Category Archives: politics

Why #imwithher

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Why #imwithher

The decision who to vote for this election was incredibly hard. There were, however, several deciding items that tipped my decision to Hillary Clinton. 

I realize putting this out will not sway any hearts. And it’s not really intended to. This is so I can go back and reflect on it later. 

On the subject of abortion. I do not believe outlawing it will stop it. There are many reasons a woman would take such a drastic step; none of which will be solved by making it illegal. I have spoken to women who’ve made that terrible choice and not a single one made it lightly.

I also no longer believe Pro Life means anything; it is a device of politics. The same party that rages against women for electing to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, has voted to deny the expansion of Medicaid for low income families and failed to fund early education which is absolutely critical to changing the conversation around success rates for children in poverty. They failed to support efforts to provide safe, inexpensive access to reproductive care and contraception, adequate availability to affordable childcare, and support and resources for women in vulnerable situations. The party that hangs its entire moral outrage on the innocent death of the fetus seems to have no compassion or interest in the quality of life of those children once they leave the womb. 

I think abortion is a heinous act committed against an innocent. I do not support the use of it as anything but a catastrophic intervention to save the life or future reproductive capacity of the mother. 

I also know the phrase “late term abortion” is a political invention to crudely describe an extremely rare procedure that is absolutely never used but in the most dire circumstances. I whole-heartedly agreed with HRC when she said in the last debate that she doesn’t believe the government or politicians are qualified to interfere in a decision that should only ever be between that family and their medical team. 
Regarding immigration: immigration laws have always been intended to keep undesirable people groups out. In our history, that included the Chinese, then unescorted women who were not met by a man, eastern and Southern Europe, etc… We have created a system so cumbersome that poor families in dismal circumstances have little chance of ever getting through the red tape. 

This country has always been a place for a second chance, a fresh start, and boundless opportunity. We must find a way to simplify the process so those who pay taxes and contribute to the betterment of their communities are given the chance to obtain citizenship. Existing immigration laws must be enforced, and penalties for illegally entering this country (only once the process has been simplified) or committing a crime while a guest of the United States must be strengthened. 

In regards to refugees fleeing horrific circumstances: We have been the rescuers, the heroes, and the good guys for generations. To now turn our backs on these people because we don’t like their religion or politics is repellant. To make a blanket judgement because their worship doesn’t look like ours decries the great commission. To close our hearts and refuse to offer aid likens us to the priest in the story of the Good Samaritan. We fail our calling in the name of fake safety. We were never called to be safe. We were called to be instruments in the redeemer’s hands. 

This election has given me reason for grave concern over the health of The Church; that is, the body of people who claim to be Christ-followers. We write a check and put in the envelope and feel good about supporting mission work. Twice a year, we give money or fill backpacks and think we’re changing somebody’s story. And these are worthwhile efforts. But they’re not changing anything. Men, women, and children in our very communities are facing life and death circumstances because they are poor. Or black. Or a child.

HRC has had her share of controversy and, while I believe so much of the furor around her is propaganda, the fact that there are so many circumstances where her family name can somehow be linked to something sketchy is disappointing. I am reminded of the part of the Old Testament when Israel said to Samuel they wanted a king and God warned that to place a man (or woman in this case) in a position of the kind of power is a recipe for disaster. We are broken people. At least HRC acknowledges when she makes mistakes or uses poor judgment. I am willing to extend grace to those who ask for it because I find myself in such desperate need of it every day and I would hope to be shown grace if I asked for it. 

Finally, in regards to LGBT protections under the law. And this is where my heart quakes because this is where I am so at odds with where I am personally. The day we write laws that deny the protections of the constitution because we don’t agree with their morality, our republic is doomed. If the government offers legal provision to the civic contract which is marriage, our government must offer it to any marriage. As the Church, we are called to be in the world; NOT of it. Behind these issues are PEOPLE. It’s so tempting to pick up that rock, stand on our moral high ground, and stone the issue – forgetting there is a flesh and blood heart, a soul on the receiving end of our blows. What kind of witness are we providing when we say Jesus came for all…but not “them?” The only one who should be outraged here is Jesus. Because that’s not what he said. 

Nobody should have the right to persecute, abuse, or discriminate another person – FOR ANY REASON. As believers, we above all others should be the most vocal champions of this; not the loudest opponent. Showing grace and extending a hand of compassion and welcome to ALL is how we demonstrate the love of Christ that we have been shown. “For while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 
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There is never going to be a perfect candidate or party. And each citizen has a responsibility to make their own EDUCATED decision. 

I have watched the Republican Party tear itself apart in the past year. I have watched a candidate rise who spews filth and stirs up hatred with nearly every address. A candidate comfortable in the use of fear and intimidation. A bully. A man who makes no apologies for his xenophobic rants and his utter lack of self-control. I will not align myself with a party that seems to be run on hate and fear. 

I believe we are better than we have behaved. I choose hope. I choose Her. 

Spit and polish…and nothing else?

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Increasingly, I’ve been wondering if national politicians are anything BUT talking heads (and money).

It takes ungodly sums of money to run a national campaign. (Obama’s spent almost $300 MIllion so far, and Romney’s spent a little more than half that). I can’t even imagine what all that money looks like (advertising, mostly). You wonder what they would be capable of if their staff was redirected to raise money for a worthwhile charity; like Habitat for Humanity, United Way or Communities in Schools. Shoot, the total amount raised this year could completely revolutionize education. Can you imagine what school districts could do if they had constituents who could be counted on to give and give and give, like politicians? And, for the love of Mike, isn’t the work schools do far more important than some guy in a suit with an American flag on his lapel, or some sharp-dressed and sharper-tongued woman – promising change we can believe in, or the “right” kind of change or some other promise nobody but the candidates themselves believe will actually come true?

And then there is the talking head. Is there actually any substance to these people? They are surrounded by people telling them the right thing to say and how to say it in a compelling way. People in my field (even though I would be so out of my depth with any of them) make a living “advising” others around us (read=influencing behavior). Those with scruples are working for the best message; one that will clearly explain the heart and soul of an issue. There are many, though, who seem to be motivated by something else. What that something is, exactly, I don’t know – having never been IN that world. It’s so easy to sit back and throw stones. (trust me, I’ve been pelted with rocks by people who don’t know me OR what I do)

My argument that these politicians are all talking heads and they are so message and talking point driven, you can almost see the cards flipping in their eyes when they are asked a question. People (like me) make a living anticipating questions and preparing for interviews. Everything they can think of to keep their candidate from saying something stupid; a monumental task, apparently. This article, from the Chicago Tribune, talks about some of the more memorable gaffes from this campaign (so far).


Two of my favorites, from both sides. *rolling eyes*

It seems to me that, when these guys go “off message,” they can’t stop themselves from saying something stupid. It’s probably the only time we get to see anything resembling the real guy or lady under all that spit and polish.

I’m not saying it’s not a good idea to have people around you who will help you craft a message. (shoot, that would be advocating the end of my career field) I think it’s a great idea to have somebody who makes a living thinking about words and the affect they have on people. But it’s important that the person uttering those words have some input – the words must be their own. Otherwise, you get the talking points and hollow messages that get screwed up the minute the person behind the curtain stops pushing the buttons.

Hm…. Something to think about this voting season. Are you giving money and voting for the guy/gal you like/believe in, or are you voting for the spin doctors behind him/her?

 

RLY? Pizza as a vegetable

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Is Pizza a Vegetable?

According to Congress, it is.  *snort*

Couple of problems with this.  Mainly that Tomatoes are classified as FRUIT. 
Second, that they are making this stretch to keep pizza on school lunch menus. 

Brilliance.  Sheer brilliance.  And these are the people representing us in order to conduct the affairs of the Nation. 

A Great Opinion Post

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Some of my favorite quotes from this great opinion post from Washington Post Opinion Writer Robert J. Samuelson:

  • Our political system prefers rhetorical fairy tales to unpleasant budget realities.
  • There’s no culture of moral accountability.
  • On both left and right, myths persist of painless solutions: “eliminating waste” or “taxing millionaires.”

nanny state?

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I’ve heard this term a lot lately and thought I’d better check it out for myself. It’s hard to know where to stand on issues any more. As I become older and more informed about the political “process,” I am more convinced we are the next verse in a very long song. Our country is but one of many who succumb to the insistence of its leaders that they, not the individual citizen, knows what is best for the people and, as a result, doom the entire nation.

The stark fact is that you cannot give power to rule others to a select group of people and expect good things to come from it. Power is like a drug; once given it is very hard to use it only to serve others. We tell ourselves we act in the best interests of others but we are, in reality, stripping them of their personal freedom. This creates a larger and larger gap between the rulers and the ruled until a once humble and noble-intentioned person entrusted as the head of the State becomes a conceited tyrant – bent on pushing forward programs, laws and policies that only serve the people writing them – other politicians. Progress becomes lost in the endless maneuvering, currying favor and compromises made in backroom meetings. The deal is done before it ever sees the light of day.

We are not fit to rule ourselves. Only God can truly lead a people. Haven’t we seen one civilization after another begin with the noblest intentions, built on righteous ideals fall apart a few hundred years later because of corruption, greed and all manner of evil?

So what is an average person to do? Scream into the wind with no affect or stand aside and be swept along with the current of political whim?

Money Trees in Washington?

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100810/ap_on_bi_ge/us_jobs_bill

Now, I am the very last person who would want to see teachers lose their jobs – I am related to more teachers than I can shake a stick at.  But, in all honesty, where is this money coming from? 

The billions of dollars that have been spent or promised by this administration to “shore up” “bail out” or otherwise stimulate “growth” is staggering.  What kind of real growth can be expected with all these (very, VERY expensive) band aids?? 

Genuine change must come by re-evaluating practices and fixing the root problem rather than just throwing money at the issue for a year or two.  All that will be accomplished by these millions upon millions of dollars of “aid” is to delay the inevitable.  And that is a shame. 

Obama is building a legacy of over-spending, over-promising and over-reaching.  People who don’t live on government aid will end up shouldering the crushing debt he is amassing.  People like us.  Not rich folks who grimace and gripe at the tax-bill but end up being able to pay it.  Folks like us – those of us trying to save up to buy a house; those of us who wonder how on earth we are supposed to save for college for children still in elementary school; those of us who wonder what on earth saving for retirement looks like.  Folks like us who count on a little extra coming back from filing tax returns so we can replace the tires or brakes on the car or pay a little extra on a student loan or something else. 

I want to help others.  Truly.  My heart breaks for those who find themselves in desperate circumstances that may be out of their control.  And it is very hard for me to take a hard-line and penalize adults for poor decisions, knowing that it is their children who will suffer.  But then I stop myself and ask, are we not creating a new generation of people expecting to be taken care of; regardless of the reason for the need? 

Learned helplessness and generational poverty seem to be products of this new philosophy of “help everybody” but, the unfortunate truth is that we’re helping nobody.

America. Love it or fix it.

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Early Voting locations in Bell County:
Belton – Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E. 2nd Ave
Killeen – Bell County Annex, 301 Priest Drive
Killeen – Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Vet Memorial Blvd
Temple – Bell County Annex, 205 E. Central Avenue
Salado – Salado Civic Center, 601 North Main Street
Harker Heights – Parks & Recreation Center, 307 Millers Crossing

No excuse.  You either step up and take action or sit down and be quiet.  Know this, though – nothing hurts this country (or any effort, for that matter) like apathy.  Abdication of responsibility does not make it any less your fault when the wheels come off. 

“My vote doesn’t count anyway” is not a valid excuse.  Lots of time has been spent proving how many close races have been decided by just a few votes. 

I was raised to believe that civic involvement was not only a right; it was a RESPONSIBILITY.  Just letting things be as they will be is for people who live in dictatorships or monarchies.  NOT AMERICA.  It drives me absolutely up the wall when people stand on the sidelines and gripe but DO NOTHING ABOUT IT (other than gritch, that is).

No New Mail

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I sent an open email to Senator McCain, the Republican Nominee for President on June 14.  Today is June 24 and I have recieved no response.  This is a very curious thing because, if I was on his staff, I’d been keenly interested in winning BACK that long-time Republican voter who voted Democrat in the primary. 

  • Maybe he’s assuming it was a Rush Limbaugh tactic 
  • Maybe he’s assuming I will just go ahead and vote Republican in the big show in November. 

Maybe somebody on his staff should tell him what happens when you assume. 

Ah, what a weekend

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I think I’m settling into a routine without the Midget.  I’m not eating very healthy and I noticed it when I stepped on the scale at Mom’s house.  The good news is the number is going down but the bad news is that it’s because I’m not eating.  I mean, I’m eating but not really what or as much as I should.  But what girl in her right mind will really quibble about 5-10 pounds? 

Rehearsal was fun tonight.  We didn’t actually get to the part that the nurses had been called for but we bonded amongst ourselves and that was GREAT fun.  We acted up, laughed, supplemented dialogue with our own whispered commentary and, in general, acted like silly fools.   It was terrific.

I really like the girls in the cast and we’re having a good time getting to know one another.  I wish Paige would come over and play with us – it would make it more fun. 

Quick update to my politics experiment: Senator McCain’s camp has STILL not emailed any response and I have received nothing from either Senator Hutchinson or Senator Corwyn’s office about the Energy Bill inquiry I sent last week.  It’s only Monday, though, so I’ve not given up totally.  *grin* 

Why does my cat lick the bottoms of shoes?  Doesn’t he know how GROSS that is?! 

I think I’m tired now.  Goodnight, friends. 

My newfound interest in politics

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You may have noticed the upsurge in political posts lately.  Call me a late bloomer, but it occurs to me that my not being aware of what is happening in Austin and Washington is very irresponsible. 

I don’t know that I’ll blog about all of it but, at least for now, it’s pretty high on my radar. 

Yeah, because the media NEVER runs rumors…

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“It is a destructive aspect of our politics right now,” Obama told journalists. “And simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. And you know, presumably the job of the press is to not go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there’s actually anything, one iota of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.”

*laugh*  I like this.  

Here’s the full article.   

Follow up to the Senator’s Letter

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As a PR person, I am fully aware that this is a prepped message on one of his strong talking points and not a personalized message, typed by the man himself at 6 o’clock last night.  But as a PR person I have to say how impressed I am that, within 72 hours of the original message, I received a response that was content appropriate to the message I sent him. 

I like the phrase, “this is the fight of my life.”  It is very impassioned and I can certainly see why he has such a huge following. 

I think, for the sake of political debate, I will write a similar letter to McCain’s camp and see what response I receive from it. 

A Response from the Senator

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Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about our economy.  I agree strongly that our economy is failing too many hard-working Americans families right now.

This is the fight of my life.

The situation we face now in many parts of the country isn’t so different from the one that brought me to Chicago in 1985.  The old steel factories had shut down and the neighborhoods were dying.  The schools weren’t preparing the children for the few new jobs that were being created.  So I came to Chicago to be a community organizer.  I learned about the neighborhood by listening to anybody who would talk to me – laid-off workers and teachers, priests and pastors, small business owners and retirees.  And then I fought alongside them.  I organized with them to create the changes the community wanted and needed.

America needs a president right now who sees eye to eye with workers.  You can’t look out for workers and fix our broken trade laws if you’re taking money from Washington lobbyists and special interests, and you’ve promoted trade deals that hurt American workers.  And you can’t take on the establishment in Washington if you can’t rally the American people behind a legislative agenda of change.

I have developed that detailed legislative agenda, and I hope you’ll take a look at it by clicking here:

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/Obama_Keeping_Americas_Promise.pdf

Or for an overview, please click here: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/

These plans build on laws I’ve passed in over a decade as a legislator.  Together, they provide a path to financial security for every American family by stimulating the economy, restoring fairness to the tax code, protecting home ownership, strengthening workers’ rights, and renegotiating trade deals like NAFTA to make them work for American workers.

America’s economy is changing. We can no longer provide every member of our workforce the security of lifelong employment, but we can ensure that every American has lifelong employability. 

I hope you will join me in that fight.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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Paid for by Obama for America

Follow up

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No, I’m not giving up on the Republican Party.  I am not convinced the Senator McCain is the best choice for our country now.  While I have been a long-time Bush supporter, even I cannot deny the astronomical problems that have fallen on average Americans under his watch.  I see military spouses and loved ones weary from seven years of war.  I see soldiers leaving for their FOURTH deployment.  I see $60 at the pump in my gas-efficient car.  I see increasing costs as I try and put regular food on the table.  I see increasing fears about budget cuts at home and at work. 

Like many Americans, I’m tired of worrying about money.  Frankly, I’m sick of an agenda that seems to leave average Americans completely out of the picture.  I’m tired of a Republican candidate that panders to the ultra-conservative when he is much more moderate.  I liked McCain a LOT more when he wasn’t sucking up.  Call it like it is, John. 

It is June and I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for in November…. 

 

Open Letter to Senator Obama

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Senator Obama,
I have followed your campaign with fascination and want to congratulate you on your success. 
 
As a newly registered Democrat (I voted for you in the Texas primary), I am keenly interested in where we go from here. 
 
You’ve talked a lot of about big picture issues and ideas.  As a fellow big picture thinker, I applaud your vision; I think it is the key to your success.  However, as a single parent, I need to think a little more small scale.  How would you, as President of the United States, work to relieve the crushing effects of the economy on the average American family? 
 
I am a single parent and I make $XX,XXX/year.  While that is a decent salary, even our household feels the pinch of $4/gallon gas prices and incredible increases at the grocery store.  It becomes harder and harder to budget as costs continue to rise. 
 
I know we didn’t get here overnight and the solutions aren’t going to be overnight either.  But I am keenly interested in solutions that will help the segment of the country that desperately wants to believe in the change you are selling. 
 
Help us, Senator Obama.  Talk to US about things we need now.  Talk about the price of gas, milk, bread, chicken, cheese, hamburger meat.  The stuff that ordinary families, even if they have good jobs, are worried about.  Because a lot of us aren’t quite sure how much longer we can hang on to our way of life under the tremendous weight of this economy. 
 
Thank you for your hard work.  I believe it is time for change.  Are you the way?  You have until November to SHOW us that you’ve thought about ALL of us. 
 
God bless you, sir. 
fridaynightgirl
a long-time registered Republican, politically moderate, evangelical Christian, single mom, in Texas – now, a registered Democrat

Open Letter to Senator Obama

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Senator Obama,

I have followed your campaign with fascination and want to congratulate you on your success. 

 

As a newly registered Democrat (I voted for you in the Texas primary), I am keenly interested in where we go from here. 

 

You’ve talked a lot of about big picture issues and ideas.  As a fellow big picture thinker, I applaud your vision; I think it is the key to your success.  However, as a single parent, I need to think a little more small scale.  How would you, as President of the United States, work to relieve the crushing effects of the economy on the average American family? 

 

I am a single parent and I make $XX,XXX/year.  While that is a decent salary, even our household feels the pinch of $4/gallon gas prices and incredible increases at the grocery store.  It becomes harder and harder to budget as costs continue to rise. 

 

I know we didn’t get here overnight and the solutions aren’t going to be overnight either.  But I am keenly interested in solutions that will help the segment of the country that desperately wants to believe in the change you are selling. 

 

Help us, Senator Obama.  Talk to US about things we need now.  Talk about the price of gas, milk, bread, chicken, cheese, hamburger meat.  The stuff that ordinary families, even if they have good jobs, are worried about.  Because a lot of us aren’t quite sure how much longer we can hang on to our way of life under the tremendous weight of this economy. 

 

Thank you for your hard work.  I believe it is time for change.  Are you the way?  You have until November to SHOW us that you’ve thought about ALL of us. 

 

God bless you, sir. 

fridaynightgirl
a long-time registered Republican, politically moderate, evangelical Christian, single mom, in Texas – now, a registered Democrat