Category Archives: Liberals

Anthony Weiner: Quit Being a D&*!

While you’re at it, just quit. You left Congress in disgrace. Do yourself a favor and end your campaign to be mayor.

This whole thing is truly pathetic. You’d think he’d learn from what happened the first time. I don’t care about his Tweeting proclivities – that’s between him and his wife. I wish he just owned it. If he didn’t lie about it, I’d be the first one saying he should stay. But no. He chose to lie about it, and we lost a fiery, up-and-coming Democrat in Congress. The “rising star” burned out fast. What a shame.

Fast forward a couple years to this NYC mayoral campaign. Sexting? Seriously? I swear to God he is a horny 16-year-old boy trapped in a 48-year-old man’s body. He’s got Nancy Pelosi, our pitbull in Versace, disowning him. Now, his communications director has been caught trashing an intern, using every profanity known to man.

His campaign is crashing and burning around him. If he decides to stay in the race, he should be thankful for the 5 votes he’ll get.

Message to Huma, his wife: Girl, I can understand the “stand by your man” act the first time. But again? I hope your reason to stay is not to help him with his campaign. Even St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes, can’t save it.


Thoughts on the Inauguration

I had some time to process the Inauguration. I was really looking forward to it. Even though Obama won, in an electoral college landslide smack down of Romney, it isn’t official until he’s sworn in. That was when I was able to fully exhale. People say it wasn’t as memorable or exciting as 2008. Of course, that has to do with him being the first black POTUS. That said, there is a lot I will remember…down the road as my short term memory sucks.

The Date
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. That was really significant. Obama is his dream realized. Someone who fought for basic rights and dignity for black people would be proud. The highest office of the land is occupied by a black person. Before the 2008 election, I said constantly that there would be a woman president before a black one. Obviously, I was wrong and had to eat my words.

The Actual Swearing In
Did anyone notice that the Vice President oath is longer? Or is it because Chief Justice Roberts was talking faster? That was weird. I loved that he swore on Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible. It was nice that Roberts read the oath instead of relying on his memory and stumbling.

The Speech
What I found memorable was his inclusion of the LGBT community. He’s the first incumbent President to do that in a general-election acceptance speech. It wasn’t merely a “shout out” as in “Much love to all my gay peeps!” The inclusion was substantive. He pointed to the struggles of the gay community by mentioning “Stonewall.” Most importantly, he spoke of marriage equality.

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This was one for the history books. Oh and BTW, thanks Mr. President from one of your LGBT (bi) peeps!

The Music
Beyoncé-gate. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did lip-synch. A lot of people say, “Who cares?” I suppose, but one of my favorite parts of boxing matches, baseball games, the Superbowl is the singing of the National Anthem. I would prefer it to be live, and honestly, I respect the artist more. They are taking that chance, despite their nerves and weather. If she did lip-synch, she did a great job of faking it. Ripping out the ear piece was a great touch since singers do that to be able to hear themselves.

Whether or not she sang live wasn’t that big of an issue for me because it was Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “My Country Tis of Thee” that moved me. And she didn’t lip-synch. I got chills. I’ve been a fan since she auditioned for American Idol. She has natural talent. Many can be trained to sing, but not that many possess that raw talent. Her ability to sing acapella really well is further evidence of that. The chick was born to sing.

The Fashion
coats I’m a girly girl, so I usually notice what they’re wearing. I liked the couture coat by New York designer Thom Browne. Interestingly, he is menswear designer. It had a vintage feel. Her bejeweled belt was J. Crew (off the rack), and they’ll be retiring it. The colorful coats that Malia and Sasha wore were gorgeous. I loved Malia’s fuschia one by J. Crew. Not-so-little-anymore Sasha wore Kate Spade. Both off the rack, which is nice. J. Crew said they’d be retiring that coat as well.

inaugration gownsMichelle’s Inaugural Ball gown blew me away. The couture gown by Taiwanese designer Jason Wu was amazing. A “true red,” and that criss cross halter top looks best on tall women, so she rocked it. I didn’t like her 2009 dress by the same designer, mainly because I don’t like one-shoulder gowns. Asymmetry bugs me.

I really enjoyed this Inauguration. The pomp and circumstance and the traditions makes me even prouder to be an American – especially when the President is someone I like. Most of all, I enjoyed it because it was Obama up there – not Romney. That would have made me physically ill in a way that Bush never did. The last person I want up there is someone who stands for nothing because he said whatever people wanted to hear to get elected. With Obama, you know exactly what he supports and rejects. And if many of these coincide with my values and beliefs, even better.


Super Mayor Cory Booker and the Food Stamp Challenge

Man, is Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey for real? People tweet him about traffic signals being out, and he’ll respond, “on it.” I remember my partner showing me one of his Tweets. During Superstorm Sandy, someone asked him about the flooding situation on a certain street in Newark because his grandmother lived there. Mayor Booker offered to check up on her for him. He must have been vying for Superhero status when he rescued a woman trapped in her burning house. He sure is setting a pretty high standard for mayors all over the country.

The latest bit of news about him caught my eye. He will be living for a week (or more) on food stamps. A Twitter conversation on the role of government in funding school food programs prompted this challenge (that was accepted):

I love it! Both will experience what it’s like. I’m pretty sure, by the end of the week, both will be happy going back to their “regular” lifestyle.

A lot of us don’t see it, but kids are going hungry in this country. It’s absolutely shameful. Children benefit from these government funded school food programs, and it’s easy to see how:

These are just three backpack programs where a child’s backpack is filled on Fridays with non-perishable, kid friendly food for them to have on the weekend. Sometimes, their only meals are the ones provided at school. Where does that leave them on the weekend? The last link is for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. They started the backpack program in 2003 when an Oklahoma City elementary student fainted while waiting in line for lunch on Monday because he/she didn’t have enough food over the weekend. Absolutely heartbreaking.

In a country as rich as this one, this should not be happening. Some may say that it isn’t the government’s responsibility to feed kids. Well, ideally, yeah. We could have this debate until the end of time, but in the meantime, there are still hungry kids. The problem is still there.

This is the thing. We spend so much money in aid to other countries. We pay to blow up countries. Then we pay again to rebuild them. We send money to “allies” to help us fight our enemies. Billions of dollars on everyone else. How about taking that money and spending it on feeding American kids?

I’m glad that Cory Booker and this Twitter follower are taking this challenge. I hope they learn a lot from it. It’s easier to be open to alleviating a problem if you remember what it felt like when it was yours.


Election Day: A View from the Hill

This is the diary entry of a very good friend of mine for over 15 years. Both of us love international travel, and we exchange postcards from our trips. He’s sent me postcards from exotic places like Goa, India and Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. On noteworthy dates, he sends an e-mail to all his friends documenting the day. He is African American and an economist in Washington D.C. I love getting the perspectives of African Americans in today’s politics – especially considering the ethnicity of our President. The fact that he lives in the epicenter of all things political just adds to this perspective. Anyway, this was his play-by-play of last night. I enjoyed it, and I hope you do too. 🙂

Tuesday, November 6:

8:38 AM: ELECTION DAY. I arrived here in the office before 7 AM today after making a stop at Union Station to buy some Orange Trident chewing gum, a king-sized Nestle’s crunch chocolate bar, and a large Strawberry Lemonade (sans glace) and salt-free hot pretzel with honey mustard from Auntie Anne’s. I needed to make change, so having a place — or rather, places — within stone’s throw of the Metro made it easy to do that.

Considering the gravity of the day, I feel calm and composed, dressed in faux khaki (with a silk, maroon tie tastefully studded with colorful squares) from head to toe. I’m usually one for browns (in their various shades), blues and blacks whenever I’m formally attired M-Th. Flamboyance is something I usually shy away from when it comes to elegant attire. Earthy colors tend to draw me in, though I also love colors like mauve, flashes of silver, purple, muted reds, paisley, burgundy, Shantung, teal, and Fullard. Sometime next year, I’d like to broaden my sartorial repertoire by buying some more well-made dress shirts, slacks, and a few ties. Frankly, I need a few more ties.

Looking back over the last 4 years, I marvel at how President Obama has managed to maintain his balance. I’m thinking back now to one of the State of the Union Addresses he delivered to Congress, when one of its members – a GOP congressman named Wilson from GA – yelled at him: “you lie!” It has long been the standard in Congress — in contrast to the House of Commons in the UK, where MPs heckle the Opposition during Prime Minister’s Questions whenever they find fault with some matter of government policy and/or practice as a way of showing disfavor or getting their point across — that respect and deference is shown by all parties to the Office of President of the U.S., NO MATTER WHO THE OFFICE HOLDER IS. Frankly, Wilson should have been suspended forthwith from the committees in which he was a member and apologized to the President. (Had I been head of one of those House committees, I would have taken Wilson aside, read him the Riot Act, made sure he apologized to the President, and suspend him from meetings for a month.)

From what I can recall, Wilson was made to apologize, which was rather lame. There was also the time that Associate Justice Alito (a spineless Justice if ever there was one — one of the Fraud’s appointees) yelled out “that’s not true!” in response to another State of the Union Address in which the President expressed his criticism of the Citizens United decision. In that decision, the High Court ruled that all private and public organizations were free to contribute as much money as they want to any political campaign without having to identify themselves nor the exact amounts of money contributed. No accountability whatsoever. Consequently, the estimate (as I heard it yesterday) is that 3 BILLION DOLLARS has been spent toward this election. That’s obscene! For anyone wanting to aspire to a run for President, if you’re not born to wealth and privilege or can’t get access to beaucoup bucks and the political and corporate movers and shakers, you’re sunk. Be prepared to get a second mortgage (provided you already own a house), beg your friends and colleagues for greenbacks, and max out your credit cards.

We really need to reassess the way political campaigns are run in this country, set airtight limitations on how much money can be spent, and — if it were up to me, I’d limit the period of active campaigning (for Presidential and Congressional elections) from January 1 of the year in which an election (or elections) is (are) scheduled to take place up to the week preceding Election Day. There would be a total, ONE WEEK, blackout for all domestic broadcast media prior to a national election, as is the case in France. Let the networks howl! I don’t care! They would have had almost a year to explore and analyze the various facets of a political campaign. What needs to be made plain is that free speech — as practiced in the current political campaigns through corporate and private spending — is NOT equal across the board. Corporate money (and also trade union dollars, though I confess, being from the Midwest, I’m partial to unions because I regard them as a largely benign factor in politics — besides, since Reagan’s day, they haven’t been able to exert as much muscle and influence nationally as they had in earlier decades in the wake of the passage of the Wagner Act during FDR’s New Deal) is much more abundant and can be easily harnessed and channeled to bear more weight in campaigns than any contribution by a private individual. That was something that the Supreme Court failed to take into account in the Citizens United decision. Given the present polarized climate, I think that another generation will pass before this issue is revisited and reassessed.

Whoever said that “President Obama is the Jackie Robinson of American politics” (as I heard it said several weeks ago) summed it up perfectly. Robinson, from the time he began playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, had to bide his tongue and keep his peace his first 2 seasons in the major leagues. He bore with stoical sobriety the slings and arrows from racist ballplayers of opposing teams who gave him grief on the field. And all the while, Robinson played superbly. (In fact, he won the National League Rookie of the Year honors.) So, it is with President Obama. Sure, he has made a few missteps. What President hasn’t upon entering office and learning the ropes?! What matters is that a President learns and shows that he can bear the weight and demands of the office, and displays a willingness and ability to work with the Opposition on the Hill in crafting and passing legislation. Obama may not have the bare-knuckled forcefulness a la LBJ in dealing with Congress. He has used a more nuanced approach with it. Generally, the GOP has rebuffed him, which leads me to think that their leadership regards him rather dismissively — if not with outright disdain.

The matter of RACE lurks beneath the surface in this election as it did in the previous one. When Barack Obama won the Presidency 4 years ago, within days, there was this talk about a “post-racial America” by many of the pundits. When I first heard this term, I was insulted. Racism in America dissolved overnight? WHAT A JOKE!!!, I thought. Who could’ve been so utterly naïve to think that because the U.S. elected an African American to the Oval Office in 2008 that suddenly all white Americans had had their “Damascus moment” and were now fully accepting of African Americans. Liberated from the scourge of racism, the germ excised from their consciousness. Nonsense!!! I never believed in that notion for a moment. I don’t think racial prejudice in America (which has been perpetuated – although more subtly since the end of Jim Crow segregation — for several centuries) can be simply wiped away, leaving nary a trace. Old attitudes die hard because there are many people who find comfort in them. “O, it is an ever fixed mark/That looks on tempests/And is never shaken.” Racism remains a malignancy on the U.S. body politic. It impacts upon all of us. Indeed, it’s still too much a touchy subject for many of us to grapple with together openly and honestly in a constructive fashion with a concerted aim to muting its effects. The beast still has teeth, and if given free rein, it will BITE.

Though it is not widely expressed, I perceive that President Obama is an affront to many white people in this country (and some other non-white people as well) because they’ve never wanted to accept him as President of the U.S. In their psyche and mindset, Black people are inferior and are politely tolerated by them in public. (I’m speaking in broad, general terms here, because I know there are white people [and other ethnically diverse people] who are fully accepting of Black people as fellow human beings worthy of respect and understanding). There is still, alas, this undervaluing, underestimating and marginalization of Black people in this country. And sadly, some African Americans buy into this line of thought by engaging in negative and socially unacceptable activities and behaviors. Frankly, it embarrasses me at times when I see ‘brothas’ and ‘sistas’ comporting themselves like minstrels on the Metro. Many of them loudly swearing for effect, all the while unmindful of giving offense to their fellow riders of all stripes. People in general need to be more civil and respectful of one another in public. And in turn, we need to demand of our national politicians that they think less of advancing the agendas of their respective parties (“the public good be damned!” — as the GOP would have it; Romney summed up this sentiment so well when he spoke with contempt last spring of the “47%” of the general population he regards as being beyond help and amenable to his political/economic credo) and more of promoting the broad interests of ALL AMERICANS. The Democrats won’t need any persuading, because they are already more attuned to the interests and needs of regular, hard-working people. It’s the GOP that is wholly in thrall to the corporate cliques, and a few, scattered elements of religious wackos and far-right adherents. The moderates in that party carry no weight at all. This is a far different GOP from the one I became aware of while growing up in the 1970s and 1980s when they had sober-minded, sensible politicians like Senators Hugh Scott (PA), Jacob Javits (NY), Chuck Percy (IL), Mark Hatfield (OR), Howard Baker (TN), Lowell Weicker (CT) and Congressman Bob Michel.

In the meantime (11:20 AM), I’m distancing myself from all the news about this election. Once I’m home and rested, I’ll deal directly with the developing electoral outcome later tonight after 9. Right now, I want to keep my cool and focus my mind on work and more pleasant, enjoyable themes.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

9:31 PM: I just turned on the TV to PBS to see the developing outcome, while keeping my ears attuned to WBAI-FM (online). To the best of my knowledge, the President has carried WI, OH & PA (so far as that can be determined in both States), NJ, and the Northeast. I have no idea what the Electoral College results are so far. My state (Michigan) is being called for the President, too. Romney has carried TX, which was to be expected. Long lines have been reported at many of the polling places across the country. Irregularites? Hard to say. But both parties have teams of lawyers throughout many of these polling places to check for any possible inconsistencies in the vote.

Jesse Jackson, Jr., who has had some serious problems to deal with this year (e.g., spending time at the Mayo Clinic for severe depression, as well as being cited for ethics violations), has just been projected to have maintained his Congressional seat in IL.

The Democrats are maintaining their hold on the Senate so far, picking up new seats in MA and WI (both women for whom I’m proud to say I made my first political contributions ever this year). MN is now projected by ABC News to be for the President.

9:58 PM: NM is projected to go for the President, while he maintains a 1.0% lead in FL. MT is projected to go with Romney. No surprise there. Romney carries UT, too. Senator McCaskill is projected as the winner in MO, thus keeping her seat. Her GOP opponent, a wacko named Akin caught grief earlier this year for citing “legitimate rape” in an interview he gave to a local TV station in the Show Me State. What a ridiculous term! He strikes me as decidedly misogynistic, believing that women should not have primacy over their own bodies.

10:14 PM: Listening intently to WBAI. Progressive radio. Romney projected to carry NE. The GOP apparently picks up a Senate seat there.

10:31 PM: There’s a dead heat in the Electoral College vote so far: 163 to 163. The President is now ahead with 173 electoral votes. He needs 97 more votes to be re-elected outright. Romney projected to win in AZ. Voter suppression reported going on in OH (again!) This country is a sorry excuse for a democracy when you have some of our state political leaders from the GOP bent on suppressing the vote among voters not traditionally Republican. This is terrible. It shows the clear and utter contempt the GOP has for certain segments of the general population. Romney now with 174 electoral votes. UGH! NC and VA are too close to call now.

10:57 PM: NC just declared for Romney. Again no surprise there. Tim Kaine projected to win the Senate race in VA against George Allen, the erstwhile GOP Senate holder from 6 years ago. What a relief! George Allen is such an obnoxious jerk, oozing this slimy slickness. ID goes for Romney.

11:10 PM: Waiting, waiting, waiting. IA goes for the President by a comfortable margin. The Denver Post has projected that the President will likely carry CO. The President now has 250 ELECTORAL VOTES. Romney has 203. NBC NEWS has just said that OH has gone for the President. That’s enough to carry him over the top!!! BARACK OBAMA HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED. This country did something right today!

11:17 PM: Watching the scenes in Chicago. McCormack Place is absolutely PACKED. People waving their flags. I AM SOOOO RELIEVED. FOX News has now called the election for President Barack Obama. When FOX, the standard bearer for the right-wing, says that, even the Opposition has to concede that the President’s re-election is a fait accompli.

Though I know that what happened tonight a few minutes ago is a beginning (to what I have no way of knowing), I can now sleep easy.


Obama, Christie, and Bipartisanship

Politicians, on both sides of the aisle they supposedly want to reach across, talk a good game about bipartisanship. This week, during and after Superstorm Sandy, President Obama and Governor Christie of New Jersey showed what it is and what can get accomplished when actually practiced.

Sandy was wreaking havoc on the eastern seaboard, especially New Jersey. On the 29th, close to midnight, President Obama called Governor Christie asking him what the federal government could do to help. Together, they worked on the Major Disaster Declaration, providing recovery assistance. Craig Fugate, the FEMA administrator, said that based on the conversations Obama had with officials in New York and New Jersey, a verbal declaration was enough. Christie said:

“He worked on that last night with me…offered any other assets that we needed to help. I want to thank the President personally for his personal attention to this.”

This gets the aid to where its needed faster. By verbally declaring it, it doesn’t go through a full federal assessment.

Obama visited Christie today to look at the damage Sandy had caused. Christie told him that the hardest hit areas needed power and clean drinking water.

“I discussed all of those issues today with the president and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. I cannot thank the President enough for his personal concern and his compassion,”

This is coming from a guy who slammed Obama in his speech at the Republican National Convention. Both of them put partisan crap aside and worked on getting New Jersey on the road to recovery.

It’s going to be a long road. My friend who lives in central New Jersey was spared this year. She is one of the lucky ones in town who has power. Neighbors are going to her house to cook and shower. Thankfully, the trees didn’t fall on the house. Branches were scattered on the ground, but they weren’t huge ones like last year.

My partner’s friend in Jersey City wasn’t as lucky. She texted her that she had waist-high water in her house. It’s really sad because this is her first house. She was so excited when she bought it. Relief can come faster to people like her thanks to bipartisan effort.

So what does Mitt privatizing FEMA would be cool Romney have to say about all of this? Not much. A campaign stop in Dayton Ohio was first stopped out of respect for the victims. Then it was resurrected as a storm relief event – which apparently was staged. Campaign aides hauled ass to Walmart to buy $5K worth of food and supplies for people to hand to Romney while he says, “thank you” and smiles for the cameras. donate.

Reporters asked his senior campaign adviser, Kevin Madden, if Romney agreed with Christie that President Obama was doing a good job in handling the disaster:

“I believe the response is still going on so I’m not in a position to qualify the response by the federal government. I believe it’s still ongoing.”

Keep it classy, guys. Keep it classy. 🙄


The Enigmatic “Undecideds” of the Election

Lobotero at Opus Civis cracked me up with his post on the final debate: The Poka in Boca – Prez Debate #3. His last paragraph made me think – after I stopped laughing:

Once again, it was the optics that made your decision on who won……..and of course they, meaning the media, has assembled “undecideds”…..and once again it was all theater….if there are any “undecideds” at this point then them are just looking for some attention….but if they are truly “undecided” then just make sure that they have a coin in their pocket on election……. and for God sake….Do NOT ask them if they prefer paper or plastic!

I don’t think there are “undecideds” left. I think those who intend to vote already have their choice. Or write-in. 😉 @ the Ron Paul followers or those so disgusted with and/or cynical about politics that they’ll write-in “Snoopy.”

The media mentions these “undecideds,” though. I don’t know any. The ones I know – family, friends, coworkers – have already made up their minds. Mama already voted for Romney, via absentee ballot. I’m sure Papa will vote for Romney as well -probably on Election Day. My sister, a Moderate, will vote for Obama. Those on Facebook…some fiercely support Obama. Some support Romney with equal ferocity. The rest?

The rest I know online and in real life don’t give a flying Fig Newton about politics. Hell, I don’t know if they’ll even vote. If they do, I’m sure they know who they want by now. They just don’t care enough about politics to discuss it.

Thoughts? Do you know any “undecideds?”


Rosie Perez on Mitt Romney’s Latino Comment

Many thanks to Dusty at Leftwing Nutjob for telling us about Actually…the Truth Matters. Rosie Perez always cracked me up with her Boricua Minnie Mouse voice. In this video “Easier as a Latino,” she sets Romney straight. It’s hilarious. Enjoy! 🙂