Archive for April, 2004

Wafer Watch

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

Catholic Senators and Members of Congress.

Let he/she who deviates from key Papal Doctrinal Decrees throw the first stone…

… and not receive those Communion Wafers.

Start with a list of Iraq Hawks and pro-death penalty Republicans.

See where it leads you.

Senators, if you please:
Jim Bunning (R – KY)
Susan Collins (R – ME)
Mike DeWine (R – OH)
Pete Domenici (R – NM)
Peter Fitzgerald (R – IL)
Rick Santorum (R – PA)
George Voinovich (R – OH)

There don’t seem to be any front-bencher Catholic Republicans in the House, sooo skip to some names supplied by Atrios:

George Pataki
Rudolph Giuliani
Tom Ridge
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Now, we move to members of the United Methodist Church who don’t adhere to prominent church doctrine on various matters…

George W. B–

Uh, never mind.

Contingency Plans

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

They didn’t have the guts to do it during the Cold War

The measure would require special elections within 45 days of the House speaker confirming that a catastrophic event had left at last 100 of the 435 seats vacant. Language was added to ensure that military personnel stationed overseas would have their voting rights protected.

Congress considered but never acted on the continuity question during the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s, when the fear was that Washington could be obliterated in a nuclear attack.

The current legislation has split the two parties in the House, with many Democrats saying they were not given the chance to offer a constitutional amendment that would allow for temporary appointments until special elections could be held.

The Constitution requires that House vacancies be filled by elections. Senate vacancies can be temporarily filled by appointments made by governors.

The Senate has not taken up the terrorist attack issue, though Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has proposed a constitutional change giving states the flexibility to come up with their own solutions.

Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of state legislatures.

Sensenbrenner said expedited elections could get the House back on its feet after a disaster without betraying the democratic underpinnings of the chamber.

As for the possibility of a largely appointed House, he asked, “Is that what the framers of the Constitution had in mind?” His answer: “No way.”

Still, in a gesture to Democrats and some in his own party who favor the constitutional approach, Sensenbrenner pledged that his committee would vote on a proposed constitutional amendment in the near future.

Comment from erstwhere… (2 points to whomever can figure out what “erstwhere” location it came from):

I posted these lines from THE HANDMAID’S TALE just a day or two ago, just before hearing of this “contingency plan”.

I guess that’s how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machin-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
……..That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on…

Blog Comment of the Day: Like a Nightmarish Issac Asimov Story

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

From here, regarding this story: sometimes I feel like I’m living in that old Isaac Asimov story where computers determine through a complex serious of calculations who the one person is who is the MOST “swing voter” in the country. And then only that person gets to vote because all the rest of us are safely “blue” or “red”.

See also, tomorrow’s NY Times Magazine story.

My Primary Endorsement

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

For some reason, I thought that the slate of declared candidates in the 2004 Oregon Voters pamphlet would be full of candidates who had already dropped out. Say, for example: Dean won his homestate of Vermont after he dropped out.

But the only candidates on the ballot are John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, and Lyndon LaRouche.

So, the question is: which candidate’s delegates would have more fun in Boston… or which candidate’s delegate is more deserving, somehow?

Lyndon LaRouche’s supporters, in the unlikely (though possible — it’s been done before in primaries of no significance) if he were to win any delegate by clearing the 15% bar, would not get into the convention. A mildly interesting lawsuit that LaRouche would expound on if asked… why, you can even email him about it. (While you’re at it, ask him what he has against the British Royal Family…)

So, as entertaining as it would be to have a small cadre of LaRouche supporters in that convention hall, being ignored as the procession of the Kerry-Adoration Parade runs its course… it ain’t happening. They’ll just have to be content with their place outside the convention hall, being ignored. Maybe we can throw LaRouche’s vote total to the 15% mark and try to feed their followers’ Messiah Complex, but… that just ain’t happening.

So, we’re stuck with Kerry versus Kucinich.

A no-brainer. Kucinich has a chance … here in this state of Oregon– the state that provided Ralph Nader with 4% of its general election vote in the year 1996 … of clearing the 15% mark, so I say ship some Kucinich delegates over to Boston. I have a reasonable expectation that Kucinich supporters are more idealistic than Kerry supporters… (Though, who knows? Maybe Kerry has an eccentric Vietnam Vet in the delegation wings.) … Perhaps there are some stereotypes that the Democratic Party has been trying to suppress for the last few decades, but: I’d take it over the Republican’s Religious Right any day of the week, and the Democratic Party needs a swift kick in the behind anyways.

So vote for Kucinich. There’s my endorsement. That’s who I’m voting for. I’m voting for their Delegates.

Since George Bush is getting one delegate at that convention (look for Georgia to be pushed back in whatever television coverage the processed waste of time conventions behind Gaum and the Virgin Islands… and look for Fox News to creatively highlight that little moment when Zell Miller’s superdelegate vote comes up), unanimity is not to be achieved. And I frown on unanimity anyways.

As for who I endorse in the Republican race? I say write in Daffy Duck. Hopefully Daffy will clear the 15% line… but it’ll be a tough race. Granted, Mickey Mouse is falling out of favour rapidly, but he still has enough panache to splinter this segment of the voting public.

The British Royal Family

Friday, April 23rd, 2004

The Lyndon LaRouche supporter asks me “What’s it going to take to open these people’s minds up and see the big picture?”

“Hm.” I stop walking, and turn to him. “You know, I’ve been wondering. What does LaRouche have against the British Royal Family?

He paused. And provided me with the best details he could drudge up at short notice. They fund the (struggle to come up with the acronym… I offer up WTO for lack of anything better, which is rejected) WWF… no, not the World Wilflife Federation, and no not World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly Federation), but a 3rd world aid program that is purposefully destroying the world.

Or something to that effect.

And it all goes back to the Bankers… at which point, he needs to backpeddle and assure with self-awareness of what “Bankers” often seems to codifyingly signify, “This is where LaRouche detractors try to nail him, and misunderstand him.”

“You can email the man to find out more, you know.”

“Hm. Okay.”

There I bid a farewell… still not sure what Lyndon LaRouche has against the British Royal Family.

Attacking John Kerry

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

(1) Perplexing. This man is out there attacking John Kerry’s war record.

With Republicans poised to criticize Kerry for not releasing all of his military records, the campaign decided Tuesday afternoon to post the records on its Web site to defuse the issue. They are expected to be available by Wednesday evening

Oh Kay. John O’Neil, evidentally was the opposing force from that 1971 Dick Cavett Show debate.

Records released.

Which all leads to the inevitable:

but Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said he is eager to compare Kerry’s record to President Bush’s.

All in all, an idiotic line of attack if there ever was one.

Politics of Personal Aggrandizement

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004

“Blame Me. I voted for Nader.”
That was my line, but I don’t think the take-off on the common bumper-sticker line “Don’t Blame Me. I voted for ___” registered with anyone. Besides which, I’m not even circumspect on that vote.

“No, I don’t blame you.”

“Yeah, well… I only voted that way after staring at the electoral map for a while. If I had been in Florida, I would’ve voted Gore.”

A different person came up to me, and said. “Yeah. I waited for Gore to say anything at all to get me to vote for him, but he never did. I’m basically a Socialist.”
“Hm. I can’t really say that, on balance, I like Nader’s positions more than Gore’s. I dunno… if he had any chance, I probably wouldn’t have voted Nader.”
“In fact… I voted for Lyndon LaRouche in the primary. Even though he’s a nutcase.”
“Lyndon LaRouche Is Right!” , an obscure Simpsons reference that no one would catch.

This is the politics of personal aggrandizement. Nobody in their right mind would consider Lyndon LaRouche better than Al Gore, and probably not even George W. Bush. In a 2-person race where the stakes are real, I’m pretty confident that this “basically socialist” would throw Al Gore into office over Lyndon LaRouche.

Likewise, when it comes right down to it, I would probably have, even in 2000, selected Al Gore into office over Ralph Nader, though that’s a bit more chancey than the Lyndon LaRouche choice… (what the hell? Let’s try something a little different for a while and break down a few things…) In the end, Nader comes across as an authoritarian yahoo… like most 3rd party figures tend to come across, actually. (Ross Perot, anyone?)

But… by voting for LaRouche, we can know that we voted for LaRouche. By voting for Nader, we can know that we voted for Nader. And we can say so. To impress, if not other people, ourselves.

Note my joke, “Blame Me… I voted for Nader.”
Note his statement “In fact, I voted for LaRouche, even though he’s a nutcase.”
Two statements that make ourselves inwardly smile.

And to damn the system. And to damn the system. And to damn the system.