Living With ED (Electoral Dysfunction)

 

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Well, my fellow Americans, the big day is almost here, and the excitement is building to a fever pitch, whatever the Sam Hill that is. Does anybody even know? Didn’t think so. But, I digress.

The point is, Election Day is almost upon us. (Only 5 more shopping days!!) All the citizens who have had all this time to vote early, and still put it off, will march right down to their friendly neighborhood polling station, spend thirty minutes trying to figure out the electronic voting machine, and cast their all-important vote for the candidate of their choice.

Now, whether the machine records the vote correctly, well…

we all know the whole thing is rigged, anyway. Right, Donnie? Anyway…

Once the votes are all counted, a winner will officially be declared.

On January 6th.

 

Wait, what?

Whaddya mean, January 6th? This some kind of joke?

Welcome to Electoral College 101, class. If you’ve never learned this or, like me, learned and long since forgotten, this is for you. Pay, I say, pay close attention, now.

You keep hearing about electoral votes, how it will take 270 of those for one candidate to win. But, what does that mean, exactly?

Okay, the Electoral College is comprised of a designated number of voters from each state, as determined by the number of senators plus representatives in that state. (The District of Columbia gets three electoral votes, in case you were worried.) You have the same number of Republican and Democratic Electors in each state, so whichever candidate wins the popular vote in, let’s say, Texas, wins all the electoral votes from Texas in his or her party.

Hey, WAKE UP!!! That’s better. Now, where was I?

Nebraska and Maine are exceptions to this formula, but nobody knows or cares what happens there, anyway. Just kidding, all you nutty Nebraskans and you…uh…Maine-iacs.

Whoever gets 270 or more of the available 538 electoral votes nationwide is the winner. So, all of you out there who think your vote doesn’t count, consider: it could make a difference in your candidate winning or losing your state.

Why do we have this system, you ask? Glad you asked. If we just relied on the popular vote to decide the election, heavily populated states like California and Texas would have too much influence over the outcome. The Electoral College balances the voting power a little better.

So, each state’s block of electors (members of the winning candidate’s party) assembles in their respective state capitol on December 19th. At this assembly, the electors sign the “Certificate of Vote,” which is sealed and delivered to the Office of the President of the United States Senate.

A special joint session of the U.S. Congress convenes January 6th. At this meeting, the President of the Senate reads the Certificates of Vote and declares the official winner.

All nice, neat and tidy, right? Except…

(dramatic organ music, played on a dramatic organ)

Here’s where ED, Electoral Dysfunction, sometimes shows up. Occasionally, someone becomes a faithless elector, someone who votes for a candidate other than the one he or she pledged to elect. It’s a rare occurrence, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see it happen this election, as crazy as this campaign has been. So, that could make things interesting.

The punishment for a faithless elector is left up to the state in which it occurs, but usually, the guilty person is mercilessly flogged in the public square. Ha, ha! No, that’s not true. The guilty person has to watch replays of all this year’s debates.

I would definitely opt for the flogging. Just saying.

All right, there’s your little Electoral College lesson, students. I see many of you have fallen asleep (again) by now, so I’m confident this lesson has sunk in.

You’re very welcome.

Now, back to Chess With the Stars. And, coming up later, Celebrity Bingo Smackdown.

Monday Night…Football?

 

It’s Monday night.

Are you ready for some high-powered offense?

Some lockdown defense?

A few trick plays?

Some questionable game planning?

A few blown calls by the ref that could be controversial?

And, especially, enough bad blood between the opponents to possibly escalate this contest into an all-out war?

Then you, my friend, are ready for some…

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE!!!

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That’s right, America, this Monday night, you can tune in to the first of three televised debates between Hillary “What Emails?” Clinton and Donald “Boy Hands” Trump. As former NFL braggart Terrell Owens once infamously said, “Getcha popcorn ready.”

I mean, let’s face it, these debates have long since stopped offering anything of substance; just a bunch of well-rehearsed responses to generally unchallenging questions. The candidates will say what they think they should say in order to win your vote. So, the only reason to watch them anymore is for the entertainment value.

Well, this time, there should be plenty of that, because we got us a wild card.

Donnie treats every debate like A Night At The Improv. Preparation and rehearsal are for wimps; he’s just going to dazzle us with his spontaneous brilliance.

Which is a statement dying for a punchline, but I’ll refrain.

Fortunately, every answer he will give can be reduced to one very simple statement: “It’s gonna be great, folks, trust me.”

Like those Trump University students trusted you? Like all those unpaid Trump campaign staffers trusted you? Like that?

Tell me, Donnie, how great is it for them right now?

 

Hil, meanwhile, is all about preparation, as you would expect. She will be prepared out the WAZOO. Even now, she is probably cramming, researching, rehearsing, studying game film, all to get ready for the big matchup. She’ll be so full of information, if someone asks her if she’d like a drink of water, she’ll probably give a ten-minute recitation on the importance of conserving natural resources.

And the minute the referee, er, moderator, NBC’s Lester Holt, brings up the emails, (you know he will; he learned nothing from Matt Lauer) she may bust a spring, her head may spin around, and her eyes may light up and say, “TILT, TILT, TILT…”

You know, the more I think about it, the more I think this debate is going to sound suspiciously like a conversation between Muhammad Ali and that robot from the show, “Lost in Space:”

TRUMP: I AM THE GREATEST!!!

CLINTON: My sensors indicate the presence of aliens.

TRUMP: I’LL SHOCK THE WORLD!! I’LL SHOCK THE WORLD!!

CLINTON: That does not compute.

TRUMP: YOU GOIN’ DOWN, SUCKER!!

CLINTON (arms flailing): DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!!!

Anyway, it promises to be a treat. Don’t miss it.

You’ll only miss the first half of Falcons vs. Saints.

 

Last One Picked

 

Today, friends, Mr. Peabody and I have set the Way Back Machine for the 1960’s, to travel back to the halcyon days of my childhood. Those carefree days when my friends and I would get together to play some team sports: football, kickball, global thermonuclear war…you know, the usual.

Two kids would immediately call out, “First captain, first choose!” and “Second captain, second choose!”, staking their claim as team captains, which afforded them the right to select their teammates. The rest of us would kind of fall in line, like contestants on “The Bachelor”, and anxiously wait for our names to be called, to join that captain’s team.

Naturally, I wanted to be among the first ones chosen, because it meant the team captain recognized what a valuable commodity I was for his team, what with my athletic prowess, and all. (ahem)

Instead, I stood there…and stood there…and stood there. Name after name was called, kid after kid was selected, and I began to get the strong impression, given my keen powers of observation and deduction, that neither captain actually wanted me on his team.

And apparently, neither did his teammates, who began to give directions on who to choose next: “Pick David!””Pick Sammy!””Pick Mrs. Ainsworth! I know she’s 83, pick her!”

Finally, when the Second Captain sadly realized he was completely out of options, he motioned to Yours Truly to come over to his team, looking at me like he wished he could have picked a disabled slug, instead.

What an incredibly proud moment that was for me, knowing I was not chosen for my ability, but simply because there was literally no other choice.

Which brings me to this year’s Presidential election.

 

 

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(Note: The following opinions are my own. And maybe, a couple of other people’s.)

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen.

I keep hoping this turns out to be a well-planned, well-executed, elaborate and exceptionally cruel hoax. Or, perhaps, a long and terrifying nightmare from which I will awaken any minute, awash in the relief that it was nothing but a feverish dream.

I mean, these just can’t be the two leading candidates for President of the United States.

The polls – the altar at which all politicians worship – have spoken: these are the two least liked Presidential candidates in the history of modern polling.

Has it really sunk to this level? Is this truly what we wanted for our choice? What in the name of George Washington is the matter with us? President Hillary Clinton? President Donald Trump?

We…are…so…screwed.

So, on one side, we have…Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

One certainly can’t argue her experience; she’s been in politics for what, like, 80 years now? So she knows how things work (or, more appropriately, don’t work) in Washington.

And yet, with a resume as fully loaded as hers, she still needed help from the Democratic National Committee to secure the nomination, (See Wasserman Schultz, Debbie, emails) as Senator Bernie Sanders, and his followers, proved far more formidable an opponent than initially forecasted.

Know why? Cause we know Hillary so well, from years of observation. And many of us do not like what we see.

Put it another way: What does it say about her track record when a key element of her campaign is convincing more people to trust her?

Besides all that: who really wants to see him back in the White House, as First Bubba?

 

And then, there’s …(gag reflex)…Donnie.

Honestly, where do I even begin?

If that isn’t proof of how pitifully, woefully, historically lame the rest of the field was on the Republican side this year, I sincerely don’t know what is. Even when the Repubs had approximately 50 people running at one time, this guy was still the top choice.

Just think about that a minute.

You know, if he doesn’t win, he’s going to sue the United States for not electing him, you know that, right?

If you’re ready to be led by this bigoted, misogynistic, thin-skinned, vindictive, dozens-more-derogatory-adjectives megalomaniac, well…

I genuinely pity you. You have truly scraped the bottom of the barrel, and this is the disgusting dreck you’ve extracted. He’s on your hands.

 

So…there we are. Your Presidential candidates for 2016. To borrow a phrase from Larry David, curb your enthusiasm.

…um, yeah. More like, I dare you not to puke.

There are, of course, other choices, but our two-party system doesn’t exactly accommodate those interlopers. (Full disclosure: I have a cousin who threw his hat in the ring for President this year. The less said about that, the better, I think.)

And, just for the record, and for what it’s worth, if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic Presidential nominee, I’d cast a thousand votes for him, if it was allowed. I believe he has more integrity in his thumbnail than those other two in their whole bodies, combined.

You’re the team captain. Who ya gonna choose?

I guess that somewhat depends on what game you want to play.