Heather L. Barmore
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Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    Debt Ceiling Explained

    I attempted and failed miserably at explaining the debt ceiling and its importance to a friend. There was a lot of wild gesturing and then a heavy sigh at the end. I think it comes from how debt ceiling, deficit and budget are inexorably intertwined. And the next thing you know states are facing the same budget crises that they faced this past year. A problem that will persist until we are out of this hole. Anyway, if you have been wondering what this is all about, Ali Velshi explains it here.


    "Off the Sidelines" and other things that make me say hooray! 

    “The female approach is more conciliatory and less combative. We tend to use a more civil tone.” - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

    I started this website last year in order to voice my very strong and ever present opinions on all things political. Not just on policy and people but because I wanted to be able to start and have a discussion on what is going on in the world around me. We are the products of our communities and I have long felt that it is our responsibility as citizens to be as informed as possible. And so I have spent so much of my time, energy and effort wanting to engage people on what is going on in their parts of the world because a) I am interested and b) Because what happens in Boise is capable of affecting what happens in Albuquerque. Just as what was happening in Athens affected what happened on Wall Street.

    In the years since realizing my passion for politics I have always noticed one thing. The giant elephant in the room staring me down during meetings and through hallways on the hill, that I am a rarity. A young (black) female who finds C-SPAN to be the best thing since white bread. Quick sidetone: This obsession with watching Congress is such that a) On my Life List is being able to be on the floor of the House and Senate and b) My friend Jen recently met the President of C-SPAN at an event and she made sure to tell him about her crazy liberal friend who thinks the Washington Journal call-in hour might be the most entertaining moment on television.

    Every time I meet another young female in politics we sit and talk about our own trials and tribulations and if I were to tell you how easy it is all the time to be the Young Girl in the room, I'd be lying because <whine> it's so hard, y'all! </whine> Despite the aggravation there is one thing that I has intertwined with my general love of politics and that is to get women, scratch that YOUNG WOMEN - involved in the political process. To get them to listen, think and care about what is going on in the world around them.

    I've actually had this post on my mind for a few days and how fitting that this morning Senator Gillibrand, who, full-disclosure, is someone I know and admire in real life, announced Off the Sidelines a program to "mobilize women across the country, in advance of the national elections next year". When I saw this on Twitter and in my inbox it was all I could do not to fist pump. There are several organizations to help women in politics and with each new program I get a little more hopeful about the progress of women - ALL WOMEN - in politics.

    One of my favorite organizations that I have worked with for several years is Running Start which is an organization for high school and college women who are interested in politics and teaches them who, what, where, when and why along with mentoring and support in their endeavors. This summer Running Start is doing another summer program and because there is no other organization whose mission is so close to my heart and to what I want in my life and career, I have decided that for every comment received on this post between the time I hit publish and Friday Monday, I will donate one dollar to Running Start and getting a high school student to their summer program.

    All you have to do is comment. That's all. I'd like it even better if you checked out Running Start, its sister organization WUFPAC, EMILY's List, WCF and Off the Sidelines. Sound good? Great. Go.

    *Disclosure: This is all of my own doing and for fun and because I believe in the mission of this organization and the organizations listed here.

    Marriage Equality the Upstate, NY edition 

    That title is misleading as not everyone in Upstate NY is as close-minded, ignorant and just plain silly as the person I am about to introduce you to. And yet...it is people like this gentleman that give the entire area north of Rockland County a bad rap. The rest of us have to go about defending our honor of being true, Upstate NYers equipped with a brain and the ability to both read and think. Possibly at the same time.
    As the debate over gay marriage continues to broil in Albany, one Clinton County legislator has made his position perfectly clear.

    Sam Trombley is against gay marriage.

    "I'm surprised the health department has not come out against this because we are going to have an HIV epidemic if this passes," Trombley (R-Area 2, Ellenburg) said at Wednesday night's legislature meeting.

    It gets better:
    Trombley went on to say that even the animal world understands that same-sex relationships are not natural.

    "You don't see two male dogs sleeping in the same dog house together," he said.

    Yes. Really.

    Over the past month and into this coming evening, Albany, the wee capital of New York State has been making headlines over the back and forth haggling between legislators on the issue of marriage equality. It’s a tale as old as time: Some want it, some don’t. We’re just sitting around obsessively refreshing the state Senate website and Twitter to see if this measure gets a fair shake via up or down vote. If so, New York would be the largest/most-populous state to allow same-sex couples to marry. I must say that being from Albany and living in walking distance from where all of this is going on, makes me At the same time, I cannot help but have in the back of my mind the knowledge that there are people like Mr. Trombley above who are so willfully uneducated and oblivious to reality. Of course one person’s asinine views will not keep me from being at least someone excited to be on the cusp of something so huge.

    I’m also loving the comments on this post from the Times Union’s Capitol Confidential Blog