So I watched Cyberwoman last night. When they said it was going to be an adult show, although I wasn’t expecting, say The West Wing or The Wire, but I was hoping for something on the level of CSI or Law & Order.What we’ve got is Doctor Who: Three Packets of Crisps And A Pint Of Lager Edition.
I’m today’s guest over at Sweeping The Nation, talking about a lost British classic (runners-up in my choice were The Beat’s Save It For Later and The Distractions’ Time Goes By So Slow). One thing that I completely forgot about is that the Saint Etienne connection is made very explicit in Finisterre’s title track: “Five miles north is a town of silver birches / Twenty-seven chuches”. So there you go. Thanks, Simon for inviting me to participate!
Bush’s press conference is one of the highlights of the election. So far, he’s slagged off Karl Rove, admitted that he lied to reporters, and suggested that people voted Democrat because they wanted honest and ethical members of Government.It is a complete trainwreck. And hilarious.
I have to say, Fox News is so much more enjoyable to watch after a Democratic victory. The sad faces, the excuses…ah, let me bask in that glow for just a moment or two.Not much to update this morning. Missouri went comfortably Democratic after I went to bed last night, also passing a minimum-wage increase, and, in a happy moment of good triumphing over hideous evil, it looks like Rush Limbaugh’s trashing of Michael J. Fox helped the stem-cell research amendment to pass there too. Hurrah! Montana and Virginia are still too close to call, with Virginia almost certain to go to a recount that may mean that the final fate of the Senate won’t be known until Decem,ber (the recount can’t begin until the vote is certified, which I believe happens at the end of November). However, as Webb is roughly 8,000 votes in front, I think he’ll survive that count, barring any suspicious activity. Tester has a lead of just under 2,000 votes in Montana, with the Republicans claiming that there’s still 21,000 absentee ballots yet to count. So, that may take a day or too to sort out as well. It’s looking likely that at the very least, the Senate will be tied, cutting down on the Vice-President’s hunting trips (something that his friends are probably grateful for). Another interesting thought (well, to me anyway): as pointed out on Fox last night, the Republicans’ vote held fast only in the Southern states. Much of the mid-west states broke Democrat. If this holds for a 2008 presidential election, it suggests the possibility that if a candidate could unite the Mid-west and Northern vote, they wouldn’t have to carry a single Southern state to win the nomination (also, although the Democrats didn’t do quite as well as they would have liked in Florida, the end of the Jeb Bush era means that I think a Democrat candidate has a very good chance at taking that state, which would put the Republicans in a very bad position in the electoral college). However, this is all, to quote Peter Snow, ‘just a bit of fun’.
We have exit polls. Take with your usual tonne or two of salt. Exit polls in 2004 favoured a Mr. Kerry, and look how that turned out (for us, it turned out to be a drunken haze, but really, it was the only way to cope).Apparently, on the Rush Limbaugh show this afternoon the RNC chairman floated the idea that the Democrats may be stealing the election. Heh. As if this bunch of Democrats could organise such a thing. The exit polls on FOX News are coming with a length disclaimer. DON'T WORRY. DON'T PANIC. Kentucky has closed! Plus more are about to shut: Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina Vermont and Virginia. Woohoo! The Democrats have picked up one seat already. Supposedly. Not entirely sure where, though, although CNN say it's a former independent seat. Hmm, and the reports of extremely high GOP turn-out begin to filter in. It might be time for the vodka. Ohio, West Virginia, and yes, North Carolina! about to close. Byrd wins. 60 years in the Senate. Heh. Virginia gay marriage ban passes. Not looking good. I am getting the Fear. The Democratic Fear. Not again. Surely. There is good news in Kentucky. A House seat, KY3, wasn't in play until last week. The Democratic candidate is leading by a thin margin. Virginia though is not looking good. If Ford wins in Tennessee, I will eat my hat. It would be one of the most impressive events since the Reconstruction. Even if he is more conservative as a Democrat than a lot of Republicans. A bunch of states about to close their polls. Webb now neck and neck with Allen in Virginia. Fear. Still. Katherine Harris is being destroyed in Florida. At least some justice for 2000 there, then. Fox: "It's a Democratic year! *whaaaaa*" Mark Foley's Florida seat appears to be slipping away from the Republicans. Maryland. Heh. Looks like Carcetti. Oh my. Florida governor race is too close to call. Please, please! An early birthday present for Laura! Hah. Too optimistic there. New update shows Crist getting a load more votes from reporting precincts. Well, it was nice for a moment. North Carolina seat is 50 50! Go Asheville-type area! While it looks like Tennessee is definitely a step too far for the Democrats, with Corker pulling away from Ford. Although saying that, it's still early reporting. Oh God. I think Virginia is going to end up like Florida in 2000. Lawyers Ahoy. It's not just me, is it? Chris Wallace really does have the most punchable face. RICK SANToRUM! SLING YOUR HOOK! HELL YES! Hmm. Fox have called NJ, but only 3% of precincts have reported, and there's only a 4% differential so far. Bizarre. But! Santorum! I have a warm glow. Admittedly, he's now getting a loving eulogy from Fred Barnes on Fox. Heh. A compassionate conservative. Unless you happen to be gay, of course. In which case you're scum and want to have sex with dogs. The Senate is a better place without him. NC is 51/49 D! Go Go! Fox: Democrats horny for female graduate students, hence Democrat bias in exit polls. Ummm… Ohio is Democrat. That's two. Yes. So Kean is above Menedez, yet they've already called it for the latter? I'm just a little concerned about that. Oh my goodness; they getting excited on Fox because they're using a swingometer that Peter Snow would simply laugh at. Lots of votes coming in now, but nothing to decide anything one way or another just yet. Howard Dean! and he looks like he wants to deck Wallace too. Good man. Spitzer as New York Governor! Hurrah! Lieberman holds. Boo. And Hiss. Fox is projecting a Maryland hold for the Democrats. Which is fortunate for the Democrats, as if they'd lost that seat, it would ruin all their chances of taking the Senate. An interesting trend for Maryland, though; the future races there could be quite hard fought affairs. And, let's spare a thought for residents of Washington DC, who get to watch tonight's election, but not vote. Oddly, the city has no representation in either the House or the Senate (they have a couple of observers in the House, but they can't vote), and is ruled directly by the Federal government. They couldn't even vote for President until 1964. Democrats need 12 more seats to take the House, according to Fox (I'm flicking around, but Fox is the channel that is calling races). Whitehouse beats Chafee? Rhode Island is now Dem. Three. North Carolina pulling away to the Democrats as well. Half-way there. Only those three were the easy ones. Missouri is not looking too favourable, but I didn't catch how many precincts had reported. eeep. Beginning to falter. Some are still optmistic that a lot of the Northern VA votes haven't come in yet for Webb, but I remember that line of thinking from two years ago, and it didn't help then, either. Oh my. Oh my. The mayor of Baltimore is now the Governor of Maryland. OMAR'S CALLING. Virginia is still on a knife-edge. 2,000 votes between the two Senate candidates. And 20,000 Green votes. Excuse me while I go and club a seal. Montana is about to close. And that's really the last Senate seat that I can see the having a chance of the Democrats taking. It's time to point and laugh at Rick Santorum! Ah, just like the great Portillo moment of 1997. Your crying children aren't going to make me feel sympathetic towards you. There's not much left from Virginia. There are a few big cities still left to fully report, but I can't see Webb making up the 20,000 votes he's behind at the moment. Seven seats for the House. And now we have to suffer a unbearably smug Lieberman. Grr. The House is falling. It's looking very likely that Virginia will go to a recount. Current Fox line: "They're Conservative Democrats!" Tom DeLay's former seat: Democrat. And the house falls to the Democrats. Bwahahahaha. That sound you hear is lawyers parachuting into Virginia. Early returns from Montana are faovuring Tester, and although McCaskell is down in Missouri, even Fox is saying that the strongly Democratic cities haven't been counted yet. Mark Foley's old Florida seat goes blue, with another Florida seat. A slightly disappointing night down there for the Democrats. How long can I carry on? Three, four more hours for Montana, they're predicting. Hah. Damn them! Virginia now down to below 3,000 votes between the two candidates. I*glares at the 25,000 Green party voters* Heh. "A New Direction For America" in a very West Wing-esque font. Good choice, Democrats. They still seem very confident about Missouri and Montana. I like Harry Reid, despite myself. Besides, a northern Majority or even Minority Leader just wouldn't work. Nevada is far enough away from both the South and the North to play both sides. Which is want you want really. So, em. Secretary Rumsfeld. Perhaps you might want to update your CV…? Nancy! Oh, how the ultra-conservatives are quaking right now. A woman! In charge of the House. From SAN FRANCISCO! Heavens! Virginia. From the returns website. Webb now 2,000 votes up. A cynical man would think that some of the Democratic precincts were holding back to report the numbers that were required. But I dont know if their machine has been capable of that in the last twenty or so years. Right. It's not going to be decided tonight. Virginia is going to a recount. Missouri and Montana will be counting for hours. But a good night for Democrats, even if they fall short of the Senate...
Here we are then, the last, final chance to place a check on the Bush Administration.My anger has been rising over the past few weeks; not only with the brazen ‘a Democratic vote is a vote for terrorism’ ploy of the President and Vice-President, but because I’ve been reading the third volume of Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson. The first hundred pages of that are an unabashed love letter to the Senate, explaining how the Constitution set up a body that was protected by various means from the Executive, the States, the population of the country, and even itself. How they resisted finding Andrew Jackson guilty on impeachment charges, despite public outcry. How FDR, with one of the largest Democratic majorities ever seen in the Senate, went to them to amend the Constitution so he could pack the Supreme Court with liberal justices. The Senate, even with an unassailable Democrat majority, refused to be a rubber stamp. The Senate stood. Which is not to say that it was a Golden Age before 2000 (even though the FDR rejection was a good one for the nation, many of the Democratic Senators who voted against it did not do so entirely for the Constitution. They were, sadly, more concerned about a liberal Supreme Court making judgements that would affect the racist policies of the Southern states), but the current Senate has to be a contender for one of the worst in the body’s history. Authorising torture, suspending habeus corpus, failing to increase the minimum wage (now the lowest it has been, inflation-wise, since 1955), eliminating the federal spending watchdog for Iraq, pretending that global warming doesn’t exist, authorising warrantless wiretaps, and wasting time on pointless amendments about flag burning and gay marriage. And more. The Executive has ridden rough-shod over Congress for the past few years, going as far to scribble their own interpretation of laws in crayon over passed bills. It’s time for it to stop. And so here we are, hoping for a Democratic wave that probably won’t quite materialise. The House of Representatives is surely going to fall into their hands tonight, but it’s the Senate that holds the keys to reining in the Administration. I don’t think they can do it, not the six seats that they need. Especially when this is happening. Seething here. Will be back later for the play-by-play a little later.
The latest tactic from an increasingly desperate GOP. The Robo-Call is an automated phone call, which initially purports to be from the Democratic candidate in the local race. If the receiver of the call hangs up, the robo-call dials again. And again. This continues until the receiver listens to the complete call (which normally goes on to spout vaguely-libellious vitriol against the Democrat). Classy.Tomorrow, tomorrow…