Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dick Cheney, Evil Pool Boy
I'm off to see George Clooney's film Good Night and Good Luck in a minute or two. Until I write my review, here's some stuff to get you through. (Not deliberately trying to rhyme there, really. I swear)

Some people are latching onto the idea (as we noted here yesterday) that it might help Democrats next year if they had something like the 1994 Repug "Contract With America" to run on. Mark Schmitt of the Decembrist, writing at TAP Online, advises Dems to look to a different election for a model: 1974, the post-Watergate election:
So what are the lessons of the Class of ’74 for the Class of ’06? First, that good candidates -- independent, straight-talking, hardworking -- are more valuable in current circumstances than finding a common message or contract for them. Like the Class of ’74, they need to “get it” -- that is, understand the culture of corruption they are up against, that Democrats are an opposition party today, and that the political culture created by George W. Bush and Tom DeLay is not business as usual. They need to be willing to talk about the three big issues, which I would define as reform, economic security, and Iraq, but they don’t all have to say the same thing. They have to say what they think, in a way that works with their constituents.

And second, that good candidates may not come from obvious places. Like Paul Hackett in Ohio’s special election last August, they may not be the names that appear first when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee looks for popular state legislators or local millionaires who can finance their own campaigns. Like Richard Morrison running against DeLay last year or like [Bill] Clinton in 1974 [when he was closely defeated for Congress in a heavily Republican district], they may appear in districts that would never be targeted by standard electoral math but where a great candidate can at the very least soften up the incumbent for the next fight. It is also a lesson to campaign contributors large and small: don’t act like risk-minimizers, concentrating resources on a handful of targeted seats and discouraging challengers elsewhere, but taking the fight to as many districts as possible. . . .
Howard Dean has suggested the latter already, of course. Only 364 days to go until Election Day '06.

Recommended Reading: You heard it here first: The United States used chemical weapons in the Battle of Fallujah last December. Man, just when you think our image can't sink any lower, something comes out that drains just a little bit more water out of the pool. But to presume that there's no water left is to ignore just who the pool boy is. James Carroll of the Boston Globe sketched Dick Cheney's career briefly yesterday--briefly because because there's a limit to how much a person can stomach, as writer or reader.

On a lighter (humor of adjective choice will become apparent in a moment) note, the November issue of Discover magazine reports that the average bra size of an American woman has increased in the last 15 years from 34B to 36C. Some of it is due to the popularity of implants and the estrogen in birth control pills, but some of it is due to obesity. Among other interesting facts, the magazine reports that a pair of D-cups can weigh between 15 and 23 pounds. The magazine offers a Thanksgiving metaphor: that's about as much as two small turkeys.

Mmmm, turkey. . . .

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