Election Day 2016. AM Edition.

election-day-2016I voted this morning. I didn’t have to endure the hours-long lines some voters faced this season, lucky me. Five minutes total and I was in and out.

Like many of the women I know, I gave some thought to what I’d wear in the voting booth today. I worse as close to all-white as I own, to honor the suffragists. The blouse was my mother’s. I also wore jewelry that belonged to my mother, grandmother, and great-aunt. I wish so much they could have voted today too, but I took them with me into the booth.

I didn’t cry. I walked in with a big smile on my face and smiled as I completed my ballot. I only teared up a little as I walked back home, thinking of Mom. She would have voted for Hillary too, of that I am sure.

Now America waits to see if that highest glass ceiling will shatter tonight.

Election Day 2012: My Prediction

Four years ago, I did a little post with my best guess on what Election Day 2008 would bring. Happily, I underestimated the strength of Obama’s victory.

So here’s my best guess for 2012: Obama 281, Romney 257:

My prediction for 2012: Obama 281, Romney 257

Finally, if you have not voted early, please, no matter who you choose to vote for, get out and vote!

Here’s hoping tonight goes the way I hope it will……

My Thoughts on the Death Penalty

As the death penalty seems to be in the news tonight, I thought I’d share my thoughts.

My feelings are not complex: I am not opposed to the death penalty as a concept. I believe that there are some crimes so heinous, that display such a complete disregard for your fellow humans, that it is not unreasonable to deprive the person who commits those crimes of his life.

That said, I am well aware that the American judicial system has massive systemic problems, and that as a result, the death penalty can be (and has been) imposed on people who were not guilty. And that is a terrible wrong. If we cannot prevent innocents from being put to death then we shouldn’t do it at all.

Or put more simply, the American justice system does not work perfectly, but I still think that some really evil bastards deserve to fry for what they did.

Who We Are As Americans

I’ve dialed back on the political blog posts in recent years but this time, I need to vent.

Here’s something I believe very strongly:

Governments exist to do those things which families, towns, even states cannot do for themselves. They exist to preserve, protect, and defend (and I use those words deliberately) the people within their boundaries. And “protect and defend” means more than just having a big, well-equipped army.

It means taking care of our own when they are in need.

Now, reasonable people can disagree on exactly where the boundaries are for the role of government. I have no problem with that idea. But to suggest that disaster aid for people whose lives have been overturned by a hurricane or a tornado or an earthquake is not part of the essential function of government, or that it should be held hostage to the political whims of one party — that’s just wrong.

So when I read today that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is saying that any disaster aid should be offset by additional spending cuts or it shouldn’t happen, I was beyond livid.

Again, THIS IS WRONG.

This is not who we are as Americans.

When something bad happens to your neighbor, you ask, “how can I help?”. You don’t ask him to write you a check for the casserole you bring over, or send her a bill for the hours you spent helping her pump out her basement. And if you think holding disaster aid hostage to your political beliefs is somehow the right thing to do, then you are a callous, selfish, and shallow person and I really don’t want to know you.

What She Said

Regarding the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and so many others this weekend, my friend Laura is spot-on:

I don’t know if the shooter was inspired by the violent rhetoric coming from the Tea Party. I don’t know if he saw the gunsights on Palin’s map and it triggered a cascade of thoughts that led to his actions. I don’t know if the over the top statements about “watering the tree of liberty” and “second amendment remedies” made him think that shooting politicians is an acceptable way to resolve issues.

What I do know is that everyone who cheered or applauded or agreed with Tea Partier statements about second amendment remedies cannot say that they didn’t mean this. This *is* a second amendment remedy. It is a disgruntled citizen using a gun to bring about political change. If this is not what they meant, if they weren’t really calling for people to kill their political opponents, then they should not have couched the discussion in such violent terms. They should not have said that killing someone elected to office is an acceptable response to electoral loss.

Emphasis added. This is exactly the point. Words have meaning. People need to choose them carefully. Especially in a world where disturbed loners have access to guns.

Things That Make Me Proud. Or Not.

I’m a New Yorker and proud to be one. I’m proud to call people like Mayor Michael Bloomberg fellow New Yorkers; even moreso when, faced with divisive subjects like the Park51 mosque, they give speeches like this:

This is a test of our commitment to American values. We have to have the courage of our convictions. We must do what is right, not what is easy. And we must put our faith in the freedoms that have sustained our great country for more than 200 years.

What I’m not so proud of, on the other hand, are idiots like this:

Michael Enright … was charged with felony attempted murder as a hate crime – among other crimes – after [he] slashed [NYC cabbie Ahmed] Sharif across the face, arm and hand after asking the Bangladesh-born cabbie if he was Muslim and then saying ‘As-salaam alaikum’ – which means ‘peace be unto you’ in Arabic

Luckily Enright was from upstate though. 🙂