Archives for category: Senate Race

 

One of the best things about being in the Senate is having lobbyists pay for all your meals.  I realized that I didn’t understand the process much and so I did a bit of research

I was fascinated to hear on NPR the other day that the NFL spends $10,000,000.00 a year on lobbyists.  Apparently this has resulted in zoning changing for stadiums (stadii) and blackout rules for TV stations, among other things.  Wow!  I don’t think they’d bother trying to convince me but there are some lobbies that might be able to sway me.  Sadly, I couldn’t find a chocolate lobby.  However, the American Mosquito Control Association spent $40,000.00 in 2013,  http://www.mosquito.org/  Now why would they need to have someone in Washington to convince Congress that we need to control mosquitoes?

I’m not surprised that big donors include medical and insurance lobbies.  But the major lobbyist in the country turns out to be the Chamber of Commerce.  How do all those chambers agree on what laws they want to lobby for?  Still, they can take me out to lunch and explain.

The one that seemed the most interesting to me, if there is no chocolate lobby is The National Association for the Self-Employed. http://www.nase.org/NASE.aspx   They offer tips on grants and perks one can get to start a business.  As a member of the Senate, I’d probably be a member of that.  All the same, the $580,810.00 they spent in lobbying could have bought a lot of startups.

Another thing I didn’t know was that there are businesses who hire out their expertise in lobbying, so it’s hard to tell just why this guy is in my office again and if he (most seem to me male) really cares about the interest he’s pitching.

It all rather reminds me of the people at Louis XIV’s court who hung around fighting for the privilege of emptying his chamber pot and getting a chance to put in a good word for their family or cause.

Sorry, guys;  if I’m elected, I’m holding out for chocolate.

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No, I didn’t die.  When I lost the 2012 election, I wrote another book, which will be out in April.  However, I have been begged, well, asked, well it’s been suggested that the 2014 election is coming up and that it was time to restart my campaign.  After all, as I go about asking for votes, I can also promote the book.  I’ve always believed that the tax laws for writers are generous because so many members of congress intend to write books once they leave the Senate.  I intend to make no changes to this excellent arrangement.

I am going to introduce bills that promote education, particularly in the area of correct grammar.  No one should be let out of high school unless they know when to use ‘less’ and when ‘fewer’.  Students should also have a clear understanding of the apostrophe.  Fines shall be imposed on media representatives and government officials for each grammar error they make in public.  Sloppy speech should only be in private and between consenting adults.  At no time should children be exposed to adjectives in adverbial settings.

Of course, there are other matters of importance that I shall address in the course of the campaign.  But the base of civilization is the clear exchange of ideas and opinions.  The foundation under this base is grammar.

So, here I am again, asking for you to write in my name as Senator at Large.  One term only; I’m in it for the benefits.  Failing that, considering pre-ordering my next book, which is as close to a political statement as I’m likely to make.

The story of the first Queen of Crusader Jerusalem and the world in which she lived.  April 2014

The story of the first Queen of Crusader Jerusalem and the world in which she lived. April 2014

 
Whee! I didn’t know about this. Even with piles of work to do and tons of unfinished business, Congress gets to declare their own recess and go home to play.  What a great idea!  It’s like going on vacation the week before a big project is due.  Even better, congresspeople can put off doing anything nasty until they’ve been reelected.  Is this a great country or what?  it’s like leaving your teenagers and saying you’ll be back when they turn 21.  Tell me you were never tempted, I dare you.

So I’ve been on recess, too, just to see if I can manage this part of the job.  I think I’ve got it covered.  Remember, all I want is the health insurance and the pension.  I promise not to vote on anything that doesn’t involve my passionate belief that the grammar of the nation must be preserved.  I actually said ‘hung’ when I meant ‘hanged’ the other day.  It’s insidious.
So, if you don’t vote for me, although you should, see just what your local reps are doing during recess.   Remember the trouble you got into when let out of school?

Not watching the debate tonight.  I’m streaming disaster movies.  Time to get ready for the inevitable (see my apocalypse blog)  Sharan

I realized that I haven’t shared my feelings about supporting the military.  Tricky.  I came from a military family.  I have family serving overseas now.  I think that we should do the best we can to take care of our soldiers.  In my novel THE SHANGHAI TUNNEL, I used something that really happened.  During our Civil War, government contractors sold the army substandard guns while sending the good ones that Washington had paid for to the Chinese.  Really.  I know, it seems impossible.  So, part of my platform would be that there be more oversight of those who sell to the military.  Yes, that means big government but, for pity’s sake, we wouldn’t need oversight if people were less greedy and more moral. (see my post on ethics)

OK, that seems pretty pro forma for a candidate.  This is because I believe that for millennia this whole army thing has been totally confused.  My thinking is as follows.

All wars are defensive, right?  It’s been ages since a leader said, “Hey, I’ve got this great big army just lying around stuffing their faces; I think I’ll conquer something.”  Alexander the Great is the only one who comes to mind.  Ah, I do miss the days when leaders actually led armies!

If one isn’t defending against an invader other reasons are still things like, “I was promised the throne and that nasty person took it away.” or  “We have no food or water and the guy down the road has both and won’t share.”  etc.

Now, most wars are fought by young men who are supposed to be naturally aggressive.  The general opinion is that they might as well rape and pillage somewhere other than home.   I’m not sure I buy into this.  I think it’s one of those things we just take for granted, like no one took a bath before 1890.   However, let’s assume that testosterone is useful if one wants to go to war.

BUT, if we only need an army to protect ourselves from threat it makes sense to me that we really don’t want a bunch of people in the army prepared to shoot anything that moves and is subliminally encouraged to humiliate anyone in their power.  We have enough trouble with CEOs  so, my proposal is that armies only be made up of women with low testosterone and gay men.  I assure you that both groups are tigers when their homes and families are in danger.

I’ve been thinking of this for many years.  I once suggested it at a party.  The man I was speaking to went ballistic. “Do you think the Russians would do that?  Do you think the Chinese would?”  he shouted.  Personally, I think he made my point.  I don’t want someone that irrationally aggressive and humorless being all that’s between me and invasion.  I’d rather have someone who wants to protect more than to kill.  And, when I propose this in the senate, it will be easy to tell who shouldn’t join.

 

I know I haven’t been campaigning very hard lately.   It’s been too hot to think about politics, although that hasn’t stopped the big kids from crisscrossing the country.   I am wondering if it’s worth a summer in Washington DC to get that pension and health care.  But a public servant does have to make sacrifices.

Just in case you’ve forgotten what my platform is, and I hope you haven’t because I can’t remember some of it, I’ll list them.

  1.  Grammar shall be taught in all public schools and remedial classes established for those no longer in school.  No one may become a journalist or commentator unless they have passed this course and know when to use an objective pronoun.  That goes for sports announcers, too.
  2. Forget vouchers and the Affordable Health Care act.  We need cradle to grave national health.  I really don’t think it would cost more.  After all, Medicare kicks in just when we’re getting old enough to be paying the price for 65 years of high living and not paying attention to our health.  Wouldn’t it be better to let everyone have a free physical every year so that we could prevent things like diabetes, blocked arteries and cancer?  This is so self-evident that I don’t understand why everyone isn’t on board with it.
  3. By popular demand, men shall have the same control over their reproductive organs as women.  This includes having to spend a month in sole charge of a two-year-old before getting Viagra.  They should also have to prove publicly that they need it.
  4. Tax money should be put in at the bottom.   We all know that the rich just get richer so I believe that the rest of us should have some fun with it before it gets to them.  This is another thing that makes complete sense to me.  Those who think more jobs will be created if we give money to the wealthy just aren’t thinking logically, unless they mean in the service industry – butlers, chauffeurs and maids.  But, if poor people get money, they buy things like TVs, cars and hardcover books.  That’s what creates jobs.

 

That’s all I’ve come up with so far.  Now, someone explained to me recently that they didn’t want the government to be in charge of these things because “they always screw it up”.  I’ve thought long and hard about this and finally found the flaw in his argument.  Actually TWO flaws.  The first is that this man wants to let the same multinational companies that stole pensions, wrecked the housing industry and are polluting the planet to be in charge of our health, education and welfare.  In response to a letter of complaint I sent to Mobil Oil some time ago, the company informed me that it didn’t make moral decisions.  Other companies have made it clear by their actions that they are also amoral.  So why does this guy trust them to do what’s best for him and do it better than the government?

Which brings me to the second logical flaw; WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT.  I may not seem like it sometimes, but everyone who votes is part of the government.  If we elect crooks then it’s our own fault.  But at least we can vote them out, if we care enough.   I have voted in every primary, general and local election since I turned 21.  There were a lot of depressing results but I still had a chance to cancel out the vote of someone who obviously didn’t understand the issues as clearly as I did.

So, while I really want you to vote for me, if only in the interest of improving the quality of English spoken in the country, the main thing is for you to vote.  If we don’t remember that we are each a part of the government, then one day we won’t be.  America will officially become an oligarchy instead of a republic.