The New OC and What it Means

Orange Country: not just for John Birchers anymore.

Orange County, California, historically known for its reputation as a bastion of conservatism, is changing.  In my opinion, for the better, and that change can provide a valuable example for the country as a whole, particularly in terms of demographics and party affiliation.

In the not-so-distant past, the area was considered to be solidly Republican.  Demographic changes, namely, the influx of Latino and Asian immigrants, have provided an opening for Democratic candidates, many Asian and Latino themselves.  I don’t think we’re going to see a wholesale realignment of politics that favors the Democrats, but American society as a whole is going to become less white, more multicultural.  And in that process, there’s going to be a realignment.  Both parties are going to have to solidly make their cases to a lot of demographic groups in the coming years as the ranks of newcomers increase.  And the Democrats shouldn’t take it for granted that they’re going to pick up all of the newcomers.  By the same token, in the long run, the GOP isn’t doing themselves any favors with loudly and enthusiastically promoting policies that are deeply unpopular with Latinos, the nation’s largest minority, and among the fastest growing.  Many Latinos just view it as one more way in which the GOP has figured out to say to Latinos: ‘We don’t want you.’  And while that strategy may yield significant gains in the short term, namely in the upcoming midterm elections, in the long haul, they’re a death sentence.

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Trust Me!


David Paterson: the one man in NY politics who makes Eliot Spitzer look downright Churchillian

Whenever anyone says this, beware.  When a politician says this, run for the hills.  Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) took office not all that long ago and will be leaving office shortly, much to nobody’s chagrin.  And even as the august New York Times has concluded, even by ‘Albany standards,’ that he’s completely full of it.  They put together an article, and I enjoyed it.  Not so much for the news itself, because it’s not really news (Headline: Politician lies!  The only response I would expect that to elicit is a collective shrug), but more for its style of writing.  Mostly due to the fact that the only conclusion that you can draw from it is that Paterson is nothing more than a goddamned liar, and they never actually come right out and call him as such.  I’m not sure if this is either tact, or a massive case of passive aggression.  In either event, I found it amusing.  Enjoy!

USA Today to become all Charts and Graphics


On the verge of becoming 'Watch Dick Run!'

USA Today, the second largest circulating newspaper in the US, announced a restructuring plan yesterday to its staff, which entails trimming 9% of their labor force and moving to a different organizational structure featuring ‘content clusters.’  I don’t know what that is, and I’m betting that a good number of the people left at USA Today don’t either.

Their other goal was to move away from ‘print.’  How is this even possible?  Every time that I see USA Today on a newsstand, it’s already pretty much all pretty pictures and infographics, usually about inane topis.  My father’s former douchebag boss was prominently featured in the ‘What do you Think?’ section, which, at least to my father, spoke volumes.  I have a feeling that USA Today is probably going to eventually end up being used exclusively either for pet urinary purposes or teaching kindergartners how to read.

And a Member of Congress that’s not a Buffoon

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) an unabashed liberal, came out yesterday in favor of spending cuts in the federal budget, specifically entitlement programs, the sacred cow of liberals.  Blumenauer is the kind of West Coast guy (he represents Portland) who takes a bike to work.  In fact, he founded the Bicycle Caucus in the House.  His arguments concerning the budget basically follows this: if we don’t make cuts now, we’re going to have to make deeper, more painful cuts in the future, that jeopardize the very existence of the social programs that liberals profess to hold dear.

He likes bikes.

And he’s right.  He’s right about this, and he’s a rare voice of bi-partisan sanity in Congress these days who’s willing to buck his party and stand for the right policy, even though it’s not going to be popular.  And, as a side note, Blumenauer has a  history of being right on policy questions, well before his time.  In 2004 and 2005 he predicted, correctly, that the Gulf Coast of the US was in dire danger from an above average strength hurricane.  Specifically he said:

‘Mr. Speaker, I recently had the opportunity to view the devastation in Southeast Asia as a result of the tsunami. As appalled as I was by what I saw, I must confess that occasionally my thoughts drifted back to the United States. What would have happened if last September, Hurricane Ivan had veered 40 miles to the west, devastating the city of New Orleans? One likely scenario would have had a tsunami-like 30-foot wall of water hitting the city, causing thousands of deaths and $100 billion in damage….The experience of Southeast Asia should convince us all of the urgent need for congressional action to prevent wide-scale loss of life and economic destruction at home and abroad. Prevention and planning will pay off. Maybe the devastation will encourage us to act before disaster strikes.’

And that was exactly what happened.  Members of Congress: take heed.  This guy knows what he’s talking about.

And for the Democrats…

It’s looking likely that Jim Traficant, convicted felon and current candidate for a US House seat in Ohio, may just be able to get on the ballot this coming November.

Beam me up!

Traficant previously represented Youngstown and Akron in Ohio, the area in which he born and raised.  During his time in the house, he was known for wearing his hair in a ridiculously high pompadour, wearing denim suits and bolero ties, even though he was from Ohio, not Texas.  People would tune into C-Span solely to watch his bizarre ‘speeches’ (tirades), which he always ended with the phrase ‘Beam me up…I yield back the fact.’

The Congressman was also a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, contending at one point that Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) was elected on the votes of illegal immigrants, an allegation that was ultimately demonstrated to be baseless.  Sanchez had her revenge when she was the one to introduce the bill to expel Traficant from the House after he was convicted on charges of using campaign funds for personal use.  The vote was 420-1 (the sole Traficant supporter being the moral paragon of Gary Condit, of Chandra Levy fame).

Traficant was sentenced to jail for his crimes, and was released last year.  And he’s back at it, running for his old seat as an independent.  Again, for the same reasons that I’m glad that Ben Quayle is in the running for a seat in the House, I’m glad Jim Traficant is around.  Thanks Jim!

Like Father Like Son

Please vote for me. Please?

Ben Quayle, the 33 year old son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, pulled off an unexpected victory in a crowed GOP Arizona primary this past week for a US House seat, finishing first in a pack of ten contenders.  After allegations that he was writing under a pseudonym for a website called thedirty.com (I won’t even bother to describe its content, you all have good enough imaginations), he squandered an early lead in the polls based largely off of his name recognition and an early fundraising advantage.  He was so convinced of his own impending defeat that he cancelled his own victory party.

And you know what?  I’m glad he won.  This gaffe-prone young man is bound to provide endless comic fodder if he is indeed elected in the upcoming midterms, which, incidentally, is suddenly looking a lot more competitive for the Democrats with respect to this seat.  Let the hilarity ensue!

What Does He Want? A Cookie?

Ken Mehlman is nothing more than a modern-day Uncle Tom.

Traitor.

As a gay man, I am sick to death of politicians who are unwilling to express their private, gay-friendly views, for fear of the political fallout.  In fact, some of these politicians are willing to legislate against us.  Take, for example, Bill Clinton.  During his tenure as President, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that prevented the federal government from recognizing same sex marriages, even if they were legal on the state level.  In addition to being a clearly unconstitutional law, it was mean spirited.  After he left office, Bill Clinton explained his support for the bill as being necessary for his political survival, and was sorry that he had signed it, indicating that he was presently supportive of equal rights for gays and lesbians.  This was well after the point where he held any significant power to help us.  Thanks Bill, for nothing.  Literally.

And now we have the case of Ken Mehlman.  Mehlman was George W. Bush’s campaign manager in 2004, and subsequently he served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee.  The 2004 presidential campaign saw the rise of gay marriage as an issue that appeared on the ballot in many swing states (see: Ohio)  that year, an issue that the GOP successfully exploited.  Some people are actually of the opinion that this was the issue that sealed the deal for Kerry.   And Mehlman charged right ahead, promoting and fostering this atmosphere of hate and intolerance.

Mehlman said that he didn’t realize until recently that he was gay.  Bullshit.  Mehlman said that nobody except himself knew until he came out.  Except for the fact it was an open secret in politics for years.  Mehlman said that Bush was ‘incredibly supportive’ when he came out to him.  That’s great for Mehlman, but it sucks for the rest of us.  Bush politicized my sexual orientation to a degree that’s never been seen before in Presidential politics.

Ken Mehlman is a man who is, by all appearances, deeply in denial, still, about his own identity.  Some have said that his coming out would prompt a wave of gay bashing from the left.  I’m not bashing Ken Mehlman because he’s gay.  I’m bashing Ken Mehlman because, at the expense of his own dignity, fueled by the allure of career advancement, he cynically and immorally exploited his gay and lesbian peers for his own selfish gains.

The man is nothing more than a highly paid whore and a full time coward.  He’s signed on to Ted Olsen’s and David Boies’ quest to overturn Prop 8.  Given all of his past activities, this is, quite literally, the least that he could do.  I hope that after this, Ken Mehlman disappears, and we never hear from this hypocritical coward again.