Archive for February, 2008

cyber-bullying psa

Monday, February 18th, 2008

There is this PSA advertisement I keep hearing on the radio which bugs me just a tad.  It takes a firm stand against that oh-so-controversial of issues, Bullying — more to the point “Cyber-bullying”.

I will assume the two girls are about 13 years of age.  I will call them Suzy and Sarah, because I don’t remember their name.  So Sarah’s mom says, “Oh hi Suzy.  The kids are in the kitchen making sandwiches.”

Cut to kitchen.  Where Suzy unleashes a torrent of insults at Sarah.  There is a familiarity to it all, even if I can’t say many of them were directed at me.  (Boys differ from girls in their bullying.)

The announcer comes on.  “You wouldn’t say this in person.  So why say it online?  Delete Cyber-bullying.  Don’t send; don’t forward; don’t respond.”  — AND let ‘er rip, another message from the “Ad Council”, I never too sure if this really reaches it’s targeted audience.  (There are a slew of them designed for that rough age group — something about baaing sheep and remaining “above the influence”–, and I’m largely roaming the am dial and hearing them there.  AM dial.  AM dial.  Tween early teenagers.  Bit of a Disconnect.)

The problem with this public service announcement ad… Yes, yes a thirteen year old girl might say that all in person.  Or, kids can be so mean.  Thus we have… a disconnect, and until that disconnect is solved, a message that misses its intended mark.

Freedom — It’ll do.

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

“Freedom is better than lack of freedom.”

Or so says Russia’s next “President”, Dimitri Medvedev.

Positively Jeffersonian, it.

over there somewhere in Eastern Washington…

Friday, February 15th, 2008

For the past 3 elections in Washington’s 4th Congressional District, Democrats have been gaining ground on Doc Hastings. From the dismal 34% of Craig Mason (no offense Craig) in 2002, the semi-well funded Sandy Matheson in 2004 with 37%, to the wildly underfunded 2006 Richard Wright campaign with 41% there is a serious trend in play and something to watch in 2008.  With record Central Washington turnout in the 2008 Democratic Caucus, and the dismal performance of the WA GOP caucus, 2008 could very well be the year the 4th CD trends back to it’s Democratic roots.     


Actually you can chart it back to 1998 when the glorious Gordon Allen Pross garnered 24 percent of the vote.  But to get the unequivocal line upward, you would have to leave out Jim Davis in 2000, who bested Craig Mason by a few percentage points.

That was meant to be snarky.  It is impossible not to be skeptical, and I think we can account for the shifts in percentages to external factors moreso than local voting trend-lines.  Craig Mason under-performed by a few percentage points because he was perceived as a big L liberal egghead college professor type.  Richard Wright over-performed by a few percentage points because the year 2006 saw a Democratic wave, the effect on the Fourth Congressional district were those few points.  Thus the typical result would have to be Jim Davis’s 2000 and Sandy Matheson’s 2004 result of… 37 percent.

I suspect some things offset — presidential election means entrenched partisan voting down-ballot, with a general Democratic year.  Um… better finance (He is the dream candidate in that regard, right?  Self-Financer?)  will bring us…

The trend line back to 1998, skipping over 2000 for convenience, continues!  3 more points still!

But the dawning of a new Partisan order suggests some districts you don’t expect to vote Democratic will indeed do so.  But from the point of view of someone in Seattle or DC, manning purse-strings, it makes complete sense that they would scour about and skip past this and deem, say the fifth district as a better candidate for that.  Then again, that district was a disappointment in 2006 — somewhere in the last wave of suspected possibilities for the political party, and the candidate did not perform much better than Richard Wright’s shoe-string campaign.

I thought Doc was supposed to retire.  Or is he still holding out for the Republican takeover of Congress when he gets to get his dream position of chair of the Rules Committee.  (Maybe he can give up that dream, say, after the 2012 election — which is the next time I can possibly see the Republicans take back the House?)

…Let the Dogs out?

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Just a thought:

With Darlene Hooley departing from the House, the number of Congressional members in the Oregon delegation who can do a play off of the Baha Boys’ 2000 (or 2001?) one hit wonder quasi-sports anthem “Who Let the Dogs Out” drops to one.

I wonder why Darlene Hooley or David Wu never tried that one for one of their campaigns.  Became too entrenched by that time, both of them?  Didn’t strike the right note for Wu’s one serious match in 2004 where he was dogged by a college-rape scandal?

(Yes, I know the reason is because it is insanely stupid, and this only makes me laugh in a cringe-inducing stupor, but…)


Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Sometimes I trip over something expressed in the Media, or Medium, where they display — unknowingly — a bias which tells us about what is off with Politics.  As with this idea —

a clear winner in McCain, but he continues to be embarassed by his main remaining challenger, Mike Huckabee, whose strong showings underscore McCain’s weakness with the religious conservative base of his party that doesn’t seem willing to accept the new reality.

Electoral politics thus becomes a sick psychotic game, personalities and individuals stripped, herded into one mass, and then herded again into another mass.  My question for this analysis: Would it have been better for the Republican Party and John McCain’s campaign had the Mike Huckabee voters not voted at all, which would have given McCain a higher percentage showing in those primaries?  I for one suspect that the Mike Huckabee voters were more than willing to accept the reality of the moment they were voting:  a ballot with the name of one candidate they preferred to vote for over another candidate.

The peril of democratic electoral politics is that voting in a primary for someone other than the designated and on-the-trajectory to nominee becomes a spoiler by mere inference — a sign that they are not behind that candidate one hundred percent.  And, indeed, the trouble is, it is a spoiler, because these things are decided off of margins of margins.

The Inanity of Drudge

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I was looking through the listing of blogs for results of the primaries held on Tuesday, and unable to find percentages for either Obama’s or McCain’s victories, I shrugged and clicked over to Drudge.  The top headline was marked with Obama, and on to a link to an article.  But the first item on the left-hand sie struck me as rather…

There was a headline “Hillary Wears Thatcher Red”, and that we get a side-by-side image of Hillary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher wearing similar red dresses.

I understand the color red in fashion denotes “Power”, thus a wise decision for a politician needing to display confidence.  Also all men should have red ties in their assembly of ties, worn when you need to impress someone.

Beyond this, I have to say that I have no clue what Drudge is driving at here.  Further, the thought pops up that a drone at Drudge saw Hillary Clinton, made a connection with Margaret Thatcher, rumbled around for a photograph of Thatcher, went into adobe and spliced the two photographs next to each other, and uploaded it ontoDrudge.

The banality and triviality of it all overwhelms me — part of which is the simple fact that this will be surely be replaced with an equally banal and trivial item of concern.

I heard a criticism of media coverage of our electoral system as “Theater Review”, personalities take over any policy concerns, and coverage is focused in on a dramatic storyline of who is up and what is down.  In terms of Personalities, you can at least make the case that this shows the way to how a politician will be governing in Office.  But somewhere beyond that we have a Costuming note, and one I cannot say I would have much noticed, and one I am overwhelmed by just how underwhelming it is.

Again: What the Hell is the matter with Drudge, and what is wrong with me that I fail to understand him?

Known Fact?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Mike says right here:

Interesting that all of the names Jen mentions in her first paragraph are associated with the Skull and Bones society.

Which deserves a look at the names which Jen mentions in her first paragraph here:

Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, Hillary Clinton.

One of  five are members with the Skull and Bones society, and I suspect you have to have a very broad definition for “associated” which would end up encapsulating the power elite into a vaguely defined conspiracy to get them to fit this picture.  The known fact is… ?

Generational Strife, and stuff

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

So we see in today’s regional paper of record, lower case all the way around, from a University of Oregon associate professor, a rousing defense of Super-Delegates.  Something about the Democratic Party realizing it was not a good idea to have the decision made by the rank and file after George McGovern’s failed campaign and Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency.

I already wrote my history of our primary system, and how super-delegates came to be, and I stand largely behind it — even if it is factually spotty in places.  But the persons of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter are defendable enough: for one thing, his slight against Jimmy Carter — squeaked in past Ford off of the ghosts of Richard Nixon, boomerang back to McGovern — whose election year attacks against Richard Nixon were blasted as “shrill” and unbecoming, and whose shrill and unbecoming attacks on Nixon were completely and utterly true.  Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, while we can’t exactly say was a good president was an incredibly unlucky one, the slot that he came to was a sand-trap where the nation was facing the whirl-wind of past short-sighted policies that sent the economy spiraling and a ticking time-bomb in the Middle East.  There are murmurs that the next presintial term is similarly doomed — the dam is about to burst and the next president is going to be caught holding the bag tossed by this president in particular and the past few presidents in general, which throws up contradictory suggestions on whom the Democratic nominee ought to be.  The answer should be obvious, Obama, except for the problem of a certain toothlessness in demenor.

More to the point, the nominating process which was shut down slightly with the Super-delegates had been “freed” following the experience of Hubert Humphrey, and more to the point Richard Daley cracking skulls at the 1968 Convention.  And the first crack at the Establishmentarian bosses saving the rank and file from itself, though only as an insurance for it did not come to that, was 1984 and Walter Mondale.  Which means we have the example of one elected president and the winner of a single state versus the experience of a relatively close loser (in a three-way race) and another winner of one state.

Maybe this fits in with the “rhythm”s theory tossed in somewhat haphazardly in another newspaper editorial — published yesterday.  I say haphazardly because it provided me no good answer to its premise, pointing out the 26 (or therabouts) Republican Congressional evacuees — the guaranteer of a great Democratic year on the front — and suggesting that two party tidal waves in a row is typical.  Some examples would have  been nice.  I suppose the 1930-1932-1934-1936 cycle is the starkest exemplifier of what is supposed, but I’m in the dark after that one.  The modest Republican victroy of 1978 followed by 1980’s “Reagan Revolution”– does that qualify?  Or was he referring to 1966, at the time described as a Democratic crack-up but superceded in History by 1968 which by dent of being an election year, with Richard Daley cracking skulls, is described as a Democratic Crack-Up?

Incidentally, I have no historical memory of any of this.  The next editorial I see in these papers splits apart “The New Generation” — as these things always rate, with mixed results.  I apparently am a member of No Generation — the Milenials clearly demarcated to turning 18 in the year 2000, “Generation X”‘s 18th birtday seeming to sputter in the mid-90s.  I ought to enjoy my status of being Generation-less, for it frees from these generalities — to wit, this editorial draws a clear line of succession from the Milenial’s formative experience of watching Barney the Purple Dinosaur with their current support of the candidacy of Barack Obama.  I am spared this bit of cultural wisdom.  (In terms of personality types, I apparently belong more to “Generation X” than to “The Milenials”, my cynicism passing my idealism.  I think I have a bit of both, though, which I suppose might be indicative of my sitting in the Gray Area between these two generations.)

One last suggestion in passing: the name “Ronald Reagan” is meaningless to the Youth.  It is either ahistorical or amythological a mindset.  Then again, I don’t know how far the Kennedy-worship gets us — but I think Reagan-worship gets us further nowhere than Kennedy.  Good luck with that one, John McCain.  I will say this to John McCain, though: you can earn my vote if you start to align yourself with the spirit of that Great Republican President, Chester Arthur.  I demand to see someone honor Chester Arthur’s memory and declare proudly “I am an Arthur Republican!”

Hm.  Should I tie this back to the beginning thematically somehow, or is that now an impossibility?


Saturday, February 9th, 2008

So, hearing the sound-tracks of Mitt Romney’s speech, we find that once again, a vote for Clinton Hilllary or Barack Hussein Obama is a vote for… um…

Cheap Trick.

Mother told me, yes, she told me I’d meet girls like you
She also told me, “Stay away, you’ll never know what you’ll catch”
Just the other day I heard a soldier falling off some Indonesian junk that’s going round

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away

Father says, “Your mother’s right, she’s really up on things”
“Before we married, Mommy served in the WACS in the Philippines”
Now, I had heard the WACS recruited old maids for the war
But mommy isn’t one of those, I’ve known her all these years

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away

Whatever happened to all this season’s losers of the year?
Ev’ry time I got to thinking, where’d they disappear?
When I woke up, Mom and Dad are rolling on the couch
Rolling numbers, rock and rolling, got my Kiss records out

Mommy’s alright, Daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird
Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself awa

Well, Romney hopes to build the House that Ronald Reagan built — strengthen the House which is the same House that Clinton Hillary want to build.  In 2012.  Because he’s the natural Conservative candidate, for some unexplainable reason.  He was the Conservative Stool, after all.

Well, it makes as much sense as anything else, I suppose.  Limbaugh either observed or demanded Huckabee ought be McCain’s running mate.  Huckabee having been bashed just a little while ago by the Club for Growthers, and onto Rush — the purity is off every which way you go, and you have to pretend you didn’t say something previously.  ‘Tis the way of Electoral Politics.

A final shot at the bow for Ron Paul

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

I suppose it may be borish to mention this, but looking down the local (regional?) mediocre newspaper of record yesterday on the page of “Super Tuesday” results, they listed the results for each state — Democratic results between Hillary Clinton and Republican results between John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee. I believe it was an AP snatch, but am not sure — it came from somewhere or other.

The problem is the matter of Ron Paul. He would not be problematic if he came in fourth in every state, but in a handful of states, he surpassed one of the other candidates — a fact that made the curious result of seeing this tilted missing percentage greater than one of the others. So, the results… where Ron Paul should have been listed instead of one of the other yahoos, by the Rule of 3 criteria:
(caucuses) Percent of vote
Mike Huckabee 14%
John McCain 22%
Mitt Romney 38%
Ron Paul 25%
Number of delegates at stake
Republicans 25

North Dakota
(caucuses) Percent of vote
Mike Huckabee 20%
John McCain 23%
Mitt Romney 36%
Ron Paul 21%
Number of delegates at stake
Republicans 23

Percent of vote
Mike Huckabee 2%
John McCain 6%
Mitt Romney 89%
Ron Paul 3%
Number of delegates at stake
Republicans 36If you want to tell me that this is a result of listing the candidates who have a realistic shot of being the White House, I just have to shake my head and take a closer look at the Republican nomination process as it stood on Tuesday. Also worth mentioning.:

(caucuses) Percent of vote
Mike Huckabee 20%
John McCain 22%
Mitt Romney 42%
Ron Paul 16%
Number of delegates at stake
Republicans 38

Maybe I should shrug it off, seeing as how last week there was a huge story about the possibility of Ron Paul winning the Maine Caucuses — which, he did not come close to doing so, denting any claim for Respectibility and moving that benefit of the Doubt away from him.  You give him a shot, get burned, and just have to toss it aside.  The Ron Paulites will have to content themselves knowing they have a better presence on World of Warcraft. And maybe he can make a good presence in Idaho?