Thursday, March 19

Quit fiddling, Nero

Representative Jules Kopel-Bailey of Oregon's 42nd district,

I am appalled that you are supporting HB 2690. I, too, am a bicycle commuter, but I am vehemently opposed to allowing bicycles ignore traffic signs in this manner. There are too many ill-behaved cyclists in this city as it is, and this bill rewards their ill behavior. We should be cracking down on cyclists that ignore stop signs, not give them a free pass.

More importantly, I am greatly disappointed that the only two issues we've heard the most about involving you since you went to Salem to represent us are HB 3122 and HB 2690. You're playing around with petty things like measuring pints of beer, letting cyclists run stop signs, and meaningless gestures while our education system is on the verge of a financial collapse! I am disgusted that you choose to serve our district and our state in such a trivial and worthless manner. Forget pints of beer and bicycles, do something abut health care, unemployment, and adequately funding schools and universities.

Stop emulating Nero. Quit fiddling and start putting out the metaphorical fires threatening our state.

Tuesday, February 10

Fantasy math

Take the $700 billion used in the bank bailout. Oregon has approximately 1% of the US population. 1% of $700 billion is $7 billion. Oregon also has 1200 schools. If the billionaire bailout had been instead spent on education, each school in Oregon would have $5.8 million.

Tuesday, January 20

Today

Today a village in Texas gets its idiot back. Good riddance to you and all the evil you brought when you stole the office in 2000.

Now we need to clean up the mess George II and his cronies put us in. President Obama, we're with you. Help show us the way and we will follow.

Tuesday, October 28

The Election of Schadenfreude

Does it make me a bad person to gleefully watch the Republican party viciously disembowel itself in a colossal act of self-mutilation?

Between the abysmally-bad drama playing out between Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin, Sen. "Tubez" Stevens's new "all Prison Blues" wardrobe, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann's "American vs. Anti-American" diatribes from Planet Bizarro, I just can't help but relish the Republican party's agony. It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of rats. I can't even summon up any empathy for them. After all, they are human beings. Aren't they?

I hereby dub the 2008 election "The Election of Schadenfreude".

An interesting scenario

In light of Sen. Stevens' conviction, a scenario comes to mind:


  1. Sen, Stevens wins re-election - not as unlikely as one might think. Remember that Alaskans love their pork and the Senator has been bringing home the bacon for 40 years.

  2. The Senate gets together and summarily boots his felonious keester out of the Capitol.

  3. Alaska holds a special election to dill the empty Senate seat. #1 likely candidate? A certain popular power-hungry Alaska governor.

  4. Sarah Palin joins her (no-longer?) best pal John McCain in a Democratically-dominated Senate.



Yeah, yeah. I know there are a lot of "if"s in that, but I don't think it's all that unlikely.

Wednesday, October 15

Uncertified teachers?

Apparently Sen. McCain thinks it's all right to have people teaching in our classrooms without certification:
We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states.
Say what?!

Our students deserve better. What is so bad about certifying our teachers before sending them into the classroom?

Tuesday, October 14

Delusional


Via fivethirtyeight.com

What a pathetic, hateful, delusional man.

I can't decide whether to pity him for living in his hateful little dream-world or despise him for inflicting it upon the rest of us.

Thursday, October 2

VP Debate

I'm torn between relief that Gov. Palin didn't embarrass herself in front of the largest audience in her life and disappointment at not getting to see the Republican ticket completely implode spectacularly in prime time.

I am pleased for her as a human being that she did not repeat her humiliating performance from last week on CBS. As much as I despise her politics, it's nice to see the first female candidate in the nationwide general election in 20 years to not come out looking utterly empty-headed on her biggest stage yet. She looked poised and spoke clearly, if a bit too heavy on the folksy colloquialisms.

However, while she spoke clearly she did not speak intelligently. I am thoroughly disgusted at how many times she tried to shoehorn an unrelated talking point script in instead of answering the actual question. "I disagree with that ... and I'd like to talk about energy" is not an answer, it's evasion. She pulled it out far too many times. Not once did I hear her answer with anything but a carefully pre-scripted talking point. That's not a debate, that's one of those pre-recoded robocalls.

In contrast, while Sen. Biden didn't deliver a knockout punch to her ridiculous campaign, he did a very smart thing - he didn't even bother to go after her and risk looking condescending or sexist. Instead he aimed all his attacks at Sen. McCain knowing, probably, that voters don't vote for the VP candidate, they vote for the head of the ticket. He consistently - save one apparently accidental slip where he used her first name - referred to her using her title. I think that was extremely wise. At the same time, he did reasonably well avoiding sticking his foot in his mouth while looking distinguished and charismatic.

While my poor id was deprived of the snarky schadenfreude it so wanted, I think Palin's better-than-expected - if somewhat robotic - performance and Biden's solid - if uninspired - performance balanced each other out. I think the Senator might have had a slight edge over the Governor - especially when he started talking about being a parent - I don't think this debate is going to have much of an effect at all.

Now watch tomorrow's polls prove me wrong! ;-)

Thursday, September 25

Katie Couric interview

If you haven't seen the interview, well, you might want to save the time. It was so painfully awkward that I couldn't even finish watching it. I did, however, manage to pay attention long enough to hear this:
Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that’s paramount. That’s more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he’s been in Congress for 26 years. He’s been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He’s also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he’s been talking about - the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you’ve said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

The transcript doesn't show the Governor's awkward pauses nor does it portray either person's tone of voice, but you get the gist of the interview. I've never been a fan of Katie Couric, but I'm pleased she didn't let Gov. Palin get away with her non-answers. I'm appalled at how badly Gov. Palin handled it.

What planet are these people on? Sen. McCain pulling some wild stunt with tomorrow's debate (I'm kind of hoping Sen. Obama ends up on national TV alone with Jim Lehrer, wouldn't that be bizarre?) and dashing back to Washington to try and blow up whatever agreement Sen. Dodd and Rep. Frank had worked out with their minority counterparts on their committees. Gov. Palin looking like some sort of political robot being asked questions outside its parameters (why the hell didn't her campaign staff prepare her for such an obvious question?) It's all rather surreal. Is this the proverbial "October Surprise" a week early? Or are even greater levels of insanity yet to come?

Wait .. don't answer that. Silly question. Of course there are greater levels of insanity on the way. The question should be, how far from reality can this campaign possibly go?