Category: politics

never a frown with gordon brown.

i’ve been meaning to blog about tony blair stepping down and gordon brown becoming prime minister for quite some time, but i’ve never really gotten around to it. well, tony blair has resigned and as i type this brown is inside buckingham with the queen. i’m a little sad that i’m not in london for this (like 2001).

i won’t lie and say that i’m not excited about the hand over. it’s no secret that i’m a huge fan of brown’s and have been for over a decade. (god, i’m old. i’m also sad.) i mean, i have a picture of his kid on my blog and remember this little ditty i wrote about him? if only i didn’t have a big meeting with caltrans today, otherwise i’d wear my “never a frown with gordon brown” t-shirt.

is brown going to be better than blair? i seriously doubt it. it’s not 1997 anymore. is this the death of new labour? i certainly hope so.

[tags]gordon brown, tony blair, british politics, prime minister[/tags]

waiting for prime minister brown.

gordon brown and some kiddies.

i’ve been too busy with school and cancer to say much about tony blair announcing the date of his resignation. let’s just say i’m excited, almost as much i was 10 years ago when labour won the election. i’m perhaps a little more excited that my dream prime minister, gordon brown, is finally going to have his chance to bungle things. nobody’s going to oppose him, which means he (and sarah and john and james) will stay living in no. 10. and then he’ll bungle the government, need to call an election, and smiffs loving david cameron will start a new tory government.

until then, way to go gordon!

[tags]gordon brown, tony blair, david cameron,  british politics, labour[/tags]

free to choose.

yesterday was a nice breather after tuesday. being a poll worker is interesting- some people are very excited to vote, so excited that they don’t seem to care about lines or anything, others seem to see it as a burden and take it out on the workers. i initially signed up to be a poll worker to combat the slowness of the polls. i’d never be hostile about it, but i’d think “if only they had younger (faster) people helping out…” so i did it, not to be a hypocrite. i also like that we are a democracy and recognize how important voting is, so helping out is just another way to show i care. i felt a little frustrated the precinct’s most elderly worker would take 5 minutes to look up somebody’s name, but i also know she cares as much as i do, so i just tried to compensate best i could. (i was master of telling people which polling place they should go to if they weren’t on our rolls and explaining provisional ballots.)

there were also the “independent inspectors”. it was hard not to think of some of them as gadflies- coming in, looking sour, saying “harrumph” and then leaving- but there were others who were also full of election cheer. it was good to remind us that we were official agents of the electoral process and the oath in the morning was real.

for the most part, voter turnout seemed light. given the neighbourhood most people were allright, though in the morning and just after 5:15 pm there were quite a few obnoxious people. you know the “my time is too valuable to be wasting here, give me special priveledges!” people. one particularly rude lady yelled at the person doing the sign-in, and was very condescending. i was a bit condescending in my instructions on how to mark the ballot and she still messed that up, she knew better i guess. ot was also infuriating how many people moaned about the lack of touch-screen voting and lack of a paper trail in the same breath. yeah it’s 2006, but we still have work to do.

the day was long- 6:00am to about 9:30pm- but i’ll do it again next time. it also looks like it was all for good, since allen is going to concede, giving the democrats the senate and the house. i’m a little pleased, but mostly because i hope there aren’t any polling scandals on the magnatude of 2000 and 2004.
freedom to choose, and america’s chosen to let the president know they’re tired of his shennanigans. good on them. if only people will listen.

fight for the kid!

i know it’s never a good idea to read berkeley daily planet, but here’s christian “the kid” pecaut’s mayoral candidate statement from today’s paper is a good read. he’s crazy. one politically active berkeley citizen once described him as needing an editor, and it’s true. here are some select excerpts:

Landlords: Remorseless, lying, blood-sucking parasites. More property, more vicious. Give back every dollar stolen from the tenants, immediately, in cash. Rent is Theft.

Bates: That ghoulish “smile” betrays your duplicity. Giggles like an idiotic school boy when he can’t lie his way out of responsibility. City Manager Phil Kamlarz does the same when caught ripping off the public and lying about it. Real estate profiteering is payoff to Tom and his BCA cohorts for 34 years of fucking Berkeley over.

UC Berkeley: 90% of the students are conniving cruel imbeciles. Spoor of a big ascendant nazi-bourgeiosie. Extermination disease programs called “cancer research” and “synthetic biology”. Save Darfur campaign is fake bred there: China’s oil supplies are the real target.

Environmentalism: Earth Day inaugurated by Richard Nixon to celebrate Laos and Cambodia burning. Lenin’s birthday same day. COINTELPRO Jackpot! 30+ Years Strong. Enshrined mechanically here in Berkeley with the solar powered parking ticket dispenser.

Diversity: Public Works Director Claudette Ford was hired because she was black, female, and obedient to the shadow appropriations scam. Anyone who criticizes her controller’s malfeasance is racist! Same with Taj, the City Manager’s anti-democracy stooge who covers up for the Ashby Takeover Force and the BHA racket.

Police: A blunt spoon gouge of cruelty, incompetence, arrogance, and systemic theft-punishment, with growing slush funds from the drug trade and nouveau Gestapo. Stacked wih torturers and murderers trained in Iraq. 5%+ pay increase every year for 5 years = $80,000 starting salary.

Anti-War: Every single opposition group, without exception, is controlled by the US Military and their paramilitary/propogandist thugs. Directly in the case of ANSWER and World Can’t Wait. Everyone else indirectly through uncritical acceptance of official counter-intelligence propoganda. Besides the spontaneous protests in 2003, there has been zero genuine organized resistance to the war in the United States. Zero. Lockdown.

Progressive Convention: Didn’t attend because I already exposed the whole operation as illegitimate in my last commentary, “I Will Put an End to Fake Democracy in Berkeley”. No one dared or bothered acknowledge or respond. Everyone went to the forum. No reporter or anyone else bothered to remember or care. Why attend?

there’s way too much to actually quote, so i suggest you read it.

[tags]berkeley, mayoral race, christian pecaut[/tags]

the mayor’s got the young babes!!!

did you hear? san francisco mayor gavin newsom’s newest honey is barely 20. so when he takes her out for drinks, he’s breaking the law! apparently brittanie mountz says she’s 26 when last week she was 19. i guess she’s aged a year a day or something. what do you expect from somebody named “brittanie”? no joke. so yeah… she looks like a tart and he looks like a lech. god bless democrats!

[tags]san francisco, gavin newsom, lecherous, dirty old man[/tags]

getting ready to say good bye…

brown knows blair cooked his goose. i meant to comment on the new blair memo telling the world that he’ll step down by may. well, looks like things are heating up. blair confirmed what everybody knew, and of course my buddy gordon brown does what he always has to- reaffirms his support for blair and pretends that he doesn’t want to be prime minister today. watching these two makes me a little sad, but it’s also very entertaining. this public rivalry has really been simmering since the last general election. the sad thing is, brown probably will never be prime minister, and even if he does it’ll be a “poisoned inheritance”.

the emergence of the brownites vs. blairites could be the biggest feud of its kind since the jacobite rising. the public reactions so far from labour members has been somewhat predictable. the brownies are calling for a more definite plan, and the blairites are saying this whole mess is a shame, and that tony is at the top of his game. whatever. i find david winnick’s statement to be pretty good:

Inevitably, there is the cynical feeling – justified or otherwise – that while some of the PPSs (parliamentary private secretaries) who resigned at least were acting with genuine motives, others perhaps were possibly looking for what other ministerial positions are likely to follow the change at No 10.The main thing is to ensure the change, which clearly now will come next year, comes about without leaving behind a legacy of bitterness which otherwise could linger for some considerable time after a change of prime minister.

i also thought jeremy corbyn’s reaction was spot on:

Well, it sounds to me like they’ve made some kind of a private deal last night and we’re not going to be told what that deal is.

And Tony Blair will then make a statement this afternoon saying he’s going to go sometime in the future so there’s nothing changed there but there’s clearly some agreement reached between them. And I think it’s really not acceptable.

What we need is a date from the prime minister.

really, what’s the point without a date? the tories and the lib dems must be laughing right now. the whole thing seems reminiscent of thatcher in 1990. lib dem leader sir menzies campbell said:

The prime minister has only partially resolved the ambiguity. “He has set a time limit but not named a date. Speculation will continue, while the authority of government drains away.

and he’s right. the government is crumblin and brown’s losing his chance. if only something interesting happened and blair was forced out, like thatcher in 1990, but that won’t happen. labour’s too polite now. and britain’s going to suffer for it.

oh, and this gif is awesome.

hitch says grass a huckster

i’ve already sort of weighed in on günter grass admitting he was in the waffen ss. my pseudo-intellectual boyfriend christopher hitchens (i say this in jest, i don’t agree with him on everything and my real world boyfriend cringes everytime i call hitch that.) wrote a good assesment of why people are upset by grass’ admission in slate this week. i meant to post it earlier, but i’ve been busy with freaking out about work. it’s the big story on slate right now though, so why not check it out. for those who haven’t had to devote your undergraduate career to the nazi problem, or talk about how awesome grass is for making germans think about their role in the third reich, or the required fawning over willy brandt, grass’ owning up to his past now might not seem so odd and so crass. i think hitchens does a good job of conveying that, and you don’t have to agree with him on iraq at all! it’s all very old school hitchens.

in slightly let related news. i’ve decided to try to add joe scarborough to my arsenal of conservative tv dudes i like, but his show is horrible. maybe if it was actually about politics, but i can’t stand his hollywood gossip. chris matthews is still #1. i’m waiting for a day like that one day when chris matthews had hitchen and andrew sullivan on his show… that was a show to remember.

trying terrorists thwarted?

i’m sure you’ve all heard about the thwarted terror plot to blow up planes flying from england to here. now carry on luggage and liquids are banned from flight, which seems a little extreme though prudent. the raids have already picked up 24 suspects in england, as well as some in pakistan. it seems like everybody is united against these liquid bomb terrorists, even the tories and labour. it’s odd how fear can bring certain parts of the population together, better than ever.

that’s not to say that i don’t think they should be so cautious. i’d rather see people moaning about being inconvienenced that they can’t bring a bottle of water or some toothpaste on their carry on, than “flight tragedies of august 2006” whereby three planes and hundreds of passengers were scattered about the north atlantic. maybe i’m just buying into fear, i don’t know. it’s good to see some pre-emptive arrests.

colbert likes to play harball

wednesday, my cable tv boyfriend chris matthews was on the colbert report. the interview was a little odd, and i wasn’t sure about the wrestling, but i remember having a weird warm fuzzy feeling afterwards. after a ay of looking for it on the internet, the blue state put it on youtube for the whole world to watch. thanks! stephen colbert and matthews seem like they would be great in a sitcom together.

some senators are hypocrites?

yesterday i discussed the u.s. senate being full of bigots. tuesday, the senate voted for cloture on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. the hypocrisy of those who voted “yea” and the fact that they refuse to accept that such an amendment would be writing discrimination and hate into the constitution has really upset me i guess. americablog asked last weekend for a list of divorced or unfaithfull senators who support the amendment. they also listed some senators who were known to support the ammendment that had either been divorced, cheated, or of unkown sexual orientation (in otherword, homosexual). i couldn’t find a list for everybody though, so last night dickens and i made one. (warning! that link goes to an excel spreadsheet!)

of the 49 “yea” voters, five have been divorced: george allen, kit bond, kay bailey hutchison, mitch mcconnell, and john warner, who has not only been divorced three times, but is also dating barbara walters! (elizabeth taylor was his second wife, he was her sixth husband.) oh, and we can’t forget lindsey graham, who seems to be extremeley closeted. nothing wrong with that, other than he must really hate himself, but can you blame him? only three wome voted for the amendment as well: hutchison, elizabeth dole (married to divorcee bob dole), and lisa murkowski.

of the “nays”, twelve senators have been divorced: max baucus, thomas carper, mark dayton, russ feingold, dianne feinstein, ted kennedy, john kerry, frank lautenberg, john mccain, robert menendez, debbie stabenow, and ron wyden. eleven women voited against the amendment: barbara boxer, maria cantwell, hillary clinton, susan collins, feinstein, mary landrieu, blanche lincoln, barbara mikulski, patty murray, olympia snowe, and stabenow.

i also looked at religion, but i’m not sure it played a major role. all 50 senators have listed religions, though two only say “christian” (barack obama and mark pryor both voted no) and one “protestant” (wayne allard, voted yes). there were nine catholics who voted yes, but fifteen who voted no. all seven jewish senators voted no. all five babtist senators voted yes.

i think that’s all i have.

don’t be so choosey

i got up early to vote today. did you? when dickens and arrived at totland around 7:30, the poll workers were very eager for us to come in and vote. they seemed bored because we were the second people to vote that morning. i hope they’ve had more voters since then, but such boredom seems to the common affliction for poll workers this election. i guess it’s not so suprising because the ballot was less than thrilling. it was nice to see the return or a paper ballot, though i’m horrible at bubbling in.

i signed up to be a poll worker in the next election today. november’s going to need all the help it can get.

i’ll post about the results when they come in.