Wednesday, November 08, 2006

At a SOCCER game?

Nazi speech played before H.S. game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Part of a Nazi leader's speech was played over the
public address system before a high school soccer game, prompting an apology
by the home team's principal.

Forestview High School principal Robert Carpenter said neither he nor his
team's coach knew about the speech before the 90-second excerpt was played
during warmups Saturday, according to a letter he sent Monday to visiting
Charlotte Catholic High School.

The speech, by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, was in German.
Carpenter said in the letter the team had adopted the slogan "On to
victory," and a German exchange student who plays on the team had taught
other students how to say the phrase in German.

"Some of our more zealous students sought to capture this slogan in German
and to play it on the PA," Carpenter wrote.

School officials said two players had downloaded the speech off the
Internet, and no adult heard it before it was played at the field, The
Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday.

Catholic coach Gary Hoilett said his squad was "just real shocked."

"All of us stopped and looked up at the booth," Hoilett said.

Hoilett, who is black, said some Forestview players also shouted racial
epithets at his two black players. Gaston school officials said they
interviewed 14 people, including coaches, officials and players, but did not
find conclusive evidence of that.

Hoilett called the Forestview principal's apology "lame."

"You don't toss something like that to the corner," he said.

The Gaston County district will now require school personnel to listen to
any recording before it is played over the public address system.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association was investigating. If
wrongdoing is found, penalties could include probation, fines or loss of
home games.

"It's really hard to fathom in this day and time," association spokesman
Rick Strunk said.

Forestview won the playoff game 1-0.

I guess it was just a prank, yank the chain of all those grown-ups.

But holy cow. Plus, now the school thought police have to listen to recordings. Seems like a pretty significant overreaction.

But holy cow. I tend to dismiss vague charges of racism as made up...But holy cow. Even if you are just invoking some offensive symbol of the past to get a rise out of adults....

I realize I'm repeating myself. But...well, here's the thing. How could kids in HIGH SCHOOOL have so little knowledge of historical context that they would be surprised that people would be offended? How would a GERMAN KID not know? Germans are (or were) hyper-sensitive about associating themselves with Nazi iconography.

Insert Your Own....

Insert Your Own...well, Joke, here:

"Johnson County's election commissioner is reporting sporadic problems with
the county's touch-screen voting system. Commissioner Brian Newby said the issues aren't with the touch-screen machines themselves, but with separate machines that encode cards that voters plug into the machines. When encoded, each card contains a single ballot for the voter to cast. Newby said encoders at a half-dozen sites have failed to read their cards and have had to be shut down to eject the cards so they could be encoded again. Sometimes, he said, a bit of hand lotion on the card will do it." [KAKE/AP]

Hard to know where to start with that one. So, I'll leave to my loyal readers.

(nod to KL)

If you don't understand, ask a Cubs fan

"BTW, Kerry is simply relieved that he won't become the Steve Bartman of Democratic politics."

(from the National Journal)

(Nod to MWT. See you in Charleston!)

UPDATE: more from MWT: "I don't know if todd is a cubs fan, but this is really the apt analogy, compared to say buckner. buckner had the power to make the out himself and he actually had to do something where as kerry like bartman should have just stayed out of the way and let everyone else do what they were doing."

Go, Libertarians, its your Birthday!

From the Economist:

16:42 GMT +00:00
Libertarians emerge as a force
Posted by: NEW YORK
Third parties
GLUM Republicans might turn their attention to the Libertarian Party to vent their anger. Libertarians are a generally Republican-leaning constituency, but over the last few years, their discontent has grown plain. It isn't just the war, which some libertarians supported, but the corruption and insider dealing, and particularly the massive expansion of spending. Mr Bush's much-vaunted prescription drug benefit for seniors, they fume, has opened up another gaping hole in America's fiscal situation, while the only issue that really seemed to energise congress was passing special laws to keep a brain-damaged woman on life support.
In two of the seats where control looks likely to switch, Missouri and Montana, the Libertarian party pulled more votes than the Democratic margin of victory. Considerably more, in Montana. If the Libertarian party hadn't been on the ballot, and the three percent of voters who pulled the "Libertarian" lever had broken only moderately Republican, Mr Burns would now be in office.
Does this mean that the libertarians are becoming a force in national elections, much as Ralph Nader managed to cost Al Gore a victory in 2000? Hope springs eternal among third party afficionadoes, but the nature of the American electoral system, which directly elects representatives in a first-past-the-post system, makes it nearly impossible for third parties to gain traction. The last time it happened was in the 1850's, when the Whig party dissolved over internal disputes about slavery, opening the way for the emerging Republican party to put Abraham Lincoln in office. And acting as a spoiler is dubiously effective at achieving one's goals. In theory, it could pull the Repubicans towards the Libertarians, but in practice, it may just elect Democrats, pushing the nation's economic policy leftwards.

(From InstaPundit, who seems skeptical, via PM, with thanks!)

Voters Knew She Died, But They Wanted Change

In classical spatial theory, the challenger should always win, right? Incumbent occupies a space in a multidimensional policy space; for nearly any configuration of preferences, that means the win set of the incumbent location is non-empty.


"A woman who died two months ago won a county commissioner's race in Jerauld
County [South Dakota] on Tuesday. Democrat Marie Steichen, of Woonsocket,
got 100 votes, defeating incumbent Republican Merlin Feistner, of
Woonsocket, who had 64 votes. Jerauld County Auditor Cindy Peterson said she
believes the county board will have to meet to appoint a replacement for
Steichen. Peterson said she'll check with the state's attorney to be sure
that's the process. Peterson said voters knew Steichen had died. 'They just
had a chance to make a change, and we respect their opinion.
'" [AP]

So, even a dead challenger can beat an incumbent. Spatial theory rules! Green and Shapiro can BITE me!

(nod to KL for the reference, and to SdM for the interpretation)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

News from the front

A report, from anonyman:

I've been monitoring polls in Northern Va. It's been a "presidential turnout" so far today according to every polling official I talked to. I don't think this bodes well for Macacawitz.

Well, well. If MT, MO, and VA really do all go Dem, then it's 51-49 with the Senate flying a D flag. Hard not to be happy. Given that the R win in Tennessee was based on an ad that did everything but mention "Big buck negroes, chasing after your white women..."

Heard on the Quad

I'm walking on the quad at Duke, leaving the Perk. Four young women talking in a cluster. Imagine a kind of Dopler effect in the following, as I walk past, and hear the following snippet:

"I can't believe she called on her like that."

"She always calls people out; I hate that."

"She calls on you if you make eye contact! It's terrible."

"But if you are looking down, she'll call on you. And she wants you to do the reading."

"I know! Such a witch!"

"I look almost at her, but a little off to the left. Stare like you are thinking. You want to look interested, but not too interested. That way, she won't call on you. She never calls on me."

And, by now I am out of earshot, receding. Feel free not to take any of my classes, ladies. I expect you to have done the readings, too.

Rumbling, Mumbling, Tumbling....

1. Rumors of high turnout, in Chatanooga and in the Commonwealth . Bad for Repubs. Folks don't get up out of their chairs to go out in the rain to vote for the party in power.

2. Ky. poll worker charged with assault, interfering with electionfrom Stephen Bach, CNN Washington Bureau--> LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A poll worker was arrested Tuesday and charged with assault and interfering with an election for allegedly choking a voter and pushing the voter out the door, an official said.Election officials called police, and the voter wanted to file charges, said Paula McCraney, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Clerk. "That about tops off the day," McCraney said.It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the altercation. The name of the poll worker was not released and a Louisville police spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Posted 11/07/2006 12:49:00 PM (CNN)

3. Don't leave home without it, Guv!--> ATLANTA (CNN) -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford probably wishes he checked his pockets before heading out the door this morning.Sanford was turned away from his polling place as cameras were rolling because he forgot his voter registration card. Sanford went to vote at Sullivan Island Elementary School near his family home, but the photo-op went awry as the governor began looking though his wallet. "I don't have the blue card with me," he said.Smiling sheepishly, Sanford called home to get the numbers, but officials told him he had to present the card itself. Sanford then went to a nearby voter registration office to be issued a new card, and finally was able to cast his ballot."This is want you want," Sanford said, praising the workers for doing their job. "I admire her; she's being conscientious." -- CNN Senior National Editor Steve Brusk (CNN)

Monday, November 06, 2006


So, the Senate will be 50 R - 50 D (no more Jeffords as an "Independent.") The tie will be broken by Vice President Dick Cheney. An awful state of affairs. Like kissing your sister, only she calls the cops.

The House? The range I have seen:

Guru List:
Congressional Quarterly: 212-199-24
Charlie Cook: 223-197-15
Stu Rothenberg: 237-192-6
Larry Sabato: 232-203 241-193-1
Votemaster: 235-200
(source here)

Now, I have been saying 223-225 D for sure, but have been reluctant to go up from there.

The Guru totals above assume, for example, that Hayes loses to Kissell in the NC 8th. I'm not convinced. It could happen, but I have doubts.

And, if Kissell does win, then that is a bellwether. My 225 will be low. Because the set of things that would have to be true, about a national swing, for Hayes to lose in that district, are pretty extreme.

The State of Things

My good friends at WUNC were kind enough to pause, in the middle of their annual NPR-style fund drive, to chat for an hour on "The State of Things."

Their web site, if you want to contribute, and haven't yet. SCUM!

The MP3 of the interview (long! 53 mins).

Frank Stasio's page. He's the host, and a fine fellow. Very fair and able to separate his own views (which tend toward...well, toward not exactly like mine, to say the least) and the story being told by the person being interviewed. A credit to public radio, that Frank.

Finally, their blog. That big hunky Dave DeWitt and I are having a dispute about "running the gauntlet." I claim it has to be "gantlet," and he of course says, "yo mama!" My authority can be found here....