The Debt Ceiling, GOP Bullpuckey, & The Amazing Race: Rethug 2012 Nominees…Really???

Tom Toles cartoons throughout- my fave Washington Post cartoonist – prolific, smart, and dead-on every time!  Well, my fellow Politicos, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I should, and I apologize for that –  thanks for all your email and tweets! (By the way, the rss feed hasn’t been working since I went over to my custom domain name – will let you know when it’s back in working order.) But I have figured out why I have been so lax of late: I’m absolutely disgusted with all that’s been going on for the last few weeks. I’ve just about had it with the GOP constantly ignoring  what’s best for the country and their dogged persistence toward making things worse: simply so they can try and blame it on the present administration. It’s like the doctor prescribing them antibiotics for an infection, and then never filling the prescription, let alone actually taking the meds. “But Doc, it didn’t work!!!” I know, I know, this is nothing new for the Rethugs (thus the name). But come on, people! This is obstructionism taken to its exponential max. Look at the whole debt ceiling “negotiations.” I use the term “negotiations” loosely, because the debt ceiling business is not negotiation, in which each side compromises and finds common ground. No, the GOP strategy is more like a hostage negotiation, in which the captor expects us to meet all of his demands, and we just hope to get out of the room alive. Now, that’s what we’re dealing with here, folks. Let’s not even talk about constitutional issues, such as the following: Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. (emphasis mine) Okay, I lied. I have to talk about this. It’s not rocket science, for Chrissakes…Damn, sure looks like the Rethugs are questioning big-time, if you ask me. Ask any high school civics class. You could even ask any first grader: Me: “Hey, if I borrow a quarter from you, do I have to give it back?”First Grader: “Um, yeah.”Me: “Why?”First Grader: “Duh! If you don’t, it’s stealing!” (Looks at me as if I am an idiot…) The debt ceiling is not about living within our means. (And I do agree, living within our means is important.) But the debt ceiling is about paying back what we’ve already spent. And even our forefathers, some 235 years ago, knew that, in order to sustain a country, there would be times we’d need to borrow money…and needless to say, that we’d have to pay it back....

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Uncle Kelby Ships Out…Again: Keep Your Promise, Mr. President

Missy and Son, E, Say Goodbye (Again) to Kelby ( Growing up as the oldest of five girls, I always wished I had a brother. Then I met my dear friend, Missy and her hubby, Kelby. And our families became fast friends, all of us, and in what seems now like a moment in time, we became family. I can’t tell you when that exact instant happened, but I know without a doubt one thing is true: we were all meant to be part of each other’s lives, meant to be family. If you’re a regular around these parts, you’ve heard me talk about Kelby. Kelby was the one who decided that if I have a daughter that is as gorgeous as mine, I’d need to know how to shoot a gun. So when he returned from his last deployment, he took it upon himself to teach me how to fire not one gun, but a vast arsenal of weapons. With pretty damn good accuracy, actually. He’s the one that started the dads versus kids Nerf war tradition. And he’s the uncle who wants to take out anybody that hurts me or my kids, even after Tweenie accidentally punched him hard in the groin that time…thought he was going to pass out…ah, but that’s another blog post for another time. The point is, he’d do anything for us, and we’d do anything for him and Missy. They’re family. So, once again, our family is sent off to Afghanistan.  Kelby just deployed again for eight months, and Missy has to watch her darling hubby head into harm’s way less than a year since he returned. E has to see his Old Man go off to fight while he becomes the 12 year old “man of the house.” Again. When I told the kids Uncle Kelby was to deploy again soon, Tweenie said, “What??? He just got back!” Little Man was outraged. “That’s just not right, Mom. Why does Uncle Kelby have to go back again? It’s not fair.” To say he’s loved around here is a vast understatement. And I just don’t know how Missy can be so incredibly strong. What keeps them all going is one simple thing: this is the last deployment. When Kelby gets back, he’ll be ready for retirement. Just one more time, and never again will he have to leave his amazing wife for the 130+ degree temps, the MREs, the disposable toothbrushes and wet wipes in lieu of showers. One more trip, with the stories he keeps only to himself because he doesn’t want to worry Missy. One more trip, and they can be done. That’s the unspoken thought that keeps them going. But...

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Weiner, Schmeiner! Why Are Dems Throwing Anthony Under The Wiener Mobile???

Y’know, Kids, once upon a time, if a well-known political figure had affairs or sexual peccadilloes, no one but the closest aides knew. Hell, even FDR’s privacy regarding his polio was respected and a non-issue in the press. But in this day and age, there is no privacy for any public figure, no concept of “that’s between you and your wife,” and every titillating bit of minutiae becomes fodder for the bottom-feeders like Breitbart who gain their own fame from defaming others. I’ve been married for 20 years. I believe in the commitments I made that day, before God, family and friends. I believe that adultery is morally wrong, and that cheating on a spouse by sexting, tweeting dirty pics, or any other media form of intimacy is a breach of fidelity. I believe in fidelity, whether in a marriage, civil union, or committed relationship. And in the case of Anthony Weiner, I am so incredibly disappointed in his actions. We thought he was one of the good guys. He most certainly betrayed his family, and made an absolute ass of himself. What compels men (primarily), powerful, influential men to follow their penis and shift their brain into neutral? Was he acting in a stupid, childish and asinine way? Absolutely. Was he causing a distraction from the real issues, just when Dems were gaining some leverage? You bet. He was a first class fool. I’ve proclaimed the virtues of this man, one of the folks I consider true heroes fighting for the middle class. I’ve talked about what guts and determination Anthony Weiner has shown on behalf of families like mine. He stood up to the GOP and called them on their hypocrisy and destruction of the middle class and did it with distinct style: And he is paying a huge price for his horn-dog idiocy. He has publicly embarrassed his wife, his family, and himself. He has been the butt of every late-night program’s monologues since that fateful day when sleazebag Breitbart (a piss-poor excuse for a journalist) brought this twitter scandal to light. He has lost the respect of many of his peers, and the GOP has gleefully demanded his resignation. There are two problems here: first, the utter hypocrisy of the GOP and second, the Dems “eating their own” in this situation, fearful of not being seen as, what, weak on morality? The hypocrisy issue is nothing new. It’s practically the middle name of most Rethugs. Here’s Our Girl Rachel making the point better than I ever could: Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Ah, yes, the Vitter problem. Hypocrisy at its finest. After all, we are talking about the...

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Memorial Day: In Which I Receive A Simple Reminder

Photo courtesy of (This is a re-post of a Memorial Day piece from a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the moment that inspired it. Happy Memorial Day.)We were running a little behind Friday morning, with everyone tired and on the crabby side. I had a passing thought that it was the Memorial Day weekend, and that we ought to put up the flag. But with all the hustle and bustle, it was a fleeting thought, at best; I figured we could put it up after school, with still plenty of time to commemorate our fallen. As we ran out of the house, Little Man stopped, dead in his tracks, and ran back inside. Good Lord, what now? Did he forget his DSi? Nerf weaponry? Pokemon cards? As I lost my patience, and hollered after him, “What on Earth are you doing? We’re gonna be late for school!” my boy came out of the house, unfurling the flag. “It’s Memorial Day weekend, Mom! It’ll only take a second.” He gently placed it into the holder, regarded his handiwork for a moment. Then he ran to the car, saying, “After all, it’s the least we can do for all those soldiers who gave their lives for our flag.” He quickly buckled himself in as I stood there in awe and wonder at the good heartedness of my son. We have family and friends in Afghanistan this Memorial Day. There is, in this country, a new generation of children growing up without moms and dads, a generation that will lose brothers and sisters and sons and daughters to two, or three wars, depending on who does the counting. The soldiers, sailors, marines and guard members they love did not get to choose these wars, but instead, devoted themselves to a life that they knew may involve surrendering their own life. Whether or not we agree that these wars should ever have happened, or whatever our political affiliations on this holiday, it is vital that we remember the faces behind the uniform, the husbands and uncles, the moms and sisters, and hope for them a speedy return to us so that they may be here to help us celebrate the next Memorial Day.  Please take the time this weekend to remember and give thanks for those who gave their lives in the service of our nation. My gratitude to all who serve. And if your life has gotten so busy that the little things that are so important are forgotten in the rush, take a second to marvel at them, as I had the good fortune to do. Enjoy the picnic. Watch the...

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Floods, The Rapture, & Guns. Oh Yeah, & Maddow on Infrastructure

Well, my fellow Politicos, it’s that time of year, when teachers and schools have their crunch-time, and we’re trying hard to wrap up the year. I’ve been neglecting my postings, and even missed a #FridayFollow on twitter (*gasp!*). So I thought I’d do something quick and simple: a smattering of my favorite images as of late. So here’s a quick glimpse into what’s been passing through my overloaded brain for the last couple of weeks, and a promise to be back at it as soon as school’s out. Enjoy the following links and images. (These images are from all over the internet, many from, so if you happen to know a source to whom I can credit one, send me a link and I will do so!) Flooding Cajun Country to Protect The Rest I was awestruck by this image in particular. I get the whole “the good of one vs. the good of the many” idea, but, really, where is the fairness for folks like this? And they were the lucky ones who had the resources to protect their land. Wow. Gives a whole new meaning to the expression, “No man is an island”… Child Labor is A-OK by GOP!   This whole concept blew me away. Between lowering the minimum wage for children, and claiming that the ban on child labor is unconstitutional, the Rethugs are now going after children. And it’s not just happening in one isolated place. Check out these stories about Missouri, Utah and Maine. Yeah, you know us lily-livered liberals, always trying to give those pesky little kids a break when they could be slaving away for corporate profits. Go figure. How ‘Bout That Rapture, Huh? These sorts of stories never cease to amaze me. Not the stories of good Christians being yanked right out of their socks and into Heaven on the rapture day, but the fact that so many people actually believe the crackpot preachers that claim it’ll happen. Whether they are all charlatans, or just folks who  get so wrapped up in their own little Bible conspiracy theories, why folks would believe this tripe and even donate to the cause is beyond me. First of all, if, in the Christian faith, when we die, our spirits go to Heaven, then why would God take the believers body and all in this instance, leaving a string of empty clothes behind for the non-believers to clean up? Hey, maybe it’s our penance to clean it all up. And why donate more moolah to some old guy who claims to know the exact date of the end of the world…when’s he gonna spend it? Everyone’s favorite religious rapture loony, Harold Camping, had stockpiled...

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“All Politics Are Local” – How Ventura City Council Demeaned Its Citizens This Week

  Hope life has been treating you well, my fellow Politicos! Forgive my lapse in posts, as it’s my busy season at work. At a school, the beginning of the year is only second to the end of the year in the amount of work and insanity going on. But I had to share my recent experience with you regarding how, as the old saying goes, “All politics are local.” My dear friend Kathy drug me to a City Council meeting here in our burg. As much as I love national politics, I am not very well-versed in city politics. But of course, Kathy knows me well, and told me how a new law would be affecting her mom (whom I love dearly), and said that, after all, I’m her political friend, so I could serve as her “safari guide” through the local political undergrowth, just like my friend Robin does for me when I go clothes shopping. (Damn, I hate shopping….) Kathy said she just needed my support, that I didn’t have to speak, and to just clap loudly when she was done. To make a long story short, she managed to convince me to head out on a weeknight, when my butt was really dragging, to go to a meeting that I didn’t think I had a stake in, in order to help her and her mom out. Friendship wins the day. The Council was considering voting on a new law to bring all the granny flats and mother-in-law cottages up to present safety code. Sounds like a good thing. Who doesn’t love public safety, right? That’s pretty much what all but one of this Council were counting on. They had asked for community input on this law, and a great group of fellow Venturans rose to the occasion, putting in their time, effort and a great deal of thought to this proposed law. They came up with a list of recommendations for the Council to consider. Not that the City Council ever intended to consider the group’s recommendations. Ventura – Photo by Heidi Haines Ventura is a little beach hamlet, and I am a native. I love this city. This is home to me, and to my family since the 40’s. It used to be a place where you could park for free and look at the waves, or go downtown and check out the funky thrift shops (not overpriced antique shops). It’s a place where I went before the planning commission for another friend to get them to ban the funky, flamed mural on his record store so that I could take it forward to the then City Council, who we were sure would overturn...

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“Welcome To My Town Hall…Now GO HOME!” How GOP Thuggery Treats Democracy

Well, Kids, I sure hope our intrepid pundit Rachel Maddow will pick up on this story. My fellow Politicos, I was having a bit of a writer’s block until The Hubby told me about this travesty of justice. I’m sure you’ve heard of Allan West, the infamous representative from Florida. You remember, the guy who told The President to put himself in harm’s way and spouts the “socialist” lines his party feeds him? Well, he had himself a little Town Hall meeting the other day, that time-honored tradition of small-d democracy. Unfortunately, even though West was able to pre-screen the questions the audience submitted and only swing at the softballs (yeah, that’s the spirit!), there were still dissenting voices in the packed to the gunnels hall. And then, out of the blue, came a tough question, one designed to hold West accountable. Why, imagine the gall of an ordinary citizen to question his or her elected representative! Shocking! And one of those dissenting voices was none other than former Air America commentator Nicole Sandler. From her website, here’s the video – check this out… As you can see, she did nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly appears much less combative than the Tea Partiers who stormed the Town Halls in the last few years. Sandler asked legitimate questions, bravely, in the face of a hostile audience and while outnumbered ten-fold. God bless her! And the girl’s dead-on, on all counts. First of all, I love the way she reminds everyone of the point of a Town Hall – the give and take, the debate (hopefully civil), the idea of allowing Americans who are your constituents to put their two cents in. What West’s thugs do here is criminal, shutting down legitimate questions from constituents by using brute force while he pontificates and has his enforcers shut down any questions. In this clip, those are his private security force that you see, in addition to the schmuck whose videotaping the scene and trying, poorly, to slant the interview. What a sad, strange little man! See for yourself: Yep, my fellow Politicos, free speech is sincerely dead-in-the-water. How long before the rest of us don’t get to speak out? How long before the Citizens United decision silences the voice of all Dems at the ballot box? How many more voter suppression bills will be passed before the right to vote is gone as well? When I called my Representative’s office, asking about Town Halls, they would not tell me when any were scheduled. They stated that it would be posted on his web site, if they were scheduled. Couldn’t tell me when, but hey, why would the GOP be in...

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I refuse to cave to a minivan. I am still a tomboy - comfortable in Levi's, my Yankees cap and Converse. And I always have a political opinion...hell, I always have an opinion, period. The hubby, my kids and my friends think I should run for office. Maybe one day. But for now, Momma Politico blogs. Peruse, enjoy, and know that our busy lives are as significant as those in The Washington Post. Cheers, Heidi Haines AKA Perry MacNeil Momma Politico

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