What do Miss California and Barack Obama have in common?

misscaliforniaTheir position on gay marriage, as she so eloquently pointed out in a press conference carried on all of the major news networks with Donald Trump last week.

It certainly pointed out how ridiculous Obama’s position is–that this disgraced beauty queen can invoke his name to legitimize her own position. Because it’s the same. As his.

Obama is quick to remind us of the hurdles that we’ve overcome so that his historic election could take place–the battles that civil right leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks fought so that he could have a seat at the table. And he’s quick to remind us of the barriers that are still standing.

But when it comes to the central civil rights issue facing our generation, rather than learning from the past, he has taken the politically “sensitive” position of supporting civil unions, placating to moderate America.

Where do you think we would be if MLK had been interested in a middle-of-the-line approach? Separate but equal comes to mind. Which is exactly what civil unions are.

Anyway, I’m not trying to say that civil unions are wrong–to be honest, I think that if marriage really is such a sacred institution, then the government shouldn’t be in the business of granting it–gay or straight. But still, it just strikes me as an entirely weak position, motivated by his a selfish desire to be popular.

But being popular doesn’t make you right.

CAPS LOCK: not an effective means of communication.

kanyeDear Kanye,


The funny part is that half of the people that left comments on that blog entry also wrote in all-caps. Are there special keyboards being sold that aren’t capable of lower-case letters?

Oh, and would proof reading really be too much to ask? I know you’re too busy “BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME” or “JUST LAYING ON THE BEACH” but changing “there” to “their” is really just as quick as a a few strokes of your caps-only keys.


Choreographed tech commercials: the best.

chrome-commercialApparently it doesn’t take that much to impress me: a good song, some synchronized tech demonstration, and that’s about it. The iPhone app commercials bring tears to my eyes, I will pause and rewind the Sprint Now Network commercials again and again, and don’t even get me started on the new Honda Insight commercials (I’m getting emotional just thinking about them).

Add this commercial to the mix (embedded below), one of Google’s new ads for its Chrome browser. It’s got a great song (The Lucky Ones, by Tim Myers), bright colors, and synchronized objects moving around the screen. The prefect recipe in my book.

As far as the rest of the Google commercials go, they kind of suck. In typical Google fashion, they don’t really highlight the features–at all. I guess Google just thinks that because they look cool, you’ll download it. Well, I guess they’re right…

Open-Source Fundraising

youtube-obama-downloadI wrote this letter during the campaign and posted it to my other blog. Although it wasn’t acted upon, I still think there are many opportunities for Web 2.0 applications like this to politics and international relations.

Barack: You’ve brought a lot of new players to the table—now keep us here!

It’s one thing to bring us to the table, it’s a whole other thing to keep us sitting. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Senator Obama: we like our money, but we think our opinions are much more valuable.

This is a problem facing campaigns: making the supporter (and the donor, for that matter) feel engaged in what’s going on with the campaign day to day. It’s not enough anymore just to donate money, we want to have a say in what’s going on. Everyone has their own opinion on what a campaign should be talking about, who they should be targeting, and what issues they should focus on—everyone has their own vision. But, it’s hard to incorporate millions of visions into one presidential campaign—we can’t all be on the strategy committee!

So I propose a new approach to fundraising, an “open-source” approach—fundraising 2.0, if you will. Open source is when programmers release their programming code to the public so that anyone can improve and expand upon it. It’s not just for programming; the business community is pouncing on the idea of “open-source” business models. And so I ask—why not politics, as well?

What would this look like? Obviously, David Plouffe can’t release his strategy online and simply ask for comments—what a disaster that would be! Instead, here’s a simple idea: the Obama campaign can take all of their television ads and put them on a special section of their website (there’s no harm in this, you can already see all of them on Youtube anyways). Then, they can point their supporters to this page and ask them to watch the ads and rate them. When they see an ad which really speaks to them, or is particularly good at finessing a point, supporters will have the opportunity to directly fund airtime for that ad. In doing this, the Obama campaign can turn their website into a focus group of sorts. Except the beauty of this focus group is that the campaign doesn’t have to pay them; in fact, quite the opposite—they pay you!

Simply sending e-mails asking for money is an antiquated approach to fundraising, and it does nothing to address this engagement problem. Open-source fundraising engages the supporter without confusing the message. The Obama campaign still controls what gets voted on, they’re ultimately deciding where the spots are played, but they’re opening up the decision process on which ads get the most airtime to those who are actually voting on November 4th. It’s sometimes hard to know what will resonate the best with the voter, especially when you’ve been working in a campaign bubble for the last 18 months; this system quickly tells you which ads you were right about, and more importantly, which ones you were wrong with.

I certainly know I would donate money this way. And I’m willing to bet I’m not alone…

The Best Commercial. Ever.


When this commercial comes on, I get this tingly sensation.

Even though most Californians probably don’t do half the stuff pictured in this commercial, it’s still nice that everyone else in the country thinks we do.

Here’s a link to the extended version with the outtakes.

Just Downloaded: What’cha know about.

donavon1 I first heard it played by the Pernikoff Brothers at Stanford CoHo (and they did a great job!), and when it came up on my Jack Johnson playlist on Pandora, I decided to download it.

If you like: Jack Johnson, Diet Country
Listen to it on imeem:
What’cha Know About – Donavon Frankenreiter

Bristol Pitches Abstinence; Levi Calls it “Unrealistic”

s-bristol-largeWell, at least she’s qualified to speak on the subject, right?

Kind of an about face from two months ago, when she said that abstinence is “unrealistic.” She claimed those comments were taken out of context, but you can be the judge:

VAN SUSTEREN: I don’t want to pry to personally, but I mean, actually, contraception is an issue here. Is that something that you were just lazy about or not interested, or do you have a philosophical or religious opposition to it or…

BRISTOL: No. I don’t want to get into detail about that. But I think abstinence is, like — like, the — I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.


BRISTOL: Because — I don’t want to get into details on this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, I don’t mean personally, just big picture, not — not necessarily about you, but…

BRISTOL: Because it’s more and more accepted now.

Pretty clear.

The best part of the story is Levi Johnston’s response: “umm, i was using condoms, but uh there were a few times, you know, we didn’t, uhh and that’s what happened: we had a kid.” Well Said.

Which is more awkward–Tyra asking the questions or Levi responding??

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Rush Limbaugh: the gift that keeps on giving.

person_rush_limbaugh_cigar1Rush Limbaugh continues to dominate the news and is doing a good job steering his party off the deep end–including standing in the way of those Republicans that are actually trying to change the direction of their party (a logical idea considering their dismal performance last year).

I was a little concerned that Republicans would use this time to reorganize and come back stronger–something they’re pretty good at. Some of the Libertarian policies Ron Paul pushed during the election were resonating well, not just with southern white voters but with young college students and suburban Moms, however ridiculous some of his other ideas might have been (wait, what do you want to do to the Federal Reserve? Abolish it?? That doesn’t sound smart…).

But not with Rush at the helm. Not only is he doing a good job at blocking efforts to rebrand the party, he’s actively trying to make the party smaller by pushing out some key players.

Back in 2006, his 11th hour claims that Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson symptoms in a political ad helped the Democrats edge out their takeover of Congress. As long as Limbaugh continues to be the de-facto leader of the Republican party, it seems safe to say that Democrats won’t need to worry about losing their solid majority–keep it up, Rush!

Just for fun: Bouncing Rush

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Michelle Bachmann continues to embarass Minnesota…

michele-bachmann..by trying to blame the recent outbreak of Swine flu on Democrats.

My first reaction is that I wish I had of donated more than $25 to her opponent in last year’s election. But then we wouldn’t have these golden nuggets that continue to pop up again and again.

Great TV, Michelle–keep it up!!

Fox News, CNN Diverge


A response to this Huffington Post article.

Taking a middle of the road approach to the news doesn’t mean that you present a topic and have two unqualified people from each side scream at each other for five minutes with limited interruption by the anchor. That approach is something closer to having someone else do your job for you.

Just because CNN divulged itself from taking a political side doesn’t mean it should have divulged itself from journalism, which seems to be their approach. There will always be two sides (or three or four) to every news story, but just because there are doesn’t mean that each side merits the same amount of air time.

It is the journalists’ responsibility to investigate and present the facts behind a story. At that point, if the story merits a partisan response, only then should outside input be included. And the partisan responses should be included in a moderated fashion; no one gains anything when commentators are given a soap box to spew talking points, unchecked by the facts. If a journalists wishes to include outside remarks, they should be responsible enough to hold these commentators to the truth. It’s one thing to have someone else do your work for you; it’s another thing to ask an unqualified partisan to do your work for you.

I stopped watching CNN not because it became too middle-of-the-road but because they were so concentrated and obsessed with that middle that they failed to present the story effectively and truthfully.
More on CNN
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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