Politics Hangover

It’s the day after Election Day here in the United States and you know what that means: lots of hand wringing. I, for example have been wringing my hands greatly over the Oregon governor race, where Tina Kotek is winning by 1% over Republican Christine Drazan. I am also fist shaking at independent Betsy Johnson, who pretty obviously was on the ballot just to take votes away from Tina; though, last I checked Multnomah County ballots are still being counted which means that Tina will likely win anyway.

Meanwhile, human waste pile Lauren Boebert might lose her seat in Colorado. Raphael Warnock is pulling ahead of Herschel fucking Walker, thank god. If Herschel Walker won a Senate seat I would apply for asylum in Canada, I swear.

I really wish American politics didn’t feel like I am watching an episode of American Idol or something. News channels have really hopped on this concept of elections being nail biters to the point where the whole thing almost feels rigged. Like, I kind of get when people think this shit is rigged. Our Senate race might literally end with a 50-50 split, like last time, which means it’s going to be harder to get anything done. How is this even possible? More people live in the large cities of the U.S. than they do in the rural areas–so why is it an even split between Democrats and Republicans? Seems rigged, right?

Don’t worry, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, other than that the American political system has basically been rigged in favor of rich white men since its inception. That’s not really a conspiracy though, but a feature that we’re slowly but surely patching out.

We’re probably going to lose the House, which means absolutely nothing is going to get done for the next two years because the GOP House will introduce bills that Tim Minchin I mean Joe Manchin1This is literally just a joke because I keep getting the names confused. and Kyrsten Sinema will vote for in the Senate, Biden will veto, then it won’t get past the 2/3rds vote. They’re just going to lame duck Biden until the election and then Donald Trump will be resurrected with the flashing red lights, appearing on stage to absorb the conservative Supreme Court justices and attain his final form.

In other, more awesome political news, Portland is finally, FINALLY after over 100 years going to scrap its stupid-ass commissioner style government–the last of its kind in the U.S.!–and turn it into a more traditional city council-style government. This means that five commissioners will no longer be the people that run the show. Also, candidates will be voted on in a ranked choice system, hopefully keeping the Betsy Johnson’s from stealing votes.

Rene Gonzalez is usurping Jo Ann Hardesty’s commissioner spot but hopefully it won’t matter due to the gov’t change. (Though I don’t suspect that the change will be immediate.)

Other measure results: 111, which would make healthcare a fundamental right in the Oregon constitution, is currently failing but with only 71% of the votes counted. I was leery about this one because while yes, I do want healthcare to be a fundamental right everywhere, all the time, the measure links it with our education budget, which might mean that education takes a dip for healthcare. Both of these are fundamental rights in my opinion and both should be independently funded.

Measure 112, which removes slavery from the OR constitution, is passing. Excellent. Measure 113, which vacates a legislator’s term if they accrue more than 10 unexcused absences, is also passing. This is very good, as we had a few moments where the GOP members would just not show up to votes, which is A) cowardly and B) shitty. Glad we’re fixing that.

Measure 114 is apparently the strongest gun control laws in the country, and is slightly passing. We’ll see if that holds up. I’m imagining some lawsuits if it passes, ones that will rise up to SCOTUS, where beer-laden Brett Kavanaugh will puke on the docket, destroying the bill.

The cities of Estacada, Sandy, Molalla, Banks, Cornelius, and the entirety of Clackamas County all passed measures to prohibit psilocybin-related businesses within their areas. Cowards. Cowards! Someone send an educator there to explain that magic mushrooms aren’t fentanyl and that most people have better lives on psilocybin.

Mult County is amending the charter to replace gender binary terms with gender neutral ones. Good. Take that, gender binary! Also, county officials will be elected via ranked choice voting, also good. BIG win on Measure 26-233, which will have annual jail inspections by commissioners, with volunteers reporting. This is very good, and will very much find more corruption within the jail employees than the prisoners, I guarantee it.

Overall, locally the election seems to be doing some good. Hopefully Tina Kotek will win the governor spot and we can get some real work done with Oregon and Portland. Nationally … I’m not expecting much. Just give me my $20,000 student loan forgiveness at least.

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    This is literally just a joke because I keep getting the names confused.

How U.S. Presidential Elections Work

Every election cycle, people start talking about the Electoral College and how it works, and unfortunately a lot of you are deeply misinformed about the process, which can result in some nasty arguments and bad words slung to and fro. So I thought I’d shed some light and how electors actually work. Consider this a crash course in U.S. politics!

In a presidential election, you vote for one out of however many candidates are on the ballot. This is called the “popular vote” because it counts every actual human being who voted. However, the Founding Fathers were concerned about the entire populace voting (mostly I think because they thought people were idiots), so they created “electors,” which are people who vote for a group of other people, based on population size within a state. Idaho, for example, has 4 electoral votes because the state’s population is small enough that they only get four.

The electors are appointed by their party to vote for that party if a sizable amount of the population in their state also votes for that party. However, an elector’s “vote” is hardly that; instead of a simple ballot with a circle they fill in, the electors vote by writing down a recipe, typically one handed down to them by their mother or grandmother. This recipe must include at least three ingredients; this was clarified after the 1884 election in which one of Grover Cleveland’s elector’s recipes — for “cereal” — included only milk and corn flakes and was deemed, after a lengthy debate, to be not a recipe but just the addition of milk to a dry cereal.

These recipes are gathered and then sent to Congress, where a committee headed by the House majority whip read and review each recipe by having the congressional kitchen cook or bake them, and then sampling each concoction during what’s known as Washington’s Feast. The best recipe is deemed the winner. Typically, since the president with more electoral votes wins the presidency, more electoral votes also means a better pool of recipes with which to win, though there have been some upsets in the past: in 1848, for example, one of Lewis Cass’s electors provided a scrumptious recipe for “bread with meatballs” (the prototype for what later would be known as a meatball sub) which actually won the recipe competition, but was not enough to win against Zachary Taylor.

Why was this? Well, once a recipe wins, the food is given to the current sitting president and his spouse, where they dine together one last time in the white house. During the dinner it is customary to allow some of the food to fall to the floor as scraps for the presidential pet. (This is why presidents have pets, by the way.) If the pet devours the scraps, then the dinner is considered satisfactory and the president approval means they believe the candidate should win. In Cass’s case, however, Zachary Taylor’s dog Erasmus refused to eat a meatball which plopped onto the floor; it was later discovered that Erasmus was suffering from extreme canine arthritis and refused to eat anything, and was shot on the white house lawn several days later.

You’re probably asking: shouldn’t it be unlawful for the president to choose the next president vis a vis what their dog eats? The answer is: yes! The Constitution expressly forbids any pet of an elected official to choose the outcome of an election. What happens next is that when the president approves the president-elect, he then hires four surly men (traditionally sailors) to fight over whether the president’s approval counts. The fight is typically fisticuffs over a long weekend, though in recent days “fight” has been interpreted with debate, competitions, and even playing Call of Duty multiplayer.

Whoever is left standing at the end becomes the winner, and thus becomes the “superelectorate.” The superelectorate’s job is to talk to the Presidential Oracle, which is located inside the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The Oracle is a small bird, usually a robin or a sparrow, who nests inside the Bell and will only speak to whomever becomes the superelectorate. The superelectorate must tell the Oracle who the president has decreed will be the next president, and then sit next to the bell for three days and three nights; on the morning of the fourth day, the Oracle will tweet, and the number of times it tweets from dawn until the sun hits its zenith determines who will become the president. By the end of this part of the election cycle, the superelectorate will have gone certifiably insane and the Bill of Rights requires that they be released into the wilds of West Virginia. The superelectorate is at that point considered a feral creature for the purposes of social security.

News of the election results is whispered by a series of goldfish in bowls set up in two feet increments from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., where the final goldfish speaks the results directly to an Asian man (no one knows why it must be an Asian man). The fish usually whisper, for example, “Hillary pres,” as they are encouraged to keep the message brief to not allow embarrassing, telephone game-esque blunders, like in 1908 when the last fish to reach D.C. proclaimed “Wilson Hambrand Taffy” the “Personmate of the You Neighed, Ted Stapes Purple Monkey Dishwasher.”

Also, the last fish is typically eaten by the newly elected president on Inauguration Day.

So, it may seem strange and weird, how our presidential election works, but in truth it couldn’t be more simpler: a party appoints an elector for a state, who submits a recipe to the Presidential Feast; the winning recipe is cooked for the president, and if their dog eats a scrap it means the president approves them; then the president has four sailors fight — the last one standing becomes the superelectorate and must sit under the Liberty Bell for three days until the Oracle (a bird) tells him who the winner is; then the superelectorate tells a goldfish who then whispers to other goldfish in bowls until the last goldfish in D.C. tells an Asian man who the president is.

I hope you’ll keep all of this in mind as you send in your ballots this election season. Democracy is a right, but it does not come easily!

fiction politics

CELEBRITY JEOPARDY: 2016 Presidential Election Edition






FADE IN on Jeopardy set.

TREBEK: Hello and welcome to Jeopardy. As always I am your host, Alex Trebek. Tonight’s celebrity episode is politically-themed, in honor of the upcoming presidential election — and yet, looking at our contestants, I feel certain that this may be the dumbest Celebrity Jeopardy yet. Still, we saunter on. Let’s introduce our three contestants. First, Republican candidate and man of great words, Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Alex, before we begin I just want to say that the other contestants here are worthless piles of human garbage who have never owned a thing of beauty in their entire lives.

TREBEK: That is quite harsh, Mr. Trump.

(TRUMP gives his smug sour face.)

TREBEK: Next we have Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.


TREBEK: You. Gary Johnson.

JOHNSON: Never heard of him.

TREBEK (dumbfounded): Ah. Okay. And finally, we were supposed to have Hillary Clinton as the third contestant but she declined due to suffering from pneumonia during our taping.

TRUMP (too close to mic): She has a terrible immune system —

TREBEK: That’s enough, Mr. Trump. After Mrs. Clinton declined we offered the third spot to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, but she also declined due to Mercury being in retrograde. We even tried getting a hold of Vermin Supreme, the presidential candidate who wears a boot on his head, but his calls went straight to voicemail.
And so, unfortunately, here’s Sean Connery.

CONNERY: Ha ha! We meet again Trebek!

TREBEK: Truly we are like the Sherlock and Moriarty of game shows.

CONNERY: No, Trebek, I’m the Holmes.

TREBEK: Is that so?

CONNERY: The John Holmes! Ha ha! (grabs junk)

TREBEK: Good lord.

CONNERY (off camera, shouting): I HAVE A LARGE PENIS —

TREBEK: We get it, Mr. Connery.

CONNERY: Your mother got it last night —

TRUMP: If I may interrupt, John Holmes had a very tiny penis compared to my penis. My penis, is huge. You’ll never see a larger penis than mine. It’s been documented.

(CAMERA cuts back to TREBEK, who has loosened his tie and is opening a bottle of cheap whiskey. He takes a swig.)

TREBEK: Let’s just get this over with. Here are our categories for Double Jeopardy: “U.S. History,” “Cars That End With ‘-ord’”, “Trebek Answers” — in this category, if you choose it, and I hope you do, I will read the clue and then also answer it and you will win. It’s really that simple — “Potent Potables,” “Current Events,” and “ ‘Ripoff’ Art”. This category is about famous artists and the art they stole from.

TRUMP: What is Led Zeppelin.

TREBEK: I haven’t even begun, Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: They stole all their music, Robert Plant told me personally backstage in 1975 after a six hour cocaine binge. (Sniffs loudly.) It’s all over the news.

TREBEK: Great. Mr. Johnson, you have control of the board. Might I suggest picking “Trebek Answers”.

TREBEK: Mr. Johnson.

TRUMP (to Gary): He’s talking to you, Gary.

JOHNSON: Oh. Me? Yes. Ah, ha ha, of course. (sticks tongue out briefly) If I am elected president I will ensure that our civil liberties shall not be infringed upon —

TREBEK: I’m sorry, Mr. Johnson, but this is not a presidential debate. It’s Jeopardy.

JOHNSON: What is that?

TREBEK: It’s the television show you agreed to be on.

JOHNSON: “Television”?

TREBEK: Just … please pick a topic from the board in front of you. Hopefully “Trebek Answers.”

JOHNSON: Ah, uh … I’ll take “Current Events” for $200.

TREBEK (reads): “This event, currently happening in the U.S., has its Election Day on November 8th, 2016.”
(No answer.)
November 8th, 2016. I’ll give you a hint: you’re in it right now.

(TRUMP buzzes.)

TREBEK: Mr. Trump.

TRUMP: Miss America pageant.


TRUMP (close to mic): Wrong.

(CONNERY buzzes.)

TREBEK: Mr. Connery.

CONNERY: What is my penis?


CONNERY: But I’m sure it’ll be having a big erection on —

TREBEK: Mr. Connery that is enough.

CONNERY: It wasn’t enough for your mother, Trebek!

(JOHNSON buzzes.)

TREBEK: Thank god. Mr. Johnson.




TREBEK: Yes, you.

JOHNSON: What about me?

TREBEK: What is your answer?

JOHNSON: To what?

TREBEK: To the clue I just gave you.

JOHNSON: What clue?

(“Too late” buzzer sounds.)

TREBEK: Doesn’t matter. Nothing matters anymore. Mr. Johnson, you still have control of the board.

JOHNSON: The what?

TREBEK: The board.

JOHNSON (tongue sticking out): Tha wha?

CONNERY: Ah, trying to impress Trebek with your tongue length. We’ll see about that! (Sticks out tongue.)

TRUMP: Listen, I have the longest tongue, Sean Hannity knows I have the longest tongue, he’s seen my tongue, it’s a good tongue, you can call him, he’ll tell you. (Sticks out tongue.)

(All three of them have their tongues out.)

TREBEK: Somebody check the tapes, but I am pretty sure this is a new low for Celebrity Jeopardy: three grown men with their tongues out. Gentlemen. Please keep your tongues inside your mouths at all times.

JOHNSON: Our whats?

TREBEK: Your TONGUES — oh nevermind. Mr. Trump, pick a topic.

TRUMP: Picking topics I am great at. It’s the greatest thing I do. I’ll take “Trump” for one million.

TREBEK: There is no “Trump” topic.

TRUMP: Yes there is.

TREBEK: No there’s not.

TRUMP (close to mic): Wrong.

TREBEK: Mr. Trump, please just say “I’ll take ‘Trebek Answers’ for $1,000.”

TRUMP: I never said that.

TREBEK: I … I know. Just say it out loud, right now.

TRUMP: It’s always the same, the liberal lamestream media, always wanting to put words into my mouth that I never said. Sad! Hold on I’m gonna tweet that. (Goes to tweet.)

TREBEK: … Mr. Connery?

CONNERY: I’ll take “Rip A Fart” for $300.

(CAMERA on “ ‘Ripoff’ Art.” Then to TREBEK’s face, CONNERY laughing in background.)

TREBEK: That’s … Ripoff Art.

CONNERY: Yes. Rip a fart.

TREBEK (overenunciating): Rip. Off. Art.

CONNERY: If you say so Trebek! (Farts.)

TREBEK: Good god almighty.

TRUMP: Hey, I happen to know for a fact that Sean Connery’s farts are awful and pale in comparison to my excellent farts. I have the best farts, you can check the tapes. I eat gold-flaked caviar every day for lunch. Check this out. (Farts.)

CONNERY: Ha, you call that a fart? (Farts again.)

TRUMP: Now this is the type of debate I like! (Farts.)

(They start a farting war. TREBEK sounds an AIR HORN multiple times until they stop.)


TRUMP: Wait. We need to check Gary’s farts.

TREBEK: No we don’t.

TRUMP: It’s only fair Alex. You give one candidate time to fart you gotta give equal time to the other candidates. That’s how it works. Gary, give us a big wet one you weird-looking dude.


TRUMP: You look like a claymation golem under a heat lamp. Give us a fart.

CONNERY: Rip a fart! Come on you bloody coward!

(JOHNSON hesitates, then lets off a squeaker. CONNERY laughs wildly, TRUMP makes his sour face and does a “so-so” gesture with his hand.)

TRUMP (close to mic): I’ve heard better, Alex.

(CAMERA on TREBEK, who has a pistol to his temple.)

TREBEK: I’m going to do it. I swear to God I am going to do it. If we do not get a correct answer in Final Jeopardy I am going to murder myself live on air. It truly will be a “Final” Jeopardy.

TRUMP: Now that’s great television.

TREBEK: Your Final Jeopardy clue is: “Draw a shape.”
(as music plays)
That’s right, draw a shape. Any shape. A circle, a triangle, if you are feeling brave even a square. Anything that is considered a shape will win. Any shape at all.
(music ends)
Mr. Trump, you are first. Let us see, did you draw a shape?

(On TRUMP’s display: “TRUMP”.)

TREBEK: Ah. (to JUDGES offscreen) Judges, would you consider the enclosed loop in the R or the P a “shape”? It’s kind of like a circle, flattened on one end, wouldn’t you say? Please understand that if you say no, I will murder myself, and my wife will be a widow.
I see. Life is meaningless. Mr. Trump, your answer is incorrect. How much did you wager?

(On TRUMP’s display: “STEAKS”. CAMERA on TRUMP, he’s holding a vacuum-sealed steak.)

TRUMP: Trump Steaks are the greatest steaks you’ll ever eat. They are from the best beef in a tiny impoverished village in Cambodia, or Colomba, something like that. I have kids working overtime to slaughter these cows. We slaughter so many cows. We’re the best at it.

TREBEK: You … wagered your own steak.

(CAMERA on TRUMP, making his sour face with the steak close to his face.)

TREBEK: Okay. Mr. Johnson, what — where is Mr. Johnson?

(CAMERA on JOHNSON’s podium, no one is there.)

TREBEK: Mr. Johnson seems to have left the stage. Oh well. What did he draw?

(On JOHNSON’s display: nothing.)

TREBEK: Of course. How could I be so stupid. The wager?

(On JOHNSON’s display: “Aleppo”)

TREBEK: I … I want to say goodbye to my wife Jean, and to my two children, Matthew and Emily, whom I love very, very much. Daddy is going to a better place, I promise you.
Mr. Connery, my arch-nemesis. Only you can save me from the loving embrace of permanent death. What did you draw?

(On CONNERY’s display: a circle with a dot inside.)

TREBEK: Oh my god. Mr. Connery, you’ve done it. You drew a circle. You drew an actual circle! You drew a shape. Oh thank god.
I’m so sorry Jean, Matthew, Emily, I’m so sorry I’ve worried you. I’m coming home tonight. I’m coming home.
What was your wager?

(On CONNERY’s display: reveals the circle is the head of a cock and balls. CONNERY laughs wildly.)

CONNERY: Told’ya I’d have a big erection! Ha ha! Ha ha ha!

(TREBEK pauses, then lifts gun to head. STAGEHANDS run in and grab his arms.)

TREBEK (as they drag him off screen): That’s all the time we have. Jean I’ll see you at the hospital. Good night.