Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gone for the holidays



See you in 2009!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren, third time's a charm




After thinking it through, after giving everyone a chance to speak, I am still pissed. I will not forgive, I will not forget, but we will move on because we must. I am not going to pull my support for Obama, yet.

Now it is time for Obama to prove me wrong. Come on Obama, be smarter than me and pull of this crazy hat trick.

countdown











More on Rick Warren



Obama's response [with video] and leaked talking points here.

The ladies of The View discussing this same topic; at least talking over each other about this topic.

Between my idealogical core, and my pragmatic thought process, my brain has exploded over the issue of Rick Warren speaking at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, and by proxy, gay marriage and really gay issues in general.

I'm not feeling well today (I'm actually home sick), but I wanted to say a few things. I will apoligize up front because I'm not at 100%, but I will do my best. Mostly, for now, letting others speak for me, while I try to really get my head around all of this.

from Advocate.com:

Choosing Rev. Rick Warren – the evangelical pastor who has equated gay marriage to incest and pedophilia and strongly supported California’s gay marriage ban – to give the invocation at his inauguration on the heels of the community’s gut-wrenching Proposition 8 setback pushes past a simple insensitivity to seeming downright cruel.

How many times is the President-elect going to gouge this gaping wound before it even has a chance to scab over? He says he doesn’t play interest group politics – that he’s trying to rise above the fray of pitting one constituency against another. And yet, a sense of basic fair play dictates that you don’t kick a group when they’re down. No LGBT person expected the incoming president to choose a gay pastor to bless his inauguration, but neither did they in their darkest moments dream that he would be so tone deaf to our misery as to choose a man who compares our love to criminal offense.

Does he not remember that we can still be fired in 30 states simply for being gay without having any legal recourse?

Does he not realize that we have never had a single piece of major federal legislation protecting our rights signed into law?

Does he forget that we are still beaten and killed on America’s streets -- that ten years after a young man was strung to a fence and left to die, neither federal statute nor Wyoming law extends hate crimes protections to us?

The New York Times also reports:

The choice of Mr. Warren, pastor of a megachurch in Orange County, Calif., is an olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals. Mr. Warren is an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage — litmus-test issues for Christian conservatives. In fact, his selection set off a round of criticism by gay rights groups angered by his support for California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

But Mr. Warren has also been one of the most prominent evangelical leaders calling for Christians to expand their agenda and confront global problems like poverty, AIDS, climate change and genocide in Darfur.

Mr. Warren flaunted his clout this year when he managed to draw both John McCain and Barack Obama to his Saddleback Church for a forum in which he interviewed them on stage about faith issues. He has sometimes angered the older generation of conservative evangelical leaders aligned with the Republican Party, as when he invited Mr. Obama to speak about AIDS at an earlier event at his church.

But it isn't just liberals up in arms:
Unless Rick Warren has changed, he is very disappointing in the pro-life cause. Just ask pro-life leaders their opinion. He doesn't like to deal with it at his church. It just seems funny that he is known as 'pro-life' when he largely ignores the subject and teaches others to do the same. I fear God for these 'men of God'. We have lost 50 million babies, and most won't say a word. Reminds me of Nazi Germany or our slavery days. Very few spoke out. It was more comfortable to keep quiet.
And lastly, with many saying it's great Obama is smart enough to ignore the "far left" of his party, I just want to know, when did equal rights and basic human kindness become a "far left" value? I guess it was a "far left" idea to give mix race couples the right to marry too? Far left values that created the Civil Rights Act of 1964? A far left idea that drove a group of men to come together and proclam "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A letter to the Obama transition.

I wrote this letter to Parag Mehta, the LGBT liaison for Obama's transition team, and I think you should also write to voice your opinion on Rick Warren giving the invocation at President-elect Obama's inauguration. His e-mail is parag.mehta@ptt.gov - please speak up.

Dear Mr. Mehta,

While I am sure you have received many e-mails regarding the choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at President-elect Obama's inauguration, I felt so strongly about this I had to voice my frustration.

I had come to have a deep trust in Mr. Obama's judgment over the course of the election and transition, but I can not say quiet; I see no good reason Mr. Obama and others could not find another person to give the invocation that has not continually tried to divide us by labeling me, and everyone else in the LGBT community, a second-class citizen at best and a disease to be cured at his worst.

Why Rick Warren? Is my future president asking me and brothers and sisters to swallow this pill of hate in the name of coming together? Because, in terms of the gay community, coming together is about finding common ground, not asking us to shut up and deal with this 19th century mentality towards gays and lesbians. By giving Mr. Warren this pulpit to speak from, Mr. Obama may not be outright endorsing his views, but he is saying it is okay to agree with Mr. Warren. He is saying it is okay to think that gays getting married is equally wrong as insest, molestration, and polygamy. How can Mr. Obama even agree this is a valid argument?

I am asking, through you Mr. Mehta, that Mr. Obama admit this misstep, apologize to the LGBT community, and find someone who not only loves all of God's children equally but someone who can bring us all together. Isn't that why Mr. Obama wanted to become President?

- David Williams III

------

Once again, please write to Parag Mehta, at parag.mehta@ptt.gov, the LGBT liaison for Obama's transition team.

I hate being right

So, over at the Huffington Post, there is an article that confirmed what I have thought all along. We're being had.

Studies by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation have consistently shown that these Senators' states receive far more from the Federal government than they pay back in taxes. That's an irony that could lead to some Blue State bitterness: They love to preach about fiscal responsibility and lower taxes, but they keep dipping their beak into the Federal trough.

I believe the applicable Southern phrase is "a handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged."

The numbers in the Foundation's most recent study (warning: pdf) speak for themselves: Mitch McConnell's Kentucky took in $1.45 from the Feds for every dollar it paid in taxes. That's a 45 cent free ride. Bob Corker's Tennessee received at 30-cent Federal giveaway. And Richard Shelby's Alabama extracted a whopping 71-cent subsidy from Northern taxpayers.

What about Michigan? They lost 31 cents for every dollar they paid. In other words, McConnell, Shelby, and Corker have been skimming a percentage off these autoworkers' taxes for years on behalf of their constituents. Now, when the same Michigan taxpayers need help, these Senators are telling them to get lost.

So those damn tax and spend liberals have been taxing northern (Democratic) states and spending them on southern (Republican) states. And, as I am writing this, it looks like Chevrolet will be closing its plants for several weeks (into late January) because it doesn't have any money. So yeah, it's great that Senators Mitch McConnell, Bob Corker, Richard Shelby took that stand.



Don't you just love the way the country is run? God Bless America.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Obama and Design

The Obama geek in me meets the Design geek in me. And I exploded; with excitement.





With links.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gays in America; a gay issues primer




I just want to thank Jon Stewart. If only we had more of him.

Ron Reagan also talked about several issues important to the gay community on his radio show on Air America last week, December 10th. 18:35 is where things get crazy. God bless crazy people talking about gays and people with, you know, facts on there side calling those crazies out.

And Colin Powell seems to jumping right in pushing Obama through the media. First up, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and Powell saying we need to take a new look at the policy and now.

We also have Keith Olbermann's special comment on gay marriage. And Keith talking to Candace Gingrich.



And a Newsweek cover, by Lisa Miller.
If the bible doesn't give abundant examples of traditional marriage, then what are the gay-marriage opponents really exercised about? Well, homosexuality, of course—specifically sex between men. Sex between women has never, even in biblical times, raised as much ire. In its entry on "Homosexual Practices," the Anchor Bible Dictionary notes that nowhere in the Bible do its authors refer to sex between women, "possibly because it did not result in true physical 'union' (by male entry)." The Bible does condemn gay male sex in a handful of passages. Twice Leviticus refers to sex between men as "an abomination" (King James version), but these are throwaway lines in a peculiar text given over to codes for living in the ancient Jewish world, a text that devotes verse after verse to treatments for leprosy, cleanliness rituals for menstruating women and the correct way to sacrifice a goat—or a lamb or a turtle dove. Most of us no longer heed Leviticus on haircuts or blood sacrifices; our modern understanding of the world has surpassed its prescriptions. Why would we regard its condemnation of homosexuality with more seriousness than we regard its advice, which is far lengthier, on the best price to pay for a slave?
Which then got people to actually write Newsweek. Do you think these 40,000 letter writers actually read the article? And gave it some independent thought?
I was saddened but not surprised that NEWSWEEK would run a blatantly distorted interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexual marriage. As Christians, we are taught to love the sinner and not the sin. Well, you've taken it two steps further—condone the sin and then put it into law to validate it. The Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths agree that homosexuality is a sin. All that's left are the nonbelievers and agnostics who are trying to rewrite the Bible, like Lisa Miller.
Nancy McKay-Rosa
via internet
Your cover story on same-sex marriage is shameful. Lisa Miller's misunderstanding and dismissal of Scripture is astonishing. Voters in 30 states have recognized that marriage is the bringing together of the two sexes. They understood that gender matters, and that both husbands and wives matter to society and to children. Children need both a mother and father, and two men do not make a mom. If marriage is to mean anything political activists desire, then it will ultimately mean nothing to society.
Micah Clark
Noblesville, Ind.
Thank you, NEWSWEEK and Lisa Miller, for your timely and insightful article about equal marriage. Please know that many people of faith wish and hope for a more capacious and gracious world—one in which divergent faith and beliefs are respected and are given freedom to grow. Your article provides a much-needed rebuke for fundamentalists who would seek to keep others from the love of God and from civil marriage and all the joys and trials that might result. Thank you again for your courage and your voice.
Tim Johnson
Las Vegas, Nev.
And even looking at what President-elect Barack Obama says on his Web site gives some insight. Obama has a section titled "Support for the LGBT Community" with a quote.
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007
His lists "Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples" as well as "Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage" and "Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell" among his stands. Be sure to check it out. Here.

Gay Rights Watch is a great site to keep up-to-date on what is going on.
Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. (Gay and lesbian couples are able to marry in two states, and comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws exist in only five others and the District of Columbia.)

U.S. adults are now about evenly divided on whether they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (47% favor to 49% oppose).

Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces. (The current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law bans military service by openly gay personnel.)

And finally, we have our own gay focus here in Iowa.
DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a pivotal same-sex marriage case that could echo throughout the nation and be far more difficult to challenge at the ballot box than a high-profile ruling in California, legal experts say.

The lawsuit, filed by six same-sex Iowa couples, pits gay rights supporters against those who argue that gay marriage threatens traditional family values.

The case, Varnum v. Brien, could make Iowa the first state in the Midwest to legalize gay marriage, says University of Iowa law professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig. Other high-court decisions favorable to gay rights advocates have come from traditionally liberal, coastal states: California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

- Grant Schulte, USA TODAY

It may be long, it will be hard, but for the first time in this fight, I actually think most people will stop seeing me and my fellow humans in the LGBT community as second-class citizens.

Now lets get to work.

Greatness Watch 12/14/08



This will be a short one this week. That kinda week. Even more so for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. What a week. Senate Republicans to Detroit: Drop Dead. Everyone to Blagojevich: Fuck You!

And yeah, don't we all want to know what is really going on between Blagojevich and Obama. No really, what is their connection? Tell me!



Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) says Obama has mishanded the Blagojevich scanda. I agree Obama has mishandled this. I don't know what to think about Obama not being good at dealing with political corruption scandals. Maybe it is a good thing. Just maybe. But that is really neither here nor there.

Obama should learn from this. Move fast, follow your gut, and do the right thing. Just like Obama handling problems in the campaign, he learned fast. So, he's just learning again, this time about acting as more than a great candidate, but rather a great president.

So, what do the people think? Well, it seems Obama is more popular than Bush is unpopular. How about that?

So, can we just take one big fucking breath and let Obama get into office before we hit him with everything? I'm not surprised the GOP does not agree.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mainstream Media Madness

So, I was having a discussion the other day with a friend about the news. And after thinking about it, I think he was mostly right. The way we frame our news coverage is a huge problem. But I'm not sure there is any silver bullet to fix it.


First, the surface problem. The drug that isn't helping America get better. The so-called "mainstream media" is often not only telling us the news, but driving the stories to feed our hunger for drama, and then to top it all off, telling us what to think about the story they just fed us. While the herd mentality "the media" tend to have has always been horrible, it has only been amplified 10-fold by the 24-hour, cable-news mentality we have taken on as a society. America today cannot understand the news without having it explained to them. And by the media framing the context, they are really framing reality.

And in an attempt to create drama and create ratings we have seen the rise of FOX News and its conservative message be countered by MSNBC and its supposed ultra-liberal bias.

[I could debate the difference in pushing your own (or the White House's) message and reporting the news through an idealogical (and albeit liberal/progressive) lens all day long, but I shall move on.]

Regardless of your of political views, we can agree that, while news outlets have tried to maintain news value, they have often favored marketing over news value. And this has always been a problem. When you have a privately run (or a government run) news agency, there is always someone with a perspective and an agenda that will always affect news coverage.


So how do you get the news out without a bias? You don't. You can't. But what you can do is focus on the medium which can best filter out bias: newspapers. I know, it's boring and dull. We want TV! And I understand, but a lot of the bias problems come from two places: the bias of the "news reader" no matter if it is a commentator, anchor, host or whatever title you give them; and from the money coming into the media pockets.

With newspapers the bias of delivery can be closely reviewed by editors to minimize that bias, and the amount of money coming into newspapers is nothing when compared with TV or even radio. So it is simply because the newspaper is "yesterday's news" and that it's not really popular, it becomes the best source of news. Newspapers best shot at staying important is by being really fucking good at what they do.

But, while I brought it up, I have no solutions to the problem. Except to watch, read, and digest every bit of news you can find, and then figure out what is going on. It's not perfect, far from it actually. It's time consuming and difficult. I think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, but even I find it hard to understand everything I try to while keeping it the context of the big picture. Really, it's fucking hard because that is the job of the news. So, what do I find myself doing? Falling back on a few sources of news.

Which brings me to the underlying problem. The cancer eating away at you while you only notice that you're losing weight. Most American's don't care about what is going on, and if they do, they just believe almost anything they are told. Obama is a Muslim? Okay. Invading Iraq a good idea? Cool. We have to recycle, we really need to! Why not.

America is not playing a role in any major discussion anymore. It's turned it's back on most media, and has thrown in the towel on politics. It doesn't trust the media, with no real reason other than we have been lied to by everyone, and is passive in politics, only voting if they feel like it. Maybe Barack Obama brought hope back to America, but Rod Blagojevich just sold that for some power, and we all got fucked.

So what is an average American to do? Shun the media and turn to John Stewart? Start crawling toward Bill O'Reilly or laughing all the way with Stephen Colbert? Start worshiping Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow? Will Gwen Ifill, Jim Lehrer, Brian Williams, and Katie Couric save us? The answer to all the questions is yes. Take in everything. Understand and deal with the biases, and then find the news and use your own brain to understand it. It's hard. It's annoying. And it's messy, but it is really the only answer.

And while each of us need to work harder to understand the news (and, by proxy, our world), the only way America is going to start to understand the news and start playing a more active role in politics again is if newspapers, cable news, radio talk shows, Washington, Congress and the President do their jobs, and do that job better than it has been done in the last eight years.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The state of Obama, 12/10/08

So, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested on a federal conspiracy complaint. Among many things, he was trying to sell the open Senate seat left by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder. And if he didn't get enough in return, it seems he was planning to take the seat himself. What a fucktard.

But, since this broke, I have thought if Obama tap dances through this mess, it will be for the best. Best to get your first scandal (even if it really isn't yours) over and done with. This should be a testing ground on how to handle any sticky situation in the future.

So far, you have Illinois's Lt. Gov., Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and now Obama calling for Blagojevich to resign. And I'm with David Gergen.
"I have a hard time pronouncing his name. I just call him the idiot."
- David Gergen, CNN, talking about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Now, with all of this going on, how is everyone seeing Obama?


71% have a favorable view of Obama? That's what Gallup says. CNN says that number is more like 79%.
A new CNN poll finds 79% of Americans approve of President-elect Obama's performance so far during transition, with just 18% disapproving.

Obama's approval rating is 14 points higher than the approval rating for President-elect George Bush in 2001 and 17 points higher than President-elect Clinton's rating in 1992.

Said analyst Bill Schneider: "An Obama job approval rating of 79% -- that's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster. To many Americans, the Bush administration was a national disaster."

- Political Wire
How do we know Obama is getting one hell of a honeymoon? This. Well, cool. What does America think of Bush? You know, Bush, the current President.

28% job approval? 13% Satisfied with the State of the Nation? Well, low as it is, Bush is set to gain a couple of points as he leaves office.

This is all crazy. And just so you know, even before yesterday, Blagojevich's approval was at 13%. He makes Bush look like Santa.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Greatness Watch (& another Senator Kennedy)



Well, these will be the longest 43 days before this man gets to be President. Come on! So it seems we can start calling President-elect Obama Mr. New Deal. I don't know why, but the idea of Obama backing massive infrastructure spending (oh infrastructure!) makes me so happy.



Funny stuff.



Not so funny stuff.

So okay, I didn't post a Greatness Watch last week because of Thanksgiving and this week will be a short one because while I'm 25-years-old, it seems I am just my father's tool.

First, Obama nominates retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department. Experience? Check. Diversity? Check. Balls? Check. Go Obama, go!

Second, new-mom Amy Poehler returned to "Saturday Night Live," reprising her role as Hillary Clinton to address her selection as Secretary of State. Then Darrell Hammond then stopped in as Bill Clinton. "You voted for change, but you ain't never gonna change this."

"Like the South, vampires and Britney Spears, we will rise again."



And finally, while Hillary Clinton is getting ready to head to the State Department, the battle for her Senate seat is heating up. One of the leading contenders now is Caroline Kennedy. Some have hailed the idea, while other knock it down. I think that, mainly because she has avoided politics, is the best reason for her to get involved. I'm happy to hear that Ted Kennedy is working to help her. From my little understanding of Caroline and why she stayed out of the public eye, it is the right time for all of us to get involved.

Caroline has been moved by Obama like millions of Americans were moved by her father more than 45 years ago. It's starting to look like the start of a new day in Washington, and in politics in general. A fresh face like Caroline Kennedy is just what this nation needs.

Even more symbolic is handing over the New York Senate seat (which Robert Kennedy held till his death 40 years ago) from a Clinton, and all the politics of the past 16 years, to a Kennedy with an eye on a new way of doing business much different than the same politics of the past.

And the list of U.S. Senators who will be forever tied to Barack Obama by coming to power in 2009?
  • Mark Udall (D-CO)
  • Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  • Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • Jim Risch (R-ID)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Mark Begich (D-AK)
  • Ted Kaufman (D-DE)*
  • Al Franken (D-MN)**
  • Caroline Kennedy (D-NY)***
  • Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)***

* Said to be the man to take over Joe Biden's seat for the next two years.
**
Franken is in the middle of a recount battle, and depending on who you ask (Star Tribune or Franken's campaign) the count is all over the place (Coleman up 192, Franken up 4, respectively) so the seat is still up in the air.
***
Seats open, or due to be open, because of Obama and Clinton getting better jobs. I have put the people I want to see in those seats.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hey, "Prop 8 the Musical"

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


NPH and Allison Janney? Yay! And what, Jack Black?! :-D

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Britney's 'Circus'

Britney Spears - Circus

I'm holding off what I think about the album as a whole. I'll need to get it on my iPod and listen to it for a while to get a good feel. But, so far, so very good.

Clip from her next video, for Circus:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Greatness Watch



Well this entire week was about one thing if you even think about politics: Obama's Cabinet. And from my point of view, so far so (very!) good. I mean, yeah you can pull the Team of Rivals thing. You have Biden (VP), Clinton (SOS), Richardson (SOC). They all ran against him; some too little success (Biden, Richardson) and others coming very close (Clinton), but all still falling short. But I tend to think of it as a Cabinet of Equals. Barack Obama wants and needs smart and capable people, and he does not need to always know everything or be the smartest in the room. And that is always a big plus; humility always is.

David Brooks sums up a lot of what I'm thinking in his Friday column:
"And yet as much as I want to resent these overeducated Achievatrons (not to mention the incursion of a French-style government dominated by highly trained Enarchs), I find myself tremendously impressed by the Obama transition.

The fact that they can already leak one big appointee per day is testimony to an awful lot of expert staff work. Unlike past Democratic administrations, they are not just handing out jobs to the hacks approved by the favored interest groups. They’re thinking holistically — there’s a nice balance of policy wonks, governors and legislators. They’re also thinking strategically. As Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute notes, it was smart to name Tom Daschle both the head of Health and Human Services and the health czar. Splitting those duties up, as Bill Clinton did, leads to all sorts of conflicts.


[clip]


As a result, the team he has announced so far is more impressive than any other in recent memory. One may not agree with them on everything or even most things, but a few things are indisputably true.


First, these are open-minded individuals who are persuadable by evidence. Orszag, who will probably be budget director, is trusted by Republicans and Democrats for his honest presentation of the facts.


Second, they are admired professionals. Conservative legal experts have a high regard for the probable attorney general, Eric Holder, despite the business over the Marc Rich pardon.


Third, they are not excessively partisan. Obama signaled that he means to live up to his postpartisan rhetoric by letting Joe Lieberman keep his committee chairmanship.


Fourth, they are not ideological. The economic advisers, Furman and Goolsbee, are moderate and thoughtful Democrats. Hillary Clinton at State is problematic, mostly because nobody has a role for her husband. But, as she has demonstrated in the Senate, her foreign-policy views are hardheaded and pragmatic. (It would be great to see her set of interests complemented by Samantha Power’s set of interests at the U.N.)


Finally, there are many people on this team with practical creativity. Any think tanker can come up with broad doctrines, but it is rare to find people who can give the president a list of concrete steps he can do day by day to advance American interests. Dennis Ross, who advised Obama during the campaign, is the best I’ve ever seen at this, but Rahm Emanuel also has this capacity, as does Craig and legislative liaison Phil Schiliro.


Believe me, I’m trying not to join in the vast, heaving O-phoria now sweeping the coastal haute bourgeoisie. But the personnel decisions have been superb. The events of the past two weeks should be reassuring to anybody who feared that Obama would veer to the left or would suffer self-inflicted wounds because of his inexperience. He’s off to a start that nearly justifies the hype."

Sorry to quote so much, but he just packed a lot into those fews grafs.

Now many are also talking about how could Obama and Clinton ever work together? On and on and on, but is everyone forgetting who is the President? And are you really smarter than Barack Obama, and you are calling out Obama for his choices?

And a few people (me included) were a little pissed (at least at first) that Hillary was getting the Secretary of State job. I mean, the crown jewel! 4th in line in the presidential line of succession!!! But then I took a breath. I wanted Bill Richardson at State, and it seems he is going to instead be at Commerce. But Secretaries of State don't normally stay longer than 4 years. So when, in all likelihood, Clinton steps down at State, Richardson can get the State job while Clinton thinks about running for president in 2016. Clinton would only be 69 on Inauguration Day 2017. While Reagan was also 69 when elected (the oldest President elected) he was less than a month away from his 70th birthday. Hillary would be 69 years and 3 months old to Reagan's 69 years and 11 months.

(And being at Commerce, then State could really put a great face on Richardson's chance at the Presidency. He would only be 69 years and 2 months old on January 20, 2017.)

And they all say Clinton will do everything her-way-or-the-highway style, "pursue[ing] their own agenda -- political and policy-wise -- rather than advocate for the president-elect's preferred issues." It is in the interest of Clinton to follow the leader, as that is how you do the job best. But behind closed doors she can unload all she wants. I'm guessing Obama understands this all too well. And just like in a clip from The West Wing (which is embedded below) they must have worked out a deal for her to plead her case to him till she's blue in the face, but afterwards going out and towing the line 110%. And, call me naive, but isn't that kinda how the government should work?

And to those moaning about the lack of change, too many Clinton people, or the general 'here we go again' meme that always happens with a new President, calm down. People always run on change, not many as much as Barack Obama though, and then the media says little change actually happened. I would say things have changed from Ford to Carter to Reagan to Bush 41 to Clinton and then changed under Bush 43. And in there were really a lot of the same people (Powell, Cheney, Rumsfeld, ect). But what counts is who was in charge.

Point being Reagan and Bush 41. They had a lot of the same people stay on, but it was a very different thing. So it will be with Clinton and Obama. Just think: Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama. All presidents (as of Jan 20, 2009) and it was only twenty years ago this started. 20 years of Bushes and Clinton. Now maybe new leadership can really lead Washington rather than follow Washington. I love Clinton, but Washington led him around by his nose, his hand, or his dick.

While many talk about Obama and both Clinton's as rivals, you have to remember the general election when both Bill and Hillary were in lock step with him. And why would that be different now? They are a team. She's a smart enough and tough enough to not undercut Obama publicly and keep the heat on him in private; like any good SOS. And Bill is smart enough not to piss off Hillary. Remember, his dick. Bill is even opening himself up to oversight and control from Obama so Hillary can get the job. Remember, don't make Hillary mad Bill; it all about his dick.

And speaking of Hillary Clinton, does The West Wing win yet another award at predicting the future? I mean, yeah, she's not from the other party, but she was his bitter rival.



It's just funny. The West Wing was on the cutting edge of where America was going. Like dead on.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh no, Bill Maher & I agree



At 4:30 into the video Bill Maher agrees with me. I have questioned and seconded guessed Obama a lot, but every time he has bore out to be smarter than me. And that is a great thing. After Bush, we need a great mind in the White House.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A must watch


Watch CBS Videos Online

Being the news geek, I enjoy getting to listen to my leaders speak. I'm odd like that. I only hope you enjoy it half as much as I do.

Greatness Watch



So, I want to start a little feature here: Greatness Watch: Barack Obama

Now of course, this is going to be a tad bias, but it will be to keep Obama honest, track his words and discuss his decisions.

This week? It seems Barack Obama is looking at Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State. Talk about Team of Rivals. But looking at who else he is eying for seats at his cabinet table, it only becomes more Team of Rivals like. Keeping Robert Gates? Chuck Hagel, Colin Powell, and even John McCain? This is just crazy enough to work.

And then Obama sent former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Republican Congressman Jim Leach to be his eyes and ears (perhaps his voice) at this weekend's G-20 meeting. One a student of the world, the other a leading voice in banking. One a longtime Democrat, the other a moderate Republican.

And it seems he is (so far) balancing Washington experience with outsider change. And, in my one criticism of Obama (which I will get to shortly) for stocking up on too many Clintonites, putting Hillary in the Cabinet would be a very un-Clintonian move. And looking at a few more people even mentioned, I would have to agree with Slate about the need for a real Cabinet of Equals* to really take on a very weak, trouble nation.

As for Hillary, I was always a big fan of Bill Richardson for SOS, but as I listen to more views on the idea, I have become a big fan of Clinton as SOS. From Maureen Dowd to Henry Kissinger, Sen. Jon Kyl, and California's own Govanator Arnold Schwarzenegger, people are agreeing that it would be a good idea. So, you make everyone happy: Obama people (solved Clinton problem), Clinton people (Obama respects her, finally!), Republicans (she ran with a center-right foreign policy), and Democrats (finally healing intra-party wounds).

Now, about Obama posting too many Clintonites to his administration. His is gonna just be Bill Clinton's 3rd term? No. But could those Clintonian voices hold him back from really doing what he promised in the campaign? Hell yes. I give you Rachel Maddow:



But after thinking about it, I have to trust Obama. Over the course of the campaign and this transition I have thought and said several things I wanted Obama to do. Almost 90% of the time (a lot of the time, I'm just making up the figure) within 1-14 days later, he would do it. And the other 10% (again, pulling these %s out of my ass) when he didn't, things later came to light that showed a much better path, which he had taken. So I have learned he knows what he's doing. Not to say he won't make mistakes or have missteps, but he has shown he knows how to get through them. So far, he has a great track record of making smart moves. Now it is a matter of turning smart campaign moves and ideas into smart governing moves and ideas.

Which, as of yesterday, he is well on his way to doing.
Via Change.gov
"For the first time, the weekly Democratic address has been released as a web video. It will also continue to air on the radio.

President-elect Obama plans to publish these weekly updates through the Transition and then from the White House."



Well done Mr. President-Elect. Well done. Now all you have to do is continue being perfect and make your own place in history. My guess is you will make it look easy. We shall see. And I'll be here every Sunday to keep watch.

* Cabinet of Equals is what I'm gonna call this group (if it pans out) until it actually gets a name. I like Cabinet of Equals. Slate liked The Genius Cabinet.

Well, with 20/20 hindsight...

...this ad is kinda what happened. Crazy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I don't really like authority.

Okay, so you want to know what may be my biggest weakness? I don't really like authority. Like, I really don't like people telling me what to do at all. Even more so when it makes little to no sense.

Now, to really understand my feelings on authority figures, you have to understand me. I love to question not just authority, but everyone and everything too. And it's not that I distrust authority; on principle I don't really trust anyone as far as I can throw them. And if you know me, that isn't very far.

My problem is that the world is based on respecting and following authority. From school, to the work world, from the military to the government. Then there is me.

Due to this (and maybe me being less crazy than I think I am) I have learned to deal with authority by understanding where they are coming from. For me it is a lot easier to "follow the leader" if I understand and like them along with believing they know what they are doing. Competence goes a long way for me. Explaining how I feel about Bush just a little too well.

But, when I don't respect the authority, and I think they are pushing stupid rules, and I really don't like having to be around them...well, I tend to take myself out of the situation. Lucky for me this has only happened once when a pay check was involved. My first job. With a certain cash advance / payday advance company. I was actually the manager of one of the stores. I was the authority really. But I still had a boss. And there were still stupid rules. And I didn't like my job. So I went by by. Being pushed (not positively) to be better, combined with the fact I could only wear blue or white (solid) dress shirts.

Now? Well, I still like my job now. So that third part of my "I'm outta here" trifecta ain't ready to go. Yet. They are pushing us to go faster and better. It's annoying to be pushed, but I didn't mind cus that is kinda an employers do. But now they pushing some "are you kidding me" stands on weird things. But, again, their job their rules, so I'm good.

I just don't like seeing where this trend is going. So, maybe I will start looking for another job. You know, in this great economy, I will have no problem finding a great new job. Yeah.

But authority, ain't it a bitch?! I put up a poll, so vote! Yay polls!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

U wanna be cool?

George Clooney is cool:
"At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black."
Don't you want to be as cool as George Clooney? Support equal rights for everyone.

Helen Thomas

If we could fill the media with a million Helen Thomas's, we would be that much better off.




And look. She openly said she voted for Obama, but will do her job better than anyone else. Remember that.

Politics won't just go away

I have heard from many of my friends that the election is over, and they don't want to hear about it all anymore. In part, I agree. But, as a student of the media, I understand the great pull to do postmortem stories on how Barack Obama won, how the Republicans are going to rebuild, and how Obama is going to govern.

The problem with people (even more so in the 18-29 year-old group) tuning out is that the hard work has just started. President-elect Barack Obama now has to fix everything. The economy, the two+ wars we are fighting, along with a host of other major issues (infrastructure, counter-terrorism, health care, energy independence, and America's role in the world). This is when Obama needs us more than ever. Without the power of the people being engaged in where the country is going, Obama won't have the power to do what he needs to do.

The other side is already pulling together. And they have a new goal: stop Barack Obama and those damn liberal in Congress. And while they may be fighting amongst themselves (Palin v. Romeny v. Jindal v. lord knows who else), they all want the same thing. And to be honest, Democrats and liberals had one goal also: pass their (re: Obama's) agenda.

And speaking of Palin. Everyone is saying she's over, so stop talking about her. In response, I give you a quote from Andrew Sullivan:
"Some readers think my continuing attempt to expose all the lies and flim-flam and bizarre behavior of Sarah Palin is now moot. She's history -- they argue. Move on. I think she probably is history. Even Bill Kristol and his minions in the McCain-Palin campaign may not be able to resuscitate her political viability now. But even if she is history, she is history that matters."
So yeah, they are going on and on about topics you don't want to hear about anymore. Okay. So email them and let them know what you want to hear about. Don't just turn the TV off. Don't just throw that paper away, or skip onto the next link. Get involved and start making an impact.

Politics is not a spectator sport. It's a contact sport. Get in there, get a little dirty, and get something done.
"Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Do unto others...

Please just watch, no matter what you think about the LGBT community or gay marriage, take a few minutes and listen.



Not really much to say that Olbermann didn't, except maybe this:

You all know me. Are you ready to tell me I am something less than you? That you should be able to get married but I can't? Are you really telling me you are better than me?

Because, no matter what you say, that is what it feels like to me, to the millions in the LGBT community, and to the many more millions who think equal rights means equal rights, no matter the person's sex, skin color, religion or sexual orientation.

No separate but equal. No don't ask don't tell. No standing against gay marriage "for the children" or to protect the "sanctity" of marriage.

Equal rights means equal rights for ALL!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Inside "No Drama Obama" Campaign


Watch CBS Videos Online

Just cus...

Link
So, CQ Politics has this cool tool where you can look at who may serve in Obama's Cabinet. And above is what I think, based on what they gave me. But I also have a list of other people Obama should look at for possible roles, Cabinet level or another high profile post.
  • John Kerry (D)
  • Chuck Hagel (R)
  • Lincoln Chaffee (I)
  • Tom Vilsack (D)
  • Gordon Smith (R)
  • John McCain (R)
  • Hillary Clinton (D)
  • Tom Daschle (D)
  • Howard Dean (D)
  • Jim Leach (R)
-----------------

And I can't stop looking at these numbers. Cus I'm a total nut.
Okay. The moment I find a topic to talk about other than politics, I will. I promise.

Some random facts

Hey there everyone. Thanks to me being unable to sleep, and because I have amassed a good amount of random election facts.

So lets have some fun.
  • As of now, Barack Obama is winning with 52.57% of the popular vote. First time since 1988, and George H. W. Bush, a candidate has broken 52%. Biggest Democratic win since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (61.1%). And F.D.R. in 1944 before that (53.4%). Biggest win for a first term since Dwight Eisenhower got 55.2% in 1952, not counting the already mentioned Bush in '88 with 53.4%. Biggest Democratic first term win since F.D.R. was elected with 57.4% in 1932. To find a Democratic first term win greater than Obama's, you have to go back to Andrew Jackson's win in 1828, with 56%, when he was the first Democratic President.
  • Virginia and Indiana were each carried by the Democratic nominee for the first time since 1964. North Carolina was carried by the Democratic nominee for the first time since 1976. Nebraska split its five electoral votes for the first time, with the one electoral vote from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district going to Obama and the other four (2 for each of the other congressional districts, and 2 for winning the overall popular vote) to McCain.
  • While unofficial, it looks like it will be 365-173.
  • Barack even won with people making over $200,000 a year (52%-46%). Both people with no high school diploma (63%-35%) and those with a postgraduate degree (58%-40%). He won 20% of conservatives, 60% of moderates, and 89% of liberals. Not to mention 95% of African-Americans and 67% of Latinos.
  • It seems Barack's win was truly across the board. Look at this. Then click on voting shifts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where we go from here

First, I’m sorry, my Internet is dead. And, being fucking fed up, I am switching providers. God bless America; I have a chose of whom I get my Internet from.

So, the news story of the next few weeks? Barack Obama wins!



With the overwhelming joy and pride I feel, we still have much work to do.

But first, the great story of our time: Barack Obama. You have to remember while many were happy Obama put his hat in the ring, it was Iowa that gave him the seal of approval, proving to America (and the black population) that white America could, and would, support a black candidate; and in record numbers.

Then we had last night. America showing, not telling, that we are open minded, and we are the true hope of the world. God bless Barack Obama, and God bless him in all of his very hard time ahead.

And while he faces issues (the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, and even his own party) we as the American people face several tough problems ahead.

We have people who want to pull us apart, people who abuse their power, and people who want to take rights away from segments of our population.

While I could rant on and on about how Bachmann got reelected, how Stevens wasn’t DOA, and how America in this day-in-age could willingly vote to take away someone’s equal protection under the law, it won’t do anything. It won’t get Bachmann booted in two years, it won’t make sure (if elected) that Sen. Stevens is removed from office, and it won’t make sure the fight for equal rights for all continue until we win.

What will make sure all these things happen is us. It is you and me that will drive the nation to continue to shape itself into a better nation.

So I will be writing on the issues I care about. I will be giving as much support (both in my time and finances) to make sure we are on the right path. So I urge you to also fight for what you believe in, even if you don’t agree with me. Actually, if you disagree with me, I urge you to fight harder, because there is nothing better, win or lose, than having a healthy, well fought debate on the issues that help both our nation and the world.

Finally, I wish to thank three people that I feel led us to where we are today, and whom I believe will be the leaders we look back on and lavish praise on.

So, thank you Chairmen Howard Dean, Senator Hillary Clinton, and President-elect Barack Obama.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Because I'm odd

I just love random little things like this:


It's funny to me that while several of the numbers off crazy off the real numbers (Utah for Obama?) it is also creepy how the basic trends are there. Very crazy.

CNN's map:


So, what do I think the map will look like? Because I know everyone out there is wondering what I think. Yeah right!

LinkMontana, North Dakota, and Georgia are going to be close. I just see them, with a major wave for Barack Obama, going to Obama. If they don't go for Obama, the next line of states to watch are North Carolina and Indiana, and to a lesser extent, Missouri. If things go even more for McCain, watch Ohio and Florida.

If things go even better for Obama, look at West Virgina, Arizona (McCain's home state!), and South Dakota.

And most of all, VOTE!!!