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american politics is a joke

GUEST 09 Nov 00 - 03:54 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 09 Nov 00 - 04:03 AM
Bun 09 Nov 00 - 04:28 AM
CarolC 09 Nov 00 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,micca at work 09 Nov 00 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 09 Nov 00 - 11:32 AM
Jim Dixon 09 Nov 00 - 11:34 AM
Troll 09 Nov 00 - 11:48 AM
Allan C. 09 Nov 00 - 11:49 AM
Homeless 09 Nov 00 - 11:57 AM
Robo 09 Nov 00 - 12:05 PM
Peter T. 09 Nov 00 - 12:07 PM
kendall 09 Nov 00 - 12:08 PM
Allan C. 09 Nov 00 - 12:08 PM
mousethief 09 Nov 00 - 12:20 PM
Jeri 09 Nov 00 - 12:24 PM
Troll 09 Nov 00 - 12:26 PM
Robo 09 Nov 00 - 12:41 PM
Clifton53 09 Nov 00 - 12:47 PM
MK 09 Nov 00 - 12:55 PM
Jim the Bart 09 Nov 00 - 01:50 PM
Naemanson 09 Nov 00 - 02:18 PM
okthen 09 Nov 00 - 02:28 PM
kendall 09 Nov 00 - 02:29 PM
Gary T 09 Nov 00 - 02:31 PM
Troll 09 Nov 00 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 09 Nov 00 - 02:49 PM
Bert 09 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM
Harold W 09 Nov 00 - 03:24 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Nov 00 - 03:33 PM
Tinker 09 Nov 00 - 03:58 PM
kendall 09 Nov 00 - 04:18 PM
Ebbie 09 Nov 00 - 04:24 PM
Robo 09 Nov 00 - 04:35 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Nov 00 - 04:42 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Nov 00 - 05:21 PM
DougR 09 Nov 00 - 05:26 PM
kendall 09 Nov 00 - 05:40 PM
harpmolly 09 Nov 00 - 05:58 PM
Ebbie 09 Nov 00 - 06:23 PM
Midchuck 09 Nov 00 - 06:24 PM
MiriamKilmer 09 Nov 00 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Lyle 09 Nov 00 - 10:33 PM
Little Hawk 09 Nov 00 - 10:35 PM
Naemanson 09 Nov 00 - 10:50 PM
DougR 09 Nov 00 - 11:38 PM
GUEST,steve 10 Nov 00 - 01:50 AM
Clifton53 10 Nov 00 - 02:10 AM
Charlie Baum 10 Nov 00 - 02:23 AM
Lonesome EJ 10 Nov 00 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,hammerite 10 Nov 00 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,micca at work 10 Nov 00 - 06:35 AM
Wavestar 10 Nov 00 - 08:15 AM
CarolC 10 Nov 00 - 08:30 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Nov 00 - 10:10 AM
Frankham 10 Nov 00 - 10:22 AM
InOBU 10 Nov 00 - 10:26 AM
KingBrilliant 10 Nov 00 - 10:49 AM
InOBU 10 Nov 00 - 10:52 AM
Wolfgang 10 Nov 00 - 11:47 AM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Nov 00 - 11:56 AM
Robo 10 Nov 00 - 12:06 PM
Clifton53 10 Nov 00 - 12:10 PM
DougR 10 Nov 00 - 12:16 PM
harpmolly 10 Nov 00 - 03:33 PM
mousethief 10 Nov 00 - 04:00 PM
Frankham 10 Nov 00 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,steve 10 Nov 00 - 04:23 PM
Naemanson 10 Nov 00 - 04:28 PM
DougR 10 Nov 00 - 04:43 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Nov 00 - 04:52 PM
Robo 10 Nov 00 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,steve 10 Nov 00 - 05:22 PM
mousethief 10 Nov 00 - 05:39 PM
Kim C 10 Nov 00 - 05:59 PM
harpmolly 10 Nov 00 - 06:20 PM
CarolC 10 Nov 00 - 06:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Nov 00 - 07:41 PM
Wavestar 10 Nov 00 - 08:26 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Nov 00 - 09:12 PM
Greg F. 10 Nov 00 - 09:25 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Nov 00 - 10:40 AM
GUEST 11 Nov 00 - 12:49 PM
CarolC 11 Nov 00 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Lindsay in guest mode 11 Nov 00 - 04:33 PM
GUEST 11 Nov 00 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Mike in MD 11 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM
CarolC 11 Nov 00 - 07:52 PM
Ebbie 11 Nov 00 - 10:56 PM
Ebbie 12 Nov 00 - 04:09 PM
GUEST 12 Nov 00 - 05:59 PM
DougR 12 Nov 00 - 06:22 PM
Seth 12 Nov 00 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Stackley 12 Nov 00 - 07:28 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Nov 00 - 07:42 PM
Troll 12 Nov 00 - 11:23 PM
MK 12 Nov 00 - 11:27 PM
CarolC 13 Nov 00 - 03:37 AM
Gervase 13 Nov 00 - 07:49 AM
Troll 13 Nov 00 - 08:05 AM
CarolC 13 Nov 00 - 08:52 AM
kendall 13 Nov 00 - 09:17 AM
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Subject: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 03:54 AM

to our international friends enjoy the show you lucky people. can I come stay with you. Bushes brother obviously tampered Bush cant find Canada on a map but we are suppose to believe he was the first person to know ,despite what the exit poles were saying, that he had won Fla. 8 years of "he didn't inhale yeah right" "we have to restore the dignity of the white house" "impeach him over his non political dirty laundry" "impeach him for a scandel we threw tax dollars at for 6 yrs without finding anything" on and on now we are stuck with a man who's every venture has been a FAILURE he failed in Daddy,s Oil he has a pathetic record as gov. and he hasn't done COCAINE SINCE HE WAS FORTY.(youthful mistake) his dad was a roten pres his brother Niel was perdened by dad for stealing a whole lot of money from the US , his brother Jeb just helped him tweak his results in Fla. AND HE LOST THE DAMNED ELECTION BY 200,000 Votes his competition is almost as bad . its the narcisism of small diffrences. but you dont have anyone else. so your forced to vote for the lesser of 2 evils then your vote DOESNT COUNT ANYWAY

God help the semi retarded individuals who buy this crap ( a # I fear is astoundingly high) to sum up AWFUL CHOICES electoral college NEGATES VOTE ELECTION TAMPERED WITH MEDIA SPIN KEEPS THE TRUTH FROM COMING ANTWHERE NEAR AND WOODY GUTHRIE IS STILL DEAD HELP


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:03 AM

Guest, under ordinary circumstances, this would read like just another anonymous troll/flame, designed to get everyone riled--but just doesn't play that way today--wish you signed it, though, because I can't help thinking that I may have written it myself--

If it is any consolation at all, there are about 50.000.000 of us out here who feel just the same way you do----


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Bun
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:28 AM

I ask myself how do these people end up representing us. The criteria for being president or the attributes of the person suggest that if you are honest and want to make a difference to the poor etc - no way. Theres a whole other agenda going on, we "the people" have no say anyway. I am not prepared to sit back and complain - where do I start?
Rich


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:28 AM

If American politics is a joke, how come I'm not laughing?


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 05:10 AM

The trouble with Political Jokes is they get elected... I am with Avrell Harriman on this "The desire to be elected to office should make you ineligible to stand"


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:32 AM

Guest,

You'd have more credibility if you had a grip on your grammar, spelling, & temper & if you had posted under your real name. Acting as you have certainly doesn't help with the problem.

best to all,

bbc--still rational in New York, no matter who wins


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:34 AM

Yeah, and the rules of grammar and punctuation are jokes, too. Too bad I wasted so much time learning them. If I had spent more time studying politics instead, I might feel empowered, like GUEST.

All seriousness aside (as Steverino used to say), may I point out one thing? If it weren't for the electoral college, we'd be having a recounts ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES, not just in Florida.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Troll
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:48 AM

It is my impression that Guest -the initial poster- does not care for George W. Bush. This is, of course, his/her right.
It would have been refreshing, however, to have had a bit more corroboration of facts and a little less mouth-foaming diatribe.It's difficult to respond to rational arguments when they don't appear to exist.
This is a personal opinion -of course- and as such is no more, or less, valid than any other.
Jim Dixon. Based on what I've read, recounts nationwide might not be such a bad idea.

troll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:49 AM

I want the option of telling the parties: Is this the best you can do? I want to be able to tell them to dump the candidates they have offered and to go back and find someone more worthy of even so much as running for the office. I also want the option of telling them this as often as necessary until they get it right.

So far I have not found an effective way to do that.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Homeless
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:57 AM

Allan - some places they have that at a local level. It's called NOTA - None Of The Above. If NOTA wins the election then they have to rehold the election and neither of the candidates are allowed to run again.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Robo
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:05 PM

Shoo fly, don't bother me.

No one needs to be reminded how silly this makes the system look. I noted in another thread that if folks didn't bother to vote this time around we'd really risk getting burned. What bother's me most about his/her post, other than the GUEST bit, is that stale old foolish assumption life's better somewhere else. Hey, the international door's open, sport.

Rob-o


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:07 PM

Well, I for one find American politics hilarious, but I remain grateful that it is a messed up democracy with all its flaws and not a smoothly run dictatorship (or even a badly run dictatorship). I have spent time in dictatorships -- some supported by America, stupidly enough -- and American politics may be a joke, but the other variety is bitter, and sad, and inhumane , and viciously soul-destroying. An elected George W. Bush is one million million million times better than any of the spawn of those monsters.

yours, Peter T.

(an anti-Yankee, left-wing 3rd Party Canadian!!)


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:08 PM

Bottom line..failure to get involved at the grass roots level.I was a Bradley supporter, but, there wern't enough of us, thats all.It's sad to know that there are 50 million people who didn't see through this guy. I knew he had been arrested three times,and, that Cheney had been busted twice, but, I get the feeling that not enough of us knew, or, the knee jerk reaction against Clintor was so strong that it didn't matter. I predict that this intellectual lightweight will be a puppet for the right wing wackos.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:08 PM

Yes, Homeless, but that option never seems to be availiable wherever I am at voting time. I have to say that I am somewhat amazed that the option ever became allowed in the few places it is found. Recon the odds of NOTA ever being on a presidential election ballot nationwide!


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:20 PM

If not for the electoral college, Gore would be president-elect and the whole mess would be over.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:24 PM

I could guess who wrote that, but I won't. I pretty much agree anyway. I keep trying to convince people in other countries that US citizens aren't as stupid as they appear in our TV shows. Yeeesh, what a setback.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Troll
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:26 PM

Kendall, it may also be construed that 50 million saw through Gore what with the Chinese financing the 1996 campaign in return for missle technology and Gore making a deal with Russia to turn a blind eye to their sales of arms and technology to Iran.He also said he'ed keep it from congress and the (in)justice dept has aided the White House in refusing to turn over the letters involved to the committee .
Bush may be a lightweight, but he,s better than "the next best thing to a Clinton third term."

troll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Robo
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:41 PM

That's the best joke I've heard today -- other than Gdub demanding a refill!


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Clifton53
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:47 PM

Never fails to astound me, the interest of other countries in our politics. Perhaps we need to junk the system and start over, then the strongest could assume power and put an end to this nonsensical free election we insist on having.

I'm kind of tired of hearing about what some Arab or Frenchman or African etc THINKS about this country. Everything changes when the call comes for military intervention to save someone from tyranny.

Let 'em laugh, if they are free to do so.

Clifton


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: MK
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 12:55 PM

Gore and Bush were in a restaurant ordering brunch. The waitress asks Gore what he would like to order. After looking at the menu, Al says "I would like some Eggs Benedict."

Waitress says "Fine, and what will you have Gov. Bush?"

Perusing the menu, George says "Well, I think I'd like to have a quickie."

Taken aback, the waitress responds "Why Gov. Bush, that's awful, and you're not even President yet!"

Then Gore leans over and whispers into Bush's ear..............

"George, that's pronounced 'quiche' "


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 01:50 PM

I don't think Guest is trying to flame - he/she is voicing some of the outrage that many Americans are feeling. And if you eliminate the Bush allusions or change them to Gore allusions (and there are probably enough out there to do it) if you prefer, there is a lot to what the Guest says. And a yelp of pain shouldn't be discounted because it wasn't spell checked.

But I don't think it's a joke. It's the way this system has worked for over 200 years. And, on the whole, we're doing pretty well (although some of us could do a lot better). As far as I can see this election is in the books for GWB. And crying about it, or yelling for "recounts" won't really change anything. You'll win some here and lose some there and in the end stay the same. Would it be worth going through the process? Maybe, maybe not. It will cost a lot of dough and take a lot of time. Back in 1960, when Chicago gave the election to Kennedy, Nixon said "let's move on". He came back to win it eight years later. There's a lesson in that.

If you don't like the system, if you don't like the candidates, if you don't like the way things are going DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Don't go back into your cave and pop your head out in two years to complain about your Senate choice. Democracy goes on every day, not just election day. Exercise your rights and do your duty as a citizen every f*cking day. Big ways and little ways. Don't just joke or complain about Bush's OUI over too many cocktails before you drive home. Don't condemn Clinton and then tell some sexist joke at work. Make sure what you do helps to make things better.

There is plenty to laugh (or cry)about in this country and its system, but the system itself is NOT a joke. It's the system in this country that let's you laugh at Bubba (or Dubya) without getting locked up, or beaten up or even told to shut up. The system guarantees it. And that's some serious shit.

Bart
Who's proud to be an American in spite of our all-too-human foibles


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:18 PM

Eilean McGann (Canadian) said it best, "I think we're all too stupid for democracy..." I wish I knew the rest of the words. I should post them later if I can find them and the time.

I have to agree that the current situation is hilarious. I have no problem with who wins as long as the winners and losers get the message that the voters are having a problem with seeing the difference between the candidates.

Consider this. Each candidate hires a team of experts to package him to fit a certain set of criteria. He doesn't stray from that packaging. As a result they appeal to those voters who meet the advertising agency's marketing analysis. In this case they each appealed to the same number of voters. No big deal.

As a further consideration bear in mind that the fancy promises made by each candidate would have to be passed by Congress. If elected Bush will have no trouble from a Republican house but the Senate will cause him no end of headaches. Gore, if elected, will not be able to do anything for the next four years because Congress will shut him out. These scenarios apply to pretty much everything so, as I see it, we are safe. Nothing will get done in Washington. We have the best of both worlds.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: okthen
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:28 PM

some of us (non US citizens) do take your election seriously, as it may well affect our situation. some of us would like your voting system.

we UK citizens have only just had our human rights enshrined in law, some things you may take for granted are envied by others.

you have the right to rip the p*ss out of your country, but it's a "let them eat cake" situation to others.

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:29 PM

As I said, I was a Bradley supporter. Allegations are one thing, actually being arrested and convicted is another. Bush and Cheney have 5 of those between them. Neither could qualify for a Civil service job.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:31 PM

Although it's interesting to tabulate the national total popular vote, the U.S. president is elected by the states' electors, not directly by the citizens. Those who object to that are welcome to work at a constitutional amendment to change it, but in the meantime please refrain from statements such as "AND HE LOST THE DAMNED ELECTION BY 200,000 Votes", which are simply not true under our system.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Troll
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:47 PM

According to news reports from Tenn. Gore has two arrests(NOT tickets, arrests) for speeding; one in a chase trying to escape the police.
What's even more interesting is that the Deomcratic party has made a political icon of a man who got drunk, ran his car into the water, left the scene of the accident, did not report it for hours thereby insuring the death of the passenger in the car, bribed or threatened the parents of the victim tom refuse an autopsy and got off scott free.
The man? The senior Senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy. The Victim? Mary Jo Kopchne.
At the Deomcratic convention they had Kennedy Night where the Senator and his family were lionized.
And then the Democrats have the BRASS BOUND BALLS to condemn Bush for a DUI arrest.
That is so hypocritical as to beggar belief.

troll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:49 PM

I just sent an e-mail to several people saying that Kosovo ought to introduce a resolution at the U.N. in hopes of sending Haitian peacekeepers to the U.S. to insure a fair recount in Florida.

And wouldn't it be amazing if Elian's Miami relatives were the deciding votes--the difference between the dos candidates.

This world is a gas--an amazing panorama that never ceases to amaze and thrill me. It's rather fun to see chaos rear it's hoary head and toss a screwdriver into the gears once in a while. Or is it just me???

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Bert
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 02:59 PM

Funny you should say that Art. I just sent this...

I think with all of the irregularities in various states that we should declare the election null and void and do it again properly with some other country supervising the process...

in a PM to Katlaughing this morning.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Harold W
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 03:24 PM

Something to consider, especially to our European 'catters, if you had to choose somebody to head the executive body of a European Union, would you rather choose by popular vote or by country?


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 03:33 PM

Clifton, surprising as this may seem to some in America, where a mere 13 per cent of people have passports, some people take an interest in politics all over the world. Or some, like me, are selective (in my case UK, Irish, African and American politics in that order). And anyone who is not interested in who's in the White House and in who runs Congress, ought to be, if only on account of the disgusting rate at which America is chewing through the world's finite resources.

Apart from which, who wouldn't be fascinated by a system that could produce a president who works nine to five, takes two hours out of that for "private time" and another 90 minutes of it for "playing a little solitaire on the computer." (I'm quoting BUSH aides talking about Bush!).

And do those who believe the American system is best because Idi Amin, Pol Pot or Hitler would be worse, realise how hollow they sound? If your confidence ebbs away much further, Peter T, you'll have to try whistling. In the meantime you might ponder how a tiny population like Austria's can turn up a leader with demonstrably stronger mix of personality,intellect and ability than either Bush or Gore. But of course most Americans will never know who's chancellor in Austria, nor even know where Austria is.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Tinker
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 03:58 PM

Art-- I'm enjoying the chaos. All the experts, all the statitians, all the spin doctors, they all spent Tuesday night as wrapped up in the chaos factors as the rest of us.

The patterns and predictions just wouldn't work. I find that a good thing. It's a time of change;although, I feel the vote reflects a longing for simplicity with an anti-intellectual bite that scares me.It has remained a non-violent and ironic political scene.

After all it's a Daly out there demanding a judious recount,Elderly Jewish voters ending up strong for Bucannan? When the comic (meant to say cosmic but comic works too) winds send this much upheavel, lets hope we can constructively find a good path up and out. There is definately energy out there to work with right now. The question is where do we want to go?

Tinker


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:18 PM

Troll...do you really believe that Gore has a police record and the republicans have not used it against him? This is the first I've heard of it.And as to the second part of your post..Kennedy was not running for president. Back when he did, his record killed his chances. I say again..I was a Bradley supporter. They are all a bunch of power hungry sleezeballs


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:24 PM

In the meantime you might ponder how a tiny population like Austria's can turn up a leader with demonstrably stronger mix of personality,intellect and ability than either Bush or Gore. But of course most Americans will never know who's chancellor in Austria, nor even know where Austria is.Oh, yes, Fionn, we do remember Hitler.

Troll, your statement's unfair, in my opinion. Are you passing off as truth the link you sent us to which says that the "arresting officers", more than 30 years ago can answer the questions about that night "when they get back into the office"? Stay reasonable, please.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Robo
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:35 PM

Kendall, I rooted for Bradley, too. I feel your pain, man!

Troll . . . give us all a bloody brass break, please.

And Fionn . . . Balderdash, as my grandmother would have said with a wave of her crutch. So, "a mere 13 percent have passports" here, is it. Well, well, well, doesn't that make you special. And how FULL, of yourself, does that sound? Or, maybe you're just lucky enough to live in a place where you can cross the street or ford a stream and be in another country.

Rob-o


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 04:42 PM

May I expound further on an idea I hinted at earlier? Other people have hinted at it too. I mean the analogy between grammar and politics.

Both have rules. Some people don't bother learning the rules. They complain that the rules are too arbitrary and restrictive, and that they don't allow people to express themselves. They express themselves loudly anyway, in an incoherent way, once every four years or so, and then they whine that no one listens.

Guest's first post above illustrates this point of view, both grammatically and politically.

The fact is, the rules exist to help you express yourself more clearly. If you take the trouble to learn them, and use them, you will find that more people will listen to you and understand you, and you won't have to feel so powerless.

There is a venerable old institution in Minnesota that is dying of apathy. It's called the precinct caucus. Any qualified voter can go to a precinct caucus. (Even people ineligible to vote, such as kids, can go as observers.) When you go to a precinct caucus, you get to vote for delegates to the state legislative district convention. You probably can be a delegate yourself, since so few people show up nowadays that the number of delegates your precinct is eligible to elect sometimes exceeds the number of volunteers.

If you go to the legislative district convention, you get to vote on who will be your party's endorsed candidate for the legislature. You will probably even get to meet him or her, and ask questions, if you want. You can meet and talk to other people who take politics seriously, and who have devoted considerable time to thinking through the issues. You also will get to vote for delegates to the county convention, and so on up the hierarchy to the congressional district convention, the state convention, and the national party convention. You might even get to be a delegate yourself, if you can persuade enough of your peers to vote for you. You can also propose motions, even motions that would change the rules. You can speak on behalf of your proposed change, and your fellow delegates will vote on it. If it passes, it will get passed up the line to the next level convention, where they will vote on it too.

In short, there is as much democracy as anyone could want.

But the system is dying mainly because of primary elections. Primary elections encourage apathy.

Long ago, as I understand, the caucus and convention system was the ONLY thing that determined whose names would be on the ballot at the general election. Then someone invented the primary. At first, the person who won the party's endorsement at the convention nearly always went on to win the primary. That's because people generally trusted their parties, and voted for the candidate their party endorsed. But once in a while there would be an upset.

Then people began to think, why bother participate in precinct caucuses and conventions, if the decisions we make there can be overridden at the primary? And as participation declined, they began to think, why should I trust my party to endorse the right person? Why don't I just vote for the guy who looks best on television? That meant that would-be candidates had to raise money to buy time on TV, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Back in my anti-war days, when I first got interested in politics, and started attending precinct caucuses, and tried to persuade my friends to do the same, the objection I heard most often was that "they got so dang many RULES."

Here's my take on it: The main advantage that democracy has over other systems, is that when things go wrong, a maximum number of people have to admit - or ought to admit - that they have only themselves to blame.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 05:21 PM

My prediction: two weeks from now the American Presidency will be decided by how those anti-communist porpoises who kept little Elian afloat, voted. Damn, they probably DID vote for Buchannan!

I'm not normally someone who's fascinated by train-wrecks, but this has kept me rivetted. Both sides are digging their heels in, and bringing out the heavy artillery. If I hear one more upper-echelon creep piously say what "The American People" want, I'll throw up!

Rick (nosy furriner)


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: DougR
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 05:26 PM

Well said, Bart. I agree with you.

Ebbie: so it's fair game to trash Bush for something that happend to him 24 years ago, but bad sport to point out an indisgretion by Gore some 30 years ago? How can that be justified?

Yes, Alex, and if the recount in Florida shows Bush the winner, I assume you will recognize that Bush will be the president elect, right?

I think the democrats are just finding it too hard to accept that their man may have lost. I guess it could be called "sour grapes."

DougR


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: kendall
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 05:40 PM

This recount was dictated by Florida law..dont blame it on "sour grapes" lets keep our perspective here. Back in 1988, I did not like my partys candidate, and I went to the state convention as a Jesse Jackson delegate. Of course he lost, but, at least I was involved. You folks who sit on your hands until it is a choice among two or three candidates are almost as bad as those who dont vote at all.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: harpmolly
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 05:58 PM

DougR:

Um, pardon me, but if there's the possibility that Gore DID originally have a significantly larger number of votes, and that his numbers were substantially reduced by faulty procedures or confusion (or even intimidation, as Rev. Jackson is claiming, though I have no educated opinion on that), I'd hardly call it "sour grapes". If I'd fought as long and as hard for something as these candidates have, I'd certainly want to be absolutely damned sure the results were solid and unquestionable before I "graciously conceded" the victory.

When it comes down to less than a thousand votes' difference, and yet there's the possibility (however remote) that tens of thousands of votes were thrown out that might have turned the tables, I can't see how it's "sour grapes" to pursue the truth.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the law won't allow a re-vote. Personally, way up here in Oregon (admittedly now possibly the LEAST important state--so much for our hubris ;)), I'm furious. As Guest did point out (albeit with a grammatical flair reminiscent of Shrub himself), the popular vote was won by Gore, by a good two hundred thousand votes. Yet, less than eight hundred votes in one state (at last count) are determining the outcome.

Pass me that fruit bowl, please.

Mollificent


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 06:23 PM

QUOTE: Ebbie: so it's fair game to trash Bush for something that happend to him 24 years ago, but bad sport to point out an indisgretion by Gore some 30 years ago? How can that be justified?

Troll, your statement's unfair, in my opinion. Are you passing off as truth the link you sent us to which says that the "arresting officers", more than 30 years ago can answer the questions about that night "when they get back into the office"? Stay reasonable, please. (Ebbie statement)

DougR, I was trying not to belabor the obvious. Evidently, I needed to be more obvious for some people. My point: The link to which Troll directed us claimed that an unnamed source gave the story and that the police station spokesperson said that the arresting officer could answer any questions after he came in. This is supposed to have happened in the late 60's: Do you really believe, DougR, that that officer is still walking the beat after 30-plus years?.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Midchuck
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 06:24 PM

We have had the Electoral College system for 200+ years, and it hasn't made sense since about the Civil War (which was when the real power in the country shifted from the State governments to the Federal).

It's amusing to see how many people are just beginning to notice that it doesn't make sense.

It won't be changed, though. Anything that helps the Demicans and Republicrats keep the process all to themselves, and keep the common people out of it, will be defended at all costs.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: MiriamKilmer
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 06:39 PM

If you haven't been following the "WINNER" thread, which is basically the same conversation that's goin on here, please read this urgent message: Re-vote in Palm Beach County


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 10:33 PM

OK, so we complain that the candidates are less than desirable, less than what we should expect in this country (and I do that to) - BUT - How many of US would bother to run for public office at any level?? No way I would! So maybe we're getting just what we ask for.

Lyle


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 10:35 PM

The electoral college is a very undemocratic idea...outrageously so, in fact. It should be abolished.

And Rob-o...you said: "that stale old foolish assumption life's better somewhere else. Hey, the international door's open, sport."

Yeah. The door's open all right, but it is NO foolish assumption to think that life may be better somewhere else. Life IS better in a number of ways in a number of other places! I know, I've been there. There is less crime in a lot of other countries, less poverty in more than a few, less violence by both private individuals and government authorities, more medical protection for all citizens, and so on, and so on. Inner cities in the USA are a social catastrophe, an urban nightmare, compared to Canada, for example. This does not mean that if I was an American (I'm not, I'm Canadian), I would therefore be obliged to move out of the USA to one of those other places, for heaven's sake! It means rather that I would be obliged to stay and try to improve things in the country of my birth, recognizing that there are some things of value beyond its borders that are worth learning from!!!

Just because there are also hideous dictatorships out there that are much worse than the USA does not mean that you can just rest on your laurels and imagine that you are living in the "greatest country on earth". You are not, not by a long shot. You've just got more money and more firepower than anyone else on Earth at this point, and that's nothing to be so proud of, frankly. It is precisely what has led you astray.

- LH


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Naemanson
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 10:50 PM

No, No, No, No, No!

The system worked just fine! You cannot blame the system for the results. You cannot invalidate the system because they each had savvy PR people pushing all the buttons.

You cannot go pointing fingers at old arrest records and associations with philanderers. I recently heard someone run down a whole list of connections between Gore, that Bhuddist Temple, and a Red Chinese General. My informant was convinced of the truth and didn't seem to notice that there is a whole cadre of reporters out there who would love to get their hands on that story and blow it all over the streets.

Face facts. In this country too few people vote. Of that number fewer still bother to educate themselves. They willingly suck at the same teat their forefathers did. Their "knowledge" of the race is fed to them in 30 second sound bytes and negative attack ads between sexy commercials and vapid TV shows. If a few thousand voters in Florida can't be bothered to read their ballots then they deserve the candidate they voted for. I even know one person who voted for Bush without knowing anything about him except that he was not Gore. She hates Gore for only two reasons. She doesn't like the way he looks and sounds!

We are the victims of apathy. I hope this election wakes up some more people and gets them out to vote. I fear even this won't be enough.

I have heard the rumors of lost ballots and voter fraud that are rising out of this foolish mess. Remember there are plenty of media sharks out there looking for a nice juicy story to make their name with. Rely on them to find out the facts and run the story.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: DougR
Date: 09 Nov 00 - 11:38 PM

Ebbie: I have no idea if that policeman is still walking a beat! Maybe he was dropping by for a cup of coffee or something. My point is I think it's foolish to hound either candidate for something they did, or might have done over twenty years ago. Is that clear enough?

Mollificent: There is no evidence that anyone stole any votes in Florida! There is ample evidence that a lot of folks have difficulty following ballot directions though.

DougR


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 01:50 AM

The situation that exists between the Democrats and Republican is the result of apathy.I would guess about 50 years of it.Apathy breeds duopoly.If these two parties drag this into the courts other parties will benefit,so they're not going to.They're not stupid,just satisfied.The real winners are the other parties,the Greens(myself),the Reform,etc...There's little difference between the two if you look beyond the media.It's all a big song and dance.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Clifton53
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 02:10 AM

Sorry to see this thread devolve into a pissing match stretching over borders and oceans, and I helped it along I'm afraid, I'd much rather be discussing chord runs and guitar quality, but I get a bit pumped when my country is being run down the sewer pipe.

Fionn, to assume that I am ignorant because I am an American is the utmost insult, but it's just another case of 'America bashing' that we folks here have come to accept. The fact that the U.S. can do no right is pretty much status quo around here. This, and I think history will bear me out, and the fact that our intervention is, and has been sought out to settle the hash of more than one conflagration, unsettles me. To further assume that I could care less what is happening in the world is also ridiculous.

Clifton


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 02:23 AM

100,000,000 American voters walk into a bar, and ...


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 02:30 AM

I voted for Gore,and I think the Electoral College is a ridiculous manifestation of the paranoid side of the founding fathers...these educated,wealthy and erudite individuals were afraid that Yankee Doodle would elect a Snake Oil Salesman President,and they wanted a way to short circuit the process if the unwashed masses tried to hi-jack the revolution.Well guess what Ben,George and Thom...the Revolution was hijacked a long time ago,the snake oil salesmen are running the whole shooting match including the Electoral College,and its time to dump that constitutional anomalie.

HAVING SAID THAT...if the recount in Florida reaffirms Bush's win,I hope Gore concedes without dragging the election through the courts,which would do much damage to our electoral process.He can work behind the scenes to help implement the Democratic Agenda in the face of a very shaky GWB Presidency. Let's move on.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,hammerite
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 05:29 AM

Hi Hammerite here First its Gore then its Bush I think it is stupid they should do the same as England then it would be easy!

Duplicate messages deleted. --JoeClone


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,micca at work
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 06:35 AM

Hi, Hammerite, were you voting for Bush in the state of Florida???? ***BG*** with all those "extra" votes thanks to Brother Jeb?


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Wavestar
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 08:15 AM

I'm not even going to begin to get involved int he argument, but GUEST from the begininng, don't think it's any easier watching from a foreign country. If I chewed my nails, they'd be bleeding as I sit at my computer, television, radio, etc, waiting to find out the results of the fiasco / disaster about which I can do precisely NOTHING now.

-Jessica


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 08:30 AM

Fionn, I believe it is also Austria that produced and enthusiastically endorsed Jerg Heider (sp?). I don't think Austria is necessarily the best example to be using of what other countries should aspire to.

I find that a lot of people who have never been to the U.S. cannot even begin to comprehend how big this country is. I don't know if you've ever been here or not, but the fact is that for a lot of us, travel overseas is not an option for financial reasons. We don't need a passport for Canada or Mexico.

This is a very big country. So for most of us, a passport is irrelevant. If you've not been over here yet, come on over and check it out yourself.

Carol


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 10:10 AM

Clifton, re-read that first post of yours. For my money it was isolationist, brain-dead thinking straight out of the G W Bush school. Is there some other way to interpret it?

No, Ebbie, let's not dwell in the past. Hitler was of Austrian origin but chancellor of Germany. (OK, Germany over-ran Austria, along with a whole lot of other places.) I was referring to the present chancellor of Austria, who is Wolfgang Schussel.

Rob-o, I live in an island nation (UK). You can be forgiven for not knowing this (especially if you are soon to be living in GWB's America) but unlike me, you can travel to other countries without ever leaving dry land. Or if you want to go farther, I think it's about 100 miles from Florida to Cuba (when your enlightened government finally says you can do that trip). A little bit farther to the West Indies. And how come there are proportionately more passports in New Zealand than in USA? NZ is nearly 2,000 miles from anywhere. (I'd send you an atlas but they're probably banned over there *BG*)


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Frankham
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 10:22 AM

I think we should hold a new election. This would solve the problem temporarilly. Then I think we should have a wrestling match between Jesse Ventura, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan. The winner would be eligible for government funding of their next election campaign.

Pat Buchanan said the other night on TV, Mayor Daley of Chicago stole the election from Richard Nixon when Kennedy got in and Kennedy was a good leader. So what he didn't say but the logical conclusion to be drawm is this: what's wrong with candidates stealing the election? It's done all the time.

After all didn't Pat get the Jewish vote in Palm Beach?

I suggest that it's our patriotic duty to export our election machine technology to every aspiring democratic country in the free world. Russia should have it's own Florida.

I love this whole thing. It's democracy in action and I'm in favor of it. This is exactly what the Founding Fathers had in mind and I'm glad that they had a good sense of humor.

Frank


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 10:26 AM

Frank
Respectfully - I very much doubt founding fathers and brothers and sisters, who faced the strong likelyhood of being handed for their political statements and actions would be amused at an election being stolen from the people of the land they risked life and liberty for... see the post a day of absence for democracy...
Larry


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 10:49 AM

InOBU - it took me ages to work our that you meant hanged! (chuckle)

Kris (who loves typos mainly because she does loads of them, and wouldn't want you to take offence)


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: InOBU
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 10:52 AM

Kris! Shite! Yer right! Thanks for the proof read, and I did indeed mean handed, I mean hanged! - Larry


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Wolfgang
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 11:47 AM

Fionn,
Wolfgang Schüssel, not Wolfgang Schussel. I wouldn't correct such a really minor detail if it was not for the laugh I had. 'Schussel' means 'halfwit' in German, whereas his real name means 'bowl'. That's one of the extremely few examples in German where leaving the two dots away really makes a difference in sense. Can you imagine how often the diplomats proofread letters addressed to the Austian chancellor for this minor slip? Not always with success. But he is used to it by now.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 11:56 AM

About the origins of the Electoral College, several observations:

The United States was not designed to be, nor is, nor ever was a democracy. The United States is a republic. In a republic the people vote for representatives who actually do the governing. The Electoral College is a republican (small r) institution.

Our system of selecting public officials, with all its faults--and there's a lot of them as actually practiced --has worked pretty well for over two hundred years, and I say it would be foolish to change this feature, to make it inconsistent with the basic republican (small r) nature of our government. There's no telling what kind of troubles might come out of a changed system.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Robo
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:06 PM

Nya-nya-nya-nyaaa-nya! You are flamin' good, Fionn, gotta say that. You take it to a new level in fact. Clifton backs off, seeking a higher ground, and you slam him again for what he's just apologized for. Sticks and stones may break bones but this European elitism will never hurt anyone. I appreciate your forgiveness, but how in bloody hell am I to know you're from the UK? So I suppose I should forgive you for not knowing that we are, too! Bottom line then, grow up. Get your nose out of the air or at least tend to your own stinkin' business.

I'm reminded of a tune. Hit it, Steve:

"The day you're born they sign a piece of paper

That will certify the date of your birth

And the day you die they sign another

Just to prove you've gone back to the earth;

And between those two piece of paper

There is a truth that is so hard to find

And the story of your life is written,

But you must read in between the lines."


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Clifton53
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:10 PM

Fionn, bash away. We're used to it. Nowhere in these postings was I insulting towards you or anyone else. I was simply stating my personal feelings. I didn't call you stupid, and didn't try to tell you where your thinking comes from.

Let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that. I'm not here to make enemies.

Clifton


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: DougR
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 12:16 PM

Thanks for pointing that out, Dave.

DougR


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: harpmolly
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 03:33 PM

DougR said:

"Mollificent: There is no evidence that anyone stole any votes in Florida! There is ample evidence that a lot of folks have difficulty following ballot directions though."

Please don't misinterpret me, Doug--I certainly didn't mean to be hostile or accusatory, and I apologize if I came across that way. What I said was that lots of votes had been thrown out because of confusion and faulty procedures. I also said that though there have been hints of "intimidation" as the Rev. Jackson put it, I have no educated opinion on that. I didn't say that anyone "stole" votes. But the fact remains that 20,000 people feel seriously disenfranchised, and I don't think the Republicans should be brushing this off, nor should Bush be patting himself on the back and saying, "I'm the president! Nyah nyah nyah!" when it's quite possible that he isn't.

Another point: If all those votes really did belong to Buchanan, why aren't the 3000 Buchanan voters stepping forward and saying, "Yes, there is no mistake, we do support Buchanan and this huge discrepancy in his votes is simply a coincidence"? Why is it all Gore voters insisting that a mistake has been made? It seems to me that if even Pat B. concedes the votes probably didn't belong to him, that's reason enough for a re-vote just in Palm Beach county. If 3000 people voted for Buchanan, then they should be happy to step back into the booth and reaffirm their vote.

I know a re-vote is legally unlikely, because of the media exposure, but I still think it's the only fair way to settle this. If people are going to go back in and change their vote, that's one thing--but, say, if thousands of Nader voters decide to switch back for Gore, that's going to be fairly obviously displayed in Nader's numbers, isn't it? I would hope they wouldn't be that dumb (hope springs eternal ;)) However, the chances of 3000 honest-to-God Buchanan voters spontaneously switching their votes to Gore is pretty damn unlikely. Nader's numbers taking a dive would be suspect: Buchanan's, only to be expected.

In a way, I feel sorry for Bush--as Roger Ebert says, he can't win. Either he ends up somehow losing to Gore, or he takes home a controversial victory and goes into his presidency with a cloud of anger, suspicion and disenfranchisement hanging over his head. Poor guy.

What a weird week.

Moll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:00 PM

Fionn, we are so fed up with you Europeans and your holier-than-thou worldliness. So Americans don't travel abroad as often as often as Brits. How much does it cost to take a boat to France from England? Compare this to how much it costs to fly to a country where you need a passport (we don't need one for Canada or Mexico) from, say, Kansas.

So Newzilders have more passports. Do they use them to go abroad? Maybe that's their national identification system.

Besides, as somebody else pointed out, this is a HUGE country. If we want to see deserts, ocean, forests, geologically interesting valleys, towering mountains, quaint villages, 1000-year-old dwellings, even older ruins, WHATEVER, there is no need to ever leave the USA, let alone North America. For many people in the USA, visiting Europe or the Far East is a lifelong dream, which they must save up for for years and years. It takes us 10+ hours and hundreds of dollars to fly to London. You can hop on a boat-train and be in Paris in a couple of hours. Small wonder y'all have more passports than we do.

If you must feel yourself superior to us, find something that really shows it, not this phoney passport comparison thing.

Better yet, find another way to feel better about yourself than putting others down. Getting a life is an admirable method, I'm told.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Frankham
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:15 PM

In fact, there was a lot of amusement as well as seriousness in the early days of the Founding Fathers. Many did see the light side of things and the songs that floated around during the time dealt with humor quite handilly.

There were songs that echoed the function of our current TV comedians on SNL, Leno and Letterman and such a long fact in the face of a genuine interest on the part of the electorate is a wonderful thing since many Americans slept through the Reagan and Bush years.

Until now, there weren't that many people who knew what an electoral college was. Now, we have democracy in action. It took a situation whereby the "holes didn't line up" to make this happen.

Frank


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:23 PM

People from Europe can insult Americans all they want.You know the same group of elitest families that controls Europe also controls the U.S.Do us a favor and don't come to America.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Naemanson
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:28 PM

Oh boy, this is fun. I generally take the speeches of our great leaders with a large grain of salt because they generally come across like small boys fighting over toys. Now here is something worth paying attention to.

We need to keep in mind that the largest proportion of the mail in votes will be from members of the armed forces and it has been my experience that they are overwhelmingly Republican. I have spent the last 20 years wrapped in the security of a Republican enclave and take every opportunity to spout liberalisms and shake their faith in the uniformity of mankind.

Consider that Bush WILL get the presidency. He will have a Republican House and 50 votes in the Senate. In case of a tie the Vice President casts the deciding vote. Therefore the Republicans will have the Congress sewed up.

Bush HAS to live up to his campaign promises and he has to do it in the first two years if the Republicans are going to keep control of the Congress. He cannot point to the Democrats as the road block to fulfilling his promises. What will we see coming out of Washington over the next two years? It's anyone's guess.

We HAVE to keep a close eye on what they are doing in Washington and fire off heated letters to our representatives to make sure they understand what our will is. Keep your word processors on stand by.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: DougR
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:43 PM

Moll: I think it is going to be very difficult for either Bush or Gore to govern. Bush, for the reasons you gave, and Gore because he is (I think) going to be viewed by many people as a spoiler and bad sport before this is all over. Consider, also, the make-up of the Congress. It appears that the Republicans may have a majority in both the senate and the house. Which President is most likely to get cooperation? I know, Gore supporters, if Bush wins, will view this a good thing. But do you think Gore is going to get better cooperation from the majority in congress to get his programs through? It's a mess, and I, personally, do not think there will be any real winners, regardless of who wins the election. And at the moment, we don't know who that will be.

Mousethief: I think your comments to Fionn are right on.

DougR


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 04:52 PM

Great post, Wolfgang! I knew about the dots - but not the consequences of missing them off. (Wouldn't have known how to include them anyway.) Maybe you're aware of the guy? A bit too right-of-centre for my taste, but he comes across as a really sound politician.

Rob-o I didn't express it too clearly, but what I was suggesting you might not know was that in the states you can be in another country just by crossing a line in the road. But when I posted, I hadn't realised that you don't need a passport for Mexico. (As Mudcat is often inaccessible at present, I posted before seeing Carol's post setting me straight.)

Mousethief, you're breaking my heart. I'm even beginning to forget that Americans are the richest folk on earth. (Don't blame me for the unfair way they share it out!)

Carol, Rob-o etc,I take the point that you don't need to see the Victoria Falls if you've got Niagara. But in my view that only works for scenery, not social and political systems. For instance I'd say there was every reason for Americans to see Cuba's healthcare, even though they've got their own.

To make a serious point (well even more serious than my other points) long-distance air travel is now a major factor in global warming, which is a good argument for not doing it without strong cause. So I agree passports are a poor measure of enlightenment - especially when we can use the Mudcat to challenge our respective European/American mindsets without putting a foot outside the door.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Robo
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 05:09 PM

Another change of direction. Great post about umlauts . . . Cuba's healthcare system? . . . Global warming? C'mon, man, give it up.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,steve
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 05:22 PM

Europeans know America through movies and music.We know you more through books,believe it or not.So who really lives in a fantasy world?


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 05:39 PM

Umlauts needs a new thread. "Du bist schon da" means "you're already there" whereas "Du bist schön da" means "you're beautiful there." I could multiply examples ad nauseam. Schussel is far from being an anomaly.

Fionn: I didn't mean to break your heart, so much as jump-start your brain. Sorry I missed.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 05:59 PM

Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said something about the people getting the kind of government they deserve? Wish I could remember exactly.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: harpmolly
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 06:20 PM

Doug: Well said. I wholeheartedly agree.

No matter who ends up being inaugurated in January, they will have to have a hearty streak of determination (and masochism, imho ;)) to survive. I kind of doubt that either of them will serve two terms.

Moll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 06:57 PM

Fionn, when you castigate "Americans" as a group, you include all of us. As a group, we may be one of the richest countries on earth.

However, there are plenty of us who are far from rich. In fact, a socially aware person will know that a lot of us live in poverty. It's not the fault of those of us who don't have access to "American riches" that things are shared out unfairly, any more than it is your fault.

Don't you think it's enough that we have to live with this unfairness without having to listen to people from other countries castigating all of us regardless of who we are, and what we are like as individuals?

How about taking the time to get to know some of us individually before making your judgements about us?

Carol


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 07:41 PM

The richest, to be absolutely precise, Carol. I did say don't blame me for the way they share it out, but that was too flip. I am very much aware that the USA boasts - and in some (Republican) quarters of the USA they actually do boast about it - some of the world's most heart-rending poverty. Even more disgusting, and inexcusable, that such poverty should be found amid such obscene riches.

On which equivocal note I'll follow Rob's advice and retire, albeit only from this thread. But keep posting Rob, I'll be looking in to take my lumps.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Wavestar
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 08:26 PM

May I just take a moment to be sick, not only at the madness and idiocy of the situation, but at all the nastiness flying around?

Right. Thanks. I feel ever so much better now.

Fionn. Stop acting like a child. I think that's all the really needs to be bothered to be said to you.

-J


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 09:12 PM

Regarding our status as a Republic,and using that fact to justify the existence of the Electoral College...

We are indeed governed by elected officials,and not popular referendum.To organize a plebiscite on every aspect of new law and policy would be a practical impossibility,so instead we elect officials whose views,we believe,will most likely represent our own. The Congress is the closest institution to truly representing the popular will present in each state of the union.The Senate is a less representative body,being primarily a concession by the populists among the Founders to the less populous states,who felt that their regional issues would be trampled on by the will of the majority.The members of these two bodies are elected by popular vote,and derive their power,therefore,directly from the will of the people.Our government does allow for constitutional and legal interpretation outside the bounds of the electoral process,through the creation of the Judiciary Branch,and this is rightly the only high govern,mental entity that should exist (except in certain extraordinary circumstances) beyond the direct control and authority of the people.

Now,in this context,how bizarre that the nation's chief elected official should be not granted his position by popular will,but by the independent vote of appointed electors.The process does not reflect the true sentiments of the majority of voters,is ultimately subject to the whim of the electors, and does not reflect the percentage of voters who may turn out in a particular state (if New York only turns out 25% of its voters,the majority voting for candidate A,and Texas turns out 80% of its voters,the majority voting for candidate B,and the total vote in NY is 3 million, while 6 million voted in Texas, Candidate A derives the full 36 electoral votes of NY,while B receives only 29 electoral votes,though he has garnered twice the popular votes).The electoral college does not,in fact,embody any principle of a representative republic,but instead is a constitutional hold-over from an era where states rights and distrust of the people's will were the motivating factors. It should be abolished.

Now if someone has a logical counterpoint to this argument I welcome it,but I have yet to hear one.If you need until tomorrow afternoon so that you can check with Rush,I understand.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Nov 00 - 09:25 PM

Now, who on this forum would possibly want or need to check with Rush, EJ?   ;-)
Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 10:40 AM

Fionn:

"I am very much aware that the USA boasts - and in some (Republican) quarters of the USA they actually do boast about it - some of the world's most heart-rending poverty."

Please document your parenthetical claim, or retract it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 12:49 PM

Would any of the U.S. jingoes thumping on Fionn care to let on which foreign countries they have vistied, how many times and for how long? Or what foreign news broadcasts they regularly listen to (no cost involved) or what foreign papers they regularly read (quite inexpensive)? Or give substantive reasons why they blindly believe this sophomoric 'best country in the world' shite? It should be obvious to anyone familiar with content of U.S. news programmmes/newspapers that the average European is vastly better informed about world affairs that his American counterpart. There are certainly no real discernable cultural differences between the vast majority of geographic areas in the U.S.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 04:15 PM

Guest,

Would you care to divulge your identity? Until you do, your question has no credibility.

Carol


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,Lindsay in guest mode
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 04:33 PM

1. This country was originally established as a Republic.

2. The electoral college was established because our original leaders did not think the common man was able to avoid electing a man (no sexual discrimination, just the fact at the time) who would be king.

Unfortunately, the way the politicians and general public are acting, our country's founders may have been right. Bush and Gore seem to believe they are destined to rule, to the point of religious fervor.

I remain, a loyal, but somewhat disgusted, American,

Lindsay


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 05:44 PM

The questions are credible with or without attribution. The lack of answers speaks to my point.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,Mike in MD
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM

A couple of thoughts:

We are witness to election as junior high school food fight! Regardless of whom you supported, or who emerges as the winner, neither side has acquitted itself very well.

I don't believe Richard Nixon had many fine moments, but his finest may have been in not challenging the 1960 election, sparing the country the kind of mess we are seeing now. His next finest moment may have been resigning rather than having the country endure his impeachment and trial (true, the only reason he resigned was because he knew he would lose and be removed!)

Depite our faults, and they are many, this country has provided a greater degree of freedom (not necessarily equality, but freedom) to more folks for a longer period of time than most others. We shouldn't rest on our laurels, but we deserve some points for what we've done.

For over 200 years, we have had peaceful transfers of power, in war and peace, from party to party, following assassination and other sudden death, and in resignation. Come January 20, Gov. Bush or V.P. Gore will become president. This too, shall pass.

The republic will survive.

Mike


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM

Just as souls are credible, with or without absolution. The lack of answers in the public arena speaks to my point.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 07:52 PM

Unidentified Guest:

"There are certainly no real discernable cultural differences between the vast majority of geographic areas in the U.S."

Guest, you have demonstrated your own ignorance and jingoeism with that statement. Anyone who has spent any time traveling around the U.S., or even researching about it from home, knows the falsity of your statement.

Carol


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Nov 00 - 10:56 PM

Carol, you're so right. Some regions in this country were they introduced to each other would barely recognize each other as American at all. A resident of Europe where I understand one can be in Zurich 45 minutes after leaving London, someone who has never been in the US may not be aware that flying from Los Angeles to New York will take at least six hours in the air and from Anchorage Alaska to Miami Florida takes at least 9 hours. And Unnamed Guest presumes the US culture is the same all over the country! That would be a most remarkable feat.

And zorro-but-not-so-cute, one reason that you in your dinky countries have to know what your neighbors are doing is to avoid being stabbed in the back or over-run in a raid or land grab. Here we have a little more maneuvering room.

We have a lot of problems in the US but we discuss them more freely and allow others more latitude in criticizing us than almost any I'm aware of. When a critic jabs us our usual reaction is to agree. If we were to give the same jab to most other countries, we would be inundated with indignant, self-serving rhetoric.

So there.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 04:09 PM

Sorry- didn't mean to kill the blessed thing!


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 05:59 PM

I don't agree that Richard Nixon's capitulation to voter irregularities was a noble thing. I think it was simply this, he realized that he couldn't win because JFK was more powerful on TV. He was smart enough to see that people had a negative view of him in the debates with Kennedy. It would be like trying to run against Elvis Presley in a music awards contest.

I do agree that our system of Democracy works and it's working now. There is a humorous side to it as in all elections but to say it's a joke is to sell it short. It was no joke that people have given their lives for it unless you mean it was a big comic joke by an Aristotelian God which is theologically debatable.

I have faith in this system and I think that not only is it working but it's very entertaining, and edifying. We are beginning to understand what we're made of and what is important to us as a nation.

If we solve this crisis without going to war over it, I think we will have incurred a huge respect from the rest of the world. Many countries do go to war over such things but that's not the American pattern in history with the exception of the Civil War.

Every politician who is worth his salt feels a kind of divine destiny to lead. That's what makes them a good president. They love power. (Check Presidential Power by Neudstadt.) It's up to us to make sure they use that power for our benefit.

One thing Bush supporters have to reckon with. He was a failed businessman and left his investors high and dry. I believe that some diligent Democrat will uncover this information for the benefit of the general public.

The Bush's were involved also in the Silverado Savings and Loan bank failure which happened under Herbert Walker Bush and was covered up quickly.

As to another term with Clinton, you want corruption? If Bush gets in "you ain't seen nothin' yet". Anyone who looks at the political process in Texas doesn't have to turn over many rocks. The preceding statement was an unpaid political announcement.

Frank

.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: DougR
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 06:22 PM

Gee whiz, Frank, why don't you call some diligent Democrat and tip him/her off to your inside information?

DougR


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Seth
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 06:54 PM

From China, most of the Chinese people I've talked with are Gore supporters. They see "Bush Jr." as an inexperienced son of a rich former president who is likely to muck up relations between the U.S. and China. On the level I am , we don't talk about exporting missle technology or anything like that. Mostly I talk to other teachers at the school where I work', or meet on the buses or trains. Chinese people are very convivial, but nobody told me the results of the election until I returned home after a five day vacation. I think that they felt it would be embarassing for me to talk about it. For years, we have been saying that it would be great if there was a box on the ballot for "Nobody", and this year, THANK YOU JESUS! Nobody won! Seth from China


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: GUEST,Stackley
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 07:28 PM

That's telling him, Rodney lad! Demonstrate your respect for other opinions.
Cheers.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 07:42 PM

Guest(s), stay anon if you have to, but put something in the "from" line, if only so we can tell one guest from another.....


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Troll
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 11:23 PM

Ebbie, I have been out of town so I couldn't respond until now.
Yes, I do believe that 30 years later a police officer could still be "walking the beat"> It is not uncommon for people to work in the same job for 30, 35, or 40 years. I just recently retired; 30 years with the Postal Srevice. Two years before me, Billy Cantrell retired with 42 years.
As regards the unnamed source, have you ever heard the name of the person who spilled the beans on Watergate? You have not. That person is known only as "Deep Throat"; an unnamed source.
It is probable that the news broke too late for the Republicans to make any good use of it.
Yes, Chappaquidic cost Kennedy his shot at the Presidency. I'll bet that makes the Kopeckne family feel really good; that their daughters death cost Ted Kennedy the Presidency. I'll bet they think it was worth it.
And of course the Democrats see nothing wrong with it. After all, he wasn't arrested or anything, so it's all OK.

troll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: MK
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 11:27 PM

Weren't there strong but unsubstantiated rumors that Deep Throat was Al Haig?


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 03:37 AM

Michael K.,

I never heard that one, but I like it. ;-)


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Gervase
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 07:49 AM

Awareness of other countries is in itself no guarantee of civilisation, I'm afraid.
In the pre-glasnost days I spent some time with various Soviet spook types who were impressively well-informed about the West and about the minutiae of Western politics, lifestyles etc - but I still wouldn't have wanted to live under their system of government (one which they enthusiastically and assiduously promoted). I have to say I've been a bit depressed by the "Yank-bashing" both in this thread and on the forum generally. To accuse an entire nation of xenophobia and ignorance when your own neighbours probably read the Daily Mail is a bit rich.


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: Troll
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 08:05 AM

Gervase. Thanks for the defense but we really don't mind too much. We must be doing something right considering how many people want to come here to live as opposed to how few seem to leave to live elsewhere.

troll


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: CarolC
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 08:52 AM

Gervase, I appreciate it. You are a kind and gentle soul.

Carol


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Subject: RE: american politics is a joke
From: kendall
Date: 13 Nov 00 - 09:17 AM

I see a repeat of Warren G Hardings administration if Bush wins. He lacks the intellect to do the job, and, he will rely on his cronies to advise him. The past is prolog.


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