Friday, November 7, 2008

loopholes and first impressions

Hi everyone. Thanks for the warm welcome. 

I tend to lean toward environmental issues so I figured I would share a story that appalled me as my first post.

Dow is suing the Canadian government. 
NAFTA is encroaching on Canadian Sovereignty.

So, a chemical ban on lawn insecticides in Quebec has now put the Canadian Federal government in a position to be sued for damages by a U.S. corporation. Individual provinces, like Ontario, are joining Quebec in banning chemical insecticides so it's probably not unlikely that those will go towards increasing the suit. 

"Chapter 11 allows foreign investors to sue the governments of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico if they feel that their profits have been restricted."

I probably should have known about this already. But, I didn't. It's absurd to me that we agreed to open ourselves to interference like this. I'm already disgusted with Canada's current environmental record, but let's just say that we did try to do something that might make a bit of a dent, it's all up for discussion with American and even Mexican companies if they deem the law as a challenge to selling their poisonous products in the marketplace! I already have a problem with the definition of corporations and what it allows them to do and not do. There's just no way that we can allow them to have the power to challenge a foreign, or local, government. I mean, this is obvious, right?

Even with the U.S. in the trouble it's in, to Canadians, it is apparently still to be chased and serenaded. Our own Bush holdover, Stephen Harper, is rushing to build bridges with the Obama administration. Of course, working with the ideas Obama has would be useful, but we have a yahoo Prime Minister who wants to smooth the way to Canada's continuation of its current rampant destruction for profit, rather than a meeting of the minds to shore up problem areas of NAFTA that leave Canada and Mexico at unacceptable disadvantages.

You'll find more on that story over at my site.

Let's Get Definitive

First of all, if the election proved anything, it's that the nation, at heart, is Center-Left, not Center-Right, as the monkeys on FOXNews, and elsewhere in the liberal-biased-news-media, would have you believe. Weren't they calling him a socialist as recently as a week ago? We are to take them at their word, are we not?

Secondly, it is a mandate. The days of sweeping landslides are a thing of the past. It would be impossible to rule out the possibility of it happening it again in the future; realistically speaking, we are not likely to see a president win with over 50% of the vote anytime soon. Certainly, Obama won by a larger margin than did Bush either time around, and they were making the argument for a mandate then. Tell you what, we'll adopt Keith Olbermann's term for it, and it'll be forever be known as a "neo-mandate."

Next, so long, bubbelah. Time you were neutered, and if the Reps want you so badly, go for it. We'll see how that'll play with your current supporters, assuming you have any. Besides, there isn't an example of you behaving like a Democrat during this election season, so, it's not like you weren't already gone.

The argument has been made that with Lieberman on board, Democrats would inch closer toward the filibuster-proof magic number of 60 seats in the Senate. Which is an understandable goal, but if it means swallowing the bitter pill of having Lieberman in control of some major committee, then no, it isn't worth it.

It isn't what "Rahmbo" would do...It must be admitted, there's something about the prospect of Emanuel being Obama's arm of the law that is somewhat tantalizing.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Operation Leper

Taking a good look at the several post-election, interactive maps available online, there's strong evidence that the Republican party is becoming a regional one. Certainly it's in dissaray and pointing fingers, now making Palin the scapegoat for its failure to...communicate? If the GOP is smart, it will split and send the fundemented packing, and bring in a more moderate element like Schwarzenegger or Bloomberg, making the party what it once was: a collective of rich guys dedicated to financial conservatism and smaller government - not a pack of rats borrowing and spending while trying to muscle into the Middle East or infringing on citizens' civil rights, dictating personal lifestyle decisions (Hi there Prop. 8; ciao bella Roe v. Wade!).

It's highly unlikely that will happen, however. Already a censuring movement has been initiated, in which members of the GOP plan to prevent anyone who speaks out about Sarah Palin from working in Republican politics again. Ladies and gentlemen, will you help me please in welcoming-ing: "Operation Leper."

Quite ironic, considering how Jesus treated lepers.

Easy Now

It took a while to process what had happened, it generally does. It wasn't until the second time I heard the acceptance speech that the weight of what he was saying started gaining meaning. Tuesday was spent watching my fellow citizens in collective relief; hipsters everywhere proclaiming to finally see the light of hope, expressing an unfamiliar earnestness; a reverent awe permeated the atmosphere.

Then, on NPR, some humorless voice intones, "now Obama faces the challenge of living up to the hype." The man hadn't been in office 24 hours, and already the feet were being put to the fire. Thank you, nameless pundit. Thank you, 24 hr. news cycle.

Don't get me wrong, the time is coming for us to scrutinize the decisions he makes, but for the time being, can't the man get some post-election nookie without having these chirpy little voices pecking away at the general good mood? And hey! Tabloid culture! Michelle Obama's dress on Tuesday was fine, why don't you drop it?

For the first time in a long while, I agree with Joan Walsh without hesitation.

Besides, there are bigger fish to fry at the moment.

As the Franken/Coleman Senatorial race goes into automatic recount, sources are coming out alleging that one particular Coleman supporter may have donated money in an underhanded way. TPM is on the case.

Michele "Obama is an Anti-American" Bachmann speaks, and conciliation happens as nauseatingly as possible. Cannily, Bachmann manages to work in the fact that she doesn't see her district as one marred with racist thought. All assurances aside, somehow I don't believe a single word of it.

I'm sorry for the supporters in her constituency, this woman just screams "FAKE" whenever she speaks.

Did anybody else witness what may have been Ralph Nader's last political act? Someone had mentioned that he had gone off the res, but knowing that did not prepare me for his statement. Disheartening to see him go out like that, I'm going to try my best to remember him as the courageous consumer advocate he once was.

While talking with My Gay Neighbor on Tuesday night, I mentioned that Prop 8 was not doing so well. He explained about the massive amount of funding the "Yes on Prop 8" movement received from outside the state, and also the fact that the "No on Prop 8" people did not do a lot of outreach to other minorities until it was too late. So that by the time the prominent voices in the Latino, African-American, Asian, and other communities started supporting their cause, it may have been too late.

I'll mention here that those voices should have come to their aid a lot sooner, voluntarily; but if MGN is right, that's a serious strategic mistake for a group seeking equal rights.

Prop 8 should never have passed, but, as Obama has proven, every single early effort pays off.

Update - In the comments field, SEI's Anna provided this link, which further breaks down the various factors leading to Prop 8's passing.

I know it's kind of gauche to express cynicism during the present jubilation, so forgive me for indulging in bad habits. It's simply that I don't belive Sarah Palin, even though she's currently being minced by the same people who brought her to the spotlight, is not going to go anywhere.

Would it help if I told you that I'm hopeful I'm wrong?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SEI Introduces JAC

SEI would like to introduce you to the newest member of the team, JAC.

Hailing from distant, mysterious and exotic Toronto, ON (allegedly in Canada), JAC brings a passion for environmental issues, as well as perspective and issues from across the border. Please, try not to drown him in a sea of "trust us, you have it so much better there."

Welcome, JAC!

The World Is Watching

Been checking out all of the post-election coverage and I saw a bit about reactions around the world to Obama's victory.

One of the stations showed a montage of images from just about every region of the world that you can imagine and there was something specific that struck me.

Certainly I knew that a win by Obama would be seen as a positive thing by the international community, but this montage showed something I never thought I would see. Huge crowds of people in foreign lands flooding the streets carrying images of our President (or in this case President-elect) and American flags.

And neither one was on fire.

That might take a while to get used to.

In The Words of Fred Sanford...

"...Ya big dummy!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

quit raining on my parade

I didn't even have a full 24 hours to let go and take full, deep breaths before others confronted me on the foolhardiness of appointing Barack Obama the second coming of the messiah. Well, geez, I didn't realize that's what I, along with over 60 million other voters, had done. How silly of us to think we were participating in our democracy.

The first challenge came to me from a professor friend-of-a-friend who is of the mind that a vote for Obama means a vote for ignorance: ignorance about the true reality of race relations in America. She used the news coverage from last night as proof that Obama's supporters, even the "educated segments," as she called them, and the pundits are now convinced we've now relegated racism to the dustbin of history.

Can we not allow room for some joy and transcendence in our lives? Especially after eight years of a Cheney administration? (Let's not pretend W had that much responsibility.) Can we not bear witness to a moment, far too long in coming, in our nation's history without over-fucking-analyzing every last millisecond? We witnessed a man with Kenyan roots make his way past neverending obstacles to the highest office in the American government. I know that doesn't cause every KKK member to spontaneously combust. Seriously, I am not that naive.

I cannot speak for the thought processes of every average person on the street. I can, however, implore people to disregard what the pundits and TV talking heads have to say. Remember, these are the same people who let Sarah Palin run roughshod all over our Constitution without so much as a batted eyelash. If the voices we hear on TV tell us that we've transcended race, sadly some might believe that to be true.

But let us not forget that somehow the majority of Americans elected a biracial man raised by a white single mother, with a working-class Pennsylvanian as a running mate and the daughter of a Chicago public worker as a wife. After decades of the executive branch shitting on working Americans, we cannot forget or ignore the potential for change with this administration.

Yes, President-elect Obama will have more on his plate than he can possibly handle in four years. I, for one, did not vote for him to singlehandedly fix the economy. I voted for him because he represented, to me, the best of what my country has to offer and he sincerely seems intent on restoring a sense of civic pride.

I also didn't wake up this morning thinking I would soon be rich thanks to a new administration. I did, however, wake up more hopeful than I've been in eight years. I've grown up with politicians acting on a sense of entitlement. It's heartening and inspiring to me to finally see someone win a high office who had a snowball's chance in hell of winning according to the Washington/American history playbook.

The second challenge is thanks to Proposition fucking 8. Damn you, Californian bigots. Now I have friends angry with me for reveling in Obama's victory, as if I've shed my concern for queer rights just because we finally got a brotha into the White House. Again: please.

As loathe as I am to remind folks: change does not always come in giant waves. Sometimes we make small ripples that slowly carry to the shore. While it can be so disheartening to witness transcendence for some, please know it does not come at the expense of others. An injustice against one is an injustice against us all. If we work to to lift up the least among us that should include all of the least among us. I do believe we have a much better chance to make that happen now, more than ever. I mean, ask yourselves: ya really think you'd be better off under a McCain/Palin administration?

Forgive Them, They Know Not What They Do


Still recovering from my emotional moment last night, having been holding and feeding a bottle to my week-old daughter the moment the election was called for Obama. I'm not ashamed to say the tears came flowing down my face. Somehow my wife giving birth has made me hormonal.

All those thoughts of what it will mean to have my daughter growing up in an America where a black man has won the presidency.....well, it's going to take a lot more time for me to figure out how to put those into words.

Today my mood is somewhat tempered. Though not officially declared yet, with 99% of precincts reporting it looks like Proposition 8 in California is headed toward passage.

On the same day we elected a black man to the highest office in the land, bigotry against homosexuals potentially wins a battle in one of the more liberal states in the country.

Putting aside the equality argument for a minute, do Californians realize what they've just done to themselves? With the economy going down the shitter and California basically broke, did they even consider what this would cost them if Prop 8 passed?

This isn't a case of just stopping gay marriage from happening, like several states did after the Massachusetts ruling. This is taking away a right that has already been granted to the gay citizens of California. It would be like kicking the black kids out of a public school after Brown v. Board of Education already put them there.

Not only will there no longer be legal gay marriage in the state, but what of the status of those who have already been married under the current law? What is the constitutionality of a state forcing divorces or annulments on legally married couples?

This is a question that will eventually be answered after lawsuits are filed and appealed. And appealed and appealed and appealed. More than likely this will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court eventually.

The Attorney General of California will be forced to defend this state constitutional amendment, spending millions of taxpayer dollars. Is stopping gay marriage really worth that much to the haters? Do they really believe they can stop this forever anyway?

And it's not even just the money being drained from the state coffers to defend this stupid amendment that is being lost. Do they realize how many gay people have been making plans to go to California to get married and spend a ton of their expendable income? In these economic times do you really want to alienate what might be the only demographic to still have an expendable income?

On the personal side, I already wrote about my two friends that this will affect. That's the immediate. In the long term I think abut my little girl.

I'm not that worried about what kind of attitude she'll have about homosexuality. She'll grow up having gay people in her life and hopefully will attend some gay weddings. My wife's and my attitudes about this will have a bigger influence on her than any ranting bigot ever will.

But we will be trying to teach her these things when in the majority of our country bigotry against gays is the law. That's going to be something we have to try to explain to her.

Imagine how much easier it was for a white liberal couple to raise their kids to believe that black people were our equals after the civil rights movement than it was before the Civil Rights Act.

That's the world I want to raise my kid in.

SEI Introduces Anna

The SEI team is happy to welcome the Oregon rabble rouser, voter fraud perpetrator and the owner of several sassy-pants Anna to our ranks.

Originally, a native of the NYC elite classes, she then proceeded to move to several different cities in order to share the snobbery; these travels included, but were not limited to Boston, Seattle, Portland (OR)...She currently resides in Ashland, OR (on the Southern border, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, along several thousand privileged hippies named Starchild); where she builds bikes, teaches Yoga, and lives as a vegan along with a companion and a dog.

Welcome, Anna!

Hope and Trust

This morning at work I walked into a conversation (literally at the water cooler) between two colleagues: a would-be, new mother of twins, and a "veteran" mother of 3. The more experienced woman was filling in her colleague on the (lousy) maternal leave policy we have as part of our outstanding state health plan: six weeks of un-paid time off, plus whatever extra days people can donate to her. We were quickly joined by our resident, ecclesiastical GOP mouthpiece---a man dangerously mis-informed and always quick to argue down anyone not of his party affiliation. I was filling up my water bottle, and mentioned that in Canada prospective parents may get up to one year half-paid leave (momentofchoice can amend my statement if necessary), and that there is even a possibility for "paternal leave," which gives the father ample time off to care for the baby.
"Yea, sure," opined our conservative, aggressive friend. "If you're willing to pay 68% of your salary in taxes."

To my delight, no one said anything. We just quietly walked away and left the poor sod standing there waiting for his cinnamon bun to finish heating in the microwave. I felt like printing out for him momentofchoice's brilliant column "All the Candidates Are Socialists, So What?" written here on Thursday, Oct. 30th, but then that would've taken up a minute or so of my time and my time is precious nowadays. And so we just left him there without saying a word. It was the right thing to do, believe me. We all know from unpleasant experience.

To-day was not a day to take up the same tired rhetoric with an ill-informed adversary. We've gone through particularly nasty political waters since this past summer, and last night's historic win was enough to speak volumes on behalf of most of us, and refute even more. To-day was a day for hope.

This morning, after hardly any sleep, I was processing what has transpired the last several months in this election, and reflecting on the puissant, cogent effect of hope in my life. Pontificating that, I was reminded of a powerful (but bittersweet) story in David Remnick's biography of Muhammad Ali, "King of the World." As an innocent, illiterate black man was about to be lynched by a white mob in the 40s, the victim looked out into the crowd's hate-filled eyes and--convinced that the current heavyweight champion of the world and saviour of the black community would magically pop out and save his life--he yelled out in exasperation: HELP ME JOE LOUIS!

It's a heartbreaking story; one of proportions so un-fathomable to me that I get shivers every time I think of it. So great and complete was the man's belief and hope in the power of Joe Louis, that in his last, desperate moments on earth he appealed to the champ to save his life.

Although this will sound macabre, out of line, and even disrespectful (none of it intended), I feel as powerless and desperate as the poor soul staring at his unjust death. I, too, feel like throwing up my hands in despair and screaming: HELP US BARACK OBAMA!

I realize it's an extreme comparison, but I have nothing left save bitterness and cynicism. I am a husband and a father and I shouldn't harbor such extreme emotions at such extreme levels. I am trusting this man to begin to re-open doors of opportunity, although not without my pledge of support and hard work. I realize I may be putting my only egg into one basket, but it is only because I feel I am at the end of the rope. I have nothing left.

Just hope.

What a difference four years makes

I'm sure I wasn't the only one to record Obama's speech last night, and it truly was one for the ages. My daughter fell asleep right after the race was called for Obama, and I'm looking forward to watching it again, this time with her, when we get home later today.

I'm most struck this morning by the difference between the swaggering "I've earned some political capital, and I mean to spend it" and the humble "For those of you whose support I have yet to gain, I may not have gotten your vote, but I will listen to you." And I'm particularly impressed by Obama's call for hard work from all of us, for sacrifice to make this country what we want it to be, what it deserves to be.

There is some time to bask in the raucous joy of this historic moment. I was again almost moved to tears this morning just hearing clips from Obama's speech, and am experiencing a feeling of well-being and optimism unlike anything I've felt for the last eight years.

But when it subsides, as it inevitably must, we have to resume our hard work, arguing for social justice and economic equality, pushing the new Obama administration to fulfill every promise made to us in two long years of campaigning.

Because it won't be enough for us to echo "Yes we can." We must respond with "And, goddamnit, we will."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama v. McCain IV: The Final Showdown


(from momentofchoice) Thanks to all who joined the support group and celebration last night! TBO, JJ, Deni, Stef & Paulie, (S)wine, thisiswhatis, Erin O'Brien, James from the Important Project, MGG, Anna, Joe, Megan, Mike, B.E. Earl, sleepyjer, pnwfilmgeek, smokelong, shizzle, the other JJ, and anyone else who stopped by. And congratulations, everyone worked hard to make history!

As Of This Writing

California's Prop 8 remained too close to call, with the count breaking at 53-47 for the proposition's passing (it would ban the legality of gay marriage in the state). Only 48% of the balloting has been counted, and the Against vote is down by 280k votes, approximately.

In Minnesota, Bachmann somehow won her race, and Al Franken was pulling even, behind by only 1200 votes (96% of the vote had been counted).

We will see what happens after everyone gets a good night's rest.

UPDATE: At 12:30AM PST, Franken had pulled ahead by a little under a thousand votes, with 98% accounted for. I wonder if he's having as much trouble sleeping as I am, though for an entirely different reason. Thinking of you, Al.

For The Ladies

Ladies, if the polling places in your state aren't closed yet, and you need a reason, beyond your reproductive rights, gender advancement, and everything else to get out of your house to go vote, the ladies of give you an added incentive.

Another Reason Why Today Is So Important To Me


One of my best friends in the world is TS, who was my roommate from my Seattle days. He left for Los Angeles around the same time I left to go back to Chicago in 2000. The hard part about leaving Seattle when I did was getting used to not seeing him everyday. I meet very few people in my life that really "get" me, and he was one of the main ones of my early adulthood.

He is also the reason, because he was the leader of a band in the Seattle scene, that I got let into clubs like the Colourbox for free. I also got a lot of my pints for free there and smoked-up in the back room.

During his years in Seattle, after coming there from Indiana in the mid-90s, he eventually came to terms with the fact that he is gay. Hitting L.A. as a completely out of the closet gay man has been great for him. Very freeing, I would imagine. Well, not just imagine, I saw how freeing it was for him.

I also had a friend in college before I moved to Seattle, BM. One of the best actors I ever shared a stage with and also directed. He is also a great artist and a big music geek like me. He got married to a girl we went to school with and they eventually moved to L.A.

BM, who had grown up in a very conservative Midwestern family, figured out something about himself after they moved out there.

He is gay. So he and the wife split up and he hit the gay club scene as a DJ.

Eventually, by sheer coincidence with neither person knowing that they both knew me, TS and BM met. And fell in love.

In February they will get married.

That is unless Proposition 8 passes tonight in California, prohibiting same-sex marriages in a state where it has already become legal.

I know that in the grand scheme of things a couple of guys being able to get married isn't the most important issue when compared to global warming, the economy and infrastructure.

But it is really important to two friends of mine.

And I would really love to see the agents of intolerance and hate get rejected by the people of the most populous state in the country. I will have more faith in the humanity of Americans if Proposition 8 loses.

I'll be up late tonight with my fingers crossed.

Election Day Footage

Eyes slideways: A number of East Coast States' polls will be closing within the hour, meaning numbers are going to start streaming in for Florida, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.

Who's surprised that the "journalists" at FOXNews are attempting to create outrage by picking fights with alleged "Black Panther" members, accusing them of voter intimidation?

Similarly, who's surprised that former Survivor-contestant, The View co-host, and current Sarah Palin cheerleader, Elizabeth Hasslebeck would spend part of the day digging up stale and debunked by her cohorts charges about Obama and Reverend Wright? Get the feeling that there are times when Whoopi would just love to slap that child upside the head.

Finally, Joe Wurzelbacher has John McCain to thank for the extension to his 15-minutes, however, just like Sarah Palin, he seems to be doing a superb job of making sure that once that extension is up, we'll never hear from him again.

Here's hoping at least.

For Your Results-Waiting Reading Pleasure

As I sit here, listening to some MSNBC reporter drone actually talking about the "Redskin Rule" in all seriousness, some dark recess of my consciousness is marveling at the difference in my outlook compared to four years ago.

Four years ago, I was performing in a political-horror-exploitation show, with the utmost confidence that the US population would not be foolish enough to fall for last minute Al Qaeda ploys, trumped up "flip-flopper" charges and jingoism 24/7 to re-elect the chimp in charge. It only took 10 minutes, after the last curtain call, for that confidence to be needled flat.

I don't think I could be more wary this year, which reminds me that it's been two paragraphs since I implored for you to vote. VOTE, PEOPLE! Then come back here and tell us of your experience.

There are not enough ways to keep track of voter fraud attempts, so it's bold for anyone to come out with an Election Protection Wiki; a valiant effort. Check in to keep an eye on local efforts, and, folks, if you see anything shady going on, please do not hesitate to report it.

States to keep an eye on: Virginia (with a specific eye on the Virginia Tech vote), Michigan, and, unsurprisingly, Florida.

With one of the reddest populations in the nation, only fractionally due to the massive evangelical mega-churches headquartered there, Colorado Springs can serve as a sort of bellwether city for the extreme-conservative movement. As one of the few national online publications that realizes this, Salon visited the Co.Spgs. over the weekend and found that the movement may be flagging, even within the state, for an undefined period of time.

More to come.

iVoted Roll Call

Voted earlier today, didn't have to wait long, and now I'm perusing the various sources for any juicy election news. Most of what's happening now is a ton of calm-before-the-storm coverage, though most news orgs will start kicking in heavy around 2p EST.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks, this could be a bumpy ride.

**update from momentofchoice**Obama casts his vote**

If You Won't Do It For Yourself...


Can't you do it for the children?

Won't somebody please think of the children?!

That's right, I just pimped out my newborn for Obama.

It's Election Day people. All hands on deck.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama Wins!


At least in the very first poll closing anyway.

Results of the voting in Dixville Notch, a Republican-leaning small town in New Hampshire:

Obama - 15 votes
McCain - 6 votes

The long, dark night of the soul

I remember when the basics of risk analysis were explained to me. Essentially, it factors the potential that something might happen with the cost should it happen. For example, while it isn't likely a jet flying over a major city will crash, there's still significant risk because of the level of damage it would create if it did.

So, while I believe Obama will carry the day tomorrow, the magnitude of my disappointment should he falter, or should the most sinister of the Right's machinations succeed, means I'm wallowing in significant risk.

Frankly, I'm worried I might very really lose my shit if McCain wins.

And the smug assurances of Bill Kristol that my liberal heart need not quake in fear at the notion of McCain presidency do nothing to lesson my anxiety. Neither do the frantic barrage of calls I've gotten in the last 24 hours from humans and robots alike. I'm sorry to those humans that I have yet to answer any of these calls, as I know it is difficult and often fruitless work, but please, stop, I can't handle it.

Right now holding my breath and preparing to vote have me fully occupied. That and stocking up on heavy medications for Wednesday morning, just in case.

RIP: Madelyn Dunham (O's Grandma)

If only she could've held on a couple more days...*sniff*

Thank you, Mrs. Dunham, for your hand in raising this charming, bright and delightful young man.

Conservative Candidates: Stop Butchering My Second Language

Open Letter From An East Coast Immigrant Elitist Who Can Still Tell (and Spell) The Difference Between the Plural and the Possessive.

Please, stop the linguistic madness. I can't take it anymore! Andy White, William Strunk, Maxwell Perkins, and James Thurber are donning tutus, doing pirouettes in their respective six-foot holes.

Let's begin with the most obvious, most covered, and widely ridiculed abberation of the last eight years: Nukular. I fully realize the cute alternative is "nukes" but please don't superglue part of the diminutive to the real word. Make an effort and push that tongue up to the roof of the mouth for the "Lee" sound: do it with me, come on now; I've had to learn your bloody language from scratch at age 10 in spite of awful harassment from asshole 5th graders with bowl haircuts and Toughskins jeans, and if a schlub like me can do it, surely you can too: New-klee-uhr. One more time, use that tongue skillfully (there's a nasty joke involving congressmen and subordinate male pages in here somewhere). Atta boys!

Next is our favorite bottom dweller: The Pundit. Not "Pundant," not "Punit," just... PUNDIT. This is someone who offers to mass-media his/her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences, or sport), on which he/she is presumed to be knowledgeable. You've dealt with this despicable specimen all your political lives; you ought to be able to say it correctly by now: PUN-DIT. Atta girls!

Third down the list is Candidate. You are one of these, therefore you must pronounce it correctly. Don't be lazy now---"Canadates" are social or romantic interludes with our neighbo(u)rs to the north; we love them, even though they have a lousy sense of humo(u)r (yes I mean you, Herb Dixon!) . CanDIdates are self-centered egomaniacal ecclesiastics like yourselves, running on baseless promises and fear tactics.

Lastly, in articulating words such as Winning, Saying, Writing, Campaigning, and Reading, the last letter/consonant "g" is NOT silent; it is pronounced. While y'all may be fond of all the hootin' and hollerin' at y'alls rallies, and shootin' at North American elk from various dirigibles and flyin' machines, enunciatin' yer vernacular like Tom Joad does not make you part of the workin' class. Neither is folksiness an endearing personality trait when staring down a pissed-off Ayatollah with his finger on the Launch button.

So, please people...with one day left in this electoral mud-slinging maelstrom, let's go out there and do it right for The Gipper. Ronnie would've never truncated or butchered this great, American language of ours. Its the right thing to do.
I mean, "it's."
No, "its."