Monday, December 21, 2009
Why I plan to become affiliated again. ...
Soon ... some time after the holidays, I'm planning to temporarily abandon my "decline to state" status and signup as a Republican before the primaries. The CA Republican Party does not allow decline-to-state voters to vote in their primaries and I want to throw my vote to Tom Campbell for the Republican nominee for CA governor.

Sure, sure. I don't always agree with Tom's positions -- he and I don't see eye-to-eye on the health care reform debate, f'rex -- but he is a bright guy. Sharp as a tack. He thinks things through. He's amenable to changing his mind when different factors are brought to his attention. (And back when he was my Congress critter, he answered my e-mails at 3A Washington, DC, time when I dropped him notes after midnight California time.)

He listens.

Why would I change my unaffiliated to Republican-affiliated? Because Meg Whitman is the front-runner in current polls and I do =not= want Meg Whitman as the Republican nominee. And Whitman as Governor? Oh, noes! Sure, I could vote in the Democratic Party primary as an unaffiliated voter, but voting there will probably not make a huge difference in which candidate (Jerry Brown, anyone?) is chosen to run.

Tom Campbell is a =much= better choice than Whitman, but knowing the state party, he probably won't make the cut unless Meg really blows it between now and then or enough decline-to-states join (or re-join) the Republican party and vote for Campbell.

Update: For the June 2010 primary, it turns out, decline-to-states CAN vote in the Republican primary =if= you request a Republican ballot, either at your polling place on Election Day, or in advance by contacting your county elections office. Which is what I now plan to do. (Although the push this year to implement the bar failed, the push is still on within the party to bar decline-to-states from voting in future primaries, so be aware.)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Let me introduce The Giulio Verne
Posted by Picasa

We've been watching the Giulio Verne for the last few days as it slowly moves along the waterfront toward Potrero Point.

The TransBay Cable (a 53-mile long, 400 MW high voltage DC transmission line connecting the PG&E substation in Pittsburg with one down at Potrero Point in San Francisco) is becoming a reality.

Soon the spewing Unit#3 at Potrero Point will shut down. Unit#3 has the honor of being San Francisco's #1 source of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Take a bow, Unit#3.

When the cable is functioning, next spring, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) will allow San Francisco to close down Unit#3. The three peaker plants at Potrero Point must remain available, however, until such time as San Francisco has replacement alternative power generation in place.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Town Hall
"Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table."

Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Town Hall Comparing Obama To Hitler

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 12, 2009
Smog check?
Yesterday morning I took pictures of three ships leaving within a ten-minute-or-so period, all of them spewing crap into the air. We, of course, need to have our cars smog-checked every two years. Ships coming in and out of harbor. Not.

Posted by Picasa

Why not?

Update: Ah. ... A federal appeals court agreed Wednesday [27 Feb 2008] that state air pollution regulators can't order ships arriving at California ports to reduce their toxic contributions to local smog." The Court ruled that the State Air Board's rules couldn't take precedence over the federal Clean Air Act and the state would have to get a waiver from the EPA to allow its rules to go into effect.

OK. So when is =that= going to happen, now that TPTB at the EPA have changed? Soon? Have we asked?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Privacy? Circumspection? Privacy? Privacy? Fuggedaboutit.
And so with nary a care, Leah Garchik spills the beans about Gavin's new digs, with enough information (price, street) that any stalker worth his/her salt could track down the address in (oh ... say ...) about ten seconds.

I dunno. If I were someone who attracts stalkers like Gavin does, I'd be a bit annoyed at Ms Leah leaking the info just because she could.

Maybe it's just me.

(And, yes, even though I'm not a stalker, the challenge of the day -- after finishing the ***Sudoku and both crosswords -- was to track down Gavin's new address. And it didn't take that long. ...)

Labels: , ,

Saturday, June 06, 2009
Prop 13, Education, and the current budget crunch
Read an interesting comment yesterday in my alumni magazine. An earlier issue had an article ("Struggling for Words") in which English Professor Jonathan Lovell rued the effects Prop 13 has had on education since it passed in 1978.

Oh, really? (or words to that effect) was the comment.

While the state of public education is deplorable, Prop 13 is certainly not one of the causes. Assessed values, tax receipts and school funding have all increased at faster rates than inflation since its passage in 1978. The provisions of Prop 13, which create a more stable tax base, will provide a relatively "soft" landing during the recession, as not all assessed values will fall from the grossly inflated market values of recent years. Without Prop 13, the decrease in property tax revenues would be even more dramatic than what we're actually seeing. -- Pete Conrad, '82 Business

Something to think about.

Another benefit of Prop 13 for education, which I've never heard mentioned, is that it created an incentive for families to stay put, not to trade up to a bigger house. As a result, our children went from K-12 with pretty much the same set of kids. The parents worked together for years and were gung-ho about working with the schools. We knew each other, our quirks, our pet peeves, our strengths. Instead of people moving in and out and up, we had a stable foundation for volunteerism and fundraising.

But, yeah. I hadn't thought about the precipitous fall in property tax revenues that there would've been without Prop 13.

Oh, you say? But wouldn't we'd've had a mess more money if Prop. 13 hadn't been around? Yeah. We would've. Year to year. And we would've spent every frickin' dime and be left now with unsustainable programs and no funds to run them. Rainy day funds are an anomaly in this state. Alas.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 29, 2009
Two grooms
Found this in the Papyrus stationery store @ 243 Montgomery while I was walking down to the SPUR Urban Center opening yesterday afternoon.

Soon. ...
Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 28, 2009
The government plans to demolish and rebuild 85 percent of Kashgar’s Old City..
SJ Rozan posted a link to a NYTimes news story on Facebook.

To Protect an Ancient City, China Moves to Raze It -

Saying it fears earthquake damage, the government plans to demolish and rebuild 85 percent of Kashgar’s Old City.

Discussion continues on SJ Rozan's Facebook as to whether this urban renewal in Kashgar has anything to do with earthquakes or perhaps something to do with the Chinese central government's take on the local Uighur Muslim population.

No, it couldn't be anything like that. Why look at this signage at Kashgar's Idkha Mosque, the largest mosque in China:

Posted by Picasa

All of it shows fully that Chinese government always pays special attentions to the another and historical cultures of the ethnic groups, and that all ethnic groups warmly welcome Part's (sic) religious policy. It also shows that different ethnic groups have set up a close relationship of equality, unity and helps to each other, and freedom of beliefs is protected. All ethnic groups live friendly together here. They cooperate to build a beautiful homeland, support heartily the unity of different ethnic groups and the unity of our country, and oppose the ethnic separatism and illegal religious activities.

Cheyney (Laughing Planet) weighs in ... Well worth the read.

A few of my photos of Kashgar Old City (October 2006 trip through Xinjiang province and over the Karakoram highway into the Hunza Valley in Pakistan)

This is the stairway up to the second floor living quarters in this building.

A wood carver's stash.

Rug shop.

Hardware store.


Posted by Picasa

Did the Chinese government ask if these folks wanted their homes razed? "For their own good" Why does that remind me of Tibet?

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"Outrage" Documentary: Outing Gay Conservatives
"Outrage," a new documentary from filmmaker Kirby Dick, takes issue with the secret lives of closeted gay politicians -- especially conservative Republicans who outwardly oppose gay rights.

The film, which premiered last week at the Tribeca Film Festival, features tell-alls from men who say they've had relationships with various Republicans, including Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Bush strategist Ken Mehlman and former Senator Larry Craig.


Whoo. Boy.

What do you think of "outing" closeted gays?
Justified if they're publicly bashing gays and gay rights?
When is privacy a right and a given? When not?

[found through a mention on Huffington Post]

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Haven't seen "A Gathering Storm"?
The National Organization for Marriage's A Gathering Storm advertisement against gay marriage has triggered yet another parody, this one starring Alicia Silverstone, Lance Bass, George Takei, Sophia Bush, and others.

Oh, please. Hurry with that giant umbrella that will save us from the storm of gay people about to shower down on us opposites.

(The original ad)

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 20, 2009
Live Vote: Give President Obama a grade
Live Vote: Give President Obama a grade

Found this via a Facebook comment from SJ Rozan.

The teabaggers are giving Obama an F grade. (Currently 44% - F)

Want to leaven the results? Vote!

Labels: ,

Monday, March 02, 2009
Obama vs. The Fear
Obama vs. The Fear / Grin and be enthralled, or tremble and stuff dollar bills into your mattress?


This seems to be the bottom line, at least for now. We have, for the first time in just about forever, an enormously ambitious, confident, risk-taking president so full of grand and even borderline radical ideas they barely fit into a single generation, much less a single speech, and we have him at a time when we need, well, someone exactly like that.

That he just so happens to be tremendously intelligent, progressive, serene as an oak tree and utterly magnetizing? I guess you just call that a bonus.

What he ("he" being Mark Morford) said.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Let us now gaze down on the Port of San Francisco
Specifically, Piers 23, 19, and 17. (Click on the photo to get an enlarged version.)

Posted by Picasa

Note the pilings on the north apron of Pier 23.

Note the shabby temporary patches on the roof of the Port building facing the Embarcadero where Pier 21 would be, if there were a Pier 21.

Check out the pilings on the north apron of Pier 19. You can barely see the pair of orange cones keeping you from accidentally walking where the worst of the damage to the apron is. (The apron has crumpled and is no longer horizontal.) What you can't see in the picture very well is that the bulk of the apron to the west of the orange cones has disintegrated and fallen into the drink as well.

Check out the pilings at Pier 17 (the last pier you can see in the picture). They don't look in very great shape either, do they?

To quote from a SPUR document, published in The Urbanist in August, 2007:

The Port's 10-year Capital Plan is based on a comprehensive survey of the physical condition of all Port properties under its ownership. The Plan identifies the cost of bringing the Port into basic compliance with health, safety, seismic and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, as well as fulfilling waterfront open-space needs, at nearly $1.5 billion. Almost one-third of the costs identified in this Capital Plan are for substructure repair and seismic strengthening of the Port's pile-supported structures.

Something must be done.

What will it be? What to do, what to do, what to do. ...

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Justice Rehires Attorney Fired Amid Gay Rumor : NPR
Justice Rehires Attorney Fired Amid Gay Rumor : NPR

This should never have happened. That she's been rehired is a good thing, but for pete's sake, how can anyone justify this to begin with?

Off with their heads! May the people responsible be ineligible for another legal position for the rest of their lives! How dare they mess with this attorney's life like this?

Labels: , ,

Monday, February 02, 2009
Mormons donated more to California's Prop. 8 campaign than they'd previously copped to
Mormon church reports $190,000 Prop. 8 expenses.

Mormon church officials, facing an ongoing investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Friday reported nearly $190,000 in previously unlisted assistance to the successful campaign for Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

Now there's a huge surprise.

Up until Friday, the Mormon church had denied any direct financial support for the campaign beyond a reported $2,078 spent for bringing church Elder L. Whitney Clayton to California.

Church officials complained that Karger's complaint was full of errors and that the church had "fully complied" with California law.

The report filed Friday contained few details about how the money was spent.


While the deadline for the report, which covers the period from July 1 to Dec. 31, is Monday, many campaign contributions by major donors and independent committees must be reported within days after they're made.

The final reports are due today, because U.S. District Judge Morrison England late last week refused to exempt the yes-on-8 campaign from making their filings today.

If the Prop. 8 campaign was exempted from disclosure because of reports of harassments of individual donors, said Deputy Attorney General Zackery Morazzini, the same case could be made for any controversial initiative. Courts would have to "keep the entire California electorate in the dark as to who was funding these ballot measures," he said.

England agreed.

He noted that some of the reprisals reported by the Prop. 8 committee involve legal activities such as boycotts and picketing. Other alleged actions, such as death threats, mailings of white powder and vandalism, may constitute "repugnant and despicable acts" but can be reported to law enforcement, the judge said.

Even if there have been illegal reprisals, that would be insufficient reason to grant a wholesale exemption for a multimillion-dollar initiative campaign, England said. He also rejected the Prop. 8 campaign's argument that the $100 disclosure limit established in 1974 should be increased for inflation, saying some states require reports of contributions as low as $25 and the Supreme Court has never invalidated them.

[ref:Prop. 8 campaign can't hide donors' names]

Interesting to see what comes out today that the yes-on-8 campaign was so anxious not to have come out.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Blagojevich -- just "an exploration of ideas and thoughts"
"You should be able to do that in a free country that guarantees the right of free speech especially when you're doing it in what you think is the sanctity of your home and you want to do it out of your home phone because you don't want any interconnection with the government lines so someone thinks you're talking politics on a government phone ..."


Rachel Maddow is that good. ...

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Clinton foundation donors
The Clinton Foundation has released its donor list on its Web site.

And /ahem/ the site seems overwhelmed by the interest. (I got a timeout each time I tried. Couldn't get through.)

NYTimes article to get you through the wait. And one from Huffington Post.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Obama logo ideas that weren’t chosen | Logo Design Love
Obama logo ideas that weren't chosen | Logo Design Love

Interesting information and links re the design of the Obama '08 logo: how it was chosen, how it evolved.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Providing stability. Securing the future.
This year, our financial markets have been tested in unprecedented ways. And though the global landscape has become increasingly complex, one thing has remained consistent: Citi's commitment to helping our clients and customers find solutions that will drive their financial success.

and the full-page ad in today's San Francisco Chronicle (Page A16) goes on.

hahaha hohoho.

c2008 Citigroup Inc. Member FDIC. Citibank and Citibank with Arc Design are registered service marks of Citigroup Inc. Citi never sleeps is a service mark of Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup's latest news

Citi dodges bullet
Government will guarantee losses on more than $300 billion in troubled assets and make a fresh $20 billion injection.

By David Ellis, staff writer
Last Updated: November 24, 2008: 2:03 AM ET

Citigroup secured a massive government aid package over the weekend following a painful selloff last week in company stock.

NEW YORK ( -- The U.S. federal government on Sunday announced a massive rescue package for Citigroup - the latest move to steady the banking giant, whose shares have plunged in the past week.


So how much does a full-page ad in the Chron cost?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The court will overturn Prop. 8
The court will overturn Prop. 8 by LaDoris H. Cordell. (op-ed in today's San Francisco Chronicle)

I was reading this commentary in the Chron this morning -- a commentary I agree with totally, btw.

LaDoris Cordell was a Superior Court judge in the south bay back when I lived in the south bay, so I was surprised when she mentioned she was lesbian.

That's odd, I thought. I knew she was a woman judge, not all that common, and a black woman judge at that, even more uncommon, but I hadn't realized she was a lesbian black woman judge. Huh. What do you know? Had I just not been paying attention? Was it just not important? Had I forgotten? (I've forgotten a lot of things.)

But then, I went to college, then to law school, opened a law practice in a black community, became a law school administrator, and then went on to a successful career on the bench. Along the way, I got married and had two wonderful daughters. I was perfect. And then one fine day, as these black voters would have it, I chose to simply throw it all away - to become an Untouchable? Ridiculous. I did not choose to be gay anymore than I chose to be black.

Ah. Penny drops. Cordell was married with a family when I knew of her, so I knew of the black woman judge aspect of her life but at that time, the lesbian side wasn't front and center. I didn't know and, frankly, had I known, wouldn't have cared.

Good commentary.

I also liked Keith Olbermann's commentary on Proposition 8 but for Pete's sake, he can sure over-emote, can't he? Easier to read his commentary than to watch it.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, November 06, 2008
Name the New White House Puppy!
We were watching Obama's acceptance speech and he was talking about Sasha and Malia and I said to his nibs, "And they get a PUPPY!"

... the next thing Obama said was, "and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."

Well, now there's all the yammer about what =sort= of dog they should get and whether it should be a pound puppy or not.

What to name the puppy? is the next question.

Well, here are some ideas from the New Yorker, including "Checkers":

I think they should name it "Chesapeake" and call it "Chess," as a fitting counterpoint to "Checkers."

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, November 02, 2008
t r u t h o u t | McCain, Obama and the Psychology of Decisions
t r u t h o u t | McCain, Obama and the Psychology of Decisions

Long, interesting article about the candidates and their respective ways of handling decision making and how their backgrounds, their relationships with their fathers, affect who they are today and how they relate to others.

Far from psycho-babble. Thoughtful.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 01, 2008
Vote NO on Proposition 8, redux.
Jerry Sanders, Republican Mayor of San Diego and former Chief of Police, made this statement a year ago September, explaining why he would not veto a council resolution supporting marriage equality, even though he'd run on an anti-gay-marriage platform.

Even up to the day before the press statement, when the resolution was passed, Sanders still fully intended to veto it.

He changed his mind and chokes up while explaining why to the cameras and reporters.

He mentions that his daughter is gay, as are members of his staff, and he found that he couldn't veto the resolution and tell them "they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage."

"In the end, I couldn't look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships, their very lives, were any less meaningful than the marriage I share with my wife, Rana"

Words well said, and worth listening to on the eve of the election.

Vote NO on Proposition 8.

[via Andrew Sullivan. The Daily Dish]

Labels: , ,

So now at least I know how many electoral college votes there are
My enduring thanks this election cycle to Nate Silver.

Due to his fabulous (and aptly named) Web site (your home to all you would ever need to know about the political polls for the 2008 Presidential election), I may now be able to remember how many electoral college votes there are

     five thirty eight

and, with simple arithmetic, how many votes Obama/McCain need to win ((538/2)+1)=270.

If you haven't visited before, hie thee immediately over to and check out Nate's prognostications and his reasoning behind them. is that good.

And thanks, Nate.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 31, 2008
Esquire Endorses Barack Obama for President
For the first time in seventy-five years ESQUIRE makes a presidential endorsement: Esquire Endorses Barack Obama for President

Writing about the Esquire endorsement and the very lucid (and chilling) view ESQUIRE has of a McCain presidency, Andrew Sullivan writes in the Atlantic, Yes, something profound is at stake on Tuesday..

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Chris Buckley on Rush Limbaugh at The Daily Beast
Chris Buckley on Rush Limbaugh at the Daily Beast.

Hoo boy.


As these words were going out over the Excellence in Broadcasting network, my father's corpse was still warm. It was a day of passions, I know, and things get said in the heat of passion. But reading these words, in the cooler air of October—not that this October has been devoid of passion—well, as me old mater might say, I found them a bit…de trop.

That's French for "a bit much," and I'm putting it that way by way of stipulating that I am a card-carrying member of the Eastern seaboard, proletarian-despising media elite. My idea of roughage is arugula. I have not to date tasted moose meat and hope never to, unless it is served to me at La Grenouille, by Charles Masson, personally and under glass. As for politics, we elites have always inclined toward the black candidate who grew up with a single mother on food stamps, as opposed to the third-generation Annapolis cadet.

I am having these pensées (more French, learned at an elite New England boarding school) about el Rushbo because a few days ago, following my J'accuse! (okay, okay, I'll cut it out)—following my "I'm voting for Barack" teachable moment in this space, I received, amidst other howls of outrage and a pink slip from NR, formal notification that I had arrived, career-wise. It took the form of a headline:



Well, you can mock Christopher Buckley, but reap your whirlwind, sir.

Labels: , ,

Excerpts of Seven Year-Old Obama Interview Cause Stir
City Room™ - Politics - Excerpts of Seven Year-Old Obama Interview Cause Stir

In 2001, Chicago Public Radio interviewed then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama about civil rights. Over the weekend, someone posted excerpts of the interview, edited to misrepresent Obama's statements. The item is now catching national attention.

Click here for Obama's full interviews.

The clips are taken from an interview that aired in January of 2001. Then State Senator Obama is one of three legal scholars interviewed for a show about civil rights. Over the weekend, someone pulled excerpts of the show and posted them to You Tube—and today, the posting caught fire on political blogs, the Drudge Report, and Fox News.

The 4 minute spliced collection of clips portrays Obama as advocate a redistribution of wealth through the power of the Supreme Court. That folds in with some allegations by the McCain Palin campaign.

The twist here is that, when heard in the context of the whole show, Obama’s position is distinctly misrepresented by the You Tube posting. Taken in context, Obama is evaluating the historical successes and failures of the Civil Rights movement—and, ironically, he says the Supreme Court was a failure in cases that it took on a role of redistributing resources.

Labels: , , ,

People in the Middle for Obama
Saturday, October 25, 2008
2048 - There was a country
2048 - There was a country

Wow. Just wow.

And from there go to other 2048- titles on YouTube:
There was a country!
There was an environment!
There was a unity!
There was a freedom!
There was a dream!

There is still a future!

This is an election like no other and YouTube is having an influence that no one would have imagined four years ago. Some stunning creative work online.

The background music and shooting technique put me in mind of V FOR VENDETTA. I don't know why.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 20, 2008
I've voted. Have you?
"And it seems that the worse McCain is doing in the polls, the more his team is relying on the same gutter tactics. So over the next 15 days, look for the McCain campaign to become even uglier. That's what happens when following Rovian politics is your only strategy -- and Rovian politics isn't working."

Happy to be out of it. Glad my vote is winging its way to City Hall.

We had
(1) the Presidential election to vote on
(2) The US House of Reps (Cindy Sheehan or Nancy Pelosi? Hm.)
(3) Our local state assembly critter
(4) Our school board.
(5) Our college board.
(6) Our District 3 Supervisor to replace Aaron Peskin. (Nine candidates running. Ranked voting returns.)
(7) Superior Court judge
(8) Twelve state propositions, including Proposition 8.
(9) City-wide measures A-V (that would be um. a-b-c-d-...twenty-two city-wide measures) including Measure R ("Renaming the Oceanside Water Treatment Plant to the George W Bush Sewage Plant" Sophomoric? You betcha!) and Measure V. ("Policy Against Terminating Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) Programs in Public High Schools" ... Shall it be City policy to encourage the School Board to reverse its decision to terminate JROTC and to continue to offer JROTC in San Francisco public high schools?) and Measure E ("Changing the Number of Signatures Required to Recall City Officials") and Measure K ("Shall the City: stop enforcing laws against prostitution; stop funding or supporting the First Offender Prostitution Program or any similar anti-prostitution program; enforce existing criminal laws that prohibit crimes such as battery, extortion and rape, regardless of the victim's status as a sex worker; and fully disclose the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against sex workers?")

Have I mentioned I think twelve state-wide propositions and twenty-two City measures seem to be public policy run amok? More thoughts on this in a later post.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 18, 2008
SPUR VOTER GUIDE November 2008
SPUR VOTER GUIDE November 2008

I may not always agree with SPUR's election picks, but they are thoughtful picks and the reasoning behind them is laid out for all to see.

Haven't voted in the California and San Francisco elections yet? Check out the SPUR guide.

... and vote NO on Prop 8.

[SPUR doesn't give you an opinion on Prop 8. If the folks working on the Voter Guide decisions can't all wholeheartedly support one position, they don't cover that proposition.]

Labels: ,

Vote for Hope

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

This is the first presidential election with YouTube videos prepared by passionate supporters on both sides, the first presidential election with political blogs and political Web sites setup and maintained by supporters, the first presidential election that will be influenced, at times greatly, by the Web.

Sit back. Watch.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Today’s Electoral College Map
Today’s Electoral College Map

Another interesting map. This one shows the red/blue states with the state size distorted to reflect the state's number of electoral votes.

Princeton Election Consortium, from whence this map comes, is another Election2008 Web site filled with tasty nuggets of data.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 04, 2008
Three things every voter should know about John McCain and ...
John McCain's Record

Brilliant Web site.

Click on one of ten choices and you'll get "three things" you should know about John McCain and, f'rex, "Rural Issues" with votes and references.

Followed by "John McCain: Out of Touch with Rural Issues. Fortunately there's hope. See how Barack Obama and Joe Biden stand on these issues."

Click that last sentence and you wing off to Barack Obama's site and his positions on rural issues.


Labels: , ,

Monday, September 29, 2008 Choice is clear: Obama for president Choice is clear: Obama for president

Stockton Record. Yes, I know. Not one of the big fish, but this is the first time the Record has endorsed a Democrat since Roosevelt in 1936.

Mike Klock, Record Editor, explains why.

Labels: ,

Marty Kaplan: Why the Debates Won't Matter (Hint: It's a Felony)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
[SNL] Sarah Palin's Interview with Katie Couric
Tina Fey is a geeenyus.

And, oh, hey. That person doing her Katie Couric imitation isn't half-bad either.

[SNL] Sarah Palin's Interview with Katie Couric

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 18, 2008
An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates’ Tax Plans: Revised August 15, 2008
An Updated Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans: Revised August 15, 2008 -- the Tax Policy Center

Deets [PDF]

Below is yet another tax plan analysis chart, this one from Freakanomics.


This graph is weighted to show the percentage of tax revenue from each group and whether that percentage will rise or fall under each plan.

[via another tweet from Tim O'Reilly]

Labels: , ,

Tax Plans (that's one for you, nineteen for me).
From Viveka Weiley at chartjunk, a rework of the McCain/Obama Tax Plans chart (that's one for you, nineteen for me) showing the differences between the Republican and Democrat tax cut proposals.

This version of the chart weights the income brackets so a bracket with more tax payers is larger than a bracket with fewer tax payers.

Save that thought.

[via a tweet from Tim O'Reilly]

Labels: , ,

Maureen Dowd - ‘Barbies for War!’ - Op-Ed
Maureen Dowd - 'Barbies for War!' - Op-Ed

The rant begins thusly,

Carly Fiorina, the woman John McCain sent out to defend Sarah Palin and rip anyone who calls her a tabula rasa on foreign policy and the economy, admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

That’s pretty damning coming from Fiorina, who also was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

Hoo boy. And it continues. ...

Labels: ,

Friday, September 05, 2008
North Beach library ... addendum 1
North Beach Library and why it matters. The original.

Addendum 1:

Someone involved with pushing the Triangle site asked me to explain to her what my issues were. (She's happy that the Library Commission stamped "go forward" on the paperwork to put the North Beach Library on the Triangle at yesterday's meeting.)

I wrote back: (some of this you may have seen before)

The location is the wrong one.

Playground supporters would rather not have the Library at Greenwich and Columbus where it would take away some playground space.

Playground supporters and financial issues with the RecParks budget (or lack thereof) are driving what should have been a neighborhood effort to build the best possible library for North Beach.

Instead we are getting a triangular library, a known issue that Brian Bannon told me he had problems with initially as well but he thinks the architect has come up with a solution that will work within the confines of the location.

"Will work"? Is that the best possible library for North Beach?

The Triangle is not the best location for the library. The architect should not be asked to "try" if they can make a less than optimal location work if what we want is the best library possible.

The parcel is 4120 sq ft per assessor's records. The proposed library is to have a 5700-5950 sq ft footprint. Do the math.

If it =is= possible to squeeze out over existing sidewalks and squeeze into Mason to create a footprint that's 40% or so larger than the current lot, then we will certainly be at the outer edges of what's possible within the perimeter bounded by Columbus, Lombard and Mason's utilities issues.

The library at that site will never grow any bigger. Ever.

It can't.

... unless you believe in flying pigs who will pay to relocate the works that are under Mason some time in the future when the library is (again) bursting its seams.

The library should be at a site where it can grow, if in the future it needs to. Heck, it should be at a site where it can be larger than what's proposed for the Triangle from the get-go.

The proposed library site was shifted over to the Triangle because (1) the Triangle turned out not to be as useful an acquisition for RecParks as originally billed and RecParks had no money to develop it anyway and (2) playground supporters didn't want to give up =any= of the existing playground area.

Shame that.

So we wind up with a subpar library for North Beach with scant additional space after bookcases and tables and chairs and staff workspace &c. and so on are set in a triangular footprint with ADA spacing.

I expected better. I'm really disappointed that there wasn't more support from Joe DiMaggio supporters and NorthBeach moms & al. to get the library North Beach deserves.

Instead of something genuinely bigger and better and wonderful we're getting something cramped into the Triangle, putting bulk on a major piece of the Columbus corridor and adding more walls where people were promised open space and greenery during the eminent domain kerfuffle.

Carlo Cestarollo had a fit when I told him about the library plans.

But it's supposed to be a park, he said. Some place for people to rest as they walk from North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf. Benches. Shade. A bit of green. When did they change their minds?


We'll have a new building! Wonderful! We'll be ADA compliant! Wonderful! We'll have more computers and all that whizbang! Wonderful. Why Luis Herrera even promises me that we'll have room to expand the collection by 10-15%!

Wow. Being as our current collection is squeezed and too small already and being as we should be planning a library that should at least be viable for twenty years -- scratch that ... make it fifty years being as that was the last time we got this opportunity -- we should be demanding a building that will handle far far more than a collection expansion of 10-15%. And, to be honest, I think Luis Herrera, whom I like, was giving me the most generous estimate for collection expansion possible because he knew how steamed I was about all this.

I am really disappointed in the location chosen.

Should the library be built there we won't have the best library we could have had given the possibilities and that is really too bad in the end for the library, residents, families, children, and seniors of North Beach. ... and for me.

... and so it goes.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 04, 2008
North Beach Library and why it matters
I've been having a nice back and forth exchange with Luis Herrera, the guy in charge of the San Francisco Public Library, re the Library's dumb idea to put the new North Beach Library on top of the Triangle.

View Larger Map

Some history.

Years back a couple of guys wanted to build a four-story building on the 4120 sq ft triangular piece of land bordered by Columbus, Mason, and Lombard. The top three floors would be "handicapped-accessible" apartments (including one for the 84-year-old mom of one of the owners) and the ground floor would be retail.

The guys had worked their way through the planning process and the neighbors' objections and finally got approval when our esteemed District 3 Supervisor decided that the land was really needed more for parks and recreation and pushed through eminent domain proceedings for the parcel.

You had neighbors for buying 701 Lombard (the parcel) for parks parks parks. We need every inch of green space we can get, was the cry.

You had neighbors adamantly opposed to using eminent domain to take the parcel.

Oh, what a mess it was.

The parcel was taken through eminent domain. Case closed. Park to follow.

But wait.

Five years later the Triangle re-enters the picture. The parcel has continued to be used for a parking lot because San Francisco Rec and Parks doesn't have the money to turn the parcel into a park, plus it's so tiny, plus Mason Street cuts through and separates the parcel from the rest of the Joe DiMaggio Playground, plus it wouldn't do for the tot playground (too close to busy Columbus), nor the bocce courts (you must be nuts to even consider it), nor ...

Enter the Library.

North Beach Library was built fifty years ago and it shows. The library (at its most optimistic) is 5337 sq ft and serves a population of 27K, according to some statistics. (As a notch point realize that all the work to expand the Saratoga Library, which serves 35K as a generous estimate, was to expand it from 18K sq ft to 48K sq ft.)

At a public meeting, Wilma Pang -- one of our candidates to replace our esteemed termed-out District 3 Supervisor -- said that the Library was too small even when she was growing up way back when. (She's sixty-seven now.)

Too-ing and fro-ing over the years. Maybe we could put the Library where the boarded up Pagoda Theater sits. That idea was knocked down. Maybe we could. ...

So public meetings were held. Three of them. After the second, it seemed the Library was leaning toward tearing down the old library and building a new 8500 sq ft library at the corner of Greenwich and Columbus. Hooray.

At the third meeting, the Library said it had decided the Triangle was the best spot for the Library for various reasons.

The Triangle? I asked Luis Herrera before the third meeting began.

"We've worked it all out." he told me and passed me over to Brian Bannon, head of branch libraries, for soothing. Brian said words to the effect that he hadn't liked the idea of a triangular library either at first but that the architect had come up with some ideas that would make it work.

Make it work?

Do we want the best library possible for North Beach or do we want one where we go to the architect and say, we know this is a really lame spot for the Library, but can you possibly make it work?

Luis Herrera has been very patient answering all the questions I've thrown at him in e-mail, but it still doesn't work.

How, I asked him, does a 4120 sq ft parcel (per the City Assessor's records) support a library with a 5700-5950 sq ft footprint. (Plans are for a ground floor of ~ 5900 sq ft for public service areas and an upstairs level that will be 2,800-2,950sf that will include a community room, staff lounge, 2d floor bathrooms, &c.)

Well, of course, we close Mason Street and push as far into Mason as we can without disturbing or blocking access to the utilities that run under Mason. (Oh! Don't let the neighbors hear about that!)

So the Triangle, as far as I can calculate using my rusty algebra (Hey! There IS a Use For Algebra!) is 85' on the Lombard side and 96' on the Mason side. [Anyone want to go out there and measure it for me?] The new footprint, if my Algebra holds, will be 98x107', pushing thirteen feet across the sidewalk and into Mason and another eleven feet up toward Greenwich.

All of this exercise is, of course, funded by bonds and such that citizens passed to retrofit our aging libraries, to build a couple new branches, to add more computers, and to get the libraries up to current ADA standards. If we had just rearranged stacks &c. at the current library to meet ADA standards, we would've lost considerable public space in a library that's already so cramped.

The theory is that this new library with its 5900 sq ft ground floor will have room to expand the collection 10-15%. Really?


The other feature this new library will have, which has not been mentioned, not even a peep, is no way ever to expand any more. Once we build on the Triangle, we will have pushed the envelope to the edges of the utilities under Mason, which cannot be covered by anything that can't be dug up when needed. (Think grass, concrete, garden.)

Expand further, should it turn out we need to? No. There will be no way. Ever. Unless, of course, the City bites the bullet and moves the utilities. Did I mention that I was quoted a cost of $2.1million to relocate the tot playground and rework the tennis courts? Imagine what shifting underground utilities would cost!

So who is pushing for the Triangle site? Folks concerned with the Joe DiMaggio North Beach Playground do not want the Library to have a larger footprint and take any playground area. Hey, I'm a member of Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground and I've worked to raise money for the park, but I never realized that a decent library wasn't important when it came to sharing dirt with the playground. Some people would rather shove the Library onto the Triangle (which turns out to be a pretty useless piece of dirt for the park to utilize) and recapture the dirt where the Library now stands.

Dirt. Dirt. Dirt. It's all about dirt, isn't it?

I asked Luis Herrera if anyone had thought of shutting down Greenwich from the west-most garage door to Columbus, freeing up some additional square footage that way. There'd be less squawk than the squawks about closing Mason. The extra dirt the library would need would be offset by the dirt from the closure. The Triangle could be a greenspace with benches and a statue of Joe DiMaggio or whatever.

Well, no. No one had even considered closing Greenwich, because the space available there was sufficient for programmatic needs without pushing onto Greenwich, that is, of course, until the push to use the Triangle came along.

Last week I stopped off to talk with Carlo Cestarollo, who runs the Alfa Center across the street from the Triangle. Had you heard, I asked him, that they're planning to put the new library on the Triangle? Two stories?

Carlo was flabbergasted. It's supposed to be a park, he said. Some place for people to rest as they walk from North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf. Benches. Shade. A bit of green. When did they change their minds?

Good question. When =did= they change their minds? And why?

Last week, I wrote the following to the Library Commission, which meets today to put their stamp of approval on the Triangle location.

I've been wondering whether to head down there and do my public testimony. Probably not. After all this bickering back and forth, I'm fed up. Do the people pushing the Triangle location care about libraries or about tennis courts?

Enquiring minds think they know the answer.


I received a note from Julie Christensen asking me to write a note in support of the plans for our North Beach Library proposed at the August 21 18 Community Meeting. I won't be doing that, and here are my reasons why.

The Triangle is the wrong place for the proposed "new" library. The people proposing the Triangle as the right place care more about the park and finding some "useful" purpose for the Triangle than they do about our little library that could, our little library that needs more room, more books, more staff space, more everything to better serve our community.

With the public spaces (except for the program room) kept on the ground level at the Triangle site due to staffing issues, the public spaces in the new library will not be much bigger, if any at all, than the old.

Add in staircases and elevators for the second floor program room and staff space, the acute angular corners, and other factors and we wind up with a "new" library but not much of one. Sure we will be ADA compliant, which is important. Sure we will have wiring for additional computers, which is important. The "new" library will have a much-needed teen area (we have the second highest YA circulation in the City) but at what expense for other public spaces?

We'll have a new building! Yippee! But where's the added space that's been needed for decades, let alone any hope for an expanded collection, room for services, or even additional chairs and tables?

The Triangle will give us a new library but none of the extra space, services, facilities that we've needed for years.


There is no rush to approve the Triangle as the spot for the new library. Take some time to make the right choice, because once the choice is made, even a "preliminary" choice, it will be hard not to fall in line because the choice has been made, and it's in the works ...

Whether the architects can "make do" or "find a way to make it work" is not the question.

Is this the best site for the library?

Is this what is =best= for the library?

Before any decision is made about whether the new library should be on the Triangle, at least two things need to happen in tandem.

Sal Busalacchi, who lives on Mason, suggested at the 21 18 August meeting that instead of =modeling= what =might= happen if Mason is closed, the City should temporarily close the street segment for a month and see what =really= happens to the traffic patterns. Such closure would ease the minds of the neighbors, if the traffic patterns flow as the models suggest, but could put the kibosh on the idea of closing Mason if the traffic patterns change as neighbors anticipate.

While the K-rails blocking Mason are up, label them:

Temporary closure of Mason.
Permanent closure is proposed as part of
plans to build the new North Beach Library
on the Triangle.

In addition to the temporary closure and signage, story poles need to be erected on the Triangle, showing the outline of the new library so that neighbors can see the impact of putting the library there.

Put the K-rails, the signage, and the story poles in place. See how it works out. In the mean time, neighbors can discuss the Triangle location, which is not the location that seemed the location of choice in the meetings leading up to the 21 18 August meeting.

Revisit this question in 2009. Plans to build a new library aren't even on the 2010 calendar. Take more time to pick the location.

The Triangle is not the right location for the North Beach Library.

Have I mentioned I don't agree with Julie Christensen's views on the proposed siting of the new North Beach Library?

Sal Towse
34 Darrell Place
San Francisco, CA 94133

What Julie asked us to write:
Let them know:
I support a new North Beach Library on the triangle.
I support the conversion of the adjacent block of Mason Street to park land.
I appreciate our department leaders working hard to come up with a real solution to our needs.

The proposed joint Library/RecPark plan (as shown at the Aug 2118 Community Meeting) does the following:
1. Gives us a new, spacious library.

2. Allows the old library to stay open until the new one is ready.

3. Opens up the existing library site to be added to recreation and green space.

4. Lets the library move ahead without waiting for RecPark funding, which we hope will come in a 2013 parks bond, if not sooner.

5. Saves money that will be lost to inflation if the library schedule is delayed.

[Yes, indeed. I did say August 21 instead of August 18 for the meeting date throughout the note. May the kittehs forgive me. ...]

** Addendum 1 **

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
DNC: Montana Governor Schweitzer's address
So far ... tops on my list: Michelle Obama's speech. Kucinich. Hillary's.

... and Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer.

What a guy. You go KICK BUTT, Schweitzer!

He had them up and cheering.

"Stand up, Colorado! Stand up!"
"Florida! Stand up!"
"Michigan! Stand up!"
"Pennsylvania! Stand up!"
"Get off of your hind end!
"In the cheap seats! Stand up!"


Labels: , ,

Mark Warner Democratic Convention Speech: Text
Mark Warner Democratic Convention Speech: Text

I am way not keen on Mark Warner.

As I watched his speech, something went woop!woop!woop! in the background.

Warner's speech

Labels: , ,

Well done, Hillary.
Amazing speech.

"No way. No how. No McCain."

"Keep going. ..."

Well done, Hillary.

Part I
Part II
Part III

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 25, 2008
Michelle Obama @ DNC
Took me a long time to get the vid for this, so if you've been having the same sorts of issues, here you go.

I don't remember other political spouses doing their thing at conventions.

Michelle's was ... pretty good! I think.

... and I think, after labeling this "politics," maybe I should have a "2008 elections" label, eh?

Update: I've added an election2008 label to the stasho'labels. I'll fill it in over the next while.

Labels: , , ,

Ted at the DNC
Towse's True Confessions...

I have never been a Ted Kennedy fan, for various reasons I won't go into here.

But this made me cry.

(Thought it was interesting that C-SPAN thought they had to identify Caroline Kennedy as "daughter of John F. Kennedy".)

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 24, 2008
Joe Biden and smart women
Adele Stan @ Huffington Post (Careful, Joe! "Smart Woman" Jokes a Dicey Game) isn't the only commentator to hear Biden's crack about his wife Jill's doctorate degree as a slam against smart women with too much education.

"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous. My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, she also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem."

Call me naive or slow to take offense when none's intended, but I interpreted that kidding to be aimed at her doctorate degree not on the fact she's a woman with a doctorate degree.

Joe Biden has a law degree from Syracuse University. Jill Biden has a PhD in Education from the University of Delaware.

In the words of a famous person, "Lighten up, folks."

Labels: ,

Friday, August 22, 2008
My American Prayer and musical stops along the way
My American Prayer is a Web site to promote the pro-Obama Dave-Stewart-and-Seth-Dalton-directed video (with a cast of thousands, including Joan Baez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barry Manilow) called My American Prayer.

Wandering away from there I found there's also the new "Yes We Can" video (a musical video with no connection to's classic) out from Maria Muldaur and Bonnie Raitt. Recorded at Studio D Recording in Sausalito.

Count down to November.

Joan Baez, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barry Manilow?!?!! Yipes!

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 18, 2008 - Videos Covering Today's Top Social, Political, and Tech Issues - Videos Covering Today's Top Social, Political, and Tech Issues is advertising for unpaid interns on CraigsList.

Toddled off to see what's up with that. I'd seen a stack of lit over at the Commonwealth Club offices on Saturday.

Long Now talks. Aspen Institute talks. Commonwealth Club talks. ...

Here's a Roger Rosenblatt interview with Amy Tan at the Chautauqua Institution on July 10, 2008. The interview is broken out in sections. If you only want to hear Tan speak on "Writer's Memory" you can click straight to the spot.

E.L. Doctorow on the Problematic Nature of Writing Novels

The indexing is superb. You can select one of the broad subject ranges and then one of the sub-sections. You can search for subjects. You can find all videos from the Hoover Institution.

Brilliant stuff.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, August 14, 2008
The Obama Campaign's 40pp rebuttal to Jerome Corsi's book
Unfit for Publication [PDF] - the Obama campaign's 40pp rebuttal to the "facts" in Jerome Corsi's book.

Reminds me a bit of Usenet. If someone spouts a bunch of stuff and you can see there's at least 30% of it that's wrong right off the bat, you go looking to see what other "facts" might be wrong.


Corsi seems an odd duck.

Perhaps, though, I should volunteer as copy editor when the campaign is writing up these lengthy, smear-fighting essays.

p2 As you might expect from the book's shoddy foundation, many of its claims are also completely false. The Obama's never gave a million dollars to a Kenyan politician.

misplaced apostrophe Maybe it started out as "Obama's campaign" and morphed into "The Obama's" without needed tweaking of punctuation.

p5 Obama Writes That His Father's Third Wife Refused To Life With His First Wife


And so forth and on. I tuckered out about page nineteen, but I've saved the PDF and I'll continue reading later.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 10, 2008
new video: "Republicans and military men on John McCain"
This election has the internet (columns, blogs, newsgroups, sites, videos, commentary, Web2.0 electioneering) playing a huge part, for those who use the internet.

And even for those who don't, if they read the papers or watch TV.

McCain's ad comparing Obama to Paris and Britney didn't have much play in paid air time, but it was on the Web getting a zillion views and MSM picked it up and talked about it and wondered about it and speculated about it and suddenly a fairly small media budget got a factor of n more traction than it would otherwise.

But it's not just the videos produced by professionals and paid for by campaigns or major political parties. I am stunned by the brilliance of some of the non-campaign videos that are popping up. (And stupefied by the webisodes that were shot of John Edwards and paid for by his campaign, but that's another story. ...)

The younger nib grew up making videos and belonging to movie/video clubs and competing in movie/video competitions from his teen years as did many of the Y generation.

Those years of practice show up when professionals donate their work to the cause:'s Obama 'Yes, we can' video and Paris for President.

Those years of practice show up too in the amateur videos made for YouTube distribution.

This morning I came across a link to "Republicans and military men on John McCain" in the comments tail of a Huffington post. Visuals. Captures. Background music. Amazing work from someone who seems to be the same age as the younger nib.

Director: Aaron Hodgins Davis, Skidmore. Uploaded 31Jul2008.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Prop 8 update
Prop. 8 backers sue to change ballot wording

Seems Jerry Brown (formerly Governor Moonbeam, currently State Attorney General perhaps Governor again after the next election, who knows ...) has authorized the following ballot language for Proposition 8: "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Says he, since the time the petition signatures were collected, the court confirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Therefore, Prop 8, which reads "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." would disenfranchise those who just May 15th got the right to marry and his wording is fine and good and valid.

Prop 8 proponents claim Brown's verbiage is "inherently argumentative and highly likely to create prejudice" and they aren't eliminating anyone's rights. They're simply trying to reinstate the definition of marriage that existed in California before the judicial decision in May.

Ya. Right.

Yay! hooray! for Jerry Brown. You go, guy!

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony
Same-sex marriage foes warn of kindergarten lessons on gay matrimony

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Backers of a November initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California plan to tell voters in the state ballot pamphlet that the constitutional amendment would protect children as young as kindergarten age from being taught in school about the virtues of gay and lesbian matrimony.

"If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, teachers will be required to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage," supporters of Proposition 8 said in ballot arguments that went on public display this week at the secretary of state's office.

That marriage lesson is more than likely part and parcel of the sex education lessons for kindergarteners that the gay agenda is forcing on the good citizens of California.

Yikes. Don't say they didn't warn you. ...

Labels: ,

Monday, June 23, 2008
Zimbabwe ... Zambia. What other countries begin with Z?
Upcoming trip to Africa was to include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. ...

The organizers just called to say (surprise!) the Zimbabwe leg has been canceled. We'll be going to Zambia instead. Organizers will pay for all Zambian visas &c. The visas we had for Zimbabwe won't be needed after all.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Daily Show & The Colbert Report on Hulu
Monday, May 19, 2008
Erica Jong doesn't much like Obama
Erica Jong: Electing Sweetie


You'd think that would make her electable. After all, she is not Bill. You'd think that would make her a better candidate. But shut my mouth, Americans don't vote pragmatically. They vote emotionally. And the devil you know is always inferior to the angel you don't know. Barack is currently that angel. How long he'll keep his wings is anyone's guess.

So here we go again. NARAL loves the new boy on the block -- even if HRC was there at its founding. So does John Edwards. And Ted Kennedy. The fact that Barack has little experience makes him the hot new ingénue, whereas Hillary is old like your mother.

The truth is we know about her -- and we know very little about Obama. That alone makes her detractors scream: Get Out! Off the stage with you! Give us that hot new boy! Give us that sepia Brad Pitt! Old women are so over!

First Ferraro, now Jong. The comments tail is whoo-boy interesting.

e.g. I have come to understand what "we don't know anything about him" really means. I believe this is another set of code words for "he is not one of us."


Quindlen: Hillary, Think of Your Legacy
Quindlen: Hillary, Think of Your Legacy

Newsweek Magazine "The Last Word"
May 26, 2008 Issue


But policy is one thing and pandering is another, especially when your opponent has been sure-footed on the high road. When Senator Clinton started to style herself as a dab hand with guns in Pennsylvania and an enemy of the intellectual elites in Indiana, she began to validate the opinions of all those who believe the Clintons—no matter which—would do anything to win. Her candidacy has had special resonance for many women, no question, but that means she has special obligations, too. And one of those obligations is to see that the lesson learned is not that women running for office can be just as skeevy as their male counterparts.


(Anna Quindlen is a fellow dragon lady, thirty-five days older than I am.)


Thursday, May 15, 2008
California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban
California Supreme Court overturns gay marriage ban

Yay! Hooray! Equality!

Now onward to November when the California Protection of Marriage Act (a constitutional amendment) will probably be on the ballot to read:

SECTION 2. Article I. Section 7.5 is added to the California Constitution. to read:
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.


Today's California Supreme Court decision [PDF]

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 09, 2008 That Chain E-mail Your Friend Sent to You Is (Likely) Bogus. Seriously. That Chain E-mail Your Friend Sent to You Is (Likely) Bogus. Seriously.

Interesting article. Keep the link stashed away and return it to anyone who sends you one of those chain e-mails about this or that presidential candidate.

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 08, 2008
The sixth mistake? "working, hardworking Americans, white Americans"
AP article: Clinton presses on, urges supporters to ignore calls to quit

In an interview with USA Today published Thursday, Clinton noted that the coalition of voters who have supported her in the Democratic nominating contest had eluded Obama and would pose problems for him in the general election.

"Senator Obama's support among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again ... there's a pattern here," Clinton was quoted as saying.


Some of us working, hardworking Americans, white Americans are wondering whether anyone has sent a search party out looking for her marbles.

Washington Post Behind The Numbers blog: Clinton's Broader Base?

Update: YouTube clip of the interview's salient point [Thx! Archer!]


The Five Mistakes Clinton Made - TIME
Now, granted, there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED wasn't. ...

But I found this article interesting. Some of the points I'd heard before. The Ickes-Penn story I heard for the first time today.

The Five Mistakes Clinton Made - TIME

by Karen Tumulty

For all her talk about "full speed on to the White House," there was an unmistakably elegiac tone   [Note: Tumulty is not the only person to use this adjective to describe Hillary's speech]   to Hillary Clinton's primary-night speech in Indianapolis. And if one needed further confirmation that the undaunted, never-say-die Clintons realize their bid might be at an end, all it took was a look at the wistful faces of the husband and the daughter who stood behind the candidate as she talked of all the people she has met in a journey "that has been a blessing for me."

It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:



Thursday, April 24, 2008
Why Hillary Makes My Wife Scream
Chapter 1. Specimens of the American Vulgate
Chapter 1. Specimens of the American Vulgate. 1. The Declaration of Independence in American.
Mencken, H.L. 1921.

[The following is my own translation, but I have had the aid of suggestions from various other scholars. It must be obvious that more than one section of the original is now quite unintelligible to the average American of the sort using the Common Speech. What would he make, for example, of such a sentence as this one: "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures"? Or of this: "He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise." Such Johnsonian periods are quite beyond his comprehension, and no doubt the fact is at least partly to blame for the neglect upon which the Declaration has fallen in recent years. When, during the Wilson-Palmer saturnalia of oppressions, specialists in liberty began protesting that the Declaration plainly gave the people the right to alter the goverment under which they lived and even to abolish it altogether, they encountered the utmost incredulity. On more than one occasion, in fact, such an exegete was tarred and feathered by the shocked members of the American Legion, even after the Declaration had been read to them. What ailed them was that they could not understand its eighteenth century English. I make the suggestion that its circulation among such patriotic men, translated into the language they use every day, would serve to prevent, or, at all events, to diminish that sort of terrorism.]

When things get so balled up that the people of a country have to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are on the level, and not trying to put nothing over on nobody.

All we got to say on this proposition is this: first, you and me is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better; second, nobody ain’t got no right to take away none of our rights; third, every man has got a right to live, to come and go as he pleases, and to have a good time however he likes, so long as he don’t interfere with nobody else. That any government that don’t give a man these rights ain’t worth a damn; also, people ought to choose the kind of goverment they want themselves, and nobody else ought to have no say in the matter.

[... Chapter 1. Specimens of the American Vulgate. 1. The Declaration of Independence in American. Mencken, H.L. 1921. ]

[via Archer]

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008
How I spent my Sunday with Obama and the Mayhill Fowler Agenda
I was starting to hear whispers in the blogosphere about Mayhill Fowler and the bzzz she created with her column on Huffington Post on Friday covering a comment Obama had made at a fundraiser five days before. (Five DAYS?!?? How's that for the immediacy of blogging, eh?)

Comments on the HuffPo posts about the uproar questioned her motives, her allegiances (was she really a closet Hillary supporter?) and her purpose in following Obama's campaign.

A Google search for /"mayhill fowler" -huffington/ brought me to this pro-Obama blogger post on the Obama site, a supporter who was at the Sunday event, someone who could at last put things in context.

Sandy's Blog: How I spent my Sunday with Obama and the Mayhill Fowler Agenda

Odd. The only Mayhill Fowler that shows in Oakland was born in 1974, six years after HuffPo's Mayhill Fowler graduated college. I assume that Mayhill Fowler is an offspring of the Mayhill Fowler on HuffPo. How come the sixty-one-year-old Mayhill doesn't show up with Zabasearch? Her husband does.

Update:Another blogger who was there chimes in: David Coleman: I Was There: What Obama Really Said About Pennsylvania


2004 Charlie Rose clip (up on YouTube) that shows Obama talking the same sort of talk only instead of the sound bite, there's a full discussion:
clip and full interview.


Saturday, April 05, 2008
Have I mentioned that Archer is back? Yeah, he was all of six weeks into his "Adios to the Web" retirement when he came back.

Why hadn't I noticed? Well, to tell the truth, I haven't been keeping up with my Bloglines gang and he'd only been back for two weeks when we left for most of March. Then March slipped into April and here we are.

If I hadn't kept Archer on my Bloglines list (even after he said farewell on Jan 2, 2008), I never would've known he was back. But I did, and when I checked the Bloglines list an hour or so ago, there he was! New content! Outstanding! Happy day. Archer's jumble of sense, nonsense, blatant lies, and outrageously gross humor is intact.

For those of youse others on the list, I may need a while to catch up. I mean some folks have a hundred posts I haven't read yet and even HCC has a backlog.

A belated welcome back, Archer. Good to see you.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 22, 2008
For want of an accent mark ...
A headzup to everyone writing in the blogosphere, in newspapers and in magazines: what César and Dolores and the UFW were all about was "¡Sí, se puede!" not "Si se puede."

Sure, the two phrases sound the same, but the first means, "Yes, we can!" (or more accurately, 'Yes, it's possible' or 'Yes, it can be done.') and the second, "If we can ..."

Big difference.

(I kept, and never used, a freebie notepad the UFW sent me -- along with a solicitation for a donation, natch -- because they used "Si" instead of "Sí" in the tagline on the notepad. And don't try to tell me that the accent mark has become superfluous in the twenty-first century. I ain't buying it. ...)

Thus ends the Spanish I lesson for the afternoon.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Just words ...

The Agitator by Ryan Lizza: Barack Obama's unlikely political education.
Post Date Monday, March 19, 2007.

sez Obama: Sometimes the tendency in community organizing of the sort done by Alinsky was to downplay the power of words and of ideas when in fact ideas and words are pretty powerful. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, all men are created equal.' Those are just words. 'I have a dream.' Just words. But they help move things.

Obama to Patrick to Obama and a hissy fit from those folks who don't think words and oratory count for anything without Substance [PDF]

(that's Substance with a capital S)

The March 2007 TNR article is interesting above and beyond the fact that Obama's "just words" echoes Patrick and predates Obama's alleged "plagiarism" of Patrick's speech.

Read the TNR article in full. It gives a =very= interesting insight into Obama's background.

You know what's really weird? I don't know Alinsky from Adam, but I first saw his name this morning in re Hillary's senior thesis at Wellesley which was allzabout Alinsky. Turns out Obama was allzabout Alinsky in his work on the southside of Chicago.

Oh, where is Kevin Bacon when you need him?


Monday, February 11, 2008
"Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?" -- Peggy Noonan
If Hillary Clinton loses, does she know how to lose? What will that be, if she loses? Will she just say, "I concede" and go on vacation at a friend's house on an island, and then go back to the Senate and wait?

Is it possible she could be so normal? Politicians lose battles, it's part of what they do, win and lose. But she does not know how to lose. Can she lose with grace? But she does grace the way George W. Bush does nuance.

[continue ..."Can Mrs. Clinton Lose?" -- Peggy Noonan]

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 07, 2008
Michelle Obama - Be Not Afraid

[Note: Previous link went 404. New link added.]

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
ABC News: Don't Tell Mama, Clinton-ites for Obama
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Obama - Yes, we can.
Liked this. 4:30m video. "Obama. Yes, we can" from

Forwarded on to me by the younger younger Guy. Thanks.

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 01, 2008
Noonan's take on Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, and Barack Obama (oh, and those pesky Republicans too ...)
A Rebellion and an Awkward Embrace
February 1, 2008 / Wall Street Journal

In the most exciting and confounding election cycle of my lifetime, Rudy Giuliani, the Prince of the City, is out because he was about to lose New York, John Edwards is out, the Clintons are fighting for their historical reputations, and the stalwart conservative New York Post has come out strong and stinging for Barack Obama. If you had asked me in December if I would write that sentence in February, I would have said: Um, no.

Noonan's column continues ...

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
What a waste. How much did this cost?
We received our primary absentee voter ballots in the mail ten days or more ago. The ballots were the "unaffiliated" or whatever it is non-partisan ballots.

Well, we'd both requested to vote in the Democratic primary. What's up with this? So we waited. And waited. And finally called the Registrar at the end of last week to ask what's up and were told "Oh. The Democratic absentee ballots are just getting mailed."

OK. So this means we got one ballot for the propositions and one ballot for the primary. That doesn't make much sense but whatever ...

Today we got our Democratic absentee ballots in the mail ... along with a note that our previous ballots have been canceled and won't be counted and we should tear them up and dispose of them.

Turns out the sharp as a tack folks down at the Registrar sent out who-knows-how-many unaffiliated non-partisan ballots to decline-to-state absentee voters who'd requested Democratic primary ballots. They then had to enter all the barcodes for the ballots that had been sent in error so that the system won't count them, write up a nice note, print up the extra ballot work and ... send out Democratic ballots to those voters.

How much is this flub going to cost?

And whose watch did it happen on?

Enquiring minds ...

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 21, 2008
Letter from Birmingham Jail
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Day, I reprise a view from the Hill.

Read the post and the Letter from Birmingham Jail. (the "letter" on the blog post is 404).

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, January 06, 2008
Dirty Tricks? Who would've guessed? (the Democratic campaign)
I was trolling through political blogs and sites today for commentary on the political debates last night.

There in a comments tail, some someone posted an AP article that slammed Obama, followed by a paean to Clinton.

ASSOCIATED PRESS-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has lot of explaining to do.
He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive. He supported allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons, but opposed allowing people to use banned handguns to defend against intruders in their homes. And the list of sensitive topics goes on. With only a slim, two-year record in the U.S. Senate, Obama doesn't have many controversial congressional votes which political opponents can frame into attack ads. But his eight years as an Illinois state senator are sprinkled with potentially explosive land mines, such as his abortion and gun control votes. recent land purchase from a political supporter who is facing charges in an unrelated kickback scheme involving investment firms seeking state business. Abortion opponents see Obama's vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide.

[End excerpt. No indication that the article wasn't quoted in full. ...]

I checked out the AP reference. The reference isn't a current reference but a reference to a Ryan Keith article from January 2007. This is how it reads:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama may have a lot of explaining to do.

He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive. He supported allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons, but opposed allowing people to use banned handguns to defend against intruders in their homes. And the list of sensitive topics goes on.

With only a slim, two-year record in the U.S. Senate, Obama doesn't have many controversial congressional votes which political opponents can frame into attack ads. But his eight years as an Illinois state senator are sprinkled with potentially explosive land mines, such as his abortion and gun control votes.

Obama _ who filed papers this week creating an exploratory committee to seek the 2008 Democratic nomination _ may also find himself fielding questions about his actions outside public office, from his acknowledgment of cocaine use in his youth to a more recent land purchase from a political supporter who is facing charges in an unrelated kickback scheme involving investment firms seeking state business.

Obama was known in the Illinois Capitol as a consistently liberal senator who reflected the views of voters in his Chicago district. He helped reform the state death penalty system and create tax breaks for the poor while developing a reputation as someone who would work with critics to build consensus.

He had a 100 percent rating from the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council for his support of abortion rights, family planning services and health insurance coverage for female contraceptives. [...]

Notice the slight changes? Notice where the AP quote in the comments tail stops?

Should you care? It's only dirty tricks.

If you pop / Obama "lot of explaining"/ into Google, you'll find a variety of people quoting the excerpted AP article in the comments tails at various news and blog sites.

Dirty tricks? We have

and on ...

Come on Cary Sherry Lansing Davey dyck ... Clean up your act. Either Clinton approves of what you're doing (wouldn't be a surprise) or you're an overly ambitious volunteer.

Either way you're doing no favors.

Labels: ,

: views from the Hill

Bertold Brecht:   
Everything changes. You can make
A fresh start with your final breath.
But what has happened has happened. And the water
You once poured into the wine cannot be
Drained off again.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe with Bloglines

powered by FreeFind

Site search Web search

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

free hit counter


recent posts

views from the hill archives