Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

well, the honeymoon is over (wherein I strike fear into the hearts of chicago bloggers)

November 13, 2008

Awesome blossom complaints notwithstanding, my honeymoon with Obama is sort of over. I think he’s whiffing on his first big policy position, the proposed bailout for auto makers.

I own a Nissan Altima. I like it. It’s a good car.

I did not want to invest $20k of my money in a Chevy Malibu. Don’t invest $50B of our money in GM. Bankruptcy court exists for this purpose – most notably, it would give carmakers the ability to readjust their labor contracts which are some of the sweetest deals you could ever imagine (for unions anyway). Reorganize your business model in the courts and re-emerge, I don’t know, with a chance at profitability, with a chance at making competitive vehicles.

I understand that a shitton of jobs are tied to the auto industry, but a) bankruptcy court doesn’t mean liquidiation necessarily, it means reorganization and b) it’s not like demand for cars will disappear – if one automaker did liquidate, their market share would get tossed on to remaining automakers. Am I anti-union? Not really, unions are critically important to make sure workers don’t get taken advantage of. And as some union members have said to me (not auto unions) – unions deserve the best deal they can negotiate. That’s fine – as long as you stand by that when the deal you negotiated is shortsighted enough to bring your company down. (This is sort of unfair, GM and Ford have many more problems than just labor unions, but it’s a start).

Anyway. Job losses in Detroit are one thing, but job losses in Chicago are…the thing that is going to happen between now and the end of the year, and the thing that most readers of this blog are most concerned about. (see CEOs Tell Mayor Daley They Plan Huge Layoffs In November, December). If you get laid off, ask why your company isn’t important enough, or mismanaged enough, to get government help.

obama rally liveblog from grant park

November 4, 2008

12:53 – home after being on my feet for about 7 hours. honestly the rally itself was sort of underwhelming as an event but completely unforgettable as moment in history. I don’t have much to say about it right now. pictures later, the flickr upload thing was a disaster.

10:26 – mccain speaks. This mccain, minus palin, would have won. But he went another way. Mccain:”I am so grateful for sarah palin” some ham in the crowd here: “SO ARE WE!” Ok, it was me.
Warm round of appause as mccain wraps up.

10:05 – it hasn’t been in doubt for a coupe of hours but to see the words “barack obama elected president” up on the screen is still shocking. I don’t think the impact has really hit myself, this crowdn, or anyone yet, although the pace did go nuts

9:27 cnn showed hank williams jr at the mccain shindig, presumably singing “are you ready for obama?” Meanhile there is no live entertainment here and the music is pretty weak- some crapier motown and country music.

9:16 – old lady has lemon hard candy and it saves my life

9:08 – guy with friend in hyde park says obama has left his hyde park home. Still would be a while before he gets here and we hear from him but hoping that it is sooner rather than later

9:00 – nothing but cnn so far. The crowd is enormous. Woman just went past with pizzas, said it took two hours. There is basicay no way to get to the bathrooms or to get a drink (and you couldn’t bring any food or drink in) without basically giving up any chance of being remotey close to the stage. This aspect of the rally was not well planned. But morale is pretty high as everything is going as expected.

8:46 – looked like we almost had a speaker but there were audio problems. Then a guy who looked like a superfan came out and did a bunch of “test one two O-Ba-MA” which was cleary the high point of his life. NM has just been called. It is obvious obama will win, just waiting to make it official.

7:45 – pennsylvania called on cnn jumbotron, mood is very good. Peope are still streaming in. I am not super close to the stage but should be able to grab a decent shot through the sea of arms

7:16- word was that there would be “slighty upscale” pizza. It is connies and it is $40 for a medium pie.

7;11 – first obama chant as cnn checks in with us. Cnn is only channel being shown but word is spreading that abc has called pa and the mood is good

6:38 – getting through security. Foods of people, mild cheers as wolf blitzer reads off early results

ok. hopefully my blackberry will let me liveblog the rally a little from Grant Park. I am moving the flickr in the sidebar up, I will try to send some pictures from my Blackberry camera to the flickr as the night goes on, and then I’ll also have my a700 with me for the good pictures late tonight or tomorrow.

Edit: it looks like it may take a while for the pictures to get to the flickr rss feed but if you click through, they are up there (right now just one picture of satellite trucks).

do not be fooled for a second.

September 5, 2008

Do not let McCain convince you that he is trying to get away from the GOP establishment. His first opportunity to prove he wanted to bring change to Washington. Instead, he picked Sarah Palin, who is not a “pitbull in lipstick” so much as she is “George Bush in drag.” This is a candidate who:

  • supports a near total ban on abortions. Please note also that the GOP platform now officially seeks a constitutional amendment banning abortion. We’re not talking about overturning Roe v. Wade (something even McCain used to be opposed to) and making it a state-by-state issue. That means no abortions in Chicago and New York (where all the tastiest abortions are served in the finest restaurants) (what?).
  • would like to know how to go about banning books.
  • has no qualms about putting politics above qualifications within her administration. The librarian who resisted the book-banning was fired, as was a state trooper who was getting divorced from Palin’s sister.
  • sued the Bush administration for being too environmentally friendly. Say that last sentence a few times and try not to have a stroke.
  • is — after tens of thousands of human history, from Archimedes to Galileo to Newton to Einstein — not keen on science: not evolution, not global warming
  • supports things because they are God’s will: like oil pipelines and the Iraq war.
Putting aside the fact that she could get swept into power if McCain dies, putting aside the experience and other more lurid scandals, her choice shows that McCain either has no clue how to bring about change in DC, is unwilling to do so, or is susceptible to the pressure of the GOP in making his decisions. Enough.
I have donated more money to Obama since the Palin speech. I ask you to do the same.
[i will post more links re palin when i have time]