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Looks like one to me, if TradeSports is to be believed. The contracts for GOP control of the House has slipped to 25. Next Tuesday will be a good test of the predictive markets.

Meanwhile, the folks at The Corner are obsessively poring over more conventional tea leaves.


Yep, blowout. There is a tidal wave coming.

I'm still not convinced the Democrats will pull this off. I've seen first-hand how effective the Republican GOTV machine can be and, well, we've all seen the Democrats seemingly limitless propensity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Here's what I would find the ideal outcome on Tuesday -- and the two years following: The Democrats win narrow majorities in both chambers. The Republicans successfully egg them into promoting every inch of the "progressive" agenda and then lock-step vote against it, knowing that the Democrats will pass the legislation over their recorded objections.

Bush will then be free to veto all the opposition legislation he wants, and there will be no chance of the Democrats overriding those vetoes. Of course, Bush will also be free to sign any opposition legislation he wants -- including the most politically suicidal measures.

In 2008, the Democrats will then have to stand on a record of exactly the legislation the Republicans want them to stand on, while the Republican candidates will be able to tout their opposition to that legislation. At best the Democrats will be able to counter that the Republicans were obstructionists, a charge that carries little weight in a era of antipathy toward lawmakers.

If done with Rovian skill, what we will see in 2008 is individual Republicans painting "the Democrats" with a broad brush of Democrat legislation which, of course, those individual Republicans courageously opposed -- except when it involved home town pork. The Democrats will only be able to say that the Republicans voted against bills which the Republicans can then frame as resistance to Democrat, big governmetn spending -- except, of course, for much needed home town pork.

I think both sides are smart enough to foresee that strategy and the net result will be two years of stifled spending followed by a truley wide-open 2008 election.

Hey withoutfeathers,
You seem to forget some more important issues that are unrelated to politics. If the democrats win both houses, they will hopefully be able to stop the ongoing damage to the country by the Bush administration. There will be at least some checks and balances, instead of a "rubber-stamp" republican congress. My advise to you: Vote democratic. Change is in the interest of the country.

Blue's advice to WF is to "vote Democratic!"

Well, my advice to anyone and everyone at ALL times is to always vote for the candidate with the most Conservative agenda.

Maybe even Blue would agree with me about two very necesary changes;

(1) We DON'T NEED tax cuts, we NEED real tax reform - the eradication of the income tax and the installation of a consumption-based tax system.


(2) We neither NEED nor WANT open borders...the fence is a start, but we need more.

We're do we sign up for that, right BW?

Now those two things would be welcome changes!

It's an interesting election season...by rights the GOP SHOULD be wiped out. It should be distressing to Dems that they aren't way out in front in many more races, especially some of the major Senate races.

The GOP's overspent and thy've failed to properly announciate (1) who the real enemy ion the WoT really is and (2) why it's a necessary military war against the rogue states and not a criminal justice matter and (3) they've failed to effectively act on the border issue.

BUT many of the races that shouldn't be, are very, very close.

Burns is now tied with Tester in the latest Rasmussen Poll (11/2)...he was down 4 on 10/31.

Allen is in a tie with Webb as of 11/2...Allen was also down 4 on 10/31.

Talent is in a virtual dead-heat with McCaskill (down 1...well within the margin of error) and Corker is up nearly 6.

PLUS, the 10/31 Survey USA Poll has Cardin and Steele tied!

I definitely think the Dems will get the House back, but with them needing four of the above races to take the Senate, and with all these polls traditionally undercounting Republican votes (there's always been a 2 to 4 point swing from these polls on election day, away from the Dems and toward the GOP), I don't think they win even two.

Corker, Burns, Talent, and Allen seem to gaining ground, either the pollsters are adjusting their figures so they don't look as far off after election day, or these Republicans are gaining ground down the stretch.

The real question-mark is Michael Steele.

How can a Democrat, especially a white Dem vote against a guy like that and not feel at least a little bit racist?

The guy comes from a good family, adheres to strict "traditional American values" and has run a great campaign.

I don't know, what's Cardin ever done.

I like this guy Steele a lot...I also like Corker - that would be a tough call for me, if I were in TN.

I'm figuring the House goes Democratic and the Senate stays GOP.

I wouldn't mind WF's scenario at all though, in fact, I think I'd prefer it.

Here are my predictions:
Allen loses in Virginia (it's tough to be a racist like he is and get re-elected).

MO goes barely democratic

TN goes republican

Montana could go either way. As for Steele in MD, he will lose easily. He is against stem cell research and that does not go well with Maryland voters. So if Montana goes democratic, the dems get back the senate as well. Its 50-50 chance now.

Allen's a dork, too close to call right now, but the major polls always overcount toward the Dems...bad sign with a lot of these close races on that score.

Missouri, tough one, almost a dead-heat now.

TN probably does go GOP and that's tough to lose Ford a far better Dem voice than Barak Obama.

Montana IS close and shouldn't be, as Burns is another dork and Tester is another pretty Conservative Dem.

Maryland, the latest polls have shown Steele halving Cardin's once 6 point lead and those were taken BEFORE the impact of all those Prince Georges County black Dems throwing their support to Steele.

Right now, Steele leads in the white vote and polls only 12% of the black vote, if those Prince Georges black Dem's endorsements push him only to 15% of the black vote, he could win...a good race to watch.

"Tester is another pretty Conservative Dem.

Wrong. He is a progressive dem.

Maryland, the latest polls have shown Steele halving Cardin's once 6 point lead and those were taken BEFORE the impact of all those Prince Georges County black Dems throwing their support to Steele.

And it was also before the Michael J. Fox ads. MD has had a democratic senator for 24 years. The republicans have zero chance there. The poll that shows a dead heat race is an outlier. There are many others that show Cardin ahead by 10 points or so. Forget that.

> I've seen first-hand how effective the Republican GOTV machine can be...

Well I'll say this: The Republicans' ground game is much, much, much better than it was back in the 80's, when I first became politically aware.

Back then I bemoaned the Dems' mastery of the sound bite. "Reagan wants old people to starve!" and "Tax cuts for the rich!" The Republicans tried to respond, but no one paid any attention.

Now the Republicans have learned the Dems' game and are even better at it than their teachers. The get-out-the-vote apparatus is also very effective.

The first time it really became clear to me that the GOP finally had a good ground game was back during the 2000 recount fiasco. I turned on my TV and saw our troops out in force and I was surprised. I wondered "Where did these people come from?"

That's when I first learned that we had the grass roots and the foot soldiers to go head-to-head with the Dems.

"Wrong. He (Tester) is a progressive dem."
THAT’S my kind of “progressive” – a tax cutting, border enforcement guy who strongly and openly opposes amnesty for illegal aliens.

WoW! "Progressive" used to mean Liberal, right?

Well this isn't "Liberal," but I'll be glad to call those stances "progressive," as in, "Hey, some Libs are making some progress!"

As for Maryland, the 10/31 Survey USA poll has that race a tie.


From that same site:

"The good news for Steele is he has essentially halved Cardin's lead from eleven to six in The Sun poll. It is moderately good news for Cardin that the same survey that shows O'Malley up only one point in the Governor race has him with a six-point lead on Steele. But the Cardin campaign can't be thrilled with only a six-point lead with Steele only pulling 12% of the black vote. With Steele sporting a 7-point lead among white voters, what happens to Cardin's lead if Steele's 12% of the black vote goes to 20% or 25%? That's why this week's endorsement of Steele by powerful Prince George's county black Democrats is potentially huge in this race. This poll was taken Saturday-Monday and thus was taken too early gauge what impact their endorsements may have on the race. Steele still has clear momentum."

I dont care what endorsements Steele got. He will lose. He is a far right wingnut who is pro-Iraq war and anti-stem cell research. These values are incompatible with electability in Maryland.

"He is a far right wingnut who is pro-Iraq war and anti-stem cell research." (BW)
"Michael Steele said, “There is only one candidate in this race who voted against stem cell research and it’s Congressman Ben Cardin. Ben Cardin had a chance to support stem cell research that would not destroy human embryos, and he voted against it – not because of his beliefs on the issue, but as a transparent political stunt. Both Senators Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes voted for this legislation. Ben Cardin wanted to politicize the issue instead of getting something done, so he voted against it.

"Marylanders deserve better than Congressman Cardin’s continued Washington double-talk, mistruths and sheer political gamesmanship on an issue as important as stem cell research.”

On September 6, 2006, the Frederick News Post reported: “[Cardin] opposes suggestions that stem cell research is acceptable if the embryo isn't destroyed. (Liam Farrell, “Pursuing Change,” Frederick News Post, September 2, 2006)
Michael Steele added, “I am an enthusiastic supporter of cord blood, adult stem cell and embryonic stem cell research that does not destroy the embryo, and I fully support expanding innovations in technology that make it possible to treat and prevent disease without the willful destruction of human embryos.”...

...Cardin Voted AGAINST Expanded Research On Stem Cells That Do Not Destroy Embryos.
Alternate Stem Cell Research Methods – Passage....

...The Senate Voted Unanimously To Pass the Same Bill that Cardin voted AGAINST. Both Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes Voted In Favor Of The Bill. Alternate Stem Cell Research Methods – Passage."


"Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s U.S. Senate campaign this morning released an ad in response to actor Michael J. Fox’s ad for Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, in which Mr. Fox criticizes Mr. Steele for opposing stem cell research.

“Congressman Ben Cardin is attacking Michael Steele with deceptive, tasteless ads. He is using the victim of a terrible disease to frighten people, all for his own political gain,” says Dr. Michelle Turner, a pediatrician, who is Mr. Steele’s younger sister.

“Mr. Cardin should be ashamed,” Ms. Turner says, adding that Mr. Steele “does support stem cell research, and he cares deeply for those who suffer from disease.”

“How do I know? I’m Michael Steele’s little sister. I have MS, and I know he cares about me,” Ms. Turner says in closing.


On Iraq;

Mr. Steele also criticized his own party, saying the Republican-controlled Congress has "lost its mind" on spending, and that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld "did not give the President the kind of strategy he needed to win this war [in Iraq]."

"He wouldn't be my secretary of defense," Mr. Steele said.

Blue this is an overwhelmingly Conservative country, by better than two to one. Conservative views are the American mainstream, sure there may be some folks who are a little religiously extreme, but even they're not as completely out of step with American views and values as those who support higher taxes, more social spending a more theraputic approcah to crime and race/gender-based preferences...all thos latter views are not only hopelessly out-of-step, they're socially corrosive as well.

Steele's a good guy, and about as "Conservative" as Harold Ford.

Face reality for once. Dont repeat blindly talking points. Steele is AGAINST embryonic (the real one) stem cell research by his own admission. Cardin has repeatedly said that he is FOR embryonic (the real one) stem cell research. And please dont start the same recorded message about adult stem cell research etc etc. The scientific community is in full (100%) agreement that the only promise is from EMBRYONIC stem cell research. Steele is an average right-wing republican wingnut with antiscientific views. There are republicans that are FOR real stem cell research (i.e. Specter, Chaffee, Nancy Reagan, etc.). Steele is not. I am so confident that he will be defeated on Tuesday, that if he wins, I will make my blog pro-Bush (dont get excited, it will not happen). Cheers :)

There is no "real" Stem Cell Research.

There is ONLY, simply SCR.

Embryonic SCR (ESCR) is not the ONLY, "real" or even most "promising kind" of SCR.

In almost every locale the public is divided 50/50 on that issue and when people are told that ESCR is the precursor technology to cloning, a slight majority oppose it. A vast majority of people oppose cloning for the "farming" of body parts, no matter what promise such a technology would deliver.

As a firefighter my chance of developing some form of cancer is 1 in 2, for developing asbestosis (a precursor to mesothilioma) it's a whopping 80%!

I'm very hopeful that SCR can result in major breakthroughs in cancers, including mesothilioma and other diseases, BUT I'm not sure ESCR is the only, or even best way to go on that.

The problem with those politicizing that issue is that most of them, like yourself, don't seem to understand, nor really care to understand the issue.

The fact remains that "Steele actually supports stem cell research, while Cardin voted against the kind of legislation Fox wants to pass... Steele in fact does support this kind of research (ESCR), as long as it doesn't destroy the embryo.

Here's the crux of the controversy surrounding ESCR: "Stem cells can be extracted from the embryo (termed at this stage a "blastocyst" and consisting of several hundred cells) late in the first week after fertilization. This extraction destroys the embryo and thus ends a human life. The stem cells are cultured in a Petri dish where they divide indefinitely. This is a very recent development in biomedical science, accomplished only in late 1998.

"Some researchers claim that these embryonic stem cells are more flexible or "plastic" - that is, able to differentiate more easily in the various kinds of tissue desired. This claim has not been substantiated. However, supporters insist that only by researching both adult and embryonic sources of stem cells can we be certain that adult sources are adequate. Supporters of adult sources, on the other hand, point out that adult stem cells can be derived directly from the very individual under treatment, and thus concerns about cellular rejection and incompatibility of tissue are avoided.

"To date, no therapies have been successfully developed using embryonic stem cells. However, there are several successful therapies using adult stem cells, primarily hemapoietic cells (blood-producing cells found in bone marrow). These adult-stem-cell therapies use stem cells from a particular organ to treat that particular organ in turn; for instance, kidney stem cells can be extracted, cultured, and reintroduced into the kidney, where they will begin to repair the damaged kidney tissues. There is promising research, however, suggesting that adult stem cells can be reprogrammed into different types of tissue - for instance, body fat cells could be directed to act like nerve tissue. This research is ongoing and in quite early stages."

The truth is that the whole scientific world agrees that embryonic stem cell research is important. Have you ever heard a scientist (not a politician or a group advocate) saying that adult SCR is as good as embryonic SCR? Let me asnwer for you: NO. Because such scientists do not exist. Politicians can not make scientific arguments. Unfortunately, thats exactly what the right-wingnuts have been doing. If you are so certain you are correct, find one (1) scientific quotation saying that adult SCR is as promising as embryonic. But it has to be real scientific. Not from the RNC website or the national enquirer.

Most bio-ethicists have weighed in on the side of those opposed.

I wish it were a black & white issue.

In fact, what galls me is that to folks like yourself it wouldn't even be an issue if it weren't able to be culled for cheap political gain.

I know dozens of guys suffering from various (mostly rare) cancers, many people who've lost limbs and I wish it were as simple as saying, "ANYTHING! Anything it takes to offer even the possibility of hope."

I can't say that.

No moral person with any decency at all could.

As I said, "To date, no therapies have been successfully developed using embryonic stem cells. However, there are several successful therapies using adult stem cells, primarily hemapoietic cells (blood-producing cells found in bone marrow). "

The fact is that we DON'T have to harvest embryos and clone embryonic tissue to create new stem cell lines...there are alternatives and that's good news.

More than that - Ben Cardin opposed precisely the kind of legislation that M J Fox wanted passed, while Mike Steele supported that.

Bottomline, MD ain't gonna swing on the ESCR issue, it's going to swing on the black vote.

If Steele gets more than 20% of the black vote (and he well may), Cardin's toast.

Ehrich's closed on O'Malley and Steele has closed even faster on Cardin, who not long ago had an 11 point lead, now down to 3.

I don't KNOW and I won't attempt to predict who'll win, but I hope Steele wins because he's the best of those two candidates by far, in my view.

I looked at the link you sent. That's NOT a scientific link (although at first glance it looks like it). The fact that the author is an obstetrician does noe necessarily mean she is a scientist. I would only take seriously the opinion of scientists that do research on stem cells. That person just happens to be clinician talking abour SCR. Anyway, adult stem cell research goes back to the 1970s when they were first used for bone marrow transplants. There is no question that they have been very useful over the years. Bur they have essentially reached their maximum potential. They are far less promising than embryonic SCR. There is no argument about that among scientists. The argument is only among politicians.

Like it or not, the science that gets done is the science that gets funded. That is why Adult Stem Cell research is getting results, and ESCR isn't.

The truth is that nobody knows if ESCs are as good, better, or not as good, because all the money has gone into ASCR.

Science is about finding out, but Bush and the Repugs have a political football to play with, and they hate Science (because they all failed it in school no doubt), so they will not fund ESCR.

This is religion-based government: anti-science, anti-intellectual, and retarded.

Why not just fund science and let the scientists decide what is worthy of pursuit?

Oh, because they are destroying LIFE!

Um, you mean the frozen embryos that are currently, LEGALLY, being tossed into the biowaste bin???

It is legal to THROW THEM AWAY, but not to use them productively in trying to cure diseases?

If Repugs really and truly believed this is about ethics and life then they would outlaw all fertility clinics, as every technique leads for increasing fertility leads to the destruction of some embryos.

Why don't they? Because the hypocrites know that they would lose votes.

It's all very sickening.

"Like it or not, the science that gets done is the science that gets funded. That is why Adult Stem Cell research is getting results, and ESCR isn't." (BH)
non-fact brought to us by Barely.

The actual fact is that there is a lot of ESCR being done by private companies, in private labs with venture capital.

Just as an aside, what happens to these TradeSport shares after the election? There is no market after the result is known.

Are the holders stuck with $20 of otherwise worthless shares?

They're like options, in that they have a finite lifetime. Once the outcome is known, winning contracts will be cash settled for $1 and losing contracts will expire worthless.

Stupid JMK, the government hands out $20,000,000,000 (twenty BILLION) for research into non-embryonic stem cell research, and then you crow about how well ASCR is advancing. Duh.

Please list the private venture capitalists who have given anywhere near $20 BILLION dollars to do basic research into ESCR.

Government grants can advance Science without the need for an immediate profit in return. Venture capitalists do not fund basic research into new areas. It would be foolish.

Sigh, but I don't have time to teach you how the world works in all regards.

There is a lot of research, in fact, much of the more effective research is done "for profit."

If it weren't so, that would certainly be one great argument in favor of the State controlled economy - of course no sensible person would even try and make the argument that "government research fuels most profit based research and is actually more effective research."

If anyone COULD effectively make that argument I'd immediately surender any and all animosity I've harbored all my life against socialists and socialism forthwith.

Of course, that ain't about to happen.

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