The View from Hell’s Kitchen

10 11 2008

Still bogged down with stuff over here but wanted to check in with everyone … Needless to say, last week was UN- BE – LIEVABLE, and I feel like a weight has been lifted off the country.   SIR and I along with another friend, spent last Tuesday in Rockefeller Center.

One word to describe that night … jubilant.

People were hugging each other, the cabs were honking in the streets.  White, black, Arab, Jew, Indian, Asian, jumping for joy!

There were a number of European tourists in the crowd that night, and a few were standing next to us and joined in the festivities.  More than one said me, “Welcome back!”

As the evening went on, the festive atmosphere continued and the City broke into a spontaneous party.  Taverns, restaurants were overflowing, people were dancing in the streets!  The even more amazing this is that when at the pub where I was, when Obama began to give his speech, the entire place went silent.

One or two folks tried to continue their (loud!) conversation and were promptly shushed by some of the patrons and one even said “Hey, the President is speaking.  Listen up.”

I think this is the first time that gay and lesbian people were mentioned in a victory speech as a part of the nation, not as an “issue.”

The entire neighborhood kept up the celebrations long into the night and finally started to wind down around 230am on Wednesday.  A great time was had by all!  Even on the way to work Wednesday morning, so many people had bounces in their steps, saying hello to each other, smiling genuine smiles.

As Paul Krugman said on his blog in the NYTimes, we have our self-respect again.

So that was the “View from Hell’s Kitchen” last week.  What’s going on with y’all?  It’s been too long since we’ve caught up.

Enough already!

10 09 2008

I repent. I’ve let secular politics get in the way of what this blog is about.

For many reasons, I have become caught up in the election obsession that has taken over the United States.  This is, in the words of Martha Stewart, A Good Thing, overall because we all know how IMPORTANT this election is, and will be one of the most pivotal in not THE most pivotal in our lifetime.

I do have to say, though, that I was very proud of what Senator Obama said this morning and I almost clapped myself when I heard him say this …

Quoting the NYTimes

Enough!” Mr. Obama said, interrupting a speech on education to address the latest controversy in the heated presidential campaign. “I don’t care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift boat politics. Enough is enough!”

You may watch the whole thing below:

He’s right.  Enough is enough.  This has become too much about personality and popularity instead of about real substantive issues.

How does this pertain to the Reverend boy and his blog?  This blog is not about political commentary or contributing to the back and forth between the candidates.  I have not really written too much on spiritual matters and Lord knows when the last time I put up a lectionary reflection was!

Enough.  Time to refocus.   I am fasting from posting about the election on this blog.  Going forward, my sole witness to that will be the widget off to the right which shows the current projected electoral vote count.  I may comment elsewhere and comments here, of course, are always welcome, but for myself, I really have nothing more to post.  I’ll leave that to sages like Fran, That Kaeton Woman,  and the Slacktivist, who speak about these things much more eloquently than I ever could.

Time to refocus.

Questions, Questions

10 09 2008

Maureen Dowd, Op-Ed columnist for the NYTimes, has written a list of questions she would like Charlie Gibson to ask the Republican VP Nominee when she sits for her interviews later this week….

What kind of budget-cutter makes a show of getting rid of the state plane, then turns around and bills taxpayers for the travel of her husband and kids between Juneau and Wasilla and sticks the state with a per-diem tab to stay in her own home?

Why was Sarah for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against the Bridge to Nowhere, and why was she for earmarks before she was against them? And doesn’t all this make her just as big a flip-flopper as John Kerry?

What kind of fiscal conservative raises taxes and increases budgets in both her jobs — as mayor and as governor?

When the phone rings at 3 a.m., will she call the Wasilla Assembly of God congregation and ask them to pray on a response, as she asked them to pray for a natural gas pipeline?

Does she really think Adam, Eve, Satan and the dinosaurs mingled on the earth 5,000 years ago?

Why put out a press release about her teenage daughter’s pregnancy and then spend the next few days attacking the press for covering that press release?

As Troopergate unfolds here — an inquiry into whether Palin inappropriately fired the commissioner of public safety for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law — it raises this question: Who else is on her enemies list and what might she do with the F.B.I.?

Does she want a federal ban on trans fat in restaurants and a ban on abortion and Harry Potter? And which books exactly would have landed on the literature bonfire if she had had her way with that Wasilla librarian?

Just how is it that Fannie and Freddie have cost taxpayers money (since they haven’t yet)?

Does she talk in tongues or just eat caribou tongues?

What does she have against polar bears?

.Enquiring minds want to know …. The entire column is here

Yet another Widget

9 09 2008

I’ve added another widget on the side-bar.

Regardless of what national polls say, we want to remember that it is not popular vote that wins the Presidency, it is the electoral college.  According to the website (h/t to Daily Kos, who has it on their own sidebar), the map is decided based on polls for each of the 50 states and changes every day based on Very Complex Algorithms and Other Arcane Mathematical Formula, so it produces a relatively stable change over time.

Today’s map shows Obama at 281 electoral votes to McCain’s 230 electoral votes, with the only state being a tossup is Florida (again!) with 27 votes.  A candidate needs 270 votes to win the election, so if the election were held today, in theory Obama would be projected to win the Presidency based on the polling figures.

It’s going to be very, very close this year folks …. Excuse me whilst I “gird up my lions” as we used to say back in North Cack.

Gender and Politics

5 09 2008

One good thing will come out of the pick of Sarah Palin as the running mate for John McCain …

The Democrats will not be able to think that everyone who voted for Senator Hillary Clinton will just “roll over” and vote for Senator Barack Obama.  The story of her life that she is presenting will resonate with a great deal of women in this country.

The Good News that I can share about her nomination is that the voices of women will be taken seriously in this campaign … perhaps the most serious they have ever been taken at least since the question of universal suffrage came up 80 years ago.

And for that reason alone I will say, “Thanks be to God.”

Frank Rich, NYTimes, gets it

31 08 2008

There has been a lot of talk about the selection of Sarah Palin as running mate for Republican nominee John McCain.  Frank Rich, Op-Ed columnist for the NYTimes, gets what this is all about.

The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there is a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman.  That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber.  Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

It is obvious this faithful lady and mother of five is being used by the Republican party to appeal to the religious right.  This choice has been called “irresponsible” by one particular prominent lady, whose husband I had the privilege of working for during the first six months of my tenure at the investment bank I work for.  I just hope Governor Palin is going into this campaign eyes-wide-open and realizing that her gender and her faith are being used to further the secular political ends of a womanizer.