Alan Light:Here’s where you can find how many people have your same name in the United States. There are 21 of me.’

☞ And – gad – 38 of me. Not sure how accurate this is. My pal Steve Sapka may be interested to know there is no one in the U.S. with the last name ‘Sapka.’ The estimable Alan Rogowsky (and his brother Marty) may be interested to know there are no Rogowskys. I was just with Heather Mizeur a couple of hours ago and now she does not exist – yet will soon be sitting in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Turns out, the 1990 census data on which this site is based does not include relatively uncommon names (no one in the U.S. has the first name Humphrey?), and arrives at its answers by a process of estimation.


Michael A.: ‘It’s my understanding (not from experience, alas) that if you make at 800 call to a phone sex number you would have to give a credit card to get billed. (If you use a 900 number it’s automatically billed to the telephone account.) I guess the bill would go to the hotel who would charge the patron. In any case, you don’t run up a bill by just misdialing three digits. What I do know from experience is the feds are very sensitive about things like that. Having traveled under GSA rules, I can tell you it doesn’t matter how small the amount is. And anything that has to do with sex is really sensitive. Federally funded travel is a big deal these days, and the contractors and agencies are subject to multiple audits. For example, Los Alamos got its travel accounts audited by GSA, IG, DOE, NNSA, University of California, and at least two others. The auditors do want accounts to balance to the penny. They will spend thousands of dollars auditing for hundred dollar discrepancies.’

☞ Ah. But many hotels charge you to make an 800-call, which is presumably what happened here. (Is it your view that it was just coincidence that, after spending a few seconds on a sex line, his next call would be to exactly the same 7-digit number with a different area code? Isn’t the almost certain explanation that he simply misdialed the first time?) In any event, can you possibly be saying that – to a Party that has added several trillion dollars to our national debt – one dollar and twenty five cents of taxpayer money merits a TV ad campaign impugning a candidate’s fitness for office?

Craig Wiener: ‘One detail which the story you link to fails to mention is that Arcuri’s Republican opponent also criticized the NRCC for the ad and wants it pulled.’

☞ Unless there’s some winking and nodding going on, this makes the shamelessness of the Republican leadership even more callous.


Jon Kaake: ‘You write: ‘Won’t you be glad when this is over 16 days from now? I can hardly wait.’ Here in Oregon, it’s already over, at least for me. Dropped my ballot in the box yesterday. Of course other Oregonians can wait, if they want to, until November 2. But vote-by-mail here has caused long lines at polling places to disappear. No more standing in the rain. You can fill out your ballot at home over a cup of coffee and reference your voter’s pamphlet for guidance. And no electronic voting machines to get hacked, no unexplained lack of ballots at the polls, no mixup of polling places, a paper trail available for recounts, and best of all, you can say ‘I’ve already voted’ to those annoying political phone calls from now until the polls close. And voter participation is up.’

☞ And if we lose, Oregon law allows physician-assisted suicide.

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