Crazy Day in Concord
We all packed into the Governor's chambers after caucus to witness the signing of the Civil Unions bill into law. There were hundreds of Democrats packed into the room trying to listen, but Lynch's remarks were lukewarm at best. Even with the entire party standing behind him, he refuses to accept personal responsibility in standing up for gay rights... They made him do it.
Session was a big disappointment for me today. I spent more time outside than in my seat.
We started off with the big fight of the day, the Smoking Ban. I promised Sen. Gottesman I'd vote for it when I saw him this morning, in return for him voting against the Seat Belt bill. Well yeah, that wasn't happening but it doesn't matter because Seat Belts died today in the Senate, with only 6 Democrats voting for it (and no Republicans).
I intended on voting for the Smoking Ban though, regardless. Ironically, I was outside having a smoke when the roll was called and I missed the vote!
So that pretty much left me pretty bummed out for the rest of the day. It was the only big thing we really voted on, but it passed overwhelmingly so my vote really would've been self-serving.
Things got worse. Next, a healthcare-related study bill died after some pretendo'crats got up and shilled for the insurance companies.
Then things hit rock bottom. eff was busting his ass for the past 2 weeks in fighting an egregious violation to civil liberties that was tucked away in a police-related bill coming out of his committee. He enlisted the support of Libertarians from both sides of the isle, but old people are retarded and don't listen to reasoned debate so his attempts to stop it failed by a hundred votes. Live Free or Die, indeed.
Things got better though. We went outside and talked to our favorite Senate staffer about how awesome Gore is, and listened to good ole' Rep. Al "Homosexual Agenda" Baldasaro teach us about how he cares about freedom more than we do.
We recessed for lunch early and decided to treat ourselves to a sit-down deal at the Barley House. The new waitress told us we could sit at the bar, especially after finding out we weren't of age, which apparently got her in a little bit of trouble (her idea not ours).
I wrote a blog post during the morning and at lunch on my phone, and it got front-paged on Blue Hampshire. I was basically attacking David Brooks for being the biggest clown on the planet, but also for bad-mouthing Gore in the NYTimes.
I got a call from the photography crew of WPI's Transformations magazine, waiting outside across the street for me to do a photo shoot. I was in a rush leaving the restaurant and fix my hair or grab a toothpick on my way out, so there's a good chance there was a pretty good chance I looked awful. I also felt really uncomfortable standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk in front of the State House trying to fake a smile.
The photographer loved Al Gore though, and he also thinks he is going to run and win! It made me pretty happy, because usually photographers are bullshitting you and trying to make you feel good about yourself while they snap away, but this guy genuinely made me smile after I told him who I'm supporting in 2008.
Went back inside after about 10 minutes of talking to them. I didn't miss anything this time, and things started getting better from here. Labor finally won a fucking vote - Leadership must be finally realizing that the unions are a stronger voting bloc than the Democratic caucus ever is.
Jeff found out we got an e-mail from James Pindell at the Boston Globe so we went out to the antechamber to call him. I just answered a few questions about our Draft Gore plans for the convention this Saturday. I just talked for 5 minutes because he never stopped me to ask questions, so I wouldn't be surprised if a really crappy quote ends up in the Globe tomorrow.
Now Jeff, on the other hand, seems to have a natural talent for talking to the press (see here, or here). He was quoted for an article in the Washington Times that ran this morning, also having to do with Gore's candidacy.
So session ended not too long afterwards, and we spent half an hour giving privilege to a three military veterans in the among us who each gave speeches in honor of Memorial Day.
The first one was kind of unmoving because it was a Republican giving it who mostly just listed off all the names of NH KIA's in Iraq and talked about the War on Terrah.
The second speech was incredible, however. Rep. Kris Roberts is a much more eloquent writer than I realized, and even though he was against our Iraq War resolution, he spoke with clarity and dignity about the blood that has been shed in creating and preserving this nation, without glorifying war.
Rep. Eleanor Kjellman's speech really hit me though. She spent about 10 minutes describing one young soldier from her hometown Henniker who died last summer. It was chilling, I actually felt sadness for the first time, thinking about how this guy was born just 4 years before me, and had volunteered for the Army before 9/11 happened. That really made me feel like shit.
I've had this difficult time dealing with all the kids my age who are going to Iraq and joining the Army because they might feel a sense of obligation to fight Bush's war (at best), or just to "kill sum fuckin' terrorists" (these ones really sicken me). Unfortunately, I've come of age with a really unfair impression of the military. Once I started thinking about my grandfather's serving in WWII, though, I realized that the kid's of my generation are getting fucked. Not only are these soldiers going off to die for an arrogant imperialist shithead, but we're also being blinded and mislead as an entire generation. As we're slowly losing connections with those still living who witnessed and served in WWII, we no longer have living stories of wars that had to be fought - it's only something we read about in history books.
The theme of death seemed to carry on throughout the rest of the day. We stopped over at the funeral home afterwards to pay our respects to our fellow Rep. Jane Clemons of Nashua, whose mother suddenly passed away. We saw Sean Munroe and his parents inside which was good for us because going to a wake for someone you never knew can be kind of awkward when you don't know anyone there. Good people, though.
Went to the library with my dad and decided to start reading The Federalist Papers. After reading The Assault on Reason, I realized I have a lot of homework to do if I ever want to score points with Al Gore.