Tuesday, November 30, 2004

BATTERING RAMS

JS Online: BATTERING RAMS

Almost effortlessly, Favre carved up the Rams with 18 completions in 27 attempts for 215 yards. The Rams had no component defensively to slow the Packers’ offense, which piled up 452 yards, including 178 yards in 19 carries by backup running back Najeh Davenport...

Ibogaine: Cure for Addiction?

Ibogaine: Cure for Addiction?

Maybe it will help some folks but one mention of the word 'Ibogaine' around a political junkie triggers a Hunter S. Thompson riff:

Thompson, who never liked “Big Ed” anyway, began to write extensively about how it was rumored that Muskie was addicted to a West African drug called Ibogaine, an upper of sorts that keeps a person awake in a very menacing fashion. Thompson speculated that this was probably the reason why Muskie had been acting so “erratic” of late. Unfortunately, he could not confirm it one way or the other because he had been banned from the campaign. Readers and other reporters took the allegation seriously and questions were put to the Muskie campaign. Denying the charge, Muskie expressed outrage. After the campaign ended, Thompson stated that he never accused Muskie of using Ibogaine. “I said it was a rumor to that effect,” Thompson explained. “I made up the rumor.”

Monday, November 29, 2004

And it's LONG overdue

And it's LONG overdue

Sometimes it takes decades to recognize greatness:

"Godzilla will receive the 2,271st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday to commemorate both the 50th anniversary of his first film and tonight's premiere of his latest film, 'Godzilla Final Wars.'..."

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Pigskin Pet Peeves

At halftime of the Lions-Colts game I have to complain about a couple critical issues of the day:

  • Moving camera angles that are so sweeping and dramatic that I can't see the damn ball. I'm watching a FOOTBALL game, not The Matrix.

  • Interviewing coaches and/or players at halftime. The Cute Sideline Gal just HAD to stop Steve Mariucci on the way to the locker room. The coach is WORKING, people. It's the middle of the GAME and he needs to be thinking about why Detroit is losing 27-9 at the half and how he'd going to adjust the game plan. He doesn't need to be thinking about how to spin the first half for the reporter.

    The Coach (i.e. Dad) says that's a league rule, they have to take the TV question at halftime. It's a stupid rule. From the moment the coaches and athletes take the field before a game they are WORKING and they should not be interrupted till the final buzzer. Insert the Dennis Miller Disclaimer here.

  • All that said, Peyton Manning is really something to watch...
  • Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Pre-Vacation Grab Bag

    Pre-Vacation Grab Bag

    Several items today as I pack:

  • Off for yet another vacation to Wisconsin. I'm the only son home for Thanksgiving so I get all of Mom's "You've lost so much weight! Have a turkey sandwich" attention. This will have to be fought off with Dad's exercise bike. Fortunately the folks are wired these days so you my gentle readers will get updates. Whatever that's worth.

  • The soundtrack to the drive north will likely be the new U2 which, in keeping with a long tradition (do the words Unforgettable Fire mean anything to you?) I picked up on release day yesterday. The weird part was I actually BOUGHT it and didn't BURN it. I may be inspired to a full review later...

  • Looks like I got linked to a REAL blog, From The Roots, run by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That puts the pressure on to write some actual content. Hence:

  • Sally Pederson is NOT going to run for governor, it says here. I'll be honest. I've never been a big Pederson fan. She's tried to make up for it, but it always bugged me that she was donating to Republican campaigns six months before Vilsack nominated her for Lieutenant Governor. It was a symbol of her thin party credentials. (A lot like Ann Hutchinson switching parties in 2002 to run against Jim Nussle. It hurt her credibility, caused hard feeling among the Party hacks who were with Dave Nagle in the primary, and she would up losing her mayoral re-election in 2003.)

    Pederson did some great disability work before, and she's tried to build a base in the party. A role for her was a good thing but heir apparant was a poor fit. Of course, I'm a capital P Party hack, and my perspective is much more party-as-an-organization based that normal people.

    My gut instinct is that this, combined with Vilsack bowing out of the DNC chair race, means that sometime late in 2005 the governor will feel a draft and opt for a third term. Barring that, Chet Culver looks like the frontrunner at the moment - but he's got a bit of a gravitas gap that needs closing. Ed Fallon has been up and running for at least a year but that's hard to envision.

    With the election of appointee Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Iowa and Mississippi (Mississippi? EEK!) are I believe the only two states that have never elected a woman either to Congress or as governor. And Iowa is the ONLY state that has elected only white males to these jobs. I still don't think Sally Pederson was the right woman, but this is a big problem and potentially a big opportunity for someone.

  • Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    Keyes moving to Chicago (?)

    Keyes moving to Chicago (?)

    At least until he finds another state to run in:

    Keyes will maintain his home in Maryland, where one of his sons is still in high school.

    "I'm sure they will be back and forth," Hair said. "Being on the lecture circuit, [Keyes] is always traveling. He is a citizen of the whole country pretty much, or a resident, I should say."


    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Many Who Voted for 'Values' Still Like Their Television Sin

    Many Who Voted for 'Values' Still Like Their Television Sin

    File this under hypocrisy, or just inconsistency?

    "So if it is true that the public's electoral choices are a cry for more morally driven programming, the network executives ask, why are so many people, even in the markets surrounding the Bush bastions Atlanta and Salt Lake City, watching a sex-drenched television drama?

    "We say one thing and do another," said Kevin Reilly, the president of NBC Entertainment. "People compartmentalize about their lives and their entertainment choices."


    Paging Clarence Darrow

    Paging Clarence Darrow

    "According to a new Gallup poll, 'only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence.

    A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.'"

    That's been my guesstimate for years, but I always wondered if I was guessing too high.

    Some good stuff in the blogosphere on this:

  • "The religiously insane Americans who believe that the world is only 10,000 years old want to do more than steal our democracy from us, they want to steal our faith from us as well."
  • "Thanks, Gallup, for ruining my day. No wonder Bush won."
  • Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Lieberman To Homeland Security, Say The Rumors

    Lieberman To Homeland Security, Say The Rumors

    The good news is the Dems may be rid of Joe-Mentum:

    "Joe Lieberman to Homeland Security. Nancy Johnson (R-pharma) for US Senate via Gov. Jodi Rell appointment. A handful of Repubs scrambling for the special election to replace Johnson in CT-5..."

    The bad news is he may decide that anything on TV racier than an Andy Griffith rerun is a security threat...

    Supreme Court as Politburo?

    Supreme Court as Politburo?




    "Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist's health is shrouded in mystery, the extent of his thyroid cancer a closely guarded secret. Several coming events could give the public an idea about the seriousness of his condition.

  • The return of the court, which next hears arguments on Nov. 29.
  • The annual court Christmas party on Dec. 17, an event Rehnquist relishes.
  • President (elect) Bush's inauguration on Jan. 20. The chief justice normally swears in the president. Bush could choose another justice or other government official..."



    One of the things I miss most about the Soviet Union is the lost art of Kremlinology - that inexact science of looking at the Politburo lined up along the Kremlin wall and trying to figure out, from the order in which they were standing, the inner gears and workings of the Soviet high command.

    A subscience in Kremlinology was the Siberian Cold, the long-lingering mystery illness that was invariably followed by all stations cutting to somber military music for 18 hours, followed by the announcement of the new Fearless Leader.

    I kind of get that feeling following Rehnquist's health...

  • Bottle Bill Battle Brewing?

    Bottle Bill Battle Brewing?

    I love that headline, say it three times fast.

    Looks like the grocery lobby is going to try to trash the bottle bill again, and they're making a preliminary attack at the conmsumer level. I'm still amazed that Iowa not only HAS a bottle law, but I think we were the second state to have one.

    Anyway, the real gem in this article was buried deep:

    "The real reason stores want to stop taking the empties is not filth. She said the 1-cent-per-can handling fee isn't enough to cover the costs of handling empty cans and bottles.

    'We're still working on a penny a can. It's ridiculous,' Sargent said. 'No matter what Fareway says, it's not the dirt in their store that's their problem. It's money.'"

    Friday, November 19, 2004

    Bush Campaign Manager Views the Electoral Divide

    Bush Campaign Manager Views the Electoral Divide

    And the divide appears not to be geographic, but demographic:

    "The Bush campaign studied consumer habits in trying to predict whom people would vote for in a presidential election.

    'We did what Visa did,' Mr. Mehlman said. 'We acquired a lot of consumer data. What magazine do you subscribe to? Do you own a gun? How often do the folks go to church? Where do you send your kids to school? Are you married?

    'Based on that, we were able to develop an exact kind of consumer model that corporate America does every day to predict how people vote - not based on where they live but how they live,' he said. 'That was critically important to our success.'

    "If you drive a Volvo and you do yoga, you are pretty much a Democrat," Mr. Mehlman told an assembly of the nation's Republican governors. "If you drive a Lincoln or a BMW and you own a gun, you're voting for George Bush."


    This would explain a lot of small, incremental Republican on the margins - a point or two higher in some county or precinct or age bracket...

    Fascinating, a little creepy, but probably necessary for Dems to catch up with it.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    Dem approached for agriculture post

    Dem approached for agriculture post

    Now THIS is a neat trick: get points for bipartisanship by naming a barely-Democrat, AND pick up another Senate seat! Too bad it's not Lieberman:

    Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska has been approached about becoming agriculture secretary in the Bush administration, according to two sources.

    Republican Gov. Mike Johanns would get to choose Nelson's replacement, which could increase the GOP's advantage in the Senate to 56 seats.


    It gets worse: while Lieberman would no doubt be replaced by an actual Democrat, the odds of any Dem of any sort winning Nelson's seat in`06 are, uh... slim.

    Johanns is term limited and he wants this seat... the trick is appointing a willing place holder who'll step aside without making it look too obvious.

    Update: Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Let the Republicans Have Him

    Let the Republicans Have Him:

    "Sen. Joe Lieberman (D (sic) -CT) 'respects the presidency and likes being wooed,' the Hartford Courant reports, so 'he's not ruling out a Bush Cabinet appointment.'

    'There's no opening the door a crack in Washington; you're in the game or you're not. And while there's no firm - or even flimsy - signal from the Bush team with regard to Lieberman, there is talk among the connected class in Washington that he could be in the mix for several positions.'"


    Since it's not close enough that a single vote for control makes a difference, losing the seat of a fake Democrat to an apointee Republican for two years is no loss. The only down side is that the media would play it up as "Bush reaches out" but I don't see how naming a "Democrat" who first won by running to the Repubican incumbent's RIGHT is any sort of reach.

    I hope this happens. It'll ease some of my leftover cognitive dissonance from 2000.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    I'm from Iowa, it's time to go milk the pigs...

    I'm from Iowa, it's time to go milk the pigs...

    ...and enjoy a steaming hot cup of green tea:

    "According to Lipton's product locator, you can buy green tea in Dubuque, Iowa, at that gourmet market known as ... Kmart.

    So, who is the real out-of-touch elitist -- John Kerry, for drinking green tea, or Candy Crowley, for assuming that simple Iowa folk couldn't possibly be familiar with the beverage?"

    Does she have David Yepsen writing her punch lines? I need to toast them both with a double latte (tall, no whipped cream)

    Vilsack vs. Dean

    Vilsack vs. Dean

    It looks like the DNC fight is coming down to my governor and my first choice presidential candidate. The few, the proud, the 19% are in a quandry here...

    The blogosphere seems to be settling into a blame Iowa, kill the caucuses mood. I can understand that. In retrospect, Kerry's caucus win was not just critical, it was the whole ball game. And it was a huge strategic blunder, as Bush proved. The middle of the road has become irrelevant; you WIN by energizing the base. Kerry won Iowa in January by being more "electable," then couldn't win the state in November.

    It's not fair that I'm spoiled by being a Key Iowa Party Activist. Everyone should get the opportunity to chit-chat with three presidential candidates in one day, like I did in January 2003. Everybody CAN'T of course. And I like being one of the lucky ones. That's not a good or a fair argument, it's just my own bias.

    I have some parochial concerns, too. If Vilsack wins the party chair job, does he stay on as governor? It may be politically incorrect for me to bash the woman who would be Iowa's first female governor. But I've never been a big Sally Pederson fan. Her Democratic Party credentials are thin, I don't understand how one can go from being a Republican donor to a Democratic candidate in six months.

    Is it possible to separate the issues of Dean vs. Vilsack and Iowa No vs. Iowa Yes? Having followed both Dean and Vilsack closely over several years, it's clear that Dean would be a better spokesperson and a better person to energize the grass roots of the party. Which, as Karl Rove will tell you, is teh way to win.

    Senate May Ram Copyright Bill

    Senate May Ram Copyright Bill

    "Several lobbying camps from different industries and ideologies are joining forces to fight an overhaul of copyright law, which they say would radically shift in favor of Hollywood and the record companies and which Congress might try to push through during a lame-duck session that begins this week.

    The Senate might vote on the Intellectual Property Protection Act, a comprehensive bill that opponents charge could make many users of peer-to-peer networks, digital-music players and other products criminally liable for copyright infringement. The bill would also undo centuries of 'fair use' -- the principle that gives Americans the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay. "

    Monday, November 15, 2004

    Last Dispatch from Vacation

    Last Dispatch from Vacation

    Greetings from the Ancestral Deeth Homestead in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Home cooking and a Packer win make a nice end to vacation. And I got to show my mom how to use eBay too.

    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    Vacation Update 3

    Vacation Update 3

    Greetings from the den and communication center of the Hotel Jenkins, stop 2 on Vacation.

    You know that scene in 2001 Space Odyssey, where the astronaut is running laps around the rim of the space station, and the horizon curves away and seems to last forever?

    Imagine that with stores. That's Mall Of America. I was completely lost without my teenage daughter's guidance.

    Late afternoon the Gopher-Hawkeye game ended and the Temple Of Materialism began to fill with black and gold shirts, all the out of towners who wanted to See It. I felt like I had taken a wrong turn and ended up back home in Iowa City...

    Anyway, this experience is goint to take a while to process and I'm on vacation. Next stop: tomorrow with Mom and Dad.

    Hundreds of ballots challenged

    Hundreds of ballots challenged

    "Frankly, an organized Republican effort was underway to challenge anything that could possibly be challenged -- or outright reject ballots if they could. Why do voters suddenly have to prove themselves not once but twice? Why was there this much effort to find things wrong with people's ballots? We know the answer when we remember that this was a tight election in a heavily Democratic county."

    The story of work last week. I didn't want to tell tales out of the office, one of the disadvantages of keeping my name on this blog.

    But my friend Emily here saw it all and so I'll share it.

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    Vacation Update 2

    Vacation Update 2

    It seems that blogging feels vacation-y to me...

    Looks like another clear starry Minnesota night up here on the far far northwest edge of the Twin Cities.

    Tomorrow we leave the tranquility of the forest for the ultimate temple of capitalist materialism. Yes, under the iinfluence of my college roomie, his spouse, and my sister in law, tomorrow we will be doing the Mall of America thing. My teenage daughter will no doubt be extremely jealous. Look for a snarky and cynical update tomorrow.

    Vote Righteously!

    Vote Righteously!

    A fascinating perspective from a defeated candidate. In Brad Carson we had the strongest possible candidate in Oklahome against the weakest possible opponent. Here's why he thinks he lost:

    "The culture war is real, and it is a conflict not merely about some particular policy or legislative item, but about modernity itself. Banning gay marriage or abortion would not be sufficient to heal the cultural gulf that exists in this nation. The culture war is about matters more fundamental still: whether nationality is, in a globalized world, a random fact or whether it is the source of identity and even political legitimacy; whether one's self is a matter of choice or whether it is predetermined, before birth, by the cultural membership of one's family; whether concepts like honor and shame, which seem so quaint, are still relevant in a world that values only 'tolerance.'

    Most voters in a state like Oklahoma--and I venture to say most other Southern and Midwestern states--reject the general direction of American culture and celebrate the political party that promises to reform or revise it. "


    The analysis is fascinating. Carson seems to fall into the move to the cultural right fallacy but this conclusion is only implied.

    My own conclusion is to fight back, to make this sort of midieval intolerance socially unacceptable just like we did in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. To argue against their basic premises. To reclaim "values" without accepting bigotry and intolerance.

    UPDATE: Great discussion of this article at MyDD.

    Postcard from the Road 1

    Postcard From The Road 1

    Greetings from my brother's studio office in the northwoods, with the wonderfully Dylanesque address of Zimmerman Minnesota. I knew I was in Minnesota when I saw lutefisk for sale in the grocery store...

    We're out in the woods and the stars are fantastic at night. The vacation mindset is sinking into the brain, especially now knowing that my co-workers are working...

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Blogger hits the road

    Blogger hits the road

    After a month of seven day weeks, and after two years of the 2004 presidential election, it's time for a vacation.

    The tank is full and two crates of CDs are loaded. Stay tuned for almost-live updates from the Minnesota Road Trip...

    Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Sifting Through the Ashes of Iowa

    Sifting Through the Ashes of Iowa

    I know, I know. I'm the political number crunching guy, sitting here in the last state called, one of only three states that switched sides from 2000 to 2004. I should be making some attempt to analyze, right?

    Well, sorry, dear readers. As an Election Office Professional it's taken me a whole week just to decompress enough and grieve enough to think.




    First off the good news. Five Iowa counties switched from Bush 2000 to Kerry: Fayette, Poweshiek, and Winneshiek all have small to mid-size colleges and young voters may have played a role (both increased turnout and Nader collapse). Jefferson is an anomaly. It's home to a large community of transencental meditation followers (really!) who had voted Natural Law Party in recent elections. Looks like they went Democratic after NLP died. Jasper (Newton - Maytag) is industrial by Iowa standards. A less noticable (i.e. didn't switch sides) trend was seen in nearby/similar Marshall County.

    Four counties shifted from Gore to Bush: Cedar, Greene, Louisa, and Winnebago. Don't see a pattern here - Cedar is traditionally GOP but went for Gore by two votes after a few hours of fame in 2000 as The Only Tied County In The Nation. Louisa, which I got to know very well in my 1996 race, is pure rural and small town with a growing but largely non-voting Hispanic population. Winnebago is vacation country (Okoboji) up by the Minnesota border.

    But these relatively small shifts aren't the story. Three counties seem to tell the biggest stories: Dallas, Pottawattamie, and Sioux.

    Dallas County west of Des Moines is the fastest growing county in the state, and Bush picked up about 2/3 of the total increase in the vote to gain roughly 2500 votes on the Democrats. A similar but smaller pattern happened south of Des Moines in Warren County.

    Pottawattamie County is on the western border in Steve King's 5th CD and gets most of its media for Big Red Nebraska. It's usually one of the lowest percentage turnout counties in the state. But this year turnout was up and Bush won nearly 80% of the increased turnout. This despite Democrats holding a tough state senate seat and picking up a state house seat last year in a special election.

    The REAL story shows in Sioux County and its evil twin Lyon County, up where Iowa corners on South Dakota. These are the two most GOP counties in Iowa. Turnout was way up and Bush gained over 90% or the increase. Which makes sense in a place where he's already getting five out of six votes. Not to mention those two are in the Sioux Falls media market and had been infected for months by the Thune-Daschle Senate race. (I'll take this excuse to note Stephanie Herseth's re-election.)

    The pattern repeats in 20-odd counties across the western half of the state: turnout jumps in heavily GOP areas.

    These gains were offset by isolated Democratic pickups. Two of the three big campus counties - Story (Ames/Iowa State) and most of all my own beloved People's Republic of Johnson County (Iowa City) - trended to Kerry (in part due to the total meltdown of 90% of the Nader/Green vote). The third campus county, Black Hawk, saw little change from 2000, bit UNI is smaller and Black Hawk is less clearly a College County.

    There was a slight Democratic trend in Dubuque and the northeast (Clayton, Allamakee, the aforementioned Winneshiek which all get media from swing state Wisconsin - Kerry ended the campaign VERY nearby in La Crosse, where I was born).

    But none of this was enough to overcome GOP trends in the Des Moines suburbs and those big turnout spikes in the west.

    Ashcroft Resigns

    Ashcroft Resigns

    "Sadly, it's not a moment for jubilation. They'll likely find someone who's actually much more competent about throwing away civil liberties and who is more popular."

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Conclusions I just don't buy

    Daily Kos: Conclusions I just don't buy

    More rejection of Dixie Worship:

    "While we cannot abandon the South, it is becoming increasingly hostile territory. On the other hand, the Mountain West is trending our way. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, and Nebraska will swing our way before Alabama, Kentucky and Georgia will..."

    Gerrymandering in the GIS Era

    Gerrymandering in the GIS Era

    "Excluding the Texas gerrymander, last Tuesday three incumbent congressmen (two Rs, one D) were defeated; three more open seats changed parties (two previously held by a Republican, one by a Democrat). In only 12 other contests (CA 20, CO 4, CT 2, CT 4, IN 2, IN 8, MN 6, MO 3, NY 29, OR 5, SD AL, PA 6) did the winner prevail by less than 10%. This occurred at a time when a majority of voters believed that the country was on the wrong track and the country is mired in a war that (regardless of one’s opinions on its merits) clearly has not gone as the administration promised.

    The causes: the astronomical costs of House races certainly is key—parties find it more prudent to invest their dollars in races for the Senate. More important, however, is the increasingly sophisticated use of technology in House redistricting..."

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    A normal human being

    A normal human being

    Back to normal life. First weekend off in two months. And of course it was the Packers' bye week.

    So I:

    Watched a movie.

    Found a bargain. Speakers that aren't the size of a refrigerator, with a subwoofer even.

    Rode my bike farther than I ever have.

    Burned some CDs. Washed some clothes. Paid attention to my long ignored cats.

    And tried to ease the nagging sense of futility hanging over from last Tuesday.

    Mosh Pit Al - Class Act

    Mosh Pit Al - Class Act

    One last easy shot at Mosh Pit Al.

    "Two days after his record loss in the U.S. Senate race, Republican Alan Keyes conceded defeat during a radio interview Thursday. But he said he would never congratulate the winner, Barack Obama, because the Democrat stood for 'a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country.'"




    I just realized there are only FOUR southern Democratic senators left (Lincoln and Pryor in AR, Landrieu in LA and Nelson of FL). Four of what was as late as the 1970s a nearly 100% Democratic bloc.

    Realignment is complete...

    Saturday, November 06, 2004

    Oh dear God please No

    Oh dear God please No

    In an article titled "The Once and Future Hope?" the Washington Post's Richard Cohen leads:

    "If you set out to create the perfect Democratic presidential candidate, you would probably choose someone from the South or the border states, since John Kerry lost virtually the entire region on Tuesday, and someone who is comfortable talking the language of religion and values, since John Kerry was not, and someone whose wife is identified with conventional values. Such a person already exists and, as luck would have it, has a name: Al Gore."

    This guy's got more lives than Jason has Friday the 13th movies! The one good thing about the Demise of the Deaniacs, I thought, was that Al Gore sank with the ship!

    Please, dear God, ANYONE else... ok, anyone else but Joe Lieberman, maybe...

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    The Kids Did It

    The Kids Did It

    "If it were up to us, it would be Kerry by a landslide. The future belongs to us, not the moral minority."



    Well, I hardly count as among the Us of young people anymore. But it's an encouraging sign that voters 18-29 see through the queer baiting and the fetus worship.

    Now the tough part: keeping them alive and un-drafted until 2008...

    Why am I even in the same COUNTRY as Alabama?

    Why am I even in the same COUNTRY as Alabama?

    That Baja Canada map is looking better all the time, even though Iowa doesn't get to be a province:

    "It's right there in black and white in the Alabama state constitution. Language providing for segregated schools, authorizing poll taxes, and stating there is no right to public education - a 1956 move allowing the state to close public schools if the feds integrated them.

    They voted Tuesday in Alabama to get rid of that Jim Crow language. And it's headed for a recount. Right now, there's a thin majority to keep the segregationist language."

    More on this from Ron Gunzberger at Politics1:

    "Amendment 2 on Tuesday's ballot proposed cleaning up the state constitution by removing some long-unenforced segregationist provisions that mandated separate-but-equal segregated schools, authorized unconstitutional poll taxes to bar blacks from voting, and specified that Alabamians have no constitutional right to public education (giving the state the power to deny funding to any integrated schools). Governor Bob Riley (R) supported the amendment. On the other side was Riley's likely 2006 primary opponent: ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. Moore -- who touts himself as "The Ten Commandments Judge" -- led the opposition to the repeal, arguing it could open the door to tax hikes in order to improve the state's public school system. The Alabama Christian Coalition also opposed the amendment, explaining that the group wanted "to ensure that reckless trial lawyers and activist judges will not be able to open the floodgates to increase taxes and that private, Christian, parochial and home-school families will be protected." The "tax hike" argument appears to be a red herring, however, as the Alabama Supreme Court already ruled in 1993 that the "no constitutional right to public education" provision was unconstitutional under the US Constitution. Out of 1.4 million votes cast statewide, Amendment 2 appears to have lost by 2,500 votes. However, the state will conduct an automatic recount."

    Thursday, November 04, 2004

    Thought of the Day



    "'When you trade your values for the hope of winning, you end up losing and having no values -- so you keep losing.' "

    -- Howard Dean

    The Best That We Can Do?

    The Best That We Can Do?

    Look at ya
    Yeah, take a look in the mirror now tell me what you see
    Another satisfied customer in the front of the line for the American dream
    I remember when we was both out on the boulevard
    Talkin' revolution and singin' the blues
    Nowadays it's letters to the editor and cheatin' on our taxes
    Is the best that we can do
    Come on

    Look around
    There's doctors down on Wall Street
    Sharpenin' their scalpels and tryin' to cut a deal
    Meanwhile, back at the hospital
    We got accountants playin' God and countin' out the pills
    Yeah, I know, that sucks – that your HMO
    Ain't doin' what you thought it would do
    But everybody's gotta die sometime and we can't save everybody
    It's the best that we can do

    Four score and a hundred and fifty years ago
    Our forefathers made us equal as long as we can pay
    Yeah, well maybe that wasn't exactly what they was thinkin'
    Version six-point-oh of the American way
    But hey we can just build a great wall around the country club
    To keep the riff-raff out until the slump is through
    Yeah, I realize that ain't exactly democratic, but it's either them or us and
    And it's the best we can do

    Yeah, passionely conservative
    It's the best we can do

    Conservatively passionate
    It's the best we can do

    Meanwhile, still thinkin'
    Hey, let's wage a war on drugs
    It's the best we can do
    Well, I don't know about you, but I kinda dig this global warming thing...


    --Steve Earle

    Bush declares victory 'historic'

    Bush declares victory 'historic'

    "Bush reached out 'to every person who voted for my opponent.'
    'To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust,' the president told Kerry supporters."

    LIKE HELL.

    NEVER.

    I can think of no one less capable of unifying the country. His entire term, his entire persona, his entire ideology, is based on divisiveness and enmity, on Machiavellian divide and conquer. And he had the greatest chance any president has ever had to achieve unity and world support, and he contempuously threw it away.

    To add insult to injury I have to get rid of the (sic) now...

    Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    It's here

    It's Here

    The biggest day in my thing, my work, my world.

    Super Bowl Sunday, in terms of advance hype and question of outcome.
    Graduation day in terms of the end of a lot of hard work - except the diploma might wind up empty.
    And Chrismas morning - except I'm an elf.

    Stay tuned...

    Countdown To The Recount 2004

    Countdown To The Recount 2004