Saturday, November 25, 2006
Blogger has gone mad...
second of all the posts don't work - the title comes up and nothing else works.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The White House wasn't won last night
The fact is that what is extraordinary isn't that Bush's party suffered losses in the 2006 mid-terms, but that he made such staggering gains in the 2002 mid-terms. That was unheard of - losing seats like this in your second term is par.
If the Democrats are to win in 2008 they are going to have to sort themselves out on Iraq and get some kind of clarity on what they stand for domestically. Nixon was able to win in 1968 and 1972 not by pledging to be conciliatory to communism but by being even more concerned about reds under the bed than the Democrats - and he was the one who pulled them out of Vietnam.
The same isn't possible for the Democrats - they've been seen as soft on security and soft on pretty much anything since the 60s, in fact probably earlier. Going around saying "This strategy of being hard on security isn't working" is only going to work if they can say something convincing about how their alternative doesn't look like surrender. When Democrats pull out of somewhere it looks a lot more like surrender than when a Republican does it - that's just the nature of US politics at the moment.
The idea that this is some sweep of leftist opinion rising internally against US warmongering is simply not credible. Remember that flurry of excitement when Lieberman lost the Connecticut primary to an anti-war Democrat? Well, who's the senator for Connecticut this morning?
The independent Joe Lieberman.
So let's not get carried away. Nancy Pelosi is the biggest winner this week - but she is seen as the very epitome of coastal state, liberal, soft Democrats. If the Democrats are to win the big one in 2008 that's not going to win it for them. The US electorate is the most conservative in the western industrialised world and it's simply not the case that an unpopular war can overturn that.
The GOP candidate in 2008 is not going to be George Bush, Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld.
Friday, November 03, 2006
This has disappeared.
When I lived with friends in Brockley, which was the last time I actually (jointly-) hosted a party I was most definately third in line as party organiser and had little to do with the nuts and bolts of any of our gatherings.
That was also years ago. I can safely say that the last time I organised any kind of house party was many years ago, when I was in my mid/late teens at home. I think I got away with it - my mum probably knew but we never actually broke anything massive.
But things are a lot simpler when you're a teenager at home. You have one lot of mates, you invite them. They've got nothing better to do (it's your house party or sipping cider in the park after all) so they all turn up. Sorted. You're not even expected to cater or provide any booze - they just turn up with their cheap ropey tipple of choice. And, being teenagers they are all sheep and like exactly the same things, right down to a particular method of tying their shoelaces.
When you've had two different stints at uni, two jobs and have moved away from home a long time ago, it all gets a lot more complicated. As do the arrangements. The age range of the people I will be inviting is in excess of 10 years difference, probably closer to 15. The range of music, drink and food tastes is, shall we say, diverse.
And the enmities between friends and acquaintances that one is both aware and unware of are a minefield.
I have decided that in the interests of having a good time I'm going to throw caution to the wind and not try to ensure there are no meetings of people who might have "history" with each other. It's just too complicated - and, frankly, they're all grown ups. In a manner of speaking.
Speaking of warming houses, Jo has been talking about this. I too am having complete chaos with the boiler in our new house. Although this is more self imposed. The thing clearly works - and it does respond to pressing buttons and twirling the knobs on it by changing how hot the place is. But the fact is I have absolutely no idea what button does what.
I have currently managed to eat and sleep in an un-heated house on at least 50% of the evenings I've been there, and in return the boiler has heated the place on at least full day's work when there was nobody there. I cannot wait until my more practically minded scientist flatmate turns up with some idea of what button might do what.
There is a timer things that looks very complicated. I know that when one bit reaches another bit the heating will turn itself on if it's off or off if it's on. But the problem is I have no idea which.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
...I have a HOUSE! no...I haven't just won the bingo...I've just moved into my HOUSE!
I moved in monday, and spent tuesday unpacking and building shelves (actually I built a wine rack first).
It's really great. Unfortunately, my stark raving bonkers landlord's failure to get it sorted by the weekend means that my flatmate, tim, who was relying on his mum and a van to get his stuff moved, has a problem. His mother leaves for East Africa on Saturday. No lift for tim.