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Contemporary Politics

Sarah Palin Did Not Cost McCain The Election

Originally posted at The Texas Blue.

Now that the McCain/Palin ticket found the bottom of the downward spiral to an electoral defeat of Mondale proportions, journalists, campaign operatives, and others looking to make names for themselves are all sagely pointing the finger of blame at Sarah Palin. Granted, she made things easier; I will enjoy few things more than seeing her consigned to the Dan Quayle Institute of Forgotten Novelty Candidates. One thing that she did not do, however, was cost the Republicans the election.

They voted GOP because their incomes were at stake

The New York Times offers an interesting map of the only counties in the country to vote more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004. Obviously, these voters were concerned about preserving the integrity of their multi-billion dollar estates and incomes. It couldn't have been anything to do with race.


An Hypothesis on Why Palin's Cosmetologist Was Paid So Much

Originally posted at The Texas Blue.

I wanted to introduce this post with a riddle, but the punchline was too juicy not to use in the subject heading. The New York Times decided to go through the FEC reports from McCain/Palin 2008 and see what they could find. Highlights:

Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night.

Ms. Strozzi, who was nominated for an Emmy award for her makeup work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?”, was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October alone, according to the records. The campaign categorized Ms. Strozzi’s payment as “Personnel Svc/Equipment."


Liveblogging the VP debate

Give 'em hell, Harry!

Think Progress caught the highlights.

Harry Reid is awesome. Nancy Pelosi is awesome. Chuck Schumer is awesome. Patrick Murphy is awesome. Okay, look, basically, all Democrats are awesome.


What changed, St. John?

What changed, St. John? Oh, got it. A Democrat was president in '94, but a Republican is president now.


This is exactly how he looks to independents and Democrats

What Republicans who think that Rudy Giuliani's ostensible social liberalism can attract Democrats or Independents, you really forget what he looks like when the 9/11 varnish begins to fade.

Here's a reminder.

No way this guy wins a general, all things the same.


A whole new meaning...

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "[Candidate X] is hot..."


Go, Go, Go, Rahmbo!

So earlier, I wrote about Rahm just stepping up and punching back at our beloved Veep, and I'm still amused by it. I found video, however, of Republicans scurrying around and trying to cover up Darth Cheney's imbroglio.

1. So here's Rahm discussing his amendment:

2. Here's Minority Whip Roy Blunt trying to rebut:

Here are the problems with Blunt's rebuttal.

a. While everyone in the Congress, the country and the rest of the world may know which branch of government hosts Darth Cheney, he, apparently, does not. It was Cheney who claimed that he's a special snowflake, at large branch of government without portfolio. (Think Fuzors!) So having Blunt stand up there and say that everyone knows that Cheney's in the Executive Branch is meaningless. It's also non-responsive.

b. There's a certain irony in Republicans claiming that an ironic amendment or piece of legislation is unfair. IOKIYAR.

Apparently, there's a part three. Blunt just cannot get enough of saying stupid things on the House floor.

a. Rahm is amazing. "I'll try not to be Talmudic."

b. Blunt is just being an idiot here. Of course the legislative branch ponders intent and meaning while passing the laws.

c. Rahm's dead right, as usual.

Now, the really funny thing about this is that the boys at RedState think that Rahm got schooled. Go figure. I guess Republicans figure that just making noises with your mouth is enough to answer a question.


Sticky Rice!

I got this by email. Yay, ABC News!


Lost in Translation or Chinese Food for Thought?
Justice Department Vs. Massachusetts Ballot Issue Could Land in Court

June 28, 2007 —

"Virtue Soup" or "Sticky Rice"?

Your preference may depend on your politics.

A ballot issue in the city of Boston has pinned the Department of
Justice's Civil Rights Division against the Massachusetts secretary of
state's office -- and the controversy may end up in court.

Under a 2005 agreement with the Justice Department, Massachusetts
agreed to make ballots translated from English into Cantonese and
Mandarin available to Boston's Chinese voters.

While some critics balked at the idea of offering ballots in any
language except English, Massachusetts -- like New York and California
-- complied. Or so it thought.

Now the federal government is pressuring the Bay State to not only
transliterate -- to write in the characters of another alphabet -- the
contents of the ballot, such as instructions and offices, but also the
surnames of candidates.

With the 2008 presidential election approaching, state election
officials took a look at how some of the big political names,
transliterated from English to Chinese, might appear in character

For some, the translation, which must be done syllable by syllable,
painted a better picture than others.

On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's name,
for example, might translate to "Sticky Rice" on the ballot. If former
senator and "Law and Order" star Fred Thompson officially hops into
the GOP race, Chinese voters could have the option of voting for
"Virtue Soup."

Of course, the soup and rice would face a challenges from "Triumphant
Wheat," aka Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Rudy Guiliani, the former
New York City mayor, whose Chinese translation might be read as
"Peaceful Nun."

On the Democratic side of the aisle, N.Y. Sen. Hillary Clinton may not
be happy to see her name translated into "Tired Forest," while
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama might be read, to his satisfaction, as
"Profound Horse."

Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Massachusetts Secretary of State William
Galvin, said the issue goes beyond the big names of the presidential
campaign. Many of Boston's Chinese voters, he said, may likely
recognize those candidates. But throw in city councilor and state
representative candidates and other more obscure potential
officeholders and the confusion only mounts.

"And then you have this added factor of good and bad characters," said
McNiff, pointing out the somewhat favorable transliterations enjoyed
by some candidates and unseemly Chinese ballot titles others may
grumble about.

But the Justice Department continues to pressure Massachusetts
election officials, arguing that the inclusion of Chinese surnames on
the ballot not only would comply with the consent agreement, but that
the inclusion would better preserve democracy than forcing confused
voters to rely on poll monitors.

"We'll attempt to seek an amicable settlement whenever possible,"
Cynthia Magnuson, Justice Department Civil Rights Division
spokeswoman, told ABC News, adding that Boston city officials have
agreed with them and that it's the state leaders who are failing to
meet the terms of the agreement.

McNiff said the differences of opinion may ultimately end up in court,
a lawsuit that Magnuson said is not ideal, but could potentially
happen if necessary.

Sam Yoon, a Korean-born Boston city councilor, said he understands the
amusement the controversy has generated for some. But he's also heard
from angry constituents and is working with Asian-American and
advocacy groups to respond officially to the secretary of state's

"It's kind of bewilderment," Yoon said in an interview with ABC News.
"Bewilderment at [Galvin's] failure to understand a system of
transliteration that over a billion people use and rely on, to
pronounce words that aren't Chinese."

Voters who take Chinese ballots won't mistake Mitt Romney for "Sticky
Rice," Yoon said, describing the notion that Chinese-American voters
would be that clueless in the voting booth as "condescending."

Yoon said that Chinese surnames on ballots work in other cities and
suggested that photos next to each candidate's name would also clear
up any confusion. Like Magnuson, he'd prefer that voters be able to
make their own decisions -- without any unnecessary outside influence.

"Anything we can do to foster independence and self-sufficiency in the
polling booth," he said.

Copyright (c) 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures