Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New ED for Sorenson Institute

The decision has been made, it didnt take long- the Sorenson Board decided to hire Bob Gibson, Charlottesville's longtime political reporter for the Daily Progress as its new Executive Director.
I wish him and the rest of the Sorenson staff smooth transitions and continued success. Well it isnt in the newsroom yet, but...keep checking.

More Sorenson issues...

I am genuinely interested in seeing other people's perspectives. I believe consensus can be reached frequently and neither extreme serves the greater good, generally.

But as I have been thinking about one particular presenter at PLP a few weeks ago, the more disdain I have for this person. I am not going to reveal him, he is nice enough to come to Sorenson and present. The discussion revolved around transportation, an issue he clearly did not grasp and the same party senior person on the panel frequently overruled his statements. It was fascinating. We had completed the labeling exercise that morning, so I certainly wasnt trying to pigeon-hole him, but he is one of those "House Republicans" whatever that means.

I looked at the bio after the sessions. He supported and led the effort to enact the Marriage Amendment in Virginia. I felt physically ill, still do really. I have reviewed the arguments for that amendment, they are not logical interests, it is fear based policy to win elections and it is despicable. Why does this man have the right to tell people in my family what is right and wrong? Why forty years after Loving v. Virginia does this man think he has a role in anyone's marriage or relationship (or frankly given the breadth of the law, a contract between two people)?

I see him as what is wrong with Virginia, the Jim Crowe era laws, the eugenics movement, Massive Resistance and now this...just because he is in the majority now given the passage of the amendment, doesnt mean history wont judge him and people like him just as harshly as we (I) judge the hatemongers of the early 20th Century.

How is it that I move beyond the partisian rancor if I react SO viscerally to a person like him? What if the people I like in the class honestly and sincerely believed Virginia needed this amendment? How do I explain how harmful that constitutional amendment is to families and businesses in Virginia? When something is so personal, how do we find common ground?

Governors, Hillary and Britney

Bill Bolling is not running for Governor. I am shaken a bit by this news. Chris tells me his theory is that the new Republican strategy is to nominate someone quickly then let the Democratic infighting destroy any chance of the Dem nominee to win. Evil Genius.

I particularly appreciated the quote by a Brian Moran staffer in the Post (?) perhaps Progress article "Jesse Ferguson, communications director for Moran, said the nomination contest with Deeds appears likely to be settled in a statewide party primary in June of next year. “Virginians for Brian Moran has 10 full-time staff,” as though that somehow makes Moran a viable candidate. To have ten staffers for 14 months is wasting the campaign's resources early, this is a long primary fight (June 2009 is the vote), staff gets tired, loses momentum and worse ... insular thinking. But heck that is just my theory and I am Senator Creigh Deeds supporter so take it what you will. Also I strongly urge Delegate Moran to drop out and run for Attorney General or LT Governor. I admit I have no great influence over anyone.

I say these things only as an individual, the Party in the City has no position on either of these candidates and will work equally strongly to elect either one of these fine candidates.

Other topics of interest- Hillary over exaggerates her role in these foreign policy issues. She will not be able to beat McCain on that issue period. The post said today she is trying to convince superdelegates she is more 'experienced' yes, in manipulation and lying, not really in public policy- if you are a superdelegate, dont buy it.

It was great to see Britney Spears on "How I Met Your Mother" last night. She did a good job, certainly not awful. IMO the best part is she looked healthy. As you know I worry about her, mostly for her children's sake. I am glad she is under care that is likely not to harm her any more.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

medical costs

Here we are with family. We were warned about the one sick child so we knew what we were getting into. So far my boys are fine.
Of their three cousins two are sick. The first to get sick is 4, he is on antibiotics. He went to urgent care- $40 for that visit plus the prescription. He has health insurance.
Those costs are not part of the weekly budget for this family. So when child #2 starts to get a runny nose and feel warm- the first thought is not to call the doctor but to wait and see. This child is 6 months old.
This same child was sick at our house at Christmas when he was 3 months. The answer for this family was to wait and see, even with health insurance because the cost is still prohibitive.

I am a mom. I worry, not obsessively, when my children get a fever or otherwise are sick. I call the nurse at the pediatrician and ask whether we should come in (usually no). But my kids are 3 and 4, my judgment is better and my kids can communicate with me so I don't worry as much and the co-pay would not break our budget (unlike my donations to Obama).

I don't want anyone ever to have to choose not to take his or her baby to the doctor because of $40. The worry is corrosive, just to get a prescription should not burst the family weekly budget.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More "Friends"

As a result of our initial Sorenson program last week, I now have at least 15 more friends on my facebook profile. I am so proud. Still I havent broken one hundred. I think it is ok since I am in my mid-30s.

So many things are interesting about the PLP (political leaders program)(which I still think of as PLI (political leadership institute)- I am now dating myself).
I know why people dont blog too much about their Sorenson experience, its Vegas, so what happens at Sorenson, stays in Sorenson. This helps with the comfort and trust level a lot. But I am allowed to blog about my own impressions and feelings on the happenings.

Yet, I am unwilling to describe it in public, it feels too personal to describe my own impressions/experiences. Weird. People ask and I say "it was great", alum tell me "it will get even better," and I cant imagine how that is possible.

Dont take all of this to mean I am entirely comfortable with everything, in fact the best part may be I am stretching my comfort zone in many ways (socially, politically and otherwise). I feel fortunate to be in the program- and the great, good, bad and discomfort that may follow.

Friday, March 07, 2008

MS Walk 3/29

I am a proud member of the UVA MICU team for the MS Walk to be held on 3/29. Please donate to the effort. I have added a link on my blog to go directly to my webpage. My boys and I will be walking for my mom who I am sure would like to walk but will be working in the MICU that day. Thank you for any contribution.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dont Tell Chris- another Email from Obama; another donation

Si Se Puede.
Every month now I have been receiving this Donate email and I gratefully donate again (see below).
Chris supports Senator Obama, but he rightly knows my new activity takes money out of the budget. He has not been critical- I think he knows, we have to support Senator Obama not only through the act of voting but through financial support. $55 million last month- we didnt donate a lot, but we helped, as many others have. Continue your support of Sen Obama and donate AGAIN!

"But today I want to share another staggering number: supporters like you donated more than $55 million to this campaign in the month of February.
That's a humbling achievement, and I am very grateful for your support.
No campaign has ever raised this much in a single month in the history of presidential primaries. But more important than the total is how we did it -- more than 90% of donations were $100 or less, and more than 385,000 new donors in February pushed us past our goal of more than 1,000,000 people owning a piece of this campaign.
From the beginning, this campaign has always been funded by a movement of grassroots supporters giving whatever they can afford. And unlike Senator Clinton and Senator McCain, we have never taken money from lobbyists or PACs.
Senator Clinton has decided to use her resources to wage a negative, throw-everything-including-the-kitchen-sink campaign. John McCain has clinched the Republican nomination and is attacking us daily. But I will continue to vigorously defend my record and make the case for change that will improve the lives of all Americans.
I need your help to continue this battle on two separate fronts. Now is the time to step up and own a piece of this campaign.
Please make a donation of $25 today:"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Patrick Swayze is ill

Pancreatic Cancer- I hate that disease. Dirty Dancing is one of my iconic movies; I had the soundtrack (we couldnt afford to own movies, but occasionally we rented them) and wanted to be Jennifer Grey's character and camp upstate in the summer and meet handsome older boys...all the while demonstrating my maturity and compassion and being severly misunderstood by the grown-ups in my life.
I am stunned, removed from the situation I am not overly morose, but it does bum me out that the strong and handsome hero of Dirty Dancing has grown fallable and old. I suppose it is the birthday month phenomena where I get all nostalgic and sentimental because man I am getting old. Alas his illness has little to do with me and I will just pray, like I pray for all that he will be supported by his loved ones, comfortable and receiving good medical care.

The fight has just begun

From Senator Obama's Facebook notice:
Our projections show the most likely outcome of yesterday's elections will be that Hillary Clinton gained 187 delegates, and we gained 183.
That's a net gain of 4 delegates out of more than 370 delegates available from all the states that voted.
For comparison, that's less than half our net gain of 9 delegates from the District of Columbia alone. It's also less than our net gain of 8 from Nebraska, or 12 from Washington State. And it's considerably less than our net gain of 33 delegates from Georgia.
The task for the Clinton campaign yesterday was clear. In order to have a plausible path to the nomination, they needed to score huge delegate victories and cut into our lead.
They failed.

I, for one, will be content if Obama comes out with the gloves off. He is winning- she is the one destroying the party for her own ego, IMO. Perhaps when I start Sorenson next week, sense will be restored, but in the middle of a brutal nomination fight when I think the other side isnt playing fair- well I think its time to remind Americans what it was like- and how the divisiveness and polarization started during that time, continues unabated now and will NOT stop unless someone new comes into office.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I-95 boring

My first trip to Florida and I still haven't gone to Disney World. I really don't mind because I don't know what I am missing.

FL is fun, we went to Vero Beach which is 4 hours from the GA border. How do I know that? I am part of families that drive. We left at 8:00PM on Thursday, stopped in Durham and switched to a larger vehicle and picked up two others. We arrived in Vero Beach around noon on Friday. We ate lunch and hit the beach. The temperture in VA was 30 degrees when we left, FL was 79 degrees.
We got some sun as we napped on the beach and the boys played/revelled in the sand. There is nothing like an early summer after days&days of mid-thirty gray days.
We stayed at a place with no coffee-maker-wtf? No I didn't mind, I would just go out for a walk and find a coffee shop. Apparently Sat mornings are not the happening times on main st in vero beach. I searched and walked for awhile before entering a cute diner named Tomkats (ode to the Cruise family?dunno). They served a huge togo coffee in styrofoam cup and I had to charge the coffee-seriously who carries cash? We pay our bill every month.
We went to pocahantas park which has a great race car I want Cville to get.
Florida inspired me to be outside, I can't wait for Spring to hit VA.
The house we stayed at had a porch, windows and screens with a ceiling fan, the boys slept out there, and I (gasp) got to read out there.
Now its Monday, we left FL at 5:15AM. We are almost to Durham. With 2 preschoolers we stop a lot...but no potty accidents so far.
I didn't eat any dessert- except on Sunday and that was the first time in 3 weeks (choc pudding pie yummy). Our hosts were generous, lots of sweets all over the house and I restrained myself. I have lost 5 LBs since Lent began. It is still hard work (I've never been on a cartrip without candy and now I am nearing the end of this one :) ) but it has been worth it.
Back to the real world tomorrow- I will definitely try to find my way back to FL soon, something about the ocean in Feb makes my heart sing.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

mobile posting from FL

My birthday is this month (26th). In my world, birthdays are a month long celebration, so I got myself a new TREO 755. It was a superfluous purchase, the 650 served me fine, but these 755s looked cool.
Now I know what I was missing. Even though go.yahoo still doesn't work with TREOs things are soo much better on the 755. First the speed is 10x faster, I can view videos from youtube and other video sites. Also there is sprintmobile tv with cnn mobile channel and others programmed in. I love it.
I also apppreciate how many websites have mobile websites to accommadate the small acreens and slower speeds.
Well I haven't gotten to the florida part yet, guess I will post again about that. In the meantime if you are coveting these phones, you should be, try to get yourself one and we can IM each other.