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October 20, 2006 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Michael J. Fox makes an impassioned plea(YouTube) to Missouri voters asking them to vote for Claire McCaskill for the us Senate.
posted by sourbrew (89 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Powerful stuff. I hope for a cure in Michael's lifetime
posted by A189Nut at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2006


How sad.
posted by crunchland at 4:56 PM on October 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow. Such advanced Parkinson's for someone relatively young.

Good for him.
posted by bardic at 4:57 PM on October 20, 2006


I hadn't seen him for a while... pretty brave to put this message out there like that. Much respect to Mr. Fox.
posted by HuronBob at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2006


A guy in my writing group told us on Wednesday that he had just been diagnosed with Parkinson's. He's not much older than Michael. He was really upset and really scared. It was scary to everyone, actually. It took courage to speak up about it. I'm glad someone is speaking here because this passionate opposition to stem cell research is really exceedingly hard for me to comprehend. Thankyou Michael!
posted by muppetboy at 5:02 PM on October 20, 2006


Michael needs to lay-off the aspartame / nutrasweet
posted by augustweed at 5:03 PM on October 20, 2006


I am sitting here in a waiting room staring at MJF's mug on a copy of Ladies' Home Journal and thinking about how much respect I have gained for him since his days playing the young Republican and then this post comes along. I do wish him the best as he is battling a cruel disease.
posted by caddis at 5:10 PM on October 20, 2006


"Michael needs to lay-off the aspartame / nutrasweet"
Thanks for the diagnosis, Dr. Frist.
posted by 2sheets at 5:11 PM on October 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Michael needs to lay-off the aspartame / nutrasweet

PubMed v. some website.
posted by linux at 5:16 PM on October 20, 2006


This is an incredibly close Senate race. And Talent's opposition to stem cell research has been demagoguery of the highest order, bringing up a "human cloning" bogeyman at every possible opportunity, saying things like "I'm opposed to human cloning. I've told people I don't want to live in a world where I'm walking down the street in one direction and I see myself coming in the other." Hur, hur. This ad could conceivably make a real difference in the race.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:27 PM on October 20, 2006


Good for Michael.

I spent half my life in MO, and remember Jim Talent as being your typical partisan hack. He could even get away with being more conservative then your average Republican since MO is such a conservative state. I wouldn't put it past him to be against something as potentially life-saving as stem cell research.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:29 PM on October 20, 2006


Christ, I've never donated to a political campaign before, but there you go.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:29 PM on October 20, 2006


I thought Alex P. Keaton was a conservative.
posted by I Foody at 5:31 PM on October 20, 2006


Michael needs to lay-off the aspartame / nutrasweet

Oh fuck off. From the article:

So aspartic acid even in and by itself is a recognized source of the damage to the basal ganglia where Parkinson's Disease degeneration occurs.

Aspartic acid is one of the 20 biological amino acids needed by every living cell for the production of protines. To suggest that it's bad for you is pretty ridiculous, although for a small minority of people the other ingredient Phenylalanine can be harmful because they can't metabolize it properly. Still, both Aspartic Acid and Phenylalanine are necessary for every living cell. And Aspartame is just those two amino acids jamed together (and they come apart in the stomach)
posted by delmoi at 5:34 PM on October 20, 2006


So that's why we didn't get bobblehead dolls at Cam Neeley night... (You see Cam and Michael are buds... oh never mind)

So I wonder is there any evidence that stem cells will help Parkinsons? Or is this just a generic plea for loosening the reins?
posted by Gungho at 5:35 PM on October 20, 2006


Really powerful ad.
Reminds me of the anti-smoking ad that Yul Brynner did after he died: WMV / Flash.

John Huston did a similar ad, but I can't find it online anywhere. But I remember being horrified by it.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:36 PM on October 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Gungho writes "So I wonder is there any evidence that stem cells will help Parkinsons?"

There's strong evidence from animal models. That link's kind of old; there's probably something better and more recent. Not my field, really.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:38 PM on October 20, 2006


they really are calling it one of the closest in the country.

Talent's an idiot--she should be way ahead.

As for Fox, he's doing a great job raising awareness--it's an awful disease--not being able to control your body and being fully aware of it every moment--anything that can help is really needed.
posted by amberglow at 5:49 PM on October 20, 2006


God, that's hard to watch but good for Fox. I hope he gets through to some people.
posted by etaoin at 6:02 PM on October 20, 2006


Oh - I found him very attractive when I was a kid (Family Ties era). Now I'm in tears.

Oh.
posted by goo at 6:22 PM on October 20, 2006


That was hard to watch. A big thanks to him for doing it.
posted by rougy at 6:28 PM on October 20, 2006


From augustweed's moronic link (were you being ironic?):

Fox has been going downhill because of the wild movements and writhing he's been suffering.

I might be wrong, but aren't MJF's movements a side effect of the ever increasing amounts of medication he needs to control the Parkinson's?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:36 PM on October 20, 2006


The movements and writhing is the Parkinson's being expressed, Slarty. From what i understand (and from having an uncle with it who eventually decided to stop taking medication for it, altho the medicine then was overall terrible for it), medication can only reduce the movements and writhing and loss of control, not cause those things.

These are the common medicines for it
posted by amberglow at 7:07 PM on October 20, 2006


I should say--the medicine then was overall terrible for quality of life.
posted by amberglow at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2006


That was very hard to watch, as others have said; yet, I watched it twice. He is very courageous. I hope it does some good.
posted by taosbat at 7:20 PM on October 20, 2006


Wow, I just got a chance to watch the ad. Very powerful. Nice job Michael.
posted by caddis at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2006


Heh. The first time he says "Missour-ee" and the second time he says "Missour-ah."

As a Missourian I assure you all I'm voting for McCaskill and yes on Amendment 2.
posted by sourwookie at 7:34 PM on October 20, 2006


I might be wrong, but aren't MJF's movements a side effect of the ever increasing amounts of medication he needs to control the Parkinson's?

What exactly do you think parkinson's does if not cause movements like that?
posted by delmoi at 7:38 PM on October 20, 2006


That had to take a tremendous amount of courage for Fox to let people see him that way. He should be proud of himself.
posted by EarBucket at 7:46 PM on October 20, 2006


War and Embryos
posted by homunculus at 7:57 PM on October 20, 2006


Thx, MF.
posted by oxonium at 8:02 PM on October 20, 2006


What a brave guy.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:34 PM on October 20, 2006



What exactly do you think parkinson's does if not cause movements like that?


It also causes dementia and incontinence.

It's also a disease where the medication for it ceases being effective over time, and 90% of the medical management revolves around balancing quality of life against how little medication you can get away with to extend it's usefulness further.

Interesting side note: the "miracle" drug used in the book (and movie) Awakenings by Oliver Sacks is the basis for most Parkinsons medication, and in real life it has the same problem it had in the book and movie -- the body building up resistance to the drug and it no longer working.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 8:38 PM on October 20, 2006


He has always been brilliant.

Great work, Mr. Fox.
posted by cholly at 8:50 PM on October 20, 2006


Parkinson's causes tremors, rigidity, and slowness of movements. The symptoms Fox is exhibiting are the side effects of his treatment by levodopa, which include dyskinesia, i.e., involuntary movements and tics.
posted by JackFlash at 9:16 PM on October 20, 2006


I don't know the reason for his 6 or 7 year delay in announcing that he has Parkinson's, and it's none of my business. However, in this day and age of instant celeb-causes, he has not promulgated himself as any kind of victim. He has my respect for that reason.

It is my opinion that he chose to come to grips with his condition on his own terms, and then announce it. He's brave because of this reason. Not because he's an actor with Parkinson's who chooses to make a campaign endorsement, but because he chooses to allow such a personal thing to be shown in order to try and make a difference. And he does so without the underlying attention-seeking motives that I think most of Hollywood actors have.

BRILLIANT, MARTY!! May cures for your disease and the diseases of countless others be found instead of us wasting money, brilliance, and effort killing each other.
posted by disgustipated at 9:20 PM on October 20, 2006


I didn't need the extra push from Mr. Fox, as I'm already voting for McCaskill, but I feel inspired by his courage. My grandmother lived with Parkinson's for 33 years, so I've never viewed it as a fatal disease. Even still, it's a terrible affliction.

I don't know about any other Missourians here, but I haven't seen this ad on any of the local channels. If they're going to play it, they need to put it in heavy rotation soon.
posted by bjork24 at 9:25 PM on October 20, 2006


I haven't seen it either (in Columbia, MO, a liberal town in a conservative county).
posted by zsazsa at 9:30 PM on October 20, 2006


I havent seen this on in St Louis yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 PM on October 20, 2006


Thanks Mike!
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:57 PM on October 20, 2006


The first time he says "Missour-ee" and the second time he says "Missour-ah."

Not that it matters, but...

After watching it a second time, I think he does say "Missour-ah" the first time, but it's followed by the word "you", and the dipthong in the letter "y" makes it sound like "Missour-ee." I don't think they would have had him say it two different ways.

On the non-pedantic side, I've always admired MJF. I have even been told a couple of times that I resemble him, which I found to be a big compliment. My great-grandfather had Parkinson's when I was very young and it was frightening. Fox is a very strong person to go through all of this in the public eye.
posted by starvingartist at 9:58 PM on October 20, 2006


Huh, I thought that Micahel J. Fox was a Canadian.

Oh well, whatever. I guess he naturalized.

The thing is; how many laypeople would be able to tell from his physical symptoms on TV (in the ad) that he had Parkinsons and not gangsta or something else?

And how many of those could understand how research in stem cells could help parkinsons.

Parkinsons is a neurodegenerative disease, but stem cells... the trick is to get them to learn to want to be neurons, then the trickier bit is to make them to want to make the proper connections. Neuronal stem call to 'cure' Parkinsons is a pretty long shot. Neuronal stem cells and spinal cord injuries or alzheimers (sp) has far higher success probabilities.

Stem cell research should be pursued, but Parkinson's disease isn't an early candidate for stem cell research to resolve, but I'd be esctatic to hear that there's a way to reverse Parkinsons with stem cells.
posted by porpoise at 10:15 PM on October 20, 2006


Having both Missour-ah vs. Missour-ee may have been intentional, in order to grab both sides of the fence. If you want to look down-home, you invoke Missour-ah, even if you aren't from a part of the state where it's actually said. For example, when running for governor, Jim Talent, the Republican from the rich St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, would say Missour-ah when campaigning. His Democratic opponent, Bob Holden, raised in the Ozarks, said Missour-ee. It makes for great political theatre, at least to me.
posted by zsazsa at 10:17 PM on October 20, 2006


He was a guest star on a few episodes of Boston Legal last year, and while he did have some of the tremors associated with Parkinsons and/or the medication, it seemed fairly well controlled (goes to video page of episode, but reload for .wma player). He's either off the meds, gone downhill significantly in the last year or two, or--I'm embarrassed to suggest--is exaggerating his movements for the benefit of the message.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 10:21 PM on October 20, 2006


Maybe I should save this question for AskMe, but I figured that it was on-topic and that some of you may be able to answer it.

From what I understand, embryonic stem-cells (which, to my recollection, are the most-controversial, most-useful type) must come from a human embryo. Also, if I recall correctly, fertility clinics will often produce far more embryos then are needed, and that these embryos are typically disposed of.

Now, given these two facts, how is it that even the most pro-life conservative finds a way to be against re-using these embryos? Isn't throwing them out wasteful, and ultimately more disrespectful to life, humanity, etc?

Also, a while ago, I heard that they were finding ways to obtain embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo. What ever happened with this?

Finally, once embryonic stem cells have been harvested, is there a way to produce more of them without taking them from an embryo?

Pardon my lack of knowledge on the subject. I'm geniunely interested, and Wikipedia hasn't been of much help.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:25 PM on October 20, 2006


I'm embarrassed to suggest--is exaggerating his movements for the benefit of the message.

Yeah, I'd be embarrassed myself.
posted by Pigpen at 10:32 PM on October 20, 2006


I agree Pigpen. On the other hand, there are others more cynical than myself who could look at a well-controlled MJF from a year ago (see video) and wonder at the degree his disease has progressed in that period of time. I was simply trying to make a well-rounded, thoughtful observation.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 10:50 PM on October 20, 2006


Fox, who has lived in the US for thirty years, naturalized in 2000.

Fox on his medications:

Fox: Three or four times a day, I go through the transitions between the two poles, navigating the tricky passage from the land of ‘off’ to ‘on.’

Jane Pauley: What does being ‘off’ mean for you?

Fox: Well, ‘off’ is unmedicated. At my stage, it can get to where I can’t really speak that well and I can’t inflect. I can’t really use my face. I’ll be shaking. And that’s ‘off.’ And then ‘on’ is a version of this, which is when the medication’s working. I have ‘on’ plus, because I have a little bit of dyskinesia, which is a function of the medication and a sense of ‘moment.’ Even though you don’t make me nervous, I mean, it’s actually a funny thing, too. My mind is not nervous at all. But my brain goes, ‘Well, and there’s lights on and there’s people all around and what’s going on, you know, where’s the door?’


I would assume that he made the choice not to be "on" for the ad. And why shouldn't he?
posted by dhartung at 11:42 PM on October 20, 2006


what part of degenerative don't you understand?
posted by skammer at 11:42 PM on October 20, 2006


what part of degenerative don't you understand?

egenera.

Oh! I Kill me!
posted by sourwookie at 12:09 AM on October 21, 2006


The Missour-ee/ah pronounciation gambit has been a tried and true ad ploy 'round these parts a long while.
posted by sourwookie at 12:24 AM on October 21, 2006


disgustipated : That six or seven year delay in speaking up about the disease, except for that one time six years ago when he testified in front of congress about it and the need for stem cell research.

Do you often not look into things before you speak authoritatively on them?
posted by absalom at 12:32 AM on October 21, 2006


...but I feel inspired by his courage.

I remember seeing an interview with Fox right after he announced he had Parkinsons. The interviewer asked him (stupidly) if he thought this wound impact his acting career. Fox replied, (something like) "I'm pretty sure it will, but on the bright side I'll have a lots of opportunity to work as a bartender. I'll be great at making any drink that needs to be shaken." LOL.
posted by three blind mice at 12:32 AM on October 21, 2006


It breaks my heart to see this, and I'm glad he did it.
He's a great voice-over actor- his line readings are perfection. I hope he still gets some satisfaction from acting in that way.
posted by maryh at 1:43 AM on October 21, 2006


I would assume that he made the choice not to be "on" for the ad. And why shouldn't he?

Well, even then if he was 'off' he would have had trouble speaking...
posted by delmoi at 1:46 AM on October 21, 2006


I read his book, Lucky Man, and didn't see it noted here, so I thought I'd throw it out that he's been hard at work for many years on this, has spoken before Congress, has a foundation, etc. He's also tried experimental surgery, all kinds of meds, and has basically had the opportunity most patients don't, of learning as much about Parkinson's as the doctors.

Here's an interview from July of this year on Good Morning America, discussing Dubya's very first veto..

Just to clarify that this isn't an act, or a plea for attention for anything other than the actual issue.
posted by hypersloth at 2:19 AM on October 21, 2006


absalom: he was diagnosed in 1991.

C'mon, why the need for snark in this particular thread?
posted by logicpunk at 3:31 AM on October 21, 2006


"I'm opposed to human cloning. I've told people I don't want to live in a world where I'm walking down the street in one direction and I see myself coming in the other."

The only thing good about Mr. Talent is that he realizes one of him is already one too many.

From the actual text of the amendment:
(1) No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.

Hats off to Mr. Fox, who only gets better with time.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 3:41 AM on October 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


"I'm opposed to human cloning. I've told people I don't want to live in a world where I'm walking down the street in one direction and I see myself coming in the other."

Aside from the fact that you'll surely be dead before they advance the technique enough for success, I'd venture to guess that you probably wouldn't recognize yourself. Your approaching self would be much younger than you are.
posted by crunchland at 5:29 AM on October 21, 2006


The only thing good about Mr. Talent is that he realizes one of him is already one too many.

Hi-O!
posted by Tullius at 6:23 AM on October 21, 2006


Clearly the delay was so he could keep working. He made a lot of films after 1991. Do you really think Hollywood would have cast someone with Parkinson's?
posted by smackfu at 7:32 AM on October 21, 2006


No, I think the delay was more along the lines of "Holy Christ, I can't believe I have this horrible disease at such a young age."

Sure he wanted to keep working, but that isn't mutually exclusive from a desire to lead a normal life.

Would you be happier smackfu if he'd "come out" with his medical records in 1991 and told the world that he was a permanent invalid? I don't see your point.

And Hollywood gave some work to Christopher Reeve after his accident. Not very good work, IMO, but the triumph-over-odds meme has been around as long as movie studios have, both for narrative and for bios.
posted by bardic at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2006


I'm glad to see MJF speak out about this as he has done in the past. Parkinson's is a terrible disease, and I've watched my father deteriorate over the last 25 years with it. The various medications over the years have had side effects which include things like hallucinations which some people can't handle. The folks upthread are correct that treating the disease is basically balancing the medication with the benefits, and then medicating the side effects. There's a lot of tweaking that goes on, and as new medications come out decisions have to be made whether or not to change course in the hope there might be more benefit, or to stay with what might be keeping you stable. It is more of an art than a science. Luckily my father has had a good neurologist and he's been able to have a reasonably good quality of life. But, it's difficult to watch someone deteriorate slowly like that. The mind is sharp as ever, but your body won't do the things the brain asks it to. Simple little things like using a screwdriver which we all take for granted become a frustrating challenge as your coordination fails you. One of the most powerful moments for me was seeing Muhammed Ali lighting the torch at the Atlanta Olympics. A man who was once one of the most amazing and graceful athletes barely being able to stand because of Parkinson's, and yet still has all his courage to stand in front of the world that way. Still fighting. Still a great man, but wracked with disease. Stem cells do show a lot of promise for treating the disease, but there still needs to be a lot of basic research done to understand them, the kind of research that for-profit industry isn't likely to fund.
posted by Eekacat at 8:23 AM on October 21, 2006


No, I think the delay was more along the lines of "Holy Christ, I can't believe I have this horrible disease at such a young age."

There is also something of a desire not to be pitied for many, so as long as a disability is not obvious, one might prefer not to make a fuss about it. Once things get bad enough that the information is going to come through in non-verbal ways, then an announcement makes sense, but so long as he was able to live a relatively normal life, there seems to me no reason for him not to try to do so. And a period of adjustment to the new reality is more than fair - degenerative neurological diseases are massively life-changing, and in many cases, completely unmerciful.

His attitude and approach are estimable, and I have great respect for him & others like him who find such strength, instead of being drawn inward to the sorrow and self-pity that most of us are seduced by, often in response to much smaller pain.
posted by mdn at 8:28 AM on October 21, 2006


He's either off the meds, gone downhill significantly in the last year or two, or--I'm embarrassed to suggest--is exaggerating his movements for the benefit of the message.

Or maybe instead of in the ad, it might have been the shows where he was, you know, acting.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:49 AM on October 21, 2006


I am probably voting for the Progressive candidate, Lydia Lewis. Who isn't going to win, but with 2% of the vote they get to stay on the ballot.

At the same time I'm really hoping Lewis won't be a spoiler, and that McCaskill will win. I don't like her that much, but I dislike her much less than I dislike Talent.

She still is a Patriot act supporter, favors the giant magical anti-immigrant fence, and such... but is reasonable on the hot-button issues like abortion, stem cells, gay rights etc.
posted by Foosnark at 8:50 AM on October 21, 2006


My grandfather died of Parkinson's ten years ago. Watching this video brought back the last days of his life quite vividly, the uncontrollable movement, the difficulty speaking, the overwhelming desire just to reach out and hold his head for him, to give him the support and control that his body has stolen from him.

What is the law regarding out of state financial contributions to senate candidates these days?
posted by Dreama at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2006


disgustipated : That six or seven year delay in speaking up about the disease, except for that one time six years ago when he testified in front of congress about it and the need for stem cell research. --absalom

I was referring to the 6 or 7 years between being diagnosed and going public with the diagnosis. Just like logicpunk above recognized.

Do you read the posting before you respond to it, absalom?
posted by disgustipated at 9:12 AM on October 21, 2006


She still is a Patriot act supporter, favors the giant magical anti-immigrant fence...

And refused to come out against the torture bill, which is why she's not getting my vote. Being reasonable on the other issues is meaningless. If she'll vote for Patriot, the AUMF and the Military Commisions act, she's saying that she'll be glad to help Bush acquire more power.

The Missouri Senate race was lost months ago. You get the right-winger or the right-wing apologist.

Unless Talent has been screwing teenaged boys, he's going to win easily. Between the feckless opponent and our wonderful new voting machines making sure that the inner city KC and STL votes will be a complete and utter clusterfuck, it's over, and the smart thing for the Dems to do is to pull money out of this race and dump them into the house races.

I'd actually be pissed off and fighting this, if McCaskill was somewhat worth fighting for, but fuck helping the next version of Holy Joe into the Senate. I'll vote, but mainly to vote for the Cloners. The billboards around STL are a freaking riot.

As to MJF...What can I say? This disease is a horror, and I will do what I can to make sure that we try to find treatments that help. But in a country where the base attitude is "you obiviously did something wrong to suffer like that." I don't see much help for him or for us.
posted by eriko at 9:51 AM on October 21, 2006


At the same time I'm really hoping Lewis won't be a spoiler, and that McCaskill will win.

Okay, reality time: You have to decide if Talent winning is worth getting ballot access for the Progressives. Otherwise, by voting for a candidate who cannot win, you are implicitly half-voting for the candidate you hate most.

To me, it doesn't matter who wins. If it does matter to you that Talent doesn't win, voting Progressive is helping the GOP, period. If it does matter that McCaskill doesn't win, then voting Progressive means that you're helping the Democrats, period.

It sucks badly, but this is the way the game is written. You have to make that call -- is effectivly granting half a vote to Talent worth the attempt to get the Progressives ballot rights in 2008?

Is that worth the gain? For ballot access? I think that's silly, but that's your decision -- if the Progressives are able to become a real force in elections, they'll be able to get ballot access easily. If they aren't going to be a real force, then ballot access is irrelevant.
posted by eriko at 9:59 AM on October 21, 2006


The mind is sharp as ever, but your body won't do the things the brain asks it to.
That's what's so terrible, i think--you really become a prisoner in your own body. It's ironic i think (also in a terrible way), that a disease due to an impairment in the brain--the dopamine production thing--often leaves your brain undamaged in so many ways.

I think because Parkinson's comes on so gradually usually, Fox was able to work with it for a while--if only one hand trembled, or he got dizzy once in a while or something, that's easily worked around. And Hollywood is notorious at keeping secrets, so i'm sure those working with him knew.
posted by amberglow at 10:02 AM on October 21, 2006


The Missouri Senate race was lost months ago. You get the right-winger or the right-wing apologist.

Bleah. The contest isn't local. The contest is between whether Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn and Tom Coburn vet Supreme Court Justices, or Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy and Chuck Schumer. This shouldn't be a difficult choice, even if you have to hold your nose a little bit at the local person who helps put them in power.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:11 AM on October 21, 2006


The Missouri Senate race was lost months ago. You get the right-winger or the right-wing apologist.

Yeah, that's right. There's no difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates. Just like in the 2000 presidential election when so many people made the wise choice of voting for Nader. I'm sure that in retrospect, they're all pleased with the way things have turned out.

Voting third-party is now what it has always been - a selfish cop-out.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:25 AM on October 21, 2006


Ok, the last time Claire McCaskill ran for office it was against Matt Blunt for governor. They were both so screechy and the ads were inescapable that by election day you didn't care who won, as long as they were off the teevee.

It's still the same, but I did listen to one of her debates against Jim Talent and she pretty much wiped the floor with him.

There are buttloads of anti Amendment 2 signs in yards around here which is a disappointment and this is in the City of St. Louis. They all have www.nocloning.org written across the bottom and the same is on these billboards that proclaim that women are going to be paid thousands of dollars for donating eggs so evil scientists can clone babies so we can eat them or something. There's some true craziness on the 'Facts' tab of this site.

It's up to STL and KC to get McCaskill. They interviewed some corn pone anti-cloning folk from downstate on NPR and it was difficult and embarrassing to listen to.

I haven't seen this on tv here yet. I doubt anyone would even notice this week anyway.
posted by pieoverdone at 1:37 PM on October 21, 2006


I'm writing in Zombie Mel Carnahan.
posted by pieoverdone at 1:40 PM on October 21, 2006


The contest is between whether Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn and Tom Coburn vet Supreme Court Justices

No. Bush vets them, then the Senate will approve them. Remember the Gang of Fourteen?

There's no difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

In this *particular* case, no, not really. You get the obvious winger, or the lay down winger supporter. I'm not voting for her because of what she supports. It's that simple. The Senate democrats have shown that they won't fight, and McCaskill is eager to get up there, not fight, and start padding her coffers for some other run.

Comparing that to Gore and Bush is inane. The differences there are astounding, starting with the face that Gore can spell.

I didn't say "don't vote." I said "I wouldn't bother spending money on the MO Senate race." There's a big difference. I also then told someone that they seriously needed to look at why they were going to vote progressive if they wanted Talent out.

IOW, I fucking get it about third parties. I *MADE* that lecture already, okay?

Why stop spending on MO-Sen now?

1) The Democrats will not really control the Senate, in the event that they pull it off.

2) Unlike the Senate, there appears to be a chance that the Democrats could take over the house with a serious majority -- one large enough that one person rebelling doesn't shut you down.

Thus, spending money on the Senate right now is silly. You need to be perfect to get 51 seats, and with Salazar, Nelson, Inouye, Pryor and Byrd still in the Senate (and Lieberman almost certainly so as well), what 51 seats really represents is maybe 45 Democrats, and 5 appeasers, any one of who will cut you off at the knees in a heartbeat. We know how they'll vote for Bush nominees. That record is well established.

It will take years to fix the Senate, unless a meteor strikes the place -- don't think that if we magically replaced those six that anything will get better. The GOP will be filibustering at every opportunity, and the Gang of 14 will make sure that they can, and most of the Dems will only make a stand when the fight is already lost -- a little red meat for the base, but no real risk of actually opposing Bush.

The House, however, is different. The members aren't nearly as likely to play games with the GOP, since they've been repeatedly fucked over and humiliated for the last six years, and the winner-take-all rules means that the Minority gets to do basically only what the majority consents to.

So, the House might actually oppose Bush, provided enough seats swing. Given that every day shows another race in contention, and all of the moves have been in the Dems favor, the smart thing to do is to stop supporting Senate candidates, esp. lame ones like McCaskill, and start supporting House candidates.

In my case, MO-2, there's no reason to bother. The same gerrymander that put Talent into national politics made MO-1 and MO-2 dead safe democratic seats. The seat was Dem, the seat will be Dem, doubly so in a year where momentum favors the Dems.
posted by eriko at 1:53 PM on October 21, 2006


eriko's right--the Senate is a lost cause, even if it does flip--there's only Feingold who doesn't cave.

Given Foley's lead coattails, we're going to take the House, and it gives more opportunity to halt the slide, if not stop it altogether. We'll be able to kill horrific things in committee and control appropriations, so they never get to the Senate or to Bush's "signing statement" poison pen.
posted by amberglow at 7:33 PM on October 21, 2006


house == worth nothing....

senate is where the power is. shame on you for giving up.

enablers...

I would leverage some more targeted verbiage but my grandmother reads this site.
posted by sourbrew at 1:01 AM on October 22, 2006


house == worth nothing....

House, worth plenty.

1) Budget bills start in the house.

2) The House has the power to impeach.

3) Unlike the Senate, where the minority has power, in the house, the Majority controls everything. So you can actually push an agenda in the House with a thin majority. In the Senate, it is much harder, you really need 60 votes to push something through opposition.

The fact that the Democrats kept caving is one reason the GOP got so much through the Senate. Daschle and Reid could have shut down the gradually reduction of the Minority's power, by uttering a simple phrase. "I object."

Because of the Senate rules, the Senate depends on accepting things by acclimation. This short-circuits many of the rules, but under the rules, that's okay, because of unanimous consent. This is why you constantly hear the phrase "Without objection...so ordered" spoken by the presiding officer.

When Frist and Co started pulling BS like modifying the blue-slip rule on the fly, the proper response for the Democrats was to simply enforce the rules of the Senate by refusing unanimous consent, until the GOP got the fuck over it and played by the rules. Instead, the kept trying for comity, and kept getting reamed.

Of course, the GOP in the minority won't be that stupid. So, a thin Senate majority will be useless for two reasons -- the GOP will block any real change, should the Democrats actually band together for something.

The house, however, is different. If Peloisi has the votes, she wins, period. Indeed, what the GOP showed us was that it was better to win votes by thin margins rather than by acclaim, so if a bill had widespread support, it would be pulled from the calendar and they'd start tacking on things to hurt the Democrats until they were back to a thin margin of victory.

That's the difference between the House and Senate. Note how Bush got legislation passed easily in the face of a Dem controlled Senate. That's going to happen again if the Senate flips, but it won't happen in the House. The Speaker and Majority Leader have much more control in the House.
posted by eriko at 5:38 AM on October 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


What Would Jesus Do, Asshole?
posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM on October 22, 2006


In my case, MO-2, there's no reason to bother. The same gerrymander that put Talent into national politics made MO-1 and MO-2 dead safe democratic seats. The seat was Dem, the seat will be Dem, doubly so in a year where momentum favors the Dems.

Eriko, isn't the current Rep from Mo-2 Akin, a Republican? Also, before Talent's two terms, you had Jack Buechner for two terms (with Horn as a 1-term Democrat in between). I thought the whole gerrymander in the MO districts had the effect of putting more Republicans in MO-2, while putting the Democrats in 1 (Gep) and 3.
posted by Mid at 10:47 AM on October 22, 2006




Mid catches my screwup, which is pretty bad because I had been just looking at the maps last week.

Talent was MO-2. Gep was MO-1 (I'm also MO-1, and always have been, which makes this screwup even more embarrasing.)

My argument is the same, except for the numbers. (Try that on your next Physics exam...)
posted by eriko at 6:00 AM on October 23, 2006




Compassionate Conservatives
posted by homunculus at 4:31 PM on October 24, 2006






Video of Limbaugh waving his arms around and doing an impersonation of Michael J. Fox. What a classy guy.
posted by Mid at 8:21 AM on October 26, 2006


very interesting thing on how the stemcell thing is not the abortion thing, and that the GOP is trying to make it so: ... Mostly, though, it undercuts the moral argument the Republicans have been making about their (phony) "culture of life." Back in the 70's, when the Hyde Amendment was passed, Republicans could get away with making practical arguments like "people shouldn't have to pay for things that morally offend them." But this isn't the "me decade" anymore. The Republicans are no longer supposed to be just the defenders of traditional values --- they are supposed to be true believers. I don't see how the religious right could support such a "split-the-difference" strategy.
...

posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on October 26, 2006


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