Posts Tagged ‘politics’

You v. Wyoming

February 16, 2011

Some people puke when they see charts. I puke when I think about how undemocratic the Senate is. So, I decided to make a puke-green chart so we can all puke together:

(click for larger version)

Wyoming has 1.5% of the population of California but equal power in the Senate. Of course, everybody knows this. But it should be more controversial. This basically means that a Californian is 1/66th as politically significant in the Senate as a citizen of Wyoming. Or, more simply put, BLEH-FAHLOOUR-RECHT-ICK-DAH-LEEEEUUEH-huh-huh-hurr. And other puke sounds.


Election Reflection

November 3, 2010

My, have I fallen off.  I’m not anywhere near Portland.  I’m in New Orleans and will be for some time.  I’ll get back on here and catch y’all up on my wanderings (quick preview: I SAW BUFFALO), but for now I’d like to do an election post.

Now, there’s been plenty of noise out on the nets about the thing.  Nate Silver liveblogged the night.  Jon Chait has some good words on why the Dems went down.  Marc Ambinder gives us a taste of what’s to come.  And then of course there is every other news site out there: the chatter is endless.

But I noticed one tack that none of the pundits have taken.  It’s a time-tested method of analysis dating at least as far back as the first election covered by the New York Times in the 1850s.  Basically, you take election-relevant words, convert the words to numbers (using that oh-so-scientific cipher in which A = 1, B = 2, etc) then look for meaningful overlaps between the resulting numbers.  That 1850s New York Times author discovered that “Zachary Taylor” and “will be president” each add up to 173, and so it was.

Now, what can we learn by analyzing 2010 as they did in 1850? Lots of bad news for the Dems.  This is the year where the “GOP” (38) equals “Change” (38).  Where the ghosts of Republicans past come back to haunt: “Richard Nixon” (137) equals “Washington DC” (137), “Ronald Reagan” (110) equals “President” (110) and “Bush” (50) equals “America” (50).  The year when the “Grand Ol Party” (1511) throws a “Revolution (151) and when “New York” (111) falls into “deep sadness” (111).

Man, “Barack Obama” (68) must have gone out and got “drunk” (68) last night.  The people have spoken: not only are the “Democrats” (98)  “partisan” (98), they’re also “assholes” (98).  Speaking of “partisan assholes” (196), what about that “Christine O’Donnell” (196)?  Her “unamerican” (99) patron saint “Sarah Palin” (99) didn’t do so hot last night.  Not only did the Palin-endorsee go down in Delaware, but also in West Virginia, Alaska and Nevada, against the unpopular Harry Reid.  Some might call her “hopeless” (99).  Though really, “Palin” (52) is the “Devil” (52).  Perhaps these “major losses” (146) are “bittersweet” (146) after all.

And more good news.  The party of “Lincoln” (79), as the Republicans dubiously claim to be, is going to have to look for a new moniker.  The man is a “Democrat” (79).

So the question remains.  Is “Democracy” (87) to be built by the “Clinton”(87)-“Drunken”(87)-“Artist”(87)-“Schumer”(87) elites or the “Rand Paul”(87)-“Dick Cheney”(87) freakazoids? Maybe the Luke “Skywalker” (125) of political prognostication “Nate Silver” (125) can tell us.  Personally, I say “elites” (70) are “better” (70).

Jackson, MS

January 18, 2010

After Oxford, Jackson.  All I previously knew about Jackson came from that Johnny Cash song “I’m Going to Jackson” in which a man tells his wife, whom he married all too quickly,  that he’s headed to Jackson to party hardy and mess around.  She calls his bluff.  The song may actually be about Jackson, TN. Either way, my expectations were high.

We stayed with Carl.  Carl is from Kentucky and nutty.  After 30 minutes with Carl, we knew most of his life story.  He knew far less about us.  He’s a political reporter and bongo-player and southern liberal who does a mean Haley Barber (the Mississippi GOP Governor) impression.  Unusually cold temperatures froze and broke the Jackson pipes, hindering Carl’s ability to uphold his guarantee that we would never have a better time in the South than we would with him in Jackson.  The bbq joint was shuttered and so was a highly-raved about (by Carl) blues bar.  We caught an open-mic, though, and Carl bongo-jammed under the pseudonym Nasty Funk with a harmonica playing photographer and the graying and sarcastic, guitar-toting host. They covered The Weight.  Good enough.

Before leaving Jackson, we accompanied Carl to the Mississippi state house to watch the state assembly debate whatever it was they were debating that day.  The floor opened with a rather lengthy prayer thanking Jesus for all that be.  Separation of Church and State issues aside, watching these old representatives go at it (the ones that weren’t tapping away on their blackberries), I sort of wished to be a legislator.  The chairs look comfy, at least.