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The Political Oddsmaker

The Political Oddsmaker gives you the odds of a particular candidate winning their election. You can get odds for each of the major U.S. races (Senate, House, and Governors for this election). It claims a 98% success rate in picking the winner since 1996 (more inside.)
posted by pitchblende on Nov 1, 2002 - 15 comments

Friday Fun!! Got a question for the Axis of Chicken Hawks?

Friday Fun!! Got a question for the Axis of Chicken Hawks? "The Official Simulation Act of 2002 created the Dept. of Official Simulation (DoOS) and tasked it with minimizing time wasted on media availability by certain U.S. Government officials who have been designated as essential to national security. DoOS makes available for press conferences and interviews simulated officials virtually identical to the originals with regard to talking points, lucidity and veracity" Try it! The answers are hilarious!! (thanks to busybusybusy)
posted by nofundy on Nov 1, 2002 - 8 comments

The Republican Party is demanding equal time by the news to match the 3 1/2 hours of what they call "free campaigning" in Paul Wellstone's funeral. Jesse Ventura has joined the fray, threatening to appoint an "Average Minnesotan" to Wellstone's seat because he was angered by the political tone of a funeral for a politician that was attended by politicians. It certainly does suck when media-covered events turn into political commentary. Between the actions of Ventura, the Republican protestors, and the Democrats at the funeral, does anyone here have the high ground?
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 31, 2002 - 98 comments

What is America

What is America and what is its role in the world today? Not being American, I often find myself in conflict when speaking to them about their country. Looking for a way to express my views, I find myself agreeing more and more with Fareed Zakaria’s viewpoint.
posted by Baesen on Oct 30, 2002 - 29 comments

Family Asks Cheney Not To Attend Wellstone Service.

Family Asks Cheney Not To Attend Wellstone Service. "Upset by Republican activities", the Wellstone family has uninvited Cheney to Sen. Wellstone's funeral. This article suggests that it's as much an issue of the awkwardness of Cheney being at what might amount to a Democrat rally, as it is about the family not wanting him there.
posted by badstone on Oct 29, 2002 - 62 comments

It's the eve of the election, and control of the Senate is up for grabs... but Senator Wellstone dies tragically in a plane crash.
Who you gonna call?!
MONDALE!!!

He's an alright guy and everything, but I just can't hear his name without thinking of "Names for Bands" from Jello Biafra's "No More Cocoons"...
posted by insomnia_lj on Oct 27, 2002 - 28 comments

Jeb Bush linked to Terror Flight School Owner, whose plane was also seized for Heroin Trafficking.

Jeb Bush linked to Terror Flight School Owner, whose plane was also seized for Heroin Trafficking. How can it be that not only is the Bush family linked to the Bin Laden family, but they just happen to have been travelers on a Lear jet which was seized with a record amount of 30 pounds of heroin. The owner of the Lear jet coincidentally, pictured here with Florida Governor Jeb Bush (which had to be retrieved from Google's diligent cache system since the page has since been removed), also owns the school where the alleged WTC leader Mohammed Atta took flying lessons. Coincidence? Or did Bush Know?
posted by jackspace on Oct 24, 2002 - 42 comments

A rush, a push, and the land is ours.

A rush, a push, and the land is ours. Bush enlists government in the GOP campaign. Unprecedented.
posted by plexi on Oct 24, 2002 - 61 comments

It's fun to watch your tax dollars put politicians in office.

It's fun to watch your tax dollars put politicians in office. "Cheney has been the White House road warrior this year, hauling in more than $22 million for Republicans in 74 campaign appearances"
posted by the fire you left me on Oct 23, 2002 - 14 comments

There are 202 initiatives on the ballot

There are 202 initiatives on the ballot in 40 states this election cycle. "53 of the measures represent direct democracy at work: ideas placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, often designed specifically to reverse legislative action." Some of the initiatives make sense, some of them do not. I've got a list of awards for various categories of initiatives. Some of these awards are given with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
  • Most Wasteful: This award goes to the initiative that will waste the most tax-payer dollars. And the winner is North Dakota's Youth Investment Initiative.
  • Do-it-for-the-kids Award: Arnold Schwarzenegger may be rehearsing for a political role as he leads the campaign for Proposition 49, which would require state funding for after-school programs. Shouldn't parents be taking care of their kids after school? Why is the state of California becoming a nanny?
  • Highest Ballot Measure: Nevada's initiative to legalize marijuana. 'Nuff said.
  • Up-in-smoke Award: It's a tie between the Missouri and Arizona initiatives increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes.
  • Dumbest Initiative: Animal rights activists have place an initiative on the ballot in Florida to protect pregnant pigs. This initiative is dumb because it takes the extreme measure of making an amendment to the Florida constitution.
  • Smartest Initiative: "Politicians are like diapers, they both must be changed frequently—and for the same reason." Idaho's term-limits proposal takes this award. Runner up goes to Oregon voters who will decide whether to list a choice of "none of the above" on all state ballots.
Anybody else have any more nominations?
posted by jasontromm on Oct 23, 2002 - 56 comments

MoveOn PAC.

MoveOn PAC. A small donor political action comitee.
posted by four panels on Oct 21, 2002 - 10 comments

One Left wing site's idea of tolerance and respect for divergent opinions.

One Left wing site's idea of tolerance and respect for divergent opinions. Truly hysterical (in all meanings of the word) post from the administrator of the Democratic Underground's message board announcing that from now you're only allowed to post messages that they agree with. No pro-Green Party points of view allowed, and certainly no Republicans. After all, they're evil. Not mistaken, mind you, nor misguided. Nope, anyone who's to the right of the Democratic party is evil. This sort of moral absolutism reminds me of, well, the Taliban.
posted by mojohand on Oct 19, 2002 - 44 comments

"Clean" Elections Fiasco

"Clean" Elections Fiasco I have the misfortune to be a voter in Arizona, a state which has instituted a so-called "Clean Elections" system, in which candidates who campaign a certain way qualify to be eligible for funding matching that of other candidates. The goals are to "eliminate special-interests" and "level the playing field", but it has backfired badly. How can I retain my political voice when contributions to my preferred candidate wind up being matched (with taxpayer money) for the other candidates? We're in the middle of a fiscal crisis in this state, and candidates are being funded with millions of dollars of campaign welfare taken from public funds, which (as always) is being used for mudslinging. What part of "Clean" is so confusing? I can only hope that my boy Jeff can work some miracles.
posted by oissubke on Oct 19, 2002 - 10 comments

The West Wing debunker.

The West Wing debunker. I have grown to hate this show even though I agree with its politics. The show occasionally brings up interesting topics but it is so goddamned sanctimonious. I worry that people think this is how our executive branch works. I hope this isn't a double post.
posted by McBain on Oct 18, 2002 - 46 comments

Bush skeptical of ballistic fingerprinting.

Bush skeptical of ballistic fingerprinting. This article talks about Bush's (and the NRA's) reluctance to set up a national ballistic fingerprinting system to trace bullets back to the guns which fired them. Some feel this technology could be helpful in finding the DC sniper. Apparently, legislation to set up this system has been in the works for about 2 years, but this is the first I've heard of it. Any MeFi people know more about this?
posted by botono9 on Oct 16, 2002 - 92 comments

Playing Chicken with Politics.

Playing Chicken with Politics. What do you do when a defecting party from your coalition ends up in another coalition with your opposition (and thereby removing you from power in the local legislature)? Why you get a giant chicken to follow the defecting party's chairman around for two weeks! Is this just political grandstanding? And even if so would it be effective? Would it work anywhere else?
posted by PenDevil on Oct 15, 2002 - 6 comments

Can the current prohibition really be blamed on one guy? First he tells Congress that "marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind" and then World War 2 comes and farmers are encouraged to grow it. After the War, he turns around and tells Congress that it could be used by the Russians to make our men lazy and pacifistic. If he had kept his original argument, our men would be insane killers against the Russian army. What would the country be like if there never was a HARRY J. ANSLINGER ?
posted by Degaz on Oct 14, 2002 - 27 comments

Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Metafilter has managed to deceive those limits, and sensationalize beyond that pale. What makes this quote funny? It's automatically generated by this site, which can add your name or website to any accusation of liberal bias you'd ever want. This will save so many people so much time.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 14, 2002 - 37 comments

The art

The art of the political campaign song is alive and well. Candidates in Ohio , Indiana, Tennessee, and Minnesota have 'em. What about where you live?
(Caution: All state name links are to sound files. Links to campaign sites inside.)
Heck, Lamar even got Bocephus.
posted by putzface_dickman on Oct 11, 2002 - 8 comments

Doomsayers refuted yet again,

Doomsayers refuted yet again, this time by the United Nations and the Institute for International Studies, who independently released studies declaring that humanity is, for the most part, in the best condition it’s ever been. (Former MeFi-er DenBeste comments here.) With more and more studies reaching similar conclusions as Bjørn Lomborg's "Skeptical Environmentalist" and the CATO Institute's "It's Getting Better All the Time", I'm on my way to buy myself a new pair of shades. The future does indeed look bright!
posted by dagny on Oct 11, 2002 - 32 comments

Bush Science: more lead for children and the healing power of Jesus.

Bush Science: more lead for children and the healing power of Jesus. How many obvious right-wing ideologues with strong industry ties purporting to be objective scientists will Americans tolerate?
posted by skallas on Oct 11, 2002 - 41 comments

US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration."

US Dept. of Education to erase website info which "does not reflect the priorities, philosophies, or goals of the present administration." Can you say 1984? Say it now....OVER and OVER and OVER again so you can GET USED TO IT......a brutal, clever strategy of the Bush Adm.to rewrite reality: erase problematic info and then channel money to people willing to produce the right stuff. Samizdat opportunity -- use a website capture program: WebWhacker costs $, but there are freeware site suckers available too. Orwell is turning in his grave.....Download and archive this stuff before it gets erased. Remember, Information Wants to Be Free!...or does it?
posted by troutfishing on Oct 10, 2002 - 8 comments

Ferret Man for Lieutenant Governor?

Ferret Man for Lieutenant Governor? The candidate for Lieutenant Governor of the Libertarian Party of California has made it his personal crusade to legalize the domestication of ferrets in his home state. This is a reasonable political cause, but it has left the impression that California Libertarians are wacko, a trend that even bothers some Libertarians. Oh yes, the official Libertarian candidate for governor is a practicing Druid who lists Gene Roddenberry (?) as one of his favorite political philosophers. Is there something in the water at Libertarian Party meetings?
posted by jonp72 on Oct 10, 2002 - 16 comments

Vote Pancake?

Vote Pancake? Some say no.
posted by putzface_dickman on Oct 9, 2002 - 23 comments

Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley shouted down

Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley shouted down for yelling "Fuck George Bush!" by an angry crowd at the Inland Punk Rock Festival in California (about halfway into the article.) At least according to a friend of some guy who writes for the Weekly Standard who took his teenage daughter to the concert and had no idea who the Buzzcocks were. Was anyone there? Did this really happen?
posted by transona5 on Oct 8, 2002 - 76 comments

The Red On The Blue (And On The Button):

The Red On The Blue (And On The Button): Terry Eagleton's description of T.S. Eliot's politics is easily the best definition of traditional Conservatism written by an untraditional Marxist I've ever read.[More Inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 7, 2002 - 25 comments

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven). "The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."

Excecutive summary: Lord Acton foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Oct 4, 2002 - 44 comments

U.S. Has No Right to Invade Iraq, Canada Says

U.S. Has No Right to Invade Iraq, Canada Says
posted by oissubke on Oct 3, 2002 - 48 comments

"The Antipsychiatry Coalition

"The Antipsychiatry Coalition is a nonprofit volunteer group consisting of people who feel we have been harmed by psychiatry - and of our supporters. We created this website to warn you of the harm routinely inflicted on those who receive psychiatric 'treatment' and to promote the democratic ideal of liberty for all law-abiding people that has been abandoned in the U.S.A., Canada, and other supposedly democratic nations." Hours of reading, but their report to President Bush is a good summary.
posted by Joey Michaels on Oct 3, 2002 - 44 comments

Blue man runs for Senate

Blue man runs for Senate Stan Jones, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Montana suffers from argyria, a condition in which the skin becomes stained a permanent shade of blue. How do you come down with it? You drink lots of colloidal silver. Jones started mixing his own shortly before Y2K to help boost his immune system in the antibiotic-short apocolypse he was sure was coming. No word if he is now engaged in weird behavior involving metal tubes.
posted by agaffin on Oct 3, 2002 - 27 comments

A restaurant's advertisement runs during a special on gay weddings, which causes a christian conservative group to mention said restaurant in a story on their web site, which might alienate some of the restaurant's patrons. So the restaurant tells the AP that the advertisement was not meant for that programming, and that the restaurant only supports "non-controversial" programming, which brings the ire of an even bigger minority group. Applebee's just can't seem to win when it comes to courting the non-mainstream market.
posted by benjh on Oct 3, 2002 - 24 comments

Rumsfeld's Rules [For educational use only]

Rumsfeld's Rules [For educational use only] Donald Rumsfeld's Management Rules. Once available via the DOD website; now all copies have been pulled from government servers. This is one of the only copies still online. Read it ... while you STILL can... Soon available for sale in a print edition. Does it contain Hidden War Strategies? Can a US offical make money on the sale of "management techniques" developed and revised while serving as a government agent? Is not everything Rumsfeld produced in his capacity as a government agent owned by the US public? Discuss.
posted by mfoight on Oct 3, 2002 - 28 comments

US Foreign Policy Goals - Condoleeza Rice. Only $29.95 from C-SPAN, well worth it. Will clear up many misconceptions. Unfortunately, thanks to macho chest thumping and grunting by prominent talking heads on camera, the Rice message isn't getting across. (Free transcripts instead of $29.95 tapes might help.) Intelligent criticism of the sea change in foreign policy, from elder statesman George Kennan. What good does it do us to have information available on the web if we can't afford to buy it?
posted by sheauga on Oct 3, 2002 - 4 comments

More election hilarity expected!!!

More election hilarity expected!!! So, does anyone here still remember the 2000 election? Its not through with us yet. The GOP could regain control of the Senate immediately following the Nov. 5 elections, thanks to a nutty legal wrinkle associated with Sen. Jean Carnahan's appointment to the seat Missouri elected her deceased husband to. That is, if she loses, and if the Democrats don't pull the trick William Safire expects them to.
posted by gsteff on Oct 2, 2002 - 26 comments

'One Bullet' Less Costly Than War, Bush Spokesman Says

'One Bullet' Less Costly Than War, Bush Spokesman Says dangerous talk? especially coming from the office of a man who is less popular with much of the worlds population than the man in question.
posted by specialk420 on Oct 2, 2002 - 80 comments

Was Jeb Bush fed the Florida Grubernatorial debate? The governor addresses random voter "Sylvia" in regards to her question. The problem is that the moderator didn't say a woman named Sylvia has a question until three minutes later. (More inside)
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 1, 2002 - 32 comments

Torricelli Considers Dropping Out Of His Re-Election Bid

Torricelli Considers Dropping Out Of His Re-Election Bid ...and Republicans' hopes to reclaim the Senate brighten. Why drop out now, with only 5 weeks left? Is Torricelli guilty of even more ethics violations than previously thought? (more inside...)
posted by jennak on Sep 30, 2002 - 67 comments

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says?

Do you know what the Second Amendment actually says? UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh presents a remarkably clear, educated, and non-inflammatory explanation of the amendment, including plenty of historical references. As with my previous post (about Liberalism and Conservativism), I submit this not to promote a viewpoint, but to (hopefully) educate those who would debate about it.
posted by oissubke on Sep 29, 2002 - 33 comments

"All it takes is a snowball," he said, "to start an avalanche." Vaclav Havel speaks to Cuban exiles.
posted by swell on Sep 29, 2002 - 10 comments

Liberalism FAQ

Liberalism FAQ and Conservativism FAQ describe the differences (and similarities) between the two oft-discussed by seldom understood political mindsets. Both FAQs are detailed, concise, enjoyable, and not annoyingly biased. Read with caution: Knowing your enemies sometimes makes it less fun to bash on them.
posted by oissubke on Sep 27, 2002 - 25 comments

The Truth Squad

The Truth Squad - ABC News wants your help. Specifically, the ABCNEWS Political Unit Election Watchdog (PUEW), looking to keep upcoming elections as truthful as possible, wants you to gather up your election mail; take notes about the campaign-related phone calls you get; and send them your tips and credible accounts, so that they can go through them. They have a page of descriptions of what they are looking for. Are they expecting things to be particularly ugly? Are they trying to dig something up, or is this really an attempt to neutralize election season lies?
posted by mikhail on Sep 27, 2002 - 8 comments

Sen. Tom Harkin

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) could cost the Democrats control of the Senate after a former aide tried one of the dumbest political stunts ever. The aide attended a strategy session of Harkin's opponent, Rep. Greg Gaske (R), and taped the discussion. He then gave a transcript to Harkin's campaign manager. As expected, Republicans are turning it to their advantage. The Democrats control the Senate by just one seat. Did Harkin's campaign just hand the Senate to the GOP?
posted by PoliticalJunkie on Sep 27, 2002 - 34 comments

'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'

'The guy who tried to kill my dad.' Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
posted by bclark on Sep 27, 2002 - 36 comments

Think of the children!

Think of the children! Is the crayon-toting lobbyist the next big thing in politics? Is this a legitimate political strategy or despicable behaviour on the part of the teacher? Charles Helwig at the University of Toronto has some evidence that elementary school age children have some understanding of democracy and freedom of speech and "can use those concepts to evaluate political systems". How old does a person need to be to voice an opinion? (via plastic)
posted by snarfodox on Sep 27, 2002 - 23 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

Is Libya next?

Is Libya next? This story in Israel's Ha'aretz has a very very interesting lead: "The U.S. agrees with Israeli assessments that Libya has renewed its efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb, and that those efforts have been stepped up since 1999, when the UN sanctions on the country were removed." Not only that, Ariel Sharon says that he believes the Iraqis might be helping build said nuclear bomb, and that Libya might attain nuclear capability before Iraq does. And not only that, the always-exciting "unnamed experts" suggest that Pakistan and North Korea might have a hand in this as well. Libya is still on the State Department list of nations that support terror, so why hasn't this story been getting any play stateside? Is it really overstating the case to suggest that Bush's new doctrine of preemptive strikes without hard evidence, if applied across the board, could very well lead to world war?
posted by textureslut on Sep 24, 2002 - 76 comments

Is Germany next on the list?

Is Germany next on the list? Well, no, but the way the Bush administration approaches diplomacy needs some work. Is a war in Iraq worth "poisoning" America's relationship with the international community?
posted by elwoodwiles on Sep 23, 2002 - 30 comments

Meet the "righteous babes" of the Libertarian Party

Meet the "righteous babes" of the Libertarian Party In a welcome sign of new marketing savvy, North Carolina Libertarians have announced the "Ladies of Liberty" calendar. The fundraising, uh, tool features Lib candidates from across the country in patriotic and Vargas girl [probably nsfw] poses, and is the brainchild of the very glamorous state House candidate Rachel Mills. After her company's scandalous accounting caused Playboy to come knocking, Mills decided against using naked erotica as a campaign strategy, opting instead for a semi-clothed version. Don't get too excited, though; fellow state House candidate Jennifer Medlock says all of the women wear at least lingerie. She herself stops at a modest tank top, shorts and boxing gloves.
posted by mediareport on Sep 20, 2002 - 27 comments

The grayest of gray Republican eminences weigh in on the Iraq Debate.

The grayest of gray Republican eminences weigh in on the Iraq Debate. Brent Scowcroft, an ex-general with the prejudices and proclivities of his scholarly peers --the nattering nabobs of negativism-- proposes that the United States forget about invading Iraq. Henry Kissinger, one of the great American opportunists, has positioned himself as a kind of stealth critic, a loyal oppositionist who is doing his darnedest to nudge Bush in a multilateral direction. James Baker, who is intimately tied to a wide range of allegedly satanic forces and has an incredibly long and distinguished record of public service, to chasten George W. Bush's hawkish impulses on Iraq, proposes that the administration sponsor "a simple and straightforward resolution requiring that Iraq submit to intrusive inspections anytime, anywhere, with no exceptions, and authorizing all necessary means to enforce it."
posted by semmi on Sep 19, 2002 - 11 comments

A solution to the world's terrorism problems?

A solution to the world's terrorism problems? Mo Mowlam (formerly responsible for the UK government's drugs policy) suggests that terrorist activity is funded by drug trafficking and the best way to combat this is to legalise all drugs. Everywhere. Go Mo!
posted by hnnrs on Sep 19, 2002 - 17 comments

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