Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos, One Year Later
One year ago today was Election Day. (Seems longer than that, doesn't it?) I remember it vividly--canvassing in the afternoon, the optimism of the early exit polls, the gradual realization as the night went on that Kerry didn't have enough to win, the shattering news that Ohio had gone red, and the morning after--one of the worst days of my life, and probably yours, too.

This morning I had NPR on, and analyst Juan Williams was talking about the new poll that shows 55 percent of voters now calling the presidency of He Who Shall Not Be Named a failure. He noted that among self-described moderates, the margin claiming failure is about two-to-one. This is the sort of statistic that makes you want to beat your head against the desk. Everything we've seen in the past year: the continuing quagmire in Iraq, extremist appointments (judicial and otherwise) and mushrooming scandal, everything (with the possible exception of the rise in oil prices) was predictable on November 2, 2004, yet a goodly percentage of those moderates who now view the president as a failure pulled the lever for him on that day.

Thanks a lot, moderates. Buyer's remorse is one thing when you bought the wrong brand of blender. It's another thing entirely when you've helped point the country in a direction it's going to take generations to reverse. How much more evidence do you need that there's a war on, and you need to get out of the middle of the damn road and take a side?

Recommended Reading:
AMERICABlog has the Alito poll numbers, and they show the American people behind the Democrats in opposing Alito if he would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, and on the Democrats' right to filibuster the nomination. They're evenly divided on whether the Repugs would have a right, in case of filibuster, to invoke their nuclear option. Steady as she goes, Harry. Don't screw it up.

The Associated Press is reporting this morning on plans to restrict travel in the event of a flu pandemic. While it all sounds nice and rational on paper, remember that it's not going to be that way in the real world. It's no wonder the administration has been arguing that the military should have a role in the event of a pandemic, because if you're going to keep Americans from exercising their right to travel wherever and whenever, you're going to have to shoot 'em.

And here in Wisconsin, our State Assembly has helpfully passed a bill that protects the rights of beer distributors while making it tougher for microbrewers to compete in the beer-drinking marketplace. The bill would forbid small brewers from shipping directly to retailers. It's already illegal for small out-of-state brewers to do this, but the bill would extend the requirement to in-state brewers once they reach a certain size. In other words, it puts a limit on just how big small brewers can become. It will likely raise the cost of microbrew, too, while permitting the big boys to continue selling their dishwater at the usual low prices. Not that it would change my beer habits or anything: millions for New Glarus and Capital, but not one cent for Bud.

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