Blogads.com Annual Reader Survey
If you didn't do the Blogads.com annual
yesterday and can spare 10 minutes, it would be greatly appreciated if you could do it as it
will help the many blogs that depend on ads for their survival and operation. For example,
Daily Kos sponsored many valuable polls this year, something it couldn't have done without the ad revenue.
The State of Minnesota
The Great Minnesota Recount continued yesterday. With 46% of the vote now recounted,
Sen. Norm Coleman's lead has slipped from 215 votes to
If Al Franken picked up 79 votes on 46% of the recount, projecting this linearly, with 100% of the vote he will
pick up 172 votes and Coleman will win by 43 votes. However, there are 823 challenged votes yet to be
resolved. In addition, Franken is trying to get thousands of absentee ballots that were rejected for technical
reasons (e.g., no zipcode listed) counted.
Detailed county-by-county results can be found
After the recount is finished, then the court challenges begin. This could go on for a while. Stay tuned.
If you want to see why hand recounts sometimes go slowly, take a look at some of these
These are also relevant to the
yesterday about instant runoff voting.
Many people sent mail pointing out alternatives to IRV that are "better" in some sense.
Unfortunately, one criterion for acceptance is that the voters understand the system.
When you look at the actual ballots cited above, you get a better idea of what might work and what might not work.
IRV is probably at the outer limit of what low-information voters could manage although it is used in Australia
and seems to work there. Anyone advocating a more complex scheme should imagine trying to explain the scheme to
one of the voters whose ballot is pictured in the link above, keeping in mind that filling in a single oval was
beyond his or her capacity.
Waxman Defeats Dingell for Energy Committee Chairmanship
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)
yesterday by challenging and defeating the sitting
chairman of the House energy and commerce committee, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) by a 137 to 122 vote of the full Democratic caucus.
This committee is immensely important, with jurisdiction over a wide variety of domestic matters.
Waxman is a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is also from California. Both of them want
much tougher laws to reduce global warming, something Barack Obama also promised.
Dingell, in contrast, was much more concerned with protecting the automobile industry than with
protecting the environment. Waxman's counterpart in the Senate is yet another Californian,
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). With most of the power concerning the environment in hands of Waxman,
Boxer, Pelosi, and Obama, it is likely that global warming will be addressed very quickly in the
new administration, with the views of the Californians playing a dominant role.
In other ways, too, Waxman's victory represents a tectonic shift in the House.
Ben Pershing of the Washington Post
it like this. First, the seniority system is dead. If Dingell could be toppled, how long can Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and
John Conyers (D-MI) last? Second, ideology matters. Waxman is a reformer. Everyone in the House knows that.
He won not because he is the friendliest guy in town (he can be very irritating) but because a majority of the
Democrats agree with his philosophy of government. Third, Nancy Pelosi's power is hugely increased by this turn of
events, in part because she and Waxman see eye to eye on almost everything and she now has an ally in a key position.
But also because other chairmen now know that if they displease her, she is quite capable of urging a member of their
committee to challenge them and she won't lift a finger to save them.
In a little-noted move, Obama
Philip Schiliro as his liason to Congress.
Schiliro is not exactly a household name, but Waxman knows who he is: Schiliro was Waxman's chief of staff for 25 years.
This appointment means that Waxman has a direct pipeline into the heart of the White House and Obama has a close
assistant who probably knows the powerful chairman as well as anybody in the government. While previous Presidents
have often had their plans foiled by poor relations with Congress, Obama's personal experience in the Senate and
Schiliro's ties to Waxman (and via Waxman, to Pelosi) are likely to provide a smoother ride for Obama.
Public's View of the Republican Party Continues to Drop
shows that 34% of Americans have a favorable view of the Republican Party vs. 61% who have an unfavorable view.
The 61% unfavorable is the highest for any party in history. For the Democrats the numbers are 55% favorable
and 39% unfavorable. As the debate rages within the Republican Party about what to do, the poll gives some
guidance. Some 59% of the Republicans polled want it to become more conservative, 28% want it to remain the same, and only 12% want it to
become less conservative.
With most of the congressional moderates defeated either in 2006 or 2008, the remaining Republicans are
very conservative and come from states and districts that are also very conservative, so individual members
of Congress have a strong personal incentive to see the party become more conservative: to enhance their
chances at the next election. The only problem with this strategy is that piling up even bigger margins in
Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Utah is not much consolation if you lose Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana,
Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada by even bigger margins as a result.
Women Break a New Barrier
While we didn't get female President or Vice President this year, women did break another glass ceiling:
women are now a
in the New Hampshire state senate.
This is the first time women have ever formed a majority in any state legislative chamber.
In addition, the speaker of the New Hampshire state house is a woman and one of the two representatives is a woman
and one of the two senators is a woman.
The state also had a female governor from 1997 to 2003, Jeanne Shaheen, who is now a senator-elect.
In neighboring Maine, 3/4 of the congressional delegation consists of women (2 senators and 1 representative),
the female representative (Chellie Pingree) is the mother of the speaker of the Maine state house
of representatives, Hannah Pingree.
If you like this Website, tell your friends. You can also share by clicking this button
-- The Votemaster
Your donation is greatly appreciated. It will buy ads to publicize the site.