I really have to start getting my mind focused on more important things in life, like the Red Sox - Yankees game tonight (every fall I briefly become a baseball fan for the seventh game of championship series). But first I’ve got to share a potpourri of political postings.
Wow! Maria Shriver must have taken the pledge at Votergasm.org, which I talked about yesterday, one step further. Votergasm wants people to withhold sex from non-voters, but Maria reportedly did the same for a husband who told people to vote for the wrong person. Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying that “Bush has hurt my sex life,” because of his endorsement of Bush at the Republican Convention. But the dry spell reportedly was just two weeks, not the four years encouraged by the Votergasm folks.
My own activist wife had a No On Measure 37 letter published yesterday in the Salem Statesman-Journal. Naturally it makes great sense, as contrasted with the measure itself. If this collection of bozo ideas somehow becomes law, Oregon can look forward to spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new state and county bureaucracy that will be needed to process the claims of a few property owners who want to change farmland into industrial wasteland, and otherwise subvert Oregon’s land use laws. So read Laurel’s letter, then vote No! on 37.
Michael Moore’s event at the Salem Fairgrounds Monday night was inspiring and entertaining, according to Laurel. I decided to go to my Tai Chi class instead, feeling that I needed to get more in touch with my center than with my left side. Laurel liked how Moore invited in the several dozen Bush/Cheney protesters and applauded them as they were allowed to march around the hall with their signs. That was such a refreshing contrast with the Republican squashing of any opposing opinions at their campaign events. Conclusion: liberals are inclusive, conservatives are exclusive.
We got to watch Jon Stewart’s now infamous appearance on Crossfire last Friday. I thought that Stewart was admirably courageous to spend most of his time criticizing the show. Not surprisingly, hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala had a different opinion, and, from what I’ve heard from them this week, they spent about a nanosecond pondering Stewart’s critique before rejecting it out of hand. But this New York Times piece on the controversy by Alessandra Stanley (registration required) gets it right:
The transcript of Friday's "Crossfire," and the blog commentary about it, popped up all over the Internet this weekend. Mr. Stewart's Howard Beal (of "Network") outburst stood out because he said what a lot of viewers feel helpless to correct: that news programs, particularly on cable, have become echo chambers for political attacks, amplifying the noise instead of parsing the misinformation. Whether the issue is Swift boat ads or Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment suit, shows like "Crossfire" or "Hardball" provide gladiator-style infotainment as journalists clownishly seek to amuse or rile viewers, not inform them.
Lastly, thanks to the Site Under Construction weblog for pointing me to an election-year junkies dream website, Electoral-Vote.com. This site compiles state and national polls into a composite electoral vote prediction that is updated daily, I believe. It also has other seemingly unbiased election-related news and commentary. Best of all, at the moment the home page is showing a projected 291 electoral votes for Kerry and 247 for Bush.