Category Archives: Politics

2008 SF Progressive Voter Guides

As many of you know, I run a local activist group started during the 2004 election, called the Local Lefties. Since that time, we’ve held periodic fundraisers around local and national progressive issues.
Now, after a bit of a hiatus, we’re gearing-up again for some action with election fund/awareness-raisers, phone banking and some fun debate-watching evenings as well! Sign up for the listserv if you’d like to be informed of upcoming events (I promise you won’t be inundated – we send typically one email bi-weekly).
After Super Tuesday, I’ll post out our next few events so you can begin to mark your calendars. For now, I wanted to share some voter guides from local progressive organizations.
Progressive Voter Guides
Speak Out has a nifty graphic comparing many different progressive voter guides with links to each – check it out!
See you at the polls on Tuesday February 5!
And now for a little political humor courtesy of SFist
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Sexism Still Alive and Well in the Political Process

So leave it to election-year politics to draw me back into blogging!

Maureen Dowd’s editorial on Hillary Clinton’s ‘tears’ appeared in the New York Times yesterday and it was so incredibly sexist it made me sick to my stomach.

Now today, this editorial appeared stating that women must’ve seen Obama as the ‘popular kid who never talked to them’ and that every woman who’s been a multi-tasker suddenly was on Hillary’s side.
Now I recognize that voters can be motivated by all sorts of fickle & inconsequential things but it certainly seems like the interpretation of this particular voting shift has been extremely patronizing and sexist. Very few people focus on the fact that Hillary seems to do well when she can connect with smaller groups of voters which is more possible in New Hampshire. And maybe the almost-crying did humanize her and that helped with the vote but the way that it’s being written about is, to me, barely-disguised sexism and not at all what we’d see if a male candidate did the same.
The Daily Show at least recognized this and did a great montage of male politicians breaking down as well as pointing out that she didn’t even really CRY for chrissakes! I couldn’t find the full clip with the politicians breaking down but this shows the clip and how ridiculously everyone reacted.
In addition to posting these two editorials, The New York Times has been so blatantly pro-Obama lately that I’ve begun to lose confidence in it’s ability to accurately report on this election. And I’m not anti-Obama by any stretch (would easily campaign for him should he win the nomination), but I would hope for unbiased reporting, and editorials from many sides of each argument. New York Times don’t fail me now!
And I don’t even have time to touch on the maddening treatment of Hillary in the conservative press. The Washington Post printed this cartoon on January 10…
picture-2.png
Where is your embarrassment people! Ugh.
Addendum – This op-ed piece by Gloria Steinem appeared a day before the Maureen Dowd column. Definitely worth reading and glad to see the NY Times had presented this.

A Grand Old Time with the Grand Old Party

Well, as many of you know, I delight in nothing more than the myriad ways we on the left have devised to keep from taking a shotgun to our heads during the current administration’s reign.

A regular liberal-angst-sublimating favorite of mine is The Daily Show on Comedy Central. John Stewart and the TDS staff do an incredible job of hilariously showcasing much of the bad behavior currently displayed by our governing officials.

Not that I need to tell you nice people this. The Daily Show has more than 1.5 million viewers nightly on average. In fact, people have begun to argue more and more recently that TDS is a valid news source – at times providing coverage of issues our major news networks fail to cover or fail to cover accurately. The more I watch the show, the more I’m inclined to agree.

Interestingly enough, a National Annenberg Election Survey in 2004 found that fans of The Daily Show weremore likely to have greater knowledge of the facts of the presidential campaign than folks who relied on other tv news sources , even newspapers.  Also…

“People who watch The Daily Show are more interested in the presidential campaign, more educated, younger, and more liberal than the average American or than Leno or Letterman viewers,” said Dannagal Goldthwaite Young, a senior analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center , who conducted the research for this report. “However, these factors do not explain the difference in levels of campaign knowledge between people who watch The Daily Show and people who do not. In fact, Daily Show viewers have higher campaign knowledge than national news viewers and newspaper readers – even when education, party identification, following politics, watching cable news, receiving campaign information online, age, and gender are taken into consideration.”

BAM!

Now, of course, as the article continues, this doesn’t necessarily mean that folks who watch The Daily Show are receiving allof their info from the show. People who are drawn to the show are probably more likely to seek out political info from other sources as well. I do know, though, that I personally have seen facts and video presented on The Daily Show that I likely would have never seen on a traditional news show and the information is often presented in a way that highlights hypocrisies and outright lies from certain elected officials (such as the video clip of Bush saying he absolutely never said he was unconcerned about Osama bin Ladin juxtaposed with the earlier clip of him saying just that). And I have most certainly seen TDS segments that have caused me to look further into the facts of a particular news story.

Regardless of whether or not The Daily Show provides us with new information, the Annenberg Election Survey does provide an argument against the scorn  directed at TDS viewers along the lines of ‘kids today are getting dumber about politics by only relying on a self-proclaimed fake news-show as their source of information’.

Speaking of fake news, those of you familiar with Robert Greenwald’s movie OutFoxed (documentary/expose of the Fox news channel) will remember the frightening facts it presented regarding how regular Fox viewers scored on some basic news facts. Just in case you forgot…

• Fox News viewers were three times more likely to think that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq than people who watch NPR or PBS
• Fox News viewers were seven times more likely to think world opinion favored the U.S. invasion of Iraq than viewers of NPR or PBS
• Fox News viewers are four times more likely to believe in 2004 that the U.S. had found links between Iraq and al-Qaeda

And again I say EGAD!

Alright, before I get too long-winded on this subject (too late), I must do what I set out to do when I started this post and that is, to share this hilarious & frustrating summation of the Foley page scandal. It seems like at least once a week that I see a Daily Show segment I feel like everyone should watch. Don’t worry! I promise not to load the blog with TDS clips but I wouldurge you to check out YouTube with the search words ‘The Daily Show’ on a regular basis if you’re not already a devoted fan (I know many of you already are and might I add, good for you).

In other news on things-that-keep-me-from-slitting-my-wrists-while-Bush-is-president I give you the Bush Speech Writercontributed by the much-beloved Turadg Aleahmad from far away in Pittsburgh. Enjoy!

-ALV-

Liberals – Please Breed!

Ok – so I promise that I won’t always make my posts political but this is way more scary than regular old politics. This has to do with Republicans out-breeding Democrats by 41% – egad!

“But wait…,” I can hear you protesting, “Certainly this can only help us since most kids rebel against their parents political beliefs, right?”. Apparently, and horrifyingly not true. The most recent studies of this topic found that four out of five people grow up voting the same way their parents did (you see, you’re really not a snowflake after all). So you realized what you have to do, don’t you? Get out there and start making some babies folks!

Luckily, compared to some of the things I’ll try to persuade you to do in the course of this blog, this could be the most fun to execute – except for the, you know, uh, nine months and 18 years of actually raising the children but stay focused on the SEX people!! The sweaty, writhing, unprotected, progressive SEX!!

My new favorite Chronicle columnest (aside from the ever-fabulous Violet Blue and her Open Source Sex column) is Mark Morford whose RSS feed has already provided me endless hours of hilarity while I was supposed to be doing something else. His perspective on this matter is particularly enjoyable.

You have your mission! Get out there, you crazy liberals, and start humpin’!

-ALV-

Keith Olbermann gets eloquently angry

So I know we’re not *really* supposed to post until Oct 1 but Keith Olbermann’s response to Clinton’s interview on FOX news I thought was worth sharing.  I think the anger of progressives and the Democratic party towards the Bush administration is peaking in a new way and with some interesting (and hopefully mostly positive) effects.  Clinton said in his recent New Yorker interview that he felt that one fault of the Democrats in 2004 was they they were not willing to really fight back against the Republican propoganda machine’s attacks (one example being Kerry’s lack of response to the Swift Boat allegations).  I’m hoping that that the heat in Mr. Olbermann’s voice is possibly one of many signals that this is changing.  I know at least that I and many around me are angry and ready to fight although let’s hope our collective liberal anger can be used for positive action & smart strategy rather than it’s shadow brethren of overwhelmed paralysis or knee-jerk reactions.  I think Keith Olbermann’s heated, intelligent, eloquent statement is a positive start.

Stop the anger paralysis!  Get involved!
This event sponsored by DemocracyAction on Tuesday of this week should be fun. 
http://www.democracyaction.org/calendar/view_entry.php?id=671&date=20061003
If you can’t make it check out other ways to help at www.democracyaction.org

-ALV-