Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekend part 2. So much for the "us" in the US of A.

Made a small dent in shopping & chores, which is helping somewhat to make things feel a little less overwhelming. Nothing like living in squalor to make you feel out of control.

But the political news is not helping my mood.

A few brief highlights from this week:

1. John Stewart asked John McCain to recount an anecdote on the Daily Show about taking questions from the audience. McCain chose to tell about an example of a woman who wanted to point out the Fair Pay Act and issues like reproductive rights.

McCain laughed while he was recounting this event, like these issues are ridiculous.

2. Shortly thereafter someone forwarded me one of those MoveOn things.

In response to questions about the Fair Pay Act, McCain said that women need to get more education and training.

The implication being that we're not paid equally because women are stupid and lazy.

Does any of this remind you of other civil rights movements? Anyone?

In a creative but impractical move, MoveOn was requesting women to send our CVs (with contact info removed, of course) to McCain.

Of course my CV is more or less meaningless with all relevant names removed. And since nobody knows what a postdoc is, much less how little we're paid, I'd be tempted to spend some time restructuring it to include my salary.

I'm paid less than your average high school teacher. McCain would have a hard time arguing I need more education. But he could always say - as everyone does about postdocs who want faculty positions but don't have them yet - the problem is that I don't have enough "training".


3. A few days ago I heard some mumbling accusing Hillary of hooking up with the mafia in Lake County, Indiana where the votes came in late, but she won.

The implication being that she couldn't possibly win without scare tactics, threats, or cheating.

4. Last night I saw the numbers showing that Barack has won over almost exactly an equal number of SuperDelegates as Hillary. But he's 168 delegates ahead since I guess they're still not counting Michigan and Florida.

But I thought they might have those states vote again, which might still give Hillary a chance. According to the DNC, there will be a meeting May 31st to decide what to do about this issue.

I still think it's ridiculous the way the Democratic Party controls the order of voting, and that in this day and age we still don't have a simultaneous, electronic primary where the whole country votes at once.

I'm very disappointed in Howard Dean.

5. This morning on Meet the Press they were talking about Obama vs. McCain, as if Hillary had officially dropped out already. But I didn't see any official announcements.

I'm very disappointed in Tim Russert.


I had a funny daydream this morning. I was thinking that if Hillary decided to split from the Democratic party and run as Independent or something, I would still rather vote for her than vote for Obama.

I'm sick of the Democratic Party, even while I agree with them on almost all the issues, I'm very disenfranchised and sick of the way they run things. It's stupid and unfair.


And now, back to the chores.

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At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the media discounted hillary's bid for the nomination since iowa. they counted her out every day there was an election and now they're trying to bully her into dropping out. this is exactly what america said to gore when he wanted another recount. it's such BS. no one is telling ron paul to drop out on the GOP side and let's face it, he doesn't even have a chance. i'm sick of america's love affair with obama, a man who hasn't actually done ANYTHING yet. people calling for hillary to drop out should consider asking obama to drop out, following the same reasoning that obama's delegates could unify the party behind hillary. jerks!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger The OE said...

Secret agents don't get paid for either, but we freelance and our expenses are mostly paid for

At 8:49 PM, Blogger EcoGeoFemme said...

I don't think anyone gets elected in Lake County without hooking up with the mob.

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Facetious Student said...

Tim Russert is a winner.

The media took a strong deviation from the usual "Hillary must win ___ or she's out" rhetoric to having a field day with the Wright and Ayers controversy. In that the media elevated the expectations of Senator Clinton ridiculously. Did they really expect her to overtake North Carolina? I hope the DNC seats Florida and Michigan, I'm going to get rather annoyed if Florida retaliates and picks McCain in November.

Anyways, the whole process is messed up. I hate caucuses, no true representation of voters (e.g. Texas and its two step process, which Senator Clinton won the primary and Senator Obama won the caucus).

I don't know if she can pull a Lieberman an go independent. If Senators Clinton and Obama both loose in November, the world would hate Hillary Clinton. I really don't want that to happen. If she did however win, she would be seen in the same light as Al Gore, an untouchable.

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous bsci said...

There are many things to be frustrated about this nomination process, but the question of FL and MI isn't simple. While no situation is ideal, these two states agreed to the rules of the nomination process and then broke the rules. Even some of the people in the Clinton campaign who personally voted to penalize the states are now arguing the system isn't fair. Obama wasn't even on the ballot in MI!
You can make up your ideal primary system, but if you have any hopes of this process reforming in the future, they can't allow states to break rules with no penalty. Do you have an ideal solution from this point or is this just a reason to complain.

As for assuming Clinton has lost, at this point she pretty much has. Since the beginning of March, her chance of winning was small and if she was anyone, but Hillary the media would have probably given up on her campaign long ago.

Look at the numbers now:
Obama needs 159 delegates and Clinton needs 327.5. There are 217 pledge and 249.5 superdelegates remaining. It's extremely unlikely Clinton will win more than 60% of the remaining pledged delegates since primaries proportionally allocate these delegates by state and she hasn't has huge % wins. That means Obama would need to win only 30% of the remaining superdelegates to win the nomination. The chance of that not happening is extremely slim.

fyi, that same webpage shows Obama with a 50 delegate lead even if MI and FL are counted exacted how they voted.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...


I think that's why they're saying that. I don't know anything about Lake County.


I agree. Caucuses are bullshit.

btw I'm pretty annoyed with seeing this mistake over and over:

LOSE = verb, to not win
LOOSE = descriptive, as in a wiggly tooth


First of all, AS I'VE SAID HERE BEFORE, I don't understand why they agreed to it in the first place. Why would anyone agree to rules that MAKE NO SENSE?

And I think Obama was an idiot to write off Michigan in the first place. What the hell was he thinking, not making sure he was on the ballot??? What does that say about him as a future president?

On the other hand, maybe they thought it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission?


As for what they should do now. Maybe they should scrap it all and do over again, and do it my way: have everyone vote on the same day. The end. Fuck it.

I'm not the only one who has proposed this.

and btw,

"or is this just a reason to complain."

Or are you just trying to be bitchy?

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous bsci said...

Why would anyone agree with rules that make no sense?
You have a point here, but it needs to be followed by why would anyone agree with rules that make no sense and then promptly violate them knowing the exact consequences of your actions? MI and FL are fully to blame for their own mess.

I think Obama made the correct decision regarding MI. By him and Edwards staying off the ballot, the election is clearly undemocratic and invalid. (Hillary was also not supposed to be there, but she changed her mind at the last minute) If he remained on the ballot, this would be a messier like it is in FL. Strategically it has worked in his favor.

I see you like the idea of having the nationwide election in one day. From the fairness perspective, this hugely benefits people with significant, early cash, and name recognition. This isn't the only thing we'd want in a president. In addition, the stepwise primary process has built up the party infrastructure across the nation. This is a good thing.

You obviously wanted Hillary to win. Both candidates entered the process knowing the system and what was necessary to win, but Obama simply out-organized and out-campaigned Clinton.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"more education and training"

WTF. I have a MSc, over 200 cr hrs of college, and I'm working part-time tutoring college students for $11/hr. I trying to get into a teacher certification program so I can get that higher-paying but still low-paying high school teacher job and make half as much as my WASPy-hubby with the BA.

The caucus system is totally bogus. Let's just have EVERYONE vote and be done with it. Why the hell should someone spend a third of their time in office running for re-election?!

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, bsci.

While I do think it is rather unfair to always have Iowa and New Hampshire be the first the vet presidential candidates, I would rather a stepwise process that does not grossly disadvantage those who do not have the exposure and money as some others. For a look at why that's a GOOD thing, look at the Republican Primary: Mitt Romney funneled millions of dollars into Iowa, yet a nobody like Mike Huckabee was able to win the state because his values resonated with voters in Iowa. Whether those values are right or not is not the point; the fact is the people of Iowa were able to pick who they thought would be best to lead them regardless of the cash and influence.

As for Michigan and Florida, I get kind of irritated at the both the National Parties and the States Parties. A more equitable solution would have been a delegate penalty, but the rules are rules. What I especially do not appreciate, however, is Senator Clinton's position: she explicitly said before the Michigan primaries she would get out (she did not) and she explicity said that the primaries in Michigan and Florida would not count (now she wants them to). If anyone thinks that the current drive by her campaign to get Michigan and Florida counted is anything but politically motivated... well.

As it stands though, I'm still happy with the situation as it turned out. I think it's a wash in issues compared to the two candidates, and I would have happily voted for either come November. I don't think anybody could have envisioned this happening even 10 years ago.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger kcsphil said...

As a Democrat I'm unhappy with Howard Dean as well. I suspect part of his response curve is the fact that the party he now leads cast him adrift four years ago, and then tried to console him with the DNC chairmanship. Unfair as it may be, I think he woul dhave been a afr better candidate then Kerry, and would have overcome his less then shinning moment as well as Hillary or Barack have overcome much more substantive attacks. Quoting that old Klingon preverb "Revenge is best served cold."

As to Hillary's candidacy, I think she's been very good for the race - but only to a point. I fear that as she soldier's on, and as the Democrats run away from their earlier decision to bar Michigan and Florida, the party collectively opens itself up to loosing an election that, based on House results so far this year, is the Democrats to win. Hillary has felt for some time lik ethe Democratic nomination is hers by right, and if Obamam indeed has more delegates, she needs to concede. That's simple electoral math, not a comment on her credentails or her electability. What Idon't want is her ego to put JOhn McCain in the White House. Even if the Democrats enlarge their margins in the House and Senate, a McCain White House will not be the step forward that the nation needs.


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