Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Rosalea Barker: One Shot Deal Don't Matter

The superstitious among us say things come in threes, so I wonder if Al Gore is at home in the VP mansion listening to his Van Morrison collection, trying to choose a soundtrack for his concession speech. Russell Crowe and Don Johnson both searched their very soul to the Van Man's tunes today in San Francisco - Crowe in the movies at the Century in the Marina district, and Johnson on the small screen in "Nash Bridges", that lifeblood of SF extras.

Hell, I don't know what Al's musical tastes are but things sure took a left turn this morning, with the US Supreme Court granting a stay to the Bush team. In the Caravan Cafe on Chestnut Street the brunch talk was of how Gore is his own worst enemy, secretly not really wanting to be President. Seinfeld psychology aside, one TV channel is now reporting that there'll be no president sworn in on 20 January, just an acting president in the form of the leader of the House of Representatives. What a rich irony that would be. It's like the big kids fighting over the new toy so much that their mom gave it to their cousin instead.

So, for spoiled children everywhere I present this cautionary tale:

The Veep was in his counting house, counting all his chads, Riling up the brothers Bush and countless moms and dads, Protesters roamed the city streets, calling for a halt To undervotes and overvotes, and the rubbing in of salt.

The governors of This and That declared that Bush had won, "That isn't so," the Veep replied, "so go and bite your thumb." (He would have said much worse than that, but well-up was he brung.)

The lawyers were all out in force, their pockets filling fast, The coffers for both Bush and Veep were gasping their last gasp. "Oh friends", they cried "Desert me not, 'tis I who'll win this prize." But all around the Dems and Reps were rubbing tear-filled eyes:

"We want to win some votes ourselves, next time that we all stand For public office in the states comprising this fair land. Oh can't you see your selfishness is costing us our jobs, Not to mention all the funds the lobbyists have lobbed?"

And so it was, and rightly so, that on the sixtieth day Of claim and oral argument, opinion, appeal and stay, Neither of the candidates got to be the one To get the big red button that fires the final gun.

Yeah, OK I won't give up my day job to write poetry, but I reckon my doggerel is as good as the next person's. It's just that ending I've got trouble with. According to "When No Majority Rules" by Michael J. Glennon (in PDF on the web at if it comes down to a vote in the House and no presidential candidate receives 26 votes by January 20th but the new vice president has been elected, he becomes acting president until the president IS elected by the House. And since the current Veep will be the tie-breaking vote in the new 50-50 Senate, where the new vice president is elected, doesn't that mean Joe Lieberman will be president?

Then again, I sure hope for Al Gore's sake that he never riled the boss's wife. In an editorial written before the election a local reporter in the Berkeley Daily Planet gave us his grandmother's predictions for the outcome. Only one person has a face with the right feng shui, she said. Dick Cheney.

Lea Barker
Saturday 9 December PT

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Bill Bennett: Farewell Clive Sinclair
My first brush with Sinclair was as an A-level student in the UK. Before he made computers, Sinclair designed an affordable programmable calculator. It fascinated me and, thanks to a well-paid part-time job, I managed to buy one. From memory it could only handle a few programmable steps, but it was enough to make complex calculations.... More>>

Nuclear White Elephants: Australia’s New Submarine Deal

It does not get any messier or more chaotic than this. Since 2009, when Australia’s Future Submarine Program (FSP) known as Project SEA 1000, began to take shape, strategists and policy makers have been keen to pursue the next big White Elephant of defence spending. And few areas of an already wasteful area of public expenditure are more costly – often mindlessly so – than submarines... More>>

Digitl: Facebook Vileness Of The Week
Another week, another example of Facebook not taking responsibility. At the Wall Street Journal Jeff Horwitz writes Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite That’s Exempt. His second deck reads: A program known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users special treatment, a privilege many abuse... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Proud to call Aotearoa home

Te Paati Māori continues to provide a breath of fresh air in the political space, otherwise thoroughly choked by Covid19. Its call this week this week for a referendum on changing the country’s name to Aotearoa by 2026 is timely and a welcome diversion to the necessarily short-term focus engendered by Covid19... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Blinken Says No To Greenland Real Estate

In May, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a visit to Greenland. In a rather unedifying way, he was called ‘Tony’ by his hosts, a disarming point that was bound to open the floodgates of insincerity... More>>

The Conversation: New Zealand's wet regions wetter, and dry ones drier

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has delivered a sobering update on how much the Earth has warmed and how the climate system is responding. The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) is the most comprehensive yet. It shows Earth is now 1.09 warmer than it was in the 1850s... More>>