I've been traveling a bit lately and, while the new security measures at our airports have changed a bit in the past year as one would expect, I think the biggest change is due to the actions of "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and his cohorts. I think that al Qaeda picked this guy because he wears clown shoes large enough to pack a pyrotechnic punch. What a pathetic patsy (and God am I glad he didn't blow up that plane)!
It's one thing to empty your pockets, take out your laptop, hurriedly get through the metal detector and reassemble your belongings on the other side. But it is quite another matter when one has to do this in stocking feet and clumsily attempt to put humpty dumpty together again while hopping on one foot tying your shoes. I think I have seen people look genuinely relieved when they are taken aside to be strip searched so that they don't have to endure the hopping ritual in public.
There's lame duck and then there's lamer duck, which is what we have for a month in the Senate. Despite the results of the election and the new balance of power the chamber of 100, if Paul Wellstone had not died and his supporters pissed off "The Body" (who himself had defeated Norm Coleman in the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial race), the Dems could have made some noise on the way out this year. But Ventura monkeyed around with his emergency appointment to fill Wellstone's seat and chose an Independent "Body double." Now, the Senate is split evenly with Cheney casting any tie breaking vote and not a quack will be heard. On the bright side, when some of the losing Dems fly out of Regan Airport, the security folks might strip search them and finally find their political agenda, which was certainly nowhere to be seen during the last campaign.
"You look like a real human being but you
don't have a mind of your own. Yeah, you can talk, you can breathe you can work,
you can stitch, you can vote -- but you're brainwashed."
I am absolutely certain that monkeys in the voting booth could do a better job. My feeling is that many of the results are simply unintelligible. Polling suggests that most Americans are not in favor of war of aggression against Iraq, yet . . . the war-hungry GOP was given complete control of the nation. In Florida, Jeb Bush prevails even though he and his opponent, Bill McBride, defined much of their campaigns on their views on a ballot question to reduce class size throughout the state. Florida voters kept Bush but approved the measure he strenuously opposed, and will likely result in a significant tax increase.
The amount of ad spending this year was a windfall for the media and the continuation of an ugly and unhelpful trend of attack ads, particularly those not sponsored directly by the candidates. Some of these ads just go too far and add little to the public dialog.
(e.g., "Four years ago, Bill Johnson promised to crack down on crime. Since then, he has stolen money from the elderly and spent it on prostitutes. Call Bill Johnson and tell him to keep his hands out of your pockets and his dick in his pants.")