Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

America the Oppressed

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

CNN: Are whites racially oppressed?

My immediate response to seeing this front page article on Friday was disgust, incredulity, anger — mostly toward CNN for allowing this message a shred of legitimacy, or implying that there’s enough of an argument here to merit prominent coverage from a major news network. The article itself is weak sauce: a mishmash of bullet points detailing alleged “signs of racial anxiety” among whites, miscellaneous quotes from academics and right-wing pundits, a conclusion filled with comment-baiting rhetorical questions about our country’s future, and ultimately an unhelpful shrug: “When you take the long view of human history, change is slow, but change happens.” OK then! That answers that.

Still, it’s been hard for me to dismiss the article altogether, or at least its existence. As of today it’s been recommended on Facebook by 39,830 people. There are over 8,000 comments on the article itself, which I can’t bring myself to read (the one on top declares, “Bush created DHS and used unwarranted wire tapping to find terrorists now Obama uses DHS to track down Americans that do not agree with him. Gradualism and lies is the way of the Marxist”). Yes, it’s a blatant grab for traffic on a Friday afternoon, posing controversial questions that the writer, John Blake, has no intent of actually attempting to answer. But the fact that the questions are being asked at all — and that people are interested in them — has to deserve a closer look. (more…)

Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) and the Importance of the Meta Description Tag

Monday, October 26th, 2009

On September 10 of this year, George LeMieux was sworn in as the Junior US Senator from the state of Florida, replacing Mel Martinez. LeMieux previously served as Chief of Staff to Republican Florida Governor (and Senate hopeful himself) Charlie Crist. LeMieux was born in Ft. Lauderdale and has apparently lived and worked in Florida for most of his life.

As with all US Senators, LeMieux has his own subdomain on senate.gov. It is now the top result in Google for such terms as “George LeMieux” and “Senator LeMieux.”

Here, on October 27, is a snapshot of that Google result:

United States Senator George LeMieux -- Official website for the Republican US Senator from Louisiana

The site is ranking, the content is in place. But how many of LeMieux’s constituents have been confused and perhaps turned away entirely simply because the Google snippet says he represents Louisiana? (And if they then decided to get in touch with their other Senator instead, that would be Bill Nelson — a Democrat.)

Always, always, always remember your meta description tags, kids. Otherwise you could find yourselves getting screwed by somebody just because they figure your last name sounds cajun.

(…and yes, the “Email Senator Martinez” link is problematic, too. More defensible, as LeMieux did replace him not that long ago, but it still never should have been found on lemieux.senate.gov in the first place.)

Final 2008 Election Predictions

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Haven’t updated in a while, but with the election nearly upon us I probably have no useful analysis to add to what’s already out there. So instead, here are my baseless personal predictions:

Obama wins: HI, WA, OR, CA, NV, CO, NM, MN, IA, WI, IL, MI, VA, DC, MD, DE, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME
McCain wins: AK, ID, UT, AZ, MT, WY, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, MO, AR, LA, IN, OH, KY, WV, TN, MS, AL, GA, FL, SC, NC

That’s an electoral win for Obama of 291-247. Maybe not the blowout a lot of lefties are hoping for, but a plenty reasonable margin of victory.

In the Senate, Dems will make gains but won’t achieve their magical 60 votes. The end result I expect will be 57-43, with pickups in AK, CO, NH, NM, OR, and VA. Al Franken, Jim Martin and Kay Hagan will have made a race out of it, but they probably won’t topple their incumbent opponents.

In the House… I have no idea, but I’ll say the Democrats go up to an even 250 over the Republicans’ 185. Also, Shays beats Himes.

Who else wants to place their bets?

Know your US Senators, part 10 of 10: Sununu through Wyden

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

John Sununu
Junior Senator from New Hampshire
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2003
Age: 43
Pros: Youngest current US Senator; spouse’s name is, hilariously, Kitty Sununu; pro’lly gonna get beat this year by rhymin’ queen Mean Jeanne Shaheen.
Cons: He’s some MIT grad egghead New Hampshire faux-Libertarian birth control Nazi who instinctively opposes all taxes and wants us to go back to, I dunno, feudalism or something. Or his idea of freedom is just saying “freedom” a lot. I don’t know. Shouldn’t have to worry too much about it after November.

Jon Tester
Junior Senator from Montana
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 52
Pros: Alongside popular Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer, Tester proves that the masses of charismatic wide-faced Montana farmers are startin’ to go blue. Yee-haw!
Cons: Lost three fingers in a meat grinder accident. EEEWWWWWWW GROSS LOL

John Thune
Junior Senator from South Dakota
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 47
Pros: Defeated Senate Dem leader Tom Daschle in the massacre of 2004; this turned out to be a plus because we got rid of whiny puss Daschle and started winning elections again.
Cons: Now Daschle is a key figure in the Obama campaign (horrifying); far as Thune goes, he’s considered a hardcore conservative up-and-comer who might have filled the Sarah Palin slot on McCain’s ticket if he had ovaries.

David Vitter
Junior Senator from Louisiana
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2005
Age: 47
Pros: Sure, he hit her, but reconsider: Vitter’s no quitter! (…by which I mean at the same time he was calling on Clinton to resign he was off banging hookers, and hey, look who’s still a Senator today).
Cons: According to the almighty Wikipedia — “In 2000, his wife, Wendy Vitter, commenting on the same scandal, said, ‘I’m a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I’m walking away with one thing, and it’s not alimony, trust me.’” Whoops! Wonder if she followed through. EEEWWWWWWW GROSS LOL penis

George Voinovich
Senior Senator from Ohio
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1999
Age: 72
Pros: Once beat Dennis Kucinich in Cleveland, and I think regardless of party we’ve all wanted to beat Dennis Kucinich at one time or another.
Cons: Maybe it’s just me, but I find it really unusually awkward and uncomfortable to type “George Voinovich”; I’ve had to correct like twenty typos with his name in this post alone.

John Warner
Senior Senator from Virginia
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 1979
Age: 81
Pros: The only sitting US Senator to have been married to Elizabeth Taylor (as far as we know…I’m looking at you, Herb Kohl); former VA Governor and Democrat Mark Warner is likely to pick up his seat this year, so they won’t even have to change the name on the door.
Cons: Honestly, he’s a pretty decent and moderate Senator, especially for a southern Republican; best wishes in your retirement, Mr. Elizabeth Taylor #6.

Jim Webb
Junior Senator from Virginia
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 62
Pros: Accomplished writer and genuinely highly intelligent decorated Vietnam veteran; seems like an obvious choice for national office…
Cons: …OH WAIT N/M

Sheldon Whitehouse
Junior Senator from Rhode Island
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 52
Pros: His name is Whitehouse! WOuld you imagene if he evar becoms presidnet? what the newspapers would be they would be all lik “WHJITEHOUSE IS IN THE WHITEHSOUES!!!1111@.6″
Cons: Being the Junior Senator from Rhode Island is kind of like being Adam Hyzdu in the 2004 Boston Red Sox; sure, you get the ring and all, you get to ride in the parade and wave to all the adoring fans trying to figure out who you are (maybe the first base coach or something?)…but after that, your professional career whimpers to a halt, you end up pawning your ring for blow, not even the homely chicks in your local bar believe you when you say you were a professional baseball player, let alone one from a legendary championship team, then the years all start to blur together, and soon enough you die cold and alone watching reruns of “Law & Order: SVU” (not saying this is what actually awaits either Adam Hyzdu or Sheldon Whitehouse, but…you get the idea).

Roger Wicker
Junior Senator from Mississippi
Party: Republican
Assumed Office: 2007
Age: 57
Pros: Roger Frederick “The Wicker Man” Wicker, as I’m sure no one calls him, was appointed to his Senate seat after Trent Lott suddenly disappeared in a puff of racism smoke (smells something like sulfur and fried chicken); may well get his ass beat in this year’s special election.
Cons: Doesn’t really seem like you’re taking care of the problem when Trent Lott resigns in disgrace and you replace him with someone whose resume highlights include “Counsel to Trent Lott on the House Rules Committee,” but what do I know?

Ron Wyden
Senior Senator from Oregon
Party: Democratic
Assumed Office: 1996
Age: 59
Pros: Net neutrality bill sponsor; strong critic of the tobacco industry; probably some other stuff whatever I’m almost done
Cons: Blah blah blah Iraq blah blah taxes DONE!!!!

HA! You didn’t think I’d finish, did you? You thought I’d take this all the way through November and then suddenly have to go back and do all the new Senators, didn’t you? Well I showed you. Now you know everything you will ever need to know about all 100 of our United States Senators. So fuck you.

Sorry, that’s uncalled for.

Next I’d like to write something about the social dilemmas brought into the presidential campaign by the emergence of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate. Either that or I’ll post some funny “FAIL” videos. Whatever I have time for. No promises.

Running mate announcements imminent

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Apparently John McCain is expected to announce his running mate this week, to try to steal some press away from Obama’s Middle East trek. Who’s it going to be?

MY GUESS: Mitt Romney. I think it’s safe to say they still don’t like each other, but they’ve been going well out of their way to make it look like they do. Romney tanked badly in the primaries, especially considering the amount of money that went into his campaign. But he is the establishment suit the GOP have wanted in the White House, he gives a boost to McCain’s limited economic cred, and — most importantly — he could help tilt Colorado and Michigan back in McCain’s favor.

ALSO POSSIBLE: Tim Pawlenty. Doesn’t carry the Romney baggage and could help McCain win an unpredictable state, Minnesota, which currently leans Obama. Also might help Norm Coleman hold his Senate seat.

OUT: Bobby Jindal. Too young, too weird, no experience, wrong state. Won’t happen.

Obama is also apparently on the cusp of naming his running mate, though from what I gather he will wait till after McCain announces his. Who’s it gonna be?

MY GUESS: Kathleen Sebelius. No, she will not help Obama win Kansas. But she can help solidify his standing in Middle-America overall, and she is a popular Democratic governor who knows how to win in that tough part of the country. Adding a woman makes the Democratic ticket even more historic, even if it isn’t the woman we all thought we’d be getting a few months ago.

ALSO POSSIBLE: Tim Kaine. Virginia is a key state in which an Obama upset could plausibly happen, and that would be huge. Kaine could help make this happen, and he’s been a huge Obama supporter from day one. Unfortunately, should he leave the Governor’s office to take a spot as VP, Virginia’s next Gov is a Republican.

OUT: Hillary Clinton. The generation of female supporters that were supposedly going to take their bitterness over the primaries into November are almost nonexistent. Polling already shows Clinton supporters coming to terms with Obama. Hillary just doesn’t add anything to the Dem ticket at this time.