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Thinking Outside the Tortilla August 27, 2003

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Dan Feistein reports on his communiqu� from Taco Bell. ‘Who says you can�t buy votes?’ they ask.

It went something like this:

Dear joke candidate,

Since you�re obviously a loser, we�d like to rub this fact in your face by showing our total lack of respect for both you and elections in general. Yesterday, we launched the Taco Poll, asking Californians (the normal ones, not the nut jobs like you) to “put their vote where their mouth is,” simply by coming into California Taco Bell restaurants and selecting menu items.

We�d describe the menu items here, but frankly we don�t eat the stuff ourselves and just writing about it, well�makes us ill. But we�d like to thank you for being part of our little project. If this works out, we have an idea for a TV spot where all the “lesser” candidates (this means you) climb out of a clown car � all dressed in colorful attire, waving oversized ballots. A perfect opportunity to get your message out to an even wider audience!

As a corporation with outlets all over the world, we have no official stance on elections or democracy in general – so we figured, heck, why not make a funny joke out of it? Truthfully, we only believe in money. Lots and lots and lots of money. Join us in our quest to make even more money and to “Think Outside The Bun.”

Best regards,

You Friends at Taco Bell

At least, that�s how Feinstein remembers it.


Billion$ and Billion$ and Billion$ August 27, 2003

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Iraq will need �several tens of billions� of dollars from abroad in the next year to rebuild its rickety infrastructure and revive its moribund economy, and American taxpayers and foreign governments will be asked to contribute substantial sums, U.S. occupation coordinator L. Paul Bremer said yesterday.”

Hint from Miss Monica: as spending for the military increases and taxes on the rich decrease (both substantially), the Federal deficit will increase. As the Federal deficit increases, the U.S. Treasury will issue more debt. In general, a large increase in supply of debt (with demand holding steady, or decreasing if the stock market revives) means that interest rates must rise, in order for U.S. debt to be an attractive investment. This pushes up rates for other debt issuers, who must compete with the U.S. Treasury. As debt interest rates rise, consumer interest rates (mortgages and credit cards) rise. The rate of inflation increases. If the economy remains stagnant, we have a return to the “stagflation” of the 70’s and 80’s.

So *now* would be a good time to pay off the credit card debt and lock in the fixed rate loans. Maybe do some light reading about high-inflation countries, like Argentina, Chile and Israel.

Abolish Government August 26, 2003

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Vote for Jack Grisham.

Surfer, laborer, and punk band frontman Jack Grisham says he has “just as much experience as Ronald Reagan did when he became governor of California,” and like Arnold Schwarzenegger, would hire top accountants to come up with solutions for California�s budget crisis.

“It’s like being a producer,� Grisham recently told MTV, “you get the best people around you to take care of business.”

The similarities end there. Unlike other celebrity candidates, Grisham is running for governor as an everyday California guy.

“Most of us aren�t riding around in Humvees with bodyguards,” he is quoted as saying in the news articles linked to his website. “The people who are getting elected have no idea � no idea � what life is like for the average person. I do.”

Refused government assistance with his medical bills for a bad back because his income is slightly more than the qualifying limit, Grisham is a strong proponent of universal health coverage.

“I work with undocumented alien immigrants all the time and I got tired seeing what they go through and no one caring. And they put this new budget out and the first thing they slash is health care and the first thing they start screwing is the people.”

Grisham also supports environmental activism through Surfrider, and is in favor of reforms in immigration, drug and prostitution laws.

No doubt Art Torres, California DNC Chairman, would think Grisham among the Bozos. But unlike Mr. Torres and political pundits from here to D.C., Grisham welcomes the number of candidates running for California’s top spot.

“[We] got people making jokes about all the cranks jumping in � you know porn stars and whatever else � but what pisses me off, is more people haven’t jumped in. � Artists, activists � this is our chance! These people let it go by! I mean, we’re talking about getting somebody in the governor�s office who�s spent some time in the tube�Not just somebody who’s driving by on his way to a $300 lunch.”

“Mainly what I�m trying to do in my platform is champion the people,” Grisham says.

Sacramento, are you listening?

Behold the Lord High Executioner August 22, 2003

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Vote for Dick (on the right).
He says it�s the only way Bustamante will keep his job.

Dick Lane is yet another candidate from the Bay Area. His website bio states that he worked as an American spy in Russia and China in 1957. That he�s been married three times. That he got his mom appointed to the Electoral College (where she didn�t help us much in the last presidential election.) And that on August 17th he called for the removal of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.

“A fish rots from the head down,” Lane said. “Charles Reed is directly responsible for conditions in the CSU system. Charles Reed must go.”

Charles Reed is Lane’s boss.

Isn’t this akin to, say, a Microsoft employee calling for the head of Bill Gates? It�s not as though Lane�s election is certain, is it? Dear reader, have you ever heard of Lane before this moment?

So, in honor of Mr. Lane’s huevos muy grandes, we’ve composed a song. Gilbert & Sullivan fans will already know the melody — all others can sing along to a midi karaoke.

He’s Got a Little List
October 8th it may happen that a victim must be found,
…I’ve got a little list–I’ve got a little list —
Of political offenders who might well be underground,
…And who never would be missed–who never would be missed!
There�s the democratic chairman who called me “just a clown”–
Those people taking Cruz B�s parking passes for downtown —
The chancellor I work for, who I�ve likened to dead fish �
Duplicative state agencies which cause me much anguish —
And those private campaign financiers simply must desist! —
…They’d none of ’em be missed–they’d none of ’em be missed!

CHORUS. He’s got ’em on the list–he’s got ’em on the list;
…And they’ll none of ’em be missed–they’ll none of ’em be missed.

Tom Campbell the Republican, and the others on his team,
…Helmet laws must be dismissed–I’ve got it on the list!
And movie stars and millionaires and fat cats lapping cream,
…They never would be missed–they never would be missed!
And the bureaucrat who cut the pay of teachers by the droves,
Then gave himself a bonus from the savings treasure-troves;
And the cop who hands out tickets, when you haven�t buckled up,
Or when you�re smoking doobies tries to put you in lockup;
And people who want gun control, or that Roe v. Wade resist,
…I don’t think they�ll be missed–I’m sure they’d not be missed!

CHORUS. He’s got them on the list–he’s got them on the list;
… And I don’t think they’ll be missed–I’m sure they’ll not be missed!

‘Z’ Zone. August 21, 2003

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California as seen by Jon Zellhoefer, Republican.

Zellhoefer, who is running for Governor from Santa Clara, California (close to San Jose, in the Bay Area), proposes to revitalize the California economy by establishing a 30-mile wide “Courtesy Zone” on its approximately 1,200-mile long border with Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Mexico.

The Courtesy Zone — which Zellhoefer also calls ” ‘Z’ Zone” — will be free of any taxes for 20 years, and will enjoy unrestricted trade with neighboring states and countries.

This means, Zellhoefer explained to the Inyo Register, if it’s legal in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Mexico, it’ll be legal in ‘Z’ Zone.

As Miss Monica once heard in a bar in Eastern Colorado, “well, yee-fuckin’ haw.”

Does Zellhoefer have any reservations about the environmental and societal repercussions of his 36,000 square mile gambling, gun-toting, smoke-stack belching, bullfighting, prostituting fun zone?

No. He thinks ‘Z’ Zone’s a “reasonable inconvenience. We have to consider the greater good of the whole.”

Deep thinking obviously not his thing, but then, neither is impartiality. Zellhoefer owns land in Tecopa, which is a convenient distance south of Death Valley and west of Pahrump. You guessed it! All 160 acres are within ‘Z’ Zone.

And Now … The Other Smoker’s Party? August 20, 2003

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Gerold Lee Gorman for Governor!

He’s 42. He’s a software engineer. He lives in Martinez, California. His mom co-signed his home loan in 1980. And he has “the complete name, address, and date of birth, place of birth, political party, and date of voter registration and so on of every registered voter” in Contra Costa County on his home computer.

Beyond that, his website made Miss Monica’s computer crash. Twice. So we called our friend Bob over at PoliZeros.

“Bob,” we said. “What do you think?”

“Huh,” said Bob, after going to Gorman’s website. “What’s this strange cursor with the trailing random letters of the alphabet? Is it code?”

Bob clicked on SHOW ME THE ISSUES!

HOUSING – got us an idea for cruel and unusual communal dwelling.

LAW ENFORCEMENT – an opinion that California prisons were maybe not worse than maybe some in other countries.

PROPOSITION 215 – a link to Green-aid.org, an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. (“Aha!” We said.)

TAX REFORM – a proposal to eliminate sales taxes on American-made goods.

UNIVERSE – “Page can’t be found.”

“Very zen-like,” said Bob.

“Does this guy have a problem?”

“No,” said Bob. “He’s just a bit quirky. He’s a software techie.”

All those details on the HACKER link just being evidence of quirky hi-technicality, and not borderline word salad. And here we had wondered if Gorman might have a thought disorder. Hard to tell the difference, sometimes?

“Hey!” Being a programmer, Bob was miffed. He eventually won the argument by pointing out that Miss Monica, too, had done programming at one time. Q.E.D.

Are we People � or Property? August 20, 2003

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Hamidi, then under injunction not to send email to Intel employees, delivers 30,000 printed emails via “pony express” to Intel headquarters in 1999.

Ken Hamidi is running for governor under the Libertarian banner, but he SO isn�t one.

An anti-corporation activist, Hamidi is dedicated to �practicing and promoting peaceful and non-violent opposition to unjust Human Resources policies and practices of Intel.�

With help from, among others, the ACLU, AFL-CIO, and several law schools including those at Harvard and UC Berkeley, Hamidi is responsible for one of the most important recent court decisions involving free speech and the Internet.

Hamidi proposes to resolve the budget deficit by �rebuilding the employment market in California and discouraging outsourcing US jobs and technologies,� and promises he �will specially work to end the invisible government structure of special interest.�

We�re betting Intel won�t be giving him any campaign contributions.

Vote for Ideas, Not Famous Names August 20, 2003

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Fx Artist Dan Feinstein says.

Feinstein is a �reform-minded� democrat, distantly related by marriage to Senator Diane, who works as a visual effects artist for the motion picture industry

He has a clear economic reform plan and a short but pithy (but humorous but serious) blog with an anti-Bustamonte slant.

�Tough love?� He asks in today�s blog entry. ��[Are] the people of California unruly kids needing papa Bustamante to set us straight? What did we do to deserve this “tough love?” Aren’t the unruly ones the juvenile thinkers in Sacramento who increased spending while tax revenues went down? Weren’t these the same ones wringing their hands helplessly, while the energy bandits ran off with our money?�

Scroll down and you�ll find him describing Bustamante as �the rotund little man with the big title� So he’s occupied the office next to Davis for five years, what has he done? We’ve never seen this guy in public. Oh wait, he did give a speech once, to a group of African American labor activists and used the “N” word. He claims it just “slipped out.” �

Later he apologizes for his harshness. �Such personal invective has no place in any campaign, and I’m sorry I characterized the number two man in Sacramento as such. I should have called him a “cherubic man with no discernable job duties.”

Feinstein urges Californians to reject the candidate rubberstamped by �some puppet master at the DNC�, and to choose among a list of candidates all more qualified than Bustamante � among them, himself.

Don’t Vote! August 20, 2003

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You’ll only encourage him.

“I want to be a candidate for governor so that smokers will get more power,” Ned Roscoe told the Fairfield Daily Republic. “And if I can get just half of them to vote for a smokers’ candidate, that just might be enough to win.”

A good Libertarian, Roscoe’s been inactive in politics before, but in 1998 he led the campaign against Proposition 10, which was passed by voters and imposed a 50-cent tax on every pack of cigarettes. In 2000, he backed Proposition 28, an initiative to repeal the new cigarette tax. It lost, with only 28% of the vote.

Now Roscoe is counting on the smokin’ vote. “Four million potential California voters smoke! That’s enough to win the race to elect a new California governor. Even if half the smokers vote for the smokers’ candidate, that’s enough votes to choose the next governor.”

“Restrictions on smoking are too harsh,” Roscoe claims on his Smoker’s Party website. “Smokers are the most abused minority in California. No politician would think of treating you badly because you are Asian, Hispanic or African American. Homosexuals, Muslims, homeless, and extremely large people are never targeted for tax increases. Women, transgendered persons, farmers, Catholics, previously owned automobile salespeople, the young, the old, the developmentally disabled, and vegetarians are protected from discrimination. The unemployed, the anorexic, and special people are all helped by the State. Politicians go out of their way to appeal to every other interest group.

“Governor Davis’ budget proposal includes a cigarette tax increase of $2.30 per carton. That works out to $304,000,000 in additional taxes each year. Further increases are projected for future years. There’s no limit to the taxes politicians want smokers to pay. ”

All good points. It is so very convenient to tax a group that will continue to buy no matter how high the price. But, Ned! If a libertarian is an advocate of the doctrine of free will, and if free will is the power asserted by moral beings of choosing within limitations without restraint of physical or divine necessity of causal law, then:

Does a smoker really have the power of choice, unrestrained and unlimited by physical necessity?

Are humans, especially smokers in this example, reliably reasoning and moral beings?

And if Miss Monica finds herself downwind from a persistent and unremitting smoker, may she choose within limitations without restraint of physical or divine necessity of causal law, to rip his head off and make him smoke it?

Rebuttal. August 20, 2003

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Waaaaahhhh! I want to be governor! Waaaaahhh!

Kevin Richter is not either a whining quite-possibly-liberal Republican candidate for governor.