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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 25, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Give No Heed to the Walking Dead [The Scholar’s Stage, via Naked Capitalism 8-18-19] The People’s Republic of China is wealthier than any rival America has faced. Its leaders are convinced […]
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Sunday: We’re making progress(?)

We’re about to crack open our 3rd 5 gallon drum of drylock as we are finishing our first bottle of Beaujolais. There’s a low fat cassoulet in the oven waiting for us to finish the second coat of drylock.

I just have to say for the record that drylocking a basement sucks, er, is of low quality. But we are almost done. Pretty soon the contractor can move in and finish this baby up. Will we finish by Christmas? I doubt it but fir sure I’ll be watching the Superbowl from down here.

This is an open thread.

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Take the Poll!

TAKE THE POLL AND HAVE YOUR SAY! What were the top, most offensive/outrageous sexist actions occurring during the election of 2008? (If you’ve forgotten any, there are helpful links below the poll!)

Write-ins can be submitted via the comments section and will be tallied if there are sufficient for any specific item.  Vote up to 10 times.

Tucker Carlson – Every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak I involuntarily cross my legs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_lnw9BgTtc

Chad Michael Morriesette – Sarah Palin hung in effigy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhLVdH3btMg

Barack Obama – “You’re likeable enough Hillary”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3DeCLPwxXI

Chris Matthews – The only reason Hillary is a contender is because her husband messed around
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zODHaIDfPXU

Obots – “Sarah Palin is a C*nt” T-shirts
http://www.whiterabbitcult.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/product_sarah_palin.jpg

Rep. Cohen (D-TN) saying Hillary was like Alex in “Fatal Attraction” — “she should have stayed in the tub”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnM6V2_pnvw

Barack Obama – Hillary is “periodically” down – and the “Claws come out”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qNpeGPdhEw&eurl=http://halfricanrevolution.blogspot.com/2008/02/it-was-kinda-sexist.html&feature=player_embedded

MSM – obsession with Palin’s 150K wardrobe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-gzmLTciXc

MSM and Obama Supporters – How can Palin be a good mother AND run for office?
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sally_quinn/2008/09/sarah_palins_priorities.html
video of above: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b2f_1220405519

Heckler – “Iron My Shirt” heckler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAw7xzT0_-w

Keith Olberman – “….somebody who can take her (Clinton) into a room, and only he comes out.”
http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/4/25/143011/022

The “Terry Tate Video” – Visual Assault on Sarah Palin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07kO9TtHYzQ

Michelle Obama – If she (Hillary) can’t take care of her own house, how can she take care of the White House.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sN1qZMBE9Gc

Denying Hillary a full and fair convention roll call
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF6vlimutCg

99 Problems – Played for Barack Obama celebration after the Iowa Primary and dedicated by Jay-Z to Sarah Palin in support of Barack Obama.
http://www.theboombox.com/2008/10/17/jay-z-dedicates-99-problems-to-john-mccain-sarah-palin-at-pal/

David Shuster – Hillary “pimping out” Chelsea comment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmFJ-VQNe5Q

Randi Rhoades – Hillary and Geraldine Ferraro are Whores and Bitches
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1ZfwklHTSo

Sandra Bernhardht – Fantasizing about Sarah Palin being raped
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGhoYT84Jeg

Philadelphia Weekly article advocating an involuntary Hysterectomy for Sarah Palin
http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/articles/17907/news–the-angry-grammarian

The Sarah Palin Cartoon “MILP” – with Sarah being punched in the face
http://tinyurl.com/3z9mf2

Churches and Gay Marriage: Why Don’t They Mix?

(NOTE: My thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of terrorism in Mumbai. Such a terrible tragedy. I just can’t write more about it today.)

Why Is This Scary?

Why Is This Scary?

After the passage of California’s Proposition 8,  I’ve been shaking my head over why many religious institutions are virulently against gay marriage. This interview with Richard Rodriguez, an author, fervent Catholic, proud Hispanic, and “out” gay man, has a very interesting take on the subject. According to him, it’s all about the family and the wimminz, and how the church is afraid of losing its power over them both. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of this theory before, but Rodriguez makes a convincing case for his point of view.

The first couple of paragraphs pack quite a wallop.

For author Richard Rodriguez, no one is talking about the real issues behind Proposition 8.

While conservative churches are busy trying to whip up another round of culture wars over same-sex marriage, Rodriguez says the real reason for their panic lies elsewhere: the breakdown of the traditional heterosexual family and the shifting role of women in society and the church itself. As the American family fractures and the majority of women choose to live without men, churches are losing their grip on power and scapegoating gays and lesbians for their failures.

Rodriguez goes on to say this about how the feminist movement and the gay rights movement are linked, in the minds of those who are invested in religious institutions:

American families are under a great deal of stress. The divorce rate isn’t declining, it’s increasing. And the majority of American women are now living alone. We are raising children in America without fathers. I think of Michael Phelps at the Olympics with his mother in the stands. His father was completely absent. He was negligible; no one refers to him, no one noticed his absence.

The possibility that a whole new generation of American males is being raised by women without men is very challenging for the churches. I think they want to reassert some sort of male authority over the order of things. I think the pro-Proposition 8 movement was really galvanized by an insecurity that churches are feeling now with the rise of women.

Monotheistic religions feel threatened by the rise of feminism and the insistence, in many communities, that women take a bigger role in the church. At the same time that women are claiming more responsibility for their religious life, they are also moving out of traditional roles as wife and mother. This is why abortion is so threatening to many religious people — it represents some rejection of the traditional role of mother.

In such a world, we need to identify the relationship between feminism and homosexuality. These movements began, in some sense, to achieve visibility alongside one another. I know a lot of black churches take offense when gay activists say that the gay movement is somehow analogous to the black civil rights movement. And while there is some relationship between the persecution of gays and the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, I think the true analogy is to the women’s movement. What we represent as gays in America is an alternative to the traditional male-structured society. The possibility that we can form ourselves sexually — even form our sense of what a sex is — sets us apart from the traditional roles we were given by our fathers.

Continue reading

Powered by Dreams; Grounded in Facts

New scene.

Elaine and Puddy on the plane.

Elaine: I can’t believe we broke up like that.

Elaine starts reading, Puddy stares off into space.

Elaine: Do you want something to read?

Puddy: Nah.

Elaine: Well, are you going to take a nap or —

Puddy: Nah.

Elaine: You’re just going to sit there staring at the back of a seat?

Puddy: Yeah.

Elaine tries to read but cannot concentrate.

Elaine: That’s it! I cannot take this!

– Seinfeld Scripts, The Butter Shave

Continue reading

So NOW They Care?

phony-outrage1

N.O.W. posted a “Media Hall of Shame ‘2008 Election Edition.’” Their most recent edition, posted today, decries the sexist nature of the September 2008 US Weekly article alleging Sarah Palin’s sordid details of “Babies, Lies and Scandal.” Somehow their Suzy-Come-Lately’ routine fails to impress me.  In fact, my initial reaction was to blurt out loud “Who the heck do they think they are?”   Many of us have figured out that N.O.W. is NOT an organization that promotes women.

What’s the matter N.O.W.?  Donations down?  Have all of the ‘bitter knitters’ kept their coin purses zipped tight?  Well guess what?  This ridiculous attempt at defending the honor of this year’s female candidates will not change that.  Your faux outrage at the horrific behavior of your endorsed candidate’s bought and paid for media is transparent.  You should have denounced every sickening incident at the time it occurred – and not waited until these moral crimes against women had their intended effect.

Members were then allowed to ‘nominate’ future awardees — How big of you NOW.  I’m still not impressed.  Your one and only defense of Sarah Palin concerning remarks about her abilities to juggle motherhood and a political career were tempered with commentary that Palin “scoffed at Clinton” for even raising the issue of sexism.  Your silence on the vast majority of attacks has been deafening.

Facing Up — The All-Powerful Food Diary

So, OK — I’m not going to eat between meals and I’m not going to take seconds and I’m going to walk for 3 miles. And yes, doing this regularly does work. The trick is in the “doing this regularly” part. And that’s where blogging helps. When I actually do my daily thought pieces (which kind of stopped during the election-season) I’m more committed. And my commitment has more power if I write down what I eat and do.

Weight Watchers is where I first learned to “Journal” what I eat. And the Weight Watcher food diaries are still helpful. It’s really nice to tuck their diary into my purse and write down my meals no matter where I am. But the written format has serious limitations compared to the computer tools that are now available.

With online and desktop diaries you can create charts of your progress, track exercise (and the calories burned) and in some — menus of regular meals and recipes.

I can’t seem to stick to just one journaling tool. I like the colorful charts of one tool and the ability to record recipes and log them as single servings in another and I love the moving-weighted-average weight chart of another. So, getting back on track is a little complicated for me as I get each of them set up for my renewed commitment. Luckily one of them has updated the software to make it easy to adjust goals (I thought I was going to have to create a New-Fake-Me.)

(clearing my throat) Continue reading

Saturday: Matt Continetti Comedy Gold

Some Obots are taking to stand-up.  In this video clip of Blogging Heads TV at The New Republic, Matt Continetti does a brilliant parody of an Obamaphile who has finally come to grips with the fact that Obama is not a liberal and instead puts all of his eggs in the basket of the liberal paradise that is the new Congress.  He’s hillariously funny when he enthuses about how now that Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, she is going to get those new Blue Dog Democrats to roll over just like she did last session.

Eve Fairbanks plays the cynical smirker as Matt tells us all about Liberalism on Steroids.  I don’t know who wrote this material but it’s brilliant!

What’s that?  Not a parody?  REAlly?

Nevermind.

Other curiosities:

  • The ugly truth hatches out about the recent economic collapse.  Amity Shales in the WSJ takes on Krugman in The Krugman Recipe for Depression.  What was it about The New Deal that drives capitalists absolutely nuts?  It’s the effect it had on labor.  Yeah, with Social Security insurance and strengthening of the country’s labor laws, workers had greater autonomy.  They started getting paid real wages and had health insurance too.  I’m of the opinion that those New Deal fixes lead to one of the greatest periods of entrpreneurial spirit and prosperity that the country has ever seen. Well, Shales will have none of that.   Shales believes that a job, ANY job, is preferable to a job with insurance.  I’m not sure about that.  I’m listening to Timothy Egan’s book, The Worst Hard Time, on the Dust Bowl of the 30’s and he tells the story of one schoolteacher who worked in Oklahoma for a whole year without pay.  Yep, the school district offered her a warrant that she was supposed to be able to redeem for cash at the local bank.  Except the bank wouldn’t accept it.  Niiiice.  What Shales seems to be missing is that the reason so many people are defaulting on mortgages or are in debt up to their eyeballs is because real wages have actually eroded over the past 40 years.  The social safety net of the New Deal is in tatters.  And when people fall through it, they can’t pay their  bills.  It’s really very simple cause and effect, Amity Shales.  If there is a solution to this current morrass, it *has* to have a strong labor component.  We are the bulk of the taxpayers in the country and if there is no taxbase, there is no recovery.  It’s really too bad this doesn’t fit with Amity Shales worldview but this is America.  Love it or leave it.
  • Dr. Violet Socks’ brilliant compilation  of the consequences of electing Barack Obama is reprieved in #13 from early November.  Keep this in mind when you hear more about Hillary, Samantha Powers and Christina Romer.  But I think her recent post on taxation is something we should all be asking ourselves.  We have taxation without representation.  Our votes for Hillary last year during the primaries were completely disregarded.  What is the meaning of suffrage if your vote doesn’t count?  And why are we paying taxes into a system where our representation in the general population is greater than 50% but our representation in elected office is only 17%?  It’s just nuts.
  • Murphy at PUMAPac pointed me to this article in the NYTimes by Alex Kuczinsky about her struggle with infertility and her hiring of a surrogate in Her Body, My Baby.  Unlike a lot of the commenters on this piece, it doesn’t bother me that she paid for the treatment or the surrogate instead of adopting.  The money she threw into the system is benefitting someone.  It’s her money and she has the normal reasons for doing IVF- eleven times.  And I think the pictures are a hoot!  Only the most arrogantly unaware wouldn’t see the unsubtle classist overtones.
    Alex and Max....and the baby nurse?

    Alex and Max....and the baby nurse?

    No, what strikes me is the incredibly cold account the author gives of her relationship with her surrogate.  Cathy Hilling, the vessel, loses her identity as soon as she gives birth to the author’s nearly 11 lb baby.  As Murphy notes, enough of the nurturing, mother stories already.  It’s a part of life but not the only meaningful part of a woman’s life.  But the story as written shows Alex Kuczinsky as probably one of the most selfish, insensitive, catty, snobbish, pseudo-intellectual and heartless women I’ve ever read.  Nature unfortunately didn’t bless her with a working uterus.  It’s doubly unfortunate that she seems to be missing a soul.  Pray for the poor kid.