Friday, October 31, 2008

The Latest Poll


... But this one has nothing to do with politics.
UConn, which returns four starters, was the No. 2 pick in The Associated Press' preseason Top 25 released today, followed by Louisville, UCLA and Pittsburgh.

... UConn was also ranked No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll released yesterday.

Connecticut, Louisville and Pittsburgh give the Big East three teams in the top five, and there are a record-tying seven from the conference overall in the Top 25.
Now I know absolutely nothing about the 2008-2009 version of the UNC Tarheels, but they must be something to outpoll the Huskies. Furthermore, the Heels "are the first unanimous No. 1 since the preseason poll began in 1981-82."

The upcoming men's basketball season should certainly be a memorable one.

"Joe, where are you?"


I realize this happened yesterday, but Senator Septuagenarian's plaintive and unanswered call for Joe the Plumber has got to be just about the funniest moment of the campaigns.

And the actions of the simpering pill-popper over his right shoulder makes this all the more hilarious.

Thursday, October 30, 2008



I like to think that I keep my ear to the ground regarding possible conspiracies by the powers that be, but this is a new one for me.
For the past two months, a major American magazine and an allied news service have been engaged in a legal battle with the United States Navy over records that they believe show that John McCain once was involved in an automobile accident that injured or, perhaps, killed another individual.

... The incident has been largely, if not entirely, kept from the public. And in documents suing the Navy to release pertinent information, lawyers for the NS News Service allege that a cover-up may be at play.
I don't know if now would be a good time to spill these beans, but, at the very least, it's an interesting story.

I feel his pain


Steve Benen a few hours ago:
It's one thing to point out some of the absurdities of the presidential campaign, but it's altogether more challenging to find different adjectives that sufficiently capture the madness emanating from McCain campaign headquarters. Reading today that McCain is going after Obama on tax breaks for Big Oil is just the latest evidence that the Republican presidential ticket is engaged in some kind of satirical performance art, and I'm just not in on the joke.
I know the feeling: I said six weeks ago that I had nothing more to write about the campaigns.

The Phils


To a person, everyone I've heard discuss last night's "game" has indicated that he sure did like the idea of a three-inning contest.

It's certainly possible that baseball has become so tedious that watching a regulation nine-inning game (with its three-plus hour length) is onerous. If such is the case, the sport may be in for some rough times.

I have a very bad feeling about this


The Courant reports this morning that
A new poll suggests that voter alienation is prompting support for proposed revisions to the Connecticut Constitution ...

The poll found that 50 percent of voters support a convention to amend the state constitution and 39 percent are opposed.
Even though the Courant goes out of its way to show that "voters favor amending the constitution to allow citizen ballot initiatives, but they reject the anti-gay-marriage sentiments prominent in calls for a constitutional convention," the fact remains that the most strident proponent of the ballot question is the Roman Catholic Church—and that institution is well known for its antipathy toward what it considers unnatural relationships.

Beyond that, however, the notion of lawmaking by referendum has had disastrous consequences wherever it's been tried. To cite the most obvious example, the protocol has absolutely eviscerated public services in California in the last thirty years via the hideous Proposition 13—a 1978 citizen ballot initiative that severely limited government entities' ability to raise revenue.

As the Sage of Baltimore famously wrote: "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." I'm fearful that such ignorance will force Connecticut to adopt practices that it would otherwise never have considered.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NC-8's Latest Poll


McClatchy is reporting that
North Carolina Congressman Robin Hayes, reeling from recent remarks about "Liberals hating real Americans," has lost his lead in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District race.

Hayes trails Democrat Larry Kissell 51-46 in a poll released Tuesday by Raleigh's Public Policy Polling. In its last NC-8 poll in August, PPP had the incumbent Hayes leading by five points.
Now, it's still a week to election day, but this is certainly encouraging. For what seems like an eternity, I've wanted this election to be over and done with if only because the campaigns were so excruciating. Now, I'd like to get it done so that the Dems can use the momentum they've got as soon as possible.

Here's to keeping it going.

And this is bad because?


Patrick Buchanan tells us what we have to fear from "the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid."

Connecticut's Unpopular Senators


The Courant this morning takes a look at how the Constitution State's US senators' approval ratings have taken a nose dive.
The poll by The Courant and the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut found that 48 percent of residents disapprove and 42 percent approve of [Senator Christopher] Dodd, a Democrat.

The numbers are worse for Lieberman, a self-described "independent Democrat": 53 percent disapprove and 41 percent approve of his performance ...

"I'm not terribly surprised by it," Dodd said Monday night. "People are angry. This is the most difficult time economically in my political life."
That is just so much crapola: Voters in Connecticut aren't upset by economics vis-à-vis Dodd. Rather, they're irked at the subterfuge he's evinced regarding the sweetheart deals he made with various financial entities. He still refuses to come clean about the matters, charitably stating that he'll decide when he'll be forthcoming about his dishonesty.

Holy Joe, who "could not be reached for comment" regarding his approval ratings, is, of course, beyond the pale.

Here's the problem, however: Neither of these dinosaurs is up for re-election this year. Dodd runs again in 2010—and, I suspect, even though he'll be running for (in best Lewis Black imitation) his sixth freakin' term, he'll run again at age 66—and we're stuck with our junior senator until, God help us, 2012.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now it begins


Cyrus Farivar of reports:
I noted in passing last week that West Virginia has had the distinct honor of being the first state in the union to report problems (surprise! surprise!) with its electronic voting systems. There are now also reports that similar problems have been happening in Tennessee and Texas as well. No doubt these won't be the last.

So what exactly has happened? Largely, the problem has been what's been dubbed "vote flipping" or "vote switching"—which is exactly what it sounds like.
How many freakin' elections do we have to go through before county clerks, secretaries of state, and their ilk realize that electronic voting machines either don't work or are too vulnerable to sabotage?

With these kinds of shenanigans occurring with election day still a week away, it's no wonder that "both parties are amassing thousands and thousands of lawyers to keep an eye on the polls."

The Stevens ripple effect


Here's an interesting take on today's convictions of the odious Ted Stevens:
U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' guilty verdict makes it even more likely Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will tell Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to get lost.

... Stevens' conviction, handed down Monday in a Washington, D.C., federal court, almost ensures that his Democratic opponent, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, will join the Senate. Suddenly Democrats increasingly do not need Lieberman as much as he needs them. The Pindell Report now estimates that with Alaska flipping, Democrats will have 59 seats in the Senate. Democratic majority status is assured. Republicans are also are at risk of losing three more seats in Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky. If Democrats pick off just one of those seats they will have necessary benchmark of 60 votes to override a Republican filibuster.
To tell the truth, this scenario is almost too much to wish for: getting rid of both Stevens and Holy Joe in one fell swoop. Personally, I'll be somewhat surprised if Stevens doesn't prevail next week, and for the Dems to capture a seat (or two) in the redder than red Mississippi, Georgia, or Kentucky really seems unlikely even this year.

... Pretty soon, you're talking about real money


Unschooled in high finance as I am, I don't quite understand the vagaries of the Yankees' deal with the Bronx, but it sure sounds unseemly.

ESPN has a video report.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Question of the day


Does anyone else think there've been an extraordinary number of injuries in the NFL this season?



Via, this gets my vote for best video of the campaign season.

Pennsylvania on my mind


I continue to be bemused by NPR's unwavering insistence that Pennsylvania is a battleground state. The network is continuing to run a series to that effect and apparently will do so until election day. The truth of the matter is that the Keystone State isn't close to being undecided as Obama's lead there is 11 percentage points—at least in the latest poll I've seen. Nevertheless, NPR has a story and it's apparently sticking to it. (Frank Rich discusses this phenomenon here.)

On the sports scene, two Pennsylvania teams won last night—or this morning, depending on your time zone. The Nittany Lions won at Columbus for the first time in thirty years (Joe Pa was even on the sideline for this one.), and the Phils won in the bottom of the ninth.

What a quandary for Pennsylvania sports fans: Do they watch the football or the baseball? I suppose the ridiculous start time for the baseball made the debate moot, but the situation had the potential to have been a real dilemma.

For what it's worth, if viewer ratings had the potential to be down before the World Series started, I've got to think they absolutely submerged for a game that didn't end until after 0130 in the east. The whole thing was pretty much symptomatic of just how much baseball has sold its soul to the great god, Plutus.

As the Chicago Tribune goes ...


Not surprisingly, the Courant endorsed Obama for president this morning—tepidly, to be sure, but an endorsement nevertheless.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Senator Sanctimony's Scare, cont'd


A hysterical and whiny Holy Joe averred yesterday that "his comments [regarding the presidential campaign] have been within bounds." This, of course, comes after he stated in August that Barack Obama doesn't always put the country first.

Connecticut's quisling surely now sees the handwriting on the wall and is desperately hoping that his treachery won't cost him the precious chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. That decision will be up to Harry Reid, of course, who's been less than forthcoming on his buddy's future.

It would certainly be ridiculous if Senator Sanctimony were allowed to keep the chairmanship of a committee charged with protecting the US against the likes of people he's accused Obama of being.

What a disgraceful excuse of a politician and of a man.

UPDATE — Steve Benen has more.

You can't make this stuff up, cont'd


Today's edition of YCMTSU has to do with a certain presidential candidate's brother.

Apparently, McCain frère believes that an appropriate response to the question, "Are you calling 9-1-1 to report a traffic problem?" is "F*ck you!"

As apparently, the candidate's little brother has an extremely short fuse, unlike his better known and more stable sibling.

Friday, October 24, 2008

You can't make this stuff up


In today's edition of YCMTSU, the New York Times identifies the McCain-Palin campaign's highest paid staffer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Republican Duplicity


Just another example.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Senator Sanctimony's sorrow


What Atrios said.

Liberals and Real Americans


I'm following the 8th Congressional District race in North Carolina because C-Train is involved in it. It's become quite the horse race, and the Democratic challenger, Larry Kissell, certainly has a good shot of winning the seat from the execrable Robin Hayes.

Hayes, of course, has started spouting what is apparently the party line when it comes to Republican talking points.
Republican Rep. Robin Hayes said Tuesday he did not recall telling voters at a John McCain rally that "liberals hate real Americans," but after reading his remarks, said they came out the wrong way.

The 63-year-old Hayes spoke on Saturday in Concord before the Republican presidential nominee's appearance, and told the crowd: "Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God."

... Oddly, Hayes spoke earlier in his brief speech about the notes he had prepared, saying, "One of the things we need to do is to be certain we don't say something stupid."
Hayes' loss of memory and his lame excuse regarding his syntax demonstrate that he has little intelligence and less integrity. I can only hope the people of southern North Carolina are able to see this demagoguery for what it is.

And speaking of congressional districts in North Carolina, one need only look at the state's 12th Congressional District to (a) understand the notion of gerrymandering and (b) realize that, with this kind of nonsense going on when it comes to creating congressional districts, it's ridiculously difficult to dislodge an incumbent.

UPDATE — Howie Klein has more on the Hayes meltdown.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Farce that is Guantánamo


The civil rights violation du jour leads me to think that if the US had an Attorney General who actually cared about the rule of law, nonsense like this wouldn't be countenanced.

This, in turn, makes me wonder what an Obama cabinet might look like. Herewith one man's choices for the posts:

Secretary of State: Wesley Clark
Secretary of Defense: Richard Danzig
Secretary of the Treasury: Brad DeLong or Paul Krugman
Attorney General: Patrick Fitzgerald
Secretary of the Interior: Mary Anne Hitt
Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Harkin
Secretary of Commerce: Stuart Eizenstat
Secretary of Labor: Robert Reich
Secretary of HHS: Gail McGovern
Secretary of HUD: Muzzy Rosenblatt
Secretary of Transportation: John Prater
Secretary of Energy: Gregory Yurek
Secretary of Education: Rudy Crew
Secretary of Veterans' Affairs: Eric Shinseki
Secretary of Homeland Security: Jacqueline Seabrooks
Director of OMB: Warren Buffett
Administrator of EPA: Mark Tercek
Head of FOMC: Paul Krugman or Brad DeLong

I admit, some of these choices are a little off the wall, but all would be excellent in their respective posts. I think Obama could certainly do worse, and it's just too awful to contemplate the kind of yahoos Senator Septuagenarian might appoint. (God knows his first appointment was horrendous.)

At any rate, this subject is starting to get a little attention given Obama's status as front runner.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Da Sawks


While I obviously have no way to prove this, I can't help but think that had the Olde Towne Team had a certain Bronx-born Puerto Rican on its roster, it would have prevailed in the series against the Rays. To be sure, Jason Bay had a nice series, batting .292 and knocking in some crucial runs, but his stats kind of pale in comparison to the .533 show that Manny put on.

Go Phils!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Medical records


Governor Go-go absolutely refuses to release any of her medical records. For what it's worth, I think her recalcitrance is due to the fact that such records would show she hasn't been pregnant since 2001.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hell freezes over


The Chicago Tribune endorses a Democrat for president.

I mention this only because it would appear that the Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper, will now be free to do the same.

Déjà vu


I wrote a few weeks ago that the only way Republicans can win a national election these days is if they hand pick the electorate. That process seems to have now started.

Both Senator Septuagenarian and Governor Go-go have become apoplectic on the phantom issue of voter fraud (the former actually stating that the "issue" had the potential of "destroying the fabric of democracy"), and it's sure to becloud the next few weeks. But that's what the treasonous Republicans do best.

The fact that the DOJ has yet again become involved in this type of political activity shows just how subversive the executive branch has become and provides yet another reason why the Bushies and the McCainiacs should be ridden out of Washington on a rail.

UPDATE — Steve Benen comments on who's getting this inanity right.

Levi Stubbs


DarLucky lets me know that one of the icons of Motown, Levi Stubbs, has died.

A pretty good overview of Stubbs' career with the Four Tops can be found here.

I remember in the early sixties, when Berry Gordy "discovered" the Tops, that they'd already been around for some time. There was much exaggeration about exactly how long they'd been around (Some people averred they'd heard them in the 1940s.), but when "I Can't Help Myself" came out, it was obvious that Motown had some new hitmakers.

I first saw the Tops at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ in March of 1967, when they were at the apex of their fame. They did a version of "Bernadette" that night that I've never forgotten. I last saw them about ten years ago in New Haven in concert with the Temptations, and Levi and his backups were still doing it to it. Unlike the Tempts, the Four Tops never varied their lead singer in any of their songs. They didn't need to: When you've got "one of the most dynamic and emotive voices of all the Motown singers," anyone else trying to take the lead would have just gummed up the works.

Certainly, no one else could have sung these lines with the power of Levi Stubbs:

They'll tell you a story of sadness
A story too hard to believe
They'll tell you the loneliest one is me
Just ask the lonely
Ask me
I'm the loneliest one you'll see

Requiescat in pace.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Awful and creepy and weird


The Blues have it.
Fifty-eight percent of the watchers questioned [after last night's presidential debate] said Democratic runner Obama did the best job ... with 31 percent saying Republican Senator John McCain performed best.
Thanks to Atrios for this post's title.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Rachel Maddow


I had a chance to talk to a number of very progressive friends over the weekend, and one of the conversations had to do with Rachel Maddow. Now, I realize Ms. Maddow is a media star right now, but I really didn't quite understand her appeal. The friend indicated it was due to Maddow's sense of humor.

I have to admit I've watched only about ten minutes of Maddow's MSNBC program and, to be sure, was impressed. In my short viewing span, I didn't realize it was her ironical sense that was winning her so many viewers. When next I get a chance, I'll try to hone in on it more.

Did I mention this is boring?


The Republicans continue to exhibit their benighted thinking ad nauseam. Viz., the only way to run a political campaign is to attack the opponent (not his ideas, mind you, but him), and the only way to solve a financial crisis is to cut taxes.

The former is symptomatic of a small mind; the latter is symptomatic of an ignorant one.

Monday, October 13, 2008



Paul Krugman wins the Nobel Prize.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reputation, Reputation, Reputation!


Steve Benen points out this Christian idiocy, which, to a nonbeliever such as I, is absolutely hilarious.
Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.
Yeah, I know I'm certainly waiting for the Lord to make His appearance known in the next three weeks.

And yet, there are millions who buy into this nonsense.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't need to juxtapose these two stories


The Courant has already done so.

With all the hoopla going on around here this weekend, I'd completely missed this excellent turn of events.
The state Supreme Court on Friday delivered gay and lesbian couples the validation they have long been seeking — the right to marry.

In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that same-sex couples cannot be prevented from marrying — and that civil unions, those marriage-like legal arrangements that Connecticut has offered to gay people since 2005, are not an acceptable substitute.
The state Supreme Court's historic ruling legalizing gay marriage Friday has prompted the state's Roman Catholic bishops to call on Catholics to vote "yes" on a key ballot initiative Nov. 4.

The question of whether the state should hold a constitutional convention had been a low-key issue until the court's ruling ignited opponents of gay marriage.
All the more reason to vote no on the proposition in three weeks. Governor Clubwoman is sure to hold on to her allegiance to the proposal, thinking that the court's decision is just too icky to contemplate.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ed Snider is an idiot


Here's why.

BTW—I spent the last two days in the hallowed halls of justice, and the whole event was very interesting. I came out ok, but the notion of perjury seems to me to be, at best, observed in its breach.

Also, an important family event will occur over the weekend, so posting will be sporadic at best for the next few days.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

When is a debate not a debate?


When it has these rules.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Where we stand


According to today's New York Times,
Just six states representing 78 electoral votes — Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia — are tossups. currently projects Obama to garner 340 electoral votes.

Whoda thunk it?


What Kevin said.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thirteen years later


I'm embarrassed to say that I share the satisfaction of millions regarding the outcome of the latest Simpson trial.

It seems to me that he finally got what he deserved.

Friday, October 03, 2008

"May I call you Joe?"


Short of a downright meltdown, I think this is pretty much the way people would've expected last night's debate to go.



I was out of the state yesterday and so missed this item:
The state Board of Education today approved a costly proposal to remake Connecticut high schools by raising graduation requirements, requiring students to pass state exams in certain classes and ensuring every student has an adviser and an individualized plan of study.

The proposal, which will now be submitted to the legislature, comes amid a tough economic climate, with projections of a $300 million state deficit this year and lean times ahead. Over the next eight years, the plan is projected to cost the state $183.9 million, according to the state Department of Education.
This may happen, but if one looks at the comments after the article, it's clear that the $184 million price tag is bothersome to more than a few people. We'll see how it shakes out, but the resolution may be appreciably more complicated than simply
increasing the number of required courses to 25, up from 20, [laying] out specific courses students must take and call[ing] for students to complete a "capstone" project before graduating.
The good news, I suppose, is that the earlier proposal that
included a requirement that students take two years of world language before graduating ... was not included in the version the board passed today.
Good thing. There literally aren't enough world language teachers in the state to fulfill that mandate.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Watching the Sausage Get Made


I think this is the most interesting portion of the bailout bill:

(a) IN GENERAL.—Paragraph (2) of section 4161(b) is amended by redesignating subparagraph (B) as sub301 paragraph (C) and by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:
‘‘(B) EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN WOODEN ARROW SHAFTS.—Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft (whether sold separately or incorporated as part of a finished or unfinished product) of a type used in the manufacture of any arrow which after its assembly—
‘‘(i) measures 5⁄16 of an inch or less in diameter, and‘‘(ii) is not suitable for use with a bow described in paragraph (1)(A).’’.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall apply to shafts first sold after the date of enactment of this Act.

There’s also a section on computing W-2 income for those in film and television production. They really should have to put their names on these.

Update: Bloomberg provides clarification here.

The "C" word


MoDo has never been averse to hitting below the belt—even when she's got no grudge against her victim. Here's what she can do when someone actually irks her.

UPDATE - County Fair evaluates the situation.

Joe Courtney, cont'd


Joe Courtney's vote (see below) on Monday certainly doesn't seem to have hurt him at all.

The Courant follows up.

And while I'm thinking of the bailout, I've recently discovered just who's to blame for the credit debacle the US is facing. It isn't those nice Republican bankers and bond traders. Rather, it's those nasty liberals who passed the awful Community Reinvestment Act so that more loans to minorities could be expedited.

Imagine: The blacks and the browns tried to better themselves. How dare they?