Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Call

Consider this an open thread for election night.

Things are looking bad for the Dems, and that MSNBC is predicting a far better night for the GOP than expected.  We'll see tomorrow.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

No matter what happens tonight, Jim Pethokoukis still is the worst pundit ever.  Reasons why the Dems are doomed?

19. The Internet. It allowed thousands of average Americans to organize and network into what became the Tea Party movement.

I will store a hammer in his empty, empty skull because he is such a complete toolbag.

A Point For The Good Guys

As ABC News tells Andrew Breitbart "Thanks, but you're fired."

Dear Mr. Breitbart,

We have spent the past several days trying to make clear to you your limited role as a participant in our digital town hall to be streamed on ABCNews.com and Facebook.   The post on your blog last Friday created a widespread impression that you would be analyzing the election on ABC News.   We made it as clear as possible as quickly as possible that you had been invited along with numerous others to participate in our digital town hall.  Instead of clarifying your role, you posted a blog on Sunday evening in which you continued to claim a bigger role in our coverage.  As we are still unable to agree on your role, we feel it best for you not to participate.

Andrew Morse

Naturally, the wingers are going bugnuts saying that Brietbart is being "muzzled" and ABC "caved to fascist liberal pressure."   Interestingly enough the winger site trumpting this the most is Breitbart's own Big Government site.

The Left nauseatingly pays lip service to the terms “tolerance” and “diversity.” In reality, they are highly intolerant and they hate diversity, particularly diversity of thought. They hate free markets and really loathe free marketplaces of ideas. As such, the stompy foot temper tantrums were in full force when it was announced that Andrew Breitbart and Dana Loesch, would be participating in ABC’s election night coverage. A coordinated effort between the usual suspects immediately, and predictably, sprung up. How dare ABC include people who won’t merely spout the Left’s talking points and somehow blame George W. Bush and people too stupid to understand the “nuance” of Democrats and their policies?

And you wondered why ABC dropped the guy.

Shutdown Countdown, Part 2

Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus is the latest member of the GOP to threaten a government shutdown if Obama doesn't give in to their demands.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the top GOP member of the influential House Financial Services Committee, said Republicans should be prepared to be "brave" in the face of a shutdown.

“I would think when we send the spending bills to the president he will veto them, and then the hard vote will be when he sends them back and we will be faced with another situation where he will probably try to force us to shut government down and we are going to have to be brave this time," Bachus explained on the Fox Business Network.

Republicans are optimistic they will retake control of the House in Tuesday's elections, setting up a showdown between Obama and the GOP on taxes and spending, among other issues. Bachus could be chairman of the key committee if he's able to successfully fend of a challenge to his position when Republicans choose committee spots after the election.

Yeah, so not only would this clown be Wall Street's new House cop, he's already giving us the "You know it would be a shame if we have to shut down your government if we don't get everything we want" line.

But remember, the Republicans will work with the President if we put them in charge, right?

Some Much Needed Perspective

To those folks who are just too cool to vote and would rather just run down to the coffee shop for some java, remember that you live in a place where the Starbucks don't tend to explode.

Sixteen bombs went off across Iraq's capital on Tuesday, many at coffee shops full of civilians. Officials said the death toll was at least 42, but that number could keep climbing as rescuers reach the scenes.

"Ten cars exploded with bombs inside them. There were also four roadside bombs and two sticky bombs," said Baghdad security spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi. "(They were) all in Shiite neighborhoods."

Officials said more than 100 people were injured.

As I was telling my friend today, too many people who are much better human beings than I will ever be sacrificed too much for me not to be able to vote, and America used to be a place where someone like myself didn't have the right to do so. That changed because people gave a damn and wanted to see it change.

So you can get off your ass now and go vote, thank you.

Invasion Of The Centrist Daleks

The "sensible center" of the Dems, think tank Third Way, is ready to make Obama triangulate by any means necessary, apparently.

The group has spent months preparing to capitalize on this moment and take a more central role in the party.

And it’s coming down squarely on the side of centrism — and planning to vigorously challenge the left.

“The party is about to come to a major fork in the road,” said Jonathan Cowan, Third Way’s president. “A left turn at this juncture is a turn toward permanent minority status.”
Hey firebaggers? Here's your bad guy, not Obama.

The group is commissioning a post-election poll, to go into the field Wednesday, which will explore why people who voted to elect Obama president in 2008 either backed Republicans or stayed home Tuesday. A sample of 500 “flippers” and 500 “droppers” will be questioned about what they want to see from Democrats going forward. The results are due next week.

In addition, the group’s fellows and policy advisers will start rolling out memos and studies that offer a framework for how Democrats could reach common ground with Republicans. The economic team is developing a proposal that it thinks could win bipartisan support. It includes tort reform and incentives for research and development. And Cowan’s writing a paper with a colleague about “the danger of left-wing economic populism.”

With cap and trade effectively dead in a Republican House, Third Way will release a “Plan B” for energy reform. On Dec. 7, it’s hosting a summit on nuclear energy — one of the group’s big causes — with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Obama energy czar Carol Browner.

It will come out with a paper on the need for changes that could save Social Security, which it presents as a direct challenge to economist Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist who has said Obama didn’t go far enough with the stimulus and other programs.

And the group will advocate for education reform that focuses on middle-class, not low-income, schools. Third Way is also pushing for more trade agreements and a new approach to immigration.

Let's be honest here. These guys want to make Obama into a moderate Republican with Social Security reforms cuts for younger Americans, education reforms cuts, alternative energy reforms cuts, and working with surrendering to Republicans, everything they figure they need to get baby boomers back into the Democratic fold.

If you think that'll fool anybody, I'm sure the Republicans are counting on your vote.

Compromising Position

If anyone still at this late hour is convinced that House Republicans have any intention of working with President Obama to solve America's problems, allow Dan Benishek of Michigan to disabuse of the notion.  Here's his commercial against Bart Stupak of MI-1:

Any questions on that whole "work together to help the American people" thing?

You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Moose's About You

Would someone care to explain to me why this election is supposedly really about a woman who lost in 2008, quit in 2009, and isn't on the ballot or in office in 2010?

“There is a determined, focused establishment effort ... to find a candidate we can coalesce around who can beat Sarah Palin,” said one source.

“We believe she could get the nomination, but Barack Obama would crush her.”

Speaking on Fox News, where she is employed as an analyst, Mrs Palin said: “This is a joke to have unnamed sources tearing somebody apart limb by limb.

“If they would man up and if they would, you know, make these claims against me then I can debate them, I can talk about it, but to me they’re making stuff up again.”

She continued: “I don’t think the paper that we just printed this article on, you know, it’s not worth even wrapping my King Salmon in. I’ll just ignore this crap.”

Earlier, she called KTVA television station in Alaska “corrupt bastards” after a recording emerged in which reporters were purportedly discussing how to sabotage the Senate campaign of Joe Miller, the Tea Party candidate backed by Mrs Palin.

“I can’t wait until it busts out all over the nation to show what it is that we, kind of what I put up with for two years now with the media,” she said. 

Do we not have more serious things to worry about here in 2010 other than Sarah Palin's obviously bruised ego, people?


The Sixteen Percent Solution

Sixteen percent:  that's Nate Silver's final odds of the Dems keeping the House.

Our forecasting model, which is based on a consensus of indicators including generic ballot polling, polling of local districts, expert forecasts, and fund-raising data, now predicts an average Republican gain of 54 seats (up one from 53 seats in last night’s forecast), and a median Republican gain of 55 seats. These figures would exceed the 52 seats that Republicans won from Democrats in the 1994 midterms.

Moreover, given the exceptionally large number of seats in play, the Republicans’ gains could be significantly higher; they have better than a one-in-three chance of winning at least 60 seats, a one-in-six chance of winning at least 70 seats, and have some realistic chance of a gain exceeding 80 seats, according to the model.

However, the same factors that could provide Republicans with extraordinarily large gains if their turnout is strong tomorrow could also cut against them if Democrats turn out in greater numbers than expected, or if the polling has underestimated the Democrats’ standing.

It's that last caveat that I think will break in the Dems favor in a lot of close races.  Yes, a lot of seats are in play, 100+ by some counts.  The odds of the GOP taking all 100 of them are slim to none, but if the polls are underestimating the Dems, it could be a very shocking night.  Nate also has his reasons to believe the Dems may survive this mess and it's worth a read.  He concludes:

The case that Democrats could do better than expected — not well, by any means, merely better than expected — rests a little more in the realm of what artists call negative space: not what there is, but in what there isn’t. There aren’t 50, or even more than about 25, districts in which Republican candidates are unambiguous favorites. There isn’t agreement among pollsters about how the enthusiasm gap is liable to manifest itself. There isn’t any one poll or one forecasting method that is clairvoyant, or that hasn’t made some pretty significant errors in the past.

Instead, the case for Democrats is basically: yes, the news is bad, it just isn’t exactly as bad as you think, or at least we can’t be sure that it is. This isn’t a sexy argument to make.

Nor, probably, will it turn out to be the correct one; more likely than not, Republicans will indeed win the House, and will do so by a significant margin. But just as Republicans could beat the consensus, Democrats could too, and nobody should be particularly shocked if they do.

Not a lot to hang your hat on as a Dem, but there are legitimate ways the Dems can hold the House, just as there are legitimate ways the Republicans could have the best midterm in a century.

Vote.  I did.  I live in freaking Kentucky.  Odds are pretty good you live in a state with somewhat better prospects for the Democrats.

Other Propositions

It's not just candidates out there being decided on, but a number of propositions as well.  None is more controversial than California's Prop 19 legalizing marijuana, but that faces an uphill battle as California seniors are overwhelmingly against it by a nearly 3 to 1 margin.

Kevin Drum has a rundown of the rest of California's propositions this year.  The most interesting one is Prop 23, which would strike down the state's greenhouse gas emissions laws until the state was under 5.5% unemployment, effectively meaning never.

Prop 25 would allow California to pass a budget with a simple majority instead of requiring a 2/3rds majority, and given the state's hideous budget battles, I bet it passes.

On the other hand, Prop 26 would add the 23rds majority requirement on any local fee increases, and Prop 27 would eliminate all the state's redistricting reforms, so there's a lot at stake in the Golden State other than Mary Jane.

Remember, one out of seven of us live in California, so these propositions will have a major impact on the country as well.

Vote.  I'm heading out right now.

StupidiNews, Election Day Special!

Polls are open here in Kentucky folks, so as soon as I get done with this, I'm going to go take care of business.

So after you get done reading this, get out there and vote if you haven't already.
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