Georgia P’s first election & why her parents vote for Obama

On Friday, we took Georgia P to vote at a nearby mall in early voting.

She’s a very social little girl and she loves being out and about and people watching (especially when the people are standing in line; she loves lines).

As owners of a small business (my wine and restaurant industry marketing consulting gigs) and parents of a ten-month old girl, the result of this presidential election will have a greater (and more direct and more immediate) effect on us than any before.

As long as I live, I’ll never forget the day that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and Georgia P, Tracie P, and I watched the president address the nation on television.

I wrote in my blog:

    From the time I became an adult in the eyes of the law to the time I filed my dissertation at UCLA in 1997 at thirty years of age, I was a student and was covered thanks to my affiliation with the university. But when I moved to New York and ultimately became a freelance translator and writer, affordable health insurance became a challenging personal issue for me: even in the toughest of times (like the years that followed the tragedy of the World Trade Center and the more recent financial crisis), health insurance was a luxury that I simply could not do without, lest my family be burdened with the cost of my care in the case I fell ill.

    I’m fortunate to enjoy good health. And thanks be to G-d, Tracie and Georgia P are both healthy as well.

    But now that I am a father and a business owner who insures his whole family, including our dear Georgia P, the news of the Supreme Court decision bolsters my hope that our daughter will grow up in a more “human” United States of America.

    I thought that I was going to cry when the president said that insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and that they will no longer be able to charge women more for coverage simply because they are women.

Affordable and guaranteed health care and women’s reproductive rights are among the top issues being decided in today’s votes. Both will affect our daughter as she adolesces and becomes an adult American.

But the greater and over-arching issue that makes me a democrat is my desire for our daughter to grow up in a country where humanity and human dignity are paramount in our nation’s ethos.

Do we personally need affordable health care? No, we don’t: every month we pay for health insurance that provides us with excellent care. Do we need government entitlements? No, we don’t: even in leanest times, we live comfortably thanks to our ability to make a living.

No, we don’t need any of those things. We’re doing great.

But our country does. Our nation — our fellow citizens who share our birth right — does.

And as Georgia P smiles, laughs, plays, hugs, eats, and farts, unaware that we have been blessed by a family who loves us and our modest prosperity, she needs to grow up in a country where taking care of our less fortunate sisters and brothers is a civic duty embraced by every citizen for the greater good of all — including a little Texan who came into this world ten months ago.

Thanks for reading and please vote for Barack Obama for President.

White, red, and green all over: Obama to eat patriotic pasta at G8

Lately, there’s been so much chatter in the blogosphere about the Obamas’s culinary fondness for Blue Hill in NYC and Five Guys in D.C. that I thought I do a post on a story that’s making waves today in the Italian blogosphere on what Obama will be eating at the G8 Summit in July.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently changed the location of the summit to L’Aquila in Abruzzo to raise awareness of the tragedy of the April earthquake there.

According to a report widely circulated today, Berlusconi’s personal chef Michele Persechini will serve a “triptych” of pennette: al pomodoro, al pesto, and ai quattro formaggi — red, green, and white, as in the colors of the Italian flag (no translation necessary here, I imagine).

Above: That’s where Obama will be staying in L’Aquila. “It’s barracks for Obama,” reported the Guardian a few weeks ago, noting that some world leaders may be disappointed about the venue change. You gotta love the Brits’s sense of humor!

In Carlo Verdone’s 1981 film Bianco, Rosso, e Verdone (produced by Sergio Leone), Verdone plays three Italians who each make road trips to their places of birth so that they can vote. (That’s the Roman character, Mimmo, in the image above, left.)

My favorite is the Italian immigrant Pasquale who’s lived in Germany so long that he’s become Teutonified but hasn’t lost his Italian identity. He doesn’t speak for the entire film, except for in the very last sequence when he finally votes and “vents.” You don’t need to understand Italian to watch the clip below: Pasquale’s monologue is nearly unintelligible even for Italian speakers. It is a hilarious but true portrayal of Italian voters’s frustration with their country’s politics and its politicians.

The score is by Ennio Morricone: I love the music in this sequence, its references to the Italian national anthem and the line played by the mandolin.