The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Something in the water, I guess

Whatever it is that makes the Michigan 11th district unique in its ability to produce congressional exotica is still operating.  Thad McCotter, the loser who ran briefly for president before cratering like a bluejay hitting a window wall, is being replaced by Kerry Bentivolio, a Republican reindeer rancher from Milford.  I did not make that last phrase up. He's really a reindeer rancher. From Milford.  He's also a teabagger and in general an embarrassment to the state, making him a fitting replacement for McCotter.

Quoted by Mlive blogger Khalil AlHajal, Bentivolio had this to say, apparently alluding to opportunities for improvement in the 11th disctrict's staffing and overall attitude toward the constituency: "Our staff will be well-trained. I'm going to test them ... send somebody posing as a citizen to see how well our staff performs."

Why it would be necessary to "pose as a citizen" in order to do a mystery shopper sting on a congressional office was not explained, but, after all, he is a fully-qualified reindeer rancher.

The Score

Gleaned from this morning's news. Not a bad set of outcomes, all in all. Unfortunate about the Emergency Manager law, but maybe the legislature will pass a new, more idiot-proof version now.
National Elections
Presidential ElectionDemocrat: Obama Positive
15th Congressional DistrictDemocrat: Dingell Positive
US SenatorDemocrat; Stabenow Positive
State and Local Elections
53rd District MIDemocrat: Driskell Positive
52nd District MIDemocrat: Irwin Positive
Ann Arbor MayorDemocrat: Hieftje Positive
State Supreme Court JusticesBridget McCormack
Stephen Markman
Brian Zahra
State and Local Proposals
Prop 1: Emergency Manager LawFailed Negative
Prop 2: Prevent Anti-Union LegislationFailed Negative
Prop 3: Renewable Energy StandardFailed Positive
Prop 4: Home Health Care UnionFailed Positive
Prop 5: Tax Increase SupermajorityFailed Positive
Prop 6: Bridge and Tunnel MeasureFailed Positive
Prop: C Ann Arbor Library ReconstructionFailed Positive
Prop: B Ann Arbor Public Art FundingFailed Negative
Prop: A Ann Arbor Parks MillagePassed Positive
Note that the Mayor staved off a challenge from an independent candidate, Albert Howard, narrowly defeating him by a margin of only 30,000 or so votes.

Update: 2012 11 07: Romney can at least claim that he swept the looney vote. Donald Trump, Ted Nugent, and the guy they just arrested for apparently being the I-96 Freeway Shooter were all big fans of the Mittster, and they all exhibited psychopathia twitteralus.  Congratulations to the GOP for having so accurately targeted its core supporters.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our gallant allies

The British. Read, if you can stand it, about a life peer of the realm, "a former fishmonger," (it says) who appears to have been trying to explain away the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. His thesis, at the time, seems to have been that the Taliban didn't do it. Here's just a sample of Lord Ahmed's comments:

"Criminal activity can even take place inside the BBC and crimes have been committed by people smoking cigars, which the police are now investigating."

I have no more idea what he was talking about than he did. The whole article is full of similar but much more vicious nonsense.

While Rome burns ...

As election fever (a little known variant of Dengue, also referred to as Gingrich's Syndrome or Trumps) sweeps the nation, attention has drifted away from the trial of Kwame Kilpatrick, ex-Mayor of Detroit. Yesterday, his long-time water and sewage czar associate, Victor Mercado, copped a plea and admitted that he'd helped Kilpatrick violate the Hobbs Act. Read: commit extortion. Mercado, whose name means "Market" in Spanish (not kidding -- look it up) was in charge of water and sewage during Kilpatrick's administration (much of the alleged corruption was about sludge, in case you'd forgotten. Classy.)

While some might see this as a setback for Kilpatrick's "I didn't do nothin'!" defense, at least the attorneys for his other old pal, Bobby Ferguson, say not so. In a strange echo of Newt's reaction when his campaign dropped a stitch and failed to get on the Virginia primary, they say it "doesn't affect anything." Newt, as you'll recall, called the Virginia thing his Pearl Harbor, but claimed he could recover.

The prosecutor, explaining why they agreed to a plea deal for Mr. Mercado, said that he didn't make any money out of the whole thing, but that he did "compromise himself." At press time, there were rumors that the Guinness Book of World Records was seeking to verify this claim, since it would put Mercado in the running for the title of only person in the entire Kilpatrick regime who didn't get paid off.

Update: Noting that he's in the market for a new job, the Michigan Republican Party is reported to be heavily recruiting Russian ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. "He'd fit right in," said a party member who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Monday, November 5, 2012

McLuggage Wins in Landslide

In an independent poll conducted by the Wood-Charles News Service, Wood-Charles Founder, financial genius, political expert, and Certified Scrum Master J. Francis McLuggage is likely to win tomorrow's election by a margin of 70+ percentage points. Both the Romney and Obama campaigns conceded defeat, and Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann were arrested outside a Reno, Nevada saloon, duking it out over who would have McLuggage's baby.

At a mass rally, McLuggage told an audience of over 32 million screaming, heavily armed supporters that the announcement was "totally accurate, to the extent that polls are capable of being totally accurate," and fiercely denied that it was just a ploy to see how many page views his blog would generate by carefully tagging this message with election-related keywords.