Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ESPN Page 2 - Easterbrook: Temporary hero

ESPN Page 2 - Easterbrook: Temporary hero

Just the section on "Sympathy for Detroit." Greg Easterbrook makes many good points, including how Detriot's high benefits package for its workers helps the American economy by keeping those folks off of tax-paid health systems. However, not sure I'm as keen on the gas tax at the end of the article.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Speaking of Bond

Watching Thunderball right now. Not a big fan of the underwater fight scene at the end, but forgot how fun the first half is.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Met the Mariners GM

The M's hosted a chance to meet their new GM, Jack Zduriencik, on Wednesday. Here are some pictures I took, including my personal highlight, meeting Hall of Famer Dave Niehaus.

Amazon.com: Movies & TV: Save up to 69% on James Bond DVDs

Amazon.com: Movies & TV: Save up to 69% on James Bond DVDs

This is a great deal on Bond movies, today only. But to me, one of the best things about Bond movies is that they show up on TV all the time. You never know which one, or when, but that's the fun of it. "Oh, goody, I haven't seen Diamonds are Forever in forever." or "Crap, I hate Moonraker." Having all the movies on disc just ruins part of the experience.

10 things Conservatives have wrong about the Obama election

I've been thinking about this for a while, and want to finally get it down. Might not make all 10 this post, but it is a start. Like so many people, I've been wrapped up in the political news before and after the election. One thing that frustrates me is that many of the commentators don't get why those of us in the middle voted for Obama. I am probably more liberal than most, but for the most part I consider myself a centrist, and there are a lot like me. Our votes aren't just ideology, they reflect a point of view that can actually change over time. So speaking for the middle ground:

1) Voters were swayed by the liberal media's pro-Obama agenda. This bugs me for a couple of reasons. First, give the voters more credit. We were more inundated by stories and facts this election than ever before. We make up our own mind for a variety of reasons. Second, the "liberal media" trope is old, tired, and untrue. We know that NBC is owned by GM, that Fox News is the highest rated cable news network, and that the news magazines just want to sell copy. When the media has an agenda - Fox and some at MSNBC - it is obvious. The rest really balances itself out.

2) If only the Republicans had gotten their message out. This might be true, but it sure seems to us like the Republicans tried to get their message out over and over, but there wasn't anything we wanted to hear. Scare tactics aren't working anymore, many of us believe the last 8 years have made us more exposed, not less. The economy, normally why we turn to Replicans, sure weren't helping. We all know that when McCain said "The fundamentals of the economy are strong" he was NOT talking about the workers. That was clearly made up after to cover himself. He was pandering in the economic equivilant of "stay the course" and it backfired. At the end of the day, it seemed to us in the middle that the Republicans simply didn't have a message to get out.
One additional note. My Grandmother, about as staunch of a Republican as there is, even said that she never heard anything solid from McCain. She voted for him anyway, which is fine. But I'm sure there where people more in the middle than her who were looking for a reason to vote for him, and he didn't give one.

3) Going after Obama's associations was a good tactic. This is a subset of the "liberal press didn't to its job" falicy. We in the middle did hear the press talking about ties to Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, and Acorn. Thing is, we didn't care. Remember, the Democrats first brought up Wright during the primaries, and Obama still won. And as much as the Right tried to tie Obama to Ayers, we believed Obama (who was there) and not the press. Also, we in the middle understand that who you associate with isn't the end all be all determination of your character. We all have someone we know that is embarrasing - we go to church and sometimes hear things from the pulpit we disagree with. We have a childhood friend, or crazy in-law, or business associate, who says things we disagree with but who we still feel bounded to out of other feelings - loyalty, family, respect, whatever. Life is too complicated to only deal with people exactly like you - we understand that.
As for Acorn - I think that falls into the catagory of "We are shocked, shocked, that there is something fishy going one with voters." But even more to the point on Acorn - we think that that voter registration is a good thing, and we actually trust the system. Most of us in the middle don't really believe Diebold would (or could) rig an election. And just because some pranksters register Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck doesn't mean that the whole system is broken. We trust the workers, and we appreciate volunteers who are trying to make the country better.
The more McCain and Palin brought up these issues as grave concerns, the less seriously we took them as candidates.

4) People voted against their interests / Obama will raise taxes. There are a couple of things the Right misses on this point. Some of us in the middle have come to believe that trickle down economics simply doesn't work. We think that the Bush tax cuts made the economy worse, not better. So promising more of the same scares us. Now, the middle incorporates a lot of folks, and others do think that tax cuts are good, and they actually listened to (and believed) Obama's promise to cut taxes for the middle-class. In that case we were thinking - "you know what, let the 5% whose taxes will be raised vote for McCain. Good for them. They don't need me to look at for them." And then we heard superrich like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet come out for Obama, and it seemed like maybe they weren't too worried about a tax increase either.

5) The average Joe / real America supported McCain. Again, here the Right openly insults us, and then is surprised we don't respond well. Lots of us live in cities, lots of us are community organizers (and/or respect people around us who are community organizers), and we all love America and are insulted when people imply otherwise. Even those of us who live outside of the cities can feel offended when labels like "Real America" are passed around. Obama's speach, saying there are no Red States, no Blue States, only the United States, really resonnated with us in the middle. That's how we feel. The Republicans looked like they wanted to push that devide, and we didn't like it. Oh, and since it may not fit anywhere else, I wanted to say a little something about Joe the Plummer. We in the middle probably would have thought he was a nice rhetorical device. But then the real Joe showed up, and he was a tool. And if the Right wanted to hold him up as an average American, we didn't want to be anywhere near him. If he had been a little more Jimmy Stewart we may have been on board.

OK, enough for now. The other 5 will come later.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ubiquitous first post

I have these long, rambling conversations with myself - usually while driving, and usually in argument over something on the radio. Maybe a blog can be my outlet - seems to work for others. Sometime politics, sometime law, sometimes baseball. We will see how this goes.

BTW, the name of the blogs comes from an interview I once heard (I think it was Rosemary Clooney) who said her next book should be named "All tributaries and no streams" since her conversations go off on so many tangents. I can really relate.