UPDATE: Oh, shit. It gets worse. Something is dreadfully wrong.Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on Friday.
The soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of raping.
Maj. Gen. James D. Thurman, commander of coalition troops in Baghdad, had ordered a criminal investigation into the alleged killing of a family of four in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad, the U.S. command said. It did not elaborate. . . .a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role and has been arrested. . . . The killings appeared to have been a "crime of opportunity," the official said. The soldiers had not been attacked by insurgents but had noticed the woman on previous patrols.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The latest SurveyUSA News Poll for all 100 Senators was recently released. The data, collected between June 9 and June 11, 2006, show fewer said they DISapproved of Senator Santorum's performance than did in May. But, not really.
In the latest results, 36% of the 600 Pennsylvania voters surveyed said that they approved of their junior Senator's job performance, while 55% said they thought Santorum was doing a lousy job. The May results were nearly identical -- 36% approve, 57% disapprove. The two percent difference went right into the "idunno" category, which increased from 7 to 9%.
Santorum continues to lose ground among Republicans, with only 48% saying approve of Their Rick. This continues Santorum's steadily declining popularity in his own party since December, when he had a 66% approval rating among the Commonwealth Republicans. The successive monthly results since then have been: 63% - 62% - 61% - 58% - 52% in May followed by this month's 48%.
A spot of good news for the Senator -- his numbers among conservatives did improve this month. I guess that "red meat" bait is working. Conservatives gave him a 64% approval rating, a nine-point jump over last month and the highest approval from them since January. The bad, news, of course, is that they make up only a small portion of the population. His 64% approval rating from them is nearly half of his overall support.
Moderates, which account for over 40% of the total population, give Santorum extremely weak ratings -- 29% approve, 64% disapprove. He fairs a bit better in the third of the State's voters who find themselves in the "T" -- receiving 40% approval, 50% disapproval from them.
Among his natural ideological base, anti-choice voters continue to downgrade the Senator's performance, with only 48% approving of the job he is doing -- that number was 59% in December and has been steadily trending down. Among regular church-goers, he picked up a little, scoring a 45% approval in June compared to 43% in May -- but down from 54% a year ago. Interesting, but meaningless, that his numbers also improved a bit among pro-choice voters. In May, they gave him 26% approval versus 68% disapproval. This month, he's at 28-64. Maybe it's those conservative soccer moms in Bucks county. (By the way, a majority of Pennsylvanians still call themselves pro-choice.)
However the numbers are sliced, Santorum continues to slide. One strong Santorum
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
From the Santorum Blog: Vince Galko, the 12-year old running Santorum's campaign (oh, okay, you got me, he's not 12, but he is very young, especially to an old fart like me), has "reached out" to the Casey campaign chief with this piece of transparent drivel:
Okay, stop it right there for a minute . . . . how did they "reach out" to John Featherman, again? Oh, that's right, here's how:
I recently reviewed two recent press releases from the Carl Romanelli for Senate campaign. In his statements, Mr. Romanelli called for 'policy debate' in this race and for a campaign focused on issues rather than Âsound bites and negative attacks.' He further called upon Democrats and Republicans to help him collect the required signatures to get on the ballot and for them not to challenge his candidacy should he obtain the number of signatures needed.
Just as our campaign reached out to John Featherman
A Philadelphia real-estate broker who was U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's only Republican challenger in the Pennsylvania primary is dropping out of the race. John Featherman yesterday said he determined that it wasn't worth the money to fight the state Republican Party, which on Tuesday challenged his application to be on the ballot. Mr. Featherman filed 2,207 signatures with the application. The secretary of state's office tossed out 185 of them, and the party filed a challenge to 1,073 more of the signatures . . . . Mr. Featherman is a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, gay marriage and a flat tax.Yeah, now I remember. Oh, where were we, that's right, Galko's letter to his Casey counterpart:
With regards to Mr. Romanelli's request for Democrats and Republicans to help him in his efforts to get on the ballot, I believe our campaigns should encourage our supporters to help Mr. Romanelli garner the necessary signatures he needs. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all agree that the democratic process should be open and welcoming to people of differing positions.Sorry, how's that again? "[T]he democratic process should be open and welcoming to people of differing positions" . . . except, of course, to moderate Republicans who want to stand up to a looney wingnut incumbent in the primary . . . . Sorry, picking up with the Galko tripe again . . . .
Should Mr. Romanelli collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, our campaign will support his full participation in campaign debates. We hope neither the Casey campaign nor your allies within the Democratic Party will challenge his right to be on the ballot.
But there is not much less sincere than this rubbish. Santorum had his only challenger knocked out of the race -- didn't even give the guy a debate, much less a chance to participate in the "democratic process". "Open?" "Welcoming?" Oh, please, don't piss on me leg and tell me it's raining.
Casey should ignore Santorum's desperate maneuvers for attention.
That said, if Carl Romanelli does manage to score the necessary signatures, Casey should welcome him to the campaign and the debates. Not because Santorum pretends that he thinks that is the right thing to do, but because it really is the right thing to do.
Let's hope that Casey doesn't stoop to conquer. Let Rick sputter and spew his venom with his ever-decreasing base cheering the spittle.
UPDATE: AlexC, the editor of the Santorum Blog, has pointed out that the Santorum TV Ad that I referred and linked to is probably a web-only ad.
That looks to be the case (I've never seen the ad on TV, since I only watch TV in sports bars to see the Yankees games). If so, then Rick did what I said he should have done -- ended the TV spot when he finished speaking. The swipe at Casey was apparently limited to his website version. (Although, I received the link from a Santorum Campaign e-mail touting the new TV ad.)
Well, okay, I understand "red meat" for the rabid base. I still don't like it, and objected to the same kind of thing in a recent campaign that I in which I was involved, but it isn't as egregious as doing it in your TV and radio spots.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Crosstabs are only available for "premium members", so we don't have that data. Here's what Rasmussen had to say:
Now trailing Democrat Bob Casey by fifteen percentage points (52% to 37%), Santorum has gained a few points since last month. Of course, gaining a few points after lagging by twenty-three points is hardly an accomplishment for an incumbent to brag about. The overall trend remains very unhappy for Santorum: he has reached a 40% level of support just once in our last eight polls of the race. Casey has topped 50% in all but one of those polls. . . .
Senator Santorum is viewed favorably by 46% of likely Pennsylvania voters, unfavorably by 48%. Casey is viewed favorably by 55%, unfavorably by 36%. Santorum is viewed "very" unfavorably by 28%, Casey by 13%.
A lopsided plurality of voters in the Keystone State would prefer to see a Democrat in the Oval Office in 2009. Voters here tend to look more favorably on the Democratic prospects we asked about than voters have in other states.
Still, the two Republican frontrunners still enjoy slightly higher favorables than the Democrat’s frontrunners. Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by 53%, Al Gore by 57%, John McCain by 59%, Rudy Giuliani by 64%. McCain and Giuliani are viewed "very" unfavorably by many fewer respondents than Clinton and Gore are.
Numbers like these tend to make one forget just how long we have to go until November.
Here's a crayon, kids, draw yer own conclusions.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
WSJ/Zogby Poll released today. That's all we have -- the numbers. No details, crosstabs provided yet. Margin of Error is 3.6. More when I know more. h/t Santorum Blog.
I guess I should also say, for the purposes of disclosure, that I participated in this poll as a respondent.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The Santorum 2006 campaign announced today that it will begin airing television advertisements in every Pennsylvania media market beginning Friday, June 23. The campaign will air television ads continuously between Friday and Election Day.It's a pretty safe bet that the Santorum ads won't be any more substantive than the new radio ad he posted on his web site today, called "River City", the ad doesn't even hint at a single issue facing this Congress, the next, or even the Commonwealth. Instead, it's all attack, innuendo and sleaze. Santorum, Incorporated attacks Casey on three points:
- Casey has conducted five statewide campaigns in ten years
- As auditor (1997-2005), he supposedly left 800 unfinished audits
- Casey has supposedly been away from his Treasurer's office "almost half" the time
- Casey signed the Pennsylvania pay-raise checks
No wonder his approval rating is approaching Nixonian lows.
Today is June 21st, and you know what that means. No, it’s not time to pay your bookie again. No, your scheduled court appearance is not until the 28th. No, your wife’s birthday isn’t even until next month! That’s right, it’s the 15th Carnival of the Liberals! Welcome to this edition of the CoTL, which showcases some of the finest progressive writing the blogosphere has to offer. Somewhat less importantly, however, today also marks the first day of summer. With that in mind and without further ado, let’s get this party started.
Summer means vacation and vacation means fun, sun, and sandy beaches. Are you planning a trip this summer? If so, I hear Guantanamo Bay is just lovely this time of the year. In fact, Jon Swift recently wrote about the new rage that’s sweeping Camp Delta: committing suicide. Alternatively, you could always visit lovely New York City, where Scott Brown at Perspectives of a Nomad informs us of the family-friendly fun of looking for suspicious packages on the subway (which, from what I understand, is becoming a local favorite in NYC).
And of course, with summer comes all the talk about what’s in and what’s out in pop-culture. For instance, sunglasses are in and fanny packs are out (if not, they definitely should be). Laura at Truth Tables brings us a trend that the religious right is hoping all you ladies can really get into: contracting cervical cancer. Another big ‘in’ this season, courtesy of Jess at Bee Policy, is sexual obsession bordering on psychopathology with a twist of soul-crushing fear. Also, according to Martin at Writings on the Wall, consumerism is definitely out. Apparently, however, no one has bothered to tell the consumers yet.
Maybe you’re interested in taking a break from the daily grind and doing some advocacy work. Perhaps you should renounce your belief in God and repeat after me: “We’re here! We don’t subscribe to any supernatural force that governs the universe! Get used to it!” Okay, maybe we can work on the slogan. But nonetheless, A Big Fat Slob has been kind enough to inform us that atheists are the new gays.
If you are anything like myself (and I know you are), then you’re just looking forward to the rest and relaxation that accompanies the rising temperatures. So sit down, turn on the tube, and kick back. But don’t forget to check out Doctor Biobrain’s piece at And Doctor Biobrain’s Response Is… about speculation and the media– it will serve you well in your channel surfing endeavors.
Already planning on a big July 4th blowout complete with your creepy uncle that doesn’t talk much and really likes ice cream? You might want to take some pointers from cbpvk at Rigor Vitae regarding rewhat you should do with your American flag as well as Alex Palazzo at The Daily Transcript regarding the meaning of this great country of ours (Hint: It’s not turkey dogs). Though I think I already have a pretty good handle on what America is all about – Social Darwinism. Head on over to Mike the Mad Biologist and read all about it.
That’s all she wrote for this edition of CoTL. I want to thank everyone who made submissions this time around. I had a very good time reading them as well as preparing this week’s edition. I thought that all of the submissions were very good, and it was quite a task to pick just 10. Don’t forget that Chris Hallquist will host CoTL #16 on July 5 over at The Uncredible Hallq. As a side note, we are also looking for new hosts. If you feel like giving it a whirl, head on over to the CoTL site and sign up. As always, if anyone feels like linking to the CoTL and spreading the word, it would be appreciated. Here’s hoping you have a great summer!
"Sen. Santorum appears to be his own worst enemy in his battle for re-election. More than 40 percent of those who say they will vote for Democrat Bob Casey say they are really voting against Santorum. And less than 40 percent of all voters say Santorum deserves to be reelected," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.Forty-five percent of Pennsylvanians DISapprove of Santorum's job performance -- one point more than last month's Quinnipiac Poll and a huge turn around from Santorum's 56 approval rating in December, 2003.
Bob Casey isn't getting all the love Santorum has lost. Only 26% have a favorable opinion of the man who has been on every statewide ballot since women got the right to vote (oh, you caught me, that was an exaggeration). A whopping 42% say they don't know enough about him to make a decision. Casey was Pennsylvania's Auditor General from 1997 to 2005, took office as the State Treasurer in 2005, ran for Governor in 2002, and still 42% don't know enough about him to form an opinion?!
Quinnipiac asked voters if their vote would be cast more "for" the person they supported or "against" the opponent. Seventy-eight percent of Rick's people love him; 44% of Casey's support is an anti-Rick vote.
Here's a funny result -- while only 34% of the respondents said they would vote for Rick, 37% said he deserves to be reelected. Huh?
The two most recent polls prior to this one were released by Strategic Vision on June 15 and Rasmussen on May 31. The Strategic Vision poll gave Casey a 49-40% lead over Santorum, while Rasmussen gave Casey a startling 23-point lead, at 56-33%. Precise numbers aside, the trend appears to be that Casey is returning to the strength that he had in the pre-primary polls.
Quinnipiac opines that "The Senator is going to need a spectacular debate performance and a powerful advertising campaign if he does not want to become part of the anti-Bush, anti-Republican backlash". That's probably correct.
Casey appears strongest in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where they disapprove of Santorum by 57-27% and 61-34%, respectively. They also give Casey his largest leads over Santorum -- he beats Rick in Philly 72-12% and in Pittsburgh Casey has a 61-28% advantage.
And it explains why Casey is ducking Philly and Pittsburgh on his summer tour -- those areas are pretty solid anti-Rick voters and his tour looks to be designed to reinforce his candidacy among the more moderate areas of the State. In Central Pennsylvania it's a dead heat at 42% and in the Northwest, Casey's lead is only 5 points, 42%-37%, with 21% undecided. So Casey is concentrating on building and reinforcing his support in those sections of the State with his summer tour. The Quinnipiac results supports that strategy.
Last month we said that Casey needed to get above the 50% mark and stay there. In the last three polls he's been at 49, 56, and 52. Maybe it's not time to count the chickens, but Casey should be pleased with the number of eggs he's got laying around.
UPDATE From the AP -- the responses of the campaigns to the Quinnipiac Poll results:
A spokeswoman for Santorum said polls are unreliable at this stage of the campaign.
"The candidates haven't debated. Neither of them are on the air with television ads," said the spokeswoman, Virginia Davis. "Polls don't mean anything at this point."
Larry Smar, speaking for the Casey campaign, agreed that it is too early to read too much into the polls, but that Casey's continuing strength in polling bodes well for his prospects.
The AP also pointed out this noteworthy nugget: "It was the first time the senator's approval rating had dropped below 40 percent since Quinnipiac began measuring it in June 2002."
Monday, June 19, 2006
From Film Strip International -- only those of a certain age will "get" the beeps:
Asshole (2006) -- THIS you have to see.
Despotism (1946) Encyclopedia Brittanica Films -- it's a bit long (10 minutes), but well-worth the viewing.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I've got to get my grocery shopping done, so I'll just hit the high(low)lights.
Men and Women agree -- 65% think Bush sucks.
The 18 - 34 crowd -- 75,000 out of 100,000 think Bush is a lousy President.
Blacks -- fagetabbouit -- 90% -- NINETY PERCENT -- don't like the guy -- with ZERO percent unsure. I am always amazed to see numbers like that. I've said this before I think, but you can't get 90% to say they enjoy sex. And to have NO ONE unsure? Not even those people who call into American Idol (or whatever) to pay 50 cents to say "not sure"?
The good news for Bush -- Conservatives are still backing their guy at a 64% clip (but only 26% admitted to being conservative). Still, that gives him a "solid" 16% base. Republicans -- 37% of the survey -- support Bush by 55 to 42% (But that means he's being abandoned by 4/10 of his own party.) Even the anti-choice crowd is not crazy over him -- only 51% support him. (Interesting that only 42% of respondents said they were anti-choice.)
But, of course, Bush can depend on those church-going members of his base, right?
Sorry, George. But the 41% of the respondents who said that they regularly attended services DISapprove of the way you are screwing with our country at the rate of 57% to 40%.
Even the "T" rejects Bush's leadership, 51% disapprove to 47% approval.
Don't gimme anymore of the Pennsylvania purple crap this year.
Santorum should be pretty concerned about these numbers. (And no one should be surprised that, with these kinds of numbers, after rolling over and taking it to keep his Chair on Judiciary, Specter is now pretending to get tough on Bush again.)
Friday, June 16, 2006
Uh-oh. According to my SiteMeter report, yesterday this blog received a vist from someone at the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms:
Domain Name senate.gov (United States Government)
IP Address 156.33.76.# (U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms)
ISP U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms
Continent : North America
Country : United States
State : Virginia
City : Alexandria
Lat/Long : 38.7909, -77.0947 (Map)
Time of Visit Jun 15 2006 4:42:44 pm
Referring URL http://www.santorumblog.com/
Visit Entry Page http://abigfatslob.b...casey-lead-at-9.html
Visit Exit Page http://abigfatslob.b...casey-lead-at-9.html
This is serious stuff, that dude has the power to arrest even the President of the United States:
As chief law enforcement officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms is charged with maintaining security in the Capitol and all Senate buildings, as well as protection of the members themselves. . . . The Sergeant at Arms is authorized to arrest and detain any person violating Senate rules, including the President of the United States.Maybe it was all those wisecracks I made to the NSA people "not" listening to my overseas phone calls. Hey, if I don't post for a few days, would someone mind putting in a call to Guantanamo, just to check?
Now I may be on someone's watch list. At 1:14 pm this afternoon, someone from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in Washington, was nosing about the place.
Is he fading, or is the electorate distracted from the race?
He has a reliable 9-point lead over Santorum, which is gratifying for a challenger. But he can't win in November with 49%.
So, why is his bus tour skipping the areas of the state (Philly & Pittsburgh) which have the most Democrats and the most liberal Democrats? Is he counting on Rendell to deliver those areas for him? Unlike Casey, Rendell has gotten out and about. But, has Casey heard his stump speech? I guess I missed the part where he goes on and on about how much we need Bob Casey in Washington. Or is Casey going to rely on media buys? I guess the latter would be a smart move since he's got so much more money than Santorum does to make those buys . . . oh, wait a minute . . . scratch that. We know it's not all those grassroots door-knocking volunteers that his campaign decided that they don't need.
So, someone tell me, is Casey being complacent, does he have a secret plan, or am I overreacting? (Thanks to Wiki for gathering all the polling data in one place.)
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Rasmussen||May 31, 2006||56%||33%|
|Rasmussen||April 27, 2006||51%||38%|
|Rasmussen||April 5, 2006||50%||41%|
|Rasmussen||March 28, 2006||48%||38%|
|Rasmussen||February 20, 2006||52%||36%|
|Rasmussen||January 19, 2006||53%||38%|
|Rasmussen||November 10, 2005||54%||34%|
|Rasmussen||July 22, 2005||52%||41%|
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Strategic Vision||June 15, 2006||49%||40%|
|Strategic Vision||May 10, 2006||49%||41%|
|Strategic Vision||April 13, 2006||50%||40%|
|Strategic Vision||March 15, 2006||52%||38%|
|Strategic Vision||January 25, 2006||50%||40%|
|Strategic Vision||December 18, 2005||50%||39%|
|Strategic Vision||November 16, 2005||51%||36%|
|Strategic Vision||October 16, 2005||52%||36%|
|Strategic Vision||September 12, 2005||52%||38%|
|Strategic Vision||July 31, 2005||51%||40%|
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Quinnipiac||May 11, 2006||49%||36%|
|Quinnipiac||April 6, 2006||48%||37%|
|Quinnipiac||February 13, 2006||51%||36%|
|Quinnipiac||December 13, 2005||50%||38%|
|Quinnipiac||October 3, 2005||52%||34%|
|Quinnipiac||July 13, 2005||50%||39%|
|Quinnipiac||April 23, 2005||49%||35%|
|Quinnipiac||February 16, 2005||46%||41%|
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Keystone||May 4, 2006||47%||41%|
|Keystone||February 9, 2006||50%||39%|
|Keystone||November 10, 2005||51%||35%|
|Keystone||September 13, 2005||50%||37%|
|Keystone||June 6, 2005||44%||37%|
|Keystone||March 22, 2005||44%||43%|
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Zogby||March 30, 2006||47.4%||39.4%|
|Zogby||January 27, 2006||50.5%||38.7%|
|Zogby||January 19, 2006||51.1%||41.4%|
|Zogby||September 13, 2005||51.2%||42.4%|
|Source||Date||Casey (D)||Santorum (R)|
|Muhlenberg||April 26, 2006||46%||38%|
|Mansfield University||March 7, 2006||45%||31%|
|Muhlenberg||March 4, 2006||49%||37%|
Thursday, June 15, 2006
(cross-posted at Daily Kos)
This is not great news for Bob Casey. Great that he is ahead of Santorum by 9 points, but he still hasn't broken through the 50% mark and the undecideds are still in double-digits (10%). I think the Democrats' biggest problem is that four men in a room, all white, all from outside Pennsylvania, decided that Bob Casey should be the Democractic senatorial candidate from Pennsylvania. Ed Rendell pushed Casey into the Senate race (to keep him out of the Governor's race?). The result, we got tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum competing.
Take this test -- which candidate (and only ONE candidate in the Pennsylvania US Senate race has espoused all of these positions):
- Supported President Bush's decision to go into Iraq
- Opposes a timeline for exit from Iraq
- Said he would support President Bush dropping nuclear weapons on Iran
- Opposes any new gun safety measures
- Wants to criminalize abortion
- Supported President Bush on Justices Roberts and Alito
- Opposed a filibuster of Alito
- Supported full renewal of the Patriot Act
- Supports the Defense of Marriage Act
- Opposes a moratorium on the Death Penalty
- Has stated opposition to awarding health and other employment benefits to same sex partners of government employees
- Has stated opposition to legislation granting full adoption rights to same sex couples
- Has opposed proposals to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the top 2% of income earners
- Takes campaign contributions from several hundred of the same corporate, pharmaceutical, and military/industrial PACs as his opponent
- Is on the list of the top-twenty recipients of lobbyist/lawyer campaign donations
- Has "no problem" with the display of religious documents on public property
- 66% of Pennsylvanians think President Bush is doing a lousy job,
- 67% think the President has messed up the economy,
- 57% disapprove of the war in Iraq,
- less than 50% approve of the handling of the war on terrorism, and
- 59% think the State is heading in the wrong direction,
The first reason is that Bob Casey does not offer the voters a clear choice. He is too much like a Santorum wannabe than a Santorum challenger. He does not give the electorate a reason to support him. He doesn't stand for anything. Casey has no ideas, no vision, no leadership and it shows in the lukewarm (and often reluctant) support he has. It isn't a coincidence that Casey's level of support in this latest poll is exactly the same as Santorum's disapproval numbers -- 49% say they would vote for Casey and 49% say they disapprove of Santorum. Casey doesn't so much have supporters as Santorum has a lot of people who dislike him and want to see him gone.
The second reason is that Bob Casey is hiding from the voters. How many public, non-fundraising events has the candidate been engaged in? Not many. How often has he been in Philadelphia to meet and greet voters (excluding $1,000 a plate functions)? Even his silly bus tour, when is it coming to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh? In how many debates has Casey agreed to participate?
Casey needs to engage the electorate and Santorum. He needs to get some grassroots organization put together and not rely on media buys to sell the public on the Casey campaign. We hear that the Casey campaign has decided not to engage in its own grassroots organizing -- which means no local volunteers knocking on doors, local campaign offices, phone banks, local newsletters and email lists, none of that. Great strategy, there Bob. Ignore the individual voters and rely on TV to GOTV. Is that how you parlayed a double-digit lead over Rendell into a double-digit loss?
Off the top of your head -- can YOU name the top three Casey priorities? Okay, maybe that's unfair. What is Casey's number one priority? What will be on the top of his to-do list in January?
I pay attention and I can't answer these questions.
Sometimes I think the whispering that Casey really doesn't want to go to Washington might be true and might be reflected in how this campaign is being run.
Not long ago we thought the smell in the air was of Santorum's goose. But, as today's Strategic Vision Poll shows, Casey still has plenty of time and rope to hang himself and send Santorum back to Washington.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It is unusual, to say the least, for owners and editors of newspapers to be so heavily invested in a political candidate which their papers is supposed to objectively cover. A search of the FEC database reveals zero contributions to political candidates from any of the other NEPA newspaper owners, editors and reporting staff. Besides handing over wads of cash, and never providing a disclaimer to their readers, the owners of the Scranton Times have also engaged in dubious advertising of their newspaper which featured falsified headlines touting Casey, which some have said were illegal campaign donations.
All that is fine and, while giving tons of money to a politician is more than a little questionable from the standpoint of journalistic ethics, it is (mostly) legal. But for the Scranton Times to pretend to objectively cover the Senate Race without disclosing to their readers the stake that the ownership of the newspaper has in the outcome is journalistic fraud. They should be ashamed, except they are from NEPA where we hear that such things are rather routine.
Monday, June 12, 2006
That got me a little curious. Why is someone in Lima interested in an American Harris Poll on abortion rights? Then I looked at their the keywords in the serach which brought them to my page: Harris Poll fat. Even curiouser, why in the world would anyone in the world be interest in what I wrote about the Harris Poll? And how would someone in Lima have known to look for me.
Well, of course they didn't:
Alas. Adiós, Lima
Friday, June 09, 2006
Saturday Night --- NYC -- The Improv Cafe --- 10pm --- Liam McEneaney et al -- Stand Up Comedy -- Just like you see at the Improv in New York, except it IS in New York at the Improve Cafe (that's the upstairs room) -- 318 W. 53rd St., right off the corner of Eighth Avenue. I'll be there, you should, too. You'll thank me in the morning. (That's Liam, bring your cameras, he LOVES having his picture taken.)
Thursday, June 08, 2006
But, I agree with Bill Bennett -- the fight is over (at least that's what I think I heard him say on The Daily Show this week. He was more equivocal with Tim Russert, but that may be because Russert is a weaker interviewer and easier to get things by than Jon Stewart)(but I digress).
The die is cast. Oh, it'll take a more time, more time then many of us would like. But, a whole lot sooner than is gonna be comfortable for Rick Santorum, full civil rights for gays, their spouses, and their families will be here. Of course, prejudice and bigotry will remain for generations, as it has with all of the other groups whose fights for equal rights preceded Stonewall, but equal rights are on their way.
SO, what's next?
What's next? I'll tell you -- Atheists.
Yes, my friends, Atheists are the new gays.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I would have thought that the NYTimes might have spent some time on this issue also. Too bad they have more important things to devote three months of a journalist's time to -- like investigating whether the Clintons are still having sex. Would someone PLEASE show me where that liberal media is hiding, I sure would like to get a subscription.
h/t to Froth Slosh B'Gosh
- Giuliani with the highest overall score - 63.5, with Republicans giving him a 73.5; Democrats 57.5 and independents 61.1.
- McCain with an overall score of 56: 59.3 from Republicans, 53.5 from Democrats and 56.4 from independents.
- Clinton with a total score of 49.9, with Democrats giving her a 72 rating, Republicans 25.2 and independents 48.9.
While I have little regard or trust for Hillary, it seems to me that Quinnipiac is quicker than other "independent" pollsters to offer broad stroke conclusions on what their numbers mean. Or maybe I'm just a little cranky. Anyway, here's how others fared:
The leaders, their mean scores and percent of voters who said they did not know enough about them to offer an opinion:
- Giuliani - 63.5 - (13 percent)
- Obama - 58.4 - (55 percent)
- Condoleezza Rice - 56.1 (9 percent)
- McCain - 56 (17 percent)
- Clinton - 49.9 (2 percent)
- Edwards - 49.4 (21 percent)
- Biden - 48.8 (55 percent)
- Bayh - 47.9 (74 percent)
- Romney - 47.5 (67 percent)
- Warner - 47.1 (72 percent)
- Allen - 46.8 (72 percent)
- Gore - 45.7 (3 percent)
- Dodd - 45.3 (64 percent)
- Kerry -45.2 (6 percent)
- Feingold - 45.1 (62 percent)
- Bush - 42.9 (0 percent)
- Frist - 41.8 (51 percent)
- Rumsfeld - 41.5 (12 percent)
- Cheney - 40.5 (5 percent)
Here's a crayon, kids, draw yer own conclusions. For me, it's way to early to do anything but encourage Hillary not to run.
A Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, Chris Carney served multiple tours overseas and was activated for operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, and Southern Watch.
After 9/11, Chris served at the Pentagon as an intelligence analyst and senior advisor on intelligence and counterterrorism issues. Chris coordinated counterterrorism activities in the Middle East and later worked on the integration of national-level intelligence products in the effort to destroy international terrorist networks.
Chris grew up in rural Iowa, near Cedar Rapids. He graduated in 1981 from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he double majored in Environmental Science and U.S. Diplomatic History. Chris worked his way through college as an EMT.
After college, Chris did graduate work at the University of Wyoming, where he met his future wife Jennifer. After enjoying teaching at the University of Wyoming, Chris decided to pursue a career in higher education.
In 1992, Chris and Jennifer moved their young family to Northeastern Pennsylvania when Chris was offerred a position at Penn State University in Scranton.
As an Associate Professor at Penn State, Chris teaches courses in U.S. Foreign Policy, American Government, and U.S. Security Policy.
Chris lives in Dimock, Pa. with his wife Jennifer and their five children. Their oldest is a freshman in high school and their youngest just started kindergarten.
Now, he's challenging Don Sherwood, Republican incumbent, philanderer, and alleged abuser of mistresses. Sherwood deserves to be retired, for more reasons than having engaged in an abusive extra-marital affair. Time Magazine calls Chris, "Karl Rove's worst nightmare":
This is Karl Rove's worst nightmare: a large crowd has gathered in a restaurant in the small town of Montrose, Pa., on a sunny Sunday afternoon in February to listen to the Democratic candidate running in the 10th Congressional District, a rural conservative bastion considered "safe" for Republicans. The candidate, Chris Carney, is soft-spoken and well informed. The audience is enthusiastic and predominantly Democratic, but peppered with Republicans who seem every bit as angry about the Bush Administration as do the Democrats. One man, dressed in a jacket and tie, stands up and confesses he's a lifelong Republican who can't vote for Bush because of his "fiscal irresponsibility." Another Republican, a prohibitively large corrections officer named Gary Morgan, tells me he's disgusted by the way Bush has prosecuted the war in Iraq and by his party's "culture of corruption." He's impressed by Carney, a Navy Reserve intelligence officer who is also a college professor. "It's nice to be able to vote for somebody with honor and integrity, and a veteran."
The "honor and integrity" sentiment is echoed by many in the crowd, and it is a local reference. The incumbent Republican Congressman Don Sherwood, 65—whom the Democrats didn't even bother to oppose in the last two elections—is married and has three children, but he's best known for admitting last year, according to the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, to a "five-year affair with a 29-year-old Maryland woman, but denies repeatedly beating her." At one point, the woman locked herself in the Congressman's bathroom and called 911, claiming that he was trying to choke her. Sherwood said he was just giving her a back rub. The woman brought suit, and Sherwood settled out of court. A former teacher named Kathy Scott last week announced she would challenge Sherwood in the Republican primary because he "is not living his personal life in a way that's honest and moral."Sherwood's when-did-you-stop-beating-your-mistress travails may have made this race competitive for Democrats, but Chris Carney's qualities as a candidate are what make it significant.
Let's get rid of Don Sherwood for good -- do what you can to help Chris Carney in PA's 10th, and deprive Rove of restful sleep as a bonus.
Earlier this week, Rolling Stone placed "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?", Robert Kennedy Jr.'s meticulously researched article on the 2004 elections online.
Then, Farhad Manjoo published an article in Salon, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen? No", in which he claimed to have Â"thoroughly debunked" the Kennedy article.
Then, Ron Baiman, one of the statisticians cited in Bobby Kennedy's Rolling Stone article chimed in with his own refutation of Manjoo's debunking of the Kennedy research.
Now, Bobby Kennedy is back, in Salon, with an extended, detailed, rebuttal of Manjoo's article. It is funny how many liberals are shying away from any suggestion that Kerry really won the 2004 elections. Many of them are willing taking up the Republican "tin-foil hats" talking points about any analysis of what went on in Ohio.
These are the same people who, for the most part, were convinced that Powell, Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Rumsfeld were all lying about WMDs and had hidden motives for getting us into Iraq -- well before the rest of the country finally came around to that view. But they are unwilling to entertain the notion that the same crew, willing to stand up in public and lie about what they knew and send thousands of our children to their deaths, were above participating, or condoning, secret actions to undermine the integrity of the elections that kept them in power? Huh?
It is astounding to me that so-called liberals are not only refusing to accept the possibility that something (many things) went wrong in Ohio (and elsewhere) which may have affected the election, but that they are so strident in their rejection of the discussion. This Daily Kos diary is typical of thexplanationtion of their mindset:
We need to concentrate on winning elections in the system as it currently stands, since we can not change the system at all unless we win elections using the current system.In the religion of Democracy, it seems to me that the biggest sin is to have unreliable election results. I simply cannot comprehend why anyone would choose to ignore a story like this because it might hurt their chances to win the next election.
In his own debunking of the debunker, Bobby Kennedy tells us how Manjoo's professional reputation is staked on the validity of the Ohio results:
Manjoo has made a cottage industry for himself in attempting to debunk concerns about the validity of the 2004 election. Given that he has staked his professional reputation on the thesis that Bush beat Kerry fair and square, it's unsurprising that he should be eager to attack my piece. But it is a shame that his faith in the election results has blinded him to the point that he can dismiss the widespread and uncontested evidence of vote suppression as nothing more than a "hit parade" of irrelevant facts and figures. He also remains strangely silent on the transparently crooked recount process, which has kept this debate alive by preventing us from knowing the actual outcome of the vote in Ohio.Kennedy's reputation probably would have been better served had he not published his article. From my point of view, it seems to me that what Kennedy did was brave and out of respect for Democracy. Manjoo's motivations seem more selfish and personal. But, go read it all yourself. And, if you like, I have spare tin-foil hats that I'd be happy to share.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Joe Sestak served in the U.S. Navy for 31 years – achieving the rank of Vice Admiral. He commanded the George Washington carrier battle group that engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan and precursor operations to war in Iraq.
DATE: Wednesday, June 7th, 2006
TIME: 11:00 AM
PRESS AVAILABILITY: 11:20 AM
LOCATION: Varnum's Quarters
Route 23 in Valley Forge National Historic Park
Valley Forge, PA
Monday, June 05, 2006
Manjoo Critique in Salon is Superficial and Erroneous Nonsense
In his June 2, 2006 Salon article "Was the 2004 Election Stolen? No", Farhad Manjoo claims to have "thoroughly debunked" a June 15, 2006 article in Rolling Stone by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?".
As one of the (applied) statisticians cited in Kennedy's article, I find that Manjoo's "debunking" is either superficial spin that is easily refuted by adding more detail to Kennedy's already very long piece, or simply factually erroneous. I will focus on the Manjoo points that relate to official return and exit poll data - my particular area of expertise.
In short Manjoo's "debunking" of the official vote and exit poll analysis parts of the Kennedy article is superficial and erroneous nonsense. Moreover, we have been through this with Manjoo and many of the people that he cites before. He and they either do not understand the relevant statistics and mathematics of rigorous exit poll analysis and should not be reporting or prognosticating on this topic, or they simply refuse to accept their errors of interpretation and understanding.But in between is lotsa good analysis, go read the entire article.
Monday, June 05, 2006
I mean, the Times spent several months investigating how many weekends the Clintons spent in the same house, but they couldn't devote any resources to exposing the potential that the antichrist is in the White House?
What's the world coming to when we can no longer rely on the Old Gray Lady to provide us with the level of journalism we've come to expect from the National Enquirer?
Saturday, June 03, 2006
I am reliably informed that 97% of these GMIMIFBs are also pro-choice.
Exactly, not another career politician looking to change jobs. Not another hack stand-in for special interests.
Tony Barr is a citizen candidate, impelled to subject himself to the electoral process to make things better for all of us -- not just to move a career forward like so many other candidates today.
Tony began a grassroots write-in campaign less than a month before the May 16 Primary Election -- he needed 1,000 write-in votes to qualify for a November ballot slot as the Democratic Party challenger to Shuster. Why, because, "No Republican should get a free pass in 2006". Indeed.
Who is Tony Barr?
Born in 1969 in the suburbs of Chicago, in 1991 he earned a BA in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. After college, he accepted a position which allowed him to combine two loves -- working with children and the outdoors -- at a wilderness school for adjudicated youth in Ohiopyle, Fayette County, Western Pennsylvania. Driving up the Laurel Mountain from Uniontown, he says that he became attached to the beauty of the area.
After a couple of years working with troubled youth, he traveled to Alaska (on a bicycle no less) and eventually returned to pursue his Master's Degree in education from the California University of Pennsylvania. In 1997 he accepted a teaching position in Everett, Bedford County, which he still holds.
He met his wife, Liz, in Everett and they live on Blue Knob Mountain in Greenfield Township, Blair County, with their two boys, Silas (4) and Zeke (2).
Tony Barr is a teacher, a father, a husband, and a Real Democrat.
For What Does Tony Barr Stand?
His stated priorities:
- Balance the budget and end irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
- End the brain and labor drain and create solid American jobs that pay a living wage.
- Ensure adequate healthcare for all Americans.
- Bring an end the war in Iraq, and take effective steps to secure our homeland.
- Make solid and meaningful investments in our countryÂs future: the education of our youth.
- Offer opportunities for affordable higher education to all Americans.
- Develop a real plan for energy independence and sustainability.
- Maintain equal civil rights and protect privacy for all citizens.
- Reform campaign financing and return our government to the people.
Well, the DSCC provides some helpful facts about Bill Shuster and how tied up Rep. Shuster is with the GOP Culture of Corruption...
Representative Shuster has a very cozy relationship with the GOP Leadership.What You Can Do.
* Shuster received $19,000 from House Majority Leader John Boehner's "Freedom Project" PAC.
* Shuster received $19,300 from GOP Whip Roy Blunt's "Rely on Your Beliefs" PAC.
* Shuster voted with President Bush 87% of the time.
* Shuster voted the GOP party line 97% of the time.
How tied up is Representative Shuster with the Tom DeLay/Jack Abramoff scandal? Shuster has taken:
* $15,000 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.
* $7,000 from Bob Ney, the first congressman to be implicated based on the Jack Abramoff guilty plea.
With all of these ties to the DeLay/Abramoff mess, is it any surprise that Shuster has:
* Voted to weaken House ethics rules when DeLay proposed doing so as GOP Majority Leader.
* Voted with Tom DeLay 94% of the time.
Is Representative Shuster serving Pennsylvania voters, or the Republican money machine?
Tony Barr needs volunteers. If you live in Western Pennsylvania, contact the Campaign and offer your help. The rest of you, put yer money where your pie hole is. You say you want to take back the House? You say you want more true Democrats in Washington? You say you want representatives who care more about fighting for what is good for America, for what helps the people, rather than for what is good for the corporate PACs that run everything else?
Well, if wishes were horses . . . . but they ain't. Open up them wallets and give something to Tony so we can take back Pennsylvania's 9th in 2006!
[S]omething deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)
The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.(11)
Any election, of course, will have anomalies. . . . But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent: Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. After carefully examining the evidence, I've become convinced that the president's party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004. Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004(12) -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.(13) (See Ohio's Missing Votes) In what may be the single most astounding fact from the election, one in every four Ohio citizens who registered to vote in 2004 showed up at the polls only to discover that they were not listed on the rolls, thanks to GOP efforts to stem the unprecedented flood of Democrats eager to cast ballots.(14) And that doesn't?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)
. . . . Indeed, the extent of the GOP's effort to rig the vote shocked even the most experienced observers of American elections. ''Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,'' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me. ''You look at the turnout and votes in individual precincts, compared to the historic patterns in those counties, and you can tell where the discrepancies are. They stand out like a sore thumb.''--
1) Manual Roig-Franzia and Dan Keating, ''Latest Conspiracy Theory -- Kerry Won -- Hits the Ether,'' The Washington Post, November 11, 2004.
2) The New York Times Editorial Desk, ''About Those Election Results,'' The New York Times, November 14, 2004.
3) United States Department of Defense, August 6, 2004.
4) Overseas Vote Foundation, ''2004 Post Election Survey Results,'' June 2005, page 11.
5) Jennifer Joan Lee, ''Pentagon Blocks Site for Voters Outside U.S.,'' International Herald Tribune, September 20, 2004.
6) Meg Landers, ''Librarian Bares Possible Voter Registration Dodge,'' Mail Tribune (Jackson County, OR), September 21, 2004.
7) Mark Brunswick and Pat Doyle, ''Voter Registration; 3 former workers: Firm paid pro-Bush bonuses; One said he was told his job was to bring back cards for GOP voters,'' Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 27, 2004.
8) Federal Election Commission, Federal Elections 2004: Election Results for the U.S. President.
9) Ellen Theisen and Warren Stewart, Summary Report on New Mexico State Election Data, January 4, 2005, pg. 2
James W. Bronsan, ''In 2004, New Mexico Worst at Counting Votes,'' Scripps Howard News Service, December 22, 2004. 10) ''A Summary of the 2004 Election Day Survey; How We Voted: People, Ballots & Polling Places; A Report to the American People by the United States Election Assistance Commission'', September 2005, pg. 10.
11) Facts mentioned in this paragraph are subsequently cited throughout the story.
12) See ''Ohio's Missing Votes''
13) Federal Election Commission, Federal Elections 2004: Election Results for the U.S. President.
14) Democratic National Committee, Voting Rights Institute, ''Democracy at Risk: The 2004 Election in Ohio'', June 22, 2005. Page 5
15) See ''VIII. Rural Counties.''
Go read the rest here, and review additional sources and materials here, download and read the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff Report, What Went Wrong in Ohio, take a look at Harper's None Dare Call it Stolen, an extensive Wiki piece on the controversey, and Gore Vidal's, Something Rotten in Ohio.
Hail to the Thief?