and phobias that somehow pass as one ism or another. And the results of these isms are tied to crimes: hate crimes, domestic crimes of violence in all its egregious forms, and crimes of power including rape.

This whole Palin sexism thing honestly has me puzzled. Not because I buy into it, but because others do.

Here's a few statements, and a question, help me out here:

I'm a hockey mom. Okay, no problem.

Pitbull with lipstick. And that isn't sexist? It identifies tough with female, no problem there. It calls out gender. Problem. Why not just skip the sexist joke and BE a pitbull? (I hate this whole analogy and it wouldn't be any better if you used 'shark'.)

I'm a governor, and a hockey mom, I have five kids, one pregnant and a special needs child that is six months old that I am nursing, and am pitbull with..., and can be the vice president of the United States 24/7.

In that sentence, there are so many balls in the air, obvious and not, I cannot even count them.

This is where I don't just get off, I leap off the bus and hit the ground running in the opposite direction. This is the stuff of clown shoes for me.

We all make judgements from our own perspective, and I am making mine. Maybe it is wrong.

I have always been an extremely busy person. I have been pulled every which of a way to help with things. Only now have I asked that people use me only when absolutely necessary, but always keep me in the (oy!) paperwork loop.

I was at a meeting tonight (after a private preliminary meeting on Saturday) for this very purpose. It was a good thing I was there. The county was lying through their teeth.

And it was a really good thing we had the preliminary meeting. After the three hour preliminary meeting, and some good solid information, another just took the bone and ran with it... did an excellent job! (And I mean excellent and I almost never able to use that word in this context.)

It's not about the fact Palin is female. It is about the fact she, as a human, has made life decisions and commitments and is a mere mortal. And because Palin is running for Vice President, it is about her capabilities. And for me, it is also about whether she can actually reasonably see her limits.

I was reading through some Alaskan news archives yesterday and came across something I am not certain the press has tangled with--perhaps because she is female (meaning, sexism). Palin was absent from the Alaskan capital so often, legislators started wearing buttons reading, "Where's Sarah?" Palin was away from the capital sleeping in her very own bed some ten hours away for 300 of the year's days. Yikes. I think I would be wearing the button too!

Perhaps the question isn't so much where was Sarah, but why wasn't Sarah where she was expected to be.

She was in Wasilla, preferring to live there v. the capital because it was, after all, her home thus the now-present flap over her taking daily allowances for 300 of the year's days while sleeping in her own bed. It is strange no matter how you look at it.

So, what do I draw from all this? I draw that she is over extended, woman or not. Sexist? Nope. I don't think so.

Joe Biden's wife and daughter were killed in 1972 in a terrible car accident while Christmas shopping. His two young sons were in the hospital, in critical condition for months. He was sworn in at their bedsides after deciding--and being talked out of--resigning his newly won senate position.

After this, and apparently for a period of time, Wikipedia indicates that Joe was not up to the job at all, would not come in (he was tending to his family) and they were taking bets as to how long he would last until he resigned. He never did.

Joe must have had huge resolve. For years, and to this day, he rides the train to DC, and home again every night--a trip that is 1.5 hours, one way on top of complex and long days. He wanted to take care of his two remaining boys.

Am I wrong in seeing a difference here? He was a senator, she is a VP candidate--basically in custody of the US gov 24/7 no matter what.

So why do I feel that it is too much for Palin? Is it? Am I wrong? Am I actually, as a woman, a sexist?

There is an old saying that if you want something done, ask a busy person. It implies that they know how to manage time, juggle the unimaginable and manage to keep things together. It is true, often. But there IS a tipping point. I know. I am a really busy woman.

More Campaign News for Today

1. Palin refuses to release e-mails. Wah! Read it here.

2. Wisconsin article covers McCain's campaign efforts to steal votes through errors. Finally! Not just happening here, either. It's going on in at least four other states (notably all of them are key battleground states). Read here.

That has caused consternation of the part of vote
rs around the state. "They're trying to knock me off the rolls," says Beverly Jambois, of Middleton, who complained after she got one of the McCain mailings. "I can't tell you how upsetting it is to me. This is how (McCain tries to) win elections? By disenfranchising voters?"

And coming at the same time that Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a McCain campaign co-chair, launched an aggressive new effort to purge voting rolls, this development is deeply unsettling.

The McCain camp has created serious concerns for Wisconsin voters. Those voters will not be able to trust the Republican nominee or his party unless those concerns are addressed quickly and completely.

3. One minute video from our guy Joe on the campaign trail in Michigan... get em Joe!

4. Obama was in Colorado (so was McCain's liar). Here is a yet unreleased add on John McCain opposing equal wages for woman.

Watch it here.

American Baptist, pro-GLBT, Takes Palin to Task in AK

Read this excellent piece here. He sounds a warning about her theology and decision making process and how her religious beliefs informed her actions in Wasilla.

I write about this issue here, here, here, and here.

Palin's Favorability Ratings Plummet

Photo is of a McCain stop today... Home alone, John? Palin is campaigning alone in another state.

I refer you here and here to read, and they offer a bit of analysis on the figures.

Also a great new Obama ad, hard-hitting, on McCain's dirty campaigning. Super add. And backed up by the calls of the major media. Obama is keeping on track, he's back on message post GOP convention/Palin hubris, he's keeping his ads clean .

Four debates are coming up. They will be important. Obama will actually have a chance to respond to McCain. So will Biden to Palin.

My thoughts, for what they are worth:

1. I have always believed, and remain believing, that the sole purpose of Palin's pick was to energize and solidify the evangelical right. I think, now, many agree... and then there's the AND she is a woman part.

2. I thought they would heavily hit the maverick and change issues. They did. Now they are adding "reformer", or Maverick Reformers for change. Just remember and keep saying McCain--Bush. McCain--Bush. That's what this is all about.

3. They will continue with all the sexist nonsense. That won't be stopping, but not subjecting Palin to general media will continue to piss everyone off and at some point (as the NY Times has probably figured out, based on their whopping article of yesterday) if you aren't in a position to get one of those really special interviews... then perhaps you really ARE free to tell the truth (as they did a damn good job of!). Their strategy will backfire in a lot of ways.

4. Fox news' interview, as a reader points out, will be to reinforce her in the eyes of the public given she did not really do well through the Gibson pieces, especially on foreign affairs. Gibson wasn't nearly as squishy as people thought he would be.

5. She is campaigning separate from McCain right now--they need to cover a lot of bases. But whether she will be made available to the press, I really seriously doubt it. She cannot deal with press. It is a huge risk in the states where they need to press. Campaigning separately will also show that no one really likes McCain... he is alone... very alone most of the time at his stops especially in comparison to Palin. It also--as happened during time of her Gibson interviews--allowed for inconsistency of remarks/message given at or near the same time by the two candidates. (John said one thing on the view, palin said another in interview, both about HER position.)

6. They lost their momentum on Palin when she went back to Alaska (where there was a really nifty anti-palin protest) only to do the Gibson interviews which didn't help. If polling is indeed related to the interviews, and who knows if that is the case, one could argue they hurt her--badly. She should not have taken that break, but I am glad she did. Guess she had to memorize some new lines?

7. Will she be able to regain some of that momentum? Some, certainly not all. As more truth comes out, the non-evangelical vote will tip away (all things being equal!), which is what is starting to happen. Picking her so late gave them an advantage in her being unknown. But as time goes by--and media does their work--evidence is highlighting her truth stretching, lies, spins and her lack of knowledge. It may not shift much of anything in the evangelical vote, but it will shift others and already is shifting others. I take the view that we have two great people to go after here... both are very vulnerable.

8. 527s are starting to come out with their own hit pieces (e.g. on the topics of choice and ariel slaughter of wolves, for instance). Don't think for a minute that won't happen on McCain's side as well. There are already articles out there about millions set aside to swift boat Obama at a strategic time. Probably won't start right away given what I expect to see at the end when there is no opportunity to properly vett all the adds and educate the voters.

9. The GOP is at it again: already caging activities in purple states. If you get an absentee ballot in the mail, my suggestion is do not use it. They are sending out VERY tricky things including ballots with wrong return addresses, a wee little box at the bottom that, if missed, invalidates your votes, etc. Take your absentee ballots to your registrar and your media if you get them and you can find things wrong with them. I hope the national media will start doing some serious hit pieces on this. It will be a mess and could cost the election, which is, afterall, the whole point of their continued ballot box dishonesty.

10. With the announcement of economic gloom and doom--certainly helped along by Greenspan's comments, including the one that Iraq was just a political lie (and this by a 'pub)-- it will force the issue of economics onto the campaign stops more and more. The Lehman Bros. failure (not to mention the upcoming predictable failure of several major banks) will just add to the fire. Palin doesn't know economics. Obama does. Their messages will be VERY different, and no amount of "government reform" Palin proposes will fix that. Obama will shine here, and almost every expert who has looked at his tax plan, v. McCains says that Obama's is better for everyone BUT the extremely wealthy. McCain's favors the extremely wealthy (shocked, right?). The economy is not going to get better in the next 50 days. That will help Obama. He isn't the one that voted 90% of the time with Bush. Keep saying McCain and Bush in the same line. That's what this is all about, except farther to the right.

11. Bill Clinton and Hillary and others are hitting the trail for Obama. Great! Hillary has some work to do in the purple states.

12. Watch Rove carefully. He doesn't like McCain and is sending out some really weird messages. But given what we know about him, he is completely untrustworthy and always has a plan.

13. Remember, Palin is McCain's "best" pick and an example of his judgement. THAT is why we actually can go after Palin... and McCain. I love my dog, but I would want him driving a school bus.

Finally--Don't panic, remain calm, and work for the Obama campaign calling, or whatever they need! Send money. They have to flood with adds in important states. If you can get to a neighboring purple state to work, get with their campaign office to do so. (e.g. California to Nevada).

I really believe we can win this. Yes... I do. I really do believe it.

PHOTO CREDIT: Huffington Post