• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on Jeopardy!
    jmac on Jeopardy!
    William on Jeopardy!
    riverdaughter on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    campskunk on Oh yes Republicans would like…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Memorial Day
    eurobrat on One Tiny Mistake…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Evil people want to shove a so…
    riverdaughter on Evil people want to shove a so…
    campskunk on Evil people want to shove a so…
    eurobrat on D E F A U L T
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Tina Turner (1939-2023)
    jmac on D E F A U L T
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    October 2010
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

My Voting Strategy – Hard Liquor

Life was so much easier when I was a yellow-dog Democrat. I could just check off all the names with a “D” next to them and head on down to the ballot propositions.

But I’m not a yellow-dog anymore. To quote one of our commenters here at TC, “I rode that damn donkey for over twenty years and then the fucker turned around and bit me in the ass.”

I live in Big Smoggy where politics is a Franz Kafka novel adapted for the screen by Stanley Kubrick. We have four major cities and at least five regional identities (SoCal, SF Bay Area, Central Valley, Mojave, and NorCal.) Not to mention a bunch of laws that guarantee gridlock in Sacramento.

The governor’s job is too important to be used for a billionaire’s ego trip. I’m gonna have to hold my nose and vote for Jerry Brown, warts and all. Please don’t flame me. Believe me, I’m not happy about it either.

I can feel good about my next pick – Gavin Newsom for Lt. Governor. The same goes for Kamala Harris for the Attorney General job.

Is it just me or does “Carly Fiorina” look like “California” spelled by a dyslexic? Anyway, I’m not voting for her. I’m not voting for Barbara Boxer either. I may go Green or maybe I’ll write in my good friend Krusty. Still trying to decide which one.

As I’ve said before I have a Blue Dog DINOcrat as my Representative. I’m not voting for him or the real Republican who is running against him. I’m writing in Ronald McDonald again. If Ronald wins he owes me free french fries for life.

I’m going with Democrats Anna Caballero and Cathleen Galgiani for the state senate and state assembly. I’m voting HELL YES on Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative.

That’s it for my votes. There’s some other stuff on the ballot but I’m not gonna go into it since most of you will be even less interested in it than I am right now.

As far as across the rest of the 56 states, it’s pretty much accepted that the Democrats are gonna lose on Tuesday, the only question is how bad. The House is gone, which means no more “Speaker Pelosi.”

I can’t say I’m sad to see her go. Nancy Pelosi is proof that women can be just as corrupt as men. She lost my support when she declared that “impeachment is off the table.”

I hope the Democrats hold on to the Senate. Not that it’s gonna make a big difference in the laws that get passed during the next two years, but I don’t want Obama and the Democrats to be able to say it was all the Republicans fault.

I’ll be rooting for Sharron Angle because Dirty Harry Reid has got to go. She’s the lesser of two evils. I want to see Christine O’Donnell pull out a victory just to watch all the misogynist fauxgressive heads explode.

I hope Sestak wins in Pennsylvania. He’s a good Joe, and he beat that party-hopping piece of shit Arlen Specter. I want to see Frank Caprio win in Rhode Island and anybody but Charlie Crist win in Florida. Fuck that double-dealing DINOcrat in the White House.

I want to see Joe Miller beat Lisa Murkowski out of principle. She lost fair and square in the primary and is just trying to hang on to power. It was wrong when Joe Lieberman did it too. But either way, the winner will be voting against us on everything that really counts.

I don’t buy this “ZOMG, we’re all gonna die if the Tea Party wins!” meme that’s going around. The nation survived George Bush, and it will survive this too.

I dare Obama and the DINOcrats to touch Social Security. It’s still the third rail of American politics. Maybe if they do that will finally trigger the voter uprising we need to clean out that cesspool on the Potomac.

Liberals are getting coal in their stockings this Christmas. In sports they would say we’re in a rebuilding phase. We need to regroup and start getting prepared for future elections. Barring a miracle 2012 is already lost for us. We need to focus on 2014 and 2016, when people will have again grown tired of the Republicans.

2008 should have been a sea change in American politics. Movement conservatism was on the ropes, politically discredited. We had our best chance since 1932 to move the country in a different direction. Instead we got more of same.

That is why I will not ever forget what happened two years ago. That’s why I won’t stop talking about it either.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

War on Teachers II: Why It Can’t Work

(The title is inspired by Historiann’s excellent post. Also a note: unlike most of the things I blog about, teaching is what I’ve done professionally for decades. I taught in universities, not schools, but the two aren’t totally unrelated.)

Let’s face it. The war on teachers is about money. People want to pay less and get more.

Sometimes you can do that. Solar power and energy efficiency instead of nukes and oil come to mind. In that case paying less and getting more is the sign of an intelligent choice. But when the low price comes from a flimflam artist selling cheap hope, falling for it is the mark of a fool. So, really, the first order of business is to see how low the price can go and still give you what you’re paying for.

So what are we paying for? What is learning, really? And, for that matter, teaching? Continue reading

T-minus 72 hours (or something like that)

Laughing my way to WTF Election Day with Lily

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then–we elected them. –Lily Tomlin

Good Saturday-before-the-elections morning, everyone. It’s T-minus time! I grew up with an astrophysicist at the Thanksgiving table and astronauts and Mission Control employees for neighbors, so the countdown just comes naturally I suppose. And, given that my handle is “Wonk the Vote” and it’s crunch time for midterms season, what else could my morning roundup this weekend be about other than the upcoming elections next week?

We are a matter of a few days away from WTF election night, and there is an incredible volume of stories pouring out as the elephants and donkeys get all the publicity trying to pit a caricature of socialism against the hot air of “(T)axed (E)nough (A)lready” while the rest of us–Lily Tomlin’s 98 percenters–look on in horror and disgust. I can’t quite pick a headline to start with. I’m going to go with a snark-and-sneak-in-the-news approach.

So let’s get down to business. It’s the Saturday before Halloween, and spooky things are about to happen at the ballot box. Right on cue, Paul Krugman sends out the warning signal that if the elections go as political observers expect, we need to “Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In 2008, I used to call it the Halloween Election and ask who scares people more: The Messiah or the Maverick.

For 2010, I’m updating that. Who scares you more: The Mama Grizzly or the Mofo DINO?

You think I’m joking, but I’m only joking by half. In all seriousness, which do you think presents the greater harm? Conservative women on the political rise… or delinquent Democrats on the moral decline? (If you want to answer that question in the comments, consider this a warning upfront not to go all Bill O’Reilly or Joy Behar to make your case in this thread’s space. This is not an invitation for “come here bitch” or “Muslims killed us on 9-11” type arguments. The haterade only helps Wall Street to divide and distract Main Street, and besides, it’s a big blogosphere out there. If you really need an outlet for your rage against the shadows in Plato’s cave, I believe both of our majorly inadequate parties have official blogs for that kind of thing.)

I wouldn’t vote for either (I’d register as a NOTA voter if I could), and it’s not because I fear Sharon Angle or Harry Reid (here’s a CNN link on how neck-and-neck that race is, with Angle holding a slim lead within the margin of error.) It is because I have no confidence in either of them to serve the needs of everyday women and men who just want government that works and works for them. On balance, I’m going to go with the Mofo DINO being more of a drag, though. At least as a costume.

The chattering classes can keep telling each other goosebump tales, embellishing the fear factor with each retelling, of how conservative wimmenz getting their hands into politics is The One True Scary Monster under the bed. Personally I don’t find the GO(TEA)P women any more–or any less–threatening than their male bozo counterparts. On the bright side of the dark side, a few more GOP women in office means a few less suits to disagree with and a few more faces wearing lipstick at the table. Alas, the fratboy media only cheers on Change and a Fresh Face when it’s a man wearing those qualities on the sleeve of his empty armani.

But, hey, let us imagine the hypothetical day that the lipstick-less-with-no-plans-to-be-a-mama Grizzlies start taking over Congress. Tucker Carlson and Rush Limbaugh are already crossing their legs in raw fear.

And, on that note, here’s a link to Judith Warner’s “The New Momism from the Gray Lady’s magazine. While it is an interesting read connecting the dots between Michelle Obama’s mom-in-chief PR and the Mama Grizzly phenomenon, I’d like to point out the cognitive dissonance of Warner saying “Momism is a clever strategy in a season of populist rage” while pointing out that the poll trends indicate women are likely to sit out this election in record numbers. If that turns out to be the case, it seems rather unclear to me just how clever this strategy is. I personally would love a political brand that values women for their contributions wherever they make good outside, inside, upside, downside, whatever side of the home.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman on the Mike Douglas Show

Oh that’s right! We already have that political brand, and its name is Hillary Clinton. All this momism does, at least to my mind, is reinforce my longstanding observation that the elites, who feed these kinds of narratives, want to put strong larger-than-life women into the tiny box of the Incredible Shrinking Woman. See clip to the right for more Lily Tomlin goodness.

Ok, I pulled out all the absurdly funny I can see in any of the midterms season above because if I don’t laugh, all there is left to do is stare into the void of leadership and weep. I have never looked forward to having the Boehner of our existence become the Speaker of the House, but at the same time Pelosi has had the American grassroots’ interests off the table well before she wielded that gargantuan gavel of hers, so the difference there is only around the edges. Pelosi is likely planning on retiring (link goes to Jay Newton-Small reporting from DC for Time magazine)–if she can’t have the gavel, she’s not going to stick around, which isn’t very surprising, but it seems like a waste of her seat since she didn’t let any other Democrat run. Any San Francisco residents reading this? What are your thoughts?

While Boehner measuring the drapes is an obnoxious circumstance we have had months to come to terms with–given that the current Democratic leadership has waged nothing but political malpractice and thrown away the political capital that was built from 2006 to 2008–the hardest hit for any of us anywhere on the left might actually be in the Senate, even with Democrats having the odds on keeping the Senate. We are perilously close to losing Russ Feingold in Wisconsin (as of the time I drafted this post, Johnson’s lead over Feingold averages 6.6 at RCP, 5.1 at Nate Silver/NYT, and 8.1 at Pollster/Huffpo). I do not see Russ as the immaculate public servant (and none of them are in DC), but I do like him and I do think he is substantive and at least to the left of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama. Feingold is about the last place I would have started if weeding out this Congress were entirely up to me. I am saddened looking at his odds on Intrade and pray for an upset (my prayers aren’t to any anthropomorifc anything, just a cry to the universe for some fairness and justice along the way as it expands).

I was born in Wisconsin and have a soft spot for the historical progressive tradition out of that state going back to Fighting Bob La Follette. As much as the Democratic establishment deserves to have their collective ass handed to them, I am just really saddened at the prospect of losing the voice of someone who would actually poke the establishment sometimes. His primary endorsement of Obama in ’08 and his HCR vote comes to mind as examles to the contrary, but still I’d rather he keep his seat and his ocassional poking rather than say NY’s Chuck Schumer and his two-by-four politics. After all, if Angle angles it out and becomes the junior Senator from Nevada. Schumer is standing in line to battle Dick Durbin of Illinois for Harry Reid’s Majority leader role (link goes to a NY mag puff piece in which Howard Wolfson compares Chuck to LBJ, so bring your barf bags if you’re not a Schumer fan).

I came across this tidbit from the editorial page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Down to the wire: President Barack Obama wouldn’t be here Sunday if he didn’t believe Gov. Ted Strickland can pull an upset — the White House has rejected pleas from Democrats, reportedly including Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, it sees as goners.

So there it is in print. The “fierce advocate of maybe someday” that we have in the White House sees Russ Feingold as a goner.

The American electorate is poised to put Congress through chemo, which will zap the not-so-malignant critterz along with the ones invading the body politic, and the Obama permanent campaign has long since moved its gaze to 2012 (I tell you that’s where it went straight after the election of 2008). This is what happens when you let a Reagan wannabe (that’s news only to voters waking up to the real Obama) run as the literal second coming, when what we really needed is the political second coming of FDR. Thanks a lot Circle Dsfor all this Exciting! Historic! Unprecedented! “change that matters” …and that we could have lived without.

As much as I love a good politics fix and you won’t find me anywhere but glued to the news during election time (it’s my Superbowl or World Series), I cannot wait until this one is over–except for the fact that I grow even more exasperated thinking about what will come next. The politics of fear and division are thick and heavy in the air. You can almost taste the stench of the dirty games being played and feel the weight of the ugliness on your own shoulders, knowing full well that whoever wins–the DINOstablishment or the GO(TEA)P–neither of them will work on behalf of the American people. And, to top it all off we have conspicuously-timed terror alerts going, too. Whew! It’s early, and I already need a drink. Sangria for breakfast sounds good. 🙂

The local races in my area are not giving me very many reasons to vote FOR anyone. I live in the district where one of the big races is a LaRouchie Democrat challenging the GOP incumbent for House Rep (link takes you to Ed Brayton at scienceblogs.com highlighting the fact that the Democrats have their own Sharon Angle in Kesha Rogers)–and hey if it weren’t for the fact that this is Tom Delay’s old district and I have suffered enough joke representation, I might find all this more amusing. My voting strategy is NOTA, and since we don’t have NOTA on the ballot, I am leaning toward sitting this one out. I think it is the most cost-effective way to send a message to the Democratic party here that they need to provide a more meaningful alternative to the GOP. I am aware of all the “you are throwing your vote away and making your voice meaningless” arguments in the world, so save yourself the effort. Movement conservatives sat out 2008, and that did not kill their voice, rather they are the loudest voices out there right now. They are so much more coherent on strategy than they are on policy.

As Mother Jones (the actual historical female figure, not the sellout magazine that exploits women on its cover) once said, “I have never had a vote, and I have raised hell all over this country! You don’t need a vote to raise hell! You need convictions and a voice!”

Now, if Bill White can catch a break in the polling in the next day or so and there is a realistic chance that we sane Texans will be rid of the contagion that is Guv Goodhair and his whacko religious right flank, then White already has my vote and I would have to reconsider my entire voting strategy. But, it looks bleak and I want to make history by being one of the record numbers of women not voting this year. I would make my vote meaningless if I voted for Ds and Rs when I have lost all faith in both those tickets.

And, as my local paper, the Houston Chronicle, put it yesterday: Gov All Asshat No Cattle Rick Perry (that’s my nickname for him not the paper’s!) is “positioned” to “win an unprecedented third four-year term, according to a new statewide poll conducted for the Houston Chronicle and the state’s other large newspapers.” I can hear the bizarro Perry for President choir screaming already. Make it stop! Like I said, if White magically gets within striking distance by Monday, that is a whole different ballgame. Perry needed to mosey on out a decade ago.

Some real quick links before I wrap this up:

The Democratic Surge Is Just a Fantasy” (via Huffpo from a few days ago)

Gender slurs intolerable” (October 29, 2010 Letter to the Editor in the Spokesman Review, which is not what the title might have you think and why I have filed it mentally under Sophist Arguments about Sexism)

Polls: Voter pessimism helps GOP in 4 states Obama won(via McClatchy)

Obama urges ‘steps’ after election, calls GOP stance ‘troubling’ (via the Hill, the President’s weekly address reads hollow and empty just like his politics. “Just words.”)

Meek: I Turned Down Crist Cross(via the WSJ’s Washington Wire)

Going against the NOTA grain, Atrios says “Vote.

Here is an example of one headline in a long list of headlines that reaffirms my decision to go NOTA in 2010 — the governing result of Ds and Rs all too often has been going something like this and leaving ordinary Americans without a public servant fighting for them: “Parents told to leave disabled kids at homeless shelters.” (via Yahoo News)

Oh, and about that Hillbuzz open letter to El Rushbo? I could turn on the pirate mouth and say a lot more, but here is all I am going to say: Hillbuzz really needs to just rename itself PalinCentral already.

Since my local races are not doing the trick for me, I wanted to close with the one race I am watching and anticipating hearing the results of: Nikki Haley’s likely win for the governorship of South Carolina. Her politics are not the same as mine, but I do like her as a person, and although the race is tightening as we wind down the campaign season, if she goes on to win she will make history as the first Indian American woman to become governor. I am getting emotional writing that. A few years ago I would not have even thought of that happening, let alone think about whether it was possible. Hell, I don’t think I ever even thought of a Desi Girl running for governor period.

I freely admit that I am identifying at an identity politics level rather than a policy level there. Then again, I am not in Nikki’s state so I don’t have to make that call as a voter anyway. I am just looking on as an excited observer to see how the race turns out.

Nikki herself says don’t vote for an image. From the NYT:

At a small gathering of Republicans on Thursday at a shopping center in this coastal town, her supporters distributed pink T-shirts that read “Team Haley: A Women’s Campaign,” as upbeat pop music played from a stereo. Flanked by young volunteers in red T-shirts, Ms. Haley played down her celebrity.

“If you join our movement, don’t ever let it be about a person, don’t ever let it be about an election,” she said. “It’s about what gets done in January.”

New America Media has this report out today that says “Racist Rhetoric Hounds South Asian Candidates.” If Nikki wins, she will wield another blow to that Good Ol’ Boy strategy.

Oh, and one more thing to go along with the T-minus stuff. Your October 30th trivia: On this day in 1985, “Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for mission STS-61-A, its final successful mission.” (I just pulled that straight from wikipedia’s October 30th entry.)

Here’s hoping against Hope that we have a successful lift off in the political realm on November 2nd. (Who am I kidding?)

Well, that’s all I have for today! It took me a little longer than expected, so it’s more like Sangria for Brunch time.

What are you reading and ruminating on this Saturday? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

Jon Stewart sincerely address the Rally for Sanity and/or Fear

Holy Hemiola!  There’s a $%$#load of people on the National Mall.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are throwing a Rally for Sanity and/or Fear.

Right now, they are debating each other on stage.  Sheryl Crow just performed.  And the mall looks PACKED.

You can follow the Rally at Comedy Central and/or liveblog with us.

Gawker still doesn’t get it

As I’m sure you all know by now, the website Gawker published the salacious details of an alleged no-sex one night stand some guy claimed to have had with Christine O’Donnell. This was too much even for Andy Sullivan, and NOW as well as most feminist bloggers condemned the article.

So did Gawker apologize? Not hardly.

What’s missing from most of the criticism is this essential bit of context: Christine O’Donnell is seeking federal office based in part on her self-generated, and carefully tended, image as a sexually chaste woman. She lies about who she is; she tells that lie in service of an attempt to impose her private sexual values on her fellow citizens; and she’s running for Senate. We thought information documenting that lie—that O’Donnell does not live a chaste life as she defines the word, and in fact hops into bed, naked and drunk, with men that she’s just met—was of interest to our readers.

Much of the criticism leveled against us is based on the premise that we think hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women whenever one wants is “slutty,” and that therefore our publication of Anonymous’ story was intended to diminish O’Donnell on those terms. Any reader of this site ought to rather quickly gather that we are in fact avid supporters of hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with men or women that one has just met.

Our problem with O’Donnell—and the reason that the information we published about her is relevant—is that she has repeatedly described herself and her beliefs in terms that suggest that there is something wrong with hopping into bed, naked and drunk, with a man or woman whom one has just met. So that fact that she behaves that way, while publicly condemning similar behavior, in the context of an attempt to win a seat in the United States Senate, is a story we thought people might like to know about. We also thought it would get us lots of clicks and money and attention. But we thought it would get us clicks and money and attention because it was exposing her lies.

Well then, since “exposing lies” justifies their publishing the lurid allegations about O’Donnell’s alleged sexual history, I guess candidates no longer have any right to privacy whatsoever. Everything is fair game.

Jeebus, can you imagine the can of worms that would be? But somehow I doubt we’ll ever see an unmarried male candidate slut-shamed for what was (even if true) legal and consensual sexual behavior.

Whoever this putz Dustin Dominiak is, I hope he never gets laid again in his entire life. It would serve him right.

One last note: Before anyone complains about me posting another defense of a evil wingnut racist homophobe anti-abortion Tea Partier, I ain’t happy about it either.

If these fucking so-called progressives would stop being sexist assholes, I wouldn’t have to defend people like Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin.

I don’t care if the Republicans do it too or did it first.