QUICK! CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION

I went to voteforchange.com to find out whether I’m still registered. (Our Republican friends like to do voter purges.) The site asked me address and then – an instant later – told me that if April such-and-such is my birthday (i.e., if I am that Andrew Tobias) then, yep, I’m registered. Knocked my socks off how fast it worked.

I then asked for my early-voting locations (early voting has already begun in eight states) and – bang – there they were.

The site may not work this well for your state, but it sure worked well for me.

The first deadlines for voter registration are this Saturday. By next Wednesday, deadlines will have passed in 22 states. If you know anyone in a battleground state, be sure he or she knows about voteforchange.com.

HURRY UP AND PASS THE THING

This links to a summary of a study of 42 banking crises around the world. To summarize the summary:

Some types of government intervention work and some don’t. One characteristic that is needed though is speed. Dithering, a la Japan, is a recipe for disaster.

☞ I love the man-and-woman-on-the-street interviews with folks angry at the situation. ‘This should not be happening!’ they say. (They’re right about that much.) ‘Absolutely not!’ they say to any bail-out.

They seem quite sure that the combined wisdom and expertise of Fed Chairman Bernanke (who’s spent his life studying the Depression), Treasury Secretary Paulson (who ran the world’s premier investment bank), and Barney Frank (28 years on the House Finance Committee and now its chair) must be subsidiary to their own.

It seems to me that when political polar opposites like George W. Bush and Barney Frank agree, the urgency must be real.

It’s fine not to like the rescue plan. The liberal, brilliant Professor Jeffrey Sachs went on at some length on CNN explaining why he didn’t like it – but then made certain viewers understood that, if he were in Congress, he would have held his nose and absolutely voted for it. Good for the Senate last night, 74-25. Now for the House, please. Because, speaking of ‘dithering’ . . .

FIRE!

Few people know that on October 8, 1871, Mr. and Mrs. O’Leary, of 137 De Koven Street, were actually in the barn when their cow kicked over the lantern.

‘Patrick!’ screamed Mrs. O’Leary, looking around frantically for something wet. ‘Smash that champagne bottle and pour it on this hay!’

‘The champagne? It cost a fortune! And what the hell’s it doing out here in the barn? — ‘

‘Patrick!’ she screamed again.

‘ – and isn’t alcohol flammable? It just might make it worse!’

Her husband started running to the pump to get a bucket of water. Catherine herself then lunged for the champagne bottle, smashed its neck with a hammer and . . .

SCENARIO A: . . . managed to douse the little fire. They went to bed.

SCENARIO B: . . . was just a little too late to contain it. While the blaze ironically spared the O’Leary house, more than three square miles of Chicago were razed, leaving 100,000 homeless and 300 dead.

I have purposely not Googled to find out whether champagne actually would put out the beginnings of a fire. There is uncertainty in any rescue plan.

But beer would.

TONIGHT’S DEBATE

From the Campaign:

This debate is about two very different philosophies of where to take the country: The economic philosophy that got us in this deep hole the last eight years, cost us 600,000 jobs this year and brought Wall Street to the brink of collapse and the foreign policy philosophy that isolated America and got us into a war in Iraq with no end in sight – versus a philosophy that says we need to invest in the middle class, put in place responsible 21st century regulations to protect consumers, revitalize our alliances and end this war.

Joe Biden brings to the vice presidency more legislative experience and deep relationships on Capitol Hill than any vice president since the days of Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey, which is critical for an incoming Administration committed to making big, bold, fundamental changes in public policy at home and throughout the world.

Governor Palin has energized John McCain’s campaign with his base, and demonstrated she’s an incredibly skilled politician who can throw a punch. She is undefeated as a debater with a 7-0 record. She debated and defeated two giants of Alaska politics: sitting Governor and 17-year Republican Senator Frank Murkowski as well as two-term former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles. She’s an exceptional communicator.

☞ I share characteristics with both. I am like Joe Biden in that I sometimes get a bit wordy. I am like Sarah Palin in that I am not qualified to be President of the United States.

(If you think that’s not the relevant test, click here for a video reviewing Senator McCain’s health.)

Tomorrow: ANOTHER Republican for Obama – a Texan, No Less, Former Publisher of the National Review!

 

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