Monday, November 13, 2006

Happy Birthday to progressionsession's Scotty P!

A big shout-out to my main man, the scooter crab. Have a great day today, and try not to gloat too much to our red (-neck?) Texan brothers.

For example, you probably shouldn't walk up to a guy with a Texas state belt buckle, cowboy hat, and dip bulge in his cheek and say, 'In your face, loser!'. That would be bad. What you should do is walk up to him and say 'Sociocultural trends, coupled with rising public dissatisfaction with an ideologically ill-founded militaristic venture, have combined with heightened realization by the people that their elected representatives are corrupt, incompetent and beholden to petrochemical and pharmaceutical lobbies, as well as more interested in voting themselves pay raises, vacation time and quickies with teenage male interns, than in, say, raising the minimum wage higher than the point it was at in 1955, resulting in a mass abandonment of the party, yes, but even more importantly, the divisive and fearmongering policies and strategies of the neoconservative movement, notwithstanding ongoing reservations based on a right-wing media caricature of liberals that has little relation to reality, leading them to believe a crack-addicted black lesbian abortion doctor will ring their doorbell demanding a 1000% tax increase, thus allowing the inexorable and unquestionable fact to emerge that you, sir, are indeed a loser.'

GIve that a try.

Happy Birthday, Scotty.

It could have been much worse for GOP

As Stuart Rothenberg explains, the GOP actually held on to a number of very close seats in the House - a true hurricane would have delivered at least 40 seats to the Dems. Read on

End of the Conservative Ascendancy

A lot of prominent writers are saying that 2006 marks the end of the conservative ascendancy. Here's what they have to say:

Joe Trippi (Washington Post)

J. Alterman (Newsweek)

Joe Pedesta (Center for American Progress)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Now Hastert will go...

Hastert to step down as Republican House leader.

DeLay, Hastert, Allen, Santorum - there are very few of the Gingrich or conservative Republican stars left. Where do they go from here? Indeed, it looks like the GOP may suffer from a lack of big personalities soon. George W. will be gone soon, Rumsfeld is out, Rove's tactics of negative devisiveness have failed, JEB Bush will be gone soon, Katherine Harris is out of a job. Bush's cabinet is filled with the old guard: Cheney and all those other cronies of Bush's dad are nearing the end of their shelf-life. The only really famous guys left are centrist: Schwarzenegger, who basically won by turning himself into a Democrat, McCain, Specter. Will the Republican party marginalize the far right, leave behind the politics of Karl Rove and try to move to the center? If so, it will be crowded ground. My guess is that the social conservative/ corporate America consensus, always something of an unholy alliance, is pretty much shot. It will take a long time for the Republicans to reinvent themselves and come back. The Gingrich revolution is over.

Watch the swing states turn blue

If you are registered on NY Times (free), you can see these pretty maps of the swing states - Ohio is looking mighty blue!

World Exhales

The seismic political shift in the United States was greeted in many places less with jubilation than with a sense of relief that Americans had at long last come to their senses.

"It took a while for the Americans to realize who they had elected and the damage he had caused in the world," said Philippe Bas, 56, whose newsstand near a Paris subway stop was stacked with newspapers from across Europe carrying analyses of the election.

- WaPo


It's coming hard and fast now:

^ Ken Mehlman to quit top RNC post

^ Bill Maher calls Mehlman gay, CNN censors

^ Lincoln Chafee may quit Republican Party.

^ Chafee to oppose Bolton nomination

^ Biden: Bolton nomination dead in the water

^ Vilsack running in '08

^ ... so does Biden

^ Rahm Emmanuel probably will be Democrat Caucus chair

^ Rumsfeld flips off Kansas State student

^ Dean: we won't impeach Bush

And my own question, that must be asked: why isn't Chuck Shumer the head of the Senate Democrats, rather than Reid?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More news on Tester

You gotta go to the local newspapers to get any real information at this point.

Apparently, Conrad Burns lost his voice.

Anyway, the Great Falls paper reports that, after results came in from Yellowstone County, Tester has a lead of 1015 votes.

THE AP was also investigating the possibility that Silver Bow County, a Democratic stronghold, was missing some 4,000 votes, an estimate based on turnout percentages statewide.

I called 'em right, so far.

My Senate predictions have held up, so far.

Connecticut indeed went 10% to GOP, 40% to Lamont, 50% to Lieberman.

The self-horn-tooting continues with accurately called Dem blowouts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Brown beat DeWine, 56-44%, and Casey beat Santorum, 59-41%!

Dems did even better than expected in Maryland, Rhode Island and New Jersey. THese were won by a 6-10% margin.

As predicted, Republicans held on in Tennessee, where Corker won 51-48%, and Arizona, by 7 points or so.

McCAskill indeed ended up winning in Missouri, by 3 points or so.

Montana and Virginia are down to the wire. I expect that Burns does not have the margin to ask for a recount, and will concede later today. I think that Allen will ask for a recount, and we won't know for several weeks. But I expect that Webb will be getting a special gift from Santa this year.

So I'm pleased about that- I've called em right!

IN other news, Delay's seat, Ney's seat and Foley's seat all went to Democrats, although Reynolds and Schmidt held on, and KAtherine Harris's old seat went to a used car dealer. A republican one.

See ya

Tester likely to win in Montana

With 99% of precincts reporting, Tester had 190,486 votes to Burns' 188,900. THat's a lead of 1586 votes. One percent of 379,386 is 3794 votes. Burns would have to take over 70% of the votes there, using this rough method of approximation, to win the race.
Yellowstone County, which is home to Billings and 129,352 residents, however, could be more of an influence than that. Even if only 40,000 of them voted (presuming these were not factored into the numbers above), it could make a big difference.

Their website actually shows that 59,196 voted in Yellowstone county.
THey have now posted that Burns has taken 29,203 votes there, and Tester has taken 27,981. That is 1222 votes, and not enough to put Burns over the top. I don't know if there are still any other counties outstanding, but this bodes well for Tester.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Watch the shiznat fly

Here's one:
(AP) Daggett County has registered 947 voters for Tuesday's election. According to the most recent Census figures, that's four more than the county's population in 2005.

A spokesman for Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says complaints of vote-stuffing in the county are being investigated. Democrats suspect County Clerk Vickie McKee is letting outsiders swell the Daggett County registration rolls to give Republicans an advantage. The Democrats also say the father of a Republican deputy running for sheriff has 14 adults registered at his household. McKee hasn't responded to messages from The Associated Press.

Worst. Congress. Ever.

We need a new Congress -- here's why:

1. Congress set a record for the fewest number of days worked -- 218 between the House and Senate combined. [Link]

2. The Senate voted down a measure that urged the administration to start a phased redeployment of U.S. forces out of Iraq by the end of 2006. [Link]

3. Congress failed to raise the minimum wage, leaving it at its lowest inflation-adjusted level since 1955. [Link]

4. Congress gave itself a two percent pay raise. [Link]

5. There were 15,832 earmarks totaling $71 billion in 2006. (In 1994, there were 4,155 earmarks totaling $29 billion.) [Link]

104 more reasons

Nonpartisan experts still see big gains in the House

Charlie Cook - 20-35 seat gain for Dems
Stu Rothenberg - 30-36 seat gain for Dems
Larry Sabato - 29 seat gain for Dems

And check out here for an interesting article comparing this year to the 1966 elections.

The Republican 'comeback' is a chimera

This from Charlie Cook:
'Seven national polls have been conducted since Wednesday, November 1. They give Democrats an average lead of 11.6 percentage points, larger than any party has had going into an Election Day in memory. Even if you knock five points off of it, it's 6.6 percentage points, bigger than the advantage that Republicans had going into 1994.

Furthermore, there is no evidence of a trend in the generic ballot test. In chronological order of interviewing (using the midpoint of field dates), the margins were: 15 points (Time 11/1-3), 6 points (ABC/Wash Post), 4 points (Pew), 7 points (Gallup), 16 points (Newsweek), 20 points (CNN) and 13 points (Fox).'


Based on the most recent polls, and other factors such as media stories, ballot initiatives and public mood, here are my final calls for the US Senate:

DEMOCRATS will easily hold onto their seats in California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

REPUBLICANS will easily hold onto their seats in Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

VERMONT will continue to have a liberal independent senator.

CONNECTCUT will technically become independent as well, as Joe Lieberman ekes out a victory. I still predict less than a plurality with lazy GOP voters giving Schlesinger (straight party ticket) a good 10%. Lamont on 40. For a weak candidate, he done good. Lieberman will return to the Democratic fold, but will continue to vote with Republicans on some security issues. If the Dems get their 51 guys. Republicans will beg, cheat and steal to get Lieberman to switch sides.

BIG DEMOCRATIC BLOWOUTS: The most satisfying thumpings for Democrats will be in Ohio, where Sherrod Brown will best DeWine by a good ten points, and in Pennsylvania, where ultra-conservative boob Rick Santorum will be sent packing by Bob Casey.

REPUBLICANS WILL HOLD ON by the skin of their teeth in Arizona. Despite the minimum wage ballot initiative and the popularity of Democratic governor Napolitano, Kyl will scrape by this time to hold on in Arizona. Despite the rising star of Harold Ford junior in Tennessee, Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker will pull through in Tennessee, helped along by that anti-gay marriage initiative and a little latent racism.


On Tester's side, we have that minimum wage initiative, Conrad Burns' sleaze allegations, and the fact that Burns is a grade-A moron.
On Burns' side, we have the fact that he has successfully painted Tester as too liberal for a red-meat red state. This will be a nailbiter. Bush showed up to rally the masses, but the Dems are spending big-time to get a ground operation happening in Montana. The latest Gallup poll, though, has Tester regaining some of his lead, at 50-41. As he has maintained his lead throughout more or less, I'm calling this one for Tester and the Dems.

In the home of the liquid cabinet, look for Lincoln Chafee to go down to Whitehouse by a hair. Gallup has Whitehouse ahead by three, and Democrats in general are surging in the Northeast this year. Anti-incumbency, anti-Bush, anti-Congress: the cards are stacked against this moderate Republican this time around.

After a real challenge from Kean, appointed and none-too-perfect Dem candidate Robert Menendez is on the comeback trail. Recent polls show him leading by a good five or six points. Anti-Republican sentiment should let him cruise to victory.

Another weak Democratic candidate, Cardin, against a really savvy campaign, according to the experts, from Michael Steele. Recent polls show Cardin leading by a few points. The only thing saving Cardin is that this is a blue state in a blue year. Another probably undeserved Democratic victory here. (Of course, compare this to the undeserved Republican victories by incumbents in Mississippi, Texas and Utah!).

George Allen has been on self-destruct mode this whole campaign. How did this guy ever get to be a politician: in addition to being a racist, he's also a total asshole. I mean, who picks a fight with their opponent's Asian- minority errand boy? Who responds, after finding out that he has Jewish background, that he'd really feel like having a ham sandwich right about now? Webb looks good on paper but has the personality of oatmeal. Basically, Webb has got himself a lead by just watching Allen shoot himself in the foot. Webb was in the Reagan administration, was in the Navy, has the respect of the military. He's got a significant lead in one last minute poll, but is tied in another. I'm going out on a limb to say that anti-Bush feeling among independents is going to push Webb over the top.

Neck and neck the whole way, both really capable candidates. Talent barely squeezed through for election last time around, and that was before Iraq blew up. This time, there's stem cell and minimum wage on the ballot, a huge Democratic GOTV operation, and polls that show McCAskill pulling ahead. I say she takes it, by a hair.

Counting Independents in Vermont and Connecticut as Democrats, then, we will see a Democratic majority in the Senate, at 51-49, as the Blues pull through in Montana, Missouri, and Virginia.


Last minute polls show McCaskill up in Missouri

Survey USA, released yesterday, has McCaskill at 50%, Talent at 44%. Somehow, a second poll from the same company has McCaskill ahead by an even greater margin, 5-% to 42%. A Polimetrix poll released yesterday has them tied on 50% each. A Gallup poll out yesterday had McCaskill at 49%, Talent at 45%, but a Rasmussen poll had Talent ahead by one, 49-48.

Survey USA has Webb ahead in Virginia, 52% to 44%, while Polimetrix has them tied at 50-50. Rasmussen had them tied, 49-49.

All the polls now have Corker beating Ford in Tennessee by between 3 and 5 points. The gay marriage ballot initiative in Tennessee is likely to nail Ford's coffin (but I do think we haven't seen the last of him!). By the same token, the stem cell initiative in Missouri is likely to give McCaskill the surge she needs.

The largely unreported story on ballot initiatives is the minimum wage. It is extremely popular across the country but Republicans are opposed to raising the minimum wage. It is bound to bring Dems to the polls in states where they can really use the support, affecting Senate races in Missouri, Montana, Ohio, and helping them secure governorships and/or representatives in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

Watch and see...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Now go vote, stupid!

... or don't come bitchin' to me...

New Gallup Poll results

(+/-4 Margin of Error)







Four out of six are within the margin of error.

If you take these at face value, though, you are looking at the Democrats holding onto New Jersey and taking over in Missouri, Montana and Rhode Island. When combined with likely takeovers in Ohio and Pennsylvania, that would make for a 50/50 Senate. According to this, Repub's will hold on in Virginia and Tennessee.

I think in reality there is still a chance that Burns will hold on, and given the monkeys on his back that's pretty impressive. There is also a chance that Chafee will survive. Allen has been like a sinking stone and there is a good chance Webb will prevail tomorrow in Virginia. Wait and see.

GOP close the gap; Sabato addresses the issue

The media is all abuzz about the GOP tightening their poll numbers - is it due to John Kerry's gaffe, Saddam Hussein's death sentence, Bush's red-state appearances, or the GOP much-lauded Get Out the Vote operation? Probably a little of each. I think it was inevitable that they would shore up their base. What is more worrying is that the Dem lead among independents has narrowed. Larry Sabato takes a look at the races with all of this in mind, but still figures that Dems will take 4-6 Senate seats, 232 House Seats to 203 for GOP, and 29 governorships.

The real unknown is to what extent the Dems investment in a better GOTV strategy across the 50 States will make a difference. Watch this space.

Bush 'listens to the generals', except when he doesn't.

Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, Marine Times.

They do more calling for Rumsfeld to resign before 6 AM than most people do all day.

Saddam death sentence timing, like, totally a coincidence

Says White House mouthpiece Tony Snow.

It was, like, totally the Iraqis, dude.

87% of FBI 'terrorist suspects' bogus

From ABC:
Prosecutors declined to bring charges in 131 of 150, or 87 percent, of international terrorist case referrals from the FBI between October 2005 and June 2006, according to the report. The study was based on the most recent data available from the Justice Department's executive office for U.S. attorneys.

That number marks the peak of generally steady increases from the 2001 budget year, when prosecutors rejected 33 percent of such cases from the FBI, according to the report.

The data "raise troubling questions about the bureau's investigation of criminal matters involving individuals the government has identified as international terrorists," the report said.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Three days to go, and I'm sick as a dog

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Numbers of Republicans down

According to Rasmussen, the number of people identifying themselves as Republicans is down to 31.5%, from 37.2% at the time of the 2004 presidential election. The Democrats are standing currently on 37.7%.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Liability in chief wannabe

Kerry should just shut up and try to stay out of the way.

This is why even if Harold Ford loses on Tuesday, he's still going places

A rising Democratic star:

From the Chattanooga paper.

Simple Act Of Kindness Won My Vote - And Reply
posted October 31, 2006

I am one of those independent voters whom Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker are trying to convince to vote for him. I have not lived in Chattanooga all that long so I did not specify a party affiliation without knowing anything about the candidates. Until about 2:00 this afternoon, I still was undecided.

I stopped by Panera Bread for a salad and noticed about 20 or so people holding Harold Ford Jr. for Senate signs. I sat outside on the patio and a few minutes later, Congressman Ford pulled up in a big white truck. He was speaking to his supporters when two garbage trucks drove by and honked their horns.

Congressman Ford immediately stopped speaking and turned around to wave. In the midst of a whole bunch of hugs and handshakes, Congressman Ford immediately stopped what he was doing and followed (on foot) the trucks down the street. When the drivers came to a stop, the men on the back jumped down. The Congressman walked right up to them and put his arm around their sholder and shook each of their hands. He thanked them for their hard work. Honestly, if ever I have been more inspired by a single act of kindness and recognition, it was at precisely that moment.

Conressman Harold Ford Jr. could teach us all a thing or two about dignity and honor. The very fact that he recognized each one of these sanitation workers speaks volumes about what his representation of Tennessee will be in the Senate. Everyone counts, and everyone deserves the same respect. I was truly inspired by this simple act of recognition. With that single act, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. won my vote and my respect. I believe he will represent each and every Tennessean.

Jackson Montgomery

Liability in Chief

Bush's big campaign push is just helping to energize Democrats even more.

Rasmussen now has Webb ahead in Virginia, McAskill ahead in Missouri

Democrats 'Teflon'

Will McAskill surge ahead?

A new poll has McAskill ahead by 3.

And she's about to run a series of ads directly rebutting Talent's accusations.

And Bush turning up to stump for Talent may not have the desired effect. Watch this space... This could will be the race on which a Dem majority could hinge.

Tackling Climate Change

The EU needs to get Balls. (Ed Balls, that is.)

Double Take

Luckily, this headline came under the sport section. Had me going there for a minute!

Pearce: Thatcher ready to return