Category Archives: politics

A can of electoral whoop-ass

Well, I did it.  I called the Board of Elections.

When I called the Board of Elections, the woman I spoke with was very very not happy about it.  Well, before I told her why I was calling, and simply said I wanted to voice a concern about something that happened at my polling place today, she assumed I was going to say something stupid, I think.  I imagine she’s handled a lot of weird stuff today.  She automatically said that any complaints need to be submitted in writing.  I said, well, let me just tell you what happened to me and you can tell me if the concern I have is legitimate and tell me what my next steps should be.

So I told the story and she was actually pretty pissed off that it happened.  She explained to me what he should have done (verbally tried to get my attention or knocking on the side of the booth) even though she also said by my story it didn’t sound like I was taking an inordinate amount of time in the booth.  She said she was going to bring up the issue to the board of commissioners just based on my verbal complaint, that that specific poll worker would definitely be talked to, and she apologized profusely that it happened.  I don’t really want the guy to get in trouble… but what he did was pretty wrong, it seems.  I’m glad I called it in.

Election Day shenanigans

I went and voted, and took the kids with me.  Jake sat in a stroller just outside the voting booth but Lane came in with me and helped me push the buttons.  She’s enthusiastic and impressionable and it’s my job as her mom to make voting seem way super awesome.

And then, as we were nearly ready to pull the handle and submit our votes, the little weird old guy who was supervising our booth actually stuck his head INTO OUR BOOTH, THROUGH THE CURTAIN and said “Everything OK in here?”

“Yes, we’re fine, get out NOW,” I replied, or something to that effect.  When we left the booth a few seconds later a line of like three people had built up (we’d been able to go straight in).  Apparently this rush made him panic a bit, and he hadn’t yet heard about the blocks-long lines in many voting areas.

I was annoyed.  But the outrage didn’t really hit until I got into the car.  He basically violated the sanctity of my secret ballot.  Had I not had Jake in tow, who was desperate for a nap, I would have gone back and given him a real piece of my mind.  I’m still strongly leaning toward visiting the Board of Elections tomorrow and logging a complaint.  Should I?

An open letter from Colin Powell to the Republican party

Dear Sirs and a Madam or two:

There are many in the party who have expressed shock, outrage, disappointment, and feelings of betrayal over my decision to break with Party lines and endorse Senator Barack Obama.  Well, let me tell you, I can sympathize!

You see, a number of years ago, I was given some information and a vial of fake anthrax and asked to plead a case for war in front of the U.N.  I was somewhat dubious, but I was assured that the information and intelligence upon which I was making our plea was solid, and that this was a just and necessary war.  It turned out, you all were full of crap.  Years of war have proven that our primary reason for starting that trillion-dollar mess was based on unsubstantiated intelligence from questionable sources, and nary a weapon of mass destruction has been found.  Oh I know, some of you are claiming all the WMDs hauled ass into Syria, but you’re full of it.  We’ve got dozens of high-tech spy satellites with their eyes trained on that region; if any sort of mass shipment of weapons happened we would have seen it.

You used me.  You used my name and my good reputation in the world to make your case, and it blew up in all our faces.  To say I felt betrayed, disappointed, shocked and outraged is putting it mildly.  I wanted to drop a bus on you frigging people, since you so symbolically dropped one on me, on my good reputation, and on my honor as a soldier and a man.  I was a shining example of nonpartisanship, of leadership, of integrity.  Nearly overnight you made me into another worthless Bush lackey.  Not only that, but I had a pretty good shot at becoming the first black president.  And as a Republican!  It wasn’t something I actively aspired to, but I’ve dedicated my life to service to my country, and had the calls for me to run been compelling and resounding, I would have.  I would have run with honor and sincerity and honesty and I probably would have won, because I’m pretty moderate and cool and the American people frigging loved me.  Now people on the left lump me in as just another chump in the administration, and people on the right… well, some of you have just gone stark raving mad, and while you may like me I really don’t want to have much to do with you.

However, it would be unfair to say I endorsed Barack Obama out of spite.  I hope you know me enough to know that I’m bigger than that.  I mean, let’s just take a look at the guy — he’s got charm, and charisma, and brains, and if I were a woman I would be madly in love with him.  Heck, even as a guy I have a bit of a man-crush on the dude.  He’s a light in the fog these days in a country craving some leadership and calm in a storm of woes.  And it’s not like the guy the Republican party nominated makes me quiver with excitement.  Sure, I like him, the way you like that crazy uncle that mumbles conspiracy theories at Christmas dinner and tells off your grandpa for being a pinko commie who never understood him.

And of course there are the people who are already saying I’m backing him because he’s a brother.  Come on.  I’m the same color as George W. for chrissake, and Obama ain’t much darker.  But if there’s one thing about his outward appearance that sways me, it’s his ears.  I know they look pretty dorky but you know what?  He uses them for more than holding up a frigging cowboy hat.  He listens.  He seeks knowledge and advice and wisdom, and wants you to tell him what he doesn’t know.  That’s a drink of water in the desert, man, especially after so many years of the administration not giving a damn about what I might have to say, and then the American public mostly despising me for helping make the case for war.  Not only is this guy smart enough to take advice, but he’s so awesome and transformational that maybe he can help me regain at least a little of the respect and credibility I lost because of you.

It is certainly fair to say you didn’t exactly make it hard for me to choose which horse I wanted to back.  You eviscerated all the party loyalty I had when you threw my reputation under a bus to further your pet project in Iraq.  So, I may have sounded my own political death knell, but it was frigging worth it, you assholes.


OK, so maybe Gen. Powell didn’t really write that.  But it’s certainly fun for me to imagine him thinking it.

The real Mavericks, God bless ’em

Dontcha know, I just came across this really funny article from the New York Times. I’m pretty sure I knew the term “maverick” came from a real person, but had no idea the Maverick family is such a bunch of staunch liberals. I just wanna give a wink and a shout-out to ’em.

I paraphrase here… but the real Mavericks, active in politics as they have been, have a history of advocation of civil liberties, accusations of Communism thrown at them, and anti-war stances. And their thoughts on McCain wanting to call himself a “Maverick”? Terrellita Maverick says McCain “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

You betcha.

Who’s really cuckoo?

I have two sets of relatives that are unsolicitedly (I know that’s not a word but dammit it works here) vocal about their politics.  My in-laws, and my grandma.  Now, my in-laws, who are otherwise sane, logical people, are dyed-in-the-wool McCain dry-humpers and think that Obama is evil and socialist and they probably want to believe he’s a terrorist but just can’t really buy into the line.  My grandma, who I spent most of my life thinking was somewhat cuckoo (she once accidentally let a fart slip in front of my mom and declared, “Goodness!  I am toot-tooting all over the place lately!”.  This was comedic fodder for us for years.) asked me recently who I planned to vote for.  I told her Obama, and she decreed, “Thank goodness!!  I think he’s just super.”  I know she was a Republican for a long time, and I’m not sure what caused her change of heart, but I can assure you it’s not senility.  She’s sharp as a tack.

I have new respect for my grandma.  And I’m trying to turn my in-laws on to the spoiler potential that is Bob Barr.  Really, they are libertarians… they just don’t know it yet.  😉

Carnival cherry poppage and Chinese food

So…. my series on whether executive experience makes a good president landed me on the History Carnival, which is hosted today at the American Presidents Blog.  Check it out and thanks for the linkage!

Other than that, not too much new.  The in-laws are back from the Czech Republic, we’re getting carpet installed tomorrow in our family room and spare bedroom, I have four or five of the itchiest insect bites on my ankle (hydrocortisone cream is awesome), and I’m eagerly awaiting the debate tonight.

Oh, I can babble a little bit about one thing, which is sort of lame but it has Frank nervous.  I’ve decreed that every time we order Chinese food, we have to order something new.  We perpetually get a quart of something-and-broccoli, and then either beef or chicken lo mein.  Sometimes we go a little crazy and get General Tso’s.  We get quarts because they offer a good value and we can get lunch the next day out of it.  Experimentation of this sort probably would have been wise in college, but it just didn’t happen much.  I guess we were happy to be getting our $4.50 student meal and given the states of our bank accounts, we felt little need to branch out from trusted favorites.  Well, now, we’re trying stuff out.  Chinese food last week (we tend to get it about once a week) included Hunan Chicken, which was AWESOME.  Today it was beef chow mein, which was cool because of the crispy noodles and abundant soupy-sauciness but I wasn’t a huge fan of the veggies.  Frank’s playing hockey tonight so he hasn’t partaken yet but I’m guessing he won’t be raving about it either.    I also ordered orange chicken, which is always yummy.

We live amazing, crazy lives around these parts.

Watch it on PBS!

We’ve got the debate on, and I’m so psyched that McCain decided to show up!

We discovered during the Democratic and Republican conventions that we really so much more enjoyed the coverage on PBS.  I don’t know why we’d never thought to tune into PBS for this stuff before now.  But it’s so much more enjoyable.  The reporters aren’t too obnoxious, the coverage is balanced, and the lack of sensationalism is refreshing.

Off to watch!