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.


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.
"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...

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!!!