Category Archives: 2006 Midterms

Economic populism, from perhaps a surprising place.


Class Struggle: American workers have a chance to be heard.

BY JIM WEBB
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

The most important–and unfortunately the least debated–issue in politics today is our society’s steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.

The most important–and unfortunately the least debated–issue in politics today is our society’s steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes.
[...]
Mr. Webb is the Democratic senator-elect from Virginia.

Very much worth reading the rest. I am very much (and very positively!) surprised to see this coming from Senator-elect Webb, who as you may recall was in Reagan’s cabinet… I’d assumed he was going to be one of the more conservative new Senators. Instead, it looks like he’s going to be one to watch in a very good way: we need more folks in Washington willing to talk about class issues and our economic problems in an honest manner. (former) Senator Edwards brought these issues up in the 2004 presidential campaign but for the most part they seem to be forgotten in all of the other hot-button debates whether on the so-called “war on terror” or on “values.”

via DailyKos, part of their coverage of why the meme that “the new Democrats are conservative” is a myth.

(fixed blockquote in the wrong place bad line break)

“And I for one welcome our new insect overlords”

First, I am incredibly psyched on the national victories. House? Check, and at a greater margin that I would have expected. Senate? Technically still up in the air, but looking very positive.

Second, California sucks less than I thought last night. When I last checked before bed, it was looking like Republicans were going to take several key state offices, besides the Governators – in particular the Secretary of State’s. I’m very pleased to see today that the Dem (Bowen) has won that race, as well as a couple of others.

California still sucks, the CA Democratic party included – I can’t believe that our primary choices were both the worst of Sacramento machine pols, and between a DINO wannabe Republican like Westly, or a nearly nebbish moderate like Angelides at that.

At least Arnold (A) will be term-limited out for the 2010 election, and (B) can’t become president. But f___, four more years of the governator? Odds are I’ll be out of California before he’s out of office.

“Hey Stupid That Ain’t News No More:” Senate 2006 Edition

CNN projects tonight that among others, Senators Dick Lugar and Edward (Ted) Kennedy will keep their seats.

Lugar: running with only 3rd-party opposition.
Kennedy: OK, there technically was a Republican running against him, but…

This kind of “news of the obvious” makes watching the returns tonight harder, and some of the “basically inevitable, if not quite so glaringly silly” ones like the election of Sanders or the re-election of Snowe and Byrd

In better news, DailyKos is saying Sherrod Brown will take the Senate seat in Ohio, although CNN has not yet called that race.

Andy’s back!

Via MyDD:

Electoral-Vote.com which preoccupied many of us during the 2004 campaign, has now released their 2006 Senate page. I know I will be checking in a couple of times every day.

It certainly was one of my favorite sites in the run-up to the 2004 election, and it’s run by a well-known computer science professor.

Side note: more content coming, I promise.

“Why he didn’t propose the banning of giant mutant spiders…”

Kos on the SOTU address:

Bush had two BIG initiatives yesterday, it seems — a blue ribbon presidential commission everyone will ignore to produce a report no one will read, and, more dramatically, the banning of that scourge of Western civilization — the human/animal hybrid.

Why he didn’t propose the banning of giant mutant spiders and killer self-aware robots is beyond me. Those are scary fictional crises as well!

(emphasis mine, purely because I love the line.)

Clearly Bush needs to meet Mearls.

“Addicted to oil:” a HUGE credibility gap.

Bush says U.S. addicted to oil

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Bush will say “America is addicted to oil” and must develop technologies to address soaring gasoline prices in a State of the Union speech on Tuesday night that argues against a U.S. retreat from Iraq and the war on terrorism.

Why should we believe that someone an administration which came out of the petroleum/energy industry can or will actually do a damn thing about this supposed addiction? (Especially when it has remained in bed with them through every public bit of “energy policy” since it came to power. And by “administration,” that just doesn’t just mean failed-oilman Bush; remember what Cheney’s background is as well.)

This is by far the funniest thing I’ve seen in the lead-up to SOTU. It’s rather like the head of Phillip Morris saying that the country has a lung-cancer problem.

It’s not a matter of whether you win or lose…

Son, when you participate in sporting events, it’s not whether you win or lose – it’s how drunk you get.
- Homer Simpson

I’ve been approaching today’s state-of-the-union address with some mixture of apprehension and interest; at lunch today, I realized (talking to Marie; it may have been her idea) that the Preznit’s speeches are RIPE for a drinking game, and that there probably already was one. Well, sure enough, I get back to my desk and hit Google and there there are quite a number of “Bush’s speeches” drinking games, as well as a number of State-of-the-Union ones.

Two stood out:
* First, there is a serious attempt at a college-style drinking game*†
* Second, purely satirical version by Will Durst, which he has done for at least some past years.

† the same guy did ones for 2002-2004; the 2005 version was at the current URL had to be dug up on the Wayback Machine

I may print and try the first one tonight. We’ll see, and if I do, we’ll see how drunk I get.

Also worth noting
Arianna Huffington: State of the Union 2006: Make Your Party Plans Now
archibaldtuttle on Daily Kos diaries: The State of the Union Drinking Game Party!
And the intriguing but more general HuffPost Presidential Speech Drinking Game!