allisnow: (usa // killer robots)
Got my Romney 2012 decal in the mail today.

Let the dirty looks from coworkers and parents begin!

(Although, my NObama sticker in '08 didn't get my car keyed. There may be hope for our country...)
allisnow: (usa // woodstock flag)
So here's a (semi) interesting work/politics story for you.

You have to understand that the school I work at as a student population that's maybe 60% Hispanic, 20% Asian, and 10% for both blacks and whites. During the 2008 Presidential race, most of the older black students (say, 7-10 years old) would eagerly voice their support for Obama. There were Obama t-shirts and hats and the whole nine yards. There was also a lot of support for him among the other students, especially the other minorities. (Of course, most of them didn't care either way. These are elementary school kids.)

Of course when you talk about politics and kids, it's not so much about what the kids think as what they're hearing and learning from their parents legal guardians. You can't get into discussions with a 3rd grader on the merits of one political party over another, so I don't try. When my students asked me who I was going to vote for, I told them, in essence, that I didn't think it was my place to influence them towards one side or the other. Sometimes I wonder if this ever got back to my colleagues with the life-sized Obama posters in their classrooms.

The other day I was teaching my 3rd grade reading group - 90% Hispanic - about laws and rules, and how the Constitution sets the rules for what the government can and can't do. One example was that it ensures we have elections so that the same people don't always get to be in charge (no, I didn't go into term limits). The kids have seen a lot of posters around town for the local election next month, but they asked about the Presidential election. I said something to the effect of:

"In November of next year all the citizens in the country will vote to decide if they want Obama to be president for another four years, or if they want someone else."

There was a pause while the kids digested this - after all, during the 2008 election they were all about 5 years old. Then one of my favorites (teachers aren't supposed to have favorites, but we totally do) says thoughtfully, as though having come to an important decision, "Hmm... someone else."

Back in 2008, I don't know exactly what the reaction to such a heretical statement would have been, but there would have been one. I held my breath a second to see if this poor little kid was going to get torn a new one... but a couple of the other students nodded in agreement, some looked lost, and a few, I'm pretty sure, couldn't tell you what country's elections we were talking about in the first place*.

Like I said, a 9 year old's opinion about national politics isn't indicative of anything as much as what he's hearing from other sources, and those sources are usually family, unless he's some weirdo CSPAN addict. But in my small sample there has certainly been a big shift in attitudes. It'll be interesting to see what the next year brings.

* True story: In several instances I've had Hispanic kids assure me that either we're in Mexico, or that Mexico is one of the states in the USA, or that they're not American when I know from their files that they were born a couple miles away. Goodbye, sweet America.
allisnow: (usa // no aliens)
I have to admit, I literally do not understand the rabid opposition to Arizona's SB1070. I can't decide if the most fervent opposition is spurred by concerns that the law will be abused by police or if it's a knee-jerk reaction to something seen as targeting a certain ethniity (i.e. would the Jesse Jacksons of the world be so up in arms if we had Canadians pouring across the border instead?)

Anyway, I found a really good piece on the whole issue over at PJM.
As I understand the opposition to the recent Arizona law, it boils down to something like the following: the federal government’s past decision not to enforce its own law should always trump the state’s right to honor it. That raises interesting questions: Does the state contravene federal authority by exercising it? If the federal government does not protect the borders of a state, does the state have a right to do it itself?

Read the whole thing. This isn't about race.

ETA: What a headline: Illegal immigrants plan to leave over Ariz. law

Of course, not so great news for those of us in neighboring states.
allisnow: (etc // mob yay!)
OMG black people at a Tea Party... and they weren't lynched? Get out!

allisnow: (etc // mob yay!)
10 days left until another round of Tax Day Tea Parties take place across the country, and there's some interesting polls out regarding the Tea Party movement.

Ed at Hot Air pretty much says it perfectly, so I'm just going to piggyback on him.

For the past few months, media outlets have described Tea Party followers as racist, reactionary, Birthers, and just about every insult one could find in the dictionary. CNN’s Anderson Cooper helped popularize a sexual slur as a description for the group that others in the media continue to use: teabaggers. However, a new poll by the Winston Group of a thousand registered voters returned some surprising results, including the fact that 13% of the Tea Party followers are Democrats:

Read more... )

Racist, reactionary, teabagging Democrats, I guess...

Then Gallup has a poll showing that Tea Party's are actually a pretty decent demographic representation of America:

Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That's the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.

Interestingly, a Rasmussen poll puts the Tea Party movement up against Obama himself:
On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.

Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.

The Tea Party vs Congress numbers are more laughable: 47% to 26%.

Dan Quayle is worried about the Tea Party 'going Perot', i.e. becoming a spoiler in upcoming elections.
There's a well-worn path of third-party movements in American history, and it leads straight to a dead end. A cause gathers strength, and its message speaks to millions; then, amid the excitement, a new political party is born, only to perform poorly on Election Day and disappear a cycle or two later. In practice, all that's achieved is a fragmenting of the vote, usually to the benefit of whichever major party the movement had set out to oppose.

Personally, I'm not pro Tea Party-Party. I think Dan is essentially correct about 3rd parties; we've seen it happen in the past. I would rather the TP movement focus on influencing the existing party that they most resemble ideologically, which is the GOP. If these numbers are anything to go by, maybe Dan should be warning the Republican Party not to 'go Perot'.
allisnow: (Default)
Remember when candidate Obama said this?
“We cannot cede our leadership in space. That’s why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn’t suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle’s successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired – because we cannot afford to lose their expertise.”

Welcome to reality, folks:

23,000 now expected to lose jobs after shuttle retirement.
The local economic forecast tied to President Barack Obama's proposed NASA budget keeps growing bleaker.

Revised projections now show that about 23,000 workers at and around Kennedy Space Center will lose their jobs because of the shuttles' retirement and the new proposal to cancel the development of new rockets and spacecraft.

That sum includes 9,000 "direct" space jobs and — conservatively speaking — 14,000 "indirect" jobs at hotels, restaurants, retail stores and others that depend on activity at the space center, said Lisa Rice, Brevard Workforce president.

Change -- check. Hope? Not so much.
allisnow: (usa // head in bucket)
Obama administration kills the moon program
A plan to return US astronauts to the moon "is dead," a White House advisor on space issues said Friday, confirming reports that NASA will instead focus on developing commercial space transport.

"Constellation is dead," the advisor told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to a program that envisioned returning to the moon by 2020 and using Earth's nearest neighbour as a base for manned expeditions to Mars.

This commenter on HotAir has it right:

The issue is not that he’s cutting this program. The issue is that he’s cutting this program, while flushing trillions down the toilet on programs of far more dubious value.

Administration also opposes funding for 9/11 first responders, until people heard that they opposed funding for 9/11 first responders and got rightfully pissed.
WASHINGTON - The White House revealed Thursday night it boosted funding for ailing 9/11 responders - pumping more money into the treatment program than ever before.

Team Obama disclosed the cash only after outraging New York lawmakers with the news that the administration won't back a permanent plan to help the dying Ground Zero responders.

The White House confirmed it will more than double the budget for treating ill responders to $150 million in 2011.

The abrupt revelation came after the Daily News reported New York lawmakers were shocked Wednesday when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the administration does not support mandatory funding for the $11 billion permanent treatment plan.

"I was stunned - and very disappointed," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

"To say the least, I was flabbergasted," said Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon.

Oh, and the terrorist trial we were going to hold in NYC? Uh, nm.
A senior administration official said no decision has been formalized, but the Justice Department is already considering other venues. Said another official close to the discussions: "New York is out."

The reversal would mark the latest setback for an administration that has been buffeted at every turn as it seeks to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Its options for closing the prison had already been dwindling, and without the backdrop of Ground Zero for a trial, the administration would lose some of the rich symbolism associated with its attempt to forge a new approach to handling high-profile al-Qaeda detainees.

The decision to reconsider the plan for Mohammed's trial comes after a surge of political opposition to holding it in Manhattan, a venue that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. described in November as the "right place."

Finally, Osama bin Laden finds another part of the Dems' agenda that he really digs
Apparently speaking in his second audio broadcast of the month, Bin Laden criticised George W Bush, the former US president, for not signing the Kyoto Protocol on regulating carbon emissions, and spoke out against excessive corporate influence in the United States.

He also presented himself as an opponent of government bail outs to western banks, whose speculation and unfair competition practices, he claimed, were largely to blame for the global financial crisis.

It was one of the al-Qaeda chief's more unusual messages, doubly so as he largely eschewed references to religion and violence.

Demonstrating a surprising concern for the environment, Bin Laden voiced his dismay at recent international efforts to tackle global warming.

"Discussing climate change is not an intellectual luxury, but a reality," he said. "All of the industrialised countries, especially the big ones, bear responsibility for the global warming crisis."

One has to wonder if he's planning on running for office in Washington state or something.
allisnow: (usa // love american style)
You go, Scotty B.!
allisnow: (usa // killer robots)
I had weeeeeird dreams last night. Sort of a combination of 24, SGA, and some stuff I was reading about Caprica.

In other news... EEEK tomorrow night is going to be nervewracking. But who would have ever thought that a Massachusetts Senate race even had the potential to be nervewracking? In fact, who would have thought we would see so much excitement surrounding the Senate campaign of a Massachusetts Republican?

allisnow: (etc // light bulbs killed polar bears)
Brits, can we please borrow your Lord Monckton? I thought he was awesome before, but now, I think I'm in love.

January 2013

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