Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Schwarzenegger to endorse McCain

The Governator is allegedly going to announce his endorsement of McCain tomorrow in Los Angeles.

Two weeks ago Arnold said he would remain neutral, but now the Guiliani is OUT and backing McCain, there's a bandwagon to jump on.

And I've got to pick a nit with Guiliani's statement from the LA Times article:

John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next commander in chief of the United States," Giuliani said as McCain stood silently next to him.

The president is commander in chief of the United States military, not the entire population of the United States. In my version of democracy, no one is MY commander in chief. Egads, those Republicans are so bossy. I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

and speaking of the CA primary...

According to the LA Times, McCain and Clinton have big leads in California in advance of next weeks primary. I would feel pretty confident in betting McCain will get the Republican nod. Especially if Giuliani pulls out (ahem) and endorses McCain. I'm less sure about Clinton's lead, especially with all the chatter I'm hearing from Edwards supporters who are wondering if they should switch their vote now that he seems to be trailing so significantly.

::heavy sigh::

I'm kind of sad about Edwards, but am slowly resigning myself to what seems to be inevitable.

I'm kind of horrified about McCain, but that's for another day. Look forward to a post entitled "If McCain is a moderate, then I'm Napolean Bonaparte."

Independent voters and the CA primary

Did you know that in the state of California, a person who declines to state their political party when they register to vote has to ask for a Democratic ballot to vote for a Democratic presidential candidate in next weeks primary? Who knew? I had no idea.

I know a good number of people who have changed their voter registration to "decline to state" in a sort of quiet protest expressing their disappointment or anger with the actions of the current Congress, but most of them would lean toward Democratic candidates, given the choice. I know a few disgusted Republicans who can say the same. There are others who just see themselves as independent folks, and don't want to affiliate themselves with any party. And really now, who can blame them for that? There's also those who will swing to either party, and their votes have to be won, one way or another. But when all is said and done, DTS voters overall tend to be less engaged in politics, and are less likely to vote .

Today the NY Times weighed in on the difficulty in reaching "Decline to State" voters, and the possibility of those voters pushing one candidate or another over the top. . . or not.

In the 2004 presidential primary, out of 2.5 million independent residents registered to vote — their party affiliation is officially listed as “decline to state” — only 207,000 voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, or 8 percent of all votes cast that year, according to figures from the California Secretary of State.

There are a few hurdles to getting DTS voters engaged AND voting. The fact they have to ask for a Democratic ballot to vote for a Democratic candidate is one more bump on that road.

It is also true that decline-to-state voters must be quite motivated — and knowledgeable — to cast a ballot in the Democratic primary. The voters must ask for a Democratic ballot at their polling station; otherwise, they are provided with a nonpartisan ballot that has statewide measures only.

And if they vote by mail, as a great many Californians do, these voters must request a Democratic ballot in writing.

“If you do nothing, you get a nonpartisan ballot,” Mr. DiCamillo said. “That is a proactive step that is a hurdle.”

County registrars are supposed to inform the independent voters that they have a right to a Democratic ballot, but each does so differently, leaving many voters with no idea they can participate in the primary.

“We do get people after an election saying, ‘I wanted to vote a partisan ballot, and I got this nonpartisan ballot,’ ” said Steve Weir, the vice president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials.

According to statistics provided by the California Secretary of State's website, DTS voters make up 19% of registered voters. That's a sizable block of people, and the fastest growing registered group in California, and I think efforts to reach out to them is a great idea. Any candidate would naturally covet that voting bloc, and anything that encourages voting and boosts turnout is a-ok in my book.

State Democratic Party officials said they did the best they could with a limited budget and competing interests. Separately from the party efforts, the Courage Campaign, a so-called 527 group, plans to call or e-mail 300,000 registered decline-to-state voters in California to remind them that they can vote Democratic.

For more information on the subject, check out the Courage Campaign website. They have more than you ever thought you needed to know about DTS voting on their handy dandy and very comprehensive FAQ page.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Please stop helping

One of the responsibilities of my job is that I'm the buyer for my department. Much of my career has been somehow connected to procurement. I know how to buy things. Just stand back when I go shopping, because I am an expert.

On Friday, I had to go to Home Depot to purchase some power tools. I knew exactly what I needed, down to the manufacturer item number. My husband and I were out, so we went in together. Now, I do love my husband very much, and I know he means well, but sometimes he feels the need to "help" where help is not warranted. Home Depot seems to bring that out in him. He thinks it's part of his domain as a man, I suppose. No offense intended, guys, but ..... ladies, you know what I'm talking about.

When we were in the parking lot, he grabbed one of those big carts you'd use if you were going to buy something very large like gigantic power tools or sheets of plywood. I told him to get a basket, but no...we were going to need the BIG cart.

Ok, fine.

We went inside, I walked to the shelf that had the tools I needed, and he no no....they're over here. I followed. They were not over there. Honey, stop helping. I went back to the first shelf, picked up all the tools, set them on the end of his hunormous cart, we paid and left.

As I've watched Bill Clinton over the past few days leading into the South Carolina primary, I can't help but think of that trip to Home Depot, and according to CNN, his comments have had a negative effect on Hillary's campaign.

Roughly 6 in 10 South Carolina Democratic primary voters said Bill Clinton's campaigning was important in how they ultimately decided to vote, and of those voters, 48 percent went for Barack Obama while only 37 percent went for Hillary Clinton. Fourteen percent of those voters voted for John Edwards.

Meanwhile, the exit polls also indicate Obama easily beat Clinton among those voters who decided in the last three days — when news reports heavily covered the former president's heightened criticisms of Obama. Twenty percent of South Carolina Democrats made their decision in the last three days and 51 percent of them chose Obama, while only 21 percent picked Clinton.

As a presidential candidate, I'd like Hillary to show in no uncertain terms, that this is her campaign. She's the focus here. Even if Bill did no more than anyother candidates spouse, the media will hone in on him more than they do on Elizabeth Edwards or Michelle Obama, just because of who he is. Seems to me that should be considered into the political calculus. His assist is a positive UNTIL it becomes overbearing and intrusive and you start to forget who the real candidate is, then it becomes a negative.

Bill, honey, please stop helping.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Considering second choices

I'm afraid that unless there is a dramatic change on Super Tuesday, my favored presidential candidate will be out of the running, and I'll be forced to pick between Obama and Clinton. I was afraid Edwards wouldn't be able to compete with the self-fulfilling prophecy of the media that seems to be enamored with the idea of a horse race between the two current front runners. I really thought Edwards would look stronger in South Carolina and Nevada, but it seems that it's not to be.

He's still getting my primary vote, but it appears I may have to pick someone else in November. I am not wildly thrilled with either option, but they're worthy of consideration. I still need to be won over by someone. I do find both of them to be likable, intelligent, and generally on the right side of most issues, and I will most likely vote for whichever one of them makes it to the dance in November.

I know what I'd be getting with Clinton. Her presidency would bring wiser heads to Washington again, after eight very long years of slowly sinking in the sands of ignorance and belligerence. Obama, I don't know as well, but he would also bring a large measure of sanity back to DC too. I've got to give both of them that.

As I've been thinking about the presidential race, I waver back and forth in weighing the Clinton and Obama options. For now, it's a toss-up.

Last week, a short video clip sprang up on the web of Obama in an interview with the editorial board of the Reno Gazette Journal, that had some of the blogosphere is a tizzy, and at first glance, I was a bit tizzified myself.

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

At first glance, I was really bothered by his comments, but I refrained from commenting out of a sense of unease with the video. Something was off about it, and the comments seemed to be taken out of context. After taking some time to look at the original video the clip was taken from, I think I was right. The clip shows one minute out of a forty minute interview, and it is taken out of context....just enough that it sounds like he's praising Reagan and dissing Clinton when he was really talking about the American people's unease with the status quo, and how some times are ripe for change. He was talking about when the American people are in the mood to embrace change, out of a sense or perception of dissatisfaction with the way things are in the nation or in Washington. He was talking about the zeitgeist of the nation, not the policies of Ronald Reagan. The clip leaves out his comment that JFK's election was another of those times in modern American presidential history.

He does say the Republican party has been the party of ideas, but he never says they were good ideas. In fact he infers that they were not.

He's talking about the ability to reach people with a promise of change. No matter what you think of Ronald Reagan, and I am most assuredly not a Reagan worshiper, you have to admit that his persona and his promise of a new day played a large part in him winning the White House. He never says Reagan delivered on his promises; only that he promised "morning in America". He's talking about the campaign, and not about Reagan's presidency. He's saying something more nuanced that isn't captured in the excerpt. Unfortunately, nuance is NOT the word of the day.

I suspect either the Clinton campaign, some one associated with the campaign, or a Clinton supporter made that clip, put it on YouTube and promoted it just enough in the right places to make it go viral.

Not that I'm cynical or anything....

It's just another moment in what will probably be an ongoing process of considering my second choices.

And pardon me for being about four days out of the news cycle on this, but I wanted to look at the original video. Sometimes it just takes a little time to tease out the whole story.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Stop the madness!

Obama says stop the silliness!
“I don’t want the campaign at this stage to degenerate into so much tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, that we lose sight of why all of us are doing this,” Mr. Obama told reporters at a news conference here. “We’ve got too much at stake at this time in our history to be engaging in this kind of silliness. I expect that other campaigns feel the same way.”

Clinton concurs.

"Our party and our nation is bigger than this. Our party has been on the front line of every civil rights movement, women's rights movement, workers' rights movement, and other movements for justice in America.

"We differ on a lot of things. And it is critical to have the right kind of discussion on where we stand. But when it comes to civil rights and our commitment to diversity, when it comes to our heroes - President John F. Kennedy and Dr. King - Senator Obama and I are on the same side.

Really now, people. It's gotten ridiculous. And is it too much to ask for the media to focus on the issues, and where these particular people stand on those issues, rather than on fanning the flames of sensationalism and destruction?

Yeah, I know.

Can we have an honest national conversation about the issues of racism (and sexism, for that matter) as it relates to policy? I'd love for both Hillary and Obama to BOTH use this opportunity talk about how the policies of the Bush administration over the last seven years have had a disproportionatly negative effect on the poor, on minorities, and on women. We can talk all day long about who slurred whom, but what's really important is what these candidates plan to DO about issues that involve racism and sexism that has real effects on real people, everyday.

Focus, people! Focus!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Strike breaking in Mexico's mining industry

One of the issues that is always completely neglected in discussions about undocumented immigrants in the United States is how much of it is driven by the rise of multinational corporations, and their success in using foreign governments to crush organized labor.

David Bacon's article Mexican Authorities Move to Crush Copper Strike at Truthout shows us a disturbing example of the trend.

Mexican labor authorities seized on technicalities to order an end to the strike at the country's largest copper mine in Cananea, Sonora, on Friday. The Mexican press reports that over 700 heavily armed agents of the Sonora state police arrived in Cananea just hours before the decision was announced, and agents of the Federal Preventative Police were sent to this tiny mountain town as well. Strikers report that the streets were filled with rocks and teargas, and 20 miners have been injured - some seriously - in the ensuing conflict. The union says that five strikers are missing.

The action by the government seeks to end the longest-running defiance of government labor policy in Mexico in decades. The mine belongs to one of the largest mining corporations in the world, Grupo Mexico, which is owned by the wealthy family of German Larrea.

On June 29 of last year, the union at Cananea, Section 65 of the Mexican Union of Mine, Metal and Allied Workers, went on strike over extreme health and safety dangers. Since the beginning of the strike, both the company and the labor board in the state of Sonora, which is controlled by Mexico's old ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, as well as the company itself, have tried to declare the strike illegal. The union won an injunction, called an "amparo," from the Mexican Federal Court on December 13, protecting the strike's legal status.

Under Mexican law, if the strike is legal, the company may not make any effort to operate the mine or make reprisals against the strikers. If the strike is declared illegal, however, the company can begin operations, and fire any striker who refuses to return to work. Miners fear the presence of heavily armed police is intended to protect a company effort to reopen the mine with strikebreakers, or to frighten strikers themselves into returning.

Smashing the strike in Cananea would have economic and political repercussions, not just in Mexico, but in the United States as well. In two previous strikes, at Cananea and its sister mine in Nacozari, in 1998 and 2005, respectively, over 2,000 miners lost their jobs. Most of them, unable to find other work in the tiny mining communities of northern Sonora, crossed the border into the US as undocumented workers in order to survive.


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Sunday's terryfaceplace economic report

In today's today DayLateDollarShort News report, we might be slipping into a recession!


They should have just asked those of us on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. I could have told you this was coming a year ago. Actually, I might have told you this was coming a year ago. I'm too tired this morning to look. I'm exhausted from doing more with less.

And can someone please tell me why it now costs over $10 for a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk? This is killin' me! I have a tall, active, hungry teenaged son here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Iron My Shirt, Part Deux

In case you've not already heard, the "protesters" at the Hillary event yesterday WERE attention grabbing nuts after all. Attention grabbing morning radio show staffers type nuts.

I thought the phrase rang a bell, but I couldn't place it. In my obsessive search for minutia, I ran across a mention of the same phrase being used to taunt protesters at the Masters Tournament a few years ago. Here's what more poking around on the Intertubes has revealed.

From Wikipedia: Rich Shertenlieb. Started as an intern for the Morning X, soon turned into the show's stunt guy. Most famous for his protest of Martha Burk at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, where he held up a sign that said "Make Me Dinner/Iron My Shirt". This stunt was covered by ESPN and hundreds of other news organizations....Currently hosting a radio show with Fred Toucher and Crash Clark known as The Toucher and Rich show on WBCN in Boston.

The iron my shirts guys at the Hillary event work for ..... wait for it ..... The Toucher and Rich Show on WBCN in Boston. Rich = Rich Shertenlieb.

It was just the passing of the idiot torch from one generation to the next.

I can not stand morning drive radio shows with their blah blah blah djs, and "humor" that sounds like it was written by a 13 year old boys. Especially before coffee. My husband hates it when I get in his car in the morning and start punching buttons, looking for music, and muttering about blabbering fools 6:30 am.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Iron my shirt?

Good grief. Is this a Hillary Hater gone wild or just some random attention grabbing nut? Probably a bit of both. Check out the video of Clinton taking a heckler in stride despite his interrupting her speech with the ridiculous chant, "Iron My Shirt!!"

I like her comment at the end the best:

“If there’s anybody in the audience who wants to learn to iron his own shirt, we can talk about that.”


Gotta love the story description in the url at the NY Daily News too. sexist-jamokes-disrupt-hillary

And as for all the media attention about her getting a little misty up in New Hampshire today, whatever...I don't know why people are so shocked that she's a human being.

But when I heard the comments from Edwards on the news this evening, I was taken aback. Ouch. I didn't like the implication that it means she's not tough enough. He sounded . . . mocking, not to mention sexist. Obama showed substantially more grace in acknowledging the pressures of the campaign trail. I'm surprised and disappointed in Edwards.

(Update) This day is just chockful of Clinton related entertainment! Via D-Day, more fun with Hillary, and this time it's at Chris Matthews expense. She told him he's obsessed. Bwahahaha!!!

From D-Day
To his credit, Tweety actually did show the clip on his show today. After Hillary outed him, the plaintive wail of "I'm not obsessed" sounded to me like a guy who's sewn his own Luke Skywalker in Bespin gear outfit saying he wasn't obsessed with Star Wars.

I'm highly amused.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Nation's West Coast Youth Journalism Conference

Ooooh. Check this out. A Youth Journalism conference at UCLA sponsored by The Nation magazine and Campus Progress. Saturday, January 26, 2008 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

I wonder how loosely we can define "youth". I'm young for my age.

An interesting list of speakers. Maybe if I wear a hat, and make sure my tattoo is showing...

  • Naomi Klein, award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, and author of the international bestseller, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  • Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, The Nation
  • Robert Scheer, nationally syndicated columnist, founding editor of TruthDig
  • Patricia Williams, Nation columnist, author, professor of law at Columbia University
  • Tom Hayden, author, activist, former California state legislator
  • Marc Cooper, author, Nation contributing editor
  • Abigail Goldman, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times
  • Kristina Rizga, editor and publisher of WireTap magazine
  • Richard Kim, senior editor, The Nation

Liars, Cowards, Cutthroats and Weasels

I've been paying some attention to the WGA strike out of a general interest in labor issues in California, and am intrigued with the side story about why well known political consultants Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani would go to work as "masters of disaster" for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, when they've played that role in the past for labor interests, and high profile Democrats such as the Clintons, Al Gore and Gray Davis.

In fact, Lehane is working in California for Hillary Clinton. That could be a bit awkward given her substantial support from labor organizations.

I think one obvious answer is that they're just doing what they do. They're PR guns for hire, not politicians. The problem is, they're well known as Democratic strategists, but they're also working against the interests of organized labor. That's a bitter pill to swallow if you like your political party to walk the walk of supporting Labor and the working/middle class.

Bill Bradley explores the issues in his column Hardball Beltway Consultants Could Radically Alter WGA Strike at the LA Weekly. It's an interesting story, and sheds more light on the long history behind it all, as well as potential future impacts.

...whatever happens in the writers’ battle for a slice of the pie, the entry of Fabiani and Lehane into the fray is fast becoming an awkward issue in the Democratic presidential campaigns.

All of the top Democratic presidential candidates publicly support the writers. Hillary Clinton, for whom they both worked during the late Clinton administration, has walked the picket line with the writers. Yet Lehane has been working for Clinton locally — recently fighting a plan by Republicans in Sacramento to change California’s presidential vote in the Electoral College.

With Fabiani and Lehane being paid $100,000 a month by the studios, if history is any guide, things are going to get much more negative in Los Angeles — and the strike will increasingly be linked to the approaching presidential primary.

That would be the FAST approaching presidential, and the situation has made a lot of people very unhappy.

Some bigtime Democrats are outraged. Andy Stern, powerful chief of the huge Service Employees International Union, flatly tells L.A. Weekly he is out to “blacklist” them from getting paid to oversee labor-affiliated political campaigns and ballot measures in the future. And the nation’s most influential lefty blogger, Markos Moulitsas, of the California-based Daily Kos, calls Fabiani and Lehane liars.

I don't know if any of this could splash onto Hillary or not. If she strongly objected, he wouldn't be working for one or the other of them. No matter what I think about her politically, I've got to give her credit for maintaining control over her image despite it being attacked far more than any of her political opponents. It's not something she's careless about. There must be a feeling that it either won't hurt her or it won't be an issue. We shall soon see.

On a related note, here's David Letterman on the reasonableness of the AMTPT.

Peace (still) Rocks

Oh no! According to the local blog, OB Rag, the beautiful stained glass peace sign that the folks from Peace Rocks installed on a rock at Sunset Cliffs has disappeared. Who knows if it was due to storms or vandals? Could be either, but if someone took it, I hope it's returned. Here's a message to the community posted by Peace Rocker on their website:

Sadly, two nights ago, the Peace Sign was removed (stolen?) by persons unknown. We are still processing this very sad development, and have no idea what motivated the interlopers.

Was it an ordinary vandal who simply took delight in destroying something beautiful? Was it some punk who just wanted to hang it in their own living room? Was it some conservative who mistook the sign as a political statement? Was it someone from the military who misunderstood the symbol as disrespectful to our brave troops? Was it maybe some environmentalist who simply believed that NO ONE should appropriate that rock for public art, for any purpose? Or was it maybe some other group of locals who simply wanted to put up their OWN new installation? We may never know the answer.

We who erected this sign intended it to be politically neutral, and simply a reflection of what we hoped was a UNIVERSAL prayer for peace. We also knew, of course, that our effort would not please EVERYONE, and that it might evoke a strong negative reaction from some percentage of the community (for all the possible reasons suggested above). In any event, it is with great sadness that we accept this development as just part of the natural progression of things, regrettable to us, but probably inevitable.

We believe that the Peace Rock had become a place of substantial civic pride for MOST locals, a place for reflection and a source of great inspiration. We are proud of our contribution to the community, and thankful that it touched so many people as positively as it did for the 18-19 months that it graced that spectacular rock.

And a final note to those who stole the sign: this was a very expensive piece of stained-glass art, intended as a gift to the community. We had always thought that someday we would remove it ourselves -- to permit the tradition of random installations on that rock to continue -- but that we would then donate the sign for permanent installation to some business in Ocean Beach (perhaps to Rock, Paper, Scissors, the wonderful Artists' Coop on Newport Avenue). Accordingly, we would ask, respectfully, that you somehow transport the sign -- even if broken in the process of removal -- to the alley behind that store, hide it appropriately, and then phone the store anonymously the next day to alert them to retrieve it for public display inside. You would have the "clean" rock you apparently wanted, and the community would have a lasting symbol of something many thought was uniquely beautiful.


Those Darn Voting Machines

This Sunday's lead in the New York Times Magazine is an article by Clive Thompson on Those Darn Electronic Voting Machines, and despite the fact that the opening paragraphs trivialize those of us who've been critical of electronic voting and tabulation for the past few years, the article goes on, at length, to say many of the very same things the so-called scared senseless fringies have been saying all along. Computerized voting has an unacceptably large number serious problems that rise to the level of being show-stoppers.

Even when we're right, they manage to insult us, don't they?

But now that I've gotten that off my chest, the rest of the article is a fairly substantial overview of the technological problems associated with voting and tabulating on unsecured, unreliable, proprietary computer systems, and is worth reading. It's a stronger indictment of DREs than most anything I've read in the corporate media on this issue. It hits many of the high points of the debate, including the fact that we've essentially privatized our election process in our haste to move to electronic voting.

Diebold is the Blackwater of our elections. To his credit, Thompson mentions this essential point that's often overlooked in all the discussion about hacking, transparency and accuracy. Just as we have done with private "security" contractors, we've done the same with our elections....handed so much of the process over to corporations, that the citizenry no longer controls an essential function of our democracy. The process of both war-making and voting have become so privatized they're no longer transparent, accountable or under any kind of verifiable, public authority. Both are steps in a very un-democratic direction.

The article touches on the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and how it was a response to the Florida debacle in the 2000 presidential election, but in it's focus on the technology, the article underplays the political machinations that were behind the switch to DREs . The article also understates the problem of secret tabulation. Yes, optical scan with a paper trail is a big improvement over touch screen DREs that directly record the entry without a paper ballot, but it's not an end-all and be-all solution. That's why I still advocate hand counted paper ballots at the precinct, as a cross check on the optical scan totals. No one's yet convinced me that we can't do both. The counting of ballots should be nothing but completely transparent to the public. On that, I can't be swayed.

Overall, Can You Count on Voting Machines? is a worthwhile article from a widely read, mainstream publication, and for that, I'm pleased. Two years ago, election integrity advocates were completely dismissed as conspiracy theorists and the lunatic fringe. They might still be calling us names, but at least they're calling us names in the NY Times now. That's much better than being ignored.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Local progressive talk is back in San Diego

A little bit anyway...but it's an important bit. Stacy Taylor is now on AM 1700 during the afternoon drive, from 4-7pm.

AM1700 is primarily a conservative oriented talk station, and their other shows include Dennis Miller, Michael Reagan and Neil Boortz, but it's great that they've brought Stacy on board so there's a place on the radio dial once again for LOCAL progressive talk.

I don't see it so much as a victory as an opportunity. Maybe if Stacy gets enough love, they can stop broadcasting that obnoxious Dennis Miller three times a day and bring some other progressive voices back to San Diego. Wouldn't that be nice?


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Who's in and who's out

Huckabee and Obama are on top in Iowa. I think Edwards is going to do well with his economic messages, and Obama is going to bring out young voters. And then there's Hillary, who's by no means out of this. It's still a toss up.

...for some of them anyway: Dodd's out.

According to Truthout it's likely that at least part of that 12-ish point vote difference between Obama and Edwards/Clinton was probably due to him getting Richardson and Kucinich supporters who went to their second choice.

(update) oops. There goes Biden too.

Just say no

I really love these hidden news story gems that remind me the sands are shifting.

New Mexico is now the lastest state to come to their senses and reject federal funding for "abstinence-only sex education". A few short years ago, only four states (including California) rejected matching funds offered to states who agreed to Just Say NO to meaningful education about sex and sexual health. Since the 1990s, states have taken over one billion dollars to provide an unrealistic, unscientific, medically inaccurate failure of a sex ed program. Could this be why we have the first rise in the US teen pregnancy rate since 1991? And why the rate of teen abortions has risen? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing is for sure sure hasn't worked as advertised.

Excellent. Fifteen states have decided to "just say no" to federal money with dangerous strings attached.

May there be many more.