112th Congress Freshmen - Known and Potential

Friends & Fellow Travelers -

Last week, for community access television advocates, I prepared and posted a Google docs spreadsheet showing known and potential freshmen for the 112th Congress - the idea being that these are the new legislators who will need to be quickly educated on 1) the unique value of access television, 2) the harms being done by industry practices and the wave of recent states' video franchising laws, and 3) the urgent need for passage of Rep. Tammy Baldwin's Community Access Preservation Act (HR 3745).

In alphanumeric order by state and CD, the spreadsheet shows all 535 incumbents (with links to their GovTrack CD maps), along with the Democratic and Republican candidates for those seats.  All open seats (55, right?) are highlighted, as are all seats where any major pollster has judged an incumbent to be facing serious competition (seemingly 92, as of Sep. 19).  Where known, the latest poll results for the incumbents' seats in play is given (source: electoral-vote.com).  Because I developed this for the community media and media reform communities, I've also highlighted those incumbents who are members of the Senate Commerce Committee, the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, and the Future of American Media Caucus.  I've also included contact info for the incumbents and their telecommunications legislative aides, where known.

Readers and contributors of MyDD might appreciate seeing this, both for figuring your own angles in the 112th, and for helping to identify races where you and your associates may feel the need to get involved.  Possibly some of you might want to adapt this spreadsheet to track incumbent/freshmen turn-over on any committees salient to your own interests.

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Rep. Delahunt (MA-10) won't seek reelection: Boston Globe

Rep. Bill Delahunt (MA-10) won't seek reelection: Boston Globe


Draft Mellencamp for Indiana Senate Seat?

I see that a "Draft John Mellencamp" Facebook group has just sprung up - only 3 members so far.  I wonder what you all think about the idea.

"Draft John Mellencamp to run for Evan Bayh's Senate Seat!

"Evan Bayh just announced with less than 4 days left to register as a candidate that he will not be running for re-election thereby apparently trying to hand his seat to the Republicans as a parting slap against the "liberal blogosphere".

"Well we can do better than Senator Bayh or a Republican replacement: John Mellencamp! Please help spread the word to your facebook friends and send an email to Mellencamps email address to beg him to please step up and run. If he sees a huge groundswell he just might do it. He has the name recognition and like Al Franken in Minnesota, he could win in Indiana.

"Please join us - please send your email to ask John to run to feedback@mellencamp.com and hopefully we can flip this seat to a progressive Democratic seat instead of a Republican seat."


























Songs for Inaugurating a New Age?

I've been meaning to ask this question to y'all for a few weeks now:  Any recommendations you'd make to your favorite radio DJs - and to us - for songs to mark this turning?

This is not merely a exercise on these blogs --  I'd urge you to send your recommendations to all your favorite radio shows, as well.  Please, shine your lights much more broadly than here.

So far, I've got one that for me stands above the rest: John Fogarty's "Don't You Wish It Was True"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaVNRtGQl NU

I'd also urge a not-so-fond fingered farewell to G Dub & His Band of Neo Cons with Eliza Gilkyson's "Highway 9."

Randy Newman's "A Few Word in Defense of Our Country"
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OldToIF5Z Gs) surely seems appropriate, as well.

Any others you'd add to a mix?

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Car Pay Diem!

I just have to make note of this sly pun in a lower-third on tonight's Countdown, titling his #4 story on the auto bailout saga.

One of the most unsung virtues of Keith Olbermann's show are those punny captions at the bottom of the screen titling the segments, known in the trade as "lower-thirds" (lower-third of the screen.)  They're reason enough to make his show appointment viewing - fans of the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show would all agree.

This one was right up there, along with "Shiite Storm."

Not a policy-based comment this - just a nod and a tout to some under-appreciated humor.

~ Rob

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What Would Molly Ivins Say?

In his "President-Elect" essay on Huffington today, Bob Edwards recounts his Kentucky up-bringing, raised by a racist father - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-edward s/the-president-elect_b_142928.html

His specific mention of the "coloreds" water fountain reminded me of the story Molly Ivins told Susan Faludi and an audience celebrating Mother Jones magazine in 1992. C-SPAN's coverage of this event is how I first learned of and fell in love for life with Molly Ivins.

Susan:  Your father was a staunch Republican, and general counsel to Tenaco. How does a girl raised in a conservative Houston suburb transform herself into, as you put, the "dripping-fangs liberal" you've become, falling pretty far from the tree?

Molly: Where did my parents go wrong?... Yeah, my old man was in the oil business, and real right-wing.  It may be that my politics are the result of some teenage rebellion that's just lasted for -- 35 years.  But I suspect that they started - and this is true of most Southern liberals - with race.

Actually, I blame it on my mother, who tried very hard to teach me good manners.  You can imagine how she winces when she hears me now, but she did work at it.  And the thing about growing up in the South, anywhere in the South, before the civil rights movement, was that you sooner or later became aware that grown-ups were lying to you.

And a lot of things they told you just weren't true.  You know how horribly logical little children can be.

I remember being told not to drink out of that fountain, dear, 'it's dirty.'  Well, we lived on the white side of town, and the white fountain was always covered with chewing gum and little kids grubby paw marks, and the colored fountain was clearly the cleaner fountain.  

And so, when you start wondering about stuff like that -- and it had to do, too, with social relationships. "We don't say 'thank you' to the maid." "Well, why not, you told me to say 'thank you' whenever someone did something for me?" "Well, we pay the maid, dear." "We pay the waitress in the restaurant, but you always thank the waitress."

These sort of gradations of politeness, because politeness is a very big thing in the South -- the oddity of manners which differed from person to person according to color, I think were what first raised my curiosity.  And I was just always aware that they were telling a lot of lies about race.  And there was some curious reason why people didn't tell the truth about black people."

I miss Molly, her sweet love and humorous reassurance. I wish she could have been here to see this day, and share with us her warm and loving reflections. Somehow, though, I feel her spirit still, beaming broadly, with a sense of vindicated pride in humanity, a cheer that the struggle's end may be not so far away, and a renewed dedication that we all must, and will, with good and great heart, carry it on.

"Good on ya!" I hear her heartily acclaim. Amen, sister! Amen. God bless us, everyone.

~ Rob McCausland

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2008 Presidential Election Results Tracker Online

Here's an updated version of my election results tracking spreadsheet, which presents states chronologically in order of their poll closings, and maps into columns those states' votes for McCain and Obama based upon current polls, as reported at http://electoral-vote.com (This is a follow-on to my diary here last week - Over by 9-11pm?)

A number of US PEG access channels will be doing live election results coverage Tuesday night - most surely focusing primarily on their local races.  I emailed a version of this to them a few days ago, but it's been suggested to me that maintaining one version online which everyone could see would be more useful.

So, via Google docs, I've done that.  Here's its website:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p qG_omSksmduYpp2i2HpvHg

and here's the spreadsheet:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=p qG_omSksmduYpp2i2HpvHg

The spreadsheet is constructed so that as called states' electoral votes are entered into the Obama or McCain columns, and deleted from the poll results columns, a running total for both candidates is added to their remaining expected wins -- again, based upon the final poll results.

I'll upload a final pre-election version of this, with polling results as of Monday, I suppose.  Then Tuesday night, at a friend's house perched 100 feet above the Long Island Sound in Orient NY, watching no less than 3 networks, I'll be updating this as states are called.

I wonder if any of you know of any similar tools that have been created and made available, and I welcome your comments about this one.  This spreadsheet is free for anyone to republish under the Creative Commons "Attribution-Noncommercial" license.  

On the sunny side,

Rob McCausland

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Over by 9-11 pm?

I just compiled a spreadsheet mapping the states poll results as reported on electoral-vote.com into a table arranged chronologically by the states' poll closing times (sourced from http://www.thegreenpapers.com/G08/closin g.phtml?format=ec).  I've built in a calculation which will add Obama's actual EVs as I enter them to the remaining projected Obama EVs.

(I don't know how to format that for presentation here, but if there's a way to do that, let me know - I'll give it a try or send it to you so you can.)

Assuming the numbers as of today (Oct. 25) are the final numbers, and assuming states are called as soon as their polls close,  it seems Obama will have won by 9 pm, with 286 electoral votes and counting.

If, of his projected wins, Barack loses only all four "Barely Democratic" states (NC, FL, MO, NV), where he's currently polling less then 5% ahead) he will win at 11 pm, with 317 electoral votes.  That would seem to be his final count, assuming he picks up no currently projected McCain wins, since only Alaska polls close later than 11 pm eastern.

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Anne Korin: Why Shouldn't We Believe Her?

This morning I heard on C-SPAN radio about 10 minutes of an Anne Korin speech (Co-Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, and Chair of Set America Free), delivered live to the National Conservative Student Conference in DC.  In the space of a few minutes, filled with a fast-paced presentation of data on global oil production and US oil consumption, I learned that she favors quick adoption by the US of plug-in hybrids, combined with flex-fuels combustion engines, as the most immediate path to extricating ourselves from our current national security pickle.

She sure made sense to me -- but then, I'm a sucker for arguments set up with a marshaling of seemingly relevant facts (that why I'm a Biden supporter, by the way - but that's another topic).  She made so much sense that I'm about to sit down and watch the video on C-SPAN's site (Korin appears about one hour in on the morning session).  

I did a quick search online looking for any critiques of her analysis -- nothing so far.  I'm curious what the progressive blogosphere thinks of her work.  Anyone?  I did learn she teamed up with James Woolsey on a National Review article last September: "Turning Oil Into Salt," and that apparently Woolsey is now advising McCain.  I also found a KCRW radio show she appeared on last November (in a segment titled, "Is America's Thirst for Expensive Oil Fueling Dictators?")

Thanks for any comments.

~ Rob

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Obama/Powell 2008 ?

When a friend tonight mentioned the wagging tongues were suggesting  that if either Clinton or Obama won the nomination, party unity would require the other would have to be on the ticket.

I was surprised.  I thought the CW was that two relatively inexperienced candidates (especially in foreign affairs) on the ticket would be easy pickings for the Republicans - both would want foreign affairs experience or military background for their VP - Wesley Clark, for example, for Hillary, I'd heard mentioned.  He instantly shot back - for Obama's VP, how about Colin Powell?

Now there's a unity ticket!  A lot of interesting angles to that.  I wonder what you all think.  Has it been discussed already, does anyone know?


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