Cool Mom Poll: Are You Recessed?

The economic downturn is on everyone’s minds. But is that because we are hearing about it, because we see some signs of it, or because we are directly affected by it? I have noticed many small shops near me go out of business. Several clothing boutiques, specialty stores, and nice stationary businesses closing their doors – those are the kinds of things people spend money on when they are not worried about basics.

I know a couple of people who have been laid off, and my husband’s business has seen some nicks in sales. But, knock on wood, we haven’t taken a big hit. That’s partly because I refuse to look at my 401k; I won’t need for a few more years, so why torture myself? We locked in our loan right before the bacon hit the skillet so phew to that.

What I want to know is, how are all of you doing? How is this economic downturn affecting you?

Given this is not the end of the problem, we might need to revisit this poll soon…

To view last week’s poll results, click here!

Moving to Canada

I think leftist political shows are usually funnier than right-wing parodies. The Daily Show versus that show on Fox for example.

But leftists as individuals can be a really humorless lot, taking themselves WAY to seriously. If anyone has seen Janeane Garofalo in the last couple of years, you know what I mean. So sometimes I think lefties need the piss taken out of them. As someone who grew up in alternative (hippie) schools, snacked on rice cakes, and still likes a swig of soy milk for comfort, I think I’m in a perfect position to do the skewering. Here is an attempt.

Pay Off At The Polls: Results Are In!

Hey, last week I laid out a Presidential poll and then never told you who won the “election.” And I thought the Supreme Court of 2000 was irresponsible!

So here are the results:

Now, of course you can’t have a more unscientific and biased poll than one on a website. I have espoused my pro-choice Democratic leanings here, so I can assume a majority of Cool Mom readers share this opinion – skew #1. What is interesting is that when I looked at the poll at about 4pm the day we posted it, McCain was in the lead by about 10 to 15 percentage points. So there was a late liberal surge, which does reflect the larger electoral trend that conservatives, older people, married people, and working people are more reliable voters.

The only way Obama can win is if he does get people who have never voted, or who rarely vote, to the polls. He has to get what Kerry got and more. That would mean his new registered younguns and every single African American, not to mention every latte-swilling lefty, has to show up, especially since he is losing some of his lead over McCain with women. The voting block that has the ability to push Democrats over the finish line has to be on Obama’s side.

Also, I’m always intrigued by undecideds. If any undecideds want to share why they haven’t decided, or what they still need to see, or if they are sitting this out, I would love to hear that. I understand if there is a lack of enthusiasm since my candidate of choice is no longer in the running. I am still voting, but not in a “whooppee!!! kind of way. But my distaste for the last few years is a huge factor… oh, and there’s that pro-choice thing.

Oh No, She Didn’t! The Sarah Palin Speech

Okay, for what it’s worth, I can’t close out the week without summing up my take on the Palin speech at the RNC. I hear that WHITE, MARRIED MOTHERS are who decides elections. Hey, that’s me!

I have many friends who have been fuming about her latest speech. I got messages like “I hate her,” “nasty bitch,” and “Well, I’d sleep with her.” (That last one was from a Republican guy friend.) I watched her speech a bit after the fact, on Tivo, after Vivien went to bed. I tried to watch with an objective eye, but I expected to want to throw her glasses on the ground and smash them. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that way when I watched it. Here’s what I was thinking.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In The Beginning
To start, where was the music? Where was the bio video, ’cause I love those. The Republicans know how to sell a war to us, but can’t figure out basic production value and stagecraft? Come on! I had to hand it to my niece – she won the bet on how Palin would wear her hair, which was mostly down. She looked nice, as did the family, but The Fashion Team side of me (BTW, this Tuesday we will do some political fashion critiquing on the FT at 8pm on the TV Guide Channel) feels her youngest daughter has to be worth a couple points in the polls. Her youngest daughter is a happy-spirited girl who lovingly held her baby brother – awwww! And the pregnant daughter gets an ovation. Which is kind, but can we try to remember it’s probably best not to encourage that?

Special Needs
Sure, Palin scored points with a lot of people by saying she’d be a friend to families who have kids with special needs. No specifics, but it was Bush #1 who signed the disability access law, so who knows? Then there was Todd, the first dude, who was happy to have his ovation.

Better Parts Of The Speech
She mentioned Truman? They wouldn’t let her shout out to Ferraro or Clinton anymore, but she got one Democrat in there. The pit bull line was great, and she ripped into Obama’s community organizing.

Sorry lefties, this was long overdue. I was just talking with my brother-in-law about this during the DNC. What the frig is “community organizing”? They keep saying it like I should care, but I don’t. Say something specific, like “helped drive old ladies to get medicine.” Or “took slumlords to jail.” I don’t know. It reminds me of when my friend used to work in “supportive housing.” After five years, I think I finally figured that out.

Palin scored another “ouch” moment with her “styrofoam Greek column” line. The crowd was so whipped!  She could have farted in tune and they would have loved her. I noticed Newt Gingrich in the audience was holding his applause.

Her delivery was confident, strong, and in charge. I found myself thinking, “If McCain loses, she could very well be the nominee in 2012.” Maybe even her against Hillary? She was slinging some insults, but no more than I expected all along from the GOP. When Obama fans were decrying the “rough” treatment the Clintons were supposedly giving him in the primaries, I thought, “Babies, the Republicans are going to rip him to shreds, just you wait.” I think one of the most cutting things was that she didn’t use Obama’s name until 3/4 of the way through the speech. As if to say, “I won’t dignify him by using his name,” which is meaner than the Democrats did to McCain at their convention.

Weaker Parts
I needed more bio. I needed to hear what motivated her to go from the PTA to the Governor’s Mansion. I think that’s a lost moment. I felt like we went from “Hockey Mom” to “Obama Sucks.” I needed the in-between.

I’m fine with snarky comments, but then she went into bold-faced lies and scary stuff: That Obama will raise your taxes (if you make over $250,000 and, of course, if he can get it passed, which is another thing), then there was the matter of claiming near-victory in Iraq… Hmm, not really. And the oddest statement along those lines was, “Instead of catching terrorists, he would rather read them their rights.” Oh yeah, a nation of laws is such a drag! Didn’t she just tell us for the 4,359th time about McCain being tortured as a P.O.W.? Wouldn’t it be nice if our country, above all others, learned from that? That was the point at which she really turned me off. And the more she plays up McCain’s heroics, the smaller it makes her look. The war hero and the hockey mom? Doesn’t help sell the idea that she could take his place.

The Billing
One thing I like better about the GOP than the Democrats is that they gave Palin equal billing compared to McCain. Her font is the same size as the McCain font, whereas Biden is smaller than Obama’s, like Biden is the sidekick.

Joebama better keep tearing into the economy, because Palin and the rest of the GOP really left that out. Since Obama is such a chicken about talking about being pro-choice (the lame response at Saddleback is a PERFECT demonstration of that), they better get some snappy sound bites about the party of Hoover if they want to win. At this point, I think Palin is an asset.

If only Obama had picked Hillary as his running mate…

Love train

The song they were playing after Hillary Clinton made her dramatic entrance, asked to stop the roll call, and move for acclamation to nominate Barack Obama was the definition of great dramatic stagecraft. And I am not ashamed to say I am a sucker for it. Not to mention my other love, history. This marks the first time EVER an African American-or any person of color has been nominated by a major party for the President of the United States. I don’t care who you are, that’s got to choke you up a bit. Not to mention this African American has a funky name. America is a great place.

It was also a love train for me personally because my niece was with me for the day. As a result I could watch every state and their provincial self-serving introductions, which I always love. Hmm if I were a state what would my roll call intro sound like?

“Madame Secretary, Daphne Brogdon, home of sarcasm and great legs. A place where improvisation is always appreciated, and a good sharp cheddar cheese is celebrated. A loving mother and mostly loving wife, friend to her step-children, a woman who cuts her salad with a knife and fork, much to the chagrin of her husband. Political junkie extraordinaire proudly casts her vote for the GOP to be punished for the 8 years of George W. Bush and for the (hopefully) next president of the United States of America, Barack Obama.”

What would your intro be?

Hillary Hits It Out Of The Park (Bonus!)

I could not be more proud of Hillary Clinton. Her speech Tuesday night was picture perfect. I had been waiting to see it for days.  As an HRC supporter I knew she’d be good, but she exceeded my expectations. And it did hurt a little knowing she came this close…

HARD FOR A MOM TO WATCH

I had trouble watching it since Vivien was in a cranky mood and I gave her chocolate cake just so I could watch the speech that I told her, “is really important to mommy, and you can watch Diego in the other room if you want.” She proceeded to make a mess–I didn’t care–but Mark did, so he took the cake away prompting her to flail her body on top of mine. I kept pausing the opening movie and saying, “I said this is important to me!!” After a body blow to my back I jumped up, “that’s it, I said this was important to me.” I then ran to my room, shut the door behind me, and watched the speech by myself.

My stepdaughter Vanessa was more fortunate than I. She saw the speech from the upper reaches of the floor of the convention, where she said Bill Clinton was crying as Hillary spoke. I am so excited (i.e. jealous) that she actually got to be there. She sent me the above picture from her vantage point.

ROLE MODEL

I am so proud of Hillary for her accomplishments they are considerable. She didn’t win the democratic nomination, but she is more than ever her own iconic political figure and has established a standard for future woman candidates. What a great role model for our daughters. A woman educated, well spoken, and has the guts to take on the boys. After having gone through being publicly humiliated by her husband (I wish Elizabeth Edwards could have a similar triumph), she did what she exhorted in her speech, “to keep going.” Using Harriet Tubman was genius.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED TO ME ON THE WAY TO THE NOMINATION…

And how about all the funny?  She had some great lines, “sisters of the traveling pantsuits,” Twin cities, “cause they are so much alike,” and how could you forget, “no how, no way, no McCain.” I spoke to a pro Hillary friend who said, “I can’t put an Obama sticker on my car, but I can put that line on my car, I’m going to make a bumper sticker out of the that.” The DNC should as well.

GET OFF HER BACK

She hit all the notes she needed to. Paying tribute to her campaign and her supporters, but so personally transitioning to the next phase, support for Obama. I loved it when she said, “were you in this campaign just for me?,” how magnanimous to take that tact. She rightfully placed the campaign in a larger context. (Hillary could have mentioned the Supreme Court as well, the only thing she did miss).

WALK IN THE PARK

Didn’t she look like she was having fun? Didn’t she make it look easy? If you watch like I do–on CSPAN– 90% of the speakers are not that great, the same old examples of sad people, no kicking up the crowd, or attacking the GOP. Hell the Democrats are going to get skinned next week!  Mark Warner, was okay, but no keynote, some good themes, but hardly going to fill the voter registration roles with that performance. The best opener and middle act for Hillary were Dennis Kucinich (congressman from Ohio, who I’ve always loved for speaking his mind and wanting to impeach Cheney), and Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana.

I don’t think anyone is going to top Hillary’s speech for me. One large factor is, none of them are going to be from the first EVER viable female candidate for President. I am looking forward to Bill and Biden tomorrow night. But, I might get a sitter and go to a friend’s house to watch that one.

Frustrated Pundit

In all my years on TV I have only been able to do a few political segments, on a few shows. I use to be in talk radio and through that was fortunate to meet a few politicians: President Clinton (while he was in office), former president Carter, and almost president Hillary. But, my love of humor and improvisation steered me away from news. Yes, I did audition twice for the Daily show and didn’t even get a call back. Jerks!

Anyway, this is a set up to say, I watch political conventions like others watch football games. I don’t just watch the party I vote for. I like to see the stagecraft, the strategy, and the lack of strategy. Politics is human nature in action. Which is why when I hear “a new kind of politics,” I think, yeah right as soon as we get a new kind of human, we’ll get right on that.

I tried to watch MSNBC, CNN etc, but they keep yapping. I want to watch the C card speakers and the produced videos. The talking heads have been yapping enough. And unless I get to be one (oh please Lord, one day, please?), I’ve heard enough of them. Except for my favorite, Pat Buchanan. I know, might surprise you, but he is almost always right and doesn’t parrot party talking points. As my sister Carole says, “He’s almost an oracle.”

I’m just glad it will be over before Vivien watches “The Upside Down Show” before bedtime, or I’d be screwed!

No Solutions

All parents are looking for the magic bullet to ease their suffering, shut the kids up, not embarrassing ourselves in the process, get some sleep, etc, etc. But is there one? I think if we all realize we can control our children, not really, maybe we’ll (I mean me) get less agro. Of course I am trying to control Vivian a bit this week so I can sit and watch the convention. For a political junkie like me, the next two weeks are like Christmas.

Political News

This makes me so sad, the sudden passing of Stephanie Tubbs- Jones. She was very gutsy out supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary, she was going to go to the Democratic convention and support Obama. Like my big, big favorite, Shelia Jackson -Lee, she stuck with Clinton even when other African American politicians fell away. In general there are not enough women in public office, what a shame to lose her, and at such a young age just 58.

In this April 10, 2006 file photo, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, ...
AP

Wed Aug 20, 1:57 PM ET

Since we are talking politics… I’ve been spewing to anyone who will listen that Obama has lost the golden touch in the last month. As annoying as McCain’s “I will follow (Bin laden) into the gates of hell” line is, he’s gaining some steam with his sound bites. Obama has to many “um, you know, uh” long sentences. Hello, two terms of “W,” keep it simple!

My take is, Obama has already gotten all the people who are in love with him. That is how he got through the primary, but that well has been tapped. In order to win he has to get the “I Hate Bush” people. They include conservative Democrats, Moderates and even Republicans. He has to make this a referendum on Bush, not Obama. He also needs to keep running ads with McCain hugging Bush, and for God sake, get Hillary to coach him on the debates. If he wants to keep his professor thing going, fine, but get some zingers off! And be a fighter.