Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- $200/month rent. He's very lucky to currently share a rental with family members. Stirring two small children into the mix is sure to increase stress in the household. Who knows what's next?
- $150/month student loan payment. This is for a tech program he didn't finish. It will cost him this auto-withdrawal payment every month for 15 years. Beware of these programs, they seem to be circling the economically disadvantaged.
- $116/month legal debt. This is for past life run-ins with the law. The payment disappears if it is paid in full by September 2009. If it's not paid in full, there will be jail time and more fines for not paying the fines. This is a demoralizing cycle. Time in jail = time off work = no job to be found after jail time is served = more desperation.
- $35/month car insurance. Liability insurance is required under Texas law.
- $345/month car payment. This pays for a 13-year-old car with AC that doesn't work. The car was financed at one of those "No Credit, No Problem!" places. I probably don't need to say much more about this except these people are predators. Poor people are their prey. Our friend needs a car to get to his construction job. The location changes regularly. Public transportation in the area of town he can afford to live in is very hard to access. And, he cannot save money to pay cash for a car he can afford. He is at the mercy of a loan shark.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The other day I had a conversation with a Beijing friend and I mentioned that Barack Obama was leading in the presidential race: She: Obama? But he's the black man, isn't he? Me: Yes, exactly. She: But surely a black man couldn't become president of the United States? Me: It looks as if he'll be elected. She: But president? That's such an important job! In America, I thought blacks were janitors and laborers. Me: No, blacks have all kinds of jobs. She: What do white people think about that, about getting a black president? Are they upset? Are they angry? Me: No, of course not! If Obama is elected, it'll be because white people voted for him. [Long pause.] She: Really? Unbelievable! What an amazing country!I have to confess - the punch line there kind of knocked the wind out of me. I've spent months promising to move to Canada or New Zealand or Zimbabwe if the GOP is given another four years in the White House. It has not occurred to me, often enough, to marvel at the history that has already been made this year. Certainly, I have remembered the Civil Rights days of the 1960s...but only in the context of a fear that we have not moved far enough down that road. I have not stopped to ponder the idea that we might be an amazing country regardless of who wins in 7 days. So, I invite you to spend a moment or two today imagining a country where Barack Obama is not even possible. Not even possible. Entertain the idea that we live in an amazing country. I hope the thought makes the journey through the next 7 days a bit lighter. Peace.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
So, the political ideology represented here is the Democratic visionary theorizing that those who have more in this country should share with those who have less. The kids with lots of candy don't keep it all. It's the we're-going-to-spread-the-wealth-around kind of thinking.
But, don't miss the personal philosophy implied by the cartoon...which is that anyone who doesn't have more in this country is simply too lazy.
Perhaps the kids in their nice costumes with their custom trick-or-treat bags were just born with nicer parents than some other kids. Or, maybe they are simply the ones lucky enough to have parents at home. Or, parents with money to buy a costume. Maybe the kids drawn on this doorstep have no idea how lucky they are. And, perhaps it doesn't even occur to these kids that there are some people their age who aren't trick or treating.
Maybe the kids who aren't out in their costumes with their specialty candy buckets are sick, or permanently disabled, or hiding in a closet to avoid being beaten, or simply more worried about what's for dinner than what to wear on Halloween.
My political ideology would be better represented in this cartoon by Gary McCoy if the Democrat were saying: "Look how much candy you have. I'm going to take half and give it to the kids who couldn't trick or treat tonight."
I think you probably can deduct my personal philosophy.
And what if we turn the cartoon around, so the think bubble over the kids' heads reads: "Oh crap, a Republican (ideology)?" Here's my rewrite:
Look how much candy you have! I'm going to take half of it and give it to the kids who have so much candy they'll never know they have more!Which ideology represents your philosophy? Peace. (Don't miss listening to Nanci Griffith by clicking on the title above. Check her face at about 1:10...there we are.)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
- $49,425.74 at Saks
- $75,062.63 at Neimans
- $ 4,716.49 on hair and make-up
- $ 5,102.71 at Bloomingdale's
- $ 9,447.71 at Macy's
- $ 4,902.45 at Atelier
- $ 295.00 at Pacifier (Trig's romper, etc)
Okay...let's be honest and fair. Who among us wouldn't need a few new items for the suitcase before embarking on an 8-week rally, TV, radio, newspaper, magazine tour? Likely the first thing I'd have said to John McCain if he'd called and asked me to be his VP would have been, "But, I have nothing to wear!" Oh, and I'm a democrat.
Really, though...Saks? Neiman-Marcus? We all know this is NOT where Joe Six-Pack buys Josephine's Christmas present. And, Joe the Plumber? I saw him yesterday in front of me in the check-out line at Target. Come on, GOP...get a clue.
Just for fun, I priced a few items on my wardrobe makeover list at Neimans. If you are an average person living on Main Street, America...prepare to be amused.
- Black dress pants - $575
- Woven cotten basic shirt (white) - $250
- Woven cotten basic shirt (black) - $795 (oh, it's lusious!)
- Beautiful funky green cardigan sweater - $365 (I think I really want this one)
- Belted cardigan sweater - $575
- Turtleneck sweater (need 2) - $275 each - $550
- Ballerina flats - $195
- Dressy boots - $1,145
- All purpose suede dress shoe - $425
Total - $4875. And I still need another pair of non-mom jeans (it's the WASH that gives us away, ladies, not the fit!!), a couple of tunic tops, tights, some belts, some jewelry.
I will not be shopping at Neiman-Marcus. Shame on you, GOP.
And do we really believe the intention of the RNC is to give Palin's pricey clothes to charity at the end of the campaign? They must not believe they're going to the White House. It seems to me you'd want to look spiffy while being the VP just as much as you wanted to look spiffy trying to be the VP. Or...once elected...do the Palins go back to the clothes of the common people?
McCain's campaign spokesperson said she didn't understand why, with all the real issues to be discussed, people wanted to talk about pantsuits and blouses.
Hmmmm....we felt the same way last week about Bill Ayers.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- I'm voting for a promise of withdrawal of our troops in Iraq.
- I'm voting for a tax plan that worries less about the guy who never has to think about his bank account balance and more about the family that can't afford milk for breakfast.
- I'm voting to provide equal access for all to doctors and hospitals and prescription drugs.
- I'm voting for funded mandates in our public schools.
- I'm voting for the hope that we will all come together to work passionately and compassionately to make a good world for our children and grandchildren.
Surely we have bigger fish to fry now.
Sleep well. Peace.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I can't remember when politics seemed like such sport.
There's so much to read and hear about tonight's debate strategy and game plan, I feel like I'm anticipating the Texas-OU kickoff all over again (hooked 'em last Saturday, by the way).
What must McCain do to hit the ball out of the park?
What must Obama do to maintain his ranking in the polls?
What will Bob Shieffer do to keep the game on track?
Just for point of reference...and great fun, take an 8-minute look at where these televised debates between presidential candidates began on September 26, 1960. Not much style. Not much hoopla. Not much difference in the messages. Sigh.
There were 66.4 million viewers in 1960. Networks expect about the same number tonight. I suppose that proves that interest in politics hasn't really grown with the country's population or with our media sophistication. Double sigh.
I'm still deciding how I'll watch tonight. Will I head to a local bar where democrats hang out and raucously cheer and boo...or stay at home with my Washington Post debate drinking game and not worry about post-debate driving?
Wherever you are tonight, I invite you to watch the exchange at least as attentively as you sit with college football. Then turn off the TV to discuss your opinion of the 90-minute contest with people you trust. Don't let pundits tell you what you saw. Do your own thinking.
And let me know what you thought by posting something here.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- Who has a plan for ending the war in Iraq and bringing our boys and girls home?
- Who has tax proposals that redefine a system that currently makes the rich richer and the poor poorer?
- Who has a plan to create health care options for people in this country who can't come up with cash to see a doctor?
What are your factual non-negotiables for the next three weeks? Can we carry truth with us between now and November 4?
This is, actually, one of our sure paths to Peace. The truth.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
- McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.
- Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
- Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.
- McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”
- McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.
- Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”
- McCain claimed “1.3 million people in America make their living off eBay.” Actually, only 724,000 persons in the U.S. have income from eBay, and only some of them rely on it as their primary source.
For further analysis of the evening, absent of any comment about how the candidates LOOKED, check in with factcheck.org.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
- Growing Skepticism for Palin Says Washington Post/ABC Poll
- Stakes High for Palin in Tonight's Debate
- No Free Pass for Palin, Say Evangelicals
Nothing cuts closer to the heart, though, than last week's piece from conservative political columnist Kathleen Parker, who wrote: "my cringe reflex is exhausted." Then Parker implored the Alaskan governor to "save McCain, her party, and the country she loves" by bowing out and going home.I can't wait to see Governor Palin stand before us all (including Joe Biden) tonight...knowing she may never live this 90-minutes of her life down. It's like the final installment of an American Idol season. If only we could use our cell phones to vote.... The news pundits tell us to be watching for appearances: Who looks "vice presidential"...How do the candidates greet one another...Will Palin commit an unforgivable blunder of intelligence...Will Biden commit an unforgivable error of long-windedness...Will Sarah Barracuda emerge...Will Joe Jab show up? They have made it worth watching, haven't they? Look for a "Debate Bingo" card posted here later today (the technology is stumping me at the moment). Use it tonight to distract yourself from the jeers and jabs and guffaws. Maybe we'll discover some real issues being addressed by these two sideshow spotlight stealers. I hope we do. Peace.
- ► 2013 (13)
- ► 2010 (32)
- ► 2009 (122)
- I Believe in Human Kindness
- Taking The Show on the Road
- It's a Sign....
- Oh...Eastern Time!
- Doing the Hard Math
- One Week Away From Change in America
- Breathe, Laugh, Relax
- 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, E-Day!
- An Easy Lesson...
- Fears, Not Years, Make Us Old
- I Saw Those Boots at Target!
- $8 on Barack Obama Please
- What Would Homer Do?
- Get Out The Map*
- I Have a Fear
- Oh Cockamamy Me!
- The War I Support
- Are You Ready to Rumble?
- Out in the Real World
- 22 Days of Truth?
- Checkin' the Facts
- Debate Scorecard
- Do Politicians Lie?
- Are You Registered to Vote?
- Had to Share This
- Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout...
- Debate Scorecard
- Palin Shots Anyone?
- ▼ October (29)