Friday, March 31, 2006

Nostradamus predicted my commute this morning!

Incredible, but true! Read this:

On the primary metal snake he will cross the hilly island,
Reading the New City's great first-day tome.
Near the path of the Freeman he steps into the air,
One sixth of an hour he'll still want.
—Predictions of Nostradamus, Vol. 8, Canto XLVI

By "metal snake" he obviously meant a subway train, and by "primary" he obviously mean the 1 train, which is the train I take. Manhattan is the "hilly island," from whence its name is derived.

The "New City" is New York, and the "first day" is Monday. Since the New Yorker comes out every monday, that's obviously what "the New City's great first-day tome" is. And I was reading the New Yorker on the train this morning! Incredible!

"The path of the Freeman" is a little trickier. The name Franklin means "Freeman," of course, and since I got off at the Franklin Street stop, well... that just can't be a coïncidence.

The last line, which mentions my wanting "one sixth of an hour" means I'd be ten minutes late today. Which I was. Is there nothing that this man couldn't see?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A prayer for President Bush.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord Bush's soul to keep.
If Bush should die before I wake,
I pray He also Cheney take.

Andy Card's replacement calls for John Snow's head.

Bush's Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, recently stepped down, having been just a few months away from being the longest-serving White House Chief of Staff in history. Bush aide Joshua Bolten has been promoted to the job, and will have no trouble getting confirmed.

However, there could be some trouble once Bolten starts working. Mr. Bolten has already called for the resignation of Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, which seems a bit audacious for a newly-minted Chief of Staff. I mean, I'm no fan of Mr. Snow or the Bush administration, and I've long felt that Snow is nearly as unqualified for his job as Bush is. But Mr. Bolten is a different story.

Bolten's list of complaints includes one that Mr. Snow isn't promoting Bush's agenda forcefully enough. What, exactly, does this mean? Is he not saying yes to Bush's tax cut demands enough? Is he not standing up for deficit spending enough? Is he simply not aggressively pliable enough to let Bush feel like his yes-men are acting as bullhorns to amplify the administration's policies, instead of merely quietly nodding their approval?

And above all, Mr. Snow would do well to remember how Paul O'Neill was forced out of the very same job back in 2003 for having committed the grave sin of speaking his mind. Or maybe that would be a more useful lesson for Mr. Bolten to heed... unless, of course, Bolten is speaking up at the behest of the Bush administration, which would actually make sense: hire an axeman to barge in so as to allow Bush and Cheney to promote some sort of image that they themselves don't instigate such cold assaults on their own personnel.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Teenagers are more sleep-deprived than ever. Apparently.

Apparently kids today are a danger to us because they haven't been getting enough sleep. What a bunch of wimps! I discovered coffee at age 15, and it changed my life. I'd got to sleep at 11:30 and wake up at 5:30 on school nights, and my grades were... well, never mind about that. The point is, I was a tough, coffee-drinking son-of-a-bitch, and I made my history teachers quake with fear, while I made my French teachers squeal with delight.

Nothing has changed, except I've lost some hair and have gotten even better in history and totally fluent in French. Moral: coffee makes you smart and tough and into a potential Nobel laureate, just like me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Nice things to see for Democrats this year.

This year promises to be more promising for the Democrats—or, at least, less promising for the Republicans, which is good news for the Democrats by default. While I doubt we're in for a 1994-style changing of the guard, I'm happy to see a few developments this year. What I'm seeing is:

—Seeing two-term Republican incumbent Rick Santorum trailing his challenger by double digits.

—Seeing incumbent Senator Conrad Burns in the very red state of Montana slipping in the polls.

—Seeing the Republicans unable to find a Florida Republican to challenge the rather vulnerable Senator Bill Nelson.

—Seeing the Republicans unable to find a Nebraska Republican to challenge the very vulnerable Senator Ben Nelson.

—Seeing Joe Hoeven decline to challenge Kent Conrad in the very red state of North Dakota.

—Seeing Mark Kennedy's mess of a campaign frustrated again and again for the open seat in Minnesota.

—Seeing Michael Steele's campaign melting down again and again in Maryland.

—Seeing no viable candidates challenge the somewhat vulnerable Senator Menendez in New Jersey.

—Seeing Mike DeWine struggle against Sherrod Brown in Ohio.

—Seeing no viable candidate come forward to challenge Senator Stabenow in Michigan.

—Seeing scores of Republican candidates derailed by their connections to Jack Abramoff.

—Seeing nine of the top ten House seats most likely to switch parties being currently occupied by Republicans.

—Seeing xenophobic Republicans like Bill Frist once again wave anti-immigrant legislation around that will guarantee Latinos will avoid voting Republican on a national scale, and not just in California.

—Seeing the Republicans without a prayer in this year's gubernatorial elections in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California!

Yeah, I'm happy! See you at the polls!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Make Katherine Harris spend it all!

Yes! Yes! Make Katherine Harris spend it all! Somehow, if she does, I get the weird feeling that she still won't wind up a pauper after it's all over. Don't ask me why; it's just a hunch...

Make Katherine Harris spend it all!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tom DeLay wins his primary!

The albatross is back in action! Tom DeLay, the most significant reminder of corruption in the Republican Party, has managed to win the Republican nomination and possibly keep his seat in the House, allowing this stain to continue to blemish all other Republicans! I can't think of a better gift Texas could give the Democrats!!!

After years of killing other vermin for money, Tom DeLay went to Congress and became king of the Congressional vermin for money. And apparently, the vermin of his party are still enthusiastically supporting him.

Tom DeLay has lost interest in exterminating, but then, you can't expect anyone to commit suicide for the greater good. We Democrats need to exterminate him this November. Is DeLay a rat? Is DeLay a roach? Or is he some sort of atomic rat/roach mutation? Whatever he is, DELAY MUST GO. In November. For the time being, he's the Democrats' best whipping boy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Line-item veto: what would Bush edit?

The Supreme Court struck the last one down. Hopefully they'll strike it down again, but considering that conservatives have been pushing for this all the way back to President Grant, I'd say chances are pretty good that Bush found out in the quiet chats with Roberts and Alito right before appointing them that he did what he could to ensure its passage.

I think the line-item veto is a very bad idea. Very. What it allows is for the president to take any bill passed by Congress and remove provisions from it, signing into law the parts that he wants passed, ignoring the rest. Proponents say that this will eliminate pork, cutting out unrelated riders and such. Critics say that this will lead to the president being able to undo compromises struck by Congress, thus concentrating too much power with the executive branch. I am a critic.

It got me thinking: if anyone should bother to drop the Constitution on Bush's desk after the line-item veto is passed into law, and if Bush should happen to decide to read it, what would that lead to? The anal-retentive among you will point out that the line-item veto only applies to legislation and not to the Constitution, but you can shut the hell up. The rest of you can enjoy my vision of Bush at his desk with a red pen over the Constitution, muttering to himself.

(In case you don't have the rights afforded by all 27 amendments, click here for a nice summary of what those rights are. The short answers are on top, and the links lead to the full texts, if you want.)

1st Amendment—Veto. You're welcome, Reverend Dobson. You too, Mr. Murdoch!
2nd Amendment—Let it stand.
3rd Amendment—Let's veto that one—just in case! Heh heh...
4th Amendment—DEFINITELY veto! And tell Alberto right away!
5th Amendment—This is totally unnecessary. If you're innocent, you have nothing to worry about. Veto!
6th Amendment—Veto! Then notify the folks down in Gitmo!
7th Amendment—After what they did to Kenny Boy? Veto!
8th Amendment—Add the clause "except for suspected terrorists" or I'll veto!
9th Amendment—Ah, they can keep that one. It's not like that mess in Florida's going to happen to me again...
10th Amendment—States' rights! Yeah, we'll keep *that* one (but look out, 14th Amendment!)
11th Amendment—This one's boring! Yeah, you can keep it.
12th Amendment—Electoral College! Better keep that one...
13th Amendment—In the name of free enterprise—veto!
14th Amendment—I'm not going to tell people how to live their lives! Veto!
15th Amendment—Veto! It's a states' rights issue!
16th Amendment—Veto! Must... cut... taxes...
17th Amendment—You mean we could have governors appoint senators? Veto! Veto! Veto!
18th Amendment—Let's keep this one. It serves me well!
19th Amendment—Voting rights should be determined by the State Secretary of State. Veto!
20th Amendment—No way! If I veto this one, I can have another six weeks as president? Veto!
21st Amendment—Veto! You drunks!
22nd Amendment—Whoa! I'd like to see that one go! Four more years! Veto!
23rd Amendment—They always vote Democrat in DC. Veto!
24th Amendment—Can't... veto. Must... cut... taxes...
25th Amendment—Say, um, Mr. Cheney? Could we not talk about this one? It makes me uncomfortable...
26th Amendment—Kids don't vote anyway, so you might as well let it stand.
27th Amendment—The Hammer could use a raise right now to help with his legal bills. Veto!