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Valentines’ Day Wake-up

Good Sunday Morning Conflucians, and Happy Valentines Day.  I got home from a week-long business trip just in time to be with my sweetie!  Home is certainly where my heart is.  How about you?

In any event, I’m up to my eyeballs in work projects so this mornings’ news is going to be sparse from my side.  I’m sure the conversation will be lively anyhow and everyone finds the most interesting links to add!

….and finally, please share your “How I met my Valentine” stories.  I’d love to hear them!


I don’t know about you, but all this impersonal technology is beginning to get to me.  It’s bad enough that you have to “press 1…then, press 3….and then press 2…..and  press 1 (again).”  Now you may be operated on by C3PO.  It’s not like the population is dwindling and there aren’t enough people is it?  Results Unproven, Robotic Surgery Increases.


The Rattled State of Democrats.

Worried that they were going to be skewered for pushing a jobs bill that was stuffed with business tax breaks and pork, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, pulled the plug Thursday on a rare bipartisan proposal, gambling both with the party’s best chance of posting a needed legislative win as well as with President Obama’s new push for cross-party cooperation.


To counter the appearance of Dick Cheney, the WH sends in their big guns…Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden’s appearances on two Sunday morning talk shows this week are part of a White House strategy to both pre-empt and potentially respond to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s interview on ABC’s “This Week,” where administration officials expect he’ll continue to advance his sharp critique of President Obama’s record on national security.

Bah…I think I’ll listen to music this morning instead.


Family Feud: Nancy Pelosi at odds with Obama.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s increasingly public disagreements with President Barack Obama are a reflection of something deeper: the seething resentment some Democrats feel over what they see as cavalier treatment from a wounded White House.

For months, the California lawmaker has been pushing Obama hard in private while praising him in public. But now she’s being more open in her criticism, in part because she feels the White House was wrong — in the wake of the Democrats’ loss in Massachusetts — to push the Senate health care bill on the House when she knew there was no way it would pass.


Wow! White House to post Healthcare Bill before February 25th meeting.

President Barack Obama has asked Republicans to bring their best healthcare ideas to the conference on revamping the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system. The issue, critical to his domestic agenda, has floundered since Democrats lost their crucial 60th Senate vote last month, in the face of united Republican opposition and public skepticism.

The meeting will be broadcast live, answering criticism that the Democratic president did not engage Republicans and instead negotiated backroom deals in an effort to get legislation passed.


and Scott McLarty takes on the recent SCOTUS decision on Citizen’s United: Democracy for Humans.

Corporations are not human. They are legal creations. They don’t eat, breathe the air, depend on health care, or do many of the other things that humans do. They exist to make a profit. Because of their wealth and size, corporations are far more powerful than humans.

The Citizens United ruling affirms the power of corporations to control the processes of regulation, taxation, and public policy, and to avoid accountability to the public.


What’s caught your eye this morning?

Be good.  Enjoy the day, and don’t forget the sweetheart tales!  Have a wonderful Valentines’ Sunday everyone!


165 Responses

  1. Bringing the tabloids here – although I confess – I left out the Valentine ones

  2. OK, I’ll play:

    Having just graduated from Univ of Pgh, I packed up my meager belongings, my dog and some camping gear, I decided to drive to California to find my fortune.
    Within 2 weeks of arrival, as I sipped a glass of merlot at a local wine country bar I was asked to dance by a somewhat older fella.( 10 yrs older) We danced a few and sat to talk. We have continued that conversation , now, for 37 years !

    Looking back, it seemed as if I drove the 3245 miles just to meet my life partner.
    We are now on our own sailboat, on the cruse of our lives… a sail from the east coast of FL through Panama and back to Calif. We are best friends and still in love.
    This morning, he gave me Hershey Kisses.

  3. I brought this up from the lst thread:

    The bare facts:

    Flushed with anticipation and ready to emerge from another long, cold winter, millions of Americans participated this week in the annual tradition of trimming their pubic regions in time for Valentine’s Day.

    A ritual as old as time itself, this year’s pubis-shearing is expected to be among the largest in decades, with more than 20,000 tons of curly clippings predicted to fall by Feb. 14.

  4. Good morning and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

  5. I always figured it was bad, monopoly-wise, but had no idea how bad it was. I think our legislature better do something quick about that Supreme Court ruling. I’m not holding my breath but people don’t realize how serious this has become. Its exactly how we got Bush/Cheney and Obama/Biden. Higher powers are making all the decisions and reaping all the benefits too.

  6. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    My fiend has a theory that it takes ten years to adjust to a marriage. Never having been married (only 5% of us), I cannot attest to this.

    However, this is the tenth year for my cat and I. I have noticed a definite increase in compatibility. This is owing largely to my having learned 8 or so commands. When I perform them by the 1st or 2nd request, my cat seems especially pleased. He is much more loving, when I behave as directed.

    • this one’s for you

      • wow..I didn’t know I could do that

        I thought just the link would show up

      • Thanks! 🙂

      • That was adorable. Cute and funny engineers who love cats? Yummy.

      • That was so funny esp. since I now have a kitty. My poor wonderful Aussie died on Dec. 2nd. I got a kitty to keep me company. Wow, I can really relate esp to the cuddling when bad thing. It’s the only control I have going.

      • thank you so much for posting this, DJ,

        we love cats and enjoyed this video a lot

        we lost our wonderful cat after 17 yrs thru illness and were heartbroken

        and we think of her every single day – our family is just not the same without her

        Cats rock …. and are good for heart and soul … and entertainment 😉

    • ROFLOL! Happy Valentine’s Day from a single survivor of two failed marriages–and very happy to be on my own.

    • I’ve heard the first ten years are hell. Just my luck, I ended my last marriage at the 11 year mark.

  7. I worked for a company that is now defunct, having been recently eaten by Pfizer and dismantled. Back then, I had a dual role in my job: I did drug design and I also helped other users with their tech support issues on their SGI workstations. A few chemists had them and someone in my group had to troubleshoot the hardware for them because the IT group was like, “Wha? What’s a UNIX? Is that eunuchs?”
    So, one day, this very irate chemist walks into my lab and says, “My workstation is broken, the keyboard isn’t working.” I go across the hallway to investigate. The chemist goes off on a tangent about how he’s been trying all morning to type on the damn thing. I play around with it and conclude that there’s something seriously wrong with it and I need to call in the SGI technician. So, I go back to my lab and call SGI and make an appointment. The chemist dude looks agitated and forlorn. “How long is it going to take?” Couple of days? I dunno. He looks crushed. Then, I had one of those lightbulb moments. I reach around the back of the workstation and grab for the keyboard cord. It’s not plugged in. D’oh! I thought he had checked this out before he called me.
    I stood up with the cord in my hands. The chemist looks really embarrassed. I told him, “That’s OK. I’ll never tell.”
    But I just did.
    That’s how I met the BFF. I didn’t start seeing him outside of the lab until nearly 10 years later. Still Best Friends Forever.

    He accompanied her up the hill, explaining to her
    the details of his forthcoming tenure of the other farm.
    They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty
    phrases and warm expressions being probably un-
    necessary between such tried friends. Theirs was that
    substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all)
    when the two who are thrown together begin first by
    knowing the rougher sides of each other’s character,
    and not the best till further on, the romance growing
    up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality.
    This good-fellowship — CAMARADERIE — usually occurring
    through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom
    superadded to love between the sexes, because men and
    women associate, not in their labours, but in their
    pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance
    permits its development, the compounded feeling proves
    itself to be the only love which is strong as death — that
    love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods
    drown, beside which the passion usually called by the
    name is evanescent as steam.

    -Gabriel and Bathsheeba
    Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy

    • Love it!

    • Cute story! Is he hot when he’s mad? 🙂

      • Mad looks incompatible on him. It comes out all wrong. He doesn’t know how to channel it. He looks agitated and nervous more than really angry.
        I like him best when he gets a wicked idea and his blue eyes twinkle with mischievous intensity.

        • Sounds an awful lot like my sweetie.

          Rarely angry and gets a bit confused when he is. In the beginning I was a bit hot tempered. When I vented he would study me like I was some kind of new species.
          After a few years together, I’ve calmed way down and he is more comfortable with conflict. I never knew marriage could be this good.

          “Feeling a little wicked” is code in our house for a bit of fun!

          • Wicked in our case involves something like doing a Tish and Gomez Addams tango on the streets of NYC (where you can actually get away with something like that).

          • that sounds fun to…but again

            he can’t dance

            at all

        • That sounds incredibly cute. My guy doesn’t get mad very often, but he’s big, so he’s intimidating when he does. Luckily he’s never been really mad at me, so I just think he looks cute because of his monchichi nose.

          Wicked is good, I agree.

    • Did he ever tell?

      • Heck no. He has his image to protect. (You know, Stanford PhD, brain bigger than the size of a planet, blah, blah, blah.) But I’m betting he never asked me to troubleshoot his workstation without first checking the connections after that.

  8. If you wish to send a message to President Clinton, here is a link at his foundation.


  9. My husband and I met at a poetry workshop. I had a big crush on him based on his reputation as a poet, but when I met him I thought he was disappointing to look at. 30 seconds later he opened his mouth and his blue eyes flashed, and it was over for me. It took me 9 more months to get his attention, but I did, on the night I unveiled a poetry anthology I’d edited. We sat in my car and discussed life, culture, history, and our dreams for hours. Then he finally kissed me. We’ve been together ever since, going on five years now. He’s the love of my life, the one I thought was a myth. I never knew marriage could be this good.

  10. Turns out there is a horrific angle to the story of the jailed missionaries in Haiti, the ones who were taking kids out of the country illegally. From The Miami Herald, we learn that their lawyer is wanted for CHILD TRAFFICING! It was his own parents revealing this info. Those stupid Baptist do-gooders didn’t know this? He’s also served time for bank fraud.

  11. Watching Meet the Press. Rachel Maddow can sure be logical and poignant when she’s not being an Obot shill.

    • David Brooks used the words “historical” and “unprecedented” about a dozen times in one sentence, this time in reference to how badly people on both sides of the aisle want to get rid of their current Congress critters.

      • David Brooks is an evil man who has invented a whole new field of “learned helplessness through print media”. If the NYTimes ever wants me to subscribe again, he’s got to go. I won’t pay for evil.

        • Expound on your theory of “learned helplessness through print media” sometime. I don’t like Brooks, but have no theory beyond decadence and snobbery.

          • And unimaginable wealth.

          • I’d be happy to! Next time he writes a column, I’ll show you exactly how he does it. His goal is to make you feel like you, average Joe Bagodunuts American, has no chance in beating the tsunami of power and influence arrayed against you. Don’t even try. You don’t have the guts, strength or endurance and we will crush you like a pitiful worm if you do. It’s in every single column he writes. Easy as pie to pick out.
            He is a disgusting, vile, inhuman being and he gets paid to do it. I hate him.

          • some one should remind him that Jefferson encouraged us to overthrow the government when it got to this state. In any governmental over-throw Brooks would go on the scrap heap. I hope he knows that.

        • No love for David Brooks here–just pointing out new and unique uses for two words over-worked words.

    • But how often is that?

  12. BTW, the Dominican Republic has become famous for those sex tourists who prey on young children. I became aware of that when this happened:
    Many here remember when Rush was nailed coming home from vacation in the Dominican Republic with massive amounts of Viagra (no prescription), no marriage and against pre-marital sex, he had alot of explaining to do but his bank account must have done the talking for him.

  13. Ok, here’s my Valentine’s story:
    after some years of total solitude following my nasty divorce, I finally decided to re-enter society. I joined my city’s mushroom club. On the second walk, I set my eyes on this guy with a ponytail and blue eyes.
    Several walks in the woods later, we became good friends, and by winter solstice we were together.
    Today, 14 years later we are still best friends, have a great kid and dog – and the four of us shared presents and laughs this morning – with more celebrations ahead. We still go on mushroom walks – the club’s newsletter announced our kid’s birth as “the new button”

  14. I met the love of my life almost 35 years ago in high school at the tender age of 15. He was dating my best friend and they were both so shy that he would call me up after they got done spending 30 minutes of silence on the phone (yes, she knew and had no problem with it.) When they finally agreed on an amicable break-up, he came to me and said he wanted to date me. I told him I didn’t want to because I never had such a great “friendship” with a guy and I didn’t want to ruin that. He told me “You’ll change your mind, I won’t give up.”

    He called me every day for 6 months and persisted. We remained “friends” until one day I saw another friend putting sun tan lotion on his muscular frame (he was a body builder back then). I felt something twinge in my gut and it was a devastating epiphany. I was in love. I called him that night and said “I’m ready.”

    Our first date was a James Taylor concert. I was 15, he was 17. We never looked back. 2 months after graduation we were married. It was almost 10 years until we had our first and only child. We’ve had our ups and downs — we’ve been poor, we’ve been hungry, we’ve built a comfortable life, we’ve battled, we’ve loved, and we have created a beautiful young woman from that love. We are polar opposites in looks, personality, and sometimes interests. He was my “first” and will be my “last.”

    He’s my best friend and I couldn’t imagine life with anyone else. We complement each other well and he’s still the love of my live over 30 years past the day he said “you’ll change your mind.”

    • Wonderful. Aren’t life and love amazing?

    • I love stories like yours!

      I was a complete flake in HS, my interests changed with the wind and I tended to be very sympathetic, so I dated more than my share of “lost puppies”.

      • Hi sis! Too bad we were separated at birth. We could’ve had a ball in HS. 🙂

      • I was a complete golddigger in high school. I dated much older men with sports cars and made them buy me jewelry, season tickets to the opera, and take me to the best restaurants and shows if they wanted to be around me. There was pretty much a don’t touch rule for me too. I expected albums, books, candy, flowers and respect. I don’t think I’d ever recognize that girl today if I met her, actually.

    • Love it! I did have a high school romance that lead to marriage and many years together – but as it turned out, besides this superficial history together we had little in common as people. Stories like yours remind me not to generalize my experience. It is actually beautiful to be in love those early years. I wish my daughter has that, whether it lasts beyond school or not.

    • I love this story !!!

    • That is a lovely and honest love story. 🙂

  15. SoD, thanks for this post. I love the stories.

  16. Ok, I’ll play.

    I first met my honey when I was 15 yrs old. I actually hung out with his brother’s crowd since they were my age. But knew the first time I saw him that he was the one.

    After 3 years of talking once in a while he asked me if I’d like to go to the movies. Our first date was viewing Psycho – I wondered where the heck this was going to go.

    We dated on and off – I actually was “dating” another guy at the time. Then one night we went to a party on campus and everyone was dancing – I finally looked at him and said “let’s dance” he said he really didn’t like dancing. I looked at him and said “I do, and if this relationship is going to grow we’ll need a compromise. Why don’t you like to dance?” His said he didn’t like people watching him. I told him that people only watch the good ones and I’d seen him dance and he wasn’t that good. We were married three years later and we’ve been dancing together for close to 50 years! Still madly in love and best friends! he gave me a card that played this today after taking me to a romantic dinner last night.


  17. I met my first husband in HS at a party – only I didn’t realize it. He was on crutches and everyone moved down stairs. I felt sorry for him, so I stayed upstairs and offered to give him a piggy-back ride to where everyone else was. He politely turned me down – I didn’t realize then that he was 6’3″ and I was almost a foot shorter.

    We later met in college in a pottery class. I still needed a humanities (supposedly easy A). I saw him across the room and couldn’t take my eyes off him. He pursued me with “just friends” dates and on the last day of class there was a power outage. He proposed in the dark, in the class where we met.

    He told me sometime later about the party, I didn’t remember until he reminded me.

    • He proposed in the dark, in the class where we met.

      {{lowers glasses and peers over them at twin sis}} is there more to this story??? 😉

      • Yeah. He had the cast at the party because he was being treated for a childhood cancer. It came back when we had been married for a year. I was pregnant.

        We got to be married for four years. I always called it my “Reader’d Digest version of life”. Married, baby, house, dog, long term illness, then widowed by 25 years of age.

        • 😦 so sorry.

        • I am so sorry. But I am also happy that you were able to have such love for the few years you were given. So many people never feel experience love like yours.
          I think those of us who are fortunate enough to experience a true, soul to soul love would not trade a moment of it. Makes it difficult to ever settle for anything less.

        • don’t you find it hard to read all these valentines stories without feeling robbed? my husband of 24 years died 4 years ago, and i met up with some widow friends last night trying to avoid the inevitable bitter aftertaste that valentines day leaves us with.

        • That is an amazing love story and I am sure he felt you loved him a life time.

        • I did find weddings hard for a few years after he died.

          I did remarry when I was 30.

          Slightly younger man… I thought he was great but with me, It wasn’t the years as much as the mileage ;)… so I tried to fix him up with my younger sister. I’m glad they didn’t “hit it off”.

        • Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughtfulness. The “baby” will be 21 this summer, life has taken me many places.

        • {{{jjmtacoma}}} I’m so sorry. Glad that you had some happiness with him but, VERY sorry that it was cut so short.

  18. I first laid eyes on him on our first day of law school. I remember him because he walked into the class–tall, really cute with a cup of coffee and twenty minutes late to class. I, of course, had been 20 minutes early to class. Today is our 25th engagement anniversary.

  19. I was the President of the LGBT Business Resource Group where I work. My company had just announced a merger with another company. I was flying into San Francisco for an event so I suggested the local lgbt chapter set up a dinner with the lgbt chapter from the merging company. A group of us met for dinner. My back was to the door, but I felt her the moment she walked in. I was memorized by her green eyes, intelligence and her confidence.
    There is more to the story ……. but lets just say my whole life was in preparation for her. I have never been so in love or so happy. After meeting her, love made sense.

  20. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,677121,00.html#ref=rss

    Just when you thought yuppies couldn’t get any crazier ….

    A Stone Age Subculture Takes Shape in the US

    By Philip Bethge

    A modern-day Stone Age subculture is developing in the United States, where wannabe cavemen mimic their distant ancestors. They eat lots of meat, bathe in icy water and run around barefoot. Some researchers say people led healthier lives in pre-historic times.

    John Durant greets the hunter-gatherers of New York once a month in his apartment on the Upper East Side. They eat homemade beef jerky, huddle around the hearth and swap recipes for carpaccio with vegetables or roasted wild boar.

  21. I hope no one takes this as a sad Valentine’s story because to be it isn’t at all.

    My Mom passed away 2/7/10 and her service was Sat.
    She had missed my Dad terribly as he had died in 1978. My hope is this is the most joyous holiday they ever spent together. Safe and loving in each others arms after so many years apart.

  22. Some researchers say people led healthier lives in pre-historic times.
    For a woman, 6-8 pregnancies, 3-4 maybe make it to reproductive age and the she dies in her late twenties.

    For a male, constant “military” conflict ~30% chance of dying by violence and dead by early thirties.

    100 years ago in the US, maternal mortality was 6-9 women dead per 1000 births. In some US cities, 30% of children died before age 1 year.

    • yup, short brutal lives on the savanna worrying about animals that are 10 x your size and weight. makes you really wanna go back there doesn’t it?

      • Yup…Life on the savanna was probably “paradise” compare to what the few “modern” humans faced after they successfully left East Africa. They got to Eur-Asia just in time for the last Ice Age with the maximum extent of the ice, just 18,000 years ago. Not quite the environment conducive to Robert Graves’ image of a neolithic matriarchal “golden age”.

        • Just think of all the self-sufficient cultures that were destroyed because of the manifest destiny mindset that drove them off of their land so that corporations could come in and create the need for money. They had food and water and community, and then they had to pay for their food and water and were soon in competition with everyone else.

          Gah! we’re a messed up species for sure.

  23. Excuse the “to be” s/b “to me”.

  24. Wishing all of you a nice day and smiles.

  25. happy V-day pumas.

  26. happy valentines day all

  27. Not a valentine but too funny not to post




  28. G-CAT
    I am sorry for your loss. From your comment it seems that you celebrate both your mother’s and your father’s life. That is a wonderful thing to do. I am sure this is what they would wish for you It is what I wish for my children , grandchildren and great grandchildren



  29. My kids like to tease my husband because he has pictures of me from before we were dating. Stalker much dad? He saw me outside reading with my son at the apartment complex we lived at and he was visiting.The first time he saw me he bragged to his friends that I’d be his. I had no idea. They all laughed because I am/was considered notoriously picky about my men(I believe the term used was “Ice Queen”) The first time we actually talked I was not impressed. He had been drinking liquid courage( and quite frankly rolling your car is NOT impressive particularly if you are speaking to a former EMT). My husband, however, was not one to give up. He hung out at my mother’s apt every day for months wooing me with lasagna and playing with my son. I finally gave him a shot and told him if he agreed not to drink while we were dating that I’d allow him a chance to win my heart. I warned him that my priority though was my son and I did not party much anymore. “Dating” would be in a pretty limited sense. My couch potato was pretty content though to sit on the couch and hold my hand(or various other pieces of my anatomy). He moved in with me several months later, convinced me to marry him during a moment of weakness, and the rest is history. We’ve been married 17 years now. I consider myself very lucky to have someone with the patience of Job. It definitely isn’t my strongest area.

  30. For all the valentines out there:

  31. Not a Valentine’s story but …

    Tim Pawlenty Health Reform

    He has some decent ideas for a start to decent reform. Each bullet point is fleshed out in the piece.

    President Obama has asked Republicans to bring ideas to a health-care summit on Feb. 25. This is an opportunity for Washington to start fresh and for conservatives to lead the way after the apparent defeat of the Democrats’ plan. In response to the president’s challenge, here are five common-sense ways to tackle runaway health-care costs:

    (1) Incentivize patients to be smart consumers:
    (2) Pay for performance:
    (3) Liability reform:
    (4) Interstate health-care insurance:
    (5) Modernize health insurance:

    There are many more ways to control health-care costs. Other common-sense ideas that everyone should be able to support include reforming the tax code so individual and group purchases are treated the same way, encouraging healthier lifestyles to combat chronic disease (a huge source of medical costs) and upgrading the informational technologies that health-care providers use.

    The health-care reforms proposed by the president and congressional Democrats are meeting stiff resistance because they would take America’s health care in the wrong direction. Runaway costs are the underlying reason that so many citizens do not have access to health care and that our system needs reform. Rather than focus on cost-cutting reforms like the ones I described, Democrats focused solely on expanding access — hoping that more mandates and government spending would somehow circumvent the fundamental issue of runaway costs.

    Democrats appear unable to push their approach through Congress, but our health-care system still demands reform. Let’s move forward by enacting these common-sense ideas.

    The writer, a Republican, is governor of Minnesota.

    • Sounds like a bunch of slogans to me. Incentivise patients? He’s kidding right? Patients don’t decide what procedures they have access to, doctors do. Pay for Performance? What does that mean? Liability reform…..more GOP crap about lawsuits. Lawsuits aren’t even on the top of te problem list when you have millions that can’t get access because it isn’t affordable.No thanks. Interstate Health care……that’s where the insurance companies move to the cheapest and most unregulated states…again,no thanks. Modernize health insurance…..anoher slogan…….

      Based on his health plan…..he’s a non starter for me.

    • What ever happened to the part of the hypocratic oath that requires doctors to “treat the patient in front of them?”

      • Think credit cards when you think interstate health care insurance. The intent is to limit regulation pure and simple.

        • The intent is to handle it more like life insurance which is currently on a similar model in a majority of states. Do you even bother to read the articles before making up your response?

          • I know exactly why it’s a GOP wet dream thank you very much.

            The “regulation” for health insurance is nothing like the regulation for life insurance.

            Furthermore, here’s directly from the Heritage Foundation THE THOUGHT PROCESS behind it.

            “Often overlooked, however, is the fact that gov­ernment policy, particularly excessive regulatory intervention, may price many Americans out of coverage and thus contribute to the high numbers of uninsured.”

            You can dress it up but at the end of the day THE plan is exactly what I said, LESS REGULATION.

      • Ask the doctors. This has nothing to do with health reform.

        What ever happened to the part of the hypocratic oath that requires doctors to “treat the patient in front of them?”

      • Allowing insurers to cross state lines will permit avoiding regulations by states which require higher standards of care and more comprehensive coverage. Insurers love the idea; should be terrifying for patients.

        It will mean a race to the bottom, with plans on offer which are truly “junk insurance.”

        “Affordable insurance” will be something with extremely high deductibles and co-pays, again with bad outcomes for those who purchase such policies. These will probably show up under mandates to purchasef health insurance, anyway.

        (Repubs will have a field day with cries, and ads, against “unfunded mandates,” of course. Unfunded Mandates — it’s not just for states anymore, folks!)

        We have such very bad choices before us, from both the Senate and the House. Kill those bills and START OVER. Obama says he really had little to do with those bills. Ha! In the Senate he hired Baucus’s top health INSURANCE aide into the WH! Not someone from Teddy Kennedy’s staff, oh no. He wanted someone from one of the most conservative Dem senators.

        The simplest solution, the least expensive for the nation and for us the people is the one Obama immediately took off the table: Universal care with single payer.

        Medicare for All..with a robust private option is the next best and could be put into effect almost immediately. Almost everyone already pays taxes toward Medicare, the programs would only need to be enhanced to accomodate higher numbers, etc.

        Hillary said she would open Medicare to those 55 and over. Obama seemed, with emphasis on the appearance only!, to agree with that approach. However, Obama had to be forced to grudgingly say that health CARE was a human right. I didn’t believe him at the time and he’s made it clear he didn’t mean it.

        He does, however, act on ensuring that private business is not only permitted to make profits, but had worked to ensure the private insurers will continue to make high profits. (As he has done for his Big Bankster buddies, those “savvty businessmen.” Note: NOT “business people,” but “businessMEN.”

        Obama refuses to consider single payer or to allow its supporters to speak about it at his “summits” and other discussion opportunities. He’s terrified that if the public really heard the facts about single payer that they would get out their pitchforks and torches. Instead, he doesn’t seem to care that the Democratic majority may be lost, in the House or even both houses! Perhaps he would prefer to work with Repubs more than Dems — He more easily channel St. Ronnie.

        Too bad we elected a Corporatist lacky as president. I suspected he was going to be very, very bad for us, for the Democratic Party, for our health and welfare. I did not understand just how bad he could be — and has turned out to be. And he’s working to turn the Democratic Party either into a Huge FAIL or into a fully Corporate Party.

        Obama barely talks to the members of the progressive caucus in his ostensible party; he sucks up to conservatives and Blue Dogs; he chides the Blue Bunny Dems* but he really likes that they don’t stand up to the Repubs.

        However, he continually woos Repubs even when they keep kicking sand in his face, tripping him as he walks by, or even have their shivs out to stab him in the back. If he could have been elected as a Repub, he probably would have joined that party!

        *Blue Bunny Dems: Dems of any strip — Corporatist, conservative, Blue Dog, even some liberasl and progressives — who are so scared by criticism from the Repubs and MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) that they just run away and hide from any confrontation or taking any stand except that approved by the Repubs and MCMers.

        • 10 days for calling reps and WH (at least for the record!) prior to Obama’s Summit with Repubs (well, he says it’s with “leaders of Congress,” but he really wants to have TV time to show off how well he woos Repubs).

          10 days to try to let them know we want Medicare for All. Single Payer. Universal CARE.

          To ask them what value the Big Private Insurers add to the health care of our people.

          10 days….well, 10 business days, days when a human may be reached.

    • On May 14, 2009 Governor Pawlenty vetoed General Assistance Medical Care, health insurance that covers Minnesotans who earn less than $8,000/year. This is a compilation of stories we have heard interviewing people on the streets about the GAMC cuts. We urge everyone in Minnesota to call the governor and your representatives and tell them.

  32. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100214.html

    happy valentine’s day to all



  33. I had Valentine’s Day Friday and Saturday(I got two days cuz my valentine says I’m so darn special. hee hee). Hubby is working today.

  34. How I met my Valentine:

    It was 1980. I was 17 years old, taking a drawing class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I began dating a classmate. He, his roommate and I often hung out together. His roommate was 18, French, working in Chicago, putting space between himself and his parents.

    I broke up with the art school classmate and began seeing his roommate. We were crazy for each other for a little while, but we broke up with each other a few months later. I went off to college and he moved back to Paris shortly thereafter. We saw each other last in Paris in 1983.

    Around 1999 I heard from him again. We corresponded for a little while and got caught up.

    In 2004 I bought a book he co-wrote on a technology we use at work (we are both Perl programmers), and looked him up on AIM to ask some questions. This time we never stopped talking. We got together a year and a half later, this time for good.

    I am now 46 and looking forward to spending the best half of my life with my soul mate.

  35. This one is filling up so I opened a new thread. Let’s keep talking!

  36. In 1971 I’d finished four years of college (notice I didn’t say I got a degree ) and lost my student draft deferment. Having gotten number eleven in the draft lottery I looked around for a solution. Figuring the best place to hide a needle was in a box of needles and not a hay stack I joined the army reserve into a unit in Upland, CA. A few years later the sister-in-law of another member of the same unit was convinced by said other member of unit to join the reserves. A few years passed and at annual training at Fort Carson, outside of Colorado Springs, a bunch of us went to a German restaurant for a night away from army food and I wound up sitting across the table from her. By the end of the evening I’d found out she wasn’t married, engaged, going steady, etc., and asked her for a date. One thing after another got in the way and we finally had our first date the Saturday before Valentine’s Day in 1979. I was smitten. I sent her flowers for Valentine’s Day, we had another date, going with her parents, her sister and brother-in-law to a performance of The King and I at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, where I found out that her brother-in-law was in our unit (and out-ranked both of us). We had another date, and another, and on May 3, 1980 were married. Back in the day there was a saying in the military that if the army wanted you to have a wife they’d issue you one. She wasn’t government issued, but close enough.

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