Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: Trying to shoot the War on Christmas dead

Christmas card with Santa Claus, and father and son toting assault rifles.

A picture that really, non-ironically, exists.

You’d think conservatives would be happy to support our efforts to ban military-grade weaponry, given that we wouldn’t have the tools necessary to take out Santa Claus and emerge victorious in our War on Christmas!

Instead, they’re just so angry that we’re not letting them love their guns this Yuletide season. Or something. You try to figure it out, below the fold.

10:35 AM PT: Sorry about that. Poll added.

The Chronicles of Mitt: Now available for download

pen on paper: 'Dear diary'


Hello, human humans. It is I, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, your better.

I have been doing quite well since the recent elections. I have viewed several movies, and have visited the lands of Disney. While I am disappointed that Mr. McCain received the nomination of my party instead of me, it is of little consequence, because I am still a unit of far more substantive wealth than he, and am therefore more important.

One of my old staff members has informed me that I have written a book. I do not remember doing such a thing, but the fellow on my doorstep was quite insistent, and says that it is in fact quite common for politicians who have written books to not remember writing them, or what they said inside of them. This new electronically based book is apparently a compilation of my own various daily bits of wisdom and humorous anecdotes from the campaign trail. It was on that trail that I learned to interact most superbly with the common folk, and that public transportation is a fine enough thing so long as the you leave the public part out of it and focus on the transportation bits. To summarize, I am better than you.

I apparently shall see no particular profit from this book. Instead, subscriptions made to acquire it will go to a collection of job creators at something called The Daily Cos, which I first presumed was an entity dedicated towards the higher mathematics. The fellow organizing the effort, however, said that the organization was committed in particular to various social causes. I told him I was also committed to social causes, which was the reason I have been attempting to arrange for Mr. Bus, a good and historic friend of mine, to be displayed alongside the Rosa Parks bus in that museum in which the Rosa Parks bus is displayed. Alternatively, I intend to purchase the Rosa Parks bus and move it to my California home, so that my own historic bus will not be lonely.

If you wish to acquire my electronic memories of the campaign trail, you may do so by becoming a subscriber to the Daily Koch, via this webbed locator: Here.

Upon doing so, you may then download my own wisdom into your brain in any of three separate formats (PDF, Kindle, and EPUB), all available in the severe location I am currently making reference to: Here.

You may also merely donate monies to the Daley Coats, which will not entitle you to receive access to my embookened thoughts, but will still mark you as a better person than most commoners. Consider this option if you fear commitment, or if your magnanimous nature far exceeds the boundaries placed upon it by mere subscription-having: Here.

Please enjoy my various past wisdoms, whatever they once were, but please note that I am not endorsing or standing by those previous opinions in any way. I may at some point in the future decide to run for higher office again, at which time I shall specify my new opinions on such things, if I have them, which I am not saying I will, in accordance with whatever would be most electorally advantageous at the time.

Your better,

The Daily Kos Official War On Christmas Fundraiser 2012

The 2011 White House holiday card

No, not nearly enough Christmas. We demand more Christmas. Wait, I mean less!

It is cold here. It may even snow. Amidst the election detritus, perched on the high ledge of the fiscal cliff, watching cautiously from the trees as lame duck legislatures around the nation contemplatively gnaw on their own bones, I wait. I wait … for Christmas. It is out there. Somewhere, invisibly, it stalks us. There are lights strung on trees—coincidence? Christmas carols are blaring everywhere, and storefronts are painted with pictures of wreaths, and snowflakes, and new sale prices lettered out in red and green. Were they that way last month? Well, yes, but the month before that? I cannot remember. That was two months ago, and there was an election back then.

No, it is coming. Despite our best efforts, Christmas is still coming.

We are gathered here today for what we are calling our War on Christmas fundraising drive. Technically this is not correct, but the more accurate version would be that we are here to seek funds for the War on the War on the War on Christmas.  The “War” part is cubed. The War on Christmas, you see, technically does not goddamn exist. But the War on the War on Christmas does exist, and is fought by panicked and paranoid twice-a-year Christians everywhere, with more than a little assistance from Fox News and other, narrower interest groups that only gain influence and rich, delicious money when the larger conservative base is in an absolute frothing panic about something. We are now called to battle for the sake of that war. No, we must wage a new campaign, a new war against the conservative war on the liberal war on Christmas that does not exist. Oh, and ACORN may be involved somehow, it is difficult to say.

Instead of doing Christmas things, we will give each other gifts. Instead of decorating in outlandish Christmas colors, we will decorate in red, celebrating socialism, and green, celebrating RAMPANT VERY SCARY ENVIRONMENTALISM. We will sing sappy little songs about caring for our fellow man, and about our own religious preferences or lack of them, and when we go the supermarket we will not treat some poor, half-starving cashier like dirt for not saying happy birthday to the baby Jesus to each and every last person who walks by, even though not having a supermarket cashier affirm their own religious preferences is quite possibly the worst possible thing that can befall someone. It will be a very subtle war, admittedly. Launching a war against a phony war on an invisible war on a holiday, of all things, tends to get a bit self-referential. This may not have been well thought out.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Welcome to our first annual War on Christmas fundraiser

Bill O'Reilly screen cap:

Wrong! Didn’t you hear Mitt Romney? We liberals love presents!

This news in July wasn’t news to any online publication that survives off advertising:

During yesterday’s earning call, Google reported a 16 percent decline in CPC, meaning the value of each advertisement clicked has gone down. That follows a 12 percent drop last quarter and 8 percent the quarter before that. Even at the company that managed to make money off of Internet advertising, those online ads are continually losing value.

Fact is, the near-infinite available inventory online is pushing advertising costs down, while sophisticated targeting technologies allows advertisers to eschew site-specific advertising in favor of hyper-targeted internet-wide campaigns. In other words, no site can deliver exclusively 20-40 year-old males who live in Kansas City looking to buy a station wagon, but Google can deliver me that specific audience by piecing together visitors to any site that carries Google advertising.

What that means is that web publications like Daily Kos can no longer depend on advertising to finance operations. A few years ago, 95 percent of revenues came from advertising. This year, it’ll be 58 percent. And if current trends continue (and they will), advertising will cover less than half of our expenses next year.

Since we’re not about to start linkwhoring or resorting to bullshit slideshows to artificially drive up pageviews, and since we don’t want to lard up the site with even more obnoxious ads, that means we have to make up the shortfall in other ways. Bottom line, if you value the news, activism, and/or community we provide, I need you to help fund those efforts.

You can buy yourself a subscription—which means you can see the site without ads, have access to several e-books from staff (including my last one, American Taliban, and soon, a compilation of Hunter’s Romney’s “Dear Diary” series), access to the entire community photo library, and future benefits currently in development.

If you already have a subscription, consider gifting a subscription to your favorite diarist. Today I gifted subscriptions to lowkell, dreaminonempty, Bill McKibben and Richard Myers.  

If you don’t have anyone like that in mind, or if you hate everyone on the site who doesn’t already have a subscription, you can just donate. That works too!

We’re closing out the best year of our existence—whether in terms of traffic or actual results. We’ve got insanely great things planned for 2013 and then it’s on to 2014, when we buck history and retire John Boehner. But with changing web economics, we’ll need you more than ever to help fund our efforts.

Please subscribe or gift a subscription or donate a few bucks. Thanks for everything you do, and have a great holiday!

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: Necromancing his way into the White House

Illustration of necromancer.

Our first necromancer president.

As we all know, it was literally impossible for President Barack Obama to win, what with Dick Morris and Rasmussen saying it was impossible for Obama to win. Yet somehow, unexplainably, the unimaginable happened. It was as if millions of conservatives suddenly cried out in terror and millions more premature Election Night wingnut celebrations were suddenly silenced. Something terrible had happened.

Reality had intruded into that perfectly constructed wingnut bubble, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Wait, that wasn’t it. It was something about Satan and necromancers.

The gory details, below the fold!

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: Necromancing his way into the White House

Illustration of necromancer.

Our first necromancer president.

As we all know, it was literally impossible for President Barack Obama to win, what with Dick Morris and Rasmussen saying it was impossible for Obama to win. Yet somehow, unexplainably, the unimaginable happened. It was as if millions of conservatives suddenly cried out in terror and millions more premature Election Night wingnut celebrations were suddenly silenced. Something terrible had happened.

Reality had intruded into that perfectly constructed wingnut bubble, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Wait, that wasn’t it. It was something about Satan and necromancers.

The gory details, below the fold!

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: Mind-control protocols … ENGAGE!

Cheesy hypnotist dude.

Union goon.

Did you know that union goons wielding a mind control technique called the Delphi Protocol stole the election? The things I learn from my email inbox! All the sordid (and very convincing, you’ll see) details below the fold!

We are thankful for you

It’s the time of year when we gather around friends and family to give thanks. Progressives have a lot to be thankful for this year. The reelection of President Obama and a wave of newly elected progressive candidates unpacking in D.C. are high on the list. But, for us here at Daily Kos, we’d like to raise a toast to you. Yes, you.

Each and every one of you make this community special. There are plenty of news sites on the web, but there is only one Daily Kos community. Your stories, discussions and determined activism set us apart. Together, we are making a difference. We see it every day in the actions you take—donating, door-knocking, emailing, phone-banking, petitioning and sharing.

(Continue below the fold.)

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: pre-election predictions edition

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally at the Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin September 22, 2012. .REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Obama 0, Romney 100, likely Daily Kos hate emailers, MoE 0%

Today is my 12th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate, I welcome you to this very special retrospective edition of the hate mail-a-palooza, in which we revisit those haters who so boldly predicted the end of the communist Kenyan’s reign of terror, and firing squads for us abetting liberals.

Ahh, good times. Especially now, when we can point and laugh! The goodies are below the fold.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: Their tears are still delicious

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L) stifles a sob as he awards astronaut Neil Armstrong (L) with the Congressional Gold Medal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011. Also pictured is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd R)

Republican tears are a nutritious part of your political diet.

Pity the wingnuts. They had all sorts of great plans for treason trials and summary executions and whatnot, and now they have nothing to do for another four years except wallow in dispair!

More accurate than Nate Silver

2012 presidential results map.

Nailed it!

According to the Atlantic’s Rebecca Greenfield, there were only three pundits, out of 74 she tracked, who called the 2012 Electoral College correctly—Nate Silver, Drew Linzer, and me.

I was happy enough to be in that rarified air, but then I read this:

In the meantime, even Silver may need to tip his cap to someone who seems to have done an even better job at prognosticating the final presidential election results. In a blog post today, dailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas noted that he had predicted exactly the final Electoral College vote totals and reported an average margin in the swing states that was less than Silver’s or that of any aggregator. Moulitsas’ methodology? A savvy but seemingly manual reading of last-minute pre-election polls.

Hmmm. Could that really be true? I decided to check the math. Here’s a chart with my predictions, as well as those of Nate and Lizner (a professor at Emory). I then calculated the average margin of error:

All three of us came in crazy accurate, with a margin of error under two points. But it’s true, I did edge out Nate by a hair, with Lizner just a touch behind Nate (though the professor didn’t venture a number on the national popular vote). In six of these predictions I came under a single point. Both Nate and Lizner managed that in three.

A couple of things can be gleaned from these results:

1) Math-based prognostication is superior to the old-school way of talking about gut feelings, or vibrations, or outright dishonest hackery.

All three of us used data to arrive at our conclusions. The difference between them and me? They were wedded to their algorithmic and automatic models, but my model is manual, allowing me the freedom to evaluate each piece of data on its merits and separate the wheat from the chaff, while mixing in early vote performance to further refine my calls.

So for example, I leaned heavily on registered voter models. When African Americans, Latinos, and young voters turned out in early voting, I knew the polls saying they wouldn’t show were wrong.

2. Two of the three top prognosticators have ties to Daily Kos. Don’t think that it’s a coincidence that some of the best political prognosticators are products of this site (and of the community that embraces them). It’s not just me and Nate (aka Poblano) —Princeton’s Sam Wang was tantalizingly close with his model, and he’s a Daily Kos oldtimer (UID 10459). Can you tell that we love our data, and that this is a central hub for the data-driven reality based community?

I can’t think of a bigger difference between our side and theirs: While they constructed an elaborate alternate reality to get them through the election, we stuck to the facts. That was easy this year, not so easy in 2010. We’ll see in 2014, but I’m hoping to further bolster our data analysis offerings. I might even be able to convince Sam Wang/Mindgeek to be a big part of those plans.

3. Daily Kos served you well in 2012. Heck, we always serve you well. But 2012 was a particularly good year for us. All my happy, confident talk over the summer and even after the first debate? It wasn’t bullshit. It wasn’t spin. It was the facts based on the available data. That’s why we didn’t run around like panicked chickens like MSNBC or Andrew Sullivan after the first debate. That’s why I celebrated diarists like MattTX, who dug into early vote totals and other available data and furthered a Daily Kos analytical tradition.

No one delivered as comprehensive a polling wrap-up as Steve Singiser. I still haven’t figured out how he ferreted out many of those polls. And the Daily Kos Elections team delivered (and still does) the best roundup of downballot races, as well as broader electoral analysis (like fundraising reports or district presidential performance). For those of you who caught my election night liveblogging, you might’ve seen me leaning heavily on David Jarman’s benchmark county projections. They were the reason I was able to call Florida and North Carolina for their respective victors long before the networks did. They were spot on.

Of course, we raised an amazing $3.4 million for Democratic campaigns this cycle. And Jed Lewison’s “Mitt Debates Himself” video wasn’t just one of the most viral this campaign cycle—its 2.2 million views on YouTube outpaced anything produced by the Romney campaign itself—but it came at a critical time as Romney was trying to Etch A Sketch himself into a moderate.

Brooklynbadboy wonders why Daily Kos doesn’t get respect from the political class. The answer is two-fold: Establishment media assume that all partisan media are full of hacks like Dick Morris, and they still can’t stomach us usurpers horning in on their territory. Quite similar to how old world baseball scouts resented the sabermetricians like Bill James (what the book and movie Moneyball were all about).

I don’t know if that will ever change, but I can live with it as long as you guys get that this site provided the best, most accurate, and most predictive data of any political media outlet in the country, bar none.

9:46 AM PT: You guys can keep supporting the great work Daily Kos does, and the great work it will do, by donating to the site. Thanks for everything!

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: We feast on their tears

U.S. Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney leaves a campaign fundraiser in Salt Lake City, Utah September 18, 2012.       REUTERS/Jim Young

Not the only conservative with a sad this week.

Remember when we kicked Republican ass last Tuesday? Let’s relive that glory through the hatred of our vanquished foes!

Below the fold.

Accountability moment: How did my predictions stack up?

Obama hits the stage at a campaign rally in Ames, Iowa, in front of a massive United States flag.

Obama in Iowa, my best presidential prediction.

In the presidential race, I predicted a 332-206 race, which is exactly what we got. Compared to most pundits, I rocked it.

However, I always go a step further and ensure failure by trying to predict vote differentials. Join me below the fold to check out my granular predictions in both the presidential and Senate races.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza

Admiral Ackbar

Setting off gaydars in both galaxies near, and far, far away.

Wait a second…

What are you doing reading this? You should be doing GOTV! And if not that, then giving to at least one candidate!

But if you need a break from all the GOTV’ing and donating, then sure, head below the fold, as we hit our last hate mail-a-palooza of the 2012 election season!

The best Friday news dump EVER

It starts with this:

NBC/WSJ/Marist – OH: Sherrod Brown 50, Mandel 45 (LVs, 10/31-11/1, +– 3.1) | FL: Nelson 52, Mack 43 (LVs, 10/30-11/1, +– 2.5)
@mpoindc via Seesmic twhirl

Chased by this:

Enthusiastic crowd, but hard not to notice the rows of empty seats at the back of this Romney rally in Virginia Beach. #2012
@sppeoples via web

With a second serving of this, from their big Ohio bash Friday night:

Steady stream of people leaving Romney rally in the middle of his speech. Maybe it’s the cold, but energy level low in Ohio. #2012
@sppeoples via web

And for desert? This:

Oops! Politico: Mitt’s campaign announces “30K people attend (OH rally), but Secret Service says just 15K went through metal detectors. “
@NicholsUprising via web

Phew! I need a cigarette.

Incidentally, our NYC data center is now back online with grid power, so hopefully that means that the site’s current stability problems are solved. We’ve refrained from taking the site to our alternate location because that kind of move, to underpowered hardware no less, would bring its own sets of problems. So fingers crossed that the worst has passed.

For us, that is. For Romney, things are going to get a lot worse.

Manhattan goes dark, and so might Daily Kos

Manhattan, blacked out by Hurricane Sandy

Manhattan has lost power, in what looks like near apocalyptic conditions. All our thoughts are with those in the storm’s wake, including my brother and sister-in-law in Hoboken.

Our data center is also in Manhattan, wouldn’t you know it, and has been running on generators pretty much all evening. They had enough fuel for 2-3 days. Except that the diesel storage and fuel pumps are in a now-flooded basement and are no longer operable. The data center is also evacuating all staff from their building, because it is apparently hell over there. I feel for them, having to leave their building in these conditions,

What that means for the rest of us is that the generators have about five hours of fuel left in them and then poof. The data center, and this site, will go dark. That’s at about 1 a.m. PT.

But that’s the worst-case scenario. The tech team has been working furiously to rebuild the site at an alternate location (in fact, they started last Friday), and they seem to be making good progress. These sorts of things are governed by Murphy’s Law, so the transition may not be perfectly smooth. But if you’re seeing this post after 1-3 a.m., we should be in the clear.

Here’s the thing, given the emergency last-minute nature of this transition, the new home doesn’t have hardware as powerful as what we have now. Beggars can’t be choosers, so we’re going to have to strip down some site functionality to make it work. Things like archives will be taken down. We’ll only have two weeks worth of data live. The tech team will have to decide what else has to go to make this work.

Obviously, the fate of this site pales in comparison to what people in the middle of the storm have to deal with. Our challenges are nothing like theirs. But we’ll do our best to stay up.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza: George Rockwell’s excellent Saudi adventure

Saudi Arabian flag

George Rockwell’s last resort.

The wingnuts have been relatively quiet, but don’t worry. George Rockwell picked up the slack.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza:

Catedral in Havana Plaza de la Catedral, Havana, Cuba

A church in Havana, Cuba that doesn’t exist in bizarreo alternate conservative reality.

This week, I’m a Stalin, Hitler, homo fascist. You know, the usual.

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza

Mitt Romney’s debate performance revived the GOP faithful … and its hate emailers. Get the latest goods, below the fold!

Saturday hate mail-a-palooza, end of Q3 edition

Seven-headed dragon from Revelations.

President Barack Obama, apparently.

Yup, it’s that time of the quarter, when having been hit up by a million fundraising emails, you’re now hit up with the responsibility of picking the best hate email of the last three months.

Meet the competitors, below the fold!