The Quantum Pontiff

Weather Politics

The lore I heard when I lived in New Mexico was that the reason Gore won the state in 2000 was that there was a snowstorm in the southern part of the state (which is more conservative.) In 2004 there was no snowstorm in the state, and the state went to Bush. If you could control the weather by fixing particular weather in different locations (weather that was not too far beyond the typical weather for the area), I wonder how many electoral votes could you swing?


  1. #1 Michael
    September 7, 2008

    If you could control the weather you wouldn’t need to win many elections πŸ™‚

  2. #2 NE1
    September 7, 2008

    The “base rallying” argument has been a huge effect in the past couple elections, and it looks like the GOP is betting the farm on it this time as well. I would like to see a nice, informative look at the issue. Is there a book that really does it justice?

  3. #3 Dave Bacon
    September 8, 2008

    If you could control the weather you wouldn’t need to win many elections πŸ™‚

    I thought superpowers were no match for DEMOCRACY πŸ™‚

  4. #4 Michael
    September 8, 2008

    “I thought superpowers were no match for DEMOCRACY.”

    And what does manipulating the weather have to do with democracy πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I’d trust you to do the right thing . . . wasn’t there already someone called SuperDave?

  5. #5 James
    September 8, 2008

    As I understand it the key to power these days is the summoning of rain at your opponent’s rally? Makes democracy kind of redundant – whose got the better rain spell!

  6. #6 James
    September 8, 2008

    That’s not to suggest – via “whose” – that democracy has the best rain spell (though I have heard rumors to that effect) – it’s just a problem with the spell itself.

  7. #7 Michael Bacon
    September 12, 2008

    From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro
    There are several stories this morning on Palin — in addition to the reviews of her interview performance — ranging from her asking Rick Warren for advice, more on her role in the library books controversy, her town billing for rape kits, as well as a question of ethics.

    Palin reached out to Pastor Rick Warren for advice. “The question I asked her was, ‘How can I pray for you?’ ” Warren said, The Hill newspaper reported online yesterday. Palin then “asked me to send her some Bible verses on how do you deal with the unfair, unjust attacks and the mean-spirited criticism that comes in,” Warren said.

    BOOKS: “Shortly after taking office in 1996 as mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 7,000 people, Palin asked the city’s head librarian about banning books,” AP writes. “Later, the librarian was notified by Palin that she was being fired, although Palin backed off under pressure. Palin alleged attempt at book-banning has been a matter of intense interest since Republican presidential nominee John McCain named her as his running mate last month. Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said Thursday that Palin asked the head librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, on three occasions how she would react to attempts at banning books. He said the questions, in the fall of 1996, were hypothetical and entirely appropriate. He said a patron had asked the library to remove a title the year before and the mayor wanted to understand how such disputes were handled.

    “Palin notified Emmons she would be fired in January 1997 because the mayor didn’t feel she had the librarian’s ‘full support.’ Emmons was reinstated the next day after public outcry, according to newspaper reports at the time.” …

    “The Rev. Howard Bess, a liberal Christian preacher in the nearby town of Palmer, said the church Palin and her family attended until 2002, the Wasilla Assembly of God, was pushing to remove his book from local bookstores. Emmons told him that year that several copies of ‘Pastor I Am Gay’ had disappeared from the library shelves, Bess said. ‘Sarah brought pressure on the library about things she didn’t like,’ Bess said. ‘To believe that my book was not targeted in this is a joke.'”

    RAPE KITS: “When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the city billed sexual-assault victims and their insurance companies for the cost of rape kits and forensic examinations,” AP writes. “Palin had been in office for four years when the practice got the attention of state lawmakers in 2000, who passed a bill to stop it. Former Democratic Rep. Eric Croft, who sponsored that bill, said he was disappointed that asking the Wasilla Police Department to stop charging didn’t work. Maria Comella, a McCain-Palin campaign spokeswoman, said Palin ‘does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.’ … Alaska routinely has the nation’s highest rate of sexual assault.”

    USA Today: “In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.

    According to the sponsor, Democrat Eric Croft, the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor. When it was signed, Wasilla’s police chief expressed displeasure.

    “ ‘In the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,’ then-chief Charlie Fannon told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the local newspaper. ‘I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.’ Now that Palin is the Republican nominee for vice president, Democrats such as former Alaska governor Tony Knowles — who signed the rape-kit bill into law and was defeated by Palin in 2006 — are raising the issue to question Palin’s commitment to women’s issues and crime victims. Palin appointed Fannon after firing his predecessor shortly after she took office in 1996.”

    ETHICAL QUESTIONS: Bloomberg: “Palin’s office approved a state job for a friend and campaign aide with whom she shared a land investment, financial records and interviews over the past two weeks show. She hired a former lobbyist for a pipeline company to help oversee a multibillion-dollar deal with that same company. She named a police chief accused of harassment to head the state police. And she sent campaign e-mails on her city hall account while serving as mayor of Wasilla — conduct for which she later turned in an oil commissioner on ethics charges.

    “These incidents raise ‘some serious questions about her judgment and serious questions about her standards of ethics in public service,’’ said James Thurber, director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in Washington. Suggesting a real estate investment partner for a job ‘may be acceptable in Alaska; it would not be acceptable in Washington, D.C., a place whose norms she wants to change.’”

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