Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House . . . Yet Book Review

Over the last half a century or so, there has been a shift in regard to women and politics. Many nations across the world have had at least one female in the highest office in the land. Except for one….the United States.

Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House…Yet, by Ali Vitali was published last month. Dissecting the events of the 2020 Presidential election, she examines how it was both history-making and business as usual. Though there were a good amount of female candidates (Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, etc), Joe Biden still ultimately won the Democratic nomination.

She also deconstructs previous elections (the 2008 and 2016 Presidential elections to be specific) and how both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were viewed by the press and the voters. As usual, the questions of “likability” were applied unequally. The qualities that were questionable or just plain wrong in terms of the female candidates were brushed off as completely fine for their male counterparts.

Throughout the book, Vitali asks two important questions:

  1. When will we finally be able to say “Madame President” in this country?
  2. When will women and men truly be equal, both legally and socially in the US?

This book is an important and vital read. It is a reminder of the fact that the glass ceiling is still intact and how far women still have to go. Given our present political circumstances (i.e. Roe V. Wade being overturned in June), we need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask why only a man can be President.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Electable: Why America Has Not Put a Woman in the White House…Yet is available for purchase in bookstores.

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I Don’t Know if 10-20K is Enough in Terms of Student Loan Forgiveness

For generations, we have been told that the only way to get ahead in life is to earn a college degree. While there is a certain amount of truth in that statement, the other truth is that college is getting more expensive by the day.

Earlier today, President Biden announced a plan for reducing college debt for earners making less than $125K annually. The details are as follows:

Borrowers who hold loans with the Department of Education and make less than $125,000 a year are eligible for up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they received Pell Grants, which are given to students from low- and middle-income families. Individuals who make less than $125,000 a year but did not receive Pell Grants are eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness.

Of course, the Republicans are losing their minds. G-d forbid that a politician (especially POTUS) would do something for the American people instead of themselves. This hypocrisy is disturbing given the fact that many of them accepted forgivable PPP loans during the pandemic.

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Though this is a campaign promise fulfilled (and could help the Democrats in the upcoming Midterms), I don’t know if 10-20K is enough to relieve the financial burden for some people. I understand that it was a compromise, as does Biden, but I have to question if it helps Americans who have triple digits in student loan debt.

“I understand not everything I’m announcing is going to make everybody happy,” Biden said. “Some think it’s too much — I find it interesting how some of my Republican friends who voted for those tax cuts think we shouldn’t be helping these folks. Some think it’s too little, but I believe my plan is responsible and fair. It focuses the benefit of middle-class and working families, it helps both current and future borrowers and it’ll fix a badly broken system.”

The truth is that relieving 10-20K is better than nothing. But I still think that it could have been a little higher.

Growing Up Biden: A Memoir Book Review

You can learn a lot about someone by listening to those who know them best.

Valerie Biden Owens, is among other things, the younger sister of President Joe Biden. Three years younger than her big brother, she tells her story in the new memoir, Growing Up Biden: A Memoir. Born into a close-knit and loving Irish-Catholic family, she is the second child and only daughter. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, she was not subject to the same rules that separated boys and girls in the era.

After graduating college, she became a surrogate mother to her nephews after her sister-in-law and baby niece was killed in a car accident. Marrying for the second time in the mid-1970s, she has become a force to be reckoned with and a groundbreaker in the modern feminist era.

For fifty years, she has been her brother’s political advisor, sounding board, and someone he can rely on through thick and thin.

Reading this book reminded me of why I voted for Biden in the first place. Despite his political imperfections, he is a man who believes in this country, and its possibilities, and is willing to do the work that is needed to move the nation forward.

The one thing that has stayed with me is her stance on abortion. I won’t give it away if you have not read the book, but I will say that her experience matches the stories that other women have had in regard to the subject.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Growing Up Biden: A Memoir is available wherever books are sold.

Leaving Afghanistan: Damned if we do, Damned if we Don’t

I would hope that when someone enters the halls of power, their immediate wish is that if there is a conflict, it can be resolved via peaceful means. But when all other options run out, the only response is war.

After nearly twenty years, the United States military is leaving Afghanistan. We went there just after 9/11 to avenge the loss of nearly 3000 innocent souls and stop those who would do it again. A generation later, the United States is leaving the country, creating the opportunity for the Taliban to regain control of the country.

I listened to President Biden‘s speech earlier today and I don’t envy the choice he has to make.

If we stay, we can be accused of overusing our influence and sending additional American troops to die in another foreign war. If we go, we know the result. Though Biden tried to claim that this is different than the Fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war, the similarities are too hard to ignore.

The fact is that whoever was President, it would have been messy, complicated, and a convenient political attack on both sides of the aisle. Biden is facing a challenge that so far, meets if not surpasses Covid. He claims that he had no choice but to continue you know who’s plan, but I don’t quite believe that.

I also don’t quite believe that the Taliban will respect democracy and women’s rights. Given their history, it is only a matter of time before they return the country to their vision of what it should be.

Only time will tell what the consequences of this decision will be. Either way, we are damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

Beautiful Things: A Memoir Book Review

Addiction is not a thing we can turn on and off like a light switch. It is an all consuming habit that devours and destroys everything in its path.

Hunter Biden, the younger son of President Joe Biden released his memoir back in April. Entitled Beautiful Things: A Memoir, is an emotionally raw and difficult read about Biden’s decades of drug addiction, his adoration of his late older brother Beau Biden, and his many attempts to get clean. He tells the story of his life as only he tells it. From the death of his mother and baby sister when he was a young child, to his father’s time in politics and his attempt to live a normal life while dealing with his inner demons, nothing is off the table.

If this book is not among the top five, if not the best book of the year, something is wrong. I have a feeling that putting pen to paper was a cathartic experience for him. It is real, it is uninhibited, and it is emotional. I wanted to reach out through the pages and give him a long hug. Leaving no stone unturned, he is honest about his long years of drug abuse.

He also talks about the accusation that came from the other side during the 2020 Presidential election in regards to the laptop that linked him to the Ukraine scandal. Unlike a certain person and their family, Hunter Biden comes off as a genuine person who is not always looking out solely for number one.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

What a Difference Four Years Make

There are some events in our lives that we never forget, regardless of how much time has passed.

The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 were politically difficult. Like many Americans, I was shocked, angry, and questioning how a man like you know who could have been elected to the highest office in the land. At the time, I was told by someone to give him a chance. After all, he was a political virgin. There was a tiny glimmer of hope that with time and help from those who were experienced that he would grow into the job.

How wrong we were. The late and respected poet Maya Angelou once said the following:

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.”

The last four years having been a wake up call, to say the least. Real democracy is not given, it must be earned and protected. Watching the inauguration on Wednesday, I felt as if there was a weight taken off our collective shoulders.

The words “history making” have been used countless times since November. Watching Vice President Harris take the Oath of Office, I couldn’t help but cry. The generations who have fought for equality for both women and people of color have not fought in vain. Comparatively speaking, writing or changing laws is a thousand times easier than changing hearts and minds. She stood on that podium not because of any laws, but because of the old ideas of what is or is not “appropriate” for certain members of our society have begun to fade away.

I have to admire President Biden. This was his third Presidential election. Given his age and his long career in politics, it would have been easy to retire and let someone else take the reins. But he saw the opportunity and the need and he stepped forward.

I do not envy of the job that the Biden administration has in front of them. To say that is a Herculean task is understatement. But I have hope and faith that with time, they will guide us out of this darkness and back into the light.

New Randy Rainbow Video: SEASONS OF TRUMP – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Tomorrow is a momentous day in American history. It is the day that we finally say good riddance to you know who.

Randy Rainbow released what maybe his last you know who related video today. Entitled SEASONS OF TRUMP – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody, the song is based on Seasons of Love from the musical Rent.

If there was ever a perfect song to say goodbye to you know who and the chaos he has created, this is it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am more than ready to see Joe Biden take the Oath of Office and lead us back to some version of normal.

I Blame the Republicans for the Riots in DC

One of the core values of this country is freedom of speech. The ability to disagree with your neighbor and/or the government without loosing your freedom or your life is tantamount to everything that is American.

But there is still a line that had yet to be crossed. Until today.

As Congress debated and prepared to certify that Joe Biden will be the next President, rioters stormed the Capital building, forcing members of Congress to to hide. One woman was killed. Believing the lies that you know who has been spreading for weeks that he lost the election, they have turned to violence to achieve their goals.

This is not democracy. This does not happen in the United States.

If there anyone to blame, it is the Republicans. It is one thing to support a candidate who matches your beliefs. It is another thing entirely to blindly follow an inept, immature, and selfish man-child who is nothing more than a used car salesman. This is how democracy dies. This is also how diversity dies.

The only bright spot is that both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their respective Senate runoff elections in Georgia.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t wait for January 20th.

Pat Robertson, Geraldo Rivera, and The NY Post Tell You Know Who to Give it up

We all know that you know who is a sore loser. It’s one thing if one is playing a board game or joining friends for a casual game of football or basketball. It is another thing entirely to hold a country hostage.

Back in November, no one was surprised that you know who took an adult temper tantrum. Claiming that he, not Joe Biden was the winner, the lie that there was massive voter fraud spread like wildfire across the country.

Now it appears that even some of his most staunch supporters are telling him to cool it. Pat Robertson, Geraldo Rivera, and the NY Post have advised you know who to concede.

It’s nice to see that at least some people are opening their eyes.

We all know that Biden won. The accusations of voter fraud are at best baseless and at worst, goes against what it means to be an American. We don’t have to like or even agree with the results of any political election. But at the end of the day, we have to move on. We cannot let this fraudulent idea destroy the United States. If we do, everything we have worked for, voted for, and died for means nothing.

Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now Book Review

They say that hindsight is 2020. However, our past does not always define our future.

Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, by Evan Osnos, was published last month.

This brief biography takes readers on a journey from President elect Joe Biden‘s early years to the his current life as the future 46th President of the United States. Osnos describes the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, both personally and professionally. His story is that of a man who has not only thrived in spite of the challenges in his way.

I really loved this book. I loved it because it tells Biden’s story in a way that is down to earth, readable, and sweetly brief. It was a reminder that unlike the so called paragon of perfection that sits in the White House, Joe Biden is presented is imperfect, human, and thoroughly fallible.

If nothing else, it is a reminder why America made the right choice.

I recommend it.

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