Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sonya Sotomayer Awesome!

Finally something to get me off Facebook :) I thought you might not know much about President Obama's newest Supreme Court nominee, so I thought I would enlighten you with the emails I received overnight.

From MoveOn:

"Ten Things About Judge Sonia Sotomayor

1. Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the bench than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. Over her three-decade career, she has served in a wide variety of legal roles, including as a prosecutor, litigator, and judge.

2. Judge Sotomayor is a trailblazer. She was the first Latina to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was the youngest member of the court when appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

3. While on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has consistently protected the rights of working Americans, ruling in favor of health benefits and fair wages for workers in several cases.

4. Judge Sotomayor has shown strong support for First Amendment rights, including in cases of religious expression and the rights to assembly and free speech.

5. Judge Sotomayor has a strong record on civil rights cases, ruling for plaintiffs who had been discriminated against based on disability, sex and race.

6. Judge Sotomayor embodies the American dream. Born to Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in a South Bronx housing project and was raised from age nine by a single mother, excelling in school and working her way to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University and to become an editor of the Law Journal at Yale Law School.

7. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor "saved baseball" when she stopped the owners from illegally changing their bargaining agreement with the players, thereby ending the longest professional sports walk-out in history.

8. Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the environment in a case of protecting aquatic life in the vicinity of power plants in 2007, a decision that was overturned by the Roberts Supreme Court.

9. In 1992, Judge Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate without opposition after being appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

10. Judge Sotomayor is a widely respected legal figure, having been described as " outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind," "highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality and good character would be assets," and "a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity."

Judge Sotomayor is an historic, uniquely qualified nominee to the Supreme Court. Let's get the word out and make sure we get a prompt, fair confirmation on her nomination."

From AlterNet

Sonia Sotomayor's Background Will Affect Her Judicial Decisions -- and That's a Good Thing

From Emily's List

"Not only did President Obama nominate a candidate with more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years, but he also chose a nominee with an astute understanding of the law's effects on Americans' lives. Judge Sotomayor was raised by her mother in housing projects of the Bronx; her American story and extensive legal career make her an exceptional candidate for the top court. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and was editor of the Yale Law Review. In 1997, Judge Sotomayor was nominated by President Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where she currently serves.

Her compelling story and unique perspective will help ensure that women's rights are protected and that women's experiences are brought to bear in the highest court in the land. If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Sotomayor would make history as the first Hispanic, as well as the third woman, ever to sit on the court."

See a video of the White House press briefing from CNN here

For a comprehensive biography from the Associated Press go here

Monday, May 18, 2009

An Awesome Filly named Rachel Alexandra and President Obama's Speech at Notre Dame

Full rundown of the race here

Full text of President Obama's speech here

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hilarious and yet, oh so painful to watch...

I found this over on Markham's Behavioral Health this morning. I have tears streaming down my face as I type this. It reminds me so much of the time the boy was about that age and we had been out all morning trying to get some assistance for the rent or something. We had gotten on the bus before breakfast so we could make the appointment on time and it was about noon. As we were leaving the place, having been turned down for assistance, we happened to pass a store that had sodas prominently displayed and the boy decided he had to have one. I thought I had enough money to get us back home because the boy was at the age where some bus drivers would still let him ride free and some made me pay for him, so I really didn't know. We were in "Buckhead" the pissy part of Atlanta and he was throwing an ungodly three year old fit, bucking, screaming, running back towards the store, crying for that damn soda. There were two "Buckhead" pissy women watching us...not offering to help, just watching and judging. So, naturally I couldn't knock the hell out of him :) and drag him off kicking and screaming to the bus. So I did the next best thing...I walked away from him, not far enough that he couldn't see me or I couldn't see him, just far enough so I could regain my composure and could not reach him to knock the hell out of him. What does he do when I let go of him? Naturally, he makes a beeline back to the store. By that time I had decided the bus driver was just going to have to understand because I knew the boy was really hungry and that's what was making him act that way, so I bought him the soda and we went on our merry way. The boy was happy and calm and I was rational once again. By the time we got to the bus stop we were our normal selves and were laughing and having a grand ole time while we waited for the bus, the incident all but forgotten. The boy had completely converted from the devil's spawn in action to the complete angel that he normally was. The story doesn't end there. I noticed about that time a cop pulled up behind us and just sat there with his window rolled down. It never occurred to me that he was I guess, given the situation and where it took place it should have but, I learned a long time ago that it is best to just ignore cops, unless you need one. I clearly didn't, by then :) After a couple of minutes of observing and listening the cop said "Could I speak with you?" Oh, Lord, my...heart...sank. I just knew I was going to jail for child abuse or something. He turned out to be the nicest cop I have ever met. He explained to me what I had been accused of and I told him our entire story...all of it :) He ended up giving me $20 and his personal phone number and telling me that he could tell just by observing that I was a good mother having a bad day and that if I ever needed his help to call him. I still have his number to this day. He even gave us a ride home. While I was relieved I didn't go to jail, the boy had to understand on that day, the consequences of his actions and what could have happened because of his fit. I called his Uncle Joe (6'4, ominous and a teacher to boot) and told him what had happened and he came over after work, had a serious talk with him and gave him a few good hard whacks on the behind. The boy never again threw a fit like that in public...during adolescence he threw plenty inside the house, but that's another story, so I guess it all worked out. I don't know what it is about 2, 3 and 4 year old fits that makes parents lose all reasoning, training, control and parenting abilities but they sure do, so I can completely empathize with this guy...and yes, giggle, um, laugh out loud too...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rest in Peace, Frank...

Some of you know we lost our mayor this past week. He was the best mayor this town has ever had. He was a man of dignity, ethical principle and genuinely wanted the best for our town. I wish I could find the link to the program WLBT did on him last night. It was awesome. It was said in that program that Frank was really a social worker in disguise as a politician. I remember thinking that very same thing not long ago. I've included a video of him in order that you might share in his awesomeness. I can't get but one video to post so click the title link for a list of all the available videos.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Women's Media Center Training

I sure wish someone I know would go do this and come back and train me :) Click the title link to be taken to the application page.

"The Progressive Women’s Voices program has become a cornerstone of The Women’s Media Center. In our first year of the program, we intensively media trained 33 women who have gone on to earn over 1000 media hits year to date. Our inaugural class was a stellar group, with experts in foreign policy, reproductive rights, environmental issues, racial justice, voting rights, the history of feminism, immigrant communities, outsider cultures, national security, and many more areas of expertise. With our training and help, in 2008, our PWV women wrote Op Eds in the Washington Post and The New York Times, features for Elle and New York magazine, were quoted in USA Today, Forbes, Variety, Mother Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Slate, Salon, The New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, on the Associated Press and Reuters wires, appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, CBS Nightly News, Fox News, ABC News, CNBC, The Tyra Banks Show, PBS’s “To The Contrary,” Bill Moyers, on numerous NPR shows, and in hundreds of other significant media outlets.

We are “changing the conversation” by making sure that there are plenty of qualified, authoritative, progressive women experts available to editors, reporters, producers, and bookers. For the women chosen to participate in our 2009 Progressive Women’s Voices program, we provide intense media training sessions in New York, with weekly calls, and continued support and resources for media bookings.

This program was made possible through primary support from the NoVo Foundation, and additional funding from the Better World Fund of the United Nations Foundation, the University of Phoenix, the Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, the Friedman/Kiehl Fund and private donors.

Progressive Women’s Voices starts with training.

* In-person intensive training: The Women’s Media Center hosts all participants for three weekends of intensive training in New York City, and pays all travel and acommodation expenses for participants. This training includes message development, media techniques, rapid response, on-camera training for television, radio training, op ed writing, blogging and more
* Weekly interview practice: All PWV women participate in weekly simulated hostile radio show interview scenarios on conference call lines to practice interview techniques and get feedback from classmates. We have received extensive feedback that this preparation is extremely helpful in prepping for media that is not ideologically identical to your own
* A strong network of progressive women: Our participant listserv and Facebook group facilitates ongoing dialogue, allowing participants to share their successes and challenges. We have also seen our classes of women hire, promote, and generally help and support each other, personally and professionally.
* Web platform: The WMC invites many of our PWV women to participate in writing our WMC Exclusives and Commentaries and promotes those through our online contacts and media contacts. All participants also have an opportunity to blog for the WMC.
* Ongoing WMC strategy and support: The WMC helps each participant to prep for interviews and media opportunities, providing message feedback, editing, and technical support.
* Promotion and Pitching: From January through December of 2009, the WMC will be dedicating its staff to outreach on behalf of PWV participants to our contacts at all levels of the media, promoting the Progressive Women’s Voices participants as a polished source of expert commentary.

This is not just a training program – it is a stepping stone to changing the conversation and the view of the world as presented in the media.

The Women's Media Center is looking for talented, opinionated, progressive women who are willing to speak out about the issues that matter. Whether your expertise is war or peace, health care or technology, chances are you watch the news, and realize that progressive women’s voices, like yours, are missing.

The WMC will host three classes of Progressive Women’s Voices women for 2009. Each class will have about ten women from around the country. Travel and accomodation expenses are paid for three weekend trips to New York City to be trained by the WMC staff and consultants."

Sam Carr's up on the Blue's Page

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Celebrate Mother's Day as it was originally intended...took this from CodePink's website. Click the title link to go there.

"Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

God Don't Like Ugly....

and this is ugly on so, so many levels.

seems as though the town of Victorville was fining the bank daily for code enforcement and the bank decided it would be cheaper to just level them and start over with clear land. When I first heard this story on Inside Edition it made my stomach churn. Just demolish 20 or so 400K homes (before the market crash) WTF? Once I watched all the videos (yes there are more) it seems as though they did remove appliances and such but I'm not really sure. All I could think about was why didn't they just sell them for what they could get out of them instead of demolishing them. I just don't understand the reasoning. Then I read more and did a little research and at least now I understand...snark.

Examples of what people are doing to their homes when they get the foreclosure notice.

This is how only one of the banks that received the TARP money are making decisions. Truly, I'm afraid to dig too deep....