Friday, November 28, 2008

A quick lesson for Mr. Bates.

Claude Monet is art:



Wassily Kandinsky is art:



Pablo Picasso is art:



Rene Magritte is art:



Andy Warhol is art:



Marcel Duchamp is art:



Thomas Kinkade is not art:



Every one of the above artists had a reason to paint what they painted, a message they wanted to convey, a new style or artistic idea to share. They painted because they loved to paint, or because they had to paint, or because painting gave them an outlet to express something.

Kinkade, if he even paints anything himself, paints to exploit a group of easily influenced sheeple - evangelical Christians - and make tons and tons of money off of them. He's a sleazy businessman, not an artist. His works lack any depth of style or substance, and they add nothing to the overall artistic conversation. They are the painted equivalent of a McDonalds hamburger - mass-produced, tasteless, and bad for America. The only lesson we can take away from Kinkade is the lesson that people are suckers who will buy anything, which is a lesson that has already been explored in art a million times over, often with a touch of humor or irony.

Michael Bates: Blogger of Stupid

In this week's Urban Tulsa, Michael Bates is apparently going to expound on the profound meaning behind one of America's most prolific painters.

Thomas Kinkade.

According to Bates, we can take lessons from the "Painter of Light" about how "places...have the ability to touch the heart."

Thomas Kinkade is the very symbol of everything that is vapid and meaningless about modern consumer culture. His "art" if it can be properly called that, which it can't, is mass-produced garbage packaged with a clever marketing scheme that creates a mythos that Kinkade is some kind of New Age/Evangelical guru. The pieces themselves, nondescript scenes of cottages, rivers, trees, churches, and other such completely meaningless idyllic scenes, are sold in little stores in malls across America, as if they had no more purpose or deeper meaning than, say, a GAP sweater, which they don't.

Thomas Kinkade is the artistic equivalent of simultaneously listening to Kenny G, eating at the Olive Garden, watching Oprah, and reading an inspirational book by Deepak Chopra.

All while having a giant crystal shoved up your ass for good measure.

Mr. Bates, I have a suggestion for your next column. Please, go to a local elevator or grocery store and review the music being piped over the speakers. Surely you have an opinion on that wonderfully mellow instrumental version of Abba's "Waterloo" that keeps looping over and over again.

Or heck, go review local "smooth jazz" celebrity what's his ass, um, Grady Nichols. If you find meaning in Thomas Kinkade, then Grady Nichols will blow your fucking mind.

Edit: I just noticed that there's a TM after the phrase "Painter of Light" in Bates' post. So in other words, this guy Kinkade has a trademarked advertising slogan.

Wow.

Edit 2: This Wikipedia article sheds some more "light" on Kinkade.

Thomas Kinkade (born January 19, 1958 in Sacramento, California) is an American painter of realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects. He is most notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company. He is self described as "Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light" (a trademarked phrase), and as "America's most-collected living artist".[1] It is estimated that 1 in 10 homes in the U.S. feature some form of Thomas Kinkade’s art or licensed product.[2]

He has received criticism for the extent to which he has commercialized his art -- for example, selling his prints on the QVC home shopping network. Others have written that his paintings are merely kitsch, without substance,[3] and described it as chocolate box art.[4]


-snip-

Kinkade's works are sold by mail order and in dedicated retail outlets as high-quality prints, often using texturizing techniques on real canvas to make the surface of the finished prints mimic the raised surface of the original painting. Some of the prints also feature light effects that are painted onto the print surface by hand by "skilled craftsmen," touches that add to the illusion of light and the resemblance to an original work of art. Licensing with Hallmark and other corporations have made it possible for Kinkade's images to be used extensively on other merchandise such as calendars, puzzles, greeting cards, and CDs. He has also authored or been the subject of over 120 books and is the only artist to license his trademark and artwork to multiple housing developments.

Kinkade is reported to have earned $53 million for his artistic work in the period 1997 to May 2005.[11]


-snip-

The Los Angeles Times report that some of Kinkade's former colleagues, employees, and even collectors of his work say that he has a long history of cursing and heckling other artists and performers. The Times further reports that he openly groped a woman's breasts at a South Bend, Indiana sales event, and mentioned his proclivity for ritual territory marking through urination.[18] Kinkade denied some of the Times's allegations, but accepted and apologized for others.[19]

In 2006 John Dandois, Media Arts Group executive, recounted a story that on one occasion ("about six years ago") Kinkade became drunk at a Siegfried and Roy magic show in Las Vegas and began shouting "Codpiece! Codpiece!" at the performers. Eventually he was calmed by his mother.[18] Dandois also said of Kinkade, "Thom would be fine, he would be drinking, and then all of a sudden, you couldn't tell where the boundary was, and then he became very incoherent, and he would start cussing and doing a lot of weird stuff."[18]


I'll leave it there.

Black Friday indeed

A 34 year old man was trampled to death in a Wal Mart in New York trying to hold back the crowd this morning, and a pregnant woman was also knocked down and miscarried.

Really, people. Is a Playstation worth a human life? Is this what we've come to?

I'm sick of Black Friday. I think it's a despicable thing that the retailers of this country have done. They make us all so crazy about this incredible deal that's only available for 3 hours on one morning that we all have to just literally camp out the day and night before and then kill each other trying to get through the doors at 5:00 AM.

It would be more responsible, and indeed better for all involved, if these stores would run specials that lasted through the weekend, or even the next week, to attract people, and specifically did NOT open early or do anything special on Black Friday. Spread the shoppers out throughout the first week. It'd make things a lot more sane, and the retailers would still make the same amount of money, if not more.

It might even save a life or two.

Be careful out there if you do feel the need to shop today. Myself, I will not be going anywhere near a retail establishment for the foreseeable future.

Happy Friday

although, since I have to work today, I'm not happy.

So I'm gonna need you to just go ahead and watch this clip. Didn't you get the memo?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Man With Apple Hovering In Front of Face Sues Rene Magritte's Estate

courtesy of The Onion:

TACOMA, WA—Michael Renfro, a 68-year-old retired CPA with an apple hovering in front of his face, announced Monday that he has filed a $15 million lawsuit against the estate of deceased Belgian artist RenĂ© Magritte for unlawfully using his likeness in the 1964 painting The Son Of Man.


I love The Onion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Since most of us are off on Thursday, I'll post a bonus video.

Here's Nine Inch Nails performing "In This Twilight" at the end of the show in Tulsa last weekend.

The concert was amazing. If you were there, you know that already. If you weren't there, you missed something special.

Not sure what's going on in Mumbai

but here's a link to the International Red Cross, where I'm sure they'd welcome donations.

Nate Silver analyzes President Obama's agenda

Nate Silver, America's new favorite analyst of everything political, has come up with an analysis of Prsident Obama's agenda, breaking it down along political lines from "Progressive" to "Centrist." Nate finds that on the vast majority of issues, with several notable examples having to do with trade and national defense, Obama is solidly in the Progressive camp. Nate's analysis provides a clear breakdown of the direction our new President is planning to take this country.

To this blogger's eyes, the future looks bright.

I'm also going to direct your attention to another Kos diary. This diarist provides a scathing critique of the uncompromising, humorless, and ideologically rigid folks on the far left of the political spectrum, who refuse to accept that an Obama Presidency can really make some progress towards ending the kinds of injustices that said leftists claim to abhor. I know what she's talking about, because I used to be one of those people. As I said in my comment to that post, sometimes it's OK to be realistic.

You know what I hate?

Web ads that pop down onto the screen and obscure the text you're reading. Or web ads that expand so that when you scroll down to read something and the ad contracts again, your screen moves and you lose what you were reading. Or, web ads that literally float over the text in such a way that you have to click them away to get rid of them. Web ads that, when you mouse over them, scream at you. Video web ads that just automatically start playing and being distracting as soon as you load a page. Ads that take longer to load than the rest of the page but still prevent you from interacting with what you're reading because of fucking javascript in the ads. Ads disguised as messages from your computer. Ads that pop under the page you're reading but still make your active window inactive so you have to click on it again to scroll down. Ads that, when you click the X to make them go away, spawn new ads that you again have to click to make go away. Ads that appear like commercials when you click to move from one page to another.

Mostly, I hate not having Firefox at work. Firefox makes most of that crap go away.

Two perspectives on the Obama transition

Two Kossacks make articulate arguments about Obama's appointments and what they mean for progressives:

Reaper0Bot makes the argument that Obama's choice to keep Bob Gates reflects a clear-eyed realism about the situation in Iraq, and that it also represents consistency on Obama's part.

TomP says that the decision to keep Gates is worrisome, and the progressive netroots shouldn't be afraid to criticize Obama's decisions.

You be the judge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wingnut logic

courtesy of John Cole:

Wingnut- “Homosexuals are filthy sodomites who should not have access to marriage.”

Evil gay person- “Nonsense. I demand the same rights as you and will fight for them.”

Wingnut- “Why won’t you respect my right to free speech?”

And there you have the wingnut understanding of the Constitution.


See, there's the problem. Free speech is one thing. You're free to say that you don't want me to get married. However, when you use the law to try to enforce your viewpoint at my expense, then I get upset and start to fight back using whatever means are at my disposal.

A similar argument might go like this:

Communist: I believe that capitalists are filthy pigs who should not have access to private property.

Capitalist: Nonsense. I believe in private property and I will fight for it.

Communist: Why won't you respect my right to free speech?

See, the Communist has the right to say that he doesn't believe in private property. However, when he uses the law to try to deprive you of your private property, then you have the right to fight back.

That's the difference.

See it now?

Probably not...

sigh...

Civil rights victory in Florida

Florida's strict law banning adoption of children by gay people was found unconstitutional Tuesday by a state judge who declared there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state's arguments that there is "a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children." She also noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida.


Good to see a victory for civil rights after the disaster of Prop 8 and the other hate measures in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Re-regulate the airline industry?

MSNBC columnist presents some interesting ideas for re-regulating the airline industry. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says (what's his problem with codesharing?), but I think he's got the right idea. Air travel is just an utter debacle right now. After we fix the economy, let's do something about that.

A word about religious bigotry

John Aravosis has some insight on the marriage equality issue:

It's a common mistake to think that anti-gay bigotry isn't really bigoted if the bigot's heart was in the right place. For example, in the quote below from the LA Times, the victim offers the classic "but my persecutor thought he was following his religious beliefs" line.
Condon, the gay writer-director of "Dreamgirls" and a Film Independent board member, offered this retort to what he calls the "off-with-his-head" crowd: "If you're asking, 'Do we take discrimination against gays as seriously as bigotry against African Americans and Jews?' . . . the answer is, 'Of course we do.' But we also believe that some people, including Rich, saw Prop. 8 not as a civil rights issue but a religious one. That is their right. And it is not, in and of itself, proof of bigotry."
Well, yes they did. As do conservative Muslims who force their women to wear head to foot black veils, force them to sit in the back of the car, and who summarily stone those women when they're raped. As did southern Christians who argued that the Bible mandated slavery:
"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.

Hmm.

Obama's economic team just announced - Richardson not named as Commerce Secretary yet. Interesting.

Monday loldog

It's Thanksgiving week. I hope most of you have Friday off as well. I do not. Bleah.

funny-dog-pictures-with-captions-obey-traffic-signals
see more puppies

Saturday, November 22, 2008

President-Elect Obama's Weekly Message

44 discusses his plan to create jobs and kickstart the economy by doing sensible things like putting people to work repairing our crumbling roads and bridges.

God...it's gonna be nice to have a President who says things that I agree with.

Friday, November 21, 2008

In honor of Magritte's birthday,

here's a picture of my partner and me on Halloween, dressed as "Son of Man."

Breaking: Clinton accepts State

Bunches of people are reporting that Hillary Clinton has accepted Barack Obama's offer of Secretary of State, and will be announced as the nominee sometime after Thanksgiving.

My preferred candidate for the post, Bill Richardson, is being touted as Commerce Secretary. I don't know about his economics chops, but I do know he has tons of experience in Washington.

We'll see. I honestly don't know how Clinton will do as SOS. I'm a little worried about her hawkish comments toward Iran on the campaign trail; hopefully Obama can rein her in a little bit on that.

Other news reports are saying that Obama will announce his economic team on Monday, including Richardson and Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary.

Presbyterian Minister makes the case for marriage equality

Kos diarist and Presbyterian minister debunks Biblical myths about "traditional" marriage and makes the case for marriage equality.

Happy Birthday, Rene Magritte

Google's front page informs me that today marks the 110th birthday of Belgian Surrealist artist Rene Magritte. Magritte is one of my favorite artists. My partner and I dressed up as Magritte's "Son of Man" for Halloween - wearing suits, bowler hats, and apple masks. I may post pictures of that later.

In honor of this occasion, here are a few of his greatest pieces:

First of all, here's "Son of Man:"




Next, here's what is probably his most famous painting, called "The Treachery of Images:"



The caption, "This is not a pipe," is actually quite true. Magritte's point, of course, is that this is merely a picture of a pipe, an image. You can't smoke it. He followed this up with several other "this is not a" paintings in the same vein.

Next, here's "Golconde:"



From Wikipedia:

The piece depicts a scene of identical men dressed in dark overcoats and bowler hats, who seem to be floating like helium balloons (though there is no actual indication of motion), against a backdrop of buildings and blue sky. It is humorous, but with an obvious criticism of the conventional effacing of individuality.

Magritte himself lived in a similar suburban environment, and dressed in a similar fashion. The bowler hat was a common feature of much of his work, and appears in paintings like The Son of Man.


Here's Magritte's "Self Portrait:"



For more Magritte, here's a Google Image search.

Happy Friday

And now - Monty Python announce the new Monty Python channel on YouTube:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama's use of complete sentences stirs controversy

Funny article by Andy Borowitz. Excerpt:

The president-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

"Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Year Zero, the TV Show?

Trent Reznor has been "meeting with HBO" to produce a TV series based on his dystopian album of the same name:

Reznor’s “right thing” appears to be relentless work. He doesn’t just follow his muse; he chases it and wrestles it to the ground. In addition to those two albums released this year, he has been meeting with HBO to pitch his idea of writing a two-year series called “Year Zero,” which would be based on the intricate science-fiction tale that he created for a 2007 album of the same title. It also came alive for fans as an alternate-reality game on the Internet.


I would get HBO just for this. Seriously.

(Two music posts in one day? Meh. I writes what strikes my interest.)

Breaking: Supreme Court agrees to hear case challenging Prop 8

The California Supreme Court will review the legal challenges to Proposition 8.

Good news, hopefully.

The California Supreme Court agreed today to review legal challenges to Prop. 8, the voter initiative that restored a ban on same-sex marriage, but refused to permit gay weddings to resume pending a ruling.

Meeting in closed session, the state high court asked litigants on both sides for more written arguments and scheduled a hearing for next March. The court also signaled its intention to decide the fate of existing same-sex marriages, asking litigants to argue that question.

Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant? No thank you; I'm busy eating razors and chopping off my toes with a jagged spoon.

MSNBC reports that Zepp bass player John Paul Jones is spreading the idea that he, Jimmy Page, and Jason Bonham could tour as Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant. As in, getting a replacement singer for Robert Plant.

Two things I want to pick out from this article. First, they discuss the possible replacements:

Billboard recently reported that Plant-less Zeppelin is leaning toward Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy and that the vocalist has rehearsed with the band on several occasions. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave is another rumored candidate, as is Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.


Excuse me for a second, my spleen just jumped out of my throat and ran screaming down the street. I have to go catch it.

...

Ok, that's better.

Chris Cornell? Singing "Whole Lotta Love?" Of the three proposed alternatives, he is the one who clearly has the chops. Still, no.

Seriously, though, who in the name of all that is holy and sacred in the world suggested CHAD KROEGER?!!! That guy is such a hack, his band is hackneyed, and I'm hacking up various internal organs just thinking about the prospect of a Zeppelin with Kroeger at the front. Hack hack hack. No.

And I don't know who the hell the other guy is. Didn't Alter Bridge form out of the remains of Creed? Not a good sign.

Secondly, the article discusses other bands that have replaced their lead singer in an "acceptable" manner:

The Who without Keith Moon and John Entwistle? Acceptable, at least judging by the reception they’ve received on recent tour stops. Queen without Freddie Mercury? Acceptable, because Mercury passed away. Pink Floyd without Syd Barrett? He left the band just as it was on its way toward superstardom, so most fans didn’t notice.


Ok, I just want to comment on Queen. I saw the "new" Queen lineup during some stupid rock tribute show on VH1 a couple of years ago. I'm sorry, but that Paul Rodgers cat just isn't Freddie Mercury, and I found the whole thing to be a real disappointment.

Some bands can replace their lead singer without destroying the essential nature of the band and its sound. AC/DC did it after the death of Bon Scott, and Brian Johnson has led the band convincingly ever since. Sometimes, however, a band's frontman is so iconic to the sound of the band that you just can't replace him. I would argue forcefully that both Queen and Led Zeppelin fit into that category.

Let's take a look at a couple of hypotheticals. What would Nirvana have been like if Dave and Krist had replaced Kurt after his suicide, and who could have possibly filled Cobain's shoes? What if Paul and Ringo tried to tour as the Beatles today without John Lennon and George Harrison? What if Mick Jagger died and the Stones hired some unknown pop star to replace him? What would Aerosmith be like without Steven Tyler? Well, the last one might actually be a relief, but that's beside the point.

No, I'm sorry, but I won't see a Led Zeppelin reunion if it doesn't reunite all of the living Zepps.

Give me a real Zepp reunion with Page, Plant, Jones, and Jason Bonham, and I'll do almost anything to be there.

Senator Tubes goes down the...well, you know...

Convicted felon Senator Ted Stevens has officially lost his re-election bid to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. You might remember Senator Stevens for his...unique...view of the Internet:

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.


This view is made all the more interesting when you consider that Senator Stevens was head of the committee tasked with regulating the...um...tubes.

Anyway, congrats to Senator Elect Begich. I think you'll prefer the weather in Washington, D.C., and the fact that the sun shines 12 months out of the year. I don't know. Maybe it's the 6 months of darkness that makes Alaskans nuts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For an auto company bailout

I'll just make a quick point. I'm in favor of bailing out the auto industry. While it is true that the "big 3" have had major problems reading consumer demand and have been slow to respond to changing economic conditions, both of which have helped lead them to where they are today, the fact of the matter is that the consequences of allowing these companies to fail are simply too dire. The fallout would hit not only the UAW members and other folks employed by these companies, it would hit every industry that depends on the auto industry - car dealerships, repair shops, parts warehouses, auto supply stores, gas stations, tire manufacturers, car washes, and it would ripple outward from there. If the big 3 fail, the economic consequences would be devastating. We must not allow that to happen.

Now, I'm not saying that we should just hand the CEOs a blank check. I think that if we do bail out the big 3, we should do it in such a way that the American people get an equity stake equal to our initial outlay, along with some decision making power. We need to force the automakers to change what they do and how they do it - we can use our collective financial leverage to do that.

We also need to make sure that the auto workers are protected and have a stake in their jobs. I would therefore also suggest giving a tax credit to any auto worker who buys stock in their company. Doing so would begin to give the workers a greater stake in their jobs, and that can only help matters.

Thus, my solution is two-fold: partial nationalization along with a system to give workers at least partial ownership of the auto companies. It is my opinion that this two fold approach is the only way to fix the problems facing the auto industry.

Consumer activism is futile - updated

I wrote a post two years ago in which I posited that consumer activism, including boycotts, is futile. I'll excerpt part of the post here:

The nature of a market economy is to produce the cheapest, most attractive, and most marketable products to maximize consumer demand, beat the competition, and make a lot of profit. The goal of a market economy is not to create the highest quality, most durable, most efficient or overall best product, unless those attributes come about as a side effect of marketability, cheapness, attractiveness and/or profitability.

If a large enough group of consumers boycotts a particular product for some humanitarian or ethical reason, they might succeed in changing some aspect of its production, but during the boycott they will probably end up spending at least some of their money on something equally objectionable. Therefore, the group has not succeeded in creating the kind of systemic change that may have been their goal. And if not everyone participates, and by everyone I mean a majority of consumers, or at least enough to make a product’s manufacture unprofitable, then there is no incentive for the company to change its behavior.

Take the current boycott of Wal-Mart by labor and human rights activists. These same activists probably shop at Target or K-Mart or any number of large grocery stores or big box chains that do exactly the same kind of damage to the local economy that Wal Mart does, except perhaps on a smaller scale. Labor activists protesting Wal-Mart need to find a union grocery store where they can do their grocery shopping. Fine, the workers at the grocery store are represented by a union, but what about the people who make the products on the shelves? And how are Wal-Mart’s profits doing?


I'd like to extend this argument to those of us in the GLBT community who have an understandable urge to lash out at companies that supported Proposition 8. We can choose not to patronize businesses that don't support our values, but we cannot expect that doing so will effect fundamental change at said businesses.

Let's look at the brewing boycott of Cinemark Theatres. Apparently, one of the owners of Cinemark supported Proposition 8, and gave money to the effort. To protest this, many gay activists are refusing to go see the movie Milk, about gay activist Harvey Milk, at Cinemark theatres. An interesting response, and one that I don't think really gets us where we need to be.

By the logic of consumer activism, that is, either boycotting or supporting certain consumer goods based on social activist criteria, the boycott of Cinemark is a little bit strange. Cinemark is showing a movie that celebrates the gay rights movement. Yet, an executive at Cinemark supported Proposition 8. The logic of consumer activism actually suggests two mutually contradictory tactics: 1) boycott Cinemark, thus denying a company revenue for opposing marriage equality, or 2) Purposely see the movie Milk at a Cinemark theatre to make a point to the owners of Cinemark that they should be nicer to their gay clientele.

Of the two tactics, I would almost argue that the most productive one is to actually go see Milk at a Cinemark theatre, to show the company that it does have gay clientele and that it should do more to cater to us. Yet, the market has already dictated that Cinemark will cater to us. Cinemark is already showing Milk at its theatres, regardless of the views of whatever executive it was who supported Proposition 8. Surely, if Cinemark were an anti-gay company, they wouldn't show Milk at all. So what do we do?

My point is this. Boycotting any company that supported Proposition 8 won't really accomplish anything, except perhaps to deny a company a small amount of revenue. And when companies lose revenue, who gets hurt? Low wage workers who have nothing to do with the overall politics of the company itself. And in trying to find politically acceptable alternatives to the companies targeted for boycott, you might end up doing more harm than good. Let me give you an example. Say you boycott grocery store A because its CEO supported Prop 8. So you start shopping at grocery store B. What you don't know is that grocery store A only stocks fair trade coffee, and its workers are unionized. Grocery store B pays its workers minimum wage and does not stock fair trade coffee. Thus, you may be making a statement about gay rights, but you're also hurting workers and coffee farmers.

Our efforts are best spent challenging bad laws in the courts, fighting for legislation to encode marriage equality into state and federal law, and advocating in the media and the public square for our rights. Consumer boycotts only confuse the issue and waste valuable resources that should be spent on advocacy and grassroots organizing.

I'm not saying that anyone should purposely shop at a company that supported Proposition 8. That's a matter of personal choice. I am saying that we shouldn't waste our time trying to organize a massive boycott, because they really don't accomplish what we'd like to think they accomplish.

Focus on the Family focused too much on my family

...and now they're having to lay people off.

Karma much?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to Howard Dean

Doctor, Governor, former Presidential candidate, outgoing DNC chair, and overall Renaissance man Howard Dean celebrates his 60th Birthday today. Sinister salutes this hero of the Democratic Party, whose 2004 Presidential campaign ignited the grassroots activists who eventually propelled the Democratic Party to victory in 2006 and 2008, and the 50 state strategy he championed that helped make that victory possible.

To honor him, here's part of the speech that launched Dr. Dean to the national stage, where he asked some tough questions of the Democratic establishment and lit the Party on fire:

What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President's unilateral intervention in Iraq?

What I want to know is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts, which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States?

What I want to know is why the Congress is fighting over the Patient's Bill of Rights? The Patient's Bill of Rights is a good bill, but not one more person gets health insurance and it's not 5 cents cheaper.

What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren't standing up for us, joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in providing health insurance for every man, woman and child in America.

What I want to know is why so many folks in Congress are voting for the President's Education Bill-- "The No School Board Left Standing Bill"-- the largest unfunded mandate in the history of our educational system!

As Paul Wellstone said-- as Sheila Kuehl said when she endorsed me-- I am Howard Dean, and I'm here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.


Many happy returns, Governor.

h/t to Bill in Portland Maine.

Richardson for State

With all this talk about Hillary as SOS, I just wanted to put it out there. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is much more qualified for the job. He's got the foreign policy chops that this country needs right now. Hillary can be UN Ambassador if she wants a foreign policy job.

monday loldog

funny-dog-pictures-with-captions-floor-cold
see more puppies

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quick post

Been a crazy busy weekend. My partner and I did attend the Join the Impact rally yesterday in Tulsa. Great turnout, lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, very little media attention. I'm glad the Tulsa World covered it at least. I'll have pictures up soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thought for the day

courtesy of a lot of stupid people in the media:

America is a center-right nation because we overwhelmingly elected a man who, before the election, we were accusing of being a far left socialist communist terrorist Muslim anti-american fascist, but since he won, he must've actually been running as a moderate fiscal conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan. So actually, the election was a rejection of progressive politics, even though, again, while he was running, we were all convinced that Obama would turn America into a communist dictatorship, but he actually won because he really ran as a conservative. Therefore, Obama had better govern from the center-right, because by electing Obama, the American people have shown that they are overwhelmingly in favor of conservative principles, like ending the Iraq war, expanding health care coverage, raising taxes on the wealthy, creating massive government programs to fix our crumbling infrastructure and economy...and...wait...

"If Chewbacca doesn't make sense, you must acquit!"
*man's head explodes*

-from a very good episode of Family Guy

Happy Friday

and now, economics according to Stereolab:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Civil rights rally in Tulsa this Saturday

Press release from Oklahomans for Equality:

JOIN THE IMPACT PROTEST NOVEMBER 15, 2008

Tulsa, Okla - November 13, 2008 -- This Saturday, in cities across the nation, fair-minded individuals and families will gather to protest inequality in what has become a truly grassroots movement. The passage of California's Proposition 8, rejections of marriage equality in Arizona and Florida, and anti-gay adoption laws in Arkansas have sparked a national movement against the discriminatory treatment of LGBT people everywhere. Join the Impact "seeks to encourage the LGBTQ community not to look towards the past and place blame, but instead to look forward toward what needs to be done now to achieve one goal: Full equality for ALL." Oklahomans for Equality (OkEq) is honored to help Join the Impact in ensuring that the voices of all LGBT and allied Tulsans are heard this Saturday. At 10:00AM Saturday morning, we invite our community and our friends to gather at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in preparation for Join the Impact's march on City Hall. OkEq will offer a sign making workshop and will provide all the supplies needed to create your own message affirming equality. Join us for a cup of coffee and light refreshments before marching from the Equality Center at E 4th Street and Kenosha to City Hall at E 2nd Street and Cincinnati for the 12:30PM protest. "This is really a great opportunity for our community to come together and join a national movement against LGBT discrimination in an affirming, productive manner. It's imperative that we have our voices heard," says OkEq Board Member Matt Warren.
Join the Impact's national protest is being held at the same time in hundreds of cities across the nation. Here in Tulsa, OkEq is proud to offer assistance to this cause and invites participants to come back to the Equality Center after the hour long event for a post-protest meeting.


I've been screaming this from the rooftops for ages - what the GLBT community needs are not the silly, ostentatious, and pointless "pride parades." What we need are civil rights rallies, where we show that we are human beings, and that we demand equal rights. I think the passage of Prop 8 and the other things in Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas are serving to spark the kind of large-scale protest movement that our community has needed and has not been able to organize. That's good - it means that people are finally fed up with being the targets of bigoted preachers and politicians who don't see us as human beings, and we're finally ready to stand up for ourselves.

It's about damned time.

Yes we can.

The thing that irritates me the most about Sarah Palin

She's the only person in the world who could ruin the word "also."

How is that even possible?

Also.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thought for the day

Why is Sarah Palin, who I might remind you isn't a candidate for national office anymore, still smeared all over the media like pulsating sewage, when the real incoming veep, who I might remind you is Joe Biden, doesn't seem to be getting any coverage?

Marriage equality victory in Connecticut

Connecticut joins Massachusetts (and until recently California) in recognizing that the GLBT community are human beings entitled to equal rights.

The ruling Wednesday by New Haven Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert followed a historic decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.

The health department had new marriage applications printed that reflect the change. Instead of putting one name under "bride" and the other under "groom," couples will see two boxes marked "bride/groom/spouse."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Melissa Etheridge withholds CA taxes over Prop 8

Activist and singer Melissa Etheridge is protesting the passage of Proposition 8 by withholding her state income taxes.

From her article in the Daily Beast:

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

*snip*

When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?


I keep intending to buy some of Melissa Ethridge's music. I think now that I definitely will. She's a great singer and a great voice for marriage equality.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reflections on the election - a week out

Just the fact of this election is hard to fathom. There have been change elections before this one. Reagan. Lincoln. Kennedy. All come to mind. All were defining moments in American history.

And yet, for me, this particular election has some kind of special significance. It's not just that I'm here, I'm alive, and I'm witnessing this piece of history. It's not just that America has just shaken off the shackles of the last 8 years of a criminal regime and reclaimed the best of what our democracy represents. It's not just that America has shaken off more than 200 years of history and risen above the petty politics of race to elect the most passionate, intelligent leader we've seen in a long time. It's not just that the catharsis of seeing the vindication of the movement that Obama created is an emotionally overwhelming experience. Keith Olbermann compared this election to the moon landing. It's more than that, though. The historical importance of this election is akin to nothing that we've seen in a century.

I'm watching YouTube clips of the moment that Obama was declared the winner of this election. The national celebration of that moment is unlike anything I've ever seen in my admittedly short life. The Grant Park rally was a stunning vision of what is best about America - people young and old, black and white and yellow and brown, rich and poor, all coming together to believe that America is better than the criminal history of the last eight years.

It's been a damned long time since I've been this proud of America. I remember the election of 2000, and I remember graduating college right before 9/11. I remember the last 8 years. I felt ashamed of America. I felt ashamed that our leaders exploited our nation's goodwill to craft an agenda of military misadventure and the destruction of our civil liberties. I felt ashamed that our President seemed incapable of doing anything right, that our Vice President seemed to be in control of a Machiavellian agenda of torture, unilateralism, destruction, hate, and war.

But now, at the dawn of what is truly a new chapter of American history, I can feel proud of this country. I can feel proud of a nation that sees beyond race, beyond fear tactics, beyond the politics of division and distraction, to see that real progressive change is possible.

I have no doubt that President Barack Hussein Obama II will disappoint me at some point. I have no illusion that he's some kind of messiah. He's just a President.

And yet, I can't help but hope, after all of the horrible things that the Bush regime has done over the past 8 years to absolutely desecrate the meaning of America that President Obama will be able to really reignite the spirit of American democracy and create the change that we so desperately need.

For the first time in a long time, I believe in the promise of America, and I have President-Elect Obama to thank for that.

Yes we can.

Keith asks America to "stand on a question of love"

Keith Olbermann eloquently makes the case for marriage equality, and demands to know why someone would vote in favor of denying a group of people the right to marry:

Video here:



Full text here.

Excerpt:

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

*snip*

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

60 years later.

Mission accomplished?

Seventy-six percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday disapprove of how George W. Bush is handling his job as President. That's an all-time high in CNN polling, or in Gallup polling dating back to World War II.

monday loldog

funny-dog-pictures-with-captions-so-there
see more puppies

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Make that 365: Obama picks up an EV in Nebraska

Obama has won the 2nd Congressional District in Nebraska. Final electoral tally:

President-Elect Obama: 365, Loser-Elect McCain: 162.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My letter to President-Elect Obama

submitted on change.gov:

President-Elect Obama,

My deep and heartfelt congratulations go out to you and to Senator Biden on your historic and momentous victory. This is a proud moment in our nation's history, and I look forward to being a part of the change your Administration promises.

But your historic victory was accompanied, unfortunately, by the victory of three propositions, in Florida, Arizona, and California, that enshrined bigotry and discrimination into the constitutions of those three states.

Because of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, my husband and I are unsure whether our marriage is still valid. While it was never valid in our home state of Oklahoma, knowing that at least one state recognized us as equals meant a lot to us. It was a real blow to us that millions of Californians believe that we are second-class citizens, undeserving of the same rights that heterosexual couples take for granted.

I urge you and Senator Biden to take a leading role in advancing equality for the GLBT community in this country. You have indicated on the campaign trail that you would enact hate crimes legislation, employment non-discrimination, and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I urge you to make all of these things a high priority. Millions of GLBT families are counting on you to help reverse the injustice and bigotry enshrined in more than two dozen state constitutions, and grant us equal protection and equal rights under the law.

You know this already, but I'm going to repeat it. The gay and lesbian struggle for equality is the next great challenge in this nation's long battle for civil rights. You are uniquely positioned as a President who calls on America's better nature to take a leading role in this struggle. Full equality, including marriage equality, on a nationwide basis, may be a long way off, but you can start to take the steps necessary to end the hate and bigotry spread by dogmatic religious figures, and let America finally see their gay and lesbian neighbors as brothers and sisters.

Here are two concrete things you can do right now. Firstly, ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is a Mormon, to denounce the actions of his church in leading the charge in favor of Proposition 8 in California, which he should have done months ago. Secondly, set up an investigation to determine whether the Mormon church violated its tax-exempt status in funding and campaigning actively for Proposition 8's passage.

In peace and hope,

change.gov

President-Elect Obama (love typing that) has a new website up for his transition team - change.gov.

I've decided to give President-Elect Obama the benefit of the doubt as much as I can during the transition. Some progressives, including my own husband (screw you California!), are jumping on him for picking Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. I get why they're upset - Rahm's not exactly a progressive, but from what I've been reading, he knows Congress really well - knows the inner workings, the politics, the little things that he can use to get stuff done. That's what you need in a Chief of Staff, isn't it?

Also, I'm really pleased with the idea of Robert Gibbs as Press Secretary for President-Elect Obama. He took on Sean Hannity on live television recently and rhetorically kicked Hannity's right-wing tush all over the floor. That bodes well.

President-Elect Obama. Ok, just one more time. President-Elect Obama.

*squee!!*

North Carolina called for Obama

Another kick to the Republican genitals. I'm fine with that.

Final electoral vote tally: Obama 364, McCain 173.

There's a word out there that describes such a victory. It starts with an L, and ends with "andslide."

Suck on it, righties. Suck on it till your teeth fall out.

Since the Mormon Church found it necessary to butt its nose into my marriage,

I will support JeffLieber's "Modest Proposal," an excerpt of which follows:

Proposition P, or The Defense of Religious Leaders Who Did Not Wear Magical Underwear, would change the California constitution so that only prophets identified and revered BEFORE 1820 would be recognized.

Once Proposition P is law, any non-traditional prophets... say ones that claimed they could find gold by putting stones in a white stovepipe hat or who, for years, promoted the practice of polygamy... would be devalued as second-class and believers in these modern, substandard prophets would not be allowed to claim their values as valid as those who believe in, like, totally REAL God.

Jeff Merkley pulls it out in Oregon

After a really tight race, Jeff Merkley has defeated incumbent Senator Gordon Smith to give the Democrats their 57th seat in the new U.S. Senate. Way to go, Jeff. Now get to work.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thought for the evening

Oklahoma is experiencing tornadoes, and lightning strikes are causing wildfires. We also happen to have been the state that gave the highest percentage of the vote to John McCain last night.

I wonder if God is punishing the red states?

*giggle*

Ztruth and FGO are terrified of a tiny little hammer & sickle.

Poor, poor, deluded righties. Scared of a little hammer & sickle. Scared of their own looming irrelevance in the face of an overwhelming rejection of their tired, backward, bigoted, and idiotic ideas. Scared of the coming Revolution.

I watched that Faux Noise video that ZTruth posted. The Soviet flag was raised for like a second, and then there was a clear indication that someone forced it out of the picture. I'd say someone got a little bit silly during the rally and then someone else told him the Communist flag wasn't appropriate. But of course, Faux Noise has to exploit it for all it's worth, because as we all know, Obama is a secret Muslim who goes to an anti-American Christian church, and he's also a communist socialist fascist terrorist. Or something. Did I get that right?

God, you morons are going to get a lot of carpal tunnel syndrome if you have to fanatically post and repost each other's screeds every time President Obama does something that makes you fear for the soul of the theofascist vision of America you so desperately long for but will never achieve.

Seriously, this is what you've got? Some drunk idiot waving a Communist flag at an Obama rally?

I don't know. To me, the Confederate flag is a little more offensive than the hammer & sickle. And I see that waved at Republican rallies all the damned time.

Come on, comrades. You have nothing to lose but your chains. Join the Party and let Comrade Hussein Obama lead you to glory!

It's morning in America again.

Fist bumps all around, folks.

Oh, ok

Well, that's good at least. Still, a shitty, shitty thing.

The state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has said those marriages will remain valid, although legal challenges are possible.

Thanks, you homophobic piles of roach dung.

California has approved Prop 8, thus invalidating my marriage and telling America it's OK to treat some people as second-class citizens.

Thanks a lot. Oh, and thanks, too, to Arizona and Florida, for also telling me I'm not equal under the law.

Congratulations to the Mormons and the Catholics for bringing a new spirit of hate and discrimination to an otherwise great election.

Hey all you righties saying Obama is "not your president"

Why do you hate America?

A few pretty incredible things about this election

1) Indiana hasn't gone for a Democrat since 1964. This time, it did.

2) Missouri has voted with the winner of the Presidency in every election for 100 years. Except in 1956 and 2008.

3) Barack Obama is the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to win with more than 50% of the popular vote.

Not to mention the fact that 200 years of history have been shattered into bits, and America has listened to its better nature for the first time and seen beyond skin color to elect an intelligent, passionate, eloquent, and determined African-American man to the White House - by a huge margin.

We don't have to stare at the news for days on end waiting for legal battles and crises and electoral idiocy to play itself out in Florida or Ohio. We don't have to wait, biting our fingernails, on the edge of our seats, as the Supreme Court steps in to hand the election to one of the candidates.

This time, we know who won. We know who won decisively, with no tricks, no treachery, no lies, no suppression. This election was fair, it was real, and it was decisive.

Now the work begins.

Obama's speech

Here's a video of President-Elect Obama's speech last night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can.

Just a reminder of what we've accomplished tonight.

OBAMA WINS!1111!111!!!ONE!!!!!

YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!! YES WE DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Election Liveblog

Ok, here we go. Stay tuned for updates.

7:33 PM So far McCain's chances are razor thin. He's already lost New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and Indiana and Virginia are too close to call. Florida looks like it's going to be an Obama win soon.

Shit, I'm calling Florida for Obama at this point. 89% in and about a 4 percent margin?

7:35 PM - That fucker Inhofe has just been called. Bleah.

7:37 PM - Georgia & Alabama called for McCain. That's fine.

7:40 - Chuck Todd enjoys writing the word Bush?

7:40 - I have been handed food. Taking a break.

8:00 - Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Rhode Island, all called for Obama. Doy.

Come on, gimme Virginia and Ohio.

Ok, Arizona has just been declared "too close to call!" Wow. That's McCain's home state. Bad news for the big mac.

8:15 - I haven't really been following the Oklahoma races, but it is my understanding that I voted for the loser in all of the major races. Ah well, no surprise there.

8:30 - OHIO CALLED FOR OBAMA!!!!! That, my friends, is the ballgame. Unless something CRAZY happens.

8:30 - NEW MEXICO CALLED FOR OBAMA!!!! Booyah!!!!

8:52- Next update when the next set of states called.

Numbers starting to come in from Indiana and Kentucky

and so it begins...

Why I voted for Obama today

Eight years ago, I was a cynical, idealistic, radical, 21 year old college student. I didn't believe that there was a real difference between Bush and Gore, and I didn't think that either of them would do what I thought needed to be done. I saw Gore as a milquetoast corporate-controlled candidate, and I saw Bush as a far right moron. I voted for David McReynolds, the Socialist Party candidate for President, who got something like 7,000 votes nationwide.

Something happened to me between 2000 and 2004. I saw Bush do some really, really awful things to the country. I saw him fail to prevent the worst terrorist attack on America's soil. I saw him react to that disaster by attacking a country that had nothing to do with it. I saw him give tax breaks to the rich, gut social programs, and begin to create a surveillance society that started to break down constitutional barriers of privacy. I saw him take a hammer to the wall between church and state.

But I still had very little confidence that the Democrats would have been much better. I worked for a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2002, because I thought that I wanted to become a campaign worker and try to move the Democratic Party to the left.

In that campaign, I saw that the Democratic Party really did have different ideas from the Republican Party, and while in no way did the Democrats go as far as I would have liked, they would at least put a stop to the horrible things the Bush regime was inflicting on the country.

In 2004, I finally found myself inspired by a Democrat. Howard Dean had the kind of message that I was looking for. "You have the power," he said, and I believed him. His campaign was grassroots and real, and it was a movement of people who really cared about change. I worked my heart out for Dean's campaign, and I was crushed when he was destroyed by the media. I voted for Kerry, even though he ran a miserable campaign, and I was again crushed when Kerry conceded.

The 2008 primary campaign was a giant mess, and I didn't know who the hell to support. I saw Obama's campaign as inspiring but empty, and I hated Hillary. I vacillated between Edwards and Kucinich. By the time Oklahoma's primary came around, it was between Hillary and Obama, and I voted for Hillary. I still didn't see enough out of Obama to vote for him.

But then I saw Hillary's campaign take a nose dive into the toilet, and I saw Obama rise above the fray. I saw Obama's campaign finally go into substantive detail without losing the inspirational message that defined it. I shook off my shell of cynicism and began to believe again.

Obama has run an exemplary campaign, one that not only inspires passion among his followers but also has a coherent, defined policy message. He may not be as progressive as some of us might want, but he's at least honest and genuine about his positions. His positions in favor of "clean coal" bother me, but I can see myself agreeing with almost every one of his other policies. More importantly than that, however, Obama is fiercely intelligent, which will perhaps be the most dramatic change from the last eight years.

But it's not just about policies, as we all know. It's about hope. Obama's campaign has created a real grassroots movement and revived a spirit of optimism and belief that real change can happen in America. His message is simple: "Yes, we can." We can change politics from the bottom up. We can recover from the disasters of the Bush regime. We can rebuild America and get the economy moving again. We can regain our standing in the world.

Obama's historic candidacy represents the best of America. I'm proud to have voted for this extraordinary candidate, not just because he'll make history as the first African-American president, but because I see him as perhaps the next Kennedy or FDR, someone who unites the country around something bigger than the petty politics of the individual. I see Obama as someone who can take this great, positive energy that his campaign has generated across the nation and translate it to change profoundly the way America works, and make it a more cooperative, democratic, and free country.

Yes we can.

VOTE.

No, really.

Vote.

Vote now.

Drop what you're doing and vote.

Vote.

Did I mention that you should vote?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sinister election liveblog reminder

Remember - be here tomorrow at around 7:00PM Central to hook up with the official Sinister liveblog of the election, straight from the election night party I'm having with some friends. I'll post a single entry and update it as the night progresses.

Meanwhile, have you voted yet?

Something happened in the last few hours...

fivethirtyeight.com's electoral predictor has jumped down to a 1.9% McCain win percentage. That's down from more than 3% earlier today. There's just a thing that says "developing" with a Drudge-like siren on it right now, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Maybe something just broke?

Update: Here's the latest polling post. Looks good for tomorrow.

Sad news- Obama's grandmother dies a day before the election

That's sad. The woman who was instrumental in Barack's upbringing has died - one day before her grandson is to be (hopefully) elected President. My heart goes out to Senator Obama and his family on this tragic loss.

(This is a "breaking" news banner on CNN right now - no link available yet.)

Non-Oklahoma Endorsements

Here are my other endorsements. These are for races or issues that will not be on the Oklahoma ballot.

Candidates:

Oregon Senate: Jeff Merkley. A good Progressive Democrat to replace a bad Republican.

California U.S. House 8th District: Cindy Sheehan. I endorse Cindy's campaign as a protest against Nancy Pelosi's spinelessness in the face of the criminal Bush regime.

Colorado U.S. House 2nd District: Jared Polis. Polis would make history as the first openly gay candidate to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. He's also a good Progressive.

Minnesota Senate: Al Franken. Let's honor Paul Wellstone's memory by putting a real Progressive back in his seat.


Issues:

California: No on Proposition 8. Protect marriage equality.

Florida: No on Amendment 2. Don't write discrimination into Florida's constitution.

Arizona: No on Proposition 102. Arizona defeated this attempt to write discrimination into the state constitution in 2006. Let's defeat it again.

Find your precinct

Tulsa residents, if you don't know where to vote tomorrow, click here and enter your address. It'll give you the name & address of your precinct.

Remember that you can still vote early tonight until 6:00pm at the Tulsa County Election Board.

Oklahoma residents who are not in Tulsa should click here to find their local election board.

Above all else,

Good stuff from internal poll data

NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll shows Obama with a significant 8% lead nationally. To put this in perspective, the final poll before the '04 election showed Bush ahead by 1%.

But here's what is really interesting:

Looking inside the numbers, Obama leads McCain among African Americans (90 percent to 3 percent), Latinos (68 to 27), 18- to 34-year-olds (59 to 38), independents (48 to 38), blue-collar voters (51 to 44), suburban voters (49 to 44) and Catholics (49 to 46).

McCain, meanwhile, has the advantage among evangelicals (78 percent to 19 percent), those 65 years old and older (53 to 40), white men (54 to 42) and white women (48 to 47).


This is not good news for McCain. Despite how loud and obnoxious they tend to be, evangelicals are not a huge portion of the electorate, and that lead isn't going to be able to overcome Obama's advantage in the other groups. Plus, evangelicals tend to concentrate themselves in states where McCain is already strong, and that's not going to help him in the purple states either. If McCain gets 100% of the evangelical vote in (for example) Utah, Oklahoma, and Idaho, it won't help him get to 270. Now, I will say that the evangelical vote might help him in certain purple states like Missouri, Virginia, and Colorado, but we'll just have to see where the chips fall.

McCain's leads with other groups are close enough that they're really not going to give McCain any kind of an advantage. Add to these statistics the massive number of early voters and the huge surge in vote from those groups who are supporting Obama in large numbers and you paint a pretty bleak picture for McCain.

Can someone please translate this Palin quote into English?

She continued: “And there must be something about San Francisco and he because it’s like I heard on Fox News today, it’s like a truth serum where when he’s there, he seems to be more candid, and remember it was there that he talked about, there you go, the bitter clingers, the cling-ons, all of us, I guess, you know holding on to religion and guns and, um, so something about he being there in San Francisco.”


*blink* - did she just call her supporters Klingons?

Final Sinister endorsements

Candidates:

President/Veep: Barack Obama & Joe Biden
US Senator: Andrew Rice
OK House District 1: Georgianna Oliver
Corporation Commissioner: Jim Roth & Charles Gray
State Senator, District 33: Tom Adelson

Propositions:

Vote No on the Tulsa Streets package (Props 1 & 2)
Vote No on State Question 735 (Tax exemptions for injured vets - there are a lot of people who need exemptions, not just vets)
Vote No on State Question 742 (Hunting as a right - idiotic referendum)
Vote Yes on State Question 743 (Allowing wine makers to sell directly to retail package stores)

Now, go forth and VOTE.

Monday Loldog

funny dog pictures with captions
see more puppies

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ok, show's over. Move along...

Halloween is over. I'm hungover. But let's brighten the day with a really adorable picture of my dog in costume:



Last night my partner and I joined some friends at this party put on by the folks who do ghost tours here in Tulsa. They were supposed to show us videos of "anomalies" and such, but they couldn't get their video equipment working. It was kind of lame. Then they had this "seance." I got called up on stage to participate in some kind of spirit summoning circle. The leaders kept calling to these two specific ghosts that are rumored to haunt the venue where the party took place.

Predictably, nothing happened, although the event leaders were trying their damnedest to convince us that there was "something" there. Lots of "Did you hear that?" To which I responded, "No." One person in the circle actually said, "They want me to channel them, but I'm not comfortable doing that in a crowd." Come on, really? We're here for a show, and you're "not comfortable?" Anyway, we sat there in the dark for way too long basically doing nothing, and then we went home.

I don't know. Maybe I would have gotten more out of it had I not just consumed half a pitcher of Cosmopolitans. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

I want my five bucks back. And about a zillion brain cells. Oy.