Thursday, January 24, 2008

Primary Politics=Presidential Politics

I just received an email from Michelle Obama, one that many probably received on the Clinton attacks on her husband. I would quote from it, but it is political rhetoric like everything being said in the run-up to South Carolina and Super Tuesday primaries.

It does lead me to finally come out and state for the record that the Clintons should not be president again. It was 8 years of bluster, infighting, scandal and divisiveness (I can remember it another way too but the climate that Clinton has created recently in the primary is so negative it highlights my concerns about a Hillary presidency). We have had another 8 years of this with Bush II, I am sick of it.

Remember in the run-up to the SC primary in 2000? Well it was crazy negative like now, McCain lost, and Bush won by campaigning negatively and using dirty tricks. My theory is if you will do anything to win SC, including destroy your own political party and your future political allies, then you are going to use the same slash and burn mentality in the White House. This mentality didnt serve us with Clinton I or Bush II, and I dont want to test it out in Clinton II.

Experience in Washington to me is code for knowing how to play the very cynical game of cat and mouse, that is not useful at this point in our country's history. Clinton I was more of a neophyte than Obama is now (at least Obama has some foreign policy experience). Change is needed, change in attitude, change in the way business is done, a way that will be inclusive while representing compromise and straightforwardness in policy-making. I know people say I am naive, but I am a believer that many people in this country want our leaders to get it together and stop pandering to the extreme elements of our party or those who would be swayed by negative politicking.

To that end, I have donated $25 to Obama's campaign (first time I have ever contributed to a presidential campaign). I finally did it on the day my friend said to me "now black parents are not lying to their children when they say you can be anything you want to be, now we achieve anything" She had such hope, there is so much power in hope that is not just rhetorical, it can mean historic transition to a more peaceful nation (among other things), Clinton II is just more of the same. Vote Obama on February 12 in Virginia and in your state's primary.

Sports and Nostalgia

With ACC basketball on a lot on Channel 29 and nothing else child-friendly on, David and I have been watching a lot of ACC basketball. Watching sports is one of my earliest memories- Yankees/Chicago Cubs, UVA Men and Women's Basketball, and football (which until I was old enough to know better, I really thought was always on). Living in Charlottesville the choices for watching sports on tv is fairly limited, except on WVIR which shows a lot of basketball. Last night it was UNC v. Miami, the other day it was Boston College v. UVA.

David is 4, almost 5 he would tell you, but that isnt really true. Sometimes when daddy isnt home, David will cuddle up in my bed and watch ACC basketball with me, he is so talkative- "now UNC is winning" "look, UNC has 38 points, and... mommy who is in white?" "Miami has 32 points" "there are five players on the court for UVA, 1,2,3,4,5, and for Boston COllege". I am honored to give him his education in ACC basketball and look forward to BASEBALL season ("how many players are on the field, what is the outfield" ... the questions are endless). I think these are pretty cool memories for him to have.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A little bit of bragging for Sherry!

As those who know me, well know, I have been bragging to all those around me about my step-mother. She was recently deployed to Germany to serve on C-Cat flights from Germany to Andrews Air Force Base. She is a nurse in the Air Force. She returned home the day after Thanksgiving. It is not easy being home and not directly supporting the injured men and women who serve our country so valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention lots of other places). C-Cat (and I am totally guessing at the spelling) flights fly injured troops from one theater back to the US. Sherry is an intensive care nurse so she flew with the most injured, most needy troops. I am moved to tears by her descriptions of these men and women, their bravery and selflessness (she says they never take credit for their actions, they always find someone else to give credit too, who always throws it right back at the other, and it isnt false, it is genuine- so different than our lives here). SO of course having been serving for six months the war and its injured, it is difficult to transition to bureaucracy and apparent indifference to the wars we are fighting overseas.

So, one Sunday she is invited to give a briefing to a VIP, not a General or other brass but to Gary Trudeau, of Doonesbury. She spoke to him for hours, he asked all sorts of questions and took a lot of notes. The result is the current storyline in Doonesbury. Trudeau made Sherry a doctor in the storyline.

Sherry by telling her story to Trudeau continues to make a difference for those troops at war. And Doonesbury with his kind light shining on these stories makes a difference because who else is going to tell the stories if he doesnt? So far, my conclusion is no one. So thank you to Sherry for her service and to Doonesbury for bringing a little piece of the war into focus for us. [click on images to make them bigger- and dont forget to read the rest of the story as it becomes available in your favorite newspaper or on the previous link].

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

One of these people needs to step down

So no official word from NH Dems yet, but Hillary is up steadily by three to four percentage points. Why is Bill Richardson in this race?

Clinton 64,743 39% 2 62% reporting
Obama 60,322 36% 2
Edwards 27,578 17% 0
Richardson 7,889 5%

Does Richardson have a chance, does he have any money? If he is the anti-Hillary candidate, he is failing, so he needs to throw his support to the other anti-Hillary candidate who is viable.

Richardson is not getting his message out, I know we are only three states into this primary season so his campaign probably thinks anything is possible.

Just my humble opinion.
DemCentral took this quiz, I thought I would. I couldnt post the HTML stuff to the comment section, so here it is with appropriate attribution. You should take it. Lloyd's results really surprised me (hint: Gravel and Kucinich).

83% Bill Richardson
82% Barack Obama
81% John Edwards
80% Chris Dodd
78% Hillary Clinton
78% Mike Gravel
71% Joe Biden
70% Dennis Kucinich
47% Rudy Giuliani
46% John McCain
44% Mike Huckabee
37% Mitt Romney
31% Ron Paul
30% Tom Tancredo
28% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year-2008 edition

Few things - in my last post I referenced the CvilleWorkingMoms blog- I finally put it on the blogroll- sorry about that. The blog is well-written, provocative and honest. Check it out.

I am humbled by two recent occurrences. First, I was accepted into the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership along with these fine folks from all over Virginia. I am particularly grateful for this honor. I learned about the program when I worked with Sen. Couric during the 1998 session- she had attended, as had Paul Harris, the delegate representating parts of this area at the time. I was going to apply in 1998- but thought better of it as I reviewed the qualifications and the type of people who had graduated from the program. Ten years later, I am delighted and honored to have worked my way to a point where I am accepted into Sorenson.

Second, I became the co-chair of the Charlottesville Democratic Party. As you know I suffer from too little to do, so this seemed like an appropriate time to pursue this interest. My belief is that my nomination and election to this position ushers in a new way of looking at the City Party. I will never convince the naysayers, but for those who are looking for a reason to be involved- we welcome you. I am excited to be in this position for the next two years- during the Presidential, Senate and Governors races.

Our short-term goals (I am part of a team) include training committee members, maintain and improve database and communications generally, fundraising, work collaboratively with the County Democrats and improve outreach efforts (voter registration and greater emphasis on cohesiveness etc.).

I am open to ideas and suggestions, I am fairly new to this so constructive criticism is welcome while hateful comments are not. And as usual, I understand reasonable people may disagree respectfully- I hope to keep that in the front of my mind in the next two years.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Cville Working Mom is a great blog, as indicated by my inclusion of it on my blogroll. However, I was disturbed to find this anti-Wii post after Christmas. Too bad she cant value the awesomeness of the phenomenon.

I asked for and received a Wii for Christmas. Why? I hate video games- Pac Man is my speed, but not Mario Brothers or other stuff.

During football season our friends traveled to our house for games with their new son and Wii. After the game instead of the bar scene (which prior to the child would have been the preferred activity), we gathered at our house and challenged each other to tennis, bowling, big brain academy and the like well into the evening and night (Chris would like to mention here that he scored a hole in one on Tiger Woods golf, for those who like the system).

I appreciate the comraderie of the system, it is engaging. Sure- going bowling is engaging, but I am not going to Keglers anymore, first I am not 19, last time I went it was full of smoke and drunk people (never mind the news stories on the violence there), oh and I have two boys who need to be in bed pretty early.

Second, it isnt exercise, but you know on any one given day it is more than I am doing normally. A few practice tennis games on the Wii at 9PM makes up for the fact that I didnt have time to ... well go to the tennis court (I think I last did that in the 90s).

Third, what are Chris and I doing after 9 at night anyway (which is when we typically play)? To the tennis courts? Hitting the baseball field or boxing rink? Nope, watching tv, doing chores otherwise not really anything. Why not a little Wii?

With respect to my kids, they are always in bed when I play. They play very limited games, in brief intervals. I would rather them experience outside and play during the day (so they sleep better at night) than watch tv or play video games.

I respect people's right to hate the Wii, I dont particularly understand it. I love it and am having a blast playing it. And we are planning a late night gathering with friends, adult beverages and fun soon with the Wii. Thanks Chris!

Housing First

The housing money has been allocated for 2007. One decision the task force made was to partially fund Region Ten's proposal for the Housing First program. This program provides housing and intensive social work for dual diagnosed homeless folks. This article by Marc Fisher recently outlined the District's program. The project is innovative, cost saving and literally gets people into homes. This project is much cheaper than continually arresting or temporary detention in a mental health facility.

I hope the community will continue to support this program in the coming years either through housing money or other community investment. Region Ten is a under-funded but hard working organization that works with people virtually no other organization does- innovation and support is essential.