Alison

Feb. 13th, 2009 01:41 pm
phamos: (eyes)

A woman who was an inspiration to me died last night. I am having intermittent crying jags. The world is a better place because she was in it, and is a poorer place for her loss.

I really just don't know what else to say.

phamos: (political)
I'm super stoked that John Paul Stevens is going to be the one to swear in Biden. But then please, can we get the poor man his long-deserved nap??? The old liberal is sleepy, people!
phamos: (bamababy)
OK, I did all my liveblogging over on Facebook tonight, so I'll transcribe it over here.

5:55 pm -- All we need is the Kerry states plus IA, NM, and CO. The rest is gravy. Breathe.

6:12 pm -- There's a little vein popping out in Pat Buchanan's forehead.

6:38 pm -- The Mitch McConnell race is soooooo close!!

6:40 pm -- Obama's within 15K votes in Indiana with NO precincts in Lake County yet. This rules.

7:01 pm -- Pennsylvania to Obama with 0% returns. Those exit polls must have been a blowout! And NH, too! Start dancing, folks!

7:32 pm -- EAT IT LIDDY DOLE!!!!

8:24 pm -- Oooooooooohio!!!!!!!

8:44 pm -- Maggie is thinking McCain needs to pull an upset in Washington. Think it could happen? If so, I have a lovely bridge you might like to buy..

8:48 pm -- Obama's winning Tampa. He's gonna win Florida. I'm just gonna come out and say it. Florida=Obama country.

8:50 pm -- The baby is kicking up a storm. Excited about Obama, or strung out on all the Gobstoppers I've been chowing on for three hours? Too close to call.

9:04 pm -- He's gonna win VA, and FL, and NC, and IN, and NV, and CO...my god..

9:23 pm -- Maggie is super jealous of her friends in Grant Park.

9:57 pm -- Chris Matthews is totally creaming himself -- I guess that's why they took him off the air right after calling Ohio, they needed to calm him down a little.

10:01 pm -- They just called it! I think Olbermann is crying. They're showing people collapsed in tears in Atlanta and Harlem. This is insane.

10:03 pm -- HA HA HA HA MY NEWS FEED JUST WENT FUCKING BERZERKER! There are fireworks somewhere outside.

10:08 pm -- Slightly anticlimactic: "by the way, Virginia went to Obama." People are crying.

10:18 pm -- Jesse Jackson is crying in Grant Park. Guess you don't want to cut his balls off anymore, huh Jesse?

10:20 pm -- The McCain crowd is booing Obama. Classy to the end, guys.

10:45 pm -- Maggie is now panicking about Prop 8. Gah!

10:59 pm -- Awww, Malia took her twists out. I thought Barack thought she looked tight! Why do you lie to Sway, President-elect Obama??

11:04 pm -- Oprah is excited that Malia and Sasha get a puppy!!! You get a puppy! You get a puppy! EVERYONE GETS A PUPPY!!!!

11:21 pm -- Is that Michelle's brother that's basketball coach at Princeton? Good lord, he's tall.

11:48 pm -- Maggie is projecting that Obama will pull out Indiana and NC by a fraction of a percent, might yet pull out MO, and MT??

11:57 pm -- David Gregory just pointed out that we don't have any results yet from Alaska, and Rachel Maddow LAUGHED AT HIM. It was LULZtastic.

12:15 pm -- Chris Matthews is getting rowdy, shouting about Bill Richardson's facial hair. Has he been drinking?

12:29 pm -- Maggie is going to go crazy watching the Prop 8 numbers shrink by a tenth of a percent at each refresh.

12:30 pm -- Chris Matthews is now muttering under his breath about how much he loves Cory Booker. Seriously, I think he's drunk!
phamos: (bamababy)
OK, so I went over to Real Clear Politics and made my own map of electoral predictions.



The pastel ones are a mix of states that I'm hoping might make the night slightly more interesting -- I think McCain will pull out North Carolina and Georgia in the end (10 hour lines in Atlanta??), but might get surprised by Montana and North Dakota. I also think that Obama's ground game will make the difference in Missouri and Indiana, and that Charlie Crist's bruised ego at not being chosen as McCain's VP will make the difference in Florida similar to how Jeb being governor made the difference in 2000. In a state as crazy as Florida, you need to have the state apparatus on your side, and Crist has no intention of going out on a limb for McCain right about now. Thanks for the extended voting hours, Charlie!! But I think Ohio and Pennsylvania will go Obama in the end, Nevada's looking like a lock based on early voting numbers, and the registration nightmares I thought we'd see coming out of Colorado and Virginia don't appear to have materialized, so I think he's got those wrapped up, too. So, as much as I'm totally panic-stricken, in my heart I think we're in good shape.

Some other thoughts on various other races? I think Saxby Chambliss is going to eat it in Georgia, and good fucking riddance. I think Mitch McConnell might make it through in Kentucky by the skin of his teeth, and it might honestly be partly from backlash to some nasty ads coming down from one of the unions. Good to know that no one party has a monopoly on ugly homophobia. I think Franken's going to lose in Minnesota in a squeaker. I've never thought Franken was a good candidate -- I think it was incredibly egotistical of him to think he would be able to win with all of the baggage he carries. I think he's a relatively funny guy, and I agree with him on most issues, but 15 years of sitting in 30 Rock coked out of your skull riffing on jokes about rape...that doesn't necessarily translate to rural Minnesota voters. If it's a very good day, we'll see Darcy Burner come out ahead in Washington, El Tinklenwhozitz kick Michelle Bachmann's botoxed ass in Minnesota, and Gary Trauner win the shit out of Cheney's old seat in Wyoming. None of them are a sure thing, but man, that would be pretty awesome. And John Murtha's probably going to lose in Pennsylvania, which I'm not particularly sad about. Ted Stevens SHOULD lose Alaska, but you never know -- that place is crazysauce. Kay Hagen's gonna beat Liddy Dole. Jeanne Shaheen is gonna beat mini-Sununu. I'm thinking at least one of the two Diaz-whatever brothers in Florida will lose. And if Prop 8 passes in California, I'm going to have a fucking fit.
phamos: (bamababy)

I beg you, if you live in a state that allows for early voting, GO VOTE NOW. This year will have crazy turnout everywhere, and I already personally know of people who have been wrongly removed from the voter rolls. If you vote early, you may have time to get your registration straightened out. If you find out at the polls that something has gone wonky, you're stuck filling out a provisional ballot, many of which never get counted. And that way lies madness.

Please vote early, and tell everyone you know to vote early, too. I don't care who they're voting for; this isn't a partisan thing for me. Passions are running very high in this country right now. Every person in an early voting state can do their part to make election night go as smoothly as possible and prevent Chris Matthews's and Steve Doocy's heads from actually exploding on air in overexcitement. As entertaining as that might be.

Thank you for listening. Everyone should now go and watch the new Lost preview on YouTube. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

phamos: (superpower)
A vote for McCain is apparently a vote for a cold war with Spain now. Huzzah!

OK, a poll:

[Poll #1262427]

Vote now!
phamos: (superpower)
Fun fact for the day: Hey, you know how Sarah Palin likes to talk about how Alaska is so close to Russia? Well, I did the math, and it looks like the Palin homestead in Wasilla is about the same distance from the Bering Strait as I am in Madison from my parents' house in Vero Beach, Florida! *waves* Hi Mom! I can see your foreign policy qualifications from here!

And to go from Palin's office in Juneau to the Bering Strait? Why, that's close to 2000 miles -- just a short little jaunt like the one I take every afternoon to visit my sister in Los Angeles!

When I told my geographically-challenged friend Ryan I was moving to Wisconsin, he kinda squinted and said, "That's near Canada, right?" Well, sorta, Ryan -- but apparently that proximity is a better asset for my career prospects than my masters degree. Look out, Ban Ki Moon! I've got a geographically-stacked resume and some cute spectacles, and I'm coming for your job!
phamos: (bamababy)
Did you know that Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern's running mate who was torpedoed after his history of shock treatments was discovered after a practically nonexistent vetting process (imagine!), had a Scientologist niece who tried to extort him by spreading false rumors that he was bisexual? Now you do!
phamos: (whatonearth)
In honor of Sarah Palin, the least qualified VP pick of all time, I bring you a look at the WORST VP pick of all time.

phamos: (queer)
Best part about listening to CNN's convention coverage on XM Radio? Trying not to swerve off the road laughing when you hear a woman in the crowd screech out, "I LOOOOVE YOUUUUU ANDERSONNNNNNN!" Lady, he's too busy drooling over Barack to pay you any attention. (To be fair, so was everyone else on the CNN news team, even those that don't live in Chelsea.)
phamos: (bamababy)
I'm honestly not surprised that McCain didn't know that the Anbar Awakening began before the surge even started. Because, really, the man has recently demonstrated that he doesn't know that Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border, that Al Qaida and the Revolutionary Guard aren't exactly best buds, that Czechoslovakia hasn't existed in 15 years, or that Somalia and Sudan are different countries (themselves separated by a country that's approximately twice the size of Texas).

No, what I'm shocked by, and PISSED about, is that CBS actually edited this huge mistake right the fuck on out of the interview. They show Katie Couric asking a question about the surge, and then air McCain's response to an ENTIRELY different question. That is an egregious lack of journalistic integrity. Can we officially stop talking about the damn liberal media now? Or are we just going to keep piling on the New York Times for not letting McCain publish an op-ed with no actual content other than taking potshots at Obama?

I'm angry about the state of our political system these days, obviously. But I'm ashamed by the state of our media. Especially when Bob Novak's going around slamming into people with his Corvette. Douchebag of Liberty, hit-and-run perpetrator, indictment avoider, and gainfully employed Fox News commentator. God bless America. (Don't even get me started on Michael Savage and Jack Cafferty right now. Sheesh.)
phamos: (bamababy)
I would really like it if people would just stop talking about the damn New Yorker cover. Yes, it may be tasteless and/or destructive, but there are SO MANY MORE important things that we need to be focusing on. As in, every single one of John McCain's policy positions is either objectionable or nonsensical. When liberals fuel the fire of a non-issue like the New Yorker idiocy, it's just goading on cable news morons who would much rather talk about salacious stuff like cartoon Obama flag burning than substantive things like McCain's theory of "magic economics" where we can balance the budget by slashing taxes, spending more on defense, and getting rid of like $2 in earmarks. TA-DAH! But, you know, that would be vaguely complicated to talk about and might require multisyllabic words, so pundits would obviously rather grunt about terrorist fist jabs. DO NOT ENCOURAGE THEM. WE DO NOT NEED 10 SEPARATE BLOG ENTRIES ON HUFFINGTON POST WITHIN 2 HOURS ON THE NEW YORKER COVER.

That is my public service announcement for the day. Now back to iPhones.
phamos: (bamababy)
Wes Clark is being lambasted for his comment on Face the Nation about McCain's military service. Let's do an instant replay, shall we?

CLARK: He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, "I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not, do you want to take the risk, what about your reputation, how do we handle this publicly? He hasn't made those calls, Bob.
SCHIEFFER: Can I just interrupt you? I have to say, Barack Obama hasn't had any of these experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.
CLARK: I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.


Wes Clark has shown himself to be awfully shitty at playing politics. This was obvious during his halfhearted presidential run in 2004. (Full disclosure: I voted for him in the New York primary.) But regardless of whether I agree with his sentiment here (which I basically do) or whether it was a dumb thing to say in our soundbyte-centric society (which it was), what I was struck by was the structure of this conversation. Bob Schieffer was the one who actually said the offending phrase first: "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down." People are treating this like Clark was the one who came up with this phrase, because it's the PHRASING, not the sentiment, that is causing the trouble here. As others have pointed out, John McCain himself has said in the past that his hostage experience alone does not qualify him for the presidency. That's fair game. What people are pissed about is that the phrase is casual and almost dismissive, even making it seem like becoming a hostage was HIS FAULT for just riding along and getting his dumb ass shot down. That's the problem. So it's ironic that Clark was just parroting what Schieffer said first. I don't think Wes Clark on his own would have classified John McCain's experience in Vietnam as just riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down -- that particular linguistic turn wouldn't have even occurred to him, as a lifelong military man. I mean, honestly, do people REALLY THINK that Wes Clark, of all people, would piss all over a fellow soldier like that? What he's pissing on is the idea that military heroism itself is a good enough qualification to lead the free world. He doesn't think it is, and I don't either.

Funnily enough, this whole thing reminded me of my dad's episode of NYPD Blue. The scene that episode is most remembered for, a scene my dad actually didn't write but ended up being the crux of the whole plot, involved the following dialogue, between Sipowicz and an angry black community activist:

Kwasi: You're dealing with the one n***** in a thousand who knows what you can and cannot do.
Sipowicz: I'm dealing with the n***** whose big mouth is responsible for this massacre.


Boom goes the goddamn dynamite. Doesn't matter if Kwasi said it first, Andy was in for some shit as soon as that word passed his lips. There is a slight complication here in that Sipowicz was actually a total racist, whereas Wes Clark is hardly anti-military. But seriously, in this country, there are some things you JUST. DON'T. SAY. You don't get to say the N-word if you're white. And you don't get to talk shit on a war hero, even by accident. There are probably others, but those two should be self evident at this point.
phamos: (bamababy)
FISA: Give me a friggin' break, Barack. If this is meant to be a political pander, it's a dumb one, like when liberals waffle on abortion rights even when the majority of Americans believe abortion should be safe and legal with few caveats. The independents you're trying to pick off in the general either don't know enough about the FISA situation to give a shit, or they're libertarians who are rightly horrified by expanded Executive branch power in the abstract and spying in particular. And then you manage to piss off your base. Trying to paint this bill as some kind of "compromise" is ludicrous, even beyond your token opposition to the retroactive immunity part. The few tiny impediments to rampant invasion of privacy stuck in there are so easily overcomes as to be practically made of, like, filo dough or balsa wood or fucking feathers. Basically, what your endorsement of the bill is basically saying is, "Well, if I'm president, you'll be able to trust me not to abuse this power." Which I PERSONALLY do trust you to stick to, but the principle you're running on here is deeply offensive to a country that's been watching our president run our liberty into the ground. Trust your judgment over the principles of the constitution? Pass. I expected much more from a damn Con Law professor. OK, I'm done yelling now. Let's move on to the Supreme Court.

2nd Amendment Decision: I actually don't see his stance here as much of a flip flop, because he hasn't subscribed to the originalist/"militia" stance in the past like many lefties (including myself, to a certain degree) do. And Scalia did end up having to grudgingly acknowledge that gun control programs are not themselves inherently unconstitutional, just that the DC ban in particular is. So, I'm OK with Obama's approval here, even if I personally come down more on the John Paul Stevens (god bless that man)/bobbies with night sticks side.

Child Rapist Death Penalty: Obama siding with the minority on this one doesn't surprise me, even from someone who has been so passionate in Illinois about protesting the inequities of our death penalty system. Again, like with gun control, Obama has consistently taken a more pragmatic stance, saying that the way the death penalty is currently implemented is egregiously unfair but not actually coming out against the act itself. And I understand where he, and others, are coming from. Dammit, if I were going to give the death penalty to any one group of people, it would certainly be child rapists above and beyond probably all others. (I mean, have you heard the particulars of this case? Oh my lord, it is so heinous. I may have been more horrified reading about that rape than reading the story of the Czech kid who was ritually cannibalized.) But I am 100% against the death penalty, legally and morally. The government has zero right and should have zero power to make decisions of life and death, even beyond the structural inequalities and inefficiencies of the policy itself as currently implemented. But Obama is consistent here, and I certainly emotionally get where he's coming from.

Oh, and Barack, stop stomping on all of Scarlett Johansson's hopes and dreams, or we may have to send you over to Jezebel's "Crap Email from a Dude" territory.
phamos: (bamababy)
Walter Mondale switched his endorsement from Hillary to Barack! (And he's an actual superdelegate, unlike poor George McGovern. That man gets no respect.)

So, out of the current living former Democratic presidents/presidential nominees:

McGovern: Obama (switched from Clinton)
Carter: Obama
Mondale: Obama (switched from Clinton)
Dukakis: No endorsement (but Kitty endorsed Obama)
Clinton: Mike Gravel (no, not really)
Gore: waiting with baited breath...

Also, Rahm Emmanuel came out for Obama this morning. As such, I believe it's the appropriate time to bust out this macro that pays tribute to his crazy-ass brother:

phamos: (bamababy)
Oh my god, Barack and Michelle bumping fists was the CUTEST FUCKING THING I'VE EVER SEEN.

EDITED TO ADD PHOTO EVIDENCE OF SAID UNBELIEVABLE CUTENESS )
phamos: (bamababy)
I really can't believe that Rep. Boehner took this incredibly thoughtful and nuanced exploration of Obama's position on Israel and twisted it into, "OBAMA THINKS ISRAEL IS A CONSTANT INFECTIOUS SORE!" No, actually, never mind -- I can TOTALLY believe it. Republican ridiculousness knows no bounds, especially when it comes to knee-jerk Israel rhetoric. God forbid we have a president who supports Israel's right to exist but won't automatically agree with every political decision they make. That would be, you know, RATIONAL.
phamos: (wangchungorillkickyourass!)
Holy shit, who put DC FOLLIES on iTunes?? The Sid and Marty Kroft "Land of Confusion" Reagan puppet show? I half thought I dreamed that show. Seriously, until I was about 16, the entirety of my understanding of the Reagan administration was composed of nuggets I'd gleaned from Doonesbury, DC Follies, and my grandmother shouting at the TV screen at dinner. I'll be good and just download one episode...at least for now.
phamos: (bamababy)
I am seriously a little shocked at the results of the primaries tonight. I guess all those polls I was complaining about really did get into my head and make me start thinking that the Wright thing was going to have an effect on Barack's lead.

Nope.

I assumed that he would win North Carolina. But not by this much. The percentages look like they were looking all along there -- he's going to win by 15 points. So much for that Drudge leak to minimize expectations this morning, Camp Hillary. But I really had no idea it would be this close in Indiana. A few months ago, people were predicting an Obama win because the state was NEXT TO Illinois. I thought that was the silliest thing I had ever heard. Gary does not an entire state make. But, well, wow. In general, though, the demographics in Indiana are much closer to Ohio than Illinois, so him coming out essentially tied there? That's huge. HUGE. Totally cripples Clinton's "Unelectable, can't win white working-class voters" narrative. Even without Clinton's crushing defeat in Gary, she still only won the rest of the state 52-48 apparently.

I'm doing a little dance now.
phamos: (bamababy)
Earlier this year, I was doing a really good job at posting regularly about two topics near and dear to my heart -- politics and Lost. Since I became gainfully employed, this regularity dropped off. And now I feel like I should post about both of those subjects, but I don't know if I can. If I don't post about Lost immediately after viewing it, I kinda lose the intensity of my reactions. (Although my reaction this week can pretty much be summed up as "Ick, you two suck. DON'T CARE.") And the election has broken my brain. Everyone knows my feelings about the national news media at this point. But the blogs, though certainly not as bad as the MSM, have been falling into some unfortunate patterns that I'm not enjoying. Namely, the INCESSANT emphasis on polls. I swear to god, every day I have about 15 posts in my RSS reader about various different presidential polls. And they ALL SAY DIFFERENT THINGS and NONE OF THEM ARE RELIABLE OR MEAN ANYTHING, and yet EVERY DAY, it's all "oh, Obama's been affected by the Wright scandal" and then 12 hours later "Hey, Rasmussen says he's bounced back from the Wright scandal!" and I'm seriously like, WHO CARES?? Jesus, people, I understood it before Pennsylvania because there was a 6 week break and they needed to fill time, but this week has honestly been the worst week yet. You can't wait a damn week and just SEE HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY VOTE? Polls of white people, polls of black people, polls of old people, polls of young people, polls of people with syphilis, polls of people with pet iguanas...and every polling outfit says something different from the rest, and the numbers change wildly from day to day. This reflects nothing. It's useless, and annoying, and I'm seriously about to track down the guy who writes for TPM Election Café and beat him about the head with my shoe.

Also, Hillary keeps saying things that absolutely infuriate me, and I don't actually enjoy being infuriated anymore. I used to, actually, a little bit -- something fun about righteous indignation. But now that this has dragged on for SO LONG, I'm exhausted by it. Like, there was a little brouhaha last week about Hillary on Bill O'Reilly saying, "Rich people...God bless us!" That was the quote that was everywhere. (And of course Wolfson put out a statement saying, "No, no, she said 'God BLESSED us' which A) no she didn't and B) how is that really any better?) I didn't really care too much about that part of the quote, but what actually got me pissed was what she said AFTER that, which was something along the lines of, "We deserve every penny of it." REALLY? You really think that all rich people deserve EVERY PENNY of that money? The guys who ran Bear Sterns into the ground -- they deserved their insane Christmas bonuses and immediately subsequent severance packages? You think Paris Hilton deserves every penny of the money she'll inherit because her grandfather built some hotels, or every penny of the surely exorbitant amount she earned for that Carl's Jr commercial where she writhed on a car sloppily eating a burger in wet lingerie that NEVER EVEN AIRED? And honestly, you think Bill O'Reilly deserves every penny of the millions he brings in every year spouting the same predictable bullshit day after day? All of these people surely deserve compensation for the work that they do. But I would contest the EVERY PENNY concept. I mean, seriously, Isaiah Thomas does NOT deserve the amount of money the Knicks have thrown his way over the past few years.

She also had that fun quote about how people need to decide if they are "are they with us or against us in standing up to the oil companies" with regards to that idiotic gas tax holiday. I rambled about that a little bit over at [livejournal.com profile] mtbandit's journal, and I'm gonna copypasta that over here real quick:

Honestly, I doubt this proposed tax holiday would leave consumers with any extra money in their pocket at all. As many people have pointed out, gas prices are pretty inelastic, because we're so dependent on oil that we're pretty much willing to pay any price. The gas companies know this. They'd pocket the money and not drop the wholesale price at all. We wouldn't even get our $40, and, like you said, the prices would then rise dramatically after labor day. Blech.

There's an article on Salon today that's all "But Obama voted for a gas tax holiday in Illinois!" that really pissed me off. The gas tax in Illinois was COMPLETELY different. The tax that they suspended was essentially a sales tax, tacked on at the consumer end, hence an actual difference in price at the pump. The tax Clinton/McCain are talking about is an excise tax at the production end on the oil companies. Not the same thing, especially given that I doubt the windfall tax she's talking about enacting to cover the difference would even get past Congress. So it's just a break for the oil companies. This is why her line about, "Are you with those of us who stand against the oil companies, or against us?" totally enraged me. She's driving me crazy.


So, now I feel much better that I've gotten a little bit of rant out of my system. I can end my lunch break with the knowledge that I've tossed my two cents into the vast well of the interslice, shouting into the void as so many of us do.

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