October 31, 2010

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 "Days Gone Bye"
— Russ from Winterset

I just got done watching the premiere of AMC's new Zombie Miniseries "The Walking Dead", and I am NOT disappointed.

I'm not familiar with the source material, but when I heard that Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption") was going to be the director I figured that it would be worth watching. After sitting through the 90 minute premiere, I'm looking forward to the next episode in the six-episode run.

Since some of you probably missed this episode, I'm not going to go into the whole plot, but I am going to address some nitpicky little details I have with the premiere in the extended entry. Not really what I'd call "spoilers" since the trailers have pretty well covered all the high points, but you might want to skip the next part if you want to experience it for the first time in a later airing. more...

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at 07:43 PM | Comments (159)
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A Little More Eeyorism (Which I Mention Just To Make Sure You Vote)
— Ace

I began wondering tonight if polls were overstating Republican support.

Polls generally understate Republican support, of course, to the tune of 3-4 points. But not always.

In Nate Silver's cover-your-ass column explaining that Republicans could gain a lot more than the 50 or so seats he's predicting (worth reading for the Democratic Doomsday Scenario laid out in the beginning, and that's not even a real CAC-level doomsday scenario), he mentions this:

If Republicans tend to overperform expectations in some races, they will probably also overperform in many, most, or maybe even almost all races. The same holds true for Democrats. (The most recent time something like this occurred was 1998, when polls underestimated the standing of Democrats by 4-5 points nationwide and in almost all individual races.)

I've been thinking like this: Why do polls usually include too many Democrats? Because people don't want to answer political questions if they're Republicans, as they know their answers will tend to be disfavored -- that is, they'd rather keep those answer to themselves.

This would tend to explain the 1998 aberration in which Democrats, rather than Republicans, polled more poorly than their ultimate performance. Consider that in 1998, people decided, yes, Bill Clinton had perjured himself, not once but several times, and obstructed justice. But they had also decided to give him a pass on serial lawbreaking because the economy was too good and vote for Democrats (in an effort to stop impeachment).

Some people might feel ashamed to take that position, putting, as it did, filthy lucre ahead of principle and legality -- and in that case, they might have decided their answers were the disfavored ones, and thus avoided pollsters, resulting in Republican support being overstated.

In most years, one can imagine liberals are more eager to talk with pollsters, as they expect a Scooby Snack, as it were, for mouthing the socially-favored answer. This might account for the persistent understating of conservatism's popularity.

But this year, conservatives might be so eager to proclaim their political views, and liberals so sheepish about it (their god is exposed as a weakling charlatan) that the typical situation is reversed, as was the case in 1998, and polls overstate rather than understate conservative strength, and understate rather than overstate liberal strength.

Even if this eeyore speculation is true, it wouldn't mean the GOP is in for a bad night -- just that they'd be in for a very good night rather than an epochal one. Republicans would still lead by 7-10 or so (which is itself unprecedented or almost so). But it would mean that the lead of 10-15 is overstated.

In addition, if any of this is true, of course it's also true that you can't tack on the typical "and give the Republican 3-4 points to offset polling's traditional understatement of Republican performance" corrective, as you'd really need to correct in the exact opposite way.

So what does this mean?

It means you have to vote. No matter what the polls say, you need to vote, and vote party-line, straight ticket.

Posted by: Ace at 06:05 PM | Comments (197)
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Gallup's Final Generic: +15
— Ace

Based on their models -- that is, how many points of a polling advantage translates into how many seats gained, and subject to the caveat that the safest seats are well gerrymandered to be all but election-proof, Gallup's prediction as to seats... starts at 60 as a floor.

Gallup's historical model suggests that a party needs at least a two-point advantage in the national House vote to win a majority of the 435 seats. The Republicans' current likely voter margin suggests that this scenario is highly probable, making the question of interest this election not whether the GOP will win the majority, but by how much. Taking Gallup's final survey's margin of error into account, the historical model predicts that the Republicans could gain anywhere from 60 seats on up, with gains well beyond that possible.

It should be noted, however, that this year's 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.

BTW, I don't know how much gerrymandering helps you in this situation -- I suspect it actually hurts you. Because those super-Democratic seats are safe, sure, but what about the many others gerrymandered to have "merely" a 60-40 split?

The cobloggers are noting Biden's campaigning tomorrow in Vermont -- Vermont!!! -- and are wondering, well, is Vermont in play?

Senator Elect Len Britton?

Suffice to say if anything like that comes close to happening, Christine O'Donnell should pull it out.

Whoops! The double-post. Dang. A poll so nice I posted it twice.

Well, then, let me give you Drew's advice and suggest you check out page 2 of the report, the demographic breakdowns.

Key stuff: Republicans lead in all areas of the country -- 50-43 in the midwest, 52-44 in the east, 59-38 in the south, and 57-36 in the west. Although GOP candidates fare better in the west and south, those midwest and east leads are nothing to sneeze at -- pretty big leads in the Democrats' safety-school areas.

Men favor Republicans 59-36 -- which is huge -- but the stake in the hear of Democrats is the lead with women, too: 50-44. Again, not as eye-popping a lead, but a good lead nonetheless.

Let me play eeyore for a moment and suggest that part of this lead could be that conservatives and those opposed to Obama (including bitter, clingy Democrats) are really psyched and affirmatively wish to be polled, responding a lot more frequently than their Obama-supporting counterparts.

So... like, vote and stuff. To make sure this happens.


Posted by: Ace at 05:18 PM | Comments (204)
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Honey, I know you get excited for polls that sample more Democrats than what showed up in 2006 or 2008, but really... more...

Posted by: CAC at 05:11 PM | Comments (107)
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First Pitch, Game 4
— Dave in Texas

This is how it's done, President Awesome.

Saddened me a little to see George H.W. Bush looking a little frail, did he have hip surgery and I missed it?

Not looking so good for my Rangers in the top of the 5th, but there's still a game on.

Also, I'll never, ever forget this one.

Twitter, Kim Priestap RT by Darcysport

also, for shits and giggles..

ALSO: as long as we're piling on (via commenter random)

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 05:02 PM | Comments (59)
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Overnight Open Thread
— Maetenloch







Posted by: Maetenloch at 05:01 PM | Comments (457)
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FINAL USAToday/Gallup Generic Poll

Likely Voters, 45% turnout model:

Democrat 40% more...

Posted by: CAC at 04:25 PM | Comments (156)
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PPP: Yep, Democrats Are Done In PA Too. Bonus: A Bit Of Political Halloween Candy
— DrewM

There was little worry about Toomey about 10 days ago. Seems it was just part of a natural but temporary tightening or a MFM attempt to pull their guys over the line.

Either way....

In the Senate race Pat Toomey leads Joe Sestak 51-46 and in the race for Governor Tom Corbett is up 52-45 on Dan Onorato. The story here is an inordinate number of Democrats unhappy with Barack Obama- and voting Republican because of it. The President's approval rating within his own party is only 73% in Pennsylvania, with 21% of Democrats disapproving of him. Those Democrats unhappy with Obama are leaning strongly Republican, planning to vote for Toomey by a 68-23 margin and for Corbett by a 69-25 spread.

What that leads to overall is 15-19% of Democrats voting Republican in these two races. Meanwhile GOP voters are extremely unified, giving each of their nominees 88%. Independents are splitting pretty evenly so it is that party unity advantage that has the GOP candidates in a position to win here.

Since it's Halloween and you've all been so good, here's one more bit of candy....the tears of professional Democratic operatives.

There is nearly uniform consensus among Democratic campaign professionals that the House is gone — the only question, it seems, is how many seats they will lose.

While few will say so on the record for fear of alienating party officials or depressing turnout, every one of nearly a dozen Democratic House consultants and political strategists surveyed expect a GOP majority to be elected Tuesday — the consensus was that Democrats would lose somewhere between 50 and 60 seats.

A senior party consultant who was on the low end with his predictions said the party would lose between 40 and 50 seats. On the high end, one Democratic consultant said losses could number around 70 seats.

All spoke to the grimness of the mood.

“It sucks,” said Dave Beattie, a Florida-based Democratic pollster who is working on a slate of competitive House races and who acknowledges that the lower congressional chamber is lost. “I’m resigned to the fact that it sucks.”

Tasty, so damn tasty.

Added: Kentucky? Say hello to Senator Rand Paul.

Posted by: DrewM at 03:43 PM | Comments (154)
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Report From VA-8: If Enthusiasm Is The Measure, Jim Moran Is Done
— Ace

We went to Murray HQ yesterday and the place was packed with enthusiastic volunteers. The head of the office says it's been like that for over a month. Maybe Jim Moran's time has come.

We were given the names of veterans in the precincts and a door knocking we did go. Many of the vets we spoke to had never heard of Moran's disrespectful statement about military service. I suspect that they'll do their own networking amongst themselves with this new information.

When we came back with our walkbooks the HQ was even MORE crowded with people making calls, compiling information. The place was a hive of activity. I have worked in other campaign offices before, but the level of electricity was more than I'd ever seen.

Nate Silver doesn't even have Jim Moran on his list. I think he ought to.

Drudge teases:

NYT LEAD MONDAY: Both parties see possibility of bigger Republican wins in House than either side was talking about -- even few days ago... Developing...

Posted by: Ace at 02:53 PM | Comments (233)
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Geraghty: Three House Races Move to GOP; I'm Sensing the Super-Wave
— Ace

As you probably know, I am (for myself) defining a real victory as the Super Wave. I know that's expectations-raising and all but that's what I want.

Is it coming? It's hard to say; it would be, as everyone keeps saying, "unprecedented." But our president is pretty unprecedented too, as he keeps informing us; and it was truly unprecedented that a Congress stand united to tell their constituents to Go Fuck Themselves (in all-caps, actually) on a crucial vote in which the public was strongly engaged.

Geraghty notes that some races, which should be safe for Democrats, keep leaning to the GOP. (Including one of the Maine races Slublog highlighted Friday, Dean Scrontas.)

The Loughlin race in Rhode Island for Patrick Kennedy's former seat -- well, I mean the People's Seat; oh you know what I mean -- is one to watch. If Loughlin wins -- and we'll know he's probably going to win when the networks refuse to call it -- the Democrats are in for a truly horrific night.
I like how Sharron Angle puts it.

Oh: This post by Nate Silver is awesome. He organizes the Congressional races by closing time (earliest first) and then by degree of difficulty for the GOP to flip -- upshot is, if at 7:30 ET PM Andy Barr is beating incumbent Chandler, the GOP is looking for at least a 62+ gain night.

If Sean Bielat beats Barney Frank, we're looking at... 111 seats.

But that of course is a big if.



Posted by: Ace at 12:41 PM | Comments (368)
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The Democratic Enthusiasm Gap
— DrewM

A picture is worth several thousand empty seats.

From CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.

DNC says there were 8,000 people at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State Univ. Full capacity is about 13,600.

That's the DNC number. Anyone want to bet 8,000 was a wee bit generous?

Even the NY Times noticed.

Crush their spirits and break their backs.

Posted by: DrewM at 12:15 PM | Comments (81)
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Candace Kita Halloween Interview [dri]
— Open Blogger

Resident hottie Candace Kita dropped by the palatial Ace of Spades HQ executive offices in Beverly Hills for a chat this week. Below is her enlightening interview.


AoSHQ: Do you have any funny Halloween stories to share?

Candace: Long before I was an actor, I was a professional clown named Blueberry Muffin. I actually paid my way through graduate school this way. The only day I felt normal driving in my car with blue hair and a blue face was Halloween.

AoSHQ: That is too funny! What is your funniest clown story as Blueberry Muffin?

Candace: Well, I don't know if it's my funniest, but one weekend I was doing a show out in Malibu. I was on a rather rural road and turned a corner. A man riding a bicycle was heading straight for my car. He was looking behind him at his two sons that were also riding bikes. He turned around and I saw that it was Mel Gibson. He was so shocked to see a blue clown driving a car he fell over into the ditch. I heard one of his sons say, "Get out of the road, Dad!" I was so shocked to see Mel Gibson that I didn't stop and kept going!

Years go by, and I play opposite Mel in a show called "Complete Savages". I play his girlfriend, Misty. I told him the story and said, "Good thing I didn't hit you because then there would be no Braveheart." We both had a good laugh.

UPDATE [Gabe]: There are some photos below that are NSFW in many workplaces. Be advised, if you have a Nazi IT or HR department or just mega-uptight coworkers. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:50 AM | Comments (118)
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CNN Final Generic: Ten Points, 52-42
— Ace

As hunter, outdoosman, and Lyme disease awareness advocate Wellington Winchell Wolf sagely observed, "Gentlemen, let's not start plucking each other's ticks just yet."

But 52-42 is pretty solid, and while I don't eally want to bank on it, I know a lot of people are adding on 5 points to represent typical Republican overperformance at the actual polling places as compared to the polls.

"Six in ten suburban voters say they plan to vote for the Republican candidate for the U.S. House on Tuesday,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “That's not good news for the Democrats since most of the seats in play are in suburban districts."


The survey indicates that 44 percent have a favorable view of the GOP, with 43 percent saying they hold an unfavorable view. Forty-six percent of the country has a favorable view of the Democratic Party compared to 47 percent with an unfavorable view.

Fox News' last poll showed the public split on the GOP -- 44% favorable, 44% unfavorable -- but had Democrats at 42% favorable, 50% unfavorable.

Although previous elections have been wrongly called "permanent realignments," this election will produce one permanent, but limited, realignment: The South will now be almost uniformly red. Democrats have been able to hang on to congressional districts there, and even statewide, based on talking a good game about moderation and being blue-dogs and other such bullshit, and also based on the South's let's-get-over-it-already animus against Lincoln's Republican Party.

That's over. A few Democrats will persist in majority-minority urban districts, and maybe one fluke hold-out, but from now on the South will finally be Republican territory up and down the ballot. The spectacle of so many "Blue Dogs" voting with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama on the stimulus and health care put lie to the idea of a "conservative Democrat."

Posted by: Ace at 11:31 AM | Comments (100)
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Two Last Nights To Be The Wave
I'm Doing My Last Bit Tomorrow Night In Vegas

— Ace

Last push.

I'll be at the Freedom Works Victory Center tomorrow night in Vegas (near the airport), making calls or somethin'. Whatever they want. Probably calls.

The address there is:

Hampton Inn and Suites 6575 South Eastern Ave, Near the airport.

I'll be there 5:30 until 8:30.

The EventBrite sign up is here.

Posted by: Ace at 10:50 AM | Comments (126)
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SNL's "Joe Biden:" We're Gonna Get Our Asses Handed To Us
— Ace

Jason Sudekis' "Joe Biden" is always worth a watch. This is decently funny.

Also worth a watch: Bill Hader as Vincent Price doing another Halloween Special (guests Judy Garland, JFK, and Liberace, of course) and this randomly funny sketch about a lame Vegas lounge duo. SNL goes to this well a lot, these bad entertainment duos, but they keep coming up with decent variations of it.

The Back to the Future screen tests were good too, but they're not posted yet.

Oh, this one about people traumatized by their embarrassing videos going viral is so-so, with one halfway decent laugh at the end, but it's internet-specific, so I guess I should link it.

Posted by: Ace at 10:19 AM | Comments (53)
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Poll: 51% Want Obama Defeated in Primary
— Ace

51% of Democrats, that is. Only 47% want him renominated.

Will he be primaried? Not seriously. Maybe as a protest by either an old DLC type or someone of the open left.

No one can primary Obama because even if you won the nomination you'd lose the general, with the critical bloc of black Democratic voters strongly turned off by it all.

Still, if this sentiment persists, he might take another page from LBJ. "If nominated, I will not run, if elected, I will not serve..."

If we assume, correctly, that Obama is all about adoration and isn't very happy about having the first real job of his life (and first real accountability), the Obama Declares Victory and Goes Home scenario becomes more likely.

He needs an easy gig, like running some kind of foundation or think tank. Something where he can work ten or twelve hours a week, golf with celebrities, and receive adoration of (smaller but more, um, selective) crowds.

Posted by: Ace at 09:54 AM | Comments (127)
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Fox Breaking: 50+ Catholic Parishoners Held Hostage in Church in Iraq By Al Qaeda Gunmen
— Ace

That's all that's been reported so far. I think the end of the combat mission in Iraq isn't quite as ended as advertised.

Posted by: Ace at 09:17 AM | Comments (102)
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NFL Thread
— DrewM

DiT is MIA. I guess he's still celebrating last night's win by the Rangers. Awesome game. 2-0 over the Leafs in Toronto, great goaltending, great...oh, right. Yeah, the other Rangers.


Posted by: DrewM at 09:10 AM | Comments (218)
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Tom Friedman Almost Writes A Good Column But Can't Take It To The Finish
— DrewM

I don't know why but I like picking on Friedman so much. I guess it's because it's like watching a big budget movie that just stinks. You think, "if they let that guy make that movie, maybe someday I can make one. I couldn't do any worse."

Friedman is the kind of guy who often comes so close to making a valid point and then falls just short or his column is just a steaming pile of idiocy because he falls in love with a few stock ideas (China will rule all! The Saudis are the key to Mideast peace!).

Today he turns in one of the former columns. He comes so close to getting the importance of India, why they are a rising power and then... dreck.

India and America are both democracies, a top Indian official explained to me, but emotionally they are now ships passing in the night. Because today the poorest Indian maid believes that if she can just save a few dollars to get her kid English lessons, that kid will have a better life than she does. So she is an optimist. “But the guy in Kansas,” he added, “who today is enjoying a better life than that maid, is worried that he can’t pass it on to his kids. So he’s a pessimist.”

Yes, when America lapses into a bad mood, everyone notices. After asking for an explanation of the Tea Party’s politics, Gupta remarked: “We have moved away from a politics of grievance to a politics of aspiration. Where is the American dream? Where is the optimism?”

Wait, what? A column on India's surge on the global stage ends with a shot at the tea party? And of course it misses the reality of the tea party movement by about as much as possible (nothing new for Tom).

Sorry Tom but you beloved Obama is the one saying the America will have to do with less in the future, appointed anti-prosperity advisers and implemented economy killing policies to ensure he was right.

The tea party is about empowering individuals to do all the wonderful things that mother India dreams for her kids too. We used to do that here (and honestly, still do) but decades of reckless government spending and borrowing (by both parties) has reached the end of the line. We either pull back now and rebuild or we try give up hope, suck out the last few drops from the bottle and ride it out to hell.

Yes, there is a lot of anger from the tea party and Americans in general but it's because something has been stolen from them, something very important...the ability to organize our lives with the minimum amount of government support and control. When you lose something of value and want it back from those who took it, anger is an appropriate response.

Anger isn't the opposite of optimism, in fact they can be quite complimentary. If you are angry that your future isn't bright but that if things change it can be, that's healthly anger. The anger of the tea party isn't of paralyzing frustration but is motivational and at it's core optimistic that things are set back to right, the future will be bright.

As for the rest of the column, I really wish Friedman and other China lovers would pay more attention to India. Yes, they are an economic competitor but they are the kind we can deal with and they simply don't pose the security/military threat China does. We should be working with them as much as possible. Free nations tend to find ways to do things that benefit them equally in economic terms. With China, all economic opportunities are filtered through and distorted by the larger security concerns.

In the long run, I think India is a better bet over China. Economic and political freedom are messy (and lord knows Tom hates messy) but they are the only proven winners over the long term.

The tea party wants to restore economic liberty to this country. What could be more optimistic than that?

Posted by: DrewM at 08:00 AM | Comments (135)
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Alaska Reporters Plotting To Sting Miller Campaign With Made Up Stories? UPDATE: TV Station Responds
— DrewM

A brief recap of the Alaska Senate race to date:

-Insurgent candidate backed by national tea party organizations and national conservative super star, who just happens to be from the same state, defeats entrenched Republican hack in primary. (Check!)

-Entrenched Republican hack Senator refuses to accept the judgment of her party and flirts with running on minor party line. When that fails, she launches long shot write-in campaign. (Check!)

-Insurgent candidate's security staff gets into fracas with editor of online political website. (Check!)

-State Supreme Court invents new rules to help long time incumbent to bitterly cling to her long shot hopes. (Check!)

-The race can't get any more bizarre. (Check!)

Big Journalism has the recording and transcript of a voicemail accidentally left on a Miller campaign staffer's phone from a reporter for the Anchorage CBS-TV affiliate. In the conversation reporters (possibly including the station's news director and assignment editor) discuss trying to identify sex offenders at a Miller event and using social media outlets to announce that "Joe Miller punched at rally".

Palin is, um, pissed.

Corrupt bastards. CBS/media plot against Joe Miller before our Anchorage rally Thurs Kinda'what I've put up w for 2 yrs

No comment so far from the station or the reporters propagandists involved. I'm sure they will say, "hey just joking! Don't you wingnuts have a sense of humor?"

Funny one guys! You know just like when MurCOKEski had a talk radio host thrown off the air for supporting Miller and criticizing Her Royal Cokeness.

I know some of you will say the idea of an "objective media" is a joke in itself but I would disagree. The MFM are objective...objectively hyper-liberal partisans.

UPDATE: Monty sends along the station's confir-denial...Yeah, it's us but it's not what you think it is. more...

Posted by: DrewM at 05:56 AM | Comments (351)
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