Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Do You Do With The Face Of God Once You See It?

Probably the least useful clarification ever:
A Republican congressman who called President Barack Obama an "enemy of humanity" said Tuesday through a spokeswoman that he should have made clear that he was referring to the president's policies related to abortion.

Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Obama's decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, "we shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things."

"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said to the "How to Take Back America" conference.

Bethany Haley, spokeswoman for Franks, said the congressman was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his statement. She also said that Franks meant to say that Obama's abortion-related policies have no place in government, rather than that Obama has no place in government.
So if Obama's failure to oppose abortion makes him an enemy of unborn humanity by sending money overseas that funds abortion, of what was Bush an enemy when he sent money overseas to fund a war? Did he have the ability to see the face of God in Iraqis, Afghans, and American soldiers, but feel confident he had the right to look past that to a higher purpose?

Also: once again we have a liberal group attacking the statement as "show a stunning lack of respect for our president and the office of the presidency." This misses the point and is a stupid retort. By those standards, I disrespected the president and the office of the presidency fairly consistently for nearly 8 years during Bush's terms in office. I don't think, however, that having no respect for the president - as I did not for Bush - equals a disrespect for the office. Regardless, the problem with the new, ugly Conservatism (I won't insult small c conservatism by failing to capitalize the new version) that SHOULD be recognized by liberals and Dems are these sorts of dichotomies: War is fine. Abortion is not. Abortion is not fine, but neither is fully funding support programs for single or struggling mothers or funding sex ed that includes meaningful information on contraception. Pushing for all Americans' better health is unamerican, socialist, fascist, and communist (simultaneously), but trashing the worlds' good will toward us and leaving two countries in disarray while failing to support our troops with the proper equipment or support upon their return is patriotic.

America: you can do better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This Is What Happens When We Sexualize Children At A Young Age

Parents get arrested for taking bathtub photos of their kids. We have these photos. Friends have these photos. One family has these photos framed and displayed in their bathroom to this day (and the kids are all grown up).

But when we question whether a doll that breastfeeds is inappropriate for a young girl to play with . . . when we dress our young daughters like miniature versions of ourselves (or worse, ourselves in our Forever 21 days) . . . when we fetishize teen girls and hold the age of 16 as the age to which we should forever aspire . . . when we confuse biological development with emotional maturity . . . .

The result is the conclusion that a naked child is a sexual object. Breastfeeding a baby doll is a sexual act. Scantily dressed preteens are sexually aware and wise. And it screws over women of all ages.

Abstinence pledges seem pointless these days - we've already lost our collective innocence if toddlers playing in a tub or running around the house naked makes us question whether they are being sexually abused or pimped out as instruments of pornography.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Basking

So as not to ruin my speech-high before SYTYCD and Glee, I'm going to ignore most of the talking that will come immediately after the speech. There will be better reasoned, researched, and written analysis tomorrow.

But one thing I did catch from the mostly-pointless GOP follow up: this proposal to allow sale of insurance across state lines. I've mentioned this before, but: DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN. If you live in a state - like Cali - with at least some good consumer protection measures, you won't be protected by them anymore. This is a choice-of-law proposal giving companies a chance to pick the least restrictive, cheapest state to operate from. Work for Blue Shield of CA? Not for long! It'll be a race to the bottom by states needing corporate income and then a race by companies to resettle there and strip benefits from the insured.

It is beyond ironic that the party of states' rights champions this. Or maybe it's just expected since they are by far the most nationalist of our parties today.

Stream of Consciousness Reaction To Obama's Speech. Unedited, As Ever, Not Proofread

Mitch McConnell will always be a creepy smiler.

I need an American President moment.

Could Michelle Obama be more beautiful or dress more beautifully? I’m going to go with no.

Joe Biden confirms the speech is in the envelope. Well done, Joe.

I’m still pissed he’s wearing a flag pin. There’s no need. Drop dumb Bush traditions. They aren’t even traditions.

Not the first; determined to be the last.

Teddy Roose first called for reform. God, we’re slow.

John Dingell Senior, Jr still introduces at beginning of each session. Nice. He’s old.

Biden has a few tics. Control them better.

If I lost my job right now, we’d have to move to England because there’s no way I can afford COBRA payments or purchase meaningful coverage. Come to think of it, both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions right now that would probably disqualify us. I might get away with mine, but only because I live in California. If they pass laws allowing choice-of-law for insurance companies, I’ll be screwed. Unless I’m sterilized.

Why don’t we want to stand up and keep on being the best about things? Or if we’re a Christian country why don’t we want our government to be Christian in its care of people? Of the poor? Of the sick?

Shout out to Canada!

So no single-payer and no pure individual market. Okay. We’re going to try to fix this piece of shit we have right now. To borrow from car insurance land: isn’t it totalled yet?

Charles Rangel sighting!

Ideological Camp. Note to self: there’s a sketch in that.

The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together. Now is the time to deliver on health care.

Goals: 1) security and stability to those with insurance. 2) insurance for those who don’t. 3) will slow growth of costs for family, businesses, and government.

Details every American needs to know about this plan:
First – if you have insurance through your job, medicare, Medicaid, VA – nothing in the plan requires you to change the coverage or the doctor that you have. Makes insurance you have work better for you. Okay, sounds good. No more bounce for the pre-existing condition. So I won’t have to be sterilized. Thanks!

Sidenote: the color in the audience is heartening, but we need more: by that I mean, more colourful suits. By that I mean, more women.

Required to cover routine care and preventative care? Nutty idea! I’ll just wait for the ER, thanks.

If you don’t have insurance? Second part offers quality, affordable choices? Um, public option? A new insurance exchange? (Wah-wahhhh) Sounds like a bit of a cop out, but I’ll stick with you because SOMETHING is better than nothing. Tax credits. Okay. And we won’t get it for four years. This strikes me as politically and electorally shaky.

Shout out to John McCain.

What about the young and stupid? Or the mean companies who don’t give insurance? We ain’t paying for your ER visits anymore, yo. You’re going to have to cover yourself, people. (And there’s the carrot to get insurance companies to support – more customers – yea?) Employers must chip in if they don’t want to cover outright and there’s an out for holy small businesses.

Improving the system only works if we all do our part.

Laugh line at 5:36! Details need to be ironed out. Thanks, Prez.

Please say “Sarah Palin, shut it,” Please say “Sarah Palin, shut it.”

Here we go. Get her, tiger. Booyah. Too bad she, and the radio and TV show hosts and ignorant “I get my info solely from unsourced YouTube videos” types still won’t believe it. Oh no, did someone just yell “lie” at the President? WTF.

And he loses 10 points on abortion aspects and conscience laws. Again, I’ll let it go. For now. (But it isn’t a meaningful right if you can’t access it.)

BTW: Nancy P is going to ass-kick whoever yelled at the President in HER CHAMBER. Don’t disrespect the House, bitches. She keeps giving the stink-eye in that direction. Watch her.

(Also – I don’t want sick people making me sick. So if someone needs care, get care. Legal or not.)

Oh dang, he said public option should be available IN the insurance exchange. Holla!

The public option must be self-sufficient. This is possible. Look at immigration (INS or ICE, depending on how well you know it). They get NO tax money (except when BUSH gave them some because they were so backlogged).

Left. Right. Media. The three sides of our triangular bounce house.

Obama paraphrase: “Dear Republicans: Could you get the fuck over it and let’s just talk about it, okay? Seriously. You get on my nerves. And at least 50%+1 of America’s nerves too.”

Show me the money: won’t sign a plan that adds one time to our deficits. BTW: remember when we were balanced and stuff? Before the war? That was cool. I hope the math in this proposal doesn’t render it toothless. I’d rather go into debt to live longer and have longer to pay it, than to go into debt helping Americans die overseas.

BEST CALL-OUT OF THE NIGHT. He called out Bush and the war bidness. High-five.

Oh dang, he’s calling ‘em all out now. They’ll moan later. Don’t worry boys, you can find safety and comfort in the arms of Fox News and a high number of illiterate, ignorant supporters in your home district or even the one out of your district who are willing to write you checks.

Ho-hum: tort reform time. They may be standing too soon on this one. Biden knows it, look at that cat grin. Put patient safety first, let doctor’s focus on practicing medicine. Sounds good to me. I can’t help but think of that simple best-practices check list discussed in the last Atlantic that would help prevent a number of infection related deaths that should be lawyer bait. You want to lower legal fees, stop making mistakes and killing or maiming people.

Math man, Math man, Math man. I love it when you talk numbers to me, Obama.

Know this: I will not waste time with people who have made the calculation that it is better politics to kill this plan than to improve it.

Your 15 minutes are up, My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the President.
Wait, different speech, but I had a moment.

Oh shit, I’m going to go ahead and cry now with the Kennedy stuff. The great unfinished business of our society. What we face, above all, is a moral issue. The character of our country. Obama has thought about that a lot in recent days. So have I.

Don’t fear the future. Also, the reaper. Or do fear the reaper because that’s why we need health care reform? Wait, what?

Replace acrimony with civility. There’s my bumper sticker, kids.

THAT is our character.