Archive for the ‘Politics’

Obamacare explained

June 30, 2012 By: nooccar Category: health, Politics

So Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority in Obamacare supporting the health care reform. This is a big deal because Roberts was nominated by the evil George Bush. This rocked. But many of us lay people still didn’t totally get what Obamacare was until I read the following, which is below.

Okay, explained like you’re a five year-old (well, okay, maybe a bit older), without too much oversimplification, and (hopefully) without sounding too biased:

What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.
Anyway, the PPACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.
So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):
(Note: Page numbers listed in citations are the page numbers within the actual document, not the page numbers of the PDF file)
Already in effect:
It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices) ( Citation: An entire section of the bill, called Title VII, is devoted to this, starting on page 747 )
It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less) ( Citation: Page 216, sec. 2501 )
It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, PCORI, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money. ( Citation: Page 665, sec. 1181 )
It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy. ( Citation: Page 499, sec. 4205 )
It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them. ( Citation: Page 30, sec. 1101, Page 45, sec. 2704, and Page 46, sec. 2702 )
It forbids insurance companies from discriminating based on a disability, or because they were the victim of domestic abuse in the past (yes, insurers really did deny coverage for that) ( Citation: Page 47, sec. 2705 )
It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths. ( Citation: Page 923, sec. 5000B )
It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for health insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. ( Citation: Page 15, sec. 2714 )
No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19. ( Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704 and Page 57, sec. 1255 )
Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans. ( Citation: Page 47, sec. 2794 )
People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend. ( Citation: Page 379, sec. 3301 )
Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2712 )
Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down. ( Citation: Page 23, sec. 2719 )
Anti-fraud funding is increased and new ways to stop fraud are created. ( Citation: Page 699, sec. 6402 )
Medicare extends to smaller hospitals. ( Citation: Starting on page 344, the entire section “Part II” seems to deal with this )
Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly. ( Citation: Page 492, sec. 4202 )
A new website is made to give people insurance and health information. (I think this is it: ). ( Citation: Page 36, sec. 1103 )
A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness by paying half the cost of the investment. (Note – this program was temporary. It already ended) ( Citation: Page 830, sec. 9023 )
A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers. ( Citation: Page 22, sec. 1101 )
A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover. ( Citation: Page 800, sec. 9003 )
Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms. ( Citation: Page 800, sec. 9002 )
Any new health plans must provide preventive care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2713 )
If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%). Edit: To address those who take issue with the word “tiny”, a change of 0.9% is relatively tiny. Any look at how taxes have fluctuated over the years will reveal that a change of less than one percent is miniscule, especially when we’re talking about people in the top 5% of earners. ( Citation: Page 818, sec. 9015 )
This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.
No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history. ( Citation: Page 45, sec. 2704, Page 46, sec. 2701, and Page 57, sec. 1255 )
If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it. (Note: On 6/28/12, the Supreme Court ruled that this is Constitutional, as long as it’s considered a tax on the uninsured and not a penalty for not buying insurance… nitpicking about wording, mostly, but the long and short of it is, it looks like this is accepted by the courts) ( Citation: Page 145, sec. 5000A, and here is the actual court ruling for those who wish to read it. )
Question: What determines whether or not I can afford the mandate? Will I be forced to pay for insurance I can’t afford?
Answer: There are all kinds of checks in place to keep you from getting screwed. Kaiser actually has a webpage with a pretty good rundown on it, if you’re worried about it. You can see it here.
Okay, have we got that settled? Okay, moving on…
Medicaid can now be used by everyone up to 133% of the poverty line (basically, a lot more poor people can get insurance) ( Citation: Page 179, sec. 2001 )
Small businesses get some tax credits for two years. (It looks like this is specifically for businesses with 25 or fewer employees) ( Citation: Page 138, sec. 1421 )
Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
Insurers now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need. ( Citation: Page 14, sec. 2711 )
Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers. ( Citation: Page 62, sec. 1302 )
Cut some Medicare spending
Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them. ( Citation: Page 801, sec. 9005 )
Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower and middle-class, basically making it so they have an easier time getting affordable medical coverage. ( Citation: Page 88, sec. 1311 )
Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen. ( Citation: Page 81, sec. 1312 )
A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.
Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat. Edit: a_real_MD addresses questions regarding this one in far more detail and with far more expertise than I can offer in this post. If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of this one (as many of you are), I highly recommend you give his post a read.
If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers). ( Citation: Page 98, sec. 1332 )
All health care plans must now cover preventive care (not just the new ones).
A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).
The elimination of the “Medicare gap”
Aaaaand that’s it right there.
The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something is unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.
Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.
Of course, because so many people are arguing about it, and some of the people arguing about it don’t really care whether or not what they’re saying is true, there are a lot of things people think the bill does that just aren’t true. Here’s a few of them:
Obamacare has death panels!: That sounds so cartoonishly evil it must be true, right? Well, no. No part of the bill says anything about appointing people to decide whether or not someone dies. The decision over whether or not your claim is approved is still in the hands of your insurer. However, now there’s an appeals process so if your claim gets turned down, you can challenge that. And the government watches that appeals process to make sure it’s not being unfair to customers. So if anything the PPACA is trying to stop the death panels. ( Citation: Page 23, sec. 2719 )
Obamacare gives free insurance to illegal immigrants!: Actually, there are multiple parts of the bill that specifically state that the recipient of tax credits and other good stuff must be a legal resident of the United States. And while the bill doesn’t specifically forbid illegals from buying insurance or getting treated at hospitals, neither did the laws in the US before the PPACA. So even at worst, illegals still have just as much trouble getting medical care as they used to. ( Citations: Page 122, sec. 1402, Page 123, sec. 1411, Page 125, sec. 1411, Page 132, sec. 1412 )
Obamacare uses taxpayer money for abortions!: One part of the bill says, essentially, that the folks who wrote this bill aren’t touching that issue with a ten foot pole. It basically passes the buck on to the states, who can choose to allow insurance plans that cover abortions, or they can choose to not allow them. Obama may be pro-choice, but that is not reflected in the PPACA. ( Citation: Page 64, sec. 1303 )
Obamacare won’t let me keep the insurance I have!: The PPACA actually very specifically says you can keep the insurance you have if you want. ( Citation: Page 55, sec. 1251 )
Obamacare will make the government get between me and my doctor!: The PPACA very specifically says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (who is in charge of much of the bill), is absolutely not to promote any regulation that hinders a patient’s ability to get health care, to speak with their doctor, or have access to a full range of treatment options. ( Citation: Page 165, sec. 1554 )
Obamacare has a public option! That makes it bad!: The public option (which would give people the option of getting insurance from a government-run insurer, thus the name), whether you like it or not, was taken out of the bill before it was passed. You can still see where it used to be, though. ( Citation: Page 92, sec. 1323 (the first one) )
Obamacare will cost trillions and put us in massive debt!: The PPACA will cost a lot of money… at first. $1.7 Trillion. Yikes, right? But that’s just to get the ball rolling. You see, amongst the things built into the bill are new taxes – on insurers, pharmaceutical companies, tanning salons, and a slight increase in taxes on people who make over $200K (an increase of less than 1%). Additionally, the bill cuts some stuff from Medicare that’s not really working, and generally tries to make everything work more efficiently. Also, the increased focus on preventative care (making sure people don’t get sick in the first place), should help to save money the government already spends on emergency care for these same people. Basically, by catching illnesses early, we’re not spending as much on emergency room visits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, who studies these things, the ultimate result is that this bill will reduce the yearly deficit by $210 billion. By the year 2021, the bill will actually have paid itself and started bringing in more money than it cost.
Obamacare is twice as long as War and Peace!: War and Peace is 587,287 words long. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, depending on which version you’re referring to, is between 300,000-400,000 words long. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very long, but it’s not as long as War and Peace. Also, it bears mention that bills are often long. In 2005, Republicans passed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, 2005, which was almost as long as the PPACA, and no one raised a stink about it.
The people who passed Obamacare didn’t even read it!: Are you kidding? They had been reading it over and over for a half a year. This thing was being tossed around in debates for ages. And it went through numerous revisions, but every time it was revised, it was just adding, removing, or changing small parts of it, not rewriting the whole thing. And every time it was revised, the new version of the bill was published online for everyone to see. The final time it was edited, there may not have been time to re-read the entire thing before voting on it, but there wasn’t a need to, because everyone had already read it all. The only thing people needed to read was the revision, which there was plenty of time to do.
Pelosi said something like, “we’ll have to pass the bill before reading it”!: The actual quote is “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy”, and she’s talking about all the lies and false rumors that were spreading about it. Things had gotten so absurd that by this point many had given up on trying to have an honest dialogue about it, since people kept worrying about things that had no basis in reality. Pelosi was simply trying to say that once the bill is finalized and passed, then everyone can look at it and see, without question, what is actually in the thing (as opposed to some new amendment you heard on the radio that they were going to put in).

ASU Stiffs Obama, Claims Too Inexperienced For Honorary Degree, or Michael Crow is an idiot.

April 10, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Politics

Ok my goat’s in a bind here. Look, I chose to move to Arizona. WE chose to live here, and I chose to give Arizona State University too much money for my doctoral work but I am really embarrassed right now. We were stoked to here President Obama is the commencement speaker this year, and I have a few friends who will graduate. I even considered groveling for tickets. Today I hear that he is not being awarded an honorary degree from ASU! This man has an honorary degree from Notre Dame. What does ASU have that ND doesn’t have? Porn obsessed drunk Playboy junkies? Come on!

According to Sharon Keeler, ASU Media Relations Director, those awards are for “achievements of eminence”. Really? Come on, Sharon. You’re an idiot. Talk about the President of the free friggin’ world and the first black at that not achieving greatness?! What about bring the first black president of the Harvard Law Review? How about the grass roots campaign that raised millions of dollars to help OUR country?! How about writing two best sellers!? Not enough, still?

According to the ASU State Press (reported in Huffington Post), ASU President Michael Crow told the committee that “significant contributions to education and society over the course of a person’s career merit consideration for an honorary degree.” Crow, you’re an idiot, too. You’ve been screwing up ASU for too long now. When I started taking classes there, you could take a class for about a grand. You don’t even want to know how much that costs now!

Let’s talk about some of the real reasons Sharon and Mike have their heads shoved up their…. well, let’s just talk about the reasons. 1# John McCain. The crotchety old republican sucks. He’s so damn wishy-washy. I remember a decade ago that I could admit to liking the man, and then he started bending over for Bush. This is a McCain state (even though you almost lost it, you idiot.) 2# Mormons. Now don’t get me wrong, I know some cool cool Mormons. Most are students who are learning how to be realistic Americans, but there are some idiots there. When you have as much money as they do, you can buy whatever you want (e.g. Prop 102 in AZ and Prop 8 in CA. And don’t even deny it!) Obama doesn’t play that game and wouldn’t let you control him, so you don’t show him the love. 3# Because ASU is racist. How many black people have honorary degrees from there? Count them. Do it. Let me know. 4# Because Mike and Sharon SUCK. They’re idiots.


Tonto Natural Bridge Closed

March 05, 2009 By: nooccar Category: Politics, Travel

Donna and I visit the Payson/Pine/Strawberry area often (me more than her), and last summer I was excited to head up there and get out to see some nature. My friend, Coop, recommended Tonto Natural Bridge north of Payson off the Beeline, so after a wonderful weekend at Angelika’s cabin, we drove over there for an afternoon. For me, it was one of the coolest things we’d seen in Arizona, and I’ve talked about the state park to friends and students ever since. Many people have eagerly said they were going based on my recommendation alone, and I even blogged the experience here.

Tonight I was surfing through my gmail and checked today’s Flickr uploads. My friend and colleague Alan who lives near Tonto Natural Bridge posted a VERY disturbing photo on Flickr with an equally disturbing caption. I will post the entirety below, but here’s the link to the original.

Short Sighted Government Stupidity in Action “Short Sighted Government Stupidity in Action” posted to Flickr by Cogdog on March 3, 2009.

Hmmm, I’ve been waiting for a local cause and here it is. The far seeing Arizona state legislature has slashed $35 million from state parks, which are closing like falling dominoes across the state.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is just south of Pine, AZ, about 6 miles from where I live. It features what is called the largest travertine natural bridge (a natural bridge being like an arch, but over flowing water). The “hole” is more than 180 feet high.

According to an article in the Payson Roundup, this little park drew 100,00 visitors last year, and with a raise on fees from $3 to $4 the park is self supporting.

Why close it?

The estimated local economic impact of visitors coming to the park is $3.5 million.

Oh, it makes sense to take that away from the marginal local economies. Already in the small towns of Pine and Payson, at least 2 restaurants are boarded up. That puts a handful of people out of work, and then they are not putting money into the local economy, which has the effect of… spreading the slide.

To me, the staggering stupidity of closing a park like this is much deeper then the grand canyon. Hopefully some of the dusty heads in Phoenix will get a clue.

This is ridiculous. Everything President Obama is fighting to fix nationally is still being screwed by local government. According to the official Tonto site, the park is closed because of maintenance which may be true but many of us question the validity of the timing. The site says it may be closed only six months so we’ll see. In the meantime the official press release states that it’s because the lodge roof leaks. I’ve been there, the lodge is NOWHERE near the bridge itself. According to Assistant Parks Director, Jay Ream, after the repairs are completed “after completion the Board will re-evaluate the budget situation for re-opening,” which means they’re being vague enough to screw the people who love this place in the end. I suggest all of you call Arizona State Parks at (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free 800-285-3703), ask for Jay Ream’s and tell him to keep our beloved parks open. While I am serious about the state government not following suit when it comes to turning around our current recession, I am not getting into what I’ve not properly researched, so I will only leave you with the beautiful video I have of the first (and what may be the last time) I am able to share such a wonderful natural wonder with my daughter.

Tonto Natural Bridge from Devon Adams on Vimeo.

Election 2008: Today. Isn’t that a funny thing?

November 04, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Politics

See politics are a funny thing. Worse than religion to talk about in several circles. I know what I think religiously and God’s not here to screw it up or encourage me. That’s all about faith, but politics are about men and women just like you and me. It’s about people trying to do something or maintain control of something. It can separate friends and colleagues on opposite sides of party lines. I don’t talk politics at work, but people know me so they know what I think. I definitely don’t talk politics to students at all. They know me so they know what I think, too. I definitely don’t talk politics with my extended family. My parents aren’t political at all (in 2004 my brother had to physically take my mother to vote), and my brother and sister agree with me most of the time. My wife & I agree, but the issues that affect one of us affects the other. My in-laws and I don’t agree at all. Politics isn’t a topic for us to really discuss. Maybe it’s because they don’t have the experiences I have as an educator, or maybe because they live in a more traditional east than we do. Maybe it’s because my father-in-law has always seemed to vote a certain way, and his son follows in his ways. I don’t know. No matter what or who anyone picks depends on the information they have, the information they’re given, and, you know what, probably not much else. I’ve seen heard the McCain bashing about him being a crotchedy old man and picking a right wing conservative brand new female politician. I’ve heard about Obama’s supposed Muslim ties. I know McCain’s record’s correlation to Bush’s. I’ve seen the quotes from Obama’s books. Propaganda pushes people and scare tactics succeed. Some people will vote purely to get the republics out of office and try something new (and my father-in-law has agreed with me when I say Bush has really screwed the pooch the last couple of years). While others will just never vote for a black man. There are all kinds of reasons to vote, and if you’re ambivalent about the politic world around you, then stay home today. Don’t vote. Wake up tomorrow and ask a friend who won. They will tell you that we don’t know yet. Or they can tell you it was a landslide like it’s not been for decades. But if you do care. If you do have an opinion, and if you have done your research then get your butt out there and stand in line. Spend 4 1/2 hours reading books, writing reports, blogging your experiences at polling centers, etc… because this is one of the biggest elections of the year.

I’m done. Get the underage sex girls out of the news

June 20, 2008 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Politics

Ok I can’t not say anything about this anymore. It’s crazy! A few weeks ago we were at the Payless store at the mall, which is like a light to my wife’s moth. So in we go. She’s looking at shoes, and I don’t really care so I take Claire to the kid shoe aisle. A few minutes later, when Donna’s finished, she sees some Hannah Montana paraphernalia and proceeds to show it to my three year old. I immediately become incensed and pull her from the situation. I tell my wife in no uncertain terms will my own daughter be associating with anything that deals with underage girls posing naked (yeah year she probably had on panties, but the male gaze is suppose to block that fact from their voyeuristic minds when drooling) with or without her father’s permission (look who he is anyway, achy breaky facey if more fathers out there cared to show him what we think!) and with or without the pictures taken by the most famous living photographer in contemporary society. You don’t do that. It’s not right.

My high school students always tell me I would like High School Musical (at last count the third one’s coming out this summer), and I always said I’d get around to it sometime. Well, not now! A few months ago the being hoo-hah was lead Vanessa Hudgens posed naked (yes, full frontal) and leaked the pictures online. Why? Wasn’t the movies making enough money? Weren’t they already filming a sequel? Sure sure Vanessa and Hannah are a little different. Vanessa is 18 (barely!) but she sure doesn’t look it.

Now I am sitting here in a hotel in California where I like to watch CNN while I pack to fly back to hell (read: Phoenix from mid-June to mid-July) and they’ve got a news story on about a group (more than a dozen) teens who suddenly got pregnant at a high school in Gloucester, MA. Turns out they made a "pregnancy pact" and wanted to raise the kids together. (Awwww how nice….. buy a damn puppy!). The very next story is about Jamie Lynn Spears giving birth. CNN reported that she’s still with the father (now don’t get me wrong, people can raise kids alone all they want, but gimme a break!), well how special is that? (Don’t even get me started on her older sister!). The boy should be in jail for statutory rape.

What’s this world coming to? I have a three year old daughter  who I am trying to raise in this world of underage, in-your-face, smut accepted by the mainstream media. (Yes, accepted. If it’s not, then do NOT write or report about it! Pull a Toohey and cut ’em off!). I can no longer sit passively aside and roll my eyes at all of this. I took my kid to Disneyworld two weeks ago, and I was reminded that Hannah Montana (read: Miley Cyrus) was a Disney "product". I’ve always been reminded of my study of Henry A. Giroux that there’s definitely concerns of the patterns of Disney and their affects on children everywhere, especially girls (read The Mouse That Roared if you want to know more). How do I shield Claire from the sexualization of girls in our society, which I think are even more prevalent today? It use to be like the Calvin Klein ad in ’95 that depicted 18+ models as younger than such sexual beings, but now the beings themselves are actually underage and ?today’s media seems to make it look ok.

Well, it’s not ok for this dad.

November 08, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Politics

Democrats Won! Praise GOD!

Janet Napolitano

November 02, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Claire, Parenthood, Politics

This afternoon my friend reminded me that we’d be out of town Tuesday and could not vote. Since this election in Arizona is very important, I wanted to make sure I voted. We discovered that we could  go to the local community college to early vote. I figured it wouldn’t be too busy on a Thursday at 4PM. I thought wrong.

I had Claire with me and we entered the library where they were voting at about 4:25PM. My friend was actually a few people in front of me in line, and there was a nice sign that said "Voters, please use your library voices." I don’t think that 19 month olds have library voices! At first, Claire just wanted to run around in circles by me, and then she wanted to run off. I was ok as long as I could see her, but then she was getting upset. The nice lady in front of me told me I could chase her all I wanted, and she would keep my spot in line. So eventually I got Claire to sit at a table and draw on a piece of paper from my pocket. This lasted probably 20 minutes and in the meantime I realized they only had ONE ballot printer and the wait was over an hour –from a spot far up in line!

In the next hour she drew, ran, screamed "bye bye!", and kept losing her shoes. We eventually got past the pillars in the library and I held her and got back in line. My friend, Christy, kept trying to talk to Claire, but then Claire got upset. She began crying and wouldn’t stop for about half an hour. Finally a lady who had just voted asked if she could go to the vending machine to get Claire some pretzels. It was a welcome gesture, and I readily agreed. Claire had been very loud up until the time she brought back the pretzels.

About the same time she got food, the older man near the front of the line told the voting worker to let me go next. When they told me, I was very relieved and moved up. After I got to the front of the line, I still had to wait another half an hour for them to print my actual ballot. In the meantime Christy and I kept Claire busy with pretzels and flowers drawn on a scrap of paper.

I was able to finally vote (go JANET!) and then we left TWO HOURS AFTER WE ARRIVED!

Those Stickers…

July 27, 2006 By: nooccar Category: Miscelany, Politics, Religion, Work

Sitting in Starbuck’s with a colleague last night I had that feeling you get when someone is staring a hole through you. You know the one, where you’ve got a "Kick Me" sign on your back or a stringy booger grasping to the tip of your nose without you knowing. Looking across the room a skinny man with a bike messenger cap, orange shirt and short shorts was staring at my laptop. At one point he even hunched over since it was angled open. At this point I could just imagine him running over and slamming the lid closed and shouting obscenities at me and my opinions.

My laptop lid is covered in stickers. Maybe because the damn thing got scratched to hell and back over the years or maybe because I want to subtly tell people what I think. Now stickers like "It will be a great day when schools get the money they need and the air force needs to hold a Bake Sale to buy a Bomber" tell you a little about what I think of the military and politics, without jumping down your throat with my opinions. Or the other about television, parents and babysitters. Sometimes I fear telling people my opinions because their opinions may differ. I get tired, and I often think I write better than I can verbalize. Therefore, I’d rather write about my feelings, opinions, and desires. And sometimes I don’t even do that. Sometimes I just don’t. I keep them elsewhere and push them aside. But other times I go out and buy one of Those Stickers to just see who peers over their Venti-Iced-Fat-Free-No-Whip-White-Mocha-Add-a-Shot at my computer lid.

Quote of the Day!

July 19, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Miscelany, Politics

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."

~Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), American humorist and lecturer, 1835 – 1910 


July 18, 2006 By: turtlegirl Category: Miscelany, Politics

Apparently George Bush was caught on tape swearing to Tony Blair recently.  Read more about "Good Shit" here.

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