Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday Morning: Another Victory in Court

Sunday morning, a beautiful fall day -- was yesterday perfect, or what? I went out with my jacket on, and I think it's still in the back seat of the car, it came off immediately. This is Hawaiian shirt weather. It looks like election day will be nice, cloudy with a high of 63 degrees. Remember the primaries in February? It was freezing cold, sleet, turnout was low and the outcomes of the elections were probably affected by turnout. I suppose that's all part of the fun of it.

Hopefully you have studied your sample ballot and know how you want to vote. Just about everybody has had the experience of staring at a list of names for Judge or something, and not knowing who any of them are. Well, we've seen this year how much difference it makes who the judge is! Let's vote for the right people this time, from President to dog-catcher.

By the way, some regions are finding that if you vote for a straight ticket your vote for President will not be recorded. Check your votes carefully before you submit them.

Speaking of judges, the shower-nuts had filed a lawsuit, trying to get the new gender-identity nondiscrimination law stopped, and oral arguments were this past Friday. The Alliance Defense Fund is a rightwing legal group out of Arizona that filed the suit. Here's a bit from ADF's press release.
ROCKVILLE, Md. — Alliance Defense Fund Litigation Counsel Amy Smith and ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks will be available for media interviews following oral arguments in circuit court Friday in Bloem v. Montgomery County Board of Elections. Representing Montgomery County voters, ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit against the board for removing legislation from the ballot without notice to the petition sponsors. The suit also asks the court to stop enforcement of the legislation, which adds “gender identity” to the county’s anti-discrimination ordinances.

“A democratic government should not silence its people. The board had no legal authority to disenfranchise 900,000 county voters who have the right to voice their opinion on this controversial law,” said Smith. “The voters did exactly what the county told them to do, and are now being unjustly punished for it.” ADF attorneys available to media after hearing on Md. voters’ rights

Well, the news is that their lawyers were "available to media," but a quick search of Google indicates that no media took advantage of their availability.

The county's 900,000 voters have the chance every couple of years to decide what kind of people will enact new laws for the county. The County Council who voted unanimously for this new bill was elected fairly by the people, and the County Executive who signed it was elected fairly. That's how a representative democracy works.

It didn't take long for a judge to deny the temporary restraining order that ADF had asked for. The standard for awarding a temporary restraining order is that the plaintiff will suffer "irreparable harm" if the TRO isn’t granted. It is hard to imagine what irreparable harm the Alliance Defense Fund would suffer, or the Citizens for Responsible Whatever, for that matter, if they lost the right to discriminate against transgender people. Jonathan Shurberg, arguing for Equality Maryland, made the case that his clients would be irreparably harmed if discrimination were re-legalized.

I wasn't there, but reports are that the judge was very well informed about the history of this case, and repeatedly asked the ADF if they were trying to get him to overrule the Court of Appeals.

It's interesting that the first round of lawsuits was Equality Maryland suing the Board of Elections, and now ADF is suing the Board, with Equality Maryland signed on as intervenors -- they're on the same side as the Board now. By the way, word is that Jonathan Shurberg was in great form, as usual -- he was "crisp, organized, clear – just great," we were told.

As I hear it, the next step will be a motion by the plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction suspending the nondiscrimination law and ordering the referendum to go onto the 2010 ballot. The hearing is scheduled for January 30, together with the Board of Elections' and Equality Maryland's motion to dismiss the lawsuit altogether.

Okay, this will go one of two ways. If the shower-nuts are right, by 2010 it will be impossible for women to use a public restroom or shower anywhere in Montgomery County because all of them will be crowded with lurking perverts, pedophiles, and predators in dresses, waving their festering penises around and leering at the ladies. In that case, they probably won't need a referendum, the County Council will have seen what a tragic mistake they made, and will have changed the law already. If the shower-nuts are wrong, by 2010 people will have forgotten what the issue was supposed to have been in the first place, and transgender people will be able to find jobs and contribute fully to society.

WPFW is playing some pretty mellow jazz this morning. A fire hydrant up the street has been opened for some reason, and water is pouring down the gutter with robins jumping in and out of it, playing at the end of our driveway. There is something weird going on with my blood pressure the past couple of days, which worries me, and I'm keeping an eye on it. I see people are raking their yards, but my main front tree hasn't dropped its leaves yet, so I'm waiting. I usually have to rake twice in the fall, I don't want to do it three times, no matter how bad the neighbors make me look! We've got the windows open these days, the sun is shining weakly through a gap in the clouds, and I've got a honey-do list as long as my arm. One more cup of coffee and I'll get to it, maybe.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
Jim, love your wording "festering penises". I was at Zombiewalk last night and saw lots of festering torn parts- but none of those. Well, maybe Zombiewalk 2010.

I got a note today telling to use a paper ballot. I imagine my own polling place will be busy but uneventful. I am not so sure about the poll I am working in Loudoun county.

November 02, 2008 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet Virginia polls will be very busy.


November 02, 2008 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jim, love your wording "festering penises"."

Frankly, Andrea, we're not surprised.

"The county's 900,000 voters have the chance every couple of years to decide what kind of people will enact new laws for the county."

There you go again, Jim. Trying to nullify the part of our state law that requires direct participation of its citizens. Citizens in Maryland have veto power over legislation as a check on its elected officials. The government can't negate this right through feigned incompetence. Your anti-democratic tendencies are showing!

"It looks like election day will be nice, cloudy with a high of 63 degrees."

Should be a pleasant day for a pleasant surprise. IBD this morning says McCain has closed within two points nationally. Several other polls have things moving McCain's way compared to yesterday, the only exception being Zogby who added a point to Obama's lead. here's IBD:

"The race tightened again Sunday as independents who'd been leaning to Obama shifted to McCain to leave that key group a toss-up. McCain also pulled even in the Midwest, moved back into the lead with men, padded his gains among Protestants and Catholics, and is favored for the first time by high school graduates."

The early voting phenomenom is disturbing in a way. I've always been in favor of a multi-day process to encourage greater participation. I have always thought, however, that not releasing results until polls are closed is a good idea and states have been releasing early results, which may skew participation in some way.

So far, young people have not been showing up in great numbers and those who have are not overwhelmingly Obama. Senior citizens have been heavily into early voting and are going for Obama though.

November 02, 2008 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vote against Bobby Haircut (Governor Ehrlich) appointed Judge Robert Alan Greenberg, the judge who heard the case about Montgomery County's nondiscrimination against transgenders law. Judge Greenberg made up an arbitrary date of February 20 as the deadline to file a complaint against a BOE decision that wasn't rendered until March 6. The Maryland Court of Appeals overturned his erroneous decision. Judge Greenberg apparently thinks preemptive filing of complaints against decisions not yet rendered is necessary even though that's ridiculous and certainly not what Maryland law requires.

We need judges who comprehend and uphold the law, not judges who don't.

November 02, 2008 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not that it matters but anonymous (the post before the last one)why are u scared to cite your sources. You make it sound like they are your own words or there is no bias coming from those who are stating them.

November 02, 2008 7:03 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Just for the edification of the ADF -- there are currently slightly more than 557,000 registered voters, active and inactive, in Montgomery County. Not 900,000, as they continue to spread in their lies and misinformation.

November 02, 2008 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"not that it matters but anonymous (the post before the last one)why are u scared to cite your sources. You make it sound like they are your own words or there is no bias coming from those who are stating them."

Sorry, guy. It's a paste from IBD's website. I thought that was obvious but things are not always clear in cyberspace.

Go to and click on the IBD poll. It'll go to the website.

I don't think they're biased. Realclearpolitics said about a month ago they wouldn't include biased surveys in their average.

November 02, 2008 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bobby Haircut"? Surprised you would insult another because of their outward appearance.
You're such a bigot.

November 02, 2008 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, kids.

I've analyzed all the data, read the historical data, considered the pundits, watched the final weekend of commercials.

Here's the final prediction:

it's too close too call

the swing state which is too tight is Colorado

if it goes McCain, he has 274

if it goes Obama, he has 273

one other slight possibility is that Nevada goes Obama and Colorado goes McCain, in which case, we have a tie and Congress decides it

November 02, 2008 10:51 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...


I thought you were going to enforce "thread discipline."

November 02, 2008 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, Jim, it's a fine line between inattentiveness and complete anarchy

delete Dana's downer comment immediately

Doctor Doom is off topic

November 03, 2008 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's this morning's look for McCain from Mason-Dixon's point of view:

McCain leads
OH +2
MO +1
NC +3

McCain is losing
FL -2
VA -3
PA -4
NV -4
CO -5

I know some of you might be saying, "I don't know- that looks a little like a big McCain loss to me"

But this is a positive move for these numbers in almost every state. Especially PA.

There are other polls in PA that don't show it this close but they've also moved in GOP direction over the past few days. Ras has it at -6, SUSA at -7, Morning Call at -7. A week ago MC was at -13, heck all the polls were in the double digits. This is excellent corroboration of Rick Davis' statement about them being close in PA.

So this still looks like a miss for McCain in PA, but what if these polls are just in the middle of capturing a shift in process, what if the numbers are still moving in PA as we speak? The big difference right now is that McCain for the first time has advertising parity in these states. He is not being outspent 4-1 anymore. Well maybe in IN, but I think he's counting on holding that.

McCain spent the day there today (in PA) and Sarah camped out there all week. McCain is heading back out there tomorrow, this is looking less now like a hail mary and more like a solid strategy.

To win McCain needs to keep the states he has a lead in (OH, MO, NC) get FL and VA and then capture either PA or NV and CO. The PA/VA strategy looks more doable at this point. Certainly more doable than it was looking just a few days ago.

And then there's Iowa, Sarah Palin is going to Dubuque tomorrow. Public polling has them down by double digits in IA. What's that about?

November 03, 2008 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only poll that counts will be taken tomorrow, but for today, here's where things stand.

RCP Average 10/27 - 11/02 -- -- 51.1 44.2 Obama +6.9
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 11/01 - 11/02 1011 LV 3.1 51 43 Obama +8
Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby 10/31 - 11/02 1201 LV 2.9 51 44 Obama +7
Gallup 10/31 - 11/02 2472 LV 2.0 55 44 Obama +11
CNN/Opinion Research 10/30 - 11/01 714 LV 3.5 53 46 Obama +7
Rasmussen Reports 10/30 - 11/01 3000 LV 2.0 51 46 Obama +5
CBS News 10/30 - 11/01 607 LV -- 54 41 Obama +13
Diageo/Hotline 10/30 - 11/01 882 LV 3.6 50 45 Obama +5
Pew Research 10/29 - 11/01 2587 LV 2.0 52 46 Obama +6
IBD/TIPP 10/29 - 11/01 844 LV 3.4 47 45 Obama +2
ABC News/Wash Post 10/29 - 11/01 2172 LV 2.5 54 43 Obama +11
GWU/Battleground 10/27 - 10/30 800 LV 3.5 49 45 Obama +4
Marist 10/29 - 10/29 543 LV 4.5 50 43 Obama +7
FOX News 10/28 - 10/29 924 LV 3.0 47 44 Obama +3

Electoral College

Obama 278
McCain 132
Toss Up 128

State Poll Averages (not only Mason Dixon)

November 03, 2008 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, we'll see. I wouldn't take too much comfort in these polls. McCain is moving strongly in the battleground states and three day rolling averages don't capture that.

Obama apparently has blinked. He's running horribly negative ads in battleground states which are producing a backlash among voters.

Truth is, virtually every undecided voter in America will vote McCain tomorrow and millions who are saying they're for Obama will do something else in the voter booth.

November 03, 2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

November 03, 2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon

Robert- I meant the Loudoun precinct where I am working might not be uneventful- I am sure it will be busy. At the last election- primary day- the events were the ice(people falling), my opponent- supporting Al Wynn- was actually a Republican- who spent a lot of our down time railing against John McCain(this guy was a Vietnam Vet and had a lot of bad things to say about McCain) and someone who came to vote in the wrong congressional district. After being in Leesburg on behalf of the Obama campaign, I expect I may hear some invective.

November 03, 2008 9:56 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

FYI, someone just posted a thousand-word-plus copy-and-paste job without an original word in it, and I deleted it. Please link or quote relevant passages. Thank you.


November 03, 2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The RNC and McCain campaign are running negative ads, producing backlashes. Where are they doing that? In formerly red states, which are currently battleground states.

November 03, 2008 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the post Jim deleted was McCain's final pitch from today's Wall Street Journal

the Journal ran one today from both McCain and Obama

check it out

btw, I'm not a political activist myself but a friend of mine spent all weekend working the phones for McCain, calling list of independent voters; virtually all said they were already planning to vote McCain

this is going to be historic: the oldest President ever and the first woman VP

Palin, who has been victimized by the press, is a national marvel; from humble beginnings, she is completely self-made; other women, like Hillary or Elizabeth Dole, came to power through marriage; Palin's husband is a fisherman without even a college degree, her parents are school teachers; she took on the powers-to-be in her state and won while Obama was kissing up to the Democratic leadership in Congress

remember all the criticism of how Palin wasn't giving interviews?

she does it all he time now but did you know that, after several embarassing gaffes, the Obama campaign hasn't allowed Joe Biden to take questions from reporters since Sept 13?

it's a policy called Hidin' Biden

wondered why we're not hearing much about it?

November 03, 2008 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The RNC and McCain campaign are running negative ads, producing backlashes."

The RNC ads are about experience, a key issue, and they are working.

November 03, 2008 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

other women, like Hillary or Elizabeth Dole, came to power through marriage

As usual, Anon has it all wrong. Elizabeth Dole campaigned for Kennedy/Johnson in 1960 and worked in Johnson's White House long before she married Bob Dole in 1975. Hillary Clinton most certainly did not come to power through marriage. She had a long list of political accomplishments before she ever consented to marry.

Wikipedia reports:

During her post-graduate study, Rodham served as staff attorney for Edelman's newly founded Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children. During 1974 she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C., advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal. Under the guidance of Chief Counsel John Doar and senior member Bernard Nussbaum, Rodham helped research procedures of impeachment and the historical grounds and standards for impeachment. The committee's work culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.

By then, Rodham was viewed as someone with a bright political future; Democratic political organizer and consultant Betsey Wright had moved from Texas to Washington the previous year to help guide her career; Wright thought Rodham had the potential to become a future senator or president. Meanwhile, Clinton had repeatedly asked her to marry him, and she had continued to demur.

November 03, 2008 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Bea, you can find tens of thousands of people these type of statements could be made about.

Hillary and Liz are Senators because of their husbands.

Palin's rise was through her own efforts- and skills.

November 03, 2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilary's rise was because she is a smart, astute woman. sorry but she sometimes propelled Bill and not the other way around.

November 03, 2008 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, maybe you're right

Palin's no slouch either, though

you've got to admit, the media has not given her the breaks they've given Biden

November 03, 2008 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well maybe that's because Biden never claimed to have experience in foreign affairs because the US (the place in which he governs) is "located between two foreign countries."

Nobody but the GOP base takes anything Palin says seriously.

November 03, 2008 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and yet when obama says nothing, they take it quite seriously

their loss- and the world's

November 03, 2008 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The RNC ads are about experience, a key issue, and they are working.

No they aren't. Poll Shows Obama Deflected Recent Attacks

...Obama has firmly reestablished his advantage on handling the economy, beaten back a challenge on taxes and has an edge in terms of perceptions about which candidate would better deal with an unexpected major crisis...

...Obama holds an 11-point advantage, at the top end of the seven-to-11-point range he has held since the final presidential debate in mid-October...

...Obama is also benefiting from a large enthusiasm gap that has been evident throughout the campaign, stretching back to the primaries, when Democrats were far more satisfied with their choices than Republicans were with theirs. Nearly seven in 10 Obama supporters are "very enthusiastic" about his candidacy; about four in 10 McCain backers feel that way about their candidate...

...Obama has also crossed some important thresholds. More than half of the survey participants said he is sufficiently experienced, and he is now widely viewed as a "safe" pick. Respondents divide about evenly on whether McCain is a safe choice for president...

...Age appears to be a factor in views about whether McCain is a safe pick. Sixty-two percent of likely voters who said the candidates' ages are important called McCain a risky choice; among those who said age is not a issue, the figure was 34 percent. That is also a big change from June, when less than half of those factoring in age labeled McCain a risk.

Respondents' reactions to Sarah Palin, the GOP vice presidential nominee, are also closely linked to how much they factor age into their preferences: Sixty percent of those who said age is an important consideration said Palin lowers the odds that they will vote for the GOP ticket. Overall, nearly half of all respondents said they are less likely to vote for McCain because she is on the ticket, a sharp increase from previous polls...

November 03, 2008 3:52 PM  

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