Archive for August 13th, 2009

Netroots Nation Photoblogging!

Here it is, the first batch of photos from today’s panels. These four are from the How To Read Polls panel with Greg Dworkin (DemFromCT), Charlie Cook, Charles Franklin, Mark Blumenthal, and Nate Silver. Apologies for any shortcomings in photo quality. There wasn’t much light, and I’m using Picasa on a netbook instead of Lightroom on a laptop. I may or may not go back and redo some of these.
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Charlie Cook works the hair.

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Charles Franklin and Nate Silver.

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Charlie Cook cracks Greg up.

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Pittsburgh’s own Fester (of Newshoggers) looks on.

Full album can be found here, will be updated sporadically.

5 comments August 13th, 2009 at 07:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Netroots Nation,People,Photoblogging,Rabid Lambs

Why Can’t The Democrats Be More Like Cheney?

Yes, I know it sounds insane, but consider this:

John P. Hannah, Cheney’s second-term national security adviser, said the former vice president is driven, now as before, by the nightmare of a hostile state acquiring nuclear weapons and passing them to terrorists. Aaron Friedberg, another of Cheney’s foreign policy advisers, said Cheney believes “that many people find it very difficult to hold that idea in their head, really, and conjure with it, and see what it implies.”

Substitute, say, the recession, or global warming, or the healthcare crisis in the place of rogue nukes, and ask yourself how many Democrats in positions of power have that same sense of urgency and passion, that same sense that the problem must be addressed uncompromisingly and damn the political consequences because it’s That Important?  In other words, how many Democrats understand that the stakes are too high for their usual halfassitude to be enough?

Sure, in Cheney’s case, his particular mania is paranoid and insane, and has taken him down a very dark path, but I’m pretty sure that, say, an all-out drive to truly fix healthcare or the environment would not inevitably lead to constitutional abuses, torture chambers, or even death panels.

August 13th, 2009 at 05:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Economy,Environment,Healthcare,Obama,Politics

Programming NNote

Probably light posting for the next few days, as I will be at Netroots Nation.  Will try to post pictures on a close to real-time basis, but I make no promises…

August 13th, 2009 at 12:24pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Deja Vu

Senate Guru points to some encouraging poll results (caveat: Rasmussen):

13.  What’s that number?  It’s the gap between Specter and Congressman Sestak in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.  Specter’s lead over Congressman Sestak is only 47-34 according to Rasmussen.  Rasmussen’s last poll, in June, showed the 19-point deficit, a 51-32 result.

Rasmussen also reminds us that Specter still remains “much better known” across the state than Congressman Sestak.  In other words, Congressman Sestak still has plenty of room to grow in terms of name ID as his campaign gets underway, but has already cut his deficit by a third.  Also, this is the very first non-Franklin & Marshall poll (F&M’s numbers were relatively very low for both candidates) to show Specter under 50%.


This poll is bad news for Specter and great news for Congressman Sestak – not just because it shows Congressman Sestak closing the gap, but also because it adds credibility to his campaign.  Specter winning is not remotely a foregone conclusion.  The more that PA-Dem primary voters recognize that, the more open they’ll be to Congressman Sestak’s candidacy, and the less power the Ed Rendell machine will have to stop the political dam from breaking.

This reminds me a lot of Lamont’s campaign against Lieberman three years ago.  Most CT Democrats were desperate for an alternative to Lieberman, and all Lamont really had to do was make sure they knew who he was, and could see him as a viable, more progressive alternative.  Of course, the problem in CT was that Lieberman was able to run as an independent and get the benefit of the Republican vote, where PA affords Specter no such luxury.

It is probably also worth noting that outside of the Democratic party establishment (feh), Specter’s Democratic support is almost certainly a lot thinner than Lieberman’s was.  Lieberman was a Democratic senator (in name, at least) for 18 years, whereas for Specter it will be closer to 18 months.

My prediction is that Specter will attempt the same play Lieberman used in CT: Pretend to be a lot more progressive than he actually is, than revert to form immediately after the election.  Again, though, decades of being an actual Republican will make that a lot harder for him to pull off than it was for Joementum.  Fingers crossed.

August 13th, 2009 at 09:23am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Lamont,Lieberman,Pittsburgh/PA,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Specter

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