Lee Leslie – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com A journal of progressive Southern culture and politics Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:58:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://likethedew.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-DewLogoSquare825-32x32.png Lee Leslie – LikeTheDew.com http://likethedew.com 32 32 #TrumpTax Scam – If you do nothing else, do this http://likethedew.com/2017/11/22/trumptax-scam-if-you-do-nothing-else-do-this/ http://likethedew.com/2017/11/22/trumptax-scam-if-you-do-nothing-else-do-this/#comments Wed, 22 Nov 2017 13:34:08 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=68270 The Senate test vote (aka: motion to proceed or pre-vote vote) could be next Monday, November 27. They could bring it to the floor as early as Thursday, November 30th. We need to make some noise until we defeat this bill that even Forbes called “The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington.” Calling your senators is a good thing (capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121). Do it. But that isn’t enough.

This fight will come down to just a couple of Senators and the time to take action is now.

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Thanksgiving Tax Scam

The Senate test vote (aka: motion to proceed or pre-vote vote) could be next Monday, November 27. They could bring it to the floor as early as Thursday, November 30th. We need to make some noise until we defeat this bill that even Forbes called “The End Of All Economic Sanity In Washington.” Calling your senators is a good thing (capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121). Do it. But that isn’t enough.

NON-PARTISAN ANALYSIS SHOWS THE TAX SCAM WILL OVERWHELMINGLY BENEFIT THE TOP—AND RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS
Non-Partisan analysis from CBPP.org shows the #TrumpTaxScam will overwhelming benefit the top and raise taxes on the middle class, while the cuts to pay for this scam will come almost totally from the most vulnerable among us. There is also that deficit thing that happens when you cut revenues by $trillions and the hundreds of billions more it will cost for interest alone.

This fight will come down to just a couple of Senators and the time to take action is now.

I want you to do something different and it is super easy. Please keep reading, I’m begging you. This is isn’t just important, this bill combined with the budget cuts the Republicans are using to fund it will literally have life or death impact for millions of the most vulnerable among us, while only enriching the super wealthy, but you know that.

Here’s how the tool works and this is what I’m doing until we kill this bill:

  1. Sign up here: TrumpTaxScam.org to make phone calls using the peer-to-peer dialing tool. You’ll get an email confirmation with a login, password, and URL to sign into our system. Once signed in, you can start making calls immediately—and you’ll give you a script to make it as easy as possible.
  2. Next, you’ll call a voter in one of three target states: Alaska, Arizona, and West Virginia. These folks are your friends—they attended the Women’s March, they’re standing up to pass a #CleanDREAM, and/or fight for progressive causes.
  3. You explain how they have power now. You’ll remind them why the continued fight against the Trump Tax Scam is so important—and why they have particular power in this moment.
  4. You ask them to use their power. You’ll ask them to call their senator in opposition to the bill, and to share their own reasons for opposing it.
  5. The tool connects them to their Senator’s office. The call tool will allow you to automatically patch them through to the Senators’ district offices.

It’s easy: 2,233 Indivisible volunteers across the country dialed 320,552 calls to kill TrumpCare tool to encourage constituents in Alaska, Arizona, Maine, and Colorado to call their Republican senators and tell them to vote no on Graham-Cassidy. And we won. We can win this time, too, with your help.

Call to kill Trump’s tax scam – sign up here: TrumpTaxScam.org (https://www.trumptaxscam.org/calls-to-kill-the-tax-scam) and when you do, please tell your friends they should do. Invite them over and do it together.  A great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

One last note – here is a terrific story that you might need to talk to your family about the Trump Tax Scam.

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The Chase for Amazon http://likethedew.com/2017/10/27/the-chase-for-amazon/ http://likethedew.com/2017/10/27/the-chase-for-amazon/#comments Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:00:26 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=68107 It has been hard to ignore the buzz created by the chase for Amazon’s second headquarters. Five billion dollars in construction costs and 50,000 “high-paying” jobs. 238 proposals have been submitted to Amazon from all across North America. Of course there were.

While all the proposals were made in secret, it is safe to assume that no incentive was left out.

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The rendering of the Amazon building in the Denny Regrade neighborhood of Seattle is fro NBBJ.com

It has been hard to ignore the buzz created by the chase for Amazon’s second headquarters. Five billion dollars in construction costs and 50,000 “high-paying” jobs. 238 proposals have been submitted to Amazon from all across North America. Of course there were.

While all the proposals were made in secret, it is safe to assume that no incentive was left out. For instance, New Jersey announced it offered $7 billion in tax breaks to get Amazon to chose Newark. Details of Atlanta’s bid weren’t released, but it is also safe to assume that Nathan Deal opened Georgia’s checkbook offering billions of tax incentives. It is exciting to imagine the impact of winning.

Did you know there is another offer out there that would bring more than ten times the Amazon investment to Georgia? That right, this one offers almost $60 billion in direct investment over ten years and increasing each year after that. Were Georgia to win this deal, it is estimated that more than 35,000 new “high-paying” jobs would be created in the first year and increasing after that. Unlike the Amazon deal for Atlanta, this one includes all of Georgia.

Then there are all to little things that would come along with it that are unimaginable for a typical industrial development development:

  • hundreds of thousands of Georgia residents would be lifted out of poverty;
  • cost of living for all Georgians would be reduced;
  • life expectancy would be increase;
  • even the number of Georgians in mental health facilities would be reduced.

What does it cost to win this? Georgia would have to offer an incentive of $254 million a year. That’s a lot, but 18% of what a typical Georgia industrial development tax incentive is – chump-change compared to cost of getting Amazon. When you consider the amount of state taxes collected on the new jobs and that state spending would actually be reduced, the net spending by the state is way less than zero. Consider that for a moment. All these new jobs and great benefits with none of the downsides, such as lost tax revenues starving our schools.

Sounds so good you’d think we would be all over it. Nope. Georgia said no. The only states in the South that went after the deal were Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland.

Seems idiotic, doesn’t it. Seems our elected leaders would be thrown out of office for ignoring the offer and lying about it to us. You’d think our business community would be going nuts for it. Nope. Not going to happen. Forget about it.

There is good news, though: one Irish bookie has Atlanta an early 2-1 favorite to win Amazon. I wish them luck. We need it.

Oh, the deal? Surely you have guessed by now. Expanding Medicaid.

Sources (it isn’t fake news, it isn’t even news):

NBBJ ()
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Where were you? http://likethedew.com/2015/12/13/where-were-you/ http://likethedew.com/2015/12/13/where-were-you/#comments Sun, 13 Dec 2015 22:50:42 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=62591

 

The 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School
The 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012
at Sandy Hook Elementary School

It was a beautiful Saturday morning to be in Woodruff Park. About 70 degrees. Broken clouds to keep the sun from feeling too hot. It was so easy to be there.

Any excuse to get outside in mid-December was welcomed. Our excuse was the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. The idea was pretty simple: we would meet in the park to remember the 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

We weren’t going to take guns away or occupy the empty state house. We just needed to be with other souls in Atlanta and connect to others around the country for this day of remembrance. Together we would stop and listen to our broken hearts. A single balloon released as each child’s name was spoken. We all knew that we didn’t have enough balloons for the innocent lives taken by gun violence. Every single day, eight more American children are killed.

Photo of the Moms Demand Action to End Gun Violence Orange Walk from Atlanta's Woodruff Park December 12, 2015Moms Demand Action to End Gun Violence organized the Orange Walk in Atlanta and hundreds more across the country. Atlanta is a pretty big place – about five and half million. I almost cried when we got to the park. Where was everyone? I expected thousands. I saw a couple of hundred. I was told it was a good turnout.

What does it take to get us off our collective asses and get to the street? Seemed to me that I had enough reasons. Aurora. Brookfield. Ferguson. Charleston. Chattanooga. Colorado Springs. Ft. Hood. Minneapolis. Newton. Oak Creek. Oakland. Roseburg. San Bernadino. Santa Monica. Washington, DC. And on, and on, and on. What does it take?

Sure, we have a lot of problems in this country that also deserve us taking to the streets and demanding action by our leaders.

Racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia and other irrational hatreds make me sick, but it has proved difficult to legislate intelligent thinking.

Gun violence, however, is preventable. But sensible gun laws are not going to happen unless you show up. Learn more. Get involved. Send money. Talk it up in social media. Show up. And don’t stop until it is fixed.

More info (please use the comment section to list):

 

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The Apocalypse http://likethedew.com/2015/11/18/the-apocalypse/ http://likethedew.com/2015/11/18/the-apocalypse/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2015 23:15:41 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=62368

the Apocalypse by Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Were I to tell you a story in which Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary, was sent by God to guide the children of Israel, perform miracles including curing blindness, raising the dead and casting out demons, was crucified and raised alive into heaven to be the God incarnate. Jesus, who is promised to come back as the Messiah on judgment day to lead God’s army against the armies of Rome led by the Antichrist to the final victory in Jerusalem. What holy book do you think that would be from?

That’s right, the Quran (aka: Qur’an or Koran). Surely by now everyone is opening up their alQuran app or is getting their copies of the Quran off their book shelf to do some fact checking.

While you are at it, check what the Bible says. That’s right. You never knew you had so much in common with your Muslim neighbors, did you?

Sure there are plenty of differences, too. Are you one of those people who looks for the differences or are you one of those people who looks for what we have in common? If you are stumped, which you should be, ask yourself, or your spouse, or your child, or your preacher, pastor, reverend, priest, chaplain, primate, teacher, elder, abbot, vicar, fire keeper, guru, godman, gymnosophist, patriarch, protopriest, dob-dob, lama, abbess, ash shaker, ayatollah, rabbi, tzadki, laminae, duster, life coach or ovate.

Now before you go all GOPresidential on me, let me state that I am not advocating anything here other than my belief that we should honor what we have in common and appreciate our differences. Since we are all brothers and sisters in evolution, everything else comes from growing up in different neighborhoods around the planet. I know you must be saying to yourself that it, “doesn’t explain Donald Trump.”

It is troubling these days to listen to conservative presidential candidates speak of closing mosques, denying Muslims entry into the United States and declaring war on a religious group.

It seems like just yesterday that the GOP came into power in the House and vigilant new members spoke so proudly of carrying the Constitution in their pockets. Some even demanded that whenever a bill was brought for a vote, the part of the Constitution which made the pending law “constitutional” would be read.

I’d like to suggest that these candidates get points off for forgetting the First Amendment, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Turn on any television newstainment channel and within minutes you’ll likely hear and see that the world is going crazy and we’re all going to die. That’s newstainment. The reality depends on where you live and how you define crazy. Here in the US, we haven’t had a war on our soil in 150 years (except for the war on drugs), but 33,000+ people will die by guns this year – a total that is only exceeded one place in the world – the current war in Syria.

On the other hand, we haven’t been at peace since 1979 (Carter), before that 1935-1939 (Roosevelt), before that 1897 (McKinley), but I digress. Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack wrote a great story last year at Slate titled, “The World Is Not Falling Apart.” In it, they document the decline in recent years of battle deaths, wars, genocide, civilian killings, victimization of children, rape and domestic abuse and crime. Even percentagewise, more people are dying from old age than ever before and that is a good thing.

I also suggest points off to the governors and mayors who want to keep Syrian refugees out, returning medical workers quarantined, climate change denied and poor without health insurance (vague reference to expanding Medicaid as provided by the Affordable Care Act), but that is just me. Back to the pending apocalypse.

Screen Shot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdad
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

On June 29, 2014 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a descendant of Mohammed, declared the Islamist State as the eighth caliphate. This is important because Jesus doesn’t arrive until the 12th caliphate, but it really is in the counting. Search it and you’ll likely find a higher number, which of course, were false caliphates that didn’t enforce Sharia.

Baghdadi became the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (aka: alQaeda in Iraq) in May 2010. He had been detained at Camp Bucca by US forces for eight months in 2004 before being released as a “low level prisoner ” (oops for the George W. Bush apologists).

So how is that ISIS is recruiting here? Imagine that you were a young, single and unemployed man living in the west (not the wild west – west as in western civilization) and Muslim. You were sick and tired of putting up with shit from people, especially infidels. You heard about the new caliphate and technically, you had to join up and pledge allegiance or you’d become apostate (that’s really bad).

You would be part of the cause of jihadism where you’d have lots of Facebook friends, get to grow a beard, have your travel paid for (one-way only), receive salvation and have a chance to drive one of those white Toyotas and use all that stuff that was swiped from the US military supplied Iraqis. Plus, you’d get free health care and free tent and board.

You would finally prove that you aren’t a loser to your mom and dad by fighting to extend the caliphate, purifying as you go by either chopping off the heads of non-Muslims (kuffar) or make them your slave or concubine (you’d finally get laid), following takfiri (basically, excommunication by death), you could help purify the world, ridding it of all those people you thought were assholes anyway.

Recapping, you’d get a woman, a gun, a pick-up truck and a purpose.

Then, there’s this higher purpose of fighting until there are just 5,000 of you left to fight the battle in Dabiq, Syria (it’s near Aleppo). It is basically a flat desert. Prefect for the Messiah vs. Antichrist (Dajjal) battle to occur that would be the beginning of the end of days.

map of areas where ISIS is operating or controlsYou can stop imagining now.

The Islamic State is a misnomer. They aren’t a government. They have no borders. They don’t offer passports. No planes. No factories. The land area under their control is small. President Obama’s characterization last year of them being JV is still accurate.

This is not something that will end with a peace treaty. Negotiating with the west is not allowed. Negotiating with other Muslims isn’t either – other Muslims either join or they are takfiri. ISIS is all in.

I’m not trying to scare anyone, but it would be really good to keep this movement out of Turkey and out of Europe.

Sunni/Shia Map Showing Shites Percentage of Muslim Populations (Credit: Pew ResearchThis really is an amazing moment. You see many of our allies in the region, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, are majority Sunni and are pro-ISIS (ISIS is a branch of Sunni). Whereas, a couple of our heretofore enemies are majority Shia (Syria and Iran). And don’t forget Pooter. Russia supports Syria.

What if our President flip-flopped and said Bashar al-Assad could stay for a while. Or, Assad agreed to leave. Either way, it becomes a moment where we and most of the western world could be allies with Russia and Iran against ISIS. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

As someone answered during one of the debates, this isn’t our fight, but we broke the middle east in 2003 and we are in our 12th year of trying to fix it using our military. Looks as if we’ll have to wait for the next president to have peace.

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Don’t do it, Joe http://likethedew.com/2015/10/20/dont-do-it-joe/ http://likethedew.com/2015/10/20/dont-do-it-joe/#comments Tue, 20 Oct 2015 16:49:04 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=61871

President Obama cutting up with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State

Joe, we love ya, but please don’t run for president.

You are the man when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. You were there for the Bosniaks in 1994 when Clinton was timid, but you were wrong in 2006 when you voted for the Iraq war. Yet, we should have listened in 2006 when you wanted Iraq split into the three ethnic areas as it is today. Our troops might be home, the Islamic State probably wouldn’t exist and millions of refugees might be at home.

You were the man on justice for victims of domestic violence, against Bork and Thomas, assault weapons, hate and sex crimes, and privacy, but it was your bill that expanded the death penalty and helped fill our prisons with three strikes you get life.

You’ve been for us on climate change and energy. On worker’s rights, civil rights and women’s rights. Had you not come out on gay rights in 2012, who knows how long it would have taken for President Obama and Secretary Clinton to follow?

You were the man for the unemployed in 2010 and helped saved us from the fiscal cliff in 2012, but for 36 years you were the senator from the state that is the mosh pit for the abusive credit card banks and it was your despicable bill that made it so much harder for people to discharge credit cards under bankruptcy during our Great Recession.

Joe, you were always like us. You never forgot where you were from. You never got rich. You used mass transit every day to work. You publicly endured the most heart wrenching tragedies and still suffered on. You have been a part of some great things and most of us don’t remember the bad. Right now we laugh at your gaffes.

We love ya, man, but don’t run. You are on top, well, next to the top. You got an Amtrak station named after you, for gawd’s sake. You can do almost anything next, but win a presidential election and still be loved.

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Get rid of Comcast for $5 http://likethedew.com/2015/10/09/get-rid-of-comcast-for-5/ http://likethedew.com/2015/10/09/get-rid-of-comcast-for-5/#comments Fri, 09 Oct 2015 17:57:34 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=61763

Comcast_caresWalk into any bar and begin telling a Comcast story. Within minutes it will escalate to violence. Each person topping the next with customer disservice and their loathing of one of our least favorite monopolies.

Everyone has a story. Most have more than one.

Mine began when I naively thought I could move my “service” with just a phone call. The Comcast phone representative said I had, but there is no evidence anywhere that what Comcast says on the phone has anything to do with fact. Taking their box to my new home was easy. Installation occurred when I surprised their installer by out-waiting him. The first bill was prepaid along with the installation fee. The second bill arrived showing that I had a two month credit on my old account and owed two months, plus late fees on my new account. I called and after several long waits and one unexplained hangup, I was reassured it was fixed and all would was fine. Just to make sure, I wrote a letter complete with a diagram showing how to take the money from the credit and apply it with the enclosed check to the new service account. All was quiet. A month later I owed three months and three late fees, but also had three months of credit. I repeated the process of calling, writing and paying. Days passed. On the one hundredth day we hosted a dinner party. It was a lovely evening in the fall. The windows were open to cool breezes. The cocktails were flowing. Many of our best friends were there. It was perfect. Until… it was interrupted by an unrelenting thumb on my doorbell and loud banging on my front door. The music stopped as I opened the door to seemingly perfect silence. The man-boy in the Comcast costume informed me and my guests that he was cutting off the cable. When I asked why, he replied with all the drama and volume he could muster, “because you are a deadbeat and haven’t paid your bill in three months.”

No, the story doesn’t end there. I called Directv and in less than two minutes arranged new service and installation the next day. I placed all the Comcast equipment in a box and drove to the Comcast office. Back then, they only had one in Atlanta. A tiny little place across from the Post Office on West Peachtree. The place was packed. The line snaked back and forth in the queue for the only person at the counter. Everyone was angry. I suppose we were all fortunate that Georgia’s idiotic open carry laws were not yet on the books or there would have been bloodshed. When it was finally my turn, I calmly asked to speak to the manager. Surprised, the agent said it wasn’t possible and she could help. I repeated my request a few times until she pointed to the corner and said that I’d have to just wait. Wait I did. A half an hour so had passed when the manager walked out to me and asked what he could do. I didn’t realize that my blood pressure has spiked such that my voice built from almost normal to a gutteral scream while throwing the box to him, “bend over and stick this cable box up your ass.” Yes, the place exploded in applause as I left. Yes, I know you have better stories, please share them in your comments.

Many of you know that I have been attempting to make a career change. The economy has been particularly unkind to those over 45. Or without a particular compunction for greed. Or not independently wealthy. Or if you’d ever work for a small business. Or had been self-employed. Or experienced. Or could actually do things. I’m damned on all charges. I have been looking for a “job in my vertical” – HR vernacular for almost any job that doesn’t involve being a trainee selling insurance. Since the odds of me even being interviewed, much less hired are less than the mythical college-educated single woman over 40 getting married,* I have also invested (wasted is likely more accurate) a good deal of time imagining new businesses, inventions and products the world is desperately lacking or that next new killer app. Each ideation with its own outlined business plan inevitably concluding a high risk of failure due to inadequate capital.

Last week I read about AirPaper (yes, I read it on Geek.com). A start up out of San Francisco that will cancel your Comcast service for five dollars. Brilliant. I should have thought of that.

 

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* In the June 2, 1986 edition of Newsweek titled “Too Late for Prince Charming?” covering the study “The Marriage Crunch,” in which they concluded that a 40-year old single woman was more likely to be killed by a terrorist than marry – a 2.6% chance – 20 years later Newsweek apologized.

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Some of my favs http://likethedew.com/2015/07/02/some-of-my-favs/ http://likethedew.com/2015/07/02/some-of-my-favs/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 21:12:55 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=62030 creative commons (many images at flickr.com) or public domain (government photos and many found at Wikimedia.org) images. Other times, we licensed stock photos. Since the Dew has no money other than contributions or my pocket, we are miserly in our use stock photos, but have paid to licensed more than 500 images since 2007. Often there are no appropriate images to find or license. They just didn't exist. That is my time. I can't draw, so I build. That is what this gallery is - images that I have made by combining or altering other licensed images in Photoshop. There are many more than these, but these are my favs.]]>

We have a few authors at LikeTheDew.com who provide images with their stories. Some that are provided are personal photos. Others stock photos that the author has licensed for us to use. We are also lucky to have a few author-artists and who send beautiful images to add a thousand words.

Most of our writers do not. That’s fine, because I’m pretty picky about how things look on the Dew.

It has been almost seven years since our first story. Whether the photo duties fell to Keith, KC, Ron or me, most often we would seek creative commons (many images at flickr.com) or public domain (government photos and many found at Wikimedia.org) images. Other times, we licensed stock photos. Since the Dew has no money other than contributions or my pocket, we are miserly in our use stock photos, but have paid to licensed more than 500 images since 2007.

Often there are no appropriate images to find or license. They just didn’t exist. That is my time. I can’t draw, so I build. That is what this gallery is – images that I have made by combining or altering other licensed images in Photoshop. There are many more than these, but these are my favs.

Oh, yeah, the dew is all volunteer. Other than our writers, currently I am the only volunteer. I also have a day job. So we always need it fast, cheap and great.

One important note: the attribution and/or licensing for the pieces that made these images can be found on the original stories.

Lonely elephant walking at sunset
Landing of Roger Williams bringing y'all around 1630
Dangerous BS Emissions from GOP Candidates Cause EPA Action
St Bernard Sanders
GOP Elephant Using Georgia Capital Gold Dome as a Toliet
*Common side affects from actual warnings: headache; back, muscle, bone or joint pain; severe or continuing heartburn; diarrhea or constipation; flatulence; nausea; abdominal pain and bloating; painful swallowing; chest pain; pain in the arms or legs; blurred vision and an erection lasting more than 4 hours; swelling or tenderness of the breast; a specific birth defect; high blood pressure; an unsafe drop in blood pressure; shortness of breath; a slow heartbeat; weight gain; fatigue; hypotension; dizziness; faintness; decreased appetite; sleepiness; sexual side effects; nervousness; tremor; yawning; sweating; weakness; insomnia; fewer tears or have dry eyes; unexplained weakness; rare cases of tuberculosis; serious infections; a higher rate of lymphoma; vaginal bleeding; painful menstruation; leg cramps; breast pain; vaginitis and itching; difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue or face; a personality disorder; numbness; a bad rash or hives; problems urinating; long-term loss of potency; stroke; interaction with other medicines or certain foods; seizures; blood clots; a speech disorder; increased salivation; amnesia; paresthesia; intestinal bleeding; colitis; confusion; decreased levels of sodium in the blood; fluid in the lungs; hair loss; hallucinations; increased levels of potassium in the blood; low blood cell counts; palpitations; pancreatitis; ringing in the ears; tingling sensation; unusual headache with stiff neck (aseptic meningitis); vertigo; worsening of epilepsy; serious kidney problems; acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure; severe liver problems including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure; coughing up blood; cough that doesn't go away; blue-grey color or darkening around mouth or nails; slow or difficult speech; loss of ability to concentrate; hallucinating; extreme tiredness; seizures; numbness, heaviness, or tingling in arms or legs; floppiness or loss of muscle tone; lack of energy; excessive sweating; fever, sore throat and chills; bloody (or black) vomit or stools; worsening depression; sudden or severe changes in mood or behavior including feeling anxious, agitated, panicky, irritable, hostile, aggressive, impulsive, severely restless, hyperactive, overly excited, or not being able to sleep; dependency; unpleasant taste; thoughts of suicide and death. Created for LikeTheDew.com.
Shoes drop and a smoking gun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Subverting Democracy by Corrupting Truth http://likethedew.com/2015/04/14/subverting-democracy-by-corrupting-truth/ http://likethedew.com/2015/04/14/subverting-democracy-by-corrupting-truth/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 23:34:17 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=59996
Source: WhiteHouse.gov

“None of my friends can afford Obamacare, either,” Meghan said indignantly, “it should be repealed.”

We were in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Meghan is a mid-to-late-thirties single mother who is balancing raising her child, her relationship and job while still working on her degree.

She was telling us about the hospital where she works. Like so many rural hospitals across the South, her hospital has a significant number of uninsured patients coming through the emergency room for treatment. Federal law (EMTALA) requires all hospitals with an emergency department that receive Medicare to screen, treat, stabilize or transfer anyone requesting treatment regardless of ability to pay.

Meghan told us that her hospital had to cut back staff, which backed up her ER waiting room even more. She told us that the hospital could not afford to treat really sick uninsured patients and mostly their doctors patched up the uninsured sick the best they could, gave the patients some medicine and sent them on their way with a prescription knowing the prescriptions were unaffordable and the patients would be back. Meghan blamed Obamacare for all of it.

That is when I chimed in and told her that things at her hospital were going to get worse. The Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka: Obamacare) is complicated and when passed, assumed every state would expand Medicaid. With almost everyone having insurance, there would be fewer uninsured at the ER and hospital costs would go down. With lower costs, federal Medicare reimbursements are being reduced each year.

That’s when Meghan said that Obamacare was too expensive and should be repealed. And that is when I told her that she had been lied to. That for people earning up to 138% of the poverty level, Obamacare was should have been free and is in free in 28 states. But that her state government decided that the fate of 340,000 South Carolinians was to bankrupt, go to the ER or die.

I wasn’t sure which one of us was going to scream or cry first. Meghan seemed bewildered and said, “It isn’t Obama’s fault that I don’t have health insurance, but it is the states? The state did this? None of my friends know that. All we hear is that it has to be repealed. This is terrible. Why would they do that to us?”

Then I told her about the money. The more than $15.8 billion that her state would have gotten from Washington that was to pay for 100% of Medicaid expansion. Money they will never get. Money that would have created many tens of thousands of good permanent jobs, saved countless bankruptcies, saved lives and made lives better. Money that South Carolina taxpayers are sending to other states.

It gets even worse as the states have to make up the difference for indigent care and the decrease in Medicare reimbursements – money needed to keep hospitals like Meghan’s open. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute put that number at $167.8 billion for all the states not expanding Medicaid from 2013-2022 – for instance, Georgia will lose $1.2 billion in Medicare reimbursements in 2016– more than twice the cost of expanding Medicaid. Stupid and mean.

Despite this, there is good news even in the states which haven’t expanded Medicaid. The online marketplace makes it easier to enroll and determine eligibility. South Carolina, for example, had about 300,000 people who already qualified, but had never enrolled in Medicaid. Using HealthCare.gov, South Carolina has already added over 150,000 of them.

In fairness, there is a cost to the states to accept the expanded Medicaid money. States must provide basic benefits and offer it to all of their citizens below the poverty level, not just women with children. According to the Urban Institute and McClatchyDC.com, South Carolina’s 10-year cost to expand would have been about $1.2 billion – a lot of money, but not much to get $15.8 billion in return. For Georgia to get $33.7 billion, would cost $2.5 billion over 10-years (which could be funded by the governor’s discretionary budget) – one other note on Georgia – five rural hospitals closed since 2012 and more and six more are at risk (USA Today). Here’s a chart for other states.

Cost of not expanding Medicaid
Source: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute

Suggested reading: What Is the Result of States Not Expanding Medicaid?

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I hate this time of year http://likethedew.com/2014/02/25/hate-time-year/ http://likethedew.com/2014/02/25/hate-time-year/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 22:56:44 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=54814

Deal-visits-the-capitol-Thumb

I live in Georgia. The General Assembly is in session. It is our annual celebration of stupidity, ignorance, pandering, baiting, and hate. It is open season on history, the Constitution, science, mutual respect, and common sense. It is a loathsome time. 40 days and $20 billion in public cash. One party, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for some.

This is an election year and our elected officials cannot legally accept campaign contributions while the legislature is in session. The pressure is on in a hurry to protect poor little Georgia from big meanie pants Washington. Blame Obama. Praise Jesus. All hail the NRA and Georgia Carry. Cut taxes, but give give give to bidness.

Now please don’t misunderstand: Many of our leaders are not stupid. They just lead the stupid. To be elected from most places in Georgia, a candidate has to have a Bible in one pocket, one hand on a gun*, the other in another pocket and both feet on the poor. The more outrageous cruelty they can spew, the more electable they become. But it is too early for the fall campaigns.

Let’s just talk about today. Here are examples from just this day’s headlines from our daily newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the link will take you to subscriptions – yes, I subscribe and encourage you to subscribe). I provided links to the stories, but it is virtually impossible to read the AJC and find the identical stories on their website or app because of updating. One caution on following the links, no matter how many times you sign in as a subscriber, it won’t be enough – just buy the paper.

This bill would make it legal for business owners (corporations are people too so some must be racist, homophobic, misogynistic, nativist, etc. or all of the above) to discriminate based on your religious beliefs. This bill must be intended to appeal to people who are filled with hate for people they have never met. The backers pretend the guv’ment is forcing private businesses to sin by treating everyone equal. Combine this one with stand your ground and it feels just like the old days in Georgia.

This is another one of those bills that is attempting to fix something that has never been a problem. The bill would prevent people who don’t have legal status — but our government says can be here (deferred action) — from getting a driver’s license. This would include those “who were illegally brought here as children, battered spouses, parents with seriously ill children and crime victims who are serving as witnesses.” Another of those, beat-‘em-while-they-are-down bills. Just mean. Nasty. I know that some pink people are afraid of anyone who is able to learn another language or who has traveled internationally. I suppose it just makes the lawmakers feel small and inferior to encounter such people. A shame, really. Why couldn’t the lawmakers just get a lobbyist to pay for a language class or a fact-finding junket?

A bill that was withdrawn because almost all the members of the majority party were embarrassed that they would be voting against something that was perceived as libertarian but also would seem to some voters to help child molesters. The bill was intended to fix a problem with existing law, passed by the same people who were being asked to vote this time, which treats registered sex offenders and those loitering around schools the same.

The idea is simple: make sure there are enough stupid and ignorant voters in Georgia’s future that the party in charge will stay in charge.
This bill would increase from 58 MILLION DOLLARS to 100 MILLION DOLLARS the amount given to people and businesses (corporations are people, too) as tax deductions for scholarships to private schools for rich white kids. Where does Georgia get that kind of money? By taking it from public education. This governor and this legislature have starved Georgia schools, cutting per-student funding by almost 30% in the past five years. Without a good education, you can’t earn a living wage and desperate people equal cheap labor, and that’s good for business, especially Georgia’s private prison and parole industry.

I hate this time of year. It brings out the worst in me. Fits of anger only mollified by the absurdity of it all. Nausea followed by swallowing bile. Laughing at the irony when I can find it, always followed by sadness. Most of all, an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.

 


 

* I’ve got no issue with hunters, sports shooters, varmint killers and those trained to safely own and handle firearms. I just don’t know what other people who need all these pistols and automatic weapons are so afraid of or why they so often shoot themselves or family members or leave their loaded guns around for their kids to find after they have passed out drunk in their chairs. And I don’t know why they are so paranoid. We don’t want their guns. We just don’t want their guns used to shoot our kids or other people’s kids or our grandmas or people playing music too loud or people who look different or bathe more often than they do.  I don’t even care that they can’t read the Constitution and believe their state militia’s rights to keep and bear arms apply to their small little lives even when the current Supreme Court agrees with them and not me. What’s the big deal? Surely there are enough gun people who are sane and wish to be protected from the gun wackos. Figure this out. Make life safer the old fashion way (and the way the rest of the developed world does) by not carrying unlicensed, unregistered guns around and locking them up when they are not needed to play with to make you feel more important and secure about erectile dysfunction. Or are you just too yellow and chicken to stand up for yourselves? Kidding, please don’t shoot.

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October First http://likethedew.com/2013/09/27/october-first/ http://likethedew.com/2013/09/27/october-first/#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 22:57:17 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=53223 48,600,000 uninsured Americans have been waiting so long for… October first. The day the national insurance exchanges will open. The day that Teapuglicans have fought so tirelessly to prevent. It is time we were reminded of just how ruthlessly stupid our state leaders are. Perhaps, that isn’t fair. Maybe they are not stupid, just uninformed. Or perhaps, they are betting we are.]]>

As we creep ever closer to the day that 48,600,000 uninsured Americans have been waiting so long for… October first. The day the national insurance exchanges will open. The day that Teapuglicans have fought so tirelessly to prevent. It is time we were reminded of just how ruthlessly stupid our state leaders are. Perhaps, that isn’t fair. Maybe they are not stupid, just uninformed. Or perhaps, they are betting we are.

Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia are expanding Medicaid to cover all of their citizens under 65 who make 133% of the poverty line or below. This graph shows the amount of Federal dollars going into each state, less the state's share to expand Medicaid, plus the premium subsidies for those up to 400% of the poverty line, the Federal part of cost sharing and the amount each state is expected to save on indigent care (all figures are estimates, of course).
Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia are expanding Medicaid to cover all of their citizens under 65 who make 133% of the poverty line or below. This graph shows the amount of Federal dollars going into each state, less the state’s share to expand Medicaid, plus the premium subsidies for those up to 400% of the poverty line, the Federal part of cost sharing and the amount each state is expected to save on indigent care (all figures are estimates, of course).

To those in Arkansas, DC, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia who are expanding Medicaid so health insurance is within reach of every one of your citizens, congratulations. Your state government works. You will benefit not only with healthier neighbors, but because of Obamacare, your states will receive an estimated total 45 billion dollars over the next five years in new and repurposed Federal dollars and state savings. That is going to create a lot of good jobs we desperately need.

The Center for American Progress suggests a multiplier of 3.8 jobs per $100,000 in Federal spending per year (not just salaries, but assumes that local salaries will be spent at local stores creating more jobs). Using that formula on on our Medicaid expansion states, that worked out to 342,836 new jobs. Even if you discount the multiplier, that is a lot of jobs.

Could have been Obamacare impact -not states
This is a “what if” of sorts showing the amount each Southern state not currently planning to expand Medicaid would get if they did, while including the premium subsides, cost sharing and indigent care savings that they will get no matter what.

For the rest of us in the South – those living in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia that are not expanding Medicaid, at least not so far, the cost in lost federal dollars will be over $200 billion (not to the wing nuts keeping score: yes, we subtracted the amount it would cost states to expand Medicaid to include more than just pregnant teenagers – click here for those tables).

$200 billion would have created 1,572,956 jobs that will never be. Jobs with good incomes that would have been spent on houses, cars, and stuff. that drives the economy – both the private and public sector. Income that would have been taxed that could have paid for schools, first responders and bridges. What fools we are to elect the people who made sure we wouldn’t have these jobs –  Alabama: 76,228, Florida: 319,626, Georgia: 149,515, Louisiana: 87,818, Mississippi: 54,781, Missouri: 94,597, NC: 165,315, Oklahoma: 40,158, SC: 69,563, Tennessee: 112,518, Texas: 335,206, and Virginia: 67,632 – all jobs that will never be. Makes you want to puke, doesn’t it?

Projected Obamacare Impact
Estimated economic impact of Obamacare in the Southern states not planning to expand Medicaid.
Obamacare what will be jobs
Estimated jobs created by Obamacare in the Southern states not planning to expand Medicaid.

That’s the hateful part of what our leaders have done. Now for the rest of the story: no matter what Robert Bentley, Nathan Deal, Bobby Jindal, Phil Bryant, Pat McCrory, Mary Fallin, Nikki Haley, Bill Haslam, Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell (Rick Scott and Jay Nixon support expanding Medicaid, but their legislatures have, so far, failed to fund it – click here for a table showing the status of potential expansion by state) do, there are plenty of good things that will happen anyway. Topping any industrial job expansion since World War II, the Affordable Care Act (ACT), aka: Obamacare, even without expanding Medicaid, will create an estimated 810,836 jobs in these Southern states – good paying jobs. Jobs that make people happy.

If you are on Medicare, or if you or your spouse are employed and have employer-provided insurance, nothing will change for you on October first. The insurance exchanges are for small businesses, the self-employed and people who currently do not have insurance because they cannot afford it or are prevented from having health insurance because of a preexisting condition. If you are employed and work full-time or part-time, but your employer does not provide insurance, expect your employer to let you know your options.

If you are self-employed and paying way more than someone who works for a conglomerate does, you are going to love it (full disclosure: I’m self-employed, used the calculator at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Obamacare will save my family about $18,000 a year – without one cent of Federal premium subsidy – simply because I’m no longer discriminated against for not working for a conglomerate or my age).

If you have a preexisting condition, you are going to love it; if you work part time, or not at all, you are going to love it; and if you are within 400% of the poverty line as most are who live in the South, you are going to love it – even if you are young and healthy (contrary to the doom and gloomers, there are affordable policies with higher deductibles for healthy young people).

If you don’t have insurance, by law, you have to get it next year. Beginning October first, the place to shop for it is HealthCare.gov – the health insurance marketplace.

One note of caution: there may be some computer glitches and other problems (including those caused by a temporary government shutdown) – October first is just the official opening of the health insurance exchanges and there will still be about 91 shopping days until the new year. You’ll have news people covering it just like they do hurricanes when the cable TV stars find a damaged filling station sign and a puddle to stand in. The fact of the matter is that the Obama administration expected that each state would want all the money that was going to come their way for building the state marketplaces and the systems. More millions that would have been good jobs in your state were rejected – go figure.

For those of you who are under 65, unemployed or working for minimum wage and living in the states that are not expanding Medicaid, there is still the emergency room. Just tell the person at the desk that your state leaders are so stupid they want you to be there.

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Issuing a Metaphor http://likethedew.com/2013/09/12/issuing-a-metaphor/ http://likethedew.com/2013/09/12/issuing-a-metaphor/#comments Fri, 13 Sep 2013 00:32:29 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=53119

Hard as it is to believe, we almost went to war because our president “issued” a metaphor. And how exactly do you “issue” a metaphor anyway? Our president knew it wasn’t an actual red line since he said it and didn’t draw it, but had it been real, couldn’t we have just gotten an eraser out, or just started with a clean slate? Oops, a clean slate is a metaphor – not something real. Fortunately for us and especially fortunate for those in Syria who would have been blown to paradise for being inside the metaphorical red line… damn, there I go again. I’ll start over, but not “restart” because they don’t mean the same thing since, “restart” is now a metaphor used every four years related to Israel v. Palestine “Peace” talks and is no longer just a word. Fortunately for us all, I didn’t choose “do over” since that is Hillary’s metaphor for publicly pretending that it is okay to start over without anyone noticing, which is cheating, which she’d never do. Bill did, but I digress.

Credit: ThePeoplesCube.com
Credit: ThePeoplesCube.com

Fortunately for all of us this time, President Obama chose to follow the Constitution, which, of course, is not something Congress was likely to do – they have actually only done it five times. Why wouldn’t they do it you ask? Because everyone in our government pretends crap all the time. See, the House of Representatives is run like a asylum with the patients in charge and they have the power and probably the votes to pass articles of impeachment at any given moment, but I digress. The Constitution specifically gave congress the power to declare war, not the president, but… yeah, there’s a “but” …the Constitution doesn’t’ exactly say what war is, when war would need to be declared and whether the president could toss a few hundred missiles, which cost $20,000,000 or more a piece at another country. The reason they don’t is that during war time the President gets a heap of new powers to wage it and could likely get away with doing unthinkable things – torture, killing of Americans without a trial, wiretaps without a warrant, etc. Wait, you say, didn’t Shrub do that? Well, yeah. How’d he get away with it, you ask? Our current president decided that we-the-people needed healing rather than acrimony. That, and should he, the president, do some bad shit, he’d want to get away with it, too – so he told the justice department not to pursue. Yeah, I know, hard to believe this AG has closed his eyes to all kinds of bad.

Getting back to the slime in the Congress… way back in 1973 when the Democrats ruled in Congress, but not trust the guy in the White House for some odd reason, and mostly, remembering that their guys made shit up about our police action in Vietnam for a decade, passed the “War Powers Resolution” which allow presidents to wage actions and war-like-shit for 60 days, without first getting permission from Congress with the caveat that we all ended up agreeing the “action” – a metaphor for war – was important, we were in danger of the stock market going down and such such. Everyone knows that this should be unconstitutional. But every congressperson seems to like that they don’t have to vote for war until after the polling comes in and after they have had time to meet with any lobbyist wanting to buy a vote. Should the lobbyists threaten to cut off the their election funding, Congress could always point at the president and say, “he did it.”

But that is not why President Obama asked Congress. Nor was it his fear that he’d be impeached. Facts be known, which they won’t be, I really don’t think he wants to bomb Syria although John Kerry really really really wants a war-like-action hoping that people will think he was as tough as Hillary (never). President Obama sent it to Congress thinking they’d have to vote for this turd and Boner and Company would have to raise the budget limit in the meantime.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Teapublicans are planning to shut down the government in a couple of weeks now that vacation season is over and no one will care if the parks close. Plus, it they haven’t voted to defund Obamacare yet this month. I guess John Kerry will be remembered for the man who opened his mouth and shut down the country. Best of luck, everyone.

One last thought: there are those who believe this was all a plot to give Pooter a moment as “peacemaker” – a metaphor for someone popular with celebrities.

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What am I doing here? http://likethedew.com/2013/04/22/what-am-i-doing-here/ http://likethedew.com/2013/04/22/what-am-i-doing-here/#comments Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:16:27 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=50632

LikeTheDewOnTheWebFour years ago, I was writing every day. Then we launched LikeTheDew.com. Seemed a good idea. My friend Keith was looking for a place to write. So were some of his newly former journalist pals.

We didn’t need a business plan. The last thing we wanted was for the Dew to become a job. It was organic. It would just evolve. No real guidelines. We just wanted well written and relevant stories. No fiction or poetry. And it had to be progressive.

It was pretty exciting at first. Watching the stats. Seeing people come to the site. Watching our rankings go higher.

Keith and I were sharing the posting duties. After a couple of months, Ron Taylor started helping out. There weren’t real rules, but it came to be that Ron’s shift was midnight to dawn. I’d handle stuff during the day and early evening. And Keith would tag team with either of us. Hour by hour,24/7, we were jazzed about the Dew.

Then the burnout began. It was pretty easy to see coming. Our ex-journalist writers weren’t posting as often and urging them was unpleasant for all involved.

We started recruiting writers from other blogs and using some creative commons stories to keep the churn of at least five or six stories a day. More work. Especially when you added all the time to set up writer accounts, adding attributions, and finding and licensing photos.

We kept going, though. What we were doing was important or at least, felt like it was. And writing was fun. Posting stories for other writers, wasn’t. Neither was finding creative commons stories. Or recruiting writers. Or doing the social marketing stuff to promote the site. Or dealing with spam writers. Or dealing with people who shouldn’t be writing. Or dealing with crazy comments. Or reading, art directing or any level of editing – that really sucked. Oh yeah, the technical stuff and dealing with hackers – literally a black hole for time. My time.

Soon after, Keith stopped writing. He’d still handle our Tumblr and Twitter sites, joined us for meetings at Manual’s, but the Dew just wasn’t much fun any more. Then Ron stopped writing. Then I got sick. Then Ron died. Then we started begging for help via email, newsletters and ads. We got a lot of promises, but no one ever stepped up. Then I got better, but Ron didn’t.

LikeTheDew.com wasn’t the same after that. I wrote one or two more stories, but I couldn’t write and do the rest. Frankly, I was pretty sick of how things had turned out. That gets us to today.

The Dew still manages to attract writers offering nostalgia and some thoughtful essays. Some of that work is very well done. But the initial vision for the Dew was a real mix of stories, including many that would focus on contemporary issues affecting the region and the nation. That kind of edgy, thought provoking article that can lead to reform and to efforts to make our region and nation better has been largely lacking lately.

We need writers willing to commit to newsy analysis and pointed political analysis. We also need people who are willing to take on the job of preparing those stories for publication and posting them to the Dew.

Like the Dew is more than a one-person show. It was intended to be a collective that requires a fair amount of dedication from readers and writers. Without that kind of commitment, we cannot continue.

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To my Republican friends: http://likethedew.com/2012/11/08/to-my-republican-friends/ http://likethedew.com/2012/11/08/to-my-republican-friends/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 23:12:52 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=43739

I apologize. I had no idea.

I didn’t know what you did. All these years when I said with complete and utter disdain, “I don’t watch Fox,” I didn’t know that if I had, I might well have known what you knew to be true. Things that I knew to be “facts” you knew to be “theory” or worse. What a world? Seems nuts. I’m sorry. I repent starting now.

Learning that I’ve had my blinders on all this time has taught me a hard lesson. The fact that I didn’t read Drudge, couldn’t listen to Peggy Noonan* and wanted Karl Rove in jail, kept me from hearing the drone of truth that you knew. No balance at all. Certainly unfair.

The whole time I was reading newspapers, listening to the mainstream media and going from one site or book to another. Often “fact” checking. I was missing what you knew all along. Now it feels a bit like how a diabetic must have felt when they didn’t have sugarfree Kool-Aid at the last Jim Jones meeting.

Or how a North Korean must feel when a western newspaper blows across the DMZ. Or a child catching Santa. Or someone always home schooled. Stuff taken for granted turns out to be total unmitigated crap. I know. That must still sound like heresy, if there is such a thing. What is one to believe when everything they have known and trust now seems upside down?

So how was it that I came to see the light? A friend sent me a link to a story in, well, a “lamestream” site, the Atlantic. I naively just clicked the link and started reading. My jaw dropped. Saliva drooled from my mouth forming a wet spot that I didn’t even notice until I got up and… well, that’s another story. My point is that it never once occurred to me that you guys made a channel decision years ago for whatever reason and, well, let me just quote from the story:

Tuesday’s result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout — Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs.

Those audiences were misinformed.

Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different.

Or…

How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.

The point is, I was intolerant and I despise intolerance. Jon Stewart and others tried to warn me, but I wouldn’t listen. I just assumed that you were stubborn and incapable of accepting a different point of view. I realize that you must feel just awful to have been duped so and for so long. So foolish. Especially when you did so publicly. In front of everyone you know. All your friends and co-workers. Your family. Your children. And you were sooooo righteous. Often telling us loudly and with absolute hatred that we were complete Godless idiots before slamming the door and going back into your cult to plan the overthrow of the heretics. I just want to say that I will forgive you. I’ll be kind. There will be no required “Hunger Games” as a result. How can I help? Perhaps I could suggest a good book?

 

_______________________

* I’d rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard or an endless loop of the best of Andy Williams than that woman’s voice. Makes me scream and pull my hair out. Aaaaaaaah! I’ll be alright. I just need some quiet.

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The American People Have Spoken: We Like Things The Way They Are http://likethedew.com/2012/11/07/the-american-people-have-spoken-we-like-things-the-way-they-are/ http://likethedew.com/2012/11/07/the-american-people-have-spoken-we-like-things-the-way-they-are/#comments Wed, 07 Nov 2012 07:42:02 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=43676

In a historic election, President Barack Hussein Obama has been re-elected; the Republicans have been re-elected to a majority in the House of Representatives; and the Democrats have been re-elected to a majority in the Senate. Hurrah! We won! Nothing has changed. We are saved. Our leaders can get back to doing nothing.

The American people have spoken clearly: we must like the House passing bills that are never taken up in the Senate; that a single Republican can hold any bill hostage in the Senate; that our president rules by fiat with no functioning representative branch to hold him in check or provide input; we must like it that the our elected leaders are looking forward to the next election two years from now for clarity; and we must particularly like that we spend so much unproductive time talking about it just so we can hate the 48.1% who are on the other side (without it, how would we decide which Facebook friends to accept?).

It also seems that we would like to give “Obamacare” a chance since it has been law for what seems like forever, yet it doesn’t go into effect for two more years; that we would like to see what it would be like to have our troops home again and not be at war (so many our our citizens have never know peacetime); how it will be under Lilly Ledbetter; and most just can’t wait to find out what Donald Trump will say about this President next .

Yes, after enduring four terrible years of the Bush depression and finally seeing a glint of hope in the economy, we the people are looking forward to learning if it will lead to jobs, maybe even some good jobs; we want to see how it will be when the Dodd-Frank rules are finally written and if it will protect us from them; what it will be like when sequestration forces cuts to a government that was just a dare to the other side when it passed; and if anyone will give due credit to this election campaign for spending so much that it may stimulate the world out of recession ( don’t you ever stop and wonder what do the billionaires think they will get for their campaign money?).

Speaking for one, I’m a bit relieved that we don’t have to break in another newcomer (or their entourage – awg!) to the office of president. For all the accomplishments, this government is even more competent now for the experience of what we have been through. The campaign workers who wanted four years of real work experience on their resumes will leave in the next few months and will be replaced with more qualified leaders (and new campaign contributors and/or workers). Our president will have more “flexibility” after the election to do any great thing that can be imagined that does not require Congressional approval.

We assume a couple of the judges on the Supreme Court will ask to be replaced and we the people know their confirmation hearings will make good television watching (I suggest Hillary Clinton be his next nomination). We the people also hope that whomever ends up on the court takes their job more seriously than those who are elected or, at least, I think we do.

We hope the promises of the campaign will be remembered and honored. (Hah, just testing you – there weren’t any details promised during the campaign silly voters (how could they be elected if they spoke in specifics?), but it would be nice to think that the least this government could do in the next term would be: comprehensive immigration reform; leave women and GLBTs to their personal rights and privacy; arrest some of the bastards who screwed us and stole our economy (please take their lobbyist scum with them); leave the states alone on weed, but tell them what to do on early voting; prosecute the corporate tax cheats who are hiding money offshore; keep our water and air clean and our food and drugs safe; make us sustainable and energy independent; protect us from the effects of global climate change and hold accountable the greedy assholes who are making things worse and/or dirtier (though they may have already been arrested if they were caught when you rounded up the bastards or the cheats); live up to the Peace Prize; protect us from those who’d harm us;  and, yeah, keep the government from shutting down for no good f’ng reason; getting rid of the tax loopholes for those who don’t need it and fixing the AMT that hurt those unintended would be good, too; so would solving the problems with our education system; helping kids get out from under college loans should be on the list, too; and maybe you could do something about the mass killings from guns without pissing off those who want them to hunt or fondle; wait a minute, there’s a lot of real work that needs to be done so get off your elective asses and get to work on the people business before we vote your out of office again – just kidding, we don’t do that.)

Recapping, we have just elected a new lame duck government with a mandate to replace the current lame duck government that it is taking us off a fiscal cliff, but it is the best democracy that money can buy or stomach.

On a personal note: whew, that was close. We almost elected that rich white guy who liked to fire trees of a certain height and let his dog puke from top of his car on the Interstate.

On a more frightening note: he (the rich white guy) has kids. Lots of them and given their stance on contraception they might contend soon.

On less cynical note: what a wonderful night for our nation – we the people elected a new government and we did it together. This new government has begun with the President reaching out to the other side in the hope of reconciliation and compromise to solve our nation’s and the world’s problems. Let’s hope they do.

 

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9NwKAjmt0

Obama Wins the 2012 Election: Obama’s Complete Presidential Victory Speech

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i26Pk6Ki5Q

Mitt Romney’s Full Election Night Concession Speech

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Now Couldn’t Be the Right Time http://likethedew.com/2012/07/26/now-couldnt-be-the-right-time/ http://likethedew.com/2012/07/26/now-couldnt-be-the-right-time/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 01:29:14 +0000 http://likethedew.com/?p=41015

It seems as if every time a dozen or so people are murdered and six or so dozen are shot up in a movie theater, high school or college campus, the wacko leftist peacenik liberal elites start spouting that anyone who believes automatic weapons should be legal is either stupid, crazy, a mass murderer wannabe or has length challenged privates, and that our right to bare arms and bear arms, which even that Obama-loving SCOTUS Judge Roberts, admits that we have, has limits and that we shouldn’t be able to carry at airports, high schools, day care centers, bars, church and places where the President will be.

All the while, those reasoned and highly compensated voices from the heartland are reminding us that this is not the time to reflect, but is the time to grieve, remember the victims and praise Jeezus that we were not in the theater that night. This is the time to watch and listen to cable and entertainment news so we can learn every salacious detail about the shooter, and every emotion felt and articulated by neighbors, teachers, employers, lovers, movie critics, Batman fans or childhood friends who hadn’t seen him in 20 years. This is the time to be reminded of why an insanity plea doesn’t make a murderer innocent.

 Houston Gun ShowThis is the time to come together and not discuss if it makes sense that anyone can order 6,000 rounds of ammo, body armor or hundred-round clips on the internets, tax free. There will be time to talk about unregulated gun shows. There will be time to remember the police killed in the line of duty by Americans exercising their rights and time to appreciate the irony that the men and women whose job it is to protect us have been forced to become more and more militarized to be safer from all of our guns. There will be time for old 60 Minutes reruns where they buy hundreds, or even thousands of guns right there on teevee with no questions asked. There will be time when we will all pay attention to the drone of the Muslim Brotherhood’s moles in Congress as they finally admit that they want to declare Sharia, take away our God given and constitutionally protected freedoms by denying us our right to protect our homes and loved ones from suspicious looking people wearing hoodies. There will be a time to compare our gun deaths with other civilized countries, Somalia, for instance.

There will be time to remember that guns don’t kill people. It is people who are the problem. Ironically, more than half of all gun deaths are not from people protecting themselves. More than half the gun deaths each year are from people killing themselves — often the spouse or child of the gun owner. Suicide, not homicide.

Now is not the time. We need more perspective. More dead. More wounded. No, now couldn’t possibly be the time. It is an election year and the NRA doesn’t lose elections.

According to news accounts, now might be the time to go to the local gun super store, or better yet, a gun show (favored by felons, gangs, terrorists and the mentally ill), and stock up on guns, ammo and the latest bulletproof fashions – perfect for date night. But if you are one of those special gun owners who just can’t seem to maintain a healthy relationship, consider skipping the movies this weekend. The Olympic shooting competition is starting.


An afterthought for your entertainment: “The Sing-Along Second Amendment” by Roy Zimmerman

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuNEq7gHqF8

 

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