The other factor at play here, which Democratic ears seem unable to detect, is that Obama is skillfully turning the meaning of the word "bipartisan" into "the coalition that agrees with my magnanimous self."
Yep, disagree with Obama and you are destroying America and ruining democracy.
Hat tip to my husband, who runs in different blog circles than I do and always manages to find interesting stuff that I wouldn't happen upon. Also he is hot.
I realized that I couldn't wait until Monday morning, because in order to be ready for the procedure on Tuesday, I have to give myself that trigger shot Sunday night. So I had to find out if the procedure was still a go-flight.
Luckily, my neighbor is friends with my fertility doctor's wife. She called their house and got me permission to call the doctor today. Otherwise I have no idea what I would've done.
He listened and said that it probably is just the hormone levels tricking my endometrium into doing goofy things. He said that as long as the bleeding is letting up, and it has, then we are still on track.
Hindsight sucks. I wish I'd gotten a good night's sleep last night instead.
Some days just beg to be blogged about. They have Palahniuk's "paperback potential." But other days are just too much to even form a coherent story.
Yesterday was the perfect storm of awful. In bed last night, the husband and I rated it as one of our three all-time worst days of our marriage. And by "in bed last night," I mean this morning, because we didn't get into bed until after 5 AM.
We started our day Friday at 5 AM with a trip to the fertility clinic. Everything looked good for a procedure next week. And then all sorts of little things started going wrong during our day, things barely worth mentioning save the fact that they all happened in a row: had to buy a new printer, knocked over a can of coke on the sofa and my knitting project, the garbage disposal broke, etc. We kept describing our day like this: Life FAIL. We just wanted the day to be over.
But around dinnertime, I started bleeding...and there's no earthly reason why I should be bleeding today. It was enough to make me nervous, and since it was a Friday night and I wouldn't be able to reach my doctor or nurse until Monday, we decided we'd better head to the ER. Luckily we ate dinner first, because we had no idea what we were in for.
I expected to be there until midnight. I didn't expect to be there until 4:30 AM. During that time, I had less than ten minutes of actual medical care -- take blood pressure, ask about my symptoms, quick pelvic exam -- and was eventually told...drumroll..."Geez, I don't know anything about fertility stuff, so just call your doctor Monday morning."
When we walked in the house to finally go to sleep, my husband's watch alarm went off. It had woken us up at 5 AM that morning to start our day, and he wryly announced it was ending our day as well.
Thanks to everyone who noted my offhanded Facebook status and checked on me. I am fine, apparently, even though I am still bleeding and don't know why or what this means.
This Michael Hirsh piece made me laugh out loud:
Is it possible history is repeating itself? As House Republicans defy President Obama over his stimulus package, the party seems to be reverting to form after decades of overreaching ambition and outsized growth; think of the GOP, perhaps, as the Citigroup of politics. Many Republicans seem resigned—even content—to go back to being the party of Barry Goldwater. In other words: We don't care if we're marginalized. In our hearts we know we're right. Never mind that the party suffered terrible defeats in 2008 and 2006, some thoughtful Republicans (mainly on the Senate side, like Lindsay Graham, as well as intellectuals such as David Frum) have been fretting for some time that the GOP base is getting too narrow. These days, you hear little talk of Karl Rove's bigger tent or reinventing conservatism. Quite the opposite: it seems as though the party has decided to go back to basics. The message they're sending: "We don't care if Obama won or that he's popular; let's just wait until the country sees the truth again, as old Barry did. Until then, we'll be happy to be the righteous minority again, proudly willing to go down in flames for our beliefs: government spending never works, and tax cuts always do. Keynesian stimulus is for liberal witch doctors."
I laughed because it just shows such a gross misunderstanding of what it means to be a conservative or Republican, while stating the obvious as if it were some kind of joke. He writes about my entire worldview as if it's something to mock. As if Republicans are the only ones who stick to their guns in the face of opposition. Didn't Democrats do that for the last eight years and get lauded for it? And now we're the ones who won't roll over and die because a Dem got 52% of the vote?
We're not "resigned" to going back to being the Goldwater party; that's where we want to be! And yes, we are willing to "go down in flames for our beliefs," because we do what we think is right, not what is popular.
Actually, I don't think "right" and "popular" are mutually exclusive, but I can't really test that theory because Republicans keep trying to out-Democrat Democrats by granting them too many premises.
The article continues in laughable fashion:
True, Wednesday's unanimous GOP vote against the $819 billion stimulus package was partly driven by the peculiar politics of the Hill. Some House Republicans wanted to send a "message" to Obama, and they may come around and vote for the final bill after the Senate approves its version. But for many Republicans the vote reaffirmed the old philosophical divide. Never mind that Obama reached out, lunched with GOP leaders on the Hill, and pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drop family planning and National Mall renovation. Not a single House Republican could bring himself or herself to vote with the president on a measure to prevent what could become the most serious recession since the 1930s.
Good heavens, how could the Republicans not side with Obama after he took them to lunch? Value systems and deeply held beliefs be damned; Obama invited us out to lunch! And to the SuperBowl! Let's forget everything we stand for and do whatever he says.
But reaching a new consensus would require a reassessment of basic premises, and it appears, at least for the moment, that there will be very little of that. The emerging Republican consensus suggests that Bush grew so unpopular because he strayed from, rather than stood behind, the old GOP verities by creating a vast national-security state and giant deficits. Hence the Republicans are flocking to a proposal by the House Republican Study Committee calling for no new government spending at all, and nothing but tax cuts instead.
Those bastard Republicans. If they'd just become Democrats, the world would live in peace and life would be flowers and sausages for everyone. But nooooo. They have to go and ruin it for everyone by having principles and values and other such nonsense that keeps us from consensus!
Read that first sentence again: "But reaching a new consensus would require a reassessment of basic premises, and it appears, at least for the moment, that there will be very little of that."
Translation: The last eight years, we held our ground. But now you Republicans, you need to reassess your premises. Because they're wrong.
For eight years, dissent was patriotic. Now it's a big travesty.
The laughable piece ends with this:
A little over a week after Obama's inauguration, "stale" political arguments again rule the day. So much for the post-partisan era.
Obama tried to move beyond politics and make everyone on the planet live in harmony and agree. He's tried for a whole ten days! And you jerkwad Republicans won't put aside your differences and become Democrats. If you did, the world would be perfect. But you won't. Obama tried to be post-partisan, and you Republicans ruined it.
I mean, there are just too many things to fisk here. See something you'd like to pounce on? Feel free...
KDeRosa blogs about schoolwork that's not exactly brainwork:
The competition challenges middle school students to design a city of the future with a focus on water conservation, reuse, and renewable energy. The students use the game SimCity (Deluxe 4) to help them build their three-dimensional models to scale. They have a semester to dream up and then construct their miniature cities entirely out of recycled materials. Supposedly, this inspires them to consider engineering as a profession.
He belittles the project, saying:
This is not how engineer's turn an idea into reality. It doesn't seem to me that the students needed to know any actual engineering or any engineering constraints to construct their models. So, this is how a non-engineer turns ideas into reality. And, I'm not sure this exercise , in any way, generalizes to any real-world situation.
I suppose the kids did learn how to play SimCity. Videogames 101. That's what kids need -- more time playing videogames. I'm sure SimCity is a neat program, but it's not exactly a precursor to AutoCAD or other real-world construction/drafing programs.
And how does building a model out of recycled mterials generalize to building real stuff with recylced materials? Someone explain that to me.
Found via Amritas via Joanne Jacobs, where Joanne writes:
My husband, born to be an engineer, built a color TV set when he was in high school. It worked. His father, also an engineer, built model planes as a teenager. They flew.
My first husband, a math-physics guy, designed an atomic bomb in fifth grade for a school project. “It probably wouldn’t have worked,” he said. But he’d studied the science and the math. It wasn’t an art project.
My uncle built a working light show in his basement when he was a kid. He rigged up a Lite Brite to a Casio keyboard, so when he played certain notes, different lights lit up.
I wish I had developed more of an interest in these math and science projects when I was young.
To conclude with an awesome comment by hardlyb:
When I was in 3rd grade I made a sextant out of a protractor, a couple of pieces of wood, some string, nails, and thumbtacks. The trick, of course, was to calibrate it, and I can’t remember what I did, but when I tested it that night against the North Star, it was dead on. Anyway, I turned the thing in after doing a presentation to the class, and I got an A. Then Miss GrumpyFace, the teacher from the class next door, came in to judge our contest. She awarded first prize to a ‘diorama’ that had Native Americans and dinosaurs in it (the diorama was really a shoebox with plastic toys arranged in it), and she held up my entry as an example of something beneath contempt. She had absolutely no idea what it was, and hadn’t bothered to ask.
I didn’t really mind her reaction, because the realization that many of the teachers at my crappy rural East Texas public school were too ignorant and/or stupid to understand the work an 8-year-old was something that I, as an 8-year-old, found very interesting. It doesn’t appear that things have changed much, except now they give all the kids a shoebox and some plastic Native Americans and dinosaurs. So the teachers don’t ever have wonder “What the hell is that thing?”.
First, Obama was a hypocrite about bin Laden. Now he's a hypocrite about the environment.
We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra, and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we'll be fine. Don't worry about us. That's not leadership.
The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.
“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
While looking for the original quote, I realized Ed Morrisey has already blogged about this today, and rightly notes in Heat For Me But Not For Thee:
Many people in America, especially where I live, would like to heat their homes to a comfort level where sweaters and coats become unnecessary. However, Obama and the Democrats want to impose ruinous taxes and penalties on energy production and fuel that produces carbon dioxide — a naturally-occurring element — and make that choice economically unbearable for us.
I wish my house were warm enough to wear summer clothes, but I have to pay my own heating bill, so it's not. Shame on you again, President Obama.
And also, you're from Chicago, not Hawaii. You should be used to cold weather and wearing sweaters.
[Thanks to AirForceWife for angering up my blood this morning with this link.]
Last night my husband and I were talking about Rachel Lucas' post about the morons who are suing over that plane crash. And my husband goes, "That's not even the most ignorant thing I heard today. I read this somewhere, maybe on The Corner?, I can't remember, but apparently 49% of people think the government gets its money from a money tree."
And I just laughed and said that, yes, you read that...on mah blog.
My husband quoted me back to me. It was hilarious.
I case you were sitting on the edge of your chair in anticipation (snort), I did go ahead and resign from my job. I will not be staying on in a more generic capacity; I will finish out the remaining three weeks of this job and then say my goodbyes.
With karmic timing, more foam houses arrived this week, so I will be making Easter-themed castles. But I plan to smile while I do it, because I have gotten darned good at it. I am a quick-draw with that glue gun these days. It will be my last hurrah there at the store.
And as much as I hated that foam when I first started, I think I will miss it, in a small way.
Not enough to buy one though.
BigD sent me a link that was just genius. It was exactly what I was looking for when I wrote about the New Deal.
Now before we get into the specifics of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal, which was the name of his government program, I wanted to begin by announcing some of the results from a Fox News poll that was done over a year ago. The poll asked, "When the government spends money for programs, does it get the money from taxpayers, or does the government have an independent source of revenue?"
Let me start with the answer this way. Eleven percent weren't sure. They were undecided. Forty percent said government gets its money from taxpayers. Forty-nine percent said they have an independent source of revenue. So the answer to the poll was 49 percent said government has an independent source of revenue that it uses to spend money for programs; 40 percent said no, every time it spends a dollar on programs it has to get the dollar from taxpayers; and 11 percent were undecided.
Can you see why after this poll, when we have government programs that fail, it does not result in throwing those who perpetrated the program out of office? You have one group that gets a sizable vote-forty percent-that is mad about it. But there are others who say: "Hey, it's not my money. It's the government's money. At least they tried."
And it gets better from there...
A lady here in town kept insisting to me that Bush was going to invade Iran before the end of his presidency. For months, she insisted that the "bombing," as she called it, that she was hearing from on post was the most frequent since the Gulf War, which obviously meant that Bush had something up his sleeve.
I tried to gently contradict her along the way, saying that a surprise attack using infantrymen from here in town would not be something that Bush could hide from all of us. Airstrikes, perhaps, but not a Normandy Beach-style invasion. And that maybe the added noise coming from post was just training for regular old Iraq and Afghanistan missions. She insisted that Bush was cooking something up.
So when I saw her today for the first time since Inauguration Day, can I tell you how badly I wanted to rub this in her face? How I wanted to point out that for months she insisted that she had knowledge of some nefarious plot to invade Iran that plain old did. not. happen. And that maybe next time she oughtn't speak in such bold, declarative statements.
But I didn't, because I am a lady. But dadgum, I got tired of being polite while listening to her conspiracy theories.
I wrote at SpouseBUZZ about how we've been spending our block leave. One nice thing about just being at home is that we can be so lazy. We've been waking up and then spending about another hour or so talking and loafing in bed. It has been nice to be able to do that.
And we know it and keep talking about it in a meta-knowledge way.
I have been trying harder to live in the now, to live my real life and not the parallel one. We have been trying to find the good in not having a baby, and lazing around in bed until 9 AM is a definite start. We keep reminding each other that we can't do that anymore once we have kids, so we should enjoy it while we can. We are trying to be happier about not having a baby and focusing on the silver lining.
Another mental change I need to make is about my health. For two years, I have stressed out about what I was eating and drinking, in case it would have either a positive or negative effect on fertility. I have made myself sick with this cycle of guilt about having a glass of wine, etc. No more. I can't keep living this way, where I am freaked out that every little thing I do might injure this baby that doesn't even exist yet.
I also have put off diving into an exercise regime because you're not supposed to drastically change your exercise habits upon becoming pregnant. I never wanted to go to the gym because, what was the point?: If I got into a good habit of going to the gym for two weeks, I might get pregnant and quit going anyway. So I never had the motivation to start something that I imagined myself quitting. And two years later, I am just mad that I have been living my life in two-week intervals. So I'm going to start exercising, and we'll deal with baby if/when it happens.
We're hardening our hearts a little, mentally preparing ourselves for not having a baby, which is a hard thing to do when you also have appointments for fertility treatments. But I have hated the way we've been living for the past two years, so it's not like it can get any worse.
So we're enjoying doing whatever the heck we want with our time while our time is still ours.
Professor: Well, it looks like I'll need my heroic bureaucrat back. At severely reduced pay, of course
Fry: What about me? Can I come back at severely reduced pay?
Hermes: You got it, mon. In fact, severely reduced pay all around!
That Futurama quote has been running through my head all day.
So Obama becomes president, and I lose my job. Causation or correlation?
Seriously, I just found out today that my job has disappeared. I can stay on as a regular associate, at severely reduced pay, if I so choose. Try this on for size: do all the same work you've been doing, for a dollar less per hour.
I'm sure it's For The Greater Good.
Must decide by tomorrow.
My husband came in from the other room completely puzzled, because I was laughing so hard I was crying.
(If you haven't watched the celeb video, you kinda have to torture yourself for four minutes in order to get the Iowahawk joke.)
Apparently there's been a suggestion made that, now that we have a black president, our schools should stop teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird. The reasoning, as also blockquoted by Joanne Jacobs, is:
Those books are old, and we’re ready for new.
David Foster, who has made me think and smile for five years, reminded us of something he wrote back in 2003.
As C S Lewis said: If you want to destroy an infantry unit, you cut it off from its neighboring units. If you want to destroy a generation, you cut it off from previous generations. (Approximate quote.)
How better to conduct such destruction than to tell people that previous generations were ignorant and that we have nothing to learn from them?
I recommend reading his whole blog entry, as well as the Stuart Buck link he provides.
In the comments at Jacobs' blog, someone said that To Kill a Mockingbird gets less relevant the older you get. I 100% disagree. I read it first as a high schooler and then again when I was engaged. I wept through many passages, over the kind of man and father Atticus Finch is. I am certain that if I read it again now, now that we are trying to have children of our own, it would seem even more poignant.
Dangit, I'm gonna do that. I'm adding it to my George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge.
Two great quotes this week from Big Hollywood.
I despair that Americans, concerned with the economy above all issues, chose socialist solutions to address their fiscal concerns.
To conserve implies that something important is being lost that is worth holding on to. It’s also why we aren’t terribly interested in future utopias, new forms we can evolve into, we don’t dream a lot because there can be no hope for the future if the true things of the past are rejected or forgotten. So something must be conserved for there to be conservatism.
What we seek to conserve are not buildings, environments or kingdoms, but the true things the great men of old discovered. Notice, I didn’t say these things were invented, because our values weren’t invented, they were discovered, revealed and learned.
Whether Obama is President or McCain had won, no matter; it is still the US, and as a Jacksonian I pretty much pull for America--all the time. I am not a Socratic citizen of the world--given the thugs that rule most of Africa, the creepy places such as Iran or Russia or North Korea, the land of the Lotus-eaters in Europe, or the tribal dictatorships I've seen in the Middle East
His main point is annoyance at how, all of a sudden, a bunch of people are now proud to be Americans again. Like those ridiculous celebrities who pledge to say hi to their neighbors now that Obama is president. Over and over I've seen people on Facebook and in articles say that they can finally stop pretending to be Canadian and be happy to be Americans again. What a douchey thing to say.
I am disappointed that Barack Obama is our president. But the United States is still a way better place to live than anywhere else on the planet. I'm still proud to live here, even though I think Pres. Obama is going to take us further in a direction I don't like and don't want to live in.
I know Europeans who are ashamed of their countries. I know more of them who just simply don't care, who don't know their own anthems, don't wear their own flags, and don't have a single ounce of national pride. I pity them. I wish they knew what it was like to feel what I feel, to be so happy to be a citizen of the greatest country ever conceived.
And for the record, I have never pretended to be Canadian...
President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.
Who said anything about getting along? Despite all the talk of bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle, most people I know have core values that they don't compromise on. Rush Limbaugh's program is about those core values.
Deltasierra says it best:
People are allowed to be unhappy with Obama's election, and they're allowed to be critical of him and of the government.
I will be critical of the government till the day I die. It's the only way to stay free in a free nation. That's Limbaugh's job, and that of those who share his beliefs. Don't disparage him his freedom to speak what he believes.
Just FYI: He has repeatedly said, especially in the last few days, that he doesn't want Obama to be a failed president. He wants his socialist policies to fail.
I agree with him. I don't want government health care. I don't want my tax dollars to pay for other people's useless lives – and I don't want anybody else's tax dollars to fund my life! I don't want to try to be friends with terrorists and I don't want them in our jails, or set free to terrorize some more. I don't like Obama's policies. I have never made a secret of this, and neither has Rush Limbaugh or any other conservative talk show host I respect.
It makes me crazy that now that Obama has taken office, I am expected to put all my objections aside and adore this new president. I'm supposed to think of him as a blank slate – as if all his campaign promises just vaporized after he took the oath of office.
Sorry. No can do. I don't have warm, fuzzy feelings – I'm filled with a passion to keep our country free from the things Obama has promised he will try to do.
I too want to keep our country free from Obama's promises. Rush spreads that same message to 13 million people. That's a lot better than my 300...
I am neither an economist nor a historian, but this article at Newsweek made my eyebrows raise:
The New New Deal: The WPA fixed the economy by creating unusual careers. Should that be the plan for today's unemployed Americans?
I actually was under the impression that WWII fixed the economy, but perhaps it was the fact that
In our nation's capital, more than 100 men were paid to scare off pigeons. In Brooklyn, men and women worked as fire hydrant decorators. And in Boston, the government sponsored a project to make fish chowder. Indian tribes were paid to create new totem poles and other artifacts. "Rhythmic dancing"—whatever that means—was also sponsored, as was craft-making, or what the Boy Scouts might have called "boondoggling." In fact, the term "boondoggle," meaning any job or activity that is wasteful or trivial, was inspired by just these sorts of WPA projects. The best example from the FDR years? Government-funded research on the production and efficiency of safety pins.
The link to this article is "Will a New WPA Create Boondoggle Jobs?" It sounds like the answer is yes. That previous paragraph is in defense of the WPA, for heaven's sake.
"As we know from watching Congress debate the recovery plan, lawmakers have a great ability to let [random projects] slide through," says Nick Taylor, the author of "American Made," a history of the WPA. "But you would hope that these new jobs would at least be interesting."
"Interesting." Not, you know, effective or necessary.
"Most of this work is not rocket science," Eisenbrey adds, mentioning the nearly 800,000 skilled construction workers currently unemployed. What will these men and women build? Unlike 70 years ago, we should expect largely incremental improvements to existing structures rather than new projects built completely from scratch.
"Since so many of these new plans involve laying pipes in the ground, retrofitting buildings or improving public transportation," says Peter King of the American Public Works Association, "we're not going to be able look at different places and say, 'This project came from this investment.'"
Ah, I see. So we won't really know what our money is actually being spent on, and we won't be able to point to any improvements and say that they were a direct result of this new WPA. But we definitely need to do this to "fix the economy." Just trust us.
And this is my favorite part, the bold being mine.
So while we may not end this economic downturn with a slew of new parks and pools, we could end up with other unexpected benefits: for example, completely public wireless Internet access; a shorter commute on newly decongested highways; or, for those who live in cities, subway cars that aren't so crowded.
In an article about how the original WPA fixed the economy, the journalist says that we "may not end this economic downturn" with any of these projects, but at least we'll all get some free stuff out of it. And by "free," I mean "at a huge waste of taxpayer money for make-work nonsense."
Oh, this part is good too:
Alas, financing the arts isn't a priority in the new recovery plan, so bohemian types might want to consider teaching, fire-fighting or policing, all public sector jobs that will get a boost along with the infrastructure investment. Not interested? The WPA was often criticized (and occasionally challenged in court) for not providing the sort of employment that Americans were seeking.
"Alas"? I say more like thank heavens.
"Not providing the sort of employment Americans were seeking." If that doesn't make you guffaw, I don't know what does. So supply had nothing to do with demand. The Obama administration will invent a bunch of green jobs, and if a green job isn't what you want, tough toenails for you. We create jobs that we think are for The Greater Good, demand be damned.
Only in retrospect, and with the sheen of Walker Evans' photography, has the WPA gained glory.
Snort. If the glory of your program is only to be found in photos of people doing jobs that didn't need to be done, your program is hogwash.
The last line of the article:
Now get to work, Congress, so we all can work, too.
First of all, is this an article or an editorial? Secondly, gag. Pass this into law, Congress, so we can start wasting a bunch of taxpayer money to make everything eco-friendly.
Incidentally, via Greg Mankiw, the effects will not be felt for quite some time:
It will take years before an infrastructure spending program proposed by President-elect Barack Obama will boost the economy, according to congressional economists.
The economy has been in recession for more than a year, but many economists believe a recovery may begin by the end of 2009. That would mean that most of the infrastructure money wouldn't hit the economy until it's already on the mend.
The economy will recover on its own, like the Great Depression economy eventually did, and everyone will heap praise on Obama because his make-work silliness just happened to coincide with the rebound.
It's only day three of this administration? I'm going to have a heart attack.
In knitting news, I have been shirking my vow to knit two rows per day on the aran. I am still working on the second sock. I have been commissioned to make a baby sweater for a friend. I am making a child's chemo cap, which is horribly depressing.
But I want to push everything aside and start on this immediately.
I am in love with that sweater.
Meet the new boss,
same as the old boss.
I may actually have to start watching The Daily Show again...
4. Words, words, words
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, though starkly different men, both viewed the presidency as pre-eminently a decision-making job. Clinton often waved away speech drafts bloated with lofty language by saying: “Words, words, words.”
Obama seems to have a different view of the presidency. He thinks that the right decisions can be reached by putting reasonable and enlightened people together and reaching a consensus. He believes his job as president is to educate and inspire, largely matters of style.
He knows he is good with words. He knows he has great style. So that’s why he projects exceptional confidence in his ability to do the job.
We don’t know yet how justified Obama is in his self-confidence — or how naive.
But he is almost certain to face many tests, probably imminently, in which the test will be Obama’s ability to act quickly and shrewdly — and not merely describe his actions smoothly or impress people with nuance. And an unlike a governor — who must decide what’s in a budget and what gets cut, or whether a person to be executed at midnight should be spared — Obama has not made many decisions for which the consequences affect more than himself.
Apparently Ace had haikus yesterday. My favorites:
Trust in Obama
All your worries gone forever
Bush goes to jail now
unicorns for all!
I want one with wings on it!
pay up, you assholes.
My mortgage is due the first
Just an FYI
Via Amritas, it's Lawrence Auster on yesterday's events, which I did not watch myself:
Today, as reported at the Corner, Brokaw "compared the spirit of this inauguration to the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. " In other words, replacing George W. Bush as president after a regularly scheduled presidential election is the moral equivalent of freeing your country from Communist tyranny.
Jonah Goldberg rightfully titled that post "Oh Come On!"
And another thoughtful comment by Auster:
How would an intellectually consistent race-blind conservative, i.e., a right-liberal, react to the election of the first nonwhite as president? Answer: he wouldn't make a huge deal of it. He would say, "Starting in the 1960s America ceased to place arbitrary obstacles in the way of people because of race, and the election of Obama proves what has been the case in this country for a long time." And that would be it. Going further than that, going into the ecstatic celebration of Obama's presidency, becomes a celebration of Obama BECAUSE he is nonwhite, which contradicts the right-liberal belief that race doesn't matter.
Amen to that. To quote Lileks, "I never thought America wouldn’t elect a Black president." I don't give a rip what the man looks like; I only care what he does.
And he sure hasn't overthrown a regime, Brokaw. You punk.
It's been two years since we started trying to have a baby.
No two journeys are exactly the same, but I have been fortunate to know several different ladies who each understand one piece of the crazy pie.
A girl I know here in town, she understands the obsession. She was a charter and a planner. Though it only took her a few months to get pregnant, she remembers vividly the obsession with the science aspect. Like me, she never stopped picking up her charts and comparing month to month. She knows the agony of knowledge and the grief of searching for some medical indicator of why things don't seem to be working.
Another person from my Real Life understands the bitterness. She is mad, mad that she grew up, finished school, got married, got a good job, planned and saved, and now is stuck frozen in time, just like I am. She also hates her high school health teacher for saying that Man + Woman = Baby, because for some of us, it just simply doesn't. She is the only person I know who is as bitter about her lot in life as I am.
I am eternally grateful to know Darla, who like me counts the chickens far before they're hatched. Every month I too check the due date calendars online and plan for a baby nine months later. She and I remain hopeful to a fault, because the overwhelming evidence in our faces should make us slit our wrists rather than start picking out names. But we do it anyway, torturing ourselves with hope. I am glad to know Darla can still do that after seven years, because I have felt crazy for doing it for two.
And on the flip side, my best friend from high school understands the despair. She understands those days when you wallow and feel like it will never happen. Because although she eventually went on to have children, she never fully recovered from the emotional damage the journey took on her. She never gives me any platitudes, never tries to cheer me up, never tells me that things will work out. She keenly remembers the despair, and she too is a bruised orange.
And this Army Wife, whom I recently discovered because of The Worst Possible Thing, understands feeling like a biological failure. When the majority of people on this planet can and do reproduce, and you slowly realize that you can't, it is a severe blow. I feel like we have lesser genes, that we are faulty, that we are not the fittest and thus shouldn't survive. I've never heard anyone else even mention how not getting pregnant or miscarrying feels like a personal biological failure. Reading that on her blog made me finally feel normal about that one piece of the crazy pie.
These women help me realize I am not alone and I am not insane. I am so grateful to each of them for what they have taught me along the way.
We woke up to our first real snow in three years.
Charlie loves it, just like he did as a puppy.
We're getting smiles where we can today.
Also, people in the South can NOT drive in snow. I was laughing with my husband that I took my driving test at 16 in more snow than we have today.
Because two hours later, it's finally funny again...
and because you have to laugh at yourself.
If you thought Worldwide Obama Day couldn't get any worse...let's throw in a big fat negative pregnancy test for good measure.
I am not feeling the hope and change.
Maddeningly, I remain the eternal optimist, even when there is absolutely no logical reason to be. Despite the fact that I have taken 16 negative pregnancy tests and only two positive ones, every month I still hold out that hope. I start to plan and dream and get excited...based on an 11% success rate. How stupid am I?
I'm trying to take these lyrics to heart. I have been trying for two years to not become my own prisoner. I really have. But every month I'm not pregnant stains my heart. It is a battle, the challenge of my life, to imagine that I will ever get past this.
And I carry those bruises to remind me wherever I go.
You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
throw your hands in the air, say "What does it matter?"
but it don't do no good to get angry,
so help me, I know.
For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow.
I liked Hudnall's farewell to George Bush.
I knew I was setting myself up to be irritated when I clicked on the MSN link called Are We A New Nation Now? But I didn't really think it was worth blogging about until I got to the end.
And 2009 is only the beginning of the story. According to Pew, if current trends continue, the U.S. population will rise from 296 million in 2005 to 438 million in 2050. Eighty-two percent—let me repeat that: 82 percent—of the increase will be attributable to immigrants arriving after 2005 and to their descendants. By that point, whites may make up only 47 percent of the country, ending centuries of a majority-white America.
Will the journey be smooth? That is doubtful. Politics can quickly turn mean. In hard economic times there is often a search for an "other" on which to blame the problems of life. In the wake of a possible terrorist attack, fear could easily lead to tension, resentment and discord. The good news about America, though, is that for all of our nativist fevers and periodic witch hunts, we tend, often after having exhausted every other option, to do what is right.
"Do what is right." You know, vote Democrat.
I know it's not the first time it's been proposed, but I absolutely stand firm against any effort to repeal the 22nd Amendment. And I would've stood firm in 1987 as well when it was proposed during the Reagan presidency. Twice is enough for anyone, even my guy.
MORE TO GROK:
Seems I agree wholeheartedly with what William F. Buckley, Jr. (pbuh) said back in 1988:
Two terms is enough for a President. And if we are going to change the Constitution let's have a three-term limit for senators, and a five-term limit for congressmen.
Now there's an amendment idea.
You speak with a forked tongue and I will have a hard time typing this letter without resorting to swear words.
We no longer need to kill Bin Laden, claims Barack Obama
All throughout the campaign, you went on and on about how the Republican administration had failed the American people for letting Bin Laden out of their sights. You claimed Iraq was a distraction from the real goal, which was getting Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
In a presidential debate in October, he said: 'We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority.'
And now that you've won, before you're even sworn in, you decide that an extremely difficult task, one that George Bush has worked on for seven years and one that you claimed was the most pressing security issue for our country, now all of a sudden it's no big deal since you're at the helm.
You, sir, are a pandering, no-good son of a bitch.
Oops. I swore.
Sock knitters will notice that the colorways on the two socks match up exactly, which gives me so much joy.
I knew that President Bush was an avid reader, but Amritas sent me a link last night to an article Karl Rove wrote about their reading contests.
I'm gonna try to break Bush's 2008 record.
I had already decided to keep a log of what I read this year, prompted by k2sc1's post and also John Hawkins, who reads voraciously. But now I have a goal to work towards and some healthy competition.
You're dead meat, Bush.
Also, you read The Stranger, Mr. President, which is totally slim. I am going to re-read Animal Farm like all those hoopleheads in high school who picked it because, like, it's only 128 pages long.
And that totally counts.
I can't believe my husband has almost been home for a month.
I also can't believe that he will deploy again in about 25 weeks, and he came home with a training schedule last night showing that he will be gone for nine of those weeks. So much for dwell time. We now have this ridiculous calendar which is an overlay of his training and my fertility.
Also, I've been chuckling that my husband's branch is supposed to alternate between a combat deployment and a non-combat one. His combat one was Iraq; his upcoming non-combat one is being attached to the Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. Cuz that makes total sense.
But now we can't stop saying it in that voice. You know the one I mean.
This is Lindsey Graham, speaking about/to Obama:
This president's popularity and the respect that he has earned throughout the world gives America a chance to re-engage not only in the region, but in a way that will in the long term make this job easier, take some pressure off our troops. And that's a compliment to you and the way you have campaigned.
I'm sorry, but what the frick has Obama done to earn respect throughout the world? He hasn't earned squat; he was just automatically given it by nature of being a Democrat and the kind of douchebag who blathers on and on about transnational progressivism. He hasn't earned a damn thing because he's been on the political scene for about five minutes.
Holy hell, I find that annoying. It's one thing to be polite to the office of the presidency; it's a whole nother thing to fawn all over the opposition as if they're so much better than we are.
Could life get any more annoying right now? First annoyance: We noticed that we weren't getting any mail delivered. Not even a piece of junk mail for over a week. I called yesterday, and someone had gone online and put a hold on our mail for a month. Thanks a heap. Then this morning, Ticketmaster calls and says that someone fraudulently charged NY Knicks tickets to our credit card. Fantastic. Maybe tomorrow someone could slash my tires.
So apparently a school in Colorado decided that kids who hadn't paid for past school lunches couldn't get new school lunches. If you are in the red, you get PB&J.
Fantastic idea. Only I'd give them nothing, not even the sandwich. Sandwich fixins cost money too.
And look at the result:
In the first week of a new school lunch program preventing students from charging on overdue accounts, the amount of meal fees owed to the Steamboat Springs School District decreased from $10,000 to $2,800.
We saw this on the news the other night. They were interviewing parents who were mad about the policy. Poor widdle kiddies will starve. My instinct was to quote Kid Rock's "waahburger and some french cries" line.
Not all students are happy with how they were treated after the policy took effect.
Riley Toye, a fourth-grader at Soda Creek Elementary School, organized a petition of 29 classmates protesting how students were treated when they were refused food the first day.
Riley’s letter, dated Jan. 7 and published on page 8 of today’s newspaper, states that she doesn’t think it is right that students were refused hot lunches. Riley said she has been bringing in bagged lunches for students whose accounts are overdrawn.
Fine. If you want to spread your wealth around and make lunches for the deadbeat families in your school, by all means go ahead. Oh wait, that's your parents' money buying those groceries, but whatever; Dad is on board anyway. But the school shouldn't have to keep passing out food for free to people who have no intention of paying.
Parents don't pay for past lunches and then get mad when the school stops serving their kids? Lame. Nice sense of responsibility. Oh, but it's The Precious Children™; we can't let them go hungry. Baloney. If they're hungry, maybe they'll nag their parents to pay their freaking bills. Or at least the parents might feel guilty enough to pay so their kid gets some food. Because obviously they don't feel guilty enough already just owing $100 in back lunch fees.
Other families didn't realize that their kids don't know that things cost money. This mom is awesome.
Farrell said one student’s mother would pack lunches for him to bring to school, but when faced with the options presented in the cafeteria, he often would choose to charge a meal instead. His mother did not know the account was being overdrawn until Farrell began mailing overdue notices to the family.
The student now has $57 in overdue charges, and Farrell said the mom has figured out a way to teach the student a lesson in the process of paying off the amount.
“Now I’m waiting for this little guy to do enough chores to make it up,” she said.
When I was a kid, it would've taken me forever to make up $57 worth of chores, as I received one dollar per week allowance right up until the point that I got my first job. At twelve. Making one dollar per hour.
Side rant: I am turning into one of those cranky old people who say "Back in my day..." all the time. But I watched my neighbor pay her babysitter $30 for three hours of babysitting the other day and nearly fainted. Since when did babysitting outpace real jobs? When I babysat, I made $1 per hour, then $2 later on, until I turned 16 and got my first job for minimum wage: $3.85/hr. But now, minimum wage is $6.35 and babysitters make ten bucks? Really? I mean, this high school girl makes a third more money than I do! I need to quit my job and start babysitting my neighbor's kids. The problem is that when I do it, she expects me do it for free. /Side rant.
And apparently this problem is not just at the one Colorado school; a google search for the article found another school in Washington has the same problem:
Three months after the Edmonds School District changed the way it deals with hungry kids who come to school without lunch money, parents have paid back an estimated $25,000 to $27,000 in owed lunch money.
Am I the only person who never would've dreamed of going through the lunchline without money? Back in my day (heh) there was no charging your lunch to an account; it was a cash-only operation. No cash, and you bummed food from friends. I never would've expected the school to give me a lunch on credit. I never even would've thought to ask.
In an attempt to make parents pay, the district stopped allowing kids to charge food in September. If students owed money and went through the lunch line, cafeteria workers were instructed to throw away their food and give them a cold cheese sandwich instead.
Well, that's pretty wasteful -- if you're gonna throw away the food, you're not really saving the school district any money -- but the visual is awesome.
Maybe if these kids went hungry, their parents would learn a little responsibility. And maybe the lesson would also stick with the kids so that, when they grow up and have their own kids, they teach them that there's no such thing as a free lunch.
I say let the kids starve. But I'm a jerk like that.
I have been a fan of the singer Jude for about ten years now. I love his music, and when I went to his concert in Champaign, IL, it was the best concert I've ever attended. (And also the last, because I'm old.) I got to meet him after that concert, when he stood around and shook everyone's hand and signed autographs.
And now he's on Big Hollywood revealing that he's a conservative.
Be still my heart.
I'm gonna go order his two most recent albums. I balked at buying an album named Cuba because I was afraid of it being a communist paean, but now I don't think I have anything to worry about.
And if you've never heard Jude's music before, this is the song to start with.
Thanks to Amritas for finding this post...and being the kind of friend who knows that I like Jude.
I can't really say most of the things my husband learned on his last deployment. Actually, I don't even know the half of it, as I don't have the clearance. I do know that my husband sat at a computer for 12 hours a day for 7 months and read every report that came down the wire. His knowledge will fade with time, but a month ago, I'd venture to say that he knew more about Iraq than anyone but a handful of other people in this world. He knew everything, secret and otherwise. He can name mayors and provinces and minutiae that will make you laugh because it sounds like blabbity-blah. He is a genius and I adore the man.
Whenever a civilian asks what my husband does, our standard joke is that it's "the Peace Corps with guns." But that's too simplistic, and I might stop describing his job that way. His job is not the Peace Corps; his job is to be a force multiplier for the military. I think that's an interesting distinction.
We had a neat talk the other day about someone not grokking his career field. There are people even within Civil Affairs who think that their tasks are the end-goal. There are people who think that how many goats they vaccinated and how many school supplies they dropped off are their accomplishments. My husband, however, always takes a long-term, big-picture view of the world. The goal is not vaccinated goats but whether helping that goatherd made Special Forces' job easier and thus helped advance the cause of defeating our enemies. The healthy goats are the means, not the end.
It's a fascinating way to look at his job, and sadly it takes a confident person to accept that role. Civil Affairs as a branch doesn't want to see itself as just a tool for Special Forces. Some in the branch look askance at my husband when his briefings show the Civil Affairs work as Phase 2 and what SF built out of their work as Phase 3. They want to feel like their role is important. It certainly is, but only if it helps get us closer to the bad guy.
Happy, healthy goats in Afghanistan shouldn't be our goal; winning should.
Hey FbL, I'm starving. No really, I am; is it dinnertime yet? But I'm making chicken with prosciutto and Asiago, so I don't really think we're what the Obama people had in mind. And I don't even like arugula anyway, so they can keep their handouts.
(Seriously, you have to click to hear about the phone call FbL got.)
'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
No excerpt needed.
Today is the first day in a long time that my husband has gone to work and I've stayed home. When he's here, I stick to him like glue. And there have even been a couple of days where I worked while he was at home. Hence the lack of blogging; who wants to sit at the computer when the coolest person on the planet is in her living room?
Yesterday at work, I witnessed another example of what Rachel Lucas would label as Idiocracy Watch. Three women were trying to figure out the price of an item that was $5 and 70% off. They never even came close to guessing, just urging each other to figure it out. One of them eventually took her cell phone out and said, "Five...times...seven...zero...aw man, there's no percent function." So she deleted the math and started over, ending up in the same conundrum. It was what plants crave, seriously. Percent function? Dang. Finally, they turned to me and asked me what the price would be. I said that half of $5 is $2.50 and half of that again is $1.25, so it'd be somewhere around $1.40. They looked at me like I had explained relativistic physics.
I know I bragged about knitting math, but really, I'm not that good at math. I can do arithmetic and algebra. And usually I prefer scratch paper. I would've struggled for a few moments to figure out 38% of a number. But 70% of a nice round number like five? Yeesh. And I was even WRONG by ten cents, so shame on me a little. But that was off the top of my head in about 15 seconds, so close enough. Closer than they got, which was "I was told there would be no math in shopping."
My husband and I have been torturing ourselves with alternate reality a little lately. Our due date is coming up this week, which just underscores how perfectly timed that baby was. I got pregnant right before he deployed, and he would've returned with a little over a month before I gave birth. And the birth would've happened right during block leave. It saddens us to think how perfectly that would've worked out.
Another wife in the unit got pregnant right at the same time I did. She is due any day now. I also hate that I keep getting hit with these Comparison Babies. Sometimes I look at CaliValleyBaby and think that my own first baby would be teething and scooting around these days too. And now I will have to look at this new baby in our unit and be reminded of the progress that our second baby isn't here to make.
Some days I am hopeful that this will work for us. Other days I think that, with our track record, we have little chance for success with only five times to try before the husband deploys again.
My New Year's resolution ought to have been to stop being Dante Hicks.
I hope Bono starting to write for the New York Times garners as much outrage as Joe the Plumber corresponding from Israel does...
OK, so here's where knitting and government meet:
The new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act – passed hastily to bar poisonous foreign products – also will require millions of American homecrafters to have each of their products tested at huge cost, ranging from $500 to $4000 per product – including their old stock which was manufactured before this law had even been thought up.
So government tried to do a good thing by banning lead toys from China and those beads that turned into the date-rape drug. But they derp-ed it up and forgot to exclude those of us who make baby things from home.
We in the group I belong to are unsure how this affects us. We do not receive monetary donations and we do not sell our items. But we better not be legally barred from making our preemie donations to the local hospitals because of some stupidly worded law. And I don't want people selling on Etsy or Ebay to be affected either.
Kuhr says all the homecrafters of the US 'will become criminals from February 10 if they continue to sell their homemade stock without the required certificate of compliance to prove that it had been tested for dangerous contents such as lead'.
From now on, while I'm knitting my preemie caps, I will be saying in a Beavis voice, "Breakin' the law, breakin' the law."
But seriously folks, we're running out of time before the law takes effect. I plan to make a complaint, and if you are a crafter, I would urge you to do the same.
Formal complaints against this act must be lodged before January 20 2009 Comments must be labeled: Section 102 Mandatory Third-Party Testing of Component Parts'. Lodge complaints to email Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov
I'm getting better at the aran pattern; at this point, I am even able to listen to music and sing along whilst knitting. No TV though. But tomorrow night is the Fedex Bowl, and I think I can aran during football.
Don't worry; 2009 won't only be knitblogging.
AirForceWife sent me a link to a heck of a rant...
I’m pissed off by how soft many in our nation have become. How whimpy the tone, how spineless the resolve. What happened to that brutally real notion that people should be held responsible for his or her actions? Nowadays, it always seems to be someone else’s fault, whatever it is. Got a life of poverty, it’s rich folks doing it to you.
Alcohol addiction, substance abuse, your mother never said she loves you. Having trouble finding work, it’s the white, black, purple guys keeping you down. Your car company is going under, it’s the unfair business practices abroad and an economic downturn. Hey, nimrods – newsflash. LIFE IS HARD. The End. Get used to it, suck it up, get some spine, invent some if you have none, and GET ON WITH IT!!!!
Yes, I've been MIA. And this time it's not one of those nothing-to-say reasons for not blogging. I have just been busy with work and haven't been on the internet. I haven't even read another blog all week.
No time for love, Dr. Jones.
(You should count that as two quotes.)
Oda Mae sent me a link and I have spent wahhhhhy too much time on this today, but I love reading everyone's favorite movie quotes.
Around our house, we have some tried and true quotes. I like when I am explaining something complicated to my husband and he brushes me off with Jack Burton's "I know, there's a problem with your face." When the dog does something cute, we fake cry and say, "Ah luve him so much." When someone says something illogical, we always say that electrolytes are what plants crave. Yesterday I was so mad at someone that this came out of my mouth: "I hated her, so much... it-it- the f - it -flam - flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathl- heaving breaths. Heaving breath..." Ha. I could go on and on.
But lately the thing that has cracked me up the most is when my husband makes our life part of FAIL blog. The other day we were in a loud place and he was telling me about an upcoming movie, and I misunderstood the first sentence he said so none of the rest of the plot made any sense. The whole thing got so muddled, and finally my husband just goes, "Conversation FAIL" and I cracked up.
I love quoting things, per se.
I've long wanted to do a post on knitting math.
There's lots of algebra and basic math in knitting. Knitting is mostly just ratios: you do a swatch to find out how many stitches to the inch and then find the equivalent fraction for however many inches your knittery should be. I love scribbling out my little solve-for-x problems.
There are also times when the Pythagorean Theorem comes in handy. Like when you're making something on the bias and you want to make sure that you're knitting a true square. You are making a triangle and you can solve for the hypotenuse to make sure your real hypotenuse is hitting the target.
That stuff pumps me up on dorkosterone.
When I taught knitting classes, I taught a handful of homeschool kids. I always made sure to tell their mothers that knitting can be used for math word problems. I am sure the kids were thrilled that I made knitting into schoolwork.
I am always the first to pipe up with my knitting algebra whenever people repeat the dumb "wisdom" that once we get out of school we never have to use that math stuff again.
So when AWTM told me that Chuck Z wondered if I could make him gloves, it was just a matter of doing a little glorious math.
The backstory on Chuck is that an IED took part of his left hand. He lives in cold climes and can no longer wear store-bought gloves. What he needed was custom-made ones to fit his injured left hand.
Obviously, the right glove was just a regular old man's glove. The left glove took some math to adjust the circumference of the wrist and hand, to accommodate Chuck's bigger left wrist but smaller left hand. Chuck's wife took extremely detailed measurements and I scribbled out some ratios and knitting math.
And Bob's your uncle.
I am not entirely happy with the fingertips. The pattern called for cinching them, but once they were done, I wish I had tried to kitchener them instead.
But I did infuse them with manly awesomeness: I knitted them while watching classics like The Terminator, We Were Soldiers, and Death Wish.
Chuck says they "fit like a glove", heh.
I am completely chuffed that my knitting helped support the troops. I mean, this is something that only a knitter could do. Chuck needed me, and I was so excited to oblige.
Plus there was math.
Was logging off to go to bed and saw an article that got my blood all angered up.
Motorists are driving less and buying less gasoline, which means fuel taxes aren't raising enough money to keep pace with the cost of road, bridge and transit programs.
That has the federal commission that oversees financing for transportation talking about increasing the federal fuel tax.
STOP TAXING US! Don't you take enough already? For the love of all that is holy, find the money to fix roads in the huge sum of taxes you already take from us.
The National Commission on Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing, a 15-member panel created by Congress, is the second group in a year to call for increasing the current 18.4 cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline and the 24.4 cents a gallon tax on diesel. State fuel taxes vary from state to state.
In a report expected in late January, members of the infrastructure financing commission say they will urge Congress to raise the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon and the diesel tax by 12 cents to 15 cents a gallon. At the same time, the commission will recommend tying the fuel tax rates to inflation.
So the government takes 18¢ per gallon and wants to take 28¢. From TaxFoundation.org, "Today, U.S. consumers pay an average of 45.9 cents per gallon in gasoline taxes. The federal gasoline excise tax is 18.4 cents per gallon while the average state and local tax is 27.5 cents." The oil companies only make something like 10¢ profit on each gallon. And boy, do people like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi like to go on and on about the obscene profits Big Oil makes.
The dilemma for Congress is that highway and transit programs are dependent for revenue on fuel taxes that are not sustainable. Many Americans are driving less and switching to more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and a shift to new fuels and technologies like plug-in hybrid electric cars will further erode gasoline sales.
According to a draft of the financing commission's recommendations, the nation needs to move to a new system that taxes motorists according to how much they use roads.
So we're driving less and saving Mother Earth, but now that's bad because we're not paying enough in taxes. Hey, maybe they can do this thing Neal Boortz wrote about: In 2006, Oregon was considering outfitting all cars with GPS and monitoring how many miles you drive, then taxing you per mile. Hooray for Big Brother.
Charles Whittington, chairman of the American Trucking Associations, which supports a fuel tax increase as long as the money goes to highway projects, said Congress may decide to disguise a fuel tax hike as a surcharge to combat climate change.
"Instead of calling it a gas tax, call it a carbon tax," Whittington said.
Oh no, you did not just say that out loud. You're going to use PC buzzword bullcrap to hide a new tax, making people feel good because they're paying some imaginary carbon offset nonsense.
Stop taking our freaking money!
The ridiculous part of all of this is that roads is the one thing I think government should do. Sadly, instead they've wasted all our money on bailouts and wool research and rum rebates to Puerto Rico.
Makes me want to go drink a Sam Adams and throw some tea in a harbor.
Mark Steyn was sitting in for Rush Limbaugh today, so I made sure to tune in. I turned on the radio as soon as I was leaving work and was lucky enough to catch Steyn talking about something that irks me. He was talking with a caller about media bias and was saying that it only appears like bias to rightwingers because nowadays the left-wing position is actually considered the default. He used global warming as an example: the idea that global warming exists and is man-made is treated as the non-partisan, default position in American society.
I was just emailing about something like the the other day with a friend. I had pointed out CVG's post on Civil Discourse to make a point, and my friend countered by saying that CVG granted premises that he doesn't even grant, such as that the federal government should even be collecting income taxes in the first place. Thus, he said, she set herself up for failure in that argument because right off the bat she granted the Democrats most of their premises.
Income tax collection is what Mark Steyn would call one of those non-partisan positions. Not all of us believe the government should collect income tax, which gets us the label of right-wing wackos since that premise is nearly always granted.
The frustration I face vis-a-vis my worldview is that I reject so many of these so-called non-partisan positions. I don't grant the premises that everyone should have affordable health care, that global warming is a high priority, that college should be made more affordable, that guns should be more strictly controlled, that affirmative action helps minorities, etc. So in normal discussions with Democrats, I am always operating from a disadvantage, because "conventional wisdom" or "normal people" usually grant these premises. I'm always frustrated because I don't accept the underlying foundation of their arguments, which makes it hard to have a discussion because to them, this is the normal default position. To a Democrat, there's nothing left-wing about wanting to fight global warming; it's just an unremarkable given.
I believe that the Republican Party will never be a success if it keeps granting Democrat premises. It can't keep trying to find right-wing solutions to things that many right-wingers don't accept as the default. McCain let Obama frame the debates, which was infuriating to those of us watching at home and wishing he'd stop conceding that all of this stuff like health care and bailouts was even necessary in the first place. He was arguing details when he should've been arguing premises. Nobody I know wanted to vote for Democrat Lite, but that's what we were getting served.
True conservative/libertarian ideas can win if people would challenge the Democrat position as the default.
And these are juggling balls I made for my friend. I love how they turned out. Who woulda thought of writing a pattern for juggling balls?
OK, so it's not just the dog who's bummed.
I think it was too soon to send my husband away again. I cannot remember a night during deployment when I felt as lonely and depressed as I do tonight. I have been on the verge of tears all afternoon.
But all these pants stories helped.
Is it bedtime yet? Heck, is it Sunday yet?
I like taking photos of the stuff I donate just because I forget how many things I actually make, and it's fun to go back and remember color combinations and styles. My mother-in-law mailed me some leftover cream and tan that I was able to match up with some other stuff. These are two blankets that will be donated to the VA hospital.
I called my husband last night a few minutes after midnight and said, "It's 2009 here; what year is it where you are?" He said, "2008. Are you calling me from the future?" It cracked me up.
I spent the evening with a friend, which was fun. I am home alone now, and it's surprising how normal it feels. Almost like my husband was never here. This is just how I lived for so long that it feels normal.
I think the dog is depressed though.