Thursday, August 27, 2009

The loss.

A short list of the more than 850 bills made into law that were authored (300+) or endorsed (550+) by Senator Edward Kennedy:

  • Women, Infants and Children program (WIC); food assistance and access to health care for low-income women and children.

  • State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP)

  • Family Opportunity Act; expanded Medicaid to cover special-needs kids.


  • HIPAA; limited the pre-existing conditions excuse for denial of coverage.

  • Mental Health Parity law; helps ensure lifetime coverage for mental health issues.

  • Ryan White Care Act; funds treatment of AIDS for hundreds of thousands of people.

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Head Start

  • Direct Lending; a program for college aid lending

  • Up-armoring HUMVEE legislation, (2003 and 2005)

  • Voting Rights Act; amendments, 1982

  • Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; keeps health insurers from nixing you based on your DNA.

  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

  • National Guard and Reserve Mental Health Access Act (2008)

  • Higher Education Opportunity Act

  • College Cost Reduction and Access Act

  • Strengthen FDA oversight of approved medication (2007)

  • Minimum Wage act (1996, 2007)

  • Pension Protection Act

  • Bioterrorism Preparedness Act

  • Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act

  • LIHEAP; low income heating energy assistance program

  • National and Community Service Trust Act (Americorps)

  • National Military Child Care Act

  • WARN Act; requires companies to give 2 months notice if a plant closing will put more than 50 people out of work.

  • Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act (includes mentally ill, disabled, elderly)

  • Meals on Wheels Act

  • National Cancer Act

  • Fair Housing Act

  • Immigration Act (1965); ended race-based quotas in immigration
“Don’t you find it remarkable that one of the most partisan, liberal men in the last century serving in the Senate had so many of his foes embrace him? Because they know he made them bigger, he made them more graceful by the way in which he conducted himself.”
Vice President Biden, 8-26-09

Monday, August 24, 2009

I took a vacation...

...but apparently, I'm not the only thing that's been getting some sun.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I must confess

Time to come clean, before my past catches up with me.

I was not born in these United States. The fact of the matter is that I was born in Coast General Hospital, Mombasa, Kenya.

And there's proof.

My mother was a child, a confused and frightened 14-year-old from Jersey City. She was offered as a token of fealty to Abdul Rahman Yasin OBAMA, who took her to Saudi Arabia where he was in training with a young Osama. It's a sad sordid tale.

Anyway, I feel compelled to disclose the truth, and the proof. My official Kenyan Birth Certificate:

Now you know.

Get yours today!

Today's GOP

Allow me to introduce you to the "loyal opposition." This is the Republican party today: an anti-democratic, un-American wasteland of madness and spittle.

I know there are "Republicans" out there who do not fit that description -- I even know some of them. But this is the party. These are the methods they have selected to gain control.

I'm sure there will be bruises and broken bones, and there have already been deaths.

But the worse harm is the disintegration of the democratic fabric. In a nation that was once ruled by the law and by ideas, I call it treason.

Why treason? Because this isn't dissent. It isn't argument or debate. It's negation.

A pluralistic society can withstand any ideology but one: that which insists on no ideology but itself. The only political stance that is absolutely unacceptable in an open democracy (to which we still cling), is one that will brook no compromise, no difference, no alternative.

What you are seeing today is a transition. The Republican Party has been plugging its ears and shouting "I won't hear you." Now, they are taking their fists out of their ears and putting them in your face and saying, "I won't let you speak."

If you still identify with this party, when these are its methods, that means you. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The South Will Rise Again...

...just not on this graph.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Drinks! Drinks for my friends!

That classic line is from Micky Rourke's first incarnation, in his role as Bukowski, the great street poet (who always reminds me of Tom Waites -- or maybe it's the other way around) in the movie Barfly. If you haven't seen the movie, you should.

First of all, it features the absurd and pathetic life of the talented Charles Bukowski. Bukowski wrote searing poetry, and steadfastly refused to clean up his act. Like many drunks and addicts, he believed his own hype and it made him an unbearably self-righteous person to be around. But his words were worth it (if you didn't have to live with him).

Second, it's probably Rourke's best role. It prefigures his turn as "The Wrestler," before his face was battered by his earnest courtship of boxing and equally earnest pursuit of chemical living. I guess that as a man he was already tiptoeing along the edge and that gives his portrait of Bukowski/Henry Chinaski a reckless core, convincing, probably because he was barely acting.

Finally, you'll get a dose of 1987 Faye Dunaway. If you're my age or younger, you're probably not quite old enough to remember the power of Faye's sexuality (or, she may have tormented your early adolescence). In "Barfly," she plays, like Rourke, an unrepentant booze-hound. But no matter how slovenly or sick she gets, her allure burns a hole in the film. Part of the tragedy of the movie is watching that light boxed off and traded away.

Anyway, drinks.

In what will surely go down as one of his many strokes of genius, my friend Rich married my friend Kristin. Together they came up with another nice idea: revive the cocktail hour.

There are many institutions from the first half of the 20th century that have thankfully fallen to the dustbin of history: segregation, smoking in restaraunts, sock suspenders. Yet in our headlong rush into the new, we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater: Vive l'Heure de Cocktail!

In support of that effort, Kristin and Rich bring you "52 Drink-up," now added to the "Stuff and Fun" blogroll to the right of this column. Drink along, and bring the "happy" back to "happy hour!"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Socialism will grind our country down.

I mean, just look at Sweden -- card-carrying socialist nazi communist totalitarian pinkos, each and every one of 'em, just like Barry Hussein Obama (except the bikini team). Didja know he's black? And not from here? It's true -- I've seen the fake birth certifikat. It's on the interweb -- it's a fake! This guy? He went to Ghana or sumwhere in Africa, or, no, wait, he called there, right? And spoke to the Darkie's grandmama, who said she was there -- in Africa -- when Barry was born. She was there! RIGHT THERE! It's on tape and everything. How could she be there when the crossbreed came out if he came out in Hawaii? I mean, I'm here, right now and you're there -- where you are -- so there's no way I could be here if I'm gonna be there when you pop out a chillun? I can't! I'd be HERE when it was born! So if someone asked me, "Were you there when this lady had her baby" an I said, yes I was right here, then you couldn't have had your baby there, you should have had it here! GET it?

Where was I? Oh yeah, Sweden. Fuckers.

The US ranks #5 worldwide in per capita income, with a $33,070 average. You have to tumble all the way to #8 before you get to the Swedes, who average out at $25,105. Stupid Swedes! I've got $8,000 here that says you're weak!

(Of course, skewing that statistic is probably the US's dominance of the "richest people in the world" list, Where the top two (both American) each have twice as much money as 3, 4, 5 or 6. Even among the stratospherically rich, the richest are much richer than their own "middle" class. Number 1 (Bill Gates) has $40B. Numbers 98 (a tie among 6) each have a paltry $5B. And yes, that's "B" as in "billion." To put that in perspective, if you cashed out America's four richest men (Billy Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and Jim Walton), you'd be able to balance every single state budget deficit in the United States. And they'd still have about $5,000,000,000 to split among themselves.)

Anyway, what do those stupide Swedes (I say "stupide" 'cause it's French, just like the Swedes -- stupid froggy swishy Swedes) get in exchange for being only the 8th richest country in the world (losers)?

Gah. Could you imagine? That would be horrible, just horrible. That's why we must all band together to stop our rapid slide! I want to keep living in a world where the Eagle soars ("like She's never soared before!"), we dominate the billionaires list (USA! USA! USA!) and you have to beg for unpaid time off to have a baby and hope to Sonny Jeezus that it doesn't torpedo your career. Wimins belong in the kitchen anyways. I'm Amurkin, dammit! Profit is God's holy water, blessings for the blessed! What? Huh? What? Fuck you!