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    • The Wages Of Embarassing Elites Are Death
      Everyone remember the Panama papers? A leak of bank records showing that the ultra-rich are hiding massive wealth, tax-free and often breaking the law to do so? A rather weak set of laws designed to allow tax avoidance by rich people, at that. Found out the other day that the reporter who broke the Panama Papers story was killed by a car bomb. Coincidence, n […]
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How do Republican voters sleep at night??

House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps

Taking the food out of the mouths of children is immoral and evil.  You know this.  There are some things that you should never, never do.  You shouldn’t kill anyone, you shouldn’t steal from anyone, and you should never send a child to bed hungry, no matter what you think of their parents.  In this country, we pay farmers to not grow crops in order to support prices.  We have an abundance of food.  We eat too much.  It is disgusting that Republicans would deny food to anyone.

These representatives are YOUR fruit.  YOU voted for them.

******************************

BTW, I donate $25/month to Feeding America.  I don’t have a lot of money for charities so I had to pick one that had the most impact for good.   It’s not a lot of money but I never forget that there are families out there who can’t afford good, nourishing food, even with food stamps.  Consider making a donation.

Here’s the link.

Friday Fast tomorrow.  Give up your lunch money for someone who needs it to feed their kids.

 

A Plea from a Makeup Guru

As some of you may know, I watch makeup videos on YouTube to relax.  Yeah, yeah, it’s a secret vice.  I can never look like them but I have learned a few things.  Like, use a peach highlighter to counteract dark circles and stay away from eyeshadows with too much shimmer unless you are very young.  And I have also learned that some makeup gurus, like Samantha at pixiwoo, know that it’s not all about them:

{Stay with it til the end.  It’s short but worth it}

I find it really strange that the plight of the Pakistanis is on low burn this week.  The UN says that compared to Haiti earthquake and Indonesian tsunami relief, the flooding in Pakistan, which is affecting so many people, is getting very little attention.

Images of people slogging through water did not generate the same kind of sympathy as a leveled city, even though the dimensions are similar, aid groups noted, especially since, according to the United Nations, more than 15 million people have been affected and are often difficult to reach.

“That should be enough to get anybody’s attention,” said George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee. The organization has raised just $1.18 million of the $5 million it is seeking, with about $700,000 coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Online donations are far below the response to past disasters, he noted.

Many aid groups are increasing their efforts as the scope of the disaster unfolds. TheInternational Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies began an appeal for more than $16 million on Aug. 2, of which about 60 percent has been donated, but now expects to double the appeal, said Elyse Mosquini of the federation’s United Nations office.

Given the threat of more rain and the potential spread of disease, time is not an ally. “People are starting to appreciate the scale, but I don’t know that people are appreciating the urgency,” said Rebecca Barber of Oxfam, speaking by telephone from Pakistan.

There were limited signs on Tuesday that change might be in the offing. At the London premiere of the movie “Salt,” Angelina Jolie lent glamour to the cause, saying on the red carpet that donating to Pakistan was an urgent matter. “It is millions and millions of people who will be uprooted for a very long time,” she said.

Unfortunately, this is not a good time for giving to the Pakistanis.  The citizens of this country turn to their churches during natural disasters, looking for answers and relief.  But Pakistan is a Muslim country and our country is busily engaged in a PR political war to determine whether American Muslims in New York City have the right to worship where it is most convenient for them.  When they might be finding comfort in their mosques, organizing relief for their Pakistani friends, they are instead asked to defend their constitutionally guaranteed right to worship.

I’m embarrassed for us on both counts. Not only does it demonstrate how crowds can be swayed to carry praise or blame too far, it makes fundamentalist extremism towards our country more likely.  We make a mockery of the principles upon which this country was built and in the process end up looking like craven, irrational hypocrites.

This week, I will be devoting the Friday Fast to Pakistani Flood Relief.  In the meantime, I have a little public service announcement to my friends on Facebook.  I haven’t really used Facebook much until recently when DandyTiger turned me on to Flipboard.  So, I just started accepting my friend invitations.  But I have been really disturbed by a small number of these so-called friends who have been sending me columns opposed to the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan.  Let me make my view on this perfectly clear: I believe in the freedom of worship.  I am an American and that’s what Americans believe in.  Some of you may have forgotten that principle but it’s in the bill of rights.  I don’t have the right to hold my beliefs as being better or more worthy of respect than anyone else’s.  I DO have a problem with fundamentalism and extremism in any religion.  But it you keep your beliefs to yourself and behave as a good citizen, then your Christian fundamentalism is of no interest to me.

So, verily I say unto you, do not send me messages of intolerance regarding this mosque.  I have no fear of Muslims.  I want to live in peace with them.  And I will unfriend you. I have already had to unfriend several people over this.  If that means I have fewer friends, well, at least I can sleep at night with a clear conscience.

If you are insulted or offended by this post, then please, don’t feel obligated to read anything else I write.  I don’t speak for the other frontpagers on this matter but I have no reason to believe they disagree with me.

Friday Fast: Give a kid a backpack

Back in 2008, we featured a Friday post to raise funds for our favorite candidates or their causes.  But with this Mother of All Recessions, the funds might be better spent on something a little more tangible and close to home. So, I am reviving the Friday Fast.

Here’s how it goes:  Give up a meal today and send the money you might have spent on it to the Friday Fast recipients.  It might not seem like a lot of money but when you pool your six bucks with a bunch of other people, the money adds up quickly.  And you can make some people happy and make a real difference in their lives.

Today’s Friday Fast recipients are kids.  It’s back to school season and children everywhere are getting lists of school supplies from their teachers.  When I was a child (cue the creaky old voice), school supplies were provided by the school for the most part.  Our teachers passed out paste and paper and funky yellow pens and #2 pencils.  The list of supplies we had to buy was relatively short.  Now, parents can easily spend well over $100 for items on the list.  And teachers can be weirdly specific. A couple of years ago, one of the items requested was a notebook “without the metal spiral (for safety reasons)”.  Hokay, maybe we can send that one over to Freerangekids for analysis.

In this economy, spending that kind of money on school supplies can be next to impossible for many families.  In my family, we are recycling more and more of last year’s supplies but we’ll still have to replenish and it’s not cheap.  Imagine what it’s like for kids whose parents have just lost their jobs or their houses.  It’s hard enough to think when your family is under stress.  What must it be like if you have to go to school without a new backpack or pencils or notebooks?  Coming to school unprepared makes the school day a lot harder for kids and teachers.  And peer group interactions are so important to a kid in elementary school.  It’s one thing to be poor, quite another to feel the bite of poverty when you can’t afford a glue stick or pencils.

You can’t eliminate all sadness and evil from the world.  It’s not possible for one person alone to save it.  But you can do *something*, one opportunity at a time, to strengthen the bonds between people, to lessen the tendency of the world towards disorder and to increase stability.  It takes only a little bit of work, a little bit of mindfulness, a little bit of money.

Give up your lunch today and give a kid a backpack.

Here are some suggestions for your donations.  If you are aware of others, list them in the comments.

K.I.D.S for Kids in Distressed Situations

Give a kid a backpack

ILoveSchools (teachers also spend money on supplies.  Give them a hand.)

Donorschoose

United Way Stuff the Bus

Staples Give Back-Pack

DoSomething101

Friday Fast: Fundraiser

Today, we dust off an oldie but goody.  To you new readers, last spring we fasted on Friday and sent our lunch money to Hillary for her campaign.  She still has a debt to her vendors left over from the primaries and for all we know, that is what keeps her indentured to Obama.  His fundraisers were *supposed* to help her pay it off.  I suspect they held back so they could continue to get her to carry their water on the campaign trail for Obama.  I don’t know about you but I think it’s time for Obama to carry his own damn water.

So, here’s what we’re going to do:

Save your breakfast, lunch and dinner money and send it to Hillary here:

You don’t have to send a lot of money.  Your $10 in combination with someone elses yuppy foodstamp times thousands can go a long way towards paying down the primary debt.

Now, if you are so inclined and you have extra money to burn, you could also make a contribution to Feeding America, (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest), which is battling the war against food insecurity in this country.  Gas prices are still pretty high and millions of families in this country have really hard decisions to make about how they spend their money.  Think about throwing in an extra $10 to help a family get through the week.  You can contribute here.

Finally, if you still have a few cents, send them to Murphy at PUMAPac.  She’ll turn them into flyers, stickers, movies and get the word out to other disaffected Democrats that they are not alone and People United Mean Action.  Contribute to PUMAPac Here.

Let’s turn these little raindrops into a mighty flood.

For your reading pleasure:

  • Anglachel writes two new beauties.  In Audacity Deficit, she asks how it is that this presidential contest has come down to a battle between Obama and Palin? Er, the DNC took the bait?  Just a guess.  In Why Your Party Loses, she shows that Democrats don’t stick up for their own and that gets us every damn time.  Parties with a history of stupidity and inability to learn from their mistakes deserve Darwin Awards.
  • Alegre has the post of the year.  18 Million Voices Silenced has some harrowing tales from the Hillary delegates who were harrassed at the convention.  Every primary voter needs to read and understand what happened here.  It is disgraceful.  Here’s an example:

    PENNSYLVANIA: An elderly weeping delegate who wanted to vote for Hillary was consoled by several fellow delegates who said they were all sent to Denver by their friends and neighbors to vote for Hillary but, “no-one seemed to care”.

     Your party at work.  Sickening.  When it comes to a discussion of the content of Barack Obama’s character, Martin Luther King must be rolling in his grave.

  • Finally, Heidi Li’s Potpourri has moved.  We are updating our links.  Her newest post, Looking Past The Heat of the Moment is about looking at the broad political landscape from where we stand now.

Friday: Geezers

Who is this man?

He is OLD, dude.  He’s 88.  And he is one of the only things that stands between you and the loss of your constitutional rights at the present time.  This man is John Paul Stevens, appointed to the US Supreme Court by Gerald Ford and, ironically, one of its more “liberal” members.  (Think about that.)

For some reason, no one is refering to John Paul Stevens as old.  Nope.  We keep hearing about how he still plays tennis a couple times a week.  No one is suggesting that JP Stevens is too old to sit on the Supreme Court.  In fact, I’m guessing that many of us would be perfectly happy if he stays on when he turns 100.  Heck, if he dies, what would be the harm of having his law clerks taxiderm him and roll him into chamber on a dolly?  Maybe they can wire him so they can make it look like he’s asking questions, sort of like Disney animatronics.  That would be fine with me.  One of the senior clerks can write a suitable Stevens-esque opinion.  Can I get a show of hands to see who would be cool with this?

Jeez, John McCain’s practically a young whippersnapper. *

In other news:

  • The Clinton’s are busily upstaging The Chosen One.  I can almost hear the Obamaphiles now. “They’re only defending equal pay, reproductive choice and malarial drugs because they know that Obama won’t and they want to make him look bad.  Damn, Hillary Clinton!”  Bill Clinton is getting some major global pharmas to bring down the cost of anti-malarial drugs and provide mosquito netting.  Wait for it… {{Clutch pearls}} “He’s grandstanding!  He still thinks he’s president!”  Well, he *could* stop doing all of those things and campaign with Obama.  He said he is just waiting for the call, no doubt sitting beside the phone between global conferences and conferring with his wife about the nasty machinations of the Bush executive branch.  Ahh, yes, I can see him nervously tapping his fingers as he waits for that phone to ring, “Ring, Dammit! I need to feel relevent again.  Obama has to know that I would do anything, *anything* to bask in his reflected glory.”  That magical day will someday soon come when the last successful two term Democratic president of the United States will stand cheek by skinny jowl with the Dauphin to whom he will pass the torch of responsibility for the mightiest nation of the world.  The Big Dawg will drape his powerful arm around Obama’s fragile shoulders and grin at the assembled throng and say, “You will be lucky to get Barack Obama to work for you.”  Any day now, I know he’ll call any day now.
  • I found this history lesson on LadyBoomerNYC.   It seems that this year is not the first that the Democratic party has endeavored to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Like, where would the country be if Al Smith or Nance Garner had been nominated.  Holy Hemiola!  Did you see how many delegates Smith had compared to Roosevelt?  I’m amazed they let him be nominated at all.  And here’s Hillary Clinton who is virtually tied in pledged delegates (if you strip Obama of his ill gotten gains in Michigan, Texas and many of the other caucus states where the mysterious Hillary caucus goers whose intentions we can fairly estimate were not counted) and she’s having problems getting the evil triumvirate to even put her name in nomination.  Let’s think about that for a sec: an African-American male is all but anointed because his candidacy is historic but the female who came in second in a squeaker can’t get nominated at all because she came in second in a squeaker?  This after frickin’ Al Smith who had a lousy 201 delegates to Roosevelt’s 666.5 (that half delegate just barely saves him from accusations of backing by demonic forces) puts FDR through *FOUR* ballots.  PLEASE.  This is just fucking nuts.  Put the lady’s name up for nomination and quit embarrassing yourselves, DNC.
  • Alegre has this fascinating post on Choosing Girls in math and science.  I have some recent first hand experience with this subject.  Brook is in the top 2% nationally in math according to her recent NJASK and SSAT scores (perfect score or 24/24 in Algebra and Geometry facts for the lower school test).  But headed into seventh grade, she couldn’t get her teacher to recommend her for enriched algebra.  In fact, her teacher wouldn’t recommend her for Algebra at all next year.  She has to repeat pre-algebra in spite of the fact that she cosnsitently scored in the 90’s on her quizes and tests.  It gets worse.  The only students recommended for the enriched algebra course were… wait for it… boys.  Yep.  Don’t tell me what avenues to pursue.  I’ve done everything I can short of throwing a fit at the next board meeting (scheduled for July 21, 2008.  I have my alarm set.)  I’m trying to get her in a private school that won’t wait list her for lack of space (already happened at two of the best in the Princeton area).  So, if anyone out there has any connections and wants to help a gifted but mouthy 12 year old who hates homework but has a wicked sense of humor and is really a very nice girl, please let me know.  Other than that, if this is something Hillary Clinton would like to take on in the Senate before Brook becomes a classic underachiever, I would be forever grateful.  If anyone reading this can pass the message on to her, that would be very helpful.
  • Friday FAST is back. Here’s the deal: give up breakfast, lunch and dinner, send your savings to Hillary.  Click on the lunch bag in the side panel to participate.  If you can only skip one meal, that’s OK too.  If you can give a little more, consider sending it to America’s Second Harvest to help poor families feed their kids.  You’ll feel full all day.  I promise.

*I’m not voting for John McCain.  I just think the “old” argument is lame.  It’s like, “He’s  ollllld”, that’s all you’ve got Barack?  He’s old?  {{sigh}}