Remember Your Manners and Keep it in Perspective

For the past few weeks we receive anywhere from 2-4 calls a day from some politician or some group that supports some other politician with some “important” message. I have also been inundated with email full of “panic” and “need to act right now OR ELSE” messages against this candidate or that candidate. While I avoided them for awhile – I started picking up this week. While some are annoying and I am able to unsubscribe or stop receiving them by opting out – I still get an occasional call that makes me shake my head.

Yesterday I got a call from someone who was spinning a very negative message on someone I respect, will vote for, and have a sign in my front yard supporting (Tammy Duckworth). As they spit out the first few sentences “Did you you..” I interrupted the person talking and said – “yes I did know and I plan to vote for them”. I thought I would get a “well did you know something else” or at the very least “well thanks for your time” – but instead I got dial tone.

People seem to be nastier and more aggressive this year with the election. I know we are all stressed out with everything going on – but let’s try to remember some common courtesy. Perhaps some of us should have watched more Sesame Street as kids to learn manners and right from wrong.

Health Care Reform

I was up late Sunday night watching the news coverage on this and I was happy I could witness this historical moment in our country’s history. Everyone has their own opinion on the bill that was passed and here is mine. I do not expect all to agree, but here is my take.

As a small business owner I am delighted to hear that this is available. Trying to find affordable and quality health care for my business has been a nightmare – now there will be an option for people who would have been turned away due to pre-existing conditions or any other reason. I have personally experienced the difficulty of getting insurance as well as have several other friends who wanted to start their own business but could not because they could not qualify for insurance because of knee surgeries, etc. Now – they can no longer sit in a dead end job “just for the insurance”.

While I do not think this law makes us a socialist nation or that the government is going to take over everything, reform and regulations must be put in place. It is time the doctors treat you and not the insurance companies.

Further more, over the last few months as more and more of my hard core Republican friends who have been laid off are getting near to the end of their Cobra coverage are starting to freak out because they cannot get health insurance. At this extremely stressful point in their lives – they finally realized an option (private insurance companies of course) would literally be life saving. Funny how things work…

Honestly – I think this is a lot less invasive and a lot more beneficial than most people understand it to be. I have my family members and friends who still think Obama and the left wing are going to take their guns from them and I am saddened by the fact they live with such unrealistic fear. The same goes for health care. It is well known that the Republican party is much better at communicating with the public (even if it takes scare tactics) than the Democrats, and I believe this is the real issue here. The Democrats are so surprised how far the Republicans go to sway their contingency that they fail to communicate at all with further polarizes us.

I am an independent and see value in both parties’ views on particular issues, but I am happy to see this get signed into law and hopefully this will help a number of people – especially now when so many people are out of work and have no health insurance.

White House Blog

I came across the new White House Blog today: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/. Although it is not WordPress 😉 – I will definitely follow this and see how they actually use it. If you have never been to the White House web site – it is definitely worth a visit. The site has all kinds of facts, videos, speeches, and of course – the blog.

The Vote: 2008

I remember voting in 1996 – my first ever Presidential election. Back in those days I attended Young Republican meetings at Penn State and I voted for Bob Dole. The next two elections I voted for the democrats that ran and even attended my first rally (for Al Gore) in Daley Plaza with Ben and I have to say it was pretty awesome. I would have considered voting for McCain in 2000 – I thought he was a stronger candidate than Bush, but others disagreed with me.

This election is huge. I was really hoping Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic candidate, but over the last few months I have seen Barrack Obama really shine…making McCain, in my personal opinion, not even people really talk about. (Ex:I am voting for Obama; I am not voting for Obama; vs. I am voting for McCain; I am not voting for McCain)

This election, regardless of who I/you vote for, it has to be a vote of confidence. Confidence in the gaining the respect we as a country have lost in the last eight years. Confidence in our ability to pull ourselves out of this economic mess. Confidence to make this country can still be the best country in the world for us and our families to live and prosper.

With that said – I really do not feel the need to persuade you to vote one way or the other…but please vote. When your kids, grandkid, and if you are lucky, great-grandkids talk to you about this crazy turning point in history – by voting you can at least show them that you cared enough to actually make a choice.

Overheard While Getting My Tire Fixed…

Yesterday while I was at a certain repair shop (not the dealership) I overheard a conversation that blew me away. I was waiting to get my tire fixed (flat) and at the parts desk, I heard the following:

Guy 1: “Did you watch the rebate last night?”
Guy 2: “You mean the debate? I watched it and man John…(pausing because he cannot think of his last name)….”
Guy 1: “McCain”
Guy 2: Yes – man, I do not trust him…he lies so much. I think I even trust the other guy Osama more.

At that point – I decided to go into the waiting area instead of looking at floor mats so I could play some Scrabble on my iPhone.

My New Favorite HBO Show: Real Time with Bill Maher

I have been in a HBO slump for awhile now. The Wire and Sopranos are done. Curb Your Enthusiasm nor any other show I am really excited about is on…so I started to question why I was paying to get HBO. A few weeks ago I happened to catch Real Time with Bill Maher and really enjoyed it. I enjoy his humor, outlook on politics, and guests that really make for an interesting look at what is going on in politics today. I am sure Ken would pretty much hate him – but he does make an effort to bring both sides to the table. Anyway – that is what I have been enjoying on HBO lately.

LBJ Quotes for the Weekend

During college, I by chance, picked up a biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson and ended up reading in and many others in between games of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

By the end of the summer, I had a new and profound understanding of one of our greatest presidents of all time. After a hard week, I like to go back and find a quote or two to pick me up or remind me of someone who went through a lot more hard times than I hope to ever see.

This week, these quotes seemed to work:

Any jackass can kick down a barn but it takes a good carpenter to build one. – LBJ

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. -LBJ

Have a great weekend!

on the gay marriage amendment.

I have had enough. The jokes, the comments, the bashing, and now the proposed marriage amendment? I do not understand the big deal…and I am tired of the christian right constantly trying to tell me how to live. Bush wants to “preserve marriage”, but he and his christian right friends do not get it…so let me put it in terms they might all understand: we want the right to divorce. Does that help W? Do you now understand? All the straight people have the opportunity to marry, screw up their marriage, screw up their kids, and then divorce. How is that fair? So please, do not talk to me about “preserving marriage” when half of these sacred unions end up in divorce.

From the White House press release:
“America is a free society, which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions. Our government should respect every person, and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities. We should also conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.”

Respect every person? How are you doing that Bush? You treat terrorists and their families better than gay people in your own country. Thanks for never taking any interest in constitutional law or even having a basic understanding of what this country was founded on. Church is not state. State is not church. Learn to separate it. The Constitution guarantees rights, not takes them away. Let’s try that again…the Constitution guarantees rights, not takes them away. What, if you were president in the 1960s, we would have an anti-African American amendment? Or perhaps if you were president in the 1920s, we would have an anti-women voter amendment, you know to keep the sanctity of voting in place. Whatever. Keep sending your Bush 2004 volunteers to help Nader. Create some smoke screen. Have daddie’s big wigs help you win office. Keep the US people in suspense with all the terror alerts. Just know that you, your policies, and your life are transparent to those who take a few minutes to see you for who you really are. A name with only big money behind it. Have some respect for our country and what we stand for.