I Don’t Get It

I once wrote that my hope for my children was that in the end, they have “a good life with plenty of laughs and good memories.” I will add that I don’t care if they live in a small home or a huge mansion, if they have fancy cars or a single second-hand automobile, and I don’t care if they wear designer clothes or outfits from Target. All that matters is that I have raised happy, independent children, each with a strong sense of right and wrong.

I taught them to be truthful and kind to others, so it was difficult to watch when their friends were unkind or made disparaging comments on the playground. I am hearing about this happening already in preschool and it breaks my heart.

Cursing was not spoken at home, and when one of them hurt the feelings of another, they were taught to write a note of apology. So it has been with a heavy heart that I have watched our country being led by a man who clearly was not raised with any of those values—where money was worshipped over integrity, and people still believe in him.

As I watch our country’s reputation erode throughout the world, our clean air and water get dirtier, and our climate continuing to warm unchecked, I know that the experiment to elect an outsider has failed miserably. And I truly don’t understand why everyone in this country does not see this.

Elijah Cummings said two important things:

  • “I’m hoping that all of us can get back to this democracy that we want, and that we should be passing on our children so they can do better than what we did.”
  • “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?”

I will fight.

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Five and Counting

I have lived in five states, but South Carolina is the only state where I can be assured that it will not snow every year, and where I have the opportunity to meet (or at least hear speak) each candidate running for president. My list for the 2020 election is currently at five (Klobuchar, Harris, Biden, Buttigieg, and Bullock), and as the February primary approaches, that number will definitely increase.

This past weekend I met Governor Steve Bullock, who is unfortunately not well known since he jumped into the race later than the others and has not been in any debates. I knew little about him, so as we were driving to our meet-and-greet, I went to his website and reviewed his positions. Dad and I arrived early, as did Governor Bullock, so we had time to chat with him before he spoke to those in attendance.

I liked him and am upset that only those at the top of the polling and fundraising are getting much attention so early in the process.  Many of his views align with mine, and I think the fact that he won as a Democrat in a Republican state makes him a strong candidate to consider.

I don’t have a preferred candidate yet, so I would like the chance to hear from more than just the leaders of pack. I am also bothered that at least four states, including my own, have cancelled the Republican presidential primaries. While I am not a fan of South Carolina’s candidate, our former governor and congressman, Mark Sanford, I believe it is wrong for the Republican Party to not give the other three declared candidates a chance to run against Trump.

There are too many people making decisions for me. Mommy is not pleased!

P.S. I have it on good authority that Elizabeth Warren is now advertising on the Kid’s Learning Channel along with Tom Steyer, so I will probably have to bring Bryce to get a selfie with her.

It’s Time for Him to Go

Three times in my life I have witnessed the impeachment process, but the first two never moved as quickly or made my head spin at the rate as the Trump impeachment.

The Nixon impeachment was the story of the Watergate break-in and clandestine meetings with Deep Throat. I was in high school when it began and in college when it all ended with Nixon resigning in disgrace. It took a long time. You all saw the movie.

You were all young during the Clinton Impeachment—ages eight through twelve—and the subject brought up topics which I was not prepared to discuss with any of you. Did we talk about it? I was mad at Hillary for not throwing Bill’s clothes off the Truman Balcony as a show to the women of the world how she felt. It ended with acquittal in the Senate.

Now you are witnessing yet another president going down the path of impeachment, but this time, the charges are so much more serious and the pace of evidence being uncovered is happening at lightning speed. Listening to the news accounts and watching the rapidly-changing polls now favoring the investigation and what I believe will ultimately be the end of the Lord of the Lies Administration, it will not be as long a process as the other two impeachments.

I am not sad to see him go because he is an ignorant, immoral, and cruel person, but it is sad that we must go down this path again. I read the entire Mueller Report as well as the much easier to read transcript of the president’s discussion with the Ukranian president and the Whistleblower report. I think America is reading those last two documents because they can be read during the commercial break of their favorite shows.

In case you don’t understand the process, here is a great chart which will help you understand the process.

 

He Has Chosen Who and Why?

Do any of us really enjoy watching commercials, except possibly during the Super Bowl, when businesses compete to be the best and most memorable? When we record our shows, it is possible to avoid them, but at times, we are all unwilling viewers.

A prime example is when watching videos on YouTube. At times, we are not subjected to any advertisements, while at other times we must watch only a few seconds. Then there are those commercials that no matter how hard we try, we are forced to sit through an entire 20-30 second clip.

No one is immune, and I must say, it is sometimes puzzling to determine why certain shows are targeted by a particular product or person. I began thinking about this after learning that Bryce, a six-year-old little boy, is now one of the 9% in this country who has already decided on his presidential candidate. It’s Tom Steyer!

Bryce is a kid who does not watch the nightly news nor does he watch shows where one would anticipate being exposed to political commercials. Instead, he watches YouTube shows such as the Kids Learning Channel or marble races. He is learning about math, geography, root vegetables, and now, Tom Steyer, since this candidate’s campaign has determined that “The Countries of the World with Flags” is the place to capture votes.

I recently asked Bryce about his preferred candidate, and after a little coaxing, he told me he likes Tom Steyer. I then told him that Bampa and I had seen several of the candidates in person, and because the environment is so important to him, I suggested he make sure it is equally important to his guy as well. I also asked if he would like to hear any of the candidates speak, particularly Tom Steyer of course, and he told me that he was interested.

Since he has been under the mistaken impression that a woman cannot be president, I hope he can see one of them when they come to town so I can set him straight. Too bad he has to wait until 2032 to vote for president.

 

 

What’s the Point? Are you Kidding?

This is a warning to all of you. DO NOT CALL ME DURING THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY. I may respond to a text, but I will not answer the telephone because Dad and I will be watching the five-hour Mueller testimony.

We both read the 448-page redacted document and have both concluded that anyone who is not troubled by its contents has not read the report. I understand that everyone does not have the time, but if you are a member of Congress, in my opinion, it is your responsibility to find the time. “What’s the point,” as one of my Senators stated, is shockingly irresponsible in my opinion.

For the average busy American such as my adult kiddies, I am suggesting that an overall flavor of the report can be obtained by reading just 42 pages:

  • The 8-page introduction and summary of Volume 1, which discusses Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
  • The 10-page introduction and summary of Volume 2, which addresses obstruction of justice.
  • Appendix-C, which is 23 pages of the President’s responses to written questions.
  • The one paragraph conclusion of the investigation

Like my list of favorite words such as gazpacho, cornucopia, and luscious, I have a few favorite Mueller Report lines (and my own comments in italics) that cause me to question the President’s truthfulness that the entire investigation was “a witch hunt”:

  • “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is in part because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out or accede to his requests.” (I guess it’s he’s lucky his lawyers held him back.)
  •  “The written responses, we informed counsel, demonstrate the inadequacy of the written format, as we have had no opportunity to ask follow-up questions that would ensure complete answers and potentially refresh your client’s recollection or clarify the extent or nature of his lack of recollection.” In the end, Mueller concluded, “We viewed the written answers to be inadequate.”  (Note: Trump and Attorney General Barr claimed he was being cooperative.)
  •  “When Sessions told the President that a Special Council had been appointed to conduct the Russia investigation, the President responded, ‘Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency.’ ” (Why worry if you have nothing to hide?)
  • “If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are not able to reach that judgement.”

In conclusion, girls, think about reading these 42 pages and let me know your thoughts. And remember, only phone us near the end of the day on Wednesday. We will be busy getting informed before then.

LBJ’s Ranch: A Pleasant Surprise

During our recent trip to Texas, we visited the LBJ ranch, where I learned about the man who became our 36th president after the assassination of President Kennedy.

I was just eight at the time, so my interest in him was minimal. I was much more concerned with my favorite television shows—The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show, and My Favorite Martian, to name just a few—and staying under the radar from my scary third-grade teacher, Mrs. Darbin.

My memories of President Johnson were mostly of the sad old man who stood beside Jackie Kennedy to take the oath of office on Air Force One during the afternoon after JFK was shot, and the father of two teenage girls who got married during his time in office. I knew a lot of important legislation was passed during his administration, but as a kid, I paid more attention to his family and tragic beginning of his presidency than his job performance.

His ranch had a visitor’s center where his accomplishments were displayed on a big board so that I was able to see all that he had done in one fell swoop.

My initial reaction was surprise in seeing that he was only fifty-five during that first inauguration, and then just sixty-four at his death. I guess any kid that looks at me probably thinks, “Oh boy, is she old!”

Among his accomplishments were Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and several environmental acts such as the Clean Air Act of 1963 and the Water Quality Act of 1965. Sadly, his legacy is being torn apart bit by bit.

As Dad and I watched the movie about Johnson and read his positive achievements (not mentioning his inability to get out of Viet Nam at this time), we thought it was so interesting that this man was from the red state of Texas. It turns out that Texas elected primarily Democrats until 1980, when all subsequent Texas presidential elections went Republican.

Now there are two Texas Democrats running for president. While it is increasingly doubtful that either will be on the final ticket in November, I will be watching the results of the Lone Star State.

On a side note to anyone visiting the LBJ ranch: Watch where you walk. Aunt Linda almost stepped on a very big, very scary looking possibly poisonous snake on the sidewalk leading up to the Visitor’s Center. Beware!

Our Work Continues

Today I got myself up and out of the house bright and early and headed down to the South Carolina State House to participate in Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day. We had a good turnout for a weekday morning, with about 200 women as well as men coming here from all over the state. The purpose was to speak to our two state representatives about two bills:

  • Extending the time for a background check from three days to five and also to decrease the time required to report such things as issuances of restraining orders, protective orders, and convictions of domestic violence.
  • Permitless carry, which would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public without a concealed-carry permit or a background check.

My small group of three tracked down our House representative, who was in agreement with our issues. He invited us into the Democratic Caucus meeting (upsetting because it was Clemson day which meant applauding our arch rivals), and although the Moms group is not a political group, that fact was mentioned and we agreed to go in order to promote our message.

While we were trying to locate our senator, many of the other Moms were introduced from the gallery of the State House Legislature. Again, the point was to draw attention to the issue to all of our legislators.

We are all aware that many uniformed people believe this is an anti-Second Amendment group, but I learned early on that many members of this group are gun owners. The purpose is to emphasize common-sense laws to protect people against gun violence and to keep guns away from individuals with violent backgrounds, severe mental issues, and convicted felons.

It was a successful day, and I look forward to a time where our job is no longer needed. Will that ever happen, I wonder.