A Nickel for your Thoughts

My random thoughts about politics, cars, computers, sports, the environment and so on. For free. And that's about what they're worth.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Who's the sore loser now?

So now that Dino Rossi, the Republican candidate for governor of Washington, has been beaten (albeit by a tiny 129-vote, 0.0045% margin) in the second of the two recounts allowed under Washington law, the Republicans want a mulligan.

This is hilarious, because when the first recount showed that Democrat Christine Gregoire had been soundly defeated by an even tinier 42-vote margin, conservative pundits and Rossi himself were calling on Gregoire to concede, because, holy crap, how can you argue when you've been beaten by such a wide margin? Those Democrats are such sore losers.

Please. Rossi (like any candidate, for any office, from any party) would have wanted a(nother) recount if he'd lost an election by 0.0015%. But now it's as clear as it's ever going to be that the centrist Gregoire has beaten Dino "Creationism-in-Schools-With-a-Smile" Rossi. Now it's his turn to concede.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Bus Reading

I'm currently reading Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter with Kansas (see also review here). I like it so far, though it has yet to really tell me anything I didn't already know. I expect it to continue to be an interesting, if depressing, read.

There's nothing more bizarre to me than the eagerness and earnestness with which a large part of the population votes against it's own self-interest because of the Republicans' so-called moral superiority, or on literally one issue (abortion, gay marriage, gun control).

I can understand someone being against abortion or gun control (I can't see why anyone would care who somebody else marries or sleeps with...that's a topic for another time though) but does it really trump everything else? Is it worth it to elect some schmuck who's in lockstep with big oil, big tobacco, and (no vulgar pun intended) big meat, just because he or she happens to share your views on abortion or gun rights? Do these people really think what's good for Enron, WorldCom and Halliburton is good for them? Have they forgotten that, when things were good for the working class, unions and government oversight were strong? Apparently so.

Thank God I live in a metropolitan area on the West coast.

Zoom, Zoom

While visiting my fiancee's family in Boise over Christmas I rented a surprisingly nice set of wheels...that being a Mazda 6. This represented a "double free upgrade" over the Focus I had booked, which they actually did have on the lot. I guess the (unquestionably Mormon) dude who rented it to me was feeling generous becuase it was Christmas.

I liked the manumatic transmission, the tight handling, the engine I could barely hear at 5,000 RPM, the cruise control indicator lights that tell you not only if the system is "armed" but also if it's actually set, and the hatchback-style struts on the trunk, which eliminate the hinges that mash your cargo. Gas mileage on the 250-mile round trip from Boise up to McCall to go skiing was roughly 30 MPG. And it's a helluva lot better looking than most sedans. The only direct competitor that has anything on it for looks is the Altima.

The seat fabric could have been a little nicer, and the button for the remote trunk release looks more like a label for the hood release lever (oops...) but what the hell. Overall, it made me want to trade in my 2002 Mitsubishi Galant, but unfortunately I can't afford to go driving off with every sexy car I encounter.