07 October 2008

New rules for debates

While twittering the 'town hall debate' and watching on CNN, I came up with two new important rules for political debates. 

Rule #1: Answers are limited, Twitter-style, to 140 characters. If you need more than that, then you can blog it later.

Rule #2: If you do not answer a question, you don't get to answer the next one(s). So if someone asks, "If Iran attacks Israel, will you smack them back?" and you answer, "I don't think Iran should get to have nuclear weapons," you get a zero in the answering column, and you don't get to answer the next question, or any other question, until you make up your freakin' mind. (I'm sure McCain had a couple of those, too, and it just annoys the hell out of me.) As above, if you change your mind later, that's what your blog is for.

Two simple rules. And ok, I admit that asking John McCain to type on an iPhone while sitting on stage is probably a bad idea (although the mental image makes me laugh). However, the second one is absolutely critical to actually making decisions about which of these people will get my vote. 

I kept thinking tonight, about the debate as a job interview. Pretend, for a minute, that you are hiring one of these guys (which you are...). And one of them, instead of answering your questions, points out all the mistakes that the other guy has made over the last 10 years. The other one, instead of answering your questions, brilliantly discourses on whatever the hell he wants to talk about. Which one do you hire? 

Me: Tell me about the most stressful work situation you've ever been in, and how you dealt with it.

Candidate #1: Thank you for the question, my friend. Really. I deal with stress just fine. But That One, he once had a hissy fit at the coffee machine because there were no filters -- a little thing, I voted against buying more filters because being a real reformer, I thought we could just use paper towels, because I thought filters were so elite and mainstream, you know? That One, my friend, he voted for filters, a special earmark, and he was very stressed out when they had not yet arrived in time to make his mokka lah-te-dah or whatever you young people call those things these days. (looks over in disgust at the other candidate, crosses arms)

Candidate #2: Thank you for asking. Fundamentally, I think my health plan is going to keep all of us from worrying about stress anymore, and tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 would certainly ease the burden of paying for those enormous mortgages that the Republicans foisted on the poor people of this country. (self-satisfied smile)

I hate it that I don't actually have a *good* choice in this election. 

06 October 2008

Letter to my Congressman

To the Honorable Kevin Brady:

I'm just wondering what Congress is going to do for me, a person who paid cash for her last two cars (one every 10 years!), pays off her one credit card bill in full every month, and makes her mortgage payments on time so she can continue to live in the modest little house that is well within her means.

We are apparently going to use my tax money to bail out a lot of stupid, greedy people who bought more than they could reasonably afford, and who seem to think the world owes them a big screen TV, a couple of Wii's for the kids, and a new car every two years.

Then we're going to use more of my tax money to bail out the greedy, multimillion dollar businesses that extended credit to those other greedy stupid people and then gave themselves big, fat bonus checks so they could go buy million-dollar mansions in fine, gated communities (where, boo-hoo, they may now be having trouble making their payments, if there is a God.)

Meanwhile, the IRAs & 401(k) that I've been putting *my* money into for the last 25+ years have given up all of their value over the last few weeks because everybody is scrabbling to get some piece of whatever's left of the money in the world.

And instead of a big, fat mortgage that could have a principle reduction if I didn't pay my bills, I have a reasonably budget-able mortgage and a chunk of equity that may or may not be valuable when it's time to sell. I don't see anybody offering to reduce *my* mortgage principle as a prize for being *smart* and *sensible* when the real estate gal was trying to convince me that, "Well, sure, this is a nice place but you could afford so much more!"

I guess I am just annoyed that we are rewarding foolishness instead of taking care of the people who pay their taxes, put money into savings, pay cash and generally do things the *right* way. And I ask again, "What is Congress going to do for *me*?"


Stephanie A. Weiss
The Woodlands
(sent originally via Write Your Rep, and I encourage you to write one, too) 

P.S. I have already received two new credit card applications in the mail this week, which started today.  This suggests to me that the credit market has not shut down, and if I were a Congressman, my first new Bill would raise the postage costs for credit card applications, with all the resulting revenue going toward paying off the unfortunate $700b nonsense that you people agreed to provide last week to keep the market from tumbling, which it did anyway. Nice work.