Archive for July, 2007

George’s wisdom

NO!! Not “that” George…

The last two weeks have been hell and I can’t help but to agree with this old man. His rants are almost comforting…

Hat tip to Omar…


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So I read on Crooks and Liars yesterday that General Motors, the company that killed the electric car, had hired Rush Limbaugh, a guy who hates environmentalism almost as much as he hates a day without Oxycontin, to do radio spots talking about what an environmentally conscious company GM is.

And it got the wheels turning.

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The DNC paid a visit to Fred Thompson’s headquarters…  With a lifejacket.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars

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I’ve been talking with some of my friends lately about what the Senate is going to look like after the 2008 Elections.  Each one is given a score from 1 to 10 based on how likely it is that the Democrats will come out on top.

  • Minnesota – Norm Coleman is out.  He was the beneficiary of the death of Paul Wellstone in 2002, and ended up facing a man that was in the race such a short time that he barely had time to print up yard signs.  This time, he’s up against Al Franken, one of the few candidates on any ballot that will have better name and face recognition than the incumbent, as well as a clear fundraising advantage.  Personally, as a supporter of the late Wellstone, this guy’s backside cannot quit sullying Wellstone’s chair soon enough for my taste. 10
  • Colorado – Wayne Allard’s retirement couldn’t come at a worse time for the Republicans.  They’ve had two terrible cycles in a row in Colorado, and things are getting nothing but worse for them there.  Scott McInnis looks like the candidate the GOP is rallying around, but he will most likely be beaten by Democrat Mark Udall. 10
  • New Hampshire – The state swung blue in a major way in the 2006 midterms.  Both members of their congressional delegation are freshman Democrats that beat Republican incumbents handily last year.  With Democratic Governor John Lynch on the ticket again (He won with a mindblowing 74% in 2004 in what was a weak year for Democrats), this spells trouble for John Sununu. 9
  • Kentucky – Mitch McConnell has a severe case of Dubya-itis.  In his case, a fatal one.  Through much of the last six years, he was unwilling to break from the Bush Administration.  Now he tries, but his efforts are largely seen as disingenuous– He makes the rounds on the talk show circuit talking about accountability for the president, but he has been unwilling to vote it.  Allies of Ernie Fletcher, who won the Republican nomination for governor handily two months ago, are attempting to draft Larry Forgy to run against him.  With an approval rating of less than 50%, McConnell cannot withstand attacks from both sides, provided that he even survives the primary challenge— Far from a sure thing. 7
  • New Mexico – Pete Domenici’s health is not holding up particularly well, so there are even odds that this could be an open seat next year.  Barring that, Domenici’s role in the US Attorney scandal could well put him out of the running. 7
  • Alaska – Ted Stevens will not fail in his re-election bid because of the excessive pork barrel spending that has marked his tenure.  In fact, he would be smart to run as the guy who “brings home the bacon”.  But he WILL have trouble over, of all things, a home improvement project.  The contractor was Bill Allen, who has already pled guilty to bribing legislators in exchange for oil contracts.  Stevens’ son, widely believed to be the “Senator B” Allen confessed to giving $240,000 to, stepped down from the Senate President position in 2006 after the FBI raided his office and did not seek re-election.  Expect the investigation to continue. 8 (Would be higher if we had a better bench in Alaska)
  • Maine – Susan Collins has a very simple choice.  She’s received soft coverage for playing to both sides for years.  Example:  She voted for cloture on the recent Iraq resolution, but voted against the deadline when it came to the floor.  The people of Maine are not happy with the war, and Democrat Tom Allen is catching up with her on fundraising.  This race is hers to lose; She can break away from “stay the course” and keep her job, or she can continue voting to keep the war going indefinitely and watch the Senate on CSPAN like the rest of us.  MyDD has a great interview with Tom Allen.
  • Mississippi – State has trended red in recent years.  Democrats have been on the decline since the Civil Rights Act and the rise of the “Southern Strategy”.  That being said, Hurricane Katrina wrecked more than buildings, and Governor Haley Barbour has approval ratings that rival syphillis.  Thad Cochran has been talking about retiring.  If it happens, this state is in play, particularly if Giuliani gets the nomination.  None of the Republican presidential candidates is going to play well with the “Gods, guns, gays” voters.  Fred Thompson could hold them steady, but social conservative turnout will not be driven by Giuliani. 6
  • Nebraska – Chuck Hagel has been talking about retiring as well.  Nebraska is a red state, but Hagel has held onto his seat by placating Democratic voters in the state.  If he stays in, the seat absolutely will not change hands.  He’s opposed Bush enough to placate moderate Democrats.  If he retires, it’s moderately in play. 5
  • Louisiana – I would have given Landrieu a 9, but the biggest urban voting center in New Orleans is a few shy of its regular voting rolls.  7
  • South Dakota – Whether Tim Johnson recovers enough to run or not, there’s an overall lack of Republican heavy hitters in the state that are ready to move up to the big leagues.  8
  • Rhode Island – Is there anyone in the country with more job security than Jack Reed?  10
  • Kansas – Pat Roberts is probably the safest Republican in this cycle.  He’s the right guy in the right state.  Kansas has proven to be so unfriendly to science and progress that if the space shuttle crashlanded there, farmers would go out and beat it with sticks and try to jab at it with pitchforks.  Pat Roberts recognizes this, and would happily lead the charge. 1
  • West Virginia – Republicans’ best hope in this state is that Jay Rockefeller would retire.  He’s not said anything to that effect. 8
  • Wyoming – Mike Enzi is regarded almost well as a turd in a punch bowl.  But we don’t have much of a bench in the state, so he’s relatively safe.  3
  • Delaware – Joe Biden will wash out of the presidential race well before the filing deadline for the Senate race becomes an issue.  The nation may not like him, but he’s popular at home.  8
  • South Carolina – Lindsey Graham’s occasional headfake towards common sense when it comes to the Iraq War will not be enough to hurt him in South Carolina.  2
  • Georgia – Saxby Chambliss is the proverbial Senate wallflower.  He hasn’t done much to alienate his base, but he’s done nothing to build one.  Attorney Jim Butler is poised to become Georgia’s answer to John Edwards and will have a sizable war chest by election season.  8
  • Oklahoma – No strong opposition to James Inhofe is building, so our chances of taking this seat are not good.  3
  • Illinois – Dick Durbin isn’t the safest incumbent this cycle, but he’s damn close.  The most serious opposition to him is a three-time primary loser.  10
  • Idaho – We’re not taking Larry Craig out anytime soon.  2
  • Texas – The state is not as red as we’ve been told.  Cornyn could well end up bearing scars from a close association with the Bush administration, but it’s unlikely enough to take the seat unless we revive Ann Richards and run her against him.  4
  • Tennessee – Lamar Alexander is not going anywhere anytime soon.  This is a state where Bob Corker could pull off a Senate win; Comparing him to Alexander is like comparing the guy in the blue tights with no entrance music to Hulk Hogan. 2
  • Massachusetts – John Kerry is on safe ground.  9
  • Michigan – Carl Levin has consistently kept a gloved fist in the faces of the Bush Administration since before the President had spent enough time in the White House to find the bathroom.  The people of Michigan appreciate it.  9
  • Virginia – Could well change hands.  John Warner certainly is more popular than Macaca Man, but a strong challenger can throw him out.  5
  • New Jersey – Will Frank Lautenberg run again?  Perhaps.  But even if he doesn’t, we will keep the seat.  New Jersey votes blue. 9
  • Arkansas – Could get very interesting.  Mike Huckabee is certainly not going to win the presidential nomination.  He’s so far back I forgot he was in it.  He’s term limited out of running for governor again.  If he decides to run for the Senate, he could well pull it off.  4
  • North Carolina – Liddy Dole got off to a slow fundraising start, but she appears to be healthy now.  No serious opposition seems to be forming, but if a half decent opponent appears, she’s vulnerable.  5
  • Oregon – The state is trending blue, and has a large “green” contingent.  Gordon Smith would ordinarily be more vulnerable than he is, but he has a great working relationship with Oregon’s other senator, Democrat Ron Wyden that could protect him.  Voters will be willing to keep that team intact.  3
  • Iowa – Tom Harkin managed a 55-45 win in 2002, when the Republicans absolutely spanked us during the midterms.  This year, the party is not going to be as competitive, so he’ll win handily.  9
  • Montana – Max Baucus is safe.  He got off to a good fundraising start, and there’s no major opposition for him.  Denny Rehberg is the name thrown out most often, but he’s not going to give up a congressional seat to lose to Baucus.  9

Those are my predictions at this point in time.  As always, they’re subject to change— This is just a snapshot.

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Random stuff rattling around in the tubes (Which are indeed not like a truck).

  • Sara Lee bread recall.  You know, just in case you’re one of those picky eaters that prefers your morning toast and honey without metal shavings.  Thankfully, the bread I buy from them is the one variety not affected.
  • As usual, when Memphis merits a mention on national TV, it’s never anything good.  The bikini lawncare company made it into Jay Leno’s opening monologue last night.  “Here’s a story that’s been in the news the last couple of nights,” he said on the Thursday show.  “A Memphis lawn care company is now offering women in bikinis to cut your lawn.  Women in bikinis come cut your lawn.  How about that?  Finally, Americans are taking jobs away from illegals.”  In an odd way though, it feels like a promotion.  At least this time, we were the setup for the joke as opposed to the punchline of it.
  • Holy shit, Batman!  When your “special mummy ray gun” won’t take care of mummies, what are you to do?
  • A cat has been found that can accurately predict which nursing home patient will die next.  It was last seen looking for Fred Thompson’s non-campaign headquarters.
  • Starbucks is raising prices next week, citing increases in the cost of milk.  Not to worry, though– Credit specialists are on hand to help you finance the cup of coffee of your dreams.
  • The San Diego Comic Con is underway.  The big attraction of the weekend is a seminar entitled “What To Do While You’re Not Getting Laid”.
  • Harry Potter.  No actual story.  Just boosting my page rank.

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