Archive for May 19th, 2008

Earl Of Spamwich

How sad is it that I’m actually rescuing comments spam from my spam filter?  They’re just so fascinating, though:

revenger birch serenity,rosemary Janos approaches …

shining humidifier twilight.shade Walbridge …

automated!preface favoring Arthur amazers?…

nervousness Timmy Damocles burnishing improved intermingled …

reticulates boyishness maximal pilot molten!…

supper lure redisplay subtasks darers kingdoms!…

hemitropism outsharpen nonprecious vahine tardily aventurine weighbar arthrogastra

hospitably.shrilled pails snapping counselor fainted….

amen bake enveloping.zeroth:buckling Basie …

brigadier,autodecrement architectural bethedealer

hog?prototypical ranger,aggressions …

hoped Alvin nationalist.otherworldly!hazardous Olivers …

Can you blame me?

May 19th, 2008 at 11:46pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Spamoptikon

You Realize, Of Course, That This Means War.

Obama has thrown down the gauntlet:

Democrat Barack Obama said on Sunday he would pursue a vigorous antitrust policy if he becomes U.S. president and singled out the media industry as one area where government regulators would need to be watchful as consolidation increases.

“I will assure that we will have an antitrust division that is serious about pursuing cases,” the Illinois senator told an audience of mostly senior citizens in Oregon.

“There are going to be areas, in the media for example where we’re seeing more and more consolidation, that I think (it) is legitimate to ask…is the consumer being served?”

Yowza.  This is potentially an enormous deal if Obama follows through on it… and if the media’s inevitable all-out war against him doesn’t keep him out of the White House.  Of course, less consolidated media is no guarantee of less conservative media – if wealthy progressives don’t take advantage, we’ll just end up with media owned by more and smaller wingnuts.

The other aspect of this that is interesting and potentially huge is what happens if the media does launch the all-out attack on Obama that I think they will.  The best-case scenario is that Obama starts punching back, pointing out the media’s corporate ownership and questioning their credibility.  Sure, other Democrats could do the same, but only a presidential candidate’s utterances are automatically newsworthy enough to be reported even when they are, shall we say… inconvenient.

As great as unconsolidating the media could be, damaging their credibility might be even more valuable in the short run.  I would much rather have voters saying, “Yeah, the media says Obama is an America-hating, racist Muslim black nationalist, but consider the source,” as opposed to, “It must be true, I saw it on the teevee!”

As for the worst case, well, can you say “YEEEAAARRRGGGHHHH”?  Or “earth tones”?

(h/t Scarecrow)

2 comments May 19th, 2008 at 10:48pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Media,Politics,Republicans


Yeah, I know she has to make her case, but this is just bogus:

Adding a new mathematical twist to her case for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Monday that she had not only won more popular votes than Senator Barack Obama, she had won states totaling far more electoral votes.

“The states that I’ve won total 300 electoral votes,” she told about 300 people in a high school gymnasium in Maysville, the birthplace of the actor George Clooney. “The question is who can win 270 electoral votes? My opponent has won states totaling 217 electoral votes.”

So, in other words, it is apparently impossible for a candidate to win a state in the general election if they did not carry it in the primaries.  Fascinating.

But wait, it gets better:

The Clinton campaign, in an email message from spokesman Phil Singer, offered as evidence for their electoral college argument a memo from Karl Rove obtained by ABC News, which provides an estimate of electoral votes based on public opinion polls.

Mrs. Clinton cited the memo in an appearance in Prestonsburg, Ky., saying, “I believe I am the stronger candidate and just today I found some curious support for that position when one of the TV networks released an analysis by, of all people, Karl Rove, saying I was the stronger candidate. And there it is.”

She’s using Karl Rove as backup now, because he’s such a fair and reliable source whose math is never wrong.  Awesome.

2 comments May 19th, 2008 at 09:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Democrats,Elections,Politics,Wankers


Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

I don’t really have a point.  I just like walruses.

Actually, read the story.  Walruses are even smarter and more awesome than I thought.

May 19th, 2008 at 09:16pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Science

Monday Media Boogie Blogging

Not exactly a video, really, but one of my all-time favorite songs:

Hey babe, ya wanna boogie?  Boogie-woogie-woogie with me…

May 19th, 2008 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Is More But Not Better Worse?

Carl Hulse points out an intriguing (and frustrating) Dem dilemma:

While much of the Congressional political focus has been on the declining fortunes and numbers of House Republicans, House Democrats have their own problem: They are winning too many elections.

By prevailing in conservative districts where they ordinarily would not have a chance, Democrats are widening the ideological divide in their own ranks and complicating their ability to find internal consensus. It is a nice problem to have, but it is one that can bedevil party leaders. As their numbers expand, they have to juggle the competing interests of Travis Childers, the newly elected pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-tax representative from northern Mississippi and someone like, say, Nancy Pelosi, a pro-gun control, liberal abortion-rights advocate from San Francisco who sees government as a solution.


[T]he strain of balancing the political imperatives of a right-of-center to pretty far left-of-center caucus has already strained the Democratic majority in the House. In the most recent example, the party’s intricate scheme for passing a war spending bill collapsed Thursday when most Republicans sat out the war money vote and most Democrats, who oppose spending more money on combat in Iraq, voted against it.

That left the Democratic majority without the votes to pass a spending bill that, in the leadership’s calculation, is essential to protecting the party’s image on national security as well as members from conservative districts who cannot afford to be seen as failing to support troops in the field. Most of those lawmakers, including many freshmen, backed the war funds.


Democrats elected themselves into this situation. In picking up 30 seats in 2006, Democrats walked away with some in Republican territory, with the result that many of the newcomers are representing districts where the voters are not completely in sync with the Democratic agenda.

As Howie Klein points out, this is not an entirely accurate representation of the Congressional dynamic:

The Democratic freshmen– of all ideological stripes– voted in greater proportions against the war than the Democratic caucus as a whole did.

However, there are a whole bunch of reliably unreliable freshmen Democrats, including the two special election winners now in office, who voted in favor of the war funding, and who will probably vote with the Republicans most of the time.

In addition to being a tactical problem – how to hold the Democratic caucus together and pass legislation when a giant chunk of it votes with the Republicans – this is also an optical problem.  The more Democrats there are in Congress, the more results Americans will expect to see.  If progressive initiatives are consistently sabotaged by the Blue Dog caucus, and Republican business as usual continues, voter frustration with the Democrats will increase and support for the Democrats will collapse.

Indeed, I believe that Democratic gains in this November’s elections will be far more due to disgust with Republicans and failed Bush policies than any kind of esteem for the Democrats.  If the Bush Dogs are able to hold the party hostage, the Naderite meme that there’s no difference between the parties will take hold once again, and 2010 and 2012 will be disasters.

I think the bottom line is that however many seats Democrats pick up, they need to have a core voting majority of progressives, or at least of non-Bush Dogs.  I’m not sure that that’s going to happen this cycle, or next.  But if we can run strong progressive challengers to some of the worse Bush Dogs, and/or the ones in safely Democratic seats, then maybe we can funnel some of that voter discontent to our advantage.

(h/t Stoller)

2 comments May 19th, 2008 at 07:22am Posted by Eli

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

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