Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Merely speculative

The 9th Circuit decision is the most weasely thing I’ve seen since Bush v. Gore. They’re letting the election go ahead because it’s so late. Well whose fault is that? “The decision to enjoin an impending election is so serious that the Supreme Court has allowed elections to go forward even in the face of an undisputed constitutional violation...” “Enormous resources [have been] already invested” in the election, which outweighs whether it’s actually a fair election. You could go ahead with executing an innocent person on the same logic.

The court said that the possibility of the error-prone punch-card system changing the result of the election was “merely speculative.” Yes, because it hasn’t happened yet. That would be the definition of speculative, so it’s hard to see how they can use it as if it were a term of abuse. The opposite of speculative is “too late.” Using their logic, anyone charged with drunk driving who hadn’t actually run someone over could say that declaring that behaviour dangerous and illegal was merely speculative. So because it was so speculative, they decided not to bother thinking about whether having varying degrees of accuracy violated the 14th Amendment or the Voting Rights Act. They said “there is no doubt that the right to ‘vote’ is fundamental.” OK, they didn’t put those sarcastic quotes around vote, I did, but I’m pretty sure just voting isn’t the point; having that vote counted, accurately, and that count actually deciding something, that would be the point. Otherwise we could just write down our gubernatorial choices on toilet paper and flush it down the toilet in the privacy of our own homes, which would be more convenient and save all that over-time pay for poll workers.

Actually, I don’t care that much when the recall is held, but the stop and restart thing this near the end was a disservice to the voters. And I am enjoying the pander-fest coming from the Lege. For example, they just banned spam email (as of January). And allowed churros to be cooked in mobile food trucks.

You think I’m making that up, don’t you?

The R’s are really pissed off at Ted Kennedy for saying other countries are being bribed to send cannon fodder. The White House said the money is just standard foreign assistance. You say potato, Kennedy says potahto--with lots of butter and extra sour cream--let’s call the whole thing off. John Warner: “Stop to think of the reaction of a young wife surrounded by small children, not knowing from day to day whether her husband will survive another day's engagement in Afghanistan or Iraq. And they hear that this whole thing has been a fraud perpetrated upon this family and was made up in Texas. I find that very painful.” True, of course, but painful. Note that this is the same argument as the 9th Circuit panel used. Enormous resources have been invested, so shut up about whether it’s fair or not. Kennedy notes that Turkey, which we are asking for 10,000 troops, is to get $8.5 billion on top of $1 billion already paid. That’s $950,000 each. Steve Austin cost only six times that and he was bionic. When’s the last time Turkey won a war, anyway? 1453? And has anyone asked the Kurds if they want 10,000 Turkish troops?

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