Happy birthday to Senator Barbara Boxer – she is 70 today.
Sen. Boxer – don’t forget that’s what she likes to be called – has spent nearly forty years in politics. She started on the Marin County Board of Supervisors in 1976, was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982. In 1992 she became a senator. In 2004 she received more votes than any candidate in the history of California.
She has worked hard, often across the aisle, on women’s issues, help for veterans, health and environmental issues. She was key to preventing drilling in the Arctic and in 2005 she introduced the National Ocean Protections Act.
But you could say she has just done her job. What she did in 2004, on the other hand, was an act of courage.
When a handful of Democratic House members protested the outcome of the election in Ohio, citing voter suppression and the unreliability of the Diebold voting machines, they asked – pleaded, really – that one Senator support them. Just one. One Senator was what the law required in order to present an official objection to certifying the election.
A lot of hemming and hawing in the Senate followed, until Barbara Boxer agreed to be the one. She will always be remembered for that. And we sent her roses.
Here is the late Stephanie Tubbs-Jones presenting the objection, which of course was defeated – it received only one vote in the Senate:
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Today is Armistice Day. It celebrates the end of World War I and the end of hostilities on the Western Front at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
Twenty million people died in WWI. Fifty-five million died in WWII. Nearly six million died in Viet Nam, of which 5.6 million were Vietnamese. Some surprising statistics in the form of very dramatic graphs are here. An unforgettable fact:
Laos is actually the most heavily bombed country in world history, and one person is still killed by American bombs an average of every two days in Laos currently, some 25 years after the war. It is estimated that it will take another 100 years to completely rid Laos of all the unexploded American ordinance that remains in the country.