Last call

The total cost of the bailout, including the Citi bailout, now exceeds $4.6165 trillion dollars. To keep the units consistent with the stats below, let’s call it $4,616.5 billion dollars. At this point, it’s pretty much all monopoly money, but here are some other big number to put it in perspective:

• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion

More at the Boing Boing

America’s first genderqueer mayor

Stu Rasmussen won the office of mayor in the town of Silverton, Oregon as a traditional male. During his two term tenure as mayor, Stu began openly crossdressing on a daily basis. Today he wears a skirt and high heels. He has breast implants, and long red hair. You’d think this might be a career killer, but in his case it wasn’t. The town completely supported and embraced him while he was making his transition, ultimately re-electing Stu and making him the first openly genderqueer mayor in America.

From the article:

“I identify mostly as a heterosexual male,” Rasmussen said. “But I just like to look like a female.”
Rasmussen is a man. He even has a girlfriend. He says he’s always been transgender, but he only “came out” a few years ago.

This really couldn’t have come at a better time, what with this Prop 8 rubbish and all.

We did it!

I’ve never seen so many people take to the streets in joyous jubilation for anything political. Things are off the hook here in NYC. Union Square was so packed that people were crowd surfing in the middle of the square along 14th st. Police were unprepared for the crowd, so they had to make do with rolling out that plastic chickenwire stuff to keep people from spilling out into the street. A couple of the streetlamps were trashed because some assholes were climbing up them and swinging. People breaking out into spontaneous chants and songs.  Hippies making drum circles with garbage can lids.  Completely insane.

History has been made – and I’m proud to be an American for the first time in years.

Awesome.

ThingsYoungerThanMcCain.com, FTW.

Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin

Russian media have already shown Prime Minister Putin at the wheel of massive racing truck, shirtless on a fishing excursion and tracking a tiger through the Siberian forest.

Valdimir Putin, glorious leader of Mother Russia, has put out a tape giving lessons in Judo. When will the US get a president this awesome?

Get out the vote

For your enjoyment, Rachel Hulin of Nerve has found an interesting propaganda flyer.

More McCain Tongue Thing

Poli-tricks

With elections around the corner, it’s time for political dirty trickery. From Allen Raymond, a former Republican operative who went to prison for three-months in 2006 for his involvement in such schemes, comes a list of some of the most common means of deterring voters.

If you’re looking at this, I assume you didn’t click the link. Seriously, go back and click it – it’s equal parts brilliant and devious and, if you’re like me, will really make you question things.

Matt Taibbi’s Rants = Win!

This is an award-winning rant if I’ve ever heard one:

Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she’s a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power.

Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she’s the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV -and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation.

Disturbing John McCain Video

Warning:  Do not watch this video if you want to avoid seeing pictures of dead people.

I found this video on YouTube, but it’s one of the better compilations I’ve seen over the last couple of months.  Motivations and intentions aren’t always hidden.  Most declarations are done in the open, with people watching and listening – only these declarations are shared openly with those that share the same beliefs.  Thus, a lot of these declarations rarely end up on the news.

It seems McCain, Bush, Rummsy, and other neoconservatives find humor in all the death, lies, and manipulation.  Astounding.  Unbelievable. Gut-wrenching.  Watch and listen to this video as our leaders joke about war, death, destruction, abuse of power.  A glimpse into the minds of those who seek the Highest Office for the worst purposes.

What is your reaction to the video?  Does it bother you?  Do you consider it be bad or good propaganda?  I am interested in reading a variety of people’s reactions.

Enough

I took a break from my catch-up work to stay in touch with the Democratic National Convention last week.  My political leanings have varied over the years, which I figure is the natural course of things.  As I get older my perception changes and I re-fine (or re-define) my opinion on certain issues, but I generally stay close to “home”, meaning it’s rare for me to change my mind entirely on a given issues.  Rather, what seems to change is the degree to which I am willing to invest time and emotion into a given issue.

As some of you know, the Obama Coupon represented VibeReview’s official support.  But I didn’t reveal my own thoughts on Obama, because I didn’t want to strain any existing relationships – both personal and professional, sometimes with the two mingling.  Strange as it may seem, I wanted to wait until the DNC to discuss political matters on this blog.  My hesitancy: I wanted to see substance and style, not rhetorical bravo alone – which I felt had been Obama’s main contribution during the primaries.  Of course, at no point did I consider voting for John McCain, a man who has proven himself incapable of truly understanding women – what motivates us, what appeals to us, what we really want, and how we want to live our lives.

(I use “we” very loosely, I know.  I don’t intend to be the singular voice of all women, so please don’t be offended.  My only motivation in doing so is to share my own wants, wishes, and hopes that I know parallel so many other women’s hopes, dreams, wishes, and wants.)

So, Obama sealed up my vote when Hillary Clinton lost in the primaries.  No, I have no lingering bitterness toward what happened during the primaries, as I don’t see such sentiments as being productive in the short-term or long-term.   At this point, during these uncomfortably dysfunctional times, I felt that I couldn’t waste my vote on an Independent Party.  Reform must come from within the two main parties, if this country is going to overcome current obstacles.  While the primaries proved upsetting, I did recognize some of Obama’s brilliance, eagerness, and desire to lead.

Then I watched Obama’s speech.

Impressed?  Inspired?  Grateful?  Humbled?  Excited?  Connected?

All of those things and more.  I feel like I was smacked with a wake up call – not only as it pertains to my own individual actions, but also as it relates to participating in community affairs.  I can be better than I am without feeling bad about where I’ve been.

This is huge.

Breakthrough.

Wild.

I felt a sense of responsibility to my fellow citizens.  Probably for the first time in my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a failure on a daily basis if I don’t treat people with respect (even those who don’t deserve it).  I care about people.  But this was a new sense of purpose.  A calling, if you will.  Now I don’t want anyone thinking I’ve fallen off the sanity-wagon, because I am still obsessed with self.  (Sounds silly as hell to admit, but I suppose we are obsessed with self to an extreme.  Only, well, we may not realize it all the time.)

Yes, I feel like I am obligated to myself and others, to say, as Obama did, “ENOUGH!”  Resonates with me, it really does.  No more, no longer, no way.  I hate campaign slogans, but the Democrats hit the jack pot this time around.

My favorite new slogan: McSame.  And true as can be.

Seeing that sea of people at the baseball stadium.  Remarkable.

I enjoyed all the convention speeches.  Gore and Kerry and Biden and Hillary.  Even ol’ Mr.Cant’s Keep.His.Pecker.Tucked.Away President Clinton.  It was a great event that energized me.

Did anyone else watch it?  If so, what did you think?  Agree or no?  And why or why not?

Who has time to count houses?

Don’t mean to do political stumping, but I enjoyed this ad. Short but to the point.

Dear MoveOn member,

How many houses do you own? Most Americans could answer that question quite
easily.

But John McCain couldn’t remember yesterday when asked by reporters. It’s
actually kind of ridiculous. He paused and said, “I think—I’ll have my staff
get to you.”(1) The correct answer? At least seven.(2)

This could be an election-defining moment—it’s a reminder of just how out of
touch John McCain is with the lives of regular Americans. We need to make
sure every voter hears about it.

Barack Obama’s campaign responded today with a strong new TV ad. Can you
take a moment to watch it, and then spread the word by forwarding this email
to others? Click here to watch—you can also donate to his campaign if you
like it:

https://pol.moveon.org/give/mccainhouses.html?id=13538-6344829-gO8UWsx&t=1

This is just the latest reminder that John McCain doesn’t understand what
most Americans are going through right now. It was recently reported that he
wears $520 shoes on the campaign trail—more than some families pay each
month for food or rent.(3)

This past week, McCain and Obama were asked what constitutes “rich.” Obama
said, “If you are making more than $250,000, then you are in the top 3, 4
percent of this country…You are doing well.” McCain answered, “I think if
you’re just talking about income, how about $5 million?”(4)

Sources:

1. “McCain unsure how many houses he owns,” Politico, August 21, 2008
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12685.html

2. “Mrs. McCain, San Diego County Would Like a Word,” Newsweek, July 7-14,
2008
http://www.newsweek.com/id/143775/

3. “A Week In John McCain’s Shoes—His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That
Is,” Huffington
Post, July 30, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=4077&id=13538-6344829-gO8UWsx&t=3

4. “Who’s rich? McCain and Obama have very different definitions,” Los
Angeles Times, August 18, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=4078&id=13538-6344829-gO8UWsx&t=4

‘Obama For President’ Discount

The political calendar is full of boring retorts that have nothing to do with changing the country for the better. To liven up the situation, VibeReview decided to launch its new ‘Obama For President” Coupon this afternoon. If you want to save a few bucks during these trying economic times and you want to show some love for Obama, this is the right coupon for you.

Obama For President Coupon

You can use the 10% coupon over and over and over until election day. Not a bad deal at all.

And apparently some Diggs are being thrown around:

Obama and Vibrators

The majority of the country went with “Wanted Dead or Alive” during the last election. Why not go with sex toys for equality. Sure, it’s not the catchiest idea in the world, but at least everyone is so busy pleasing him or herself (or each other) that we can’t cause too many problems. Staying busy, getting busy, and having fun – that’s the key.

Sex Toys and Texas

I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time discussing the ongoing battle between Texas politicians and religious groups versus sex toys, adult toy retailers, and people who enjoy a good buzz or two. Why does it matter what another person or couples do in the privacy of their home? If both individuals are consenting adults, the government shouldn’t have a say in his or her or their affairs. Apparently and thankfully, the law has spoken in agreement, since sex toys are now legal in Texas.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, though, seems determined to push his luck. Will he pursue this “cause” to the highest level? Seems Texas is finished with this debate and unless the Supreme Court wants to waste its precious time on plastic gizmos that give men and women pleasure, Texas might as well view itself as the Sex Toy State, with Alabama lagging behind.

Mind you, the State of Texas now taxes topless bars to fund state services. Yes, purchasing a sex toy for private pleasures is obscene, wrong, and immoral – but we’ll tax the hell out of “titty” bars because state funds are running low! The hypocrisy is sickening. While I would never dream of being a topless dancer or owning that type of bar, I am fine with women and/or men choosing erotic dancing as their profession. If you want to dance for money and it works for you, who am I to tell you what is right or wrong? It might not be right for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for you.

My point is simple: the State of Texas wants to ride the back of a largely “public” sex-related industry, taxing it to replenish dwindling state funds, while at the very same moment ban a sex-related industry that focuses on providing women and men and couples with sex toys for their own “private” use. I assure you that a tax – oh, yes – a tax on sex toys is coming, as soon as Greg Abbott decides how far he wants to push this issue.

We live in a country where health insurance and pharmaceuticals are afterthoughts for many people, because they simply cannot afford to take care of basic health concerns.

A place where education of all forms, especially for K-12, is falling behind our competitors in the global economy. (Texas education is, without a doubt, lacking substance and performance.)

A land where some man with a holy roller agenda can tell a woman what she should or should not do with her own body.

A fairy tale creation where imaginary heroes and leaders can wage illegal wars through manipulating the public into agreement, with devilish lies and schemes.

A wonderful place of freedom where politicians believe it’s alright for employers to discriminate against people of differing sexual orientations and gender issues.

But you can bet your ass if they can’t eradicate what they view as “immoral” or “obscene”, they’ll tax the living hell out of it. Unless it is a corporate golf buddy promising campaign contributions and future vacation hot spots. (Just don’t go hunting with Dick Cheney – he’s a bad shot.)

How is it that alcohol companies, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies, real estate and banking industries – yes, that they can cause whatever damage they want, to whomever they wish, without suffering extreme consequences? All made more insane by the fact that jerk offs like Greg Abbott waste state funds and taxes on attempting to ban sex toys! As if the State of Texas doesn’t have enough problems to deal with: drugs, violent crimes, hate crimes, death penalty, murder, rape, gangs, teenage pregnancy, poverty, poor educational infrastructure … all the important issues.

/Rant Over

Coming Soon: The George W. Bush Sewage Plant

Ballot Box satire gives Bush the respect he deserves

They want to rename the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant the George W. Bush Sewage Plant come January, when the next president is sworn in. During the inauguration, the group also wants supporters to participate in a “synchronized flush” — a way to send a gift to the renamed plant, which supporters say, would be a “fitting monument to this president’s work.”

It sounds like a harmless joke, or maybe a college civics lesson gone awry. But they have already collected 8,500 signatures in support of the plan – 1,300 more than the minimum needed to put the question to city voters in November.

The biggest opposition in this Democratic stronghold, McConnell said, is people who oppose naming anything after the 43rd president.

Officials at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which owns the plant, say they get the humorous intent. But they note that the plant is an award-winning facility that keeps the city’s streets and the ocean clean.

“If you are looking for a place to make a negative statement about the Bush administration’s impact on the environment, this would be the last place to do it,” agency spokesman Tony Winnicker said.