More on Predicting the Election

Smirking Chimp Thread

talhazelden concludes that the Democratic candidate must be leading by at least 2.7% in the polls to clinch the election. I'd like to see that number a little bit higher, just so problems like Florida 2000 can't throw the election to the loser again.

Frist's Office Denies Tampering With Online Poll

Yahoo! News - Senate Leader Learns Lesson in Online Activism

The story says they denies "high-tech ballot rigging". What else can you call flipping questions back and forth to suit your desired answers? Senator Frist, we have screenshots! You lie and you lie!

Ding Dong, Roy Moore is Out

Court Orders Alabama's Chief Justice Removed from Bench

War Liberal's got full coverage, plus a couple of predictions: talk radio's the best bet for Moore, or maybe a Fox News post. My personal bet is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. He wouldn't stand out as such a looney there.

Bill Frist's Office Changes Poll Question on Site After Closing Poll!

Trouble in Texas

Sean says it all right here, with screenshots. It's despicable.

As Bill Frist's judicial slumber party took off in Washington, his official website sponsored a poll about the situation. But in a stunning display of pettiness, they solicited votes for one question, and then displayed the results under a different question.

The first question was this: Should the Senate minority block the body's Constitutional duty to provide the President's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?

Those in favor of the judicial nominees being blocked would have voted No, although they would have been wrong to do so. I would say that the minority has a Constitutional duty to take their "advice and consent" on such matters seriously. On several of Bush's deficient nominees, the minority has done so.

This is their Constitutional privilege, and denying them the power of filibuster strikes at the heart of the Constitution. Bill Frist's shameful power play should sober all Tennesseans as to the character of our representative.

When the poll closed after 106,285 votes, the Yes category led over the No category 54% to 46%. It's sad that around 50,000 people would deny a seminal Constitutional right to the minority party in the Senate, but there it was. But Frist's office had a plan.

They changed the question when reporting the poll numbers!

Now the question reads: Should the Senate perform its Constitutional duty to provide the President's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?

The question is clearly different, and now misleads about the real nature of the poll.

The poll, of course, was not scientific; it was done to promote the slumber party around the Internet. Liberal and conservative surfers alike will inform their friends about such polls and try to overwhelm the other side. It's a cybernetic tug-of-war.

But for Frist's office to play these kind of memory-hole games with the facts is beneath contempt. What ickle toady-toads they are...

Republicans Continue Obstinate Holdup of Senate Business

Yahoo! News - Senate Begins Around-The-Clock Debate on Judges

After this marathon fails to work, Bill Frist and other Republican congressional leaders will hold their breath until they turn blue.

Republicans also had cots placed in a room named for the legendary Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who in 1957 held the floor himself for a still-record nonstop 24 hours and 18 minutes in opposing a civil rights bill.
Honoring such an act should be a mark of shame for these people, but they just don't get it.

Still, I hope the Democrats are taking notes. If the Repubs can be this stick-in-the-mud about the Three Stooges, then they have no room to criticize anyone who won't get over the theft of Election 2000.

McDonald's McAngst over McJob in the Dictionary

BBC NEWS | Americas | McDonald's anger over McJob entry

McAngst: a misplaced and shallow focus of concern over a regretable situation.

McDonald's is upset that their "low prestige, low dignity, low-benefit, no future jobs" have inspired a neologism spoken enough to be printed in a collegiate dictionary, but they're not so upset that they're going to McDo anything about the actual jobs. That might affect the McBottom Line. No, they're just hoping to make the citation McAmScray.

Don't we deserve a McFreaking Break, already?

McPS: McDonald's letter deploring the dictionary citation cites some statistics that they believe to support their McCase.

Over a thousand people have moved up from the McJobs to management, which goes to show that the McJobs aren't dead-end. But then the letter states that the establishment has 12 million current employees, which when combined with past employees, must dwarf that "over a thousand" figure by five or six orders of magnitude.

Evidently, when looking at a empty glass with a water stain, McDonald's believes the glass to be McFull.

New Feature: Get Notified When I Actually Update the Site!

Yahoo! Group: boloboffingroup

By joining this group at Yahoo!Groups, you can receive an email whenever I update this site. I believe there's even an option to get a daily digest, so that if I update a lot in a day, you'd only get one email for the day.

Of course, it would be easier to xml me, but if you don't have a news aggregator, then the Yahoo! group is the best way to get me.

The Struggle to Expose Bush's Failures of Intelligence Continues: Memogate Be Damned

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has been examining the use of intelligence by senior administration officials in the Bush White House. It was digging into the stovepiping of intelligence by "the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Secretary Bolton's office at the State Department". This was being pulled along by the Democratic members of the committee, but it had the cooperation of the majority chairman, Pat Roberts (R-KS).

No longer. Bill Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, has pulled the plug on the committee. The reason? A memo to the SSCI minority leader, John Rockefeller IV (D-WV) was stolen from his office. This memo outlined an plan for getting any evidence of "improper or questionable conduct by administration officials" into the public eye. It states its concern for operating within established guidelines for committee members, but the subject matter is clearly a weak spot for the Bush Administration. Since Frist knows just who to thank for his current leadership role in the Senate, the political battle lines have been drawn on the issue of Bolton's stovepipe.

The plan in the memo was to use Roberts' cooperation as far as it would go, then attach dissenting opinions that could be supported by the evidence to the final reports. This might have been enough to reopen the call for an independent investigation. Now Roberts will be completely uncooperative whenever the committee is allowed to reconvene.

It is therefore crucial that the Democratic members of the SSCI stick to their guns and work to dissent as strongly as possible from the final report. It appears that Rockefeller is doing just that:

After discussions with Roberts, the majority leader said that "the committee's review is nearly complete" and "we have jointly determined the committee can and will complete its review this year."

"They can't do that," Rockefeller said, noting that hundreds of pages of requested documents have recently been promised by the State Department and Pentagon and more interviews have been scheduled.

In addition, he noted that the final report from David Kay, who heads the CIA's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, has not been completed. "What can we say about prewar intelligence without Kay's report?" Rockefeller asked.
Clearly Frist has put the kibosh on any further examination of the White House's handling of intelligence, and Roberts has agreed to this. His previous cooperation must, therefore, be the first item of dissent for the minority members.

Before he was strongarmed by the administration and its allies, Roberts agreed that the stovepiping was a proper subject for the committee's inquiry, and signed off on further requests for documents from the State Department and the Pentagon. Here's Roberts' stated perception of his role from his own Congressional website:
"As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, my job is to ensure that our Intelligence Community has the ability to protect the nation from threats at home and abroad. It is my goal to see that our intelligence agencies have cutting edge collection capabilities and perform accurate analysis of intelligence information so that we can win the war on terrorism."

Pat Roberts
Senator Roberts, this administration bypassed the efforts of the Intelligence Community to accurate analyze the intelligence information, interfering with their ability to protect the nation from threats at home and abroad. Their efforts to collect and accurately analyze intelligence information was tossed aside by an administration bent on war. Have you now joined them in this dereliction of duty?

What about the requested documents and interviews that will now not be considered or even reviewed or conducted by the SSCI? This should be the second item of dissent. There is more work to be done, and this committee is not being allowed to do it. When the stovepipe was put into place, the people behind it became a part of the Intelligence Community, and thus fell under the jurisdiction of the SSCI's inquiries:
Created pursuant to S.Res. 400, 94th Congress: to oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government, and to submit to the Senate appropriate proposals for legislation and report to the Senate concerning such intelligence activities and programs. In carrying out this purpose, the Select Committee on Intelligence shall make every effort to assure that the appropriate departments and agencies of the United States provide informed and timely intelligence necessary for the executive and legislative branches to make sound decisions affecting the security and vital interests of the Nation. It is further the purpose of this resolution to provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Jurisdiction of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
When this administration bypassed the appropriate departments for analysis of intelligence, it fell into the jurisdiction of the SSCI.

Finally, the independent investigation must be called for immediately following the release of the report that Frist will manhandle out of the committee by year's end. It should be a bipartisan goal to see that our government doesn't act recklessly with biased and false information when the lives of our young men and women are on the line. Frist's stifling of appropriate inquiry by the SSCI shows just how political this fight for the truth has become, and the only recourse, barring the SCCI continuing its investigations unimpeded, is to have an independent investigation free from political influences.

As Mark 4:22 says: "Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open." Today, it's the stolen memo. Tomorrow, it will be the failings of the Bush administration. That is, if the nation's wounds ever stand a chance at being healed.

Smirking Chimp Regular: Prediction of Election Via Statistics

The Smirking Chimp

The poster's name is talhazelden, and there's some mighty impressive work at the thread. This is the chart that's stunning:

Electoral Votes Trending To Republicans

tal says that it's not all bad news, though. Many states are in play, and the real question for the Democratic party is this: what candidate can swing 41 electoral votes away from Bush? If we can keep the blue states and swing the weakest four red states away (Michigan, Arkansas, New Jersey, and Missouri), the election belongs to the Democratic Party.

It's also heartening to see Tennessee (the home state of your humble hobbit correspondant) is the sixth weakest red state. Can the trend be reversed? We'll see...