Monday, January 30, 2006

Power in Numbers

There's been a reason why I haven't posted as much, well, several reasons why.

Mostly it's because I've taken to watching this seismic shift that's unfolding before my very eyes. What shift?

Look around you. America and Americans are waking up. I, being a resigned idealist, had wanted the slumber to be over sooner of course, but the fact is, we are waking up to the fact that we're being tools, we're being saps and we're getting tired of it.

There's powers in numbers and the numbers are starting to stack up against the Bush Administration.

There's the numbers involved in Iraq. Billions spent. Hundreds of thousands wounded. Thousands killed. And those are just the numbers involving Americans. Then there's the worst number involved, that elephant in the room that is just starting to appear to people: infinite involvement.

There's the numbers involved in Katrina. Hundreds of thousands displaced, a large percentage never to return to their roots again. Billions in property damage. Minimum wage of $5.15/hour cut but restored after furious outcry. You probably can provide better numbers than I can.

There's the numbers involved in the corruption scandals. See TPM and its related site for information on that. They cover it extensively.

There's the numbers involved in George Bush's personal life. Approximately one year AWOL from the National Guard. Over 400 vacation days. Seven minutes of being dumbstruck while our nation was attacked and he was our commander in chief. Number of falls from bicycles and for that matter, number of incidents that happened while he was on his bicycle.

There's the numbers involved in the confirmation of Alito. 72 to 25 BRAVE senators. Twenty-five senators who listened to their constituents.

Lastly, the numbers in deaths and wounded. There are of course, the deaths and wounded from 9/11. And then the military deaths and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. As this number grows, the seven degrees of separation will ensure that sooner or later each one of us will be touched by these senseless (yes senseless!) deaths. May this number never get here. Then there are the journalistic deaths and wounded. From Daniel Pearl to (may she get home safely) Jill Carroll, to the civilians and media people accompanying them... sooner or later each one of us will see a name we recognize, felt some kinship with. For many of us, it is Bob Woodruff.

All these numbers are seeping into the national consciousness and all of them add up to one big headache for the Bush Administration.

Me, I'm just sitting back watching these numbers emerge with escalating frequency, wondering when the numbers will finally add up to several indictments (some of which have happened already - hi Jack Abramoff! Hi Duke Cunningham! Hi Scooter Libby!) AND ONE nice impeachment.


Thank You Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer


Today, I am very very proud to call these two ladies my senators.

Both of them heard our voices and voted no on cloture for Alito. Boxer, of course, came out swinging first and declared her intent days ago, maybe earler than that. Feinstein, bless her, changed her mind and heard us.

I called Senator Feinstein's office on Friday. When I tried around 3:30 pm, the Los Angeles office (as referenced by Sen. Feinstein's website) seemed to be a wrong number, the San Fransciso, Sacramento, and San Diego offices were busy but I managed to get through to her Fresno office.

I managed to stammer out my reasons for wanting Sen. Feinstein to vote no on cloture, saying that dang it, I want the opposition party to start acting like an opposition party and as someone who voted her into office, I want her to represent me.

Thank you both, ladies. For the first time in a very long time, I feel like I'm being represented.

BTW, in case you don't realize why this vote today was important, first off, go read Digby's post, then bookmark Digby. He manages to rise above the Hullabaloo. To make his point short, the score today of 75 to 25 is like a bowler with an average of 120 bowling a 700 series. The improvement/change is remarkable.


Comparing Market Forces and Hijacks

This past Saturday on KCBS here in the Bay Area, CA, Bratworse and I heard an editorial that basically compared the oil companies profits to the housing market. The guy said in effect, don't blame the oil companies if the markets make it that profitable. You don't blame your neighbor for driving up the housing market and you don't begrudge him his 500% profits if the markets bear it, do you?

Both Bratworse and I shook our heads, disagreeing with this sentiment.

This morning, it finally hit me why the comparison doesn't work.

The comparison works ONLY if the following conditions in the housing market were met:
  1. The houses were all owned by a handful of corporations;
  2. Blocks of houses were slowly disintegrating and NOT being replaced;
  3. And, there were no rentals available to people.
See, what drives the housing market are HUGE numbers of people willing to participate in a free market situation.

However, what drives the oil market are a few companies holding the entire populace hostage.

BTW, I predicted that there would be record profits here. Nice to know that no matter what happens, the fat cats will still get fatter yet, eh? NOT!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mid-Life Crisis

I think I finally reached my mid-life crisis.

For the past five years, I have wanted nothing but turmoil-less life.

For the past two years, stability in the Cholotto household has pretty much been reached. Yeah, we quibble and we fight. Yeah, there are times when Bratworse can strangle me, and there are times when I would consider stopping the car and leaving her whereever we might be. However, the times that are peaceful, loving and supportive far outweigh the bad times.

As for my professional life, I wanted a life of ease, of no stress, of having a job (not career). Well, I managed to hook one of those jobs. I get to work a 38-1/2 hour week, go home and forget about work, work at my own pace, what else should a woman ask for?

Well, it turns out that my wishes don't seem to fulfill me enough.

I'm bored and need some new challenges. Bratworse wants me to write. I kinda do too, cause there's a euphoria that comes with writing. But at the same time, writing scares me dreadfully.


Hope Bratworse can put up with my listlessness and put up with the fact that I'll be perking up on Feb. 14th, but because of Fight Night Round 3 release and not VD.


Pride in Our Youth

You guys have to check this out.

Alberto Gonzales went to Georgetown to speak... and the law students there stood up and turned their backs to him in silent protest, and a few more wearing black hoods came in bearing this sign.

America isn't lost yet.

Don't worry guys, not enough people come to my site to hurt your site so hope you don't mind that I borrowed your image. I'm just so proud of my fellow Americans here.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Why I Live in California

Reading this article about a policewoman who had to BEG to leave her benefits to her partner, I am once again reaffirmed in my belief that California is the place for me.

Yeah yeah, I know California doesn't allow same-sex marriage yet, but at least, if I put down that Bratworse is to get all my life insurance (if I had any), this state would recognize that we are a union.

*sigh* Imagine giving over 25 years of your life to a community, and then having to BEG that community to ALLOW you to leave your benefits to the person of YOUR choice.

Oh yes, America IS the land of the free. (Hope the sarcasm dripped off my words and off your screen).


The Best Thing to Happen to a Writer

Is what I'm doing right now.

Last week, the publisher of who was involved in a live chat about their "ombudsman" (I use quotes because though that's the actual title of her job, she's actually doing the job of Republican Shill) - well Jim Brady dropped a one-liner that in the midst of all that heated talk, was the only one to heat me up.

He said that Dan Froomkin would be back at his job on Tuesday. That's today!

Me, I can't wait. I'm very very happy for Dan Froomkin and his wife and new son, but I've been jonesing for good reporting. And it seems that the only CONSISTENT place of that happening (aside from blogs that is) is Dan Froomkin's column.

As for you Washington Post people who say he's a column and thereby cannot be considered as a "reporter", I say this to you. If you can consider Deborah Howell to be an ombudsman (who is supposedly there to respond to readers and how does she do it? She throws a hissy fit and refuses to respond. You know, I'd give her several red marks on her annual review.) I can consider Dan to be a reporter. At least he cares about whether his words will come back to bite him in the ass.

So Welcome Back, Dan! I'm refreshing the damn politics page until I see your column up.

[update] IT'S UP! Gawd, I feel like such a groupie.

Bwahahahaha - he slipped in a little dig
"But McClellan's continued attempt to portray the Abramoff scandal as bipartisan doesn't exactly help his credibility on the question of White House meetings. His assertion flies in the face of the facts and is a Republican talking point espoused only by the most partisan or most credulous."


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Too Good Not to Pass On

Can't.... stop... laughing....

Go! Go read this.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Current Obsession


"Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?"

"The same thing we do EVERY night, Pinky, try to take over the world!"


Disconnection Doesn't Just Happen in the White House

Just got a call:

"Hello, is Mr. H.... in?"

"No, I'm sorry he's not, he'll be in later this afternoon."

"Oh, does he check his voicemail often?"

"Yes he does."

"Okay, can you tell him that So-and-So called and can you tell h -?"

"Umm, excuse me, but he checks his VOICEMAIL, not me."

"Oh, can you transfer me please?"

I did not realize that my title has become 'voicemail'.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Santa, I Know It's Early, But....


Please Please Please, can I have one, no, two of these please?


Impressed with Di Fi


Okay, I must admit right away that I am not too big of a Dianne Feinstein fan. I'm much more enamored with Barbara Boxer and her gumption, and honestly, Feinstein's ties to corporate money makes me ... shall we say, carry grains of salt with me whenever I hear her proposals.

But reading ReddHedd's account of DiFi's questions for Alito... well color me impressed.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Type of Holiday Story


Intolerance, take that!


The WH Forgot to Add "Sir" or "Dame" to the Names


Here's the list of official recess appointees by the White House?

What is that you ask? You see, usually in the normal course of events, the President asks Congress to approve of his appointees. This is part and parcel of what is known as "checks and balances." The writers of the Constitution wanted to make sure that no ONE person could just say this guy is going to run things and that's that. (Check here to see the AP piece on this, it's even scarier than I thought.)

The purpose of the recess appointees is for emergencies that happen when Congress isn't in session - as in someone died and the position needed to be filled immediately.

However, this list? This list is what I call the Bypass List. The White House ran into snags in Congress with these appointments, and so they're bypassing Congress to make sure these people get in. (This is more like a checkmate and inbalance)

Remember, this is the team that appointed Michael Brown, just cause he was the college roommate of the former FEMA chief.

Feel safe? Feel protected? Welcome to the New America, home of King George.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Off the Wall Question #1

In high school all those many years ago, one of my teachers - in the introduction of students to teacher - asked us to describe ourselves in one word.

So! How would you describe yourself in one word?

Now for the real off the wall question: Did you use an adjective or a noun to describe yourself? I was the ONLY person in a class of 30+ girls who answered it with a noun, not an adjective. I said I was a dreamer.

Was I the only weird one? No, don't answer that.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Want to Get Caught Up in the Abramoff Case?

I love blogs. Where else can you find such in-depth reporting as this special page about Jack Abramoff and his connections? So, when your rube of a neighbor says that oh, Jack Abramoff gave money to BOTH democrats and republicans, this is the page you sent the rubes to, okay?

Just remember this. The WHOLE idea of the K Street Lobby was to set up lobbyists with direct ties to the majority party. The intent? Why bother courting people with no power?

And who has been the majority part in Congress this past 10 years? Give you a hint: It's the party who obsesses about blue stained dress, about non-existent WMD's and comatose women.


An Aspect of Being a Female Asian I Don't Like

So to bring in the new year, Bratworse and I fired up the Sims 2 on both her computer and mine and created new characters to play (screw) with.

Well, I didn't like the direction mine were going in, so I made up new chars on a more populated neighborhood. As I was creating them with Bratworse's help, she asked, "Can I make the house too?"

My initial reaction (which is typical of any Asian females) is "Sure, why not?"

As she started to get into laying down the foundation for a huge-ass mansion, something inside of me spoke up. At first I didn't recognize it because we were taught from birth to never pay attention to those voices. But as it grew louder, I realized I was getting disgruntled, and it was coming out in passive aggressive ways towards Bratworse.

Finally I turned to her with a guilt-ridden face, "I'm sorry, you know how I said it was okay for you to build the house? Well, I didn't realize it, but it's really not okay, and I want to build it but now I'm feeling extremely guilty for even asking for it back."

Thank the stars that Bratworse recognizes this is a major part of me I'm working on. She replied with a "Don't worry about it, and stop feeling guilty!" She knows I have an extremely hard time saying no to people, and then on top of that, to voice what I actually want.

Under her breath, she muttered, "No wonder you were getting pissed off at me in the past about stupid shit like this."

I like having an understanding partner.


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