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Category: Politics

November 6, 2008

Newsweek on the election

Newsweeks has a pretty remarkable series that goes behind the curtains of the election, all the way from pre-primaries to finish. They've only released 4 of the 7 parts so far, and each has been a worthwhile read.

November 4, 2008

"Change Has Come to America"

"This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:"

October 8, 2008


My desire to keep this blog relatively apolitical was overridden by my love of trains.

(caught this on Rich's shared feed)

May 8, 2007

Romney + Card

How can I avoid a political post when this is just too funny: Mitt Romney appears to have confused French marriages with extraterrestrial marriages in an Orson Scott Card novel.

April 20, 2007

Infovis: Bush vs. Clinton protocols

doj_wh_charts.gifGonzales' testimony before Congress yesterday was entertaining for me. It produced this sort of language in today's New York Times Editorial:

Mr. Gonzales came across as a dull-witted apparatchik incapable of running one of the most important departments in the executive branch... He delegated responsibility for purging their ranks to an inexperienced and incompetent assistant who, if that’s possible, was even more of a plodding apparatchik.

I do enjoy my Russian political references. War czar, anyone?

Gonzales' testimony also helped produce this infographic by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. (reported by Slate) that compares protocols in the Clinton and Bush White House for who is allowed to talk to whom in the DoJ about ongoing criminal investigations. See if you can spot the difference.

via Froomkin

November 8, 2006

Voting aftermath

Rumsfeld Resigns as Defense Secretary After Big Election Gains for Democrats

I spent all night reloading Virginia's results, watching in panic as Allen and Webb changed places, and then calming down as Arlington and Fairfax started pushing Webb ahead. I'm not terribly happy with the California Propositions results, though I'm glad that the 'takings' eminent domain prop got voted down. I drove around in a semi-panic election morning trying to find my polling place due to an registration snafu on my part. I ended up voting in Los Altos on one of their new touchscreen machines: this time around their touchscreens have printed receipts, which was rather comforting, even if there is some bad UI design -- if you check the wrong box, you can't change it by checking the correct box; you have to first press on the checked box, then check the correct box.

February 7, 2006

Federal Budget Explorer 2007

Paul's Federal Budget Explorer version 2007 is up for those that want to explore how their tax bill is divided up.

Paul's random observations:

  • Games with the defense budget continue. Since the emergency funding for the wars has not yet happened, the budget continues to show a decrease over the current year, as it has for the past 3 years.

  • Medicare still up 9.3% overall, despite the cuts proposed, due to the prescription drug benefit. Medicare almost topped $400b.

  • Interest on the debt almost edged out all health spending at $243b.

  • Social security still the top category at $588b and growing at 5.5%.

For additional scrutiny,'s Froomkin has a roundup of articles pointing out the many fallacies in this year's budget.

Previously: Federal Budget Explorer 2005, California Budget Explorer 2004-05

May 12, 2005


I came across an Ann Coulter quote while being entertained by Ze Frank's response to Dennis Prager. Prager took the example of a college student yelling anal sex references at Coulter as an example of the Left's Hitler Youth. More on that, but first, the Coulter quote:

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

parakkum pointed out this fits well with meta's On Bullshit post as it is about "shifting the focus of discussion in manipulative ways."

This is the second time I've run across Coulter's quote, but this is the first time I realized how that I reacted to it as Coulter intended (incorrectly). Coulter wants you to be so disgusted with her talk of liberals being traitors and her advocacy of killing liberals that you miss the central premise of her quote: John Walker is a liberal.

Yes, John Walker is an assault-weapon-totin', fundamentalist, anti-feminism liberal, and (getting back to Prager), the Hitler Youth were a bunch of anti-war, pro gay, free-speech hooligans.

April 12, 2005

Budget stat visualizations

John Maeda has posted his "Money Counter" which visualizes compares different Federal budget expenditures. With my own caveat that statistics can lie or be overly selective, feel free to check it out. The data is based on Parade magazine's "Where does your tax money go?" article. The javascript did weird things to my Firefox (don't follow these links until you've bookmarked all your tabs), including rendering the pull-down menu for selecting different comparisons inoperable, so I'll link to the comparisons available individually:

November 5, 2004

And I thought I was going krazy...

Those of you who watched at sa's place know that I spent the evening obsessively reloading all the different vote tallies, exit polls, etc... At one point in the evening, I noticed that the exit polls CNN used (which they didn't display until AFTER the polls have closed) seemed to shift from Kerry to Bush. I thought that maybe I had just remembered the tallies incorrectly, but, lucky for me, someone got screenshots of this. I don't see this as a controversy as much as a basic, "Why did they bother?"

November 3, 2004

The people over at BoingBoing got my back

vote stickers

November 2, 2004

George W. Bush, you make me sick

When I got home tonight, after watching the disasterous election returns, I threw up. Prior to now, I didn't think that it was really possible to vomit on the basis of a purely emotional/psychological reaction -- it's certainly never happened before. The thought that we could have four more years of this, all because people would rather stick with the devil they know, is mind-boggling, and sickening (literally).

So, yes, George W. Bush, you make me sick. I puke in your general direction.

Remember your envelope

I voted today... twice. Well, not really, but it was complicated.

I took in my absentee ballot to the polling place so I could vote on the paper-trail-less touchscreens. I must be the only person in history to do this because they looked at the absentee ballot in my hand as I handed it to them with utter perplexation.

"You're registered to vote absentee," the kind old lady says.

"I know, here is my absentee ballot. I want to vote on the machines instead," I replied.

"You need an envelope for that," she points out to me.

"No, I want to vote on the machines," I remind her.

She processes this in her head a little more and decides its beyond her training. "Todd, can you come here. This man here wants to turn in his absentee ballot and vote on the machines," she calls out.

"You need an envelope for that," Todd tells me.

"No, I want to turn this in and vote on the machines," I repeat to Todd.

Todd takes my absentee ballot into his hands, still perplexed that there it's not sealed inside a blue envelope. "Where is the envelope for this?" he asks.

"I don't know. I'm turning in the ballot anyway so I can vote on the machines instead," I remind him.

"You can give him a new envelope," another poll worker calls out.

"I'm not voting absentee, I'm voting on the machines," I say, yet again.

Luckily, a young teenage volunteer comes to my aide and explains to Todd to complex process of writing "Surrendered" on my ballot, and at long last I receive my smartcard to go vote, and I did... twice.


Kerry's got the No Hope (via espn frontpage)

November 1, 2004

Proposition Hell

I had a hard time going through all these propositions. parakkum's entry inspired me to finally bite the bullet and work through how I was going to vote on each. I decided to post my recorded thoughts here because, the fact is, these propositions were complicated, and I could be swayed by a well-reasoned argument on some of these.

1A (No): Ensures local property tax and sales tax revenues remain with local government thereby safeguarding funding for public safety, health, libraries, parks, and other local services. I'm voting no, mainly because California suffers from enough bureaucratic hoops when it comes to how money is spent and where it comes from.

59 (Yes): Public Records. Open Meetings I like the openness principle this law embraces, so yes.

60 (Yes): Election Rights of Political Parties This pretty much sounds like a restatement of primary principles. While I think our election process in this country is flawed, 60 sounds better than the other proposals.

60A (No): Surplus Property This is a hard one. It's such a narrow way to pay off our debt because it only targets one very small source of income (2-3 orders of magnitude less than the debt it attempts to repay), and by making that source of income unusable, I don't think it will have much effect. I'm voting no, as I don't think the payoff is worth having this on the books. BTW - why the hell is this 60A? Were they afraid of running out of numbers?

61 (Yes): Children's Hospital Projects I agree with parakkum that this doesn't address the real problems with child healthcare (mainly that many are not covered), but I still support throwing money at structural needs in the hopes that they may secondarily address the overarching problem.

62 (No): Open Primaries A whole-hearted no

63 (Yes): Mental Health Services Expansion and Funding. Tax on Incomes over $1 Million. Initiative Statute Sure, why not. I don't make $1M ;). On a more serious note, California could really use better mental health services.

64 (No): Limits on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition Laws I'm voting no, mainly because it seems like it would help companies pollute more easily and engage in other forms of bad behavior that don't necessarily constitute monetary damage.

65 (No): Local Government Funds and Revenues I'm voting no (as I'm voting no on 1A as well)

66 (Yes): Limitations on "Three Strikes" Law I'm voting yes, as I'm against mandatory sentencing guidelines. The US incarcerates an absurd number of people, and has very little to show for it in terms of public safety other than massive costs that take away money for more useful measures.

67 (Yes): Emergency and Medical Services I'm voting yes on this. Emergency medical is hugely expensive, especially in California, where we allow companies to abuse illegal immigrants, in effect creating a large workforce without any medical coverage (but often in need of it). It will also help community clinics, which will improve the overall health of the community, which is good for everyone.

68 (No): Tribal Gaming Compact Renegotiation I hate all these Indian casino propositions. I don't think they should be on the ballot they're so stupid.

69 (No): DNA Samples I'm not necessarily against collecting DNA samples from felons, but I think this particular proposal does not contain the proper balance necessary between privacy and public safety.

70 (No): Tribal Gaming Compacts. Exclusive Gaming Rights. Contributions to State (see 68)

71 (Yes): Stem Cell Research. Funding. Bonds I'm going to go against parrakum, man of bio that he is, perhaps because I've been reading Castells recently. The IT boom emanated from California due to a convergence of many factors, including strong public funding to promote growth of that industry here. This boom produced obvious benefits for California, though the bust had its problems as well. I think the factors that were present in California for the IT boom (strong university tie-ins, public funding, culture) are present for a boom around stem cell research as well, and I would like to keep California on the cutting edge of scientific and technological breakthroughs. I'm voting yes (because I also don't think stem cell research is evil, though it does have to walk a careful moral and ethical line).

72 (Yes): Health Care Coverage Requirements I agree with parakkum here. The businesses that California wants to keep (e.g. high tech) already offer health insurance, and the ones that don't offer health insurance (grocery stores, Walmart, etc...) can't leave. Good health helps everyone.

October 8, 2004

Debate Prep

Some stuff to view for tonight's debate, with heaping doses of irrelevance thrown in.

64% of people named "George Bush" plan on voting for Kerry shows that Kerry is leading 280-239

Radio receiver or back brace?

Michigan Republicans ask prosecutors to arrest Michael Moore for giving away underwear and ramen, prosecutors decline.

Rudepundit's own version of what Edwards should have said

It's a Galactic Debate


October 1, 2004

The faces of debate

This has no actual political value, but it is entertaining. The DNC has posted "Faces of Frustration," which shows some of the faces that Bush was making during the debates. I'm really trying to figure out the weird lip thing that he does at 0:39.

September 9, 2004

Cheney eats, shoots and leaves

Kerry Rips Cheney Statement (

In a change that highlighted the sensitivity of Cheney's statement, the White House yesterday released a revised version of the transcript of his remarks. The official transcript, posted on the White House Web site Tuesday afternoon and e-mailed to reporters, said: "(I)t's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice. Because if we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again."

In a version released Tuesday to reporters traveling with Cheney, however, the period at the end of "hit again" was removed and replaced with a comma, which linked his blunter statement to his standard stump language expressing concern that future attacks would be treated as "just criminal acts, and that we're not really at war."

Yesterday, the transcript on the White House Web site was altered to make Cheney's remarks one sentence. Cheney's White House spokesman, Kevin Kellems, issued a statement saying that the first official transcript "contained a typographical error" and was an "interim draft." "These types of corrections are not uncommon in the transcription of verbal statements," Kellems said. "The final transcript accurately reflects the statement as delivered, which is clear when watching video of the event."

September 4, 2004

Righty Rickshaw and Lefty Laroo

I thought above graphic is an interesting representation in how the current set of politically minded books isn't opening minds as much as it is reinforcing current divisions in our political discourse. Apparently this graphic by Valdis Krebs was first published in the New York Times, and it was recently mentioned by Udell. It uses Amazon related purchase data to generate the links.

August 18, 2004

Copyright losers

Tim Wu (guestblogging on Lessig) had an interesting post on the Loser's Paradox (government always picks losers)

August 4, 2004

Does my vote matter?

Through davextreme I have found out that Virginia is officially a battleground state, which makes the coming months for me very interesting now. I had planned to go get a California driver's license finally, seeing as my Virginia license expires in prior to the elections, but now I'm tempted to fly to Virginia, renew my driver's license, AND make sure I'm still registered to vote there. The whole process will still probably be faster than waiting in line at the California DMV.

June 11, 2004

Why can't I get the day off too?

I'm getting sick of Ronald Reagan week. I'm fine with honoring the President who presided over the first eight years of my life, but the sheer amount of historical revisionism that's occurring in order to turn him into a presidential hero of mythological proportions is absurd, and I really don't want the Gipper staring up at me from my wallet either.

I'll leave it to this post by Atrios to set some of the facts straight:

The House and Senate did not both come under Republican rule during Reagan's time. The Berlin Wall did not come down when Reagan was in office. Reagan is not the president who left office with the highest approval rating in modern times. Reagan was not "the most popular president ever." Reagan did not preside over the longest economic expansion in history. Reagan did not shrink the size of government. Reagan did preside over what was at the time the "biggest tax cut in history" but it was almost instantly followed up by the "biggest tax increase in history." Reagan was not "beloved by all." He was loved by some, liked by some, and hated by some with good reason.

And while we're giving Reagan's legacy credit, let's credit him for providing CIA training for Osama bin Laden in the Afghani proxy war fights against Russia and his support of Saddam Hussein against Iran. As far as I'm concerned, besides taking deficit spending to epic proportions, and helping the rich get richer, Reagan's legacy is that the replaced the Cold War with the "War on Terror."

April 13, 2004

Why Bush avoids press conferences

Three of my favorite excerpts from Bush's press conference last night. I've already done my really long entry for the day, so I've posted the excerpts in the extended entry. You can view a complete transcript here.

Continue reading "Why Bush avoids press conferences" »

April 12, 2004

Reading prep for the presidential races

This List Of Fallacious Arguments was a fun read, especially now that the presidential races are approaching full stride. I found it after I read an article pqbon posted from The New Republic that contained so many fallacious arguments that I felt I needed a proper guide with which to identify them.

The fallacious arguments guide includes this example of Reductio Ad Absurdum, which gave me a new found respect for Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell, in a lecture on logic, mentioned that in the sense of material implication, a false proposition implies any proposition. A student raised his hand and said "In that case, given that 1 = 0, prove that you are the Pope". Russell immediately replied, "Add 1 to both sides of the equation: then we have 2 = 1. The set containing just me and the Pope has 2 members. But 2 = 1, so it has only 1 member; therefore, I am the Pope."

April 8, 2004

Rice appears

The spin coming out of Rice's appearance before the 9/11 commission appears to be mildly positive, or at the very least not negative. I did, however, enjoy this bit from a NYTimes article:

Mr. Ben-Veniste persisted, asking, "Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice" that the presidential daily briefing on Aug. 6 "warned against possible attacks in this country?"

He ended the question by asking her to give the name of the memo, to which she replied: "I believe the title was `Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.' "

Ms. Rice insisted, however, that the memo did not warn of attacks inside America. "It was historical information based on old reporting," she said. "There was no new threat information, and it did not, in fact, warn of any coming attacks inside the United States."

March 24, 2004

Cal State Legislature in action

Former Assemblyman Herb Wesson, D-Culver City, kicks Zhang Xiao Ju between the legs during a demonstration performed by Buddhist monks at the Capitol in Sacramento yesterday.

March 16, 2004

Rumsfeld and imminent threat

The Center for American Progress has posted this funny-in-a-sad-way video of Rumsfeld. In the video, Rumsfeld, in his usual brash manner, accuses the press of creating the "folklore" that the Bush Administration called Iraq an "imminent threat," and he challenges CBS's Bob Schieffer and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman to produce citations that they did. No sooner than those words were out of Rumsfeld's mouth did Friedman come up with two quotes from Rumsfeld:

"some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent [but] I would not be so certain."
and to Congress (9/19/02)
"No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people"
Be sure to watch for Rumsfeld's stuttering answer.

(via Moby)

February 29, 2004

right vs. left (economics)

I've gotten into two arguments with people who insist that right-wing economics is defined as free market, and left-wing economics is defined as interventionist. I disagreed, and naturally long arguments ensued.

My initial position was that the terms are relative concepts that are historically mutable: they are a function of what utility function you're using, and whose utility you're maximizing. I even took (and still take) the position that free trade can be a left-wing economic position, so long as the reason for the free trade policy is to achieve income redistribution in poorer countries.

My position was changed slightly when Nate pointed out that the historical basis for the terms left/right originated during the French Revolution, when the aristocrats would sit on the right and the commoners would sit on the left. During this period, "right-wing economics" was actually synonymous with feudalism, and laissez-faire was a left-wing economics position. Over time laissez-faire has drifted to the right and pushed feudalism who knows where.

This made me think a little more, so I amend my definition now to state that right-wing economics is defined as economic policies that maximize the utility of the stronger property owners and maintain their purchasing power, whereas left-wing economics are economic policies that maximize utility for all individuals as a whole. A possibly current-day instantiation of this definition could be that right-wing economics favor pareto-optimal results, while left-wing economics favor globally optimal results. Note that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though in practice they frequently are, i.e. I get to keep my paradoxical assertion that free trade can be both a left and right wing policy, even simultaneously :).

This seems to be a historically neutral definition that encompasses present and past notions of left/right-wing economic policies, though it relies heavily on 'utility' fudge factor.

February 27, 2004

TurboTaxDrain, California State Edition

Paul updated his budget tools so that you can explore California's budget now as well. It quickly puts into perspective how hard it is to balance the budget: 3/4 of the budget is split evenly between education and health & human services. If you cut education, you're damned for ruining the future of our children; if you cut health & human services, old people will beat you with their dentures.

As with Paul's federal budget explorer, you can input your own approximate taxes to see what leeches are sucking on them.

February 3, 2004

Your own federal budget, 2005

What would you do if you had a year off from work? Well, in addition to building a plane, Paul also put together this neat little script that lets you see your tax dollars at work according to the Federal Budget 2005. Enter in your tax bill, and feel the pain.
Paul's Federal Budget 2005 Explorer

January 21, 2004

wp on State of the Union

I liked this washingtonpost analysis of last night's State of the Union. It mentions of a list of things that weren't mentioned in the address:

  • The traditional long list of major new legislation.
  • Any mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Any mention of his big new space initiative.
  • An exit strategy for Iraq.
  • An explanation of the misleading statements in last year's State of the Union address.
  • Acknowledgment that U.S. inspectors have found no unconventional weapons in Iraq.
  • Any mention of Osama bin Laden.
  • A statement of sympathy for those who remain jobless.
  • Specifics about how to get control of the federal budget deficit.
  • Evidence that "terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world."
  • Any mention of that plan to spend $1.5 billion on efforts to promote marriage.
  • Any mention of the environment.
  • An expression of sympathy to the families who lost loved ones in Iraq.
  • Reaching out to Democrats.

November 29, 2003

Bush back from mother of all road trips

Can't you just imagine Dubya yelling "Road Trip!", throwing a keg in the back of Air Force One and dragging along some reporters for the ride? - Bush back from Iraq; another attack on troops - Nov. 28, 2003
("road trip" reference courtesy of Fark).

October 31, 2003

QotD: Rumsfeld, Mojo-less Poet Laureate

10/30/2003 Briefing on Iraq
Q Mr. Secretary, one of the news weeklies said -- asked whether you had lost your mojo. It's a simple question, without a premise. Have you lost your mojo? Or do you need to consult the Oxford English Dictionary?

I didn't,
but I consulted someone who did.
And they asked me that,
and I said I don't know what it means.
And they said,
in 1926 or something,
it had to do with jazz music.

Q Magic.


Q 1925.

I guess
the answer is
that beauty is in
the eye of the beholder.
I don't know enough
about mojo
to know.

DoD News: Secretary Rumsfeld briefs on Iraq

October 8, 2003

Survivor: California Post Mortem

If you want to blame anybody, blame the Central Valley for their blanket support, and blame the San Diego/San Bernadino/Orange County region for their sheer numbers:
recall map Election 2003 - California Recall

October 7, 2003

Survivor: California Season Finale

No surprise endings here. It's Arnold all the way. No word yet if there'll be a second season.
- Voters Oust Davis; Schwarzenegger to Become Calif. Governor

September 30, 2003

Survivor: California

To be honest, when I first chose the "Survivor" metaphor, I don't think I realized how much it would really resemble the TV show. After plenty of catty exchanges between Ahnold and Arianna, Huffington is the latest to drop out of the series. You really could package this race up into a series of 30 minute episodes with a ticker on the side showing the latest poll results. Arianna's dropped to two percent, and she decided that was enough. - Huffington withdraws from recall race - Sep. 30, 2003

September 24, 2003

Survivor: California

Oh the drama - it's on! it's off! it's on and we won't appeal! So I guess the final decision is that there won't be an extended season of Recall 2003, and all will be decided two weeks from now.
- - Appeals court reinstates California recall vote - Sep. 24, 2003

Update: wow, even more plot twists - 1010Blog: Issa says: "vote no, on recall!"

September 15, 2003

Survivor: California

Loved the current season of "Survivor: California" and wish it it didn't all end on October 7? Well, the federal appeals court has just granted your wish. Looks like we'll have plenty more of more fun episodes from Schwartzenegger, Georgy, Bustamante, Davis, Coleman, and the rest of the gang as the season has been extended to Mach 2004.
- - Appeals court blocks California recall - Sep. 15, 2003

September 12, 2003

Survivor: California - The Ballot

California Recall Ballot

They should hook this thing up to an eye-tracker. It took me forever to find Georgy's name on this. I mean, duh, the letter R comes after L and before W, right? How stupid of me.

On a side note: I wonder how many votes "Dan Feinstein" will get?

(via Boing Boing)

September 10, 2003

Celebrity Look-alikes

photo photo
The Daily Show had a hilarious segment on last night showcasing the latest debate for the Democrat Presidential candidates. The debate was quasi-bilingual, as the questions were first asked in spanish, then translated into english. This required, of course, that each of the candidates do their best to butcher a spanish phrase of their choice. Lieberman's attempt at spanish was absolutely horrible, and he gave this look that just reminded me of Gollum during the memorable Gollum vs. Smeagol scene in the Two Towers. But rather than trust my opinion, why don't you decide?

Update: If you want to see Lieberman's muchos spanish skills, On Lisa Rein has posted the segment (it's about a minute or so in).

September 9, 2003

Survivor: California

The Republican tribe has voted another member off the island. After extensive polling of home viewers, Ueberroth came in last among the prominent Republicans with only 5% of the vote. With the Terminator and McClintock splitting the major votes, we can be that Arnold's camp is crossing their fingers for a physical challenge.
- - Sources: Ueberroth to leave California recall race - Sep. 9, 2003

September 3, 2003

Big Lies

Who is the biggest presidential liar?
- "The Mendacity Index" by Washington Monthly Staff
(via heerforceone)

August 25, 2003

Survivor: California Update

poll graphicNow that Simon is out, who will be the next to drop? Bustamante has built up a strong lead on Schwartzenegger - the Terminator is currently splitting votes with two other big republican runners (McClintock and Ueberroth). Also, the poll for Davis' recall currently sits with 50% wanting to recall, 45% against, and 5% on the fence. Stay tuned next week as we wait and see how The Republican Party will react to bring them all into line, and also find out what other things Davis doesn't give a "rip" about. We'll also see if Georgy can shore up enough support to get that coveted 1% line in the poll.

Does he get an action figure too?

Carriers are all the rage nowadays. There's the ambitious new USS Ronald Reagan, which sounds to me like a slammer virus waiting to happen. There's an absurd amount of new technology in it that seems so reminiscent of the blue screen of death that took down an Aegis cruiser.

Carriers are also all the rage in the political sphere as well. First there was Bush's stunt with the USS Abraham Lincoln, and now apparently John Kerry wants to get an action figure as well and plans to announce his candidacy in front of the USS Yorktown.

Now that I think about it, the naming of the USS Ronald Reagan makes so much more sense now. What better way for future Republican politicians to associate themselves with the 80's presidency than standing in front of the $4.5 billion carrier?

August 23, 2003

Survivor: California Update

One down, 134 remaining.... - Simon drops out of California recall race - Aug. 23, 2003

August 19, 2003

Fair and Balanced

Paul Newman Is Still HUD

August 14, 2003

Survivor: California - The Candidates

Finally found the full list of candidates for the coming recall election. It seems to me that a lot of people registered b/c their name is similar to someone famous. For example, there's a Michael Jackson and a Richard Simmons. There's also a Feinstein, Wozniak, Dole, Kennedy and an Issa. Sadly, local Mountain View geek candiate Georgy Russell's summary comment is "sells "Georgy For Governor" thong underwear."

August 13, 2003

Followup to Dubya Action Figure

As a followup to my previous post on the Dubya action figure, there's now a Texas Air National Guard edition as well. (via Dan Gillmor)

Pol Blogging

Now that Howard Dean is smacking Dems left and right with his Internet savvy-ness, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. Kucinich has taken Dean's spot on Lessig's blog, Tom Daschle claims to be writing his own blog, and John Kerry has his staff writing a blog for him as well.

Anyway, I decided to post all of this because of Maureen Dowd's Blah Blah Blog column today in the New York Times. I'm sure this link will appear on many blogs because it has the word "Blog" in the title, but I post nevertheless.

BTW - I googled for "Tom Daschle Blog" and his blog did not show on the first five results pages that I checked. Also, if you search for "Travels with Tom," this mock blog ranks much higher that Daschle's. Guess no one out there is helping Daschle's pagerank.

August 12, 2003

Survivor: California Update

Finally, a candidate that can take on the Governator and protect us from the Rise of the Machines: Save our State, Vote Terry Tate
- NYTimes article

August 10, 2003

Survivor California Update

It looks like 155 contestants will be competing for the prize for Not-As-Bad-As-Davis. The producers of this one must be proud, as among their contestants they have an actor who's sure to have plenty of great one-liner soundbites, a 100-year-old woman, a pr0n star (who promises webcams in the mansion), a bail bondsman, a Lt. governor, and many more. It's sure to be a ratings bonanza.
- > News > Politics > Gray Davis Recall -- More than 150 file for unprecedented governor recall election

August 7, 2003

Survivor: California Update

Today's episode is sure to garner good Neilsen ratings as the creator of this twisted reality series has now dropped out of contention. I guess another $3500 was too much on top of the $1.5M he's already spent, or maybe he thought the show would be more entertaining to watch from the comfort of his couch. Will miss your crazy antics Darrell, you mischevous little millionaire.
- - Issa drops out; Schwarzenegger files paperwork - Aug. 7, 2003

August 6, 2003

Survivor: California

This really feels like a very bad celebrity reality TV show ("I'm a voter - get me the hell outta California!"). Here's the latest rundown:
- Schwarzenegger: running
- Ariana Huffington: running
- Larry Flynt: running
- Gary Coleman: running

The only good news is that Feinstein isn't running, which leaves hope that California computers will stay safe from the RIAA for a little bit longer.

July 14, 2003

Dean's Posting Begins

Howard Dean has already proven himself Internet-savvy and has used it to effect. He was the first candidate I know of who seized upon meetups to organize local gatherings (his meetup group is currently 10x larger than other candidates). His campaign staff has also been maintaining a blog with information from the campaign front.

Much of his early fundraising has been attributed to his Net presence, which has given an inexpensive and effective pulpit. He was the first to raise $1M via the Internet, which dollar-for-dollar is more effective than direct mailing, which carries an 80% overhead (according to this blog entry).

So why am I posting all this info? Well, in general, I'm interested in seeing blogging carrying weight in the mainstream. More recently, though, after a long drumroll, Howard Dean has finally made good on his guestblogging spot and has posted hist first entry to Lawrence Lessig's blog.

June 13, 2003

Bush on Technology

Bush on Segway

I've been waiting all day for an image of this that i could hardlink to, but I guess this is the best for now.

June 2, 2003

FCC learns from Bush

To paraphrase Jon Stewart (on George Dubya), this FCC ruling is part of the overall strategy of "lets name our bills the exact opposite of what they do," i.e.:

FCC SETS LIMITS ON MEDIA CONCENTRATION: Unprecedented Public Record Results in Enforceable and Balanced Broadcast Ownership Rules

pdf of ruling

Thanks: Werblog by way of Marc's Voice

January 23, 2003

Kerry: "Mr. President, Do Not Rush to War"

Speech by Sen. John Kerry given at Georgetown University. Possibly transcribed by Truthout, which is where I obtained the transcript (see extended). I think someone on the Beta list sent me the original link.

I like the Spiderman-like quote: "With great power, comes grave responsibility."

Continue reading "Kerry: "Mr. President, Do Not Rush to War"" »

January 11, 2003

Illinois Governor clears death row

The Outgoing Illinois Governor Ryan cleared death row sending a bold statement. All death sentences were commuted to life without parole. 156 inmates spared, and another four were pardoned b/c of torture claims.

December 16, 2002

Gore announces he won't be running in 2004

After several weeks of careful re-emergence into public life (SNL), Gore says no-go in next year's election.

December 14, 2002

SNL: Gore

There was a hilarious SNL on TV. Al Gore was the host. The West Wing and Lieberman/bathtub scenes were priceless.

September 22, 2002

Quote of the Day

"There's an old saying in Tennesee, well its in Texas so its probably in Tennessee. You fool me once... shame on... shame on you... Youfoolcantfoolmeagain"
- George W. Bush

(Courtesy of the Daily Show)

August 7, 2002

Great Bushism on the Daily Show

Bush: "blah blah... terrorism in israel is bad... blah blah... now watch this drive"

This is (of course) an extremely accurate transcription, right down to the placement of the ellipsis

July 24, 2002

House Expels Traficant

- 420-1 (Gary Condit against)
- Only second house member since Civil War to be expelled
- Convicted of federal corruption charges in April

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to kwc blog in the Politics category.

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