A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, October 31, 2008

2008 Elections: Vote!

Countdown, folks. If you haven't voted, do it now, if you can. If you're voting absentee, remember to photocopy your Presidential ballot choice. For information on what you can do to protect your vote, see this. For information on what you can do to steal back your vote, see this.

Remember that the Republicans stole the vote before, once, possibly twice. They'll be trying again. Do EVERYTHING in your power to ensure that your vote counts. HuffPo has a kinda terrifying look at how McCain might win this election (deity-of-choice forbid). Commenter Bombenhagel has this response, with which we heartily concur:
Be ready for any sign of trouble. Have the numbers of your local media in your celly, as well as 1-866-687-8683 (1-866-OUR-VOTE) or 1-877-GO-CNN-08 to report any problems. Bring your camera to the polling place and get everything on tape. Photograph your ballot before you cast it to document your choice. Bring appropriate ID. It doesn't have to be a driver's license. NO ONE will be looking for parking ticket offenders or deadbeat dads (you really SHOULD pay up) at the polls. No one will try to arrest you for voting. It is your RIGHT. Do NOT accept a "provisional ballot." If your voting machine appears to be "out of calibration," gets pics or video and submit it. Bring a snack or a refreshing beverage to people of all parties waiting in line to vote. Contact at least one person you know who is voting for McCain and make an effort in earnest to reach them. Know their concerns going in so you can address them. Fight With Tools:
To visit the sites listed in his/her comments, copy the URL and paste it to your browser.

So call your family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and ask them (calmly and politely) if they've voted yet. Offer to drive them to the polling place or walk their vote-by-mail envelope in for them. Check with your local senior center. Do they need rides to the polling place? Assistance with anything? If you live near a polling place, pick up juice and bottled water, umbrellas, folding stools, whatever you have laying around or can afford, and drive or walk down there. The elderly might need to rest their aching feet. People might be thirsty, or just in need of a friendly word. Regardless of their political persuasion, be there for them. If you can take November 4th off, do. If you work in HR, see if you can persuade the company to give workers the day off, or at least half the day off. Send a few dollars to your candidate, or to their down-ticket party members. Volunteer to GOTV.

This is the most important election of your lifetime. Act like your life depends on it — because it probably does. Depending on who wins, this nation will rise like a phoenix from the ashes or collapse into dissolution.

This is a nonpartisan appeal to all you voters out there. No matter who your preferred candidate is, get in there and write them in if necessary.

La Casa de Los Gatos is committed to Senator Obama, but encourages everyone to vote for their preferred candidate.


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Happy Halloween!

To all our visitors, regular readers, friends, and acquaintances everywhere.

From ICHC, a fine source of Cattitude

Remember to keep a sharp eye out for all those short little rugrats on the roads.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 Elections: Entertainment!

We never saw the original. Yes, it's the same guys, X years later.

So? Waaasuuuup?

Say ... didn't these guys used to be in an ad for CindyLou Hensley McCain's beer distribution company?

Vote. Choose wisely. Choose well.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

2008 Elections: Vote!

And be very careful when you do. Although some of us live in states where we can vote by mail, or vote early, or voting machines come with a printout, others of us do not. If you're concerned about the voting machine correctly recording your vote, please take your video camera, still camera, or cellphone with recording capability to the polls with you. Record what happens. Check your receipt carefully. Request a paper ballot if you can.

Most importantly, watch this:

Remember to protect your right to vote! Your ancestors died so that you could someday determine for yourself who would govern you and how. VOTE!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

2008 Elections: Vote!

And if you run into problems at the voting booth, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (a nonpartisan hotline set up to help protect our votes). If you want to broadcast the problem(s), if any, to a wide audience, call CNN’s Voter Hotline at 1-877-462-6608. You might want to take a camera, video recorder, or nifty cellphone that can record videos or take photos, in order to record your vote or any problems that you might encounter.

REMINDER: DO NOT wear any campaign buttons, stickers, candidate teeshirts, hats, or any other gear. If you have a button or sticker on your handbag or briefcase, remove it before you take it into the polling station. Depending on where you vote, election officials might attempt to prevent you from voting if you have any campaign-related stuff on or about you.

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2008 Elections: Entertainment!

Dang, if only it was for real:

It is to larf.

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2008 Elections: Telling The Truth

Opie sez it:

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

And so does the Fonz.

Change is on its way! Get out there and VOTE!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The theft continues ...

Read all about it here. From the article on Bloomberg by Jonathan Weil:

"Not only did we, the taxpayers, save their company, with the help of a Japanese bank named Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. More importantly, we funded their 2008 bonus pool."

Does anyone care yet?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2008 Elections: Who ARE These People, Anyway?

Welp. Apparently, The Daily Show decided to take a look.

Nice to know that millions of our dollars are going to Alaska to subsidize a bunch of assholes who refer to the rest of us as "goddamned jackasses" while telling us their Mayor (who doesn't provide anything by way of social services to this frowsy little town) thinks she, and her statemate Palin, are unambiguously "qualified" to be the Vice President of these United States.

A woman who doesn't even know what the VP does and was so bad at her job that her constituents had to force her to hire an actual city manager to run that one-horse town is going to run a country of 300 million people.

NOT!! Vote for Obama/Biden instead!

Hot rumour of the day: Sarah Palin stepping down. Look for it on YouTube.

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Letter From A Hedge Fund Manager

Apparently, one Andrew Lahde, a hedge fund manager, wrote this letter to his erstwhile clients after deciding to shut down the hedge fund which had paid them returns of 1,000 per cent since he started it.

Mr. Lahde is to be commended for his breadth and range of topic and his writing style. Also ass-kicking. An endeavour of which we highly approve:
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, "What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it." I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list those deserving thanks know who they are.

I will no longer manage money for other people or institutions. I have enough of my own wealth to manage. Some people, who think they have arrived at a reasonable estimate of my net worth, might be surprised that I would call it quits with such a small war chest. That is fine; I am content with my rewards. Moreover, I will let others try to amass nine, ten or eleven figure net worths. Meanwhile, their lives suck. Appointments back to back, booked solid for the next three months, they look forward to their two week vacation in January during which they will likely be glued to their Blackberries or other such devices. What is the point? They will all be forgotten in fifty years anyway. Steve Balmer, Steven Cohen, and Larry Ellison will all be forgotten. I do not understand the legacy thing. Nearly everyone will be forgotten. Give up on leaving your mark. Throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life.

So this is it. With all due respect, I am dropping out. Please do not expect any type of reply to emails or voicemails within normal time frames or at all. Andy Springer and his company will be handling the dissolution of the fund. And don't worry about my employees, they were always employed by Mr. Springer's company and only one (who has been well-rewarded) will lose his job.

I have no interest in any deals in which anyone would like me to participate. I truly do not have a strong opinion about any market right now, other than to say that things will continue to get worse for some time, probably years. I am content sitting on the sidelines and waiting. After all, sitting and waiting is how we made money from the subprime debacle. I now have time to repair my health, which was destroyed by the stress I layered onto myself over the past two years, as well as my entire life -- where I had to compete for spaces in universities and graduate schools, jobs and assets under management -- with those who had all the advantages (rich parents) that I did not. May meritocracy be part of a new form of government, which needs to be established.

On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt. George Soros, a man of staggering wealth, has stated that he would like to be remembered as a philosopher. My suggestion is that this great man start and sponsor a forum for great minds to come together to create a new system of government that truly represents the common man's interest, while at the same time creating rewards great enough to attract the best and brightest minds to serve in government roles without having to rely on corruption to further their interests or lifestyles. This forum could be similar to the one used to create the operating system, Linux, which competes with Microsoft's near monopoly. I believe there is an answer, but for now the system is clearly broken.

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won't see it included in BP's, "Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions," television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM's similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant -- marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other additive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let's stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say good-bye and good luck.

All the best,

Andrew Lahde
He's right, y'know. And that has to be the best-written Fuck You on the planet.

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2008 Elections: Oui, On Peut

For Ms. Manitoba and all our French-speaking friends in Africa, Canada, La Belle France, and Louisiana, a rockin' Obama Zydeco from that fine Cajun land:

Si, se puede!
Si, possiamo!
Yes, we CAN!

It's getting down to the wire, folks. Vote early. Volunteer. Do everything you can to ensure that when we all wake up on the fifth of November, it will be to a President Obama.

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2008 Elections: Something You Can Do

As you probably already know, Senator Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, recently fell and broke her hip. She is home now, but her condition appears to be worrisome. Senator Obama has canceled political events this week to fly home and be with his "Toot," (diminutive of Tutu, Hawai'ian for "grandmother"). She is currently being cared for by Senator Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.

Mrs. Dunham has followed the elections with interest, even going so far as to have a corneal transplant performed earlier this year so she could watch television coverage of her beloved grandson's campaign. Her birthday is on 26th October (this Sunday), and if you want to send her a "Get Well" card or a birthday card, or a simple note of thanks for having raised the Senator to be the fine human being that he is, you can do so simply by addressing your card or note to:

Mrs. Madelyn Dunham
In care of: Obama for America
Honolulu Headquarters
1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
Suite D2590
Honolulu, HI 96814

Thank you, Mrs. Dunham, for instilling in your grandson those worthy values that have made him so important to so many people all over the world. We here at La Casa de Los Gatos sincerely hope you recover and get to see your grandson and great-granddaughters in the White House.

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Another must read article by Paul B. Farrell

The lead into Paul's article:

"Yes, we're dummies. You. Me. All 300 million of us. Clueless. We should be ashamed. We're obsessed about the slogans and rituals of "democracy," distracted by the campaign, polls, debates, rhetoric, half-truths and outright lies. McCain? Obama? Sorry to pop your bubble folks, but it no longer matters who's president."

Paul mentions Naomi Klein's book, "Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism", and points out 14 reasons why main street (you and me) are loosing while Wall Street is sabatoging our democracy. Or better put, why our democracy is now a joke.

I am convinced that Obama will have a decisive win on Nov 4, however I am not convinced yet that he will be allowed to win. But even if he does win, he will either have to throw these bastards into jail or he is going to have formidable forces arrayed against him sabatoging everything he tries to do. If he can't do it, or even worse, bows to it, then our American experiment in democracy is over.

Read Paul's article. Spread it around, and get mad and vote and make sure your vote counts!

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Keep us stupid and it's easier to steal

Betcha you won't see this in any American media. Seems those Wall Street bankers and finance types who wrecked the economy are now making off with a lot of loot from this stinking Wall Street bailout.

You thought they were supposed to put a lid on the compensation? Didn't Bush assure us of that? Yeah right. How about they take 10% of that $700 billion right off the top for themselves instead?

The taxpayers won't miss it. No. I mean we didn't complain all that much when Bush spent a similar fortune attacking Iraq. Why on earth would we complain now? Shut up people and fork over your paycheck. There's a Wall Street executive out there who needs some more yachts.

Your kids don't need to eat. They don't need health care, clothes, or even a roof over their heads. These executives really do need more jets with gold plated bathroom fixtures. Hell, can you imagine the shame if they had to fly the same jet two days in a row? I swear, when the revolution comes, there's gonna be a long line of them frog marched off to jail.


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Friday, October 17, 2008

2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

Mrs. MeanJeans

This time, it's Veep pick Sairy Failin' who's the target of Teh Funny.

Remember to keep the speakers turned up or your earphones plugged in. Click the cursor whenever you mouse over a hot spot (hint: the cursor turns into a hand rather like McAncient's krabby krustacean klaw).

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2008 Elections: Entertainment!

Just a little over two weeks left. We're down to the wire. And former colleague and friend N (you know who you are) sends this joke:

For your amusement.

Barack Obama is invited to meet with the Pope while he is vacationing in Venice.

The conservative press reluctantly watches the semi-private audience, hoping they will be able to allot minimal coverage, if any.

The Pope asks Senator Obama to join him on a gondola ride through the canals of Venice.

They're admiring the sights and agreeing on moral issues when, all of a sudden, the Pope's hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water.

The gondolier starts to reach for the Pontiff's cap with his pole, but this move threatens to overturn the floating craft.

Barack waves the tour guide off, saying, "Wait, wait. I'll take care of this. Don't worry."

He steps off the gondola onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Pope's hat, bends over and picks it up. He walks back across the water to the gondola and steps aboard.

He hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

The next morning the buzz among Republicans in Congress & on Fox News was like, "Guess what? Have you heard, Obama can't swim!"

Anybody got any more good ones? Send them over!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

2008 Elections: The Right Temperament

As you all know, La Casa de Los Gatos ain't got no teevee. So we missed seeing the debates in all their heavenly glory. (Alright, we were watching a Thai movie about a pot-smoking slob who ends up sharing a space with a tight-assed straight neatnik. And LOTR Part III (we watched Parts I and II yesterday)).

Anywho, this is what we saw plastered on some of our favorite news and blog sites today:

Um ... we're not sure we really WANT to know what Blinky McLiarson is doing with the hands there. Has anyone ever told him this kind of stuff really does NOT look, er, Presidential? Or even, for that matter, sane?

Somebody give the dude a ride home to the ranch. He's seriously lost his bearings. In a homophobic culture like ours, the sight of a creepy old guy hanging out his tongue at (apparently) some buff young guy's ass while simultaneously appearing to be reaching for said ass really does not go over well.

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2008 Elections: Women and McCain

Okay, apparently the women of PUMA don't give a damn about reproductive choice for women (see it for yourself at Hillary is 44 dot org, to which we refuse to link) because they're all older than Methusaleh and their reproductive bits have dried up and fallen out and are therefore not in danger from the McFail people.

But our understanding is that women of many different political stances believe that while abortion should be rare, it should also be available if a woman's health will be negatively affected by carrying a pregnancy to term. We personally know of two women who had to terminate very-much-wanted and planned pregnancies because of health issues, and while they were very sad to do so (as we pointed out, they very much wanted the pregnancy), to have attempted to carry to term would have either killed or crippled the mother and the outcome for the fetus was not much better.

Apparently, John McFail doesn't think that a mother's health should be a consideration:

La Casa de Los Gatos is currently betting that McFail has just lost the election.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

Don't know who she is, but she's cute, and we like what she's saying:

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

FunnyorDie has been spreadin' the good stuff around a lot lately, huh? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

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You have to catch Democracy Now today

I'm tired after a long day here at the 'puter but I just read the transcript of James Bamford on Democracy Now today and it is a must listen to, view, or read.

The warrantless spying on Americans continues unabated. And its worse than that. It is being handled by two companies in Israel including one where the CEO is on the run and a fugitive from the US hiding out somewhere in Africa. And all our communications are entrusted to these foreign companies who also do business with other countries. This is insane. Oh my, my head is going to explode. Read it and weep.

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2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

OMG!! No, really, OMGWTFBBQLOL and ORLY to boot. Checkidout:

Okay, all you friends, neighbours, and visitors, you're all probly old enough to have kids the age of these. You so need to show these to your kids, too.

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Meta: Light Blogging

Milagrito and his hoomin, Sirenita Lake, have not blogged lately, and want us all to know why:
I've just had a total left hip replacement. The hip hadda go. It was all gnarly and knobby and cartilage-free. No question, its day was past. Plus, I am the greatest candidate for surgery. High threshold of pain. Lots of extra muscles for getting around using one less limb. Unfailing appetite. A squirrel-like compulsion to store food on me and in the fridge. I had a world-class surgeon, a big noise down at Stanford and apparently on other continents as well. Everything looked auspicious so I went for it. Except for a bout of anemia from blood loss, I breezed through the surgery. The hospital was another story.

I spent three days in the Girls' Reformatory known as Stanford Hospital and was paroled on Thursday. Stanford is weirdly dysfunctional, but there were some bright lights. Here are a couple of my favorite nurses.

The girl on the left was the smartest on the floor, knew fucking everything. The girl on the right was my favorite of all. She was new and inexperienced, but she did her tasks like someone who had read the manual the night before. We supported each other. They came together to start a new IV on me, the experienced nurse there to supervise the new nurse. I'm a great medical dummy — it's almost impossible to hurt me with a needle. It was a stress-free moment for everyone. I shot the picture after success was achieved.

The other picture shows a strange man indicating the array of amenities and decorating touches that brightened up the room, especially since I was cut off from the window by a drawn curtain between my bed and my roommate's.

The woman in the next bed and I communicated through the curtain. She was a crime victim, which I suppose explained why I was confined to a narrow tunnel of curtains the whole time. Nevertheless, we spoke. She told me how she had been hit in her car by a reckless driver, and her little boy killed. She had numerous broken bones and a head injury.

Cops came to see her, and relays of doctors, and about 30 discharge planners. (Which is how I know they have them, since none ever came near me.) We became allies, to the limited extent possible in the environment. We sneered at the nurses who scolded her for not being able to pee. "You didn't pee! The patient didn't pee!" The cry would be taken up by others — "The patient didn't pee? No, she didn't pee!" — and then nothing would be done about it. Hollering and getting excited seemed to be the protocol for handling most problems.

My roommate and I checked on each other and pushed the call button when the other needed something. The third time my defective oxygenation meter alarm went off, I angrily called the station and informed them that I was disconnecting it because my roommate was not getting any sleep. When I was ready to leave, dressed and up on my feet, I finally went around the curtain and held her hand for a moment and wished her well.

As a patient, you are at the mercy of the nursing staff. What I found amazing was how much individual personalities determined the standard of care. Not just how careful or smart someone was, but whether they needed you to be passive, dependent and submissive, or whether they could actually look at you as an individual who had achieved a certain level of recovery and was entitled to a bit of autonomy and privacy, and who could call out her own issues.

I argued for hours that I could no longer stand the Foley catheter, that it was a size too large and positioned in an irritating way. I was told, in different ways, that the world would end and I'd never pee again if I had the Foley out. I finally threatened to get a bladder infection on the spot if they didn't take it out immediately. So they did and washed their hands of me. Spouse and I got me to pee in two seconds with a glass of warm water. The nurses in the picture are among the good ones, not only because they don't need you to be a pitiful, dependent recipient of their charity, but because they don't fear that the universe will tip over if you change a procedure a smidgen.

The other thing, besides the primacy of personality on the floor, that made my life miserable was the lack of charting of changes and progress and the assessments that supported them. One shift would determine that I could stand up and walk, the next shift thought I had run amok when they saw me on my feet. One shift decided to take off the compression stockings, the next shift asked accusingly, "Where are your stockings?" as though I had absconded with them. The PT girl checked me out on toilet use and determined that I did not need a seat elevator as I was very short, and that I was able to lower myself safely onto the seat.

The next day, the OT girl burst in on me on the toilet, throwing open the door to the crowd in the room, because I might be in terrible danger. God forbid I should take a piss on my own and in privacy. She said brightly, "I've come to help you!" and I growled, "I don't need help, I know how to pee. Go away!" I must remember next time to bring stakes to drive into the hearts of the cheerful, intrusive ones. Doesn't anybody chart things? "Patient passed all tests and is now qualified to pee on her own. Signed, dated." Every bit of progress I made I had to defend against the incoming shift.

We sneer at American culture, if any, but when you're in the hospital you really notice that American notions of privacy and independence are lacking and that your nurses often come from cultures where a woman in the hospital has no voice, where the more fussing a nurse does, the better her performance.

The last night in the hospital, I got a horrible pain from an irritated nerve. After a couple of hours of trying to convince Judy, my Filipina nurse, that I needed something other than a Vicodin, I finally fell asleep in spite of the pain, only to dream that I was at a loud party where everyone spoke Tagalog.

I woke up and thought groggily that the noise must be coming from a TV. The third time I had the dream and woke up, I noticed the clock — 11:00 p.m. — shift change. I jolted awake with anger — the incoming shift was hollering their greetings and raising the dead, such as me. I thought, screw Judy, I'm chewing those girls out. I pulled myself out of bed and stumbled to my walker, which Judy had placed out of reach so I could not stand up without calling for help. I was arranging my tubes and lines and ready to undock the mothership (it's not your mother's IV stand) when Judy herself came in.

"You're up!" She was shocked, but I beat her to the scolding. "I'm going to tell those nurses to pipe down. This is a hospital, not a party!" Judy saw the justice of this and said she would go herself. She even forgot that I had been practically AWOL. The noise level dropped and my pain level climbed, until it felt like every muscle in my left leg was spastic, though it might have been an artifact of a nerve irritation. I couldn't lie still. They had my legs spread apart by a thing like an enormous cheese wedge, no relieving elevation, no room to move.

I was imagining a long night of gritting my teeth when in walks Catherine — baggy pants, t-shirt, long graying hair. An old hippie! I'm saved! The first thing she did was unhook me from the IV, which was only pumping fluid that I did not need. I told her the problem and she went to try to get an order from the doctor. He didn't answer.

At a certain point, I could no longer lie in the bed, and my walker and I went to the nurses' station. I had realized finally what I needed was something specific for nerve pain, and I told her exactly what and how much. I leaned on my walker by the nurses' station looking like the Ghost of Christmas Past, waiting for a response from the doctor. I watched Catherine struggle with the computer system with only grudging help from the younger clique and gathered she was a registry nurse.

Finally, I stumbled back to my room and Catherine followed soon after. She had been unable to order the required drugs in the required dosages using the computer, so rather than make me wait, she went to the cupboard to see what they had and was able to make up the right dose by cutting one pill in half and getting two of the other. A nurse that used her head! A nurse that told the computer to get fucked when it wasn't helpful. An independent-minded American nurse!

The best thing about being in the hospital is that you get to leave — on your feet or in a pine box. By the time I left, I didn't much care how. I'm home now. My leg is fine. Tends to swell, but I can walk up a storm and the weird pain never came back. I bought a couple of decent years of walking around making trouble, and if some of the nurses thought I was a problem and a mystery, a couple thought I was a model of guts and strength. I hope someone fixes our hospitals, particularly by reintroducing the good old Western values of privacy, independence and autonomy for patients, to the extent that it's clinically feasible, before I go in for the next surgery.

Sirenita Lake

Well, darling, great to hear you're still able to live up to your reputation as a TroubleMaker. Hopefully Milagrito has all he needs by way of cat treats so that he will soon be inspired to write a rantish sort of post. La Casa de Los Gatos appears to be suffering a bout of sleeping sickness brought on by gimpy limbs and autumnish weather and pain meds. At last count, stretched out sleeping around the foot of the bed, Zingiber, Madu, Gustav, Gojira. Bandicoot's probably outside gathering baby slugs to use as belly decor. He's SO not into piercings. Maybe we'll make him blog.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

2008 Elections: Who ARE These People, Anyway?

Found over at Watertiger's, home to fine photoshopping skills and truly snarky commenters:

Anybody recognize that cringing, cowardly racist with the monkey doll? Because people like that really need to be outed — not for purposes nefarious, or doing violence upon them, but simply so their friends, family, and neighbours can look them in the eye and shame them for their revolting depths of racism.

According to Raw Story, the schmuck didn't know the child to whom he handed the monkey doll once he realized a camera was trained on him.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

LGBTQ: National Coming-Out Day

Hey, everybody, it's National Coming-Out Day! Time to celebrate your queerness. We'd like to link to celebrating queer and straight bloggers out there whether you're on our blogroll or not, so join us as we sashay down the street, y'all.

  • Benny, over at Benny's World, has a cool post on the origin and meaning of the Rainbow Flag, go check it out!

  • Over at Penguin Central, BadTux reminds us that the face of hate is not always easily recognizable, that a huge effort is underway in California to repeal the right to marriage for the LGBTQ community, and that you can, and should, grow a pair and tell the bigots to fuck themselves.

  • Alan, over at Blogging Out Loud, makes us pee our pants laughing, as usual, with his commemorative post. Warning: Keep fresh, dry pantalones handy.

  • VJack, over at Atheist Revolution, wishes our whole community a happy National Coming-Out Day, thanks, VJack!

  • Steven, over at Heterosexually Challenged, acknowledges the day, reminds us it's the tenth anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death (gads, it feels like it only happened yesterday), and celebrates with football;

  • The Bilerico Project is celebrating Queer History Month with lots of posts from lots of posters. Checkidout;

  • Over at Pam's House Blend (note new URL), a couple of posters talk about coming out and coming out. Please to read;

  • Kathy, over at If I Ran the Zoo, has a nice reminder for all the straight allies — equality for LGBTQ people will only happen if you join us in the struggle;

  • A funny story about figuring out your sexuality, from Mockingbird's Medley;

  • caliberal has a post about marriage equality up on My Left Wing;

  • Nelson has his usual biting posts on the homophobes among us, over at NGblog;

  • QueersUnited has a slew of celebratory posts, check 'em out!

  • quenchzine has plenty to say too!
Did we miss anybody? Give us a shriek and we'll fix the error post-haste.

From ICHC, your source of LOLcattitude

Happy Coming-Out Day! If you're not out yet, consider doing it now. Yeah, it'll hurt and people might say shitty things, but you might find support where you least expect it.

Update: Missing link to Badtux' post fixed.

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Caturday!! Halloween!!

Willy asks: "Have you gotten your costume ready yet?"

(c) 2006 K. Smokey Cormier

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Congratulations, Connecticut! Same-sex marriage -- hooray!!!

The Connecticut state Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. This makes the third state to do so after Massachusetts and California.

Photos by K. Smokey Cormier (c) 2008

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Friday, October 10, 2008

2008 Elections: Telling The Truth

about Sarah Palin's qualifications for the position of Veep. It's easy. Go to PBS and tell them what you think.

Incidentally, rightwingnuts are freeping this poll, so if you're NOT a wingnut, not a rightwingnut, and not a nut at all, you might like to (a) vote; (b) pass this on.

From ICHC, your source of fine lolcattitude

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2008 Elections: Who ARE These People, Anyway?

Longtime friend Bob (who would henceforth like to be known as Boob, and no, we don't plan to ask why) sent the following tirade, as is his wont:
Do you know of a way to find the names of the actors who starred in the latest McCain/Pig rally? I mean the rally where the guy in his 50s stood up and hollered about Obama and Pelosi and "why are they ahead in the polls?" or something like that. Great job portraying an angry mensch.

My understanding is that the Secret Service travels with the nominees; candidates mixing with an actual angry crowd would not be tolerated. Der Secret Service obersturmbannfuhrer would demand, "Why did you allow the candidate to get within reach of people shouting in hate?"

Also, who's the black man who plaintively begged McCain to stop ACORN from voting fraud? He looked so sincere. Only the perfect camera angle on him betrayed that it was a setup.

Obama's campaign should stage a few events like this, and hire these two guys.
Hmmm. The man has an excellent point. (No, not the one on his head. That's just for show.) The SS (how appropriate) is surely not permitting angry loons into crowds as small as the ones Mc Cain't draws. Apart from which, having some paid actor launch into a tirade on camera serves a useful function. It scares the holy crap out of those of us who are afraid the country's gone to the dogs. Fnords! They're all around us!

Doesn't the sight of such loons on camera contribute to the general depression and misery that people are drowning in, that makes us all jumpy, robs our sleep, keeps us tense on a low level so that we're all taking more painkillers or psychoactive meds or drinking more booze or snapping at our loved ones? Did Robert Anton Wilson's grand loony conspiracy theories have any basis in fact? Are we all going nuts?

Don't know about you out there, but we at La Casa de Los Gatos have been tense and stressed out since the McNasty campaign took its nasty turn. The financial news is doing zilch to help our mood. So? What do you think? Paid actors?

In the event, Barack don't need no paid actors. The Republicans are running away from McNasty and Cruella as fast as they can.

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Hey, it's Friday, and we're sick to death of the rancid tone of the Mc Lame campaign of late. So, here for your entertainment, we present:

The Barack Obama Bear

The Joe Biden Bear

From the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, makers of fine handcrafted bears. They run a little over a hundred dollars each, so you might want to wait till President Obama and VicePresident Biden actually win the landslide victory we're all hoping for, in less than a month.

They also have a McCain and a Palin bear, but geezus fookin' Christ, we're not linking to or posting THOSE ugly things. Associating any kind of bear with that venomous wretch Palin is unthinkable. That bitch would be happy to shoot each and every bear right between the eyes and get them ALL off the planet.

La Casa de Los Gatos believes wholeheartedly in loving and caring for the other forms of life with which we share the planet. Thus we are unable to be neutral on the candidacy of Sarah Palin. We're not Deists or Theists, but of all the saints and wise men, our favourite has always been Francis of Assisi, who loved the beasts and the birds of the air. Saint Francis would not have liked Mrs. Palin much.

And all these things I give to you
To keep and to protect
From the greatest of the big sperm whale
To the tiniest insect
To rule with love and kindness
The weak, the wild, the strong
And treat my creatures gently
Only you know right from wrong

The Barleycorn, The Keeper

Note: Unlike Mrs. Palin's and Mr. McCain't's supporters, we do NOT advocate violence or hatred of any sort towards these people. We admit to not liking either the candidates or their supporters very much at all. That said, we do not wish any of these people harm or evil. Their own dispositions will bring them every unpleasant thing that they wish on others.

Incidentally, they have a little poll going on at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, in which you can vote for your preferred candidate bear. The Barack Obama bear is currently ahead of the McCain't bear by about 700 votes. Surprised?

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This woman is so fucking funny, we're investing in extra Depends at La Casa de Los Gatos.

The wide-eyed look just fucking kills us.

In case you're thinking of giving Betty lip:

Hat tip to Digger niradg and original poster Hope Reborn over at DailyKos.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Police State: Defined


We here at La Casa de Los Gatos have blogged repeatedly and at length upon the police state that has come into public (and unabashed) existence ever since one Gee Dumbya and his evil cohort Dick "Satan's Spuzzer" Cheney got their hands on this once-great nation.

Today, we have both heartening and disheartening news to impart to our friends and visitors. Times like these you don't know whether to laugh, cry, or take an increased dose of your psychoactive fucking meds, right, SGTG? The heartening news is that one Sheriff Thomas J. Dart of Cook County, Illinois, has decided he's had enough of using the state's power to forcibly evict people from their homes. Yup. He's not gonna do it no more. Says Sheriff Dart:
"These poor people are seeing everything they own put out on the street. ... They've paid their bills, paid them on time. Here we are with a battering ram at the front door going to throw them out. It's gotten insane," he said.[...]

"These mortgage companies ... don't care who's in the building," Dart said Wednesday. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."

Dart said he wants the courts or the state Legislature to establish protections for those most harmed by the mortgage crisis.


"When you're blindly sending me out to houses where I'm coming across innocent tenant after innocent tenant, I can't keep doing this and have a good conscience about it."
Wow. This is a human being, peoples. We have often wondered how cops can do their job, because a lot of it seems to involve protecting the person or property of the rich and brutalizing the poor and defenseless. Whether it's wearing a tee-shirt at the mall to which the hired dogs of the mall owners object, or making a joke that security guards at a hospital don't think is funny, we, the common people, are constantly in danger of having our ass busted because we said or did something someone rich or powerful didn't particularly care for.

Sometimes we follow every fucking rule in the book, and we still get our ass busted. They kick us out of our homes. They take away our kids. They beat us up and throw us in jail because we exercise our constitutional right peaceably to assemble as set forth in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights guaranteed in the Constitution:
"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".
They make being homeless an offense with their loitering laws. They arrest us for being the wrong color, or driving the wrong car, or dressing in a way of which they don't approve.

Then along comes someone like Sheriff Dart and says, "I'm a man with a conscience and it goes against my understanding of wrong and right to kick people out of their homes when they have done nothing wrong." And you wonder, what kind of world would we have if every cop and security guard and enforcer consulted their conscience before tasering a teenager with a broken back nineteen times; or shooting an innocent woman to death before her children; or breaking down the door of an elderly, blind, diabetic cancer survivor.

And you wonder, whose side are we on, really? Who's on our side? Who's on which side? Because the Illinois Bankers' Association responded to Sheriff Dart's statements thus:
The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices."

The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

"The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out 'vigilantism' at the highest level of an elected official," it said. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'martial law' should not be tolerated
Martial law? The man whose conscience won't abide kicking tenants who are not guilty of any wrongdoing out of their homes is accused of imposing martial law? Of vigilantism?

Personally, we would rather see Sheriff Dart expend his (and his staff's) energies and monies apprehending murderers, thieves, rapists, burglars, child abusers, batterers, and disturbers of the peace. You bankers got everyone into this mess. You've already taken $700 BILLION of our dollars to help you out. Quit whining, as Phil Gramm, your good friend (and John McCain's) and deregulator of the banking industry stated recently. You're not fooling us with your gabble about trying to "help troubled homeowners in many ways." We know only too well that your "help" mostly consists of "helping" yourself to their assets and those of other taxpayers in general.

Video footage of Sheriff Dart giving Illinois bankers what-for available here.

The bankers are not on our side. John McCain't, who is good friends with many many bankers and lobbyists calling for further deregulation of the financial industry, is not on our side. John McCain't is, however, on the same side of these issues, apparently, as the White House, which today issued this unbelievably heartless statement. From the article:
During today’s press briefing, White House press secretary Dana Perino suggested the Bush administration would oppose any effort to extend jobless benefits — a stance the White House has taken before. She explained their position by saying, “we want people to be able to return to the workplace as soon as possible.” The suggestion was that extending benefits somehow prevents people from returning to work.

She concluded by saying that “the best way to help” the economy and unemployed people is for unemployed people to simply “get back to work.”
Where's OUR fucking bailout, George? You think it's so easy to "get a job" and "go back to work"? Not after you exported all our jobs, you fucking prick. Why didn't you tell your Wall Street friends that? They got $700 BILLION and we get the bum's rush. And our children's children will be paying for all those manicures and pedicures AIG executives were getting EVEN WHILE THEY WERE NEGOTIATING THEIR SHARE OF THE BAILOUT!!!

If you don't vote for Obama/Biden after reading this, it is your bounden duty to hie thee to the nearest area inhabited by large, hungry, dangerous animals (for example, sharks, lions, or tigers). Take no weapons nor any protective gear. Strip naked at the site and give the animal of your choice a passionate kiss. Hopefully we'll see no more of you in this life. With any luck, in the next you will reincarnate as a small, nasty-looking arthropodic life-form which will be instantly killed and eaten repeatedly until you have worked off all your truly crappy karma.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2008 Elections: The Right Temperament

What does it mean, to have the right temperament to become the President of the most heavily militarized nation in the world? It means, in our humble opinion, accepting that one has tremendous responsibility — and a need to be able to consider one's options calmly and rationally.

Thus, we present to you, at the behest of R. Greenwald and Brave New Films, this excellent YouTube clip for your, um, edification:

He backhanded some woman whose only crime was to attempt to talk to him? Wonder what he does to the wife when he's in a bad mood.

Like the man said. Pass it on.

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2008 Elections: Palling Around With Terrorists

Oh, gee, looky dat. Someone from Sairy Failin's hometown has apparently decided to point out (ever since Sarah NailsonChalkboard started screeching about Obama palling around with them terr'ists) that Sairy's li'l paws ain't none too clean.

At least Obama never tried to hire Ayers. At least Ayers was never convicted of any crimes. At least Ayers has, apparently, reformed and gone on to become a respected academic and an activist who preaches, as well as practices, putting people first. The only connection between Ayers and Obama is a very loose one. They both served on the board of a charity; their kids attended the same school; they live in the same neighbourhood.

Apparently, li'l Sairy tried to hire G. Gordon Liddy as spokes_swine for the drilling of ANWR. Alaskan writer Shannyn Moore gives you the facts over at AlaskaReport.

Prize quote:
“I think it’s terrible. If Alaska wants to put the best face on things it’s probably best to not hire felons,” Senator Kim Elton said.
Seriously, Governor, what were you thinking? This guy is a convicted felon who served four years in prison of a 20-year sentence.
For his role in Watergate, which he coordinated with Hunt, Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping, for which he received a 20 year sentence. He served four and a half years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter.


In 1982, Liddy published an autobiography, titled Will, which sold more than a million copies and was made into a television movie. In it he states that he once made plans with Hunt to kill journalist Jack Anderson.
From Liddy's biography. And that's not all. The guy is fucking NUTS. Plain and simple batshit crazy, fruity as a nutcake, a visitor from Planet Loopy. Dudine! Just take a look at this:

Is this how one is supposed to treat the flag? Wrap yer nuts in it? Not to mention a more horrifying sight is rarely seen and what-all. You don't have to look into those soulless little cigarette-holes-in-a-blanket eyes to know that this guy is fucking crazy, sister. You wanted to hire him? For what? To eviscerate opponents of ANWR drilling with his teeth? Girlfriend, this dude bobs for French fries, you got that? Bobbing for small shards of deep-fried potato in a vat filled with boiling oil. That has to be the textbook definition of stark raving mad.

And you're getting your knickers in a big ole bunch about William Ayers.


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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

2008 Elections: Oh, Looky

Oh, my. Digg buddy and detail-oriented researcher Jennifer posted this partial list of lobbyists associated with McStain's campaign today:
When cable news shows air footage of McCain railing against greedy execs and the lobbyists who rig the rules for the benefit of Wall Street dealmakers, there ought to be a crawl beneath him listing these lobbyists. (Talk about a fair and balanced presentation.) Short of that, here's the list of the McCain aides and bundlers who have worked for the high-finance greed-mongers McCain has pledged to take on. So far, it seems, none of them have been cast out of the campaign. If McCain were serious about his outrage, he might throw these money-changers out of his own temple:
  • Phil Anderson: American Council of Life Insurers, Aetna, AIG, New York Life, MassMutual, VISA

  • Rebecca Anderson: Aegon, American Council of Life Insurers, Cigna, Barclays, Credit Suisse First Boston, HSBC

  • Stanton Anderson: The Debt Exchange

  • David Beightol: Allstate, Amerigroup, Charles Schwab, HSBC

  • Rhonda Bentz: VISA

  • Wayne Berman: American Council of Life Insurers, AIG, Americhoice, Shinsei Bank, Blackstone, Carlyle Group, Broidy Capital Management, Credit Suisse Securities, Highstar Capital, VISA, Ameriquest Mortgage, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Fitch Ratings

  • Charlie Black: JP Morgan, Washington Mutual Bank, Freddie Mac, Mortgage Bankers Association of America, National Association of Mortgage Brokers

  • Judy Black: Colorado Credit Union League, Genworth Financial, Bay Harbour Management, Merrill Lynch

  • Kirk Blalock: Credit Union National Association, Financial Executives International, American Insurance Association, Mutual of Omaha, Zurich Financial Service Group, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

  • Carlos Bonilla: Financial Services Roundtable, Freddie Mac

  • Christine Burgeson: Citigroup

  • Mark Buse: Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs, Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

  • Nicholas Calio: Citigroup, Managed Fund Association, Fannie Mae, Merrill Lynch, The Investment Company Institute, TIAA-CRE, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

  • Ben Nighthorse Campbell: Amscot Financial Corporation, Community Financial Services Association, Fidelity National Financial

  • Andrew Cantor: American Insurance Association, Merrill Lynch

  • Alberto Cardenas: Fannie Mae

  • James Courter: Goldman Sachs, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, Investment Company Institute, Merrill Lynch

  • David Crane: Financial Services Roundtable, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Association of Corporate Credit Unions, Freddie Mac

  • Dan Crippen: Merrill Lynch, National Multi-Housing Council

  • Arthur Culvahouse: Fannie Mae

  • Bryan Cunningham: Arch Capital Group

  • Alfonse D'Amato: AIG, Freddie Mac

  • Doug Davenport: Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Goldman Sachs, VISA

  • Ashley Davis: Prudential Financial, American Financial Group, American Premier Underwriters, Great American Insurance Company

  • Mimi Dawson: MassMutual

  • Melissa Edwards: Freddie Mac, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Access to Capital Coalition

  • Chris Fidler: American Bankers Association, Milcom Venture Partners, National Association Real Estate Investment Trusts

  • Samuel Geduldig: American Bankers Association, American Institute of CPAs, America Gains, Berkshire Hathaway, Consumer Bankers Association, Ernst & Young, Financial Services Roundtable, Investment Company Institute, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Prudential Financial, Sovereign Investment Council, Fidelity Investments, FMR Corp.

  • Benjamin Ginsberg: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, AIG Technical Services

  • David Girard-Dicarlo: American Financial Group, American Premier Underwriters

  • Juleanna Glover Weiss: RJI Capital, American Institute of CPAs, BNP Paribas, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Slade Gorton: Allstate Insurance, Hannan Armstrong Capital

  • Phil Gramm: UBS Americas

  • John Green: Laredo National Bank, Alternative Investment Management Association, AIG, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group, Fannie Mae, Icahn Associates, FMR Corp., AFLAC, VISA

  • Janet Grissom: American Institute of CPAs, NYSE, Merrill Lynch

  • Kristen Gullott: San Diego Credit Union

  • Kent Hance: Stanford Financial Group, Municipal Capital Markets Group, Inc.

  • Vicki Hart: American Financial Services Association, Citigroup, Investment Company Institute, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, New York Stock Exchange, VISA, Carlyle Group, Credit Suisse, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Goldman Sachs, National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders, Stanford Group, Lloyd's of London, National City Corp.

  • Richard Hohlt: Capmark Financial Group, Fannie Mae, JP Morgan Chase and Co., Student Loan Marketing Association, Washington Mutual, Guaranty Bank & Trust, Peachtree Settlement Funding, Dime Savings Bank of New York

  • Gaylord Hughey: Heartland Security Insurance Group

  • Kate Hull: Credit Union National Association, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Zurich Financial Services, American Insurance Association, Financial Executives International

  • James Hyland: American Insurance Association, Seattle Home Loan Bank, Self Help Credit Union, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, Merrill Lynch, Mortgage Investors Corp., Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Freddie Mac, New York Stock Exchange, Citigroup, VISA

  • Aleix Jarvis: Credit Union National Association, Fannie Mae, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Financial Executives International, Mutual of Omaha, American Insurance Association, Zurich Financial Services

  • Greg Jenner: American Council of Life Insurers, JG Wentworth, UBS, VISA, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Frank Keating: Former Gov. OK. Former Asst. AG, American Council of Life Insurers

  • Steven Kuykendall: California Bankers Association

  • William Lesher: Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Commerce Ventures, Rabobank International

  • Thomas Loeffler: Citigroup, Fannie Mae, Investment Company Institute, World Savings and Loan Association, United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

  • Kelly Lugar: RJI Capital Strategies

  • Peter Madigan: Arthur Andersen, Bank of New York, Broadridge Securities Processing, Charles Schwab, Deloitte and Touche, Goldman Sachs, International Employee Stock Option Coalition, Mastercard, NYSE, Fannie Mae, Merrill Lynch, PNC Bank

  • Mary Mann: MassMutual

  • Paul Martino: Morgan Stanley, Baker Tilly

  • Jana McKeag: Venture Catalyst

  • Alison McSlarrow: Fannie Mae, Hartford

  • Mike Meece: Georgetown Partners

  • David Metzner: Ernst & Young, Harbinger Capital Investments, Prudential, Public Financial Management, Western Union

  • Susan Molinari: Freddie Mac, American Land Title Association, Association of Consumer Credit Unions, Beacon Capital Partners, College Loan Corp, Coventry First, E-Trade, Financial Services Roundtable, Rent-A-Center

  • John Moran: Cerberus Capital Management, American Council of Life Insurers, Accenture

  • John Napier: Freddie Mac

  • Susan Nelson: AIG, San Antonio Credit Union

  • Paul Otellini: Ernst & Young, Financial Services Forum

  • Steve Perry: Charles Schwab, Hoover Partners, HSBC, National Stock Exchange

  • Nancy Pfotenhauer: American Land Title Association, Mortgage Bankers Association

  • Elise Pickering-Finley: Credit Suisse, DE Shaw, Hartford Financial Services, Research In Motion, Retail Industry Lenders Association, URL Mutual

  • James Pitts: Advanced Association for Life Underwriting, AETNA, American Council of Life Insurers, AIG, Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Debt Advisory International, Financial Services Coordinating Council, GE Financial Assurance, Hartford Life, Jefferson Pilot Financial, Kenwood Investments, MassMutual, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, UNUM Provident, VISA, PMI Group

  • Tim Powers: AP Capital, Genworth Financial, Retail Industry Lenders Association, E-LOAN, General Electric Mortgage Insurance

  • Walter Price: Wachovia

  • Sloan Rappoport: Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, Inc. (FBR), Trafelet Delta Funds

  • Hans Rickhoff: Capital One, Investment Company Institute, United Services Automobile Association (USAA)

  • Kathleen Shanahan: New York Stock Exchange

  • Andrew Shore: Accenture, Retail Industry Lenders Association, Barclays, Bond Market Association, Credit Suisse, TPG Capital

  • Katie Stahl: Alliance for Investment Transparency, Ares Management, Fairfax Financial Holdings, Uhlmann Financial Group

  • Milly Stanges: TIAA-CREF

  • Aquiles Suarez: Fannie Mae

  • Don Sundquist: Freddie Mac, The Hartford

  • Peter Terpeluk: JP Morgan Chase, Ernst & Young, Prudential

  • Fred Thompson: Equitas

  • Jeri Thompson: American Insurance Association

  • John Timmons: National Association of Federal Credit Unions

  • William Timmons Sr.: American Council of Life Insurers, Citigroup, Dun & Bradstreet, Freddie Mac, Vanguard Group

  • Vin Weber: Agstar Financial Services, AKT Investment Corp., American Institute of CPAs, Ernst & Young, Freddie Mac, Louis Dreyfus Corp, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • Jeffery Weiss: JP Morgan

  • Tony Williams: Russell Investment Group, American Life Inc., Northwestern Mutual
Quite a list, eh? And look at the huge number of banks and insurance companies that are represented here. Worse yet, count the number of lobbyists representing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

John McCain. Bringing change to Washington. Whatever change is left in your pockets after he and his lobbyist pals shake you down.

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2008 Elections: Crossing The Line

There's plenty of reason for Democrats, Independents, and many Republicans not to like Sarah Palin. She's greedy, ambitious, unprincipled, a liar, ignorant, uneducated, incapable, unethical, and too limited to realize her limitations. This does not mean she is stupid. Like Gee Dumbya, she has a certain shrewd cunning that allows her to manipulate those around her quite well. This makes her a dangerous person, because her ignorance and her inability to realize the depths of her ignorance tend to predispose the less-ignorant into underestimating her ability and willingness to go for the throat and cling on until the kill. This woman has no principles. She recognizes no limitations. Decency, morals, ethics, the greater good, all these are concepts with which she has a very limited acquaintance.

In case you need an example to convince you of the truth of the preceding, consider this:
Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."

[...] Palin, speaking to a sea of "Palin Power" and "Sarahcuda" T-shirts, tried to link Obama to the 1960s Weather Underground. "One of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," she said. ("Boooo!" said the crowd.) "And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,' " she continued. ("Boooo!" the crowd repeated.)

"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
Whipping up the frenzy of misinformed and frustrated, angry people is not a wise tactic. What happens if one of these bozos (and we have bozos aplenty, in this country) decides to pick up a gun and start killing people? Is the Secret Service paying attention to Palin's people? They'd better be. She is calling for murder.


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Monday, October 06, 2008

Happy Birfday!

To a very very special person in Melbourne, Australia. You know who you are!

From ICHC, purveyors of LOLcattery

All good wishes for the best of years! Check out your birfday prezzie when it arrives in the mail and let us know what you think.

That's it for those guys. They seem to be sleeping more these days. Too lazy to wake up and have their pitchers taken. And, one final LOLcat:

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

2008 Elections: John McCain's VP Pick

From ICHC, purveyors of fine lolcattery

Quotable quotes from Sarah "Failin' — it's what I do best" Paiin:
"There's, of course in the great history of America there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ..."
"Well, I could think of ... any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But, you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today."
Again, John McCain and I, that commitment that we have made, and we're going to follow through on that, getting rid of that corruption.
But we do need tax relief and Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year. That's a lot of middle income average American families to increase taxes on them. I think that is the way to kill jobs and to continue to harm our economy.
I do take issue with some of the principle there with that redistribution of wealth principle that seems to be espoused by you. But when you talk about Barack's plan to tax increase affecting only those making $250,000 a year or more, you're forgetting millions of small businesses that are going to fit into that category. So they're going to be the ones paying higher taxes thus resulting in fewer jobs being created and less productivity.
But here, again, there have -- there have been so many changes in the conditions of our economy in just even these past weeks that there has been more and more revelation made aware now to Americans about the corruption and the greed on Wall Street.

We need to look back, even two years ago, and we need to be appreciative of John McCain's call for reform with Fannie Mae, with Freddie Mac, with the mortgage-lenders, too, who were starting to really kind of rear that head of abuse.

And the colleagues in the Senate weren't going to go there with him. So we have John McCain to thank for at least warning people. And we also have John McCain to thank for bringing in a bipartisan effort people to the table so that we can start putting politics aside, even putting a campaign aside, and just do what's right to fix this economic problem that we are in.

It is a crisis. It's a toxic mess, really, on Main Street that's affecting Wall Street. And now we have to be ever vigilant and also making sure that credit markets don't seize up. That's where the Main Streeters like me, that's where we would really feel the effects.
And East Coast politicians who don't allow energy-producing states like Alaska to produce these, to tap into them, and instead we're relying on foreign countries to produce for us.
I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.
And Maliki and Talabani also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to that point, that victory that's within sight.
And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the General Petraeus and al Qaeda, both leaders there and it's probably the only thing that they're ever going to agree on, but that it was a central war on terror is in Iraq. You don't have to believe me or John McCain on that. I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda.
An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy of course when we're dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons.
Certainly, accounting for different conditions in that different country and conditions are certainly different. We have NATO allies helping us for one and even the geographic differences are huge but the counterinsurgency principles could work in Afghanistan. McClellan didn't say anything opposite of that.

But as for as Darfur, we can agree on that also, the supported of the no-fly zone, making sure that all options are on the table there also.
Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You preferenced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and god bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers needed to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. My grandma was, my dad who is in the audience today, he's a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate.

Education credit in American has been in some sense in some of our states just accepted to be a little bit lax and we have got to increase the standards. No Child Left Behind was implemented. It's not doing the job though. We need flexibility in No Child Left Behind. We need to put more of an emphasis on the profession of teaching. We need to make sure that education in either one of our agendas, I think, absolute top of the line. My kids as public school participants right now, it's near and dear to my heart. I'm very, very concerned about where we're going with education and we have got to ramp it up and put more attention in that arena.
Most of these comments were taken from the transcript of Paiin's VP debate with Joe Biden, as reproduced in the New York Times. Most of them are a frightening combination of Gee Dumbya Bush at his mushmouthiest and, maybe, Chauncy Gardener?

How many outright lies, misstatements, gaffes, blunders, and plain old idiocies can YOU spot?

Eight years of Teh Stupid has us in a position where Europe, Russia, and China are talking about a new international financial system and they haven't even invited us to the talks. Makes sense when you consider that our children and grandchildren will be paying them for all the loans we took to start a war in Iraq. Hey, where's Osama bin Laden? And how come the Saudis, who manned and probably financed that little explosion of the twin towers, are still best buds with our Preznitwit?

Jeez, people, check your voter registration, tell all your friends and neighbours and relatives and colleagues to check theirs, and VOTE! And, unless you really want to lose your house, your job, your business, your life, your children, and pretty much the rest of the country — be sure to vote for Obama/Biden. There's only one way out of this shitpile, and it ain't a tunnel named Paiin/McCain't.

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