Monday, November 30, 2009

Slightly OT, but what the hell: I Survived NaNo

I survived NaNo.

The 50,000 word count was achieved last night.

And the novel itself is really 2/3s done, maybe half done. I have a ways to go before getting a publishable book out of this.

To all publishers: the bidding war starts now! Okay, okay, who's signing me for a 3-book $300 deal? Anyone? Anyone?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And Thus Did Turkey Day Get Its Awesome TV Episode

Certain holidays get the love when it comes to our popular culture.

Christmas, obviously. Halloween, for the kids and the cosplayers. 4th of July. Easter. Flag Day (Happy Birthday MOM!)

Which is the pity of it for some of the other big holidays that, well, just don't have the cultural impact that those primary holidays have. Thanksgiving, for one.

Oh, it's a big holiday to be sure. One of the few nationally sanctioned by the government and yet treated as more than just some bank or school holiday. Tied in with our historical heritage of the Pilgrims giving thanks for a successful harvest in the earliest days of our nation's founding (and our subsequent march across to the Pacific to ensure our Manifest Destiny, yeah the Sioux and the Mexicans are still thrilled about that), Thanksgiving is meant as a time for family, for gathering, for eating large amounts of food (well, for the half of us not living on unemployment benefits). Oh, and there's the Macy's Parade and three (used to be two, but Detroit and Dallas don't always have good teams to encourage viewing so...) NFL football games for the guys to watch while Mom burns her fingers off getting the turkey out of the oven.

But Turkey Day, I mean Thanksgiving, doesn't have a lot in terms of entertainment. There's not a lot of movies celebrating it: most holiday gathering flicks tend to go with Christmas. There's very few television specials and just one off the top of my head: Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, but this is considering they've made specials for ALL holidays (for the Love of Snoopy, there's an Arbor Day special!). Other than Adam Sandler, there's no songs celebrating Thanksgiving and the turkey delights.

Ah, but then, back in 1978, a then-new sitcom called WKRP in Cincinnati broadcast an episode called "Turkeys Away."

This episode has been as close to universally hailed as the best episode ever for one of the best sitcoms ever. (this link btw takes you to a blog that reviews a lot of WKRP episodes and delves into a lot of the show's history and struggles with music copyright. Read through please)

Adding a link to video: (looks like it's the whole episode, better sit here for 25 minutes, but it's worth it!):

Hope the link showed. Damn I hate this embed stuff.

Anywho. Best. Turkey. Episode. Ever.

That they don't run a WKRP marathon on Comedy Central every Turkey Day is a sin.

"As God is my witness... I thought turkeys could fly!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because Andrew Sullivan Takes This Sh-t Seriously

Over on the Atlantic blogging pages, Andrew Sullivan let most of the day slip by before posting any kind of update or report. Usually he and his mini-staff of two overworked and underpaid interns update practically every hour to the delight of millions (no, I'm not kidding, Sullivan's one the biggest reads on the 'Net). But Nov. 18th, there was dead silence for most of the day...

He finally posted an apology of sorts.

It seems he and his crew are poring over every word and every sentence in Sarah Palin's 'auto'-biography. Sullivan's seriously examining everything Palin's got on paper now - as a kind of official record - as a means of uncovering lapses (well that would be the more polite term for lying) in her political narrative.

He's caught some flack about this by now, you might have heard about it. He's a bit... obsessive-compulsive with Palin ever since she popped up on the national scene as McCain's VP pick. Like me, and a lot of other Americans, we hadn't really heard much about her. Her reputation at the time was that she was a 'reformer' who stood up to the Alaskan party machines... It wasn't until Sullivan and others started examining that reputation and finding out it was overblown - Palin's challenges to the local GOP elite was because they wouldn't give her the shiny pretty jobs she hoped for - that Sullivan started arguing against what he saw as her lying about her creditials, her background, her politics, her family... even the events surrounding the birth of her baby Trig.

Palin's defenders of course dismiss Sullivan as a hack... and even Sully's readers take him to task from time to time when his arguments cross the line into obsessive crazy talk. But Sullivan was one of the earliest to turn against her pick as Veep... and the disasters she visited on McCain's campaign - especially her horrific interviews that successively showed her getting WORSE handling them - proved him and the other Palin critics absolutely right.

And so, ever since then Sullivan has been keeping a harsh critical eye on Palin. Especially as Palin is promoting herself for an obvious attempt at the Presidency herself in 2012. This biography of hers (I can't call it an autobiography: she clearly has a ghost writer on it, and there's so sign of Palin having any literary skills) is a clear chance for Sullivan to dig as deep as he can without outright forcing her to sit with him on a one-on-one interview.

And so... we wait.

It's not like there was a lot else going on in the political world for Sully to comment upon, other than Sen. Sessions' attempt at a filibuster getting squashed... and Obama's trip to China and Japan... and Obama bowing to the Japanese Emperor and giving the wingnuts back home another excuse to have a collective conniption over a PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE ACT OF PROTOCOL YOU BABIES. Anywho.

At least I'm doing well with NaNoWriMo...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


The major blogs are starting to recognize the real problem with our current political landscape: the fact that our legislative system has frozen in place.

...Meyerson notes the Democrats' three great governing opportunities/challenges of the last century. The first was in 1933, when FDR and a Democratic Congress delivered on a New Deal. The second was in 1965, when LBJ and a Democratic Congress advanced the Great Society. The third is right now. And while the first two saw a flurry of legislative successes that came to define a generation, 2009 isn't working out the same way -- partly because Republicans have embraced obstructionism on an unprecedented scale, partly because some Democrats are conservatives who are comfortable with failure, and partly because of legislative procedural hurdles that FDR and LBJ didn't have to worry about.

As Benen notes, the partisan obstructionism of the Republicans is part of the reason we're not seeing more legislative action this year, or indeed out of the past 10 years (most legislation under the GOP tenure of the Aughts were self-serving deficit-increasing disasters like the handouts to Big Pharma in their Plan D package, every tax cut they could get away with, and funding two out-of-control wars). But the other aspects are just as bad: there are indeed Democrats not so much comfortable with failure as they are with the Status Quo - failure they can live with, they don't want to rock the boat and risk their incumbent re-election campaigns.

The other problem is the procedural hurdles currently in play. Worst of all is the filibuster rule. What was once an obscure rule is now an impediment on getting anything passed in the Senate (the House has no filibuster and so can pass laws by majority vote more quickly) because the filibuster can't be stopped (Cloture) unless two-thirds of the Senate votes to, which means you need 60 votes nowadays to ensure Cloture. Problem is where the Republicans are organized to a fault to where their own party is consuming themselves, the Democrats are disorganized to where each Senator can (and does) act like their own party and vote however they want... so even though they've GOT 60 Senators in their caucus (58 D plus 2 Ind), the Dems can't count on that 60 to really enforce anything because 20 of those asses will act up like petulant children and kick the furniture until they get their very own pony for Christmas... not that I'm expressing any frustration at the moment (DAMN YOU LIEBERMAN!). As a result, all the Republicans have to do (or Lieberman, YOU EFFING TRAITOR, just go R and BE DONE WITH IT) is threaten to filibuster and the Democrat-led Senate will freeze up and choke.

But the filibuster is only part of the problem.

What's worse is that a Senator can place a Secret (!) Hold on any motion from reaching the floor for a vote. This means anything (ANYTHING) that's gone through committee review and votes, from laws to nominees for key executive and judicial positions, can be held up for months (!) while NOTHING gets done. There's a boatload of vacancies in the White House and on our federal courts because Senators are abusing the Hold system out of partisan issues with particular agencies (or because they don't like the ideology of incoming administrations affecting who gets to fill lifetime judicial jobs). This is also what happened when Sens. Kyl and Hatch held up the unemployment benefits extension this month so they could essentially commit extortion. Both parties, let's be fair, have abused this rule, but right now it's gotten so much worse.

And WHAT MAKES IT WORSE is THE HOLD(S) IS/ARE SECRET. The Senator responsible for placing the hold doesn't have to be named in the official record, meaning they could hide their action from their voters back home and avoid accountability. It wasn't until an egregious hold placed on a government transparency bill of all things that a handful of aggrieved bloggers called around forcing nearly every Senator to flat-out deny they placed the hold (a direct public denial turning out to be a lie apparently never looks good on re-election efforts) until they narrowed the suspects down to four (by then the two culprits - Stevens and Byrd - fessed up). Subsequent Hold attempts are getting so brazen Senators are starting openly (but indirectly) to 'hint' who the bad guys are.

Attempts to fix the Filibuster and the Hold rules have come and gone, some brazenly partisan, others less so. For a while there, Holds were disallowed in the late 90s but then brought back. Either way, each procedural rule is turning out cause two problems: 1) they're undemocratic, preventing ANYTHING from getting done and 2) they create lack of accountability, not just for the Senators who abuse the procedures but also the Senators WHO LET THEM ABUSE IT.

The whole Upper House has gotten lazy and soft, beholden to themselves as Barons of power. And because of the short attention spans of the media (if not their state-bound voters), these Senators keep getting away with it. This leads to the Status Quo: unchanging, inflexible, stuck in ideas and beliefs 20 years out of date, and calcified.

We need reform. We need to fix the Senate truly before we can get any other reforms to save our nation in place. We need to set it in stone - not in the standing Senate Rules which no Senator will ever fix - but in amendments to the Constitution:

  • The Filibuster can only be used by a Senator with regards to debating the approval of a judicial nominee that is filled by lifetime appointment. During the first 5 business days of filibustering it will require 2/3 vote for Cloture, and after the 5 business days it will require a simple majority for Cloture, and no nomination can be filibustered more than once;
  • A Hold placed by a Senator on a legislative matter brought to the floor for a vote can only be in effect for up to 5 business days during which any questions the Senator has on the matter is resolved. The Senator must be named publicly and provide a written explanation for the Hold. The Senator cannot extend a Hold on that legislation (if the questions he/she has on the matter aren't resolved, he/she can still vote No), and only two Holds can be placed on the matter brought to the floor.

To finish out, a quote from Benen:
Facing extraordinary crises and challenges, the United States has a legislative branch that is barely able to legislate at all. The system can see the problems, but is struggling badly to address them. The first step in changing the way Congress operates is creating the demand -- most of the public has no idea that the Senate no longer operates by majority rule. Public frustration can lead to proposals, which can lead to debate, which can lead to solutions.

Support any and all efforts to get amendments, rules, whatever it takes to get reform methods - getting rid of Secret Holds, limiting the Filibuster to just votes on lifetime judicial appointments - in place AND FIX THE SENATE.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It was Twenty Years Ago Today, David Hasselhoff Told His Band to Play...

Okay, so a riff on Sgt. Peppers segueing into the Fall of the Berlin Wall doesn't work so well...

November 9th. It was indeed 20 years ago, this day when the East German government made the announcement that they would be easing travel restrictions between East and West. Try to remember, but after 1945 when the Allies crushed Hitler's evil we had divided control of Germany into four parts: American, British, French, and Russian (the Poles should have been included but thanks to Stalin they got squat, actually worse than squat over the next 40 years). By 1947 it became clear Stalin and the Soviets weren't going to honor agreements about freeing Eastern Europe and the dividing lines formed in Germany. In 1948, the Berlin Blockade and the subsequent Airlift essentially solidified West Germany and East Germany. Well into the early 1960s, West Berlin was like a funnel out of the Soviet-controlled Eastern Block, thousands of people fleeing the oppression, but outside of military invasion there was little the Soviets could do.

So they built a Wall. They said it was to keep us out of Eastern Europe but in truth it was to keep the rest of their people in. And ironically the Berlin Wall helped keep the peace, although it came at the cost of tens of people dying while trying to cross over (and under, and around) it.

For 20-plus years the Wall stood. When I was born in 1970 the Wall was 9 years old and already covered on the Western side with legal graffiti. There had also been numerous escape attempts across it, even with the East German guards ordered to shoot. By the 1980s, the we'd gotten used to the Wall. Even as Reagan became the first President to openly call on the Soviet leadership to "Tear Down This Wall," it seemed like a permanent feature on the political landscape.

But by the 1980s, the Soviets were flailing. As utopian ideals Communism and Socialism looked nice on paper, but in real-world application those -isms fell apart real effing quick. The paradoxes of one-party rule (a 'pure' party is still corrupted from within by greed, paranoia, obsession with bureaucratic power and calcification) was finally taking its toll. The Soviet leader of the day, Gorbachev, was doing what he could to 'open up' the Soviet system, to bring about market reforms and also freedom of thought reforms. But in truth the system - calcified during the 1970s during the Breshnev years - was dying...

The Polish Solidarity movement had, from the 1980s on, given the Eastern European nations the tools needed to begin causing rifts within the control structure of the Soviet hegemone. By 1989, Gorbachev tried giving the satellite states more local autonomy, perhaps as part of a process of 'demilitarizing' the East so he could cut back on Soviet military expenses, or on the bureaucracy consuming so many resources. For whatever reason, the Russian Soviets would no longer directly intervene in their puppet regimes the way they did in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Domino Effect quickly took action. Poland quickly legalized the Solidarity party by April 1989. Hungary began tearing down their border fence with Austria by May, and by October, Hungarian Communists changed labels to Socialists (as a way of presenting themselves as 'less evil'). And with East Germany... well, with that Hungary/Austria border now open, thousands began fleeing into the West through Hungary, forcing the East German government to begin restricting their peoples' travels to other Eastern states. By October, the issue had come to a boiling point, with refugees camped out in West German embassies in Prague.

So, by November 9th, the East German government relented, deciding to allow some (not open) movement between East and West Germany. Especially at checkpoints along the Berlin Wall.

But, in football parlance, the East Germans proceeded to muff the snap, the punt, the punt recovery and even the whole fourth quarter offense.

The announcement came quick and unexpected. The government's intent was to have their travel program begin the next day, when they would be prepared for the overflow. However, their spokesman didn't get clear instructions on that, and when asked for when the program would start, he assumed it was immediate.

The media, mostly the West German media (which the Eastern Block could still see and hear), jumped on this as meaning the East German borders were 'open to everyone'.

Checkpoints were quickly swamped with mobs chanting for their freedom. The guards were completely unprepared. After an hour or three of frantic phone calls where no one wanted the horrible responsbility of using lethal force, the guards relented and let people pass even without papers or procedure.

It was akin to opening the floodgates for both sides. The biggest party in human history just began as East and West Berliners joined up at the Wall to hug, dance, drink, dance, drink, and drink some more. This was at the early beginnings of global cable news: CNN began showing nonstop images of Germans getting up on the Wall itself to celebrate. Pickaxes and shovels suddenly appeared as people began hacking away at the symbol of the Iron Curtain.

And oh yeah, David Hasselhoff played at the remains of the Berlin Wall on New Years' Eve. By then nearly every Eastern European nation once over Soviet rule had fallen (Czechslovakia by peaceful means, Romania by violent overthrow, and the Balkan states beginning their rumblings to break free of the Soviet Union itself) and the Cold War nearly done (in two years the Soviet Union would suffer a failed coup against Gorbachev and that would be that).

And now, it's twenty years later, celebrations afoot across Germany and in some respects around the world. For a good while you couldn't imagine the Wall gone. Now, you can't imagine a Wall had ever gone up. Except for the memorials for those who died trying to cross it...

Oh, and I'm pretty sure the Hoff will show up and lip-sync some more. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Moderates Have Principles

I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh.

Which seems to be mutual. He's not a fan of Moderates.

Rush seems to think that moderates "cannot be governed by principle. They can't be. Moderates don't have principles. If they had principles, they'd be one thing or the other..."

Dear Rush: Here's a list of moderates' principles.

1) Moderates support competency. We support things THAT WORK. If it doesn't work (example: THE WHOLE BUSH ADMINISTRATION) we don't support it. So there.

2) Moderates recognize not so much the NEED for bipartisanship (or compromise) for the SAKE of bipartisanship. Bipartisanship and compromise between opposing factions are welcome when the end result will be something THAT WORKS.

3) Moderate Republicans are actually pro-life. We just don't support SHOOTING PEOPLE and BLOWING UP BUILDINGS to enforce our own personal values. We also recognize that there are medical reasons for abortion (to save the life of the mother) and legal reasons (rape and incest). If that makes us too open-minded on the issue, TOO BAD.

4) Moderates support FAIR taxation, not necessarily CONSTANT tax-cutting. When the tax rates were clearly too high (above 50 percent!), we agreed on getting the tax rates down. But now that the governments (federal and state) are struggling with massive deficits, MORE tax cuts are clearly not an answer (there's a reason why current polling of the voters show that a plurality - 46 percent - think the tax rates are 'just right'). And we Moderates aren't too thrilled that these tax cuts never come with serious attempts to cut back on the massive spending as well, to make government justify every expense with correlating revenue.

5) Moderates love America. We also love all Americans with few exceptions (rapists, murderers and embezzlers, pretty much anyone deserving of life in jail). What we don't do is go out of our way to divide this nation into the US vs. THEM crap that you and your wingnuts seem to do every second of every day.

6) One thing Moderates don't do is watch FOX. We also don't watch CNN or MSNBC or any of the other major news outlets, pretty much because they're all wastes of oxygen any more (all of them filled with ego-driven know-nothings who pontificate on crap they don't understand). We're pretty much getting our news from the Daily Show and Colbert Report any more... and we're STILL better informed.

6a) and ESPN. Moderates love college football.

7) Moderates are perfectly capable of being as rude and vulgar as you wingnuts.
So I finish with the immortals words of Harry Truman: Fuck you, Rush.

Hope that clarifies things for you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Observations from the 2009 Off-Cycle Elections

By off-cycle I mean the national-level 2-year cycle of Congressional elections/4-year cycle of Presidential elections. Anything going on here will be either state and local elections of import (Governorships of Virginia and New Jersey), special ballot initiatives (gay marriage in Maine and Washington State), or special Congressional elections to fill seat vacancies (New York and California).
There was especially some crazy stuff involving NY-23, so this year was more special than most. So let's head to the observations (I will come back later to edit in links, I'm currently juggling between this and my A+ class studies):

1) Every other pundit or blogger pontificating about the results - other than ME - will get the results completely WRONG. Heh.

2) The real consequence of these elections for Governor and/or Congress isn't about who's in the White House: it's about the actual candidates and how the state and voting districts liked/hated them.

3) The result in Virginia - Republican beating Democrat - wasn't about Obama: it was about the fact that the Democrat ran a mis-managed campaign from the get-go and that Virginia is one of those borderline states that shifts regularly between Republican and Democrat.

4) The result in New Jersey - Republican challenger overthrowing incumbent Democrat - wasn't about Obama: it was about how unliked the incumbent was. That the race itself came down to the wire - before the results came in with a solid victory for the Republican - was due to the fact the Republican was swimming upstream against a lot of anti-GOP sentiment and personal issues of his own.
In fact, there was polling for the VA and NJ elections where the exit polls specifically asked "Was Obama part of your decision-making on your vote?" Solid majorities in both states said Obama wasn't a consideration. So how do those results honestly reflect on Obama? Answer: they don't. It's just the Far Right wants to attack Obama on EVERYTHING so every GOP victory is a referendum that VOTERS HATE OBAMA and every GOP defeat is a referendum that VOTERS ARE REALLY CONSERVATIVE EVEN THOUGH THEY VOTED AGAINST US, OH AND THEY HATE OBAMA. /Headthump

5) The result in New York - A Democrat narrowly winning in a district/region that hadn't gone Democrat since the Grant administration! - was about Obama only as far as the outside agitators who hijacked the election from the established GOP candidate wanted it to be. Oh, but it's still about the VOTERS HATING OBAMA. /Headthump

6) Once again, a moderate Republican candidate stepped up to represent in a state/region where moderates are key to victory, only to have the Far Right Wingnuts from outside charge in, disrupt everything with their own extremist choice, and end up tossing the district/state to the Democrats. The Kos guy just sent the Club for Greed a big "Thank You" card.
And for some Godforsaken reason, the Far Right still thinks this is GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS to have their representation drop to levels that will make the party an ineffective minority party for now and the forseeable future. At what point will the Republican leadership look around and say "Hey? Club for Greed? STOP KNEE-CAPPING US! Our whole party is now small enough to fit in a Denny's banquet room!"

7) The Bucs unofficially have the first overall draft pick for next April, and they REALLY need to look at the BEST AVAILABLE DT coming out of college. I mean, sign him up in February for God's sake... oh wait, that's my football observation, my bad...

8) The gay marriage state referenda mostly split, with Maine narrowly shooting it down but Washington State passing their gay rights (everything up to marriage rights) package. Thing is, sooner rather than later this is gonna get to be a moot point... gays will get the right to marry. All it takes is keeping the pressure up, and recognizing the fact that the opposition to gay rights is a overly paranoid, overly selective reading of the Old Testament that won't stand up to scrutiny (ask the anti-gay people if they uphold EVERYTHING in Leviticus or anything else deemed Abomination in the Bible, and I guarantee you half of them won't even answer you).

9) What does this all mean? I'm going go against Conventional Wisdom of the Beltway and say it's ALL GOOD FOR OBAMA! IT'S ALWAYS GOOD FOR OBAMA! What? It can't be GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS all the time...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Three Things That Will Happen With NY-23

Since the previous post, the 'official' Republican candidate - Scozzafava - that had to drop out because the 'unofficial' Conservative candidate - Hoffman - was getting all the national Republican support made her official statement to her followers on whom they should support in the coming election.

The Republican told them to go vote for the Democrat.

Let's be blunt: this is unheard of. A candidate from one of the established parties just simply doesn't support the opposition candidate. There would only be one reason for this to happen: The usurping candidate is just so damn unpalatable that "Better the Devil You Know/Respect" Rule comes into play (the fact that Owens' response to Scozzafava's drop-out was respectful whereas Hoffman's was pretty much a self-satisfied "Ha-Ha!" kinda sealed the deal).

How will this actually play out come election time? Pollsters still think Hoffman secures the edge because as the Conservative (and now unofficial Republican) candidate he'll get enough of the self-ID'd Republican voters who vote GOP out of habit. But there was a reason Hoffman wasn't the original candidate in the first place (he's not local, and he's too far to the Right for the actual community). There's also the revenge factor: Scozzafava's supporters don't hate Owens, they'll hate Hoffman, and people tend to vote AGAINST someone, not FOR. There's also the Parochial factor: the local NY voters can't be too thrilled that their election got hijacked by the national players (Palin, national GOP figures, the wingnut media crazies like Malkin) who are essentially pushing on them a candidate (Hoffman) that's NOT of their district and who's more representative of Southern (basically anything south of the state border with Pennsylvania) values.

This is, beforehand, a pretty unpredictable election coming up. 'Course, afterwards we'll all be slapping our foreheads and going "Oh, we knew that was going to happen!" But not really.

All we can tell is that the result will go one of three ways:

1) Hoffman wins. Regardless of the lead or actual results, if it's a blow-out (unlikely) or if he wins by one vote. What will happen is that the Far Right Wingnut machine will celebrate like it's New Year's Eve 1984, that it will ABSOLUTELY VINDICATE EVERYTHING they believe, that the election is a referendum on HOW UNPOPULAR OBAMA IS, NOBODY REALLY LIKES HIM, HE CHEATED AND ALL BECAUSE HE'S NOT REALLY BORN HERE, that TRUE AMERICANS are terrified that OBAMA IS DESTROYING AMERICA, etc. It will justify the Club for Greed's efforts to purge moderate candidates and officials from elected office, and will accelerate their efforts across the nation. Moderates from seemingly safe states like Maine will either flee the party a'la Specter or fearfully line up lockstep to receive their marching orders.

2) Owens wins by a reasonable margin, within 5 percent over Hoffman's results, or in a squeaker with just one vote. Democrats will celebrate with smug satisfaction that once again it proves that the GOP is destroying itself with this intraparty sniping, but that would be about it. The mainstream national-level Republicans will shrug this off as a close race and ignore it within one news cycle, or focus instead on how they easily won in Virginia. There will also be a slight chance that New Jersey's governorship will go their way, so they could celebrate that. The Club for Greed and their wingnut allies will still crow that they hold the upper hand within the party structure, that moderates still have to fear their power to knee-cap them in primary challenges.

3) Owens wins in a blowout (anything 60 percent and over is a blowout). The Demorats will still be overly smug about the victory, but that'll be about all they'll get out of it. The real fireworks will be on the other side of the aisle. If the Democrat does get that many votes in what is a safe Republican district, it will obviously be because the moderates and independents who backed Scozzafava virulently opposed the Conservative Hoffman. The Club for Greed and their ilk will still crow about the RINO scalp they earned (simply because they never learn, and Everything Is Good For (ultra-Right Wing) Republicans in their POV), but a humiliating defeat like this is going to scare the rest (AKA the rational few) of the Republican Party. Newt Gingrich will be justified and have ammo to take to the Sunday Talk Shows about how right he was to support moderate candidates like Scozzafava in places like New York and the Northeast. Regional GOP leaders (at the state levels) will start balking against having their efforts getting hijacked the way this one was. There's a good possibility the financial backers of the Club for Greed will take a step back and review just what exactly they are getting out of their money (clues: The Club for Greed removes moderate Republicans who could be their kind of pro-business allies and ends up getting Democrats who aren't favorable to their business interests elected to office instead. Sooner and sooner all that knee-capping kills your own interests...), which is actually very little at all. Given how defensive the wingnuts get (after all, they're always the victims even when they're the ones committing the crimes), they may even feel justified in going after MORE RINO scalps because Scozzafava openly 'betrayed' the GOP by getting her supporters to vote for the Democrat (even though Scozzafava and her people were ALREADY betrayed by the wingnuts' hatred of moderates. So there).
In this scenario, the intraparty civil war will get worse for Republicans because it won't get lopsided the way a Hoffman win would: it will embolden moderates into proving they have enough power to decide elections and that they can keep the party afloat. And the wingnuts, always on the defensive, will refuse to see reason and fight harder to make the Republicans their purity party.

Of the three scenarios, Option 3 is less likely: electoral blowouts don't happen outside of ridiculously gerrymandered safe districts. Option 2 (Owens win close) is my personal preferred, because I'm a moderate who has no love for the Club for Greed anyway. I dread Option 1 (Hoffman wins), only because it will make the Far Right go even crazier than they already are, which is honestly frightening.
There are some who feel that if Hoffman does win it will only accelerate the self-immolation of the GOP because it will drive all the moderates Indy or Dem. Just look at the current polling numbers, and try to imagine the GOP getting smaller because of their purity efforts because that's the ONLY response you will get. The wingnuts think their purification will actually ATTRACT more voters who will be drawn towards how shiny and sparkly their ideology is: in truth all it really does is scare away anyone with enough brains cells to have, you know, actual doubts about things... Look at the Independent numbers. I have NEVER seen polling that had more Independents than both Democrats or Republicans. All those Indys HAVE to be moderates fleeing the GOP, because look at how level the Democratic numbers have remained (near about 35 percent)... and when do national parties shrink BELOW 30 percent of the voting population (GOP at 20-21 percent)?

I hate nail-biters. They distract me from my homework and NaNoWriMo efforts. Phoeey.

UPDATE: Just spotted a pre-election commentary by Nate Silver at 538. As always, he's got great access to the polling numbers and a better way of evaluating just how crazy the whole election thing gets. Key points: Owens is in a better position because of Scozzafava's endorsement; Hoffman will benefit from an active conservative turnout; while a Hoffman win won't change the intraparty dynamics for the GOP, the Democrats would be better served by a close Owens win that would leave conservatives (read: Club for Greed) empowered enough to sabotage moderate efforts in major elections like the Florida 2010 Senate seat (an Owens blowout would embolden the likes of Crist who will be able to convince voters that the national-level wingnuts don't know what they're doing and don't care).