Politics


Yesterday, my hometown of Houston, Texas became the largest US city to elect an openly gay mayor.  Former Houston city councilwoman and city controller, Annise Parker defeated former city attorney, Gene Locke with 53% of the vote.

Parker ran on her ability to lead the city out of the recession, and not on a gay rights platform, something which in a way makes the win alternately significant and meaningless (do we want her to do the job or make a statement?).  But Houston has always had a very vibrant and (in my opinion) a fairly well supported gay community, especially considering the conservativeness of Texas as a whole.  Nevertheless, to win such a high profile position in a city clogged with Big Business (read: Ol Boy Network) is quite a feat.  Congratulations to Mayor Parker and to the voters of Harris County!

(Now we just have to see whether or not former mayor Bill White gets the governors spot.)

via Houston Chronicle
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bloombergOn Tuesday, New York City re-elected Michael Bloomberg for mayor, by a whopping margin of 5 whole points.  Before the election, polls had Bloomberg as far ahead as 18 points over Democrat (and former New York City Comptroller) William Thompson Jr. Can we please, please, please stop taking polls as gospel truth? How many thousands of times do they have to be wrong before we’ll understand? This time they didn’t count on the large turnout of African-American and Hispanic New Yorkers.

By Tuesday evening, we knew. Not only had Bloomberg’s money succeeded in buying himself yet another term, but this Bush-loving, Republican sloth won New Jersey. Awesome. One of the things that bothers me about Bloomberg’s win is the way that upper-class, educated, mostly white liberals justify voting for him. The press didn’t talk about it too much in this election cycle, since Bloomberg has since left the Republican Party (this makes it much easier to justify…you see, he’s an “Independent” now). I despise everything that Michael Bloomberg stands for. Since first becoming mayor in 2001, after Giuliani failed to use the deaths of thousands to keep the Office for himself for another few years, Bloomberg has done the following: (more…)

large_healthcare-somersetHere is my fun new game.  It’s called:  Let’s compare healthcare costs!  It’s very simple.  In the comments, write down what you have to pay for healthcare.  Why?  Because we all need to compare what the average person is paying, and the more answers we get, the more we learn (and if you live outside the United States, please do weigh in).  Here’s an example!  I was talking to my parents last night, both of whom are self-employed (this makes it extra fun) and it turns out that their price per month, which has been $2,000 (and that’s just for the two of them!), is being increased to $2,500 a month.  As Wayne and Garth would say, “Whoooaaaaa!”

And as my Mom said, since I caught her and Dad in the midst of reconfiguring their finances, “It would be really nice if we could put that money towards something else like, say, retirement.”  I agree, Mom!  After, all, this is my inheritance we’re talking about (cue laughter).

I’m not linking to anything, because I don’t have to.  I’m just angry.  The UK may take 30-some% of my wages in taxes, and I may bitch about the NHS all the livelong day, but I am absolutely shocked that my parents are being extorted like this.  Also, my dad is a doctor, and do you know how often doctors go in for medical treatment?  If you have one in your family, you’ll know that the correct answer is never.     

I don’t know about you, but my blood is simmering to a nice boil.  Fortunately, I live in the UK, so I can see someone for that.  If you live in the States and your own blood is boiling, let’s hope it’s not a pre-existing condition because, well, you’re shit out of luck, aren’t you?

Eagerly reading today about Obama’s speech on the healthcare de(bacle)bate in the US got me thinking about the meaning of reform, be it for an individual or for a system, and how reform comes about.  While I haven’t personally read anything comparing the current press for universal healthcare to the civil or women’s rights movements, I do think that there are parallels to draw.

This video is from an interview on popular Australian program Enough Rope with former Imperial Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Johnny Lee Clary.  In it, Clary describes the influence of preacher and NAACP state leader Wade Watts on his eventual disillusionment with, and rejection of, the White Knights.

This clip is only a segment of the full interview with host Andrew Denton, and some aspects of it are problematic.  On my initial viewing, I felt like Watts was elevated to Magical Negro status, with his twinkly-eyed cheer winning over the misguided white man.  (more…)

r-YELLER-huge

Do you hear that?  Today the internets are alive with the sound of GOP Rep. Joe Wilson being ripped a new one by anyone with a keyboard.  Click here for the back story.  Now, we could talk about his (bullshit) apology, Obama’s response, the dismal state of bi-partisanship in Congress or, we could let the world know what a douchebag we think Joe is and keep him as a Twitter Trending Topic for all the wrong reasons.  Ready?  Let’s play!

**UPDATE**:  I have to keep adding, you guys are killing me!

(more…)

Feeling a little nauseated?  Maybe you ate a bad burrito, or that 8th Jack-and-Coke isn’t sitting in your stomach so well (you drunken whore).  Looking for something to tickle your gag reflex?  Then enjoy the trailer for the soaring epic “Come What May,” a story of one white boy’s brave battle to overturn Roe v. Wade, coming straight-to-DVD near you!:

If the trailer failed to spell out THE REAL ISSUES for you, here’s a plot summary from the film’s website: (more…)

bill_maherLook, I get it, “real America.” After an eight-year run of controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this latest election has you feeling like a rejected husband. You’ve come home to find your things out on the front lawn — or at least more things than you usually keep out on the front lawn. You’re not ready to let go, but the country you love is moving on. And now you want to call it a whore and key its car.

That’s what you are, the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him — obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will.  But it’s been almost 100 days, and your country is not coming back to you. She’s found somebody new. And it’s a black guy.”

  – Bill Maher

(The entire essay is here).

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