Friday, September 26, 2008

Disappointing News

According to a new SurveyUSA poll, approximately 49% of Californians oppose Proposition 8, while 44% support it. That is much less that the 17 point gap shown in recent Field and PPIC polls. My guess is that this SurveyUSA poll is probably closer to reality than those other two polls.

Which means...MORE WORK! If you're local, join me on Wednesday night, October 1 for an evening of phone banking to identify undecided California voters. 6:30 to 9:30 at the Spectrum Center, 1000 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo, #10. Be there!

A Mormon on Separation of Church and State

Rocket Man

This looks like a whole lot of fun. Scary fun, but fun.

Although I have to say it's not quite as impressive as if he'd taken off himself, rather than jumping out of a plane. Next time, maybe.

And Dewey did pretty well, too...

John McCain is so confident he'll perform well in tonight's debate that he is already claiming victory. The Internet ad you see above appeared on the Wall Street Journal's web page this morning. Apparently another ad had a McCain spokesman saying "John McCain won the debate -- hands down."

We cannot afford ANOTHER president who creates his own reality.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look next to the tainted baby formula.

This is rich. Apparently the Yes on 8 folks contracted their sign printing out to a Chinese supplier, who has missed the deadline, so their big plan to put one million lawn signs up in unison on Monday morning has been thwarted.

And they thought God was on THEIR side!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A little bit of Aaron in the night (well, morning)

A great column from Maureen Dowd, though it's written mostly by Aaron Sorkin. It imagines an encounter between Barack Obama and "The West Wing"'s fictional president, Josiah Bartlett.

Money quote: "Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence."

But read the whole thing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why we can't be complacent

I wrote in my previous post (just below) about the good news from the Field Poll, but cautioned that we can't get complacent, as the Yes on 8 folks have more money and haven't really yet begun their fight. But Matt Coles of The Huffington Post said it more powerfully and effectively than I.

Money quote: "What the Field Poll and some other polls like it suggest is that we are getting most of those conflicted voters right now. But it doesn't tell us that we've completely convinced them - just that at the moment they are resolving the conflict our way. That may well reflect the fact that almost all of the news coverage so far has been positive, and the other side hasn't even begun to hit yet on television.

But they are going to start hitting soon. We made a great television ad buy early on. But they have now bought a week ahead of us. More ominously, they're now out-fundraising us significantly. They've taken in over $16 million compared to our $11 million (and they only pulled ahead after Labor Day). And the stuff is pouring in, mostly in $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 chunks, mostly driven by the Mormon church."

Give. Now. Please. If you are a family member reading this, we need your help. If you just happened on the blog, we need your help. We'll take whatever you can afford. Click here to donate. Don't let an opportunity pass to right a wrong.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good news -- but no complacency please!

The latest Field Poll is out today and support for Proposition 8 is slipping. The poll shows 55% of likely voters oppose the proposition, while only 38% support it.

But remember, polls on this issue are notoriously inaccurate. People just don't like to cop to bigotry. Plus, the Yes on 8 people -- who have outraised us 3 to 2 -- haven't really started their campaign. Monday at 7am, they hope a million people will walk out of their homes and post a "Yes on 8" sign on their lawns. Their tv ads haven't begun. But Brad Pitt just donated $100,000 to the cause, so we can buy a few more 30-second spots.

I'm hopeful, don't get me wrong, but I have no plans to slack off or let up in my work.

UPDATE: Click here to read a story about how polls on same-sex marriage are often inaccurate. Money quote:

"[s]upport for these measures has been under-estimated by an average of seven percentage points. In some cases, polls have under-estimated support for traditional marriage by as much as 21 percentage points."

Stay on target!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain Misspoke

When John said "The fundamentals of the economy are sound," he must have meant to say the fundamentals of HIS economy are sound. He and Cindy still have the $100 million and seven houses (not including investment properties), after all.

Right on Target

Take a read of this post. It quotes and comments on yesterday's story about a Roseville couple who are so angry that their wedding license said "Party A" and "Party B" that they altered the form, which was then rejected by the county. So they aren't legally married and the wife can't get health insurance from her husband's company.

But this fellow isn't letting them get away with it. Money quote: "[Y]ou are choosing to stay legally unmarried. That's a choice you don't only want to make for yourself... you want to make it for thousands of same-sex couples as well. Gay people aren't keeping you unmarried. You are. But in almost every state in this country except yours, people like you most certainly are keeping gay people from getting married. They don't enjoy the right to make the choice you are making. You want to risk your health over some ridiculous argument about semantics on a legal document? Go nuts. But don't pretend your right to choose is being infringed upon. It isn't."

If you can have just one appliance... it can be a toaster. Thanks to Toastabags, nifty little sacks that allow you to cook a range of things in your toaster. Eggs, cheese sandwich, pork chops -- drop 'em in the bag, put the bag in the toaster and you're set.

Out of stock at the moment, unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deliberative, Civil Debate -- imagine that!

This looks interesting. It's a story from a web site on Pittsburgh announcing a "deliberative poll" on marriage equality. Here's how they describe it:

"“Current polling and the media don’t allow for thoughtful political issues or debate,” explains Robert Cavalier, a Carnegie Mellon philosophy professor and SPPDD co-director. “It will be a remarkable achievement if we can get citizens across the state to come together and talk about sex, politics and religion in a civilized way.”

On the day of the program, people will come together and meet in smaller groups. “It’s been my experience that when people come together and talk to people they don’t usually talk to, they roll up their sleeves and work on it as opposed to initiating a debate or disagreement.”

Deliberative polling is a concept pioneered by Stanford's James Fishkin as a way for an electorate to make more informed, thoughtful decisions about public life.

Take heart, fight on

I love Anne Lamott. Not just because she is a fellow Marin resident. Certainly not because she wears her hair in blonde dreads that look like butterscotch Twizzlers. I love her mostly because she's funny. But the fact that she is insightful and committed and attempts to live like a true Christian, instead of the hateful, exclusive variety of faith that has been passing as Christianity in this country for too many years, makes her as dear to me as a peanut butter milkshake.

When Anne gets angry, she doesn't lose her sense of humor. If anything, deep heaviness brings out delightfully bearable lightness in her prose. Check out her piece in today's edition of Salon, in which she expresses her disgust at the mendacious, vile, un-American campaign being waged by John McCain and Sarah Palin. Money quote:

"One of the tiny metabolic suggestions I have to offer -- if, like me, you choose not to have her name on your lips, like an oozy cold sore (I say that with love) -- is to check out a Web site called the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator. There you can find out what she and her husband would have named you if you had been their baby. My name, Anne, for instance, would be Krinkle Bearcat. John, her running mate, would be named Stick Freedom. George would be Crunk Petrol. And so on.

First of all, go find out what your own name would be. Then for one day refuse to use the name of these people who are so damaging to earth and to our very souls -- so, "I don't have to understand anything, it's all fuzzy math. Trust me. I'm the decider." From now on, when working for Obama, talk about Obama, talk about his policies, the issues, the economy, the war in Iraq, poverty, the last eight years, Joe Biden. You don't have to mention Crunk Petrol, or his sidekick, Shaver Razorback."

FYI, Sarah and Todd would have named me Puck Mule.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Great Loss

The brilliant young (well, younger than I) writer, David Foster Wallace apparently hanged himself yesterday. Wallace was the author of several books, including the much-lauded "Infinite Jest," and one of my favorite collections of essays, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again."

A terrible tragedy. Who knows what insight and humor he might have provided us in decades to come.

Friday, September 12, 2008

He MUST Be Defeated

Watch this. Share it with friends.

The lies being spread by the McCain campaign are nothing short of despicable. We CANNOT afford to have this man leading our country.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Well Done!

A well-written letter to the editor, by citizen Michael Kaufmann. It deserves wider distribution, so I will do my tiny part:

"The judiciary, executive, and legislative branches of our government have a long history of rulings and legislation that time tests. The good remain, the bad are overturned.

In 1787 the United States Constitution was ratified. It counted each slave as three-fifths of a person, and gave them no legal protections. In 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation effectively ended slavery.

In 1920 the Eighteenth Amendment was ratified and prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. It was repealed in 1933.

In 1924 the Virginia Legislature enacted The Racial Integrity Act. It became a felony for white and non-white persons to marry. The law was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 1967.

In 1942 more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were forcibly moved to "War Relocation Camps." In 1988 Congress apologized for the internment.

In 1964 the Civil Rights Act made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.

In 1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act became law. It prohibits discrimination based on disabilities.

In 2008 the California Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is contrary to the California Constitution's anti-discrimination clause.

Be part of the fourth branch of government; the electorate. In November we have an opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment that will deny equal civil rights to part of our citizenry. Vote no on Proposition 8, a measure that eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry."

Hear hear!


In linguistics, a "homograph" refers to words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings, such as "stalk" or "bear."

Since the opponents of marriage equality seem to be hung up on the word "marriage," how about if we just define "marriage" as a homograph? In fact, if it makes them happy, a heterohomograph -- that would be words that are spelled the same but mean opposite things?

My sense is that the ones who are truly hung up on the word "marriage" being theirs alone are just as hung up on fully equivalent civil unions, too.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Where in the world... Andrew Sullivan?

The prolific blogger (the link to his blog can be found to your right), a progressive conservative is suddenly missing in action. Usually posting a dozen or more times a day, Sullivan put up one simple post yesterday and nothing today. When he takes a vacation, he usually leaves other bloggers in charge of his site. One would think he would at least leave an indication of what was going on, or have one of his staffers do so. (Andrew's blog is part of the web site for The Atlantic magazine.)

I hope nothing's wrong -- Andrew plays a vital role in today's political discussion. But it's a mystery.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah, Palin and Tall

Well possums, it's looking more and more like the Sarah Palin pick is an unmitigated disaster. As the hours pass, and more and more unflattering news (the lies on the "bridge to nowhere," Troopergate, the pregnant teenage daughter) comes to light, people are starting to focus on the real problem: not Palin's suitability to be a heartbeat from the presidency, but McCain's foolishness and impulsiveness in choosing a candidate who has not been adequately vetted.

Obama has run a nearly flawless campaign and his VP pick was solid and showed tremendous thoughtfulness and wisdom. McCain's first really big decision as an executive was ill-considered, based on gut instinct, and makes him look like an idiot. As Craig Ferguson says, "remind you of anyone?"

It will be interesting to see the polls next week.