Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

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    Monday, November 06, 2006

    Election Day Eve

    OK, boys and girls, just one day left until Election Day. And you are going to vote, right? Of course you are. You're intelligent, sensitive, courageous, sexy (oh, don't be coy, you know you are). Of course you're voting tomorrow. You vote every election day. You, as the noted philosopher Terry Bollea said, are a Real American.

    If you don't vote, shame on you. Shame on you, because there are billions of people living under the yoke of oppressive governments or warlords or tyrants who can't vote. Who would give anything to vote. Who, when they make their voices heard in an attempt to gain control over their lives, end up in a camp or gulag or a ditch. Vote. With the rights bestowed to us in the Constitution come responsibilities. Voting is the most important of them. A democracy without voters is...well, I don't know what it is. I guess it looks a bit like our messed-up government.

    And so it is very, very important that you vote in this election. Our government IS messed up. And, as I've said before, it's time for us to muck out the stalls. There are too many people in Washington unworthy of serving in Congress. And, yes, I know that particular bar is set very, very low. But when you look at what has happened in this country over the last six years, it's up to us, the voters, to save the day. And that's what we're tasked with on Tuesday.

    Whether George W. Bush is the worst President of all time is a question I will leave to the historians. Although, if someone DID ask me that question, I would say, "Isn't it obvious by now?". Whether the 109th Congress is The Worst Congress Ever is, again, a question that deserves considerable study. Again, I would say that it is the Worst, and even if it ain't, it's been bad enough that we need to break out the brooms and sweep these morons out of the Capitol and down to K Street, where they probably feel more at home anyway.

    On Saturday I went to the Kiwanis Club's pancake breakfast, which they hold every Election Day. The candidates come by to be seen and gladhand and pass out flyers. I go for the pancakes and sausage, personally, but it's always interesting to see politicians in the flesh. Well, in person. One can't always be sure that the candidate in front of you is human or an animatronic robot.

    The two candidates for the House that I have to choose from were there. Jason Altmire, Democrat, walked around the tables shaking hands and apologizing for his voice, which was just about shot. Melissa Hart, the Republican incumbent, showed up a few minutes after we sat down in a tour bus packed with flacks and supporters. I though that was pretty tacky, the candidate showing up with a small army of people, none of whom sat down to eat pancakes. Hart came around to us (she didn't offer to shake my hand though, in all fairness, I didn't offer mine to be shook). She made some statement about how she was there because she wanted people to hear what she was about after all the stuff that was out there about her that wasn't true. Or something nonsensical like that.

    As Hart walked around she was followed by a lemony chap in a starched blue dress shirt, some manner of handler or manager or flack making sure nothing untoward happened toward the candidate. Like a guy storming up to her demanding to know why she voted to ban online poker. No, I didn't do that. Should I have? There were lots of little kids around, watching some loon verbally assaulting an elected member of Congress might sour them on democracy for life. Nah, I chickened out. I'll retaliate tomorrow by voting for Altmire.

    And I encourage everyone in the Fourth District of Pennsylvania to vote for Jason Altmire. Hart voted for the Port Security Bill, which the UIGEA was tacked on to, but I can't properly pillory her for that because it's the way the UIGEA was attached that was low and slimy and she didn't do that. Though, according to Wikipedia, Hart is quite chummy with Bill Frist. Hart voted for the Military Commissions Bill (also, and more accurately, known as the "Torture Bill") and she also voted for the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (better known as the Warrantless Wiretapping Act).

    In other words, Hart thinks it's OK for the President to listen to Americans' conversations without a warrant, for those citizens to be arrested without charge, to be held indefinitely without charge or right to counsel, and to be tortured while they're incarcerated. She's also against online poker. She needs to go. Vote for Jason Altmire.

    On thing that disturbed me--at no point during the breakfast did Hart and Altmire acknowledge the other. At one point they were walking down the same aisle, shaking hands, and I got out my camera to take a picture of the candidates standing together. Hart reversed course and walked the other way. And at one point they were standing two feet apart, backs to each other, and they didn't speak to each other. I found it somewhat disturbing that our political process is so poisoning that two candidates can't even be bothered to exchange insincere "Good mornings!" to each other. The race has been testy at times, but no claims of AntiChristy tendencies in either campaign. I should've asked if they could hug so I could take a picture. On second thought, nah, I don't want to see that.

    Rick Santorum is a disgrace and has no business acting in the name of Pennsylvania and it's people. Santorum's latest ad accuses Bob Casey of funnelling $6.5 billion of state money to organizations that support terrorism. Uh...huh. Santorum of course doesn't say WHO these evil organizations are or exactly how they support terrorism or how exactly Casey managed to get the money to them, but truth and honesty has never been high on Santorum's list of priorities.

    I mean, if this story were TRUE, wouldn't it be Santorum's duty to report this to the FBI? Wouldn't this be, like, a really huge story? Of course it would be. And of course it isn't a big story, because it isn't true. It's desperate nonsense. If you're reading this and you live in Pennsylvania, please, PLEASE, vote for Bob Casey.

    Not that I'm a big Casey fan. Or a big fan of the Democratic Party. Tomorrow when I vote it won't take me long--I'm voting straight Democrat. But if there was a lever that had an "R" with a slash through it, I'd pull it. I'm not voting Democrat--I'm voting anti-Republican. Because they've been in control the last six years, and their record is a unique blend of incompetence, stupidity, and arrogance. They've done incalculable harm to our nation. They NEED TO GO, people. If we don't hold them responsible NOW, after how badly they've botched everything they've touched, what is the point of our democracy?

    And if you think I'm just your typical ranting left-wing liberal pinko commie tree-hugging hippy, then I invite you to read blogs written by a few card-carrying conservatives and get their take on the madness that has seized our government. If you don't already read John Cole, Greg Djerejian and Andrew Sullivan then I invite you to dig in before you head to the polls.

    This is important, people. Vote tomorrow. Give the Republicans who failed us and the nation the boot. And don't let your involvement end after you pull that lever, punch that chad, poke that screen. If the Democrats win they don't get carte blanche. We have to keep them honest too. While I don't go into the whole "V for Vendetta" ethos that "people shouldn't be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people", representatives should be fully cognizant that, if they screw up, and screw up royally, they're gonna get fired. By us. The voters. Because we don't play that way. Right? Right.


    UPDATE: Amy Calistri points out in the comments that Melissa Hart co-sponsored the House bill attacking online gaming. Dammit, I didn't know that. I even did some digging on that and didn't dig enough. Had I know that I WOULD'VE gone up to her during the breakfast and said What the Fuck? Though I would've couched it in more diplomatic terms.

    See, this is what happens when the electorate is not properly informed. I mean, I knew I was voting against Hart, but I didn't fully understand all the reasons why I shouldn't want her re-elected. And Hart's Pittsburgh office is literally 200 yards from my apartment. Did I picket, did I protest? Did I get arrested and undergo a cavity search? I did not. My bad.

    And if you live in Texas, consider voting for Scott Jameson for the United States Senate. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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