Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wii's, Skis, and other elements..

Hi Ho everyone,

Been a busy, crazy, and fun couple of weeks.. I'll do my best to break it down for you. I guess its best to start back on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Prior to that date I had been receiving a few calls from my good friend Owen out in LA. Owen always has a good story or two that primarily cause me to kick myself and wonder why it was that I'm on the opposite coast of where I should be... but I can get into that later. The latest and greatest story had been about his exploits with a Nintendo Wii, which thanks to his job he had been playing with for a week prior to its release to the general public. I had been thinking about picking up a new console, but after the sticker shock of the PS3, I placed myself squarely in the camp of sitting this cycle out, or at least that was what I thought. Owen, who just happens to be a non-gamer, had nothing but astounding praise for the Wii, and of course I caved and decided that a Wii would be quite a bit of fun for Thanksgiving and the annual Mario Cart rally my in-laws and I get into. Hence, after work on Sunday morning, I drove out the the local Target and kept my fingers crossed for that I might have a shot at one of the 24 units the store would have for sale at 8:00 am. I rolled into the parking lot at 6:30 am and walked up to a smattering of bundled chairs and tents.

It was a chilly 30-40 degrees out, so I zipped up my coat and started my wait. Only and hour until the employees would come out and produce the desired vouchers. There were quite a few people there, so the 24 units may have already been spoken for, any hope I had of securing one would be slim in deed. Around 15 minutes after I arrived, another camper showed up, I nodded as they walked up and he surveyed the line for a place to walk up to. From the depths of one particular hooded camper asked "Are you here for a Wii?". When the fellow nodded, a reply of "Oh I'm sorry, you aren't going to get one. They only have 24, and there are 24 of us here.". Slightly stunned, he nodded "Oh, OK then" and turned back to his car. I had not received the same greeting, so I thought that just maybe I was in that 24th slot, but realistically I also made mental note that I would probably be left out on that number.

A short time later, that question was answered for me. The same bundled Co-ED gave me a confused look and asked "Have you been here all night?" I responded that I had arrived around 35 minutes ago, "Oh, sorry, but your are not going to get a Wii, there are already 24 people here."

"That's ok, I will wait it out"

"Oh... Well, if you want we might be able to work something out."

"What's that?"

"Well, we are buying two Wii's, I would be willing to sell you the other for $600"

For those of you whom are not aware, the Wii is priced at $250, which is exactly the amount I am paying for one, not one cent more. After shooting that idea down, the rest of the line turned back to itself and counted down the remaining hour. As was expected, I did turn out to be #25, and thus my shot of obtaining a Wii on launch day was not looking good. I did have one other opportunity, since one kid that had previously planned on not buying a Wii had been talked into taking a ticket anyway. After the 24th voucher had been handed out, and I had started walking away, the kid ran up and tried to sell me his. As stated before, I am not paying more than $250, which included paying additional for someone's ticket. He only ended up getting $50 for it, which was payed for by the person in front of me. I'm glad that the price of the Wii is not going to really make the $300 price tag he paid a very profitable one. But, eventually I will find a way to get one, and if that is before the holidays or after it doesn't really matter. Don't worry though, as the week progressed from there it did get a lot better, more on that later.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Last night Mel and I went out to see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. I was familiar with the character from HBO's "Da Ali G Show". What I was not prepared for was how hard I would laugh.

Straight to the point, this movie will go WAY beyond your comfort zone, but the funny thing is you will probably be laughing too hard to care. That said, I can not stress more that this movie must be seen to believe it. I knew about the gorilla style comedy Sacha Baron Cohen, since I had seen some of the interviews he had done as Ali G, another Borat like character from his show, only done in the vein of a hip-hop culture. With that in mind, I was expecting a few good laughs, but since Borat seemed more in line with Jonny Knoxville's Jackass, I was not expecting too much.

Like a midnight train with two tones of bricks this movie knocked me out of the park. I am still getting a good laugh 24 hours later. This is the first movie I have ever called people on to make sure they go see it. So folks, on your next free night, I really want you to go see Borat. Skip the popcorn, you would just end up loosing most of it. I would normally say to sit down, buckle up, and hold on for a movie like this but in this case, leave the seatbelt off, being a part of the car crash that is about to occur is just one thing you can't afford to miss in this movie.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What a night.

Mood: Headed to bed (@,@)

Webb - Votes are still being counted, 8 precincts left to count, 6 of which the Webb camp fell confidant that they are pro-Webb precincts. By which they look to increase his 7-11k vote lead. The Secretary of State will go out this morning to verify the votes took place, and then provisional votes will be counted, which are also felt to be in good standing with the Webb camp.

GOVERNOR - The Dems have picked up 6 states, to bring it to 28 v. the GOP 20.

Montana is still waiting, I will catch it when I get up.

Lieberman in the drivers seat?

Mood: Tired

With Montana in the balance, Lieberman becomes a very important person. With the Dems looking more and more likely to get 6 seats, Lieberman has the ability to rock that boat, or bring it safely into the harbor. I would go into more details, but for now, keep an eye on him, the GOP wants him to stay independent, and Dems would welcome him back into the fold, which would come at a price. Bringing it down to the wire here, and I can't wait!


Mood - Ecstatic!

Hailing from Bozeman Montana myself, I am stunned that it will play such a large part in this years election. I was a bit worried, but I know that regardless of how things ultimately turn out, they are much much better than I had thought they would be. With this large turn-over of power is going to weigh greatly on what direction we head as a nation. Its been a rough set of years to see the polarization of this nation used against each other. We are standing at a crossroad, and I for one believe that the future has brightened quite a bit. For me this is not about retribution, I do not want to rub this in, but what I do want is for this country to come together. I really think we have a chance know. Looking back, both Regan and Clinton had to adjust in order to work with the new political landscape, now it is Bush's turn. I really hope he takes this message to heart, and sets things aside to come back to where the rest of the country lives, and does not try to dig in his heels.

So now we wait, and as I sit here surrounded by a sleeping wife, a sleeping dog, and well a wired cat, but it just seems fitting. Had a lot of fun, and for those who popped in to join me, I appreciate that. Its a new dawn in American politics, 30 min left, Yellowstone County a must win for Conrad. Unbelievable!!

Hmmm, two self proclaimed winners

First with Webb, now McCaskill have come out before their competitors and claimed the victory. Traditionally, the looser would make the call to the winner to congratulate the them, head out to offer the concession speech. Not sure where this went to, but now it seems that we've gone for winner take all.

But this does leave us in and interesting completion to our night here, as goes Montana, so the country.

Oh yeah, McCaskill is the winner! This just in. This is CRAZY!!

Then there was two.

Montana has Tester 115,182 @51% with 58% reporting, so its looking good. Missouri has McCaskill rounding the corner and taking the lead: 852,065 @49%, with 84% of precincts reporting. Here is a breakdown of what else the nation voted on:

AZ - English as Official Language - Yes
AZ - Million Dollar Voter reward - No
AZ - Minimum Wage increase - Yes
CA - Fund Alternative Energy - No
MO - Raise Minimum wage - Yes
CO - Ban Gay Marriage - Yes
ID - Ban Same-Sex Marriage - Yes
NV - Raise Minimum wage - Yes
OH - Raise Minimum wage - Yes
SC - Ban Same-Sex Marriage - Yes
TN - Ban Same-Sex Marriage - Yes
VA - Ban Same-Sex Marriage - Yes
WI - Ban Same-Sex Marriage - Yes
CO - Legalize Marijuana - No

2000 revisited

Mood: Excited

We are on the eve of a very interesting event. The balance of power in the Senate may not be known for a few weeks, here is how it would work. Montana and MO need to continue the trend to the DEMS, that would leave the balance hanging on VA, which has headed to bed, with a recount on the way. Just as was the case in FL back in 2000, it moves to a much larger issue. Montana has been leading toward Tester all night, MO is switching places quite a bit. The night is young for sure.

Corker takes TN

Mood: Focused

Tennessee looks to have tipped over to Corker, which would lead for all three Senate races to fall to Dems. Tough to pull off, but its possible. VA as stated before is going to stretch into extra innings, where they will pick up the recount tomorrow. 2265 vote difference to the advantage of Webb - the State will pick up the tab on that recount.

Back in a bit.


Mood: Digging it!

U.S. Senate Virginia
Candidate Votes % of votes
Jim Webb (DEM) 1,143,144 49%
George Allen (REP)* 1,140,879 49%
99% of precincts reporting

U.S. Senate Tennessee
Candidate Votes % of votes
Bob Corker (REP) 870,606 51%
Harold Ford (DEM) 812,506 48%
91% of precincts reporting

Candidate Votes % of votes
Jim Talent (REP)* 669,292 50%
Claire McCaskill (DEM) 612,233 46%
64% of precincts reporting

U.S. Senate Montana
Candidate Votes % of votes
Jon Tester (DEM) 63,698 54%
Conrad Burns (REP)* 51,745 44%
25% of precincts reporting

The train continues with picking up a lot of Gov. positions, that will change the political landscape as well. I have to say I am going to be very very interested in what Bush's next move is. I'll be the first to admit it, I can't stand the guy, but if he can take the hint and move to the middle it would be the first correct step in a very long line of wrong steps.


Mood: Pleased

Had the chance to go over some the state laws, and I was happy to see South Dakota vote down the most restrictive Abortion ban, Montana is looking to increase minimum wage. Lots of stuff to go over, be back in a few.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Mood: Excited

Dems will walk away with the first female Speaker, a fresh slate to work with, and a lot of potential for the next two years. This is also a big spotlight that has switched over to give them a voice. So, now that they have it, what are they going to say. Big stakes that will shake things up for the '08 Presidential election. In the Senate, I'm still wait for Harris to concede. VA race also has a ton of legs left, with Webb closing the gap, its close!!!


Mood: Very happy

House seats continue to turn as Dems get closer to breaking into the 30+ seats, and continue to apply pressure on the Senate. They have taken a different path than the one taken by the GOP when control was first turned over, drawing from the middle instead of turning to the base. Va will not be decided until tomorrow as a recount is sure to be announced. Fun fun.


Mood: Feeling good.

Projection of House control going over to the Dems is out there now. That makes me happy. The Senate, on the other hand is slipping through the Dem's grasp, in what I predict will be a pick up of 4 of the needed 7. But that is OK with me, the message of change is what I am most interested in, and from the looks of it, the rest of America is leaning that way too. My final numbers: Senate - GOP Hold on with 2-3 seats House - DEM pick up 20-26 for change of power.

10:30 pm

Mood: Back to optimistic

Not too happy about Orin Hatch's projected win, heck any one that is reading this blog or any website should feel the same, but that's in Utah, and well.. its Utah. Tenn and Va will be the the nail that closes the door on a Senate change, Montana and MO will be a toss up. If Dems are only able to pry one of the four away, Montana would be nice, but that's a personal issue.

And there is a confirmed issue that has come up with an electronic voting machine, one got into a bar fight.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R.-Pa., concedes to Democrat Bob Casey

Mood: Happy

One of the few races I was watching, granted several are expected wins, but its nice to see.


Mood: optimistic

Va continues to be THE tight race right now. I'm guessing we probably will not have a winner there till tomorrow.

9:15 - off to the right start

Starting numbers: Senate - +13 Rep House: 0

Long night ahead, but I have faith

Get out there and VOTE!

I'll be posting my own views later on, but for now here is the final posting from the Power poster from Lewis and Clark:

As we live through another day of voting in America, I, like many of you, think back on other elections and highs and lows. For lows I personally look back to 2000 where we left Capitol Hill in the middle of the night not knowing the outcome of the presidential contest, after having celebrated with great jubilation earlier in the night as Gore picked up the three states everybody know were the ones to put him on the glidepath to victory, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Florida. I also look back 12 years ago to the biggest political bloodbath I have witnessed in my nearly two decades in Washington, the night when the Republicans had a net gain of 8 seats in the Senate to take control and a whopping net gain of 52 seats in the House to take control and end 40 years of Democratic rule of that body. Our own victory of Oregon 3 in the Wyden office never in question that election, I spent most of that election night upstairs in the office of Rep. Long from Indiana where I counted most every person on that staff as a friend dating back to my days working for Jontz in the Indiana delegation. They lost badly and lost their jobs. They took it pretty well, even as we had to listen to the cheers coming from Republican offices on the floor every time a new election result was announced. When an election like that happens, not only do all the staffs of the losing Members lose their jobs (they have two months until the change officially happens as mandated under the Constitution on January 3), but if majority control changes, that flips all the committees as well. Traditionally the majority party gets 2/3 of the committee staff hires and the minority gets 1/3 of the hires in their own minority office for each committee. In 1994 because so many members lost and both chambers flipped, thousands upon thousands of jobs turned over.
As I walked through the Longworth House Office Building that night, amidst the
cheers coming from the Republican offices, there were Democratic staff hugging and crying, and there were even a few people in the fetal position against hallway walls crying.

As I think back to happier elections and those highs, I think of 1992 and being in Ron’s House office in the Rayburn House Office Building as the Democratic majorities in Congress grew and Bill Clinton knocked Daddy Bush out of the presidency. At the moment that Clinton secured the electoral votes necessary to win the presidency and the networks announced him as the winner, a woman came out of her office down the hall from ours and let out a huge “Bush is a loser!!!!” to which all the Democratic offices began to cheer. Later that night we joined Democrats from all over the nation’s capital in driving in circles around the White House honking horns so that all the Bush staff could hear us. We ended the night a few blocks away at the Capital Hilton where the Clinton/Gore Washington party was being held and had such numbers that 16th Street had to be closed as the crowd had overflowed from the hotel out on the street in celebration. I also think of the best election night I’ve ever personally been involved with when we came from behind and Ron won election to the Senate in 1996 by 1 percent, the culmination of what Ron and I have both described as the most arduous thing we’ve ever been through in our lives. The celebration went through the night and I only got sleep between 4 and 6am when my phone rang with our press secretary calling me to work on Ron’s airplane victory thank you tour of the state, which was to begin at 10am that morning.
Her first words through the phone were “Can you believe that we won???!!!!!”
The night before she had chastised me for holding out any hope of victory by saying to me, “You don’t get outspent by $2 million and win an election Bruce.” In the following days of taking down the campaign office that had been our home for months, 7 days a week, 18 hours a day, as a boombox blasted music, campaign staff just walking past each other would randomly hug such was the lingering feeling of euphoria of that victory. We had an all night staff victory celebration in Portland two night later.

Politics is a rough business and it’s a business with clear winners and losers. People may often say that everybody in politics is nuts and/or corrupt, and they may say that there are no differences between the parties, but that’s not true and as so many of you know through incredible personal experiences, it does matter who wins. The very lives of our fellow Americans depends on who wins. No matter what your party or your philosophy, it can’t be denied that the decisions made here in Washington determine life and death for our wonderful and incredible troops, it determines the quality of health care and education for millions, it determines how much our paycheck goes to taxes and what that money is used for, and it determines the kinds of roads we drive on or the ease with which we can fly, just to name a few major ways the outcome of any election impacts us. So today, people on both sides who believe they are right about the best courses for America to follow are on edge. Last night on CNN, David Gergen and James Carville both agreed in a bi-partisan way that heading in to tonight Democrats have to be nervous that as the races in some places have gotten tighter, they could see their chances slip away, but that at the same time Republicans have to be downright terrified that it could be a bloodbath that approaches the numbers of 1994.

In the final analysis of the final polling tracks done in to yesterday, the following is the final verdict on what is to transpire from the consultants’ professional viewpoint:

All Democratic incumbents or Democratic held seats In the Senate will stay Democratic. Senators Santorum and DeWine will lose by wide margins to Casey and Brown in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Senator Chafee will also lose in Rhode Island to Whitehouse but by a closer margin. Though it will be the closest of races, the conventional prediction based on polling numbers is that Senator Allen will lose narrowly to Webb in Virginia and that in the second closest race, Senator Talent will lose to McCaskill in MO. Senator Burns will lose by a fairly close but not a narrow margin to Tester in Montana. All other
Republican incumbents or Republican held seats will be maintained including the TN seat where Corker will beat Ford and out in AZ where Senator Kyl will be re-elected to hold those seats in Republican hands. However, that will be the net gain of six seats that the Democrats need to take 51-49 control of the Senate.

Democrats will have a net gain of about 35 seats to take control of the House. The only two Democrats who might lose are in Georgia where two of that state’s House seats could flip to the Republicans.

This is the prediction of the pollsters but now we have to see what the reality is tonight. So far voter turnout is light, as in most mid-term elections. Normally a light turnout would be of great concern to Democrats because it’s a proven fact in many states that higher turnout helps Democratic candidates because that means that the electorate is made up of more than the voters who most reliably turn out to vote—motivated social conservatives and higher SES Republicans who will vote in election after election. We all know that a lot of times, Democrats need to be led to the polls by the hand with flowers being thrown in front and behind while flute music is playing. However, this particular election has long indicated that it was going to be a depressed Republican electorate not turning out so it is truly tough to read in to what the light turnout so far today means. It might benefit the Democrats. I live in a very affluent and Republican precinct in western Fairfax County where the average home sells for $2-3 million and the average townhouse sells for $500,000. Though Fairfax County as a whole has begun voting suburban Democratic majorities very reliably, my particular precinct is Allen territory. There was nobody at my precinct when I voted this morning. I walked right in and voted. It’s tough to read this.

Additionally, weather can play a huge factor in turnout. Democrats never like to hear of snow or rain because generally speaking, bad weather causes Democrats to stay home while Republicans are more often apt to vote no matter what the weather is. It’s raining in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, and later Maryland today. If this weather causes Dems to stay home, and it could reduce turnout by as much as 3 percent, then some of these Senate battles could be tipped. The other big factor of course is voter problems. Electronic voting problems are already being reported in Ohio and Indiana.

Tonight if you’re watching election coverage, it will be known early on how things are looking. The PA, RI, and OH Senate race returns will come in early in the evening as will returns from Republican held House seats which are supposed to flip in NH, CT, OH, IN, and PA. If any of those returns has a surprise in them such as the Republican incumbent winning re-election or the margin of Democratic victory not being what was forecast in a place like the OH or PA Senate races, then it could be a big turnaround night for the Republicans where they hold off the Democratic challenge this year. If on the other hand all those early announced races in those three Senate seats and those House races go as the polls have predicted, then it will likely be the kind of Democratic night that has been forecast. Polls in Virginia close early, at 7pm Eastern. That Senate race will probably be too close to call for hours and as you’ve seen in the numbers, control of the Senate could come down to a few votes in Virginia. If Allen wins in Virginia, it’s lights out for a Democratic takeover of the Senate. End of story. The Rs will maintain control. As things head west tonight, MO in the Central Time Zone will be crucial as will Montana in the Mountain Time Zone. If either Burns or Talent wins re-election to the Senate in those two states, it’s lights out for Democratic control of the Senate. Little change is expected on the West Coast in either the Senate or the House so control of Congress should be known from the Mountain Time Zone with the Senate race in Montana and House races that are supposed to flip from R to D in Colorado. Most of those polls close at 10pm Eastern.

A number of you have asked me what a Democratic majority in either house of Congress will really mean so let me just toss this out here. On legislation, the Democrats will not have veto proof majorities in either house even if they have control. Therefore no major Democratic led policy changes can be expected during the final two years of the Bush Presidency. On the other hand, Bush would in no way be able to push through any of his remaining agenda items including making his tax cuts permanent instead of having them set to expire between 2010 and 2012. What would occur would generally be legislative gridlock unless Bush makes a concerted attempt to build a legacy through bi-partisan compromise aimed at getting through various laws with his stamp on them but with major elements of Democratic input. Mostly though, gridlock would be viewed as a Democratic victory in this climate because “stopping Bush” from doing anything more during his final two years in office would be considered a major plus by Dems. The other thing that the Ds would do is to potentially pass bills which highlight Democratic priorities and either force Bush to veto them, thereby gaining ammunition for the 2008 races, or force Bush to accept modified versions of them and claim that only by having Democrats in Congress were such outcomes possible—and use that in the 2008 races. Issues that can be expected on this front will include education and health care. If the Ds have both houses of Congress that task becomes easier because the legislation from both chambers would be pretty close to the same version and could serve as a clear distinction with Bush. If on the other hand the Ds control just the House, then there will have to be compromise with the Senate first before anything could be sent to Bush and that would make the task of a clearly defined separate agenda from Bush hard to highlight because the bills would have been watered down some in conference committee. On the oversight and investigative front, I would not expect Ds to get overzealous with going after Bush lest it make them look punitive and petty ahead of the big year of 2008. However, I would expect them to conduct aggressive oversight on such things as the Bush post-911 domestic surveillance program, the conduct of the occupation of Iraq and the intelligence that led up to the invasion, as well as a number of other things. A huge outcome would be that the Ds in Congress and Bush would sit down to examine the future of the Iraq occupation and figure out a new course of action. Given the polling, if they win a majority, the Ds will view this as the mandate they were elected to take care of more than any other issue—that of changing the situation in Iraq for the US military. If the Rs maintain control of both houses it will be by vary narrow margins, such as 50-50 in the Senate and by a small handful of seats in the House. That would also lead to legislative gridlock as the Ds will have enough numbers to block just about anything Bush and the Rs in Congress want to get done. So bottom line, no matter the outcome tonight, don’t expect a lot of production from the next Congress on legislation but do expect a lot of highlighting of differences to occur with Bush on issues to set everything up for 2008, do expect a major push to stop Bush in his tracks from accomplishing any more of his agenda items no matter which party is in control, and do expect if the Ds have at least one chamber for there to be big efforts at oversight and an effort to change the approach in Iraq as well as change the approach on issues such as civil liberties, all the while blocking any extension of the Bush tax cuts so that revenues can increase to the government at the end of the decade in an effort to get the budget to stop bleeding red ink and to be able to pay for things both domestically and for things that folks like the Army Chief of Staff can’t even get money for now because the government is so broke.

Best regards.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Polling update v - 5 days left!

Get the coffee started Dylan, I'm sure its only going to get more interesting from here on out. Latest and greatest:


Here’s a quick rundown on the latest polling numbers gleaned from various daily tracking polls and stand alone polls.


In VA, Webb maintains a small lead over Sen. Allen of 1-2 points for a D Pickup.

In NJ, Sen. Menendez is now leading by double digits over Kean for a D Hold meaning no D Senate seats are in jeopardy currently.

In MT, Sen. Burns, the ever-dogged campaigner, continues his climb against Tester and has now closed to within 1-2 points, though Tester still leads and the Burns Re-Elect number continues to have pollsters saying this is a D Pickup. However, this race is now clearly in the upper most tier of competitive races to determine control of the Senate given the steady climb by Burns back in to this race.

In PA, Casey still leads Sen. Santorum by 8-12 points for a D Pickup.

In TN, Corker still leads Ford by as much as 10 points for an R Hold of the
Frist seat.

In OH, Brown maintains a lead over Sen. DeWine of 7-8 points for a D Pickup

In RI, Whitehouse has a double digit lead now over Sen. Chaffee for a D Pickup.

In MO, McCaskill has pulled ahead of Sen. Talent by 1-3 points depending on the poll for a D Pickup.

If the election were held today, current polling indicates that the Democrats would have a net gain of 6 seats in the Senate, for a 51-49 majority. In order for this to be achieved on Tuesday, McCaskill and Webb must maintain their very tiny leads over Republican incumbents and Tester must hang on over Sen. Burns in Montana. President Bush is out with Burns in Montana right now as I type this. Given Bush’s weak numbers even in Montana, this is obviously an effort by Burns to make sure that he gets the large Republican base in the state out to vote to offset highly motivated Democrats and Independents, with the Independents and Republican crossover votes having been responsible for the fact that the state’s other Senator and the state’s Governor are both


Here’s a small sampling of some of the interesting things happening in individual House districts.

In Ohio 2, Rep. Schmidt, the woman who called Rep. Murtha, a former Marine, a coward for suggesting a withdraw from Iraq is trailing her Democratic challenger Wulsin. Murtha, sure of his own re-election in PA, has been spending a lot of time campaigning with Wulsin.

In Arizona 5, long time conservative stalwart Rep. J.D. Hayworth who won his last re-election by over 20 points, now trails his Democratic challenger Mitchell.

In Illinois 6, the seat of retiring House Judiciary Committee Chair Henry Hyde which he has held forever in Republican hands, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, an Army National Guard Captain who had her helicopter shot down in Iraq and is a double amputee, is leading the race by double digits. This looks to be a sure D Pickup and will be one of the districts where TV news coverage will be focused on Tuesday night.

In Texas 22, Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s long time R seat, the Democrat Lampson is up by nearly ten points.

In North Carolina 11, former Washington Redskins quarterback Heath Schler leads
incumbent Republican Rep. Taylor.

District by district polling now indicates that the Democrats will have a net gain in the House of 30-40 seats, more than double the 15 needed to take control. Today pollster John Zogby predicted a net gain of 38 seats for the Democrats and said that as many as 40 could flip, approaching the number in 1994 when the Republicans had of a net gain of 52 seats when they took control of the House after 40 years of Democratic rule.

If there’s anything especially interesting to report to all of you tomorrow before the weekend, I’ll shoot out another e-mail. As so many of you are well aware, once we enter the 72 hour window prior to Election Day, that’s traditionally when all the undecideds make up their minds and the polls give the final indication of how things are going to go. I’ll be around so I’ll be sure to do as I’ve done in previous elections and get out those late polling numbers in a final polling update for everybody on Monday and/or Tuesday.

Have a good one.

A Guide to the Worst Places on Earth

Vice magazine sent its correspondents out as a new form of embedded reporters. Traveling to meet with illegal-arms dealers in Pakistan, the failed Nazi commune of Nueva Germania in Paraguay, and attend a gang-sponsored rave in Rio's infamous slum, the City of God. They went to the places you never want to find yourself, and brought a camera crew.

Link to the story on MSNBC
and a direct link to the DVD trailer

This looks to be an eye opening view into the true underbelly of society. I'm heading over now to pick up a copy for myself.