U.S. Congress Passes Health Reform: The Dog Blog Linkapalooza

They had to sacrifice abortion rights to get it done, which I guess will appeal to religious assholes who like to meddle in government and strip unbelievers of their liberty.

But it's a start.

Heres' the New York Times story.
Here's the Guardian's story.
Heres' the Salon article.
Here's a piece in The Nation.
And finally, here's a long article on Alternet about the wacky things critics of health care reform in the United States say.

Voter Turnout Numbers

On Friday, city hall released the voter turnout numbers broken down by ward. Here they are, cut and pasted onto our blog for your reading pleasure.
Ward 1. . . . . 28.59%
Ward 2. . . . . 30.89%
Ward 3. . . . . 22.37%
Ward 4. . . . . 25.44%
Ward 5. . . . . 21.17%
Ward 6. . . . . 13.98%
Ward 7. . . . . 21.80%
Ward 8. . . . . 21.22%
Ward 9. . . . . 22.82%
Ward 10. . . . 31.46%
Overall. . . . 24.97% (based on mayoral race)
So I'm reading through this and the first thing I find myself thinking is, "Wow, look at Ward 10. 31 per cent voter turnout. Not bad." And then, I'm like, wait a second... 31 per cent voter turnout is bad. It's very bad. The only reason it doesn't look so bad is because you have wards like mine, Ward 3, that can only muster a paltry 22 per cent. Seems all you have to do to get one in three people out to vote is get a Roughrider to put on a show.

(That was not, for the record, a shot at Councillor Szarka, who at least bothered to run for election. Nor at Ward 10 voters, who at least bothered to vote. Or rather, not a shot at the 30 per cent of them who bothered to vote.)

Compared with the 2006 election, voter turnout dropped in all wards, on average by 12 per cent, with the biggest plunge coming in Ward 1 with a 15 per cent decline and the smallest in Ward 6 where turnout only dropped by eight per cent.

This Week at City Hall

Monday, November 9
City Council (7:00 pm): The new council will be sworn in and the deputy mayor schedule will be set for 2009-2012. Deputy mayor schedule? What's that, you ask? Apparently, the position of deputy mayor rotates through council alphabetically, with each councillor taking turns in two month stretches. The deputy mayor's duties include attending community events and chairing council meetings in the mayor's absence, and also chairing the Executive Committee and reading bylaws at council meetings.

Pick of the Day: Mad Caddies

Like other genres of music, the popularity of ska tends to wax and wane. What is now described as first wave ska originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was a hit with Mods in the UK in the '60s. In the late '70s, ska enjoyed a revival via bands like the Specials and Madness. In the lexicon of musicologists, that's known as second wave ska.

Third wave ska, of which Mad Caddies, who are at the Exchange tonight, are representative, got going in southern California in the mid to late 80s, and infused with a healthy dollop of punk, produced bands like Sublime, No Doubt and the Planet Smashers.

But that was then, this is now. So here's video of Mad Caddies performing their song "All-American Badass" at a 2006 gig in Florida (YouTube)