Monthly Archives: October 2010
Sometime after Tuesday we’ll be reevaluating our Government and a new area of conflict will likely be established…
I am curious as to what the results of the Election 2010 will leave us with. It seems likely now that the Republicans will take control of the House, likely putting John Boehner (R-OH) into the Speaker’s chair. As to the Senate, the majority of pollsters have the Democrats keeping control by at least 1 seat… but there are odds that Harry Reid (D -NV) won’t be in one of them. This makes the Majority Leader position a “what if” situation… and it looks like Charles Schumer (D-NY) might get it.
As to Boehner, it is interesting that he is pushing candidates all over the place… the other day he supported Rich Iott, the Nazi Reenactor, in Ohio’s 9th District. TPM points out:
House Minority Leader John Boehner took on the conventional wisdom that it’s bad politics to associate with Nazi reenactors by campaigning recently with Ohio congressional candidate Rich Iott. That’s about the only public support Iott’s received from the GOP since his SS scandal broke.
Returning the favor, Iott, who’s running in Ohio’s 9th congressional district, now won’t say whether he’d support Boehner for Speaker.
Interesting. Does Iott know something we don’t? Roll Call, which first published Iott’s “iffy” stand on Boehner’s Speakership, doesn’t think it matters:
In the now close Senate race in Nevada, the Baltimore Sun doesn’t think it will be over on Tuesday:
In Nevada, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was battling “tea party” insurgent Sharron Angle, each side was bracing for a close finish that could extend the campaign — through lawsuits, a recount or both — well beyond Tuesday.
Looking at the Nevada Senate campaign, we’re seeing some really dirty playing on both sides. Perhaps you didn’t see this piece by Michael Kinsley in Politico a couple of days ago:
The Republicans have chosen to make a major issue out of the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lives in an apartment in the Ritz-Carlton condominiums in Washington DC. It is a one-bedroom apartment on the second floor. Reid also owns two properties in Nevada, his home state. But presumably his apartment in Washington is where he stays when he’s here. Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have built a huge imaginary narrative on this fragile base in which Reid “lives large” in DC, partying with supermodels, while his constituents suffer.
In my Politico column on Tuesday, I raised the question of where Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, who will become Majority Leader if the Republicans carry the day on November 2, lives when he’s in Washington. It turns out that he owns a three-bedroom house with a carriage house on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid’s apartment is worth $1,066,000 according to the real estate website zillow.com. Mitch McConnell’s house is worth $1,142,000. If Harry Reid is living large, Mitch McConnell is living larger. And the fact that Republicans apparently didn’t’ think about or didn’t bother to check out McConnell’s situation before piling on Reid shows how phony the whole “Harry Reid Lives at the Ritz” business really is.
She has struggled to explain a number of past positions, including calling for the phasing out of Social Security, discussion of “second amendment remedies” to deal with an out of control Congress, and coming out against extension of unemployment benefits. Mr. Reid is highly unpopular in his home state and his strategy has been clear from the start: To present Ms. Angle as an unacceptable alternative even to someone that many voters don’t like. (Keep in mind: Nevada voters have the option of voting for “none of the above,” which can only help Mr. Reid.)
Hmmm. It doesn’t look good for Reid. Then I read Jon Ralston’s piece this morning in the Las Vegas Sun:
Atmospherics are terrible for Reid, but he will hold on
Harry Reid or Sharron Angle is dead, last in an occasional series:
It just feels as if Reid is going to lose.
Forget the enthusiasm gap — that word is too mild. There is a passion gap in this race that is palpable. You don’t find many people shivering with excitement to vote for Reid. But the feverish animation of voters hot to oust Reid is unlike anything I have experienced in nearly 25 years of covering politics. And it seems to have been building since January, evidenced by Reid’s inability to move his highly elevated disapproval rating.
But I don’t think he will. Why?
First, let me be clear on this tradition of predictions. It is not a wish list but a walking out on a limb, so I can either crow afterward or eat same. I base them on data I am privy to and my gut. I have had much success in the past — look it up. But if ever there were a year for my lifetime batting average to take a hit, this is the one.
So take this for what it’s worth:
Harry Reid is the most resilient figure in Nevada political history. He should not even be here. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1974, embarrassed himself in a mayoral race in 1975 and should have lost his re-election bid in 1998. But he found a way to win 12 years ago, and he will again Tuesday.
How? Let me count the ways:
Considering they were dealing with a moribund politician, and one who was sure to make their job more difficult during the year with his spontaneous effusions, Reid’s handlers have run one of the most spectacular campaigns in history at all levels: The turnout machine is formidable. The TV has been pitch perfect. The strategy — to peel moderate Republicans and independents who might not like their guy away from Angle — has worked.
And, perhaps equally important, Republicans managed to nominate the one person this year who could lose to Reid.
Angle is a natural retail campaigner in small political subdivisions. But that’s not what a Senate race is about. And her campaign never could find a comfortable way to reconcile her past, controversial statements — they tried massage, change and deny — and she made plenty more during the campaign (Sharia law here, Canada’s terrorist conduit, Latinos-in-ads amnesia).
In the end, if she loses, I believe the six weeks following the GOP nominee’s primary win — she had a double-digit lead in June polls — were pivotal. During that period, the Reid ad campaign defined her so starkly and turned enough people into Anglophobes to give him a chance.
One more thing: Republicans do not have the huge turnout advantage in early voting they should in a wave election — under 4 points. And all the data I have seen tell me that unless Reid loses independents by 15 points or so, he will hold on.
It’s possible none of this made any difference, that Reid has been dead all along and no amount of campaign brilliance or Angle exposure could resuscitate him. The hatred is palpable, the discontent bubbling over. But I think he finds a way to survive.
The result: Reid, 47 percent; Angle, 45 percent; rest, 4 percent; none of the above, 4 percent.
- Does Mitch McConnell really want Harry Reid to lose? (slate.com)
- Why Harry Reid Could Win (Alternate Media View) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Why Harry Reid’s Nevada Field Operation Is Losing (theawl.com)
- Last-ditch cry for ‘sanity’ before US gives mid-term verdict on Obama (independent.co.uk)
- Boehner to campaign with Nazi reenactor Iott in Ohio (thehill.com)
- Chutzpah Watch (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Political Points – Iott not to be in this picture (blogs.jta.org)
- Boehner just does not give a f*** | Michael Tomasky (guardian.co.uk)
- D’oh! (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Boehner promises a new Congress if GOP takes over (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Rally To Restore Sanity Attendance Estimated In Hundreds Of Thousands (capitolhillblue.com)
- “Stewart/Colbert Rally Attendance More Than Double Beck-Fest” and related posts (commentsfromleftfield.com)
- Aerial Photos Show 215,000 Attended Stewart-Colbert Rally (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- “Rally to Restore Sanity” Attendance (everyjoe.com)
Oh yeah… go out and vote.
It’s on Comedy Central and it’s on C-SPAN and my big flatscreen TV is almost like being there (and I can get at the refrigerator.) So I’m watching the musical performers, the giving out of Medals of Reasonableness and the fooling around of Colbert and Stewart.
There are, as I understand, about 150,000 people there – the NY Times says over 200,000 – (the camera view stretches from the Capitol end of the Mall (the stage is between the the Contemporary Art and the Smithsonian American Indian Museums) down to the Washington Monument end. Judging from other events there, I can believe the numbers.
I watched Father Guido Sarducci do the “Benediction” (could have done without it… or he could have been funnier), and listened to Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens) sing off against Ozzie Osborne… only for both to be trumped by the OJS singing “Love Train.”
It’s fun. They are handing out medals for fear and for being reasonable… some receivers not there (like Mark Zuckerberg … as Stephen says he couldn’t be here because he was more concerned with his privacy than yours), some who come on and make a speech.
By the way, Sam Waterston, reading a poem “supposedly” by Stephen (but I would guess by their terrific writers), was splendid. Kid Rock came out to sing “the serious song” today, which he considered “ironic.”
And I had a nice lunch while I watched of some fresh vegan biscuits that I had just whipped up.
Small update comment:
Jon’s Speech at the end, commenting against “the exhausting energy it takes to hate,” was brilliant and unexpected and his views were more non-political than I thought they’d be – and targeted the current national situation, with parties that don’t work together…intentionally…by not solving problems. I don’t know what the press will say about it tomorrow, but they ought to restate his points over and over.
- “Non-Political” Stewart Rally Politically Charged (cbsnews.com)
- Stewart, Colbert rally draws thousands to D.C. (cbc.ca)
- Thousands Gather For Stewart-Colbert Rally (npr.org)
- Crisp, cool crowded, sunny funny day (nowpublic.com)
- Thousands expected at Stewart-Colbert rally in DC (boston.com)
Not in the new incarnation of Hawaii Five-O, but back in the 70s, I became impressed by James MacArthur, the actor who played Steve McGarrett‘s number 2 man, Danny Williams. “Book ’em, Danno” became the episode conclusion line that stuck with the show for close to a dozen years.
MacArthur was adopted at 7 months old by Helen Hayes, one of the greatest and longest enduring actresses, and Charles MacArthur, journalist and playwright best known for writing “The Front Page” with Ben Hecht.
From the NY Times obit:
Before “Hawaii Five-O,” Mr. MacArthur acted in several Disney adventures, including “Kidnapped” and “Swiss Family Robinson.” He had a small but significant role in the taut 1965 cold war thriller “The Bedford Incident.” In the rambunctious 1967 film “The Love-Ins,” Mr. MacArthur’s character hung out in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco and smoked banana peels.
Besides “Hawaii Five-O,” Mr. MacArthur acted in many TV shows, including “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” “The Love Boat” and “The Untouchables.” But it was his appearance in the 1968 movie “Hang ’Em High,” a low-budget spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood, that prompted Leonard Freeman, the creator of “Hawaii Five-O,” to cast him.
So, farewell Danno.
- Original “Five-O” Danno, James MacArthur, dead at 72 (blastmagazine.com)
- Danno Has Died: Hawaii Five-O Actor James MacArthur Dies (nowpublic.com)
- Original “Five-O” Danno, James MacArthur, dies at 72 (reuters.com)
- Book ’em Danno is dead at 72 (thesun.co.uk)
- An Ode To Danno (thefrisky.com)
I read this today and you should, too:
Let me know what you think afterward…I think she hit the nail on the head (as she usually does.)
So who is the King of the Crazies?
– and –
Jeff Danziger in the L.A. Times:
…tactics are crazy, too…
– and –
Jeff Stahler in The Columbus Dispatch:
Scared of Obama? The Republicans are the Real Takers…
– and –
… or they want you to think that they can THINK (Don’t think Jefferson would agree.)
- Democratic Candidate Wants Obama Impeached, War with England [Dispatches from the Culture Wars] (scienceblogs.com)
From John Case’s Morning mailing:
90,000 union members hit the street in final election push
by John Wojcik on 10/28/10
Breaking all records for labor participation in mid-term election efforts, 90,000 union members will campaign during the final four days before Election Day, Nov. 2, out of 1,200 staging areas across the nation.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 29 and ending Tuesday, just before polls close, they will make 5.6 million phone calls, knock on 4.1 million doors and pass out 1.9 million flyers.
The AFL-CIO says that the massive push will, in effect, build a “firewall” that will hold the line on expected Republican gains and allow Democrats to retain control of both houses of Congress.
“One-on-one grassroots contact will be the key for this election,” declared AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman. “Union families trust and rely on the information their union provides and it cuts through the noise of unprecedented corporate cash being spent on false ads.”
If the labor movement achieves its goal this weekend, a wrench will have been thrown into wheels already set in motion by people like GOP Rep. Davis Camp, who would, if Republicans take over Congress, become chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Corporate lobbyists have already been camping out in his office with instructions on how he should rewrite tax laws.
The “final four” push by the labor movement builds on what has already been the largest mid-term election effort ever by the country’s unions. The immense Labor 2010 grassroots persuasion program involved 200,000 union volunteers who reached 17 million union voters in 26 states. They made 23.6 million phone calls, handed out 17.5 million flyers at workplaces, knocked on over 1.3 million doors and sent 18.6 million pieces of mail.
“This resulted,” said Ackerman, “in an increase in the generic congressional ballot among union members from plus 8 points to plus 25 points for the Democrats and doubling the lead for the Democratic Senate candidates among union members.”
Labor’s efforts fit into a broader campaign effort. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reports ground operations in over 65 congressional districts and Organizing for America, the successor organization to the Obama campaign, is integrated into state party operations around the country. They also have been knocking on doors, calling voters and sending out mailings.
There has been a strong focus on African American voters, with more of them having been contacted in September than during the entire 2006 midterm elections.
The Republican get-out-the-vote effort, by most reports, is not as strong. GOP congressional staffers are being required to go out into the districts to try to match Democratic Party and union ground troops.
While there are a big number of House Democrats fighting off strong GOP challenges, many who were extremely vulnerable before the boots were put on the ground are now running very close races. CBS reported in the final weeks that even Democrats in conservative districts that the GOP
should win are doing pretty well. Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania and Dina Titus in Nevada, both of whom should, by conventional wisdom be far behind, are now deadlocked with their GOP opponents. What the CBS report did not say is that unions have been active in both those races.
The fact that the Democratic Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Illinois are closing strong is also attributed, in large part, to labor’s ground game.
“This election is as important as anything we did two years ago,” President Obama told thousands of union activists on a teleconference call Oct. 26. “The labor program you guys have put into place is the backbone of the program.”
It’s not just the members of the country’s unions who are mobilizing the last four days of the campaign. The AFL-CIO’s top officials are fanning out for a series of get-out-the-vote events, concentrating on Midwestern states where there are hotly contested Senate and gubernatorial races.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will spend Oct. 29 in Chicago, leafleting work sites and phone banking, and Oct. 30 through Election Day in Pennsylvania with Rep. Joe Sestak.
AFL-CIO Secretary Liz Shuler will phone bank Oct. 29 in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 30 in Colorado and will spend Nov. 1 and 2 in Illinois.
Arlene Holt-Baker, the federation’s Executive Vice President, will spend the last four days of the campaign in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Connecticut.
- AFL-CIO leaders will end campaign with Midwest-focused blitz for Dems (thehill.com)
- Key Bloc Of Voters Flocks to The GOP (online.wsj.com)
- Labor Sees Get-Out-the-Vote Gains (blogs.wsj.com)
- Federal officials say suspicious packages were part of plot by Yemen’s al-Qaida group (nj.com)
- Suspicious devices on cargo jets trigger searches (msnbc.msn.com)
- Planes, Trucks Checked In NY, NJ As Part Of Terror Probe (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Bomb scare as ‘sinister’ packages found on planes bound for US (guardian.co.uk)
- Yemen estimates 400 al-Qaida militants in country (sfgate.com)
- Yemen’s rising radical star (msnbc.msn.com)
Tomorrow will be the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are pulling off on the National Mall. What seems to have stated as a satirical copy of the Glenn Beck Rally to Restore Honor, all of a sudden the Stewart/Colbert gathering is starting to be taken seriously… at least 8 commenters in this morning’s NY Times, various television coverage pieces both Nationally and on the DC local stations, Time Magazine… and on it goes.
Speaking of Time Magazine, this from their article on the Rally is why the two comedians are holding it:
Based on what Stewart and Colbert have said, though, the focus of the rally is the ugliness of political debate: the Hitler comparisons, the head-stomping, the conspiracy theories, the assumption that your opponent is also your enemy and must always be assumed to be acting in bad faith. In announcing the rally, Stewart said that the maybe 15% or 20% of Americans who act this way dominate the conversation and the media, crowding out the other 80% or so, who could probably agree on reasonable compromises but don’t have time to obsess on partisan warfare. To paraphrase Yeats, the worst are full of passionate intensity; the best “have shit to do.”
So, this is a way to get ready for Halloween, let’s say. But is it going to have any effect on the election next week? Perhaps a little in the local area. I’m not sure about it’s National Effect (although it is interesting that people like Oprah Winfrey are providing tickets to get groups of people there and Arianna Huffington is providing buses from New York. These are politically “with it” celebrities and they give a distinct mark of reality to the whole thing.
- 4 Reasons Why Jon Stewart’s Restoring Sanity Rally Is Great for Progressives (alternet.org)
- LAUGH LINES: Will the rally be funny? (politico.com)
- Stewart-Colbert rally – organized in jest – drawing a serious crowd (philly.com)
- Just who does Jon Stewart think he is? (washingtonpost.com)
- Stephen Colbert fans rally to ‘keep fear alive’ in Seattle (seattlepi.com)
- Your Boyfriend Jon Stewart Will Not be in Seattle this Weekend (seattlest.com)
- Where to Watch Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Rally Live (newteevee.com)
- If you’re going to Jon Stewart’s ‘Restoring Sanity’ rally, let’s talk (timesunion.com)
From Dave Johnson at Campaign For America’s Future:
There are a number things the public “knows” as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.
2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
8 ) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.
This stuff really matters.
If the public votes in a new Congress because a majority of voters think this one tripled the deficit, and as a result the new people follow the policies that actually tripled the deficit, the country could go broke.
If the public votes in a new Congress that rejects the idea of helping to create demand in the economy because they think it didn’t work, then the new Congress could do things that cause a depression.
If the public votes in a new Congress because they think the health care reform will increase the deficit when it is actually projected to reduce the deficit, then the new Congress could repeal health care reform and thereby make the deficit worse. And on it goes.
- 8 Nasty Conservative Lies About the Democrats and Obama That Must Be Debunked Before the Election (alternet.org)
- Eight False Things The Public “Knows” Prior To Election Day (seeingtheforest.com)
- Bill Folman: 10 Reasons You MUST Vote–and Vote Democrat (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama and the mid-terms: How did it come to this? (economist.com)
- Defending Obama II: A Response To Dean Baker (tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com)
I just read this article and here’s one more major move forward that Obama has not been generally credited with. I hope this all changes soon.
There’s more in this article over at news.yahoo.com:
“It’s both significant and rather ordinary,” said Michael Cole, a spokesman for the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. “It’s a simple affirmation of the American ideal that what matters is how you do your job and not who you are.”
- Obama Breaks Bill Clinton’s Record For Number Of Openly Gay Appointees (joemygod.blogspot.com)
- Obama appoints record number of gay officials (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
The Senate Report Card has been made available by The Americans for the Arts Action Fund and it is quite revealing. Statistics cover the previous year (which is why Robert Byrd…one of only three Democrats on the Failing list… appears, and why Scott Brown in Massachusetts has an incomplete) and are quite revealing.
Go HERE to see the list and grades.
“I will say that the damage that the filibuster I think has done to the workings of our democracy are at this point pretty profound. The rate at which it’s used just to delay and obstruct is unprecedented…
If we do not fix how the filibuster is used in the Senate, then it is going to be very difficult for us over the long term to compete in a very fast moving global environment.”
He also brought this up on Jon Stewart‘s show last night (if you missed it, they rerun it a couple of times a day starting at 10:00 AM on Comedy Central – neat interview). Harry Reid brought this up in his interview with Rachel Maddow as well. Instead of calling it a Filibuster (or referring to it as “needing 60 votes”), I’m going to start calling it the Mitch McConnell Muck.
- President Obama endorses filibuster reform (dailykos.com)
- Laughs in short supply on the Daily Show as Obama gets serious with Jon Stewart (guardian.co.uk)
- Obama Tells Jon Stewart: Summers Did ‘a Heckuva Job’ (blogs.wsj.com)
- “Obama appearance, rally confirm Jon Stewart’s reach” and related posts (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Barack Obama Visits Daily Show, Jon Stewart Calls President “Timid” (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Obama On Daily Show: Change ‘Not Going To Happen Overnight’ (huffingtonpost.com)
… Take 15 minutes and listen to it. Email the address of the post to your friends and people you know so they can listen to it. Keith sums up the Tea Party and the mess the Republicans are trying to drag us into… and how they will try to bring us back into the early 20th Century.
There’s an election coming up and we can’t crumble under the advanced stupidity of some of these candidates. We live in dangerous times.
- Fired-Up Keith Olbermann Recites Laundry List Of Tea Party Offenses: “This Is The America You Want?” (mediaite.com)
- HuffPost TV: Howard Fineman Tells Keith Olbermann Why Christine O’Donnell Is Attacking The GOP (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Keith Olbermann Interviews Woman Stomped on By Rand Paul Supporter (mediaite.com)
Today there was a string of articles…started, I think, by Politico (whose affiliation with the political right has been sort of present since its creation)… warning Democrats in advance that it was going to rain next Tuesday. On top of the weather report is the series of “expert” statements that bad weather keeps Dems home from the polls, while Repubs seem to love voting in the rain.
Now, as one who has stood in line outdoors with many other Democrats to vote over the years, I’m not sure I want them to convince me that I don’t vote in the rain. In reality, I’ve voted already, as have more Dems than Repubs as I understand it from the news, and it was raining the day I voted. Oh well, I didn’t know rain was supposed to keep me home. I should have asked the other Democrats who were voting that day (there were a bunch) if they knew about our weather wariness. Apparently they didn’t.
And this piece turned up at The Hill (which also, it seems to me) is a non-progressive publication:
According to Laurel Harbridge, a Northwestern University political science professor, GOP voters are not typically discouraged by rain. “Republicans are helped by bad weather … it does harm Democratic prospects.”
Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University, echoed Harbridge. “Bad weather almost always hurts Democrats,” she said. “The traditional Democratic base tends to include lower-income people and the elderly. Both of those demographic groups have a hard time getting to the polls.”
Anyway… I think this time bad weather might even help Democrats. We will realize much more clearly that a great pile of these Republican/Tea Party candidates are more like bad weather than good government.
- Another Bad Forecast for Democrats (politicalwire.com)
- Franken Unplugged (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Franken stumps in Delaware for Chris Coons (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- University of Minnesota Press Launches Newest Book – This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount (eon.businesswire.com)
- Al Franken presents the “ditch” speech (salon.com)
The sign, above, which pundits say may have fundamentally altered the American political landscape.
JASPER, IN—A blue corrugated plastic sign bearing the name of candidate Todd Young has invigorated and galvanized voters in southeastern Indiana’s 9th District congressional race, catapulting the Republican to an all but insurmountable lead over his opponent, Democratic incumbent Baron Hill.
The 24-by-18-inch signboard, which political pundits have called an “instant game changer” since its appearance on Jasper, IN‘s Jackson Street last Friday, features a red, white, and blue color scheme, four stars above Young’s name, and the slogan “Promise of a New Tomorrow.” It also includes the word “Vote” and a check-mark-filled square next to the candidate’s name, a strategy expected to triple turnout at the polls as throngs of voters rush to support Young.
“When I drove by the sign two days ago, I had to pull over to the side of the road and catch my breath,” said Jade Williams, 34, a lifelong Democrat and former supporter of Baron Hill. “I’d never felt such a profound connection to a candidate before. Then I saw the powerful red line under his name and knew I had to drive to City Hall immediately and register as a Republican.”
“It’s the promise of a new tomorrow,” Williams added.
While the 9th District seat was considered a toss-up prior to the sign’s erection, a tidal wave of support has now emerged for Young, who over the past two days has received key endorsements from Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and former president Bill Clinton.
Experts across the country are calling the small but legible sign a “brilliant political move,” and have praised Young’s campaign for making the sign double-sided so it can be seen by motorists driving in both directions.
A new Gallup poll now has Young ahead of Hill by nearly 65 points.
“Frankly, I can’t envision any scenario in which Baron Hill can recover from this,” political strategist Mary Matalin said on Meet The Press Sunday, adding that it was an inspired and ingenious decision to include both the first and last name of the candidate on the sign. “Yes, the bold capital letters capture our imagination, but they also assure voters that Todd Young will meet all political challenges with indomitable vigor and integrity.”
Indiana University political science professor Henry Trout echoed Matalin’s analysis, telling reporters he believes Young will easily carry all 20 counties in the district. Trout said he bases his landslide prediction on the fact that by Election Day most residents will have either viewed the sign personally or heard from their peers how its array of stars “makes one understand that Todd Young is a bright, shining beacon of hope, somebody capable of restoring faith in American politics.”
“If that sign could talk,” Trout continued, “it would say, ‘Voting for a candidate other than Todd Young would be an affront to everything that makes this country great.”
The dire predictions for Hill appear to be coming true: Local donors and the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have cut off funding to Hill, and reports from his election headquarters reveal a campaign in crisis mode. The few remaining workers who have not defected to the Young camp have been working 20-hour days, desperately scrambling to right their candidate’s ship.
“That sign has destroyed us,” said a senior Hill staffer speaking on condition of anonymity. “We’ve been brainstorming nonstop for days, and we think the only way to regain any ground would be for Baron to somehow appear in each constituent’s living room, if only for 30 seconds, and either state his moral and political beliefs while his wife and children stand at his side or else rip into questionable statements Young has made in the past.”
“But unfortunately, there’s no way to achieve this,” the source added.
At press time, the identity of the individual who placed the sign in his front yard, and essentially handed the Republican Party another seat in what figures to be a pivotal midterm election, was revealed to be Herb Whittaker, a 53-year-old hardware store employee.
“I wanted to show my support for Todd Young,” Whittaker said. “So I put a sign on the lawn.”
OK… it’s not from me… it’s from THE ONION. I needed to have a laugh after today. – BT
- it depends on what the definition of prop is OR if you can’t define “prop”, then you shouldn’t be elected to Congress (schansblog.blogspot.com)
- Indiana’s 9th District: Baron Hill vs. Todd Young (time.com)
- First Thoughts: How to spot a GOP wave (firstread.msnbc.msn.com)
OK. I’m back from Brown’s, $428.00 poorer, but with a car that has passed the State Inspection. I drove it around town a bit and the steering felt fine… the whole car felt fine. So now I have one less thing to worry about.
I got home to see Chris Matthews go into why he thought the Dems would end up losing both Houses of Congress (Jeez… I hope not!) and how he thought that would actually be GOOD for Obama … he thought it was good for Clinton when he lost Congress in his second year and why Matthews thought that got Bill reelected. I don’t really agree with any of this. I think we are at a point where everyone is looking at next Wednesday and doesn’t want to look like they were wrong THIS Wednesday.
Couldn’t take it any more…turned the channel to “Cash Cab” while I got the trash together and bagged to go out tonite. I always learn something listening to Cash Cab while I work around the house (like, in Finland, duct tape is called “Jesus Tape.”)
And take a look at Linda McMahon in Connecticut. It doesn’t look like money is going to buy that one either.
Here’s the first couple of paragraphs:
History Never Repeats Itself
by Doctor Cleveland
Election day is next Tuesday. Papers like the New York Times and Washington Post began publishing their post-mortem analyses of the election results last week. What should Obama do now that next Tuesday’s results are in? Highly paid opinion writers have opinions.
The current conventional wisdom has two basic pillars:
1) It is currently 1994.
2) Since it’s 1994, Bill Clinton should be President.
I’m going to leave the actual electoral predictions to my colleague Articleman and to folks like Nate Silver. But even if Tuesday night were to turn into an exact replay of 1994, district by district, the political situation on Wednesday morning would still be something completely new. History echoes itself, but it never repeats exactly. If this really were 1994, of course, being more like Bill Clinton would be a stupid idea, like telling someone fighting Muhammad Ali to be more like Sonny Liston. As Ezra Klein and Josh Marshall both remind us, the Big Dog was soundly beaten in 1994. And his post-1994 playbook, no matter how successful it was fifteen years ago, is just not going to work in 2011. Things have changed.
Now go to DAGBLOG to read the rest.
- Don’t count the Democrats out yet, Bill Clinton says (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- The Big Dog on the road (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Bill Clinton Plays to 1/3-Full Gym: Bubba’s Crowds Stayed Home in Blue Michigan (maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com)
- The return of Bill Clinton, cont’d (powerlineblog.com)
From Talking Points Memo:
You know… it is amazing what some people will say or do for a brief moment of National fame.
- What Shall It Profitt Thee (talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Following Up On The Kentucky Head Stomper: Rand Paul Coordinator Apologizes (mediaite.com)
- The Kentucky Stomper’s ridiculous excuse (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Waiting on Rand Paul’s Apology Over Campaign Coordinator Who Stomped on Woman’s Head (womensrights.change.org)
- Tim Profitt Issued Summons, Whines [Greg Laden’s Blog] (scienceblogs.com)
- Tea Partier Who Stomped Lady’s Face: ‘I’m Sorry It Came to That’ [Crazies] (gawker.com)
So many of you have been following this blog since 2004 that I feel like a member of a huge web community.
I have enjoyed bringing you The Cartoon or Cartoons of the Week, the Quotes, the Political and Arts News, the Blogrolls to the best sites in America and beyond… They are all a joy to put together. Often we get the breaking political stories before you see them anywhere else. And our wide open communication channels with readers can’t be beat.
Well, once again, I need YOUR help to keep it going. I’m hoping you will make a small contribution, by PayPal or credit/debit card, in support of Under The LobsterScope. You’d be amazed at how much $5.00 can do to help me bring more and more to these pages. And it is probably the LOWEST annual
subscription fee you will make to any publication… interactive or not.
And for a contribution of $5.00 (or MORE) you will receive a copy of my Picture Font, Bill’s Cast O’ Characters (I send you the True Type versions for both Macs and PCs by email). I regularly sell this font for $29.95. Sample to the right:
You should know, however, that even a contribution of only $1.00 adds to the ability of this unemployed blogger to find things for your benefit, and gives you my heartfelt thanks. By clicking on the DONATE button below, you tell me that Under The LobsterScope makes a difference in your time on the web.
– Bill T.
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
– President Dwight D. Eisenhower – November 8, 1954
If Ike were here now, I bet he’d be surprised at the success of the Texas Oil Millionaires and the politicians and businessmen who have suckered so many Americans into today’s mess.
What do you think?
- The Tea Party Will Die If They Become a Party (socyberty.com)
- Testing the limits of grabbing the third rail (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Joe Miller’s Wife Collected Unemployment Benefits: The Hypocrisy Of The Republican Tea Party Knows No Bounds (alan.com)
- Early Morning Swim: Rachel Maddow on the Koch Brothers’ Funding of the Tea Party (firedoglake.com)
- Robert J. Elisberg: Fixing Social Security. Fixing It Real Good. (huffingtonpost.com)