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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 40 most recent ones recorded in bryguy's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, November 6th, 2008
2:16 pm
Coincidence?
Republicans are barely holding on to enough seats to prevent democrats from having a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. Would it surprise you to learn that recently convicted felon Ted Stevens has not yet lost his re-election bid in Alaska, and that oh- turnout in Alaska was mysteriously down 11% this year vs. 2004 despite 30k new voters registered and record primary returns?

Strangely enough, Saxby Chambliss in Georgia, famous for airing photos of Osama Bin Laden in his ads attacking disabled war veteran Max Cleland in his 2002 Senate bid, is in line for a recount in a race where 11% of the votes seem to have just never been counted.

It's like they settled on 11% being the most believable margin. I don't think we've heard the last of these stories. Take them with a big grain of salt, but don't forget them.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
1:55 pm
You've Done Quite Enough Already
According to Newsweek:


Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.


The whole article is really worth reading, lots of personality tidbits that were embargoed until after election day. The spending spree was much more extensive than we thought, and she imposed on staffers to use their personal credit cards to cover some of the charges. Plus Obama drops an F-bomb.
9:17 am
Franken?
It looks like Al Franken lost his senate race by about 300 votes, out of about 3 million. or about 1/10,000th of the electorate. The state appears to have a recount rule that triggers at 1/2 pecent (or 1/200th, roughly 50 times greater than the tally difference!), and recounts have overturned results in the past, most recently I'm thinking of the Senate race in Washington in 2000. Of course there was another recount epic fail in that election year that I think everyone remembers.

Update: AP is saying the margin is about 800 votes, but that's still very much within the roughly 15,000 vote margin required to avoid an automatic recount.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
11:09 pm
pinch me
am i dreaming?
1:14 pm
Election Anticipation
I haven't been this excited for a political event since Fitzmas, about 6 Friedman Units ago!
Monday, November 3rd, 2008
12:25 pm
No Time Left For October Surprises
Election's tomorrow and still no crazy stunts or revelations, like McCain wrestling Osama Bin Laden to the ground on the floor of the NYSE or something. Not much time to get word out, and something like 30 million have already voted.

Strangely, Sarah Palin still has not released her medical records. What the heck is in there that's so secret journalists can't even see it in a closed room the way other candidates have done? Most people have stopped wondering but I'll admit to being very curious. Really has nothing to do with the election, unless somehow *this* would be the thing to make you not trust her, and honestly, I don't think anyone's in that category.
Friday, October 31st, 2008
6:37 pm
Trick or Treat: Mandatory
I am handing out candy, and insisting that every kid old enough to do so say "trick or treat" before taking a piece of candy from the bowl. Some of them are just rushing up and trying to grab a piece without even making eye contact. My candy will not be won so easily, wee ghoulies!
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
12:12 pm
Dreams
I had a dream last night that there was this T Rex in this football field, and the game announcers in their booth were chuckling that the guy it was chasing, like a rodeo clown, kept frustrating it by disappearing behind various barriers after taunting it. The announcers said "well that's it- 2 hours in the ring with the T Rex! Come on out!" So the rodeo clown guy comes out from behind his barrier holding a big sign that says "2 Hours!" and the crowd goes wild, then the T Rex promptly eats him. Rampage ensues and from this point forward the dream resembles a farcical rendition of the movie Cloverfield. It's like it was a scary nightmare that my brain was trying to make funny, but it ended up being neither.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
1:47 pm
Political Climate
You know what I don't think I've heard anyone say this year? I haven't heard anyone talking about picking between the lesser of two evils in this election. I'm sure if I talked to more conservatives I'd hear it a little more often, but you've got to admit Obama is inspiring no matter who you are, kind of like Bill Clinton in 92, but without the spectre of Gennifer Flowers hanging over his head.
Thursday, October 16th, 2008
4:30 pm
Who is Joe Plumber?
Lol- it turns out that he's neither Joe nor a plumber, nor even a taxpayer. His first name is Sam, middle name is Joe. He's not licensed as a plumber in Ohio. And he has liens against him for non-payment of the taxes he already owes; guess he's not as close to buying that 250k business as he thought. Also, if he's not going to pay his taxes anyway, who cares what the rate is?

I mean... wow. The Palin "vetting" process, such as it was (or wasn't, not to put too fine a point on it) was no fluke. What kind of trouble would McCain get us into as President if this is the sort of attention to detail he demands from his staff? I mean, this is beyond partisan schadenfreude at this point and into "srsly, wtf John?" territory.
11:06 am
Fishy
Anyone remember Rockey Vaccarella? He was a GOP operative who pretended to be a "Katrina Victim" driving his trailer from New Orleans to Washington DC to give Bush a photo op. They tried to sell him as a regular guy surprised to be taken into the White House at the end of his pilgrimage, and the press ate it up before they realized who he really was, but didn't bother covering the deceit in any signifcant way after the fact.

I can't help but think that Joe the Plumber smells a bit like Rockey. I don't think he helps McCain much anyway, but if this guy turns out to be a fraud... well, probably nothing more will happen really, much as I wish a Republican could receive his comeuppance every now and again.
12:18 am
Debate
I actually watched the whole thing this time rather than just listening on the radio.

McCain did thematically drive the debate with his Joe Plumber anecdote. It doesn't matter if Obama was right about Joe, people were empathizing with this Joe guy and his noble struggle to shift from labor to management in the face of oppressive taxation. But as Peggy Noonan so aptly noted, narratives don't work well for Republicans most of the time. I think Bush's "I'm stupid but not a drooling imbecile so don't expect much" narrative is an exception. The Joe Plumber thing did give Obama one opportunity that he hit out of the park though, and that was the answer to McCain's question about how much the fine was for Joe Plumber not to provide health care for his employees. "Zero" was the answer with good explanation- small businesses are explicitly exempted. It was one of many moments where you just felt like Obama had a deeper understanding of the issue while McCain was trying to hold ground on his deflated talking point.

I was surprised that Obama didn't seem to throw legal originalists even the slightest bone, saying that he'd pick judges based on fairness, justice, and intellect. A lot of rabid conservatives are going to see that as proof that Obama wants activist judges, but they weren't going to vote for him anyway. Still, this was probably the single issue where Obama seemed least willing to compromise.

The Ayers attack, and the fact that McCain kept pushing, gave him the chance to talk about the calls for his assassination at McCain's rallies. McCain gets all teary-eyed b/c someone equates him with George Wallace, but then belittles the significance of the hatred they're whipping up? I think most people watching will take Obama's side on that one.

McCain said Obama should have run 4 years ago if he wanted to run against Bush. Obama didn't really try to prove that McCain was the successor to Bush; it's enough that he's a republican I guess. McCain's emphatic statement isn't enough to get the Bush albatross off his neck, even if it gets played in the highlight reels for a few days; in fact, it's one of those denials that reminds you why he's trying so hard to get you to believe him.

Overall, Obama was largely reactive but knowledgeable and unflappable. McCain was irritable and jumpy, but drove home his attacks more confidently than in the other debates and managed to find a theme that shifted the conversation a bit. I expect Obama's lead will shrink just a bit until Sarah Palin does something crazy again.
Monday, October 13th, 2008
10:47 am
Misc.
I have been slacking off a bit on running since the 5k a couple weeks ago. Must remedy that. My brother in law pitched me on playing hockey with him and I'm mildly tempted. Time to brush up on my backwards skating: -=-=-=-=

Went to my sister's housewarming party yesterday. She was nervous that no one would show up, but the party really started cooking during the 3rd hour of 4 scheduled. Still, even though nearly everyone invited showed up, there was enough food for 2x as many. It was a nice party and it's a beautiful home.

I got shuffled around a bit at work to a new boss, although I don't expect my responsibilities to change very much. Guess we'll see. They got donuts to mark the occasion which seems silly, but whatever- free donuts.

We decided to extend the life of sonbanon's computer by installing a new $50 pci (!) video card rather than upgrading the whole thing now. The computer works fine for her purposes I guess. I had to touch... Windows... to make it work. I feel dirty.
Friday, October 10th, 2008
6:14 pm
I don't get it
Sometimes, someone says something so much better than you could say it yourself.


And you know, it sort of makes sense. If I thought Obama was a Muslim terrorist communist committing perpetual voter fraud, I might get mad too at the prospect of an Obama presidency. And so that’s what you have — a lot of angry, proudly uninformed conservatives out there. And they’re not going away.


Proudly uninformed. That seems to be the key.
Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
9:04 am
Monday, October 6th, 2008
12:03 pm
save vs. pun damage
My tires needed some air after a family trip to Erie yesterday. When I pulled up to the air pump, my sister was aghast that the machine required 75 cents to operate. As I fished for my 3 quarters, I said "What are you gonna do; it's inflation."
Friday, October 3rd, 2008
12:19 am
Reaction
I listened to the debate on the radio so there was probably a lot of body language I missed, but here's what I heard. Biden came across a bit wonky, heavy on the lists and figures, but basically the same basically decent, thoughtful, and passionate guy he's always been. Palin, as with the Alaska gubernatorial debates, resorted to a lot of platitudes and tried to drain every issue of whatever nuance it might have had to fit her simplified understanding of world affairs.

She said she supports full civil rights for gay people? Um, yay, but also, shyeahh....

She announced early on that she was going to answer the questions she wanted to answer and ignore the moderator, and made a point of talking about "the filter" and speaking directly to "the Americans". If that's what she was doing, let's refilter it please?

She didn't get stumped like she did with Gibson and Couric because there were few followup questions and no demands for specifics. I've always wished presidential debates could have short cross-examination periods where the candidates could have real give and take instead of dueling campaign-stop speeches, but I'm dreaming. Anyway, she stopped the bleeding a bit by demonstrating she's not a complete idiot, but when she says things like "I've been at this what, 5 weeks now", it doesn't matter if people know how empty a vessel she is in terms of policy knowledge; she came across as unready for the awesome power she's asking people to give her. She's confirmed the impression that she's unprepared, gamboling freely from one poorly thought out answer to another hoping that she'll never have to give a press conference to resolve all the crazy crap she's said. The illusion that she's a tough corruption fighter is gone, instead she's McCain's eager apprentice, improvising where experience can't inform her judgment.
Sunday, September 28th, 2008
9:33 pm
Great Race
Ran the 5k. Much better than last year although my official time doesn't reflect it; we spent the first half mile or so stuck behind endless hordes of walking people. Why didn't they stay to the right instead of clogging the course like a human Pachinko machine? I will always wonder.

Anyway, pace was officially just under a ten minute mile but really a bit better. Last year we didn't have any real trouble being stuck behind slowbies. More importantly, last year I suffered through the last mile, this year it was not bad at all. I couldn't have done this at all two years ago, couldn't even run a mile without stopping when I started getting in shape for the wedding.

It's nice having a benchmark like this once a year, at least for me. It's easy to let time fly by and wonder what happened isn't it?
Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
12:53 pm
Hornworm
A little searching for caterpillars that eat tomatoes (tomatos? Help me Dan Quayle!) tells me that our guest is a tomato hornworm. It's a beautiful caterpillar, and it's going to grow into an ugly brown 5-spotted hawkmoth. Bummer.

2:02 am
History of VP's and Sarah Palin
A really fascinating look at veeps through history. 12 minutes, but well worth it.

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