Mrs. McG's work schedule allows us to sit out the crowded three-day weekends and enjoy the peace and quiet after everyone else is back at work. The fact local schools are out of session for the summer means no more trying to time errands around school-zone speed limits and school-bus rodeos; I can't think of a single major road in the county that doesn't have a school on it somewhere.
The tradeoff, of course, is that it's summer in subtropical west Georgia — where dewpoints in the 60s qualify as "dry."
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 McGehee
Today or tomorrow, I find out whether the Libertarian Party nominee will be an option for my vote in November.
The frontrunners are:
Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico who likes using taxpayer dollars to fund Genocide, Inc. (otherwise known as Planned Parenthood) and thinks it would be wonderful to force a Jewish baker to decorate a cake for Nazis.
John McAfee, best known for creating the antivirus software that bears his name and has become so bloated that it's second only to Norton in how quickly it gets uninstalled when I see it, and second best known for being a person of interest in his neighbor's murder and eventually getting so paranoid about the case that only the restraint of the Belizean police — and his hasty flight to Guatemala — prevented his compound from becoming a second Waco.
Austin Petersen, barely old enough to even run for president, but he says the right things about most of the issues and doesn't contradict himself four words later. In a few more years he could be a truly formidable, seasoned candidate and he's already the first prospective face of the Libertarian Party that doesn't seem to have mental or chemical (or both) issues. I have seen some reason to question his maturity though.
In a lot of ways Donald Trump's galloping dementia is simply a GOP version of the LP's longtime problem: you can only ignore the insanity so long before you have to decide whether to become complicit. Maybe the Republican Establishment's embrace of the ultimate #SyphiliticCamel is a good sign, that someday the Libertarians might find a home in the GOP's firetrap of a big tent.
Anyway, if either Johnson or McAfee gets the nomination, I'll probably have to vote for Darrell Castle, the Constitution Party nominee. As I've said before, I'm not so big on some of the so-con baggage they bring to the table, but at least they're not certifiably insane. That I've been able to detect.
I know nothing at all about Castle's background or character, but on the bright side he's almost certain not to get any Electoral Votes. So I've got that going for me.
Which is nice.
Update: It's Johnson. Now not only am I more democratic than the Democrats and more republican than the Republicans, I'm also more libertarian than the Libertarians.
Saturday, May 28, 2016 McGehee
The longer I live in Georgia, the harder I ache for the West.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 McGehee
Today Peach Staters pick their down-ballot nominees, and since it's a presidential election year the races are few. Georgia elects its statewide officeholders in off-year elections, as does my county for most of its countywide posts.
As discussed in a previous entry I have some idea who I'm voting for, but my county doesn't go out of its way to publish who's running for what. It gets printed in the paper, allegedly, but if you miss it in the paper you find out at the polls.
Normally I'm against coddling the disengaged, but the only thing I'm disengaged from here is the goddamn local newspaper; requiring me to pay for a subscription to know who's on my ballot could arguably be considered a poll tax. Other places publish updated candidate and ballot-question lists online. It should be a constitutional duty of every county board of elections or voter registrar.
Rashin' fashin' Rick Rastardly!
Update: Got it wrong about the countywide offices, they come up in presidential years — but this year nearly all of them are uncontested. That's no excuse, though, for the county not being more proactive with the information, since there have been years where every incumbent had an opponent in the primary.
Update, Wednesday: The U.S. Senate nomination went as I expected, with the incumbent winning outright by a huge margin. Maybe in November I'll write in Zell Miller. The state senate nomination also got settled yesterday, with the candidate I voted for apparently unopposed in November.
There will be a runoff in July for the congressional nomination, so I just sent the candidate I voted for a few dollars to help with that.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 McGehee
Science fiction writers love to have alien races refer to their home planets with lyrical names that mean "home" or "womb" or some such sentimental crap.
Not one of the languages ever spoken on our own planet has a connotation anything like that. All words for Earth originated with a connotation along the lines of "soil," which were then repurposed when the notion of the dirt under our feet being a planet like some of those moving lights in the sky, became conceivable.
If you're ever going to write a science fiction story, have your aliens call their home planet something that means "the planet that's actually under our feet instead of up in the sky."
Sunday, May 22, 2016 McGehee
Georgia's congressional and legislative primary election is a couple of weeks away yet, and since my Boehner-era congressman has chosen not to seek re-election, my state senator is among those seeking to replace him.
I've liked him since he joined the state senate, and I'm satisfied that he's not a Trumpkin nor a GOPe toady — on the latter, as far as can be determined about someone who's a member of a part-time body on the state level; becoming a full-time lawmaker in D.C. may change that. But, that's the chance you take, and it's why members of the U.S. House of Representatives face the voters every two years.
As Crane seeks to succeed Westmoreland in a year when his state senate seat is up for re-election, various characters are seeking to succeed Crane. One of these, Matt Brass, has served as Westmoreland's chief of staff. While I was disappointed that Westmoreland kept voting to keep Boehner as Speaker, by and large I thought he was one of the better members of the House. For most of his tenure he was the first, and so far only, congressman I've had that I ever actually approved of.
So Brass's association with Westmoreland doesn't automatically cross him off my list — whereas his opponent has previously set off my Cheeto-dust detector. I may be wrong on both counts, but a GOPe toady in the part-time seat Crane is vacating is, like Crane himself, only a potential problem. In fact, the stakes are low enough that while I expect to vote for Brass in the primary I don't think I'd have any trouble voting for the other guy in November if Brass loses.
Our state representative, Lynn Smith, has been in the legislature too long already, but is unopposed for the Republican nomination. The odds of a Democrat winning in November in this district are about as good as the odds that Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from "The Simpsons" could win a write-in campaign for public office.
I'll have to write in a name, or skip that line altogether — the outcome would be the same either way. Maybe I'll try Apu.
After that are judgeships and school board seats. At those levels I've tended to vote against incumbents when they have a challenger, just on general principles. There've been exceptions but not this year.
Two and a half weeks remain before the balloting, so it's possible at least one of my choices could change. Early-voting has already begun but I don't see a need to do that for these offices; our fire-station polling place isn't likely to be a madhouse for this as it was in November of 2012.
This November? We'll see. It's hard to imagine Trump vs. Clinton attracting a record turnout on either side.
Update: We also have a U.S. Senate seat up for election this year. I think I'll vote for Derrick Grayson. The incumbent, Johnny Isakson, is right out (though he'll probably win the primary outright).
I can see me casting a lot of write-in votes this November.
Friday, May 6, 2016 McGehee
As of yesterday I am a paid member of the Libertarian Party of Georgia. While I am not in a position to influence, at this late date, the party's nomination for president, the ISideWith.com presidential election quiz puts me at 84% agreement with the platform offered by Austin Petersen, who is currently running second to the profoundly unlibertarian former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson.
That's not as close a match as I had with Ted Cruz, but it'll do.
And anyone who wants to try to shame or bully me into supporting Donald Trump in November might as well pound their heads against a wall. While I watch. And record for YouTube.
Update: And if Petersen loses out to Johnson at the convention later this month, recent court rulings suggest I may be able to vote for this ticket as a fallback. They're a little more social-con than I might be, but if I can't hope for fealty to the Constitution in the White House, fealty to an even higher power can't hurt.
Thursday, May 5, 2016 McGehee
If Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination for President, the media will close ranks both on the news side and on the advertising side — and the only pro-Trump stories or ads that will ever see the light of day will be the ones that make him (and Republicans in general) look the most ridiculous, and Hillary look the most sympathetic.
Take it to the bank.
Update, June 7: Told ya so.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 McGehee