"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Brigher Moments In Politics: Mighty Oregon

Having beat a lot on the national drain-circling, I feel compelled to point out a counternote: Oregon just passed progressive tax measures to fund little things like schools and healthcare at the expense of the wealthy and corporations. In other words, the People beat the Powerful. It can be done.

How, you may ask? Well the first thing about progressive populism is you have to talk like a progressive populist, meaning you explain in no uncertain terms that you intend to address the massive inequality by requiring those who can easily afford to do so to step up and support the social contract which has benefited them so much:

Second thing you to is engage your base for God's sake. Maybe campaigning among young people or engaging unions. Give 'em something to jump and shout about at least.

Do those things, and you can win.

Behave as if you live in thrall to Zombie Regan, or as if you're an aristocrat, and you will be crushed.

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This Is What They Call "Implosion"

It looks like President Obama is about to consign himself to irrelevance:

In 1982 Ronald Reagan gave his first State of the Union address. His approval rating was about the same as Barack Obama’s now. His economic track record was considerably worse: instead of presiding over the end of a recession, he had presided over the beginning of one, and the economy was in free fall. Nonetheless, Reagan mounted an unapologetic defense of his economic ideology, combined with a harsh critique of his precedecessors.

We haven’t heard Obama’s SOTU yet. But the big news seems to be the spending freeze. What I hear from bat-squeaks is that it’s not a big deal on economic substance, and that admin officials hope it will clear the way for some modest job-creation efforts. We’ll see about that. Rhetorically, however, Obama is clearly, conspicuously endorsing his opponents’ world-view — which will buy him precisely nothing in return.

I can't really find words to capture the level of EPIC FAIL that we are approaching here. It's truly baffling. While Obama seems on balance to be a nice guy, and I don't doubt his basic smarts, he or the people he's listening to are showing themselves to be utterly politically incompetent. Meanwhile the actual dude who got him elected has been reduced to writing op eds, which the White House is ignoring.

As per Atrios, it really does seem as if the people in charge have no idea what they are doing. I think I'll probably stop writing about this until there's some change in the general downward spiral action.

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Mission Statement Draft #13419

So, the news from the centers of power is grim. Exceedingly grim. The Democratic Party is, as an institution, putting on a world-class clinic in organizational dysfunction. In complete control of the government, they have failed to make any significant achievements over the course of a full year. Their only big move, last winter's stimulus plan, has been roundly understood to be too timid, and as a result the economy, while still existent, is in a prolonged "jobless recovery" limbo.

Then last week's one-two combination of truly devastating news. First the pseduo-aristocratic nomination of a Kennedy-family apparatchik to succeed old Teddy in Massachusetts going down in flames to a right-winger in a pickup who flat out wanted it more. Scott Brown did five times as many public events as Coakly, had a hot-shit new media team (running Drupal), and surged at the end to take the win. That's Edward Kennedy's seat, going to a rather immoderate Republican, and bringing an end to the 60-vote theory of power in the Senate.

Republicans Seize 41 - 59 Senate Majority

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The Feeling Begins

First of all, some mood music.

Lord I just want my life to be true
And I just want my heart to be true
And I just want my words to be true
I want my soul to feel brand new

I want to hold hands yeah
Yeah and I want make love
I want to keep running all day and and all night
Even when my mind tells my body that's enough

And I want to stand up yeah and I want to stand tall
If I ever have a son, if I ever have a daughter
I don't want to tell them that I didn't give my all

I just finished reading Jonathan Franzen's first novel, Twenty Seventh City. It's a really wonderful story of political intrigue and personal neurosis, and there's a killer line towards the end from the perspective of a young woman upset with her somewhat pedantic boyfriend: "Suddenly she was living in a new world made for people like him, for people who can despise it and succeed in it anyway."

(man, google books is cool)

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Talk Nerdy To Me

One of the things I did while on my world-tour last fall was give a talk about Drupal and academia in the belly of a ship in Stockholm. And the cameras we're rolling.

How Berkeley and Stanford University Use Drupal (Joshua Koenig) from NodeOne.se on Vimeo.

It's not my best presentation due to jetlag/sickness and a funky mic (I also never really had my breath working right, a big no-no from Theater World), but I did a decent job of regulating my pace and I think it's a more or less accurate talk.

Huge thanks to my hosts who cut together this video really well, and gave me some lovely liquor that I didn't quite get to drink. Looking forward to showing them a really good time when they come out to San Francisco in April!

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200,000 Miles

Moamar rolls over. 1/4 of these are mine.

Slow Motion

Things never go as fast as I want. Change leaks out in incremental dribbles, globally and personally. We're lucky for what we have, even as we ache and pine for all that's yet to come.

It's a new decade, and it seems like time to start doing things that make me feel good, maybe in the bigger picture sort of way. So I bought some books and am eating a lot more salad, and once I wind my way back up in Humboldt I'll see if I can't work the dingy little workout room at the community pool back into my schedule. Shore my locks, too.

Spending another week down in the Bay, racking up productive hours in Palo Alto, tearing up the city streets on the old bicycle, and logging somewhat surreal weekends in our decidedly bourgeois downtown office — track lighting, polished concrete, big silver fridge; it's the office you get in the movie of your startup life right before you start to blow it.

It's going to be a pretty big six months. There's a ton on the horizon. Gonna try and sneak back to NYC for a week or two in March to see the fam, then speaking at SXSW and helping to host DrupalConSF. Then turning 31, hopefully starting to pull out some threads of the next phase, because it's time to level-up.

I'll kick up some real redesign action for ye olde site soon. This is all part of a bigger plan.

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