Thursday, October 30, 2008

12 Steps to vote Against McCain/Palin

Ok. So, I've never done a 12 step program before. I did quite a 2pack a day smoking habit 18 years ago. But I just slowly cut back till I couldn't any more and then one day I just didn't buy anymore cigarettes. I ate a lot of chocolate, and apparently, I was really grumping, moody, and down right bit&%y! Go figure.

I'm going to just lay this out on the line in 12 reasons - it may be hard to limit it to 12, but I'll try.

  1. McCain and Palin are against protecting women's rights. And this has nothing to do with abortion. In fact in this issue I can list an additional 5 ways they are against women's equal rights and healthcare without mentioning that a-word. You want to see me try? Really? Ok. Here goes. I have this friend named Cecille. And she really cares about women's healthcare. Alot. Her mom was Ann Richards, the former Republican governor of Texas. And Cecile was kind enough to make this list available to me and lots of my friends. I've cut and pasted some of it:
    1. John McCain opposes equal pay legislation, saying it wouldn’t do "anything to help the rights of women."
    2. John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover birth control.
    3. John McCain opposes comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.
    4. John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women.
    5. John McCain said he was "stumped" when asked whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV. (Thank you to Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood - my primary health care provider when I had no insurance).
  2. Socialim. Ok. So I have a Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science from Penn State U. Which may explain why I get so freakin' frustrated with Sarah Palin, and John McCain for picking her. I'm a Political Science geek and I'll admit that. But let's get back to Socialism. For those of you who aren't poli sci geeks I'll forgive you and help you out here. From Wikipedia a simple definition of socialism: "refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and the creation of an egalitarian society." So, if you look at all the states in America, do you ever find an example of socialism? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Let's see. I lived in Alaska for 4 1/2 years. Yeah. I think everyone in my family received a dividend check, even the baby! For what? What's that? Oh, we were citizens of the state of Alaska, which means we were all collectively, owners of the oil resources of the state of Alaska. Collective ownership? Socialism? Hmmm. Sarah Palin is the governor of this great socialist state. And this year, she sent an EXTRA check to each and every citizen-owner. Ummm. Can you say "hypocrite" boys and girls? Yes, that's "hip - o - crit". Or, maybe, we'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she really didn't know what socialism means. Hmm. so I want to vote for a leader of my country who knows less than I do, better yet, less than my 9 year old son does, of general political concepts. How can she be respected on the world stage with other world leaders?
  3. On to the next topic before I need some Tums. Ayers, Kahlid Rashidi. So, I'm going to say what my mom used to tell me, "When you point your finger, 4 are pointing back at you." So, John McCain's campaign has been pointing it's finger at Barack Obama for this "relationship of palling around with Bill Ayers, that terrorist, and Rashidi who is so vehemently opposed to Israel." It was coffee and donuts night. Puh-lease! Let's look at John McCain's relationship wtih Kahlid Rashidi. McCain sat on the board of a conservative Republican group that gave almost 1/2 a million dollars ot Rashidi! I can't amke this stuff up folks!!
  4. Constitutional Law 101. part 1. yes, as I said, I'm a poli sci geek. So I have 3 copies of the constitution, not including those that are imbeded in poli sci books. I think everyone should have a copy and read it. But that's me. I do think that every Federal government official should have a copy, read it regularly, and maybe even read a little bit about what Constitutional Scholars think about it too. Duties of the Vice President. What does the Constitution have to say????? She was asked 4 times, and got it wrong. The Veep is to wait and be ready to take over as President in the awful event that the President is no longer available to fulfill his office ("through death, resignation, removal from office, or inability to perform the duties of his office"). Secondly, the Veep also has a role in the Senate - but this is where she really got it wrong. Just ask Lyndon B. Johnson, who was a senator, then became Veep. He attended a Senator's luncheon as Veep and was shown the door! Article 1, Section 3, "The Vice President of the United States shall be the President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." That's it. No interpretation, Governor. No mixing it up with the Senators to create legislation. Let's keep with the Framer's Intent. That is how you read the Constitution, isn't it???
  5. Constitutional Law 101. part 2. First Amendment protections. As Keith Oberlann just said, "Read the Constitution Governor. It's FUN!" Since she didn't, I'll reprint the 1st amendment for you, "Amendment 1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment if religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." What this means is that Government can't block the press's right to speak/write, not the other way around.
  6. Constitutional Law 101. Part 3. Federalism vs. States Rights. Ok. So if you're going to throw around poli sci geek words from Poli Sci 101 you should know what they mean. So, Sarah Palin says in an interview that she is a Federalist. She then goes on to explain that she means that some things need to be decided by the states. Well, if you are a follower of George Bush and his policies, then I guess you are a new Bushie Federalist. Because W. went ahead and in his total dunceness turned the definition of Federalism inside out (which ticks me off but that's another story). But, to sit there and say that you are a Federalist in the tradition of George W. Bush means that you are lock-step with him philosophically - ergo we can expect 4 more of the last 8 years. Unless you are part of the ubber-rich that doesn't sound so good.
  7. healthcare. John McCain's Economics Advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin says "why would young healthy people leave their healthcare provider when their credit won't buy them anything better." If young healthy kids can't do better on the free market, how are the rest of us going to survive? Even his top economics advisor knows that his healthcare plan stinks. enough said.
  8. Not understanding programs that are designed to help people with special needs, and ridiculing them at a rally. Sarah Palin went on the record to families of children with special needs that they would have an advocate and friend in the White House if John McCAin and she were elected. Well, you don't sound like an advocate to me when you go ahead and make fun of fruit fly research aimed at helping people who have autism. What it makes you sound like to me is an a$$. If you are interested in more about my dislike of pandering to the special needs community read my blog about that.
  9. Lying about being an open book. Governor Palin said she was an open-book and that her health records would be released. Well, I'm going to have to call bull-$hit on that one. In her interview with NBC, she said they would be released - but where are they? She is aware of the questions regarding her pregnancy and why would she risk her baby and her life to travel back to Alaska after her water broke when there were excellent hospitals in Texas (arguably better than in Alaska).
  10. Ethics violations. Enough said. She has been found to violate the State of Alaska's Ethics Laws. And then she looked at the camera and said she was glad to be found not in violation of those pesky ethics. UGH.
That's all for now folks. I need to go find those Tums or Rolaids, or maybe just a good bottle of wine. Thanks for reading and thinking. Don't forget to vote.

Hi My Name is .....

Well, it's official. I have OCED. I need a 12 step program to break free from the vicious cycle of news media, blogs and online news outlets. My children look at me and ask, "mommy when are we going eat again?" My husband wants to know when we get our life back. It's gray and dismal, and bleak here in the black and white world of American Presidential Elections. I'm going to be politically incorrect here: what's so interesting is that the black man is the man who offers hope, courage, promise, and when he speaks I feel better. The white man offers fear, hatred, anger, war, agression, you name it, and when he speaks I feel my blood pressure rise. And don't even get me started on that woman - ugh! I need a whole other 12 step program about her.

So here's my 12 step program. I am going to list 12 new reasons why McCain and Palin are not getting my vote, and they shouldn't get yours either. But, you know what, Obama has so much going for him. I'm going to do one better. I'm going to end on a message of hope and promise and the American Dream just like my candidate, Barack Obama. So in my next blog, I will list my 12 reasons why Barack Obama and Joe Biden are my candidates, and why you should vote for them too.

And if you still think that Sarah Palin is the most popular governor with 80%approval ratings (which by the way her ratings dropped to 68% Oct 1), riddle me this: Here's A-Nother Great Rally for Obama in the city of Anchorage Alaska, at 7am (not a popular time for Alaskans in my experience) and 20 degrees (which by their standards is darn right warm). They made a human Obama Logo. I want to make an "I heart Alaska" sign! That same Palin Ratings poll showed very interesting numbers for Democrats and Independents (the Republicans still support her 93%) "Among Democrats, her approval rating dropped from 60 percent to 36 percent, a 24-point drop. Among independents, it fell from 82 percent to 64 percent, an 18-point drop." I haven't seen a more recent poll. I'm keeping my eyes out but this was what google brought me.

So, thanks for stopping by. Now you know why I haven't written much lately - that darned pesky OCED. I'l be back real soon with the first part of my 12 step program.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Parents of Children with Disability don't need Pandering!

I am so angry with John McCain for choosing Sarah "I have a child with DS" Palin and pandering to parents of children with disability. So she has a baby with DS. Big Deal. He's 6 months old now. If she's dealt with Early Intervention already - then wow, she's ahead of the game. But she hasn't dealt with school and much in the way of therapy yet. My daughter was born with DS in Alaska. She was seen early by a PT (physical therapist) privately because our Early Intervention program in my town didn't have any PT's on staff and we didn't want to wait for them to fill the slot. It wasn't until Ellie was almost a year old that I learned she could qualify for Medicaid through the TEFRA program (Katie Beckett Act). She was initially denied because her initial eval at 2 months old didn't show any delays. That's becuase 2 month olds don't do any thing but sleep, poop and eat. Ellie had those down pat.

So Sarah "I use my children when they can help me politically" Palin has been carting this adorable little baby who will be delayed (you can see his low muscle tone in every picture) all around the country - especially New Hampshire and the Great Northwest there. When is he getting therapy? When is he seen by his Early Intervention Team? I worry for that little boy - being used in such a way for politically expediency and votes.

Thankfully a freind on my DS listserve sent a link to the comparison of McCain and Obama's positions on People with Disability. Please read this. It is eye-opening. I was voting for Obama before I read this. Now it just reconfirms. But for those of you who didn't know their positions and just assumed that Sarah "I have a baby with DS" Palin would be a strong advocate - ha. I doubt it. Now, what has she done for children with disability in Alaska? She is the aunt of a child with Autism. So before she became a parent, she knew about the struggles. Yes? But it's arguable that she has truly helped the disability community in Alaska. She line item vetoed six appropriations for community disability services or for accessibility modifications to public accommodations as governor. It saved the state less than $800,000 - when they had a huge budget surplus. Not to mention, as a previous resident of that state, I can tell you it is not accessible for disabled persons. It is difficult to get around. Read this blog from distinguished professors of Disability at the University of Kansas to get a second opinion.

I'm also Angry with Sarah "I didn't blink I said yes" Palin who left Alaska to be run by ???? the RNC???? while campaigning instead of taking care of her state and her children. I have the utmost respect for working moms, and even greater respect for working moms who have children with disabilities. It takes a lOT to be a parent of a child with disability and to add to that working full-time is an incredible juggling act. My hat goes off to those parents.

That being said, Sarah does NOT have the experience to be VP of the US. Maybe of, I don't know, Turkmenistan? But let's get real folks. She should have said, "no way. Are you high right now? I"m out of my league here." But she didn't. In her fantasy land she thinks somehow that mayor of a town of less than 9,800 and 20 months as governor of a state of only 650,000 makes her somehow qualified? And she's using her kids to try and get votes. How pathetic and cruel is that? Just to give you an idea, Chicago, Illinois has 2,836,658 people in 2007. And representing those constituents for 8 years in the Illinois legislature is less qualifying than being the mayor of Wasilla? IS she nuts???

Not to mention, that Obama has also taught constitutional law to Law Students for years. So obviously he knows a little bit more than just the name of the case Roe v. Wade. Like maybe how there is a Right to Privacy in the Constitution. And maybe, even the difference between states rights and federalists?! I am so fed up with the pandering of the Right and their assumption that average americans don't pay attention to their words. Both Palin and now McCain have claimed they are Federalists and in the same sentence have said they believe in strong states rights on issues like Roe v. Wade. They can't have it both ways. Federalists believe in strong Federal Government and weakened states rights. The first Federalists wrote the Federalist Papers: John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Obviously, Sarah "Education is not Important to me" Palin didn't pay attention during civics class.

So let's show the Republicans that we won't be pandered to. And that we pay attention to their words, just as John McCain suggested we pay attention to Obama's words. If we americans don't pay attention during the next 19 days, we will get what we deserve, again. Please, don't accept pandering. Don't accept the negative bullshit ads. Ask yourself why is the McCain campaign focused on negative bull shit ads and not the economy? Read their websites. Read the news. Main Stream Media is not the enemy. Ignorance is. And most importantly, on November 4 - go and vote!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Barack Obama is so cool!

I was really impressed with how he has handled himself during these three debates, and the whole campaign so far. If someone were throwing that many curve balls I'd be swinging in the dirt. But not Barack. He calmly corrects the worst of the crap, and ignores the rest of it. I loved that he said the American public doesn't care about their (his and Sen. McCain's) hurt feelings but rather the economy and what the two candidates propose to do about it. He says the things that we are all feeling, but he says it in a way that isn't crass.

Originally I was unsure who to vote for. Then John McCain went ahead and did something really stupid and picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. That clinched it for me - Barack Obama had my vote from that moment on. But still, I had been missing Hillary, and didn't know much about Barack, so my support was lukewarm. After 3 debates and many hours of news: papers, blogs, radio and tv, I feel excited to be voting for Obama. I am PROUD to be an Obama Mama! When he speaks, he doesn't sugar coat the problems or the solutions but I have hope when I hear him. I just get high blood pressure when I hear John McCain. And don't even get me started on Sarah "New Hampshire is in the Northwest" Palin. UGH!!

Barack Obama made a fantastic choice as a running mate - Joe Biden is awesome. He was cool as a cucumber during his debate with Sarah "you betcha" Palin. Far more cool than I would have been. My 9 year old could out-debate her on the issues. The running mate pick says more about character, choices and the direction the candidates plan to take our country. Sarah "dinosuars and man walked the earth together" Palin would take us back to the stone age. I'd like to head to the future not the past.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fear, loathing and the Republican Party Politics

I received one of those viral emails that asks you to suspend your intelligence, take what has been written on faith and forward it to everyone you know. As my confirmation class teacher at my United Methodist Church would tell you - I don't take anything on faith alone. I left him exasperated and frustratred beyond belief on every class meeting. "But how do we KNOW for certain?" "Where's the proof, the evidence?" So in the internet age, one of my favorite sites is I don't want egg on my face if I'm forwarding crap around to my friends and family. If I'm sending something alarming to someone I want to know it's truthful, so that I can have confidence in what leaves my laptop.

What, pray tell, is the email I received that started this train of thought barreling down the line? Funny you should ask. My husband received an email from someone close to him (I won't name names) about Sen. Barack Obama. It alleges that in two of the books he has written, Lessons From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, that there are frightening and dangerous passages. These speak to the dangerous nature of his thinking and judgment. Would you want someone likke this in the White House? My husband had been aware of this b******** for a long time and fired off a quick email reminding the sender that most of the quotes were inaccurate and all the accurate ones were taken out of context. He also asked the sender if he had actually read the books.

Here's the shocker. The sender had read the books! And, he feels that the senator is "a far more elliquent [sic] man than Mccain [sic].... but that is not the measure of a leader." Now, I'll admit to not reading the books. I haven't read much at all in the last year with moving across the country, settling my son in one school, only to have to pull him and settling him in a new school, and of course having Ellie and getting her qualified for pre-K, through the first IEP, settled in school, evals for private therapy..... guess I didn't need to go on there. In any event, life is finally settling down and I am finding time to read and so this to me was a great recomendation for a book! So I will be curling up with The Audacity of HOpe which I just got from the library - the last copy available. All of the copies of Lessons From My Father are out right now.

But what really bothers me is that this well educated person could read these books, know that these passages - if true - are taken out of context and do not mean what they sound like, and send this hate-filled message of fear out to who knows how many? Hopefully it was only to his brother - my hubby.

Last night while sitting at my son's swim team practice, someone noticed I was reading a book. "Oh, what are you reading?" I showed her the title, The Audacity of Hope, by Barack O'Bama. (I got the last copy at the library!) "Oh! You're one of THEM!" she exclaimed. Just what in the H#?! is that supposed to mean? That I'm one of those "free - thinkers" who doesn't just take the right wing pandering pablum at it's word? Then she said, "that explains why you weren't so excited about Sarah Palin over the summer when I mentioned it. You being from Alaska I thought you would have been more excited." Well, I had to explain to this very nice person, that the information being passed around down here in the lower-48 is not accurate. I explained that Sarah is not so popular in Alaska anymore. "Well she has 83% approval." I said, "that's dropped over 20% since she was nominated as the VP candidate." "Not to forget, she has been found guilty of ethics violations in the Troopergate." "Alaskans on all sides of the political fence are unhappy with her." "Even right wing politcal pundits have said she is unqualified to be the VP, let alone, God-forbid something were to happen to elevate her to the Presidency." It was falling on deaf ears. I was "one of THEM."

For those of you who want to know what Alaskans think check out these two blogs: Shannyn Moore: Just a Girl from Homer and The Mudflats. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Garden of Wonders.....

Finally, after a long, hot summer I am getting to my gardens. I have looked at them for the last 10 months (since we moved in) and dreamed of what they might look like. I have a long way to go, but my first day out in the garden was quite wonderful and productive.

As the parent of a child with Down Syndrome, I kind of "assume" that Ellie will take longer with everything. I just "assumed" that I would have to wait longer before I could productively garden with her at my side. I was able to do this with her brother at a young age because it was dirt! What boy doesn't like to dig in the dirt. Not to mention, he didn't mind taking a bath, and well, Ellie can scream like a banshee when I bring a cup of water near her head. So, I just figured, "oh well, next year." But today, I got back early from my run and the weather was perfect for me to garden, so after a quick shower (I get really gross after a 5 mile run) I headed out. I made good progress in the 2 hours she was still at school, but it wasn't as much as I figured I needed to get done given my time limits tomorrow, and the impending rain on Thursday and Friday.

When Ellie hopped off the bus, I took a gamble. "Ellie do you want to go inside?" "No." "Do you want to ride in your red car?" "No." Do you want to dig in the dirt with Mom?" "Yeah!"
Well, there, I had it. So I got her little yellow plastic pail and shovel. She followed me to the garden and plopped down in the middle of the dirt with a big smile. She had fun with her shovel for a little bit, but kept eyeing my big shovel. I suggested a plastic children's trowel from her brother's earlier years which she happily worked with for an hour. She filled her bucket and my big bag of potting soil, and her shoes!

I was able to double the amount of garden completed, and then she started to rub her eyes. So off to the bathroom for an almost totally happy bath! I was thrilled for her. She has hated her baths since moving here, but today's bath was mostly happy with lots of soapy bubbles and scooping and pouring with her cups. The only tears shed were over the hair washing but they were much fewer and ended quickly.

After the bath it was off to take a nap?! Another unheard-of event in my house. Tonight I checked. Surprisingly, the moon was still yellow.

Tomorrow we won't get a repeat as Ellie has therapy right after school, and then we have shopping at Costco. But Wednesday is looking like a great day to repeat this wonderful gardening adventure with Ellie. Wonder if we'll get another nap? The moon will have to turn blue for that!!