Harry Reid’s Tea Party opponent:
Today I had the deposition for my ankle lawsuit. I realized that despite sharing my tale of woe so many times, it’s really difficult to remember all the details from almost three years ago – I remember some and not others.
The insurance company attorney was your typical asshole lawyer. He started pushing me on why I hadn’t made more follow-up appointments for my ankle and I said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get an appointment with a specialist?”
“As a matter of fact, I do,” he said haughtily.
I probably should have added “when you don’t have a secretary and a wife organizing the rest of your life and you’re worried about the $50 co-pay for each office visit” – not to mention the fact that I wasn’t getting much actual help from anyone in the medical profession for the pain and lack of function.
In fact, it got really funny after awhile. Whenever I would say that I didn’t do something because of the cost, he’d sneer and say, “And YET, you spend $60 A WEEK going to a ‘massage therapist.’”
And I’d say, “Yes, because he’s the only thing that’s given me any relief from the pain.”
“And YET, you couldn’t join a Y or something to work OUT and lose WEIGHT,” he’d say, sneering again.
“It’s several hundred dollars to join the Y,” I said.
“And you couldn’t put the money ASIDE to DO something,” he’d say. “Yet you paid $60 a WEEK to see a MASSAGE therapist.”
He tried to make it sound like I was lying in a dark room getting a spa treatment with hot stones and aromatherapy. Let me tell you, these treatments often hurt like hell. The therapist is literally breaking down and stretching out contracted muscles, and poking into trigger points, and it ain’t easy. Sometimes I can barely get off the table.
Anyway, after a while, it got boring. I mean, the fact is, I fell out of the truck and his client is responsible. He can dance around waving chicken bones and scream in my face to scare me, but that doesn’t change the facts.
He even asked me why I didn’t hang onto the truck’s grab bar as I was falling. I was a little pissed at having to answer such an obviously stupid question and said, “Because of the laws of physics.”
He repeated the question. I said again that it was the laws of physics – the weight of my body pulled me to the ground. (Asshole.)
I know they’re supposed to act like assholes to push your buttons and get you to say things they can use against you, but really, I believe I have the moral high ground here and I found the entire procedure to be infuriating.
After all, I’M the one who usually gets to ask the questions.
Isn’t it funny how often we catch the Israeli government lying about what they’re doing?
JERUSALEM — As Israel ordered a slight easing of its blockade of the Gaza Strip Wednesday, McClatchy obtained an Israeli government document that describes the blockade not as a security measure but as “economic warfare” against the Islamist group Hamas , which rules the Palestinian territory.
Israel imposed severe restrictions on Gaza in June 2007 , after Hamas won elections and took control of the coastal enclave after winning elections there the previous year, and the government has long said that the aim of the blockade is to stem the flow of weapons to militants in Gaza .
Last week, after Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers on a Turkish-organized Gaza aid flotilla, Israel again said its aim was to stop the flow of terrorist arms into Gaza .
However, in response to a lawsuit by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the Israeli government explained the blockade as an exercise of the right of economic warfare.
“A country has the right to decide that it chooses not to engage in economic relations or to give economic assistance to the other party to the conflict, or that it wishes to operate using ‘economic warfare,’” the government said.
McClatchy obtained the government’s written statement from Gisha, the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which sued the government for information about the blockade. The Israeli high court upheld the suit, and the government delivered its statement earlier this year.
Sari Bashi, the director of Gisha, said the documents prove that Israel isn’t imposing its blockade for its stated reasons, but rather as collective punishment for the Palestinian population of Gaza. Gisha focuses on Palestinian rights.
(A State Department spokesman, who wasn’t authorized to speak for the record, said he hadn’t seen the documents in question.)
Greene insists that he paid the $10,400 filing fee and all other campaign expenses from his own personal funds. “It was 100 percent out of my pocket. I’m self-managed. It’s hard work, and just getting my message to supporters. I funded my campaign 100 percent out of my pocket and self-managed,” said Greene, who sounded anxious and unprepared to speak to the public.
But despite his lack of election funds, Greene claims to have criss-crossed the state during his campaign—though he declined to specify any of the towns or places he visited or say how much money he spent while on the road.
“It wasn’t much, I mean, just, it was—it wasn’t much. Not much, I mean, it wasn’t much,” he said, when asked how much of his own money he spent in the primary. Greene frequently spoke in rapid-fire, fragmentary sentences, repeating certain phrases or interrupting himself multiple times during the same sentence while he searched for the right words. But he was emphatic about certain aspects of his candidacy, insisting that details about his campaign organization, for instance, weren’t relevant. “I’m not concentrating on how I was elected—it’s history. I’m the Democratic nominee—we need to get talking about America back to work, what’s going on, in America.”
The oddity of Greene’s candidacy has already prompted speculation from local media about whether he might be a Republican plant. But Greene denies that Republicans or anyone else had approached him about running. “No, no—no one approached me. This is my decision,” he said. A 13-year military veteran, he says he had originally gotten the idea in 2008 when he was serving in Korea. “I just saw the country was in bad shape two years ago…the country was declining,” he says. “I wanted to make sure we continue to go up on the right track.”
But when asked whether there was a specific person or circumstance that precipitated his decision to jump into politics, Greene simply replied: “nothing in particular…it’s just, uh, nothing in particular.” South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler speculated that Greene won because his name appeared first on the ballot, and voters unfamiliar with both candidates chose alphabetically.
Greene has yet to speak to any Democratic officials, either. After filing to run, his campaign went dark.
According to this report, he didn’t show up to the South Carolina Democratic Party convention in April and didn’t file any of the required paperwork for candidates with the state or Federal Election Commission. When I spoke to him, the state’s Democrats had yet to contact him after his victory was announced.Greene insists that he’s planning to work with state and national officials to ramp up his campaign and raise money “as soon as I can.” And he plans on putting his unemployment at the center of his campaign. “I’m currently one of the many unemployed in the state and this country. South Carolina has more unemployed now than at any other time,” Greene says. “My campaign slogan: Let’s get South Carolina back to work.” He adds that he would like to see “one Korea under a democracy.”
[...] Update: Via the AP, Greene is facing a felony charge for allegedly showing obscene photos to a University of South Carolina student.
I’d like to dedicate this one to the president of the United States:
Lots of people angry about this at the conference this week, so imagine how mad people are everywhere else:
As the Senate debates a bill to reauthorize expired domestic aid programs, including a provision to extend jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) have introduced an amendment that would add COBRA back into the extenders bill.
“Millions of Americans have been hard hit by the recession and lost their jobs through no fault of their own,” said Senator Casey in a statement Wednesday. “Unfortunately, some people in Washington want to pull up the ladder and take away help for these struggling families. Not extending COBRA premium assistance will hurt hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania and across the country and it will add further strain on our recovering economy.”
Fifteen percent of all unemployment insurance recipients rely on the reduced insurance premiums offered by COBRA, the program that allows workers to continue buying their employer-provided health coverage after they’ve been laid off.
Without the 65 percent subsidy created by the stimulus, COBRA is too expensive for many: Family premiums for COBRA coverage average $1,107 a month for unemployed families without subsidy–that’s 84.3 percent of their monthly unemployment insurance checks.
Granted, it’s the Politico, but still an interesting look at the mindset around Obama. Gee, I wonder if a certain Pretty Ballerina also feels the same way about the $10 million the Democrats spent on Arlen Specter’s campaign?
A senior White House official just called me with a very pointed message for the administration’s sometime allies in organized labor, who invested heavily in beating Blanche Lincoln, Obama’s candidate, in Arkansas.
“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” the official said. “If even half that total had been well-targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”
Lincoln relied heavily both on Obama’s endorsement, which she advertised relentlessly on radio and in the mail, and on the backing of former President Bill Clinton, who backed her to the hilt.
Lincoln foe Bill Halter had the unstinting support of the AFL-CIO, SEIU, AFSCME and other major unions. And labor officials Tuesday evening were already working to spin the narrow loss of their candidate, Bill Halter, as a moral victory, but the cost in money and in the goodwill of the White House may be a steep price to pay for a near miss.
I love the AFL-CIO response:
“If that’s their take on this, then they severely misread how the electorate feels and how we’re running our political program. When we say we’re only going to support elected officials who support our issues,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale. “When they say we should have targeted our money among some key house races among Blue Dog Democrats — that ain’t happening.”
“Labor isn’t an arm of the Democratic Party,” Vale said. “It exists to support working families. And that’s what we said tonight, and that’s what we’re going to keep saying.”
Personally, I think that any legislative strategy that depends on Lindsey Graham’s cooperation isn’t much of a strategy — but hey, that’s just me!
This just goes to show you: You just never know what’s going to happen in an election. Anti-establishment fever? Who knows? What an intriguing story:
COLUMBIA, S.C. — An unemployed military veteran who raised no funds and put up no campaign website shocked South Carolina’s Democratic Party leadership by capturing the nomination Tuesday to face Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in November.
With nearly all precincts reporting, Alvin Greene, 32, commanded 59 percent of the vote against 41 percent for former four-term state lawmaker Vic Rawl, 64, who had raised about $186,000 and had to abruptly scrap a late-week fundraiser for the fall.
State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler said voters unfamiliar with either candidate may have voted alphabetically for Greene over Rawl.
“As far as I know, he never showed up at anything. Vic Rawl has been campaigning everywhere from the time he filed,” she said.
Rawl said he was disappointed.
“I would’ve liked very much to be a candidate against Jim DeMint,” Rawl said, describing his sole primary rival as something of a mystery. “I never saw him. I’ve still never met him.”
As for Greene, he couldn’t explain it either but thanked voters in a state numb with high unemployment and said: “Let’s continue to make history and get South Carolina back to work.”
Greene said he spent a total of 13 years in the Air Force and Army before leaving the Army in August.
Late Tuesday, stunned Democratic leaders in South Carolina struggled to comprehend how the little-seen candidate upstaged Rawl, a moderate Southern Democrat they viewed as their far stronger bet against DeMint. Rawl’s lengthy resume lists four past state House terms and former posts as prosecutor, circuit court judge and more.