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Monday, October 11, 2004
 
Power Ratings After Week 5

Comments: It must be tough to be an Eagles' fan, knowing that your team could clinch Home Field Advantage throughout the playoffs and still end up losing the NFC Championship. Tampa Bay drops a bit despite the win; the spreadsheet is obviously unimpressed with New Orleans, and three of the Bucs' former opponents lost while a fourth won by 3 at home.

Leaguewide, scoring is off by about 1.6 points per game, and the home teams are only 36-34, with 13 teams demonstrating negative home field advantage. Seattle's defense, which had looked superb through 3-3/4 games, fell apart in the fourth quarter and overtime yesterday.

Phi 116.9
NE 108.5
Ind 108.5
Sea 107.9
NYG 107.4
Det 105.7
SD 105.3
StL 105.2
Min 104.8
Atl 103.6
Bal 101.7
Den 101.4
Jax 100.1
Chi 100.1
NYJ 100.1
Pit 100.0
Cle 99.1
AZ 98.9
Hou 98.2
Ten 97.8
Buf 97.1
Oak 97.0
KC 96.7
Was 96.1
Dal 95.7
TB 95.3
Car 95.3
GB 93.3
Mia 92.4
Cin 92.1
SF 92.0
NO 90.0
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Sunday, October 10, 2004
 
Left Face

Interesting article in the SF Chronicle today on the rise of the left in the Democratic Party.

Influential figures on the party's left wing are planning a long-term campaign to move the Democrats to the left, just as right-wing activists took over the Republican Party and moved it to the right over the past 30 years.

And just as left-wing activists took over the Democratic Party and moved it to the left after 1968.

Joe Trippi, Howard Dean's former campaign manager, argues that the Dean campaign has already pushed the Democratic Party -- and thereby the national political debate -- to the left.

Perhaps the debate has shifted to the left, but the population hasn't. Here's the situation in a nutshell. Moderates in the Democratic party say that the party can't win without a moderate candidate to appeal to the folks in the center who decide the election. Leftists analogize politics to a tug of war and insist that nominating moderates amounts to moving rightward (which of course is true). There is also the myth of the lost tribe of Democrats, who have given up voting. If the Democrats would just nominate a true leftist (say, Dennis Kucinich), that tribe would suddenly be energized and sweep him to victory.

I'm not sure I buy that. Republicans have been successful in moving right because the population was already headed in that direction. As the Baby Boomers aged they naturally turned more conservative. At the same time, the creaking liberal apparatus that had governed the country since the Depression ran out of gas. The Democratic party became more and more a coalition party of interest groups that frequently found one group (union members for example) at loggerheads with another (environmentalists).

More important, where exactly does the left want to pull us? The left pole, communism, has been thoroughly discredited as an economic system. State socialism, a la Europe, seems similarly in decline. Others have noted that about the only thing driving leftism in the United States is what they are against: capitalism, religion, and George W. Bush.
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