Archive for December 8th, 2006

Erosion

I think Dubya is officially cratering. Atrios links to the latest Zogby poll numbers, and they’re bad, very bad.

Not only is his overall approval down to 30% (a new low for this poll), but his approval among Republicans is down to 60% (it used to be up in the 80s), and among Born Again Christians, it’s 43%. I repeat, 43%. That’s… spectacular. And in case you’re wondering, he’s at 22% among Independents, and 9% among Democrats (the 9% must all live in Connecticut or something).

Consider also, this poll began before the ISG Report came out and mainstreamed the idea that the Iraq invasion was a catastrophic mistake, and (I believe) completed before Bush blew off the Report’s recommendation to start withdrawing troops from Iraq, which was, well, kinda the whole point.

But, Barney has a new video! He’s planning a Holiday Extravaganza! Hard to say how this might affect the numbers – on the one paw, everyone loves Barney. On the other paw, he’s throwing away a lot of his hard-earned political capital by joining the Anti-Christmasofascist hordes.

8 comments December 8th, 2006 at 06:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Polls

Totally Not A Meme. Nope.

Technically, since the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. received this via e-mail, and did not tag anyone, I therefore have no obligation to participate. Besides, there’s no way I could improve on her responses.

Mmm… Hammer pants…

(Would the world be better or worse if Batman wore Hammer pants? Discuss.)

UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens really needs to start reading V’s blog…

5 comments December 8th, 2006 at 02:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Memes

NARAL-Mindedness

Digby has (as usual) an excellent post on the ongoing NARAL selloutathon. He contrasts NARAL’s accommodationist, triangulating strategy with the NRA’s absolutism, which is a comparison that came to my mind in the wake of their lame excuses about not being able to account for cloture votes for the Alito nomination on their “scorecard.” Anyone think the NRA wouldn’t find a way to keep track of who voted for cloture for a zealously anti-gun Supreme Court nominee, or that any such congresscritter would be receiving any endorsements or thank-you letters(!) in the foreseeable future? Didn’t think so.

Digby focuses primarily on how NARAL is allowing the center to shift drastically to the right, but only alludes briefly and indirectly to the way they’re moving the left to the right. By giving their blessing to a pro-life definition of when life begins, and embracing the doctrine of fetal pain sensitivity (I really hope they’re wrong on that – I just automatically assume that any scientific claims coming from the far right are garbage, and I haven’t been wrong yet), they have given them the imprimatur of progressivity, allowing feckless or naive Democratic politicians to freely adopt without fear of any repercussions or stigma – after all, who wants to be to the left of NARAL on choice? Protecting choice is their whole raison d’etre, right?

And that, of course, is the problem. Any anti-choice position adopted by NARAL will not make NARAL more credible, because everyone thinks NARAL is an advocacy group for women’s choice. All it does is make that position look liberal and pro-choice, because it’s been endorsed by a liberal and pro-choice organization.

Now, with all that being said, can anyone explain to me why NARAL’s membership has not staged a revolt? I know NARAL chief Nancy Keenan is a Catholic who appears to be personally opposed to abortion (!!!), but is the membership really that oblivious to what’s being advocated in their name, or are they in on the scam? I would think that if they’re informed, committed progressives, they would have been lashing some serious back starting with NARAL’s endorsement of Joe Lieberman. Can anyone out there offer any insider perspective on this? Is NARAL just the pro-choice version of the rights-would-be-nice-but-what-we-really-want-are-tax-cuts Log Cabin Republicans?

3 comments December 8th, 2006 at 12:24pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Choice,Democrats,Favorites,Lieberman,Politics,Wankers

Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

This week’s quote is from My Giant, starring Billy Crystal and my all-time favorite NBA player, Gheorghe Muresan:

I just signed some singing pigs. They’re amazing.

Mmm… singing pigs…

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s cats…


Incoming!

2 comments December 8th, 2006 at 07:26am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

I’ll Believe It When I See It…

Excellent news, IF true:

By the 2008 presidential election, voters around the country are likely to see sweeping changes in how they cast their ballots and how those ballots are counted, including an end to the use of most electronic voting machines without a paper trail, federal voting officials and legislators say.

New federal guidelines, along with legislation given a strong chance to pass in Congress next year, will probably combine to make the paperless voting machines obsolete, the officials say. States and counties that bought the machines will have to modify them to hook up printers, at federal expense, while others are planning to scrap the machines and buy new ones.

Motivated in part by voting problems during the midterm elections last month, the changes are a result of a growing skepticism among local and state election officials, federal legislators and the scientific community about the reliability and security of the paperless touch-screen machines used by about 30 percent of American voters.

The changes also mean that the various forms of vote-counting software used around the country – most of which are protected by their manufacturers for reasons of trade secrecy – will for the first time be inspected by federal authorities, and the code could be made public. There will also be greater federal oversight on how new machines are tested before they arrive at polling stations.

(…)

This week, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee, a federal panel of technical experts that helps set voting standards, adopted a resolution that recommends requiring any new electronic voting systems to have an independent means of verification, a move that could eventually prevent paperless touch-screen machines from being federally certified.

I hope the Democrats do everything they can to get these reforms in place in time for the 2008 election. They need to operate with a sense of urgency, especially if the Republicans figure out a way to either distance themselves from Bush and his disastrous war; or convince voters that it’s not so disastrous after all and Dubya’s resolute forceful manliness is the only thing standing between us and the Islamofascist Terrorist Hordes Of Scary.

Unfortunately, paperless voting machines are only one element of what’s wrong with our election system. Not only are votes not getting counted properly, but many of them are not being cast at all, or are not reaching the tallying process. Any serious, comprehensive election reform must include stiff penalties and enforcement for all forms of voter suppression, such as voter intimidation, voter purges, hidden poll taxes in the guise of ID requirements, and dirty tricks in general (phone jamming, deceptive flyers or robocalls, etc.). As long as the Republicans continue to control which votes get to be counted, they don’t really need to control the counting itself.

3 comments December 8th, 2006 at 07:13am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Republicans,Rove


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