OK, so we won.

The AP just called the Virginia Senate race for Jim Webb. So we have the House and we now we have the Senate. OK, so that’s a nice way to cap an evening, but I have some gripes.

First, why does an election have to cost a billion bucks? Heck, the GOP popped a cool million just in the last week, just on this race trying to save Mike Sodrel in IN-09. What could we have done with a million dollars… hmmmm… how about fund a medium library for an entire year. Get the picture?

Second, we need to finish transforming the Democratic Party into a national party for the 21st century. The old school DC insiders still think they run the place, but they seem to want to ignore the fact that nearly all the upsets we got were from candidates who were not the choice of the insiders. Take John Yarmuth of Louisville who beat Ann Northrup. Yarmuth was like the third or fourth choice of the DC insiders. He was entirely unfunded by the nationals until a poll showed him leading right at the end.

These winners were all grassroots candidates. All of these candidates were extremely out spent, but still won. Why? The people in the district had already decided they were the right candidate to begin with. This is the wave of the future. If the DCCC had only listened to the locals it is very possible we could have won 40 seats instead of 30.

Nonetheless, what an election. The numbers are mind boggling. We won about 30 house seats, 6 Senate, 6 governors, 8 legislative chambers, 275 state legislature seats and we didn’t lose anything in the process. Go figure. That sounds like a total refutation of the right to me. We just might see a little bit of light on our fair nation. Wow.

Now it’s time to get to work. Obviously, we have a sinking, listing nation to right.

Posted in Politics

NPR visits Madison, Indiana, to talk politics

NPR visited Madison last week to look at the latest political trend… folks living in rural spaces are, at least temporarily, bolting the Republican Party.

In past decades, rural areas have been distinctly red. Indeed, when the non-partisan Center for Rural Strategies poll showed rural areas split even between the parties it was considered a shocking poll. However, the October edition of the poll now shows the Democrats now picking up substantial rural support. This is indeed a rather interesting development that does not bode well for the Republicans this election. (note: links are pdf docs)

This in and of itself is news, but when National Public Radio covered this poll they visited a restaurant around the corner from where we live. Journalist Howard Berkes files a story where he interviewed patrons at Hammonds Family Restaurant on Main Street. Here’s a snippet:

Donna Saylor is a postal worker in Madison, Ind., a town on the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Louisville. She considers herself an independent voter who crosses party lines to vote for candidates she considers best. Rural independents have been important to the Republican majority in rural places in recent elections. Saylor won’t disclose her choice for the upcoming election, but she says health care costs and the war in Iraq are among her top issues.

“I’m not happy with the war,” Saylor notes, as she sips her morning coffee at Hammond’s Family Restaurant in Madison. “If Bush wants the war,” she adds, “send his family, too. You know, when he gets his family over there, maybe he’ll change his attitude.”

I couldn’t have said it any better. Her top concerns are exactly the same as mine.

I also find it interesting that Madison is getting into the news more often. It would take time to document, but Madison has been featured on public radio and in wire stories a number of times in the past couple of years.

Being a beautiful rivertown in the middle of the nation’s hottest Congressional race doesn’t hurt, but I suspect it goes beyond that. Visually, Madison is what many people think has been lost in America. In this case, a wonderful small diner on a old fashioned Main Street. You can’t get much more American than that.

Posted in On-the-News

90% of trees battered by Buffalo storm

All I can say is Ouch

A preliminary estimate has found that roughly 90 percent of the 5,700 trees in Delaware Park and its three nearby parkways were damaged.

Buffalo is a leafy city with huge Victorian neighborhoods and a beautiful parks system. They’re estimating the tree damage could take generations to repair. The good news is 85 to 90 percent of these trees are salvageable—just minus many branches.

Another Buffalo quote from the same article…

One Town of Tonawanda official said that except for the snow, the town would appear to have been hit by a hurricane. Holifield had a different take: “I’m a Midwestern guy. It looks like a tornado came through, not a snowstorm.”

Posted in Life

Worst October storm ever... poor Buffalo

Thunder, lightning and snow and now rain and melt-off flooding. Tens of thousands of damaged trees, 390,000 out of power including 70% of Buffalo. The earliest lake-effect snow ever, the snowiest October storm ever and the sixth worst 24-hour snow fall in Buffalo history. I’m hearing the damage is similar to a hurricane or a severe ice storm, the trees were just mowed down.

The place is a disaster area. Poor Buffalo. Here is the latest news from my hometown

This snow was heavier than usual Buffalo snows. Not only were the leaves still on the trees, but the snow was twice as heavy. No wonder so many trees couldn’t hold on.

For a more typical December lake-effect snowstorm with a 25:1 snow-to-liquid-equivalent ratio, 22.6 inches of snow would weigh 4.7 pounds per square foot. However, for relatively wet lake-effect snow like during this event, which had approximately a 12” snow to 1” liquid ratio, 22.6 inches of wet snow weighs 9.8 pounds per square foot!

Here are some more links…

USA Today: The Weather Guys

Lake Effect Snow explained

Hey, at least the Buffalo Sabres are still unbeaten.

Posted in On-the-News

The First 100 Hours... is this radical?

Here’s what the first 100 hours of Democratic control of Congress would look like courtesy of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi who would become house speaker…

Day One: Put new rules in place to “break the link between lobbyists and legislation.”

Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Time remaining until 100 hours: Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step. Cut the interest rate on student loans in half. Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.

Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds – “I hope with a veto-proof majority,” she added in an Associated Press interview Thursday.

All the days after that: “Pay as you go,” meaning no increasing the deficit, whether the issue is middle class tax relief, health care or some other priority.

Nancy Pelosi has been slimed as too liberal for our nation because she serves from San Francisco. But what’s so liberal and radical about all this? To me it just makes common sense to shape up our national security and financial security.

Hey, if this is what “liberal San Francisco politics” looks like, I’ll take it. Indeed, I’m drooling over the concept that we’ll finally start taking care of our country.

Posted in Politics

Let's be courteous and welcome the plutons

Pluto is still a planet ... and so is Ceres, Charon and Xena. A committee of the International Astronomical Union has proposed a new definition of planets that could bring in more than a dozen smaller planets to the solar system that they’re calling plutons.

It makes sense, Stern said, that there could be dozens of planets in the solar system. The discoveries in the Kuiper Belt have put Pluto in context, he said. “Pluto is no longer the misfit,” he said. “It is closer to average than the Earth.”

The news sent real estate prices skyrocketing on the eight major planets as Solians moved en mass trying to avoid the stigma of living on a pluton.

One buyer moved from Ceres to Mars after his Martian friends taunted him. “Before we were the king of the asteriod belt, now we’re a measly pluton. My friends harassed me saying I was nothing more than a backwater pluton hick. It was awful. I’ll miss Ceres, I so much liked small planet life.”

Posted in On-the-News

Wow! Lust factor=10

This is a sports car I would love to own.

bas Lightbox

The Tesla Roadster does 0-60 in 4 seconds, top speed 130mph and—get this—zero emissions.

It’s a high-performance electric car that you plug in at night. Full charge in 3.5 hours, 200 to 250 mile range, 135 miles per gallon equivalent, 1 cent a mile. Not bad at all, but this is what makes it drool worthy ...

“You see any cops?” Eberhard asks, shooting me a mischievous look. The car is vibrating, ready to launch. I’m the first journalist to get a ride. He releases the brake and my head snaps back. One-one-thousand: I get a floating feeling, like going over the falls in a roller coaster. Two-one-thousand: The world tunnels, the trees blur. Three-one-thousand: We hit 60 miles per hour. Eberhard brakes. We’re at a standstill again—elapsed time, nine seconds. When potential buyers get a look at the vehicle this summer, it will be among the quickest production cars in the world.

It’s amazing what you can do with 6,831 lithium-ion cells.

Posted in Mac-Tech

Previous Posts