Friday, October 27, 2006

He Hate Me

11 Days To Go

I've been waiting to make my official election prediction until I felt sure. We've all been burned too many times before. This time, I'm sure.

I'm making predictions on the exact number of seats I think we'll pick up as well as a standard deviation estimate for those of you that want a more nuanced version. Remember math scholars, there's a 68% (~2/3) chance the actual results will fall within one S.D. and a 95% chance the results will fall within two S.D.'s.

Needed For Democratic Takeover: +6

My Prediction: +5
(OH, PA, MT, RI, and MO)

Standard Deviation: +/-1
One Standard Deviation (4 to 6 seats)
-1: Lose Missouri or New Jersey
+1: Win Virginia or Tennessee

Two Standard Deviations (3 to 7 seats)
-2: Lose Missouri and New Jersey
+2: Win Virginia and Tennessee

Ohio (Brown (Dem) over DeWine), Pennsylvania (Casey (Dem) over Santorum), Montana (Tester (Dem) over Burns), and, of course, Rhode Island (Whitehouse (Dem) over Chafee) gives us 4 of the 6 seats we need.

Assuming we hold New Jersey (Menendez (Dem) over Kean, Jr), we would have to win 2 of the following 3 states to take the senate: Missouri (McCaskill (Dem) v. Talent), Tennessee (Ford (Dem) v. Corker), and Virginia (Webb (Dem) v. Allen). The Michael J. Fox/Rush Limbaugh feud should push McCaskill over the top in Missouri. That's five.

The Webb/Allen and Ford/Corker race won't be determined by Iraq, Katrina, Health Care, Bush, Foley or any other "major issue." These are referendums on race in America. Can Allen get away with "Macaca" and allegedly sticking a decapitated deer's head in a black family's mailbox? Can Ford survive the jungle music and "has sex with white women" ads run against him? I think the answers are yes to Allen and no to Ford.

Prove me wrong White America. Prove me wrong.

Needed For Democratic Takeover: +15

My Prediction: +21
Abbreviations are state and district number (i.e. Patrick Kennedy is RI-01)
(AZ-08, CO-07, CT-02, CT-04, FL-16, IN-02, IN-08, IN-09, KS-02, NC-11, NM-01, NY-24, NY-29, OH-15, OH-18, PA-06, PA-07, PA-10, TX-22, WA-08 and WI-08 are Dem pickups. No Republican pickups.)

Standard Deviation: +/-4
One Standard Deviation (17 to 25 seats)
-4: All of the above minus KS-02, OH-18, WA-08, and IN-09
+4: All of the above plus OH-01, OH-02, NY-26, FL-22

Two Standard Deviations (13 to 29 seats)
-8: All of the above minus KS-02, OH-18, WA-08,
IN-09, CT-04, PA-10, FL-16, and PA-06
+8: All of the above plus OH-01, OH-02, NY-26, FL-22, KY-04, IL-06, VA-02, and NH-02
Alright this is where I make my money, here we go:
I won't go through all of these races but here are a few to watch.
Arizona-08: As I detailed previously, the crazy Republican won his primary so this one is essentially a freebie.

Colorado-07: This is the seat where Republican Radical Rick is running. He wants to mandate that high school kids control the border and called Social Security un-American.

Florida-16: This is Mark Foley's former seat. Though he's (obviously) not running again, his name must remain on the ballot. That means his Republican replacement (Joe Negron) has to get people to vote for Foley on the ballot to vote for him. Freebie #2.

Ohio-15: At a 17 Thayer St. party a girl came up to me and said her mom was running for Congress. Her mom is Mary Jo Kilroy, the Democratic challenger. Her mom's gonna get elected.

Penn-07: The FBI just raided the Republican incumbent (Curt Weldon)'s house. This is also the guy that wanted to take a secret trip to Iraq to find the weapons of mass destruction.

Penn-10: The Republican incumbent (Don Sherwood) actually had to run a campaign commercial apologizing for cheating on his wife but denying that he choked his mistress.

Texas-22: Tom DeLay's old seat. DeLay's name can't be replaced on the ballot so the Republicans will have to write in their candidate. If the name was Dan Smith, that would be hard. The name is Shelley Sekula Gibbs. Freebie #3.

So basically, we may not be the Harlem Globetrotters but we're running against the Washington Generals.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


into the...printosphere?

a quick note: you should look at a copy of "fast company" - the one that's out now. then turn to the column called "best blogs" where another blog of mine is called "savvy - if occasionally academic."

i don't know how they've managed to miss the good ol' IG though.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

He Hate Me

20 Days Left

On November 7th, the Democrats will re-take the House of Representatives (thanks in large part to The Joy Padgett Page, The (Deborah) Pryce Is Not Right, The Truth About Charles Taylor, Radical Rick O'Donnell, and Rubber Stamps Jim Gerlach and Dave Reichert).

On November 15th, I get fired.

On November 19th (or so), the "Republicans Hate Me" tour begins with a stop-off in Cleveland for turkey and sweet potato pudding.

On November 30th (or so), the tour continues with my triumphant return to Brown University.

On December 12th (or so), I will depart Providence for a pilgrammage to the home of our new leader (Speaker-elect Pelosi), San Francisco.

Plan accordingly.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

He Hate Me

The Final Countdown

There are 33 days until the 2006 election.

That means there are about 67 days until I make my (hopefully) triumphant return to Brown to relive my long-lost college days. Since I've been gone*, I have been keeping up with the goings-ons primarily through the BDH. Reading this article yesterday made me particular Brown-sick:
The life and times of a Jo's employee

JWU students tell all about late-night dining

"...[A Jo's employee] added: "Some of these Brown students are complete wackos... And some are assholes, but you know what, they make the job fun."

Each cook eagerly imparted numerous stories about encounters with Brown students while on the job.

"Last year, a guy walked in (wearing) a penis costume, and he was just running around, and then right after that happened I (saw) two girls kiss and then right after that, the fire alarm went off," Robinson said. "Just like that, in one sequence. It was hilarious." (BDH, 10/2/06)

I remember that night fondly. Not surprisingly, the guy wearing the penis costume was one of Eddie's pledges.

From what I can tell, these are the top developments since we've graduated:
And now, just other things that entertain me:
  • From the Asheville, North Carolina Citizen-Times Newspaper:

    credit: Special to the Citizen-Times
    Someone vandalized the Madison County Republican Headquarters on Sunday, authorities said.

    Does anyone think its weird that the Republican Headquarters is a mobile home?

  • Don't even get me started on the Mark Foley scandal. I assume everyone knows by now about the Republican congressman who had to resign after his "inappropriate" IMs and e-mails to high school staffers were exposed. But seriously, read these gems from one of these IMs (Maf54 is Foley, the teen's screen name is redacted):

    [redacted screenname] (7:41:57 PM): ugh tomorrow i have the first day of lacrosse practice
    Maf54 (7:42:27 PM): love to watch that
    Maf54 (7:42:33 PM): those great legs running

    Maf54 (8:08:31 PM): get a ruler and measure it for me
    [redacted screenname] (8:08:38 PM): ive already told you that
    Maf54 (8:08:47 PM): tell me again
    [redacted screenname] (8:08:49 PM): 7 and 1/2
    Maf54 (8:09:04 PM): ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Maf54 (8:09:08 PM): beautiful
    [redacted screenname] (8:09:38 PM): lol
    Maf54 (8:09:44 PM): thats a great size
    [redacted screenname] (8:10:00 PM): thank you
    Maf54 (8:10:22 PM): still stiff
    [redacted screenname] (8:10:28 PM): ya
    Maf54 (8:10:40 PM): take it out
    [redacted screenname] (8:10:54 PM): mom is yelling

    [redacted screenname] (8:16:53 PM): well i better go finish my hw...i just found out from a friend that i have to finish reading and notating a book for AP english

    Believe it or not that's the PG version. That just makes this commercial even more awesome:

    That's bad, Foley's gotta go.

  • I told y'all these squirrels are aggressive and hungry. From MSNBC:
    A squirrel tried to wrestle a muffin away from a 4 year old boy by biting and scratching him... as many as six people have been attacked by these squirrels in Mountainview California parks...
    First Uncrustables, then the world.

  • And finally from the makers of Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games presents... Table Tennis (seriously). From the site:
    "Experience the unmatched intensity of the real-life sport with an authentic physics engine and intuitive gameplay that mimics the exhilirating experience found in true international competition."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On this, the evening of Trot Nixon's (possible) final appearance in a Red Sox uniform, I will cave in to Nathan's demands and post a blog entry.

As many of you already know, I live on the third floor of a row house in West Philly. I have large windows which overlook my crampt and densely populated street, so I often feel as if I'm in Rear Window. (I never feel as if I'm in a Laura Mulvey essay, for which I am grateful.) My roommate is a dancer, and about three weeks ago the New York Times published a photo of him hanging upside down in a harness. I'm playing roller hockey for the University of Pennsylvania club team, which among other things allows me to experience -- at some distance -- the intense fratmospheric pressure of Penn. I spend my weekdays dealing with difficult authors who've never heard of TIFFs or dpi. And that's about it.

To make up for my absence from the Grouse, I thought I'd list the five best books I read from June through September:

- Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes (Vintage)
Broadly focused Marxist history of the "short" 20th century which manages to be honest about the failures of communism while arguing forcefully for its historical importance.

- George Gissing, New Grub Street (Penguin)
Unfairly regarded as second-tier Victorian literature; populated by late Victorian London's literary underachievers and inflected with insightful, if unsubtle, social commentary.

- David Blackbourn, The Conquest of Nature (Norton)
Fascinating history of the many campaigns to alter the German landscape.

- Kevin McLaughlin, Paperwork (Penn)
Concise, sometimes daunting display of intelligence and sheer etymological knowledge.

- Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl (Chicago)
Argues that urban sprawl, rather than being demonized and regulated, should be appreciated as an inevitable consequence of the economic maturity of Western cities. More an "important" book than a good one, but still well worth reading.

Paperwork will appeal mostly to those who have haunted McLaughlin's office hours or have otherwise obsessed over him, but the other four are highly recommended. Also, the worst book I read in the last four months was Chris Ott's book on Unknown Pleasures for Continuum's 33 1/3 series.