The Answer Guy Online

Providing information to unwitting victims on a "don't-need-to-know" basis since 1974.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Next Chapter

Well, I'm free to go back to finding the usual ways to waste my time, rather than having my time monopolized by bar review books and practice essay tests.

Not to discuss Danish cartoons and their aftershocks, Dick Cheney being the first VP (we know of) to shoot a man while in office, the latest goings on in my newly adopted hometown, the GW Colonials continuing their improbable run all the way up to #6 in the polls, and how I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the upcoming 2006 baseball season.

But for now, I'm off for the weekend.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl 40

I'm sorry but Super Bowl XL sounds silly, like I'm afraid that the Large size of the Super Bowl is going to shrink too much in the laundry.

Yes, today is the last day of the highest level of professional football for several months. (The Pro Bowl doesn't count, and neither does Arena Football, and the XFL no longer even exists, so you wiseacres can sit down.) I've been studiously avoiding the surrounding hype for the last two weeks because :
* Super Bowl media hype doesn't even interest me when my favorite team is involved in the game;
* I have no particular stake (emotional or financial) in either of these teams and am largely indifferent to who wins;
* I have a bar exam to study for.

These look to my eyes like fairly evenly matched teams; this has the potential to be as good a Super Bowl as any we've had in recent years. (Incidentally, football fans have been spoiled on that score recently as I can only recall two especially boring ones played in the last decade; most of the ones I recall from my childhood were over almost before they started.)

However, it's obvious to me that the sentimental money is on Pittsburgh.

* The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied frachises in NFL history. This is the 7th Super Bowl (more than any team not named the 49ers or Cowboys) and would, if they won, be their 5th title (again, third behind the Cowpokes and Niners.) There are probably some casual football fans who were, prior to last week, only vaguely aware of the existence of a franchise called the Seattle Seahawks. Though they have been performing better in recent seasons, the franchise has a remarkable history of mediocrity, usually being neither good enough to acheieve fame nor bad enough to achieve infamy.

* The game is being played in Detroit. Jerome Bettis is from Detroit. QED. (Also note that Detroit and Pittsburgh are sort of near each other on a road atlas, and the Seattle and Detroit are not near each other.)

* Steeler coach Bill Cowher, now the dean of NFL head coaches by a fairly significant margin, has never won a Super Bowl; this would be his second try at one. Seahawks coach MIke Holmgren already won one with Green Bay ten seasons ago.

* Pittsburgh is a traditionally working-class city with a rich football tradition; Seattle has a strongly white-collar rep and is mostly known for Starbucks and Microsoft, two of the most ridiculed entities on snarky blogs like this one, in addition to giving the world grunge rock, a mixed bag as far as cultural history is concerned. This list of Seattle sports legends is about as long as...ah, heck, make your own joke here.

* Pittsburgh is a great sports town, full of sports lore about the Steelers, the Pirates, and even the Penguins. When it comes to hard luck sports cities, people used to talk about Boston (not these days) or Chicago (Michael Jordan notwithstanding) and now they mention Philadelphia and Cleveland and Buffalo, but I've never heard Seattle brought up in such conversations. The Mariners have never won a pennant and were terrible for most of their history. the Seahawks are the poster boys for parity, and the Super Sonics, while they did win a title in the 1970s, aren't exactly among the best-known among NBA teams.

* There is a general sense that the AFC is better, borne out by the teams interleague records. The Steelers ran a gauntlet of road games in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Denver to get to Detroit. They kept Peyton Manning out of yet another Super Bowl and then beat the Broncos on their home field. They've played one of the toughest schedules in the league this year, so that 10-6 regular season record, among the worst ever notched by a Super Bowl team, came against unusually tough competition. I wonder how the Seahawks would have done if they had Pittsburgh's schedule.

* Seattle did go 14-2, but with one of the easiest schedules in football; six of those games were against their rivals in the NFC West, three of the absolute worst teams the NFL has to offer. The best team of the three played with a revolving cast of quarterback, outgained only a half dozen teams in rush yards, and surrendered more points than any team other than Houston and more yardage than everyone but the Texans and 49ers on their way to a 6-10 finish. The other two teams were even worse. They beat Indianapolis but the Colts, robbed of immortality one week before and with home field in hand, treated that game like it was pre-season. Even their two playoff wins, both at home, didn't convey all that much about the 'Hawks either; the Redskins showed they didn't really belong in the playoffs, and the Panthers did the 'Skins one better with their letter-perfect imitation of a first-year expansion club.

* Pittsburgh is a defense-first club of the sort that fits perfectly the profile of the kind of team that wins the Super Bowl. Hardly anyone runs against these guys with any kind of success. And yet unlike some such clubs, they can rack up the points on ocassion. Ben Rothliesburger can throw, and he's got some great targets in Hines Ward and tight end Heath Miller. He's got Willie Parker to hand off to, and Jerome Bettis on the goal line. All these guys are more famous, with one obvious exception, than their counterparts in Seattle.

My gambling friends tell me, though, when you see all the sentiment and all the conventional wisdom going in one direction...look the other way. And when I do, I see a lot to like:

* Shawn Alexander. The reason I won one fantasy football league and almost won another one. If anyone can run on the Steelers, it's this guy, assuming he's healthy. I don't think I need to say any more about him so I'll move on.

* Though just how good they are is hard to discern, there's no doubt that the Seahawks are solid. They have Mosi Tatupu's son Lofa, the kind of guy who, just like Troy Polomalu on the other side, can make big, momentum shifting-type moves on defense. They've got a good secondary (they've given up an average number of passing yards but most opponents have been playing from behind) and aren't bad against the run either. They led the league in sacks too. Hasselbeck's become a pretty good quarterback, and, in addition to the aforementioned Alexander, they've got Bobby Engram and Darrell Jackson and Jerramy Stevens in the offense.

* Seattle's been winning, taking care of business, over and over again. Week in, week out, constant as the Northern star. They haven't stumbled since losing to the Redskins back when I still lived in Virginia. Given their schedule, that doesn't sound like much, but plenty of very good teams have stumbled plenty of places they shouldn't have this season...and Seattle hasn't. Period. Quite reminiscent of Bill Belichek's recent championship New England teams. Not especially flashy to be sure, but always good enough to win, even against teams that might be a shade more talented than they are.

Now there are a lot of things that the Seattle Seahawks don't have. They don't have long lists of Hall of Famers to invoke. (In fact, they only have one I know of.) There aren't miles and miles of archived reel-to-reel of John Facenda singing their praises. Mike Holmgren isn't as colorful as Bill Cowher. Big Ben is a cooler nickname than anything that's ever been applied to Matt Hasselbeck. They don't have anyone who can talk trash like Joey Porter. They don't have a shiny accomplishment on their resume like beating the Colts and Broncos on the road, when it counted. They don't have a human interest story like Jerome Bettis playing in his hometown in his final career game for all the marbles.

But none of those things are prerequsites to win a Super Bowl. By the only criteria that matter, the Seahawks are more than good enough. With that in mind, Answer Guy's call:

Seattle 24, Pittsburgh 21

Thursday, February 02, 2006


For the first time since 1956, the GW Colonials are in the Top 10 in the polls, taking advtantage of a weekend where a lot of teams that were ahead of them stumbled. I got to see them in action on Saturday at the Smith Center against the Rams of Rhode Island, and I have got to say that I do think a number 10 ranking seems a little high for these guys. (For instance, I'm not sure they'd be favored in a rematch with #17 North Carolina State, who now trails them in the polls and beat GW convincingly, albeit in Raleigh.)

A real test of the legitimacy of that ranking comes tonight as the Colonials go to Cincinnati to face the Musketeers of Xavier, who've had GW's number more often than not lately. And it will be televised on ESPN, with Dick Vitale presiding, no less. Lots of people who are scratching their heads at the #10 ranking of a team with an RPI still in the 40s, below such luminaries as George Mason (#35), Utah State (#41), and Missouri State (#37). Well, here's their chance; Xavier is the best team and the toughest challenge (ahead of St. Joe's, and well ahead of anyone else) left on the schedule. Xavier has a win against crosstown rival Cincinnati under its belt and a history of beating GW; a win here would serves some serious notice to all observers.

Why am I scratching my head at #10? The Colonials are solid in the sense that focusing on one player and shutting him down isn't going to be a productive approach, and that they can survive one of their better players having an off-day. In the case of Saturday's tilt with the Rams, neither Mike Hall, generally the heart and soul of the squad, nor Omar Williams contributed much to their win, in no small part because both players were in foul trouble from very early on. J.R. Pinnock and Pops Mensah-Bonsu really stepped it up. Even without a great perimeter game, they can score points quickly because they are adept at forcing turnovers and grabbing quick fast break points and transition baskets. Of the regular rotation, there doesn't seem to be anyone (other than maybe Mensah-Bonsu) who flat out can't handle the ball, so the trap isn't really a good strategy for opposing teams. Gambling defenses are going to find themselves burned as often as not.

ESPN should have been televising these guys more, since their uptempo game is a lot of fun to watch. They produce more than their share of highlight-reel worthy dunks, flashy fast breaks, and dramatic runs that change the fundamental nature of the game. They really know how to get a crowd - especially a Smith Center crowd - into a game.

However, not everything about them would cause Dickie V to shout "awesome, baby!" The passing can be a little haphazard at times as they try to rev up the game's tempo. For a team that's going to be looking to the low post rather than the perimeter (Carl Elliott notwithstanding), the free throw shooting is weak enough to creative an incentive for opponents to foul to stop high-percentage baskets. In particular, hacking Pops didn't work all that well for Rhode Island on Saturday, but it's easy to imagine a game where it works perfectly, provided you have enough people to spread the fouls around like the Rams did. An agressively physical offense might cause them some problems, as any foul trouble for Williams, Pops, or Hall hurts the team quite a bit. And while they most definitely spread the points, assists, boards, and steals around, they're still not that deep a team. URI went on a big run when Hall and Williams were taken out with 2 personals each, especially when Pops had to sit as well. The backup big men are adequate at best, and the only real impact player off the bench is swingman Maureece Rice. (That said, Rice is a two-way sensation when he plays; great defense, solid ball-handling, and sometimes a nice shot touch.)

Most importantly, this is not a team that's all that sound when it comes to a bread-and-butter halfcourt offense. Any halfway competent team that is careful and deliberative enough - especially on defense - to keep the tempo down and force the Colonials to play it straight is going to beat them; see N.C. State, the one team to take GW down thusfar. They are not built to hit from outside, so any team that gets position on Pops or whoever else is trying to post up is going to have a significant advantage in the paint and on the boards. They will take risks in trying to force a breakdown of the defense, and a disciplined and skilled defense will be able to turn those risks into transition points and sometimes offensive fouls as well.

It would be just like GW has been the last few years to fall flat on their face against Xavier. The Cintas Center has a track record of being a graveyard for the Colonials in recent years. There's no David West or Romain Sato anymore, but there is a physical presence in Brian Thornton and a deadly shooter in Stanley Burrell. They hold opponents to 60 per game, and they're going to try to slow the Colonials down.

But this GW team is a year older than they were last year, with more experience and the chance to really make a splash on national TV tonight. The X-Men have fallen to St. Louis at home and Temple on the road, and GW has proven a better team than either. Let's do this one guys; after this, no computer is going to be able to call George Mason a better team without people laughing derisively.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Doctor's Orders

Suppose your religious beliefs required strict vegetarianism and your faith teaches you that eating animal flesh was tantamount to murder. If you further decided that your conscience dictated that you couldn't even facilitate this conduct with risking eternal damnation...being a waiter at the local Ruth's Chris is probably not the right job for you. And I don't think your boss there would keep you for long if, while employed there, you loudly demanded that your customers only order the salads before skipping straight to the desert menu.

He'd tell you to find another job.

Now imagine, that instead of something relatively trivial such as whether customers will get their filet mignon without having to call a manager, you're dealing with a rape victim who is trying to avoid going through a pregnancy caused by the rape.

Why a pharmacist who refuses to dispense birth control on the presentation of a valid prescription shouldn't be dealt with in the same way that our hypothetical Ruth's Chris waiter would be is an exercise left to the reader. Apparently, legislators in some [unspecified] states don't see it that way.

From the Washington Post:
About half of the proposals would shield pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and "morning-after" pills because they believe the drugs cause abortions. But many are far broader measures that would shelter a doctor, nurse, aide, technician or other employee who objects to any therapy. That might include in-vitro fertilization, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cells and perhaps even providing treatment to gays and lesbians.

This type of legislation would open a veritable Pandora's box of consequences. Religion is used as a cover for all sorts of discrimination. While it's unlikely that racial discrimination under color of religious belief would pass muster, maybe doctors in some states won't have to treat gays and lesbians anymore since they are often not a protected class under the law. The contemplated restrictions reach well beyond just abortion into contraception, anything having to do with sex, decisions about life and death, and even, in the future, matters connected to stem cell research, including any possible future fruits of such research.

Discrimination already happens in medical care; consider the case of Tyra Hunter, a transsexual in Washington, DC, who was allowed to bleed to death because medical personnel didn't want to touch her. At least those people paid (via a famous lawsuit) for their acts and omissions; they might be shielded in some states, if they pass the sorts of laws being considered. These sorts of discriminatory impulses absolutely do not need to be validated.

All this is enough to make you want to demand your doctor be an atheist. Of course, that's often not an option; Tyra Hunter, after all, couldn't go doctor shopping, not even in Washington, DC.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Crazy People

Studying for the bar exam has been mostly kind of dull. But when you go through practice question after practice question, after a while there are certain characters that keep showing up over and over again in the hypotheticals, the ones that behave nothing like actual people would. Now if you're fresh out of law school, and you've been subjected to three years of wild-ass hypotheticals straight out of professorial imagination, this would not seem odd to year. A few years in the real world though and you have to remind yourself to turn off the voice in your head telling you "WTF is wrong with these people?!" when you read the fact patterns.

For instance, there are the attorneys in the Professional Responsibility questions who violate every rule under the sun. The kind that would likely have been disbarred years ago for being freakin' idiots. Oh, yeah, sure, you can represent a shareholder in a dispute with management of your client corporation. Yeah, of course you can say nasty things about the other party in a pending lawsuit to the press. Go ahead, agree to a consent order that you know your client bitterly opposes. Like I said, freakin' idiots. What law school did these people go to, anyway?

Also, there are the religious conservative school boards in the Constitutional Law questions. If you're going to try to get the Bible into English classes, claiming that the purpose is to "instill morality" is prove the other side's case for them. Building churches with public money isn't very slick either. Oh, well, at least it's some easy points to regurgitate the Lemon v. Kurtzman test.

But while crooked (if not quite as stupid as above) lawyers and school boards who are ham-handed about their efforts to push their brand of religion onto everyone else are all too real, the same cannot be said for all of those criminal defendants in the Evidence questions who are oh-so-eager to bring character evidence into issue. Yes, they are entitled to produce evidence regarding their own good character before anyone else says anything, unlike most litigants, including prosecutors. To say that they usually refrain from doing so, considering the typical criminal defendant has a rap sheet a mile long and is known far and wide as trouble on two legs, is a the understatement of the year. In fact, though you'd never know it from the bar exam or from TV, criminal defendants are usually so deathly afraid of their character being discussed that they don't even take the stand. Even funnier is that the prosecutors in these questions often object. In the real world, they lie in wait with bated breath and hope that the defendant and his counsel are dumb enough to open the door. They ain't objecting.

The Contracts people are usually more sensible than this. But I might make an exception for the people who get pissed that the college student slackers who painted your house didn't paint the house to their satisfaction - and they try to sue for specific performance. Hello!? Really, now, what on earth makes you think you'd be happier the second time around if you could force them to go up to your house again and paint it, even assuming a court would grant you that remedy - which of course they won't?

And then we move onto Real Property. More specifically, to the dumbasses who don't record their deeds. For some reason, lots of them go to Tibet or something they day after the buy a house. First of all, these people should be freakin' house poor after purchasing Blackacre or Whiteacre or Mauveacre or Polka-Dotacre or Whateveracre. None of them seem to have heard of title insurance or title companies or escrow agents or any of those other zillions of people who get some of your dough when you become a homeowner. Even funnier are all the mortgage banks who somehow screw this up that occassionally show up in hypotheticals. This behavior then facilitiates the unscrupulous sellers who take advantage of our naive wanderers by re-selling and/or re-mortgaging Whateveracre to someone else. If these people exist, they can't exist in anything like the numbers found on the bar exam. Something like 10% of the Property questions on the Multistate concern these a**holes. (Of course, if the buyers weren't traipsing off to Tibet on moving day, this wouldn't happen.)

And we can't forget about the crazy, eccentric old people in the Property questions who can't seem to convey land without throwing all kinds of ridiculous future interests into the mix. You know, "I hereby grant Sillyacre to A for life, then to B and his heirs for so long as liquor is never consumed on the premises, then to C and her heirs, etc." * (This people also exist in soap operas, I'm told.) Note that you have to be rich to be "eccentric." Similar folks of modest means are just plain "crazy."
And usually they don't have lavish estates, or lawyers who can apparently afford their country club memberships because these codgers want to create contingent remainders and executory interests on all their land holdings.

Perhaps their credo is that it's immoral to allow fools to keep their money. Which, come to think of it, is probably the credo by which most people who practice law live.

* If you recognized from the minute that you saw the asterisk that this conveyance violates the Rule Against Perpetuities, you are correct. You are also beyond hope.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Death Is A Star

Interesting article about a blog from Death Row. It's a rare window into a world that, thankfully, few of us will ever know. Though words like "animal" are tossed aroud to describe the inmates, both individually and as a group, they are human. They have thoughts and hopes and fears like the rest of us. Most of the time, it is far too easy to forget those things.

I am remdinded of the Stanley "Tookie" Williams execution last month, except that this one has received far less attention from Hollywood and the media. Contrary to what some have said, it does not appear that either execution, either that Vernon Evans or the one last month, could properly be called an "injustice." Evans is a killer, and both of those he killed were as human as he was. The same goes for Williams, who continued to deny his crimes as his denials rang hollow.

That having been said, however, I fail to see what good killing people like this does.

It doesn't bring back the victims. It doesn't make anyone in the general public safer. It seems to feed the "eye for an eye" mentality of the folks found in these comments. To the extent it makes anyone feel better, it only does so because it validates our dark impulses to destroy those who wrong us.

I look at the kind of people who celebrate executions and note that they are just as wed to the dark impulse for homicide and violence as the murderers themselves. I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with someone such as this on a regular basis, and that's probably a lot of people. Perhaps if they were born in the circumstances to which a great number of the men and women whose deaths they callously celebrate, their drinking buddies would be mocking their deaths instead.

To be ruled by these appetites to invite upon ourselves the "nasty, brutish, and short" collective existance posited by Thomas Hobbes in the absence of civilizing influences. And all this assumes that we have the right person in the gallows in the first place, which appears not always to be the case.

There may be some people out there so dangerous, so pernicious, that society can be said to act in its own defense when they take his or her life. Is that everyone in Death Row? Or even a significant fraction thereof? I think not.

At the end of the day, I look at the record of our nation and do not see a culture that is capable of administering the ultimate penalty with anything like the respect and consideration it deserves. Given how human beings are, there may indeed be no culture - past, present, or future - that can.

Totally unrelated point: The Baltimore Sun probably should have come up with another headline for Javy Lopez' dissastisfaction with the state of the Orioles and his role on it. J. Lopez Wants Action From Orioles suggests that Marc Anthony just isn't satisfying America's favorite lame-actress-turned-prefab-pop-singer, and she needs some adult-film worthy locker room polyamoury, rather than Javy Lopez wanting to be traded to a team where he'd start more often at catcher in light of the O's acquisition of Ramon Hernandez from San Diego.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Friends In Low Places

The good news is that the governments of the United States and Iran are cooperating on an international issue.

The bad news? The issue where the Bush administration and the Islamist regime in Iran are finding common ground is unfortunately not nuclear proliferation, the Arab-Israeli conflict, international terrorism, rebuilding Iraq, or rebuilding Afghanistan. What was the issue of agreement? None other than anti-gay bias. (For added bonus points, the regime in Sudan is also involved.)

Another sad aspect of all this is that this the United States gets no credit from Osama bin Laden for standing with the most backward of the Islamic theocracies in international bodies when it comes to gay rights and women's rights. I guess there's just no pleasing some people. Geez...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Estoppel Right There!

You know, most lawyers probably don’t even know how many different ways you can write a sentence that includes the word “estoppel.” Promissory estoppel, collateral estoppel, equitable estoppel, corporation-by-estoppel, estoppel-by-deed.. in fact, the word processor I’m using isn’t aware that the word “estoppel” is a real word.

I dare this stupid paper clip to tell the Maryland Board of Law Examiners that “estoppel” is not a word.

Amuse Me

I have to hand it to Edmund. Given what's been in my Comments widget while my poor blog has lain fallow, this post is funny.

"Attention CONSUMER:

Your blog, NAME, is positively great. I love how you post about THING all the time, especially your witty, wry outlook on IDEA. I will bookmark CONSUMER's blog and ensure that STUFF awareness is elevated maximally by improving your blog with links to THING, IDEA, and other STUFF that CONSUMER is intersted in. I'm sure CONSUMER enjoys THINGs. I sure do!

Yours sincerely,

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ugh, Canada

Lovely. Canada has it’s own version of Dubya Bush now. Well, actually, it doesn’t really.

I don’t really read right-wing blogs anymore…I bet they are moving lots of electrons around gloating about this whole Canadian election thing. Never mind that the Conservatives were running as the alternative to an ossified party everyone was sick of and a Prime Minister hardly anyone liked and got 36% of the vote. To get to that 36%, they had to promise they weren’t going to dismantle health care, weren’t going to attempt to recriminalize abortion, and above all weren’t going to involve Canada in the Iraq War.

The good news is that the combined Liberal Party (103 seats) and New Democratic Party (29 seats) total is greater than that of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives (124 seats out of 308, well short of 155, the magic number for a majority, despite winning every last seat in Alberta, Canada's answer to Texas), who would otherwise relish the chance to bring everything Canadians know and generally don’t love about their southern neighbor home to roost. (This of course assumes that the Liberal Party is worth a damn, which is not a sure thing by any means, although being deprived of power is often a good incentive, the U.S. Democrats notwithstanding, to shape up one’s act.) As to social issues, much of the Tory delegation is uncomfortable with any attempt to export American-style movement conservatism northward, and that's before you consider that even with unanimous Conservative support they'd need some opposition support to get any measure passed. Attempts to move towards an American model of public sector are going to meet a good deal of resistance as well; while Harper may have some ad hoc allies on specific issues, the Conservatives have nothing resembling an ideolgocial ally among the other parties.

However, the balance of power in the country is held by a group of people – the Bloc Quebecois - who presumably don’t even want to be part of the country anymore. That’s pretty weird, isn’t it? They may find a lot of common cause with the Conservatives with regards to provincial devolution, even though the bulk of that delegation can barely conceal their disdain for all things Quebec. (After all, Quebecois are about being French, and Conservatives of all stripes and anything French go together like cream of mushroom soup and maraschino cherries.) Even odder is that the Tories won seats in Quebec in some secession-friendly areas, and despite their new place in the catbird seat, the Bloc did far worse than they had hoped for Monday and in fact lost seats (51, as opposed to 53 before the election) from the old Parliament to the new one.

Of course, one of the things Harper wants to do is increase military spending. This strikes me as the sort of thing that the Bloc isn’t going to go along with, seeing as it is directly hostile to their leanings (most of them are fairly left-wing even by the relaxed standards of the Great White North) and policy preferences, and there’s no real way to leave Quebec out of the impact of the policy change.

So, the Conservatives have a minority government. Presumably, the Liberals will need some time to pick their new leadership, which, given how nasty the infighting there has been recently, is going to take some time. Some of the less hinged Conservatives will make some “colorful” statements that will sound a lot like the ones made by some of Capitol Hill’s more obnoxious trogolodytes, the difference being that even most people in Alberta will be horrified or at least embarrassed by the remarks in question. The government will have some difficult choices regarding Quebec and the Bloc, because almost anything they’d do that would keep the Bloc happy will cost them in Ontario and the Martimes, where they’re not keen on the idea of splitting up the Dominion, and possibly alienate their core in the West, who might wonder if Quebec is getting too good a deal. Harper has a scant mandate to do anything other than “don’t be Paul Martin,” which he should have no trouble doing since we’re in reality and not one of those body-switching movies they did in the 1980s.

There have been minority governments in Canada before - including the most recent Liberal government led by Martin - and most of them have not lasted long.

I expect Ottawa to be much like David Byrne’s vision of Heaven for the next couple of years.

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