Off to Europe to see just why Brussels sprouts are no longer available on my supermarket shelves. Next week’s posts may be erratic or heavily accënted.

My Boeing 777 was tugged back from the gate in the traditional way.  According to Borealis, “We have completed our side of the WheelTug contract. The next round of the testing process will take some time, and any announcements about the results will be made either by the Boeing Company, or jointly by Boeing and Chorus Motors plc.”  I live for this day.  Unless the news is bad, in which case – keep hope alive! – I live for perpetual postponement.

Astonishing thing: My Blackberry works in London.

Astonishing thing: A few hours ago, when I wrote the rest of this, I was in Miami.  Now I am in London.  Kings, sheiks, popes and even the great Genghis Khan himself (not to mention Croesus) could not have imagined such a thing.

Astonishing thing: The train from Heathrow zips into Paddington station in 15 minutes.  Cabs are waiting to take you to the Scotch Shop to pick up the key your friend left you to his flat.

Astonishing thing: It’s sunny!

I am so astonished, I am going back to sleep.  Tomorrow: Amsterdam!

INTERESTING. WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER?

Kathi Derevan: “I recently saw one of my favorite authors, Jane Smiley, interviewed at UCLA. She has expressed her disdain for the free market economy, and was asked did she not profit greatly from it, as she is a very successful writer. Her comment was close to what I would say if I could have thought of it – that she would rather be middle class in a country with a thriving middle class than rich in a country where only the rich thrive.”

☞ We are thriving, alright.  My marginal federal tax bracket is now 15%.  (Like many of the most fortunate, my income derives from dividends and capital gains, not wages.)  Our maid’s marginal bracket is higher.  Even so – and astonishingly (this is really astonishing) – the Republican Party works to widen the gap still further.  It fights to eliminate the estate tax on billionaires, while fighting, also, to make sure the minimum wage (adjusted for inflation) falls ever lower.  Even more astonishingly, they claim Jesus as their guide.

THE EXIT POLLS DO NOT DEMONSTRATE THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN

Yes, efforts were almost surely undertaken to suppress the Democratic vote.  Yes, reforms cry out to be made.  (That anyone would accept voting machines without an auditable paper trail may be the most astonishing thing of all.)  But as to whether the 2004 exit polls prove a stolen election, click here for further persuasive argument that they do not.

Even some strong critics of the election agree.  One small snip:

“I believe your election was inexcusably riggable and may well have been rigged,” writes Liddle.  “It was also inexcusably unauditable. I am convinced that there was real and massive voter suppression in Ohio, and that it was probably deliberate.  I think the recount in Ohio was a sham, and the subversion of the recount is in itself suggestive of coverup of fraud.  I think Kenneth Blackwell should be jailed. However . . . I don’t believe the exit polls in themselves are evidence for fraud.”

☞ Yesterday, the DNC announced formation of a National Democratic Lawyers Council to formalize the network of 17,000 volunteer lawyers and law students who helped restrain abuses last time.  Separately, smaller groups are working to push for systemic reform.  Stay tuned.

The next sound you hear on this page, if the Dutch know from wifi, will be the clicker clacker of little wooden feet.  Have a great weekend.

 

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