Thursday, October 21, 2004

Recent News Roundup

Some items from today's web browsing:

We learn via about the Bush campaign's response to Pat Robertson's claim that Bush was as certain as "a contented Christian with four aces" that there would be no American casualties in Iraq.

From Amy Sullivan at Washington Monthly's Political Animal: It's a truism in American political circles that Bush is deeply faithful. But, judged by his actions rather than his words, Ayelish McGarvey of the American Prospect says, "Bush is no devout evangelical. In fact, he may not be a Christian at all." Says McGarvey: "Ironically for a man who once famously named Jesus as his favorite political philosopher during a campaign debate, it is remarkably difficult to pinpoint a single instance wherein Christian teaching has won out over partisan politics in the Bush White House." Most politics these days--Dem and Rep--is driven by a corrosive ends-justify-the-means attitude, but the Republicans have taken this to new extremes (see below).

Also, if you've not seen it already, it's worth reading Ron Suskind's NY Times Magazine article on the Bush administration's disdain for the 'reality-based community.'

(get your predictions in now!)

With the election less than two weeks away, obsessive poll-watchers are hungry for more information. More! MORE! With that in mind, provides a good set of electoral college update pages. Looks pretty good for Kerry right now, I think.

For more cheery polls, see Donkey Rising.

Looking at the low numbers for Bush, his approval ratings mired in the mid-40s, the growing number of conservatives (even blood relatives) leaving his ranks, and the large increases in Democratic voter registrations and almost manic get-out-the-vote campaigns, my prediction is that Bush barely breaks 47% in the popular vote on Nov. 2, and that Kerry wins both Florida and Ohio to trounce the incumbent in the electoral college. On a contrary note, though, see this Economist article how the well-run Republican party dominates the Democratic "adhocracy." (Way off base if you ask me. Though the Dems are relatively disorganized, we'll see how well-run the Reps are as they tear each other to pieces after Bush loses. Or even, perhaps, if he wins.)

Many times during this political season, I have read the news of both campaigns and thought, 'hell, I could do a better job than that.' If you have too, tells us that the Christian Science Monitor is offering a downloadable simulation game where you can play campaign manager. (Alas, we Mac users are left out of the fun again--someone will have to tell me how the game goes.) Politicalwire also mentions a couple of other politics games, in case you're interested.

How might the Republicans do better than my prediction? By cheating, that's how. Efforts are currently underway via various legal and illegal methods to keep Dems from voting. In his Guardian column, DailyKos author Markos Moulitsas offers a handy summary of some of these nefarious dealings, and a collection of websites tracking the latest developments: "There are several clearing houses of voter suppression and fraud online, like the Voter Registration Fraud Clearinghouse and Vote Watch 2004."

Some fraudsters are already receiving their just desserts. Politicalwire delivers this item from the Rocky Mountain News: A Colorado Republican "stealing campaign signs late one night got nabbed when he ran across a low-hanging driveway chain, fell face first onto a pilfered sign and the concrete and knocked himself unconscious."Randall Wagner, 50, was trying to steal a sign for congressional candidate Dave Thomas and "had signs for other Democratic candidates in his Toyota pickup."

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