Saturday, December 29, 2007

Republican Like Me

[with apologies to Black Like Me author John Howard Griffin.*]

MW - Democrat MW - Republican
On the left, MW ( D), providing aid and comfort to the enemy.
On the right, MW (R) , soliciting illegal corporate contributions to lobby corrupt members of congress for political favors.

For a year the idea had haunted me, and Thursday night it returned more insistently than ever. If a Democrat became a Republican in San Francisco, what adjustments would he have to make? What is it like to experience discrimination based on political belief, something over which one has limited control? This speculation was sparked again by the blog post glowing on the laptop screen in the den of the high rise condominium that served as my office. It was Jon Swift's "Best Blog Posts of 2007" year end round-up, linking my June 23rd screed explaining why I must become Republican in order to preserve divided government. In an overlapping window on the screen, a story from the LA Times [1] showing how new California Republican primary rules might work to Ron Paul's advantage in heavy Democratic districts like San Francisco. As few as 7,000 Ron Paul votes in San Francisco (California Congressional District 8) could garner as many delegates at the Republican convention for Ron Paul as the Republican winner in "Loyal Bushie" territory like Orange County. Another window was open to the December 5th Evans-Novak Report - Money quote: "Republican confidence about winning the presidency actually has declined... We have had several Republicans tell us ... they wondered not only about the outcome of the '08 presidential election but also the long-range future of the GOP."

If it was that bad for Republicans in the rest of the country, what would it be like for Republicans in San Francisco? I feared for the local Republicans, despite the assurances of the supposedly "tolerant" Democratic San Francisco Mayor and all Democratic Board of Supervisors, who continue to insist they represent a culturally diverse community, committed to tolerance and the the rights of all, claiming to accept and embrace people of all colors, creeds, religions, sexual orientations, and beliefs. "Right." I thought. "They tolerate everyone except Republicans". I lingered on, looking out at the view of Alcatraz and San Francisco Bay. My wife slept in the room next door. I sat there, surrounded by the cool ocean breeze coming through my open window, listening to the sea lions barking in Fisherman's Wharf, unable to leave, unable to sleep.

How else except by becoming a Republican could a Democrat hope to learn the truth? Though we lived side by side throughout the blogosphere, communication between the two political parties had simply ceased to exist. Neither really knew what went on with those of the other party. The Republicans will not tell the Democrats the truth. In 2006 they learned that if unpleasant truth is revealed to Democrats, the Democrats will cause Republicans to lose elections and go to jail.

The only way I could see to bridge the gap between us was to become a Republican. I decided I would do this. I prepared to walk into a life that appeared suddenly mysterious and frightening. With my decision to become a Republican, I realized that I, a political blogger, knew nothing of the Republican's real problem. I knew then that I must enter 2008 as a Republican.

Friday was gray, cold, wet and depressing, matching my mood perfectly. Except for the wet part. I donned my best "Jack Abramoff" trenchcoat, and walked down the hill to City Hall.

MW in front of SF City Hall, enjoying his last few minutes as a Democrat

The San Francisco Department of Elections is in the basement of City Hall. It was a short easy form. In a few minutes the painless procedure was over. I was a Republican. I asked the clerk if I was the only Republican in San Francisco. "No." she said as she turned her back and walked away. "There are some others." She didn't seem interested in talking to me, would not meet my eyes, and behaved as if I was not even there. "I am still me..." I thought. "I have not changed." Yet, somehow it seemed things had changed around me.

As I walked out, I stopped to look at a memorial in City Hall for soldiers of the Army's 363rd Infantry Regiment, the unit called "San Francisco's Own." The memorial commemorates the combat action of the unit in the 1918 Battle of the Meuse-Argonne. The plaque says "360 killed, 980 wounded..,Distance advanced into enemy territory 34 kilometers." On the way in, as a Democrat, I wondered if those 34 kilometers were really worth the 1,340 casualties. On the way out, as a Republican, I was ashamed of myself for not supporting the troops and questioning the wisdom of our WWI leadership.

In the rotunda a wedding was in progress. A heterosexual wedding. In front of a Christmas tree. My first thought - "Bill O'Reilly needs to know about this." Maybe there is some hope for The City.

Walking back I stopped at a Starbucks on the corner of California and Van Ness to warm up. Earlier in the day, as a Democrat, I had ordered a Vente Double Latte with organic Guatemalan espresso regalo, certified grown without exploitive labor practices, half caf, half decaf, no-fat milk. Now, as a Republican, all I wanted was a small coffee - black.

When I got home, I thought back to what the election clerk told me, but found no comfort knowing I was not the only Republican in San Francisco. I refused to wallow in self-pity. After all, being a Republican in San Francisco could not be any worse than a Libertarian lesbian lawyer becoming a Republican in Arizona. I had it easy. But I would need help facing this brave new world. I sat down, poured myself a scotch, and flipped on Fox News.

UPDATE: 3-Jan-07
[1] The referenced LA Times article disappeared behind the their pay to read firewall. For now, the article is still visible in google cache and the relevant paragraph is quoted below:
"Under the rules, whoever wins in San Francisco's District 8 -- represented by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and containing 34,000 registered Republicans -- will receive the same number of delegates as the top vote-getter in Orange County District 48, held by John Campbell, with 200,000 Republicans. In Pelosi's district, the winning threshold is low. Primary voter turnout historically is less than 50%, which means fewer than 17,000 Republicans are likely to vote. With a wide field of candidates, the number of votes to win a plurality -- and the district's three delegates -- is likely to be just a few thousand." - Scott Martelle, LA Times

[ * NOTE: The first five paragraphs of this post are a paraphrase of John Howard Griffin's seminal work "Black Like Me" and includes direct quotations from the book. It is a reflection of the state of American education that I feel I have to explain this here.]

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I like me! I really like me!

Blogger Jon Swift is first out the door with a compilation of the best blog posts of 2007, in a post creatively titled - "Best Blog Posts of 2007". DWSUWF is not going to quibble and point out that 2007 is not quite over, and that there are still five days and 137 million more blog posts for Jon Swift to choose from before the 2008 ball drops in Times Square. Jon's selected posts were nominated by the bloggers on his blog roll, an exclusive club whose membership is limited to those bloggers that also list Jon Swift in their blog roll. As DWSUWF is a member in good standing of the Jon Swift blogroll, DWSUWF was entrusted with the nomination of DWSUWF's best post of the year.

This from the DWSUWF nominating submission:
My favorite post of 2007 is my 6-23-2007 post: "I change my underwear political party affiliation." which I also cross posted at Justin Gardner's Donklephant.
This was an important post as I single-handedly stemmed the tide of defections from the Republican Party, by committing publicly to converting to Republicanism and restore the GOP to the pre-Bloomberg defection membership level. I also like this post because (atypically for me) I successfully maintained a single metaphorical theme for well over 50% of the post. In addition, I was able to illustrate the point of the post by promoting my new line of DWSUWF Logo thongs.
DWSUWF is humbled to have our post included in Jon's compilation. But DWSUWF does not want to sound narcissistic. DWSUWF is not just interested in DWSUWF's opinion of which 2007 DWSUWF post is best. Certainly not. DWSUWF is also interested in you, the DWSUWF reader's opinion of which 2007 DWSUWF post was best. Feel free to offer your opinion in the comments, which (if DWSUWF deigns to accept it) will not moderated out of existence.

When you finish leaving your comment here, head over to Jon Swift - in addition to the excellent DWSUWF post, there are a lot of other really good posts linked for your reading enjoyment, and with Memeorandum linking him, you don't want to be the only one to miss it. Check it out.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Carnival of Divided Government Duodêvîcêsimus - Special Winter Solstice Edition

UPDATED: 23-Dec-07
Welcome to the December 21, 2007 edition of the Carnival of Divided Government Duodêvîcêsimus - Special Winter Solstice Edition.

Winter Solstice

Ahh - the winter solstice. The shortest and darkest day of the year. At precisely 11:08 PM PST, 21-December-07, the earth leans a maximum 23 degrees off of our orbital plane, and then starts leaning back. It is the moment that we in the northern hemisphere begin to observe the return of the light. It is literally the darkest, yet the most optimistic of holidays, pregnant with the promise of spring, the hope of fertility, and the bounty of a new year. Is there any other calendar observance that offers such a mix of science, myth, art, mathematics, mystery, tradition, sex, archeology and history? Religions and cultures, ancient and modern, find reason to note and celebrate the day. The only thing missing is politics. Who better to remedy that gap than DWSUWF? If not us, who? If not now, when?


As explained in earlier editions, we have adopted Latin ordinal numeration in order to impart a patina of gravitas reflecting the historical importance of the series. In this, the duodêvîcêsimus edition, as in all of the CODGOV series, we select volunteers and draftees from the blogosphere and main stream media on the singular topic of government divided between the major parties (leaving it to the reader to sort out volunteers from draftees). Consistent with this topic, the primary criteria for acceptance in the carnival is to explicitly use the words and/or concept of "divided government" in submitted posts. A criteria that, to our endless befuddlement, is ignored by many of the bloggers submitting posts, which sadly results in DWSUWF reluctantly ignoring their fine submissions. Without further ado the top 10 light bringing Divided Government posts and articles, since our last carnival ...


We begin with William Wilson who found a "A Gift from Divided Government" under his Winter Solstice Tree at Townhall:
"While the professional commentators and self-appointed gurus bemoan “gridlock” and the ills of divided government in Washington, the actual results of inaction are a blessing for all those who believe in constitutional principles and the Bill of Rights... Divided government has proven itself the best defender of liberty we have. Hopefully we can keep it that way. And with the FEC dark and as impotent as they seek to make the average citizen, there’s a good chance at success."
The gift that William unwrapped, was the handcuffed FEC, shackled by the political bickering of our happily divided government. Divided government - The gift that keeps on giving.

Heath at the The Everyday Republican quotes and agrees with Stephen Moore editorializing about another gift in the Wall Street Journal and offering "One Budget Cheer" for divided government:
"House Republicans voted against the omnibus bill en masse, but the truth is that many of them and their Senate brethren privately wanted it to pass as much as Democrats did. They want their earmarks too... The larger lesson of this year is that divided government has its uses. By using his veto pen, and with the help of House Republicans in particular, Mr. Bush has been able to reduce the rate of spending growth and continue to shape policy. The Schip health care vetoes were especially important in showing Democrats that the GOP couldn't be easily rolled, despite a media assault and GOP Senate surrender. That's more than we expected, even if it's not as much as Mr. Bush might have achieved. May we have even more virtuous gridlock next year."
Could not have said it better myself.

Peter Boettke at The Austrian Economists is on the horns of dilemma deciding w
hich is worse - the current Bush presidency or the prospect of a Clinton presidency in his post "Is George Bush the Worst President in my lifetime?":
"My attitude toward politics remains extremely cynical, if somewhat more depressing now than ever before. I tend to follow the idea that you can either laugh or cry at politics and I have always more or less laughed at the buffoonery , but the cumulative effect of Bush's policies is hard to laugh at --- especially since the prospects for a post-Bush push for pro-liberty policies is so unlikely. The prospect of the next President Clinton is scary because she will not be blocked by divided government and her ideas are 100% worse in terms of statism than even Bill's were."
Peter, stop the hand wringing. The answer is in your post. We just have to vote to keep it divided.

Muckdog at the The Trading Goddess has the divided government gift thing figured out, and put it on Santa's list in "Checkin' it Twice":
"The 2008 election circus is already in overdrive. Once the holidays are over, we're going to be hit with 24x7 election coverage. It's definitely a bad time for a writer's strike, as the only competition for election coverage will be battle of the choirs or other nonsense. I think politics is a bunch of noise, and I favor divided government (aka, gridlock). The more that gets vetoed or stalls out in the process, the better off we are. I'm a fiscal conservative, so I'm hoping the winners in 2008 can balance the budget and keep taxes low."
Agreed. But if you favor it Muckdog, and you want this gift from Santa, you've got to work for it, and vote for it.

Missy thinks our divided and divisive government is a result of the"Self-Interest of Political Parties" posted at American Flag Waver, where she provides a history lesson on how we started on the path we find ourselves now:
"By the time the 1828 election rolled around, Jackson supporters had rallied and the birth of new ways of conducting campaigns occurred. Open air rallies, torchlight parades, debates and media endorsements took the place of ethical dignity. Martin Van Buren “believed that division and conflict were constructive and should become a permanent feature of American politics.” He supported Jackson and subsequently took the office of President after Jackson. I’d like to think the results of those tumultuous years weren’t exactly what those men intended. I find it hard to imagine Jackson, Clay or Adams in a mud-slinging battle such as we see today. I’d like to think their desire for the office of President was because they felt they could do good for this country and its people. Today’s politicians appear to be more interested in power and what it can do for them and less interested in what they can contribute to the welfare of the United States."
Missy does not give our founding father's enough credit. I agree with Martin Van Buren that this state of partisan bickering was exactly what they had in mind. They were all too familiar with politicians more interested in promoting their self-interest over that of the country. It was James Madison in the Federalist Papers that said "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." Divided government reinforces that notion. Single party control undermines the constitutional checks and balances that the founders intended.

Betsy at Betsy's page is also offering to provide a little tutoring suggesting that "Perhaps we need more education on how Congress works":
"I hope that Dennis Kucinich and Maxine Waters know better. They've both been around long enough to know how Congress works and that the majority can't push through whatever they want especially when there is divided government. It was always extremely doubtful that policy was going to be directed out of the House of Representatives. The Senate allows for the minority to stall and block legislation as long as they can stick together. Given that the Democrats had been adept at utilizing those rules when the Republicans were in the majority was there any real reason to think that Republicans wouldn't return the favor?"
No, none at all. That is exactly why we are getting more libertarian friendly results now with a Democratic Congress and a divided government than we were getting with Republican Congress and a unified Republican government. It's really quite simple.

Speaking of education, we have this diary by Chris Bowers from the school of "If you don't agree with me, you are a fascist." posted at Open Left with an apparently irony-free title of "Bi-Partisan Consensus Fascists":
"Over the last forty years, a time period covering the span of even pundits like David Broder, there have been thirty years of divided government in Washington, D.C. The long runs of Democratic and Republican trifectas that preceded those forty years have been forgotten. "getting things done" has always meant negotiating a path between two parties. For aging pundits it will always mean just that. The result is an authoritarian belief in some sort of fake bi-partisan consensus, will of the people be dammed. It doesn't help that the punditry is just about the whitest, oldest and most male profession in a country that is growing more diverse every day."
I dunno, since Chris is so dismissive of "authoritarian belief in some sort of fake bi-partisan consensus" I can only assume he must be a supporter of a "democratic belief in real single party authoritarianism" - or something.

Frank DiPinto at the Cool Blue Blog is also a bit confused. I had high hopes when I started to read his post "Divided government works pretty good":
"Back when the 2006 election results came in, Scalzi professed his love for divided government. When I asked if that meant he would be voting for a Republican President in 2008 since Democrats owned Congress, I didn't get an answer. I admit, though, that I was skeptical of the whole divided government thing: namely today's Democratic Party in charge of Congress. Turns out I'm pretty happy with the results... on the budget issue, I have to say, the spending restraint would not have been possible had the Republicans kept control of Congress. So yeah, I'm pretty happy with the results. Scalzi, not so much. In fact the only thing he got right was the divided government being a good thing part."
Sigh. He starts out so great! But then he finishes the post with this -
"The best thing that can happen now is for Republicans to convince the voting population that they have learned their lesson and get back in control of Congress. The divided government thing has served its purpose. It's time for the return of the adults."
Frankie, Frankie, Frankie. The best thing that can happen is for you to learn the lesson of your post. Put the Republicans back in charge of the legislature and the executive and we will get exactly what we had for the last six years. The lesson is that Republican or Democrat, we are dealing with self serving politicians first, who, regardless of party, will succumb to the temptations of earmarks and campaign contributions. The difference between single party Republican and and single party Democratic government is simply which special interest pigs will be invited to feed at the trough.

Tim Shaughnessy reported in the The Shreveport Times on DWSUWF favorite William Niskanen, lecturing at the Southern Economic Association conference in New Orleans in his story "Cato Institute chairman offers useful advice":
"A third theme he discussed was the idea that, despite the calls for bipartisanship, the best times for taxpayers is when government is politically divided. Government grows wildly when both houses of Congress and the president are of the same party; it is restrained when the two parties combat each other over legislation and budgets. Sadly, we may only be able to enjoy two years of divided government, sandwiched between the earlier six and future eight years of unified partisan power."
I think of Willima Niskanen as The Godfather of Divided Government.

Finally, I have to include fellow Ron Paul supporter D.K. of "It's a Free Country" who posted a review of our efforts here in a post coincidently entitled"Divided We Stand, United We Fall":
"This unique site declares that divided government is better for us than unified government. By divided, I mean an executive branch and legislative branch controlled by separate parties, whereas by unified I mean one-party rule over both branches. DWSUWF states that we are best served by voting in such a manner that we continuously divide our government and pit the parties against each other into gridlock..."
So far, so good, D.K.
"We’ve certainly seen some positive outcomes from the November 2006 divided government, such as a President locating his veto pen for the first time in 7 years, as well as congressional oversight that has been long since missing..."
Yes. yes.
"Unfortunately, a lot of things divided government is supposed to fix have failed to be fixed. For example, the Democrats are now expected to allow Senate Republicans to attach tens of billions of dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a $500 billion-plus government wide spending bill... That would be in exchange for Republican support on a huge domestic spending measure, and we’ve already seen a huge domestic spending measure take place once already, one that included subsidies to nearly every kind of industry that federal government has no business supporting... We have seen no end to the wars that divided government was elected to curtail.. We seen no change in the destruction of the 4th Amendment and our civil rights - no change in the Patriot Act ...Considering all that, I find it hard to accept that divided government is working this time around."
Now that is really annoying. So close. So very, very close. But D.K. took a big wrong turn there in his analysis. Look D.K. - In every example you cite, under divided government there has been incremental improvement over the state we were in with single party control a year ago. No - divided government is not a magic incantation that can change things overnight. We don't live at Hogwarts with Harry Potter. We live in the United States and our government just does not work that way. One year of incremental improvement under a divided government cannot undo the damage caused by six years of disastrous single party control. But things are better than they were a year ago. And it is better than it would have been if the Republicans had maintained control of Congress. And it will be better in another year than it is now. Still, D.K. - I enjoyed your post, and appreciate the link and thoughtful review.

UPDATED: 23-December-07
I don't know how I missed this post, but it's too good not to include in this carnival. Ilya Somin is effusive "In Praise of Divided Government" at the Volokh Conspiracy:

"In a series of posts last September (see here and here), I predicted that the cause of limited government would be better off if the Democrats took control of at least the House of Representatives. I reasoned that Bush would be more likely to oppose new government programs passed by the Democrats than those advanced by his own Party. The Democrats, for their part, would be unlikely to enact new government-expanding initiatives advocated by Bush, such as the major expansions of federal spending and regulation that he pushed through Congress in his first term. So far, this prediction has held true. Bush and the congressional Republicans have prevented the Democrats from passing most of their government-expanding agenda. The Democrats, in turn, have taken away from Bush the option of pursuing a big government agenda of his own (as he did in the first term with his prescription drug and education bills). Historically, divided government has been a boon for limited government, and the past year has been no exception. There has been one other major benefit of divided government over the past year: it forced Bush to shift to a more effective strategy in Iraq. Ironically, it is a strategy (increasing troop levels; pushing for Sunni-Shiite political compromise) that many Democrats had rightly advocated in 2004-2005 but abandoned by the 2006 election. Had the Republicans held on to control of Congress in 2006, it is highly unlikely that Bush would have changed course on Iraq as radically as he did. In my pre-2006 election posts, I correctly predicted that the Democrats would not be able to force a withdrawal from Iraq and speculated that they might provide some "adult supervision" over the administrations' mishandling of Iraq's reconstruction. I did not anticipate, however, that Bush would change his failed policy as much as he actually did."

Good stuff Ilya. Coincidently, I also had a "series of posts in September predicting that the cause of limited government would be better off if the Democrats took control of at least the House of Representatives." Actually, practically every post on this blog since it's founding in April 2006 has been predicting that the objective of limited government would be better served if we elect and maintain divided government. Glad to have you on board.

Traditionally, we conclude this Carnival by including one "off-topic" submission, as a grudging acknowledgment and proxy for the many off-topic submissions received. Off-topic meaning - no mentions of "divided government" or gridlock. For this edition, we seemed to attract several posts in support of Ron Paul, no doubt due to the Ron Paul badge in the left sidebar. Well, since the only way to maintain divided government into 2009 is to elect a Republican president, and Ron Paul is the only declared Republican President I can stand, I have decided to go ahead and include all the submitted Ron Paul posts without comment:

So sue me.

With that we conclude this edition.Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for all of the submissions (on-topic or not). The next edition will be the Carnival of Divided Government ûndêvîcênsimus - Special New Years Hangover Edition, which we resolve to post on Wednesday, January 2. Submit your blog article at carnival of divided government using our carnival submission form. Past posts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.

Carnival of Divided Government

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DWSUWF Returns &
The AMT rises from the grave.

I'm back. Actually, Mrs. DWSUWF and I got back from our month long Sahara adventure over ten days ago. Yes, that is me pictured with some new friends I made in the West Africa desert a few weeks ago. It was the trip of a lifetime and, frankly, since returning I have been more interested in transcribing our travel journal/photos, rather than wading back into domestic politics. Anyone interested can find more than you want to know about our trip on the mobile blog or if you are just curious about my new friends, that story is posted here.

So what have I missed?

When I left, Charlie Rangel was promoting a revenue neutral fix of the Alternative Minimum Tax, and in my last post more than a month ago, I weighed in with some (faint) praise for the the proposal. I concluded that, on balance, the benefit of getting rid of the truly onerous AMT outweighed the negative aspects of raising taxes on the top brackets to pay for it:
"Getting rid of the AMT is an important incremental step in the right direction. Rangel's bill accomplishes this in a fiscally responsible manner, even if the top ten percent must pay a little more to finally put a stake through the heart of this undead bloodsucking tax code vampire."
This morning I heard President Bush whining that the Democratic Congress took too long to get the AMT fix to his desk:
"Bush also complained that legislation to protect middle- and upper-middle-class families "from the burden of the alternative minimum tax" came so late that it was likely to slow the processing of tens of billions of dollars in tax refunds. "When Congress wastes so much time and leaves its work to the final days before Christmas, it is not a responsible way to run this government," Bush said."
Of course this begs the question of exactly what the Republican Congress was doing about the AMT for the SIX YEARS before the Democratic Congress got something to him this year - but I wondered - exactly what actually did pass? From Jeffrey Birnbaum writing at the Washington Post:
"Had the patch not been approved, 81 percent of taxpayers with taxable incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 would have been affected by the AMT, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Nearly half of taxpayers who earn $75,000 to $100,000 would also have been affected without yesterday's legislation. Thanks to the bill, however, 10 percent of those who make $100,000 to $200,000 and fewer than 2 percent of taxpayers who earn $75,000 to $100,000 will now have to pay the AMT. Overall, 4 million households will have to pay the tax, about the same number as in 2006...

On Tuesday, the Senate rejected a House-passed AMT patch that would have covered its cost by closing offshore tax havens used by hedge fund managers. The Senate earlier rejected a House plan that would have increased the tax rate on managers of hedge funds and private-equity firms."
It's a band-aid, not a cure. The AMT vampire still walks the earth sucking the lifeblood from middle class taxpayers. The patch is the equivalent of putting garlic around the neck of some 2007 taxpayers to keep the undead AMT ghoul at bay, just to let it slake it's blood thirst on other unprotected 2007 middle class taxpayers. And in 2008???
"Congress next year must patch the AMT again or force millions of families to pay more tax. The patch's revenue loss then will rise to $65 billion, an amount that Andrew B. Lyon of Pricewaterhouse Coopers said would be "extremely difficult" to raise."
Net net: The same number of people who got screwed by the AMT on their 2006 taxes will get screwed again on 2007 tax returns. The AMT problem has simply been pushed out of sight/out of mind over the November, 2008 election horizon. It will have to be addressed again (or not) next December after we have elected a new President and Congress. This shell game is what we got from tRepublican obstruction in the Senate instead of putting a stake through the heart of the AMT now and paying for it from higher taxes on Hedge and Private Equity funds/managers. The middle class still carries the load. And GWB and the Republicans in the Senate seem to think that this is somehow a superior solution because ??????

You got me. Whatever. The GOP needs a lot of help. I'll see what I can do.

It'll take me a while to ramp back up, but I should have DWSUWF back in full focus when we get past the holidays and in time for the Iowa/New Hampshire returns.

In the meantime, what better way to wade back in, than an all new Carnival of Divided Government? In honor of Bill O'Reilly winning the war against Christmas while we were gone, we'll be publishing the latest edition precisely at the moment of the Northern Hemisphere Winter Solstice - tomorrow, December 21, 2007 at 11:08 PM PST. There is still time to get your submission in, blog articles may be submitted for the next carnival of divided government using the carnival submission form, but a reminder - if your post does not include the words "divided government" - don't bother.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.