Archived entries for elections

He will work it hard for America. Work it so very, very hard.

Work it up into a frothy mixture of – ah, never mind. Too easy.

I’m going to get all metaphorical on your asses. You all know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, right?

Well, Goldilocks is going to be a stand in for conservative American voters.

And the three bowls of porridge are going to be represented by Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich.

Except none of them are going to be “just right”.

First up you’ve got Mittens “Poor People Are Just Fine” Romney. He tries to make $10,000 bets while live on national television, pays taxes at a lower rate than I do while earning millions more, thinks poor people are cozy with their safety net, and wears magic Mormon underwear (because he is one). He’s probably going to be the nominee unless something goes horribly wrong. But, he won’t win because he’s too out of touch with the common man and he’s not an Evangelical Christian. And if he can’t get the people out of their pews to vote, he won’t even matter.

Rick Santorum, however, will get the people out of their pews. But only those people, and then only those that are so far gone they think that the “gay agenda” is a real thing and don’t mind their children getting pregnant because he’s made it illegal to buy condoms. The rest of the conservatives will look at him and his horribly corrupt record and decide that he’s gone too far off the reservation to ever be allowed near the nuclear launch codes.

Finally, you’ve got Newt. Good ol’ Leave-’em-on-their-death-bed-Gingrich. Newt’s biggest problem is himself. He’s got the history of royally fucking up the Contract with America over Clinton getting a BJ, of leaving not one but two sickly wives for a younger mistress, and changing religion for both of them. And he also comes off as the kind of rarified egotistical prick that should only exist in movie scripts. Women hate him, minorities loathe him, and without either of those voting blocks, there’s no way you’re getting elected.

This is seriously the absolute WORST group of candidates the GOP has put up in my life.

Mark you, I don’t want the Republicans to win, but holy crap, I at least want them to not put up three idiots.

This was my response as I watched the South Carolina primary results roll in on Saturday:

@ZacharyWhitten Ever wonder how much it costs to buy a state primary? Newt’s SuperPAC bought South Carolina for $5 million.

Which is pretty much exactly what happened.

Well, that and the religious conservative voters of South Carolina apparently bought into Newt’s crocodile tears over his sexual escapades being brought up again. I will give his team credit, though. They did manage to turn what I was sure was a bullet to the head of his campaign into something used to rally the base.

But, back to the Super PACs!

First off, what is a Super PAC? Well, a PAC stands for Political Action Committee, and are legal entities created as means to raise funds from groups that are normally forbidden to donate money directly to candidates. Unions and corporations, for example. This money is then used to bolster the messaging of a candidate or cause, since direct donations are limited to a paltry few grand. Every politician out there has a PAC, as does every big special interest group like the NRA. They’re legal loopholes that are the main reason it is so damned expensive to run for office. The only real check on them is that they have to disclose the people who are giving them money, and what they are spending that money on.

PACs get much more complicated than that, but that’s the framework you need to understand the next part.

So what’s a Super PAC?

Simply put, they are maybe the most damaging thing the Supreme Court has ever done to American democracy. Super PACs spin out of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Citizens United case back in 2010, in which the Court said that according to the letter of the law, corporations and unions were essentially people and their spending of money during elections constituted free speech, which was ensured and protected by the First Amendment. Oh, and that they didn’t have to tell anyone about where the money came from or what they spent it on. Only catch was, they were still forbidden from donating to candidates or working directly with them on how to spend that money.

And what do they do with this new-found freedom of monetary expression?

They create the Super PAC.

A giant, money hoovering political black hole that can accept limitless donations and spend that money however it damn well pleases, so long as it doesn’t directly give to the candidate or collude with them on what the Super PAC is going to spend it on.

Well, the Super PACs aren’t giving the candidates money, but they are sure as hell colluding with their campaigns. Romney Super PAC’s plastered the whole world with anti-Newt ads before the New Hampshire primary, then he claimed ignorance of them during the debates…at least until the after commercial break when he referenced the content of one of them.

In South Carolina, Newt’s money came from a billionaire casino magnate that is apparently hoping to buy himself a president. He gave the Super PAC a check for five million, and the Super PAC blew it all in South Carolina. I think I heard somewhere that the average South Carolinian would see or hear the Super PAC’s anti-Romney spots sixty times in the week leading up to the election. Over ten times a day. It was the political equivalent of carpet bombing the whole state with their messaging.

But, lo and behold, it worked.

Newt’s Super PAC bought a victory in South Carolina, and prolonged the Republican primary a few weeks more.

This whole campaign I’ve been calling Mitt Romney that, but last night at the final South Carolina primary debate, Newt took the title from him and beat the everyone in the room to death with it.

This is what I’m talking about:

For those just joining the crazy circus, it broke on Wednesday that Newt’s second wife was going to say in an interview that Newt had asked her for an open marriage…since he’d been banging his Congressional aide for the previous 6 years.

Now, for a man who’s trying to recast himself in the armor of righteous morality, this is a real news story. It isn’t a personal attack or something that over steps a line. We knew he cheated, for years, and then divorced his wives while they were deeply ill. That’s already out and can never be shut away again.

I will admit that ABC timed their release of the story for maximum effect, but do I think that’s politically motivated as Newt would have you believe? Of course not. The only motivation of a television network is money, and you get money by selling ads during highly rated programming. It’s hard to draw a bigger audience than with a sex scandal involving a political figure.

Which brings me to what really blows my mind about this.

Newt is well aware of this fact because, you know, he impeached a president over a blowjob.

That’s right, boys and girls, that swine-faced mound of pasty flesh up there nearly brought down the government of the United States because of a sex act between two consenting adults. But God forbid anyone be allowed to treat his illicit dalliances in the same way.

I won’t even go into the his tirade against liberal media because I don’t have that much time.

That video is the kind of double speak that would make George Orwell absolutely turgid.

Well holy crap. Didn’t see that coming.

Turns out that Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa Caucuses by 34 votes, not lost it by 7 as we previously thought.

It doesn’t really change anything since Romney’s going to lock the nomination on Saturday, but it makes Santorum’s performance so far even more surprising.

It is a brave new world we live in when people aren’t afraid to vote for a frothy mix of feces and lube.

And now he’s out, too.

Or will be by the time I finish writing this. Which is weird, considering he was all gung-ho at last night’s Republican debate. But, hey, when you’re the homophobic lovechild of George Bush and Ronald Reagan you can do whatever you like, right?

I’m a bit surprised that he’s out before South Carolina’s primary on Saturday, but I’m sure he’s seen better polling data than I have, and what I’ve seen painted a pretty grim picture for his chances. Last numbers I saw had more people undecided than voting for him. Which for a strongly religious state he was projected to sweep (you know, before real people started voting), is utterly ruinous to a campaign.

My secret hope was that Perry would stick with his bumbling idiocy until the convention, but sadly that looks to not be true at all. Now all that’s left for him to do is throw his support behind Rick Santorum and cement the evangelical vote against Romney and his magic underpants.

Oh, Rick Perry, I hope we don’t forget you like you forgot that third government agency you’d shut down.

Edit: Huh. Perry backed Gingrich. Didn’t see that coming, either. Been a morning full of surprises!

…And things didn’t so much change for the rest of the night.

Note, this was the first graphic CNN put up for the New Hampshire primary. With 19 people reporting in.

Yep. 19 people. 0.00143% of the New Hampshire population. Which, near as I can figure, means CNN took a straw poll of the people they had working in their press trailer and put those numbers up.

Anyway, like I said, the standings didn’t change for the rest of the night. New Hampshire’s was Romney’s to lose, and he didn’t. He ended the night with just under 40% of the votes, which because of wacky New Hampshire primary rules aren’t just Republicans – but anyone who wants to brave the freezing cold grayness to vote.

I had kind of hoped that Huntsman would’ve done better than a weak to middling third, since he’s probably the least frightening one of the bunch, but he’s pretty much finished now. Question is if he’ll be an also-ran or share the ticket with Romney as the VP nom. Gingrich and Perry are all but done at this point unless they get the South Carolina religious conservative miracle they are hoping for.

Romney was pretty bullet proof in the last few days of this primary. His opponents ignored him in the first debate, then ganged up on him to little effect in the second. The only story that got any traction was how he presided over the liquidation of several companies while working at Bain Capital. The basic narrative goes that Romney killed businesses and fired people to line his own pockets. Which, while totally and completely true, is sort of like blaming a snake for its venom. Bain has investments in the tens of billions, and they are in the business of increasing that number by any means necessary.

To me, the real story here isn’t about how Romney did his job and people lost theirs, but how fucked up the system we live under is. Whole companies get blasted into nothingness by a single swipe of red ink all so the bottom line looks a bit tighter. There’s no compassion, no morality, just profit. Which is exactly the sort of thing that Romney would bring to the Oval Office. Well, that and a whole lot of hypocritical reversals of opinion.

Just an aside…but, Bain Capital? Really? That’s like naming your company THE DEVIL WORKS HERE, LLC. Also, it is a Batman villain. Way to go, guys.

The interesting thing shaping up on the horizon is how the bottomless money pits of the SuperPACs are being used. Gingrich is being kept on life support by the billionaire gambling magnate backing his SuperPAC, and Romney is using his to rip into his opponents in a way that he couldn’t directly. Frankly, I’d have expected the money to be having a bigger impact on the race, but it really isn’t. I’m shocked to say this, but it looks like you can’t buy an election with SuperPAC money. At least not a primary. We’ll see if this holds true in South Carolina or not. Gingrich is spending 5 million there. His last hurrah, basically.

Next up is South Carolina on the 21st, then Florida ten days later. Question right now is if Romney can clear the field before Super Tuesday, or if some one else will be stupid enough to waste their money running against him. I’ll be shocked if this makes it to Illinois or Texas. I’ll laugh my ass off if it makes it California.

I’m working up bad puns for next week’s election post, since I think I’ll be talking a lot more about the SuperPACs then.

That’s what you call them, right? Iowans?

Sounds like a race of elves from Lord of the Rings. But don’t tell this guy I said that.

So, 8 Iowans were the difference between Rick Santorum (ubiquitous link to the Google-joke of his name) winning by losing coming second to Mitt Romney and winning by, you know, actually winning.

But thankfully a .000266% difference in final votes meant that Mitt Romney is the guy that won the Republican Iowa Caucus, but completely lost the news cycle to the guy with the anal sex joke last name who wasn’t supposed to win anything at all.

And why wasn’t he supposed to win anything at all?

Because he’s the sort of skin-crawlingly horrible human that makes even staunch conservatives a little uneasy to be around him.

He’s done things like say that homosexuality is on par with incest (he earned the homonym of his name for that one and probably lost his Senate seat because of it, too):

“[I have] a problem with homosexual acts, as I would with what I would consider to be acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships . . . if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery.”

He’s also declared all forms of contraception to be against God’s will:

“It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Oh yeah, and he thinks that privacy is a made-up, non-Constitutional concept:

“[The] right to privacy…doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution.”

If his social stances weren’t horrific enough, he’s also spineless and in the pocket of big businesses – like when he tried to abolish the National Weather Service and hand over all of its functions to Accuweather, one of his biggest campaign contributors.

So, yeah, Rick Santorum, a slimy fecal matter smear of a human being was eight votes within of pulling a come-from-behind (most over used headline joke so far!) win in the first primary election of 2012.

And to those eight Iowans, I have to say thank you. Thank you for voting for one of the great hypocrisy machines in modern politics instead of Santorum. I can suffer through the news cycle of the next few days so long as I know all his bragging doesn’t really mean anything.

As for the rest of the Republican field, Ron Paul came in third and Newt finished fourth. That’s fine for Paul – he won’t be winning anything, but it really is a hit to Newt who was hoping to carve out some space between him and the rest of the pack.

On a completely thrilling and unexpected note, they are said to be readying Michele Bachmann to drop out of the race. Which is great, because for a “Constitutional Conservative” (her words, not mine) she knew pretty much nothing about the Constitution, and was also batshit insane.

Oh lord, we’re only just getting started with this, aren’t we?

Some backstory before we get into this.

In addition to all the state, local and federal elections going on, there are also 184 state ballot measures (as of this writing) that people will be voting on November 4th. They run the full political gambit, from general budgetary funding measures to more high profile issues like California’s legalization of recreational pot use and Colorado’s declaration of a fertilized egg as a legal “person”.

Those two ballot measures are probably more meaningful, in a broad test-case sense, than the inevitable bitch slap the Democrats are going to take from the right – Republican or Tea Party.

The California pot issue isn’t what I want to talk about, but it does have some interesting implications if they can save their budget while at the same time lowering their crime rate and prison populations.

What I do want to talk about is the Colorado ballot measure that specifies the moment a sperm and an egg legally become a “person” with full legal rights and not just a group of cells with potential.

Yes, boys and girls, I’m going to talk about abortion. So, you might as well start drinking.

First off, let’s talk about me. Personally, I wish there was never the need for another abortion. I wish all pregnancies were wanted, complication free, and all children were born to parents who loved them, nurtured them and could provide for them.

I also wish I had a space ship and could explore Mars.

Too bad the latter wish is more likely to happen than the former.

I don’t like abortion, I don’t encourage people to have abortions, but I’m not going to push external morals on some one in a situation I could never understand. I am Pro-Choice. Which is distinctly different from Pro-Abortion, a fact that seems to escape an alarming number of people.

So, that out of the way, let’s turn back to Colorado and Colorado State Amendment 62. The text of which is as follows:

Section 32. Person defined. As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term “person” shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

Beginning of biological development of course being the moment a sperm has fertilized an egg. Which would make any act to destroy said fertilized egg tantamount to, you know, murder.

And since the wording of the amendment is so broad, it also knocks out things like fetal stem cell research, and any method of birth control that doesn’t operate on the front end – ie, condoms only, the Morning After pill is out.

62 is being supported by groups like Personhood Colorado, which do touching and subtle ads like this one.

Wait, I’m sorry, did I say touching and subtle? I mean blatantly wrong and disturbingly unhinged. The Supreme Court hates liberty and freedom? Obama as the angel of death? A fucking “abortion industry”? That makes billions? Nixon was a baby hating liberal? I…what? What the hell was that?

And let’s not forget their wonderfully surreal radio ad where they compare abortion to slavery.

That’s right, the same bunch of white people in Colorado that called the first black president an angel of death also said abortion is akin to slavery. Progressive, aren’t we?

Thankfully, these crazies have no chance of winning. The last time this measure came up in Colorado it was beaten 3 to 1, and this one isn’t expected to do any better.

No, they won’t win. They’ll just get to go around yelling about things that aren’t true for another election cycle, tearing down the walls of cogent discourse, making the other side have to yell just as loud to be heard. And in doing so, they’ll gain ground by pulling their opposition down to their level, by giving themselves more ways to point across the way and go “Look! See! They’re crazy!”

Yeah, well, you’re the one that made me that way.

Thanks to Stephanie for pointing this out.

That’s Newtons formula for acceleration, the converse of his formula for force, F=ma.

The variables are a for acceleration, F for the force applied to the object, and m for the mass of that object.

Of course, there are a lot more equations that can explain acceleration in more detail, and account for its varied forms (dynamic, constant, centripetal, etc), but this is the one I’m going to use for today’s random thought.

The speed of events in the world is increasing. That’s an irrefutable facts. Things are happening faster, everything, anything, what ever you can think of, it happens faster than it did a century ago, a half-century ago, a decade ago, maybe even a year ago. This is the acceleration of modern life.

We’ll refer to it as aml.

That leaves two parts to the equation, the force and the mass.

The force, is, at the root, the advancement of our knowledge. Both in the breadth of what we know, and the depth of what we know about what we know. The rule of thumb for knowledge is that what we know is doubling every ten years. So, linear growth. That’s not to say that we’re going to make twice as many brilliant discoveries as we did in the last last decade, because a lot of what we’re learning is pointless mundane shit. We’re learning tons about how people interact with digital devices right now, but that’s not going to solve the world’s problems or give us limitless clean energy. It will just make the next generation of iPhone more attractive than last year’s model. But, there are some real advancements, and they compound on existing knowledge.

Discovering lighter alloy metals makes airplanes faster and more fuel efficient, so they can travel farther for less money. Discovering new ways to increase the density of batteries increases the usefulness of everything from electric vehicles to laptop computers to vibrators. And I don’t even know where to begin with the Internet. Things are moving so much faster every year that it is only a matter of time before the entire industrialized world is blanketed under a sheet of high-speed wifi. Right now, from my $99 iPhone, I can download an app that lets me call Korea, for FREE, over the Internet. For less than the price of a nice pair of sneakers, I can talk to some one literally on the other side of the planet.

We’ll call our force the force of knowledge.

Fk

That leaves mass.

The average weight of a human being is around 160lbs. That’s taking both men and women into account. All of the force of knowledge built up by the summation of human existence, and it only has to move less than 200lbs.

I’m not meaning that as a piss answer, either. The reason that Gutenberg printing press was such a big deal was because it enabled more people to have copies of a book, in most cases a Bible. Give a missionary a Gutenberg Bible, a direction and send him off to spread the Word. He’s dead? Eaten by cannibalistic Slavs? Oh well! Print another Bible and get another acolyte!

It only takes one person with an idea to tell another person about that idea. From there, you’ve got the magnifying effect of word of mouth. Bloggers are the modern day Gutenberg presses. They are the individual advocates of ideas that spread them to the masses, who in turn spread word about that blog. Professional news sources are turning more and more to individual bloggers for editorial and news content. Just like a missionary wandering into a town, a single blogger, at the right moment in time, with the right thing to say, can change the world for everyone.

So, for our mass, let’s go with the mass of a human.

mh

Making our final formula aml=Fk/mh

The acceleration of modern life is equal to the force of knowledge divided by the mass of a human.

And the point and impetus to all of this?

The Massachusetts senatorial election last night. Where a Republican swept the Democrats out of a seat that had been under their control since World War II. There is potential for this to be the harbinger of a Democratic slaughter come the 2010 midterm elections. I’m not going to go down the political rabbit hole right now, but I do wonder what is going to happen as the political pendulum speeds up. Just this time last year we were all screaming our undying love for Obama (ok, those of us not decrying him as a demon Muslim socialist), and now we’re already predicting his ideology’s imminent doom. If changes in the political wind can happen this fast now, what happens as they get faster and faster? What if the country can go from Red to Blue to Red in a single week? Or day? Or hour?

Think about this economically, too. The economic collapse of the last three years is more or less over, and we’re digging out from under it right now. Three years it lasted, on the outside. The Great Depression? Oh, about a decade. It might have lasted even longer if the war hadn’t happened. This is entirely due to the speed at which financial transactions can happen now. No more waiting for wires from across the Atlantic. You can have real-time satellite connections to any bank in the world from any place in the world. Give me a satellite phone on the top of Mount Everest and I can apply for a Visa card. There’s an entire business model that revolves around banks of supercomputers making billions of stock transactions a day, buying and selling on marginal increases and decreases in the value of the stock, slowly but surely inflating the market with machine trading instead of human trading. Which is only possible because of the speed at which information moves these days.

What makes me wonder what’s going to happen as things keep speeding up, but our biology doesn’t. Eventually things happening so fast are going to have a detrimental affect on us. We’ll be overloaded with information and be completely unable to function because we’re drowning in data. You can’t decide if the choice keeps changing, you know?

Just something to muse about. The math of change. The formula for progression.

aml=Fk/mh

Accelerate.

[Ok the stupid embed isn't working, you can find the whole thing here at WMCTV5's website.]

The participants:

  • Charles Carpenter – Herenton’s old legal counsel. Crony. A non-figure.
  • Carol Chumney – White. Lawyer. Blinks a lot. Lost the last election in a split ticket.
  • Wanda Halbert – City Councilwoman. Playing this game to get some free press.
  • Robert Hodges – Prince Mongo. Insane. Brilliant. Took a  high priced lawyer threatening a lawsuit to even get him on TV.
  • Jerry Lawler – Former professional wrestler. But, this isn’t California. We’re not going to elect a D-list celebrity. Even if his ideas are good, if half-baked.
  • Myron Lowery – Mayor Pro-Temp. One of the two people up there who stands a chance of winning this. I got the distinct feeling he was a closeted ‘mo. He wasn’t making a total fool of himself until he said Memphis didn’t have any debt, which is both ignorance and a lie to curry political favor.
  • Sharon Webb – This woman is on the school board. She sounds like an uneducated hoodrat, which is telling of the Memphis City School System. She was either drugged, or drunk or both because the fucking man up there who gets government disability money for being crazy (Hodges/Mongo) sounded more coherent than her.
  • Kenneth Whalum, Jr. – I…I don’t even know who this guy is but he scared the shit out of me last night. Then I did some research on him this morning and he’s just a different kind of crazy Christian.
  • A C Wharton – Look, the tapioca comment was a fair one, but I’d rather have him and his pragmatism than one else up there. We’ve had insanity for 17 years. I think we deserve a little bit of a stable, steady hand, don’t you?

If you live in Memphis, or have lived in Memphis or have any interest in bizarre spectator politics, please for the love of all that is holy, watch this. Pour yourself a whiskey and enjoy the schadenfreude.

My primary political goal is to represent the ninth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. I have every intention of being a congressional candidate during the August 2010 election.

However, during the interim, recent events have compelled me to step forth to provide leadership and express my sincere feelings on how our city can continue to move forward, despite our current dilemma.

My recent retirement from the office of Mayor has created this situation and I feel obligated to seek alternatives to Myron Lowery and an ‘anyone can win’ mayoral race.

The city I love deserves better.

Therefore, I am also preparing a referendum resolution that would allow the citizens of Memphis to rescind the current charter amendment that elevated Myron Lowery to the office of Mayor Pro Tem. This resolution would prescribe limitations on the powers of a non-elected mayor.

It is clear to many citizens that my retirement from office created opportunities for Mayor Pro Tem Lowery and a puzzling list of mayoral candidates to turn our city backward. I am disappointed in Myron’s reckless style of leadership. He must be stopped.

We cannot allow Mayor Pro Tem Lowery to be elected mayor during the upcoming special election. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict a clear winner with a complicated array of mayoral candidates in the race.

Therefore, I have pulled a petition to run in the upcoming mayoral special election.

- W. W. Herenton’s statement about pulling a petition to run for the office he just vacated, via the Commercial Appeal.

One thing you can say about Memphis. It is never boring here.

What you’re looking at is a visual representation of the voice/text data transmitted by AT&T on Obama’s inauguration day. The flat map on the bottom is Washington, DC. When the grid of dots rise up from that, you’re seeing increased local cell traffic. The map of the United States above that shows where that traffic is going. The farther a state presses out from the rest of the country, the more calls are coming from DC to that state. The timeline on the bottoms show you what point of the day you are looking at.

From the MIT Senseable City Lab that dreamed this whole thing up:

The City illustrates the emotional flow of the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. Through an analysis of the number of mobile phone calls made in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day and the home state or country of phone origin, it is possible to see peaks of call activity as the crowd anticipates President Obama’s oath, a drop in call activity as the crowd listens to his inaugural address, and peaks again as the crowd celebrates the inauguration of the new President. Through their cell phones, those present at the historic event share their impressions with friends and family in vast numbers: on the morning of January 20th, call activity is two to three times stronger than usual, and it rises to five times the normal levels after 2 pm as President Obama takes his oath and people begin to celebrate.

Iceland’s new PM is probably the first openly gay head of state in history.

From the BBC:

Johanna Sigurdardottir, named as Iceland’s prime minister on Sunday, is the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world – at least in modern times.

The 66-year-old’s appointment as an interim leader, until elections in May, is seen by many as a milestone for the gay and lesbian movement.

Up until now, if a gay man or woman has been prime minister, they have done their best to conceal the fact.

In Iceland itself, however, the new prime minister’s sexual orientation appears to be causing less excitement than it is abroad.

What is really historic about this new cabinet, says Skuli Helgeson, the general secretary of Ms Sigurardottir’s Social Democratic Alliance, is not the fact that its leader is a lesbian, but that for the first time in Icelandic history it boasts an equal number of men and women.

“I don’t think her sexual orientation matters. Our voters are pretty liberal, they don’t care about any of that,” he told BBC News.

3219843833_950a121e93_o

Full collection is on his Flickr.

Collecting the interesting bits from the election coverage from friends and new agencies here. I’ll update as stuff comes in.

  • Honestly, that wasn’t Obama’s best speech. “You’re fucked, now here are vague promises it’ll get better.”

warrenellis BREAKING NEWS: Dick Cheney discovered concealing IED in wheelchair: “Them sand-gooks taught me a trick or two.”

  • So, John Roberts’ first act to the new president? Fucking up his Oath. Roberts got it wrong, Obama didn’t.
  • It has started. Going quiet while history happens. See you on the other side.
  • And here we go – “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President Elect of the United States of America: Barak H. Obama.”
  • Man, the announcer guy couldn’t sound like more of an officious prick if he tried.
  • The chants of “Obama! Obama!” have begun in earnest.
  • Dear God. So many people to walk out and seat. At least the crowd is being kept warm by their own body heat.
  • Oh, hello. The LJ imagestream finally woke the fuck up and gave me something good.
    obama420
  • Jean Biden looks like she’d be an awesome broad to get drunk and listen to her tell stories.
  • What the hell? They just announced Walter Mondale and Dan Quayle.
  • 20speech6001
    This is Jon Favreau. He is Obama’s speech writer. He is the youngest second youngest presidential speech writer. He is not related to the Jon Favreau who directed Iron Man. He probably makes the panties of all the wonkettes wetter than the Everglades.
  • When Bush flies out of Andrews Airforce Base this afternoon, his plane’s call sign won’t be Airforce One anymore. It will be Special Air Mission 2800.
  • Random thought – who the hell paid for all of the risers, port-a-johns and security?
  • Obama comes out of the White House, and all of Washington goes deaf from the cheers. It is going to be a good day.
  • Heh, Darth Veep apparently pulled a muscle in his back and is now confined to a wheel chair. What a lovely, humiliating end to that monster.
  • A woman was hit by a Metro train, causing the closure of a few Metro stations down that line.

longtallanimal Everybody’s crazed from lack of sleep. It’s a lot like a baptist youth lockin, with less makin out.

sunriseindc
From TheoGeo.

givebootthebush2

Taken by TheoGeo, who is in DC for the Inauguration.

This is what I served on election night, and it is wonderfully simple. Plus, like all chilis, this gets better the more it cooks down.

What you need:

  • Big fuck-off pot.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Giant onion, red or white. Red will give the chili a slightly sweeter flavor.
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 15 ounce can of pinto beans
  • 15 ounce can of black beans
  • 15 ounce can of kidney beans
  • 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish

The Process
Put your big fuck-off pot on the stove, and pour some oil in the bottom of it. Turn the heat up to medium and let the oil warm up. You don’t want it too hot, at least not yet.

Dice up the whole onion, the finer the better. You don’t really want onion texture, but you want the liquid and the sweetness of the onion, which really comes out when you dice it finely. Throw that into the pot, stirring it around so it doesn’t stick.

Crush and mince up the garlic clove, then toss it in with the onion. Be careful not to burn either the garlic or the onion. You’re shooting for translucence in the onion and a strong smell from the garlic.

At this point throw in everything else. Open up the beans, drain out the liquid and toss them in. Tomatoes in after that. Water in after that. Then the spices. Stir it all up until everything is a uniform color. Turn the heat up to about three fourths of maximum, cover, and crack a beer.

The chili needs to simmer for at least an hour, preferably at least 2. While this is going on make some corn bread. The chili really needs a base to sit on, and corn bread is perfectly. I use Aunt Jemima corn bread mix because I am a culturally insensitive white male. Oh, and because it is simple to prepare and tastes like I want it to.

A note about the corn bread, do yourself a favor and throw in some chili powder into the mix. You won’t notice it straight out, but it makes a difference as a base for the chili.

At this point, you’ve got a pot of bubbling chili and a pan of golden corn bread. Cut out some corn bread and put it in a bowl. Ladle some chili out over the bread then snip some cilantro for a garnish. Enjoy.

If you’re looking for more of a kick with the chili, bump up the spice amounts. If you’re looking for something non-vegetarian, throw in a pound or so of ground beef or turkey when you’re sauteing the onions and garlic. Let it brown and then add in the rest of the ingredients.

And the best part? After the initial out-lay of money for the spices, a pot of this stuff (about 1.5 – 2 gallons with this recipe) will run you less than $10.

Via Tim.



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