Friday, January 30, 2009

"Joy crosses the placenta"

This post by Antique Mommy is, like most of her writing, simply perfect. Even though I've read her story before (pregnant for the first time, more or less by accident, at 44!) I find it endlessly inspiring. It's a powerful reminder to never, ever give up hope.

Welcome back to the 1980s

So our national economic picture is back to pretty much what it was in the bleak 1980s recession (thank you, Ronald Reagan). And it's about to get even worse:

Another 2 million or more jobs will vanish this year, economists predict.

This raises a number of questions for me:

1. Will conservatives/Republicans/people who voted for George W. Bush/people who voted for John McCain ever admit the direct link between GOP policies and the economy plunging into the shitter?

2. Will any of the Republicans in Congress now actually work with President Obama to try to make things better? (I know, I know, the idea makes me laugh too.)

3. What is going to happen to the 401K system? Since, like many Americans, I'm relying on this for my retirement, this question is a somewhat urgent one for me. I'm frankly kind of tired of hearing, "Oh, you're only 40 -- it will bounce back." When? How much of it will bounce back? Will I now have to work until I'm 80?

4. Will Obama stick to his guns and do what needs to be done to keep the Republicans in check and bring us back from the brink? I sure as hell hope so.

What do you think -- are those of us with 401Ks completely screwed? Will the GOP obstructionism continue unabated?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Emotional Dick Cavett

Guest posted by Broadway Carl

Dick Cavett writes up a nice opinion piece about his Inauguration Day feelings with a bit of a tangent on his emotional outpourings when listening to certain music. But I would be remiss if I didn't include these words for posterity in this space.
I felt bad when George Bush was booed.

But only briefly. My sympathy for that man has a half-life of about four seconds.

There was a surprising number of outpourings of sympathy for his having to sit there and, as it was too-often described, “take it on the chin.” Was there ever a chin more deserving of taking it?

“You have to feel sorry for him,” someone cooed. “No. You do not!” I shouted at the screen. I know he “tried” and he “did what he thought was right.” But so does the incompetent surgeon.

What does that excuse?

His brief discomfort “sitting there” can’t have been less endurable than the discomfort of the young soldier describing on the news how he watched helplessly as his gut-shot buddy bled to death on the sands the smirking Texan sent him to.


And a hearty sayonara to that other fellow.

Do freshman philosophy classes nowadays debate updated versions of the age-old questions? Like, how could a merciful God allow AIDS, childhood cancers, tsunamis and Dick Cheney?

Cross-posted at Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania!

Is Obama Playing Limbaugh?

Guest posted by Broadway Carl

There's been plenty of talk for the last few days about President Obama and Rush Limbaugh. First it was Limbaugh's idiotic diatribe hoping that Obama fails and rejecting the notion that other less extreme Republicans are defending Obama and hoping for his success because he's a black man and it's the politically correct/affirmative action thing to do. I suppose it had nothing to do with the fact that the nation is currently in the toilet.

Then it was President Obama meeting with Congressional Republicans and suggesting that they shouldn't listen to Limbaugh if they want to get anything done. Rush Limbaugh enjoyed the attention and the talking head pundits were wondering why Obama would give Limbaugh such credence.

But it would seem that there is yet another possible scenario in play. Obama is baiting Rush, not the other way around. And so far it looks like GOP mouthpieces are heeding Obama's advice and possibly marginalizing Limbaugh in the process.

I never thought I'd agree with Phil Gingrey (YEAH, I KNOW!) but here's his comment:
"I think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach," Gingrey said. "I mean, it's easy if you're Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don't have to try to do what's best for your people and your party. You know you're just on these talk shows and you're living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of that thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn't be or wouldn't be good leaders, they're not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell."
Media critic Michael Wolff thinks Obama got under Limbaugh's skin by having a dinner with conservative journalists and pundits and conspicuously excluding poor, misunderstood Rush.

So is Obama playing Limbaugh like a big, fat fiddle? I don't know if there's any validity to the theory, but Obama is a shrewd character, and every time he was doubted during the campaign, he kept proving the doubters wrong. I'm wondering what the next step will be in the Rush Wars. It's silly, but kind of exciting instead of listening to the continual zombie drone of "more tax cuts."

(H/T HuffPo)

Cross-posted at Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania!

The REAL CBO Report

Guest posted by Broadway Carl

According to Think Progress, this much ballyhooed Congressional Budget Office report that was used to criticize the Obama Recovery Bill by Republicans was cited 81 times in the last six days by the talking heads on television and in print; they criticized that spending was initally slow and that only 35% of the package would be spent by 2011.

There's just one problem with that: the CBO report they were citing doesn't exist. Rather, the media and Republican opposition to the bill were citing a partial report that didn't include the planned tax cuts, unemployment benefit extensions and numerous other factors. Even after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained that everyone was citing an incomplete report in his press conference on Friday, inaccurate reporting continued on the news.

New Meet The Press host David Gregory used the CBO report in criticism on Sunday morning and I personally witnessed Nora O'Donnell on MSNBC ask about the partial report when questioning Congressman Chris Van Hollen late Monday afternoon! But I suppose if it isn't scandalous it doesn't sell, so why bother with accuracy?

Well guess what? The CBO actually released a complete report Monday evening which shows that, just as the Obama administration has been saying, about ¾ of the stimulus package would be injected into the economy within the first 18 months.

From the CBO report (emphasis mine):

This is the first cost estimate that CBO has prepared for H.R. 1 in its entirety. A previous preliminary estimate that has been widely cited addressed only the budgetary impacts of an earlier version of the provisions contained in Division A, at the request of the House Committee on Appropriations.

CBO has since made small changes to our estimates of the portion of the bill that was included in that preliminary estimate, mostly to reflect amendments to the legislation since we prepared the last estimate. Based on information provided by the committee and discussions with numerous state officials, we also made small technical changes to that earlier estimate.
I wonder how quickly the very serious mainstream media will report on this, and if they'll mention it 81 times in six days? I'm also sure the GOP will ignore it while tending to their fudge, since it doesn't fit into their agenda.

I mean, think about it. All we've heard the latest cheap Republican talking point is the expenditure of $200 million for Medicaid to be used for contraception and all the hysteria from the right asking how something like that can stimulate the economy. They are completely ignoring the fact that education, prevention of STDs and unwanted pregnancies can help in reducing governmental financial responsibilities later on. But the word "contraception" is a touchstone for their religious right base, even though the money planned for this program is only 0.00024% of the total package.

What's the GOP solution? More tax cuts. You know, because it's worked so well before.

(H/T Bob Cesca)

Cross-posted at Broadway Carl's Blog-O-Mania!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shaking things up around here

So in my usual fashion, since I'm perpetually trying to do about 273 things at once, I have dropped the ball (until now!) on writing a post to explain the cross-posting experiment I've undertaken with my virtual pal Broadway Carl. You will see below that he's already posted here to introduce himself and talk a bit about what drew him to blogging in the first place. Like me, Carl found himself watching the rapidly-metastasizing horrors of the Bush administration with increasing dismay. Also like me, he began blogging to vent his rage about what was happening to our country and to find a community of like-minded folks to commiserate with.

Carl and I first "met" in the online world in the vibrant group of frequent commenters on Bob Cesca's fantastic blog. During the election frenzy I found myself commenting there every so often, and it was clear from Carl's contributions to those memorable conversations, as well as from his thought-provoking posts on his own blog, that this guy was a kindred spirit: someone unafraid to mince words about the massive stupidity of the right-wing ideology. Someone who loves being part of the debate about how to fix our country's many problems. And someone who approaches his writing as I always at least try to do--with humor and inventiveness.

If you take a trip over to Carl's excellent "Blog-O-Mania," you'll see what I'm talking about. And to shake things up a little around here, I'll be featuring some of Carl's posts here on Purple Ink, and some of my posts will appear on the Blog-O-Mania. If you like what you see, we both hope you'll come back for more! Comments, effusive praise, constructive criticism, and tips are always welcome.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who Is Broadway Carl?

Guest-posted by Broadway Carl

Hi, I'm new here so I thought I'd introduce myself. I go by Broadway Carl - my nom de plume - that's french for "name of pen," although the name of my pen is actually PaperMate™. I call myself Broadway Carl because, 1) I work on Broadway as a stagehand and, 2) my name is - well, I can't tell you what my name is or else my non de plume would be useless. I'll give you a hint... it's starts with a 'C'.

My first foray into blogging came a little over two years ago. It was my attempt to deal with my growing anger for the recently departed presidential administration. I tend to get "worked up" - a mild way of saying "frothy-mouthed frenzy" - and my lovely, patient wife got tired of the spittle flying about. (I get very animated and loud when angry.) So I decided to put my thoughts down on "electronic paper" as an outlet. Two years later, I'm still writing. And my wife reads my rants instead of trying to decipher what the hell I was screaming about while sitting behind a protective shield.

The lovely Fraulein has frequented my site, as I have hers, and we decided it might be a good idea to occasionally cross-post our thoughts on each others' blogs. I enjoy and respect her writing and assume she enjoys mine; why else invite someone to contribute to your space if you think it's swill? Hopefully, you'll enjoy what I have to say as well and stop by my place to say hello.

Broadway Carl

One more thing - I see that Fraulein has been having Facbook issues lately. Here's what I had to say on the subject last month.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another thing about Facebook

If you're not on Facebook, you won't know it if your friends have been posting photos in which you appear hungover and are sporting a tragic hairdo, circa 1989.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One of the many awesome things about having a "President Obama"

I'm watching the coverage of the various Inaugural balls now and it occurs to me that Obama's triumph must stick in the collective craw of our country's hoardes of racist Republicans (and just plain racists) to no end. Can you imagine how much it must kill these people to see all these BLACK people in positions of power? A BLACK First Couple, being serenaded by quite a few talented, attractive, BLACK celebrities? And not only that, but as you looked out over the Mall earlier today, you could see all those white people mixing in freely with everybody else of every other color, united in celebration of our common victory over the right-wing forces of darkness.

Man, they must hate this. It's going to be a tough four (well, hopefully eight) years for the racists.
(Photo credit Huffington Post)

Don't let the door hit you on the ass, George

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Inauguration Day is here!! I can't wait to hear Obama's speech.

A new day is coming...

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So I've finally been dragged, kicking and screaming, onto Facebook. First impressions: if you want to keep your work acquaintances from learning every detail about your life in high school, etc., you need to avoid "friending" the work people. The other thing is, since I want to keep this blog anonymous-ish to the outside world, I won't be promoting the blog on Facebook. So it's like you have all these separate online profiles, or personae...I can see how this might get difficult to manage.

Also, it is truly hilarious how the people whose guts you hated in high school suddenly come out of the woodwork to become your virtual "friends." As I suspected, some of the people who weren't that bright and were the sworn enemies of my group of the (ahem) smarter kids, have now become Republicans. No one could have predicted that...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This is the man who will be President

I can't even put into words how proud I am that this man will be our President. That he will replace George W. Bush, that tiny, insignificant man, so tortured by rage at his own inadequacies. Here is part of a letter Barack Obama wrote to his daughters, that will run in "Parade" this weekend:
When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me--about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Word of the Day

Every time we give the Peanut a bath, she emerges from the tub as an even bigger silliness generating machine than usual. You wouldn't think it should take two adults to subdue one 40-pound person long enough to towel her off and put her pajamas on, but it often does, because of her inability to stop flailing her limbs, shouting and giggling. So we only bathe her once a month.

OK, I'm kidding about that last part. But not about the Unstoppable Silliness Machine. Sometimes, post-bath, she fixates on a word and shouts it at the top of her lungs for 20 minutes or so. (Howdy, downstairs neighbors! Just wait until your little toddler starts to talk...just wait...) One time, the Word of the Day was "butt." Last night, it was:

"Booger!" (Giggles uncontrollably.) "BOOGER!" (Giggles uncontrollably.) "BOOGER!" (Etc.)

"Oh....KAY. Can you please not say 'booger'?" I said. Which was totally the wrong thing to say, because it just kicked off another round of booger-shouting. "Where did you learn that word from?" I asked, already knowing the answer. The culprit was, of course, this guy.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


UN truck comes under deadly fire in Gaza
By IBRAHIM BARZAK and STEVE WEIZMAN (Associated Press Writers)
From Associated Press
January 08, 2009 4:19 PM EST

JERUSALEM - The U.N. suspended aid shipments in the Gaza Strip on Thursday and the Red Cross restricted its convoys after their trucks came under Israeli fire. The threat of a wider conflict arose when militants in Lebanon fired two rockets into northern Israel.

One rocket crashed into a retirement home, but there were no serious injuries. Israel responded with mortar shells.

The driver of the U.N. truck died immediately; another worker in the truck died later of his wounds. The truck, which came under fire in northern Gaza, was marked with the U.N. flag and insignia.

During a three-hour pause in the fighting to allow in food and fuel and let medics collect the dead, nearly three dozen bodies were found beneath the rubble of bombed out buildings in Gaza City. Many of the dead were in the same neighborhood where the international Red Cross said rescuers discovered young children too weak to stand who had stayed by their dead mothers. The aid group accused Israel of an "unacceptable" delay in allowing workers to reach the area. Relations between Israel and humanitarian organizations have grown increasingly tense as civilian casualties have mounted.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Me, 40

Jan. 1, 2009.