Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just In Case ...

... you were starting to think Nate Silver can't predict EVERYTHING, you are wrong.

He correctly predicted I would be eating Chinese food on Christmas.

Merry Christmas all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Schwarzenegger truly insane?!

Schwarzenegger just announced that he is going to veto the budget passed by the California legislature. If you don't follow California politics, let's just say that this is very bad news for the state. Thank goodness I'm an Oregonian now.

The Democrats' move of passing the budget by imposing "fees" rather than "taxes" in order to get around the two-thirds majority requirement was admittedly sketchy. But then again, when you have a totally dysfunctional system, you have to get creative. California has the sixth or seventh largest economy in the world (and dropping rapidly), but I can't think of another country in the world that requires a two-thirds majority to pass a budget. It is simply unworkable. Now the Governator is pushing the state over the cliff. Perhaps the silver lining will be some fundamental institutional reform. But that will be cold comfort to people who are going to hurt, and hurt bad, by whatever emerges from this debacle.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Obama Logos

Really interesting to see the logos the Obama campaign thought about using. Some good, some not. But it is pretty clear they made the right choice in the end.

This is the logo that didn't make the cut that I like the best:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blago Goes Where Even McCain Wouldn't ...

... He calls Obama a "motherf***er."

Actually, we never did tap John McCain's private phone calls so it is probably even money McCain did go there at some point!

I suppose this is the point at which someone should page Shortell to give us all the ins and outs of the Illinois state Constitution so we can understand what is likely to happen to that Senate seat now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shinseki to Head Veterans Affairs

I LOVE this selection. Interesting that he is announcing the appointment of America's first Japanese-American four-star general to the post on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. THAT's "change you can believe in."

"Beware a 12-division strategy with a 10-division Army." That was an outstanding rebuke of Rumsfeld and, as Obama pointed out this morning, "He was right."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Top 5 Remaining Positions for Obama to Fill

Politico has an article out today listing the five best jobs Obama has yet to fill. It is definitely worth checking out to see the names that are being tossed around. The positions mentioned in the article are Secretary of Energy, CIA Director, Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Labor, and Chief Technology Officer.

Secretary of Labor is particularly interesting, not only because of the role of unions in supporting Obama, but because one of the top candidates for the position, Mary Beth Maxwell, would be the first openly gay cabinet member. In the wake of the passage of Prop. 8, that might be a smart move for Obama to make. There are a number of people in the LGBT community who are feeling left out of "the change" and appointing Maxwell may help signal a recognition of the important role of gays and lesbians in the Democratic coalition. Most importantly, she seems very well-qualified for the job with the support of both the AFL-CIO and SEIU's Change to Win unions.

Prop 8 - The Musical

Jesus makes a cool cameo in this one:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obama's Paternal Grandfather

According to an article in the Times of London, Obama's paternal grandfather was apparently imprisoned and tortured by the British who accused him of being an informant for the Kenyan independence movement. While Obama mentioned his grandfather's imprisonment in Dreams From My Father, it appears he did not know that his grandfather had been imprisoned for as long as he was (2 years) or that he had been tortured while in prison. Interesting stuff.

Saxby Chambliss Won

And this breaking news just in: Georgia remains a pretty backwards state.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Great article on McCain campaign

Matt Taibbi has a great piece out in Rolling Stone called "Requiem for a Maverick." Here's a taste:

But John McCain and Sarah Palin made their own unique contribution to the disaster by running perhaps the most incompetent presidential campaign in modern times. They compounded a millionfold Bush's legacy of incompetence by soiling both possible Republican ideological strategies going forward: They killed off Bush-style neoconservatism as well as the more traditional fiscal conservatism McCain himself was once known for by trying to fuse both approaches into one gorgeously incoherent ticket. It was like trying to follow the recipes for Texas 10-alarm chili and a three-layer Black Forest chocolate cake in the same pan at the same time. The result — well, just take a bite!

Republicans in Disarray

Lisa Murkowski, who was initially appointed to her Senate seat by her father (the screwed-up political scene in Alaska didn't start with Sarah Palin), fired a warning shot across the bow of H.M.S. Sarah Palin today. Murkowski is pretty much of a lock to win re-election in 2010 UNLESS Palin takes her on in the GOP Primary.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Sen. Mel Martinez announced he will not seek reelection in 2010. Martinez would have been a bit vulnerable and the GOP may field a stronger candidate but the race will likely attract a higher-quality Democratic candidate than would have otherwise been the case.

Things don't look good for Jim Martin in Georgia today and Al Franken seems to be an underdog in his bid to win the recount in Minnesota but it remains possible the Democrats could retain the upper hand for congressional elections in 2010 if the Republicans continue to fail to get their act together.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Coleman/Franken Recount Update

Oh, what a mess this is becoming. The Coleman campaign started out challenging far more ballots than the Franken campaign (these votes are then deducted from Franken's total) so the Franken campaign responded by challenging more ballots and away they went. This challenge arms race escalated consistently throughout the recount. Meanwhile, there is another mess happening with some absentee ballots the Franken campaign wants counted (but they haven't been).

Where does all this leave us? With the hand recount winding down, the real game is about to begin. There are expected to be roughly 7,000 challenged ballots that the statewide canvassing board will have to deal with. Many of these ballots are frivolous challenges from one side or the other. According to the Star Tribune, Coleman now leads by 340 votes but if there is something systematic about the greater frivolity of challenges on one side or the other (several outlets believe the Coleman campaign challenges have included some particularly frivolous challenges that will easily be overturned), the outcome could easily change.

Think that's messy? Well, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The Franken campaign is starting to make noises about challenging the issue of the excluded absentee ballots to the full U.S. Senate and Harry Reid is sounding receptive to the idea. Yow.

I Guess?

Here's what President Bush said in an interview with ABC news on the intelligence in the days leading up to the War in Iraq:

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."

I'm not kidding. He said that.