The Real Cost of the 2012 Election

Today is the day that millions of Americans will cast their vote for the next President of the United States, for members of congress and thousands of other state and local issues. And as with any election, the most important thing you can do is get out and make an educated vote for the candidate and issue that matters most to you. That being said, here is something I meant to tweet out today but realized would not fit into 140 characters.

I’m going to keep this as short as possible but here’s the gist of it. Remarking only on the presidential election, here is why I am voting to re-elect Barack Obama as President. I would list the accomplishments of his first term but The Washington Monthly already did that. Read that.

My argument for Obama isn’t all the great things he has done and it isn’t all the great things he will do. It’s also not just because I can’t stand to stand for the ever changing ideals of Governor Romney or ignorant beliefs of Paul Ryan. Yes, those are incredibly important factors, however there is something of great consequence that will out-last his presidency and many more that follow. The Supreme Court.

  • Anthony Kennedy (Reagan) – 76 years old
  • Antonin Scalia (Regan) – 76 years old
  • Clarence Thomas (George H. W. Bush) – 64 years old
  • Stephen Breyer (Bill Clinton) – 74 years old
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Bill Clinton) – 79 years old
  • John Roberts (Chief Justice) (George W. Bush) – 57 years old
  • Samuel Alito (George W. Bush) – 62 years old
  • Elena Kagan (Barack Obama) – 52 years old
  • Sonia Sotomayor (Barack Obama) – 58 years old

There are of course nine justices on the Supreme Court. President Obama was given the opportunity to appoint two in his first term, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He elected two of the only four female justices in history.

Four of the current Surpreme Court Justices are 74 years or older and it is expected that two, and even perhaps all four, will be replaced through retirement or for health reasons by the end of 2016. If Obama does not get re-elected, this gives Conservatives up to four more Supreme Court justices on their side of the issues. Two of the four potential retirees were appointed by Bill Clinton. The rest (excluding Sotomayer and Kagan) were appointed by President Reagan, President George H. W. Bush and President George W. Bush.

That means, if Mitt Romney wins the election, he will be given the opportunity to replace as many as half of the Democrat-appointed justices with Conservatives. That means the 5:4 split we currently have could become a 7:2 split.

What does a 7:2 split mean? It means Marriage Equality would be dead for 15-30 more years. That Roe v. Wade could likely be repealed. It means horrible legislation like Citizens United will stand. That immigration reform and dozens of other civil rights issues will be dust in the wind. That healthcare reform would be repealed.

I’m voting for President Barack Obama’s reelection because I want to get married. Because I respect my female friends and family. I’m voting for President Barack Obama because without healthcare reform, I cannot get insurance.

I’m voting for President Barack Obama because I’m afraid of what would happen to my rights and the future of civil rights for decades to come should Mitt Romney win.

The Revolution Will Be Twittered

At this point, I am sure anyone reading this blog entry knows about the situation going on in Iran, or at least has read/seen/heard some bits and pieces.  The truth is, we don’t know anything, or we wouldn’t know anything if it wasn’t for social media utilities like Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.  Through these mediums, Mir-Hossein Mousavi presumably won an election.

Following in the footsteps of Barak Obama, Mousavi rallied millions of Iranians to his reformation platform, a platform of change. Each of these presidential candidates used Flickr, Twitter and Facebook and drew millions of viewers, followers and fans.

We all know the results of the election in Iran.  With about 125% of the populations votes reported, yes, 125%, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has won with a sweeping 66% of the vote.

With that, the people of Iran decided to stand up for themselves and after days of peaceful, mostly silent, protests, it has become violent.

The Iranian government closed off all cellphone service, muted international media outlets and shut down internet service providers.  But in this world we live in now, that simply isn’t enough to stop a population, much of which are young, intelligent and passionate about their lives.

Workarounds were discovered, people created proxy servers for Iranians to access and IP addresses were quickly distributed through Facebook and Twitter.  Videos began streaming through YouTube from cellphones, TwitPic and Flickr streams overflowed with images of peaceful protests, followed by the blood stained faces of people.  Civilians, from children to grandparents; bloodied, beaten but not defeated.

Here’s a post from Soodeh Nezamabadi’s Facebook.  Soodeh Nezamabadi, by the way, is a recent graduate of Berkeley University in California.  It isn’t unreasonable to think that someone reading this blog entry might have met Soodeh on campus or in the bay area…

This Facebook note is the reason I made this post.  The strength and spirit of this note overwhelmed me.

Soodeh Nezamabadis Facebook Note

Soodeh Nezamabadi's Facebook Note

Can you imagine yourself, in this situation, thinking this way?  Understanding how unimportant your individual life was for the sake of an entire nation, world?  The pictures on Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s Flickr stream (click here to see) provide a gruesome telling of the situation in Iran.  His last Twitter message, sent over twelve hours ago…

Mir-Hossein Mousavi - Last Twitter

Mir-Hossein Mousavi - Last Twitter

I don’t know what else to say, or what else I could say.  There certainly must be something we can do here in America and around the world to help these devalued citizens.  If all I can do is blog about it, change my Twitter avatar green… then so be it.  I can’t simple stand idle while I read, see and hear of the things going on there.

In two months my parents are moving to Saudi Arabia.  What if something like this happens there?  It isn’t so unlikely is it?  Some how this hits close to home for all of us.  What will you do, what can we do?

At the very least, we can’t forget.  Take a look at your life and appreciate, again for the first time, the world we share; who knows when it might be taken away from us.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Election Paaarty!!

We all knew November 4, 2008 was going to be a big deal.  What we didn’t know was exactly how it was going to play out.  And what better way to deal with uncertainty than with a large group of similar thinkers?  So off to the watch parties.  But first, I had a drink with Chase.

Since the theme of the evening was Change, we decided to check out the all new, very tall, Quinton’s Bar and Deli.  This is a bar that went from basically a wide hallway to a full downstairs bar, a second floor bar, a third floor bar and a fourth floor terrace.  Yes.  Four levels.  The views on all three (?) balconies/patios are great.  For a moment we joked that we weren’t in Columbia.

Then we saw the water tower.  Blurg!

I was interested in how well they built this thing.  It certainly doesn’t feel like it was built by Missourians, in Missouri.  It’s built like a tank, no jankity, ghetto going on here.  Nice stuff, especially for a college town.  Go there, you’ll understand.  They even have outdoor couches.  Nice touches like accent lighting and speakers built into the metal guard rails and 3/4″ thick glass walls just really seal the deal.

Even the bathrooms smelled nice.  For now at least.

It’s very industrial, have a look!

After we had our drinks there, I just had a Monster Vodka since I had taken some vicodin earlier in the day…  Chase took down a few beers.  Like a man, hurrah!

Then it was drinks and Texmex with Karen (aka @ok2baprincess).  Ryan and I shared the vegetarian fajitas which were amazing, his peach margarita was pretty tasty too.  I just had a sip, he can be a bit of a booze hog!  (j/k j/k!)

Finally we made it to the watch party at Ragtag Cinema Cafe.  There we found a few other friends, but not the ones we were aiming for.  Nevermind that, apparently they went to Bleu, our other haunt.

We watched The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert report the election results.  Hilarious.  Plus there were drinks and popcorn and it was full of like minded liberals, which are the best kind, IMHO!  So many that it scared away the Republican we had in our group.  Like Minded Liberals FTW!

I remember when they announced Obama won.

The crowd went wild, and thus so did the rest of the night.  Well for everyone else there.  Ryan and I went home to watch the rest of the festivities on the big screen in HD in the comfort of our home.

Who else absolutely loved Obama’s acceptance speech?  I’ve never heard anything like it.  I’ve never seen such a crowd that wasn’t celebrating New Years.  It was a sight to be seen for sure!  I posted the video earlier, check it out if you missed it as well as McCain’s Concession Speech which was also quite good.

This election ended as it should have begun.  Anyone else with me on this?  Especially for poor McCain.  He would have won had he been himself, the maverick he really, and truly is.  He is a hero for America and for half a decade, one of her greatest servants.

gObama.  I’ll be reliving the night over and over until it finally becomes real to me.  Perhaps sometime in late January 2009…

McCain’s Concession Speech

A graceful, well spoken and honest speech.  I can’t think of anything he could have done to make this speech more reverent.  It is a shame that his voters who stood in the crowd before him did not show the same respect.  I think he now realizes his failure was in dividing America, instead of uniting America.  We have been divided for some time now and as such, we can never be successful.

Note Palin as she fights back the tears.  You’re a strong woman but not a leader.

Here’s the speech.

[flv:McCain_Concession.flv 500 336]

Obama – The Next Great Leader

This video gives us just a peek into the man that is Barack Obama and shows us why he will be the next great leader.  Not just next great Black leader like Martin Luther King Jr., no he will be so much more.

Thanks Chase for posting this originally on your site.

[flv:Vote_Obama.flv 500 403]

What a powerful video.  Of course, by the time most of you have seen this, the election will be finished and we will have our new president, and he will be Barack Obama.