Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mission Accomplished 5 year anniversary

From Atrios:

And as an added bonus, here is an in depth look at John McCain’s healthcare plan.

National Popular Vote

This sounds like a great idea.

There is a way to circumvent the Electoral College and create a popular vote without a constitutional amendment. It's called the National Popular Vote, and it takes a little explaining.
The Constitution gives states the power to decide how to allocate the electors who cast the vote for the president. The National Popular Vote is a campaign to get each state to pass a law entering into a binding agreement to award all their electors to the candidate who wins the national popular vote in all fifty states and Washington, D.C. This provision would only go into effect when states whose electoral votes total a majority of the Electoral College—currently, 270 votes—sign the compact. When that happens, whichever candidate wins the popular vote will automatically garner a majority of the electoral votes. While this arrangement is rather complex, it has the advantage of being fair and utterly nonpartisan—and could take effect as soon as enough large states agree to participate.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reassuring quote

This is the best thing Hillary has said during the entire campaign:

"Anyone, anyone, who voted for either of us should be absolutely committed to voting for the other because it would be the height of political foolishness to have voted for one of us and what we stand for and then either to stay home or not vote for a Democrat and instead vote for Sen. McCain."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Discouraged and disgruntled

I know how Maha feels. I’m discouraged too.
It has been clear since before the Texas primary that Hillary Clinton can’t win the Democratic nomination for president, but the national media keeps going along with her charade that she still has a chance and that it is a tight race. For each primary race since then, Hillary has carefully set the bar low enough that she can easily cross it, while ignoring the fact that it gets her no closer to the nomination. She has to win every contest here on out by 20 points or better to even come close to catching Obama. She won Pennsylvania by 10 points and declared it a great victory and the media went right along.

By contrast, the bar is constantly set higher and higher for Obama. He doesn’t have to just stay close in Pennsylvania. He has to win it outright. Winning in North Carolina won’t be enough, he has to win Indiana too.
Hillary is set to win by less than 10 points in Indiana and lose North Carolina by a wider margin, but she will play up the Indiana victory as a huge defeat for Obama and one more excuse for her to press on.
If Hillary would just act like she’s on the same team with Obama and quit trying to tear him, and by extension the Democratic Party, down then together they could shred John McCain. McCain is a terrible candidate. But if they just let him coast until November while they concentrate on clawing at one another, he will build up a following that will be harder and harder to peel away the closer we get to the election.

I used to like Hillary and I respected her a great deal. Now I can hardly stand to listen to her speak and usually change the channels if she comes on. She is starting to veer into Ralph Nader territory for me. It would be the ultimate betrayal of her principles if she helps McCain to win, just like Nader betrayed everything he once stood for by helping worst president ever George W. Bush to defeat environmental champion Al Gore.

I’ve lived through too many presidential elections where I’ve seen the Democratic nominee get slimed mercilessly by the Republican spin machine and the compliant media. Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and now Barack Obama. People don’t even know who they are before the start of the campaign and by the end they can’t say their names without spitting. That is how good the Republican spin machine is at villifying people.
The Republican base is demotivated this cycle because of the war and the economy. But all they need is the flimsiest excuse to vote against someone like Obama or Kerry or Dukakis and people like Karl Rove and Lee Atwater specialize in giving them that excuse.
They don’t need help from Hillary Clinton, but they are getting plenty of help anyway this year.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Disney movies

I bought 101 Dalmations Platinum Edition recently bringing my total number of Disney animated films on DVD up to 42.
(uh oh, here is the inevitable list)

101 Dalmations (Platinum)
Alice in Wonderland
Aristocats, The
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Bambi (Platinum)
Beauty and the Beast
Bug’s Life, A
Chicken Little
Cinderella (Platinum)
Finding Nemo
Fox and the Hound, The
The Heffalump Movie
Home on the Range
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The
Incredibles, The
Jungle Book, The (Platinum)
Lady and the Tramp (Platinum)
Lilo and Stitch
Lilo and Stitch II: Stitch Has a Glitch
Lion King, The (Platinum)
Little Mermaid, The (Platinum)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The
Meet the Robinsons
Melody Time
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
Monsters Inc.
Peter Pan (Platinum)
Piglet’s Big Movie
Pooh’s Grand Adventure
Rescuers, The
Rescuers Down Under
Robin Hood
Sword in the Stone
Tigger Movie, The
Treasure Planet
Wild, The
Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo

And on VHS tape I have:

Emperor’s New Groove, The
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Toy Story I & II

And I have the following Disney non-animated or partially animated movies on DVD:

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Air Buddies
Apple Dumpling Gang, The
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Escape to Witch Mountain
Return from Witch Mountain
Love Bug, The
National Treasure
Pirates of the Caribbean I, II & III

And on VHS:
Mary Poppins

I am anxiously awaiting the release of Sleeping Beauty Platinum Edition this Fall followed by the Pinocchio Platinum Edition early next year.
Other Disney animated films I need to get to finish out my collection include:

Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Fun and Fancy Free
Three Caballeros, The
Make Mine Music
Saludos Amigos
Song of the South
Black Cauldron, The
Great Mouse Detective, The
Oliver & Company
Brother Bear

I generally stay away from the multiple sequels (Bambi II, Cinderella III, etc.) with a few exceptions such as the Winnie the Pooh movies which my kids love.
I may get more of the sequels later on, but they are not a high priority until I get all the main titles first.

Having this many Disney movies on DVD means, of course, that my kids are completely spoiled when it comes to watching TV. Films that I might have seen once on TV when I was growing up are now available to them as many times as we will allow. But I don’t see that as being a bad thing necessarily. Right now their TV viewing is pretty much limited to Disney movies and PBS anyway.

Movie Break

We went to see our first movie as a family over the weekend. A big thumbs up for “Horton Hears a Who” which is by far the best Dr. Seuss story every put to film (not counting Chuck Jones’ made-for-TV masterpiece “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”).
Technically, our first family movie together was “Cars” which we went to see two years ago when Isabel was just a few months old. She slept in her car seat through the whole movie.
The kids did very well and now Nathan (age 4) wants to go back and see “Kung Fu Panda” later this summer.
He is not so sure about the new “Speed Racer” movie which we saw a trailer for as well. He is also dead set against seeing “Wall-E”, the new Pixar movie because the trailer was loud and scary. But we will see them both eventually anyway as I am a huge Pixar fan and was a Speed Racer fan as a youth.
I noticed that the new Indiana Jones movie is coming out soon and a new James Bond film is set to come out in the fall. Other films I am looking forward to seeing eventually include Iron Man and Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.