Saturday, September 25, 2010

A recommendation

I had heard good things about the Adobe Theatre here on the north end of Albuquerque but never yet attended a production. Last night Bill and I saw their performance of George Bernard Shaw's Candida. It was definitely worth a night on the town with a toothache (thanks be for analgesics).

We were spoiled by the intimate venues of the Aurora Theatre and Shotgun Players in the East Bay and by the quality of productions by those companies plus the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the California Shakespeare Company. The intimate nature of the Vortex Theatre has always made me feel at home. So does the Adobe Theatre which is both intimate and has comfortable seating.

But the play's the thing. Aurora put on one play by Shaw every season so we had grown accustomed to his wordy but always fascinating dramas. I looked forward to this and was not disappointed.

The set was very appropriate and well done and the staging seemed to flow seamlessly. The acting was first-rate with a nice sense of ensemble performance. As with true classics, the issues seemed relevant to our own day. It was an absolute treat. Bill feels motivated to get his hands on the text and read it so he can savor what we heard last night.

This is not a true review and I pray y'all's indulgence for that but it is a hearty recommendation.

So, if you are in the Albuquerque area, consider heading over to the Adobe Theatre. Candida will be playing Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 10. More information at their main site.

--the BB

Hmm, perhaps that is what they intend

Paul Krugman:
Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”
[Emphasis mine]
h/t to Maha

In addition to their war on science they seem to have a war on math.

--the BB

Defending the indefensible

Rachel Slajda reports at TPM:

A federal judge ruled today that an Air Force major discharged in 2003 under Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be reinstated.

Judge Ronald Leighton ruled that former Maj. Margaret Witt was discharged unconstitutionally under the policy because the government hadn't shown that her firing benefited the military.

And the damned Obama Administration (yes, you read that correctly)?

The Obama administration is aggressively defending DADT when the Obama administration doesn't have to defend DADT. We've been saying making this point for over a year, since the DOMA brief debacle. See here, here and here. It's not just us. Senators and House members are asking Obama not to appeal. But, every indication we're getting is that DOJ will appeal. [emphasis mine]


When under attack for selecting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, Obama made what has proven to be an egregiously false claim:

Obama, who often mentioned his support of gay rights in stump speeches, though not gay marriage, said today that he is a “fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans,” adding, “It’s something I’ve been consistent on.”

On Thursday sixty-nine House Dems signed a letter urging the White House NOT to appeal on behalf of DADT.

Based on the actions and inactions of the current administration I must conclude that President Obama is not much of an advocate at all and certainly not a fierce one. And though I will vote for him in 2012, he cannot expect me to campaign on his behalf or donate a cent. I am supporting progressives. I never believed he was a progressive, though I did and do believe he is turning the nation in more or less the right direction. Nonetheless, I have grave misgivings on his positions with regard to military tribunals, rule of law, indefinite detention, equal justice for LGBT citizens, state secrets, transparency issues in general, and acknowledgment of war crimes.

It is not an attack to hold elected officials accountable.

--the BB

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hello, American People!

So, what does the GOP have to offer the American People?

I think the NY Daily News captures it:
The 21-page manifesto gathers familiar talking points for Republicans, such as cutting taxes and slashing government spending.
Talking points. Those familiar sound bites that evoke flag, mom, and apple pie but often lack substance and, if they are coming from the GOP, are probably laden with misdirection, outright lies, and a high probability of "collateral damage" for most Americans.

Jon Stewart does a stunning job of pointing out that the Pledge is a rehash of what they have said before, repeatedly. There is nothing new or newsworthy in it.

REP. PETER ROSKAM, R-IL (9/23/2010): ... rein in the Washington, D.C., red tape ...

REP. DENNIS HASTERT, R-IL (1/3/2001): ... cut Washington red tape ...

REP. JEB HENSARLING, R-TX (9/23/2010): ... act immediately to reduce spending ...

REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA (6/5/1998): ... have real reforms to reduce spending ...

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UT (9/23/2010): ... change the way we do business in Washington ...

REP. JIM NUSSLE, R-IA (11/19/1994): ... change business as usual in Washington ...

REP. PETER ROSKAM, R-IL (9/23/2010): ... make the tax cuts permanent ...

REP. DICK ARMEY, R-TX (9/15/2002): ... make the existing tax cuts permanent ...

REP. BILL CASSIDY, R-LA (9/23/2010): ... health savings accounts that puts the patient firmly in control ...

REP. DENNIS HASTERT, R-IL (8/30/2004): ... health savings accounts, which will give families more control ...

REP. JEB HENSARLING, R-TX (9/23/2010): ... reduce the size of our government ...

REP. NEWT GINGRICH, R-GA (9/18/1998): ... reducing the size of government ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/23/2010): ... a smaller ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (3/3/1998): ... a smaller ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/23/2010): ... less costly ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (3/3/1998): ... less costly ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/23/2010): ... and more accountable ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (3/3/1998): ... and more accountable ...

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/23/2010 AND 3/3/1998): ... government in our nation's capitol.

Here is the line that should terrify us all:
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OH (9/23/2010): On the point we make in this preamble to our pledge, is that we are not going to be any different than what we've been.
So, the folks who cater to the richest among us, who oppose supporting the working class at every turn, who have no problem with deficits on behalf of tax cuts for the wealthy or unfettered defense spending, lead us into an unnecessary and counterproductive war based on lies, resist doing anything about climate change, favor oil and coal over clean and renewable energy, choose ideology over science, and want to turn everything over to unrestricted corporate greed while beating down the middle class...

The folks who tell us that government is the problem rather than a means for meeting collective needs and challenges, then prove it by governing badly whenever they are in power...

The folks who took us into debt and war and skyrocketing economic disparity, who regularly wage class warfare against the middle class...

The folks who decry government regulation but want to regulate your private lives...

Have pledged to keep on doing the same.

Dems, Independents, and the remaining isolated rational Republicans, this should motivate us all to vote to ensure that the GOP does not take over Congress. We're not talking statistics, we are talking real lives at stake.

Speaking of lives at stake, how about their medical plan. Repeal what they call Obamacare and then reinstate the most popular parts of... Obamacare. Wow, impressive.

Rachel Maddow suggests the Dems should learn from the Rethugs here. The actual details of health insurance reform are popular and the GOP is willing to put many of them into their plan so they can take credit for it. This is announced on the same day that some of them actual became effective in the current law that they opposed so bitterly.

Meanwhile, many Dems seem afraid to tout the very good things that are going into effect.

Finally, preserving huge tax cuts for billionaires (1) will not hurt them as they will still have plenty of money, (2) will not stimulate the economy because it did not do so while the cuts were in place, and (3) will certainly remain a huge obstacle in the matter of reducing national debt.

Remember, if tax cuts lapse we go back to the tax levels of the Clinton era. Y'all DO remember that the economy did fine then, right?

--the BB

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Message to the Dems in Congress

This is NOT a family blog, so I just wanna say FUCK THE BLUE DOGS! Corporate-owned swine.

Y'all had the chance to stand up for the middle class and folded. Again. Disgusting.

If there are any Blue Dogs with chairmanships, they should be stripped of them yesterday. Where the hell is party discipline?

--the BB

Monday, September 20, 2010

98.1% of small businesses need not fear

You've heard the GOP bogeyman about how letting the upper income tax breaks expire will seriously harm small business, right?

How many of them will be affected, really?


And it's really only marginal income that would return to a higher rate, so they'd have to rake in really big bucks IN PROFITS (tax is not based on revenue but net taxable profits) to even feel the effect.

So I'm not going to lose sleep over small businesses in America.

And I'm certainly not going to lose sleep over the billionaires.

But I do worry about the working class and the poor.

And now you have some facts you can pull out when anyone starts the small business song and dance.

h/t to TPM

--the BB

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heart thread - 9/18/2010

Our requests this evening come from our friend David@Montreal:
1) Frank called Mam today when she got home from morning service. Literally on the point of leaving for the hospital he was calling to ask for prayers- your prayers.
As you might remember, almost two months ago cancer cells started showing up again in Franks blood work and since then their incidence has seriously increased. As a result, Frank's going back into hospital to receive a new series of genetic transfusions from the original donor- a woman in Germany who is donating a second time.
Mam says Frank was in great spirits, reminding her I've got David's Giants praying for me, I'll be fine.
I'd ask your prayers for Frank and Carol, for his incredibly generous donor in Germany, and for the nurses and doctors treating my cherished cousin.
2) Before the end of the month, dear Kirstin will also be heading back into hospital for another aggressive round of treatment, in this her second battle with Cancer. What some of you may not know Kirstin is also working her way through the discernment process about her vocation to priestly ordination. I'd ask your prayer for both challenges please.
3)Prayers for Rosemary, Dave and their two sons please. Rosemary is currently experiencing some slight degree of remission at present though additional tumors have been discovered and she is suffering increased pain.
4) Prayer for Marc please- a remarkable young man who is in the throes of a Bell's Palsy diagnosis, as the doctors wrestle with trying to get it under control, to stop it from spreading or becoming life-threatening. (which I was surprised to learn it can be).Marc is in his early thirties, has taught English in Japan, returned to Montreal to ace an honors Masters in Oriental Studies, and now makes his life as a leather artist and book-maker. His partner, Alexis is a wonderful young woman who had achieved a reputation as an environmental installation artist in a half dozen countries.
5) Prayers for the people of Pakistan please- and for the people of Islam, that they will find their voices and own their grace to throw off the yokes of misogyny, tyranny and violence.

I also ask your continued prayers for my sister Shirley, for our friend Mark, and for the unemployed (which includes many of our online friends).

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

--the BB

Le weekend

Yesterday was BBQ. Our monthly dinner group came to my place and I had a couple racks of ribs. We had appetizers, ribs, baked beans, salad, biscuits, and red velvet cake for dessert. Since I was not driving anywhere I had more wine than I usually do at these suppers. Lots of fun.

Church this morning followed by lunch with Bill and his father, Jack. I ask your continued prayers for Jack as the years finally catch up with him.

After lunch Bill and I talked about the Italian adventure next spring. Step one: set dates. Step two: flights purchased. Now to work on lodging, then what we want to see. Rome and Florence this trip. We moved Paris, Venice, and Ravenna to 2012.

Early this evening I was on my knees pulling weeds. I don't mind that I have to do this periodically but have I mentioned lately how much I hate HOAs? Yard Nazis, I swear. Do they really think I am going to let it grow into a jungle?

I am up later than I wish because I have been working on consolidating my notes on the hostages in my novel. I need to rewrite the scenes in which they appear. When I started this tale I had given them names and ages and not a lot more. Now I have their family trees and have determined at least their superficial physical appearance. As is the case with aristocratic families, there are lots of interrelationships. Since the tale is about a civil war, most families have members fighting on opposing sides. It gets very complex very quickly. I finally feel I can begin imagining scenes again. Whew.

Here are side-by-side charts of two hostages who are second cousins. They are also second cousins to one of the pretenders to the throne, though neither gives his allegiance to their cousin.

One of the joys of fantasy fiction, and probably of all fiction writing, is discovering more and more that you did not know when you started. Characters seem to reveal themselves to you, even if it is all springing from your own warped brain cells.

And now it is time to take my weary bod and aching knees to bed.

Sweet dreams, my playful platypi.

--the BB