Archive for June, 2008

Know your US Senators, part 9 of 10: Salazar through Stevens

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Ken Salazar
Junior Senator from Colorado
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 53
Pros: It has been very nice to see Colorado turning blue over the past few years; first Hispanic Senator since 1977 (along with Mel Martinez).
Cons: Big Lieberman backer for some bizarre reason, and there’s just about nobody on this planet I like less than Joe right now. What does CT law say about traitorous Senators, anyway? Can’t we Gray Davis the guy?

Bernie Sanders
Junior Senator from Vermont
Party: Independent (Democratic Socialist)
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 66
Pros: Thanks to the great, pot-infused state of Vermont, we have a socialist Brooklyn Jew Senator.
Cons: If only he were also black and gay and blind and a dwarf who doesn’t speak any English. But don’t worry, the way things are in Vermont I fully expect to see that in the next six years.

Chuck Schumer
Senior Senator from New York
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1999
Age: 57
Pros: High-ranking, dependably liberal establishment Dem who knows how to get himself on TV.
Cons: From yesterday’s WaPo: “‘Wait until Schumer stops talking,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested to [DNC Chairman Howard] Dean. ‘That’ll be a long wait,’ Dean replied. Then began the meeting.” Just in case you didn’t get that: the guy doesn’t shut up.

Jeff Sessions
Junior Senator from Alabama
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 61
Pros: Like Peel Sessions, except with less good music and more cutting down forests and torturing brown people.
Cons: CQ Press: ”According to sworn statements by Justice Department lawyers, Sessions called the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union ‘un-American’ and ‘communist-inspired’ and said they ‘force civil rights down the throats of people.’ He also reportedly said of the Ku Klux Klan, ‘I used to think they’re OK,’ until learning that some Klan members were ‘pot smokers.’” But look, folks, his name is Jefferson and he’s from Alabama, what do you want?

Richard Shelby
Senior Senator from Alabama
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1987
Age: 74
Pros: Now here’s the more moderate Alabama Senator: an anti-environmentalist, classified information-leaking abortion opponent… but he opposed Robert Bork in 1987! And that is more than enough to make Dick look like Bernie Sanders next to Jeff Sessions.
Cons: One of the last courageous defenders of Big Tobacco.

Gordon Smith
Junior Senator from Oregon
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1997
Age: 56
Pros: Decent chance of being ousted this year by Democrat Jeff Merkley, in what would have to be a particularly painful Republican loss.
Cons: Supported racist buffoon Trent Lott in his doomed quest to not get tossed as Senate Republican leader; has that horrible, creepy Mormon hair thing going.

Olympia Snowe
Senior Senator from Maine
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1995
Age: 61
Pros: Highest approval rating of any Senator in her home state, because the Republicans voters like best don’t actually vote Republican.
Cons: Despite her rather awesome record on abortion rights and gay rights, Snowe is weirdly nutty on certain things, including flag burning; are we really still worried about people burning a fucking flag? Also, useless on Iraq, where being a true “moderate” might have meant something.

Arlen Specter
Senior Senator from Pennsylvania
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1981
Age: 78
Pros: Has balanced his work with his cancer battle quite heroically in his advanced age; historically was pretty reasonable on key issues, much to his party’s dismay.
Cons: Can somebody let Arlen know the Senate really doesn’t need to be involved in fucking Spygate? I mean, sorry the Eagles suck, Senator, but Christ. The Superbowl is over, the Patriots lost, I think it’s time we come together as a nation and move on.

Debbie Stabenow
Junior Senator from Michigan
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2001
Age: 58
Pros: Chairperson of the Democratic Steering Committee; so far she seems to be steering quite well, at least compared to whoever the last guy was, who must have steered about as well as a four year old playing Mario Kart.
Cons: Michigan Dem husband and executive VP of radio debacle Air America Tom Athans recently caught in a prostitution sting. And really, there is just no excuse for that when your wife is this hot.

Ted Stevens
Senior Senator from Alaska
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1968
Age: 84
Pros: “Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially. [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”
Cons: Senator Bridge-to-Nowhere has had a long and horrible career, perhaps wasting more tax dollars than any of his colleagues could ever dream of wasting. But this is it… 2008 is the year. Vote Begich, Alaska, and be redeemed.

Next time: THE THRILLING CONCLUSION! Almost a full year coming, it’s Know Your US Senators, part 10: Sununu through Wyden. Be there.

Update: Fixed the link problem plaguing this entry.

Surreal

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Just took a quick glance at Yahoo’s current major headlines and briefly thought I saw something that made me do a double-take. It didn’t say what I thought it said, but here are the two headlines, one right above the other, that my brain mashed together for a few seconds:

- Obama names Caroline Kennedy to help pick VP
- Japanese patient’s ‘tumor’ turns out to be 25-year-old towel

Emphasis mine.

The Obama-McCain electoral map, and Obama’s running mate choices

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Today the McCain v. Obama race is officially underway. Conventional wisdom throughout the media is saying this is Obama’s race to lose. Let’s see, from a polling perspective, how true or false that wisdom is today. And yes, this is basically just an update on my post from a few weeks ago looking at the electoral map. (more…)