Monday, September 29, 2008

I think I should be a strategist

Since last week I have been telling friends and family that it wouldn't surprise me to see Sarah Palin come out during the debate and say something like the following:

For the past several weeks I have been relying on the advice of the Washington elite. As you have realized that just isn't me. I am a reformer. I am not an insider and have no desire to be. John McCain put me on the ticket to go into Washingon with fresh new ideas and to shake things up. He put me on the ticket precisely because I am not an insider. Therefore, I am no longer going to allow others to attempt to transform me into an insider.I am Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska. That is good enough for the people of Alaska and it will be good enough for the rest of the United States too.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this on the internet today
Despite bad reviews from all sides, John McCain's campaign has decided that having Sarah Palin do big broadcast interviews was a good idea, the National Review reports:
Team McCain tells me the strategy of having Palin talk to traditional broadcast networks ABC and CBS was designed to allow Palin to reach the maximum number of viewers. "Coming off her tremendous performance at the convention, our goal was to allow as many Americans as possible an opportunity to see her answer questions about her record, her biography and her principles and convictions on as large a stage as possible," one campaign source told me this afternoon. The new CBS interviews, to be done tomorrow, are intended to keep Palin in the public eye as she prepares for Thursday's debate.
Bill Kristol says McCain isn't happy, however, with the way his staff has been handling Palin and is making some changes for the debate:
I'm told McCain recently expressed unhappiness with his staff's handling of Palin. On Sunday he dispatched his top aides Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis to join Palin in Philadelphia. They're supposed to liberate Palin to go on the offensive as a combative conservative in the vice-presidential debate on Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal has more on Palin's liberation:
McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser Steve Schmidt are planning to coach the candidate ahead of the debate, according to senior advisers. They traveled Sunday to meet the Republican vice-presidential nominee in Philadelphia. After her appearance with Sen. McCain at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, these top officials plan to fly with her on Monday to Sen. McCain's ranch in Sedona, Ariz., which they hope she will find a comforting place to prep, these people said.

More broadly, the McCain campaign aims to halt what it sees as a perceived decline in the crispness and precision of Gov. Palin's latest remarks as well as a fall in recent polls, according to several advisers and party officials.
Some prominent Republicans and senior members of Congress have expressed worries about certain facets of the Palin campaign, particularly that Gov. Palin may be "overprepared" and not encouraged to be herself, an adviser said.
"She hasn't had the time or inclination to question the judgments of the people telling her to hit her marks," said one Republican strategist. "Gov. Palin is a team player, but the campaign needs to adjust to a game plan that works for her.
"It's time to let Palin be Palin -- and let it all hang out," said Scott Reed, a Republican

Obviously, I need to become a paid political strategist. It is apparant that I am sneaky enough, have the stupidity of the American public pegged , and also am slick enough to plan enough ahead in order to rein in the sheep..oops, the citizens of the United States and have them just where I want them. Or maybe I should just be a Wall Street Executive. Either way, I guess it shows I could be an expert at screwing the unsuspecting public.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Judge

THis is a recent letter I sent to the local traffic judge

Dear Judge:

Please read this letter with a keen sense of humor as this is how my
letter is intended. I am not meaning to undermine the seriousness of
the situation but, frankly, if I don't try and laugh about this
situation, I will cry.

First, let me say I am a hot flashing pre-menopausal woman of
five...that about sums it up quite nicely!!! Recently, I was issued a
ticket on my way to Corcoran to take my children to swimming lessons.
I was given a ticket that says I was going approximately 70 in a 55
zone. I object to the speed written. I was in fact, going 65. How do
I know? Well I inadvertently set the cruise control at 65 after
turning onto the highway. Yes, I know the legal speed is 55. My
husband warned me NEVER to go over 55 on this highway because the
road is a speed trap. With that said and in order to avoid any
problems; everyday that I went to Corcoran; I set my cruise to 55.
However, on this particular day when I turned off the highway I had
my three year old screaming in the back seat because her six year old
brother had just clobbered her over the head with a toy. The other
six year old had just found a soda and decided to shake it before
opening it and spewed soda throughout the car. These are the types of
things that two autistic boys tend to like to do when their mother is
driving. So as I set the cruise I was trying to maintain my composure
while yelling at the top of my lungs, "Stop hitting your sister...If
you EVER shake a soda again you will never ever have another one the
rest of your life...Kellis stop crying... there is no blood...Kullen
stop taking apart the electrical system of the car and put your hands
in your pocket NOW ... don't make me pull over the car." (In
retrospect perhaps I should have pulled over.) All of this was said
in a span of 10.5 seconds. In addition, I was thinking about my 17
year old teenager who was suppose to be coming home from Brazil in a
few days after being away on an Rotary International Exchange for a
year. She had called me an hour prior to this incident to tell me she
might not be coming home that weekend as she was in the hospital with
appendicitis. Obviously, I was not thinking clearly when I set my
cruise. I am guilty. And I am remorseful. I am remorseful for going
over the speed limit as it caused chaos in my car after the highway
patrol man stopped us. I had to deal with my kids being afraid I was
being taken to jail for the next week. I am remorseful for not
pulling the car over and regaining Mommy control I am remorseful
that I was not paying close enough when I set my cruise control. And
I am remorseful for breaking the law.

With the question of my guilt out of the way I can only assume that
you have several options available to you about what to do with me.
Maybe there are more but I suspect I am too frazzled to think of
them. The first is to send me to traffic school and that is a good
choice. However, I have been so sleep deprived for the last six years
(autistic kids do not sleep well) that I am seriously afraid I might
fall asleep in class and get myself in even more trouble.

The second option is to send me to jail for a day hopefully on a
weekend so my husband could watch the kids. I promise I would bring
the CA Drivers Handbook to read and study it. Frankly, it would be
the first time I have been able to read something longer than two
pages of anything in the last six years and most likely it would not
have the words SEE JANE RUN so, frankly, this type of reading would
be a delight. While I realize that at my age and weight the strip
search might be slightly ...okay, really embarrassing...the thought
of having a private cell with a private bed sounds like heaven. This
coming from a mother whose children ALWAYS end up in her bed every
single night. If you sentence me to serve this sentence, I will
never tell another mother for if I did they would all be squealing
their tires backing out of the driveway as they raced for the
highway in an attempt to get some much deserved rest. I promise it
will be our little secret.

Another option might be just to slap me on the wrist (I'll bring it
to you) and say "Okay, you have a clean driving record and sometimes
we all have a bad day. My advice to you is to wait until your husband
comes home and take a slow drive out in the country without your
kids to get a little rest and relaxation. This case is dismissed."

Whatever you do, I promise I will not break the speed limit again. I
have learned my lesson and frankly bail at $168.00 really needs to go
to pay my kids numerous medical bills instead of the court.



P.S. My friend who works in the jail says that perhaps I might want
to reconsider that jail idea. She says that MRSA is rampant there and
that the last thing my kids need is MRSA. I will leave that for you
to decide.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday, Karson

Today was Karson's 7th birthday. He was so excited and has been for a week to the point of annoying his classmates. So thank goodness today was the day. Frankly, I was worried. He invited 5 classmates to his party and only one had responded so I was afraid that we would have to somehow make everything okay. Since Karson has such trouble with social situations I just knew that no one was coming. But they did. Four out of the five showed up which just goes to show that if you raise a child to be polite and decent to others that even if they have other "issues" they will still succeed. It reminds me of an interview I remember seeing with Princess Diana in which she said that the most important thing she could teach William was good manners because she did not know if he would be intelligent but with good manners anyone can have doors open to them that may otherwise be closed.

How Hidden Is Racism?

As the mother of three children whom are “persons of color” it occurred to me after watching the RNC that things can change on a dime in the spirit of winning at all costs. All of a sudden Christian conservatives are calling the birth of Sarah Palin’s grandchild a blessed event and making Palin’s 17 year old daughter the poster girl of all that is good and holy; a righteous child who has chosen to do the “right” and noble thing. For young teens everywhere she is now the idol that they are to look up to. The child who has done the “correct” thing under God‘s personal direction. Yet, I wonder how “blessed” that event would be had Bristol Palin come out on stage holding the hand of an African American or Hispanic young man and introduced him as the father of her child. Something tells me that the “blessed event” would have sent shockwaves through the convention hall and Governor Palin would have been sent packing back to Alaska. Somehow I believe that the “mixing of races” might not have played out so well for young Bristol and her mother. That racism would have reared its ugly head like it usually does for those young women who carry a baby to term who is the product of a union that crosses their own racial profile. It would be nice to believe that this would not be so in this day and age. Yet, time and time again we see stories about people of color being physically abused or killed because of their race. Gay men and women who are murdered because of their sexual orientation. While most whites would like to believe that things have substantially improved for persons of color because it is comfortable for them to do so, in fact, racism is alive and well here in the USA. Unfortunately, it is one of the things that is energizing the McCain/ Palin ticket. It isn't just about voting for a woman it is about voting against a person of color. I just wonder if it will ever be about voting for the smartest, most capable person for the job regardless of their race or gender. Seems to me we have a long way to go before those will be the "good old days."

Friday, September 12, 2008


Last weekend I was trying to get Karson to jump into the pool without sitting down. As I was coaxing him I said, "Karson if you jump in you will be so proud of yourself." His reaponse, "I already am proud of myself."

Palin Belittles Teaching Profession

I find Governor Palin’s belittlement of Senator Barack Obama’s career accomplishments offensive. Since when does being a teacher for many years count for nothing? Coming from a long line of teachers I find teachers share many attributes that serve them well in government. Teachers need to know how to collaborate effectively, how to work with a diverse group of people and how to listen in a way that allows others to feel comfortable enough to share their concerns. They have to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching and refine themselves and their message should the need arise. Teachers have to know how to lead critical discussion, they must be able to problem solve effectively, find insight in unlikely places, they have to be flexible and clear up misconceptions quickly. Teachers must be able to show how different ideas connect and show how they apply to everyday life. Great teachers have to communicate effectively, know how to procure and use outside help, treat people with dignity and respect, share personal stories to inspire others and show genuine interest and concern for those at the top as well as the bottom of the ladder. They must possess a willingness to encourage, to teach responsibility and work long hours for little pay . Teaching is an honorable profession for millions of Americans. I am saddened and insulted that Governor Palin does not recognize that teaching , being a community organizer, a member of the state legislature and the US Senate prepares you for handling more complex issues in an honorable manner. Attacking and belittling does not belong in the classroom nor in government. Personally, I like Senator Obama’s subtle but persuasive style. I suspect that other world leaders will too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Palin's Lack of Experience

For Governor Palin to believe that her four months of experience as a mother to a special needs child qualifies her as an expert/advocate shows that she has a total lack of understanding on what being a parent to a special needs child entails. Experience and effective advocacy come only after spending years fighting insurance companies, the state, and school districts in an often futile effort to get your child the multitude of services they need. You must have years of visiting doctors, specialists, and therapists under your belt to understand the kind of stress that this type of intense care puts on the caretaker and the rest of the family. In addition, you must have had to make dozens of anguishing decisions about what services to keep and which ones you can no longer continue because of the tremendous costs associated with the special needs child. Finally, you must have cried yourself to sleep more times than your want to count because of the guilt and frustration you feel at not being able to get your child the services they need in order to reach their full potential and become independent tax paying citizens. Truly it is only after years of ups and downs, disappointments and exhaustion that Governor Palin will have the experience necessary to be an effective parent/advocate for her own child and for the rest of us fighting for our special needs children . I wish her luck navigating the world of special needs.