Saturday, November 06, 2004

Open Source Politics

My friends Matt and Stirling at BOPNews have always been talking to me about their idea: open source politics. The concept is to make a candidate and a party like people make software like Firefox or Linux- by sharing the source code and letting each person tweak in their area of expertise. Sounds good in practice I said, and just like Communism, it never works out that way. Poor Stirling tried his philosophy out on a hopeless candidate for the US House (his cousin Jim Newberry), and his own cousin took him to the cleaners.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume we can find an ethical candidate/party with a real chance to win (AKA the Democrats not the Greens or Libertarians). How would we even start? What would our message be, our platform be?

I have thought, and I haven't said it until now, that the Kerry campaign was too locked into the news cycle. They changed their weekly message based on what their NY Times/Wa Post clippings were saying. I think it left as Bush would say "mixed messages:" the good one that you read the news and care and have plans to solve the various problems that come up, the bad one is that you seem like an opportunist with no real platform to stand on other than "this guy is a terrible President and I wouldn't be."

So as Open Source Politikers, let's not get caught up in the daily goings on and focus on broad themes that are positive in nature (not the other guy is bad, but here's what I am going to do and more importantly WHY I want to do it).

I am offering this comment board, and if Matt or Stirling want, their more robust site, to flesh out the overall message, but let me get you all started...

I believe that with Rights comes Responsibility.

The constitution says we have the right to bear arms, and I support that, but with that right comes the responsibility to keep your guns away from children, out of the hands of criminals, and the responsibility to keep your fellow hunters and citizens safe.

I believe that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her body. It is a choice between herself and her God. But again, with that right comes the responsibily of deciding. Women should have half a year to decide if they want to keep the baby or not, and after that they have to stick with it, unless the health of the mother is endanger.

If you want to have the death penalty, you have the responsibility to make sure all those on death row deserve to be there.

If you want to get married (striaght or gay), you better mean it. And the same thing goes with divorce. If you are going to have children, you better take care of them. And if you don't, you better expect some serious consequences.

The same set of values follows for our economy. If businessmen want to make money, they better play by the rules and not cheat investors and their employees, unless they want to go to jail. If your company wants to do business with the government, it better not rip of the taxpayers, or else it will lose its contract and face serious fines. Television networks can broadcast whatever they want within the lines of equal time and decency. If they don't play by the rules, they lose their right to broadcast and/or face serious fines.

If you break it, you fix it. That philosophy works not only in the kindergarten classroom, but in Torts and Foreign Policy. If you are going to sell defective products, or behave wrecklessly, you better clean up your mess and say sorry. If you are going to invade countries, you better restore stability and security to the region.

Too often in our society, we want someone else to take the blame or the chore of cleaning up our mistakes, whether it be the guy nextdoor or the federal government, the buck stops with all of us.

As Americans, we are all in this together. When the economy suffers because of one man's greed, we all suffer. When one woman's discovery leads to cures, we all gain. We are the inheritors of the flame of American freedom, willpower, and ingenuity of over two centuries. Be yours to hold it high. Don't let the winds of doubt or the rains of troubled times extinguish the fire within. I know I won't.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Post-Mortem redux

As to the reason why Democrats lost (again), it is because (again) they had no overarching message. Sure Gay Marriage didn't help and got Rove's evangelical to the polls. But the fact that the Democrats only real message was "Bush is bad, we will be better and do [insert laundry list here]" was what cost them the Senate and House and White House.

If they had a message like "Rights and Responsibility" (for Guns, Abortion, Corporate Crime, etc) that might have worked. OR if they had railed against Washington, that might have been good too. Most people don't know the GOP controls congress so Bush can get away with blaming congress for not doing what he wants when he controls every last bit of the agenda. Only FDR had more power over Congress than this president does.

Why Democrats who set the message are obsessed with bribing/scaring seniors, ignoring young people, reflexively supporting government, and "the people versus the powerful" is beyond me. Especially why anyone hires Bob Shrum...How many losses is that Shrummy? He has about as many losses as Utah's own Merrill Cook.

David Sedaris in SLC

Last night I went to go see that amazingly funny and brilliant writer David Sederis at Kingsbury Hall (U campus). The funny part was that it was like a Democratic fundraiser, the whole 9th and 9th/Avenues crowd was there, even our County Mayor-elect, who got a standing Ovation.

Sederis is not just a great writer, a model for my creative non-fiction class i took as a freshman, but he is also a great reader of his stories.

In the Q and A, though, he really got interesting. He pluged books that he liked (the Columnist), countries to go visit (Germany), and a non-profit (Helping Hands). He learned about Helping Hands he said, when he asked a woman whose book he was signing "when was the last time you played with a monkey?" because he had ran out of things to say. She replied "Oh about 4 minutes ago." So the next time he was in Boston, she gave him a tour. Helping Hands is an organziation where "enslaved monkeys help quadraplegics" and went on and on about all the things these monkeys could do: put on CDs, microwave food, scratch itches, and type.

He read us a story that will soon be in the new yorker, with parts the new yorker didn't want in there (gross decriptions of stuff that came out of his boil).

When folks asked him about the election (the Q was, "any advice for a liberal in Utah?") he talked about how all his friends didn't just vote, they gave money, they drove people to the polls, they registered voters, etc. "But it wasn't enough"

He said he didn't understand why people didn't vote, whose claims were "neither of the candidate spoke to my issues." He said, "Look, I got f-ed up teeth, and neither candidate spoke about my issue, but I still voted."

Sometimes I wondered when reading his pieces if all that crazy stuff really happened to him. And then I found out it did, and it is all the more amazing. What a wierd family, with his funny sister who writes for comedy central, his prankster brother and other crazy family members you read about in "Holidays on Ice"

And I thought my family was a bit odd.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Photo of the Day

My friend Anthony lives at this stop and I remember many a time getting out at Woodley Park-Zoo visiting him. Scary stuff.

Good thing no one in DC got hurt.

Democratic Musical Chairs

I just read on Kos that Senator Harry Reid of Nevada beat Send Dodd (CT) and Durbin (IL) to the punch and will now be Minority Leader in place of Daschle.

I don't think people like Marcos are happy, they wanted a true blue Democrat from a blue state like Durbin to be it, feeling that Daschle had to compromise too much because he was from a Red State.

That may well be true, but Reid is from a Purple state. I feel that even though NV wasn't as close as Democrats had hoped and they didn't win NV 03, it is still better to have a moderate from the West as their Leader. If it had been a Durbin or, even worse, a Clinton or a Kennedy, GOPers could paint Democrats running in close races in red states as liberals and tar them with the liberal brush.

Reid is a moderate to liberal Mormon Democrat. I couldn't be happier with the choice. He will keep nuclear waste out of my state and his, he will block nuclear testing, he will understand water issues and forest issues and public land issues that Eastern Democrats have no clue about. Plus, it shows the LDS, hopefully in my state, that you can be a good mormon and be a Democrat, like the late Congressman Wayne Owens.

I don't think it is fair to take down the heads of the campaign committees for the house and senate for the debacle, they did the best they could under the circumstances. There was some bad recruiting for the House, but it was pretty solid mostly. Some of these good recruits failed to produce and campaign properly (like in the Renzi race) others did the best they could (like Carson).

I think though that it is fair to take down the DNC chair. Terry was a good fundraiser but a terrible public speaker and has presided over a series of embarressing losses in 2002 and 2004. I agree with Kos that Howard Dean would be a great choice. However, HoDean will probabbly say no, because he wants to run for president again (However, I don't think the magic will be there like last time Howard).

So if Dean won't take the job, I say give it to poor old Gore. Gore might want to try for 2008, but I doubt democrats will give him much support, even if he is a MoveOn Democrat now. Gore has nothing to do but make angry speeches these days so I think being DNC chair would be really helpful for him. He could always resign in time to run for president.

So who's in and out for 2008 on the Democratic side? I know it is a long ways away, but let's ponder. I will do an IN and OUT, Gore is in both for reasons stated above.





Post a comment if you think I have omitted anyone or added anyone who shouldn't be there.

Musical Chairs

Now begins the ultimate Washington thought exercise: Who will be in the cabinet? Might I be so bold as to suggest some good Republicans for the posts that desparately need changing? First I will say who should go, will go, and who should replace them, Third Avenue-style:

who should go
M. Powell (FCC)

who will go
C. Powell (State)

Who should replace them
Giuliani for AG or UN or DoD or State
McCain for DoD
Lugar for DoD (if McCain won't take it)
Scowcroft for DoD or State
Clarke for NSC
Rice for DoD policy
Armitage for State
Danforth for State or AG
Baker for CoS or State

All these guys are Republicans and some are even conservative ones. If you had these men and women in there, you just might be able to pull Iraq around. Get some new voices around you Mr. President. Things aren't working, no matter what your current Yes Men say.

Further, remember the old proverb "Keep your allies close, and your enemies even closer." If you are worried about a McCain or someone hurting your pick for 2008 (Jeb), you can keep tabs on and embarress them possiblily as one of your cabinet members. Bush will be at his most powerful for the next two years. Watch out and see what he picks as his top priorities.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mourning for America

In response to the vitriolic GOPers who have posted comments on my site, let me clarify. I know Bush in his heart of hearts believes that what his plans are for Iraq, the economy, etc. are good ones. I don’t think he wants to do harm to our country. He wants to do harm to the Democratic Party and to increase the power of the Presidency.

But I fundamentally believe that these policies are mistaken and wrongheaded. I believe Americans are worse off as a result of his and the GOP-controlled congress’ decisions. On the environment, on the tax structure, on economic stimulus, on health care policy, on education, on labor policy, and above all in foreign policy I believe the facts have shown that they have made bad decisions and compounded their problems by being in denial.

Kerry wasn’t going to be a miracle cure and avid readers of the Third Avenue know that I didn’t hold Kerry’s policies and as a person in that high of an esteem. But he was the choice of my party and I respected that choice. The choice between Bush and Kerry to me wasn’t between the lesser evil but between very bad and alright. I suppose I should respect the results of the election too. But I still don’t believe Bush has a mandate to do what he is doing.

Many of people who voted for him are scared of Terrorism and Gay-Marriage and Abortions. I just don’t share their views for the most part. The way Bush is acting, I believe that he is losing the so-called “war on terror.” (I don’t like the name, that’s all).

Why? Bush views Al-Qaeda as a fixed number of people. After this war in Iraq, we don’t have the resources to adequately fight the Hydra-headed terrorist organization. Osama bin Laden is still alive, as is his second in command, and the head of the Taliban. Sister organizations have popped up in Indonesia and many other countries, including Iraq, where they weren’t there (Iraq) or less strong (Indonesia) than they were before. I am not the only one who thinks this, Richard Clarke, Brent Scowcroft, Wes Clark, Richard Holbrook, etc. agree with me.

Kerry is supposedly giving his concession speech as I type. I am disappointed, upset, sad, and in fear of the world to come in the next four years.

One bright spot

The Salt Lake County Mayoral race, will all its ups and downs, came down to the wire. And Peter Carroon out hustled Ellis Ivory, despite being outspent 4-to-1 in the final weeks of the campaign. Merrill Cook was once again the spoiler for the GOP. By early this morning, Corroon ended up with 49% of the vote, or 168891 votes, and Ivory got 43% or 146939. Cook had 6% or 21492 votes.

Carroon literally wore a hole into his shoes walking the County. Ivory ran one of the slickiest campaigns I have ever seen, and I have no doubt he will be back campaigning in some capacity. It turns out, you can't just buy an election at the 11th hour.

As a credit to all the candidates, it was universally positive campaign, with the exception of Nancy Workman and people attacking her record. But if you had as many scanals as her administration had, then you would be lashing out at the other side(s) and they would be pointing out your troubles.

Ivory conseeded early this morning and was a classy guy through out. Cook was his usual off the wall independantly-thinking conservative. He sure is entertaining, but I really think someone in the family needs to prevent him from spending any more of their money running for polical office. Is this the 10th or 15th race he's run in? I lost track.

It shouldn't have been this close

Right now, as I am sure you are aware, Ohio is narrowly going to for Bush with the issue of provisional ballots and absentee. Of course, Bush is doing the old routine of claiming victory.

We are either on the cusp of disaster or the end of a nightmare. But from the title you can tell I am not happy.

Where were the voters of my generation? I bought into the hype of having everyone I talk to saying they were going to vote. Of course, I don't talk to people who don't care about politics for the most part. 17% is pathetic people.

What happened to the ground game in Florida? Why is Bush clobbering Kerry so badly there? Is it like 2002, where the Bush family looked more vulnerable than they really were? Did all those Hurricanes in the state and red counties drive people to the polls?

Another thing to think about is Rove's Evangelical plans. Most of the Blogosphere thought he was dreaming and that there weren't that many out there to get that Bush didn't get before. But Rove had an Ace up his sleeve: anti-Gay Marriage Amendments before a third of the country.

It got conservative people to the polls in states that should have been closer, and red states where there was a good democratic candidate for senate. Plus, having a candidate from Massachusetts to run against on this issue was a gold mine of votes for Rove. No matter how many times Kerry said "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman," people in culturally conservative states wouldn't believe him because of Goodridge. This is why CNN et al could call WV for Bush as soon as the polls closed.

Again, if it had been an Edwards-Clark ticket, some of this would have been neutralized and states like MO WV NC and AR would have been more competitive and might have swung for the Democrats.

Democrats are too decentralized and too disorganized right now to be a majority party. Kerry had to rely on a coalition of 527s and others to bring home the voters in states like FL, and they failed. Right now, the only Bush state they swung Kerry is NH (good work Jaime & Co.), but its measly 4 electoral votes aren't enough to stop Bush should Ohio fall.

I pretended to sleep last night and tossed and turned, praying Ohio would somehow go Kerry. It looks like we won't know until the end of the week, unless Kerry finds out that the number of outstanding votes is less than Bush's margin in Ohio. I am not feeling as optimistic and angry as I did in 2000; this year, I am just sad.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What is wrong with this country?

It looks like Kerry has lost Florida and probabbly even Ohio, despite what exit polls and stories on the web told us. It looks like the Senate and House will stay in the hands of the GOP.

I am about to cry. My fiancee tells me I need to take this stuff all less personally, but I just can't. It my life's passion; I truely believe that this country will be going down a terrible, terrible road if Bush wins reelection.

In my opinion, I predict that our economy will continue to stagnate, the war in Iraq will get worse, hatred for America will grow, attacks against us will increase, and a host of other horrible things will happen if Bush wins.

It is like when Israel elected and then reelected Barak. Their county is by any measure less safe than it was in 2000. Yet those morons decided it was to follow Barak down the same failed path, as do the morons in the US who appearantly outvoted me today.

I still have 2.5 years of law school to endure, and hopefully it will distract me from this country's falling apart. But I doubt it. I care too much about my state, my county, and my world to let it slip away with out a fight. If Kerry dosn't win tonight, I am going to keep fighting in 2006 to retake congress and in 2008, Washington.

What has happened to my proud Democratic Party? If we lose tonight, the Michael Moores and Howard Deans will say we should have nominated a more liberal man. And the Al Froms will say Kerry was too Northeastern, too liberal to win (and we should have elected a more moderate man). And the party might try again like in the 2002 post-mortems to shoot itself in the foot. The Democratic Party has too many great people in it to be delegated to the minority party for so long. We Democrats need to get our act together and learn from the GOP.

Learn how to band together, not in our hatred of Bush, but our plan for the future our platform. Learn how to talk to Southern voters, and to Midwestern voters, and to Western voters. The Democrats need to learn how to talk to people who don't live near water. Maybe the start is to learn about water politics and listen to their collegues who live in those states and get elected.

This is too depressing to fathom. Maybe, just maybe, Kerry can wrestle a victory out from the courts, but look how well that looked for Al Gore. Maybe those abentee ballots will go Kerry's way. But the trouble was that Kerry gave up on MO and WV and AR too easily, putting all his eggs in OH and FL's basket. It seems too the campaign (in 20-20 hindsight) focused too much time money and effort on CO.

If Edwards was the head of the ticket, I wonder if NC would have closer, or if Clark was on it if AR would have been closer. Or for that matter crazy Bob Graham and FL.

Now it is all academic (if you believe MSNBC and AP and FoxNews) and so am I. Hopefully, I can pile up the work so high that I don't notice how much my soul aches.

V-day, part VI

However this all comes out, I have to say that the election officals in FL and PA, and maybe OH should be ashamed of themselves.

In FL, they decided not to count the absentee ballots until Thursday, possibly as many as 500,000 votes. In 2000, they managed to do all but the suspiciously late armed forces ones. How can it be so damn hard? They had 4 years to get it right.

In PA, they don't have enough ballots, one precinct open over an hour late...but at least CNN has called it for Kerry finally.

In OH, there are so many voters that they are still in line that they held it open over two hours in some places.

When Joe Lockhart got his chance to spin, he marshalled facts that made me feel better. The areas in FL that had yet to be counted they outperformed Gore, according to their exit polling. Ditto for OH and PA. He called PA comfortable and it must have been since it was the first of the big three that they called. He said MN was great stuff and WI was tight but theirs.

I just hope he's right.

V-day, part V

Boy this is a headache the whole day. The Utah races are going to be exit polled by BYU students...somehow I feel suspicious.


Jim is projected to win with 58%, his brother loses 57-43% in the governor's race. In the SL Co. Mayoral race it is too close to call; Ivory has 46% Carroon has 47% with Cook at 5% as the Nader in SL Co. The rest isn't close like the senate or presidental race.

MO looking better for Kerry than I thought. MI is deceptive, I don't buy it. PA is looking good for Kerry but it might have the same thing as MI.

V-day, results trickle in

WV for Bush is the only real news so far. It looks like the KY Senate race is shaping up to be a possible upset. The fact that they haven't called SC is strange, maybe that means Inez has a shot.

The DSCC has their own exit polls: SENATE AK: Knowles 50 - Murk 47 CO Salazar 51, Coors 47 FL Castor 51, Martinez 48 KY Bunning 52, Mongiardo 48 LA Vitter may get the 50 percent that would elect him, 51 percent NC Burr 50 Bowles 48 OK Coburn 51 Carson 46 SC DeMint 50.2 - Tenenbaum 49.8SD Thune 50 Daschle 50

Salazar and Knowles means a plus two (3 if you count IL). Castor's news is good news for Kerry. DSCC claims Bowles is "closing fast" but I am worried. Tenenbaum is supposedly "right there," it is lucky she is in the race. Carson looks like he is not going to close the deal. Daschle is going to have a squeaker. That would be a +2 for the GOP (plus one for GA). Right now, a wash assuming Daschle hangs on, which means GOP keeps control.

V-day, part III

Leaked 4pm exits, via Slate as referred by Kos.

Kerry 48 46 49 54 50 50 51 50 51
Bush 50 53 51 45 49 49 47 48 46

Very interesting...again looks good for Kerry and seems to be more realistic than the 2pm exits. We could have a long night, since all these are super close (except Michigan, which I never thought would be that close). If Kerry's FLOHPA numbers hold, Bush is a one-termer like his daddy.

These numbers match my expectations much more than the 2pm and I tend to believe them more. But again, these things can be off. After all, the exit polls in FL in 2000 were so pro-Gore that they called the state for him right away.

This makes me think all the states on this list save CO MI and maybe WI will NOT be called for several hours after closing.

V-day, part II

Jerome at MyDD leaked 2 p.m. VNS numbers:

Kerry 45 48 42 51 52 60 52 51 51 50 58 52 49 57
Bush 55 51 57 48 48 40 48 48 47 48 40 43 49 41

If this holds up, Kerry is going to be the next president. I don't buy the PA numbers, NH will be closer...I say Kerry by 4. The rest seem possible and some what reasonable.

V-day, part I

This morning, my fiancee and I got up early to go vote at our local elementary school, which happens to be the place my sister went to school until grade 4.

Unwittingly, we participated in a scientific experiment. I asked the volunteer for a ballot and she asked for my name and checked it against the rolls, and I signed, got my ballot. Christina was next, only this time, the lady asked for her ID. My Chinese-American wife-to-be was so irritated that she pulled out her old Harvard ID to prove who she was. That pretty much is the definition of racism. And I thought that in one of the most liberal areas of SLC we wouldn't have this problem. It makes me sad for all of America really. Just because she is not white doesn't make her any more likely to be an illegal voter or illegal immigrant or not a US citizen.

Next, those bumbling idiot volunteers pointed us into the wrong line. After about 5-10 minutes in line, we noticed that a different precinct number was above the booths we were waiting on, so Christina asked and sure enough, the one with almost no line was ours. After that, voting went without a hitch. There were no hanging chads (our county decided not to comply with HAVA) it all looked good.

If that is what happens in an area with no poll challengers, no prank callers, no deceptive flyers, imagine what it will be like in Florida or Ohio today! A college friend of mine, one of my groomsmen actually, is in medical school at UMiami and waited over 3 hours in line to vote early this weekend (he voted for KE04 and Betty Castor). So the reports are true out there, the blue counties of Florida are turning out in droves to vote against Bush.

Unfortunately, in Daytona Beach, FL, a Red area, a optical scanner lost 13,000 votes. Now I am sad about this even if they were all for Bush because the race is compromised and the election is put in some doubt. I hope they will recover the votes on that memory chip.

Maybe the punch cards really are the way to go. Stay tune here for updates throughout the night. Also look at DTrip's Resultron, the Third Avenue's Site Of The Day to see real-time results in all those far flung house races. And remember, go out and vote, even if you live in a red or blue state. It is your civic duty!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Fun Facts

Union Oyster House's Joe Milano, on Kerry's 11/2 plans: "We are delighted that John is honoring his Election Day tradition by sitting on his 'good luck stool' at the Oyster Bar" Been there, good Cowder and Lobster. I wonder if I sat in Kerry's stool.

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on "Crossfire" today. Let's see if he follow's up on Jon Stewart's line of attack or just pushes his book and CD.

Tough to/for Swallow

After a month of down-and-dirty advertising by both candidates, it looks like Matheson weathered the storm:

An Anzalone Liszt Research (D) poll; conducted 10/20-21 for the DCCC; surveyed 400 likely voters; margin of error +/- 4.9% (release, 10/26). Tested: Rep. Jim Matheson (D) and '02 nominee John Swallow (R).

General Election Matchup
Matheson 57%
Swallow 34
Undec. 9

Of course, again this is Democratical poll so we will give Swallow 2-3 points or so. The important thing is that Matheson is still over 50 even with large MoE. I have heard internal polling has Jim at 53 or 54, which sounds more like my guess. That is still 3 or 4 points better than he did last time and amazing after all this slime that has oozed out of my TV.

While doorknocking in Magna, voters told my dad repeatedly that they wanted to vote against "that Swallow" I will leave out the juicy epithets. Keep in mind, this is a democratic leaning neighborhood and more importantly, NOT in Jim's district. But still that may be a sign of other voters in the Second district.

Utahns really don't like negative campaigning and Swallow has a track record of fighting dirty races. Jim wins this by a wider margin than last time, but not as much as he was up at the beginning of the month.

Morning Poll Round Up

With the addition of 49 new polls over the weekend, the Hotline "Scoreboard" has Bush "leading with 27 states and 227 EVs. John Kerry has 14 states and 188 EVs. 10 states remain disputed: FL (27), HI (4), IA (7), MN (10), NH (4), NJ (15), NM (5), OH (20), PA (21), WI (10)."

Bush leads in three national polls: a Newsweek poll shows Bush leading Kerry 51%-45% among LVs and 48%-45% among RVs (yeah right). A Pew poll shows Bush leading Kerry among LVs 48%-45%. Among RVs, Kerry leads 46%-45% (see EDM). A CBS News/New York Times poll shows Bush leading Kerry 49%-46% among LVs with Ralph Nader at 1%.

Kerry leads in two national polls: an American Research Group poll shows Kerry leading Bush 49%-48% among LVs. The result is the same among RVs. A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows Kerry leading Bush among LVs 47%-46%. Among RVs Kerry leads 47%-45%.

Two national polls show the race tied/disputed: a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Bush and Kerry tied at 49% among LVs with Nader at 1%. Kerry leads 48%-46% among RVs with Nader at 1%. However, Gallup has Kerry up in almost all of the Battleground states including OH FL and WI. Yet somehow they have Bush with a 5 point lead in PA. So under Gallup's model Kerry would handily win, approaching 300 EVs. A Marist poll shows Bush and Kerry tied at 48% among RVs and Kerry leading 49%-48% among LVs.

Curt Schilling "made a surprise appearance" with Bush this a.m. in OH and was also expected to accompany Bush to PA. Why didn't the darn doctors get him under the knife so he couldn't walk until after election day. Curt, you are the best pitcher in the game today but I disagree with your politics. Portsmouth Herald pointed out the management team of the Red Sox supported Kerry.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Nader is officially crazy

I saw the funniest thing on Wonkette today; Ralph Nader is debating dolls of Bush and Kerry using their debate statements.

Just watch the promo, or Ralph's kooky "voter's guide" here. DON'T buy the DVD. It goes to his moronic quest to ruin his legacy and tarnish liberals everywhere. The man has enough time and campaign money to dress up the little dolls and buy little wooden blocks (for preschoolers) to create their little toy podiums.

I don't know who in their right mind would think this is a good way of getting your views and stances on the issues across.

Here's another stupid graphic they have on the Nader site:

OK I know both you and Bush are from CT, but he is much better at playing cowboy than you Ralph. No one wants to see a old geezer hippie with an 1880s cowboy outfit taped on them like those fridge magnets.

I know, I am picking on such a straw man, but the man won't give up until the only vote he gets is his own.

Presidential Predictors and GOTV

Even though I am a Redskins fan, I am so happy that they lost today. I am joyful because the last Redskins game before a presidential election is an accurate predictor of which party will win. If Redskins win their last game before election, the incumbent party wins. Just think back to as many presidential years as you can and who won the game and the election and you will see I am right. According to the Washington Post: "The axiom has held true since the Boston Redskins won two days before former president Franklin Roosevelt won a second term in 1936. The team moved to Washington in 1937 and has proven to be an accurate predictor of presidential fortunes."

Another predictor is the NBA finals. If the Western Conference Team wins, the GOP candidate is elected president. This one is less reliable I am told than the Redskins one but still pretty good. Kerry has both sporting event outcomes in his favor.

Of course, that doesn't mean ABBers should rest. They gotta Get Out The Vote. Anecdotal evidence is that the 527s are doing a great job already. People in FL are waiting 3 hrs in lines to vote early, newspaper reports that Kerry has a 100K vote margin in Miami-Dade Co. alone, which the papers contend will be hard for Bush to make up in the Panhandle, his strong suit. Good work and keep it up, especially Third Avenue reader Jaime who is in NH with ACT right now. Say hi to all those ex-Deaniacs for me. No hard feelings.

My GOTV efforts are more modest but I can sleep at night now that I did something. Yesterday, my Dad and I went out to Magna, UT to walk a precinct. The westside of the Salt Lake Valley is poorer, more ethnically diverse (more Latinos and Tongans) than the rest of the Valley. And hence, the area is more Democratic. I saw a handful of KE04 signs and only one BC04 sign. There were a few signs for state and local candidates but I really didn't see much political activism there.

My dad and I distributed doorknockers, which are little things you hang on a door that have the names of all the democrats in their precinct they can vote for, along with where they can vote. Boy that takes me back. Last time I did the doorknockers was in West Valley City in 1992. WVC is also democratic leaning and at the time was in the second district (Jim Matheson's district) for which my sister's godmother was running (her husband is my godfather). Karen Shepherd ultimately won that year and as you know it was a pretty good year for Democrats nationally (and in Utah as well). It was also the last year my Dad was state party chairman.

Other signs point to a Kerry victory as well. Even my dad, the most pessimistic man and Democrat I know, thinks Kerry will win OH and "just might pull this off." He thinks there will be a Kerry EC victory and a Bush popular vote victory.

The people I talked to were very nice and generally receptive to what I was saying because I was limiting my talk to be soley informational telling them to vote and where it was (not telling them whom to vote for). It was amazing to see how other people live, and to realize how lucky I am that my family has been able to provide so many things for me. There were carburetors lying in yards, rusted out cars, falling apart houses, and other signs of poverty. Yet in the same precinct and a block or two away, there were new pre-fab first time homes of low-middle class families who were on their way up the financial ladder. The area reminded me of my canvassing of NH (which I did in 2000, 2003, and 2004) in terms of the mixed nature of the neighborhoods and size of houses.

At church today, I thanked the Lord that I am so lucky and prayed for a Kerry victory first then said, if you have time God, please let the Democrats retake Congress, or at least the Senate. And it is not because the Democrats are fundamentally better but I think the GOP has proven that it is unwilling to do what needs to be done to make the country and world a better place. I also prayed for peace in the greater middle east, an end to terrorism, and the safe return of our soldiers as soon as possible.

In 2 days, with your help, my prayers will be answered.