Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political facts you NEVER imagined

According to a new study of personality and politics:
  • Right-wingers hoard cleaning supplies, calendars, postage stamps, and laundry products.
  • Liberals have cluttered offices, colorful bedrooms, lots of CDs, and eclectic taste in music and movies.
These differences map out regionally just like our red-blue voting map. Also:
  • Conservatives are traditional, self-disciplined, rule-following, organized, dependable, and responsible. They're religious, indifferent to inequality, and happy.
  • Liberals are creative, curious, intellectual, and tolerant. They think too much, worry about other people, and their happiness consequently plunges during hard times.
I almost hate to say it, but it sounds like we need both kinds.

UPDATE: But not until we get way past this election.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Protecting yer yard sign

I've been hearing reports of yard-sign theft from the good Democratic front lawns and highway triangles of Lincoln County, so I was pleased to see this handy advice from our friends at the Hancock County Democratic Committee:

Sign theft and vandalism continues to be a problem in some areas. District Attorney Michael Povich has issued a statement regarding this, which you can download from the HCDC homepage, or use this link.
The statute:
23 MRSA §1917-A. Unlawful removal of political signs

1. A person who takes, defaces or disturbs a lawfully placed sign bearing political messages relating to a general election, primary election or referendum commits a civil violation for which a forfeiture of up to $250 may be adjudged.
Hope that's helpful.

UPDATE: Then there's this solution, from New Mexico.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Democrats, please write 100 times: People do not vote on issues.

I've said this before, haven't I? Dems keep nominating cortex candidates while Republicans go all lizard-brain. Except that this time we didn't, even if it was by the skin of our teeth. And by choosing Obama over Clinton, we finally have a candidate who communicates emotion, not policy. Obama is our Reagan, according to George Lakoff.

And here's why it matters so much. Democrats, can we please learn this lesson once and for all and not backslide next time with a Hillary or Kerry or Gore or Dukakis?
First of all, 98 percent of our reason is unconscious; it's what our brain is doing when we're busy being conscious.

Second, it turns out that you can't be rational without being emotional; emotional is necessary for rationality.
In politics, this means that people don't vote on issues. Lakoff again:
Ronald Reagan learned from all of this that people vote not on the basis of positions on issues and on programs but on five things. Namely, values, communication and connection, trust, authenticity (do you tell the truth), and identity (do you identify with the candidate). Obama understood that, and ran his campaign that way. Clinton ran on the basis of positions on issues, and bored people, basically. She didn't run on those five things. Now, Obama had the positions on issues and all the experts, but that's not how he ran his operation against Clinton.
Note please: Obama had the policies; he just didn't run on them.

Lakoff mentions other interesting things like "mirror neurons," and why we feel comfortable when we see Obama and why McCain makes us tense. But the take-home message is, thank God we nominated Obama.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Conservatism has been meth-head for 50 years

...if not longer. Ilyka cures us of any latent William F. Buckley nostalgia. Conservatism as ushered in with the founding of the National Review is little more than a euphemism for white supremacy:
I am telling you, leftybeans, you have all had amnesia. Every single piece of drivel you find in The Corner, every lulzy post at Bacon o’Playdough, every Goldsteinian meltdown and Instapunditious I-just-link, I-don’t-endorse oily oozy blob of propaganda, every Confederate Yankee conspiracy theory, every Patterician investigation of IP addresses and other ridiculous internet minutiae, springs from this half-a-century-ago source.

And that source is based upon one single, easily attacked premise: That white men in America are losing out on the American dream, and “those people”–be they queer, black, women, transgendered, latin@, disabled, or OMG all six at the same time!–are to blame for it. Thus must we stand athwart their lives and their bodies and yell, or beat into them, our message to STOP. Because what is history but the story of people?
And conservatism won't be dead with this election, she writes, "it's resting."

h/t Atrios.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fake Americans head McCain's donor list

Check out the top ten zip codes of his donors:
  1. 10021 - New York, N.Y.
  2. 85253 - Paradise Valley, Ariz.
  3. 10022 - New York, N.Y.
  4. 06830 - Greenwich, Conn.
  5. 92660 - Newport Beach, Calif.
  6. 22101 - McLean, Va.
  7. 75205 - Dallas, Texas
  8. 77024 - Houston, Texas
  9. 78209 - San Antonio, Texas
  10. 63124 - St. Louis, Mo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Can the netroots save democracy?

Huffpo on the netroots and the end of Rovian politics:
  • Traditional media might call out a lie once and then move on to the next shiny thing. Bloggers are obsessive and, being everywhere, will follow a story into every last corner, forever.
  • The internet makes easier to disseminate character smears but harder to make them stick.
  • Instead of relying on 30-second campaign ads and TV sound bites, voters now - by the millions - watch full-length speeches and YouTube videos posted by a wide range of people. They're getting much fuller, rounder pictures of their candidates, and it's harder to scare them.
Let's hope.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Matt Taibbi does not suffer fools gladly

And therefore, when National Review's Byron York tries to pin the credit crisis on Democrats, minorities, and the Community Reinvestment Act, Taibbi hands him his head:
Tell me you're not ashamed to put this gigantic international financial Krakatoa at the feet of a bunch of poor black people who missed their mortgage payments. The CDS market, this market for credit default swaps that was created in 2000 by Phil Gramm's Commodities Future Modernization Act, this is now a $62 trillion market, up from $900 billion in 2000. That's like five times the size of the holdings in the NYSE. And it's all speculation by Wall Street traders. It's a classic bubble/Ponzi scheme. The effort of people like you to pin this whole thing on minorities, when in fact this whole thing has been caused by greedy traders dealing in unregulated markets, is despicable.
h/t Washington Monthly.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Next time you hear "liberal media" can point out that we're down to five and they all want those McCain tax cuts:
The multinational corporations that run the mainstream media — GE (NBC), Time Warner (CNN), Walt Disney (ABC), News Corporation (FOX), and Viacom (CBS) — stand to benefit hugely under a McCain presidency. The centerpiece of Sen. McCain’s economic plan — actually, the whole plan — is large tax cuts for corporations. It would deliver $1.44 billion in tax cuts to the five largest media companies, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Friends of the Earth Action Endorses Tom Allen for Senate

From FoE Action's press release:
Allen called a consistent supporter of clean air, clean water and clean energy; Collins has frequently sided with Bush and special interests

Friends of the Earth Action today endorsed Congressman Tom Allen for Senate, saying there is a significant difference between his consistent support for environmental protection and fair trade and incumbent Senator Susan Collins’ frequent votes against these principles.

“Maine residents deserve an A voter in the Senate, not someone who scores a C- through her career but then gets green the year before an election,” said Dr. Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth Action. “Far too often, Susan Collins has sided with special interests and George Bush—and against the health of the planet. Tom Allen is a strong supporter of clean air, clean water, clean energy and fair trade. He has earned our endorsement.”

According to the League of Conservation Voters, Allen has a 92 percent pro-environment lifetime voting record, but Collins has a lifetime record of only 69 percent, Blackwelder said.

Allen’s track record includes opposition to the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill of 2005 with its billions for Big Oil, which Collins supported. Allen has been a leader on clean energy and is an original cosponsor of the Safe Climate Act (H.R. 1590), one of the best bills yet offered on climate change in the House of Representatives. Allen is also a recognized leader on ocean pollution issues, writing successful legislation to create a comprehensive ocean observing system and to monitor ocean acidification.

Allen is also a strong supporter of fair trade, Blackwelder said:

“There are big differences between Allen and Collins on a central issue for Friends of the Earth Action—global trade agreements. Unjust agreements have led to a race to the bottom in environmental and workplace standards, causing outsourcing to businesses that tolerate sweatshops, and facilitating natural resource exploitation. Allen has consistently opposed these bad trade deals. Collins has not.”

Collins supported the Peru free trade agreement as well as “fast-track” negotiating authority for the president, which Friends of the Earth Action opposed. She has been ambiguous about how she will vote on the deeply flawed Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Allen on the other hand has pledged to “put a stop to trade deals that benefit the multinational corporations at the expense of Maine workers” and has consistently voted against bad agreements.

Collins and Allen also differ on strongly on judicial nominations, with Collins voting to confirm all of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.

“The future of the Supreme Court is one of the most crucial issues for those of us focused on clean air, clean water and the climate crisis,” said Friends of the Earth Action board member and Maine resident Michael Herz. “Unfortunately Susan Collins voted to confirm both of George Bush’s right-wing Supreme Court nominees, jeopardizing numerous environmental protections.”

Justices John Roberts and Sam Alito, both of whom Collins voted to confirm, have already sided against the environment in major decisions including Mass v. EPA, Rapanos v. United States and Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker.

Collins also voted to confirm Gale Norton as Bush’s Secretary of Interior. Norton has turned out to be one of the most anti-environment secretaries in our nation’s history.

Finally, Collins and Allen differ significantly on the Iraq war, which Friends of the Earth Action strongly opposed. Collins voted for the war and has supported the disastrous Iraq policies of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Allen was one of only 133 House members to oppose using military force in Iraq.

“In all of these areas, Tom Allen has been an advocate for the health of Maine’s people and the planet,” Herz said. “We are proud to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.”