Friday, February 29, 2008

That's About Right:

You can't be serious, Ralph ...

Chron ed gets it.

How Self-Indulgent Can You Get?

Former S.F. Supervisor Matt Gonzalez to run with Nader

Oh please. Please, please, puh-lease.

I feel like I'm saying that a lot lately. But seriously. Matt Gonzalez is a . . . crap, my mom still reads this blog, so email me if you want the word I'd most like to use here.

Nader's a bigger one.

Man, this doesn't really deserve a post.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sock Puppet Love

Anyone watch Idol tonight?

Anyone else flashback to this commercial?



I won't remember the contestant or how she sang the same song, but I will be singing the sock puppet's version again.

Bass Fishes, Lands The Big One

Bass to be next Assembly speaker

Excuse me while I rub my eyes and blink a few times: a woman. Speaker. Of the Assembly. And an African American woman. Speaker.

Hot damn! That's pretty awesome. And it keeps the Speakership within the family, so to speak, a direct line of political encouragement from Wesson, through Nunez, to Bass. High five, LA politicians, for keeping it real.

Some had thought Bass might not prevail if members favored electing someone who could serve longer - Bass is out in 2010, a frosh member could stay until 2012. I've heard good stuff about Bass and I hope she can continue elevating the role and reputation of the Speakership. Under Nunez's leadership, the green room seems to have surpassed the red room in prestige - or at least in political capital. I'm green room biased though. I love me some Senate too, don't get me wrong, but I have always disliked post-term-limits claims that the Senate is the "upper house."

I digress.

Congrats Karen Bass - best of luck.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hold The Corned Beef!

News - St. Patrick's Day coming early: Early Easter means messing with the rest of the calendar as no other celebration can come during Holy Week.

This isn't a huge deal since a Monday party (and a Tuesday hangover) really isn't the best idea for anyone, is it?

St. Patrick's Day is now March 15.

And Now That You Mention It

It takes a special kind of self-inflicted sickness for a member of a demographic long subjected to second-class citizenry to reinforce this status by deciding voting for a member of that same class because of the shared membership is as bad as voting against that member for the same reason.

Girls are dumb.

Getting My Girl On

My increasingly schizophrenic reactions to this race take another turn after reading this piece, referenced in the Chelsea clinton article I posted earlier. The closing line packs a special punch:

As for the “woman thing”?

Me, I’m voting for Hillary not because she’s a woman—but because I am.

Chelsea Is Cool

I really like Chelsea Clinton. I've always thought it was pretty cool to watch - as much as we were ever able to - a contemporary grow up in the White House.

Arguments to the contrary will not be considered.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

And Mine

See Amber's blog for the best example of humor 2.0.

So true.

Ha! It's Not Just The Mexicans, See!

GOP lobbyist had no work permit

Awesome story of a whole bunch of people not worry too much about laws their party really worries about.

Dumb.

Celebrity Spouses

Candidate spouses are a reflection of the candidates and are treated as celebrities, the above article says. Except, I'm guessing, for Bill Clinton who is treated as the other half of a cruel, efficient political machine, right?

Somehow, Mrs. Huckabee is in trouble for staying at Hooters Hotel and Casino in Vegas (they have one?) while in town to watch a friend and fellow Arkansan box in a title fight. What? That's good that she's still supporting the hometeam. Reporters are dumb sometimes for running with this stories.

The article calls Huckabee's actions a "mistake."

Are they? Why?

I hate Hooters as much as the next small chested girl and, oh yeah, educated adult who recognizes that the objectification of women and chicken wings is bad. But I don't think, call me crazy, that the evangelical community sees Hooters as a big threat on the level of, oh, say, abortion and evolution. Just a guess.

What's Plagiarism?

Because if this is plagiarism, then so is this:

"'We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem,' [newly elected Senate Republican leader Dave] Cogdill said at a Capitol news conference.
Because I'm pretty sure you'll find that line here. (Ctrl+F "spending" 3 times and you'll find it.)

Seriously, though, messaging, rhetorical device, narrative structure, none of these can be plagiarized. Riffed on? Sure. Used to death. Totally. But Obama didn't really plagiarize. Hillary hasn't. Few have. It is isn't lines of a thesis or book lifted directly from someone else's without a footnote, then it isn't plagiarism.

P.S. to the plagiarism accusation throwers: 1988 called and wants its scandal back.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stags In The News: Congressional Candidate Edition

Thanks to Doug Johnson for sending in this tip about CMCer Steve May '93 running for Rep. Shadegg's seat.

Followers of CMC news will recall that May made headlines for his fight to stay in the Army after he violated the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy when he disclosed his homosexuality. His Arizona legislative days were served with several other Claremont Colleges grads, which is pretty cool as well.

Even though he's a Republican, we wish him luck!

Go Stags!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bad Ideas Just Don't Die

"Plan Would Sidestep Electoral College"

Hooray, someone save us!

Seriously, dude, stop trying to kill representative government. It's so far down the crapper already - especially in California.

Can we just wait out, say, 3 more cycles and see what happens. The Electoral College has only run against the popular vote twice. Two times. And as I've said many, many times, it's just a shame one of those times happened in the information age so it could be blogged (or proto-blogged since I don't think blog was in the lexicon in 2000) to death and raged against, digitally, forever more.

Preserve the EC!

Postcards On The Edge

Camera phones, besides killing privacy, tact, deliberation over what information should be public, and manners, are now killing the postcard.

This makes me sad.

Granted, I have piles of postcards collected over my lifetime that guilt prohibits me from dumping or nostalgia requires I keep, and I think on certain levels I'd like to burn them all just to lighten my pack rat load.

But. They remind me friends who thought of me while on their exciting, far off vacations. They are images of art works that moved me on my fourth grade trip to the Getty. The old one. They are funny or plain or antiquated. One found by my dad in a box somewhere implies that on some level I was fated to meet my husband: it's an Italian relative's familiar handwriting on a postcard depicting still largely accurate scenes of Ipswich, England, in the 1960s.

They are some thing look at while wating for driving companions to buy twinkies at rest stops. They allow you to ironically herald your arrival in Bakersfield.

I'm going to start buying them and sending them again.

Hanging The Wrong Kind Of Lantern

In Chris Matthews's book Hardball we learned to hang a lantern on our problems: if you get to them before your opponent does, you can define them, highlight them, and pull the rug out from under your would-be attacker.

This only works, however, if you actually hang a lantern on the problem, not if you simply act in a way that exposes a weakness and leaves it wide open and begging for the wrong kind of interpretation. Need an example? Let's see. Oh right, this should do.

Hillary has replaced her campaign manager. But don't worry, it was planned awhile ago and it was her choice and she loves the new manager and Hillary loves her and it's fine, totally, pay no attention to that candidate behind the curtain who swept the weekend's contests and is expected to win everything through the end of Februrary according to the LAT article linked above. No, everything is cool!

When noting that the decision was made before Super Tuesday, the article also makes a point of saying now former manager Patti Solis Doyle has two small children. And? So? Is she leaving to spend more time with the family? Did the job get to be too much, what with bake sales and the upcoming Garden Friends Pagent for which she has to make the youngest one's ladybug costume still? No, that's all bullshit, of course it doesn't say that, but I feel like it's in there. Am I being too woman-y again?

Either way, I'm proving why it was stupid of the Clinton camp to let this be a story because now I'm latching onto a process piece and using it to comment on the susbtantive battle. Which is 100% what Hill & Co. does not need right now.

Now is the time when it makes more sense to comment on a possible shift in momentum. The expectations game has been upset. But that only helps Obama, doesn't it? From the start hasn't everyone been waiting for permission to leave Hillary and "The Clintons" behind and just move forward?

This election is stressful, isn't it.

Oh, and does the relative quieting of the Republican race mean that we'd be better served cutting to the chase and selecting a nominee? Or, is it better that Dems get all the attention - articles about which of OUR policies are better, which of OUR candidates will win - if nothing is going on over in Reep-ville, they get less ink, less screen time, less love generally? McCain has to split his attack, and 2 fronts is a bad thing, yeah?

Bet everyone wishes they had chilled the hell out in 2007 so they'd have more energy for the actual election year. I'm glad I saved myself.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Good Riddance

I'd pause longer about Romney's big bail, except I read this part:

"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,"
Oh Puhlease. Though at least we now it won't take long until we start hearing overt reminders that if voters vote Democratic, the terrorists win, get stronger, move into that foreclosure property across the street, start taking our jobs, winning our reality programs, and spreading avian flu. It's only a matter of time. Or it would've been, if Romney stood in the way of the true Right's crusade. Thank God for his selflessness.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We Bought A Whole Bunch Of Houses

When you're looking to buy a house and you find one and you run into problems, you can go from zero to Liz Lemon in about 4.2 seconds.

(I don't love everything on the site I just linked to, but it was the first hit for the clip I wanted, so that's that.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wait, We Still Don't Know, Do We?

Someon on MSNBC did the math and came up with a delegate count of 837 vs. 841, Obama vs. Clinton. Really? With a plus or minus of 10? Ish?

Wow, so I can go to bed now and not miss the ending, right? It's still a race? Am I using too many question marks tonight? Crazy!

Good night, in that case. I'm exhausted.

This Week In Religion

Matthews says tonight shows that the voters have a problem with Romney, the LDS candidate.

It is a factually accurate statement to say that voters chose an Evangelical candidate over a Mormon candidate. But did they? Or is Romney's problem, as one of my friend's described it, that he's the Reep Kerry - an elitest snob that simply can't connect with anyone. He's the preppy boy and we don't like the preppy boy. That he's a preppy Mormon has nothing to do with it. Maybe people don't like Mitt.

It's sure easier to point at religious bigotry - which I'm sure figures in to some extent, but perhaps not THAT much - than admit that you just don't have traction as a candidate and you lost to an Arkansan.

Calling Contests Too Soon?

MSNBC is calling Cali for McCain and Clinton.

Let me say first that a) I'm not surprised and b) those will probably stand.

However, if you look at the returns by county, there's still 0% reporting in SF, LA, SD, and most every county where, like, people live.

(And we'll leave alone that NBC is SO desperate to call a winner they are calling an "apparent" rather than projected reader, which is lame-o. Your winner-music is great, but why the rush?)

So Hillary will likely win and win by the same margin depicted now. But I would say that it wouldn't have been inconceivable for Hillary to carry the rural Democratic votes (the more conservative, old school rural voters) while Obama gained enough traction in the urban centers to pull ahead.

Bottom line: Hill had Cali locked awhile back, no?

But can't we let it go a little bit longer into the night? What did we do without streaming election results? How did we ever wait until morning?

Convention Crazy!

Wouldn't it be awesome if, as Tom Brokaw just opined, either party's nominee was truly determined at the convention? Since there's the slimmest of slim chances I'd be able to attend the Dem convention anyway, I'd almost rather that not be the case because I'm selfish like that. But the nerd in me is drooling at the thought.

Widget Love

Just playing with the leaderboard widget from MSNBC.com. Hope this doesn't break my blog. Enjoy!

Bad Timing, Good Timing?

It's 8:44pm in the west and Obama takes the stage as John McCain finishes (is he really finished?) his speech in Arizona. I'm not sure we really saw the end of the McCain speech. Oh well, I guess. Still, the Obama people should've been watching CNN and giving the signal.

It seems like it doesn't much matter whether Obama picks up an actual edge tonight, based on his speech. "Our moment has come," he says, and it's easy to believe his easy manner and breezy confidence - a chorus of amens and agreement behind him.

"This time can be different," goes his mantra and that's why he's powerful - because what else do we want to believe? If, in fact, we believed anything else, we wouldn't bother trying, would we.

I should mention it's hard for me to wax poetic on his speech as my husband chuckles about American political rhetoric - the audience participation aspect especially - next to me. I've dragged him to two return parties this evening. Poor guy. What a trooper.

Speaking of foreigners, here's a quick synopsis from MSNBC.com on the delegate process:

- Each national party apportions a specific number of delegate votes to the various states and territories, based on state population and complex calculations of party strength and support in recent elections.

- The rules governing delegate allocation to candidates vary across parties, from state to state and are dependent on whether delegates are pledged or unpledged. Click here for more information on the delegate allocation method.

- Candidates need a simple majority, or half the national delegate total plus one, in order to win their party's nomination.

Facial Hair Update

An area blogger notes one of the more interesting things on tonight's coverage: Bill Richardson is sporting a WGA strike beard. Or why else would be be so hairy? Is that just another visual emphasis of how NOT in the race he is? People with beards don't get elected to office.

Except for Lincoln, I guess, right? But that was pre-TV!

F*ck it, I Picked Flick

No one has really asked yet today, so I probably should just not volunteer such things, but then again, why not. If I'm going to cast a vote, I should be able and willing to back it up outside of the booth. Right?

I've had a lot of sleepless nights for a lot of different reasons lately. But one of the foremost reasons truly has been my inability to decide for whom I'd be voting today. As I said yesterday, I've been ABC - anybody but Clinon - since November 3, 2004. Decidedly so. Unequivocally so. Loudly so. But something changed. Maybe it was listening to my parents' views slowly evolve from pro-'bama to anti-'bama. Maybe it was a long hard think over whether, as a proponent (and beneficiary) of affirmative action, I should discount the "because she's a woman factor" as an inadequate reason to vote for Clinton. One family member mentioned today that she felt that voting for Clinton simply because she's a woman and it would be great to see a female president wasn't really enough of a reason to vote for her. To which I thought: isn't it?

Then I thought: shit, there goes years of denying identity voting and arguing against the effects of indirect ballot indicators on voting behavior. I may have to re-write my thesis. Or do I? After all, I certainly didn't vote AGAINST Obama. Not by a long shot. Not the way I voted AGAINST Bush last time, or, frankly, the way I thought I'd be voting AGAINST Clinton until about a month ago. I didn't look for the black man and choose his alternative. I chose the woman with whom I've had a tangled love-hate relationship for the past 16 years.

I hate that she voted for the war, but I have to acknowledge that Obama's insistance that he would have voted against it is completely hollow. Maybe he wouldn't have. Maybe he would have. I'm not completely sure she won't try something funny with Iran, but why would I be any more sure that Obama wouldn't. He's never been faced with such issues. Neither has she, really. Not in the executive.

And dammit, I don't have to justify myself to you. But I'll continue to.

I've disliked her for so long and worked so hard not to advantage her because she is the woman candidate that I swung to far over. And then came the debate. And then came the "she's faking the crying" charges. And the arguments over whether she could be emotional. Or whether she was TOO emotional. Enough, kids. Seriously, enough.

It's the coding, you see. We're hypervigilant about catching coded racism, but we accept the coded sexism without question. We engage it it daily. It's still alright. Hillary quotes MLK, Jr. at an appropriate time of the year and she's played the race card? WTF? That's crazy. And I got angry.

She's made choices I disagree with. If everyone who said they'd work for her has worked for her, then I don't feel better about her campaign. And yes, for years, I've been saying that the DNC needs to get it through their thick, New Dem loving heads that the public isn't mistaken, they actually DON'T want ANOTHER Northeastern liberal.

But all that fell away in the final hours and something primal emerged out of the final calculus.

Neither candidate is that great. Truly. They are both momentous, capable, and talented. She's more experienced, he's more moving and probably a bit more above board. But neither one captured me at the convention last year. No one gave me goosebumps or made me get teary-eyed. So they're good enough. And they're great for history.

History.

Look at the pipeline. What's more likely to pop out sooner: another talented minority male or a female candidate? A male. There aren't any other sisters out there in the pipeline. It's empty. So saying Clinton isn't the "right woman" suddenly sounded so unbelievably sexist to me that I couldn't live with myself. With so much equal in this campaign, I cast the only vote I felt I could tell my daughter about, if I have one someday. Do I feel great about it all? Sort of. But I think I'd have had the same level of uncertainty if I'd voted for Obama in the end.

So I picked the girl. Blame Slate's perfect encapsulation of the race within the Election framework. Tracy Flick wasn't the bad guy. It was the narrator. She just worked very, very hard to build her resume and try to get the job.

So for all the teachers who told me I talked to much too loudly and with too strong opinions,

For all the comments over my professional life that remind me I'm still a woman and women are wives and sex objects,

For the girls with no reason to think it is okay to be in charge,

For my gender, for my country, for my sense of self, for history, for everything.

I picked Flick.

But a word of warning to the DNC - work on the pipeline. For all races, ethnicities, and for both genders. Because we're lacking inspirational and experienced leadership. We're still fighting very old battles with very old ideas and even older rhetoric. Pick up your game. Stop basing your victories on the other guys' fumbles.

1802 Hrs: Status Check

Some polls are closed. Some are still open. In the delegate race, Obama is leading with 106, Clinton has 83, and Edwards 26 (for whatever that's worth). On the Red side, McCain has 172, Romney 91, and Huckabee 58. But those numbers are meaningless.

More to the point, I'm realizing, from my hubbub filled vantage point that I'm having a hard time keeping 24 races straight above the din. The graphics filled big screen version of MSNBC hovering above me works a lot better with the audio up! Doh! Getting there though. You know there's not TOO much to worry about when the countdown clock is set for the close of the North Dakota polls. Even if it comes down to them, no one would acknowledge it. Ha. Poor ND. Least visited state in the nation.

Back By Popular Demand

Was John Edwards your guy?

Are you a Decline-to-State Californian who really wanted to vote Republican?

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Chester? Chester. Chester!

Don't know if you caught the ad about the oboe paying walk-on who ended up an NFL draft pick, but that's my classmate, Chester Pitts.

Another thing you should know to make that commercial's true story even more noteworthy: our high school, the California Academy of Mathematics and Science didn't have a football team, if you can believe it. No, the nerds couldn't have fielded one, thanks. He missed our 10 year reunion over Christmas, but I think there was a general consensus that he's our most successful graduate, albeit in a field absolutely NO ONE would have predicted at graduation. Our class only had 104 members, too, so we all knew each other relatively well (at least we all knew each other's names), so I think there's a bit more insane pride when someone does something memorable because of the strength we draw from our tiny numbers.

Congrats, Chester Pitts!