Boxer v. Fiorina?

Have you heard? Carly Fiorina is "seriously considering" trying to unseat Barbara Boxer. Although Boxer seems pretty safe, this one sets off my spider sense. Stay tuned...


In other news, the Bee's editorial tomorrow will call for an end to term limits. I am totally down with that. Here's why:
  • In a truly free democratic process, the people should have the right to elect whosoever they deem fit to govern. If it is their will to put an 8-year-old in office, so be it. Legislation that inhibits the will of the people is always iffy. Placing constraints on their electoral will is outright disenfranchisement.
  • There's a truism that goes, "Everyone hates Congress and loves their Congressman." That's because approval polls ask voters what they think about a body in which they have only a marginal bit of say. Obviously, everyone dislikes a body that forces their man in the Capitol to compromise.
  • People deserve the elected officials they (don't) vote for. Today, the practical barriers to voter participation are primarily socio-economic, such as work hours or transit limitations. The real barriers to participation, however, are cultural - folks just don't feel the need to vote - and not voting is acquiescence to the eventual winner's mandate. It is the people's responsibility to remove lousy officials. If they fail to do so, that's their fault.
Sadly, voters sometimes vote against their own interests. It is frustrating to be in an electoral minority, especially in our winner-takes-all system and when you are committed to the propriety of what or who you vote for. Nevertheless, if we truly believe in the correctness of our positions, we should be unafraid to debate openly and vigorously with other citizens who disagree.

Infringing your opponents' rights is an immoral act of tyranny against yourself.

Nevada is Terrible

I know this is really a gag, so I don't want to make hay out of it. However, Kansas State geographers mapped the seven deadly sins in Nevada, and seem to have gone to great lengths to do so.

It's noteworthy that I got this article from the top of the Las Vegas Sun Website. Outsiders (usually Midwesterners) occasionally try to elucidate the terribleness of the Silver State, and it often just amuses Nevadans. I have yet to successfully explain to a non-Westerner why it is not weird to live in a state with legal prostitution, or 24-hour drinking, or cocktail waitresses in swimsuits.

An explanation of the AIG clusterf**k

Some guy on MSNBC offered this take on the AIG crisis:
Sometime last fall a terrible virus killed every public relations professional in the financial sector.
That seems like the only reasonable explanation to me.

Lost & Found: one LuvGuv

(How did I only read about this on Sunday afternoon‽
This is what happens when you don't keep up with the assigned reading, people!

Sometime Friday or maybe Saturday, the LuvGuv went missing.

You read that correctly: America's Worst Governor (not that johnny-come-lately Blagojevich) went AWOL this weekend. Anjeanette, as usual, has the scoop.
Gov. Jim Gibbons is out of state, although both his spokesman Dan Burns and deputy chief of staff Mendy Elliott said they don't know where he is.
But don't worry. An hour later, Anjeanette assures us that everything's under control.
Gov. Jim Gibbons' chief of staff Josh Hicks said the governor is in California on "personal business" and will be back sometime over the weekend.
Whew! Dodged a bullet there, America.

If this were a different Western state with a trustworthy and competent governor, y'know, like Utah, then maybe this wouldn't be so... unsettling? Whatever his reasons, the LuvGuv had better get back to Carson City soon; he has a primary challenger.

Meet Mike Montandon, Republican mayor of North Las Vegas. He has a Flash Website and a bitchin' logo.


To summarize:
The governor of Nevada skipped town without telling anyone, including his own staff. He's going to get primaried by the Mayor of Nor'Town. Nevada is totally awesome. The end.

Steele and the progressive GOP

Tent op kamp, originally uploaded by florisla.

Thanks to the Man of Steele's off-the-cuff comment to GQ, we now know that he is what one acquaintance called a PCR – pro-choice Republican. This has resulted in the expected backlash.

But also folks are talking about how this may be the first skirmish in a battle to re-establish the GOP's progressive tradition. (The Republican Party, after all, was formed in part by abolitionists.)

It's in the interest of better understanding that possible return-to-progressivism that I draw your attention to former Republican Congressman Jim Leach's comments on Politico,

Yes, this is all about the most overused metaphor in Republican politics – the tent. At issue is not only how big it is but how many doors it has.

The pillars of Goldwater’s tent were decidedly of an individual rights, individual initiative nature. They were not considered strong or compassionate enough to hold a majority of the American people, at least at the time. The tent therefore got broadened [...]

[H]owever, as these new entrants came in the front door, traditional “country club” Republicans who had been comfortable with Taft, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Ford, and the gentler sides of Reagan and G.H.W. Bush began walking out the back of the tent. They – doctors, lawyers, business leaders – found their values and their leadership challenged.

To adapt a phrase from another Titan of the GOP,

"The Republican Party is not a big tent. You don't just dump stuff in it.
It's a series of doors!"

In all seriousness, my reason for bringing this up is to warn the earnest liberals out there. I'm still not certain that they are aware that 2010 will be a tough year. I'm even less certain that they are prepared to take on Republican opponents who have re-discovered their progressive heritage. It could get messy.

It seems to me that the primary difference between progressive Democrats and progressive Republicans is the unions vs. corporations debate. Maybe that deserves its own post, but I don't think it's a debate Dems automatically win...

Listen to the bear

While you're at it, please go check out the rest of what's on offer at Dewey Defeats Tarzan. You won't regret it!

Of Inappropriate Nicknames

Look over here everyone! My friend and yours, known Reagan fetishist Tom McClintock is just plain hatin' on Charlie Brown. Not to worry. Neil Pople's representin' like a gangsta should.

Tom, meanwhile, is frontin'. There are torrid rumors flying around Washington that this guy is what's known as a "Congress-man." I have yet to see any evidence to support this claim, but you know how tongues get to wagging.

What really matters is the question of a proper nickname for Tom. I'm partial to "McClinty," because I like pretending that public officials are 19th-century Irish immigrant hoodlums. "Squinty" falls in that category as well, and has the added effect of poking fun at his physical appearance.

Please leave your preference or suggestions in the comments. Don't be shy.

NV/DC connections!

Whoa, hey there Senator Ensign! You're the one puttin' gun amendments on the D.C. Voting Rights bill? DCist has the skinny.

Best comment, though comes from brookieDC:

Why doesn't someone attach an amendment to this bill that would outlaw gambling in Nevada? It would seem only fair.


Like reading my own thoughts

As an appropriate follow-up to the previous post, FiveThirtyEight published this short manifesto on Republicans' use of the word "Democrat" when "Democratic" is grammatically correct. Please read it; it's good.

This is an issue that's been tumbling around in my head for some time and, as usual, FiveThirtyEight expresses my own opinions better than I ever could. Damn you, Sean Quinn!

(As a technical aside, I think the genesis of the problem is that republican is both an adjective and a noun, while democrat is only a noun. The morphologies don't jive – so we force them. In the words of my German professor, "Das ist Unsinn.")