Archive for the ‘The Politics’ Category

Why we’re Voting NO on Proposition 46

If you’re not from California, this post maybe won’t necessarily impact you directly, but it is something important enough and close enough to my heart that I’m going to post it here regardless. I will preface this with the fact that my husband is a physician in California. We’re not hiding that fact, but even if he wasn’t, we would still vote the same way.

There is a proposition on the ballot this November called Prop 46. At first glance, it has a lot of really appealing ideas. It requires mandatory drug testing of physicians and punishes those who test positive. It requires physicians to consult with a national database before prescribing controlled substances, as a way to reduce prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping. Oh and it raises medical malpractice payouts to 1.1 million (from $250,000).

Once you get past that first glance, there are huge, serious issues here.

I’m not going to argue against drug testing for physicians. That was something that was added to the front of this proposition to try to hide what this is really about. If someone wants to draw up a clean proposition for vote that isn’t written by trial lawyers trying to make a buck, I will happily support drug testing physicians. I have been drug tested as a teacher and as a physical therapist, I have absolutely zero issue with drug testing and appropriately punishing/reporting physicians. So let’s just set that aside because it’s a trojan horse.

Malpractice Cap
A little history: The current malpractice cap was created by an act known as the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act. The idea was to put a limit on the “pain and suffering” payouts that result from medical malpractice, as a way to help prevent malpractice insurance costs from being prohibitive to practicing medicine. It doesn’t cap payouts for medical care, it simply says that beyond the amount that will be paid to cover medical costs and medical care following an event of malpractice, you can only get an additional $250,000 for the suffering the patient/family experienced.

Proposition 46 quadruples that amount to over $1 million dollars for pain and suffering alone. Proponents of prop 46 will say that this is to correct for inflation and that the cost of increased insurance for physicians won’t be passed along to consumers, but they also don’t explain how that’s possible. Probably because it’s not.

If physicians now need to carry FOUR times their current malpractice insurance, how will they pay for that insurance increase? I know popular belief is that physicians sleep on their piles of money, but I can say with great confidence that it couldn’t be farther from the truth. To answer my own question, physicians will respond to their increased insurance in 1 of 2 ways: 1. They will stop practicing (either all together or at least in California) or 2. They will be forced to charge patients more- likely by way of yearly feeds to be a patient, charging for after hours services, or refusing to see low paying insurances.

So basically you will end up paying more out of your pocket or you will need to find a new doctor (who will charge you more). But, on the off chance that you’re one of a very tiny number of people who experience medical malpractice, you can now sue the pants off your doctor. And if you’re one of the lawyers who created this proposition, you can get 4 times as rich!

CURES Database
The other major, major issue with this proposition is the forced use of the drug history database. The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is a database that is used to track prescription use. Basically pharmacists enter schedule II-IV drugs into the system with the idea being to catch patients who doctor shop for medications and to track doctors who are “overprescribing” medications. Currently only a fraction of physicians and pharmacists use this database and it is poorly funded and doesn’t work well as a result. Prop 46 would require physicians to consult CURES before prescribing any schedule II or III medications.

I’m not going to lie, I think having physicians use the CURES database is awesome. There is strong support for this and I understand why. We DO have a problem with prescription drug abuse. We do have an issue with doctor shopping. And to a lesser extent and issue with overprescription. We need to address this, but the CURES database, in it’s current form, won’t do that.

The database isn’t ready for mandatory use. In California, once a proposition passes, it has to be enacted immediately. There is absolutely no way that the day after the election every physician or pharmacist could use CURES. It would crash within the first hour. This means doctors wouldn’t be able to prescribe, pharmacists wouldn’t be able to dispense medications. The database will take months and millions of dollars to be ready for mandatory use. Where exactly is that money coming from? And in it’s current form, the CURES database isn’t protected adequately, which means your sensitive personal medical information is at risk.

It’s really unfortunate that we’ve allowed 2 very important issues- drug abuse by physicians and prescription drug abuse by patients, get thrown together with a relatively obvious ploy for more money by trial lawyers. This proposition isn’t really about patients or protecting people, it’s about money. It’s about trial lawyers getting more money from malpractice at great cost to consumers, both financially and personally. It’s going to increase healthcare costs across the state, it’s going to cause physicians to move or retire and it’s going to put sensitive medical information at risk.

It’s just not worth it. We can do better. Voting no on this proposition doesn’t mean giving up on prescription drug abuse, it means seeing this for what it is: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Vote no on proposition 46 and tell trial lawyers that they can’t trick voters into higher medical costs that harm patients and physicians and benefit a small group lawyers.

For more information, this is the most recent Legislative Analyst’s office report. It will better explain a lot of the costs.

Also, there’s a full list of donors who gave over $50,000 towards this proposition on this website. Interestingly, all but 2 of the donors are groups of lawyers.

(Just as an FYI, I am moderating comments on this post- but not original comments. You are free to share your opinion as to why you agree or disagree with this post and I encourage you to do so. I wrote this and am prepared to handle the disagreement, however, you are not free to harass other commenters because they disagree with you.)

Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama

I’m a Democrat. I’ve been one since I had even the slightest grasp on politics. I didn’t know the label, I just knew what felt right to me. I am for women’s rights, I’m against the death penalty, I’m for helping the poor and generally against war. I’m hardly an extremist and as I age, I am increasingly economically conservative. Also of note, I don’t watch MSNBC or agree with everything said by any given Democrat. And I do my own research on issues, as all voters should.

And on November 6th, I will cast a vote for Barack Obama. And here’s why.

1. Healthcare Reform. If there were no other items on the table, this one would be enough. I have a pre-existing condition. I am a healthcare provider. I have gotten to see from both sides of the table, how very broken our healthcare system is. Do I believe this reform is perfect? Absolutely not. But it is a good first step and it is far superior to the extremely flawed Medicare voucher system proposed by Romney/Ryan. Because of Barack Obama, if my husband loses his job, I can still purchase health insurance. Because of Barack Obama, my child can get and keep insurance if he is ever found to have a condition that would otherwise make him ineligible. President Obama said he would get us healthcare reform and he did. And I am a staunch supporter of Obamacare.

2. Women’s Rights. I need to be clear here- I am personally pro-life. I could not, especially now that I’m a mother, have an abortion unless my life was at risk or my child’s life would be horrific. It’s just not something I could do and I’m beyond thrilled I’ve never had to face that decision. But, just because it is against my personal beliefs doesn’t mean that those beliefs should dictate what any other woman does. I firmly believe that women should have freedom over their bodies and that includes the right to choose whether they carry a child if pregnant. I do not like abortion. I do not want anyone to have one. But I do not believe in legislating what anyone else can do with their body. Mitt Romney has off and on said he would support a measure that would outlaw abortion except in the case of rape or the health of the mother. In a perfect world I agree with Mitt on this, but in this world, one where if we outlaw abortion, people are still going to get them, just less safely, I am politically pro-choice. And sorry, but the antidote to abortion isn’t abstinence only sex education. It’s affordable, accessible birth control and education. Another reason why I support President Obama.

3. I believe Barack Obama has the middle class in mind. I honestly do not think the same can be said for Mitt Romney. I think that what one says when they think no one is listening is the best way to learn what they really think. Mitt Romney’s 47% comment was a major moment for me. I’m in that 47%. We don’t make enough to pay income taxes, but we have taken personal responsibility. We pay other taxes, we work and we contribute to society. I believe that those who have fallen on hard times need our assistance, not our criticism, and I stand strongly in support of government assistance. I believe that it’s shameful for someone who wants to lead this country to store millions of dollars in overseas bank accounts so that they don’t have to pay as many taxes. I cannot even pretend to believe that someone who makes great use of tax loopholes has any intention of closing them. I am part of the 47% and Mitt Romney doesn’t understand who we are, let alone what we need from our president.

Now, notably missing here is the economic recovery and that’s for two reasons.

First, I do not pretend to understand economic issues well enough to feel like I can have a strong opinion on this. I’m a science person, not an economist. I understand supply and demand and a few curves here and there, but that’s where it ends. The bankruptcy of General Motors is so entirely confusing to me that when they start to argue about it, my eyes just completely glaze over until they’ve moved on.

Second, because I’m not foolish enough to believe that the economy will be fixed by one man. The president is a figurehead. He is not the most powerful person in politics because we have a system of checks and balances and a Congress that is more motivated to screw over their counterparts than to do anything productive. I think that the ability to turn around the economy falls much more into the hands of the legislative branch of government and while I have little hope that they’ll work together, I hope that if Obama is re-elected, at least Congressman like Boehner and McConnell can focus on their job instead of on making Obama a one term president, as they said was their main objective two years ago.

I’ve been accused lately of being a sheep, of not knowing the issues, of blindly following my party. None of those are true statements, though I’m too tired to try to prove that to anyone. I have followed this election as closely as my life has permitted and I am confident that my needs, my views and my family are best served with Barack Obama as president for four more years. And that is why I will be voting for him next month. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, I hope that you’ll go out and exercise your ability to vote for who you feel is the best candidate.

Change cannot happen if we refuse to act, this is our opportunity to lead our country in the direction we believe it needs to go. I’m voting to move forward and I hope you’ll cast your vote too.

Love, Hate and Politics

I have tried to stay out of politics lately because I find myself more and more embittered by what I read. And this week, with “legitimate rape” and other such gaffes, has been no exception. But it’s impossible. I still click on every story and read through the comments. And I’m amazed, constantly, by what I see.

When George W. Bush was president, I was frequently disappointed. I truly feel that he was one of the worst, if not the worst president in history. His literacy seemed tenuous at best, his understanding of political affairs sketchy and his overall attentiveness was worrisome. But as much as he scared me and disappointed me, I never hated him. I mean, I probably at some point said I hated him, but I meant it in the same way I mean it when I say I hate fresh green beans. I would prefer canned, but if given no choice, I’ll eat them. I did not care for Bush’s politics, but as a person, I was indifferent.

Mitt Romney isn’t the guy I want as president. Paul Ryan is really not the guy I want as vice president. I struggle to think that either of them ever have the middle or lower classes, women or minorities in mind in any way, shape or form, but that is beside the point. They will never get my vote. But I do not hate them.

And this is one of the thing I find most curious about politics now. Barack Obama has not accomplished what he wanted and promised to in his first 3 year in office, thanks in large part to the Congress of No. He passed a healthcare bill that has the potential to help millions of children and adults in this country, one modeled after a very successful reform in Massachusetts created by Mitt Romney. He gave orders for the capture of Osama bin Ladin. He has tried to improve immigration reform for teenagers who want to go to college (you know, so they won’t become that horrific drain on society that I hear about endlessly).

He has been far from a perfect president, but I think he has tried incredibly hard to do what is right. And yet, there is a very significant part of this country who hates him. Not like, disagrees with his politics and thinks he’s wrong. Not like hating fresh green beans. They legitimately loathe him as a human being. They compare him to Hitler, they make vague threats on his life. They truly, genuinely hate him.

And I am kind of mystified by this. Bill Clinton was about as morally bankrupt as a guy can be. And yet, he’s still a beloved former president to so many. But Barack Obama, who has done little of offense except inherit an economic disaster that he did not make, is practically Satan in the eyes of conservatives. All you have to do is read the comment section of any news article. Or just read the news. Recently, a former member of Megadeath told an audience in Japan that Barack Obama staged the shooting in Aurora and in Wisconsin. How is that an acceptable accusation to make?

I have tried to find an understanding of this and I don’t want to fall into a trap, but honestly, the only thing I can understand to blame is his race. He’s a family man, he is Christian, he has tried to make social reforms that support families and yet, he is absolutely hated.

Now, let’s be clear. I’m not saying that anyone who disagrees with Barack Obama is a racist, not by a long shot. People who disagree with his politics and legitimately feel that his policies are wrong but don’t make death threats, don’t use racial slurs or other such monikers, are a completely different class. I’m talking about the people who don’t even read through a whole story before commenting about how Obama is bringing about the end of the world, or who just make everything about how evil he is. These are not typical conservatives, but they are alarmingly numerous and loud.

If it is not his race, then what? What would make such a significant portion of this country have hatred for their president? What makes him this special kind of democrat that these republicans cannot even find respect for? What has he done, besides not be a WASP?

I want to be wrong about this and I hope that I am. But until the president does something worth hating, I’m not sure I can believe any other explanation. Because at this point, there is plenty to be frustrated with, things to disagree with, but nothing I have seen that is worth even a fraction of the hate.

An Open Letter to the Majority of North Carolina Voters

Dear the majority of North Carolina voters,

You don’t know me, I’ve never been to your state and very possibly never will. But I feel like you need you to know that you made a huge mistake today.

You should know right off the bat that I am straight and married and I live in a state that made a similarly awful mistake several years ago that we’ve been trying to undo ever since then. We aren’t perfect either, but I’m happy to say that we’ve recognized our mistake and I’m hopeful that you will too.

History is full of people overcoming mistakes like these.

Hundreds of years ago we had slavery and more recently issues with African American suffrage. People fought tooth and nail to keep their slaves, to prevent African Americans from voting. They quoted the bible, they stood on tradition. They felt that they were doing what was right even when others around them knew otherwise. And do you know what happened? Slavery was abolished and African Americans were allowed to vote. Because eventually cooler, more open minds prevailed.

How about women’s rights? For hundreds of years women weren’t allowed to vote, weren’t allowed in the work force. And when women fought for rights, people quoted the bible, they stood on tradition. They felt that they were doing what was right even when others around them knew otherwise. And do you know what happened? Women got the right to vote. They may still not have completely equal rights, but we have come a long way because eventually cooler, more open minds prevailed.

What you voted on today will someday be in history books. Not because it was a good decision, in fact, because it was the opposite. Some day we will be reading about how you tried to withhold equal rights from American citizens. We’ll read about how you quoted the bible, how you stood on tradition. How you felt you were doing what was right even when others around you know otherwise. We’ll see how you’ve stood on Christianity as your justification when in reality Christ would’ve been horrified by the things proponents of this Amendment have said.

You may have voted against equal rights, but you will not win because the rest of us see your mistake. Our laws are not based on your bible and they are not supposed to be. Our laws are based on the constitution which gives all men equal rights.

What you did today was not a victory. It was a tragedy. It was a mistake that is going to take years to undo. It was a shining example of close-mindedness, of hiding hatred behind religion. I just hope that someday soon you realize that you discriminated against your fellow man in the name of God. I hope you realize that in Jesus’ name you offered hate to your neighbor, instead of love.

I look forward to the day that this Amendment gets overturned. To the day when we stop hiding our hatred behind religion. To the day that equal rights are a given instead of a fight.

With great sadness and frustration,
Katie

Passing on Politics

I have a lot of loves in my life, and I’ve made no secret of the fact that one of them is politics. I love politics. I love talking about it, I love learning about it. My college thesis was on government/politics. I have always loved to discuss issues and laws. Which is why I find myself in such a strange place right now.

I am just sick of it.

I’m so sick of sad and predictable stories about good bills not being passed because of partisan politics. I’m tired of jabs being made on both sides, of name calling, of seemingly constant back and forth nit pickery. I’m tired of everyone’s motives constantly being questioned and our inability to trust anyone to ever have the country’s best interests in mind, whether justifiably or not.

The truth of the matter for me is that I think Romney or Obama would be fine as president, largely because if we’ve seen anything in the past 4 years it’s that the president has very little power when Congress is divided. My vote will go to Obama because I feel strongly that he has the interests of the middle class at heart and because he is more socially liberal, but I don’t think Romney would be the end of the world. We are looking at two moderates who just lean slightly more to one side than the other. Two husbands and fathers, neither of who are demons, neither of who are out to get you. These are two good men, so why do we spend so much time tearing them apart?

I’m tired of the bumper stickers, of comments on news pieces, of people who cannot simply agree to disagree or who cannot stick to issues. I’m tired of personal attacks that don’t need to be made, of horrible names that these men are being called.

Politics can certainly feel personal. I have some extremely strong feelings about a number of political issues, but my point is no better made with yelling, screaming, name calling and general douchebaggery than it is with calm and rational discourse. In fact, once you resort to any of the above things, I’m done. Your point is lost.

I’m ready for it to be election day, I’m ready to begin the next 4 years and the end of the campaigns. I’m ready for Congress to get their asses into gear, to stop playing games and actually take a moment to consider what this country needs instead of what’s best for their political party or candidate. I’m tired of the games.

I never thought I’d say this, but for the first time in my life, I just want to be finished with politics. I want to bury my head in the sand and not hear or read any of the stories. I want for us to rediscover our basic humanity and come together as a country to focus on rebuilding instead of on separating. I just wish I foresaw that instead of 6 more months of bickering, name calling and other ugliness.

I really think we can do better.

How We Can All Learn From Rush’s Mistake

Ever since I caught wind of the latest Rush Limbaugh absurdity, I have been irritated. Truly, seriously, endlessly irritated. I need to tell you upfront, I really, very seriously, dislike Rush Limbaugh. I think he thrives off the type of attention he’s getting, I think he has zero remorse for anything he’s done and most of all, I think he’s wrong about 100% of the time. But that’s not really why I’ve been irritated, it’s because I’m finding that I’m not sure I’m any better than him.

It is entirely and completely unacceptable to me that Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute. And yes, you can play the, he didn’t actually call her that, he said she was being one, but frankly, when my husband says I’m acting like a bitch, it isn’t any less offensive than if he were to outright call me one. The point is the same, what Rush said was entirely out of line.

I won’t even get into how entirely uneducated his rant was because clearly he believes that birth control is like erectile dysfunction medication and must be taken only when having sex, therefore the cost of birth control is directly related to the amount of sex. And he also seems to struggle with where insurance companies get their money, which, hint, it’s not from your taxes. But anyway, that is neither here nor there.

It was wrong and no matter whether you are Republican or Democrat, you need to see that. Calling a woman a slut is wrong. Period.

And you know what? His apology was pathetic. His apology was his way of saying that he’s sorry that everyone is pissed off at him. He’s sorry he used the word slut. He’s not sorry that he thinks she’s one, he’s not sorry that he implied she’s one, he’s just sorry that he used that word. It’s like the time my sister called my mom a bitch and when asked to apologize said, “I’m sorry for calling you what you are.” And I think it’s fair to say that Rush’s apology went over about as well as my sister’s did.

But there’s another issue here, and that’s whether we’re being fair about our outrage. Rush Limbaugh is far from the first person to publicly name call when it comes to politics. Hell, just last week I called Republicans in Congress assholes. I’m not particularly outraged with myself, but I am kind of plagued with a feeling of hypocrisy. How can I be so upset about what Rush said but think that my name calling is okay?

On the same token, it’s not acceptable when democrats call republicans names, and for the most part, I think everyone understands that. It’s not okay to call Sarah Palin terrible things or insult her children, no matter how stupid her political opinions are. It’s probably not okay for me to call Santorum all the things I want to in my head, simply because we disagree on every political and personal item in the universe.

There’s just something about politics that makes us completely lose our rational heads.

This was made clearer to me last week with all of the articles praising Andrew Brietbart’s death. Look, this shouldn’t have to be said, but I don’t give a flying fuck how much you disagreed with or hated a person, unless he’s responsible for genocide or the downfall of civilization, you do not celebrate when a 40 something year old father and husband dies suddenly. It doesn’t matter how awful you thought he was, it doesn’t matter if he celebrated when someone else died. Two wrongs do not make a right and they never will.

It’s time we take a look at the rhetoric we’re spouting and consider what it says about us. Instead of telling you why I was disgruntled with Republicans in Congress (which, warning, would be a very long post), I took a shortcut and called them assholes. Rush Limbaugh is so (wrongly) passionate about depriving birth control to women across this country that instead of discussing his position rationally like an adult, he called a relatively innocent young woman, and every other woman in this country who would like to have her birth control covered by her insurance, a slut.

And I would say that we all need to stop for a minute. We all need to think, we need to collect our thoughts and present our problems with the issues, present our problems with a candidate’s position. No one’s mind is being changed by name calling, but you might actually succeed in making a difference by discussing the issues. You might actually bring about change if you take the time to discuss something like an adult instead of flinging insults like a child.

I’d love to see us all learn a lesson from Rush. Learn to think before we speak, learn to respect others, even if we disagree with them. Republican or Democrat, we’re all human and we all deserve respect from our supporters and opponents. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d love to see an election that isn’t rife with insults and instead is filled with passion to make positive changes to our country.

Why Rick Santorum is Bad for Everyone

My political affiliations are no secret. I am a bleeding heart liberal. I try not to vote along party lines, but I have yet to encounter a situation where I don’t fall to the left of the issue. I voted for President Obama in 2008 and I will be voting for him again in November proudly. I believe that he has done the best possible job a man could do inheriting the mess our country and economy was in and the pile of worthless Republican assholes in Congress.

See, I can censor myself.

But I’ll also be completely honest with you, I don’t really dislike Mitt Romney. He and I don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, but he doesn’t scare me. I don’t foresee the downfall of civilization should he win office. As much as the GOP hates it, Romney is actually kind of socially moderate and if I can’t have socially liberal, I’ll take that as the next best option.

Especially when the other contender is Rick Santorum. I don’t believe you can even call him conservative because I think that is an insult to conservatives everywhere. I believe he’s running on the Closed Minded platform. I do not exaggerate one little bit when I say that this man scares me to my very core.

Rick Santorum is opposed to all birth control, well, except natural family planning, which by the way, is totally a form of birth control. The whole point is to allow you to have sex without getting pregnant if you don’t want to, which spoiler alert! is exactly what birth control does. Just because this kind can’t be purchased, swallowed or donned, does not mean it’s not birth control. Though with 8 children, I think Rick and his wife might be doing it wrong, I’m just saying.

He has recently spoken out as being against pre-natal testing because though it can save the lives of children and mothers, it could also cause some mothers to have an abortion. Which when the alternative is a diagnosis that is incompatible with life, or a condition where a child will suffer horribly for several years before dying a painful death, is actually not the worst case scenario, it turns out. Or it isn’t for normal people, I guess. Because Rick Santorum would rather save the life of a child who literally has no chance at life, he would rather deprive testing that could detect treatable defects than risk a woman deciding to spare a child with a severe birth defect a life filled with pain and disease. What a freaking saint he is. Someone canonize him already.

He is opposed to gay marriage, and has even been quoted as saying that it would make the country fail. He says this on religious principals, which is so funny, because I’m fairly sure that Jesus was actually much more in favor of loving your neighbor instead of bad mouthing them and saying that they would cause the downfall of a country. Frankly, Mr. Santorum, I’m pretty sure your sad closed mind is much more likely to make this country fail.

Oh and this just in, he’s also opposed to separation of church and state, except when discussing the Obama administration’s requirement that insurance provide birth control for employees of Catholic institutions, in which case he is a firm believe that government should stay out of religion. And he gets bonus points for repeatedly misquoting JFK, who, another spoiler alert! was also Catholic, a fact I’m fairly sure completely escapes our friend Rick.

I just cannot wrap my head around how he is still a contender. How anyone could, in good conscience, think that this man would lead our country in the right direction. I guess unless you believe backwards is a good way to go, in which case, you got the right guy.

America, I implore you, stop this crazy train now. Don’t let Rick Santorum have even the tiniest of chances of running our country into the ground, of forcing religion down the throats of people who have no desire to have it. Don’t let him take away prenatal testing or decide when and how women should be able to choose to have families or dictate whose marriages are acceptable and whose aren’t.

Please. We can do better than this. We have to do better than this.

Why I Don’t Fault Mitt Romney for his Taxes

Mitt Romney’s tax documents were released today and a lot of people are up in arms about it. I’ll just fill you in ahed of time about me. I’m a very liberal Democrat who fully plans to vote for Obama again this year because I like him and think that he is doing the very best job he possibly can in the situation presented to him. You are welcome to tell me why this is a bad idea, but until a Republican candidate comes along that isn’t homophobic, doesn’t tell me what to do with my uterus and doesn’t want to make this the United State of Jesus Christ, I won’t be persuaded.

Anyway, back to Mitt Romney and the outrage. I am not one of the outraged. Yes, Mitt has off shore accounts, yes he only paid 14% of his yearly income in taxes, but the fact is that it was totally legal. And I can’t blame Mitt for that.

I blame Congress.

There have been many, many attempts to change tax policies. The people have spoken, repeatedly, and they want the wealthy to be taxed more to help manage the deficit. And yet, the Republican caucus continues to block all attempts to, you know, raise revenue for our badly indebted country because they are protecting the extremely wealthy. Like Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney simply did what was legal. He paid what he was supposed to pay and he has legal bank accounts. Sure, keeping bank accounts in the Cayman Islands is totally smarmy, but we’re talking politicians here. If you’re not expecting them to do seriously smarmy things you’re kidding yourself.

Should Mitt pay more? Ethically and in terms of what’s best for the country he wants to lead, yes, absolutely. He should pay the same tax rate as his constituents. He should not be able to hide money away overseas, but this is the legal hole we dug, now we need to lie in it without blaming him.

We need to lie in it or we need to get outraged at the people who made this possible. Don’t yell at Mitt, I am an absolute believer in giving taxes to the government pay for social welfare programs, but just like anyone else, I wouldn’t pay a dollar more than asked. And I don’t expect Mitt to be any different.

Write to your congressman, tell him or her that you want fair taxes, that the wealthy should never pay a smaller percentage of their income that low and middle class families. If you can’t see how wrong that is, then I can never understand you.

We absolutely need to do something different in this country. We need to get rid of these Bush era tax cuts. They don’t spur the economy, they allow millionaires to keep more of their money that the middle class and they are preventing us from pulling in valuable revenue.

I’m not asking you to agree but for the love of all that is good, don’t vote for Newt Gingrinch because of Mitt Romney’s taxes (I mean, really don’t vote for Newt at all, but definitely not for this). Being rich and smart is unfortunately not a crime, no matter how frustrating it may be to those of us who don’t fulfill the former attribute.

Blame Congress. And in November, elect officials who are going to represent the will of the people, not the will of the elite.

Making Bullying Legal

On Monday, the state of Michigan was set to pass a new bill to protect kids from bullying. The law, named “Matt’s School Safe Law” was championed by a Michigan family whose teenage son, Matt, committed suicide after being bullied for being gay. Michigan is one of only 3 states that don’t have anti-bullying laws, so this whole thing sounds pretty great, right?

Wrong.

First, Michigan Republicans added some special provisions to the bill. They only agreed to pass the measure if it did not require schools to report bullying, didn’t train teachers to handle bullying and couldn’t punish principals if they didn’t do anything to stop bullying. So basically, they only agreed to pass it if it was a bullying law that did absolutely nothing to stop bullying.

But wait, it gets worse.

Because not only did they make it so that bullying doesn’t need to be enforced, but they also added a special provision. Bullying is illegal and is punishable…except if it’s done with religious motivation.

I’m just gonna let that sink in for a second.

In Michigan it’s illegal to bully unless you have a moral objection to something someone is doing. Hmmm, what kind of bullying could they possibly be protecting? Oh right, the exact kind that motivated this law. The head of the American Family Association told reporters that this religious protection was necessary for bullying because they didn’t want this bill to be “a Trojan horse for the homosexual agenda.”

The homosexual agenda.

I’m pretty sure this agenda currently consists of: prevent gay teenagers from being bullied, get closed-minded Republicans to stop hating them, be allowed to get married like all other consenting adults.

THE HORROR. Please write more laws to protect me from these horrible people and their terrible intentions.

This bill that was supposed to protect kids from bullying and was supposed to literally save lives, is now the most impotent, ass backwards law there has ever been. This law gives kids a free pass to bully gay kids if their religion opposes homosexuality. Or if they say it does.

I am trying so hard to be relatively balanced, but I am so angry at these Republicans that I can hardly see straight.

How can these adults in government possibly think that this protects anyone besides bullies? It doesn’t allow schools to crack down on bullying, it protects bullying of homosexual kids. They may as well make all bullies in charge of schools. At this point, that would hardly be worse.

I cannot begin to imagine what Matt’s parents must be feeling right now. They set forth to do something really great with their loss. They planned to protect other families from the hell they’ve been forced to live with. And their legislature, no, the Republicans in their legislature, took their mission and flushed it down the drain. They took something with the ability to do so much good and made it a Trojan horse for the homophobes, the religious zealots and the bullies of the world.

These are not the people that need protection.

If you are not outraged by this, I truly question your humanity. That any adult can stand aside and let kids get bullied to the point that they see no option except to take their own lives is disgusting to me. That we can protect that bullying is even more reprehensible. If another teen in Michigan dies like Matt did it will be the fault of the Republicans in Michigan who cared more about stopping some imaginary homosexual agenda than protecting teenagers in their state.

This is a tragedy.

(The information above comes from these two sites and my deep seated anger.)

Why “Personhood” Isn’t Good For Women

You guys, I have tried so hard to not be political lately, but I have run out of self-control. I basically have 2 back-to-back political posts in my mind and since election day is tomorrow, I figured I should get this one out first. The other one is less pressing and a lot less dividing. So I can bring us all back together after dividing us tonight. You are welcome.

So Mississippi is voting on Personhood. The idea is that the instant an egg is fertilized it is a person.

If you cannot see through this as an obvious way that a religious organization is trying to make abortion illegal than you are blind. Because it is blatant. I’m not going to argue abortion with you because there are no winners in that debate and I just don’t feel like engaging it. Plus, there are enough reasons why this law is wrong that I don’t even have to.

For starters, there are about 800 things wrong with having people vote on what goes on in a woman’s uterus. I’m sorry, but I do not want the uneducated moron living next door to me having ANY say on my reproductive organs or health ever. Nor do I want them having a say about my children. Just no. This is not an issue that should be voted on at all, but especially not considering how vague the measure is. It doesn’t specify how far things could go, which is intentional so that if passed (and I fear it will be passed) they can make a whole host of things they don’t like, illegal.

Beyond that, there is an obvious issue of not knowing the moment of conception. You have no idea that an egg has been fertilized unless you’re doing it under a microscope.

One of the big things that keeps being brought up is how if you murder a pregnant woman you get charged with a double murder, and therefore, a woman who has an abortion should also a murderer. But I just wonder how far we can take this. If a woman drinks alcohol before she knows she’s pregnant, can she be charged with child endangerment? I mean, if the two cells in her uterus is a person, isn’t she endangering their wellbeing? Shouldn’t she be arrested and jailed?

I am personally not able to use any birth control except an IUD because of concerns about the pressure in my head. And under personhood? I might not be able to use it anymore. Some IUDs work by not allowing fertilized eggs to attach to the uterine lining, and while I get that a lot of people are offended by this kind of birth control, I am not one of them and I want my IUD back. And since we don’t want 800 kids within 8 months of each other, we’re going to need some birth control. Or would you rather pay for food stamps for my family? I know that conservatives love government welfare! Surely that’s better than a contraceptive device that wouldn’t let two cells attach to my uterus. Additionally, Plan B wouldn’t be available for purchase anymore since it would technically cause the death of a 2 celled “person.”

As far as in vitro fertilization is concerned, you’d never be able to discard fertilized eggs that cannot be used. And more troubling, “personhood” could make it illegal to use embryos for stem-cell research which is vital to finding cures for hundreds of terrible diseases.

Above all else, this movement just plain doesn’t make sense. A fertilized egg doesn’t have nerve endings. It doesn’t have organs. It doesn’t have a heartbeat. It doesn’t have arm buds or a brain. My cat is 8000 times more of a person than a fertilized egg is. I think if we’re going to start giving 2 celled organisms this many rights that we should also no longer be allowed to squash bugs or euthanize pets.

I beg of you, see through this veiled attempt to end abortion and let that issue be dealt with in court. Don’t let people vote to make decisions for your reproductive health. Don’t let religious zealots hamper the ability for us to learn invaluable information about diseases and treatments that could save real people who are living among us today.

No one wins if this amendment passes. Especially not women.

Please vote no on “personhood.”

Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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