Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday round-up

  • Utah has so many divorces that they have an online divorce tool, which is pretty slick.

  • Alabama Democrats tried to split the baby: the state party "disqualified an openly gay candidate for the Alabama Legislature and the woman she defeated in the primary runoff because both women violated a party rule that party officials said no other candidate has obeyed since 1988," but it failed. Why, because if the party disqualified Patricia Todd "for not filing a financial disclosure form with the party chairman it would also have to disqualify the party's nominee for governor, Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, and for lieutenant governor, former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr."

  • Utah's own Senator Macacca: St. Sen. Chris Buttars R-South Jordan.
    Buttars was responding to questions from reporter Tom Grover on Logan radio station KVNU-AM.
    Buttars plans to introduce a bill that would allow the Senate to remove a state judge from office at the end of the jurist's term if he and fellow senators took issue with the judge's rulings.
    When Grover mentioned that "courts are the way for those in the minority ... to ensure (their) rights are protected," Buttars responded with the following:
    "I don't understand that at all. You give me an example. I don't know of any example where the minority is being jeopardized by legislative action."
    When Grover mentioned the 1955 Brown v. Board of Education ruling as an example, Buttars said: "Well, I think Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with. That's a whole other subject. Call me again and take a half-hour to talk about that."

    It gets better: The book that he cited to support his argument, says nothing of the sort.
    [Author Jay P.] Greene said Thursday that his book isn't about desegregation but about what he calls "common claims in education not supported by evidence. Nothing in the book discusses the affects of segregation or desegregation."

  • Bush says there's no point “discussing the pros and cons of the war.” Why, because as long as he's President, we are staying there [unless Democrats take control of Congress]. This man is just begging Democrats to run a great campaign about Iraq, and then the laundry list of domestic woes. Iraq is the number one issue on voters minds. We don't need to do one of those "If was in the Congress in 2002..." voting questions, but say "Congress[wo]man/Senator X is enabling Bush's disasterous Iraq policy by not holding the administration accountable/responsbile for their errors." While you are at it, you can say "Congressman/Senator X voted for it over and over again, and I wouldn't have."

Have a happy and safe weekend. I think Saturday will be hike day for the wife and I. Recommendations for easy hikes near SLC are welcomed.

lede with understatement

This has got to be one of the funniest introductary clauses I have read in a long time:
Perhaps concerned that he is 40 points down in the polls, state Rep. LaVar Christensen is the first major candidate to jump into the TV advertisement wars this election season.
...he actually only bought one $3,200 spot on the Thursday night late news on KSL-TV, a television ad executive said. She said other local TV stations report Christensen bought a single ad on their late news, as well.

Just to give you an idea how little chance Christensen has, the last poll had him down 64-23 (in mid-July) sure that will narrow with ads, but here's another big problem. Matheson has about a million cash on hand, whereas Christensen has $100,000 in bank. Keep in mind, Christensen cut himself a $150,000 check...Matheson might pay for a tank of gas on his way to campaign event now and again, but that's about it. [FEC reports and breakdowns here]

This means that unless NRCC can pump in hundreds of thousands in a few weeks assuming it gets close. And the NRCC is already having to play defense on dozens of districts such that they aren't even playing offense in UT-02, a high-60s/low-70s percent Bush district in 2004.

This there isn't much room for LaVar to attack Jim:
Out of the 15 votes that Bishop bragged about to his constituents, Matheson voted with Bishop and the GOP majority 13 times.
Since entering Congress in 2001, Matheson has voted about 50 percent of the time in step with GOP President Bush's positions on legislative issues, reviews by Congressional Quarterly have shown.
"I don't keep score" on whether votes are for or against Republicans or Democrats," said Matheson. "I try to take each issue and vote how to represent my constituents in Utah."
A July survey shows that 75 percent of Matheson's constituents approve of the job he is doing. That's a very good rating.

That's a good line, and true from my experience interning for him. And I am obviously not the only one who likes and trusts him, in fact, he is the most popular member of the Utah delegation.

So Jim's seat is safe, although I doubt he will win 64-23.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

campaigning for a job

The cliche line is that running for office, especially running for president, is like one long job interview. If that is true, man campaign are going to be tough.

Today I blasted through 4 motions in 6 hours (all of which rock thank you), raced up to Milcreek Canyon to have lunch with the division I used to clerk for at the DA's office.

There, I glad-handed each and every attorney I could manage in the time without looking like I was glad-handing. Plus, the chicken and side dishes were amazing, but quite a long drive. Up and down to park the car, then off to law school to glad hand again.

All your classmates will be your collegues soon. All will be able of giving you work. All your professors are your recommendations and graders. This year is a never ending job interview for dozens of jobs, most of which I won't get. But I will never know which I will get until I the campaign trail never ends. Wish me luck and vote Oldenburg for employed.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

George W. and Laura Bush crash my wedding...over a year late

I got this in the mail on Monday. At first, I thought it was a joke. Who from the White House would send a letter hand addressed to both me and my wife. It is not like I have friend or even acquaintance working there.

The postmark showed it was indeed sent off from the White House on August 18, 2006, exactly a year and two months from my wedding date.

So what gives? They certainly weren't sent an perfunctory invitation. And the New York Times article on our wedding my wife managed to get published came out the day after we tied the knot. It was pretty cool to pick up the Times in the Newark Airport on the way to our Honeymoon and see our names in it.

Any theories as to why much belated wedding wishes were sent out to Mr. and Mrs. Oldenburg? Third Ave'ers know that I have not been a fan of Bush since 1994, and not been a fan of his father's since the 1980 GOP convention when he flip flopped on "voodoo economics." Nor do I like Laura, who is complicit in her husband's failed presidency.

It was by far the funniest bit of junk mail I have ever recieved. I say junk because by definition, it was wholly unsolicited. Could a closet GOP relative be behind this? The whole thing boggles my mind. I will let this one slide, but if I get a Christmas Card from the Bush family, all bets are off.

Monday, August 21, 2006

end the snobbery

Take a break from the endless, mindless coverage of that wierdo who the media has decided killed the Ramsey girl. Do we really care what he ate on board? If only he got hit by a bus, the madness would end.

Anyway, when you go to a movie or think about going to a movie, do you ever read the New York Times movie review? I doubt it. Why? Because who cares what a bunch of elitist jerks think? Last night I watched Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews (odd casting I know). That 1966 thriller wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed it. It obviously was not as good as the Hitchcock classics, but definitely better than anything that claims to be a thriller in the theaters this summer. Also, no real sex or gore.

That is the thing I like about old movies, and not because I am a prude. Older movies are more like books in that the violence and sex are left to your imagination, which can be even more exciting/scary than if you were to see every last drop like modern movies show.

But back to the point. So after the film I searched around for the review, and got this from 1966. Bosley Crowther, "America's foremost film critic for over a quarter of a century," wrote the review for the Times. Not only was it dripping with contemptuous sarcasm, he is unnecessarily horrible.

Here's a section that proves it was written in 1966:
His troubles are further compounded by the mildly romantic fact that his secretary, who also happens to be his fiancée, has stubbornly tagged along with him on his flight into East Germany, not knowing what he is up to, and embarrassingly gets in his way. In the manner of women, however, she's a help when they have to flee.

One of the last vestiges of New Yorker's superiority complex for the whole world to see is the Times movie review. I am trying to think of the last movie they liked. The point is never to enjoy a film but to find as much fault as possible, and say it with as much clever cruelty as possible.

You can almost picture Bosley smirking with each return of typewriter, DING! The film industry left New York City in the 1920s because movies could be filmed year round in the sun of Southern California. But the gloomy NYC haughtiness never left Gotham.

This is why I had trouble with the Times and New York long before 9/11 and the Iraq war. They just behave and believe they know better than the rest of us bumpkins. Bosley is currently embodied in A.O. Scott, who has never said a positive thing about a major Hollywood film to my memory. There is a reason people listen to Roger Ebert more than any other reviewer, and it is not because the Chicago Sun-Times is such a great paper (it isn't), it is because he has thoughtful, constructive things to say about most films. Sure he can slam a terrible SNL-alum film like the best of them, but he isn't universally nasty.

My favorite reporter the Grey Lady employs is Jennifer 8. Lee. That's right 8, as in eight. She decided that there were too many Asian ladies named Jennifer Lee, so to distinguish herself, she gave herself a numerical middle name. I wonder what the 8 is short for. She also knows how to party like the fictional women on "Sex and the City."

See you can have your “high class” without having to hate everything on God’s green Earth and come with a too-clever-by-half insulting line. I would like to dump the whole lot of them out in the wilderness and see how Nature enjoys their insecurity-based taunts.