Thursday, August 31, 2006

Political Cynicism and Geography
It's all in where you live, I guess. Here in Tennessee, election time approaching means anti-gay ballot initiatives and crowd-pleasing bills passing the legislature promoting religion in schools, restricting women's rights, etc... But, in California, political pandering looks very different. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a state where the desire for re-election requires a Governor to do things like this?
Leaders of the state legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a deal yesterday under which California will mandate a reduction in the state's emissions of gases contributing to global warming to 1990 levels by 2020....California, the world's sixth-largest economy, accounts for only about 2% of the world's annual global-warming emissions.
And this?
The religious right is fuming after California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a law that requires schools that receive state funds to introduce nondiscriminatory practices relating to sexual orientation...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Meet the Bush Administration
"Scheming high school freshmen" and visions of machismo.
My New Heroes: HUD
Have you read about their 180 degree turnaround regarding Katrina relief, global warming, etc.? They are finally my dream department... or wait. More about The Yes Men, including video of the HUD speech.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Media Monday

What have you been watching, listening to, reading?

Weekend Box Office
1. Invinceable
2. Talledega Nights
3. Little Miss Sunshine
4. Beerfest
5. Accepted

Emmy Awards presented last night.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pluto's PR Campaign
Yeah it's just a photoshop job, not an actual billboard, but this picture is the funniest response I've seen to the news of Pluto's demotion from the realm of the planets.
Strom Thurmond Didn't Die, He Just Got a New Job
He drives a school bus in Louisiana. What the hell?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Memo to Toilet Paper Companies
We're not stupid. We know that the more sheets you claim per roll the thinner the paper. You can only wrap it so tight around the roll. It's basic physics. 10,000,000 sheets per roll is hardly something to brag about.
Losing Old Love, Searching for New
Like I mentioned earlier, I'm flirting with John Edwards. I'm far from ready to commit, and we're not even dating, just trying to see what he's like and see if there's any chemistry there. After my relationship with Dean I'm not ready to just jump into anything serious, but I'm wondering if Edwards could be like the nice cute girl that you pass over for a while without giving much attention before eventually realizing there really is lots there.

Actually, come to think of it, that's never really happened to me, so I don't know what I'm talking about. But I think I've seen that plot in about 500 movies.

Anyway...why did I start this post...oh yeah. Chuck Todd has a new piece that describes the logistic reasons why Edwards is poised to become the not-Hillary candidate. I'm not ruling anyone in or out at this point, Hillary included, beyond saying that if Gore comes back into the picture (my long lost love?) I'll be his. Hoping that everyone else understand that he's the one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Do Approval Numbers Matter?
Via Kos, this handy-dandy chart demonstrates that, historically speaking, Bush's approval numbers would have to jump to around 55% for Republicans to avoid the kind of loss in the House that would hand control over to the Democrats.
Forbes Gives Some Relationship Advice
An article in the new Forbes magazine (yes, new) starts this way (really, it does):
Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.

Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it.
Shall we laugh or cry? What a disgusting, pathetic thing to publish. I assume these same "recent studies" would find that men are likely to get divorced, to cheat, to be uninterested in children and to surely be unhappy, whether they have a career or not. Seriously, as long as we're stereotyping (and, let's) wouldn't the most unhappy, child-hating, cheat-crazy professional women still be less so than the average man of any stripe?

What say you?
What's another word for...
..."an involuntary recall of marines"?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Red Sox
Ok here's how I see it. 38 games left 37 games left. I think they need to win 29 of them to have a chance at making the playoffs. That would give them 98. Not likely, but not impossible.
Just curious... I'm seeing Lieberman everywhere and Lamont nowhere. Hopefully that means he's speaking directly to Connecticut voters in some kind of intensive way. But my sense is that he's taking a rest at a really bad time. All the bad press that comes from losing the primary seems to have been washed away and forgotten. What gives?
Political Alliances
I've never understood why the proponents of business in America do not side with those of us who would prefer a national health-care system. What do business executives complain about the most? The rising costs of health and retirement benefits. And yet all we hear is about how Democrats and liberals would be bad for business. Why is it not their fiduciary duty to advocate a system that would remove these heavy financial burdens and allow them to better compete? Do the rewards of corporate tax welfare packages really outweigh the costs of employee benefit packages? Kevin Drum has more.

Monday, August 21, 2006

What have you been reading, listening to, watching?

The Showtime series is no Six Feet Under or The Sopranos but it's fairly interesting and funny--I caught up with the past episodes (there are only 11) last week and recommend it.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

When Fear Meets Bigotry
Yeah, yeah be vigilant and aware about your surroundings. But this is pretty annoying/disgusting. Sounds like what happens when a right-wing mentality takes over the world. Fyling while muslim-looking now qualifies as suspicious behavior, and when fellow travelers complain you can be ousted from your flight and held for hours.(Via Kos)
A spokesman for Monarch Airlines said: "There were two passengers on the flight who came to the attention of the other people because they were apparently acting suspiciously.

"The flight attendants were sufficiently concerned to alert the crew who in turn informed the security authorities at Malaga airport."

No details of their "suspicious" behaviour were revealed.

The Conservative homeland security spokesman, Patrick Mercer, described the incident as "a victory for terrorists".

"These people on the flight have been terrorised into behaving irrationally," he told the Mail on Sunday.

"For those unfortunate two men to be victimised because of the colour of their skin is just nonsense."
This is the world of Bush and Cheney.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Toothless Bully
Here's how the Aussies see us
Now we have the worst of all worlds. Not only is the US despised around the globe, it can't even make its supposed hegemony work.

It's one thing to be seen as the bully in the schoolyard; it's quite another when people realise the bully is actually incapable of getting anybody else to do what he wants. It's unpleasant when people stop respecting you, but it's positively terrifying when they stop fearing you.

What we have now is a situation in which the world's only superpower, with the largest economic and military advantage any country has ever enjoyed on earth, is pinned down like Gulliver, tormented by an army of fundamentalist Lilliputians.
Wiretapping Decision
Here's what people are saying (you can read the decision here):

The good news: Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has courageously declared that Bush’s warrantless program of domestic surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments, the separation of powers doctrine, and FISA, is not justified under the AUMF, and is not justified under the purported doctrine of “inherent authority.”

In other words, everything we’ve all been saying for years turns out to be true (just like Iraq, I might add).
The bad news: The key component of Bush’s twentyfirst century power grab—the NSA’s datamining program that reads all your mail, all your searches, and this blog—is left in place by Judge Taylor’s decision.
Glenn Greenwald:
[C]aveats to the side, the importance of this victory cannot be overstated. The Bush administration has been exploiting what was a rarely used doctrine to, in essence, immunize its conduct from judicial review of any kind. Because courts have been willing to assume in the past that the doctrine was invoked in good faith by the President, they have almost always deferred to it. But this court scrutinized the claim quite thoroughly, and expressed real skepticism over the administration's assertions that national security prevents any court from determining if the law is being violated as a result of warrantless eavesdropping.
The ruling eviscerated the absurd notion on which the administration’s arguments have been based: that Congress authorized Mr. Bush to do whatever he thinks is necessary when it authorized the invasion of Afghanistan.
[F]or now, with a careful, thoroughly grounded opinion, one judge in Michigan has done what 535 members of Congress have so abysmally failed to do. She has reasserted the rule of law over a lawless administration and shown why issues of this kind belong within the constitutional process created more than two centuries ago to handle them.
The Washington Post, of course, has to be different.

By ignoring the law, and making specious arguments that powers contained in Article II make the president virtually unaccountable to either the courts or Congress, the president shows contempt for the other branches and exposes his determination to concentrate power within his own — with no particular gain for the war on terrorism.

Much has changed since terrorists rammed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But one thing that has not is that America is a constitutional democracy with checks and balances. A ruling such as Thursday's is a useful and forceful affirmation of that.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

One thing some Republicans are actually getting good at...
Actual News
Another judicial "whoa!" to Bush's attack on the Constitution: warrantless wire tapping is unconstitutional. At least for today.
John Mark Karr [UPDATED]
If I would just turn my TV off, I wouldn't have to occupy my brain with this case. But I'm watching this guy confess and I'm hardly believing him. He's obviously screwed up, and by all accounts, including essentially his own, a pedophile. But they better have more on him than that. Any grown man that admits to having been in love with a 6-year-old girl (and can we please think twice about these child beauty pageants?) is capable of god-knows-what as far as I'm concerned. But, as eager as he is to pronounce to the media his involvement in the case, he's not answering any questions about how he did it, etc. And his ex-wife (seriously, how do these disturbed men find women?) says he couldn't have done it, that she was with him on the other side of the country when the murder took place. Maybe she's wrong about timing; maybe she's lying (to protect her ex-husband that she divorced because she found his child pornography?). Maybe maybe maybe. All I know is they had better have some seriously good evidence before blowing this case up all over my TV. Otherwise the entire legal-media corporate enterprise, the one that makes its money by keeping pseudo-news from MSNBC to CourtTV to CNN knee-deep in your-beautiful-white-daughter-is-in-danger national scandals, has just been had thanks to the gullibility of a Colorado prosecutor and the deranged mind of a troubled man who's obviously guilty of something...but who knows what.

Don't get me wrong - I hope he's the guy and they got him, to release the family from wrongful suspicion and to save what would surely be future victims - but this whole thing just doesn't pass the smell test yet. I don't doubt his obsession with the girl. But I woudln't be shocked if 3 weeks of 24/hour-a-day news coverage after her death facilitated that. Who knows - there are probably hundreds of creeps out there right now that are infatuated with her, and probably dozens that could easily convince themselves that they killed her. I haven't followed this case closely, but I'll bet someone who is sufficiently obsessed would have no trouble finding so much information about the evidence that it could sound like he was right there at the time of the incident.

Of course, if there's all kinds of DNA evidence (DNA, not "fiber evidence" or lame shoe-size evidence), then that's another story and there must be an answer to those questions. But if there's not already some kind of DNA match, then somebody's got alot of 'splainin to do.

[UPDATE: Listening to the DA's much-anticipated news conference right now. Sounds like they have nothing...still investigating...lots of reasons to arrest someone before the investigation reaches its optimal level of completion...blah blah blah. this is all just a big show....CNN's screen right now says "there is a presumption of guilt"...wonder how long that will stay up.]
Was it real?
After the airplane plot was foiled and flying-with-hand-creme became a prosecutable offense, Doug wondered whether this was another one of those lame non-threatening threats ginned up by officials to scare the liquid crap out of us. And I thought--and expressed in comments--C'mon Doug, why so cynical? This is the BBC! It's the renowned British intelligence! Those would-be terrorists had a plan; they were ready for a run-through. They were going to have a red sports drink with a false bottom! That's serious! We had informants and a man on the inside and help from the Pakistanis!

But now, alas, this one is looking more and more like it's only half a step beyond the Florida bozos and the guy that was going to topple the Brooklyn Bridge with a blow-torch. Kevin Drum has more. And Drum points to Britain's Craig Murray, former ambassador to Uzbekistan, offers his sobering and cynical analysis here.
[M]any of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year - like thousands of other British Muslims. And not just Muslims. Like me. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests.

Then an interrogation in Pakistan revealed the details of this amazing plot to blow up multiple planes - which, rather extraordinarily, had not turned up in a year of surveillance. Of course, the interrogators of the Pakistani dictator have their ways of making people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistan, you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn't give is the truth.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The President
Dolt in chief? How many more ways can we say it?
If they really found the right guy, that's great news. This may have been the result of great police work like the tv people are saying, but from what I read it sounds like the guy just started emailing the mother and either thought they'd never find him, or he wanted to be found. If so, a great break but hardly earth-shattering gumshoe work.
"The case that must not be named"
A NYTimes opinion yesterday by Adam Cohen argues that Bush v. Gore is not getting enough attention.
There are several problems with trying to airbrush Bush v. Gore from the law. It undermines the courts’ legitimacy when they depart sharply from the rules of precedent, and it gives support to those who have said that Bush v. Gore was not a legal decision but a raw assertion of power.

The courts should also stand by Bush v. Gore’s equal protection analysis for the simple reason that it was right (even if the remedy of stopping the recount was not). Elections that systematically make it less likely that some voters will get to cast a vote that is counted are a denial of equal protection of the law. The conservative justices may have been able to see this unfairness only when they looked at the problem from Mr. Bush’s perspective, but it is just as true when the N.A.A.C.P. and groups like it raise the objection.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Saturday I pointed to John Roberts' foolish remark regarding Ned Lamont. Credit to either CNN or him for deciding he needed to apologize and for making it a good one. Keeps him two steps ahead of Fox anchors who wouldn't even think they made a mistake, let alone apologize for it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bells Going Off
Heard John Edwards last night on C-Span giving a backyard fundraiser speech. He's sounding smarter, bolder, more honest, more inspiring (did i mention bolder?), more progressive, than I ever remember him in the runup to 2004. He doesn't just sound like a man running for President. He sounds like a man running for President for the right reasons, running because he's got vision and something to say. It could just be that he memorized a speech that happens to resonate with me. Or could just be something I ate. But he got my attention. Stay tuned.
What have you been listening to, reading, watching?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Holy Crap
The most shameless news anchor ever works for CNN Headline News.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Frothy Friday

Johnny expects to retire at 50. When he gets there and sees how fine he still is, he'll change his mind . . .

Unless he falls prey to this "trend" - warning, disturbing images.

More fashion statements by NYC tourists.

Gwyneth is African, and I am Ashley Judd.

What's wrong with the world: when Lindsey Lohan is in the headlines daily, this must surely be among the predictors of the apocalypse.

The Froth: it's going to have to be something like Cosmopolitans (high buzz/low volume) for those of us whose birthday yesterday included attending a visitation and getting a speeding ticket. Who's with me?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I refuse to believe in polls ever again
but it would be nice to believe in this one. And it's even from Fox News.
Airport Security
Ok, so no more liquids on planes. But so far as I can see the new regulations say nothing about....Snakes On Planes!! I hope they don't go messing with that.

But seriously, doesn't it make you feel good that we're fighting the terrorists over in Iraq so we don't have to worry about them here? Homeland security drums sound so much more boring than war drums.

I'm glad they foiled this evil plot and all but today's news does nothing but confirm in a big way that in terms of protecting Americans we are wasting time and resources bogged down in Iraq. That's not where the threat is.
Daily Show on Lieberman
Really funny. Make sure you watch the whole thing.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Party Politics
This is important stuff, and may represent the most essential conversation coming out of last night's election and Joe's decision to take on the Democratic Party. I wish I had read it before my ramble below. Well-meaning, smart, thoughtful, independent-minded, usually ultra-liberal people (like me) give me grief all the time for having allegiance to the Democratic Party. The two pieces below express pretty well why I do have that allegiance. First read Simon Rosenberg, who was (emphasis on was) a Lieberman supporter and is a big-time netroots organizer.
In this new era, partisanship is a virtue. The conservatives rise to power, and their utter failure to govern responsibly or effectively, requires a new progressive politics of confrontation, not accommodation. This new politics may be uncomfortable to those used to an America governed by Democrats and progressive values, but for our politics and values to triumph progressives must and are learning how to resist “cutting deals,” working to “get things done” on terms set by an irresponsible governing majority.
Then read Jerome Armstrong, who started MyDD, which gave birth to DailyKos.
We are becoming strong enough in primary numbers to defeat the politics of old in the Democratic Party. But we cannot defeat the conservative ideological movement if they are united, and we are not; if they are modern and we are stuck in the methods of the past. In a nutshell, I argued that to win elections and transform the landscape enough to enact a broader environmental policy initiative that addresses issues such as global warming, every progressive individual, group, and organization must work together in the same vehicle. Sure the Democratic Party has been busted and broken in the past, but lets rebuild it and ride it to get there.
Finally, slightly unrelated, read Josh Marshall who puts this final touch on his Lieberman post-mortem.
It's all about him and stabbing his own party in the back while he disingenuously pleads that he's trying to save it. He can't admit or realize or get his head around the idea that his denial about Iraq and his obliviousness to his own constituents got him into this mess.

In the end, he just won't come clean. Forget about being a Democrat. Just be a man. It's time.
Democrats are saying the right things, and we'll see if they do the right things. But the longer Lieberman is out there trashing the current state of the Democratic Party the easier it should be for them to develop some negative feelings for him. And if they have any sense of self-preservation, they should. He is doing nothing less than threatening the Party system. And maybe that's a good thing, who knows. But one thing's for sure - it won't be good for the folks that have been making their living off of it.

If Lieberman is successful, it will prove one important thing though: people are fed up with the Parties and ready to move in a different direction. I will expect to see more and more strong candidates running as independents in the future if he wins. But it is freaking outrageous that an entrenched incumbent and darling of the Democratic establishment can now suddenly an outsider!?!

Here's my bold, have-it-both-ways prediction: this is a turning point for the Democratic Party. Either this is a uniting moment that makes the Democrats a stronger political force than we've been in a while, or this is the first step of a slide toward irrelevance. What may be ironic to some (who haven't been paying close enough attention) is that the greatest proponents of Democratic unity and the virtues of party politics are the netroots and liberal blogosphere. We're the ones that believe in, and have hope for, the future of the Democratic Party. It is the conservative entrenched establishment that is teetering on the edge, and is enabling this threat to the Party's future by failing to believe in the value of the primary process. If Joe's independent bid throws the Party into disarray and conflict to win back the CT Senate seat, it will be his fault, but he will still blame Lamont and the so-called liberal wing of the Party (which apparently makes up 52% in the dominant Party in his state, on a day of record primary turnout.)

Tidbits you want to know:
--John Edwards was the first to call and congratulate and support Lamont after his victory.
--Bayh, Clinton, and Clark have all issued strong statements of support for Ned. Clinton's PAC has already written a check.
--Kos is calling on Harry Reid to revoke all of Lieberman's committee assignments, now that he is no longer a Democrat.
--Rahm Emanuel, who heads the Democratic House campaign effort has the quote of the night so far on the Lamont victory: "This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means."
--Do you think Lieberman is shocked, and maybe starting to understand how he's perceived, now that Karl Rove has called and offered the President's assistance?

Will be interesting to see what the first 3-way poll brings...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Connecticut Election Results
Sure, you could get your Lieberman-Lamont results anywhere tonight. But you might as well come here. What else am I gonna do tonight but keep you updated? And you know I won't get the kind of traffic that will slow down the site load that other official places will get. So, keep your eyes here. Officially, by the way, I'm predicting a Lieberman victory today. I'm basing that on a few facts, but mostly because I'm accustomed to losing.

And while I hope I'm wrong--I hope Lamont wins--if I had a crystal ball and could see that Lieberman wins in the general anyway, then honestly we might as well lose tonight and focus all of this money and attention on more important Senate races.

But I'll be putting up to the minute numbers here at this post so come back and refresh regularly.

98.4% precincts
Lieberman___134,257____48%....Lamont wins. Lieberman says it's just the first half. I still think it's pointless to put all the money and time into this race, especially with it looking so likely that Lieberman will win as an independent. But after his speech tonight I dislike him even more.
It's all about Connecticut Today
Why do I get the feeling that the popular media spin, no matter who wins, will be that the Democratic Party is the big loser and in disarray because of it? And you know whose fault it will be...
no matter what happens later today, Wednesday will be the worst day of press for the progressive netroots in years. If Lamont loses, we will be branded as ineffectual, irrelevant, extremist, and destructive. If Ned Lamont wins, we will be branded as powerful, relevant, extremist, and destructive.
Some are saying turnout favors Lamont (are they ever right about that stuff??), but the news story is about evil bloggers supposedly (but probably not) hacking Lieberman's website. Lieberman's set up nicely for the general election. All of this money and attention that could have gone toward the vulnerable seat of an actual Republican...

Monday, August 07, 2006

You're Welcome...
Sleep Well.
What have you been reading, watching, listening to?

For Your Consideration
Here's something to get you looking forward to the fall. A new Christopher Guest movie, with all the regulars--Michael McKean, Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara--is coming out later this year. No trailer or official website yet that I can find, but the plot synopsis is this:
The film centers around three actors (played by O'Hara, Posey, and Shearer) who learn that their respective performances in the film Home for Purim, a drama set in the mid-1940s American South, is generating award-season buzz.
Tom Waits
One of my heroes finally came to Tennessee, so I saw him back to back nights--in Memphis and here in Nashville over the weekend. A stunning show--whole gamut of emotions with sure power in his voice and high energy (especially in Memphis). I also appreciated that at least 6 songs he put on the list Saturday were different from the set on Friday. If you have a chance to catch any of this brief and rare tour you should. But if you don't have tickets already, good luck.

If you want to know what album will provide the most guidance for this live show, pick up his most recent, Real Gone.

Weekend Box Office
1. Talladega Nights
2. Barnyard
3. Pirates 2
4. Miami Vice
5. The Descent

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Breaking News/Observation
You come to this site for the keen, insightful commentary (useless boring rants) and the links to scintillating web info (too much time on my hands), but also the top reporting on essential things that may have gotten past most cultural observers. In the spirit of this last category: if you watch much tv at all, you've seen the Comcast commercials featuring the Slowskys, a turtle couple who resist comcast high-speed Internet access because it's too fast for their slower lifestyles. In one commercial, Bill is reading something out of the newspaper to his wife Karolyn. She says at the end "I didn't know you could read" and Bill retorts, mocking a line from Superman, "There's alot of things you don't know about me, Lois." It's pretty funny. Except now they've changed the commercial. Now he just says "There's alot of things you don't know about me." Which kind of ruins the joke. What gives?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Random Rant about Conventional Poll Wisdom
I'm sick of hearing Democratic boosters regale us with their optimism using this nugget of statistic-based wisdom: on election day, undecideds break for the challenger! Yeah yeah maybe they have some numbers to support that theory, but all I know is this: I watched the damn polls in the leadup to the 2004 election with a stupid amount of attention. And if the undecideds had broken to the challenger we'd have President John freaking Kerry right now. I think this is a good time to employ some Colbert reasoning here. You keep your books and statistics and I'll go with my gut. I listened to all that cheerleading 2 years ago and all I got for it was a big lump in my throat.

So, maybe over the last 30 years undecideds have generally broken for the challenger. Big whoop. Here's a newsflash: exit polls used to work to. And it used to snow here. Things change. We can win in November but only through hard work and organization and being smart with good candidates. I gain no new hope from that other garbage. As far as I'm concerned, my gut tells me the rule is this: undecideds break for the Republicans. That's what I've seen, in 2004, 2002 and 2000. If we're going to win--and we must--it's by bucking the trends with concerted effort, not by trying to ride the coattails of some kind of election statistic magic.
Lieberman Expectations
I have tried to stay away from the Lieberman-Lamont race, both because I think Joe's evil has been overstated (slightly) and more importantly because we should be focusing all our attention and resources on races with, you know, Republicans, especially ones that could help change the balance of power. But I do hope Lamont wins, and I think it's hilarious that some are actually speculating about whether Lieberman will follow through with his promise and run as an independent in the general election, if he should lose the primary by more than a few points. The idea is he'll be so humiliated he just won't be able to go on. Really?? This is the guy who, as a Presidential candidate, came in a distant 5th in New Hampshire--distant--to Kerry, Dean, Edwards, and Clark and spun it hysterically in his election night speech as something of a "statistical dead heat for 3rd place" like this might make him a comeback kid...

If he loses by anything less than 12 points--and there's no good reason to think he'll lose by more than that--he'll claim he has all the momentum, and he will give Republicans a chance to vote for him, and he has a good chance to win that way. I don't see him giving up.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Local Outlook
I'm disappointed that in this increasing wave of confidence (see Sabato's new report) about Democrats' chances in November, Tennessee's Senate race seems nowhere on the list. We've got a Democratic Governor, so capable of winning state-wide races. And aren't Republicans supposed to be demoralized this year? Still, Republican primary voters outnumbered Democrats almost 4-3. Yeah, they had a heated Senate primary and we didn't. But plenty of races around the state should have drawn voters to the polls. Corker may not have enticed the religious right to vote in November, but the hate-gays amendment will accomplish that just fine. And we're also looking to lose even more State Senate seats and possibly control of the House. If they can do it in Montana, Missouri, and Ohio why not here? What's the matter with Tennessee?
Feverish Friday
Well, now we're getting somewhere: Pat Robertson converts to belief in global warming.

Stick a fork in Mel, he's done: in his best work to date, Rob Schneider announces he won't work with Gibson.

There are worse reasons: Pamela Anderson says she's marrying Kid Rock because he's well . . . suited.

And in case the relentless, crushing heat hasn't eased up yet in your area, watch this old school Steve Carrell Daily Show piece on beating the heat.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

2 Votes Short
It looks like the insane minimum wage blackmail bill may not work after all. Republicans tied a minimum wage increase to the estate tax repeal--sending a few bucks to the working poor while showering the millionaires with millions more. But with a few more Democratic Senators now opposing it, Think Progress says Frist will be 2 votes short.

Just curious, what's the last thing Majority Leader Frist was actually able to accomplish?
Cruel summer
Poor King Georgie (who you'll remember, doesn't pay attention to polls) is going to have to shorten his vacation this year from his usual month-long brush clearing fest to only 9 days at the ranch so people might actually think he's engaged in the many catastrophes he's created in the world. Life is so unfair.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Charlie Cook
The veteran political analyst and poll-watcher has one word to predict the November elections: rout. I'm with Kos though: the Republicans have so consistently outperformed us on election day in recent years that I will believe it when I see it. I only hope the ground operations are strong, and get-out-the-vote efforts are organized and determined. What we've done in the past on our side is not enough. Anything short of taking over a house of Congress with this electoral climate will be a disappointment.
How Drunk Was He?
The Explainer takes on Mel Gibson and what a blood-alcohol content of .12 means. But, the short answer is, drunk enough to be obnoxious.