yonihamagid: (that one)
Republicans, since 1995, have held at least one House of Congress for 18 years, both Houses of Congress for 12 years, the White House for 8 years, at least one House of Congress and White House for 6 years, both Houses of Congress and the White House for 4 years. There have been two years in that span in which the Republicans held no House in Washington.

If you want a change in Washington, vote for Democrats.
yonihamagid: (that one)
I can't think of an election in my lifetime in which the sausage analogy of politics is more apt.

As the Internet has proliferated, unfiltered views of our social institutions have become more prevelant. In the parlance of the analogy, never have we been more aware of the sausage being made. This has led to people who were previously unaware of the distastefulness of the making of the sausage to become quite disgusted with the process.

One major party chose between two expert sausage makers. One who promised that the sausage would be of higher quality, more plentiful, cost less for those who need it most. The other is one of the best sausage makers we've seen in our lifetimes. She promised many of the things he opponent did, and even more so once she was named her party's candidate for sausage maker in chief.

The other party chose between mediocre sausage makers, an expert sausage maker and several people who had never made sausage in their lives. That party decided the sausage making was so distasteful the only way to make it in any way acceptable is to select someone who not only had never made sausage, but holds the very concept of making sausage in utter contempt. This should suprise no one, considering the stance of this party for more than the last three and a half decades has been that the making of the sausage is the problem.

However, sausage is how things are run. Suasage protects us from our enemies. Sausage gets us from one end of our country to the other. Sausage ensures that our society functions.

So one party said to a nation sick of watching sausage be made, "Please, accept our sausage maker. She will make the best sausage we can possibly have. It won't be pretty. It won't be pleasant. It will be effective, and it will make the lives of the vast majority of Americans better."

The other party said, "Let's try letting someone who has no idea what he's doing make the sausage. What's the worst that can happen?"
yonihamagid: (that one)
Again on the subject of false equivalances, if the Democratic base is as disappointed in it's candidate as the Republican leadership is of theirs, where's all the resignation letters from Democratic Party members leaving in a huff because Hillary is so awful a human being?
yonihamagid: (that one)
There's a lot of false equivalences in media coverage of politics today.

One of those going on right now is putting unfortunate things Hillary Clinton has said up against the unfortunate things Donald Trump has said. There are lots of reasons the equivalences are false, but one difference inspired a clever turn of phrase for me.

There is ample video record of bother Trump and Clinton saying things their supporters would rather they hadn't. The difference is Clinton said these things five hairstyles ago, while Trump said them yesterday.

Which got me thinking. Political men tend to look substantially the same: wear the same suits, have the same haircut, etc., throughout their careers. They don't wear jewelry or obvious makeup, so that doesn't change over time to match current fashion either. A woman 20 years into her political career basically looks like an entirely person person.

Does this give women an unfair advantage in that the video record of some of their past peccadillos doesn't actually strike a chord with the public because the person they're looking at in those pictures isn't the same person they see today?

Finally

Jul. 28th, 2016 11:08 am
yonihamagid: (that one)
I've finally figured out how to sum up Trump, "treasonous scam artist who can't pay his bills."
yonihamagid: (that one)
Watching the shitstorm that is the Republican National Convention I have a singular observation about the entirety of the Trump campaign.

You get what you pay for.

There is a reason so much of politics is governed by conventional wisdom. We've had 228 years of a political system in place. Every election we tweak the norms a bit, sometimes more than other. But it's an unbroken line of people getting elected mostly by doing most of the things everyone else has done, perhaps peppering in an innovative idea or two.

The Trump campaign core ideology is that none of that matters. And we're seeing it does, in fact, matter.

The two most important Trump surrogates in the opening days of the convention were his wife and son. Bill and Chelsea Clinton will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention next week. I'm figuring the people involved in writing those speeches are pulling in high six figures for their work (which will certainly include more than merely the convention speeches).

Donald Trump loaned his wife not a political speech writer, but his executive assistant to help her with a speech.

I don't know who F.H. Buckley is (to be fair, speech writers operate out of the public spotlight), but he was so bereft of ideas he inserted language he'd previously published into Donald Trump Jr's speech. The problem isn't plagiarism. The problem is shoddy craftsmanship. A competent speech writer would never reuse his own published language in the most important speech his client has ever made.

And what's worse, is in the case of F.H. Buckley, the Trump campaign probably did pay top dollar. Trump is notoriously incapable of understanding the difference between expensive and quality.
yonihamagid: (Default)
To a certain extent I mourn the passing of election day. I don't think I've voted on an election day in over a decade. Early voting is so much more convenient.

I remember elections when I was a kid at the school gym. This was back when punch card voting was taking over from the "pull the lever" kind of voting. They always had a demo voting apparatus with candidates like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and the poll workers were more than happy to give a curious kid a punch card so we could vote at the "kids booth" (I don't think they ever identified it as such, but that's how we thought of it).
yonihamagid: (Default)
I really don't believe the age of the press conference is over, but a viable major party figure announcing his candidacy for governor of the most populous state in the Union on Twitter may be a nail that coffin didn't need.
yonihamagid: (Default)
Having lived through Election Night 2000, I have to say my concern for Israeli sensibilities on this is lacking.
yonihamagid: (gay)
On the subject of sauces, geese and ganders, I'm heartened and scared by the thorough use of public records to expose the actions of everyone involved in California's Prop 8 debacle.

It's not just those who opposed marriage equality who must be made to stand and give account in the public square, but those in positions of responsibility who failed to oppose it with full force.

And in the spirit of full revelation, I did not contribute to the No on 8 campaign. I won't say that I'm ashamed of myself, but I'm certainly not proud. I didn't contribute to any political campaign this election cycle. I don't know that will happen again next campaign cycle.

But I'm not a resident of California, and I do not have the resources or profile to make the kind of singular impact of many of the organizers of this upcoming equality summit who did not contribute.

Of course, the executive committee of the No on 8 committee certainly gave time and money and their hard work to the campaign, but they failed. They failed in imagination and they failed in execution. And the people who chose to steer the ship must also stand and be accountable.

Unfortunately, we can't get a list of everyone who simply didn't vote. They're the complete villains of this situation. Any resident of voting age in California who did not vote is hugely responsible for the success of Prop 8. Those are the people who should be pilloried, perhaps even run out of town on the proverbial (or even less than proverbial) rail.
yonihamagid: (gay)
I would be interested to know what "treating each other with 'civility, with respect and with love'" looks like.

In what way were the LDS Church and proponents of Prop 8 civil? How can you civilly restrict the rights of your neighbors? Shutting the door in the face of thousands of Californians with a smile may make you feel like you're doing the right thing. It doesn't make you civil.

In what way have these people treated me, personally, with any kind of respect? You can't respect someone who is responsible for the greatest threat to family cohesion since women started wearing pants. And if you don't think that, then it certainly isn't respectful to diminish my relationships.

And you can shove your love right up your ass.

I think you can count on the gay community of California, and the rest of the nation, to have little but contempt, rudeness and disdain for the LDS Church and others who felt the vague, and heretofore unfounded, fear that their churches would be somehow forced to conform to my view of morality. I have news for you, you've just forced me and every Church in California that disagrees with you to conform to your view of morality.

Since you repeatedly avowed that your intention was to protect your marriages, not destroy gay relationships, it's time to put up, cause it's too late to shut up.

Be civil. Respect me. Show the love.

But you aren't going to get any of that from me.

Fuck you.

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.
yonihamagid: (that one)
Congratulations Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America.
yonihamagid: (that one)
If the final count puts Obama at more than five points ahead of McCain, what is the Republican narrative going to be?

It's seemed that the last week or so the narrative from the Republican camp has been Obama won't win by the margin the polls are predicting, as if this is somehow excruciatingly important.

So, if Obama does win by something close to those margins, what then? Where have the Republicans left for themselves to retreat?
yonihamagid: (that one)
This election is much like a sporting event for me.

When it's not my team involved, I love close games that aren't over till the last second, or beyond, going late into the night.

My teams? I want blowouts. Even if it's a loss, I want it over in the first five minutes so I don't have to bite anymore nails.

I definitely consider Senator Barack Obama to be my team in this contest. So, if Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina could do me a big favor and get the count done quick and all agree on a winner, I'd really like it. Hell, if Georgia would like to do me any favors I won't be upset.
yonihamagid: (that one)
Barack Obama will be, if elected, the first President of the United States born in the State of Hawaii.

John McCain, if elected, would be the first President of the United States born outside of the country.

Of course that ignores those who were born before there was a country, all of whom were born in the original 13 colonies. For those who are curious, the eight President, Martin Van Buren, who took office 61 years after the founding of the nation, was the first natural born American citizen President. His predecessor, Andrew Jackson, missed out on that honor by less than five months. Not that we really count him, but Van Buren's successor, William Henry Harrison, was born before there was a United States. All subsequent Presidents were born on American soil in all senses of the word.

McCain would also be the first President who calls Arizona home.

Obama would be the third President to call Illinois home. The name you're searching for right now is Ulysses S. Grant.

While this isn't germane to the conversation, only one president was born in Illinois, Ronald Regan. No president has been born in Arizona.
yonihamagid: (that one)
The real problem with Dixville Notch is that they release results at midnight Eastern time, but no one else does for another 18 hours. That's a long time to wait between updates.
yonihamagid: (that one)

Are You More Qualified than Sarah Palin?

You are 92% more qualified than Sarah Palin. You're no short-term political stunt, you're the real deal, the VP the American people deserve. I guess your phone was off the hook when John McCain was calling around looking for a running mate... must've been one of those pesky robo-calls.

Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com
yonihamagid: (that one)
I understand why it has to be the campaign narrative at this point, but I don't understand how John McCain can do the whole "They've counted us out before" speech with a straight face.

It's not like he's a consistent closer who's trailed in election after election only to finish strong and win. The last tough election John McCain won was the Republican primary for Arizona's First Congressional District in 1982.

I seem to remember an election recently in which he wasn't just not counted out, but expected to do strongly, but did not. I seem to remember a fellow by the name of Bush coming out of that one a winner.
yonihamagid: (rainbow warrior)
Stealing is unequivocally wrong.

Stifling what another has to say is no way to win a political argument.

There is no but to those statements.

There is no justification for stealing yard signs.

How can you expect someone to respect your right to self expression and self determination when you so obviously don't respect theirs?

And the astute among you will recognize the answer to that question is a knife that cuts deeply both ways.
yonihamagid: (Shabbos)
The McCain campaign, FoxNews and Jewish neocons are frothing at the mouth over an eight month old story about then State Senator Barack Obama's attendance at a going away dinner for Rashid Khalidi who was leaving Chicago for a teaching position at Columbia in 2003.

It seems there is videotape of the event which the Los Angeles Times will not release to other media sources based on an agreement with a confidential source.

But, really, that's ok since they published a detailed discussion of the tape's contents in April of this year.

The most important moment of the event, from the point of view of someone trying to critique a potential president, came when "Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking. His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been 'consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table,' but around 'this entire world.'"

I've been to those events. I've heard those words spoken. I've said those words myself.

That is the most eloquent example of saying "I don't agree with a single thing you've said, but I enjoy talking to you" I've ever run across. And I'm good at that.

America needs to get off the high horse, stop mistaking the most radical right wing elements of Israeli society for Israel's moral authority and start actually acting like the impartial arbiter that region desperately needs.

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