Tag Archives: Politics

Disillusioning the Boy Early.

I sort of wish I’d pulled this out before the Boy read it, but on the other hand, it isn’t that different from what the Siren and I say over dinner. It’s just that it brings it home with a reference he understands:

Prickly City

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Not NaNoWriMo Day 2: 365. Also, an Election.

I voted this morning: 13 Democrats, 5 Republicans, 1 Green, 1 independent, not counting judges running only for retention or judicial candidates for open seats running unopposed. So far, it looks like two of the Republicans, the Green, the independent, and one of the Democrats are going to lose, and two of the other races are too close to call. The only races I felt at all good about were some of the very local races; the Democrats managed to field entirely uninspiring candidates for our state wide races, but the Republicans were either no better or worse in most cases. If the races hadn’t been so close, I would have voted for more of the third party candidates.

I added 365 words today, all written on the train to and from work. I was a little more productive in the morning than I was on the way home, probably due to brain drain from the day’s work, and that on the way home I have to worry about missing my stop while going downtown I can write all the way up to the point the last other commuter leaves the train car.

Total word count for Not NaNoWriMo 2010 so far: 783/10,000.

Total word count for Breezeway Blows Town: 75,416/100,000.

Bad Lawyers, Secession Talk, and Rewriting the Novel.

There are a couple of recent stories in the news that I think are worthy of comment, but I’m posting this from work so I’ll be brief.

First, I get why the Obama administration has promised that they’re not going to prosecute the CIA agents who followed Bush administration policy and tortured people in the name of national security post-9/11: they were doing a difficult job under circumstances that may (may) have made the relative morality of their actions seem, if not actually good, then at least not so bad.  Also, they were told by the administration’s lawyers, over and over again, that what they were doing wasn’t “torture” and it was all perfectly legal.

Advice of counsel is a viable defense in criminal prosecutions, so I suppose it’s reasonable for it to apply here.  That said, I hope the asshat lawyers who wrote memos to order for the Bush/Cheney cabal condoning torture all get disbarred.

Second story:  Let me get this straight. Spending a trillion dollars to fight a war in a country that didn’t commit terrorist acts on U.S. territory is perfectly fine and questioning it makes you an unpatriotic terrorist sympathizer, but spending a trillion dollars on rebuilding infrastructure and other projects here at home is a crime against the Constitution and the American people that warrants states seceding from the Union (check this link too)?

Finally, as a personal update, I went back to Scrivener and cut 12,000 words from Meet the Larssons last night, but typed in 1205 words of the new first chapter.  I’m still going through the last couple hundred pages with a pen in my hand, but the rewrite has begun in earnest.  I’m very glad to be back at the computer.

Blago.

I am not going to spend much time here discussing our disgraced governor.  He was disgraced before this arrest, but the misconduct alleged in the criminal complaint is truly mind-boggling.  Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn posted a link to a text version of the complaint here, and provides some interesting commentary to boot, including a quote from my State Rep., Joe Lyons, from last year, calling the hopefully soon-to-be outgoing governor “a madman” and “insane,” and not in a good way.

I will say that Blago took office as a reformer, and brought a number of smart, dedicated, and honest hardworking people into the administration, including several people I know.  Not least on the tally of the damage he has caused is the unfair taint that may follow them long after he’s gone.

Update at 11:15pm: I have now gone through the complaint, and — assuming the allegations are true — what this guy did was so bad you have to wonder if he was planning for an insanity defense.  The frustrating thing was also how stupid he comes across.  Not just in the sense of how could he think he wouldn’t be caught, but in simply not understanding how the world works.  He seemed to think that the President has the power to remove officers of not-for-profit organizations and replace them (say, with departing Midwestern governors), or that Obama could pick up the phone and call Warren Buffett and Buffett would write a check for $10 million to fund a private foundation for Blago to run (at a nice salary).  Delusional.

When I was much younger, I had an interest in a political career (it was finally cured by a two-year term on the board of our 500-unit condominium association).  At some point when we were in college and I was still relatively new to Illinois, I expressed an interest to the future Mrs. Unfocused in some day running for governor.  Don’t even think about it, she told me.  I don’t remember her exact words, but the sense of it was that Illinois politics is a cesspool, and my ambition shouldn’t be to jump into it.  You want to go into politics, she said, fine, but go national and stay out of Springfield.

Now I’ve done her one better, and dropped the whole idea, but the point is, she’s a smart lady, which is one of the reasons I married her.

You’ve Heard It Before…

Now you’re hearing it from me:  if you haven’t voted yet, don’t forget to vote tomorrow.  Even if you think your candidate will win without your vote, go vote.  Pollsters make mistakes.  Eight years ago, I schlepped down to Fort Lauderdale to monitor the Florida recount; believe me when I tell you that EVERY DAMN VOTE MATTERS.

I can’t wait until this damn election is over.  I need the brainspace.

Update: According to MSNBC, they’ve already voted in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.  Obama won, 15 to 6; he’s the first Democrat to win Dixville Notch since 1968.

Fall Sunday Stats #5: Ronald Reagan, Commie Scum; John McCain, Terrorist Fundraiser.

The Republicans have pushed me over the edge with their latest lunatic ranting.  The most impressive thing about McCain’s — very funny — appearance on Saturday Night Live last night is that he managed it without visibly looking under the Weekend Update desk for commies hiding under it.

I’m not going to link to all of the videos of Republican candidates and talking-point spewing mouth breathers slandering Obama by calling him a socialist, Marxist, or communist; they’re available on in the ‘tubes.  Google “Obama socialist” and you’ll find plenty.  Let me get through the stats for the week and I’ll give you my rebuttal.

Miles run today:  None.  The Mrs. is singing excerpts from the Faure Requiem at church this morning, and I don’t miss her performances except for emergencies.  She’s got a wonderful voice.

Words written:  590 words of the short story I’m working on.  Between a tough week at work and election coverage at night, I haven’t been getting much writing done.  Back on track after Tuesday!

And now, my Keith Olbermann-style special comment:

REAGAN WAS A SOCIALIST!

Okay, Republican neo-McCarthyites, what in your mind makes Obama a socialist? Is it his support for the progressive income tax structure (increasing marginal rates as income goes up)? McCain/Palin support the same structure, they just differ over the rates. Let’s assume that you don’t believe we’re living in a socialist state today.  The top marginal income tax rate is currently 35%.  Obama has proposed raising the top rate to 39.6%, which is where it was during the boom years of the 1990s. Are you saying that the line between a capitalist society and a socialist society is crossed somewhere between 35% and 39.6%? Where is that line, exactly? Is it 36%? 37? 38.2%?  Were we socialists during the tech boom?

I also think that it’s unfortunate that you’re defaming Ronald Reagan by calling him a socialist. If Obama’s a socialist for proposing a 39.6% top marginal rate, Reagan must have been positively Stalinesque in his support for the communist system, because under his self-proclaimed “tax reform” the top marginal rate from 1982 through 1986 was 50%. What a pinko! Now, to give credit where credit is due, maybe the Gipper saw the light, because in 1986 he signed another tax bill that lowered the top marginal rate to 38.5%. Perhaps that’s the line we should never cross – 38.5%=capitalist market economy, freedom, and the shining city on the hill, while 38.51% = socialism, tyranny, oppressed masses, and another Evil Empire.  Who knew the red revolution would be so subtle, and yet so well defined?

All tax systems are redistributionist, even a flat tax.  Back in 2000, McCain called the Bush tax cuts “irresponsible.”  So is going back to the pre-2001 top rate “socialistic” or simple fiscal responsibility?

MCCAIN FUNDED RADICAL PALESTINIAN TERRORIST!

As for Khalidi, while McCain served on the board of the International Republican Institute, that organization gave Khalidi several hundred thousand dollars in grants in the 1990s. Obama spoke at a dinner where the guy was in attendance, and says that in a couple of conversations Khalidi challenged some of Obama’s biases. Assuming Khalidi is some kind of radical terrorist (a charge for which there doesn’t appear to be any evidence), which association is more offensive?

Let’s get this straight:  Obama, not a socialist, not someone who pals around with terrorists.  He’s just the guy who’s kicking Republican ass.

Can You See the Tire Tracks on Her Back?

Because McCain just threw his running mate under the bus.  The clip isn’t up yet, but it will be soon right here if you missed it.  I have to give the cranky old SOB credit — that was damn funny.