This will be my last post on the 2012 presidential race. I promise. We’re all sick of it, but there’s a little bit left to go over. I’m even hiding it behind a “more” link for those of you that just can’t take it anymore. You can find clips, reactions, thoughts and lessons learned after the break.
I believe in Gavin Newsom. He’s one of a handful of politicians who I trust with the power given to him by the people, so when he speaks, I listen. Today, Lt. Gov. Newsom took to Facebook with some information I knew nothing about.
It’s no secret that women, who are the majority in this country (over 50%) and outpace men in getting a college education, are way underrepresented in our government. Now, I don’t think an elected official has to look like his or her constituents to represent them well, but in this instance, the numbers are too lopsided to ignore. There are 535 voting members of Congress. Just 90 of them are women. That’s under 17.0%.
That number by itself is bad enough, but let’s put it in to context. One would assume that even with a such a low percentage of women in Congress, we would still rank highly among the world because (1) we’re Americans and always assume we’re right/the best/perfect/the world leaders in everything ever and (2) people assume a nation that lectures others on equality would walk the walk and not just talk the talk. So how do we rank? The United States of America ties for 80th place in a survey of legislatures around the globe, putting us behind 93 other countries. Canada is tied for 46th. Mexico is 19th.
“If people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset.” – Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California, former Mayor of San Francisco
With so many men in government and seeking elected office trying to redefine rape and create legislation that takes rights away from women, I can’t help be feel that the whole country is suffering because of this imbalance. We don’t need to still be debating a woman’s right to choose this much in 2012. We don’t need to have a debate about Sex Ed because the data shows it reduces the rate of teen pregnancies and STDs, and states that have kept reproductive eduction out of the classroom are paying for it now. Who keeps these issues at the forefront of debate when we’re involved in wars, when our economy is just hanging on by a thread, and when the data gives a clear indication of what direction to take? Men with misogynistic views that don’t reflect the values of most people, and those men wouldn’t have enough seats in Congress to be much a problem if women were being represented fairly.
You can see the complete list at IPU.org.
What happens when you unleash a brilliant statistician like Nate Silver on a mountain of polling data? You get a set of predictions based on that data and not a partisan hack’s gut.
Nate Silver has a blog at the New York Times website where he uses the data taken from polls and essentially puts odds on the outcome of the election. He even breaks it down state by state. The data on his site today is from polls taken yesterday. This is good, current information, and the analysis is done with math, not the opinion of paid pundits. Right now, Silver’s analysis of the data gives Obama a lead going in to today’s election with a 90.9% chance of winning.
If you find politics, odds-making or statistics in the least bit interesting, I highly recommend that you check out the FiveThirtyEight blog.
So clearly I haven’t been here in a while, but be not afraid. Your beacon of light and truth in this dark, twisted, deceitful place we call the internet shines brightly once again, for I have returned. While I can’t say that I’m going to be delivering my usual amount of daily content just yet, I will be chiming in on issues that are too big for to ignore until I can get back to my old average of 3 posts per day.
The reasons behind my digital disappearance are as follows. There were layoffs at the company I work for, and all of the downtime I used to have that allowed me to keep this blog current was suddenly otherwise occupied. In addition to this, I moved, so I was exhausted. After all that had settled, I just had a problem getting back in to writing.
Let’s do some catching up. My lack of posts is not because of a lack of opinions. Here are some quick takes on the events of the past month or so:
- Time Warner can suck it. After not showing up during the 4 hour window they gave me, they then accused me of lying and said that a guy came and that no one came to the door. They even had to audacity to claim he left a note on my door. There was, of course, no knock and no note. After that, they refused to set another appointment until 5 days later. Five days later came, and the guy still missed the 4 hour window. He arrived a bit late, and then took several hours to set up my cable internet. Why? Because he wasn’t letting the modem fully power cycle, so it looked like the service wasn’t working. The morning after he left, I had it working in under10 minutes. Why aren’t cable companies forced to compete like phone companies? Come on government, go all Bell System divestiture on these asshats. Consumers deserve better.
- Debate 1: Even though Romney lied, offered up failed Bush era solutions and directly contradicted the positions and plans listed on his own website, President Obama seemed so uninterested and unprepared that even with facts on his side, he got his ass handed to him. To quote a very good friend of mine, he shit the bed. Charisma counts, people. That’s especially true in America because partisanship has gotten to the point where people will dismiss facts that don’t line up with their worldview as lies, even when the information is both true and coming from a reputable source. Also, why no 47%, President Obama?
Watching the debate. Don’t think I’ve ever seen such two-faced idiots before. And I know a guy actually called Two-Face.—
The Batman (@God_Damn_Batman) October 04, 2012
- Debate 2: The most telling moment of the night to me was when Romney was asked how his policies differ from those of fellow neocon, former president and current GOP pariah George W. Bush. His answer wasn’t about how his policies differed. His answer was essentially that this was a different time with a different set of circumstances, not that he would do things differently or approach problems in different ways. Much to the satisfaction of Obama supporters everywhere, he finally dropped that 47% reference we were all waiting for in the first debate.
FINISHING MOVE! 47%! FUUUUCCCCKKKK YEEEESSSSSSS! #debate—
Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 17, 2012
- Debate 3: Didn’t watch. I took that Monday off and forgot about the debate because I thought it was Sunday all day, but the highlights were amusing. It was especially funny to see Romney agree with and praise President Obama’s foreign policy over and over again after attacking it for months in an effort to pander to an ignorant base. Way to stand for something. On a related note, I never want to hear the word “zinger” again.
- I don’t like saying this, but Arrow is awesome. It’s not often that a less popular character like Green Arrow gets such a great opportunity to shine. Other good shows this Fall? Go On and New Normal. The shows I usually watch? Pure shit. Also, Community was delayed and wasn’t rescheduled, but now it has been rescheduled for some time in February. I don’t remember when.
- Baseball is boring, and preempts perfectly good scripted television, but that doesn’t make Tommy Lasorda any less awesome. Here’s some vintage Uncle Tommy because I don’t give a shit that the Giants beat the Tigers in the World Series.
- If you’re in Southern California, I highly recommend a play that’s currently running at South Coast Repertory called How to Write a New Book for the Bible. Go see it. It runs until mid November. I saw it opening night, and honestly, it was probably the most moving and wonderful thing I’ve ever seen on stage. Congratulations to playwright Bill Cain, the director, the cast and the crew!
- Steam sales keep taking my money. The Halloween sale going on right now is particularly brutal. Four things on my six item wishlist were on sale. If you can only buy one game from that sale, I recommend the very underrated Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. I don’t even really like the whole vampire thing, but the 2004 game creates such an immersive and detailed universe that it’s worth its regular price of $19.99. Lucky for you, it’s only $4.99 until tomorrow. By the way, I’m anomicofficedrone on Steam, too.
- Tasing children is bad, even if it’s a 10 year old who refuses to wash your black and white. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, and if this is news to you, you probably shouldn’t be a cop, probably not a parent either.
- Tokyo Jungle is a blast. It’s easily the best way to spend $15 on PSN right now.
- SpaceX successfully completed a delivery to the International Space Station. Huzzah! That Elon Musk might end up being the real world Tyrell someday.
Anyhow, I’m back, and it’s good to be back. More soon.
The will of the people? Boehner has no interest in it. He only cares about your right to be heard if you agree with him and his. As such, he has publicly stated that he is counting on Latinos and Black people not showing up at the polls this November. See for yourself at the link below.
While it has been a foregone conclusion that Mitt Romney secure the GOP nomination and go on to face President Obama in the general election this November, he wasn’t officially the nominee until today (or if you’re reading this later, Tuesday).
As I write this, delegates are still voting, but it was New Jersey that put Mr. Romney over the top. Congratulations to Mitt Romney. While I’m not a supporter of his, I can certainly appreciate how hard he and his staff worked (and how much was spent) to get to this point.
On a personal note, I encourage you all to go out and openly mock anyone who thought Ron Paul would get the nomination at the convention. It’s also worth noting that once Romney secured the nomination, convention organizers silenced Ron Paul supporters.
Until yesterday when Mitt announced he had chosen Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate (why appeal to the middle when you can appeal to people who were already going to vote for you? More on Ryan later.), the biggest news in the presidential race was the fact that Romney has only released two years of tax returns when the accepted standard in ten years. The Romney campaign’s failure to take ownership of this issue by releasing the remaining eight years worth of documents has been a great source of speculation and debate on both sides of the aisle. In the past, Romney has gone on record criticizing his opponents in other elections for failing to release their tax returns. Some say they don’t matter. Others would point to missing pieces of Obama’s record as if two wrongs make a right. A third view on this is that you won’t find anything illegal in Romney’s tax returns. I agree with this. If he had done something illegal, it stands to reason that the IRS would have gone after him. They didn’t. You’ll notice Obama supporters and neutral parties never accuse Romney of committing an illegal act of any kind. That’s because the argument that he didn’t do anything illegal is misdirection. So why cover up something that isn’t illegal?
The value of tax returns in an election is generally debatable, but here’s why Romney’s tax returns matter: Romney’s entire campaign and ideology revolve around the idea that the people he calls “job creators” (read: people of great wealth) is made up of people who pay their fair share, don’t cheat or exploit the system, don’t need regulation or oversight, and have this country’s best interests at heart. That idea alone is a joke to anyone who sees the routine corruption, negligence and scandal that come out of Wall Street, but if Romney’s own tax returns show that he exploits the system to pay a single-digit effective tax rate (or even worse, the 0% Sen. Reid claims), the foundation of every argument he makes is gone because Romney himself would be invalidating his own stance through his own prior actions.
I can’t quite say why this story has gotten so much mileage, but why stop now?
Today is both Chick-Fil-A appreciation day and a day of counter-protests. The biggest anti-Chick-Fil-A protest I know of is one encouraging same sex couples to kiss at a Chick-Fil-A on Friday, so if you go to a Chick-Fil-A (a name I’ve grown to hate typing out) over the next few days, you should find either gay couples kissing or lots of people saying grace before they eat, maybe both. Enjoy the contrived outrage and traffic near Chick-Fil-A restaurants.
Honestly, I expect a much bigger turnout of supporters than protesters for a few reasons:
- Supporting Chick-Fil-A isn’t hard. You can do it on your lunch break without sacrificing any personal time
- Most people who support gay rights are straight, and straight people kissing at a Chick-Fil-A will go unnoticed. Plus, Chick-Fil-A serves food, and people can show their support by eating at a place where they always eat. I’m sure there are places where Chick-Fil-As will see more protestors than supporters but probably no many.
- If you’re already boycotting why bother? They don’t care if you protest. You’ve already done all the damage you can be not giving them money.
No matter what side of this argument you agree with, I just want to remind everyone that the worst thing about Chick-Fil-A is the shitty, god-awful food. Seriously, if you tried to give those things out as humanitarian aid, you would end up on trial at The Hague.
[I guess gay couples were kissing yesterday at Chick-Fil-A, but the thing I saw did say August 3rd. Regardless, I'm tired of this story and won't be posting about it again.]