Tag Archives: politics


In a concert Mary Chapin Carpenter once introduced her song, “The Last Word,” as many songwriters do, by telling the audience what inspired her to write it. She observed that often writers are inspired by the beauty of nature or an overwhelming feeling of love. “I wrote this one,” she said, “because I was pissed off.”

Today, all mankind is on my nerves.

Years ago, a loved one made me laugh when she shouted, very seriously, “What is everybody’s problem?” Today I can relate. Surely it isn’t me. (I know, it’s I.)

The experts say that making a list can be a good first step in addressing the source of one’s anger. So here goes.

  1. When people who borrow my books write in them
  2. When texters walk in front of moving cars
  3. Rush Limbaugh
  4. Rush Limbaugh
  5. Rush Limbaugh
  6. When people expect the Earth to revolve around them
  7. When people over-post on Facebook
  8. When people spew venom on Facebook
  9. Facebook
  10. When The Washington Post doesn’t know who from whom
  11. Me, for over-consuming and under-producing — and getting pissed off.

Thanks. I feel better.


Filed under Family and Friends, Music, News, Politics, Rants and Raves, Technology and Social Media

Date night

If you haven’t been following the lead up to tonight’s State of the Union address, or “SOTU” as inside-the-Beltway rags call it, something remarkable and history-making is about to happen.

Rather than being separated into sections, Republicans and Democrats have been encouraged to spread out and sit with each other. This could have all kinds of ramifications.

From the perspective of the television audience, it’ll be a bit harder to discern audience reactions than in previous years, with one side of the room in standing ovation and the other a sea of arms folded across chests at key points in the speech. In an effort to engender bonding and stimulate civil communication between red and blue, members of Congress have spent time this week choosing whom from the opposite side they’ll sit with during the address.

When I heard this, I became concerned for members whom no one asks to the dance. Just like senior prom, there are always a few who are passed over by classmates looking to score the most popular dates.

Yesterday, Vanity Fair came out with an initial report of who’s going with whom, along with suggestions of topics these duos should avoid, lest all Hades break loose in the chamber, as it did last year, if I recall correctly. This morning, The Washington Post‘s Style section suggests how bipartisan cliques might form around common interests and habits.

I haven’t heard how this intermingling is supposed to take place in practicality. Does one member go and save a seat for his or her buddy? Or will duos make it a true date—maybe a double date—and get a bite to eat together before the speech? A nightcap afterward, perhaps? Will they share a box of Jujubes? Or will they end up elbowing or kicking each other beneath the seats like young siblings, when the uncomfortable subject of spending priorities comes around?

What about those who refuse to cross the aisle and remain amongst their like-minded colleagues? Perhaps they are already practicing the Wave or synchronized heckles.

I rested up during the AFC and NFC playoffs so I can be nice and alert for SOTU. Call me a wonk if you will; perhaps this comes from many years in a job in which I had to take detailed notes and write a report the next morning. Tonight I’ll just pop some corn and watch the show. Okay, so I may take a few notes. Old habits die hard.


Filed under News, Politics

Autumnal agida

I gather that, regardless of our individual political leanings, most of us are glad to have Election Day behind us.  

This has been a stressful time for our nation and its citizens as we’ve nearly wrestled each other to the ground for power. Personally, the raw nerves and ugly behavior displayed in past months have had me gobbling Tums like movie popcorn.

I have close friends and family members at both extremes of the political spectrum and in every gradation in between. Nowhere is this more evident than on Facebook. While I have personal connection to—and fondness for—each one of my 147 Facebook friends, the reality is that there are as many flaming liberals as there are arch conservatives, each living true to his or her values. I like having a rich diversity of friendships. After all, life would be painfully boring if we surrounded ourselves only with those who look, sound and think as we do.

It is for this reason that, while I do disclose my political orientation in my Facebook profile, I deliberately refrain from spilling forth my political views from the Facebook platform. This takes a good deal of restraint on my part. The reason for the restraint is that I do not wish to upset or offend my friends the way some do me when they post politically and emotionally charged judgments from their Status boxes. Thankfully, we live in a free country, and we are fortunate to have the right to express ourselves as we choose. But, as someone who abhors conflict, especially among friends, I prefer to avoid it. And gobble antacids.

However, I do wish to list the top reasons I am glad Decision 2010, or whatever your network calls it, is behind us.

  1. No more robo-calls at inopportune times
  2. No more mudslinging political ads souring my evening television comedy or morning news
  3. No more bulky flyers in the mailbox
  4. No more need for conflict avoidance on Facebook
  5. No more, or at least, I hope, fewer, mispronunciations of the word “pundit” by smart, well-paid broadcasters.

It’s pundit, folks, not pundint. One n.

Now let’s move on. Kumbaya.

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