And Obama wins again.

JISHOU, HUNAN — It’s almost 1 pm here, and between writing exams and caring for a sick friend, I’ve been watching the reports on the election. I am very glad that Barack Obama has been re-elected. If you’re a Republican and reading this, sorry your candidate lost, but that’s the way it goes. From my cursory glances at the Senate races, it also seems the GOP didn’t do so well there, either. You need to ask yourselves why. Some of your candidates were too extreme, frankly. They were popular within a certain demographic, but that demographic is apparently not representative of the voting population at large. As for Mitt Romney, he may have picked up nearly 49% of the popular vote, but that also suggests he was not a strong enough candidate to sway people away from Obama and the Democrats. Maybe if he actually had had a definite platform that he could stick to longer than two hours he might have done better. Or if he had something like, well, sincerity. Obama’s still got a tough job ahead, with a GOP-controlled House that may try to obstruct him at every chance. I’m hoping, however, that these mule-headed Republicans put ...

Voters in Queens: hand this putz Turner his walkin’ papers

[UPDATE: Well, nevermind. The putz won the election with 53% of the vote. Hope you like what you got, Brooklyn and Queens.] This is an actual campaign flier sent out by the New York Republicans on behalf of NY-9 candidate Bob Turner. I can’t think of a more crass exploitation of the 10th anniversary of the Twin Towers attack than this. Turner is running against Democrat David Weprin in a special election to fill the seat of Rep. Andrew Weiner (D-NY-9), who resigned his seat after a sexting scandal. It’s supposed to be a tight race. I hope this flier backfires on Turner big time. Aside from the obvious bigotry, it lies like a dog. The Park 51 project is not at the site of World Trade Center (the so-called Ground Zero), is not a mosque, and doesn’t look anything like the gold-domed edifice in the flier. The project additionally does not violate any laws, local or national, and has even been approved by the local community zoning board. Turner is a putz. Look it up at urbandictionary.com if you don’t know what it means.

A basic civics lesson 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — Some citizens of the USA seem to forgotten their basic civics, if in fact they ever learned civics in the first place. So here is a primer. Feel free to share this among your anti-Obama associates. The United States of America is a constitutional republic, in which legislators (Congressional representatives and Senators) are elected by popular vote, and the president and vice president are elected in a two-stage electoral process – a popular vote and an Electoral College vote. Whoever gains the most votes (a plurality) in an election is the winner of the election. In the USA, which has two dominant political parties, practically speaking this means whoever gains a simple majority of the votes is the winner. For example, in the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama and Joe Biden received 52.9% of the popular vote, and John McCain and Sarah Palin, 45.7%. The remaining votes went to nominees of several smaller parties. In the Electoral College, Obama/Biden netted 365 votes and McCain/Palin, 173. Thus, Obama/Biden won the election by a clear majority. In a republic, an elected official serves everyone, regardless of who voted for him or her. This precept has been the basis of ...

Of elections and other heartwarming tales 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — As elated as I was to see Barack Obama elected president, the full emotional impact of the event did not hit me until my class this afternoon. I got choked up enough I had to stop for a minute or two to pull myself together. I was giving the freshmen a short lesson on the election, on Obama’s background, and what he still needs to do before taking office in January. I started giving them a rundown of the inauguration, including the part where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist (NOT one of my favorite people) John Roberts swears in the new president. The mental image of that scene stopped me in my tracks. For someone in my particular age bracket, the image of a black man actually ascending to the White House finally puts to rest the acrimony and hatred we remember growing up through the 1950s and ’60s. I watched the news with my dad, and saw the riots in Los Angeles, the racist presidential campaign of George Wallace, the killing of Martin Luther King Jr. While I was not directly affected, living as we were in a gerrymandered-white school district on ...

Chicago Tribune endorses its first Democrat for president

You could have hit me with a feather and knocked me over. The Chicago Tribune has endorsed Democrat Sen Barack Obama (D-Illinois), for the presidency, breaking a 161-year tradition. Next, Christopher Buckley, author and commentator for the conservative National Review — the magazine his father founded, will be endorsing Obama. Oh, wait, he did that already. Nevermind. In both cases, paragons of conservative Republican values broke ranks and defected — if only temporarily — to the “other side.” The Trib’s editorial board and Buckley join the ranks of several other notable conservative voices who have abandoned the sinking ship of Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The Trib, in its endorsement, praised Obama for his intellectual rigor, calm, measured demeanor, and ability to mend fences and build coalitions. It said he would make a fine president. As for McCain, the paper pulled no punches in criticizing him and especially his campaign. Recalling the reasons why the Trib has always endorsed either the conservative candidate or the reformist candidate, it says, The Tribune’s decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders. We see parallels today. The Republican Party, the party of limited ...
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