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I'm amused at how this turns redistricting proposals that I've seen in the past on their heads, sort of.
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For those that suggested that anti-woman prejudice was responsible for Obama's victory over Senator Clinton in the primaries: maybe that hurt her more than anti-black prejudice hurt Obama. I doubt it, but it's possible; it's a complex issue, and certainly members of both groups have been discriminated against.

But, while I may be wrong, somehow I doubt that women everywhere would have been attacked, or harassed (at least in the same way), for voting for Clinton in the general election, had she won the nomination.
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(Well, it's closer to '53 to 46', but whatever. :) )

I don't know how much effect this will have. But I think that it's encouraging that it exists.
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We're not done, of course.

We actually have really just started.

But I am optimistic in that we have elected a smart, pragmatic, phlegmatic individual who appears to share most of my priorities, and at least some of my principles.

If Obama actually survives his Presidency, I think we might actually see some significant positive changes in how we conduct our foreign policy, satisfy and manage our energy needs, handle our national finances, and provide health care.

Good luck, President-elect Obama--and let us know what we will need to do to help.
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There's a very clear and obvious slant here, which I tried to ignore as I read the article. Many quotes are unsourced, and thus a priori suspect.

But the man damns himself repeatedly with his own words.

And he has no business calling anyone an elitist, as someone whose life has been defined by his membership in various elites.

I want to be able to respect him, and I do respect some of his stances and accomplishments. But I cannot respect the man himself.

I wish that this were an election for which it was hard to decide between the Presidential candidates because they were both eminently suited for the job, albeit with different philosophies and priorities.

It's not.
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I'm looking to have some conversations about the upcoming elections. (The US Presidential elections, primarily, although if there's anyone that wants to talk about WA Congressional or state-level elections, that's fine too.)

The reason why I'm putting this out there: )

Let's talk.
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It's a longish post, so I shall include a few paraphrased highlights, but you should go read it. I don't agree with everything said, and parts of it are definitely, shall we say, not shrinking from drawing negative conclusions about certain (vice-)presidential aspirants...but the parts about Palin, especially, paint an alarming picture.

(1) It is speculated, based on scattered evidence, that McCain is quite likely (2 in 3?) to have further recurrence of serious melanoma during the next four years. If this were true (and assuming that he knows it) that puts a very different complexion on his selection of Palin.

(2) A deconstruction of all the myriad reasons that Palin or her supporters have put forth for her conduct in Troopergate. It includes the following gem:

"Every time I try to imagine Sarah Palin at work, what comes out of her mouth is Glory’s dialogue from Season Five of Buffy."

The scary thing is how well that fits, based on what I've read and seen of her so far. :P
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I would like to have more corroboration of some of the things said here, but it seems consistent with other stories that I've seen in some of the more easily checkable factoids (attempted censorship, issue positions, amount of debt that Wasilla was in after her tenure, etc.)...and there aren't all that many people (outside of Wasilla) that could comment on some of this.

If it's true, it needs to get much wider circulation. It appears to be a very clear look at Palin's history (and does not all cut one way).
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Of interest both because of the subject matter and because of the author's background:

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back"

I'm not sure that I agree with all of it, but it's worth reading.
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I've been really annoyed recently by the abuse of the phrase "mathematically impossible" in the popular press to describe the likelihood of either of the following:

(a) either candidate gaining the support of at least 2025 delegates (pledged or super)...
(b) Senator Clinton gaining the support of more pledged delegates than Senator Obama...

...by the time the primaries are over (but before the convention).

In short: neither of these are "impossible". Highly unlikely, maybe. But calling it "mathematically impossible" is simply ridiculous.

math geeking )
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...[Obama] had an important topic to discuss: the controversy over President Bush's warrantless surveillance of international telephone calls between Americans and suspected terrorists. I had written a short essay suggesting that the surveillance might be lawful. Before taking a public position, Obama wanted to talk the problem through.

In about 20 minutes, he and I investigated the legal details. He asked me to explore all sorts of issues: the president's power as commander in chief, the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Authorization for Use of Military Force and more.

Obama wanted to consider the best possible defense of what Bush had done. To every argument I made, he listened and offered a counterargument. After the issue had been exhausted, Obama said he thought the program was illegal, but now had a better understanding of both sides.

That's...impressive. Not many people I know go to that much trouble to make sure that they understand all sides of an issue before taking a stand on it, and I'm not aware of any politicians that behave so.

Of course the author of this article is biased...but if even half of what he says is accurate, he's got the potential to be a kickass President, by my standards at least.
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So all the California ballot measures have solidly gone down. I'm somewhat disappointed in this--I would like 79 and 80 to have gone through--but as I've said elsewhere, all down is far better than all up, especially considering the extent to which this underlines that the Gubernator is not only a posturing ass, but an ineffectual posturing ass. (Which phrase I wrote before considering his prior career...this is why I pay my brain the big bucks. :) )

And as a bonus, let's hear it for Diebold voting machines: Schwarzenegger was temporarily barred from voting due to a voting machine glitch. Beautiful publicity, really.
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In response to [livejournal.com profile] auros' detailed analysis of the ballot measures, I have some last-minute comments. You can assume that if I don't comment on something here, I more or less agree with [livejournal.com profile] auros's position.

For my own later reference, and for yours as well if you want to take a look, I will mention the CalVoter.org website, which has several useful resources. The most cogent of them at this point is a link (2nd from the bottom) to the CA Secretary of State's well-designed website which lets you find out who's contributed how much for and against each of the ballot measures. So if you're hurting for an opinion, go find a donor that you don't like and vote the other way. (Gotta like those ad hominem arguments.)

On to the blathering... )

Comments and counterarguments actively solicited...


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