Wednesday, December 19, 2012

After the teddy bear memorials are taken down…

I’ve spent the past few days trying to process the massacre that happened at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown CT.


I’m still working on that.

There was the world before 27 people…20 of them children…were gunned down in school.

It is up to all of us to work on the world after…

…the world left behind after the teddy bear memorials are taken down.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Through whatever, come what may…

Shall we?


Confession: the past several months have been…challenging. 

Longtime readers know that my older brother is autistic and that I’m co-guardian along with my sister.  Well, my brother has had a rough couple of months. I can’t get into the details. 

The specifics don’t apply.

Suffice it to say he’s frustrated and letting the whole world know.

And I’m a mess.

Because I can’t cast rainbows across the sky.

I can’t fix it with a snap of my fingers.

Even though I know that this isn’t my fault…that he’s his own person dealing with his own shit and the whole world doesn’t revolve around me…even though I know that shit, I can’t stop questioning each and every decision I’ve made and what role it may or may not have…ugh.

I get that a good day won’t guarantee that all the days that follow are good...just like a bad day doesn’t forecast never-ending drama.

Fuck it.

A good day with my brother is the greatest joy…and the bad days wrench my heart to pieces.

So, I’m a mess. 

I learned long ago to let myself be a mess…to not fight it or try to put on a brave face.

There’s a strange comfort from acknowledging that sometimes shit is just hard as hell with a dash of emotionally taxing, and that’s just the way of it.

And I remember the not too bad days…the so-so, that wasn’t so bad days…and those gloriously fantabulous good days.

Through whatever.

Yeah, we’ll get through this.

Come what may.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A look ahead to 2013...


Tis December in Missouri and that means we’re in the season of pre-filing. 

Yay.

Anyhoo, pre-filing means that state legislators are filing bills ahead of the 2013 session that will begin in January. 

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Oh look, Representative Gatschenberger (R-108) pre-filed HB31, which seeks to prevent local government from governing locally. 

Pause…re-read…continue.

Yep, this bill would prevent local government from passing ordinances dealing with how folk protest.

Oh, no…not just how anyone protests! 

The people Rep. Gatschenberger feels need extra special extended and enhanced protection from local ordinances, drafted by local government officials who live in the community, are those folk who protest in front of health care facilities providing access to the full range of reproductive health care including abortion services. 

HB31 isn’t even trying to be slick.

I mean, you’ve just gotta love the description of HB31!

“Specifies that the constitutions and laws of the United States and Missouri must protect the rights of an alternatives-to-abortion agency and its officers to freely engage in activities without interference.”

Freely engage in activities without interference?!?

Oh, that’s rich!

How about “freely engage in activities, sans interference, that interfere with other people’s ability to freely engage in activities without interference.”

Cause you know and I know that you know and Rep. Gatschenberger knows that the goal of these “alternatives-to-abortion” agencies is to disrupt or better yet deny people’s ability to access health care.

Let’s continue.

I noticed that members of the Missouri Senate have been busy too.

Just in case you didn’t know, the same gaggle of legislators who like to go on and on about the “good” done by anti-abortion groups camped outside of health care centers are also card carrying members of the We Hate Poor Pregnant Women club.

Behold, Senator Schaaf!

Senator Schaaf pre-filed SB14, which would raise Medicaid eligibility for some folks (elderly, blind, and otherwise disabled) but lower it for…wait for it…pregnant women and children.

SB14’s trigger for lowering eligibility for pregnant women and children would be if tax credits are available in a federal exchange.

Uh huh.

So, the Missouri House is trying to take rights away from local government under the guise of protecting anti-abortion protesters with the hope that relentless harassment will lead to women being forced to continue their pregnancy…

…so that they can then be told that their pregnant ass is no longer eligible for Medicaid because the Missouri Senate lowered eligibility in some legislative tantrum over tax credits in the yet to be created federal health care exchange.

2013 is shaping up to be another five month revival of How Not To Govern financed on the people’s dime.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Some thoughts about “race” in the race to be Mayor…

The dust has barely settled from the 2012 election season and St. Louis city is already gearing up for another hotly contested bid for political power.  Mayor Francis Slay will face St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed in the 2013 primary. Former Alderman Jimmie Matthews is also running.


Let the games begin!

Longtime readers know that I rarely write about city politics. I’m making an exception because my last nerve is already being worked.

I caught the news coverage of candidates filing to run for Mayor and was struck by a comment made by the incumbent, Mayor Slay.
"I am concerned that my opponent will play the race card and otherwise be divisive in this campaign," Slay said. "I never have and I won't be involved in that kind of effort."
Mayor Slay is white.

Alderman Reed is black.

And yes, water is still wet.

Shall we?

Nothing works my nerve like someone injecting race into politics through use of the term “race card”.

I can’t stand it…hate it…wish it go away and take the foundation of dismissing racism it rests on with it.

St. Louis is a city with a long history of racial tension. I love this city, but it is what it is…and trying to ignore reality is a big part of why that reality hasn’t changed. 

Now, you know and I know that you know that I know there isn’t any way in hell this campaign is going to go forth without race being an issue.  Mayor Slay basically guaranteed that race would be front and center with his nifty little passive aggressive “race card” comment.

The goal of most “race card” comments is to box a person of color into a corner…get them to either not address race at all or to address it defensively which tends to turn off white voters who fear black politicians are incapable of representing anyone other than black people.

I’m betting some minion weighed the risk of turning off black voters by implying that we respond like dogs to a whistle when any candidate of color throws down the mythical “race card” and decided Slay’s campaign could take the percentage hit.

Mayor Slay might as well have announced “in case you missed it, Lewis Reed is black…blackety, black, BLACK!” dropped the mic and then skipped back to his office.

And that takes me back to St. Louis city and our long history of racial tension.

Slay’s comment actually acknowledges that history…his bait about the “race card” requires the existence of racial tension or it wouldn’t make a lick of sense.

I suppose manipulating the electorate based on racial tension is far easier than being a catalyst for change.

Blink.

Anyhoo, I seriously doubt Slay is going to hold office by trying to define the President of the St. Louis Board of Alderman as a mere race candidate.

That dawg ain’t gonna hunt!

Pause…consider…continue.

Or maybe Mayor Slay misspoke.

Could this have been a verbal malfunction?

Maybe he was trying to say that he was concerned his opponent is going to play the “Rex card”!

***rubs hands together***

I’m totally down with a nice multi-month discussion of why so many St. Louis city politicians are BFFs with a fabillionare who wields more power than any one man should and who thinks public schools were designed by the KKK to hold black students back!

Oh wait…my bad…that discussion would require acknowledging and talking about the “money card”.

Sigh.

I do love this city…I do!

Tis out of love that I call bullshit on the “race card” comment and suggest all candidates for Mayor talk about the serious issues on the table and in need of discussing.

We can’t let Kansas City’s most recent mayoral race show us up, now can we?

***cue crickets***

Chess anyone?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On the Petraeus resignation + unsanctified man-on-woman sex + General Allen + shirtless FBI agent + classified shit found on a computer scandal...

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?



I feel cheated!

If we’re going to have a CIA then I want a real CIA with a Director who is all creepy and full of secrets.  You know, the kind of person who has his assistant burn all documents related to all manner of shit 15 minutes after his death.

I want a CIA Director who could look me in the eye and tell me in French that he’s a small 20-year-old Russian woman and have my ass buying that shit without pause!

At a minimum, I expect a CIA Director who has the skills to pull off an affair without it blowing up through basic fuck ups that make this whole mess look like a segment of a Maury "Cheaters Revealed!" show.

Petraeus failed at basic Charles Kuralt shit, people!  That man had two families for damn near 30 years and that secret held until his death. 

Pause…consider Kuralt as CIA Director…shudder…continue.

Anyhoo, I agree that the media needs to cease the sex policing bullshit.

But in this case, a resignation + unsanctified man-on-woman sex + General Allen + shirtless FBI agent + classified shit found on a computer scandal revealed that a certain former CIA Director had a deficiency of covert skills that one should not accept from the head of all things covert and shadow government-based.

***gets distracted by pictures of Jill Kelley and her twin flashing on Good Morning America***

One more thing...Scott Glenn totally has to play the General in the movie…just sayin!

Toodles.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Fallout…

Before we jump in…

Damn, I feel for y’all in the northeast! First Hurricane Sandy hits your communities, and now you’ve got snow and cold.  My heart goes out to you.  Please help if you are able -> http://rdcrss.org/SOYqxx

Forward!

Longtime readers know that I’m an activist who blogs.  This election season’s work took me offline more than on, so I haven’t had a lot of time to write.  I’ve missed y’all!  But the results were worth it.

One of the privileges of being an activist is getting a feel for how folk feel on the ground.  Beyond the polls…in the real…it was clear months ago that there was a strong disconnect between the GOP’s policy agenda and what the masses want government to focus on. 

In 2010 the GOP had some serious mid-term success.  They pitched a traditional conservative package of fiscal responsibility and lots of voters took the bait. 

But jobs aren’t hiding in women’s lady bits.

The economy will not be fixed by violating women with vaginal probes.

Calling women who support access to birth control without a co-pay "sluts" ain’t gonna win a damn thing but our boot in your political ass.

I’ve watched pundits pontificate about how the GOP lost and I can’t help but shake my head.

This isn’t rocket science any more than the polls were skewed.

Attacking, taunting, mocking, and disrespecting the American voter is not a path to victory.

Insulting and verbally abusing American women is not the path to our vote.

And the best way to win on the economy is to propose some shit that will actually support the workers who are the engine that keeps it going.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Tis clear that the same folk who got the math wrong on the polls are fucking up the post election analysis too.

I’m hearing a lot of delusional bullshit about how the GOP lost because they weren’t conservative enough…they didn’t oppose reproductive justice, labor, social programs, immigration, the right to vote, or public education hard enough.

This is basic math, y’all.

When you add a track record of flawed domestic and foreign policies to a freakish anti-woman agenda it will always equal defeat.

One way or the other.

Either by creating chaos in communities that elected you to serve or by pissing the masses off so much that they’ll stand in line for 6 hours just to vote your ass out of office.

Always.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Monday, November 05, 2012

Happy Monday before Election Day, y’all!

This is my favorite time of year.

I love how the leaves change colors…the crisp chill in the air…and the fact that political advertising comes to an end after tomorrow!

Longtime readers know that I have taught voter education classes at area shelters for years.  I was too busy with work and more work and some personal family business to teach the classes this year.  Thankfully, other volunteers stepped up and did a fantabulous job!

Teaching voter education is a joy.  Teaching it to women who are extremely vulnerable to the games politicians like to play is an honor. 

My favorite part of voter education classes is walking students through what each section of government is supposed to do.  I’m forever amazed at how many folk don’t know the power held by state assemblies.  I can tell you that, when it comes to shit going on under the dome, what you don’t know will bite you in the ass and not let go. 

Wince.

On Election Day four years ago, I had just voted and was in line at a local coffee shop to score some mocha flavored yumminess before heading to work.  I was so focused on the menu above the register that I didn’t realize the barista was a former student until she said my name.  I remembered her instantly.  She had been slow to warm up to the voter education class, but she was hooked once she realized that she could call her Alderwoman and actually get a call back.  By the time the session ended, she was registered to vote and organizing a letter writing campaign to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid funding. 

And there she was a few years later, proudly announcing that she already voted.

Fantabulous.

I never asked who she voted for…I make it a rule to not mix spin into my classes. 

Instead, I trust in a bit of truth my Grandmother once told me....

When someone puts a wolf in charge of guarding the chickens, they either don’t know shit about wolves or they hate chickens.

Yep.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Remembering storms and Fig Newtons…

With news of another storm of the century tracking toward the East Coast, family, friends, and readers are in my thoughts.  I’ve watched coverage of Hurricane Sandy and…well, wow!


I sincerely hope this weather forecast to be full of shit, but it looks like it may be for real.  Bunker down, people!

This storm coverage reminds me of my first nor’easter.  I was in my second year at Brandeis and thought I’d seen the worst Massachusetts weather had to offer.  I remember waking up and going to campus only to find fellow students talking about a storm coming.  They kept calling it a nor’easter, as if that explained a damn thing to my midwestern ass, and I was too prideful to ask what the hell a nor’easter was. 

Note: this was before the age of smart phones, laptops, and widespread Googling.  I went to college with notebooks…the paper kind…and I used the computer lab.  Sigh. Those were the days!

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

It was surprisingly warm outside and all the Boston area folk didn’t seem to be freaking out, so I went about my day and returned to my dorm without stopping to pick up supplies. 

I woke up the next day to confront the wrath of God. 

It was cold as hell, the wind was screaming, and I couldn’t see a foot in front of me!  And that shit kept going and going…like it was taunting me for only having Fig Newtons to eat in my house!

Shit, I still can’t eat those damn cookies without thinking of that storm.

Anyhoo, I hope this storm-based drama is nothing like that freaky nor’easter!

Stay warm, safe, and bitchy, y’all!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pondering friends…

I’ve had the worst week of sleep, y’all!


I suspect that this sleep drama is the result of the changing season and political campaign anxiety.  I always have this problem in the final 2 weeks of political frenzification…tis the worst!

Pause…yawn…continue.

Anyoo...shall we?

I’m beyond excited that a certain Brother Rob Thurman is coming to town for a visit!  Longtime readers know that Rob gave me this blog as a birthday present damn near 8 years ago…and that he is a treasured friend plus co-founder of the United Church of Bitchitude and Latter Day Drunks.

I’m lucky to have a fantabulous chosen family of friends who are as dear to me as the family I was born into. 

But…well…clearly some folk are using a different definition of “friend” than I’m working with.

And the choir asked… “What do you mean?  Of whom do you speak?”

And a bitch replied… “Settle down and listen, damn it…patience!”

Cough.

I woke up to the news that John Sununu, being interviewed by Piers Morgan (ugh), responded to news of Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Obama with…
Sununu: "Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder if that's an endorsement based on issues, or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama?"

Morgan: "What reason would that be?"

Sununu: "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
Wow. 

Oh, I know…I’ve heard it all…I get it that it is a lot easier to ignore the reason’s Powell gave for his endorsement than spit at his feet and pivot to some "black people have to support black politicians because it is required for renewal of our Race Card" bullshit.

I’m not surprised that Sununu went there.  He’s an ass. What struck me was that, when issuing the predictable “I didn’t mean it like that” statement, Sununu said he and Powell are friends.
Sununu: "Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies. Piers Morgan’s question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party, and I don’t think he should.”
Um.

I call bullshit!

Race baiting isn’t respect.

Sununu made it clear when he race baited that he thinks Powell’s decision was motivated on some sort of race loyalty.

If Morgan was asking whether Powell should leave the GOP then Sununu’s answer was so fucking off topic he should have his hearing evaluated.

And friendship is based on respect…and that’s something Sununu clearly doesn’t have for Powell.

That brings me to the unfortunate reality this Sununu insult shines light on. 

Sununu is clearly a graduate of The School of Tolerance, where he learned to tolerate Powell’s blackness by focusing on his decades of loyalty to the GOP.

The problem is that The School of Tolerance enables bullshit.

The School of Tolerance is a weak foundation for relationships and it shits out people who can smile in your face, eat at your table, joke with you and golf with you and maybe even vacation with you…

…and, when pressed by a weak ass follow-up question that should have elicited the response Sununu came up with hours later for his “I didn’t mean it like that!” statement, shit all over you.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

I will, however, give Sununu points for demonstrating in one clumsy verbal malfunction why the GOP struggles to gain the support of minority voters.

Well done!

***slow hand clap***

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A few quick bites...

Sorry for the extended absence, y’all!


I’ve been busy practicing the fine art of bitchitude offline.

Let’s jump right on in!

First let me acknowledge a clear and absolute case of whoop ass.  

Congrats to the San Francisco Giants, who beat the Cardinals last night and closed the deal.  Impressive…they came back from being down 3 games to 1 and are now going to the World Series.  And congrats to the Cards for a fantastic run!

Pause…lick wounds…continue.

Shall we?

Last night was the final debate of the presidential campaign.  President Obama’s team can celebrate a decisive win…and we who do political ground work can move on to the shit that wins elections. 

Yep, I’m talking turnout!

If you’re in Missouri you’d best prepare yourself to be called, canvassed, and mailed to within an inch of your vote-based life.

Think of it as a display of our extreme admiration of your likely voter status!

Blink.

A quick note on the McCaskill v. Akin race here in Missouri.

Clearly Team Akin is dedicated to continuing their How To Alienate Women Voters clinic.

Before I could even fire off a post about Congressman Akin describing Senator McCaskill a dog on the campaign trail, his spokesman took to Twitter with this painful attempt at humor.

Yesterday, Rick Tyler tweeted "If Claire McCaskill were a dog, she'd be a 'Bullshitsu'."

Um.

Okay.

I’ve got to admit that I was more surprised at the public display of what Team Akin would call potty language from a campaign that bathes twice daily in the rhetoric of sanctified evangelical purification than I was by the lame ass attempt to deflect attention from Akin’s latest verbal malfunction.

I’m serious!

Akin is outing all kinds of previously private Republicanisms.


They publicly talk about how much they adore children with special needs…while privately pushing policies that allow religious institutions to refuse insurance coverage for children with autism and believing programs like Medicaid, which millions of disabled Americans (cause those special needs kids grow up to be adults with special needs) depend on, should be destroyed.

And they go on and on about their religious values while employing campaign staff who casually turn out tweets that have to be accompanied with a language disclaimer on local newscasts!

Nice.

Oh, catch that knee before you hurt some body!

Tis true that I adore cursing…a lot.

But I’m not the one tossing out bullshit critiques of “ladylike” behavior while running a campaign that puts schoolyard bullies to shame.

Blink.

Onward!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pondering strange bedfellows…



Specifically, I noticed that reports of Bishop Paprocki’s homily read more like a stump speech from the campaign trail.

Paprocki has no fear of wading into electoral politics while wearing the religious robes…he’s best know ‘round these parts for calling the Democratic Platform “intrinsically evil”, which amused the shit out of me and prompted my pot-meet-kettle reflex.

Gotta love him.

What?

He’s all BURN THE WITCH!! and that shit gets me every damned time.

Anyhoo, Paprocki thinks that conservative politicians and judges pledging fealty through attendance at the Red Mass need to get their Thomas More on.

Yes, Thomas More!

Mmmhmm…the same Thomas More who was beheaded for committing treason after he sided with a corrupt power hungry Rome in resistance to the Protestant Reformation being pushed by his king.

That Paprocki sees a hero in Thomas More is telling but not surprising.

That he gave that advice to Todd Akin…and Akin received it without pause…strikes me as odd.

Cause Akin is a Protestant preacher by training and one would think he’d be as likely to adore Thomas More as a Catholic priest would be to embrace Martin Luther.

But politics continues to make strange bedfellows…

…and I’ll go ahead and apologize for that visual.

Blink.

Breaking News: HPV Vaccine Isn’t Slut Sauce!


Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

I just saw a story on the Good Morning America news crawl about how a new study has found that the HPV vaccine doesn’t make girls promiscuous.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

Lawd, there is so much in there that makes my Afro hurt that I don’t know where to begin.

First off, I’ve grown to hate the word “promiscuous” because it is usually connected with Evangelical bullshit that having an active sex life outside of man-on-woman sanctified marriage is a bad thing.  “Promiscuous” is code that makes it clear that sex in abundance can’t be good and I happen to think that’s bullshit.

Having said that…no shit followed by a loud ass “DUH!” regarding the HPV vaccine not turn young women into anything other than young women protected from HPV.

Are we really so damned puritanical that folk actually found comfort from the threat of CANCER potentially inhibiting young women’s sexual behavior?

That’s just sick.

Damn.

We’re one step away from the “orgasms are of the devil!” stage of the puritan revival.

Blink.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Hold please...

I'm on deadline, so bitchitude is delayed until later tonight!

Toodles for now...

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Post debate ponderfication – the good, the bad, and the reasons some of y’all need to calm the fuck down



Shall we?

The first presidential debate took place last night.

Romney did well.

Translation – he came across as human (not warm or anything but…well, human-ish like a newer version Cylon)…cough…twas aggressive in a “wildcat” kind of way, and he landed more punches than he took.

President Obama did not do well.

Translation – he came across like he was a 3,000 year old vampire who hadn’t feed in at least 1,500 years.

The good?

If you’re going to shit the bed, shit the hell out of it!  

Obama’s performance was just bad enough that he won’t be able to bullshit himself and that means he’s more likely to listen to advice and make adjustments.

Coping thought for the masses – Fritz Mondale won the first debate with Reagan in '84, but I seem to remember 4 more years of rule under the spawn of Satan that was The Gipper.

The bad?

Romney is gonna get some love after last night’s performance.

Catch the knee…catch it!

He is…and it’ll be amplified way out of proportion by a political press corps that clearly was bored to shit with his campaign and feared 30 more days of it. 

Prepare thyselves for several days of blah, blah, blah.  Tis the nature of the beast and you know damn well you’d be doing the exact same shit if Obama had come out there like a 3,000 year old vampire who just ripped off the Denver Blood Bank.

Coping thought for the masses – this is EXACTLY the kind of “oh shit, this campaign ain’t over!” kick in the ass that the liberal base needed!

Pause...sip apple juice...continue.

Flock o’ bitchitude, presidential debates are a lot like the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Lots of analysts make all kinds of predictions based on how each team looked going into Round One.

But in the end, only one team raises the Cup…

…while the line for humble pie wraps around the rink.

Up next - VP Joey B. v That Congressman Who Wants to Take Food Out of My Disabled Brother's Mouth...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pre Presidential Debate Preparedness…



Lawd, I almost forgot to make a debate preparedness list of needed things this year!

Gasp.

Better late than not at all, eh?

So...

Um, something smothered and yummy?

Check!

Vodka?

Check.

Computer for note-taking and snarkified tweets?

Check.

Knowledge of what’s at stake and why the hell I vote?

Oh, hell yes…check, check, CHECK!

Tell the truth, Sonya!  Tell it! 


Monday, October 01, 2012

Post Person Centered Plan meeting reflectitude…


A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I attended our older brother’s Person Centered Plan meeting. 

For the uninitiated, our brother is autistic and we are his co-guardians. A person centered plan (PCP) is a yearly plan developed in partnership with residential and day programs.  Bill’s PCP contains his life…diet, medical information, friends, goals, likes and dislikes, and key family facts and history. 

I’ve often said that a PCP is what a life should be…and then we turn to funding to determine what his life will be.

My brother is 42 years old.  Our parents spent the first 7 years of his life trying to find out what was behind his symptoms, the next 7 years trying to "cure" him, and then they confronted the reality that he was who he was in a world that wasn’t what it should be.

I don’t know anyone who plans to have a child with autism.  A lot has changed since my brother was born, but not that much.  Our parents had to pay out of pocket for a private school, therapy, and assessments.  Now, unless folks have a religious insurance plan, many states have mandated insurance coverage for autism. 

But still…still, very few people properly anticipate the lifelong cost or where funding comes from.

Autistic children grow up into adults with autism. 


The man actually connected Medicaid to people with disabilities! 

Unreal.

I’m pretty sure thousands if not millions of people were confused because they’ve been conditioned to equate Medicaid recipients with lazy government freeloaders who need tough love and kick in the butt.

I’m no fan of Bill Clinton.  That’ll also confuse those who think progressives are a monolith.  Nope, I have serious issues with Bubba…but he earned a fluff of the Afro for verbalizing the reality that cuts to social service programs will cause extreme harm to people with disabilities…and an additional fluff for specifically mentioning autism.

That takes me back to my brother’s PCP and what he should have versus what he will have.

Bill’s PCP is also my yearly plan as a co-guardian.

As a sister, I celebrate his achievements and acknowledge where he still have work to do.

As his co-guardian, I note that he may be able to get into a cool training program that would allow him to work.  Longtime readers know that my brother used to work…he got up at 4:30am to get dressed for a job that didn’t start until 10am.  He loved it, but he had to stop working because a reform in Missouri’s Medicaid qualification that made him vulnerable to losing coverage.  And trolls fixing to type some agreement to that should note that my brother worked 2 hours a week at a fast food joint…so he wasn’t bringing in serious cash.  What he was doing was participating in his community…meeting cool new people…enjoying the pride of a job well done…and scoring enough cash out of the deal to cover snacks. 

He hasn’t worked in years and it took several years to get him into a structured day program so he wasn’t just sitting around getting pissed off at the world.

I could go on and on, but this isn’t god for my blood pressure.

Sigh.

As a sister…oh, how I wish I could jump up and dance with joy that my brother could get job skill training and score a nice job!  The sister in me wants that so much it hurts.

But as a co-guardian I confront the reality President Clinton hinted at in his DNC speech…a reality where politicians who point to special needs children when it is serves a political purpose are the same people who would cut funding for programs serving people with special needs.

And let me be clear…

My brother will need food assistance for the rest of his life.

He will need health care coverage for the rest of his life.

He will need housing and supervision for the rest of his life.

And that means he will need the food assistance program funded…not slashed as proposed by Congressman Ryan and approved by a majority of the GOP.

He will need Medicaid and Medicare.

And he will need Social Security, so Todd Akin’s proposal to get rid of that program is a non-starter.

Pause...sip coffee…continue.

Some will say that the states should handle all of that shit.

And they would be ignoring this nation’s disturbing history of just how the states used to handle that shit.

Others will say that churches will tackle the need.

And they would be ignoring that fact that the states stepped in to fuck shit up after far too many church-based programs proved unfit.

I say that we need to cease bullshitting and get about the business of shoring up the very social programs that make our communities strong.

Another year, another PCP…

…and another reminder that I’ve got guardianship work to do if I ever want to be a sister dancing with joy because my brother has everything he needs.

Blink. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Like a lady…


Let’s jump right on in, shall we?


Akin got in the way of his own attempt at post-debate spin when he said McCaskill was more “ladylike” during her debate in 2006.

Yep.

For real.

Way!

Now, some folk are hyper-focusing on Akin’s use of the term “ladylike”…and I get that, because that shit well known code for a woman who doesn’t race barefoot to the kitchen after folding some assholes shirts.

I’m more interested in Akin’s entire verbal malfunction, because it speaks to his deep-seated dislike of women.
"I think we have a very clear path to victory, and apparently Claire McCaskill thinks we do, too, because she was very aggressive at the debate, which was quite different than it was when she ran against Jim Talent."

"She had a confidence and was much more ladylike, but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that's because she feels threatened."
Fascinating use of misogynist code!

Translation...

Men who “come out swinging” display strength and conviction.

Women who do the same are aggressive, defensive, and…wait for it…unladylike.

Cough.

You know and I know that Akin’s resume is so chock full of extremism that anyone running against him has to jump right up in that kitchen and take over lest Akin dodge his public statements in favor of the diluted freak juice Team Akin thinks they can sneak past Missouri voters.

Methinks Todd Akin spent way too much time of his bus getting advice from a certain submission-is-for-you-but-not-for-me Phyllis Schlafly.

I’m betting that Senator McCaskill is operating on the political reality that well-behaved women rarely make history.

And odds are that's why Akin is so distressed.

He sure as shit is in it, but Missouri can not afford for his throw-back ass to win it.

***logs off to go make some unladylike social change***

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

He’s in it…but we can’t afford for him to win it…


Shall we?

Another deadline has passed and Republican Congressman Todd Akin is still in the race to represent Missouri in the US Senate.

40 odd days to go, y’all...and this is going to be one wild and crazy ride!

Lawd, give me strength.

Anyhoo, I can’t help pondering Akin’s infamous “legitimate rape” comment.

I know, I know…he’s apologized and tried to brush it off as a verbal malfunction.

But…well, that’s the thing that’s taxing my Afro.

After he realized that folks were disgusted and disturbed by his claim that women’s bodies have a way of preventing pregnancy from resulting from “legitimate rape”, Akin acknowledged that his bizarre theory came from some freakish conservative source.

So, Akin actually didn’t misspeak. 

Up until August 19, 2012, Todd Akin thought women’s bodies could “shut down” a pregnancy resulting from rape if that rape was “legitimate.”

As Akin likes to point out, he’s the husband to one, father to six, and grandfather to seven…and he's spent 65 years of life not knowing how pregnancy works.

65 years of life believing that women who became pregnant as a result of rape were lying.

Todd Akin may be running for a Senate seat, but he's been sitting in the United States House and played key roles in drafting legislation seeking to redefine rape and deny women access to the full range of reproductive health care.

And, if we take Akin at his word, until August 19 of this year he thought some rape was legitimate and other rape was bullshit…that some women deserved care and other women deserved scorn and restrictions.

If that’s not bad enough, Akin also has radical views about student loans, social security, the Voting Rights Act, and Medicare.

I can’t even imagine what junk science he’s basing that shit on.

Akin may be in it…but we sure as shit can’t afford for his bizarre radical fringe ass to win it.

Blink.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A quick note on fast food politics…



I’m sure that there are folks who are encouraged and blah, blah, followed by blah.

But the reality is that Chick-fil-A showed that their flawed value having kitchen is filthy and I’m not going to forget that shit just because they are now saying they won’t allow filth mongers back there anymore. 

Fuck ‘em.

Since fast food companies have started to come out as ig’nant, I’ve discovered many a progressive local eatery where I can score a tasty sandwich without lining the pockets of some bigot who you know and I know will make a private donation to anti-equality groups and candidates to offset the donations Chick-fil-A is sorta-claiming they’re no longer going to make.


Those are two of my favorite local joints where y'all can score yummified goodness minus the bitter metallic aftertaste of social conservative bullshit.

Bon appetit!

A guest post by the one and only C-Money - I'm a pissed off hockey fan.



Tell it, sistah!

A guest post from C-Money...

I'm a pissed off hockey fan.

That asshole Gary Bettman stood Godfather to this season, but all along he knew he was gonna kill it. He looked us in the eye, kissed us on the cheek and sent his goons out to whack the season.

My Blues are looking at Europe, skating stoically out in Chesterfield or getting ready to play for Peoria when they belong right here.

In St. Louis.

At Scottrade.

They didn't ask for this war!

I'm paying just enough attention to know that the current collective bargaining agreement is the one the NHL locked them out to get. So it can't suck that much.

They can't be that far apart.

And in a union fight the lib-lab lefty in me stands behind labor.

If the players are mad as hell and aren't gonna take it anymore, I say stand firm while you have the muscle. Keep working out and get prison hard while The Man thinks he's got you on lockdown brothas!

Cuz when the season starts, we'll be there.

Let's. Go. Blues.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

So, about Romney’s Latino “joke”…


I’ve noticed that the press has dodged addressing some of the other shit Mitt Romney was caught saying to donors, like his attempted joke that he’d have a better shot at winning the presidency as a Latino.

"My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."

Oh, some major news outlets have covered it. Ruben Navarrette Jr. has this post up on CNN.com, so odds are the producers over there have scratched that off of their to-do list.

But most anchors and reporters have opted to clumsily fumble through explanations of who pays income taxes and blah, blah, blah instead of tackling the other gaffe Mitt made that evening in the Hamptons.
 
See, the same thing that would have made Mitt’s joke score some laughs (if he hadn’t fucked up the punch line) is the exact same thing that makes anchors and reporters uncertain whether his Latino comments will result in any real political damage.

The thing?

There is a widely held belief that being a minority has guaranteed advantages for those seeking any sort of advancement.

I’ve personally encountered that shit.  I’ll never forget having an academically challenged friend respond to news that my sister was accepted at Harvard with a “joke” that he should paint his face black and apply too.  Everybody at the table laughed…except me. More than one friendship ended that day.

I was disappointed, but not surprised.

Just as I’m disappointed but not at all surprised that so many anchors and reporters have avoided discussing Romney’s Latino “joke”.

If Romney’s callous disregard for the struggles working people face and his boorishly stated belief that 47 percent of us see ourselves as victims are seen as troublesome, then Romney’s crass "joke" about the political benefits to be had simply from being born Latino sure as shit is too.

***cue crickets***

Blink.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

By Request: Some thoughts on the “47 million Americans” public display of private buffoonery…


I had the pleasure of witnessing the latest Mitt Romney verbal malfunction unfold with a certain C-Money.  We were hanging out in our couch-based lair, checking Twitter and dropping snark for hours.

Good times!

For those who missed it, Mother Jones broke a story complete with secret video (oooh, damn near Nixonian!) of how Mitt Romney talks about the masses when he thinks he’s among like-minded uber rich folk.

By “masses”, I mean the 47 million Americans he was caught on tape saying he could give a flying fuck about. 

Mitt thinks we’re lazy and dependent on government. Oh, and he also thinks we don’t pay taxes.

Pause…frown…continue.

Yeah, that bit about the taxes made my Afro hurt too, until I realized that discussing regular people paying taxes with Mitt Romney would be like chatting about how expensive groceries are with [insert any Romney here].

Odds are Mitt Romney hasn’t bothered to learn how payroll taxes work because he never had any intention of keep workers on the payroll long enough to be taxed.

Anyhoo, at some point I mentioned how Lee Atwater would have handled Romney’s late night press conference…and that’s when C-Money demanded a post on this shit.

So, here are my thoughts.

Current conservative politics makes me kind of miss Lee Atwater.

Watch it….watch it, damn it…catch that knee before you hurt somebody!

I’m serious.

Lee Atwater was a dirty motherfucker…so dirty he was a master at modern political dirt distribution…but at least he was good at that shit.

When Atwater race-baited your ass, his hook had some serious unambiguous rancid ass bait on it. Lee put together campaigns that hit their mark with painful accuracy…causing outrage on the side he could give a shit about and inspiring cheers from the group he wanted to hear cheering.  Atwater was up in the head of the voters he needed to get the job done…the job being to get [insert conservative nightmare here] elected.

Now, we’ve got Mitt Romney fumbling through fundraising talks trying to be all delicate about saying that if he were Latino he’d have an easy time winning the presidency…after trying to arouse his bored as shit audience with watered down digs at 47 percent of the nation!

Mitt has insulted half the nation and managed to do so with such lame assedness that his base couldn’t be bothered to shrug.

This is just…disturbing.

Okay, okay…so I don’t actually want to see the second coming of Lee Atwater. 

One life-cycle of Lee was more than enough, thank you.

*wince*

But if someone is going to pander to the baser needs of his base…and if doing so requires race-baiting elite ass dismissive comments about voters…hell, if a candidate is going to take his campaign from zero to absolute FUBAR in record breaking time the least he can do is make that shit interesting.

Hell, even the man’s scandals are like over baked flounder.

Gawd, what I wouldn't do for a Demon Sheep or two...

Blink.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Locked out…



***sobs***

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore hockey and get a lot of joy out of the NHL season.  Thanks to a fantabulous year last year for my beloved Blues, I also got a hell of a lot of joy out of the post-season!

But NHL hockey requires NHL hockey players…and they deserve a fair deal since they are the ones giving the faithful something to cheer about.

I’m just hoping for a quick, fair, and long lasting resolution.

***sends offering up to the hockey gods***

Thursday, September 13, 2012

(Update) 26 Senators and 109 Representatives…


UPDATE: I mentioned that Missouri was fixin to go to court after the General Assembly passed Senator Lamping’s rancid birth control refusal bill.


Well, I was right.

This Missourian thanks the Greater Kansas City Coalition of Labor Union Women and Michele Newby, president of the coalition and a firefighter in Kansas City, for filing suit Wednesday to challenge the birth control refusal bill!

Someone ought to keep track of how much money Missouri is going to spend defending Senator Lamping’s legislative pander to the Missouri Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pause…consider…continue.

Lamping’s birth control refusal law empowers government to take rights from workers and step all up in folk’s bedrooms.  Lamping’s Law basically has government deciding that anyone who takes birth control forfeits their rights to their employer.

AND the damn thing is going to cost the state some serious cash.

If it walks like it and talks like it, we should call it what it is…an expensive, ill advised, intellectually lazy, big government, theocratic shake-down.

_______________________________________________

Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

I went to bed mad as hell…

….and woke up wishing that Missourians could feel the full weight of what the Missouri Assembly just did.

The Missouri Assembly had their veto session Wednesday, September 12.  They took up Senator Lamping’s Birth Control Refusal bill SB749.

The Senate took less time to override Governor Nixon’s veto than they spent unveiling a portrait earlier in the day.

The House cut off debate lest they hear just how trifling this rancid bill is and then the peer pressure began.

But wait…let me back up.

Before debate was cut off, (and that was so cowardly weak I can’t even tell you) several Representatives stood up to speak out against overriding the veto.  I listened live and recognized the voices of a few.  Then a woman started speaking and I couldn’t tell who it was.  I took to Twitter because some people were live tweeting the debate and…well, suffice it say I was SHOCKED that Representative Linda Black (D-107) was speaking out in favor of sustaining the veto.

Rep. Black, who is solidly opposed to abortion rights, spoke in favor of sustaining the veto because she is solidly opposed to abortion.  Black, unlike the majority under the dome, acknowledged the fact that restricting access to birth control results in more unplanned pregnancies and thus more abortions. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – folks who are opposed to abortion who then turn around and try to deny access to birth control can not, do not, and will not make a lick of sense… not that most folk working under the dome in Jefferson City fret about making sense or doing the right thing.

I disagree with Rep. Black on abortion…but she sure as hell has the courage of her convictions and shamed the cowards when she stood up yesterday.

109 of her colleagues voted yes and the veto was overturned.

SB749 will now be law, so supporters can cease bullshitting to the masses about what they just did. 

Any employer…any employer…any damned employer in the state of Missouri will now be able to provide an insurance package devoid of contraception or sterilization coverage because that employer has some sort of moral objection.

The law is certain to be challenged in court by insurance companies who opposed the hell out of it.

That’s what I woke up pondering and regretting.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the way to address the rot in Jefferson City is for the masses to feel the ache.

In this case, the thousands of Missourians who use birth control and take insurance coverage for granted need to have that coverage revoked.  They need to hear their employer explain his or her religious objection during their annual plan meeting…and then they need to get royally fucked over each month for 12 consecutive months until the next plan meeting.

But they won’t…because Missouri is fixin’ to go to court.  We just haven’t been served papers yet.

26 Senators.

109 Representatives.

Hit the lights.

Take a fucking bow.

Blink.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ice cream for breakfast…


My father died in 1998 and it is still hard to say that he is gone.  

We had some great moments and several years of painful drama, but I take comfort that we were on solid ground when he took his final walk down Michigan Ave in Chicago and died of a heart attack.

It took several years for me to realize that the pain of his loss will be a constant companion.

It took even longer for me to welcome those unexpected tugs…from driving by a hardware store and remembering how fun it was to help out with small repairs to walking down grocery store aisles and recalling my father’s intense focus on food brought on by a childhood spent in hunger.

I miss my father every single day.

And every now…without setting a schedule or planning it all out…I pause in remembrance and do something that I know would make my father smile.

I eat a giant bowl of ice cream for breakfast.

Yep, ice cream.

Because my father once lied to some mean-girls at my grade school and told them that everyone who comes over to our house for a sleep-over gets ice cream for breakfast.  I can still see the look of awe on their faces…can still feel the giggle working through my body…I still feel adoration for my father for knowing exactly what to say to those girls I so desperately wanted to impress.

Later, my father told me that only silly people follow silly rules and deny themselves ice cream when they want it.

If he were still with us, he would sit down next to me and dig into that ice cream with gusto.

I always add an extra scoop just for him.

Far too many people know the constant companionship of loss.

I know that they probably feel those unexpected tugs too.

And I hope that they also pause and do something special to remember…

…even if it is something as ridiculously perfect as inhaling a huge bowl of ice cream at 7 o’clock in the morning.

Friday, September 07, 2012

ICYMI: Kansas City Bishop Finn was found guilty for not reporting sex abuse

I’ve watched coverage of the trial of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, because the case is so disturbing.

Here’s a timeline of case. 

A warning…the lack of urgency, compassion for victims, and due diligence will likely turn your stomach.

Bishop Finn is the first sitting United States bishop to be criminally charged for covering up child sexual abuse.

On Thursday he was found guilty on one count. 

Finn has been given a suspended sentence of two years of probation and will be required to undergo training for reporting suspected abuse.

This story didn’t make the morning news…

…but it should have.

Blink.