Monthly Archives: November 2006

Obama

I’m going to start picking fights about 2008 already. There’s just no way I can support Obama in the primary.

I’m fond of the guy on some levels. He was the commencement speaker at my law school, and it was a damn good speech. He topped it at the Democratic National Convention. But President?

Sure, he speaks well. His story is melting-pot Horatio Alger Americana to the core. But he’s a first term senator. His large margin of victory was mostly due to his opponent’s implosion and replacement by psycho-carpetbagger Alan Keyes.

I found his failure to support Ned Lamont despicable, but he was hardly alone in that regard. Also, my lack of support for him has nothing to do with his being black. I honestly don’t think that matters to the swing voter anymore. I’m not saying he’ll win in Alabama, but will any Democrat not named George Wallace?

Of course “first term senator” is only marginally less qualified than Hillary herself (if–big if–you discount the fact that she really did play an important role as a close adviser to Bill). Also, some of the most qualified people have made shitty presidents (Bush I, Nixon) or shitty candidates (Gore 2000, Nixon 1960, Mondale).

But it goes deeper than that. I feel like Obama is just a face and a talker. It’s soothing talk, and a good face, but I feel more and more that there’s not as much substance there. The Lamont defection partially showed me that, but so have some of his votes.

He’s just not ready to be on the top of the ticket. If he’d agree to run with Hillary early, I think that race is over, and Lieberman’s impending defection to join John McCain will lead to a battle royale.

Another Unnoticed Failure of "Small Government"

CNN claims today that 9 out of 10 emails are spam. This comes days after the EU says the number is half. I’m not sure if these figures are weighted for bandwidth usage, or if an e-mail is an e-mail regardless of size.

Either way, this represents a significant drain on the Internet, and is necessarily reflected in the bills you and I pay for Internet access. In addition, it consumes untold processor cycles (and therefore electricity—spam contributes to global warming!) running spam protection routines and software.

The government has passed a law here and there, including the “Can-Spam” Act, under which a grand total of one person has been prosecuted (it’s a race with the al-Qaeda prosecutors). But nothing has happened.

Smart-alecky commentators like me are supposed to proffer a solution—it’s one of the rules. I don’t have one. It’s not my job. I don’t work for the FCC or Congress or a major ISP. I just pay for them.

The best solution I can think of is a broad push by a very wide coalition of online presences to begin rejecting e-mail that comes from unconfirmed sources. Anyone who wants to use e-mail needs something similar to a very primitive digital signature. If MSN, Google, AOL, Yahoo! (just to start) offered their customers a free verified ID (attach it to a credit card?) e-mail, and places like eBay, Amazon, and a few major corporations started refusing e-mail that didn’t come in that form, we might be somewhere.

But those companies haven’t done that, probably because there’s money to be made somewhere by being the person to develop the standard. (BluRay, anyone?) So, it’s time for our leaders to lead. Do something. Solve a tangible problem for millions of people.

It ain’t Katrina, and it ain’t Iraq, but fixing spam is a step towards showing that good government is better than small government.

Quarter Season NHL Award Picks

Calder: Malkin.
Not much doubt about this one, if he stays healthy. He’s as fun to watch as Ovechkin, and, perhaps due to the language barrier, his mouth is less shitty than his teammate Crosby’s. Finalists: Kopitar, Stastny

Selke: Sami Pahlsson
Sami is finally getting the recognition he deserves playing on a team at or near the top of the standings, and I think he might pull this one out. He has shut down the best in the playoffs, including Sakic and Iginla. Finalists: Pandolfo, Brind’Amour.

Jack Adams: Lindy Ruff
I like to think this award goes to who does the most with the least or who does the best to turn a team around, and not just whoever happens to be sitting behind the bench of the top team. This year, two of those apply to Lindy. Finalists: Ted Nolan, Paul Maurice.

Hart Trophy: Scott Niedermayer
Scott is having a hall of fame season, but he’s likely to be overshadowed by the fact that Chris Pronger is on his team. It shouldn’t matter. Finalists: Nicklas Lidstrom, Joe Thornton.

Norris Trophy: Scott Niedermayer
Every time he is on the ice, the other team seems to lose its ability to score and the Ducks gain a chance. Finalists: Pronger, Lidstrom.

Vezina: Ryan Miller
This is a tight race. There is a lot of quality here, but I admire every cog in the Buffalo machine and their resilience and clutch play. Not only are they winning, but they are winning in ways that show me they will run away with the East. That is almost never true of the regular season champion. Finalists: Kiprusoff, Roloson.

GM of the Year: Doug Wilson
He’s not winning this award yet, but after the deadline, something tells me he will. Finalists: Brian Burke (Pronger trade), Lou Lamoriello (Cap magic).

Coaching Deadpool 1 for 3

Well, I nailed Hitchcock but I completely blew the Columbus (what was his name?) and Chicago firings. I didn’t see Chicago coming because they stuck with Yawney last year and started OK, and now they are losing because their best player is injured.

Hmph. I stand with my other picks.

WSJ Article on Latin America

Several days ago, I read an article in the WSJ that subtly annoyed me for a while. It seemed to be a triumphalist retrospective on Latin-American populism. Without going so far as to say it, they are trying to say that Chavezism is dead. “The populist political tide that seemed to be sweeping through Latin America earlier this year is sputtering[,]” said the Journal.

Yet tonight, I see from the very location of the dateline of that article, that the pro-Chavez leftist has won with a “commanding lead” in Ecuador.

I don’t particularly care for what Chavez is doing. I really don’t think a Western Hemisphere cold war is going to improve the lot of many people, but I am shaken by America’s failure to understand the root causes of Chavez’s popularity, especially when America appears to have itself rejected unfettered “free trade” and the so-called Washington Consensus as well.

The empirical facts are in. It is Neoliberalism that is dead–not the rejection of it. It has made the poor poorer, and it was supposed to do the opposite. So has supply-side economics. The UK Tories have rejected it — the rest of the world won’t be far behind, and the US could end up alone as the last devotees of a dying religion.

Twancy Gets Sued

It happened. They sued Nancy Grace for wrongful death. Just as I had hoped.

For those of you out there with a layman’s understanding of the law, this doesn’t mean that Twancy is 100% responsible for the woman’s death. In fact, it’s possible that she will be found liable of some infinitesimal fraction of guilt, and end up not paying any money. But just the finding of causation here would be devastating for Twancy, who makes her living out of sorrow.

I’m sure we’ll hear the usual First Amendment justifications coming from the Judith Miller Defense League, but Free Speech isn’t a legal defense to wrongful death—in fact, it’s the paradigm case of the limits of Free Speech. But I’m sure it will be part of the rhetoric used to sway the public against this “greedy” family.

I wonder why the irony here doesn’t strike her into humility? For so long, she has been the strident voice of the victim, but now she’s the aggressor.

Michael Richards

In the abstract, I’m not sure why Kramer calling two people “nigger” is any more offensive than them calling him “cracker ass” in response. In reality, it just is. Maybe it’s not fair, but it just is.

And in a way there’s no such thing as bad publicity. I don’t think anyone had thought about this guy in a long, long time, and now even insignificant bloggers are writing about him.

Coaching Deadpool

(1) Tortorella – Things aren’t improving for the 2004 champions, and the GM is to blame. That means the axe falls on the coach.

(2) Gretzky – You have to laugh when you see the red-faced Gretzky almost cry every time his incompetent team is scored on. When we he realize that he was the best player ever, not coach.

(3) Playfair – Underperforming Flames have the rumor mill churning here.

Bonus picks: Trotz, Kitchen.

Is Baker-Hamilton a Trojan Horse?

While listening to an interview with the Syrian foreign minister on NPR, it dawned on me that these notions that Iran and Syria will ride in and save Iraq seem foolish to me. As much appetite as I have for a US withdrawal from Iraq, this particular exit strategy sounds terrible to me.

Remember, after all, that Lebanon has just recently removed some Syrian influence from its internal affairs after Syrian Intelligence assassinated their PM. What about Iran? Do they have altruistic motives with respect to the Sunnis and Kurds? I don’t think so.

What puzzles me is the choice of these two. Iraq is also bordered by—significantly—Saudi Arabia. Kuwait was part of the Basra province during the Ottoman era. Jordan has been a moderate Arab state for decades. Yet the very people who were planning on expanding their pet war into Syria and Iran now want their help, and, apparently, to the exclusion of other neighbor Arab states?

I call shenanigans.

I think this is a plan that is set up to fail so that we have little choice but to continue the war.

I Support Rangel's Bill

So many of the problems we face in today’s America stem from the virtual solipsistic existence we live (at least those of us outside of major cities). Between the Internet, television, cars, and malls instead of downtowns, public transport, and town meetings, it’s hard not to see that we may be out of touch with the sheer reality of our fellow man.

Not much can be done about those problems. We’re not going to dig up all of the exurbs and generica and replace it with mom and pop stores and housing blocks. Na ga happa.

But a lot could be done to stem this tide with a mandatory year of national service, which is common in industrialized nations. It needn’t be the military. So, when I finally read this money paragraph on the story about Rangel’s bill to reinstate the draft, I lost most of my reservations.

[Rangel]said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, “young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it’s our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,” with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.

We could shore up a lot of our infrastructure needs, build community and a sense of civic responsibility. And, hopefully, in return, those who come out of national service will get a free education or job training. Sounds like a winning idea to me.

Update: It’s overly simplistic to say that we wouldn’t be in Iraq if there was a draft. That might be the case, but the draft didn’t stop Vietnam–it just made it an even more divisive issue.

Pelosi's Strategy…?

Don’t know enough about the people involved, but… Murtha supported Pelosi’s push to be Minority Leader post-Gephardt. Murtha seems like the sort of person that would be pissed if he did not get adequate quid pro quo for that once he decided to run for Majority Leader himself. Murtha is a backroom dealer, and even though he lost, he has enough clout with some of the moderate members of the caucus and the respect of liberal blogger-types for changing the debate on Iraq. He has enough chits to call in from deals done in the past to make things dfficult. By giving Murtha his propers Pelosi kept him in the fold going forward. She and Stoyer have an only working relationship anyway, so no real harm was done there. Murtha crashed on his own ethical failings, but picking him also gave some support to the Net Roots group on the outside of the party.

Anyways, now its over and no one outside of Politicos cares anyway. Time to pass the gavel and pass legisltion.

Aaron Sorkin

I’m a pretty big fan of the West Wing. I’ve been talking to myself out of buying the entire series on DVD every time I walk past it at Costco. It was at its best when a mental afterimage of the Clinton years was still bouncing around in our skulls. It took on a dark, seratonin-deficient mood when Sorkin left and Bush was the foil for the President’s character on the show instead of ole’ Bill.

But something else changed in the show, something I never really could put my finger on until I started getting sucked into Studio 60. Sorkin portrays the ration side of conservatives and the irrational side of liberals. It’s the worst kind of liberal guilt (even though the liberals usually get the best of the argument in the end). In the current political environment, the recent election notwithstanding, that is sort of like making a show all about how ridiculous black people can be, and how really super white people can be. Conservatives self-identify at a rate no less than 15% higher than self-identified liberals. (Forget party ID for the moment).

It might be argued that there is a liberal bias to the movies or television, but the myth of the liberal media is a parody of itself at this point. Liberals have almost no power in America, and some ideas become impossible merely by virtue of being associated with liberalism. Does anyone doubt that it would have been easier to get out of Bosnia than it is to get out of Iraq?

Sorkin may have fit in an era when liberal-tinged third-way Clintonism was ascendant and liberals needed to take a look in the mirror as they pulled the strings of power. But today, the rag-tag band of survivors that still wears that badge need to breathe and eat and stay alive before they begin to perfect themselves.

And, oh? What about some self-searching for the Enron-Tom DeLay-Ann Coulter-Rumsfeld axis?

It's the economy, stupid.

Check out Jim Webb’s piece in the WSJ.

Many WSJ readers will no doubt call this a declaration of class war. Well, I would say that would more accurately be labeled as a declaration of the end of the unilateral disarmament of one side in the ongoing class war that has been going on.

The sooner this country wakes up and realizes (especially those on the left, or those concerned with human rights) that in our system, economic rights translate into civil rights, this becomes even more important. We can read PC demagogery all we want about how we joke about disadvantaged groups, but until those groups gain the economic wherewithal to wage their own fight, they’ll never matter.

For every minority, it’s the economy.

Beyond the Crease

So, I recently sat down and read the new Martin Brodeur book, Beyond the Crease. It is not a good book.

Hyped as a “tell all” from a current player, there’s nothing in there that you couldn’t read in the Newark Star-Ledger. We all knew that Marty likes to negotiate his own deals, that he’s a “company man” and so on. There’s nothing in there that’s earth shattering.

Not just because of his “warm feeling for the state of Texas,” but for many other reasons, I came away from this book honestly not liking Marty as much as I did before I knew any of this. He comes off as a pompous proto-Republican. Some of his quirks include refusing to speak to French-Canadians in English, yet at the same time not being a separatist.

There were no shocking insights about the lockout year, other players, or anything in that book. He doesn’t even explain why he divorced his wife (sure, it’s private, but you’re the one writing the book, Marty).

I wouldn’t waste the money on this one if I were you.

Murtha

Arianna Huffington has it dead on that this victory has its origins in Jack Murtha’s call for withdrawal beginning about a year ago. The whole election as probably about incompetence, with Exhibit A being Iraq, followed by Katrina, etc. Corruption fits into this because the Congress was too busy milking it to do its job.

Anyway, the knock against Murtha is Abscam. Fine, let him take the heat. He can handle it. It’s off Pelosi that way.

The Bush Family Fixer

When I read that (below) I thought …

Jules W: I don’t wanna hear about no motherfuckin’ ifs. All I wanna hear from your ass is, “You ain’t got no problem, Jules Junior. I’m on the motherfucker. Go back in there, chill them niggers out and wait for the cavalry, which should be coming directly.”
Marsellus Pappy41: You ain’t got no problem, Jules Junior. I’m on the motherfucker. Go back in there, chill them niggers out and wait for the Wolf Baker, who should be coming directly.
Jules W: You sending the WolfBaker??
Marsellus Pappy41: Oh, you feel better, motherfucker?
Jules W: Shit, negro, that’s all you had to say.

I Told You So Seven Years Ago!

I loathed George W. Bush from the nanosecond he appeared on the national scene in 1999. This despising was immediate and reverberated through every cell in my body. This instinct had a lot to do with the wealthy, elite university town that I grew up in. It probably had more than its fair share of geniuses of several stripes, but for the most part the citizenry had the same distribution of talent as any other community: some bright, some dull, and most in between.

What was different there was the pressure to succeed. This probably had the benefit of forcing people in the broad middle of the talent spectrum to push their abilities. It also, however, created a cadre of charlatans: people of mediocre or even below average talent that worked to develop the polish and vibe of the extraordinary. Because many of these people had substantial money and access this smoke-and-mirrors existence often became a self-fulfilling prophecy – at least into college. At that point I lost contact with 98% of my contemporaries and can only hope that they are enjoying their mint julep, Quaalude and Ambien existence inside their McMansions.

The Bushs are old money aristocratic WASPs. Proud as this subculture is of its breeding, like the rest of us they have, lurking in their DNA, still dank australopithecine nights when two hominids were busy delousing themselves in a cave, one thing led to another and a mediocre sperm met a so-so egg. The simian countenance of W. is the epitome of the latent genetic garbage skulking in every fucker’s chromosomes. The tragic-comic existence of George W. Bush is the archetype of what happens when money and privilege welcome genetic refuse. It creates an existence where the polish becomes the person.

That is why I “thin-sliced” that Dubya’ was despicable from the first. His aw schucks Texan Cowboy routine was mendacious; just another polish put on by a mediocre aristocrat who had never made an honest buck in his lifetime. Worse still, there was an entire PR apparatus constructed around creating credence to this lunatic nonsense. Vested right-wing interests bought into the lie to advance their own agendas. After they exercised the Coup D’etat of 2000 most of the middle were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After 9/11 almost all of us bought into the lie – I am proud to say that I was of the 9% of Americans then disapproving of Bush’s performance, the attack happened on his watch after all – because they had no other choice. It wasn’t until Terri Schiavo and Katrina laid bare the myth that most began to extricate from it. Last Tuesday a majority of America finally caught up to what I intuited seven years ago when I joked that Dubya’ was a walking and talking argument for eugenics.

Once a measure of distance is gained from the embarrassing Bush years it will be apparent how the Presidency fits into the pathetic scope of the man’s life. I have long posited that George W. Bush is the worst President in American history. Then again, he has been a spectacular failure in every venture he has ever attempted. Now, via the Bush Family Fixer Baker-led Iraq Commission, the Bush aristocracy is once again bailing out their bogus trouble child with the monster he blithely birthed in Iraq. Has a greater loser ever led a nation-state? One can only hope that W’s pill-popping progeny copulate with their Latino “help” in time to inject some work ethic and horse sense into the Bush Evolutionary Significant Unit.

UPDATE (by Rick):

I’ll admit it: Despite feeling like something Oliver-Stonesque had happened in the 2000 election, I agreed with how Bush handled the response to 9/11 for about the first month, maybe three weeks. I agreed that we had to attack, but that doing so immediately wasn’t probably wise. In retrospect, I’ve now learned that some of the worst mistakes of Bush’s presidency occurred during that 3-4 week period, when they screwed the pooch on bin Laden. That was the only time, however, that I wasn’t sickened by him. (and I should have been!)

Update (by Dan):

The only moment that I did not dislike Bush was during the pile-of-rubble-fireman moment, but only because he let himself, for an instance, be touched by the NY spirit. I agreed with the invasion of Afghanistan — while oil probably had something to do with it, the Taliban and terrorists were also routed. Still, that was all the easy part. Still, any President could have done those leadership moments. There was never a second when I would not gladly have vote for a petri dish filled with the AIDS virus to be President instead of Generalissimo Bush. Yes, that’s a hyperbole, but it gets the point across.

The American Centre-Right Returns To Power

There is no meaningful left-wing in the United States.

Let me back up that statement with a bit of context and argument. This traditional political axis, originating in France, is entirely obsolete to describe today’s politics and politicians. This is why the MSM mainly refers to left-wing as the position of most Democrats and vice versa. There is no subtlety to these terms, at least none that those writers comprehend. But originally, this axis simply refers to one’s position on wealth and its redistribution.

By this, we should point out that FDR was the original Third Way. He saved capitalism. But just to keep this credible to someone without deep historical perspective, I’ll call FDR Center-Left. Nixon, LBJ, and Eisenhower were as close to centrists on this axis as we’ve had.

With Reagan, we gained our first truly Right Wing president in 50 years as the American Consensus died. After him, we had a brief 12-year interregnum of the Bush I/Clinton center right cooling, followed by six years of the most right wing president ever.

Now it’s over. It was too much. The mythology of the Greatest Generation informs our zeitgeist too much to go much further, even with the influence of fear on our coddled chickenshit generations who now govern.

But don’t mistake this as some sort of return to liberalism. It’s merely a halt on the right wing ownership cleptocracy. This Congress won’t even balance the budget, let alone inject a Keynesian spending deficit to lift the poor, and any kind of serious redistribution is patently out of the question.

Dems Already Arranging Circular Firing Squad

It sure doesn’t take us long, does it?

Here’s Carville declaring war on Dean, and here’s Bowers threatening to retaliate.

Here’s the HuffPo lampooning The Nation (rightfully so, I might add.)

Here’s TPM targeting Dems in Congress for corruption (including Murtha).

And, we’ve got, of course Senator Obama, who is turning into a loudmouthed critic of the party as well.

Sigh. We’ll never learn. Oh well, at least Bush can’t do whatever he wants… can he?

Not Conservative…. but reclaimed the Center

Dems have claimed the advantage on national security for the first time in 40 years and are doing well in neutralizing the perceived religious voter advantage, this time by 16 points.

Maintaining these leads will secure 2008. What to do? Raise the minimum wage, make the middle class tax cut permanent, and get us out of Iraq. All while doing no special favors for minorities this time.

In other words, the Dems need to learn the difference between pandering to the middle by being a Republican-Lite and winning them by pushing your winning issues, and putting the losing ones on the backburner for now. (Let’s not spent a lot of time talking about the death penalty, without conceding it, etc.)

If this is played correctly, we could see another 5-6 seats in the Senate in 2008, the White House, and control of the House in time to replace 2-3 Supreme Court justices. Universal healthcare (in some form) might be achievable by then as well.

The future is bright.

Poll Data Analysis








Race Result (D-R) Poll (Spread Error)
AZ-SEN 44-53 Pollimetrix 11/6 46-50 (+5D)

Mason-Dixon 11/5 41-49 (+1D)

SUSA 11/3 40-53 (-3D)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 46-50 (+3D)

MO-SEN 50-47 OnPoint 11/6 49-46 (0)

SUSA 11/6  50-44 (+3D)

SUSA 11/6 51-42 (+6D)

Polimetrix 11/6 50-50 (-3D)

Rasmussen 11/6 48-49 (-4D)

Gallup 11/6 49-45 (+1D)

Mason-Dixon 11/6 46-45 (-2D)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 50-48 (-1D)

MT-SEN 49-48 OnPoint 11/6 49-44 (+4D)

Gallup 11/6 50-41 (+8D)

Mason-Dixon 11/5 47-47 (-1D)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 53-46 (+6D)

VA-SEN 49-49 Polimetrix 11/6 50-50 (0)

SUSA 11/6 52-44 (+8D)

Gallup 11/6 46-49 (-3D)

Rassmussen 11/5 49-49 (0)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 52-47 (+5D)

 

TN-SEN 48-51 OnPoint 11/6 47-48 (+2D)

SUSA 11/6 46-51 (-2D)

Polimetrix 11/6 46-51 (-2D)

Gallup 11/6 46-49 (0)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 48-51 (0)

MD-SEN

 

54-44 Polimetrix 11/6 51-45 (-4D)

Mason-Dixon 11/6 47-44 (-7D)

SUSA 11/3 47-47 (-10D)

Early CNN Exit 11/7 53-46 (-3D)

Silly Conservatrons! Steele is for Losers

Reading the Conservatron prognosticators on RealClearPolitics and elsewhere trying to fan the “late GOP surge” story there was one upset to watch that the MSM was missing: the Steele upset in Maryland. Even late in the night a panting Ken Mehlman could be seen asserting that Steele was still closing the gap. The Washington Post had recalled its call for Cardin. Gasp!

You can see why they were so intent on Steele. Here was a black Republican that was not a permanent resident of Goof City like Alan Keyes or a panatromic whitey like Clarence Thomas and JC Watts. Steele could be a Bush patsy and hold his own on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Steele’s candidacy fed into the Conservatrons’ “Dems take the black vote for granted” storyline. But do they really? Democrats regularly fight for wage increases and have maintained affirmative action programs whereas Republicans continue to villanize urban areas, make “Macaca” comments and still play race baiting ads late in the game in the old Confederacy.

Ironically, in trying to appeal to blacks this year Republicans were as condescending as they claimed the Democrats were.

Conservative Dems?

I remember why I can’t stand the talking heads on TV. They are so shallow, so pompous, and so transparently full of shit. Something gets said by someone–90% of the time, a Republican guest on these shows–and it becomes (passive voice) “it has been said that. . .” etc.

One of the spins is that this went the way it did because of “conservative” Dems. They cite pro-life Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, NRA-approved Tester in Montana, etc. You see, these talking heads have a few things programmed into them. One is that there are two kinds of people: liberals and conservatives, and the hybrid “moderates.” (According to the MSM, everyone should be a polite “moderate.”)

But these are meaningless terms. Moderate is just someone who doesn’t always vote with his party. But it could be for anything. Arlen Specter is a “moderate” because he supports abortion rights, no matter what his other opinions are. John McCain is a “moderate” for… I don’t know why.

So, it doesn’t matter that Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders are in the Senate. It matters that “conservatives” like Casey and Tester are in the Senate.

WRONG.

I wrote below that this election is the end of checklist liberalism. That’s the real, more subtle point of analysis here. Democrats finally realized that some of their issues can’t be enforced in every state. (Apparently, though, abortion isn’t one of them anymore.)

That’s what happened. It’s not a more conservative Dem party. That’s apparently a meme that will never die.

Predictions

I finally did a good job predicting elections. I think I’ve finally been able to analyze the data that’s good and discard the noise. I was cautious on purpose, but I did a good job:

On October 31, I called a gain of 20-30 seats coming from the NE with a few surprises out west, and that did happen, but it was over 30! A little cautious. I called a 50-50 senate, but that ended up being 51-49, again a little cautious.

Sweet.

Liebermann

So, Liebermann is going to be king of the fucking senate. I’m going to have to suck it up on this one. Give him his committee chairmanships, but only if he promises to decline as SecDef.

Schumer and Clinton knew what they were doing hedging here, and people like me got greedy. I wanted both houses and liberals. Well, I should count my lucky fucking stars I got even just one house by one vote.

Ick. Ok. Here it comes…………welcome back Joe.

Pop The Champagne

I was gonna wait until 218 officially, but fuck it. It’s been ten years since a true victory in terms of gaining a branch of government. Analysis later. Gaming out the James Webb/Macaca Allenstein recount later. Just gonna’ enjoy it tonight.

The Tightening Bamboozle

The foreign press has even picked up on the meme that the race has tightened in the last few days on the basis of two polls, and two polls alone. Somewhere in the GOP engine room, they are pushing this to get more people to vote on the theory that some are staying home thinking it won’t do any good. Maybe, but I was about to stay home myself, knowing there were no closely contested races of any import in my district today until I read that. It motivated me, too.

You see, we’re so used to losing that none of us believe that we’re going to win. I’ve wondered about vote suppression, fraud, court challenges, poll fakery, or whatever else. I’ve feigned confidence at times, but no matter how many good polls I see, including the last two Missouri polls, I just can’t come to believe it.

Oh well, I added another vote for DiFi to the million or so she’ll win by.

Impeach Cheney, not Bush

Cross-posted from DailyKos:

Article II of the U.S. Constitution provides for the impeachment of “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States.” Accordingly, this power is not limited to the President. (Emphasis added.)

There are numerous political reasons why impeaching Bush will not be productive. It would energize Republicans for 2008, and make Independents fearful of overreaching Democrats that they just returned to power. It could get ugly. Plus at the end of the day, there just aren’t enough senators to remove him from power anyway…and if you did you get President Cheney! Ack!

… but Cheney! 18% Cheney. Now there’s a target of opportunity…

[Flip] UPDATE ON THE FLIP…

Attorney at Arms’s diary :: ::
Most of the journalistic tell-all books I’ve read so far about this Administration locates the center of power with the VP almost more than with Bush. Especially with regards to the Iraq war, it was a Cheney operation from the begining.

Removing Cheney from power would in a sense decapitate the administration without appearing to do so.

This assumes the subpoena power turns up what we all think it will turn up next Spring.

Anyway, there’s my two cents. Proceed to tell me I’m nuts or that it should be Bush.

UPDATE: I respect a lot of the comments that are posted here, but I’d like to make a few points:

  • Any sucessor would be a weak-dick centrist, because his apporval would be required by both houses.
  • Impeachment does not require 67 senators; removal from office does
  • I acknowledge that there are risks here, including some of the same consequences as Bush’s impeachment. Having said that, they are different with Cheney’s lower numbers.
  • While Clinton remained personally popular after his impeachment, which did not result in his being removed from office, the public did not throw the Republicans out, and we ‘ve had Bush twice since. Same goes for Nixon’s experience.
  • Personally, I might not do this at all; I’m just suggesting it as an alternative to the much riskier strategy of impeaching Bush, which some, including the heir-apparent chairman of the judiciary committee in the house, has called for.
  • Two years are too little? Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998!
  • I agree that the votes aren’t there yet, but like I said, if they turn up what we think they’ll turn up with the subpoena power, there will be more, if not enough.
  • Cheney being the target is the bright side of a 50-50 senate!
  • I’m not counting the eggs before they’re hatched. The reality is, we’re getting the House tomorrow. Maybe by 5 or 6 seats only, but we’re getting it. You can write that down.

When they write about the 2006 election…

Obviously, the story of tomorrow’s election can’t be told yet. Tomorrow will tell us whether the Congress is run by Reid and Pelosi, or McConnell and Pelosi, or even other permutations. Who knows what will happen?

But there is one aspect of this election that I think we already talk about as fait accompli. The death of checklist liberalism.

NARAL is busy lying in Connecticut for Liebermann, who weasel voted against Alito, but also against cloture.

The Sierra Club never bothered to pull its endorsement of Linc Chaffee in Rhode Island.

The Democratic party as conceived in the mind of your average Fox News viewer is some combination of unions, women’s groups, environmental groups, minorities, and people in cities with too much education. And they’ve been right for too long. Of course, all of these groups sprouted to push the mission of the Democratic party as the party of the little guy. But some of these groups are no longer “little guys” and can be overreaching and at cross-purposes with other important Democratic platforms.

And I also know that some of these groups drop their final, vestigial diaphanous facades of non-partisanship at their own peril, and, so, I will not argue on the basis that they are so unsophisticated as to not understand that a vote for Chaffee is a vote for Frist or Mcconnell as majority leader, and, therefore, a vote for Bush’s agenda unchecked. They might have been able to get away with this once in 2002, but it was already clear in 04 and it’s incontrovertible now that this is the case. (They might have reasonably expected Congress, while partisan, to still be a check on the executive.)

Americans seems to reject the idea of voting for lists or parties directly the way they do in other countries, but it’s the reality now here. The only dissenting Republicans were just for show. At the end of the day, Bush always got what he wanted–look at the giants he has trompled to do so: Alan Greenspan, Colin Powell, and the post-Room 101 John McCain, suddenly a partisan Republican thrall again.

DLC Democrats fought these groups due to actual policy disagreements (they were more conservative) and also on political reasons (Americans won’t elect someone that liberal etc.). Today’s Democrats will fight these groups on the evidence of this election not because they don’t agree with their overall policies, but because they are self-defeating, which is even worse than being wrong.

Relax

The 7 and 3 point generic congressional polls were outliers.

There are two polls today showing a 20+ margin (CNN) and Fox has us up by 13%. 7 was the 1994 Republican advantage. So, when you factor in the gerrymadering gone on since, 7 isn’t as big, but still giant.

UPDATE: Oh well, it was interesting for 12 hours to see them try and spin this as a miracle comeback.

Prediction Markets

predict06.com : Senate 49-51, House 226-209
Iowa Electronic Market: Republicans lose control of house: 0.770, Republicans maintain senate control: 0.693, Dem House+GOP Senate 0.521
Intrade: HOUSE.GOP.2006 @ 18.3, SENATE.GOP.2006 @ 70.5
WSX: GOP Senate 62.3%, GOP House 31%
NewsFutures: GOP HOUSE 14%
Smartcrowd Index: GOP Senate 72.19, GO House 26.42

I think the market-based predictors tend to lean Republican just due to their nature, but the profit motive should check that a little. The simple crowd-based prediction poling, like Predict06 has a slightly stronger documented scientific basis, and there’s no arbitrage potential which can seriously affect for profit market prices.

The results are pretty similar, though.

Election Picture Clearing Up

Over at Pollster.com, you can see the election picture snapping into focus. Republican senatorial candidates seem to be enjoying an 11th hour surge, enough to probably keep them in control of that chamber without Benedict Liebermann.

The House picture, on the other hand, is clearly showing a switch in control. A strong wave could reach the 50s, but even a riptide at this point probably still puts the Dems in charge.

I do think that many of these polls are flawed and will not detect the dynamics of a wave like this in the same way that they failed in 1994. Any poll, for example, that’s weighted for party ID will not be accurate, since this is an election about independents switching preference more than anything else. Even some Republicans are probably inclined to seek some balance in the government. (A phenomenon that explains a Democratic governor in Kansas and a Republican governor in California, among other such anomalies).

I feel a wave. There’s something in the air; something you can feel in the mass media. It may be big enough to move both houses and make these polls be off by quite a bit. Then again, it’s hard to call anything that changes control of the House small, even if it’s only 16 seats.