kausfiles Does the Math!

A mostly political Weblog.
Nov. 27 2006 4:35 AM

kf Does the Math!

Plus--Bush's donuts suddenly taste better.

"Analysts say" the failure of incoming Democrats to tackle immigration immediately "carries some risks  ... because restless voters may see the new Congress as having no more boldness or or problem-solving skills than the 'do-nothing Congress' denounced in many political ads this fall." But the Dems will be OK "provided something is done before the next election, these observers said," writes WaPo's Charles Babington. [Emphasis added.] Unfortunately no analysts or observers are quoted saying any of these things. ... Hey, I've got analysts too! Many analysts say that "analysts say" pieces are the laziest form of journalism, because the "analysts" usually just happen to say what the journalist himself would say if the rules of journalism permitted him to do so without putting the opinions in the mouths of "analysts." Meanwhile, analysts who might say something else get ignored. But at least "analysts say" pieces, analysts say, should quote some analysts saying the things the analysts are supposed to have said. Otherwise the impression is overhwelming that the journalist who wrote the thing is just spouting off.  According to observers. 2:23 A.M.

Now They Tell Us--Tasty Donuts, Part II: With the midterm election safely in the past, the NYT's Robert Pear reveals that the Bush administration delegated the task of saving the Medicare drug plan to ... a competent civil servant, Abby Block:

She solved many problems that plagued the program in its first weeks, when low-income people were often overcharged and some were turned away from drugstores without getting their medications. By September, according to several market research firms, three-fourths of the people receiving drug coverage through Medicare said they were satisfied.

P.S.: The Bushies can't have been so stupid as to only peddle this story now ... can they? This looks more like a source-greaser for Pear. But wouldn't the grease have been as slick a month ago? (Maybe not. Third possibility: Block isn't such a nonpartisan civil servant--and Pear's repeat attempts to describe her as apolitical are the giveaway. Maybe she didn't want to be greased a month ago, when it would have helped the GOPS.) ... 1:09 A.M.

Even the liberal Stephen Kaus thinks Alcee Hastings should be disqualified from heading the House Intelligence Committee. He notes that Hastings, in his recent letter,

believes it is sufficient to state that, "[s]o that complaint [of judicial misconduct] led to the remaining events that are so convoluted, voluminous, complex, and mundane that it would boggle the mind."

I recognize this argument. It is the one a defense attorney makes for a hopelessly guilty client.

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12:55 A.M.

Charlie Cook has done the math: I figured Charlie Cook and Amy "Wahine" Walter had been right about Democratic mid-term "wave" until I read Cook's gloating post-mortem:

So when the national popular vote, according to figures compiled by Rhodes Cook for the Pew Research Center, went 52 percent for Democrats, 46 percent for Republicans, and 2 percent for others, no one should have been shocked.

Do the math: ...[snip] ...  When the 6-point Democratic popular vote win is measured against the GOP's 5-point win in 2002 and its 3-point win in 2004, it clearly constituted a wave.

Wow. So in 2002, a humdrum, non-wave election, the GOP won by 5 points. But this year, in a "wave election that rivaled the 1994 tsunami," the Dems won by 6 points.  See? No wave: 5. Wave: 6! Cook has a powerful way of putting things. ... Note to file: Cook also admits that "over the years" the generic congressional preference poll "has tended to tilt about 5 points too much in the Democrats' favor." ... [Thks to reader M.]12:23 A.M.

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