Month: September 2008

Heart Failure

Posted by – September 30, 2008

Here’s a great description of why the economy greatly depends on Congress acting to rescue the credit economy.

The financial services sector is the heart of the economy.  They have fucked up badly in the last couple of years, but really, they’ve generally fucked up because we have allowed it.  Companies don’t exist to provide good jobs or good benefits.  Companies exist to turn a profit, and public companies exist to return value to their shareholders.  They are made to do this on a quarterly basis.  A good quarterly report returns profit to shareholders.  A bad one returns no profit to shareholders (generally).  So why would we think, after removing regulations and failing to enforce most of those that remained in place, that Wall Street would do anything beyond what we have made it possible for them to do?  And that, in a nutshell, is to work the system – mostly within the law – to return insane short-term quarterly profits and therefore shareholder value.  The idea that business would think a) long term (when we are painfully short-term focused from a market perspective; and b) do things to benefit people rather than their own bottom line is counter-intuitive because we don’t reward business for behaving in that fashion.

But do go read the whole thing.

Trans for Obama: NSD + Trans

Posted by – September 30, 2008

Kate Bornstein has her wrap-up post up (thanks, Kate!) and so does our Canadian friend Veronique, and I also wanted to get in a few words from Melissa Sklarz, who is currently the vice chair of National Stonewall Democrats, about NSD and its trans representation:

NSD has had trans representation on its board for almost 10 years.  I have been on the Board for 6 years and have been a vice chair of the Board for the last 4.  We have had trans representation from the East and the West and now our friends in Colorado are starting an NSD trans group for all of us.  The three of us comprise 8% of the Board total and all do service at the Exec level.

Most gay poltical groups have either few or no trans folks on board.

Which is one of the reasons it’s so damn cool that they decided to host the donations for Obama for the trans community. Thank you, Stonewall Democrats, especially Jon Hoadley and John Marble, who spearheaded this project, and thank you Babrbara Casbar (NJ), Melissa Sklarz (NY), and Laura Calvo (OR), for your work within NSD’s state organizations.

Trans for Obama: 2nd Day

Posted by – September 30, 2008

Oh, we haven’t quit. We made our goal of 200 yesterday, and today decided to try to oust the next group on ActBlue’s list, too, if we can, and we only need 42 more people to do that. Here are some more incoming Trans for Obama blog posts:

This is so damned impressive, and as Joanne Prinzivalli has poined out: it’s not too late. So do send me more links to more blog posts if and when you put them up. We’re not really done until Election Day, as far as I’m concerned.

200! 200!

Posted by – September 30, 2008

At 12:24 am EST. You all so rock. I love this community.

Trans for Obama: Midnight

Posted by – September 30, 2008

In case you didn’t read along all day, here’s what happened: We started the day at 105 donors and $5400. We ended the day (midnight, EST) at 196 donors and $10,746. That’s a net of 91 donors and $5346 for Obama’s campaign. We did good! Bloggers that posted:

I suspect we will make our goal of 200 if we use midnight time (PDT) I’m sure, but I’ve got to go to bed. Our cat Aeneas had an echocardiogram and 6 teeth pulled today, so I’m emotionally exhausted on more than one front.

This being the trans community, I’m sure that there will be criticism of this event, so I’ll tell you why I got so fired up about this idea & spent the day blogging it: because for me, it’s meaningful not just for an historically gay & lesbian organization like Nat’l Stonewall Democrats to set up a page for trans community donations, but that it’s important for the trans community to respond with enthusiasm when we get an org that is willing to work with us. I think that’s at least as important as criticizing orgs that take us for granted.

More than that, I believe in visibility. There was no minimum donation required, so that your “vote” (or your existence) could count very easily, even for $1. Political visibility is important – and this event made us visible not just to LGBT people, but on a national political landscape where we are, sadly, almost completely invisible. Or, as Angie at Dakota Women put it:

This is a great way to increase trans visibility, so when the election is over, we can point to exact dollars that the trans community and its allies brought in. That. Is. Huge. Whether you identify as trans or a trans ally, this is a win-win. You get to help make sure that we’re not all crying in our beers the day after election day, and help demonstrate the power of the trans community and its supporters–all at the same time!

Right on. For me, personally – well, I live in NY which always goes for the Democratic nominee for President, so it was nice to get to do something that had a little more reach.

Trans for Obama: Deadline Approaches

Posted by – September 29, 2008

Monica Helms has now blogged, but if you need even more motivation, riftgirl has promised to have sex with her “friend” Les if we make the goal of 200 donors, and will post the video of them having sex on October 12th if we do!

Really!

Trans for Obama – 5:30 Update

Posted by – September 29, 2008

My guest post about Trans Blogs for Obama is up at Feministing, and two new posts, this one from Angie at Dakota Women and this one from Autumn Sandeen on Pam’s House Blend.

Trans for Obama: More More More

Posted by – September 29, 2008

Oh, now we’re really speeding up:

Annie Rushdenwoohoo! another partner! – joins us, as does Jillian Todd Weiss.

Trans for Obama: riftgirl Does Obama

Posted by – September 29, 2008

I’m trying really hard not to have a crush on riftgirl, but as Betty would tell anyone: I’m a sucker for the ones who make me laugh, & laugh hard. She’s gone & posted for Obama now, too, and don’t forget to check out her mean Sarah Palin.

Trans for Obama: Lena + Votes

Posted by – September 29, 2008

& A new blog post from Lena Dahlstrom, our very own straight DQ and fashionista.

We’re at 142 people and $9020! Let’s reach 200, folks – keep it going.

The donations are good but it’s the votes that count – and every donation, no matter how small, counts as a vote! Stand up & be counted, trans democrats!

(We’re really need Obama in office if this bailout measure doesn’t pass, which it looks like it won’t.)

Trans for Obama: + Andrea James!

Posted by – September 29, 2008

The queen of MTF voice work has blogged for Trans for Obama Day now, too.

The cool thing is that we’ve already raised $780, which has been donated by 23 people.

Let me know if you see that anyone else has blogged by leaving a comment, or feel free to gloat if you donate!

Trans for Obama: TGB

Posted by – September 29, 2008

I’ve also put up a mirror post at Trans Group Blog, which is a group blog about trans issues I started a while back and which features writers from all points of the trans spectrum.

Trans for Obama: Add Kate

Posted by – September 29, 2008

And Kate Bornstein has blogged for Trans for Obama Day, in her usual eloquent way.

Trans for Obama: Caprice’s Post

Posted by – September 29, 2008

Caprice, who is one of the people who set up the campaign with the National Stonewall Democrats, has posted about Trans for Obama Day as well, adding her arguments about why McCain / Palin would be a disaster for LGBT people and why Obama needs all the small donors he can get.

So I’d like to take this moment to thank Caprice, who does more for the LGBT community than just about anyone I know, by being on boards and contacting politicians, taking regular trips to Albany for NYS concerns, and by working with the Name Change Project at the Center.

Trans for Obama Day

Posted by – September 29, 2008

The National Stonewall Democrats have a page for trans people + allies to donate to Barack Obama’s campaign, which is a damned cool idea. Before this campaign started, over 105 people donated $5400, which is damned cool too. But if we really want to make ourselves visible – even in a small way – we should try to get that number – and the amount of participants – higher. So if you’re trans, or a trans ally, & support Barack Obama financially, do consider donating to his campaign through the site.

& Then tell two friends, so they tell two friends… by the end of the day we can easily surpass a couple of people on ActBlue’s list of top online donors. Post the info on your personal blog – on Yahoo 360, or LJ, or Facebook, or to a community message boards you post on.

I’ve started a Trans for Obama event on Facebook, too.

The Blog Has Been Upgraded

Posted by – September 28, 2008

Hey campers, I just spent a while upgrading the blog and hopefully everything will be groovy and happy.

But… if it isn’t. Let me know via this post.

Update 01: You will have to login again as the whole password/security system has been changed. Fun! Not. Sorry.

Thanks!

Betty

Kind Sirs

Posted by – September 28, 2008

The most amusing piece of email I’ve gotten this week about the financial crisis:

Subject: CONFIDENTIAL FINANCIAL TRANSACTION:

MY DEAR AMERICAN FRIEND:

I AM NEEDING TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.

I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 700 BILLION OF YOUR DOLLARS (US). IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.

I AM WORKING WITH HIGHLY REPUTABLE MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY IF MY POLITICAL PARTY WINS UPCOMING ELECTION, WHICH WE CERTAINLY WILL BECAUSE WE ARE IN CONTROLING OF THE HIGHEST SUPREME COURT. YOU MAY REMEMBER HIM AS A SENATOR AS LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S.

THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE. YOU MUST TRUST ME COMPLETELY AND NOT ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRANSACTION. YOU HAVE MY WORD NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE MONEY.

THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED YOUR BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTH PERSONAGE WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED. YOU ARE THAT PERSONAGE.

PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN AND THOSE YET UNBORN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THIS INFORMATION I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS WE PROMISE WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS AND PRODUCE A LONG-TERM RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR YOU AND THOSE YOU LOVE.

YOURS FAITHFULLY
MINISTER OF TREASURY H. PAULSON

Gendered Policy

Posted by – September 27, 2008

Dorothy Samuels wrote a great Op-Ed for The NYT on the whole issue of Wasilla charging rape victims the cost of their rape kits and forensic exams.

In the absence of answers, speculation is bubbling in the blogosphere that Wasilla’s policy of billing rape victims may have something to do with Ms. Palin’s extreme opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape. Sexual-assault victims are typically offered an emergency contraception pill, which some people in the anti-choice camp wrongly equate with abortion.

My hunch is that it was the result of outmoded attitudes and boneheaded budget cutting.

Mine too, but that’s still not an excuse, and we deserve an explanation. As Tony Knowles said:

“We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence,” said Alaska’s then-governor, Tony Knowles. “Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.”

And in case you’re wondering if there was any Federal effort to keep states from charging the victims, here you go:

That’s why when Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, he included provisions to make states ineligible for federal grant money if they charged rape victims for exams and the kits containing the medical supplies needed to conduct them. (Senator John McCain, Ms. Palin’s running mate, voted against Mr. Biden’s initiative, and his name has not been among the long list of co-sponsors each time the act has been renewed.)

This is probably the best example of why having a woman in office means almost nothing if her policy is blind to the needs of women.

Brotherly Love

Posted by – September 26, 2008

It’s been a long while since I’ve done a Friday Cat Blog, but today just had to be done. Aurora, whose full name is Queen Aurora Crankypants Thunderfist Quickbiter, has finally conceded to sharing her warm orange self with her adopted older brother, our big Endymion. He’s been working on her for three years – always trying to sniff her, trying to give her a lick once in a while, reaching out a paw to touch her when they’re both asleep, etc. It’s been so charming to watch her go from bristly freak-out to annoyance to – well, concession. And today, on this cold drippy rainy fall day, he has finally succeeded in getting her to let him use her big orange belly as a pillow.

Even Aeneas needed to find out what was going on. & While I did get their attention with the flash, they went right back to sleeping a minute later, & Aeneas, always the jealous kid brother, came & slept on my lap.

Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow.

Wingnut Alert

Posted by – September 26, 2008

Michelle Bachman is on Larry King Live tonight. What a weird lady. Aside from the fact that she is just spitting out GOP talking points, with no rebuttals or even referrals to what others are saying, she has this weird “I just took E” grin on the whole time, too.

She’s the kind of lady who gives my gender a bad name.