Here in Canada, American politics is a spectator sport; and this year our southern neighbors are putting on a terrific show. The Washington machinations get further and further into you-couldn’t-make-this-up territory. My favorite this week: apparently Republican supremo Ken Mehlman did sleazemeister Jack Abramoff a favor by getting a government lawyer fired for labor-policy reform efforts that were bothering Abramoff’s clients. Now, while this is an outstandingly clear instance of corruption and evil in action at the highest levels, it’s really nothing new; humanity is prone to corruption, large organizations (both public and private sector) are where it’s most profitable, and there will always be a certain amount going on. What pushed my weirdness-meter into overload on this one is that while the quid pro quo was mostly at a strategic level around large-scale campaign funding, in this particular case Abramoff also scored Mehlman a couple of U2 concert tickets. There’s just something about U2 tickets being used to bribe officials to resist labor-law reform that resonates in all the wrong places. And, for those who like to watch the show, I’m happy to report that Andy Tanenbaum’s Electoral Vote Predictor is back; its cheerily obsessive tracking of every credible poll in every state of the union will add some entertainment value to your daily feed scans.