Friday, December 9, 2011

Why Gov. Buddy Roemer Should Get More Attention

I have had a good time following Gov. Buddy Roemer on Twitter as well as his appearances on MSNBC. I did not know much about him until very recently, but I have to say, I am rather intrigued. If you don't know who he is, he is one of the many republican presidential candidates.  He is, however, shut out of the debates.  And, as he explains it, the rules for his ability to enter are always changing. Here is a guy who was a Governor and a Congressman, (beyond being a Harvard trained economist)  but yet a pizza guy who was an embarrassment to the very fundamentals of our democratic process, was invited, nay, courted in.

While I am sure Gov. Roemer and I do not agree on much, for one, his stance on gay marriage, what I do appreciate is his is laser focus on getting money out of politics.  For one, he will not take a donation over $100.  Some may call him naive, or at least, a certain loser in the presidential race, but if he is anything, and for sure he is more than that, he is a man guided by sound conviction; which I submit is very much lacking on both sides of the aisle.

I worry about our state of affairs. I do not buy into the narrative that our politics are any more divisive today than in the past.  Things have always been rough and personal. But I get the sense that somewhere along the line the battle to get ones ideas to the fore has fundamentally damaged our nation's ability to govern.

And it really all comes down to money.  The amount of money people have to raise to run for office is insane!!  President Obama is talking about raising 1 billion dollars for his reelection campaign.  Imagine if that money was put to work for those that need it?  Imagine if people gave hand over fist to help their neighbor in this way? What if these big donors invested that money into their local community or a community that needed it?  It just does not seem right that when we get to the point where we need someone to lead they are already asking us to believe that they can still lead in the future, even if they did not do so well in the present.

This is not a problem that is exclusive to one party or another - Obama was well backed by Wall Street - rather it is systemic since money become the deciding factor between winning and losing elections.

Gov. Roemer has it right, for sure, but I worry that he will get shut out because he is not flush with money.  I am not saying I want him as president, but I would not mind his voice to be more prominent in the race, so others could answer these simple questions...where do you get your money from? And why do you need so much? 

Presently Listening to:








Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday after Saturday...

Last night we had friends over for a "Gaysgiving". Everyone brought a dish or drink to pass and we made pop overs, turkey chili, pumpkin bread, apple crisp and roasted tomato caprese salad. We also made a drink with equal parts Hendrix, Pama, St. Germain, pomegranate and cranberry juice, served in a pomegranate sugar rimmed glass.

All around it was a fine spread of food and drink. But what was finer was the company. Which got me thinking about the many things I am thankful for this year. Beyond my wonderful marriage just a couple months ago I am struck by how lucky I am to be alive presently. Not because there is something special about the time, but rather that there is something special about the company we keep. From friends nearby to those far away that I will forever have a connection to. To family, here and gone, that have provided me with a road map to not only life, but love and happiness.

So, in this season of thanks, (and gorging), I find myself, even if it might be dripping with hyperbole, happy with the totality that is my present.

Maybe it might pass, but for now, I'll sip on my coffee and be 'okay with today'.

Hasta Pronto, Cuidate!

Presently listening to:



















Monday, November 14, 2011

My New Obsession...

Anyone that knows me knows that I get obsessed with new found things. I can spend hours either listening to this new artist I found or researching more about a person / place / or thing. Usually this is accompanied by a tumbler of gin, scotch, or brandy.

About three weeks ago on a nice fall afternoon I drove downstate for a conference. On the ride down there I was listening to my Pandora and came across this song "Public Property" by Danielle Ate the Sandwich. I loved it and meant to look her up when I was not operating an SUV. But, then, I promptly forget to look her up. So over the weekend, while Twittering, she came across on my Pandora again but now I was not obligated to pay attention to the road and other cars, so off I went to find out more about this quirky singer. And what I found, I loved. I mean, really loved. So, here I sit, listening to her and wondering why she is not more famous. But then again, my snobbery would not let me be obsessed with someone who is already popular, pssh!

While this is not the song that I first fell in love with, it is one of my favorites and a really cool video; if for nothing else, that is one hot-ass typewriter.



More info on Danielle Ate the Sandwich

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So You're EnGAYged Wedding Blog

For the last 8 months I have been actively blogging for this site. See here for all my blog posts. Hopefully some of the readers that followed me there will be reading this post presently...;-)

Doing this has really sparked my interest in blogging more often, I know, welcome to 1999, but whatever, I like it!

I tend to talk more politics here, but sometimes like to talk about pop-culture or whatever might catch my interest...or annoyance!

Hasta Pronto!

Cuidate!



Presently Listening To:

 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The West Wing...and America

For those out there that watch The West Wing, you understand that it gives you a feeling that our leaders seek to do the best by us, and even when we do not agree, we all can connect behind the following ideal: America is good.

With the 2012 election on the horizon, I am thinking about the many ways we are not the nation we used to be. Maybe this is me thinking that the past is better than the present, but I have to believe that the country my parents grew up in, and its promise, is much different than the one I am inheriting.

I know the issues facing our country are complicated. Many things need a revision, from tax code, to medicare, to social security. But what I have come to understand, as both a student of history, and a watcher of politics, is that no one answer works for all our problems. If I had to classify myself, I would say I was a progressive; but I am not a progressive that thinks all republicans are evil. I get that people believe different things for different reasons.

So, given that I can hold a conversation with a conservative republican without it dissolving into me calling him a bigot and he calling me a pinky liberal, why can't our elected officials do the same?

I get that politicians have reelection to worry about...but for once I would like to see these people doing the work of the American people, rather than doing the work that they think gives them the best chances of not losing the next election.

Listening to:


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Senator John A. DeFrancisco's No Vote on Same Sex-Marriage: The response




I posted this about a month or two ago.

Earlier this week, Senator John A. DeFrancisco's office responded to my 5 letters. He response was at best perfunctory and at worst glib. We know what he believes, we asked why? His letter was a brush off of the worst kind. We plan to respond, but thought that people might like to see what 'he' said.

Hasta pronto, Cuidate,

Michael

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Senator John A. DeFrancisco's No Vote on Same Sex-Marriage: Letter-tastic

So in early December the New York legislator voted down a measure to legalize same-sex marriage. This was obviously disheartening to me, although not surprising. So my partner and I decided to write our local legislator in hopes that he could let us know why he voted no. I sent the letter first on December 4, 2009. I waited a month, and no word, so on January 6, 2010, I sent the letter again. As of today, still no word. So, I will send the letter again; and again, and again, until I get an answer. If you believe enough to deny people the right to marry, than you should be willing to explain why. I have attached the letter below, I hope to hear something soon!

Hasta Pronto, Cuidate,

Michael

February 5, 2010

State Senator John A. DeFrancisco

Room 802 Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247

State Senator DeFrancisco:

Below is the original correspondence we sent on December 4, 2009. I resent this letter on January 6, 2010. To date we have not received a response. Please treat this letter with all due consideration and respond accordingly. Thank you.


We wanted to send you a letter to note our disappointment in your NO vote on the gay marriage bill brought up before the state senate earlier this week. We are not sure what your rational was; maybe religion guided you, maybe it was the consensus of your constitutions or maybe it is your personal beliefs, but none-the-less, you are simply wrong.


Marriage is fundamentally a religious institution, this we believe, and the state should have no business in defining marriage. What the state does have a business in doing is making sure that rights are distributed evenly and with regard to marriage in New York State, they are not. You are a steward of the state, and thus the rights of its people, and sir, in our opinion, you did not do your job.


We understand that pressure abounds in political office and we appreciate that this is one of the many issues that you are asked to contemplate. What is unfortunate is that your name will be a foot note in New York and American history as someone who did not have the foresight nor the will to do the right thing when faced with a civil rights issue. If that mark in history is a place at which you find yourself comfortable, then so be it. Understand that same-sex marriage will happen in this state and in this country and you are simply on the short winning end of this tug-of-war.


We hope that upon the time that this issue resurfaces, and it will, your mind and heart will find its way to the right side of history; to the place where sex does not determine the ability of couples to marry, but rather it is the willingness and want of two people that does.


We are both independently minded individuals and do not believe that one vote defines an elected official. We know that you have your reasons for voting the way you did, and that you feel justified for doing so, we simply want to know why and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss your reasons.


Sincerely,


David J. Kachermeyer & Michael Mancini