That’s No Soccer Team, That’s Just Rep. Bachmann’s 28 Kids!

24 07 2009

GOP ‘Mother Bears’ Decry Health Care Reform, Long Fast-Food Lines (I kid you not):

Bachmann and a handful of other House Republican women said at a press conference that as far as they were concerned, any reform would just make things tougher for them.

“I think most all of us here have had the opportunity to take our kids to a fast-food restaurant,” said Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.). “We want to get a good dinner, and you walk in and there’s 50 people there and it seems like everybody in line wants to buy food for their soccer team or whatever. The American people aren’t particularly good at standing in line, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen if this health care plan goes through.”

“Any mother,” Bachmann said, would do whatever it takes to get “the high-quality health care that her child needs… As a mother of five biological children and as a foster mother to 23 children, there is nothing more important to me than to make sure that my children have high-quality health care when they need health care.”

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Ignorant “Birther” Conspiracy Theory Against the President

24 07 2009

Two things worth reading, for now:
This
and That.





Favorite Daughter and Friend: Paris, Je T’aime

24 07 2009

“Paris, Je t’aime”
Posted by kiki under France, Paris

en route

Arrived safely in Paris this morning after a 15 hour train ride from Rome. The ride was good; we slept most of the way.

We dropped our bags at our Montmartre hostel and then decided we would go see Sacré Coeur. We literally walked for five minutes before I stumbled upon a store selling Tour de France memorabilia where I proceeded to lose my mind and buy a Tour de France flag which will play into this narrative later.

Then we saw Sacré Coeur in all its glory. It is magnificent. We took plenty of photos as we made the trek up the millions of stairs, but were unfortunately not allowed to take photos inside (Fair enough).

And we also got brilliant photos of Paris, as Sacré Coeur is located on top of a large hill. We looked around in vain for the Eiffel Tower and then looked hopelessly toward a large tree and we saw it!! Or part of it. We could see the top of the famous French landmark, and that was it. So, we made that our next stop.

We took the Métro to the Eiffel Tower and then proceeded to stand in line for an hour and a half to go up to the top. As seems to be my luck, we got up to security and in the process of checking my bag the officials discovered that I was concealing contraband: Read the rest of this entry »





How I Almost Talked to the Top of La Tour Eiffel: FavD in PARIS

24 07 2009

en route

They got to Paris from Rome via night train (15 hours in a couchette compartment, incommunicado of course) and then, instead of updating their blog to let us know they were safe and sound, they had an audacious plan to call home from the top of the Eiffel Tower and surprise us. So they stood in line for hours, eagerly anticipating our delight, until just as they got to the front on the queue about to buy their tickets to ascend . . . it rained. Sorry folks, not today.

So they called just now from their hostel instead. And it was just as sweet for me. 🙂

What La Tour Eiffel Looks like When It's NOT Raining

What La Tour Eiffel Looks lIke When It's NOT Raining

(Especially since I’ve been sitting here in suspense for hours, refreshing the site every few minutes . . .I’m really not neurotic but this is HARD!)

So now I’m amusing and distracting myself, starting with:

A French mathematics professor predicted that when the structure passed the 748-foot mark, it would inevitabl[y] collapse; another “expert” predicted that the tower’s lightning rods would kill all the fish in the Seine.

The Paris edition of the New York Herald claimed the tower was changing the weather; Read the rest of this entry »





More on C Street: Is It a “Shadowy Multi-National Government?”

24 07 2009

The plot thickens?

“The bottom line here is that [Dem rep. from Michigan Bart] Stupak is either being dishonest or confessing dangerous ignorance,” [Jeff] Sharlet said.

. . .Sharlet’s book describes The Family as a kind of shadow multi-national government, operating in secret through small prayer groups called “cells” and modeled after the organization of mafia and terrorist groups. Doug Coe, the leader of the group, frequently refers to the leadership lessons of Hitler and the example of the mafia as a model for how the group operates.

How far-reaching is The Family’s influence? David Kuo, a high-ranking official in the Bush administration who oversaw the White House’s office of faith-based initiatives, wrote in a recent book: “The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp.”

See also:
Um, Holy Mackerel?

Rick Warren v. the IRS: Guess Who’s More Powerful?

It’s time to take political faith seriously. And if doing so strikes you as invasive, unseemly, and irrelevant to the job the candidates are seeking -– well, then, it’s really time to take faith seriously, including its uses and abuses in a democracy where piety and cynicism have long been comfortable companions.





Thinking About This New Bonfire of the Vanities Case

24 07 2009

UPDATE
Overheard on cable news just now: “This could be a teachable moment, with a Gates/Crowley dialogue” — Jesse Jackson

************

Consider this an open thread around class and race, law and order, freedom and community and government in America, as electrified by professor Henry Louis “Skip” Gates being handcuffed in his own home for arguing with an armed government employee who came to his door and challenged him as a citizen to present his papers, prove his innocence of wrong-doing.

Is the citizen (or the police officer) the victim, or the offender? Are both both, or perhaps both are neither?

Is it really about race and class problems, or is this case primarily a clash between private individual rights and public government power? My own experience, in which everyone was white and everyone was wearing orange and blue, and both the police officer and myself were female, informs how I see this case — as not about race or class or color and minorities, not even testosterone, but rather the same way I’ve seen schoolfolk self-justifying their institutional job (to the point sometimes, of dismissing the reality that actual individuals are hurt rather than helped.)

All in all, it was a transformative moment for me, the quintessential teacher’s pet and media spokesperson, grievance hearing officer and pourer of oil on troubled waters. . .
Personal rage and alienation caused by social injustice was a new feeling for me, and it came literally out of the blue. I was just enjoying the day and my life, with my family and friends in a place I’d felt completely comfortable, safe and loved for my whole life, when WHAM!

And what if it were instead a CPS worker backed up by an armed sheriff’s deputy, in the south, say, at your door investigating a similarly misinformed neighbor’s complaint, coming to challenge you as a homeschooling parent in your own home, such an obviously unfounded complaint that you get outraged and say so loudly, hoping the neighbor will hear you and feel ashamed?

Now do you feel the same sympathies and concerns in the Gates case as you did before, or does your stomach suddenly flip-flop along with a 180-degree change of heart?

And please note, unlike my anonymous encounter with the police on game day, or any ordinary homeschool parent’s with the CPS, these principal characters were both well-known, mature, professional role models colliding in one of America’s most historic, educated and enlightened communities. White versus black, town versus gown, hate mail and a hot summer, a media feeding frenzy — here is Bill Cosby’s take — and one of them even knows the President of the United States personally! (Have you read Bonfire of the Vanities?)

The suspect was a black expert on racial profiling, while the white police officer who arrested him was a racial profiling trainer — if they can’t treat each other in an educated and enlightened manner, who can or will??

Some of the positions being publicly taken are Read the rest of this entry »