Friday, September 19, 2008

Political inflation

There is some political news in the 2nd District race. Late yesterday the Cook Political Report downgraded Rep. Lee Terry's chances of victory over Democrat challenger Jim Esch from "Likely Republican" to "Lean Republican".

CQPolitics also changed their rating on this race from "Safe Republican" to "Republican Favored". CQ explained:
Esch’s inclusion on the DCCC’s Red to Blue list will give him access to more campaign cash, and he’ll probably will wind up spending more than the $420,000 that his 2006 campaign laid out. And the Terry campaign this week aired a television advertisement that attacks Esch on energy policy — something it probably would not have done if it though
t Esch wasn’t at least a potential threat.
To flesh out Cook's and the DCCC's input a little more, we go to Joe Jordan's blog where he says:
Cook isn't banking on any polls he's seen, instead he's counting on what insiders with the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) are telling him.

According to Cook the DCCC is saying this: Their coming to Omaha with T-V ads targeting Terry's "links to Big Oil, and his congressional pay raises." [Neither of which is going to stick to Terry.]

Those are ads Esch wouldn't have to pay for and would mark the first time the National Democratic Party has gone after Terry.

So let's put all of this together:
  • Barack Obama's Presidential campaign has Iowa in play, so they need to advertise in Omaha to reach Western Iowa. They also think the whole race could possibly come down to one Electoral Vote, so they are doubling down in Omaha, since they're advertising there anyway.
  • Since Obama is putting money into Omaha, the DCCC is doubling down themselves with Esch, in the hopes that he can ride Obama's coat tails.
  • Because of Obama's and the DCCC's money in the race, and because of a closer than planned race in 2006 (the year of the Democrat), Terry has gone on the air early against Esch.
  • Because of Obama's money, the DCCC's money, and the Terry ads, Cook and apparently CQ think the 2nd District race is closer than expected.
But at no time have we seen:
  • any actual polls that indicate the 2nd District race is close.
  • any indication that Esch could actually beat Terry.
  • seen that Esch has a competent campaign organization.
What we do have is a lot of betting by the Dems that if they put a lot of money into a race they think could be close, that it will become a close race. And while that might not be the strangest circular argument in history, keep in mind that all the while...they're betting on Jim Esch.
At some point, to get over the hump, Esch is going to have to be more than "the Democrat" in the race. He will have to show that he has some sort of experience, some sort of qualifications or some magnificent ideas for him to represent the District.

Just being the anti-Terry won't do it.

And that is Jim Esch's biggest problem and ultimately will be his fatal flaw in this race.


But one thing that Esch does have, that Terry doesn't, is a sympathetic alternative press looking out for him.

Get a load of the photo that is running with a current article about Lee Terry in The Reader.

They took a photo of Terry in front of a gas station and apparently indicated to him that they would photo-shop out the station's name.

But then... they photo-shopped in fake gas prices. And, for some reason, they added in a couple of nuclear reactor cooling towers. Hey, guess what kids, that ain't Fort Calhoun.

(And just in case you're still wondering about The Reader's intentions, they saved the photo as "Terry Gets Gas".)

They may as well have put added in an elephant with "GOP" stamped on it goring your baby to death. What an utter joke.   And by the way Reader fact-checkers, the 2006 race was an over nine-point spread, not six points.

But the gas prices particularly are what get us. What is with Dems and inflating actual prices? First Scott Kleeb claims you are paying almost $9 per gallon, and now Team Esch at The Reader claim it's $6.

Their message to you? You're an idiot.


Nice to see that the Nebraska Republicans came out swinging against Chuck Hagel. Hagel's Republican bashing has been given a free ride by many because of his past support for the state party. But his cheap shots against Sarah Palin (particularly the "passport" line) were uncalled for.

Governor Heineman put it politely when asked if Hagel would be welcome at a Republican event:
"I don't know how to answer that for sure. Nebraskans are polite and respectful people, but I would say right now they disagree with Senator Hagel."
Interesting way for Hagel to choose to close out his career in Nebraska...

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macdaddy said...

I hope nobody is surprised by the dirty tricks the Dems are playing. Just wait until they actually get the power they so desperately seek.

Omaha repub said...

I love the dice Sweeper, nice graphic.

Anonymous said...

Chuck Hagel is like the little five year old who isn't getting enough attention.

Go away Chuck. We're done with you.

Anonymous said...

Sweeper, you're kind of an idiot. Again, I could care less who wins this race, I really could. That said, I love watching campaigns. I love the mechanics of the thing. It's not about Esch and his experience, it's about the numbers.

Esch is an admittedly bad candidate. The fact is, he only lost by 16,971 votes last time. I say only because that is a surmountable margin. Change 8,486 votes, and he wins. Now Esch himself cannot do this, but political climate and double the dollars (actual professional tv ads on network) can.

The Dems are bad strategists and bad campaigners, but this is one that is worth their time.

Anonymous said...

Also, I understand it is a presidential year and that will increase the margin a bit; however, the numbers are still there...

Street Sweeper said...

Your simplistic view of election dynamics is cute.

"Changing" 8,000 votes is "all" it takes huh?

(Except that that mid-term elections have a much lower turnout than Presidential years, so that number isn't accurate in any case.)

And you're just going to "change" them huh? My you Dems like that magic word. It is magic, right? Just say it and it "happens".

Hang onto that star cowboy...

Eric said...

Their coming to Omaha with T-V ads targeting Terry's "links to Big Oil, and his congressional pay raises."

Jeez. Is this what passes for journalism in this state? Makes me sic.

OmaSteak said...

With enough TV and radio utilizing someone who sounds like they know what they're talking about, Esch might manage to gain enough ground to lose by exactly the same margin as last time. All Terry has to do is run an ad outlining Esch's life experience...or lack thereof. Outside of the hardcore Dem faithful and UNO whine & cheese club, Esch is toast.

Anonymous said...

Guys, the phrase is "couldn't care less." If you "could" care less, that means there's some other event out there for which you have even less interest. Clean it up, please.

Calvin said...

The Dems LOVE high gas prices. They want the crisis so they can advance their radical environmentalist agenda. Remember Obama said "We can't drive our SUVs..."

On Esch: SS you are dead right. But you forgot "ideas" to go along with experience or ability.

Re: Terry and big oil: what a lame connection the Dems are trying to make. Terry actually advanced legislation that is counter to "big oi" -- his liquidified natural gas bill and the Hill-Terry legislation.

Nice try though.

Right Wing Professor said...

On the subject of the increasingly deranged Chuck Hagel, he's now claiming the current economic 'crisis' could eclipse the Great Depression.

He's like a junkie. He needs to increase the level of hysteria in each pronouncement in order to get the same effect. Time to crash, Chuckster. Maybe take a nice vacation out in the country, away from the TV cameras.

Anonymous said...

interesting how quickly governor dave forgets the early and unconditional support hagel gave him during the bout with TO. safe to say it would have been a different race had hagel thrown his endorsement elsewhere.

self interests trump.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sheesh. I bet Hagel is saying, "With friends like these, who needs enemies??"

Here should be a new slogan:

"Nebraska Republicans -- they're only your friend if you agree with them 100%"

If you don't, watch out. They'll drop you faster than a guy after a one-night stand.

BB said...

Anon @2:03
If Hagel is saying that, we could say the same back to him. As for your clever little slogan, why don't you check out some of the posts about Richard Carter at NNN and then give us one for the Dems.

Right Wing Professor said...

It's not as if this is one incident by Hagel. Even while he was co-chairing Bush's Nebraska campaign in 2004, he was constantly on TV deriding the war effort. We've put up with four years of this stuff. Frankly, I though it took the Nebraska GOP far too long to call him out, in this very mild way.

Rick said...

Why did you leave out the best quote from the whole Reader article?

“We can even protect the caribou,” said Terry. “The caribou like it actually. since [sic] they have to heat the oil to pump it, the caribou huddle up around the pipelines. It keeps them warm.” – Lee “I just make this stuff up” Terry in reference to ANWR

Oh, wait, what’s that you say? The last time U.S. Government scientists produce a report on the matter in 2002 they concluded that pipeline construction near caribou calving and summering areas would lead to greater calf mortality and a reduction of the population of caribou?

Eh, facts, who needs facts.

Street Sweeper said...

You want "Facts", do you Rick?

Here are a few that were left out of the Reader article -- beyond the authors not being able to add and subtract:

1. They fail to mention that Terry has authored 7 major laws in just the past four years.

2. They say Terry co-sponsored 118 bills in his 10 years on the Hill, compared to Jon Christensen who co-sponsored 408.

Nope. Terry has co-sponsored 1,817 pieces of legislation compared to 415 for Christensen.

3. They say Terry started running commercials in mid-July.

Uh, no, that would be August.

4. They quote a 2005 University of California-Berkely study found corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than fuel produced. Why would you use a 3 year old study up? Isn't there more current information? Like how gas prices and oil consumption would increase without biofuels.

Oh wait, here is one.

6. They say "but there's one snag: There are no cellulosic fuel plants in production"

Abengoa Bioenery has a pilot plant for the production of cellulosic ethanol from biomass in York, NE.

Maybe they could just photo-shop another photo to explain it all...

Anonymous said...

Street Sweeper can you just admit once and for all that you are either currently, or you were in the past, a Terry staffer (either congressional or campaign)?

Street Sweeper said...

As magnificently gifted as I am, we do, on occasion, receive information on issues from outside parties...

Right Wing Professor said...

The New York Times, on the construction of the Alaska Pipeline, Oct. 14, 1973, said the question was “whether the caribou will go the way of the buffalo.”

In fact, the herd has increased from 6,000 to 30,000.

That's the kewl thing about being an environmentalist. Nobody keeps track of all the times you predict doom and it doesn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Hagel has carried the Nebraska GOP for a long time so one would think they would still bring some support for him. His support has helped build the party to what it is today. However, how can one expect to change their views, or have their true inner views come out, and expect thier suppoters to follow blindly?

Anonymous said...

You people amaze me! The world is falling apart. We are facing an economic crisis which they are now saying will require hundreds of billions of dollars from middle class tax payers. We are presently hundreds of billions of dollars in debt because of the war. Money has been borrowed from Social Security with no plan to repay it. Gas prices, food prices are at an all time high. People are losing jobs and homes. Veterans are coming home and facing home foreclosures. At a time like this you educated people like to sit at your computers and dream up insults to sling at anyone who does think the same way you do. Instead of coming up with positive ideas and solutions, you want to create a civil war in this country. I for one am very concerned!!

One Out In The Third said...

How "Heineman" for Heineman to say nothing about Hagel. You might call it polite...I call it typical Heineman artful dodginess.

Rick said...


I’ll grant you that the fact checking in the Reader article was terrible – in that they didn’t do any – and I’ll concede your points 2-6 – but my problem isn’t that the Reader didn’t check the caribou statement.

I take issue with Lee Terry failing to check the accuracy of that statement before repeating it.

The idea that caribou “like” oil pipelines is one of those “zombie lies” that is repeated (without citation) until people hear it enough to believe that it is true. The last study done on the issue was in 2002 by the U.S. Geologic Survey (Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain Terrestrial Wildlife Research Summaries, available at The report is technical, but here are some excerpts:

“…the Porcupine caribou herd has less capacity to accommodate anthropogenic, biological, and abiotic stresses than other Alaska barren-ground herds. Any absolute effect of development would be expected to have a larger relative effect on the Porcupine caribou herd than on the other herds. For example, an approximate 4.6% reduction in calf survival, all else held equal, would be enough to prevent Porcupine caribou herd growth under the best conditions observed to date (Walsh et al. 1995) or prevent recovery from the current decline.”

The caribou herd that inhabits ANWR is less adaptable than other herds. Impacts that might be negligible on other herds could be devastating to this herd.

“Avoidance of petroleum development infrastructure by parturient caribou during the first few weeks of the lives of calves is the most consistently observed behavioral response of caribou to development.”

Caribou don’t like their baby caribou to be around pipelines or other man made developments.

“Calving areas in Canada and away from the Alaska coastal plain were used only when the Arctic Refuge coastal plain, including the 1002 Area, were unavailable due to late snowmelt. Diet quality on the Canadian portions of the calving ground was substantially lower than on the Arctic Refuge coastal plain and 1002 portions of the calving ground. When snow cover reduced access by females to the Arctic Refuge coastal plain and 1002 Area for calving, calf survival during June was 19% lower than when they could calve on the Arctic Refuge coastal plain and 1002 Area.”

When ANWR is unavailable because of weather conditions, the caribou go to Canada. Baby caribou die a lot more frequently when they are raised in Canada. Probably enough to seriously jeopardize the survival of the herd.

Lee Terry should really take the time to find out whether something is true before he repeats it. That’s all I’m saying…

Rick said...

Right Wing Professor:

The figures you cite are from Prudhoe Bay and involve the Central Arctic Herd, not the Porcupine Herd in ANWR. As noted by the USGS scientists, the Porcupine Herd is less adaptable than the Central Arctic Herd.

The section of the USGS study on the Central Arctic Herd concluded that development did affect the distribution of the herd (since the caribou avoid infrastructure). Fortunately for the Central Arctic Herd, the change in location has not impeded their growth.

As noted the Porcupine Herd analysis, relocation has a big impact on the ANWR herd since the alternative calving grounds in Canada have significantly lower survival rates. Since a 4.6 percent decline in survival rate is sufficient to prevent herd growth, it seems logical that a 20 percent decline in calf survival rate would significantly reduce the size of the Porcupine Herd.

Oracle said...

Me thinks the edjee-cated professor should stick to his profession (chemistry, I believe) and avoid subjects he knows nothing about, or is unable to proficiently research.

Anonymous said...

Republicans are mad at a fellow party member because he tells the truth?
No wonder the party lost the house and senate and soon the white house.
Go Barack and Esch!
ricky from omaha

Jimmy E said...

To Rick ------- is the USGS scientists always 100% right or have they ever been off with their predictions?

Thanks for sharing your brilliance with us not so gifted.

Anonymous said...

Scientists are always off when their studies reach conclusions that Republicans don't like. Why do you think Bush spent all those years trying to fill EPA jobs with oil cronies and then blacking out the real scientific results that didn't match what Republicans wanted to hear.

macdaddy said...

The different herds have different survival rates given the same conditions? Does this make even the slightist scientific sense? And you're telling me that in 2002, with ANWR already being an issue, scientists could not possibly be making stuff up to go along with "the herd?" What are scientists but humans? You think they aren't political creatures as well? Now who's being naive?

FYI, scientists had predicted that the Alaskan pipeline, which Joe Biden voted against, BTW, would decimate the caribou herd. The opposite occurred. In fact, there are way more than 30,000. There are almost a million now. So we have a million caribou, all of the same species, and some of us are supposed to be unemployed so a tiny fraction of them in one tiny spot of Alaska MAY OR MAY NOTreproduce. That's got to be a winning position in the upcoming.

Anonymous said...

Is it at all possible that the porcupine or whatever variety that you claim to be near extinction is getting smaller because another type is getting bigger? Isn't that called "life"? Maybe instead of sending our country to the brink of desimation, economically, we could just increase hunting on the variety that is getting over populated? That would seem to allow for more food sources for all caribou.

Also, if the question is of snowcover and the pipeline warms the ground area, even slightly, wouldn't that help with the availability of grazing area?

As you can tell, I am one of those uneducated lumps that relies on others to do the research, but hey, isn't that what you all are relying on Susie Buffett to do in North O? Educate the uneducated masses and deliver them to the Polls for you on November 4th?

Just asking!

nux said...

"What is with Dems and inflating actual prices?"

SS, you are expecting reason from the unreasoning.

Dems are grounded in heart not head. It is like Obama embracing the tiny part of the population that is black while kicking the majority that are women. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Eh, Lee Terry could care less what the truth really is, as long as it sounds good in an ad or a quote in the paper.

Remember how he insisted for the longest time that the Chinese were drilling off our coasts by Cuba? He didn't do a whole lot of fact checking on that whopper either.

I think Richard Carter needs to turn his "truth squad" inward on the Terry campaign.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot, Jim Esch is the poster child of truth and integrity.

Chuck said...

From the Guardian: “James Hansen, who heads Nasa's [sic] Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, called for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of “actively spreading doubt about global warming.” The article continues by reporting that “he is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated.”

This is the federal bureaucrat hack upon whose "research" former Vice-President Al Gore relies for his error-riddled video polemic, "An Inconvenient Truth." A British court ordered it not to be shown in their schools without an accompanying rebuttal of at least nine corrections to factual errors.

In the 1980's, Hansen was saying that we only had a few years left unless we massively dislocated our economy and standard of living for a dramatic change (surrender) to a centrally planned economy. More than a generation later, he's still telling us that we have only a few years left to submit.

The Guardian also reported that Hansen said in an interview: "When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that's a crime."

It should be fun to watch Mr Gore squirming in the witness box as he is accused of disseminating 50,000 free copies of "An Inconvenient Truth" to public schools. Perhaps, by Dr Hansen’s standard of what constitutes crime, arrangements could be made for he and Mr Gore to share the same cell!

Hansen's attitude of jailing those who disagree with him is what we might expect from Iran’s mullahs, or members of the old Soviet Politburo. It's especially chilling when we hear it from a government bureaucrat, even if he doesn't have the actual power so to do -- yet.

Maxine Waters (D-CA) let the cat out of the bag when she threatened to "socialize" the oil companies. This is coming from the same bunch of miscreants who failed to regulate the banking system, destroyed the mortgage banking system, can't seem to fix Social Security or Medicare, and can't even run the Senate Lunch Room without losing money!

When the Left photoshops the anti-Terry ads, remember what their agenda really is. It's not energy policy.

Chuck said...

With regard to Chuck Hagel, it's sad to see him degenerate from an active public servant of his constituents to a rambling irrelevant placeholder on the Senate stage. His principled opposition to Bush policies seems to have slid into becoming a thorn in the side of his fellow party members, even on issues which he used to support.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) wrote a letter to the Senate Majority Leader urging him to place the House-passed bill repealing DC's new gun ban laws, which ignored the Supreme Court decision in Heller v DC, on the calendar for vote. Forty-one Senators co-signed the bipartisan letter, including Ben Nelson, but Chuck Hagel wasn't one of them.

Let's hope that Senator Hagel finds the peace for which he searches, in the private sector, when he leaves public office at the end of his term.

Anonymous said...

Is Republicanism in this state a genetic defect? This state would make very good Germans.

Chuck said...

Actually, anonymous, this state's been populated for many decades by a lot of "good Germans," Americans of German ancestry, many of whom fought and died in two wars against bad Germans and their despicable ideologies. As I recall, Marxism and Nazism were both conceived by bad Germans and are opposed even today by Republicans, and an occasional Nebraska Democrat. What's your point?