March to End the War

September 21, 2007

A shot from the Answer Coalition's web site.

One of the great things about living in DC is that occasionally a progressively-minded acquaintance from college will give you a call and ask if you want to attend an anti-war march that weekend in your city. I was one of the 10,000 (or tens of thousands, or hundred thousand, depending on who you believe) who marched from the White House to the Capitol chanting anti-war slogans on Saturday, dodging anti-peace protesters’ verbal assaults and steely glances.

I can’t say I agreed with all the protesters — their views varied too much for that. Immediate withdrawal is unrealistic; support for the Iraqi resistance is…let’s just say off-message. But it seemed like the group of protesters, contrasted with the counter-demonstrators along the marching route, were a little too representative of the way our democracy is currently (dys)functioning.

For the first few blocks, the streets were lined mostly with supporters, but when we hit Pennsylvania Avenue the scene changed dramatically. Police barricades separated the marchers from the counter-demonstrators, but could block the offensive and inflammatory gestures and words thrown in both directions. Signs on both sides of barricade and issue were occasionally thoughtful, and many were oversimplified, but some were downright mean-spirited (“Traitors,” “Cindy Sheehan is Osama Bin Laden’s Best Friend,” “Hippies Smell” — and those were just from the other side). When the signs on the sidelines got nasty, many marchers started holding up a peace sign – oversimplifying our/themselves. Some people participating in the peace march became, ironically, violently angry. I asked a man in front of me to calm down at one point when he started screaming expletives and epithets at the Vietnam vets we encountered as we approached the Capitol. (He didn’t respond well.)

We all were there trying to make a point about the course our country should take in the future, but there was little unity within opposing factions and little dialogue between them. This is understandable – the crowd consisted of thousands of people with no real plan to rally behind. When our leaders can not communicate and work together to come up with a plan with potential that can be expressed concisely (and thus not by Sen. John Kerry), they give the people nothing to rally behind. That’s not to say that any or all factions of the stop the war movement would be contented with a proposal in Congress; our nation is too diverse and, I would like to think, too skeptical to blindly support whatever plan comes along. But if our leaders don’t take a shot at real dialogue, we will just be stuck, in the middle of the street, shouting at each other in hoarse voices and not hearing a word.

All the Nelson Mandelas were killed in Iraq before we even got there, President Bush lamented in his press conference earlier this week. Now that we’re there, though, all those who could potentially unite our country in its future action are silent in our own, established, self-congratulatory democracy. That’s why I’m also ambivalent toward all the presidential candidates – they are so focused on campaigning with their various messages of change and hope that they fail to foster either in their current roles. If one of them were to stand up with 66 or 67 senators behind him or her, and propose a workable solution that could withstand a Presidential veto – that might get the Democrats a little excited.


Daily Kos: “Gore Brand Among Three Hottest in the World”

August 30, 2007

great diary, here.


Ambivalent? Am I the only one?

August 27, 2007

I wonder if there are others here who feel like I do about 2008. I want a Democrat to win the White House more than just about anything right now in my life. I want it even more than I wanted it in 2000 or 2004, more than I wanted us to take back the Congress in 2006. My problem is, I don’t love any of our candidates…..

I wonder if there are others here who feel like I do about 2008. I want a Democrat to win the White House more than just about anything right now in my life. I want it even more than I wanted it in 2000 or 2004, more than I wanted us to take back the Congress in 2006. My problem is, I don’t love any of our candidates…..

Don’t get me wrong. I would be thrilled if Obama beat whoever the Republicans throw at us. I’d be ecstatic if Edwards blew out Giuliani next November. I’d be thrilled if Hillary toppled the Right Wing machine.

But I don’t have the fire for any of three yet. I just don’t feel it. I don’t feel it like I did in 2000 for Gore, or in 2004 at this point for Dean. (I came around to Kerry, but Dean was where my passion was).

I worry too much about Obama, Edwards, and Hillary. Obama’s passion inspires me, but can he stand the onslaught that Rove et al would unleash? Will the media like tearing him down as much as they built him up? I admire the work Edwards has done these last 3 years, but do I completely trust him? Are the positions he holds politically convenient or true in his heart? Hillary would represent something historic, but her turn from liberalism towards centrism and “strength” really rubs me the wrong way. Do we want more triangulation, or do we want someone who will stand up and say, “This is what I believe. Whether you agree with me or not, at least you know where I stand.”

I’m not looking for diatribes from the respective camps for each candidate. That’s not my point. My point is to find out if there are others here who feel as I do.

I wake up every day and check the web to see if there are any Gore inklings. I pray every night that Gore decides to get into the race. He is someone I would have passion for. I would be volunteering for him now. I would be donating now. I would be passionate now.

The others, I’m not so sure about. I will fight like hell once one of them grabs the nomination, should Gore not get in. But I just don’t feel it for them yet….

Please Al, Please Run!!!

Cross Posted at Daily Kos.


Arden’s Day: Your Vote Counts!

August 24, 2007

This is a cross-post from my daughter’s blog, Arden’s Day.

 

On August 1st 2007 HR 3162 came to a vote.  HR 3162 or the “Children’s Health and Medicare Protection (CHAMP) Act of 2007” included among other things a one-year, $150 million extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

The JDRF was requesting of a 5-year extension and an increase from $150 to $200 million per year which didn’t come to pass.  I try not to mix my political feelings with our support of diabetes research because we meet passionate supporters of diabetes research everyday of both leanings.  I never thought that they’re political affiliation could hurt the cause… until I saw the August 1st vote tally.

The bill passed, narrowly, 225 to 204.  When I looked into how my representatives voted I found this.  Final Vote Results for Roll Call 787.  Of the 225 Yeas 5 were Republicans.  So now I see that my support of diabetes research can not exclude party affiliation.  It is not my intention to offend anyone but if you are supporting Republican candidates this vote tally really should serve as an eye opener for you.  

My Congressman, Chris Smith (R) voted nay.  I called and emailed his office asking him for support.  I explained the drudgery of my day and the consequence to Arden’s life due to juvenile diabetes.  I received no response but more importantly I received no representation.  Ask yourself who is being represented when he votes against funding research that targets wiping out a massive disease.  

In the days that followed the vote Smith Reintroduced the “Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act”.  He is apparently concerned with the welfare of your fetus but stops caring about them after they are born.  He’s for Cord Blood Therapy and supports Autism but somehow voted against (CHAMP).  For me, that kind of inconstancy calls his intentions into question.

I’ll be honest and tell you that I haven’t read HR 3162.  I supported it blindly because it included money for a disease that my daughter has.  I’ll defend the 204 people that voted against it by saying that maybe they’re was a troublesome rider attached.  But if that was the case they should have found a better way to deal with their concerns other then voting against this bill.  It is unconscionable to play politics with our children’s lives.  

I urge you to look into how your representation voted and adjust your support accordingly.  Our children don’t have time to play politics, they need a cure today.  

Since we can’t count on our government to properly support diabetes research we’ll have to do it ourselves.  Arden will be walking on October 28 to raise awareness and funds for Juvenile Diabetes.  By donating you’re helping find a cure and when it’s found you’ll know you were part of rescuing Arden and countless others from this horrible disease.  Please donate as much as you can to the JDRF through Arden’s Walk.  Do it for Arden, do it because it’s kind or do it for the tax deduction… as long as you do it!  

 

  


Today’s Tidbits…..August 20th, 2007

August 21, 2007

bueller
Where is everyone? Bueller? Bueller? Hello…..

A few little items for your enjoyment:

Turns out Rudy spent more time watching the Yankees than he did at Ground Zero. Article here.

In the no shame department, Petraeus is the latest to play politics with 9/11. Oh, and, by the way, Petraeus isn’t even writing the report.

Keith Olbermann’s ratings are up over 75% since last year, and they are giving his show a shot as the lead in to the ridiculously popular Sunday Night Football this weekend on NBC.

Anybody watch the debate? I’ve watched almost all of them, and they each leave me hoping more and more that Albert Arnold Gore will get into the race. I have issues with each of them, and just can’t get as excited yet because my hope still is that Gore gets in. Check out this great diary on Daily Kos. For the real gore afficionados out there, check out The Gore Hub.

The Bush administration doesn’t care about your children.

and finally, a good friend of mine has started a wonderful blog about his daughter and her life with Diabetes. Please check it out and pass it on to your friends…. Arden’s Day


A few interesting articles……starting with a reminder about Bush’s DUI…and ending with a Gore item.

July 30, 2007

Nobody should think that this is Alberto Gonzalez’s first brush with the truth. His deceit goes back decades. Literally. Guess who helped GWB hide his DUI? Yep, you guessed it, Alberto “Absurd” Gonzalez. A good synopsis of all the issues involving Secretary Absurd are here….

Remember right around the 2006 elections the fracas between Howard Dean and the Democratic party’s traditionalists like Carville and Begala? Remember how they kept saying that Dean’s 50 state strategy was a disaster, and how he lost the Dems about 30 additional seats because he chose to devote resources to the 50 state strategy instead of more 30 second ads? Well, turns out, Dean was right. Read this great article about how some of the reddest states are at least turning Purple.

Fred Thompson is a giant Flop. F-L-O-P, Flop. Floppy Thompson. These are Hunter Duncan-esque Numbers.

And, lastly, the GOP is nervous as hell about 2008. Very, very nervous.

and, of course, one little Gore item….. from Laurie David:

“I don’t personally believe that everyone is in the race yet…. I’m going to wait and see what happens…. I’m waiting until October…. There isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t think about running.”


Olbermann, again….

July 21, 2007

Pure poetry:

Let’s hope Cheney doesn’t do anything cute tomorrow while Bush is getting his colon examined.