Obama Book Club – Doris Kearns Goodwin

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For most of the past Mondays, I’ve shared with you some of President Obama’s book recommendations as outlined and discussed in this Entertainment Weekly Article.

I’ve tried to share books that I am somewhat familiar with. I am currently listening to the audiobook of Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I am slightly distracted by the voice of the narrator, Richard Thomas, known in my childhood as John-Boy on the the popular show from the 1970s, The Waltons. He is the perfect voice to read anything related to the Civil War or this, a biography of Abraham Lincoln and his Administration, his team of rivals.
I’ve been reading a lot of history and biographies lately. Part of that I believe is to show myself how far we’ve fallen but also to be reminded of how much potential we have as a country. We can come back from anything. After all, we came back from the Civil War.We came back from 9/11. We can come back from the Trump Administration.

President Trump could learn a lot from Lincoln and how he worked with his oppositional party. It’s the only way our country can flourish; by coming together for the betterment of all.

The idea of an Obama Book Club was mentioned with humor in an article I read, probably that one I’ve linked to above, and I thought it was a great idea to recommend books that President Obama reads and recommends.

In the following weeks, I will share other “book clubs”, beginning with Emma Watson in one week’s time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing inside our former president’s mind, a man who reads for work, for context, and for pleasure, all good reasons to read and to emulate.

Election Reflection – Executive Orders

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Wow. Where do I begin?

Actually, I should begin with what’s got everyone up in an uproar at the airports.

Immigration.

Refugees.

Five Year Old Terrorists.

And seventy-five year old grandmothers who’ve had a green card since 1997.

One of the worst things I’ve noticed about this Administration isn’t the blatant racism, the showy signings of Executive Orders without regard to real people, it’s the lack of discussion and basic knowledge of how things get done. Legally.

I don’t even mean discussion with me or the rest of the American people, although that would be nice. I’m talking about discussion with the appropriate departments who oversee these issues. The President comes and goes. There’s a reason that the civil servants who serve all Administrations are called Lifers. They’re not appointees. They’re not political hacks. They’re experts in their field.

And the President and his people ignored them to make headlines; to give us a false sense of security while making our lives and our world more dangerous.

I have no words for Steve Bannon. He’s said himself that he wants chaos. He wants to see the world burn. And now, with him on the NSC, we’re halfway there. He has no place there, not to mention no place in the White House.

I can’t think of anyone in this Administration who President Trump listens to who is a professional. Not one.

They’re all defensive.

They’re all dismissive of the American people, especially those of us in the actual majority.

Representative Ryan is spineless. As is Senator Rubio. Senator McConnell wrote the playbook on obstruction. He won’t like that we were taking notes. Moderate Republicans need to stand up and speak out.

We’re relying on Senators McCain and Graham to take care of the Russians and the refugees. They need allies.

Name calling has no place in the White House.

And a religous test goes against the tenets of our society and our Constitution.

No Muslim ban.

Block the actual terrrorists.

Ways You Can Help:

You can find resources on my page, We the People.

Follow the ACLU on Facebook.

Follow the Women’s March on Facebook.

They both have actionable recommendations that everyone can do regardless of their levels of involvement. Most importantly, speak out. Don’t get complacent. Rise up.

The Day He Left

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​[Note: This morning, I saw a prompt on the Writers Write Facebook: Write about the day he left. This immediately came to mind.]

It was dark when I woke up. It shouldn’t have been so dark at that time of morning, but the cloud cover and the grey skies combined to make the picture of a sad morning. The grey even seeped through the leaves of the tall trees outside the window, like a fog rolling in, obfuscating the electric lines and the roofs of the nearby houses, seemingly covering over the reality of the coming day. I should have really still been asleep. I tried. I really did, tossing and turning, each shift causing a spring to poke me in awkward places from my twenty-five year old mattress. It’s needed replacing for at least fifteen years; probably more. I finally gave in. I couldn’t sleep anymore. I would stop trying to. I also didn’t want to spend this last day in bed. 

I closed my eyes and tried to pretend that today was just an ordinary day. I could hear the drip drip drip on the window ledge from the melting snow on the roof. The garbage trucks and school buses roared by, with each collecting their charges, the wet ground spraying water from their tires, the squelch as they stopped and then went again at the stop sign on the corner.

Today’s list of things to do includes a shower, buying a new (functioning) toilet, and possibly making a plan for my aunt’s ninety-fifth birthday next month. It does not include watching the news.

While dull in color, and heavy in weight, everything else around seems vibrant in feeling; not bright or brightly colored, but palpable in dread, an overhanging sad as the minutes tick down until the moment he does leave.

Twelve noon and it’s finished.

It’s the end of the second term of the first Black President, and at a very young fifty-five, he enters citizenship with more to do; much more. Books to write, a library to build and fill, a well deserved vacation, and politics as a citizen, just like me. Well, not quite.

I won’t talk about his successor. There’s no need. We’re going to have the next four years of twenty-four hour news cycles and nonsense from all sides. He matters at 12:01, but until that moment, we continue to enjoy and remember the Obama Presidency.

The sweet little girls who came into our lives eight years ago who are now young women, one starting college in the fall, and one finishing her two years of high school. Lovely, smart, kind by all accounts. They are a beautiful reflection of their parents and the good job they’ve done despite the scrutiny and the lack of privacy. They’ve done well, and I’m certain they will continue to do well.

Their mom, who left her career for another, unpaid one as First Lady pulling all of her priorities as a Mom to encourage us to do our best for ourselves, for our military families often forgotten. Let’s Move is the perfect analogy for her. Constantly in movement whether for her family or her American family, meeting, listening, and doing. Growing a garden at the White House – just magnificent. What a lovely person to look up to, to be inspired by, and to emulate.

Her husband. Our President. Not just well-spoken as all Presidents should be, but well-learned. Thoughtful and thought-filled. Caring. Innovative and inspired. Inspirational. Compassionate. Kind. Always looking forward and inward, and never worrying about what people would think of him, simply doing what he thought was best. Always.

His legacy is so much more than words on a paper or chapters in a history book. Others will remember promises broken, as is the case for all presidents once they get in and see how difficult running the government and protecting the individual is, but I will remember his sense of humor, and his easy laugh. His arm gently resting along his wife’s back and hers in the same place on his, a better definition of partnership I don’t think I could find. He sings, he dances, he pases equal pay laws and celebrates equality in marriage, in gender, affordable health care, and in religion. He doesn’t let his own beliefs and his Christianity get in the way or overshadow someone else’s, and there are many represented in this country.

He took the high road in all things, never showing his frustration despite the racism and the lack of civility and professionalism by his colleagues, some of whom should be embarrassed by their behavior. This level of obstruction and pettiness was unprecedented.

He won’t dwell on his last Supreme Court nominee stolen from him. (I will.) He will remain on the high road.

Give him credit, don’t give him credit for what he’s done with our economy and the inclusivity of our civil rights; he doesn’t care as long as he’s helped us.

And he did.

Scandal free, which doesn’t mean not making mistakes. We all make mistakes, but his White House was above board, fair, and diligent for ALL Americans, regardless of their feelings for him and his family.

The day he left was cold and dreary and grey. I don’t know if I’ll ever see his kind again in my lifetime. I can only hope that there is someone to carry his torch because right now, I’m not sure there’s anyone qualified to carry his coat.

I will miss you, President Barack Obama. I will miss you deeply. You were more than my president; you were my ally. You were my champion. You were my leader and my inspiration to do more, to do better, to be better.

Kinder.

Compassionate.

Thoughtful..

Forgiving.

Thank you, President Obama, and goodbye.

Welcome Mr. Obama. I hope to work with you in the future for the better. I will remain alongside you as we all roll our sleeves up and get to work. 

Yes. 

We did. 

We can. 

We will.

Resist Peacefully – Five

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DEFEND THE PRESS

They are our first line of defense in allowing facts to remain important and valuable to all of us in this new media/Trump age.

Subscribe to print news sources.

Follow reputable news sources online and on Facebook.

Support journalists through

Committee to Protect Journalists,

the ACLU,

and the American Society of Journalists and Authors

Resist Peacefully – Four

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CALL IT OUT

Contact the Executive Branch.

As of this posting, the administrations’ changeover hasn’t occurred. Once it does, I will add contact information for President Trump’s

Chief of Staff Reince Preibus

and

White House Press Spokesman Sean Spicer.

In the meantime, go to the White House website to find the links to the current offices in order to get through to the members of the Trump Administration after Friday at Noon.

The number to call the President is:

Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414

The address to write to the President is:

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Don’t forget to include your full return address both on the letterhead and on the envelope.