Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Death Penalty Is Wrong

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Warning: I am very, very upset and thus this post uses very Not Safe For Work language.

I don’t give a flying fuck about whether Troy Davis was guilty. You fucking look me in the eyes and tell me it’s okay to murder another human being. You tell me that taking someone’s life without their consent is ever justified. You fucking tell me why. You tell me it’s okay to do that in my name, in all our names. I don’t have numbers, I don’t have facts and figures, I really don’t even pretend to have logic on this issue. I just have a feeling deep down in my gut, telling me that it’s never okay for the state to take somebody’s life. The death penalty is wrong.

Every human life has value. You can’t prove that it doesn’t — because you can’t prove a negative. Take the most foul, wretched excuse for a human being you can imagine, and try to tell me that his life has zero value, that in fact his mere existence is a detriment to society, so much so that he must be murdered, and I’ll tell you that you’re not looking hard enough. Every human being on this planet has something to offer, some whole greater than its parts that is irrevocably lost when he is snuffed out. The wonders of existence are so vast that every sapient being in history is to me as close to a miracle as I’ll profess to acknowledge. I’d like to point out the potential each living human (even the murderers and worse) has, but that’s going down a road that smells a little too anti-choice to me… I’m angry and being irrational right now, but I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth. I’ll put it this way: you can do absolutely horrid things, but then you can turn around and do amazingly beautiful things. This doesn’t justify the horrible things, but it should give us all pause. The death penalty is wrong.

Don’t talk to me about justice. Murder is not justice. Get it wrong once, in the name of everybody, and we’re all culpable. How many people have been wrongly killed in the name of justice? How many of those shameful deaths are acceptable, fucking broken eggs to make an omelette, to get whatever payoffs might or might not arise from the death penalty? Can you name a number or percentage of the population? That would be an abhorrent calculus of life and death. Yet such a number does exist, although we may never know it. The answer to me is clear: zero. The death penalty is wrong.

We have been making good progress at eliminating barbarisms and injustices for thousands of years. We are not moving fast enough to eliminate this one. In the developed world, slavery is gone, women can vote, LGBT persons are (generally) accepted (yes, we could use more work in this area), and we are free to seek our own destinies and believe and say what we want. Yet our country is one of a backwards few that still murders criminals in the names of all the people. This makes me angrier and sadder than I can possibly express. The death penalty is wrong.

[Penn and Teller have done a much better job of explaining my position than I ever could, in an episode of Bullshit.]

Optimism Without All That “Hope” Nonsense

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I’ve been somewhat disinterested in politics of late, hence the lack of updates here. I used to write about politics quite frequently, but those posts have been dwindling. The first and simplest explanation is that I’ve been occupied with other pursuits: writing code, writing music, and writing a webcomic that Carrie and I have been working on. This has reduced or completely eliminated my desire to write much else. There are only so many word ‘seeds’ bouncing around in my brain at one time; and I’ve been using up almost every day’s allotment (in tokens, comments, lyrics, or dialogue balloons). This has left me with very little to say.

The second reason is that I’ve been fairly disillusioned with politics. In 2008 I swallowed the whole ‘Hope’ thing hook, line, and sinker. To say that I’m a little let down by the President and the Democrats is an understatement. I was especially excited about Obama’s promises of increased transparency, of working together for compromise, and of reducing the animosity of the public discorse. Two years after the election is long enough to see that the walk from Barack doesn’t match the talk. It’s also painfully clear that the Democrats squandered their leads in Congress, and the backlash begins… tomorrow.

Tomorrow is half of the reason I’m writing about politics again. The other half has to do with the Stephen Colbert / Jon Stewart rally that happened a few days ago in that other Washington. With both of these events horning in on my blissfully politics-free mental state, it was only a matter of time before a few words squished their way out, like pus from a zit exploding onto a mirror.

First, the Rally. I couldn’t stand behind the message more. The vitriol of mainstream political rhetoric in America often upsets me far more than any issue said rhetoric pretends to address. It ranges all the way from angry talking heads almost shouting on TV down to uncharacteristic anger and all-caps rants between acquaintances on Facebook. People get lost in the ’cause’ and we somehow forget that we’re arguing with our friends and neighbors, that suddenly we’re refusing to talk to someone we’ve known for years, just because of the name they checked on their ballot. The Us Versus Them mentality makes it easy to forget that we’re not arguing against people, we’re arguing against their ideas. The pundits and politicos would love nothing more than for you to start treating those people with whom you disagree as The Enemy, in All Capitals, with an Extended Middle Finger. “You voted for McCain? Well, piss off then, because that invalidates anything you might ever say to me!”

Throughout my life, I’ve tried to avoid this at all costs. I don’t know how I could have kept so many friends if I’d allowed each one’s political position to influence our friendship. As someone who leans strongly to the left growing up in Montana, a state that leans heavily in the opposite direction, I would have had very few friends if I’d let the divisive issues of politics or religions or sports teams get the best of me. Yes, we disagree on one or two issues, but we have so much more in common that fighting about it is, well, stupid. It was reassuring to watch the Rally on Saturday and not feel so alone. Compared to the empty promises of the last election, the Rally stirred within me a much more real sense of hope than any campaign promises ever could.

Speaking of campaigns, right now they’re are heating up into an orgiastic frenzy. The dollars are pouring in and the anger is dialing up and the people on the ads (so very different in behavior from the people who wind up in office) are shouting at each other through their smiling mouths and people are predicting one sort of capital-W “Wave” or another and the money is flowing in and the kids on Reddit are pushing to get out the vote and the pundits are waiting with bated breath and the money is pouring in and both sides are practicing their caging and some people just can’t wait until the Christmas ads starts and did I mention that the money is just gushing in?

The disillusioned part of me is wondering why. Surely, the Republicans don’t need to do much more than they’ve already been doing, despite the Democratic super-majority in the Senate and the majority in the House. Why waste so much money on what’s almost assuredly going to be a win? The conventional political wisdom says that in a mid-term election, the country sways away from the party in control. Why is this election so damn interesting?

It’s all about anger. The Left’s base is upset because the Democrats aren’t doing enough; the Right’s base is upset because the way they see it, they’ve done too much already. Offset things four or six or eight years and it’ll swing the other way. If America were a parked car, it would be trapped on both sides by the Right and the Left. Every election we try to get out of the spot we’re stuck in, and the only way we know how to respond is by colliding with one side’s bumper, and then the other’s. It never occurs to anybody that maybe we should tell the other cars’ owners to move the damn things, or at least try ourselves to turn the wheel.

Normally I would be pretty upset by the probable outcome of tomorrow’s election. I know a few people who will be upset, regardless of which ‘team’ wins, and regardless of whether the car is bumping into the barrier on the Left or the one on the Right. But not writing about politics so much has allowed me to think about this election a little more clearly. And the truth is, I’m tired of being upset. Jon Stewart’s analogy about cars merging into the Lincoln Tunnel is quite apropos. The idealist in me rages about the chance we’ve lost. The pragmatist sees the future opportunity. Change doesn’t come in slogans or “Hope” with a disclaiming (TM). It certainly won’t roll over us tomorrow in some vast Wave, regardless of the outcome of the election. The truth is, no single election has that kind of power.

For better or worse, those in charge have slowed the pace of progress. It’s in their best interest to keep things the way they are. How could this possibly be good for us? Well, if we were constantly changing things as fast as we could then we’d be racing toward certain doom at the same speed as possible salvation. Going this slow ensures that we’re not in danger of catastrophe and that we don’t need to pray for salvation. To partially quote Jon Stewart, these aren’t end times. If you’ve got the right mindset, these can even be ‘begin times.’ The Rally has helped me see it this way. I want my pragmatism to push me forward. I want my idealism to guide me, but never to hold us back. Saturday’s Rally showed me that there are a lot of people who agree, and this more than outweighs the disappointment that another knee-jerk, pendulum-swing election would have brought. Good timing, guys.

A special thanks to my friend Kaiser. His recent post about the Rally motivated me to get off my duff and write something, too.

Fight or Flight and the Spirit of Compromise

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I have never been more disillusioned with the state of American politics. And that’s saying something, considering that I came to political awareness during the Bush years. Those eight years were an era when nothing could be more black and white, when you were either with us or an enemy, when the sky was falling and we needed to be constantly afraid and bellicose, like a terrified and jumpy man holed up with a shotgun through a dark, dense night. And somehow, miraculously, inexplicably, perhaps inevitably, things have gotten worse.

It turned out that the real threat to our livelihood and security didn’t come from without; it came from within. While we were pushing up walls and fences to protect us from the big, scary reality of the rest of the world, we had our backs turned to the real problems and the real threat. Our economy imploded. Jobs started disappearing. Panic set in. These were huge issues, much too large for the average American to even wrap his head around, much less try to solve. Luckily, we had a whole team of experts on our side, people whose jobs it is to deal with crises like ours on a regular basis. We had Congress, and they dropped the ball. Big time.

While I lean to the left and want to blame the right, I can’t because the facts don’t support it. The truth is that everyone screwed up, but the Democrat are much more to blame for our toxic political landscape. It was a Democratic majority in Congress starting in 2006 and through 2008, when things really started to stink. And it’s a Democratic majority right now, when we should be fixing things but are not. Sure, the Republicans share in the blame, but they are not exclusively to blame for events leading up to this crisis. Those of us who lean to the left are going to have to get past this if we want to break this political stalemate.

The problem is that both sides have forgotten how to compromise. As a result, everyone — Tea Party supporters, Socialists, and every shade in between — is going to suffer.

The Republicans have taken the stance that nothing is going to work unless they get their way. Unfortunately, they haven’t been quite clear on what they want. As near as we can tell, they don’t even want the opposite of what the Democrats want; they don’t want anything to happen. To say this is infuriating is an understatement. After all, it was a solid six years of Republican craziness, of Bush Affirmation, that helped get us into this festering abscess of a situation to begin with. Carrying right over from George W., the GOP refuses to learn a lesson and refuses to acknowledge that they had a hand in all this. They would much rather score points with their diminishing base than face the truth. But the GOP has never been good at looking ahead, and they can’t understand that if they don’t do anything now, then they’ll get into office in the future, but they’re going to be dealing with a much worse problem that’s stagnated while they’ve been stalling.

The Democrats, meanwhile, have been the Party of Disappointment. They managed to squander an incredible amount of goodwill starting with Obama’s inauguration. November 2008 put them in charge of a government sourly in need of reform and an ailing America eager for change. Not “change” the campaign slogan buzzword, but real, honest-to-goodness improvement in something, anything. I cannot fathom how they’ve managed to fail so utterly at getting their agenda accomplished, not even token victories. They’ve taken a massive supermajority in the Senate and wasted it, compromising their position until it’s worthless. They lost Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat precisely because they’ve been so impotent this last year. It wasn’t angry Republicans upset about Universal Healthcare or Gay Marriage or one of the other conservative bugaboos that did them in, it was their own base. Their base didn’t care enough to vote, and it cost them. Believe me, it’s going to cost them a lot more this November.

It’s a classic Fight-or-Flight Response from both parties. Here we have this massive source of stress (the Financial Meltdown), and each party is embodying one of the two responses to the detriment of us all. The Republicans have gotten the urge to fight, but they’re misdirecting their aggression. Instead of tackling the problem, the real threat, they’re trying to make the Democrats looks bad. This tactic might help them win an election or two in the future, but it’s only going to wind up hurting them (and, more importantly, the People) more. The Democrats, for their part, are terrified and running away. Not just from the financial and social problems that hint at ruination, but from the Republicans, too. They’re high-tailing it right out of Washington and into early political obsolescence, and they’re so deluded that they can’t comprehend why everyone hates them so much. So they run faster, and the people get angrier.

It really is a season of anger, isn’t it? Joe Wilson’s outburst last September during President Obama’s Health Care speech wasn’t just the tip of the iceberg, it was the canary in the coal mine. Anger and outrage can do some marvelous things if properly channeled. The Tea Party has molded their anger into something symbolic, if not constructive. Meanwhile, there is no equivalent on the left — getting angry and aggressive is not something liberals are good at. We’re much more likely to be passive aggressive. That means staying home this November and bidding the majorities goodbye. The sad thing is that the Democrats won’t understand why they got voted out of office. They never learn. They’ll think it’s because the American people (the same ones who gave them a massive mandate last November) hate them for their policies and want them to be more like the Republicans. That’s half the truth. We are starting to hate the Democrats, but it’s because they’re doing nothing and making it worthless. Meanwhile, the Republicans are also doing nothing, but they’re convincing people that it’s worthwhile.

Is it too much to ask that somebody, anybody, do something that’s worthwhile?

Hurting America

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Remember when Jon Stewart went on CNN’s Crossfire (transcript for those who don’t want video) and told its hosts that they were “hurting America”? Truer words were never spoken, and as we get deeper and deeper into the debate on health care in America, I can see that things are getting worse. I’m thinking specifically of this incident at a ‘town hall’ meeting wherein a woman yells “Heil Hitler” at a man who is praising Israel’s health care system. Jokes about Godwin’s Law aside, is this really what the state of debate in the United States has come to?

Before I go on, I’d like to point out that I’m not exempt from this type of shameful discourse; in my younger years I was vehemently against George W. Bush, to the point of name-calling, and I’m sure some of that vehemence still exists in this blog’s archives. I’d like to think that as I became older and more mature, I left some of this partisan name-calling behind. At one time I was the very type of person I am criticizing now. Please center your Blame Ray squarely on the vagaries of youth.

The problems with our political dialogue are many, but one issue in particular is most responsible: an overwhelming majority of trouble arises because of our two-party system. Most people pick one side or the other, and the fact that there are ‘only’ two choices polarizes them. It frees the Democrats and Republicans to perpetuate an ‘us vs. them’ mentality, which is what George Washington warned about in his farewell address. Ah, Mister Washington, if only we’d listened! People treat their political affiliations like sporting teams competing against each other, and forget that actually, we’re kind, sorta, in this all together.

If it were just a matter of hating someone’s ideas there wouldn’t be a problem. But people today get into the troubling habit of hating someone because of the party they support. It’s not “I hate him because he thinks like a Democrat,” it’s “I hate him because he is a Democrat.” We refuse to even listen to someone whose opinion differs from our own. The comforting bosom of a political party exacerbates the problem, smothering us and drowning out anything but what we already want to hear. How are we supposed to have a thoughtful, intelligent discussion when our party provides us with all the talking points and all the names we need to throw to think we’ve won?

Things got pretty bad leading up to the election. The Right labeled Obama a “Socialist” and someone who “pals around with terrorists” (with an undercurrent of racism in the subtext that he was a terrorist), while the Left labeled McCain as an “old man” approaching senility and Palin as a “pitbull with lipstick.” The name-calling ramped up to a fever pitch in the media, and the real issues we were facing got lost because nobody felt like treating the American people like adults. It was much easier to deal with the voters as if they were children. Even Saturday Night Live got a boost from the election.

Another problem that’s dragging the state of American debate down is that if we listen to our opponents, it’s perceived as weakness. This also played out in the last election, as the Right looked at Obama’s willingness to talk with North Korea and Iran as tantamount to surrendering to them. What both sides fail to recognize is that they are never going to get 100% of what they want. This thing we call political debate needs to be called compromise. Those on the Left should realize that we will probably never have a nationalized health care system. Those on the Right should realize that the Left is currently in power and they’re forcing the issue, so it’s time to negotiate instead of sitting immobile with arms crossed.

Listening to what your opponents say is a strength. Since neither Democrats nor Republicans are going to get everything they want, they need to seek out the common ground. Any kind of health care reform that is forced down our throats (as the Democrats seem poised to do) will surely fail, because so many people will want it to fail. It’s amazingly easy to learn something from what your opponent says, as well, either to further your own argument or to help sway your opinion. Examining evidence and making a decision (or even changing one you’ve made before) is the mark of a reasonable person, not the brand of a cowardly flip-flopper. Clinging to decisions you’ve made because of a gut feeling and loudly singing songs while you cover your ears is actually cowardice; it’s the mark of someone who is afraid of their opponent’s words. If the point your adversary makes is making you uncomfortable, perhaps you should re-think your position.

Above this, however, is the most infuriating result of this political culture: the willful amnesia that both sides partake of any time there is a shift in power. When Obama was elected, the Right immediately shifted from defense to offense, just like when the ball changes hands in Football. Suddenly, instead of demanding that we should love America or leave it, they were crying foul about all sorts of changes the new President was planning. They forgot that mere months before they had been howling for the blood of dissenters. You can’t change your ideas of what is acceptable behavior just because of who is in charge. This show that your affiliation lies with your party, and that your convictions aren’t convictions; they’re just talking points designed to bolster your side and weaken your opponents’ stance. I didn’t care enough about politics when Clinton left office to notice, but I’m sure a similar about-face happened as soon as Bush was sworn in. This is worse than Hypocrisy. It’s flip-flopping with a vengeance, and being spiteful to boot.

There’s a certain vitriol to all this, a gleeful fanning of the flames which threaten to swallow us a whole. I shudder every time I read a comment on a discussion forum that suggests that the opposition should die or suffer horribly for what they say or believe. True, much discussion online is emboldened by anonymity, and even more can be shrugged away with claims that the poster was just joking. But underlying every jest is a grain of truth, and some of the things we read online are simply terrifying. The situation is made even worse by talk radio and pundits on TV. I hate to keep using the Right as an example of this because my whole point is about looking beyond the left-vs.-right line, but I lean to the left so this is what I tend to read.

The entire culture of politics in the United States is toxic because so many people resort to name-calling as a substitute for a measured, well-reasoned back-and-forth. They draw a line in the sand, pick a side, and set out determined not to listen, not to compromise, and not to treat the issues we face like the serious business they are. There’s more ratings in the childish chanting and parroting of talking points. We lose the signal of valuable discussion in the noise of the Keith Olbermanns, the Anne Coulters, the Rush Limbaughs, and the Michael Moores out there. It’s all so much hand-waving, and we’re playing right into their hands everytime we hurl an epithet instead of offering an argument.

Gay Marriage

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

According to both Biden and Palin in the VP debates, neither McCain nor Obama support allowing homosexual couples the right to marry. Someday, one or both candidates (or more candidates, God forbid there be third parties) will support this idea, which isn’t quaint, isn’t harmful to anyone, and essentially verifies our dedication to universal human rights, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference. Hopefully, that time will come within our lifetime… but I’m not hedging my bets. Which sadly says a lot about the hatred that still bubbles below the surface of our society.

I shook hands with the next President of the United States

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Went to the Missoula Obama rally at the University today. Lots of people getting signatures in the line, which stretched at least as far back as the Music Building, and probably much farther than that.

What can I say? The rally was bitchin’. There was a bit too much buildup, but it was worth it. Obama is just as eloquent a speaker as he’s made out to be. He couldn’t have picked a better town, since we tend to lean so far to the left here. He managed to tailor his speech to Montana without it feeling forced. Probably the biggest reaction he got was when he mentioned that no matter what, George W. Bush would not be on the ballot here. We Missoulians really, really don’t like the guy.

Now, I’d prefer someone like Gravel as president, but he obviously won’t be (he’s kind of behind in the delegate count). I consider myself a libertarian, but I lean to the left, so that’s where I tend to vote. And I’d rather not see McCain in office, because I’ve become rather fond of my civil liberties (those I have left, that is), and it’s pretty clear he’s just a Business as Usual type of guy.

As far as the Democrats go, Hillary’s just dragging her heels along the slow path to irrelevance. Every day she finds a new way to prove that she’ll do or say anything to become president. When you get down to it, it all comes down to attitude. They have fairly similar politics. Obama’s is one of support, of doing something for the American people. Hillary’s, on the other hand, is one of ambition, of doing anything to become the first woman president.

Plus, I really don’t want to see our line of political succession go Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Then, Jeb Bush could run, and after him, Chelsea! Blahh 😛

Democrats grow temporary spine…

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Kudos to the House for blocking retroactive immunity to the telecoms for being complicit in the wiretapping of Americans. I considered this issue important enough to write Denny Rehberg about, and I got a response — straight along party lines. I don’t have the original letter I wrote, but I essentially took the standpoint that Montanans have been steamrolled by large corporations enough as it is, so as a Montanan Rehberg should realize that giving any sort of immunity to a corporation for any reason is a bad idea. His response?

The Protect America Act brings the outdated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 into line with current technological capabilities while adding appropriate liability protections for patriotic third parties who have helped defend our country.

The House of Representatives must pass this critical legislation without delay to ensure that Americans are protected from those who want to do us harm. I will do everything I can to ensure that these important protections are reinstated.

Sorry, Dave, the national agenda of the Republican Party trumps any obligation you may think I have to my constituents.

He lost in the end, as the house passed a bill refusing such retroactive immunity. This is actually a good, good thing. Bush and his cronies are trying to play the fear card. In the NY Times article, Bush is quoted as saying, “Companies that may have helped us save lives should be thanked for their patriotic service, not subjected to billion-dollar lawsuits that will make them less willing to help in the future. The House bill may be good for class action trial lawyers, but it would be terrible for the United States.”

This is bad logic, and it’s not very difficult to see why. I’m not surprised that you have no grasp of how our government works, Mr. President, but the scenario you described is not sufficient to change it. We have these things called checks and balances to prevent any one branch of the government (there are three, by the way) from overstepping its bounds. It’s also why you can’t declare war any time you want… oh, wait, scratch that one.

Anyway, the decision to take away Americans’ right to file suit against the telecoms for breaching their civil liberties is not Congress’s to make. All companies should be subject to “billion-dollar lawsuits” all the time because, let’s be frank, corporations don’t really care about the people they may hurt. The decision about whether the telecoms were complicit in violating Americans’ rights belongs to the judicial branch alone, and should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The legislative branch should never, ever preempt the courts’ ability to provide a path to justice for American citizens.

Taking away our ability to defend our rights and seek justice is a bad, bad idea. It essentially sends the telecoms the message that it’s okay to allow this kind of paranoid eavesdropping, and to go ahead and continue doing so, without fear of reprisal. Retroactive immunity is never a good idea. When you grant it, you acknowledge that those given immunity did in fact do something wrong, while at the same time declaring that nothing should be done about it.

Of course, Bush will veto any bill that attempts to seek justice the moment it arrives at his desk. But he’s on his way out. And there may be someone else in the White House soon enough to undo a lot of damage done by the president. That’s a good thing to think of (actually, there is more than one person who would probably do that, but I’m talking about the guy who will actually make it to the White House).

Pissy-Pant Pusillanimous People in… Boston

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Have you heard about the bomb scare in Boston? Advertisements for Aqua Teen Hunger Force were placed in 10 locations around the city, in a ‘guerilla marketing’ campaign. They feature the Mooninites, and, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, each device “had a very sinister appearance. It had a battery behind it, and wires.”

A battery. And wires. Soooooo scary!

Christ. I own so many things that could be mistaken for bombs, I must be a threat, too. We better outlaw all Lite-Brites in Massachusetts, too!

What really gets my goat about this whole thing is the overreaction. Even after Turner Broadcasting has admitted that they’re advertisements for their show, the authorities are still taking them down. So as the bill for a simple bomb scare climbs into the ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ (according to the Boston authorities), they’re still wasting money when they know there are no bombs. The article even mentions that NORAD is watching over things. That’s good, in case the Mooninites form the Quad Laser, right?

Boston’s mayor called the campaign “outrageous”, and blaming it on “corporate greed.” Come again? In this context, then all advertisement is about corporate greed, right? After all, having a product (in this case, a TV show) and wanting to sell it is a greedy thing to do. It sounds to me like the Boston authorities are being the greedy ones. If they can, they’ll try to get some money out of this from Turner. All because of their overreaction to perfectly harmless light boards!

Edward Davis, the Boston Police Commissioner, had this little nugget of wisdom to comment on the scare: “In the environment nowadays … we really have to look at the motivation of the company here and why this happened.” If there is an ‘environment’, then I’m thinking it’s one of fear. Terror… even. So, if we react to terror in such a pusillanimous way, aren’t the real terrorists (the ones who kill innocent people to scare others) getting exactly what they want?

This has me so angry, I’m going to watch all of the ATHF Mooninite episodes back-to-back-to-back. I just hope that nobody sees Ignignokt flipping the bird through my window, or they might call in a bomb scare!

Thanks for noticing… (Part 2)

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

In case there was any question about whether or not other states even care about Montana, here is proof that they probably don’t. CNN managed to get the name wrong of the senator-elect who tips the balance of power in the Senate in the Democrat’s favor. It’s Jon Tester, not Jim Tester, idiots! When I checked last evening, the mistake had already propagated to other websites.

I’m glad we can go back to people not caring about us now.

And, on a side note, bye-bye, Conrad Burns. I know you’re flabbergasted that the voters might actually punish you for being, well, a cranky old idiot, but them’s the breaks. It’s time to concede, you old codger! To quote Ray Charles, “hit the road, jack!” Don’t let the Senate door hit you on the way out.

Thanks for noticing…

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Wow. Do… do people actually care what happens in Montana? Could we actually be influencing something? It comes as no surprise that the only way we can influence national politics is through the Senate. And now, for the first time, out-of-staters are looking to us, with hope in their eyes. The closest margin of victory is right here, under the Big Sky. The news outlets are too scared to call it — but I will. It looks like Tester took the Treasure State. So take a hike, Burns… we’re under new management now.

And for all you Democratic kiddies who are caring about what happens here in Montana for the first (and probably last time), bugger off. We voted the way you want, now turn around and forget all about us, so we can deal with our problems ourselves.