Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

whether you're buried under five feet of snow or sweltering in the southern heat... happy holidays!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Notes From All Over: Political Edition

after obama won the democratic primary fight i purchased an obama magnet to put on my car. it has been displayed there ever since... but i've always joked with my friends that i bought the magnet because if obama ever disappointed me...i could take it off and put it back on once the feeling had passed.

the obama magnet is in the trunk.

the purpose driven inauguration
so obama has asked evangelical, bigot rick warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. well, fuck you too.

warren runs one of those evangelical monstrosities out in california...the bareback or saddleback church... something like that.

he was also one of the leading voices in support of prop8 out in california and has used strong, divisive language when discussing homosexuality. he called his defense of "traditional marriage" "a moral issue that god has spoken clearly about."

andrew sullivan, the openly gay obamacan, said "if anyone is under any illusion that obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now."

obama himself has tried desperately to defend his choice:

obama mentioned that warren asked him to speak at saddleback church two years ago eventhough obama has beliefs "that were entirely contrary to his." right...two years ago before you were even the democratic nominee. not at an inauguration that will be watched around the world. not at the precise moment when you're supposed to move this country forward and start the "change" you've been preaching.

no...warren seems like a spectre of the bush years kicking off your big day.

obama also said, "we're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere when we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as americans."

yes...we fags can be so disagreeable.

what pisses me off is that this is the issue obama seems okay to set aside for his inauguration. this is the issue that clearly does not concern him enough to make an effort to not ask a leading homophobe to provide the invocation.

i am fearful that obama simply does not give a flying fuck about equal rights for homosexuals in this country.

will he even carry through with his promise to repeal "don't ask, don't tell?"

his transition team met with leaders from the GLBT community yet there has not been a single, openly gay individual posted to his cabinet.... despite my earlier post which lead us to some optimism in this regard.

obama's invitation to rick warren to play such a pivotal role in his inauguration (and don't even get me started on why there's an invocation and benediction at the inauguration of the president of the united states when there's supposed to be a separation of church and state) just shows obama's lack of empathy or support or whatever you want to call it....solidarity? with the gay and lesbian community.

a large number of us supported hillary in the primary and then happily (or begrudgingly) backed him in the general... but this large voting block that helped usher him into the white house is the first group to get a giant "fuck you" from the president-elect.

call it political savvy or maneuvering or whatever... i'm afraid he just doesn't care.

the clintons, the bushes and the saudis
so records from president bill clinton's foundation and library have been released. turns out he's received millions from the saudis. what a shock.

but what amazes me even more is that the republicans.... even the media... seem to want to make a big deal out of this.

"can hillary stand up the saudis as secretary of state when her husband received so much money from them?"

if these questions are to be raised by the media and the republicans...we must yell "foul!"

were these questions ever asked of president bush with all the connections his father has with the saudis? no.

ex-presidents who continue to play an active role on the international stage will have ties with other countries. bush41 and clinton have them...

if anything...i'd say poppy bush being in bed with king abdullah played an enormous role in bush43's blind acceptance of the atrocities carried out every day in saudi arabia.

but hillary has never been under the thumb of bill...and i see no reason why any donations (charitable or otherwise) to her husband would make any difference in her negotiations with any country.

hillary is one tough broad. that's why i love her...

she will be a great secretary of state. (she would've been an even better president. but there's still time for that....)

farewell, deep throat
w. mark felt...a.k.a. deep throat, has passed. the man who leaked information regarding president tricky dick and watergate was 95. felt admitted he was the linda lovelace of the political world in 2005.

caroline, or change
so the last-living spawn of john f. kennedy wants to be senator from the empire state.

well, la-de-da.

i have mixed feelings on this. initially i loved the idea of caroline kennedy serving in the senate. but then i started thinking more about it.

sure...she's an intelligent woman. a constitutional scholar and lawyer. an advocate for education and schools.

but where has her voice been over the past eight years? where was she during the dark days of the democratic party?

my friend sally sent me a great article from the huffington post that said caroline was silent during all this time but now that everything is coming up roses...she wants to be an active member of the democratic party.

and not just any member... a senator from one of the most powerful states in the country. a senator from new york is no small thing.

but i have a bigger concern. this is hillary clinton's seat. hillary.

who did caroline support in the primary? obama....

in fact, several pundits may say that caroline and teddy kennedy's support of obama was a major turning point in the primary campaign.

so should hillary's seat go to someone who isn't even a supporter? caroline is saying she's an obama/clinton/kennedy democrat... but are we really sure about that middle one?

of course, nobody's opinion really matters but that of governor paterson. he has the sole discretion to pick hillary's successor. and i heard some reporting last night that it's a done deal: the seat belongs to caroline if she wants it.

i can't say having another liberal kennedy in the senate is a bad thing...especially with teddy's future in question.

all i'm saying is...i have questions about caroline. and if she wants to be the senator from the tough as nails state of new york.... she better buck up, stop running from the press.... and flash us her balls (and i say that in a metaphorical, funny "ha-ha" way and not a sexist, anti-feminist "you need balls to be successful" way).

in conclusion
only 32 more days until that fucker is out of office.

that, at least, makes me happy this morning.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Four In a Row, Baby!

yesterday was a good day.

thursday night i was surprised by a call from sister epiphenita and st. barbara offering me a ticket to yesterday's match-up between the houston texans and the tennessee titans. and how could i say "no"?

luckily for me...sister e is not a big fan of the football. st. barb is.... and you know where i stand on the whole thing.

barbara and i sat 26 rows up from the field in the endzone....lined up directly behind the right hash.

good seats.

i had the best time with barbara... we drank our beer. chatted with the season-ticket holders around us.... we yelled. we jumped out of our seats. we shared some frightfully inappropriate stories that may have shocked any of the straight people around us.

we checked out the cheerleaders and compared notes. we admired my new favorite, kevin walter, and discussed how mario williams scares me a little bit and that turns me on.

and when it was all said and may not have been the prettiest win.... but we broke our seven game losing streak against the titans. final score: 12-13 houston.

for the first time in texans's franchise history... they have won four in a row.

the texans seem to be turning a corner. they have found ways to win ugly...something that has always escaped them in the past. last week they pulled off the win after four turn-overs in green bay.

and yesterday.... the texans became the first team this season to hold tennessee from scoring a single touchdown.

tennessee.... the team with the best record in the nfl at 12-2.

and how did we play? from the houston chronicle today:

Johnson scored the game’s only touchdown on a 13-yard reception from Matt Schaub. Slaton is the only back to rush for at least 100 yards against the Titans, and he has done it twice. He finished with 100 yards on 24 carries, including 46 on the last drive when the Texans were running out the clock.
we looked impressive enough that peter king of sports illustrated actually put houston in his "fine fifteen" at number 15 with the caveat:

What? The Texans at No. 15 over the Jets and Cards, two division leaders? No question.
mr. king, in his monday morning QB column that i always highly recommend, also listed andre johnson as his offensive player of the week:

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston. At various points this year, I've considered Brandon Marshall or Larry Fitzgerald the best receiver in football. Not the past two or three weeks. In the first 20 minutes of Sunday's game against the best team in the conference, Johnson had five catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 11 for 207 and the TD. In the first meeting between the teams, in Nashville, Johnson dropped two touchdown passes, so he made this game his personal shot at vindication. He succeeded and went over 100 catches for the season in the process. Johnson is big, fast, acrobatic and, though he doesn't have the soft hands of Fitzgerald, his hands are plenty good to be a superstar for a long time
king also went on to say:
I think if Steve Slaton (last five games: 156, 73, 130, 120, 100 yards) had been playing this big a role all season, he'd be challenging Adrian Peterson for the rushing title right now.


I think the receiving race is going to be a good one down the stretch. Andre Johnson's up on Wes Welker, 103 catches to 102, and Johnson has a 98-yard lead on Roddy White for the yardage title. Johnson's amazing. He's averaging a 100-yard receiving game per week. Exactly.
i know this may be confusing to a lot of texans fans.... but this is called praise.

several people are now predicting an above .500 winning season for the texans for the first time in franchise history. next week we play at oakland and should win. then our final game is against chicago at home.

if we can pull these two games off....we'd not only win six straight, but end the season 9-7.

i don't think we're quite a play-off team yet... but we're close. next year, we should honestly be able to hope for our first playoff berth.

fingers crossed.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keep It Gay, Keep It Gay, Keep It Gay...

i seem to be obsessed lately.... but since i seem to be on the subject of gayness, here's an exclusive from mike allen of politico:

Gay and lesbian activists, who had been getting a bit restless about the Obama transition’s centrism, were welcomed into transition headquarters yesterday for a big meeting with John Podesta, who’s leading the transition, and Jim Messina, personnel director of the transition and a deputy chief of staff in the new White House. Participants said afterward that the session, which drew about 60 attendees and a cadre of senior Obama advisers, was very positive and productive. A prominent lesbian activist will chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality. And at the meeting, Obama officials said they’re giving serious consideration to two favorites of the community – John Berry for Interior and Mary Beth Maxwell for Labor.
and that's just plain secretary of the interior... not secretary of the interior design, my lovelies. and if anyone knows about labor, it's those hardworking lesbians. sister epiphenita of the power tools and st. barbara are DIYing their garage apartment repairs...

so butch.....


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It Does the Mind Good

so last night i saw gus van sant's milk.

it is an extraordinary, moving, inspirational, devastating film...

i'm not always the best fag, but i know harvey milk... i knew a lot about harvey milk going into this movie. but i didn't know everything. and i wasn't old enough to remember him on the news or hear his inspirational, groundbreaking messages.

i have friends who remember him.... and how i'm envious of that memory.

but how i don't regret not having to suffer through his assassination at the hand of a homophobic bigot.

i've already stated that i hope the combination of this film with the passage of prop8 in california will serve as a wake-up call to homosexuals. no longer can we be content with our cocktails and go-go boys.

i have found myself very angry since the passage of prop8... and anger is not generally an emotion that comes terribly easy to me. i don't generally care enough for something to make me angry... i'm not generally surprised enough for something so hate-filled as prop8 to make me angry. i am a very accomplished cynic, after all.

and yet i'm angry.

last night i struggled to fall asleep as thoughts of milk consumed me. and i found myself asking questions of....myself.

what have i done? what can i do? does it make sense to stay in houston when there's obviously no chance of change for homosexuals coming any time soon? should i go somewhere i have a better chance of making a difference? or is it more important to fight in a state like texas because it is a tougher battle?

and i was angry at my fellow fags in texas who seem so complacent in the face of growing hatred and bigotry rearing up from grassroots efforts of the religious right.

have we just given up in houston? in texas?

the anti-prop8 rally i went to in san francisco saw 7,500 angry homosexuals out to protest. there were a couple of hundred in houston.

but my anger was not only towards my complacent, cocksucking compatriots.

i found myself angry at a brother who votes republican.... a brother who i believe loves me but doesn't care enough about the hatred i face every day to vote against those individuals that would strive to uphold that bigotry.

i was angry at the thought that certain family members may still not pass the final test of acceptance when i finally bring home that first boyfriend.

yes, my lovelies... now entering the latter part of my thirties, i've yet to find love.... and introduce a partner to my family.

my friend sally put it best when she said my homosexuality is still in the abstract with my family. it's easy to accept the wise-cracking, artistic faggot son when you don't have to watch him hold hands with his lover... or kiss his lover.

and i honestly don't know how they'll react. i think it will be hard.

my parents are children of the 40s and 50s.... very different times. for all their progressive strong points, mindsets from that period are still present. it wasn't easy for them when i dated an african american woman in college.

there are also conservative streaks in my brothers and their wives.... how will they handle it? will i be asked not to kiss my boyfriend in front of the children?

it's not every day a movie stokes this type of debate within myself.... but milk has shaken me.

i hope it shakes a lot of people.... we need to be shaken out of our slumber.

we need to make noise.

we need to make those who are uncomfortable.... uncomfortable.

we need to demand equal rights....

not separate but equal.

not tolerance. fuck tolerance. i don't need to be "tolerated" by anybody.

i don't need to be "accepted" by anybody, for that matter.

what i need is equality.

and if you haven't seen milk.... see it. and let's talk.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

What In Gay Hell?

oh, my lovelies... i don't know what the fuck i just experienced this evening. but it wasn't pretty.

allow me to preface. the past several years i have attended the annual illumination project here in houston. it usually falls around world AIDS day and it's always been a lovely event. dance, musical performances, a reading from the laramie project.

but the woman who normally does it couldn't do it this year... she usually brings in talent from new york.

what i saw tonight... let's just say the illumination project was fisted this year without any use of elbow grease.

this year the evening was produced by "falcon" in cooperation of the empire of the royal sovereign imperial court of the single star. i don't really know what the fuck that is except that drag queens wear crowns, the men wear cowboy hats and sashes and it's all very queeny.

first off... i'd like to say that i've always been a big supporter of the illumination project. it had class and it was moving... each evening ended with candles placed on the stage for individuals to light in memory of a loved one lost or a loved one infected.

and i'd like to say that i'm a big believer in the fact that the gay community is the only population that continues to have large numbers infected with HIV that does anything to raise awareness, raise money.... fight for education. no other group, african american or latino, is really doing anything or holding any benefit to help fight against AIDS.

having said that... fuck me the event was gay, gay, GAY tonight. and it lost almost any aspect of sophistication or taste.

let's get a couple of things out of the way:

1) men: stop lip-syncing to other men singing. jesus christ! this drives me nuts. if you can't sing... don't sing. but for godssake don't just lip-sync to someone who has talent. leave that to the drag queens.

2) speaking o' drag queens.... drag queens don't make everything better. hell, they rarely make anything better. not that i don't appreciate drag queens. (although, i appreciate the ones that do their own singing more. singing on your own impresses me, if you can't tell). but the evening ended with a rather sweet dance between two men that suddenly brought in a drag queen and just camped up what otherwise probably could have been moving.

3) did you notice the "legitimate" performers did not stick around for a curtain call at the end of the show? yeah.... they were probably embarrassed.

4) just because they're your friends doesn't mean they have to have a number in the show.

and oh....the numbers. my god what a giant faggot train wreck!

i mean...there were some nice numbers. a piece danced by nozomi iijima and my new husband, tandy herrera, of the houston ballet was lovely. city of ballet houston's "sentimientos" was quite nice. although when the little, asian boy started his solo to just the drum... i really had to stop myself from yelling out: "go, billy! go!"

even the two numbers by houston metropolitan dance company... a fosse number that would have made fosse, himself, cringe...simply because of the sloppiness and un-uniformity of it.. and "whatever lola wants" with the phallocentric banana dance.... they were fun. despite some flaws.

but my god... two drag queens and three royal court members lip-syncing various numbers from you're a good man, charlie brown and another round of drag queens and empire members lip-syncing to the best little whore house in texas.

these were painful, uninspired numbers. bad drag. bad lip-syncing. just badly conceived.

a big-haired dyke ruined "somewhere over the rainbow" while rainbow-colored tarps rippled out from pictures of individuals who had died. it could have been moving...but it was terrible.

but this brings up another point i'd like to make.... there were about seven or eight pictures up there... all gay, white men... save one black man (who was probably gay).

now...while i'm a big believer in the fact that only gay men hold events to raise money for AIDS.... the entire event grossly ignored the growing infection rate in other races...especially black men and young, black women.

the event was held by gay men for gay men... it was not inclusive. it was self-aggrandizing, egotistical and embarrassing.

it was a reason to get your friends together for an event that should have been held at mary's or tony's corner pocket (sleazy, gay dives for my non-houston readers).

the illumination project was conceived to raise awareness of all those impacted by HIV. when you fill a show with drag queens and other camp... you alienate an entire population that is also suffering.

two more quick rants and i shall leave the horrid nightmare of this evening behind me.

1) there was a number by the "lone star lariats." i just knew it would be butch-looking men in cowboy drag dancing like a reject scene out of oklahoma. and sure enough.... bad cowboy drag along with two-stepping and line dancing.

and i'm sorry...but watching two men two-step queers me out. it's not natural.

i can watch two men salsa or slow dance... but two men doin' the boot-scoot boogie really freaks me out.

2) the flyboys of houston performed. a gaggle of half-naked, tweaked out twinks spinning flags like studio 54 still exists. it was over the top and there was nothing subtle in their "interpretive" dance. and it highlights PERFECTLY the problem with gay men and gay plays...

put a gaggle of half-naked, tweaked out twinks on a stage... or even one or two half-naked or fully-naked men on stage... and the gay audience will eat it alive and give you a standing ovation every night.

this drives me bonkers! it's why gay theater is so sub-par.

we don't require anything of it except some nudity... we care nothing of characters or plot or drama....

all we want is half-naked, tweaked out twinks....

and guess what? the fly boys of houston were an ENORMOUS success.

hell, i'm sure the entire event tonight will go down as an enormous success for most people who attended. because... i guarantee you...they were all friends of performers or members of the royal, empress court...or whatever it's called.

i hate to shit on such an important event... but this year was a disgrace to what was once such a moving evening.

i only hope i can take over next year and save this show from itself.

embarrassing. i mean...funny while you're watching it.... but embarrassing when you look back.

oy... queens!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Notes From All Over: Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

i realize thanksgiving is quickly becoming a distant memory.... but i had a houseful of people through sunday and then i've just been busy (or worn out) the past couple of evenings.

i do, however, still have the remnants of three pies in my refrigerator plus an odd mixture of thanksgiving leftovers... mostly mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

i think my brother finished off the dressing last night...

the big news of the thanksgiving holiday: i held my first baby.

well, not my first baby. for the first time i held a baby. yes, i met my pudgy, little niece leah kathryn.

and what everyone said would happen, happened: i melted.

she is just an adorable little butterball, full of personality. and she knows what she wants and when she wants it... my favorite quality in a woman.

so...despite being up early (even for me) every day of the holiday break, it was a wonderful time. let me break down some highlights.

the dinner
wednesday night i made the celery/sage dressing, the double crust apple pie and a roasted garlic and potato soup. the soup would be the accompaniment to the turkey sandwiches for the UT v. A&M game thursday night.

thursday i made the pumpkin pie, the corn casserole, mashed potatoes and roasted acorn squash and cauliflower. i also made a delicious cranberry sauce my friend rhoda suggested:

simple cranberry sauce
1 orange, quartered (rind and all)
1 bag cranberries
1 cup sugar

pulse together in food processor until desired thickness.

it was yummy.

my younger brother handled the dead turkey (which i refuse to touch) and everything was marvelous. in fact, we were all too full for soup and sandwiches during the game so we all just had pie.


A&M vs. Texas
we all hunkered down to watch the game thursday night and watched the horns spank and embarrass the aggies..... it was an incredible game for colt mccoy and one that may have put him back in the lead for the heisman.

unfortunately.... OU beat OSU handily on saturday and when the sunday BCS standings came out... no one was surprised when oklahoma leap-frogged over texas to go ahead to the big 12 championship and, probably, the BSC championship game.

it was a big disappointment..... but texas, at #3, is still ensured a great bowl game.

the bouncy chair
okay... so, there's this thing that babies sit in that hangs from the door frame and it twists and turns and swings and bounces. my niece fuckin' loves this thing.

the first time they put her in it...she just jumped and jumped and jumped and giggled and cooed and smiled.... i fuckin' lost it. i was laughing so hard i had tears in my eyes.

it was like watching a monkey at the zoo. my god - it was so funny.

but hey...she loves it. and it keeps her entertained.

by the way...i took to holding my niece more as the visit wore on. it's not so hard afterall... except that she is really heavy.

it felt very odd at first... but i made sure i held her one last time before she left for baton rouge.

p.s. don't expect me to want to hold every baby now that my hymen has been broken. i just want to hold my niece. get your own damn uncles to do your heavy lifting.

the 2nd annual pie off
we held the second annual pie off on saturday this year.... i'd like to think it was a great success.

eight pies... each one more delicious than the next.

the entries:
2 sour cream, apple pies
1 classic pecan
1 double crust apple pie
1 lemon ice box pie
1 orange meringue
1 chocolate peanut butter pie
1 triple chocolate pumpkin pie

the last pie was mine... straight from martha stewart's november magazine. and while i still need to master my dripping technique... i thought it was fierce. rich, dense, chocolaty. delish.

but...the judges were not judging on difficulty or style, the sour cream apple pie scored the blue ribbon, followed by the melting chocolate peanut butter pie and finally the pecan pie...which had style and taste.

but we all know mine was the best... i'm just not allowed to win because i host.

oh - and a special shout-out to sister epiphenita's friend lori for bringing the makings for pie-flavored drinks: pumpkin pie and apple pie. yummy and potent.

but there were about 13 people at the pie off and i thought it went well.

except for the losing part...

monday night debut
the houston texans made their monday night debut this week against the jacksonville jaguars. i don't know if the texans played particularly well or if jacksonville played exceptionally bad... but we won. 17-30, houston.

this is in large part thanks to our defense, in particular mario williams.

meanwhile, sage rosenfels remains inconsistent and steve slayton continues to be this season's pleasant surprise.

the national exposure was nice... but jesus - those commentators on ESPN talk incessantly. i swear they're stoned.... just three giggling stoners.

election update
saxby chambliss won his reelection bid to the U.S. senate in yesterday's georgia run-off against democratic challenger jim martin. there goes the dem's hope for a 60-seat majority.

meanwhile in minnesota: 93% of the ballots have been recounted with norm coleman holding a 303 vote lead over democrat and all-around great liberal, al franken.

franken did win a ruling by the state attorney general that will include more absentee ballots, however, so i'm hoping he can close the gap.

expect results in another week or two.

madam secretary
monday, president-elect barack obama made his choice for secretary of state official: hillary rodham clinton.

brava and yay!

no need for a book tour
doris kearns goodwin need not worry about a book tour for her new book on lincoln, team of rivals. more commentators and pundits have used that phrase over the past two weeks than i've heard in my life!

i'm sure doris thanks you for helping her sell more and more books... but cut it out, for fuckssake!

obama is being a pragmatist and picking the best people for the jobs.... no matter who they are.

but...congratulations, doris. love ya, girl.

in closing
are there really only 21 shopping days left until christmas.

fuck me, i'm just not ready.... and i've really neglected my movie watching in anticipation of the upcoming awards season. i mean...the independent spirit award nominations came out today.

rachel getting married leads the way... and it's really a very good film. devastating. and anne hathaway and rosemarie dewitt are superb.

okay...i guess i should end my work day with a bit of work. but i needed a sanity break so i thought i'd catch up.

more soon, i'm sure.


did anyone see jupiter and venus the past two nights? lovely celestial viewing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

'Meet' David Gregory

well, the "official" announcement should be coming down soon....but david gregory has been tapped to fill the vacant chair of meet the press. the huffington post broke the story and it has been confirmed by politico.

tom brokaw has been filling in since the untimely death of the great tim russert but it's been known he was only a temporary (or "interim") moderator.

gregory beat out several other possible contenders as the search for russert's successor had reached a fevered-gossip pitch around washington. other names bandied about: chuck todd & andrea mitchell of NBC, gwen ifill of PBS, ted koppel and even katie couric.

gregory, the current host of 1600 pennsylvania avenue (previously known as race to the white house) on msnbc, was not my first choice as the new moderator of press. i was hoping for chucky t or ifill.... but he's a strong interviewer and should do well. he's covered the white house for years and is known as not backing down when questioning the president or his press secretaries.

best of luck, sir. you have some big shoes to fill.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's Talk Big 12

okay, kiddies... it's been a long time coming. you know i've been sidetracked by the election but the goodies beat the baddies so now it's time to refocus on football.

more pointedly: college football. specifically: the big 12 south.

we currently have a three-way tie in the big 12 south...universally considered the strongest conference this year in college ball.

so....first texas beats oklahoma at the red river shootout.

then texas tech beats texas in lubbock surrounded by one of the most rabid football crowds i've seen in a long time.

and just last night....oklahoma put the hurtin' on tech and whooped up on them 21-65.

so...each team now has one loss. so who goes to the big 12 championship to play mizzou? whoever goes will most likely go to the BCS championship game and face (i predict) florida.

and, of course, whichever big 12 team goes to the championship game becomes the frontrunner for the heisman.

this means we need to figure some things out. basically, whoever scores higher in the insane calculation of the bowl championship series (BCS) poll....meets mizzou in the big 12 championship.

to recap: texas beat oklahoma. tech beat texas. oklahoma beat tech.

the latest BCS poll has the following top five:

1. alabama (the only remaining undefeated team in a BCS conference)
2. texas (hook 'em!)
3. oklahoma (OU sucks!)
4. florida (they should probably be #2)
5. USC (is anyone else sick of USC?)

texas tech dropped to #7.

okay, so texas goes on to the big 12 championship, right...? not so fast.

several things need to happen:

1. texas has to beat A&M in austin this thanksgiving. this should be easy... A&M has been playing like shit all year long... but a rivalry game is a rivalry game and i never count out the faggies.

remember: last time texas played A&M in austin, texas lost. of course, colt mccoy was hurt. he's healthy this year and in the running for the heisman.

i think texas should run away with this... but they have to run away B-I-G! i'm talking 52+ points and hold the aggies to 7. whatever happens... it needs to be a blowout. because (let's be honest) beating the aggies won't add much to your BCS score. they're you have to win big.

2. oklahoma has to beat oklahoma state (OSU). if OU loses, then it's down to two teams with only 1 loss and tech beat texas so tech goes to the championship game.

but....we need OU to beat OSU just slightly. if they kill OSU, who is ranked #12, it looks much better in the polling.

texas only holds a slim lead over OU in the BCS poll: .920 to .912 - only .008 points. so anything can change....

i listened to lee corso and kirk herbstreit last night after the tech slaughter and they both put texas ahead of oklahoma.... simply put: head-to-head, texas trumped OU by 10 points: 45-35.

and remember...texas only barely lost to tech 33-39 in a hostile lubbock environment.

the other important point made by herbstreit.... beyond beating OU head-to-head, texas beat oklahoma in a neutral stadium.

it's easy to beat a team on your home turf.... you have the excitement of the crowd. the noise... just that feeling of protecting "our house."

tech won in lubbock. OU won in norman.

i think this is an important point and one that cannot be emphasized enough.

head-to-head in a neutral stadium....texas won.

assuming tech beats baylor this week (and how could they not? and if somehow tech does's all a moot point and texas goes to the championship - they beat OU.) and texas beats A&M and oklahoma beats oklahoma state... the BCS rankings make the call.

texas has to stay ahead of OU.

i.e. hook 'em.


p.s. i see the heisman trophy race thus: another three-way tie between mccoy of texas, bradford of OU and tebow of florida. harrell and crabtree blew their chance for a decent bowl and a heisman trophy when they allowed OU to spank them. i think it'll come down to tebow (who would win a second year in a row) and whoever wins the big 12 championship. that quarterback becomes the frontrunner: mccoy or bradford.

p.p.s. the houston texans scored their first W on the road this season. they topped the browns 16-6 in cleveland. well played, boys... especially the defense.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Delayed Post Election Coitus

my friend james sent me the above cartoon and said it reminded him of me... and sadly, i admit, i've already looked at some polls for who the GOP consider their best bet for 2012.

but the madness has to end... i understand... or, at the very least, the madness needs to take a short vacation.

however, between finalizing work and other odds and ends before a trip... not to mention taking the trip out to san francisco... i never really had a chance to dissect and revisit the 2008 election.

there were some definite high begin: obama's historic victory.

did everyone notice the odd uptick in optimism around the country after obama's win? even republicans seemed cheered.....

and everywhere people were saying: "now, every parent in the united states can tell their child, 'when you grow can be anything you want to be.'"

unless you're a woman, of course. sexism still rules....

i'd also like to point out that my electoral map proved correct, save missouri. so i was only off by 10 electoral votes... i'm also waiting on two senate races to see if my prediction of a net gain of 8 senate seats for the dems holds true.

i have little hope for georgia but i'm still hoping al franken can eek out a win in minnesota.

i've become a bit obsessed with the passage of prop8 out in california. i'd also like to mention that both florida and arizona passed laws banning same sex marriage and arkansas passed a law forbidding homosexuals from adopting children.

will we soon be faced with another attempt at a briggs-type law? will it be a national movement this time? will we soon seek to outlaw homosexuals from teaching again?

i mean, everyone seems so fucking frightened of the queer effect on children. fags can't marry because of the children. dykes can't adopt because of the children.

save the children!

it makes me want to shout a collective "fuck you" to everyone....

i mean, let's ignore the fact that most pedophiles are actually straight men... let's ignore the ever-growing list of straight, female teachers who are sleeping with their under-aged students.

let's try to forget that the divorce rate is around (what?) 60% in this country...

why don't the breeders of our country worry about getting their own house in order before they start accusing us of the downfall of society?

my friend james and i attended an anti-prop8 rally while in san francisco this past saturday... we were joined by 7,500 other individuals outside the SF city hall... and countless others across the nation (including some very dear friends here in houston).

i really find an overwhelming sense of anger boil up inside me whenever i think about these anti-gay measures that have passed. just when you think we're taking giant steps forward....we're smacked backwards by the hands of bigots and zealots.

and it's not just the mormon church... 70% of the large african american turnout for obama in california also voted to discriminate against homosexuals.

apparently, they can overcome but we cannot.....

and i don't mean to diminish the struggle of the african american people. fuck knows they've had it beyond horrible for centuries.... and just because obama won doesn't mean there's no longer racism or injustice and inequality for black people.

but should any "vulnerable minority" - as dan savage puts it - be marginalized by any oppressive majority? even those made up of other oppressed minorities?

i am a second class citizen.

i pay my taxes... i work... i give back... i fight and stand up for equal rights for racial minorities and women.... yet i remain a second class citizen.

where is my american dream....?

yes, there was much to cheer for on the evening of november 4, 2008.... but i still find a lingering and bile taste in my mouth two weeks later.

i've told some friends that i think the combination of the hateful passage of prop8, paired with the upcoming release of the movie milk about slain homosexual leader and activist, harvey milk, may lead to a rebirth of action and protest on behalf of equal rights for ALL americans....

i say it's time.

stop H8.

take action.

we can't afford to be silent....

we must stand up for ourselves....

it's become obvious that no one else gives two shits.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Six Random Things...TAG!

six random things...i've been tagged by stevensvox and sister epiphenita. (i'd add a link to their sites but i've yet to figure out links or take the time to read how to incorporate them into my blag. (p.s. i'm open to assistance.) oh, and this is not one of my six random things...)

the rules:

1. link to the person who tagged you.
2. post the rules on the blog.
3. write six random things about yourself.
4. tag six people at the end of your post.
5. let each person know they have been tagged.
6. let the tagger know when your entry is up.

and away we go.....

1. i think i'm claustrophobic and agoraphobic.... where does that leave me?

2. i'm fascinated (and confounded) by the spelling of "segue."

3. as a child, when i played g.i. joe & cobra...i always had to be cobra. but no one could could only take prisoners. when my brothers played without me... everybody died.

4. sometimes i enjoy sitting down to pee.

5. my body can't decide if it's on central standard time or pacific time. it makes falling asleep and waking up rather tiresome.

6. one of my employees told me the rapture will begin in 2009 and i need to get my life in order. this is according to her pastor. i looked over the 10 commandments and i'm doing pretty goddamn good. oops... well, not that commandment.

i'd tag others with blogs but i don't know how to link and i think everyone i know with a blog has already been tagged.

is that anti-climactic or what....?


Monday, November 3, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 1 Day

well, holy shit... did you ever think the day would come...? we are just one day away from choosing the next president of the united states.

yes, tomorrow is election day 2008.

we're only one day away. one day! we were SO close... but there it was. when i woke up this morning.......

the GOP is running a jeremiah wright ad in pennsylvania. and, actually, i've seen another GOP ad featuring jeremiah wright at least twice tonight on msnbc... and i think nbc.

so.....we almost made it. i mean, it was getting pretty ugly, sure. but we had avoided wright.

but the republican party never fails to sink lower and lower. they are, truly, despicable.

anyway...shame on you... and on to the polls. currently has an estimated 278 electoral votes for obama and 132 electoral votes for mccain. that's a net positive of 146 electoral votes for obama with 128 toss-up votes remaining.

without toss-ups...RCP has the electoral map you see above. they predict 338 electoral votes for obama and 200 for mccain. that's a lead of 138 electoral votes for obama and that's a decisive victory.

when we look at the RCP average of recent polls....the numbers break down as follows:

obama 51.6%
mccain 44.3%

as you can see...the polls have widened again and obama is up 7.3 percentage points over mccain heading into election day. in fact, out of the 14 polls they've gathered over the past couple of days...obama stands over 50% in all but one.

now...i actually think this map is a bit safe. in this final evening before the election, i've decided not to play it safe. below is my prediction for the outcome of tomorrow's election.

okay, i admit this may be overly optimistic...but this is my prediction. it's not the 390 electoral votes predicted by the dailykos....but it's ambitious.

my numbers come out with 375 electoral votes for the obama/biden ticket and 163 electoral votes for mccain/palin.

i've moved missouri, indiana and north carolina into obama's column.

let me start by saying i know a lot of people have been saying the polls are tightening... and in some states they are...although they're not nationally.

of course, as i've been hammering home....national numbers don't mean much. it comes down to the states.

but most polls are made up of "likely voters." the scenario for "likely voters" is derived from looking at who voted in the two prior elections. i don't think those scenarios accurately depict who will be voting this year.

they don't take into account a larger african-american turn-out. or the likely turn-out of a large number of younger voters. i should also point out, speaking of younger voters, polls only contact individuals with landlines. most college students who are crazy/enthusiastic for obama will not have a landline.

this is an HUGE population which i think will FINALLY show up at the polls and they're largely being ignored in the polling data.

i also think the overwhelming disgust the democratic party feels after suffering through the past 8 years will draw an amazing (and record-breaking) turn-out at the polls.

so...let's look at these three states quickly:

RCP currently has mccain up a mere 0.5% over obama in missouri (48% mccain, 47.5% obama). consistently, however, obama has tracked higher than mccain. and in two recent polls, fox news/rasmussen and surveyUSA, mccain and obama are tied. reuters/zogby actually has obama up by 1 point.

i just think turn-out will nudge obama over the top in this bell-weather state.

north carolina also has mccain up by a mere 0.6% over obama. again...this is another state where obama has been tracking high up until just a day or two ago.

taking into account that polls almost always tighten towards the end....i just trust the prior trend of obama leading. in fact, he was leading up until yesterday.

i think it might just be an odd hiccup in the polls. i think turn-out again will be the key. it will be close...but i think democrats will be disgusted not just by eight years of bush/cheney but also the ads being run by elizabeth dole. this will help increase the democratic turn-out and push him ahead. but by very little.

and finally...indiana. i've discussed this state before (and another shout-out here to rebecca. congrats on the colts' win over the pats last night!) and i stand by my prediction that obama will win.

this is another state where obama has been tracking up.... now the polls currently have mccain up 1.4% (47.6% mccain, 46.2% obama) with PPP(D) showing obama up +1 and reuters/zogby showing mccain up +5. however, two recent polls (ARG and downs center/surveyUSA) have the race tied.

i just think looking at national polls which show a sharp increase in the numbers for obama and the general tracking of obama leading in most polls until just the past couple of days....

not to mention all the early voting in 31 states which probably doesn't reflect the current polls....

i'm just thinking tomorrow night is a good night for obama.

and i use the term "good" relatively. afterall...tomorrow night, no matter the outcome, will be a somber evening for senator obama who lost his grandmother earlier today.

this is the woman who helped raise obama and it must be incredibly sad for everyone that she will not be around to see her grandson, very possibly, make history.

tomorrow is a huge day. and i know there's been a lot of hype but this is a truly historic election.... and probably the most important election in our lifetime.

so VOTE!

and'll vote for:

obama/biden 08!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 2 Days

good evening, my lovelies.... please forgive the late post but the heartache had to continue today.

not only did texas lose to tech last night in the final seconds... but the texans lost today to the vikings. just not a good weekend for football. except the cowboys. they lost... that's always nice.

oh... and i'd like to take a moment to say i don't really understand why everyone gets so excited when the clocks "fall back." there seems to be a delusion out there that you get an extra hour of sleep.

um, no you don't... you just wake up an hour earlier... i didn't wake up at 8 this morning. i woke up at 7. yeah... so now i'm waiting for my normal bedtime but i've actually been up an hour longer..........

bodies become attuned to the internal clock, people.

but anyway.....on to politics. some interesting developments from

and people...i beg of you to visit this site. i realize all of the 24 hour news channels seem to be breaking news with montana now a toss-up and arizona now a toss-up. yeah... i know. RCP is way ahead of you.

jesus... i think i'm a bit cranky all of the sudden.

anyway.... the really interesting development is not the number of traditional red states that continue to fall out of the mccain column....but the two blue states that have been taken out of the obama column.

this morning....RCP took ohio and virginia out of the "leaning obama" column. a HUGE development.

so the electoral map...with toss-ups...looks thus:

obama 278
mccain 132

so that's a net positive of 146 electoral votes for obama...and still over the needed number of 270. but we now have 128 electoral votes considered "toss ups."

without toss-ups...we're looking at an estimated 353 electoral votes for obama and only 185 for mccain. watching the sunday morning talk shows today...these numbers seem to be the going prediction.

now, while obama is losing points in the estimated electoral map...he is gaining points in most national polls. he currently stands 50.7% to 44.3% over mccain, or +6.4%.

i also wanted to put up the racial voting breakdown as polled by gallup. interesting numbers which might explain why obama should win come sunday.

african americans: 91% obama, 4% mccain
hispanic: 65% obama, 27% mccain
white: 44% obama, 50% mccain

with such large numbers in certain populations overwhelmingly going for obama... it's a hard road to 270 for mccain.

but let's look today at the two states taken away from obama (at least for now) and why they've been recategorized as "toss-ups."

ohio, of course, was the big story from 2004. RCP average of polls currently has obama at 48.8% and mccain at 44.6% (or +4.2 obama). now....while recent polls from la times/bloomberg has obama up 9 points (49% to mccain's 40%) and a fox news/rasmussen poll has obama up by 4 points (49% to 45%).... a new poll out today from mason-dixon shows mccain up by 2 (45% obama, 47% mccain).

that's not a tightening of the polls...that's a reversal.

now...this is only one poll, but it's enough to question where ohio might go. therefore, ohio is back in the questionable column.

in virginia we're looking at more of a tightening... RCP average still has obama up +3.8% (49.8% to mccain's 46%). and, in fact...obama still leads in all polls.

that lead has just dropped from a 6 or 7 point lead down to less than 4 points.

mason-dixon has obama up by three but the latest polls from surveyUSA, fox news/rasmussen and marist all have obama up by 4 points. in fact, surveyUSA has obama at 50% and the other two have obama coming in with 51% of the vote.

anytime you have over're generally golden.

so, yes, mccain has closed the gap. just yesterday obama was up 51% to 45% on average. but with polls still coming in with him garnering more than 50% of the vote... i don't fret much.

my prediction.... obama snags both ohio and virginia.

some other predictions...since they did this on this week today... i agree with most that the democrats will gain a net 8 seats in the senate. this will bring their total to 59 seats... one shy of the 60 seat filibuster/veto proof majority.

i also expect a net gain of over 20 additional blue seats in the house.

races of note: watch for former SNL alum al franken to beat norm coleman in minnesota. watch for hagan to defeat dole in NC. stevens (the longest serving GOP member of the senate) should lose his seat in alaska thanks to the guilty verdicts... and the most interesting race could be if the GOP leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell of kentucky, loses his seat on tuesday to wealthy businessman bruce lunsford.

so..... while the numbers are still very fluid - i'm still optimistic looking ahead.

i'm not ready to jinx anything and i still believe in being cautious. and....for vishnu's sake... you still need to VOTE!

but... things appear to be looking good.

see you tomorrow. get some sleep.

obama/biden 08!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Countdown to the Election: Days 4 & 3

my apologies, fellow politicos. yesterday was halloween and i was simply too busy thinking about chocolate and watching psycho dwarfs in red raincoats tormenting donald sutherland to post.

so today we'll tackle two states.... but let me tell you why. the last two days i have set my browser to and noticed something odd in the electoral map.

mccain's numbers have been shrinking....

first RCP took georgia off the map. back in the toss-up column. then i looked this morning... and i had heard grumblings about this possibility. but there it was. arizona was no longer red. no longer even slightly red...

mccain's home state of arizona is back in the toss-up column.

that puts the current RCP estimate of electoral votes as obama with 311 and mccain at 132...with 95 toss-up votes. that's a net positive of 179 electoral votes for obama.

no toss-ups? 353 for obama and 185 for mccain. that's a net positive of 168 electoral votes for obama....

the national polls....again - just a reminder that they don't mean much - it's the states....

obama 50.2%
mcccain 43.6%.

again...+6.6 points for obama. that's pretty much standing steady....

oh - and just so we cover the topic. i know several people are still worried about a possible "bradley effect." and looking back over history, i understand why...

most pundits believe that an african american candidate needs to have a net positive of at least 5 points in the poll to be safe from any hidden racism.

but one of my favorite columnists...gail collins of the times...points out something beautiful in her column today. while she doesn't dismiss the fact that some people may be afraid to tell a perfect stranger over the phone they won't vote for a black candidate... would those same people go so far as to say they think obama is better for the economy, taxes, health care, etc...?

as gail says: that "seem[s] like a lot of effort to impress a stranger on the other end of a telephone line."

so...i tentatively think we can put the bradley effect to bed. at least... i hope.

anyway - back to the states.

let's begin with georgia...where i have no friends to which i should "shout out."

georgia currently stands obama 46% and mccain 49%. it's a net positive of 3 points for mccain. that's a single digit lead for a fucking republican in fucking georgia.

so...the latest rasmussen poll has mccain up +5 (52% to 47%) and the latest research2000 poll has mccain up a mere 3 points (47% to 44%).

this is a state that should go red and should hold a stronger lead for mccain. but i think african american turnout could make this an interesting race.

do i think obama could steal georgia's 15 electoral votes? i'm doubtful.... but it makes for an interesting campaign.

so arizona.... actually, another state with no connections for me.

arizona...mccain's home down to a single digit lead. RCP has mccain up by a mere 3.5 points in their average of polls. mccain 49.3% to obama 45.8%.

the latest rasmussen poll has mccain up by 5 points (51% to 46%) and the research2000 poll has mccain up... are you ready for this...? by just 1 point. mccain 48%, obama 47%.

this. is. fascinating....

i really can't imagine mccain loses arizona and its 10 electoral votes. i mean... he's been a senator from there for such a long time.

but could a large hispanic vote (yes, hispanic vote) tip things for obama?

this could all really come down to turn-out. if obama...who has an amazing ground operation in almost every state...can get his supporters out in a larger number than mccain... he could just upset some states.

(was that just a john madden/painfully obvious statement...? "what needs to happen is...the green jerseys need to move the ball down the field and the white jerseys need to stop them. boom!")

anyway... i'm predicting both of these states to go red come tuesday... but i love that obama is forcing mccain to spend money in so many states that should be solidly red.

this election...i'm telling you...from the primaries all the way through tuesday... it's simply one of the most fascinating, wild, unpredictable races in recent history.

i hope you're paying attention. this one is going down in the history books.


obama/biden 08!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 5 Days

good evening, my lovelies... let me begin by saying i no longer like this new, hot doctor on grey's anatomy. i'm sorry, but you stab four defenseless pigs and you lose me. what can i say? on the upside...izzie is finding her way back on my good side. "flipper babies" - beautiful.

but anyway, on to the polls....

the latest national polls stand as follows:

obama: 49.7%
mccain: 43.8%

so...we're looking at a net positive of 5.9% for obama... pretty much the same.

the electoral map also remains, basically, the same. with toss-ups: obama 311 to mccain's 142 (+169, obama). that leaves 85 toss up votes. without toss-ups, a slight change: obama holds a net positive of 190 votes with 364 electoral votes to mccain's 174. i believe realclearpolitics has placed indiana back in mccain's column. i'm holding out hope.

but tonight's toss-up state...with a shout-out to my lovely feminist friend, north carolina.

once again...north carolina is generally a red state. but things are looking good for the dems this season.

as prologue: let's take a quick look at the senatorial race. that daffy cunt liddy dole is in a tough race against democrat kay hagan. today's rasmussen actually has hagan up six points over dole: 52% to 46%.

dole is so desperate, as are so many republicans, that she has gone to the airwaves accusing hagan of accepting "godless money" because she attended a fundraiser and received a donation from an atheist! dole even has an actress saying "there is no god" over a picture of hagan...implying hagan has said (and believes) just that.

well, hagan has hit back saying she doesn't want to focus on such nonsense when she knows she's a good christian woman and the people of north carolina want to talk about jobs and the economy. and she ends the ad by saying she approves the message because she doesn't believe is "baring false witness against a fellow christian."

oh, snap!

it's a beautiful retort and much stronger than the pathetic initial ad my dole. but it highlights the trouble republicans are having maintaining their hold on this once reliable red state.

the latest polls out of north carolina have obama at 49% and mccain at 46%. that's a mere 3 point lead for obama.... out of an average of several polls. so let's look at the polls:

the latest rasmussen has obama up by 2. the cnn/time poll has obama with a net 6 points over mccain. reuters/zogby have obama up by 4 and the AP has obama up by just 2 points.

an nbc/mason-dixon poll from the 22nd is the last poll that gave mccain any good news at all in north carolina...and that was a tie.

charlie cook likes to say take the difference between the high and low and you generally see where the polls really stand... that comes out to the RCP average of 3 points for obama.

what i'm trying to say appears next tuesday should be a good night for the dems in north carolina.

my prediction: obama wins north carolina and its 15 electoral points.

bonus prediction: kay hagan mops the floor with elizabeth dole.

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 6 Days

well, not long ago barack obama debuted his 30-minute campaign ad on most of the major networks. (actually - all major networks except ABC, which if fine because i was able to DVR my pushing daisies.)

i was worried about the "infomercial" but i thought it was very powerful. moving and informative... just beautifully produced.... well done, sir.

but let's look at numbers... six days out.

first, the general numbers: the national polls have tightened slightly with obama up 6 points over mccain...49.9% to 43.9%. now has the electoral map favoring obama even more:

w/ toss-ups: obama 311, mccain 142 (obama +169)
no toss-ups: obama 375, mccain 163 (obama +212)

now....there aren't many toss-up states left. obama's lead in colorado has increased to double-digits and is now in the obama column. new hampshire is solidly obama.

but which states are still toss-ups? well....let's focus tonight on indiana (and at this point i give a shout-out to my colts-lovin' friend rebecca).

indiana is a neighboring state of illinois which everyone thought would go to obama throughout the primaries... it's also been a solidly red state since the 80's.

but wait...

realclearpolitics has their latest average of indiana polls thus:

obama: 47.4%
mccain: 46%

that's a net positive of just 1.4% for obama. however...just a week ago, the average on 10/21, had mccain up 48.8% to 45%.

so what's changed...? and is 1.4% enough to guarantee a blue indiana?

i think indiana truly remains a toss-up state... perhaps the last toss-up in the midwest where all the other states are turning a darker shade of blue.

it's a red state, true, but the midwest is being hit hard by the economy which all polls show favors obama.

so let's look inside the numbers. the most recent poll out by reuters has mccain up +10. but the big 10 battleground poll has obama up +10. and research 2000 has obama up by just 1 point.

so we have a net positive of 1.4% for obama....

indiana has 11 electoral votes... 11 votes will not do much to help mccain win the election in 6 days.

so....does indiana matter? it may not... obama can win without the state. mccain can still lose with it.

but it would be nice to see obama sweep the midwest and turn another red state blue.

i'm gonna make a call and say indiana goes blue on november 4th.

and we'll know if i'm right in just 6 days....

stay tuned for another state tomorrow. and if you have early voting....get out there and vote!

obama/biden 08!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Countdown to the Election: 7 Days

it's hard to believe that the campaign of the past TWO YEARS is quickly coming to an end.

first it appeared hillary clinton looked inevitable. then obama won iowa and he was inevitable. then hillary came back and won new hampshire and it was anybody's game until obama finally wrapped up the nomination after a very long primary fight.

mccain was dead two summers ago before he rose up from the pits of hell to snag the GOP nomination.

would hillary be obama's running mate....?

who the fuck is this sarah palin....?

as each question was answered, two or three more would appear...

but here we are. just one week away from knowing who the next president of the united states will be. and things seem to be coming into focus.

the brilliant charlie cook (who is one of the best political minds out there) probably put it best this weekend when he wrote:

For a political analyst, the normal posture this time of year is much like a baseball umpire's: hunched over, peering carefully as the ball approaches the plate, watching for whether it breaks left or right, whether it's coming in high or low. But, these days, we analysts are more like outfielders, watching in awe as a ball seems on a trajectory to not only clear the fence but very likely land in the upper deck.

the numbers we've seen over the past couple of months is just the type of surge obama can get behind. and i'd like to spend the next week looking closely at the numbers, possibly focusing on a specific state that remains "in play" each day.

but for today... i'd like to focus on just the big numbers. drawing information consistently from, the race currently stands thus:

obama 50.6%
mccain 43.6%

that's a 7% lead for obama. but as we've all learned from 2000...the popular vote means shit when choosing the next POTUS.

so how does the electoral map look...?

realclearpolitics currently has a definitive 306 electoral votes for obama and 157 for mccain. that's a net positive of 149 electoral votes for obama. but remember: you only need 270 electoral votes to become president.

so does that mean obama wins....? look back at cook's quote.... the answer almost has to be yes, right? i mean...those are numbers WITH toss-up states. let's take out the toss-up states and you see why cook says we're looking at an impressive trajectory.

without toss-up states, obama has 375 electoral votes to mccain's 163... that's a net positive of 212 electoral votes!

that's the upper deck, my friends (to steal a phrase from mccain).

so does obama win? can anything snatch this democratic slam dunk (to mix metaphors) from the jaws of victory? should we still fear a bradley effect?

in the coming days.... we'll focus on other issues playing into the november 4th election and focus in on a few key states.

but, my fellow's lookin' good.

obama/biden 08!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't Label Sarah Palin

so i'm watching the second installment of the brian williams interview with the cryptkeeper and sarah palin last night and i was struck by a specific exchange:

williams: "governor, are you a feminist?"

palin: "well, ya know gosh darn it, brian... i'm not gonna label myself anything."

okay...i admit that first part was me... but she did say she wouldn't label herself anything.


how many times do you label yourself a "reformer" during your speeches, governor? how many times do you call yourself (and mccain) a "maverick"? how often do you refer to yourself as a "washington outsider" or an "average american" (who just happens to spend $150,000 in two months on clothes at neiman marcus and saks fifth avenue)? wouldn't label yourself anything...

just like you won't label an abortion clinic bomber a "domestic terrorist." afterall.... he's doing god's will, isn't he? (this exchange can also be found in last night's segment of the nbc interview.)

i realize a lot of people are kvetching about this $150,000 for clothes story saying it's not relevant... but in a discussion where a candidate paints themselves as a "fiscal conservative" and a "reformer" that knows how to cut spending and not waste tax dollars.... you've just used $150,000 of tax payer money (remember - the mccain camp is using public financing...not raising private money like obama) on clothes and accessories. $150,000! that's more than most people make in a year...

and it just highlights the constant hypocrisy in the mccain/palin ticket. the consistent flip flops:

first mccain badmouthed religious zealots...then he met with them.
first mccain was against the bush tax cuts...then he voted for them three times.
first palin was for the bridge to nowhere...then she voted against it.
first palin was for cutting government waste...but then continued to take the government stipend for housing while living in her own home.

these are not reformers. these are not mavericks. not that they would ever label themselves. i mean...they're definitely not flip-floppers.

afterall...just a month ago when katie couric asked palin "do you consider yourself a feminist?" palin answered: "i do."

but ya know... whatever.

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Third Time's the Same

tonight is the last night of my mini-stay-at-home vacay. so i’ll be keeping this short and posting early because i can’t stay up all night and listen to post debate analysis. but i offer you some of my thoughts.... as they happen.

a live blog for you, my loyal readers... on this, the occasion of the final presidential debate of 2008.

the third and final debate
ah....we’re sitting this evening.

mccain begins with a shout out to nancy “just say no” reagan. then launched into: “they’re [i.e. the american people] hurting and they’re angry. that’s important so i’ll say it again. they’re hurting and they’re angry.... they’re angry.” the key word here is “angry.”

mccain is hitting this very unpopular idea of buying up home mortgages. you know.... his idea.

obama immediately starts speaking directly to the middle class. tax cuts for anyone making less than $250,000. also – access to retirement/401(k) plans without penalty.

GREAT answer to mccain’s idea for buying up foreclosures. could be a profit-making venture for the banks.

wow...look at john mccain looking directly at obama as he attacks about the plumber. this is new....

mccain...the camera is on you. stop looking so itchy.

“joe the plumber” and “we need to spread the wealth around.” i just heard these talking points on the o’reilly factor as i was momentarily humoring my older, conservative brother.

mccain needs to get less advice from o’reilly and rush and listen to smart conservative like mike murphy.

is mccain really revisiting his america vs. ireland argument?

let’s see if bob can finally get an answer about the WHAT will you cut in order to pay for these economic stimulus packages?

well, obama once again danced around the question. mccain pulled a sarah palin and decided to talk about something completely different. nope, wait... he just said he would start a spending freeze.

hmmm....mccain would eliminate subsidies on ethanol. did he just write off illinois, iowa, wisconsin and indiana?

“i’m not president bush. if you wanted to run against president bush you should have run four years ago.” a nice line from mccain. obama needs to hit him back with: “well, then you shouldn’t have voted with bush over 90% of the time.”

“record, record, record...” yes, johnny boy. we get it.

“if i sometimes mistake your policies for bush’s policies...” it’s because they’re so similar. a nice response obama.

but holy shit. mccain is really hitting hard tonight. he is on the attack.

8:25pm: bob schieffer brings up the nastiness of the campaign and will you address the negative attacks to each other.

i can’t believe mccain is really trying to blame the ugliness on obama’s unwillingness to sit down for 10 town hall style debates.

look at mccain playing the victim. poor me.... they found out i’m a racist and they called me on it. boo-hoo.

“you didn’t tell the american people the truth because you didn’t.” what?!?

there’s the answer. says obama (in a nuthshell): the american people care less about our hurt feelings and the nastiness than the real issues. that’s what they want us to talk about.

i’m so fucking happy that obama is hitting mccain on he and palin not addressing the shouts of “kill him” and “terrorist” at their rallies. they’re also yelling shit like “off with his head” and “treason.” that shit is scary. the kennedys... MLK. that is not the distance past.... this type of language is horrifying.

mccain’s lines of attacks just go so far off the beaten path sometimes.

obama’s point that we can’t paint each other as “bad people” is a nice line. and then off mccain goes on ayers and ACORN which is all such bullshit.

i love that the word “terrorist” is oh-so-slightly dropped whenever mccain brings up ayers.

obama has given some very nice, direct answers to the idiotic allegations by the mccain campaign and then gave a beautiful list of his advisors: buffett, biden, luger, jones... beautiful.

why is bob letting this debate descend into this idiotic, trivial dialogue? MOVE ON!

let’s talk about THE ISSUES!

oooooh… a biden v. palin question. this seems like a gimme for obama. “because palin is a fucking idiot!” game, obama!

the key word for palin is “reformer.” idiot. how can mccain really justify his stunt known as sarah palin with a straight face?

awww....the victim card again! “she understands special needs families.”

when asked if sarah is qualified to be president, obama gave the stock hillary answer: “that’ll be up to the american people.”

oh snap! obama said we need to fund more research for autism if we’re gonna take special needs research seriously. and that can’t happen if mccain wants an “across the board spending freeze.” beautiful....

“tax and spend liberal.” this week’s republican talking point.

energy and oil. mccain: “drill, baby drill.” whatever...

allow me to digress for one moment: we all know that even if we begin drilling tomorrow, it’ll take ten years to see any oil from these new offshore drilling sites. exploration, construction, drilling.... ten years. but what nobody talks about is that once shell and exxon and everyone else drills the oil – it’s not american oil. the oil belongs to the oil companies. and they don’t have to supply it to america. they’re businessmen! they will sell it to the highest bidder. if china is willing to pay more for a barrel of oil, guess what? shell sells it to china. we won’t necessarily see ANY of it.

thank vishnu that obama spoke about wind and solar energy. why not spend all that money...the time over the next ten explore alternative energy?!?! why not work to end our dependence on oil?!?

mccain finds a way to add “and he’ll raise your taxes” into any conversation... no matter how irrelevant. amazing....

fuck... over 30 minutes left and i’m already bored.

hit him, obama! clarify your plan for health care and the exemption for small businesses and “joe the plumber.” nice argument about young, healthy individuals may be able to afford health insurance for $5,000. but older, less healthy individuals probably can’t afford it for only $5,000 a year.

are you listening out there in pennsylvania?!?

“joe! i want you to do the job” mccain says. yeah...but joe can’t afford it! how can anyone really be against health care for everyone?!? should we just let our citizens die?

this amazes me! and i miss hillary....

oooooh! a roe v. wade question! mccain says he thought it was wrongly decided. “i think a lot of cases were wrongly decided.” really? can you name one? because sarah can’t...

i get so annoyed with the term “litmus test.” why can we not apply a fucking litmus test? we need judges that will uphold a woman’s right to choose!

carey – are you listening? obama just said roe v. wade was rightly decided. and he upholds a woman’s right to choose (under the safe guise of “right to privacy.”)

oh! and i’m so happy obama keeps bringing up equal pay for equal work.

education: obama thinks the children are our future. just like whitney houston.

well, hell.... we’re starting to repeat ourselves. let’s move on to my quick hits for the debate.

quick hits
--cnn’s newsroom is as busy as their graphics during the debate. 12 pundits and three moderators. i find it difficult to keep up.
--i think they asked bob shieffer to moderate in hopes it’ll make john ‘the cryptkeeper’ mccain look younger.
--mccain starts writing notes as soon as he sits down. is his memory that bad he has to write down thoughts before he forgets them? and then he just writes and writes and writes.
--i heard a great argument earlier today that mccain could’ve convinced people that he wouldn’t be a third bush term if he hadn’t decided to run a third bush-style campaign. it was nice.....
--“for all intents and purposes” is an empty fucking phrase. and WAY over-used.
--fuck! i wish i’d been counting how many times mccain brought up “joe the plumber.” by 9pm CST – it’s been at least four times... but about three or four times during each time he brings him up.
--mccain’s body language is better tonight. he looked at obama. he spoke directly to obama. but he still looks like a grumpy old man.
--obama looks presidential. he looks calm. but he looked (and was) ready to fight back on mccain’s attacks.
--do you know who obama’s number one surrogate is tonight after the debate? one hillary clinton. oh yeah.....
--on the final question of the debate, why is mccain suddenly so intent on interrupting obama while he speaks?
--thanks chuck todd on nbc. joe the plumber was mentioned over 20 times by mccain.

final thoughts
my final thoughts will also reflect the candidate’s final remarks.

my older brother (the conservative) thought mccain looked more choppy tonight than he has in the past. i think he’s uncomfortable on the attack but everyone had told him that he had to attack, attack, attack. it’s too bad.

and he did come out and attack. and he hit obama hard.

but i think obama was able to answer all of his attacks. and calmly.

the closing remarks were nice. mccain spoke of his service. obama spoke about the needs of the country. i dunno....?

i find it a bit of a draw (again) tonight. boring....(again) though maybe not as boring as last time.

but was a draw. mccain can’t win with a draw. a draw means obama wins. and i just didn’t see anything tonight that changed the game.

another nice analysis from chuck todd: mccain’s performance will excite his base. but both candidates have their base. what did mccain do to garner votes from the center? from independents? i just don’t see it.

and to follow-up on a statement that chucky t. made about a month or more ago: we’ll know how this race will end november 4th on october 15th. well...look at the polls. look at the electoral maps: obama is up. and he’s up well.

i haven’t brought up realclearpolitics for some time, but let me revisit my favorite website. the RCP average of national polls has obama topping mccain by 7.3 percentage points: 49.8% to 42.8%.

and if you look at RCP’s electoral map. obama has 286 electoral votes in his column to mccain’s 158. that’s obama up by 128 electoral votes. of course, you only need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency and he’s already at 286 without toss up states.

add toss ups? obama 364. mccain 174. that’s obama in a landslide of 190 electoral votes over mccain.

again.... i’m cautiously optimistic.

well, it’s almost over. the debates are over. i can’t believe it’s a mere 19 days until election day.

and i leave you tonight with bob shieffer’s mother’s sage advice: “go vote now. it’ll make you feel nice and strong.”

obama/biden 08!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fannie/Freddie Fact Check

thank you, CNN:

The Statement: At a presidential debate Tuesday, October 7 in Nashville, Tennessee, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats resisted regulating mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which ultimately collapsed and had to be taken over by the government. "Meanwhile, they were getting all kinds of money in campaign contributions. Sen. Obama was the second-highest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac money in history — in history," he said.

The Facts: Federal law forbids candidates from receiving money directly from companies. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics tracks donations from employees of various companies. The center's list of contributions from Fannie and Freddie employees places Obama second. Ahead of him is Sen. Chris Dodd, Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

The total listed for Obama is $126,349 — a tiny fraction of the approximately $390 million his campaign has raised, according to the center. The list shows McCain has received a total of $21,550 from Fannie and Freddie employees. The list includes donations of at least $200 from those who receive paychecks from Fannie and Freddie. It also includes donations from political action committees — pooled contributions from employees.

The report spans from 1989-2008 — just a portion of the time since Fannie Mae went private in 1968 and Freddie Mac was created in 1970.

The New York Times has published a separate list looking at contributions from "directors, officers, and lobbyists for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" for the 2008 campaign cycle. That list — using figures from the Federal Election Commission — shows McCain receiving $169,000, while Obama received only $16,000.

VERDICT: Misleading. No donations actually came from the companies. One method of measuring employee contributions does put Obama second overall, but another, for the current election cycle, shows McCain receiving significantly more.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Belmont Stakes

well, it’s the second of three debates tonight between john “i’ll fight dirty after i promised to fight clean” mccain and the messiah known as barack obama. i’m thinkin’ i’ll attempt another live-blogging... but i may be moving around a lot... or just yelling at the t.v. a bit too much to get a lot down. but i’ll try.

first.... let’s say up front: i like the format. i realize this is supposed to help mccain, but i like the idea of the candidates answering questions directly from voters. and not having any distance between themselves and who may vote for them.

i also hope that tom brokaw does a better job at moderating than gwen ifill did last thursday. that was easily one of the most disappointing performances i have ever witnessed. i’m an enormous fan of ms. ifill... but the news stories circulating about her new book praising obama clearly got in her head and she let palin take over and not even answer the questions posed.

tom... keep them on point. keep them honest. don’t let them get away with “no, i want to talk about my talking points.”

also…before we go into this: what do we think about mccain’s dirty campaigning? will he bring up the smears? with obama in the room? with a live audience that may boo him?

i’m predicting no… but i guess we’ll see. it’s just bad politics and as much as i can’t stand mccain and his cronies... he must be smarter than that, right?

hmmm... can i change my answer?

debate night in america
mccain at least acknowledged obama as he entered the stage. obama is to the left. mccain is to the right. seems appropriate.

first question, not a surprise: the economy.

obama immediately pegged this current crisis on bush’s “failed policies” and included: “policies senator mccain supported.” nice... tough words against AIG execs. demands they give the money back and executives fired. again, nice...

mccain addressed obama but didn’t really look at him.

i think mccain’s “nice to see you at a town hall meeting” was meant as a subtle jab. maybe too subtle...

people want to hear about their 401(k) plans and sending their children to college... mccain is talking home prices. the question was about stocks and 401(k).

oh, nice question tom: who will you appoint to be the next treasury secretary to replace paulson?

the question clearly took mccain by surprise. he has no answer. again, tried a lame joke: “not you, tom.” obama said buffett would be a good choice but maybe not the best (but didn’t stop from reminding people warren does support him). but neither one of them gave a name.

mccain got the talking point: “not a bailout. a rescue.” um, yeah... no. it’s a bailout.

you can put lipstick on a pitbull but it’s still a hockey mom. no, wait.... is that how the saying goes?

need to fact check: is obama the second largest recipient of fannie mae and freddie mac money?

huh. mccain talked in generalities and attacked obama when asked what exactly is in the bailout package for individuals. obama came right back and said, “let me tell you what you get out of this...” but then i think he meandered and kinda answered (available credit) but then didn’t really answer... and gave his credentials on trying to stop the economic crisis.

and now he’s attacking mccain again....

come on, barack. give a definitive answer.

“we have a 20th century policy for a 21st century problem.” yes, obama. we get it. you’re the bridge for washington into the 21st century.

wow, look! mccain looked directly at and spoke directly to obama. a strong moment, actually....

okay, when asked why he should be trusted with our money...obama was direct. he spoke about need for healthcare and energy policy reform.

mccain is throwing out a lot of numbers but not giving any specifics. “record, record, record.” “pork, earmarks, pork.” “energy, energy, energy.” but can you provide any specifics? we’ve heard the talking points...

wait? did mccain just bring up terrorists when talking about priorities?

obama is, once again, being specific: energy, first. “in ten years we have to be free of middle east oil.” health care, priority number two. priority number three? education.

well played, sir.

first internet question: we’ve never been asked to sacrifice anything but our soldiers’ blood since WWII. what will you ask people to sacrifice?

mccain’s answer: cuts in washington and washington programs. and then the one example you give is a more streamlined defense budget? how is that asking any of us to sacrifice?

how about a call to volunteer? a call to donate to nonprofits?

obama started talking about a call for service. talked about how everyone needs to start thinking about the energy they use. how can we save energy in our homes and our buildings? he also talked about young people’s hunger to serve and doubling funding for the peace corps.

ah, at 8:37pm (CST) mccain brought up the spectre of “tax and spend liberals.” obama will raise taxes on small businesses.

hit back obama.... he will not raise taxes on 95% of the nation. and he won’t raise taxes on most small businesses... but he will give them tax incentives for providing health care benefits to the employees.

did mccain just blow off the idea of having to SAFELY dispose of nuclear waste? seriously?

5 million new jobs can be created by working on alternative fuels, claims obama. hillary would call those “green collar jobs.” i miss hillary.

mccain just referred to obama as “that one.” 8:49pm. why not just call him “boy”?

i’m so happy obama keeps hitting mccain on the fact that he wants to TAX healthcare. healthcare costs have never been taxed. it’s idiotic! keep hitting him on that, obama.

“medical errors” as they call them. you mean the doctors?

i think mccain is hitting obama on healthcare mandates again (sorry, i was typing). obama doesn’t have mandates. hillary had those (i miss hillary). i wish he had mandates... otherwise, we’ll never get to universal health care.

mccain believes healthcare is a “responsibility” not a “right.” obama… you better hit him on this!

good…obama says in a country as wealthy as our country, healthcare should be a right. bravo. (and amen!)

clear it up, obama. no mandates for you. no threats of making you change your plan. no mandates for small businesses but 50% tax incentives for healthcare. only mandates for children.

what was that cocky move mccain did with the mic after saying “there’s no time for on the job training, my friend”? who does he think he is? tom jones?

the obama doctrine? while we may not always have a national security issue at stake, we have a moral issue. basically, he believes we need to help stop ethnic cleansing and genocide but also acknowledges that we can’t be everywhere all the time. an honest answer.

i’m getting really tired of mccain saying “my friends.” fuck you! you’re not my friend.

the mccain doctrine? i dunno? bomb, invade? what is he saying? and did he just say we need a “cool hand” at the controls? and that would be you, mctemper?

mccain said: “your children’s safety is my first priority. after our nation’s security.” so...we’ll send your children into iraq to die and cause further hatred of our nation and endanger ourselves and our troops… which actually makes us less safe. but i’ll take care of your children? what?

mccain is keeping his cool tonight... but he’s still so smug and smarmy.

i don’t know if obama’s constant insistence on follow-ups will play well with everyone. he may come across as too pushy... or maybe even whiney. but i think it’s important for him to defend himself after mccain’s false attacks.

“i was joking with an old veteran friend,” mccain says. this when he said “bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb iran.” yeah.... funny, john. real funny.

“withdraw our troops in a responsible way” from iraq, obama says. hillary started the trend of “responsible withdrawal.” i miss hillary....

mccain just said obama is “correct” on some of his points when it comes to afghanistan. okay, obama people: mccain’s camp jumped all over you guys two fridays ago when obama said mccain was right on some things. quid pro quo.

mccain repeated his “i looked into putin’s eyes and saw three letters: a K, a G and a B.” bad line two fridays ago. bad line again tonight. fell flat.

9:20 CST: i’m bored.

obama needs to work on these long rambling answers. he’s answered the question three times (the russia question). we gotta stop our democratic candidates from giving long, kerry/gore-esque answers. answer the question and stop talking.

by “our interests” mccain means “oil.”

9:29 CST: can we get in one more question brokaw wants to get in? he forges on. a question from new hampshire with a “zen like quality.” and it is a good question: what don’t you know and how will you learn it?

obama gave a nice answer about learning more from challenges you never expect rather than challenges you do expect. then he went into what he does know and how america is great and his mother was single.... you know, flag pin stuff.

mccain says he doesn’t know what’s going to happen... sounds like he’s setting up an attack on obama being too risky.

“i know what it’s like in dark times,” mccain says. you mean before the invention of the light bulb, right john? (sorry, enita...i couldn’t resist.)

9:34 pm CST: the debate ends on an odd note: mccain was standing in front of tom brokaw’s speech.

quick hits
--nobel prize winner al gore is in the house!
--okay... i love the oliver stone presidential movies: jfk, nixon.... i mean, i’m like an insanely HUGE fan of those. and now i have so much hope in W. and i think the previews, with that song, are pitch perfect.
--it’s comforting to hear tom brokaw’s voice.
--meanwhile, teresa in section F is about as hick as hick comes....
--8:21pm (CST): mccain calls himself a “reformer” for the first time and said “reform” within 30 seconds of it.
--8:24: “reform.” everybody drink!
--8:24: “ronald reagan.” everybody drink!
--i think people underestimated obama’s comfort level in front of a town hall crowd. he looks confident, relaxed and knowledgeable.
--here’s a switch: the democrat brought up 9/11 first!
--did you know that both obama and mccain are south paws? have i mentioned this before?
--mccain looks like a tiny pitbull pacing back and forth looking for the perfect place to take a piss.
--8:41pm: “ronald reagan.” drink!
-- ah...leave it up to a younger voter to ask about the environment. thank you, ingrid.
--“we cannot drill our way out of the problem.” nice obama.
--“i’ll stop and you didn’t even wave.” mccain used that exact same line in the first debate. get some new comedy writers.
--mccain keeps pacing. he can’t sit still. he can’t just stand back at his chair when obama speaks. it’s irritating. obama sits at his chair, allows mccain to speak….and watches him the entire time. good body language.
--mccain’s hair transplant crack fell flat. quelle surprise.
--there are a lot of white people in that room. actually, a lot of bald white men.
--by 9:10pm we’d only heard from two african americans... no latinos. mostly white people.
--okay...drinking game words for next time: for mccain: “record” and “my friends.” for obama: “21st century” and “clarify” or “follow-up.” jager shots if anyone mentions “change,” “reform” or “maverick.”
--is cindy mccain wearing purple? purple doesn’t bring to mind money or medication. what is she thinking?
--after the debate, obama went to shake mccain’s hand again and he directed him to cindy and never shook his hand.
--just a reminder: the election is four weeks from today.

final thoughts
i thought it was a pretty even debate. i would give obama the lead on demeanor and substance. mccain didn’t lose his cool and didn’t make any personal attacks.

but mccain did not change the game tonight.... which means he lost.

the types of petty attacks he made and dippy jokes just made him seem disconnected from real problems facing the country.

mccain hit hard on taxes, of course... but i’m not sure he hit home with any of them. obama was able to come back and defend himself.

mccain was clearly on the attack... but obama basically kept his cool. answered the attacks honestly. and just seemed much more presidential.

at a time when polls are widening.... and battleground states are steadily becoming more blue. this was not a performance that will lose obama any votes or garner mccain any votes.

with four weeks to go and only one more debate... i’m not sure how mccain can change the game at this point.

i’m becoming cautiously optimistic.

obama/biden 08!