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Pre-”Reform” vote escapism: A meditation on things that make you smile

There is only so much negative information one can absorb without experiencing deleterious effects on health.  For that reason, I offer this thread as a way to help balance the anger and frustration many of us are feeling.  I find that it helps to reflect on those priceless elements of our world which uplift us and remind us that there are greater powers at work than those who seek to harm us.  If you find yourself feeling particularly stressed, I recommend returning to the videos below for a respite that will hopefully make you smile.

The following news story was apparently making the rounds in mid to late 2008.  For some reason I missed it, and others may have also.  Therefore I wanted to post it again.  I challenge you to watch this incredible story without feeling uplifted, whether you’ve seen it before or not.

If you’re interested, there was a follow-up report on the Today show:

Now, if that didn’t do the trick, there’s always this wonderful video that I’ve posted before.  For me, this video is the most perfect depiction of pure joy.  It is a guaranteed mood changer:

Dakinikat previously posted this beautiful video of Kseniya Simonova’s Amazing Sand Drawing.  It is inspiring and moving.

Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

Finally, if you’re still in need of a smile-inducing moment, nobody does it better than Snowball!

To up the ante on the feel-good moment, you can go to Petfinders Rescue Site where a “click” helps feed shelter animals at no cost to you!

Or, Jill & Kevin have decided to parlay the popularity of their video into positive action.  They’ve set up a website where you can donate to help end domestic violence.  From their site:

We hope to direct this positivity to a good cause. Due to the circumstances surrounding the song in our wedding video, we have chosen the Sheila Wellstone Institute.

Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities.


Reflecting on the positive.  That’s how I’m going to get through this weekend.  How about you?  What do you recommend?

Lazy Saturday Morning News and Views: We’re Screwed Edition

Good Morning, Conflucians!

It’s nice and sunny here in central Indiana this morning. I hope you have some sun where you are too. We’ll need something cheering today to get through the Congressional kabuki theater that is going to be put on to convince the American people to enjoy being royally screwed by the health insurance industry–and all at taxpayer expense.

From the LA Times: Healthcare debate begins today in House Rules Committee

Most legislation that comes to the House floor requires a rule, passed by the Rules Committee, which establishes the technical terms of any debate, such as the time allowed and the number of amendments.

Because the House and Senate passed substantially different versions of healthcare legislation, the fight to reconcile the measures is especially complicated.

It also is politically sensitive because House members do not want to vote for the unpopular Senate bill.

To spare rank-and-file Democrats from having to do that, the Rules Committee on Saturday is expected to pass a rule that incorporates the Senate bill.

This process — commonly used in prior Congresses — would “deem” the Senate bill passed.

See how that works? House members don’t want to “vote” for the Senate version of the bill, they just want to foist it on us without having to take responsibility for royally screwing us and our children and grandchildren.

Bart Stupak, the hero of misogynists everywhere, is getting all the attention he ever could have dreamed of–he’s the center of the battle over abortion language in the ripoff that is being referred to as “health care reform.” At FDL, David Dayen explains the obscure method that will be used to screw women out of meaningful health care–an “enrollment corrections” bill.” I can’t get Dayen’s links to the four-page bill to work, but he summarizes it as follows:

On page 2, you can see clearly that it says “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any health plan to provide coverage of abortion services or to allow the secretary or any other person or entity implementing this Act (or amendment) to require coverage of such services,” and then later, “None of the funds appropriated by this Act… shall be expended for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed…. or unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.”

This is the Stupak amendment, right down to the language on Page 3 about a separate abortion rider (which is not currently offered in any state where private coverage is banned). And it’s added as a “concurring resolution” to this bill.

Voila! Health care for men only. As Dayen says, somehow when the roolz are inconvenient, they somehow get bypassed–kind of like what happened in the DNC roolz committee on May 31, 2008.

David Waldman has more here, and this is The Daily Caller this morning.

Now that the damage is done, Michael Moore is upset with his Congressman: My Congressman, Bart Stupak, Has Neither a Uterus nor a Brain

And of course Stupak is getting pressure from the pro-death for women side of the debate too, like this screed: Bart Stupak’s Moment of Truth.

I’m sorry this post is so brief, but I overslept and now I have to write my lectures for next week and help my mom with some things. Please post links to what you’re reading in the comments.