Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Went to Canada, but Came Back

No, the election didn’t have anything to do with it. We spent two days in Victoria, B.C.; made the reservations several months ago.

Anyway, when you’re surrounded by carnage and mayhem, it’s best to focus on the silver linings. But for the grace of God, we could’ve had Ken Buck, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and Carly Failurina in the Senate.

And Dino Rossi appears to be failing in his third run for elective office. Two runs for governor of Washington — Poof!!! And Patty Murray is favored to win re-election to the Senate, but the results aren’t final yet. Dino Rossi likes to portray himself as an “outsider” because he can’t get elected to anything. Sort of like a homeless person who brags about not being materialistic.

California voters showed that — in some cases at least — there aren’t enough billions of dollars in the world to buy their votes. A few Texas oil tycoons tried to trick California voters into overturning the state’s clean energy law that was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger several years ago (Proposition 23). If Proposition 23 passed, millions of jobs would appear out of the ether, and California would instantly become the most prosperous place in the history of the universe. Fortunately the voters didn’t fall for it. Meg Whitman was in favor of Proposition 23 and she went down in flames with it.

Washington State also had a few sickfuck ballot initiatives that crashed and burned. Privatizing workers’ compensation insurance? Riiight. Wouldn’t you just love to have your workers’ comp claim be processed by a bunch of profit-driven go-getters who can make more money if they find a way to deny your claim. Thank God the voters saw through that bullshit. I’ll take a clock-watching bureaucrat any day; somebody who has nothing to gain by denying people’s claims and/or making the smallest possible payments.

And Costco was pushing for an initiative to privatize Washington’s liquor industry, to make it more like California and Arizona (among other states). Sure, I like being able to walk into any grocery store, supermarket or mini-mart — at any time of day or night — and buy some booze. But Washington’s version works just fine too. You have to buy your booze from a state-run liquor store that closes at 9 p.m. It can be sort of a pain, but I’ve never seen anyone going through the DTs because they didn’t get to the liquor store on time. (You can buy beer and wine almost anywhere, just not booze.) Another oddity about Washington is that almost every restaurant — anything that’s a proper restaurant and not just a café or coffee shop — has a full liquor license. Sort of the opposite of California, where you can buy booze everywhere, but a liquor license is something that restaurants will kill for.

When you go to the liquor store with any sort of regularity, the people who work there aren’t faceless bureaucrats. They’re real people. They’re acquaintances; your neighbors. Like everybody else, they’re supporting families; making rent/mortgage payments. And if that liquor privatization initiative had passed, they all would have lost their jobs — just so a few Costco executives could become even fatter.

So, pretty good election results, no? Well, you know, other than…

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Anonymous Tim said...

Well geeez I guess We have to look into Washington State as our place to settle down. I'll have to contact some newspapers there. I must say many states have been eliminated in our quest by this election.

November 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I was very pleased to see that at least out here on the left coast, the big money didn't seem to matter all that much. I think you can only run so many ads before it all just becomes noise and nobody really pays attention anymore.

November 4, 2010 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

Yes, there were a few silver linings in this dark cloud. As always, it could have been worse.

November 4, 2010 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK now this is what I don’t get. Why liberal, anti - gun, dope- smoking, nanny lawed, Tax- Fornia has some of the most liberal liquor laws of any state. The only thing the state really regulates is hours and age. It used to regulate price but in the 70's our Supreme Court decided that wasn’t constitutional and made all liquor prices by fair market (Fair market isn’t that a conservative mantra?). I've talked to several people of state run stores across the country,. They all have to stock the same item at the same price. If you want a special order, you have to go to the central office at the capitol and it takes weeks. In our pitiful socialist state, the guy behind the counter makes the phone call to the distributor and it’s a few days at most.

All states are going through serious money problems and talk about reducing staff and getting lean. So among the essential Civil Service jobs you need Liquor store workers?

Then again it must be nice to get a steady check, a pension and benefits. Which I never had when I worked at one.

Yet the Conservative States seem to love this system, Guess it beats prohibition! My Sister is from Boston, and they have loosened up a little - yet when she came out here with a friend, they were both blown away that you can get wine and booze at the local CVS pharmacy, which they can’t get back home.


November 4, 2010 at 9:06 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Made me sick that Tim Eymann's initiative tying the legislature's hand, requiring a two-thirds vote to raise any tax, succeeded, while the one to tax millionaires and above failed. Talk about people not voting their interest.

I'm glad the liquor biz wasn't privatized. We don't need the hard stuff being sold at every convenience store and supermarket.

"Costco was pushing for an initiative to privatize Washington’s liquor industry, to make it more like California and Arizona (among other states)"

I generally like Costco, but not its book selection. Saw it just today. It's as though Rupert Murdoch chooses Costco's selection of tomes having anything to do with politics. Today it included the literary efforts of Bill O'Reilly, Karl Rove and (arrgghh) Michael Savage. For balance? Hah! Woodward's book on Obama's wars.

It's usually just as slanted one way — right wing — and I resent it.

Oh well, you can sure get a deal there on gallon jars of pickles, if you don't mind buying a two pack.

November 5, 2010 at 1:10 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

J. You have that right. I think my mute button is about worn out.
I still think Canada might be a good option when what's left circles the rim. Just hope I can cash out the retirement before they figure out a way to steal it.

November 5, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Sorry Canada wouldn't keep you... One of the saddest things for American travelers is returning to this country.

I wonder if they will accept retirees? I'd even support Curling.

November 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Tim: The 3 "left coast" states are probably the best bets for staying blue no matter what happens in the rest of the country.

J: The dueling political ads just drowned each other out. Serves them right.

Mauigirl: Yup, it could have been worse.

Erik: One thing I dislike about state-run liquor stores is, if an item doesn't sell fast enough, they have to discontinue it. I discovered Stoli Gold a few years ago -- only a dollar or two more than regular Stoli and smooth as silk. "Like butter." And then suddenly it wasn't stocked any more because it wasn't popular enough.

I don't know if Connecticut has changed lately, but you used to have to get booze only from a liquor store (private, not state-run), and you couldn't even buy beer or wine after 8 p.m. or on Sundays.

SW: I wish Eyman would just curl up and die, or fall off the world, or something. I think his local initiative, in Mukilteo (sp?) passed too, banning red light cameras. If one of his loved ones (if he has any) got killed by a red light runner he'd probably change his mind.

I was in favor of the state income tax, but I knew all those scary TV ads would kill it.

Demeur: I just tuned out the ads. Now that the election is finally over, we can go back to all those "ask your doctor about" commercials we were missing.

Dave: Curling -- that's where I draw the line.

November 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If I find some in the People's Republic shall I smuggle some past the border to you?


November 6, 2010 at 3:31 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Sure; just don't get caught.

November 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Stoli Gold... Oh, geeze, now I gotta go get some.

November 6, 2010 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Beekeepers Apprentice said...

We have state run liquor stores here, too, and they are under attack by our republican idiot governor. He wants to privatize them. I say "take a trip up into Maryland on Route 1 or 301, and see how that worked out for them."

Victoria...oh, that is one beautiful little town...I spent a day there once, and LOVED it.

November 7, 2010 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: It's good stuff.

Bee: Victoria really is a great place.

November 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

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