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politics

This is the stupidest thing

This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. When do comedians have to apologize for their jokes? I think it’s perfectly reasonable to read in a comic strip that Georgie has the lowest IQ of any previous president. That’s funny. It’s scary that it might be true, and he’s not doing anything I can see to make that joke not funny. Why apologize?

I’ve decided that when I retire, I’m going to run for Congress. It may not be a serious bid, but I’m going to do it. I may start small and run for city council or the school board, but I’m running. I hear more and more every day about how corrupted everything’s become by the two-party system, and it just bothers me. My latest point of ire? Redistricting. We don’t pay a lot of attention to it because it happens once a decade, but here’s how it works:

  1. The census is taken and numbers counted. In the 10 years since the last census people have moved around, and populations shift. This means it’s time to move voting districts and reallocate representatives.
  2. State legislatures have the responsibility for redistricting, and if you think the national legislature is bad, get a load of your state houses. They’re snake pits of people not bright enough to make it to the national level. They’re the ones who decide how to draw up the lines.
  3. Whichever party is in power in the house at the time of redistricting gets to draw up the lines. As long as they don’t get too crazy, they can draw them up however they want, giving them advantages over the other party whereever possible.
  4. There have been several public cases of abuse, mostly in the South and California. If you get caught goofing with the lines too much, it’s called gerrymandering, which is my new favorite word.

Doesn’t that piss you off? Couldn’t the lines be drawn by computer simulation? I’m no genius, but I think I could write that in Tcl over a weekend. I’m tired of everything in government being a vast winged (left or right, take your pick) conspiracy. The work of government should be apolitical for the most part. Legislation I completely understand as being a point of much contention, but the daily work of government and even the courts has become rife with political machinations. It makes me want to become a conspiracy theorist, but I just don’t drink that much coffee…

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politics

Vast right-wing conspiracy, redux (from

Vast right-wing conspiracy, redux (from Salon). This is my favorite part about Politics. Everyone gets self-righteous when they’re on the chopping block. The Dems are all pissed off at the Republicans for trying to bring them down now that they’re on top in the Senate. The Republicans are barking about confirmation of appointees being delayed when there were people appointed by Clinton in his FIRST term who were never confirmed. And the funniest part is that the public buys it. They keep crying and whining and expect us to forget about all the other stuff, even RECENT stuff like the impeachment. Unfortunately, not enough people pay attention, and well, it works. Their blustering gets a soundbite, and well, that’s what people remember.

Oh how I long for a dictatorship. One voice is so much easier to listen to than a hundred blowhards and party wonks in their wondrous spin machines. (before anyone e-mails me, I’m just kidding)

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politics

The cobra will bite you

The cobra will bite you whether you call him cobra or Mr. Cobra. – Old Indian Proverb

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politics

I’ve been on the slow

I’ve been on the slow road to this discovery, but I think it’s finally sinking in. There is no They. There’s no shadowy group trying to screw you over. There’s no malevolent hand telling your boss to be an ass. There’s just a bunch of people slogging away at their crappy jobs while you tramp along in yours. Now, there are some evil people in the world who do some rotten things. But, they’re the tiny minority compared to the shmucks and shmoes just trying to get through the day. We are all a part of the “unwashed masses”. Things we do piss people off, and cause them pain, whether we know it or not.

It’s the chaos theory of personal interaction. Something I do at my job could affect some poor bastard in San Francisco without me doing anything on purpose or meaning him any ill will. The jerks who make my job a living hell aren’t doing it on purpose. They’re just trying to do their job. Ok, this isn’t coming out right, but you get the idea. Drop the conspiracy theories – they’re all just doing what they do, like the frog and the scorpion. Sermon is over, soapbox is back in the garage (damn, I wish I had a garage).

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politics

So, it’s apparently all over.

So, it’s apparently all over. Poor Al, poor us. You know, I was raised a Republican, and as I’ve gotten older and moved out on my own (well, not my own, with my wife and Max) I’ve moved closer to the middle with lefty-type leanings. I voted for Ralph Nader. I decided we needed a non-Nazi third party, and I wanted them to get federal matching funds for next time. Whoops. Oh well, maybe next time.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah… this whole process has been fascinating. From Jesse Jackson comparing the election to Selma, to the constant spinning by both sides, to the courts, I have loved it all. I just hope we never have to do it again.
I hope that we can go to an electronic system (not web, just electronic), like touch screens or something where the votes are counted instantly, and you have a chance to review your choices before submitting your “ballot”. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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politics

So, I watched CNN until

So, I watched CNN until 11:30 last night. I have one observation. Why did they start talking about it (and not just CNN, ABC cut into Once and Again right @ 10) before anyone at any of the networks had started reading it? It made me laugh, and my wife cringe to watch poor freezing Charlie on the steps of the Supreme Court freezing his butt off being peppered with questions from Judy and Bernie and trying to read the 55 page packet. I really think they should let him go inside. He looks ill. And it’s not like CNN was the only one! Every network had people reading and talking at the same time and no one really knew what it meant. My favorite exchange was the about twenty minutes from 10:40 to 11 on CNN when Jeff Greenfield and Roger Cossack went back and forth going, “Oh, yeah, I haven’t got there yet but it looks like Gore is screwed.” “Screwed? Yeah, Jeff, that’s how I’d put it.”
And I was really staying up to see if Bush or Gore would make a statement. Boy was I disappointed. James Baker’s 30 second, “Yeah, this looks good. This has sucked on all sides, good night” was such a disappointment, I just went to bed.
Oh, one more thing… Gore MAY not concede today?! He MIGHT challenge the slate of electors? I’ve been with the guy, and been ok with all the legal battles, suits, and worthless charges of racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc from both sides. But, pleeee-ase. You have to know when you’ve lost! Take it gracefully. If he bows out now, he’ll probably win in 2004, and the dems will regain the house and senate in 2002. That’s not so bad. If he continues to fight it, he’ll just hurt his chances for next time.
Wow, this is my longest post EVER.