Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mommy Radar


Up til now, I had hoped to avoid a certain parenting issue entirely, I naively thought perhaps I was out of woods on this one. But something has been happening with a boy in JH's class at school. I'm discovering that this particular parenting issue is far worse than grocery shopping with a child that is jacked up on sugar or catching barf with my bare hands.

It involves telling my son to be judgemental. Or to put it in a way in which I can live with it better: telling my son to use his better judgement.

This boy: He's been talking about him a lot. He's a new boy this year, one of only two - JH is with all of his same classmates and his teacher from last year, so they all know each other pretty well. I think JH wanted to help this boy out because he was new, and for that I'm really proud. He's been talking my ear off about this boy, P* does this!, P* does that!, but one day last week, he told me that P* was nine (in second grade). My mommy radar went up a notch, then the next day he told me that P* had a cell phone and sometimes was called R* instead of P*. My mommy radar started to inch up next to the red zone, then the next day, he told me that P*/R* stuck up for him. "How nice!" sez I, and the needle begins to drop back into the safe, pretty blue zone. "Yeah, P*/R* told me that if someone bothered me, he could just grab him by the tenders, or pinch their neck." Staying calm, but firm, because that mommy radar needle is now spiking the far end of the red zone, I reminded JH that that was NOT okay to do to anyone, and if someone at school was bothering him, he should use words first, then tell a grown up if it doesn't stop. Now I'm seriously worried that maybe P*/R* isn't the best person for JH to hang out with, but I don't want to tell him he can't be friends - after all, kids are a lot better at being friends without judgement than adults are. Maybe JH can be a positive influence on this kid, I tell myself, trying with all my might to get that needle back down to a safer, calmer color.

Yeah, but.

I finally met P*/R*, and his "uncle", who was so scary, it was all I could do not to run away. We all met at the park, and he told me that they had come looking for our house (JH had given our address out - and YES we had the conversation about THAT not being safe), and in our conversation I discovered that no one in the house works, yet they have a WI, a Playstation, not to mention the kid has a cellphone, but the "Uncle's" teeth were rotten. And he couldn't read.

It would be one thing if this boy were a good student, or had some redeeming quality that I could overlook all this. But JH tells me the boy hates school, is disruptive, and has alienated all of JH's other friends.

So no. Never again will I ignore my "Mommy Radar". It's there to keep my child safe. I've told JH, firmly but gently, that he is to play with other friends at recess. He should be nice to this boy, but make different choices about who he plays with at school.

The needle hasn't come back down yet, but I'm hoping, hoping it will soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Transcript of the Debate

Well, this is a transcript of our REACTION to the debate (mostly Joe-Henry's; my comments are in italics), as reported live on Twitter:

JH: "it's weird that they shake hands when they don't like each other"

JH, after Obama got to go first: "it's nice that Obama gets to go first, so that John McCain can learn from him."

John McCain's tie is freaking out my tv screen. Stripes man - you've been around awhile, don't you know they mess with people's screens?

JH: "Mom, do you think John McCain is as mean as (Oregon Republican) Gordon Smith?" Clearly we're getting tired of campaign commercials

I love that Jim Lehrer is MAKING THEM talk to each other. I did that to kids on the playground today.

JH: "Oh, that was an EASY question."

JH: "He (John McCain) sounds like Gopher in the Winnie-the-Pooh movie"

Obama looks directly at McCain while speaking, while McCain will not look at him. Like he'll burst into flames if he does.

JH: "Why is McCain smiling?" Me: "Because he's uncomfortable".

JH: "John McCain needs to stop laughing. This is serious, isn't it, Mom?"

JH: "the prisoners get tortured? Don't torture the prisoners!"
(what I didn't tweet, because I was listening to the debate and wanted to hear what they said, was that he also added "that's not very good sportsmanship."


JH: "John McCain isn't teaching his opponent anything at all!"

Ohhhhhh, nice comeback Barack! Well done.

JH: "you wouldn't have to wear the boy's bracelet if you didn't make the war."

John McCain is a bitch..
Oh, Barack, I love how you stay so cool.
you can just feel the audience desire to clap for Barack's statement
John, your creepy smile is, well, creeping me out.

JH: "John McCain doesn't think Obama understands anything."

JH: "I love you Barack Obama. He's a sweet dude!"

Barack, you are so classy.

And finally, at bedtime, this was Joe-Henry's summary of the entire debate:

JH: "Mom, you know what I like about Barack Obama? He stood up and said in firm language 'that's not true about me. If John McCain used...
...his two minutes to tell the truth, maybe more people might vote for him."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

When You Feel Like Crying....

....Because Sarah Palin gave you shingles and it hurts now to sit down, because not only are they on your back, your hip, your stomach, but also, um, elsewhere....

....what you really need is a good laugh. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Also, I am officially adding John Oliver to my list. You know, THAT list.

For when I no longer have burning blisters all over my lower half.

Hey, if you don't laugh, you'll end up in tears.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Joe-Henry for President

"He doesn't say anything about what he's going to do, and he doesn't sound very confident in his words."

Joe-Henry, age 7
in response to President Bush's address to the American People regarding the proposed $7 billion bailout of the major financial institutions.

Joe-Henry for President

Sarah Palin Gave Me Shingles.

Oh, my dears. What a week we've been having! Lots of fun at school for JH, Charley's plugging away at the Genius Bar. He got some new socks at Sock Dreams, so he's a total fashion plate. I started doing reading groups. I have four kids in my group and one of them... well, let's just say I have a newfound respect for teachers who deal with an entire roomful by themselves.

Oh, and I went to the doctor this week because I've been having this strange pain for about a week and a half. It hurts when my son puts his arms around my waist to hug me, and it hurts to sit, and it hurts to wear clothes, and ....

It's shingles. Apparently, it can be brought on by stress, but I say to that: What stress? You can also catch it from someone who has chickenpox (or shingles), which sounds more likely, since I work in a hotbed of germ-infested tinys who continually pick their noses and then wipe it on tables, so that seems more likely. (Not that that, in and of itself, is not stressful).

But wait! Now that I think about it, it could be the stress caused by Sarah Palin. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Not her, per se, but the fact that 50% of responders to an NPR poll think she's qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States. (Would you please, please go take this poll so that we can tip the balance?)

Or it could be the fact that Barack Obama has disappeared from the airwaves, and is now just Twittering away to let us know he's doing town hall meetings. (He's not even mentioning in his Tweets that Sarah Palin gave me shingles.)

Could it be that this upcoming November Election, an election that will bring an end to the absolute cluster-fuck that has been the Bush Administration, might be won by McCain/Palin? Because there are plenty of signs that it might just swing that way. Which means, friends, that we will be going from bad to worse. Well, for some of us, anyway. Except for those that will be taken up in the rapture.

Could it be that my shingles are a sign of pestilence, one foretold in the Bible, along with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? Some sure believe it.

But I don't.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shakin' it up

I was never called into the Principal's office when I was a kid, so I had nothing to compare the feeling to when the Principal at my school asked me to step into his office. "Don't worry, you're not in trouble", he teased.

I was still nervous.

It turns out that, because our enrollment for our class was down, and because I am the low woman on the totem pole, it was my turn to be put out of the SCC class. However, the good news is, I will still be in the building, doing patrols (and yes, wearing a safety vest - luckily orange and green are SO my colors), monitoring recess and doing reading with K-3 kiddos. I'm really excited about that last part. But the BEST news is, because we have staff leaving in January, I will be back in the classroom I started in at some point.

When I started working in that classroom, I had very little knowledge of autism, but a huge desire to learn and work with these amazing kids. It can be hugely challenging, and some days I come home in need of a beer and an icepack for my back, but the rewards.... the rewards are breathtaking. And the staff - they are some of my favorite people on the planet. Patient, funny and whipsmart, and they always, always have your back.

So, while I'm truly honored that they wanted me to stay in the school, and I SO look forward to working with the adorable kids that I see in the hallway everyday, my heart will always be missing "my kiddos". Luckily for me, I'll still see them and most especially HEAR them in the hallways!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Old Man

This Old Man
Originally uploaded by anniemcq
Our Pould left us this morning. We woke to find he wasn't on our bed. He and Charley would have lovin' every morning, so we knew something was up. We found him under the futon in Charley's office. He was in the corner, and couldn't walk.

He was such a grand old man. We will miss him so much. I'm turning the rest of the blog over to Joe-Henry to tell you what he loves about our Pouldie.

"I love how he goes around my toys, and sometimes knocks them down. And I'm like 'Pouldie'! I love how he sits in shoe boxes when I get new shoes, I love when he tries to crawl in the grocery bags and wiggles his head in it. He's just a really good cat."

We'll miss you so much, sweet old boy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on, really how can you read the following and not feel outraged at the new lows the GOP has sunk to in trying to Shanghai this race.

You know, I think at this point in our history, we can all agree that a bit of mudslinging is what makes it politics. It's all a dog and pony show, and yes, I think the Republicans play dirty, but I also think the Democrats need to learn how to throw an elbow and show some spit. Give us a good show at election time.

But GodDAMN it, the vote is sacred. It is NOT a joke, and they are making a mockery of the citizens of this country. I read this today and the bile rose in my throat. When I think of the people who have served this country honorably, and think that THIS is what they fought and died for, I feel literally sick. My dad served in WWII, and thank God he didn't live to see this, because it would kill him for sure.

If Obama doesn't jump on this one and take them on, I will be sadly disappointed.

Read it and weep. Here's the link to send it to friends, but the full text is below. Thanks to Kirsten at Living In A Girl's World for the heads up on this one.

From The Michigan Messenger, 9/10/2008

Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote
By Eartha Jane Melzer

Michigan Republicans plan to foreclose African-American voters

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”

GOP ties to state’s largest foreclosure law firm

The Macomb GOP’s plans are another indication of how John McCain’s campaign stands to benefit from the burgeoning number of foreclosures in the state. McCain’s regional headquarters are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm’s founder, David A. Trott, has raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.

The Macomb County party’s plans to challenge voters who have defaulted on their house payments is likely to disproportionately affect African-Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic voters. More than 60 percent of all sub-prime loans — the most likely kind of loan to go into default — were made to African-Americans in Michigan, according to a report issued last year by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

Challenges to would-be voters

Statewide, the Republican Party is gearing up for a comprehensive voter challenge campaign, according to Denise Graves, party chair for Republicans in Genessee County, which encompasses Flint. The party is creating a spreadsheet of election challenger volunteers and expects to coordinate a training with the regional McCain campaign, Graves said in an interview with Michigan Messenger.

Whether the Republicans will challenge voters with foreclosed homes elsewhere in the state is not known.

Kelly Harrigan, deputy director of the GOP’s voter programs, confirmed that she is coordinating the group’s “election integrity” program. Harrigan said the effort includes putting in place a legal team, as well as training election challengers. She said the challenges to voters were procedural rather than personal. She referred inquiries about the vote challenge program to communications director Bill Nowling, who promised information but did not return calls.

Party chairman Carabelli said that the Republican Party is training election challengers to “make sure that [voters] are who they say who they are.”

When asked for further details on how Republicans are compiling challenge lists, he said, “I would rather not tell you all the things we are doing.”

Vote suppression: Not an isolated effort

Carabelli is not the only Republican Party official to suggest the targeting of foreclosed voters. In Ohio, Doug Preisse, director of elections in Franklin County (around the city of Columbus) and the chair of the local GOP, told The Columbus Dispatch that he has not ruled out challenging voters before the election due to foreclosure-related address issues.

Hebert, the voting-rights lawyer, sees a connection between Priesse’s remarks and Carabelli’s plans.

“At a minimum what you are seeing is a fairly comprehensive effort by the Republican Party, a systematic broad-based effort to put up obstacles for people to vote,” he said. “Nobody is contending that these people are not legally registered to vote.

“When you are comprehensively challenging people to vote,” Hebert went on, “your goals are two-fold: One is you are trying to knock people out from casting ballots; the other is to create a slowdown that will discourage others,” who see a long line and realize they can’t afford to stay and wait.

Challenging all voters registered to foreclosed homes could disrupt some polling places, especially in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to the real estate Web site RealtyTrac, one in every 176 households in Wayne County, metropolitan Detroit, received a foreclosure filing during the month of July. In Macomb County, the figure was one household in every 285, meaning that 1,834 homeowners received the bad news in just one month. The Macomb County foreclosure rate puts it in the top three percent of all U.S. counties in the number of distressed homeowners.

Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent and Genessee counties were — in that order — the counties with the most homeowners facing foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac. As of July, there were more than 62,000 foreclosure filings in the entire state.

Joe Rozell, director of elections for Oakland County in suburban Detroit, acknowledged that challenges such as those described by Carabelli are allowed by law but said they have the potential to create long lines and disrupt the voting process. With 890,000 potential voters closely divided between Democratic and Republican, Oakland County is a key swing county of this swing state.

According to voter challenge directives handed down by Republican Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, voter challenges need only be “based on information obtained through a reliable source or means.”

“But poll workers are not allowed to ask the reason” for the challenges, Rozell said. In other words, Republican vote challengers are free to use foreclosure lists as a basis for disqualifying otherwise eligible voters.

David Lagstein, head organizer with the Michigan Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), described the plans of the Macomb GOP as “crazy.”

“You would think they would think, ‘This is going to look too heartless,’” said Lagstein, whose group has registered 200,000 new voters statewide this year and also runs a foreclosure avoidance program. “The Republican-led state Senate has not moved on the anti-predatory lending bill for over a year and yet [Republicans] have time to prey on those who have fallen victim to foreclosure to suppress the vote.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So tonight at bedtime, JH was in a super chatty mood, having just gotten a new computer game from Dad, and he was rattling off stuff about light sabers and such, when the topic shifted to school.

Okay, it didn't just shift. I said, "Let's talk about school." Because I can only talk about Star Wars for about 10 minutes before my eyes start rolling around in my head. He tells me about who he played with at recess, we talk about math, then he says "Mom, 'M' has a crush on 'S', because he has crushes on lots of girls, and sometimes he even kisses girls!" I ask him what he thinks about that, and he says, "I thought I'd better ask you what you thought!" So I told him I thought that it wasn't appropriate for second graders to be kissing, but that getting crushes was pretty natural. I told him that when I was in second grade I had a crush on twenty one boys. At once. He called me a slut and rolled over. NO HE DIDN'T - I just wanted to see if you were still with me.

ANYHOO, he giggled at my story, then I asked him if he had any crushes. He said "Oh, GEEZ, I KNEW you were going to ask me this!" He put his hands in front of his face and thrashed around like I'd thrown lemon juice in his eyes, then he said "I do have a crush!" I asked him who it was, but told him that if he didn't feel comfortable telling me he didn't have to. I promised not to say anything to anyone (you don't count, internets. he was TOTALLY talking about anyone at his school), and so he told me he had a crush on basically every girl in his class. I said "well, you know, crushes are really normal at your age, but you should just treat those girls like friends, because they ARE your friends, and you know, no kissing. It's just not appropriate for second grade". He promised me no kissing, and promised that he would just be normal around the girls, and focus on school. And he promised not to talk about s-e-x at school. Which is good, because he he only knows enough right now to confuse anyone who happened to be in his path.

Then he said "Mom, if I marry 'MK' (his friend who is a boy), like they do in California, would I have to kiss him?"
Me, without skipping a beat: "well, yeah. that's what married people do. if they're doing it right."
Him: "would I have to wear a ring?"
Me: "Yes, probably".
Him, with concern in his voice: "could it be a man ring?"
Me, in complete seriousness: "Yes."

a quiet moment, then: "Mom, who do you want me to marry?"

Me: "I want you to marry someone you love."
Him: "I know. But who?"
Me: "Whoever you love".
Him: "I know, mom, but WHO?"
Me: "YOU ARE SEVEN YEARS OLD! When you're old enough to know who you love, that's who I will want you to marry. But I have always wanted you to marry 'G' since you were babies*. But, you know, only if that makes you happy. GOODNIGHT".

I felt like I stepped into a lovely row boat for a gentle paddle on a quiet lake and wound up navigating Class 5 rapids.

Geez, parenting is interesting sometimes.

*And if you really need to know if I want him to marry 'G' because she's a girl, it's truly not that. It's because they are such amazing friends. But if he grows up and still wants to marry 'MK', because he would make him happiest, it will be a mom's wish come true for me.

Some of the Nicest People I know

Joe-Henry's birthday is in November, so the rush of holidays that come directly after that always leave my head spinning. Never was this more true than the year he turned one. We had moved out of our apartment into a condo, and were getting to know our neighborhood. But it wasn't until the following holiday season that I would meet some incredible people who lived right across the street. It was sometime before Christmas, and Charley was carrying Joe-Henry on his shoulders, and I was wearing a pair of light up antlers that my sister had sent me that day. I had tried them on to amuse the boy and forgotten to take them off. We had gone for a walk around the neighborhood, and it wasn't until after I had a full conversation with our neighbors about the fact that we should get together sometime because we both had babies, that I realized I looked like Blitzen on a bender.

She handed me her number, and after a few days, I gave her a call. I was nervous - I hadn't done a lot of mingling, or playdates, or whatever new moms did. We'd just bonded with our little family and other friends who had babies the same age, but we didn't venture outside of that tiny circle much. Would she like me? Would my house be clean enough? Would we have anything to talk about besides our kids? As it turned out, she became one of my dearest friends, and her first-born one of Joe-Henry's first best pals. We'd meet around 4:00 in our little cul de sac, trading our catalogs we'd gotten in the mail, while the boys played in the "rabbit garden", making us "cowboy drinks". We'd watch them and laugh, scolding on occasion as they learned the social niceties about sharing and not playing too rough. She had another baby boy, then a couple years later, another baby boy. We became friends or acquaintances with others in the building, and they'd all come and go, laughing at our kids covered in dirt, or throwing sticks into the water meter.

We had been friends for a while when the last election rolled around, and we discovered that we sat on opposite sides of the aisle on many issues. We agreed on many, as well, and I like to think that we both have our hearts in the right places regarding doing what we believe is best for the country. But at some point, I think we had to agree to disagree, and stick to other topics in order to keep each other healthy. I never doubted for a moment that we would stay friends; we were too important to each other and kept each other sane in so many ways to lose a friendship over politics. We kept it civil from there on out, and I give her great credit - she never, ever gloated. She was a gracious winner. I like to think I would have done the same, because I love her dearly.

She moved first. They packed up their family and moved to Arizona, and we left the 'hood not long after, moving to the Northwest. I miss her so much. She would like the neighborhood I live in now. There are a lot of friendly Republicans here, too. I have one right next door who knows Sarah Palin's husband personally. He is so excited about the election, and ribs me constantly about my lonely Obama sign on our lawn. He tells me he's going to put up his McCain sign, and I smile and tell him he should, this country is big enough for both of us and our opinions. None of the rest of our neighbors have signs up, but they don't really have to. I kind of know already.

I am doing my best to load up on facts, to keep civil, to fight the GOOD fight - sticking to facts and trying to remember that my neighbors don't wish me ill personally.

But during THIS election? It's really so hard sometimes I think my head might explode. But I know if I collapse on my lawn, my ears spurting blood, one of my nice Republican neighbors will call 9-1-1.

"facts ought not be debatable"

Saw this on the Huffington Post, and I think it puts to words the feeling I've been having that has left me screaming at my radio and television.

"But facts ought not be debatable. The media have an obligation to point out when a politician is lying about a matter of fact, but the right-wing attack machine has so cowed some of them you can almost hear them moo. Steve Schmidt, McCain's top dog, is a brilliant and audacious strategist. His candidate has had the most favorable press coverage of any politician of the last century -- fawning, adoring, sycophantic press coverage. And yet he is brutalizing the press, waterboarding them into pretending that whether Gov. Palin supported the "Bridge to Nowhere," or hired an Abramoff-connected lobbyist to secure massive earmarks are somehow debatable.

The real debate is over whether the media will be vigilant watchdogs, sounding the alarm when McCain and Palin lie, or fall back to the role they've played for most of McCain's career: lapdog." Paul Begala

Here's the rest of the article.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Working Girl

Last year was the first year that I worked as a parapro in a specialized communications class. I sought this job because: it payed better than the other aide jobs (but not as much as bus drivers - those folks are livin' the dream: they drive for a couple hours, and spend the rest of the day reading or buffing their nails or eating donuts or something), and I would be able to put JH on his bus to school, and be waiting for him when he got home. I would also have all the same holidays and days off, which would save us in childcare expenses. I also took the job because in my previous life (before JH) I was an actor, and though I loved it so much at the time, I have lost my burning desire for it. And that's what it takes to make money at it. And we need money. And insurance. And I know that starting all those sentences with "And" is going to have me burning in Grammatical Hell, but I still have that side of me that just HAS to call attention to myself, so I just turn all BadAss with the English Language and say "TAKE THAT, Blogosphere!"

Where was I? Oh, yes, my job. It could have been a disaster, but it has been anything but. Yes, there are days when I want to cry and run away, but mostly, I am so excited to go to work, so thrilled to be trusted with these amazing kids, and so energized by our joint attempts at communication.

I happened to walk into this job a complete neophyte a) working in the public school system, and b) working with a population that has all kinds of special sensory needs. If I were to write a job description for someone considering this line of work, it would go something like this:

"Part Australian Blue Heeler, part Rodeo Clown, part mud wrestler, part wind talker. Humor is a must. Fashion Plates need not apply. Creative thinking is a must. You will spend your day running, or waiting. You will get dirty. You will get frustrated. You will need a good stiff drink at times. But you will also fall in love on a daily basis. You will see examples of heroic attempts to overcome obstacles several times a day. And you will leave each day wondering how you can make the next day better."

I'll be managing better after a month or so. But I remember last year at this time, I was taking afternoon naps, the kind where you wake up in your own drool and wonder where you are and what year it is. This year is a bit better, but I'm still dragging my ass. Of course, it's closer to the ground than it was this time last year, but we're working on that.

So now you know a little bit more about how I spend my days.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Maybe I was just so taken with Suttonhoo's tweet that she has BUNNIES in her backyard, but I've been realizing that, what with the Election and everything, I'm needing a bit more MAGIC in my life.

A friend sent me this link, and I knew I had to share it with you all. Enjoy your Sunday. Hope you find some magic of your own.

Little Girl Giant Plays in the Park from XINERGY on Vimeo.

I Tried...

But I just couldn't do it.

Darlin' Melanie sent me this clip, because I haven't been up late enough to see my secret boyfriend Jon Stewart and our tivo is out. Enjoy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

HeadSong Friday: More Love

Happy Friday! Hey, we made it! In a week that brought us the Republican Convention and some truly fantastic mudslinging, I wanted to offer my own olive branch to my conservative brothers and sisters.

I know there are some out there who believe very differently than I do, and the snark and sarcasm has been flowing freely out there on both sides, so I'd like to wrap you all up in a big warm hug and ask if we can't all get along? Or at least agree to do our part to focus on the real issues rather than take the nasty pot-shots that are just too easy to come by during any political season.

I'm not making any promises, I'm just saying I'll do my best.

Have a lovely Autumn weekend, all.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Because My Brain is Incapacitated....

...due to school/work starting, I am posting verbatim what my brilliant friend Melanie said. She doesn't have a blog (yet), but she should. This is her reaction to Palin's speech, which I am still not feeling brave enough to watch:

"Well, let me first swallow the vomit in the back of my throat...

I felt like I was watching the emperors new clothes. First of all, I wish someone at one of these friggin networks would comment on the complete lack of diversity in attendance at the RNC. It looked like the Southern Baptist White Convention.

Her speech was energizing and direct and I'm sure worked in the house last night. She attacked Obama many times and would do so with a smug smile. She looked like a puppet for Karl Rove. And with a 72 year old nominee, that is exactly what she will be. They kept her off topic with regards to social issues which was smart as she is extreme even for the RNC, and they put her on the attack instead. She came off as a little mean. Not sure if I would have gone there when it is the first impression most people will see. Guilianni was an a-hole, criticizing the "left wing media" (forgetting how much he loved being called "America's Mayor"). I think that Palin gave them exactly what they wanted and needed. There is a buzz out here among conservative women who perhaps weren't going to vote. I am afraid that this choice will expand McCain's base with the uneducated white rural voter. Her speech was effective but full of half truths and some flat out misrepresentations. I don't think she has a right (having been in a national race all of 10 days) to be so critical and dismissive of Obama. Frankly, I wanted to punch her. She made fun of his "Community organizing", made him out to be a fake Jesus, made fun of the pillars on his set in Denver, made fun of Michelle's comments on pride, made fun of Obama's comments on guns and religion saying "what you see is what you get with me and McCain". Ok, that helps when there is audio like the one I sent you or the one where she condones a radio talk show host who refers to her democratic rival in Alaska as a "bitch" and a "cancer". She is so extreme in everything from choice to climate change and by not going there last night, I realized that is their Achilles heel with her." Bold italics mine. We need to be driving this home. Anyway, to get back to what Melanie sez:

"She truly doesn't sit well with moderates or independents. Our job is to make sure that people (especially women) are aware of just how extreme her views are. Right now there is euphoria in the RNC and McCain still has to speak tonight. He's not a great speaker but Damn! He's a war hero! He needs to clarify his positions. My fear is that this euphoria will last nine weeks and she could be our president. I am truly frightened by that.

You should watch the speech."

(Yes, I know, but I'm just too chicken. I'm afraid my hubby would come home to find I had spontaneously combusted. So I'm waiting a bit.

"She was able to be the bitchy PTA mom and remain likeable. We need Hillary to fight her on her record, we need Biden to fight her on her record and on her flip flops. This is no longer about race or gender or party, it's about two completely different directions for this country. One that moves us ahead and one that not only maintains the status quo politically but socially could put us back 30 years."


She sent me another email this afternoon, with this addition:

"How come no one is talking about the fact that Obama went to HARVARD!!! Where did she go to school????? Then Obama gave up six figures to go and help real people in a real crisis! His "responsibility" was to his own conscience because he saw human suffering and wanted to make it better. It's not ambition to work for 10,000 a year in the south side of Chicago. It's heart. And soul. God am I proud to be a DEMOCRAT!!"

Amen, Sistah.

Everyone, lets give it up for my brilliant friend Melanie. She could use it, she lives in Alabama, and let's face it, she's not surrounded by like-minded individuals.