Michael’s Interesting Stuff One person’s drama is another’s laughter

August 15, 2016

Random Thoughts About the Convention

Filed under: Life,Minnesota,Politics — ecogeek @ 11:35 pm

I just remembered someone who spoke at the convention talking about Hubert Humphrey’s 1948 civil rights speech.  So I went and listened to it.  (Listen here, it’s not long)

I was struck by a multipe things.  The first thing was, wow, he was a really good speaker.  Two, he kind of reminds me of J. P. Barone.  Three, I had no idea the passion that some people had for civil rights in the 1940’s.  But one of the main things that I was struck with, was the fact that back in the day, delegates to the convention could actually *do* things.  It would have been great to at least have a minority report about the TPP.  I think we could have convinced a lot of Hillary delegates to vote with us.

I was also struck with a sense of awe at the fact that I was in the same place as someone who, while only vaguely referenced in U.S. history and Minnesota history, was a very influential person in politics in the 20th century.

And if you’re wondering, the minority report passed by a narrow margin and a large chunk of the south walked out.  Of that convention and the party for good.  (More on that and more, here)

All I can say is, Good Riddance.

July 26, 2016

First Day of Convention

Filed under: Life,Politics — Tags: , — ecogeek @ 3:44 am

Whew, long first day. I’ll start with my thoughts on the whole experience. There are three things that I think the DNC could have done differently to ensure a more “unified” delegation.

1. They could have adopted a much more progressive platform, especially regarding TPP and fracking, and universal health care. They also shouldn’t have pressured Sanders into not bringing minority reports to the floor. (I’ll get into this later)

2. They could have completely eliminated superdelegates (instead of the “unity” commission that is going to “look into” “reducing” the number of superdelegates). Or they could have at the least changed the rules so that superdelegates have to vote the way their state voted. Superdelegates have way too much power. The people on the rules committee learned their lesson from the platform committee and drafted a minority report, but some of the members were pressured into withdrawing their name so those things didn’t get to the floor to be debated either.

3. They could have let the first night be about Bernie since Hilary is technically not the nominee yet. It’s a real slap in the face to just have her talked about the whole night when there was another candidate that got *almost* as many votes. It’s not like it was a landslide or anything. They should have had day one be about him, the roll call on day two, she wins the nomination and then the rest of the convention can be about her.

If these three things had gone a better way, I don’t think there would have been so much discord on the first night.

Now for a bit of explanation. So the committees met before the convention. Rules, credentials, and platform. Most of the “meat” of the convention actually happens at these committee meetings.
At these committee meetings, they will vote for various things. For instance, at the rules committee which determines the rules for the convention, but also the bylaws for the Democratic Party.
The credentials deals with upgrading delegates to alternates and making sure that each states delegation followed the rules that pertain to nominating delegates. The platform committee is the one that
drafts the Party Platform.

If an amendment fails to pass at these committee meetings, and enough of the delegates at the committee (I think 25%) sign a minority report then it can be brought to the floor of the convention for debate and consideration. But skipping this part in various ways as mentioned above, it really made it so that the only reason we are here is to cast our vote for the nominee of the party and that’s it.

There was very positive aspect of yesterday though. When Bernie talked to just his delegates, he told us about a new organization called “Our Revolution”. This organization is going to take the
political revolution forward and work to elect truly progressive candidates up and down the ticket, from school board to county commissioner, to mayor, state congress and federal congress. This
is super exciting and I actually – like pretty much every one of the 1900 delegates – signed up to host a livestream of the first announcement thingie at the end of august.

I’m already going to start work on this by working to get Rick Nolan elected in CD8 in Minnesota and working to get my Senate District to also help him.

September 29, 2010

Good Article

Filed under: Links,Politics,Quotes — Tags: , , — ecogeek @ 11:06 am


One of the best quotes:

“A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.”

September 16, 2010

Good quote

Filed under: Life,Politics,Quotes — Tags: , , — ecogeek @ 2:52 pm

“”A study of 145 preschool children reports, for the first time, that when the concentrations of two common phthalates in mothers’ prenatal urine are elevated their sons are less likely to play with male-typical toys and games, such as trucks and play fighting.” Maybe this will be the issue that makes concerns over toxins crossover to conservativeland. Yes, these plastics are turning your sons into sensitive nancy-boys who are no good at sports!”

August 22, 2010

Hmm… I may have to help out for this election.

Filed under: Links,Politics — Tags: , — ecogeek @ 11:13 pm


June 30, 2010

Kagan’s Nomination Hearing

Filed under: Politics — Tags: — ecogeek @ 9:44 am

A good quote describing a particular line of questioning:

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan endured a rather persnickety line of questioning from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R- Ala.) on the ban on military recruiting at Harvard when she was the dean of the law school. In a pointed challenge, Sessions demanded to know her stance on ‘don’t ask don’t tell,’ the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces.  And without hesitation, the woman who is a bit of an enigma when it comes to her personal views, answered forcefully that the prohibition ‘was unjust. I believed it then and I believe it now.’ Kagan’s principled position is in line with Secretary of Defense Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen. Sessions, not Kagan, is the one out of step on this issue.

April 19, 2010

Good quote

Filed under: Columbia,Politics — ecogeek @ 9:36 am

This quote is from a contender in our mayor race this year.  The one I voted for.

A fateful moment was reached when the Columbia Chamber of Commerce decided to recruit and endorse McDavid for mayor. That moment marks the end of the 104 year history of neutrality of the Chamber in local political affairs. If you thought the Chamber was a community booster, a kind of Welcome Wagon or another League of Women Voters, Think Again!

No longer can the Chamber be considered a public service or benevolent organization whose membership is drawn primarily for the business community but whose aims and interests are identical with those of the community at large. With this endorsement its actions will now be evaluated primarily by the criterion of how it benefits the business community and not the city as a whole.

The process by which this endorsement was decided is largely a mystery. This much we know, it was decided by the directors of the Chamber and not by a polling of the membership.  In a stunning display of hubris, a small group of persons at the top decided, without consultation, on what is good for people at the bottom. Did the directors act ultra vires, that is beyond the scope or in excess of their legal power or authority? Whatever internal controls there may be on the activities of the directors, the net effect of their action is a hi-jacking of the good name of the Chamber for purely political ends. Does the membership really want to take the Chamber down this new segregated path?
— Sid Sullivan, Columbia

October 21, 2009

New Job, New Computer, Nice case.

Filed under: ,Life,Politics,Work — Tags: , , — ecogeek @ 9:54 pm

So yeah, new job.  Oh yeah, I lost my University of Missouri job.  Grant money ran out.  That was a very hectic time.

I lost my job on August 28th, 2009.  After applying like mad to every position I was remotely qualified for I finally got a job at Bright Tree and started on September 28th, 2009.  So very lucky in this economy.

This has the potential to turn out to something really awesome.  As B said, “even if it doesn’t, it will definitely make a story.”  Or something to that effect.  They just got an SIBR NIH grant for phase one.  This apparently is a message to venture capitol people to invest heavily, so this is set to blow up really soon.  (In a good way 😉   )

So, yeah, I have a new job.  🙂  It promises a definite raise at 90 days (pending performance), another at 365 days, and potentially even more when when something happens.  (I can’t say anything about it yet, you know)

One good thing: New computer!  Macbook Pro 15″

One bad thing:  Crappy Insurance.  *sigh* I sure hope we get the public option…

In related news, I just got a Speck case for my new computer (Bert by the way), I’ll have pics soon, but it’s awesome.  🙂

Completely distracted by ‘How I Met Your Mother’, done.

August 27, 2009

So I went to a town hall…

Filed under: Life,Politics — Tags: , — ecogeek @ 5:14 am

I went to a town hall with Claire McCaskill and all I got was these sore legs.  Well that and a distinct feeling of a loss of faith.  Not a loss of faith in any gods or goddesses.  That’s still intact.  But I feel a loss of faith with my countrymen and countrywomen.  I used to think we could do anything, fight anyone or thing, and I don’t necessarily mean militarily.  But I’m starting to believe they won…

I know this is what they want.  – Sorry, the “they” being Corporations – They want us to give up.  So I guess I’m helping them win, but…  I just don’t see how we can win.  I mean, like Chelsea pointed out to me today, our public school system from day one is designed to turn out drones.  Well, it’s working.  They are being told what to think and buying it.

With that said, let me pull my tweets into a story.

So yeah, first thing I see after walking probably half a mile or more and getting in the extremely long line was a woman passing out flyers on how the health care reform was basically going to mandate abortions.  WTF?  Seriously?  You believe this stuff?  *sigh*  Anyway, later on she cleared this little misinformation lie up.  The bill allows – notice that, allows, doesn’t force – allows doctors to discuss abortions.  They asked her if she supported an amendment to not allow federal funding for abortions, and she had to tell these people that it was already that way.  Thats why the amendment died.  It’s already the law.  You would have to specifically add an amendment to allow funding.

So I’m standing there in the hot sun and the pro-reform Health Care for America Now people start passing out water, so I take one gratefully and notice one of the anti-reform people take one, I didn’t think anything of it until I saw them laughing and joking because they got water from the pro-reform people.  I think it’s quite easy to spot the decent human being in this scenario.

As I looked around, I noticed that most of the people against the public option are near medicare age.  (Including the woman texting “Pray 4 the truth 2 come out”  1.  Are you charged per character? 2.  You’re too old for AOLbonics.)  So I guess it’s okay for them to get Medicare but no one else should get “socialized” healthcare.  That’s the main essence of this whole “debate”  I get/have mine and FUCK EVERYBODY ELSE DAMNIT!  *deep breath*  Okay…

Of course they have to trot out the dead fetus poster, because that’s exactly what this is all about.  Asscobs.  (My dictionary suggested Ass-cobs and Ass cobs.  I think one word is right…)

I was all set to be annoyed at the opening prayer, especially when he started with god of all people.  But then he surprised me by talking up Ted Kennedy.  Especially how he worked for healthcare for all.  And he mentioned healthcare for everyone at least three times during the prayer.  So that was some nice sanity during the lunacy.  The lunacy coming back strong when some idiot yelled “chappaquiddick” right after the prayer.  Classy.

She countered the whole “death panels” “argument” (among many other things).  Basically all it does is reimburse doctors for discussing end of life options with patients.  And gets the family together so that everyone is on the same page.  She even talked about the irony of the whole misinformation lie.  It’s not doctors deciding when people can die, it specifically puts that decision in the patients hands.

And that’s about it.  I kind of shut off after about 40 minutes.  It was just too much…  It was like these people were 12 years old.  Hell even younger than that.  Yelling MINE, MINE, MINE.

All these people are deathly, and in some cases that’s not hyperbole, deathly afraid of their taxes going up if we got single payer.  I went and looked at the tax I would be paying in Canada, 15%.  Tax I pay here, 15%.  Wow, would you look at that.  The same.  But, but!  When you add in the health care:  Canada 15%, Here 31%.  Even if my taxes were to go up say 5% to pay for the Universal Health Care.  I would still save 11%.  That’s a large chunk of a paycheck…

Okay, I feel on the verge of rambling and I think is my longest post ever…

So let me sum this all up by saying that this whole experience is causing me to seriously consider moving to another country.  Canada is looking nice…

And it’s not like I would be leaving my country.  My country left me…

August 18, 2009

I wonder what’s in store for Glenn Beck in the afterlife…

Filed under: Links,Politics — Tags: , — ecogeek @ 2:12 pm


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