McCain No Maverick on Equal Pay Legislation

Senator McCain claims to be in favor of equal pay for women, yet he helped defeat HR 2831 which would have made “discriminatory compensation…unlawful”  by simply not voting on the day it came up, while  6 of his Republican colleagues voted yes.  McCain explained his opposition by saying that what women really need is more education and training so that they can find higher paying jobs.

McCain Opposes Equal Pay for Equal Work Legislation

Governor Palin implied that her nomination brings women one step closer to breaking the glass ceiling Hillary Clinton and her millions managed to crack.  Given Senator McCain’s views, I would like to know how the Republicans plan to break the glass ceiling.  Maybe Governor Palin will blast it open with an assault rifle.

Deadline Nears for Registering to Vote in General Election

Voting is one of the most effective ways to participate in our democracy.  But you cannot vote unless you are registered in your state.  If you have never voted before, now is the time.  If you are 18, and a U.S. citizen with an address in the U.S., and not currently incarcerated, you are most likely eligible to vote!  Each state has its own registration deadlines and regulations, so please check your state’s instructions.  Some states have registration deadlines as early as October 4 for voting in the General Election.  Don’t delay and risk the chance of not having your voice counted!!  I will provide a link with forms and instructions at the end of this post.

Registering to vote is a snap.  In most states, you can pick up a form at a local public library, or post office and of course at your state’s elections division office. You can also download a form off the Internet, fill it out, provide copies of an accepted form of identification and mail it in to your state’s election office within the specified deadline prior to an election.  Some states do not allow mail in voter registration, but most do.  Check with your state elections office first, or check the instructions for your state from the link below.

Registering is easy – just 9 blanks – name, address, mailing address, phone, date of birth, race/ethnic group, id#, signature and date.  That’s it.

Also, if you are registered to vote but have moved or changed your name, you need to file the proper change forms so that you are transferred to the correct polling site and also to ensure that your name appears correctly on the voter roster.  Again, check your states regulations regarding change forms. These forms are also simple to complete.

Participate in democracy – VOTE!

US Elections Asssistance Commission

Registration Deadlines by State

Ella is Sick

Poor Ella.  She’s been throwing up her food for the last few days.  Being a long haired cat, she occasionally coughs up a fur ball or two and that’s normal.  But she hasn’t been able to keep her food down at all.  We took her to the vet yesterday.  Initially, we were worried that she had poisoned herself by eating practically half of one our potted plants.  Cats do eat plants as I am sure all you cat owners out there are aware.  I have heard that cats eat grass and plants when they have an upset stomach.  My mother thinks she has impacted fur balls lodged in her stomach and ate the plant to induce vomiting – perhaps a feline instinct.  Anyway, we put the plant out of reach and took her to the vet.

The vet ran some tests, took an x-ray of her belly, gave her some fluids, medication and 4 cans of a special cat food.  Total cost – about $250 US.  The blood test came back negative, as did the x-ray.  We are waiting for the results of a stool sample to check for parasites; unlikely, since she is an indoor kitty.

The medication comes in liquid form and I’ve had a hard time getting her to swallow the drops.  After several failed attempts to medicate her myself, my wife and I had to bundle her up in a towel to keep her from squirming and scratching.  My wife held Ella securely in the bundle and with her head tilted back, I pried opened her mouth and squirted the medication down her throat as she chewed and gagged a little on the syringe.

Ella seems to be feeling better now.  She was so relieved to get back home.

Barack Obama’s Speech – One for the Ages

Invesco Field at Mile High stadium has never been so energized.  80,000 Americans from diverse backgrounds came together to witness history in the making.  What a party.  A grand and authentic show of Unity to the sounds of Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Will.i.Am and John Legend.  And there were some fabulous orations. Al Gore gave a rousing Green speech reminding us all of the fragile nature of our planet and the consequences of ignoring Global warming.

Interestingly, McCain announced Sarah Palin as his VP choice, a woman who believes that global warming claims are overstated.  Like many in the Republican party (certainly not all to be fair) she does not believe in Science.  Skeptical of the theory of evolution, she is a proponent of teaching Creationism in the schools.  I’m not making this up!

Finally, the moment came that 38 million Americans watched all across the country – Barack Obama, the first African American accepting the nomination of a major political party.  His speech was one for the ages and should remove all doubt as to his beliefs and plans.  He effectively linked the suffering of the middle class to failed Republican policies that put the interest of the wealthy and big business over the interest of the people.  He defined what he means by change, giving detailed proposals on the issues that people care about:  job creation, education, energy, the environment, health care, tax relief and ending the war.  He explained how he would pay for his plans by “closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow” and by eliminating programs that “don’t work” and “making the ones we do need work better and cost less”.

“…the change we need is coming” and that change is Barack Obama.

Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech

McCain Makes Another Error In Judgement

With the tapping of Sara Palin, John McCain has made yet another error in judgement.  No longer can McCain and the Republicans criticize Obama for lack of experience after choosing a running mate with 2 years of experience as Governor of Alaska, a state with less than 700,000, and whose only other experience came as the Mayor of a small Alaskan town of approximately 8,000 people.

Clearly McCain is pandering to disaffected Clinton voters with this selection.  And he may be trying to neutralize any advantage Obama might have as being America’s first African American President by trying to make history for the Republicans with the first woman VP.  The Republicans are so afraid to pit McCain against Obama that they plan to use Sara Palin as a shield to divert attention away from McCain’s uninspiring candidacy and abysmal legislative record.  The Republicans will try to recreate the divisive Democratic primary by pitting Palin against Obama and Biden to invite attack and then argue that the Democrats are being dismissive of her accomplishments, and by extension, dismissive of women.  If the Democrats take the bait, it could spell disaster for their chances in the general election.   Instead, the Democrats need to stay focused on McCain.

But consider this, a point made by Paul Begala and James Carville, CNN analysts (and yes, former Bill Clinton strategists, in the interst of full disclosure) – John McCain is 72 year old cancer survivor.  If he were to be elected President, and If, heaven forbid, something were to happen to him and he could not carry out his term, Sara Palin, former small town mayor and one term Governor of one of the least populated states in the country, would be the next President of the United States.  Enough said.

Bill Clinton Appeals Directly to Hillary’s 18 Million

We’ve witnessed an historic primary in which a woman and an African American battled for the right to become the Democrat’s nominee for the Presidency of the United States.  Finally, the Democrats nominated Barak Obama, the first African American to win the honor of a major party.  Hillary Clinton, who received the most votes of any woman in a party primary, and whose name was placed in nomination as a symbolic gesture, passed the torch to Obama on the second evening of the Democratic National Convention.  Hours later, her husband, Bill Clinton made a convincing case to her delegates and to undecided voters, to vote for Obama in the general election.  David Gergen, a CNN analyst, called it the best speech Clinton had given since he left the White House.  I found it to be vintage Clinton, spellbinding, with a remarkably clear message.  Text of President Clinton’s Speech

His first sentence left no doubt as to his purpose:  “I am honored to be here tonight to support Barak Obama.” In his second sentence, he reassured America that Obama had made an excellent choice in selecting Joe Biden as his running mate.  For the many who revere Clinton and supported Hillary, those two comforting sentences might have been sufficiently persuasive to secure their votes.

He directly appealed to Hillary Clinton supporters:  “I want all of you who voted for Hillary to vote for Obama.”

He went on to remind us of the damage caused by 8 years of Republican rule, suggesting McCain would bring four more of the same.

And most importantly, he made the case that Obama, despite his youthfulness, has the character, the leadership qualities, the range of experience and intelligence to be President in these complicated times.    In the words of Clinton, “Barak Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world.  Ready to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States.  Barak Obama is ready to be President of the United States”.

Barak Obama will give an historic address tonight to 80,000 convention goers tonight and he will make his own case to the American Public.  I am sure it will be convincing, inspiring and leave no doubt that he is the one for our country.

Tonight, I am especially proud to be an American.

Mark Warner Did Not Deliver

As a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, I expected more from the former Governor of Virginia, Mark Warner.  I expected more references to Barak Obama and fewer to himself.  He is a very good speaker but I expected him to make more of solid case against John McCain and for Barak Obama.  Instead, he made the case for himself by outlining his bi-partisan success as Governor of Virginia.  “we closed the budget gap and Virginia was named the best managed state in America…We made record investments in education and job training.  We got 98% of eligible kids enrolled in our children’s health care program”.  He went on to talk about increased broadband access and the creation of high tech jobs in rural Virginia.  All very impressive achievements indeed, but who is running for President?  Perhaps Warner himself again in 2012.

To be fair, Warner is running for Senate and it is in the Democrat’s best interest that he win and help deliver Virgina to Obama in November.   And the references to his accomplishments in Virgina were no doubt intended to show that under the leadership of Obama and Biden, his Virgina success story could be replicated throughout the country.

However, Warner did not make a strong enough case against Bush and McCain and for Obama and Biden to convince Clinton clingers to vote for the ticket or even at all.  Let’s just hope that the 18 million Clinton backers out there heard the cases made that day by Barbara Boxer, Dennis Kucinich, Ed Rendell and Deval Patrick.  And if they were still not convinced, I hope they really listened to Hillary Clinton last night (instead of imagining her as President) and do their part to help elect Barak Obama as requested!

Text of Gov. Mark Warner’s speech

CNN ignores Governor Deval Patrick’s Speech

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick gave one of the best and most inspired speeches of the second night at the Democratic National Convention.  However, CNN and PBS did not air it.  Why not? I had to go to CSPAN and NECN to hear it.  Much more effective in linking McCain to the Bush administration’s failed policies than Mark Warner’s keynote, Governor Patrick’s speech deserved more air time.  Read the transcript of his speech and judge for yourself.

Governor Deval Patrick’s Prepared Remarks at the Democratic National Convention

Senator Clinton’s Night at the Convention

Looking and sounding presidential, as one of her delegates remarked, it was clearly Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s night to shine.  And shine she did.  While there were a number of excellent speeches delivered during the course of the evening, Senator Clinton was clearly the main act, eclipsing even former Virginia Governor Mark Warner who delivered a solid, but not a particularly moving keynote address.

Senator Clinton’s speech sounded like a State of the Union address.  She thanked her 18 million supporters, and reflected on the many struggling Americans she met on the campaign trail who have been ignored for the last 8 years.  She laid out the problems facing the country and her vision for the future, endorsing Barak Obama as the leader who will “revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America and meet the global challenges of our time”.  Careful to remind America of her husband’s legacy, she said that “Democrats know how to do this..we’ve done it before with President Clinton and the Democrats”.  Speaking directly to her supporters, she urged them to consider an America with McCain at the helm:  “higher gas prices”, a failing economy with “more debt and home foreclosures”, “less affordable health care”, a privatized social security system, a “headlocked Supreme Court” and four more years of the last 8 years with “more war and less diplomacy”.

Will Clinton supporters vote for Obama in the end?  There is evidence that some may not vote at all.  After Senator Clinton’s address, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux interviewed an emotional and devoted Clinton supporter and delegate from Texas who suggested it would be difficult for her to vote for Obama because she does not yet feel connected to him.  There is still time.  Senator Clinton has passed the baton and it is now Senator Obama’s turn to run the anchor leg and bring home the gold.

Text of Senator Clinton’s Convention Speech

Top 10 Reasons Clinton Supporters Should Vote for Obama

10) The two share similar views on all the major issues.

9) Don’t worry, Barak Obama has legislative and leadership experience at the community, state and federal levels.

8) If you don’t vote at all, McCain will win.

7) If you vote McCain to victory, his Supreme Court appointments are likely to be as conservative as President Bush’s appointments, Alito and Roberts. He helped to block one of Clinton’s nominees in 1994 and has supported every Republican nominee since he has been in office including Robert Bork. See article by Doug Kendall in the Huffington Post: Fearing the McCain Supreme Court

6) Why does the composition of the Supreme Court matter? A more conservative court could overturn Roe v Wade. The Reagan Library produced a personal qualifications letter Judge Alito submitted years ago when applying for a job in the Justice Department in which he wrote that he was “particularly proud of my contribution in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court…that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.” Even though years later in confirmation proceedings he stated that he respects Court precedents, will he? In addition, this conservative Court has affirmed the right of citizens to bear handguns for protection, overturning a two-part gun control law in DC that banned them and required firearms to be unloaded and stored with safety locks. Even if you are a hunter, surely you can see the wisdom of keeping your shotguns and rifles unloaded and stored safely out of the reach of your children. Though this may come as no surprise, the current Court favors Big Business according to an article in Knowledge@Emory: Will Businesses Benefit from Recent US Supreme Court rulings? A McCain presidency could guarantee more big business as usual.

5) If you don’t vote at all, you have no right to complain for the next 4 years.

4) If you feel Senator Clinton has not been sufficiently respected by the Obama camp, pay attention to the Democratic National Convention. You will see the Clintons play a prominent role. Listen to her speech. And if you feel she was not seriously vetted for the VP role, consider that she may not have wanted it.

3) The War. Hawk or Dove. If you are Hawk, McCain could be your guy, but surely you don’t want our troops in Iraq for 100 more years.

2) Senator Clinton may have more of an impact as a U.S. Senator, than a VP or a member of the Cabinet. Personally, I would like to see her as the next member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1) The top reason for the Clinton supporter to vote for Barak Obama is this: She asked you to!