What Will Happen On Election Day

October 27, 2010

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Although I’m not much of a rah-rah political person, I do enjoy following things from an analytical viewpoint.  Here are my thoughts on what will happen on election day and beyond.

Christine O’Donnell will lose the race for the Senate in Delaware and return to her coven.  (That’s a joke – I don’t really think she is a witch).  There is some speculation that she may also cost the GOP the Pennsylvania race.  The logic is that O’Donnell has been quite visible in the Philadelphia market (grab a map, for those who aren’t familiar with the area) and that Democrats may be playing a winning game by saying that Pat Toomey is another Tea Party candidate … with the implied message that Toomey = O’Donnell.  It’s possible that this is not the reason that Joe Sestak has been making up substantial ground … Evan, any thoughts?

Marco Rubio leads a three way race in the Florida Senate race.  Former governor Charlie Crist is in the race as an independent.  You’d think Crist would be in a unique position to paint his opponents (Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek) as being the anti-Crist  …

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid continues his battle royale with Sharron Angle.  The compact nature of Nevada’s media market make it fairly inexpensive to run ads that reach a high percentage of constituents.  A loss by Reid would force the Democrats to choose a new leader.

In Alaska, incumbent Lisa Murkowski (a Republican) is running as an independent and has been polling roughly even with GOP candidate  Joe Miller (with both candidates comfortable ahead of Democrat Scott McAdams).  With Alaska lagging several hours behind Iowa,  I’ll be going to bed about the time the polls close up north.  At some point in the evening, the number of write-in votes that were cast (i.e. that someone marked the circle for write-in) will be known … but not who they were cast for.  If the write-in totals are high enough to put the winner in doubt, then the write-in votes will be tallied – and wrangled over in court.  The Democrats will probably laugh all the way to the bank, as they see Republicans spend millions of dollars deciding which conservative should represent Alaska.

In South Carolina, Republican Jim DeMint will score a decisive win over Democrate Alvin Greene.  Greene scored a stunning victory in the Democratic primary, despite having done negligible campaigning – leading to some accusations of fraud.  Greene was later indicted on a felony obscenity charge.  The real question to me – why didn’t another Democrat jump into the race and make it a three way contest?  As it stands, Greene is getting roughly 20% support in the polls.

In the governor’s races, Jerry Brown is starting to distance himself from former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who has spent around $150 million (wow!) of her own money into her campaign.  Whitman’s campaign has been sidetracked by the revelation that she once employed an illegal alien as a made (and the allegations that the Whitman family were aware of this and did nothing). 

In Illinois, my former landlord (Bill Brady) is running a close race with incumbent Pat Quinn, who got his gig when Blago was forced out in the midst of a corruption scandal.  I don’t know Brady personally. but we had (legal) free cable when his management company got the rent checks, and had to pay for cable when another company replaced them.  Sure, it was only $17 (around 2000) and only a couple dozen channels, but nonetheless was a pretty sweet deal.

What do I see happening on the grand scale?  I see the GOP taking back the House and the Democrats probably retaining  slim majority in the Senate – quite possibly 51-49.  I also see the end of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s tenure on the Supreme Court.  Ginsburg doesn’t want to be replaced by a conservative, and will likely retire while Obama is still choosing justices rather than risk dying in office and having President Palin choose her replacement.  What’s one likely characteristic of the Justice that will replace Ginsburg?  Youth.

Speaking of Ginsburg … time for a bit of trivia. Whom did she replace on the Supreme Court?  Byron “Whizzer” White, the former NFL star.  White took the term student-athlete to the highest level – leading the NFL in rushing in 1938 and 1940 being awarded two bronze stars for his service in World War II – and then embarking upon a legal career which took him to the peak of his profession.  You may agree or disagree with his opinions, but it’s hard to argue that he didn’t live an amazing life.  Whizzer died in 2002 at the age of 84.

Forget Gold – Invest in Blago!

August 23, 2010

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Editorial notes: I hope that you read everything in The Soap Boxers, but if you are only interested in politics or fiction, we’re now providing RSS feeds of just those categories.  You can choose to receive just the articles from The Political Observers (Squeaky, Zarberg, The Crunchy Conservative, and The Angry Squirrel) or just the original fiction that appears in Fiction Friday.  Go to the Subscribe page for more details. 

I’ve tweaked the looked and feel of the site a bit.  The author pages, search results page, and a few other pages have been modified so that they look more like the main page.  Previously, they just displayed rather plain-looking excerpts.  I finally found the nefarious code that was interfering with my HTML tables.  Consequently, the tables will now have some padding around the text.  Hooray!

And now on to today’s article …

Rod Blagojevich, former Illinois Governor and reality television star, as well as recently minted convicted felon, was a star attraction at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con over the weekend.  In what I can only describe as “the investment opportunity of the century”, attendees could get Blago’s autograph for a mere $50 and could pose with the former governor for just $80.  The smart investor knows that the window of opportunity for these investments is quickly closing – especially for the photos.  Before long, it’s going to be difficult to pose for a photo with Blago without making a trip to a prison.  By the end of the year, I expect these autographs to be selling for … well, whatever the going rate is for kindling in December.

I can understand that Blago had his fans when running for governor, and that many of his backers wouldn’t immediately desert him when allegations started unfolding.  However, we have clearly reached the point where it would be prudent to jump ship.  In this country, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  However, the evidence really does seem to be stacked against Blago.  I could understand people proclaiming his innocence if the case rested merely on testimony from witnesses – witnesses have been known to lie on occasion.  That’s not the situation, though.  The prosecution has audio tapes of Blago plotting his various schemes.  It seems rather unlikely that he’s a victim in this case.

I collect sports memorabilia, so it would be hypocritical for me to criticize someone for paying for an autograph of a politician.  If politics is your thing, go crazy and buy some autographs … but perhaps you’d want to set the bar a bit higher?  You could probably get the autograph of a non-felon governor for less.  Seriously, look at this from an analytical perspective – do you really think your autograph will be worth more than $50 in ten, twenty, or thirty years?

The ego of Blago never fails to astound me.  Certainly every successful politician has a relatively large ego.  Even the most humble governor still feels that they are the best person to govern an entire state.  Blago takes this to another level entirely.  While many in his situation would hunker down with lawyers to plot a strategy, Blago has been making every effort to ensure that his name stays in the limelight.  He has been on two reality shows and has made the rounds with talk show hosts, including Oprah Winfrey.  Now, this latest appearance, in an obvious money grab?  Whenever I think that my opinion of Blago has reached an all-time low, he grabs a shovel and keep digging.  Bear in mind that I’m not a Republican bashing a Democrat.  I’m a somewhat left-leaning unaffiliated voter bashing a buffoon.  Neither party holds a monopoly on idiocy – there seems to be plenty to go around.

On the positive side, this sort of behavior surely won’t help him when a judge decides his sentence.  I expect a conviction when Blago is re-tried.  Hopefully this means that he’ll be behind bars – and out of the limelight – for a long time.

Blago / Replacing a member of congress

December 12, 2008

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The whole situation with the Illinois governor makes me wonder … when a member of congress leaves his/her seat for a better job (President, Vice President, cabinet, etc) why don’t we simply let them pick their successor?

After all, if I voted for Senator X, I want a person who very closely fits Senator X’s profile to fill that role. Who better to make such a decision that Senator X. If the governor is from the opposing party and selects someone from that party, I might get the exact opposite of Senator X – definitely not what I wanted when I voted.

Of course, there would need to be an exception for situations where a person resigns in disgrace – and a way to split hairs of what is or is not disgrace.