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Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Let’s Militarize the Border, They Said. It Worked for Nation-Building.

Yesterday I participated in a meet and greet with New Mexico State Senator Tim Keller.  I really wanted to write a whole post about that, considering that it’s super rare to get any state-wide candidates or leaders to come down to our region of the state.  However, because of today’s news dump, I realize that the campaign for New Mexico’s Office of State Auditor is going to have to wait awhile.

In addition to the ongoing NSA scandal and the mission impossible chase of Edward Snowden, today we all awaited news from the Supreme Court on various cases, more importantly related to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 decision.  As for Snowden, we have absolutely no idea where he’s at.  Apparently he never made his flight to Cuba and is MIA.  There is, however, David Gregory, who wants to arrest Glenn Greenwald and the Supreme Court ends up deciding to keep us all in absolute jitters by going another Monday without decisions on DOMA and Prop 8.

While we wait around for important outcomes of stories mentioned above or watching mainstream media ignore the important, non-sensationalist stuff, many of us sat through the torture of what we all call, the United States Senate.

Immigration reform has a better chance of passing Congress this year than any other year in my fifteen years of advocating for reform. Reasons are simple.  Latino’s scared the crap out of the Republican Party during the November elections, when an overwhelming amount of Latino voters came out in huge numbers, in support of President Obama.  While many of them voted, those who couldn’t vote encouraged friends and families who could, to do so with a simple request. Vote Democrat, because the likelihood is that they won’t say boneheaded things about your community.  So here we are.  President Barack Obama was reelected, the Senate remained a majority of Democrats, both insisting immigration reform was a priority and necessity.  The House, well…that’s a different story.

The Senate came up with its bill in April and after debates in the Judiciary committee, has finally made its way to the Senate floor for, up until Friday, we all believed that most of what many of us asked for (i.e. pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants) would stay in tact as it headed for the House for a debate. I mean, come on?  The Republican’s need to do what we’re asking from them, right?

Friday around noon, when all the Senator’s had left DC for their home states for the weekend, an amendment was introduced, now known as Corker-Hoeven, that overhauls border security in a way no one was expecting.  (womp womp)

Image

Courtesy of Center for American Progress

In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security reported that the border was as secure as it possibly could be.  Politically, however, we know that we can’t depend on Republican support without them insisting on more security. So the initial Gang of Eight bill not only provided for increased border security, but the President and Democrats made security a priority when the entire conversation began.  Well, I guess a “beefed” up border was not enough because what Corker introduced was border security on steroids.

The measure would double the total number of patrol agents and add more than 700 miles of fencing along the US-Mexico border at a cost of $38 billion.

As someone who follows Congress, I get that we have to compromise because that’s how our system works.  I get that our process makes it impossible for one party to dominate it all and pass exactly what their supporters expect.  But as an activist, who works day in and day out to defend and protect those that don’t have a voice, to what extent do we compromise and at whose expense?  When do we just stop handing over everything to the Republican Party, especially when they’ve been hijacked by extreme nativists who do not want immigration reform?

When the initial bill came out, a group of activists from across the state of New Mexico came together to develop a state platform and border security was one of the components we were worried about.  After speaking with New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, we insisted, and he agreed, that the border was as secure now as it ever will be. However, although we were very concerned with the discussion of border security back in April, in no way did we expect it to reach today’s levels.  Not at all.

So here is the question.  Do we end our mission for reform because of plan to militarize the border, creating a greater nightmare for all those living along the US/Mexican border? Or do we suck it up and move forward despite the fact that a pathway to citizenship will come at a very tough cost?

NEXT UP…THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

If today’s vote reflects anything we’ll see on Thursday on the Senate floor, it will head to the House.   But the question remains.  Will Speaker Boehnor get his group of Republican’s in the House of Representatives to support this plan and send it to the President for his signature?

Remember.  This Congress has done absolutely nothing when it comes to public policy and bi-partisanship in the last four years.  As awful as this updated immigration bill is, can we actually rely on Congress to get it to the President and sign it into law?

The next few days are crucial as Democrats seek out Republican’s to get those critical 70 votes in the Senate for a final vote on the floor.  Unless Senator Ted Cruz manages to coerce his Republican colleagues and convince them to agree with his awful justifications for denying 11 million people their turn for citizenship, the Senate bill should be heading to the House.

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How Did We Allow MTV To Stop Playing Music? And Other Sad Things Going Through My Head

Today I was watching Portlandia’s newest episode, “Take Back MTV.”  In it, two characters played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, discover that MTV no longer play’s music videos and instead is being run by a bunch of tweens obsessed with reality shows like, Teen Mom.  Google it.  I refuse to link it from my blog.  Anyway, strategizing, they decide to take MTV back to its original form.  You  know?  Playing “music videos” and talking about “music” and “artists?”  With the support of all major public radio funders (which was hilarious), and the help of past VJ’s, Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren and Matt Pinfield (the loud, bald guy), the goal of putting the music back into MTV, was set.

Spoiler alert:  After a successful coup d’état by Fred, Carrie and the old school MTV VJs, an older gent wakes up to find on this television this amazing and historical occurrence, from the comfort of his living room couch,…to only fall back to sleep.

I tend to complain about MTV myself.  Geez, it’s not what it used to be!  I mean, aside from watching Nev on Catfish religiously (what can I say? I find him incredibly smart and handsome!!!) the whole channel is such a waste.  But the reaction the guy on the couch gives on Portlandia…a reaction of “who cares?”, is the same reaction I picture from your typical person who hates politics and would rather not participate in any civic duty or local action.

Take the last week for example.  All over Facebook and Twitter you had “those” people complain when they got their paycheck last week and noticed that it was shorter than previous months.  “That Obama is taking my money!”  is all I heard.  Except that this was not the case at all.  Had they been paying attention to the politics they so despise, they would have realized that we’ve always had this thing called a “payroll tax” which is deducted from our checks each pay period to pay for Social Security.  However, in 2010, President Obama signed off on reducing the amount of this payroll tax through the tax bill, by two percentage points so that the working middle class would have some change left over each month, to pay for stuff, so that in turn, would stimulate the economy and get things going again.  But people don’t get that.  They just think it’s something that was just thrown at them (or taken from them)

Instead, what they should be concerned about is that like every other year since the President has been in office, the Republican party has been doing something we all like to call, “obstructionism.”  In the case of the fiscal cliff, in order to save stuff like, unemployment benefits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and surviving the Dairy Cliff, among other things, the payroll tax was allowed to expire, thus raising the the payroll tax back to 6.2% instead of 4.2%.

Imagine if the President was allowed to keep everything he wanted on the table?

Yes, many other things were saved because of the fiscal deal…but despite all of that, many are still very upset about the payroll tax and the $1000 that will be taken from them this coming year.  I mean it’s a cable bill for crying out loud!!!

Yes, the President could have fought harder…he had the leverage like many progressives have said, some continuing to say that the guy is just not a closer when it comes to negotiations.  The President may have also given up enough leverage as he counters GOP BS in two months when we have to endure this torture again with the debt ceiling debate.

But think about it?  President Obama and the Democrats are putting policy on the table to help the working poor, the middle class and the 99% who don’t make a gazillion dollars, and the Republican’s are saying no to everything so we’re having to compromise and yet we still have some working poor, middle class and 99%ers defending the Republican party and their obstructionism?

Does this make any sense to you?

When will American’s finally wake up to the BS?  Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are spewing misconceptions about everything to the very people that these policies are affecting and yet people don’t think for themselves.

American’s remind me of the guy waking up in the middle of Portlandia’s MTV takeover.  He awakes to find the original VJs back to what is right in the world, with music being played and awesomeness being shown, to only go back to sleep because, you know what?  Who cares?

This attitude of complacency is what allows our leaders and lobbyists to take advantage of our communities across the country.  Until American’s begin to think critically, understand what is really going on and fight back, there will continue to be injustices…including your hard earned cash being used to pay for something your Congressman prefers rather than you putting food on the table.

Real Women Have Power

The year 2012 will go down in history, not just for its major presidential election or the Supreme

Courtesy of ACLU

Court of the United States surprise ruling, upholding the Affordable Care Act, but something far more important.

The war on women.  While both equally important, the war on women has got to take the cake.

In 2009, the Republican party ran on “jobs, jobs, jobs.”  By doing so (and our nation’s voters needing some instant gratification) the win went to Republican’s, who not only won the House of Representatives, a few extra seats in the Senate but many of the state houses across the country.

It was a declaration!  A referendum on President Barack Obama lackluster two years in office!

Republican’s, so committed to job growth and the economy, you know how many jobs bills have been introduced since 2011?

Let me put it this way…we’re still kinda waiting.

Instead, what Republican’s did introduce was legislation targeting women and their reproductive rights.  A long list of them…all across the country.

But what does that have to do with jobs, you ask?  Exactly.

Let’s take the state of Michigan for example.  It’s had a tough few years. Michigan is currently recovering from several years of economic downturn.  In recent months it has faced a threat to its democracy, one we’ve not seen…maybe ever.  But even more importantly, the Michigan state legislature apparently has an issue with the term, “vagina.”

That’s right, V-A-G-I-N-A, VAGINA!

I’m no expert.  I don’t claim to have the answers to anything or everything.  But in the case of Republican’s focusing on women’s issues, it is no coincidence. It is part of a master plan by the Republican party and an ongoing refusal to move forward on issues as basic and as progressive as those pertaining to a woman’s uterus.  Republican’s claim it is a party that respects the constitution of the United States, yet respects very little a decision that was made by the Supreme Court of this country back in 1973.

In order to fight this war on women, it’s up to many of us…a majority of American’s, actually, to gain the tools necessary to confront these so-called, “leaders” and keep them from taking away rights we have done everything in our limited power, to protect.

Democracy for America will soon launch a series called, “War for Women” in which it will provide tools to many of us who are committed to a woman’s right to choose, as well as many other issues women face, challenges we will need to confront in the coming months and years.

If the Republican’s get their way this year or next year or any year for that matter, our country will regress by generations — successes women have seen in the last thirty years, could all go away.  This is the threat we face.

We must equip ourselves.  We must win.

Supreme Court of the United States of America Did What??

June 26, 2012 2 comments

So…I’ve had a few hours to figure out this whole Supreme Court, SB1070 ruling and it’s pretty clear.  We might be ok.

Now, it’s not the perfect decision.  The one provision that scared the crap out of me is still a

Courtesy of ACLU Nationwide

haunting threat to our communities of color.  However…it could be a lot worse, I suppose.  I mean, it’s the Supreme Court of the United States! They’ve not been gentle to us in the last few years, so I’m extremely surprised that we got at least 3 out of 4 on this one.

According to the ruling:

“The Supreme Court struck down three central sections of Arizona’s law, which had been regarded by opponents as the most harsh. In allowing the “show-me-your-papers” provision to stand, the court accepted, for the time being at least,
Arizona’s word that police officers would not engage in racial profiling as they put it into practice.” 

For more (clearer and easier language) information pertaining to this ruling, please check out Amy Howe’s, “SB1070: In Plain English.”

So, although Governor Jan Brewer declared a victory yesterday, those who were victorious are the countless organizers on the ground in many parts of the nation where anti-immigrant/anti-Latino laws have sprung up in the last few years and are prepared to face the overwhelming possibilities of legalized “racial profiling” this country has not seen since the times of Jim Crow.

There was a silver lining, however, with today’s announcement, in terms of law enforcement taking positive steps to making sure our communities are safe.  Unlike Sheriff Arpaio, who is no stranger to breaking laws within his own state of Arizona (and is committed to make no changes on his end with this Supreme Court decision) others were not quick to defend the upheld policy themselves.

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia attempted Monday to reassure residents that police will not discriminate based on race, saying that he will not tolerate profiling and that the agency will continue to concentrate resources on violent criminals and property crimes.

Furthermore, in a move by the Obama Administration, one in which Governor Brewer called, “political,” Homeland Security revoked 287 (g) agreements in Arizona, creating even more friction between the “states-rights” Governor and the Obama Administration.

In terms of the immigration debate, it’s no surprise that President Obama’s announcement on June 15 and the Supreme Court decision will only become a wedge issue between the President’s re-election efforts and flip flopping Mitt Romney’s prospects.  For a Republican Presidential candidate attempting to regain some confidence amongst the immigrant community, his delayed responses to the June 15 announcement and again yesterday provides very little hope for any mass support especially after Mr. Romney’s long awaited comment of, “And there are states now under this decision have less authority, less latitude, to enforce immigration laws

This comment did very little to settle any uneasiness I’ve had with the candidate in regards to this issue.  Not sure how much better it is now for immigrant right’s and legal advocates across the country.

So…who won?

Every where you looked, both sides declared themselves a winner.  All over Fox News, Governor Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, the main proponents of this bill, both declared victory for states rights in this country.  However, after much further review of reports, it seems that the real winner was the Obama Administration who challenged SB1070 and opponents of the bill who have worked hard the last two years to organize communities around this racially charged law.

Adam Serwer, a reporter for Mother Joneswrites about how the media got yesterday’s ruling all wrong.  Reflecting on a post written by Adam Winkler, a professor at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, stated the following:

“Although some early news reports said that the court upheld this “show me your papers” provision, that wasn’t quite right. The court determined that it didn’t have enough information about how the law worked in practice, especially considering the law explicitly commands the police not to engage in racial profiling. So the justices sent the dispute over this provision back to the lower courts for further fact finding. Nevertheless, the court specifically noted that if this law led to racial profiling, as I suspect it will be concluded, the law would be invalidated.”

The good news is, the Supreme Court may have, in effect, found the entire law itself unconstitutional.  The bad news is, many people in our communities will have to be subjected to racial profiling for the courts to determine that the upheld provision was in fact, unconstitutional.

The proof is in the numbers.

Until then, we continue to rely on our communities and our leaders, to do the right thing in hopes that laws like SB1070, never see the light of day.

Netroots Nation Day 3 – When We Do Our Minimum, We Lose.

“We know we’re supposed to be fired up and we know we’re supposed to be ready to go.  But we’re pissed off.”     — Van Jones

This last day at Netroots Nation was one of great pondering and reflection.  The first few days were incredibly inspiring and awesome and the entire time I was there, I really couldn’t believe I was there.  I mean, in all honesty, I felt like a kid in a candy store and the candy was all this political conversation and blogging chat (nerd alert)  It was an amazing time.  However, Saturday morning I woke up, staring at my ceiling in the hotel room, feeling a bit melancholy because this was going to be the end of a beautiful weekend.

Picture courtesy of TucsonCitizen.com

I got up and rushed to my first meeting of the day at 8a.  I was meeting up with folks from America’s Voice and other Democracy for America scholars who had been selected to be part of a group of immigrant activists.  As someone that blogs a lot about immigration, I was incredibly honored to be there, especially because Congressman Luis Gutierrez was scheduled to meet us for breakfast.  Unfortunately, when I arrived (I was early by the way) I was told the Congressman was not going to make it because of some issues with travel.  However, I was asked to stay and join the others and mingle for a bit and eat some breakfast.  In the meantime, I had the great pleasure of meeting some incredible folks within the immigrant rights movement and learned quite a bit about what was going on up until that point (Remember:  It would be a week later before President Obama made his immigration announcement.)

One thing was certain during this weekend.  Immigrant rights activists, much like other activists across the board, were not entirely happy with President Obama and it was obvious.  Awhile later during the immigration panel, Gaby Pacheco, the DREAM activist and spokesperson for DREAMers made it clear, “Her relationship with President Obama was like that of an abusive relationship.”  President Obama keeps promising the world, yet never delivers.

I’ll be honest, up until that very moment, I did not understand why DREAMers were so upset at the President.  I mean, I understood why…1 million deportations, not keeping a promise of DREAM or comprehensive immigration reform within the first year of his presidency, etc…etc.    But it was at this point that I truly came to the realization that I would never understand. I am not undocumented.

I left this panel and participated in a panel of my own.  Honestly, it was kind of random.  The last thing I expected when winning a scholarship for Netroots Nation was actually being asked to participate in a panel of my own, but I did.  On Friday during Elizabeth Warren’s keynote speech, I live tweeted the whole thing and it was during this time that I got an email from Andrew Villaneuve, Founder and Executive Director of Northwest Progressive Institute, asking me to participate in the panel, “Revitalizing State and Local Blogging.”  Honestly, I’m not that experienced in blogging, in fact…I was actually quite surprised that I was asked considering my experience, but it turned out to be a very good time.  The panelists were amazing, in fact…I left learning so much more and ready to implement much of what I learned, to my own blog.

After this session…I rushed to grab my seat to the keynote and fortunately for me I could always count on Bryant

Chuck Rocha from Solidarity Solutions and I after the Keynote

Berganza, a local journalist for, “Street Sights” a local paper in Providence that sheds light on homelessness in Rhode Island, and who always made it to the keynotes with just enough time to get a great table and great seating and always had a place for me.  (Thank you Bryant!)

Ok…so first up was Chuck Rocha.  This guy was a trip! He not only declares himself to be the “Mexican Redneck,” he also just recently started up his own consulting firm in Washington, DC called, “Solidarity Strategies.”  He was high energy and high volume, but he was real.  It’s something many of us were happy to hear after all that we’ve been through as progressives these last few years.

One really great thing about Mr. Rocha’s presence is that we finally had the chance to hear a Latino speak during the keynote.  Considering that we’re [Latinos] in so many levels of government and activism, it was great to have someone like Chuck on board, even if for just a few minutes.  (I’d say for next year…Netroots should really work on getting more Latino’s and I’m willing to volunteer as a guest Latina.  Just sayin’)

The last two speakers were really important to me.  I was looking forward to both gentleman and was excited to hear what they had to say.  However, I was completely surprised at the level of engagement there was, even if it was just complete silence amongst us all.

President and CEO of the NAACP

Ben Jealous, the NAACP President and CEO, was present on the last evening of Netroots Nation and provided the second to last keynote.  The major theme from his speech was simple.  While we’ve attempted to equalize the playing field for all groups in this nation in the last few decades, there is still work to be done.  But more importantly, we face incredible threats to many of our everyday freedoms, particularly those living in our communities of color.

Take New York City for instance.  Last few years you hear about the “amazing” things Mayor Bloomberg has done for the city, but very few of his supporters realize the enormous burden faced by people of color, specifically black and Latino men in “stop and frisk” operations throughout New York City.

Below is some video of Ben Jealous’ interview on Melissa Perry Harris show last Sunday, an interview that occurred just hours before a silent march took place in protest to Mayor Bloomberg and his stop and frisk initiative.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

What you see in the interview with Melissa Harris Perry, was just as powerful on the final night of Netroots Nation.  It wasn’t just Ben Jealous’ powerful and passionate voice, either.  The stats for “stop and frisk” are astonishing.  According to the numbers Ben Jealous provides, police officers stopped nearly 700,000 people last year, 87 percent of them black or Latino. Of those stopped, more than half were also frisked.  One thing that I really took away from this message was the fact that other cities like Los Angeles, for example, have also seen a drop in crime much like New York City.  The difference, however, is that there is no “stop and frisk” operation taking place in LA or any other major city where a drop in crime has been significant.  So how does Mayor Bloomberg explain that?

By the time Van Jones joined us, it was time to finally get real about what this nation faces in the coming elections.  Most of the time I spent at Netroots Nation, I was overwhelmed with the feelings many like-minded progressives had and were not afraid to vocalize their utter disappointment in President Obama these last 3 1/2 years.

I’m going to be honest. I’m not one of those people. Although there are things I’m disappointed in, overall I’ve been pretty confident in the President and the ability to do what he can do under the circumstances that we face. The one thing that I took from Van Jones and I can honestly say others around me did as well, is that it’s not just the President, but it’s Congress and the Supreme Court we need to worry about. If we do not win in November, progressives are toast. Toast.

I won’t say more about Van Jones, other than ask you to watch the video. If you aren’t worried about November, you should be.

“If last time it was a hope election, this year it’s a fear election.”

Our democracy is at great risk, folks!

Overall, Netroots Nation was fabulous. I am so honored to have attended on behalf of Democracy for America’s scholarship program. I met some really amazing people doing the same kind of work I am doing, all over this country and that is encouraging. To be frank, I did not have to in the presence of all those I mention above, because the general population who attended were that inspiring and I look forward to working with many of them in the coming months and years.  If there is one thing I took from this year’s Netroots Nation it’s that although we have a lot more to do, there are many out there ready to take charge and really change the world.

Netroots Nation 2013 is in San Jose next year.  I will be there.

Immigration Developments: What This Means For The Dreamers?

June 15, 2012 2 comments

The last few days, I’ve been working on getting back on track with regular posts since spending a few days in Rhode Island for Netroots Nation. The last few weeks, I have been reflecting on a post I wasn’t sure I was qualified enough to write about and so I’d been holding off on it. Interestingly enough, today’s developments may have provided a great opportunity to expand on what I was thinking about writing.

If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I write a bit about immigration, the DREAM Act and the use of

Department of Homeland Security, Executive Order

the term “illegal” in immigration debate. The issue of immigration reform is very important to me because of my own personal history of having family and friends attempting to survive and enduring a very broken immigration system. Friends and relatives who have lived in America their whole lives, maintain a life of living in fear and the possibility of deportation, all because they have no papers.

The last 3 1/2 years, President Obama created a worrisome environment for many, with over 1 million deportations in 2011. Once a positive relationship between the immigrants rights community and Barack Obama, has since been tarnished in recent years, according to some within the movement. Who could blame them?

As a progressive who cares deeply about immigration reform and a progressive who is deeply committed to the future of this nation and committed to seeing the President and others elected in November, I worry.

It’s no surprise that in terms of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, the President has been a huge disappointment to Latino’s, particularly the DREAMers who have been on this chaotic and unsteady ride for over 10 years.

But today, with a stroke of a pen…President Obama has finally begun to do the right thing in terms of comprehensive reform.

Speaking to reporters today (not just the hecklar) the President’s Executive Order lays out a plan which states the following:

1) Person must be no more than 30 years old, 2) Person must have arrived in the country before they turned 16, 3) Person must have lived in the United States for five years, 4) Person must have no criminal record and, 5) Person must have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military.

The President was clear. “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship, not a permanent fix.”

By reading the executive order, it details a lot of the same requirements laid out in the Dream Act legislation, which was written over ten years ago and most recently was voted down by the Senate during the 2010 lame duck session. Just recently, a so-called “version” had a short revival by Senator Marco Rubio, who presented something much more watered down and in essence creating a second-class citizenry.

Today’s announcement does little to suppress any notion that this will a big fight in this election. However, could it also be the necessary step to re-energize the Democratic base as well as Latino’s to come out in masses come November? With the re-election of President Obama, could we really be seeing the DREAM Act take fruition?

No idea.

Just by looking at my Twitter feed I could tell that this issue is going to polarize an already polarized constituency. You’ve got the diehard DREAMERs on the left, defending their rights as American’s without papers with a fringe still not confident in what the President had to say today. Then there is the other side. The racists, xenophobes on the right who will make this issue a wedge issue this election year and create havoc on an already scary situation for undocumented immigrants.

The important thing is that the President took the step we needed to get the conversation going.

Today’s emotions and celebrations should not be the end to this debate, but the beginning.

Netroots Nation Day 2 – My Journey To Meet (Stalk) Elizabeth Warren.

June 13, 2012 5 comments

Friends! My apologies for the delay on this post.  I was planning to live blog Netroots Nation as the days progressed, but it was jam packed.  JAM PACKED I TELL YA!

So Friday started off a bit…well, slow. Not sure if it was the time change or what, but I just was not feeling myself.  In any event, I did my best on Friday morning to get up and get moving, making my way to see my 2nd favorite politico in the world, Mrs. Elizabeth Warren.

I’ll get to her in a few.

Washington State Congressional Candidate Marcy Burner

The amazing thing about keynotes is that we’re not only rewarded by the “keynote” themselves, but we’re also introduced to, or at least I was, to other very important people, in this case…strong, smart and vocal women in the current political movement.  For a woman in love with politics, I was thrilled about this luncheon and what better way to get things started then with the discussion on “2012 and the War on (and for) Women!”

Washington congressional candidate, Darcy Burner, was a great and a refreshing surprise! I can’t tell you how incredibly powerful her speech was during this luncheon.  I’m not going to lie, at first I was kind of turned off by the Power Point presentation, but if you sit through the entire speech, you begin realize that it’s more than just a presentation…it’s a powerful message, one that both inspires yet cautions us on the future of this country.

This year, women have been under attack…you cannot dispute this.  Darcy exemplified a voice the GOP have attempted to suppress these last few months, but they have failed.  Like Darcy, women are not going to sit out this election year and where you’ll find them is at the voting booth.  Women will remember and we will vote.

Marcy’s speech was the most impressionable out of all of the speeches this weekend, at least for me anyway.  I was just so excited to be in the presence of such great women, including Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono.

Now, when the luncheon ended, I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to talk or even shake the hand of kick-ass, Elizabeth Warren.  Act Blue was planning to have an event later that afternoon and she was expected to be there, so I figured I’d wait it out.   So I waited…and waited…and waited…

As I show up to Act Blue, I got the opportunity to meet Mary Ellen Broderick, candidate for New Mexico State legislature.  She’s incredible, folks! Please check her out and donate a few dollars to her campaign.  Most importantly, had I not met Mary Ellen that very moment, I wouldn’t have learned what a douche a certain someone was.  I actually got to witness, from afar, former Florida congressman Alan Grayson tell Ms. Broderick that in regards to her campaign here in New Mexico, “he has no money” to support her election efforts.  Wow! I mean, for a congressman, who just a few years ago was a nobody, you’d think he’d have the best interest to elevate someone at the local level, committed to a progressive calling.  Instead, he said…”uh, no and next!” I was never a big fan of Mr. Grayson and on this very evening, he did not gain an enthusiastic follower.  Go Mary Ellen!

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown

So…still.  No Elizabeth Warren.  Although I had to stand through a miserable Alan Grayson speech, he was definitely topped by United States Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, an avid guest on the Rachel Maddow Show and someone making every effort to support our the working class in this country.

But again…no Elizabeth Warren.

My friend Hilda, from San Jose, texted me around this time and reminded me about Google’s party downstairs.  Oh, right! Google.  What could they possibly have that Act Blue didn’t have?

Free beer.

So there I went, chasing after Google and the free beer.  Listen, it seemed wrong to leave but you’ll understand in a bit.

As I arrived to the Google party, I’m overwhelmed by all the incredibly cute and adorable Google boys on site.  I’m sorry, I don’t have access to cute nerds in rural New Mexico, so I apologize for my enthusiasm. Actually, no.  I will not apologize.

Anyway, I discover that Google has launched Google Politics & Elections! It’s so awesome and such a useful

My Google Cup Runneth Over

tool!  There were two touch screens set up  and on display and we were allowed to play around with the tool.  I had the ability to search elections being held around the world and of course, politics here at home.  I tried to be funny by searching President Obama and “birth certificate.”  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because there were millions of others doing the same.

After collecting my third Google cup of beer, one blue, one red and one yellow (Google color coordination you see) my friend and I decided to try to check out the local restaurants and finally sit down and eat a real meal in Providence.  As her and I were heading up to our room to freshen up, we noticed that there were a lot of people moving into a nearby conference room and we decided to follow them.  As we entered the room, we noticed many Netroots Nation goer’s and realized that it was a party being hosted by Emily’s List.  I LOVE Emily’s List!! So we decided to stay.

First person I run into is Ruth Leitman, the documentary filmmaker, who filmed, Tony and Janina’s American Wedding, a film depicting a family and their struggles to maneuver through our broken immigration system.

As Ruth and I chat about her work near the doorway, I catch a figure from my left and OH MY GOD IT’S

Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren

ELIZABETH WARREN!!! My excitement was no surprise to her because you could see it in her facial expression.  I must have looked hilarious.  Not only was I holding a Google cup(s) of beer, I also had Google sunglasses on my head, looking like I just stepped out of a spring break commercial.  Lucky for me, though…Elizabeth Warren kicks ass and she didn’t care how ridiculous I was and instead thanked me for my work as consumer protection advocate.  Unless it was the only thing she could say to shut me up.

I can’t say that this was the height of my young political career, but it came pretty close.  Elizabeth Warren is someone I have followed and respected since 2009 and her ability to stand up against the banks and against Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geitner, who was on the verge of tears due to her questioning TARP money in 2009.  I was disappointed last year when she did not become the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, but I’m extremely confident she will be responsible for the defeat of Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts come November and reclaim Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat for Democrats, where it belongs.

Co-Creator of The Daily Show and author of Lizz Free or Die

After my meeting with Elizabeth, Ruth, Hilda and I left the party and headed out to meet Lizz Windstead, co-creator of the Daily Show and now author of her new book, “Lizz Free or Die.”  She was fabulous…I mean FABULOUS!! Although Alan Grayson showed up late into the night and occupied his arse on a bench next to the infamous Lizz Winstead, it was a great ending to an incredibly awesome day.

Day 3 later.