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Blockhead Tim Russert just declared that the missing explosives in Iraq -- the ones the Bush Administration never showed the slightest concern about securing -- are, in fact, WMD's. And then he told Bob Kerrey that Saddam Hussein himself was a terrorist because he funded "homocide bombers" in Palestine. Homocide bombers? Even Fox doesn't call them that anymore, you fucking idiot. The Kool Kids are getting scared.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Politics ... Permalink




OK, we're two and a half days away from the polls being closed, so it's time to talk predictions. Firstly, the Presidential race.

Electoral College
Kerry/Edwards: 313 (All the Gore states plus FL, OH, CO and NH)
Bush/Cheney: 224 (All the other states)
Other: 1 (A Republican elector from WV has said he won't vote for Bush)
* Colorado's ballot initiative to proportionally divvy up its electoral votes will fail, giving all nine to Kerry/Edwards.

Popular Vote
Kerry/Edwards: 51%
Bush/Cheney: 47.5%
Other: 1.5% (Less than 1% for Nader, about 0.5% for Badnarik)
Total turnout: 120,000,000

Perhaps most importantly, I predict that the media will collectively call the election on November 2 (or very, very early on November 3) for the man who will eventually be sworn in on January 20. There will be no protracted legal battle.

And some general thoughts on the next Congress:

109th Congress - Senate
Democrats: 51 (pick-ups in IL, CO, OK, KY and AK)
Republicans: 48 (pick-ups in GA, SC)
Other: 1 (Jim Jeffords (I-VT) caucuses with the Democrats)
* If John Kerry becomes president, MA will hold a special election to replace him in the Senate. Ties in the Senate are broken by the sitting Vice-President, as President of the Senate

109th Congress - House of Representatives
Democrats: 209
Republicans: 225
Other: 1 (Bernie Sanders (I-VT) caucuses with the Democrats)
* Unlike the other categories, I didn't put much thought into the House predictions, simply because it's impossible for an amateur observer to have a good sense of how these many, disparate races are going to pan out. The four pick-ups I predict for the Democrats are based on a general sense of how the entire country views the two parties at the moment.

Because of Louisiana's strange primary system, we probably won't know the final numbers for the 109th Congress on November 2. In LA, an open primary is held on general election day. If a candidate gets 50% or better, he or she is declared the winner; if not, the top two finishers enter a run-off election on December 4. This likely will not affect the power balance in the House, but could conceivably decide into whose hands the Senate will fall.

Your thoughts?

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Politics ... Permalink




We rallied for Kerry and the Democrats with 100,000 people today. It was the largest event in the history of Madison. When I saw Kerry last month he looked weary; today he was a confident closer, a consummate prosecutor bringing his case to a victorious end. It wasn't quite a victory lap, but it also wasn't not a victory lap. He knows and we know that we're about to save this country.

[UPDATE: To see this amazing sight from the other end, check out this 1MB photo from johnkerry.com.]

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Politics ... Permalink




...one to go. Boston rising, bitches.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Sporting Events ... Permalink



Hi, this is Emily. Yup, that's my name right over there on the side of the page under "In the Web." Click on it and it will take you to a magical land of recycling. Well, not really. But it will take you to where you can see my crafts made of recycled materials. Here, cut and paste it:


If you like that and you live in the Milwaukee, Wi area come and see me at Art vs. Craft (www.flyingfishgallery.com) on Friday, November 5 from 6-11pm and Saturday November 6 from 11-6pm at Turner Hall 1034 N. 4th St. I'll be selling all sorts of goodies that I made from recycled materials...old bathrobes, broken beer bottles, mirrors, etc. You know you have to buy a million people presents for x-mas. I know you have to buy a million presents for x-mas. So, please please please don't wait until the last minute. Shop early and come buy them from me!

(How's that for plain and simple marketing?)

posted by
Emily Says ... Permalink




The new Eminem video, for "Mosh" (streaming Quicktime link), is maybe the best anti-Bush and GOTV statement I've seen all year, and I say that as somebody who loathed most of the anti-war music that was quickly released online last year. This video is something else, and I suspect the high-point in animation production with Flash. The song's a little long, but if this gets significant play on MTV, expect Bush's already low support among 18-25 year olds to plummet. [Via Daily Kos.]

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Music ... Politics ... Permalink ...
Comments (2)




Those watching the ALCS have just witnessed one of the most boneheaded managerial decisions in baseball's recent memory. Pedro Martinez, the most overrated pitcher in the history of the major leagues, is in the midst of blowing an unprecendented comeback, and if he doesn't get it together, expect Terry Francona to be run out of Boston on a rail.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Sporting Events ... Permalink ...
Comments (1)



Amy Sullivan questions whether George Bush is really such a Christian after all:

Both supporters and critics of the president point to his stirring religious rhetoric as proof of his faith--whether they believe his religious convictions are reassuring or disturbing. And yet those often eloquent and powerful words come from the pen of his head speechwriter, Wheaton College graduate Mike Gerson, not necessarily from Bush's inner soul.

She puts forth a brief but compelling case that I'm not prepared to pass a judgment on; I will ask a tangential question, though. Can Bush's alcohol-fueled mid-life conversion really be called a "conversion?" This is the man who, in his younger days, famously had an argument with his mother over whether Jews get into Heaven -- he said they didn't. No one disputes the Christian bonafides of Poppy and Barbara, nor that young George was raised as a good, fire-breathing Methodist. So why should we consider what he did later to be a conversion when it appears that what he really did was stop fucking around so much?

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Politics ... Permalink ...
Comments (1)




The first BCS rankings of the year have come out, and the sports writers are pissed, as usual. Oklahoma's #2 in both the coaches and writers poll, but they're #3 in the BCS. Horror! Outrage! Lowly Utah is #4 in the BCS. How dare they!

The BCS rankings are based on three things -- the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, the AP writers poll and an average of six computer-based polls. The first of those -- the coaches and writers -- are polls where people vote on who's the best team. This differs from every other sport in the entire world, in that the winner is decided by ballot; it's actually more of an election than a sport. (It should be noted, in fact, that there's no such thing as the NCAA Division I-A football championship, there are just the trophies that the operators of those two polls give away.) The six computer-based polls are decided based on things like win/loss record, opponents' win/loss record, total point differential, etc.

There are two camps about why this violates something sacrosanct. Some believe that we never needed anything other than the electoral system. There's no need to field a championship game, they protested, when we can simply vote on who's best. The great thing about this system is that teams could continue to float by on last year's reputation forever. Another year, another preseason poll with Notre Dame in the top five. On the other side are those who demand nothing short of a March Madness-style playoff system. Decide it on the field, they howl!

Look, everyone who enjoys sports in any way understands that a playoff would be best, but that's not going to happen in the foreseeable future. And voting for who the champion should be is just stupid -- just ask the 1994 Penn State team. The fact is, the BCS is the best compromise we can get right now. The computer polls dull the tendency of human voters to undervalue west coast teams, small conference teams and Cinderella teams, while overvaluing last year's big guns. And in fact, there has yet to be a major conference team go undefeated in the regular season and not get invited to the BCS championship game. That's just as it should be -- you win all your games, you're the champion. There was a "split" championship last year -- that is, the polls elected different teams champion -- when nobody was undefeated and three teams finished with one loss. Everybody blamed the BCS for this. People, please. The BCS didn't do that, the big moneymen behind the bowl system did that. Obviously a playoff system is better, but that's not happening. Deal with it and be glad we not just leaving it all up to Craig James and his fevered ego anymore.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Sporting Events ... Permalink ...
Comments (2)




The Republican Party is calling registered Democrats in West Virginia and telling them that they're not eligible to vote:

In a letter, Berkeley County clerk John Smalls cites calls from a cell phone were made to Eastern Panhandle democrats telling them that they were not registered to vote. The letter also said the calls informed democrats in some cases they wouldn`t be able to vote on Election Day.

John Ott is the top election official in Jefferson County. "This is an improper act and they should notify the proper authorities," he said.

It`s considered an improper act because when upset citizens called the voter registration office to make sure they were registered to vote, indeed they were. So, who made these misleading calls? The Berkeley County Clerk`s Office traced the number voters gave as the source back to the Eastern Panhandle Republican Headquarters.


Republican spokesperson Mary Diamond said the calls may have been an unfortunate part of a larger goal.

"The purpose of the calls is to make sure everyone is registered to vote. If they are, then great. That`s exactly what we need. The point is to make sure they are registered. Everyone needs to be registered to vote in this election, it`s as simple as that," said Diamond.

Sources inside West Virginia`s Republican Party said the calls aren`t made along party lines and the misinformation may have just been an oversight.

This is why they hate us. No, wait, this is why I hate us.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Politics ... Permalink




I've been hearing a lot from people about how my column seems to have gone missing from etchouse. Well, here's the thing: etchouse.com isn't exactly itself anymore, in case you haven't noticed. So, I've been thinking about what I needed to do to still get information out to you, my loyal readers. I would like to couch this whole thing in stories about how I've been doing all sorts of research and attending seminars on how better to dispense my sooth to the masses, but it'd be a blatant lie.

The truth is, I've been getting laid.

Click to read more

posted by
Sophie Says Sooth ... Permalink




My laptop's hard drive appears to have died, so everything's on hold for the moment. I don't know why it is that my computer equipment keeps dying, but I do know I'm a little worried about the old desktop machine's monitor at this point. I'll be trying a mysterious "tilt the computer to 30 degrees" method when I get home, otherwise all hope is lost.

posted by Aaron S. Veenstra
Administration ... Permalink




Fantasy X.

Ding dong.

This guy tells me he is from Colorado, so being my stereotyping self, I ask,

�Oh, do you like outdoor activities?�

�Of course. But what are you into?� he replies. So I reel off a few things: oral sex, anal sex, group sex, waiting for a response and a clue as to what he wants to talk about. Oh, he�s interested in oral sex and we start talking about it. Which, as it does in the non-phone world too, leads to sex.

He says he likes to get really nasty. After 7 months of phone sex, I�ve noticed that my callers that use the word �nasty� are usually looking for some kind of excrement involved in our �sex.�

Click to read more

posted by
My 69 Cents Worth ... Permalink