Politics of Service

Ever feel like you want to do something good for your community, but are not sure where to start? Or say you are a Progressive Liberal or Dem or someone who follows that way of thinking and you also want to get involved...but maybe not involved in a campaign and certainly not for the whole campaign season?

If you fall within those parameters, check this out.

Erin Egan ( a friend I met thru Drinking Liberally) who along with Jason represents Democrats Work is looking for some locals to get involved with their cause. If you have some spare weekend time, please check them out. If you can't help asap, no worries. Please sign up anyway and help when you can.


Heading Into The Home Stretch

Tomorrow is election day. Love it or hate it, it's when we try to change what has not worked and hope for a new future in which something will work...unless the Diebold machines beat us to it. Sorry, I'm from Palm Beach County FL, you need to humor me when it comes to voting machines. I have personal experience with the Diebold machines.

Did a fair amount of canvassing for Ed Perlmutter on Saturday and Sunday and switched to phone banking in the late afternoon/evening. It was great meeting new canvass buddies, enjoying the gorgeous Fall weather, and go figure that certain parts of Arvada have really steep hills that made me realize how out-of-shape I am.

There was one registered voter that is really in a quandry on who to vote for. Immigration is his sore spot, since he has had his house, vehicles, property vandalized by the illegal immigrants in his neighborhood. I realize that a person's perspective is their reality, but in his mind Illegal Immigration is the highlight of this campaign. We went back and forth about who is the better candidate until he said that he called Beauprez personally and Beauprez promised a vote for him would improve the situation. He didn't say how or why, just that the caller should trust him.

So my response was 'what has Beauprez done SINCE he's been in office. The immigration problem didn't start over night.'.

He didn't have an answer for me.

Take that same question to a national level. The Republicans have been in power for 6 years. Both House and Senate. What good have they done? Anyone?? Ok, Bush did back up the end of Daylight Savings time for a couple of weeks. Give credit where credit is due, I know. But anything else?

Found this on my friend Amanda's MySpace page. Sometimes it's good to take a trip down memory lane to remind us of how far we have...or have not...come.

To be a Republican today, you must believe:

Jesus loves you and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush I made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation, money and men.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George W. Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Bill Clinton spent 8 years trying to secretly kill Osama Bin Laden without taking the lives of thousands of innocent people and American soldiers. He is accused of doing nothing and being the bad guy. Bush has spent 5 years trying to openly kill Osama Bin Laden while taking the lives of thousands of innocent people and American soldiers and invading two separate countries to do it, but he is a good guy.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.


Read All About It

I've not been happy with the current administration since...well, since they became the current administation.

From rigging the election in 2000 to today's report of the RNC placing misleading Robo-calls intended to smear Dems running for office, I've not been happy with the whole gang.

Seems I'm not the only one.

NY Times editorial.

What's it gonna take to get these clowns out of office?

Just When You Think You've Heard It All...

...you go and read something like THIS and you get pissed all over again.

This diary was written by Michael Schiavo....Terri Schiavo's husband.

Who among us should know better than Michael? His personal life and the life of his wife were violated by the current administration running the country (into the ground I want to add).

Like the popular bumpersticker says, 'If you're not pissed yet, you haven't been paying attention'.

I got pissed enough from reading this diary to donate some cash to Angie Paccione's campaign. Am not rolling in money..far from it...but when evil lives in your own backyard, you need to do everything in your power to defeat the danger that is Marilyn Musgrave.

Feel like donating to Angie or any of our other local candidates? Check out the links on my sidebar.

Two New Links

One organization I passionately support is NARAL.

Also discovered a new Colorado-based organization called Choice Vote Colorado that's just developed an on-line presence.

It disturbs me to no end that Bill Ritter has not responded to Choice Vote Colorado's poll regarding voting Pro-Choice. It might be a minor point to others, but it is a major sticking point with me. So, I'm calling his office over the weekend to see who I can chat with and see what their rationale is for him not responding to the poll. I know that Ritter is Catholic and is personally Anti-Choice. That's his right.

As my potential governor, I want to make sure that if my birth control glitches and I wind up pregnant (it does happen!), I'll be able to safely and legally have an abortion. Or get EC without getting any grief from a holier-than-thou pharmacist. Which also happens. You'd think that in this day and age there would be no question whatsoever on this issue.

Sadly, we've not come as far as we should have.


Called Ritter's office and spoke with one of his staffers. She was very pleasant and tried to help me but since I had already read Bill's statement page and still had questions, she said she'd have a staffer get back to me.

Here is a copy of the follow up letter I emailed to the campaign :


I spoke with Liz Broder this afternoon, trying to get some information on why Bill did not respond to the Choice Colorado PAC questionnaire on Abortion Rights.

While chatting with Liz (who was very pleasant and professional, by the way!) she directed me to Bill's statement page. I am aware of the statement page and while it all sounds good, the fact that Bill has not answered the questionnaire gives me cause for concern.

Actions DO speak louder than words.

Have enclosed a link to my blog where I posted about this issue. Several of my readers are waiting to hear what the response will be from the Issues Staff, as am I.



So there ya go. Will keep you posted as to when and what I hear back.

34 Talking Points

Rarely, if ever, do I post an entire article. This demands an exception.

34 talking points for Dems. In case they decide they want to govern again.

by Jay Esbe


1. Is the United States safer without it's allies?

2. Is the United States safer with it's military decimated and trapped in Iraq losing a batallion a month?

3. Is the United States safer with the entire Arab world enraged on account of an illegal war?

4. Did Bush get Bin Laden?

5. Is the United States safer with the Taliban back in Afghanistan and not enough troops because of Iraq?

6. Was America prepared on September 10th 2001 with Bush explicitly warned and supposedly in charge?

7. Was New Orleans safer with Bush in charge?

8. Do you like being told that if you don't support Republicans, you're "on the side of the terrorists"?

9. Did Bush "solve the middle east problem" or is it now erupting in flames?

10. Do you feel safer when Republicans cut port security bugets?

11. Did it tell you something when Bush tried to turn New York/New Jersey port security over to an Arab company?

12. Does it tell you something that the same Arab company is still in charge of New York/New Jersey port security 6 months after the arrangement was supposedly banned by congress?

13. Do you wonder why Bush opposed the creation of the 9-11 commission?

14. Do you wonder why he immediately hired a personal attorney after 9-11?

15. Do you wonder why Bush and Cheney REFUSED to be sworn in to swear to tell the truth when questioned by Congress about 9-11?

16. Did you liked being lied to 237 times to "justify" attacking Iraq?

17. Do you think a man who was willing to lie 237 times to attack a country which never attacked us, and to kill a hundred thousand innocent people in Iraq, might have been willing to kill three thousand people in New York city to "justify" doing what he wanted to do?

18. Do you think letting a thousand illegal aliens a day cross our border while confiscating your shampoo at the airport is a legitimate national security policy?

19. Do you think declaring there are "no symbols of national significance" in New York in order to justify cutting proposed anti-terrorism funding is a legitimate national security policy?

20. Do you like the 20,000 Iraq casualties for NOTHING; no WMD, no democracy, no peace, only increasing chaos and death?

21. Do you like starting unnecessary wars and then LOSING them?

22. Do you approve of remaining in a lost cause and watching our soldiers die only to protect Republican politicians from admitting the obvious defeat which has taken place?

23. Republicans have controlled all 3 branches of government for 6 years, who then is responsible for all this?

24. Do you think keeping the people who've lied and repeatedly failed national security on the job, to fix what they broke, is smart?

25. Do you like living in the most hated nation on earth now?

26. Do you like having a religious delusional who claimed ""God"" told him to strike at Saddam", with his finger on the nuclear button?

27. Would you like the United States to attack Iran on false WMD pretenses too? "Fool me once....": Bush couldn't even finish the sentance correctly, can you?

28. Do you want a man who believes Armageddon is "necessary" to fulfill his religious beliefs?

29. Do you want two more years of this nightmare?
30. Would you like Bush and Cheney re-questioned about 9-11 and compelled to answer under oath?

31. Had enough fear?

32. Had enough abuse of power, contempt of congress, violations of the Constitution, violations of the court, arrests, indefinite detainment, and torture without trial?

33. Had enough of being ashamed of your own country, all on account of a few contemptible criminals?

34. Tired of being held hostage to elevated terror alerts before elections and having your patriotism questioned when you notice they're compulsive liars?

If you have had enough, realize that the ONLY way to change this disastrous course, is to elect Democratic representatives who will act to remove Bush from office. A vote for ANY Republican anywhere, is a vote for more of the disasters you've already seen and worse to come.

Jay Esbe is a writer with a background in cultural anthropology and comparative religion and lives in Seattle Washington.

'Cut And Run'...

...that's what Karl Rove said the Democrats are doing (via Meet The Press).

Rove sez that Dems that voted for the war are now advocating we  'cut and run'.

Karl, Karl, Karl.

In case you don't remember, those Democrats actually believed that guy you put in the White House when he made a compelling case for going to war. They stood in line behind their Commander-in-Chief.

Of course, that's before we all found out that there were no WMD's and Bush Jr. was basically going after Saddam cause Saddam tried to kill his dad. Grudge match, if you will. So yeah, Bush lies and now that we see the light  that changes things. Truth can do that, you know. Or maybe you don't.

We all know that Bush is a lame duck President...he's on his way out. Some would say he's been a lame President from the get go. C'mon George, try stepping up and being a leader at least once in your 8 (4 of which were stolen) year Presidency. Get us out of Iraq. The troops deserve better. We deserve better from you.

Here's your chance to do something right for a change.

It's not called 'cutting and running'...it's called bringing them home.

Thou Shalt Not...

...display the Ten Commandments.

I'm down with that.

Yeah, I'm a Jew. Used to be a Catholic. Believe in the Ten Commandments. Try and practice them as well.

And I am totally cool with them not being displayed in public. Or in Government buildings. You wanna see them, fine.  Go to a Church. Or a  synogogue/temple/shul...whatever you choose to call it. Post them in your house. In your car. Blog about them. But don't put them in a public place.

Look, I believe in them. But never would I try and force my religious beliefs on anyone else. I don't appreciate it being done to me. 

The time and energy spent on this subject is wasteful. I would much prefer the Supreme Court busy itself with matters that mean something to the rest of the US.  Last week it was flag burning. Today, the Ten Commandments. Would hate to think those are the most pressing cases on their schedule.

Of course, you could alway do something productive and start impeachment proceedings against GWB. It's a suggestion, ok??..for what it's worth. 

And just because I believe he needs to be impeached doesn't mean you have to agree with me. Of course, there is that one little commandment that says 'Thou Shalt Not Lie'. As in 'thou shalt not lie about WMD'.

Maybe it's more important to post the TC's in government buildings than to expect the self-professed Christian leader of the free world to actually practice what they preach. Especially when the lying leads to killing. Y'know...that commandment about 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'? 

What about 'Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Husband/Wife'? Or child. Why send Barbara and Jenna off to fight your made-up war when you can covet the tens of thousands of children citizens available to go to war?

Does any one else find it sadly hilarious that to this day no one can remember serving with GWB yet our 'President' thinks nothing of sending other people's children to be in harm's way. To be injured. Killed. Over a lie.

Yeah, don't bother posting the Ten Commandments in public. No one follows them anyway. Especially the Bush Administration.


A New Political Connection

One of the coolest things about being involved in grassroots politics is...well...being involved in grassroots politics!

Even tho it's approaching close to a year that I got involved with Team Stork, the benefits of knowing the Stork staffers and volunteers continue to this day.

Steve, one of LSU's finest and a former Stork staffer, hooked me up with Justin, who's dually involved with some really cool groups that #1 really interest me and #2 really need our help...especially if you live in FL or know people who live in FL.

There's a new LINK on my sidebar that explains what Justin's current focus is all about...a subject near and dear to my heart.

For someone (Justin, not me!) that just discovered what a blog is only last week, I want to make his initiation into the power of the blog a pleasant one.

So welcome to your first ever blog mention, Justin.

I'm sure it won't be your last!

Another First In A Series Of Firsts

Got a letter from Theresa LePore.

You may have heard her name mentioned during the 2000 Presidential elections in Palm Beach County,FL.

Anyway, Theresa was writing to inform me that I have been selected as a Candidate for the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. And since no one else is running in my precinct, I am it. Woohoo! (My phrase, not Theresa's)

She goes on to say that I will receive my Certificate of Election after the 2 November General Election.

I have to thank Gordon of my DFA group for bringing this to my attention. He strongly suggested we all apply. Gordon is a true Deaniac at heart and has taken Howard Dean's message to heart.

What we have done is taken the first of many steps at getting our country back.

I started by donating to Dean...my first ever political donation...then campaigning for Dean...then waving signs at visibility events for Dean...and now I'm active on the Jim Stork for Congress (D-22-FL) as well as the Betty Castor for Senate (D-FL) campaigns.

It all starts with you...you have the power to accomplish great things, both as individuals as well as in a group.

So do something...register someone to vote...donate...volunteer for a candidate...apply to become a precinct captain.

We DO have the power.


Can't Stop Crying...

(cross-posted from my entry on Daily Kos under the Howard Dean thread)

Don't know what came over me, I really don't, but I started crying when he walked out and I haven't stopped yet. I didn't have this reaction when he lost in FL...why now????

Howard is the reason I became political. I wanted my country back and I was convinced he not only understood people like me, he WAS  people like me.

One of these days I'll write him a thank you note for representing all of us Deaniacs so very well...but not now...not tonite.

Just can't stop crying....

Delicious Addiction

I have become a political junkie.

Look, it's 1:49 am. I've had a full weekend volunteering for Team Stork. I have a full day ahead of me (today being Monday and all) but ya know what? I'm not even close to being tired. I'm more energized than I can believe...and no, I don't drink coffee.

How can I sleep when there are posts on Dkos to be read? Posts on Pandagon....Jesse and Ezra get to meet for the first time this weekend...in person...way cool! How can I possibly stop watching the MSNBC special I'm watching on the upcoming Democratic Convention? My laptop battery is dying and all I can think about is charging it so I can spend more time blog-surfing.

I can't get enough....I want more. Actually spent time this past week wondering if I could swing a leave of absence from work so I can campaign full-time? A bizarre statement in and of itself because realistically there is NO WAY IN HELL I can take a leave of absence from work since I am currently covering a coworker's desk who is on a leave of absence. Umm, hello? Earth to Kathy??

Is there a 12 Step program for politcal junkies? If so, keep it to yourself. I don't want to know.

I wonder if the Stork Team will let me watch Anderson Cooper as we phone bank tonite?

A Tale of Two Weekends

More campaigning for Team Stork this past weekend. Decidedly different scenarios, venues and outcomes this weekend from last weekend.

Canvassing in Jupiter during the day on Friday afternoon after having had a root canal Friday morning...95 degree heat and matching humidity...not the smartest idea I've ever had but hanging out with Abby and Amanda is always fun and the night canvassing in Abacoa Town Center was a great way to end the day. And Amanda's first time up as a Winnie driver was flawless!

Worked...no root canal...no day off.

Chris's first day driving the Winnie solo. First stop was the Boynton Beach Bahamas 33rd Birthday celebration...great time! Jim was along for visibility...singing, speeches and incredibly yummy home-cooked Bahamian lunch...quite possibly the best Mac 'n' Cheese I've ever had and the BBQ chicken was beyond awesome as well.

Next stop Jupiter for more canvassing. Within minutes of reaching our destination, the top shelf in the storage closet at the back of the Winnie shifted as we turned a corner. The four 1-gallon jugs of fruit punch that were sitting on the shelf also shifted. They shifted right out the door to the floor, where they promptly split in half.

What followed was most surreal...

The sound of the shelf falling, the jugs cracking, Jason (one of the volunteers) shouting, the look of sheer panic on Chris' face as he turned around to view the torrential flood of fruit punch barrelling our way...all these scenes are permanently etched into my memory.

So we pulled over, cleaned the Winnie as best we could, and fortunately we were only blocks away from Joan's house (Team Stork Field Director) where we attacked the Winnie with lots of Oxyclean, water and paper towels. Cracks me up the guys had never heard of Oxyclean...maybe it's a chick thing???

While we thought it best to swear everyone to secrecy initially, the Great Fruit Punch Flood was too good of a story to keep under wraps.

Back on the sidewalks of Jupiter to finish canvassing then off to a Shakespeare-by-the-Sea Festival for even more canvassing. We on Team Stork just LOVE to canvass!!

The drive back to Stork HQ was uneventful (and dry) and another quick Winnie clean-up marked the end of our Saturday.

Breakfast at Rascal House in Boca Raton then off to the Palm Beach Fairgrounds for a Sports Fair visibility event. Had to leave shortly after arriving to attend a friends baby shower. Was a hit in my 'Stork' shirt!
No events after that thanks to the rain, so I snagged a 4 hour nap. (Wish daily naps were mandatory like they used to be when I was 5 years old.)

December in July at the Dreher Park Zoo...what fun! The zoo trucked in snow....and by the time we got there it was streaked with dirt and leaves and such but it was SNOW in really hot and humid FL and it was so much fun!! I persuaded a 6 year old to let me hold his snowball...he was afraid I would throw it at him and was reluctant to part with it...but eventually he gave it to me and I felt like a kid again. Not that I grew up around snow in So Cal, but it was such a cool feeling (no pun intended) and I was probably more excited and giddy than I should have been.

The Zoo was really neat...lions and tigers and bears and PRAIRIE DOGS!!! We loved the Prairie Dogs!! Jacob couldn't stop feeding them...all of us hanging over the enclosure walls ooohing and aahhing at how cute and funny they were...we could have stayed there all day.

Next stop, Meyer Amphitheatre for the Jazz Festival. We were a bit early and stopped to eat at Baileys. Got one of the server's that Abby knew (Sam) to put Stork stickers on both sides of his server notebook...to go along with Sam's Kerry Sticker.

Eventually wound up at the Jazz Festival and within an hour the effects of the day took hold of us and we were all ready to go home and call it a day.

All set to go at the office at 9:30.

Jason and Paul along for the ride and Abby at the wheel. And off to the Zoo we headed. Oops...change in plans...Zoo was called off....no prairie dogs :-(....so we got an early start over to John D. MacArthur State Park for a Bluegrass Concert.

Seems PAX TV Station had rented out the entire park for their company picnic and the concert that was supposed to be in the outdoor amphitheatre was now being held in the Air Conditioned Acoustically Way Cool Nature Center. YES! There is a God!!

The Bluegrass trio (On The Edge) was practicing and we were their captive audience. These guys were really good....bluegrass music would make an awesome soundtrack for a documentary...for a campaign...that utilizes a Winnebago....wow, what a concept...but sadly the group doesn't have a CD or a cassette of their music so there goes that idea.

Since we had to get back to attend the Kerry/Edwards Fundraiser Dinner at the Westin Diplomat (as volunteers...what? you were thinking distinguished guests!) we left the Nature Center vowing to come back next month and catch more of On The Edge.

After a quick stop at my house so I could change for the event, we wound up back at HQ.

Not as much on the go this past weekend as the weekend before. Still, we were visible, we did talk about Jim and hand out literature, and we all had a good time.

The guest speaker at the Kerry/Edwards Dinner was our next Vice-President, Senator John Edwards.

John, Jacob, Steve and I were all pressed into service as 'directional' volunteers. Jacob and John blocked a hallway to allow VIP entrance only, Steve was directing people as they entered the hotel, and I directed attendees to the escalators...lots of smiling and saying hi and chatting with Ernesto, my volunteer-mate who is volunteering on his first political campaign.

After several hours, our volunteer efforts fulfilled, we a crowded into a small banquet room along with the press and distinguished guests to hear Edwards speak.

I first heard Edwards speak approximately 6 weeks ago at the same hotel during the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. His speach last night had the same effect on me....he's one powerful, charismatic speaker.

And did I mention our next VP??

So that's the wrap-up for the last two weekends.

Two weekends ago root canal, lotsa sun, Bahamian Food, Fruit Punch Flood, Shakespeare, Prairie Dogs, Snow and Jazz.

This weekend Team Breakfast, Sports, Bluegrass, lotsa rain and meeting our next VP.

I really love my weekends now that I'm on Team Stork!

The power of a Howard Dean and Jim Stork Bumpersticker

Was sitting here blogging about 1/2 hour ago when one of my neighbors rang my doorbell.

It was Kathleen down the street...met her about 4 months ago as I was loading up my truck for a Howard Dean visibility event. At the time she said she was for Kerry, I said I was for Dean, we had a nice conversation and that was about it.

Fahrenheit 9/11 was what brought Kathleen to my door. She saw it last night and decided the time had come for her to get involved. She remembered that I was a Deaniac and came asking advice on how to volunteer for Kerry/Edwards.

We had a nice visit, called Jacob from the Stork campaign (who came to the Stork campaign from the Kerry Primary campaign) who gave me the Kerry info I needed to pass along to Kathleen. Also took the opportunity to tell Kathleen about Jim Stork and even tho we don't live in his district, we can still support his cause.

The last thing Kathleen said to me as she walked out the front door was 'hopefully by this time next week I'll be actively involved in helping to get Kerry into office and rid our country of George Bush'.

Music to my ears!!

Nobody Says This Better Than Jimbo...

Called my long-time buddy Mark to wish him a Happy Birthday.

We've been buddies forever...ok, almost forever...Freshman year of High School he DID hate my guts 'cause I had the sheer audacity to try and break into the sacred clique of the all-male drum section of the band. But once I was in (and once I'd fixed Mark up with one of the prettiest girls in the band) we got to be friends and eventually he earned the coveted title of 'best friend'.

And as friends do, we've been thru lots of good times and bad times, thankfully more good than bad. And over the years as you get to know your best friends better and better, you fall into an easy type of relationship, very comfortable in the fact that you think you know what makes them tick and how they feel and what beliefs they hold near and dear.

So you can imagine my shock when the conversation went from me wishing him a happy birthday to Mark lambasting me for being anti-Bush. Yep, Mark is a Republican. Who knew? Not me...I don't remember Mark voting as we grew up....maybe he did, maybe he didn't but back in the day I guess politics never came up.

WELL...let me tell ya...it came up today.

Big time.

And I just couldn't respond how I would have liked to respond. Yeah, it might have had something to do with being at work (and he was in LOWE'S) and the chick I sit next to at work has parents that are personal friends of GWB and Laura and I have gotten shit in the past for being too political (and loud) at work. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was rushed and trying to do too many things while talking on the phone. And it might just have come from being amazed that yet another one of my friends was a REPUBLICAN!!!

For all the recent times I've heard Chris and Tom and Amanda and Abby and Jim make absolutely excellent points on the damage Bush has done to our country, all I could do was sit there drawing a blank. And I thought several times during the course of the day that maybe, just maybe I should have concentrated on joining the Debate Team instead of being one of the guys hanging out in the Drummer's Room.

So imagine my absolute delight at finding Jimbo's post-du-jour....


Yeah, what he said goes double for me!!!

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Ronald W. Reagan

Haven't been able to decide what aspect of Reagan's passing I wanted to comment on until I saw the funeral in Washington D.C. this evening.

Watching Nancy Reagan as the pallbearers carried her beloved husband's casket broke my heart.

All the anger I felt towards Reagan for ignoring the AIDS crisis is still there, in my heart, and is a valid anger.... but I was also able to see the sadness and heartbreak reflected in Nancy's face and the sadness on the faces of her children.

And it dawned on me, that's what we have to focus on. We have to focus on the people. We have to focus on the disease and NOT that the owner of the disease is gay, Republican, Democract, poor, rich, Black, White...we have to start seeing everyone as equal and deserving of help.

I will admit to feeling disgusted when Nancy Reagan implored for stem-cell research last week. How ironic, given Ronnie cut spending to special needs programs while he was in office. He and the so-called Religious Right (oxymorism at its finest) IGNORED the AIDS crisis that resulted in so many people feeling what Nancy Reagan and the Reagan family felt today....incredible sadness at the passing of their loved one. And the very cynical and snarky part of me wished I could decree that stem-cell research be put on the back burner for the same amount of years that the AIDS epidemic was ignored....tit for tat, you might say.

But that is mean-spirited, and more importantly, it's just not right.

So this is what I propose. Let's move ahead full-force with stem-cell research...and match it dollar for dollar with additional funding for AIDS prevention and research...and have them both honor Reagan's legacy. The past is the past...we need to look towards the future.

Focus on the person and realize that each person is unique and special and equal. And no one should have to watch a loved one die due to a disease that could have been prevented.

My deepest sympathies to the Reagan family on their loss.

My Republican Buddies

It wasn't until I started campaigning for Howard Dean that I discovered just how many of my friends, co-workers and family members were Repubs...who knew???

Prior to getting involved with Dean, I was a do-nothing Dem...always voted Dem but never got involved with anything more than voting on election day. Politics was something I never discussed with anyone else cause I was never really interested in it.

Now that I've had a political conversion, I am amazed by how many Repubs I do know and heartened by how many of them are incredibly upset with Bush. No, make that incredibly PISSED at Bush. These are long-time Repubs that feel betrayed...they think 41 is God....and are annoyed that 43 is so far from being the God they thought he would be.

They are taking this personally and most I have engaged in discussion are having strong doubts about voting for Bush....yet say there is no way they can vote for Kerry. One even said if he pulled the lever for Kerry he knew God would strike him dead in the voting booth. I told him I'm sure God is pissed at Bush as well for speaking on behalf of God without his permission.

Anyway, what are my Repub friends to do?

The way I see it, they have 3 options.

* Don't vote
* Vote Kerry ...with Bush you know what the next 4 years will be like...with Kerry, we have a chance at survival.
* Vote Bush and live with the guilty conscience you'll have once Bush finishes running our country into the ground. And put up with a lifetime of I-told-you-so's from those of us that warned you.

Look, my perfect candidate is still Howard. But we need Kerry in order to get to a better place. So it's Kerry I'm voting for and Kerry I'm encouraging others...especially Republicans...to vote for. He's our only hope at this point.

Betty Castor ROCKS!!!

Having a house party (my first political event ever!!) for Betty Castor this Thursday night!

Why Betty? Here's why!

First time I heard about Betty was at one of my Dean Group meetings...and yeah, Dean was no longer actively campaigning at this point but I just can't bring myself not to have his name in our group's title.

Betty's son Frank and his wife Rita (and their two adorable and incredibly well-behaved daughters) gave a short talk about Betty and her accomplishments. As soon as Frank finished speaking, I knew Betty was the candidate for me. Several weeks later we were lucky enough to have Betty speak to our group and I was blown away by everything about her. Her honesty. Her integrity. Her accomplishments. Her wonderful sense of humor and presence. Betty is everything I would hope for in a candidate.

Attended the Senatorial debates at the Kravis last month...this time got to meet other Betty supporters before the event and afterwards joined her campaign supporters at O'Shea's. Met Chris, Jeremy, Betty's husband Sam Bell (what a great guy he is!!) and yes, I got to meet Betty.

And yes, she ROCKS! She asked our group what we thought of the debate...and my answer to her was that I personally loved that she was herself...Betty being Betty and the 'boys' being...well, the 'boys'. And so I got brave and told Jeremy I would have a house party for Betty.

Personally, after having been a Tupperware Mgr for 7 years when I lived in San Jose, house parties are nothing new for me. I shouldn't be freaking, but let me tell you I am MAJORLY freaking cause I want everyone to be as impressed about Betty as I am and I want to have all my guests (which right now won't be many :-( ) to fall head-over-heels in love with Betty the candidate and be willing to help with whatever it takes to get her into office.

Betty is fantastic, her staff is wonderful and I am incredibly impressed with her entire campaign. We need her to succeed in FL...and FL needs her way more than she needs us. We MUST HAVE Betty representing us.

Please check her out and help if you can : www.bettynet.com

Tell her that Kath sent you!