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History Repeats Itself May 30, 2010

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It turns out the latest effort by the scrambling BP gang has failed.  Maybe they should try inserting foot into mouth instead.  This oil spill is mind boggling awful.  The collective anger, angst and finger pointing continues as fast as the oil flows out into the open waters choking everything in its path.  Rachel Maddow had an eye popping segment on her show the other night.  It is worth the seven minutes of your time. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Frank Rich writes on the good news – bad news of the oil spill (mostly bad news) in today’s New York Times.

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Supremely Aggravating April 11, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Religion, Supreme Court, wildlife, Zoos.
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Here we go again. I am a Court watcher. I have palpitations thinking about this next fight for the vacancy on the Court. I hope that President Obama does not take the wimpy, low road with his next selection.  I want a Liberal (with a capital ‘L’) on that Court to battle the heavy-weighted Conservative side of the Court. We are already living with the consequences of what this Conservative Court is doing (and I am not speaking of Bush V Gore, which still makes my head explode).  The conservative Court is siding with big business and corporations against the little guy. If another seat is taken by a Supreme who does not empathize with ‘we’ the people, we are surely doomed. The Supreme Court has a website and there is a blog (not surprising, of course dedicated to the Supreme Court.  There is even a Supreme Court Historical Society.

A President’s Supreme Court choice changes the course of the country and its future.  It should not be taken lightly or easily. The Repugnants are already threatening to filibuster, delay, stall and otherwise deny the President his choice (even before he has selected someone).  The Repugnants have to choose their battles before the midterm elections.  Do they really want to send the summer doing battle over a nominee to the Court?  Will the Tea Party care?  Are placards already being printed up?  What idiocy will Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin dream up to spew venom over Obama’s choice.  Whatever it is – it will surely fit on a bumper sticker.

–  Justice John Paul Stevens was a selection by Republican President Gerald R. Ford. By the way, Justice Stevens is the only Protestant left on the Court. I hope Obama does not think he has to fill his seat with another Protestant.  Religion should not be a litmus test.  Although, if he does pick a Catholic, that would make six Catholics on the Court. Oy! During Gerald Ford’s era Republicans were mostly moderate (except for the flamers). Over the years Justice Stevens seemed to turn into a Liberal but he insists that the rest of the Court became more Conservative and he never changed.  Jonathan Turley writes about Justice Stevens.

–  There is a fine column in DemConWatch.com about the President’s upcoming decision.

–  From yesterday’s New York Times is an article called An Honor Justice Stevens Might Rather Forget. “In 1998, the court was asked to review the constitutionality of the drive to crack down on adult clubs and shops by the administration of the mayor at the time, Rudolph W. Giuliani. The industry’s lawyers asked the court to delay the enforcement efforts while the justices considered the case. Justice Stevens granted a legal stay.
The strip club Scores was so grateful that it renamed its Champagne Room the John Paul Stevens Room“.

–  If you missed Rachel Maddow’s show on Friday night here is her 11 minutes on Justice Stevens and previous fights for nominees. Good TV.

–  Jon Stewart does a number on John McCain’s denying he is a Maverick.  Funny stuff.

– We’re Not Only Merely Sad, We’re Really Most Sincerely Sad – a farewell to Meinhardt Raabe, the Munchkin Coroner from “The Wizard Of Oz,” who passed away at age 94.

Watching the Train Wreck January 26, 2010

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A big sigh can be heard from Casa Lobo.  Wha’ happened? I am appalled, frustrated and uber-disappointed with this flailing administration and I put the blame directly on the shoulders of President Obama. He seems to have an inability to get tough, make the big decisions that need to be made and slam the hammer down.  He waffles, wavers, gives lovely speeches but cannot seem to rally the Dreadfulcrats in Congress or the American populace.  The election win by Scott Brown has got the Dreadfulcrats in a tailspin.  Grow a set Mr President and lead.  Make the tough decisions, get the economy going and remember – it is the economy, stupid. Bob Herbert wrote another fine piece in today’s New York Times about Obama’s credibility gap.

–  Listen to Rachel Maddow on this subject of President Obama’s latest ploy to win the hearts, mind and pocketbooks of the American people.

–  The groundswell to kill the filibuster is growing.  Raise your hand if you think this is going to go anywhere.

–  And then there is the rush to the exit door.  Check out this bit about Senator Blanche Lincoln:

–  Jim DeMint is a tool.

–  Just when you thought your could never smile again – check out this cute clip I filmed last November in St Croix:

Eyes on the Prize October 11, 2009

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the prizeWhat is wrong with so many people?  Why can’t we all be proud (even for just a short while) that our young President won the biggest prize of all – the Nobel Peace Prize.  I did not expect the virulent Right to say anything positive about this honor (although I never can figure out what crazy shit will actually come out of their collective mouths).  However, I was a bit taken aback by the Left side of the spectrum.  The man has been in office for only eight months.  Did you think he was going to give you everything you wanted in those first few days?  Weeks?  Months?  Or even years?  Were you listening to his campaign speeches?  Or were you simply so excited that we were finally getting rid of the Bush thugs that your thoughts were clouded.

True, I have been horrified by some of the previous Nobel Peace Prize winners. Often the committee awards the Prize as encouragement for positive steps even if the end goal has yet to be reached. For instance, Yassir Arafat‘s prize made my blood boil and no one was surprised to see that he proceeded to back out of the Middle East Peace ideas, take all the money and run. My ire still enrages at the Peace Prize award that was given to Henry (top of my war criminal list) Kissinger, during the Vietnam War.  President Obama has created a new international climate, the committee declared, and the world cheers that effort.  Insulated Americans, have no idea how horrified most of the rest of the civilized world has been by the thuggish, brutal, go it alone approach of the Bush Administration. Obama’s international efforts to start speaking through diplomatic channels to undo those wrongs cannot be taken lightly.  Or, maybe they awarded the prize to Obama simply because he can pronounce the word ‘nuclear’ correctly.

Here is an alphabetical listing of all previous Nobel Peace Prize winners. Check out who you hate on this list.

Andrew Sullivan chimes in with some interesting thoughts about the prize. “I don’t think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country’s reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That’s understandable. And so they also haven’t fully absorbed the turn-around in the world’s view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere. This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.”

I must say when I heard the news early on Friday morning that Obama had won the prize, an audible gasp could be heard throughout Casa Lobo.  Little Benny the dog, came over to see if my gasp involved a treat for him.  Madison, the cat – yawned. I was torn between racing thoughts about the prize and watching NASATV as we were about to bomb the moon in our search for water moon sources.  I thought that the decision by the Olympic Committee to choose Rio over Chicago now probably seemed like a ‘who cares.’  I thought that Bill Clinton is probably blowing a fuse about not being chosen for the Nobel Peace prize.  In fact, Maureen Dowd has one of her funny columns today  about a fictional conversation between ‘W’ and Bubba.  A fun read.

So, I say, bravo to President Obama. Perhaps this Prize will elevate his goals even higher. Nuclear disarmament is a fine goal, as is peace between arch enemies.  Did anyone ever think that Northern Ireland would get over ‘the troubles?’  This President was handed a fine mess on every front.  It couldn’t hurt to try to support his International efforts, could it? How about let us all sit back and congratulate the President on this encouraging award.  We can always go back to criticizing him next week.

prize

–  If you want to follow Keith Olbermann‘s lead and donate to the National Association of Free Clinics here is the website.  I have donated, how about you?

You can make your tax deductible online donation to the National Association of Free Clinics by mailing a check directly to them at:
The National Association of Free Clinics
1800 Diagonal Road Suite 600
Alexandria VA 22314

–  Rachel Maddow Goes After Idiot Republican Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert

–  My new favorite Congressman of the week is Alan ‘I’m not apoligizing’ Grayson:

–  Former vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is calling President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win extremely well deserved and an honor for the country. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on global warming.

– And you must watch this:

He said or is it She said? September 29, 2009

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hermaphroditusI have had a long time interest in hermaphrodites.  100 years ago, when I taught art in an elementary school, the faculty was brought into the lounge and told that a youngster entering kindergarten was hermaphrodite and was in ‘transition.’  We were told to treat her as a girl. I was hooked. My interest in the subject began. In a biological context, a hermaphrodite is an animal or plant that has both male and female reproductive organs.  Many taxonomic groups of animals (mostly invertebrates), do not have separate sexes (genders). In these groups, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, enabling a form of sexual reproduction in which both partners can act as the “male” or “female”. The great majority of snails and slugs are hermaphrodites. Hermaphroditism is also found in some fish. In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus  was the child of Aphrodite and Hermes. Born a remarkably handsome boy, he was transformed into an androgynous being by union with the nymph Salmacis.

caster-semenya-514There have been rumors for years that certain celebrities fall into this biological category.  The most famous name would be, Jamie Leigh Curtis. More recent names to surface have included Lady (or now, perhaps, Senor) Gaga, Fergie, Nicole Kidman (I kid you not) and  Chyna (Joanie Laurer).

We all recently heard of the young South African athlete, Semenya, who won gold in the 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships and after some drug testing was discovered to be hermaphrodite.  The sports world is flummoxed.  What to do?  What to do?

–  caster-semanya-makeover-you-magazineFrom this week’s New York Times comes this article about Martha Maxine, a five year old horse who is now listed as male but has raced for her whole life as a female.  I had never thought much about hermaphrodites as happening in other species, but after thinking about it – I said ‘why not’?

There is a great novel called Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2003.

So why am I posting this blog?  It is an interesting topic that should be brought out of the closets, woodwork, ceilings, or wherever it hides and education needs to happen. I found an interesting post on The Daily Beast about this issue. Intersex is the name that this group of misunderstood people now wants to be called.  I am formally changing my thought process to ‘intersex.’

‘The intersex-rights movement seeks the same things most civil-rights struggles seek: mainstream acceptance, equality under the law, the right to safely be “out. And – they don’t want to be called “hermaphrodites. –  The term ‘hermaphrodite’ is stigmatizing and confusing,” says Alice Domurat Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University who is cited regularly by intersex individuals and advocates. “It usually suggests to people that someone has all the organs of males and females—but that is not physically possible. The medical profession came to a consensus about three years ago to get rid of all terms based on the root ‘hermaphrodite’ (including ‘pseudo-hermaphrodite’) because they are stigmatizing and confusing.”’ ‘But perhaps the No. 1 goal of the intersex-rights movement is literally the right to exist. Every day in hospital maternity wards, intersex babies are born to freaked-out parents who’ve never even heard of such a thing, parents in a highly emotional state who are offered the immediate opportunity to surgically alter their child. Reducing the number of these surgeries is something intersex activists see as fundamental to their cause.’

–  Hermaphroditus in Ancient Greece by Gregory Zorzos

–  Today is a voting day in New York City.  There is a run-off between the Mark Green and Bill DeBlasio for Public Advocate and David Yassky and John Liu for Comptroller. I am voting for Mark Green because he and his family saved Air America and because most big politicians hate him since he is a pain in the ass.  That is a good enough reason for me to vote for him.  I am also voting for David Yassky.  Turnout should be awful and because there is virtually no Republican opponents the winner of today’s races will surely win in November.

–  It seems that Sarah Palin has finished her memoirs four short months after announcing that she was writing a book.  Four months?  Yikes.  I guess if you do not have much to write about you can complete your memoirs in four months.

–  My head is about to explode now that abortion has entered the health care ‘debate’. Abortion opponents in both the House and the Senate are seeking to block the millions of middle- and lower-income people who might receive federal insurance subsidies to help them buy health coverage from using the money on plans that cover abortion. And the abortion opponents are getting enough support from moderate Democrats that both sides say the outcome is too close to call. Opponents of abortion cite as precedent a 30-year-old ban on the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions.

–  Rachel Maddow on the Truth About The Lies About Acorn.  Some interesting food for thought.

Sick Leave August 23, 2009

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onholdI am sick.  Sick and tired of the craziness of this August health care ‘debate.’  I have not been posting very much because my head is exploding. The crazies have been let loose and are being given microphones, strap on guns (Frank Rich addresses the gun issue today.) and are seen on youtube clips that echo endlessly.  It was only one year ago that these same people were screaming at Repugnant rallies that Obama was pal’ing around with terrorists and that he was a Muslim.  What is it about August?  We won a HUGE majority in November.  We took the House, Senate and White House.  Why is Obama trying to appease the Repugnants when they have absolutely no intention of voting for any bill to ‘reform’ health care. They did not want the Civil Rights Bill to pass, they did not want the Voting Rights Bills to pass, they did not want Affirmative Action to pass. I could continue with the list, but you get the point. They are the party of ‘NO.’

Obama’s big mistake was to allow these Congressional whores to come up with health care on their own. What was he thinking?  I still believe that the Democrats will pass health care reform WITH a public option and if they do not do that – I say shame, shame shame.

–  The New York Times’ lead editorial addresses ‘the uninsured‘.

–  Rachel Maddow talks about the Gang of Six.  They are the six senators who have crowned themselves the ones to create ‘the’ bill on Health Care.  These three Democratic senators in the gang are from Montana, New Mexico, and North Dakota – states that together account for just over 1 percent of Americans. The three Republicans are from Maine, Wyoming, and Iowa, which together account for 1.6 percent of the American population. The Democrats are Max Baucus of Montana, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Kent Conrad of North Dakota and the three Republicans are Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.

–  If you missed Jon Stewart‘s terrific pummeling of the crazy Betsy McCaughey you can check the whole segment out on this link. You go Jon – you deserve your three week vacation. The very next day after this segment was aired the following was released: CANTEL MEDICAL CORP. (NYSE: CMN – News) announced that on August 20, 2009 it received a letter of resignation from Ms. Elizabeth McCaughey as a director of the Company. Ms. McCaughey, who had served as a director since 2005, stated that she was resigning to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest during the national debate over healthcare reform.

– FYI: On Betsy McCaughey’s past: For those of you who did not experience Betsy’s bizarre career in New York politics in the 90’s, a bit of background. Betsy was picked out of thin air as Pataki’s running mate in 1996. Following their election, she took umbrage that her “policy papers” were not being taken seriously by the Pataki administration, famously stood during Pataki’s entire State of the State address, announced that her phones were being checked for “bugs,” and was subsequently shunned by the entire state Republican establishment.

In 1998 Pataki dumped Betsy from the ticket. She then ran for governor against him on the Liberal Party line after losing the Democratic Party nomination, a campaign financed almost entirely by her then-husband, Wilbur Ross, a billionaire steel magnate who pledged over $2M to her campaign, before he came to his senses and withdrew his funds, leaving her stranded. The day after Betsy inevitably lost the election, Ross filed for divorce, a divorce which made them a test case in the validity of post-nuptial agreements. Ross was rumored to have been forced to sell off his art collection in order to pay for the divorce settlement. He has since remarried.

–  For those of you that still have no idea what this ‘reform’ is all about, demconwatchblog.com has come up with some easy questions and answers called ‘Fighting the Lies’. Knowledge is power, and while this is now a message war, knowing the truth is still worthwhile.
Basic health insurance costs, with dollar amounts
What is the public option?
What is a co-op?
What is single payer?
Better hospital outcomes, ranking hospitals
Most recent IIE plan
What are individual mandates?
What are employer mandates?
Basic coverage offered in HB 3200
How insurance companies drive up the cost of health care
The right’s health care frame
Obama’s 8 guarantees
Bundling health services

–  In the always leave ’em smiling mode here are some photos I took at the Bronx Zoo last Sunday.

BRONX8.16.09blog

Healthcare to Pizza Parable August 20, 2009

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I spent the day with two very good (and smart) friends yesterday.  We got into a health care discussion and I tried to explain why I thought it was important to pass health care reform and what it would mean. More on this later but in the meantime, watch Rachel Maddow and her Healthcare to Pizza Parable.

Healthcare Mayhem August 7, 2009

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pigMake no mistake about it – the health care reform movement is being hijacked by well financed groups run by familiar names with deep pockets.  The goal is to disrupt anything the Obama Administration wants to enact. The Repugnants have no agenda other than the idea of ‘NO’ and this is what they have chosen to do for the rest of the summer. The town hall mobs are equipped with talking, or should I say shouting points, that are certain to get replayed ad nauseum on National TV and throughout the Internet. Last night’s town hall meeting in Tampa was disrupted by violence.  The ringmasters at Fox Noise are enjoying these dog days of August moments. The Huffington Post and Paul Krugman speak about this issue today.

Aggressive Rudeness from Rachel on last night’s show:

Race, Grace and Lambaste July 17, 2009

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buchananI have been uncommonly silent this last week.  Nothing special has grabbed my focus other than the usual non-investigation of the previous thuggish administration.  The Sotomayor hearings have been so predictable that they seemed like summer re-runs.  If I hear the term ‘wise Latina woman‘ one more time I think my head will explode.  Last night, however, while watching the Rachel Maddow show, I saw an interchange that bolted me upright (disturbing both Benny the dog and Madison the cat) and I even had to press the rewind button (I love my DVR) to make sure what I was hearing was real.

Pat Buchanan, standing in for all of the oppressed white men out there, stated loudly and clearly, why he thinks Sotomayor is unqualified to sit on the big bench.  What he was really saying was what so many angry, white men are stewing about across this vast land of ours. They are losing hold of what they have held on to for over two hundred years and they are afraid of what that will mean to the guarantees they thought they had coming their way.  It was a frightening exchange and a very eye opening one.  Take the ten minutes to see it unfold.  Go Rachel.

Rachel Maddow SLAMS Pat Buchanan Over Sotomayor Bias

Always leave’ em smiling:

What’s the matter with Kansas? June 2, 2009

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choiceWhat’s the matter with Kansas and the other 24 states that have allowed the conservative religious nuts of this country to hi-jack a woman’s right to choose?  The availability of information, education and access has eroded in the last 20 years to such an extent that in many states a woman’s right to choose barely exits.  This is my hot button issue.  Yes, I rant about loads of stuff but this right was too hard to obtain and it makes me crazy to see it appear and disappear in my own lifetime.  I am old enough to remember the wire hangers, the secret flights to Puerto Rico of friends who had the money and support of parents to get an abortion without fearing for their own lives.  I remember the advent of the birth control pill and the freedom that one fabulous day was available to us young women.  It was a great day, a great time and we thought we had it all.  Fast forward forty years and it is drip, dripping away.  The combination of religious nuts and their soul saving bullshit and the real issue, which is the quest to keep women down, the permanent underclass and as they used to say ‘barefoot and pregnant’ is knocking at our door.  The door is closed on my uterus days but I fear for all of my younger sisters out there whose very lives depend on the ability to Choose. What can you do?  You can put your money where your mouth is and double your support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.  I know I will.

–  Rachel gives a fine background history of what is going on now in the under-served States that lack Choice on last night’s program. Very informative table pounding stuff.

–  How did this all happen?  Rachel’s guest, former Right-To-Lifer Frank Schaeffer tries to explain.

–  Randall Terry needs a muzzle.  His comments on the murder of Dr. George Tiller make me sick:

–  Keith Olbermann had another idea as to how to quiet the right wing nuts jobs. He suggests that it was Fox News – by emphasizing the phrase “Tiller the Baby Killer,”  for example – that instigated the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller.  With that, he says an advertiser boycott isn’t enough of a solution, but rather to “quarantine” Fox News by encouraging people to tell others not to watch. In that regard, he has even volunteered to retire his Lou Grant-esque caricature of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.