"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Up With Hope

Imagine a Department of Energy run by... A SCIENTIST! Chu is his name, and Nobel Prizes (and the Berkeley Livermore Lab) are his game. This is the first appointment by Obama I think qualifies as "kick ass."

Applause broke out when he described how companies, after claiming efficiency gains and lowered costs were impossible, “miraculously” achieved them once they “had to assign the jobs from the lobbyists to the engineers.”

Background courtesy Brad, everyone's favorite revolutionary plant in the DC establishment:

Read More

In Which We Learn That I Will Likely Not Work For The Obama Administration


A seven-page questionnaire being sent by the office of President-elect Barack Obama to those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts may be the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever.

The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps.

Only the smallest details are excluded; traffic tickets carrying fines of less than $50 need not be reported, the application says. Applicants are asked whether they or anyone in their family owns a gun. They must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages.

I had no illusions that Team Obama would really strike a blow for keepin' it real in politics -- they've been as controlling and square as any campaign, and it helped them win, so why change? But really, this mentality is totally crippling to our ability to govern. It's partly borne of the fear of "gotcha" politics, but it's also a matter of institutional culture. It's why the CIA can't get good talent, because the odds are here in the 21st Century if you're smart enough to be good at any job they need you for, you're at least a little bent one way or another and they don't like that. So they take a lot of B and C-level people who fit their mold, and gradually suck more and more wind over time.

Read More

On My Way Out

Read More

Best Monday EVAR?

So far it's the best Monday evar, and not just because I had a fantastic dinner last night (butternut squash + garlic + house-made pasta + grappa = WIN). I'm hanging at The Change You Want To See and the good news is rolling like thunder:

It's looking like there will be some results. Elections have consequences.

Of course, the big thing we'll all be waiting on is what we do for the economy. That's a huge thing, but I'm feeling mildly optimistic about it all.

Read More

Worth Repeating: #1 Summer Jam

Pretty soon this will kind of be creepy, I'll bet. But for now, let's enjoy that #1 summer jam...

Hell of a catchy chorus.

Read More

Pins and Needles

I've been working hard all day w/some on-site meetings, which has kept me from obsessively checking the news. We should start to see some results in the next half hour.

The past two weeks I've felt very confident, but today with the event upon us the irrational emotional fear has crept in. I've never participated in a winning presidential election, and the past two contests have been awful enough that there's a bit of post-traumatic stress associated with the whole thing.

Anyway, we'll know soon. Pins and needles!

Read More

Emancipate America

Read More

Cash Rules Everything Around Me

I finally caved in and made a political donation, my first in the general election. Obama hasn't really needed my money -- and I volunteered about $2,500 worth of my market-rate time making this vote-call widget to help him out -- and the only other candidate I was tempted to contribute to was Jeff Merkley, who's on track to unseat the odious Gordon Smith back in Mighty Oregon.

But those hepcats at OpenLeft sent an email and I felt weak, so I threw some coin to Darcy Burner, because she's someone I've seen in action on the conference circuit and she seems honestly to be "one of us." And she's in a tight frickin' race.

So yeah, if you feel like donating to try and push the momentum to fever pitch, find a Congressperson or Senator (or a city council member) who's looking to knock off a bad guy and give down-ballot.

Read More

The Oval Office is for Closers (Redux)

This is what you call the closing argument. I expect the big 30-minute show on Wednesday to be a more intricate version of the same. By all indications, Barry is pulling away, which is just great to see. Hopefully w/all the early voting, the big GOTV push can take it to the next level and we'll get a serious mandate to do all these things.

The reality is that it's going to take several years to turn around the Bush momentum. Four years is enough to start to see a shift and hopefully earn another term to bring it on home. The big gamble is whether or not Obama will be able to govern, and whether or not the House and Senate will start to act w/purpose, and just how far out into the wilderness the ultra-political end of the GOP rump will end up. Hopefully the infighting there will hamper their ability to foul up an Obama administration (for reference see Clinton, Bill, years 1992 - 1994), and hopefully also the signs that Obama is a much more capable leader than the old Clenis will bear out.

Read More