August 12, 2006

Religion of Peace...and Progeny: Did you know that Brooke Shields is a lineal descendent of Mohammed, allegedly. So am I, for that matter, and so are you, if you are of European ancestry. Just don't tell Charles Johnson....

August 11, 2006

Another pundit sees fit to blame the "McGovernites" for the defeat of St. Joseph. Thomas Edsall writes in the New Republic:
In a quick and dirty analysis of the difference between the Lamont and Lieberman voters based on income, education, and other demographic data from across Connecticut, Ken Strasma of Strategic Telemetry found that Lamont's strongest support came from areas with high housing values, voters with college or graduate degrees, and parents with children in private schools. Lieberman's votes, in contrast, came from the cities, renters, blue-collar and service-sector workers, and those receiving Social Security benefits.

There is nothing wrong with upscale liberals or downscale renters; a vote is a vote. The problem for the Democrats is (and has been for more than a quarter century) that liberal elites are disproportionately powerful in primaries--where they turn out in much higher numbers--and in the operations of the party itself. In presidential campaigns, these voters have nominated a succession of losers, including George McGovern, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. The power of this wing of the party is easy to see in battles against Republican Supreme Court nominees, when Democratic opposition concentrates on such issues as abortion and sexual privacy to the virtual exclusion of questions of business versus labor, tort law, and the power of the state to regulate corporate activity.
With all due respect, I'm not sure that's an accurate breakdown of the votes. The exit poll done by CBS/New York Times showed almost no divergence in the vote based on income; Lieberman barely won among those who made less than $50k, and Lamont barely won above that total. Lamont did win a clear majority of votes, according to the exit poll, among those two "elitist" voting blocs, union members and African-Americans. Lieberman won among Catholic and Jewish voters, and among voters who never attended college. There was no gender gap to speak of. In short, this was a fairly typical intramural battle between two Democrats, and not some bellweather repudiation by Brie-snorting elites against the working class.

August 10, 2006

How would you like to be the campaign staffer that wrangled this celebrity endorsement? At the very least, it should quiet any talk about Mel Gibson not being a conservative....
A good analysis of the effects of artificial testosterone on an athlete. The consensus seems to be that a one-off boost (such as what Floyd Landis has been accused of) will do nothing to improve performance, since the body's response is to produce less of the hormone, thereby negating the immediate benefit; for artificial testosterone to improve athletic performance, it needs to be taken frequently over a period of time.

August 09, 2006

Shorter Jacob Weisberg*:
However bad the war may be, don't punish its cheerleaders.
There is something truly pathetic about anyone having to use the George McGovern card on a 21st Century election. Putting aside the fact that you can't use a thirty-year old election to predict anything about what will happen this year, or in 2008 or 2010, no more than one could have plausibly attacked FDR and the New Deal in the 1932 Election simply because William Jennings Bryan had failed running on a similar platform in 1896. As Mark Schmitt pointed out earlier this week, the post-McGovern Democratic Party had to battle the notion not just that they were too dovish, but the fact that American involvement in Vietnam had been started by Democrats. Anti-war Democrats may have been distrusted by the public at-large, but it was the party hawks, the Scoop Jackson/Hubert Humphrey wing of the party, that were completely discredited by the disaster in Vietnam.

Obviously, the ongoing debacle in the Persian Gulf cannot be tied to the party that has been out of power this decade. One can hardly say that the party doves, those who have always seen this adventure as folly, will be discredited; the public has an annoying tendency of not distrusting people who were right from the start. It will be a long time before any Republican President is going to be able to rally the people behind another discretionary war, notwithstanding the ingrained hawkishness of Americans. More likely, we'll see a resurgence of isolationism within conservative ranks, and the Paleo-Con v. Neo-Con battle will make the party divisions the Democrats sustained after 1968 seem tame indeed.

*with proper credit to Elton Beard, of course.

August 08, 2006

Lieberman Concedes !! But only for tonight...huge turnout provided the difference. Kos finally gets a real notch on his belt. There will be intense pressure on the Senator to act graciously in defeat in the next few days; I doubt that he's gonna hold most of the 48% of the Dems he got tonight.

UPDATE: Marc Cooper says it best about the Senator's independent run:
I already heard KOS on Air America hyperventilating against this move, mumbling something about some request he plans to make to Harry Reid to expel Lieberman from the Democratic caucus.

I have to scratch my head and wonder what makes some people so phobic about democracy. What is ever gained by restricting access to the ballot? I've already written about how I think Lieberman is a putz. And I'm pleased he lost. But moaning and bitching about him running as an independent seems ridiculous to me.

The way you keep people from gaining elected office is by beating them in elections -- not by keeping them off the ballot. That is, if you believe in democracy or unless you are Fidel Castro.
Beating St. Joseph in the general election will send an even stronger signal about the public's anger over the war, since it won't just be a rejection from Democrats, but from Independents and Republicans as well. And it's going to happen. Bring It On !!
Election day in Connecticut. One thing that interested me about yesterday's poll was the class breakdown. Lamont, the more progressive of the two candidates, is routing Lieberman among wealthy and upper-middle income voters, while the incumbent has a slight lead with voters of below-average incomes. Since people with means tend to be more likely to vote than people without, that's a good sign for the challenger, although I'm somewhat skeptical about the Democrats appealing to Luxury Box Liberals as our way out of the political wilderness.

August 07, 2006

Another sad loss for the Left Coast. There's fast food, and then there's In n' Out. You always get a good, fresh burger and fries, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you're being served by people not being paid a peon's wage.
Do I detect a note of sarcasm? From two recent court decisions, concerning the perfect law our Congress passed last year:
"During hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, evidently testimony was received suggesting that BAPCPA (the Bankruptcy Abuse Protection and Consumer Protection Act) was perfect." S. 256 Hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feb. 10, 2005
--In re TCR of Denver, LLC, 338 B.R. 494, 498 (Bankr.D.Ct. 2006)

"It has been reported that a "technical amendments" bill is in the works to fix various glitches in BAPCPA, notwithstanding Congressional testimony that it was so perfect that not a word need be changed."
--In re McNabb, 326 B.R. 785, 791 (Bankr. D.Ariz. 2005) It's been sort of a pet hobby of bankruptcy judges, trying to figure out the most poorly drafted, idiotic and/or bizarre passage in the law, and throwing it back into the face of its hubristic supporters. Shows what happens when you let the bottom third of our nation's law schools band together to draft laws in our nation's Capitol.
Senator Joseph Lieberman, in his own words. For all the Beltway claims that this challenge is motivated from some "elitist" contempt by progressive and liberal bloggers, Ned Lamont wouldn't even be close if St. Joseph hadn't been so conspicuously contemptuous of the party base during his Senate tenure. This isn't about making bogus claims that Lieberman is a "vichy Democrat", or that his vote to invoke cloture on the Bankruptcy Bill meant that he secretly supported the measure, for example. It's about his unwillingness to use his bully pulpit to take the battle to the Republicans.
51-45: Lamont's lead is cut in half in less than a week. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this poll is the gender gap: the challenger has a comfortable, thirteen point leed with men, but Lieberman is keeping this close by tying Lamont among women. So much for the Alito cloture vote having any importance...six points is the trigger, I think. If St. Joseph finishes within this margin, then I think he claims Joementum and runs through November (and probably wins). Anything worse, and he has to look in the mirror and salvage some dignity from the rout by conceding.