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Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 01:00 PM PST

Help for a Kossack in Need.

by RenaRF

Kim and one of her lucky rescues.
For those of you that are my Facebook friends, a brief perusal of my timeline will tell you: I absolutely loathe Christmas.  Words aren't available to capture the degree to which this is true.  I think a reply to a comment I posted last night sums it all up for me:
I hear you. My issue is that while everyone runs around spending money on things people don't really need, so many need so much. And we don't - as a society - really seem to think about those people. Ever. It cheeses me off that Jesus was ALL ABOUT the poor - yet "his" holiday doesn't reflect that any more.
The whole thread of Merry Hatemas arose out of having just been out to run a quick errand.  I live in an affluent community.  Seeing the guy driving his Maserati or that horrible Porsche SUV is commonplace.  The well-kept women in their expensive yoga pants and even more expensive hairdos tool around in their Mercedes SUV's is also a common sight.  Yet there was a guy at the intersection - run down, dirty, holding a cardboard sign begging help - and these people in their expensive cars with their expensive lives rushed right past him, or fiddled with their phone to avoid making eye contact.  They went on to go buy an expensive bottle of wine from the wine store in the shopping center where this occurred, doubtlessly bound for this party or that where they all talked about Christmas shopping and kids and all of that stuff.  It was like the guy was a vapor, and even worse: the irony of their indifference in the context of all of their Christmas hustle and bustle seemed to be totally missed.  It just. Pushed. Me. Over. The. Edge.

A few days ago, I received a request from the partner (Liz) of a friend (Kim) to help with some year end fundraising for Kim and the enormous medical bills she is facing.  Both individuals are members of this community.  In fact, if I'm not mistaken, they came here because of me.  We know each other through the wide world of animal rescue.  And until I received the request to write about Kim and ask for assistance from the Daily Kos community, I had no idea how badly Kim - my friend - has struggled and suffered.  I had no idea how very on the razor's edge she is living right now, no idea that she was facing down - after already facing down so much - a looming crisis.

The themes here are going to be familiar to so very many of you.  An unexpected long-term Very Serious illness (nearly fatal, frankly) followed by the loss of a job followed by an inexplicable inability to become re-employed soon to be followed by the loss of long-term unemployment benefits (Merry Hatemas, everyone).  

And I didn't even know any of this was going on with her - couldn't have known, frankly, because she just doesn't wear the worry and the struggle on her sleeve.  I've always blanched at the "Happy Warrior" descriptor (thanks to Romney and Reagan, mostly) - but I can't think of a person more deserving of that approach - that demeanor - than Kim.

Indulge me, my dear fellow Kossacks, while I make my plea.  Because in my heart, I really, really need to help Kim and her family and maybe - just maybe - save Christmas for myself.  I think this is the only way I can see doing it.  More over the fold.

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Ok.  So this is a follow up to a diary I posted yesterday asking for help when I was getting results - prices - from the website that I thought were wildly expensive given the circumstances.

Now that it's all sorted out, I want to share the story, the glitch, and the true results (which are great) with everyone here.

Follow me over the squiggle.

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Ok.  So I'm signing my 28 year old son up for health insurance under  After the initial craziness the first ten days of October, I was able to finally get him an account so that I could shop the plans.

It's the plans that are the issue.

Please read over the fold and help me find a basis for appeal, ok?  I'm stuck.

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 08:32 AM PST

A Plea for Help - Shelter Stories

by RenaRF

This community has been amazing in its support for those in need - both two- and four-legged.

I want to tell you a story below the fold, and ask for your help for a worthy - and helpless - recipient, saved from death and despair in the nick of time.

Follow me over the squiggle.

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Tue Oct 15, 2013 at 09:14 AM PDT

Because Obamacare.

by RenaRF

All the major news outlets are breathlessly reporting that both the House and Senate Republicans are getting close to a deal that will achieve bipartisan agreement*.

While the GOP desperately tries to re-create and re-invent their reasons for shutting down the government and dragging the prospect of debt default into the mix to try to undo the terrible damage to their "brand", I want to remind everyone - liberal, agnostic, and conservative alike - that it was all Because Obamacare.

More over the fold.

* Note: I'll believe it when I see it. You can't cure the GOP brand of stupid, after all.

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Since I am affected by the government shutdown, I've had entirely too much time to troll around Twitter and leave snide, cutting comments for Erick Erickson and other Tea Party "luminaries".

Indeed - reading Markos' front page post about Robert Costa's breathless reportage on the "game changing" million man Republican protest (minus 999,800 people, give or take) sent me directly to his Twitter feed, whereupon I dropped another wittily snide comment on his prediction, followed by the hastag #eyeroll.

But surfing on those subjects led me to see that there IS a real protest - or rally, rather - planned for tomorrow, Tuesday October 15.  

More over the fold.

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Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM PDT

Go Eff Yourselves.

by RenaRF

I'm feeling like a whole lot of "no" these days when it comes to these Republican Terrorists and both the shutdown and the debt ceiling debacle.

The piece of you-know-what Republican Party and the ball-less Boehner have put a BIG contingency on the debt ceiling increase that they are proposing.  Alone, that contingency should scuttle this deal, but there are more reasons to tell these clowns to go pound sand.

My reasoning is below the fold.

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Wed Oct 09, 2013 at 08:36 AM PDT

No. Appended. Updated.

by RenaRF

Look.  I sympathize with grieving families who are unable to get the death benefit for their deceased service member.  

I agree completely with Paul Rieckhoff's sentiments:

"It's a disgrace," said Paul Rieckhoff of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "The fact that those families have to deal with this now is just sad and shocking."
I'm quite certain that Mr. Rieckhoff speaks eloquently on behalf of Veteran's issues, as he should.  I am further comfortable that that is where he should focus his attention.

But I don't only sympathize with grieving families of veterans, and I don't see why their plight and tragedy should be considered more important than the suffering of millions of other Americans during the Republican siege of the US Federal Government (aka, "The Shutdown").

More over the fold.

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Wed Oct 02, 2013 at 09:48 AM PDT

Hold the Line

by RenaRF

I've seen Eleanor Holmes-Norton interviewed on multiple cable news shows this morning following her plea to fund the District of Columbia's budget as a separate, necessary item apart from the other Republican-led "mini-CRs" that House Republicans attempted yesterday.

While I sympathize with her pleas, I have to respectfully say to Congressional Democrats: Hold the line.  This is the effect of a Republican-led government shutdown.  It affects all areas of government and all Americans, and it's time that Americans see and feel and hear and smell the results.

But even more important than the visual of trash accumulating on the streets of the Nation's Capital is this - These so-called "mini-CRs" are part of a larger pattern of Republican behavior at both the national and local levels to compel minority-opinion outcomes in an extra-legislative and extra-judicial fashion.

I'll explain over the fold.

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UPDATE 11:25am ET 8/25/13 - I can't believe I'm saying this.  But we're only $73 away from the $2K goal.  You guys are unbelievable.  Thank you so much.

UPDATE 9:43pm ET.  You guys took this from $80 to $1,512 raised against a $2,000 goal. Ah. Maze. Ing.  So please - can you give this another look and TWEET and SHARE this story so that we can get over the line this weekend?  It's SO appreciated!!

Ok. I admit it. I've been here a LOOOONG time.  Lately, however, my life and work schedule has precluded me from actually writing here.  I read here regularly, and drop a comment or two where I can and where I have time.  But writing?  Not so much.

If you're new-ish and we've not met, you can check my profile to know that I've been here a while and I'm not full of crap.  :)  If we've met, hopefully - even if you've disagreed with me, perhaps - you know that I'm not full of crap.  :)

So onto the ask and the story.  asimbagirl is in need of some help.  Her UID is in the four digits - she's been here forever.  You may know her from Top Comments (her most recent is here), or just from seeing her around in other diaries and comments.  I'm going to tell you a story of how I "know" her, outside of dKos.  Follow me over the fold.

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A blog post for Cat On My Sleeve: A Special Cat

On Tuesday March 5 2013, we said goodbye to our sweet Clide.  He had valiantly fought a very bad cancer diagnosis.  We had thought to ourselves – if any cat was likely to beat the odds around this cancer, it would be Clide.  And truth be told, he probably did “beat” it in the sense that it could have grown and taken him from us much faster.  We were gifted with seven extra months with him post-cancer-discovery, and the vast, overwhelming majority of that time was very good – for him and for us.  But last Tuesday, it was time.  All the love he had given to me and to our family and household had been a deposit in the Bank of Strength needed to help him in the most profound way: to say goodbye with dignity, without pain, without fear, and with deep abiding love.  We made the withdrawal.  And while our lives are less joyous without him in it, they are also infinitely enriched in so many ways because he was in it.  This is his story.

Follow me over the fold.

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Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM PST

No, Ed. It wasn't "shocking".

by RenaRF

Still basking in the glow of our Nov. 6 win, I've been super extra scrumpdeliciously enjoying the opinion pages of both The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Waaaaay down the page in today's WaPo was an opinion piece by Ed Rogers (yes, that Ed Rogers).

Follow me over the fold for his very first paragraph.

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