Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ok, here we go. These are the races. Post your entry as a "comment" to this post. That is where you will see my picks as well. Pick the winner of each race, and give your guess as to what the Senate & House breakdowns will be (remember, Sanders and Lieberman count as Democrats, because of their declared intentions to caucus with that party).

Beat me, win a guest post, limited in scope to election analysis and 500 words. Lose to me, and you reciprocate in kind (if you own a blog.) I've made some changes to the scoring, so this is the final format:

5 points for every Senate race picked correctly.
3 points for each governor race picked correctly.
Lose 3 points for every seat you are off in your final Senate prediction, lose one point for each House seat you are off. Ten point bonus for a correct guess on the senate count, 25 point bonus for a correct guess on the house cout.

Candidates are listed Dem/GOP, incumbent indicated by *.

Deadline is 11:59 p.m. on October 31.


New Jersey- Menendez* /Kean
Rhode Island- Whitehouse/Chaffee*
Montana- Tester/Burns*
Missouri- McKaskil/Talent*
Tennessee- Ford/Corker (open seat held by GOP)
Virginia- Webb/Allen*
Ohio- Brown/DeWine*
Maryland- Cardin/Steele (open seat held by Dem)


Iowa- Culver/Nussle
Maryland- O'Malley/Ehrlich
Minnesota- Hatch/Pawlenty*
Oregon- Kulongonski*/Saxton
Wisconsin- Doyle*/Green


Senate- 45D/55 GOP
House- 203D/232 GOP (includes Bernie Sanders as a Dem)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts on my previous post:

Kevin Tillman's piece got a good amount of exposure on the web. No denying that.

Yet many of the people who crucified Cindy Sheehan, calling her "an embrassmant," a "disgrace," accusing her of exploiting her son's death for personal gain, accusing her of besmirching her son's memory and honor, have been strangely quiet over Kevin Tillman's remarks.

What's up with that?

I see two grieving family members who have taken their anger over the war and expressed it publicly, enraged over what they perceive to be the futile deaths of their loved ones.

Nice double standard going on, huh?

Monday, October 23, 2006


By Kevin Tillman, brother of Pat Tillman

By Kevin Tillman

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.
Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military. Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.
In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.
Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action.

It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
Kevin Tillman

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can you hit left-handed pitching? Let's find out!

The Southpaw Spot announces its first-ever election contest, and here is how it will work:

Next week, I am going to list the Senate races that are considered "Toss-ups" (as named so by the Cook Political Report.) As of now, that looks like NJ, TN, VA, and MO. Whoever wishes to enter must predict the outcome of each race. Five points per race. There will also be Governors races listed if they are toss-ups, most likely IA, MN, OR, WI. Since they do not receive as much national attention, they are worth 3 points each. You must then submit a guess as to what the Senate and House D/R splits will be post-election (Lieberman and Sanders, having announced intentions to caucus with the Democrats, will be considered Democrats for the purpose of this contest.) Hit the nail on the head in the Senate, get 25 points. Hit the nail on the head in the House, get 50 points. 3 points will be deducted for every seat you are off in the Senate, 1 point deducted for every seat you are off in the House.

Beat the Southpaw, and you get a guest post on his site, limited in scope to your interpretation of why the election went the way it did, and what you think the impact of the election will be on policy. 500 words maximum. Lose, and you must allow me to make a post on your blog (if you have one!) of a similar nature. We work on the honor system here, so if you enter, I trust you are accepting the challenge and will allow me to post if I beat you. If you beat me, rest assured, I will post your comments (reserving the right to edit out any content not related to the elections or policy.)

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m on October 31, 2006. Submit an entry by posting a comment on my blog once the races are listed, probably sometime late next week.

Good luck, and may the force be with you.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Public Service Announcement:

This Wednesday, October 18, National Geographic Explorer (aired on the National Geographic channel) will focus on the topic of methamphetamines. I strongly urge you to watch this program, especially if you are a parent.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So, who's up for some new body armor?

What's that you say? Let's party instead?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The military's top generals have warned Iraq is on the cusp of a civil war and that U.S. troops must remain in large numbers until at least next spring. But if the winds suddenly blow a different direction, Congress is ready to celebrate with a $20 million victory party.

Lawmakers included language in this year's defense spending bill, approved last week, allowing them to spend the money. The money for "commemoration of success" in Iraq and Afghanistan was originally tucked into last year's defense measure, but went unspent amid an uptick in violence in both countries that forced the Pentagon to extend tours of duty for thousands of troops.

Party on, Wayne!
Party on, Garth!
Stop bitching and fight the war with the army you have, not the army (and body armor) you want, Private!