... two energy traders are joking about how Enron manipulated the prices for electricity in California.
"They're taking all that fucking money back?" says one energy trader to an Enron executive. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California?"
"Yeah, Grandma Millie, man", the Enron executive replies. "But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to fucking vote on the butterfly ballot".
"Now she wants her money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her ass for $250 a megawatt hour", the other trader chortled.
The Enron traders loved the blackouts, because that meant they could cash in on the skyrocketing prices helpless consumers were forced to pay. "Just cut 'em off", one Enron executive said. "They're so fucked.
They should just bring back fucking horses and carriages, fucking lamps, fucking kerosene lamps".
They're assuming Grandma Millie has been too busy to notice Arnold's close connection to special interests. After all, in his first campaign, Arnold claimed that he didn't need to take outside money because he has so much of his own. So maybe Millie doesn't know that he has since become the GOP's top fundraiser and that his major funders are from the energy, healthcare and insurance industries.
They're also assuming she's been too busy to notice his close connections to the Republican establishment. After all, he campaigned as a moderate and has differed with the national party on some social issues. So she may not know that he has supported conservative Republicans in other races and that his re-election campaign is being managed by top Bush operatives.
Sure, there may be some things he's said or done in the past that she didn't like, but they're counting on her poor memory. She may have thought that the special election on his ballot measures was a waste of taxpayer money. She may have been offended by his threatening to kick nurses' butts. She may have been annoyed that he spent most of his term ignoring the Democratic legislature. But his last minute gestures toward the legislature on environmental regulation should erase all previous doubts.
They may also be counting on Grandma Millie's apathy about Arnold. They may hope she'll be among those who don't bother to vote because, "We've had worse:" Compared to previous governors whose appointments for judgeships have been based on patronage, Schwarzenegger's actually appear to be qualified. Then again, unlike Gray Davis, Schwarzenegger has been willing to let the Parole Board actually do its job again. Or they may think she'll be among those who don't bother to vote because "at least he's entertaining," whether voters are dazzled by him or laughing at him.
But then, maybe Grandma Millie isn't as gullible as they think.
Maybe she's willing to hope that even though we've had worse, we could have better -- much better. Maybe she's been willing to look beyond the hype to discover that Phil Angelides is not just another self-interested politician (he's sure no "Pay-to-Play Gray"),
that Angelides has the integrity, passion and experience to work on behalf of the average people of California.
Maybe she's learned to be more careful about her ballot, whether absentee, electronic, lever or paper. Maybe talking about the issues with a friendly Democrat will help refresh her memory. Maybe she just needs a little help getting to the polls.
Maybe she's not fooled by the sudden drop in gas prices a month before the election because she's been gamed by the energy lobby before.
Don't underestimate Grandma Millie.