Wednesday, May 23, 2007



I've been meaning to post something about the latest so-called "compromise" on funding for Bush's war ("compromise", in this case, consisting of giving Bush what he wants with no strings attached).

Not surprisingly, Keith Olbermann has said it better than I could have.

Congress, end this war. It's why we elected you.

The Capitulation Bill passed, and is on its way to Bush's desk. The vote to give Bush a blank check was 280-142 in the House, and an amazing 80-14 in the Senate.

Of my own representatives, Brian Bilbray (R, CA-50) voted yes, but that's hardly surprising, since he's a conservative Republican. Senator Barbara Boxer was one of the proud few who voted no (I've already thanked her by e-mail), but Dianne Feinstein voted yes.

Only 10 Democrats in the Senate voted against this bill; the other 4 votes were 3 Republicans (Burr of NC, Coburn of OK, and Enzi of WY) and one Independent (Sanders of VT, who usually votes with the Democrats). Notably, Clinton and Obama both voted no.

My sincere thanks to the 142 Representatives and 14 Senators who voted against this travesty. As for the rest of you, I would appreciate an explanation. If you oppose the Iraq War (as the majority of your constituents do), stop voting to fund it. If you're afraid of being criticized by a president with a 30% (or so) approval rating and no remaining credibility (before today), then get over it.

UPDATE: Why didn't Senator Schumer (D-NY) vote?

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Pet peeve: gasoline prices

No, I'm not going to complain about how high gasoline prices have gotten (even though they're considerably higher here in San Diego than the national average). My complaint is far more trivial, though it's something that's been annoying me for many years.

Gasoline prices are never whole numbers of cents per gallon. There's always an extra .9 cent tacked on. For example, the last time I bought gasoline, I paid $3.419 per gallon. Why not charge $3.41 or $3.42?

There's a long tradition of prices ending in 9, or 99, or $0.95, or whatever. It makes some sense from the seller's point of view; a price of, say, $9.95, if you're not paying attention, can seem like it's significantly less than $10.00. And back when gasoline was around $0.30 per gallon, a price of $0.299 did make some minimal sense. But when it's over $3 per gallon and fluctuating daily, knocking a tenth of a cent off the price doesn't fool anybody.

Any gas station that starts quoting prices in whole numbers of cents per gallon will get my business -- if it's not too expensive, and if it's not too far out of my way.

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