Friday, November 21, 2008

too perfect

i don't think you could script a more apt metaphor for palin's ineptness and complete vacuity.

via TPM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

not a doctor

the irony that adrian grenier is not only a bad actor, but that he now plays one on tv, should not be lost on anyone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

looking downwind and forward

now that the election is over, and the celebrations in DC have died down, it's time to take stock of other things besides the sea change in our executive branch. and maybe look forward a bit to the composition of an obama administration, and the scope and breadth of the policy initiatives he'll pursue.

looking down the ticket, results are encouraging but there are some sore spots. the dems picked up seats in the senate and the house. in the senate, the dems will fall short of a filibuster-proof 60 seats, but not by much, likely by 2 or 3 seats.

however, rep. don young looks poised to hold onto his seat in Alaska, despite being behind in most pre-election polls. who knows how long young will last past the election, however, as he is the subject of several corruption investigations. and it looks like wingnut du jour michele bachmann is holding onto her seat in MN.

as if alaska couldn't get weirder, senator ted stevens looks to also be retaining his seat, despite his recent conviction on seven felony counts. the race at this point, however, is too close to call. not sure what will happen if stevens wins, but his pending appeal may bear on that outcome; it's unlikely that he'll be allowed to stay in the senate if the conviction sticks, and possibly he might be forced to leave earlier than achieving a final resolution in his case. alaska would have a special election within 90 days after he leaves office.

norm coleman holds a small lead over al franken; by minnesota law it has to go for a recount and franken isn't backing down on it. smith-merkley in oregon is one that's hanging right now as well.

there is some mixed news on ballot initiatives. california's proposition 2, requiring humane treatment of laying hens and sows (among others), passed resoundingly. however, voters also approved prop 8, banning same-sex marriages. california also defeated some sane drug policy changes. but overall things there are a little odd, as always. rundown of initiatives, and results. restrictive abortion initiatives in colorado and south dakota failed, and washington became only the second state to legalize assisted suicide. "The marijuana reform movement won two prized victories, with Massachusetts voters decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug and Michigan joining 12 other states in allowing use of pot for medical purposes." and a ward connerly-backed ban on affirmative action in Nebraska passed. rundown here.

ej dionne thinks that the obama election signals the end of wedge politics and the culture wars. the results of the vote on prop 8 and in other areas indicates otherwise, i believe. prop 8 succeeded in large part because it was supported by african-american voters who were drawn to the polls by obama's candidacy. but ej does make some other good points, so there are several grains of truth in his argument.

the politico's harris and vandehei on 5 changes in national politics ushered in by the Obama victory. and marc ambinder runs down some key factors in obama's victory.

it's encouraging that the world community paid a lot of attention to the election and that obama's victory has rekindled hope that america will live up to it's professed ideals on the world stage.

speculation and rumors swirl concerning Obama's cabinet and the ramifications for his future agenda. obama certainly is going to want to start working early, given the financial crisis and the other issues facing the country. not sure that larry summers, currently reported as a top candidate for treasury secretary, is really a good pick though. we shall see how it all shakes out in the coming days and weeks.

on the regulatory front, the fcc should be commended for approving the use of white spaces to expand broadband internet access. the post piece particularly though was terribly written, presenting the issue in a very unflattering light and emphasizing the complaints of preachers, dolly parton, etc., in opposing the change in regulations. i'm not sure how this change isn't an unequivocal win for consumers and the citizenry. the fcc also approved two mergers (verizon and alltel being the one of most import), which i'm not so crazy about, but i think it's a small price to pay for the advantages of white spaces.

it's quite a whirlwind of democracy. despite some setbacks, overall things probably couldn't have turned out any better.

the window is closing, the end is in sight

our long national nightmare that has been the bush presidency has a definitive endpoint of January 20th, 2009. the clean break with the past that this country has so desperately needed will come to pass.

let us hope that obama can continue to be an inspiration to many long after this election is over. if his actions as president can match his words as a candidate, we may finally make some progress as a country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

trials and tribulations

we need to have election day as a national holiday. it took two hours for me to vote today. i'm sure we would decrease wait times and increase participation if we gave people the day off. in other countries voting is mandatory, and while i don't think that should be applied here, i think we need to make it as easy as possible for people to vote.

fixing the news media, the political discourse, and encouraging active knowledge gathering by citizens is another issue; i've found, even after an almost two year long campaign, that people are still staggeringly ignorant about the positions of the two candidates.

related to my post on thursday, i did have to complete a provisional ballot in DC. my name, despite the BOEE's assertion, was not on the voter rolls. i guess i'll find out in a week if my vote counted.

oh, and on top of all that, i flubbed getting a cute girl's number whom i met in the line to vote. a poor showing all around, except for, you know, that whole exercise in democracy thing.

just read

i didn't vote for obama today