Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thoughts on the election

(I'm not really bothering with Monday Updates this week, but fyi - I had a very nice weekend that involved seeing the movie W, going to Westwood, and getting some work done)

1. It has been such a long election cycle. I think I'm excited at this point because it's almost over and George W. Bush will no longer be our president. I excited that we will have a new administration with fresh ideas.

2. I will be happy that we can refocus on issues that have been set aside because of the election, like Darfur, education, and poverty.

3. I really hope Obama wins. Yes, he's up in the polls, and yes I think he'll win, but I'm still worried. Our country's electorate isn't as thoughtful as I'd like and the idea that Obama could lose because people think he's a socialist that's hanging out with terrorists really makes me upset. Yes I know many people are voting FOR McCain and not AGAINST Obama, and I don't have a problem with that. I think if you can make an informed argument for McCain you deserve to vote for him. It's the whole, believing everything you hear and read thing that bothers me (Does that make sense?). And when you add that to this seemingly underlying acceptance that racism against Muslims is okay, I go crazy.

4. I spent a lot of time trying to decide whether to post on California Proposition 8. I'm not partly because I made it a personal policy not to express my political opinions on the blog -- I think it goes against my blog's purpose, which is to update my friends and family on my life. I did make an exception to tell my own personal story of why I supported Obama from the beginning. But the truth is, it's too hard for me to articulate my own personal relationship with Prop 8 without sounding extremely angry and judgemental (If you're interested in how I'm voting, it's on my facebook page or you can send me a message).

5. Another thing about the propositions: It's frustrating to have to vote "no" on issues that I in principle agree with because the state has no money. Yes, I want higher sentencing for gang members, but our prisons are way too overcrowded as it is. I guess you could vote yes, but seriously, we have no money and we barely got a loan this year.

6. I am voting on election day. Yes, you can vote early in California, but now worried that the lines to vote early will be longer than they are at my polling location on election day. I plan to get there a half hour before the polls open and stay until I vote, even if I have to miss my morning classes. If there was ever a day to have a legitimate absence, I think election day would be it. Plus, I want to show off my sticker :-).

7. It's been a fun election. Partly because the party I'm affiliated with got the lion's share of the media coverage, and Partly because it's been so unpredictable.

8. Also, this election parallels the election on The West Wing so well, it's eerie. (For you West Wing fans who've felt the same, I did some online research and it turns out that the Santos character was modeled after Sen. Obama. No word on McCain) Here are the similarities:

Santos-Obama: inexperienced congressman of color has big ideas, runs a long shot primary campaign against the sitting VP and squeeks out the nomination.

Vinick-McCain: maverick conservative with a wide range of supporters. Older than many, has sat in the senate for decades.

Russell-Clinton: established candidate with the competitive edge in the primary

Hoynes-Edwards: primary candidate who has an illicit affair. Difference here is everyone knew about Hoynes' before he ran for the nomination.

McGarry-Biden: Catholic from northeast with foreign policy experience

Sullivan-Palin: VP Republican pick that the Republican base loves but doesn't necessarily jive with the policies at the top of the ticket.

Nuclear Crisis/Financial Crisis: In the West Wing, the surprise before the election that gave Santos the boost needed to win was the incident at the "San Andreo Nuclear Station in San Diego" (sound familiar? ask my dad about that one). The economic crisis we're currently having gave Obama a similar boost that could be the deciding factor.

In short, the West Wing writers were either extremely intuitive or extremely lucky. Either way, it's a fun analysis.

Anyway - those are my thoughts on the election, if you were wondering :-). I'll be tuning into election night with my law school friends at an event thrown by the student bar association.

Have a good rest of the week!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My review of "W"

Last night Curtis and I walked down to the Farmers' Market/Grove for dinner and a movie. Unfortunately HSM III wasn't playing there so we had to see "W". Let me first say that I think the movie would have been a lot more interesting if I hadn't heard so much about it. It was funny at times, but a little slow, especially since it went through the events leading up to the war in Iraq and well...I was around for that so I know what happened.

I guess my question is - how much of it is true? We know that the President was an alcoholic who took awhile to get his life together and it was discovery of Jesus that really helped him focus. We know about his grades at Yale and his lack of motivation as a young adult. We know what V.P. Cheney and Colin Powell's opinions were about the war. But what about his relationship with his father? Was it all in W's head that his father favored Jeb or did his father really think that Jeb would eventually become president while Junior would only get so far as owner of the Texas Rangers? How did his mother really feel? Was there a conversation on election night 1992 where W attributed his father's defeat to Pres. Clinton to his failure to go into Baghdad during the first Gulf War? Is that why W went further when he was president?

I realize that we don't know everything, but it felt like the assumptions that were made could have been expanded on. I also felt like Oliver Stone spent more time on the lead-up to the war than he needed to. We know that there was an internal debate and we know that the intelligence re WMDs was sketchy. I wanted to see more about his campaigns, both for Governor and for President, and understand better why he felt so connected to regular Americans (several times in the movie they told him he had "the touch", but we never really understood why).

Nevertheless, "W" reminded me that our president is a fascinating character study, who overcame serious emotional challenges to become one of the most significant presidents on record, for better or for worse.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Updates - 10/20/08

Very, very short today because I'm running on less than 4 hours of sleep. 

Weekend - 
I had a very unusual weekend. On Friday I got out of class early and was able to go to the USC gym. That night I did a lot of chores which made me feel better. Unfortunately, I woke up on Saturday morning with a debilitating headache, which made me unable to do anything for about 4 hours. Finally I decided to drive home to Mission Viejo so I could at least be around my family even if I wasn't feeling well. I stayed there, watched the Stanford-UCLA game (don't want to talk about it) spent a few hours on my memo, and went back to LA on Sunday morning. I actually headed straight to the USC law library to continue work on my office memo that was due today at 9:30 AM. I worked until I had to leave for the airport to get Curtis (he was in Provo this weekend) and then worked until 2, and got up at 6am, and headed back to the library to finish. I have nothing to say at this point except that I'm happy I turned it in on time and I'm happy that I'm probably done studying the New Mexico attractive nuisance doctrine. 

I'm hoping that this week will be calm and very productive! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Updates - 10/14/08

Yes - I'm late on the updates again. But I had a busy 4-day weekend so cut me some slack.

Weekend - We had a fall break so no school on Thursday or Friday. I drove to Mission Viejo on Wednesday night and stayed there until Friday night. I was happy to get a pedicure, get my car washed, catch up on some TV and hang out with my mom. We also went to Macy's to open my registry and pick out the wedding china and matching glasses! So overall I had a nice visit. On Saturday morning Curtis and I drove to Stanford for the Homecoming Tailgate and Football Game! It was so fun being there again, the tailgate is always really good and the game was very exciting - we won by a point! So we're not in the bowl race, and if we can beat UCLA this weekend (knock on wood) I'll start saving money for Christmas break. Here's a picture taken with my friend's camera and then one I took of the stadium:

Law School - School is okay, I really need to start studying for finals but I'm in that mid-semester slump where I'm just not very motivated. I think I'll feel better once my office memo is turned in on Monday. Then I'll start working on the outlines, etc. I just have to keep remembering that I have less than 8 months to go and then I can relax a little.

That's all for now - busy weekend ahead!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Monday Updates - 10/6/2008

I am fresh off a very pleasant and relaxing weekend. Curtis and I finally got some low key time together to study, watch TV, go out, and eat! On Friday night we went to this BBQ place - Wood Ranch, at the Grove where I had beef ribs, baked beans, a baked potato, and flourless chocolate cake for dessert! Saturday was a lazy day, where we watched college football and only ventured out for food. But I got a lot of studying done and a lot of cleaning actually.

Sunday was the day we ventured out. Curtis had been wanting to go to UCLA campus to pick up some stuff from the Bookstore, so we made an afternoon out of it.

These pictures were actually taken with my iPhone! Not bad, actually. We walked up to Royce Hall and back, and then went to Innout and Diddy Riese. Then I decided that I wanted to see the La Brea Tar Pits once and for all, since they're close to my house, so we went there and walked around. Not much to see if you don't want to put up the admission cost to the actual museum, but we did get to see some asphalt (it's not actually tar) bubbling up from the ground via methane air bubbles (I had to look this stuff up when we got back). Plus it was a gorgeous afternoon and there's a ton of open space. I'm sure we'll make more trips there and to the other museums nearby.

This week is only 3 days because of our mid-semester break: Thursday I'll be in Mission Viejo and Friday-Sunday I'll be in the Bay Area for Stanford Homecoming with Curtis! So a busy but fun week ahead.

That's all for now, have a good week!