Category Archives: Politics


President-Elect Obama

President-Elect Obama

Dawns a new era, one of Hope and Change.  I attended an event today that I will write about later this week.  But one of the ladies in attendance summed it all up.  She said, Obama said, “Yes we Can”  Yes we can what? It is up to each us to fill in this blank and write our own stories.

Yes we can.

Tomorrow the entire world will hold it’s collective breath as the first african american takes his oath of office and becomes the 44th President of the United States of America.

Yes we can.

We, as a nation have put aside our prejudices and our fears and placed our hope and trust that it is possible to redeem the promise of our forefathers to live in peace.

Yes we can.

Tonight and tomorrow we will all go to sleep with this thought ringing in our heads, that we as a nation can rise to the challenge and fulfill our potential.  To serve not only our fellow men and women, but also the greater good.

Yes we can.


Manifest Hope DC Show Review

Manifest Hope by Sheperd Fairey

Manifest Hope by Sheperd Fairey

Manifest Hope:  DC opened tonight in Georgetown.  The show was sponsored by, SEIU, and Obey and supported by Irvine Contemporary Gallery and several other organizations (complete list can be found at the Manifest Hope:  DC website. 

Kudos go to Martin Irvine and Lauren from Irvine Contemporary who brought order to chaos (fun chaos but chaos nonetheless) from handling the invitations to the event, conducting the art sales and assisting Yosi Sergant in setting up the event.  Martin Irvine hosted an event last week at the Gallery hosted where Yosi Sergant spoke about the Manifest Hope:  DC and the effect that artist can make for the causes they believe in. 

 Location.  The show is held at a storefront at 3333 M Street NW, Washington DC from 17-20

The Crowd

The Crowd

January.   Artists were invited to submit work which fit into one of three themes: Health care reform, worker’s rights, and the green economy. The art ranged from absolute genius to some very avant garde pieces which people really put their hearts into. 

So what was it like?  Picture a large store, a very large two level store with white walls and floors.  Now add people, lots and lots of people.  Mix in some great music with a kickass sound system and great music (last time I felt bass like that hitting me was at a Pink Floyd concert in Mannheim Germany). 


Shepard Fairey Speaking at Manifest Hope: DC

 While I do not want to write a post about Shepard Fairey  (I’ve written about him here, here and here) his influence at this event was inescapable.   Many of the artists riffed off of his now iconic portrait of President Elect Obama. 

As you walk into the door, there is a stage on your right with a large manifest hope collage on stage.  Once the presentations were over, we were told we were welcome to step onstage and take our pictures with the collage.  It was also interesting to see other street artists such as Ron English and Sam Flores who had works in the show. 

U.S. Healthcare Just iLL, by Sharee Taylor

U.S. HealthCare Just iLL, by Sharee Taylor

The prices for the artwork was wildly divergent.  I saw prices  from $50. to $18,000 (trust me the work was absolutely worth it –it was gorgeous!).  Those were the prices for the art which really drew me.  I can’t guarantee this was the entire price range.   Proceeds from the show (10% of all sales) benefit the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC.  Students from the school performed during the event and they have some gifted musicians, vocalists and dancers. 

A friend of mine snagged a great screenprint titled U.S. HealthCare Just iLL, by Sharee Taylor.  I was unable to find out anything about her with a google seach, but I will continue looking and add what I can find.

Obama=Lincoln was a recurring theme to the show.  Sometimes this was done quite well and sometimes it fell a bit flat.  I felt no one handled it as deftly as Ron English.  Ron had two fantastic prints in the show both casting Obama as Lincoln.  They were beautiful and I honestly felt they were an incredible bargain. 

Restoration, Scotlund Haisley

Restoration, Scotlund Haisley

I fell in love with two works by local artists, Scotlund Haisley and Michael Gibbs.  Michael’s print American Worker is a brilliant piece of design.  The image and colors were so captivating I kept going back to it.  The print for sale was #1 of 50 and I want it very much. 

Scotlund Haisley created a beautiful painting titled Restoration.  I ran into Scotlund and his wonderful wife after the show.  Scotlund told me he paints his works on tin tiles using acrylics.  I loved both the concept behind the painting and the work itself.

There was a great triptych that you just see in the crowd picture.  It consists of portraits of Ghandi, the Dali Lama, and Dr. Martin Luther King titled Watching, Hoping, and Dreaming (respectively).  There was also an amazing etch-a-sketch portrait of President Elect Obama that was phenomenal.  Of course with my luck I’d buy it and find a neighbor’s kid shaking it so they could play with it.  Hopefully who ever buys it will keep it displayed out of harms way.

My purchase for this evening was modest,  I purchased one of the signed street posters of President Elect Obama.  I guess I am greedy since I do have a larger one (gift from a good friend who attended the Convention in Denver) but it’s unsigned.  I guess we all want a piece of history.

It’s very late and I want to post this so I’ll say goodnight…night!

On the Lighter Side

My sister sent me a link to this news story.  Take a look at the targeted ads on the left.  I think it’s very odd that they’d advertise a diet on a story about cannibalism.

What were they thinking?

It’s hysterical in a rather morbid way.  Those those who are offended easily-please don’t read the article or look at the ad.

Odd Target Ads

Odd Target Ads

Obama Metro Cards, Neighborhood Ball and Info on the Inauguration

Smart Card picture

Smart Card picture


For those of you who are enthusiastically collecting Obama memorabilia and ephemera for yourselves or your children.

The Washington Metropolitian Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has issued commemorative limited edition  Obama Inauguration SmarTrip cards.  The nifty passes cost $10.00 each with no cash loaded, or $20.00 each with $10.00 of WMATA fare loaded.

I purchased my commemorative smartcard at the Pentagon Metro sales center, they are also for sale at Metro Center in DC proper as well as online at this link.

If you want a cheaper keepsake, WMATA has replaced the image of the adorable panda with a picture of the President Elect.  The paper ticket (on the far left) is dispensed from any fare machine in the metro proper (that issues paper tickets). 

For those attending the inaugruation with 1.25 million or your closest friends.  Here is some great info from the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC).  Also recommend you look athte site for spectator information as well (there is a list of what can and can not be brought into the security areas).

Neighborhood Inaugural Ball.  Not quite sure what this is about but it’s being hosted at the Washington DC Convention Center on 20 Jan 09.  Tickets will either be free or very inexpensive.  Again this is according the Inaugural website .  Which states:

The First-Ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball

President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to change Washington and that’s just what he’s doing. Today we announced that he’ll be hosting the first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball on January 20 at the Washington Convention Center with free or affordable tickets available. There’s never been anything like it.

Past inaugural balls generally have been closed to everyday Americans, populated instead by an exclusive circle of dignitaries and donors. President-elect Obama, however, wants to share this special night with a wide cross-section of Americans, reveling in the possibilities of what we can accomplish together. A portion of the tickets will be reserved for D.C. residents.

In his own words:

This is an inauguration for all Americans. I wanted to make sure that we had an event that would be open to our new neighborhood here in Washington, D.C., and also the neighborhoods across the country. Michelle and I look forward to joining our fellow Americans across the country during this very special event.

Through the use of interactive technology including text messaging and webcasting, the Neighborhood Ball truly will be an event open to all Americans. The technology will link together attendees at other neighborhood balls across the country.

Check back here for more details regarding ticket distribution and interactive technology.

For those not from the DC area planning to use the Metro.  If you are planning on attending any of the inaugural event via metro, recommend you review the information on the WMATA site for ideas on how to best get around.  

Please be aware that the federal government has the right to restrict all vehicular movement as they want, in the DC city limits.  With the  anticipated influx of millions to attend this historic event DC will be the largest parking lot ever (in Germany its called a stau and the locals bring lawn chairs, BBQ grills and relax while they wait for traffic to move on the autobahn).  Best bet is to take the metro or use your feet to move from place to place. 

This is the link to the Metro trip planner, map, visitors kit, and hints on getting around.  You can enter the station/location you want to start your trip from and finish it at.  If you list your anticipated departure time it will even tell you the buses or you can tell it to give you just the train/subway info.  The DC Metro is very easy to use, far les confusing than some other cities (NYC comes to mind).  Keep in mind you can’t eat or drink on the metro-they fine you serious bucks if they catch you, same goes for loud music as well.

Although this may be pure rumor mongering, I’ve heard that the tour buses and transportation buses will be packing the metros full at the outlying stations (makes sense).   If so, they may not stop at many of the stations or you may not be able to get on.  One way around this might be to jump on the metro (much earlier) ride to the end of the line and you’d be golden.  If you’re driving and plan to park (for example at the Springfield station and take the blue line in) get there early and make sure you have a SmarTrip card since the card is the only way you can pay your parking fee when leaving.  You can purchase a smartip card online or at a metro sales center. 

Hope you find this helpful and if you want the commerative cards, I’d recommend you jump quick since they are limited edition.


Tomorrow there are state primaries in Virginia and Maryland and a caucus in Washington DC. 

If you have an opinion, if you care about the future of this country, regardless of party or affiliation you need to get out and vote.

If you want to look at the candidates and their stand on issues this is a great starting point [click me].

If you don’t know where  your voting/polling/caucus locations are click on these links:



Washington DC

Super Tuesday

“Our Chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

 Ralph Waldo Emerson


I spent Super Tuesday with a friend at a party where we watched the results of the primaries roll in.  It was interesting being a former republican (I’ve decided I am an independent) in a room full of democrats.

There was a potluck, everyone brought a food dish from a state that had a primary or a caucus.  I had to bring food from North Dakota, hooray.  Since I was arriving from my office, I couldn’t make anything from scratch; so I brought cupcakes from Starbucks.  Not very North Dakota-ish but my father was from North Dakota and he loved chocolate so I figured it wasn’t too far of a stretch. 

The evening was interesting, there were a ton of folks young and old pigging out and really enjoying themselves. During the evening I talked with someone who is involved with the democrats outreach efforts to the christian communities.   This wasn’t the first time I’d heard some discussions about it, but it’s the first chance I had to really sit down and ask someone some questions and to share my concerns.

I told the lady I spoke with about what I’d seen happen in the republican party when they started courting the far right Christians (morale majority folks) .  Keep in mind that I am simply a voter so my opinions are not made as political commentary so much as what I saw happen in my party.

I believe that the decision to court this block of voters and welcome them into the republican party destroyed the party that I knew and joined in the 80s.  Why do you ask? Well the republicans, just like the democrats have a membership that runs the gamut from extremely liberal to extremely conservative.  Sadly, I’ve watched the far right membership of the republican party become so dominant and have such an influence, that some like me who is extremely liberal in my outlook no longer has a voice within the my own party.  I keep wondering, who let these people in and WHY are they still here

To see what I am talking about take a look at the republican presidential candidates.  The only way to get the support to be on the ticket is to be pro-life.  Period.  Look at Rudy Giuliani…he ran on a pro-choice ticket as mayor and now suddenly he’s pro-life?  So when did that happen?  If you looked at the CNN political ticker before the Iowa Caucus you would have read similar views on roe v wade by all the republican candidates. All of the statements were cookie cutter and you could tell they’d been wordsmithed to death.

I felt so disgusted with the republican candidates, that I went to the democratic side and looked at what their candidates were saying.  After reading everything, I’d decided on Senator Joe Biden and volunteered to help his campaign accordingly.  I guess that was the beginning of the end for me and the republican party.  Since Senator Biden didn’t make it past Iowa I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about where my loyalties now lie (as far as political parties). 

I originally chose the republicans when I was in the military.  I am a fiscal conservative and I believe in a strong military and strong industrial base.  But I feel that in the last 10 or so years that the republicans have pillaged this country, between NAFTA (yes I know President Clinton did that one) shipping jobs overseas, the current administration allowing our natural resources to be pillaged (timber harvesting in the Northwest is an example), and the morass of Iraq. 

I think the best hope for our country is a democrat.  I’ve also decided that the best place for me (for now at least) is as an independent, although I believe the day is coming when I will rejoin the dems. 



Book Party and Art

I recently attended a book-signing event with a friend this month.  Christine Pelosi was in Washington, DC and she signed copies of her book, Campaign Boot Camp: Basic Training for Future Leaders. The party was held in at a private home in Adams Morgan area of Washington DC.

Most of those who attended were either associated with political campaigns, congressional staffers, non-profit organizations or were movers and shakers in politics. 

I am none of these things.  

I attended with a friend who knows Christine, spoke briefly with Christine about what my adventures in Iowa, meet a brilliant young woman, and looked at some phenomenal art.

I did get to met a perfect example of the type of future leader Christine talks about in her book.  The young lady I spoke with was awe inspiring.  She is a Harvard grad who has done post graduate work in public health policy in the US and abroad.  She was absolutely amazing-dedicated and passionate, and willing to act on her her ideals and I firmly believe she is one of the people who will change this world. 

The hosts, Heather and Tony Podesta, are serious contemporary art collectors who love photography, sculpture and paintings.  There have been several articles in the Washington Post about their collection.  Walking through the first floor of their home was like being in a contemporary art gallery.  Everything  was designed to showcase their art.  The floors were neutral wood and the furniture had clean lines which  served more to accent the art than compete with it.  Two pieces in the living room seemed to compete for pride of place, an immense stone sculpture by Lousie Bourgeios, titled Nature Study (1986)  and a gorgeous  black and white photograph of Oscar Wilde by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.  I thought Nature Study was amazing.  It had this organic feeling that made me want to sit in front of it, staring until the stone revealed it’s secrets.  Sugimoto’s photo was shot in a Madame Tussaud’s but it was so lifelike it was mind boggling.  The host said that the works in his collection all have a twist like this and none of it is as it initially appears.

In the dinning room room I had a hard time deciding where to look first.  There was this amazing large scale photo of St Mark’s Square (in Venice) photographed by Italian artist Massimo Vitali and a series of photograph of teenagers each demanding my attention.  The photographs of the teenagers were made by Dutch artist Hellon van Meene.  The photographs were disturbing, compelling and thought provoking, each photograph showed a subject who seem abandoned, terribly alone and vulnerable.  I loved Vitali’s photograph of St Mark’s Square in Venice.  It was taken from a Birdseye view and seemed to pulse with live and vitality; it was gorgeous.

In the foyer there was a large photo by New Orlean’s artist Sharon Core, it was a work after Wayne Thiebaud.  The host told me that she was a food stylist and photographer who saw a book of Thiebaud’s work and replicated each painting by baking the cakes and decorating them to identically reproduce the paintings.  She then photographed them and the results were amazing.  The hosts have several works by Sarah in their collection and the one I saw was amazing.

Silly to say but in a house filled with gorgeous art my favorite photograph was a small one on the mantle in the room adjoining the kitchen.  It was this small amazing portrait of an older woman. I am assuming it was Mr or Mrs. Podesta’s mother or a relative of the family (I was later told, this wonder picture was of the owner’s Mother) ; but I didn’t ask at the time.  Why did I like this photograph? It conveyed all of the love and emotion I usually associate with a well executed black and white portrait, but it was in color.  This woman looked like the kind of person who was warm and genuine, who loved to make people happy, who loved to cook and feed friends and family.