Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

Alright, then, let's talk scary movies.

My favorite scary movie is The Ring, and of course the Japanese original, Ringu.

LMAO - Randi Rhodes just asked if Halloween is a socialist holiday because everyone redistributes candy.

Love it.

Anyway, scary movies. The Ring scared the pants off of me in a way that no other movie has ever done. If you haven't seen it, you should. Go rent it tonight. It's perfect for Halloween.

Here's a taste:



What's your favorite scary movie?

Vote. Vote vote vote vote vote.

Oklahomans can vote early now. So go do it. Find your local early vote location and go.

Here's a view from halfway through the line at the Tulsa Election Board earlier today:

Happy Halloween

And now, one of the greatest Halloween things in the history of ever.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Part 1:




Part 2:




Part 3:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Happy Friday post

This isn't the "official" video. That'll be something Halloween-related.

But this is just great.

Hey Okie Campaigns, You Knob, McCain's Transition Head Lobbied for Saddam

Okie Campaigns is saying Obama "personally benefitted" from funds linked to Saddam's regime. Meanwhile, McCain's transition team head lobbied directly for Saddam Hussein's regime.

God, the way these righties can just block off half of the information they hear and just hear the crap that the talking heads feed them. It's really something.

Not to mention the convoluted path that Okie weaves between Sadaam Hussein and Barack Obama seems to involve a bank in Paris, Tony Rezko, the Easter Bunny, the hanging gardens of Babylon, and a 6 year old boy named Timmy with lyme disease.

It boggles the mind. It really does.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hank the Republican proposes redistribution of idiocy

Certain right-wing bloggers are trying to take the idea of "redistribution" (ooh what a scary scary concept) and apply it to other things. Ooh, what if we redistributed grades to make them more fair? Oooh what if we redistribute this or that?

Hey, what if we redistribute all of our country's wealth to the richest 5%, and then borrow zillions of dollars from China to pay for it? Oh wait, we did that already.

Look, you peckerheads. Obama isn't going to redistribute anything. Chances are, you're going to get a tax cut under Obama's tax plan. Unless you right wing bloggers are making over $250,000 a year.

The only redistribution of income Obama is talking about is changing the tax code back to where it was under President Clinton. Do you remember the 1990s? The economy was pretty damned stable. We had something unheard of: a budget surplus!

I might add that McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts Obama wants to repeal. That is, McCain opposed them until he started running for President.

God. I'm tired of the right wing idiocy in this state. I really am. Chances are most of the right wingers in this state are working or middle class, and they've been duped by Faux Noise and right wing talk radio and fundamentalist preachers into buying an extreme right wing political ideology that does not serve their own interest. The only people served by the kind of extreme conservatism that these bloggers spout are military contractors, CEOs, and millionaire televangelists. That's it. The bloggers are blogging against their own self-interest, because they've drunk too much of the poisoned kool-aid to know better.

I might also point out that I'm incredibly insulted by Sarah Palin's attempts to pander to Jewish seniors with her scare talk about Obama meeting with a PLO leader.

Um, idiots. Do you know who the PLO is? The PLO is the government of the Palestinian territories. They're the "good guys" over there. At least, they're the most reasonable, moderate force, and we've officially negotiated with them on many, many occasions. So, um, Obama meeting with a member of the Palestinian government? I'm not so worried about that. It might just mean that he's serious about the peace process.

Two Obama supporters nearly lynched by a violent mob after a McCain rally

After the rally, we witnessed a near-street riot involving the exiting McCain crowd and two Cuban-American Obama supporters. Tony Garcia, 63, and Raul Sorando, 31, were suddenly surrounded by an angry mob. There is a moment in a crowd when something goes from mere yelling to a feeling of danger, and that's what we witnessed. As photographers and police raced to the scene, the crowd elevated from stable to fast-moving scrum, and the two men were surrounded on all sides as we raced to the circle.

The event maybe lasted a minute, two at the most, before police competently managed to hustle the two away from the scene and out of the danger zone. Only FiveThirtyEight tracked the two men down for comment, a quarter mile down the street.

"People were screaming 'Terrorist!' 'Communist!' 'Socialist!'" Sorando said when we caught up with him. "I had a guy tell me he was gonna kill me."

Asked what had precipitated the event, "We were just chanting 'Obama!' and holding our signs. That was it. And the crowd suddenly got crazy."


Could we get this election over with, please?

Eddie Izzard helping Dennis Kucinich with a fundraiser Q&A

I love it. One of my favorite comedians trying to help a great progressive Congressman. I can't make it to Ohio for this, but I would definitely go if I could.

Roland Martin praises Dean's 50 state strategy

CNN's Roland Martin praises Dean's 50-state strategy, saying that it has helped Obama expand the map into red states, and it might also help down ticket Dems in formerly solid Republican states. I heartily agree. Howard Dean is one of the good guys. He would have made a damned good President, but he's done a hell of a job as DNC chair. Here's a barbaric YAWP in his direction. YEARRRRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

lol - Brian Moore of the SP-USA on Colbert

That was funny - Stephen Colbert just interviewed Brian Moore, the Socialist Party's presidential candidate.

Eight years ago, I volunteered for and was quite active with the campaign of David McReynolds, who was then the Presidential nominee of the same party.

The SP-USA is a good bunch of folks, if a little bit ideologically clueless, not to mention completely powerless to effect any change. I was an active member of that party for several years. They're not a crazy militant socialist revolutionary kind of party; they're more a kind of informal, relaxed and groovy coalition of democratic socialists. And there are about 700 of them nationwide.

Sad, really, that American socialism has been reduced to that level. If this election is to be compared to the Roosevelt-Hoover election of 1932, I probably would have voted for Norman Thomas. That was back when the Socialist Party actually had a shot at breaking into the mainstream. Then Roosevelt, saint of the progressive movement as he is, co-opted socialist ideas into a reformist agenda that allowed capitalism to survive its most precarious days. He was of course followed by that frothy witch hunter Joe McCarthy who is single-handedly responsible for destroying much of the American left. Long story short, today the American left is a pathetic, tiny little shell of itself, composed of a few absolutely inconsequential groups fighting amongst themselves over tiny ideological struggles. There are good people in the American left, and good groups, too, but none of them can break into the mainstream. The SP-USA is a sad little remnant of the grand old Socialist Party, and Brian Moore is its brave little Don Quixote. I wish him well. I will be voting for Obama.

I still believe on a very kind of visceral level that worker control of the means of production would not be a bad thing, but as a pragmatist, I just don't see how it could work. That's kind of why I call myself a social democrat now rather than a socialist. I think the best thing to do is to let the market do what the market does well, which is to distribute basic goods and services to society, and have the government oversee it to curb its excesses and level the playing field.

New pollgasms

Obama up by 19 among those who have already voted; leads 52-36 among registered voters. This is the Pew poll - one of the most respected polls out there. They got the 2004 results basically right, except for the whole Republicans stealing Ohio thing.

Another story of someone hit by the Bush-McCain recession

More than houses or jobs, what George Bush's America cost me - and so many others like me - is our spirits, the sense of believing that what good you put out into the world will be returned to you in multiples. The sense of having a safety net, a cushion, a solid place in the daily world we could count on belonging. I've been robbed of my sense of humor and the hope that carried me through plenty of other lean times. There have been other tough times. Being a single mother, that was always to be expected. But there were never desperate times without hope. Now, for me and so many others, that's what's left.


America, we have one week.

Vote.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New elections in Israel: Netanyahu rises again?

PM-designate Tzipi Livni has given up on forming a coalition government due to "extortion" from ultra-orthodox party Shas. This is potentially very bad news for the peace process. The fact is that if Netanyahu and his Likudnik allies regain control of the Israeli government, it will mean the end of the peace process. Netanyahu is to the right of where Sharon was in 2000. And there's really nobody on the left who can counter him. The Labor Party is in complete disarray, and Meretz is tiny. Kadima was supposed to be this big centrist consensus party, but after Sharon was incapacitated, it lost the gravitas it had and needed to forge a pragmatic peace deal.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now McCain Advisors are jumping ship and voting for Obama!

McCain advisor and prominent Reagan administration figure Charles Fried has now endorsed Obama, adding to a growing list of Republicans jumping ship and realizing their party is over (and other mixed metaphors).

McCain Staffer Admits Making Up Beating Story

A McCain staffer has admitted that she made up the story about an attacker at an ATM becoming enraged about her McCain sticker and carving a backwards "B" into her face.

Man, that's pathetic. That's so far beyond pathetic that to describe it as pathetic is an insult to the word pathetic.

Is that seriously all that the pitiful pile of rank sewage that has become the McCain campaign has left? That and accusing Obama of mounting a secret Mission: Impossible style effort to sneak into Hawaii and "change his birth certificate" under the guise of visiting his sick grandmother? Really, guys. When the monkeys who are throwing poo at each other look at you and think, "Man, those guys are disgusting," maybe it's time to stop.

Now those are numbers I like to see

Fivethirtyeight.com has McCain's win percentage down to 3.7%. New polls give Obama big leads all over the place, including in states like Montana and Indiana. This is like a (insert sports analogy here that depicts McCain as a big stinky loser).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Friday

Because Rosemary Clooney rocks:

Truce off.

Ok, FGO, you want to butt your homophobic ass into my private life?

Fine then, let's see how you like it when people insult something that's central to your life.

Studies have shown that fundamentalist Christianity is a mental disorder that can be cured through reparative therapy. People who refuse to use their own brains to figure out the world and instead rely on rigid dogma display a dangerous kind of personality disorder that can lead to major psychological problems. But there is hope for people - three easy steps that can lead you to true mental balance:

1) Put down the Bible and step away.
2) Look around at the world and think, "Hey, maybe there's something else here."
3) Open your mind to the possibility that you don't know everything.

Those three steps will lead you one step closer to mental balance, and away from the dangerous mental disorder that is fundamentalist Christianity.

How does that feel, FGO? I just took something that's central to your identity and called it a mental disorder. Do you think that's a fair thing for me to do?

No?

Then leave me the fuck alone.

On election night

I will be liveblogging the results here. I will also have in front of me two bottles: one bottle of whiskey, and one bottle of champagne. One of the two bottles will have significant quantities drunk from it, depending on the results.

This blog will focus on the results of the following races:

1) President
2) Oklahoma Senate
3) Oklahoma Congressional District 1
4) Oregon Senate
5) Proposition 8 in California

More more pollgasms

Virginia GOP is "outclassed" by the Dems, North Dakota is in play, Obama's playing hardball in West Virginia, and even McCain's home state of Arizona might be winnable for Obama.

Is this going to be a Clinton vs. Dole election, a Dukakis vs. Bush election, or a Reagan vs. Mondale election?

More pollgasms

Prop 8 in California is losing. Which is good, because my partner - excuse me, my husband - and I got our marriage license in the mail yesterday. If you're in favor of preserving marriage rights in California, I recommend you give money to the No on 8 folks.

While California voters remain closely divided on the question of gay marriage, a majority oppose a measure to ban it, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California.

But the poll also found that support for Proposition 8, which would amend the state Constitution to disallow same-sex marriage, has gained somewhat since a similar survey was taken in late August. The latest results show 44% in favor and 52% opposed, with a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points.

Recent polls commissioned by groups for and against the initiative have showed it passing, though most political analysts put less faith in polls funded by partisans than in those conducted by independent groups like the Public Policy Institute.

Pollgasms

From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Carrie Dann
*** Swing states swinging to Obama: Most of the national polls -- including our NBC/WSJ survey -- are now showing Obama with a double-digit national lead. And here come a slew of brand-new state polls that also suggest Obama is in command of this presidential contest. The University of Wisconsin’s Big Ten Battleground polls have Obama up 10 points in Indiana (51%-41%), 13 points in Iowa (52%-39%), 22 in Michigan (58%-36%), 19 in Minnesota (57%-38%), 12 in Ohio (53%-41%), 11 in Pennsylvania (52%-41%), 13 in Wisconsin (53%-40%), and nearly 30 in Obama’s home state of Illinois (61%-32%). Meanwhile, there are new Quinnipiac surveys that show Obama up five points in Florida (49%-44%), 14 in Ohio (52%-38%), and 13 in Pennsylvania (53%-40%). And finally, new CNN/Time surveys find Obama ahead by five points among likely voters in Nevada (51%-46%), four points in North Carolina (51%-47%), four in Ohio (50%-46%), and 10 points in Virginia (54%-44%). The lone state survey that shows McCain ahead: CNN/Time’s West Virginia poll, where McCain’s nine (53%-44%


Boy I'm sure glad McCain is putting all his chips in that tight battleground state of Pennsylvania. That'll really help him. Lose.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heartbreaking story of someone falling through the cracks

A Kos diarist explains why she's about to lose everything, all because she got sick and lost her job.

Still think the 'free' market will provide? This diary should put some doubts in your mind about that little theory.

I have survived this far on a bit of savings. I've been frugal and managed to make those savings last for almost a year. However, those savings would have barely made a dent in providing for medical testing which is what I needed most. The choice was always; do I pay the house payment or do I lose the house and go to the doctor. I no longer have a choice.

Along with my savings, I receive a decent amount of child support each month. Having both child support and savings caused me to be ineligible for any form of governmental assistance. Unfortunately, most of you realize that child support alone cannot provide for the monthly bills.

I am ineligible for unemployment benefits because I am unable to return to work unless I receive medical care and get better.

There is no help to be found for me and my son that I am aware of. I've been turned away from the programs that are supposed to provide a leg up to those who need it.

Only if you have ever experienced needing a leg up will you realize how easy it truly is to fall through the cracks that exist in the programs the Republicans feel are leading us to socialism.

Al Qaeda endorses McCain

Now, which Presidential candidate pals around with terrorists?

Thunderstorms are fun.

Unless you have to walk your dog in one.

Fail.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Other conservatives who have endorsed Obama because of his race

Kossack Jimmy Crackcorn offers photographic proof that the Colin Powell endorsement is about race.

McCain giving up on Iowa, Colorado, and New Mexico

According to CNN's John King, McCain is giving up on Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado. Put that together with Kerry's states, and Obama gets 273 electoral votes and wins the Presidency.

McCain's strategery is to focus all of his energy on turning blue Pennsylvania red, despite polling there that gives Obama a clear advantage. It's kind of a stupid strategy, if you ask me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell endorses Obama!

"I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Holy tapdancing Christ on a telephone pole!

Barack Obama's campaign rased over 150 million dollars in September!

Yowza!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So let me get this straight.

Secessionist Barbie was just on SNL to do...nothing?

Literally. She did nothing. At the beginning of the show, she stood there with Lorne Michaels and said maybe two words, ("Caribou Barbie,") while everyone else made jokes around her. Then, on Update, she literally sat there and did nothing while Amy Poehler did a ridiculous and only sort of funny rap thing.

Ok, so if Palin can't do SNL, how the hell's she gonna run the country?

Only half-kidding here, folks...

Friday, October 17, 2008

The real tragedy of the McCain campaign

John McCain had a tremendous opportunity at the beginning of this election. He could have presented himself as a true independent, run straight to the center, and demonstrated a consistently moderate, pragmatic policy profile. However well deserved it may have been, in the minds of the public and the media, McCain did have a "maverick" moniker, the label that identified him as someone who wasn't afraid to put principle over party when it mattered. He had gained that credibility with his stands on campaign finance reform and climate change, among other things. His 2000 election campaign slogan of "straight talk" could have actually been helpful to him.

However, it seems that between 2000, when McCain decried the far right as "agents of intolerance" and gained the respect of independents and moderates across the country, and 2008, McCain realized he needed to ingratiate himself with more of the Republican establishment. He saw firsthand how effective Karl Rove's campaign machine was at tearing down candidates when his own 2000 effort was destroyed by a malicious robocall.

That's when he made the right turn that will cost him this election.

In preparing to run for the Presidency again, McCain cozied up to the very same "agents of intolerance" he had earlier chastised. He spoke at Jerry Falwell's university. He came out on the hard right side of the abortion issue. He wavered on endorsing a constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage. He reversed himself on immigration and torture. He stuck close to Bush's side on the Iraq war. He kept referring to himself as a "maverick" even as he positioned himself on the far right of the Republican spectrum, all in an attempt to win over those conservative voters who had rejected him in the 2000 Republican primary.

To complete this transformation from moderate maverick to Rovian attack dog candidate, McCain hired some of the same people who had been in charge of the smear campaign that had destroyed his candidacy in 2000 to run his campaign for 2008. As McCain tore through his primary opponents and came out victorious, he sacrificed what little credibility he might once have had among independents and moderates. The final nail in the coffin was choosing Sarah Palin, a hard right ideologue from Alaska, as his running mate.

Meanwhile, as McCain was stripping away the last vestiges of credibility from his campaign, the Democrats came out with a strong, decisive, and, most importantly for this election, calm, cool, and collected candidate who stuck to his guns and presented exactly the kind of leadership on the economy that this race called for. While McCain ran around trying one Rovian stunt after another, each one falling flat, Obama remained steady at the "tiller," and Americans flocked to him in droves. Moderates and independents abandoned the erratic McCain campaign as it flailed around trying to find a coherent message and falling flat on its face.

The problem with a Rovian candidacy is that it only works when it can channel fear successfully at a target. A Rovian candidacy cannot deal with a real crisis in a coherent manner, because by its very nature it has no ideas of its own. Rovian strategy focuses on a candidate's weakness, and says, "attack your opponent where you are weakest, and attack your opponent where your opponent is strongest." Rovian strategy fails when its opponent is able to deflect such attacks and focus them back on the very weaknesses they were designed to conceal. And Obama has been a master of deflecting McCain's inept attacks.

Had McCain stuck to his guns and run a centrist, pragmatic campaign from the beginning, he might be leading now. In a time of economic crisis, people want experience and steady leadership. If McCain had stuck to his "straight talk" message, surrounded himself with centrist economic advisors, and chosen a moderate Republican like Chuck Hagel or Tom Ridge as his running mate, this race might look very different right now. Obama may be a formidable candidate, and the economy and political situation in this country might dramatically favor Democrats, but that doesn't mean that a Republican can't win.

The tragic irony of this election is that there is a Republican who could have beaten Barack Obama. It's the McCain who ran in 2000. Unfortunately, that candidate is long gone. In his place is a bitter and defeated old man, twice destroyed by the Rovian machine that runs the Republican party. In 2000, the machine was used against him. In 2008, that machine will destroy his campaign from the inside.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Early Happy Friday post

BLEAH!

The continuing saga of Joe, the not plumber

So this Joe guy, "the plumber," um,

1) isn't a plumber, and
2) doesn't work for a business worth anywhere near $250,000, and
3) would actually be helped more by Obama's tax policy than by McCain's.

Wurzelbacher said he worked under the license held by his boss, Al Newell of Newell Plumbing and Heating Co. of Toledo. Newell is a licensed plumbing contractor in Toledo, records show. But anyone working under Newell should have a journeyman’s plumbing license or an apprenticeship license, officials said.

Building Inspection officials said Newell was responsible for making sure that anyone working under him was licensed. The Toledo Plumbing Board of Control may consider sanctions against Wurzelbacher or Newell, officials told NBC affiliate WNWO of Toledo


Click the post title for the full story. Fascinating stuff. Another example of how every single thing the McCain campaign puts out there gets exposed as a lie or a distortion. It's stunning to see a campaign that's this completely inept, unethical, bad, stupid, and wrong-headed.

Open Debate Coalition

The Open Debate Coalition is a grassroots, bipartisan effort to open up the debate process to more public participation and dismantle the party-controlled Commission on Presidential Debates. I think this is an important effort, and I'm happy to sign on to it. Opening the debates will not only help give people a better and more complete idea of what the two major candidates have to say, it might even allow other political parties to get a foot in the door. Anything we can do to break the two-party monopoly in this country is a good thing.

Hey Tater, what on earth is this?



Next?

What on earth is this?

This must be Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays.

We'll see what the polls do in the next few days, but it's pretty clear from the snap polls and whatnot that Obama kicked McCain's tuchas last night. Of course, the Righties are sinking deeper and deeper into this bizarre delusion that anytime the media says anything critical of McCain, it's a big pro-Obama conspiracy and the media are all liberal schills. Right. That must be why they're covering the hell out of Bill Ayers and not touching McCain's associations with terrorists like G. Gordon Liddy, or Sarah Palin's husband's association with a secessionist political party whose leader said he hated America and was murdered in a plastic explosives sale gone wrong. That must also be why when Obama was questioned about not wearing a flag pin, it was all over the media, but now that McCain isn't wearing one, nobody seems to care.

Anyway. 18 days to a huge Obama victory. I can't wait for all of this nonsense to be over.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Preliminary debate notes.

-McCain is pissed off. I expect to see steam coming out of his ears. The problem is, he isn't making any damned sense about anything. He's stringing together words into sentences, but he's leaving out the information that would make the sentences make sense. In addition, he's made a few major gaffes. One that comes to mind immediately: he confused Justice Alito with Justice Breyer. What?

-As usual, Obama is calm, cool, and collected. He's looking at the camera, which is almost creepy, but effective, and he's just calmly doing his thing. Obama is letting McCain stew in his own inanity, and he's only attacking when he's attacked directly. It's an approach that I think will work very well. Obama is not on the defense, however - he's turned McCain's attacks around on many an occasion. I liked when he talked about his associations - cleared up the Ayers and ACORN situations and then said, "Ok, let's see who I associate with - Warren Buffett, Dick Lugar, Joe Biden, etc." Very effective.

-We are watching the end of the McCain campaign tonight. That's it. He's done. He actually made a complete ass out of himself tonight, and that's not going to help him in the next few weeks.

Japan confuses me again.

First it was tentacle sex. Then it was Hello Kitty. Then it was Pokemon. Then it was more tentacle sex. Then it was that video of the girls with meat strapped to their heads being attacked by lizards.

Now it's a bizarre brown fuzzy rectangle monster that apparently originated as the "mascot" of a Japanese television station.

Why is this creature in my Target store?

I just...don't...get it!


Why??

Vote NO on the "Street Fixing" proposals.

The current street fixing proposals on the ballot this November won't fix the streets. The Tulsa City Council got cold feet and decided not to put on the ballot the $2 billion proposal that actually would fix the streets. The current proposal would actually leave us worse off 5 years from now than we are today. It's a giant waste of taxpayer money, and it won't solve anything. Vote NO. Tell the City Council that we want real solutions to the city's street crisis.

Ha!

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Um, hi. Here's a video of McCain headlining an ACORN rally in 2006.



Can we dispense with this crap yet?

Obama over McCain 53-39: CBS News Poll

Obama has just opened up a 14 point national lead against McCain according to the latest CBS News/NY Times poll.

Two pieces of extremely bad news for McCain:

Among independents who are likely voters - a group that has swung back and forth between McCain and Obama over the course of the campaign - the Democratic ticket now leads by 18 points. McCain led among independents last week.

McCain's campaign strategy may be hurting hurt him: Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain's attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate.


The election continues to be over. It's even more over than it was a week ago, and after the debate tomorrow, it'll be even more over than it is now.

McCain's way past Bob Dole territory, folks. He's in Dukakis or even Mondale land now.

Wait, which candidate does business with America's enemies?

Certainly it couldn't be John McCain. No.

Wait, who did his transition team leader lobby for?

Sadaam Hussein?

Surely not.

Elbow update and good news

So apparently my elbow fracture isn't as bad as all that. I don't need a hard cast, or any other kind of immobilization. I still have a sling, which I will wear whilst walking, but I can now type with both hands again, which is a very nice thing.

In excellent news, there is even more confirmation that Obama will win this election in a landslide.

The "kid's poll," which has accurately predicted all but 2 of the winners of the Presidential Elections since 1940, is in. The results? Obama 57%, McCain 39%. Booyah.

Dear Barack,

I love you, but I'm sorry, I'm not driving to Missouri for you.

Kisses,

Sinister

this is just too cute

cat
more animals

Campbell Brown gets it.

I feel like I am stating the obvious here, but apparently it needs to be said: There is a difference between radical Muslims who support jihad against America and Muslims who want to practice their religion freely and have normal lives like anyone else.

There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life.

These are the people being maligned here, and we can only imagine how this conversation plays in the Muslim world. We can't tolerate this ignorance -- not in the media, not on the campaign trail.

Of course, he's not an Arab. Of course, he's not a Muslim. But honestly, it shouldn't matter.


I said this back in July. Obama isn't a Muslim. But even if he were a Muslim, so what?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

The final nail in the McCoffin?

Palin abused her authority in the Troopergate scandal.

Nice.

That should wrap things up in a nice little bow.

Marriage equality victory in Connecticut!

Connecticut Supreme Court rules state law discriminates against same sex couples & rules in favor of marriage equality in the state!

W00t!

Andrew Rice raised nearly a million dollars last quarter

Senator Andrew Rice, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, announced today that he raised more than $900,000 from July 1 through September 30, and in a sign of broad grassroots support, the average contribution was only $108. Since the start of his campaign, 61% of Rice's contributions have come from Oklahomans. Furthermore, the Rice campaign welcomed over 3,000 new individual donors in the third quarter.


Go Andrew Go!

The death of American Capitalism?

Hey, I didn't say it. The Washington Post did.

Interesting article details how laissez-faire capitalism is being discredited worldwide, and how every country is being forced into a much more interventionist economic model.

I don't necessarily think it's time to break out the red flag.

Yet.

Happy Friday



h/t to DailyKos.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Toxic politics

One thing that Jews do on Yom Kippur is to examine our relationships with others. I want to expand that idea and look at the relationship that we all have to the current political culture in America.

I've been as guilty as anyone of promoting an antagonistic political atmosphere, because I get angry when right wingers say certain things about my religion or my sexual orientation. However, there's a larger issue here. The closer we get to this election, and the worse this economic crisis becomes, it seems that our national political culture just gets nastier and nastier. It's gotten to the point that those on the right take up pitchforks and torches anytime anyone on the left says anything remotely critical of them, and many people can't even fathom the idea of sitting down to a civilized discussion of the issues. Any questioning of a line of argument is turned around as an accusation of bias. People's relationships and supposed associations are attacked, even without any concrete evidence to back up said accusations, and even when the attacker has associations of his own that could be brought up as a counterattack. The terrifying specter of religious hatred is raised and used to brand our enemies with false labels we choose to fear out of ignorance. We've created a toxic environment in which the issues that actually matter get buried in a sludge of personal attacks and ideological crusading, and any common ground we might have once had gets lost in the mess.

I believe that one of the things that makes this country great is the fact that we all have the right to speak our minds, even when doing so offends someone. I can't muzzle a right winger because he disparages Muslims in a way that I find, frankly, racist and repugnant. A right winger can't muzzle me because I celebrate the fact that I got married to my life partner in California last weekend, even if that right winger is offended by my relationship. I can't muzzle the same right winger because I am offended by his offense. And so on.

When we attack each other instead of disagreeing in a civil and intelligent manner, we demean ourselves and bring our political culture down a notch. When we disparage a religion, or a viewpoint, on its face, instead of debating its merits, we are guilty of willful ignorance and bigotry. When those of our fellow Americans with whose political ideas we disagree become our enemies whose patriotism we question, we begin to emulate those we fought against in World War II.

This Yom Kippur, I have atoned for my own sins in this area, for my own participation in our toxic political culture. I will also forgive those who have offended and insulted me over the past year. I do this in the hope that the next year will see a reawakening of what's good about American politics - the active, intelligent, and civilized discussion of the issues that matter to all of us, and an end to what's bad about American politics - the blame, hate, and bigotry that infects our culture and grinds our collective intellectual development to a halt.

If you banish the yoke from your midst,
If you rid yourself of scornful finger-pointing
And words of contempt;
If you open up your life-experience to the hungry
And soothe the life that has been trampled under foot,

Then even in darkness your light will shine out
And your moments of gloom turn bright as noonday.
Then the Breath of Life will always be your guide,
Will soothe your own life in your own times of dryness
And strengthen your bones when they are weary.

from Isaiah Ch. 57.

Obama up in West Virginia?? Sinister election map update

American Research Group has Obama up 8 in West Virginia.

Wow.

No, really. Wow.

So, I guess this is where we are right now:

Obama 380 - McCain 158.

Nice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of Atonement, in which we repent for things that we have done wrong in the past year and ask forgiveness of those we have injured or offended.

In that spirit, I would like to offer a sincere apology and a flag of truce to those conservative bloggers whom I have offended over the past year.

I recognize that my viewpoints often fall outside of mainstream political opinion in this state, and that I sometimes use harsh language and expletives to express my views. There are a lot of issues about which I feel passionate, and I post about them passionately.

However, I will make you this pledge.

I will endeavor not to actively insult or demean the views of any blogger, no matter how much I disagree with said blogger's views. I will also personally endeavor not to engage in name calling.

All I ask in return is that you respect my right to express my viewpoints, and that you post your responses to me in an equally respectful manner.

Ultimately, the blogosphere is a better place when it has a diversity of viewpoints, and those viewpoints are respected.

I have also decided to resign as editor of BNN Oklahoma. Since I'll be leaving the state in the next few months anyway, it is no longer in my interest to field all of these complaints from conservative bloggers about how I don't represent this state's views.

The ACORN situation: A personal note.

I worked as an ACORN organizer for a short period of time in 2002. It was an intense, difficult, exasperating, and inspiring job at which I utterly failed.

However, that's kind of beside the point. During the time that I worked for ACORN, I registered hundreds of voters. I went into low-income, largely Hispanic neighborhoods, and I spent hours at the downtown Dallas bus stop.

Every voter registration form that I turned in at the end of the day was legitimate. There was never any attempt by my boss to get me to pad the registrations with fake names. It was a legitimate effort to empower low income folks to vote. In fact, everything I experienced when I was working for ACORN showed me a picture of an organization that is legitimately concerned with improving conditions for the working class in America.

Now, if the Repugs are really going to sink as low as to attack a legitimate community organization like ACORN that is working to improve the lives of working class Americans, then that's despicable.

On the other hand, if there is fraud happening, then sure, it should be investigated. But this whole situation in Nevada stinks. It smells exactly like a righty attempt to stop people from voting - the kind of efforts that the fascists are attempting all over the country in an effort to dam the flood of new Obama voters and prevent the inevitable landslide.

This is not to say that ACORN is not without its problems. For example, ACORN brutally repressed an IWW attempt to organize its organizers. ACORN's modus operandi is often a little more confrontational than it needs to be, and sometimes its campaigns alienate those people who should be its natural allies. But overall, ACORN is a decent, hardworking organization that is legitimately trying to empower people to take back their neighborhoods from crime and inept and corrupt public officials.

Poor Bill Kumpe...

It's so hard to be a far-right blogger in a state that is so heavily dominated by...um, other far-right bloggers?

So Kumpe has decided to take his ball and go home. Well I say good riddance to bad rubbish. Any of you other righties that want to cancel your blogs and go private - please, be my guest.

Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet.

Today is the birthday of Frank Herbert, the author of the Dune books, a suprisingly prescient series of science fiction novels. Though they take place on a distant series of planets thousands of years into our future, the Dune books parallel our own struggle with oil and religious tribal guerillas in the Middle East. The novels serve as an intricate study of how religious cultures respond when faced with existential threats and struggles over precious resources, along with the ecological disasters that can occur when tampering with natural ecosystems. In addition, the Dune books postulate the consequences of manipulating religion for political gain. More than anything, however, the Dune books create a beautifully written, incredibly detailed science fiction universe.

Books in the Dune series:

Dune (1965)
Dune Messiah (1969)
Children of Dune (1976)
God Emperor of Dune (1981)
Heretics of Dune (1984)
Chapterhouse Dune (1985)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate analysis (quickie)

I don't know why I even bother watching these things, to be honest. This election continues to be over. It's even more over after that debate. McCain did not have the night he needed to have (i.e. he didn't wipe the floor with Obama and Obama didn't vomit all over himself). And his reference to Obama as "that one" isn't going to go over well with anyone.

On the other hand, I have some advice for Obama.

Don't mention Delaware and credit cards. Remember who your running mate is.

Snap polls, which I'm not going to bother to link to, are all showing that Obama "won" the debate. For whatever that's worth.

Can we just get to the damned election already?

On a happy note, meet my new nephew, Alex.



Cute, isn't he?

Republicans denounce Ayers attack

"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier," said former Illinois state Republican Rep. Diana Nelson, who worked with both Obama and Ayers over the years. "It's ridiculous. There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It's nonsensical, and it just makes me crazy. It's so silly."


(emphasis mine)

I wasn't going to dignify with a response the McCain campaign's ridiculous 'guilt by association' attacks against Obama, but the above quote should help to put the Ayers idiocy to rest.

Look, if all McCain has left is this garbage, then he might as well just throw his entire campaign into a dumptruck.

The election continues to be over.

The Other Debate: Rice vs. Inhofe

Tulsa viewers: Tune in to KJRH Channel 2 (9 on Cox) at 5:15pm tonight for live coverage of the only debate between the fightin' Andrew Rice and Jim "Jack" Inhofe. KJRH will also have live streaming coverage on its website.

OKC viewers: you can catch the debate on the web.

You know who's a maverick?

This guy.



"You don't have time to think up there. If you think, you're dead."

Now that's a maverick I could vote for.

[/snark]

Independent Movement endorses Obama

IndependentMovement.org, a group dedicated to "moving government away from special interests and toward the American people's interests," has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

In two online polls conducted by IndependentMovement.Org, Senator Barack Obama has emerged as the number one choice of the largest organization of independent voters in the United States. “In spite of the venomous dialect we take for political discourse in America, Obama has remained true to his message. This campaign is about bringing Americans together, not driving them apart,” says Jim Mangia, CEO and founding member of IndependentMovement.Org.

Matthew Shepard: 10 Years Later

Former Laramie police chief Dave O'Malley:

"Prior to this case I wasn’t hugely homophobic, but I was mean-spirited. I bought into the jokes and the myths and stereotypes of the gay community. Because of what happened, I was forced to interact with that community. Quite frankly, I started losing my ignorance. Did I reevaluate my beliefs in that first week? In the old country we’d call that a no-shitter. It didn’t take very long at all for me to realize that I was dead wrong. ...

"To me, every crime was a hate crime. But I saw the difference with what happened to Matt. We had kids moving out of Laramie, transferring to other colleges. There was a huge amount of terror and fear---I hadn’t seen that before. There are people killed during liquor store robberies every day in this country, but I never think twice about going to the liquor store. It’s a different kind of a motivation and a different kind of impact. I’ve now been to Washington to speak about hate-crimes legislation on seven occasions. It’s something I believe in, and I’m going to keep working at it. It’s been 10 years, but I fully believe that if this election goes the way I believe it’s going to go, the Matthew Shepard Act will be a reality in the next 12 months."


Any questions?

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Sinister Election Map (h/t to DailyKos)

Obama 334, McCain 204.



This is about where I think the race stands right now, based on what I'm seeing in polls, news stories, and map predictions from other sites.

lol

The fundamentals of our economy are....?

Dow falls below 10,000.

Crikey.

Brief explanation of this weekend

My partner and I went to San Diego this weekend for my new nephew's Bris (Jewish rite of circumcision). It was a wonderful trip. While we were there, we took the opportunity to get married. It was a pretty incredible experience. Nationwide, marriage equality might be a long way off, but the fact that we were able to stand in front of a county official and legally validate the equality of our relationship really meant a lot.

As of right now, our marriage is recognized in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

My current theory is that our California marriage will be legal nationwide when the following things happen.

1) Obama is elected along with a big Democratic majority in Congress.

2) Said big Democratic majority repeals the Defense of Marriage Act, restoring the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution and immediately allowing same sex couples to file joint Federal taxes.

3) Some combination of litigation and legislation invalidates the state amendments barring marriage equality, and those states that have no such amendments will immediately recognize marriage equality.

I'm going to e-mail Lambda Legal and see if they can give me a clearer answer on how that whole process will work.

Californians and those in favor of marriage equality should go here and give money to the Vote No on 8 campaign.

monday loldog

oy. vacations shouldn't end.

dog
see more puppies

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Quick grammar lesson

One of our conservative friends seems to have difficulty telling the difference between a plural and a possessive. Since he's made this mistake on more than one occasion recently, here's a little refresher:

Gaffe's: Something belonging to a gaffe.
Gaffes: More than one gaffe.

Here endeth the lesson.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I got married today.

Legally married. Now my husband and I are legally married in California (and Massachusetts, since the two states both recognize our marriage).

Until Obama and the new Congress repeal DOMA.

Any straight marriages falling apart yet? Because that was our entire goal. We didn't, for example, get married because we love each other and we want equal recognition under the law.

Happy Friday

Debate analysis (briefly)

Since I'm still typing on a keyboard with 3 keys missing, I'll keep this short.

I won't deny that Palin was well-coached and therefore did as good a job as anyone had a right to expect from her. She had a lot of note cards on her podium, and she was constantly referring to them. It was kind of funny when she said, "ooh, can I talk about Afghanistan?" Like, Afghanistan was on her note cards and she wanted to make sure she could check it off her list. Overall, her performance was strong, but she spoke quickly, which betrayed a definite nervousness.

Biden, on the other hand, was fantastic. He was confident, sharp, and brimming with details. He did not appear "condescending" to the governor - in fact, I don't see how he could possibly have done so considering Palin's performance. He delivered a lot of sharp jabs - the "Bridge to Nowhere" line about the McCain health care plan is apparently already being used in an Obama ad this morning.

Several polls are giving the debate to Biden, with uncommitted voters also giving him the edge.

Overall, this debate neither put the election out of reach for McCain-Palin, as I had hoped it would, nor did it really change the dynamics of the race. Obama is still going to be surging in the polls, and I think we're still in for a big victory in November.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Attention Sinister readers

I'm watching the debate, but I won't be doing much commentary about it. For a few different reasons, I'm forced to type on a laptop with three keys missing. I can still type the letters on those keys, but it's difficult. Anyway, I'll leave the major debate analysis to the pundits right now. I'll be back up and running by Monday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Intrade calls for Obama landslide

Intrade, the site that's like a stock market for "what if this happens" scenarios, has pegged the current electoral vote count at:

Obama 338
McCain 200

The site gives Obama all of Kerry's states plus the swing states of CO, NM, NV, FL, OH, IA, and VA.

By all means, change the moderator.

Sure, why not? If you think Gwen Ifill is biased against Palin, let's have a new moderator.

I'm sure Sarah Palin can handle a curveball like that. I know Joe Biden can.

After 8 years of "conservative small-government" rule, we get this.

The National Debt Clock is out of room. The ballooning national debt is about to hit 10 trillion dollars, which is 14 digits - one more than the clock can handle. Ronald Reagan would be so proud.

So, Republicans, congratulations. Your small government, conservative, anti-tax, anti-spending ways have brought us to this point. Enjoy it.

Oh, as an aside...

Which party actually managed to balance the budget?

Oh yeah, it was the Democrats.

McCain is "virtually doomed"

New Quinnipiac polls show Obama with huge gains in three critical swing states.

FLORIDA

Quinnipiac University. 9/27-29. Likely voters. MoE 3.4%

Obama (D) 51
McCain (R) 43

OHIO

Quinnipiac University. 9/27-29. Likely voters. MoE 3.4%

Obama (D) 50
McCain (R) 42

PENNSYLVANIA

Quinnipiac University. 9/27-29. Likely voters. MoE 3.4%

Obama (D) 54
McCain (R) 39


More evidence that this election is over. Of course, this doesn't give us the right to be complacent - we still have a lot of work to do to get these voters to the polls!

Allen Ginsberg

I'm not quite sure I understand why our good friend Fried Green Onions has chosen to first attack Allen Ginsberg for his alleged ties to NAMBLA, and then post one of his more poignant poems.

However, Ginsberg is my favorite poet of all time. His poetry is evocative, powerful, and visceral. He was the 20th century's Walt Whitman, the gay muse of the Beat movement whose poem Howl was the rallying cry of a generation.

Here's another of his greatest poems.



America

America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can't stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don't feel good don't bother me.
I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I'm sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back it's sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I'm trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I'm not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I'm addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It's always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody's serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
I'd better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I'm a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they're all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1935 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don're really want to go to war.
America it's them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader's Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I'd better get right down to the job.
It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I'm nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.


Several lines in that poem have really spoken to me over the years:

"America, how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?"

"America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I'm not sorry."

"Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?"

"America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel."