What C students can do

Hey, so Bush and Kerry had almost identical grades in Yale. Kerry is finally getting around to releasing his military and school records (months after promising to do so), and now we all know Kerry isn’t as smart as so many people thought he was.

In 1999, The New Yorker published a transcript indicating that Bush had received a cumulative score of 77 for his first three years at Yale and a roughly similar average under a non-numerical rating system during his senior year.

Kerry, who graduated two years before Bush, got a cumulative 76 for his four years, according to a transcript that Kerry sent to the Navy when he was applying for officer training school. He received four D’s in his freshman year out of 10 courses, but improved his average in later years.

. . .

The transcript shows that Kerry’s freshman-year average was 71. He scored a 61 in geology, a 63 and 68 in two history classes, and a 69 in political science. His top score was a 79, in another political science course. Another of his strongest efforts, a 77, came in French class.

Under Yale’s grading system in effect at the time, grades between 90 and 100 equaled an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60 to 69 a D, and anything below that was a failing grade. In addition to Kerry’s four D’s in his freshman year, he received one D in his sophomore year. He did not fail any courses

Of course, we already had a hint at this a while ago. Apart from the obvious fodder this will give Republicans, I think it’s interesting that both of these men, sometimes below average students, have accomplished so much and achieved such a high degree of power. I guess it goes to show you grades aren’t everything. Maybe I shouldn’t have worked so hard in undergrad . . .

Oh man, and check out these pictures:

For some reason Kerry reminds me of Quasimodo, and Bush, well, he does kinda look like a monkey. What’s with that unibrow?!

The dead are voting!

Cox & Forkum take on the strange findings of the WA election. Apparently zombies don’t want brains; they want votes:

At least eight people who died well before the November general election were credited with voting in King County, raising new questions about the integrity of the vote total in the narrow governor’s race, a Seattle Post-Intelligencer review has found.

The evidence of votes from dead people is the latest example of flaws in an election already rocked by misplaced votes and allegations that there were thousands more votes counted than actual voters.

County officials say they are investigating the cases pointed out by the P-I. “These are not indications of fraud,” said Bill Huennekens, King County’s elections supervisor. “Fraud is a concerted effort to change an election.”

Wow, that’s a nice definition of fraud. So, if I only write one bad check, it’s not check fraud? Sweet. And check this out:

The preliminary voter list shows that Mary Coffey mailed in a ballot. But the 51-year-old Seattle woman died about two weeks before absentee ballots were mailed.

“She couldn’t have (voted). She died on Sept. 29,” said her husband, Michael Coffey. He added that he voted by mail, but destroyed his wife’s ballot when it arrived in the mail.

“I don’t see how she could have voted. It doesn’t make sense. There has to be some kind of error that happened.”

Remember that’s not even an indication of fraud!

Personally, I wish Rossi wouldn’t challenge the election. Even though there seems to be evidence of fraud (just peruse Sound Politics if you want to see more fishiness), I don’t think it’s enough to merit throwing out the entire election. Washington is a pretty solidly blue state, so it shouldn’t be surprising that a Democrat won (even though it took three counts to get to that win). It should be surprising that Gregoire won by slimmest of margins. I don’t think getting the vote thrown out is worth the precedent it will set. We have one election, and that election is final. I am scared of the idea that close elections with minor fraud can be contested until victory is achieved. Slim margins are just going to happen and shouldn’t be used as a reason for a re-re-recount or a re-vote. Minor voting fraud is always going to happen as well, so it shouldn’t be used as a tool to throw out elections either. Of course if the GOP can show that there was widespread and malicious fraud, then I would support a re-vote, but we don’t have that. We only have evidence that the WA election system is embarrassingly buggy.

I still think the Democrats were immature whiners for asking for the second recount, but the GOP should just buck up and take the loss. On the other hand, people convicted of voter fraud should get the heaviest book thrown at them. And, yes, that would include the little old lady who voted for her dead husband (though a real strong case could be made for leniency). According to the article the penalty for voter fraud is up to a 10 year prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine. If Rossi doesn’t get the governorship, the GOP should at least get the satisfaction of seeing our own laws upheld and enforced.

The Mess in WA

Normally, I don’t care too much for state politics. I only really care if I live in that state. I figure what happens over there is their problem. We have 50 states for a reason. Different strokes for different folks. I consider that to be one of the great beauties and assets of this country. However, I’m fairly state-less now. I’m still an Alaska resident, but I’ve spent 5 years in Washington and now currently live in Oregon. But, if there is one state I care about the most (at least in the political sense) it’s Washington because my tentative future plans are to live in the Seattle area and use my progeny to make it a Republican stronghold. Anyway, I like the idea of at least one Republican governor up there making my paths straight for my return. I think it’s been 20 years since the last Republican governor. Anyway, I’m wandering.

The current election mess up there is starting to get even me distressed. Obviously, no matter who wins, the other party won’t be happy, and once again I’ll have to suffer through another four years of incessent political epithets along the lines of “election-stealer.” The first two counts gave us razor-thin margins, but Rossi won both times. Now the Democrats are hoping the third time is a charm, and they can come up with 43 votes. The push for a third recount seems awfully cry-babyish and poor gamemanship on the part of the Dems. However, they were successful and now we have a third recount. Then they discovered a bunch of new ballots in deep-blue King County. The timing of this even had me cocking my left eyebrow in suspicion. Somehow I’ve developed a strong sense of trust in people and The System (even though this trust is all contrary to my Calvinism). These newly discovered ballots have now been thrown out by the courts. Live by the courts, die by the courts. Nevertheless, the ball is in the GOP’s court to act mature and not act like a little baby. It doesn’t help when a Rossi supporter is saying we should have a whole new election. This may be a nice fix for the current situation, but this would be setting an awful precedent. Our elections obviously have flaws that need to be worked out, but these are our elections. They are final, and they are binding. Everybody is in this social contract together, and injecting doubt into the roots of the contract will weaken things.

If Rossi loses this recount, I hope the Republicans do the right thing and let it go. The damage has been done, there’s no sense exacerbating it just so their guy can be in office for 4 years.