Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Answering machine
Answer to politicians


IT HAS STARTED - the political calls, that is.

The other evening I answered the house phone and heard "This is Jeb Bush Junior" before I disconnected.

Now I am not acquainted with Jeb Bush Junior, nor I am personally acquainted with ANY Bush (other than perhaps Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans). I am familiar with how the political Bushes operate having had two Georges as presidents and Jeb the elder as the governor of my state. (For the record, the senior Jeb Bush is not Jeb Bush Senior, at least I doubt his birth certificate lists him as Jeb Bush Senior.)

I know I need to be "politically aware" and knowledgeable for the coming elections so I probably will watch any debates, both intra- and inter-party, but I will as much as possible dodge calls promoting this or that candidate.

Like the advertisements, and - unfortunately the "news" as well - a voter cannot expect to get an accurate picture of the candidates.

Maybe I'll vote for the one with the LEAST negative campaigning; the one who disparages his opponents the least. I'm tired of negative politics; tell me what the candidate will do - or won't ; don't tell me what someone thinks the candidate's opponent will do - or won't do.

I realize the tv stations make their fortunes during silly season. Even the Post Office may get into the black with political mailings, although most probably are last class (as they should be) cheap rate. I'd line the rabbit's cage with them if I didn't fear for my rabbit's sanity.

The primary elections are more than a year away in my state and already the hopefuls are hot on the trail. At least we won't have to pay for any presidential trips at taxpayer expense to re-elect the incumbent; unless he changes his name to Roosevelt, he is a lame duck. (Course we - Americans of all political persuasions - will get to fund his stumping for his party's candidates, assuming they WANT to be associated with him. According to the Washing (DC) Examiner, we pay US$228,288 AN HOUR for POTUS to travel hither and yon; that figure is 27% higher than previous administrations.)

A recent campaign junket to south Florida was 50% funded by the Democrats; the taxpayers got to pay the other half because POTUS visited the National Hurricane Center in Miami. (And never mind how much it cost in dollars to provide protection and the inconvenience to people trying to earn the money on which they pay those taxes to fund presidential jaunts . . . the incumbent of those who went before.)

Pity the U.S. lacks a decent rail system. According to the Streets.MN site,
Across the Amtrak system, the full cost to operate a train tends to land in the range of $0.30 to $0.70 per passenger-mile, though that number is dependent on a lot of things, perhaps the most important being the number of passengers onboard. Nonetheless, all of Amtrak’s routes are less expensive per passenger-mile than any of the small-market airline routes listed above. (Amtrak’s worst performer by far in 2014 was the Chicago–Indianapolis Hoosier State at $1.14 per passenger-mile).

If I want to hear a politician, I'll go to a rally where the politician is speaking. If I want to know where a politician stands on an issue, I'll read newspapers that support the candidate and newspapers that support the candidate's opponent; somewhere between the two publications there MAY lie the truth.

But spare me the phone calls or be prepared to talk to the answering machine.

From now until a new president is crowned, all calls go to the answering machine.


Just where did Air Force One fly during the incumbent's reign? Among other places:

New York for a Tonight show visit ($2.1 million)

Vacation in Hawaii ($4,086,355)

Vacation to California ($2,145,907)

Vacation to Martha's Vineyard ($1,164,268)

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