Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mrs. Smith

Today you discovered pumpkin pie. You said, "I like that," and proceeded to eat about a third of the pie. After your breakfast, morning snack, lunch, first dinner, second dinner, and the pie, we took some pictures of your belly and it was appropriately round. I will try to remember to post them here when they are uploaded.

We had a perfect day with perfect weather, perfect food, perfect friends, and perfect family--all of which I'm enormously thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Superpower

I have the inconvenient ability to walk into Target to buy diapers and, 45 minutes later, walk out with wrapping paper, Christmas garland, nail clippers, a $200 receipt, and no diapers.

I am becoming my mother!


Also, I thought this was appropriate given the topic of the day...your Uncle Matt with the Target dog:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Losing gracefully

J,

Remember my post on sports fans? How it is not good form to blame things like the referee when you lose? It goes for politics as well.

Dear McCain staffers and Republican Party,

Give it a rest. Nobody cares if you hate Governor Palin. You chose her. I don't think it was a ridiculous idea...governor, energy expertise, ultra-conservative, young...she seemed to balance out Senator McCain and it did seem smart to get the conservative base excited about the ticket. You counted on Senator McCain to get the Independent vote. He didn't. I think you would have done better to choose a moderate like Giuliani or Bloomberg or Lieberman, or even a conservative with economic expertise like Romney. But that's just me.

Whatever. Nobody wants to hear it if you think she was bitchy, ignorant, and clothes-happy. It doesn't matter. It makes you look like a bunch of sexist, whiney babies. It reflects poorly upon Senator McCain. And it doesn't help our country (or your party, for that matter) one bit. As a West Wing character once said, "This is why good people hate us, this, right here."

Suck it up and get to work on keeping Nancy Pelosi in check.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama

In a few months a new President will be sworn into office, Barack Obama. As a friend joked recently, I suppose I should practice writing checks to the IRS... Politics aside, it is a beautiful day in our country's history. I don't think you (or I, for that matter) can truly appreciate how far this country has come in the past fifty years with respect to racism. A man of mixed heritage, including African roots, has been elected President of the Unitied States. Wow! We need to continue those strides and tackle the next great civil rights issue, outright governmental discrimination against gay Americans. But that is another post for another day!

Anyhow, I am looking forward to seeing President-elect Obama's cabinet come together over the coming months. It should be telling. I find politics very fascinating. Infinitely frustrating, but still fascinating. And this will definitely be something fun to watch.

I'm a bit worried about the prospect of one party controlling the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Hopefully they will learn a lesson from the early years of the Clinton administration and the bulk of the Bush administration...nobody appreciates it when one party takes advantage of power! I will be writing to my new Congressional Representative right away (the one I voted for--yay!) to remind him of this.

One thing I know for sure: I hope the Republicans in this country conduct themselves with more grace during President Obama's term than the Democrats have during President Bush's.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2008!

Jason,

Today was voting day. I voted for five Republicans and three Democrats. I had a very long (and probably boring) post outlining my take on the two Presidential candidate's views, experience, character, education, judgment...and I decided to ditch it. I do think it would be interesting for you to read my thoughts on the candidates someday, so I will try to give you some insight into my thoughts today. It basically boils down to this:

I believe the federal government has seized way too much power (and money) in this country. The federal government is a terrible steward of our tax dollars. Not only is it rife with waste and corruption, the system itself is set up to be unbelievably inefficient. The last thing I want to see is more federal programs, which in effect take away personal, local, or state control of matters. The federal government can hardly operate the programs already in existence.

Of course, certain things must take place at the federal level, namely foreign affairs, defense, and civil rights protection. I also think the federal government should set policy in many areas, such as education, health care, public safety issues, economics (although a room full of mostly lawyers making economic policy makes me cringe), and many others. What the federal government stinks at is execution. There is hardly a bit of oversight by the people. Execution should take place at the lowest level of government possible (or not a government agency at all), in order to provide the people with maximum oversight. If your school is doing a poor job, you can bet I will be at the next School Board meeting raising all kinds of hell. Of course, I raise concerns with my Congressman and Senators via letters on a regular basis. It doesn't have quite the same effect, though.

Traditionally, this vision of small government would align me with the Republican party. However, the Republican party has been transformed into some sort of moral and cultural consortium, rather than a group of people with similar views of how government should work. They have overseen huge expansions in the federal government over the past eight years. Also, I am fiercely liberal on a large number of "the issues". So I have a hard time identifying with the Republican Party.

Further complicating matters is Senator John McCain. Before his campaign, I would have leapt with joy to vote for him. He was the Democrat's Republican. Not afraid to go against the herd. A long record of working with both sides of the aisle. A feisty temper. I adored him! And then...this campaign of his. I have no idea where Senator McCain went, but he was nowhere to be found over the past year. He began catering to the conservative special interest groups and I was disappointed once again.

Then there is Senator Obama. Simply put, I think it takes a great deal of arrogance to propose some of the policies he has proposed. It also takes a great deal of good intentions. My problem with his stance--on issues from health care to international relations--is this idea that he, or the government, knows best. That the government will swoop in to save the day. They will fix the markets. Involve the government in my health care (I've already had that, thank you very much, and it sucked). While many of his proposed policies sound lovely, I think they will result in a "New New Deal" for lack of a better term. I am concerned by that; this country already has a huge problem with personal accountability, and I worry this will exacerbate that problem.

So. I am left without an especially attractive candidate. My vote will be for Senator McCain, in the hopes that the John McCain of years past would resurface (in the unlikely event he wins the race). In Senator Obama's case, I hope the Barack Obama of his campaign wins out, rather than the Barack Obama his record suggests.

Either way, I'll be a burr in the side of the new President's letter-reading staff ;)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Use the Force Luke

This year marked your second Halloween...you were Yoda, due to a last minute mess up by Mommy. The fire/smoke cleaners still had your real Halloween costume (Notre Dame football player) so I had to make an early morning run to Toys R US to find a suitable alternative. It worked out very well; the costume was only $7 and you were adorable.

We had a wonderful Halloween lunch with a train engineer (Judah), a mouse (Noa), cookie monster himself (Timmy), and all of your Mama's Caboose friends. Then we went Trick-or-Treating with the cutest ventriloquist dummy ever (Georgia).

Here are some pictures!