I've always wondered about America's pathetic voter turnout. 60% is not a passing grade, students. But then I realized that voting is really, really hard.
I mean sure, there are bubbles with names like the ones lots of people have filled out in standardized tests, but the problem with elections is they obviously don't give you enough ballots to practice on. And you have to use a pen and no erasing!
As both the Norm Coleman and Al Franken legal teams challenge ballots for the Minnesota Senate race, you realize just how many mistakes people make. There are ballots with identifying marks, write-ins that people didn't bother voting for, votes in pencil, filled-in vote bubbles that were crossed out and a giant NO next to Coleman's name where both Coleman and Franken have been chosen.
In the famous Beltrami County ballot that will be the Hanging Chad of Aught Eight, a reptilian-American wrote-in "Lizard People" for President. Though the voter chose Al Franken for Senate, he/she filled in the write-in line as well for the Lizard People. It was thrown out by the county as an over vote.
Several questions arise: Should the county have accepted the Franken vote? Does the voter consider Al Franken equivalent to the Lizard People? Is Lizard People a collective, or just one person like Cat Power? If elected, will the Lizard People rule benignly or will they control us with their forked-tongue tyranny?
Tags: Al Franken, Minnesota, Norm Coleman, Senate
The above title is my attempt to increase traffic from gay porn searches. There is a grand skirmish in the Democratic Party, as tree-hugging nudist Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Californication) pushes out John Dingell (D-General Motors) to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
You may remember Waxman from the series of lonely unrequited letters about torture, CIA leaks, fake Niger uranium, etc. he sent to President Bush when the Democrats were in the minority.
Waxman's leadership indicates a huge change for the Committee, namely that large portions of environmental and energy policy should be dictated by the state with the most stringent rules on auto emissions and gas mileage (and most cars and miles of freeway), rather than a state beholden to an industry bent on thwarting those changes.
This upends the traditional seniority system for House committee chairmanships.
"Seniority is important, but it should not be a grant of property rights to be chairman for three decades or more," Waxman said after emerging from the caucus meeting.
Committee chairs will now be selected based on contests including best mustache and shiniest head.
Tags: Address The Mess, California, Environment, Henry Waxman, House of Representatives, John Dingell, Michigan
Early Obama supporter Tom Daschle has been rewarded for his endorsement with the plum appointment of Secretary of Health and Human Services, which gives him command of the Centers for Disease Control, the Rats of NIMH and the very simple task of reforming the nation's health insurance system.
Wait, didn't Daschle work as a lobbyist after getting booted from the Senate?
Although not a registered lobbyist, he provides "strategic advice" to commercial clients in the fields of health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes, according to public documents. His wife, Linda Hall Daschle, is registered, and she is regarded as one of the most influential professional lobbyists in the capital.
Oh, his wife's the lobbyist. He just plays Stratego. No problem!
Speaking of botched health care plans, Hillary Clinton continues to play the "will she, won't she" game on the Secretary of State front. Even as President Clinton is going through some heavy vetting to clear the way for an appointment, Senator Clinton can't decide whether she wants the job…
"A lot of the speculation and reporting is out ahead of the facts here," said the person, who requested anonymity. "She is still weighing this, independent of President Clinton's work."
Is it because she doesn't want to be associated with a place called Foggy Bottom?
The exciting part of this otherwise incredibly boring cabinet appointment is that we can continue to play everyone's favorite game, What Will Dean Do? After failing miserably at his 50 state strategy (Obama only won 29), Chairman Dean is looking for a new job. What should Dean Do Next? Aside from start that Fugazi cover band.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Obama Administration, Tom Daschle
Remember Rudy Giuliani, America's Mayor, who was crushed in the GOP Presidential primaries? (Though "crushed" is really an insult to crushed items.)
Rudy is contemplating a run for New York's governor. Based on recent trends — NY went for Obama by 26 points — the state looks like it's ready to turn rightward.
Rudy's also keen on keeping options open for the Presidency…
Giuliani also wouldn't rule out the possibility of making a second run for the presidency. "No one knows whether you'll do something again until you come to the point of: 'Is it possible to do it again? Would you have a chance of winning?'" he said. "I mean, those are just things you can't evaluate right now."
Since he only blew through $59 million for his one delegate, he could easily break that record in 2012. Because in 4 years, Republicans will be ready for a pro-choice cross dresser, who, according to Ed Koch, "looks like he'd kill an old woman in a wheel chair."
I'm hopeful that Rudy runs for something, since it makes my job easier, but there are problems with the longevity of his campaigns.
Given Rudy's track record when he ran against Hillary for the Senate, not to mention his super awesome "We'll win it all in Florida" performance in the GOP primaries, my guess is that he'll announce at a press conference that he's running for governor, then issue a press release five minutes later to confirm that he's dropping out.
Tags: 9/11, New York, Rudy Giuliani
Presidential power used to be simple: You made a total hash of things and after four or eight years you gave it all up, pardoned your friends and spent the rest of your life golfing with your Secret Service detail. But what if that isn't enough?
President Bush has made some vague plans to pardon some thousands of people who might have done anything at all related to torture or rendition in his administration, and as a response Obama is looking to set up a non-partisan torture commission to investigate these people anyway.
Bush's next step in this already surreal version of torture chess might be to claim executive privilege and refuse to surrender documents just because he used to be president. There is some precedent in this case. Harry Truman, when subpoenaed after leaving office, gave this polite 'fuck off' in response…
If the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the presidency is to have any validity at all, it must be equally applicable to a president after his term of office has expired.
But that would be crazy. That's like your Vice President claiming to be part of the legislative branch.
Some speculate that Bush wouldn't actually issue the bigass Sam's Club Pardon because it might "be viewed by the public as a tacit admission of colossal wrongdoing — after years of public denial — which would do nothing to help Bush's tarnished legacy."
But given the Bush legacy, could it really hurt?
Tags: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, White House