Is the 2006 cake baked?

A mostly political Weblog.
Sept. 8 2006 4:40 AM

Cake Not Baked

Sprezzatura spoken here!

Max Blumenthal's piece on the right-wing network behind The Path to 9/11  will go right into the press kits of David Horowitz and the conservative Liberty Film Foundation. (Who knew their blog was "heavily trafficked"! Donors will be pleased.)  ... P.S.: I assume Blumenthal's right and Path, even with edits, isn't at all a neutral look at pre-9/11 anti-terrorist efforts. Still, are you worried about an "emerging network of right-wing people burrowing into the film industry with ulterior sectarian politican and religious agendas"? Maybe I'm complacent about the threat, but isn't that a little like worrying about the growing anti-Zionist foothold at The New Republic? If you put Hollywoods's entire network of right wing people in David Horowitz's living room, you wouldn't have much trouble getting to the hors d'oeuvre tray. If you tried to put Hollywood's network of left wing people in the Los Angeles Convention Center, the fire marshal would close it down. ... 11:23 P.M.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Early Punditry Is Not Like Yeast! RT Strategies is robocalling voters in 30 contested House races. Highly useful chart here  and double-clickable map here. ... Bizarrely, the pollsters don't add up the results anywhere on the site yet, but RT partner "R" emails to give the upshot [boldface added]:

We conducted 27 polls so far with 3 more underway. 

Completed so far (27): 22 with Republicans, 5 with Democrats.  Only 1 of 5 Democrats look to be in any trouble at all, so the magic number for the D's remains 15 or 16 at the worst.

In the 22 Republican-held districts, R's are trailing in 10 districts (significantly behind in 5, marginally behind in 5), are in a dead-heat tie in 5, marginally ahead in 2, significantly ahead in 5.

In sum:

Democrats have a pretty solid +5D, and maybe at best a total of +13D (including districts leaning toward D take-over and the 3 districts not yet polled that are probably disasters for the R's).

Not enough! ...

Therefore, the whole question of House majority may come down to whether Dems can win 2 or 3 of the following 5 races that are currently (in the Majority Watch poll) a dead-heat statistical tie:  ...  CO-07, KY-04, NM-01, IL-06, WA-08.

Doesn't sound like a baked cake, does it?  ... Update: Yes, there are other races, not robopolled by RT, in which the Dems could pick up some seats. "When we selected the races for the project last July, it was a stretch to find 30 truly competitive races.  Now there are more," says RT partner R. ** That in itself is bad news for the GOP. Still! ... RT claims it has the "top 20 targets" in its initial list of 30. And if the Dems aren't convincingly ahead in enough of those races now to pick up 15 seats, doesn't it seem like the GOPs have a chance? ... P.S.: Does this cake look baked? ...

**--A list of the 20 next-most-vulnerable seats might include:

GA-08*  Redistricted Jim Marshall  (D)
GA-12*  Redistricted John Barrow  (D)
TX-22* Redistricted Tom DeLay (R)
AZ-05 J.D. Hayworth (R)
CA-11 Richard Pembo (R)
CT-05 Nancy Johnson (R)
FL-09 OPEN (Michael Bilirakis(R))
KY-02 Ron Lewis (R)
KY-03 Anne Northrup (R)
NH-01 Jeb Bradley (R)
NH-02 Charlie Bass (R)
NJ-07 Mike Ferguson (R)
NV-02 OPEN (Jim Gibbons(R))
NY-20 John Sweeney (R)
NY-25 James Walsh (R)
NY-29 Randy Kuhl (R)
OH-01 Steve Chabot (R)
OH-13 OPEN (Sherrod Brown(R))
OH-15 Deborah Pryce (R)
PA-07 Curt Weldon (R)

According to the NYT's not-cocoonish but not-quite-convincing front-pager--which relies on an "emerging consensus of political analysts"--you can start to scratch the three New York states off that second-tier list. More precisely, the Dems would probably only take them in a wave so big it would also show up as a decisive tilt in RT's initial list of 30 contested races.. ... 2:03 A.M.

Michael Crowley says there are too gated communities  in Northern Virginia. Yet the fanciest houses seem to be just huge houses, with their own grounds and gates. That's different! (They haven't privatized public space.)  Still, I concede that the whole area--like so many other places--has become richer and more pretentiously mansionized than what I thought it was when I criticized David Sirota. ...  1:58 A.M.

Note to self: Sure-fire catch phrases to work into text wherever possible: "Sprezzatura" ... "This cake is baked"  ..."below genre norms." ... "stuff it with wow!"... 1:55 A.M.

Do Sock Puppets have a Reptilian Core? Bloggingheads' Salute to Lee Siegel, at 1.5X speed. ... Update: But this is much funnier. ...  1:54 A.M.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

"Only the Republicans Can Stop Bush!" Bruce Reed seems to feel that my proposed campaign message for the House GOPs--that they're the only thing standing in the way of the Congress passing Bush's misguided immigration plan--is perverse. I would remind him of the 1996 election, when a certain Democrat campaigned (in part) with the argument that he would repeal the nastier provisions of the welfare reform bill that he himself (after Reed's lobbying) had just signed into law--a message parodied on one L.A. bumper sticker as

ONLY CLINTON CAN UNDO WHAT HE HAS DONE!

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Perverse, but accurate! (Clinton won, and he did get the nastiest provisions removed.) If Clinton can successfully campaign against himself, Hastert can campaign against Bush. ..9:53 P.M.

Not So Fast: Captain Ed notes that the NYT's lead front-page story of Tuesday, reporting

G.O.P. Sets Aside Work on Immigration

turns out to have been a bit off. Work may have stopped on the "comprehensive" Senate-style bill, but only in the NYT's world is the Senate bill synonymous with immigration reform. The Washington Times says

Top Republicans are planning a series of tough new border-security measures that they hope can get through the Senate, which in the past has opposed border-security legislation unless it has included a guest-worker program and grants citizenship rights to the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens already here.

TODAY IN SLATE

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