Category Archives: Politics

President George HW Bush Has Died

No president before or since had arrived with his breadth of experience: decorated Navy pilot, successful oil executive, congressman, United Nations delegate, Republican Party chairman, envoy to Beijing, director of Central Intelligence. He was in a category all his own, and through he only served one term as President and was a Republican, he should be considered one of the greats.

Over the course of a single term that began on Jan. 20, 1989, Mr. Bush found himself at the helm of the world’s only remaining superpower. The Berlin Wall fell; the Soviet Union ceased to exist; the communist bloc in Eastern Europe broke up; the Cold War ended.

His firm, restrained diplomatic sense helped assure the harmony and peace with which these world-shaking events played out, one after the other.

In 1990, Mr. Bush went so far as to proclaim a “new world order” that would be “free from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace — a world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.”

Mr. Bush’s presidency was not all plowshares. He ordered an attack on Panama in 1989 to overthrow strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega. After Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the summer of 1990, Mr. Bush put together a 30-nation coalition — backed by a U.N. mandate and including the Soviet Union and several Arab countries — that routed the Iraqi forces with unexpected ease in a ground war that lasted only 100 hours.

However, Mr. Bush decided to leave Hussein in power, setting up the worst and most fateful decision of his son’s presidency a dozen years later.

In the wake of that 1991 victory, Mr. Bush’s approval at home approached 90 percent. It seemed the country had finally achieved the catharsis it needed after Vietnam. A year-and-a-half later, only 29 percent of those polled gave Mr. Bush a favorable rating, and just 16 percent thought the country was headed in the right direction.

The conservative wing of his party would not forgive him for breaking an ill-advised and cocky pledge: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” What cost him among voters at large, however, was his inability to express a connection to and engagement with the struggles of ordinary Americans or a strategy for turning the economy around.

That he was perceived as lacking in grit was another irony in the life of Mr. Bush. His was a character that had been forged by trial. He was an exemplary story of a generation whose youth was cut short by the Great Depression and World War II.


Excerpted from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/george-hw-bush-41st-president-of-the-united-states-dies-at-94/2018/11/30/42fa2ea2-61e2-11e8-99d2-0d678ec08c2f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0a0abc3af1d8


In Connecticut

I’m at a conference in Connecticut. We had drinks while watching the returns come in. There was good news and bad news when I went to bed. I hope the good news wins out, but it wasn’t looking good for Christine. It seems that everything else in Vermont went Democrat except for the governor. I’ll check final results this morning if they are in, but I just couldn’t stay up late last night watching returns. I had to be up early this morning for breakfast before the conference sessions start.


Election Day

Nothing human disgusts me unless it’s unkind, violent.
-Hannah to Shannon, Act III,
 The Night of the Iguana 

Hannah’s words to Shannon is my favorite line in The Night of the Iguana. While she is a chaste woman, she does not judge others for their sex/private lives. If more people had this attitude, the United States would be a much better place. That’s why it is so important that we go vote today. Everything Donald Trump and his MAGA minions stand for is “unkind, violent.” We can change that. We can vote and put Democrats back in office. We can strip Trump of his power. Get the message out, and please go vote. Vote to have sanity back in the United States. Vote for hope, not fear. Vote for change. Vote Democrat.

I leave today to go to a museum conference. I’ve been to academic conferences before, but I’ve never been to one specifically for museums. Even though I will be leaving this morning, rest assured I will be voting before I leave; I’m casting my ballot especially for Christine Hallquist. She has a vision to bring Vermont into the twenty-first century. While socially the state is mostly ahead of its time, economically it is far behind. She can make the changes we need which is why I’ll be voting for her. I believe in Christine for Vermont. I believe in Democrats across the country. I will cast my vote first thing before going to work today. Please vote today for a better United States of America.

Christine Hallquist

Christine Hallquist is an American politician and former CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC). She is the first openly transgender major party nominee for governor in the United States, winning the Democratic nomination with over 40% of the vote on August 14, 2018. Hallquist worked at VEC from 1998 to 2018, the last 12 years as CEO, when she resigned to run for governor. Drawing national attention as a pioneering example of a CEO transitioning while in office, her transition was documented by her son in an award-winning documentary, Denial.

Hallquist grew up in Baldwinsville, New York. She attended Catholic school as a child. She moved to Vermont at age 20 and worked for IBM as an electrical engineer. Hallquist lives in Hyde Park, Vermont, and has three adult children and two grandchildren.

Hallquist’s professional life began at IBM, then she took a job at Digital Equipment Corporation. There she became part of a training program to become an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts and worked with Digital to create low-cost power supplies quickly using lean manufacturing. She took an early buyout from Digital and moved back to Vermont to become the CEO of a small electronics company in Barre, Vermont, then founded a consulting firm that worked with such companies as Xerox, Miller Beer, and Honda. She started at VEC as engineering and operations manager in 2000, shortly after its recovery from bankruptcy.

She announced her gubernatorial campaign in Morrisville, Vermont on April 8, and said, “I truly believe Vermont is ready to elect a transgender governor because I don’t think Vermonters are going to look at that.” Hallquist is running on a platform of increased broadband access, universal Medicare and aggressive action against climate change.

She has my vote in November.


Neil Rafferty for Statehouse

Well, here’s some slightly good political news during what is proving to be an otherwise very bleak week in American politics…

After a tough primary followed by an even tougher runoff, a former U.S. Marine and openly gay man running for a House seat in Alabama’s 54th district has just won his party’s nomination.

Neil Rafferty announced his bid for a seat in the Alabama House back in February of this year.

The seat is being vacated by Democrat Patricia Todd, the state’s first gay legislator, who announced in January that she would not be seeking reelection.

Yesterday, Rafferty won the Democratic runoff election, receiving 2,531 votes, or 67.12 percent, of the vote. His opponent Jacqueline Gray Miller, an environmentalist and marketer, trailed behind him at 32.88 percent.

So how did he celebrate his runoff victory, you wonder?

By going to a bar, of course!

After the results came in yesterday evening, Rafferty, who works as the director of research and development at Birmingham AIDS Outreach, took to Facebook to invite his friends and supporters to celebrate with him at Crestwood Tavern, a local dive bar.

But today it’s back to work for Rafferty. He needs to prepare for the general election in November, where he will face off against Independent Joseph Baker.


Goodbye, Mrs. Bush

Barbara Bush, the widely admired wife of one president and the fiercely loyal mother of another, died Tuesday evening. She was 92.

During her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign, Barbara Bush stated that abortion and homosexuality are personal matters and argued that the Republican Party platform should not take a stand on them, saying that “The personal things should be left out of, in my opinion, platforms and conventions.” Her personal views on abortion were not known, although her friends reported at that time that she “privately supported abortion rights.” She explained, “I hate abortions, but I just could not make that choice for someone else.”

Not everyone liked her because she was outspoken and loyal to her family, but I always thought of her as a true lady who spoke her mind.


The Good and The Good

The good news is that things seemed to go exceptionally well yesterday at the job interview. I think I did exceptionally well with those I interviewed with. It was about a four hour process. From what I could gather, it’s up to the CEO as to whether I get the job or not. Since he did more talking than I did in our interview, that interview is a toss-up. I’m hoping that I will hear their decision soon. Maybe today, but probably by the end of the week. Then again, who knows.

In other good news, Democrat Doug Jones won election to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a sharp blow to President Trump that narrows the GOP’s majority in the Senate to two. He beat Roy Moore, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court who had been accused of child molestation. I honestly never thought it would happen, but it did. A Democrat has won a Senate seat in Alabama.


No Moore

I’m embarrassed. I can’t believe that there are still people in this country who believe Roy Moore is innocent. There is too much evidence to the contrary. The man is guilty. He’s the lowest form of human. He’s a pedophile. If it hadn’t happened so long ago, he should be going to jail. Instead, he has a base of religious nut jobs and Republican idiots who will still vote for him. Instead of jail, he’ll go to the Senate. And do you know why? It’s because of two things. One, he’s pro-life, and his opponent Doug Jones is pro-choice. Two, the African-American population of Alabama is behind his opponent. We are talking about a part of the country where “Democrat” is code word for an African-American. The white people of Alabama would rather vote for a pedophile than to support someone who has an African-American base. It’s a truly sad state of affairs. Religious nut jobs, anti-Democrats, and racism will rule the day in Alabama. The people of Alabama have no illusion that Roy Moore is innocent, but they will still vote for him because he’s a Republican. I’m embarrassed that my former state is such an abomination. I hope I never have to live there again. It’s a cesspool of Republicans. Let them look like fools and drown in their own muck. If Roy Moore is elected, and I think he will be, I hope the Republican leadership in the Senate refuses to let him on major committees, refuses to give him time on the floor, and refuses him the time of day. They will only be embarrassed if they don’t refuse him. Roy Moore will do more to elect Democrats into Congress than the idiot in the White House.


Black or White

The Michael Jackson song says, “It don’t matter if you’re black or white.” Since Barack Obama became president, racism has surged in America. With the election of Donald Trump, racism has come to a head. He has empowered those who are most racist. It is his greatest crime as president. America is made up of immigrants and people of different races. It is probably the most diverse country in the world. It’s our blessing and our curse. There will always be those who believe that America should be dominated by the white race, they will always be wrong. America’s original motto was E pluribus unum, Latin for “out of many, one.” It remained the de facto motto until 1956 when an act of Congress changed the motto to “In God We Trust.” The fact is though that our Founding Fathers chose “out of many, one” as our motto because they believed it took many different people to make one great nation. They may not have believed that included African-Americans at the time, but I believe they would today. America made a great mistake when they allowed slavery to exist on this continent. America has not had a perfect history with minorities, far from it, but no country can claim to have perfectly treated minorities. We can be better though, and we need to rid ourselves of a president who lends credence to and empowers racists.


What Were They Thinking?


I stayed up last night watching results from the Alabama US Senate race primary. Y’all know I’m from Alabama. I have family and friends there and so I have a vested interest in this race, even if I’m no longer a voter in Alabama. I was glad to see that Doug Jones won the Democratic primary, or at least it looked that way when I went to bed. Jones is a US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He’s a good solid Democrat who is well respected. Can he win a general election? I doubt it.  What I don’t get though is the Republican primary. It looks like Roy Moore will be in a run off with incumbent Luther Stange or less likely Representive Mo Brooks. Moore though has the most votes, but thankfully not a majority. I don’t like to wish ill of people, but I wish Roy Moore would die already. He’s a fucking moron who is one of the leading opponents of LGBT rights in the country. After being removed from Cheif Justice of Alabama twice for judicial misconduct, he shouldn’t be able to run for dog catcher, let alone the US Senate. He’s a laughing stock, yet the people of Alabama want to vote him in, just like they did Trump. It’s absolutely abhorrent in my opinion.


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