Joe Biden at FAMU/VOTE BLUE 

Warning: This post is all over the place. It started out as a recounting of my experiences at a rally featuring Joe Biden and then it morphed into the lists of accomplishments of both major party candidates. So sue me.

Living in a high-profile state is a treat during presidential election years. In the past six months I’ve attended separate events where former President Bill Clinton, and Vice-presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, have spoken. Today I was privileged to be present at a rally featuring Vice-president Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. 

Today’s event was held on the campus of Florida A&M University with dozens of local and state Democratic candidates in attendance. I’d been to FAMU before, and gambled that parking would be in the same place even though the venue had changed. It was a great gamble. I quickly made friends with a young woman who was headed to the rally, and we walked up the hill together.

After standing in an epically long line for nearly two hours we finally made it through the metal detectors as some of the local dignitaries finished speaking. I’d resigned myself to being in the back forty when a young man came and asked if my friend and I would like to move closer to the stage. Soon we were standing just a few yards from the the speakers. Better still, we had a shade tree. 

Congresswoman Gwen Graham was on hand to welcome the Bidens. Gwen is a strong voice for Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. My hope is that she’ll be our governor some day.

By the time the Bidens arrived my feet were in agony. I hadn’t really planned on attending the rally today and had worn boots that, while darned adorable, weren’t all that comfortable. So I did what any sensible person would do–I took them off. Ahhhhh! 

The Bidens took the stage together. Jill spoke about meeting Joe when he was running for office and she was a college student. She’d attended a campaign rally and was impressed by his passion and integrity. So much so that she voted for him.

The Vice-president spoke then. He is personable and funny and invested in making this country a place where everyone has a place at the table. He spoke about the cuts Trump has proposed and the programs those cuts would affect: Social Security, funding for education, and health care chief among them. 

As Joe Biden began winding his speech to a close I decided to put my boots back on in preparation for walking down the hill. I asked a sturdy young man If I could lean on him and he gave me a huge grin. He probably thought I was a nut, but patiently stood there as I got my left boot on. 

When I put my right toe into its boot I got a Charlie horse (cramp) in my calf and almost said a bad word, but managed to restrain myself. I thanked the young man who held my hand through the whole thing. Age does have its privileges. 

The crowd was fired up and ready to vote as we headed in separate directions. My new friend had cut class to be at the rally and thought she might catch the end of it if she hurried. She promised to vote tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Election Day 2016.

I’m sixty years old. I cannot recall a more important or divisive election in my lifetime:

On the one hand we have Trump:

  • a blustering demagogue who has been in bankruptcy proceedings numerous times, even though he encourages people to think he’s a great businessman. 
  • someone with a history of litigation against those he’d rather sue than pay for services rendered.
  • a bully who encourages violence against those exercising their rights to free speech.
  • a misogynist who has bragged about groping women because as a celebrity he can do as he pleases. 
  • a man who has refused to release his tax returns and has shady ties to Russia. 
  • an anti-Semite.
  • a candidate who has mocked the disabled, stereotyped Latinos, Blacks, Muslims, and women. 
  • a man who has been endorsed by the KKK.

Then on the other, dare I say, sane hand, we have Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Cut and pasted from a Daily Kos article:

Oh, she’s also been endorsed by more newspapers, Conservative and Liberal, than any candidate in history.

Is she perfect? No, but she has faced numerous investigations by the FBI and a GOP led congress and neither entity has charged her with a single thing. 

Don’t sit around thinking your vote isn’t needed. It is. 

Peace, and common sense, people.

Put Her In, Coach

Inside the locker room at USA High

Coach Stern: Well team, I’ve got some bad news. Barry’s dad got a promotion and his family’s moving to Hawaii.

(Assembled team gasps.)

Running Back: But, Coach, he’s our quarterback! We can’t win without Barry! 

Noseguard: He’s brought us back from so many deficits. We’re doomed!

Coach Stern: Settle down everyone. I know we’re all gonna miss Barry. He’s probably the best QB we’ve had here at USA High, and he’ll be a tough act to follow.

Fullback: So, Coach, who ya got in mind to wear the quarterback’s jersey? We’ve got a couple of big games coming up. All the scouts are gonna be there.

Coach Stern: As it happens, I have two prospects in mind.

(Team members make random noises of curiosity.)

Coach Stern: One’s a seasoned player. She’s never been the quarterback, but she backed one up for years. And she’s studied every aspect of the game. Smart as hell to boot. 

Right Tackle: A chick!? Is she tough enough? Does she have the stamina to lead us?

Coach Stern: She’s got stamina like you wouldn’t believe. Almost impossible to knock down. If she were a guy she’d have been quarterback years ago.

Punter: She’s still a girl!

(Team makes assorted grumbling noises.)

Coach Stern: I thought some of you might say that, so here’s the story on the other prospect. He’s never played a single down. Heck, he tried to give our game plans to the crosstown rivals.

(Team makes angry noises.)

Safety: You mean he sold us out to Russkie Prep? 

Coach Stern: Yep. That’s exactly what he did. And he groped a couple of our cheerleaders without their permission.

Safety: Anything else?

Coach Stern: Well, he is real unpredictable, and we aren’t even sure if he’ll study the playbook. He’s a sore loser, too, as far as we can tell. Never takes responsibility for anything.

Wide Receiver: So why is he even under consideration?

Coach Stern: Well, he’s a guy. And he brags a lot. 

Tailback: Do we get a vote on this Coach?

Coach Stern: Damned straight, you do. So vote. Vote wisely. The school’s reputation depends on it.

Left Tackle: It’s a no brainer Coach. I’m with her.

(Sounds of unanimous agreement, like”Hell yes!” “Damned straight!)

Considering Calamity

What if Trump wins this election? I’ve invested so much of my time, my sweat, and even my money to electing Hillary that I’m not sure how I will handle a loss, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t considered my options in case the worst should happen.

The first thing I’ll do is pray. I’ll pray that there is some substance to this man beyond the demagoguery and bluster. I’ll pray that he surrounds himself with intelligent and steady handed people who actually have experience in governing. And I’ll follow that up with a fervent prayer that he is capable of listening to them and of taking their advice. Thus far I haven’t seen that side of him.

I’ll keep on working for Liberal causes: health care as a right and not a privilege, a living wage for all working Americans, reproductive rights for women, affordable college that doesn’t burden students for their entire adult lives, racial and gender equality, LGBT rights, and compassionate immigration reform along with common sense gun regulations.

I still believe Americans as a whole are too smart to fall for Trump’s grandiose lies and hate filled rhetoric, but they’ve gotten him this far. No one thought he’d win the party nomination, but here he is. 

Friends, there has never been a more qualified, more experienced candidate for the office of the American presidency than Hillary Rodham Clinton. You don’t have to like her. You don’t have to think she’s perfect. But if you want an America that we can be proud of, one that values the rights of all Americans, not just those of white men, you need to get out and vote for her. 

Vote early if you can in your state. Don’t let anyone intimidate you. Just vote.

Peace, and common sense, folks.

Endorsements Should Mean Something

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know I’m a Liberal. I enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton as the most qualified candidate in the 2016 election. She perhaps is the most qualified candidate in history. 

Most major newspapers agree with me, and I thought it would be interesting to look at a list of the papers who have endorsed each of the candidates. The publication, Mother Jones, did a great job of comparing newspaper endorsements and comparing them to endorsements in the 2012 election:

Just in case you don’t have time to read the entire Mother Jones article, here’s a rundown of all of the papers who supported Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate in 2012, but are supporting Hillary Clinton, the Democrat in 2016:

New York Daily News

Houston Chronicle

Arizona Republic

Dallas Morning News

San Diego Union-Tribune

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Cincinnati Enquirer

Columbus Dispatch

The Des Moines Register

The Omaha World Herald 

Ft. Worth Star Telegram


Orlando Sentinel

Altogether, Hillary has garnered endorsements from forty newspapers. 

Only the Las Vegas Review Journal has endorsed Trump during the Presidential campaign; although, the tabloids National Enquirer, and The New York Observer (owned by Trump’s son-in-law), along with the New York Post, and one small California paper came out in support of the Republican candidate during the primaries. Oh, Trump also picked up an endorsement from the The Crusader, the official newspaper of the white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan. While Trump’s campaign was quick to turn down the KKK’s support, the fact that Trump is their guy speaks volumes. 

Oddly enough Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson has picked up more major endorsements than Trump (Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, and Richmond Times-Dispatch).
When 13 traditionally conservative newspapers snub the GOP candidate in favor of the Democrat shouldn’t the voting populace take notice? I’m with her, and so are the majority of thinking individuals. 

Peace, People!

Rally Sign

Great things were happening in Tallahassee today. 

Tim Kaine came to rally Florida voters to vote early.

Tim is a great speaker and immensely likable. The crowd was huge, so I didn’t get very close. Thank goodness for zoom lenses!

The most moving part of the afternoon, though, was seeing Gabby Giffords and hearing her say she couldn’t wait to speak the words, “Madame President.” 

Speaking clearly is still a struggle for former representative Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed by a gunman at an event in her home state of Arizona in 2011. The woman is an inspiration and a tireless fighter for common sense gun regulations. 

Below, Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

The energy at the rally was inspiring. Since it was held on the campus of Florida State University a great many of those in attendance were college students who were excited about casting their first votes ever.

Loved this young woman’s shirt.

Pre-rally college students discussed their plans to go vote after the rally.

The line went on and on. Everyone was pumped up. Fired up; ready to vote.

I stood in line with these three adorable students. They thought I was in my 40’s. 

I’ve already voted. I’m always overcome by emotion when I realize what a privilege it is to cast a vote in this country. Even if you are a Republican, even if we disagree, I hope you exercise your right to vote. And then we all need to be prepared to accept the results. 

This has been a divisive campaign. Harsh words have been exchanged–I’ve certainly not minced any syllables. But for my part, if Trump wins this election I will accept his presidency as the voice of a majority of the people. I would hope that he and his supporters will be as gracious if Hillary wins. 

Peace, people. Really.

A Tale of Two Boobs

Fridays are mine to do with as I please, and today it pleased me to travel a bit east of Tallahassee to check out the French Country Flea Market at Sweet South Cottage and Farms. This is the fifth year for the Flea Market, but my first visit, so I was eager to see what it was all about.

First though I had to find Sweet South Cottage. Thank goodness for GPS! After stopping at a local truck stop to buy a Diet Dr. Pepper I input the address and was soon merging into traffic on Interstate 10.

Interstate traffic throughout Florida is an interesting exercise in avoiding tourists and elderly citizens who don’t realize that the posted 70 mph is merely a suggested speed at the lower end of the spectrum. Generally I set my cruise for 75 mph and am routinely passed by those who drive 80 to 90. My goal is always to create a little bubble around myself, so as not to impede the speedsters and not to rear end the putterers.

Today as I drove in my bubble towards my destination I wasn’t surprised to see a flurry of brake lights up ahead of me as faster drivers made all manner of evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting a slow moving motorist driving in the passing lane. Since I had ample notice I chose my line carefully and soon was passing the offending driver who wasn’t going over 55 mph. 

He happened to be an older white man with a huge Trump sign in the rear window of his white pickup truck, and he appeared oblivious to the lives he was putting in danger by driving so slowly on I-10.

“What a boob!” I growled, as I glared at him and sped away. Soon after the GPS instructed me to exit and within a few miles I had reached my destination. 

The parking lot was fairly empty when I arrived, and I was directed to a primo parking spot directly across from the ticket booth. I hoped to find a garden bench for sale at the event and surely the great parking spot was a good omen. 

Cute finds were everywhere.

I even found my bench, but forgot to snap a photo and it’s currently jammed into the back of my car. I’m sure it will be featured in a future post. 

So if you paid attention to the title of my piece you might be wondering about the second boob. Boob one was the too slow, Trump supporting driver on I-10. Boob two is just that–a boob, a breast, my right one to be exact. 

After buying my bench I went out to adjust the back seat of my little SUV to accommodate my purchase when literally out of the clear blue Florida sky a bee appeared, whereupon it dive bombed into my bra cup, and proceeded to sting my aforementioned right breast.

I’d love to say I handled the incident calmly, but I’d be lying. I said something awful as I reached inside my shirt to pull the underwire of my bra away from my chest hoping the little bugger would depart in a timely manner. He refused and I ended up squishing him. Yes, I know bees are becoming endangered, and yes, I know I am an awful human.

I was in pain, though, and still had to find some way to remove the stinger. Unfortunately I was out in the middle of a parking lot, so I located a port-a-potty where I successfully used a credit card edge to scrape out the offending appendage in what I now call “Operation Stinger Removal” or just OSR for short.

So, I ask you, was the bee bite on the boob a karmic response to my calling the old Trump supporter that name earlier in the day? If so, I’m certainly glad I didn’t call him an ass.

Political Flasher

On my way home from my part time job in Tallahassee yesterday I encountered a flasher. The older gentleman was standing on the median at a busy intersection. As my car drew even with him he held out his hand and surreptitiously flashed a Trump sticker. 

Let me tell you that took me by surprise. I was expecting something more classy, like a glimpse of his wrinkly genitals or a handful of illegal drugs. 

I smiled, rolled down my window and as he came toward me I said, “When hell freezes over,” and drove away. 

Okay, I realize that wasn’t the most ladylike response I could have made to his political flashing, but I figured it was a case of kit for kat. Meow. 🐱 

Peace, people!