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October 24, 2008

New York Times endorses Obama

Yesterday, actually. I'm guessing it didn't make much of a splash because many people had the same reaction as I did: "Oh, really? They hadn't already? Huh." But remember - in the primaries they endorsed McCain and Clinton. Of course, now McCain's campaign is claiming that the Times is not in fact a news organization, so really, no surprise here.

Posted by Kat at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2008

Scott McClellan endorses Obama.

Wow. Story here. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but somehow I am.

Posted by Kat at 06:39 PM | Comments (2)

Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Today's question:

Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like - sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that's just me.

Hmm. I think I am coming up with two, although I'm sure as soon as I post this I will remember others. My absolute favorite is Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, since, well, pretty much everything in that book is about perfect. And a favorite modern literary couple is Gregor Demarkian and Bennis Hannaford from Jane Haddam's mysteries. Their relationship is complicated and sometimes fraught, but feels very real.

Posted by Kat at 02:30 PM | Comments (2)

October 22, 2008

New Project: NH Political Info

Recently, I've been looking for information on state and local political stuff and found it annoying to sift through lots of commentary to find stuff. So I decided to make an attempt at a blog that's a sort of clearinghouse for info from both sides, without really saying much about it. I'm still getting set up, but eventually it will cover state and local politics as well as how New Hampshire plays in national politics. Take a look here.

Posted by Kat at 06:28 PM | Comments (2)

Daily Reading (10/22/08)


Are traders worth their money?

Was the Lehman loss all that bad?

Maybe the bailout will be profitable.

How will Treasury pick the banks to save?


Al-Qaeda Web sites show support for McCain

Who's actually running, again?

The RNC buys Palin a $150K wardrobe. Personally, I don't really care what her clothes cost - unless the RNC paying for them is of questionable legality. So I'm going to wait and see on that one. I will also say that I now want them to take back everything they said about Edwards's $400 hair cut.

Sarah Palin's college years left no lasting impression. Um, yeah, that's the less-than-neutral-sounding headline, but it sounds like they're saying it's literally true. Interesting.

Catharine MacKinnon: Obama is the way forward for women.

Ron Elving: Why can't the presidential polls just get along?

Ruth Marcus: The 'Socialist' Scare

There's nothing new about spreading the wealth.

Coming up in Sunday's Times magazine: a pre-post-mortem on the McCain campaign.

More on voter fraud: Block the Vote and Voter Registration Flashpoints

In Endgame, Metrics are Adding Up for Obama

Is Palin setting herself up for 2012? That would probably be the best course of action for her at this point.

And, of course, police are preparing for riots. Yes, this is part of why I can't think about election day without feeling sick. I'm half-convinced that there will be some sort of violence regardless of the outcome.

Posted by Kat at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2008

Daily Reading (10/21/08)

Arts and Culture:

The Atlantic, one of my favorite magazines, has a new design. Read about it here

A fascinating look at the term paper market. It's too bad I'm so darn ethical, because it actually sounds kind of fun.

NPR social networking now has groups.

World News:

Bush Decides to Keep Guantanamo Open


Not that we're surprised, but the IMF is bailing out Iceland.

Don't Blame the CRA

Religious leaders speak out about the crisis.


Obama is taking a break from campaigning to visit his seriously ill grandmother. Get well soon, Mrs. Dunham!

A North Carolina Congressman claims that liberals "hate real Americans." Yeah. Goes nicely with Palin's statement that there are "pro-America areas" of the country and Bachmann's whole thing about anti-American views held by Obama and other senators.

Obama will be in Chicago's Grant Park on election night. Personally, I can't even say or type "election night" without feeling ill.

Trying to figure out the differences between all the polls? Here's a tracking poll primer.

Many Holes in Disclosure of Nominees' Health

Fareed Zakaria endorses Obama.

Hitchens: Stop covering Palin until she gives a press conference.

Spencer Ackerman on the movie W.

Gail Collins and David Brooks have a kind of hilarious back-and-forth about early voting.

Let's not forget that both sides have people doing bad things.

How Obama quietly targets blacks.

Racists for Obama?

Oh good, time to start worrying about this: How accurate are exit polls?

Beyond Diebold: 10 Ways to Steal This Election

McCain targets white Clinton strongholds.

Sarah Palin? Not as outsidery as she says.

McCain supporters heckle early voters. Charming.

Early voters report that voting machines are switching their votes from Obama to McCain. Eek.

Posted by Kat at 05:18 PM | Comments (0)

Follow-Up to My Voter Fraud Question

Thanks for the input. Rachel and Carrie, I get what you're saying - I know that there is worry that Mickey Mouse or whomever will somehow vote. What I was trying to figure out was whether there had been studies or reporting done on whether this actually happens, and to what extent. And, by the way, Carrie, I'm with Eliz - don't need ID at the polls. I think it's a state law, at least here. New Hampshire does not require ID to vote (but does to register). We also can register at the polls on election day, which is something I think would solve a lot of problems if it were made universal. But I remember needing ID in CT.

Anyway, my point here was to show you this Politics of Voter Fraud report. (Warning: PDF.) I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it looks like it will address a lot of the things I was thinking about.

(Oh, and hey look! Here's what my ballot will look like. [PDF])

Posted by Kat at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

Poll Closing Times

Trying to plan out your election night? Here's when the polls close. Honestly, though, I'm unfamiliar with this site (about to do some more research) so I can't necessarily vouch for it. I'm linking to it because it had the best layout I could find. Also, it says parts of Florida are in central time? Seriously? I had no idea!

Posted by Kat at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

September Books

Oops. I just realized that this post has been sitting here half-written since October 1. So I guess I should just finish it, huh?

Tippy-Toe Murder by Leslie Meier
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
Pages: 227
Rating: 4.1

See my review here.

Getting Things Done by David Allen
Genre: Business, productivity
Pages: 267
Rating: 4.5

It's a bit early to say that this book was life-changing, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ends up being so. Allen has developed a system of dealing with work - and pretty much everything you do falls into his definition of "work" - that really makes sense, at least to the way my brain works. I haven't had time to completely implement his system yet (because there's some initial set-up that takes a while but doesn't need to be redone), but I've been slowly adopting his various tips and that has already helped a lot. I just wish he had provided some more cohesive, long examples - maybe a few days or a week in the life of a few people using his system - to better show how it all works together.

God's Harvard by Hanna Rosin
Genre: Religion, sociology
Pages: 296
Rating: 4.7

I have to say that I'm a) a big fan of Rosin in general and b) extremely interested in the sociology of religion, so it was pretty likely that I'd like this book. But really, it was great. Rosin spent a few years researching a prestigious evangelical Christian college, complete with tons of interviews with students, parents, professors, and staff. And the results are fascinating. Rosin presents a relatively balanced and fair (I thought) portrait of the college and the people involved with it. This college focuses on politics and many of its graduates end up working in the field in various capacities, so if you have any interest in what the future of American politics will look like, God's Harvard is definitely worth a read.

Posted by Kat at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2008


Yay! Today was the first morning of the season with real frost on the ground and my car as I was leaving for work. Now I'm watching out for the first snow sometime in the next few weeks...

Posted by Kat at 09:19 AM | Comments (3)

October 16, 2008

Daily Reading (10/16/08)

Where shark attacks are most common. Heh. I love The Economist.


Freeing the Elephants - a fascinating article on the controversy surrounding Babar.

Jezebel has a fascinating examination of policy and economics in The Long Winter. Whoa. I want to go reread it now.


John Dickerson: McCain did well in the final debate, but not well enough to matter.

Why is McCain campaigning like this?

Levi Johnston gives an interview. He seems like a decent kid. I hope they make it work.

Go read a little pregnant on McCain's contempt for women.

Jezebel: The Race-Baiting Tactics of John McCain and Sarah Palin are Reprehensible.

A county in New York prints "Barack Osama" on absentee ballots. Um, oops?

The XX Factor: Why I Miss John Edwards. Me too!

What was with the connection McCain kept making between Palin and autism? This was driving me crazy last night.

Oooh, big long Matt Bai Times Magazine piece coming out! Yay! Working for the Working-Class Vote

Posted by Kat at 05:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 15, 2008

Question about ACORN/Fraudulent Registration

I understand that voter registration groups like ACORN end up registering some fake names (Mickey Mouse) or reregistering people who are already registered. As Yglesias says here, it would be pretty much impossible to have a large number of voter registrations without a few fake forms. But what I want to know is whether said fake registrations actually lead to voting fraud. Are people actually showing up and identifying themselves as Mickey Mouse and trying to vote? Does anyone have links/evidence in either direction? Thanks!

Posted by Kat at 10:56 PM | Comments (3)

Love your body!

Happy Love Your Body Day!

Posted by Kat at 11:42 AM | Comments (1)

October 14, 2008

Obama-Biden Tax Calculator

Check how your taxes would change under Obama's tax plan.

Posted by Kat at 07:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2008

Daily Reading (10/10/08)

Oops, forgot to post this the other day...


Ignore the Dow. Watch the TED Spread.

Megan McArdle: How Did It All Happen?


This is brilliant: Apparently MA is doing voter registration at Dunkin' Donuts. If you're not familiar with New England, this may not make sense, but it's really ridiculously perfect.

Awww. In 1988, Obama gave a stranger in an airport $100 so she could get to Norway (with her two suitcases) to be with her new husband.

States' Actions to Block Voters Appear Illegal

TNR thinks it's over. I'm not even letting myself think that. I guess I'm more superstitious than I'd thought.

Sarah Palin's "folk" problem. I think Meacham gets at something I've been thinking about various candidates during this whole election cycle - WHY do we want a "normal" person to be president (or VP, or whatever)? I don't WANT the president to be just like me! I want a president who is smarter than I am and wiser than I am and braver than I am and more thoughtful than I am and better than I am in pretty much every way possible. And yes, I guess that's basically the definition of "elite." I want the people in charge to be elite. Isn't that the whole point?

And here's a TNR profile of Palin.

The lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen objects to people trying to link Obama to Ayers. Good for him.

Posted by Kat at 05:41 PM | Comments (1)

New Obama Economy Plan

Just unveiled: Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Rescue Plan for the Middle Class.

Posted by Kat at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

Novena for Faithful Citizenship

This Novena for Faithful Citizenship looks like it would be good to say sometime in the next few weeks leading up to the election, for those so inclined.

Posted by Kat at 09:03 AM | Comments (1)

October 10, 2008

Anyone Plodting?

Okay, let's back up for a minute. Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte is one of my absolute most favorite books ever. After reading it, I started reading her in the Times. And so I was very sad when she left the Times.

But! She is part of the team behind the new site Plodt. I signed up because I'd sign up for anything Amanda Hesser was doing, but it's actually pretty cool. It takes your Twitter posts that you label in a certain (easy) way and puts them on a graph that lets you track whatever you want - your mood, your thoughts on food, politics, whatever. And you can see who else is tracking those things and what they're saying. It's kind of hard to explain, but it's neat, I promise. (It's sort of like a really really advanced and much better version of imood, I guess. That's the best analogy I can come up with.)

If you're curious, you can see my Plodt page here. And let me know if you sign up!

Posted by Kat at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

Opinions needed!

Should I knit an Obama sweater? Or would that be some sort of jinx?

(And don't you agree that the back should be blue, not beige?)

UPDATE: I consulted with fellow knitters in my office and we decided that it would be okay. I am thinking of it as a vessel for positive thoughts for Obama rather than a jinx. And it will be really really cool to wear while volunteering on Election Day (or sooner, if I get it done sooner).

So, um, I'd better learn about this intarsia thing now, huh?

I'll keep you updated.

Posted by Kat at 01:15 PM | Comments (3)

October 09, 2008

Daily Reading (10/08/08)


Spare Me the Sermon on Muslim Women

Possibly the best banned books display ever. (Thanks for the tip, Kate!)


Some background on the crisis in Iceland.


Yes We Carve - Barack O'Lanterns. Hee.

Yes We Can (Hold Babies) brings the political cuteness. Aww.

Peggy Noonan on the VP debate.

The New Yorker endorses Obama. Not that we're surprised or anything.

Posted by Kat at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

Google the Past

Search Google - in 2001. Endless hours of entertainment there. (Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.)

Posted by Kat at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

Booking Through Thursday: Book Meme

Today's questions:

What was the last book you bought?

Um, no idea. Oh, I guess Free-Range Knitter. I pre-ordered it months ago but I guess I technically bought it when it was shipped.

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Just one? Anne of Green Gables.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Oh, probably lots of them... I'll go with An Acceptable Time.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

All of the above.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Either? Both? Depends on my mood.

What's more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

If I had to pick, I guess plot. But really, I read for characters.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

I cannot possibly pick just one. The others' feelings would be hurt.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

I'm not home, so I can't check, but I think the following are literally on my nightstand:
Free-Range Knitter
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
The Catholic Study Bible
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours
Set-Apart Femininity
Cheating at Solitaire
And I feel like I'm forgetting something. Hmm. Oh well. And if this was supposed to be "What are you currently reading?" we need to add The Liberal Hour because that's the one I'm actually carrying around in my work bag.

What was the last book you've read, and when was it?

The last one I actually finished was God's Harvard, in late September.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Oh, yes, lots. Well, I tend to give up within the first 50 pages if I'm going to give up.

Posted by Kat at 10:11 AM | Comments (2)


(I got this from Carole. And man, is it hard for me to give yes/no answers and not explain. Sheesh.)


You can only say yes or no. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone comments or e-mails and asks!

Over 18? Yes
Danced in front of your mirror naked? No
Ever told a lie? Yes
Been arrested? No
Kissed a picture? No
Fallen asleep at work/school? No
Held an actual snake? Yes
Have YOU Ever run a red light? Yes
Ever drink and drive? No
Been suspended from school? No
Ever been fired from a job? No
Totaled a car/motorbike in an accident? No
Sang karaoke? No
Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Yes
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? No
Ever laughed until you wet yourself? No
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
Kissed in the rain? Yes
Sang in the shower? Yes
Sat on a rooftop? Yes
Thought about your past with regret? Yes
Been pushed in the pool with your clothes on? No
Shaved your head? No
Blacked out from drinking? No
Had a gym membership? Yes
Been in a band? Yes
Shot a gun? No
Liked someone with nobody else knowing about it? Yes
Played strip poker? No
Been to a strip joint? No
Donated Blood? Yes
Liked someone you shouldn’t? Yes
Have a tattoo? No
Have or had any piercings besides ears? No
Made out with a complete stranger? No
Caught someone cheating on you? No
Skinny dipped? No
Regret any of your exes? No
Been to a rodeo? No
Been to a NASCAR race? No
Been in love? Yes

Posted by Kat at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2008

Pretty Pictures

So I went on a quick trip to Canada over the weekend (more about that later), which meant I got to do one of my very favorite things - drive through Vermont. I love Vermont. And coming home yesterday, I finally had time to stop at the 100-mile view at Hogback Mountain. I'd noticed it when driving past a few times before, but never had the time to stop. This time I parked and took pictures until my camera batteries ran out. I've put my favorites below, and you can see the rest here.

Hogback Mountain 1

Hogback Mountain 27

Hogback Mountain 9

Hogback Mountain 3

Posted by Kat at 10:27 AM | Comments (5)

October 01, 2008

Daily Reading (10/1/08)

Arts and History

The correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell has been published.

Russian Court Rehabilitates Last Czar


Cities are having to cut back or stop necessary projects because they can't get financing. This really is affecting everyone. It's not just a "big business" thing.

Five Alternative Bailout Plans


New DC gossip blog: Unattributable

Bill Kristol on how McCain can win.

The New Yorker has (another? didn't they do this already?) very interesting profile of Cindy McCain.

The Shrewd Persona of Meghan McCain

Spin Doctors Work Their Voodoo

Biden's strategy: Go easy on Palin

The Wars of John McCain

What's the matter with Canada?

And it's a theme! What's the matter with Michigan?

Posted by Kat at 05:52 PM | Comments (1)

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