Category Archives: voting

Vote Because, Well – Just Do It

Next Tuesday is Election Day, and I will vote. I always vote. I believe it is rooted in the fact that for many years in the history of this country, people were disenfranchised, largely because of their race and/or gender, and I just cannot help but take advantage of my right to participate in the democratic process.

And because it is an “off-year” election, fewer people will vote in November 2009 than in November 2008, even though the races that take this year arguably have more of a direct impact on people’s lives than the statewide or national races. This means that MY vote will mean more, proportionally.

Still, it’s difficult to muster much enthusiasm. For many races in Albany, NY, both citywide and countywide, the primary in September WAS the race. For those not in Albany, you need to know that this is a one-party town, and that one party is the Democratic party. Now since I am a registered Democrat – hey, I want to be where the action is – you might think I would be happy about that; I’m not, even though it advantages one of the candidates I’m supporting. I believe one-party rule, no matter the good intentions of that party, inevitably leads to complacency and arrogance.

This is why I will reveal my ballot in one race: I am voting for the Republican for county coroner. I don’t even know who the party candidates are, though there were stories in the paper recently, for it doesn’t matter. In fact, I have ALWAYS voted for the Republican candidate for coroner since I moved to Albany 30 years ago. And I believe that the Republican candidate for coroner has always lost. I fully expect that to happen again this year, but I don’t care. It’s my rage against the machine.

Incidentally, the last of the Albany County Board of Elections’ extended hours to accept absentee ballot applications take place Saturday morning, October 31, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
ROG

I is for Instant Runoff Voting


Elections in most of the United States are dominated by one of, or if one is lucky, by the two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. People often complain about the Tweedledee/Tweedledum nature of voting, having to select the “lesser of two evils”, or, as is almost as likely as not, decline from voting at all.

Ever since I heard about Instant Runoff Voting would be a solution to a multitude of problems in the American system. Here’s how IRV works:

Voters rank candidates in order of choice: 1, 2, 3 and so on. It takes a majority to win. If a majority of voters rank a candidate first, that candidate is elected. If not, the last place candidate is defeated, just as in a runoff election, and all ballots are counted again, but this time each ballot cast for the defeated candidate counts for the next ranked candidate listed on the ballot. The process of eliminating the last place candidate and recounting the ballots continues until one candidate receives a majority of the vote. With modern voting equipment, all of the counting and recounting takes place rapidly and automatically.

IRV acts like a series of runoff elections in which one candidate is eliminated each election. Each time a candidate is eliminated, all voters get to choose among the remaining candidates. This continues until one candidate receives a majority of the vote.

In most places in the US, a candidate is awarded a seat and wins the most votes in an electoral area; a majority vote is not required to win. Thus the winner in a race with more than two candidates may not represent the majority of the people.

Let’s take three mythical candidates and call them, Bush, Gore and Nader. Say that a goodly number of voters are inclined to vote for Nader but see in the polls that he’s trailing the other two. His supporters might well reluctantly vote for one of the other two, or not bother voting. Nader ends up with say 6% of the vote, with Bush and Gore each with 47% each; which ever one ekes out a victory will not be supported by a majority of the voters.

But let’s say IRV were in place. Perhaps Bush and Gore garner 40% each and Nader 20%, most likely of a higher number of actual voters, because the citizens are not afraid that their initial vote has been “wasted”. The Nader vote will be distributed among those who picked Bush or Gore as their second pick. If 11% picked Bush and 9% picked Gore, then Bush would win.

This also addresses the issue of those places, such as the state of Louisiana, that require a runoff election when neither candidate reaches the majority threshold. A runoff is expensive, and ironically usually brings out a smaller number of voters. IRV will eliminate the need of having a second go-round at all.

There are places in the US that already use IRV or some variation, but it appears more popular elsewhere in the world.

One element proponents here seem to make a point of NOT stressing is the possibility that the system is more likely to generate a third-party winner. Using the old example, lets say it’s Bush 35%, Nader 35% and Gore 30%; it would then be Gore’s votes that would be split between the remaining two candidates. I think proponents don’t want to scare the guardians of the status quo.

Something that excites me as an Oscar buff is the fact that in the past month the Motion Picture Academy has adopted Instant Runoff Voting for the Best Picture balloting. It was used “by the Academy in Best Picture voting before 1945, which was the last time ten pictures were nominated…The nominee with the fewest votes is eliminated, and ballots cast for that film are moved to voter’s next choice among the remaining films. The process continues until one film has more than half the votes and is declared Best Picture of the Year…

“Earlier this year, the Academy announced that it would expand the Best Picture category from five to 10 nominees. Given that the nomination threshold will now be about a tenth of the vote, keeping the ‘first-past-the-post’ voting system where voters can indicate a preference for just one choice would theoretically allow a film to take home the Oscar despite being potentially disliked by 89%. With IRV in place, the Best Picture winner is sure to be preferred by a large share of Academy members.”

Let’s say that Oscar voters, confusing box office success with quality, nominate Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for best picture. Under the old system, 11% of the voters could determine that it was the finest film of 2009, even if 89% thought it was dreck. With IRV in place, more of a consensus will be reached within the Academy.
ROG

Vote for Your Favorite Advertising Icon and Slogan

USA Today and Advertising Age are sponsoring this year’s Advertising week Walk of Fame. In the inaugural year of 2004, five icons five slogans were selected; in subsequent years, it’s been two and two. Last year’s icons were the Geico Caveman – disappointing to me, given the more established choices available – and the Serta (mattress) Sheep. the slogans were “We deliver for you” (US Postal Service) and, in an interesting pairing, UPS’ “What can brown do for you?”

Here are this year’s icon nominees (with year first used, if noted):

AOL Running Man (2003) – seems unlikely; a now-marginal player
Big Boy (restaurants) (1936) – now that’s an icon, though I always thought of it as a regional chain
Budweiser Clydesdales – I only see them in Super Bowl ads; doesn’t quite seem right
Burger King (2004) – not only do I find that plastic “the King” character creepy, it makes me LESS likely to buy the product. Whereas the nominated slogan, “Have it your way”, is quite appealing.
California Raisins (1986) – seems like a short-lived fad
Captain Morgan (rum) (1944) – I’d consider this one
Crash Test Dummies (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) (1985) – would have thought Vince and Larry had been around longer
Doublemint Twins (Wrigley gum)(1939) – seems more like a concept than actual icon with a specific look
Fruit of the Loom Guys (underwear) (1975) – maybe some day
Jolly Green Giant (1928) – actually was my second choice; after all, he is, you know, GREEN
Keebler Elves (1968) – another one that needs to wait its turn
Little Debbie (snack cakes) (1960) – someday
Maytag Repaiirman (1967) – I think I have a bias against humans as icons
McGruff the Crime Dog (1979). AND the National Crime Prevention Council’s “Take a bite out of crime” is up for best slogan; I think I’d be more inclined to vote for the slogan. Maybe someday.
Michelin Man (1898) – should win on seniority alone
Mr. Clean (1958) – iconic; my third choice.
Mr. Mucus (Mucinex) (2005) – WAY too new, and I didn’t even know 1) that he had a name or 2) the name of the product, though I’ve seen the commercial dozens of times
MSN Butterfly (2002) – I happen to think it’s boring and unmemorable
Roaming Gnome (Travelocity) (2004) – too new, and mildly irritating
Ronald McDonald (some restaurant chain) (1963) – if I were to pick a human, this is who I’d pick. Wouldn’t pick the slogan “I’m lovin’ it,” though; never liked it.
Smokey Bear (U.S. Forest Service) (1944) – another Top 5 choice; too bad I can only vote once. And the slogan, “Only you can prevent forest fires”, is also top five.
Subway Jared (sandwiches) – if picking a human like the Maytag guy was problematic for me, picking an actual person like Jared just won’t fly with me. But the slogan, “Eat fresh”, I’d consider.
Test Man (Verizon Wireless) (2002) – “Can you hear me now?” Yes, practically in my sleep. Too new, too human.
Toucan Sam (Froot Loops cereal) (1963) – I actually have a stuffed Toucan Sam. But there are characters more identified with their specific product.
Vlasic Stork (pickles) (1974) – they really used the real Groucho Marx in the early commercials! I did not know that. Top 10 choice.

But my pick is:

Snap, Crackle, Pop (Rice Krispies Cereal) (1941) – not only are these readily identifiable with their brand, they come with a nifty song (LOVE that counterpoint) with interesting lyrics.

Besides, I’m a cereal eater and I consumed a lot of Rice Krispies over the years, although almost none since I discovered that it is pretty much nutritionally void.

I’m not going to go through all the slogans, but I will give you my top three:
3. “Priceless” – MasterCard and 2. “Got milk?” – California Milk Processor Board; both of these have been so widely parodied as to become almost generic. But I’m picking the newspaper I’ve often read, “All the news that’s fit to print” from the maybe-not-as-venerable-as-it-used-to-be New York Times, a motto that’s also been spoofed (“All the news that fits,” e.g.).

I do feel slightly guilty, though. As a business librarian, I probably should have voted for “I Love New York”, if only to keep the award from going to “Virginia is for lovers” or Las Vegas’ “What happens here, stays here”. Here’s one downstate ad, plus a whole slew of commercials linked here.

Also at the site: the WOF game

Voting ends at 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, September 18. Only one vote per computer.

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And speaking of voting:
Corey Ellis, a local coordinator for Barack Obama last year, is running for mayor of Albany, among many races here and across the state; the primary in New York State is today from noon to 9 pm upstate and from 6 am to 9 pm in New York City. Here’s a Metroland story about Corey Ellis. Also, the Times Union endorsement of Jerry Jennings while noting that Mr. Ellis is right on many of the issues; most curious.
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And speaking of curious:
Kayne West. Oy!
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I’m sorry that Patrick Swayze died – somehow I ended up seeing this Barbara Walters special, with him and his wife talking about fighting his cancer – but actually I’ve managed to miss every movie that he made, even the ones I had planned to see such as To Woo Fong and Dirty Dancing. Well, except Ghost, which is feeling just a bit too on the nose right now.

ROG

What does patriotism mean? QUESTION

My wife is reading a book called Deep Democracy by Judith Green (no relation) as one of the required readings for her summer courses. My understanding of the book, and I haven’t seen it, is that deep democracy isn’t just a flag pin on the lapel; it’s working for the opportunity to make sure that each individual has the opportunity to pursue the American dream.

So what does patriotism mean to you? For me voting; but also being an informed voter. Perhaps working on a campaign; I owe time to TWO of them this year. Participate in the “marketplace of ideas”.

I believe that participating in the Census qualifies.

Civil protest, when injustice exists.

How about you?

And what do you think of this new study of sixteen countries, which “shows that in nearly every democracy surveyed, government helps assure that every eligible citizen is registered to vote. If the United States were to modernize voter registration in this way, it would add between 50 and 65 million citizens to the rolls.” How do you feel about compulsory voter registration? I think I’m against it, but I can be convinced.

ROG

Finally!

So here’s the plan for the day: Get up at 5:45, throw on some clothes, walk the 5 blocks to my new polling place – my old one was less than 2 blocks away, but that library’s being renovated.

Vote. This undercuts the need for anyone (this means YOU, Working Families Party) to have to CALL me to REMIND me to vote. I ALWAYS VOTE. (Can we get early voting someday, New York? Oh, you’re arcane and backwards? I take that as a “no”.) Also, I’ll beat the crowds AND I’ll have a fallback position to come after work, should the machines not be working.

Since my wife has the day off, she’ll take the child to day care, so I can just go to play racquetball, then go to work. Try to ignore all polling news; I just don’t care anymore.

Go home, eat dinner, do the evening routine with the child. Turn on TV at 9 pm EST and watch the voting results until shortly after the California polls close, then go to bed for a few hours, getting up early to see what was unresolved tonight.

I must say that Charlie Gibson of ABC News seemed a bit apoplectic last week about the early voting that’s taking place, saying in essence, shouldn’t all the voters have exactly the same opportunity to get as much information before pulling the lever, or whatever it is one does on an electronic machine? I think Evanier said it as well as anyone: “Seriously, a lot of us just want it over. How long has it been since you heard anything from either candidate that might have changed your mind?” Everything I hear now is preaching to the converted. Here’s MY contribution to that effort:

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Local (Albany County) advice.
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My Personal ‘Faith Priorities’ for this Election by Jim Wallis of Sojourner Magazine
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“The other day, a guy who played a game of basketball against Barack Obama said that Obama spent the whole game ‘trash talking.’ He also said Obama’s trash-talking is
eloquent, high-minded and inspirational.”
— Conan O’Brien


ROG

Time to Vote!

Oh, not the Presidential election. I can’t vote until next week. I’m not in one of those states with “early” voting and long lines; I’m in one of those states with November 4 voting and probably longer lines.

No, I’m talking about the 2008 Podcast Awards. The voting is open until November 6 and you may vote once every 24 hours.

Here’s the thing: I just don’t listen to that many podcasts: Gordon’s Cast THIS, Pal!,Brian Ibbott’s Lyrics Undercover, Arthur’s AmeriNZ, Rick Bedrosian’s movie thing. More to the point, there are only two podcasts that I listen to that are nominated: Brian Ibbott’s Coverville in two categories (Best Produced and PodSafe Music) and James Howard Kunstler’s KunstlerCast (Cultural/Arts – really?) in one. I’ll vote for them.

But this means my ballot is…susceptible to your suggestions. Go to the ballot and let me know which shows YOU like, and why, and I’ll vote for them. Every day unless two or more of you pick from the same category; then I’ll alternate.

I have made some tentative selections in some categories: I’ve voted for Grammmar Girl, which I HAVE heard, in the Peoples Choice (why isn’t this People’s Choice?) and Education categories. I voted for Ramble Redhead based solely on the fact that he leaves comments for Arthur’s podcast. Under the Mature category, I picked Dan Savage’s Savage Love because I read him in our local arts weekly; also because he helped create another definition of the word santorum.

Now you might think this is somehow inappropriate, me voting for things I don’t know about. I contend that it’s the American way; happens all the time.

So sway me.
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Free taco at Taco Bell tomorrow from 2 to 6 pm. Blame it on base stealing.
ROG

IRV


Arthur, an expat American living in New Zealand, on one of his recent podcasts, maybe #116 or #117 (I’m too lazy to check) was talking about different ways to vote in different counties. One of the methodologies sound a awful lot like what’s being called around here instant runoff voting. Though I’ve never had the opportunity to vote by this method, I’m inclined to support it. You can read about it in the link I provided, but let me try to explain by example.

Let’s say there were five people running for President. Just for fun, we’ll call them Barr, McCain, McKinney, Nader and Obama. IRV allows one to vote for the candidate one most desires without worrying about “throwing away” a vote on a minor party candidate. So one could vote for 1. McKinney 2. Nader 3. Obama 4. Barr. If someone gets a majority of the vote, then the race is settled. But let’s say that the vote is 34% each for McCain and Obama, 14% for Barr, 10% for McKinney and 8% for Nader. In turn, the Nader votes would be distributed to Nader voters’ second choice. Since a majority still would not be reached, McKinney’s and then, if necessary, Barr’s votes would be distributed. It may still come down to “lesser of two evils”, but one could vote for a third party candidate without concern that the candidate would be a spoiler.

This would be most important in those jurisdictions, such as Louisiana, that REQUIRE a majority vote. Those runoffs, unless they are held on the day of the general election, almost invariably involves an even smaller number of voters than the first round. add to that, an extra round of voting is expensive. Instant runoff voting would eliminate the need for those costly redoes.

Of course, the problem with the system is that there is a real possibly that people might actually ELECT a third party candidate if they’re not discouraged by the notion of a wasted vote. The machinery of the Democrats and Republicans alike will see in in their best interest to oppose it. Yet it has made headway in a number of cities and towns across the country.

Anyone who’s actually an expert on IRV and wants to dispute any of this, feel free.

Oh, here’s a new flash animation on a variation of instant runoff voting used in elections for more than one seat – making it a system of proportional representation.
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The Racialicious podcast on Why you shouldn’t listen to polls, an interview with David W. Moore. A main point: Americans weren’t as rah in favor of the Iraq war as the polls suggested, based on the formulation of the question. Last month, a Wall Street Journal review of Moore’s book, the Opinionmakers, criticizes this specific point, noting (correctly) that more people were leaning towards supporting the war. But the leaners, who were forced to come down on one side or another on the issue, might have answered differently had the question been phrased differently, or if “no opinion” was a real option.


ROG

Roger Answers Your Questions, Scott

Mr. Scooter Chronicles himself, Scott asks:

Have you ever seen a baseball game at Yankee Stadium? If yes, what are your thoughts on such a hallowed baseball ground seeing its last game?

Actually, not in a long time. The first time, I was a kid, and the Yankees beat the Washington Senators, The last time was probably in 1977 when I lived in Queens. Tearing down the stadium annoys me, because I don’t know why the current facility was inadequate. Oh, it doesn’t have those luxury seats, but after this week, who can afford to buy them anyway. Moreover, the funding is more corporate welfare foolishness.

Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

I picked the Cubs to lose the WS to Cleveland at the beginning of the season. About midseason, I switched to the Cubs over Tampa Bay, so I’ll stick with that. How annoying that my trip to the game was when the Cubs had hit a bad patch.

What do you think would be considered more historic: Obama being elected President, or Palin being elected Vice President?

Well, someone being elected President. If Palin were running for Prez and Obama were running for VP, it’d be Palin, but as it is, Obama. Besides, a woman had at least been NOMINATED before by a major party.

Do you think that the bailouts of financial companies will help the economy in the long run, destroy the idea of creating tax breaks for most of middle America, or see no real lasting effects on anyone?

Well, first off, I’m really ticked off about it. I listened to Henry Paulson, not once but twice on Sunday – Tom on NBC asked better questions than George did on ABC – and I got nothing but “Psst, it’s really bad. Do this or we’re doomed, trust me” without any real information.
I looked at the original language of the bill here and I was gobsmacked by Section 8: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Pardon my French, but WTF? Decisions non-reviewable? Gimme a BREAK!
I’m glad to see Democrats and republicans in Congress find some cojones, apparently because their constituents are hopping mad about this. Arthur at AmeriNZ found this example.
In answer to the question, the devil’s in the details. if there’s help for homeowners who are in their houses, limits on executive compensation and other measures, MAYBE things will turn around some.
And speaking of compensation, from Salon. “Regarding executive pay, Rep. Frank’s draft would mandate that any company selling assets into the program ‘meet appropriate standards for executive compensation,’ including limits on what could be deemed excessive or inappropriate, according to a copy seen by The Wall Street Journal. The government would also have the ability to ‘claw back’ incentive pay that was based on ‘earnings, gains, or other criteria that are later proven to be inaccurate.’ Mr. Paulson is resisting those efforts.
Astoundingly, Paulson plans to fight any efforts to limit executive pay because ‘he fears that provision would render the program moot, since many firms might choose not to participate.’
They might choose not to participate in a $700 billion plan designed to save them from a mess they were primarily responsible for causing? I don’t think I’m alone in finding that prospect irritating.”

On the other hand, someone at Pat Buchanan’s site posted this recently: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.” – Malcolm X
As the letter writer noted, “Sounds pretty damn close to me.”

When was the last time you felt good about voting for a political candidate (on any level of government) feeling that they truly were the right person for the job?

I worked for Tom Keefe for city court judge a few years back. I’d known him for years and he seems to be doing a good job.

What is your favorite “healthy” thing to snack on?

apples and cottage cheese.

What is your favorite “evil” thing to snack on?

Muffins – fruit muffins (blueberry, preferably).

What is your favorite movie comedy of all time?

It’s tricky, because Annie Hall is, but it’s not all that ha-ha funny. On a pure laugh meter it’d be either Airplane! or Young Frankenstein.

Other then Jeopardy!, what is your favorite game show?

I’m partial to the various forms of Pyramid and Password,
ROG

I Agree With Ed Koch about Sarah Palin

The first time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1977 Democratic primary for mayor of New York City, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Koch won and was easily re-elected mayor that fall.
The second time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1982 Democratic primary for governor of New York State, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Cuomo won and was easily elected governor of New York.
In 2004, Koch, ostensibly a Democrat, supported the re-election of GW Bush. So, I’m not a big fan of Edward I. Koch. And yet…

When Ed Koch says that a Sarah Palin presidency ‘scares’ him, that resonates with me.

Look, I can get into a rhetorical debate about this – and BTW, the Librarians against Palin website points out that she probably meant “theoretical” when she talked about her “rhetorical” book ban. And yes, I know the banned book list floating around the Internet has been debunked, but there are still questions to be resolved.

But I didn’t need the word of the former New York City mayor to tip me off. Frankly, her responses in the Gibson/ABC News interview were often troubling. Is it that she really WANTS to go to war with Russia AND Iran? Does she assume that Israel should have carte blanche? A scary interview.

At least she “clarified” her Bridge to Nowhere position during the interviews, though she returned to the lie two days later. Even Pat Buchanan says she’s being trained to “parrot the McCain-neocon line”, contrary to her own earlier beliefs.

I do wonder about Troopergate as much as how it reflects her governing style as the specific facts in the case. And has been the role of Alaska’s “first dude”?

Know that I don’t care particularly about Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old pregnant daughter. I do, however, care about her position of forcing “abstinence-only education” down the throats of the school districts. (Hey, send money to Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name!) And I can’t help but wonder: How well would Barack Obama have done if he had come forth with a 17 year old pregnant, unmarried, unemployed daughter? And speaking of sex, Sarah Palin’s “hotness” factor, which I know liberal bloggers are tired of hearing about, but which voters may be responding to initially, won’t be enough the more voters learn more about her.

Even the resident conservative of The View, Elisabeth Hasselback thought that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig”, a phrase used by John McCain regarding Hillary Clinton’s health care policies, was a non-issue. Ah, politics of distraction. The handlers at least are on script as they play the gender card. I will say this – Sarah Palin does snark well – and are community organizers, which would have included my late father, ticked.

Having said all that, I’ve pretty much tired of talking about Palin – well, maybe not this Palin. Until Sarah does something else totally outrageous, I’ll let others carry that ball. I’d rather discuss about the top of the ticket, John McCain.

If I were a Republican in 2000 and voting in the primary, I likely would have gone for John McCain, certainly over George W. Bush. While I was mildly troubled by that Keating Five thing involving the Savings & Loan disaster of the 1980s, he seemed like an honorable guy. In this lengthy (30 minute) piece, Joe Biden talks, among other things, how badly he felt when the forces of W. vilified McCain before the South Carolina primary that year:

Since he had been tortured himself, he was sensitive to a strong anti-torture policy for the United States, and I applauded that.

So how the hell did the ‘Straight Talk Express’ get so derailed? More than anger, I have a profound disappointment that the Arizona senator has sunk to such levels that even Karl Rove says McCain is lying in his ads.

A raspberry to the MSM here. It took Comedy Central’s the Daily Show, FCOL, to show how McCain’s 2008 talking points about working with Democrats, et al was almost verbatim what W said in 2000 – anyone have that link? – and we all know how well THAT worked. Obama gets knocked for wanting to talk to Iran, but – surprise – five former U.S. Secretaries of State are saying the same thing.

McCain’s self-declared lack of strength in the economic side is problematic. His economic policy, deemed ‘incomplete’ by the hardly liberal US News makes the rich richer. He declares that fundamentals of the economy are strong even as Wall Street collapses. McCain, the computer illiterate is the one I fi
nd “out of touch”. And it saddens me. Earlier this year, Wesley Clark, that is, General Wesley Clark, got in trouble for suggesting that John McCain’s war record was not an automatic qualifier for the Presidency; he wasn’t wrong, merely impolitic. America is guns AND butter.

I’ll be mentioning McCain again, I suspect.

ROG

Very short takes

Today is the day folks go to the polls in many locations in New York State, everywhere except in the largest cities and vote for the school budget and the school board members. For some reason, the city of Albany only votes for the budget now, and the school board in November. More on that and Rex Smith speaking at the Friends of the Albany Public Library annual meeting this eveninghere.
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Don’t care about Dancing with the Stars, but I do care about my wife, and SHE cares about DWTS. So I got the phone number from the end of the taped performance and tried to call in a number of times, but kept getting a busy signal. Then I went online to do so, but it required to be registered with ABC.com. Lo and behold, I WAS registered with ABC.com, though I don’t recall why. Five votes for Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas, who got 60 out of 60 points from the judges (the competition got 51 and 52 votes.)
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I haven’t sent out my mixed CDs yet because I saved them to the drive, then the burner failed to put the data on the disc. I have figured out a workaround, but can’t get to until this weekend; sorry. It is sequenced and I do like it; Gordon will recognize the inspiration immediately. So far got mine from Gordon (like it), Tosy (listened to about half), and Lefty (haven’t played yet). Details to follow.
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Best wishes to Edward Kennedy after his medical episode. I was looking at my Bushisms calendar, where W. referred to him as Theodore, one of the more understandable mistakes in the gaffe-filled daily.
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The Subway series played out this past weekend. For me, the excitement is tempered, maybe because they are, at least so far, two mediocre teams, though the Mets, who swept, less mediocre than the Yankees.
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The only parts of the NBA playoffs I have watched has been when I’ve taped ABC World News and the game has run over. For instance, I saw the last 18 seconds of the Celtics Game-Seven win over Cleveland, which took about 10 minutes, with all the fouls and timeouts.
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Happy birthday, PixieNona!Are you sure it was a cold and not allergies? Your symptoms were very similar to mine last week.
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In answer to a comment to this story DNA cleared them, but they’ll never feel free and some of the comments: “There’s particular disdain for the prosecutors of these crimes because, often, the prosecution withheld evidence that could have exonerated the defendant, esp. in Dallas County, TX. At least some of these people were home and with their families or at work; the assertion that ‘people doing the right thing don’t get mixed up in this stuff’ is simply inaccurate much of the time. There is also mistaken identity by witnesses far more often than most people realize. With all that, there’s no way to blame the juries, who can only weigh the evidence presented.”

ROG