Well hello to all of you here at Daily Kos. In case you don't know me (over 99.9% of humanity doesn't know me so you'd be in good company), I'm one of your fellow humans, who goes by the online moniker/nickname/pseudonym/username "yetisyny" on some websites but not others.
So I have just joined Daily Kos, a site I am somewhat familiar with and somewhat not familiar with. You see, I have looked at this site from time to time over the years and read things here, reading both articles and comment sections. But I never joined, never created an account, never posted anything here, just looked at the site, I guess you call that "lurking".
I am fairly active as someone posting comments over at another website, Huffington Post (no my username there isn't yetisyny, it's "General Public"). But I don't get to have a blog at that site, only post comments. And the limit on the number of words I can post in a comment, I often have to make my comments shorter because of that.
I also have a blog on Blogger (with a completely different username than any of the ones I mentioned already), and it is a terrible, awful blog. My posts on it are just WAY too long to read, I don't put in enough paragraph breaks, hardly anyone ever comments on it, when I was updating it I would rarely if ever post anything, and I don't think I've posted anything to it in a year or more. It is mostly stream-of-consciousness type writing where I just write what I am thinking and don't edit at all or put in any paragraph breaks. Anyway, it is terrible and I don't want to subject anyone to the torture of having to read that blog so I won't link to it from here.
Anyway, I am a liberal/progressive Democrat from upstate New York. I have Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of Autism, which exists in the DSM IV, but in DSM V has been reclassified into part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (something I very much disagree with). I graduated high school as the valedictorian, then went onto Cornell to get a degree in computer science and math, but after graduating college, I haven't ever been able to find a decent job. Along with Asperger Syndrome I also have 2 anxiety disorders officially: Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder. These manifest with panic attacks. Panic attacks are very awful experiences, and during most of them I temporarily have the delusion I am dying, along with hypochondriac thoughts about having various diseases, and all in all it's very unpleasant, it even comes with physical sensations where my own body mimics the sensory perceptions that I imagine might accompany someone dying, so I even literally feel my body dying, even though my body is actually perfectly healthy and the whole thing is an awful sort of illusion, a trick that my mind and body play on themselves.
Also, when I was younger (in elementary, middle and high school) I was bullied and excluded from social activities. This often happens to people on the autism spectrum like me. So, I didn't have any friends, most of the time (I did have friends in 5th grade, and in 11th and 12th grade I was sorta friends with this 1 guy, but most of the time I didn't have friends). When I went to college I actually made lots of friends, early on, as a freshman. But almost all of those didn't last very long, and in later years of college I ended up with 4 or 5 guys I was good friends with, and in the years since then I haven't really kept in touch with them and now I basically keep myself socially isolated from the rest of society. As for dating, there was very very little of that, I first attempted asking someone out when I was in the second semester of my freshman year in college. Anyway I don't want to go into all the details of everything, just suffice to say, I haven't improved very much in that area, and the last time I did any dating type stuff was almost 3 years ago.
OK, you say, but what about this politics stuff? Daily Kos is a liberal/progressive Democratic political blogging site, after all. Well you will be pleased to know that I am, indeed, a liberal/progressive Democrat, and have been since prior to the first time I could vote. Yes, I first volunteered in the year 1998, at age 16, making calls at a place called Citizen Action on behalf of then-Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who was the Congressman representing my area, and a very liberal/progressive one and a hero of mine. Well OK hero might be stretching it a little bit, I don't generally idolize people, but I do think he was one of the good guys. Oh yeah, and I volunteered along with my parents, they also volunteered there for his campaign, and I was happy to help out, my parents have pretty similar political views to me. When I was in college he was my Congressman too, all 4 years I was there, going to Cornell in Ithaca, which was part of his district (quite an odd-shaped district that stretched from Ithaca down to Poughkeepsie). That district was eliminated after the 2010 Census and New York State losing 2 Congressional seats. It was one of the 2 that was eliminated, and, not coincidentally, Maurice Hinchey retired around that same time.
So, the first election I voted in was in the year 2000, when I was 18. I didn't get to vote in the Democratic primaries earlier that year (between Al Gore and Bill Bradley) since I wasn't 18 yet at that point in the year. Anyway I was a little bit torn between voting for Al Gore and voting for Ralph Nader. I'd studied a lot of the politics stuff, read lots of newspapers and magazines, looked at websites, and was pretty much already a leftie, even before I was old enough to vote. I liked a lot of the stuff Ralph Nader had to say, especially his positions on the issues, which were more progressive than Al Gore. But I was very worried about the spoiler effect that happens in a plurality-winner-takes-all type democracy that doesn't even have runoffs, such as the United States's system for Presidential elections. I realized that, as a New York State voter, according to all the predictions this would be a reliably blue state and if I voted for Ralph Nader that wouldn't detract from Al Gore winning the state, and that it really only mattered in the swing states such as Florida or Ohio. But I didn't want to risk George W. Bush becoming President. He appeared to be a dangerously stupid guy who had gotten every job he ever had through family connections rather than talent, his own dad had lost re-election as President a mere 8 years earlier and for good reason, he seemed to delight in the fact that as governor of Texas he approved executions of people who might be innocent (yes I'm anti-death penalty), and I generally just disagreed with him on all the issues quite strongly. I also found Ralph Nader's rhetoric that there wasn't any difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush, between Democrats and Republicans, to be patently dishonest and absolute hogwash that called into question everything else Ralph Nader said. So, of course, I ended up voting for Al Gore, starting a pattern that has repeated in every election since, where I always vote party-line Democrat. I was of course shocked by the way the election was stolen in Florida by Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, and then a 5-4 majority of conservative Republicans on the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush President even though less people had voted for him than Al Gore (abolish the Electoral College already!) And as for this spoiler effect, we need Instant Runoff Voting to get rid of that problem, then we won't have to worry about spoilers ever again.
Anyway, I've basically been a liberal/progressive Democrat ever since. When 9/11 happened in 2001, this woke me up to the dangers posed by religious fundamentalists, not just Islamic fundamentalists, but also the Christian fundamentalists here in the United States, who mostly align with the Republican Party, you know, the type who bomb abortion clinics. Operation Rescue, one of the groups that bombs abortion clinics and murders abortion doctors, was founded by a guy from my hometown of Binghamton named Randall Terry, who is a bona fide terrorist who has the blood of a number of abortion doctors on his hands. They've never been able to get him in jail for it though, since although he advocates killing abortion doctors, he hasn't killed any of them firsthand, and there is no evidence of him being involved in the operational planning stages of any attacks, and he's protected by freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Remember I first volunteered in 1998 for a political campaign, for Maurice Hinchey? Well that same year, Randall Terry, the abortion doctor-killing terrorist, ran against Maurice Hinchey as an independent candidate, and lost badly. He sent out VHS tapes with campaign videos on them to everyone in our area. I watched it, of course, just to see what the guy's deal was. He was quite a nutter, the video confirmed for me that Randall Terry is the type of person who doesn't belong in public office. OK, so anyway, he's a Christian fundamentalist. And, I was raised in the Quaker religion by my parents (a Christian denomination that preaches pacifism, nonviolence, tolerance towards those who are different from you, etc., very different from fundamentalists, much more like the values progressive Democrats believe in). But I never actually believed in God, even though I still went to Quaker meeting (what Quakers call church) every Sunday, prior to me going off to college. Most of Quakerism isn't supernatural, most of it concerns what is right and wrong, here in the real world, and I agree with pretty much all of that part of it. Quakers led the way in the abolition of slavery, the women's rights movement, and so on. William Penn, the Quaker who founded Pennsylvania, was a pioneer in terms of peaceful coexistence between different peoples. But, Quakerism is still, at its core, a Christian denomination based on a belief in God, and I never believed in God in my entire life, never found the idea plausible or possible, always found it ridiculous. Sometimes I wanted to believe, but I just couldn't, it seemed too ridiculous, too illogical, even when I was just a child. Just like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, neither of whom I ever believed in, either. But I'd never really self-identified as an atheist, I'd always said I was a Quaker if someone asked what religion I was, but after 9/11, I started realizing, you know what, if I don't believe in God, it's dishonest for me to say that I'm a Quaker and pretend to believe in God, rather than admit the truth that I am an atheist. And one of the things forbidden in Quakerism is lying, it is absolutely against the rules of Quakerism to ever lie under any circumstance, this is why Quakers often refuse to swear oaths in court to tell the truth, but instead declare that they ALWAYS tell the truth. I used to always tell the truth, until around age 11 or so, when I figured out how to tell lies and get away with it, but I never felt good about lies, always felt guilty about it. So anyway, I didn't feel comfortable being part of a Christian denomination anymore even if I agreed with most of it, since I didn't believe in God, and because religious fundamentalists were doing all this terrorism. So I decided I would admit to myself and to other people that I was an atheist (something that I hadn't thought of as a possibility to admit to, before I went to college, since before college it seemed like atheists were looked down on and everyone hated them, but in college I met other people who said they were atheists which gave me the confidence to admit my atheism publicly and not worry about being denounced as a hellbound sinner).
So OK, while I was in college, the Iraq war happened, which I very much opposed, and I was quite appalled by how easily the majority of the public got brainwashed by the media and politicians into supporting this war, which it was quite obvious was based on lies, to anyone who followed the news closely. Hans Blix and the other weapons inspectors were in Iraq, searching for any weapons of mass destruction, ready to destroy any they found. Saddam Hussein was cooperating fully with the international community. All the weapons of mass destruction Iraq had had in the past were mostly sold to it by the United States. There was a famous video of Don Rumsfeld meeting with Saddam Hussein in the early 1980s. The whole Bush/Cheney Administration obsession with invading Iraq seemed downright psychotic to me, and I was disappointed that the noble efforts of the French and Germans to try and get us to stop didn't work at all. And of course, Hillary Clinton was a Senator representing me at that time, and voted for the Iraq war, and had voted for the Patriot Act, and wasn't even remotely progressive. This was not something I would forget, which is why in 2008 I would, unlike most Democrats in New York State, support Barack Obama instead of Hillary, thinking him to be the superior choice and a more progressive alternative who would be more peaceful with the rest of the world.
When the 2004 Democratic primary debates happened between all the candidates, the candidates I liked were Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, and Al Sharpton. But I worried that Al Sharpton wasn't electable (the idea that we'd elect a black President in 2008 seemed preposterous to me in 2003 when those debates were happening). Al Sharpton had some baggage from some scandal in the late 80s or early 90s that I know hardly anything about, but apparently a lot of people don't like him because of it. But also, he was a preacher, with no experience in elected office, and not really qualified for the office. And Al Sharpton often showed up very late for debates and didn't take campaigning seriously. He had a very bad campaign website, although I agreed with him on the importance of the D.C. statehood issue, D.C. statehood is very important. But I wanted to support someone who could win. The other 2 candidates I liked were Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean. I had a really tough time deciding between them. I wanted the most progressive candidate who could win. Dennis Kucinich was the most progressive candidate, and if I could have just picked the President myself I would have picked him. He was just very consistent, had very good principles, and I agreed with him on pretty much everything. But he didn't seem quite electable, he seemed a little bit kooky sometimes, like when he talked about creating a Department of Peace, that idea seemed a bit ridiculous to me, I don't think creating a Department of Peace is necessary, but I agreed with most of his ideas. But when I saw Howard Dean in those debates, or talking to audiences, Howard Dean was much more Presidential-sounding, much more composed and professional-sounding, much more articulate in expressing progressive ideas, than Dennis Kucinich. I was sure that Howard Dean was the right person to be President, since he not only was a real progressive but he had the right experience as a governor and was really good at speeches and debates and everything. Unfortunately, we ended up with John Kerry as the candidate that year, and John Kerry had been unable to really make up his mind on the issue of the Iraq war, and ended up losing to George W. Bush. Now, after I graduated college in 2004, I campaigned for the Democrats and John Kerry. He did well in New York State, where I was campaigning. But, that election came down to Ohio, which Bush won, although there might have been some shenanigans, since the election official in charge of that state was a partisan Republican operative, and I read about some irregularities like precincts where the number of people who voted in Ohio in 2004 was greater than the number of registered voters there, so that 2004 George W. Bush victory is also pretty fishy if you ask me. I'm pretty sure, though, that if Howard Dean ran, he wouldn't have acted like a sissy like John Kerry did, and wouldn't have taken the garbage the Bush team would throw at him, such as the Swiftboating nonsense that was patently a bunch of lies, to anyone who had a brain. It still baffles me that anyone bought into the Swiftboating stuff.
Anyway, after college, I wasn't able to find any good, stable jobs. The longest-lasting job I had lasted for 4 years, and I worked 6 hours a day doing data entry. But I ended up losing it due to my various problems (Asperger's, anxiety disorders, plus I didn't mention, I have digestive issues that occur when I get anxious, which results in me spending too much time in the bathroom, which employers don't like). And none of the jobs I ever had, had a good salary or anything. I was always terrible at job interviews, because I would be in a deathly state of panic, unable to think of coherent responses to anything, and usually I would take a whole lot of anti-anxiety pills just to be able to cope with being there at the interview, and it would always be a disaster. So yeah, if you're wondering how a valedictorian who went to an Ivy League college and double-majored in computer science and math could fail to get any good jobs at all, well if you are INCREDIBLY bad at job interviews due to psychological problems, it can happen. Plus, once you have a history of not having gainful employment in your field, they start counting that against you too. And the longer you go without using programming skills you studied in college, the rustier your skills get, and the more you lose confidence in your abilities (and doing terribly on job interviews also makes you lose confidence). In fact, my psychological problems are such that I have been hospitalized for being suicidal in psych wards twice, in 2005 and 2007. I ended up applying for SSI and SSD last year, being approved for it, and now I get Social Security benefits each month due to my mental illness. And just last month, on November 1st, my Medicaid was discontinued, because I got put into Medicare, since apparently Medicare is something Social Security beneficiaries automatically get. Even if they are only 31 years old like me.
Anyway, at least politics didn't go as badly as my life did, since in 2006, Democrats won control of both houses of Congress. This was followed by the 2008 victory of Barack Obama over first Hillary Clinton and then John McCain. These victories were short-lived, though. The Democrats didn't get enough good stuff passed into law while they had the chance. There were a lot of DINOs (Democrats In Name Only), such as the Blue Dogs in the House, and a bunch of Senators representing red states who were fairly conservative despite being Democrats. Given the 60-vote margin necessary to pass anything, a lot of great stuff that was passed by Nancy Pelosi's House and sent to Harry Reid's Senate never got a vote due to Republican filibusters that had assistance from conservative Democrats, and so that stuff never got to President Obama's desk for him to sign into law. The one major accomplishment of the 2 years that Democrats had control (which was actually less than 2 years, because it took forever for them to swear in Al Franken as a Senator, and Ted Kennedy was absent most of the time due to his cancer and subsequently died, thus meaning the Democrats didn't really have 60 votes in the Senate most of that time), the one major accomplishment was the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare, which was based on RomneyCare in Massachusetts and was originally an idea of the conservative Heritage Foundation, and was watered down to not have a public option and to not allow negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs or reimporting prescription drugs from Canada. As a supporter of single payer (which Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Howard Dean all advocated back in 2004), I didn't like the Affordable Care Act in the first place, since it was too big of a concession to Republicans and to the status quo, and didn't do enough positive change in the direction of a single-payer system, not even including the public option, and it preserved a system similar to the status quo, in which people get health insurance through health insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies continue to get to hold onto exclusive patents for many years and charge outrageous prices that are higher than in any other country.
So, OK, after the disastrous Bush years, the economic collapse, the wars, and all that, now we had Democrats being ineffectual at passing anything into law because of conservative Democrats allying with Republicans and gumming up the works in Congress, even with Barack Obama as President and Democrats having majorities in both houses of Congress. And then to top off all that disaster, this "Tea Party Movement" emerged, conveniently right after Barack Obama became President, just to oppose him, Democrats, and progressives, and try and get conservative Republicans elected, and from the start it was obvious it was a fake, astroturf movement being funded and organized by corporate lobbyists. It baffles my mind that anyone was dumb enough to join this so-called "Tea Party Movement". But somehow, those idiots managed to win the 2010 midterm elections and take control of the House of Representatives. Since then, our federal government has been completely dysfunctional, all thanks to constant B.S. from the Republican House, with them doing a sequester and ultimately a government shutdown, blocking anything progressive from being passed, and so forth. And of course Mitch McConnell and Republicans have filibustered anything good from being done in the Senate as well. The Supreme Court still has a conservative Republican majority, as shown in Citizens United. John Roberts only ruled in favor of ObamaCare because he didn't want to get typecast as a total conservative Republican hack and have the Supreme Court lose all legitimacy in the eyes of the public; John Roberts is very much concerned with his public image, unlike, say, Antonin Scalia, who is very happy to have people hate his guts. In 2012, we averted the potential disaster of another Republican in the White House, although frankly, Mitt Romney was such a flip-flopper without any core convictions, I don't really know for sure what he would have done as President, and can't be 100% certain that it would have been a disaster, since there was always a remote possibility he might flip-flop on all his promises to the "Tea Party" idiots and go in a more sensible, progressive direction. But Mitt Romney really gave me the impression that he had no principles or core convictions at all and was fundamentally dishonest, willing to say anything, any lie, to get elected, plus I disagreed with him on pretty much every issue. So it's a good thing he lost.
As for Barack Obama, he has his pluses and minuses. Given the lousy Congress he has, there's not that much he can do, and he has very good progressive instincts on a lot of issues. However, I do think he is a bit too close to Wall Street and big corporations, I don't like the NSA spying, I don't like the drone assassination programs (which alienate more people into becoming terrorists than the number of terrorists they kill), and I think he is WAY too soft on Republicans and goes way too easy on them, when they are constantly trying to sabotage and ruin not just his Presidency but our country. So, although I am a supporter of Occupy Wall Street, and think that Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden are indeed heroes, I also am still a supporter of Barack Obama, although, rather than being enthusiastic, I am primarily motivated by the fear of what would happen if we ever let those right-wing Teabaggers run the country. Still though, Barack Obama's a good guy. And I support his decision to take out Osama bin Laden, and I actually agree with what he did in Libya (a success story in overthrowing a dictator who was killing his own people, which didn't involve any U.S. military occupation, or any loss of sovereignty by that nation). As for the war in Syria, I am very much against U.S. involvement on either side, since a large portion of the rebels are allied with Al Qaeda, and Bashar Assad is a brutal dictator who kills his own people. Back in the 80s the U.S. armed both sides in the war between Iraq and Iran. We shouldn't do that kind of thing, it's immoral. Now I here we might actually support the Syrian regime in fighting Al Qaeda-allied rebels, who already have gotten aid from us, indirectly, because we gave aid to the secular Western-backed rebels, who then had it confiscated from them by the Al Qaeda-allied rebels, who are more powerful in Syria right now. And this whole obsession over chemical weapons versus conventional weapons in Syria is ridiculous. So it's perfectly fine to kill 100,000 people with conventional weapons, other countries won't intervene, but kill 100 people with chemical weapons and suddenly the entire world is demanding action? Utterly absurd.
Ah yes, and, speaking of absurdity, in recent years, I found out about quite an absurd organization, the Church of the SubGenius, which parodies organized religion, and became an ordained minister in it. It's quite a fun group, with quite a good sense of humor, but not really related to politics. While many members of it are liberals like me, there are also quite a few libertarians, and even some conservatives. It's sort of like the Flying Spaghetti Monster thing except a million times more awesome, and it's been around much longer, since 1953. In times like these, with all the bad stuff going on, it's good to have some sort of escapist humor like that provided by the Church of the SubGenius. My avatar here is an image of its fictional founder, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. Officially the Church of the SubGenius claims to advocate a political ideology called "patriopsychotic anarchomaterialism". Try and figure out what that means... the first word sounds ultra-right wing and the 2nd word sounds ultra-left wing. It's obviously nonsense. But I'll try to avoid talking too much about them here, you folks might consider it advertising or something like that. Anyway, after I left the Quakers and became an open atheist, I kinda missed belonging to some sort of group that is sort of like a religion but not really. I ended up finding out about the SubGenius folks on the Internet, and I only ended up joining them officially about 4 years after I found out about them, since I was skeptical about them just being a parody of religion, and thought there might be some possibility they really were some kind of crazy end times UFO cult, plus the vast majority of SubGenius literature is complete gibberish. But it's fun to read and the whole thing's just one big joke, and the people in it are very interesting, so joining it was a perfect way to make my life be slightly less boring. Only slightly. I've still avoided ever meeting any of these other SubGenius people in person though, only communicated with them over the Internet. Partly that's out of social anxiety/shyness, and partly it's because I'm too poor to afford transportation to their main yearly event, X-Day, on July 5th each year. Anyway enough about that topic, everybody reading this probably wants me to change the topic.
So as for what's going on nowadays I mostly play video games, watch TV, play with my dog, go on the Internet, and I do some open-source programming. I work on a game called Liberal Crime Squad, which is a political parody, and I think a lot of people here would enjoy it (and that's totally unrelated to the SubGenius thing). It's a free open source game, just search for it in your favorite search engine if you want to download and play it, and tell me what you think. Basically it's a simulation of living under a terrible Conservative oppressive government, and being the leader of a group of Liberal freedom fighters who fight, not to overthrow the government, but to change public opinion to be Elite Liberal (a recurring joke in the game), while the country is still a democracy, before Conservatives completely Reaganify it and turn it into a Conservative dystopia... if you are successful it ends up turning into a Liberal utopia. The idea for the Liberal Crime Squad comes from historical groups like the Symbionese Liberation Front, Weather Underground, etc. and combining it with the idea that, under George W. Bush and the Republican Congress he had throughout most of his Presidency, the country was moving towards a right-wing dictatorship that wouldn't be a democracy anymore, with both the media and politics controlled by the same right-wing leaders, and only a left-wing rebel group that used force would be able to fight against this. That is, of course, a parody, and not real, and I do not advocate doing any of the things from that game in real life. In reality, a rebel group would never succeed in a million years in the United States, and I am very much against rebel groups in this country, regardless of their political views, and very much in favor of keeping our current centuries-old democracy, despite its flaws, and doing all changes to it peacefully through the democratic process. But still, it is a fun game, and free and open source. And I became involved as a programmer on it because I found some annoying bugs while playing a recent version, and decided, since I don't have a job, and have a degree in computer science, I might as well put my skills to good use and actually fix the bugs I find. Which is exactly what I did. And now I am doing something, doing a bit of programming on an open-source game, rather than just being unemployed and collecting my Social Security benefits that I get due to my multiple diagnoses of mental illness that have all prevented me from being able to have a career.
Oh yeah, and I forgot something: fracking! Yes, hydraulic fracturing. My county in upstate New York, Broome County, is ground zero in the hydrofracking debate. It is full of places where hydrofracking would be done if the moratorium in New York State lapses. Almost half the land in the county, both the public and private land, has leases with natural gas drilling companies already signed as contracts, but the drilling cannot take place unless New York State's moratorium on hydrofracking expires. Just across the state border from here, a few miles away, is Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, where you can find the small town of Dimock. In Dimock, people can light their tap water on fire due to methane in it (methane being the primary component of natural gas), and the water is too poisonous to drink so people need bottled water. If hydrofracking is allowed to take place here it will be a total disaster. Oh, and last year, our county went from having a moderate Democrat as county executive to having a Teabagger drill-baby-drill Republican who models herself after Sarah Palin as county executive. And this year, the city of Binghamton, the most liberal/Democratic leaning part of the county, replaced the outgoing progressive mayor Matt Ryan (a wonderful guy) with a Republican. So, these local elections here aren't going very well. And our local state senator, Tom Libous, is the 2nd ranking state senator in New York State's Republican state senate majority. Well actually Republicans are in the minority, but there are a group of traitorous Democratic state senators who ally themselves with the Republicans in a "coalition" so that the Republicans can be in charge of the state senate. It is very very corrupt and a violation of the trust of the voters who elected those Democrats to the state senate, who then sold out their constituents in order to get seniority and get a higher amount of pork barrel spending they can spend in their own district. And a lot of state legislators, Tom Libous included, do pork barrel spending with their own names attached to it, using public finances as their own campaign funds, to boost their own positive name recognition. Tom Libous always gets his name attached to all the events in this community, and gets credited by everyone for any major events or festivals or stuff like that. Summer jazz concerts, the Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally, he gets everything to credit him and put his name on it. It is incredible corruption. No Democratic challenger to Tom Libous ever stands a chance, he has way more campaign money than them, plus he spends taxpayer dollars on pork barrel spending to improve his positive name recognition.
Anyway, here in New York State there is a 3rd party called the Working Families Party, allied with a group called Citizen Action, and they endorse good, progressive Democrats. I've volunteered both for the local Democratic Party and for the local chapter of Citizen Action. I was a founding member of the Broome County Young Democrats a few years ago, and earlier this month, I became an official member of Citizen Action. The Working Families Party and Citizen Action tend to endorse the most progressive Democrat who can win, in local elections, and try to get them to win the Democratic primary, and then the general election. They have had fairly good success at both of these. The current, soon-to-retire mayor of Binghamton, Matt Ryan, was the guy they picked back in 2005, when 5 different Democrats were running for the Democratic nomination, and then the general election was a 3-way race between a Democrat, a Republican, and an independent. They had great success with him, and have also had very good success with getting progressive Democrats to replace more conservative Democrats on the city council. Unfortunately, they had a MAJOR loss last year in the county executive race, with the drill-baby-drill Sarah-Palin-type lady winning by a ridiculously huge margin. However, I think a lot of that is due to the fact that the Democratic candidate who they were supporting in that race is half Arab, with an Arab-sounding name and a dad who is an immigrant from Syria, and her campaign against him tried to scare people into thinking he was a Muslim (not that it should matter, but he is actually a Roman Catholic). So this year the Democratic candidate for mayor didn't ask for and didn't get any support from Citizen Action or the Working Families Party (a dumb move, turning down free volunteers and free campaign help). The Republican candidate for mayor vastly overspent her. He then won by a very narrow margin, in a city that is still very progressive, with a city council almost all progressive Democrats. Anyway, earlier this month I participated, along with other people from Citizen Action, in a protest in front of a McDonald's, on the day that there were strikes all over the country by fast food workers. And a few months ago, I went to a Citizen Action protest when House Speaker John Boehner came through town and had booked reservations at a local restaurant, so we all gathered outside the restaurant to protest against John Boehner. He chickened out of going to that restaurant and secretly went to a different one that he didn't have reservations at instead. And I had a really great sign that I made for that protest making fun of John Boehner and I was hoping he would see it but he didn't. But at least someone from the local newspaper interviewed me that time, about Boehner's mysterious visit, and took a photo of me with my sign. My sign read "Repeal the Hastert Rule, Orange Crybaby". Most of the people there couldn't figure out what it meant, including the local newspaper reporter. That's why he asked me about it and photographed it. I hope most of you here can figure out what that meant.
Anyway, that's all folks, for my intro here. And now for a link to a video of my previous dog to the current one: Fluffems the dog Fluffems, the dog in that video, ran outside one day and got hit by a truck and died, that's why he's my previous dog. But my current dog, Sally, is very nice and cute. Anyway, it's a very cute video of Fluffems, I thought I'd leave everyone with a cute pet video that I recorded, although I guess the part about him being dead is kinda depressing. To quote Rick Perry, "Oops."