And in the US Congress, the GOP made huge strides. The Senate is now officially under Republican control (meaning they have a majority and the Majority Leader, who makes alot of big decisions, is now a Republican), and the Republican lead in the House is even greater now. In several states where the Dems thought they'd retain control, the GOP candidate pulled off a win.
So we have a Republican Congress and President. In addition, Dick Gephardt is stepping down from his leadership role in the Democratic party, and the conservative 'new' Democrat, Harold Ford, is making a run to gain the votes of his party. All across the country, state Congresses and Governorships were dominated by conservatives.
What happened? Several things. First, the Democratic party is fighting with itself. There's a power struggle between the 'Blue Dog' conservative Democrats like Ford and freaked-out ultra-liberal whack-jobs like Daschle and Barbara Lee. Next, the Republican plan was well-planned and brilliantly executed. They had better candidates and better campaigns (though less money). Finally, the phenomenol popularity of President Bush made this the first election in many decades in which a sitting president actually picked up seats in Congress. I think the people are just ready for some fiscal conservatism.
What will happen? The conservatives will take over. Programs will be cut. Tax cuts will be larger and longer-lasting. Money will shift away from big-government vote-garnering programs and into military, intelligence, and security areas. Abortion will be slightly limited but not eliminated (see this for my views on abortion). Bush's court appointments, which haven't been voted on yet since the Dems were blocking the vote itself, will speed through unencumbered. The Homeland Security Agency will be formed. Social Security will (finally) be privatized. An economic stimulus package will pass. Some sort of future military action against the terrorist regime of Iraq will be more likely. Spending will be down, taxes will be down. I'll take the bad with the good. It looks as if there won't be a true Libertarian in office (even in Congress) in my lifetime, so better these guys than those guys. I'll comment further on this soon.
What happened? Early in the fourth quarter, the score was 104-52. That's right, my Mavs had a 52-point lead. They had two-thirds of all the points in the game at that point. The big three didn't even put in more than twenty-five minutes each.
The defense is stout. And the offense is on fire. They've had at least 20-point leads in every game so far. They're the only undefeated team. The starters have been getting good rests. Just wait until Raef gets back. I think the only teams that can stop the Mavs right now are a healthy Lakers (with Shaq, who's still out) or a healthy Kings (who have a few injured players, including Bibby). Go Mavs.
There was a 198 car pile-up in California the other day. Nobody was killed.
I actually got to see a 'Blue-Light Special' take place in Le Mart de K the other day. It was the premier of a 'brand new product from Germany'. It was a cloth.
Winona was guilty of two counts. Sentencing is in a few weeks, but I'm sure she won't serve any time.
The time for courtship has passed.
I used to like playing 'Tackle the Man with the Ball', despite its wholly illogical rules. It was for people who liked to hit and be hit, and really separated the men from the boys... err, the third-graders from the... other third-graders.
There's a new standardized test for Texas called the TAKS test. They're having trouble with it. In some sections, in some parts of the state, 70% or more of students are FAILING. Kids are DUMB. So what are they going to do about it? They're going to dumb down the test, and they're going to devote even more time to 'teaching to the test' than they did with this one's predecessor, the TAAS. Brilliant. I fear for the future of these young imbeciles.
This Windows 2000 Professional has annoyed me for a while, or maybe it's IE 5.5. With my old machine, running Win98SE and IE 5.0, when IE would crash, I'd usually have a chance to keep working tentatively. I could move the message off-screen and bookmark or save. Here in 2000, IE just DISAPPEARS whenever it feels like it! It happens on every machine in here. No message, no warning, no chance to do anything. How overtly rude.
Lexus (Toyota) has a hybrid car in the prototype stage which makes 400 horsepower. The gas engine pumps out 300 to the rear wheels and the electric makes up the rest and sends it to the front. There are alot of advantages to giving the electric energy-recovery systems a big engine to deal with, and the 100 HP of the electric section means it can cruise at California highway speeds (85 mph) without using much gas power. It also looks *fun* to drive (remember that?) and certainly doesn't suffer from a dangerous lack of passing power like the Toyota Prius. It's a sports car that can also be a great economy car.
My current dream car is the Infiniti G35 Coupe. It's got the same engine and drivetrain as the Nissan 350Z (3.5L V-6, 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive) with even better handling and tighter suspension. It's also slightly cheaper! It's even got rear seats! And I like the looks better than the Z. Perfect in every way.
I'm looking at the new Neon SRT-4 though, for $10,000 less. 215 HP in a turbo-charged four and track-tuned suspension. It looks about three inches too tall on its suspenders though.