Friday, August 29, 2008

Better than I could've said it: Pandering to Hillary Supporters Edition

Steve Benen, Washington Monthly:

It's more than surprising; it's the strangest running-mate decision since Dan Quayle. Sarah Palin spent a year working as a commissioner for the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and has been governor for a year and a half. Now, she'll be the Republicans' vice presidential candidate, and if things go well for McCain, one heartbeat from the presidency. When it comes to being untested and unknown, Palin is in a league of her own.

Just yesterday, advisers to the McCain campaign conceded to the New York Times that McCain "thinks highly" of Palin, but "her less than two years in office would undercut one of the McCain campaign's central criticisms of Senator Barack Obama -- that he is too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief." So much for the McCain campaign's message.

Stepping back, we have the man who would be the oldest president in American history, who happens to have a record of health problems, picking a virtual unknown who's been a governor for less than two years. Amazing.

McCain communications chief Jill Hazelbaker told CBS News this morning that McCain is going to "make the choice from his heart." That seems even more bizarre - McCain barely knows Palin, hasn't worked with her in any capacity, and hadn't even asked her to serve as a campaign surrogate at any point in the process. For all the talk about McCain valuing personal relationships above all else, McCain has practically picked a stranger, to himself and the rest of the nation.

(Hat tip to Channel Surfing)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Better than I could've said it: letters edition

Haven't had the time to put together a coherent blog post in a while, so here are three letters published in the print media which said whatever I would have said, but said it better:

From Time Magazine:

The campaign outlined in "A Whole New McCain" is an insult to the intelligence of the American voter [Aug. 18]. When our military personnel are dying in foreign wars, McCain dares to raise Paris Hilton and Britney Spears to the level of a national political debate. With the U.S. facing an energy emergency, McCain jokes about tire inflation. When your 85-year-old mother loses her General Motors health benefits because GM can't sell cars, you want health-care solutions, not McCain's juvenile critique of Obama's European trip. Voters must demand solutions from those running for office--not fifth-grade political campaigns with playground sound bites. As a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, I find it disturbing that McCain has lost touch with reality.
Major Robert Tormey (ret.) escondido, CALIF.

I don't give a damn about any slight, perceived or otherwise, of Senator Hillary Clinton or her backers by Obama or his staff [Aug. 18]. America needs a Democrat in the White House. We need Obama's intelligence, his willingness to seek diplomatic solutions and his patience. Soothe your own bruised egos. Relax the clenched jaws. Pay your own bills. Above all other matters, work hard to get Obama elected in November.

From The Times of Trenton:

The letter "Hightstown a haven for illegal aliens" (Aug. 19) is a poor assessment of the immigrant experience and is based on myths. Its writ er's arguments play on the politics of fear with words like "dishonest," "de ception" and "illegal criminal invasion," which distastefully demonize immigrants in an effort to support a recall election for Hightstown Mayor Bob Patten -- and that has nothing to do with immigrants. It seems to me to be a smoke screen over the real issue. The letter is an example of the type of rhetoric that impedes genuine discourse to solve a disagreement.
For starters, Mayor Patten supports the constitutional rights of all people. He has not established a "sanctuary" city, but rather has fos tered a culture of tolerance and opportunity for all Hightstonians.
Second, it is important to understand that no one supports illegal immigration, not even illegal immi grants. If the letter writer "encourages" legal immigration but does not support illegal immigration, then why not advocate to increase ave nues for legal immigration? I suspect that what bothers people is not the illegality, but the immigrant -- period.
The perpetrators are not the immigrants, but rather the outdated, broken, irresponsible and economically insensible immigration laws. If anyone is to be held accountable for the illegal immigration problem, it is our lawmakers who have consistently failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would address the writer's concerns -- and mine.
Finally, elected officials represent all those who live within their district. Just because people do not vote does not mean they don't have a voice. If that were the case, then large segments of our population (i.e. kids, legal residents, people on probation) would be unrepresented.
If we are genuinely interested in solving problems, let's talk without demonizing each other.
-- J. CARLOS AVILA, Trenton

Thanks, folks, for putting that into words. Well.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And so it ends

Not ready for the end of summer.

This fall brings big changes around our household in the Center of NJ. I'm going back to school. I've taken classes before, changed jobs before, and generally shook things up around here, but I still think nothing will prepare me for grad school and all I'm facing.

Overwhelmed, that's how I'd put it. Or, at least daunted.

So, we're taking it easy these last few weeks of summer. We did some outings with just me & the children, with Andrew's workfolks, and with mine. Finally had those friends over for dinner that we said for years we'd get together with but never got around to it before. Camped out in the backyard. Walked the dogs every night.

Tryin' to get in as much summer as possible, before it ends.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New, unnecessary addiction

It's raining on vacation today. Am now on Facebook. Am now addicted to Scramble. If you're not my Facebook friend yet, let me know and I'll add you so I can challenge you to a Scramble game.

I can only see the world in 4x4 grids of letters anymore.

Post more later, must play more Scramble now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

An FYI from the Mercer County Clerk

Register to vote and get your absentee ballots early for the Presidential election! (Especially if you're a college student in Our Fair State.)

The election is predicted to create a record surge in absentee ballot applications at the clerk's office this fall, (County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello) said.
"Do not wait until October to get your absentee ballot application processed if you are going away to college," said Sollami Covello, who expects her office will process over 12,000 applications. "Do it now before you leave for college and avoid unnecessary delays.
"In addition, if you have not done so already, do not wait until it is too late to register to vote. Both can be easily taken care of before you leave for college," she said.
The last day to register to vote in time for the presidential election is Oct. 14, and the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot by mail is Oct. 28.

Check with your county clerk's web site to find out your specific phone number or address to get your absentee ballot or register to vote. You can find it here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Lake Livin' in the Summertime, part 2

Lost spectacularly at poker- big and early. Played a lot of Werewolf. There are rumors of role-playing games in my future. I'm sure there are more games of all sorts coming.

Saw a great boulder field. Swam in a mountain lake. Took several steep walks. Had a lobster salad croissant that was out of this world. Drank much espresso and much homebrew, not at the same time. Let the kids play so much they're exhausted.

Drinkin' homemade limoncello. Listenin' to the blues. Enjoyin' the company.

I love me some Lake Livin'.