Friday, September 22, 2006

First Scratch-Offs, then the Nation...

Dr. Koza, the geneticist who invented the scratch off lottery ticket, has a plan to take down the electoral college. The man's a genius!

From today's NY Times...

“When people complain that it’s an end run,” Dr. Koza said, “I just tell them, ‘Hey, an end run is a legal play in football.’ ’’

The first fruit of his effort, a bill approved by the California legislature that would allocate the state’s 55 electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, sits on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk. The governor has to decide by Sept. 30 whether to sign it, a decision that may well determine whether Dr. Koza’s scheme takes flight or becomes another relic in the history of efforts to kill the Electoral College."

This would have prevented Bush in 2000 and the presidencies of those other monsters, Benjamin Harrison and Rutherford B. Hayes.

I'd love to pretend I know all about those two but of course I don't. Although I am a googling kind of girl. The real reason I'm looking them up, though, is that I want to know why Rutherford B. Hayes is always known as Rutherford B. Was it to distinguish him from that other Rutherford Hayes, the baby stabbing cad?

In case you don't know anything about Rutherford B. either, here's the deal. He was the last president to hold the office wearing a beard (further evidence that beards are sneaky) and the first one to visit California. He had close relatives named Sophia, Lorenzo, Sardis and Fanny, and his father, sadly, was Rutherford without an initial. Paraguayans love him. He was elected to congress without campaigning, and he almost became our first one-armed president when he was shot in the civil war. He was known as "Old Granny" and it was said about him that he was "a third rate nonentity, whose only recommendation is that he is obnoxious to no one." You can read other, less exciting facts about him here.

Benjamin Harrison, though, was the boring one.

The only exciting things about him are that he was called "Little Ben" and that he tried to get us Hawaii, but Grover Cleveland gave it back.

In other news, Congress decided yesterday not to gut the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Act. Which is great news, but, you know, the kind of great news where the bully gets sent home from school for a few days but not expelled.

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