What do Democrats and Cubs fans have in common?

…they assume that something will go wrong until proven otherwise. Great line by Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight.com.

Despite its unabashed (and clearly announced) pro-Democratic stance, this site is my source of information about political polling. They survey all the polls, weight them for a number of factors and come up with results that to my eyes are the best out there.


The real question about Sarah Palin

I do not care about her kids. Anyone asking how she couldn’t be home with the new born and/or oldest daughter is a sexist idiot. I hope the experience with her eldest makes Gov. Palin give a long rethink on the topic of abstinence only education, but that is an issue that is for her and her heart and not germaine to what it is she will be asked to do.

I am fascinated by the fact that she is the only candidate who will get a raise if she wins. The governor of Alaska currently earns $83,280. The veep gets $208,100.

The chief reason I think she shouldn’t be a heartbeat away from becoming president has nothing to do with her gender. it is that she is a creationist. If she herself doesn’t believe in creationism she has said that it should be taught in schools. If you are going to teach creationism as science — as opposed to teaching the Bible as literature which I am all in favor of — then you must also teach the Cthulhu Mythos and Flying Spaghetti Monster as science.

Still there is one essential question that I am positive was overlooked in the vetting process: Has the governor or any one in her family ever played Dungeons & Dragons?

C’mon you intrepid journalists! This one has Pulitzer all over it!

The tea leaves continue to suggest that things are not going well for Sen. McCain. David Frum, NPR’s token conservative, said that the Palin pick came about because McCain had seen some troubling internal poll numbers that said he had to make a big risk if he wants to win.

Also Political Wire says

My prediction: This is not going to be close in the final count.

Republicans prove they’re smarter than Dems: The leading GOP presidential candidate is None Of The Above

I don’t care if he’s dead. I’m voting for Pat Paulsen. Or Pogo. Or Willie Nelson. Or Chris Rock. Yeah, I’m voting for Chris Rock.

Democrat makes brilliant grab for the gun-nut vote

The junior senator from Virginia has turned a potential felony into a brilliant marketing move. Yesterday one of Democratic Sen. Jim Webb’s aides got busted  for taking a loaded weapon belonging to the lawmaker into a Senate office building. Today Sen. Webb explained he felt the need to carry a gun to protect himself.

I believe it’s important, it’s important for me personally and for a lot of people in a situation that I am in, to be able to defend myself and my family,” said the veteran and former Reagan cabinet member.

Now that’s taking away a Republican issue.

If nothing else it pretty much guarantees that Webb will carry Texas should he ever be masochistic enough to run for president. As of today Texas seems to have removed whatever remaining limits the state had on being able to shoot your fellow human being.

A law signed today by Gov. Rick Perry allows for the reasonable use of lethal force if an intruder is:

  1. Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes
  2. Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place
  3. Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.

OK, I can sort of see #’s 1 & 3. But No. 2 suggests I can shoot anyone who comes to my house and bugs me. “Look out honey! It’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses!”

Master Sgt. Big Brother Collateral Damage (USArmy) is our official ambassador to Gun-Nut Nation and even he gets nervous whenever they broaden the “right to shoot” laws. He’s already spent enough time in a country filled with untrained amateurs who felt no compuntction about firing their weapons. It was called Iraq.

“Other state’s are trying to abolish the death penalty… mine’s putting in an express lane.” — Ron White, one of my favorite comedians, on his home state of Texas.

(Graphic via Star Spangled Ice Cream.)

News of the weekend in review, Part 1: Hillary

A woman, an African-American and a Hispanic-American walk into a bar … er … run for president. For all the noise that has been made about Hillary and Barack, I wouldn’t be surprised if the eventual Democratic nominee is the other person who announced this weekend: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Richardson has one clear advantage over nearly everyone else running for the nomination: He’s not a senator. (He also has a huge advantage over Biden/Kerry, etc. He’s neither a senator nor either one of them.) The U.S. doesn’t much care to send senators to the White House. Last one to make the leap via election — JFK. Before that you have to go back to … Taft? We like governors.  Richardson and Iowa Gov. Tom Vlisack, who is also running in case you forgot, have a slight drawback in that the public generally goes for unemployed governors — but that’s just a bump in the road.

Richardson’s other advantage when it comes to building a brand is that he actually has experience doing stuff as an ambassador and sec. of energy and congressman. Although experience in these areas is vastly more important to the press than it is to the public. Indeed experience means there is a trail of things for the press and your opponents to feed on, which is one reason why Obama is enjoying the coverage he is: He’s the political version of the Virgin Birth right now. He’s also smart and charming as hell, the latter being his biggest difference from Hillary.

From a pure brand perspective, Richardson has a huge disadvantage: his name. Hillary. Barack. Elvis. Cher. Coke. Those one word brand names are a big plus.

About Hillary: Why declare on a Saturday? I’m guessing she knows how much flack she’s going to get and so didn’t want to have a huge kick-off to Hillary Hunting Season. It was the headlines on Sunday and by Monday it’s old news and the baying press corps have moved on to new targets for the time being. Another thing in Hillary’s favor, she has been so demonized that people are always pleasantly surprised when they encounter the actual person and not the creature of rhetoric. People may not like her any more than they did before but they do start to suspect she’s a bit different than what they’ve been told.

Say what else you care to about Barack, Hillary and Richardson — they are possibly the smartest group ever to run for the Dem. nomination, so it should be a fun ride.

Victory so un-nerves some Dems they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again

In the wake of last week’s election victories the Donkey Party is now struggling to see if it can decapitate itself by getting rid of Howard Dean, the person largely responsible for the win.

The New Republic reports:

Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.

Apparently James “Big Wind” Carville and others want Harold Ford in and the yelling man out.

“I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.” — Will Rogers.

And somewhere a Republican is shouting, “Yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Here’s Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the head of the DNCC, telling Carville off:

“James. No James, YOU LISTEN,” Emanuel barked into a cell phone, about to release a string of profane invectives more intense than usual. “Can you listen for one [expletive] minute? I’m working these campaigns all the time. The campaigns all have different textures.” His wiry body tensed, his voice breaking with stress. Emanuel shouted, “If you don’t like what you see, I highly recommend you pick up the … phone and do it yourself.”

This is from a great story in The Chicago Trib about last Tuesday’s results and what it took to turn around a losing brand. Emanuel is no great Dean fan either, it seems, but as Emanuel was out there in the thick of things I’ll give his opinion a lot more credence than I will Mr. 1992-sure-seems-like-a-long-time-ago.
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