Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rage Against the Machine




Interesting article about The Daily Show in a Democratic administration.

Comedy in the Era of Obama @ Pajiba.


I'm not worried that the Daily Show will run out of material just because Obama's won. Hell, the government, corporations and the mass media...there is not going to be a lack of stupid powerful people to mock any time soon. But will Stewart remain as relevant?

Now that we don't feel so much like the underground insurgency that needs to tread carefully around the jesus freaks, will we be less engaged maybe? It's a slippery slope....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I was all set to live blog election night... when something terrible and closer to home happened...

Mexico’s Interior Minister Killed in Jet Crash AP by way of NYT

Confirma Presidencia muerte de Mouriño


Juan Camilo Mouriño, Méxican Secretario de Gobernación (Minister of the Interior) was killed in a jet crash today. He was travelling from San Luis Potosí to Mexico City on a Learjet, when his plan crashed 12.6 kilometers from the airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico). It all points to narcotráfico.

Mouriño was a young, good looking heir apparent, had been in office less than a year, transferred from the Oficina de la Presidencia (a relatively new department).

Per the NYT: "He headed the government’s security apparatus and was the President’s point man in the increasingly bloody drug war."

He hadn't been doing so well, especially with the energy reform. Ties to Pemex and family businesses hadn't helped.

My paranoid conspiracy theory mind points to a narco / inside job. Mouriño was a close friend of Calderón, but there must be somebody high up who takes it upon himself to do the dirty jobs. To offer the mob Mouriño in exchange for, what?
This is a big emotional hit, but the Secretary wasn't being as effective as initially hoped.

The problem is now who will take his place? Cesar Nava? Josefina Vazquez Mota? Is the country still governable? Yes, this might help the PAN get elected next year since they can be martyrs (they can also lose because they're not competent), but jesus christ was I stunned and yanked back into reality when I heard this news. There is more than one Mexico. But we all live in the same space. ANd sometimes those worlds don't just brush against each other, they crash into each other.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why We Fight.

And why we will win.



There will be a post forthcoming, I'm not dead yet.

Democrats must not slack off, 'cause elections can be lost in a minute. Rusty keeps reminding me that campaigns that don't work their bases can lose votes on election day. Obama's campaign has been quite disciplined in their grassroots work, and the astounding amounts raised in the last couple of months attest to that. I'm confident they can pull it off because of practical reasons. But it's speeches like this one that speak to our souls and make us believe. I'm not from the States, but I'm a proud ally at moments like these.

Advertising baloney? Well, cynisism is our easy answer, it takes guts to believe. That's my frame of mind today. Despite our horrible drug war, and the floundering global economy, we must remember, we're in this for the long run.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Did you all have a good day yesterday? I hope the worldwide stock plunge didn't scare you. It was Europe's turn to host the party. We had a pretty eventful day, althoug thankfully there were no catfights between biz and the front page (that was friday, thankyouverymuch).

Yesterday was like the maxed out chick getting her credit cards snipped in half by the saleslady because, "I'm sorry ma'am but your card was rejected". Les cayó el veinte? There is no credit in the markets, and the top hat ran out of rabbits.

Sorry, I'm being unintelligible I know. Frankly, I have no idea if the credit lines approved by the Fed will be enough fow now. Helicopter drops can only go so far, and right now it seems all markets (except China) are spooked. The Sao Paulo and the Moscow stock markets had to shut down, twice, because their respective indexes were down 15 percent.

Our market expert said this morning that the Dow would go up today although it would behave like it had a hangover. As of 20 min ago, the DJIA is down 1.88%, S&P 2.06% and the Nasdaq has lost 2.31%. The U.S. sneezes, the rest of the world gets a cold.

What really left me cold yesterday was a warning from John Burbank of Passport Capital, that GE might go bankrupt. General Electric. (I'll pull a Biden and repeat, General. Electric.) Which just raised about $15b in stock, plus got another $3b from Buffet. The firm is having difficulty rolling over its paper, and has 22 times as many assets as it has tangible equity. Shit.


So, Roubini was right. So was Taleb.

===>Felix Salmon's Market Movers @ Portfolio: Roubini was right

Pay off your credit cards NOW. But don't panic, 'cause right now what can hurt us the most I think, is fear itself. At least for now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

La Ley de Herodes, o te chingas o te jodes

Ok, I haven't posted in a couple days even though many things have been going on.
Right now I have a lot going on work wise. There is a lot going on in Monterrey and in Mexico that deserves attention. Corruption charges against Madero's government, our dismal fiscal system which is makng us lose our (nonexistent) edge among other countries, the kidnappers being part of the anti-kidnapping unit, etc.

Also, I don't know if anyone is actually reading right now. Democrats and Republicans are slinging it out, but are the independent and swing voters listening? Will celebrity endorsements convince them? Swing voters aren't really swing voters, they're just unwilling to admit they have made up their minds, for whatever reason.

This race has gone on long enough for people to have a general idea of what each candidate wants to do, how he will do it and if he's capable of acheiving those goals. McCain has shown that he is willing to sell his soul to the devil (aka Karl Rove) and the christian right in order to get elected. He is willing to lie, cheat and Palin his way to the White House.

Obama has shown himself unwilling to fight dirty so far. That's not always a good thing, though I'm aware that the Republicans have defined him (he allowed that to happen) and now it's a case of dammned if you do, dammned if you don't.

If the American public is willing to believe the republicans' lies, well, I give up. I know there are many people out there that don't swallow this shit, not even for a minute. And many people are indifferent (I don't see how they can be, but they are).

But if there are enough people in the United States of America that vote for McCain-Palin whether on faith or because of corporate interests or just out of habit, I think the U.S. will have reached a tipping point, and things can only go downhill from there. To get back up, will take a dozen years and enormoous effort.

There are just so many things that are almost unbelievable, like people praying for McCain to die so the righteous Palin can take his place.

Sounds kooky? Chez Pazienza posted this on his blog today ==> Theocrats to Pray for McCain's Death

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cuidando el Voto

==>Voter Registration by Students Raises Cloud of Consequences - NYTimes. com

The practice of students registering to vote at their college address has set off a fracas in Virginia, after a local registrar incorrectly suggested dire consequences for students who register at college.


Huh. This could very well be a crucial issue down the line, since Obama has the college students' vote (as far as we know).

The Democrats aren't crying foul, not yet. A spokesperson for the Obama camp in Virginia said it appears to be a good-faith effort to convey state guidelines, not a politically motivated effort to stop voting by students.

But I'm thinking that behind the scenes they're scrambling to fix this. Or the should be.

Friday, September 05, 2008

you know, thank god for jon stewart. I love me some john stewart.

I knew I wanted to watch the daily show today for his take on palin's speech. Yet I was dreading watching palin and her snark again. I usually love snark, but not on her. Not when they're soiling one of the few good things to come out of U.S. politics in recent times. Obama's not perfect and there will probably be a time when he disappoints as president, but he's just so un-republican, so un-stupid, he's just uplifting. Because he's articulate. Because he's smart, because he has risen above the mudslinging, for the most part.

Anyway, Stewart did not disappoint, as always. I laughed and cried along with him. Colbert, not so good today. Huckabee was on, and he surprised me with how not stupid he came off. I wasn't expecting that.


A Democratic win is not only necessary and possible, but also likely. The info and informal polls I've been able to get to show people in states like Indiana, Michigan and Arizona voting Democrat. Middle aged women are not impressed with Palin, thank God. Men, ehhh, they think she's hot. But so far she's impressed some (ok, a lot) of the Republicans, who were voting McCain anyway. Oh, and traitorous little Rusty.

****I've been reading Chez Pazienza's blog often again . Absolutely brill. I missed a post in the evening and ended up commenting on a newer one, kind of saying the same thing he said on the previous post, only not as sharp or creative. Anyway, read it.*****

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not so long ago, everyone was going on about how the U.S. was (is) on the wrong track, and the rest of the world no longer looks up to them, and how they've been surpassed by Europe and China. Tourists are viewed as Ugly Americans. Fareed Zakaria published The Post-American world and said it was a good thing, other people clutched at their heads and bemoaned the state of the union, etc.

I think a big part of that has to do with the way Republicans subverted Americana. Middle America used to mean simple, hardworking folks. You know, the whole Norman Rockwell thing, small towns, etc. They didn't resent city slickers. They didn't begrudge them their "success". The past eight or twelve years, Karl Rove and his friends have poisoned many American's ideas about themselves.

Imagine, if you will, an old black and white movie. A 1930's type atmosphere, a little girl with a dirty and tear streaked face shrieking, "I may not have much, like y'all rich and fancy folks! I didn't go to fancy schools and I don't eat arugula, but I sure do know what decent is! And you ain't decent! You're bastards, the whole lot of you!"That's how I picture it, somehow.

It may not be true, but perception is reality. If you constantly tell people that they live in fly over states, that the other side thinks they're morons, they start to believe it. And the Democrats certainly haven't helped.

Mr. Bristol Palin's Baby's Daddy said he's a "fucking redneck". Provincial and proud of it. But it didn't use to mean bitter.

It's not just Rove and Rush Limbaugh who did this, mind you. It has to do with the fact that the so-called American Dream is not so easy to acheive these days. Many people are disillusioned that hard work by itself won't get you many places.

I've written before about this phenomenom in Mexico. The lower, middle and higher classes resent each other and it manifested itself in the 2006 elections with pro-AMLos and anti-AMLOs. Because in Mexico, even more than in the U.S., it's not what you know, it's who you know. It's extremely hard to jump the gap from poor to middle class. Lots of people emigrate (legally or illegaly) to the States or elsewhere, and 'strike it rich' through hard work and persistence. They don't lack the smarts or the ambition. But bureaucracy, cronyism and a lack of community spirit are mighty barriers down here, sometimes insurmountable.

I think this is happening in the States. It may be happenind in other places too, I don't know. Yes, I know entrepreneurship is alive and healthy, and there are more millionaires than ever. But the gap between haves and the have nots is growing, and it's harder to overcome it, below a certain level.

My marketer friends and I are fond of saying that you can badmouth the upper classes in a Mexican political election and win, but it doesn't work that well North of the Rio Bravo, since Americans all believe they can strike it rich someday. But maybe that is no longer true, at least in some circles.

I mean, what the fuck happened that "elite" is now a dirty word? Cosmopolitan is an insult? Obama is a fancy city boy who doesn't understand hard work? His mother sometimes went on food stamps! He was raised by his grandmother! The Obama's has massive student loans! Why can't people enjoy their success if they worked hard for it?

Palin's speech is the Republican party up to it's old antics, praising small mindedness. Proud of their ignorance. If this kind of thinking wins, frankly, the rest of us just might give up the U.S.

Palin Power

Fuck. Be afraid.
Palin gave a very good speech last night, and it's time we stopped underestimating her.

Sure, it was mocking, condescending and misleading. I didn't hear what she plans to do about health care, the economy or the environment. It was totally fucking shameless. But it's right back to the culture wars with this, and this kind of bullshit can have broad appeal in swing states and with rural and blue collar voters.

Let's take a step back and think. It's unlikely the christian right will vote for the Democrats, so they need to focus on some 15 keys states. They need to keep those from McCain-Palin.

I think they won't be fooled, but the next two months are going to be tough. Palin will go after Obama's strengths and potray them as morally undesirable. They will play this as a narrative, and everyone loves a story. Here's an example:

“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town,” Palin said.

“Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess, I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.”

Jesus Christ, burn!!! Did Obama mock McCain that way, or her? Did Biden? No, but this is obviously Karl Rove's game now. 'Cause that speech sounds a lot like George W. Bush.

"I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these last few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone,” she said. “But … here’s a little news flash for those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

That was Goober's platform.

I think it would be a mistake to cross off Palin as another untraveled, science doubting moron who thinks "Jesus Christ our Lord" has a personal interest in Republican political issues. She is that of course, but that doesn't mean she can't convince enough people to vote her.

Months ago there were some conspiracy theories afloat on the blogosphere that McCain was going to drop out during the GOP convention. Amid all the chaos and confusion a fresh face would emerge, someone public could identify with, someone they didn't know about and therefore would give the benefit of the doubt on their faults and pecadilloes. Eight weeks later, bam! the Democrats don't know what hit them.

Guess what? This is it.

Faux News rejoiced in Palins vitriol. Their headline today is ==> Newcomer Palin fights critics, mocks Obama.

Sarah Palin thrashed Barack Obama Wednesday as an empty suit whose campaign themes of “hope” and “change” are better fit to describe her Republican running mate, John McCain, a man she said has spent a career in service to his country.


Does this seem like absolute bullshit? Maybe to you or me, but some people eat this shit up with a spoon. And they love it.

I don't remember if it was tha National Review or the NRC website, but there was this comment about how brilliant he lipstick joke was.

“What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick,” said Palin, pointing to her mouth. Um, right.

Fighting the campaign on the Republican's turf, on their terms, is a losing battle. Let's not make this about culture wars and keep it about the issues. Let National Enquirer write report on The Baby Daddy and Jamie Lynn's gift to Bristol Palin.

I would love, love, love it if soeone cornered Palin about abortion rights and she would say she's not totally against it, since that would let down her christian right base. But that needs to be handled with the utmost care, lest it explodes in Biden's (or whoever would run that) face.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming...

Levi Johnston to join Palin family at convention

Other blogs have also picked this up,
==> http://www.deusexmalcontent.com/ ,
== >@huffpo Levi Johnston's Mom on Bristol Palin pregnancy: This is just a bonus
==> @ althouse


yesyesyes this is exactly what Rove wants, for us to focus on the cultural aspect of it, to ignore the issues (apparently when Palin was mayor she left Wasilla $20 million dollars in debt). And that way Democrats will seem a whiny elitist bunch out of touch with reality etc etc etc. I will post on the issues in a while. It's just too much fun! As we say in spanish, "se ponen de pechito"


Update: Now I see what Rove is after.... He's going after the cougar vote! and the Jamie lynn Spears vote!

New York Magazine admits what the rest of us won't:
==> We're Sorry, but Palin Baby Daddy Levi is Sex on Skates

Ya'know, What Would Karl Rove Do is not fun anymore. It used to be a favorite game with Rusty and me. But now it's like a) no fuckin' way he planned this or b) what if he did, 'cause he's just smarter than us?

McC's vetting process

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Empire strikes back

The WSJ graciously allowed Nancy Pfotenhauer, national spokesperson for the McC campaign, to write up a glowing review of Palin, filled with little white lies that never hurt anybody. Possible even worse than their profile on Cindy McCain back in april (see my review here) this is just priceless. Below, the first few paragraphs. My comments are in light blue.

In Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain has found a fellow maverick to be his running mate -- one who can help bring the right kind of reform to Washington. Ms. Palin, like Mr. McCain, has a strong record of battling the status quo, restoring accountability and effectiveness to government, and working to secure energy independence, root out corruption and curb wasteful spending. (I'm not even touching this one since it's only the inital salvo, a summary, if you will, of the following crock.)

As the chief executive of the nation's largest state, (Largest in area, fifth smallest populationwise.) Ms. Palin oversees some of the country's largest energy reserves.(Alaska does have the some of the largest reserves in US but the largest is in North Dakota and part of Montana. So?) She came into office at a critical time in Alaska politics, facing a system plagued by corruption. Her response was to immediately begin cleaning it up. (the governor is currently under an ethics investigation by the Alaska state legislature ==> Palin Staff Pushed to have trooper fired) The results of her leadership today speak for themselves: Ms. Palin's approval ratings top 80% -- more than 60% higher than that of the Democratic Congress. (Correction, her approval ratings have fallen to 65%. Congress inherited its rating from the last 6 years)

Ms. Palin has a tangible, impressive record of achievement and executive experience. (¿? Palin's experience is couple of years as governor and six years as mayor of her hometown, with a population of 6, 500.) She is head of the Alaska National Guard (and tell us, Nancy, which crisis exactly did she use her chief executive skills?) and the chairman of two multistate agencies that make energy decisions that affect all Americans.
(Ted Anthony over at huffpo notes:

Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin “extremely responsive and smart” and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.)


While Barack Obama spent almost all of the past two years running for president, Ms. Palin has been running a state. (Sorry to repeat this. A conservative, red states, fifth smallest in population. Plagued with corruption. Where it seemed she was different, but Troopergate and the flipflopping on the bridge suggest more of the same. )

It's telling that Sen. Obama chose to give a negative, partisan speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Whenever Obama dares criticize, he is painted as being negative. (Doesn't this strike you as racist? He's jiving, and they'll dismiss him are puerile or pollyana-like. But he points out the bad stuff, and suddenly he's the angry black man, and nooooo, we don't want that.) He envisions a Democratic monolith in Washington that will solve all of our problems.(Huh? If anything, he's the community organizer guy, the one who tells everyone to work towards a common goal instead of just expecting a handout. )



Look, it goes on and on, and the full text can be found here: Ignore the Chauvinists, Palin has real experience Although judging from the comments, a lot of which say pretty much what I'm commenting on, readers aren't impressed. WSJ readers. Huh.

Sarah Palin is not a bad parent...

because her teenage daughter is pregnant. Say what you will. Does that mean the thousands of teenagers with unplanned pregnancies have bad parents? You can be a great parent, but you are not with your child 24/7. Sometimes you just have to hope for the best. People make mistakes, you know.

That's not to say there aren't other reasons she may be accused of bad parenting. Using her children and their circumstances for political gain. Allowing, probably pushing her daughter to marry at 17. There are a host of reasons, although if Sarah Palin was a man we wouldn't be half as harsh, admittedly.

Accepting the VP nomination already knowing her daughter was pregnant is suspicious. She knew all the scrutiny her child would have to endure. I don't think she knew. If she did know, and it's all done in the name of electoral votes, ugh. Or because it's God's will and they are strong enough to stand it and teach everyone else a lesson and accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, again, ugh.

It's all fishy, and my inner conspiracy theorist doesn't think the younger Palin is five months pregnant. And that nine hour flight just doesn't seem legit. Something's afoot.

Many unwed teenagers get pregnant every year. It's actually not the end of the world. Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans. Sure, I say this from a very comfortable perspective, a 25 year old Mexican middle class viewpoint where families pitch in not just with money but with their love and their time. And it didn't happen to me. But the things is, life, happiness and success come in many forms.

I once knew a woman who had married very young, and had children almost right away. She told me that almost no one will ever confess to regretting that kind of choice since it would mean you regret your kids, and our society places a high value on offspring and advancing the family name.

However, she said, she could tell me as a single person in her twenties, that given then chance she wouldn't do it again since she missed out on a lot of things. I thought, wow, here's someone who's brutally honest. But does did it make her any happier? Was this regret actually a refusal or inhability to adapt?

This post, as usual, started being about one thing and meandered over to a whole other territory. My apologies, dear reader.

I am pro choice, because I believe it is a woman's right to choose. While I deplore the act of abortion itself, I know it isn't a decision anyone comes to easily. I have not walked in their shoes. I did not raise them, nor am I raising their child. I would rather they had received sexual education, I would rather they would try to find other solutions. But I cannot deny them their right to choose. As they shouldn't deny me my choices.

One of my main arguments against people who want to keep abortion illegal is that they're not solving anything with denying women access to healthcare. The rich get their abortions in San Antonio or Houston, the middle class goes to clandestine (professional looking though, but no guarantees) clinics in the city, and the poor resort to herbs, dubious pills and coat hangers. A lot of anti choice people I know are all about not murdering an unborn child, but they're not very interested in discussing what happens once the kid is born.

But maybe we should restate the problem in order to find a solution. Somehow teenage pregnancy rates remain on the rise, if we trust statistics. I'm not so sure it's not just a case of selective attention, or the fact that we have better data now. In ancient history, about fifty years ago, young people were expected to keep it in their pants. Yet teenage pregnancy still happened. It was all hush hush then, so maybe social stigma did work to keep the rates down, but not completely.

If we worked on getting everyone on contraception, we could work on getting us to respect our bodies and ourselves and getting rid of our hang ups about sex, and other higher and nobler purposes. But it's kinda hard to do that when all this procreation and all the emotional upheaval in entails keeps distorting the issue.

Monday, September 01, 2008

either you do or you don't

"Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said."


From the Reuters article. Of course this wasn't even a question, once the news leaked at least. Nobody believes for even a second that there was no coercion or at least pressure.

But I find it annoying that the pro-lifers (anti-choice is more apt) are stressing the fact that she chose to keep it. Now back the fuck up. You are trying to take away women's right to choose. Why are you congratulating yourselves on choosing then?

I know that they are implying the choice between keeping it and giving it up for adoption. Puh-leeze. It was the younger Palin's choice. Right.

Pro-choice, is precisely that. It's not gung-ho abortion, it's advocating for a woman's right to choose. And part of that means keeping abortion safe and legal. In Mexico's case, making abortion legal for starters. Except in Mexico City, where it already is. (More on that later)

It's the same thing with governor Palin's fifth child, who has Down Syndrome. And she heroically choose to keep it. If she's so pro-life, it wasn't a choice gdamnit! She doesn't accept having a choice! Also, both republicans and democrats are using this as political fodder. Is she a saint for doing it, was it wrong, etc. And I don't see the McCain camp stopping them. As in, back off, this is my child.

The Palins' "ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates." But I haven't seen this about Trig Palin, only with this new development.

Cara Kulwicki, who writes at feministe and also has a blog, had an interesting post last week about this,

It’s almost as though they think that Palin became pregnant and gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome simply to please them. And the thing is that if they really believe their rhetoric, the answer was obvious, so obvious in fact that Palin didn’t really have a “choice” to make. Only now, because it’s convenient, they want to acknowledge that the decision of whether or not to abort after getting news that your child will be born with a disability is a difficult one, simply so that they can point and say “but look at her, she searched her soul and then did the right thing — so should all women!” They don’t want women to have a choice, but then want to praise this particular woman for the choice that she did make.


full text here ==>It's not a choice, it's a child - except when it's beneficial to say it's a choice

Once again, you're either in or out. Not both ways. If there shouldn't be choice, don't congratulate yourself for "choosing right". This willingness to use a very private matter and render it public and political is disgusting and I'm expecting the shit will hit the fan if they continue like this. I hope.

Shameless gossip

==>Sarah Palin hit by Internet rumors over fifth child

Already climbing up the ranks on digg. It seems Palin's fifth pregnancy was suspiciously announced in her seventh month and she hardly ever showed. They're saying it was really her daughter's kid.

True? False? Um, how do I know? Maybe she was keeping it quiet because of the Down Syndrome thing.

The Republican camp seems to be reacting today, by announcing that Palin's 17 year old daughter is pregnant and will marry "her baby's daddy". Reminds me of when Michael Douglas annouced he was a sex addict (and he was covering up something else supposedly, although I never found out what it was).

Poor kid. Now they (we) are going to set her up as an example of her mother's parenting skills, how she's unfit for VP, the American taxpayers' abstinence-only education tax dollars at work, the list goes on.


When I was reading the NY Times story, I found it very odd that Palin boarded a nine hour flight to Alaska when she already had contractions. She already knew her child had Down's Syndrome, and she was going into labor a month early. And she's 44. Miscarriage city? Is that what was really going on?

I've had a post drafted all weekend about the whole nomination, but have been arguing all weekend with Rusty and Ben and everyone about the effect. Rusty thinks Rove is a genius and this will only benefit McCain. They're bidding for the forgotten Hillary supporters, etc.

I think this is only brilliant n the surface and not even the U.S. voters would fall for such obvious pandering. Hillary's holdouts, impressed with a staunch prolifer? Who sued the federal government for placing the polar bear on the endangered species list?

Let's say Clintonites are a stupid bunch and they will go for Palin because she's a woman. That they're rabid manhaters and totally bitter. Ok, let's suspend disbelief for a moment and go ahead and buy this. So they'll vote for a happily married 44 year old with five children? Who is VP under McCain? Naaahh. I don't think so.

Look, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Either the Christian right embraces this move or the Clinton fans. Not both. Possibly neither one.

Right now, conservative christian right folks are relieved about this pick, if the MSM is to be believed. Yet the loony right blogs are eating up this story about Palin having faked her pregnancy.

This is very muddled right now, but I stand by my original reaction. The VP pick was only brilliant on the surface. Even without this prurient gossip, it opens up McCain for a host of criticism. It makes him seem too old. Yes, everyone else says he's too old, but this pick means he agrees with them. Biden complements Obama. But he doesn't fill in gaps in a way that spotlights Obama's failings.

Oh, and wtf with Cindy McCain saying that Palin has foreign policy experience because Alaska is close to Russia? Someone shut her up. And the republicans criticized Clinton when she flashed her ex-First Lady credentials and tried to pass it off as experience!

According to an AP article, Mrs. McCain asked Palin how she was feeling about her son being deployed to Iraq, etc.

“And she looked me square in the eye and she said, ’You know something? I’m a mother. I can do it.’ ”

Ugh. Someone get me a barf bucket.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chinese Democracy

Black and White Cat is a blog that writes about China from an insider's perspective. (btw, found this via Forbes ===>Reporting From The '1984' Beijing Olympics by Paul Maidment)

Charles McGrath wrote a story for the New York Times that the Beijing Evening News translated. Um, ruthlessly edited. *cough* censored *cough*. B&W cat translated it back to english, so we can examine how the chinese news service eliminated anything even slightly negative and edited all the nuances out. It reads like propaganda now, IMHO.



===>Full text at Black and White Cat

The Chinese aren't alone in this. Everyone does it, I know, Last Friday I was editing an article while a reporter was present (not her article) and I could see her wincing wile I wrote over things, deleted others, switched paragraph order. Ya know, edited. This was an agency text so I couldn't call the reported and ask him/her to clarify something. What were you trying to say when you wrote unexpectedly modestly plummet?

Aaand it's a translation. Another area I dabble in, and wracking my brains out for the exact turn of phrase that sounds more professional without losing the essence, thinking, am I pouring my opinions into this? Am I interpreting too much?

Even so, it's just a reminder that freedom of the press is not a fact in China. And in many places too.

Did you know, the Singapore government claims that it does too respect freedom of the press. But it has a hand, and it discourages community participation. It wants a press that supports capitalism and free trade, but not citizen involvement or participation.

A lot of censorship is self censorship. We cover flashy items, we eschew analysis in favor of a catchy headline, and ignore community issues.

But back to the point, Madiment pointed out that editing like this explains a bit why the Chinese, according to a Pew survey in June, believe that the world thinks better of them than the rest of the world really does. (see ==>A Spectacular Misunderstanding, also by Maidment)

And when they're confronted with that reality, that your country isn't beloved byt he world and not everyone thinks you're A OK, that's when shock and ugliness ensues. Accusations that the rest of the world willfully misunderstands them, characterizes them in black and white.

Well, I'm Mexican, I'm used the the U.S. press and their broad strokes. Yes, I've crossed them off as xenophobic, ignorant, out for a quick headline, etc. Yet they do tell the truth sometimes. And truth stings.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Ok, so he's the annointed one now. We are on track, set to go. Don't choke. Please, U.S., don't fuck this up.

I keep thinking, shiiit, they're gonna get all resentful that he's like the prom king and too cold and pragmatic and they're gonna shun him! They need to keep in mind that of the options they have, he's the best man for the job. They need a pragmatist, not a beer buddy!

Although that kind of reaction is more likely to happen in Mexico, not in the US where the American dream is alive and well and that's why people don't pick on and resent the rich or the elite so much, since they live in hope that they too, will be one of them, some day.




Still, I'm not totally sure it can't happen. Anything can happen. Karl Rove got George W. Bush elected. Twice.

The so called American people had an earnest, dorky pol in Al Gore, and they chose Goober. Never mind Florida, 'cause the margin had to be really slim in the first place for that to have happened. So now they have this smart guy from a very different background, and people are in love with him. And I'm hoping the love affair will last.

He's not really a prom king ya know, not with a middle name like Hussein and a free spirited mother that sometimes went on food stamps. Don't be fooled, he may be charming but he didn't lead a charmed life. Sure, things are "easier" for Obama than for other politicos, but he still had to fight to get there.

Does this sound like incoherent ranting? I'm sorry, I just need my morning coffee, and I'm using this poor blog to vent, since most of the subjects du jour can't be published right now. They are embargoed, so to speak. But I'll find a way around it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When the important things get buried under urgent stuff

==>US set to adopt IFRS rules

This is a small item, no big headlines. It's a bit of legislation about accounting practices, quite boring. But the repercussions, I believe, are important.

US companies are set to switch to international accounting rules in a move that will, for the first time, see all the world's most important listed groups reporting according to the same set of standards.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday proposed a "roadmap" to manage the migration of US companies from its rules to the international ones. The plans are open to comment for 60 days.

More than 100 countries use, or are adopting, International Financial Reporting Standards, including all 27 European Union members as well as China, Japan, Canada and India. US GAAP, the accounting lingua franca until the sudden rise of IFRS, is the last significant standard to be switched.

Under the SEC's plans, US groups are likely to adopt IFRS in 2014 providing certain conditions are met, a decision that will be taken in 2011. Some companies may be allowed to adopt IFRS sooner.

What does this mean? Financial statements are a labyrinth where accountants, tax attorneys and the like can hide their bosses' pecadilloes and misdemeanors. The situation is even worse when you're comparing companies accross countries, since everyone has their own accounting standards.

Case in point: the WSJ recently called out Cemex for it's debt management. According to the Journal, Cemex might be in trouble not because of the Venezuelan expropriation, but because they are heavily leveraged and demand is declining.

==>Cemex's Cement Shoes
But investors should be more worried by the Mexican company's large, complex and, some fear, overly engineered debt. This exposes shareholders to risks associated with things like movements in the Japanese yen and changes in Cemex's own share price.

The article also points out that the company's 17.6 billion dollar debt- mostly acquired when they purchased Rinker- doesn't include about 4 billion that are considered capital assets in México, but instead are liabilities under US GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).

This is all very boring to most of you, I know. Only very geeky people get excited about accounting rules. The bottom line is, having everyone (or more companies at least) follow the same rules when counting their chickens means less room for interpretation and subterfuge. Less room for bubbles and meltdowns, less Enrons. And while this may not be stop all presses kind of item, in the long run, I think it's an important move in the right direction.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What's going to happen when Obama wins the election? Ok, ok, if he wins the election.

This isn't about his capacity to govern etc, I'm just wondering about the media aspect of it all. I mean, will they phase out his Twitter updates? The presidency is not a West Wing episode. It's not all glamour, and some national security issues can't really be discussed over Web 2.0, can they?

Maybe his fans know that, and I'm subestimating them. Although they shouldn't be called fans in that case. And therein lies a problem.

First of all, there's the candidate / elected official transition. Vicente Fox was a good candidate but not such a good president. And people expected miracles and didn't lift a finger, etc... But now this is a very mediatic (is that a word?) candidate, one who's in touch, so to speak, with his constituents or whatever, through the web. And I'm wondering if all this closeness will continue once in office.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So yeah, um, we removed the dirty pic. It wasn't pervy or anything, but apparently anyone and everyone who googled chingada, chingar, chingan and other derivatives of the word, arrived here. And I didn't even tag it, so what the hell? But, as R. just pointed out, removing the pic might not deter those would be searchers since I am still including the word in this post. We'll see.

So, on a totally unrelated topic, I'm an MBA now. Here's to late nights, to finding out I am a good student only if I like the subject, and to finding out that even if I don't like the subject I can still scrape by (albeit not as happily). Here's to my parents, and my teachers, and my advisor. To saying goodbye to Excel spreadsheets. And adios, McKinsey case studies! Good riddance.

Here's to beer, and singing the Pet Shop Boys really loud on a Tuesday night. Here's to my teammate Wendy who's in friggin' China and still manages to be saner and more on the ball and more communicative than other teamsters residing in good ol' Monterrey. I promise I'll visit you one of these days!

So, I'm not switching jobs. I like my current one just fine, thank you very much. I like to write. I'm not very keen on working for investment bankers. Or being one, for that matter.

I also like the fact that I am getting an inmense amount of time back. What will I do with it? I dunno, sleep maybe? Gardening, running, biking, drinking, cooking, reading, watching movies, writing (or attempt to) screenplays, the list is endless. Some things I never stopped doing, but they were scaled down some. Sleeping, for example.

Anyhooo, I am just glad to be done with the whole thing. Even at work, I'm no longer writing about venture capital funds, and we're back to agribusiness. Slaughterhouses. Yeah, so. I actually like the subject, although I predict I won't be eating beef the next couple weeks. Or months.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

- Douglas Adams


Well, I don't. It seems my procrastinating ways have caught up with me, or I'm simply overextended. I have dreamed that Imelda Lopez called saying I couldn't graduate 'cause I missed a test. A test I had never known about. As I finish up the infernal projects due on each subject I can feel my back unkinking a bit, but then it kinks right back up when I see all that is still due on something else. A translation that is pending, some paper I have to notarize, (notaries aren't the same thing in the U.S. and Mexico. A Mexican notario can marry people and whatnot, and they have the strictest schedule of any bureaucrat.)....

Sorry to complain so much, I'm really not a deadbeat. I'm not!

I have to get back to work now, 'cause aside from all this I also happen to have a job, the one where they actually pay me instead of the other way around, trolling for news which is scarce right now since everyone has olympic fever and they can't be bothered to care except for the same tired old rumors on chrysler and fannie & freddie.

There is minimal trading on the nymex, you can tell they're not paying much attention when the biggest news hardly causes a ripple and then everyone goes berserk right before closing time. It goes up, down, sideways with barely three transactions, since there aren't any clear trends.

This is when you see that the traders are really just a bunch of little boys, sheep really, trying to see who has the biggest stick, (or prove who has the biggest cojones if you want to be all freudian), and if one gets excited then they all do and they start jumping up and down...

I mean, whenever we say, oil went up today because of this and this, or the NY Stock market lost ground today because of blah blah... we don't really know that. Besides, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is really not a good barometer, it can only gauge manufacturing industries really, and it's price weighed instead of market cap weighed, so smaller companies influence it more than firms like GE which is a behemoth and it only has 30 stocks.....

Well, I have some translations due also, so I can work on that and stop moaning.

Quote(s) of the Day:

When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer.

-Isaac Bashevis Singer


I don't care how eloquent your phrasing. Unless you're a storyteller, you're not a writer.

-also by IBS, although I've only found this on Orangette's blog

Monday, July 28, 2008

Anybody have the inside scoop on why the Confederación Nacional Agropecuaria (CNA) hasn't sworn in its new president?

Jaime Yesaki has been there for four years now, and they had some odd little election almost a month and a half ago. Juan Carlos Cortés won, but he hasn't made any waves at all so far.

Yesaki is still going strong, today he accused the U.S. goverment of unfairly protecting its farmers by blocking mexican imports using the salmonela incidents as an excuse.

Since they cleared the tomatoes, and the jalapeño wasn't infected by salmonella in Mexico, they might be going after onions and avocados now. It's a little bit of both, I guess, and it makes for interesting news on a Monday morning.

But to get back to my original question, why is Yesaki still there?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Le scaphandre et le papillon

Jean-Dominique Bauby era el editor de la Elle francesa caundo le dio un infarto cerebral masivo que lo dejó totalmente paralizado excepto por su ojo y párpado izquierdo. 'Locked in Syndrome', le dicen, porque sus facultades mentales siguen intactas.

Bauby iría a escribir un libro llamado La escafandra y la mariposa, escribiendo y editando en su mente, y dictando a través de su ojo. Su asistente recitaba el alfabeto (las letras en orden de más uso en francés) y el parpadeaba cuando llegaba a la letra que él buscaba. Y así formaba palabras, y oraciones, y párrafos, y capítulos....

Algunas notas acerca de la película...

Julian Schnabel, un pintor muy interesante y un cineasta aún más, filmó el biopic el año pasado. Aquí lo interesante es el camino, más que el destino. Sabemos que el hombre no se va a curar. Aunque eso no le quita el suspenso ni le resta drama a la conclusión.

Me gustó mucho el personaje de Bauby, me pareció en ciertos aspectos l'essence même de l'homme français, o lo que es lo mismo the quintessential frenchman. Salvajemente mujeriego pero a ratos muy tierno, no es un santo pues, aunque sea un inválido. Esa palabra no es políticamente correcta pero me vale madre como ya sabemos.



Pero bueno, el chiste no era juzgar si captó a los franceses o no, que de paso admito que no se nada del alma francesa. Al iniciar la película, que la cámara/ojo comienza a parpadear, pensé, no puedo ver esto no voy a aguantar dos horas atrapada. Inemdiatamente me identifica con Bauby la cámara. No dura toda la movie esa cámara personal, que fue algo muy bien hecho tanto técnicamente como dramáticamente.

Me gustó mucho la escena donde rasura a su padre, me dieron ganas de llorar.

Mathieu Almaric, que salía como el hijo en Munich, se mantiene tan tieso que me impacta. Es mucho trabajo estar totalmente inmovil cuando uno no lo es.

Volviendo a que Bauby es un hombre y no un santo, se va de 'dirty weekend' a Lourdes pero la novia le sale sorprendemente devota, y me acordé de todos esos momentos donde las mujeres nos portamos como unas locas y los hombres en nuestras vidas ponen jeta pero la neta no entienden porqué estamos haciendo eso, y no saben reaccionar.

El hecho de que Bauby siga queriendo ver a su amante, a pesar de que ella no va, y su esposa SI está ahí, se me hizo un detalle super honesto, salvaje en su franqueza. Como diciendo, esto es lo que hay.

La edición tuvo que ser una chinga, aparte de la fotografía y la actuación, editar todo de manera que concuerden los parpadeos con las reacciones y el sonido, neta se llevan las palmas. La música es muy buena por cierto.

Los elementos fantasiosos, la esposa de Napoleón, el bailarínde ballet. Schnabel tiene algo que decir, por eso a veces pienso que el que quiere hacer cine no debería estudiar cine sino vivir en el mundo y adquirir experiencias. Acumular una paleta en vez de memorizar todas las movies de Brian de Palma y Martin Scorsese, y regurgitarlo como niños obedientes.

What is your style statement?

I just started reading something than Ben brought back from Minnesota. It's called Style Statement, Live by Your Own Design, by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte. These two chicks in Canada who write very good copy about being authentic and finding your style statment and everything means something, purposeful life, that kind of thing. TOtally not cheesy or creepy and Not Oprah.

I know this sounds silly, but I am totally itching to find out what my style statement is. Sacred dramatic? Refined treasure?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's cloudy and overcast today, the view from the skilight was totally gray this morning. It's brighter now, but the sky is still pale. It's a bit smoggy, too. The perils and pitfalls of working downtown!

I wanted to write about what I had cooked last night, except I ended not cooking at all.

Yesterday, Ben and I were talking about food writing. Non fiction has gotten cooler in the last few years apparently, and food writing is part of it. I was saying that I liked the genre because it's evocative and descriptive and how a people's atitude towards food and their methods of preparation gives us insights to a country's culture abd history, etc... And Ben remarked how that sounded exciting and made you wonder how could anyboday not want to write about food, like how could anybody write about anything else at all.

The thing is, I guess that's how I pretty much how I feel writing in general, but food writing especially, at least for now. I do like business, and maybe I only have a case of the editing blues. But I just want to take a topic and write. Research the hell out of it, think of clever turns of phrase and then delete them because they're too fussy or precious. Just plain, sharp, fabulous writing. Fab because it knows it's good, and it doesn't try too hard. Anyway. I just might try my hand at a food article. See what happens.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mes parents son partis de vacances... Es correcto? ya no me acuerdo.
hoy habrá texas en mi casa, cortesía de kux & friends---

Aunque en realidad debería estar haciendo el trabajo de Internet Marketing.....
Y lo que en realidad quisiera hacer es cocinar un pastel de chocolate, al estilo natalia la fourcade.

Quiero adquirir la costumbre de cargar con mi cámara. No que yo tenga mucha aptitud para tomar fotos, pero si no practico pues menos. Me acuerdo cuando voy en el carro, casi siempre a la altura de Enrique c. livas. Hoy le tomaré una foto a los jugadores de texas. Y si cocino algo estéticamente agradable, también le tomaré pics.

Estoy escuchando a jorge drexler, que raro, Hace un momento subía notas de mercados y veía el cielo por el tragaluz.

Me gusta mucho ese tragaluz, aunque a veces me encandila. Pero me encanta girar el cuello ligeramente a la derecha, levantar la vista, y ver el cielo brillante y azul. Incluso cuando está nublado. Casi siento el aire. Sonrío sin mostrar los dientes. Porque es un pequeño placer de esos que dice E., que hacen aflorar una sonrisa que navega con bandera de sangrona pero en realidad es un poco timida. Fue hace mucho y como siempre involucró grandes cantidades de vino tinto entonces dejémoslo así.

Voy a buscar mis guiones oldies. Aquellos por los cuales me jalaba el cabello. ¿Porqué lo dejé? Las razones para dejar de ser AP siempre estuvieron muy claras en mi mente, pero no tanto dejar los guiones. De hecho eso fui dejándolo casi sin darme cuenta. Como cuando sueltas la mano de alguien. Hasta que un día, bah. Llevo meses sin abrir un archivo o sin tomar un lapiz rojo. O lo dejé de lado para terminar una cosa y se atravesó otra y luego me percaté que esto otro.... en fin.

Escribir comedia nunca me fue fácil. Supongo que a nadie. Espero que con este tiempo que ha pasado, donde he aprendido a no tomarme tan en serio, mis habilidades, si no han mejorado, mínimo no hayan empeorado.

Regreso a mis obligaciones editoriales, antes que se me haga más tarde. A ver si hoy salgo a una hora decente (todo depende de mi) y posiblemente robe una recette d'orangette . Me rehuso a servir nachos para jugar poker. Ya es mucho cliché.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I am a dilettante

No more excuses today, I'm just gonna hammer out a post and hope it somehow cleanses my soul. Cross that, it's not like I feel like a sinner or anything. More like metaphysical congestion. Like writer's block. There. I. Said. It.

There are a million things swimming in there but I'm just too, too tired these days, despite the fact that I'm sleeping like nine hours at night. I feel like a narcoleptic. My sinuses are constantly throbbing. Coursework piles up everyday. I haven't seen a movie in weeks.

I'm taking the last two subjects I'll ever take. Well, not true. The last subjects in a long time. Come December, I'll wear the silly mortarboard and the toga and stand in line and I'll have an MBA from the quite Republican university, aka red state university, aka Texas A & M. Thank you, R, for saying all that last night. We live in hope.

I have several half drafted posts saved, about 'serious' issues like corporate social responsibility from something I read in Portfolio, and sustainability and Barbara Kingsolver-dom and the rest of that shit and how it does too matter, jajaja...hipsteur much?

'Cause it turns out I can only dabble. I don't know anything about the environment, not really. I can't grasp anything that's not expressed in dollars and cents. I can't know poetry, I can only know about the Dow Jones. Whatever.

Sorry to vent like a self centered seventh grader.

Well, let's try this. Beatles therapy usually does the trick, but I feel like a little Jorge Drexler today.



Fusión /Jorge Drexler
¿Dónde termina tu cuerpo y empieza el mío?
A veces me cuesta decir.
Siento tu calor, siento tu frío,
me siento vacío si no estoy dentro de tí.

¿Cuánto de esto es amor? ¿Cuánto es deseo?
¿Se pueden, o no, separar?
Si desde el corazón a los dedos
no hay nada en mi cuerpo que no hagas vibrar.

¿Qué tendrá de real
esta locura?
¿Quien nos asegura
que esto es normal?
Y no me importa contarte
que ya perdí la mesura
que ya colgué mi armadura en tu portal.

Donde termina tu cuerpo y empieza el cielo
no cabe ni un rayo de luz.
¿Que fue que nos unió en un mismo vuelo?
¿Los mismos anhelos?
¿Tal vez la misma cruz?

¿Quien tiene razón?
¿quien está errado?
¿Quien no habrá dudado
de su corazón?
Yo sólo quiero que sepas:
no estoy aquí de visita,
y es para ti que está escrita esta canción


so beautiful. His songs always make me want to feel loved. Don't get me wrong, I am not unloved. But his songs are romantic. And metaphysical. You know what I mean, no? god, this sounds so pathetic.

A couple of days ago, I stumbled accross an old notebook, and a James Wright poem. The last lines were so moving back then, and still are now. I just want to get back to that point where this could describe my state of mind:

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

friedmanesque

I read an interesting editorial in Portfolio yest.
Yeah, I buy Conde Nast. So sue me.

Anyway, the Viewpoint /brief written by tunku varadarajan deals with corporate social responsibility, specifically the Beijing Olympic's corporate sponsors'. Should they question China's human rights record?

TV writes that for Milton Friedman, the sole social responsibility of a business is to increase its profit. Execs are responsible to stockholders alone. Doing anything that would result in a decrease in profits, like say provoking the chinese into cancelling a contract by protesting, is irresponsible.

However, in our evolved new century, the concept of stakeholders has widened. Varadarajan provides some keen insights on this. Fr example

Monday, June 23, 2008

Iconoclast

George Carlin, anti-establishment comedian and one of my personal heroes, is dead at 71.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2339172520080623

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Home Birth

Docs to Women: Pay no attention to Ricki Lake's Home Birth

How come we hardly see info about this? There are no consipiracy theories, but somehow info like this slips through the cracks and unless you're really looking for it, it's easy to get carried away in the msm mentality (coming up after the break, what you don't know may kill you) that is really a corporate/ commercial mentality, sell sell sell.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chic y bonito


"Obama es un buen tipo, chic y bonito".
- Caetano Veloso

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'm conducting an informal survey, and I need my three dear readers' help. Do you prefer posts in english, in spanish, or is it the same to you?

A world opened up by communications cannot remain closed up in a feudal vision of property

No country, not the US, not Europe, can stand in the way of it. It's a global trend. It's part of the very process of civilization. It's the semantic abundance of the modern world, of the postmodern world - and there's no use resisting it.
-Gilberto Gil

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Librocara, and they don't make them like they used to


I couldn't help imagining a charming romcom situation for this ad. Although reality might turn out to be as charming as a Cameron Diaz & Ashton Kutcher movie, I wish Charlie Tibshirani a happy ending. A real one, not the ones in those soul deadening chick flicks of late.

Whatever happened to Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, George Cukor? You know, His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Some Like it Hot, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year? Yeah, that was a George Stevens picture, but you get the idea. Competent directors with range. Blake Edwards directed Breakfast at Tiffany's and Days of Wine and Roses.

These movies used to potray love as a grand enterprise, a risk worth taking. It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes I think the female characters in movies like Adam's Rib were more emancipated than those insipid Cosmo girls in modern romcoms. They certainly weren't afraid to be mean at times.

27 Dresses, btw, sucks. Avoid it, unless you can watch it on pay per view for free, like we did, and even then consider that you can't get those two hours back. Katherine Hiegl's character is pathological, Ed Burns is bland (isn't he always, though?), Heigl's sister is a monster, but please, in what universe will Izzie be the "plain" sister? James Marsden was funny in Enchanted, and here he gets to quip "Love is patient, love is kind, love is slowly going out of your mind." Ehhh. His backstory is boring though.

And although I like B-b-b-b-benny and the Jets, that whole scene was, hmmm, trite. I did like it when he said, " I cried like a baby at the Keller wedding". Heigl has some good deadpan, see "hot hate sex", "real good caulker", and "I'm Jesus". But the story, the story!! Silly premise, no growth, one dimensional characters, no tension, completely stupid ending.

I remain a sucker for happy endings (not this one, though). Despite the fact that I believe monogamy is a social/cultural construction and happiness is mostly an illusion (not one of my better days, I see). Does this prove that I can hold two contrasting, conflicting ideas in my mind at the same time without going nuts? Or does this just prove I'm nuts?

Btw, I'm listening to Portishead's new album right now, so maybe I'm just incredibly malleable and excellent creepy music can creep me out and just put me in this frame of mind. Or not.

Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!...sorry!

Obama is in! No time to post about that right now, sorry, much work to be done.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

On the fence

What do you think about the military?

There's this pervasive idea that only desperate people volunteer, that these are poor and not-too-bright young men and women. When I really think about it, it smacks of an easy exit and rings untrue, one of those conventional wisdom things which aren't wise at all.

But it's hard to support all these demographics that keep voting Republican, for all these christian-right reasons.

(We) hipster poseurs laugh at patriotism and scorn national pride, too embarrassed and self-aware to belong whole heartedly to something.

I see images like these, and they break my heart.


Feature Photo 1st Place. John Moore, Getty Images. Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance, Sgt. James Regan, a US Army Ranger killed in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007. Mary
=> 2007 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest Winners-Single Category Images

Freedom isn't free, is it? But would you join if you knew you'd be sent to fight not for freedom, but so Bush and his cronies can have more cheap oil? (Which has been a total fiasco, btw) So he could "avenge" Desert Storm?

So, which one do you agree with? Thomas Jefferson, who said "From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots"? Or Albert Einstein, who thought that "The pioneers of a warless world are the young men who refuse military service"?

Is it true, as George Orwell said, that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf? But in what way is the U.S. safer since they invaded Iraq?

So THAT'S why she got down with Belkis and Altagracia

Mike Madden over @ Salon notes that if Hillary thought she still had a chance, she "wouldn't have spent six hours dancing to Willie Colón on the back of a pickup truck" in Puelto Lico. The island trip was more of a "working vacation" for soon-to-be-unemployed campaign staffers.


Viva Hillary Clinton!
Although she won Puerto Rico easily, Clinton seemed to be campaigning in an alternate reality, as hopes for the nomination slipped away.
==> http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/06/02/pr_primary/

People addressed her as "President Clinton", and loudspeakers announced her as the "next and certain president!"


"I have four words for you," said Clinton.

"Te quiero Puerto Rico!"


Maybe they'll make her president of the island? Who wouldn't want to rule Ponce, Mayaguez and San Juan?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I know, llevo mil sin actualizar. Ya hasta me da bueva pero no me lo quiero saltar. El trip a Dallas con las correspondientes aventuras pseudo kafkianas que pasamos antes de presenciar a Radiohead EN CONCIERTO! el regreso a clases para las últimas dos materias por muuucho tiempo (pinche MBA me he tardado casi el doble que con la carrera), bodrios de movies como 27 vestidos o como se llame, quiero robarme a la novia o lo que sea, (esa ya la reseñé, no?) y dizque indies aburridas como la de Lars que me la chuté por mi novio Ryan Gosling, la pérdida de la inocencia y la llegada de la madurez, querido diario....

Bueno, mañana es domingo y es el día de las resoluciones a las nueve de la noche cuando me doy cuenta que no he leído nada de provecho y no lavé ni tengo las cosas listas para la semana, así que mejor tomemos vodka y clight (mmm, vodka con clight ya se me antojó...) Espero poder actualizar algo mañana. Entonces es cita, ya quedamos. jaja

Perdón por este post tan mal escrito, pero mínimo establecí que sigo aquí y que por alguna razón sigo creyendo en los finales felices.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Does it matter?

Edwards is endorsing Obama, we found out yest at around this time precisely. Does it matter anymore? I was quite psyched at first, but really isn't he just lemming? The tipping point was about a week and a half ago I think. Although Hill doesn't seem to be winding down yet.

The confluence of food, energy and climate is going to be the economic issue of our lifetimes.

- Bill McKibben, "American Earth: Environmental Writings Since Thoreau"

Hey Jude

Sick of Facebook applications, I added the "Which Beatles song best describes your life right now?" because, hey, everyone loves the Beatles, and this one didn't sound too annoying. It turns out I'm Hey Jude, ha. And this is the description. I almost kinda liked it.
You are a little hesitant and insecure when it comes to taking action, but the truth is you are extremely capable and full of life and hope, and are a natural leader. You are an idealist and you often wish that there was something you could do to make society a little better. Although you can be overdramatic when faced with obstacles, you have a strong support group of people who love you who will be there to set you back on your feet. Sometimes you have difficulty opening your heart and expressing your feelings because you are worried that people won't accept you, so you act nonchalant and cool. However, you are slowly learning to let people into your heart and let go of your fears.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm sitting in a fake Chili's (a faux fake then?) with WAY to many dumb posters, listening to Jim Carroll's People Who Died. At first I thought it was Tobias Wolff, but then I remembered that was another Leonardo DiCaprio movie role. No, I'm not DiCaprio obsessed, I just associated it. Am I not supposed to be an E/INTJ (E or I depending on my mood, I swear), with the N being concept based thinking (intuitive) as opposed to associative (sensory) thinking? Yes, I am Myers-Briggs type obssesed. It's what I'm working on wight now.

My beer should be colder, it's as hot as hell today. Is there gluten free beer? Is there a market for it? My friends are here.
I don't know if I read this, or saw this in a movie or what. It was a YA romance kind of thing, and the girl says,

"Did you ever play with magnets when you were a kid? Pushing the ends together, and they just kept pulling apart. And then you just flipped them over and click; all along, all you needed to do was flip them over".
or something to that effect. You know, she's coming on the guy about how opposites attract or soemthing. It was said in the sporit of "You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? Just put your lips together and blow".

Oh, how I wish Google really could search everything! The knowledge database, or at least the database of my brain! unlock my stubborn head. I know it's there, since I had to have come accross this fairly recently.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Guess the quote

el consumismo ético es el nuevo catolicismo: un sistema que crea nuevos pecados y nuevas culpas.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Procrastinación del miércoles....

pecados capitales de hoy:

- umm, sí, soy mercantilista y quiero un iphone.

- tengo como cuatro herramientas y un test ya planeados pero no he avanzado nada. Llevo más de una semana que me rehuso a hacer algo más que planera lo que voy a hacer y no hacerlo.

- y fui a ver el chick flick más pendejo del año porque quería ver a mcdreamy y no me importó. Pero soy una cascarrabias y no me gustó el final. Copia barata de My Best Friend's Wedding. Además, ayer planté a Rous y a Rocco que fueron a ver Ironman. Mínimo avisé.

- desde que alguien comparó a JM con el principito, cada vez que pasa por mi lugar le quiero decir "dibújame un cordero!". Es una lástima porque esa frase es super característica de Rusty, y aparte como que nada que ver con JM pero es que en verdad sí se parece, jajaja. Una disculpa a Saint Exupéry.

-he abusado de tangerine no puedo / quiero dejar de escuchar volver a comenzar de cafeta. Las guitarras después del puente de meme son la expresión musical de la felicidad. Quiero aprender a tocar la guitarra.

Bueno, ya divagué suficiente por hoy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Jesus, Hil, way to polarize the issues!

I find the Senator extremely annoying with her simplistic sales tactics. Is she really willing to ruin her party, her country, just to win?

The gas tax thing is just another one of her little ploys to make people believe she stands for "normal Americans", for the little people.

“I believe it is important to get every member of Congress on the record. Do they stand with hard pressed Americans who are trying to pay their gas bills at the gas station or do they once again stand with the big oil companies? That’s a vote I’m going to try to get, because I want to know where they stand and I want them to tell us - are they with us or against us?”

It wouldn't save the individual consumer much. Yet she pretends tobe taking on big oil by proposing to cover the cost of this tax holiday through a “windfall profits” tax on oil companies.

Demonizing oil companies won't help. Bush and his cronies are far more responsible for the current price of oil than they are, with their cronyism and their war. I know it sounds like I'm excusing the snakes 'cause they can't help being snakes, but think about it.

And yes, there are plenty of other factors like China and other emerging economies, OPEC and a diminishing supply, but taxing companies 'cause they're "too profitable" is a crock and it goes against the so called American way.

In any case, reducing this tax would NOT help the States wean itself off fossil fuels, or even foreign oil at least. Yet she wants to play this as David vs. Goliath. Anybody who doesn't agree is cast as an arugula eating elitist or guilty of cronyism.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I almost cried at the office today.

My brother was online, and his msn nick name reminded me of my grandfather. Some lyrics from the first The Music album. This English band where the lead singer looks a bit like a bird (not a girl, a bird). This is because I bought that album for him a couple of days after Gramps died. It was a Monday or Tuesday, before the funeral. It was a really big hassle getting him home from S. Antonio, so he died on a Saturday but the shin-ding didn't start until Wednesday evening. I remember not wanting to be home so we went to the mall (sign of the times) and getting like a facial or something, and buying that CD. Funny how you remember some things, like the salelady's name at the Clarins counter.

So anyway, Kux says he has that lyric 'cause it reminds him of G., too. And then I was there, that Saturday at my grandparents' house, how we had to go get the suit, which I think wasn't even used in the end. How the dog was frantic, and how I couldn't cry 'cause I just felt so numb, and even my Dad had talked to me about it beforehand, when he was still in the hospital, and I thought of course nothing can happen he was only in for an angioplasty, and later on thinking people got bypasses all the time. And there we were in the empty house the four of us, and I couldn't fucking cry then 'cause I knew that if I started I wouldn't be able to stop and of course right now I'm trying not to start 'cause it's the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the damn newsroom....

And my grandfather is someone I think about practically everyday, but in terms of what he did and how his choices affected us so deeply further down the line, in a good way of course. But I hadn't remembered in a long time that he's gone, and well, it just hit me.

It's a bit later now and I'll go see if Ben is around, before I go home..

Friday, April 25, 2008

trágame tierra versión los pinos

Oso total con el pendejo que robó celulares a funcionarios de la Casa Blanca.

Rafael Quintero, subdirector de Coordinación y Avanzada de Los Pinos, fue acusado por el Servicio Secreto estadounidense de robar entre seis y siete teléfonos Blackberry pertenecientes a funcionarios y reporteros que asistían a las reuniones de los presidentes del TLCAN en Nueva Orleans.

Fox News informa que las cámaras de seguridad captaron a este pendejete. Desde Los Pinos informan que ya fue destituido de su puesto.

Me dio VERGÜENZA, no quería que se publicara esa nota en ningún lado. ¿Es una muestra de las deficiencias de nuestra cultura? ¿De la cultura gubernamental? ¿O tenemos bias de confirmación acaso? Osea, ¿si lo hubiera hecho alguien de otra nacionalidad se hubiera hecho el mismo pedo? No estoy excusando las acciones de este pinche puto pendejo baboso por usar la expresión preferida de Gustavo Arellano. Simplemente quiero ver esto dentro de un marco social / cultural.

Aún con eso, vuelvo a decirlo. Cuanta PENA.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Geek Fun

Ancient Graffiti on the walls of Pompeii


Ah, yes, greek antiquity.

Suspirium puellarum Celadus thraex.
Celadus the Thracier makes the girls moan!
(C.I.L. IV, 4397; in the barracks of the gladiators)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

yes, I deleted it.
If anyone got to read it, well.

I don't like feeling small.

I hate being afraid.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

En este camino no hay nadie más

"toma tus cosas y vámonos ya,
si no corremos nos van a dejar.
Ponte tu casco y tu traje espacial
la carretera no puede esperar"
-Vámonos, Café Tacvba


It's road trip season! I won't be taking one today, but oh, to just jump in the car and drive south! San Miguel de Allende, Real del Catorce, Tepoz, wherever. And even further down, Maruata, Pátzcuaro, Chacagua, Zicatela and all the other little towns and beaches in Michoacán and Oaxaca.

No time off right now, it's all double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble, hee.

Sure, I love what I'm doing, I just miss taking off. Rusty and I were going to Bangkok for three weeks and use it as a jumping off point to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He never complained that it got canceled, such a sweetheart.

Instead we obsess about the Democratic primaries and talk about him leaving for London eventually, among a thousand other things. So many of our friends are getting hitched, and R feels stranded on the dock. I imagine a forlorn Principito staring out to sea... draw me a lamb...

A couple of months ago, he mentioned that if he could define me in a phrase, it would be:

lo que nos importe, y lo que nos congrega,
una sociedad conjunta que amamos y que nos dele,
y un futuro conjunto que también amamos
y que no estamos dispuestos a que también nos duela

Of course I googled that right away and it's from Pablo Fernandez Christlieb. Tomorrow I'm going over to gandhi and ordering a couple of his books. They almost never have what I'm looking for, it's a bummer. Maybe they'll have Coetzee on sale now.

This post is like a simpsons episode, starts off being one thing and ends up being another. Well, to continue in this slightly odd vein, let me fire my predictions for Obama.

Obama will win Pennsylvania, or Hillary might scrape by the skin of her teeth. Bittergate is a media creation and I don't think that many real people, voters, were offended. Hell yes, I'm bitter. I lost my job to the Chinese! or some such. You all know what I think about that sentiment, the importance of the service economy and the race to the bottom; but it's kind of hard to say that to someone who lost their job.

Anyway, things are not going well for the Clintons despite what they may think or what the MSM and pundits pompously posit on about. Her campaign is moribund, running out of steam and money.

Then you hace McCain, and Rove. Well, the Wave Principle will take care of this one, I think. A bad economy hurts the incumbent and helps the opposition. And folks, the economy isn't getting any better in time for the election. Bernanke said we'll see some improvement in the second semester, but central bankers tend towards optimism. And it's a good thing otherwise everyone else would panic even more.

But oil reached 117 on the Nymex last friday, and West Texas Intermediate closed at 116.69; Brent crude ended at 113.54 in London. It's not just the Nigerian sabotage and the Mexican interruption. Our ports close down for short periods due to bad weather several times a month, it's temporary and everybody knows it.

It's the weak dollar, the Chinese demand, OPEC and the war in Iraq. I believe I've written about this before. Also, the futures contracts for May expired on friday. The June contract will start trading on Monday, and there's no reason for it to go down. Oil prices will affect everything else, and we can expect further inflation.

There have been food riots in places like Haiti, Bangladesh and Egypt, and the world's grain stores are low. I know most Americans don't give a shit about disturbances in places like these, but this will bite them in the ass in a couple months, if not already.

The economy is slow, but unstoppable. It's not even that slow, just that we're used to 30 second sound bites, we have extremely short attention spans and no long term memory. Any macroeconomics guy will tell you that it takes two years to cycle out of recession, if it's a quick one. It can take six years if it's a slow cycle. Victor (Kux or little bro to you) compared it to "a happy iceberg". Happy, indeed.

What does all this mean? Well, I can't possibly guess what the political climate will be come september, but I can tell you one thing. Gas will be expensive, and so will food. Who knows if another Bear Stearns will pop up. Do you think Bernanke will follow Jezebel's advice and just tell Wall Street to go fuck itself? Three guesses.

And he really probably shouldn't. The so called little people might resent it if their tax dollars are used to bail out the big bankers, but all their credit comes from Big Banks, so it's not a good idea if BB goes broke. It's the same reason they bailed out LTCM.

Barring new terrorist threats, or the perception of a new terrorist threat, I really don't see how Rove will be able to distract middle America from the fact that their dollars can hardly buy anything, they have no money for gas and their mortgages are very close to defaulting. How the hell can he get a candidate elected on that? My perverse side would love to watch.

I'm not saying it's going to be a total meltdown. But the world's foremost economy is no longer. China's domestic demand is quite big, so are other emerging markets. Not to mention the EU. The world can keep spinning. Japanese bankers may not feel compelled to buy so much American debt anymore if they can find someone else to buy their products. Places like... you guessed it, China. And India.

Am I repeating myself? Sounding like an imbecile pundit? Did you know the fastest growing industry / sector in the U.S. economy in the last couple years is debt?

Well, it's late and my arms are hurting. It's weird, I don't have carpal tunnel syndrome but maybe it's some sort of tendinitis. Forearmitis?


Por mientras canto Tu TuruTu TururuTururururu,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oh, LOL!



I was gonna post this last night, but I was too tired (still am).



John Edwards, aka Breck Boy, was on Stephen Colbert last night. He showed really good comic timing, and a willingness to make fun of himself. His segment was called the Ed Words. Since white males are the new soccer moms, and he's a white male, well.... he wants a jet ski. Two jet skis, in fact.


The reason he hasn't endoresed either candidate yet is 'cause, (insert Southern accent here) on the one hand, he doesn't want to be seen as "anti-hope." On the other, he doesn't want James Carville to bite him.


Other things the candidates can get him to get his support: make him a spy! put his mug on bills! National holidays named after the Edwards kids! Oh, and commit to ending poverty in 30 years. (there was some text appearing beside him, sort of the teleprompter's response, and when he mentioned this, a priceless quote appeared: "Bush ended middle class in 8") .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Don't be evil

que mal plan con billy corgan... totalmente anti-google, heh.

Llevaba una tercera parte del concierto cuando llama al público a que vea a un chico con una pancarta...

"Señor, señor," decía con su distintiva voz nasal y (whiny) midwestern twang. Y luego viene el kicker...

"If you're going to request a song, the least you could do is wear a Smashing Pumpkins approved t-shirt, instead of some cheap ass bootleg you bought outside, motherfucker!"

Le salió el id/ello o como se llame, de plano. El tipo se convirtió en un arquetipo frente a mi. O será más bien que mi percepción cambió. Su voz se tornó en algo molesto, casi aterrante, y tuve una epifanía psicológica. Oh, claro, con razón se sale la gente de la banda cada rato, los corre o corren pero que flojera jalar con un cabrón tan insportable, aunque sea talentoso.

Ok, dejaré de usar las itálicas ya.

La gente abucheó, se rió, no se si el abucheo era para el pobre tipo o para Corgan. Según el north side era en contra de la camisa pirata, pero yo lo dudo.

No estoy a favor de la piratería, en cierto sentido vivo de mi creatividad. Soy mexicana, y no me pega el sentido de indignación como a los gringos, jajajaja. Veo la pérdida económica, tanto para Britney y Billy como para el ingeniero en sonido que vive de su trabajo.

También veo a la persona que se está ganando la vida en la economía informal en parte porque la economía formal en México tiene muchos obstáculos para capitalizarse. La marchanta que da un valor agregado a su producto al dar recomendaciones a sus clientes es una enterpreneur, so there all you Wharton MBAs, ja.

Total, no me gusta la piratería, pero tampoco pienso que se necesita usar ese lenguaje y ese tono de voz. Dios, soy mi mamá. Pero bueno, es mi opinión.

Ahh, y luego del veneno, el wey tiene la osadía de decir "god bless". WTF!!! Que hipócrita. Sabía que esa sotana que uso por varios albums era por algo!

Después de eso ya no me pude prender. Fuimos simplemente por oír que tocaran Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, y una que otra de Siamese Dream, pero ya no fue lo mismo. En el aspecto técnico fueron excelentes, son buenos músicos. Pero no me puedo entusiasmar con alguien que nefastea de tal manera, alguien que es tan nefasto, valga la rebuznancia.

No traían pantallas. ¿Qué diablos pensaban que venían a tocar al Café Iguanas? Claaro que necesitas pantallas en la Arena, ¿que no han hecho giras antes? ¿A qué le tira tocando el himno gringo? cosillas así.

Y es que nadie le ganará a las 3 horas y 33 canciones de Cafeta, con su excelente producción y sus luces tan chidas, con el pasito duranguense y las chicas banda y la improvisación de Meme y los piropos a su público cuando silbamos María....

Incluso Radiohead, será perfecto pero no creo que tengan esa convivencia con su público. Si la piel se pone chinita, no es lo mismo porque las canciones no habaln de lo absurdamente feliz que es la vida a veces y la inmortalidad del cangrejo.

Ahora sólo me falta ver a Spoon y a Jorge Drexler en vivo. Y tal vez Arcade Fire. Que ansia y oso que iremos a ver Bright Eyes, jajajaa, a ver si no nos golpean por emos.

Karl Rove is a perverse genius

The WSJ does their share of ass kissing today with a very flattering profile of Cindy McCain, business woman, charity worker, mother of an adopted child extraordinaire. I'm sorry for picking on the candidate's spouse, but I'm going to go ahead on this one.

It's not really Ms. McCain that interests me here, it's all the angles the Journal covered. It kicks off with a compliment about her hostessing skills. Can you say that about Bill? What about Michelle, won't she make you uneasy with all the uncomfortable questions?

There are a couple of references to her iPod and Blackberry. Hoping this hip image might rub off on John? He may be 71 and remind you of a grumpy grandpa who wants the kids off his lawn, but he's groovy and with it! (yes, no one uses groovy, that's my point precisely)

They bring up an old painkiller addiction that came about after a couple of back surgeries (yes, she's human and frail, just like you!).

"I was trying to be the perfect woman", says Ms. McCain. Awww, direct quote so we can empathize aaand something that speaks to all those working women out there.

All this happened around the time of the Keating Five Scandal, after Lincoln Savings & Loan imploded, costing U.S. taxpayers some $3.4 billion dollars. Did Rupert's rag mention this amount? Three guesses.

The article mentions the infamous barbecue weekend. Except for the Journal, it was not infamous. Those ribs were delicious, I'll tell you!

My point is, this piece is loaded with spin. The "Cindy is a very private person" shtick. How she reassured the employees at the family firm after her father's death,

"I want the employees and their families to know that I will take care of them the way my dad has", again, direct empathy quote.

Last, how she has "always" been proud of her country, unlike Michelle Obama. This is a very good (or very bad?) piece of spin, and I for one thing, am afrain of Karl Rove. Are you there, Karl? It's me, Xoch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

últimamente he ido a varios conciertos o toquines. Hoy veré a los smashing, la neta lo único que quiero es cantar Tonight, Tonight. Me encanta ese video de homage a George Meliés. De hecho si definiera como sueño, sería algo entre Meliés, Chagall, y los libros de la sep que le ponen caras a las nubes. La neta no se ni madres de arte, pero más o menos así recuerdo muchos sueños, como si fuera escenografía de cartón repintada con gis y con líneas curvas que simbolizan movimiento o que las cosas se mecen, como un niño montando un caballito de cartón /madera.

bueno, me desvío. Veré a Billy Corgan & Co, el sábado vi a los plastilinos con sus greatest shits (their wording, not mine) y a los invisibles (papis), hace unas semanas a los tacubos, a mr stewart, y pronto a bright eyes (eww!) y a radiohead.

El punto es que me encanta cuando se nota lo bien que se la están pasando. Nada de emos pendejos que hacen jeta. Imagínate a The Bravery cantando... o the Strokes, yo los vi. Cero improvisación, cara de hemorrín todo el tiempo. Que cool....que aburrido.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Microtrends. I knew iT! and our endless classifying and categorizing WORKS (at least if you believe marketers)

Well, if I'm ever out of a job my penchant for categorizing and predicitng people based on what they eat / read/ wear / listen to/ watch will come in handy for my next career.... instant pundit!


WHAT'S FOR DINNER? THE POLLSTER WANTS TO KNOW
By KIM SEVERSON

If there's butter and white wine in your refrigerator and Fig Newtons in the cookie jar, you're likely to vote for Hillary Clinton. Prefer olive oil, Bear Naked granola and a latte to go? You probably like Barack Obama, too. And if you're leaning toward John McCain, it's all about kicking back with a bourbon and a stuffed crust pizza while you watch the Democrats fight it out next week in Pennsylvania.

If what we eat says a lot about who we are, it also says something about how we might vote. Although precincts and polls are being parsed, the political advisers to the presidential candidates are also looking closely at consumer behavior, including how people eat, as a way to scavenge for votes.

The practice is called microtargeting, as much political discipline as buzzword. The idea is that in the brand-driven United States, what we buy and how we spend our free time is a good predictor of our politics.

Political strategists slice and dice the electorate into small segments, starting with traditional demographics like age and income, then mixing consumer information like whether you prefercasinos or cruises, hunting or cooking, a Prius or a pickup.

Once they find small groups of like-minded people, campaigns can efficiently send customized phone, e-mail or direct mail messages to potential supporters, avoiding inefficient one-size-fits-all mailings. Pockets of support that might have gone unnoticed can be ferreted out.

"This is essentially the way Williams-Sonoma knows which of its catalogs to send you," said Christopher Mann of MSHC Partners, a political communications firm, which has used microtargeting to help dozens of successful candidates, including Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington and Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia.

Although gender, religion and other basic personal data are much more valuable for pollsters, information about eating - along with travel and hobbies - are in the second tier of data used to predict how someone might vote, he said.

So, for example, Mann knows that someone who subscribes to lots of gourmet cooking magazines is more likely to be a Democrat or at least more open to progressive causes. That can help a campaign decide if it's worth spending money courting that person's vote.

Although Karl Rove was not the first to use microtargeting in a campaign, he brought it to new levels of sophistication and prominence, dividing swing voters into groups like "tax and terrorism moderates." The strategy helped send George Bush back to the White House in 2004.

Matthew Dowd, the former chief strategist for Bush who is now a political commentator for ABC, helped orchestrate that effort. The Bush team studied food preferences, among dozens of other traits, as a shortcut to finding independents who might lean Republican, he said.

For example, Dr Pepper is a Republican soda. Pepsi-Cola and Sprite are Democratic. So are most clear liquors, like gin and vodka, along with white wine and Evian water. Republicans skew toward brown liquors like bourbon or scotch, red wine and Fiji water. When it comes to fried chicken, he said, Democrats prefer Popeyes and Republicans Chick-fil-A.

"Anything organic or more Whole Foods-y skews more Democratic," Dowd said.

But consumer information has to be studied in context.

"I don't know how much you can use food or drink alone to determine how they will vote," he said.

"You can't have a candidate with a Pepsi-Cola and Pizza Hut box and think that's going to win an election for you."

Jeff Navin, managing director of American Environics, a progressive research and strategy firm, agrees.

"Knowing that your base drinks gin doesn't give you a clear idea on how to communicate with them effectively on issues," he said.

"But if you take it a level deeper and say, are there psychological drivers that will help understand the values behind the behavior, you can speak to those values and persuade voters."

Navin offers an example from his firm's ongoing survey that periodically asks 1,800 people in-depth questions about their lives. In last summer's polling, the latest available, Clinton scored high among voters who also had favorable views of McDonalds, Wal-Mart and Starbucks.

That led his team to conclude that Clinton supporters put a high value on national brands. Although the landscape in the Democratic race has shifted since the poll was conducted, Navin said, back then the name Clinton was the most popular national Democratic brand.

Mark Penn, a microtargeting expert who was dismissed as chief strategist for the Clinton campaign last week, wrote a book on the subject: "Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes" (Twelve, 2007). Although Penn, who claims credit for coining the term "soccer mom," didn't specifically seek out research on the dining habits of voters, he does use food as a way to define the candidates.

Specifically, he points to Obama's comments about the rising price of arugula at Whole Foods during a campaign stop in Iowa.

"He has more of the arugula vote," he said in an e-mail message last week.

"Senator Clinton's voters are more likely to be making ends meet and so they do a lot more cooking at home and a lot less eating out at expensive restaurants."

Although Obama's team is also using consumer data to target voters, the campaign is focusing more on what one adviser called "macrotargeting." The idea is to build a unified, all-encompassing Obama brand that works well across all kinds of media platforms.

"I would say we're old-fashioned in that you have to look at America as a whole," said Bill Burton, Obama's national press secretary.

That's not to say they don't have specific information about voters, he said. And the campaign isn't above using food to gain an edge. After the founders of Ben and Jerry's endorsed Obama, the campaign blog quickly suggested a new ice cream flavor that plays off of a favorite campaign slogan: Yes, Pecan.

Whether a campaign uses a lot or a little consumer information, it can cause trouble if not interpreted correctly, some political veterans cautioned.

An environmentally minded independent who trends Democratic might buy organic milk, but so might an independent conservative who is more concerned about the health of her children than the state of the earth. They buy the same product, but for different reasons. Send an environmental message to the conservative and you could lose her vote.

That's why some, notably James Carville, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, see microtargeting as a waste of time and money. Although he believes the cost of food is a fast-rising issue among voters, knowing what they eat doesn't win elections.

"Suppose I found out people who drink cappuccinos are Democrats and black coffee drinkers are likely to vote Republican?" he asked. "So what? All kinds of other things are more predictive and less expensive to find out."

Besides, the lines between who eats what continues to blur. Republicans are not necessarily red-meat-eating bourbon swillers, and not all Democrats are carrying their lattes to the farmers'market.

Mann recently saw someone on a Metro train in Washington with a Bush/Cheney sticker on his bag reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," Barbara Kingsolver's meditation on eating local food.

Some people who cook and serve food have been students of microtargeting for years. JoAnn Clevenger, the owner of the Upperline restaurant in New Orleans, doesn't need a data set toidentify how customers might vote. She just watches what they order.

"The Republicans are more formal and have more attention to structure when they eat," she said. The classic example would be her delicate trout meuniere. Democrats tend to order earthy, down-home food with lots of juice for sopping, like Cane River country shrimp with garlic, bacon and mushrooms.

But lately she's seen a lot of interest from both sides for her Oysters St. Claude. The oysters are coated with corn flour, gently fried and then slipped back into their shells and covered with anadventurous, Morrocan-style sauce seasoned with ground whole lemons, garlic, cayenne and paprika. It's the ultimate crossover dish, and she believes it's popular this year because voters are being pulled in several directions.

"You have a respect and a yearning for the past," she said, "but a feeling like you want something new and exciting that says let´s go all the way."