Maiello's Book-Almost Hits the Metaphorical Stands
Miami Fans Mistakenly Chant "Let's Go Eat" During Playoff Game
At the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp in Arlington, Virginia, Joe Biden stood in front of a room full of military families who had lost loved ones in the service of our country. He stood with his wife, Jill, by his side and spoke from the heart in a voice thick with emotion, talking about his own losses--the deaths of his first wife and 18-month-old daughter in a horrific auto accident when he was but 29 years old and a new senator-elect--but he wasn't looking to one-up that group by telling his own sad story; no [Read more]
As I watched that hideous video showing Pastor Charles Worley's recent headline-grabbing rants about penning gays and lesbians inside miles-long electrified corrals until they die, I couldn't help but notice his surroundings. (Okay, go and watch it if you haven't seen it. But then come back and we'll talk.)
He preaches his particular style of self-righteous, good ol' boy hate from the pulpit of the Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, NC. This is not a store-front or a rustic, backwoods building, it's a beautiful traditional church, obviously designed and built with the prospect of honoring the Christian God. [Read more]
When November 6 rolls around, American voters will have only three meaningful choices in the presidential election: We can vote for Barack Obama, we can vote for Mitt Romney, or we can opt out of voting for a president altogether. There will be other presidential candidates on the ballot but there's not a snowball's chance they'll win. If we choose to vote for anyone other than Obama or Romney, it'll have the same effect as not voting at all. That's the reality--that's the way it is.
The big news yesterday -- no, the HUGE news -- was President Obama's interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, set up specifically so that he could air his own personal views about gay people being able to marry their same-sex partners: After much soul-searching and a couple of decades of "evolving", he was finally ready to say out loud that he's all for it.
He did go on to say that it should be left to the states to decide their own policies concerning the legalities of such unions, but the die was cast; the mold was formed: A sitting president took a positive public stand, albeit a personal one, on the issue of gay marriage.
Today is May First, or May Day. It's the day when workers around the world traditionally rally to show solidarity and support for one another. It's the real Labor Day. While our own Labor Day has become a holiday, a day of picnics and celebration, May Day is and always will be an international day of protest--a reminder of worker rights and worker dignity in a world gone mad with greed.
Labor in America is under siege, like nothing we've seen in this country since the 1930s. Whatever wage scales and rights and protections had been fought for and won over the years have slowly eroded away in this new bizarre and reckless version of take-over capitalism.
Yesterday there was a rally in front of the 22nd District Court in Inkster, Michigan, where foreclosure proceedings were being held. The protesters were there to help save the home of Jerome Jackson, a paraplegic who moved into his wheelchair-accessible home in 2004 with the assistance of Community Living Services, a county-funded program that provided help with his mortgage payments. When CLS dropped Jackson's funding in 2009, he fell behind on his payments and Fannie Mae eventually bought his mortgage at a foreclosure auction. He was a man without a home, but he stayed put, hoping they could work it out and the house might someday be his again.
Yesterday, on the same day he stepped down from the podium, he stepped up to the pulpit for a scheduled appearance with James Dobson at his latest "Focus on the Family" smack-down. I'm not surprised. Just as George W. Bush's wishful true calling wasn't really as President of the United States but as baseball commissioner, Rick Santorum's true calling is as Grand Fundamental Firekeeper. [Read more]
I don't think there is anyone who hasn't been affected in some way by Florida teenager Trayvon Martin's death in February at the hands of a neighborhood watch man who thought he saw a threat in the tall black teenager wearing a dark hooded jacket. The story is almost too terrible for words.
I am white and my children are white. At the same time that I'm grieving with Trayvon's family, trying yet again to come to terms with the needless death of an innocent child, I recognize that I can't possibly grasp what it must feel like to know their precious son would likely still be alive if only he hadn't been black.
I've been wondering--haven't you?--why primary care physicians, and especially OB/GYNs, aren't speaking out about the current creepy Rightward trend toward using ultrasounds as punishment against women who dare to sign up for an abortion. Turns out some of them are.
They're angry, they're anguished, they're dumbstruck. (Join the club.) And they're speaking out anonymously--sadly--because we live in a country where medical doctors can no longer talk freely about abortion, a legal medical procedure, without fear of retribution.
In almost every war, there are those moments when soldiers have to sit back and laugh at the absurdity of it all. Think "Mash", "Stalag 17", "Catch-22", "Slaughterhouse Five". Like that. In the war of the Red States against American Women, while the scale may be worlds smaller, and while there's actually been no official declaration, the time has come. To laugh, I mean. Honest to God, it is to giggle.
Don't expect me to be going over every single attack on women's rights, just because I'm writing about modern-day, 21st century, 2012, just-in-the-last-month attacks, which, as you might have noticed, are escalating at such a dizzying pace we can no longer ignore the rumblings of war.  [Read more]
As I write this my sense of humor is intact and waiting, as always, for something funny to happen. I can get tickled at the least little thing--adorable babies and clumsy dogs and tripping on sidewalk cracks--and I can howl at even the worst, god-awful jokes. I can't explain them and I've never been able to repeat them with any kind of comedic skill, but I know funny when I hear it.
I can say without even having to think about it that I've never laughed at a thing Rush Limbaugh has said or done. I don't get him. His performances are like those of a mean, out-of-control drunk who thinks everything coming out of his mouth is either hilarious or golden. He begins every riff quietly, taking his time, pausing, letting his words sink in, and builds to an awesome, wiggly, crazed crescendo. Oh, my God. Electrifying to dittoheads and the uninitiated. Wow! But to those of us who have been exposed to his antics for decades, they're nothing more than the usual carefully calculated theatrics. Ho hum.
That's what makes his latest rantings against a Georgetown University law student fighting her college's policies on insuring birth control aids so mystifying. His initial comments about this young female student were so breathtaking in their vile putridity, the reactions against them were, at last, refreshingly awesome and swift. Hundreds of thousands of people protested his words. Even his usual defenders could be seen slinking away from the ten-foot pole they wouldn't use to touch them. Yes! Limbaugh is a pariah! [Read more]
Rick Santorum didn't win in Michigan yesterday. That's the good news. The bad news is that Mitt Romney did. In a better world, the vote would have been for "NotOnYourLife", but we've come to accept that even those destined to be harmed the most by that bunch will vote for the one who promises to hurt them hard enough to leave scars.
Because Michigan is an open primary state, there was a push by certain of the left to make it a win for Santorum. The reasoning was that his relentless, escalating, off-the-wall, on-the-pulpit rantings would finally do him in and, come November, nobody in their right mind would vote for him. With Santorum in the race Obama would handily claim the prize.  [Read more]
The grandkids are visiting and have been here for almost a week, so any attempts at writing even a semi-serious blog have been totally wasted efforts. I would much rather be with my darlings anyway, but in order to keep my standing as a weekly blog columnist (something only I, apparently, care about) I pulled this out of the cyber-drawer where it's been sitting for a while. If you weren't expecting much, this should do it for you. I'm off now. See you soon.
I can't think of a time when I've ever agreed with Cal Thomas. I confess I don't seek him out, but when I see him on an occasional Op-Ed page I'll read him just to see what he's going to say that's going to infuriate me. I'm rarely disappointed.
So as he sat on a panel at this year's CPAC and said what he said about Rachel Maddow, I wasn't shocked. He was at CPAC with his own peeps. It was cool.
Hello, women of the Republican Party: Democratic female of the liberal persuasion here. I know it looks like we couldn't be any farther apart when it comes to ideology, but I know us. I know when it comes to the big issues--our futures and the well-being of the ones we love--we're sisters under the skin.
We should talk. I mean really talk. I don't mean the usual chit-chat, the talk about kids and work and what's for dinner. I mean about politics. When we're together we do everything we can to side-step the issue and it does keep us friendly, but you must have noticed that the upcoming presidential election is becoming the bull elephant in the room. [Read more]
(Breaking news: President Obama just moments ago provided a brilliant compromise to the contraceptive controversy, as I mention at the end of this piece. I wrote this before he made the announcement, but the arguments still hold and they bear remembering. These are the kinds of battles we'll go on fighting, and a major victory such as today's doesn't mean the war is over. Not by a long shot.)  [Read more]
Effective August 1, thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act, most working women will have their contraceptives fully paid for, without a co-pay. That's the good news. The bad news (you knew there had to be bad news, right?) is that the unenlightened among us see it as nothing more than an unconscionable threat against virile manhood. Especially Catholic virile manhood.
We progressive types are working overtime these days marching, rallying, sitting, petitioning. We place ourselves prominently on Twitter (with our #p2, #OWS, and #CTL hashtags) and on Facebook. More and more of us have taken to writing political blogs. Our blogrolls feature other bloggers, other writers who work as hard or harder than we do in trying to sort out the truths behind America's astonishing decline and the Rightward drift that led us here. Our job is to route out the bad guys, to expose them and make sure justice take its course. Some days we actually think we're winning.
When the whole SOPA/PIPA blackout was going on, most of us, like the sheeple we are, just grabbed something someone else did and closed up shop, but The Oatmeal, like the creative peeple they are, got creative. You can see it here.
Carlsberg Beer, like the creative peeple they are, (I didn't know that about Carlsberg, did you?) pulled a stunt involving tattooed bikers in a movie theater. You can watch it here.