Thursday, November 09, 2006

Exchange of the Day

Jimmy Neutron: I've always been into prestidigitaion!

Sheen: Ow! Ow! Six syllable words make my brain hurt!
The Telling Difference

It's instructive to look at the difference between the Republicans' loss this year and the Democrats' losses in 2000 and 2004.

You don't hear Republicans demanding the world stop while every single ballot is scrutinised. You don't see Republicans demanding that every single possibility be studied to death until someone's suspicion is confirmed.

There's no talk of secession. There's no talk of moving to ... well, anywhere. No talk of PelosiLand, or "Light Fingers Harry" stealing elections. No wailing that the Republic is ended in an orgy of drugs and sex from those insane Democrats. No filthy language or crude epithets.

Just a sense that "We lost, but we'll try again next time." A recognition of what likely went wrong and a willingness to fix themselves, instead of eviscerating the Democrats to place the blame in them.

If anything, I'm picking up a strong sense of opportunity from Republicans. A chance to get new leadership that will address core issues meaningfully. A sense of a watershed, even.

No screaming for heads. No bloodthirsty mobs demanding sacrifice. In fact, the two most prominent victims (Hastert and Rumsfeld) went down before the election results had even become completely clear! Fell on their own swords, quickly and without fuss, in the morning light.

To be fair, inasmuch as I've paid attention, the "nutroots" crowd seems to have shut up, at least for now. Their big moment -- the Lamont insurgency -- came to a crashing close. Lieberman is truly in the catbird seat thanks to them. Most of the Democratic freshman class of '06 is decidedly centrist/moderate/conservative. The Kossacks have demonstrated their electoral impotence and irrelevance to the Democratic Party.

Will they continue the useless fighting? Recalibrate after reflection? Set their sights on the Green Party? Start a Progressive Party? Who knows.

But it's clear: the aftermath of the loss of '06 is a staid and tidy affair compared to the threats, rancor and acrimony of '00 and '04. Words and behavior say a lot and say it clearly. It's instructive to compare.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats Make Little Girl Cry

Oh, come on. You know you were thinking it too.
Rumsfeld Resigns

Check your favorite news outlet. It's the BIG STORY of the day now. Couple that with yesterday's Democratic win and ... well, I don't know.

If he'd resigned last Friday or even Monday, would it have blunted the losses yesterday? By resigning today, are Rumsfeld and Bush hoping to cut Pelosi's House investigations off before they even begin? The timing just stinks.

And he's already announced Bob Gates as his nominee! (And the Widipedia entry has already changed to reflect this!) Talk about stealing thunder. And yet they wait until it's too late to announce it? I dunno.

And now the press is only asking Bush about the Rumsfeld matter, not pelting him with "After yesterday's defeats, why are you a loser?" questions.
Gotta Love the Commercial Appeal

They stick by their buddies to the bitter end. After yesterday's win by Bob Corker, how do they headline it this morning?
Ford falls just short with good numbers in Nashville: Close Senate contest reflects dead-heat polls statewide
With free campaign support like this, how could Ford have lost?

WEDNESDAY NIGHT CORRECTION: As Lindsey pointed out in comments, what I said only applies to the online edition. The paper version does have an enormous headline: Corker conquers and a huge picture that straddles the fold.

Am I being petty if I note that the picture is positioned and cropped (or not cropped at the top) so that, in the paper I saw, Corker's head is cut off just below his nose. It looks like he's too short to see over the fold and his hand is up to get folks to notice him. A subtle comment, maybe? Who knows....

And to be fair, who chose the Ford picture? Could you make him look any swishier?

And no, I didn't buy a paper copy of the CA. After all, when you can get the specific dairy items you want online, why buy the cow?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I've been trying to find Shelby County election numbers, but anyone working off the Shelby County Election Commission feed (nearly every newspaper and television station, unfortunately) is missing all kinds of numbers. Many races are still reporting zero precincts at 9PM.

Anyone know what's up?

And the WMC/5 site appears to have gone down under the Internet load. I'm getting a "server busy" error message.

On a tangential note, late this afternoon -- around 5PM -- CNN started reporting that "exit polls" showed that corruption (Paula Zahn hit that word with incredulity) was the main voter concern. "And that's bad news for Republicans!" she declared. Sheesh....

What appears clear is that conservatism is winning. Lamont -- poster boy of the far-left, anti-Bush crowd -- was handily defeated. Lieberman wins and Chafee (most "moderate" of Republicans) loses. Most of the electoral turnovers are to Democrats who are sharply more conservative than their leadership. Ought to make for an interesting first few weeks for the Democrats when the next session starts up.

Can't wait to hear Democrats start crowing about "mandates for change." Remember, most of these races are being decided on narrow 51/49% margins. Hardly "mandates." But they will crow. Oh yes they will.
Icicles in Memphis

What with all the dreary weather and the voting and the mishigas, let me provide you with a little bit of happy.

Meet The Icicles!

Sometime in the past few months you've likely heard them as the soundtrack to this Motorola KRAZR ad. Strong, clear female vocals over a classic, jangly pop song. They remind me of English, female-fronted bands like The Primitives or The Darling Buds.

It took me a while to track down the band and song, but I did. "Sugar Sweet," by The Icicles. It's even better outside the commercial! Listen to the other free track and you'll hear a similar formula, but the better production of "Sugar Sweet" gives it a more muscular sound and presence that makes it winning. That's always important with otherwise frothy pop confections like this.

I haven't been this charmed by a song since, well ... "Evil" by Interpol. Gretchen DeVault's winsome, joyous singing and the Farfisa organ-like counterpoint totally win me over. So give yourself a little bit of sunny, breezy pop fun and check out the song. It beats listening to "... and I approved this ad" all day!
Nothing to See Here

So I voted today at my usual precinct -- the old Brotherhood of Man building at Poplar and Willett. It was early afternoon, not many people there. I was in and out in minutes. I asked the precinct captain how turnout was and he said quite heavy, despite the lull while I as there.

As I post, you've still got four hours left to vote. (More if you're in a Ford precinct!) Make sure you do.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What's the Choice?

This editorial, from the Washington Examiner points out the simple truth. Democrats and their allies in the media have refocused the debate in the country from defense against the terrorists who would attack and kill us, at home and abroad, and out allies, to a simple question on the President. As the editorial points out, it's a lot more than that.

If we give the Democrats power, we are left with a famous Englishman's plea: "You say you want a revolution. Well you know, we all wanna see the plan." The only things I've heard are to leave Iraq or redeploy troops elsewhere. Maybe slice the country up into provinces, a la the former Yugoslavia. You can see what a success that's been. Or you could, if there were any news from that part of the world at all. Pretty hard to find; it takes looking.

As the editorial notes, the two most important figures in the supposed election debate, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are MIA. Haven't been seen or heard from in months. It's rather odd for the supposed leaders to be rallying the troops from the shadows.

Do the Republicans have problems? You betcha! But the Dems have nothing but a burning desire to make the last six years go away, with prejudice; to "reclaim" what is "theirs." If given power tomorrow I have no doubt that Congress will be turned into a Bush Investigation Machine intended only to make political hay of anything and everything it can, trying to destroy Bush.

The War on Terror? Our ongoing mission in Iraq? Clearly, not so important to Democrats.

But life or death to Americans.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Corker: 50 / Ford: 38

According to the latest Mason-Dixon polls Corker is now running a 12 point lead over Harold Ford: 50/38. I tried locating the actual data on the M-D site, but no luck. Even with a 2-to-1 breakout for Ford among the Undecideds (based on a breakdown of data from another, Survey-USA poll), Corker still wins.

If this is true -- and another poll from the weekend repeats something like this gap -- this is incredible. Corker will become a legend.

If it's true. We shall see....

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Found the link to a deeper look into the numbers and the methodology. For starters, the poll sample size is just over 600 people, which is small.

The poll also asks about the famous bimbo ad and the results pretty much put the kibosh to Democratic efforts to call it "racist."
Have you seen the television advertisement that mentions Harold Ford’s attendance at a Super Bowl party that featured Playboy bunnies and ends with a blonde-haired woman saying “Harold, call me?”

YES 81%

NO 19%

(IF “YES) Would you describe your opinion of the ad as favorable, unfavorable, or neutral?




(IF “YES) Would you say that the ad makes you more likely to vote for Bob Corker, more likely to vote for Harold Ford, or does it have no real effect on your vote?

FORD 10%


Take a look at the levels of support found in the poll across the three Grand Divisions of the state and you'll see that the conventional wisdom is true. Corker's support is very strong in the East (61%) and falls as you move West (to 39%) whereas Ford's is strongest in the West (49%; not even a majority!) and falls precipitously going East (to an incredible 26%!) Bear in mind, though, the large unreliability factor in these numbers.

And in all three of the "Who do you think would best handle ...?" questions (Iraq and the War on Terror; energy; the economy) Corker holds decisive leads where Ford struggles around 1/3 of the polled.

Just to add some confusion to the mix, according to the latest (this weekend) Rasmussen poll, it's still a statistical dead heat: Corker at 51, and Ford with 47. (Box at top right of page.)

And from our WTF? files, comes a real outlier poll, from Hamilton-Beattie that has Ford leading 46 to 40! If I remember correctly H-B is the firm that does internal polling for the Ford campaign, so deep skepticism is needed. This result matches no other polls I know of at this stage.