Joe, Let’s Talk


I’m Erin. I’m no one really, just another voter with a blog.

Seems you’re going to be our next Vice President.

Good job.

I need you to do something for me though, ok? It’s something I’m pretty terrible at-but I’m guessing with all your experience you’ll be ok.

Don’t say anything stupid.

I know, mistakes happen.  And your record and years of service make you more than worthy for this position.

But Dude…between you and I….you say some crazy shit every once in a while.

I say some crazy shit sometimes too, so I understand. But I’m also not a Senator, or Vice President of the United States.

Your resume is outstanding, you’re said to be a helluva guy. I hear I’m going to LOVE your wife.

But if you have another oratory oopsie with racial overtones, I think your boss might kick your ass.

Oh, and I will too.

I’ve been working on my rhetoric, and keeping things non-offensive and sane and fair…so how about you try too?

Maybe we can work on it together.

See you in Denver, Senator.


Erin Kotecki Vest

I Own One Home. Sort of.

It’s not paid for.

We have a mortgage like the rest of the world (minus the McCain family) and we currently couldn’t sell the damn thing without losing our shirts.

Our pants too.

Maybe both shoes as well.

My brother does not own a home. He lives here with us, in the ONE house we own. He couldn’t really afford to live on his own, even though he has a nice job and makes good money. He’ll be moving out when he and his girlfriend have two incomes and can afford a place together. It’s really the only way to go…roommates and what not.

My parents own one home as well. It currently has a sink hole. I wonder if any of John McCain’s houses have sink holes?

My brother-in-law does not own a home. His family is in an apartment in Germany while he’s in Iraq. So I’m pretty sure they know exactly how many houses they own.

We also own two cars, although we’re still paying for one of them.

But I’m very certain we only own one house.

I can tell you how many tv’s we own too. But I think we’re just counting the big, big stuff.

Like houses.

Those are pretty easy to keep track of. Like, say, when the mortgage bill comes at the begining of he month. Or the second mortgage bill comes at the middle of the month.

Property taxes are due in November.

Insurance bill comes every month.

Home owners association every three months.

Yeah, totally easy to keep track of exactly how many homes I own.

How about you?

Cross Me

So just to review, we’re all grateful for Senator McCain’s service to this country. I have to say that, because if I don’t I’m unpatriotic. But it’s true, I’m thankful for our soldiers and all those who serve this country and for those war heroes like the Senator who have done what their country told them to do.

Now, disclaimer aside, I’m really flipping tired of it being trotted out in this election. Really. Tired.

At first, I thought it was totally relevant.

Then, the stories were getting a bit, overused.

Then, I started to wonder how big a campaign ploy this was going to turn into and if his service and sacrifice was going to turn into a total disgrace due to it being paraded around and exploited.

Then I watched the re-run of the Saddleback interviews today and something in the back of my head said ‘hmmmm, that story sounds totally familiar’ and I just chalked it up to ‘must have heard McCain tell that one before.’

And then…today, from Daily Kos

I was watching the forum last night and decided that since I hadn’t eaten yet, I would try to listen to John McCain speak. I was doing OK with the “my friends” and the evil chuckle when I heard him talk about his POW story of the cross in the dirt. That was when I couldn’t take it anymore.

It just sounded so fake and so contrived, so I did a little research about it. Someone on here said it sounded like a scene from Ben-Hur, so I did a google search about Ben-Hur and cross in the sand and such. No dice. But I searched around a little bit more and here is what I found. A story about Alexander Solzhenitsyn from his times in the Soviet Gulags.

Click the rest of that diary, it makes for very interesting reading.

No, No, No, Weird, Fake, Duh, Gold

I’m not sending my kids to this school.

I won’t be seeing this movie.

I won’t be voting for the candidate relying on athletes.

The woman who had the affair with Edwards? Apparently much like your flaky, new age aunt.

I’d settle for VP.


and finally…she only eats like .01% of Phelps’ normal caloric intake per day, and is cuter.

Two Candidates, One Blogger: A Michigan Homecoming

I don’t know how else to write this, so I’m just going to be blunt.

It can be very depressing to hang out in metro-Detroit.

I’ve been back “home” visiting family for 48 hours now, and the stories of lay-offs and foreclosure and moves out-of-state are overwhelming.

In all honesty, downtown looks terrible. The suburbs are littered with for-sale signs.

My family and friends continue to keep on, keeping on.

At a family gathering on Sunday, the typical occurred.

We ate and the kids ran around.

The adults sitting around the patio talked about what the ‘Big 3’ needs to do, my Aunt got animated discussing how she doesn’t like Senator Obama (she doesn’t ‘trust him’), another Uncle told a racist joke (no one laughed this time), and I very quietly listened.

While I attempted to be stealth and ninja like listening…my blackberry gave out a huge DING DING DING, and all eyes fell on me.

They know what I do at BlogHer, and had been careful choosing their words around me all day.

With a half dozen pairs of eyes on me, I looked down, and read aloud: “Sen Obama to Unveil His ‘New Energy for America‘ Plan in Speech Monday. From Lansing. ”

Everyone got quiet.

We ate desert and talked gradually picked up again.

Cynicism and cautious optimism abound.

“Lansing …from Michigan. Could be risky. Could be brilliant,” said one uncle.

“He should do it here, they need it most here,” said my Mom.

“I don’t care what he says, I just don’t like him,” said an aunt.

So it was with great interest my mother, my aunt, and I watched the Senator speak from Lansing this morning.

As the Senator discussed his very detailed New Energy for America plan, touted by Climate Progress as “…easily the best energy plan ever put forward by a nominee of either party…” republicans were emailing me to let me know they were handing out tire gauges to mock Obama’s reminders that keeping your tires properly inflated saves gas.

They were mocking a gas saving tip while sending this to my inbox:

“Today, I’m asking for your help in putting Senator Obama’s “tire gauge” energy policy to the test. With an immediate donation of $25 or more, we will send you an “Obama Energy Plan” tire pressure gauge. Will simply inflating your tires reduce the financial burden of high gas prices on your wallet?

It’s clear Senator Obama has no plan to address the energy challenges we face as a nation. He has said no to offshore drilling, no to expanding domestic drilling and no to nuclear energy. He has no plan to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”- Rick Davis Campaign Manager, John McCain 2008.

I read this aloud to my Mom.

She threw her hands in the air, entirely disgusted. She was watching Senator Obama give detailed information, point-by-point, on a plan that not just reduces our dependence on foreign oil but rids of us reliance on Middle East oil on 10 years.

“Why do they do that?”

My Mom asked, still shaking her head over the McCain Campaign email.

For the record NASCAR and the US Department of Energy agree with Senator Obama on the whole tire gauge thing, and the GOP is trying to make a joke of this:

Sugar writes, “Oh gosh I know the Ozoids are writhing even as I write this! lmao I tell you, the McCain camp is making this fun for me again because it is such a joy to see an opponent who doesn’t have the constraints that Hillary did, giving it to Obama raw. Hillary couldn’t ream him like she should have because of that party unity bullshit, but the McCain camp doesn’t have anything to lose…but the election…and they are going all out to ensure that they don’t. I’m loving it. “

But if they’d like to know how their “joke” played with Michigan voters….jokes on them. I’ve got several here either not getting it or disgusted with the gimmick.

They don’t want campaign gimmicks. They want jobs.

The tit-for-tat over who misspoke where over what isn’t playing well with this crowd. Not unless those jokes can pay their mortgage.

Meanwhile, my Aunt (undecided who she is supporting) is listening closer than I thought she would.

I can tell.

My Mom let’s out a ‘WOW’ at Obama saying his plan will create five million new green jobs. My Aunt raised an eyebrow and says “well that’s good.”

TankWoman writes, “I switched to CNN, and was pleasantly surprised by Obama’s plan. Okay, I take that back, I was more than pleasantly surprised, I was excited and inspired by the ideas that Obama spoke about this morning in the birthplace of the auto industry. And though I know that this speech was tailor made for Michigan, and designed to strengthen his poll numbers, I believe that this energy plan is the only way forward for our nation, and that if Obama is serious and dedicated to these issues, we may have a solution not only to climate change, but to the ailing economy.

The things that we need to do to stall the oncoming danger of climate change, are the very things that Obama outlined in his speech. We must invest heavily in alternative energy, if we don’t come up with the capital to take the risk out of these start-up industries, they will fail. We need investment tax credits for solar energy, and wind power, without them, there are major solar projects that will move to Europe, and the wind farms will not get built here, but move to Germany. Our auto industry is near bankruptcy, Ford and GM have reported the lowest sales in nearly 30 years.”

She’s right.

I’m here.

I’m seeing the factories empty and the friends and family members collecting unemployment. It’s been happening for a long time now, and there needs to be a real solution in bringing back not just this state’s economy, but the nation’s.

Tomorrow Senator McCain comes to town to tour a Nuclear Plant. Fermi 2, to be exact.

The same plant I see every time I visit my hometown. I’ll be watching and listening closely to compare the Senator from Arizona’s ideas to the Senator from Illinois.

And after spending the day with my family excited about Obama’s ambitious plan to provide real solutions to the people of Michigan-

Senator McCain had better show up with more than a tire gauge.

Cross posted at

How Low Can You Go?

Crossposted at

I have yet to see an election without some low blows, and this one will be no exception.

Today marked the un-official start of mudslinging season. The McCain campaign accused the Obama campaign of playing the race card and the next thing I knew I was reading a press release from the Obama campaign about their new site, the “Low Road Express.”

Julie at MOMocrats explains, “The site offers links to op eds and fact checks, much of which is written by journalists and citizen journalists not employed by the campaign. The idea is to clear up misconceptions that the McCain campaign has been spreading with abandon recently.

After you look at the site, tell me what you think, friends: is this fair play, setting the record straight? Or is it sinking down to play in the gutter with the Rovian campaigning strategies?”

She has a point. The first thing I thought was “Awesome! Fight back and tell the truth!” and then, the name of the site “Low Road Express” got to me. Too snarky maybe?

But my mind was changed a bit with a quick quote from Myrna at Reno and It’s Discontents,

“Attack the attack, not the man. McCain and his campaign could learn something from Obama and his campaign. First there was Fight the Smears, and now there is the Low Road Express. Obama’s crew is FAST.”

Betsy at BeThink might have the most reasonable take I’ve read thus far though,

“Some might describe political advertisements as disgraceful, disreputable, discreditable, or just dreadful. Certainly, well-crafted candidate infomercials may be more hype than helpful. Rancorous rumors about a rival are meant to pass for truth in propaganda pieces. In a sixty-second sound bite, during a spirited campaign, vengeful voices, can expertly spew vile so sweetly. When a candidate is intent on victory venom flows freely…Reticence is frequently relinquished when much is at stake. Perhaps, when the prize is as preeminent as the Presidency, a person once thought of as admirable can turn ugly. Too frequently, when a someone feels threatened, when a win seems less than certain, aggressive slurs are common. They often come from one thought to be innocent and decent, and when they do, those of us who hear the antagonistic words must decide. What will we advocate for or accept?

This year Americans might ask themselves, must we endure another series of slights. Perchance, it is time to take a stand before the momentum builds. Currently, a petition offers the possibility of hope. We, the people can express our desire to end the avalanche of assault advertisements that now fill the air. If we express our discontent, we might be able to eliminate further folly. Let us address our concerns to the campaign that now stands by statements that are discredited by reputable sources.”

Honestly? The rhetoric is getting so thick and nasty I am tried of shaking my head and correcting every single little thing that gets throw into the public arena. It started with “Obama is a Muslim” and it just keeps on going.

The definition of what, exactly, constitutes as negative campaigning seems to vary from side to side too here. I might be screaming “HOW DARE THEY SAY THAT!” while the other side discusses the legitimacy of bringing up Obama mentioning how he looks different than past presidents as “playing the race card.”

I’m too much of a cynic to think we can avoid negative campaigning- but I can hope.

Contributing Editor Erin Kotecki Vest also blogs at Queen of Spain blog

Going to the Chapel

I’m not going to lie.

My brain still fuzzy after the 4th’s fireworks and libations, I had to rub my eyes and go get my glasses upon reading this morning’s headlines.

Obama: Mental distress can’t justify late abortion

My heart sank.

Then I had to clear the cobwebs from my brain and process what was being said before I cried into my Women for Obama t-shirt.

Here is the short version, and what went on in my head as I read:

Senator Obama did an interview with some Christian magazine and said

Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain “a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother.”

Obama then added: “Now, I don’t think that ‘mental distress’ qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term.”

In my head:

oh holy hell, is he pandering to the right with this crap? are you kidding me? why would he even talk about limits and and definitions when the women’s vote is being so heavily courted by Senator McCain…is he talking about limits on just late term or could this carry over into ‘mental distress’ in any termination of pregnancy and what exactly qualifies as ‘mental distress’ and who gets to decide and why is the government even INVOLVED in this and why on earth wold he say some like that to a Christian magazine and would he have said the same to planned parenthood and what in the hell is going on with my candidate because I realize this whole ‘move to the center’ thing is really just people educating themselves on where he has ALWAYS stood but has he always stood against mental distress/late term abortion stuff….crap I need coffee.

I then hinted to fellow Huffington Post contributor Lee Stranahan that he was welcome to drive the extra 20 minutes to deliver me a latte, since he was already out getting one for his wife. Lee politely mentioned something about gas prices and I begrudgingly made myself a pot.

I’m now two cups in and ready to break this down a bit so no one gets hysterical and suffers the same caffeine-free heart failure I did a few hours ago.

NARAL endorsed Obama. They believe “A health exception must also account for the mental health problems that may occur in pregnancy. Severe fetal anomalies, for example, can exact a tremendous emotional toll on a pregnant woman and her family.”

If Obama acts on his position, he’d be going against NARAL and other pro-choice entities.

However, Obama spokespeople stress “Obviously, as he stated in the interview, he has consistently believed those exceptions should be clear and limited enough to ensure that they don’t undermine the prohibition on late-term abortions.”

Which I HOPE means he’s not going to push that provision because it would undermine.

We will need clarification on that before we all go crazy here.

I’ll be the first to admit late-term abortion is where my very staunch support of all reproductive rights gets clouded. It’s uncomfortable to think about, to grapple with, to imagine. However I always default to the position of NOT knowing every woman’s situation.

We also know our right to control our own reproduction is constantly under attack. The anti-choice movement takes every inch they can get on any issue on the table to tries and ‘undermine’ current laws and legislation.

The issues are varied and the debate is large and overwhelming.

Even in my own family, the discussion and debate causes problems. My husband and I disagree over parental consent and continue to go around-and-around on the topic.

I respect my husband’s opinion, but I think he’s wrong.

I respect Senator Obama’s opinion, but I think he’s wrong.

I still married my husband, and we continue to debate the issue.

I’m still voting for Obama, and expect we will continue to debate the issue.

Maybe voting is a bit like marriage.

My husband has core values that I agree with and we compromise and fight and respect each other on some of the details.

Senator Obama has a core values that I agree with…I’m guessing between FISA and this, the compromise and fight and respect on those details will also emerge.

So long as those core values remain, I’m guessing we can stay out of divorce proceedings.

So long as those core values remain, I’m guessing we can stay out of third-party candidate, write-in vote proceedings.

The Senator, like my husband, remains the best person for the job.

Although I wish they were both a bit more like Mrs. Stranahan’s husband and would bring me some coffee.

Erin Kotecki Vest is Political Director at and thinks she’s Queen of the World on her own blog Queen of Spain blog. She also contributes over at MOMocrats where even her non-coffee bringing husband has guest posted so the entire family can Rage Against the McCain.

…and the foot-in-mouth comments continue

I sure hope my children never sit around with Republicans for too long. They can learn all about ‘beating wives’ and nominees with ‘tans.’

Conservative activist Grover Norquist dropped by The Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau and decided a classy and  appropriate way to convey his opposition to the liberal positions of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was to call the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee “John Kerry with a tan.”

It’s like hanging out too long with those members of your family that are just NOT PC, eventually you have to explain “no no sweetie, we don’t say that in our house, and you know Uncle Grover is nuts.”