As I went into the voting booth on Sunday for Early Voting, I went in with a heavy heart and an unsure stance. You see, for me, as for many with whom I associate, there is no good candidate for Texas Governor. Allow me to explain.
Many of my friends and I (with certain exceptions) have been raised Republicans since we drew the Republican breast-milk from our mothers, lest we be tainted and warped by the foul mind-warping Democratic formula administered by men whose liberated wives were too busy to be feeding infants. In any event, as we grew older, we were informed that the Republican Party was God's Chosen Party and that George W. Bush was God's Chosen Leader for America. And since God's Chosen Leader left behind such a capable man as Richard Perry to govern in his stead over God's Chosen State, who were we to question?
But seriously... if you've been a Republican your whole life and your whole family treats the political party as akin to religion (leaving out, for a minute, the party's flagrant campaigning on the basis of religion), it's a bit hard to step out and be the black sheep who might vote Democrat. Many, myself included, drew hope from the presence of Carole Keeton Strayhorn... right up until the point where she made an ass out of herself trying to get "Grandma" Strayhorn on the ballot and until, at least for me, a closer examination of her issues revealed that she hoped to increase spending, cut taxes, and draw the balance out of the ether... or something.
"Alright," said I, "let's do this. Let's cross party lines and vote Democrat." And then I noticed something. Unlike most Texas Democrats who will try to avoid the issues of abortion and gun control, owing to the fact that most Texans are rather Republican in their stances on both, Chris Bell had come out in a rather strong stance even for a Democrat and refused to vote against partial-birth abortion and was in favor of gun registration and a ban on assault rifles. Well, this kind of got me to investigating Chris Bell a bit more and challenging my earlier assumption that he wasn't the kind of Democrat who I disliked. Now, would he be a better governor than Rick Perry? Probably. But I just couldn't vote in good conscience for someone whose politics vary that drastically with mine... especially considering that Bell's only real selling point in the first place is "not Rick Perry."
And this leaves me with Kinky. Now, really... I couldn't vote for Kinky in a real political election which caused me to dismiss him out-of-hand at first. And then I looked at Austin and I took a hard look at my choices. Honestly, Kinky is the best out of the four precisely because he's not a real political candidate. He's like Jesse Ventura: if he gets elected, it will be because all of the alternatives sucked that much. To my wife's questions of Kinky's political stance being better than Bell's, my response is that it's more or less identical, balancing some improvements for some downsides... and honestly, if I've got to swallow some bile and vote for someone who I really don't trust or like, I'd rather vote Kinky.
I guess that will be my new mantra: "Vote Kinky, Because Texas Deserves It"
I haven't declared war on an idiot in a long time. It hasn't been strictly necessary... until today. You see, in Texas there is a Senatorial seat up in November. The incumbent, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) has served two terms, and while I'm not a huge fan (she voted against Net Neutrality and for funding Ted Stevens' infamous Bridge to Nowhere), I am developing a loathing for her chief opponent Barbara Ann Radnofsky (D).
I was reading through the issues comparison page on Radnofsky's campaign site (which, incidentally, is in this annoying pdf form) when I stumbled on this gem. (Note: formatting is mine.)
Radnofsky: Supports U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Hutchison: Segregation and a Full Plate: Too busy to sponsor an anti-lynching resolution
[Radnofsky Will] Renew the Voting Rights Act
Opponent sought to exclude hurricane survivors from schools and segregate them, suspending the McKinney-Vento Act which prohibits segregation of homeless children.
Radnofsky opposes lynching and would co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution without hesitation.
When asked why opponent had not yet joined 83 of her colleagues in cosponsoring the U.S. Senate's resolution against lynching, Sen. Hutchison’s spokesman strangely replied, “For her, lynching is something that is very present. This is something she knows very personally.” Then he added, “But as a member of the Senate leadership, you just can't co-sponsor everything."
Apparently, though, you can, as opponent managed to co-sponsor at least 186 resolutions since 1999, including recognition of the anniversary of the founding of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, congratulations to Lance Armstrong in 2003, and calling for a 4-H postage stamp. Responding only to public outcry, she later grudgingly co-sponsored the anti-lynching resolution.
[Radnofsky Will] Oppose the KKK’s message of domestic hate and terrorism.
Opponent refused to denounce the Ku Klux Klan.
In case you hadn't noted... every point gets worse than the point before, but the last takes the cake. The best part about the last point is the supporting text that whichever political flunky compiled this included in the relevant footnote:
San Angelo Standard-Times, August 5, 2006. “Radnofsky denounced the clan and called on her senate opponent, incumbent Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison to do likewise. No one answered the phones in Hutchison’s Washington or Abilene offices to issue such a denunciation.”
Wait... a newspaper can't get ahold of someone with the authority to issue a denunciation and thus Kay Bailey Hutchison refuses to issue one? Now, I'm sure that a dozen other politicians have thousands of such bullshit lines on their position lists, but this one offends me. This is like my picking up a phone right now and calling Radnofsky's offices, failing to get an answer and then announcing "Barbara Ann Radnofsky refuses to renounce NAMBLA and Hitler... Kay Bailey Hutchison, on the other hand, is not a fan of either." So... without further adieu.
The Cynic Declares War on: Barbara Ann Radnofsky
It would appear that Ted Stevens has been doing some governmental consulting in India. Apparently, using a fiberoptic data cable is the same thing as selling light... which is apparently a commodity. Or so Indian tax collectors would lead you to believe.
As some of you know, in an effort to render myself into a healthier (and slightly smaller) Cynic, I have taken to walking home in the afternoons as the option presents itself. This means that 4-5 days a week, I take the 1.5 mile route home by foot, making a couple of small detours to chat with friends of mine who work at establishments along my route home.
At one point in particular, the shortest route home would have me walking right alongside a busy stretch of the loop, so like a clever lad, I walk up the parallel residential street that sits about 20 feet from the loop and then cut across the lot of the appliance store at the end of the road. This has been a rather productive endeavor as the street is all but vacant and it gives me a nice chance to wander through suburbia and admire all of the wonderful homes that the white trash residents have allowed to go to pot. Yeah... so it's not the nicest neighborhood, but it keeps me out of traffic.
Earlier this evening, as I was taking my daily walk through hickdom, I noted several dogs barking loudly from one of the hicks' front yards. This is not atypical in and of itself, though I noted that the dogs were out front instead of being fenced in around back of the house and closer inspection revealed that they were not chained up. Now, being a rather open-minded fellow, I figured the dogs were trained to stay in the front yard, bark menacingly and let travellers go along with their business. Suffice it to say that I was a bit taken aback when all three dogs took to the street and moved to within 10 feet of me, barking at me. Feeling in my pocket, I reached for my knife and attempted to walk a little bit faster as I noticed that the dogs were attempting to surround me.
Working back to some of the random knowledge I'd acquired on the way, I remembered that dogs attempt to surround their prey in order to take it down. Not one to be taken down, I began making lunges at the dogs in order to keep them all on one side of me, preparing to deal with the first one to charge. As those who know me will note, when truly angry, I have somewhat of a frightening presence and, believe me, these dogs were upsetting me. It was about at this point that the stupid inbred owners of these dogs came out of their house and noticed that their dogs were menacing me. As they began calling for the dogs, one of them attempted to charge and came up short of a kick that probably would have broken a bone or two. At this point the inbreds began shouting that I needn't kick the dogs, these were good dogs and wouldn't bite anyone. Right after this they managed to call off the dogs and I glared at them and walked off, thankful that I hadn't had to deal with the probable confrontation that would have resulted, had they noticed the knife that I was preparing to use on at least one of those mongrels.
Muttering to myself and thinking pleasant thoughts about calling animal control, I resumed my stroll, giving my friend Tim a call to recount my suffering at the hands of stupid hicks. My street crossings were thankfully without incident, and I proceeded to the mall, where my friends at Software Etcetera were holding my $10 Happy Hacker keyboard that they'd just gotten in (Logitech knock-off, not the real deal... :-( )
Wandering in, I noted that the store seemed packed with people, most of whom had come in search of a PS3 reservation, all of which had been sold hours before. As I stood around chatting with the guys who work there, a customer came up and sat a stack of games on the table, asking how much he could get for them. The response was $19 in store credit with a special that they're currently running or $8 cash. After some hemming and hawing, the customer decided that he wanted cash.
Now, some of you know, I'm not too easy on idiots, nor am I particularly reticent in pointing their idiocies out to them. True to form, I told this guy that $19 was a much better deal than $8... to which he replied that Software Etc. didn't sell cigarettes and he needed smokes. Yeah... because an stupid premise makes an idiotic decision viable, right?
Deciding that this was a lost soul, I began channeling P.T. Barnum. "You want $10 for those games?" I asked, whipping out a crisp Alexander Hamilton. "Sure," he said, handing me the games. Well, I've already got some stuff on reserve at Software Etc. and I wanted to buy my keyboard, so I handed them the games, they handed me my keyboard, and they transferred $9 to my reserves. Yes, that's right, I made $9 just for being able to do math and not having a nicotine addiction.
Now, if I can only get those dogs taken to the pound or at least have the rednecks fined, it will have been a very productive walk home.