When red states become unliveable and thoughts on Barack, Hillary, and McCain.  

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Having lived in Idaho for 7 years, I thought I had become used to living in one of the reddest states out there. I still miss the hunger of Democrats in Utah and Idaho and it is something I wish all Democrats had and it was awesome to see the Howard Dean 50 state strategy working from the front lines. But since I left Idaho and lived in Vegas (swing state), New Hampshire (swing state, but getting bluer by the day) and now Maryland (BLUE state), I'm not quite sure I could ever return to a Utah or Idaho again. A red state that votes for a Democratic governor, or Senator or Congressman or woman, sure, but a red state that is a Utah or Idaho, no, I don't think so (though Utah does have a Democratic Congressman).

I suppose this makes me part of the problem, but I'm just being honest. There is something wrong with a system and state when good and decent people who would be wonderful servents to the people can't win because the letter behind their name is a (D) and not an (R). Indeed, I would say the same thing goes for ultra blue states where corrupt Democrats can win again and again, but a good Republican doesn't stand a chance.

This all makes me think about JRE and how he should be our nominee, not Hillary or Barack. I can't help but feel we maybe let this election go because we are going to nominate someone who can't beat John McCain and the GOP. I thought Barack was pretty electable and then the media shit all over themselves with this blown out of proportion Reverend Wright story. Geez. Give me a break. We've got people dying from hunger, dying in an immoral war, and the media puts some of Wright's words on repeat to scare all the white folks. When did poverty, global warming, a recession, and war become non-stories???

And I know this may shock some of you, but not everyone has the white experience growing up and not everyone feels that this country is without blame or fault for everything ever done in its name or by its people. Some people are angry about their experiences growing up and RIGHTFULLY so. This is a country with some freedoms still left, including some freedom of speech, so if you don't like what Reverend Wright is saying, don't attend his Church. It's as simple as that.

I thought that Hillary possessed the strength and will to defeat McCain and the GOP, but now I'm wondering if her negatives will always be high and maybe people just won't be able to pull the lever for a woman who is as divisive as politicians come.

Will our nominee have what it takes to win in November? We can't afford another Republican administration, especially a McCain one which offers very few differences with the Bush Administration who has driven us into wars, further and further into a healthcare crisis, more people into poverty, and farther away from truly combatting global warming, as well as another recession, not to mention the largest terrorist attack on American soil.

No thanks, John McCain, we don't want the aforementioned (maybe an exception with global warming, since McCain thinks global warming is real) and war with Iran, 100 years in Iraq, a President who has admitted he doesn't know much about the economy. No, we don't want a third Bush term.

As life returns to normal...  

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So I am safely back in D.C. and my life is slowly returning to normal. I couldn't get a Maryland drivers license since I don't have sufficient proof of residency, but I have a solution that will hopefully give me a license by the middle of next week so I can go on my work trip to Arizona.

I would like to dedicate a whole blog post to the ridiculousness of government bureaucracy, but I think we all realize how lame places like the DMV are. Ugh.

I have a two day weekend! I haven't had so much time off in a while and it's been nice to be out here and actually get time off.

Still in pain. Last night it felt like my back and neck were on fire, today I just feel tight all over. I am using ice and heat and taking my pills, but I will need to find a Dr. out here soon to see what to do next. This won't resolve itself and I'm wondering if a MRI is needed to see if there is any damage. Any thoughts on icyhot? The heat and ice both feel good (I alternate the two) and in different ways.

That's it for now except to say I am so annoyed with both Barack and Hillary. Where's JRE???

6 hours of pure hell.  

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So things had been going pretty well for me in San Diego and the LA areas until I was rear-ended on the I-405. The rental car sustained no visible damage but immediately I started hurting. Nothing bad enough to require an ambulance, but bad enough for AT LEAST an urgent care clinic visit. 

But alas, I couldn't find one in Long Beach and the hospital was only 2 miles away. I was seen by a nice doctor and got some prescriptions and after I got them filled, somehow, someway, I lost my wallet. Luckily my wallet only had a few things in it, including my license, debit card, work badge, and Metro card. My metro card was worth about $25, my license was an Idaho one that I will never have again and hopefully won't cost too much to replace and too much of a headache to now get a Maryland license, my work id will cost $25 to replace and my debit card has been fraudulently used, but the bank will refund those charges, thank goodness. 

So in a 6 hour period, I was in a car accident, in the hospital, and had my wallet taken. Did I mention that I was in Long Beach and therefore in desperate need of photo id to catch my flight the next day???

Fast forward to today when I spent an hour at the car rental place filling out paperwork and paying fees and charges up the ying yang, then the airport which was relatively easy to get through without an id, even with the molestation that took place between a TSA agent and myself. I've been patted down before, but this was a PAT DOWN. But basically things have been going pretty well today, knock on wood. I would like to give a big shout out to Continental Airlines. 

The first time I flew them was last October, but boy, do I now prefer them over many of the others. Delta isn't bad, nor is Southwest or United, or some of the other carriers, but geez does US Airways make it a nightmare for me to travel on them. I've told my boss that I would prefer to avoid US Airways and Air Tran from now on! 

Well, just wanted to give an update. I'm okay, in some pain, but I will survive. Hopefully everything will go a bit smoother for me now.

Greetings from San Diego, California!  

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I am in the Pacific Standard Time Zone for the first time since last September. I'm weird and my body and mind can be indifferent to time zone changes, so here I am, blogging away from my hotel, er, hostel room. I think my coworker who books my travel didn't realize this place is more of a hostel than it is a hotel. And, the parking is $20+/day because the hostel doesn't have parking.

This has all been very surreal. I won't even get into the flight (no meals or snacks beyond a mini bag of pretzels on a 5 hour flight...LAME! and WTF!) or rental car (maintenance required light is on)...so yeah, this will be an interesting trip. I do think my hostel is only 2 blocks from the harbor, which I have never been to before, so maybe I can go visit the harbor tomorrow after I fulfill my big work obligation.

Well, I'm going to crawl into bed and prepare myself mentally for my communal bathroom experience awaiting me tomorrow morning...ugh. I brought flip-flops but didn't think I would be using them in the shower. On a positive note....I AM IN SAN DIEGO!

Happy Easter...kinda...  

Posted by Jessica in ,

So tomorrow is Easter and like the last few holidays, I shall be celebrating alone. Er, well, actually with lots of random people in airports and airplanes... 

I found out tonight that I'll be flying to San Diego tomorrow. I'll be out there for a few days in San Diego and the LA area. I haven't really been out west since September when I began my journey out east, so it will be nice to head out west. I don't think I've been to LA/SD since I was like 16 or something. My cousin and his wife live out there, so I'm hoping for a visit with them, but alas, I don't control a lot of my schedule and who knows what will be going on. 

Any advice on traffic? General advice? Looks like I will for sure be in Chula Vista, Santa Ana, Los Angeles and staying Sunday night and Monday in San Diego. 

Friday, Friday.  

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This week at work I've been working a swing type of shift. Get on the clock at 1pm and technically get off at 11pm, but a few nights I was done earlier. It's been interesting, but when I get back home to Silver Spring, everything is closed. Ah...the life of suburbia. Makes me miss the 24 hour-ish-ness of Vegas.

The city is a bit better in this respect but even when I am downtown in DC working, lots of things are closed on the weekends and late at night. Silver Spring is a decent sized city, but still, not a lot open. And though I try to minimize my shopping at Wal-Mart, I do miss not having one semi close by just in case everything else is closed and I need to make a 2am shopping run. The closest Wal-Mart to me is 11 miles away and frankly, I don't feel like hopping on the highway at 2am just to get some pop, and Wal-Mart doesn't even carry my beloved ranch sunflower seeds anways.

Next week I'll be working a 6am to 3pm shift, which means I'll be getting up at 4am every morning. Ugh, but I do like some variety.

Bill Richardson endorsed Obama today. I'm not surprised. The fact that it took him this long to endorse should've been a sign he wasn't endorsing HRC.

Go here and watch John Edwards on Leno. Why oh why oh why can't he be our nominee? I'm so done with the drama and crap with HRC and BO (Obama).

The West Wing...when tv predicts reality...  

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So my mom and step-dad bought me the complete series of The West Wing for Christmas and I have been watching it off and on since then and find myself in the 7th season as of today (started disc 43 of 45 tonight). I've been pretty amused by some of the plot lines as they are eerily similar to what we are experiencing now.

Republicans nominate a moderate Republican on the show, and this year they nominated a moderate Republican in real life, though McCain becomes more and more Conservative each day (ick!). Democrats have a brokered convention on the show; we could very well have a brokered convention in real life. Republican nominee battles with choosing a conservative VP on the show, John McCain is being pressured to pick a conservative VP in real life. Democratic nominee on the show is a Latino, the Democratic nominee will either be an African-American or a woman in real life!

So, I've basically fallen in love with The West Wing since I started watching it during the Christmas season, but it's really made me wish that President Bartlett were our President and Matt Santos could be our next President!

It seems like only yesterday that JRE was still in the race and we had a candidate who I could totally support. Now, I don't care much about who our nominee is, I just want a nominee. I have reservations about both and it is a daily struggle figuring out who I like more. I really feel like we let a golden opportunity pass us by by not showing more support for JRE. The most progressive and most electable and he doesn't stand a chance after only a few states. Everyone loves him, whereas I find a lot of mixed support for HRC and Obama (anecdotal, mind you). I know a lot of middle-aged moderate Democrats, and hardcore Democrats who have serious reservations about Obama and I could see them going with McCain if McCain can maintain his maverick status. I'm not quite sure I am comfortable labeling that as lingering deep racism or what, but we will have a big problem in our party stopping some Democrats from peeling off for McCain, especially if he chooses a moderate VP, such as Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida, who is immensely popular or even Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who isn't as popular, but a good speaker and pretty charismatic, and YOUNG (pretty cute too).

So those are my latest thoughts on the 2008 race; McCain worries me, Obama and HRC don't excite me as much as JRE (no surprise there), and McCain's VP choice is hugely important, HUGELY important.

The 24 hours between thursday night and friday afternoon.  

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I started in Portsmouth, NEW HAMPSHIRE, made a quick visit to Maine, then drove down to Massachusetts by way of Concord, NEW HAMPSHIRE to run some errands. After being in Mass for a few hours, I finally caught my flight to Baltimore and then picked up my rental car in Baltimore and drove through Maryland and Delaware to finally reach Jersey. I got into Jersey around 12:30am last night, went to bed and got up and drove to Pennsylvania. 

After attending a McCain town hall near Philly, I drove through Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland back to the Baltimore Airport (BWI) and returned the rental car, caught two shuttles to get to the MARC train and took that to Union Station, then caught the Metro and finally got home. I took a much need nap from 7-9 and should be working right now, but my brain stopped functioning the second I stepped into my bedroom. 

So anyways, the last 2 days, and the 2 days before that just reconfirmed how much I love the East and New England. Everything is so close together without feeling claustrophobic

I should stay put in Maryland/DC for the next little while. I think I need a break from traveling and I kinda hate paying rent when I am gone so much.

Comfortably numb in Boston!  

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So I spent the last 2 days in NEW HAMPSHIRE! My first full day was filled with pretty shitty weather until the afternoon when the snow stopped and it warmed up a bit. I was able to get a hot cocoa with a friend, Paula in Durham, home of the University of New Hampshire. It was sooooooo nice to see her and a familiar face. Familiar faces become one of the greatest gifts you receive when you are in my position. 

I went to the John McCain town hall in Exeter and was soooo happy to receive a phone call from a friend telling me, "I am looking at you." Indeed she was, she was downstairs and I was up. Didn't really get to visit, but still, a familiar face.

I was able to get some work done at my hotel and then hung out with my friend, Laura, who always provides lots of laughs and a familiar face. 

Today I worked a bit and ran some errands, like picking up my portable DVD player that has been at a local Circuit City since January...oh, how I've missed her! I also got a bit of shopping done. The chain stores I visited are WAYYYYYYYYY nicer in NH than they are in Maryland. They are actually pretty nasty in Maryland and the ones here are clean and organized and have lots more to choose from. 

I'll be flying back to Baltimore tonight and then will drive to New Jersey where I am staying the night for an event tomorrow near Philly. Then, I finally get to head back home to Maryland/DC, which will be nice, though I haven't been gone very long (since Tuesday). 

That's the latest from Boston, one of the great American cities!

Due to a special request, I present...  

Posted by Jessica in , ,

a blog post. I'm totally lame. Or, my life is totally, perhaps both. Last week I was in Texas and I was able to return home a few days ago. It really felt like I was in Texas forever...

Texas is a decent state, but I could never live there. At least I got to see my friend, Toni. We had some good laughs and I got to see some cute dogs that remind me of the dogs my parents have. I was able to stay at two pretty nice hotels in Dallas; the Radisson DFW Airport South and the Sheraton in downtown. The Sheraton was gorgeous and I LOVED IT! The Radisson wasn't quite as nice, but the room was the biggest hotel room I have ever seen, maybe as big as the suite my parents got at the MGM Grand in Vegas. It also came with a kitchenette and a temperpedic (sp???) mattress that was sooooooo awesome! Sheraton's always have great beds and I have never been disappointed with them. So, if you're in Dallas, those are two great hotels I recommend. I am always super stoked to get a down comforter instead of one of those nasty typical motel/hotel blankets that you are supposed to never use because they are rarely washed...

I was in work training thursday, friday, and saturday. I can't really go into what the training was, but let's just say it was training on something I am just not good at.

The race between Barack and Hillay continues. I am torn. In one way, I like that every state is getting a say and that two of our candidates are really being tested out on the campaign trail. On the other hand, I worry it will get too dirty and things will be said or done that would cause irreparable damage. We'll see, but it is a fine line you walk when campaigning...and for the record, I love them both. Neither are even in the same ballpark as John Edwards and I wish he was still in this thing every single day, but Barack and Hillary are far superior to John McCain who sells himself to the highest bidder.

And with that said, I'm going to continue my lazy day of watching The West Wing.

Farewell Idaho.  

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In the next several weeks, I will make my last visit to Idaho to cut off the last significant ties I have to the state, aside from dear friends and professors. I might make it back to Idaho for a visit or two, but I will never live in the State of Idaho again. It's a state that just isn't for me. This post isn't meant to disparage the state or anyone who chooses to live there, I just can't live there. Not after what I've seen and experienced.

A tinge of jealously swept over me as I read some accounts of the Frank Church Banquet in Boise until I realized I got to go to lunch with Paul Begala a few weeks ago. A longing to be in Boise this past weekend existed until I realized I've met Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Dennis Kucinich multiple times. I missed Boise until I realized I work in Washington D.C. and get to work in my Mecca and travel for work and see states I would never have seen without this job.

It was several months ago when I texted a friend in Idaho about how I was angry about something some of the Idaho Dems were doing when she responded with, "You're on to bigger and better things." There is nothing small and/or unimportant about working for Democrats in the reddest of red states, but this bird couldn't fly until she left the confining skies of Idaho.

I will forever be indebt to what many Idaho Democrats have done for me, meant to me, and taught me. Jim Hansen taught me to never give up, always be proud of being a Liberal, and smile as often as you can. Alan Anderson taught me to hold your head up high, even in the face of defeat because tasting defeat is better than tasting nothing at all. Jana Jones taught me that even when people in your own party aren't loyal to you, always be loyal to them.

It was the Bonneville County Democrats and the Bannock County Democrats which gave me my first tastes of volunteerism that gave me my craving for campaign work. It was the Idaho State University College Democrats that gave me an opportunity to be a leader. Some of my dearest friends are in the College Dems at ISU and I love them dearly. They are people who I didn't give a fair shake to at first, but slowly, ever so slowly, I came to love them and appreciate their uniqueness.

I am moving on to different things, some say bigger and better, but I will never forget where I came from.

Greetings from Dallas, Texas!  

Posted by Jessica in ,

Ok, so I feel like I have been in Texas for weeks, though I think I arrived here last Wednesday? Maybe Tuesday? I spent a day in Houston, then flew to Dallas, drove to Austin for a day, then came back here and stayed with my friend for a day, and now I am in downtown Dallas until I drive to Waco tomorrow afternoon. My life is totally crazy, especially when I am on the road. I wasn't expecting to be on the road for 8 days, so I am in desperate need of a washer and dryer, but I am half-tempted to go buy some new undies so I don't have to worry about laundry in Texas.

Soooooo, let's talk about Texas. A ginormous state that is pretty flat and brown. The farther east you get, the prettier. Austin was a lot greener than Dallas, which was nice. Dallas has the most horrid trafffic I have ever seen. But, the beautiful weather here on Saturday was much needed and sooooo wonderful. Lots to do, lots to experience, but a state I don't think I could live in.

Well I am beat and I need to get some work done before I go to sleep, but let me recommend the Sheraton at 4801 Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in Dallas. Simply gorgeous!