Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Morning News Roundup (08 November)

The Morning After
Here's where we stand:
  • Democrats control the House with gains of at least 27 seats. Some of the upsets include Jerry McNerney over enviro-hater Richard Pombo in California, scandal-clouded Pennsylvania reps Don Sherwood (choking mistress) and Curt Weldon (influence peddling) ousted, and Tim Mahoney beat Mark Foley (well, Joe Negron, but Foley was still on the ballot). Daily Kos as the full list of pick-ups (with more still to be decided).

  • On the Senate side, we're at 4 pick-ups, with wins in Pennsylvania (Casey over Santorum), Ohio (Brown over DeWine), Missouri (McCaskill over Talent), and Rhode Island (Whitehouse over Chafee). But things are still too close to call in the other two Senate races.

  • In Montana, Jon Tester is less than 2,000 votes ahead of Conrad Burns with 99% of the vote in, with a bit of drama:
    Montana elections officials worked through the night sorting out a closely fought race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, with software problems forcing a retabulation in one key county and equipment problems prompting a hand analysis of several hundred ballots. [...] Election officials in Flathead County, meanwhile, decided to do a manual count and analysis of up to 500 ballots that had been damaged by voting machines
  • Even more dramatic, though, is Virginia where Jim Webb is leading George Allen by almost 8,000 votes, which is enough to kick in an almost automatic recount
    A recount in Virginia could mean prolonged uncertainty over control of the Senate, since a formal request can be filed only after the results are officially certified on Nov. 27, according to the state board of elections. Last year a recount in the race for Attorney General was not resolved until Dec. 21.
  • And the new word in the Republican vocabulary -- bipartisanship:
    Karl Rove, the president’s top political strategist, alerted the president that the House was lost at around 11 p.m., the White House said.

    “His reaction was, he was disappointed in the results in the House,” Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman. “But he’s eager to work with both parties on his priorities over the next two years. He’s got an agenda of important issues he wants to work on, and he’s going to work with both parties.”

    One of the Democrats Mr. Bush telephoned today — Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, a contender for majority leader — said in a televised interview this morning that the president spoke of a need for the two parties to work together, particularly on Iraq.

    In talk show appearances, tired-looking and glum Republican officials today were also stressing bipartisanship.
    Whatever. These clowns only want to work with you when they're down.

  • The wave that swept Democrats to victory on Tuesday led to unprecedented success in electing openly gay candidates.
    Among the winners was Patricia Todd, who will represent District 54 in the Alabama State House. Todd is the first openly gay person ever elected to any office in the state.

    Kathy Webb will represent District 37 in the Arkansas State House. She is the first openly gay person ever elected to any office in the state.

    Al McAffrey, who will represent District 88 in the Oklahoma State House, is the first openly gay person ever elected to the Oklahoma state legislature.

    Jamie Pedersen became the third consecutive openly gay person to be elected to represent District 43 in the Washington State House. [365Gay]

  • In a triple setback for conservatives, South Dakotans rejected a law that would have banned virtually all abortions, Arizona became the first state to defeat an amendment to ban gay marriage and Missouri approved a measure backing stem cell research.
    Jan Nicolay, a leader of (South Dakota's) anti-ban campaign, said voters viewed the measure -- which lost by a 55-45 margin -- as too intrusive.
    Arizona broke a strong national trend by refusing to change its constitution to define marriage as a one-man, one-woman institution. The measure also would have forbid civil unions and domestic partnerships.

    Eight states voted on amendments to ban gay marriage: Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin approved them. Similar amendments have passed previously in all 20 states to consider them. [AP via Yahoo!]

  • Karl Rove isn't all-powerful; he is a rejected loser. Republicans don't possess the power to dictate the outcome of elections with secret Diebold software. They can't magically produce Osama bin Laden the day before the election. They don't have the power to snap their fingers and hypnotize zombified Americans by exploiting a New Jersey court ruling on civil unions, or a John Kerry comment, or moronic buzzphrases and slogans designed to hide the truth (Americans heard all about how Democrats would bring their "San Francisco values" and their love of The Terrorists to Washington, and that moved nobody). It simply isn't the case that we are doomed and destined to lose at the hands of all-powerful, evil forces.

    All of the hurdles and problems that are unquestionably present and serious — a dysfunctional and corrupt national media, apathy on the part of Americans, the potent use of propaganda by the Bush administration, voter suppression and election fraud tactics, gerrymandering and fundraising games — can all be overcome. They just were. [Glenn Greenwald at Crooks and Liars]

  • And finally, some words of advice for House Democrats from our pal El Jeffe, summing up with this simple mantra:
    [W]ork hard, be honest, and don't fuck this up.

BushCo's Wars
  • The elections in the United States may have been considered a referendum on U.S. policy in Iraq, but most Iraqis seemed unfazed Tuesday by the possibility that the voting could lead to changes in their country.
    "Their policies, as we know, are planned by different institutions, and it is not up to one or two groups to decide," said Ali Kamil, 36, an engineer in Sadr City, the Shiite district in northern Baghdad that's a stronghold for powerful cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. "No, I don't see anything on television that convinces me it will have a major impact here." [McClatchy News]

  • A subdued Saddam Hussein returned to his Kurdish genocide trial in Baghdad on Tuesday, two days after another court sentenced him to death for war crimes, and in an unusually conciliatory moment called for the people of war-torn Iraq to forgive one another. [WaPo]

Big Blue Marble
  • Israeli artillery shells killed 18 Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza on Wednesday, local officials and witnesses said, prompting swift vows of retaliation from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It was the deadliest single Israeli attack on Palestinians in four years. [Reuters]
And one more thing... it looks like the November Surprise was only a fizzle:

As Pam, at Pam's House Blend, notes:
Shall we shed tears that Britney Spears, on try #2, managed the feat of beating out her first hitching (55 hours) -- while gays and lesbians cannot marry at all?

OK, one last thing... the latest Sutton Impact at the Village Voice:

Sutton Impact @ Village Voice

[ posted with ecto ]



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