Friday, November 10, 2006

Nancy Pelosi is Smoking Hot!

Especially for a grandmom of 66. Date of birth: March 1940.

Chart to follow.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dear Switch-Hitters, independents, and fed-up Conservatives:

Welcome back to the party of pragmatism and reality based results. Let me be, if not the first, then one of the many to say thank you for restoring my faith in the general population. Turns out that our country has not been quite as over run with red state yahoos as I thought.

But before you get all big-headed about your role in this election, let me say one thing.


Seriously, Iraq was a quagmire in 2004. Science has been shoved under the rug since 2000. The budget has been careening out of control since the start of the Iraq war. The No Child Left Behind act was failing kids before it was enacted. The scandals being reported on now have been going on for years. We all knew the Medicare Rx plan was going to blow chunks. Where the hell have you been?

Were you too dazzled by the latest season of reality TV shows for the last 6 years to pay attention to the news? Did your education suck so badly that you couldn't understand the middle-school level of writing done in most major newspapers? Did you miss the "Don't believe the hype" lesson most of us learned as teenagers upon discovering that plucky girls in glasses don't actually win the quarterback and skinny boys with greasy hair don't get the head cheerleader in the back seat with her skirt pulled up? (Slight disclaimer- I was that cheerleader with the skinny boy- but I am the exception that proves the social rule). Did you think that voting with the frat boy party and beating up on gays and immigrants was gonna make you popular?

OK, admonishment done. I promise that as long as you all continue to act like thinking, rational human beings I will never again mention the 6 years of hell we have all been facing. We'll just say that you were "going through a phase" and put it to rest. But you do have to prove that you are going to continue to use your brain at the ballot box and not let the self-esteem challenged inner teenager punch your card.

As a reminder of some of the rational things that will hopefully come from your vote:

Science will once again trump magic fairy dust and faith healing in dealing with the environment.

Women's bodies will go back to belonging to individual women and we will, hope upon hopes, start valuing already alive children more than we value clumps of dividing cells.

Budgets will be balanced, taxes will be fair, incomes will go up. This is what Democrats do, by the way. The "tax and spend" liberal idea is so outdated that Eisenhower would cringe to hear it used.

We will stop giving swirlies to the EU and the rest of the world when it comes to international relations. I know it seemed really hilarious to you when Bush was doing it before, but you know the people that get swirlies and wedgies and are otherwise tormented are always the ones that come back 10 years later as gazillionaires who can lay off your entire division out of spite. We are starting the process by not allowing John Bolton permanent title to embarrass us on the floor of the UN. (Thank Lincoln Chaffee for that one, ousted as he is he is showing that the needs of the country are worth more than his need to stick it to the winners).

This is just the beginning of rational behavior. Again, thank you for coming to your senses or for finally being bored with Dancing with the Stars or Survivor.


The Red Queen who has been a rational blue voter since my first registration.

Frozen Moment

RQ once made an offhand comment: funny when you pause the video and you almost always get someone in a weird looking pose.

Here's one. OK, I admit, this only chuckle funny, but its worth a couple of seconds.

This is Viera, or whoever from one of those early morning shows discussing how the Republicans got their ass handed to them (sorry, still gloating).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Breaking News

The AP is calling Virginia's Senate race for Webb.

Welcome to the ruling party fellow Dems. It's about fricken time.

A Lesson for the Left

I think the left also needs to learn some lessons regarding this election cycle; it needs to find a way to stay included. As much as applaud the Dem victory, it came at the expense of moving to the center. Don't get me wrong. I like the and understand the center, but it is not a place for new ideas and place for the voices of the disenfranchised. Without losing its personality, the left has make it clear that is not the mirror image of the far-right wing religious wackos.

One place we can start is our stand on the environment. Now that 99% of the population at least believes that global warming will have a tangible affect on all life forms, the left can point that it has held a very sensible view of climate-change since it has become an issue.

I like being a lefty, a liberal. But now it is time for the left to feel pride about itself. Too many times the mention of liberal comes with a rolling of the eyes. It's time to end that shit!

At the same time the left needs to realize that being included will involve playing politics; making deals, forging compromises and taking stands. As good as our ideas may be, they do no one any good if they are not used.

Right-wing Radioactive

I think the election will end or severely mute the influence of the evangelical wing of the Republican party. Between, Haggard, Foley and David Kuo's book, the religious right is now marginalized. I am certain that Catholics, for example, hated being lumped in with religious fanatics. It will be interesting to see how this right-wing fringe reacts; who they choose to back. Rest assured that candidates will now treat the fanatics as if they were radioactive.

I welcome this development as it may help get people who want to kill for Jesus out our lives. On the other hand, these 'nuts' aren't going away anytime soon: Haggards mega-church has 30 MILLION members, a tenth of the population. Who's going to make sure these people don't create a Christo-fascist Crusade against we infidels?

Best thing about this election cycle though is the fact that when these crazies claim morality, we can always counter with the tale of the mega-preacher (and his wife), snorting massive amounts of meth and paying $300 a pop for a gay hooker (who said he was bad in bed)!

Some more advice for the Dems

But this time the advice is from me.

The states are currently responsible for voting practices. That needs to end. Election Boards are run by partisan appointees and elected officials who have a personal stake in the outcome.

There needs to be a federal level right to vote and an office not unlike the GAO (non-partisan general Accounting Office) to administer voting policy. If you want to require ID, then it should be provided free of charge at the time of registration. If you want to limit felons from voting, it should be explained how they can be punished twice for the same crime. Who can vote, and how they vote should be universal. Voting machines should have paper receipts, one for the voter and one for a recount. Voter intimidation should be treated as a serious offence with jail time, not unlike witness intimidation and clear rules for what constitutes intimidation should be established.

There should be specific guidelines for how many machines and poll workers are at each polling place based on population size. There should not be long lines discouraging voters in poor districts because of lack of machinery.

In other words, we should make voting universal and remove as many restrictions to individuals as possible because there really is no such thing as too much democracy.

Best advice of the day

For the new Democratic majority
These next two years are a test, not a mandate. We are not giving you a car, we’re letting you borrow it for your date. If you bring it home before curfew and there aren’t any scratches or dents on it, we might let you start driving it to school daily. You are not in charge here, you work for us. Do not forget that.

Multi-culti, feministy goodness

And suddenly, the government starts to look a little bit more like the people it is supposed to represent. The biggest gain is the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. For the first time ever, we have a woman third in line to the presidency. This is the closest we have come to the presidency so far. Previously, Secretary of State Madeline Allbright was fourth in line, but because she was born outside the country she was not eligible to take the president's spot.

The future Madam Speaker shows us her scary side. This will come in handy during investigations into Republican wrong doing.

It's nice to see women getting ahead in the Senate too. We now have 16 Senate seats, which is not nearly the 50 we would need to be truly represented, but it keep increasing.

Amy Klobuchar, the new Democratic Senator from Minnesota

Claire McCaskill from Missouri thanked Rush Limbaugh after Limbaugh's vitriol on the Michael J. Fox ads drove stem cell supporters to donate mass cash to her campaign. Yay- a win for Dems, women, and science!

Deval Patrick, first African American Governor of Massachusetts who won after his opponent ran a really disgusting commercial to scare women out of voting for Patrick. Huhm, black man running for governor and his opponent tries to swing women voters by scaring them with the idea that Duval supports rapists.

Keith Ellison, the first ever Muslim representative elected to Minnesota's fifth district. I'm sure the right wing nutbags are declaring this a win for "islamofacists" while completely ignoring the fact that the right wing nutbags have more in common with the Taliban than with the rest of America.

Gabrielle Giffords, the new Rep from Arizona's 8th district
For more Women in the Senate, House, and Governorships check out Emily's List.

For more on African American gains in the House check out this.

If I've missed someone (and I am sure I've missed plenty) let me know in comments.

Doing the happy dance!

In honor of our sweep of the House and our soon-to-be control of the Senate (Virginia rule requires a 10 day wait for election certification and then a mandatory recount if the difference is less than one half of one percent) I give you the happiest dance ever.

It's no mistake that there is a massive Frank Herbert influence in this video either.

A vaguely scientific approach to the last 3 senate races

So I am an election geek. Here's my prediction so far:

Montana: It's a wrap for Tester. He's been over 50% all night and exit polls give him a substantial lead.

Virginia: Maybe it's optimism, but I'm giving this one to Webb. There are 6 counties that still have votes to report and Webb is trending ahead in 5 of them.

Missouri: Oh how I wish I could call this one for the Dems. This is the race that used the Michael J Fox stem cell add. But it's an absolute toss up. Of the counties left to report, McCaskill is leading in 5, talent in 4 and 7 have no results in at all.

In other news- First Female Speaker EVER! And we haven't even had the vote for 100 years yet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Holy Shit

Vermont elected a socialist to the Sentate to replace Jim Jeffords. I love Vermont. Gimme some maple syrup!


Voter intimidation has long been a practice of conservative parties. From the beginning of this democracy there has always been a divide between those who believe that everyone should be able to vote and those that believe that only certain people are responsible enough to be allowed to vote.

In the beginning, the divide was over whether a free, white male had to be a landowner in order to vote. The idea behind this is that men who didn't own land had less of a stake in the country, but in reality it was meant to keep the poor and uneducated from voting. Fortunately, all that was required to vote was that you were a free, white male citizen with no property restrictions.

Then with the end of slavery and the establishment of blacks as citizens came the right for all men, regardless of color, to vote. That was 1870, but it wasn't until the Voting Rights act of the 60's that there was any teeth in the law to back it up. Still, the black men had the right to vote way before us girls did. At least they could get to the polling station to fight for the right.

We girls were kept in the kitchen lest the big ideas behind democracy confuse out little girly bird-brains or tarnish our pure spirits. Seriously, the arguments against women voting were that we weren't capable of rational thought, or that the dirtiness involved in politics would injure us in some way.

It wasn't until the 19 mother-fricken 20's that us American women were allowed to vote, less than 100 years ago. In Switzerland, women were only given full voting rights in 1990! (Yes, one more reason to hate the Swiss other than the stupidity of the International Red Cross, and that when I traveled there I felt like I'd been dumped into the land fascism aspires to). In Lebanon, women have to prove they have been educated in order to vote, but men don't.

But I digress..

So in the history of the world and more specifically, our country, those who think that suffrage should be universal and treat voting as something so fundamental to our continued democracy that anyone should be allowed to vote without restrictions have fought for those rights even for people with diametrically opposed political views. I told a couple of students to go vote a few minutes ago and one cheekily responded by saying he'd "go vote straight republican". I said fine as long as he votes. And I mean that.

Then there are those who treat the right to vote like it is some delicate object that would be fractured if everyone were allowed to use it. These are the people who are now requiring ID from voters where none has been required before. While this sounds like a good idea, the only people who this presents a problem for are poor and often minority folks who don't have the $35 it might take to get a state ID card. Guess who they aren't likely to be voting for?

The same people who would disallow felons who have served their time from voting. Why? Hasn't the person in question paid their debt to society with prison time? Hasn't the person in question resumed the obligation of being a contributing member of society? And once again, the people who will be kept from voting in this case are most likely poor and minority.

There is no history of the rich being subjected to voter intimidation. There is no history of the powerful being subject to voter intimidation. But today, the Bushies are crying that "Boo hoo hoo" there's not enough ballots in Republican districts or "Wah wah wah" Democrats are trying to intimidate us at the polls. All while scary men with fake badges are doing actual voter intimidation of Latino voters in Arizona and in Pennsylvania (home of the closely watched Rick "anal leakage" Santorum senate race) black voters are being shut out because of voting machine issues.

So you don't want to vote. Fine. You don't think the 2 party system is working and you don't want to contribute to it. Ok. But don't, for one minute think that I am going to respect you for your choice. Besides voting for politicians there are numerous initiatives and referendums concerning how our local government works that have nothing to do with parties in particular but have everything to do with running a functional democracy. You, Mr. Non-voter won't be voting on those issues, but your children will go to school because of the bond measures that are passed and you will drive your car on the roads that are built because other people did the responsible thing and voted.

People have been fighting for and dying for the right to vote for centuries. That you would so callously throw away something like that means that those rich white guys with all the power have one less sucker to intimidate. You are doing their job for them.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote or Die!

Tomorrow is election day. If you can't manage to get off your ass and go vote while our country is in a shambles you are a waste of space.

I know, it's been pouring rain to near flood levels and you have all sorts of work to do and the stupid paperless ballot machines are all rigged anyway. So why should you go vote?

You are part of this society, so it is your responsibility. If you are part of a family you have responsibilities like making sure the rent is paid or the trash is taken out. Voting is the only effective way we citizens have of taking the trash out of government. Those of you who don't vote remind me of the girl in the Shell Silverstien poem who lets the trash overtake everything out of laziness.

Look, I have to spend tomorrow morning with my feet up in stirrups getting my annual exam. Then I have the thankless task of putting together the student newsletter and to top it all off the Kiddo is grounded because he decided that being in 6th grade meant not doing homework. So I have been playing prison guard, making sure that the only thing he does is homework. No tv, no video games, no computer, no hanging out with friends, and no extra-curricualr reading. (I know- I may be the only parent on earth who has to ground their child from books). All I want to do is curl up with a big gulp sized vodka tonic and watch gay porn. But I will be slogging my way through our local monsoon to go vote.

If I am giving up booze and porn, the least you could do is get off your ass and vote. Or I will hunt you down and bludgeon you with a hanging chad. Seriously.

And since we're on the gay porn/ voting topic- here's a little video to remind you of all the trash that needs to be taken out.