ASK Musings

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Monthly Archive: September 2008



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



Did R.E.M. Have It Right?

Written by , Posted in Politics

The world is ending, I think. I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy (which, side note – nice season premiere!) and I see a teaser for the news, which I now can’t watch because I think it’s already over (the power of the DVR). Anyway, the teaser says WaMu was seized by the Feds.


Ack! We have presidential candidates ‘suspending’ campaigns and threatening not to debate. We have crazy $700 billion bailouts that started out as a blank check for an unelected official to ‘fix’ things. What does that even mean? What is it fixing? The companies? Is it a ‘trickle down’ solution, where as long as the private sector is protected from its failings, the rest of us will be okay? I don’t understand economics in any meaningful way, and I don’t understand what this really means. I know I have a job, and I know I can afford my rent. I know I have some savings. I know my parents are okay right now. 


I guess in general I’ve been avoiding reading or learning about a lot of this. I’m thinking that I should probably spend some time this weekend getting caught up.


PS – I heart Jon Stewart. “Clusterfu–k to the Poor House” made me guffaw.



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



A fitting way to spend 9/11

Written by , Posted in Adventures, Reviews

Tonight, thanks to Eric getting up at 5:30 AM to wait in line for tickets, I got to see an amazing production of Hair. When I was younger I would listen to my parents’ recording (on vinyl) of the soundtrack. I remember thinking then that I was so bummed I’d never get to see a live production of it. Thankfully, the good people at The Public Theatre decided that they should revive it.

I really enjoyed it. And especially tonight, when we’re remembering 9/11 and all of the things that happened that day and following it. We’re fighting a war, sending young people off to die. There isn’t enough love and acceptance of people being different. And that’s something I hope changes soon (go Obama!).

The music was well-done, and the feeling, being outside, with the perfect fall weather, was just amazing. The ending was so powerful.

And after it ended, the curtain call was a reprise both of Hair and Let the Sunshine in, and they invited the audience onstage to dance. I was a bit far up for that, but it was such a fun, loving, peaceful, happy environment to experience.

The show goes to Broadway early next year. I’m not sure if it will translate exactly the same way, but if you get a chance to see it, I hope you take it. It’s beautiful.

Peace. Seriously.



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.




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.