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I've never owned a gun, never fired a gun, and don't intend to ever fire a gun.  I don't know the difference between a shot gun and a hand gun, and I'm proud of my stunning ignorance of different types of weapons.

Sure, I know the world is a dangerous place, but I refuse to go through life being afraid of everything.

When I was a kid, I had an uncle who knew all about guns.  He was afraid of burglars and kept a gun in his nightstand drawer.  One night, he heard a prowler in the house and shot.  Except it wasn't a prowler, it was his wife, in the kitchen getting a glass of water.  Fortunately, the bullet only grazed her leg and she wasn't injured badly.

Nothing like that ever happened at my house, because my parents didn't live in fear of being burglarized, and they didn't own a gun.

Today, I live in a nice, relatively safe neighborhood with an active neighborhood association of good people who look after each other.

One of my neighbors knows all about guns.  She's another one of these paranoid people who sees robbers around every corner, and was happy to host a crime watch meeting at her house.  I wasn't at that particular meeting, but I've heard the story from several people who were there.  At the meeting, she was proudly showing off her latest gun when it accidentally went off!  Luckily, it fired into the ceiling and no one was hurt.    

Nothing like that will ever happen at my house, because I don't live in fear of crime, and I don't own a gun.

Call me crazy, but I don't think us "stunningly ignorant about guns" folks are the problem.

UPDATE:  Just wanted to add that I'm not scared of coyotes, either.  Our governor admitted to jogging with a gun in case he sees a coyote and "needs" to shoot one.  What an idiot.  I've seen coyotes on the edges of my urban neighborhood, but they're not a threat to people.  They're more afraid of us than we are of them.

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Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 02:54 PM PDT

Fun Convention Game: "Where's Joe?"

by CoolOnion

Here's a fun game for you when you're watching tonight's convention.  It's kind of like "Where's Waldo, but your mission is to look at the buttons on the lapels of convention delegates as the camera pans by, looking for this button:

I call the game "Where's Joe?" and I spotted a few in the crowd last night among the Delaware delegation, of all places!  Coincidentally, they have a favorite son named Joe, too, but this button is for the campaign of Dallas County Treasurer, Joe Wells...
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My spouse and I are safely back in our blue bubble after spending a week in an alternate universe (otherwise known as Amarillo, Texas) where people claim that they "never watch the news," but somehow parrot all the right wing talking points about how everything President Obama does is "socialism."

We were having breakfast yesterday when one of my sister-in-law's friends came over and launched into a launched into a tearful, worried, misguided rant about "Obamacare."

"I never watch news," she said, "but..." and--well, you know the rest, the same old litany of misinformation spouted by right-wing hate radio.

When she finally took a breath, I said--just to be snarky, really--"Yeah, I'd rather have Medicare for All."

The woman perked up.  "Yes!" she said.  "Medicare for All is what the people want!"

I was a little surprised, but not very, because I heard that from the Tea Partiers back in 2009...

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You want to do something big to make a difference.  You're tempted to join "Operation Hilarity" because, hey, it would be hilarious if the Republicans were stuck with Santorum as their nominee.

But then you think, "Is this the best use of my time and my vote?  What can I do to bring about real change in the Democratic Party?"

If you're tired of a centrist Democratic Party and want to drag that tired old lazy donkey to the left, don't waste your vote on some half-assed attempt to make the GOP look stupid.  They can look stupid all on their own.  What you want to do is go to your precinct caucus on Super Tuesday and vote for delegates to the convention and resolutions.  For more information, follow me over the Fleur de Kos...

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There's not much I can add to this column by Jacquielynn Floyd, which appeared in today's Dallas Morning News: Komen for the Cure’s new fashion statement: the pink burqa

Excerpts and commentary over the Fleur de Kos...

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OMG, OMG--I woke up this morning to an email that an anonymous benefactor had bought me a lifetime subscription to this place!  I'm so excited that I look kind of like this right now:

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You've made my day, and helped me end the year on a bright spot.  2011 hasn't been the best year for me--not horrible, just not great, a year where I'm doing some serious budget cutting to make ends meet.  As much as I wanted a lifetime subscription, I just couldn't swing it without your help.

Thank you, thank you, thank you--may your generosity come back to you 1000-fold.

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By now, everybody's seen Rick Perry, and everybody--Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike--are probably asking themselves the same question, "What the hell?"

He flubs his own talking points, confuses vague statements for irrefutable fact, and apparently doesn't realize that Canada is a foreign country.

"He must have something," people all over the country are saying, "Because he's so popular in Texas."

Wrong on both counts.  What you've seen is what you get--there's no "something else" happening with him, that's all there is.  And he's not popular in Texas, either.  The vast majority of Texas voters have never cast a vote for Rick Perry.

Follow me over the jump and I'll explain (be careful stepping over that coiled up snake in the grass).

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I'm proud to say I'm a member of Dallas Area Christian Progressive Alliance which put together an open letter to Rick Perry, calling on him to repent--a word which means "go a new way"--for the way he's treated children, the poor, the immigrants and others in Texas.

Over the squiggle is the letter in its entirety, for those who'd like to read it; it's full of scriptural passages ignored by right-wingers, which might be of use in challenging the bible-beater politicians in your state.

We also invite Christians, people of other faiths, and non-believers to sign our petition at this link: Gov. Rick Perry: On August 6, "Go A New Way"

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Well, we have another "family values" Republican who won't be taking the Family Leader marriage vow.  Pete Sessions and his wife of 27 years are separating.

From NBC/DFW:

The 56-year-old Texas Republican issued a statement Friday:

"After a great deal of thought and discussion, a decision has been made that my wife and I are separating. I am grateful for many years of marriage, and the blessing of two wonderful sons. I ask for respect for my privacy and for that of my family, and I do not intend to comment any further."

Of course, he can't be reached for comment, and he dumped this news on Friday night.  So there's no news on what's behind this--maybe she got tired of him running off to fundraisers at strip clubs or just got tired of him being so damned stupid.
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From the file of "you can't make this shit up" comes this gem from today's Dallas Morning News: Some Texas lawmakers cast votes for fellow members on bill meant to protect elections

As they debated a photo identification mandate for voters, House members passionately and frequently defended the imperative of ballot integrity.
And then, often and openly, many of them voted for themselves, then reached over and cast their colleagues’ votes, too, on some of the bill’s 63 amendments.
The practice of "ghost voting" is nothing new in the Texas Legislature, but it's particularly hypocritical that it was used for this vote.  Below the jump is a video from 2008 about the procedure that lawmakers call "a necessary courtesy and convenience."
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Well, you'll never believe what I got in the mail today--a fundraising letter from George W. Bush himself, asking for support for his Presidential Library.  He must be really hard up for cash if he's asking me for money.

"Dear Friend," it starts...

Throughout our time in the White House, Laura and I were sustained by support from friends like you...

Boy, did he get a wrong number. I guess he didn't see my artwork on display at the Farewell Shoes for Bush show.  I know he didn't see me standing on the road in Crawford with Cindy Sheehan, 'cause he avoided that situation like the plague.

I wondered how my name ended up on the list of supporters for the lie-brary, so I'm using their postage-paid envelope to ask that very question...

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Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 09:49 AM PDT

Dallas County: A Blue Pixel in Texas

by CoolOnion

On Election Day, I turned down the offer to make calls to out of state voters on behalf of Organizing for America.  I didn't even make any calls to Bill White supporters reminding them to vote.  I figured that if they didn't know by now from all my previous block walks and phone calls that November 2 was Election Day, they were pretty hopeless and it was time to give up on them and concentrate on our important local races.

My husband and I spent Election Day at our precinct's  polling place, standing in the cold rain handing out push cards for a candidate you've never heard of, Judge Jeff Rosenfield, Dallas County Criminal Court of Appeals No. 2, reminding people to vote for him and all the Democratic incumbent judges that we worked so hard to sweep into office in 2006.

Would a bunch of Rethuglican't trolls come out from under bridges all over Dallas County in large enough numbers to vote out some excellent incumbents as part of some misguided slap at "Obama Pelosi?"   Not if I could help it...

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