Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Well, that's good. Er, bad. I mean, good... No, ok, definitely bad.

So it appears that a Yale study forthcoming in the Quarterly Journal of Economics finds evidence that White Republican voters are 25% more likely to vote for a Democratic Senatorial candidate when the Republican candidate is black, assuming, of course, that the Dem. candidate is White, too.

At first glance, I was like, "Well, good! If you're going to be seemingly racist, it's best that this at least helps the party I marginally prefer!" Of course, thinking about it further, I think if I had all-powerful choices over time, space, and reality, that I would choose instead to live in a world where they were, seemingly, 0% more likely to vote for white Democratic guy or gal just because, they're, you know, white. This tendency strikes me as a bad thing.

And to stop me from taking any kind of schadenfreude from this, "In House races, white Democrats are 38 percentage points less likely to vote Democratic if their candidate is black," the Washington Post story says. Wellllll, I'm not seeing any upside for any part of society here, except perhaps the Prussian Blue sisters.

(P.S. The Prussian Blue sisters: Geeeeeeaaaaachhhh. Fucking disTURBING.)

Meanwhile, on page two of the WaPo story, apparently Las Vegas is a haven for sexual de-humanization of women. Who knew? But seriously, this article sounds much more troubling with the use of the word "decapitation"...

Which would be much more troubling in its classic meaning, but in this case (and still troubling, just, less so) it refers to the practice of portraying scantily clad women on billboards as headless bodies -- that is, their head is "off-screen" off the top of the billboard I imagine, so they become only some tits and an improbably flat stomach. And my quasi-namorada (yes, another J-quasi) here thought sexism was mostly gone in the US... Of course, besides any other methodological hitches, it may be that Las Vegas is not the best representative, generalizable sample pool, given its being home to the most excessive of American excess.

Meanwhile, apparently Republicans have gotten ensared in another dust up where the White House is seemingly involved in illegal chicanery. Apparently, a Republican operative who played a key role in jamming the phones of a Democratic call center and an (assumedly) non-partisan Firepersons get-out-the-vote mission during elections in New Hampshire in 2002, also made a flock of phone calls to President Por Vida, Herr GW Bush. The Rep. National Committee (RNC) is paying for the legal bills for this guy, James Tobin, even though it has no technical obligation to. RNC Chair Ken Mehlman says that it wasn't on his watch that this shady decision was made, but he does feel the honorable thing to do is to continue paying the bills. It's unclear from the WaPo article exactly who did what, but it seems that the Regional Director for the RNC has already been convicted of something, and this Tobin fellow and two others have already plead guilty in the case. It's also unclear whether or not this was a felony case (a Democratic attorney implies it is, but this is not the best-written article I've ever seen).

What IS clear: Ken Mehlman's standing up for this pack of convicted and admitted criminals. What a mensch.

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