Category Archives: Politics on the Brain

Presidents Day Again: Four More Years!

Yes, citizens. 2015 is the fourth year for my Presidents Day Twitter extravaganza. I hope you’ll consider electing me for a second term. If you haven’t been paying attention for the last three, you can grab up the memories from 2012 and 2013– collect them all! Below are the highlights from last year, you little President junkie, you.

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Filed under America, Lists, Politics on the Brain

Presidents Day- The Twitter Adventure Continues

FDR Monaco Stamo

It started in 2012 with a paid day off work and nothing else to do. For the third year, I’m back in the saddle with everyone’s favorite fellas- America’s presidents and the more interesting aspects of their lives and presidencies.

(ADDED) I also spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about my favorite holiday this year. You can see their post here.

If you can’t get enough today on Twitter, here’s a recap of 2013’s fun facts and tawdry tidbits about the Commanders in Chief:

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Filed under Links, Lists, Politics on the Brain

Weekend Inspiration

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Hooray! The dinosaur says it’s finally Friday (actually Saturday morning) and I could not be happier to have some time to unwind with my pile of unread books and magazines, some Olympics on tv, and to step away from the madness of Facebook and Twitter for a few days.

I know how divided our country is, and while I attempt to be Zen about it, watching the news show giant crowds gleefully guzzling chicken to prove that yes, we like big business and don’t care it gives its money to groups that lobby in favor of KILLING people like you… well, that sucks. (And no, I have no problem with corporations having the legal right to support any values that they like- including preventing gay marriage. Funding groups that lobby for laws that make being gay punishable by death is bigger than that.) It drains me.

And so I’ve tried to figure out how I want to be in times like these. The only way that I know how to live in a world that is full of hate and ignorance and fear is with more love. Love for the people being hated, sure. But even harder, loving on the people doing the hating. Loving people who support you being killed or don’t care enough to do the research and figure that piece out. I am trying to find a way to love the hateful. It is the only way to stop the cycle.

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Filed under Building a Better Me, LGBTQ, Politics on the Brain, Soul Searching

Excuse the Political Interruption

But I am livid and more than a little peeved about the awful decorum  from one South Carolina congressman last night during the healthcare speech. Joe Wilson, you should be ashamed of yourself.

 

This is the face of the Republican “debate” on healthcare. My Granny would not invite you to her house for dinner, sir, and she is a Republican. You have bad manners. And you apologize poorly.  

If you feel as ticked off as me and can’t access the Congressman’s website due to traffic, you can contact him the old-fashioned way at:

Congressman Joe Wilson

212 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

(202)-225-2452 phone

Thank you.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

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Filed under Politics on the Brain

Bus Blogs and Inaugural Moments

Thanks to the wonders of Blackberry, I can now blog on my bus ride home. This could either be very good or very scary. I meet quite the characters on the bus in these parts and may end up trying to explain their truly bizarre ways and accidentally be writing about your aunt or somesuch. If I do, I’m sorry to hear about her recent surgery. So were the other 40 people on the bus who heard her describe it loudly, in graphic detail, on her cell phone.

Yesterday was devoted solely to Obamapalooza on tv from 8 am until I petered out at 10 pm or so. I spent a good deal of it shushing S on the other end of the couch to keep her from making sarcastic comments at moving moments. My mother was actually on the Mall for the big day with her high school students and we spent the day trading tidbits by cell. She got to tell me about the singing and dancing everywhere that kept breaking out. I got to break the Teddy Kennedy story to her and the lobby crowd at the Air and Space Museum waiting for the parade. My ex, the DC police officer, texted early about how crowd control was lost by 8 am when thousands started streaming over the barriers at the Capitol. And the Twitterers kept me in the loop with their perspectives on the madness. I was busy trying to stay on top of all this connected-ness while rapidly cycling between elation and sentimentality.

The thing is, I’m a pretty cynical character. But this one moment in history has me thinking that maybe there is something great that could happen. And I want to be a part of that as much as I felt a part of yesterday’s events from hundreds of miles away.

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Great Unseen Inaugural Moments

Due to what may or may not have been a “scheduling error,” the opening prayer to Obama’s inaugural concert given by Reverend Robinson, the gay bishop invited as a conciliation after the Rick Warren debacle, was not actually televised in the HBO broadcast. In the interest of doing as much as I can to even the balance, and because it’s a pretty great prayer, here is the full text of his prayer:

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world. 

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States. Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States. Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.

AMEN.

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Filed under Politics on the Brain, Quotes

Swinger

I have to say, I am relieved to be free of the election. Living in Pennsylvania, the only commercials I have seen for the last six months have been election-related or for prescription drugs. It’s exciting to be in a swing state, but at this point I feel a little like been swung around by the tail. I headed to the polls right after work with one new first-time voter in tow – we were both glad and disappointed to find no lines at all at our voting site.

BC (the best buddy) and I watched the returns on the big screen over pitchers of beer and cheap pizza in a deserted bar where we could order the bartender to change channels and turn up the volume at will.  We got oddly attached to the CBS coverage early on, so switching to CNN in midstream for details was a little intense.

For those of you who got the results you wanted, my fellow Pennsylvania voters and I are glad to accept gifts, thanks, and tokens of affection. However, for those of you who supported Prop. 8 in California, showing that America can be both wildly open-minded about Presidents and wildly close-minded about equal rights for gay and lesbians, I am very distressed at you.

This morning, however, I woke up for the first time in my adult life oddly optimistic about America. Thank you, President Obama.

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Filed under Daily Life, Politics on the Brain