Kirsten Gillibrand @ The Mill – July 26

the guardian

Kirsten (“Keer-stuhn,” not kuhr-stun or kris-ten or chris-tian) was right on time rather than the standard one hour late and The Mill was full, but not jam-packed. JM and I shared a booth with a nice lady who was attending her very first campaign event of this cycle having chosen Kirsten as her favorite after the first debate. That’s notable because I thought she was kind of stumbly than night.

Kirsten is powerful though and I think possibly generally overunderestimated, sadly maybe partially due to her appearance – being very blonde and pretty. She told about being raised by her badass mother, a working attorney, who also cooked, cleaned and made clothes for the family. She roasted a turkey every Thanksgiving – after hunting it down and shooting it herself. Her grandmother was a similarly formidable character. with her babies

Kirsten claims to be the bravest candidate and far braver than Donald. I believe her. She recounted a number of impressive tales of political vanquishment and triumph as a senator from New York. I also saw her doing the classic hold-a-baby thing and the baby, after a minute of assessing her, lay her little head on Kirsten’s shoulder. Has any baby in it’s right mind ever lay it’s head on Donald’s shoulder? I think not.

Earlier in the day Kirsten released her plan to address climate change, “the biggest existential threat to humanity.” She says, “climate change should be this generation’s moonshot,” establishing competition between nations as to who can muster the best engineering and most effective policy. It was a good thing for Kennedy and the country and will be a good thing for Gillibrand and the country too.

After a few weeks of not thinking too much about the democratic 2020 candidates I hereby declare Kamala, Kirsten and Elizabeth as my top three. Elizabeth, however fails the Baby Boomers Are Too Old test and might therefore give way to Cory, or Pete.

yrmama’s sprained ankle, crutches etc. etc. bled into a delightful week in Colorado at 11,000′ meaning very little oxygen. I may or may not have missed some local campaign events but no apologies. This coming week I will be in Nashville hanging out at the International Ehlers Danlos Society conference – sort of a social group for the chronically ill and tragically clumsy who are also into learning medical stuff. I think I’ll get a tattoo. Also, the yrmamas are in the process of becoming Canadian citizens so if Donald does get reelected and declares martial law we are all moving north.

Hope!Hype!Hustle! – Cory Booker, June 8, Iowa City

Summer in Iowa City….ahhh….park where you want, for the children have all gone home! Every weekend we have a festival! Sand! Art! Jazz! Pride! Every Friday there’s a band playing by the fountain! Streets are closed for food trucks and porta potties and beer pens! Movies are projected on the side of McBride! While they are gone we Live It Up.

June 18, 2016. Zak Neumann Freelance for The Gazette.

Back from Jay’s event in Cedar Rapids (As a preschooler, daughter #17 called it See the Rabbits.) JM and I hustle downtown to see if we can catch the end of Cory’s Political Party Live taping. We skillfully dodge salsa dancers by the fountain and enter a room that smells like pencils. Hah hah, the walls are covered with sharpened pencils. Very clever decor, hotel in Unesco City of Literature. Cory is just arriving as we get oriented, nice and late. We find a spot to stand with a few hundred of our closest friends closely packed around us.

adorable and a Senator

JM brings me a very cold beer. I’m hungry. It’s hot. Cory is passionate and gives me chills, talking about race and guns and stuff. He’s amazing. My excessive sweatiness intensifies until there is a steady trickle from the back of my head, down my neck, down my back, between the boobs, splashing on my shoulders – splish splash. I tell JM I’m stepping out to cool off and aim my face towards the lobby and hope everything else follows. In the blast of air I meet on the other side of the door is a very nice young man with a nametag and a clipboard. He asks if we are ready to caucus for Cory, then assesses reality and gets me a chair and a glass of ice water. He still wants me to caucus for Cory though and tries to get my phone number. I tell him I don’t know my phone number because I actually don’t remember it.

At our favorite air conditioned speakeasy fifteen minutes later JM and I order solid food, light icy cocktails and many glasses of ice water. It’s very nice but I don’t really fully recover – my autonomic nervous system is still on the blink so I continue sweating like a fool and very much look forward to reclining at home.

The server comes around to take our empty dishes, looks me in the eye and says, “so, are we done drinking for the evening?” She’s taken my dishevelment and obvious desire to recline as signs of extreme inebriation. That’s a new one; plumpish, perpetually damp, middle aged yrmama suspected of being overly soused. I guess it’s rather sweet of her to look out for me, but sousededness is truly not part of yrmama’s brand. Explaining to her, “so, yrmama, that’s me, has this genetic collagen defect that can lead to blah blah blah and stretchy blood vessels blah blah,” seemed counterproductive though so I graciously agreed with her, paid up and went home to recline.

Next: PETE!

***Late Edit – yrmama, in all her self-absorption neglected something. Cory is RADIANT. On top of being smart, charming, experienced in politics and a very fine orator, it turns out Cory is spiritually evolved. Which I know because yrmama can sense that kind of thing. This vegan, AME and rather Jewish man who is friends with Gayle (Oprah’s friend) is running on a platform of love, with a capital L which makes it Love. Watch him glow.


1) Look. Listen. Listen! After the recent dearth of attention paid to yrmama by the candidates, things are picking up! It may be just a blip, but if not, buckle up.

Tonight Political Party Live is taping an interview with Bernie in Cedar Rapids. Tomorrow the podcast is interviewing Cory in Iowa City. Sunday 19 candidates will be speaking at the Democratic Party Hall of Fame event at the Hilton in Cedar Rapids. A bunch of them will be roaming around doing smaller appearances too, so yrmama intends to roam as well and make it like Pokemon Go. Options include morning Crossfit with Kirsten, marching around and yelling with Bernie and a group of McDonald’s workers who would like to be paid fairly, trailing Kirsten on downtown sidewalks while her schedule lists ‘visibility,’ letting John Delaney buy you lunch, meeting up with Marianne at a yoga studio, and playing cornhole with Pete at a picnic/party in Greene Square.

2) Donald. Why do you say he’s a ‘straight shooter’ who ‘tells it like it is’? Why do you ever believe him? Why on god’s green earth do you like him? Sit up and listen:

My new best friends, Karen and Georgia’s joint memoir Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered The Definitive How-To Guide is #1 on the NYT bestsellers list and that didn’t happen by accident. Their podcast listeners are the sexiest un-murdered folks around and we each have bought a few copies. Their book is organized around key principles, like Stay Out of the Woods, and Buy Your Own Shit. Much of their popularity is attributable to all the swearing – we Murderinos find it very empowering.

In the first chapter Georgia asks Karen why she thinks the primary principle, Fuck Politeness speaks so strongly to their followers. Karen says, (book 1, verse 3) “it’s what everyone wants to do but has been led to believe they’re not allowed to do. We’re giving you the permission to act in your own best interests before considering anyone else’s.”

So. Is that what you believe Donald is doing? Fucking politeness? He certainly doesn’t consider anyone’s interests above his own. He’s sticking up for you by sticking up for himself? Maybe.

Howsomever, in book 1, verse 74, Karen says, “The idea of fucking politeness isn’t about standing on a street corner shouting “Fuck You!” to anyone passing by. It’s a strategy for when someone tries to invade your space somehow. They started it. They’re the dick here.” Donald errs a bit towards yelling at everyone on the street corner, at everything he sees actually. He’s like an anxious dog barking into the dark woods, “I’m a dog! Don’t you dare! Fuck you! I’m a dog!”

The thing is, fucking politeness does not remove your moral obligation to be kind. You can absolutely consider your own best interest and use bad words and still be kind. yrmama knows for certain that if you are truly kind your manners matter in the long run. That’s where Donald falls the shortest. He lies (which is in itself unkind) and he’s a mean old man. Steer clear. Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered.

Senator Kamala Harris throws a better town hall than Beto – Wednesday April 10


Senator Harris reserved a larger, fancier room in the Iowa Memorial Union that featured cooler air and chairs. She had music, crazy, blinding spotlights, and three good opening acts; a University of Iowa Student, Diedre DeJear and Royceanne Porter.

Waiting for Kamala Harris to appear. The spotlights trained on the stage in the center were brutal. I bet she looked well-lit on television but those of us sitting across from them couldn’t see her, or anything really.
Royceann Porter
Diedre DeJear

I liked Kamala, she seemed forthright, smart professional and competent. She didn’t make me fall in love with her though, like Barack. And speaking of Barack, have you been watching Pete Buttigieg videos on YouTube like yrmama? He’s so wonderful.