Friday, August 29, 2008

What'd I Say?

Oh Lord, Tina Fey's gonna have a field day...

Only One To Catch It That I've Seen So Far

Nucular. She said it.

The piece also, cleverly, calls her a Daniela Boone.

The more I mull her story, the stonger her narrative becomes. But is it any stronger than Obama's?

The Trouble With Rankings

So, McCain's big banners say "Country First."

That would've packed more punch had it come before Obama's speech, in which he said, "So I've got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first." (Of course, that'd have been more of a story until this whole Palin thing came down, but whatever.)

But here's a thought: while McCain isn't cut from the same Christian cloth as recent GOP presidents, he's still going to need not to completely piss off that base. In that case, writing "Country First" is a rather glaring offense to what should come first, God.

God First, Others Second, I am third. No? Doesn't God always come before country? Even if we're a non-religious country? Do you go right out there and put country first? What about families? Seems squishy.

Side note: Anyone else thinking we'll see a lot of Tina Fey cameos on SNL this fall? 'Cause I think she and Palin could be at least cousins. Should be some good material from Ms. Fey on what are sure to be the many false comparisons between Clinton and Palin.

Just Because Neither Person Has A Penis Does Not Make Them Analogous

Just in case the point isn't made clearly enough - and it won't be - McCain picking Palin does not give pissed off HRC supporters a new woman to bear their torch.

Nothing about Palin's history, views, principles, or beliefs match HRC's. Nothing.

So don't buy whatever hype McCain's campaign sells or the media relay. Both Clinton and Palin are female. Both McCain and Obama are male. If you think Clinton and Palin can stand in for one-another because they are both female, then you must think McCain and Obama can do the same.

Headlines Change

Last night, Chris Matthews said he couldn't imagine a VP pick that would displace Obama's speech from the headlines this morning. Oops:


By the way, my CMC sources tell me that Jack Pitney had this called since February. Go Stags! Makes up for that D'Amato prediction. [wink]

He Picked A Girl

As I'd been saying all along, McCain had to pick a girl. There weren't many choices for him. However, the Governor of Alaska? Look, VPs have come out of left field a few times and ended up elected, so let's not get casual about the clever threat now presented.

While Republicans have the same pipeline problems we have (that is: we have a few high profile elected women, but we have gaps in the system and too many of our high profile women are foreign born), I think they have some more experienced gals to choose from than the Governor of Alaska.

I saw the "Special Report" on the Today. Matt Lauer listed a few facts about the VP pick. His first fact: she is a Washington outsider. Is she? How do we know that? Because she's from Alaska? Isn't EVERYONE a Washington outsider during an election year? Hell, Clinton went from a former First Lady and two-term Senator to an outsider during her bid, it's like electoral magic.

Is it good or bad that the Reeps have now beat us to the woman-punch? (Wait, woman punch? Is that a VAWA violation? Ha! Domestic violence humor, always a knee-slapper.) Does Palin pack the same emotional punch as Clinton? Is it a good enough substitue for the sobbin' women and men smarting over the out come of the Democrats nominating process?

There's been much ink spilled and keystrokes expended discussing this foolish post-post-feminist decision of some women to feel it unnecessary to vote for Clinton because we've come to the point where we're so liberated we don't vote for people BECAUSE they are women. Will we now vote for Palin because she's a woman? I can't help but feel McCain chose her BECAUSE she's a women and a conservative and that's pretty much all he needed/wanted, experienced be damned. Am I now being that post-post-feminist foe of feminism for discounting Palin because I've never heard of her?

Or is it totally fair to say that Palin is no Clinton?

I think it is.

Maybe Palin is brilliant. If Obama can go from failing to get a floor pass in 2000 to accepting the nomination in 2008 (btw: even I scored floor passes in 2000, but apparently, I've done nothing with my life since), then why can't Palin go from being mayor of . . . some town in Alaska to being the Vice Presidential nominee?

And it doesn't really match Obama's speech last night. Though I have little doubt the pundits will treat it like it does.

It's going to be really frustrating if the Republicans out Democrat us.

Maybe it's just a byproduct of my being a Democrat: I can't help but feel like this selection was contrived. It's pandering.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lest We Think We're Past It Now

Make no mistake, Obama's speech tonight was paradigmatic.

BUT, just as I went to turn off the TV, I heard Pat Robertson make the statement I think I was waiting for without really knowing it. He said something to the effect that Obama did what he needed to do, he was a man.

A man.

How delightfully male was tonight's event? Don't get me wrong, I got the chills. I craved a Democratic candidate stepping to the Republican's eight years of bullshit - and step he did. But in that moment of thinking about the very masculine aspects of tonight's hallmark speech, did you wonder what Clinton's speech would've sounded like? I think Robertson's statement, however, hints at a large level of comfort that will rush back to the mainly male talking-head circuit: we can stop worrying about the girl now! Phew. Male metaphors for all!

I don't think gender decided this election anymore than I think, ultimately, race will decide the general election. But that doesn't mean we're cured, either.

Catherine, you around? Surely you had similar thoughts? Probably far better formed than mine are. I'm going to revisit this.

And That, Kids, Is How You Give A Speech

Damn. THAT's what I've been waiting for.

In a word - and I said it before Keith Olbermann did: Sorkinesque.

Except it was real. He said, in not too much less a blunt way, cut the crap.

Loved it.

Just To Be Clear

Yeah, I posted that I would rather NOT vote for an Obama/Biden ticket.

But let's be totally, utterly, completely, absolutely, un-f-ing-mistakably clear: I will vote for the Obama/Biden ticket in November. Period.

Those who, like the stupid, wing-nut "PUMAs" that the MSM et al. seem to find with great luck, will refuse to vote for Obama, despite being anti-McCain, because of Biden's negatives are . . . well, I don't want to say "stupid," because it sounds like an ad hominem attack, which is never good for discourse. But saying ignorant implies there was no opportunity to observe what happens when a just-large-enough mass of politically confused exercise the "privilege of idealism" (h/t).

2000, people. It's our generations Alamo. You should remember it. And everything that came after.

There are about 50 good reasons, sound acadmic arguments, against Biden. I only need one word: hawk. But he's better than Bush. He's better than the Bush machine which clearly still has a choke holdon the once respectable McCain. So f that. I'm sticking with my team, loudly and proudly.

Everyone get the hell over it and get back to business.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Her 'last act of political activism was getting married'

Lesbian rights pioneer Del Martin dies

Sad day - but at least she was able to marry before she died.

Don't forget to vote no on 8.

Wait, Aren't We Missing An Option Here?

No fair! Some law schools are hiding their dumb kids in part-time programs so as not to blemish their precious US News rankings. But US News is onto you, bad law schools. They may start counting your part-timers! Ha! Then you won't be able to use them as cash cows who don't kill your numbers. But if US News pulls the trigger, beware!

Counting part-timers would roil the law-school rankings, which have a big impact on where students apply and from where law firms hire. A number of law-school administrators interviewed about the potential change contend it could have another effect: narrowing a traditional pathway to law school for minorities and working professionals. Those groups often perform worse on the important Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, and schools could feel pressure to raise their admission thresholds
OR, wait for it, schools could stop changing their programs to make them mesh with limited, static metrics that sometimes run counter to the school's founding philosophy.*

Seriously, y'all, so you're saying you'd have to cut the multi-colored crap at the bottom that you were totally cool with letting in before? So are you saying you're NOT letting in qualified candidates right now? I'm pro-affirmative action, but somehow, the above statement highlights everything those against affirmative action have tried to pin on the policy since its inception. Ugh.

Law schools are dumb, law school administration can be even dumber. US News, though, is subscription evil.

*Yeah, CMC, I'm looking at you and your student-body-increasing-itude.

Nancy Kates Should Stop Complaining

A very long time ago - certainly pre-9/11, I beeped going through the Oakland airport security line despite having no metal on me. Or so I thought. On the secondary wanding, it was the metal hook-and-eye closure on my bra that had set off the beeping. Pretty sensitive equipment. The woman with the wand placed her hand on my back, felt the closure and let me go on my way. Short. Non-invasive. And I was out of there.

Not so for this entirely unreasonable woman, also at Oakland airport, who was "indignant" over her ordeal. Big-breasted women deserve special rules, it seems.

As with most of my least-favorite "this is what's wrong with America" articles about post-9/11 security matters, the beefs expressed miss the greater wrongs in favor of slapping at lower-paid TSA employees who really, truly, have heard it and seen it all before, so you may as well stop trying.

We all know - or at least think we know - that the safety measures implemented wouldn't have done boo to prevent 9/11. But really, get the fuck over it, y'all. Check out Nancy Kates, and the reporter's, final anecdote that I guess is supposed to highlight the foolishness of those bastards at OAK:

Kates said that although she flies about once a month, the only other time her bra has set off alarms in an airport was while she was being "wanded" in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. When she explained to the security agent that the wand was picking up the metal in her bra, she said, that was the end of the matter and she was allowed to go on her way.
Right. So all the TSA screener needs is your word for it, right? After all, you're a red-blooded American and no one should suspect you of anything.

The screener was justified in confirming that the wire in Nancy Kates's bra was an underwire and not something else. The Fourth Amendment has nothing to do with it and I'll thank you to stop cheapening our Constitutional protections which are under truer attack from greater forces even as I type.

Can't believe this story warranted ink.

Amen, Mr. Stewart

But will anyone heed his calls?

Friday, August 22, 2008

All You Need To Know About Our Immigration Policy

From the acting director of ICE, commenting on the self-deportation program, set to end soon, which had been enacted to calm fears of immigrant advocates:

"They want amnesty, they want open borders, and they want a more vulnerable America," Hayes said.
To make that statement work, you must equate both amnesty and open borders with vulnerability. I'm not sure both do, or not both equally anyway.

Advocates said the program was designed to fail from the start and its failure may now embolden enforcement efforts. Like, the bad kind of enforcement efforts.

Bid Biden Good-bye, Please

So the rumor mills are pumping out massive amounts of Biden predictions as Obama's VP choice draws near. First, it's totally smart to announce before the convention because if he didn't, I might mistakenly watch more of the convention. After two weeks of Olympics (the coverage of which largely poos on the West Coast audience by airing after 11pm, but whatever), I just don't know that I can be chained to my TV anymore. Plus the regular season starts soon, and I need to rest up before the premiere of 30 Rock.

And this is a junkie saying she isn't so amped about the Denver do. That should worry my party.

But anyway, back to Biden.

In 1991, I recall really liking Biden as I watched him chair the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Yes, really. If you do the math, I was 12, but I was a highly attentive sixth grader, I assure you.

Since 1991, however, Biden became a pretty raging hawk and I don't dig on war. I'm still bothered by Clinton's pro-war vote. Biden is even more aggressive on the issue than she is. Maybe he's not quite Lieberman, but I wouldn't count on Biden to urge Obama away from, say, invading Iran.

Math Comes Up Short

The new requirement that 8th graders take Algebra 1 has schools scrambling for math teachers. I wonder if our cultural "girls think math is hard" bias gets us into this mess.

If I ever went into teaching, I'd love to be a math or science teacher. If for no other reason, being an algebra teacher would be great because it would probably cause an adverse reaction in my own algebra teacher who thought I was possibly one of the stupidest people ever.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Via Amber: Baby Lawyer Advice

If you were brave/foolish/broke enough to go for a job with a firm now that you've graduated from law school and taken the bar, you should probably bookmark this.

Nothing But A G Thang

Introduce me to someone with the last name of "Dominquez." No really, I'd love to meet him or her. A google search of "Dominquez" presents you with the question of whether you meant "Dominguez."

You probably did.

I would love to know how someone can correctly send me an email to an address including my last name BUT STILL MISSPELL MY SURNAME IN THE EMAIL. REPEATEDLY.

Read. Just read. That's all I'm asking. Maybe also apply some common sense and general knowledge gleaned from living in a largely Hispanic state.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fast Times

A more thorough explanation of the advances in swim technology at work in Bejing than "they have those fast suits now."

I appreciated the list linked above because it eases some of my fears that Phelps et al. will get nailed for doping or something later. I don't think they will since they undergo daily (multiple-daily?) blood tests to ensure they are clean. I may google around later for more on the science of the pool depth, width, and lane dividers' effect on times.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Something You See In, Like, Big Swing or Blue States

There's really nothing funny about this story, except maybe a fellow State Rep's comment that this is "like something you would see in New York or Pennsylvania or California, but not here."

Actually, if I'm recalling some of the more random acts of violence, the postal-worker variety, the school shootings . . . the, dare I say, young to middle age white male shootings, those are usually in states not-California. Or the other big ones.

Here, we're more content to stand by while urban youth gun each other down in numbers that should make us weep openly at least daily.

All snark aside, I feel for the Arkansas state party today, and for Gwatney's friends and family. It's senseless, regardless of where it happened.

Don't you wish the cops had capped the suspect in the knees or feet or arms or something? How come these shooters usually die before we get any answers?

Friday, August 08, 2008

"Real Men Don't Think Things Through"

Once in a while, I have an NYT day.

Krugman wins today with his take on what's wrong with GOP'08. They're playing dumb.

That's not news, but it's nice for someone to point it out.

He addresses the GOP take on more drilling and the bill of goods America seems to be buying that the moment we stick a pipe in the ocean, we'll be back to 99 cent/gallon gas:

What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be “insignificant”? Presumably they’re just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, “want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs.”
I must be the kind of evil lib ruining America because I read that statement as 100% good, if you note that "tenement," while having a modern, negative connotation, just means apartment. Urban core! Light rail! Government job! You say it like it's a bad thing.

As Samir Nagheenanajar said, it would be nice to have that kind of job security.

By the way, Americans seem to be wanting their urban core back. And they're paying a premium for it.

Of course, it didn't take this cycle or the drilling issue to highlight the GOP's love of the innane. Check out the President. Even if you subscribe to the fallacy that an Harvard pedigree is an indicator of intelligence, you should recognize that Bush has made looking wide-eyed and stupid his go-to public relations strategy.

Compare his M.O. with the Chinese president's call to honor science and eschew illiteracy. I'm not saying he's a role model either, but we're totally with stupid, y'all.

Things To See In L.A.

The Getty has Bernini until October 26. Disappointingly, the exhibition is at the Getty Center, not the Villa (I don't dislike the Center, I just have such fond memories of the Villa as my introduction to the antiquities that classic sculpture - from any era - is inextricably linked to that location in my mind). Regardless, I hope I get a chance to check this out.

In Rome, our visit to the Villa Borghese was one of the highlights - in fact, it's probably one of the top three art experiences of my life. Magnificient sculpture and the best audio tour I've ever heard to unlock it for me.

(Rounding out the top three: our Vatican tour with a PhD candidate who knew entirely too much about entirely too much and, possibly #1, the V&A's traveling Art Deco show from a few years back. It was at the Legion of Honor in SF and was perfect in every way.)

08.08.08

An interesting slide show on many things eight in honor of this luckiest Chinese day and a day less likely to confuse Europeans (who write DD/MM/YYYY, rather than MM/DD/YYYY).

Noteable among the 8s - one item in a list of 8 things offered in 2006 by China's president to "revivify the country's traditional values:" The HONOR of upholding science; the SHAME of ignorance and illiteracy.

As with the UK's Darwin bearing currency, it surprises and delights me when a country highlights science as an important national value or accomplishment.

Have we ever done something like that?


Also interesting - a list of the eight causes of anger:
Deprivation of Riches
Ingratitude
Betraying a secret
Neglecting a faithful servant
Abusive language
Unjust suspicion
Murder
Censoriousness

I think that's a pretty good list. Anything missing? And does whatever you just thought of fit into one of those categories? I bet it does.

Weak

Parents have the right to home school, state court says, after changing its mind.

If I read the opinion, I would expect to find another example of statutory interpretation run rampant. And not in a good way.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If Someone Could Explain To Me

Just how the Reeps are allowed to act like THEY have winning energy policy, I'd love to hear it.

And now, the Flip Flops Of '08 might be making their debut in the form of tire gauges. McCain is all eye-rolls and sneers over Obama's advice that Americans check their tire pressure for increased energy efficiency. It would be laughable . . . if it weren't good advice repeated daily from many sources.

Are we stupider as a country for reading these nonstories and letting them rule the day, or just bored since we've decided to stop paying attention to, like, wars and stuff.

My advice,

We, as a party, print up our own Obama tire gauges, use them, and laugh our way, less frequently, to the pump.