Yesterday, my 11-year old daughter enthusiastically asked me “Are you excited Mom?” When I asked her “about what?” she replied “Your Birthday!!!!”
After explaining that, at my age, birthdays are not something we really get excited about any more, I realized that it is still a day for recognizing milestones and taking inventory of our blessings and shortfalls both.
Two years ago today, I was thinking I got the greatest birthday gift ever, with the election of Barack Obama–the first African-American president in history, and someone who would advance a progressive agenda and get us back on the right track after eight disastrous years of BushCo rule.
While preparing for this morning’s show and pulling some audio clips from yesterday’s press conference, I wonder what happened to our great communicator and the candidate I saw leading up to my very happy 49th birthday.
Today I turn 51, and I’m in a much worse place, financially, than I was when I turned 41. In the year 2000, I was living in Los Angeles, had a great job, a beautiful home (damn, why did I ever sell it?), and was getting ready to head to Kazakhstan to adopt my daughter! The future was rosy, and I had every reason to believe I’d be able to give her a better life than the really good life my parents gave me.
But when I left for Kazakhstan, the 2000 presidential election results had not yet been decided. I was over there for about a month (with Faux News being the only English-language “news” channel available). The day I returned to the states with my new daughter was the day the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush president.
What a difference a corrupt, war-mongering, lying, over-spending presidency can make.
Although I love doing my show online each day, my last full-time paid gig died with Air America Radio. I make some money here and there with fill-in work (BIG thanks to Randi Rhodes who calls upon me regularly to guest host her show – the first time was exactly 1 year ago today!), and doing voiceovers, other odd jobs and, of course, from the generous support of readers and listeners…
But my savings have been depleted, and I’m in the process of letting my home go via a short sale or foreclosure. The equity was lost in the housing crash over the last couple of years so, if I’m lucky, I walk away with nothing.
Thank goodness I have a wonderful man in my life, who invited Alison and me to move in with him, which also gives me the freedom to do this show and try to build upon it.
In that sense, I’m very thankful. Unfortunately, most Americans who find themselves much worse off than they were 10 years ago don’t have that luxury.
So here we go… embarking on a new decade in a couple of months, kicking it off with a Republican-led House of Representatives and the unthinkable, John Boehner as Speaker.
My birthday wish is for President Obama to grow a pair. Realize that the GOP isn’t interested in working with you, so stop claiming that there will be bi-partisanship. That ship sailed a long time ago.
I’ll talk more about this on today’s show… and John Fugelsang joins in too.
As always, listen live from 10-noon ET and come back later for the podcast.