Benny's World

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bill Maher is Spot On

He's suggesting more substance, less style.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

If My GLBT Friends Needed a Friend in the WH

It was today. I couldn't believe it. I got an e-mail from a friend in Beantown who saw this post today on FB. He was outraged. He is of the most patient and kindest people, and he is someone I can chat with when I am or was feeling blue about my mom. He had lost his mom a few years ago.

Yes, he is gay. And his patience was tested. He was right to be upset. Here's why.

Using RW talking points in the brief filed incites fear and outrage.

Today, the GLBT community feels betrayal. I'm unclear as to whether or not the DOJ actually had to defend the DOMA act. I'm guessing not, but some lawyers say yes over at the Daily Kos.

I do know that if a certain person's husband had been elected president instead of Obama, this would have not happened.

See Elizabeth Edwards' speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in SF 19 months ago.

Too bad she or JRE isn't the AG in charge. I'd like to think Obama is above all of this, but maybe the true colors are appearing.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good Analysis by Newshounds About Hannity's Show Last Night

For those of you who were wise enough not to watch on other channels of the teeve, I decided to watch Hannity for a little while to see if he would fess up to his misguided attacks on the DHS. I thought, well Shepard Smith could own up to it, maybe there's a chance for Hannity.

Well, Hannity didn't take that opportunity. Instead, he had the hero of Freeperville on, Newt Gingrich. But I think I'll link to Newshounds instead to give you the skinny on why any progressive with a half brain would be outraged at these two. Hannity ensured too that it was fair and balanced by having the most vicious GOP hack, Ann Coulter, on the show to attack other folks.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Newshounds, they watch Fox News so you don't have to. I think I will go back to my old practice of reading their site, Daily Kos, Eschaton, or Media Matters to get the news about the loons.

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Jeff Merkley Urges Health Care Reform

Oregon's Jeff Merkley, the most progressive Democrat we have in the Senate, took aim at colleagues who keep recycling the same old talking points. I'm proud of his courage especially as he is a freshman.

JRE always said we needed bold change. Jeff Merkley knows it and is willing to fight for the American people, not just those in his home state of Oregon.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Beautiful Boy--the Inspiration of this Blog--Benny

Benson adopted us 8 years ago today; I paid to adopt him (at a fair) and found out he had herpes a few days later. He's been a beautiful boy though and an excellent fit for us. But more than that, I think he believes we have been a good family for him as cats adopt pet parents more often.

He got Fancy Feast tonight.

Here's a song for my Benny:

Update: Other politicians' birthdays for fairness are John Edwards and Joe Trippi.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards's Soundbite on Healthcare

From the Boston Globe:

Q. How has your illness shaped your views on healthcare

A. We have to have universal healthcare. I grew up in a military family. We grew up with a single-payer system. You went to the doctor when you got sick, the doctor took care of you, and you went home. And nobody paid for anything, and it just operated that way. And it operated well. There's certainly a lot of good reasons to go to single-payer, but I don't think we have the will to do it in this country.

Amen, sista.

Update: Elizabeth will be the keynote at the National Patient Advocate Foundation's 10th Annual Patient Congress on June 25th. NPAF is a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability. The annual congress is a two day event to give advice on how to lobby and actually lobby members of Congress on health care reform.

If Elizabeth is reading BW, I say "You Go Girl!"

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Happy Hour with Daddy and Momma

Today is the day my father passed away in 1990. No one was in the room with him when he died. Same with my mother. She was alone too since the life support was turned off and we didn't expect for her to pass within a hour.

I nearly always called my mother on this day, as I knew what his passing meant. Today, I cannot, and I'm saddened by it.

But I am reprinting something I wrote over two years ago on his birthday, entitled Tribute to My Daddy. I will use the original to include some edits to update it. I hope you will appreciate it and keep any of us who have lost both parents in your thoughts.


My daddy would have been 83. He's been gone for 19 years. Damn.

I've been too busy today to think of him until now.

He was known as "Smitty". And he had a bar named Smitty's Lounge and another one later called "It'll Do", very much akin to the DU Lounge; it was more about trivia, bulls**t, and whoever could recall what event.

At Smitty's or It'll Do, not much at night did anyone talk about national politics. They had troubles of their own, and most of his clients were small business owners, contractors, etc. They worried about local issues. At the time, Dems were in the main house in town, and he supported them, albeit not directly. He was opposed to the war in Vietnam and worried about my brother being called up in a lottery if and when he turned 18. Luckily, the draft ended before my brother's birthday. If I recall correctly, my daddy had a very healthy respect for vets, occasionally giving them a drink on the house.

Daddy had the best of humor. Sometimes too cutting and hurting one's feelings at home, but he drew people around in his bar with his humor. Did so too with family when times were bad, especially during the numerous times he was in the hospital. I have noticed that sometimes when I'm blue or mad, but can back away for a moment, I can find a way to express myself humor or be with good biting sarcasm.

Daddy was the guy who noticed current events better than most of us in the family. For example, Jimi Hendrix was supposed to come play a concert in my town. Daddy heard on the radio Hendrix died, and it was the same day Hendrix was found dead, a month before the concert was scheduled.

Daddy always reminded me of the guy in the Welch's"Totally Fruit" commercials who said "Would you please pass the jelly?"; luckily, there were no prissy women or men to faint over such expressions in our house. He was a fried eggs, bacon, and biscuits kind of guy. That's why he died young, but I recall a few months before he passed away, he said he admired Malcolm Forbes (who died the same year, but in Feb) because he had on his tombstone, "He Lived" and did. The reason was that Daddy enjoyed my story of witnessing Malcolm Forbes (yes of Forbes Magazine) on a Harley (dressed in a tuxedo) with a band of Hell's Angels going through Harvard Sq for fun in 1989, and no one in Cambridge, MA complained very much.

Dad left my momma very little, but no one can fault him for living or say he didn't live somewhat a fun life, despite being afflicted with polio at the age of 15.

Could he dance? You bet: in a swivel chair. He had the beat down. He loved C & W, but some rock and roll too. I mentioned his first observations earlier; here is another one related to rock and roll. He was watching cable the night the first MTV video came on. I thought he was crazy when he said he saw videos of the Rolling Stones on tv. Nope, he was right.

Daddy was not always the best dad. Sometimes his fragile ego got in the way of his life with my mom and affected all of us.But I loved my daddy, "Smitty".

So to my Daddy, I tend to take after your good and not so best in different fashions. You taught me that it was OK for the government to give a hand up, which in my case, it did. I was able to go to college on grants and SSDI checks because of your disability. You also taught me that if I wanted anything extra badly enough, I had to go work for it. So I worked on (and sometimes off) through high school and college. And like you, I never had a penchant for very fancy clothes, but I do occasionally try to dress fashionably.

But at times, I am very frustrated with life as you were (and I can be passionate in tone about it), when you kept pushing the boulder uphill, and it came down. It was like being Sisyphus for you; I have never felt I was royalty or had my own queendom. My poor spouse feels that way as he keeps looking for work, getting interviews, and yet, no offers. Where I differ is that at times, I can stretch with my money when economic times are more challenging. May not have much saved, but I can do better than just survive. That's what I learned from Momma.

I will watch our montage of a video we did for Momma's funeral. It's a tribute to Daddy as much it is to her. It contains pictures to "The Wind Beneath Beneath My Wings" and "Let It Be."

While I miss Daddy tonight, alas no longer my momma does. Smitty, here's your beer, the one we put in your casket to go with you. You also drank B & B with Diet Dr. Pepper in the 70's. It was rank to me and most everyone else, but like Gareth who died in "Four Weddings and A Funeral" who attempted making his own recipe Duck a la Banana, you were willing to try own combination of new things too.

And maybe, you're having that drink with Momma while she has her Diet Coke, the one I put in her casket to join you in that happy hour. I'm having that ale next to your lager. Cheers.

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