johnpalmer: (Default)
So: Friday night, I thought I had a tiny zit on my nose. This happens with a CPAP, nothing to worry about.

Saturday, it felt like the infection was spreading - it looked like it had grown a bit, and it was redder.

Sunday, it had definitely spread, I could see it climbing up and across my nose and I felt a tad feverish (I wasn't, though). And I could see the skin that was definitely infected starting to ooze a bit, like a broken blister.

I went to urgent care, and it was definitely the right call - I had cellulitis, which can spread quickly and can quickly become life-threatening. I got a shot of antibiotics and more to take (and I was warned to go straight to the drug store, and immediately fill my prescription, and start taking them immediately), so I did.

I called out sick from work on Monday. Today, I'm out sick again, and I'm still wiped out, and all from an infection that was about the size of a quarter, or maybe just a bit bigger.

The good news is that it seems like we nipped the infection in the bud. It's definitely shrinking and looking like a skin area recovering from infection. That doesn't mean I'm completely out of the woods, but it's a good sign.

I hope I don't have to tell any readers to always finish any course of antibiotics - it's especially vital with something like this that can be fast spreading, and that might already be mildly resistant to the antibiotics you're taking.

Next step: yogurt and other pro-biotics. A ten day course can wreck havoc on one's helpful bacteria.
johnpalmer: (Default)
Time Traveler: "I expected horrors... but I didn't expect The Donald presidency!"

(record scratch sound)

"NOBODY expects The Donald Presidency! Its chief weapon is deception! Deception and bigotry, bigotry and deception... its TWO main weapons are deception and bigotry... and bullshit. Its THREE main weapons are deception, bigotry, bullshit, and a fanatical devotion to incompetence and outdated social theories....

It's four... no, AMONGST its weaponry are such diverse elements as deception, bigotry, bullshit, and a fanatical devotion to incompetence!"

(The record scratch comes from the album version I heard most often. However, if you're completely confused: - Monty Python link.)
johnpalmer: (Default)
I found this on Benford's law:'s_law

I reckon you could find low initial digits in some scientific data, and you might think it's really amazing... but the point of the law is that when reporting things, the first digit is the most significant, and a lot of times, people want a measurement that tends to make that important at 1. So if a Watt is a decently meaningful amount of power, then it's no surprise if you find that 1, or 10, or 100 Watts will be more likely to be meaningful than 5, or 50. If 5 Watts was a common, useful quantity, then the measurement probably would have been divided by 5 to make 1 (new) Watt a useful quantity.

Now: it would be kinda curious if it turned out that the number of miles (exactly) between the center of the sun and the center of other stars followed Benford's law for miles, or even for light years (since the 365 days of light's travel is arbitrary - I mean, forced by the length of a year, but "a year" on another planet could be vastly different.)

Heh. Though this reminds me of a story idea I had that I never did anything with. An earth scientist, shortly after the earth joins the league of planets comes with stunning news - delivered humbly, or perhaps boastfully depending on the story - about how the earth is actually the perfect center of the known universe. And everyone laughs... because there's always some measurement for any planet that joins the league that puts them in the perfect center, and a new planet's scientists always "discover" it shortly after they get their map of inhabited systems.
johnpalmer: (Default)
New entries in LongHairedWeirdo. I feel like I'm tightening up the writing on some of the last ones - feel free to let me know if you agree (or not).

I've learned the joys of some casual gaming, like the Candy Crush series. I've also learned the joys of portable power packs for your phone. See, these games can drain the heck out of your battery. Too many charge/discharge cycles weakens your battery's ability to hold a charge. Ah, but if you charge a portable power pack, and plug your phone into that, you're not using your phone's (possibly non-replaceable) battery - you're using a cheap, easily replaced one.

This July, I moved from Microsoft SQL Server support, to AWS Database Services support. I knew it was the right move for me at the time, but there was an additional synchronicity: my hip has been recovering faster and doing better than ever.

If you ever have a tilted pelvis that un-tilts, let me tell you: It's a long slog. And you might feel like your leg is twisted in three or four different directions - and it probably is, there are probably multiple muscles attaching to your femur, hip, or lower back, each of which is shortened or tight, causing that twisty feeling. It's slow, but it can be fixed.

Carrie Fisher died - one of the saddest things that struck me about heroes is she mentioned once during an interview (I think she was actually *giving* the interview!) that it was hard for her to find relationships that weren't based around a guy wanting to have sex with Princess Leia - one of those things I'd never thought of, and, one thing that struck me was how hard it would be to avoid that kind of thing. Even a guy who loves the whole woman might still find his brain going there.

I hope she found freedom from that, and peace, and joy. She was a hell of a woman.

I'm scared for the future of America - I won't deny it. When George W was the President, and could ignore multiple parts of the law, engage in (and normalize) torture, and be cheered for starting a pointless war, I felt that he wasn't like Hitler - he was going to have his one war, and he intended to stop right there.

But I realized he was paving the way. See, the Republicans fell in line and supported his violations of the law for spying on Americans, defended, and praised, his torture, and still seem to feel the war was no biggie.

I don't know that Donald Trump is Hitler-dangerous... but there are no more steps. It's not like, George W Bush paved the way for Trump, who paves the way for the next step in the progression. A Hitler-wannabe could have run Trumps campaign - that he won, and that his political party is supporting him and his win, in spite of the spying by Russia, misuse of law enforcement, and quality of their candidate, really worries me.

(I'm not expecting them to turn down a win they got handed - but I am horrified they're not even paying lip service to concern about these issues.)

This isn't right, it isn't normal, and it's not what America can be, or should be.

I know that the Republicans will mess up. Trump isn't competent, and neither is the Republican Party when they let themselves be driven by their worst elements. I just hope that that when they do, it's readily apparent, and not too awful. I keep having nightmares that our President elect will get tired of waiting and demand a nuclear strike on Daesh (for example).

Anyway: that's my life on the last day of a year that's been *way* too much in the bad-news realm.
johnpalmer: (Default) is up.

One warning: back when I was young and stupid - by which I mean, "in my 30s and still thinking that we had time" - I was hoping for a warm, friendly loving set of ideas to help knit things back together.

But we don't have time. And love, while powerful, isn't very fast. You can love your enemy, and still realize that the best end to a particular incident is a solid jab to the nose, to stop the fight, and then, you can try to figure out what's most loving.

(I was using a boxing metaphor in another discussion yesterday, and "jab" is, in fact, precisely the right term. A jab is a defensive sort of punch - fast, hard-enough, and often intended to stop a rush, or break up an attack.)

I do have some limits: While I'll speculate, I won't slander. While I'll poke at every weak spot, I'm not a dirty fighter. (Dan Vitter is known to have visited prostitutes. I don't mind pointing out the massive hypocrisy of his being in the party that claims "family values". But I won't mention *why* it's suggested he visited prostitutes. One's kinks are one's own business, and exploration of kink is a *fine* reason to visit pros, if you can't play with your spouse.)

And I am trying to maintain a friendly manner to many of the people. I'm not angry that people voted for Trump. I do think many of them made a mistake - a perfectly reasonable mistake. And sure, many of them have been told I'm an evil bastard because I voted for Hillary Clinton... but I'm not going to blame them for what they've been told, nor even for believing it. In a sick society, where truth isn't valued, people will believe things that are wrong.

Side note: Yes, Trump was widely supported by white supremecists. Those people are nasty, but I'm not angry that they voted for Trump - I'm angry that they're such evil people. There are a lot of ugly myths out there that I'm also angry about - but I'm not angry at people who've been given an ugly, hateful mythology from which to work; does that makes sense? Also: I'm not criticizing you - whoever you are - if you are angry at every single Trump voter. I'd like to here why, and I might well disagree. But I'm not talking about *you* here - I'm talking only about me, and how I'm choosing to write in a particular blog.

My goal is to hit real, living, meaningful issues. I don't want to talk about how a Trump SCOTUS pick might impact Roe v. Wade - but I will talk about the importance of birth control and abortion access. And I might point out how GOP picks tend to say "it's okay if a company rips you off whenever and however they like, so long as it's always just below the threshold of making it worthwhile to go into the mandated arbitration, where you couldn't prove they cheated you, so you lose anyway."
I'd love advice on:

Presentation: how can I kick up my posting a bit, include some graphics or other text-wall breakers? (Side note: I've seen some *horrible* animated gifs that are jerky and fast moving and so distracting I can't read the surrounding post. None of that! But a few simple animations won't scare me off, if they don't detract from text.

Writing style: are my jokes really old or too far out to be understood? Is one of the shots I took excessively cheap? Am I being too wordy or rambling too long? Am I being my overpedantic self, and getting too deep into explicit and careful meanings, repeatedly pointing out things that are technical, and of little use? How about redundancy, and repetition? Any of that? Is the passive voice being avoided?

Links: Any good links? I don't read a lot of blogs. I'm looking for generally honest, lefty blogs.

Setting up a not-totally-super-boring blog-like page. Links on the side board, both to important posts (rules for commenting, for example); user pics - me, or something where something else is dominant (see my catrider default!)?

When it comes to setting up the page, or helping "kick up" my presentation - in some cases, these are professional services, and I'm more than willing to pay for them. If you think you can help, let me know your rates and estimates on hours.)
johnpalmer: (Default)
I put this into a response, but since it reminded me of another old legend (that I believe I first heard about in alt.callahans) I figured I'd share the response as well.

(in response to the bumper sticker taking three days to figure out)

Three days isn't too bad - it took me weeks, seeing it every day. I'm not sure why I was sure it meant something, but I was... but I kept thinking in the wrong direction. "Your mind is greater than an imaginary bear? But why sum of n bear-times-i divided by n?" "A brain is greater than (n+1)/2 bears?"

(See, if it was the sum of bear, times the counting number, from 1 to n (one bear, two more bears, 3 more bears...), well the sum from 1 to n of the counting numbers is n(n+1)/2. Divide by n, it becomes (n+1)/2.)

I wish I could remember how and when I suddenly thought "it's an AVERAGE of bears!" at which point, it hit me.

It's fun, though, and a lot better than a legend I heard of a riddle on a radio show.

They asked "What's the first thing you know?"

Well, technically, they asked "What's 'the first thing you know'" - the inner quotes are *essential*, as you'll see.

People phone in guess after guess for three solid days, from the philosophical to the comical, pun-inspired and not. No one (so the legend goes) was ready for the real answer.

(I promise you: this is not a rickroll and is work safe.)

The legend continues, quite reasonably for a legend, that a police escort was required to get the DJs out of the radio station.

If you're not keen on clicking on random links (good for you, BTW!), I'll include the answer in the comments.
johnpalmer: (Default)
I'm still thinking of how a person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can fight back against the GOP, in hopes of making them sane again. Blogging is all I can think of. I'm not sure if I should try to blog elsewhere, or just say what I have to say here (or seeing if LongHairedWeirdo - my nom du blog - is available on LJ/DW). Any thoughts?

Interlude: At work, there are a collection of clever and cute bumper stickers. One bothered me for a long time... I finally figured it out recently, though.

It shows a picture of a brain, and a > (greater than) sign. On the right hand side, it had sigma (sum of) i = 1 to n, of (a picture of a bear)/n.


brain picture > (sum from 1 to n) of (bearpicture)-sub-i, divided by n

Can you figure it out?
spoiler/hint )
johnpalmer: (Default)
One of the most underplayed stories in the election was the strong belief by US intelligence that Russia was screwing with the election. That, combined with this XKCD comic, should be pretty scary:

cut for politics )


Nov. 19th, 2016 10:33 am
johnpalmer: (Default)
One thing you'd think you could trust the GOP to believe is that it's horrible to demand "safe spaces", and that asking for protection is political correctness run amok.

Oops. (Sorry Rick Perry, you don't get to trademark that - besides, your trademarked use is your inability to remember your own "I swear this is important to me!" policy positions.)
cut for politics )
johnpalmer: (Default)
Oscar the Grouch: Time Lord? Tardis thief? Or simple winner of the "most livable trash can" design ever?

I come down on the side of time lord. I've seen him walking his trash can around (feet coming out the bottom), and also seen evidence of substantial living space within it. This argues in favor of the chameleon circuits shifting the position of the doorway. And what could make a person so grumpy on a magical, safe space like Sesame Street? Well - probably that he's caught there, unable to investigate the goings on in the surrounding universe, and unable to talk to anyone about anything truly important to him.

(Oh, sure, he helps in the teaching of letters, numbers, reading, and how to get along in the great big world full of different people. Those are important, to him and to all - but there are always things that matter to an individual, like the fundamental nature of the universe, the mutability of history (and why it doesn't paradoxically close off time travel), and why chameleon circuits always get stuck in embarrassing configurations.)
johnpalmer: (Default)
It's normal in politics to attack, even slander, one's opponents. "Politics ain't beanbag" is a common statement. It's part of the "game"... and even if it was considered a terrible breach of character, it would still happen; it just would happen through surrogates. cut for politics. )
johnpalmer: (Default)
I'm asking them to please, please, please, show our President-elect all of the respect and good will that has been given to President Obama, and urging her to hold to the example the Republicans showed when faced with an incoming President not of their party.

Seriously. Though, obviously, I pointed out what that level of respect and good will has been.

Everyone wants to hear the nation will come together after the election. But the last two Democratic Presidents were hounded their entire times in office. And each time, after a bitter fight, when the Republicans won, they immediately talked about how we all have to come forward together, and work for the good of the nation.

When the Democrats won, the Republicans talked about opposing everything. Let's not forget Rush Limbaugh's famous summation of President Obama: "I hope he fails".

So, now we have a political party praising bipartisan comity - but only when they have power. And explicitly opposing it when they don't.

This is not acceptable behavior, and noticing it, and calling it out, is not the problem. The problem is *doing* it. And we have to demand they stop.

They won't stop when there's no cost. Why should they?


Nov. 11th, 2016 11:06 am
johnpalmer: (Default)

Money quote: Asked about the protesters, Trump's former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, defended his ability to unite the country, telling CNN's Anderson Cooper that protesters should listen to his victory speech.

"Please, ignore everything Donald Trump said when speaking from the heart, and instead listen to him speak from a teleprompter! We don't want you to treat him the way the Republicans treated the last two Democratic Presidents; we want you to give him the same leash you gave George W. Bush that let him lead us into a massive, costly, deadly war."

I will note that while protestors said that Trump was "not (my) President" I will acknowledge, after he is inaugurated, that he is, to the shame of the Republican Party, the President of the United States, which is my home.

But I will not treat him as worthy of the office. He threatened to use the power of law enforcement to jail a political opponent who DID NOTHING CRIMINAL. She used a private e-mail address, just like Colin Powell, only instead of using a commercial provider, which might be socially engineered, she used an existing private server that was managed by people she trusted.

He and the Republican Party continued to accuse her of criminal wrongdoing long after it was established there was none. And they've called people "baby killers" and hounded them, literally, to death, and gotten away with it, but there, they were only recklessly inciting violence. Here, they were deliberately using the force of the law to attack a political opponent. That is not right, and never will be.
johnpalmer: (Default)

After confidently asserting that Hillary Clinton was definitely guilty of crimes, suddenly, there's no rush to follow up. Why not?

Well... because they knew damn well Hillary Clinton wasn't guilty of any wrongdoing. What they had to do was get the news media to report that she might be, because people like Giuliani and Christie say she is. And when they recruit federal law enforcement to feed the lie, so much the better!

Oh, they have an excuse, now... they always have an excuse. "Oh, well, although we promised you that we'd go after her criminality, we suddenly decided that, wow, maybe we should put it in the past, now that we won an election."

Now, if the GOP wasn't so trustworthy, you might think they were just playing a total BS line, thinking "the rubes" would eat it up. But come on! When the GOP said that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD program, they were... oh, huh, they were completely wrong about that. In fact, they deliberately lied about many pieces of evidence. In fact, they even reported a debunked allegation, figuring that as long as they blamed it on UK intelligence, no one would point out that they were liars. And they were right; oh, lots of people reported the lie, but other people said "but we said UK intel said that; they did, and even though we knew they were wrong, you can't say *we* lied for repeating a known falsehood!" so views differ. Let's not be partisan about this, after all!

So, please, don't take this as an example of the GOP playing its base for suckers; if you did that, the GOP would tell their base that you're looking down on them. And really, the party of free trade, and layoffs, and off-shoring, that took its head from the... uh... lips of Wall Street to proclaim the Democrats are just too cozy with Wall Street - they wouldn't play a bunch of people hurt by free trade, layoffs, and off-shoring by Wall Street, for suckers... would they?
johnpalmer: (Default)
Okay. For years, now, the Republicans have been playing games with the US. And it's time to put a stop to it.

"We're the party of jobs, and fiscal responsibility!" they say. But their policies make it more lucrative to lay off workers, ship jobs overseas, and change full-time work with benefits to contracted, "temporary" workers with lower wages and poor benefits.

"We respect the Constitution!" they say, and when the Supreme Court declares a law *explicitly* allowed by the Constitution, and *explicitly* voted into place by an overwhelming majority of Congress, to be unconstitutional, they cheered, and immediately set out trying to reduce the ability of minorities to vote.

"We stand for good character!" they said, and then nominated Donald Trump.

"We stand for the rule of law!" they said, and they cheered that self-same duckfart when he promised to break domestic and international laws regarding warfare, and promised to sic law enforcement on a political opponent when there is absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing.

It is time to fight back.

Look: in 1994, one could be excused for going along to get along. Even in 2001, one could say "we can't afford divisiveness during such a national tragedy." But once 2008 rolled around, the Republicans resoundingly declared that if they couldn't have the White House, they would fight back and obstruct at every point. And they did that, for eight solid years... and they were rewarded with complete control of the federal government for doing this.

It's clear that trying to do the right thing doesn't work. Which doesn't mean to act like the Republicans, but it does mean it's time to hang everything around their neck.

Donald Trump promised to build a wall - well, make him build it, and when he doesn't, when he can't, point out what a liar and a loser he is.

If he forces investigations of Hillary Clinton, support her every step of the way. Remember: they're accusing her of crimes where there *are* no crimes. Using a private e-mail server was not criminal; turning over documents as ordered is not criminal; having a server admin lose some e-mails is not criminal. Having been Secretary of State, and having watched over reporting that intelligence thought that the riots in one place could be used as a cover-story for an attack in another, is not criminal.

They're essentially demanding to lock her up because they have hated her ever since her husband was in the White House. And if the investigations come up empty, point out how she was *EXONERATED* and was *INNOCENT* yet hounded by hate.

The Republicans promised jobs. They don't know how to create high paying jobs; they only know how to milk money out of a business, and encourage cost cutting (= layoffs).

Coal jobs are going to keep dropping in number and quality. Point that out - over and over, these liars and losers told you things would get better, didn't they? And they won't, because they played you for suckers.

Manufacturing jobs aren't coming back; when they don't, point out those liars and losers played their base for suckers - again.

Mexico has no reason to pay for a border wall, no matter how moronic the President is; point out what a liar and loser a person would have to be to have played his base for suckers - AGAIN - by claiming otherwise.

I've seen people posting that we have to "get through this" that we have to "survive". But you can't fight "to survive". You can't play for "a draw". You have to fight, and play, to win. And you might accept "just" survival, or "just" a draw, but you don't fight for those. Not when so much damage has already been done.

Listen: When George W. Bush was President, he led the nation into a pointless, costly war, one that likely caused a lot of the problems we're seeing in the middle east, in addition to tens of thousands of needless deaths, and many thousands of wounded military folks.He was roundly supported, and praised, for his actions, until it was politically untenable. Now we have to deal with someone who's even less competent, even less plugged into reality. We can't make the same mistakes we made with George W. We have to fight back, from day one, with everything.

But we have to fight smart. And we have to point out that the incompetent idiots doing the damage they're doing are doing it because they keep playing their base for suckers.

Not because these people are "voting against their self-interest" - that might be true, might not be true, but it's not the point. The Republicans don't care about their base's self-interest - they just say whatever they need to say to win an election, to skin a sucker, figuring more skin will grow back before the next skinning season.
johnpalmer: (Default)
So, I came across this on a left-leaning blog:

This is actually a relatively good article, because it points to some things that should generate empathy.

Here's a good quote:
You could see brows knit up. One woman said I was her first Democratic friend. I met another woman who said, 'I love Rush Limbaugh,' and I said, 'I would love to talk to you about that.' It came out that when she was listening to him she liked that he was defending her against criticisms from liberals.

Your first instinct may well be to feel she's an idiot for not seeing through a nasty blowhard like Limbaugh. And I won't deny that I feel upset about that too - even if you do feel you need to have someone stand up to these mythical angry liberals, I think you should want an honorable person doing it.

Ah, but since I don't think Rush Limbaugh is honorable, well, that helps prove I *am* one of those mythical angry liberals, right? Yet if I'm angry at *her* for liking him, she'll never learn that I haven't got a thing against her. And until she realizes that, she can't realize what a nasty blowhard the man is, telling lies about decent folks, folks like her, who have some different ideas... but not all of those different ideas are *bad*.

But here's a better quote; this is, for me, the money quote:

In some of them you sensed loss and a sense of being invisible and unappreciated and insulted. That liberals just think they’re rednecks.

I know a lot of liberals who do feel precisely like that. They do think that Trump supporters are awful people and these liberals let their prejudices fly. But that's not fair to the entirety of Trump supporters.

Oh, there are awful people who support Trump (and if you can't admit that - if you can't even admit that David frickin' Duke is a horrible person - that's a serious problem). But there are good people who've gotten a whole lot of bullcrap thrown at them, until they just don't know the truth any more.

Hah. Bullcrap - I saw a Fox News segment where the host said "but didn't we all learn in kindergarten that 'the solution to pollution is dilution'?" which made me spit-take and then say "no, my kindergarten was not run by corporate lobbyists."

(Some of you, remembering my old siglines, are now laughing. You don't learn about the friendliness (or lack thereof) of Mr. Hand Grenade or the dangers of Acme/Jet-or-Rocket Powered from corporate lobbyists!)

That's such a stupid line. In a great many cases, the solution to pollution is concentration, and safe storage. We don't want to dilute nuclear waste and send it into the environment; nor do we want to dilute mercury, let it get into the water table, and let our seafood build up toxic levels of it. In many more cases, the solution is simply not to make it - the polluting method is just cheaper, but poisons other people in return for extra profits, which isn't a fair trade off.

The point is, there are a lot of really good people out there who've been played for so long they don't have a good basis for the truth. And it's important not to dismiss them along with the people who make money by playing them for fools.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that Hillary Clinton should be Republican-friendly. She should come in, ready to play hardball, because you know they will. And I'm not saying that you should like Republican politicians, or the people who spread the lies that have poisoned our discourse.

But remember there are good, ordinary people, who deserved truth, and courage, and leadership, and have been fed bullcrap, poll tested "certainty," and cunning divisiveness instead. Remember that the goal of those who sow divisiveness is to get "us" to hate "them", so we do think of them as a bunch of rednecks or somesuch - because then, the liars get to continue to lie, pretending that they're standing up against us. To win this game, we need to find something better than hate, and better than divisiveness, and to save our anger for the people who lie, not for those who, upon hearing the lies from five different sources, figure there must be some truth to it.
johnpalmer: (Default)
So... how bad is the political state in this country? Well... I saw a couple of references - anonymously sourced, so, possibly BS - that said one of the reasons Comey announced that he had a laptop that contained e-mails that he wasn't allowed to review, that might be evidence of a crime when there's no evidence a crime has been committed, but he's still going to try to get a warrant to review them, later....

Where was I? Right - one of the reasons Comey performed some unprecedented and extremely questionable actions is that there are several FBI agents ready to resign over a lack of indictment of Hillary Clinton.

This, if true, is beyond merely "wrong". Yes, there are times when officers know that someone is likely involved in criminal activity. But Hillary Clinton shows signs only of having been relentlessly pursued by people determined to ruin her, and having every investigation come up empty.

I'd assumed that "the Republican faithful" - the cheerleaders who chant "lock her up" and "build a wall" and such - was starting to believe that she was a criminal... but not officers of the law. I thought they'd respect the law too much for that.

Okay: but this is anonymously sourced, right? Which means it might be total BS, right? Sure. But that it's plausible, that it's not laughed off, shows that it's now so normal to declare a hated enemy is an actual criminal that no one bothers to think about it.

Oh, I know. Both sides do it. Some Democrats accuse former President George W. Bush and Richard Cheney of war crimes... thing is, we know they approved enhanced interrogation techniques, and that people were tortured. That's evidence.

And yeah, people got all het up about the Iran Contra game, sell weapons to an enemy of America, to illegally fund a war, but we know laws were broken there, too.

And if there are massive rallies with chants of "lock them up!" I've never seen nor heard of 'em.

This isn't okay. It's insanely dangerous.
johnpalmer: (Default)
In 1994, the Republicans decided they were going to push all out to take Congress. And among their strategies was to tie up all legislation near the election. "See, the government is useless and messed up - might as well put us anti-government types in charge!"
cut for politics and length. )
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