Friday, February 22, 2013

Back On The Grid

Two and a half days with no TV and basically no internet at home - just a carefully rationed 3G connection. It was like a trip to the 90s, when I was too grad-school cool for cable TV and only turned on the tiny rabbit ears set for Major Events. Berlin Wall coming down? Yeah, I'll watch that. Internet? Like my ancient Juno account: dial up, grab, read offline, compose replies, back online, send.

It was also a little like the early days dating Koni, when I'd go to her old house way outside town and maybe check my messages on a run to town via McDonalds' free wifi- So yeah, some nice family bonding the last couple TV free days - but it's good to be back doing my usual mouse potatoing, or as I describe it to Koni, research for my next post. (Cracked: "4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People")

Low point of the Great Outage was yesterday at lunch. Our neighbor had the same basic and obvious problem - tree limb knocked the line off the pole - and the Mediacom crew was next door with a crew and ladders. "You're getting 313 next?" I ask. The guys literally stared at me speechless and denied we'd ever made a call. So we repeat our call to their bosses and get a bureaucratic run-around -- and as a professional bureaucrat I don't use the word lightly.

Punch line? I was late back to work because they were blocking my driveway. And they still didn't fix us till today. More efficient to send a different crew to the same block the next day, I guess.

Enough rant. A few short political notes:

11 days to the supervisor election and last night Terry Dahms scored a unanimous endorsement from the Iowa City Federation of Labor. Iowa Democratic Party chair Tyler Olson writes:
I hope you can join me this Sunday for a "Get out the Vote" rally in support of our Democratic Nominee for Johnson County Supervisor, Terry Dahms. Terry has been chair of the Johnson County Democrats for the last two years, and has worked hard to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket. Now it is our time to show our support and put another great Democrat on the Board of Supervisors in Johnson County!
The rally will take place at:
Capanna Coffee 
1:30pm - 3:30pm

Also 11 days to the much more publicized Linn County casino election. I don't honestly know how I'd vote... but I do know that you could build a casino across the street from me and I'd never play. I might catch a concert from some Too Old To Be Cool band though.

Point is: gambling dollars are finite and we're well past the point of saturation. Are you "creating" jobs, or just taking them from Riverside? I suppose on a pure green perspective, if people are going to gamble anyway, put the damn thing in the bigger town and reduce the carbon footprint from the cars driving from CR to Tama. Not sure that's a convincing argument either way.

More fallout from John McCain's hostile town hall on immigration:
The Republican political establishment sees immigration reform as a political necessity. Much of the party’s base sees it as the end of the rule of law.
McCain’s testy townhall typifies the divide between a party in Washington that, for the most part, simply wants to find a way to get to a “yes” on immigration reform and an activist base who views that effort as contradictory to the foundational principles of the party.
I think the usually spot-on Chris Cilizza misses here. I believe it's less about "rule of law" and more about fear and hatred of a multi-cultural, multi-lingual America. And no one -- are you reading, Steve King? -- no one has yet articulated how "rule of law" means anything other than mass deportations, and not Romneyesque "self" deportations either. And if you're doing that let's tear down the Statue of Liberty, or at least sandblast away that Emma Lazarus amnesty crap about huddled masses yearning to be free.

Finally, Janelle Rettig with the weather. Get your eyes very close to the screen to read this:

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