faboo mama

inside the mind of an opinionated mama…

Hope for my children

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 11:  Michelle Obama, the wi...

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Last year, about a month before my daughter turned for she asked who the “pretty man” on TV was. “Obama” I replied.  When I went to YearlyKos in Chicago, I told her about how the Democratic presidential candidates would be there and she’s asked if “President Obama” would attend. I explained to her that he wasn’t president and I doubted he would be.

She bugged me all summer and fall of 2007 to vote for Obama, but he wasn’t my choice. I wasn’t interested.  She told me on my birthday last year, “If you don’t vote for Obama, maybe a bad guy will win and you’ll be sad.”  Manipulative little…

Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday

When we voted in the primaries, I was definitely going to vote for Obama.  She was at my side, as usual, making sure I voted the right way. “Is he president now?”, she’d asked.  Not yet, but at that point, I was sure he would be.

Throughout the primaries, her face would light up with she saw Obama on TV.  She’d asked if he was president yet and I’d tell her not yet.  She loved Obama.  When she finally figured out he had two daughters, she asked me to call him to see if they could have a playdate.  On Super Bowl Sunday, I had taken her to see Michelle Obama speak (the day, I firmly became an Obama fan, incidentally).  My daughter recognized that she was seeing a woman who looked like her mom, though admittedly more beautiful.  She thought Michelle Obama was a queen.

Once the general election kicked in, she was very much against McCain. “Why is that man so mean?”, “Why does he tell lies? Lying’s bad.”, “I think his mom should give him a timeout.” were questions she asked over and over again.  By mid-September, she was done with politics and thought the mean guy should just let Obama be president already.  I agreed, but gave her an age-appropriate lesson in democracy. (more…)

Change.gov goes live

The President Elect arrives for making his Vic...

Image by Captain Nandu Chitnis, BikeNomads via Flickr

President-Elect Obama’s new site, Change.gov went live today. Right now, the site is taking a pretty big hit, and is slow.  The page links are interesting and shore up President-Elect Obama’s promise to make his administration more transparent than previous ones.  Check out the Ethics link:

Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s Plan

Shine the Light on Washington Lobbying

  • Centralize Ethics and Lobbying Information for Voters: Obama and Biden will create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.
  • Require Independent Monitoring of Lobbying Laws and Ethics Rules: Obama and Biden will use the power of the presidency to fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations so that the public can be assured that ethics complaints will be investigated.

There’s even a box on the page, so you can make suggestions.

Mirroring the key issues and interests that were on Sen. Obama’s candidate sites, the website expands those policy positions into actionable items.  There is a blog, a listing of upcoming events beginning with the inauguration and a link to apply for non-career jobs with the Obama Administration. You can share your own story of your experience of living in this moment in American history on the site too.

Throughout his campaign, Sen. Obama was persistent and consistent in stating that the American citizen should be ready to work for America.  That students who wanted help with their college education would have to do community service.  Sticking to that pledge is a link that helps you to find a suitable place for you to work for your country.

When the site isn’t so bogged down, take a look around.


I’ve been watching Republican talking heads and politicians carry on and on about how this country is “center-right” and that Obama does not have a mandate.


Respectfully, Republicans…Stuff it.

Shall we get in the time machine and go back to 2004?  Remember that year Bush finagled 286 Electoral Votes, with slim 50.7% vote margin and you all claimed “mandate”?  Bush himself went on the TV boasting of his invisible mandate, and you all followed lock-step like sheep.

Sen. Obama has received 349 Electoral Votes with 52% of the vote margin.

No mandate?  Are you kidding me?  You’ve squandered 6 years of control; abusing your power, demonizing those of us who disagree with you.  You’ve proven that you do not understand what the American public wants or needs, but more importantly that you do not care.  The fact that you think that we are or should listen to anything your irrelevant pundits say is laughable.

So, please. Go concern-troll elsewhere, but I tired of your incessant babblings on my TV, in my periodicals and online.

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

President Obama

I don’t have words.  I just wanted to type that.  I’m in tears right now.  I’m shocked.  Yes.  I fully expected to be disappointed tonight.  I expected a long night and a lot of shenanigans.  This is a new day for America.  Finally, we are no longer under a horrible Republican leadership.  The tireless work so many people did to get to this point…Wow.

Thank you, America.

Tonight you did well.

NaBloPoMo is here!

View my profile on NaBloPoMo

It’s November again, so that means (to me) National Blog Posting Month.  If you’re participating this year, please post a link to your NaBloPoMo page and/or blog and I’ll add it to a special NaBloPoMo blogroll.  Good luck on your blog postings!

NaBloPoMo 07 offline


I’m more than a little curious why the site was taken down by the owner. It’s 20 to 7pm here on the West Coast and I’m sure there are people here and in Hawaii who still had their last posts to put up tonight. The site’s been offline since about 3pm my time and I wasn’t even able to get my NaBloPoMo finished badge from them. I had to snag from another website.

I don’t know…it’s weird. The groups that were created, conversations that were cut off, strange…I hope they decide to reinstate the site. There were tons of blogs I discovered through the site that I managed not to bookmark, thinking I could hit them up in December. Not if the site is down.


I just got an email from ePluribus Media that they’re moving to a new address. I’m glad to see that, as I would have been bummed if one of the best investigative blogs on the internet shut down. From the email:

We are moving!

The addresses are the same and we’ve boxed up all the old stuff to bring with us, but Roxy’s wonderful tech team has given us a unified look and feel to our different sites and components. Come on in through the new front door: www.epluribusmedia.net

New features! Cleaner functions! You can create your own blog right within the ePluribus Media Community! Investigates is more dynamic and more receptive to searches!

Everything goes live on December 1, 2007, so come over and get acquainted.

And you know I will…

Happy Birthday Metroblogging LA!

Metroblogging LA has turned 4 today, so why don’t you go on over and give them some birthday wishes. I’m forever grateful for the site that teaches me more about the city I live in and celebrates its quirks and idiosyncrasies.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Environmentally Friendly Toys

In the past week, I’ve been hit up by several people for wish lists for my kids. Nothing has changed since they were born, the list is simple: Educational (non-electronic) toys as long as they’re not tied to a trademarked character or gift cards to places I get them clothes (Gap, Gymboree, Target, etc). Every year, those wishes are ignored and I’m faced with returning or tossing toys manufactured in China or Mexico (great sources of lead which has finally been sensationalized publicized this year), toys with Dora or Spiderman and gadgets that make too much noise. This year, I’ve decided to educate and assist friends and family with giving them links to stores and/or products that are educational, low-tech and evironmentally sound.

My first link given is always to Co-op America’s Green Toy idea list. The list has 10 gifts that ideal for small children. They’re pretty basic toys, but with big box toy stores, it’s easy to lose sight, when faced with wall to wall plastic, seeing kids of the same age screeching for certain items. Co-op America also has some tips on shopping green:

1. Buy Green and Fair Trade Toys. Search the National Green Pages™.

2. Find the Best Toys for Your Tots. By being mindful about the toys you choose, you’ll save money, keep toxins out of the playroom, and help workers around the world. Read more.

3. Buy Used Toys and Games. Check out your local consignment shop for gently used toys and games. As with any toy purchase, make sure to look for age appropriate items that do not pose choking hazards or other possible injuries.

4. Encourage Children to Play Outdoors and Use Their Imaginations. Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children ages 8-18 spend a little over 6 hours per day using electronic media including TV, music, computers, and video games. Work to ensure that your children spend time reading, playing outdoors, drawing, painting, making music, or engaging in some other form of self expression.

5. Educate Yourself and Others About Toys and Violence. The Lion and the Lamb Project works to stop the marketing of violence to children. Check out their web site for a list of toys to avoid.

All of that is a no-brainer for me, which is why I am so particular about what comes into my house. If the purpose of the toy is vanity, enforcing a trademarked character’s brand, or just simply making noise, it goes into the trash. Packaging is also a big thing for me. Some of the toys are so overpackaged nowadays that it’s a workout just to get them out of all that cardboard, plastic and those evil, indestructible twist ties. Most green toys, if they’re packaged at all are in simply recycled cardboard. I know of a few companies that even use recyclable plastic to package the toy, with a simple sticker made of recycled paper printed with vegetable inks. Can you get more green than that?

My second link is to the Lazy Environmentalist interviews. These interviews with Ted McGuire and Serah Chae give you tips on new toys and what to look for when buying. You can also check out Treehugger blog for tips on green toys and shopping.

I understand that time is short for everyone these days. Many of my friends and relatives work two jobs to make ends meet. Most of them refuse to purchase anything online and find it easier just to walk into Target or Toys R Us and buy whatever gender-reinforcing toy they run into. Which is why I also provide a list of links to stores that not only sell green toys, but may also generate a list of where you can buy those toys. And yes, you can find green toys in Target and Toys R Us, but it would be preferable if you bought locally. That means seeking out little storefront toy stores in your neighborhood. Maybe there is one next to a little cafe you’ve been dying to try or one across the street from your favorite shoe store.

Where you can buy green toys:

Green Baby: This company has everything for prenatal to postnatal women, babies and kids.
Northwest Nature Shop: Has cool science type toys that any inquisitive person would love. We like them because we like learning, the little girl thinks that everything in nature (except bugs) is just amazing.
Green Toy Co.: Has products listed by age, gender and by activity. The company also sells a nice variety of Fair Trade toys.
KidBean: A Co-op Approved site, sells vegan items for you and baby. They now offer a list of the items they sell that are USA made.
Under the Green Roof: Lots of too-cute-for-words wooden toys. All the animals shapes are adorable and everything is painted using non-toxic paints.
Miyim: Organic, high-end toys and such. I wouldn’t personally buy their items (being broke and all), but I do like to look at the site. They give you a store locator where you can purchase items locally.
Imaginarium: It’s a shame that Toys R Us closed all these stores. It was the only store in the mall that we could all enjoy. You can still by Imaginarium products at Toys R Us, but it’s not the same.
Ten Thousand Villages: A Fair Trade company that sells probably the coolest items ever, and has a section of toys that are just amazing. Everything here looks like artwork and collectibles. Incredible.
Under The Nile: Certified with the National Organic Program Standards and with Demeter, this store sells clothing and toys made with organic cotton.
Kip’s Toyland: I live in Los Angeles and it wouldn’t be fair for me to not mention this family favorite. Set on the north side of historic Farmers Market, the toy store was always a must visit for me and my husband before we had kids. Needless to say, it’s a family favorite.

There are many other stores, especially in the UK and Australia, so take a look around. When you’re out, check to see if there’s a little toy shop tucked away somewhere. Good luck with your shopping and remember to think ‘green’.

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