the state


-of taxes, mcdonnell by jgrimsrud
Saturday, 30 January 2010, 16:57
Filed under: -of jgrimsrud, -of politik

our esteemed governor-to-be looks to be a rising star in the teabagger-cum-republican movement.

bob mcdonnell believes in the campsite rule (just like dan savage!), and pledges to leave this darn commonwealth a nicer, cleaner spot than he found it, which evidently means stopping tax adjustments, as suggested by outgoing tim kaine,

McDonnell, who will succeed Kaine on Jan. 16, promised to work “in a bipartisan fashion” with House and Senate money committee leaders to make the cuts necessary to balance the budget, but he added that “it is bad economic policy to increase taxes on Virginians” during a recession.

in favor of cutting program funds (i.e. local teachers, etc.).

the state of oregon has a different idea: raise taxes on the wealty, & large corporations:

Oregon voters bucked decades of anti-tax and anti-Salem sentiment Tuesday, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to prevent further erosion of public schools and other state services.

The tax measures passed easily, with late returns showing a 54 percent to 46 percent ratio. Measure 66 raises taxes on households with taxable income above $250,000, and Measure 67 sets higher minimum taxes on corporations and increases the tax rate on upper-level profits.

The results triggered waves of relief from educators and legislative leaders, who were facing an estimated $727 million shortfall in the current two-year budget if the measures failed.

so, bob mcdonnell, can we clean up our campsites just like those oregonians?

or will moderate “democrats” give you another pass on your pseudo-populist hypocrisy?

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– of zinn. by vastate
Friday, 29 January 2010, 1:38
Filed under: -of civil rights, -of human rights, -of jhumphrey, -of politik, -of reads

r.i.p.



– of bitters. by jhumphrey
Sunday, 24 January 2010, 21:29
Filed under: -of drink, -of jhumphrey, -of politik

and, to top it off, even if we wanted to drink away our tears at the state of the nation, we can’t.

or at least it’s more difficult to obtain the necessary ingredients for a manhattan.

the bitters are suspended.

thanks to the recession, which has reached trinidad & tobago, production of angostura bitters has been halted:

glad we picked up a super cheap bottle (randomly) at teetotaling sharp shopper a few months ago.



-of cash by jgrimsrud
Saturday, 23 January 2010, 1:51
Filed under: -of civil rights, -of jgrimsrud, -of politik

just read it.

the court’s blow to democracy — the new york times

one handsome activist.



– of going to jump off a cliff. by vastate
Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 23:36
Filed under: -of jhumphrey, -of oops., -of politik

because of this.

way to go, massachusetts.

every man for himself.

long live the tea party.

(dan savage says that if you need a laugh, go here to get it.)



– of helping. by vastate
Saturday, 16 January 2010, 14:49
Filed under: -of human rights, -of jhumphrey, -of politik, -of the outside world

i’ve been pondering how to go about sifting though the possibilities for helping haiti.

it’s always difficult to figure out what to do, what to send, and to whom.

i’ve been thinking a lot about this one in particular:

paul farmer’s organization has been working in Haiti for 20 years.  we’ve heard him speak before about PIH on democracy now.

the book, mountains beyond mountains, by tracy kidder, documents his efforts to provide health care and social justice in haiti.  i remember thinking it was a pretty great read.

tracy kidder talked with rachel maddow about PIH’s efforts in post-earthquake haiti and said this:

Well, not all aid organizations are created equal.  There are some very good ones and I didn‘t mean to slam all of them, you know, in one fell swoop.  All I meant to say is that there are 10,000 aid organizations in Haiti, and Haiti is still one of the poorest countries in the world then something‘s wrong with the way things are—the aid is being administered.It seems to me that the real problem is that—that many organizations are not willing to work together or they don‘t know how to, or, you know, the mechanisms for doing that haven‘t been established.  But even more than that, that they have not really endeavored to make their projects, to make their work indigenous.  And what I mean by that is they have not done what Partners in Health has really striven to do, which is—which is to work as closely as possible with the government and the particularly that agencies, in their case, with the Ministry of Health.  There is no other way, finally, to improve the state of a place like Haiti.

and, in the same vein, he had a to-the-point editorial regarding this issue of “aid” in the face of disaster in the new york times:

There are the many projects that seem designed to serve not impoverished Haitians but the interests of the people administering the projects. Most important, a lot of organizations seem to be unable — and some appear to be unwilling — to create partnerships with each other or, and this is crucial, with the public sector of the society they’re supposed to serve.

. . . .

The ultimate goal of all aid to Haiti ought to be the strengthening of Haitian institutions, infrastructure and expertise.

. . . .

But there are effective aid organizations working in Haiti. At least one has not been crippled by the earthquake. Partners in Health, or in Haitian Creole Zanmi Lasante, has been the largest health care provider in rural Haiti.

. . . .

As a result of this calamity, Partners in Health probably just became the largest health care provider still standing in all Haiti.

Fortunately, it also offers a solid model for independence — a model where only a handful of Americans are involved in day-to-day operations, and Haitians run the show. Efforts like this could provide one way for Haiti, as it rebuilds, to renew the promise of its revolution.

so – for it’s dedication to sustainable aid and tight partnership with other respected organizations (doctors without borders, the haitian ministry of health, etc.) this is where we suggest your money goes.

if you want to give, go here:



– of pacts with the devil. by vastate
Thursday, 14 January 2010, 17:48
Filed under: -of civil rights, -of human rights, -of jhumphrey, -of politik

i’ll leave it up to you to decide just who made that pact.

way to make the world a better place, pat.  your timing is impeccable as always.