Bush Has No Plan

Apparently it is considered news that Bush Is Said to Have No Plan if GOP Loses:

Some Republican strategists are increasingly upset with what they consider the overconfidence of President Bush and his senior advisers about the midterm elections November 7–a concern aggravated by the president’s news conference this week.

“They aren’t even planning for if they lose,” says a GOP insider who informally counsels the West Wing. If Democrats win control of the House, as many analysts expect, Republicans predict that Bush’s final two years in office will be marked by multiple congressional investigations and gridlock.

“The Bush White House has had no relationship with Congress,” said a Bush ally. “Beyond the Democrats, wait till they see how the Republicans–the ones that survive–treat them if they lose next month.” GOP insiders are upset by Bush’s seeming inability to come up with new ideas or fresh approaches. There is even a heightened sensitivity to the way Bush talks about advisers who served his father.

At the president’s news conference on Wednesday, allies of his father complained that the president seemed dismissive of former Secretary of State James Baker, who remains close to his dad and is cochairman of a bipartisan panel studying the war in Iraq.

This is hardly a surprise. Those plans he had in 2004 and 2008 after he won weren’t so hot either.

Rothenberg Political Report Predicts Large Gains for Democrats

Today’s edition of the Rothenberg Political Report is hightly favorable for Democrats:
House Ratings: Projects Democratic gain of 18-25 seats (15 needed to win majority)
Senate Ratings: Projects Democratic gain of 4-7 seats (6 needed to win majority)
Gubernatorial Ratings: Projects Democratic gains of  5-8 governorships

Republican Use of Religious Voters Exposed

Yesterday I noted the impending publication of Tempting Fate by David Kuo which shows that the Bush Administration mocked evangelicals while using them for political gain. Keith Olbermann got an advanced copy of the book to discuss, with video and transcript available at Crooks and Liars. From the show:

To this day, Kuo says he believes Mr. Bush loves Jesus; that he is a good man. However, Kuo says many Christians assume from his belief in Jesus Christ that he won’t do what other politicians do: break their word, hide their mistakes, or spin the truth. And that those assumptions are wrong.

In Kuo’s eyes, today’s national Christian leaders were being used. They didn’t have the same shrewdness Billy Graham had in the ’70s, to question whether Nixon was using him for his appeal to religious voters.

In fact, Christians who voted for Mr. Bush based on his religion, may have ended up hurting the very people Jesus sought to help: the poor.

Following recent reports of loss of evangelical support for Republicans, a Gallup Poll released yesterday shows that religious whites are shifting away from the Republican Party. It used to be that the strongest predictor of how someone would vote was how often they went to church. The current poll shows that regular churchgoers are evenly split at 47% for Democrats and Republicans. Most likely more of them will wind up voting Republican (unless they read Kuo’s book), but this could still predict a tremendous drop in support for Republicans.

The Republicans had a great scam going for a while in using the religious voters to take power, and then using that power to enrich themselves. That scam may be coming to an end–similar to the scam where Republican get the votes of those interested in freedom or a true free market economy as opposed to corporate welfare.

Sci Fi Friday: Battlestar Galactica Returns and More on The Others on Lost

Battlestar Galactica‘s third season opened last week by takilng advantage of science fiction’s ability to discuss issues which might be too controversial for other television shows. Last season ended with the settlement on New Caprica surrendering to the Cylons. A resistance movement formed, allowing the opening episode to look at suicide bombings from the viewpoint of the occupied population. The Chicago Tribune reviewed the episode and included quotations from Ron Moore:

In the opening episodes, which by turns evoke Vichy France, Vietnam and Iraq, the Cylons (human-looking machines who attempted to wipe out the human race at the start of the series) debate tactics regarding control of the ragged, rebellious population of New Caprica — the 50,000 or so people who are the remnants of the human race — while the humans consider plots of their own.

Ronald D. Moore, executive producer of “Battlestar Galactica,” says his favorite scene in the powerful 2-hour season opener is between Gaius Baltar, the reviled Marshal Petain of New Caprica, and Laura Roslin, his political nemesis and resistance sympathizer.

“Going into that scene, I think there’s an assumption of whose side you’re on,” Moore says. “But when he starts challenging her on the morality of suicide bombing … it throws her off stride, and I think it throws the audience off stride too. I think, for a moment, you’re really not sure where you’re supposed to go emotionally in that scene and I think that’s a great place to take an audience.”

That’s been “Battlestar Galactica’s” strength from the beginning — using believable characters to explore personal morality and political choices, while avoiding predictable polemics or easy resolutions. Though the first part of the season has echoes of the situation in Iraq, the debates among the humans and the Cylons are universal to any conflict — what tactics are legitimate in a fight over core beliefs? Are any methods acceptable? In the end, what is worth fighting for?

“We were aware of the [Iraq] parallels and wanted to play it as truthfully as we could, given the situation,” Moore says. “But at the same time, we’re always a little more interested in watching how our characters respond to a situation more than we are in delineating a certain political idea about the situation.

“We really should not pretend that there is a good answer and an easy way out and we’re going to tell it to you in 44 minutes,” Moore says.

The core story is now quite dark and wrenching, but there are signs of hope; Commander Adama, leader of the military, forms an important bond with Sharon, a Cylon aboard his ship. And surely the fact that one of the Cylons’ greatest desires is to know what love is means that peace — or at least coexistence — might one day be possible.

“There’s always a conversation with [Sci Fi] about how dark the show is, and [whether] is it completely bleak. … But I really don’t have a nihilistic view of the world,” Moore notes.

We learned a little more about the others on Lost. Ben told Jack he has lived on the island his entire life. While he has been known to lie in the past, such as when claiming to be Henry Gayle, I suspect that this time he may be telling the truth. He did prove his claim to have contact with the outside world. We found that only 69 days have gone by since Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 crashed and it is shortly after George Bush was reelected. The 2004 World Series was of interest on political blogs as seeing the Boston Red Socks beat the Curse of the Bambino and go on to win the series gave a sense of optimism to Kerry supporters. The 2004 World Series became the manner in which Ben proved his knowledge of the outside world. After Jack argued it was impossible for Boston to have won the series, Ben showed Jack television coverage of the game.

Ben’s discussion of the outside world went beyond the World Series. He told Jack he would ultimately send him home if he did what he was told. My bet is that this will turn out to be too high a price, considering how Michael wound up having to kill two and betray others of those he crashed with in order to get Walt back and (possibly) a trip home. Guessing the real story of the island is risky as it is likely that any theory will be contradicted by new information, but my theory is that the others are descendents of an experiment which went wrong. Even if this is the case, questions would remain as to whether they are descendents of people from the Dharma Iniative organizing the experiment or descendents of the actual subjects, the purpose of the experiments, and why they are remaining on the island.