Politics

This is Brilliantly Funny

And yet sad, in that it sounds so realistic. The results of the 2008 election were always patently absurd, but then it helps to have a viable candidate on the other side. Not without reason did I once have an entire blog category devoted to McCain named Senator Control Freak, and how many people were unable to hold their noses in the face of a rorschachly blank slate and the thought “after all, how bad could it be?”

I Am Neither!

But these two quizzes aren’t designed to reflect that, except possibly when taken together.

You Are 36% Republican

You’re a bit Republican and probably more conservative than you realize.
If you’re still voting Democrat, maybe it’s time that you stop.
You Are 32% Democrat

You’re a bit Democrat, and probably more liberal than you realize.
If you’re still voting Republican, maybe it’s time that you stop.

How is this hard?

Saw the other day an article about the latest intentions by the USPS to review and possibly close thousands of unprofitable branches.

But we need the services they offer!

But it’s the central focus of the village!

Wail. Gnash.

How can it possibly be this hard? I mean, besides the whole “government bureaucracy” element making it nigh impossible to function, let alone efficiently.

We are closer than we’ve ever been before to a scenario in which a private company could readily take over or supplant the entire operations of the postal service, starting from elements already having been farmed out for the sake of cost and efficiency. In my mind, that makes a lesser leap easy.

Offer up the locations that are on the block. Either as such, or to some other place in the locality, to carry on the same basic functions as a contractor. Simple. Offer them preferentially to the employees who now operate them. Turn them into something between a kiosk and a service desk function of a local store or other business.

Private mail centers have been done! They were so compelling, UPS bought a chain, and FedEx added that aspect to a one-off chain. Stores that double as a post office have been done! My first apartment was in a village where mail went to a PO box in an antique store that doubled as a post office. Quaint. Probably still too subsidized or inefficient. An odd combo.

Let’s try it. We’re already so close.

The Mosque

I just can’t believe the furor over the mosque planned near Ground Zero. Well, I can. What I can’t belive is how obscenely misguided so many people are on the topic, and that some of the statements made by one of the worst Presidents ever are correct, yet being shredded to bits.

Look… Everything about the planned mosque is stupid, misguided, and couldn’t be more provocative if it were intended thus. It probably is. The location. The name. The size. The press. The one-sided appeal to tolerance.

It is right to feel strongly about that.

However, it is not acceptable by any stretch to attempt to get government authorities at any level to stop it from being built. Period.

Being annoyed by it, sure. Calling for it and in your wildest dreams having any expectation of it being prevented, that is about as wrong as it gets. Protesting? Sure. To try to persuade the folks behind it that it’s a PR nightmare… assuming that their goal is not to be offensive. Using government power? No. It would be wrong even if it were constitutional.

But…

It goes both ways.

It’s About Trust

Via Glenn Reynolds, an interesting look at what we think of adultery in politicians, and in general, given the Mark Sanford political suicide.

I’d never really thought about it, but it makes sense that we elect people based on integrity and commitment – heck, willingness to do more than pay lip service to both law and norms – to one degree or another. If you are flagrant before the fact, that’s probably it for you, when it’s a marriage.

It doesn’t even matter whether you and your spouse are differently normed and have a relationship you might consider more open than others, or if your marriage has alteady undergone zombification. Public perception is everything.

It may be old-fashioned, but there it is.

After the fact? Then it’ll look bad, as with Clinton, but performance matters and, frankly, perception of your spouse and relationship matter as well. If yours is widely perceived as a marriage of power and convenience, the sting might be less. And even so, look at the frenzy over Monica.

It may not be right, but it’s reality. Speaking of which, Republicans need to tout less morality and more reality, if they are to have a chance.

Cuba

I just noticed a brief commentary by someone I respect on the libertarian right, and I know there are many others, absolutely vehement against trade with Cuba.

On some level, I can see that. However, I can also see what has and has not worked there and elsewhere to liberalize things. I’m all for a change to engagement, in the case of Cuba.

Trouble is, that potentially messes with the sugar and corn lobbies in the United States.

The price of sugar is artificially propped up here, tied into the whole Cuba thing, and who is more involved in the US sugar industry than ex-pats. In turn, this creates demand for corn syrup as a substitute, and all that it implies, including suspicion of a connection to the “obesity epidemic.” I question the timing.

There are powerful forces who hear sweet music to their ears when they hear folks who might otherwise be onto them cheer on the continued economic embargo of Cuba.