Archives for category: Politics
Holy crap.

Holy crap.

Of course Stephen Colbert was right when referred to Rod Blagojevich as a “Lego Man” on tonight’s Colbert Report. The photographic proof is right there – hell, even the side parting is the same! I’m just embarrassed that it took me this long to notice it.

As citizens, we’re not asked to do much.

We pay taxes – we may not like it, but that’s how the government pays the bills.

From time to time, we serve on juries, so that the justice system can work the way it was intended.

And at least once a year, we vote – for school budgets, for local government, for Senators, and for Congressmen.

But every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Sunday in November, we are given the right – nay, the privilege – of making our voices heard and casting a ballot for the person who will guide the ship of state and serve as America’s representative on the global stage.

Four years ago in this space, I suggested that voters reject the two major party candidates in favor of an animated character…and prior to that, I had suggested voting for ‘none of the above’. I’ve never believed that voting was unimportant, but the last general election felt flawed in every possible way, and honestly, I had reached a point where I wanted nothing to do with the process.

Fast forward four years – we’ve been through a 20-month ‘election’ cycle and endless primaries. But despite all that, this year is different. This year’s general election is about more than just a choice between ‘Republican’ and ‘Democrat’. It’s about more than a referendum on the last 8 years of government. And believe it or not, it’s about more than history (although, yes, the nation will either elect the first African-American President or the first female Vice President).

This election is about the future. More specifically, how we as a population want to be represented in a global community; how we want to be governed; about the legacy we leave behind, and the trail we blaze. Whatever you think of the major party candidates, there’s no denying that this election is about more than which man gets to keep the big chair in the Oval Office warm.

The old saying goes “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” Well, I don’t know much about politics, but I know what kind of policies I want to support, and I know what type of person I’d want as my leader. And so, in part because I knew well in advance that I’d be traveling on Election Day, and in part because I wanted to remove any excuse for not casting a vote, I applied for, completed, and submitted my absentee ballot. That’s one vote down, several hundred million to go.

I’m not going to say ‘it doesn’t matter who you vote for’, because that’s patently untrue – perhaps this year moreso than in years past. But whichever candidate you support, whatever your party affiliation, whatever your beliefs about our government may be, the most important thing you can do all day on November 4, 2008, is go to your local polling place and make your voice heard.

Vote, damnit.

I’m M-D November, and I approve this message.

Need more proof? Take a look at today’s PVP.

No commentary from me necessary here – I’ll let Keith do the talking.

When you’re done being outraged, go check out the Countdown website.

Previously in this space, I’ve touted the electability of ‘none of the above’, stumped for our Digital Ruler, and purported that one of the candidates for NJ Governor might eat babies. So that gives you a pretty good idea about my feelings toward the political system thus far in the ‘Oughts’.

Now that the primary races are nearly done (we hope, anyway – that’s fuel for at least three or four more posts), it’s going to be nearly impossible to avoid talking about politics. I promise to try and keep things as light as possible, but given the huge ramifications of this year’s election, it won’t always be possible.

Like now, for instance. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton and current lecturer at UC Berkeley, provided an interesting perspective on the true cost of the Iraq war and why the ‘100 year’ policy of soon-to-be Republican nominee John McCain could end up costing us dearly in the long run. It’s well worth the read and/or listen. – Iraq casualty: Your standard of living

For the record, in a future post I’ll address my primary voting experience, my general frustration with the primary process, and the candidate for whom I’ll be casting my vote in November. (Hint: this time it won’t be a Mooninite.)

After the 2004 election, I promised myself (and those of you who read this blog on a regular basis) that I’d refrain from discussing politics. I’m going to have to break that promise.

Scooter Frakking Libby The man pictured here is Lewis “Scooter” Libby. Several months ago, he was sentenced to 30 months in jail, 2 years probation, and a $250,000 fine. Some of us in the public, looking on at this battle of the Beltway elite, felt like some small measure of justice was achieved, and that a message was sent to our fundamentally corrupt Executive Branch. (Even those who think they’re not part of the Executive…unless and until he decides he is again.)

Fast forward to today. After having learned about, among other things, the shadow government being run by our Vice President last week, our government decides to spit in the collective face of the American public by commuting Scooter Libby’s prison sentence. That’s right – the President who swore to “Get the leaker” just gave said leaker a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

“I respect the jury’s verdict,” Bush said in a statement. “But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby’s sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.”

Or, in layman’s terms, the President of the United States just gave the Bronx Cheer to the federal court system.

Approximately a decade ago, the Republican-controlled Legislative Branch attempted to impeach the sitting president for an extramarital affair. We now have a sitting president who has both obstructed justice himself and served as an accessory to the obstruction of justice, invaded our privacy, and used falsified evidence to engage this nation’s military in a quagmire in Iraq. How, exactly, isn’t this worse than getting a hummer in the Oval Office?

My friend Kevin Lawver has done a fine job of establishing the rationale for this administration’s ouster. The blogosphere in general is going apeshit crazy with rage, and really, you can’t blame them – how can any rational human being continue to stand behind this President and call themselves ‘rational’?

I was particularly struck by something Keith Olbermann (who, incidentally, will call for the resignation of both the President and Vice President in a ‘Special Comment’ tomorrow night) used to segue into his coverage of the Libby debacle this evening, and I’m going to end this post with those words:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately…. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!”
-Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, vol. 3, part 7, pp. 34–35 (1897).

Oliver Cromwell spoke these words to the Rump Parliament in 1653, as one man frustrated with a corrupt body’s unwillingness to cede power. Seems eerily prescient today, doesn’t it?

Extreme closeup.So, October happened. More specifically, the Siemens Competition happened. And while there might not have been any travel in October, it was still a long, exhausting month.

I’m not looking to do a half-assed “catching up” type post here, but here – in bullet form – is what’s been on my mind lately. (With detail to follow in later posts.)

  • Today was (mid-term) Election Day, and it looks like the Democratic Party is going to claim at least one house, if not both. (As I type this, MSNBC is calling the House of Representatives for the Democrats.) This is a good thing, if for no other reason that it fucks with the Bush administration’s plans.
  • The other upside to today being Election Day? No more negative campaign ads. NJ’s own dark, dark Senate race between Tom Kean Jr. (R) and Robert Menendez (D – incumbent) was quite enough for me, but we also get the spillover from NY and PA. It’s enough to make you swear off TV.
  • That, however, won’t be happening anytime soon. This TV season is rocking my fragile little mind. Heroes and Battlestar Galactica are totally satisfying my inner geek, while 30 Rock and The Office bring the funny. (I’m also digging Aaron Sorkin’s latest, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, although I’ve discovered that not everyone shares that opinion.) And that doesn’t even take into account series 28 of Doctor Who and the now complete season 2 of The Venture Brothers! (And, for that matter, the episodes of Torchwood I’ve gotten through…um…well, let’s just say it’s not on US air yet and leave it at that.
  • Got to the movies for the first time in months this past weekend. Wanted to see Borat, but ended up seeing The Departed, which was outstanding. The moral of The Departed, by the way, seems to be that whether you’re a cop or a criminal, you’re gonna end up getting one in the head.
  • On my way into work the other day, I passed a Toyota Prius with a license plate that read “54 MPG”. There was one huge-ass smug cloud hanging over that car.
  • Three friends (two online, one IRL) have lost people close to them. My condolences to all of them…

Thankfully, November (the month, not the…um…me) will also be reasonably quiet – at least through Thanksgiving – so I’ll have plenty of time to get this blog back in sync with my silly little mind. More soon…I swear!