Monthly Archives: April 2007

First 2008 Presidential Democratic Debate

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(I have NO clue what is happening with the fonts on these posts…it is driving me batty trying to fix it so I am just going to leave it for now…my apologies…)

 

Last night, the first democratic debate was aired on MSNBC. Throughout the night I watched, having to pause it (I love that DVR) every so often to tend to the kids and get them to bed. So the 90 minute debate actually took about 3 hours to watch. Regardless, I am glad I did.

The participants in the debate were the candidates who have to this date (still watching to see if Al Gore will throw in his hemp hat) declared their nomination. The 2008 Presidential hopefuls who were in attendance were: Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator from Alaska, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Ct., former Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina., Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson., and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

The debate was hosted by the South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. And it was moderated by NBC Anchor, Brian Williams.

The debate overall was pretty cordial and firework free. But I also believe it was very helpful in gaining a decent perspective for these candidates’ personalities and where some of their interests lay. It is my belief that campaigning should consist solely of debates. Live accessible debates and unbiased interviews, in print and on air. And that is where it should end. The millions of dollars wasted on these campaigns are nothing short of nauseating. We do not need to see them going from state to state pandering and kissing babies. And we certainly do not need the negative campaign ads. It is all about the issues and how the candidate presents him/herself. And that we can get from debates and interviews. Either that or perhaps FOX can create a new reality show in which all candidates will live in the same house and fight over the last bowl of Coco Puffs and bathroom rights. There can be a Donkey house and an Elephant house. As they get down to the final 10 they can compete in challenges against each other. Perhaps that way, more people will actually vote!! Tongue and cheek of course…but hey, an idea nonetheless J

 

 

The following are some tidbits from the debate from each candidate:

New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson – He wants a redirection of foreign policy. He would have the troops out of Iraq THIS calendar year. Richardson said he would begin his presidency by de-authorizing the war. Says priorities need to be straight – domestic problems including education are taking a back seat to the war.

The New Mexico Governor was the last to call for the dismissal of Attorney General Gonzales. When asked by a reporter why, Richardson stated, “Because he is Hispanic.” When he was asked about this in the debate he said, “That is how I felt.” But he expanded and said he wanted to give him (Gonzales) a chance to explain. But he did admit that was the reason he held back. He did finally call for his resignation.

When the mention of the NRA’s endorsement of Richardson, he had this to say, "I’m a Westerner. I’m a governor of New Mexico. The Second Amendment is precious in the West. But I want to just state for the record, a vast, vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding."

 

 

Connecticut Senator, Christopher Dodd – His position on the Iraq War is basically no more troops period. He adamantly supports the Feingold Bill. He says that since the war in Iraq, America is more isolated and less secure. “The troops will tell you, there is no military victory here.” “We are going to provide whatever resources our troops need”, he said when responding to the inquiry as to the senate and house being held accountable by the president for the military not getting the funding they need. “The idea that we are going to bring resolution to a civil war there (Iraq) is an idea we need to get beyond.”

When questioned about an Iranian threat, Dodd had this to say, “The question about whether or not you deal with Iran, it’s about how you do so…I would have direct negotiations.”

“The American people can handle the truth; you just got to tell them the truth.”

Dodd also explains that he fully supports civil unions for gay citizens but is against gay marriage.

 

 

Mike Gravel, former U.S. senator from Alaska – Gravel believes that the other candidates ‘dance around’ the issues because they don’t want to rock the boat. When asked where he has been for 30 years he replied, “Hiding under a rock because I was so disgusted with the way the congress works”

“My name is on all the environmental legislations that took place in the 70s.”

The former Alaska Senator passionately suggests that our country should develop a law against being in Iraq so we can prosecute the president criminally for being there.

All the candidates were asked who the 3 biggest enemies to the United States are. Gravel’s answer was very much unlike his fellow candidates. "We have no important enemies. What we need to do is to begin to deal with the rest of the world as equals. And we don’t do that. We spend more as a nation on defense than all the rest of the world put together. Who are we afraid of?"

 

Illinois Senator, Barack Obama – “We have a healthcare system that is broken…by the end of my first term we will have healthcare for every single American.” As he explained after the debate, “We have an education system that needs to be transformed.” Senator Obama suggests that he will make grants and scholarships – not just loans – more available so that the youth will have a better chance of competing in our global market.

On the war, “We are one signature away or 16 votes away from ending this war.” To show the American people that Obama is not intending our country to be a doormat he made the following statement, “"We have genuine enemies out there that have to be hunted down, networks have to be dismantled. There is no contradiction between us intelligently using our military and, in some cases, lethal force to take out terrorists and, at the same time, building the sort of alliances and trust around the world that has been so lacking over the last six years."

 

 

Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ohio – “You can’t say you are a ‘peace candidate’ and still keep funding to support a war.” Kucinich explains in an interview after the debate. While he was hesitant to call his opponents hypocrites, he claimed they were ‘inconsistent’.  The Representative claims that he wants to take the country into the direction of peace and prosperity. He believes in using diplomacy to reconnect with the world.

Regarding the war on terror Kucinich remarked, “As president of the United States, I intend to take America in a different direction, rejecting war as an instrument of policy, reconnecting with the nations of the world, so that we can address the real issues that affect security all over the globe and affect our security at home."

 

 

Former South Carolina Senator, John Edwards   After explaining that the $400 haircut which was paid for out of campaign funds was a mistake that has been rectified he states, “I live a privileged and blessed lifestyle now…but it is not where I come from. And I have not forgotten where I come from…The reason I am running is so that everyone in this country can have the same kind of chances I have had.”

Edwards had much to say about our environment. "On the issue of climate change, we ought to cap carbon emissions in the United States. We ought to invest in clean alternative sources of energy. We ought to invest in carbon sequestration technology, in coal technology. A billion dollars, at least, into making sure we build the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the planet. We ought to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. To be willing to conserve." 

When asked what his biggest political mistake was, he answered, "I was wrong to vote for this war. Unfortunately, I’ll have to live with that forever. And the lesson I learned from it is to put more faith in my own judgment."

 

 

Delaware Senator, Joe Biden – Certainly the most humorous moment of the evening was an answer from Joe Biden. In reports before the debate Biden had been regarded as a gaff machine, unable to hold his tongue. When asked, “Do you have the discipline you would need on the world stage?” He simply answered a short “yes”. Laughs permeated through the crowd.

When asked about the Supreme Court ruling about partial birth (or late term) abortions, Biden said the following, “"This decision was intellectually dishonest. I think it is a rare procedure that should only be available when the woman’s life and health is at stake. But, what this court did is it took that decision and … through dishonest reasoning, laid the groundwork for undoing Roe v. Wade."

As for the war, he had this to say, "The president has a fundamentally flawed (Iraq) policy. It’s based upon the notion of being able to set a strong, central government in Baghdad that will be democratic. And the real question is: Are we going to be able to leave Iraq, get our troops out, and leave behind something other than chaos?"

 

 

New York Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton – Said she believes that the federal government failed the students at Virginia Tech due to loose gun laws. And that without violating 2nd amendment rights, gun rights should be limited.

When asked about her Healthcare plan, Senator Clinton said, “"We can save money within the existing system. I am not ready to put new money into a system that doesn’t work until we’ve tried to figure out how to get the best outcomes from the money we already have."

Regarding the war, she had this to say, “I’m very proud of the Congress … for putting together a piece of legislation which says we will fund our troops and protect them, we will limit the number of days that they can be deployed, and we will start to bring them home."  

 

  

It is still so, so early in the campaign and I refuse to make any permanent judgments about any of the candidates at this point. But just using last night’s debate as a basis, here is a quick personal perspective of each presidential hopeful:

 

Richardson – Are we sure he isn’t a republican? Seriously though, I do not like his affiliation with the NRA whatsoever and his biased decision making regarding Gonzales is worrisome.

Dodd – I admire that he seems to give the American people enough credit to be honest. Whether or not he would be is another question. I support his views on Iraq, but have a problem with his stance on gay marriage.

Gravel – Whoa. Now, I have been called a liberal more times that I can count. And even though I still see myself as an independent moderate…I do take many liberal stances. But this guy takes the cake. He believes there should never be war for any reason and while I would love to believe that in a perfect world, I am just not sure that is reasonable. But boy, wouldn’t that be nice. I think this guy could be easily unhinged and entertaining as he may be, he is a little out there for me. But I do love how passionate he comes across!!

Obama – I like him. He is young and fresh and I feel that may just be what we need. Someone who hasn’t yet been eaten up by the system. If someone young and idealistic with realistic goals can get into the presidency…I think many things would change for the better. I am going to keep my eye on this guy.

Kucinich – Hmmm…I don’t know. He seems kind of too lefty to me too. I get a weasley, blame everyone kind of vibe from him. But I don’t know. Need to see more of him before I can really say.

Biden – I am sure he is a good guy and I like much of what he has to say. But I don’t think he could keep his composure when necessary.  I agree with him about the right to choose and the war. But I need to hear more.

Edwards – I voted for Edwards in the last Democratic Primary. I like him. I think he is genuine when he says he has not forgotten where he has come from. I get a sense that I can trust this man. I think an Edwards/Obama ticket would be ideal at this point.

Clinton – I can say that I like her more after last night than I did prior. She knows what she is doing, that is for sure. And she is a smart cookie. But I worry that she has already been eaten up by the Washington Machine and is now just playing the game. I really would love a woman president. I really, really would. But I just don’t get that authenticity I am looking for in a candidate when I listen to Hillary. Like I said, we shall see.

 

Thursday April 26, 2007

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Hey all. Today is a gloomy, rainy day. But it is Thursday and the weekend is approaching…so that is a good thing. Plus the chipmunks and birds are still running about…so it definitely spring, which I love. The buds on the trees are growing before my eyes, it is truly amazing.
 
Today I had a follow-up appointment with my Nurse Practitioner who specializes in weight loss. With all the dieting and extra exercise I had been doing this past year and seeing virtually no difference, I thought it was time to see what the hell I was doing wrong. As you may know, I gained about 70lbs during my pregnancy in 2004. And right before I became pregnant I was put on a beta blocker for my heart which only adds to the weight gain. I have lost about 40 of those pounds…and I want to lose about 20 more.
 
Anyway, I have been keeping a food journal (online) and it keeps track of all the calories, fat, carbs…basically everything. It is a pain in the ass, but it is helpful. I am on a 1300 calorie a day diet and I try to eat high fiber, low fat foods. I only drink water (have for years now) and maybe one diet soda a day. A cup of tea here and there. Monday through Friday I am very strict about my eating. Saturday and Sundays I let loose a bit, but I don’t go nuts. I also do not keep track on the weekends.
 
Anyway, so I had my follow up today and she said I am doing very well. I wish I felt that way. I feel like a failure. In 6 weeks I have lost 4.6 lbs, 3.5 inches (1.5 in my waist) and 3.5% body fat. She thinks I should consider cutting my beta blocker dosage in half as that should help with the weight loss and my incredible fatigue. I will discuss it with my cardiologist when I see her in a couple weeks. Who knows, maybe I will taper down on my own in the meantime and see how I do. I just don’t want the heart symptoms to reappear. I would MUCH rather be tired and fat LOL!!!
 
I know it seems I am obsessing about my weight. And I guess I am. I just cannot stand looking like this. Trying on those swimsuits was very depressing. But I did finally chose one. But it will likely be covered with a big tee shirt anyway 🙂
 
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Let’s see…what else is new…
 
Mom is coming for the night tomorrow. Looking forward to that. Hopefully she isn’t crabby because then that makes me crabby and the two of us being crabby well…is a recipe for disaster. But it should be sunny and that is always a mood booster. Maybe we will go out for dinner. Not sure.
 
Next weekend is the John Edward seminar. Obviously that is a biggie for me. Hooray!!
 
Democratic Debate is on tonight. Will have to watch that and weed out the duds. Hopefully they aren’t all duds. Perhaps I will write about it tomorrow. I think that so far the best ticket would be Edwards/Obama. We shall see.
 
Rosie is off The View. I am disappointed. That is the only show I watch during the day. I put Cassidy to bed, make my daily turkey sandwich and watch those 4 women bicker and spew. I thought Rosie made is interesting and funny. Before that, Joy was the only comic relief and I do hope she doesn’t go anywhere soon. So many people are thrilled Rosie won’t be on anymore. There is so much hatred toward her. From those who hate her because of her politics to those who hate her because of her lesbianism and even some because she is "fat".  Ridiculous. I don’t agree with everything she says…not at all!! But she was still entertaining and I respected her for being so passionate about her views and beliefs. Oh well. Maybe they will find a good replacement. Again…we shall see.
 
Anyway, gotta fly. Talk at ya later.

Tuesday April 17, 2007

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Its been a while since I have written. I have been tired and lazy and working on some other things. So, as if you care, I apologize 🙂
 
I want to write about Imus and the horrible Virginia Tech shootings. But I will do so in seperate posts. Not here. I need to put thought into those posts and these journals are simply for spewing.
 
Last weekend was a nice one. Saturday I spent the night at the Marriott for my mom’s night alone. It was very relaxing. I watched 2 movies which were both EXCELLENT – Notes on a Scandal and Little Children. I will write reviews on both of them soon. But, seriously, they were incredible flicks and you should rent them both!! I ordered room service, took a bath, gave myself a manicure and pedicure and just laid around. It was so nice. Wish it was for TWO nights!! The next morning Charlie and Cassidy met me for brunch at the hotel. Their food is very yummy. Then we came home and all was back to the old grind.
 
Its only a couple more weeks before my mom and I go to Chicago to see John Edward. I am very excitted. Still cannot believe it and I am so full on anticipation and wonder about the whole thing. I have no idea what to expect. Quite thrilling really. Plus, we are taking the train and I have never been on a train (well, besides the one at the Milwaukee zoo that goes about 2 miles per hour) and I am a bit anxious about that…but that is ok. Short ride. We will then need to find cabs, find our hotel, then find the seminar hotel…so it will be a little adventure for a gal who is about adventurous as a rock.
 
I have been looking at houses on the internet. We either want to move back to the northside of Racine (where my heart is…where I lived for 25 years) or out in the county in Burlington or somewhere near there. The more I look, the more I get the bug to just do it. It has just been a fleeting thought…but there are so many reasons I would like to move. I really do not like the suburb we are in. I do not like having no sidewalks for the kids to play on. I do not like not having parks within walking distance. I hate our Mt. Everest driveway that seems to be a shooting slide into traffic for my daughter. Our rooms are super small. And so much needs to be remodled. Whine Whine. I know. I am annoying. I do appreciate the fact that I have a nice home and everything I need. I am just being greedy for the moment. We have a fixed 5.75% interest rate on a 30 year mortgage right now. It almost seems completely STUPID to get rid of that. Espeically since we have little equity. I don’t know. We shall see.
 
I have also been so depressed about the fact that it seems ‘we’ decided not to have another child. Cassidy is a kid now. My baby is gone. She is potty trained. Drinks out of a big girl’s cup. Knows many letters and numbers by sight. She is such a big girl now. (crying). It is taking forever to lose this weight anyway, I mind as well get pregnant while I am still big – right?? Not how Charlie sees it. He said we are way too tired for another. And..yea…I am exhausted. But maybe the next one would be easier???? This must be that ticking maternal clock they speak of….ugh.
 
Speaking of being fat…my supply of Land’s End swim suits arrived yesterday. I ordered a bunch to try on and I will chose one and send back the rest. Man…that was depressing. I feel like I look disgusting in all of them. I should just wear a tee shirt and shorts. It is just a sad state.
 
Anywho….gotta get some stuff done. Talk at ya later!!

Wednesday April 4, 2007

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Well. I am now 33 years old. Man. I can remember when my mother was 33. I was 13. If I live to be my father’s age I will have 13 years left. Wow. Scary. I am shooting for 103. That way I have a good 70 to go. Sounds good to me.

On Saturday we went to dinner with my parents and to the Comedy Café. We saw a comedian, Mike Merryfield. He was actually quite funny. So, that was a good time.

My diet has gone to pot this week. Charlie got me a Danish Layer cake from O&H – my absolute favorite. I have only had two pieces since Sunday which has take A LOT of restraint. But there is one left and it has my name on it for sure. Then last night we went out for dinner at DeRangos (6 mile). Got my usual, the jumbo broiled shrimp. Yum. And then they brought me a huge bowl of ice cream and all the toppings for my birthday. I of course split it with Charlie and the kids…but I was very full at the end of the meal. And Sunday we will be going to Easter Brunch – it’s a great brunch buffet, HUGE – at the Marriott. So, needless to say, there will be no restraint that day. I just hope I don’t undo the small loss I have made so far. I plan to do extra on the treadmill in the next few days; maybe it will help a tad. So far I have lost about 4lbs and 7 inches. Slow start…but at least I am not going backwards, right??

My brother and sister in law sent me flowers yesterday. They are gorgeous. Not even sure what kind they are, very exotic looking. It’s always nice to get flowers. I am disappointed they will not be joining us for brunch Sunday. We have had some issues in the past couple weeks and things are very tense between us right now. I do hope it improves. I really feel I have done all I really can.

Charlie gave me a card telling me to enjoy a night of my choice at a hotel of my choice. Hooray!! My favorite gift. Not sure when I will use it…but I am really looking forward to it. I would use it next weekend but in the beginning of May my mom and I are going to Chicago for a night to see John Edwards. We will be staying over night in a nice hotel. So, I think I should wait until June…but we will see how stressed I am in the next couple weeks!!

I got a couple emails yesterday wishing me Happy Birthday which was very nice. It makes me all warm and fuzzy when people remember me and take time out to actually acknowledge me J Matt, Phil, Jill, and Nancy – Thank you!! (Also Brian, Tom, Jodi and John sent me Happy Birthday wishes on the 4th). And I received calls from my mom, step father, brother, sister in law and Jack. Thank you so much you guys for thinking of me!!

I am REALLY looking forward to Friday. First of all, Charlie has off so that means I get somewhat of a break too. But on this day I get a huge break. I have two gift certificates for my salon which also has a day spa. I have an appointment for a facial and a body treatment (I think I will get the mud or aromatherapy body wrap). Neither of which I have ever had before. So I will be there for a couple hours relaxing and hopefully feeling nice and calm and pretty when I leave J Oh man…I SO need it.  

Anyway, not too deep today. Just not feeling it right now. Tired. Worn out. Maybe I will write more later.

As always, thanks for listening!!

Election Results and The Journal Times Blogs

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Well, needless to say my hopefuls didn’t fair too well last night, sadly. As I had said…several of them were hard to choose anyway. But I can say that I am quite happy that Alderman Karas was re-elected. It was a very well deserved – but scarily close win. I hope he is doing something fun and/or relaxing today.

 

I am disappointed that Attorney Clifford and Candidate Ken Hall were not elected. Obviously, those were the big ones. I really feel that if it weren’t for the whole private investigator issue, Clifford would be Judge right now. As far as Ken Hall, I just think that was a hard race to win. McReynolds name is out there and people have it in their heads from the last election and all the signs that never came down. Very expensive campaign he ran and I guess all the ads worked. You see, I truly believe that a majority of voters go to the polls with maybe one or two races they care about and really know nothing or little about the others. In these cases, they simply chose the name which is more familiar to them. In this case, that worked against my hopeful candidate for County Executive. Hopefully that doesn’t deter him – or another well-intended, fresh candidate – from running next time.

 

Anyway, I do congratulate all the winners and sincerely hope they really want what is best for their constituents.

 

Yesterday was a strange one for me. First I received that email from Candidate Fred Dooley. And when I decided to post it – whoa…the yelling ensued. On the Journal Times blogs I did have a couple supporters…but people love to hate me there and I really cannot figure out why. It is not as if I think my blogs, opinions, posts or any of that has any bearing on another person’s decisions. I write for enjoyment and cathartic reasons. There are issues I care about and I happen to be loud about them at times. But I do not feel I am EVER inconsiderate, rude, mean, vindictive, etc…to others. I try to always show compassion and understanding – even to those who do not reciprocate. I do, however, say what I truly believe. I am not fake. And I call ‘em how I see ‘em. As simple as that. Perhaps that is unattractive. How unfortunate. It can be frustrating to have people see me in a way that is so not intended or to see a person who I genuinely am NOT. I suppose I need to work on how I come across. Or perhaps I should just not care.

 

Anyway, I think I need to stop reading those blogs on TJT site as often. Give myself some distance and not post there as much. We will see how that goes.

 

So, yesterday, my 33rd birthday and Election Day was a strange one. I congratulate all the winners. And applaud ALL of the candidates for running. It cannot be an easy task.

A Fred Dooley Response

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You lied about me on your blog, one thing I never did was lie about Kurt Vlach, do you understand that I could sue you for what you posted?
 
I never posted any nude pictures of anyone on my blog, I never posted any pictures of anyone in their underwear on my blog.
 
You pretend to be this centrist while you are a radical leftist, I’m tired of these untrue personal attacks.
 
I have led an honest campaign with new ideas and I have not attacked my opponent once.
 
You leftists continue to spread lies about me.
 
You are disgusting.
 
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 
This is what candidate Fred Dooley emailed to me this morning.  On his website he had posted pictures – which are now gone – which he even claimed to be revealing. This is the blog I first read – http://realdebatewisconsin.blogspot.com/2006/03/update-on-kurt-vlach-scandal.html
 
I can assure you that the post has been edited since, probably when he decided to run for Alderman. I can assure you that he did indeed post pictures of this alleged ‘scandal’. It was all the talk on Racine oriented blogs.
 
I think it is clear I am no radical leftist. Do I maybe tend to lean towards some lefty issues. Yes. But I also have some more conservative stances as well.
 
But nonetheless…I am disgusting. Okay. Happy Election Day 🙂