Political MoJo

Congress' First Muslim is From...

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:16 AM EST

Yes, indeed, Minnesota. Keith Ellison, an African American lawyer and father of four, Detroit-born, Catholic-raised convert to Islam (good profile here), is the new representative for the Fifth District, basically Minneapolis and its suburbs. If the experience of those of us who tangled with him back in college (yes, yours truly was an editor at the Minnesota Daily when Ellison's relationship with the Nation of Islam, an organization he's since denounced, was a major issue there) is any guide, Republicans in the House just gained a sharp, honorable adversary.

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Webb Slightly Ahead, Montana Also Close

| Wed Nov. 8, 2006 12:15 AM EST

Recount looks possible in VA.

Orrin Hatch: Term Limits are for Nutcakes

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:49 PM EST

Halleluiah. Six more years of Orrin Hatch. By the time he is up for re-election he will have served 36 years in the U.S. Senate. To Democrats in Utah (all fifty of them), Hatch's hypocritical stance on term limits is a familiar part of the state's political folklore. During Hatch's first run for political office in 1976, he made term-limits a central part of his campaign against popular incumbent senator Frank Moss. He once told Moss, "Senator, you have served the people of Utah for 18 years; it's time to retire." (Source: "Legislators drag feet on term limits," Deseret News, December 17, 2003)

Not only has Orrin Hatch refused to follow his own wisdom that Washington should be run by citizen-legislators, not career politicians, but he--as chair of the Judiciary Committee--has been a major opponent of federally legislated term limits, this according to the Cato Institute.

-- Koshlan Mayer-Blackwell

The Year of the Woman?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:40 PM EST

Some are saying that it is shaping up to be the Year of the Woman. All female senators up for re-election are projected to win and Nancy Pelosi will soon take her post as the first female Speaker of the House. But I'm not sure it is really time to pat ourselves on the back. There stand to be 15 female senators in the new Congress, but isn't 15% still pretty abysmal? In fact, in our January/February issue of this year, we reported that in comparison 35% of Iraq's parliament are women.

ExxonMobil's New Way To Spin Global Warming: Sponsor Network Election Coverage

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:24 PM EST

Driving the MoJo live blogging staff to distraction is that ExxonMobil seems to be sponsoring election coverage at CNN, MSNBC, Fox (for all, both TV and websites) and on the major papers' websites.

 exxon_web.gif

I guess that's where record profits go. That and to fund (as we broke in a major piece last year) global warming deniers.

Fighting Dem Joe Sestak Shoots Down Curt Weldon in PA

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:21 PM EST

Weldon's loss to a war vet illustrates how swift boating efforts can backfire. Republicans accused Sestak of improperly wearing his uniform while campaigning, claiming the wrong military rank and abusing subordinates while in the Navy. For a complete rundown on Republican swift boat efforts this year, and the Democrat response, see my Mother Jones story, Swift Boating the Fighting Dems. The American Prospect later reported that Weldon's campaign had queried Weldon's Navy colleagues for dirt on Sestak, in possible violation of House rules. In more ways than one, Weldon wrapped up the month looking like a dirty bird: mid-month the FBI raided his daughter's house as part of an investigation into whether he helped her win lobbying and consulting contracts.

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Yaaaawn....

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:14 PM EST

Ahnold, Feinstein and Senator Daniel Akaka (Sen., D-HI) win.

GOP Scapegoat: Libertarians?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:12 PM EST

Over at The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru goes fishing for what could make for a promising scapegoat for GOP losses tonight: Libertarians!

So far, losing because of libertarians hasn't caused Republicans to move toward the libertarians ideologically. But maybe things will change this time.

Hmmm. Aren't most libertarians anti-torture, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-massive federal deficit spending atheist freethinkers? Shall I stop there?

Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl Keeps Seat

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 11:00 PM EST

CBS has the details of all the Arizona races.

If They Do Win, What Then?

| Tue Nov. 7, 2006 10:58 PM EST

Matt Yglesias, over at the Prospect, considers the "what ifs" if the Dems do gain political ground. He has this to say about what a "victory" for the Democrats would mean for Iraq:

We seem doomed, one way or another, to at least two more years of futile fighting there. Two more years of wasted money, wasted lives, and perhaps most of all wasted time -- time that could have been used to start the hard work of putting America's foreign policy back together again. Time we can't really afford to spare. It's a horrible scenario. Indeed, it's a scenario that is poised to inspire Americans to vote in drove for the Democrats today. What it isn't is a scenario a Democratic win will help us avoid.

Read the full story here.