things have happened
was sitting at the table outside the Brushtail Café when Bruce
and Tarkis rode down the lane on their little fold-up scooters.
ordered coffee and came out to join me, raving on about the simplicity
and convenience of their new mode of travel.
took it all with a grain of salt. Apart from the fact that PR types
are notorious early-adaptors, I knew that Bruce had sold the BMW to
repay the money he'd borrowed and lost in the Great Internet Share Debacle.
on any interesting cases?" Tarkis asked.
been hired by the Greenwich residents in the No Right Turn Affair",
yeah, the poor bastards who didn't want more traffic through their street
and they've run foul of Lawsie and Jonesie at 2UE, and the great men
have pulled rank on them and gone straight to Roads Minister Carl Scully
and got the RTA to reverse the new traffic arrangements", Bruce
know, after the cash for comment affair, I'd have thought that Carr
and Chikarovski and their minions would have stopped taking calls from
the terrible twosome, but they're still lining up to do their bidding",
said Joadja as she put their coffees down. "It's amazing! Carl
Scully has a bloke on his staff whose only job is to answer correspondence
from Jonesie and keep him happy."
suppose if you get 20 per cent of the listening audience, you wield
a lot of power", I said.
snorted. "So they get 20 per cent of the listening audience. So
what? Sounds big, but let's deconstruct this a bit. How many people
are tuned in to radio during their time slots? Optimistically, it'd
be one in twenty. More likely one in forty or fifty. They're from terminally
grumpy demographics. They've got nasty grudges and they wet themselves
with excitement when Lawsie or Jonesie give someone a spray. It's a
vicarious power trip for people who really need to get a life.
means that one person in a hundred, or less, is tuned in to the bastards.
Doesn't sound like much, but think about this: getting and holding a
majority in state or federal parliament depends on winning a few seats
that depend on a tiny handful of swinging voters ... that's what gives
these blokes their incredible power over the politicians. Carr and Chikarovski
could put them back in the box immediately if they quietly agreed not
to talk to them, but both sides are so pathetically eager to land a
glove on the other that 2UE can play them like a Punch and Judy show.
enough said. Boring. Consider this: Ralph Nader is still in with a chance
to be President of the United States." He paused for effect.
the other one", I said. "How would that work?"
it goes like this: the deadlock continues and gets more complex and
divisive. Both sides have some pretty fundamental arguments to feed
to the party faithful. The parties are neck-and-neck in the House of
Reps and the Senate, making it very difficult for either side to push
a legislative program. Come 20 January, if it's still deadlocked, Congress
can select a president from among the three candidates with the most
I suppose any country that could spend months debating a blow-job, could
make this situation run on for a while. So theoretically Ralph could
walk up the middle to the White House. It makes sense: if you have a
lame duck legislature, why not have a lame duck president? What's the
alternative anyway?" I asked, suddenly impressed with Tarkis' grasp
of US politics.
if they don't have a president by January 20, either the Speaker of
the House of Representatives or the Senate President becomes the acting
president. The Senate President is Strom Thurmond and he's a 97 year
old Republican. The Speaker of the Reps is J. Dennis Hastert who was
Mad Newt Gingrich's right hand man. He's best known for overseeing the
War on Drugs."
Mother of Darwin, Ralph's lookin' good", I said.