Archive for October, 2014

dissecting the Senate ads

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Monica Wehby shows us the the standard black and white image of the grainy, unflattering Jeff Merkley.  The voice snarls.  “Senator Jeff Merkley is a bad man.”  Fade to black.  Next shot.  Color, brightly lit.  Monica Wehby is walking down a hospital hallway, smiling and nodding with clipboard in hand at patients and / or co-workers.  The voice sparkles.  “But Monica Wehby has a different approach.”

And then, last screen, small image of Monica Wehby.  “I’m Monica Wehby, and I approve this message.”

The latest round of Jeff Merkley ads?  All very vacuuous.  Issue free.  Insulting, really.  He’s playing ping-pong in the garage with the kids.  The ball flies past him, because… well, he’s human, see, and that’s just how human he is.

And then the mailed out fliers, long the domain of these under the radar get to one targeted public and miss the general public messages and attacks…  So...

Campaign mailers can also tell you when a race is essentially over.
One that hit mailboxes last week came from the Humane Society Legislative Fund. On one side is the smiling face of Oregon’s junior U.S. senator. On the other, a blissfully sleeping golden retriever puppy.
“Rise & Shine,” reads the mailer. “Help animals by voting for Jeff Merkley!”

Attack the puppy, Monica Wehby.

And you know… in an alternate universe, the Oregon Republican Party’s gubernatorial and Senate candidates would be reversed, so … you know… the Republican Party might then have a chance against the Incumbent Democratic Governor (hilarious endorsement by the Willamette Week which spends an entire article ripping him to shreds, and then coming out with essentially “And Dennis Richardson sucks even more… vote for Kitzhaber.”)  instead of no chance in both races.

the curious case of Scott Brown

Friday, October 24th, 2014

As New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen accused former Sen. Scott Brown of “fear-mongering” on Ebola, Democrats strongly agreed, Republicans completely disagreed, and independent voters stayed neutral.

Interesting question.  Scott Brown rode his pick-up truck into a Senate seat in Massachusetts, now trying to take his pick-up truck to a Senate seat in New Hampshire…

… Don’t call him a carpetbagger because Henry Clay did the same thing…

How is he doing?  Apparently not running the crest of the Republican wave to victory.  If he were, I’d be picking up him in the poll of polls in states, as we see … oh, Arkansas’s Mark Pryor and Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu pretty well screwed right now.

Where does this bring us on the legacy of Scott Brown, once upon a time the Giant Killer for Ted Kennedy’s seat, and now… future Lobbyist in our permanent government?

Natural Law Party… alive and kicking

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

So.  Nikki Mattson.

Apparently still running.  Board of Regents.  University of Michigan.  Under the Natural Law Party.

One of six candidates.

Since the stats page show interest, I’ll be sure to try to profile them all before November… or… somewhat.

Points of Misogyny

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

A lecture on video game culture was canceled at Utah State University this week after the school received threats of a mass shooting.
Controversy that started online has now moved to the real world, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.
“Women are often a damsel in distress or helpless in some way, or they’re highly sexualized and created to be these male fantasies,” media critic Anita Sarkeesian said.
In her video blog, Sarkeesian speaks out about the way women are unfairly portrayed in video games.
She planned to speak on this topic at Utah State University before the school received an anonymous letter, threatening a massacre.
The letter read, “I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history.”

Yeah.  It’s as though he wants to note only prove her point correlating violence (especially toward women) and the demeaning imagery of video games, but also pop open the aspect of moral panics that pretty well fell out of the wayside in recent years, save for spokespeople for the NRA who not only need some defensive maneuvering but are worried about the opportunity loss in switch of hobbies.

Seriously, what is being lost?  If he really wants to protest, he should stick with not attending the conference and stay in his room and play his stupid damned video games.

Then there’s this guy, who is… er… protesting an all women’s comedy festival here in Portland, because… hm.

Again.  What’s the point?  Some of the comedy will be good, some will be bad, some politically, some more strident in their feminism than others, but should they want to… everyone there will be able to make comedic fodder of this dude.


Monday, October 20th, 2014

By most accounts, the Democratic Party is going to get some kind of thumping the first Tuesday of November, and lose the Senate.

… because, … erm… Ebola Sealed it.

Which is why it is weird that some weird race popped out of nowhere in South Dakota.  All good and well, and it is clever of Bloomberg news to compare him to… George McGovern… by way of suggesting a looming upset — his first Senate race, mind you, not the 1972 Presidential race.

so… top 2 voting.

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Moving through the Oregon Voters Pamphlet

The Constitution Party candidate for Governor, Alan Auer, make the point that

We are all created in the Creator’s image; therefore, the unalienable rights of the unborn is the first duty of civil government. Human life is sacred. Male and female created He them. For this cause shall a man leave his Father and his Mother and shall cleave unto his wife.

Ahem.  “Male and female created He them”.  Pronoun problems?

Running in the 5th Congressional district is, a (sigh) 9/11 Truther.  Marvin Sannes.  Ther war that we’ve been fighting since 1939 is over?

I’m curious about the eye-patch on the Pacific Green candidate for 3rd Congressional district, Michael Meo.

Skipping over to the ballot measures, we can all laugh at the Reefer Madness on the Opposition Statements regarding Measure 91.

But Measure 90 presents something worth looking at…  First of all, Maurice Henderson and the Yes on 90 pulls that classless schtik of buying a few slots for a couple of parodies and a straight-forward argument for passing the measure…  interesting to see he profers a quote from Sal Parrinto and the Independent Party, the one party that as it an endorsement clearing-house by design benefits from this measure — as representative of third parties.

Moving on to actual arguments against… there is an interesting problem with the case study thrown out here… Washington’s 4th Congressional district… go to Planned Parenthood’s argument…

The negative impacts on women’s health are already clear in Washington, a “Top Two” state. Because of the Top Two, voters in the state’s 4th Congressional District this fall will have their choice of voting between:

Conservative Republican Clint Didier, who is anti-choice, or
Conservative Republican Dan Newhouse, who is anti-choice.

And those will be the only choices available to voters in the congressional race, thanks to the Top Two. Pro-choice voters in the district will be forced to choose between one of these anti-choice candidates, or simply not vote at all.

Ah, the perils of being a single issue voter.  As opposed to the past two decades where they’ve had the choice between one conservative Democrat who is anti-choice and a Conservative Republican who is anti-choice, or a moderate Democrat who is pro-choice and a Conservative Republican who is anti-choice, or… a conservative Republican who is anti-choice and… Gordon Allen Pross who is who knows and who cares?

The conservative Republican wins in every case.

The problem may be brought into focus by Carl Wolfson’s statement…

Because of the Top Two primary in Washington State, voters in the 4th Congressional District will be forced to choose between the following two candidates:
Conservative Republican Clint Didier, who is anti-choice, opposes gun laws, wants to repeal Obamacare, and parrots the right-wing position on immigration, and
Conservative Republican Dan Newhouse, who is anti-choice, opposes gun laws, wants to repeal Obamacare, and parrots the right-wing position on immigration
Voters who don’t identify with these two candidates and their very similar agendas will have no other alternatives on the ballot. This is a district where more than 78,000 people voted for a Democratic candidate in 2012 against an entrenched incumbent.
And yet, under the Top Two elections system, these voters won’t see anyone on the ballot who even remotely represents them. They can choose between someone they fundamentally disagree with, and someone they fundamentally disagree with. Or, more likely, they’ll simply choose not to vote in that race.

It’s worth noting that the actual Democrat in the primary had up an ad where he was shooting guns, the better to emphasize his disassociation with the national Democratic view.
And we do have an interesting debate herein on the effects of this on small “d” democracy.  Do you prefer to have an automatic loser who “remotely” represents your broad spectrum of viewpoints, shading here or there, as some kind of tribune… or… two people who don’t remotely share your views, but one will win, and perhaps — perhaps — they have to be aware of a slice of the electorate that they can appeal to — in Newhouse’s case with some Moderate Republican rhetoric, in Didier’s case with some anti-establishment rhetoric… pick your poison.

zombies and riverdale

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

worldofarchiezombie   The cover should be funny, as it is clearly an allusion to … er… this…

ALWArchie1-195x300  The comic book series where Archie gang the gang face the Zombie Apocalypse, as headed by none other than Zombie Jughead.

The first case of a comic book released by Archie Comics that would not pass the dictates of the Comics Code Authority… and also a case of Archie Comics getting on a fad a minute or two just after it passed by.

The problem is that it’s not really a joke.  It would be totally believable that Jughead would dress as a zombie.  Also it’s not a terribly convincing zombie… he’s … er… having to hold a sign saying he is a zombie?

In other items… the latest best of Archie (voulume 4) contains supernatural elements… a reprint of a weird item where Betty and Veronica sell their soul to Satan.  Typical loopy Frank Doyle narrative.  Also contains a story where the gang are drafted into the Vietnam War.  Incredibly preachy — the older generation telling the youngsters not to burn their draft cards and riot.  Make of it what you will.

Birthday Greetings

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Happy Birthday to Dwight Eisenhower.

124 years young.

Hollywood flips over another odd product

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Alexander and the Very Good No Bad Very Bad Day…

… doesn’t seem like it would work expanded to 80 minutes.  I suppose they’ve fleshed out a trope of a family of “lucky” people for the no-luck Alexander to clash in, but…

… my 3rd grade teacher read this book relentlessly to us.  (Kind of became wearying).  I don’t think she would like the movie.  (Apparently there’s a kangeroo in it, homage to his always wishing to go to Australia.)

I may as well note someone recently search engined “Amelia Bedelia” and my problems with her — like the problem people had with Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” song, but compounded due to them being validated by an unquestioned authority.  If they make a children’s movie out of that one, will they make the due correction?  (Harder to stretch that to 80 minutes, though.)