A mixed grill of info

Personal stuff:
Took Tommy to the pool this morning and great fun was had by all. In the smallest of the kiddie pools, his feet will reach the ground from his floatyboat, so he can motor around in the water. He loves that! He chased little girls all over the place in his little boat. The boy is going to be such a skirt chaser when he grows up. One father, after observing my son chase his daughter around and around and around the pool, looked at me and said “Well, that one’s all boy, isn’t he?” Heh. Pictures coming.

So, we’re adapting to Tom being away for 12 hours a day while he does this contract. The laid-off programmer thing sucked on every level, except for all the time the boys had to spend together. They’ve got the greatest father/son bond…it’s truly groovy to see. So, they’re missing each other a bunch. Plus, it’s one less set of hands around the house when it comes to getting things done. I just found out that the inlaws are coming just 2 days before friends from out of town are coming to visit, which totally squishes my prep time for both house and food.

Speaking of prepping the house, I have this major problem with spiderwebs being built in areas where I can’t get to them. Once upon a time, I remember seeing a product that telescoped up to 18 feet that you could use as a duster, but my google-fu is obviously off today, as I can’t find anything similar. If any of you have any idea what I’m talking about, could you help me out with a name, or a store, or something?

href="http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0307.confessore.html">This article in the Washington Monthly by Nicholas Confessore focuses on the “K-Street Project” to show how Republicans are creating their own well-oiled political machine, one that features its own spoils system and relies heavily on the GOP’s relationship with big business. One of the more fascinating aspects is how it dramatically improves Republican fundraising; for instance: “For years, conservatives have been pushing to divert part of Social Security into private investment accounts. Such a move, GOP operatives argued, would provide millions of new customers and potentially trillions of dollars to the mutual fund industry that would manage the private accounts. The profits earned would, of course, be shared with the GOP in the form of campaign contributions. In other words, by sluicing the funds collected by the federal government’s largest social insurance program through businesses loyal to the GOP, the party would instantly convert the crown jewels of Democratic governance into a pillar of the new Republican machine. “

From the MetaFilter discussion about this article, troutfishing tossed us all these spooky links.

“The haves are on the march. With growing inequality, so grows their power.
And so also diminish the voices of solidarity and mutual reinforcement, the
voices of civil society, the voices of a democratic and egalitarian middle
class.”
– James K. Galbraith, Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay
(1998)

Galbraith is on solid ground; the US href="http://216.239.57.100/search?q=cache:N7VU5PuQXYcJ:horizon.unc.edu/projects/presentations/Wfs/sld026.htm+shrinking+middle+class&hl=en&ie=UTF-8">middle
class is shrinking, (also href="http://www.edcenter.sdsu.edu/staff/ilya/simulat/sld007.htm">here (174K
jpeg graph), and href="http://216.239.57.100/search?q=cache:7chemp3aLjEJ:kerlins.net/scott/june.html+shrinking+middle+class&hl=en&ie=UTF-8">analysis,
links (by Scott Kerlin, PhD., an academic consultant),while the href="http://www.NYTimes.com/2003/06/26/business/26TAX.html">wealth of the rich
elite is steadily growing. The history of href="http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/maxpages/faculty/merupert/Research/Fordism/fordism.htm">Fordism
is very relevant to this issue.

Sometimes they march, sometimes they
throw noisy tantrums, sometimes they carry out href="http://216.239.57.100/search?q=cache:d0U38cknCMEJ:www.consortiumnews.com/2000/121300a.html+2000+election,+dade+county,mob+attack,&hl=en&ie=UTF-8">beatings
and mob attacks, but mostly they just href="http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/23319#429976">creep in the night! (see
below)

href="http://216.239.53.100/search?q=cache:9CAsFIriKnEC:www.ecotalk.org/MidtermElections2002.htm+2002+election,+zogby&hl=en&ie=UTF-8">Republican
vote rigging [see also href="http://www.gregpalast.com/printerfriendly.cfm?artid=176">here, href="http://www.gregpalast.com/printerfriendly.cfm?artid=33">here, printerfriendly.cfm?artid='177"' www.gregpalast.com http:>here, href="http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/04.28A.Election.Fraud.htm">here, href="http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/23319">here (Mefi discussion thread),
here, href="http://www.ecotalk.org/VNSclosingdoors.htm">here, href="http://www.lumpen.com/coup2k/coup2k-all.html">here, href="http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0211/S00067.htm">here, href="http://www.bestoftheblogs.com/2003_02_05_bestof.html#90279110">here ]
is part of the overall strategy too. The Republican Party – together with it’s
associated think tanks (which now far outnumber their liberal counterparts) and
it’s paid political operatives – is working all the angles, legal and otherwise.
This campaign, to entrench the Republican Party as the party permanently in
power, is decentralized but quite pervasive and driven by, surprise surprise,
lots of cash.

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