The new generation of leaders

The Friday Photo

Decatur High School, Decatur, GA

Students walked out or took a knee on Wednesday because #enoughisenough. I stood with them and for them.

How we have failed since September 11, 2001

Tonight President Obama will address the nation about ISIS and any actions that we may take in response to the horrific murders of Americans and innocent civilians at the hands of terrorists.

Tomorrow there will be an observance in my community, and many others, to honor the thousands of lives lost to hate and terrorism, and to support the families and friends who knew someone they loved would never return home again.

Since September 11, 2001 we as a country have talked a lot about being kinder to one another and being a better country. Yet 13 years later this is what consumes us as a country:

  • fighting about allowing two consenting adults of the same-sex to legally marry each
  • failing to take care of the thousands of veterans who have defended our country, many of whom returned with horrible wounds from the Middle East since September 2001
  • allowing private corporations to decided which forms of legal birth control they will cover for employees through company based health insurance because some corporations should have the same privileges as churches
  • granting corporations the same rights as citizens so businesses can pour money into elections and our representatives’ pockets
  • making it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote
  • subsidizing corporations with huge tax breaks while their employees working full-time never earn enough to break the poverty barrier
  • denying the hard facts of science because profits should come before cleaning up the mess we’ve made of the entire planet
  • deporting children
  • complaining about failing schools while slashing teacher pay and testing our children to death
  • sitting by silently while racism and sexism are displayed proudly
  • being sure we can take our assault rifles into the grocery store
  • we pay for and support violence on playing fields, in the movies we watch, video games we buy, music we listen to, and television shows we watch, but we react with horror when students are sprayed with bullets in their classrooms, women are drug from elevators by their hair, students are bullied, children and women are raped as well as being forced into prostitution
  • too many among us are convinced that their brand of faith should be followed above all others, and if necessary the rights of other citizens should be denied because they choose to worship differently, or not at all

We absolutely should remember and honor the victims of September 11th’s violence. I’m just not convinced we are a country that is a better reflection of the democratic values and freedoms which terrorists intended to destroy 13 years ago.

 

Gonna be tough to top that

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He’s back! President Obama has his feet back under him and the State of the Union address he just delivered made it clear that he and the Democrats are on their game.

The President isn’t going to wait around for the Republicans to hold who knows how many pointless votes on policies and programs they can’t overturn. Instead, he will work with Democrats and any willing Republicans, and he’ll use Executive Orders to move our country forward on minimum wage increases, equal pay for equal work, world-class education for our country’s children, peace in the Middle East, keeping our troops at home, making the voting booth easily accessible for legal voters, and immigration reform.

Obama said we are building a stronger economy using renewable energy fuel resources. The President also told climate deniers to get out of the way.

Come on Mr President, put a cherry on top of tonight’s speech and say No to Keystone XL now.

I listened to Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers deliver one of four responses to be offered up by the Republicans tonight (Tea Party darlings Sen Rand Paul and Mike Lee are responding too while Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R-Florida will deliver remarks much like McMorris Rodger’s but in Spanish).

McMorris Rodgers touched on some of the points Obama raised like access to health care, jobs, and education, but she didn’t do much more than share some personal examples about how important those things are to her and her family.

And really, did the Republicans and McMorris Rodgers think they need to pander to women by asking a woman who just had a baby two months ago to deliver their flimsy response?

Women and people of color will be wooed and courted by Republicans and Democrats from now until the November elections are over. The President and Democrats came to the front door tonight with a huge bouquet of long stem roses, jewelry, and heated seats on the 50 yard line of this Sunday’s Super Bowl. The Republicans can’t decide on a team captain.