Friday, October 31, 2008

Busy obsessing over the election

So I leave you with these:

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palin as martyr?

I'm glad Palin has 5 children as that's her choice. However, I don't like this "martyrdom" she and others have created for herself because she has a kid with Downs. Is it really admirable for a woman to choose to carry a child with a disability to full term? Or is it their own personal responsibility to do what is right for themselves, their family and their particular situation at the time the news is given?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What I would really like to do....

is create a post on this falicious rumor that Obama's campaign is consistently throwing out the race care. Because he isn't, at least not in the purporseful manner McCain's campaign has been.

Obama is black. Actually, he's biracial if you want to get technical. But our society reminds him, his wife and their 2 kids everyday that they are black. So yeah, race comes up in his conversations quite a lot I'm sure, especially when confronting the inherent racism dripping from the McCain/Palin rallies as of late.

He makes us confront our privilege and the crackers out there who think he's throwing out the race card to get special treatment need to take a real good look at the Republican Party as a whole and get back to me.

Peace, I'm out.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Things are much clearer now

Wouldn't you say?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

You can call it a lot of different ways, but in my mind the surprise star of last night's debate had to be Joe the Plumber. In case you missed it, Joe isn't just a metaphoric stand-in for your average small business owner -- though he serves that purpose too. No, Joe the Plumber is an actual real guy in Holland, Ohio named Joe Wurzelbacher. Before being featured prominently in last night's debate, his chief claim to fame was having asked Obama some tax policy questions at a campaign stop last week.

Given his newfound celebrity status as a proxy for the Working Everyman (and Everywoman!), some organizations have been looking into the background of Joe the Plumber, and what they've found amuses me.

So how's that for a good time, eh? But no worries. As a friend pointed out, would you really expect any less? After all, Joe Six Pack's legendary abs aren't all they're cracked up to be, either.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Noteable Reading III

The Choice brought to you by The New Yorker:

Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that’s the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast. And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true? When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has—at the levels of competence, vision, and integrity—undermined the country and its ideals?

(All 3 Noteable Reading's have been courtesy of the ladies over at Feministe)

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Noteable Reading II

The Class Warfare Before Palin

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Noteable Reading I

What Right Wingers Mean When They Call Obama a Socialist

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Being Raised up Biracial

Monday, during recess, a schoolmate went up to Peanut and proceeded to call him a “white n*****”. Peanut and his friends immediately launched into the, “But I’m/He’s not white!” defense, to which I agree. Then I told Peanut that is when you tattle, to let the teachers be aware this phraseology and supposed insult is being used and hopefully a talk with the child’s parents will come out of it. After all, the kid didn’t pull it out of thin air; he had to hear it from somewhere.

Charlie was astounded when I said I wasn’t angry, which got me thinking, “Why am I not?”

Peanut is biracial: his dad is Filipino and I’m Caucasian, or Euro-American if you want to break it down that far. We live in a very urban neighborhood, far from being suburbia it is. We live in a city that has a prominent African American/Black population and in Peanut’s school, he is the only Filipino kid with the majority attending being African American/Black and maybe even biracial.

The kid who referred to Peanut as the racial epithet has probably never seen a Filipino person, much less been subjected to the influence of said culture via a 4th grader. Peanut’s hair is straight and a very deep chestnut with skin a shade of russet. (There are a ton of pictures in my flickr pool to the right.) So to him, Peanut is either white or black, there is no in between as no experiences have taught him otherwise.

Which brings up another issue entirely: How do we teach kids racism transcends all boundaries that once seemed solid but now are becoming fluid-like? With the increasing population of biracial children, how are they to learn who they are and, unfortunately, where they belong?

I did a quick goggle search using the term “raising biracial children”. I didn’t expect to be alone in this strife and was not disappointed.

As the mother of biracial children, I am well aware of racism in America and how subtle it’s become. Although we like to think of ourselves as evolved, there are still many among us whose actions reveal attitudes about those they consider different from themselves.
As I stated above, I am white. How do I prepare Peanut for a world of racism that I don’t experience daily but he will? Taken a bit further, how does the occasional white guy I date take this on as well? More importantly, how does me dating the occasional white guy affect Peanut when many strangers assume he was adopted and yes, at times talk to both of us with that assumption in mind (or does it matter since either way he is my son)?

When discussing the incident Monday afternoon, I informed Peanut that, regrettably, now is when he is going to start experiencing and being aware of the attitudes of those who think everyone belongs in a box with 4 sides and no way out. That our society places people into categories, whether we like it or not, and that eventually, someone is going to put him in a position where he will feel like he has to “choose sides”.

Before you can offer biracial children guidance, you must explore your own experiences of racism in America.
Oh how spot on this is. Your children are a mirror of your true self, reflecting your own idiosyncrasies, prejudices and quandaries. Just listen to them talk sometime, I mean really listen. I find often that Peanut repeats a lot of the same views I have and that’s obviously because he thinks I’m right and awesome enough to emulate. However, through his repetition, I have often realized just how flawed my way of thinking can really be, not to mention my desire he think for himself.

Being aware of who you are, why you are that way and of course taking on a heavy dose of self-responsibility, help you better see yourself in someone else’s eyes. Empathy is something definitely worth obtaining the rights to as well. Just a little bit of self-awareness can really go a long way; kids will show you the way whether you wanted to go there or not, but it’s up to you to pay attention.

For example, I was brought up to believe everyone was the same no matter what and they deserved to be treated as such. I don’t recall my parents ever saying a discriminatory word toward anyone though I do realize now my mom thought them on occasion. But no matter what your parents teach you, being in school around a diverse group in terms of thought and practice is something else entirely. I remember kids in high school, white kids for clarification purposes, stating black girls were to be feared because they were mean and angry (oh yes, this stereotype has existed for decades). My high school was predominately self-segregated. After hearing this belief repeated over and over yet having no direct contact with anyone other than my handful of white friends, I internalized this prejudice, fighting hard years later to rid myself of them.

This is what racism feels like. Someone exerts their power over you because they want to and because they can. You are judged for what, rather than who you are. The sense of injustice is overwhelming. Although sometimes the oppressor is someone who holds no true power in the world, it’s an experience that leaves the victim feeling dehumanized and shamed. Imagine feeling this way every day of your life.
Which makes me wonder where the kid got the phrase from and what place from inside him was it coming from. Being 8 years old, I doubt he’ll know, but kids are wondrous little people and can be talked through the process of discovery over time.

Then the question prompted is what does that mean anyway? Is this the “reverse racism” people erroneously purport exists in this day and age? Or was its use misunderstood? Perhaps the kid was joking around with Peanut, but something tells me he wasn’t.

Either way, racism is a power play and in the very depths of the individuals soul who is the racist, they are afraid. We crave power because it means we can be better than someone and in order to feel superior, someone needs to feel inferior whether honestly or ill-begotten.

But how to explain this rather large deeply rooted problem to a 9 year old?

Explain to biracial children that racism is based on fear and insecurity. Extremists and hatemongers are fearful bullies at heart. Hating others because they don’t share the same ideas or views gives birth to intolerance.
If there is one thing Peanut has had hammered into his head, it’s the fact that people are human beings first, and everything else secondary. We bleed the same; have all the same organs, facial structure and body parts. We are one until someone sets themselves apart.

And unfortunately, because he has the benefit of looking much more like his dad, Peanut will always face some sort of racism based solely on his skin color then again when they find out he has a white mom.

(I highly recommend reading the rest of the article quoted here and I added this book to my wish list.)


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Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'll take the high road, You take the low road

So yeah, McCain is finally getting smart and attempting to climb up the hill with Obama, leaving the muck down below.

It's about fucking time.

When I asked my One Republican Friend his thoughts on the defense of Obama by McCain, he stated the latter was attempting to take the high road. When I stated it was about damned time, 1RF said, "Well Obama's been doing it, too."

I stopped then asked how old we were and aren't we all adults?

Then I added, "McCain and mostly Palin have been getting the crowds riled up for weeks now so it was no surprise their people had gotten a lot of strange ideas in their heads, such as Obama being an Arab. Seriously, he was born in HI! His mom moved them to Illinois where he grew up! So how is he an Arab exactly?"

Some considerable amount of stumbling later, and an interruption from the landlord, the conversation was over.

I think I've officially become obsessed with this years election, maybe even politics in general. But not so much so I wish we'd hurry up and vote Obama into the White House already in order to start getting our shit (as a nation) together.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Mean Mom

This morning Peanut tells me, but only after I asked to look in his agenda, that he needs $12 for a field trip on the 24th.

He needed the money by today.

I told him too bad.

Then I added how I don’t have the time run around the morning of, rushing to the bank and back to him as I have to work. We leave our house at 7:25, are at the daycare by 7:45 then I’m at work by 8, which is me being on time. Not much wiggle room is there?

Peanut springing this same day stuff on me makes me late to work so at some point, as a parent whose job it is to teach her child a hard lesson in responsibility, I have to draw the line somewhere.

School has only been in session for a month and a half yet this kid has repeatedly shown he is unable to tell me anything until the day of or several days after, like when he was $4 in the hole on his lunch account.

Upon further investigating the muddle that is his homework/slash agenda binder, I found an assignment he has due by the 14th, a bookmark that is to serve as a book report for a book his class just finished reading together. I pulled the paper out, looked it over and then announced to Peanut I knew what he was going to be doing this weekend.

Sad face ensued.

This morning, I told him I was going to start going through his book bag daily and if I had to start wasting a lot of time following behind him with regards to homework and schoolwork, I was going to make his life real hard.

So yeah, today I’m the Mean Mom.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

VA now projected to go blue!

Could it have anything to do with the shoddy campaign McCain/Palin are now running?


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Monday, October 06, 2008

Veep, Veep Veep, Veep

Finally, my notes on the VP debates. I know it's been, what 4 days, but I can't help that I left my flash drive at work over the weekend. Okay, so I can help it, but don't judge! My comments are in bold


palin comes out wearing a black shiny power suit, looking good
biden is wearing a black suit, white collared shirt, light blue/purple tie

can I call you Joe? hah, that is funny

first question out of the gate and biden does pretty good in keeping it short sweet and to the point.

Best or Worst of Washington?

teleprompter for palin? Staring straight ahead, camera angle trying to move, but she’s stuck. Nervous/Anxious maybe?

palin looked at Biden in her first official rebuttal to bidens answer for How to reduce polarization in Washington? did she really answer the question or just attack obama?

mccain’s votes being non-party line? majority? send maverick to the senate for something new; new energy included. what?

predator lenders – deception, greed, corruption on Wall Street, commitment from palin/mccain; commit ourselves, joe six pack, hockey moms, never again will we be exploited by those taking our money; demand from govt, strict oversight; not get ourselves in debt, live within our means, personal responsibility though not peoples fault for the current state of the economy but never again will we be taken advantage of. ~ liked this response, however, not sure how it answers the question or solves anything.

mccain surprised by subprime rate problem per Biden

deregulate was mccain’s response to beginning recession, Wall Street would/could regulate itself; mccain called for deregulation more than 20 times; deregulation was the promise

(palin smiling the whole time like she swallowed the canary)

looks at Biden when responding again

quotes Biden voted for largest tax increase; Obama had 94 chances to decrease or reject tax increase; govt needs to learn to be more efficient and use what they’ve got; no more tax increase but relief instead; relief for middle class and increasing would kill jobs ~ can someone please explain how increasing taxes would decrease jobs? understand payroll tax might have a slight effect on this, but what other way?

477 to raise taxes = mccain
supported deregulation over and over again ~ which is true since he’s of the no more Big Brother camp, if only in theory

mayor/governor experience sited = reduced taxes, eliminated personal property taxes, reduced state fuel tax and one other one didn’t catch ~ they (Alaska) are one of the POOREST STATES

taxes = biden wants to raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, palin wants to reduce payroll tax

obama will not raise taxes on middle income, those making less than $150k will get a tax break; biden calls this fair; 300 billion of tax relief to super wealthy = mccain, pay no more than they did under regan

espoused said palin ~ she using LOTS of big words, why now?

looking at biden when rebutting again

again sites tax increases would cut jobs

patriotic to relieve burden on middle income families where palin and her husband have been all their lives? ~ what? did she really just bring that damned word out in conjunction with raising taxes?

Why are your tax policies not “class warfare”?

Health care

$5,000 health care credit so people could buy into their own policy says palin

(i missed the transition, if there was one, apparently) biden rebuttal redistribution doesn’t mean giving Exxon mobile another $4billion tax increase but fairness; small businesses would not get an increase in taxes if make less than $250,000 a year

health care via biden talking to the viewers and audience using 1st person
$12,000 plan via your employer so $5,000 check won’t pay for even half – called it “ultimate bridge to nowhere” ~ that was an awesome zing, did you see the look on her face?

What promises have you and your campaign made to the American people that you will not be able to keep?

forward with tax cut proposals of john mccain
slow down something I didn’t hear all of
eliminate over-spending
$100billion tax dodge-unpatriotic ~ again, how?

nice thing about running with mccain is he doesn’t tell things to one group and something else to another group ~ UH, yeah he does, quite frequently actually. Seriously, what’s up with the attacks?

energy plan obama voted for gave oil companies big tax breaks
she had to take on those oil companies and tell them no, it wasn’t going to happen in her state – bless their hearts they had to do what they had to do as CEOs but they’re not her biggest fans; she had to turn around and undo what obama had voted for with regards to the energy bill ~ now proven wrong by

(palin is more comfortable now but still smirky, a little unnerving even)

palin hasn’t promised much because she’s only done this for 5 weeks except to stop corruption on wall street ~ that’s because she doesn’t even know which newspapers/magazines she reads so she can’t read her response in the news
of course neither will be able to keep many promises if Congress won’t let them hence the system of checks and balances people!

$4 billion in tax cuts for Exxon mobiles of the world that have already make $6 million dollars since 2001 ~ yeah, what’s up with the record profits despite gouging, gas prices that have tripled, etc?

palin said something about do for all of us Americans give us 1000 for all the money the oil companies have made ~ i have no idea

(palin is writing and smirking again, so much for a poker face; somewhere at this point she winked, what was that about?)

Last year congress passed a bill that would make it harder for people who declare bankruptcy to write off credit card debt…

palin says so much has changed since mccain initially voted for this bill that yes, at the time she would have voted for it then, but not now and that we needed to thank mccain for warning us – somehow got off topic and is still talking about wall street vs main street

biden voted for bill, obama against: mortgage holders pay the price, 10% of people who have been affected disagreed on this subject; obama pointed out 2 years ago there was a subprime crisis; mccain quoted as being surprised

now: allowing bankruptcy courts to adjust interest/principle owed in order to keep people in their homes and banks will still get paid; mccain/palin against this ~ good idea!

she disagrees: record on energy vs bidens record: 2005 when we talk about energy we have to talk about the need to do everything we can to make this nation less dependent on foreign countries to produce oil for us

she’s from Alaska where gas/oil pipelines are a HUGE moneymaker and her local economy depends on it ~ $1,500 or $2,000 check residents of Alaska see each month?

energy independence is the key to Americas future ~ am shocked this came out of palin’s mouth being as the repubs still do not want to acknowledge global warming is a problem
Climate Change

causes: nations only artic state and being governor of it; not one to attribute every activity of man to global warming; acknowledges there are real changes going on in the climate but wants to argue more about how to fix it and get other countries/nations on board to being fixing it; formed first sub-cabinet devoted solely to climate change ~ not a popular republican stance, i’ll say that

of course it’s a HUGE deal in her state with the large Inuit population and so much permafrost water lines can’t even be installed unless the various tribes come up with millions of dollars

biden- thinks its man made; if we don’t understand what cause is virtually impossible to come up with a solution

3% of oil reserves, control 5% of oil in the world ~ hardly a majority leaving us with almost no bargaining power at all

mccain has voted against funding research for alternative energy resources whereas obama believes in clean coal (no such thing thank god biden agrees) wind energy, etc., believes in investing in clean coal (again, no such thing); mccain believes in drilling, drilling, drilling; mccain voted against energy resources more than 20 times

palin says chant is “drill baby drill” and they hear it across their campaign trail ~ rolling eyes smiley here

$40billion gas pipeline!!! Can we say ecological disaster waiting to happen?!

palin says biden says no to everything to find a solution for energy crisis and sites drilling in artic wildlife refuge ~ which is a big freakin duh

quotes biden as saying there isn’t anything as clean coal but yet is going on record as believing in it ~ because he’s backing up his president you idiot, something you should know LOTS about since that’s all you seem to know how to do, i.e. kiss mccain’s ass

(gwen is doing a beautiful job in light of palin not really answering much, btw)

Same-Sex Couples

biden said from a legal civil standpoint – constitutional rights should be extended to same-sex couples because “it is only fair” – committed couples in same-sex relationships should be granted the same rights as heterosexual couples

palin brought up “traditional definition” of marriage, says she’s tolerant, has a very diverse family and group of friends, some very dear friends who don’t agree with her on this issue, mccain doesn’t propose disallowing (which is not a real word, just so y’all know); don’t support defining marriage as anything other than man + woman

avoiding nuisance ~ i have no idea what i meant by this; i think i meant nuance?

both don’t support gay marriage but do support civil unions, leaving final decision to states, churches, etc., both agree there shouldn’t be any difference in civil rights for gay/hetero couples ~ wow did she get backed into that answer or what? go ifill!

Sons in Iraq - Exit Strategy ~ yes, we know her oldest child is now getting shipped off to fight this stupid “war”, we’ve heard a lot about it

mccain/palin have a good plan ~ SURGE ahead, I think not

General Patrius/McCain; other ticket opposed surge and funding troops in Afghanistan/Iraq ~ because they know we no longer have the capability, it’s really hard to get people to sign up to “defend our country” when they know where they’ll be going

Don’t need early withdrawal, can’t afford to lose there or we won’t win in Afghanistan either; down to pre-surge numbers now and can grow our military, can’t afford to lose against al-Qaida or extremists ~ has since been proven wrong by, we are nowhere close to our pre-surge numbers, being way over and all that

Obama has offered clear plan, shift leadership to Iraqis over the next 6 months ~ a plan i fully support

Not funding troops: mccain voted same way because it had a timeline in it, which he disagrees with; obama/biden agree there needs to be a timeline to draw down the troops and get Iraq on its on 2 feet and under their own responsibility

mccain no end in site for this “war”; obama/biden state adamantly they will end this war

palin calls it a “white plan of surrender” and that’s not what our troops need to hear today; we’ll know when we are finished in Iraq when the Iraqi people can take care of themselves ~ how does she propose to obtain this goal if we don’t help them and instead only surge ahead? seriously? and white plan of surrender? egh.

palin brought up biden’s statement obama was not ready to be Commander in Chief ~ and I’m sure he still doesn’t which is why biden rebutted with obama choosing him because biden is not afraid to say what’s on his mind, therefore honesty and openness will be there, which is not there with this current administration

Palin: Anyone who can cut off funding for troops, that’s another story ~ seriously, what’s up with the attacking? that was cutting it close to the personal mark.

Biden: John McCain voted to cut off funding of the troops, how many times do I have to say it? ~ I loved that statement simply because it showed he’s getting the point in but she’s either not listening to him or not caring since it’s not on her notecards

“God love him but he’s been dead wrong on the fundamentals of the war” ~ yeah, that’s a direct quote

Nuclear Iran or Unstable Pakistan: which is worse?

Pakistan already has nuclear weapons and deployed them; Iran getting any nukes would create extreme instability but they haven’t obtained any yet ~ yeah, she mispronounce nuclear several times

Building schools, etc., in order to educate and build their minds so extremism will stop taking hold

Central war on terror being in Iraq?

She states an armed Iran with nukes would be extremely dangerous, Israel would be at extreme danger ~ here’s the Israel plug!

palin brought up obama’s willingness to meet with dangerous leaders without preconditions and they should not be met with without preconditions ~ seriously? This is laughable and clearly biden agrees with me

Kissinger’s passion for diplomacy – dictators who hate America and hate our progressivism – can’t just sit down on a level, it’s very dangerous, diplomacy is hard work by serious people; sanctions in place before any something I lost it

Biden cleared it up that obama didn’t say he’d meet with dangerous leaders without preconditions ~ in fact, since I watched the prez debates and thought this was funny, obama said preconditions are different then precautions, which obama seems to fully understand the difference but not mccain since he keeps using the word over and over again

Administration to sit down and talk with adversary – how can you come to agreement without this step asks biden.

mccain wouldn’t even sit down with the government of Spain despite them being our ally in the war in Iraq right now ~ haha, I’m glad he brought this up

C. Rice brought up for the first time, surprisingly. Where has she been anyway?

never allow a 2nd holocaust ~ what? Will support Israel, building an embassy in Jerusalem. Gotta be a commitment in the administration to work with friends in Israel ~ again, what? again proven false by

biden is better friend to Israel?

abject failure of this administration with regard to Israel, Hamas won despite warnings from biden/obama in elections on west bank, now Hezbollah taking charge

will change this policy with thoughtful live policy that will let them know they stand with them. ~ what? this makes no sense and I wrote what she said

palin is encouraged to know they both love Israel and is glad they both can agree on that ~ wow, can she stop kissing his ass?

palin acknowledges there have been huge blunders in the war, with foreign policy, etc., as there is in any administration but obama/biden ticket has been spending too much time pointing fingers backwards for a ticket that talks a lot of change ~ seriously, that was a quick flip!

biden asks how mccains policy is going to be different than Bush’s ~ can I smack him now? Lol then adds Says so far it’s all the same as george bush’s (it’s the ‘s on the end of bush that’s grating my nerves)

biden stated surge principles need to be implemented in Afghanistan also which is different than bush’s policy

Obama said all we’re doing is air raiding families, homes, etc, instead of affecting change; palin says that’s not true ‘cause we are building schools there, too

palin said surge principles used in Afghanistan will not work there – commanding general of Afghanistan said that. Also said needs to spend more money on infrastructure ~ duh ~ and rebuilding, not targeting “terrorists” ~ so I wonder how long she’ll last in an administration that very clearly believes the opposite; are they going to expect her to sit pretty and be seen, not heard?

6 years in Afghanistan and still no progress worth noting I say!!

Nuclear test ban treaty – mccain opposed

Biden doing well with keeping answers short

Tooooooo much time on Afghanistan though it is important, just cycling same information- move on already

Stomach for success? Biden recommending tactic used on Bosnia: exactly! You knew things were sucking so you quietly did something about it, covering it in the news.

Sending troops to Darfur? HELL YES! We should have done that years ago. Stop this genocide!!

Palin – again “Washington outsider” and not used to the way they work ~ I’m not sure how we’re supposed to take that because it seems to be a passive aggressive attempt at poking politicians in general but maybe even self-deprecating?

She’s got a point in the “I was for it before I was against it” though obama has been against it from the beginning ~ the war

Both agree on Darfur also – no fly zone, US in position to help, Alaska rich in natural resources has WHAT to do with darfur exactly? Oh, related to monies somehow being linked to what is happening in Darfur since they are rich in natural resources like Alaska is ~ still a far reach but not all bad

Should a line be drawn? I think yes, and Biden agrees. It’s been happening for way too long so the line should have already been drawn, war crimes are being committed!

john mccain knows how to win a war: he was a POW, not a general, so how will he win it?

On to the one of them dying: obama getting assassinated, mccain having a stroke or recurrence of cancer

Not gonna agree 100% on anything, gonna keep pushing him on ANWR though, mccain doesn’t ask her to check her opinions at the door ~ don’t be so sure lady, look what happened to powell and a few other veeps who were only asked to be a part of the ticket for really crappy reasons that will shine after your in the house – and really, can she put the ‘gs’ on the end of any words?

Middle class has gotten short end – um, what about poor people ‘cause I’d say they got the even shorter end. Still..

She has a sense of humor for realz especially when giving props to a 3rd grade class who now get extra credit for watching

America needs to put more focus on education, teachers need to be paid more, family of teachers she comes from, no child left behind is not doing the job ~ amen! More emphasis on teaching ~ amen! Her kids are in public schools and she’s worried about where they’re going in terms of educations, it’s been lax lately and need to improve it.

Reform, energy independence, families of kids with special needs – that’s where she would lead besides heading the senate. ~ wow, I’d like to be a fly on the wall with her and her repub peeps about those statements considering that’s not what they go for either

Biden – history of getting things done in senate, record shows that, point person for legislative work in congress, no portfolio, he’ll be sitting in room of all major decision in order to give sound advice; biden has lots of opinions and isn’t afraid to share them which is why obama choose him

Lots of flexibility as VP for house/senate

Article 1 of constitution defines VP role in White House – cheney took it to another level; VP doesn’t need to preside over senate until there is a tie vote and only needs to cast a vote at this time; privatized power of Unitarian congress?

Biden lacks discipline and he states extreme passion; violence against women act mccain voted against both times; was single parent when his wife died and worried about his kids surviving, dad/mom had to leave him in SC while they figured out how money worked; biden getting very passionate when talking about folks sitting around a kitchen table and they are looking for help, not more of the same

Palin lacks experience – mayor, business owner, oil/gas regulator, governor of huge energy producing state; connection to heartland of America, i.e. mom of special needs child, son in Iraq, hasn’t always had health insurance so knows what it’s like to be in that position, world view she shares with John McCain; beacon of hope and unapologetic here, unperfect as a nation but represent tolerance, democracy, etc.

Palin rebuts with yes, they are looking for more change which is why mccain is the one they should vote for; take on her party when she has to, whatever it takes to get the job done; all of us who come from a diverse background of policy but cited Romney, guilinia, leiberman, et al. What?! How are they diverse exactly? Romney’s speech at the convention was chock full of hate, intolerance and ignorance!

Palin believes “Change is coming and we are the leaders of that reform”

Not a maverick when it comes to education, war, or anything that generally effects the things people talk about around the kitchen table and gives lots of real life examples.

Forced to change your mind about a long held view in order to get bill passed: biden could actually cite an example from his many many years as a senator, palin drew a blank. Surprise!

Mccain brings people together? Burned bridges baby! He has left a lot of them behind him which is why he had absolutely no sway with regards to the bail out bill.

Closing statements that I mostly ignored and please, someone tell her to stop using the word maverick so much!

Wow, much livelier than the presidential debate last Friday because both were tenacious and not afraid to speak up – though mccain did take up a lot of the time.

Palin lost weight? Or is it just the suit? I’m sure she’s been way too busy and stressed out to eat, lol.

And there you have it folks, the debate in a nutshell, my laptop kept busy for an entire 90 minutes, to bring it straight to you. Just too bad it's 4 days later, lol.

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False equivalencies hurt Obama more than they hurt McCain

Hi! Our hostess, The Nut, has graciously invited me to be her co-blogger. I used to write Shades Of Grey, but I suppose that I've been out of this "blogging" thing for long enough that I should probably write a decent post to properly introduce myself. Unfortunately, I'm not really feeling the self-love at the moment. So instead, you get my name -- I'm Charlie! -- and them I'm going to jump straight to a couple of articles from the Associated Press.

Here's the first one:

"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.
Obama isn't above attacking McCain's character with loaded words, releasing an ad on Sunday that calls the Arizona Republican "erratic" — a hard-to miss suggestion that McCain's age, 72, might be an issue.

Really? Was it really so hard to miss? Because I've got to admit that I did, in fact, miss it. Let's see if I've got this straight. On the one hand we have Palin, who spent the day literally saying that Obama is palling around with terrorists. There is no subtlety in her statements; there is nothing left unspoken. On the other hand, we have Obama's assertion that McCain's behavior has been erratic. According to the AP, use of the word "erratic" is a hard to miss reference to McCain's age.

One of these things is not like the other.

What we have here is a clear example of the media attempting to prove its lack of bias by pressing its thumbs against the Cosmic Scales of Balance. Through equating Obama's use of the word "erratic" to Palin's "palling around with terrorists" comment, they imply that both campaigns are equally at fault. The quest for artificial parity thusly satisfied, the AP's neutrality is assured.

But isn't "erratic" a fair description of the McCain campaign's recent activity? Three weeks can seem like an eternity in the fast moving pace of daily media news cycles, so I've taken the liberty of putting together a time line of McCain's behavior over the past month. This first part is from Steve Benen:
When the crisis on Wall Street began, and the markets began tanking nine days ago, the very first message from John McCain was, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." That didn't work, and McCain dropped the line.

His second message was that he wanted to see a commission investigate how and why the crisis happened. That made McCain appear confused, so he dropped that line, too.

His third message was in opposition to the AIG bailout. That didn't last, and McCain took the opposite position 24 hours later.

His fourth message was to fire Christopher Cox from the Securities and Exchange Commission. That turned out to be ridiculous, and McCain dropped the line, too.

His fifth message was to blame lobbyists, influence peddlers, and the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That became problematic given the lobbyists and former Fannie/Freddie officials on McCain's payroll.

McCain has simply gone from one ridiculous notion to another, flailing around, looking desperately for something coherent to say. Now McCain has come up with yet another stunt: suspend the campaign, delay the debate, and head back to his day job for the first time since April.

Steve's post was written on September 24th. A lot has happened since then. To Steve's list, I'd add the following (also rounded up primarily from Steve's blog):

  • After suspending his campaign, McCain cancelled his appearance on David Letterman, citing his need to fly immediately to Washington to assist with the rescue process. But instead of flying out, he gave an interview with Katie Couric.

  • Although it was vitally important to suspend his campaign to work on the bailout, McCain admitted that he still had not read the three-page Paulson proposal three days after it had been released.

  • As reports surfaced that an agreement was near on the bailout bill, McCain finally arrived in Washington, only to have the negotiations fall apart.

  • With no bill having been signed, McCain then backed down on his promise not to leave Washington until a bailout was complete and decided to attend the debate after all.

  • Though no bailout bill had yet been signed, McCain chose this point to unsuspend his campaign. In an apparent reversal of his previous declaration of urgency, a senior adviser reported that McCain could work on the bailout bill just as effectively from his campaign office. McCain literally phoned it in.

  • But despite McCain's efforts, the bailout bill failed to pass the house. By this time, however, McCain had decided that the economy didn't warrant a re-suspension of his campaign.

Can somebody please explain to me how this doesn't qualify as erratic behavior? And can someone please explain to the Associated Press that none of this erratic behavior has anything to do with McCain's age? I know that these "both sides are equally bad" kind of false equivalencies are nothing new; they have been a staple of mainstream reporting for quite some time. But this trend toward a false balance is going to disproportionately hurt Obama as the McCain campaign makes good on its promise to use the last four weeks to drag the campaign further into the mud. And true to form (Bush v. Gore anybody?), the GOP is going to throw everything it can at Obama, including the kitchen sink:

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee plans to file a fund raising complaint against Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign Monday, alleging it has accepted donations that exceed federal limits as well as illegal contributions from foreigners.

RNC officials acknowledged Sunday that they do not have a list of foreign donors to Obama's campaign. Instead, the complaint is based largely on media reports, including one from the conservative Web site Newsmax.

The complaint asks the Federal Elections Commission to audit Obama's campaign fund, RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross said in a conference call with reporters.

Strap in, kids. We've still got a month to go, and it promises to be a wild ride.
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Saturday Night Live does it again!

With Queen Latifah as Gwen Ifill and Tina Fey as Governor Sarah Palin, it's worth watching.

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Friday, October 03, 2008


Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday is Hump Day

And unfortunately, not the sexual kind either, at least for me anyway.

This evening in class I realized how great it was to be around people who actually think and do it well. We were presented with a group in-class exercise and beefed about how to define "community boundaries" and "organizational boundaries" rather keen-like because, only when you define what a boundary is can you decide what a community boundary will be. Boundaries can be permeable or a concrete wall, they can be imagined or real; that's what we had to decide. In under 15 min or so we had what we thought were valid points and maybe even an answer the prof would consider spot on.

So yeah, it was great to be around people who think and do it well. Critically even.

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