I used to really like the Daily Show, but Stewart’s interviews and commentary has only gotten smugger over the last few years. Watching Stewart interrupt Blair with asinine comments and his lackluster “analysis” was surely not his finest moment, although the crowd still found the need to hoot and holler like a bunch of morons at John’s simpleminded insertions.
Rob Riggle and John Oliver are still fantastic however.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
JB at the Union News has brought to my attention a recent comment from David Schaich, a Socialist Party USA leader, who commented on the Socialist Party’s support for the Obama campaign. According to JB, he had this to say:
“I have not heard of a single Socialist Party member who supports the Obama campaign, and such support would be in violation of the Socialist Party Constitution, which states (Article VI, Section 2) that Socialist Party members may support candidates of other political parties only in the absence of a Socialist Party candidate. Since the Socialist Party has a Presidential ticket, any members who support other presidential campaigns are doing so without our sanction and in violation of our constitution.
The Socialist Party is completely independent of the Democratic Party, and does not support it or its candidates, including Barack Obama.”
Schaich also touches upon the difference between the SP-USA and Democratic Socialists of America, which I explain in the piece. Oddly enough, from what I can tell, the Union News appears to be a rather conservative website, and I am not sure if its just a bread of unionism I am not familiar with, or is a site intended to show union related failures and problems.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
With lipstick-gate and Internet–gate “captivating” voters everywhere with their pointlessness and triviality, I thought I would bring everyone's attention to a report on voter gerrymandering by Marc Dunkleman, who works for the Democratic Leadership Council. The way political officials in both major parties have rigged their states so that specific counties exist where an incumbent party can not possibly lose an election, should disgust every American. As Marc makes clear:
“In large measure, today’s stalemate is the result of partisan gerrymandering. The boundaries that separate districts hew to the partisan advantage of one party or the other, encouraging members of Congress to play to their party’s base, rather than the broad center of the electorate. When members can’t lose, voters do—because it takes pressure off Congress to get the job done.Both political parties have a vested interest in continuing the meme that citizens stay out of the electoral process because it has gotten too “dirty,” but Dunkleman goes on to show that in races that are seen as competitive, the number of votes cast are always vastly higher than in non-competitive races, regardless of the language and tactics used in the race. Marc also writes:
But gerrymandering has another nefarious effect: pre-determined election results suppress the vote. This study explores just how dramatically partisan redistricting hampers the ability of voters to affect policy in Washington, D.C.”
“If the vast majority of members retain their seats even in years when Congressional approval ratings are abysmal, it’s not hard to understand why so many Americans believe Washington is unresponsive to their frustration.”Sadly, when Californian’s were offered an opportunity at redistricting our state (one of the “dirty dozen” states which Dunkleman believes would experience as much as a fifth in voter turnout if its system was amended) rejected Proposition 77 in 2005, thanks in part to special interests who were content with the rigged system that benefited them. We will have another modified shot at redistricting with Proposition 11 in 2008.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Dan Senor from the Council on Foreign Relations corrects Biden on his clear mis-characterizations of his previous partition plan for Iraq. He writes:
On Sunday, when Mr. Biden was asked about the current progress in Iraq, he managed to take the lion's share of the credit: "I'm encouraged because they're doing the things I suggested . . . That's why it is moving toward some mild possibility of a resolution." But we should be grateful that Iraqis did not do as he suggested. Mr. Biden's frustration with the looming Iraqi civil war in 2006 and early 2007 was understandable. The U.S. was on the verge of total defeat and Iraq was at risk of collapse. But Mr. Biden's plan would have inflamed Iraq's already volatile situation.He reflects on how parties across ethnic and regional lines opposed Biden’s plan to cut up Iraq.
“Qays al-Atwani, the moderator of the popular "Talk of the Hour" television show, interviewed Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis about the Biden resolution. He concluded: "For the first time in Iraq, all political blocs, decision makers and religious authorities agree on rejecting the [Biden] resolution that contradicts the will of the Iraqi people." The Senate resolution even managed to provoke radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's political supporters to momentarily join their rivals -- all in opposition to the Biden plan.
Secular Sunni parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi held a news conference in Baghdad to call on the Iraqi government to formally declare Mr. Biden "a persona non grata" in Iraq. As for Iraq's neighbors, The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League both denounced the Biden resolution.
The uproar was unsurprising, as partition would have involved expelling Iraqis from their homes. How would a partition work, for example, in major cities like Kirkuk, which is majority Kurdish but also has a large Sunni population, and substantial Christian and Turkomen populations? The likely outcome would have been forced relocation. This could have sparked a wave of renewed sectarian violence, if not civil war.”