• Down For the Count

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot It looks like I'm finished for this weekend now. You can find more of my Reality-Based content at Electoral Math . 'Hope you've enjoyed everything!
  • Harry Reid: The Man, the Myth, the Legend

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot Via Neil the Ethical Werewolf , some good hero-worship for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid: In July of 1978, a man named Jack Gordon, who was later married to LaToya Jackson, offered Reid twelve thousand dollars to approve two new, carnival-like gaming devices for casino use. Reid reported the attempted bribe to the F.B.I. and arranged a meeting with Gordon in his office. By agreement, F.B.I. agents burst in to arrest Gordon at the point where Reid asked, “Is this the money?” Although he was taking part in a sting, Reid was unable to control his temper; the videotape shows him getting up from his chair and saying, “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!” and attempting to choke Gordon, before startled agents pulled him off. “I was so angry with him for thinking he could bribe me,” Reid said, explaining his theatrical outburst. Gordon was convicted in federal court in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison. The whole article is worth a read...
  • Sunday Music

    This week's been all about The New Pornographer's Electric Version for me. If anyone can recommend more bands like them, I'd be stoked. When I needed a break from the indie, I got Arrested Development to belt out some tunes, namely "Fishin 4 Religion" and "Natural". What're you spinning?
  • Never Enough

    By Ezra In comments, Iron Lungfish writes: If the bar's fallen so low that Huckabee is now the standard for what makes a grownup Republican, this is a hideous portent that there are no potentially tolerable Republican presidents. But were there ever? We always say that the Republivan party of today is so much more unacceptable than the Republican party of yore, but I can't think of a single Republican president who Democrats held anything than broad antipathy for. Eisenhower was neither Republican and Democrat, he was some fourth-dimension political being who simply acted the steward as America normalized after World War II. But his VP? Well now... The campaigns against Eisenhower, particularly against his reelection, were largely conducted against Nixon, the devilish lackey who was a heartbeat from the presidency. Democrats hated Nixon. Even Bush bashing looks light compared to the scorn, distaste, and revulsion we felt for the guy. Now, of course, we look back and wonder why we...
  • Say "No" to Newt Nostalgia

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot To respond to some comments in the Huckabee thread , let me say that in no way am I endorsing the nascent Huckabee '08 campaign. But given the non-McCain, non-Giuliani alternatives (since, let's face it, neither of those guys will get through the primary), I'd rather roll the dice with Huckabee than with Brownback, Frist, Romney, or any other oft-mentioned potential Republican candidates. A commenter writes on another potential Grown-Up Republican, "I'm alright with occasionally reminiscing about soft spots for Newt Gingrich, but Huckabee is much worse." At the risk of piling on, the burgeoning " Newt wasn't that bad" meme is highly dangerous , because he really was that bad. The are three good things about Newt: he's a significantly more honest conservative than the current bunch; he's learned enough political lessons from the Clinton years that he wouldn't try to dismantle the federal government completely; and he does a lot of reviews at [full...
  • A Taste of Life in the Other Washington

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot The Sunday Times-PI , which merges the two big papers in Seattle, has a couple of contradictory columns and op-eds today. Ted Van Dyk gets a prominent column on recent dysfunction in both City and County government, which is full of grousing about construction projects that end up over budget, and the connections between Paul Allen's real estate firm and several City Council members. Meanwhile the editorial board cogently argues that new high-density development will fail without support for services like grocery stores, neighborhood schools, and serious investment in public transit. Washington state is gearing up for city and county elections and ballot initatives this fall, where there's a good chance there may be a revolt against both the decade long project to build a monorail in Seattle and a repeal of the state-wide gas tax increase (which did nothing more than keep the gas tax in line with energy inflation) that will help upgrade the state's woefully...
  • Grown-up Republican Watch

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot In an issue that's otherwise close to worthless, New York Times Magazine has an interview with Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas), a dark horse candidate in the 2008 Presidential race. Other than his use of the nonsense term "Iraqi-Afghan war", which implies that there's some alliance there that doesn't exist and furthers the implicit non-existent ties between 9/11 and Saddam, he comes across as a quick-witted, amiable guy. He accepts partisan politics as a job, but once the campaigning is over, he's willing to get back to the business of governing. Arkansas has a Dem controlled state legislature, so Huckabee is forced to deal with the opposition in a way that Bush is not. Huckabee's so pro-life he makes Bush look like a raging moderate on the issue. And he's definitely no fan of "teh gay" [ sic ]. And once he has America's Express card, he might drop all his balanced budget talk. But, he's clearly feels that political Washington is imposing too many mandates...
  • If I Could Be Like Bobby

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot To maintain the Law of Conservation of Blog Post Length, I'll answer Ezra's book query in short order. I just picked up The Gospel According to RFK to feed my Bobby "first New Democrat" Kennedy hero-worship . It's a collection of speech excerpts from Kennedy's 1968 Presidential campaign -- all quality stuff, but with enough length to remind you that even RFK doesn't drip eloquence from every single sentence that comes out of his mouth. There are plenty of good speeches, on health care, poverty, civic responsibility, and foreign policy, and while one out of every three chapters will draw out enough empathy to have you on the verge of tears, the rest of the book is "just" a bucnh of good campaign speeches. It'd be tough to revive Bobby's political coalition, and his policies are a bit obsolete now, but if more Democrats learned to talk like Bobby, they'd lose way fewer elections.
  • Karl Rove's Fuzzy Math, Part #871

    Posted by Nick Beaudrot It's time to reach down into the bottom of your desk, get out your slide rule, an abacus, a quill pen, and a piece of carbon paper. We'll take a look at the turnout and election returns from this Tuesday's special election, and see if there are any clues pointing the DCCC where they should go next. [ lots of words and pretty pictures to follow ]
  • Saturday Books

    I had finals this week, so there's not been much interesting prose on my nightstand. I read a bit of Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture and am finishing up Nixon vs. Kennedy . But it's been more of a periodicals week, and the New York Review of Books has been leading the charge there. What'choo got?