Monthly Archives: October 2008

Friday McBush/McSame Bashing (Penultimate Edition)

Vote Early.










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Posted in Politics: McCain | Leave a comment

New Taddeo Ad — Still Mostly Positive

Here's Annette Taddeo's latest (final?) ad, focusing on health care. It's still positive.

Personally, I would have preferred something a little more negative. Taddeo has run a positive, decent, uplifting campaign. That might have won it if outside groups like the DCCC had come through with the necessary negative ads exposing Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's views on the war (for it!), uninsured poor children's healthcare (against it if it involves paying for it!), social security (let's privatize 50% of it!), and her links to the Scientologists (I gather she's their favorite Congressperson).

But for some reason the DCCC failed to come through.

Can you be too decent to be elected? Yes you can.

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Posted in Politics: FL-18 | Leave a comment

Happy Halloween

Be afraid.

Or do something.

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Posted in Completely Different | Leave a comment

The Right Wing Unhinged

People who begin with the premise that the Democrats must be wrong find inexplicable the electorate's apparent embrace of the Democratic message on healthcare, the economy, the war(s), social security, and energy security.

Comes now one “Dr. William D. Horton” (with an assist from Dr. Rush Limbaugh) to explain this seeming contradiction between what they take to be the natural order and the consensual reality we seem to inhabit.

Can you guess what they say explains Barack Obama's national appeal?

No, it's not the substance — that's ruled out by hypothesis. It's….wait for it…..hypnosis.

Yes, in this demented worldview, the US of A is being subjected to nearly diabolical mind control as the soothing slow voice of Barack Obama gently eases the viewing public to surrender its reason and its freedom via the application of neurolinguistic programming. It's so controlling, so clever, so soothing, that it's JUST LIKE HITLER. (As Dave Barry says, I am not making this up. The video being circulated by these guys culminates with footage of Hitler and jackboots.) The only way to survive is DON'T LISTEN TO HIM.

I know all this because I'm on some weird mailing list I didn't ask to be on in which something called “special guests” writes me all the time and offers me guests, one loonier than the next, for the talk show I don't happen to have. But today's email promoting Dr. Will B. Horton (wasn't he a character in Kudzu?) must surely take the cake.

Links to a nutty article and crazier video for those strong of stomach.

Less than a week to go. Expect even more stuff to crawl up out of the woodwork.

Posted in Politics: US: 2008 Elections | 8 Comments

My French Radio Debut

I made my (very brief) debut on French radio, in French, yesterday, via a tiny snippet from a long taped interview with a reporter from RTL, the big French radio network.

Although we talked a lot about the impact of the internet on the election, the excerpt they used, which appears near the end of the segment, is about the role of racism in the election, a subject on which I likely know no more than next guy. – “L'autre Amérique” (3) : les USA, pays raciste?

Judging from the interview requests I'm getting from foreign media, a lot of reporters based in Europe think that nice warm Miami — near the epicenter of the last two elections — is the perfect place from which to do their election-week coverage. And they seem to have persuaded their editors to authorize the trips…

Posted in The Media | Leave a comment

CQ Politics on South Florida Congressional Races

In a recognition that the race is tightening, CQ Politics, a leading observer of congressional electoral politics, has just changed its rating for FL-18, the race in which Annette Taddeo is challenging long-time incumbent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

CQ Politics is a conservative and lagging indicator of of the degree to which incumbents are threatened. Here are how its ratings have changed for the South Florida Congressional races:

Florida 18:
One year ago: Safe Republican
Six months ago: Safe Republican
Today: Republican Favored

Florida 21:
One year ago: Safe Republican
Six months ago: Republican Favored
Today: Leans Republican

Florida 25:
One year ago: Safe Republican
Six months ago: Republican Favored
Today: Leans Republican

Personally I'd say the Democrats are out in front in FL-21, it's very close in FL-25 (but early voting is looking good! Go Joe!), and Annette Taddeo still has a little (but less and less) ground to make up in FL-25 FL-18.

But the bottom line is clear: no one is safe this year.

Full list of CQ Politics ratings changes in US Congressional races

Posted in Politics: FL-18 | 1 Comment

Gov. Crist Extends Early Voting Hours

A smart politician does the right thing when it helps his side.

Charlie Crist is a smart politician.

The loooong lines at the Florida polls were making people wonder what was wrong (again!) with the state's voting officials. One reason for the long lines was that the legislature changed the rules to reduce the hours and locations — a combination of penny pinching and the historical GOP bias against making it easy for the riff-raff to vote. So it was popular politics for the would-be post-partisan Governor (but see his judicial appointments!!!) to do whatever it took to restore some sanity by extending polling hours to 12 hours per day from the artificially short six hours in most locations.

Lost in all the kudos for the Governor's act of sanity (has it come to this? the government does the obvious and necessary and the Herald's local columnist falls over herself praising it? ) is the political calculation undoubtedly behind this move. Never forget that Charlie Crist is one smart calculating politician: you don't move from “Chain Gang Charlie” to Mr. (attempted) Middle-of-the-Road without a keen sense of how the wind blows.

Now, imagine you are a Republican who believes that his political chances will be best helped by carrying his state for the GOP, or failing that by being seen to have gone the extra mile for the ticket. It's true that having McCain/Palin win the election is bad for your long-term future, but there's so little chance of that happening that you can afford to make a big Florida push.

What are you afraid of? The biggest thing on your mind is that the GOP vote is going to stay home. You're worried they're going to stay home because they never liked John McCain anyway. You're worried they're going to stay home because they think Sarah Palin is unfit to command. You're worried they're going to stay home because the polls suggest that the state and the nation are lost. And, to top it off, you're worried they're going to stay home because with all this baggage weighing the ticket down, a measurable fraction of the GOP vote is going to stay home because it doesn't want to stand in line for three hours. (Anecdotal evidence suggests, that the average Obama voter is more energized about the ticket than the average GOP voter, so the long lines just make matters worse.)

So of course Charlie Crist did what he had to do to shorten the poll lines. It was smart politics. And self-interested too.

Posted in Florida | 2 Comments