Towse: views from the hill

November 7, 2008

Maureen Dowd – Bring on the Puppy and the Rookie

Filed under: commentary,election2008 — Towse @ 2:03 am

Bring on the Puppy and the Rookie

Worth the signing on for.


The Obama girls, with their oodles of charm, will soon be moving in with their goldendoodle or some other fetching puppy, and they seem like the kind of kids who could have fun there, prowling around with their history-loving father.

I had been amazed during the campaign — not by the covert racism about Barack Obama and not by Hillary Clinton’s subtext when she insisted to superdelegates: “He can’t win.”

But I had been astonished by the overt willingness of some people who didn’t mind being quoted by name in The New York Times saying vile stuff, that a President Obama would turn the Rose Garden into a watermelon patch, that he’d have barbeques on the front lawn, that he’d make the White House the Black House.

Actually, the elegant and disciplined Obama, who is not descended from the central African-American experience but who has nonetheless embraced it and been embraced by it, has the chance to make the White House pristine again.

I grew up here, and I love all the monuments filled with the capital’s ghosts. I hate the thought that terrorists might target them again.

But the monuments have lost their luminescence in recent years.


Well said, Maureen Dowd. Well said.
Read the whole thing.

November 6, 2008

Patrick Moberg’s 04Nov cartoon

Filed under: art,election2008 — Towse @ 7:15 pm

Patrick Moberg’s 04Nov cartoon

Succinct. (Can a cartoon be succinct? Perhaps I should say, To the point.)

Obama, however, will probably be grey too by the end of his terms.

Check out

Name the New White House Puppy!

Filed under: election2008,life,people,politics — Towse @ 5:57 pm

We were watching Obama’s acceptance speech and he was talking about Sasha and Malia and I said to his nibs, “And they get a PUPPY!”

… the next thing Obama said was, “and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”

Well, now there’s all the yammer about what =sort= of dog they should get and whether it should be a pound puppy or not.

What to name the puppy? is the next question.

Well, here are some ideas from the New Yorker, including “Checkers”:

I think they should name it “Chesapeake” and call it “Chess,” as a fitting counterpoint to “Checkers.”

November 5, 2008

Exceptionally disappointed in San Francisco voters

Filed under: election2008,San Francisco — Towse @ 6:39 pm

Exceptionally disappointed in San Francisco voters, though.

With Obama, Prop 8 (and eleven other state propositions), twenty-two city measures and assorted supervisor/congresscritter/&c. decisions, the Registrar says

of the 477,651 registered voters,
237,843 ballots were cast.


That’s pathetic, and doesn’t even take into account those folks who couldn’t be bothered even to register, let alone vote.

There’s never been anything false about hope.

Filed under: election2008,music,video — Towse @ 5:16 pm

I watched this whenever I felt like it was all an impossible quest.

Thank you,

Proposition 8 Passes. On to Plan B.

Filed under: damn,election2008 — Towse @ 4:11 pm

Election Results – November 4, 2008 – California Secretary of State [map showing how the state voted, county by county. Illuminating!] Update: The CASoS has taken down the map, alas. The above link now points only to the text results. Update: The map is back

Proposition 8 passes.

95.7% of the precincts partially or fully reporting as of 7:49A. Yes:52.1% No:47.9%

Update: 96.4% precincts partially or fully reporting as of 9:23 a.m. Yes: 52.2% No: 47.8%

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. The only saving grace is that Prop 22 passed in 2000 by 61.4% to 38.6%. Saving grace: the gap has closed as much as it has in eight years. Now written into the state Constitution, the only way to un-do the amendment is by a similar vote by registered voters. The Legislature can’t undo a Constitutional amendment (not that they could even rescind Prop 22 when they tried — Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill).

Could voters come to their senses and reversed the amendment when some more time passes? If we cut the difference from 12.8% to 4.1% 4.4% in eight years, could we bring this to the ballot again in five years and have it pass?


Seems funny to me that amendments to the Constitution take only 50% +1 of the vote but raising taxes takes 2/3ds approval. Perhaps Constitutional amendments should also have that threshhold, but please not until we’ve rescinded this mean-spirited, unfair and wrong amendment some time in the future.

Or, alternatively, we can go to Plan B, as soon as everyone’s regrouped.

Plan B: Change state law so that all legal schmegal dealing with joint tax filing, hospital visitation, inheritance, health benefits, time off for sick family, adoption, &c. for couples is based solely on civil registration at City Hall or the county courthouses.

Let churches marry whom they please, and let it be solely between a man and a woman, if that’s what the church deems, but church marriages will not be valid registration for the government benefits accruing to couples. Only a civil partnership registered at City Hall or the county courthouse will have legal status, and civil partnerships will be available to heterosexual and homosexual couples.

November 4, 2008

My bets on the election …

Filed under: election2008 — Towse @ 7:04 am

OK. So it’s only a bet in Huffington Post’s “guess the election” contest, but this is what I tossed in the mix. (Wishful thinking may be in play. …)

Huffington Post was asking for electoral college breakdown (by numbers), popular vote breakdown (by percentages), House and Senate breakdowns (by numbers) and (as the tie-breaker for the woo-hoo! contest winner), the percentage breakdowns in the Minnesota Senate race.

My bets:

Electoral College: Obama 340 McCain 198

Popular Vote: Obama 54.1% McCain 42.2% Other 3.7%

House: Dem 246 Rep 189

Senate: Dem 59 Rep 39 Other 2

Minnesota Senate:
Franken 45%
Coleman 42%
Barkley 13%

November 3, 2008

Wife of former 49er Young voting No on Prop. 8

Filed under: California,election2008,life,people — Towse @ 5:33 am

Wife of former 49er Young voting No on Prop. 8

You GO! Steve and Barbara.

Interesting. Has there been any fallout?

Filed under: election2008,life — Towse @ 2:26 am

Interesting. Has there been any fallout? asks Sour Grapes, in response to my Vote NO on Proposition 8, redux. post.

My answer?

The biggest fallout is Proposition 8.

Attempts to make the anti-marriage-equality stance part of the state Constitution were already in motion after San Francisco authorized gay marriage … only to have those marriages halted and then voided the same year because of the existence of the legal language brought into play by Proposition 22.

San Francisco and other proponents of marriage equality took the matter to court.

Question: Was Proposition 22, passed in 2000, to define marriage as between a man and a woman unconstitutional?

Well, said the anti-marriage-equality wing, even before the judges decided the matter. Let there be no question. Let’s change the Constitution and put the definition of marriage there (instead of in the legal code) and that way it will be constitutional!

But a move to put the Constitution amendment on the ballot had slowed until the Sanders turnabout shocked the right wing of the Republican party. If even a true-blue anti-gay-marriage Republican could change his mind …

The shock of it energized the folks who wanted to put the matter to the voters … again. Proposition 8 is the fallout.


On the front window of our older son’s house is an Obama sign and a hand-lettered sign.

The hand-lettered sign says:


(Axel the window dog [ed. Axel is a big dog that spends each day sitting on the window seat waiting for the guys to come home and has become something of a neighborhood mascot] says JOINT FILING MEANS MORE MONEY LEFT AFTER TAXES AND MORE DOGGIE TREATS FOR ME!)

Our older son and his husband (yes, they got married =again= after the state courts legalized marriage equality in June) would like to stay married this time.

Make it so. Vote NO on Proposition 8.

November 2, 2008

t r u t h o u t | McCain, Obama and the Psychology of Decisions

Filed under: election2008,politics — Towse @ 4:46 pm

t r u t h o u t | McCain, Obama and the Psychology of Decisions

Long, interesting article about the candidates and their respective ways of handling decision making and how their backgrounds, their relationships with their fathers, affect who they are today and how they relate to others.

Far from psycho-babble. Thoughtful.

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