Sunday, January 28, 2007

More Litvinenko

Another read here on Litvinenko's poisoning. The Brits are saying the act was state sponsored. The Russians, of course, say they didn't do it. Next move, England.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Mystery solved?

The Brits seemed to have figured out how Alexander Litvinenko was murdered. According to AP, the polonium was in his tea pot. The other two men who were drinking tea with him also suffered radiation poisoning but neither one died. So why didn't they die? As one question is answered, more questions arise.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Questions and more questions

Is it just me or has Cheney become totally insane? The interview with Wolf Blitzer yesterday seemed a lot over the line. How can the man say so many things things yesterday that are just not based in reality? For instance there is this gem:
"You've got to deal with the reality on the ground. The reality on the ground is, we've made major progress, we've still got a lot of work to do."
Dude, you're the one not dealing with reality. How many bombed out cars and dead people littered all over Iraqi streets constitute a failure? And how about today's bitch fight in the Iraqi parliament? This is why Americans are dying over there to support this continuing ugly behavior by the Iraqi leaders? In the meantime more innocents died in the streets.

In five or 10 years, when we look back on this, I wonder what we will see? Insane men running our government and people who didn't stop them. Or will we find our collective conscious and stop this madness somehow?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The State of the Union is over, let the spinning begin!

Let us start with my spinning at the Chronicle. This features my usual smart ass response to Bush and the Republicans.

How about that roar from the Dems when Madame Speaker was introduced? Madame Speaker certainly looked like Grandma Nancy a couple of times when Bush was trying to sell that fiasco in Iraq. I could tell she just wanted to reach over and whap the fool in the back of the head for getting us into all this trouble and then not being able to fix it. Would that be the same as all the oil company businesses he touched?

Afterwards when Lindsay Graham was reading the talking points verbatim about the Dems. Lindsay Graham from South Carolina said "Cut off the funding to the troops."

We didn't say the troops weren't to be trusted. We didn't say we had no faith in them. How could a guy who managed to stay out of Viet Nam and military service turn his fuck ups into a referendum on the troops? It's all about your mistakes, you boob. Now we know why Condi used the word augmentation.

Immigration plan? What immigration plan? Platitudes yes, immigration plan, no.

So now we can get down to some real work and see who has the biggest ovaries. My money is on Pelosi.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The next thought...

In some respects the US is changing. OK maybe just the Democratic party is showing sign is a diverse population. Here is it is, a year and half before the next election and there is a woman, a black man and a Latino have all declared their candidacies for President. Why someone would want to follow up Bush and have to clean up the shit he leaves behind is beyond me. I know that position makes the office holder the most powerful person on the planet. The election of any of these three would be historic.

That's not to say that we as a country don't still have miles to go in the equality march. I do not believe I will see my full equality in my lifetime. But this will be an interesting campaign to see how the equality issue is handled by all the candidates. Marriage equality is not an idea that has proven to be a comfortable idea for any of the candidates. All of them are bad on this key issue. So time to rev up the engines and start pressuring the campaigns to put up or shut up. You want my money or vote, change your stance.

On a personal note, last Friday I finished a week of work. By 8 o'clock on Friday night, I had no idea what I had said that day. I knew I had gone to Oakland that day for a couple of meetings and knew who I met with but had no recall of the content of my conversations. Boy did I feel stupid. But, damn, there are all those acronyms, new people, new subjects, where is there overlap, who is working on what, who are our friends, what about the legislation, what about the Governator, what about the feds, the new Congress??????? YIKES!! Breathing now.....

When I figure out what the hell I am doing, I'll get back to ya.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Post unemployment

Eight months is a long time to go without a job. It is two months longer than unemployment insurance. It is almost long enough to have a baby. And it is long enough to cause many nights filled with self-doubt, stress and visions of financial ruin.

I have not been without a job in over 20 years. I have been the Executive Director of non-profit organizations for the past 13 years. I have served on boards, been heavily involved in politics for the past 15 years and have a national network of friends. In short, I was a professional with a load of professional skills.

The nights and days of self–doubt and the accompanying self-loathing were spawned through unreturned phone calls, horrible interviews, really bad communications from hiring panels and a total lack of response from boatloads of resume submissions.

Let me give a few details:

∑ I probably submitted my resume to about 120 jobs that I saw online through a variety of web pages. Of those I had about 25 interviews. The rest, for the most part, never even bothered to acknowledge they received my resume. Now having hired a few people in my time, I know this may become difficult for smaller organizations. But larger places like Google could at least say, hey we got your resume. But did I hear back???? Nooooo.
∑ Once I had what I thought was a good conversation with someone. She said I would hear back in a week. Well I heard back by seeing the job advertised on Craigslist again.
∑ At one interview the panel decided that they talked too much during interviews so they didn’t ask me any questions or talk to me during most of the interview. No conversation, no dialogue, just a load of people yawning at me when the room became too stuffy. Oh and there I sat with my feet not reaching floor during the whole interview because I was too short for the table and chair. Why yes, I feel really comfortable answering these quiz questions.
∑ How many times did I call to follow up on interviews only to be told the person I needed to talk to wasn’t available and probably would never be available? All right I’m exaggerating, they just weren’t available at the time.

Then there was the problem with COBRA insurance. Cobra is supposed to be available for 18 months to someone leaving a job as long as they pay for it. It took me two and half months to get COBRA. Then I had to pay for all the back months they hadn’t given me insurance in order to have insurance.

Getting unemployment insurance was a nightmare, too. California has changed its process since I was last collecting checks. Obviously 20 years later there are now computers being used. But in my case in order to get unemployment, I had to call in to a number and talk to someone to get my claim started. So no problem right? Noooo, again!

I would call all day, go through all the prompts and then be told to call back again when someone could answer the phone. Apparently there are not enough phone lines to answer all the calls! So the computerized phone would just hang up on me.

Fed up after three days and getting panicky, I called my friend who works in a state Assembly office. She got someone in her office to call a super secret number and then get that person to call me to start my claim. But not without strings attached.

I got to go to the EDD office to meet a caseworker. This fountain of knowledge was going to talk to me like I was stupid, question how much money could really make and then tell me her whole success story about getting a job at unemployment. This was another degrading moment in the life of an unemployed person.

Losing a job can be terribly traumatic or a relief. In my case it was both. I cried every morning as I drove in to work. That is not a good job.

But the humiliation I suffered in this system of safety nets makes me even more of a proponent of a minimum wage.

I was a professional getting professional wages. I can’t imagine what it is like for someone to go store to store asking for applications to wash dishes with no benefits and none of the professional perks of paid vacations and sick days for $5.15 an hour. They are much braver people than I am.

To go through the torment of interviews with someone you have never met and to have them judge you is a long lasting pain, especially when one doesn’t get picked. Again, for $5.15 an hour this is criminal. A livable wage makes the process a lot easier to bear. A bigger paycheck makes the degradation a distant memory a lot quicker.

Unemployment insurance after losing a minimum wage job would pay around $150 every week. I am sure people can either pay their rent of eat but certainly not both with that kind of income. Unemployment would pay considerably higher if the people were paying in to their insurance at a higher rate from higher wages.

Under this administration working men and women have suffered greatly. With anti-government types running the government we have seen Americans, particularly lower income people suffer from ineptitude in disaster relief in New Orleans, an economy which offers loads of minimum wage jobs with no hope of mobility and the richest one percent get a big boost in their incomes.

The rich have gotten richer and the poor poorer by the design of the people at the top of the federal governmental food chain. While the legislation to increase minimum wage will sail through a Democratic Congress, Bush’s acolytes will be weeping and willing a the thought of paying more of a livable wage and increasing a rate that hasn’t been increased in years. Too bad.

Pain, humiliation and financial stress should end when a person gets a job. That’s the American way. We just haven’t seen the American way in such a long time most of us have forgotten what it looks like.

But not me, I have a job now. And I won’t forget these last eight months, ever.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Que Viva

I can't believe I actually have a job again. I keep hearing "Stars and Stripes Forever" in my head. Today was my first day at SIREN and I spent it doing what everyone at a new job does- reading. For once there wasn't any drama, no crises, no immediate emergency which needed to be taken care of the minute I walked in the door. It was quiet. Ahhhhh.

Today was also a day to celebrate La Betty! How wonderful that Ugly Betty took top honors at the Golden Globes last night and the fabulous America Ferrera took home the statue for Best Actress, tambien! All those Latinos on stage, I bet there has never been that many on stage.

Latina power was brown and proud last night. this whole Ugly Betty success story carries many of us on bad days. To see a brown, round gal like myself successful, happy, looking quite adorable was enough to make me giddy. Downright proud of all my sisters for telling the story of La Betty and continuing every week to remind people about the value of soul of a human and not their outside appearances. There are many days when I feel like La Betty dealing in a world full of Mode people.

Viva La Betty, viva las mujeres, viva work.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Well I had another few minutes of fame in yesterday's Chronicle. Ms Marinucci quoted me in her article about the Boxer/Condi exchange.

While the wing nuts were throwing themselves ont heir swords to protect Condi, everyone seems to have forgotten about Laura Bush's remark recently about Condi not running for Pres because she doesn't have immediately family to support such a run. According to Miss Laura, the husband at home is a necessary accessory for the SecState because one needs support to have such a big, important office. Here's the People magazine link with the quotes.

Haven;t we been down this road before with Mary Cheney? Mom and Dad have no problem declaring in public that Mary is a big lesbo. But let John Edwards or John Kerry say it and you would think she was a convicted felon or something. The night of the debate that Kerry said something about the Virgin Mary there was not a word from the Rethugs but next day, the sky was falling.

Condi is leaving a trail of disappointment in the Middle West but what's important is that Condi got insulted so there must be a complete overreaction. No wonder we can't get anything right and stop the killing.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I am waiting for the dominatrix of the Chronicle, Ms Marinucci to call me. She is wondering why the conservatives are going nuts over something Senator Barbara Boxer said in yesterday's Senate hearings. I am wondering that myself.

I am loathe to do this but Google has failed to bring up another link so here is a Fox (EEEEEWWWW) article about of the exchange.

Here is the transcript portion that has Tony Snow's panties in a knot:
"Who pays the price [for Bush's incompetence in Iraq]? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young," Boxer said. "You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

So why is this an insult to Condi? Stating a fact? I don't see the word lesbian in the comment. And even if the word lesbian inthe comment, what's the deal, Tony and Fox?

Oh wait, American troops attacked the Iran embassy in Iraq. Bush may be setting us up for another illegal war, this time with Iran and Syria so they need to do the old change the subject play. Feigning moral outrage over an inocuous statement, hmm, I've seen this before.

Hey we are not falling for these sophomoric sleight of hand attempts anymore. Bush looked scared for the first time the other night about what a mess he has made. Condi being accused of being a lesbo doesn't change that fact. Although she did talk about a military augmentation which I presume to mean a military boob job. But this time we are not going to be the boobs. Just Fox News.

One more thing, we lesbos already have Mary Cheney on our team. We don't want Condi. Can we do a trade for Jennifer Beals?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Starting again

I unofficially started my new job today. I am now the public policy director of SIREN - Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network. Yippee, back to immigration issues.

I went to a Northern California meeting today about The Guvernator's new health plan and how it will impact immigrants. Who will be covered? Who wont be covered? What red herrings will be trotted out to prevent children from getting health care?

But since I am a wimp now about driving, I am too stupid to tell the story. I will have to sleep, sleep, sleep because I drove all the way to San Francisco today. Oh poor widdle girl. I will try to think and write again tomorrow.

In the meantime, Go Sharks. I hope I don't wake up to Bush having invaded Iran.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No way

Whoohoo, we are kicking you to the curb. Bush's latest set of judicial nominees are being withdrawn because why? They won't get approved! This is what democracy looks like!

Monday, January 08, 2007


Look, more proof that Bush is a big liar. As if we needed more. He never met Abramoff. But here it is in full color. No wonder the suckas are going to such great lengths to stop the American people from seeing the Secret Service logs of who came and went from the White House.

Check out the new CREW for more of these exposes on the most corrupt administration in history.


Yesterday was a day in Disneyland. But I didn't have to go to Orange County for it, just San Francisco.

In between dancing because I got a job and the reality of not having every day open, I am trying to get all my loose ends tied up. In the 60's I would have said I have to get my shit together.

But this weekend was glorious, getting to spend some time in the morning with my favorite lesbian pioneers, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. We had zoomed into the City to get a couple of copies of a new book about their first ever lesbian organization, Daughters of Bilitis. The book is called Different Daughters by Marcia Gallo. It chronicles the work done by these women from the 50's. We asked them to sign their pictures in the book.

The highlight of getting to spend time with them is hearing the many stories. The pictures we had them sign were taken at a demonstration they helped organize to protest the inability of gays and lesbians to serve in the armed forces in 1966. How's that for a reminder of what has changed. Oh wait, nothing has changed.

We then went and met Julie and Marcy from Santa Fe. Julie has been one of my closest friends for about 12 years now. We spent the rest of the day with them, driving around SF, goofing off. I haven's seen Julie in a year and a half so it was pure bliss to get to see her. The weather was incredible, we were down by the ocean and didn't need a jacket at all. California at its finest.

I had forgotten how grand a day can be but yesterday was a wonderful reminder of the joy one can have in life.

Friday, January 05, 2007


What a glorious day in the neighborhood. I started the day with lunch with the ever fabulous Evan Low. He and I are going to be doing a lot of work together in the future so I will keep the information flowing from this blogspot.

Next I finally got a job!!!! I am now the Policy Director at SIREN, an immigrant rights organization. Whoohoo. A paycheck! Real work!


This Bush administration is shameless. Not only do they want to open mail but now this, they want to hide who has gone in to the White House. The Administration signed a memorandum of agreement with the Secret Service to keep all their logs private. Conveniently they did it during the height Abramoff scandals. Once again showing who is in charge. I can hardly wait for the hearings on this. Actually I can hardly wait for the hearings on everything.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Here I was ready to post a pic of the WOMAN Speaker of the House and friggin Google won't let me upload any photos. For days now I keep getting the same message. I go to the Google help site and does anyone ever get back to folks on line? Nooooo.

So I am enjoying the historic day, even if the biggest blog site in the world is non-responsive. We won, the Republicans are whining over ethics reform (an I am whining about Google) and the Sharks are playing tonight. Drop the puck, let's go.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New year thoughts

I love reading Dan Froomkin at the WaPo. Today's column had an incredible letter from a reader with this analysis of Bush and his war. I have been thinking these same thoughts but with much less clarity.

And a White House Briefing reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me this e-mail two whole weeks ago: "It seems that you, and many others who comment on the President, have a difficult time understanding his motivation regarding Iraq. It seems irrational if viewed in the context of what appears to be the indisputable facts on the ground. Why would a President deliberately ignore sound advice based on rational investigation? . . .

"He's not stupid, and he has shown in the past that when defeat looks him in the eye he can do a 180 without a blink. So what's up? I don't have any more insight than the next person, but one thought that keeps rattling around in my head is this.

"Early on, when things started to go south in Iraq, Bush said something along the lines of solving Iraq would be left up to the next President. I know it wasn't that blatant, but it gave the impression that he was perfectly willing to leave his successor with the whole mess if things didn't 'work out' for him. Ever since that comment, I get the distinct impression that Bush is just trying to run out the clock in order to avoid facing an acknowledgment of the worst foreign policy disaster in this nation's history.

"I fully expect for him to continue to assert that we can have success in Iraq, in spite of any evidence to the contrary, until the day he leaves office. He will stall, patch things together, anything to avoid the appearance of an acknowledgment of failure. He knows that Iraq is a failure, but if he leaves office still maintaining that we can 'win' or 'succeed' there then history will not judge him so harshly.

"Obviously we will have to change course, but he's not going to be the guy to do it. He will then maintain that someone else 'lost' Iraq because they didn't have the courage and determination to stick it out. As with everything in his life, from his National Guard service to his serial failures in business and life in general, it's all about him - not the country, not the job, not our reputation in the world or our hard won and universally admired heritage of concern for basic human rights. He's not trying to save this country or Iraq, he's trying to save himself and his 'place in history'. He's completely wrong of course, but given his history of privilege and never having to suffer the consequences of his long record of bad decisions, it does kind of make sense.

"We assume that, like most Presidents, he connects his self-image with actual success or failure in the real world. I increasingly am drawn to the conclusion that, regardless of the facts on the ground, he will consider himself a success as long as he never admits that his ill-fated adventure in Iraq can't succeed.

Also from Froomkin:

Author Jane Smiley writes on that "the 'surge' is a classic example of a loser's strategy, and it is about to be put in place by a bunch of losers. The 'surge' is about saving face rather than achieving an objective, and, let me say it right here, it's a guy thing. It's like 'going down fighting', except that those who are going to be going down aren't going to be those who want to save face.

"People always comment on how stubborn George W. Bush is, or how stupid he is, or how ignorant he is, but what they don't comment on is how selfish he is."

OK I'll say it, a selfish asshole. Every wonder how many pictures of himself he has given away for presents? Or how many people he is responsible for killing?

More thoughts on Mass.

Jo and I went to Mass. for the Democratic convention in 04. We stayed afterward and got married. We broke the law, just like all those interracial couples of decades ago, in order to have that marriage certificate.

The NM delegation was having our breakfast the last day of the convention. All the delegates were asked to introduce our guests. I introduced Jo and told everyone we were getting married on Sat. Now keep in mind, 4 years before, I had been slammed by NM delegates for even talking about marriage. This time we were applauded and congratulated by the whole delegation. We got a gift from the Lt Governor on behalf of the delegation. There were newspaper write ups and we were given many hugs and felicidades in the grocery stores and political events.

This vote in Mass won't take any of that away for us and the family and friends who attended. It pisses me off but I still have a marriage license. Those jackasses will have to pry it out my dead, cold hand to get it back.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mass. legislature sucks

Well congratulations to the dumb f*cks in the Mass legislature who voted their bigotry today. Our rather the little babies who got scared by the state supreme court. Those fake Christians don't mind activist judges now do they? Why yes that is steam coming from my head. Here is a Boston Globe story on it.

I guess I am not prepared to offer a rational opinion about this yet. My title says it all, at this point.

Oh wait, where is the outrage from the lgbt community? My mailbox should be full of outraged emails about what happened today. But it is empty. WTF?

Holy Crap

All hell seems to be breaking loose in Mass over marriage. The Constitutional Convention, in its one day meeting today, has voted to bring marriage to a vote. So far, anyway, that is the result. Go to Bay Windows for live blogging of the chaos over there.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New start

Got the new Yorkie calendar up for '07. Got a job interview on Weds morning. Have had enough chocolate. Lots of football on the tv. Must be New Year's day.

I haven't been able to get blogger to take any of my fancy uploads today so I hope tomorrow will be better. See? New year, new attitude. Yes, but for how long? Since I have managed to not have a drink in over 20 years, I am hopeful about this latest mind set.

Actually, while NYD has not been on my list of top holidays, I think it went into the top 3 this weekend. New start, new chances, new ideas, new year to write on checks, new calenders. But no resolutions, just a day at a time. I'll just start a new adventure.
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