Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Ocean State
So here's the deal in Rhode Island.

1. They have 2 Senators (yeah I know it seems like too many, but it's in the Constitution...)

2. One of them is Republican Linc Chafee; probably the most moderate Republican Senator he has been endorsed by NARAL and most unions. He votes with the Democrats quite a bit, and some have suspected that he will eventually pull a Jeffords and go Independent.

3. The RNC knows that he is the only Republican this side of Lieberman who can actually hold onto this seat. Rhode Island is not, surprise surprise, a Republican stronghold; Chafee's popularity is the only thing that keeps this from being the easiest Dem pick-up since...since...well let's not get into that.

4. Cranston (evidently it's a city) Mayor Steven Laffey is running against Chafee (no their names don't rhyme) in the Republican primary. Laffey is running as a "true" conservative and it turns out that there are some real Republicans in Rhode Island; or at least enough for Laffey to give Chafee a run for his money in the primary.

5. If Laffey wins the GOP primary he will lose badly to the Democratic nominee. If Chafee wins the GOP primary he could still hold onto his seat (although I wouldn't bet on it).

6. The RNC and the NRSC (National Repub Senatorial Cmte.) are in the awkward position, and one that some of the more conservative GOP donors are very uncomfortable with, of attacking the conservative and putting lots and lots of money behind the much more liberal Chafee.

7. This is a good thing for the Democratic Party.

8. The NRSC has spent over $180,000 defending Chafee. Money that they could have spent in defense of vulnerable incumbents/open seats in Tennessee, or Missouri, or Pennsylvania, or Ohio, or Montana...

9. That's a lot of money.

10. I love Rhode Island.

In Today's Potential Apocalypse News...
So maybe we should take a break from worrying about Hurricanes, Tsunamis, terrorism, Dick Cheney, roadside bombs, global warming etc. and start worrying about black holes.

Turns out that the broodiest objects in the universe aren't the stationery loners we always thought they were. Astronomers are thinking that some black holes are just wandering around the universe waiting for a hapless planet to snare. They're called "renegades" or "rogue black holes" (move over North Korea!) and they might be closer than you think.

Here's the article.

So what would actually happened if a black hole popped into the solar system for a snack? Well we'd all die horrible deaths; the only suspense is how it would happen. The "nomad" could suck us out of our orbit and send the earth out into space to freeze. Or it could knock us into the sun, burning us up. I need to note that both these scenarios were in that Twilight Zone episode, you know the one I'm thinking of.

This could happen, it's unlikely, but hey they said that about the Red Sox.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006
I Just Realized Something

I LOVE Kinky Friedman

And when you look at things, he just might be able to pull out a victory.

Go to his website if you dont' know who he is.
Basically, he's a cigar smoking, whisky drinking, country music singing (his band is called Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys), mystery novel writing, larger than life, Texan. And he's running for Governor.

His two campaign slogans are:
1. Why the Hell Not?
2. How hard can it be?

He is also one of the most honest, straight talking, and natural people who have ever run for any office.

So there are five candidates running for Governor of Texas. Incumbent Republicanazi Rick "Great Hair" Perry, Democrat Chris Bell, Indepent Carole Stayhorn, Independent Kinky Friedman, and the Libertarian who I'm sure has a name and is a nice guy but I can't remember it and don't really want to look it up right now.

There is every reason to believe that the winner will clock in under at 50% (that's why I included the Libertarian; in a race this close a canned ham could make a difference).

Bell has the personality of a skin disease, but could easily pull 15% just from straight party voters that are confused by all the other names on the ballot. Let's give 2% to the Lib.

Strayhorn is known around the state and if she raises enough money she could draw up at least 18%. Some newspaper polls (not very reliable, but hey why not) show Kinky in second place to Perry; so let's roll with that and say that Kinky pulls at least 25%. That gives the election to Perry with a wopping FORTY percent.

These are quick numbers, but I think they're fairly realistic. Lots of people will automatically vote for Bell because he's a Dem; a few will automatically vote for the Lib because he's a Lib.

It's hard to judge support for Kinky and Strayhorn, but they are reaching lots of voters, getting lots of press, and starting to raise lots of money (last time I checked, that's all you need to run a competitive race).

Lots of people in Texas are fed up with both parties. Liberals hate the weakness of the Texas Democratic Party; an increasing number of Republicans are tired of the extremity of the State Party, and the general incompetence of the National Party.

Perry still has to be considered the favorite to win, but the state is ready to vote for someone different, someone weird, someone a hell of a lot like Kinky Friedman.

He's probably the most liberal candidate running for any position anywhere in the country, but he presents it in such a common sensical way that conservatives find themselves agreeing with him. He appeals to everyone, and he is beginning to actually present ideas.

There are lots of questions here obviously: 1. People laugh, but will they vote for him? 2. Will very serious people vote for someone insane? 3. Will he be able to raise any money or outside support from those that matter? 4. Won't people who think they'll vote for him just panic in the booth and vote for a more traditional candidate?

These are all the same questions asked about Ned Lamont, Arnold and Jesse Ventura. Of course they were also the questions asked about Howard Dean, Ross Perot and George McGovern--we know how those turned out.

Stay tuned for more on Kinky...

Read the Comments to discover 1. Why I'm Wrong About Kinky and 2. Why Kinky Isn't A Liberal.

My Thoughts on Little Joey's Big Problems

I’ve been asked a couple of times what I think about the whole Ned Lamont thing up in Connecticut (yes, people do ask me about politics, well, two people) and am going to take up some bandwidth opining about it.

Who Actually Got Him Elected:

The thing that strikes me the most is that this has provided the rightwingosphere the opportunity they’ve been looking for to finally go for the blogosphere’s throat. Yes, every lefty blog this side of South Dakota Watch (it’s real) was a loud voice for Lamont. Yes, every blog out there raised money for Lamont; Daily Kos alone funneled $300 million dollars to the campaign. And YES, every lefty blog was ECSTATIC that Lamont won.

BUT-----the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of the readers of those blogs DID NOT vote in the Connecticut Democratic primary. That’s not how voting works.

The blogs didn’t install a leftwing wacko in some sort of coup; the people of Connecticut voted out a man who started thinking he was entitled to his seat, and who stopped representing the beliefs of his constituents. That’s how Democracy works.

Lots of bloggies wishing hard doesn’t get a candidate elected; for proof of this see: Paul Hackett, Ciro Rodriguez and (hello!) John Kerry!

I would wager a bet that a large majority of the voters had never read a “blogpost.”

That’s why Lieberman should just suck it up and drop out. If he loses he instantly becomes the whiniest politician ever. If he drops out (and soon) he can still become an elder statesman; hell, he can maybe run for Governor some day, or plead for a cabinet position from whoever wins in ’08 (unless it’s Ned Lamont).

The Possible Outcomes

The danger is in Lieberman winning. The GOP candidate is going to pull in about 73 votes; I don’t even know his name, and he’s not going to be a problem. This is going to be between Ned and Joe. But Joe can’t win without Republicans and Conservative Independents. He needs to bring them in to win.

But this is how he’s screwed, and why I don’t think he can win.

He has committed to caucusing with the Democrats in the next Congress if he wins. He has committed to voting for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. Now he can still go back on that promise before the election and say he’ll vote once he sees all the candidates—but that’s how people really begin to see his insecurities and his inconsistencies.

Democrats are done with him. And Republicans won’t see much of a reason to vote for him if he’s just going to be a conservative Democrat. And if he goes to far to the right he’ll have to align himself with the Republicans, because once he starts attacking the party (or continues to, I should say), there’s not going to be anyway he will be on any important committees—and he’ll never chair a committee if the Dems take the Senate. (Maybe they’ll find a seat for him on the Washington DC Affairs Committee, or the Bipartisan Committee for Buying Office Supplies.)

And if he switches (or flip flops) and says he’ll caucus with the Republicans then there’s a chance he will be in the minority party while all of his old friends are having a good time being in the Majority (i.e. kicking sand in the GOP’s face, cutting to the front of the cafeteria line, getting the best tables at The Palm, etc.).

Joe's Paradox

But it’s the other option that is why he will probably stay in the election. If the Republicans hold onto a one or two seat lead in the Senate then he suddenly becomes the most important Senator (maybe ever). That’s too much ego stroking goodness for just about anyone to say no to.

But all that is dependent on him going to the other side—not just voting occasionally like a Republican or saying Republicanish things, but actually making it clear that he is a Republican in all but name. Once he does that, he looks crazy, ego-maniacal, arrogant, flip-flopy and that will make him easier to beat.

Joe’s in a tough position right now (I almost feel bad for him) the only way he could win, is going to cause him to lose—whether it’s on election day or once the next Senate comes into session.

He’s got until the middle of October to drop out and salvage his reputation. No one else is going to be hurt but him.

Presenting A New Feature:

The HotOrNot-O-Meter

So HOT right now:

Jon Benet (creepy)

So NOThot right now:

Snakes on a Plane

I'm Not Saying This Is Suspicious...


Rudy G's former Deputy Press Secretary was found strangled and naked in his NYC apartment.

Maybe Guiliani is presidential material after all.

alright, alright
So its been two months...

sue me,

don't you know blogs are notoriously unreliable.

half the time we just make stuff up.

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