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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UW Daily Endorses... Rossi?

posted by on October 29 at 9:24 AM

Slog tipper Charles writes:

I'm a student at the UW and I thought you might want to see these piece-of-shit endorsements for Dino Rossi and against I-1000 made by our piece-of-shit student newspaper, The Daily. Normally this would be irrelevant, but the Daily has a potential (idiot) readership of 20,000 and the gubernatorial race is close enough that something like this could actually tip it one way or another.

The Daily's reasoning on Rossi:

In tough economic times, we need a candidate who can balance the budget and Dino is our guy. He’s smart, he’s savvy and he had the know-how to help Gary Locke get out of economic anguish in 2003.

For four years under Christine Gregoire, the budget was balanced. But the viaduct has remained in its status quo and the Sonics are gone.

And on I-1000:

Instead of focusing on ending life prematurely, the focus should be on providing care that increases the quality of life during those last months.

I'm guessing there are more than a few dissenting UW students and alumni in the Slog mob, so I'll save you all the trouble of digging this up yourself: here's the email address for Daily editor Sarah Jeglum.

Pike Place Market Fish Throwers for Obama

posted by on October 29 at 9:10 AM

I have no idea what swing constituency this might be targeted at, and I doubt it changes one tiny little thing about the race, but just so ya know:

Via Ari Melber.

Why Racists Should Vote Obama

posted by on October 29 at 7:23 AM

The always provocative-in-a-good-way Neil Steinberg at the Chicago Sun-Times argues in his column today that white supremacists should vote for Obama. It's surely a devious Jewish plot, and it's bloody hilarious.

He opens

Attention racists! I know this newspaper reaches you where you live, from the dairy farms of Wisconsin, hotbed of the Posse Comitatus, to the basements of Cicero, where the kleinen fuhrers patiently pass the time until the coming of the Fourth Reich, sieg heiling each other and field stripping their weapons, to the White Aryan Brotherhood pumping iron in the exercise yards of our fine penal system Downstate.
What you want is Obama to become president. That would make all your dire predictions seem prescient (that means "knowing the future"). The fear that makes a person embrace Nazi ideology in the first place will be ramped up exponentially (that means "fast").

Once Obama is President, Steinberg points out, some of his decisions will anger people. Some people will then resent a black man in the White's House.

Think of what that would do for recruitment. It wouldn't just be you and your buddy Hrolf taking videos of each other brandishing your dad's hunting rifle in menacing poses. You could have real meetings, attract actual followers. The plan for world domination that you so laboriously wrote out in 11th grade detention would come to fruition at last!
Go read the whole thing.

And in other news, unless I throw myself in the Chicago River due to a McCain victory, I plan to Slog the Election Night Situation from Chicago--from the $2 million downtown Obama rally to any particularly fascinating riots that might come to pass. A bicycle and a laptop and bars with Wifi, your Chicago Bureau will have all the coverage.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Absentee Ballot Is Proof that God Loves Us and Wants Us...

posted by on October 28 at 6:13 PM be just a little bit buzzed when we vote.


Andrew fills out his absentee ballot at Liberty. Where are you filling out yours?

Generation We

posted by on October 28 at 5:55 PM

Move over, Generation Me. (That's you, Baby Boomers.)

Via Sullivan.

I Hear You Knockin' But You Can't Come In

posted by on October 28 at 5:18 PM


This week's Party Crasher is by the fabulous Erica C. Barnett on the "joys" of doorbelling. Yes, the election has even invaded everybody's favorite boozy party column. Here's a taste:

Most of the few people who answer the door are receptive, if curt. "I'm still thinking about it," one says. "Probably," another answers when prodded to tell us whether we can count on her support. And, in the day's most frightening encounter, a bathrobe-clad woman with a towel on her head bangs loudly on her window, mouthing what I assume to be something like "GO BACK TO SEATTLE YOU FUCKING HIPPIES."

Will the roving house-to-house political party ever find the home of anti-transit developer Kemper Freeman? Read Party Crasher to find out.

George W. Bush for Barack Obama

posted by on October 28 at 5:00 PM

Which campaign does it sound like li'l Dubya is endorsing?

Thank you, Living Room Candidate, for consuming way too much of my internet time.

I Sure Hope Whoever Made These Election Posters...

posted by on October 28 at 4:56 PM

... didn't print up a WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM or anything.


Synchronized Debating

posted by on October 28 at 4:15 PM

While we're passing some of the time left on the election countdown clock with flashbacks, here's a presidential debate flashback that turns the candidates' message discipline into a different kind of performance:

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

What Was It That Barbara Bush Said About Geraldine Ferraro?

posted by on October 28 at 4:11 PM

Oh, yeah: Rhymes with rich. Well, the same seems to go for Sarah Palin—be sure to read all the way to the end. Man, the more we learn about Sarah Palin the more vicious and vindictive she sounds, huh?

Looks like I called it back in August.

Not Election-Related

posted by on October 28 at 3:48 PM

For a moment, forget about the election. Make your own Jackson Pollock.

Via Bookninja.

P.S. Election-related: What the fuck did you people do with John Bailo? I was enjoying his increasingly Pollyanna-ish comments from an alternate dimension where John McCain was winning. It was some of the best sci-fi I've read this year.

"Senator Biden is Now My Homeboy"

posted by on October 28 at 3:29 PM

As an antidote to this Florida reporter's interview with Joe Biden, how about this Florida reporter's interview with Joe Biden?

(Start at 4:00 for maximum cuteness.)

Dept. of Alternate Universes

posted by on October 28 at 3:15 PM

John McCain says he senses momentum building for his candidacy, telling FOX News:

It reminds me very much of the early primaries, New Hampshire, Florida, and other places, where we were running behind and we sensed this momentum building... And that isn't just my impression, that's what our pollsters are showing, and that's what even some of the pundits are saying... The level of this excitement I have not seen matched.

Mr. Poe's Crush Comes Through

posted by on October 28 at 1:40 PM

Florida governor Charlie Crist—the Republican closet case who got himself engaged to a real lady with real lady parts in the hopes that John McCain might pick him for VP—just "blew Florida for John McCain."

Florida Governor Charlie Crist, to the shock and dismay of Florida Republicans, just moved to extend early voting hours, a move likely to widen the Democrats' lead under a program on which the Obama campaign has intensely focused.

"He just blew Florida for John McCain," one plugged in Florida Republican just told me.

You Can Stop Holding Your Breath Now

posted by on October 28 at 1:12 PM

Joe the Plumber—who is neither a Joe nor a plumber—has officially endorsed John McCain. Not-Joe-the-Non-Plumber added that, yep, a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel. And democracy in America.

Oh, and as if McCain didn't have enough trouble with off-message surrogates (like his VP pick): McCain aides quickly distanced their candidate from Not-Joe-the-Non-Plumber's statements—but just his statements about Israel. Obama's election would only be fatal to democracy in America, according to the McCain campaign, not to Israel's democracy.

National Polls Don't Matter

posted by on October 28 at 12:28 PM

Not when the electoral map shows a clear leader in swing states. And one national poll doesn't matter when it shows a dip as a pattern of statistical noise, while the average of several national polls still shows a clear winner. Besides, some of those polls showing Obama losing ground use an outmoded model for projecting likely voters. So today's Gallup tracking poll of likely voters isn't making me nervous at all. Gulp.


FiveThirtyEight says McCain only has a 3.3-percent chance of winning.

The Cheat Sheet

posted by on October 28 at 12:18 PM

Sara writes:

Nov. 4th Stranger Voter Cheat Sheet! I know it was in the paper a few weeks ago! But I need your brilliant SECB to do my absentee ballot...! Help! It's not on the website...???

Oh, but it is: here. And it'll be in the paper again this week.

Here's the long version (with pesky reading!).

Back to Iran

posted by on October 28 at 12:18 PM

Another new McCain ad:

Have a Small Beer for Obama

posted by on October 28 at 12:00 PM

Small Beer Press, which is a small publisher I happen to adore, is donating 20% of the money they raise from an online sale to the Obama campaign.

Small Beer puts out really great stuff, including books by Kelly Link and Carol Emshwiller (author of the very great The Mount, which I wrote about here.) They range from McSweeney's-ish fiction to science fiction to fantasy to horror and back again. Be sure to give a look at their website.

The History of Tito

posted by on October 28 at 11:01 AM

LEESBURG, VA –-Sarah Palin brought a guest along to her rally this morning, but it wasn’t a country star or a television personality. However, he is known by his first name: Tito the Builder.

Tito Munoz, who owns a construction company in Virginia, has been part of Palin’s stump speech for about a week since the McCain campaign discovered him three days before that at a rally for the top of the ticket in Woodbridge, Virginia. The Colombian born Munoz who is now an American citizen defended Joe the Plumber to a few reporters and took them to task for looking in to the background of Joe Wurzelbacher.

Munoz, dressed in his full construction garb, told the cheering crowd that they can call him by his now famous nickname and then went on to warn Virginians about the “danger” an Obama administration would bring to the country.

With all of her noise about communism this and socialism that, it's amazing that Palin has introduced to America a man called Tito the Builder. Tito the Builder!

An Unhappy Registration Story

posted by on October 28 at 10:40 AM

Received this morning from Stranger reader Anthony Jacob Everett and forwarded on to King County Elections for comment. I'll update if/when I receive a response:

I am writing to express my concern with voter registration and ballot distribution within the Seattle area as today I discovered that due to a 'clerical error' that I am not able to participate in the forthcoming presidential election. Here is the story...

Continue reading "An Unhappy Registration Story" »

Don't Get Cocky

posted by on October 28 at 10:07 AM

Call Center Mutiny!

posted by on October 28 at 9:32 AM

Even the telemarketers are turning on McCain, reports TPM:

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

McCain Adviser Calls Palin a "Whack Job"

posted by on October 28 at 9:20 AM

The latest in Republican circular firing squad action. (And at least one dismissive notch up from the previous McCain insider description of Palin as a "diva.")

7 Days...

posted by on October 28 at 9:15 AM


Contrast and Compare

posted by on October 28 at 9:15 AM

John McCain's new ad, which, among other things, provides yet another reminder that Obama has one core message ("Change") while McCain has so many complaints and identities it's hard to keep track:

Yes on I-1000

posted by on October 28 at 9:09 AM

I've received quite a few letters from people—from opponents of I-1000, from supporters of I-1000—assuring me that my mother was not in pain when she died of pulmonary fibrosis on March 31 of this year.

I'm a hospice nurse and have been with many people dying of pulmonary fibrosis. The way you describe your mom at the end, I want to reassure you she wasn't in pain. If someone is short of oxygen but able to keep their eyes open calmly; not thrashing wildly in air hunger, their oxygen demands are waning. She did gasp for breath, but that is a reflex and she was not in distress. It's called agonal breathing and people doing it are not aware of it. It is far worse for you to go through seeing it than it is for her to gasp like that. At that point, endorphins thrown off by the brain take over and the person undergoing this feels very light, very calm, regardless of what their body does. She had morphine in her system; between morphine and the natural endorphins, she was not feeling short of breath or panicked at the lack of air. Her body was shutting down and her consciousness was with you but separating from her body's needs. She would have become more and more tired, a little sleepy and then when she was ready, her body would have let her go.

That's some comfort. But even if my mother wasn't in pain as she died—after the morphine was administered and the endorphins kicked in—her last fully conscious moments on this earth were dominated by her terror of dying in pain. I believe that, if she had had the choice, my mother would have been comforted by the control and finality of being able to administer, to herself, a fatal overdose of drugs that had been prescribed to her by her doctors. My family agrees. Either way, the choice should have been hers to make—and if I-1000 is approved by Washington state voters on November 4th, it will be ours.

But I want to thank this nurse and everyone else who wrote for your thoughtful notes, opponents of I-1000 and supporters alike. My mother was a lovely, vibrant, mordantly funny person; I miss her more with each passing day. And I will always regret that she wasn't allowed to make a choice about how her final conscious moments would unfold. Would she die peacefully and in control, surrounded by family, after saying her goodbyes? Or would she go quietly panicking, tightly gripping her childrens' hands, as she slipped into drug-induced semi-consciousness? My mother didn't have a choice. She should have.

Approving I-1000 will allow other sons and husbands, daughters and aunts, and wives and mothers to make their own choices about their final moments. Please vote yes.

The Moment When it All Began

posted by on October 28 at 9:07 AM

Last night, working on a column about presidential campaign rallies for this week's Stranger, I went back and read parts of this. I was trying to help myself remember the details of what was no doubt the best, and most significant rally of the season: Barack Obama's victory rally in Des Moines on the cold night in January when he won the Iowa caucuses.

It was a moment when Obama at once silenced his doubters, terrified the Clinton campaign, and laid out the themes that everyone is now so familiar with—themes he delivered that night in a tone that felt extremely novel and now, ten months later, feels like yet another reminder of Obama's consistency.

With just seven days left before the campaign ends, I thought some of you might want to take the same journey back in time—if nothing else, it's a temporary distraction from checking electoral college projections, tracking poll numbers, and Drudge:

10:00 p.m., January 3: Victory

I jumped in a car with a writer for The Nation and headed toward Hy-Vee Hall, the same place where, a few weeks previous, I'd seen Obama and Oprah Winfrey do a joint campaign event that drew a tremendous audience and made me think, for the first time, that Obama really could win Iowa. Now a radio announcer was saying Iowa was his, by a huge margin. I wanted to stop at my hotel and to post a blog item. The Nation writer told me I was crazy, that I was going to miss history, that this was no time for sitting in a hotel and blogging.

We went straight to the hall, parked, and joined the people streaming inside. I heard later that Clinton's caucus-night event in Des Moines was empty until she packed it with campaign staffers. The Obama event was filled with real people, caucus-goers who were coming to see the man who had inspired them, volunteers who hugged and shouted congratulations to each other as they rode the escalator to the convention room where Obama was to speak. Inside, the crowd was ecstatic, and so was a Seattle woman who happened to be standing next to me, Laurie Ragen Gustafson, who danced with the beat of a drill team that was rump-shaking its way around the room as a warm-up act, and who used words like "amazing" and, of course, "history."

Obama took the stage, lean, young, full of energy and magnanimity, clapping for the crowd to show his thanks before launching into a rousing victory speech in which he declared his win in Iowa proof that "America is ready to believe again."

"On this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do," Obama began. And it was indeed something unprecedented and hard to believe; Iowa, after all, is over 90 percent white. There were tears in people's eyes as Obama continued, speaking to both the crowd and the national television audience: "You have done what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days."

The crowd interrupted, chanting: O-bam-a, O-bam-a, O-bam-a.

"The time has come for a president who will be honest about the choices and the challenges we face," Obama continued. "Who won't just tell you want you want to hear, but what you need to know." Not surprisingly, he received his biggest applause for this: "I'll be a president who ends this war in Iraq and finally brings our troops home. Who restores our moral standing. Who understands that 9/11 is not a way to scare up votes but a challenge to unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st century."

He also tapped into the sense that something new is happening in this country, and that the result in Iowa was only its first manifestation. "Years from now," Obama said, "you'll be able to look back with pride and say this was the moment when it all began. This was the moment when the improbable beat what Washington always said was inevitable... Years from now you'll look back and say this was the moment, this was the place, where America began to hope again."

He then launched into a defense of his campaign's emphasis on hope, an idea mocked as too starry-eyed and impractical by other candidates as they have tried to stop Obama's rise. "Hope is what led me here today," Obama said. "With a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas, and a story that can only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation. The belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us. By all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be. That is what we started here in Iowa, and that is the message we can now carry to New Hampshire and beyond."

The crowd went wild, and a very new type of candidate, and a very new type of president, suddenly seemed a very real possibility.

There's more, if you want even more distraction. I had the idea to stay in Iowa after the caucuses ended and write about the deserted city. The result, when the story continues.

"Whenever people in the campaign are starting to worry more about their own reputations rather than whether they're going to win in seven days, there is a significant problem."

posted by on October 28 at 9:04 AM


George Stephanopolous weighs in on the delicious "when a maverick goes rogue" mess:

[T]here is a significant rift inside the McCain campaign. Those loyal to McCain believe they have been unfairly blamed for over-handling Palin. They say they did the best they could with what they got....The Palin camp is fighting back, arguing that if the McCain campaign had just let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin, she would have done just fine on her own.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

October Surprise, Washington Edition?

posted by on October 27 at 6:45 PM

Republican Dino Rossi will be deposed before the election:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi must give a deposition before Election Day as part of a lawsuit alleging illegal campaign spending by his biggest backer, the Building Industry Association of Washington.

King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas said the public interest demands that Rossi give his answers before, not after, the election is over, and accordingly granted a request for expedited discovery in the case. Rossi's deposition was scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"There are no real or fake parts of this country. There's no city or town that's more pro-America than anywhere else."

posted by on October 27 at 6:14 PM

Vote for this guy on November 4th.

The Maverick Goes Rogue

posted by on October 27 at 5:59 PM

Eli already mentioned this in a post below, but it's worth its own post. Basically, McCain's advisers are mad because Sarah Palin is "going rogue." That is, doing exactly what the campaign rhetoric vaunts.

From the Guardian:

Over the weekend, advisers to the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, were briefing more than one news outlet that Palin was "going rogue", pursuing her own political interests with an eye on 2012 rather than concentrating on McCain's stab at the top job.

"She is a diva," one unnamed adviser told CNN. "She is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party."

McCain's Frankenstein's monster.

The irony is killing.

And, knock wood, it looks like the party is doing exactly what I'd hoped it'd do this election: break apart like an arctic glacier.

It's not happening the way I'd expected, with McCain bravely throwing the religious, xenophobic, anti-intellectual base off the Republican train and trying to push the party back to its roots. Instead, he pandered to that base. But Palin is so toxic, she's taking a crowbar to the party's ideological fault lines all by herself.

More from that Guardian story:

Other important Palin advocates include the talkshow host Rush Limbaugh, several presenters on Murdoch's Fox News and leading members of her Christian evangelical alliance.

In the opposing corner are other conservatives, notably Kristol's fellow New York Times columnist David Brooks who sees the Alaskan governor as part of a drift within the movement towards anti-intellectualism. "Once conservatives admired Churchill and Lincoln above all - men who prepared for leadership through constant reading, historical understanding and sophisticated thinking," he has written referring to Palin. "Now those attributes bow down before the common touch."

Republicans need to turn off the Limbaugh and return to their John Stuart Mill. That is their only hope.

(Knock serious fucking wood.)

The October Flop

posted by on October 27 at 5:48 PM

Even Time Magazine is wondering:

Sunday's surprise raid by helicopter-borne U.S. troops in eastern Syria raises at least three key questions. Given that the U.S. is saying the number of volunteer fighters infiltrating Iraq from Syria has dwindled significantly in the past 18 months, why was this action deemed necessary? Does the raid signal a shift in U.S. tactics in the region? And with just over a week before the U.S. presidential election, why now?

This was the October surprise, and it's going to be a flop. Why? Because the world is not as stupid as Bush:

"This is all related to the elections in the U.S. The timing is so close," contends Sami Moubayed, a Syrian political analyst. "Bringing out the 'terrorist threat,' magnifying it, projecting it as a monster that needs to be dealt with on the spot ... serves nobody but John McCain." A parting shot from the Administration of President George W. Bush, or the beginning of a new military policy in the region? Syria — and the rest of the world — will be keeping a close watch on its eastern border.

Breaking: Telemarketers Have Souls

posted by on October 27 at 5:40 PM

TPM sez:

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

If we win this, I hope John McCain becomes a total fucking pariah.

8 Days...

posted by on October 27 at 3:00 PM


McCain's Closing Argument

posted by on October 27 at 2:40 PM

I linked Obama's below. McCain doesn't have a closing argument (yet), but to the extent that he's offering a new argument today, it is that Obama, based on a 2001 radio interview, wants to be the great redistributor.

Setting aside the merits of the argument (which is picked apart here, among other places), I wonder: is being tagged a potential redistributor of wealth such a bad thing at a time when the economy is, in McCain's words, "cratering"?

I think most Americans get that Obama's economic policies would attempt to be the reverse of the Bush economic policies, in that Obama's policies would generally "redistribute" wealth downward rather than upward. So if this new Obama label enters the general consciousness—and I'm not sure it will—it seems entirely possible that a lot of struggling Americans would say: great.

(Unless McCain starts calling it socialism. In which case, of course, they'll probably hate it.)

What Sarah Palin's Wearing

posted by on October 27 at 2:27 PM

For all you elitist snobs who think it's a sin to buy $150,000 worth of clothes, Sarah Palin lists everything she's wearing and how much it costs.
She also thinks talking about her clothes is sexist.

I'm surprised she didn't say it was a "Republican cloth coat."

Will New Media For Food

posted by on October 27 at 2:00 PM

When Radar Magazine folded last week, one of the sad losses was the cutting of funding for former Wonkette Ana Marie Cox, who's been traveling with John McCain since the very beginning of his campaign for the Republican nomination. Cox is now raising money from readers to finish the piece. Here's her request:

It will cost about $1500 to cover just the last day of the campaign, and over $1000 a day for each day leading up to it. While I still blog for TIME's "Swampland" -- and I will for as long as they let me! -- I am without a source for travel funds.

So, you know, anyone interested in sponsoring a foul-mouthed blogger, slightly used? I have come up with the following pledge drive bonuses! Rewards are cumulative.

* Anything: Good karma, knowledge that sometimes merit is rewarded. If not in this particular case.
* Over $10: A personal thank-you email (please include your email in "instructions for seller")
* Over $50: A personal thank-you phone call (please include your phone number in "instructions for seller")
* Over $100: My instant message screen name, regular personal updates via email and/or instant messages on election night
* Over $250: I will ask a senior McCain adviser the question of your choosing and send you the MP3 audio of the exchange
* Over $500: Phone call from McCain headquarters on election night, detailing hilarious antics sure to ensue
* Over $1000: One-on-one post-election dinner debrief

I also have for sale a half-finished article on "The Last Days of the McCain Campaign," full of chewy, insidery goodness. Word rate negotiable!

Click below, hit the tip jar, whatever seems like justice to you.

Although I hated Cox's novel, the roman a clef Dog Days, I'm really fond of her journalism and I hope she'll be able to see the campaign through to the end.

"That's Not Change We Can Believe In"

posted by on October 27 at 1:37 PM

AP sez:

WASHINGTON — The ATF says it has broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree.

In court records unsealed Monday, agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target an unnamed but predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads.

Yeah, that'll show 'em who the inferior race is. Jesus fucking Christ.


posted by on October 27 at 1:30 PM

Republican Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, for making false statements on financial disclosure forms.

The verdict throws the upcoming election into disarray. Stevens is fighting off a challenge from Democrat Mark Begich and must now either drop out or continue campaigning as a convicted felon.

The Senate race in Alaska has been tight despite the cloud hanging over Stevens. But this conviction can't help but boost Democratic efforts to grab the seat as they push toward their dream of a 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.