Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Frist Out, Biden In (Again)

Bill Frist is not going to run for president. That's not too surprising considering how poorly he managed to run the Senate. And let's not forget the work that he basically just left for the next Congress. (I think that was the pettiest action that grown up politicians could do. A true American embarassment.) Frist would have gotten clobbered, as I think most GOP Senators would. They were very ineffectual and will only be remembered for their string of failures--fair or not.

Biden, Biden, Biden. I don't think he has a shot. Though he is overly "verbose", I think he'd be a decent president. I saw him give the best political speech I ever heard in 2004. At that point, I don't think I was as cynical toward political speeches so that may explain it. But I appreciated what he had to say more than what Clinton or Obama said at the convention. I respect his public service. He's not in my top three, but isn't far behind. Maybe number 5?

Monday, November 27, 2006

My 2008 Favorites List

I needed a little break from that talk I have to give this week so I figured I'd jot down my favorites list for 2008.

Democrats


  • 1. Wesley Clark. I don't have Clark '08 buttons for nothing. I think he is the least polarizing of any potential candidates, which is a big plus to me. He is also bright, having won a Rhodes Scholarship and taught economics at West Point. (He's currently a lecturer at UCLA.) He wowed me in 2004 by the depth of his position papers--he had put out more position papers in his short run than any of the other candidates. Hell, I'm not sure if all the candidates could find Puerto Rico on the map, but he had a position paper on Puerto Rico. He knows his stuff, even though he probably wasn't the best communicator last time around. When it comes to experience, he's way up on the list. He has experience working with leaders from around the world while Supreme Allied Commander (SACEUR). He's well respected internationally and was invited to the 4th Arab Strategy Forum. His prestige on the international scale would be an asset. Little noticed or appreciated is that, as SACEUR, he was responsible for the living conditions (education, health care, etc.) of 150,000 troops, their dependents, and some 50,000 civilians. I find that executive experience more relevant than most people in Congress.

  • 2. Al Gore. I've been following the controversy in the last FL-13 election and am now convinced that Gore really did win enough electoral votes in 2000--not to mention the popular vote. He's got Senate experience and executive experience. I like the combination of both. As VP, he helped make the federal government leaner and meaner (or, in other words, more efficient). I don't have a knee-jerk aversion to taxes like right-wingers, but I loathe government waste. He was part of an administration that generated surpluses and put us in a fiscally sound direction. That's pretty amazing. He is a generally respected leader on the international scene. I rank him behind Clark on this because I think Clark has more first hand experience with international leaders and diplomacy. But I proudly voted for him in 2000--the first Dem for president that I ever voted for!--and not just "against" Bush. We missed out by having the Supreme Court rule on a case that will live in infamy as one of the worst rulings ever. His work on global warming has also been heartening. I hadn't considered Gore before because I didn't think he'd run, but since this is a favorites list, I have him jump up to number two.

  • 3. Bill Richardson. He has a great resume. Former cabinet official. Internationally recognized diplomat. He's called on to talk to North Korea and negotiate for hostages (or captives) in Sudan. As governor he's been involved in a lot of practical solutions. He helped get paper ballots in New Mexico, worked for health care, education and economic development. He also has some street cred on immigration. Unlike Schwarzenegger, he's for solutions that don't involved vigalante groups. I see him more as a VP than a top ticket, but he has surpassed my current number 4 for top of the ticket. I hesitate to include a minority at the top because, I'm not sure I want to find out whether or not racism--which I've experienced first hand--is better or worse than I think it is. In 30 years I don't think this will be much of an issue.

  • 4. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Previously my number two, she's now down to four. I think she's electable and can win both the nomination and the presidency. I'm not concerned about that. I think she's experienced enough and respected internationally. I align with her a lot on the issues and have very little bad to say about her. She's dropped on my list for two reasons. The first is that she's polarizing. I really want to have the country move away from divide and conquer politics. Not that she would do it, but that she gives the GOP ammunition. The second is that she's a Clinton. Don't ge me wrong, I think Clinton was a great president. But in the last 20 years we'll have had only Bushes and Clintons in the White House. I'm ready for a change. This is a hard choice for me because I'd have no qualms about volunteering for her or donating money. I'm more excited about her than Gore. But I am ready for a change. Sorry, Senator Clinton, I really, really like you, but...


Right now, I'd like to see a Clark/Richardson ticket.

Republicans


  • 1. Chuck Hagel. I've already mentioned that I have respect for Senator Hagel. I don't agree with him much, but so far he has demonstrated the least amount of sleeze of potential candidates. Unfortunately, that probably makes him less viable. I think he'd be a disaster if he had his way, but I think he'd be one of the most willing to work with Democrats. His experience in the military and his efforts for veterans are a plus. He seems less hawkish than most--perhaps his military experience doesn't require him to spew testosterone to look tough. I also happen to think that his candidacy would elevate the dialogue instead of cheapen it. My praise is more for his demeanor and level headedness than his position on any issue.

  • 2. Mike Huckabee. I don't know much about him, but he seems to be the most moderate of the potential candidates (now that Romney and Giuliani have sold their souls). He used to be very conservative in Congress, but as Governor he's had to abandon some of the unrealistic positions of conservativism, or at least incorporate moderation into his conservativism. If he had international experience, he'd probably jump up to number one for the GOP. Sadly, his level headedness seems to be a liability for the GOP nomination. I probably agree with him more than I would Hagel, but that's not saying a lot.


I'm interested in others take on GOP candidates. I have an aversion for wealthy people to buy their way into power so Bloomberg--whom I'd LOVE to see win the GOP primary if that were possibile--is almost disqualified. Powell? Would that he'd run and bring some sanity to the GOP. I really want Powell to make up for his UN speech. I had a lot of respect for him until that day. *Sigh*

Boomer Deficits

The "Boomer Deficits" are something that not many young people are talking about--but should. What I mean by "boomer deficits" are the huge budget deficits from the Reagan and Bush II presidencies that skyrocketed the debt. I add "boomer" because, of late, it's largely been the congressional baby-boomers who have amassed such an enormous debt, not to mention the two boomers that are our President and VP. I'll also reiterate, as a Californian, that the baby-boomer in the Governor's Mansion is also contributing to the Boomer Deficit by borrowing money to "balance" the state budget instead of using the general fund, which is the responsible thing to do. (Alternatively, he could be consistent and cut programs as he cuts taxes. Not popular, but at least consistent.)

You can't continue to amass debt and someday it's going to have to stop, and the burden is going to have to be carried by a different generation, probably ours. Additionally, the interest on the debt that we have to pay is going to be paid and is continuing to increase. This will pidgeon-hole much of what we can do in the future.

I'm not into intergenerational fights. In fact, a large amount of my efforts with the Stanford Dems has been to bridge the gap between generations--I feel we have much to learn from each other. I've always extolled the ability of Social Security to dramatically reduce poverty amongst the elderly and will always make sure that I let my Congresspersons and Senators know how important I think S.S. is. That said, I don't think we should deny the fact that the Boomer Deficit is a real thing and that it needs to be addressed. I don't think that the Boomers want to have their legacy include a debt that was passed on to their children. It's time we start asking them to help us out before they all retire.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Soft Spot for Chuck Hagel

Although I think Senator Hagel will continue the domestic disaster of the Bush Administration--after all, he is also a conservative--I now find him to be the last Republican Senator that I could trust. He's been the most consistent GOP critic of the war in Iraq. And unlike McCain, when he calls to respect the freedom of people to disagree with the president, he doesn't use his next sentence to say critics are helping the terrorists. It was nice to see Hagel come out and say how ignorant McCain's proposal to send more troops into Iraq is. From his op-ed in the Post:
The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations...

...We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.
I don't know if he'll run for president, but I'd be happy to see him win the GOP nomination. He has yet to reveal the snake-oil salesmanship that seems to have seeped out of McCain, Guiliani and Romney. I think he's the only GOP contender that could elevate the level of debate, instead of relying on the Rove/Gingrich/DeLay slime that has plagued our country for the last 12 years.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

California GOP trying to work out why they suck so hard

I'm guessing it's something to do with them being the Cal GOP.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Two Discoveries

  • First of all, Mitt Romney seems to think Richard Pombo should be classified as a "success story." Usually, success involves winning, which is something he might need to know when runs for President (and loses) .

  • Second, I think I've found the most politically bizarre donor ever. He lives in Palo Alto and donates to both crazy-ass Tom Tancredo (and the hillariously named "Team America" PAC) & English Language PAC, as well as Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, ACT, the DNC, & the Sierra Club. How would Karl Rove microtarget this guy?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Favorite Campaign Commercial

You all know that I'm a supporter of General Wes Clark for president so it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm posting an ad for him. But I wouldn't do it if the ad wasn't good, like this one:

All We Are Saying Is Give War A Chance

Sen. John McCain was, and continues to be, the biggest cheerleader of the Iraq war--even as the facts make him look absurd. He also seems eager to push the William Kristol line of attack, attack, attack (Iran, Syria, etc.). I don't trust McCain to protect us. As we see every day, going to war in Iraq has made us less safe. I could go on and on, but his judgement about sending more troops to Iraq seems a bit off. At least according to Gen. Abizaid:
Senator McCain, I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the core commander, General Dempsey, we all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American Troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no.
So McCain is off on Iraq. Check. He's courting the religious right with a fervor that not even Bush had. Check. He's adopting the Grover Norquist economic strategy (e.g. starve the government so we can drown it in a bathtub). Check. I thought the 2006 election was evidence that the American people rejected the Bush philosophy. Why then is McCain running to the right of Bush now? If those are the positions one needs to take to win a GOP nomination, I don't think the GOP is going to be around much longer.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

McCain '08

It's funny that the media thought it a story that McCain is running for president. The guy has been campaigning for president since 1999--non stop. I give him props for running one heck of a long presidential campaign.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed McCain's appearance in the talk shows on election night once it became clear that Dems were the overwhelming victors. He looked tired and beaten. It's been a long, hard fought campaign and most of us were tired that night. Though the excitement gave most Dems a second, third and fourth wind--finally. But McCain was beaten on more than the GOP's utter disaster. Though I don't expect him to actually commit suicide.

McCain hitched his pony to the idea that he needed to out-Bush Bush. While Bush threw casual bones to the religious right, McCain openly endorsed and tongue-kissed them. When many Republicans began distancing themselves from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, he was one of their staunchest supporters. Tuesday was a repudiation of Bush and hence everything that McCain has positioned himself as. McCain became W. Bush part two and saw himself getting rejected over and over again--thirty-five times so far (29 House seats, 6 Senate). Millions of people rejected Bushism and by extension rejected McCain.

It's no surprise that McCain appeared so battered and disillusioned on Tuesday. He hitched himself to extremism that the country does not want. He gambled that the country really was a "Right Nation" and it turns out that it is not. Now that he lost this hand, it will be interesting to see what makeover McCain has in store. He went from "straight talk" to "say anything" rather quickly. My guess is that he'll become "say anything so long as it is not straight."

I think McCain is a true American hero and patriot. But nearly a decade of campaigning for president seems to have taken its toll on him. I find that saddest of all. I'd be happy to have McCain circa 2000 back, but I'm not sure that person exists anymore. If so, he's going to have a hard time convincing me he exists.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hmm...

Through much of 2005 California had a governor who was extremely hostile to unions and did his darndest to make them powerless. The unions had to spend millions and millions of dollars trying to defeat his anti-union ballot measures which were staunchly opposed by most union members. Throughout this time, while many Democrats were on the sidelines, cowed by a popular movie star governor, Phil Angelides led a strong fight to protect unions. He stood up for the unions when they needed someone to stick up for him.

I mention this because I took another look at the exit polls for the governors race and noticed that unions gave Schwarzenegger 43% of the vote (only 51% went to Angelides). Angelides went so far on a limb to fight for unions and when he needed someone to fight for him against Schwarzenegger, half of them abandoned him. Wow! Not a way to keep your friends if you ask me.

I'm a former Teamster and have a certain affinity for union organizing. While I have many issues with how a lot of unions are run, I am a very big believer in the need for strong unions. Much of the things workers take advantage of today (child labor laws, safety regulations, 40 hour work week/overtime, benefits, getting paid, etc.) are a result of union organizing. I guess Angelides' advocacy for them didn't mean that much to a lot of them. Either that, or they quickly erased 2005 from their memories. I think its the latter because during the primary, they definitely did the work to get Schwarzenegger elected.

I'm also surprised that LA county barely went for Angelides. With a Democratic mayor who caused quite a stir not too long ago, I'm more than a little disappointed he didn't do more for Angelides. That's not something I'll be forgetting when he thinks about running in '10. It seems like his ambitions took precedent and I find that politically and morally abhorrent. (I'm happy for someone to convice me otherwise. Really, I am.)

Bush's Pants On Fire

What a lieing piece of macaca:
Pushing Bolton after all the partisan fighting earlier is not a show of bipartisanship. He's talking about bipartisanship while simultaneously doing the opposite. People joke that you know Bush is lieing whenever he opens his mouth. It is definitely true today. I wonder if journalists will call a rat a rat and expose this lieing.

So Sad...

I didn't have the heart to open this email yesterday. I'm about as disappointed in Angelides' loss--and shoddy treatment--as I was when Kerry lost. I'll be surprised if there will be another CA gubernatorial candidate as competent and deserving of the office as Angelides any time soon. Yes, I really do think he was that good.
Dear Gilbert,

I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Although we may not have come out on top on Tuesday, together we accomplished some great things.

I'm proud of the campaign we ran. I'm proud that so many of you poured your hearts and souls into something we all believe in so strongly.

I'm proud that our campaign stood for improving California's schools and colleges, making health care accessible for all, protecting our environment, and making California work for working families again.

This has been the most energizing experience of my life.

And today I am more energized than ever because across the country our Democratic values have prevailed. Democrats have taken back the House of Representatives and may also take back the Senate. California's own Nancy Pelosi will become the first woman Speaker of the House in the history of our nation.

With Democrats across the country leading the charge, we must recommit ourselves to the fight.

Together we can - and we must - stop bowing to the special interests, Big Oil and pharmaceutical industries. We must stand up for the Democratic values of fairness and opportunity.

We can make sure that every California child has access to a doctor when he or she needs one. We can make college more affordable and accessible for the next generation. And we can make sure that government is on the side of the working people of this state and this nation.

I look forward to continuing to work and fight with you in the months and years ahead.

Thank you again for all of your support.

Treasurer Phil Angelides

A Pile of Macaca

Bye-bye Sen. Allen. I think this is the money sentence:
Despite millions of dollars in money from the national Democratic Party, Webb never managed to break away from Allen in polls before election day.
We all know that the GOP and Allen didn't spend much and were the underdogs throughout. Heckuva an article! You're doing some fantastic reporting! (Sorry, I've been up for a long time and snarkiness is overactive.)

2008 Prediction

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack will get whalloped in his bid for the presidency. I'd be surprised if he could muster 10% in NY or CA. He's a pretty popular governor so perhaps he'll win Iowa pretty easily. If that's the case, then you have to ask if other candidates will even bother canvassing Iowa and if it's worth their time. That would mean Iowa won't be a bellweather in '08 and all the people there will be ignored--then they'll know how the rest of us feel. This puts more focus on New Hampshire and Nevada. Should he chose to run, I believe Gen. Wes Clark will do really well in both those states amongst Dems--he and his volunteers campaigned pretty hard for candidates that the other potentials didn't even notice, from top of the ticket races to the state legislature.

I think it's obvious that Clark is my top choice in '08, and now that Dems won the Senate, I think this puts Clark in the best position for '08 since Warner is out. The GOP is probably pull their grade school hijinks over the next couple years so I have a hard time imgaining a viable Senate candidate emerging as a clear leader. There are a lot of competent Senators, but most of the well deserving committee chairs don't seem to have presidential ambitions and the ones that do are going to have a hard time getting out of the shadow of Harry Reid, who has been--and hopefully continue to be--a solid leader.

I won't predict Clark will be the nominee--heck I don't even know if he'll run--but I know I'll be helping out. You should too!

More On Schwarzenegger

I'm in the middle of a data collection run right now so I figured I'd brainstorm some reasons why the only age group to go for Angelides was young people (according to CNN exit polls). I'd like really like to see a real study on this, but from my conversations with people around my age is that they thought it was a joke to have this guy as our governor. I think I'll call that the Jon Stewart effect.

I can't overemphasize the fact that most people I talked to feel rather embarassed that Californis chose this guy the first time. I think young people are more skeptical and cynical and didn't necessarily fall for the love fest media coverage of Schwarzenegger's entourage the press corps. Also, young people are more likely to get their information from the web from multiple sources and less suceptible to overly choreographed TV coverage.

Perhaps its the fact that young people are less likely to believe claims of GOP bipartisanship. Few of the young people I talked to have forgotten about Schwarzenegger's about face between 2004-2005 when he was an uber Grover Norquist conservative, rude to Democrats and definitely not into that whole bipartisanship thing if it didn't suit his needs. When I got to ask Schwarzenegger a question on TV, it was about his use of terms like "girlie men" and "stooges" in describing his critics. I didn't forget those days and most of the people I encountered remembered those days as well.

The other thing, and something I frequently mention, is that younger people are just aligning more and more toward Democrats with little interest in voting Republican. For most of our lives, and definitely most of our politically conscious lives, the Republican Party has been corrupt, heartless, hypocritical and overly partisan. Most of us have rejected that whole-sail and want nothing more of it. If this is true, the legacy of Rove, Gingrich and company is that they have created a generation of staunch Democratic partisans. Rove's long term GOP majority probably won't ever come to fruition. With younger people showing signs they are interested in flexing their political muscle, it's likely that Rove's strategy will usher in a long term Democratic majority. (Thanks, Karl "the math" Rove!)

The other thing to consider is the fact that young people are just more progressive by nature. If you look at the exit poll for Prop. 85, young people voted it down 3 to 1, a significantly higher percentage than other age groups. To me, at least, Angelides had a much stronger commitment to progressive ideals. He was a national leader on divestment from Darfur, a cause being fought for by young people across the country.

And then there are, perhaps, people like me. I just took a Zogby poll that had a list of reasons why I voted for Angelides. There are many, but one that's become increasingly important to me is the screwing of my generation through incessant borrowing of money. That is, Angelides wasn't reliant on borrowing money to pay todays bills so that he could be popular. He knew the right thing to do even if it wasn't popular and forcefully argued for it, perhaps to his downfall. Angelides was less willing to give my generation the finger as Bush and Schwarzenegger have done with their borrowing frenzy. I think Democrats need to be a little more sensitive to that to hold on to my votes, and probably many others.

Whatever the reasons, young California Democrats once again got their peers to vote Democratic. Two years in a row. That usually means a bunch of young people are going to be voting strongly Democratic for quite some time.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Please Stop The Plundering

The CNN exit poll for the CA Governor's race is pretty interesting. People 18-29 gave the nod to Angelides while every other age group overwhelmingly supported Schwarzenegger. I'm not surprised. I've been talking about the forthcoming stable Democratic majority for a while to anyone that will listen. More on that later.

I contemplated a very harsh criticism of the older generation but that's useless. Instead, I'd like to beg and plead, right now, for the older generations to quit stealing my future. Please, don't force me to be responsible for paying the debts you incur toay. As the LA Times points out, Californians voted to borrow money to pay for what they want today. Taxes stay the same for now as we continue to borrow, but when the bill collectors come in 20 years, it will be the young people of today who are going to bear the brunt of that burden. That is unfair. Young people fought for social security and will be leading the charge to make damn sure seniors will always have health care and perscription drugs. Do not thank us by digging us further and further into debt.

I am placing the bulk of the blame on older generations because they are responsible for Schwarzenegger's reelection and he has been borrowing money on our future like there's no tomorrow (in 2004 and this year). That is, much of Schwarzenegger's ability to "balance the budget" as has been reported, has relied upon his ability to get the state to pass bond measures. That is not governance. That is cowardice. That is dangerous. That is short sighted. That is unfair. I'm going to fight for the older generations, but I'd like to ask them the fight for my generation as well. Please!

Goodbye and Good Riddance

I know I won't shed a tear.



Update: From CNN:



Got any Rummy resigns pics? Send them to me with source and I'll post em.

Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye

Note to media: Karl Rove is a cheating lieing sack of garbage, not a genius. All his "genius" has done is get us in a losing position in Iraq (while leaving real threats like Iran and N. Korea to run free), generate record deficits, halt progress in science and combating global warming, etc. He's a big fat (well, not fat, he has lost some weight) LOSER. Quit giving him credit he has not earned and does not deserve. I've said it before and I'll say it again: He has nothing but treachery and cheating.

That said, Karl Rove has been helped by a sorry excuse for a legislative branch that deserves to be retired. With 17 seats yet to be decided, Dems have already picked up 28 seats in the House. In the Senate, we are ahead in 51 (as of 1:40 a.m.). We picked up the majority of governors AND the majority of legislatures in the country. Make no mistake, this was a stunning and impressive defeat given the GOP's structural advantages across the board. Their gross incompetence, cynicism and divisive politics has been completely and utterly rejected across the board. America is ready for a positive change and an inclusive government.

The current crop of Republicans has really upset me but I am truly sad to see some decent moderate Republicans go--though they could have done something to reign in on Bush and rightly suffered for it. But, given their incompetence on Iraq, the economy and definitely Katrina, I have only one thing to say:


Cheers to McNerney and those of us who helped canvass for him. Thanks for all your effort and hard work. Democracy is about participation and it has been fun working with so many different people! You all rock:



Here's to a better America!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jump

I'm off to work for a bit then to help out at the polls. This is a really cheezy video, but you can't have a party without this classic:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Final Plug for Angelides

Is the guy as photogenic as Westly or Schwarzenegger? Definitely not. Is he more competent and better versed on specifics relating to the issues? Definitely. He's been a phenomenal state treasurer when most state treasurers don't really do anything. He has instituted nationally recognized programs in investment and smart growth and started a program that gives teachers the opportunity to get good loans for houses near their school. It shocks me that one of the most competent candidate for governor--including those seeking reelection--is not running away with this one like Spitzer. Few treasurers have done as much as Angelides. His ideas for the future far surpass anything that Schwarzenegger has proposed. A vote for Angelides is a vote for a California that takes the lead in smart, responsible government. A vote for Angelides is a vote for a sane economic policy that doesn't pass the buck to future generations (i.e. you and me) by using loans (e.g. bonds) to pay for things while leaving taxes untouched and all but ensuring dangerous structural deficits. Angelides will take off the cosmetics and get to work on the real problems as very, very few in the country are capable of.

Examining Schwarzenegger's "governance", you see that he's been able to "balance" the budget by passing the buck onto future governors through bond measures. We had them in 2004 and again in 2006. This is the same "governance" as Bush. Unfortunately, the fellatial media coverage by an enamored, salivating press corps doesn't even mention this fact. And when it comes to "bipartisanship", it was tough guy Schwarzenegger who called hard working autoworks and steel workers "girlie men", not to mention many California Democrats. It was this same governor who the press orgasms over in mentioning his bipartisanship that called Democratic critics "stooges" and tried to completely buck the legislature in an expensive and needless special election. A vote for Schwarzenegger or Camejo is a vote against the real future of California and a free-pass to the media for failing to cover the issues in an intelligent way.

You may have noticed that I've used a very sexual context here. I'll have to be forgiven, I just finished watching this clip:

Lucky Lamont?

I thought it was stupid for Lamont to run and still think it was a stupid decision. The whole race is a freak show. But that freak show may be just what Lamont needs to win.

Will Lamont convince people that he is a competent Democrat? He needs to win Dems decidedly and I'm not sure he is in that position. He also needs enough independents and I'm not sure he is there yet either. But, in a twist of fate, I think it might be the Republican playing the role of the spoiler for the third party candidate. I'm not convinced that the oppressed white male and anti-tax crusaders that make up the base of the GOP will be able to vote for Lieberman over Schlesinger. At least not on the scale that polls are predicting. I'd guess Schlesinger needs to pull 20% for Lamont to have an obvious win by night's end. 15% will make it close. 10% will make it a real long shot. Anymore than that and I think CT will elect a man who named a political party after himself.

This would be my darkhorse race along with Pederson in AZ. The other darkhorse would be a closer than expected finish by Angelides. Schwarzenegger is struggling to get 50% despite having been fellated incessently by an embarassingly infatuated press.

Don't Forget Karen Sinunu

I forgot to include Karen Sinunu on my recommendations list. But she'd be a great D.A. and deserves her own post. She wrote the book on Hate Crimes!

GOTV With The Stanford Democrats

Yesterday some of the Stanford Dems went to go help Jerry McNerney beat up on the scary Richard Pombo...and I took some pictures. I didn't get in the pictures, but here are some of the highlights.

There were some people who seemed to have a harder time waking up than others.



Then they had to learn more about how great Jerry was.


Then get to work planning




And of course take to the streets. (Caitlin is conspicuously absent from most of the pictures, but that's a story you have to ask her about.)


If you didn't make it, you missed a good, productive time. Jerry's supporters have been breezing through the walk lists--not to mention the DoW and other groups who are a little tired of Pombo. From my experience, the undecideds were breaking toward Jerry and the leaners were getting more excited about him as well. More people are paying attention and more people are liking what they see in McNerney, the far better candidate of the two. Hopefully he gets to join Congress and use some of his expertise in alternative energy!

Sabato's Prediction: 29 and 6

It seems like more and more are predicting close to what I did three weeks ago. Sabato's Crystal Ball predicts Dems will pick up 6 in the Senate and 29 in the House (I predicted 6 and 32).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Election Endorsements

I had to take a deep breath after my last post to calm down a little. Since I've been asked by several people now my prefrences for this election, here goes:

  • Governor: Angelides all the way. He may look like a nerd, but he has his stuff together. He's bright and knows more about the details of the issues than Schwarzenegger ever will. He's one of the best state Treasures--if not thebest--of my lifetime. I really believe he'd be the best governor of my young lifetime (which includes Bill Clinton). Any policy wonk would love this guy, even if the media has already made love to Schwarzenegger.

  • Congress (14th CD, Senate): I love Anna Eshoo as a Rep. and am proud to be in her district. She's a great person, good on the issues and a forceful advocate. She rocks. Feinstein should romp her opponent and I'm happy to vote for her.

  • Lt. Gov: Garemendi. This is not really very hard. McClintock is a constant candidate that's just way too extreme. Garemendi has a good resume and is needed to counter a possible reelection of Schwarzenegger. (I'm not sure if will have candidate "bipartisan" Schwarzenegger or the "quit being economic girlie men" Schwarzenegger who we got when he wasn't facing election.)

  • Treasure, Sec. State, Attorney General, Controller, Insurance Commissioner: Bill Lockyear (he was a close second for me in terms of governor, but didn't run); Debra Bowen will be a leader in making sure our state is a leader in fair and audited elections, no question about this one; Jerry Brown has experience and is generally OK; Chiang for controller to replace Westly; Bustamante for IC--Poizner is a billionaire conservative Republican trying to buy himself into the governors mansion however he can. He'll be out of a job (which seems to be running for office after office) if prop. 89 gets passed since his money won't mean as much.

Propositions:

  • 1A-E: It looks like Schwarzenegger may win. Since Schwarzenegger (and the Dem. legislature) don't know how to pay-as-you-go, this is the only way the state will pay for important infrastructure. I hate governing using credit cards but with Republican executives, that seems like the only way. I had to bite my tongue to vote yes--some of the stuff is needed--but I wouldn't be upset if people voted it down. It would force Schwarzenegger to make tough decisions--something the press seems unwilling to do, even though these decisions will have to be made sooner or later.

  • Prop 84: I think this is one of the least offensive measures on the ballot.

  • Prop. 85: I place more value on women's lives than for cells, I have no problem admitting that. This was on the ballot last year and lost--and for a reason. If you need the government to parent for you, then you probably shouldn't be parenting. This won't affect good parents, but will put young women and girls in abusive families in danger. Bad idea last year. Bad idea this year. Bad idea when they try again next year.

  • Prop. 86: I don't smoke, but I'd pay more for a bottle of wine if it went to treat alcoholism and it's affects. When big tobacco is the major source of funding for the anti-86 ads, it means we are probably onto something good. This is onto something good.

  • Prop. 89: Yes, yes, yes, and yes! This is greatly needed. Money in politics is a cancer on the system. Money prevents good candidates and public servants from running for office. I find that a shame. For me, this is much more about promoting candidates than removing special interests. The founders wanted to make our government accessible to everyone so we don't end up with an aristocracy running the country. Most Senators are millionaires and you have to be a millionaire just to be competetive. Governors races are becoming the same (The top three: Schwarzenegger, Westly, and Angelides are all wealthy.) Two years ago Steve Poizner spent over $7 million for a state assembly race. If that's what it takes, then we have an aristocracy. It's time to end this insanity.

  • Prop. 90: NO! This is horrible and goes way beyond answering Kelo. It's one of the worst props that have been on the ballot since I've been in california. Bad, bad, bad.

  • Props. 83, 87, 88: I don't advocate either way on these. Prop. 83 is great in concept, but probably too restrictive and poorly constructed--there are strong arguments for and against this. I also think 87 is poorly constructed, but good in concept. I'm generally against parcel taxes but for school funding so 88 is a tough one.

GOP: Grand Old Pieces-of-crap

I normally like to keep a civil tone and not resort to ad hominems because I feel they aren't very productive. But the recent GOP "strategy" (or do they call it "tactics" this week?) is beyond cynical. It's a perversion of Democracy, and an embarassment to them and the country. First there are the disgusting phone scams the GOP has been peddling to suppress Democratic voters:
For the second straight day yesterday, Democratic field offices received dozens of phone calls and e-mails from frustrated voters upset about repeated automated phone calls they thought were coming from Democratic candidate Paul Hodes - though the calls were paid for by a Republican group instead.

The National Republican Congressional Committee spent nearly $20,000 on the calls last week. Depending on the rate, that could mean more than 300,000 automated phone calls into the Second Congressional District.

Incumbent Republican Congressman Charlie Bass denounced the calls yesterday and said he tried to get the NRCC to put a stop to them. But a spokesman for the NRCC said the automated phone calls would continue indefinitely.

"The calls will continue as planned," said Alex Burgos, a spokesman for the NRCC, the national group charged with electing Republicans to the House. "They are done independently of Charlie Bass's campaign. He has nothing to do with them."
(More here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Then, the psuedo-racist ad in Tennessee seems to have influenced that senate race:
Also, a much-discussed Republican ad suggesting that Ford, who is black, dated white women had some impact, the poll showed. Among the third who admitted they were impacted by the ad, they broke for Corker over Ford by a 2-1 margin.
We all know that the GOP doesn't really have a problem with collecting money from pornographers.

Oh, and don't foget the voting machine absurdities:
Poll workers are to remind every voter to look out for the 13th Congressional District race on the electronic ballot after at least four people complained that their initial votes for Democrat Christine Jennings weren't recorded.

...The voters who complained say they picked Jennings, but the 13th Congressional District had no vote registered for either Jennings or Republican Vern Buchanan when a screen reviewing their votes came up.
Shame on perpetrators of these scams and shame on those who vote to support them. This is Karl Rove's "genius" at work. He's done this in 2000, 2002, 2004 and now. He and the GOP cheat to win. That's the only way they can.

CA-11 and NM-01

I'm off to go make sure that McNerney wins! Things are looking better in this race. Also, an Albquerque Journal Poll has Patsy Madrid up by 4 two days before the election. I'd prefer Madrid to be up by twice that, but the Journal seems to be a bit slanted to the GOP by a few points. In '04, Wilson, the GOPer, was up a few points a couple days before the election. Early voting seems to give an edge to Democrats and unlike last time, I expect more "undecideds" to break for Madrid than Wilson. Hopefully their GOTV effort in NM-1 remains strong. (And I wish I were there right now. Sigh.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nostalgia

In the mid to late 90s, I was young and optimistic. Almost everyone agreed the country was headed in the right direction. The economy was great. More people were going to college. For the first time, minorities were actually increasing their net worth. Poverty was beginning to decline. The hatred and vitriol of today's politics hadn't completely infected and perverted civil discourse. Friends weren't having to go to war. People were happy. Other countries liked the U.S. Yeah, good times. Especially for a young person trying to find himself in Seattle.

I'm a dork, I know. But listening to Shakira's earlier stuff (particularly, from her early album) always makes me nostalgic. So, here ya go. One of my favorites and kinda makes me long for the political innoncence I once had. Sigh.

For some reason, George Allen isn't so popular these days...


Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'm Not The Only One

Who's predicting Dems will win 32 seats:
Three political scientists, Joseph Bafumi, Robert Erikson and Christopher Wlezien, have recently released a paper that forecasts the level of seat shifts from the generic congressional vote question, using model-based computer simulations of the 435 individual House contests.

The gruesome methodological details may be found in the paper, but the bottom line is that their simulations predict a 32 seat pickup for the Democrats. As we shall see when we get to the race by race data, this is not such a crazy prediction.
Update:It looks like Jonathan Singer at MyDD has updated his prediction to exactly what I predicted: 32 House seats and 6 Senate seats.