11-8-2004 Twelve more years?

No way! No freakin' way! This whole thing was rigged, man. I demand a recount. Every vote must count!

From the New York Post:

KERRY wins in a landslide! Alexandra Kerry, that is. John Kerry's filmmaker daughter who famously wore a sheer dress on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival has won heavy.com's "Political Ho Down" contest, where Web-surfers cast their ballots for the sexiest political daughter. Alexandra won with 172,824 votes, beating out Barbara Bush (124,712), Jenna Bush (64,295) and Cate Edwards (24,567). "Overwhelmingly, Americans want to rock the vote with Alexandra over the other political daughters," proclaims poll director David Carson.

This is for the folks...

...currently carrying silly petitions and raising hell about closed firehouses. Ready?

We recently had us a structure fire at 77 Reno Lane. In other words, on the very back side of the Heights. Both Rescue 7 and our brand spanking new Ladder 1 arrived on scene in under, that's under mind you, four minutes.

And ya'll were saying?

Yippie! If you're a staunch Republican, this ought to be music to your ears.

From Newsmax.com

Hillary Friends: Presidential Bid Has Started

The ink was barely dry on John Kerry's concession speech when Hillary Clinton began laying the groundwork for her own presidential bid, Clinton insiders have told U.S. News & World Report.

"Associates say that she already has organized a team to target fundraising prospects, create voter lists, and draw up a campaign agenda," the magazine reports in this week's edition.

The presidential effort will run in tandem with Clinton's 2006 Senate re-election bid, a move that will allow the former first lady to continue denying her presidential intentions until she's safely won a second term.

Now conventional wisdom strongly suggests that no one can predict the future with any great certainty. In common parlance normally attributed to common cruds such as myself, I'm here to tell you that's complete bulls**t.

I've read countless articles since the election examining what Democrats are going to have to do to win over some of those red states filled with rednecks, or whatever it is that the still fuming Dems are calling them now. Rednecks. Ignorant. Too dumb to be trusted with a vote. Only the folks in blue states are smart enough to vote to hear these sour grapes types spin it.

Sure, the left-leaning among us just love Hillary and her self-styled brand of socialism and she's sure to motivate the welfare, nanny-statists to get out the more intelligent votes and redistribute even more of our hard-earned incomes. But...and this is a but that would dwarf Rosie O'Donnell's by comparison-but...if you searched the entire Earth over twice, you would never find a presidential candidate more completely polarizing, more deeply devisive than Hillary Clintonista. Now, I may have taken one two many hits of hydrocodone this afternoon, but I'd love to have someone much more learned in the ways of politics explain to me how Hillary is going to convert even one of those red states to blue. How?

How does an It Takes A Village marxist-leaning globalist win over the hearts and minds of the bible-thumping, confederate flag-displaying NRA members in Muckity Lick Falls, West Virginia? How? Maybe Tom Bigler would like to tackle that one since he wimpishly (Is that a word?) chose to skip writing about Dubya's big win in his very first post-election article in the Leader. What a wimp. I guess he just couldn't bring himself to write about how a bunch of backwoods chimps defeated the elitist know-it-alls on election day. Even Mike McGlynn resisted the urge to suck face with an unlit pilot light and faced reality after Dubya's win. And he even resisted the urge to insult those of us that supposedly made the biggest mistake of our lives. What a letdown from his usual anti-Bush, sourpuss diatribes.

With the electorate being in the sclerotic mood that it currently finds itself in, how the hell does Hillary have a legitimate chance to win where no other Democrat currently dares to go? How? If the Democratic strategists think Hillary is the answer to all that ails their party, I'm thinking they'd have a better chance by nominating Fidel Castro himself. What's the difference? At least he'd fare better with the red state voters by posing as a duck hunter. In all likelihood, the voters in those red states would rather make love to a thoroughly agitated porcupine before ever even considering voting for the woman generally percieved to be a shrill uber-commie wonkette. Heck, if she was the last remaining woman on this Earth, I imagine most of those red state male voters would suddenly rethink their vote against gay marriages. She's gonna carry the red states? How?

So there it is, kiddies. Election '08: Hillary goes down in yet another tsunami of red.

And depending on your political persuasion, here's a dynastic wet dream, or a dynastic nightmare you might want to equally consider. What if Jeb Bush runs against lil' Ms. Blue States? Whoops. Now I went and did it. There's probably gonna be a rash of suicides from within the ranks of the anti-Bush wing of the Democratic party at the mere mention of that very likely scenario. Did any of the Hillary fans think of that? Four more years, er, possibly even eight more years of Bush?

I crack myself up.

It's something to think about for the hate-filled Bush Defamation League. If four more years can bring on even more hate-filled invective from that vitriolic crowd, just imagine what the thought of twelve more years could spawn.

I think it's a distinct possibility that Mike McGlynn's pilot light might get purposely blown out yet.

I snagged this from todays Leader:

Letter posed lopsided view of city council, redistricting

This is in response to a letter printed recently concerning reducing the number of council members in Wilkes-Barre from seven to five and having district representation. It was stated that the savings will be $23,000 times two a year. I do not believe that is a true statement, because that is a combination of salary and health benefits, of which the majority of council do not take at the present time. We do not receive a cost of living raise, but the lowest negotiated salary increase of city unions and have taken a wage freeze for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 budget years. There is also no car allowance for council members.

As far as the redistricting issue, I do not see it as an advantage to the voter or the taxpayer. I have stated all along that this is the work of disgruntled people who have not been able to be elected to office. It was stated in the letter that it will allow more candidates to run for office. In every election, anyone is allowed to run for office, and the numbers that have run proved that people are interested in city government. It was also stated that council shall be responsive to the needs of all of Wilkes-Barre City and to be divided into districts is dividing the city. The mayor and controller are elected city wide as should council. Proponents of districting have stated that council will still represent the city. The recent letter disagrees with that and states that a council member will only be responsible to one area. It states that we will take a closer look at the budget for allocations. Does that mean we will be fighting among council to obtain more money for one area of the city as compared to another?

In the past year, since the new administration has been in place, more little things have been accomplished than in the past administration. These disgruntled people continually look for the negative and never focus on the positive. We are doing the best we can and it is unfortunate that a few people are trying to ruin the good aspects of city government.

As for the court ruling, council has already changed the charter to reflect the question that was on the ballot. We are in compliance to what has to be done. We will approach the districts in a timely manner and will do it correctly. The word malfeasance of office has been thrown around by these same people every time they don't get their way. It is time to realize that we have over 40,000 people in our city and we will serve them as we have in the past, with honesty and respect.

Kathy Kane


Wilkes-Barre City Council

I take no real issue with any aspect of that letter. Putting that aside, I also completely supported electing our council folks by district. I'm also a big enough person to admit that in hindsight, that stance may have been a bit of a mistake. In that respect, only time will tell the tale.

My biggest reason for supporting distristing, was the simple fact that our local media does not do nearly enough to educate the voters whereas the candidates themselves are concerned. I've alluded to the fact that I never paid one iota of attention to city politics until I first noticed that something was seriously, seriously adrift during the disasterous McG years. Never one to do anything halfheartedly, I dove into all things Wilkes-Barre in a big way and I'm glad that I did so. So I started paying attention and one of the first things I wanted to know was, who are these council people that are always fighting with McGroarty? Are they right? Are they wrong? What's the gig?

Assuming that my employment would preclude me from attending any council meetings, word of mouth was the only immediate way to learn anything about our council folks? Tom Leighton? Oh, yeah. He's that real estate dude. Jim McCarthy? That's right. He owns that bar in the Heights. He was famous once, wasn't he? Kathy Kane? She's married to a judge, or something. No, wait, a magistrate. Mike McGinley? Nobody I encountered could tell me anything about him. The same went for Shirley Vita-chevy-nova. I knew nothing about Phil Latinski other than what my mom had thought of his behavior when he was in high school and how ironic it was that he ended up with the keys to the place. Al Boris? A bar-owning gay basher. Tony Thomas? A restaurant owner. And so it went. Other than tapping these people's phones or stalking them, how the heck are we supposed to vote responsibly without knowing anything of note about the incumbents? How are we supposed to evaluate the challengers when all we get is one teeny tiny article about them a week before an election?

Johnny Challenger? Small business owner. Married. Two cute kids and a three-legged poodle. Promises to cut excess spending, hire more police and be responsive to the needs of the residents.

All right. Let's stack him up against Incumbent A:

Johnny Incumbent? Small business owner. Married. Two cute poodles and a three-legged track star of a kid. Promises to cut excess spending, hire more police and be responsive to the needs of the residents.

Great. Wonderful. So who the funk should I vote for?

And therein lies the biggest reason I supported electing our council folks by district. It sure would be nice to know who the hell we were actually voting for without having to pay a monthly stipend to the good folks at Lexus/Nexus. Basing our local votes on word of mouth, anecdotal evidence is really a very scary proposition, if you ask me.

Think about it. It's totally hit or miss and left to chance. In 1996, all that I knew about Tom Leighton was that he was a realtor, or something related. More often that not, when I asked what others knew about him, I'd get some sort of class envy nonsense. "Oh, well, he lives in Barney Farms." Well there it is. I say we grind him up and invite the in-laws over for some croquettes.

Kathy Kane was always fun. What do you know about her? "Oh! She's a council thingy, a teacher and...and she's married to a magistrate." Get out? Why the nerve of her. Doesn't she know that those folks down at the soup kitchen need jobs? How 'bout if we fill her tooth paste tube with rubber cement?

Then I'd get this sort of sh*t: What does a principal know about running a city? What does a bar owner know about running a city? What does a deli owner know about running a city? These observations bordering an outright animus coming from truck drivers, short-order cooks and the knowers of all things landscaping. You got me. What do these folks know about running a city? And for that matter, what do the folks clamoring for their seats know about running a city? I don't freaking know.

So I figured that if we voted by districts, i.e., neighborhoods, we'd have a much better understanding and knowledge of the folks kissing all of those mostly unsightly babies on the campaign trail. And I still maintain that we will and that's a very positive development that can only strengthen the city in the long run. If some guy from Gordon Avenue announces his candidacy for whatever office, chances are living up here in Nord End that I won't know much about the guy and I'll never vote for him because of that lack of knowledge. But if somebody three streets over from me wants to run the show, chances are I'll either know something of the candidate, or plenty of my neighbors will. Should I vote for the local Johnny Soprano? F**k no! Should I vote for South Wilkes-Barre's version of Johnny Soprano? Again, you got me.

But this was all based on voting along neighborhood lines. Not voting by districts that were fashioned from a candy striper's dress. Our city council, now that they're stuck with this system, need to redo those districts so that we're able to vote by neighborhoods and thereby provide us with some inkling of who we might be voting for. To press forward with those gerrymandered districts does nothing for any of us except to continue to reduce our knowledge of any future candidates for elected office.

We know our neighborhoods. And we know who should and who shouldn't ascend to city hall from our neck of the woods. Council needs to do the right thing and empower the voters of this city with an enhnaced knowledge of any future candidates. When various members of the city's own administration quiz me as to what's new in North End, you know the time has come to start electing our council folks by districts. And if they fight amongst themselves to bring pork dollars back to their respective districts, I'm left to ask, "So what?" That's what the politicos do all across this red nation. Why should Wilkes-Barre be any different?

I dunno. Like I said, I'm jacked-up on hydrocodone and hopelessly adrift out here in blogland, wherever that is. If you want barely sane wonkish mutterings, I'm your man. If you want to know who the future candidates really, really are, talk to city council.

It's time for another pill.

And a beer.

And the headphones.

Hello. Hello. Hello.

Is there anybody in there?


Let's gloat, shall we?