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    • The Problem With Neoliberal “It’s Never Been Better” Triumphalism
      Saying that humanity is currently the best off it has ever been (a dubious proposition in any case) is like saying “I’ve never been warmer” as you burn down your house. People like Pinker have been trotting out stats to claim that we’ve never been better off. Those stats are questionable, based on a definition […]
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Christmas Kegger

C’mon in, guys.  This is a no frills holiday party.  I was super busy today.  Had to go to not one but TWO Ikeas today.  You wanna know why people in NJ are 49th on the happiness scale?  It’s because any time they want to buy anything, they have to compete with 42,000 other people in NJ who want the same damn thing.  My new living room rug is back ordered until February at Crate and Barrel.  And the Newark Ikea had the basement sofa I wanted (I had to wait a whole year after the reno to buy it) but the covers for the damn thing were in Paramus.  Then, I had to drive back to Central NJ, where we are in the middle of everything but close to nothing, through Paramus and Paterson where other New Jersey drivers think there is not enough noise pollution in the world so they must use their horns.  But now I’m home, thank God.  I had to wait about 10 hours before I could pee.  There just wasn’t any time or opportunity.  I’m going to relax, dammit and the first person who gets between me and the keg is going to get his knees broken.

Happy Chrishannukahmas and a very merry Kwanzadan. Put down you shopping bags and take a load off.  Rico’s on the deck out back with Florence.  There’s a keg of some kind of beer or ale type thing out there.  It’s in the snow bank to keep it crisp.  Never Summer I think.  The local beer emporium scored it a 97.  Pretty good.  If you brought anything, just set it on the sideboard in the dining room.  I have one of those orange cheeseballs with the nuts on it that no one wants to admit they really like.  And I’ve whipped up some piggy back dates.

Our musical entertainment comes from the annex up north.  Remember the McKenzie Brothers?  No?  Ok, remember “a beer in a tree”?  Ringing any bells?  Have another Never Summer.  It’ll come back to you.  Everyone sing-a-long now:

Ladies, gents and Shoobies, don’t mess up my living room.  If you want to punch someone’s ticket for being a kool-aid drinking jerk, take it outside.  And take the trash to the dumpster while you’re at it.

Party on, Conflucians.

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Christmas Eve Eve* Open Thread

I noticed people were posting about Christmas music on the previous thread. I thought maybe we should have a thread to post our favorite holiday tunes. Pull up a chair, grab some eggnog–or something stronger–and let’s share some sappy songs! Here are a few of my favorites to get the ball rolling.

* Christmas Eve Eve = The night before Christmas Eve (for Dakinikat)

Griswold and Roe are dead, Joan

I just read Joan Walsh’s flimsy excuse for passing the health care reform bill as is.  Put me among the “fix it now, not later” camp.  Health care reform is vitally important for millions of families.  But why everyone has to be held hostage to unchecked insurance companies when good and thorough regulation that is found in other civilized nations could have spared all of us from profit and rent seeking monopolies is a mystery.  The Democrats had a chance to lock up their status as national heros for a generation and they’ve thrown it away by getting an F in negotiation skills.

But what is even more troubling is how they have allowed a few conservative members of their caucus to completely run over the rights of women.

Actually, women have no rights.

What this bill has exposed once and for all is that Griswold and Roe were fatally flawed decisions that were substitutions for women’s equality.  Almost as soon as Roe was decided, the move to pass the Equal Rights Amendment ground to a halt.  It finally died for good in 1982.  I guess we decided that it was enough that biology was no longer destiny.  A flimsy “right to privacy” was sufficient for equality.

We didn’t count on other people’s consciences eventually trumping our own.  It should have been obvious that this is what the fundamentalists were after.  They wanted some way to put women back in their place in their universe.  I don’t know why they need this.  It has never made any sense to me.  I suspect it doesn’t really make any sense to them either.  They don’t stop to think about the implications and the miracles of modern biology from birth control to DNA testing.  It’s just tradition.  It is written.  The fundamentalist conservatives are lagging indicators.

What this bill shows is that you can not have equality based on a right to privacy.  You can have all the private conversations you want with your health care providers.  But if their religious beliefs tell them that they can’t deliver your health care needs, you are SOL.  You are entitled to privacy but not your own conscience.  If you aren’t entitled to your own conscience and liberty, you are not equal and never will be.

And so, Joan, you may think it’s vitally important for the Democrats to insure millions of people and who can argue with that?  But they also have an obligation, after screaming at us for months on end about Roe! Roe! Roe! to not allow women to become the sacrificial lambs of the health care reform bill.  They owe young women that, especially the young stupid women they terrified and herded like cattle who threw away the one candidate that never would have sold them down the river for health care reform no matter what.

But if the Democrats do dump those women and Roe and Griswold die because Bob Casey, Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson’s consciences have more weight than more than half of all of the citizens of this country, maybe it’s the best thing really.  Women will see themselves as the party sees them- easily manipulated, lesser beings whose rights and needs will always take a backseat to everyone elses. It will pay lip service to Roe and then do whatever the hell it wants.  In fact, why even bother with the lip service?

And if it can’t take the time to stare Ben Nelson down, then it no longer deserves our support as a party.  Well, we’ve had that attitude since the RBC meeting of May 31, 2008.  We were ahead of the curve back then.  We warned you party loyalists that if you accepted the RBC hearing’s decisions without sticking up for the rights of the voters that the party would ignore your wishes in the future.  The result of the Obama camp victory was predictable.  And if the Joan Walsh’s of the world accept this bill as is without insisting on substantive changes before the Senate votes on the bill, then don’t be surprised at what comes after.

Here’s what’s going to happen:  Somewhere across the nation, some woman with an urgent need for reproductive healthcare will have a private conversation with her provider and that provider is going to tell her “No” and there won’t be a damn thing she can do about it.

If it can happen in Omaha, it can happen anywhere.

Roosting chickens, party unity and all that stuff, Joan.