Archives for posts with tag: 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.

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

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.

 

 Before I’m accused of coming up with opinions just to get elected, I thought I’d share a helpful letter I wrote to Pres. G. W. Bush before his last inauguration.  Oddly, he neither answered nor took my advice.  When I’m in the Senate (one term only, please) perhaps my cost-saving ideas will get more respect.
Dear Mr. Bush; I understand that there is some concern over the cost of police protection and crowd control for the inauguration. I have a suggestion that would take care of that and honor a group that has supported you for years.
Just invite the NRA to take over the job. They all have their own guns and assure us that they know how to use them safely. They are extremely well organized and would probably enjoy a chance to use their militia training. Finally, they would stay at local hotels, eat at local restaurants and therefore help the economy.
I’m very surprised that you haven’t already invited them.
Sharan Newman  (Dec. 2004)
Remember, vote for me!  No agenda, I just want the benefits!!!

Vote Sharan, senator at large!!!

No agenda, I just want the pension!!

 

   Recently, it occurred to me that the best way to stop worrying about health insurance and retirement was to get a job where benefits are never cut.  After some research, I decided to run for Congress. Then I did a little more research and discovered that one has to serve at least five years to get a full pension.  So, I’ve amended my original plan and am running for the Senate.

I have chosen to run as a senator at large.  This means that I won’t represent any one state but the entire country.  It’s a big responsibility but I can handle it for six years.  Then I’ll resign, take the pension and let someone else have the job.  Also, as the 101st member, I can be the tie-breaker, even if it leaves the Vice-President with nothing to do.

Now, obviously, I can’t run without a platform.  I’ve asked all my “friends” on Facebook to give suggestions and added a few pet peeves of my own.  I’ll list some now, but I’m happy to hear from potential constituents about their concerns and shall update as often as possible.

 

Plank #1: Medicare should start at birth.

My sister, Beccy, and most health care professionals I’ve spoken to, agree with this.  Their idea, however odd it may seem to us lay people, is that if people get regular check-ups all their lives, they are less likely to develop serious conditions.  Medical experts point out that many health problems, like diabetes and high cholesterol, can stem from lifestyle choices and can be prevented if people understand from childhood which choices are best.  The diseases that occur anyway could at least be caught at an earlier stage.  This would also get rid of the debate about the mandate to make us buy health insurance and I’m really tired of the rants about that.

Plank #2: By Popular Demand…

This wasn’t high on my list but I seem to be in the minority.  Many of my respondents were passionate in their insistence that men be equal to women in reproductive issues.  Among the proposals that I can repeat were:  Any man wishing to take Viagra must prove, in public, that he needs it.  Men should then have invasive and painful exams before they get the prescriptions.  Finally, all men should be made to watch several hours of birthing room videos, complete with screams, blood and the head crowning and sign a waiver that promises they will be in attendance at the birth of any offspring.   These seem fair to me and they were some of the kinder suggestions.  Suffice to say that many women feel men have been left out far too long in the debate about ramifications of advances in reproductive medicine.

 

Plank #3: A New Watchdog Force: The Grammar Police

          This is my very own idea and the one I feel most strongly about.  When elected, I shall introduce a bill making it mandatory that all politicians and anyone who speaks in a public forum, like news reporters, company executives, sports commentators and, especially, talk show hosts, MUST know the difference between the nominative and objective pronoun, farther and further, between and among and be able to put an apostrophe in the correct place, in case they also need to write down what they say.

This plank struck a nerve among my friends and I have many volunteers to be local coordinators of the Grammar Police.  I propose no violent retribution, but a gentle guiding toward correct English and a ban on further speaking until the perpetrator has learned the rule.  Remember, the First Amendment guarantees the right to speak freely, not badly

 

 

Well, this is the first formal salvo in my campaign.  If you have a particular matter that you feel the Senate should take up, let me know.  And, if you want to get in line to have the seat (and the pension) after I do, well, no one has signed up yet.

Please feel free to share this link.  As Senator at Large, I represent everyone and I have no party or contributors to answer to.  Actually, I don’t need contributions, just votes.

 

Vote for me, please!  I could really use the Perks!