The threat Nate Silver’s mathematical models offer to traditional punditry, with its emphasis on the horse race and the personalities and the media ratings, is quite real. How do we know? So many pundits hate Silver with the heat of a thousand suns.
And these are political pundits we are talking about here, people. Political pundits have absolutely no accountability to anyone. The idea that Silver could be discredited if he is wrong next week is hilarious coming from, say, David Brooks.
..[SL] If you don’t want to reward Politico’s trolling with your hard-earned links, Elle Reeve has a good roundup of more people who think Silver is a fraud because everyone knows that if a coin comes up heads twice in a row this proves that math is invalid.
My contempt for Tom Friedman is without limit. But he nails this column like Luther and a church door. At least until the point where he brings up Michael Bloomberg. But I’m going to focus on this part, which is actually good.
In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.” I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as “pro-life.”
“Pro-life” can mean only one thing: “respect for the sanctity of life.” And there is no way that respect for the sanctity life can mean we are obligated to protect every fertilized egg in a woman’s ovary, no matter how that egg got fertilized, but we are not obligated to protect every living person from being shot with a concealed automatic weapon. I have no respect for someone who relies on voodoo science to declare that a woman’s body can distinguish a “legitimate” rape, but then declares — when 99 percent of all climate scientists conclude that climate change poses a danger to the sanctity of all life on the planet — that global warming is just a hoax.
I actually have a certain amount of intellectual respect (although I completely disagree with the point) for the fetus as life position. I can see the point in theory. But of course it is always about controlling women’s bodies and punishing them for sex. It’s not “pro-life” at all.
As I’ve said repeatedly through this election cycle, big national elections are not the primary vehicle for change in this country, nor should they be the singular focus of progressives. It’s my contention that the real change in electoral politics happens on the local level. Like conservatives who began organizing in their cities and counties in the late 1950s and early 1960s and then took over the Republican Party, progressives need to do the same for the Democratic Party. Avoid vanity third party campaigns and instead turn local elections into organizing campaigns for social change.
Thus, I read this Elise Foley piece with great interest. Last year in Phoenix, undocumented Americans who wanted to make change within the political system decided to dedicate themselves to help a Latino firefighter named Danny Valenzuela run for City Council. Calling themselves “Team Awesome,” they organized the district for a year and got him elected. Latino turnout rose 486% from the previous election.
This is how to do it.
The Arizona Democratic Party is trying to build upon this today to elect Richard Carmona to the Senate. Not surprisingly, that and the growing Latino power of Arizona is the real point of the article. But I think the more interesting question is the relationship between organizing and progressive politics on the local level.
Those undocumented Americans who organized to elect Valenzuela to the City Council have created more positive change than the entirety of third party presidential runs since World War II.
I was sure that Mark Judge had the stupidest sports column of the year wrapped up for his Bryce Harper, Conservative Hero piece. But the Howler clearly wants to up the ante. And thus we have Matt Lewis arguing that conservatives should root for Detroit over San Francisco in the World Series. That conservatives hate San Francisco is no surprise. The glory of this is in why Detroit is really a good conservative city:
Detroit has real people who work hard for their money and cherish their jobs. Detroit loves hockey. Detroit loves to buy American. Detroiters like their boats and their beers. You do not ask to see the wine list in the bars around Comerica Park. Pabst Blue Ribbon, please. Tall boys.
Awesome. Conservatives are happy to let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt, but they have no shame in talking about how Detroit is where real Americans live. Conservatives want to outsource every American job to China, but they love American-buying Detroit residents. And tall boys, well hell, we all know that’s a metaphor for Detroit residents having large penises.
This is also great:
After all, the Auto union member and the hippie/feminist/gay rights activist (take your pick) would kill one another — if they ever met.
Oh right. You mean the last UAW members who you conservatives have tried to destroy? Does that include, say, the friends of Michael Moore? Do they want to beat up feminists and hippies? Or is Lewis stereotyping unions? I’m sure he’s a big fan of Walter Reuther and the social/racial justice programs of the UAW in its heyday so I’m sure we all know the answer…..
In the end, the Bryce Harper piece is actually worse than this. But this is pretty bad.
If there’s one thing we can say about the Saudi government, it’s that their commitment to subtlety is unmatched except by the Russians.
At least when Mexico decided to build that monstrosity of a church with the conveyor belt to see the original Virgin of Guadalupe image, they didn’t tear down the original cathedral. Ugh.
…..In other historic preservation news, the Times has done a really admirable job lobbying to save this Frank Lloyd Wright house in Phoenix from destruction. I mean, who knew there was anything worthwhile to see in that giant scab upon the desert?
Sorry to intervene in our round the clock coverage of why 3rd parties are silly to ask a personal question.
I am supposed to give a talk at Macalester College in Minnesota on Thursday. One slight problem–the gigantic hurricane/nor’easter/Hades’ fury/apocalypse that is going to hit on Tuesday, when I am supposed to fly out. Even better, I am connecting in Philadelphia which looks like might it get the brunt of this.
Should I call US Air now and try to get them to reschedule me? I can fly out Wednesday and still make the talk, for whatever that’s worth. What travel options do I have? Does it help to try and deal with this early? Obviously I don’t want to get charged for changing my reservation. Thoughts?
Figure some of you are a lot more experienced with this sort of thing than I am.
And now back to noting that people who say that there’s no substantive difference between Obama and Romney are not to be taken seriously.
….Thanks to the beneficent corporate overlords at US Air, I was able to move my flight to Sunday at no charge. Minnesotans’ right to hear me pontificate about logging unions cannot be denied!
I’m impressed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s bluster about arresting international election monitors coming to his state to observe the upcoming presidential election. I’m not sure what actual law such monitors would be breaking. But then, it’s not like Texas has ever needed people actually breaking the law to arrest, imprison, and execute them. Although it certainly helps if they are not white. ‘
But hey, this is a good way for us to get to know our next Texas governor, so that’s exciting or something.
Ever since Mike Elk broke the story about the Koch Brothers intimidating Georgia Pacific mill workers in Oregon to vote for Mitt Romney, we’ve seen a tidal wave of corporate overloads trying to influence their workers’ votes. Just in last 24 hours, I’ve seen a number of stories.
Here’s Jack DeWitt, CEO of Request Foods which owns, among other things, Campbell’s soup, sending a letter to his workers urging them to vote for Romney, despite receiving $5.5 million in stimulus money.
Here’s David Siegel, owner of the nation’s largest house, threatening to fire his employees if Obama gets reelected.
Here’s the letter the Cintas Corporation send to its employees urging them to vote for Romney to overturn such evils as Obamacare and the EPA.
Mike White, owner of Rite-Hite, based out of Milwaukee, warned his workers of the “personal consequences” they would face if Obama was reelected.
David Graham has an interesting piece up about the legal ramifications of all of this–which boils down to the fact that there’s not much anyone can do about it unless the employer directly threatens workers with their jobs if Obama is reelected. But it’s clear that there’s a coordinated attempt going on by emboldened employers to badger workers into voting for Republicans–or at the very least to not talk at the workplace about voting for Democrats.
Obviously former Mossad director Efraim Halevy is a self-hating Jew like the large majority of American Jews who vote for the Democrats. Otherwise why would he write an op-ed for the Times exposing the truth that Democrats have traditionally been greater friends of the Israeli state than Republicans. I don’t think the true Jew-lovers in this country–Pat Robertson let’s say–are going to approve of this.