Tag Archives: Heidi Heitkamp

I’m off to Cali-forn-ia for 10 days, whoo-hoo! John Oliver with a great segment on marijuana laws’ unfairness. And the Democrats better stay strong on Gorsuch filibuster

 

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day
I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A.
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day

California Dreamin, on a sunny day…

Every once in a while a person should fly from one coast to another with an excitable 2.5 year old, don’t you think?

The Lewis trio is off to sunny, drought-ravaged, liberal-loving California today, for 10 hopefully glorious days. The impetus for the trip is that my wonderful mother turned 70 a few months ago and wanted the whole family to go away somewhere nice.

Costa Rica was the first choice, but with Zika still out there and no vaccine, she was understandably wary. So then she settled on San Diego, which no one could possibly disagree with.  Place is 72 degrees and sunny 300 days of the year, who could have a problem with that?

We’re flying to L.A. first, going to hang out with some friends, including this dude who fled his home state for sunnier pastures, angering me greatly (it also angers me when he posts photos from the beach in February, but I’ll forgive him eventually.)

We’re going to stay in a rental house for a week in Padres-ville, and I’m excite to show my little guy the wonders of Sea World (I know, I know, they mistreat the whales, I’ve heard all about “Blackfish.” But I hear it’s getting better), the awesomeness of the San Diego Zoo, and probably LegoLand, where we may never be able to escape because it looks awesome with water rides on Lego boats and my son’s mind will be blown.

Anyhow, should be a lot of fun; California is a great escape from all the GOP destruction of America right now, so I’m going to try not to pay attention to the news for a few days (Call me if there’s a new war, or an impeachment hearing.

All of this is to say, there probably won’t be the usual three-blogs-per-week next week. I’ll have something for Good News Friday this Friday, then probably post some thoughts on our S.D. adventure next Wednesday or Friday, and that’ll be it until Monday, April 17.

Play nice, children.

**Next up today, John Oliver’s fantastic HBO show has been back for a few weeks and honestly I’m feeling a little let down by it; he’s still hilarious, of course, and his zebra sketch was an all-time classic, but I’m a little bothered he’s doing Trump stories every week; we get those so many other places that I come to John Oliver for the less-covered stories.

Anyway, he absolutely nailed his main story this week, a subject very important to me: The ridiculous and cruel way that legal marijuana dispensaries and users are dealt with, and how absurd so many of these laws are (I still can’t get past that pot is considered a Schedule 1 narcotic, while heroin is given a lesser designation.)

Watch to the end, where we see just how impossible it is to stay within the law even if you live in a state that has passed pot legalization. Fantastic stuff, John.

**And finally today, just a few words on the national disgrace that is the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch expected to be approved this week: First, I cannot fathom Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin refusing to filibuster Gorsuch with their fellow Democrats; all four deserve all the scorn and ridicule from my party that they’re getting.

This idea that Democratic Senators are bringing the Senate to a “new and historic low” as gasbag Mitch McConnell says, is ludicrious. The Senate refused to vote on a legit, bipartisan-approved candidate last year in Merrick Garland, an unprecedented move in our history, but the Dems should just roll over and approve the right-wing Gorsuch, who will move the Court right?

I know some of my friends are queasy about McConnell blowing up the Senate rules and declaring that from now on, a Supreme Court justice needs only a simple majority to get on the bench.

But you know what? Call his damn bluff. Demographics and the “leadership” of Donald Trump have made the Democratic Party’s future election prospects look bright, and if McConnell wants to blow up the rules, let him. They’ll come back to bite him in the butt in the future.

Glad Chuck Schumer and most Dems (Heitkamp and Manchin are basically Republicans anyway) are finally showing some spine here. We’re in an awful mess in this country right now, but standing up for what’s right is never a bad idea.

 

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A glorious night in America, as an African-American gets re-elected President.

Warning: This blog post may be only semi-coherent, as I’m beginning to write it at 3:04 a.m….

Four more years. Four more years of a decent, honorable, well-meaning man of color, continuing to make history and change lives, sitting in the Oval Office.

Four more years of the equal rights of women and gays to do with their own bodies, and love whoever they want to, being respected.

Four more years of science being taken seriously. Four more years of economic recovery, and immigration reform, and maybe even a few new Supreme Court justices who are (gasp) liberal.

Four years where maybe, real progress is made on climate change and the drug war and economic policies that help the neediest.

Most importantly, four years where universal health care becomes a reality.

Barack Obama got it done Tuesday, and in a huge way. 332 Electoral votes (I’m counting Fla.) in this day and age is massive, and absolutely gives him a strong push for a second term that’s historic and revolutionary.

His acceptance speech was beautiful and touching and rousing, the kind of speech Obama gave in 2008. It made me proud to have voted for him.

I’m exhausted but happy and thrilled to be an American tonight.

Some other huge headlines on a election night when liberals like me couldn’t have asked for much more:
The Senate races fell about as great as possible for the Dems. Chris Murphy won in Connecticut (hey Linda McMahon, what did that $77 million get you?). Elizabeth Warren and Heidi Heitkamp won, too.

— Tammy Baldwin, the newest Senator from Wisconsin, deserves her own paragraph. She’s the first openly gay Senator in U.S. history, and what a wonderful pioneer she will be. A great night for women politicians all around.

— A terrific night to see two silly barriers start to come down. First, Maine and Maryland legalized same-sex marriage, the first state voters to approve this enormous change. Washington state may do the same, although full results for that won’t be in for a few days. And a constitutional amendment declaring that marriage is only between a man and a woman was defeated, too. Gay marriage for all in America is now irreversible, don’t you think?

And Colorado and Washington state citizens legalized marijuana, a long-overdue move. I know the federal gov’t won’t allow people in Denver and Seattle to just start smoking up in public, but finally, the people have spoken and acknowledged how silly it is for pot to be criminalized.

— Thank you, Florida Democrats, for refusing to let Rick Scott and his disgusting voter-suppression tactics give Romney a win there.
— Fox News was fascinating after the race was called, with Karl Rove bitching that Fox News’ own analysts shouldn’t have called Ohio for Obama so fast. Bizarre stuff.

— Oh, and just when I thought the night couldn’t get any better, with Dems making gains in the Senate and Obama cruising to re-election, at least 1 and maybe 2 of the most radical, dangerous GOP House members go down to defeat. Allen West of Florida lost by about 2,000 votes to Patrick Murphy, and Michele Bachmann as of this writing is clinging to a 900-vote lead in Minnesota, with 11 percent of the vote still to be counted.

I know, I know, it’s too much to ask for. But if Bachmann could somehow lose, I’d be so, so happy.

— “Hillary 2016” was trending on Twitter tonight. Heaven help us, Dems, do we really want to go back to that? Won’t it be time for some fresh blood? Ah, not gonna let the specter of another Hillary run get me down tonight. I’m in too good a mood.

— The best line in any speech Tuesday night came from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who will be a serious 2016 Prez candidate if he wants to be. This is what he said about the pot legalization victory:

“Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug so don’t break out the Cheetos or goldfish just yet.”

— I have no idea where Mitt Romney goes from here. I thought his concession speech was OK. This election was there to be won by a better candidate who actually help positions and consistent beliefs.

— Finally, let’s never take for granted that we get to have peaceful elections in this country. It’s a wonderful thing.