Saturday, November 11, 2006

Late Night


Evening Thread

Rock on.

Running Stuff

It is quite freaky to realize that since 1995, except for a few months in 2001, the Democrats haven't controlled either the House or Senate. Yes, technically they controlled the Senate from May, 2001 to Jan., 2003, but most of that was the post-9/11 era where they basically let Bush control everything.

Wankers of the Day

Investor's Business Daily.

Sick people.

Build Some Damn Trains

A quite plea for the new Dem congress to stick inject lovely rail-related pork in with all the other pork in the Transportation funding bill.


Various annoying things in this NYT article (note to Claire McCaskill, maybe it's not so bright to insult your future colleagues right of the bat), but it at least picks up on the fact that those elected to Congress have a pretty strong economic populist streak to them. Frankly, to the extent that this is true is really makes these the most liberal incoming class in a long time. Whatever the merits of coverage of social issues, there's at least acknowledgment that lefty-liberal social views exist. More leftwing economic views have been almost entirely shut out from the public discussion for quite some time. The Elite Consensus while vaguely center-left-but-don't-much-care on social issues is almost psychotically hostile to anything that deviates from free market fundamentalism, and that's gotten more and more true even as empirical justification for it has gotten thinner and thinner.

Maybe we'll actually get a real debate on this stuff for once.

The Post Bush Era*

Well, we're just about there. I imagine a couple of the presidential hopefuls might try to hitch themselves to the Bush wagon to appeal to the lizardbrain segment of the Republican party, but I imagine the political narrative will become increasingly dominated by people who want to distance themselves from the Bush era. The very unpopular Bush won't climb above 40 for any sustained period until the end. Cable news will, as it always has, continue to prop him up, but otherwise he'll just shrink and shrink and shrink as the presidential primary season becomes more central.

Hopefully we have a few more months before that heats up too much because as we know the presidential primary season is The Silliest Season of All. Not sure I'll survive it without pulling an Elvis on my teevee this time.

*Except for the little thing about him still being in charge of stuff. Bugger.


Yglesias writes:

A big divide among Democrats in the coming years will, I think, have a bit less to do with the substance of Iraq policy than just their analysis of what's going to happen. A lot of Democrats seem to think that this very thorny problem will, conveniently, just kind of go away without them needing to do anything about it. Either Jim Baker or John Warner or Bush 41 or someone is going to clean up the mess.

But the mess isn't going to get cleared up, not even when Candidate McCain comes up with his secret plan to end the war.


Bush at 31.

...adding, holy crap - Bush is now as unpopular as Darth Cheney.

Fixing the AMT

This is good.

Democratic leaders this week vowed to make the alternative minimum tax a centerpiece of next year's budget debate, saying the levy threatens to unfairly increase tax bills for millions of middle-class families by the end of the decade.

The complex and expensive tax was designed to prevent the super-rich from using deductions, credits and other shelters to avoid paying the Internal Revenue Service. But because of rising incomes, the tax is expected to expand to more than 30 million taxpayers in 2010 from 3.8 million mostly well-off households in 2006.

Fixing the AMT has long been a top priority for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is in line to head the Senate Finance Committee. Last year, Baucus co-authored a bill to repeal the tax with Senate Finance Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

I know that more tax cuts for the upper middle class doesn't top everyone's priority list, but the growing number of people being affected by the AMT makes it just a very very stupid tax. You have to go through all of the song and dance of doing your taxes and then right at the end the IRS tells you "psyche!" and gives you a different number.

If Republicans weren't such pricks there'd be a responsible way to do this - kill the AMT but increase marginal rates somewhere to make it roughly revenue neutral.

Carville Memories


Matt Drudge Rules Their World

I don't know if Halperin and Harris know this, or put this in their book, but one largely uncommented on fact is that Matt Drudge really really really hates McCain. At least he did in the past.

Wonder how that factors into "How to Win."

Victory Lap Weekend

Bye Pombo:

Four years ago, the stars were aligned perfectly for Rep. Richard Pombo.

The Tracy Republican had just leapfrogged several colleagues to become head of the House Resources Committee, where he was ideally situated to accomplish his top priority: severely weaken one of the nation's strongest environmental laws.

Not only did he gain jurisdiction over the Endangered Species Act, he now presided over federally-owned lands and environmental laws important to his allies in the ranching, timber and energy industries.

And whatever legislation he could usher through the House of Representatives would go to a GOP-controlled Senate and a Republican president.

But as Pombo's congressional career comes to an unexpected close with his loss Tuesday to Democrat Jerry McNerney, what is remarkable is how little he accomplished in seven terms.

Whether it was rewriting the Endangered Species Act, opening the ArcticNational Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling, rewriting Indian gaming law, privatizing public lands or easing restrictions on offshore oil drilling, few, if any, of Pombo's priorities are law.


Maybe They'll Waterboard Him

Well, looks like our pal Ted Haggard has paved the way for his own personal hell:

DENVER -- There will be prayer, and perhaps the laying on of hands. There will be counseling and a confession. And there will be advice, confrontation and rebuke from "godly men" appointed to oversee the spiritual "restoration" of the Rev. Ted Haggard.

After tumbling from the pinnacle of the American evangelical movement amid allegations he snorted meth and cavorted with a male prostitute, Haggard has agreed to a rehabilitation process that could last three to five years.

"I see success approximately 50 percent of the time," said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian ministry in Colorado Springs. "Guys just wear out and they can no longer subject themselves to the process."

Those who fail "end up selling cars or shoes or something, and being miserable and angry the rest of their lives," London said.

Something wrong with selling cars?

Morning Thread


Friday, November 10, 2006

Late Night


The Conservative Agenda

Apparently our new conservative Democratic overlords want to increase the share of taxes paid by corporations. Right wing nuts!

Anyway, I gotta go out but that video will start working as soon as youtube finishes processing it...

This Could Be Fun

Kudos to the Act Blue guys for coming up with good ideas.

I predict the draft Kodos movement is imminent.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Fresh Thread


E Con

As Ezra says, this article (.pdf) by Chris Hayes, which I read awhile back but it got lost in the election shuffle, about the Econ 101 experience is quite good.

Deliberate or not, Econ 101 classes generally are highly ideological indoctrination classes which make numerous college freshman believe lots of wacky stuff every year. When I taught I really tried to make sure to emphasize some thing to counteract this, but even courses taught by this crazy liberal probably turned a bunch of people into free market fundamentalists.

A little economic knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing.

The Conservative Agenda

Apparently John Tester's a big hunk of conservatism, at least that's what I keep hearing. So, I bring you the conservative agenda:

  • Supporting renewable and alternative energy sources (biofuels, bitches!)
  • Raising automobile mileage
  • Pro-choice
  • Protecting public lands
  • Country of origin labels for food imports
  • Affordable health care
  • Enforcing immigration laws for immigrants and employers
  • gun rights
  • A plan to end the war in Iraq
  • Increasing the minimum wage
  • Repealing the Patriot Act
  • Changing Medicare D to allow price negotiation with drug companies
  • No to social security privatization
  • Pro stem cell research
  • Middle class tax relief
A couple of these are identified more strongly with conservatism, and a couple of them are "conservative" or "liberal" depending on the details, but if these are our new conservative democratic overlords, fine by me...


The post below was meant to discuss credit about strategery. Obviously, there are many more actors who deserve credit, especially all those who spent time and money they didn't have working for candidates.

...Markos has a good take on the whole issue.

Governing From The Center

That's the phrase coming out of the mouths of all good Washington pundits right now, that the Democrats must govern from the center.

I have no idea what that means, and nor do they. There was a time when the "political center" had some actual meaning and some genuine relationship to voter preference, but it's now a concept which has been redefined to be equated with the elite consensus. Centrism is sensible, sensible pundits are sensible, so whatever sensible pundits think is correct is the center. Magic!

Still, I'd like to know what they think not "governing from the center" would be like. That is, what specific crazy-ass left wing policies that ultra-liberal Nancy Pelosi is secretly wanting to unleash on the world are they thinking about? I actually have a hard time thinking of any.

The truth is any agenda that the Democrats are likely to work on is entirely mainstream, and this would probably be true even if they had an 80 seat majority in the House and a veto-proof majority in the Senate. Whether or not this mainstream agenda will be judged as "centrist" by the sensible people who make such determinations I have no idea.

Does Anyone See a Problem Here?

I know stupid people like me try in vain to point this out regularly, but since I just heard Don Rumsfeld give yet another version of "we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here" I feel forced to do it again.

Isn't there a wee contradiction between spreading freedom and democracy and turning a country into a terrrorist battlefield?


In the "credit" debate there are two types of people, those who are trying to glorify themselves, enhance their reputation, and obtain more power, and those who just, you know, want to make sure we do the right thing.

All I know is months ago it was conventional wisdom in DC that the Democrats couldn't take the House, that candidates shouldn't talk about the war, and that the best way to try to win 15 seats was to throw all your money into about 18 of them and hope for the best. In the end that's not how it played out. The field of candidates widened, more campaigns were centered around the issue that voters consistently said was the most important one, and we did win the House. The real question is precisely how that happened. My sense is that candidates managed to build really great grassroots campaigns, managed to get some poll support by doing crazy things like talking about the war, some of those campaigns managed to get netroots attention from excellent local bloggers and from here and firedoglake and the axis of kos-mydd-swingstate (mostly the latter 2), creating additional buzz and media coverage which allowed them to attract more donors and finally some attention from Rahmbo. And then some, including one that I know the DCCC was, early on, actively hostile to, managed to win. Yay them.

I really don't care who gets "credit." I just know that it's silly to set this up as a competition, and some of the hostility you see from some in the party organizations to the "netroots" is absurd. Whatever role people online play- and the money raised isn't the most important role - they're, you know, trying to help Democrats get elected.

The strategic point that Markos and Chris Bowers and others have tried to make is that if you don't play you can't win, but every game has an entrance fee. If you don't have credible candidates in place - and, yes, even ones who are probably going to lose - you can't take advantage of a potential "wave," or a sudden scandal, or surprise retirements. If nothing else it seems like every election about half a dozen or so incumbents are knocked out at the last minute by scandal or surprise retirement, and those are easy (sometimes automatic) pickups if you have a candidate who is actually running a credible race.

Also, if you don't run credible candidates regularly, and run real campaigns, you don't build networks of support, you don't build local knowledge, and you don't build a pool of talented and willing volunteers.

As for Lamont/Lieberman, well, that sucks, but a big reason we all supported a run against Joe was to force the party to Start Talking About the War. And they did, eventually.

...adding, and of course Webb and Tester were both grass roots/netroots candidates who ran against DC-backed candidates in their primaries. (Webb did eventually get support from prominent people in DC, but he wasn't the initial chosen one.) My bad, faulty memory here. Alice Marshall reminds me that Webb was the DC-backed candidate.

...also, adding, as Troutski reminded in comments, we saw in this election cycle how even poorly funded challengers running against important incumbents can suck massive amounts of money away from other campaigns. The party organizations and donor networks are incumbency protection rackets most of all, and any hint of challenge to incumbents causes lots of money to be thrown their way.

Bye Linc

Sorta feel bad for Chafee, as he always struck me as a decent guy. He had a moment when he could have, and should have, switched parties but after the '04 election that moment passed and there wasn't really much point of doing so. Glad he's doing the right thing on the way out:

PROVIDENCE — In his first interview since losing the Republican U.S. Senate seat that has been in his family for three decades, Lincoln D. Chafee yesterday said a lot of people had been coming up to him “and saying, ‘We’re sorry you lost, but glad the Congress switched’ ” from GOP to Democratic Party control.

Asked if deep down, despite his personal disappointment about the outcome of Tuesday’s election, he felt the same way, Chafee looked into the TV cameras and said: “To be honest, yes.”

“When you enact a divisive agenda, don’t talk to the other side, I don’t think that’s good for the country,” Chafee said. At least now, “I think the president is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that is going to be good for America.”

And, he kicks Bolton:

On the Bolton nomination, Chafee said, "the American people have spoken out against the president's agenda on a number of fronts and presumably one of those fronts is foreign policy and at this late stage in my term I am not going to endorse something the American people spoke out against.

Local Notes

It appears we've almost turned the PA State House blue. After a couple vote counts are finished, we might do just that.


Over there:

BAGHDAD - Three American soldiers were killed in two separate incidents in Iraq, the military said on Friday.

Maybe if they installed one of those webcam/cellphone security systems things would improve in Iraq [/lame black humor].

Your Liberal Media

Still not liberal.

And get ready, it's just going to get worse now.

I Don't Understand

I'm watching local news and they're covering an exciting system which lets you install webcams in every room in your house which you can easily dial up on your cell phone and monitor what's going on all the time.

I really don't understand.

Morning Thread


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Late Night

Pink Floyd - The Gunner's Dream

The Biggest Loser in the World

Mark Halperin, NYT, 10/01/06. It's hard to excerpt the best bits because it's all 100% wrong.

Yet two years of controversy over the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, and the perils of high gas prices and low poll numbers, have led many to believe that the Republicans' strategy of fighting from the base has worn out its welcome. Therefore, this view holds, a campaign that appeals to moderates, one waged from the center, is the only way for the party to maintain control of the House and Senate.

Interesting theory, but it probably won't work. If the Republicans want to keep their majorities in the midterm elections, their best chance is to stick with the old, base-driven Bush-Rove electoral strategy.

Why? In the eyes of the Bush team, America is a polarized country, one where there are fundamental divisions worth fighting over. A president -- and a party -- should not worry about slender margins of victory or legislative control. The goal is to accumulate just enough power to use the energies and passions of the base to effect ideological change in the nation's laws and institutions, even if -- sometimes especially if -- those changes might be at odds with majority public opinion.

For the Republicans, this brand of politics works because the United States in many ways remains a fundamentally conservative nation. Polls consistently indicate that there are more staunchly conservative Americans than liberal ones. Republican politicians, therefore, have the advantage of being able to proudly announce what they really think. They can go on offense.


This is exactly what happened in the last two elections: Mr. Bush and Mr. Rove fired up the base on national security, taxes and social issues and found a way to win a majority of the electorate, even as they lost the allegiance of a majority of the country over all. The national security debate, the visibility of the Clintons and the momentum the Republicans gain from Mr. Bush's rising poll numbers -- all of these echo previous election cycles.

Critics of the Bush administration assert that the politics of the base has run its course, and that the Iraq war, the partisan zealousness and the conservative social policies of the administration have made voters yearn for a more centrist, bipartisan government. But Mr. Bush's opponents may be imprudently lulled by the current storyline and broad national polls, both of which miss the power and consequence of a Republican base that may have one more victory to give.

(tip from reader p)

More Thread


Wanker of the Day

Tim Russert.

Fresh Thread


Say Goodnight Ken

Mehlman probably leaving RNC.


There were a lot of misperceptions about why I got into this race. I was watching on election night some of the analysts and one of the frequent things that was being said about this campaign was that I came to the Democratic party purely on issues regarding the Iraq war.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I think I and a lot of people like me had aligned themselves with the Republican party on national security issues but were always concerned about issues of economic fairness and social justice.

Fresh Thread

It's so weird when Democrats hold a press conference and they actually put it on the teevee.

My Tears Are Falling

It's so sad:

As the canvassing continues in Virginia, Sen. George Allen, R-Virginia, is sequestered in his home, "shell shocked," and going through "a nightmare," during this period of limbo, a senior Allen staffer tells CNN.

Republicans Blame Losses on Democrats


WASHINGTON, DC—Republican officials are blaming tonight's GOP losses on Democrats, who they claim have engaged in a wide variety of "aggressive, premeditated, anti-Republican campaigns" over the past six-to-18 months. "We have evidence of a well-organized, well-funded series of operations designed specifically to undermine our message, depict our past performance in a negative light, and drive Republicans out of office," said Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who accused an organization called the Democratic National Committee of spearheading the nationwide effort. "There are reports of television spots, print ads, even volunteers going door-to-door encouraging citizens to vote against us." Acknowledging that the "damage has already been done," Mehlman is seeking a promise from Democrats to never again engage in similar practices.

This is barely satire. I've seen wingnuts say stuff like this.

Bye Conrad

Burns concedes.

Local Notes

Congratulations are in order to Bryan Lentz, who was poised to run against Crazy Curt until Sestak showed up, and who then for the PA State House. He spent the last 8 months or so knocking on literally thousands of doors. It worked - 51.4% to 48.6%.

Also, congrats to Tony Payton Jr. Tony also ran for State House, and won. The Democratic machine tried to get him thrown off the ballot in the primary. He responded by trying to get their guy off the ballot. Their effort failed, his succeeded. Then, during the primary, they passed out thousands of stamps (with helpful poll workeres, of course) so that people could vote for the machine candidate in a write-in campaign. Multiple court battles later, the recount went for Tony and he remained on the ballot. He won with 88.4% of the vote.

Fun With Cliff

Cliff Schecter returns to MSNBC.

O'Reilly and McCain are Geniuses

John McCain last May:

“One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit,’” said Mr. McCain, according to Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, an invitee, and two other guests.

O'Reilly now:

I think the Iraqis have got to step up and at least try to fight for their democracy, instead of being this crazy country of Shiia against Sunni — I don’t ever want to hear Shiia and Sunni again.


Bye George

MSNBC sez Allen's probably gonna concede at 3 today.



As Oliver reminds us, so much for all those predictions of a permanent Republican majority.


Well, the magic power of market predictions is not so magic.

Price for Republican Party 2006 Mid Term Election Control at

The magic market was heavily predicting Senate control would remain with the Republicans. Oops.

And, hey, so was I. But the idea that there's something magical about market aggregated preferences seems to have infected the minds of too many people. They provide a cute distillation of conventional wisdom, but that's all.

Sore Loser

I'm one who thinks the media's desire to call elections before the votes are counted is rather annoying. It's really not important if any particular election "drags on." If George Allen has reason to believe that there are more votes which could go his way or that a recount might change the outcome then let him do it.

In Montana, however, Conrad Burns has nothing to pin his hopes on. Still he won't concede. What a silly way to end a political career.


I'll leave most of this talk to the smart political science types, but it's worth noting that Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, and Mass. are all blue states which have an annoying tendency to elect Republicans to statewide office. In PA that changed with the election (and re-election) of Rendell and now Bob Casey in the Senate. In New York, say hello to Governor Spitzer. In Mass., say hello to Governor Patrick. In RI, say hello to Senator Whitehouse.

With respect to the Senate gains especially it's hard to not to see those gains as pretty permanent. Barring scandal, those are two seats that will remain blue for a very long time.

Truly Awful

With Ehrlich losing in Maryland I'm reasonably happy to believe that there's some karmic rebalancing going on in the universe. And, hey, nice job endorsing this scum Washington Post!

At least six chartered buses carried mostly poor, black men from as far as Philadelphia to hand out inaccurate voter guides in Baltimore and Prince George's County yesterday as part of an effort by backers of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and U.S. Senate candidate Michael S. Steele to woo black voters.

The glossy voter guide, paid for by the Ehrlich and Steele campaigns, pictured three of Maryland's most prominent black Democrats above the words "These are OUR Choices," even though two were not on yesterday's ballot and the other was running unopposed. Inside, under the heading "Democratic Sample Ballot," it listed mostly Democratic candidates as the preferred choices -- along with Ehrlich and Steele, who were not identified as Republicans.

Uh, Ew?



Now that our side has, uh, won an election can we stop talking about stolen elections for awhile? That isn't to say that the whole electronic voting thing hasn't been - and continues to be - a disaster, and that at the very least having a voter verified paper trail should be a requirement. All well and good. Just stop the goddamn defeatism.

2008 Already

Vilsack's in.

Early on this race will be divided between those who think if we just hold our breaths a little bit longer the pony will be found in Iraq, and those who don't think there's a pony. With a new SecDef the media will overwhelming push the idea that we need to give the new team chance for, say, a Friedman or three...

Rumsfeld Resignation

The Onion:

WASHINGTON, DC—After nearly six years of much-publicized service as Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld announced his resignation Wednesday afternoon, saying that he had "proudly accomplished everything [he'd] set out to bungle." "Years ago, I decided to bog this great nation down in an extended, grueling foreign occupation, and I'm happy to say that's exactly what I've done," said Rumsfeld in a farewell address at the White House, during which he urged Americans to continue waging the ill-conceived, mismanaged, and evidently unwelcome fight for democracy in the Middle East. "Each of my actions—from undersupplying troops with body armor to focusing on capturing Saddam Hussein while Osama bin Laden remained free—has led America inexorably toward our current state of extreme crisis. Well, anyway, goodbye!" President Bush expressed confidence that Robert Gates, his new nominee for Secretary of Defense, will be able to "fuck everything up the rest of the way."

Fresh Thread


Late Night


Blogging About Blogging About Bloggity Blog Blog


Colbert and Stewart were both great tonight.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Karl Rove is a Genius

Yglesias, not buying my theory that Karl Rove secretly wanted to turn the country blue, explains why Rove is an idiot. The actions he discusses were at the time hailed as genius because, well, he won. But the fact is they were probably kind of stupid and counterproductive and likely hurt them, even if they ultimately didn't matter.

There were 7 Republican Senate seats in play, with Arizona an additional outside miracle shot. Rove lost 6 of them, and failed in his rather expensive attempts to take any Dem seats.




And, no, as I've said many times the fact that you try to raise some money for candidates who might lose doesn't make you an idiot, but the Red Staters have been mocking Kos for his supposed failures for years...

Holy Crap

Darcy Burner pulls ahead.

...arg, never mind. I think this is a mistake. Josh's link only covers King County, and the district covers more than that I believe. Here's the full results.

Bye George

AP calls it for Webb, and it sounds like Allen will concede tomorrow.

So, I predicted +18 House and +4 Senate. We got +29 and climbing and +6. Such predictions are just a fun game, and if I had been exactly right it wouldn't have meant anything except that I got lucky.

Anyway, the House was just a total guess as these races are pretty random and hard to predict. In the Senate I thought Casey, Whitehouse, Brown, and Tester would win, though after I had made that prediction I thought Webb and McCaskill probably each had a 50/50 chance of winning, which would've made it 5.

But, hey, we won 6. Yay team.

Campaign Memories

Because no one wants the fun to be over.

Turd Blossom

Karl Rove is a genius.

Thanks for turning America Blue, buddy.

...ouch. Georgey mad at Karl.

What's the Matter With Kansas?

Not so much. They just sent obsessed freak Phill Kline home.

Similarly, abortion-rights groups welcomed the defeat of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, a Republican who had touted his efforts to seize women's medical records from abortion clinics.


One wonders if the wingnut welfare system will collapse under the weight of all those ex-staffers looking for new jobs.

Fitzpatrick Concedes

Congratulations Patrick Murphy. I remember when he gave a clumsy-but-still-cute comment that he was "Pennsylvania's Paul Hackett" at a 110 degree candidate forum, when he came to Drinking Liberally, when showed up at Eschacon, and when he beat back the primary challenge from a Republican party switcher. I watched his campaign grow and grow with lots of enthusastic volunteers.

Congrats to them.

Bye Ricky

Dan Savage has a good post-mortem.

Your Conservative Media: Propagandists and Proud of It

Here's Big Pharma:

The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high! Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party does and liberalism.

And Mark Halperin's good friend Hugh Hewitt:

And it is a wonderful day for new media, especially talk radio. For two years we have had to defend the Congressional gang that couldn't shoot straight. Now we get to play offense.

Ah, new media.

The Biggest Loser in the World

Because I'm sure the people at the DCCC are hoping someone rubs some salt into this wound, I'd like to remind people that the last major party switching was in 2004, when Rodney Alexander (R-LA), then a Democrat refiled to run as a Republican minutes before the filing deadline, shutting out the possibility of having a real opponent in the "D" slot.

How's that working out for you now that the Democrats are about to take control, Rodney?

ha ha [/muntz]


Last night felt oddly anti-climactic, as even though there was a steady stream of good news coming in there were still large numbers of close races, nailbiters, and disappointments to dampen the overall enthusiasm.

People we no longer have to hear from due to retirements or losses

Governor Pataki
Governor Romney
Senator Santorum
Congresswoman Harris
Senator Allen [my bet is he eventually decides to not bother with the recount]
Senator DeWine
Michael Steele
Senator Talent
Senator Burns

Oh happy days.

Saint McCain

He just said "I believe we need to take al-Sadr out."

That should play well in Iraq.

Lies and the Lying Liars

George Bush edition. Still, no blowjobs were involved so it's ok.

Fresh Thread

Back from DC.


The evil one.


The point of the Eschaton community Act Blue site was never to pick the obvious winners. Most of them didn't need our money. Still, it's nice to pick some winners. And we did.

Of the challengers on the list, Patrick Murphy ($23,489), Joe Sestak, ($14,807), Chris Carney ($9,307), Nick Lampson ($6,322) won. Late addition John Hall ($3,543) also won, and a few races are still up in the air, with John Tester ($11,325) at least expected to win.

Ezra Speak

You listen:

THE DAY AFTER. It's nice to finally write one of these election wrap-ups that doesn't have to account for a massive Democratic disappointment. Change is good, right? What it does have to do is punch back against the remarkably coordinated and quick campaign from the right (and sometimes the right includes the left) seeking to paint this election as some sort of victory for ... conservatism.

The ideological spectrum is a tricky thing. Take Heath Schuler, exhibit A in the rightwing Democrats meme. He's a cultural conservative, no doubt. But however far right he drifts on those issues -- which, under a Democratic Congress, he won't be voting on because they won't be brought to floor -- he's notably left on economic issues. Today, for instance, he's giving a press conference under the auspices of the United Steelworkers with Great Liberal Hope Sherrod Brown, where they'll discuss the need for new trade policies and their success in making active opposition to NAFTA a winning issue. That's not centrist Democrat. It's not moderate liberal. That's populism, kids, and it's leftier than polite company has allowed for quite some time.

So is Shuler right-wing? Seems like a tough case to me. Sherrod Brown? Liberal as they come. Defeating South Dakota's abortion ban initiative? Passing Missouri's stem cell initiative? All those progressives who toppled liberal Republicans in the Northeast? Somebody think they won in the blue bastions with roaring conservatism? Meanwhile, the most conservative of the serious Democratic challengers this cycle, Harold Ford, went down to defeat. Bravely fought race, tough environs, etc. But with an out-and-out liberal winning Ohio and a right-of-center Democrat losing Tennessee, we're really going to call this election for conservatism?

The interesting thing is that most of these so-called conservative/moderate Dems, or whatever we're calling them, stand in precise opposition to the Elite Consensus which usually earns that label. Some are a bit conservative on social issues, but as Ezra says are pretty hard left on economic issues. Shuler's going to be palling around with Sherrod Brown a lot more than he's going to be palling around with Steny Hoyer or Rahmbo.

Local Notes

Congratulations to Patrick Murphy and Joe Sestak.

All Hail the Bloggers

Rick Perlstein:

The Democrats have won back the House. Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), nearly tripped over himself on the way to the microphone to claim the credit. In fact, while the tidal wave in the House looks like a bit of strategic genius by Emanuel--and pundits are starting to call it that way (Howard Fineman on MSNBC noted that the Democrats even picked up a seat in Kentucky, where the 3rd District candidate was John Yarmuth--"Emanuel's fourth choice!" Fineman exclaimed, as if in awe of the power possessed by Emanuel's mere table scraps)--in race after race, it actually represents the apotheosis of forces Emanuel has doubted all long: the netroots.

In two competitive House races in the Bluegrass State, Emanuel's first choices lost by 9 and 12 points. In the 2nd District it was Colonel Mike Weaver, the cofounder of Commonwealth Democrats, a group of conservative Democratic state legislators. In the 4th, it was Ken Lucas, a former congressman whom Robert Novak recently called "moderate conservative" in a column Emanuel's "recruiting coup" in coaxing Lucas out of retirement. Both were the kind of candidates Emanuel has favored in his famous nationwide recruiting drive. Yarmuth, meanwhile, was founder of the state's first alternative newspaper, said things on the campaign trail things like "the No Child Left Behind Act ... is a plan deliberately constructed to create 'failing' schools," and called for "a universal health care system in which every citizen has health insurance independent of his or her employment."

It was a pattern repeated across the country. New Hampshire's 1st District delivered Carol Shea-Porter, a former social worker who got kicked out of a 2005 Presidential appearance for wearing a T-shirt that said turn your back on bush. That might have been her fifteen minutes of fame--if, last night, she hadn't defeated two-term Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley. For the chance to face him, however, she had to win a primary against the DCCC's preferred candidate, Jim Craig--whom Rahm Emanuel liked to much he had the unusual move of contributing $5000 to his primary campaign. Shea-Porter dominated Craig by 20 points--and then was shut out by the DCCC for general election funds.

Not all Emanuel's losing recruits were beaten in primaries. Some were beaten in the general election. Christine Jennings, a banker and former Republican gunning for Katherine Harris's former House seat lost in a squeaker to conservative Republican Vern Buchanan. Dan Seals, a black moderate in the Barack Obama mold who criticized the Democratic Party even in speeches to Democratic crowds, lost to the Republican incumbent in Emanuel's backyard, Illinois's 10th District--as did the DCCC's most talked-about recruit, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois's 6th. Emanuel poured as astonishing $3 million into her campaign. It bought her a four-point defeat. Activists say the money would have been better spent on all the promising candidates to whom Rahm wouldn't give the time of day.

Forgot Last Night

Our victory graphic.

Perhaps the Most Important Story

Lost in the coverage I've seen so far is the fact that voters in South Dakota voted to reject a ban on abortion.

Being genuinely anti-choice - that is, advocating for legal bans on abortion - is officially an extremist position. Deal with it.

Credit Where Credit is Due

Caught a chunk of Little Ricky's concession speech. I was expecting a full meltdown, complete with "Iranians are going to put nuclear weapons in your toilet" kind of stuff. But he was very gracious and positive.

Meet the New Boss

The freshman class (only those races definitely decided):

Arizona's 5th: Harry Mitchell (D) 51 percent, J.D. Hayworth (R) 46 percent

California's 11th: Jerry McNerney (D) 53 percent, Richard Pombo (R) 47 percent

Connecticut's 5th: Chris Murphy (D) 56 percent, Nancy Johnson (R) 44 percent

Florida's 22nd: Ron Klein (D) 51 percent, Clay Shaw (R) 47 percent

Indiana's 2nd: Joe Donnelly (D) 54 percent, Chris Chocola (R) 46 percent

Indiana's 8th: Brad Ellsworth (D) 61 percent, John Hostettler (R) 39 percent

Indiana's 9th: Baron Hill (D) 49 percent, Mike Sodrel (R) 46 percent

Iowa's 2nd: Dave Loebsack (D) 51 percent, Jim Leach (R) 49 percent

Kansas' 2nd: Nancy Boyda (D) 51 percent, Jim Ryun (R) 47 percent

Kentucky's 3rd: John Yarmuth (D) 51 percent, Anne Northup (R) 48 percent

Minnesota's 1st: Tim Walz (D) 53 percent, Gil Gutknecht (R) 47 percent

New Hampshire's 1st: Carol Shea-Porter (D) 51 percent, Jeb Bradley (R) 49 percent

New Hampshire's 2nd: Paul Hodes (D) 53 percent, Charles Bass (R) 45 percent

New York's 19th: John Hall (D) 51 percent, Sue Kelly (R) 49 percent

New York's 20th: Kirsten Gillibrand (D) 53 percent, John Sweeney (R) 47 percent

North Carolina's 11th: Heath Shuler (D) 54 percent, Charles Taylor (R) 46 percent

Pennsylvania's 4th: Jason Altmire (D) 52 percent, Melissa Hart (R) 48 percent

Pennsylvania's 7th: Joe Sestak (D) 56 percent, Curt Weldon (R) 44 percent

Pennsylvania's 10th: Chris Carney (D) 53 percent, Don Sherwood (R) 47 percent

GOP open seats lost:

Arizona's 8th: Gabrielle Giffords (D) 54 percent, Randy Graf (R) 42 percent

Florida's 16th: Tim Mahoney (D) 49 percent, Mark Foley/Joe Negron (R) 48 percent

Colorado's 7th: Ed Perlmutter (D) 55 percent, Rick O'Donnell (R) 42 percent

Iowa's 1st: Bruce Braley (D) 55 percent, Mike Whalen (R) 43 percent

New York's 24th: Michael Arcuri (D) 54 percent, Ray Meier (R) 45 percent

Ohio's 18th: Zack Space (D) 62 percent, Joy Padgett (R) 38 percent

Texas' 22nd: Nick Lampson (D) 52 percent, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (R) 42 percent

Wisconsin's 8th: Steve Kagen (D) 51 percent, John Gard (R) 49 percent

Wanker of the Day

Rahm Emanuel.

Still Collecting Scalps

By Richard. Pombo's out.

Things I Learn From CNN

Nancy Pelosi will have a hard time implementing her 100 hours agenda of raising the minimum wage, implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, and ending subsidies to big oil because so many of the new Democrats are moderates.

Oh, and one reason Heath Shuler is a moderate is that he's focused on the environment.

Just kill me.

Morning Thread

Because the people demanded it.

And now a special message from the Republican National Committee:

Attention Montana Election Officials:

Cheney is nearby and he's armed.

Just something to think about.

Late Night

Today is a good day...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Webb Pulling Ahead

Oh my...

Bye John

Gillibrand beats Sweeney...

Bye Don

Chris Carney to beat alleged mistress choker...

MSNBC predicts Dems take House... Predicts Shuler wins in NC... "Mark Foley" concedes...

What's the Matter with South Dakota?

Maybe not so much. Abortion ban heading to defeat...

Tweety Hunts for Ponies

Chris Matthews to Pat Buchanan:

Is there a pony anywhere in this manure pile for the GOP?

Bye Charlie

Charlie Bass to concede in NH...

Cardin Wins

Yay Maryland.

Bye Bye

Count Chocola goes down, Anne Northup goes down, CNN predicting Chafee goes down...

Bye Tom Jr.

CNN sez Menendez wins.

Bye Rick

CBS sez Ricky go home to Virginia.


CNN shows Webb behind, Virginia shows Webb a bit ahead... both saying Webb up.

No sign of robot Glenn Reynolds.

Teh Hot

Nico, not me.

Bye Ken

CNN calls it for Strickland.

More Thread

Yarmuth pulling ahead. Bernie Sanders wins, illustrating that this election is all about moving to the right.

Results Trickling In

Actual votes (we hope) are being counted...

...Yarmuth still up with 37% behind with 53%.

...Ellsworth destroying Hostettler with 12% in...

Exit Poll Fun

Take with a grain of salt, could be bogus. But enjoy.

A Room Full of Bloggers

Truly exciting. And Glenn Reynolds will be joining us by webcam.

Oh boy.


Well, I'll try to keep up with things as best I can here. If nothing else you can with each other.


Republicans are pretty much evil, but don't expect anyone to actually point that out.

A Simple Idea

Every election there are polling places where, for whatever reason, there are long lines which threaten to prevent people from voting. When that happens parties go to a judge to try to force the polls to stay open longer. Would it be so hard to just modify election law so that the polls stay up for everyone who bothered to show up and get in line before time x?

The Elite Consensus

Ezra has more on the elite consensus which has no actual political constituency.

And could someone fix the internets so that Yglesias's site and Ezra's site don't look the same? Once I scroll down from the top I forget where I am. Damn internets, always something to be fixed.

Don't Count the Lizard Brain Out

Reports of high turnout do sound encouraging. It's hard to imagine people are enthusiastic about voting for more of this lot. But some people are. They'd rather let the house burn down than call the fire department and admit they screwed up.

A 5-Way Tie For Third

A little hope...

...since Spazeboy's site is getting hosed, here's the sample ballot in CT.

Channeling Jonah

Had a nice little chat with my cab driver on the way to my hotel, entirely unprompted by me. Former marine, a bit pissed off. He understood what I understand and Matthew Yglesias understands and I think, finally, a few more people are beginning to understand - Bush is going to stay the course and on election day 2008 I'll be able to have another conversation with a cab driver about the Iraq war.

I'm not yet sure if our leading politicians understand this. They've been waiting for us to find a pony and for the Iraq war to just kind of disappear since it began. It's not going away. If you're planning on running for president you'd better understand that.

Fresh Thread

What's going on?

Off to DC

Let's hope after today we never have to hear the names Ken Blackwell or Katherine Harris again.

Mean Jean Voting Problems

Bye Rick

...adding, my polling place was moved this year because the Republicans rammed through a law under some reasonable sounding justifications which put restrictions on what types of locations could be used. The desired consequence was fewer polling places in places like Philadelphia. For me personally I had to walk 3 blocks instead of 2, and there were prominent enough signs at the old polling place, so it was no big deal. Hopefully my experience was common.

Tbogg's Election Predictions

They sound about right.


Go vote!

The Biggest Loser in the World

Watching uber-wanker Mark Halperin on Colbert it really became clear what he's about. He isn't a journalist, he's a salesman. He's so desperate to sell his book he'll say anything.

That's sad. Really sad.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just You Wait

Trolleyvox gets shrill.


Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Paul Glastris asks:

Has it really gotten to the point that journalists are so fearful of being mau-maued, or losing their contracts as TV commentators, that they’re afraid to express basic, incontrovertible facts?


This has been another edition of simple answers to simple qusetions.

Misty Water-Colored Memories

Heckuva job.

Something's Happening


Win or lose, cool stuff going on.

Where They Love This Guy

Apparently the only places in the US where people like religion are Idaho, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming - the only places where Bush's "net approval" is positive.

I'm being generous here, as I'm not sure net approval ratings of +2% and +6% really justify places describing these places as where they love the guy. So, Idaho and Utah it is. The rest of the country is populated by religion hating heathens.

God bless America.


This one's about as easy as predicting tomorrow's sunrise, but I predict that at some point around mid-morning Drudge will come up with some story about suspected voting shenanigans which faults "urban Democrats" and that story will quickly come to dominate all election day coverage of voting problems.

Because, Matt Drudge rules their world.

Cafferty Video

As promised. Some molasses got into the intertubes at Youtube.

Fun With Mark

Boehlert slices and dices our pal Mark Halperin.

Oh My

Cafferty on Rumsfeld:

He's also an obnoxious jerk and a war criminal.

Video soon...

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

I ask myself:

If the harrassing robocalls story was on Drudge, would it then be all over cable news and then the evening newscasts?

Yes, because as Mark Halperin says, "Matt Drudge rules [the liberal media's] world."

This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Kevin asks:

So here's a good question: is the mainstream media even going to bother reporting on the saturation robo-calling currently being funded and coordinated by the National Republican Congressional Committee?


This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

Democracy Corps Pr0n

Final poll shows Democrats lead by 5 on named Congressional ballot in top 50 competitive Republican districts (.pdf).

Wankers of the Day


Khalilzad to Quit

Perhaps it's because six weeks ago he said Maliki had a two month window. His Khalilzad is almost up.

Final Fox

Latest Fox poll has Dems up by 13:

NEW YORK — Nearly half of likely voters — 49 percent — favor the Democratic candidate in their House district and 36 percent the Republican, with 15 percent still undecided in a FOX News poll conducted the final weekend before the midterm elections.

More Democrats (37 percent) than Republicans (26 percent) say they are extremely interested in tomorrow’s elections, and more Democrats (89 percent) than Republicans (81 percent) say they plan to vote for their party’s candidate in their district.

So, that's 4 polls with Dems up by more than 10 points (13+ actually) and 2 3 polls with Dems up by fewer than 10 points.

Pareto Fallacy

The Pareto Fallacy is probably the biggest problem in the economics profession. Economists are aware of it, but it nonetheless infects the way they think and talk about things.

Back in my grad school days Greg Mankiw gave a talk about how much better our public policy decisions would be if only everyone knew a bit more economics. The fact that he had just released an introductory economics textbook was of course pure coincidence. Certainly a better informed electorate would be better, and perhaps make it a bit less likely that people would believe in Tax Cut Ponies and other Republican nonsense, but his thinking was clearly driven by the Pareto fallacy. One example he gave was that if people knew why rent control was bad policy they'd vote against it. Tell that to the fixed income senior, or the family on food stamps. As Yglesias says, policies which increase the size of the pie also change the sizes of the slices. It is in fact a normative judgment to believe that making the pie higher is always better no matter what the distributive consequences. People still need to put food on their families.

Joke Line

Had the immense pleasure of listening to my good friend Joe Klein on Nice Polite Republicans this morning. I learned that Iraq was the "worst foreign policy blunder" in the past 100 years, but that Democrats are unlikely to improve things because they don't know the difference between a brigade and a battalion. I learned that while Americans shouldn't have naively supported the war, it's as much of a mistake for them to naively oppose it as they do now. How this is supposed to impact what is actually smart policy, or what that policy should be, I do not know, as Klein didn't bother to tell me. Most of all I learned that there is no one smarter than Joe Klein, whose genius transcends that of anyone else in politics.

Coincidentally, I had been thinking about Klein this morning. About 4 and a half months ago here's what Joe Klein had to say about Iraq:

[T]he responsible path is the Democrats' only politically plausible choice: they will have to give yet another new Iraqi government one last shot to succeed. This time, U.S. military sources say, the measure of success is simple: Operation Forward Together, the massive joint military effort launched last week to finally try to secure Baghdad, has to work. If Baghdad isn't stabilized, the war is lost.

Klein didn't say how long this "one last shot" should be given, but I generously gave one F.U. Still, it's pretty clear Operation Forward Together hasn't actually been a smashing success. Is the war now lost? If so, what should we do? What is now the responsible thing for responsible serious Democrats to do? Will Klein show them the way?

Since Klein's one last shot began, roughly 325 American troops have lost their lives. That's about enough for a small battalion.

Polling the Polls

Steve Benen throws some cold water on the "race tightening" idea. It might be. It might not. In any case, the generic ballot is fun but it doesn't really mean anything.

Don't forget to vote tomorrow.


Still bouncing:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's popularity has dipped to 35 percent, according to a new CNN poll, with 41 percent of likely voters saying their disapproval of his performance will affect their vote in Tuesday's elections for control of Congress.

Sixty-one percent of the 1,008 adult Americans who responded to the Opinion Research Corp. poll said they disapproved of the way Bush is handling his job as president, according to the survey. The poll was conducted by telephone Friday through Sunday.

This finding represents a two-point decline in Bush's approval rating compared with a CNN poll conducted a week earlier. The decline is within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The new approval rating is four points lower than a survey taken two weeks ago.

Also, I couldn't find it online, but they just reported that their generic ballot has Democrats up 58 to 38.

Republicans Hate You

Nothing left for them but cheating and lying.

Senate Predictions

I predicted +4 earlier, and I'll stand by that, though I'm resisting the temptation to go into detail as someone might demand I delete their fucking account or something.

But place your bets in comments.

48 Hours

Well, 48 hours or so from now I'll probably be contemplating my exit from our little CNN sponsored election night party, either so I can go celebrate in style away from the camera eye or to run away from the taunts of krempasky or boxturtle ben or assrocket or Captain Ed or who knows what kind of weirdass people will be there.

And, then, the next day we get to work. The big mistake in 2004 was that the netroots or whatever the hell we are at some point started deferring to the powers that be, and then post-election disillusionment combined with a leadership vacuum from those powers meant that things stagnated.

Either way, not this time. Time to keep marching. Worry about, and try to affect, the things you have some control over right now. Wednesday morning you can figure out how to do it better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Treehouse of Horror

From tonight's Simpsons. 3 years after the alien invasion.


Link (behind wall):

President Bush isn’t on the ballot tomorrow. But this election is, nonetheless, all about him. The question is whether voters will pry his fingers loose from at least some of the levers of power, thereby limiting the damage he can inflict in his two remaining years in office.

There are still some people urging Mr. Bush to change course. For example, a scathing editorial published today by The Military Times, which calls on Mr. Bush to fire Donald Rumsfeld, declares that “this is not about the midterm elections.” But the editorial’s authors surely know better than that. Mr. Bush won’t fire Mr. Rumsfeld; he won’t change strategy in Iraq; he won’t change course at all, unless Congress forces him to.

At this point, nobody should have any illusions about Mr. Bush’s character. To put it bluntly, he’s an insecure bully who believes that owning up to a mistake, any mistake, would undermine his manhood — and who therefore lives in a dream world in which all of his policies are succeeding and all his officials are doing a heckuva job. Just last week he declared himself “pleased with the progress we’re making” in Iraq.

In other words, he’s the sort of man who should never have been put in a position of authority, let alone been given the kind of unquestioned power, free from normal checks and balances, that he was granted after 9/11. But he was, alas, given that power, as well as a prolonged free ride from much of the news media.

Fresh Thread


Wanker of the Day

Cokie Roberts.

Quote Clipping

For example, Mike Fitzpatrick is running an ad which says something like "a leading Democratic foreign policy expert said Murphy is 'as green as they get.'"

That's true. Suzanne Nossel did in fact write that he is "as green as they get" but she wasn't referring to anything having to do with foreign policy, but instead saying that he was "as green as they get when it comes to campaigning." That was almost a year ago, when Murphy was, in fact, new to the whole campaigning thing.

The Silliest Season

The ads being shown around here are getting meaner and more personal, largely divorced from issues aside from the perpetual "scary liberal raise your taxes" bugaboo. I really think what happens this election is going to depend on whether the message the Republicans are trying to send has become sufficiently divorced from reality that people will tune it out. The ads seem sort of anachronistic to me, like something from 1998 or 2000. But, what do I know.

TV Funhouse

Cliff Schecter has some more fun on MSNBC.

Had Enough?

(via stoller)

Pathological Creeps

Michael Ledeen is such a wanker.

This behavior really is pathological and even infantile. What kind of person just outright lies like this and then lies more in order to cover it up? Is Rich Lowry now convinced that Ledeen's original claim to have opposed the invasion -- which he is re-affirming with this new post -- meets National Review's journalistic "standards"?

People like Ledeen simply can't accept responsibility for anything they do or say, and above all, they can never acknowledge an error or mistake. They are single-minded fundamentalists who believe that they have such a monopoly on what is Good and Right that anything they do -- up to and including blatantly lying and then refusing to admit it when they are caught red-handed -- is justified by the overaching importance of their crusades.

Deceiver and a Liar

From ABCNews:



By Carol McGraw and The Associated Press

In a letter that was read to the congregation of New Life Church this morning, ousted Pastor Ted Haggard said he was guilty of sexual immorality, and he apologized for his acts and requested forgiveness.

"I am so sorry for the circumstances that have caused shame and embarrassment for all of you," he stated. He said he had confused the situation by giving inconsistent remarks to reporters denying the scandal.

"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all
of my adult life," he said.

"The accusations made against me are not all true but enough of them are that I was appropriately removed" from my church leadership position, Haggard also wrote.

He did not give details on which accusations were true.

The sanctuary was full at New Life Church as congregants gathered for their first Sunday service without the leadership of the beloved Haggard.

I really don't know to what extent Haggard personally is a true believer who couldn't live up to his own beliefs or if he's just a garden variety "do as I say not as I do" hypocrite, and frankly I don't really care. Whatever his motives he's spent quite a lot of his life creating miserable people and trying to encourage a culture which drives more people into misery. Saying that gay sexual desire is a sin, and something to be fought against, not only hurts gay people but often their wives and children who are brought on board to perpetuate the self-denial.

Balkin writes:

Viewed from Ted Haggard's perspective-- a man who, despite his shame and guilt, is attracted to other men-- gay marriage and the gay lifestyle really are a threat to heterosexual relationships and heterosexual marriage. That is because they are a threat to his heterosexual identity and his heterosexual marriage. He knows the Devil is always tracking him, waiting for him to slip up. That is because he conceptualizes his sexual desires as sin and as alienation from God, and not as the expressions of something that might actually become valuable to him if accepted them as part of himself. If Haggard accepted that he was bi-sexual or even gay, and that it was morally permissible to be either of these things, he would have to change his understandings of his own desires and what they mean. He would have to view himself and his relationship to God very differently. But he has not been able to accept these things, because he is closeted from himself. That is why he has been a vocal opponent of people he has a great deal in common with.

I don't know how many of the fiercest opponents of gay rights in the religious community have some same-sex desires. I only know that it makes perfect sense that among the very religious those with same-sex desires will be among the most vehement denouncers of gays. It is not simply hypocrisy-- it is also lack of self-knowledge.

The Haggard story is a story not only about Haggard, but about America itself. We are a country with many gay and bi-sexual people who won't accept that it is morally ok to be gay or bi-sexual. Therefore we as a nation hate ourselves, fear ourselves, fight ourselves and try to banish ourselves from the face of the earth. It should be obvious enough that such a strategy is doomed to failure, but the real tragedy is how long-- and at what cost in human suffering-- it will take us to recognize it.

Scooby Snacks

Apparently it would've worked if not for those meddling bitches.

Obviously Karen Hughes and Condoleeza Rice have failed miserably at the jobs I would have wanted them to do, but as far as we can tell they've admirably performed their job duties as given to them by President Bush.

30 Rock

Finally started watching the episodes of Tina Fey's new show. I don't think it's quite found it's rhythm yet, but it's been pretty funny and there's a lot of potential there. And because I'm a bad person, and because Ann Coulter is an even worse person, I quite enjoyed the cheap shot joke from Alec Baldwin's character who said he had been out of the office because he had been "attending a luncheon for Ann Coulter's 60 birthday" or something to that effect.

Keep Dan Gerstein Away from the Computer

Lamont picks up another endorsement, and all the latest news from the LamontBlog.

Ohio Pr0n

Latest poll predicts Dem landslide in statewide races.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Christy has the list. Document the atrocities.


Thank you, oh wise men of Washington, for letting these people run the show.

Morning Thread