Indecision '08: Director's Cut

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

You know what I miss? The election. But it's back, baby!

Three Senate seats are still up for grabs, with lawyers and taxpayer money flocking to Minnesota, Georgia and Alaska to finalize their elections.

The Senate is in turmoil. Not knowing the final tally of senators must be driving this no-nonsense, get-stuff-done body crazy. They just want to know who is going to be a senator so they can get back to work blocking legislation.

Let's start with Minnesota, where two Jews are battling for a key position of power in the Midwest. I know what you're thinking - cliche! This race is down to 200 votes between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

But before you cast dispersions on Minnesota's electoral system, there's something they'd like you to know - Minnesota is not Florida. For one thing, Minnesota does not have many old people. They can't outrun the wolves.

Meanwhile, the controversy has intensified in Alaska, where incumbent senator and newly convicted felon Ted Stevens was ahead in the count after Election Day. Now, he's behind. How does that happen?

"There are votes coming in from rural Alaska, and if they're coming in by mail ... and if the planes are delayed by weather conditions, it can take a little while," said Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

That's why sometimes Alaska just goes with the hottest candidate. No, not Sarah Palin. Ted Stevens.

The final bout is in Georgia, where Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss was unable to reach a 50 percent majority, thus forcing a Dec. 2 runoff with Democrat Jim Martin.

But don't worry, old Saxby Chambliss has a secret weapon. Campaigning for him is former presidential candidate John McCain, or, as he's known in Georgia, "not the black guy."

Free-market meltdown

Still-President George W. Bush played host to the G-20 economic summit, bringing together leaders of the world's biggest economies to deal with the global financial crisis. Bush set the stage for the summit in a speech last week.

"I'm a market-oriented guy, but not when faced with the prospect of a global meltdown," Bush said.

I don't believe in wearing a helmet, unless I have crashed and am flying toward a curb noggin-first.

So the free-market system has not failed us, we have failed the free-market system. But, it's still a very good system.

"It's what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history. A nation that gave the world the steamboat and the airplane, the computer and the CAT scan, the internet and the iPod," Bush said.

It brought the monster truck and the "Monster Mash." The electric light and the Electric Light Orchestra, and the Flowbee and the Shamwow. Do you see what I'm saying?

Sell it harder, Bush!

"Free-market capitalism is far more than economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility, the highway to the American dream. It's what makes it possible for a husband and wife to start their own business, or a new immigrant to open a restaurant," he said.

Or, you know, possible for a twentysomething derivatives trader to make a $30-million bonus by pushing imaginary money from one unregulated house of cards to another, in the process bankrupting millions of people who actually work for a living.

I guess what I'm saying is, if it's broke, don't fix it.

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