June 30, 2003
Still, this is a pittance compared to Bush and the Republicans $30 million, but most of Dr. Dean's dollars are said to come from small donors and not corporations or fat cats.
It seems that Dean's got some juice that, if wisely spent, will raise his image and name recognition among voters. He's on a bit of a roll and distinguishing himself from the other Democratic candidates.
Dean's also getting some respect in Hollywood with Rob Reiner putting his considerable weight behind his electoral effort. I doubt that Arnold contributed. I hear he's saving his dough to redecorate the Governors mansion in California.
Dean is also getting some play on the Internet front getting a mention in Wired for his creative organizing skills and use of the 'Net for other than a hip billboard. Also he's had some success in online fundraising. And a quote from one of his web savvy staffers.
"Sarah Leonard is a spokesperson with the Howard Dean campaign. She said, "Our campaign has really reached out to people who are comfortable with online activism." Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is leading the way to young voters. And their money is leading him to national contention. Dean has raised $2.8 million online in the past eight days.", from Des Moines Iowa TV Channel 13
I wonder if he takes PayPal?
The Harm of Bush's Foreign Policy
Yesterday, on Meet the Press, Mary Matalin, speaking on the topic of national security said, "Well, what this foreign policy has done is enhanced American security. Yes, it would be nice if everybody liked us, but it’s more important that we are secure. And that’s the foreign policy that this president pursued." My question is this, if we are loved, wouldn't that go a long way towards making us safe?» Continue reading "The Harm of Bush's Foreign Policy"
A new site, PayDemocracy, "lets groups of people pool many small political donations" thereby "aggregating millions of internet citizens into a real and powerful web-based political lobby."
Sounds like an interesting idea, but I wonder how effective such a movement will be. While a large donation from those upset over the FCC deregulation may gain more notice then a bunch of little donations, without the actual lobbyists, etc. of real PACs how can PayDemocracy ensure that their users' voices are heard?
I have no problem with Dennis Miller being a Republican. I don't even have a problem with him opening for G.W. Bush.
But over the weekend he made a joke about Howard Dean that really set me on edge. He claimed he couldn't support Dean because of "the tattoo of Neville Chamberlain on his forearm."
Why am I upset? It's not that Miller made a joke about Dean. It's not that he called Dean an appeaser, virtually a traitor.
The problem is, the joke wasn't funny. Dennis Miller committed a crime against comedy.
My out-on-a-limb prediction
The Dean campaign is lowballing. The people who were shocked today by "the six million dollar man" are going to be awed tomorrow when the final numbers come out.
Dean has actually been running on electability. A lot of donors think that to be electable, you need to energize the base, while being both centrist and honest about the positions you use to appeal to the part of the party that stuffs envelopes and knocks on doors. Nothing succeeds like success, and the amount of success the DLC line has to show donors is nothing. The market among Democratic donors for something different is mainstream, not niche.
I'm guessing the number will break seven million.
First Mover Advantage
The chattering classes were shocked last week when Howard Dean kept up his momentum despite what they insisted was a disastrous performance on Meet The Press.
Why was that? It was because of the Internet, and a hoary old (by Internet standards) idea called First Mover Advantage.» Continue reading "First Mover Advantage"
Pretty Soon, We'll Be Talking Real Money
I'm working on a strategy idea that I haven't got quite figured out yet. I'll get back to you when I've got it worked through. Nothing too radical. It has something to do with uniting behind a candidate and not worrying about what the unified message will be right now. And the money raised to date makes me think I'm on to something.» Continue reading "Pretty Soon, We'll Be Talking Real Money"
June 28, 2003
Another blog here calls the winners of the MoveOn Poll "unelectable" without providing any evidence.
Right now, based on the way we assume Presidential campaigns are run, Richard Bennett is right. I will go further. Based on the present rules and assumptions of politics, no Democrat is electable.» Continue reading "Scaling"
June 27, 2003
The spectre of George McGovern hangs over the 2004 presidential race, but not where most of the commentary would place it. In 1972, there was anger in the air, anger against the Establishment from the far left. There was a candidate of the peace movement who appealed to the far left but didn't have the support of some of the big-money constituencies. The war was said to be almost over, so even many who opposed the war didn't vote for him. He went through a debacle when his running mate was revealed to have been treated for mental illness. He lost in one of the most lopsided presidential elections since George Washington. Today, there's a pseudo-war dragging on even though "major combat operations" have been over for some time, and a candidate who first gained attention for dissent on the war is moving toward the position of front-runner, without the blessing of some of the big-money constituencies.
But the similarities pretty much end there.» Continue reading "McGovern '04?"
Dean's First Defeat?
Despite the spin analysts are going to see the results of the Moveon Presidential primary as the first defeat for Howard Dean.
Dean got almost 140,000 votes, a healthy plurality of 43.8%. But Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich scored 76,000, nearly 24%, and with John Kerry's 14% and the single-digit results for others it was enough to deny Dean an endorsement he clearly wanted.» Continue reading "Dean's First Defeat?"
The MoveOn.org PAC primary results are in. When asked to choose one candidate voters went with Dean (43.87%), Kucinch (23.93%), and then Kerry (15.73%). Because no candidate received 50% of the vote MoveOn will not be making an endorsement at this time. The ballot also asked which candidates members would "enthusiastically support" in the general election. In an encouraging sign of Party unity 28.47% said they would support any Democratic candidate. Dean (86.02%) and Kerry (75.29%) both did exceptionally well with this second question.
The Biggest Scandal Since Watergate -- Bigger
Attention all journalists. Here is your chance to change the world.
There is a huge, ongoing scandal going on that threatens our democracy. With the new electronic voting machines you cannot prove an election wasn't stolen. There is no audit trail.» Continue reading "The Biggest Scandal Since Watergate -- Bigger"
June 26, 2003
And so the MoveOn.org primary draws to a close, and liberals the world over await the result.
Or do they?
Though this "virtual primary" received much attention from the media and from the various candidates, it failed to capture the attention of Democratic voters. Why? Look no further than the woeful field of candidates.» Continue reading "Moving On"
Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Anti-Sodomy law
In a 6-3 decision, announced today, the US Supreme Court struck down state bans on gay sex, ruling that the Texas law was an unconstitutional violation of privacy. This ruling overturns the standing Bowers v. Hardwick decision from 1986. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion:
The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime....» Continue reading "Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Anti-Sodomy law"
Is This Compassionate Conservatism?
In another example of the Bush administration helping the wealthy at the expense of the working class, 8 million workers stand to lose their overtime pay if Bush's proposal gets implemented.
"The millions of employees who will see their pay reduced will, in all likelihood, see their hours of work increase at the same time," wrote the authors of the Economic Policy Institute's study.
Dean And Gay Marriage
Joseph Farah ripped into Howard Dean today saying he "supports gay marriage."
It was a surprise to me. Dean did sign Vermont's Civil Unions bill. He risked his career on it. But does he support gay marriage?» Continue reading "Dean And Gay Marriage"
Where are we going? Where have we been?
Last night I called my parents for our weekly "chat". My mother and I talked about an upcoming trip back to my parents' place that my wife and I are making soon and when we'd finished, I asked her to hand the phone to my pop. Usually I'll get a golf report, weather update, or some gardening advice from my father but last night the conversation quickly turned to Howard Dean. Honestly, for the first time I felt that my father and I agreed on a big issue. Growing up we'd always been very opinionated and, of course, neither one of us was wrong. One of the first phrases out of my father's mouth regarding the current situation in Iraq was "Viet Nam" and we began discussing the current disillusionment of U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq. A veteran of the Korean War, my father pointed out that he never would have been allowed to express any disillusionment during his time in the Navy. Honestly, I'm disillusioned as well and really unsure of what to make of the current world environment.» Continue reading "Where are we going? Where have we been?"
June 25, 2003
Dean Drives The Dems
It's time to admit the truth. Howard Dean is driving and defining the Democratic race for President.
Dean's schtick is that he's against the war, against the tax cuts, and against the idea of Bush Lite, the "yeah-but" Democrats who he says lost the mid-term elections.
The "Did Bush Lie?" watch continues...
In the Sunday NYT Week in Review David Rosenbaum led with;
The hunt for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq has been fruitless. The tax cut turns out to give no break whatsoever to millions of low-income taxpayers.Bush May Have Exaggerated, but Did He Lie? details some of the facts surrounding both WMD and the Bush tax cut. And while remaining fairly objective, the piece does provide some good reporting.
On the other hand Paul Krugman checks in with an Op-Ed in today's times entitled Denial and Deception. He states upfront;
There is no longer any serious doubt that Bush administration officials deceived us into war. The key question now is why so many influential people are in denial, unwilling to admit the obvious.
June 24, 2003
It Ain't Heavy, It's My Server
Now, wouldn't it stand to reason that a web site with as much savvy as Moveon.org would have been ready for the traffic it received today? Well it wasn't quite ready. Maybe I've been in the web content side of the business too long, but wasn't there one IT person who said 'let's do whatever we have to' to keep the site running?
So now the site's back up and running and the downtime was just over an hour. So big deal, right? But it makes me wonder why this online vote is so important when the Wisconsin Straw Poll online vote wasn't? And of course I'm aware of the difference in volume. But let's face it - both are pretty pointless in that harmless sort of fun way. So I'm more curious now as to why candidates boycotted and the DNC got all officious about the Wisconsin time-waster.
June 23, 2003
More Bush Administration "Policy Choices"
The New York Times reports that the White House axed most of a section describing risks from rising global temperatures from an upcoming EPA state of the environment report.
Among the deletions were conclusions about the likely human contribution to warming from a 2001 report on climate by the National Research Council that the White House had commissioned and that President Bush had endorsed in speeches that year. White House officials also deleted a reference to a 1999 study showing that global temperatures had risen sharply in the previous decade compared with the last 1,000 years. In its place, administration officials added a reference to a new study, partly financed by the American Petroleum Institute, questioning that conclusion.
Clearly yet another example of the Bush Administration's "selective emphasis" on issues.
Lies, Damn Lies and Policy Choices
Please check out a good analysis of David Rosenbaum's opinion piece from the NY Times that is being referred to by an editor in the Red column. Rosenbaum attempts to explain away Bush's exaggerations and hyperbole regarding WMD's, who benefited from tax cuts, etc.
I guess it's not lying if it's a policy choice.
"And we call ourselves, simply, Americans."
Well, it's official folks, Howard Dean has announced his intentions to run for President of the good ole U.S. of A. I had the opportunity to attend the Declaration rally today at Atlanta's Earthlink Live and I found it to be a very uplifting experience. The text of Dean's speech is available (link goes to PDF version) on his Web site deanforamerica.com (there are also options for watching the speech).» Continue reading ""And we call ourselves, simply, Americans.""
It's About Precedent
In 1998, The United States, if not the world, was sharing in our constitutional crisis. At enormous cost to the tax payer, we found out the ugly truth about our President. Bill Clinton had been caught in an affair with Monica Lewinsky after denying it to the media and to a Congressional Committee. He was impeached in the House but not ratified by the Senate, thus allowing him to stay in office but marking his permanent record for the history books. We had gone after the president who had the nerve to lie to America about an affair he had on his wife.» Continue reading "It's About Precedent"
No child left behind...
Is this what we've come to folks? Children are "selling" the importance of homework for a Dunkin' Donuts sponsorship? Doesn't anyone realize that all of the tax cuts have actually pushed states to the point where they are stuck choosing between cutting school years or releasing prison inmates? Well, this is the world we're living in folks and we've let it happen. I find it hard to believe that so many have forgotten about Voodoo Economics (a term coined by the first President Bush) and now support a President who has taken us beyond Voodoo Economics towards complete zombie-ism but, then again, most Americans don't seem to know who the Supreme Court justices (who chose our current President) are.
Split Decision on Affirmative Action
Seven of the nine candidates were on hand for Rev. Jesse Jackson's PUSH/Rainbow Coalition meeting yesterday, where affirmative action was one of the main topics of conversation. Graham and Edwards, both from the South, were not on hand due to "scheduling conflicts." Not sure who's handling scheduling for those two but given the timing of the Supreme Court's decision, seems like a missed opportunity to me.
And for a group that was so gung-ho on Sunday, why isn't there any mention on any Democratic candidate web site?
June 22, 2003
D-Day for Dean
Tomorrow is D (for Dean) day. The candidate makes his official candidacy announcement at 12:30, and rallies are scheduled in every state, with at least 12,000 expected.
In preparation, Dean has been making the rounds as a serious candidate. Here is a review:» Continue reading "D-Day for Dean"
Kucinich: Principled and Passionate
At a local organizational meeting for Rep. Dennis Kucinich's run at the Democratic presidential nomination, I got to hear his "Prayer for America" speech for the first time. I've read the text of the speech, but I hadn't had the chance to see him deliver it.
The man is spell-binding. This was a truly great speech filled with courage and passion and thoughtfulness. The kind of speech that makes you want to stand up and be counted for something. I was immensely impressed.
Kucinich may not do more than help shift the Democratic agenda slightly left when all is said and done. But even though I abandoned the Democratic Party for the Greens a few years back, I will re-register as a Democrat this time to vote for Kucinich in the primary if he's still around when California finally gets to vote. And I'll stay with him until he snags the nomination or drops out.
It's the principle of the thing. And Kucinich is a principled leader.
What a concept.
June 21, 2003
Hooray for Howardwood!
Newsweek has a little feature on the success Dean has had lately raising money in Hollywood.
The Reiners (father and son) are leading the charge, but Whoopi Goldberg and Melissa Etheridge are also mentioned, and Alec Baldwin seems sold. Dean is also collecting showbiz money on both coasts, not just the left one.
Republicans love to deride anyone raising money from entertainers as being out-of-touch, but I think Americans might feel $250 million (Bush' fundraising estimate) is more out-of-touch. Time will tell on that one.
One correction. The Newsweek story said Dean is 49. He's 54.
Kerry threatens filibuster of Bush nominees
John Kerry, in what seems like a heavy-handed move by a presidential candidate, said he would filibuster any Supreme Court nominee that Bush sends before Congress who
'would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose or the Constitutional right to privacy, on civil rights and individual liberties, and on the laws protecting workers and the environment...'» Continue reading "Kerry threatens filibuster of Bush nominees"
June 20, 2003
Most "Audacious" Speech Award
While Lieberman and Graham were at the New Democrat Network meeting on Tuesday, John Edwards gave this speech at Georgetown University. Today, Slate's William Saletan outlines the "clever and ambitious" remarks, concluding with this thought:
"In a nutshell, Edwards is trying to turn the traditional politics of left and right upside down. It may be too crazy to pull off, but it's easily the most interesting thing anybody in this race has said so far."
Dean calls for investigation
On his campaign website, Dean For America, Howard Dean calls for an investigation of the government's handling of intelligence that was used as the justification for the war in Iraq (taken from a recent campaign speech).
The American people shouldn't have to wait for the history books to be written to discover the truth. Did the President receive bad intelligence, or did his administration deliberately mislead Congress, the United Nations and the American people?
An independent investigation must be held to determine what the President knew, and when he knew it. The American people deserve the truth.
Howard's Son Paul Arrested
The big news today is that Howard Dean's 17-year old son, Paul, was arrested last night, at 4 AM, outside a country club, where four of his high school buddies were trying to steal the club's beer and champagne.
Paul (I want to call him Daffy after Dizzy's brother, who also had that nickname) was supposed to drive the getaway car. But a cop pulled up, Paul got nervous, the cop got suspicious, and the whole gang was nabbed.
If this is the worst thing that ever happens to your kid, thank God. Gov. Dean rushed off the campaign trail to deal with what he rightly calls a "family crisis." No campaigning this weekend. And Dean was quick to urge that his son be given no favors.
No Teen Spirit
Danny Goldberg, a manager, PR guy and recording label chief, is interviewed by Salon for his book, "Dispatches From the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit." In the interview (and I assume his book) he makes two very interesting arguments about the Democrats and popular culture:
1. Dems like Joseph Lieberman have driven away a big constituency by attacking hip-hop music, video games, TV and Hollywood. But, they can't do anything to change the popular culture (and why should they want to), so they should use it. It's been pointed out that you have a good segment of popular artisans being anti-war, but the Democrats take offense to their use of four letter words.» Continue reading "No Teen Spirit"
Truth or Consequences
It's Friday and the new Harry Potter book is coming out tomorrow so I'm not thinking about anything too serious today. Not to mention that I can't shake the mental image of pagans worldwide dancing at Stonehenge at the crack of dawn tomorrow to mark the summer solstice. The Anglican Church (update: see comments for correction) thinks Harry, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (of all people) are to blame for the expected large turnout. Sorry - back to my original point. Another Friday hazard.
Speaking of magic, more than a quarter of a million viewers in New Zealand were "surprised and confused" by a lower third graphic describing Bush as a professional fascist. I am not making this up - see for yourself. (Thanks for the link RD)
Of course there will be an investigation of how something like this could happen and someone's probably going to lose their job. I worked for a local news channel awhile back where the chyron guy thought it would be funny to describe a local councilman as a sex offender. It was never meant to air - but somehow it did. Life is full of these moments, huh? At least in that case, there was no truth to the description.
Drudge quotes Kerry out of Context
In a story that is most likely to be brought up in political debate around the country the Drudge Report says that Sen. Kerry warned of Iraq's WMD back in 1997, but if you actually read what he said you'll see Kerry was quoted out of context.
"It is not possible to overstate the ominous implications for the Middle East if Saddam were to develop and successfully militarize and deploy potent biological weapons." (Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, 11/9/97, pp. S12254 -S12255)» Continue reading "Drudge quotes Kerry out of Context"
June 19, 2003
She Swears She's Not Running
From the NY Times 1/18/03 Penned by my second only to Molly Ivins and who's barely in front of Paul Krugman, favorite columnist Maureen Dowd
"Some contemporary writers and politicians have tried to dismiss the anguish of those years as an embodiment of 1960s self-indulgence. In fact, there are some people who would like to rewrite history to erase the legacy of the war and the social upheaval it spawned. They would have us believe that the debate was frivolous, but that's not how I remember it."
(I'd really enjoy reading some thoughts about my piece from the Republican side.)
Please read more.» Continue reading "She Swears She's Not Running"
What To Do Today? What to Do?
Radio talk shows I can understand, but an entire cable network? Could the world be ready for Gore TV.
I've worked for a cable television company and cable networks and I would love to know what his programming ideas might be. This is either a brilliant idea or a sign the man has way too much time on his hands. Stay tuned.
Bush's counter to those questioning the administration's justification for invading Iraq were blasted by bush for being "Revisionist Historians" yesterday.
Those "revisionist historians" seem to include one Rand Beers, a Bush advisor who resigned shortly before the war. "The [Washington] Post quoted Beers as saying the evidence used against Iraq was 'pretty qualified' and that many of his government colleagues thought Iraq was an 'ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy.'" He also mentioned how the administration's Iraq policy could likely increase terrorism by fueling al Queda's recruiting efforts.
Hopefully more "revisionist historians" will continue to question Bush's foreign policies and ask the tough questions to get the correct answers on Iraq and uncover the true rationale for Bush's continued assult on the Middle East.
"There are no good lies, but some matter more than others"
In a well balanced editorial in today's Boston Globe Joan Vennochi asks "Which lies matter most to the American public?" She compares possible mistruths by Hillary and George W.
Hillary Clinton took $8 million from a book publisher and possibly didn't tell the whole truth about the Lewinsky scandal. George W. Bush took the armed forces of the United States of America, put lives at risk, and shook the world order to wage war against Iraq. Maybe he told the whole truth about why we were going to war and maybe he didn't.» Continue reading ""There are no good lies, but some matter more than others""
Apples and Oranges
The Dean Team put out an APB today about an AP story concerning a new New Hampshire poll.
The poll shows Kerry leading Dean in New Hampshire, 28-18. A poll from the same group a month ago showed a 26-19 lead for Kerry.
AP's story spun this as big news. Why? Because two other polling organizations show the race to be within the margin of error. Those numbers came out between the two ARG results.
All polls have different methodologies. Taking two surveys with different trends and acting like they're similar is a common mistake.
The Dean Defense Forces calls this "spinning" for Kerry. They are afraid that people will see the mistake, assume Kerry has it in the bag, and not give Dean another look.
I think it's June.
June 18, 2003
The Congressional Hex
When was the last time a candidate, who ran for president as a sitting Senator or House member, was elected President? From either party? How many Senators or House reps have run and lost?
For winners, you have to go back to JFK, but back then he had a lot more going for him than the current crop of legislator/candidates. What kills my interest in most legislators as presidents for me, comes from having heard them speak from the floor on C-SPAN.
What this tells me is that candidates from Congress are weak and probably have a lot of baggage from their term(s) in office. Not a good sign for Kerry, Gephardt, Braun, Leiberman or Graham.
The 401k Man
In a fairly thoughtful piece concerning an attack on Howard Dean by a former Paul Wellstone aide, and reaction to it, Doug Grow got this out of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who knew Wellstone, loved Wellstone, and admits that Dean is no Wellstone.
But he's excited about him nonetheless.
"His pragmatism and his idealism appeal equally," said Rybak of Dean. "I loved Paul Wellstone deeply, but I wouldn't have wanted him managing my 401(k). I wouldn't mind having Howard Dean do that."
Later he added, "He's not an 'I-feel-your-pain' sort of guy," Rybak said. "He's more a 'I'll-fix-your-pain type.'"
If the pain increases, which happens when bad policies are put in place, Howard Dean can be a lot more than Barry Goldwater. He could be the Democrats' Nixon (another Roosevelt if you prefer), the man who re-sets the agenda for a generation. Time will tell.
The Election Bone is Connected to the... Terrorism Bone
One of Bush Administration major strengths has been its ability to link almost every issue to terrorism, effectively exploiting a series of tragic events and using them for political gain.
It seems that the Democrats, in an almost desparate measure to hang onto the 2004 election, are now incorporating the same tactic in to their campaign. The Christian Science Monitor reports that now that Democrats plan to focus "on [the] energy policy as a top issue in the 2004 campaign, in an effort to sharpen environmental credentials and stake out contrasting positions with President Bush." The democratic candidates are not only trying to contrast their platform with that of Bush, but also use terrorism as a main catalyst of their argument for better energy policies, effectively playing the card of "scare tactic."
Now that the threat of terroism, and the Bush Administration's ability to milk it at every turn, is a firm part of the domestic political agenda, "the links now being drawn between foreign oil and terrorism may give energy policy new potency as a campaign issue."
Is it possible for the Democrats to win the 2004 election without using the "terrorism" card? By assimilating to Bush's tactics, are they not just blurring the party lines even further?
The internet is having an impact on politics, just as other new media did when they arrived. Netroots are great. Anyone can communicate with anyone, without a talking head in between putting their own spin on the issues -- or their employer's spin, or the advertisers' spin. A large and increasing number of Americans use the internet.
But political discussion on the internet doesn't reach everyone, not even everyone who's on the internet.» Continue reading "Let's Get Intermodal"
Railroaded out of office?
After suggesting that President Bush had advance knowledge of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center; that he consigned 3000 people to death so his friends in the defense industry might benefit, Representative Cynthia McKinney was rightfully voted out of office.
The problem? Cynthia McKinney never suggested such a thing. What she is guilty of, as reported in Alternet, is being a black Democratic Representative - one willing to question the improper removal of thousands of minorities from Florida's voter rolls in the months preceding the 2000 Presidential election.» Continue reading "Railroaded out of office?"
What Isn't Oprah Into?
This article raises some good questions about self-revelation and personal connections between voters and candidates. And it has my vote for best catchphrase of the day. We're witnessing the "Oprah-ization of politics," according to consultant Carter Eskew.
A Conservative Blogosphere?
This old news keeps resonating in the weblog world. We are told by conservative webloggers that the new media, the Internet, is interactive, and allows for free thought and free speech that isnt controlled by the (supposedly) liberal mainstream media. Therefore conservative voices that are usually squelched are able to dominate. I think this right wing blog reinforces my point. Spin is still spin.» Continue reading "A Conservative Blogosphere?"
NYTimes changes headline to remove mention of G.O.P. Convention
Seems that the fine folks over at the NY Times are up to their shenanigans again and this time it's rewriting the titles of their articles. Thankfully, the good folks over at the Memory Hole were there to capture thisThe NY Times just can't seem to keep its nose clean, can it? Now they are accused of altering the title and content of one of their articles to remove references to the G.O.P. Convention. I'd heard about this the other day but wasn't sure until I saw this article on the Memory Hole which includes (scanned) images of the actual print version of the paper as well as screenshots from the Web version (actually it is a screenshot from Google News).
Congressional Democrats Fight Back
This article from The Hill details some of the methods House Democrats are beginning to use against the Republican majority. The judicial appointment filibuster in the Senate has been well publicized, but so far the action taken in the House has earned very little of the limelight. Democrats are being pushed to take unusual actions by a GOP majority intent on keeping debate as one-sided as possible. Though not everyone on the left is necessarily happy about this course of events, most seem to understand the necessity of it:
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) said,'I am an institutionalist. I intensely dislike using some of those means, but we are left with no choice.'» Continue reading "Congressional Democrats Fight Back"
Bush Took a Fall for Big Oil?
While my knock on Bush for falling off a Segway may have hit below the belt a little, USA Today's Kevin Maney questions whether Bush's spill was intentional--done as a means of descrediting the device whould could pose a possible threat to the likes of ExxonMobile, ChevronTexaco, Halliburton, etc.
While a little tongue in cheek, the column does draw some interesting parallels to the introduction to cars a hundred years ago. As a president who clearly favors the interests of the oil and energy industries over the interests of the environment, one does have to ponder the Bush administration's reaction to such a device.
Top British Officials say Intelligence was used "Selectively"
Both Robin Cook, former foreign secretary and leader of the House of Commons, as well as Clare Short former secretary for international development have come forward saying that Britain had made selective use of intelligence in its case for weapons of mass destruction to justify going to war.
So what we have here are two high ranking British officials, who resigned over their stance on a war with Iraq, admitting what we have all feared might be true.» Continue reading "Top British Officials say Intelligence was used "Selectively""
June 17, 2003
Ideas vs Money
From the New Democrat Network's annual meeting in Washington, DC to whatever Dick Gephardt was doing in California, Democratic hopefuls unveiled an array of policy initiatives today, coinciding with the start of a two-week fundraising blitz by the Bush campaign. I'd almost forgotten how much I hated the phrase "compassionate conservative."
"Roe" wants case overturned
DALLAS (AP) -The former plaintiff known as ``Jane Roe'' in the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized abortion sought to have the case overturned in a motion filed today that asks the courts to consider new evidence that abortion hurts women. Read More...
Choice is one issue where there are clear differences between the Red and the Blue.
Does John Kerry Play the Sax?
Salon has an interview/bookreview with Danny Goldberg, author of Dispatches From the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit.
The book (and the article) focuses on how the left seems to have lost touch with the youth of today. It's no surprise to me that young people had trouble getting behind a candidate who's wife was leading the charge against pop culture. But I don't exactly see kids getting to passionate about any of the '04 candidates. Bill Clintion famously appeared on MTV and played the sax on Arsenio... Today, what? Howard Dean's got a blog, and we're supposed to be excited? When will someone stand up for free speech instead of attacking Hip-Hop Lyrics?
Joe Citizen Does Care
Stephen, I can understand your frustration (Re: Third Party Blog: "Joe Citizen Doesn't Care"). Don't get discouraged and for heavens sake don't get so cynical to think that the tide can't be turned.
A while back Bill (you know, the Big Dog) said that when people are scared they will follow someone who is "wrong and strong" instead of someone who is "weak and right". He's right (again)! Bush's handlers have puffed him up to Superman proportions and are trying to make us believe he is right. So far, Karl and Ari are doing just that.
I think people do care, but they are scared and want to feel secure. Dubya makes them feel like he can make the world safe for them. He can make us feel safe for the short term and today is what most people care about. The only future he's worried about is his own political one.
But there's a method to his administrations madness.» Continue reading "Joe Citizen Does Care"
DNC's Bushenstein Flash Piece
The Democratic National Committee released a Flash animation which warns of the harm that will occur if Bush appoints a radical conservative to the Supreme Court. The Frankenstein parody shows Bush building his ideal appointee out of parts from Scalia, Thomas, et al.
While I like the attempt at viral marketing as a means of getting a message across, I am not so sure about the actual content of the Flash peice.
What are your thoughts on this tactic, and the piece in particular?
Braun Campaign Returns Home
No candidate, no matter how quixotic, likes to see the word "tiny campaign" in a news headline. However accurate it might be. And nothing instills confidence in the voting public more than the phrase "we're setting up shop in Chicago.” I know that might be unfair but history is unforgiving.
When you move to this type of bare bones operation, it's hard to climb out. Rather than talking about what has to be done to stay in the race, it would have been nice to hear why Carol Moseley Braun thinks I should vote for her.
June 16, 2003
Choosing Sides: Fiscal Policy 101
One of the most talked about, and perhaps most influential issues in any election is the national economy. Income tax, capital gains tax, gross national product, budget deficit, spending cuts, unemployment rates, stock market, Dow Jones, interest rates, the Federal Reserve, and many more terms are tossed about all the time, but what do they really mean? Some of the issues that get discussed are extremely complicated, and more often than not, the complicated parts aren't explained. There is an implicit learning curve involved, and if you don't understand things like supply-side economics going in, it is very difficult to make heads or tails of the discussion. So here are the beginnings of a primer.» Continue reading "Choosing Sides: Fiscal Policy 101"
Zogby via Al Jazeera, 6/16
As polled by Zogby International and reported by Al Jazeera
From the same article, the downer. It seems some Democrats are not fired up and want to crawl into a hole. I thought primary voters were the party hard core?
"Interestingly, (the Zogby poll, ed.) it also noted that more "than three-fourths (76%) of the likely Democratic primary voters said they think it is very likely (34%) or somewhat likely (42%) that President George W. Bush will be re-elected, regardless of how they intend to vote."
Howard Dean, Democratic governor of Vermont is using an Internet based dating service, Meetup.com to help his followers connect with each other.
You might not only get him elected but you could meet your dream date! (As long as he or she is a Democrat)
What's your sign?
Americans Clueless About Facts of War
Despite the constant media coverage of terrorism, the war in Iraq, etc. many Americans fail to grasp even the basic facts.
Accoring to Philadelphia Inquirer, one third of Americans believe that weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and 22% believe that WMDs were actually used in during Gulf War II.
But how can the facts and perception be so different?» Continue reading "Americans Clueless About Facts of War"
As Campaign 2004 kicks into gear, read The Ninth Wave by Eugene Burdick. If you're interested in politics and the psychology of voters, it's one of the best novels about politics ever written. I hate it whenever I see it dismissed as a book about surfing. It takes place in California so of course surfing plays a role. But it's a political novel without question.
It was first published in 1956 and is now out of print. It's not easy to find a copy but it's well worth the effort. The original paperback cover contained the tagline [fear + hate = power]. That's as timely today as it's ever been. Let me know what you think of it.
Kerry intros great energy plan
In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this weekend Senator John Kerry introduced a "cleaner, safer energy policy that strengthens our security, our economy, and our environment. Kerry's plan would increase America's national security by ending our dependence on foreign oil within 10 years, boost our economy through the creation of 500,000 jobs, and protect our environment through the investment of cleaner forms of energy." (all quotes from Kerry's site.) Go to Kerry's site.
The plan's highlights include:
- Reducing dependence on foreign oil through new Energy Security Trust Fund. The Fund would use oil and gas royalty revenues to invest in technologies that reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
- Increasing the use of renewable fuels to produce 20% of our electricity by 2020 and creating 500,000 new jobs.
- Expanding the supply of natural gas.
- Making coal part of our 21st Century energy solution.
- *Redirecting unwarranted subsidies to invest in the energy technology of the future.
June 15, 2003
Trimming Defense Overspending
The Democrats, in order to have a chance at regime change in 2004, must find non-tax ways of coming up with funds to back new social programs for which the American public will sign up if given a chance.
It seems to me that defense spending, which looks a bit like a sacred cow in the face of terrorist threats, is in fact a ground ripe for deep cuts from which we can redirect America's priorities toward domestic policies that will make long-term sense both politically and from the perspective of what Americans will find in their best interests.
Let's look first at why I think the defense budget should be cut, then at why I believe it can be cut.» Continue reading "Trimming Defense Overspending"
The Big Dog. An Observation
I've been reading some of the conservative blogs and listening to the pundits on tv and radio, both amateur and pro, and they voice a similar refrain. Their remarks usually reflect the talking points of the Republican party, but to a man (and woman) they all agree that the current crop of Democratic candidates are having trouble "getting traction". I assume they mean that none of them seem to have caught the attention of the voting public. As short as that attention span may be, they?re right. But their reasons are usually the same. They mention the Dems lack of leadership, toughness and ability to speak plainly the US public. Conversely, those are all qualities they ascribe George Bush. But they usually leave out one big reason and if they mention it at all, it comes as an aside.
What's the whispered reason for the Dems lack of connection to the voting public?» Continue reading "The Big Dog. An Observation"
GOTV in the Invisible Election
The campaign for the Democratic nomination is underway, and has been for months. The primaries and caucuses themselves are still far away. The race has barely made our newspapers and TV screens yet. Even this blog just went live. But the invisible primary is well established. By "the invisible primary" I mean, of course, the competition to raise campaign money.» Continue reading "GOTV in the Invisible Election"
June 14, 2003
California is for the Democrats
Richard Bennett writes about a Public Policy Institute of California poll that was released a few days ago. I was at the monthly briefing where they discussed the poll (great free lunch, or is that redundant?) and the President's job approval rating wasn't even the topic of the poll. The poll dealt with California's current budget crisis. So let me list the reasons why I doubt the President will win California in 2004.» Continue reading "California is for the Democrats"
Approaching the Election
In the past, as I have worked with various Democratic Party campaign organizations at various levels, I have frequently bemoaned the fact that, for the most part, the Democrats have attempted to stake out the high moral ground during campaigns, leaving the negative campaigning largely to the Republicans. Yes, I know that's a generalization but it is reflective of my personal experience. This time around, I think my usual advice to the Democrats -- to get down into the mud with the GOP -- would be ill-advised. If Bush's popularity holds (and I doubt it will), attacking would be a mistake. I think it is essential, rather, that the Democrats stand for something, create a positive agenda, and draw support from the more traditional Democratic groups whom they've abandoned in the past couple of elections.» Continue reading "Approaching the Election"
Slate's crib sheets
For those still trying to get a handle on the current crop of contenders, Slate is offering a series of encapsulated profiles of the current candidates. Short on editorializing, these links offer a handy reference to such vitals as past political experience, educational background, and estimated net worth. They don't, however, provide one handy link for flipping through them, so here are the Democratic candidates for 2004:
- Carol Mosely Braun
- Howard Dean
- John Edwards
- Richard Gephardt
- Bob Graham
- John Kerry
- Dennis Kucinich
- Joe Lieberman
- Al Sharpton
(There is also a profile of George W. Bush.)
To get it straight from the donkey's mouth, visit the DNC's candidates page, which includes mailing addresses, phone numbers, and official website links for each of the campaigns.
40% of Senators are Millionaires
According to CNN, 40 of the 100 current senators are millionaires. Granted $1 million isn't what it used to be, but the statistic still demonstrates the financial dichotomy between those elected to office and the general population.
And it's not just the Republicans who enjoy this level of wealth -- while 22 are members of the GOP, 18 are Democrats. In fact, the top five on the list are Democrats.» Continue reading "40% of Senators are Millionaires"
June 13, 2003
Electabilty: Who is. Who isn't. Who's that?
The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is upon us, and so far we have nine candidates to examine. There exists the potential for at least one or two more late entrants (Joe Biden, Wesley Clark) which would bring the total up to a possible eleven. That is an awful lot of names and faces for the public to remember, but there is some good news. At least three of the current crop of candidates definitely won't make it out of the first couple of primaries. Dennis Kucinich, Carol Mosely-Braun, and Reverend Al Sharpton don't seem to possess the necessary qualities to make any of them serious contenders at this point.» Continue reading "Electabilty: Who is. Who isn't. Who's that?"
Should Al Get Back In?
Elect Gore '04, Draft Gore, and Al Gore '04 are just several of the groups trying to convince Al Gore to re-enter the race. According to the Nashville Tennesseean there's a rally scheduled in Nashville tomorrow (06/14/03) with up to 9000 people from across the country expected.
Kerry, Dean, Edwards. A look of the (long) list of candidates currently in the race leaves me feeling like Gore's still the best candidate, even he doesn't realize it.
Patriot Act II Criticized by All
Highlights from the Patriot Act II include giving the Justice Department the ability to wiretap suspects without a warrant for up to 15 days; federal agents could secretly arrest people and provide no information to their family, the media or their attorney until charges are brought, no matter how long that took; and it would allow the government to strip Americans of their citizenship for even unknowingly helping a group that is connected to an organization deemed to be terrorist.
"I believe the (Justice) Department and Congress must be vigilant toward short-term gains which ultimately may cause long-term harm to the spirit of liberty and equality which animate the American character," Sensenbrenner (R, WI) said.
Luckily the issue appears to be taking a backseat with GWB, but I'm a bit worried about the possibilities of it returning to the forefront if GWB is reelected.
Kids don't expire
Wednesday morning at about 4am I turned on CNN to catch up on some news and hopefully coax myself back asleep. A few minutes after turning on the television I'm watching a report about Tom DeLay's refusal to pass the child tax credit. When questioned, DeLay's represenative (who just happened to be holding his child in his arms) claimed that DeLay did indeed support extending the child tax credit act because "as we all know, children don't expire."
That guy sure does have a way with words.
An Impressive Feat
In a scene reminiscent of Gerald Ford, George W. Bush falls off a Segway scooter while in Kennebunkport, Maine.
According to Stuart F. Brown's review of the Segway for Fortune, "Using a Segway is so intuitive that it feels as though the thing has somehow been plugged into your central nervous system." So what's that say about W.'s mind?
June 12, 2003
A Lie for a Lie
A recent post to Right Wing News suggest Democrats are guilty of lying about Iraq's WMD as well. Listed are several quotes of high ranking Democrats who stated that it was clear Iraq had WMD and was violating UN regulations.
The absurdity of such a claim can hardly be covered in a single column. The reality is that the Democrats are only guilty of believing the intelligence spoon fed to them by the Republican administration. Because Democratic leaders believed the administration and propagated the administration's claims does not make them liars.
The reality is that the fire has started and it is only getting hotter for the administration. Come election time the public is going to want answers: Was the war justified? Was intelligence altered? Now that we can't find the WMD are we in for more war?
My only question is: Who's taking the fall?
June 9, 2003
June 8, 2003
Poll shows Kerry, Dean leading in New Hampshire
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean lead the field among Democratic presidential candidates in New Hampshire, according to the latest poll of likely voters in the state.
Kerry was at 25 percent while Dean was at 22 percent in the Zogby poll released Sunday.
June 6, 2003
Spitzer says Dean can't win presidency
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean cannot win the presidential election because he opposed the war in Iraq, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Thursday.
"The American people will not elect somebody who opposed a war that they supported," Spitzer told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh. Spitzer also said Dean won't win the Democratic nomination.
June 5, 2003
A nation divided: Values and 2004
All Americans remember in the days following the 2000 presidential election, the vivid picture of America divided between the heartland states of the U.S. colored in red (Bush) and the East Coast/West Coast states colored in blue (Gore).
America divided by ideology, by politics, by a different view of America's role in the new century.
June 4, 2003
Real Live Democrats
The Democratic wing of the Democratic Party convenes here today at a national conference sponsored by the liberal Campaign for America's Future. The gathering comes not a moment too soon, not only because the party's progressive base needs to assert and renew its principles, but also because it has come under assault lately from its intra-party adversaries.
June 3, 2003
Analysis: Democrats 2004, an early line
Although President Bush soared to approval rating approaching 70 percent after the military victory in Iraq, there is no shortage of Democrats who would love to run against him in 2004.
The Democrats will be facing an uphill fight if the stock market and economy recover. But the Democrats itching to take on the president must recall 1991 when the first President Bush surged to 90 percent in the polls after the first Persian Gulf War only to slide out of office with 37 percent in 1992.
Will history repeat itself? Polls before and after the Iraq War have generally shown this President Bush's "re-elect" numbers to be between 48 percent and 52 percent. That's solid, but not spectacular.
June 1, 2003
Tax cuts will hurt only Democratic Party
WASHINGTON -- Economics is a science of single instances, hence it is hardly a science. So how much the president’s most recent tax cuts will stimulate the economy is conjectural, a conjecture being a guess by a Ph.D. The Los Angeles Times, using Commerce Department figures, says the economy may be expanded “by somewhere between the annual output of North Dakota, the smallest of the states in economic terms, and Nevada, which ranks 31st,” or by the equivalent of “adding another Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Dell Computer Corp.”
But as a stimulus to the president’s political stock and conservatives’ aspirations, the latest tax cuts, signed Wednesday, will be doubly successful. They will make it more difficult for a Democrat to win the presidency. And should one win, the cuts will make it more difficult to use the presidency for Democratic purposes.