Good Friday

Rich Galen
By Rich Galen | April 10, 2009 | 10:52 AM EDT

In Your Nation's Capital, Good Friday is as serious a holiday as Christmas. You can call just about any office in the 202 area code and if anyone answers at all it will be the most junior person on the staff.
Mullpal Adam Clymer who was a NY Times reporter and editor for 205 years, once told me that the best weekend in New York City is when Passover and Easter overlap. "You can get into any play on Broadway," he said.
This is Good Friday and also happens to be the second full day of Passover which may or may not fit Mr. Clymer's definition. Nevertheless, let's look at what's going on.
A couple of weeks ago there was a special election in upstate New York to fill the Congressional seat of Kirsten Gillibrand who was appointed to fill the Senate seat of Hillary Clinton who was appointed to fill the job of Secretary of State.
As of yesterday, according to the ABC affiliate in Albany, "Here's the tally, without the absentees, according to the State Board of Elections. Republican Jim Tedisco is leading Democrat Scott Murphy by 17 points (sic)."
This is what happens when media hire writers who haven't actually gone through the Mullings School of Political Reporting. They confuse votes with points.
There are about 10,000 absentee and overseas military ballots which need to be counted before we know the final point count.
As we may have discussed previously, professional politicians in Washington were looking at this election (which is the 20th Congressional District of New York) to see if any patterns could be determined which might denote a path to the mid-term elections in 2010.
This was the first major election without (A) Barack Obama on the ballot and (B) George W. Bush in the White House.
We were looking to see if a behaviorally Republican District would behave Republican-ly.
The voter registration numbers in NY-20 are as follows:
Rep - 194,118 (41.06%)
Dem - 125,486 (26.27%)
Ind - 156,078 (32.67%)
An election which ends with the Republican candidate ahead by 17 points is not determinative. Having talked to a bunch of New Yorkers about the race, they are quick to point out why Mr. Tedisco (who doesn't actually live in the 20th District but does meet the Constitutional requirement of living in the state) might not have been the best possible candidate, and so on.
Instead of telling us whether all those Republican Districts which were won by moderate Dems in 2006 and 2008 might be ready to come home to the GOP column, the only question which will be answered in NY-20 is: Who had the better technical absentee ballot program, the National Republican Congressional Committee or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee?
I suspect the answer will be: The NRCC and the GOP will pick up the seat, but we will not have learned much for the exercise.
On the Foreign Policy front which is the sole responsibility of the aforementioned Hillary Clinton and her boss Barack Obama we had these very excellent recent developments over the past day or so:
Iran's atomic chief, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, said Iran has 7,000 centrifuges. The centrifuges concentrate uranium gas so it can be used as fuel to power a reactor or, in a highly enriched form, for a nuclear weapon.
China and Russia have hacked into the U.S. electrical transmission grid. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, "If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on."
Piracy off the coast of Somalia is increasing. The United Nations took stern action last year by passing a stern anti-piracy resolution which the French representative said was a "clear signal to the pirates."
Imbécile. Since January, pirates have staged 66 attacks, according to the International Maritime Bureau, a watchdog group based in London.
That same United Nations, now under the direction and control of His Majesty Barack Obama, "held yet another inconclusive bargaining session on North Korea's long-range rocket launch" according to the French news agency AFP.
Finally, Obama has sent a letter to Congress asking for "an extra $83.4 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan this year" according to the BBC.
The BBC went on to remind us that "Mr Obama opposed special troop funding while a member of Congress under the Bush administration."
Not as easy as it looked, huh?
Happy Easter. Happy Passover.
On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Enough links to the articles above for the Ghost of Marley's chain. Also a classic Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.