ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

Politics Archive



October 2008



Live Musings – Presidential Debate #2

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Third debate of the general election, third location. First was my apartment, all alone. Second was thundering through the air in a tube with like-minded strangers. Now I’m with my good friends in Seattle, watching it while waiting for pizza. Should be a good one…

(this time the times posted will be Pacific, since that’s where I am)

5:55 PM – Oh CNN. Thank you for getting into a room a whole bunch of people who can’t make up their minds. I’m intrigued by these people.

6:02 PM – Brokaw made a funny!

6:03 PM – Obama has a purple tie. And he’s chosen to wear it. Is that a subtle nod to the fact that there are no red or blue states – just purple?

6:06 PM – Nice specifics Obama. Of course McCain comes out with a bit of a jab . . . and OF COURSE McCain says that the solution is energy independence. Of course. I bet we get that from . . . drilling.

6:07 PM – McCain wants to re-negotiate mortgages. And . . . he randomly insults Brokaw. What?

6:11 PM – McCain corrects – wait, we have our first reference to Main Street. And you should REALLY let the whole “suspended campaign” thing go – it was not a good choice, and it’s a bad idea to bring it up.

6:13 PM – Zing. Obama’s cronies? Damn. That’s harsh. But good job pointing out campaign contributions.

6:14 PM – And Obama goes to the heart of the question. And the he brings the pain – yeah. McCain probably shouldn’t have gone there, with the Freddie Mac links to Obama, what with his campaign manager and all . . . 

6:17 PM – So McCain, how will this re-valuing of mortgages work? If my home value has gone up, will my mortgage go up?

6:20 PM – The question was kind of funny. McCain seems really uncomfortable. Am I wrong on that? I thought this was supposed to be his forte. And look at that – the men and women on CNN don’t seem too pleased with McCain. Did McCain even listen to Obama? Obama already explained his increases were paid for by cuts. 

6:24 PM – Ah, it looks like McCain took a page from Palin – don’t really answer the question asked.

6:27 PM – Oooh, novel approach. Obama answered the question as posed. But I think Brokaw is getting really annoyed with both of them for not cutting their time down.

6:29 PM – My friend Mike thinks that McCain looks like he has little wings. Meanwhile, McCain is again saying there will be a spending freeze on everything except defense and veterans affairs. Hmm . . . and yet McCain, who hasn’t done much at all for health care is saying he’s not going to tell people they have to wait.

6:31 PM – First reference to 9/11 comes from Obama. And my first Obama cringe comes from him talking about clean coal technology. Boo. Hiss. But at least he’s talking about sacrifices. It’s true – we haven’t been asked to adjust anything. Doubling the peace corps? Intriguing. Can I be sent to Ireland? I’m sure they need some help since they are in a recession.

6:33 PM – Obama seems to be reaching a bit for the right words. He’s not as eloquent as I’d like. But I do like the comparison to teachers tightening their belts and the unfair burden sharing. And drawing it back to McCain having unfair burden sharing by freezing all spending.

6:36 PM – McCain seems only able to talk about Obama. Interesting.

6:37 PM – I’m not sure this format is working. But oh HILARITY – the Straight Talk Express Lost a Wheel? And Obama brings it back to taxes. At least he seems to have learned from the last debate, so now he is not letting some of the bigger point slide. And by pointing out how things are related, he’s engaging us all in some more complex thinking.

6:41 PM – He’ll answer the question? So I guess that’s where he and Palin part ways. 

My friend Jamie is hilarious – McCain’s talking about how his party isn’t always happy with him. Jamie’s response? “I have no loyalty. I have no ideological consistency.”

6:42 PM – Interesting – And LAME. Man, the more of McCain I see the less I like. I used to like him a bit.

6:43 PM – McCain has mentioned Lieberman like five times. Hmm. And now he says “Obama thinks [nuclear power] needs to be safe OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT” – what the hell just happened? Did he have a brain fart? That was bizarre. That whole answer was all about me liking peanut butter and you swimming. I heart non sequitur theater.

6:46 PM – OH SNAP. Obama just threw a big ol’ piece of mud at McCain. “Congress hasn’t done anything about energy for 30 years – McCain’s been there for 26 of them.” And Obama throws in a fact about how drilling still can’t solve the problem. I also heart rationality.

6:48 PM – “That one?” Did he REALLY just do that? Is he trying to – oh man, Mike just stood up and pointed out that McCain looks like a puppet with strings holding up his elbows. It’s true! Think about it!

6:49 PM – Senator McCain, I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND. Please stop referring to me as such.

6:52 PM – Please don’t tax my health insurance. Please. Please. Please. 

Side note – Obama, you’re a bit long winded. I think you have like a minute total.

6:55 PM – What’s McCain talking about? I can’t follow him. I’m not feeling well, but can that explain it? Or is he totally rambling? And also, McCain talked about parents wanting to insure their kids. And yet McCain voted against adding more children to the list of those eligible for insurance. Not cool man, not cool.

6:57 PM – I agree that health care should be a right. I agree with what Obama is saying. This is good – Obama is explaining why you shouldn’t be able to cross state lines to get health care – the comparison to deregulation of banking was great too.

7:00 PM – Peacemakers. What’s going on now? I’m nodding off.

7:02 PM – Obama, we’ve heard this before. Something new please. 

I’m not sure I’m going to end up watching the third debate. Just the pre-game and after-party for me, I think. 

7:04 PM – And Obama’s the first one to mention morals…and then he stuttered. But I do like the idea that we need to intervene when possible from a moral perspective. 

7:07 PM – What’s going on? The town-hall format just wanders aimlessly. It’s odd. I don’t like it.

7:08 PM – What does “exacerbate our reputation” mean?

7:09 PM – Please answer the question. Either of you. Please.

7:11 PM – McCain, do you know at all what it means to respond to a hypothetical? Ugh. I like that Obama is honest about what he thinks should be done.

7:13 PM – Obama is bringing the smack down. Brokaw is taking it well.

7:15 PM – UGH. I had to leave. I had to leave. I cannot watch both of them acting like children and pointing at each other.

7:18 PM – Mike says “Jesus Christ. Is General Patraeus running for President?”

7:19 PM – Stop beating this horse. It died long, long ago.

7:22 PM – I’m done with this. I give up. I’m sleepy.

Okay. I think it’s almost over. I’m tired of these. I’m not happy about how this has gone, because I don’t think we’re getting anything new out of this. At all.




October 2008



Vice Presidential Debate

Written by , Posted in Reviews

8:40 PM – I’m on a flight to Seattle. Well, I’m on the plane. And it’s hopefully full of a bunch of people who are as excited as I am. So many of us asked if the TVs were working.

8:50 PM – Oh man, I’m anxious. But watching MSNBC helps. Is this what conservatives feel when they watch Fox? Of course, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow’s snark has the added benefit of being based in reality. But ignorance is bliss, right, so maybe that’s why the folks on Fox always seem to be smiling. Palin always looks quite happy, that I know.

8:55 PM – Please take off soon. I want to get going.

9:00 PM – MSNBC’s signal has gone off. Only Fox has a signal. Are you KIDDING ME? Am I really going to have to watch the debate on Fox?

9:01 PM – Oh it’s back. Thank god(s).

9:03 PM – “Can I call you Joe?” It’s like she’s a small child. While I appreciate the etiquette, I think it’s interesting that she went that route. Very clever. But I think he’ll keep referring to her as governor.

9:04 STOP TALKING JET BLUE. I love you, but shut up. I don’t need a seven dollar blanket, even if it does come with a coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond.

9:06 PM – Wait. People didn’t want to join up with McCain? But it was a bi-partisan effort? Which is correct, Palin? 

9:07 PM – Oooh. Biden’s done things in his life. Violence Against Women Act. Damn right. Did he just subtly accuse Palin of going off topic? That was a little snide. I like it. But how will it read?

9:08 PM – She looked at him. Looks like the ticket learned from the first debate. And she’s looking at the camera. 96% of the time Obama is with dems. Good quote.

9:09 PM – Um – why is she whispering? Does she not know she has a microphone? I can control the volume on my end.

9:10 PM – SHUT UP JET BLUE. I DON’T WANT A BLANKET. Wait, did she just say Joe Six-Pack again? But she did bring up personal responsibility. Hmm, as an aside – does she not know how to pronounce ‘g’? Happenin’, talkin’, hopin’? Enunciate, please.

9:11 PM – Nice. Biden points out McCain didn’t think there was a sub-prime crisis, and Obama wanted the regulations back. Interesting . . .Oooh and now he brings up the fact that McCain said that he wants to do the same thing with health care that he did with banks. Um, no. Please.

9:13 PM – She definitely is not choking. Good work, debate prepares. But Biden – nice job pointing out that not only is the standard she’s using bogus, but if she does use it McCain looks worse. Fab.

9:15 PM – Oooh, look. She’s such a maverick that she can’t be bothered to answer the questions! She’s going to talk to the people. Um, it’s a debate. Talk to the people, but in the context of the debate. This isn’t a campaign rally.

9:17 PM – Oh Biden. Way to point out that he has values – they just are different. And the tax increase for rich people just restores them to the level they paid under Reagan.

9:18 PM – Please stop whispering. Seriously. It’s SO freaking condescending. It’s obnoxious.

9:19 PM – She doesn’t want the government running health care. Why don’t people get the difference between government provision and government funding? UGH.

Did he just bring up Exxon? Heh. Hitting her where she lives. And he refuted the small business claim she made. It’s so clear (to me, and I know I’m super-biased) that he knows his stuff.

9:20 PM – OH MAN. Did he just go there? He mentioned the bridge to nowhere and compared the horrible McCain health care plan to it. So good. It even got a gasp. It is just sickening to think that McCain and Palin want to tax health benefits and only provide a break for less than half the amount of the average worth of employer-provided benefits. Think 45 million uninsured is bad? How about 65 million!

9:22 PM – Nice. I like that Ifill followed up on a question from the Presidential debate. And I like that Biden had an answer.

9:23 PM – She is so condescending. It’s kind of amazing when people with nothing to back up their condescension come across as such poseurs.

9:24 PM – Go Ifill. Way to bring it back to the question. And then Palin points out she’s been doing this for 5 weeks? Um, door open . . . 

9:25 PM – Interesting – Biden makes it seem like McCain and Palin disagree on something Palin’s so proud of doing. Ha.

9:28 PM – Biden, I’m sorry, I’m not following. You and Obama disagreed two years ago? Shocking. 

9:29 PM – What is she doing? She’s controlling the debate to a degree, but she’s not actually answering the questions. The person in the seat next to me is watching CNN, and when Palin just changed the topic the approval just dropped dramatically. And how can she talk about energy when she’s not supporting alternative energy? She has everything to gain with oil drilling.

9:31 PM – Are you freaking kidding me? Of course it matters what caused climate change – otherwise you treat the symptoms and not the roots. Oh MAN. An “All of the above” approach? Hmm. Not sure I like that characterization. AND Biden brings it home.

9:34 PM – Drill baby drill? Is she for real?

9:36 PM – Interesting – Biden almost opened it up for McCain.

9:37 PM – Now it’s getting good. Damn straight that sam sex couple deserve the same rights. Oh wow. She doesn’t want it to get to marriage. But she is ‘tolerant.’ No one would oppose it in her administration? But she thinks marriage is only for a man and a woman.

9:38 PM – And this is where I part with the ticket. I understand that they need to not support it to get elected. That breaks my heart that a majority of people oppose civil rights. It’s disgusting to me that the only thing they seem to agree on is the continued discrimination of gay people. Ugh.

9:40 PM – Oh snap. She scores a point on Biden v Obama on the surge front. Interesting.

9:41 PM – Biden has an novel tactic – answer the question. Then get back to shooting down her comments. Relevetory.

9:42 PM – “White Flag of Surrender”? Interesting. Also interesting – the little tracker on CNN shows women really drop down when Palin talks about the troops.

9:44 PM – Go Biden. If Palin is going to attack Obama on something and McCain did it too, well, that’s risky. Don’t expect Biden to let that go.

9:46 PM – Biden knows his foreign policy. Or at least, he sounds like it. Love it.

9:47 PM – Um, I have thrown my hands up in frustration so many times when she starts speaking. Not as many as I thought, but still. Many, many times. – Wait, Cuba? Ah. Here’s where we go back to the “meeting without preconditions.” Is that horse dead yet? 

9:49 PM – My poor seat mates. I’m almost punching the TV. I’m having quite visceral reactions. I’m sorry, did she just say “our respect for women’s rights”? Isn’t she the one who wants to government to make decisions for women? She has no respect for womens’ rights. 

9:50 PM – Oh. Biden just schooled Palin and McCain on international affairs. Snap. It’s so entertaining to see how the minds work. Diplomacy has been MIA for the last eight years – and that hasn’t worked out so well.

9:51 PM – Is it odd that I just realized the anagram of Palin is Plain? But good to know that she supports a two-state solution. Any guesses on whether she had an opinion on the issue six weeks ago? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

9:52 PM – Um. When I hear “McCain-Palin Administration” I shudder. I actually shudder.

9:53 PM – He did it again. He’s answering the questions. I think when he does that, he pulls control of the debate back.

9:54 PM – UMMM, WHAT THE HECK? She doesn’t want to play the blame game? She doesn’t want to point fingers? And then she goes on to say they’ll return the government to the people – so then someone must have taken away the government from the people. Maybe . . . Bush?

9:55 PM – Oh thank god(s). My wine has arrived. Maybe it will calm me down.

9:56 PM – She’s not answering the questions again. I don’t understand. I can’t follow her. She’s just got a list of points someone told her to hit – and they’re not related to anything that is being asked. What is she doing, going on about Afghanistan?

9:58 PM – Biden so knows his stuff. I wish that she was required to actually answer the questions asked of her. That would be super interesting. But at least he got back to the question.

There are still 30 minutes left. I don’t know if I will make it. Part of me is sort of bummed she hasn’t totally screwed up. Especially because conservatives (and liberals) have been lowering expectations so much. Is it obvious to others that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about?

Additional side note – why should she? Yes, she’s the governor of a state. But I don’t think it’s a character flaw that she doesn’t have the foreign policy know-how that Biden has. The problem is that she shouldn’t be running for VP. She’s just not qualified.

10:03 PM – Okay, this is a big problem. I know my sister and I agree on this one. Biden voted for the war, and then changed his mind with different information and as time unfolds. But why is it bad when someone changes their mind? If it isn’t willy-nilly (heh, I love that term)? Why is educating one’s self, or realizing that something is going the wrong way and changing direction, a bad thing? Just cling to the sinking ship, because that’s how you prove your worth, right? Only people with blind allegiance to wrong ideas are real people, right? Washington outsider my rear end. She liked that bridge, and then changed her mind. She certainly knows what that’s all about.

10:09 PM – “Team of Mavericks”? Again. Giving one’s self a nickname immediately removes its relevance. 

10:11 PM – Doggone it? Doggone it? THIS IS NOT A DISNEY MOVIE. I’m sorry. Did she just give a “shout out” in a debate? That’s not okay. This is not a student council debate. This is a VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE.

10:13 PM – That exchange about lame VP jokes was actually kind of funny. Bizarre. But funny.

10:14 PM – And we have the first reference to her special needs child. Ding.

10:16 PM – Oh good. Flexible Constitution. I’m super excited that Palin thinks the Constitution is flexible when it comes to her role. Great. Awesome. I’m sure that won’t lead to any abuse – I mean, Cheney didn’t abuse it. What could go wrong?

10:17 PM – Go Biden. Cheney is scary.

10:18 PM – Ah, non-sequitor theater. Didn’t Ifill just ask what her actual achillese heel is? Is this the equivalent of answering the “what’s your greatest weakness” by saying “I work too hard”? Ack. She’s running in circles. What is she talking about?

10:20 PM – Oh look. Biden had a variation on that theme. Whoops. But way to remind everyone that he’s had a rough time. Oh, and wow, did he just tear up? Wow. That actually kind of choked me up a little. And Palin just kind of doesn’t acknowledge anything that was said. She jumps back into the maverick line. She just goes back to the talking points and doesn’t . . . it’s interesting. She’s both super engaged and not engaged at all. It’s like she learned a script that told her to appear folksy by seeming like she gets it, while simultaneously not hearing what’s going on.

10:23 PM – Nice. Biden finally makes the call on the maverick thing. He knows his stuff and I kind of love it. No, I really love it. 

10:24 PM – Good question Ifill. When did you have to actually change your position on something? Wow. Love it. Biden’s talking about his time on the judiciary committee. He does think judicial philosophy matters, but didn’t at first.

10:25 PM – And she just does nothing with it. She . . . didn’t veto something. That’s definitely on the same par. And no, she hasn’t had “to compromise”?! That wasn’t the question. So she’s never changed her mind on something. Huh. Good to know. Whether she’s right or wrong, she’s doesn’t care. What matters is that she just stays the course. Super.

10:27 PM – Meandering . . . and bring it back Biden. Okay, your change will be – not questioning motives. And Palin throws out catch phrase after catch phrase:

“Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. At the end of the day, it’s for the greater good.”


10:29 PM – AND the mainstream media is brought up. Other than that – this isn’t much of a closing argument. Oh, here she goes. They are going to fight for the middle class. Oooh, dig at Michelle Obama there – she’s “always been proud to be an American.” What is going on? Did she just quote Reagan and call it a day?

10:30 PM – Biden just goes right for it. And he’s connecting, I think. 

Side note – Did he have a face lift? Or an eye lift? He doesn’t look as old as he should.

Back to the closing statement. NICE ENDING BIDEN

Whew. I am spent. Seriously spent. That was – well, Palin did better in that she didn’t totally choke. But she actually kind of reminded me of McCain in that she meandered and didn’t really answer the questions.

I need to focus on the pundits now. I hope she is not our vice president. I can’t handle a “Folksy” Vice President.



September 2008



Live musings – Presidential Debate #1

Written by , Posted in Reviews

8:56 PM (All times Eastern, since that’s where I live, yo)

Okay. Let’s see how long this works. I’m watching the debate on MSNBC – I’ve decided that’s the channel for me. I’m comfortable situated in my teeny tiny apartment, in my PJs, on my couch. Wishing a bit that Mac Books didn’t get so freaking hot when they’re on.

8:57 PM

Oooh, I need a snack . . . no popcorn. Is this a chips and salsa situation? Perhaps time for a salad? Or just straight whiskey? Eh. Jelly belly beans. Yes. That’ll do.

8:58 PM

Rules for the drinking game. Any time McCain says “friends” – DRINK. Any time Obama looks like he cannot BELIEVE McCain just said whatever he just said or vice versa – DRINK. Any time you find yourself laughing out loud at an absurdity from either candidate – TWO DRINKS.

9:01 PM

Oh Jim Lehrer. Direct follow-ups? Oh, this could be so good.

9:03 PM

McCain has a blue shirt on. Odd choice, McCain. No crisp. Obama’s in a navy suit, muted red tie, white shirt. He’s a walking America flag.

9:04 PM

C’mon, Obama. I appreciate you thanking Ole Miss, but the clock is ticking!

9:05 PM

First shot fired – 8 years of Bush, supported by McCain. Snap!

Okay, I need to slow down. I can’t respond to everything. Except, way to bring the mood down even further by bringing up Kennedy being in the hospital.

9:10 PM

What are you talking about McCain? Man, it’s like watching The Office goes to the White House. Oh, now he’s talking about greed being rewarded? How many houses do you have again?

9:12 PM

Ooh, first self-deprecating joke. Point McCain!

9:14 PM

What did you just say? Huh? I was talking to my sister earlier today about how I think I’m intelligent, but I couldn’t do debates. I can’t just pull information out. Watching this, I think I could probably perform about on par with McCain. I can’t follow him. 

9:17 PM

Oooh, $300 billion IS indeed very important when compared to $18 billion. Obama knows his stuff. Yay, reduced taxes.

9:18 PM

Ha. Did McCain just say he didn’t win Miss Congeniality in the Senate. Does he know his running mate actually did win Miss Congeniality?

9:19 PM

Hell yeah, health care is an issue that matters.

9:20 PM

Um, did McCain just compare us to Ireland in saying they have a lower Business Tax rate, as a way to show how businesses can do better in that environment? Did no one bother to tell him that just yesterday in Ireland they declared a recession? Not the BEST example there, McCain.

9:22 PM

Oooh, Obama just brought in some knowledge – effective tax rates. Nice. Wait, what? McCain wants to tax health benefits? That seems like a bad idea.

9:23 PM

McCain is smirking. DRINK!

9:25 PM

Hmm, I think it’s time to amend the drinking game. Every time Obama says “Look.” DRINK

9:27 PM

I have to say, Obama, not a fan of the biodiesel. But way to switch up the question – instead of accepting the “what to cut”, you said what you’d still keep. Oooh, and infrastructure. Yes, please, can we have a big infrastructure plan?

9:28 PM

Hell yeah, Obama is liberal. Thank god(s).

9:30 PM

What are you talking about, McCain? Boeing? What now? 

9:32 PM

Whoa. So we’re going to have a spending freeze for everything except defense and VA and entitlements (Medicare, etc.)? Um, huh. 

9:33 PM

Good call Obama. We do need to build up America.

9:34 PM

Did I fall asleep and wake up in the 1970s? Nuclear power?


Obama’s talking about values and priorities. Finally. I think McCain is showing his biggest fault – he doesn’t seem to understand nuance. He wants a huge sweeping decision about everything. Also – an aside – McCain doesn’t want the federal government to handle health care – but he’s fine with them taking $700 billion and running our financial markets? Huh?

9:37 PM

Oooh, orgy. And now Obama is tying McCain to Bush. Indeed. Go with it, please. Continue. Elaborate. I love it.

9:38 PM

Oh god. Maverick? Really? It sounds like a professor talking about how his students think he’s cool. Dude, you aren’t a Maverick if you’re a lap dog for the President.

9:42 PM

Damn right you opposed the war Obama. Preach it. I’m just enjoying it. Ooh, and he’s looking into the camera now. I hear you Obama!

9:42 PM

You are correct, McCain. The next president won’t have to decide about going into Iraq. But he will have to decide about going into other places. And it’s good to know he doesn’t have an itchy trigger finger.

9:44 PM

Oooh, good call. The war DID start five years ago, not one year ago. 

9:46 PM

McCain is getting antsy. Man, I hope the American public can see how loose a cannon McCain is. This is scaring me so much. 

9:47 PM

Ph yeah! I just had my first clapping moment. Obama pointing out that they disagreed on the timetable, not the troop funding. Finally. Nuance. Love it!

9:49 PM

Oh good. McCain will take his orders from Bin Laden, since he seems to agree with him on Iraq. That’s . . . special.

9:52 PM

Ah. Now he’s talking. I listen to Obama, and I have no doubt that he knows what he’s talking about because he has thought about it.

9:54 PM

What are you talking about McCain?

9:56 PM

Oh hell yeah. Pot, this is kettle. Obama uses reason, McCain wildly misinterprets. Obama talks about what should be done, McCain says he’s suggesting attacking Pakistan and speaking in a way a President shouldn’t . . . and Obama calls him out on the Bomb Iran song. Love it. 

9:58 PM

I have to say I’ve not noticed this before – McCain strikes me as extremely patronizing. I understand others think Obama acts elitist – but really, he strikes me as someone who speaks forcefully with information to back it up. McCain seems to just swat people away as though their comments are irrelevant or just straight wrong. That’s so icky.

Oh, now we’re talking about wearing bracelets? That’s great. Personal anecdotes are super fun. This is a DEBATE.

10:00 PM

Oh good times. It took an hour for him to refer to his POW-dom. Possibly a record. Obama, don’t sink to the level of McCain!

10:01 PM

McCain’s pen is a sharpie. Huh. That doesn’t seem like a good pen for quick notes. Although I suppose if his vision is going, he might need to have some bigger writing. (Yes, I realize that’s off topic.) Also, McCain isn’t even looking at Obama. Squirmy McSquirmy.

10:03 PM

Side note – Remember when we all thought that this might actually be – wait holocaust? Huh? What are you talking about?

Okay, back to my thought. Remember when we all thought that this might actually be a really civilized political season? When we thought they would focus on the issues? I think the reason it devolved is because McCain is so far off on the issues that he has to attack.

10:06 PM

Obama is so good at correcting McCain and building off of his comments. I love it. Yes, I drank the kool-aid long ago. Oh yay! Diplomacy. “This notion that by not talking to people we are punishing them is not working.” BOO YAH!

10:08 PM

Oh, now McCain is trying to appeal to voters by trying to make Obama someone who wants to hang out with Iran. Good times. Never mind that leading foreign affairs experts seem to agree with Obama. Why let the facts get in the way of a tirade?

10:10 PM

Simmer down Obama. You’re getting a little snarky. I love it. But sometimes it doesn’t fly with the more sensitive types.

10:12 PM

Way to bring up the Spain issue. Good call!

10:14 PM

I really have to say I’m liking this discussion. It’s nice to think that a president, in the future, might actually talk to other countries. I really am glad that people are getting to see what McCain is like as an executive. Man, he scares me. Scares the crap out of me.

10:16 PM

Russia. Oh how I wish that Obama had answered the “how do you see Russia” question with “Well, I can’t see it from my state, so I guess I’m a bit behind there. . . “

10:18 PM

Please stop attempting to make Obama seem naive. It’s sort of sad. And now he’s talking about the KGB? I think McCain is sad that he missed out on a bigger career in the 80s. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are naive. It means that they disagree with you. 

This is the debate McCain is supposed to blow out of the water, right? Now, I never seem to agree with the media, but I don’t think he’s heads and shoulders above Obama.

STOP WITH THE ANECDOTES. Pet peeve – and I know they all do it – I HATE it when they talk about “I met Suzie in Small town Amurika, and she’s just like you. She has problems.” I get it. We get it. You talk to people. Moving on.

10:23 PM

Yay. Facts that actually point out WHY we can’t just rely on off-shore drilling.

10:25 PM

Awesome. McCain looks like a jerk – Obama doesn’t need to have the last word. I admire that so much. Winning isn’t about sounding like a jackass the loudest and the most often. It’s about making the good points and knowing that your actions speak louder than words.



September 2008



All smoke and no substance makes John a horrible pick.

Written by , Posted in Random

Earlier this month I committed to reading both party platforms and post my thoughts here. That didn’t happen. I couldn’t make it past the homophobic ramblings in the ‘national security’ chapter of the Republican Party, so I decided to instead watch it unfold in the media. Yikes.

I admittedly do not count Republicans among many of my close friends, so I have to wonder aloud – are you folks pissed? I would be kind of insulted right now. First, the more Gov. Palin speaks, the more it become painfully clear that she’s just not qualified to do the job of President. Yes, she’s running to be Vice President, but let’s be honest. We’ve all seen McCain. Older people can certainly do pretty much any job, and the wisdom of someone who has 70 years of life experience is amazing. But this particular septuagenerian is not in good health. Even in perfect health someone his age has a nearly 15% chance of dying in office. Do I even want a 15% chance of Palin as president? No. And I’m intrigued by those who do. Fascinated, almost. It seems insulting that he has so little respect for his own party that he would put his reputation and the election on the line to appease some pretty extremist folks.

Second, the latest ploy strikes me as spectacularly ill-advised. I must admit that when I first saw the CNN breaking new e-mail, I was pretty interested. Suspend campaigning? Hmm. I can see how that might read as a good a idea, especially in a closed room filled with take-out and group-think. But postpone the debate? Seriously? Huh . . . 

Then I saw Obama’s response, and whew. It’s so nice to see someone who doesn’t seem beyond flustered, who doesn’t seem like he’s pissed that he has to talk to us, and who is a thoughtful person. I know snap decisions seem to be favored by many in this country, but not me. I like that he seems to consider how to respond. And I loved his very true response to McCain’s suggestion – no. Something along the lines of ‘A President sometimes has to do more than one thing at a time.’ Ha! So true. Also true? Now is exactly when we need to hear from the candidates honestly about how they are going to work it all out. This is when we need the debates, and the discussion. 

It’s telling to me that McCain wants to disappear right now.



September 2008



Delusions straight out of the gate.

Written by , Posted in Reviews

The Republican Party Platform (I’m calling it RPP from now on, because that just takes too long to type) starts with a Chairman’s Preamble. As expected, it’s comprised of platitudes that have no meaning when you think about the actions that Republicans have taken in the past. Shoot, actions they are taking now.

In the second paragraph, they talk about “Distrust of government’s interference in people’s lives.” I have that too. Unfortunately, my distrust extends beyond gun ownership and includes human rights like gay rights and reproductive rights. You know, rights that the many members of this party deny on a regular basis. 

There is also a mention of  the “old virtues: the character and command that, in times of conflict and crisis, have led the Republic through its trials.” And I wonder – what, exactly, are those values? Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? The sad thing is, this comment itself isn’t necessarily off. That is what has gotten a lot of people in this country ahead. Of course, that’s also what causes the conflicts and crises. 

What preamble would be complete without this phrase (written, I believe, without a sense of irony) “With gratitude for eight years of honorable service from President George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! There has been nothing honorable about their service. Look where we are right now. Our esteem in the eyes of the world has dropped dramatically, we are killing people who don’t look like us on the other side of the globe so we can have access to resources we wouldn’t need if we had a more mature and reasonable energy policy, and we’re widening the gap between the people with a lot and people with a little.

Man. This is just the two-page preamble. This is going to be a long, painful read.



September 2008



An Experiment

Written by , Posted in Reviews

This election year is getting uglier. The RNC, which admittedly is a big shiny show (much as the DNC was last week), took it down a notch last night. I’m as sarcastic and snotty as most anyone I’ve ever met, but I feel like there’s humor and there’s hate. And last night was all about the hate. The ‘community organizer’ comment struck me as at best, amazingly ignorant, and at worst, pretty freaking racist, considering how many community organizers work with communities comprised primarily of people of color.

So, I was thinking. I complain about the Republicans, and I’m certainly hoping Obama and Biden win (two months from today!). But I’ve never actually read the Republican party platform. Or, frankly, the Democratic party platform. 

Well, I’m changing that. I’m going to take it upon myself to actually read them both. And, so you don’t have to, I’m going to post my thoughts on here over the next couple of weeks.




August 2008



Two Calamities for the Price of One

Written by , Posted in Random

Okay, so this is interesting to me. Hurricane Gustav (which I can’t say without a German accent) is heading to Louisiana, and a few different things are going on. Deja vu for one, as I’m watching Anderson Cooper standing in New Orleans. But this time around, three years after Katrina, I have a different perspective. Now I sit here, watching CNN and MSNBC, I have a better understanding of what goes into emergency planning, and what an amazing undertaking it really is.

I am excited to see that evacuation seems to be going better in New Orleans than before. The organization of buses to get people without transportation out of town is heartening, as is the fact that evacuation started so soon. I am, however, a little concerned about Nagen. The poor guy probably can’t win no matter what he says, but he used SUCH strong words yesterday, and now that the storm is predicted to come in at a level lower than before, I worry that the next time, if it’s worse, people won’t believe him when he says move, because hey, Gustav wasn’t that bad.

The political implications are intriguing as well. The RNC looks to be significantly downgraded, with just the call to order on Monday. Bush and Cheney won’t be attending. McCain and Palin are going to visit the Louisiana command center, and may speak via satellite, I think. I’m happy that they recognize that partying might not be the best thing to do right now, although I also wonder about the motivation. If they come through with calls for assistance, and that helps the Red Cross, then great. Of course, I was looking forward to watching the speeches and throwing things at the television. The DNC laid out such specific concerns and plans – how would the RNC speakers respond?

The next question for me is how this will effect the campaigns. Will it? I know there are bumps in the polls after conventions, but those tend to go away. So by (effectively) not having a convention for the RNC but having one for the DNC, does anything change? Are there people out there who watch the conventions and base their votes on that? Or are they both just events where they preach to the choir?

We shall see . . . 



August 2008



Huh. Just, Huh

Written by , Posted in Feminism

So, Friday morning I was in a meeting when I got the CNN breaking news e-mail about Sarah Palin. Of course, my first reaction was ACK. Then, my reaction was well, at least no matter what happens it will be a first. But, as I read more, I went back to ACK. 

Most women I know are not as virulently anti-choice as Sarah Palin, and most women I know are not as virulently anti-science as she is. The “any woman is better than no woman” argument doesn’t work for me, as evidenced by the fact that I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in the primaries. I’d love for a woman to be president, or vice president. I’d also love for that woman to share my ideals. In the case of this election, Obama was closer to my views than Clinton. 

Now, it seems, some conservatives think that women will just drop their support for Obama (or, if they hadn’t yet gotten on board, just not choose him) in favor of McCain. As my dear friend Reagan put it on Friday, how stupid do they think we are? “She has a vagina, I have a vagina! I’m going to vote for her!” Even ignoring the fact that her positions are not good for me personally, I also think they are bad for the nation as a whole.

I’d love to support her because she’s a woman. But my alliance lies with the vast majority of women who would suffer if McCain and Palin are elected.



August 2008



I Feel Kind of Naive

Written by , Posted in Random

This is really only the third presidential election I can vividly picture. I somewhat remember 1996, but I think that consists mostly of me sitting on the couch in Danville watching the states change color.

In 2000, Renee came over (with some fabulous seven layer dip, I believe) and we watched the east coast returns come in. That was the best part – being able to watch what was going on across the country. Of course, we didn’t have a President for awhile. I wasn’t a huge Gore fan (I voted for Bradley in the primary), but, well, y’know.

2004 was shocking to me. I really thought Kerry was going to win. I was a bit more tuned in then – I even got to go to the DNC, which was awesome. It was fun to go to the convention, sit with the New York delegation, and wander around to parties and discussions.

Now it’s 2008. I was somewhat surprised Clinton didn’t get the nomination – I voted for Obama, but still, I kind of thought that was a forgone conclusion. I should have known that people would be more willing to vote for a man than a woman. 

I watched the convention last night, and I really enjoyed Michelle’s speech. I actually found it, well, a bit inspiring. And then – the media weighed in. They’ve been focusing on Clinton, and trying to find a story in the fact that some of her supporters are a bit near-sighted. The “I feel naive” part comes in here. I’d just love for there to be serious analysis of the issues and not the personalities. I’m seeing ‘liberal’ journalists talking about McCain like he’s been some bastion of consistency, when in reality he’s changed his positions many times. I see them focusing on Clinton losing without spending any real time on the misogynistic undertones of the media coverage. And I don’t see real coverage of the actual issues. It’s driving me nutty. 

I read The Times Magazine article about Obama’s economic philosophy and it was really quite interesting. If you haven’t, check it out.



July 2008



Obligatory New Yorker Post

Written by , Posted in Feminism

So, I’m assuming you’ve seen and/or heard about this week’s New Yorker cover. I used to subscribe to that magazine, but I found that while some issues were amazing reads, others were just unreadable.

Anyway, I was initially annoyed with it – not because I don’t understand or respect satire, but because I fear the things that the magazine was satirizing are things some people think are so true that they won’t recognize the satire. It’s just so freaky – both that Senator Obama is constantly being called Muslim, AND (and this is even more important to me) that this would be considered a detriment were it true. I realize it’s a stretch to even imagine a woman as president, or a black man, and that’s so freaking depressing. And you can’t even try to factor in other variables, like non-traditional religions (our first pagan president – in 2440!).

But I do have to say that Jon Stewart really said it best – ‘We really shouldn’t get all worked up over a cartoon depicting Barack Obama as a fundamentalist Muslim. Because you know who gets worked up over cartoons? Fundamentalist Muslims.’

Heh. Good point.