November 7, 2006

November 7 Elections Commentary Post

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:03 pm

Note: The Ohio results posts are at the Home Page and Meta-Index at the SOB Alliance.

I’ll start analyzing some of the results at this post and reporting on some of the out-of-state results when there is something to analyze and report on. I will start doing that at about 10 PM.
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12:50 am – Signing off, secure in the knowledge that at least there’s a CPA in charge of the OH Auditor’s office now, that a ludicrous “for the children” gambling initiative got trounced, and that OH lost only one GOP seat when it could have been a lot worse. When one is looking at those places for encouragement, it’s a sign of a pretty weak night.

12:45 am – It would appear that the Senate is closer to a toss-up now, but it apparently depends on VA and MT at this point.

12:17 am – The two OH congressional races both have gone to the incumbent Republicans Chabot and Schmidt; Chabot by about 10,000 and Schmidt by about 2,000.

11:58 pm – I guess we get to find out what divided government is like again, as the Dems have the House, and it seems almost a sure thing that the GOP held on to the Senate. I’m not even convinced that they’ve lost ground in the Senate — yet. Steele is up 17,000 votes in MD with 63% counted, but most of the nets are still saying Cardin has won. 12:05 am – just noted Cardin picked up bigtime. Steele looks to be in serious trouble (down 6% with 65% counted).

11:45 pm – Not posting here much because the two local congressional races (OH-1 and OH-2) have turned out to be nail-biters. Chabot leads Cranley and Schmidt leads Wulsin, but only by a few thousand in both cases.

11:15 pm – Looks like a long night in MD; Michelle Malkin is watching this one closely. One network (actually Fox and WaPo) called Cardin the winner in the Senate race, but Steele hasn’t conceded, and is ahead by the slightest of margins with only 31% counted. WaPo has withdrawn its original call.

11:00 pm – Ohio Issue 3 (Ohio Learn & Earn, which was to legalize slot gambling at 9 racetracks with profits supposedly going towards college scholarships to OH schools), which was a pet cause here (opposing it, that is), appears to be getting trounced 59-41 with 44% counted, and is trailing by roughly 330,000. Even though Cuyahoga and Hamilton aren’t counted much (or at all in Cuyahoga — time for the Cleveland jokes to come out again, I guess), I don’t see that diff being made up. In fact, after looking over the county details, I’m saying Issue 3 has failed (whew)!

10:54 pm – Lieberman’s win is apparently official. Kos is now oh-for-infinity. We’ve got to hook him up with Hillary.

10:40 pm – I’m seeing the predictions coming in as holding the Senate by 3 and the House by 3, but I’ve wandered around so much I don’t remember where (at Hewitt, I think).

10:10 pm – Guess I shouldn’t have come in, eh? I haven’t caught up yet, but it doesn’t seem to be looking good for a lot of the races the GOP had been hoping for.

Polling Station Reports; Live-Blogging Tonight; SOS and BOE Links

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:01 pm

I just voted in Warren County. Turnout: H-E-A-V-Y in all precincts at the polling station, pushing 2004 levels. Large Bill found a similar situation where he voted (UPDATE: Mrs. NixGuy too).

liveblogging1106 liveblogging1106meta

Home Page Meta-Index

Live-blogging headquarters tonight will be at the SOB Alliance home page (the live-blogging meta-index at SOB is here). Due to a number of things, I will probably not be joining in on the fun until about 10PM, and when I do, it will be primarily to cover the 2nd Congressional District until it’s clear how things are going nationally.

Secretary of State Links: Candidates, Issues, County Board of Elections web sites. Not all county BOE sites are identified. For example, I know Butler County has one, but the link only has an e-mail. If you think a county has a BOE site not listed, go to that county’s home page and start searching.

The Election Day Collection of Collections

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:31 pm

Elections and Issues:

  • Negative Brownie Points: Sherrod ‘Charade’ Brown Dealbreakers (there are two — here and here) and Faithshakers; number of Mike DeWine Dealbreakers — ZERO

Other key posts:

- Nov. 5 — Dispatch Polls Are STILL Within Their Track Record Margin of Error (i.e., they aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, or the bandwidth they burn)
- Nov. 4 — The ‘No WMD’ Lie: NY Times Adds More Icing to Already-Baked Cake
- Nov. 3 — A Mom’s Thoughts (on the GOP and Voting)
- Nov. 2 — Wulsin’s ‘Nuke Waste Dump’ Claim Is Made Up
- Nov. 2 — Apportioning Votes: Not Just Once a Decade Any More
- Nov. 1 — If You Think Ken Blackwell Fixed the 2004 Election, Here’s Your Ohio Guv Candidate
- Nov. 1 — Dr. Sanity Nails the Upcoming 527 Media-Far Left ‘Stolen Election’ Meme
- Oct. 31 — John Cranley’s Deal with the ….. Well, You Decide
- Oct. 31 — Vic Wulsin’s and Sherrod Brown’s ‘Timetable’ Friends Really Want Immediate Withdrawal from Iraq
- Oct. 31 — We’re Number 354: Cincinnati Got to This Point During Six Years of John Cranley
- Oct. 26 — What Is It with Crudding Up State Constitutions?
- Oct. 25 — Why Would an Auditor Want to Audit?
- Oct. 13 — Why Ted Strickland’s 1999 ‘Present’ Vote on H CON RES 107 Matters, and What It Means — INDEX, Disclosure, and Overview
- Oct. 5 — Larry Sabato: A Political Hack Who Complains of ‘Gutter Politics’ While Practicing It
- Sept. 29 — The Polls Done by That Columbus Newspaper Need to Be Dispatched to the Trash

Harold Ford Steps in It, Yet Again (and again, and again …..)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:15 am

The walking, talking, best argument in the world against early voting (here, here, and here, in only about two weeks), is at it again:

In his race for U.S. Senate (in Tennessee), Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. (D) has been outspent by millions, and his image has been battered by a barrage of negative ads, including the now-infamous spot with a blonde floozy that has been pulled off the air. Several polls show him trailing.

But being an underdog has its own righteous appeal, and the campaign used that status yesterday not only to rally voters but as evidence that God had looked with favor upon the Democratic campaign.

Bob Novak reacts in his pre-election prediction e-mail:

Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker (R) is running away with this one. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D) probably lost at least 1,000 votes every time he opened his mouth to talk about “the Lord” in the past two weeks.

Can you imagine the grief the 527 Media would be giving Bob Corker right now if he were playing the God card?

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UPDATE: FWIW — Novak, in that e-mail, predicts the Dems gain 19 House seats, 2 Senate seats, and 5 governorships. Also FWIW — he’s inside the Beltway, which when adjusted for the real world means that the GOP will lose 5-10 House seats, break even or pick up one in the Senate (thanks partially to Mr. Ford), and lose maybe four governorships. Collectively, these can also be called “Tom’s predictions.”

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UPDATE 2: Lord (if you don’t mind me using the term), have mercy, Harold Ford is having his Dukakis moment — Allah and Michelle have noted that Ford is campaigning wearing a camo hat. Has any other candidate has done THAT before on Election Day?

The Final Three of 57 Reasons to Reject the Ohio Learn & Earn Initiative (110606; Plus a Directory)

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:43 am

Well, here we are, at the final three of 57. Heinz would be proud. :–>

From Jill at Writes Like She Talks (original entry relating to Jill’s effort is here):

  • Reason 3 — “….. because I don’t like being intimidated by the proponents of Issue 3, who are the most likely to gain and the least likely to lose if Issue 3 passes, while those who are put forth as the ones the proponents are trying to benefit – the education interests – remain either silent or opposed to Issue 3.”
  • Reason 2 — (paraphrasing) “because there has to be something wrong with a ballot measure when you can come up with 10 economic reasons, 13 social reasons, 15 legal reasons, 8 reasons based on principle, 7 argumentative reasons, and 4 personal reasons why it should be voted down.”

I will split the final reason in two — Jill’s and mine:

  • Reason 1 (Jill) — “Because I want to vote no. ….. don’t play me for a fool. Don’t tell me that this is the best we can do. And don’t tell me it’s for the kids.”
  • Reason 1 (Tom) — “Because if two people from the opposite sides of the blogosphere who don’t agree on a whole lot else (but on more than you might think) can agree on 56 reasons, and even more reasons surface while those 56 are being presented, it can’t possibly be a good thing to vote for.”

Vote NO on Issue 3. Tell everyone you know it’s a bad, bad idea.

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PREVIOUS REASONS:

At WLST: #57, #56, #55, #54,
#53, #52, #51, #50, #49,
#48, #47, #46, #45, #44.

At BizzyBlog (all contain links back to WLST originals):
#43 – #41, #40 – #38,
#37 – #35, #34 – #32,
#31 – #29, #28 – #26,
#25 – #23, #22 – #20,
#19 – #17, #16 – #14,
#13, #12 – #10, #9 – #4

German Corporate Tax Reform: Nasty New Tax Provision May Negate Benefits

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:07 am

From Expatica:

Germany agrees to controversial tax plan
3 November 2006

Berlin (dpa) – Key German political leaders hammered out an agreement Thursday on a five-billion-euro (6.4 billion dollar) corporate tax reform plan, bringing to end a long running battle over the controversial changes which have exposed tensions in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition.

Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck, a member of the Social Democrats, joined Hesse state Premier Roland Koch in outlining the reforms Thursday, which include cutting the corporate tax burden from 38.7 per cent to under 30 per cent.

That’s the good news; here’s the bad, and it looks really bad from here:

Merkel coalition also agreed to introduce a 25 per cent withholding tax on capital gains on January 1, 2009.

If, as I expect, this relates to, among other things, cap gains on stock and investment transactions, this withholding requirement is a major compliance burden. It also sucks capital out of the equity and other markets that could otherwise have been reinvested immediately. Besides, if taxes are similar to the US, there is probably some sort of periodic estimated tax requirement. I would expect this to have a negative effect on the German stock exchange, and the German economy, possibly bad enough to offset the benefits from reducing the top marginal corporate tax rate.
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Related Post:

Oct. 27, 2005 — Remembering a Previous President’s Dumb Move

Cincinnati Advertising Earthquake Confirmation (Elsewhere Too)

What was noted here last week not only is true, it has been true, and not just for P&G:

Procter & Gamble Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley last week told analysts that P&G is “reallocating investments from parts of the communication plan that aren’t working as hard for us to parts … that are.” What he didn’t add is that print is the workhorse carrying a larger load.

Armed with sophisticated marketing-mix models and confronted by a growing array of new-media choices, P&G is realizing it’s oversubscribed to TV, and is pouring more money into print. TV as a share of its measured media fell 2.9 points to 69.3% in the first half of 2006-below 70% for the first time since 2001 — according to TNS Media Intelligence data analyzed by Advertising Age. You might assume that meant the marketing leader was betting bigger on digital media, but that’s not the case.

….. P&G Not Alone P&G’s move to print has been mirrored by rivals that use marketing-mix models too, including Unilever, Clorox and Johnson & Johnson. And some of them have made far more dramatic shifts.

This explains why things like NBC’s recent layoff of 700 have been happening. As far as I’m concerned, my take from last week stands, namely that TV news and entertainments shows need to be seen as “selling or promoting of P&G products by delivering fair and balanced content that doesn’t offend viewers’ sensibilities.” There’s less of that, and therefore less P&G TV ad spending as part of its overall mix

This Will Reassure Air Travelers to and from France (NOT)

Filed under: Immigration,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:57 am

From Expatica:

Paris airport to strike over Muslim workers row
PARIS, Nov 3, 2006 (AFP) – Unions at Paris’s main airport said Friday they plan to call for a strike over the withdrawal of security badges from scores of airport workers, mostly Muslims, denouncing it as discrimination.

Officials said Thursday that 72 workers at the Charles de Gaulle-Roissy international airport had been stripped of their security clearance since May 2005 for suspected links to Islamic extremists and other fundamentalist groups.

Oh, and in case you’ve missed it, France continues to do a slow burn — if you call an average of 112 cars torched cars a day during the entire year “slow.”  The long, slow, national suicide continues.

An Honest to ‘Goodness’ Mac Virus

Filed under: Money Tip of the Day,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 7:52 am

It’s supposedly not much of a threat, but it apparently works. And it leads to a Tip of the Day for Mac users near the end:

‘Macarena’ Virus Targets Macs

Nov 3, 2006 03:30 PM
Source code for a Mac virus has gone public, a security company warned Friday, and although the original doesn’t carry a malicious payload, more dangerous variants can be expected.

The virus, dubbed “OSX.Macarena” by Symantec, targets some, but not all, Mac OS X Mach-O executables. Mach-O is the format used by Apple Computer Inc.’s operating system for native executables, libraries, and object code. According to Symantec, OSX.Macarena, isn’t designed to infect PowerPC Mach-O binaries, nor Universal binaries, those meant to run on both the PowerPC and Intel Mac platforms.

“Although methods of infecting Mach-O binaries have been publicly available for some time, this marks the first known fully functional Mach-O file infecter [sic] virus,” Symantec noted in an alert to customers of its DeepSight threat network on Friday. “The source code for this virus is publicly available and as such it is possible that variants may be trivially developed to extend the viruses [sic] functionality.”

The virus affects both client and server editions of Mac OS X from 10.0.0 through 10.4.8; the latter is the most current version of the Apple operating system.

The SANS Institute’s Internet Storm Center (ISC) downplayed the significance of the Mac virus. “To be honest the virus is no big deal in itself. But it is yet another warning,” wrote ISC analyst Swa Frantzen on the team’s Web site.

“It is a warning to get anti-virus protection for those Macs, even if the shopkeeper told you do not need it, even if there are no viruses in the wild today, even if it’s hard to buy it, and even if the vendors seem not to know what they talk about,” Frantzen added.

Smug grins in Cupertino are presumably not as wide as they were before the announcement.

Positivity: 60th Anniversary of Navy’s Blue Angels

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

And they are gathering in Pensacola to celebrate:

Navy’s Blue Angels mark 60th anniversary
11/4/2006, 7:29 p.m. CT

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Touring with the Blue Angels was supposed to give Ernie Christensen a respite between deployments as a combat pilot in Vietnam.

But Christensen, a retired rear admiral who went on to command the Navy’s Top Gun fighter school, said flying with the Blue Angels was sometimes more demanding than combat.

“In your last 30 seconds coming aboard a carrier, you have levels of concentration, and in combat there are those few moments of stark terror when you have intense concentration, but with the Blues you have intense concentration the entire time,” he said.

Christensen and dozens of other former Blue Angels will gather for a Nov. 10-11 reunion and air show to mark the 60th anniversary of the Navy’s elite aerial-demonstration team at its home base of Pensacola Naval Air Station.

“Each air show is as close as you can come to the environment around an aircraft carrier. The environment around an aircraft carrier is unforgiving — you cannot make errors because there is a chance somebody will get hurt,” said retired Capt. Gil Rud, who commanded the Blue Angels from 1986 to 1988 and oversaw the team’s transition from the A-4 Skyhawk to the F/A-18 Hornet.

Aside from the mental challenge, the job is physically taxing as well. Blue Angels don’t wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers. The suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, which could cause a pilot to bump the control stick — a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes. Instead, Blue Angels manage G-forces by tensing their abdominal muscles.

And Blue Angels pilots learn to fly with a 40-pound tension spring attached to their flight stick to give them tighter control over their aircraft.

“It will tire your forearm out, especially after three training sorties a day. Sometimes you kind of have to peel your fingers off the stick,” said Cmdr. Stephen Foley, the team’s current lead pilot.

Altogether, 223 aviators have served on the team since it was formed by Adm. Chester Nimitz in 1946.

Raleigh “Dusty” Rhodes, 88, joined the Blue Angels in their second year, after returning from three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. The aerobatic flying was therapeutic, he said.

“I was so busy flying that I didn’t have time to think about the war,” he said.

Looking back on the last 60 years, “gives you a real sense of pride,” Rhodes said. “It is the greatest type of flying and they are the greatest team in the world.”

Rhodes’ team began the diamond barrel roll, where four jets perform a loop in a tight diamond formation, becoming inverted at the top. “They still do it today,” he said.

“For its time, it was pretty spectacular and considered to be dangerous by a lot of people, but for us, it was what we did.”

The Blue Angels were an instant success, creating traffic jams whenever they performed, he said.

“We were a hit, oh yes, gee whiz, we were,” Rhodes said.

The team’s popularity “waxed and waned” throughout the Vietnam years, said Christensen, who flew for the team from 1969 to 1970.

“It was vitally necessary then that we were able to show the military to people who wouldn’t have otherwise seen it,” he said.

Tom Bennington, the maintenance chief for the Blue Angels from 1968 to 1971, recalled protests outside some air shows.

“Relatively speaking, that happened just a few times,” he said. “Every place we went we were treated with the utmost respect.”

The team’s popularity spiked again with the release of the Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun” in 1986. The next year, Van Halen featured a montage of Blue Angel flying in the video for the song “Dreams.”

“With ‘Top Gun’ — what a great movie, not in content with the story line, but because it really showed naval aviation. It was terrific in bringing people to air shows,” Rud said.

The Blue Angels inspire fierce loyalty from some civilians. When Mario and Peggy DeLuca retired to Pensacola, they chose to live beneath the team’s flight path so they could watch the planes from their yard.

“Some of the neighbors complain about the noise, but that is the reason we bought our home,” said Peggy DeLuca, 55.

Their devotion has spanned decades. When the two were high school sweethearts, Mario, now 56, showed Peggy he was serious by giving her a model Blue Angels airplane.

He enlisted in the Navy after high school and became an electronics specialist, and the couple took their seven children to air shows whenever the team performed at bases where Mario was stationed.

When Mario was stationed in San Diego, the couple drove an hour every Saturday to watch the team perform at their winter practice base in El Centro, Calif., and Peggy made ham sandwiches for the pilots to eat during their post-practice debriefings.

A former Blue Angel is godfather to their daughter, and their oldest son, a Philadelphia police officer, has his own collection of hundreds of signed Blue Angels photographs and programs.

Marine Maj. Matthew Shortal, a member of this year’s squadron, recalled seeing the Blue Angels fly for the first time as a child at a Chicago air show in the late 1970s.

“They sat me in a jet and took a photograph, and my mom wrote on the back ‘Matty didn’t want to leave’,” he said.

While the planes and pilots have changed over the last six decades, the Blue Angels’ mission hasn’t, he said.

“Our mission is to enhance the Navy and Marine Corps recruiting. That worked on me and it worked on the rest of these guys,” Shortal said, standing next to his No. 4 jet after a recent practice.

“We were left with some pretty big shoes to fill. Hopefully we will do the same.”

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On the Net: http://www.blueangels.navy.mil

Carnival Barking (110706)

Filed under: News from Other Sites — Tom @ 12:02 am

Newshound’s Election Runup Carnival has lots of good Election Day stuff.