my notes from dee baits.

opening - 2 mins

giving $ to get $ back
support the shrinking middle class

you might loose your house
this is the end of the beginning of the way to solve this financial problem.

q - do you favor the national financial plan?

how did we get here?
2 yrs ago o believed that the sub prime lending mess would lead to these problems
wrote to sect of treasure to make sure it was understood and dealt with
must solve short term
govt must intervene
how were so many regs shredded?

will vote for the plan but...
worries about frannie and freddie, and of course, saw this coming
(though as of last week believed the economy was fine!)
talked a bunch of bs about the war at normandy, tried to draw parallels about holding people responsible accountable and rewarding the successes.

yes, we need more responsibility, but not just when there's a crisis
not what's good for wall street, but what's good for main street
what are the real factors that have caused this economic downturn
"john, 10 days ago YOU said the foundation of the economy is sound.
the TEACHERS are having to take out extra debt to make their financial ends meet.
thanks o

yeah, we gotta fix this problem
main street is paying a penalty for the greed in DC and wall street
i have a fundamental belief in the american worker

q - are there fundamental differences btw what m would do vs o

get control of DC's spending
we republicans came to power to change govt and govt changed us
former members of congress in prison b/c of evils of earmarking and pork barrel spending
3 mill taxpayers $ spent and congressmen in jail for it
will VETO every spending bill that comes across desk
o has asked for 9mill$ for projects
not the way to reign in spending in DC

earmarks process is abused
has denied any spending for illinois
earmarks account for 18bill in last year's budget
m is proposing 300 bill in tax cuts to wealthy and corps
grow econ from bottom up
tax cuts for 95% of working fams
better recipe for economic growth than bush and m

o suspended pork barrel requests after running for prez
m has fought against pork barrel spending
o is proposing 8bill in new spending
m wants to cut spending, keep taxes low
worst thing to do is raise tax3es

closes corporate loopholes
stop shipping jobs overseas
make sure we have a healthcare system
to provide everyone with healthcare
nobody is denying that 18bgill is important
o will go line by line to make sure we arent spenidng money unecesarily
get middle class back on track
m is neglecting people who are struggling right now

m on taxes
o finds business tax objectionable
m wants to cut business tax
to create jobs
us senate will
this is where mccain starts garbling about o's definition of what is rich

95% will get a tax cut
if you make less than 250k/year you wont get an increase
loopholes cause businesses to pay lowest taxes
m wants to add tax cuts over the loopholes
m's 5000$ health increase but it's taxed so you have to pay your own health

i voted against an energy bill and o has voted for it
o voted to increase taxes for ppl who earn 42k a year

under m's plan oil companies will receive tax breaks
if we give breaks to oil companies, there are those who won't get them

Q- as prez, as a result of whatever financial rescue plan comes about, what are you going to have to givie up in terms of priorities to pay for the financial rescue plan

delay hard to anticipate what the budget will look like
has to be done - energy independence. 10 years time, no middle eastern dependence on oil. fix our energy at home, fix our healthcare system. avg deductible up 30%. make sure we're competing in education. invest in science and technology. make sure our kids are competing. make college affordable. rebuild our infrastructure. roads, electricity grid, broadband lines. eliminate programs that don't work.

cut spending. examine every agency in govt. eliminate ethanol subsidies. do away with cost plus contracts. do away with defense contracts. fixed cost contracts. defense spending is vital but has to be cost under control. find out which got agenc ies are not doing their job and get rid of them.

nobody is suggesting any major changes as a result of the financial bailout

i want to make sure that we are investing in energy to free ourselves from dependence on oil.
list every dollar of federal spending to see who is promoting some spending projects.

one of you will be prez in jan, in the middle of a huge financial crisis. how will this effect you in major ways int he approach you will take towards the presidency

a spending freeze, except for veterans issues, and defense

increase early childhood education. bring the war to a close.

offshore drilling and nuclear power to end the war ?
we can create jobs by making nuclear power!
we can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil by opening 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030.

are you willing to accept that this financial crisis will change the way you run the country

it will affect our budgets
even if we get all 700bill back, we may not see it for a while. as prez i will make tough decisions, but we need to know what our values and priorities are. no tax cuts, and without leaving out health care. this would be bad.

don't want to hand the health care sys over to federal govt
want families to make decisions btw themselves and their doctors
obviously cut spending.
adjust spending, including taking care of our veterans
healthy economy without raising taxes is best way to recover economy.
major reason for difficulty today is spending out of control.
has fought against spending for entire career.

john voted for all spendings.
you cant say you're going to control spending, it's hard to swallow.

i have not been elected ms. congeniality in the senate
i have a long record
the american people know me well
i'm a maverick, so is my partner

much has been said about the lessons of vietnam. what are the lessons of iraq

very clear, you can not have a fail strategy that will cause you to nearly lose a conflict
we went into baghdad and everyone celebrated, then the war was mishandled
i said we need to change strategy and fought for it
came up with a great general and a successful strategy and we are winning
will come home with victory and honor.
we will see a stable ally in iraq.

should we have gone in in the first place
6 yrs ago i opposed this war
we didnt know how much it would cost, how we would exit, and whether our intelligence was sound, but we hadn't finished the job in afghanistan. hadn't captured bin laden, or al qaida. we've spent over 600bill, 4000 lives, 30,000 wounded, al quaida is resurging stronger than before. we took our eye off the ball, and we're still spending 10 bill a month. iraq has a 79 bill surplus. borrowing overseas to finance the war. we should never use military force unwisely.

next prez will have to decide how and when we leave.

issues of afghanistan do not go through my committee.
m is right that the volume has been reduced . this was a tactic designed to reduce the impact of the previous 4 years of the war. the war did not start in 07, but 03. the war has not been 'quick and easy' we didnt know where the weapons of md were. we were not greeted as heroes. who is best equipped as next prez to determine who will make good decisions about how we will use our military.

peace is happening in iraq and we'll do the same in afghanistan

troop funding- m opposed funding for troops in legislation that had a timetable.
i opposed funding without a timetable.
prez needs to ask, was this wise. we have seen afghanistan worsen. we need more resources there. m said we were successful there. nobody is a threat there. bin laden is still out. they are still a threat. must give iraq back it's country. end this war responsibility. in 16 months we can reduce our combat troops, provide releief to military families. commanders in iraq have acknowledged that we don't have enoguh troops in afghanistan.

this is dangerous
iraq is the central battleground. if we set a date for withdrawal it will make things more complicated.

Q - do you think more US troops should be sent to afghanistan

yes, more troops in afghanistan as quickly as posible. situation is getting worse there. highest fatalities there since 02. terrorists crossing border and attacking our troops. can not separate. send 2-3 brigades to afghanistan. press afghani govt to make sure they are working for their people. deal with growing poppy trade that hs exploded. must bust out taliban and al quaida and stop funding them.

i wont repeat my old mistakes
if you're gonna aim a gun at someone, you better be prepated to pull a trigger. i'm not prepared to cut off aid to pakistan. i'm not prpeared to strike pakistan. we have to help pakistanis get allegiance of al qaida. the terrorists dont want to cooperate with us. general petreas

i'm not attacking pakistan
if pakistan has terrorists, and is not willing to take them out, then we should not provide aid.
for 10 years we coddled the govt, alienated the people, lost legitamacy in pakistan, and now al qaida is more powerful than before

it was a failed state in pakistan when mushad came to power

omg i cant listen anymore.

in summation:

m is idiot, has no concept of sticking to facts

o is smart, needs to dumb it down so the average american can understand and relate

jl is old.

that is all.


things lil bush said tonight:

1. the poor economy is the fault of overseas business
2. optimism in housing values is a miraculous innovation of the past decade
3. a mortgage SHOULD be secure. you should not have reason to believe when you borrow money from a bank, that the bank will collapse. but sometimes, the bank collapses.
4. our entire economy is based in real estate. who knew?
5. we should be afraid. we should have less confidence in our economy.
6. our community banks may fail.
7. "more americans could lose their jobs"
8. "our country could experience a long and painful recession
9. 700 BILLION taxpayer dollars ON THE LINE to bail out mortgage based securities. it's risky, but if it works, we'll "flow it back to the treasury"

things lil bush did not say tonight:
1. this war costs us over $1000 each SECOND. so far we've spent 557 billion on the war in iraq.

2. has any effort been made to improve our economy from within? there's a huge green push to buy local and support your local businesses. has this helped?
3. consumer confidence is nonexistent. how did it get this bad, and why now, and only now is it being addressed. this has been a problem since before 9/11.

i'm stopping here.
i made a promise to myself that i wouldn't watch until palin gets popped by a yeti.

i can't bear to watch the monkey wear rouge anymore.



every child can learn.

every child can be taught.

we've hired a trainer.

he's coming on sunday.

and he doesn't believe in fear-inspired domination.

he owns 7 very large dogs of his own.

i trust he'll be able to help.


why chemicals are bad

we usually buy land-o-lakes cage-free eggs, as d is wisely encouraging me to support larger corporate business who produce greener products, and the eggs are quite tasty. we use them in all sorts of recipes, and go through almost a dozen a week.

that said, we ran short while d was baking my favorite cookie of all time, the fudge drop, designed to be like a brownie top, complete with crackly surface. so delicious.

we have a convenience store across the street, the wonders of living in brooklyn bring you that, and d ran across and was able to procure a single egg from the owner. unfortunately the egg was neither cage free, nor organic, as we could tell when cracked. see if you can spot the outsider:

i get some culture

every now and again i go and see a performance.

it's usually not the type of performance my parents would deem 'marvelous' 'spectacular' or 'a must see.' but sometimes i drag them along, hoping that they'll jump on my little outsider bandwagon and wake up and smell the nonsense.

last sunday, and again yesterday, i went to see circus amok, a self described fearless, funky, funny fundamentally subversive political circus. i completely get off on these types of things, free shows in the park, completely queer, completely smart, completely home-spun, not to mention created by the awesomely magical jennifer miller, another secret crush of mine.

my pictures, taken from several human-rows back at the prospect park performance last friday do not at all do the show justice. i would say that the sunset park performance was much better, drawing a much less yuppified, much more diverse crowd (read, hispanic families, artsy folks, and a whole slew of queer couples). my my, i love this type of thing. it reminds me of burningman, but with a point.


my name is appple, and my dog bites.

as anyone who adopts a stray can attest to, you never quite know the background details of your dog. rarely do you find out how or why it became a stray. your world becomes a conundrum of speculation. did he run away? did his owners put him out? was he sick and they couldn't afford the vet bills? did he bite? how long was he on the streets for? where did he sleep? did he run in a pack of other dogs? what kinds of habits did he learn? where does his domestication begin and instincts end? how was he treated as a puppy? how old is he?

these are just a few of the questions i ask myself every day, every time i learn something new about eddie.

we've pieced together that he can't go to the park before dinner. he has a tendency to leave the park when he's hungry. he's small so he slips out the through the fence. last time he did it, he went into a gated playground and barked at some children. that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

we've learned that he can't be off his leash, especially in an open park, especially at night. he is afraid of loud noises, including sirens and motorcycles, and will chase after them if he feels threatened. he's afraid of runners and bicycles and will lunge at them too. we've put him on a choke chain. it's helping in the moment, but i'm not sure it's impacting his overall understanding of what's ok and what's not.

he often lunges at random people. one day it's a man in a suit. the next, a sanitation worker. the next, a tiny little girl. there seems to be no rhyme or reason. perhaps eye contact? most of the time he couldn't care less about the people who walk past.

he doesn't bark at the door to go out. we have him on a pretty regimented schedule for that, but he still has his accidents. only i'm not sure they're accidents as much as territorial pissings. (miss you kurt)

he doesn't like being reprimanded. or not getting his food in the exact moment he wants it. when either of these things happen, he snarls and bears his teeth like a gremlin after midnight. the coin can does not deter this weird face. i'm not sure what will. he does not like to be held by his collar and reprimanded. he's bitten me three times now, twice on my left hand, enough to break skin and make me bleed. maybe i'm the one who needs to learn. i'm trying to establish dominance. i'm not sure it's working. he hasn't bitten d.

i've read a lot about training, obedience, consistency, submission, pack mentality, alpha territorial behavior, and the like. he exhibits some alpha behaviors, but not complete lists.

i didn't think owning a dog would be like this. i never expected to be responsible for an aggressive dog. i'm not sure what to do to train this out of him.

and so, as my hand numbed in rigidity from tonight's bite, i found myself saying out loud, this is not what i wanted, this is not what i want, i can not have a dog who bites. and when you say something out loud, it becomes real. and when something becomes real, you must deal with it.

and so now i have to deal with a dog who i'm angry at. a problem, the only solution to which seems returning him to where he came from. and this is not an option.


dear universe,

some people say if you want something you must ask the universe.

here goes:

please let sarah palin go away. let her be taken off the gop ticket. let john mccain do something very silly and/or embarrassing, such as choking on a pretzel in china, or something equally stupid.

please let bristol palin's pregnancy truly be a farce. please pull the wool off the american people's eyes, so they can stop being so blinded by downs syndrome babies, teenage pregnancy, and a oil loving, gun toting, small town mayor.

please let the dems get some control back. i really don't think that this stupid palin debacle should have caused so much poll rift. i know the dems aren't ones to play dirty, but since we know the gop will, maybe we can outsmart them. use the harvard and syracuse law degrees for something more than good speeches and good feelings. i know we don't want to stoop, but universe, can't we find a way to outwit without sinking to their level?

please universe, let the united states of america get a leader that citizens can be proud of, that the rest of the world won't laugh at, that might try to give us better health care, better air quality, better educations, social justice, and equal freedoms.

universe, i don't have the resources right now to leave for canada, which, if i weren't in a lease until february of 2010, i would be making arrangements to relocate to, though i don't particularly want to leave my urban homeland, my amazing girlfriend, and my life. i'm not opposed to the idea, but maybe you can help with this one.

i can't bear to watch anymore, since i saw mccain a point or two ahead the other day i want to crawl under a rock and die, or go campaigning. for now, i'm squeezing my eyes shut until after november 4 on the issue, hoping that you'll hear my plea and help me out.

thanks, i'd really appreciate it.




apple for the teacher

new classroom, new kids, new schedule, new school. so much has changed and yet so much feels exactly the same as it did 3 years ago when i was in my first school. as of yesterday afternoon i've met every one of my new students. i've probably learned about 10% of their names. seeing them for 42 minutes 2x a week doesn't leave enough time for icebreakers and get to know yous. i'm of the belief that they must be kept busy, extremely busy, as idle hands make much chatter. and chatter they have, through the first day of surveys and contact forms, name cards and overviews.

and they all want to know about my tattoos. what's that, an apple miss? why do you have a tattoo of an apple, miss? miss, did you get an apple tattoo because you like apples? and my favorite, my name is brandon, but you can call me stallion. not about tattoos but unique.

i have a ton of dianas, including one dayhana, a bunch of stevens, a chiken, and big handful (at least 5) of chubby franciscos. the inside schools profile is pretty much spot on. what the school lacks in diversity, it makes up for in structure. kids who get in trouble throughout the day have to attend community service in the afternoon with the dean, where they pick up all of the paper recycling bins and sort the paper for pickup. each class carries a section sheet so the teacher can take notes on overall or individual issues or greatness. the homeroom teacher is a defense line to shape kids up, and anything that can't be handled there goes over to the dean. it's a nice tight little ship. no advisory period, but what good does that do anyway? the academics are tough, many kids attended summer school.

my lab is enormous, emacs and ibook g4s. i haven't had a chance to run all the updates and customize them to how i want them yet but i'm getting there, fighting printers and permissions all the way. i'm learning a ton about mac osx, which was the goal all along. i'm learning about parental controls, which, while cumbersome, are better than windows vague lockdown, though still pretty concise.

nobody's cursed me out, nobody's cursed at all in my classroom. i heard a student say shut up to someone else, but i let them know that kind of language doesn't fly. a few of them already have gmail, blogs, and most know their way around office. they're all obsessed with myspace.

overall, i'm happy. at least 4 staff members swung by my room around 3:15 yesterday to make sure i was coming to happy hour. things are going so well for d, that she even came and met me with eddie! imagine, d, willingly volunteering to WALK TO A BAR on a friday afternoon AND COME IN! it's like hell has frozen over.

d's school is across the street from where we live. the proximity really helps her anxiety. her kids are angels, self motivated, from good families, etc. the school is tight, no nonsense, and they don't have any because the kids are so well behaved. d is another person this year. comes home from work happy and relaxed. doesn't just want to crawl into bed. i couldn't be happier for her, and for me. i knew she'd love teaching. (she's been doing [un]glorified crowd control for the past 5 years) and so far it seems her kids really like her. nobody's called her a fucking dyke, then apologized for calling her out like that. nobody's tried to throw anything at her, and when she puts a do-now on the board, her kids actually do it. she says she feels like a real teacher. it makes me so happy to know she's in such a better place. it's good for us.

eddie's been dealing with the schedule change just fine. no accidents, just a little excitement in the evenings. jack is starting to get more bold with him, hiding under the chaise and sneak attacking when eddie isn't looking. which, of course, sends eddie into a frenzy where he starts screeching about the monster under the couch. jack giggles to himself and slinks away.

i'm cutting my hair again tomorrow. i'm going to keep it this way for a while. there's a good amount of gay teachers on staff and the kids don't seem to hate, so i figure the school community is bit more open and tolerant than my old school, where fear ruled the projects and you had to justify your existence there daily.

thanks for everyone's support. i think it's going to be a good year.


what i know

1) school starts tomorrow and i am nervous
2) hp inkjet printer cartridges yield approx 150 pages
3) i will have 8 classes this year, 1 7th grade and 7 8th grades, 2 ctt classes and 1 12-1-1 = approx 230 kids, 3 xeroxes each = not enough ink.
4) i've been off the lexapro for 5 weeks and i feel anxious and sad
5) i could be feeling anxious and sad because tomorrow i start a new job and summer vacation is over
6) i chopped off my shoulder length curls in early july
7) ever since i have this cool new do', i think i'm supposed to look a little more butch, and right now very few of my clothes feel right.
8) every time i go out to a restaurant or bar i can't eat b/c my throat closes up
9) i am not allergic to beer (living room unibroue ephemere currant proved that)
10) i am going to need more pants and button down shirts for my new job
11) my dog punctured my hand with his teeth today, causing me to bleed, swell, and cry in public (not a very butch thing to do), all for the sake of 3 tiny scared girls who walked single file on the opposite side of the sidewalk past him. the smell of fear must have sent him into a frenzy.
12) my dog now has a choke collar
13) my tits have been getting bigger (weight gain) and i want to chop them off (again).
14) i need a butch friend or two to tell me if i'm doing this right.