Political Fix (19 March, 2015)

A Gay Day In the California Republican Party

Connie Conway has announced that she intends to run for the 16th district State Senate Seat currently being held by Jean Fuller. Ms. Fuller will be terming out in 2018. After the November elections wrapped up last year I recall someone telling me that Ms. Conway was going to have some competition for that seat. Assemblywoman Shannon Grove of Bakersfield also has her eye on the senate seat.

Ms. Grove, who represents the 34th assembly district located in Kern County, is going to term-out of the assembly in 2016 and is going to need a job. Coming from Bakersfield gives Ms. Grove a major advantage over Ms. Conway because the majority of the senate district’s constituents live in Kern County. In fact, Ms. Grove is now sitting in Ms. Fuller’s former assembly seat.

What will not work to Ms. Grove’s advantage is her deep southern Republican attitude on gays. I don’t recall Ms. Conway campaigning, or making any statements concerning gay issues. For that matter, I don’t recall Rep. Devin Nunes, State Senator Andy Vidak, Assembly Member Devon Mathis or Rep. David Valadao making their views known either. In these times of drought, sky rocketing education and medical costs, coupled with low paying jobs, I prefer it that way. I remember Ms. Conway saying the issue has been settled in California, so why debate it?

Yet Assemblywoman Grove took the energy to debate Chairman Jim Brulte over whether to allow a vote to recognize the Log Cabin Republicans by the California Republican Party (CRP) during their biannual conference. The debate was over whether chartering the group of gay Republicans fell in line with the CRP bylaws. Grove insisted the vote should not be allowed under current bylaws and that certain lifestyle stances of the Log Cabin group are inconsistent with the party platform.

The CRP did take a vote and delegates passed the resolution overwhelmingly by 861-293. Log Cabin Republicans, a club founded more than three decades ago by gay Republicans in California, had been seeking the party’s recognition for 18 years. The vote will give official party designation to the club and sent a signal about the direction of the party that has struggled for a unified vision. The California Republican Party is the first state party to officially recognize a statewide Log Cabin group.

Someone needs to remind Ms. Grove that she is a Republican, the “get the government out of my life” party. Republicans don’t want the government in our doctor’s office, bedroom or marriage and neither does the rest of California.

And Another Thing……

OK, I’ll admit that I complain a lot, maybe too much, about the nation’s healthcare system and the Visalia Times-Delta. The difference is that I hate our healthcare system, but I rather like the Visalia Times -Delta (VTD).

So before I continue my rant from last week’s article I need to clarify something. I read every word of the VTD, well at least the front section and Choices, and often quote from the paper. I envy David Castellon’s writing skills and enjoy reading Teresa Douglass’ stories. I admire Marina Gaytan for being the only journalist I know of to successfully make the transition from the Valley Voice to the VTD. (John Lindt doesn’t count because he has become part of the VTD “local” problem writing a regular column about Tulare County while living on the Central Coast.)

In my article, I expressed some hurt feelings that no one at the VTD read the Valley Voice. But when I opened up the weekend edition of the opinion page, and saw that they  listed Melinda Morales as part of the editorial board and still the Community Conversation Editor, I realized that they do not read their own newspaper either! Ms. Morales was let go more than a month ago.

Ms. Morales, along with other perfectly fine journalists, got the can two months ago when everyone was forced to reapply for their job. Supposedly, those let go didn’t “fit” into Gannett’s “newsroom of the future.” Someone needs to tell Gannett that they do not fit into the “future of Visalia.”

Another troubling turn of events pointed out to me by our paper’s tech wizard, is that the VTD readers now have to share three of VTD’s best writers with the Salinas Californian: Teresa Douglass, James Ward and Dan Kukla. They now have to write for both papers. Ms. Douglass has expanded her “Inspire” section to Salinas and is soliciting their local inspiring stories.

In the VTD Living Magazine, on the first line of the first page, is a message from the Publisher, Paula Goudreau, who I was told lives in Stockton, “We live here, we love it here and we welcome you.”

Well, I actually do live here, and so does the entire Valley Voice staff, and as a local I encourage you to subscribe to the Visalia Times-Delta, but fight to keep it local.

History Repeats Itself

California only has one more year of water left, Iran is close to getting the nuclear bomb, and millions of people may lose their healthcare depending on a Supreme Court decision. But let’s talk about Hillary Clinton’s emails –or not.

Right now, Ms. Clinton is out-polling all of the top-tier Republican presidential contenders by a wide margin, even in the middle of her “scandal.” Her closest contender is Scott Walker, who is leading that party’s polls.

Can you say shredded beef? Which is exactly what Mr. Walker is going to be while standing on the same debate stage as Ms. Clinton. Like Chris Christy, who has fallen off the politically viable deep end, Mr. Walker is also having trouble at home. He is pushing a half billion dollar tax cut as his state is facing a projected $1 billion deficit by next year. Right now there is a $283 million deficit that needs to be closed by June. To do that he is skipping more than $100 million in debt payments to give the illusion of balancing the books – and the other GOP candidates are starting to pay attention.

Besides, let’s just state the obvious why Mr. Walker’s time in the limelight will be short-lived. I didn’t agree with Mitt Romney’s “severely conservative” domestic policies and half-baked international ones. But Mr. Romney looked presidential. Mr. Walker does not have the chops, education or the looks for the national spotlight.

So who are Ms. Clinton’s competitors on the Democratic side? Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Haven’t heard of them? Well I bet you have heard of the next guy I’m going to mention, Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey. He was the former–and very popular–mayor of Newark who won a special election in 2013, and the general election in 2014 for the New Jersey Senate.  More importantly, he saved a dog from freezing in sub-zero weather and ran into a burning building to save an old lady, suffering second degree burns on his hands in the process.

Let’s reflect back for a moment on what derailed Ms. Clinton’s 2008 run for president, shall we? A young, Black, charismatic senator.

Democrats are freaking out right now, not just about her email scandal, but that inevitably another scandal is right around the corner. This time during the last presidential election Ms. Clinton was in, in 2007, she had declared her candidacy and was on the campaign trail. In 2015, she has only made three public appearances.

Who is going to be the party’s plan B if she self-implodes? It is possible, if Cory Booker steps up to the plate, history might repeat itself, not just in Ms. Clinton’s world but for the Republican Party? Instead of spending the next four years trying to derail a woman, the Republicans will be back at square one trying to derail the presidency of a Black man.

It’s A Disposable World

It’s a slow political week of hashing and rehashing of candidates for the 2016 presidential election who haven’t even declared, so let’s talk about old age.

The oldest person in the world was born in a small Mexican village in 1887. Her name is Leandra Becerra Lumbreras and, yes, that makes her 127 years old. Most people have not heard of her because she lost her official birth certificate when moving 40 years ago, so she does not qualify for being included in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mexico has confirmed her age though through a legal probe conducted by the state of Tamaulipas.

Amazingly, she is completely lucid and can recount her days as leader of the “Adelitas,” a group of female soldiers who fought with the rebels in the Mexican Revolution. She can remember hiding in caves with her children as government troops searched homes for potential recruitments.  She has outlived her five children, the last one passing away at 90 years old in 2013. She has many grandchildren and great grandchildren with which to share her tales.

Officially, oldest person in the world of course lives in Japan. Her name is Misao Okawa and she was born on March 5, 1898.  On the day before her 117th birthday Associated Press asked about the secret of her longevity. Her response was, “I wonder about that too.” She also said about her long life, “it seemed rather short.”

Japan has more centenarians than anywhere else in the world at 58,000.

That means two things: that when the oldest person in the world dies they are usually replaced with someone else who lives in Japan, most likely a woman. Second, Japan’s huge elderly population has created a new phenomenon. Sales of adult diapers will overtake baby diapers by next year.

Can you see that happening in Mexico?

According to CNBC, “Japan, which is home to the fastest aging society globally, citizens aged 65 and older account for 25.1 percent of the overall population, up from 17.4 percent in 2000.” Interestingly, this demographic mirrors what is happening in the wider Detroit area. Residents over the age of 65 are expected to make up about 24 percent of the region’s population by 2040, compared to about 13 percent currently.

So both areas’ expanding base of elderly consumers, a demographic wearing disposable diapers and having the most disposable income, will prove a lucrative opportunity for retailers. Now if they can learn how to use the computer they could send Hillary an email.

Rants and Raves

I know there is nothing readers love more than a rant from a middle aged woman, but you are just going to have to wait. My first installment, and probably my second, is going to be a rave. Inspired from Craig’s List Rants and Raves, I’ve been wanting to do a mini-column written by middle-aged women and this will be the theme. So any readers over 40-years old are welcome to write the column. Just email me -the juicier the better.

For this rave, I want to talk about someone who goes about her life not knowing how much better she makes the world. My son had to go to court for a trespassing charge and was sentenced to 40 hours community service. He had a year to complete the sentence, so no sweat, right?

He made a lot of calls, and even volunteered an entire day, but the person in charge said he couldn’t sign the papers. Several months passed with no luck and I told my son with an air of confidence, “let me handle it.” Of course, I thought I’d have him signed up for his community service in 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes turned into all day, turned into all week which turned into months, until I was crying on my bed wondering what went wrong with the world. Organizations my extended family had donated to now would not even return my call.

Then somewhere from the recesses of my brain I had a vision of walking by the Discovery Shop on Main Street. I called the shop and within the half-hour the manager called me back. She accommodated my son’s schedule then set him up for a 40-hour work week.

The name of the manager is Carol Farris and she renewed my faith in humanity. When my son’s friend needed to get community service for a DUI they went straight to Carol and she set him right up. I doubt my son and his friend are the only people she has helped. I bet helping people is just a part of her day and she has no idea of the positive impact she is having on the world around her.

So next time you see Carol tell her she rocks.

One thought on “Political Fix (19 March, 2015)

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  1. WOW wake up……i have many other “nice” letters from MR nunes, even met with his chief of staff at his visalia ca office back in 2008 regarding prop 8 , did you even do research or reach out to the other so called elected officials State Senator Andy Vidak, Assembly Member Devon Mathis or Rep. David Valadao to get it right from the cows mouths it may or may not surprise you, some are more out spoken then others but some are closet case bigots when someone calls them out on the carpet about it, and some with not make it there main campaign theme like some has in the passed, full equality under federal law is coming more and more everyday though these few “red”pockets that are left in this country will take longer to come around kern tulare counties , porterville , parts of Indiana, just to name a few

    “dear MR station

    Thank you for contacting me to express your support for H.R 3017, the Employment Non-discrimination Act. Iam pleased to discuss this bill with you.

    H.R 3017 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on actual perceived gender identity or sexual orientation. There are protections already in place to prevent discrimination.

    The U.S supreme court has ruled repeatedly that the constitution provides equal protection under the fifth and fourteenth amendments. In its sex discrimination decisions,the U.S Supreme court not only has defined the applicability of the equal protection guarantees of the constitution and the nondiscriminatory polices of federal statutes, but also has rejected the use of gender stereotypes and gender hostility in the workplace and in schools. Therefore i do not believe this legislation is necessary.

    though we may not agree on this issue, I appreciate our candid discssion. please feel free to call or write agian if you have any additional questions or concerns. You may also visit my website at http://www.nunes.house.gov for current information on house activities.

    sincerely,
    devin nunes”
    nov 5th 09

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