But What I'm Worried About...

First, I must say that I'm excited about this 23 point lead!  Really excited!  However, I'm also worried.  Republican's are armed for winning elections (even when they don't technically "win"!).  Their extensive talk-radio and right wing media will repeat a very consistent, focuses, and often deadly message (even if that message is a lie).  They are very good at finding messages that stick (e.g. flip-flopper, cut and run, etc...).  Their "Voter Vault" surgically targets their likely votes and ensures they show up at the polls.  They are well connected with the election administrators and voting machine vendors (e.g. Blackwell in OH and Katherine Harris in FL).  They (read "Rove") have continually been successful at destroying a candidate's character (albeit with lies) and rendering them "unelectable" (e.g. Ann Richards' sexuality in TX and McCain's love-child, and with Pelosi right now).  Lately, I've been listening to some right-wing talk radio (during commercial breaks on Air America), and they tell a confident convincing story for somebody who doesn't have the full set of facts (I am continually appalled by how they unabashedly still spinning the Foley sex scandal as a Democratically lead political ploy and not about the actually sexual harassment of minors that it really is).  They have a ton of cash.  They don't mind lying.  They have the advantage that their spokes person is the leader of free world (that would be Bush) and will always draw a crowd and free press.

As a scientist, I have trusted data my whole life, and therefore love these polls and the whole approach taken by Chris and the MyDD team!  However, I have also observed that the Republican war machine (that is, the machine that consistently wins elections) is aimed, armed, and desperate.  They are still on talk shows saying that they will keep control (despite come counter examples) with great confidence.  When Ed Gillespie was on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart asked him (somewhat rhetorically), "Why are the Republican's so effective at managing/winning elections, but so bad at governing?" (not direct quote).  Winning elections is what this group does best.  

So, my question to this group is this:  Despite these great poll results, why shouldn't I be worried about everything I just mentioned above?  I don't want to wake up with the same hangover I had on November 8th, 2004.  

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When "Opportunity" Knocks

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are always great. I love their satirical look at our political system.

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Jimmy Carter Podcast at OAC

Last week one of our favorite former Presidents sat down for a talk with John Edwards at The Carter Center in Atlanta about his latest book, Our Endangered Values . I think this was Jimmy's first podcast and you can hear it here at the OAC Media Center.

President Carter has certainly been learning a few techie tricks since he hit the octogenarian milestone. Witness his foray into the dKos fray here at:

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Dear Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,

Please book Glenn Greenwald on your show.  His book is very good.

It has been on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks, and he runs one of the most respected and highly trafficked liberal blogs on the whole internets.


Some bloggers

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Bad Habits from America's Youth

Apparently, young people are developing a dangerous new addiction, this time to a perilous activity known by its street name as 'voting'.  

An analysis of raw data by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland indicates that young people voted in bigger numbers in the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia in 2005, than they did in 2001. The number of votes cast in precincts with a high concentration of college students increased by an average of 15.1 percent above the 2001 election in Virginia, and by an average of 19.9 percent above the 2001 election in New Jersey.

This news out of New Jersey and Virginia comes on the heels of data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau that found turnout among 18-24 year olds in the 2004 presidential election increased 11 percentage points over the 2000 election, and more than doubled the turnout increase of all other age groups (which only increased by four percentage points).

Youth turnout increased more than any other democraphic group in 2004 and 2005.  As a concerned parent without children, I'm worried about this.  Are polling places safe?  How do we know that polling workers aren't dealing drugs, or setting up MySpace pages?  Are polling workers luring youngsters to vote with video games and ipod music mp3 playing machines and web sites?  Do we know if voting and gay marriage are correlated?  Why are young people watching entertaining programming like Jon Stewart's the Daily Show instead of getting their facts from responsible outlets that feature pundits screaming at each other?

Above all, why aren't these young people reading Richard Morin and the Washington Post?  I'm just generally worried.  

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