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Archive for July 31st, 2008

Ex-McCain Aide Blasts Former Boss

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:42 am by HL

Ex-McCain Aide Blasts Former Boss
John Weaver, a long time confidant and friend of Sen. John McCain, told Marc Ambinder that McCain’s current campaign strategy “diminishes John McCain” and the recent ad linking Sen. Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was “childish.”

Said Weaver: “For McCain to win in such troubled times, he needs to begin telling the American people how he intends to lead us. That McCain exists. He can inspire the country to greatness. There is legitimate mockery of a political campaign now, and it isn’t at Obama’s. For McCain’s sake, this tomfoolery needs to stop.”

Related on Political Insider: Is being a celebrity good politics?

McCain Links Obama to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears
Josh Marshall: “I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded.”


30-Foot Rat Awaits Lieberman At GOP Convention

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:41 am by HL

30-Foot Rat Awaits Lieberman At GOP Convention
From the same folks who brought you the Kiss Float… It looks like a gigantic inflatable rat, in honor of His Holiness the Joe, will be making an appearance at the Republican National Convention this summer.

rat.jpgFrom the same folks who brought you the Kiss Float…

I was up in Connecticut a couple of weekends ago on a UHaul run (being one of those people who buys furniture on Ebay and worries about how they’re going to get home it later). Of course I had to have lunch with Ed Anderson, fellow veteran of the Ned Lamont race who is still in the business of mercilessly taunting all Republicans and Joe Lieberman in particular. Ed told me that he was headed for Minneapolis in August, where he had plans to unveil a 30 foot giant inflatable rat in honor of the Junior Senator from the state of Connecticut.

Now, most people who say such things might just be blowing smoke, but Ed has a history of making his…er…”artistic vision” manifest. Remember that Ed, along with CTKeith, created the infamous “kiss” buttons that inspired the classic float which dogged Lieberman throughout his 2006 race. He also famously showed up at a New Hampshire McCain rally sporting a sign that said “Bomb Iran! Vote McCain” before having one cocktail too many and putting Terry McAuliffe in a death grip.

So when Ed says he’s bringing a giant rat to Minneapolis, I take him seriously.

Looks like others do, too.

Stamford Advocate:

Some of the same Connecticut Democrats who stalked the senator on the re-election trail two years ago with the famous “kiss” float – a papier mache likeness of President Bush kissing Lieberman after the 2005 State of the Union address – are hoping to make a similar splash at the GOP fete Sept. 1-4.

If Lieberman’s detractors get their way, their prop would be a 30-foot inflatable rat, the kind unions typically use when construction workers cross picket lines.

Raw Story:

Anderson warns Lieberman not to show up at the convention, as he’s ready to apply for permits to put the inflatable rat outside the Xcel Energy Center, the convention site.

Yesterday Lieberman appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network and when asked about the GOP convention, he said “you might just see me there.”

Go Ed (who has more on his new blog).

For nostalgia buffs, the YouTube above is from the July 4, 2006 Boom Box parade in Connecticut, where the Kiss Float appeared. Careful observers can spot CTKeith, Ed Anderson, Maura Keaney (now Jim Himes’ campaign manager) as well as me and the poodles, who were thought to be yet another float by children in attendance.



Cheech and Chong to Reunite for Comedy Tour

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Cheech and Chong to Reunite for Comedy Tour

Resolving a 25 year inability to just get along, Cheech and Chong, recognizing they aren't getting any younger, are going to reunite and go on tour with a comedy show, called “Hey, What's That Smell?” Details will be announced this afternoon.

Says Cheech Marin:

Marin said he thinks dope humor can be as funny today as it was back in the '70s.

“I think it's time for a revival of dope jokes. It's a much bigger audience now, it's much more widespread and institutionalized,” he said in an interview earlier this month.

I hope someone books them for Denver the week of the Convention. The Dems could use some prodding about the need to reform our marijuana laws.

Here's my 90 second video interview of Tommy Chong at Owl Farm last year, with Jimmy Ibbotson (formerly of the Nitty Gritty Dirt band) singing in the background.)


You Mean It Isn’t Good News For Republicans?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:39 am by HL

You Mean It Isn’t Good News For Republicans?
Dick Polman obviously doesn’t understand how things work in DC.

The federal indictment of the GOP’s longest-serving U.S. senator – on seven felony counts, stemming from his seven-year sweetheart association with an oil-services company – is not merely a severe embarrassment to the minority party on Capitol Hill, a party that had been ousted from power in ’06 partly because certain ethics-challenged members had already stained the Republican brand. The bottom line is that Ted Stevens’ legal predicament is a gift to the Democrats, who dream of gaining nine Senate seats on election day, thus dominating the chamber next January with a filibuster-proof tally of 60.


In a Perfect Storm of Economic Stagflation, the Yachting Set Says: “Let Them Eat Pizza”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:38 am by HL

In a Perfect Storm of Economic Stagflation, the Yachting Set Says: “Let Them Eat Pizza”
Officially, “stagflation” is a thing of the past, but a deeper look reveals a different, very current reality for most Americans.

Media Hyping Viagra for Women for Drug Company Greed
Drugmaker Pfizer is claiming a new use for Viagra, which would conveniently treat the side effects of one of its other drugs.


Group Responds To McCain Ad: Britney And McCain Both Heart Bush!

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Group Responds To McCain Ad: Britney And McCain Both Heart Bush!
Here’s a fun video response to McCain’s Obama-Britney ad from ProgressiveAccountability.org, that third-party group that reconstituted from David Brock’s old outfit… The vid shows a well-known, and particularly vacuous, Britney moment where she professes undying trust in Bush, and pairs…


Special Counsel Says He Has No Plans To Resign From Office

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Special Counsel Says He Has No Plans To Resign From Office
Yesterday we learned that Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) wrote a letter to Special Counsel Scott Bloch urging the embattled chief of the independent investigative office to step down. Bloch’s had a lot of problems lately. He’s under investigation by the…


McCain +4? Really?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:35 am by HL

McCain +4? Really?

Gallup has been doing polling since the year 0 (Okay, I know there was no year 0 and Gallup has only been around for 70 years but you get my point.) Gallup released the results of 2 polls yesterday. One was their daily tracking poll which I try not to look at. This tracking poll is nothing. It has little or no meaning. We don’t elect our president as a nation instead we elect by states. Therefore a tracking poll of each state would be of some value. A national tracking poll is a popularity contest (or a horse race) which may have no reflection on how states will vote. Anyway, in the Daily Tracking poll Obama was up by 8 points.

In a separate poll also done by Gallup, Obama was ahead among registered voters but behind John McCain in the subgroup of likely to vote registered voters by 4 points. I listened to Countdown last night. Keith Olbermann and Richard Wolfe tried to make some sense of these numbers but they mangled it pretty badly. So, I went to one of my best sources for polling results – the blog 538. (See below the video for an excellent explanation.)

From 538:

Kudos to Gallup for disclosing the process and perils of its likely voter model, but as Alan Abramowitz has noted at Pollster.com, something about the new USA Today/Gallup poll showing John McCain 4 points ahead among likely voters — but 3 points behind among registered voters — doesn’t quite sit right:

How do you get from a 47-44 Obama lead among RVs to a 49-45 McCain lead among LVs?

A few quick calculations shows how. You have 900 RVs and 791 LVs, so that means that among your 109 UVs (that’s unlikely voters according to Gallup) Obama leads McCain by a whopping 61% to 7%.

Putting it another way, according to Gallup 16% of registered Obama supporters are unlikely to vote compared with only 2% of registered McCain supporters.

Whatever one thinks about likely voter models in general, the mathematics of this particular implementation defy credulity. Although, we should probably wait for USA Today to release its crosstabs so we can make sure there wasn’t a typographical error of some kind in the write-up.

Also, this is a good time to mention Robert Erikson’s critique of the extra volatility introduced by Gallup’s likely voter model in past election cycles.

Now that is an explanation that I can sink my teeth into. Gallup had to have made a huge sampling error. My take home lesson is to pay a little less attention to the polls and more attention trying to get Obama elected.


Buyers of bogus degrees named

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Buyers of bogus degrees named
Hundreds of people working in the military, government and education are on a list of almost 10,000 people who spent $7.3 million buying phony and counterfeit high school and college degrees from a Spokane diploma mill. The complete list of buyers, which the U.S. Department of Justice has refused to release to the public, has been obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

Blog: Another race hoax exposed?
Meet Nick Kasoff of Ferguson, Mo. (a suburb of St. Louis). He is a former radio talk show host and a home-computer consultant. He owns rental properties. Mr. Kasoff is also politically active. He was a delegate to the Missouri Republican convention in May. Kasoff supported Ron Paul, but now he’s backing John McCain. “At this point, I will do whatever I can to prevent socialist Barak Obama from being elected as President,” he wrote…


DOJ IG: We found ?no sufficient basis for criminal prosecutions? against Goodling or Sampson.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 31st, 2008 4:33 am by HL

DOJ IG: We found ?no sufficient basis for criminal prosecutions? against Goodling or Sampson.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee today on his latest report on the politicization of the Department of Justice, DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine said he “did not think there was a sufficient basis for criminal prosecutions for false statements for anyone” involved. Watch it: Later in the hearing, when Sen. […]

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee today on his latest report on the politicization of the Department of Justice, DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine said he “did not think there was a sufficient basis for criminal prosecutions for false statements for anyone” involved. Watch it:

Later in the hearing, when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked whether Monica Goodling, Kyle Sampson, and others responsible got away with their misconduct “scott free,” Fine noted that there are still “potential bar issues for the attorneys who have committed misconduct.” “So I don’t believe they have gotten away with it,” he said.