Tuesday, June 27, 2006
If You Can't Find a Donkey, Ride the DINO - Sometimes which party a Congresscritter belongs to is more important than what they actually think. Majorities are really strong.
Cantwell: Not So Bad - Maria Cantwell, who was being dissed for some genuinely bad votes, isn't as awful as jedmunds would have you believe.
Who Was David and Who Was Goliath - I link to some excellent quotes about Israel and Palestine that Laura Turner found.
Don't Invest In These Internet Scams - Here's the post about Jerome Armstrong's stock-touting scandals. The 70 comments that follow include Armando from Daily Kos going completely bonkers on me. Later, Ezra would back me up.
There probably won't be any more posting, here or at Ezra's blog, until July 6 when I return to Austin. Until then I'll be hanging out with all sorts of exciting folks in DC.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
You hear a lot of talk about the West being a fertile ground for Democratic gains, and a lot of it is connected to the high approval ratings of Democratic governors in the Mountain West. Brian Schweitzer in Montana is the big star here, and Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming figures as well. Less remarked is the fact that Western Republican governors are doing quite well too. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Jon Huntsman of Utah have higher net approval ratings than Schweitzer and Freudenthal. The Republicans leading Idaho, South Dakota, and Nevada are also among the top 20 most-loved governors.
Rumor has it that there's oil out in the hills, and I'm wondering if this is a big explanatory factor in the governor-love that pervades Western states. High oil prices are good for oil-rich states, keeping the treasury flush with money, spending high, and taxes low. What Democrats really need to do is go back to the Cretaceous Period and bury a bunch of dead dinosaurs underneath Michigan and Oregon. That'll get Granholm and Kulungoski out of trouble in no time.
When I first read Tom Schaller's piece on how Mudcat Saunders is all wrong and the Democrats can't win in the South, it seemed to me that he had argued against his own conclusion (and spent too much time getting back at Mudcat for being a jerk to him at YearlyKos). He lays out a strategy for how to win in the South -- win the votes of blacks and enlightened urban/suburban whites, and don't go too hard after the rural vote. Matt Yglesias charitably says that we should regard this strategy as the actual message of Schaller's piece, and I guess that's right.
Then Schaller says this:
And it is this model writ large -- winning outside the rural areas and then taking a record of smart, progressive policies to rural voters for their inspection -- which ratifies the strategy of Democrats first building a non-southern majority, governing confidently and successfully, and then appealing to the South, the nation’s most rural, poor, and conservative region.
There are massive differences between winning state and presidential elections (the electoral college, the presence of a regionalist Southern identity) that make me suspicious of this argument. Furthermore, if Schaller's right and you can win with blacks and suburbanites, why not go ahead and try to chip off some Southern states that way from the beginning?
Friday, June 23, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Rather than frightening other countries into knuckling under, we scared them into improving their nuclear defenses against future American aggression, making the world a much more dangerous place. Just one more reason to avoid wanton invasions.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
In other news, I'm going to North Carolina, where I and my brother Robin will be from this Friday to next Friday or so. Tentative travel plans are to return to Philly at some future point, then visit Charlottesville VA, and then go to Washington DC until July 5, when I fly back to Austin. Readers in these areas who are interested in hanging out are welcome to contact me.