Mike, did you read this bill at all? ENDA as the bill was called is meant to protect employees from discrimination based on the fact that they are gay or trans-sexual. As it is right now, an employer can fire someone who does a good job at work just because the employer finds out that the person happens to be gay. We're not talking about workplace behavior, such as the lewd things your Republican colleagues keep getting busted at.
I'd like someone to name me ONE JOB outside of religious work where being heterosexual is a BFOQ - Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. Adult film actor, perhaps? Is Burgess trying to protect that industry?
SEN. BIDEN: I would pledge to keep us safe. If you told me, Tim -- and this is not -- this is complicated stuff. We talk about this in isolation. The fact of the matter is the Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium; the Pakistanis have hundreds, thousands of kilograms of highly enriched uranium.
If by attacking Iran to stop them from getting 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, the government in Pakistan falls, who has missiles already deployed, with nuclear weapons on them, that can already reach Israel, already reach India, then that's a bad bargain.
Presidents make wise decisions informed not by a vacuum in which they operate, by the situation they find themselves in the world. I will do all in my power to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but I will never take my eye off the ball.
What is the greatest threat to the United States of America: 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Tehran or an out of control Pakistan? It's not close.
Folks, pay attention to what's happening in Pakistan. We have an Islamic dictator barely in control of a government with nukes. It's not the time to play cowboy in the region.
This will be of little interest except to other bloggers, and perhaps regular victims.. er, readers of WhosPlayin.
October site statistics for WhosPlayin.com showed that by ALL metrics, October's web traffic surpassed all records: - Unique Visitors: 5,999 (previous record of 5,926 in June) - Number of Visits: 13,922 (previous record of 11,065 in Sept.) - Page Views: 85,143 (previous record 47,094 in Sept.) - Hits: 295,377 (previous record of 190,167 in June) - Bandwidth: 2.99 GB (previous record of 2.5 GB in June)
The factors I attribute this to are a small rise in regular readership that seems to grow month over month, as well as a lot of search engine traffic. It's really interesting to see the things that people search for.
One problem we've been having is an increase in comment spam. At its peak, I was getting upwards of 1000 comment spams per day. It's let up a bit lately since I banned a lot of IPs and have been pretty vigilant about not allowing it. I worry sometimes that I might have deleted a substantive comment or two. Further, the spam skews the traffic numbers a bit - mostly in total hits, pages, and bandwidth, not so much in number of visitors.
One thing that I find both amusing and frustrating is that my non-political posts get a lot more traffic than my political ramblings, which although not as fun to write, I've sort of considered more important.
For instance, we recently picked up a #1 Google ranking on a particular search term. I'm sure that the folks who make their livings selling the quackery that I attacked in my post are quite frustrated that this blog calls it a waste of money.
So, as I've mentioned before, this blog is something I do just for fun. You might even call it therapy, I suppose. I must have a creative outlet. I'd love to be able to make writing a job, but knowing myself as I do, I can't help but think that I'd get easily bored with it, and it would become a chore.
One thing I've noticed is that the more I write about the political crap that pisses me off, the more anger I carry around. I've been told that my best writing is on subjects where I can speak with some positivity. I'm going to work on that. I want to write more about science too. Specifically, I want to write more about how the lack of good science education in this country is putting us all in a tight spot and causing too many consumers to fall for junk science and scams.
Stay tuned, and thanks for making it a record-setting month for us. Don't be a stranger now, okay? I want to see some comments now and then. If you've registered and not received a login, please shoot me an email.
These have got to be the biggest rat turds I've ever seen! I stepped back with a good mixture of both fear and disgust at the sight of what appeared to be dozens of turds behind my bed when I pulled it out from the wall to clean behind it. As I stepped back, I was mentally preparing an escape route in case the maker of these turds should come scampering out. Simultaneously, I was subconciously locating the 12 gauge shotgun and ammunition just in case I had to dispatch what I expected would have been a Shetland-pony-sized rat that dropped these things.
I quickly abandoned the thought of grabbing my shotgun and decided instead to get a paper towel to scoop up the turds with. When I carefully knelt down to get them, keeping an eye out for the monster that left them, I realized that they weren't turds at all. Nope - raisins. Apparently one of the kids must have spilled a box behind my bed. I don't know how.
It's embarrassing to admit that my house is currently dirty enough that I would think for even a second that I could possibly have a rat living and crapping under my bed. I think I'm going to clean more often. In fact, that's what I should be doing right now. I'd better get back to it!
(Humbly submitted for your Pulitzer consideration)
Update: Jesus Carrillo decided to run for State Representative instead. We'll post more on that soon.
We received the following release this morning from Denton County resident, Jesus Carrillo, who is throwing his hat in the ring for the 2008 Texas Railroad Commissioner race.
My name is Jesus Carrillo and I am running for the position of Texas Railroad Commissioner in 2008. Therefore, I will file with the Texas Democratic Party as a candidate for office. I was born and raised in Corpus Christi Texas. I have worked in the petroleum and utility industry in Texas. I have a Technical Degree in Aviation Science from Hallmark Institute of Aeronautics, San Antonio Texas. I have been in the airline industry for 17 years as an FAA license Aviation Maintenance Technician and a Transport Workers Union of America member.
I am married and my wife is a nurse. I have three children, my son attends Texas Tech University and, my youngest daughter is in the Texas Army National Guard and attends college. My eldest daughter works for a brokerage firm in Houston Texas. I was a former Chairman for the Planning and Zone Board for the Town of Ponder, as well as Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the Town of Ponder.
I grew up, during my childhood years, across the street from refineries; I know what a gas explosion felt like when your house shook. Now, I live in the middle of the Barnett Shale gas drilling boom. I live with the noise and air pollution, with the noise all night as the trucks and the drilling rigs operate behind your home. I know what the communities are living with and their drinking water issues.
That is why I know that I am the person for the job of Railroad Commissioner. The time has come to make the change. It’s time for us to start caring about safety within our communities and work place. I’m the person for the job to make the change within the Texas Railroad Commission.
Jesus Carrillo for Texas Railroad Commissioner
Jesus Carrillo 322 Meadow Drive Ponder, Texas 76259 Cell: (contact the webmaster if you'd like this)
An extremely modest man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset.
Upon making several false alarm trips to the bathroom, he decided the latest episode was another and stayed put. He suddenly filled his bed with diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational.
In a complete loss of composure he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw them out the hospital window.
A drunk was walking by the hospital when the sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing, and swinging his arms violently trying to get the unknown things off, and ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.
As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital security guard, (barely containing his laughter), and who had watched the whole incident, walked up and asked, "What the heck is going on here?"
The drunk, still staring down replied: "I think I just beat the shit out of a ghost."
We'll make sure the petitions and comments get to Congress.
To: U.S. Congress
Dear Decision Makers,
We, the undersigned, recognize the importance of collectively providing for the health care and wellbeing for our nation’s children regardless of their parents’ economic status and ability to pay. We believe that the SCHIP program is an important investment in our children because it provides healthcare rather than sick care and keeps children out of our emergency rooms – the most expensive care.
In a nation of our affluence, the $40 billion cost of the program over the next 10 years amounts to only about a $13.30 per year contribution from each and every man, woman, and child – a cost that we think is well worth it to ensure that innocent children are taken care of.
We therefore strongly urge you to give the SCHIP renewal and expansion your support, knowing that we do not consider $13.30 per year to be an unreasonable burden.
On Oct 3rd, the President vetoed H.R. 976, an re-authorization and expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Although the bill passed with a big majority in both houses, our Republican Congressman, Michael Burgess and some other Republicans voted against it, and formed a large enough group that a veto override was not possible.
Since the veto, I've been so thoroughly disgusted with these folks, that it has been difficult for me to write without going very negative, very fast. Further, I've just not had the time to do a bunch of research to put out an all-out dissertation on the subject.
Now, while I would like to offer a point-by-point rebuttal - and this pile deserves it, I do have to work for a living. It's 6:30 am as I write this, and I've got to get my kids up in half an hour. I do want to make several points though.
As you may know, SCHIP was meant to cover the near-poor. Medicaid covers folks living below the poverty level. SCHIP can cover children in families from the poverty level to around double the poverty level - about $40k per year for a family of four. The system is not perfect, and some states like Texas screw it up - but, it's something.
As you may have heard, the expansion of the program was going to increase the income limits to 3 or 4 times the poverty level. This angers some people, so the congressman gathered a bunch of misleading statistics based on covering ALL children in those income ranges. It's bogus. In some very limited areas of the country, people making $60 - $80k per year actually do have a very hard time getting by because of the cost of living, and the cost of housing. We're not talking about North Texas here. This is only for a couple of states. Further, not every parent in these income ranges is going to choose SCHIP rather than private coverage, even if it is a financial stretch. Once again, Burgess and the others are playing on fears of "socialism".
Secondly, speaking of playing the fear card, opponents have been whining about SCHIP covering "illegal aliens". Not only is this just false based on the text of the bill, but it is a morally and ethically wrong argument. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, voted against the bill specifically because it excluded the children of aliens.
Children, regardless of their parents actions, are not EVER "illegal". We live in a nation of great affluence where we can well afford to provide quality medical care for ALL children. Providing coverage for children does not equate to a giveaway for aliens. The kind of care that these children get now equates to emergency charity care which puts an extremely unfair burden on border states and border areas. Illegal immigration is a federal problem that needs to be fixed by the federal government. As long as the children are here, the federal government needs to take responsibility and pay for their medical insurance.
Lastly, after years of running up a nearly 10 Trillion - oh, let me write that out long-hand: $10,000,000,000,000 national debt, spending almost $9 billion per month in the occupation of Iraq. Republicans like Burgess suddenly decide that $40 billion over 10 years for SCHIP is going to bankrupt us.
Let me put that number in perspective: - Getting out of Iraq 4 1/2 months early would pay for the program for 10 years. - With a U.S. population of 300 million people, this costs about $133 for each man, woman, and child over the next ten years - about $13.30 per person, per year. - This is about 3.6 cents per day per person.
To me, paying $13.30 per year and knowing that my country is doing what it can to ensure health care for children is worth it. As a nation, we can afford it and it's in our best interest to ensure that our children all get a good start. I pay ten times as much to support public radio. The fact that Michael Burgess and John Cornyn, on their $165k per year salaries balk at this amount, even when they have the Congressional health plans for themselves really shows where their hearts aren't.
Congress goes back to the drawing board now to try to get a decent bill to re-authorize SCHIP. Burgess claims that he really wants to re-authorize it, but it just has a few problems. He'll get another chance to have some input, and maybe he can make his amendments in order this time. I just hope for the sake of our nation's children that this doesn't turn into a platform for immigrant-bashing and privatization experiments.
Update: We have started a petition to tell Michael Burgess, John Cornyn, and the other members of Congress that voted against SCHIP that we can afford the cost. Please Sign NOW!