Friday, January 31, 2014

A State of Disillusion

I know that it's been several days since the SOTU, but I like to digest it a bit before I write about it.

I LOVE to watch the State of the Union (SOTU)!  I always read the transcript the next day because my husband and I are far too busy making jokes at the expense of Congress members to completely listen to the actual speech.  It’s just too much fun!

Watching the President making his entrance alone is hilarious!  The schmoozing, the kissing of the ladies, the slaps on the backs……reminds you of a scene from “The Godfather”.  The only thing missing are the envelopes.  Plus, watching the warring tribes pretend to be friendly (and some not even lending a pretense to being friendly) is like being an ant at a family reunion.  You get to watch to your heart’s delight, unobserved while all the action takes place.  It’s utterly amusing to see the farce.  Watching Eric Cantor, who always looks like he is smelling cat shit, walking BEHIND the President (and you can see on his face that it’s not his favorite position), so much fun!  And watching The Boehner, flushed from the Merlot he had at dinner, sitting behind the President during his speech is hilarious!  And Joe Biden, with his Joker smile flashing, while Boehner looks morose… have to pay big bucks for this type of entertainment, normally!  I spend more time posting captions on Facebook, than listening to the speech, which I would rather READ, so I can think further on it.

Oh, I also like to pick out the big names in the audience.  Ted Cruz, looking like an oily salesman and not very happy.  Paul Ryan, who had his dumb puppy look on, just sat there.  Watching the behaviors of the various Congress members is like walking onto the campus of my daughter’s high school.  Cliques reign high in Congress and I think the students on my daughter’s campus are far more mature.  Look at Steve Stockman (R-Texas) storming out in the middle of the speech.  Can we say, “Drama Queen”.  And look at some of the Republican membersTWEETING during the President’s speech?  Are you kidding?  Dissing the speech IN TWEETS during the actual speech?  We don’t allow our high school students to do this but we allow Congress to be this disrespectful?  Or is it “staffers” Tweeting for them.  Regardless, it’s childish and rude.  People, act your age.  You are suppose to set an example for the country. 

There was some bi-partisan applauses.  His bit of sucking up to Boehner with his, “Son of a bar keep” was met with mutual clapping from a room full of mostly well-born folk.   They also applauded themselves when the President talked about the “accomplishments” in regards to the housing market (which is mostly a bubble created by “investors” paying cash forforeclosures, edging out average people who have to qualify for now tougher to get conventional loans), the oil industry (thanks to fracking and other less than safe measures, not to mention oil spills),  the lower unemployment rate (the jobs that ARE available are hardly the quality jobs that left…..mostly low-paying service jobs) and the deficit cut in half (on the backs of the middle class and the poor by cutting services and anyother programs, while there has been nothing asked by multi-national corporations or the one percent)…….I guess the President had to throw the Do Nothing Congress a bone because I seriously don’t consider anything they have done “accomplishments”.

But things got very cool, very quickly.  When the President got to the part about how multi-national corporations have made record profits, while the average American is working harder and harder just to make ends meet or not at all, due to jobs being “outsourced”.  When the President talked about reforming the tax laws that not only do not penalize AMERICAN companies for outsourcing but REWARD THEM with tax breaks, you could see the Republicans get indignant and see many Democrats squirm. 

And when he talked about going around Congress when he could (using Executive Order), that brought out the downright ugly.  The President vowed to raise the minimum wage on CONTRACTORS who get Federal contracts.  That brought out the Linda Blair in many Republican Congresscritters.   Michelle Obama, who has been the object of ridicule (again) for her “Get Moving” program teaming up with Subway, causing quite the hissy fits among the Right-Wing-Freaks (OMG!  What a BITCH!!!  She wants to encourage kids to EAT SUBWAY!!!) was commended by the President for the program, as was FLOTUS’ and VP-FLOTUS’, DR. Jill Biden, for their Joining Forces Alliance project, that helps find jobs for our vets and their spouses.  That earned polite claps from Republicans but with frowny faces.  The same with the President’s plan for College Opportunity (which the President of my city’s beloved,  Whittier College, met with the President to discuss!) and his mentions of homelessness and marriage equality the Republicans just had the frowny faces, as both are icky subjects for Republicans.

Getting to energy, that is NEVER a fun topic.  Anything with the word “reform” in it generally brings frown lines (or the closest thing to it on many a Botoxed face) to Congresscritters.  Patent reform, as are the words “solar” and “wind” are simply dirty words in Congress.  And the fact that we are having an oil boom has not made Republicans happy, as it has happened under OBAMA!  More frowny faces when he mentioned (bragged about) it.   And even MORE frowny faces when the President talked about the dreaded “CLIMATE CHANGE”.   A word that many a Republican say is a hoax.  I swear, I am sure that all the plastic surgeons in DC were completely booked after SOTU for the next month.

Then came the unpleasant topic of education and wages.  Some of it was benign and nothing new, like Race to the Top (blech), corporate funded education (blech), Common Core (feh), getting the communications companies to hand over “free Internet access” to some of our schools (wow, how generous of them, considering they couldn't make money without government help) and pre-K.  Education is where the President and I part ways.  He’s on the side of corporate education.  I am not.  But at least he mentioned that he is finally dumping standardized testing. 

When the President gets to the minimum wage, that also brings the ugly out of Republicans.  The President telling Congress that no one should live in poverty while working full time seemed like a foreign concept to many of the Congresscritters.  Especially single mothers.  And it was downright insulting to Americans when the Republicans did nothing but look pissy when the President said, “Let’s give America a raise!” when talking about raising the minimum wage.  Not a good move, Republicans.  You dissed the American people by doing that.   And when he talked about the ACA (Obamacare) and how the whole forty votes to repeal was stupid, you would have thought someone let off a hellacious fart on the Republican side of the chamber.  The ACA is still a very raw spot with Republicans.

Yes, I do find it entertaining, but, we shouldn't.  It’s far from funny.  Here we are, people are suffering and these people are playing games.  They can’t even pretend to behave in front of the cameras.  They have basically told us, the American people, “Fuck you!”  They have told us that our business just doesn't matter to them.  We should be more than offended.  Yet, what do the American people do?  We are still squabbling among ourselves, pointing our fingers at each other, blaming people who have less than us for our lot in life and NOT VOTING!  How stupid are we?  Congress doesn't even have make a pretense anymore.  We ACCEPT their bad behavior!  Yet, we don’t do a thing about it.  I am seriously tired of the blaming of the poor, of the President (he can only do so much) and the fighting among ourselves.  We have allowed a handful of boorish people to take over our government and do as they wish and pretty much flip the American people off while doing it.  The President said many times in his speech that it was up to CONGRESS.  And Congress has told your what they think of Americans.  And the worst example was when so many Republican Congressmen were flocking around the guy from "Duck Dynasty" and not the soldier who did TEN TOURS of war and was severely injured.  Talk about a "fuck you" to the military.

So, what are YOU going to do? 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can I Have A Little Sugar, Uncle Huckadoodle?

When I heard Mike Huckledoodle's speech with "Uncle Sugar" in it, I laughed myself stupid.  Really?  "Uncle Sugar"  I was waiting for someone to pat me on my head and grab my ass.  That is when my one of my good research friend's, Urban Dictionary, comes in handy.  I know that people in the South are familiar with this term, but to my Southern California suburban ears, it was a total "WTF" moment.

So, according to Urban Dictionary, "Uncle Sugar" is a colloquialism for Uncle Sam, except Uncle Sam is wearing a fly suit and a plumed hat.  I hear so many blowing this comment off, chalking it up to Huckledoodle being "colorful".  Not only is it racist, it's misogynistic (you don't seem nearly the number of madam's as you do pimps) and classist.  And, frankly, it's just fucking arrogant, ignorant and flat out mean.  Especially for a married man with at least one daughter.  I have always said that either growing up in a household of more than one woman or being married teaches you pretty much all you need to know about the female reproductive system.  Add in having kids and you get a PhD.  The only one who gets a pass is Rush Limbaugh.  His wives are rumored to never live in his house and he doesn't have sisters.  Plus, his house has decor that Liberace would go gaga over.  When a man lives in that much gilt and it's by choice......just sayin'.

Anyway, men who have had even a familiar relationship with females know that the use of birth control is NOT about libido.  Unlike men, we have a CYCLE.  So, hormone based birth control pills are about controlling the HORMONES. Remember "that time of the month" that most men seem to dread?  That's the END of the cycle.  If you need me to take you back to ninth grade biology, I can.  But, Mike Huckadoodle is supposedly college edjamukated.  Though, he's not a real preacher, as doofus only managed one year of Seminary before the haunting call of televangelism money dragged him away from actually learning about the religion he professes his love and understanding for.  Don't I remember something in Matthew about camels and needles and the chances of rich men getting into the Kingdom????  I think Huckadoodle dropped out before they taught that chapter.

What is even more offensive than Huckadoodle (because, let's face it, the bar is set to the ground for him) is Carly Fiorina.  Granted, Ms. "I Ran Hewlett-Packard Into The Ground, Hand Me My Golden Parachute" also has a very low bar set for her.  But the fact that she is a member of the XX Chromosome Club, you would THINK she would be a wee bit more honest about birth control and ACA.  But, nooooooo!  Her appearance on "Real Time With Bill Maher" (her appearances always leads to excessive expletives being shouted by me at the television and eye rolling by my husband) led to her making the old false analogy  that women would be getting birth control for "free" under ACA.  Unless they are living in poverty (which is when you WANT to give women free birth control!), women are PAYING for their insurance premiums through private health insurance companies.  As part of the policy, that insurance companies and the government agreed upon, birth control is part of the premium.  Just like annual physicals, vaccinations, cancer screenings (including prostate cancer), blood pressure screenings and a host of other wellness preventative care for different age groups.  It's MEDICAL COVERAGE. Not "slut coverage".  Now private insurance carriers should stop covering ED meds! (Medicare already has, to the sigh of relief of many a woman over the age of sixty-five)  THAT is purely for sex!  And ED meds are much more expensive than birth control, costing, per pill, as much as a full cycle of birth control pills.

But, back to Carly......she is another "born on third" gal.  Daddy was a law professor at Cornell and Stanford Law (which, strangely, Ms Carly went to Stanford......wonder if her dad had something to do with that?), Duke Law (where he was Dean) and then was a Deputy Attorney General with the DOJ, then he was appointed by Nixon to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (very powerful position).  Mother was an artist.  Carly went to a chi-chi private school in London, the Channing School and pricey universities (yes, plural).  She got into UCLA but "was bored" studying law and only did it because daddy was a judge.  So, she bounced around until she landed at AT&T.  She started out as an entry level managerial trainee.  By 1985, she was a VP.  The same year, she was also married VP, Frank Fiorina.  Coinkidink??  When she was at AT&T, she went to U of Maryland to get her MBA (that I am sure AT&T paid for) and then went to MIT for a year on their Sloan Fellowship for an MS in Management.  Her undergrad degree?  Philosophy major, Medieval History minor at Stanford (where her daddy had been a department head).  Aren't the Right Wingers making fun of those "soft degrees"?  Because I notice that a whole lot of them have similar degrees.  Mostly history majors.

Plus, Ms. Carly was famous for her comment about how "rich" California pensions are (whines the woman with two golden parachutes)  and her diss on Barbara Boxer's hairstyle.  Meow.

And then, we have that pillar of idiocy, Rand Paul, declaring that the Republican "war on women" is just another hysterical delusion us crazy females have thunk up.  Because HIS female relatives are doing so well!  One is even going to STANFORD VETERINARY SCHOOL!  Well, geez!  I really must have been have hormonal delusions if RAND PAUL'S FAMILY MEMBER is going to STANFORD!  And the wimmen folks in his family are doing just great, thank you very much!  But, wait......Rand Paul is yet another "born on third" guy.  His daddy was a doctor and then a Congressman.  I am sure his family in Kentucky aren't living in shacks and digging in coal mines.  I am sure income inequality doesn't really bother the women in his family too much.  Though, frankly, I would still be pissed.

All kidding aside, my point is that THIS is how out of touch these folks are.  Huckadoodle isn't REALLY going to run for president.  This is just to bolster the price of his book contracts and speaking engagements.  Plus, his radio contract was dropped by Cumulus, so I am sure he is trying to angle a contract out of Clear Channel (good luck with THAT!  They already pay too much for the talent they have!)  Plus, he will want to negotiate his contract with Fox.  So, the whole, "presidential run" gives him more cred in negotiations.  It's all about the money. He doesn't give a damn about anything or anybody else.  Especially not about his country. Yet, this spreading of misinformation about women and using offensive terms like "Uncle Sugar", which is just another Right-Wing dog whistle for calling women slutty takers, is playing havoc on our society.  All to line his pockets.  How very Christian of Huckadoodle.

With Carly Fiorina, she's has such bad TOS (touch of shit.....everything she touches turns to shit) that she had to buy a titles just to keep some skin in the game.  She has bought her way onto a lot of boards and is now CEO of Carly Fiorina Enterprises (I wonder if she has another golden parachute there?)  She is a talking head on Fox (wow, what an honor!) and Newsmax named her "One of the Most Influential Women in the GOP". (yeah, she's one of their Sugar Mamas!)  She keeps trying to turn that stench of failure into Chanel No. 5.  It hasn't worked.  When she was on McCain's presidential team, she managed to fuck that up.  In the Star Trek universe (yes, I'm a geek, live with it), it's the old, "DON'T LET DEANNA DRIVE THE SHIP!"  (Google Star Trek TNG, dont let deanna'll get the reference then)  The woman is an IDIOT.  Yet, because she rolls in money from utter failure, she is a king maker.  The woman has never gone without, had a true hardship (embarrassment from being an idiot in business is not a hardship) or had to really work for anything.  Even with breast cancer......she had the best doctors, the best facility and the best treatment money could buy.  Yet, she begrudges even a dime towards anyone else for health care.

I would try to explain Rand Paul......but I just can't.  The man is just another greedy bastard who will mouth anything to keep his base drooling and his donors happy.  He has no principles.  Anyone who studied Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand diligently is a complete lost cause.  No morals, no scruples and no soul.  Yet, he helps make laws, has helped hold our government hostage and represents one of the poorest states in our nation.  Again, I will never understand how people will vote against their own best interest.  Rand Paul and his father would sell out their mothers if it would make them a decent profit.  And Rand has sold out Kentucky repeatedly.  And doesn't it make you wonder about how a DOCTOR can subscribe to the Libertarian belief system?  I sure wouldn't want to be his patient.

Again, it's just another line in the book of, "Why are we screwing ourselves by letting these rich idiots call the shots?"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Sigh of Relief From Texas

Being the pathetic news junkie that I am, I have a number of news organizations on my iPhone that send me notifications about the goings on in the world.  A few minutes ago, I hear the familiar tone of my Breaking News app (a very useful app, by the way).  I see that the Texas hospital that has the body of Marlise Munoz, the pregnant woman who collapsed in November and was declared brain dead, has FINALLY agreed to acquiesce to her husband's wishes and remove her from life support.

It is simply unbelievable that, in this supposed "free" country, this hospital took this poor woman's body hostage.  Against everything medical science has taught, a law that was put on the book by the anti-choice movement back in the eighties, to assuage the Catholic Church and their voters, was interpreted by someone at this hospital as applying to this case.  Did they consult her doctors to find out if her fetus could survive?  If they did, they didn't listen.  Fact is, it's rare for a fetus to live in a dead body, being kept alive by artificial means at such an early stage of pregnancy.  If she were closer to viability, it could be possible.  But, she was barely into her second trimester at fourteen weeks.

I, myself, am the mom of a preemie.  My youngest was born at thirty weeks, weighing in at two pounds.  So, I am intimately involved in the facts about premature birth and neonatology. I can speak preemie with the best of them, since, in a NICU, the only way to get a neonatologist to speak with you, the parent, is to learn the medical jargon tout de suite!  Why?  Because, to a neonatologist, the BABY is the patient and nurses are there to handle patients.  Neonatologists want to get though rounds as quickly as possible and have very little patience for worried mothers.

So, when I read this case, I knew this was a hopeless.  Just the fact that she stopped breathing for a significant amount of time meant that the fetus had suffered anoxia, leading to massive brain damage, minimally.  There is really only a very small window of time for a fetus to go with little to no oxygen from the mother.  Less then ten minutes (really, six minutes) and, even then, there is no guarantee of no brain damage.  I learned this when I was hospitalized with my son.  I only lasted a little over a week, laying on my right side, until I had to have an emergency c-section due to what is called "deceleration".  Layman's son's heart rate would drop to very low levels for significant amounts of times.  And that meant only five to ten seconds but it happened many times a day. More than ten seconds and I had a team of L&D nurses hovering over me until his heart rate came up. The night his heart rate stayed down for over a minute was the night I was rushed into emergency surgery.

Add into the lack of maternal oxygen, take in the life saving drugs used on mom.  All of it crosses the placenta.  EpinephrineLidocaineAdenosine, Vasopressin......all of these are contraindicated for use on pregnant women, since drug studies are usually never done on pregnant women.  And, considering the dosage used on a patient in cardiac arrest (mom is the patient), the fetus got the same dosage as mom.

Oh, and did you read where both Marlise and her husband, Erick, are BOTH paramedics?  So, Mr. Munoz was not ignorant of the facts of his wife's case.  He's a medical professional.  He did not make his choice lightly (as if anyone could).  For this hospital to overrule his decision, as her legal spouse, was just reprehensible.  Yet, this hospital administration took it upon themselves to overrule Mr. Munoz' legal rights, to put him and Marlise's family through the most horrible of turmoil, for what?  It wouldn't have taken long to do the research.  I am sure the doctors told the administration that there was zero chance of either mother or fetus surviving.  That, at fourteen weeks, the hopes of getting that fetus to viability (twenty-two weeks, which is still a highly risky time to deliver, with the chance of a good outcome less than fifty percent) was not going to happen. I am sure their attorney told them that the law, as badly written as it is, was not meant to apply to a deceased mother, with a fetus just barely crossing the second trimester.  They could have spared Mr. Munoz and his family all this drama.  So, my question is, who was the douchebag(s) who dragged this out?  What did they think they would accomplish by forcing a dead woman to stay pregnant?  Because, really, if they were "pro-life", they just hurt their cause even further and made yet another example of the "war on women".  Even in death we are being forced to be pregnant.

I am really hoping something good can come out of this tragedy.  I hope Mr. Munoz has the strength to help change this appalling law, so that no other family has to suffer this type of tragedy.  What is the worst part of this case was that Marlise Munoz wasn't even a factor.  This decision came only after the anti-choicers in the hospital administration were convinced that HER FETUS was non-viable.  Her wishes, her husband's wishes were completely shoved aside for certain people's political and religious dogma. Women are second class citizens to a fetus.  Our wishes, our health are unimportant in the eyes of the anti-choicers.  I wonder if the responsible parties will step up and admit that they were the roadblocks in this nightmare, instead of hiding behind the generic "the hospital".

I sincerely hope that the good people of Texas think of this incident when they go to the polls to choose a new governor and legislators.  I wonder what it takes for the people in Texas to realize that they are the pawns in a brokered political game?  That their safety (industry not monitored for safety or compliance), their health (Gov. Perry's stubborn refusal to accepted expanded Medicaid funding), women's health (the closing of almost all clinics providing abortion, which is a legal right, through draconian lawmaking) or their education (which is utterly dismal throughout Texas, if you are poor. 1) are not being looked after.  I am hoping that the good people of Texas wake up and realize that this experiment of being sold to the highest bidder by Rick Perry and his gang of elegant thieves haven't done most of them much good.  But, as the saying goes, if wishes were horses.....

UPDATE:  And, we have found the snake.  His name is Neal Adams and he is the General Council for John Peter Smith Hospital.  He also sits on the board of Northeast Tarrant Right to Life Educational Assocation .  From what I have been reading, he is quite the anti-choice zealot.  I love the hospital's argument...."Oh, no!  The state's attorney will be representing us!" Like Mr. Adams and his group doesn't have such a hold on the board of the hospital.  This is truly sick and I hope Mr. Munoz has the strength to go after these vipers.  Marlise Muñoz and the politics of life and death in Tarrant County, Texas

More articles:
NYT: Pregnant, and Forced to Stay on Life Support

Med Page Today: A Brain-Dead Mother, a Million-Dollar Baby

The Rude Pundit: Our Neverending Abortion War: The Obscene Horror Show Playing Out in Texas:

1. Politifacts Texas: Rick Perry says Texas has third-highest high school graduation rates, a "significant turnaround"

Michelle Rhee and Education Reform

 I am SO not a fan of Michelle Rhee.  I guess I have an aversion to people who profit off of the destruction of our educational system.  Yes, I am a public school cheerleader.  Unlike Ms. Rhee. MY CHILDREN go to public school.  And, here in my Whitebread section of Los Angeles County, our districts (Lowell Joint School District, Fullerton Uniion High School District) are pretty good.  And the district to the east of us (East Whittier School District) is really good.  Both districts are high on middle class, middle income families.  But, the district to the west of us, a good district, has a higher rate of low income families.  Our high school district has some of the BEST high schools in the country.  Troy High School and Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California, always rates in the top one hundred high schools in the nation.  And our high schools rate in the top five hundred in California. In fact, California has some of the very best high schools.  So, I know of which I speak.  My community has schools that run the gamut from low income to very wealthy.

Yet. Ms. Rhee and her, ahem, "non-profit" group Students First, which should really read "Billionaires First", since most of her donors are people like the Walton family, the DeVoe family (Amway), the Gates', the nauseating Koch brothers, Eli Broad and his wife,  Andrew Tisch, Ron Packard of K-12, Rupert Murdoch and many other unnamed donors, since Students First does not disclose their donors, were instrumental in the dreadful 'Parent Trigger Law".  Ms. Rhee sends in (whom I believe) her little henchmen group, Parent Revolution (who also doesn't disclose their donors), who then goes into very poor communities to scare the living crap out of parents, usually people who's first language is NOT English, tell them how if they vote out their horrid principal and teachers and vote in this really fandabulous charter school, they will get a whole host of goodies (they promise things like computers, iPads, new books, blahblahblah) and that their kids will just SOAR in education! They also get a small group of parents in the community to lead the crusade.  Then, they bring in for-profit charters.

Yes, there have been rumors of misdeeds by Parent Revolution, including paying the small group of parents to lead the "revolution".  Many of the parents against the conversion of Desert Trails Elementary have said that Parent Revolution "hired" the two parent leaders in the Adelanto school district, where the "Parent Trigger" law had it's most publicized case.  According to this article, one of the mothers, who was part of the parent committee, was really an employee.  Many of the parents felt pressured by Parent Revolution.  Many felt they were lied to and tricked into signing petitions.  And, when they tried to rescind their signature, the court told them no.

It has just been horrible for this community and has left it incredibly divided, with neighbor against neighbor and former friends now enemies.  And it hasn't died down. Two of the moms who were against the parent trigger law and changing their school are now being accused of vandalizing the school. (I find it very interesting that Parent Revolution has stepped up for the two women claiming they are being harassed by the two anti-charter moms)  And the promises made by the new for-profit charter seem awfully lofty for a school with kids that come from impoverished backgrounds, who's first language is not English.

What I find tremendously pathetic is that when the school was a regular public school, it couldn't get money for basics.  But, with a for-profit, they get the fancy equipment but how much good will it do?  The charter that took them over (supposedly non-profit but that term has become meaningless) claims that Desert Trails has a "similar demographic" as the school they run in Hesperia.  Really?  Here are some facts..... The Great Schools website tells a very different story. At La Verne Prep, their student population is almost evenly split between non-Hispanic white and Hispanic. The median income in Hesperia is $43k for a family of four with fourteen percent living below poverty level.  For Desert Trails Elementary (now Prep), it was SIXTY-SIX percent Hispanic, with only FIVE PERCENT non-Hispanic white.  The median income for a family of four in Adelanto was $35k with TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT living below the poverty line.  Hesperia had sixteen percent of households led by a single-mother. Adelanto had nearly TWENTY-FOUR PERCENT of households led by single mothers. Do you call that “similar demographics”? Charter schools, under these conditions, is the equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Study after study has shown that POVERTY is the biggest problem facing education. Kids who are poor don’t have the same foundations that kids who are comfortable have. Financial stress plays the biggest part in “failing schools” and no amount of iPads and computers will fix it. I know my opinion will not go over well here but it needs to be said. These kids are poor. For many, English is not their first language. I don’t see Parent Revolution working to help with poverty issues. All I see is them tearing a community apart and, for what? Something that won’t help.

Adelanto was not the first attempt on the part of Parent Revolution.  Compton was a high profile target.  While I was doing research, I found Parent Revolution's 990 income tax forms (this is a .PDF) and found in the 2009 return that STEVE BARR was listed as Chairman of Parent Revolution.  He was also the founder of Geen Dot....a private charter school company.  He left Green Dot in 2009.  Again, the funding

And now, Michelle Rhee and her evil minions are taking their destruction to a new level.  Yes, The Mistress of Doom wants to use the court system to break the teacher's union here in California.  She married the Mayor of Sacramento, so I guess we are her guinea pigs (lucky us!)  She is not satisfied ruining a small community in the desert.  Now she is going Big Game Hunting!  Will someone give this woman a chew toy?

Oh, and some info on dear Michelle.  First, she's what I call, a "born on third" gal.  You know the old saying about being born on third but you think you hit a triple?  That's Michelle.  HER daddy was a doctor.  She went to a nice PRIVATE prep school, then onto Cornell, then Harvard.  Well, she DID go to public school for elementary.  Maybe that's what scarred her for life about public schools. Yes, she was a teacher, for three LONG years.  Yes, she was Chancellor of the Washington DC schools.....we she left in a cloud of "eau de scandal", with rumors flying about administrators altering test booklets with erasers and Number Two pencils, among other things.  Oh, and apparently, public schools are just not good enough for Ms. Rhee's offspring.  They live in NASHVILLE with their father (who, ironically, is head of the Tennessee public education system, who is also out to destroy public education and go to a very chi-chi prep school at $27k a year. I guess when you make $35k a speech, it's not an issue.  

So, here we are......we have this megalomaniacal woman who wants to destroy public education because it was never good for her and hers, who actually PROFITS handsomely from it's destruction and people still think she is for "education reform".  They don't see that the uber-wealthy are funding this endevour, not because they care about kids but because they have found a fabulous new way to add to their billions.  I just will never understand how people will continue to vote against their own best interest (yes, I know, a tired, old saw but a very relevant one) and will continue to listen to the music of the flute played by the one percent.  If people actually read the story of the Pied Piper, he did not save the children.  Like the greedy corporate community of today, the Pied Piper took the children because the people of Hamlin stopped paying him.  And, that's what is happening now.  Except, we are the children, not the rats.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I finally had to start a blog because my family is sick of listening to me and I think my Facebook friends are seriously rolling their eyes and skipping my posts out of sheer boredom.

Let me introduce myself.....I am Karen and I am a political junkie.  I read so many newspapers and blogs that my husband routinely makes fun of me.  Yes, I have been this way since I was a teenager.  I am also just an ordinary citizen.  No fancy schmancy college education and I was born and raised a comfortable suburbanite.  My daddy was a salesman for twenty years, my mom was an office worker until she got laid off in the Great Depression Recession of 2008.  She rode out a couple of years on unemployment (who's going to hire an over-sixty worker?) until she reached full retirement.  Oh, and she got to be with my dad while he died of Congestive Heart Failure (thankfully, he went quickly....within six months of serious decline after suffering with heart disease for over twenty years).  We were not rolling in dough but we weren't in poverty.  The same thing with my husband and I.  Two children, both of whom are high functioning autistics (like mama), who are in public junior high and high school.  My husband works in aerospace.  I, myself , have been a stay-at-home mother since our oldest child was eight months old.  Yes, we are lucky that my husband makes a good living that allowed me to stay home with our kids, especially since our kids are special needs.  My husband was raised by a single mother.  His parents were divorced when he was three.  So we have both ends of the spectrum when it comes to family experience.  My husband and I are also mix ethnic children of the eighties.  We both have one Latino parent (his mom is Puerto Rican, my dad is Mexican) and one white parent (his dad, a native New Yorker, my mom, a native Michigander).  My husband and I are also Native Californians, both born in Los Angeles County.

My point of my long-winded description is that we are Mr. & Mrs. Ordinary from Whitebread, California.  We aren't the "born on third, think we hit a triple" people.  And I figured that the opinions from a real middle American needs to be voiced. Frankly, I am getting tired of reading only from professional wonks, talking heads and people who live in the Beltway, which, frankly, is the true LaLa Land.  Hollywood has NOTHING on DC.

Oh, and yes, I am a bleeding heart liberal.  But, I am also a total wonk (though not a paid professional) who lives, eats and breathes research.  I keep reference links and have been called a "link queen" for posting links to facts when involved in debate.  I am so not a fan of the land of right-wing crazy.  I don't use "think tank" facts, either.

I am fine with debate and with having my opinion challenged, as long as it's done respectfully.  You respect me, I respect you.  If you devolve into name calling, personal attacks or anything along those lines, I won't play.  You get scary, stalkery or anything of the sort, you get reported.  It's just that simple.

So, that's it.  Hopefully, I get some readers.