Saturday, November 08, 2008

the morning after 

Shit patrol, vol. 1 

Don't look now, but the NYTimes is having trouble moving into a new era. This article deviously and idiotically conflates all perspectives from the Middle East as "Jihadist."

I think one or all of us should write a letter to the editor condemning this fucking crap. It is clear that the major racial and cultural challenge of the present is going to be purging anti-Islam/Middle East sentiment from the American middle after an election in which it was rarely problematized.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lest the specter of shit-statesman not be forgotten... 

Worst PM in Europe? Let's see...Link

Two views of the present reality 

I was so confident that Obama had the votes to win, and so afraid of the consequences of a theft or some other aberration, that my reaction to his great victory on election night was primarily a sense of relief, of catastrophe averted. I therefore was less focused on the larger historical significance of the win -- though that began to sink in when I saw the interview with John Lewis and saw Jesse Jackson (who was next to MLK when he was shot) breaking down in tears.

A lot had to be happening -- a lot besides the Bush meltdown -- for this election to have occurred: demographic changes, cultural changes, political changes within the parties, and the appearance of a truly skilled candidate who may turn out to be a real leader. On the other hand, the role of the Bush meltdown shouldn't be underestimated.

With these issues in mind, here are two assessments of the victory, first from William Greider, the economics reporter, who is certainly capable of bitter cynicism; second, from the Onion.

President Obama: This Proud Moment

We are inheritors of this momentous victory, but it was not ours. The laurels properly belong to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and all of the other martyrs who died for civil rights. And to millions more before them who struggled across centuries and fell short of winning their freedom. And to those rare politicians like Lyndon B. Johnson, who stood up bravely in a decisive time, knowing how much it would cost his political party for years to come. We owe all of them for this moment.

Whatever happens next, Barack Obama has already changed this nation profoundly. Like King before him, the man is a great and brave teacher. Obama developed out of his life experiences a different understanding of the country, and he had the courage to run for president by offering this vision. For many Americans, it seemed too much to believe, yet he turned out to be right about us. Against all odds, he persuaded a majority of Americans to believe in their own better natures and, by electing him, the people helped make it true. There is mysterious music in democracy when people decide to believe in themselves.

Waiting for the results, we all felt nagging tension, even when we were fairly sure of the outcome. I heard from a newspaper friend, a wise old reporter who never gave in to Washington cynicism. "This election eve night," he wrote, "I feel myself tingling about the prospect of a nation which used to lynch blacks during my lifetime electing a black man president. I so hope it happens, believe it would electrify the world. I think he is the bravest man in the world, perhaps the most foolish one as well.... I worry about him like a Jewish mama."

We heard from another family friend, an African-American woman who teaches law in North Carolina. She reported weeping involuntarily when she saw Obama's picture. Did she know why? She said she saw her adolescent son's face in Obama's. Great moments in history give emotional definition to our lives and we carry those feelings forward with us, our own private meaning of events.

In this way, Obama redefined the country for us, but our responses involved generational differences. For younger people, white and black, his vision seemed entirely straightforward. It is the country they already know, and they expressed great enthusiasm. Finally, they said, a politician who recognizes the racial differences that are part of their lives and no big deal. For young blacks and other minorities, Obama's place at the pinnacle of official power lifts a coarse cloak that has blanketed their lives and dreams--the stultifying burden of being judged, whether they succeed or fail, on the basis of their race.

For others of us at an advanced age, Obama's success is more shocking. We can see it as a monumental rebuke to tragic history--the ultimate defeat of "white supremacy." That vile phrase was embedded in American society (even the Constitution) from the outset and still in common usage when some of us were young. Now it is officially obsolete. Racism will not disappear entirely, but the Republican "Southern strategy" that marketed racism has been smashed. Americans will now be able to see themselves differently, North and South, white and black. The changes will spread through American life in ways we cannot yet fully imagine. Let us congratulate ourselves on being alive at such a promising moment.


Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress

WASHINGTON — After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome.

Faced with losing everything, Americans took a long overdue step forward and elected Barack Obama. Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

"Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, 'Things are finally as terrible as we're willing to tolerate," said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. "To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time—these last eight years must have really broken you."

Added Obama, "It's a great day for our nation."

Carrying a majority of the popular vote, Obama did especially well among women and young voters, who polls showed were particularly sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked. Another contributing factor to Obama's victory, political experts said, may have been the growing number of Americans who, faced with the complete collapse of their country, were at last able to abandon their preconceptions and cast their vote for a progressive African-American.

After enduring eight years of near constant trauma, the United States is, at long last, ready for equality. Citizens with eyes, ears, and the ability to wake up and realize what truly matters in the end are also believed to have played a crucial role in Tuesday's election... More.

Thoughts about the juxtaposition of these two articles?

Hearting Paul Krugman 

"Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, is a date that will live in fame (the opposite of infamy) forever. If the election of our first African-American president didn’t stir you, if it didn’t leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there’s something wrong with you."

Hear hear.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dylan: "Things are going to change now" 

He played a show in Minneapolis as the election results came in.

"I was born in 1941," he said, a wavering sentimentality in his scratchy voice. "That was the year they bombed Pearl Harbor. I've been living in darkness ever since. It looks like things are going to change now."

He turned back to his keyboard and led the band in an almost unrecognizable rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind." Throughout most of the set, Dylan opted to keep his voice low and sparse as he half-sang, half-coughed the words into the microphone, but at the end of "Blowin' in the Wind" he strained his voice to hit the high register of the original melody and held onto the words in the chorus as long as he could. When his voice couldn't bear any more, he picked up his harmonica and practically skipped to the center of the stage. Even from my seat in the balcony it was obvious that Dylan was excited, and it only served to further ignite the fired-up crowd.

As the entire sold-out room rose to its feet with praise, Dylan and his bandmates lined up at the front of the stage to take a bow. In his tight tuxedo pants and white wide-brimmed hat, Dylan danced around like a marionette doll, waving his pointer fingers in the air like guns. It was surprisingly charismatic and endearing moment, and it had the whole room roaring with cheers and applause.

Read the whole thing here.

Skull Dripping Flesh 

Lieberman is now "considering the options he has before him."

I suggest that we help "Joe" narrow those options considerably.  As Josh Marshall explains, the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is in charge of issuing formal recommendations to Harry Reid on all committee appointments and chairpersonships.  Marshall suggests they are the go-to people for exerting grass-roots pressure to make Lieberman clean up (eat) his own shitpile.

There is a member of the steering committee from New York: none other than Senator Hillary Clinton.  I don't have high hopes for her intervention in this matter, but I will still be giving her office a call tomorrow to voice my opinion, and I urge you to do likewise.

New York City
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
780 Third Ave
Suite 2601
New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 688-6262
Fax: (212) 688-7444

Washington, D.C.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
476 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4451
General Fax: (202) 228-0282
Scheduling Req Fax: (202) 228-0121
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-6821

Still fucking delirious. 

I report the following symptoms:

-Even less sleep than before from surfing endless happy news articles on the web.

-Absolutely no diminution of my happiness whatsoever.

-Immense pleasure at watching Palin et al ingesting shit and their own flesh.

-Repeated listenings to Girl Talk's "Feed the Animals," which I am convinced won the election for Obama because I listened to it on the train on my way to my election party. It is free and you should download it!!! I can't recommend it enough. It is biracial music, music in which contradictory styles are clearly and shamelessly fucking each other's brains out, and is thus prophetic of recent events in exactly the same way that Radiohead's OK Computer foresaw the Bush years.

-Curiosity about cultural changes that will soon be coming in droves. Already upon us is the implosion of the art market. But a much larger shift is going to gradually register, which I can only call a shit reduction. What will be the implications for not just AmCop, which has been at the forefront of the shit eruption for nearly a decade, but even beloved voices such as The Daily Show and Colbert Report, grounded as they are in a neverending experience of powerlessness by those with common sense and decency? Big questions.

-Finally, I am compelled retire my blogging name, Finchy, taken from the odious aging Lad of The Office UK. I kicked his ass to the curb.

A ballot initiative I'd like to see in 2010 

The voters of California should really close the loophole in Prop 8 that allows heterosexuals to marry.

Personhood amendment goes down in flames 

The voters of Colorado have spoken. Blastocysts aren't legal people.

The proposed amendment would have defined a person as "any human being from the moment of fertilization." With 38 percent of the projected vote counted, the measure was losing 74-26 percent.

That means pregnant women driving alone (or "alone," for those of you who supported the amendment) still have to stay out of the HOV lane. And the lightbulb-changing protocols will not have to be rewritten in Krakow.

Remind me again which circle of hell this gets you 

"Now that the election is over, it is time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation to solve the difficult challenges we face and make our blessed land stronger and safer," Lieberman said in a written statement. "I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free."

What a cowardly piece of shit. I swear, Reid better not screw us on this. Liebershit made his bed (i.e., shat his bed) and must be forced to LIE IN IT.

and giving and giving and 

I have to say, one of the cathartic highlights of my election night was the Palin cheer during McCage's concession speech. The crowd in the bar joyfully chanted her name, rightly grateful for the many gifts she has given us. Those gifts continue to arrive!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

As the villain goes hurtling into the abyss... 

"Tomorrow, I hope, I pray, I believe that I'll be able to wake up as vice president-elect and be able to get to work," she said. "I'm so anxious to get to work for the American people."

"Forever," she said, "I'm going to be Sarah from Alaska."

Built to be rebuilt 

The organizer who sent us out canvassing in northeast Philly said something that I had never thought about before: "The great thing about this country is that it's built to be rebuilt. And you rebuild it one block at a time."

A lot of blocks got rebuilt last night.

There were supposedly over one million volunteer canvassers in PA alone during the GOTV period. Where was McCain? All he had was a skeleton crew of thugs to plant yard signs on freeway ramps and distribute misinformation in the dark of night.

I wonder if Sarah Palin and the Republicans are still laughing it up about those silly community organizers with no actual responsibilities.

This was happening in every American city last night 

From Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight:

Mere blocks from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a buttoned-down section of America's only remaining buttoned-downed town, horns were honking in a ticker-tape stream until three in the morning, and strangers black, white and otherwise were hooting and hollering and giving one another thumbs-ups and high-fives as they passed each other on the street.

There was no sense of anger, or rivalry, no sense that the enemy had been vanquished. There was, rather, a tremendous sense of empowerment in the notion that someone more like them was going to take up residence down the street: someone younger, someone blacker, someone poorer, someone who knew that the majesty of America exists not just in the tranquility of its small towns but also in the bustle of its cities.
We did it, bitches!!

8 years. 

8 years of our lives. Now over.

The nightmare in which AmCop and endless other forms of seemingly impotent protest were born is now over. I'm glad to have sheltered from the storm with all of you, and all the more glad to leave it behind.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The most important thing about this election is all the e-stuff that it has spawned:

Monday, November 03, 2008

election protection innovations 

Well, if they're not gonna get rid of the goddamn electronic voting machines, the least that can be done is to fight fire with fire. Two interesting new tech-based Election Protection projects:

Election Protection Wiki

The Election Protection Wiki will provide critical information on threats to election integrity, including long lines, ballot shortages, erroneous application of ID standards and trouble-prone ballots and e-voting machines. Basic information, including the contact information of local election officials and election administration groups, will be collected for every state, but the focus is on the more at-risk states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

and the Twitter Vote Report:

Using Twitter Vote Report, voters will be able to share their experiences and resources with one another (e.g. “#wait:120″ meaning that the wait time is 120 minutes). These messages will then be aggregated and mapped so that we can “see” voting problems around the country in real-time.


An organization called Liberty Tree is mobilizing in case of a stolen election. You can see their site here, and learn about their plan for voter assemblies.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

making your vote useful in New York 

If you live in New York State and are planning to vote for teh Obana, you should consider voting for him on the Working Families Party ticket.

New York State is one of the few states that has fusion voting which means that two parties can support the same candidate. Minority parties can thus gain some measure of influence if people vote for the candidate on their ticket. When dealmaking time comes around they can trade their endorsement for a policy closer to their platform.

According to Wikipedia:

New York's Working Families Party was first organized in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, ACORN and other community organizations, members of the now-inactive national New Party, and a variety of public interest groups. The party blends a culture of political organizing with unionism, 1960s idealism, and tactical pragmatism. The party's main issue concerns are jobs, health care, education and energy/environment, and it has won notable policy gains at the city, county and state level by piggybacking on Democratic or Republican candidates.

They were instrumental in getting the NY minimum wage increased and have made it a priority to repeal the execrable Rockefeller Drug Laws.

So instead of being taken for granted by the Donkle you can lend some clout to an organization that is actually trying to help people. Have cake, eat it too. Isn't that nice?

black steel in the hour of chaos 

good speech by AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka to the Steelworkers:

Also, a friend just forwarded this to me from Kos. It's a press conference by the Republican Mayor of San Diego:

The conference was in 2007 apparently. Jerry Sanders was re-elected in 2008.


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