Tag Archives: obama

Obama’s Promise of Freedom and Equality

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I can only say that today’s Presidential Inaugural Address was inspiring and made me proud. This is the first time I have heard a President show such a firm commitment to bring the country forward, united as a group for the common welfare. “We the People” can do it together, focused on the betterment of all.  I have waited my entire adult life to hear a President voice that sentiment. It is not “us vs. them” for this President.  It is “We the People.” Thank you, President Obama, for giving me hope for myself, my WWII veteran father, my Vietnam veteran mother, and my young daughter. He is right that we cannot sacrifice one generation for another. My three-generation family represents four generations of this country, and I am not willing to sacrifice any of the generations of my family. Neither should my country. Again, thank you, Mr. President.

Hurricane Sandy Brings ENOUGH!

Hurricane Sandy (2012): 60 km Wind Area Forecast

Hurricane Sandy (2012): 60 km Wind Area Forecast (Photo credit: Canadian Pacific)

Imagine my surprise to read that some right-wing Christian preacher is saying that I, as a lesbian, am the reason for Hurricane Sandy hitting the entire eastern seaboard.  Well, not me personally, but all gays, lesbian, bisexuals, and transgenders.  Oh, and anyone who “sides” with us.  Oh, and don’t forget the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama, and even Romney!  Although I hate to give him more hits, if you are interested in reading his rambling blog, it can be found below.

He truly believes that we need a massive prayer meeting to save America.  You know, I have been listening to my friends say there comes a point when you must speak up and say, “enough is enough.”  I think this might be it.  So, I am saying it.  ENOUGH!

ENOUGH WITH THE JUDGMENTS!  Romans 2:1-3 says, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest does the same things. But we are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”  TRANSLATION:  Don’t judge others, for if you do, you condemn yourself, for you do the same as others. Now I’m not saying this preacher has done the same things we in the LGBT community have done, but let’s see…  I have loved…  I have hurt…  I have wanted the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness… Yes, I have had sex with members of the same sex.  But isn’t that between me and my God? I don’t stand in judgment of you for whatever you do in your bedroom…

ENOUGH WITH THE CHERRY-PICKING!  I am sick of hearing moderate Republicans say they are siding with Romney because of this or that, and they don’t agree with the suppression of rights for gays.  If you agree with a candidate on one issue, you have to agree with them on all.  Now, I’m not saying that I agree with Obama on all issues.  I don’t.  But I have to choose the issues that are the most important to me and vote accordingly.  And I have to take into account ALL of the issues.  Then, I have to stand with one or the other, based on what is most important to me.  SOOOOO, that means if you tell me you are voting for Romney due to his economic policies, then stand up for that belief and tell me you think your paycheck is more important than my rights as a citizen of this country, and as a human being.

ENOUGH WITH THE DENIAL!  I don’t understand how anyone who has ever been oppressed can do the same to others.  If you have suffered due to your race, or your sex, or your nationality, or your immigration status, or your weight, or your height, or your physical disabilities, or your learning disabilities, or your age, or your religion, or…  How can you look me in the eye and say it is okay to do to me what was done to you?  IT IS ALL THE SAME!!!!  Martin Luther King, Jr. would be so ashamed of his niece.  He spoke out for equality for all.  He would not have wanted to transfer racial prejudice to gay bigotry.  He talked about standing in resistance to segregation, all while making friends with whites.  Where is the camaraderie between blacks and gays?  Where is the love?

ENOUGH WITH THE HATE!  My entire life I have been taught that Christianity is about love.  That God is about love.  That we should love our neighbors.  That we should love our enemies.  That we should love the sinners.  Where is that love for the LGBT community?  If you really believe gays are sinners, where is the love?  Love doesn’t mean standing in judgment.  Love doesn’t mean taking away rights, taking away children, taking away life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Love doesn’t mean bashing us in the head with baseball bats or hanging us out like scarecrows.  Love doesn’t mean raping us to teach us a lesson.

Yes, I am saying ENOUGH!  I hope others speak up with me and say ENOUGH!  I want to hear how you have had ENOUGH!

And the First 2012 Presidential Campaign Debate Goes to… Ted Kennedy?

 

So, the first 2012 presidential campaign debate is done.  Overall, I personally wasn’t impressed with either candidate.  I am registered Independent (well, “un-enrolled”), so I was looking forward to seeing who would sway me one way or the other.  I wasn’t overly impressed with Obama’s lack of eye contact with Romney, or his lack of excitement. Besides the constant interruptions, Romney definitely improved his public persona for this debate. However, I don’t vote based on how someone looks or how excited they seem. I vote based on where they stand on the issues. In this regard, Obama seems to be the winner in my book. Romney made some good points, and asked some good questions of the President, but Obama offered concrete answers for how he plans to handle the issues of healthcare, the economy, tax cuts, entitlements, and the role of government. The only concrete answer I remember Romney offering was that he was going to let Big Bird fly the coop.

Romney seemed entirely too secretive about his “plan.”  I don’t want to elect someone who promises to help me but won’t tell me how that will be done.  That is like me praying for money and then not being happy when someone close to me dies and leaves me money in his or her will. I want to know how I will be helped. Even if I, personally, am not helped, I still want to know about the plan. I don’t mind paying to help others, but I don’t want to be taken by surprise. I am in that $100k-250k middle class that Obama keeps saying will be footing the bill. I keep waiting for Romney to show me how he will accomplish his plan without proving President Obama right.

I guess the main reason I don’t trust Romney’s plan is that he keeps referring to all the good “he” did in Massachusetts. Let me state for the record, I am a Massachusetts resident and have been for most of my life, and all of my adult life. He was not the “Massachusetts Miracle.” We didn’t need a miracle. He didn’t “save” us. If anything, we saved ourselves. Let’s explore this further:

The Massachusetts education reform of which Romney claimed credit? That was Ted Kennedy. Working with both Republican and Democrat Senators and Administration officials, Senator Kennedy was largely responsible for shaping the current education policy of the United States. “Every major education law passed since the 1960s has borne Kennedy’s imprint, from Head Start to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He has proven himself, time and again, to be a fighter for children and educators,” said Reg Weaver, the immediate past President of the National Education Association. Head Start in Massachusetts now serves more than 15,000 children, providing comprehensive childhood development and social services to low-income preschool-age children to prepare them for school. Senator Kennedy was a leader in consistently reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which he then later helped to rewrite in a bipartisan effort. It became the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. According to tedkennedy.org, “In many ways, NCLB built upon the strong reforms already underway in Massachusetts.  Since its passage, the number of Massachusetts students reaching proficiency in math and reading has increased for elementary, middle and high school students.  Importantly, the achievement gap between African American and white students has narrowed in both reading and math for elementary and high school students.  Further, 94% of Massachusetts school teachers… are now highly qualified as defined by NCLB.”

The Massachusetts healthcare reform of which Romney claimed credit? That was Ted Kennedy, too. Senator Kennedy worked for 40 years trying to institute universal health care. As he stated in the 2008 Democratic National Convention, it was the “cause of [his] life.” Senator Kennedy worked closely with officials from the administrations of Republican Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci to convince the Clinton Administration to approve the necessary Medicaid waiver to allow Massachusetts to pass a major health access law in 1996 that expanded and reorganized the state’s Medicaid program into “MassHealth.” The law also expanded health insurance coverage for children, achieving near universal coverage for children in Massachusetts. In 2004, Senator Kennedy and Governor Mitt Romney teamed up to convince Bush Administration officials to permit Massachusetts to continue receiving supplemental payments as subsidies to help lower-income uninsured persons obtain coverage. This agreement, brokered by Senator Kennedy, was the major force leading to passage of the landmark Massachusetts health reform law that Governor Romney signed in April 2006.

The above mentioned actions by Senator Kennedy focus primarily on his effect on Massachusetts. That doesn’t include the effect he had on the nation. It is not just confusing but, as a Massachusetts resident, it is downright infuriating to see Romney claim credit for the long, difficult work Senator Kennedy did.

Having put credit back where it is due, there is one concept I believe both sides could learn from Senator Ted Kennedy: bipartisanship. Senator Kennedy spent his career as a far-leaning liberal, working with Republicans to make a difference. Senator Kennedy worked with 4 different governors (3 of whom were Republican) and two Presidents (one of whom was Republican) to create the sustained, bipartisan results mentioned above regarding Massachusetts healthcare reform. Senator Kennedy worked with Republican Senator Nancy Kassebaum on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which set new marks for portability of insurance and confidentiality of records. In 1997, Senator Kennedy was the primary force, working with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, behind the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage to millions of poor children. Senator Kennedy worked with President George W. Bush on the Medicare prescription drug law in 2003, although he opposed the final formulation of the Act because it steered seniors toward private plans. When Democrats did not trust President George W. Bush, Senator Kennedy partnered with him on legislation to overhaul elementary and secondary education. Senator Kennedy accepted provisions governing mandatory student testing and teacher accountability that other Democrats and the National Education Association did not like, in return for increased funding levels for education. Senator Kennedy worked with President George W. Bush and Republican Senator John McCain for immigration reform. And the list goes on…

So, last night’s Presidential Debate did little to sway me one way or the other. However, I do know that if Ted Kennedy were alive today, I’d vote for him…

Kennedy's official Senate portrait in the 1990s

Kennedy’s official Senate portrait in the 1990s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)