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Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 07:42 AM PDT

Rubbing Our Faces In It

by livjack

Say, have you all had a chance to catch the Charles Schwab ad that's running lately?  After I watched it a couple of times, I started to feel--in the words of Joe Biden--like I'd been "played for a sucker."  


Guy in a suit saunters into frame with a 80's-sized boombox on his shoulder and says:

Let’s talk about that 401(k) you picked up back in the 80s.  Like a lot of things, the market has changed, and your plans probably have too. [guy in suit shuts off the boombox] At Charles Schwab, we’ll give you personalized recommendations on how to reinvest that old 401(k). So talk to Chuck and bring your old 401(k) into the 21st century.

Guy pulls an MP-3 player out of his pocket, plugs in the earphones, smirks, and then saunters off.

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Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 02:37 PM PDT

Ladies and Gentlemen: Jeffrey Zients

by livjack

I don't know where this guy has been all my life, but I happened to turn on C-Span 3 this morning as the House Armed Services Committee made a valiant attempt to blame the impending threat of sequestration on President Obama.  Attempting time and again to portray themselves as bi-partisan, Committee Republicans had their heads handed to them by Acting White House Budget Director, Jeffrey Zients.

I haven't seen this guy before, but all I can say is I hope we see a whole lot more of him.

I would also speculate that he is "Acting" Budget Director until after the election because the Republicans would never confirm him under present conditions.

Over the fold is the entire hearing. It's quite long, but it is definitely worth watching a master class in handling these Republicans. I would urge you to play it in the background as you continue your activities online, listening to the sweet music of pushback from the Obama administration---courtesy of Mr. Zients.

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Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:03 PM PDT

The Grieving Room - A Little Jig

by livjack


A special welcome to anyone who is new to The Grieving Room. We meet every Monday evening. Whether your loss is recent or many years ago, whether you have lost a person or a pet, or even if the person you are "mourning" is still alive ("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and process your grieving in whatever way works for you. Share whatever you need to share. We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.

Link to all previous Grieving Room diaries

I was at my father's hospital bedside when he died, which will be almost two years ago in August.  In the weeks before that Sunday afternoon, I'€™d spent a good deal of time trying to determine whether or not I wanted to be there for the last moment of his life. I could see reasons for not being there.  I wanted to remember my dad alive, see him alive and laughing rather than dying.  Yet i€™t didn't feel quite right that I would not be there when he took his last breath.

As it turns out, I was there for his last breath, but it took me many days, many months to forget that last moment--to return to remembering my dad alive and laughing all the years of my life--once I had watched him leave.  It was a strange and very profound experience to watch my dad's larger-than-life personality fade away. Just €”where did he go?  My mother, my two sisters, and brother stayed by his bedside for two hours after he was gone.

During the days afterward, I wondered how I would ever think of my father as the laughing, loving, glad-to-be alive person he was.  When would that image come back to me?


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Wed Nov 16, 2011 at 08:13 AM PST

You've lost me, Mr. President.

by livjack

I've placed many calls over the past three years to inquire what President Obama might be thinking when things occurred in this country.  Stating my concerns to a White House "comment taker" was less than satisfactory, but I did it.  I probably fooled myself more than once that a summary of my comments might somehow get beyond the person on the other end of the phone.  Today, I picked up the phone to do it again, but at that moment, I realized I was done with all that.  

So I wrote this letter to him instead.

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In case you're wondering what some of these financial types (a/k/a the 1% and friendly "job creators") actually think of the OWS protestors, watch and learn from this charming exchange captured by

The whole segment is worth watching, but if you want to cut right to the chase, tune in at 2:08.

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I usually tune into RT News throughout the day on an regular basis.  Last night, I watched it around midnight.  Today, I heard that RT News would be giving the gobal protests all-day coverage, so I turned on the television and hit the normal channel (114) in my area.  

Strangely, it was unavailable.  I searched and re-searched the listings (all 700) of them to make sure it hadn't been moved overnight.  It hadn't been moved.  It was  gone.

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I'd like to think I'm informed about what's really going down out there in the heartland, but sometimes, I'm just gobsmacked by something I learn. Here's that something: JP Morgan is handsomely profiting from the food stamp program in this country--and is looking forward to keeping things that way. Their projection numbers are lookin' really, really good!  Let that sink in a bit. JP Morgan is profiting from people on food stamps. According to company exec Christopher Paton, with a record high 37 million people now on food stamps, that's an increase of 40% over the past two years. High five, JP Morgan investors!! According to

JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money.

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I guess in order to confirm my intense aversion to Sarah Palin and all that she represents, I watched part of the first episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska on TLC. I won't be watching it again. It is not hyperbole to say that the hair on the back of my neck started to rise as I watched this horrible woman strut and preen about, proving just what a narcissistic idiot she is.  

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I am faced with an interesting dilemma.  Yesterday, my son (8th grader) called me from the lunch room to say that there were two confirmed cases of H1N1 at his school. Please come with me over the fold and tell me what you would do if you got this call from your child.

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Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 02:35 PM PDT

The Slaves of Great Grandpa McCain

by livjack

The historical aspects of this election are many, but I find the juxtoposition of Obama's family history and that of McCain's offer yet one more aspect of something being set right in ten days.  Two winding family paths have given us two presidential candidates--one of whom will be elected the 44th President of the United States.

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I really wonder how far these people will take it.  How far they will try to fool people who aren't paying attention, capable of paying attention beyond five minutes, or who have IQs that put them in the netherworld.  

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Two weeks ago, I visited my parents, both in their 80's, who planned to vote this year.  They were both firmly seated in Obama's camp. Happy happy.

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