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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Picking a network on which to watch the election coverage is a little like picking a candidate. Which one is the least offensive? I held my nose and turned on CNN this afternoon at 4:00, which is when the first of the eastern polls closed. Fox News wears its rightwing bias proudly, and MSNBC is trying to pander to the same crowd, so until the national broadcast networks started to weigh in, I didnít feel I had much of a choice.

CNN seemed to be trying to provide some balance to the coverage, but I could only wish some of their commentators would stop (a) telling me things I already knew, and (2) saying the same things over and over. It was nice of them to dress the Republican pundits in red neckties and the Democrats in blue ones. That made it easier to know where they were coming from.

Ultimately it was the numbers that counted. The Democrats rather easily took control of the House of Representatives, as expected. It was the first congressional election in U.S. history where not a single Democratic seat was won by a Republican. And as I go to bed at the end of this long, long night, the Democrats need three more victories to take control of the Senate, and they have small leads in the last three states still in play. (For the record, those would be Virginia, Montana and Missouri.)

In fact, thatís pretty much the reason Iím going to bed now. Iím quitting while Iím ahead.

16 October 2006

Dissolving cloud.

The nature of the Congress under Democratic control remains to be seen, because a large number of the new House members are not traditional liberal Democrats. They are the neo-Dems that those who consider themselves practical politicians hope will take the party to victory in the 2008 presidential race. It will be interesting to see how they govern, to the extent that they can, between now and then.

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Even before any results started coming in tonight, the election was big news because of the problems some areas had with electronic voting. Machines broke down completely in some places, and in others the touch screen didnít work properly. You push candidate number one and it shows you voted for number two. And thereís still no way to follow the paper trail and be sure that there hasnít been any tampering. Paper ballots, people, the kind you can count over and over until youíre sure youíre right. Accountability. Transparency. Itís the only way that we can be sure weíre getting the government we vote for.

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One year ago: Postponement
"Is it still just procrastination if you put something off one day at a time forever and ever?"

Two years ago: Processing
"We havenít come through six billion years of evolution to slither back into the ooze, and we havenít survived the last four years to hand our fate over to anyone."

Three years ago: Driven
"We left Santa Rosa in the rain at 1:00 this afternoon and found our hotel in Anaheim at 9:30 pm on a warm, balmy Southern California night. In between we saw a lot of brown fields and a million taillights. I'm so glad I wasn't the one driving."

Four years ago: 12:00 12:00 12:00
"Every so often one of them would land on the roof and rattle the rafters. (This is quite a feat, since I have a peaked roof.)"

Five years ago: Oversold
"I have deer bounding through my garden, and hawks soaring overhead. It's like living in a Disney cartoon."

Six years ago: Do We Have Enough Lifeboats?
"We had a glorious three or four hours late in the afternoon, when all the projections had Florida in the Gore column."

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