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November 30, 2004

Promises, Promises

"Bush Refugees" have been making noises about moving to Canada because you-know-who has been re-elected. Now's the time to move beyond empty rhetoric. "The Canadian Option" is an immigration seminar being offered this week in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles by a law firm that's expert in the field. The Seattle confab is on Saturday, Dec. 4; more details in the second of the two links above.

I'd especially like to see a lot of folks from Seattle move to Canada. It's where so many of them really belong. But first, they'd better read this guest op-ed in the Seattle Times by a resident of Canada who with her husband moved to the U.S., Jennifer Meeks.

My husband and I left Canada six years ago to start a new life in the United States. Tens of thousands of university-educated, middle-class Canadians leave Canada for the U.S. every year. The Canadian government even has a name for us — "The Brain Drain."

Why do we leave?...Fifty percent of the Canadian paycheck goes to taxes....The Canadian middle class has almost been taxed out of existence. Official bilingualism..is what most of the taxes pay for.....

If you are English-speaking in Canada, it's difficult to find a job....it is the norm for Canadian schools to have at least 40 kids per class — that is, if the teachers are not on strike. Speaking of strikes. There are a lot of unhappy workers in Canada. I remember one summer when the bus drivers, postal workers, movie projectionists and government workers were all on strike.

....every Canadian has experienced or knows of a family member who has a nightmare health-care story. It may be free but that doesn't mean it's good. Hospitals are miserable. There are long waiting lists for the most basic treatments and operations....the elite or government bureaucrats...go to the U.S. and pay for decent health care.

Political oppression — Imagine an American president and one political party in power for over 10 years. That's what's happened in Canada. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's regime has been in control for more than a decade and the average Canadian is fed up and glad to see him go. Even then, it was his decision to allow an election. Hopefully, Canada will be able to make amends and repair its relationship with the U.S.

Living in Canada made me feel like a barn animal in George Orwell's "Animal Farm." My only worry is that someday the United States will resemble Canada. Sort of like one giant Seattle. That would be my nightmare.

So, "Bush Refugees" eyeing Canada, beware. Eh?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 12:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 29, 2004

Tom Wolfe's Pointed Pen

Nobody dissects political sensibilities like America's foremost present-day novelist, Tom Wolfe. From his latest, "I Am Charlotte Simmons," here's a passage about a university president and a left-leaning professor who are clashing over an errant student athlete, but who apart from this dispute, have a set of beliefs in common. See if this rings any bells.

Both instinctively sided with the underdog; police violence really got them steamed. Both were firm believers in diversity and multiculturalism in colleges. Both believed in abortion, not so much because they thought anyone they knew might want an abortion as because legalizing it helped put an exhausted Christendom and its weird, hidebound religious restraints in their place. For the same reason, both believed in gay rights, women's rights, transgender rights, fox, bear, wolf, swordfish, halibut, ozone, wetland, and hardwood rights, gun control, contemporary art, and the Democratic Party.

Overall, I give "Charlotte Simmons" a "B." It's a fine, insightful and very sociological page-turner, like Wolfe's "Bonfire of the Vanities" and "A Man in Full." But the subject matter - the cultural wreckage and opportunities for individual enlightenment at universities - is perhaps already well understood by many readers. In contrast, Bonfire's dissection of New York City high finance, high-society and racial politics; and Man in Full's epic tale of Southern manhood were both more out of the ordinary and compelling.

Nonetheless, Charlotte should be required reading for all parents sending their kids off to college, and for the kids themselves. As always, the journalistically-trained Wolfe did comprehensive field research for this fictional treatment. His portrayal of modern college life is both hilarious and sobering. The upshot: your kids need judgement, more than ever. Which of course is already clear these days by the time they're in sixth grade. If not sooner.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 04:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 25, 2004

Logan: Machine Recount More Accurate

King County Elections Director Dean Logan appears to think poorly of a likely request by failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Gregoire to demand a hand recount. Gregoire lost by 42 votes to Republican Dino Rossi after a machine recount was completed yesterday; the earlier margin for Rossi had been 261 votes. Most of Gregoire's gain came in King County, where Seattle and some suburban voters form the largest part of her base.

Here's Logan, like Gregoire a Democrat, in today's Seattle Times:

"When you're talking about close to 900,000 pieces of paper, I think the machine count is going to be more accurate than a manual count," said Dean Logan, the elections director. "You introduce another human interface into the process. There's a margin there for errors to be made."

Errors which Gregoire and Washington state Democrats are counting on, it seems. More from The Times:

Democrats made it clear they will probably request a hand recount, either in selected counties or statewide, after Democrat Christine Gregoire finished the first statewide recount 42 votes behind Republican Dino Rossi.

If a hand recount is ordered in King County, election officials said yesterday they expect to rent a large room — likely at Boeing Field — where 70 tables could be set up for recounting.

In contrast to this week's machine recount, in which ballots were fed through optical scanners, next time the scanning would be done by human eyes. Workers would count ballots in teams of three: two to count and a third to record their results.

Meanwhile, Washington state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt wins today's tin foil crown for these accusations, reported today in this Seattle Times story ("A Governor By Christmas?"), but uttered earlier in the week:

"This is a Karl Rove-driven operation in this state," Berendt said earlier this week, referring to President Bush's chief political strategist. "We are not going to let the Washington, D.C., Republicans steal this election from Chris Gregoire."

Paul, Paul. Back on your meds. Now!

And Ms. Gregoire: As a career "public servant" and politician, I know it's hard to let go. But the time has come. You're giving your party a black eye, and badly embarrassing yourself. As a former state Attorney General, a cushy six-figure jobs awaits you in any one of a number of Seattle law firms. Justice has been dispensed. Get on with your life, so the State of Washington can get on with its business.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


November 24, 2004

Dino Rossi, Again

It's official: R-Dino Rossi wins the first (machine) recount for WA Gov. Now the hand recount, because WA State Democrats are sore losers, and still want to steal the election back.

Follow this link-rich thread at Sound Politics for today's latest.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



It's The Culture, Pierre

Writing in the Berkeley Daily Planet, Pierre Vladimir Stroud urges Democrats to take control of the "moral values" agenda.

Unfortunately, Pierre Vladimir frames it in terms of ameliorative Nanny-Statism. As opposed to the real issue: cutural rot, about which more below. (And no, I would never use that term with respect to gay marriage).

Here's Pierre Vladimir:

The thing that really struck me as I was listening to analysis on election night was that people in the exit polls listed “moral values” as their top priority more often than any other category (such as the economy, terrorism, or Iraq).

Actually, Pierre Vladimir, that's wrong. But go ahead.

And when I heard it I knew that this was bad for Kerry. Because the Republicans have somehow made Americans associate them with “moral values.” Which is quite a trick, given the irresponsible, dishonest, and mean character of the party’s leadership.

Here's a moral value, Pierre Vladimir: being mean and calling names turns people off. Your side indulged in far too much name-calling in the recent presidential campaign, and that was part of why you lost. Alright, go on, Pierre Vladimir.

The Democrats are going to have to find the courage of their own moral convictions again. It is time for the Democratic Party, and for all of us who consider ourselves to be “liberals,” “progressives,” “Democrats,” or even “Greens” (a party I am still proud to be affiliated with) to employ our intellect in this struggle. To learn how to articulate those beliefs that we hold in our hearts. To begin aggressively re-framing and re-defining the public morality of America.

In other words, Pierre Vladimir - at present, you're all clueless. Oops, wait. Dennis Kucinich's platform is what you're really talking about.

Beliefs in social and economic justice are moral values. Beliefs in equality and inclusion and compassion are moral values. Beliefs in honesty and integrity are moral values. A belief that each generation has a responsibility to leave a better world (environmentally, fiscally, educationally, socially) for their descendents is a moral value—in my view, it is the transcendant one.

Pierre Vladimir then unveils his master plan for reaching out to the key suburban swing electorate.

The Democrats are not going to be able to shift the debate without taking some risks....and perhaps without alienating some people. But I think we can afford to alienate a few bigots and jerks in our efforts to convince the majority of Americans that we are right.

We all know that gay marriage is not “polling” very well right now. Who cares?? Martin Luther King, Jr. did not wait for people to stop being bigots.

Exactly right, Pierre Vladimir. Anyone who opposes gay marriage is a "bigot" or "jerk." That'll capture the White House, Congress and the Senate for Democrats, assuredly.

Pierre Vladimir closes his jeremiad with this:

As citizens, I think it is important that all of us participate in this imaginative work.

Your work certainly entails a great deal of imagination, Pierre Vladimir, I'll grant you that.

Now, imagine this about the "moral values" meme, Pierre Vladimir. It's the culture.

It's failing public schools. Absentee parents whose kids turn into murderers. The sexualization of pre-teens, with parental complicity. The bizarre stage antics of aging teen tartlets. The celebration of "Pimp N' Ho" culture. Pedophilic politicians. The vulgarization of books for children. Murderous yoga disciples. Teachers who make kids eat worms. Anti-Wal-Mart hysteria. Whoopi Goldberg and the abortion lobby. Not to mention Ol' Dirty Bastard and Joan Baez.

That's what it is, Pierre Vladimir.

You're welcome.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:58 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


November 23, 2004

JFK: Reloaded

"JFK: Reloaded" is a new computer game that has users try to disprove any conspiracy theories in the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy 41 years ago. According to a report here, users do this by recreating, through computer simulation, the shots fired from the book depository in Dallas to kill Kennedy as his motorcade passed by on 11/22/63.

Meanwhile, one new study suggests that computer games which stress only vision and movement - as opposed to, say, strategy and planning - may make your kid more violent. And a bit dumber to boot. Makes sense.

But what about computer games that include strategy and planning, yet are overtly violent? An awful lot of those out there, especially in middle- and upper-income homes where parents are disengaged from their children, and generally clueless about the corrosive aspects of pop culture.

I'm not proposing more warning stickers, and the like. I'm proposing parents exercise - hold on tight here - judgement.

There's also growing concern about kid computer geeks and gamers suffering "repetitive strain injury," or RSI. Key symptoms are "floppy posture" from being hunched over in front of the computer, plus diminished eyesight, headaches and poor exercise habits.

I know this can afflict adult computer jockeys, as well.

Excuse me now please. I'm going for a walk.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Dan Rather Urged To Start A Blog.....

...by me. You see.....

He's retiring as anchor of the CBS evening news. Guess that 'ol hound dog done got tired a scretchin' after alla them pesky 'ol fleas that done got up his snout.

All the usual face-saving measures are in place. The announcement claims the decision was actually made last summer (doubtless BEFORE the Bush-TANG story blew up in his face). And 'ol Texas Dan is going to stay on, reporting for "60 Minutes." So we can be assured he'll put the very last nail in his own coffin.

Why not just cut to the chase now, Mr. Rather? Another book, and the lecture circuit.

I suggest Rather start his very own blog, as well.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Moral Values in the Urban Archipelago

It's not that Blue cities are hostile to "moral values," it's just that their "moral values" are hostile.

Even when couched in seemingly unassailable post-ironic "humor."

From gift postcards and refrigerator magnets at a trendy boutique in Seattle's oh-so-fashionable Fremont neighborhood, consider these incisive takes on men (those pigs!), relationships, family and home.

*"She knew how to please a man, but mostly she chose not to."

*(Accompanying a picture of a woman with four parakeets perched on her shoulders and arms). "She didn't need a man - she had all the peckers she could handle." (Just brilliant).

So....that about covers men. Now, mothers.

*I saw my mother yesterday...Thank God she didn't see me." (At least this one acknowledges the existence of God).

Hearth, home and family.

*"I have a kitchen because it came with the house."

*"I take my children everywhere. But they keep finding their way back home."

Dear me, yes. Children are quite bothersome that way. If only we could push them into the ocean on melting ice floes, as Eskimos do with their aged.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 22, 2004

Elvis Slept Upstairs

NOTE: This item has been updated since it was posted earlier today.

Don't get all shook up, but if you're looking for a waterfront one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, in a building where Elvis Presley once slept, I've got a hot tip.

At 4225 Beach Drive SW in West Seattle, in a nice neighborhood directly on Puget Sound stands Chambliss House, a sturdy blue-painted residence divided into two apartments. There's a burbling fountain in the brick courtyard, large earthenware flowerpots, and a stone angel on a bench. Plus a metal plaque on the front of the building, looking very official, declaring, "Elvis Presley Slept Here, May 18, 1962." Two musical notes grace each side of the plaque.

It's no gag, owner Alan Chambliss tells me. He's lived there for 30 years and so didn't witness the Elvis visit. But he tells this story. About seven or eight years ago, he noticed a man and woman outside videotaping the building. Curious, he asked why. They explained that her father, now back in New Jersey and dying of cancer, had lived in the upstairs apartment in the early 60s and really enjoyed his stay there, near Seattle's best sandy beach, Alki. (Who wouldn't?).

They were shooting some "remembrance" video footage of the place for him to enjoy before he died. Chambliss invited them in; they talked some more, and the woman mentioned her dad had been a buddy of Elvis in the army, and had picked him up at Sea-Tac in 1962, when Elvis was here to film a movie (more on that below). The kicker: Elvis stayed in the upstairs apartment, and the woman showed Chambliss a picture of her dad and Elvis there, with the very same knotty pine-panelled walls Chambliss recognized as belonging to the place.

Now, as to the rental: it's the downstairs apartment, not the one Elvis slept in, so you'll have to settle for proximity to the legend, rather than full immersion. Although perhaps the ghost of The King comes out at night and croons, "Love Me Tender," as waves lap the shore. You won't know for sure unless you rent the place, right?

It's $865 a month, 800 square feet, waterfront, private deck, fireplace, non-smokers only, and - ahem - "suitable for one person only." Easy walk to Alki's splendiferous amusements. Phone, 206-937-7213; viewings by appointment only. (No I'm not getting a commission here. I don't DO real estate).

Background: Elvis WAS in Seattle in 1962 to film the movie "It Happened At The World's Fair." Including a trip here in September, according to this report. Perhaps the May visit was an under-the-radar reconnaissance mission.

Besides sleeping, what did the the King do here in May of '62? Cruise Alki, setting female hearts atwitter, and skipping flat stones into the surf at low tide? Eat fish and chips on Alki? I doubt it, as fish would have been way too weird for Elvis. He favored fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

(More mind-boggling data here on the Elvis Diet, not to be confused with the ska-punk band of the same name).

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



DINC Gift Alert

Why go the plebian route, rinsing your fruits and vegetables in tap water? For only $13 per bottle from a boutique in Seattle's uber-hip Fremont quarter, or $14 a bottle online, you can get a wondrous "fruit and vegetable purifying wash" worthy of Martha Stewart's endorsement.

Are there case discounts, I wonder?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 21, 2004

Puget Sound Blogosphere Expands

There are more and more Puget Sound folk jumping into the blogosphere these days. Time for a shout out, and some links (with blogroll additions coming soon to my current "Northwest/West Coast" lineup).

As in my feature article on Puget Sound bloggers for the December issue of Seattle Magazine (current link via Seattle blogging priestess Ambra Nykol and her scanner), my focus here is primarily on bloggers who highlight politics or elements of culture apart from geekdom.

Goodness knows I'm fascinated by evolving technologies, and (both here and in my 4/01 to 5/04 regular guest op-ed column in The Seattle Times) have written about the convergence of technology with popular culture and politics. It's a ripe, fascinating area to explore, and changing every day. I admire geeks a lot, especially those who are plugged into politics (my bias, I guess). But if you're evangelizing blogging to the 96 percent of Net users not yet familiar with the medium (and that's part of my ongoing focus), then "inside baseball" techie blogs aren't where you'd want to send them first.

So here are a few more humble "underbloggers" like myself - not quite as famous as Daily Koz or Instapundit - that I'd like to "tug on your coat about." As Tom Waits would say.

Skor Grimm is a frickin' hoot. This guy is poised for blogosphere stardom, seriously. Give him some love, and comments. OK?

Check out Seth Cooper's Sharks With Lasers.

Here's the Live Journal page of Mark Atwood, a gun-friendly geek with an eye for the intersection of politics and popular culture. He says he's worth $2.9 million. Almost enough for private schooling your kids in Seattle these days.

David Keenan's Seattle Sense hits the spot. Another Seattle Conservative. Damn, we're gonna have to have a Pride parade or something.

In classic blog fashion, Pajama Jihad was created so the author could make sure his letter to the editor got aired publicly, just in case it didn't get printed. He has kept going, with a focus on regional and national politics.

Josef has a blog, too.

Bainbridge-based blogger, scientist, writer, thinker and mom Julie Leung's Seedlings and Sprouts is a good read. She was featured, along with several other West Sound bloggers in a recent piece by The Bremerton/Kitsap Sun. Nice story; the online version includes URLs of a number of West Sound bloggers, but no live links (huhhh?).

Fortunately this post by Julie on her 15 minutes of local MSM fame does include a number of such links (at the bottom), so explore.

And of course, Daily Recycler is already famous.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 10:38 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack


November 19, 2004

The New Fundamentalists

P. Scott Cummins is one of the cooler folks I've met through blogging. He holds a law degree and is a recovering corporate worker bee. Scott lives in the Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia, and takes care of his two daughters while his lovely wife Kathleen does the power suit thing (actually she's way more stylish than that). He also does scads of community and school volunteer work, and has been very involved in a charity efforts in Uganda. This moderate Republican happens to be very plugged-in, and as a long-time local boy has an elephant's memory, you might say, of Seattle's political culture. Which he sees as relevant to the national political landscape right now.

I'll let Scott explain. He has some piquant perspectives to share about what "reaching out" means to Democrats, now that they're asking Republicans to get nicey-nicey after Bush's victory, plus GOP gains in Congress and The Senate.

Cummins advises that , "....In response, Republicans need to assess....with what manner of “reach out” do Democrats operate in areas where they have taken over," such as Seattle.

Then he digs in:

Consider the Seattle political landscape of today. A Republican working in Seattle city government begs a reporter not to “out” him for fear of workplace retaliation. City advisory boards, commissions and volunteer councils are cleansed of Republican involvement by Democratic operatives who, by turn, control nominations, define selection criteria, and vet candidates. City Department Managers meanwhile provide similar access to public employee union bosses. All to ensure the iron-fisted grip of Democrats – concerned by their mere 85% standing among the electorate!

All in all, Democrats need to face up to the unique forms of fundamentalism which mark their brand of politics. As a Republican who is pro-choice, pro-environment, support gay partnership and against the death penalty – my place in the party has never been questioned – nor has my strong advocacy of those positions. Instead, Republican Party leaders have had to reconsider their own perspectives as President Bush has repeatedly enunciated that he would not oppose state-based legislated domestic partnerships for gay couples. This is hardly the fundamentalist theocracy that the Michael Moore-inspired Democrats are screaming about. On the other hand, try holding pro-life and Evangelical Christian viewpoints – and then seek any position of leadership in the Democratic Party. Which party has the more broad, inclusive and “big tent’ perspective now?

Seattle’s “company town” experience under Democratic rule provides the Republicans with all they need to know about how their opponents would operate nationwide if they could. Democrats in Seattle have a thirty year record of paltry outreach aimed at healing between the parties. When given the chance, they enforce a juggernaut and consolidate upon every perquisite. It is in keeping with their worldview - and as it is now clear – a politically fundamentalist worldview. Without understanding that, and without changing that, Democrats show every inclination of becoming a political party in permanent decline.

Pink: the new black.

Squid: the new Viagra.

Democrats: the new fundamentalists?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



"The Grass Is Greener Here, Too"

Seattle conservative blogger David Keenan has an informative, funny post on hype about disaffected Ds pondering a post-11/2 move to Canada. And he digs up some interesting data showing that since Bush's election in 2000, more than a few Canadians, French and Germans have been moving to the U.S.

....the wealthy Washingtonians who voted in droves for Kerry are unlikely to trade their Queen Anne bungalows for a rambler in Chilliwack anytime soon. If we’re talking about self-righteous university students that split time between protests and getting their teeth cleaned, I suppose a few less enrollees couldn’t hurt, considering Initiative 884 failed.

As to who would replace them, the 2003 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics shows that the U.S. gained more than 700,000 permanent residents last year, down from just over one million the year before. This number includes more than 11,000 people from, gasp, CANADA! That group was among the more than 50,000 Canadians to have secured lawful permanent residency in the U.S. since 2000. These same stats rank Washington number 9 in terms of the most immigrants settled.

Looking even further down the list, one finds that there have actually been more than 14,000 French citizens that have obtained a U.S. green card since President Bush was elected in 2000.

In case you were wondering, there have been more than 60,000 Germans added to the roles of U.S. permanent residency since Dubya took office.

I suspect that, as educated and worldly as they’re renowned for being, these European and Canadian settlers must have had some idea who the U.S. President was when they moved in. And yet, they still came.

The math is pretty simple. 50,000 Canadians, 60,000 Germans, and 14,000 French equal 124,000 new U.S. residents since Bush took office, all thanks to three of our most Liberal critics in terms of foreign policy. Take away the 120,000 Americans that surfed Canada’s immigration Website in search of a safe harbor after the election, and we still come out 4,000 ahead!

Fine stuff, David. Keep it coming.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 18, 2004

A Seattle Dinocrat, And The Environment

Just ran into a Seattle Dinocrat in the neighborhood grocery store. We're talking about a voter in "Baghdad Jim" McDermott's congressional district here. A neighbor and friend - real estate agent and former hi-tech guy, like myself a married father of two. Unlike me, he voted for Kerry for President, and, like me, the apparently victorious (pending the recount) R-Dino Rossi for WA Gov. Says he believes 20 years of D Guvs in WA have helped create an unfriendly business climate, and a change was needed.

He IS concerned about environmental trade-offs, and mentioned a third way, a pro-business, pro-environment mindset. Says he's been reading a book by the founder of Cliff Bars (the first energy bar that really tasted good, by the way), which explores the imperative of "green marketing."

I replied that that stuff can sometimes be more a PR facade than anything else, but agreed we can't afford to be totally cynical. Balancing pro-growth policies with the environment in an (echh, I hate this phrase) "win-win" way is a huge, and important area to get into. Everything doesn't have to be a zero sum game. That's the kind of thinking that has poisoned many a public policy debate. With folks on both sides (pick any issue, practically) to blame.

See how you'd answer these questions.

For Democrats: If an "environmental protection" initiative is advanced by a Republican, or Republicans, can it actually be beneficial? Can you think of any? Can you think of any instances when allegations that pro-business policies would hurt the environment proved false? Are there any myths or even serious uncertainties you have identified about air or water quality, global warming, open spaces or endangered species? If so, what? Which species, if any, should be allowed to be sacrificed for progress (regardless of what the law says, what is your opinion?). When have Ds gone overboard in protecting the environment? Ever?

For Republicans: are there any ways in which current environmental protections are falling short? Are salmon threatened in the Northwest and West? If not, please explain. Doesn't urban air pollution, especially from motor vehicles, really make you sick? Or do not enough of you live in cities to care? How can you fail to understand the need for more and better urban and suburban mass transit? Should a paper mill be allowed to monitor itself for pollutant emissions, and then report the results to the state?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 17, 2004

Dino By 261! Now, The Recount!

R-Dino Rossi wins WA Guv by 261 votes, recount coming.

Dino would be the first R-WA Guv. elected since '80. Just heard him live on KIRO-AM. Great connector, great personality. Big part of why he won. Like W. Same friendly, relaxed, down-to-earth tone that helped W. so much, and that both Kerry and the ultra-stiff D-Christine Gregoire, Rossi's opponent, lacked.

Here's the AP story. (Gregoire says she'll win after the recount. OK , you're on record Chris).

Like W., at his victory speech, Rossi first thanked his wife, children and family. He joked, "I've got a lot of relatives. About 261 relatives...."

Luv ya, ya big Dago galoot. (Hey, I'm from pre-PC Chicago, and I do that ethnic hazing thing, all the time. OK? OK!)

Rossi also made a point to thank "Dinocrats," i.e. Dems who went his way. Many of those. Important point, in a state that went for Kerry.

This has much to say about the moderate suburban, swing electorate, around Seattle (Snohomish and Pierce counties) and in WA just north of Portland, OR (Clark County).

Automated recount begins Sat., ends Weds. No WA recount has EVER resulted in overturning the results. Yet this one could, for all we know. Hope not.

Go Dino, and, Yee Hah!

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 07:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



Rossi-Gregoire Final Count Today: Then, The Recount

Today's the last day of vote-counting in the tighter-than-tight WA Guv. race, until the almost inevitable recount, that is. R-Dino Rossi led D-Christine Gregoire by 19 votes after counting ceased yesterday. There are an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 votes left to count today, barring the "discovery" of more previously unanticipated ballots. (And the numbers arre already rolling in, Rossi now up 64 votes as of 9:29 AM, PST).

What we might expect to see today is outlined at the Seattle-based group conservative blog Sound Politics, courtesy of my colleague Stefan Sharkansky, who's been tracking this bewitching, bewildering race about as closely as anyone, while somehow maintaining his sanity. (Those 10,000 "discovered" ballots in the Gregoire stronghold of King County put a crimp in any further projections, understandably). Here's the latest SP daily vote count link you'll want to check back on, along with the WA Sec. of State's Guv race vote count link.

If the winning margin is less than one-half percent and less than 2,000 votes (as seems increasingly likely) a recount is mandatory under state law.

Some bizarre stuff has been going on. This story from today's Seattle Times tells more.

A judge in King County (home of Seattle, and a Gregoire stronghold) ruled in favor of the WA Dem. Party's suit to count provisional ballots supported only by affidavits from the voters, whose signatures on the PBs did not match their signatures on their voter registration. Republicans are fighting that, in court, as well they should.

The WA GOP is also "likely" to take legal action today in Yakima County (pro-Rossi territory) to allow it to submit affidavits for validation of currently rejected PBs there. The idea being if the affidavit-validated PBs are allowed to count in Gregoire territory, the same standard should hold in Rossi country.

On top of all this (my own view here, not from The Times' story linked to above) is to remember the wild card: Libertarian Guv candidate Ruth Bennett, an out and proud lesbian. Some local obervers disagree with my view that if Rossi loses, her (now-62,000 some) votes will have cost him the election. They argue she actually took more votes from Gregoire, because her gay rights platform attracted more D-leaners, than R-leaners. I disagree, as few folks actually read the Voter's Pamphlet, and she got minimal press.

When you pick a Libertarian over a Republican for Governor, it's in most cases because you subscribe to the underlying "limited government" premise both parties espouse. Whether Rossi wins or not, it's a shame Bennett voters were more interested in feel-good symbolism than electing one of the only two realistic contenders.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:37 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 16, 2004

Kerry's Many "Green Tea" Moments

Courtesy of Augustine at Red State comes this true story from CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley about John Kerry's emblematic "Green Tea Moment" with a waitress in Iowa. Telling us much about this refined aesthete's inability to come off as a regular guy to crucial swing voters.

Good point. Zell Miller'd been saying stuff like this for a while about Democrats, and Kerry specifically.

I guess I'm a bit of anomaly, though. I live in a Blue, Blue City; voted for the "Red" candidates for President, Governor and U.S. Senate; and love Green Tea. Fond of black, white and red tea, too. Haven't heard of any blue. You?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 01:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



The "Mouthbreather" Vote

Seattle tech guy Mark Atwood doesn't think too much of people who have to request provisional ballots, and worries about fraud stemming from the counting of invalid PBs, a concern still highly pertinent to the Rossi (R) vs, Gregoire (D) nailbiter for WA Guv. Here's Mark's prescient Election Day post, which I just came across.

I'm a voter. However, annoyingly, a lot of the other people at the polling station were not.

"Uhh... Yeah... Um, here's my old driver's licence, and, umm... I thought I was registered `cause I kept getting calls from politicians, and umm...".

And so the poll workers have to handhold every single one of these mouthbreathers thru filling out a provisional ballot (The Federal Bench has no shame and sees no limit at all to it's authority) which takes frikken FOREVER, and jams up the line for that precinct.

I saw more provisional ballots filed than real ones. I have a bad feeling about all these provisional ballots. The real ones are going to add up to a statistical tie, then under time and politcal pressure the election officials will unwrap all the provisionals and throw them into the stack, and then the voter registration data on the the wrappers will turn out to be bogus on a not insignificant number of them, but by then it will not be possible to pull the bad ballot out of the pile...

If after (the) media barrage, and after MotorVoter, and the "Help America Vote" act provisions, if someone *still* can't figure out how to register properly, they SHOULD be disenfranchised.

Tell it, Mark.

He doesn't say anything about thousands of previously unexpected absentee ballots showing up in Dem-friendly King County, as the WA Guv race goes down to the wire (leaving Gregoire up 158 votes this a.m., with more than 20K left statewide). But then, who knew?

Today looks to be a day of reckoning, and the Seattle P-I reports there are more votes left to be counted in R-Dino Rossi counties than in D-Christine Gregoire counties. However, as the P-I notes, Dems are hustling to get invalidated votes (especially provisionals, in King County) validated. I hope the "observers" are observing things VERY closely in counties where Gregoire is ahead and provisionals are still being checked.

So. We'll see. Sooner or later. Stay tuned to Sound Politics and the WA Sec. of State's Guv. vote count site for the latest.

ADDENDA: Lawrence McArdle vents, appropriately, in a comment string to this post at Sound Politics:

"Nobody's asking the right question:

"WHY EVEN HAVE PROVISIONAL BALLOTS???

"Look at all of our taxpayer dollars being pi$$ed away, and this election tally running weeks long, just because we can't tell people to VOTE WHERE YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO VOTE!"

Also because some of the vote counters have a crappy work ethic.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 10:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



O.D.B., R.I.P.

Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died Saturday at age 35 of as-yet-undetermined causes in a New York recording studio, was one of the genuine nice guys of rap, according to this Boston Globe profile.

Also known as Osirus, Dirt McGirt, and Big Baby Jesus, Ol' Dirty Bastard appears to have never shot anybody. He smiled and joked a lot.

But make no mistake. He WAS a playa, an exemplar of Black Manhood as defined by the Hollywood-Street Axis, without the guns. The Globe:

His first arrest came in 1997 for failure to pay child support for three of his children. (He was reported to have at least a dozen kids by several women.)

The Globe also reports that with television cameras rolling, he took his limo to the welfare office for a handout.

His unpredictability was also well-served during his TV appearances. A decade ago, MTV spent the day with ODB, the highlight of which was the rapper arriving at a New York welfare office -- in a limousine -- to collect food stamps. Looking into the camera, he said unapologetically, "It's free money. Why wouldn't you want to get free money?"

Libertarians everywhere salute your memory, O.D.B. Peace, and Out.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 06:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 15, 2004

Kansas Is Looking Better Every Day

A man set himself on fire in front of the White House today. This report says he was heard to utter "Allah." Hours later, according to the same article, another guy scaled the fence of the White House, and was apprehended.

Friday, a naked man in climbed into the lizard tank at the Bronx Zoo. Authorities removed him, for psychiatric review.

Post-election stress in each instance? Or just run of the mill social dysfunction in Blue America? Inquiring minds want to know. UPDATE: OK, some more info on the self-immolator. AP reports he was a U.S.-based Yemeni informant on terrorism to the FBI, and he was upset at not being allowed to travel back home to se his ailing wife. He recently detailed some of his concerns to the Washington Post, altho those concerns did not see print anywhere before the conflagration. He now has the attention he sought, and burns on 30 percent of his body.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Gays For Bush

Twenty-three percent of gay voters cast their ballots for President Bush, reports the gay paper, The Washington Blade. Read this whole piece, which is based on interviews with gay men who voted for Bush. And then please - my wounded and vitriolic Democrat friends, moaning and groaning about the "homophobic extremists" who re-elected Bush - Move On!

Hat tip to Opinion Journal.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 02:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



How Bush Won....

...was by holding his own with moderates, not thanks to bible-thumping anti-gay marriage rural voters, as the liberal disintelligentsia would have you believe.

I'm continuing to compile columns which make that evident. One by E.J. Dionne and another by David Broder are in this post of mine from last week. Now, more.

Here's Charles Krauthammer, on how "moral values" were actually far from the first thing on voters minds. He also notes that Bush's gains in percentage of the vote were lower in the 11 states that had anti-gay marriage referenda on the ballot on Election Day, than in the other 39 states with no such measures before voters.

David Broder, from this weekend with more still (he's been on fire lately).

...The real Bush success was in fighting John Kerry to a near-standoff among self-described moderates.

Tim Hibbitts, an independent pollster in Portland, Ore., has done some exit poll calculations that make an interesting point. Gay marriage was an energizing issue in states like his, where it was on the ballot as a voter initiative. Bush lost Oregon, even though the measure banning gay marriage passed.

In the national exit polls, Hibbitts found that 12 percent of Bush's voters actually favored permitting gay marriages; 38 percent favored civil unions, but not gay marriages. That leaves 50 percent of the Bush voters who said no legal recognition should be given to same-sex couples. Kerry voters went the other way, with less than a quarter taking a no-recognition stance. But on both sides, Hibbitts points out, opinion is nuanced, not monolithic.

Quite true, as Rev. Chris Emerson points out, in this op-ed piece on progressive and liberal evangelicals. But just try telling that to these folks, in the Bay Area. Or these ostriches, who spew:

Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country. And we are the real Americans. They - rural, red-state voters, the denizens of the exurbs - are not real Americans. They are rubes, fools, and hatemongers.

As a pro-choice, pro-urban-density, pro-mass transit, gay-friendly heterosexual moderate Seattle conservative (got all that?) I'm damned sick and tired of self-righteous, frothing liberal extremists using the gay marriage issue as a wedge. Because someone is against gay marriage, or has deep reservations about it, doesn't mean they're homophobic. Hell, they could even be Kerry voters! The argument is about a half-step better than equating charter school supporters with a Nazi propoganda minister, as one teachers union offical in Washington State did, earlier this year.

With an estimated one-quarter of Kerry voters against both gay marriage and civil unions, and with other issues far ahead of "morals" (see Krauthammer, above) it's time for Ds to coalesce - in an uncharacteristically thoughtful manner - around issues that can rally the moderates they'll need to regain significance. Such as taming the deficit, articulating a muscular yet realistic foreign policy, and emphasizing engaged parenting as key to education and crime prevention. That last one is a great, secular "morals" issue, by the way.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 13, 2004

Deeds, Not Words

"Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home Now" is a popular bumper sticker in Seattle, plus one of the phoniest things I've ever heard.

They're in Iraq and they're not coming home because queasy isolationist liberals want to turn tail. In the meantime, "supporting our troops" means, at the very least, doing more than piously mouthing the phrase while continuing to bash the U.S.'s role in helping Iraq establish freedom and democracy.

In other words, support means getting off your duff. To that end, I and my eight-year-old son were happy to take a little trip away from our lovely neighborhood in the People's Socialist Republic of Seattle (where pro-Bush, pro-Iraq War families such as ours are the cultural insurgents), to join hundreds of others in south suburban Seattle at Anderson's Barn. There, Operation Support Our Troops was packing, addresssing and loading onto trucks oodles of Christmas care packages for our men and women in Iraq.

We packed non-perishable food, sporting equipment, books, CDs (yes Peter Jennings, more of that damned country music, and get over it, please), books, cigars, Christmas trees, long pipecleaners for cleaning guns, athletic socks, towels, toiletries and more.

It was a great, great scene, and I was interested to notice that the crowd was far from Lily White. I saw Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans, along with all the pale folk you'd expect to find at such a gathering. Spirits were high, and several Seattle TV stations were there to film stories, presumably for broadcast on the early and/or late news tonight. UPDATE, SUN. 11/14/04: There was also this story in today's Seattle Times.

Congratulations and thanks to all the great volunteers, and a big tip of the hat to the lead organizer Sheryl Sheaffer of Sammamish, and her mom Nadine Gulit of Issaquah, who are among the founders of O.S.O.T.

The next O.S.O.T. package drive will be in advance of Easter.

To be notified of volunteer opportunities, e-mail Operation Support Our Troops at sheaffers@comcast.net.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 05:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


November 12, 2004

GOP Hijacks Seattle Alt. Media, Vol. 2

Last week I hypothesized that closeted Republicans actually run Seattle's Left-of-Left, Angry Alternative Weekly, The Stranger. This week I'm sure of it. What else but a Rovian Cointelpro campaign could account for this isolationist bile?

You'd have to be sniffing amyl nitrate poppers around the clock to formulate claims such as these - which, I, your intrepid unofficial Stranger ombudsperson - was able to glean from the above-linked, post-11/2 socio-political secessionist manifesto titled, "The Urban Archipelago."

*Urban liberals have the power to decide that commuters will no longer be welcome as employees of in-city businesses. "People who commute to the city for their livelihood and then attack urban areas and people in the voting booth are the worst kind of hypocrites. Commuters, we neither want nor need you."

(The ripple effects of this pronunciamento are already being felt across the city of Seattle. The directors of Pemco, Starbucks, Boeing, Washington Mutual and the University of Washington are all at this moment in hastily-convened meetings debating mass lay-offs of suburbanites in their employ, so as not incur the wrath of The Stranger and its many readers who are in positions of great political, corporate and cultural influence).

*Urban liberals have been the driving force involved in "saving fragile suburban economies," but after 11/2, "we do not have to concern ourselves" with that.

Interestingly, in the same piece, the Stranger posits that urbanites "don't use suburban roads. We can let the suburbs figure out a way to pay for them."

(So....see...urbanites have been "saving fragile suburban economies" not by actually going there and shopping or working, but by a sort of, um, unexplained telekinesis).

Apparently, the power of thinking, as opposed to doing, figures quite prominently into the urban liberal weltanschaung described by The Stranger.

*For instance, I had not known what an important contribution urban liberals had been making - through "worrying" - to battling the invasion of the American heartland by Wal-Mart, which The Stranger describes as a "rapacious corporation." Once again Red America: you're on your own now. "Liberals in big cities spend a lot of time worrying about the impact Wal-Mart is having on the heartland. No more."

I'm sure the heartland is devastated to hear that. About as devastated as all the multi-hued shoppers filling the Wal-Mart just south of Seattle in Renton. It seems people with children and mortgages - as opposed to lime-green hair, piercings and I-Pods - unaccountably like a good bargain.

There's more in The Stranger's stated, and sweeping urban agenda to capture the White House and win legal gay marriage nationwide. Specifically, rallying the urban base with "safe injection sites" for heroin users; and "discouraging excessive auto use by taxing mileage."

Given all this, and additional material in the same issue, such as "F*** The South," by the noted author "Anonymous," it would be easy enough to presume The Stranger is merely playing to the hard-core urban liberal peanut gallery. Easy enough to presume that they do all this tongue in cheek, and are happy at the end of the day to be making money.

But that would be to ignore the long-term game plan of the GOP, which backs rags such as The Stranger through covert placement of Republican-linked business operatives on the corporate boards of the parent media companies which own such publications.

And that long-term plan is brutal in its simplicity: as readers grow older, and become, say, voting adults, they inevitably realize how far they've progressed from the infantile, knee-jerk, blindly obeisant liberal posturing represented by their local "alternative weekly," or weeklies; whether it's the one in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Boston, L.A. SF, Eugene, Portland, or Seattle.

It starts when you vote for Kerry for president, but Republican Dino Rossi for Governor, who - final absentee and provisional ballots pending - appears likely to become this state's first GOP Guv elected since 1980, and is carrying the key Seattle collar counties of Snohomish and Pierce, as well as one suburban Portland hub, Clark County. Crucial places in any state-wide race, where neither Christine Gregoire's "I'm a D So Vote For Me," nor The Stranger's "F*** You" amounts to much of a platform, I'm afraid.

Where it ends is anybody's guess. But I for one will be wondering just how many urban "Democrats" are going to have that famed Red America delicacy - green bean cassserole made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and Durkee canned onion rings - on their Thanksgiving tables later this month.

Oops, gotta go. There's the UPS guy on my Seattle doorstoop. I think he's got those Buck Owens CDs I ordered.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:45 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


November 11, 2004

Joan Baez: Redneck

From Reason Online's Ronald Bailey, via D.C. Thornton, comes this appalling episode of virulent condescension towards blacks from none other than Joan Baez, live and in concert. Naturally, it's George W. Bush that has made Baez run off the tracks.

Baliey is writing about a Baez concert he attended last week, post-election, in Charlottesville, Virginia.

....halfway through the concert...Joan stopped singing and announced that she had "multiple personalities." One of her multiple personalities is that of a fifteen year old poor black girl named Alice from Turkey Scratch, Arkansas. Baez decided to share with us Alice's views on the election. Amazed and horrified I watched a rich, famous, extremely white folksinger perform what can only be described as bit of minstrelsy—only the painted on blackface was missing. Alice, the black teenager from Arkansas Baez was pretending to be, spoke in a dialect so broad and thick that it would put Uncle Remus and Amos and Andy to shame.

Baez' monologue was filled with phrases like, "I'se g'win ta" to do this that or the other and dropping all final "g's." Baez as Alice made statements like, "de prezident, he be a racist," and "de prezident, he got a bug fer killin'." Finally, since Bush won the election with 58.7 million votes to Kerry's 55.1 million, Alice observed, "Seems lak haf' de country be plumb crazy." Since Baez was reading Alice's notes, it is evident that she thinks that Arkansas' public schools don't teach black children to write standard English.

Once Joan finished her minstrelsy riff, the audience, in which I did not see a single black person, went wild with applause and hoots and hollers. I have never felt so embarrassed for a bunch of "liberals" in my life. I wonder where Baez got her notions of how poor black country folk talk—she couldn't be stereotyping, could she?

Whew.

Joan, maybe it's just plain time to hang it up.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 05:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack



Dem-Fueled Vote Fraud Hoax Debunked

The Tin Foil Hat Brigade has been filling the web with allegations Bush really didn't win Election 2004, and they're deluded.

That's according to even the pillars of the left-leaning MSM. Such as the Boston Globe, the Washington Post (free reg. req.), the San Francisco Chronicle, and Wired.

Just for starters.

I urge Dem conspriacy theorists to take a close read, then shut their dumb yaps and, um.......start thinking real hard about your next DNC Chairman.

Your country thanks you very much.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 10:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


November 10, 2004

Envisioning The 'O8 Democratic Agenda

According to a new book and its companion web site, the Democratic Party is in a "zombie stupor, mimicking death" and the solution is to pitch harder to the hard-Left base in America's proud coastal Blue cities.....The book is titled, "The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America," and the lead author is University of Phoenix founder and noted cat cloner John Sperling.

I'm not cheered at the idiocy of the idea because a more sustainable Democratic Party is in everyone's best interests, ultimately. I am also aghast to learn that while I am living in "Metro" America (Seattle), I must apparently shove into the closet my "Retro" values. It is the love that dare not speak it's name.

Via the book's web site you'll find the The Divided Times Newsletter (specifically, Issue #11, which is at this "current issue" link right now). There's a breathless account titled "voter suppression reports rampant," but it then cites some European observers (lucky us, I know) who said things went fairly well here. Whew! Glad they almost signed off on our elections. More to the point, perhaps, there's this Democratic roadmap for the future:

The Democrats must find their own base rather than trying to wrest support from the Republicans by mirroring their policy and moving towards the center. This will only take place when the Democrats are able to articulate a platform that does not compromise the blue states. As clearly stated in the introduction of the Great Divide, "Only by articulating programs and policies that speak to the needs of Metro America will (the Democrats) clearly distinguish their party from the Republicans, whose programs and policies favor Retro America."

So let's do some "visioning" of the Metropolitan Left's future national Democratic platform. Hailing from Seattle, and having lived previously in Chicago (where I was raised), plus Boston and Washington, D.C., I must say that I am eminently qualified to undertake this task. Here goes, then.

Revive the Works Projects Administration; ban outsourcing; hang "Benedict Arnold CEOs;"

permit federally-funded abortion on demand, up until birth; give more money for failing public schools;

push a Congressional mandate that all U.S. municipalities form police oversight commissions to set "anti-profiling" quotas for arrests based on race, sexual orientation and corresponding local demogrpahics.

Then, work for:

federal recognition of city-by-city powers to legalize gay marriage;

unlimited immigration, plus carte blanche for illegals to use all social services and public schools;

federal funding of local workshops on "institutional racism;"

and finally, mandated federal holidays on each solstice day and an additional three days per year to be determined by the local witches.

Oh, and a comprehensive Education Department framework, and funding for public school courses encouraging fifth-graders to "question" their sexual orientation; plus diversion of NCLB dollars for junior high workshops on genital piercing.

I mean, why not go for broke?

To stoke the troops, and ah, help win an electoral majority in the next presidential contest, "The Great Divide" site offers these strategically savvy messages on bumper stickers sold at its online store:

"Uniter My Ass;"

"Bush/Cheney - Draft Dodging Vet Bashers;"

"Dude - Where's My Job" (captures the Dem ethos quite well, n'est ce pas?);

"Smarter Kids Or Smarter Bombs?"

"the new GOP - Democracy Not Included."

Just to make sure you get the message, there's also a "News Watch" link to the "Working For Change" site, replete with ads for works by Michael Moore, Maureen Dowd and Molly Ivins (the all-knowing seers of a victorious Democratic future); plus the latest from anti-Bush and anti-Red America columnists afeard we're all gonna be swallowed up and spat out by barbeque-munchin' country music-listening bible-totin' redneck geeks.

OK, I've had enuf fun (dammit, my spelling has rilly slipped since the Mindless Rite roze to power last week...prolly something in the Seattle water supply).

Here's the big problem with the "Blue America" strategy. There, ah, aren't enough of you, see. And your excesses repulse swing voters and inspire the other side to try even harder (see Florida, Ohio). It was actually moderates - not the evil "Religious Right" - who secured Bush's victory on Election Day, says E.J. Dionne. Dems need to reach out to them, in the outer suburbs and yes, even rural counties, Dionne adds.

David Broder has another good suggestion, which dovetails with what Dionne's saying:

Several Democrats I interviewed in the first couple of days after John Kerry's defeat said it's time to give their party another serious intellectual transfusion. These are not people who think that Hillary Rodham Clinton can revive the Democrats just by sprinkling some Chappaqua fairy dust on their remains.

...Nor are these people who think that finding a church-going Southerner to run next time would solve all their problems. Fewer and fewer Democratic officeholders fit that description, and trends in the region make it harder for new ones to emerge.

But many of those I interviewed agreed with Gerald McEntee, a leader of organized labor's political operations, that outside Washington, a wealth of talent is available to the Democratic Party. "We have to bring in governors, mayors, state legislative leaders," the AFSCME president said, "and have a real dialogue."

If the Democratic governors stepped forward to lead this policy effort, they would bring an element of practical wisdom the enterprise badly needs. People such as Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Tom Vilsack of Iowa and Bill Richardson of New Mexico have demonstrated they know how to win in very competitive environments - even in states that went for Bush.

Of course, they don't have any book to flog just yet, nor a web site and bumper stickers for sale.

In addition to what Broder recommends, what would really help save the Democrats is an influx of metrosexual, crunchy conservatives to Blue American cities, to spread family values and common sense among the loony Lefties.

I'm certainly doing my part here in Seattle, as a pro-Iraq War, pro-Bush, pro-monorail, pro-choice-but-not-pro-abortion R-leaning independent. The biggest barrier to building the ranks of like-minded folk in Blue cities is the crappy public schools...and while NCLB is a step in the right direction...real education reform begins at home with parental influences.

This is just the sort of simple truth that infuriates Democrats who expect the government to engineer a utopian society.

....you know just who I mean.....those folks who say to Bush: "Dude, Where's My Job?"

Rant off.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:29 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


November 09, 2004

Absentees Boost Rossi's WA Gov. Bid

UPDATE 1 - WEDS. NOV. 10, 12:35 PM, PST: Rossi now up by a wider margin, of 4,429 votes, as more absentees roll in. Ooh Cha! UPDATE 2: As of 1:38 PM PST, 11/10/04, Dino's margin had grown a bit more, to 5,018 votes. UPDATE 3, as of 5:48 PM, PST on 11/10/04, Dino's lead was 3,492 votes.

11/09/04. Republican Dino Rossi opened the day down 8,700 votes to Democrat Christine Gregoire in the election for WA Gov. As of 5:30 PM, PST, he's up by 2,123 votes. Here's the WA Sec. of State's site; the numbers are likely to change further, unless somehow this was the final blast of an estimated 213,000 (mostly) absentee, and provisional ballots that were left to count today.

A (Seattle) KOMO-TV report at 5:20 had Rossi up 1,700 and noted there were "thousands" more absentees to count, how ever many exactly that turns out to be.

Important to note, especially for Dino rooters: as the Seattle Times story linked to below notes, the bulk of the (213,000) absentees that were to be counted today (and ARE, as you read this probably STILL being counted) were in the WA counties where Rossi bested Gregoire - NOT King County (home of Seattle) and the handful of others where Gregoire was besting Rossi.

If the victory margin is less than .5 percent (AND less than 2K votes) an automatic recount is triggered. A Seattle Times story this morning indicated that provisional ballots are being evaluated for legitimacy on a county by county basis, as they roll in, along with all the absentee ballots. Absentee ballots counted after the polls closed in WA Nov. 2 may end up approaching 1 million in number, although we won't know the exact number for a while.

Why care about this race's outcome? As I've said a number of times (including here, here, here, and here) Dino would be a breath of fresh air in Olympia's ossified culture of governance - not to mention the first Republican to hold the WA governorship since 1980-1984.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 06:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


November 08, 2004

As The World Heaves

The Harvard Crimson reports students there have formed two rival beer appreciation organizations: one for the good stuff, one for the swill. I suppose you might find one of the acronyms amusing, in a somewhat juvenile manner.

"Vancouver group passes out crack pipes; seeks funding." No. it's not satire. Unfortunately. The "Rock Users Group," inspired by local government support of "safe injection sites" and the resulting "harm reduction" for Vancouver heroin addicts, wants "safe inhalation sites" for crackheads, and is distributing the accoutrements of crack addiction, including condoms. Apparently it's OK for addicts to peddle their bodies in return for rock, so long as they have "safe sex." (And when the client says, "No Condom," hmm, I wonder, wonder, wonder what the addict does?)

France has a new gay TV channel, with a transsexual sportscaster, X-rated fare (after midnight), reruns of "Wonder Woman," and profiles of Princess Diana and the late Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. There's also a promotional poster showing Francois Mitterand and Helmut Kohl holding hands (it's not what you might think). Some French gays worry the channel will engender sterotyping.

An American army sergeant who deserted his unit in Vietnam and holed up for decades in North Korea got a light sentence in a court martial last week. He's already suffered enough: he had to study the teachings of Kim Il Sung, the country's patriarch of crackpot communist theory, for 10 hours a day.

Seattle blogger James J. Na on dead Iraqis (warning: he's good at math); and Bush's second term agenda.

Shark's dad Ira, with this must-read "Letter From Jerusalem."

Revenge of the Hamster is a black conservative, female Australian blogger. No sh**. Via Booker Rising.

Try this on. Beserkeley, CA voters suffering from tax fatigue. Bleak news for tax-and-spenders there this Election Day. The city's deficit is estimated at $7.5 million, and four revenue enhancement measures bit the dust.

Plus, Berkeley's Measure Q, sponsored by the Sex Workers Outreach Project - and about which I've blogged previously - was rejected, 64 to 36 percent. Measure Q would have instructed Berkeley Police to make enforcing local anti-prostitution laws their lowest priority.

The Oakland Tribune reports, in an election results round-up......Ooomph! Berkeley voters say yes to fiscal discipline (of a sort) AND law and order.

Boyohboyohboy....

Before you know it, The Aaaarnold will be campaigning on Telegraph Ave. for re-election as CA Gov. Or, pending the likely enabling legislation by a GOP U.S. House and Senate - for President, on his old stomping grounds in OH.

That's it!....The perfect '08 matchup: Hillary vs. Arnold. Unless, of course, the Dems are too smart to run a surefire loser like The Hil. Don't bet on it, tho...Terry McAwful, PLEASE keep your job.

Finally, this: New York's water is OK to drink, but might not be kosher. A tiny crustacean called the copepod is to blame. Since the problem was discovered several months ago, plumbers and water-filter salesmen are making out, but confusion still reigns, the NYT reports (free reg. req.). For the uninitiated, Orthodox Jews don't do shellfish. Not any kind.

Oy.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 04:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack



"All Talked Out"

Afraid of being authoritarian or permissive, parents trying for the preferred "authoritative" middle ground still end up reasoning with their kids too much, writes Neil Swidey in the Boston Globe's Sunday magazine.

Some negotiating with your kids is good. But spending 20 minutes debating your 4-year-old on why it's time to leave the park is not. Children's mouths can keep up, but as research is showing, their brains cannot.

...there is something decidedly different about parenting today, particularly within the educated, professional class. It's the degree to which many parents are struggling to persuade their kids to see things their way, and how they often end up simply talking too much, negotiating matters that probably shouldn't be negotiable, and failing to say "no" very much at all.

This is true for parents of toddlers. It is true for parents of teenagers.

Considerable research has shown that it makes all kinds of sense for parents to do a certain amount of reasoning with their children. The problem is knowing when enough is enough. Parents often lose sight of that line, mistakenly believing their kids' brains work the same way theirs do.

Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, director of cognitive neuroimaging at McLean Hospital in Belmont, has conducted pioneering MRI studies suggesting that adults and teenagers use different parts of their brains to make decisions. Teens rely more on the "emotional" part of the brain that controls their gut instincts, while adults rely on the "executive" part that governs functions like planning and judgment.

This misplaced faith parents have in the ability of their kids to think like adults starts early. Trained in the art of negotiation at a young age, accustomed to being spoken to with far greater complexity than previous generations of children, today's kids have become expert in talking the talk. But no matter how articulate a 4-year-old is, his brain is not built for adult concepts like abstract reasoning and delayed gratification.

"Just because they can verbalize something," Yurgelun-Todd says, "doesn't mean they really understand how to weigh decisions and process information."

Stop by any playground and listen to the parents giving their kids 20-minute explications on why it's time to leave.....like those droning, indecipherable adults from the old Peanuts specials.

It's a slippery slope. Parents out there: any tips, or reactions?

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


November 07, 2004

Dems Dealing with Despair

I'm NOT gloating. That would be unseemly. I'm just blogging this story from today's SFChron, about how distressed Bay Area Kerry-ites are dealing with the election's outcome. I blog. You decide.

Some highlights: a shrink says seven of his eight patients on Friday were, in the words of the reporter, "upset and frightened to the point of tears."

One woman began "eating chocolate and speaking in obscenities," another said she attempted "suicide by desert."

Someone "found her neighbor on her knees, weeping."

This is denial: A woman "refuses to take the 6-foot cardboard image of Kerry out of her Passat."

Call this apocalyptic anger: "....Penny Greenberg, who feels as if she does not belong in her own country anymore, offered, "My only consolation is that someday this planet will be a dead cinder in the universe and all the stupidity, greed, and intolerance and their sad, sad consequences will be lost to all memory."

Others still, the Chron reports, "are taking anger management classes, starting Web sites with names like 'Not a Mandate' and sending e-mails. Popular items include the text of Kerry's concession speech; a list of the names and ages of all American soldiers who died in Iraq, and rejiggered maps that attach the blue states to Canada."

Turning tail is another option. "Of those who chose flight, many meant it literally. Chris Simpkins of Oakland and his wife looked up Canada's immigration rules on the Internet and added up their assets to see if they had enough money to emigrate." One woman "is moving to France."

More constructive approaches (well, theoretically - at least) include renewed activism with groups such as NOW, Planned Parenthood, and Bring Them Home Now.

Finally, the Chron gets to the grown-up contingent of disappointed Ds.

Some who chose flight are already changing their minds, and not just because Canada is cold and New Zealand is lacking in street life.

A friend told Keith Thompson of Petaluma he's decided not to head north. "He said to me, 'sitting down and refusing to budge is one of our nation's greatest traditions. ... Remember Rosa Parks: first things first. Keep your seat.'

...Marti Geiger of Sacramento can't worry about her own damp hell. She is too busy trying to set a brisk example for her dejected 18-year-old son, a first-time voter, who watched in disbelief as his side lost.

The day after the elections, my job was still there, food was still on the table, and life resumed its normal course,'' she said. "I told him that he should rejoice in this country, the day after a defeat he could still go to his university classes, I could still toil away to pay for his tuition, and life would still go on.

The sun rises and sets, no matter who is president."

Words of wisdom.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 04:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


November 06, 2004

Oh......Canada

Some U.S. lefties want to move there now, post-11/2. Be my guest. This Canadian wanted out so bad, he stripped naked and hid in the wheel well of a Qantas jet headed from L.A. to Australia.

OK, yeah, he was bi-polar, but here's what I'm wondering. Where was that famous Canadian national health care with his meds? Or were the meds not enuf?

I know that if I lived in a country with a chain of family restaurants called "The White Spot," I'd run away screaming, too.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 09:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



"Confessions Of An Ohio GOP Poll Observer"

...is the title of Dan Wismar's excellent post at his blog, Wizblog.

Seems Dems spoiling for signs of "voter intimidation" in the Akron polling place Dan worked, more or less made asses of themselves. And there was, in Dan's view, some deceptive and unseemly electioneering by Ds outside, as well.

More importantly, as Dan notes, there was great pride among the overflow crowd of voters and the bi-partisan team of election judges. and...there were very few voters challenged, and very few provisional ballots that needed to be dispensed, at least at this polling place.

Great report, Dan.

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"The Calculus of Mediocrity"

Way too many college kids have been coddled by K-12 public schools, and as a result, they can't do math and science. Spending more money on public schools really doesn't seem to be the answer. That's the conclusion of University of Washington profressor Cliff F. Mass, in this guest column from today's Seattle Times.

...the university gave virtually the same mathematics placement test to all freshmen from the mid-1980s until 2000; students' scores declined during this period....(and)...increasing numbers of our students have been forced to take remedial math courses prior to starting the normal college curriculum.

...One reason is surely the transition to "Integrated Math" in middle and high schools during the 1980s. Instead of teaching mathematical subjects such as algebra, geometry and trigonometry as coherent subjects, with sufficient time spent to master their principles, "Integrated Math" combines them in a frenetic mix that rapidly jumps between these subjects using lots of pictures and real-life examples.

...The decline in math ability has been paralleled by a darker and more serious trend: a lessening of the personal responsibility, attitude and work habits of many students. A lax environment has spread through our secondary schools, with no-fault test-retake policies and rampant grade inflation. Students expect high grades and when they don't secure them, they often blame the instructor, not their poor attendance or unwillingness to keep up on assignments. Chillingly, their ability to maintain sustained concentration has lessened.

Perhaps we are seeing the result of overindulged students, poorly supervised by harried working parents, who have spent too much time with video and computer games.

It is important to note that the "golden" top 20 percent of the UW student body is as capable as ever — students who are intelligent, highly motivated to succeed and successful despite the system. But for the others, we must ask why they are losing ground, and whether more than money and smaller class sizes is required to address their needs.

Mass has taught atmospheric sciences at UW for 20 years. My dad is a retired professor of social psychology at the University of Chicago, and was similarly appalled at how poorly educated, in the humanities, were his students. You need only look at the horrendous dumbing down of the second-tier "gifted" student program in the Seattle public schools (known as "Spectrum") to know that what matters above all is self-esteem and political correctness, not academic rigor.

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November 05, 2004

Stranger In A Strange Land?

You're a bunch of pseudo-journo-wonks who write for Seattle's alternative, alternative, Sandinista weekly - The Stranger.

It's Election Night 2004. A Tuesday, of course, dammit. Your deadline day. A bunch of you are out on the town, "working" and drinking very heavily.

Or so the storyline goes.

And gosh, wouldn't ya just know it? Things aren't turning out quite so well. Florida, Ohio, etc.

Worse, you've got to file a staff-written piece pronto (front page teaser, "Drunkin Electoin Night Repurt"), without knowing for absolute sure just how things will turn out by Thursday, when your uber-hip, sex worker ad-laden fishwrap hits the streets.

So, you produce this piece of timeless, yet somewhat inchoate socio-cultural anthropology, sure to to forever grace the digital archives of drunken Democratic despair.

But I know you were all really sippin' herbal tea, and nibbling Fig Newmans. While channeling the imagined bar-rat angst of soused Kerry-phile losers, who - in actuality - did the real heavy lifting that ignominious evening.

Word is, several of you are actually closet Rs. And the edgy "progressive" shtik is just a marketing ploy.

You've got an image to maintain, and serve a useful function in this constipated burg. So.....I won't out The Closeted Republicans Who Run The Stranger.

No, no.

Not yet, anyway.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 12:29 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


November 03, 2004

Bush Wins, The World Reacts

C. Raja Mohan in the Indian Express, New Delhi:

Old Europe...could potentially (be) a big loser as Bush seeks to reconfigure the global balance of power. China should be regretting the decision to show its preference for Kerry during the last days of the campaign. A sullen Middle East will remain the theatre of confrontation for the forseeable future.

Japan and India, the two Asian powers aspiring for a global role, could stand to gain as the old international order begins to unravel—but only if Tokyo and New Delhi have the gumption to seize the moment.

Channel News Asia in Singapore reports that Japan's Koizumi is coming out of the box fast, re-stating his support for the role of Bush and The U.S. in battling international terrorism. Australia's Howard, naturally, is cheered, likewise Arroyo in the Phillipines. South Korea's making appropriate noises, as well. However, here's one very special guy who's kinda cheesed:

...in Indonesia, Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who is standing trial on terrorism charges, accused the United States of being "the master in this country."

"Bush's victory will bring another disaster for America unless he changes his actions," Bashir told reporters as he arrived for a second day of his trial.

Bashir faces the death penalty if convicted of charges including inciting militants to carry out the 2002 nightclub bombing in Bali which killed 202 people, mostly Westerners.

Yeh.

The Australian's Middle East Correspondent Nicolas Rothwell observes:

Moderate Arab states, many of which have complex feelings about the Bush administration, will evaluate their prospects with care. A second-term American leader has great freedom to push his own blueprints for change, and George W. Bush's dream is for a revolutionary breakthrough to Middle East democracy.

While the President has close ties with the ruling dynasties of the Persian Gulf, popular opinion in all Arab nations is fiercely anti-American in the wake of the Iraq war. This tension is now likely to be prolonged; it is an important incubator for radical Islamic activism. However, there are also many Arab intellectuals and opinion-makers who support Mr Bush. They argue that reform of the kind he advocates in the Arab world is long overdue. This is an important current of influence that will now be emboldened.

Time's European edition offers several tidbits.

First, an egghead at The Sorbonne is worried for us - the wrath of mighty Europe may portend a mighty wind of ill for America.

The President's win "erodes the view that one must distinguish between the disliked Bush Administration and the American society we've always loved," says André Kaspi, director of the Sorbonne's North American History Center.

European disdain for America. Lordy. Pass The Prozac and Oregon Pinot Noir.

Time with more, on what Euros don't get regarding Bush's win:

Never mind that 55 million Americans voted to send Bush back to Texas. Never mind that of those who considered Iraq the country's most important issue, 74% voted for Kerry. The American conservatives — whose policies have helped push global attitudes toward the U.S. to an all-time low — have won again.
Time also makes clear the U.S. and Europe have been pulling apart culturally for a while.

The plates have been slowly shifting for a long time; a U.S. that spends on defense more than twice the outlay of the E.U.'s 25 members put together, that permits the death penalty in most states, where religious fundamentalism is growing and some 35% of households own a gun, has less in common than it used to with a Europe that bans the death penalty and has grown increasingly antiwar and secular.

The grand prize for insight (seriously) goes to columnist George Kerevan of The Scotsman. This is so good I will quote it at length. However, do read the whole thing.

Here in Scotland, where the mainstream view is anti-Bush, the instant reaction will be to dismiss this other America as redneck, racist, bigoted, gun-loving and ignorant. But hold a mirror to thyself: the part of America that doggedly voted Republican on Tuesday is its ethnic Scottish-Ulster heartland. These are the descendants of the lowland yeoman folk who colonised Virginia in the 17th century, then crossed the Appalachian Mountains to open up the frontier in the 18th, joined by the refugees from the Govan slums in the 19th.

They brought with them a Celtic tribalism, a small-farmer self-reliance and a rationalist Presbyterian morality based on the Good Book....Never in a million years were America’s Scots-Irish going to vote for John Kerry, whatever the eastern pollsters thought.

...when the political chips are really down, the American Scots-Irish prefer two things when choosing a leader: moral certainty in taking decisions (which is different from sexual morals) and a populist ability to speak in something approaching the vernacular....

I mention all this not to justify George Bush but to suggest a way for Europe to understand a resurgent American nationalism that conforms pretty much to what the Scots-Irish made it. Contrary to European myth, it is not an especially imperialist nationalism, but when provoked it sees things with a terrible, biblical simplicity.

....To this day, their predilection for owning guns is less to do with the desire to blast away at dumb animals, as pique at the idea that someone should tell them what to do. That’s why it is not a good idea to try to frighten them by crashing airliners into tall buildings: it just makes them mad.

....As a culture based on self-reliance and Mosaic rules of social conduct, Scots-Irish American nationalism cannot comprehend societies based on clientelism and endemic personal corruption.

That’s why it does not like the way the United Nations has developed into a talking shop, and why it gets exasperated by the Middle East. The Scots-Irish have given George Bush a mandate: but it says: "Finish the job quickly, or we will let the world stew in its own juice."

The world has woken up to four more years of George Bush with something of a headache. Personally, I’m glad the incipient trade war that the Democrats were planning against Europe - to make good their promise of protecting jobs in Ohio - has receded into the distance.

I also think that by legitimising George Bush with a serious popular majority, the Scots-Irish have cut the diplomatic feet from under those who dismiss him as a usurper; as well as seeing off tiresome posers, such as the documentary-maker Michael Moore, who trivialise and personalise debate.

The world can now get down to some serious politics, starting at the G8 summit at Gleneagles Hotel in July. Remember that Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder will retire long before Bush. There is a space for a new generation of European politicians to rebuild the transatlantic alliance.

Like it or lump it, a Bush White House is now a fact of life. But if Scotland calms down a minute, we might discover that his America is a far less alien place than we imagine.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 11:09 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack



The Young And Listless

Looks like pollsters were right not to waste too much time on the cell phone-only crowd, i.e. younger voters.

San Jose Merc-News:

"No-shows among young voters may have hurt Kerry"

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The numbers were there for John Kerry: thousands of new voters registered on his behalf, highly charged crowds at rallies, and high turnout at the polls on Election Day.

Why didn't it add up to more votes in Ohio for the Democrat?

Kerry's campaign, along with many others, seemed to have misread who was coming to the polls and the ability of those charged with getting them there, political analysts said Wednesday.

....Analysts and others had predicted that a high turnout should have favored Kerry because of the number of new voters registered by pro-Kerry or anti-Bush groups such as America Coming Together and MoveOn.org.

About 70 percent of registered voters went to the polls Tuesday, compared with 63 percent in 2000, when Bush beat Al Gore by 3.5 percentage points. Tuesday's margin was 2 points.

Many of the people Kerry expected to show - college students and other young people - never made it to the polls. Exit polling for The Associated Press found only one out of seven voters was age 18-29.

....The outside groups were good at registering voters but may have had problems getting them to the polls, said Melanie Blumberg, a professor of history and political science at California (Pa.) University and a Youngstown resident.

They fell short in the areas of last-minute voter contact and transportation to the polls.

"What I'm understanding is that they did not mobilize the number of people that they had hoped to," she said.

These targeted younger voters who weren't ferried to the polls, or weren't willing to wait in line for long hours, or just didn't care at all, will eventually grow older (duh!) AND learn to vote absentee. Of course, by then they'll be paying property taxes, raising children, dealing with crappy public schools, and ah, leaning Republican.

Motivation. Mmm hmm.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 05:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack



Kerry Concedes...

..as of about 11 AM EST, according to this AP story in the Seattle Times.

A few quick observations, more to come later.

*The "youth vote" strategy tanked for Kerry. No improvement over 2000. Guess all those indy rock bands, and "Bowl Against Bush" nights didn't do the trick. The GOP ground game, in contrast, was brilliant.

*The GOP has captured the mood of the country. Last night, overall, was a kick-butt night for Republicans. They picked up seats in Congress and displaced Sen. Dem. Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Governorships are also falling the GOP's way after last night (more details later), with WA in serious play for Rs for the first time since 1980 (see story below).

*The Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party is dead. Hate and ridicule don't sell.

*Values DO sell. Agree with it or not, but 11 states passed gay marriage bans. The point for Ds is not to hyperventilate over that, but to understand the concept that morality is not a dirty word. They'll need to embrace values other than abortion; diversity; Nanny-statism; provisional ballot-casting; and blaming America first, last and always.

*Bush's personna trumped Kerry's: real, steady and determined over manufactured and opportunistic.

It's a great day in America.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 08:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack



Long Haul for Final Gov. Count (UPDATED)

SEE ONGOING UPDATES BELOW FOR LATEST

Mama Mia! Republican Dino Rossi is pulling ahead (for good?) in the WA Gov. race, 915,212 votes to Democrat Christine Gregoire's 914,351. 99 percent of precincts reporting. This via the Seattle Times site, with numbers from AP. Hoo baby! If Rossi's lead holds, this would be a significant victory because: 1) Kerry bested Bush in WA 52% to 46%; and 2) a Republican hasn't won for Gov. here since 1980.

UPDATE 1, 8:23 AM, PST. The Times is still posting the same numbers evident at 3:30 AM, showing Rossi ahead 915,212 to Gregoire's 914,351. Here's the link, with the count certain to alter over the next fews days. A Times story this AM has Gregoire ahead by 2,000 (apparently based on older information than what's here, from elsewhere on their web site.) However, the story notes there are several hundred thousand absentee ballots left to count and many are in the Gregoire stronghold of King County, so this may bode ill for Dino. Nailbiter, for sure.

UPDATE 2, 10:34 AM, PST. Brace yourself for 4 p.m., when, according to Dino Rossi (R) For Governor policy and communications director Mary Lane (to whom I just spoke), King County will release the tally of 100,000 absentee or otherwise uncounted ballots. Lane says King County will ALSO have another 250,000 uncounted ballots to tote up after that, which could take another day or two (I'm guessing). Though Christine Gregoire (D) has been carrying (and will carry) King County strongly over Rossi, Lane says all Rossi needs is to come out at 41 percent in King County to hold his slim lead overall.

I hope I'm wrong, but with the two candidates in a virtual dead heat, and King County going so heavily for Gregoire, I'd have to think another 350K uncounted ballots from King could swing it to her. If so, everyone better remember to heap abuse on the Libertarian candidate Ruth Bennett (or more precisely, her party) whose feel-good exercise in civics and utterly fruitless brand-building (along with their two percent of the vote) will have cost the GOP the Governor's mansion.

There are OTHER uncounted ballots from counties outside King, reportedly 350K to 650K, by some estimates.

UPDATE 3, 1:06 PM, PST: In an e-mail responding to this post, Lane comments:

Right now we're happy with the way things are going in King (Dino's doing well in non-Seattle King County), and we're expecting good things from other counties across the state. Remember, Dino's poll numbers started going up late last week and through the weekend, so we expect the later absentee counts to trend Dino's way.

Good to hear from you Mary, thanks.

UPDATE 4, 5:07 PM, PST. 100K King County absentees stirred into the mix have yielded a 15,496 vote lead for Gregoire at the moment, out of more than 1.93 million counted so far. Hundreds of thousands more to come, many from climes less hospitable for Gregoire than King County, which she carried strongly.

Here's the vote tally link.

Talk about too close to call! FYI, an automatic recount is triggered if the final victory margin is less than half a percentage point. We could be headed that way.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 02:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack



A New Day....

...dawns in Seattle with Bush one electoral vote away from re-election. Look to New Mexico, Nevada and perhaps Iowa. He just needs one. Via the WaPo (free reg. req.) here's what we've got:

New Mexico: Bush 52-47, with 97% of precincts counted. NBC is just reporting they won't call it for Bush yet because his lead is about 30K votes, while there are anywhere from 100K to 200K votes left to count there.

Nevada: Bush 50-48, with 83 percent of precincts in. UPDATE: ABC just called NV for Bush, but they're mulishly not calling OH for him. Meanwhile NBC isn't calling NV for Bush, so NOBODY is putting him over quite yet.

Iowa: Bush 50-49, with 99 % of precincts reporting.

In the WA Gov. race, although D-Christine Gregoire has a narrow, narrow lead over R-Dino Rossi of less than one point this second, it's not looking great. All counties except sparsely-populated Asotin are are posting results that look to be unofficial finals. She could have it in the bag, barring a recount. Unless, somehow, there are caches of uncounted absentees that'll swing it Dino's way. Hope so. If Gregoire does nail it, blame it on supporters of Libertarian Gov. candidate Ruth Bennett. Her two percent would have otherwise gone mostly to Rossi and likely clinched it for him.

UPDATE, 2:00 AM. D-Gregoire up by 32 votes(!) over R-Rossi for WA Gov., with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Recount, anyone? And, should there be bi-partisan review of provisional ballots in Gregoire's stronghold of Seattle/King County? Methinks...The Seattle Times link, via AP, seems the most up-to-date for the vote count in this race.

WA ballot initiatives, results and textlinks to full descriptions of the measures, here. Highlights: state law passed last spring for charters schools is overturned (an egregious mistake by Soviet Of WA voters); a sales tax hike to flush more money down the public school toilet is defeated (smart); the modified open primary is approved (Bravo!); Indian reservations get to keep their legislated monopoly on slot machines (bad move).

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November 02, 2004

The Fat Lady is Singing

SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE EVENING.

QUICK UPDATE UP TOP***10:02 PM, PST. BUSH TAKES FL, OH...He's sewing it up!***Seattle monorail recall, I-83, tanking....). OhYeah!

4:54 PM, PST. Let's start off tonight with a few places you may want to check in, for updated election results.

National: Real Clear Politics, and Red State.

Washington State Sec. of State elections site, results posted after 8 p.m. PST.

My colleague Stefan Sharkansky at Sound Politics will be live blogging at that site tonight, from the Washington State GOP election night HQ in Bellevue.

King County elections site (Seattle and some suburbs).

Seattle Times, "The Booth" politics page, with updated news and links to election result sites.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's elections page.

Right now (it's just before 5 pm PST as I type this) RCP is reporting Bush has taken Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia; Kerry wins Vermont. No big surprises there. Very early. No huge outcry yet over diffculties for voters. Long lines in Ohio, no major cries of "foul" yet in Florida. We'll hold our breath on that count.

UPDATE 1: 5:28 PM, PST: The P-I is reporting that so far Bush has won seven states with 57 electoral votes, and Kerry nine states with 43 EVs.

UPDATE 2: 5:41, PST. Of course, the Bush-Kerry numbers are already changing. Bush still slightly ahead in EVs. Early, early early. No swing states decided yet. Long night coming. Absentees could be crucial in Florida, automatic recount if margin 1 % or less.

UPDATE 3: 5:47 PM, PST. NBC: 102-77 Bush lead in EVs. Still no swing states called.

UPDATE 4: 5:53 PM, PST. NBC: Florida, 56-43% Bush with 35% of the vote in.

UPDATE 5: 6:38 PM, PST. NBC: Bush 53%, Kerry 46% in FL, 55% of the vote in there. 171-112 lead in EVs for Bush, still fairly meaningless, as no swing states called yet. Now NBC says 53-47 Bush in FL, with 65 percent counted (6:46 PM, PST).

UPDATE 7, 7:42 PM, PST. Florida state elections site: Bush 51-47, with 79% counted. Via the stellar site Real Clear Politics, which has other real time results links, including OH and PA.

UPDATE 8, 8:53 PM, PST. CNN link to live results from Ohio: Bush 52-48, 64% of precincts reporting.

UPDATE 9, State of WA election results site, Governor's race results page: Dino Rossi (R) in lead for WA Gov, 51-48 over Christine Gregoire (D). Doesn't say what percentage of precincts counted. Some 618,000 votes tallied in this race so far. Still relatively early.

UPDATE 10, 9:14 PM, PST: THINGS CHANGING FAST, trending Gregoire (D) for WA Gov. over Rossi (R). Now, with 873,000 votes counted, she's up 50-47. Patty Murray (D) creaming George Nethercutt (R) in WA U.S. Senate race. 51-46 for (R) Dave Reichert over (D) Dave Ross, U.S. House, Dist 8 (Jennifer Dunn-R, retiring). Good chunk of votes in, they're not saying what percentage, but trending Reichert (R).

UPDATE 11, 9:51 PM, PST: A link to my post just now at Red State. FL goes to Bush, OH not done yet but Bush holding a 2-3 point lead, with 83 percent of precincts counted.

UPDATE 12, 10:02 PM, PST. WA GOV. race tighter now, Gregoire 49.6, Rossi 48.3. Bush takes OH, has 269 EVs, it's all but done.

UPDATE 13, 11:21 PST. Put a fork in I-83, the Seattle Monorail recall initiative. It's being rejected by 63% of the voters, with 89% of precincts reporting. Seattle liberals are good for something, after all. Viva The Seattle Monorail. Coming Soon: Regional Monorail...? YeahBaby. Tax me, tax me.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 04:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


November 01, 2004

Election Eve Nuggets

In Osama's latest videotape, he seems to be specifically threatening states that go for Bush. More from World Magazine's blog. Let's see what MSM dares do with this Tuesday. It's news and oughta be front page all over, but it'll get shuffled to the bottom of the deck most places because it could seriously help Bush capture some swing states. Us Amurikins just don't cotton to that Jihadist Gangsta sh**.

Dave Pell at Electablog forecasts a decisive Kerry victory.

If Kerry does win "reasonably fair" and "reasonably square," Bob Hayes at the Bush-friendly blog, Let's Try Freedom, says he'll take it like a man. That means accepting that the victor is our nation's legitimate leader; your president and mine. Disagree on policy and politics, yes. Issue partisan gibes even. But don't, Hayes says, lapse into the mindset of the Clinton-haters and the Bush-haters who attacked the right of the President to hold office. That's good advice for angry Ds who'll badly need to turn over a new leaf should Bush win re-election. Or even if he doesn't.

Speaking of angry Ds........

Jim Treacher's spitting mad, and has 10 reasons he's voting against Bush, at Opinion Journal. Satire alert - #9 is, "Two words: You. Are. Dumb." Hat tip to Fraters Libertas.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at 07:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack