‘Election’ Posts

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

found: gravy

Monday, 10 December 2012

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is the election over yet?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

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this feels like it has the longest election cycles of my lifetime and, regardless of what happens tomorrow night, a part of me is just going to be relieved that it is — well — over.

like most Americans, a dark portion of my soul would love to overthrow the two party system, abolish the 24-hour news cycle, and/or give the electoral college its marching orders.

but, without getting overtly political, here a couple of more reasonable thoughts coming out of the last 18 months:

we must demand politicians/media stop creating facts.

i’m actually pretty centrist (at least in principle) and honestly believe that good people will make good decisions regardless of ideology. unfortunately, this notion has been plowed under as more and more people (on both sides) make up facts to suit their ideologies versus tailoring their ideologies to meet the facts.

a functioning democracy is dependant on an informed electorate — and that is undermined if the electorate is only “informed” by a bunch of falsehoods, quotes taken out of context, fake statistics and ideology driven studies.

in this way, i think the recent rise of the various media “truth squads” is a promising sign.  and, while Candy Crawley is likely not going to get invited back to moderate another debate, we need more of her style “instant fact checks” from our media — not less.

if money is speech, then disclosure is the right to face our accusers.

i’m not a huge fan of limitless money in politics, but if money really is protected speach then i can make it work. but, the only way to make it work is for the thousands of deep-pocket donors to stand up and be counted along side of their money.

today, we find ourselves in the unusual situation where accused criminals have a better “due process” than our candidates up for election. criminals have the right to know our accusers, and to face (and rebut) their claims.  (not to mention, they are also afforded a presumption of innocence.)

seems like our politicians deserve at least this much — and if donors aren’t willing to disclose themselves, then we need to legislate a solution that brings transparency to the new, murky world of money-as-speech political contributions.

finally, we’ve got to limit the election season.

in light of the 24-hour news cycle, we’re getting to the point where all the people we would WANT to elect are refusing to run because of the impact the eleection marathon has on themselves and their families.

to make matters worse, the 24 month cycle doesn’t even provide its supposed benefit (eg. allow us to thoroughly address issues) and instead forces us to pay attention to all sorts of silly minutia and mini-scandles that the corporate media needs to maintain our daily (hourly, minute-ly) attention.

more than that, the lengthy election season directly depresses (and suppresses) the electorate, and requires huge influxes of cash into the political campaign arms race in order for candidates to stay competitive.

were we to prohibit electioneering more than three months from the primaries, and schedule the general no more than three months after that — elections would be cheaper, less corruptible, more focused (eg. more meaningful debate) and less taxing on the public — not to mention we’d likely have better candidates to boot.

somebody please find a way to make this happen.

found: truth

Thursday, 6 September 2012

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live: democratic national convention

Thursday, 6 September 2012

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i didn’t have the patience (or spare time, or the death wish) to sit through the Republican National Convention this year, but haven’t missed a beat of the Democratic alternative. i’m a horrible person, but i’m in a much better mood because of it.

i’m pretty sure …

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

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… that i’m the only prog in D.C. who’s jumping for joy on his couch right now.

and that’s because instead of watching the Democratic Party getting swept from the U.S. House of Representatives, i’m watching Tottenham Hotspur beat the crap out of reigning european champions Inter Milan in the champions league.

nancy pelosi? tottenham hotspur? i’ll take the younger one, with the fewer surgeries — zing!

vote

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

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i was thiiiiiiiis close to skipping voting this year — it’s the off year for the presidentials, all of the local contests were decided back in the September primaries (which d.c. conveniently screwed up my ballot for) and our representative in Congress can’t vote anyway.

however, someone at work suggested it was sparklet’s civic duty to vote today, and who was i to get in the way a toddler executing her civic duty.

so we voted.

her picks were pretty reasonably across the board, until we had a bit of a disagreement over her choice for D.C.’s Shadow Representative.

Sparklet was drooling towards Republican Nelson Rimensynder and i was going to object — but he’s never going to actually win (with 75% of D.C. voters registered as Democrats) and the position has no power anyway (technically, he would be seated if the District ever got the right to vote in Congress but that’s never going to happen).

with that in mind, who am i to object?

besides, as a resident of D.C., sparklet needs to get used the the idea of throwing her vote away.

sparklet:

1y 0m 20d

unhappy electorate

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

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there’s a tough primary for Mayor in D.C. today, between an incumbent (Fenty) who seems only interested in the white people of northwest, and the challenger (Gray) who seems more intent on spreading the city-coffers-love around to the other quarter million people who live more east and south.

it’s like the ultimate in liberal dilemma — do you vote for the person who clearly most benefits you, or the person who will most benefit the people who need the most benefit?

fortunately for me, i don’t actually have to make a decision between the two evils — because D.C. forgot to send me the absentee ballot i requested, and West Virginia is a long, long way away from the ballot boxes.

it’s too bad, because this is my one chance to vote this year — with 75% of D.C. voters registered as Democtats, the Repubs aren’t even expected to field a Mayoral candidate for the general.

humanity, pt 2

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Favorite bit of coverage from the Glenn Beck-apalooza being held on the National Mall as we speak:

In a rather curious and confused way, some white people are starting almost to think like a minority, even like a persecuted one.

What does it take to believe that Christianity is an endangered religion in America or that the name of Jesus is insufficiently spoken or appreciated? Who wakes up believing that there is no appreciation for our veterans and our armed forces and that without a noisy speech from Sarah Palin, their sacrifice would be scorned?

It’s not unfair to say that such grievances are purely and simply imaginary, which in turn leads one to ask what the real ones can be. The clue, surely, is furnished by the remainder of the speeches, which deny racial feeling so monotonously and vehemently as to draw attention.

CREDITS: Excerpt from Christopher Hitchens’ White Fright, via Slate; Photo © Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post.

humanity, pt 1

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

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there are times where i’ve been sad to be a human being, and watching the uneducated, partisan response to the health care bill is near the top.

it’s hard to imagine what’s bad/unconstitutional about:

  • New health insurance subsidies would be provided to families of four making up to $88,000 annually, or 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Health insurance exchanges would be created to make it easier for small businesses, the self-employed and the unemployed to pool resources and purchase less expensive coverage.
  • Total out-of-pocket expenses would be limited, and insurance companies would be prevented from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurers would be barred from canceling coverage for sick people, as well as charging higher premiums based on a person’s gender or medical history.
  • Insurers would be required to provide coverage for non-dependent children up to age 26.
  • The Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole” would be closed by 2020.
  • A 40 percent tax would be imposed on insurance companies providing “Cadillac” health plans valued at more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. The tax would kick in starting in 2018.
  • The Medicare tax would be imposed on investment income for individuals making over $200,000 and couples making over $250,000.
  • The federal government would assist states by picking up 100 percent of the costs of expanded Medicaid coverage between 2014 and 2016, and 90 percent starting in 2020.
  • Individuals would be required to purchase coverage or face a fine of up to $695 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater, starting in 2016. The plan includes a hardship exemption for poorer Americans.
  • Companies with more than 50 employees would be required to pay a fee of $2,000 per worker if the company does not provide coverage and any of that company’s workers receives federal health care subsidies. The first 30 workers would be subtracted from the payment calculation.
  • States could choose whether to ban abortion coverage in plans offered in the health insurance exchanges.
  • Illegal immigrants would not be allowed to buy health insurance in the health insurance exchanges.

Is it the mandates to have insurance that is so evil? I’m mandated to subsidize people who don’t have insurance now, through higher premiums and higher taxes. Seems like this is something “anti-everything” white people would be crawling all over themselves to support.

Crazy.

Source: Bill Summary from CNN; Photos by Matt Dunn, from City Paper.

the darker side of the inauguration

Thursday, 22 January 2009

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we had a lot of time to think about the inauguration on our way out of the mall … it took us over an hour to go two blocks, and then another couple to get back to civilization (or lunch, at least).

ironically, the thing that stuck with me — more than the speech, the people, the hope — was the complete lack of respect the people on the mall had for the President until around 12:03 pm.

living in my own little world, I’d never really thought it through … sure, he had bad approval numbers, sure my hippie-prog friends had little respect for his policies on, well, anything.

but he was still President, right? i have always firmly believe that you have to respect the office, even if you believe the occupant doesn’t respect the office himself.

there is a basic level of civility that is needed to maintain ourselves as a nation, and violating that civility doesn’t no good in our efforts to establish a new tone of mutual respect in the nation’s Capitol.

now, don’t get me wrong … i didn’t hear anything that wasn’t shouted at Clinton eight years ago, but that’s not the point.

it’s very difficult to take the high road on an inclusive society, when we are exclusive ourselves. in the same way, we can’t fight intolerance with intolerance, regardless of how intolerant we feel the last eight years have been.

i already have conservative friends predicting assassinations, preaching the apocalypse, and plotting out their future lives in foreign countries — which is ironic because the best place for conservatives right now is probably France.

by being intolerant ourselves, we not only excuse this type of behavior, we encourage it. now, i’m about as opposed to neo-cons as anyone, but even I was able to give Bush the benefit of the doubt for his first two years in office.

if we really are going to bring change in Washington, it can’t just trickle down from the top. this started as a grassroots movement, and that’s the only way real change is going to succeed.