Archive for the Politics Category

grumble, grumble

Posted in current events, general, Politics on July 6, 2007 by resistinginertia

It’s been one of those mornings where I not only woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I woke up half an hour late with a backache to boot.  Grumble, grumble.

I went in to my usual Starbucks this morning, dodging a first class moron who nearly took off my door and desperately needs parking training, only to be greeted by a line 15 deep and a barista who didn’t know how to do iced coffee.  Grumble, grumble. 

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the newest NBA –D team, are going to be affiliated with none other than the Detroit Freaking Pistons.  Grumble, grumble. 

The only potential Presidential candidate that gets me excited in any way, shape or form says he’s “fallen out of love with politics”.  Grumble, grumble. 

I just got saddled with a massive project that will probably take me all day and then some.  So much for leaving early.  Grumble, grumble.

Today, we are all Hokies

Posted in current events, Politics on April 18, 2007 by resistinginertia

 

I’m a Hokie.

I took a year’s worth of commuter classes at Virginia Tech back when I lived in Roanoke.  I sometimes jokingly refer to VT as my “pseudo alma mater” because the time I spent there was the closest thing I had to a traditional college education.  I’d make the long drive down 460, through Elliston and Shawsville, and Christiansburg, bust over the mountain and down the valley…the sight of campus was almost always enough to shake me out of any funk I was in.  I cannot begin to imagine what that campus must feel like today.

Thankfully, everyone I know on campus is safe and accounted for after the shooting. (I’ll save the descriptors like “tragic” and “massacre” to the TV pundits who are having a field day with them already.)  Regardless of who eventually shoulders the blame, and regardless of what side of the why-wait-till-the-bodies-are-cold 2nd Amendment debate you find yourself on,  give a moment of silence on Friday for those who lost their lives.  This could have happened anywhere, to any of us.

I’m a Hokie. 

We are all Hokies.

friday randomness

Posted in general, local linkage, musical mayhem, Politics on December 22, 2006 by resistinginertia

Not much time today, so I present the following: 

*In the grand saga of Stephen Colbert vs. The Decemberists, it looks as though Colbert emerged… um… victorious?  Check out this AP article (must have really been a slow news day!) and watch the video here.  I’m just in awe that they got Henry Effing Kissinger to come in on the joke.

*Congratulations to the illustrious Dodge of MOKB!  He’s (finally) a proud daddy.  Go over and send your well-wishes, and check out his music blog while you’re there… it’s one of the best around. 

*Apparently happiness is distracting!  I suppose this is true; after all, how many of us have immersed ourselves in working, drinking, or other activities to get our minds off of a breakup?  It could also explain why I’ve been having so much trouble getting things accomplished lately… 

*My friend lmb has a great follow-up to my ‘rules of engagement’ blog post.  Ah, the things you experience while working retail…   

*I’m fascinated with Google Zeitgeist – a complete composite of search terms for 2006.  It hurts my soul that “Paris Hilton” is in a number one spot on anything, let alone search engine hits. (h/t commonplacebook)   

*Torpor Indy talks about the elephant (or should I say, Wild Turkey) in the room this holiday season: the fact that liquor stores won’t be open on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve this year.  Those days fall on Sundays, and  thanks to our nearly archaic Blue Laws, no alcohol sales allowed.  I realize there are more pressing things to worry about, but I do kind of shudder at the thought of ringing in the New Year at a bad party… sober.  Ew.

in which I play pundit, badly

Posted in Politics on November 9, 2006 by resistinginertia

Some random thoughts on the Indiana Congressional results: (warning, political geek alert ahead!)

1st District – man, this one scared me for a bit. I really thought for a while there that Visclosky might lose it, but they called it for Pete with only 20% of the returns in. I guess increased dissatisfaction with things like DST and the Toll Road debacle balanced out the anti-Dem sentiment some people were feeling up there with all the corruption and fraud stories. In any case, it’s a solid win in a district that solidly trends Dem.

2nd District – back when my friend Bradshaw was a morning DJ on the local cock-rock station in Mishawaka, he and his co-host would see just how often they could get Chris Chocola to call in and complain about something they had said. It was pretty often, believe me. He played me a tape of one of the calls awhile ago and it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. Maybe while he’s out of the House of Representatives, Count Chocula can go try to find a sense of humor. Joe Donnelly is a great guy who ran a hard-fought rematch campaign, and who was helped by anti-Daniels sentiment. I only wish is name would have been Frank N. Berry – then we’d have a match for the ages.

3rd District – okay, this one was heartbreaking. I’ve been working for Tom Hayhurst off and on all season, and I really (really!) thought he stood a shot of beating Captain Chaos (thanks for the new nickname, Jason!). The problem in this district (and I can say this, because I was born and raised there) is that people just don’t care enough. I’m serious. They’re armchair activists to the umpteenth degree, and their stereotypical Hoosier quality of “all talk, no action, fear change, status quo” made most of them go with the status quo even if they didn’t quite think it was the right way to vote. I can’t tell you how many times I heard this when I was canvassing up there… seemingly sound-minded individuals that just didn’t want to upset the balance of things. This not only serves as reason #1 that I could never live within two hours of home ever again, but it also tells me that the only way Souder is going to get out of office up there is for some sort of scandal to hit at precisely the right time. And it certainly won’t be a sex scandal…I mean, have you SEEN the guy? Ew.

4th District – kind of a predictable turnout. I like David Sanders a lot – I’ve met the guy a few times, and he seems knowledgeable and affable and everything a Congressman should be. However, he was running a shoestring campaign against a chain link candidate, and even the good guys get pounded under those circumstances. I thought perhaps the issue of treatment of veterans would help him, but it never seemed to get that traction underneath the message.

5th District – Perhaps one day we’ll run a viable opponent against Dan Burton. I’m not one to bash fellow Dems, but Katherine Fox Carr is seriously unhinged. Ah, well.

6th District – Hmm. Barry Welsh didn’t stand much of a chance either, though he put up a valiant effort and is the first Congressional candidate to really impress me by trying to harness the value of the netroots. Kos loved him, Booman Tribune and My Left Wing loved him, but when you’ve got a conservative behemoth like Mike Pence as your opponent, being closely aligned with what are widely perceived as “far left” entities probably isn’t going to help your campaign much. But big kudos to Barry for being one of the earliest and firmest believers in Howard Dean’s ‘Fifty State Strategy’ and for leading that charge by example.

7th District – Is it wrong to compare Julia Carson to John Hostettler? It feels dirty, somehow. But the comparison in my mind is there— the ability to turn out voters, the atypical way they campaign through the season, the rumors flying nearly every election year, the dumb mistakes they’ve made throughout their political careers. The major difference this time around is that Hostettler was up against a strong, viable candidate and Julia’s opponent wasn’t even originally slated for the race.

Now, I’m no Carson apologist, but conversely, she’s been a strong representative to her district for many years. I don’t have significant inroads into the county Party structure; I don’t know who they have in mind to step up in Julia’s place next cycle. (Sorry to say, she won’t win again.) The demographics of the 7th District are changing, and it’s going to be interesting to see what that means for this typically Democratic stronghold.

8th District – Whew, what a race! They don’t call it the Bloody Eighth for nothing. As I said above, Hostettler met his match in Brad Ellsworth, a Democrat that leans just far enough to the center to pacify the constituents out in GGG-ville (God, Guns, Gays). I have my own personal doubts about Ellsworth on some key issues. I don’t think he’s going to be the Great White Democratic Salvation that many Indiana Dems feel he will be. But that remains to be seen, I suppose.

9th District – I don’t even know what to say about this race. In many ways, it personified everything I truly don’t like about politics—the endless posturing, the incessant negative mailings, the completely bad campaign commercials, the millions of dollars pouring in to the district from special interest groups on both sides, the general feeling of “win by suffocation”. I think Sodrel is abhorrent, but I haven’t exactly warmed to Hill during this cycle either, and I’m not sure why. If anyone can give me some concrete reasons why I should throw my support behind him, this partisan gal is all ears.

Phew. 

it gives “believe in blue” a whole new meaning.

Posted in general, local linkage, Politics on November 9, 2006 by resistinginertia

I am truly and utterly exhausted. Want proof? I left the house this morning with my towel turban still snugly attached to my wet head, and didn’t realize it until I was almost 20 minutes away from home. Needless to say I’m wearing a ponytail today.

Why the forgetfulness? Probably because I’m nearly comatose from one of the wildest Election Day rides I’ve ever been on. I won’t call it a tidal wave, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying the downpour.

Rather than volunteer in the party apparatus as a poll worker this year, I decided it would be more fun to work for a candidate. I ended up working as a team captain for a state representative involved in a fairly contentious race—my job was to make sure the polling place volunteers had adequate food/literature/energy, and to observe the turnout/voter makeup at the polling places. (I’ve chosen not to name the candidate to preserve a bit of anonymity since my job is sort of strange with political affiliation).

Honestly, turnout was up, but that it wasn’t clear who it was benefiting. My candidate draws a high number of swing, independent and unaffiliated voters so voter turnout means less than the good, solid GOTV – passing out lit, signs displayed prominently, and (the best part!) organized labor conducting a walking campaign through the urban part of the district ALL DAY. It was really a sight to behold.

What wasn’t a pretty sight, though, were all of the machine issues taking place. In my area, four out of seven polling places had issues getting the machines up and running. In one case, the machine stopped mid-tally, forcing the voter to wait until they were assured the vote was indeed counted. It was also pretty ugly listening to anecdotes from voters who had been voting at the same polling place for years, only to arrive there this morning to find the location had been changed with no communication whatsoever.

And don’t get me started on everything else that I witnessed yesterday. How about the suddenly missing yard signs; the pro-life zealots blocking entrances; the partisan clerks handing out their party’s “sample ballots” (with the opposite party’s candidates grayed out) at the sign-in table; the inspector who decided he was going to open the machine and count the ballots ahead of time so he wouldn’t have to be at the polls past 6:00; the fact that my name was mysteriously taken out of the voter rolls and after half an hour of phone calls with the Election Board to correct the situation, no one even asked for my ID; candidate posters and brochures inside the polling area, and candidates’ wives participating in electioneering even as voters were headed to the cubicle with their ballot in hand; inspectors telling my volunteers that it was “no use” in their passing out lit because “everyone’s decided around here anyway and you’d be better off going to the black area”; and my personal favorite, a candidate’s RV parked with the engine running in the middle of the street in front of a polling location, forcing drivers go into traffic to get around it. I’ve never seen so many one-fingered salutes in my life.

After all the craziness subsided, I headed over to the special-edition Drinking Liberally Election Night Extravanganza at Spencer’s Stadium Tavern (one of my favorite bars in Indy). Well, there wasn’t exactly an extravaganza, but there were lots of inebriated liberals screaming obscenities and cheering as the returns came in. Kudos to Jason and the DL crew for giving local D’s an alternative hangout to the Marriott… I have nothing against state party hobnobbing, but being in that room during the 2004 returns seriously scarred me for life.

I had a lot of fun at Spencer’s, which I wasn’t expecting, and got fairly drunk, which I also wasn’t expecting. I’m just glad we weren’t playing the “do a shot every time we win a seat” game, because I’d be getting my stomach pumped.

And now, of course, starts the horse race/clusterfuck that will be the primary season. Let the games begin, I suppose.

VOTE, suckas!

Posted in culture, Politics on November 7, 2006 by resistinginertia

I’m holed up at the coffeeshop making calls between volunteer rounds, so I’m telling you all to VOTE!!!!!  I don’t care what your political affiliation is– if you don’t cast your ballot, you forfeit the right to bitch about politics.  Period.

Go to http://www.indianavoters.com if you need help finding your polling place or have questions about your voter registration.  And be prepared– there’s a lot of crazy malfunctioning going on with the touch screen machines and a lot of scrambling to make paper ballots available.   Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.

Can we get a bigger set of internet tubes, please?

Posted in local linkage, Politics on October 19, 2006 by resistinginertia

I’ve been invited to participate in a very cool event tomorrow! Bil Browning, of Bilerico, has invited a group of diverse Indianapolis-area bloggers to take part in a question and answer forum with some of the more progressive candidates for statewide office. It should be an interesting discussion, to say the least. Here are the details:

EVENT: Blogger meeting with Marion County progressive candidates for state office

WHEN: Friday, October 20 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Pike Library meeting room – 6525 Zionsville Road in Indianapolis
WHO: Candidates:

Russell Brown (D – State Senate)
Rep David Orentlicher (D – H86)
Susan Fuldauer (D – H88)
John Barnes (D – H89) and
Mike Kole (L – Sec of State).

WHAT: Open forum with the candidates. No topic is taboo and audio and video recording is allowed. Got questions the main stream media hasn’t asked? This is your chance to ask them and report on it.

Participating blogs
A Commonplace Book

Advance Indiana

Bilerico

ManfredEye

Resisting Inertia

Shakespeare’s Sister

Stallio’s Way

Taking Down Words

I’m pretty familiar with every blogger scheduled to attend, and I’m constantly astounded by the wit, intelligence and passion displayed by them on a daily basis. It’s intimidating as hell to be included with the likes of Shakespeare’s Sister and TDW, but I’m very excited to meet everyone and to ask some questions of the candidates.

Anything in particular you think I should ask?