Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kendall County Democrats' Labor Day float

Great parade, positive comments on the float and a good time was had by all. Even the weather cooperated!
Barack the vote!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We did it! Obama is the nominee!

I listened to Cspan at work (love my XM radio) and then hopped in my car to go home an could not find Cspan on XM but listened to the roll call on CNN, and by the time I got to HEB, Nebraska had cast its votes. Whoo hoo! My sort-of home state had cast most of its votes for Obama. Then I ran, literally through HEB to pick up items for dinner. When I reached the produce section, my friend June called me to tell me what had happened, we had nominated Obama! So, I stood in the produce section of HEB, crying my eyes out and excitedly discussing the results with June. I was so excited, I cried all the way home!
Of course folks in HEB thought I had lost my mind, I am sure. However, it was such a momentous occasion, I was brought to tears. We DID IT! We DID IT!

Now the work begins in earnest. We have to work to turn Texas blue. Thanks everyone for all your efforts so far, and let us go out and work even harder.


I must thank Hillary and Bil Clinton for being so wonderful, and so courteous and so supportive of Barack Obama. Hillary showed such graciousness, and I applaud her for that.

Monday, August 25, 2008

This Week on The Daily Show

All new shows begin Tuesday, August 26, from the Democratic Convention in Denver, Colorado.

This Week on The Colbert Report

Tuesday, August 26 -- Bob Barr

Wednesday, August 27 -- Mike Huckabee

Thursday, August 28 -- Rick Brookhiser

Friday, August 29 -- John McWhorter

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Junior Republican A-holes

VTex and I had just come back from a fun envelope-stuffing party. We went on our nightly hour-long walk, and as we left the house we noticed a whole bunch of teenaged boys hanging out across the street. We both sensed they were up to no good, but we didn't heed our internal warnings. When we arrived home an hour later, our neighbor came running over to tell us the boys had been throwing pebbles at our cars. When we went to our cars we saw that they had also ripped off an Obama sticker from each of our vehicles. VTex marched over to the house where the boys had been hanging, and confronted the dad. All the boys came over and apologized, and that seemed to be the end of it. We woke up this morning, and that's when we discovered they had also taken our yard sign apart and stuffed it into one of our plant containers. We're really bummed, but the thing that brightened up our day is that we realized how lucky we are that we're not as ignorant and hateful as those from the other side. Whew! It's good to be a Democrat.

P.S. The sign is now repaired with duct tape! I view it as a kind of vision that Francis Scott Key had on that fateful night back in 1812!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More float pictures!

There is a work party on Sat. Aug. 23rd at 2 pm at the Rogers'. Don't forget to come to the parade!

I also must correct the donkey's name -- it's Audassity.

Monday, August 18, 2008

This Week on The Daily Show

Monday, August 18 -- Seth Rogen -- Actor, "The Pineapple Express"

Tuesday, Aaugust 19 -- Sen. Chuck Schumer -- Senator from New York

Wednesday, August 20 -- Sen. Mel Martinez -- Author, "A Sense of Belonging"

Thursday, August 21 -- Phillip Pan -- Author, "Out of Mao's Shadow"

This Week on The Colbert Report

Monday, August 18 -- Jane Mayer & Joey Cheek

Tuesday, August 19 -- Lucas Conley

Wednesday, August 20 -- Bing West

Thursday, August 21 -- Jorge Ramos

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The float is taking shape

We have Audacity, the donkey (not done yet) and who is life size, no less!

Working hard today in Steve's studio included Steve, Kelly, Josephine, Sally, Richard, Claire and Michael.

The float that still needs a finishing touches and flags (USA and Texas).

Monday, August 11, 2008

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, August 11 -- Ron Suskind -- Author, "The Way of the World"

Tuesday, August 12 -- Sen. Mel Martinez -- Author, "A Sense of Belonging"

Wednesday, August 13 -- Phillip Pan -- Author, "Out of Mao's Shadow"

Thursday, August 14 -- Ben Stiller -- Actor, "Tropic Thunder"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Aug. 2008 Boerne Market Days

Oh my it was hot! Verrrrrrryyyyy hot. Nevertheless, we were out at Boerne Market Days, registering voters, swaying opinion, and informing voters in Kendall County. We met tourists from all over Texas and the USA and reminded them of the importance of voting Democratic this year.

Daniel Boone, running for a Texas Representative seat was out there both days, meeting and greeting potential voters.

As always the amazing Kendall County Democrats staffed the booth despite the heat, and as usual, had a great time spreading the word about the values of the Democratic party.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dems: Grassroots to Shape Platform

The "Pie and Platform" meeting generated many items that we sent to the Obama campaign, as requested. Apparently, according to HuffPo, Obama's campaign received thousands of submissions. Will they be used? Well here is what Huffpo had to say today:

Attendees of the Democratic Platform Meetings co-organized by the Obama Campaign and the DNC believed their policy proposals and ideas would be strongly considered by the Platform Drafting Committee, according to reports filed by OffTheBus Special Ops. It remains unclear how the DNC and the Obama campaign will accomplish this logistical feat. Recent news reports of the Drafting Committee's progress do not mention any review of several thousand platform submissions. The draft has not been posted publicly for review, but various ideas incorporated into the document have been reported on.

Monday, August 04, 2008

This Week on the Daily Show

Monday, August 4 -- Dennis Hopper -- Actor, "Elegy"

Tuesday, August 5 -- Seth Rogen -- Actor, "Pineapple Express"

Wednesday, August 6 -- Sen. Chuck Schumer -- Senator from New York

Thursday, August 7 -- David Gregory -- White House Correspondent

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Obama pulls the race card?

Give me a break. Puhleez. Grampy McCain, et al, just get over it. Grampy mentioned the dollar bill images in June, but now it's news? Well, how else does Grampy get in the news cycle, I guess. The whole thing is just total crap brought to us by the media, who hype stuff that is meaningless in order get us to watch their sad, pathetic 24-7 so-called news. When most of the people at Obama rallys are WHITE people, how the heck can you even speak of racism and make it believable? Oh, duh, Americans can be so gullible, after all if you say it often enough, you can make it seem true...ask George Bush and Co. They catapulted the propaganda and lied to us enough than many believed Saddam caused 9/11. See, how stupid we are? So now will we fall for that kind of BS and believe Obama is pulling the race card? Only if we are stupid. I am sick of this crap and sick of the lies.

All the baloney in the latest news cycle brings me back to a post on another blog that I have about bento boxes. I am proud that my family encompasses more than three (or more) racial groups. We are quintessentially what makes up the fabric of our nation, a veritable tapestry of humanity, with many ideas, many foods, many traditions, all of which help make our country a better place -- and can do so, if we just stop bickering about our differences and instead embrace and enjoy our differences. And how do we start? FOOD. Food is what brings us together, we like food, and we like ethnic food. So if the food is so good, what is the matter with the people??? Huh???? Tell me that one. Oh...they don't look like you. Well, get over it and try to meet people that don't look like you. This might come as a shock to you, but most people in the world really just want to have a family and raise their family in peace, and with love. Doesn't matter where they come from or what their religion, etc. They just want to raise good kids. So, take a step up to the plate and as you embrace that Mexican, Cuban, Thai, Chinese, and Soul food that tastes so good, go meet the people from that country and thank them for their style of cooking that you love so much. It is a start.

My previous post on this subject, from last Easter Sunday:
We decided not to celebrate Easter twice this year. For once we will only celebrate Orthodox Easter on April 27th. It worked out great, we relaxed and the grandkids had Easter festivities at the other Grandma's house. I did get the urge to cook, when I discovered our HEB (grocery store) was closed and I had to fix lunch for Monday with what I had in the house.
I came up with a Tandoori chicken with leftover greek yogurt, and a sort-of tabbouleh with Manchego cheese, tomatoes and green onion. Mexico meets the middle east so to speak.

We are all looking forward to Orthodox Easter and our favorite foods: Pashka (cheese), Kulich (bread), Mama's blini (crepes, which I have not mastered yet) and piroshki (yeast bread rolls filled with a meat mixture). Yummy. Everybody's favorite is the bread and cheese, even my new son-in-law is a fan, and it is sure very different from the food he grew up with in Puerto Rico, but he loves it.

We are the quintessential American family comprising 6 ethnic and/or racial groups, sharing our foods and customs across the board. We are proud of our various heritages and holidays, celebrating Russian Orthodox Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Dia de los Muertos, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King Day, and various saints days (Catholic, Orthodox and Episcopalian). We ARE America, we are what makes our country so special and so great....a mix of cultures, ideas, love and faith. Our children and grandchildren are the future of our nation, and the colors of our nation. We are so proud of all of them.

So, in the spirit of rebirth, in this Easter season, please take time to let new ideas take wing. It is time for us to discuss where our nation needs to go, how we put our dreams into action, and how we work for a future for ALL of us, no matter our color, or belief system.

To quote Barack Obama (who we support):

In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds - by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

While catching up on my reading on Sunday....

I found the following tidbits, that provoked great discussion over breakfast at my house. Therefore, I thought I would share what I found, and you can see what discussion these items provoke in your home. After all, we can see the financial pinch at the HEB, have you noticed the parking lots are emptier on the weekends, when people used to do their weekly shopping? There are so many issues that can just drive me crazy, but the financial markets are the most important, because in the end, apparently we will all lose, because we are not the well monied fat cats. We can only hope the fat cats will lose at least a little bit.

The collapse of the housing bubble had revealed the deep rot and duplicity within the financial system. When investors tried to sell off huge portfolios of spoiled financial assets like mortgage bonds, nobody would buy them. In fact, no one can yet say how much these once esteemed "safe" investments are really worth.
The big banks and investment houses are also stuck with lots of bad paper, and some have dumped it on their unwitting customers. The largest banks and brokerages have already lost enormously, but lending portfolios must shrink a lot more--at least $1 trillion, some estimate. So wary shareholders are naturally dumping financial-sector stocks.
Most recently, the investors' fears were turned on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the huge quasi-private corporations that package and circulate trillions in debt securities with implicit federal backing. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (formerly of Goldman Sachs) boldly proposed a $300 billion commitment to buy up Fannie Mae stock and save the plunging share price--that is, save the shareholders from their mistakes. So much for market discipline. For everyone else, Washington recommends a cold shower.
Talk about warped priorities! The government puts up $29 billion as a "sweetener" for JP Morgan but can only come up with $4 billion for Cleveland, Detroit and other urban ruins. Even the mortgage-relief bill is a tepid gesture. It basically asks, but does not compel, the bankers to act kindlier toward millions of defaulting families.
A generation of conservative propaganda, arguing that markets make wiser decisions than government, has been destroyed by these events. The interventions amount to socialism, American style, in which the government decides which private enterprises are "too big to fail." Trouble is, it was the government itself that created most of these mastodons--including the all-purpose banking conglomerates. The mega-banks arose in the 1990s, when a Democratic President and Republican Congress repealed the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented commercial banks from blending their business with investment banking. That combination was the source of incestuous self-dealing and fraudulent stock valuations that led directly to the Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed.
Even before Congress and Bill Clinton repealed the law, the Federal Reserve had aggressively cleared the way by unilaterally authorizing Citigroup to cross the line. Wall Street proceeded, with accounting tricks described as "modernization," to re-create the same scandals from the 1920s in more sophisticated fashion. The financial crisis began when these gimmicky innovations blew up.
Democrats who imagine they can reap partisan advantage from this crisis don't know the history. The blame is bipartisan; so also is the disgrace. In 1980, before Ronald Reagan even came to town, Democrats deregulated the financial system by repealing federal interest-rate ceilings and other regulatory restraints--a step that doomed the savings and loan industry and eliminated a major competitor for the bankers. Democrats have collaborated with Republicans on behalf of their financial patrons every step of the way.
The same legislation also repealed the federal law prohibiting usury--the predatory practices that ruin debtors of modest means by lending on terms that ensure borrowers will fail. Usurious lending is now commonplace in America, from credit cards and "payday loans" to the notorious subprime mortgages. The prohibition on usury really involves an ancient moral principle, one common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam: people of great wealth must not be allowed to use it to ruin others who lack the same advantages. A decent society cannot endure it.
....The fast-acting politicians may hope to cover over their past mistakes before the public figures out what's happening (that is, who is screwing whom). But the Federal Reserve has a similar reason to move aggressively: the Fed was a central architect and agitator in creating the circumstances that led to the collapse in Wall Street's financial worth. The central bank tipped its monetary policy hard in one direction--favoring capital over labor, creditors over debtors, finance over the real economy--and held it there for roughly twenty-five years. On one side, it targeted wages and restrained economic growth to make sure workers could not bargain for higher compensation in slack labor markets. On the other side, it stripped away or refused to enforce prudential regulations that restrained the excesses of banking and finance.
...The Fed's lopsided focus on behalf of the monied interests, combined with its refusal to apply regulatory laws with due diligence, eventually destabilized the overall economy. Trying to correct for previous errors, the Fed, with its overzealous free-market ideology, swung monetary policy back and forth to extremes, first tightening credit without good reason, then rapidly cutting interest rates to nearly zero. This erratic behavior encouraged a series of financial bubbles in interest-sensitive assets--first the stock market, during the late 1990s tech-stock boom, then housing--but the Fed declined to do anything or even admit the bubbles existed. The nation is now stuck with the consequences of its blindness.
If Congress enacts this concept early next year, the privileged group of protected financial interests is sure to grow larger, because other nonfinancial firms could devise ways to reconfigure themselves so they too would qualify for club membership. A very large manufacturing conglomerate--General Electric, for instance--might absorb elements of banking in order to be covered by the Fed's umbrella (GE Capital is already among the largest pools of investment capital). Private-equity firms, with their buccaneer style of corporate management, are already trying to buy into banking, with encouragement from the Fed (the Service Employees International Union has mounted a campaign to stop them). A new President could stop the whole deal, of course, but John McCain has surrounded himself with influential advisers who were co-architects of this financial disaster. For that matter, so has Barack Obama.
The nation, meanwhile, is flirting with historic catastrophe. Nobody yet knows how bad it is, but the peril is vastly larger than previous episodes, like the savings and loan bailout of the late 1980s. The dangers are compounded by the fact that the United States is now utterly dependent on foreign creditors--Japan and China lead the list--who have been propping us up with their lending. Thanks to growing trade deficits and debt, foreign portfolio holdings of US long-term debt securities have more than doubled since 1994, from 7.9 percent to 18.8 percent as of June 2007. If these countries get fed up with their losses and pull the plug, the US economy will be a long, long time coming back.
The gravest danger is that the national economy will weaken further and spiral downward into a negative cycle that feeds on itself: as conditions darken, people hunker down and wait for the storm to pass--consumers stop buying, banks stop lending, producing companies cut their workforces. That feeds more defaulted loan losses back into the banking system's balance sheets. This vicious cycle is essentially what led to the Great Depression after the stock market crash of 1929. I offer not a prediction but a warning. The comparison may sound farfetched now, but US policy-makers and politicians are putting us at risk of historic deflationary forces that, once they take hold, are very difficult to reverse.

Many hospitals engage in repatriations of seriously injured and ill immigrants only as a last resort. “We’ve done flights to Lithuania, Poland, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico,” said Cara Pacione, director of social work at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago. “But out of about a dozen cases a year, we probably fly only a couple back.”

Other hospitals are more aggressive, routinely sending uninsured immigrants, both legal and illegal, back to their homelands. One Tucson hospital even tried to fly an American citizen, a sick baby whose parents were illegal immigrants, to Mexico last year; the police, summoned by a lawyer to the airport, blocked the flight. “It was horrendous,” the mother said.

Sister Margaret McBride, vice president for mission services at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix, which is part of Catholic Healthcare West, said families were rarely happy about the hospital’s decision to repatriate their relatives. But, she added, “We don’t require consent from the family.”

In a case this spring that outraged Phoenix’s Hispanic community, St. Joseph’s planned to send a comatose, uninsured legal immigrant back to Honduras, until community leaders got lawyers involved. While they were negotiating with the hospital, the patient, Sonia del Cid Iscoa, 34, who has been in the United States for half her life and has seven American-born children, came out of her coma. She is now back in her Phoenix home.

“I can think of three different scenarios that would have led to a fatal outcome if they had moved her,” John M. Curtin, her lawyer, said. “The good outcome today is due to the treatment that the hospital provided — reluctantly, and, sadly enough, only in response to legal and public pressure.”link

Hillary Clinton recently appeared before supporters and at least a few delegates and answered questions about the upcoming Democratic Convention, the candidate nomination process and how she thinks it will unfold. A YouTube of her talk is being sent around by the PUMA / Just Say no Deal coalition along with a link to their over-the-top "Three Hundred Delegates" ad, which urges delegates to defect to Clinton at the convention, likening them to the cinematic Spartan warriors of the movie "300."
IMHO....let it go Hillary people, just let it go.
Here's the incident on youtube: link