October 15, 2005

Mayor Mike and His Ads

POST #    1914

I was reading today's NY Times article on how Mike Bloomberg is blanketing the media outlets with advertising and drowning Fernando Ferrer and when I got to the 2nd page of the ad, what popped up? A Bloomberg ad, naturally.

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Politics at 8:55 AM



December 29, 2004

Tacky Virginia License Plate: Fight Terror

POST #    1491

Driving around last night (well, Shannan was driving), I spotted a "Fight Terror" license plate. Because I want to fight terror too, I looked up some possible plates that I could do. Apparently, they don't have "FUSDM", but they do have "FUUSA" and "FUIRQ". Strange, no? So I settled with "OSAMA" because if my name were Osama, I would surely want to fight terror. Sadly, this personalized message is already taken (probably by those damn Virginia Society of CPAs), but if I'm the owner of the other "OSAMA" plate, I can get a new one on my "Fight Terror" plate.

Virginia has over 180 plates that anyone can choose from and it's a rather insane list. I guess there is something for anyone, including those that want to "Fight Terror" for an extra $20 a year. They don't say if that money actually goes towards fighting terror.

This hat would go great with the tackiest hat ever.

Posted by tien mao in Politics, Rants, Travel at 10:08 AM



November 4, 2004

Thoughts, Two Days Later

POST #    1389

So I've finally had time to sit down and digest some thoughts about that election thing on Tuesday. It makes you think. While traveling, most of the people you encounter outside of a few states voted for a different person with ideologies that are vastly different than yours. For me, if I travel out of the Northeast, I'm almost certainly in Bush country. Is it possible to never leave Kerry country? Obviously not, but I'm wary of wading into enemy territory.

And with results like yesterday, you start wondering, am I the one that's crazy? I honeslty know that I am not. I'm just not one for exclusionary policies, I am an inclusive person, and I think with Tuesday's vote, we just took one big step away from that. I like the environment, and I actually think government is a good thing. I also think that people that make more, should pay more. Do the majority of Americans really think that Bush and his policies were the right choice? Is safety that big an issue? Sure, but I wonder if the Bush voters will say "I'm sure glad I'm safe while sitting at home jobless." And while you're sitting at home, cursing the administration for your missing job, you better not speak too loud lest they start breaking down your door saying "Patriot Act". Oh, and I'm also happy that I'm 26. No more selective service for me. Not that I wouldn't serve when called, but I think there are some better causes than that little conflict we have going in Iraq.

It's not entirely the fault of Tuesday's majority. To be fair, I think a good deal of Bush supporters had the wool pulled over their eyes. If you keep talking about terror, terror, war, war, the people won't know any better. What ever happened to "it's the economy, stupid"? Sure, you can say it's a post-9/11 world, but the simple fact is that most people aren't better off now than they were four years ago?

I don't think Tuesday's results speak well for the Democratic Party and its candidates either. There was an excellent op-ed piece in yesterday's NY Times by Nicholas Kristof about how the Dems have abandoned the working man and woman. He points out that there has been a "yuppification" of the party as they target the suburban voter and abandon the vaules of the working-class. These are the backs that the Democratic Party are built on and the ones that turned to Bush. Kristof writes that Kerry supporters, "should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates." Hmm, it's approaching winter, can I get some of that wool?

Thankfully, there are some places where Democrats can take solace. In Illinois, the electorate overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama, making him the only black member of the Senate. In St. Louis County, Charlie Dooley became, not only the first African American to be elected as the St. Louis County Executive, but also the first African American to be elected to a county-wide office. It's nice to know that there are some places that Democrats can still win.

Oh, and because this picture can't die, Corie proves that she has too much time on her hands and lightens the mood with this, the official logo of Maoland:

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 8:00 AM



November 3, 2004

After a Long Night, Some Quiet

POST #    1387

I'm not really sure what to say. A long night of blogging the election last night/early this morning. Sadly, the outcome wasn't what I wanted. I can only hope that New York and the rest of the Northeast break off, annex Canada, and form it's own nation. While I may be able to live through four more years of Bush without much direct impact on my life, I'm worried about how policies that he implements during those four years will affect me in the 5, 10, 15, 20+ years. My only hope is that in 2006, people wake up and realize that the Republicans have too much control and vote some balance into our system of democracy.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:39 AM



Blogging Away the Election

POST #    1386

With Slate publishing exit poll numbers from the National Election Pool as they get them, the prospect of a roller coaster ride are high - especially in the competitive swing states. In New York, the results were determined well before 6 AM today.

I'm going to attempt to live-blog this whole election thing. Not necessarily for readers, but for me. I can follow my bouts of mania with bouts of depression, hopefully with mania at the end. Someone get me some lithium!

1:16 AM - Well, it's been a long night and it looks like four more years of hellish rule by a piece of shit president. Just plain dandy. I can't believe people actually think four more years of Bush will be a good thing. I believe that this country is/was on the brink of major change, and now it's going to the shitter. So much for the checks and balances. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government seem to be in Republican control. Sure, maybe the Supreme Court is not in their hands now, but in the next four years, it looks very likely that Bush will be making some appointments.

I hope that things will be different when I wake up.

1:00 AM - Well, NBC has called Ohio and Alaska for Bush, giving Bush a 269-207 lead in their calculations. To win, Kerry needs to win all the other uncalled races just to tie - HI, NM, NH, MI, MN, IA, WI, NV.. The Drudge Report calls the election for Bush. Sigh.

12:50 AM - It seems like Fox News calls NH for Kerry, but also calls Ohio for Bush. If so, that pretty much means that Kerry is done.

12:45 AM - With voters in Ohio still waiting, I wonder about a few things. Can they go eat? Can they leave the line to walk around? What if they need to pee or something? Who holds their line?

12:35 AM - Kerry gets the 4th EV from ABC now.

12:28 AM - With 79% of the precincts reporting in Ohio, there are still people waiting. Some waited 10 hours to vote and some may not finish voting until 3 AM!!!

12:25 AM - Welcome to the party NBC. NBC finally calls Florida for Bush and says Ohio is now crucial for Kerry.

12:17 AM - Hahaha, on CNN, the graphics blocked out the "ysis" in analysis.

12:07 AM - We reach Tuesday and no president-elect yet. MSNBC and NBC are calling Oregon for Kerry, but still are not calling Florida, making it a 207-206 dead heat, with Bush leading.

11:39 PM - ABC calls Florida to Bush. It comes down to Ohio for Kerry. If he wins that, he has a chance. If not, it's over. ABC has it at 237-188, Bush. If Kerry loses Ohio, he has to win NH, CO, and NV to win. That's along with the other states that Gore won in 2000.

11:35 PM - CBS has reported for quite a while now that Colorado is going to Bush and Washington goes to Kerry, while no other networks are calling that the Colorado result. 219-199, with Bush in the lead.

11:16 PM - I've resorted to dumping the popcorn from bowl into mouth. This was not a great idea. The seeds go into the mouth first. D'oh.

11:07 PM - On ABC, Joe Lockhart says an Iowa affiliate calls the race there for Kerry. No news on that yet from any networks. A nice resource that Johnny pointed out, the Washington Post has a table on who calls what race and when.

11:00 PM - ABC finally calls PA. CA to Kerry, ID to Bush, no call on WA, OR, or HI. Bush now leads, 209-188.

10:50 PM - MSNBC calls PA for Kerry and AZ for Bush. 205-133. Without PA, there would have been no hope for Kerry. A crucial state for him to pick up. I still believe he needs Ohio or Florida to turn in his favor. It's not necessarily looking good.

10:40 PM - CBS reports that the Kerry camp says they are confident about PA, but not OH or FL. The Bush camp says the same thing in their favor.

10:17 PM - Montana goes to Bush, 195-112.

10:15 PM - ABC reports that blacks in PA made up 13% of the voters in 2004 vs 7% in 2000 and young made up 21% vs 14%, with young people voting for Kerry 62% of the time. Peter Jennings says that young voters aren't as irresponsible as he thought. Just great Peter.

10:07 PM - The "Show Me" state goes to Bush. There's a sea of red that is threatening to envelope Illinois right now. Danger, danger!! 192-112.

10:00 PM - Four more states close. UT goes to Bush. IO, NV and MT. ABC now projects Arkansas. Now, it's 181-112. I'm back to gummy candy.

9:50 PM - Footage from the White House hits the airwaves. One thought...the Bush daughters have some stems.

9:38 PM - Bush invites press into the White House residence. ABC's Terry Moran reports that the Bush camp might try to speak to their supporters out there in the West. Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Iowa. All those states have polls that are still open. Hopefully, some people will be turned off by all this. Especially if Bush flubs his impromptu press conference.

9:32 PM - LA and MS both go to Bush. So Kerry Remains at 112 and Bush picks up 15 EVs. I've moved on to popcorn, which is making it very difficult to type. Looks like Arkansas is taken off everyone's board, so it's 171-113, Bush. Give or take one EV from each side. ABC just showed some footage from PA where people are waiting in long lines still to vote. Gov. Rendell says there's a huge turnout amongst black voters.

9:18 PM - Wow, ABC just said that Wisconsin has walk-up registration. You can show an ID or have a friend vouch for you! Vouch! Hmm, does that mean "On Wisconsin" for Kerry or Bush?

9:10 PM - Justin brings us this quote from Michigan, which has yet to be called, "Michigan and John Kerry: Go Blue!" So obviously if you're a U of M fan, you should have voted Kerry. If you're an MSU fan, you're shit out of luck. There's no Green and White party. Nader? Ha! Throw that vote away!

9:00 PM - 15 states close. Bush gets TX, ND, KS, SD, WY, NE (4 of 5), CO's ballot initiative fails. Kerry wins NY, RI. So, depending on where you're watching, it's Bush's 155 or 161 to Kerry's 112. Right before the update, James Carville was saying how if PA and OH go to Kerry, the electoral math gets considerably more difficult for Bush. I kind of like CNN's big board of TVs. It's almost like CNNfn or something like that. I think I just ate about half of my Build-A-Burger gummies. It might be time for some real food. Maybe some popcorn. That's real, no? CNN is saying that one polling place in Allegheny County, PA (as in Pittsburgh) will have provisional ballots until 9:30 for those that have yet to vote. Toobin is saying that some polling places in Ohio will remain open for several hours.

8:41 PM - Incidentally, CNN and ABC have not given Arkansas to Bush yet. So they have the tally at 102-77.

8:41 PM - The Haribo Build-A-Burger gummy candy is opened. The start of the sugar rush begins. Surely, I will crash by 9:30. Strangely, they do not taste like burger.

8:37 PM - ABC calls NC for Bush, 1.5 hours after the polls closed. 108-77, Bush.

8:30 PM - Rather says, "It won't mean a thing if they don't get those swing...states." ABC says SC goes to Bush, AR and NC are not called, VA goes to bush. Bush retakes the lead, 97-77.

8:20 PM - They are talking about food on ABC now, saying the White House has a buffet with salmon. This brings me to what I've eaten so far. Just carrots and a bowl of cereal. I was considering pasta, but that seems too time consuming to do, but I might succumb to it in about 10 minutes. I also have some great gummy candy and popcorn, Doritos, Cheeze Doodles, and pretzels. Oh, and ice cream and bananas. So far, the states have gone the way they have in 2000.

A clarification on the 8:00 PM entry. Maine can split their votes based on their congressional districts. The state winner gets two of the four electoral votes with the others going to the winner of the districts, which is why NBC split them. A pity if the election came down to that one vote, no?

8:18 PM - Joe kindly points out that Zogby is predicting a 311-213 victory for Kerry. Seems a bit one sided, so we'll see how it stands. Also, a bunch of the polls were taken via the Internet. Is the margin for error even larger for those?

8:09 PM - ABC News reminds us that the red word by two of their female reporters does not mean they are pro-GOP.

8:00 PM - NBC reports Kerry wins IL, NJ, MA, MD, CT. Bush wins TN, AL, OK. Kerry gets 3 of 4 for ME, 3 for DC, and DE. Too early to call MO right now. Kerry takes his first lead, 77-66. Good to see that they could call NJ, especially since it was a tie as late as polls from this weekend. Chalk it up to 9/11 and a lot of victims coming from the Garden State. ABC says polls are closed, but text messages are being sent to people there that if they are in line, they can vote, even though the polls closed at 7:30. They also noted that in some places, lines are 5 hours long. FIVE HOURS?!? Damn, that's just insane. Even in New York, people are waiting in line to vote. Good to finally see that people care.

7:57 PM - Ha! WABC is actually showing today's lotto numbers during the commercial break. I should have played, because if I won, then maybe I wouldn't care so much about this election mumbo jumbo...haha, who am I kidding?!?

7:47 PM - ABC has the rainbow coalition of analysts. A black man in Cali, a man of some sort of Asian descent (Middle East or Indian sub-con), and a short, short man in George Stephanopoulos.

7:42 PM Slate updates their #s. Kerry +2 in FL, +2 in OH, +6 in MI, +7 in PA, +1 in IO, +3 in WI, +6 in MN, +10 in NH, +2 in NM, -1 in CO, -9 in AK, -5 in MO, +26 in NY, +1 in NV, +10 in NJ, and -9 in WV. This of course assumes you all know your state abbreviations. Lots of states close polls at 8 PM. More updates coming, natch.

7:30 PM - CNN projections Bush gets W. Va, a state that was a toss-up at one point. Nothing for N. Carolina, and Ohio. Ohio is the new Florida like blue is the new black, says CNN's analyst. Bush 39, Kerry 3.

7:22 - I just put the photo from my voting booth this morning. It's funny, I'm an old hat at using that machine, using it ever since I was 14 at Stuyvesant. We used those for all the student government elections, which is kind of cool in hindsight. While voting this morning, one of the workers at the polling station said that there was a limit for how much time you could spend in a booth. It didn't seem like a hard limit, but she did say that after about 3 minutes, they want to move people along, "especially in elections like these." It took me longer to take the picture than to flip those switches.

7:12 PM - CNN exit polls, 55 to 44% feel safe about terror vs not safe, 44% to 54% feel bad vs good about economy, war in Iraq 49% approve, 47% disapprove. Larry King points out that this is based on national exit numbers. CBS is reporting that polls in some states may remain open longer in W. Va and Wisc. Polls close at 7:30 in Florida, Ohio, W. Va, and N. Carolina. Man, Dan Rather is hard to understand. And he's tan! The CBS Data Center is nice though. Gotta love fancy touch screens. And it looks like those exit polls that CNN was using are also being used by CBS. Newsflash!! CBS News doesn't choose winners in the election!

7:02 PM - Since some polls have closed, ABC is making some calls. Again, not calling until polls are closed. GA, IN, KY for Bush, VT for Kerry. VA and SC are closed, but they aren't calling it yet. While it's early, that's a bit crazy because Bush won VA by 8% and SC by 16% in 2000. Bush 34, Kerry 3. CNN has the popular vote at 56% Bush, 44% Kerry.

6:58 PM - Funny, ABC News just said they made some overhauls since 2000's Florida fiasco. They have some sort of checks and balances so "once they change the color of a state, it stays that color"...or something like that. They also said they won't call a state if it's within 1%. Not sure if that's their system or the National Election Pool.

5:11 PM - Some early results. Granted, very early. Kerry is +1 in Florida, +1 in Ohio, +5 in Wisconsin, +4 in Michigan, +18 in Minnesota, -2 in Nevada, -2 in N. Carolina, -7 in Colorado. It should be noted that some early projections in 2000 had Gore ahead by a bigger margin that the +1 in some of these exit polls, so the final result is obviously far from settled. And if that +18 in Minnesota is any indicator, these numbers are far from accurate.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 1:20 AM



November 2, 2004

Please, No Grave Mistakes on this Election Day

POST #    1385

Predictions on today's elections anyone? I'm going out on a limb and calling New York for John Kerry. I also think that most of the country will break the same way as 2000, with a few exceptions. Of Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico, two will go to Kerry, and either Ohio or Florida will go Kerry. I'm no pundit, but that's what I think (and hope) will happen.

No matter the outcome, I can rest assured that I will see no more commercials that end with "I approved this message" until next year's mayoral race. The question is, will I rest happy or will I rest in anger with who will be the White House. Thats assuming I'll know who wins by the time I go to sleep tonight.

And while I'm throwing support to men named John, you should all head on over to my friend John(ny)'s site, Signal to Noise. He's much more wonky than I, as political science Ph.D. candidates are wont to be. In fact, I might not be wonky at all. I just love the word. Why "Signal to Noise"? Well, it's detailed here, but it's something to do with the relative "noise" to value ratio of information out there in the blogosphere, especially the political one. Anyway, John's site has got much more hard hitting political analysis than this one. It might not make any sense to us laymen, but it's a good, and interesting, read so far. Now lets see if he can live up to the hype and the rigors of blogging.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 8:29 AM



October 22, 2004

Playing with the Future of the Country/World is Fun!

POST #    1362

I've loved playing with The NY Times electoral vote calculator ever since it came out and since we're so close to the election, I thought I would share. Aren't ties fun!?! So there is this and the Electoral Vote Predictor. Oh, and then if there's a tie, it's not looking good for Kerry.

Realistically, I think Bush will win most of Colorado (they can split their votes - also in the NPR article), which would give Bush a 270-268 victory. That means that Kerry needs to win just one more state from the map. Florida? Ohio? Nevada? This of course, assumes Kerry wins Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and carries all of Maine.

It's not looking good, but you can make your own scenarios with the calculator. Fun times, fun times.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:48 AM



September 1, 2004

Parallels Between AHH-nold's Time in Austria and Present Day

POST #    1251

AHH-nold said that he remembers an Austria where he saw Russian tanks and couldn't look a soldier in the eye.

"When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector. Growing up, we were told, "Don't look the soldiers in the eye. Look straight ahead." It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him off to the Soviet Union as slave labor."

How is that unlike Iraqis with American tanks in Iraq and New Yorkers in New York? Find me a person that can look a policeman or a National Guard member in the eyes this week. Sure, it might be a bit crazy to compare occupied Austria to occupied Iraq, but how different are they? All we need to do is put those detainees in Cuba to work!

I also loved how his appeal to immigrants received only a tepid response from the crowd.

"It doesn't make any difference who your parents were. It doesn't make any difference if, like me, you couldn't even speak English until you were in your twenties.

America gave me opportunities and my immigrant dreams came true. I want other people to get the same chances I did, the same opportunities. And I believe they can."

I'm curious as to what America AHH-nold lives in. Not the one he spoke of last night, but one of a more privileged America where one with money can buy their way to political office and big money controls all of politics.

Was anyone else thinking that AHH-nold's neck was going to rip his collar? And can we stop with the USA chants? Seriously. Can they just chant GOP? That would be more acceptable to me. Yes AHH-nold, we move ahead, Americans move ahead to a different leader in November.

- Full text of AHH-nold's Speech (NY Times)

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:45 AM



August 31, 2004

Five Minutes is Five Minutes Too Long

POST #    1248

I decided to tune into C-SPAN's coverage the RNC last night. Going in, I knew it would be a bad idea for me to watch the GOP spin machine. I knew that after watching even a little convention coverage, I would become upset. So what did I do after 5 minutes? Turn down the volume on the TV and fire up iTunes.

I did see Michael Moore out of the corner of my eye at one point (he's too fat to miss) and thanks to TiVO, I was able to hear what John McCain said. A reference to a filmmaker certainly does rouse the conservative crowd. Otherwise, the crowd seemed kind of unenthusiastic. Maybe the air conditioner wasn't on?

I wonder if the employees at The Garden would be so nice as to act like those that used to work at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia. In a game before they demolished the stadium, employees of the Vet turned the heat up after complaints by one team that it was too hot in the locker room. New York would never do such a thing, right? I mean, if they're here, we might as well make them uncomfortable.

I won't even get into all the other bullshit things that happened at the convention. Please, please, I beg of you, no more politicization of September 11th. No more years!! And for Rudy Guliani to say, "we [the GOP] expand freedoms" is wrong in so many ways.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:47 AM



August 30, 2004

Police, Cheney, Delegates and Protesters

POST #    1246

Yesterday, I wanted to check out some of the protest, but apparently missed it all. I did, however, find some protesters on my walk west from Grand Central. They were waiting outside The Lion King for delegates to leave the show. Once that happened, the chants started. One included, "RNC go home" but I wonder how many of the protesters are actually from New York. The members of the convention seem to be having fun so far, enjoying The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera.

As the convention starts tonight, I might have to tune in. It's slightly masochistic for me to watch though as I will quickly become so angry that I will change the channel.

- More on this at Gothamist

Posted by tien mao in NYC, Photos, Politics at 7:52 AM



July 28, 2004

Barack Obama - Leader of the New School

POST #    1183

barackobama.jpgSo last night was the Keynote Address to the Democratic National Convention and Barack Obama delivered the speech. Sure it was filled with your standard political stuff, but it was great. Just plain electrical. If you missed it, which you might have if you don't have cable or C-SPAN, you can check it out on C-SPAN. If you want to read it, you can check out the extended entry that I've lifted from the times.

Because I'm not nearly as eloquent as Barack Obama, here are some quotes from his speech:

"My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or Ēblessed,Ē believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they werenít rich, because in a generous America you donít have to be rich to achieve your potential."

"Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation ó not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: ĎWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.í"

"Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America ó there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America ó thereís the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But Iíve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we donít like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, weíve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, thatís what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?"

More information:
- NY Times: "Illinois Senate Nominee Speaks of Encompassing Unity"
- CNN: Pundits Scorecard of Barack Obama
- C-SPAN: Clip of Barack Obama's speech (Real Media file)
- NY Times: Text of speech by Barack Obama

The following is the text of Barack Obamaís keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, as recorded by The New York Times.

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Dick Durbin. You make us all proud.

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Tonight is a particular honor for me because ó letís face it ó my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father ó my grandfather ó was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Pattonís army, marched across Europe. Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through F.H.A., and later moved west all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter. A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or Ēblessed,Ē believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they werenít rich, because in a generous America you donít have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They are both passed away now. And yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parentsí dreams live on in my two precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation ó not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: ĎWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.í

That is the true genius of America ó a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles. That we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents ó I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Ill., who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant thatís moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesnít have the money to go to college.

Now donít get me wrong. The people I meet ó in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks ó they donít expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead ó and they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they donít want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone canít teach our kids to learn ó they know that parents have to teach, that children canít achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People donít expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.

They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry. John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service because theyíve defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, weíve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values ó and his record ó affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we arenít held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Shamus [Seamus?] in a V.F.W. Hall in East Moline, Ill.. He was a good-looking kid, six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me heíd joined the Marines, and was heading to Iraq the following week. And as I listened to him explain why heíd enlisted, the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Shamus as well as he is serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women ó sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who wonít be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families Iíve met who were struggling to get by without a loved oneís full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harmís way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why theyíre going, to care for their families while theyíre gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued ó and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this.

And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that itís not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, thereís another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that weíre all connected as one people.

If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who canít read, that matters to me, even if itís not my child. If thereís a senior citizen somewhere who canít pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if itís not my grandparent. If thereís an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief, it is that fundamental belief, I am my brotherís keeper, I am my sisterís keeper that makes this country work. Itís what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America ó there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America ó thereís the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But Iíve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we donít like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, weíve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, thatís what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.

Iím not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just donít think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. Thatís not what Iím talking about. Iím talking about something more substantial. Itís the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores. The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. The hope of a millworkerís son who dares to defy the odds. The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is Godís greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity. I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do ó if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:15 AM



June 29, 2004

More Republicans Need to Get on This Page

POST #    1129

The results of a new NY Times/CBS News poll was released today with some ugly numbers for Bush. Sure, the poll was before all this "hand over" mumbo jumbo, but there were some very good quotes from the article.

Quote #1 from Charles Drum, 36, Republican, Alameda, California:

"We attacked a sovereign nation, and we went in there and we did things that the United States shouldn't have done. I feel that we went after the wrong people, and it's unacceptable, and it's absolutely ridiculous that innocent people are dying over there in Iraq, and our own troops are dying for a cause that is not just."

Quote #2 from Charlie Buck, 54, Republican, Indiana, Pennsylvania:

"I watch the news quite a bit, and I'm kind of thinking it's getting these terrorists motivated to do more. Whether it's their religious beliefs or it's us trying to step into their country, I just get that feeling that they feel that we're stepping into where we shouldn't be, and it's inciting them. It's stimulating them to be more aggressive in getting us out."

I have to say that I generally don't agree with Republicans on anything, but these two have go it right.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 5:43 PM



June 14, 2004

Hmm...That's Not Right

POST #    1106

I think three things from the Reuters picture above:
- Why did Hillary choose that hideous color?
- Did Monica buy the tie in the portrait?
- That's an interesting juxtaposition of the guy's head in front of the painting.

- NY Times: Bush Praises Clintons as Portraits Are Unveiled

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 6:16 PM



June 9, 2004

The AIGA Presents "Hell Yes!"

POST #    1094

Last night, I went to the AIGA/NY's "Hell Yes!" forum, which was supposed to cover "how graphic design, visual persuasion, and the media will influence the 2004 election." Now I'm sure many of you are scratching your heads and thinking, "Tien, why are you at anything that discusses graphic design or at anything associated with the AIGA? I mean, take a look at your site! It's so graphically unappealing." Yes, yes, I know my site ain't pretty, but you come for the content, right? The face-stuffing content. But seriously, I have an interest in politics and how the media can influence politics (communication studies major and everything), so I thought it would be an interesting discussion. Little did I know, it was pretty much a Bush-bashing event (not that I objected to the content). The panelists included Rob Corddry of Milton Glasser who designed the I♥NY logo, Dan Perkins who is also Tom Tomorrow and, and Lizz Winstead of Air America Radio. Skillfully moderating the panel was John Hockenberry of NBC/GE's Dateline.

Everything was going smoothly - this was only at the introduction - until Billionaires for Bush was introduced. Surely, that wasn't a sign of a "fair and balanced" or evenhanded discussion ahead. As partisan as the panel was, I thought the event was good. It wasn't really as informative as I would have liked, but there was an idea of how each panelist conveys their viewpoints through their medium. What I don't understand is how the AIGA/NY could throw such a one sided discussion no matter how Democratic leaning their membership is.

Clearly, I'm not really entrenched/embedded/submerged/or even dabbling in the graphic design field, but it was interesting to see some of the design work that Milton Glaser did and to see his anti-Bush designs. Glaser designed some buttons (purchase them here) for The Nation and we got a sneak preview of his line of "W" buttons, with "'W" stands for..." Glaser also had a novel (if not entirely practical) idea he called "Light Up the Sky". On August 30th, he envisions New Yorkers, and maybe people elsewhere, lighting up the sky with candles, flashlights, their apartment lights, etc., leaving them on throughout the night. "Lights transform darkness." Doesn't he realize that New York is constantly bright anyway? Good effort, but I'm not sure how well it could be executed.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 10:49 AM



June 1, 2004

Break Out Those Checkbooks Clear Channel, Asshole Heard on Z-100

POST #    1076

This morning, while scanning the radio during a commercial break for Howard Stern, I stopped for a moment on Z-100. A listener called in and was talking about why women like bad guys - quite boring really, not sure why I stopped - when she suddenly said the word "asshole". She said something to the effect of, "then they become assholes again." Now, after she said this, nothing happened. The DJs didn't warn her, nothing. I was shocked. If the FCC is going to levy fines on Howard Stern for something a caller said, I think they better fine Z-100 too.

My tender fucking ears and mental balance were very disturbed by this incident. I didn't need to hear the word "asshole" so early in the morning. At least Howard Stern has the decency to delete such harsh words. And won't someone think of the children? Seriously! I can only imagine the number of children that listen to a bubble-gum station like Z-100. Think of them! Think of all the harm that is now done to their minds. It saddens me to think of what will become of the children that heard the word "asshole" muttered over the air, loud and clear, for everyone in the New York area to hear.

I know, rather late to post this, but I was reminded by a post by Jeff Jarvis. Anyway, I'm going to write a letter complaining to the FCC and pay my damn 37¢ postage (a racquet I tell you! Funds back to the government!). After looking at their FAQ's for filing a complaint, it looks like I have a little writing to do. We'll see if anything is done though (I doubt it) because Clear Channel, the company that fired Howard Stern, owns Z-100 and, as any Stern listener would know, the FCC is in Clear Channel's pocket.

Thanks to Howard Stern's site, I found out I can complain online! Woo!

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 3:08 PM



April 26, 2004

How NOT to Go About Getting Publicity

POST #    978

This afternoon, I got a lovely unsolicited e-mail from Concerts for Kerry:

You --> you're a blogger. Us --> we're Concerts for Kerry; we create fantastic music shows that are fundraisers for John Kerry.

We want you to blog us! We have an upcoming show in Brooklyn.

Atrios blogged us... So did Gawker... Now we want you. Please help today!

thanks in advance,
the Concerts for Kerry Team

What the fuck? While I agree with the cause completely, I hate the way they went about this. I don't give a shit about your freaking concert that you are spamming me about. I care about getting Kerry in office, but don't e-mail me to "blog" about you. So Atrios and Gawker linked you? Good for them! I'm not them. I don't think my 30 readers would go listen to your shitty bands just because I said so. I would rather donate money directly to the campaign than to your shitty idea. Fuckers. I would gladly put a link to John Kerry's site, just not yours.

Maybe you could have said something like, "we're holding an event in Brooklyn and are inviting people from around the area to attend." I would have considered it then, but now you're just on my shitlist. Idiots.

We now resume with our regularly scheduled plugs for Krispy Kreme.

- Gothamist on this crap e-mail

Update: 12:17 am, 4.27.04

just wanted to drop a line. we are a volunteers here and one of us got a little eager with the email and the exclamation points. we will make sure to take your cautionary comments to heart going forward.

we do sincerely invite you to come to our brooklyn event if you are free.


Posted by tien mao in Politics at 5:20 PM



March 25, 2004

Supreme Court = Drama

POST #    889

I'm not sure when I became interested in reading stuff about the Supreme Court, but I know I love reading about it now. Well, at least reading coverage about it. I don't know if it was the decision on affirmative action at U of M or other stuff, but lately, I can't get enough of the court information. I loved series that Linda Greenhouse of the NY Times did on The Blackmun Papers, which gave readers a glimpse of what the court is behind the scenes. Maybe it's that I just like Greenhouse's articles a lot. Who knows.

I also love it when the Supreme Court makes it onto TV. Last night, The West Wing featured a story line about replacing a dead justice. I thought it was great. Maybe it wasn't and I was just jaded by the story line, but I was quite entertained. I even liked that show First Monday that was on CBS, which didn't get rave reviews from people involved with the court.

Linda Greenhouse articles from NY Times:
- Atheist Presents Case for Taking God From Pledge
- The Blackmun Papers: Documents Reveal the Evolution of a Supreme Court Justice
- The Blackmun Papers: Friends for Decades, but Years on Court Left Them Strangers
- Between Cases, Betting Pools, Kind Notes and Row vs. Wade

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 1:39 PM



March 17, 2004

Rem Koolhaas - Content

POST #    858

Last night, I went to a release party for Rem Koolhaas's new book, Content. The party was at the Women's National Republican Club. The venue was an interesting location for this book party, considering some of the content (no pun intended) and the cover of the book. The book mixes architecture with politics, while the cover features Kim Jong Il, George Bush, and Saddam Hussein. Kim is depicted as "The Terminator", Hussein is depicted as "Rambo", and Bush is toting a crucifix, the look of a dope and a "freedom fry" hat.

Sadly, Koolhaas didn't say anything controversial. He just talked briefly about his book, which is really more like a magazine, and how architecture is slow, taking 5-6 years for a concept to become a finished project, where cultural desires change in about 3 years. Content looks like it will be a good read.

More info:
- Stephanie Klein on "kool in the haas"
- Dahlia on "Rem Koolhaas Book Launch"
- Gothamist on "Content"

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:17 AM



March 3, 2004

Targeting the White House

POST #    805

Lyndon LaRouche? I think not.

***Department of Homeland Security, I mean that in a political sense.***

Last night, the Senator from Massachusetts shored up his lead and essentially locked up the Democratic nomination for president. John Kerry almost swept all the states that had primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday. The only person that prevented the clean sweep - Maple Powered Howard in his home state of Vermont. Kerry's closest rival, John Edwards came closest to a victory in Georgia, where he was 31,630, or 5.2%, shy of Kerry's votes. Now, it looks like Edwards is going to withdraw from the race.

It's now clear to the electorate, political junkies, and wonks alike, that Democrats want one thing in November - the ouster of Mr. Bush. Democrats can now provide a united front through the general election and funnel all their monies towards electing Kerry. Kyle Cole from Atlanta knows the deal. When the NY Times asked him why he voted for Kerry, he said, "We live in some dangerous times. I really like Edwards, but we need someone who knows how Congress works. And the main thing is to get Bush out." Well said Mr. Cole, well said.

The NY Times also reported that a study by the National Annenberg Election Survey at the University of Pennsylvania found that about a third of registered voters who said they intended to vote in November believed they had learned enough about the candidates to make an informed decision. While that may be true, three thirds (that's right, a whole) of registered voters who intend to vote in November have seen what Bush has done, and that should be enough to vote him out of office.

- NY Times: Massachusetts Senator Effectively Captures Democratic Nomination
- NY Times: Massachusetts Senator Stands Atop a Unified Democratic Party
- NY Times: Facing Losses, Edwards Plans to Announce Withdrawal Today
- NY Times: Democrats at the Polls Focus on One Candidate: Bush

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:42 AM



March 1, 2004

NY Times Debate Diary

POST #    797

Sunday, the four remaining Democrats running for the Democratic Presidential nomination participated in a debate. Katharine Seelye did a running diary/analysis of the debate. As dry as this might sound, there was some interesting comments she made. I didn't watch the debate, so I don't really know what exactly was said, but I'm amused just by reading the commentary.

From her running diary:
2.29 | 11:54 AM
At the same time, Edwards seems better able to articulate these problems in accessible language.

2.29 | 11:53 AM
On North Korea, Kerry has a chance to show his breadth of understanding and historical perspective.

2.29 | 11:28 AM
As usual, Sharpton suddenly captures the bigger picture. Asked if Kerry was a liberal, Sharpton said that everyone looks like a liberal in comparison to George Bush.

2.29 | 11:25 AM
Just a few minutes into this debate it is clear that the candidates know how high the stakes are: with increasingly sharp attacks against each other, Kerry and Edwards know that Kerry needs to keep Edwards from gaining any kind of foothold on Tuesday that could keep his campaign going.

- NY Times: The Democratic Presidential Debate (Debate diary)
- NY Times: Edwards Attacks Kerry Sharply in Debate as Crucial Votes Near
- NY Times: Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate in New York (Debate transcript)
- CBS News: Debate NYC (Debate video)

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:07 AM



February 23, 2004

A Vote for Nader is a Vote for Bush

POST #    782

Over the weekend, consumer advocate and former Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader announced his candidacy for president. Ralph Nader is the man that many blame for the "Bush Presidency", a man that did well enough in Florida and New Hampshire to make a difference. Sure, Nader can argue that there was little difference between Bush and Gore in 2000, and there will be little difference between Bush and the eventual Democrat to emerge, but to me, it's clear that there is a stark difference between Bush and Gore/Kerry/Edwards.

In his interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, Nader said, "After careful thought and my desire to retire our supremely selected president, I've decided to run as an Independent candidate for president." Okay, let's be a little reasonable here, with the system we have (you can all debate the two-party system amongst yourselves), there is no way in hell that Nader can truly believe that he can defeat Bush. I don't care if Kerry/Edwards/Kucinich/Sharpton are holding hands with Bush and skipping around the White House grounds, there is still a difference between Bush and the Democrats in the race. I don't care if Kerry is beholden to some special interest groups. He is beholden to special interests that better than Bush's special interest groups. And if they are getting money from the same companies, so be it. I know that Kerry or Edwards believe in things that I believe in. 2004 is not a "lesser of two evils" race (not that I felt it was in 2000), it's more of a "evil man in office that we have to get rid of" thing.

My hope is that Nader doesn't get on the ballots of any swing states. While it's the opinion of some that your vote doesn't matter, the non-vote of a thousand like-minded people does make a difference. If the 1% of the people that voted for Nader in Florida, or 1/3 of the people in New Hampshire, Bush would not be in office (ignore the fact that it would have to be in certain areas).

Please, don't throw away your vote this year. Just think, can you really take four more years of Bush?

- MSNBC: Transcript for Feb. 22th with Schwarzenegger and Nader
- NY Times: Nader, Gadfly to the Democrats, Will Again Run for President
- NY Times editorial: Ralph Nader Does It Again

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 10:26 AM



February 8, 2004

Someone Hold My Hair Back as I Go Vomit - Part 2

POST #    753

Some one that some people call president was on Meet the Press earlier today. While I was still sleeping, and unable to watch the interview, I just read the transcript. How this dope is in the Oval Office is beyond me. I think I'm seriously disconnected from the people that voted for him last time and will be even more disconnected from the people that vote for him this time. I just hope he doesn't win. I think that if he does, I am forming my own militia in my apartment, where I don't subscribe to the political whims of those in office.


- transcript of a shrub on Meet the Press
- DNC: "Meet the Truth" (.PDF file)

Posted by tien mao in Politics, Politics, Rants at 4:19 PM



Someone Hold My Hair Back as I Go Vomit - Part 2

POST #    753

Some one that some people call president was on Meet the Press earlier today. While I was still sleeping, and unable to watch the interview, I just read the transcript. How this dope is in the Oval Office is beyond me. I think I'm seriously disconnected from the people that voted for him last time and will be even more disconnected from the people that vote for him this time. I just hope he doesn't win. I think that if he does, I am forming my own militia in my apartment, where I don't subscribe to the political whims of those in office.


- transcript of a shrub on Meet the Press
- DNC: "Meet the Truth" (.PDF file)

Posted by tien mao in Politics, Politics, Rants at 4:19 PM



January 27, 2004

Kerry Krushes/Dean Done

POST #    727

Oh man, looks like Howard Dean is done. Stick a fork in him like you would a Jimmy Dean sausage. The "big mo" has swung from Dean to John Kerry. Reports say that Kerry had a double digit win today in New Hampshire after his victory in Iowa.

I guess the true question is how Kerry will do in South Carolina, where John Edwards and Wesley Clark are expecting to do well. Reports have also said that Kerry has ignored the South. Nothing like a Northerner ignoring the South. Another potential headline "South Carolina tells Kerry 'The South Will Rise Again!'" So maybe Kerry doesn't have the nomination in the bag, but Maple Powered Howard is in trouble. Then again, Dean goes pretty much against every convention, so maybe he isn't done.

So what is the point of this post? Nothing I guess. I just wanted to use "Kerry Krushes" and "Dean Done" - kind of like how the Post or the Daily News would do a headline.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:23 PM



January 20, 2004

Vote for Kerry...His Daughters Are Hot!

POST #    712

Check out Alexandra and Vanessa, the Kerry daughters.

There are a few reasons we need a change in the White House. And if we're going change things, we might as well put someone in who has hot daughters. John Kerry's daughters fit that bill. Actually, on second thought, they aren't that hot, but they will do. As an added bonus, their parents are rich. Maybe Heinz Ketchup will become America's Official Condiment. Not that the Bush Daughters are ugly or anything, I just don't agree with their father's politics.

I'm not saying that John Kerry is necessarily the right guy for the White House, but Howard Dean only has one daughter and she is "a serious ice hockey player." Kerry also seems to have survived ordering Swiss cheese for a cheesesteak too.

- John Kerry for President Blog
- Howard Dean for President Blog

Update: 5.17.04
Alexandra Kerry wears sheer dress, surely winning votes for dad. (via Whatevs)

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 4:59 PM



December 11, 2003

Oatmeal? First Date? Yeah, That's Sexy.

POST #    632

What a pretty couple.

Dennis Kucinich, a long shot for his party's presidential nomination, went on a first date with a New Jersey woman today. She won the date on Politics NH. Their date was a breakfast date at a hotel in Concord, N.H. I think Kucinich got it all wrong. What you want to do is, start off at the hotel and then buy her breakfast after a long night of...discussions on "health care, medical malpractice and prescription drugs," not just meet over oatmeal and discuss those things. This is why you're not polling well. Take a cue from Bill Clinton. Get some ass, get into office. This woman also lives with her boyfriend, what is she doing going on a date?!? And is it me, or do Kucinich and her look kind of similar?

It should be noted that in July, I took an online survey saying that Kucinich is the candidate that most suits my beliefs. This is not an endorsement though. The "little read book" position is officially that we will not endorse any candidates in the primaries and that when the time comes, we will support the candidate with the best chance to replace the current administration and return the United States of America to greatness.

- AP: Kucinich Wins Endorsement, Kiss From Date (via NY Times)
- Kucinich for President Campaign, 2004 (check out the very bottom of the page - Hip Hop for Kucinich...too funny!)

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 4:16 PM



December 10, 2003

Bush to Women: "Let you boobies run free!"

POST #    627

Much has been made of the Bush administration's desire to tax clothing imports from China, specifically, bras, knit fabrics and bathrobes. The coverage of the bra issue is a comedian's dream, but there are clearly other ramifications to starting a trade war with China.

As talks begin in Washington, NY Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof decided to go to China to examine the issue (I just think it's an excuse to travel with his Chinese-American wife). He traveled to the Taishan area of China, where, until a few decades ago, many Chinese immigrants to the U.S. came from. If you've ever been to China before, you know that there are stark differences between a modern city like Shanghai or Hong Kong and rural villages. There has, however, been progress. In Kristof's article, he mentions some of the differences from when he last visited in 1987, paved roads, vehicles, cellphones, to name a few. Kristof also questions the logic behind picking a fight with China, not because of their military largess, but because of it's increasing role in the global economy. It's really something that people should consider. While China seems very dependant on the buying habits of U.S. consumers, China is also buying U.S. debt to stabilize their currency. Doesn't sound too good, does it?

I talked to my dad about this briefly, and he said that the Taishan influence was quite noticeable when he came to the U.S. back in the late 60's. He said that if you tried to order noodles using Mandarin (the "national" language of China) in Chinatown, you would be ignored. Even using Cantonese wouldn't get you that far, which is crazy because almost everyone in Chinatown speaks Cantonese these days.

- NY Times: Attack of the Killer Bras

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:15 AM



December 8, 2003

Kerry in Another Flub, Drops F-Bomb

POST #    622

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Presidential hopeful John Kerry used "fuck" when discussing the "Iraq situation." Now, I'm not sure what Kerry is thinking, but if he wants to be the President, he can't be dropping F-bombs left and right. While the coveted demographic of NASCAR dads might approve, soccer moms may not (2000's key demographic). While I personally feel that it's okay to say "fuck" (since I seem to do it all the time) and the FCC says it's okay, one may want to avoid doing it in an interview while running for prez.

To quote Mr. Kerry, "When I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, 'I'm against everything?' Sure. Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don't think anybody did." With my political leanings, I clearly agree with Kerry, but Mr. Kerry, with this and "Cheesesteak Gate," I think your campaign might be dead in the water.

Thanks to "little read book" reader Michael for passing the article along. Crazy, I now have readers submitting interesting articles, have hung out with bloggers at a party, and have been called a "friend" by Gothamist.

- Rolling Stone: John Kerry's Desperate Hours
- Atlanta Journal Constitution: White House blasts Kerry for X-rated criticism of Bush

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 2:36 PM



December 4, 2003

Nobody Likes a Lying Politician

POST #    607

Hmm...where have I seen this before? Oh yeah! On my site!

The other day, I noticed a new referrer to my site, after going to the site, I found that it was that of a 2004 Presidential hopeful. Who, you ask? Why, none other than Paul Conrad. You're probably still wondering who that is. He appears to be a loony from Brooklyn that is running for president.

He's got some positions and promises, which are all things that legitimate candidates have as well. One of his promises is, "I will never lie, cheat, or steal." In his "About Me" page, he claims that growing up, he learned from his grandparents "that when you borrow something, you return it in better shape than when you took it." Well, after taking a look at the main page of his site, it seems that he copied my post about the GOP and their boat word for word, stealing my ideas without credit. Sounds like a regular old politician to me! He also has a copyright on his site. How do you copyright someone else's writing without quoting them or citing them? Sounds like an outright lie.

I hope that anyone that reads Paul Conrad's site realizes that he's a cheat and a liar just like every other politician or, in his case, a wanna be politician. If you're going to send him a contribution, don't bother, donate it to a worthier cause.

It should be noted that I contacted Paul Conrad by e-mail about his site, but I got no answer. Typical politician.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 7:45 AM



November 25, 2003

A Flub and A Dub for Dubya

POST #    591

It seems like Republicans have continued to (or started to, whatever works for you) manipulate the American public. In last year's State of the Union, "our" "president" read, "It would take one vial, one canister, one crate, slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known." But Bush messed up what he was saying (as if this comes as a shock), stumbling between the words "one" and "vial." He also pronounced the "v" in vial as if it were a "w." In a new commercial by the RNC has removed the pause between the words and replaced the "w" sound. What's next? Fake wars where we seek weapons of mass destructions? Sounds like Wag the Dog to me.

- Technological Dub Erases a Bush Flub for a Republican Ad (I love the quote at the end of the article - "Changing the sense of something is a serious issue, this isn't that. But it does change the sound of leadership. It's relevant for a president whose narrative is that he's inarticulate.")

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 1:40 PM



November 4, 2003

Civic Duty Or Irrational Waste of Time?

POST #    546

JK here performing guest blogging duties, thanks to Tien's gracious willingness to share the little read stage.

Today is Election Day, and with that comes frequent calls to go vote and perform one's "civic duty" (see a couple posts below for an example). Without denying the symbolic power of voting and the importance of the franchise in U.S. history, is it really a civic duty? More precisely, does an individual lose anything by not voting?

Deciding whether to vote is essentially a cost-benefit analysis: If the benefits of voting outweigh the costs, you go vote. What are the costs? The time to register, find a polling place, wait in line, and vote. What are the benefits? The utility you derive from having your preferred candidate or initiative win over another. But when does your vote result in you gaining this utility (or losing it)? Only if you cast the deciding vote in an election. In any New York City election, for example, where turnout is at least in the hundreds of thousands, what is the chance of one person casting the deciding vote? Basically zero. So unless voting is costless, the costs will always outweigh the benefits. Voting, then, would seem to be irrational.

Of course, if everyone thought like this, then nobody would vote, and we wouldn't have a democracy. But of course most people don't seem to think like this. Instead, most people seem to derive benefits beyond the slim chance they will cast the pivotal vote. In short, they seem just to like the act of voting. (I, for example, like pulling the lever in the voting booths). Which is fine and great. But the next time someone tells you he or she didn't vote, think about whether that really is such the bad thing that often it is made out to be.

-- JK

Posted by JK in Politics at 1:01 PM



No Lever Pulled, but Civic Duty Done

POST #    542

I strolled into the Supreme Court building in Brooklyn this morning to cast my vote. After walking past the lax security and to the voting area, I told the poll workers that I recently moved. They gave me a paper ballot to fill out, so I filled it out, filled in some bubbles, and I was done.

The process sounds smooth, but it wasn't quite that easy. The workers seemed unprepared for someone that was filling out a paper ballot - they didn't even have the box or the shield set up. It ended up taking me about 15 minutes to get everything done, which isn't bad at all. And you figure if you're just using the voting machines, then you'll be out of there even quicker.

So, I urge you, concerned citizens to get out and vote. It takes 15 minutes of your time, what do you have to lose?

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:31 AM



November 3, 2003

"Vote. Or Liberty is History."

POST #    540

Tomorrow is election day, a day that everyone should get out and vote. In New York City, there are no major offices under contention, but there are seats in city offices and the courts to be decided. There are also 5 ballot proposals on the ballot - 2 state and 3 city. The biggest issue on the ballot is proposal number 3, which covers city elections. The proposal seeks to end party primaries for the offices of Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and Council member. If approved, the September elections would then be an open election and the top two vote getters would have a run-off in November. Not many people know about this issue, so it seems like it will be decided by a handful of voters. Perhaps I will cast the deciding vote.

- NYC Voter Guide.
- NYC Board of Elections.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 9:39 AM



October 8, 2003

AHH-nold in cal-eeee-for-knee-ah

POST #    439

is it me or has AHH-nold married his non-bodybuilder, female equivalent?

it looks like AHH-nold is now the governor of some state out west. but seriously, how alike to AHH-nold and maria look? slap some muscle onto her and cut that hair, and she could be his body double. they both have the same fake tan, hair color, and similar eyes and mouths. she just needs to bulk up so her face can be a block of muscle like AHH-nold's.

speaking of maria (maybe it should be MAAAH-rh-EEE-AAA), what is she to do now? the ny times takes a look at her. the times also covers some other stories from election day. easterblogg on the sweeping changes this election will cause - none. and don't forget gothamist's account.

you can kind of see it here, but not as much.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 11:43 AM



October 2, 2003

sideshow AHH-nold?

POST #    423

doesn't this look like sideshow bob when he was running for mayor?

the la times reports (free, but painful registration required) that in the past 30 years, AHH-nold has groped 6 women in various locations. three of the women claim that AHH-nold grabbed their breasts, another said that he "reached under her skirt and gripped her buttocks," one said he tried to remover her bathing suit in an elevator, and another woman said he pulled her into his lap and said something about her breasts.

sure the timing of all this is a little suspicious, but i wouldn't want someone like this in office. at least bill was eventually forward with his actions.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 10:12 AM



July 23, 2003

looking ahead to 2004

POST #    246

i stumbled upon a presidential candidate selector for the 2004 election and i gave it a try. it seems that my ideal candidate is dennis kucinich, followed by howard dean, and john edwards.

my top 10 (with percentiles) was:
1. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (100%)
2. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (98%)
3. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (85%)
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (84%)
5. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (81%)
6. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (78%)
7. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (76%)
8. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (74%)
9. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (74%)
10. Bush, George W. - US President (9%)

strange, i dont seem to have too much in common with the current occupant of the white house.

it should be noted that i excluded those that are not in the race yet and those not in one of the two major parties.

Posted by tien mao in Politics at 5:27 PM


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