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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Thinking thoughts of Dubius Import

The Price of Fickleness

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know how much it costs to hold a statewide election? What does it cost to get the ballots printed, how many man-hours are spent? What does each election cost the taxpayers?

I'm asking this simply because I've seen a dramatic increase in elected officials leave office lately in the middle of their terms, Republican Trent Lott being the latest.

Since 1940 there have been 35 senators who have quit in the middle of their term, but only two quit for reasons other than seeking another office, a judicial or diplomatic appointment, ill health, scandal or joining the military. One of those two took a position as a university president, and the other quit to take the job as Baseball Commissioner (he was quite blunt, too -- stating that he made $10,000 a year as Senator, but he could make $50,000 a year as baseball commissioner). But this is changing. Senators (as well as Representatives) seem to be quitting in droves these days.

Senator Lott is in his first year of a six-year term. He was just elected last year, and now he wants to quit. Why? Well, he can make millions and millions of dollars working for a friend of his who just started a lobbying company in Washington, D.C.

This is fine 'n dandy. I have no problems with people leaving a job they don't like. But with elected officials it is rather different... We elect our officials, putting them under social contract to fulfill their obligations for a set period of time. If they leave before that time is up, the taxpayer has to shell out more moolah to hold another election... It's not like we can just put an ad in the paper and hire the first qualified candidate to walk in the door.

It costs money. The only numbers I could find in my extensive three-minute Google search were of a couple Florida counties that had to pay $200,000 each to elect someone to replace Republican Representative Bob Allen. That's nearly half a million dollars spent in just two counties...

Talk about cut and run tactics.

Think we should make a law that if a Senator or Representative leaves before his term is up to enter the private sector they should have to pay for the resultant election?


Climate Change? Real? Doesn't Matter


Hey, watch this video...



My Vunderful Vife

Not only did she refrain from kneeing me in the groinal crotchy region for posting the funny picture of her a few days ago, but she laughed at it... I am therefore unscathed from the incident. No bruising at all!


Kudos!

Democrat Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania has introduced a bill guaranteeing soldiers get their full enlistment bonuses even if the soldier is injured while on duty. A person might ask why such legislation might be necessary... Turns out the Pentagon is demanding that 23-year-old Jordan Fox, who was blinded in his right eye and has back injuries from being hit with a roadside bomb in Iraq pay back part of his $10,000 enlistment bonus because he can't finish his term of enlistment. Normally I'm a big proponent of fulfilling one's obligation (as mentioned above in my rant about Republican Trent Lott quitting his job in mid-term), but it seems to me that getting hit by a bomb is a fairly good reason why one can't. Give the injured soldier his money back. Kudos to those standing up for Mr. Fox.

Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate, has been working with the Korean government to bring back the remains of U.S. soldiers lost in the Korean conflict. An Iowa soldier is being returned shortly. This has to mean a lot for the family of the missing soldier... I'm really pretty impressed by Governor Richardson. Of all the presidential candidates on the market today, he's the one that really seems to be the most level-headed.


Teeny Tiny Little Bubbles

I've been enjoying the occasional Black and Blue (a combination of Guinness and Blue Moon) lately. I've always found Guinness to be a little bitter, and Blue Moon Belgian Ale to be a little too sweet, so when I discovered that you can put the two of them together I had to try it.

Deliciousness... Oh, the beer gods do smile!

This happy happenstance has led me to re-evaluate Guinness as it occurs solo. Somehow I'd never noticed that when I would order Guinness they invariably brought me a can of Guinness Extra Stout, and I invariably thought it was terrible, nasty, bitter beer and I'd hate it, but when I'd order a Black and Blue, they'd use Guinness Draught, and I liked it. For some reason it never occurred to me to simply order a Guinness Draught by itself instead of a bitter nasty Guinness Stout.

Turns out Guinness Draught is pretty good stuff!

The most fun part of drinking a glass of Guinness is watching the bubbles. Never seen anything like it. You can see what I'm talking about at www.guinness.com if you want. It's as much fun to watch as it is to drink!

9 Comments:

Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Chris, it is in no way more fun to watch than it is to drink. Unless you order two, and watch one while you're drinking another.

Must get draught, must get cans. For some reason, the bottles suck. I thank my bartender friends for years of booze advice, but hate them for not cluing me into this Black and Blue thing, combining two of my favorite beers. Jerks.

11:28 PM  
Blogger The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

The cans have a little ping-pong ball inside that keeps it from going all skunky. You can get the draught in bottles now too (it may have a ping-pong ball too), but you gotta check the label and be very specific when you order it in a bar.

We never order if they say stout. Blech.

Also some bars don't run the taps long (or often enough) so it can taste like crap from the tap too.

It's a risky beverage choice and my darling husband and I are often disappointed.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Father Andersen said...

In defence of Pete Dominici of New Mexico, he did not resign to enter the private sector. The poor man is suffering from a degenerative brain disease - similar to but faster moving than Alzheimers. He quit because he will soon be unable to do the job.

That being said, I do feel that if you make the commitment to serve your constituency, then you should honor that commitment until your time is served, to do otherwise is making a sham of democracy. You were chosen by the people, they don't want someone else.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Pistols -- A Black and Blue is like a Black and Tan. Make sure the barkeep uses the little bar spoon when he or she adds the Guinness so the beers separate correctly. So far I've only had Guinness Draught in bottles or from the tap -- is the canned version truly better? How so?

Lady -- I've never had a beer that changes so much from place to place as Guinness! I know they have special taps for Guinness that run on a different system than regular keg beer, but for some reason I've never gotten two glasses of Guinness that taste the same. Odd. Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I've noticed it.

Dad Andersen -- Good call on Mr. Dominici! The article I got that bit of information from didn't mention that Mr. Dominici left due to an ailment. I should have double-checked my facts on that. If I have time later today I'll research further the reasons the other Senators left office -- the last thing I want to do is mislead anyone or cast aspersions.

I stand by my main point, however, that if someone is elected to public office, they should give every effort to fulfill their obligations and NOT abandon their office for the lure of the almighty dollar.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Father Andersen said...

I like that video, but he kind of glosses over some things. In "Column A row 1" he lists economic collapse as a consequence, but he doesn't list the same consequence in "column A row 2". In the end, we may avoid climate disasters, but we still end the world as we know it because of economic collapse.

Your title is right, it doesn't matter because either way the world is about to end. (In this fellow's logic, anyway.)

8:54 AM  
Blogger pistols at dawn said...

Chris, in most of the bars I go to, the bar spoon's melted and ruined because the barkeep's got a little problem chasing dragons. For whatever reason, the cans (and the widget, also in another favorite beer of mine, Boddington's) just always taste significantly fuller and smoother than the bottles.

4:02 PM  
Blogger The Guv'ner said...

Naturally, I'm only here for the beer as anything more intelligent hurts my noggin.

I am afraid I am a philostine therefore can only ever drink Guinness if it has blackcurrant cordial injected into it (it's a UK thing, honest!). I do however like Blue Moon quite a bit and the bar by my apartment has it for two bucks a pint every weekday night till 10pm on draught! WOO HOO!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Leonesse said...

Sounds like we should all crash at the Guv's and head over for some brew.

I agree 100% on this issue. (The beer too, but the other issue) I think they should be made to repay the state if they leave the job.

9:01 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

A pint glass filled 3/4 ways with Guinness.

drop in a shot glass, contents: 1/2 Jamesons, 1/2 Bailey's.

Drink her down.

I guess this is a "boilermaker"... you're supposed to drink it fast... lest the Bailey's curdle, enjoy it.

I don't drink them very often, only on special occasions...

... what were we talking about?...

(p.s. it's a good thing if you can lick the foam from your S.O.'s upper lip. Trust me. Heh).

2:58 AM  

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