Election Night 2012 Roundup — What a Party!

Just when we were all feeling like the Bronco Bama girl, the elections ended just like that.  President Obama was re-elected with a wide margin in the electoral college contrary to what the pundits were predicting and in line with the  smart numbers guys who knew their numbers here, here and here.  He was re-elected with a 7.9% unemployment rate, the highest of any president returned to office since Franklin Roosevelt in 1936.  Next to Bill Clinton, he became only the second Democrat since Roosevelt to win another term.

An interesting global poll conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA between July 3 and September 3, 2012, indicates that Obama is preferred to Romney in 20 of the 21 countries polled:

“Of all the countries polled, France is currently the most strongly pro-Obama, with 72 per cent wanting him to be re-elected and just 2 per cent preferring Romney. Australia (67%), Canada (66%), Nigeria (66%), and the UK (65%) are among the other countries with large majorities favouring Obama.

Pakistan, where 14 per cent want to see Romney elected compared to 11 per cent who prefer Obama, is the only country where the current President is not the favoured candidate—but here, three-quarters (75%) express no opinion. The countries with the largest proportions favouring Mitt Romney are Kenya (18%) and Poland (16%).

Around the world, there were election viewing events and parties at our embassies and consulates on November 6. Here are some of them:

US Embassy Wellington, New Zealand

Via US Embassy NZ/FB
(click on photo above to view the slideshow)

US Embassy Santiago, Chile

Via US Embassy Santiago/FB
(click on photo above to see more)

US Embassy Islamabad, Pakistan

An the election watching party with Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam.

Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson with Lady Liberty and guests at the Election Day watch party
(click on photo to view slideshow)

Via US Mission Pakistan/FB
(Click on photo above to view more photos)

US Consulate General Karachi, Pakistan

Before the elections, Consul General Michael Dodman also hosted a  “Rock the Vote” event “for a fun, interactive discussion of democracy and the U.S. voting system.”

Via USCG Karachi
(click on photo to see more)

US Embassy Baghdad, Iraq

Ambassador Beecroft interviewed by #AP and #alhurra at U.S. Embassy election day event
Photo via @USEmbBaghdad
(click on image to see more photos)

US Embassy Canberra, Australia

The US Embassy in Canberra even had mock balloting.  “The room has voted overwhelmingly in favour of Obama/Biden with 85 votes, versus Romney/Ryan with 19. Amusingly, Ambassador Bleich also managed to pick up 14 votes!”

Ambassador Bleich joins Lyndal Curtis on stage — at National Press Club of Australia.
(click on image above for more photos)

US Embassy New Delhi, India

Via US Embassy New Delhi/FB
(click on image above for more photos)

US Embassy Moscow, Russia

Via US Embassy Moscow/FB
(click on image above to see more photos)

US Embassy London

At the Election Night 2012 party at the U.S. Embassy London, not only was Elvis in the building, he was at the door!

Via US Embassy London/FB

And that last one with Elvis is probably my favorite; now gotta get some more sleep.




US Mission New Zealand: Ambassador Huebner Visits Antarctica

Ambassador Huebner traveled to Antarctica to kick off U.S. Mission New Zealand’s focused on science diplomacy and deepen the longstanding U.S.-New Zealand relationship in Antarctica. Gorgeous photos but brrrrr….. all photos via US Embassy New Zealand/Flickr:

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Click here if the embedded slideshow does not work.

Read Ambassador Huebner’s blog post here.

Domani Spero

EFM shouldn’t have to see three RMOs, do a PPT presentation and wait 352 days for help

Below is an excerpt (used with permission) from a blog post by Amy, a diplomatic spouse posted in New Zealand who was traumatized by the Christchurch earthquake last year. Her full post, It takes a lot to piss me off is here:

Last week we had yet a new RMO come and I was ready this time. I prepared a power point presentation for her to let her know how I really felt. The system is broken sister and here’s why….I thought it was a very good presentation and I left with a new prescription for antihistamines! No wonder there are so many alcoholics in this business (or so I’m told, I haven’t met any yet). Luckily I am not so fearful and even enjoy NZ though I’d never live here permanently and am looking forward to our new post in India. But I am thinking that to be a part of this business you have to look after yourself. Nobody is going to hold your hand and make sure you get the help you need. I didn’t even know I was eligible for medivac back to the States just after the quake until 8 months after. A nice quake break would have been helpful. Someone really should have told me that was an option.

So yeah, I took a power point presentation to my shrink after receiving help 352 days after my crisis. I’m such a drama queen.

What kind of Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot help is this?  An EFM (eligible family member) who needs help should not have to see three RMOs, create a PowerPoint presentation and wait 352 days to get help!

The State Department has shrinks, politely known as Regional Medical Officers/Psychiatrists or RMO/Ps.  The RMO/Ps are presently serving in Accra, Amman, Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Dakar, Frankfurt, Lima, London, Manama, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Pretoria, Tokyo, Vienna, and the District of Columbia among other locations. RMO/Ps also serve on temporary duty in high threat locations (e.g., Baghdad, Kabul, etc) and in post-disaster environments (e.g., post earthquake Haiti, etc).

I don’t know which RMO/P covers New Zealand.  In my old life, I went through natural disasters here and there, a couple or so coup d’états and two broken hearts, not all at the same time, silly.  Saw no shrink, but now see how I turned out?

Below are two of an RMO/P’s responsibilities:

Embassy or State Department Specific Responsibilities: Makes regular visits to regional posts, as frequently as necessary to determine ongoing mental health needs and provides needed services.

Clinical Responsibilities: Provides ambulatory and emergency psychiatric care for employees and eligible family members including children, assesses post morale responds to emergencies 24-hour/7 days a week, performs telephone consultations, assures patient confidentiality, responds to crises at the home post or regional posts, renders clinical consultations on workplace and family violence events (including child and spousal abuse cases), provides educational and treatment services as feasible for alcohol and drug abuse prevention at post, renders psychiatric consultations for Regional Medical Officer, helps employees in problems of adjustment to life style, creates and provides educational and therapeutic presentations to officers and families at post, and assists with establishing life style programs.

State also has a much touted, Deployment Stress Management Program (DSMP) located in Mental Health Services within the Office of Medical Services. This office apparently provides information, education, referrals, initial assessment and brief treatment for problems related to the stress of deployment to high threat areas, unaccompanied tours, overseas crises and other stressful situations encountered by Foreign Service Officers, family members and State Department employees overseas.

Deployment Stress Management Program
Office of Medical Services
1800 North Kent Street
Arlington (Rosslyn), VA 22209
Tel: 703-875-4828
Fax: 703-875-4952
Email: MEDDSMP@state.gov

Oh, and a Happy Valentines to you, too, especially the folks at MED.  I’m sure she appreciates the antihistamines, but she needs more than damn itchy pills for emergencies.

The State Department’s Office of Medical Services  is headed by Medical Director Gary D. Penner, M.D.  If there is a part of his office not doing its mission to “safeguard and promote the health and well-being of America’s diplomatic community,” he ought to know about it.  Because the buck stops on his desk.  Um, unless it stops elsewhere upstairs ….

Domani Spero