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Friday, November 08, 2002

More about how I voted, as if you care. I left the ballot blank in the races for DC's "shadow" members of Congress for two reasons:

First, the incumbents are shoo-ins.

Second, I find it a bit insulting to vote for faux offices.

This was the first time that it really hit home that I have no meaningful mechanism for democratic action when it comes to congress. I think it's the
impending war that did it. There was no way for me to vote for any candidate who could be a voice of reason in congress against capricious military adventurism.

I guess I'll have to take solace in the fact that most members of congress are rolling over on the issue anyway and that W doesn't really care about congressional declarations of war anymore.

posted by Jimmy 8:26 AM
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Okay, I admit it. I voted for
Carol Schwartz today. I actually felt a little guilty, because Anthony Williams is the best DC Mayor in my lifetime (not saying much, I know). But here's the deal: I voted based on a single issue - Carol Schwartz and her super can.

One of the only notable improvements in DC city services over the last couple decades has been the trash collection. It used to be a big messy problem. Now, it's really quite adequate.

Much of this is due to the introduction of the "Super Can," a big green trash can with a top so that the rats have to work harder to get at your pizza boxes. Also, the cans are standardized with a little bar-thingy that the trucks grab onto to lift them up, kind of like a mini-dumpster. It seems quite efficient compared to the old way. Anthony Williams has received much of the credit on this. In fact, in a Mayor's Approval Rating Poll earlier this year, I recall that Williams received his top marks in the trash collection category (sorry, couldn't find the link).

Then, yesterday, I saw Schwartz on TV explaining how the City Council was actually behind it. As it turns out, she led the charge on this. Did a little poking around and, guess what? She was instrumental in getting me my sweet, sweet can.

She's the Chairperson of the DC Public Works Committee of the City Council, the body that gets things like this done.

So, here was my logic:

1. One thing in DC has distinctly gone from completely sucking to being ok.
2. Schwartz was behind it.
3. Schwartz gets my vote.

Overly simplistic, I know. But sometimes the little things are the most telling.
posted by Jimmy 11:55 AM

I was going to explain my votes on Advisory Referendum A and Initiative Measure 62, but then I read
this post from the Intellectual Passivist that more eloquently explains exactly how I felt about the measures.

Here's my shorter take on the issues:

Ref A allows DC residents to elect their District Attorney. If Guam and Puerto Rico get to (they do), then we should get to. Fair's fair.

IM 62 is for creating a nebulous treatment-not-prison program for drug offenders. I'm not for adding a big fat bureaucracy to the DC Public Health department, but I'm optimistic that it will, in the end, cost less than throwing everyone in prison.

In the end, both of these will get the Congressional smack-down in one way or the other. Neither will have any teeth without Congressional approval and/or funding. But their passage will piss off some folks on The Hill who deserve a little pissing-off. And that's a good thing.

Skip explains it better. Go check out the link.

posted by Jimmy 11:22 AM

I think that they should incorporate the St. Patty's Day tradition with the "I Voted" stickers. It would hip-up the process. Also, the addition of mistletoe above the booths would be sweet.

posted by Jimmy 9:38 AM

On Channel 4 news today, Chief Ramsey was asked about the Georgia Avenue snipe, specifically, how quickly he realized that it was part of the spree. He replied that that they knew it fit the MO pretty quickly. Good answer. But he qualified his response with the following:

"Not that we don't have our share of homicides in the District"

Remember, in Ramsey-math, Our Share = One Every 36 Hours.

Since he set that high bar of solving 50% of DC's homicides, it would behoove the Chief to try to pin as many past murders this year on the snipers. It will be interesting to see if the MPD tries to pin more murders on them and, if so, how aggressively.

posted by Jimmy 7:45 AM
Monday, November 04, 2002

On Election Day, Northern Virginians will
vote on a measure to increase their sales tax from 4.5% to 5%. I have no idea why anyone would support this. It is supposed to raise $5 Billion over 20 years for new roads to relieve congestion. Proponents feel that they are not getting enough cabbage from Richmond for this sort of thing. My guess is that Richmond will be very pleased with the initiative if it passes, because money is fungible and this new tax will allow them to reduce the NoVa road budget by exactly $5 Billion over 20 years.

The thing is, even if it passes, I'll still do by shopping in VA. As always, DC blows when it comes to this sort of thing. Our sales tax is at $5.75 and overall prices are generally higher here due to the anti business climate and atmospheric business income tax (which is pushing 10%).
posted by Jimmy 6:43 AM

I knew that there must be something to tie this all together. As it turns out, Chief Moose has four Persian Cats. Read more about his personal life in this
WaPo piece about his wife. Come to think of it, the cats are Persian. This could also be a tie-in to the war on terror. Kitty double-agents trying to subvert the investigation from within by shredding curtains and soiling the Chief's rugs. Presumably, the PATRIOT act is broad enough to have the kitties prosecuted.
posted by Jimmy 6:22 AM
Sunday, November 03, 2002

Sad to see my sweet Jenni Kitten didn’t make the cut at the American Idol tryouts. Even though she once called me a dickspit, I still wish she had made it. At least it seems as if she had a fun time. Check out the story
here if you are interesting in finding out the inside scoop on early round American Idol action.

posted by Jimmy 10:50 AM

So, the Pentagon estimates the cost of war with Iraq as low as $40 billion. But Yale’s econ prof William Nordhaus says that it could be as high as $1.24 trillion, when you throw in the nation-building, destination fee and floor mats. So, the costs will most likely be in the $40 billion to $1.24 trillion range. That sounds about right for most DC initiatives. They can usually peg the cost within a trillion or two.

(
Mother Jones WarWatch)

posted by Jimmy 10:26 AM

I think a sure sign of a feeble mind is the psychological need to put everything into two buckets - one good, one bad - and to assume that the things in each bucket are necessarily connected.

David Brooks, in
this Weekly Standard piece, tries to tie Saddam in with Marxism. It’s just one in a long series of feeble thought. First, the righties point out the lack of Judeo-Christian values of the terrorists. Then came the inane drug war tie-in (teenagers smoking pot finances terrorists killing babies!). Now Brooks tries to tie Saddam in with communism. I assume the Weekly Standard will soon try to connect terrorism with the labor movement, affirmative action and abortion.

But could Brooks have an evil twin brother on the left, a man unable to separate different causes? I believe so. On the left, we see the same kind of bucket-vision from posts like Nathan Newman’s here, which lump in pro-war folks with racists and connect hawkish beliefs with a lack of pain-feeling about AIDS in Africa. I can only assume he feels that deep down, somehow Nike sweatshops are connected to terrorism and that more funding for midnight basketball could have prevented 9/11.

The beauty of Stand Down is that most of the bloggers have either left their bucket-baggage at home on their own sites or have the intellectual ability to reason why the war is a bad idea for different reasons than why other things are bad. Face it, there a dozens of philosophical, strategic and tactical/pragmatic grounds to be against the war. Many of them have been articulately stated on their site by pundits all over the political map. There is no need to connect the reasons against this war to Title XI or intellectual property or faith-based initiatives or global warming.

Get out of the bucket, people. Things can be bad for completely different reasons with no connection whatsoever.

(Link via Stand Down. Actually, this whole post is a regurgitation of something I put in their comments section).

posted by Jimmy 9:58 AM