This crisis has reminded us of why we voted for President Obama in the first place.

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No Drama Obama. He’s as cool as they come.

That is all.

Talk about an October surprise: Hurricane Sandy has ended the 2012 campaign.

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Image from USA Today

The storm isn’t good news for Romney, who’s behind in electoral votes. President Obama is seeing us through this disaster, like a President should. Shining like the superstar he is. Any undecided voters will see him do what he does best: roll up his sleeves and do the job. Romney’s actions look and feel embarrassing, like he’s walking around in a different universe. (A canned-food drive in Ohio?!)

And when asked point blank at today’s canned-food drive about his previous criticism about FEMA, Romney flatly declined to answer.

Mitt Romney repeatedly ignored questions about his position on federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at an Ohio event for storm victims Tuesday.

After speaking briefly to supporters and gathering donations Romney, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and some campaign staffers headed outside into the cold, rainy afternoon and proceeded to load up a yellow Penske truck with supplies, canned goods, and other donated items.

“Governor, are you going to see some storm damage?” one reporter asked.

Several others again asked Romney whether he would eliminate FEMA.

“Governor, you’ve been asked fourteen times. Why are you refusing to answer the question?” one asked.

Romney ignored the reporters’ queries and continued loading up the truck. Earlier, during the event, he ignored similar queries.

Most importantly this shows that government is, in fact, not the problem; rather often it’s a key part of the solution. Note too that another issue is emerging: climate change. At the Repo convention, Romney mocked Obama for promising to slow the rise of the oceans. The Repos laughed. They probably don’t think it’s funny today.

Sandy is a wake-up call to climate change. Maybe, just maybe, Sandy got a message through to some climate change deniers. And maybe it’s gotten through to Democrats who are concerned about climate change, but don’t think it’s important enough to do anything about.

Despite that, there aren’t going to be any other great issues coming to light in the last hours of the campaign. Now it’s all about getting out the vote, and getting the votes counted.

Says it all.

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Paul Wellstone died ten years ago today.

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I was living and working in Georgia. A good friend sent me an email at my office, telling me that Wellstone’s plane had gone down. I tried to call my then-wife at home to fill her in. There was no answer. But as I hung up the phone and turned around, there she stood in tears at my office door.

C-SPAN broadcast the memorial service live. A lot of tears at my house that evening.

Less than two weeks later I voted for the first time in Georgia. I wore my Wellstone ’90 button as a tribute. The polling place was crowded. As I finished voting and headed through the crowd to the door, a woman caught a glimpse of my button. She scowled at me and said, “Don’t let the door hit y’all on the way out.”

“No ma’am,” I replied with a grin, “I surely won’t.”

Years earlier I worked in the office building that Paul’s Minnesota headquarters was in. One day I headed to the deli in the building to grab lunch. In line right ahead of me… Paul Wellstone. He turned around, grinned, and extended his hand. “Hi, I’m Paul.”

“Yeah,” I gushed like a fanboy as I shook his hand. “I know.”

Reblog: An Open Letter to Ann Coulter

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Monday night, after the debate, hatemonger Ann Coulter tweeted the following:

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On Tuesday this man, John Franklin Stephens, posted An Open Letter to Ann Coulter. Stephens has more class in his little finger than Coulter has ever had in her pathetic excuse for a life.

After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me.  You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.

I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.

Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.

No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.

Come join us someday at Special Olympics.  See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.

John Franklin Stephens, you rock.

That is all.

Tumbled onto a blog post that speaks to something I’ve been pondering for awhile

Check it out. From the website:
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Purpose — This is what it’s all about. It’s WHY we cure cancer, go surfing, have children, join the circus, fall in love, meditate, join the army, eat bacon, make a booty call, or go to therapy. There’s some underlying reason we do everything.

Now, if we’re coming from our “small self” — the part of us rooted in fear, a lack of worthiness or scarcity – then our purpose may be to stay safe, avoid being alone, prove that we’re “good enough,” make our parents happy, keep the boat from rocking, etc.

For the “small self” it boils down to safety and control. And for many of us, safety is where we feel good. But there’s more to life than settling for safety alone.

If we’re tapping into our “big self,” our “higher self,” then I believe our purpose is to experience deep joy, happiness, love, connection, satisfaction, fulfillment, peace, fun, and wholeness. And when we’re experiencing deep joy, love, wholeness, fulfillment, etc. we feel Good. I mean Really, Really, Really Good.

This Good feeling is more than the good we simply feel when we have our coffee in the morning or a cold beer on a hot day. It’s more than the good we feel when we are safe.

Stay with me here, but this Good is closer to a unification with God or The Divine or whatever you want to call that-which-is-bigger-than-but-also-includes-all-of-us. It’s really big!

Our purpose isn’t about “doing some thing.” It’s about experiencing this Good feeling. Our purpose is to experience a FEELING not to accomplish a certain goal. Our mission is the formula we can follow to experience the Good feeling. It’s how we tie together our strengths with some sense of meaning. It’s where we take a stand for what we value AND enjoy the process, too.

According to positive psychologists, true happiness can be found when we combine what we love to do (our strengths) with something that is meaningful. It’s the Reese’s peanut butter cup of deep pleasure and contributing something positive to the world.

Our purpose — to experience this Good feeling — is always going to be there. It’s the basis for all that we do. How we get there — the mission — will change.

At some point it will no longer light us up to follow a certain path. If we’re in touch with the feeling and we’re using that as our inner compass, then we can let go of the mission and make room for the next one.

However, if we’re not in touch with that feeling, we’ll simply keep doing the same ol’ thing and wonder why we’re dissatisfied. I get the image of a man trying to catch fish in a dried up lake. The water and the fish have moved elsewhere while he has not.

Says it all.


Best political ad yet. A must-view.

Here’s what happens when you get a hug from the Vice-President.

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Read about it here. Damn allergies. My eyes are tearing up again. Just like last time.

“The President and Vice President have gone above and beyond for people like me and my family, and they stand for things like keeping school affordable. My older brother uses Pell Grants and college loans to be able to afford school, and I’m thankful for that. I want to be able to go to Florida State University one day, and now I know I don’t have to worry about being able to afford it. Life would not be the way it is today if they hadn’t taken office four years ago.

The Vice President approached me and I was introduced to him as a ‘special guest.’ I was overwhelmed with different emotions. I had this impulse to hug him, so I did. And I cried. I think I even got tears on the Vice President’s suit jacket! I met someone who has done so much for my family without even knowing us, and that was an incredible, overwhelming feeling. I felt like he really heard me, like he knew who I was. I am hugging the man who will help me and help our President move forward.”

Joe rawks. You say different? Bring it.

Who can argue with Samuel L. Jackson?!