June 30, 2007

Let's privatize it all!

Speaking of health insurance, and the privatization thereof, DarkSyde comments on something I've heard Michael Moore say twice, first on The Daily Show and on Larry King Live last night.

Medicine Marches ... oops: Sicko opens in theaters across the nation. Michael Moore made an interesting observation on The Daily Show this week: If for profit health care works so dang well, surely it makes sense for property. Who needs a Fire Department? Let your homeowner's insuance company run that. Assuming your premiums are current, the firemen can call the company for authorization to put out the blaze, and, hopefully, a bean counter won't veto them with, "Let's wait and see if putting out that fire is really necessary."
Puts it in a whole different light, doesn't it? How about the Police Department? If you've never been a victim of crime, then you're covered, but if you have, well, that's a pre-existing condition and proof that you are prone to being a victim of crime, and therefore too much of a risk for the police to worry about, so unless you pay exorbitant fees to your "for profit" private police department, you aren't protected.

Dem Day today

Hi all, I'm in Elko today for the Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus meeting and the Nevada State Democratic Central Committee meeting. Looks like we will be doing a mock caucus as well.

In the meantime, who has seen "Sicko?" I got an email from a friend who saw it yesterday in San Francisco and urges everyone to see it. I'm going through my own health insurance nightmare right now with my daughter. The movie arrives in Reno on July 6th. Dang! I thought we could go see it tomorrow.

Also...sign the Life Earth Pledge.

June 20, 2007

If you've got thirteen minutes ...

Then watch and listen to Digby's speech at the Take Back America conference. Or, just read the transcript. H/T to mcjoan at DailyKos for the link at Blast Off!

June 16, 2007

Maya Angelou

I have always loved this woman. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is one of my all time faves. And her voice: so sweet and low, melodic. Here she speaks about our mothers, our grandmothers, being women and Hillary.

More attention than usual

My site visit count has jumped astronomically since the nod this humble little blog got from hillaryhub.com on Thursday. And it's bringing out the obligatory wingnuts. See comments to my Hillary post below.

I am especially intrigued by my latest detractor who calls Hillary a Marxist. Uh huh. She who many in my party actually find more conservative and corporate centric than they would like. Hillary's no Marxist.

But my second objection to said poster is the inference that we could all be billionaires if we just worked hard enough and didn't make poor choices. No. We. Can't. Someone has to clean the toilets, take out the trash, type the memos, do the accounting, wait the tables, bus them, wash the dishes, drive the school buses, police our streets, put out our fires, fix our plumbing, and on and on and on. And guess what, they work damn hard. And all they ask is that (A) they get rewarded for an honest day's work, (B) they get treated fairly and (C) that their government, you know, the one "of the people," has their back, not just the backs of the big guys.

June 14, 2007

My first poll

NV Mojo says she misses my former avatar. I kinda like the guy to the right. But I'm open.

So...you all decide. Should I bring back baby cls, or keep the new pic?

Better Know A Candidate - Hillary's Innovation Agenda

I just popped over to Hillary's web site today and this caught my eye:

Innovation Agenda Version 1.0

At a time when workers are anxious about the challenges of globalization and there is growing concern that America is losing its competitive edge, Hillary Clinton offered her views on how innovation can be the key for creating new jobs, stimulating economic growth, and ensuring American leadership of 21st century industries. She detailed policy proposals to renew the nation’s commitment to research; help create the premier science, engineering, technology, and mathematics workforce; and upgrade our innovation infrastructure. Hillary Clinton also rejected the Bush administration’s mixture of science with politics, and pledged to restore integrity to federal science policy.

BACKGROUND: America is still an “innovation superpower.” We have the world’s best university system, an entrepreneurial culture, and the availability of risk capital. Also, we spend more than $300 billion a year on research and development (approximately 2.7% of GDP), more than any other nation. Our products and services are in demand the world over. Last year, Americans captured all of the Nobel Prizes in science.

THE CHALLENGES: Other nations are increasingly investing in their innovation infrastructure, positioning themselves to challenge our leadership. In the last 12 years, China has doubled the percentage of GDP dedicated to R&D, and over that same period GDP itself doubled. Also, our share of the world’s scientists and engineers has declined, and too few American college students are preparing themselves for these careers. Fewer than 20% of American undergraduates are earning degrees in science or engineering, compared with more than 50% in China. And, we now rank 25th in broadband deployment.

She then lays out a nine-point plan "to renew the nation’s commitment to research; help create the premier science, engineering, technology and mathematics workforce; and upgrade our innovation infrastructure."

It's quite good, and she wants to hear your ideas on how to "build on what she has introduced." There's a form there and everything. Check it out.

On another note (heh), I wonder when they are going to decide on the campaign song.

June 13, 2007

Listen up ladies

This is important! From today's New York Times:

Symptoms Found for Early Check on Ovary Cancer

The new advice is the first official recognition that ovarian cancer, long believed to give no warning until it was far advanced, does cause symptoms at earlier stages in many women.

The symptoms to watch out for are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate. A woman who has any of those problems nearly every day for more than two or three weeks is advised to see a gynecologist, especially if the symptoms are new and quite different from her usual state of health.

. . .

This year, 22,430 new cases and 15,280 deaths are expected in the United States.

If the cancer is found and surgically removed early, before it spreads outside the ovary, 93 percent of patients are still alive five years later. Only 19 percent of cases are found that early, and 45 percent of all women with the disease survive at least five years after the diagnosis.

By contrast, among women with breast cancer, 89 percent survive five years or more.
As you may recall, this is what felled Gilda Radner. Pay attention to your bodies.

June 10, 2007

Sunday morning blog round up

As my new job has taken me away from a daily review of blogs, I have to "catch up" on the weekend. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Not Your Mama at Coyote Angry brings her usual flair to two issues. First, the media event that captivated the MSM for the last week, and her opinion on memorials and land grabs.
  • Desert Beacon dissects the issue of voter fraud (imagined) vs voter suppression (real). Let me repeat: If you are not making Desert Beacon a daily stop in your cruising of the Nevada blogosphere, you are missing a lot.
  • The Anon Guy at Dullard Mush posts a two-part email interview with Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd. (Part 1, Part 2)
  • NV Mojo reminds us that we need to vigilant and protect this wonderful thing called the Internet here and here. I have mixed emotions about her plea that we drop our AT&T services. Yesterday I was listening to Jackie Guerra on Air America and she was discussing workers rights and the big communications companies, specifically Verizon and Cingular/AT&T and it appears that AT&T is a respecter of workers rights, while Verizon is not and is doing everything in its power to prevent its workers from organizing. I dropped Verizon about a year ago due to really piss-poor service and moved to Cingular based on what many people told me about their service. I've never had a problem with them, their customer service is excellent, and now I know that they treat their people right. Perhaps we can bring pressure to bear on AT&T to do the right thing in this instance as well.
  • Upnorth gives his thoughts on the progress of the Nevada campaigns, so far.
  • Jack Wood at Nye Gateway expounds on what we lose when we allow the fat cats to control our government.
  • Rumor has it that Myrna is nesting....
  • Vote Gibbons Out discusses Jim Gibbons' "philosophy" (as in: lack of)
  • The Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus announces its next meeting, complete with elections to fill the chair's seat vacated by Marcia deBraga.

If you have loved a dog

We have two.

Daisy, an adoption made in the early days of love when Sweetie indulged me my every whim (okay, he still does), and a trip to the Humane Society brought us face to face with an auburn dog who knew that we were supposed to take her home.

Buddy, showed up at our door three summers ago, just three months old and following a Dish Network salesperson around in the 95-degree Nevada summer heat. He took one look at me, and moved in for the kill. We took him to the backyard to get him water and out of the heat and Daisy looked at us as if to say, "A toy! Thanks!"

They are fully entwined in each others hearts and in ours.


Daisy is aging, having already escaped a near miss with some anti-freeze (not ours!), and Buddy still seems a puppy, though he has long given up chewing up Sweetie's drip system. We've gotten rid of every backyard escape route they've managed to find, includin, but not limited to, unlocking the back gate, and life with them has settled into a routine that I never take for granted. They are with us for such a short time.

This essay by Arthur Phillips poignantly charts how we track our milestones when there is a dog in the home. (Warning: possible hanky alert)

June 6, 2007

The difference between us and them

We are thrilled that William Jefferson has been indicted. The guy was caught red-handed. We want him gone. (here, here, here)

On the other hand, they rush to defend Scooter Libby and now want him pardoned.

June 4, 2007

Better Know a Candidate - Last Night's Debate

My thoughts on last night's debate in New Hampshire:

First, debate moderators, PLEASE, no more "raise your hands if you" questions. This isn't grammar school. If you wish to know the candidates stances on basic issues, have them fill out a questionnaire beforehand and publish it on your web site. Jeesh!

Winners

  • Hillary Clinton - My favorite moment was her smack-down of Wolf Blitzer (video) on his asinine hypothetical questions. She's looking better and better to me. Also, she answered each question she was given (those Town Halls are paying off). I never once found myself saying about her, "She's not answering the question." I never got the feeling that she was using a question to revert to a point she Had To Make.
  • Joe Biden - even though he is off my list, he stayed on point. Also, I "hear-heared" his comments about the political realities of Washington, which Hillary echoed later. Again, he answered the questions.
  • Chris Dodd - Cheers for his answer to the 100 days in office question (restoring our Constitutional rights)

Held their own

  • John Edwards - I think he tripped up a bit on the gay marriage question, but overall he gave a solid performance.
  • Dennis Kucinich - As always, the man comes from a different perspective than many Americans, but he is able to articulate his vision. Did not always address the question at hand, but used them as a spring board to the points he wanted to make. This is not always bad, but the candidate should at least quickly address the question before moving on.
  • Barack Obama - did better than the last debate, but I am still cautious about him. Often didn't answer the question he was given or took too long to get to the answer. The same thing happened in the last debate.

Losers

  • Bill Richardson - The man has an extraordinary resume, but last night he seemed to rely to heavily on his role as governor (nearly every answer he gave reminded us that he was the governor of New Mexico), and his answer to the 100 days question stunned both my husband and me. My husband who really likes Gov Richardson said, "Wow, he didn't do himself any favors tonight."
  • Mike Gravel - What was refreshing in the first few debates and forums has gotten tiresome.

Overall though, I thought this debate was much better than the first one, and really enjoyed the give and take of the debate which was sorely lacking in the first debate. I didn't walk away from this one feeling frustrated. And man oh man, what a great group of candidates we have.

June 3, 2007

Neat search engine

I was one of the presenters at yesterday's Democratic Leadership Academy in Washoe County and Billy Howard introduced the group to the meta-search engine KartOO. If you haven't heard of it, check it out. It groups links in a very understandable way in a graphical interface (moving your cursor over the icons will reveal the connections these links may have with others in the graphic), It also provides other grouped links on the left sidebar. Check it out. There is no way I could describe it adequately in this post.

Rest in Peace, Steve Gilliard

I'd been wondering how he was doing. What a loss.

June 2, 2007

Not a one of them from Iraq

4 Charged in Plot to Bomb Kennedy Airport - New York Times

Alice in Wonderland and playing chess

Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post pens this oped on the options left to those who oppose the war.

What are you supposed to do, according to supporters of the Iraq war, if you think that the war is a dreadful mistake? Suppose you are a member of Congress, elected by constituents who also, like most Americans, according to opinion polls, oppose the war. Is there any legitimate action you can take? Or must you simply allow the war to go on and let young Americans die in what you regard as a bad cause? What are your options?
Then he addresses the convoluted logic of the the war promoters.
There was a time, circa 1999, when Republicans considered it the height of naivete, irresponsibility and indifference to the fate of American soldiers to commit any troops to action in a foreign country without what used to be called an "exit strategy." That was when the president was a Democrat. Now it is considered the height of naivete, irresponsibility and indifference to the fate of American soldiers to suggest the possibility of any exit strategy short of triumph. If you do, you are betraying the troops. And no one sees actual triumph in the cards, so there is no exit strategy.
Kinsley goes on to enumerate the options left to Congress:

The power to declare (or not declare) war? Nope, that's pretty much gone.

But presidents from both parties have pretty much stolen Congress's war power, with the ordinarily "strict constructionist" Republicans taking the lead. Congress has stood by and not done much -- but what could it do?

The power to cut off funds, the alleged "power of the purse" Kinsley lets us know that monies can be gotten from other sources.

Congress can cut off funds for a war that people don't like. In this connection, older readers might recall the Iran-contra affair, in which sources of money were found to keep the contra war going in Nicaragua without Congress's even knowing about it.
Oops! Okay, so the power of the purse is not operative. Next option.

Ah! Elections! Let's make sure we don't elect people who will take us to war unnecessarily. Except ...
When this president first ran for national office, he campaigned on a platform of criticizing his predecessor for engaging in military action (in Kosovo and Somalia) without an exit strategy. He mocked the notion of trying to establish democracy in distant lands. He denounced the use of American soldiers for "nation-building." In 2000, if you were looking for a way to express your disapproval of the policies and prejudices that later got us into Iraq, your obvious answer would have been to vote for George W. Bush.

Check and mate.
Oy.

June 1, 2007

Lyon County Dems are holding a Mock Caucus

From the Lyon County Democratic Party:

WHAT THE HECK IS A CAUCUS?

Have you heard about the caucus, but it still seems confusing to you?
Or maybe you don't have a clue what it's about...
Come join us at our first Mock Caucus and you'll get a chance to experience first-hand how a caucus works. The Nevada Democratic Party is sponsoring a series of "mockuses" in rural Nevada and they are coming to Fernley on Thursday, June 7th.

Hosts: Jim and Teresa Williams
Address: 1060 Rimfield Drive, Fernley
Time: 6:30 PM

SPECIAL GUESTS:
Jill Derby, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair
Jean Hessburg, Statewide Caucus Campaign Director
Jayson Sime, Nevada Caucus Director

If you have already volunteered to be a Temporary Caucus Chair, or would like more information about the caucus, we really encourage you to attend this event.
It will give you a good feel for what will happen on January 19, 2008.

Feel free to bring friends and family.


On Edit: The Carson City Dems are doing the same thing on Thursday morning. Details:

Thursday, June 7th, 11:30 am
Buffet at Grandma Hattie’s
2811 S. Carson Street

The Nevada State Democratic Party is sponsoring an information and mock caucus meeting. Jean Hessberg, who ran the 2004 Iowa presidential caucuses, will be helping organize our efforts to make the January 19th the best and most well attended precinct caucus meetings. She will be leading this meeting and should have some valuable insights into what will be happening leading up to January and the running of the caucuses themselves. There will be some new wrinkles and some familiar ones. Let us prove that the DNC was right to select Nevada to represent the Intermountain West in the early stages of the primary process.

There will be some media coverage so a good turnout would be welcomed.

RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED

Please contact headquarters at 841-3367 or e-mail carsoncitydems@sbcglobal.net
The Douglas Dems will be holding a Mock Caucus at Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove on Friday. I'll get more information to you shortly.