Friday, June 6, 2008

The Feeling Is...Disgust

I know that I am angry as well; my heart is beating rapidly and I can feel my blood boil.

When John McCain [kind-of] released his tax returns (Cindy released a summary) a lot more was revealed than his wife is worth over A Hundred Million.

McCain collects almost 60K a year in disability payments from the Navy. (He is rated as 100% disabled.)

He also collects almost 25K a year in Social Security benefits. (Because he is over 65.)

His Senate salary is almost 200K a year.

Regardless of how true it is that McCain's service to the Country as a POW is great, I have a hard time accepting that he should collect disability payments...simply because there are so many more people who desperately need the payments and the money that he collects should be thrown back into the pool.

Owning nine homes and a wife worth over one hundred million - I just do not see him as needing the payments, regardless of whether they were earned or not.

He rails about "Pork" and it seems to me that he has been fed a steady diet of pork for very long time.

I admit that I am biased and hardened because I have been unable to work full-time since December of 2002. I have been fighting for Social Security Disability and have earned a quarter of what I used to earn since that time. My family needed every penny of my old income and to say that the loss of it has been a strain is an understatement.

I have been waiting a couple of years for an appeals hearing. Unfortunately, I am not alone in this wait.

I realize that I am not disabled due to military service. I have never served, so it is different. However, I have paid into the SS system for almost 25 years.

I see McCain as a hypocrite of the worst type. His selfishness is obscene.

The Right thinks that it would be a mistake for us to go after McCain for collecting disability, that calling him on this triple dipping would imply that we somehow do not honor his service. I disagree. John McCain is dishonoring the service of all of those who cannot collect disability, the many on the waiting rolls, the many losing their homes and their families.

John McCain's actions say more about him than I ever could.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

From One Boiling Kettle to Another

Just as one situation gets itself resolved, I get to go observe another boiling kettle of politics. This weekend is the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Think of it as the yearly legislative convention of the church.

And yes, it can be as boring and explosive as it sounds.

The General Conference - a quadrennial meeting of the United Methodist global districts - met earlier this year. Some of what will go on in Iowa this weekend will be somewhat influenced by the General. Of note was a guaranteed greater representation by the other UMC districts and countries at future General Conferences (take that American exceptionalism), and an upheld statement in the Social Principles that, "that homosexual practice is "incompatible with Christian teaching."" (Upsetting, but not surprising)

The Iowa Conference will have its own bloodletting regarding a funding plan that garrotes local church payments to the state assembly to a strict 10% 'tithe'. Currently, local churches are assigned an apportionment based on size, economic situation, local statistics of per capita income and so forth. If the Tithe sounds vaguely familiar, it should - the tithing plan has a direct sibling relationship to the national Flat Tax movement, which aims to replace income and social security taxes and the IRS, and drastically defund the Federal government. Last year, the Iowa conference voted to support the 10% plan and then the Bishop declared the plan against the Discipline (the UMC constitution) and rejected it because it violated the connectionalism tenet of Methodist theology. Connectionalism is the Methodist term surrounding the idea that the body of the church has several parts, as like the Body of Christ in theology. A committee meeting all year is supposed to present a compromise plan that is in accordance with the Discipline.

Seven of Six emailed us all that he's going to Mexico while I'm at Conference. I offered to swap. He wasn't having any of it. Bastard.

And to boot, my laptop crapped out last night after a Vista update - somehow it corrupted the boot table on the hard disk. It's a horrid omen.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Finis Book Two, Open Book Three

If the pre-primary season was Book One, then obviously, the Primary was Book Two.

The next couple months will be interesting - Book Three could either be fairly prosaic as the Obama campaign begins the low-grade summer war against McCain and the GOP while planning and executing the Convention in August.

Which would it be, a slim intermediary volume or a fairly large midsection, in the history book? And why?

My opinion is that while the signals are being waved and the handwriting is on the wall, I won't believe the Clinton campaign has folded until I see Sen. Clinton declare it. No matter the what else can be said about the Clinton's, much of it slimy and misogynistic, they're not known for surrendering. Sen. Clinton could easily suspend her campaign until August and not concede. I think the groundwork for a contingency campaign, based on either incapacity of the presumptive nominee or the collapse of his support, has certainly been laid.

The wording will be important, as well as what her people do for the weeks afterward.

Update: Clinton this evening refused to any of the above. She's still in. I'm not sure what's going on.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008


Upon some more serious thought, I have elected to take down my most recent post. It was inappropriate, and not what I came to write. Several of the staff members were right to call me out on this fact, and I thank them. Meanwhile, accept my apologies. Guess the intensity of things is getting to all of us.

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