Not a joke.
What kind of trouble will these two get themselves into this week? Stay tuuuuuuuned!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Laugh now, but she's got "executive experience." Heh.
This was probably the dumbest thing McCain could have done.
Pawlenty wouldn't have gotten him a state that mattered, but he was non-descript enough in the minds of Americans that the campaign could have painted him (possibly) in a positive light and gained some ground with the pick. As it stands, they opted for a bad joke. He met her 6 months ago... and has spoken with her once prior to offering her the position.
Republicans should be furious. There are many women in the Republican party that - though I don't agree with them - have what it takes. Palin is not one of them.
Saying it again: someone is giving McCain some really bad advice.
Friday, August 29, 2008
(AP) – John McCain shocked both Republicans and Democrats today with the selection of 30 Rock star and Saturday Night Live alumnus Tina Fey as his Vice Presidential running mate. The freshly-minted VP candidate exclaimed in her speech accompanying the announcement, “being Vice President of the United States will kick more ass than directing ‘Mean Girls’ and starring in ‘Baby Mama’ combined!!!”
Some Liberals, including bleeding-heart, left-wing radical and Fey co-star Alec Baldwin expressed surprise and outrage over Fey's apparent political shift. Baldwin indicated he's believed for all two seasons of 30 Rock that Fey was a fellow flaming Democrat. This assumption was based, he said, on her apparent sense of reason and humanity.
Barack Obama’s campaign released a statement in response to McCain’s selection shortly after the announcement saying, “this is further evidence Senator McCain has gone senile. Ms. Fey has zero political experience and will undoubtedly prove to be a liability in this campaign. We don’t need four more years of Bush policy, although we admit it'd be kind of cool to have four years of ‘Weekend Update’ broadcast from the White House".
Leaving, Jason gets to shake Atrios's (eschaton.blogspot.com) hand as he leaves hotel.
Bloggers are geeks.
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So in picking Palin to be veep McCain is trying to pick up some PUMA votes. Walking around Denver this week the PUMAs had a presence, but not much of one. It seemed to be the same group of 30 or so people (mostly women) walking up and down the street, getting petitions signed, and getting themselves noticed by the media. They weren't happy that Clinton didn't win the nomination, and camp McCain is looking to pick up some of that PUMA action.
Will and new pantsuit do the job? I agree that picking a woman would help McCain pick up some disenfranchised Clinton voters, but will picking Sarah Palin? Will picking someone who doesn't know what the Vice President does?
In an interview just a month ago, she dissed the job, saying it didn’t seem “productive.”Then there's that whole problem with Palin being under investigation back in Alaska.
In fact, she said she didn’t know what the vice president does.
Larry Kudlow of CNBC’s “Kudlow & Co.” asked her about the possibility of becoming McCain's ticket mate.
Palin replied: “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question.”
In a press conference this afternoon, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) conceded that someone inside her administration pressured the state's Department of Public Safety to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten, Palin's former brother-in-law, who is now embroiled in a bitter custody battle with Palin's sister.And of course, there's the experience question. Palin was on the city council for two terms, then mayor of Wasilla. Yes that Wasilla, population in 2000 - 5470. Then she lost a bid for Lieutenant Governor in 2002, and in 2006 she was elected Governor.
Palin's statement is the latest in what has come to be known around Alaska as "Wooten-gate." The scandal began on July 11, when Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan was fired from his post with little explanation, a move that quickly raised questions in Alaska.
A talking head on the hotel teevee just said she has "executive experience" since she's run a city and state. Something tells me that's not going to go over too well, but that seems to be the way they're going to try and spin this. Firing someone because they won't fire your sister's ex husband counts as experience now?
In October, she'll debate Joe Biden. Her foreign policy experience relies on the proximity of Alaska to Russia, because as we all know, Siberia is where the real policy gets made in Russia. Her executive experience is 12 years in small town government (most of which was in the legislative branch), and 2 and a half years of governing Alaska during which she managed to find controversy to the point where she wasn't a viable option to replace Ted "Tubes" Stevens when the other shoe finally dropped on his corruption. Aside from that she hunts, fished, believes creationism should be taught in schools, and anti-choice (you hear that PUMAs?). But hey, at least she'll pull Alaska back into McCain's column, she's photogenic, and 28 years younger than John McCain. Will that stand up to the Joe Biden we say this week?
My money's on Biden.
of a Real Democrat. Progressive ideas without apologies or mushy fawning over "bipartisan" and "centrist" fluff. And this was the pinnacle:
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort. Nice.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
But even in Utah's delegation, some ill will remained, including several Obama delegates, galled at what they see as lukewarm support during the historic event and insistence on a televised roll call in the race decided months ago.Kudos to Mr. McCoy for asking the question. And to Jenny Wilson... perhaps you are not cut out for a delegate position, if in 2 and 1/2 months you are still unable to look beyond an emotional primary and see the importance the energy on display here at the DNCC contributes to the many races in play in Utah and across the country this year and Utah's downticket elections.
State Sen. Scott McCoy said he never saw the point in Clinton backers insisting on sticking with their candidate and supporting a public roll call.
"I don't understand what purpose it serves," he said. "Symbolically, to the rest of the world, what does it say?"
[...]Lisa Allcott, a Clinton delegate, said she is confident the Clinton supporters will warm to Obama, quoting Clinton, who said in a conference call that her supporters have much more in common with Obama than they ever will with Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. But it might take time.
"It's only been since early June - 2 1/2 months - and it's hard when you're loyal to a candidate and you lose. You just need some time."
Jenny Wilson, a Clinton delegate and Salt Lake County councilwoman, said Clinton deserved the recognition from her delegates.
The answer to Scott's question is fairly straight forward.
It makes the delegates look petty and belligerent. And this same childish "battle" has played out in nearly every delegate circle I have come into contact with here at the convention. It is also punctuated by the few PUMA's I've seen around town, declaring their frustration with an irrational promise vote for McCain.
I was a very early Clinton supporter. I was (and still would be, had things played out differently) excited at the idea of her nomination, which seemed a shoe in at the time. But that changed, and so did her campaign. And she lost. Not because she was a woman, and not because of some grand conspiracy to cheat her out of the White House, but because of Mark Penn, and a very flawed campaign, poor strategy, and an inability to distinguish itself enough from the politics millions of voters hope to see come to a final and permanent end.
And while it is impossible to completely extract emotional decision making from our personal politics, as delegates, these people have a responsibility to remain aware of the larger goal of getting more Democrats elected in Utah, and nationally. If we wanted to send a symbolic message that it is time to address the problems of health care and economic inequality in our country, we would serve that purpose much more effectively by working for a unified vote of support for the nominee, and the Democratic Party, keeping in mind that excitement and cohesive energy do much more for down ticket races than threatening to skip acceptance speeches, and casting divisive votes with false nobility.
To the 9 votes cast for Hillary, I commend you for your dedication to the Senator, who would have made an excellent president. But you could have done much more for Democrats in Utah as a delegate had you been able to see beyond that.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I missed this event, but have heard much about it's emotional power from a few who caught it. The Oregonian:
"We're trying to bring a taste of what an occupied city feels like," said Army Spc. Garret Reppenhagen, one of the participants.Outside of citizen groups and public demonstrations, and the occasional independent media panel, there is very little mention or convention sponsored discussion of the War in Iraq here at the DNCC.
Reppenhagen was a sniper with the 1st Infantry Division who served at Baquaba, Iraq from Feb. 2004 to Feb. 2005, as well as a 9 month peace keeping tour in Kosovo.
"We're here mainly to show some of the stuff we experienced in Iraq," he said. Escorted by Aurora, Colo., police, the group performed its street theater for about half an hour, handing out leaflets along the way.
It wasn't a protest against Democrats or the party's presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, organizers said. It was a plea to end the war.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I haven't posted yet about my experience here in Denver for a couple of reasons. First, there has been so much going on I haven't had much time. Taking it in, so to speak. Second, I'm no good at forcing a post unless I have something to say.
It is amazing to see what the DNC has done with this convention, not only for the party, but for the process itself in allowing an unprecedented level of access to those of us that - save for our little blogs - are average voters, minor contributors, and on again off again volunteers. On the same hand - as with any transition from "old" to "new" - in doing so, they have exposed for the world the flaws in the system. Not the flaws in the Democratic Party but in the political process itself.
What exists here in Denver this week is the fusion of political insiders and age old leadership with the very people who found recognition in exposing that process to the light of day, hoping - through critical and positive feedback alike - to make a better party and a better bloc of representation.
In the course of just a few days, I have seen bloggers sitting beside CNN film crews, and established media icons being scooped by soccer moms with Flickr accounts. I've seen stories reported more accurately in YouTube videos uploaded by college students, as well as bloggers embarrassed by getting a story wrong, when the traditional media dodged that bullet with a few simple phone calls to confirm the details. To me, it seems like a very constructive and progressive learning process that in the end benefits everyone concerned with a "watchdog" media in the political arenas.
But the "old" vs. "new" conflicts go beyond the coverage. I've been told of party leaders using press credentials granted to and intended for use by bloggers to get non-delegates on the convention floor and other "official" party business. One woman I met was coerced out of her press pass by her state leadership who then offered it to a "large donor" for the night. I've watched members of the traditional media sneer at these simple bloggers, as if their presence is somehow an affront to the access they have had exclusively, yet abused so frequently with shoddy journalism and half-assed follow up. Yet sometimes even in the same room, I have seen a blogger's eyes light up as they hold a microphone up for a comment from a well known Senator, and I've heard the excited talk and in-depth discussion from a group of college aged geeks just out of Q&A on healtcare or an interview with a candidate.
I'm reminding myself that this is a transitional period for the party, and the DNC deserves nothing short of two solid thumbs up for the effort they have made (and for being the first to make it). But without a doubt, there are many who still do not "get it." They will, but we've still got a long way to go.
And resistance is futile.
Monday, August 25, 2008
JM started it...
JM's are tall, blankets in Denver are not.
Off to the Progressive Democrats of America events with David Sirota, Jim Hightower, and Vincent Bugliosi. More on that later at The Utah Amicus.
Jason made a wager on the veep pick, and he was wrong. Doesn't he owe everyone some kind of song now?
We're in Denver, covering the convention for the Utah Amicus. Here's Denver.
And here's Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at Red Rocks last night (thanks Rob and Wayne for finding the tickets).
Friday, August 22, 2008
From DNCC Press:
- A series of daily webcasts, “Countdown to America’s Future,” will feature exclusive interviews and nightly Convention previews. “Countdown” will air Sunday–Thursday at 2:30 pm MT/4:30 pm ET and on Friday, August 29 at 7:00 am MT/9:00 am ET. “Countdown” will also be available on Comcast’s Video on Demand and via satellite to media newsrooms across the country.
- “America’s Town Hall” will virtually throw open the doors to the Convention hall by inviting individuals across the country to submit text and video questions at DemConvention.com/townhall. Elected leaders and national policy experts will respond directly to voters’ questions live from the Convention floor and online throughout the week.
- Through a partnership with YouTube, Convention-goers will also be able to share their unique perspectives by uploading photos and video at kiosks inside.
- A record 120 blogs have been credentialed as members of the media for the Convention, connecting communities across the country to the historic event through the eyes and ears of an influential group of online voices. The pool includes blogs covering national, state and local politics, blogs representing a variety of communities and issue-specific blogs.
- The DNCC’s blog will feature behind-the-scenes blogposts and video and an aggregated feed of highlights from credentialed blogs.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
For those of you who haven't kept track, the McCain campaign just recently cited McCain's POW years in explaining away the Miss Buffalo Chip gaffe, and in dealing with the allegation that he broke the rules and listened in on Barack Obama during the Rick Warren forum.Pointed headed-professor types? Really?
Also, Rogers made sure to play the anti-intellectual card: "In terms of who's an elitist, I think people have made a judgment that John McCain is not an arugula-eating, pointy headed professor-type based on his life story."
Also out: 9/11 is Still Changing Everything. It's All About Gas Prices and the Free Market. Getting Shot Down in a Plane is Executive Experience. And POW's Never Cheat.
Noticing a familiar trend?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 21, 2008
Utah AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Democrat Bennion Spencer
Democratic Congressional Candidate Bennion Spencer has received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.
"I am very honored to have earned the backing of the Utah AFL-CIO," said Spencer. "American workers are the most productive in the world, but high government taxes and job outsourcing are hurting working families. We must restore workers rights if we are to rebuild the working class in America."
Spencer, who is running for the open seat in Utah's third congressional district, called for an end to the federal government's current tax policy and for tax relief for America's working class families.
"The way to get out of an economic recession is to provide tax relief to the working class and small businesses. We must end tax breaks for corporations who move offshore and provide incentives for corporations who employ workers here at home."
"We have endorsed Bennion Spencer based on his common sense approach to every day issues facing all Americans," said Brandon Dew, spokesperson for the Operating Engineers Local #3 Political Action Committee. "It is time we sent someone to Washington D.C. with Utah's best interests at heart and not just the interests of lobbyists."
Spencer also supports the Employee Free Choice Act which enables working people to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions, and will raise union membership by simplifying the unionization process by allowing workers to sign pro-union cards.
"It is crucial legislation that will restore the rights of working people everywhere."
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions together representing more than 10 million workers.
For more information go to Bennion Spencer for Congress
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
NEW YORK At least four more daily papers are planning to drop the Associated Press in the wake of new rates being announced, including The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash, which is trying to cut ties without the required two-year notice.
"Our lawyers think that we don’t have to wait two years," said Steve Smith, Spokesman-Review editor. "By the end of this week, we will have nailed down all of the things we have to do to replace AP."
AP contract rules require a two-year notice before service can be dropped.
Smith said his paper would like to cut ties completely within 30 days, but will go along with the two-year time requirement if needed. He plans to inform AP before Sept. 1.
"What we are paying for is not cost-effective," says Smith, who notes that he would save about $32,000 per year under new rates, but still sees the nearly-$400,000 annual cost as too high. "The money we save will help me preserve local staff jobs."
August 18, 2008
For Immediate Release
Intensive Planning and Fundraising Top Last Minute Efforts
Salt Lake City, Utah – Rob Miller, owner of the political blog The Utah Amicus, and Vice Chair of the Utah State Democratic Party, has assembled a team of Utah political bloggers and activists to travel to Denver for the Democratic National Convention next week.
In 2008, the Democratic National Committee is opening their Convention to more people than ever before. Democrats, independents, and Republicans from around the country have been invited to attend. Bloggers, especially members of the DNCC State Bloggers Corps, will have unprecedented access to Convention activities.
In an effort to make their Convention coverage more responsive and interactive, The Utah Amicus Team will be holding an open house / kick off party on Wednesday, to coordinate and plan covered activities and meet with Democratic Party activists and other community members.
What: The Utah Amicus DNC Bloggers Kick Off Party
When: August 20 at 7 p.m. (MDT).
Where: 7119 West 8050 South, West Jordan
The media and community are encouraged to attend.
Follow the Utah Bloggers daily Convention reports on http://utahamicus.blogspot.com/ .
# # #
Rob Miller – Utah State Democratic Party Vice-Chair, owner of the Utah Amicus.
Jeff Bell – Owner of JMBell.org; host of KSL’ s Left of the Dial.
Jason Williams - Co-Owner The Sidetrack
Craig Blanch – Co-Owner The Sidetrack
Ben McAdams –Senior Advisor for Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Having just wrapped up a third interview in light of the press release announcement on the Utah Amicus DNC State Blogger Press Corps. opportunity, I realized the most common question I've been asked is "Why is this so important? Why is it such a big deal."
I realize I take such questions for granted, as a long time junkie, participant, off and on member, critic, and even occasional target of today's media. Simply, I don't blame them (it's a business) but I don't trust them either. I don't believe in a constant media bias (it shifts with political winds), nor do I believe it is possible for anyone to - at any time - be completely objective in their reporting. But I do understand the importance of independence in media, especially as lax consolidation rules and increased focus on marketing as opposed to "watchdogging" overtakes our primary sources of information.
What the DNC has done, in offering press credentials and access to bloggers is open the door to that independence. Our coverage of the convention will no doubt be biased, and don't let us or anyone else convince you otherwise. But rest assured, our pockets are not padded by Exxon, or Rupert Murdoch, or even the Democratic Party itself (though they have been quite supportive in helping us plan). If I see something I don't like (such as the "Clean Coal" email I received this morning, inviting me to their events in Denver, and offering me a "survival kit" for my travels) I am free to criticize without fear of a loss of funding or my job. Get the drift?
As bloggers, we are being given the same access CNN and AP receive, but our only allegiance is to our readers, and the readers of The Utah Amicus (who are also our sole funding sources - and thanks to those who have given already). This is not a luxury CNN will have, as their allegiance is to their editorial departments, who are pledged to the CEO's, who are in turn indebted to their advertisers and investors. Starting to see the difference here?
And while CNN will arrive with expensive video equipment and broadcast vans, we will arrive with our $10 BestBuy microphones and $100 digital cameras. Yet we can provide, through the magic of the intertubes, a very different perspective on the same events and speeches and platforms and representatives.
It is a landmark event. And while I am honored to be part of the first wave, I can't wait to see what this means for future events and other bloggers in the continued engagement and participation in the democratic process.
Every time I have occasion to explain the importance (necessity?) of citizen journalism, I am reminded of an old Telegraph UK article story that recently prompted a lively discussion, from which I'm stealing this:
Because there are so few real journalists anymore, the few still out there have to do many times more work. What that means is simple: they are forced to do it badly. A Cardiff University study of the four British broadsheets (this one included) found that they took up to half their news direct from press releases. (and it gets worse if you look here). And the same, roughly, with the big four US newspapers too.Voters are the new watchdogs. If you can, help us pull this off.
I could go on for a long time about this – the impact big business margins have had on traditional news gathering, how the internet has changed the game, the miserable life of a stringer… (a very depressing, and fantastically good place to learn about this is Nick Davies’ Flat Earth News) but the point stands. We’ve been lamenting the demise of serious investigative reporting for 30 years. We’re now looking at the demise of reporting full stop.
And more importantly, find away to get involved yourself.
In the 288 highly readable and very engaging pages of Taking on the System, which is released tomorrow, Markos lays out his eight rules for achieving progressive change within today's digital world. Far from just being a book for a bloggers, about bloggers, by a blogger, this is a book that is relevant far beyond the Netroots, or even the expressly political realm. It is a book that folks who don't spend hours a day on sites like MyDD or Talking Points Memo or Daily Kos can read, understand and thoroughly enjoy. Markos goes to great lengths to relate developments within society -- for instance the new open source ways in which new albums are reaching consumers, overturning some of the notions of unchecked and uncheckable powers of the gatekeepers in the music industry -- to changes within the political system that likewise have the capacity to make the country more democratic.
Monday, August 18, 2008
And this shouldn't make us suspicious of their motives? Republicans have cornered the market on theatrics and misinformation throughout a few weeks of "rebellion" (read: shilling for oil companies, and campaigning for re-election) on the hill. Now, Democrats are offering a compromise. Lifting the drilling ban in limited areas, in exchange for a focus on renewable energy and the end to oil company subsidies. Now, Republicans are stalling, demanding the bill go through committee (which could take several weeks) for "markup" (read: padding for oil company donors) rather than heading straight to the floor for a vote (which is what this protest was supposedly about... right?).
Why? Well, the reasons make it clear this was never about lowering gas prices.
Democratic aides say the package being discussed by staff likely would open up a handful of Southeastern coastal states — Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia — to drilling.I believe the congressmen protest too much.
Aides also said the drilling proposal would be tied to a host of energy provisions Pelosi has long promoted — and many Republicans have long rejected. The legislation is still being written, aides said, but among the options being considered for inclusion are:
• The repeal of up to $30 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas developers.
• A provision that would compel oil and gas companies to pay back royalties on faulty leases issued in 1998 and 1999.
• The creation of a federal renewable portfolio standard, which would require a percentage of the nation’s electricity be produced by renewable sources, such as wind and solar.
• Releasing oil from the nations’ strategic petroleum reserve.
You wanted a vote, you got it.
Here's a thought for the day, top oil executives are claiming that they want access to offshore drilling to lower gas prices, for the benefit of everyone. The problem with this logic is that oil executives aren't employed by the public, they're employed by the oil company. If they weren't striving for something that made the oil companies, and the stockholders thereof, more money then they'd be fired.
Keep that in mind the next time you see an oil exec telling you that drilling here, and drilling now will make you pay less. That statement isn't true, at the very least it will take longer than anyone yapping that soundbite into a camera is admitting. What is true, however, is that the oil companies doing the drilling will see bigger profits, that's why the top executives want to get the OCS opened.
Last time I checked the oil companies were doing ok, but I'm not blaming them for wanting to make more money. I'm also not blaming the oil execs for trying to get us to buy into their scheme. It's capitalism, everyone has their motives, and they aren't always what they say they are. But I am blaming the public for buying into their scheme, we should be able to see through it and urge our elected officials to do what's best for the public, not big oil's shareholders.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
While in theory I disagree that change is not an issue (have you been watching this Bush guy?), I applaud this statement from these party leaders.
As Senator Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic presidential nomination next week, party leaders in battleground states say the fight ahead against Senator John McCain looks tougher than they imagined, with Mr. Obama vulnerable on multiple fronts despite weeks of cross-country and overseas campaigning.
These Democrats — 15 governors, members of Congress and state party leaders — say Mr. Obama has yet to convert his popularity among many Americans into solutions to crucial electoral challenges: showing ownership of an issue, like economic stewardship or national security; winning over supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; and minimizing his race and experience level as concerns for voters.
Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders — while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations — say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change — given that change, they note, is not an issue.
Obama has an opportunity to turn a fully energized (still!) campaign into an aggressive machine, and it will require specifics that he has hinted at, but not expanded on greatly outside of wonky circles and internal memos. Additionally, McCain flip-flops his way into a face-flop each time specifics seize the debate. Why waste the opportunity?
Saturday, August 16, 2008
As unpopular in liberal circles as this may be to say, I have to admit I like Colin Powell. I didn't always. It was Bob Woodward's State of Denial (and the three lead up books in the series) that changed my mind.
Powell rode a wave of credibility and respect (whether he deserved it or not is another question) in the 1990's which he let the Bush administration burn to the ground in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. But to Powell's credit, he was one of the few voices of reason - albeit whispering, and too seldom active - in the "planning" of the war. One of the few to say, "Ah, perhaps we should research this more?" if you will.
I won't prop him up as the great American hero, as many do, but I have found in my reading that he is someone who has immense respect for integrity of office, and seems to regret his role in the Rumsfeld cluster-fuck.
That impression I have of him leads me to believe stories like this have some merit.
The possible Powell endorsement comes after recent reports that "independent Democrat" Sen. Joe Lieberman could be a key speaker at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Minnesota. Powell has declined to endorse either Obama or presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain until now. Kristol added, "I think the Obama campaign shouldn't be underestimated. Obviously anyone would like to have Powell's endorsement." "Consider the source," said Powell "confidant" and Reagan White House Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein. Kristol, once former Vice President Dan Quayle's top aide, "was the person who advertised himself as Dan Quayle's brain," Duberstein commented. "Colin Powell has no plans to attend either convention." Powell told ABC News that he won't be attending the convention, but didn't follow up on questions asking whether he was going to endorse Sen. Obama.Powell will not endorse so much as a political stunt to bolster Obama's numbers, but will do so as the only means available to him to give the Bush administration the finger, and distance himself in the history books - as much as he possibly can at this point - from the failed leadership and policy of the past 8 years.
He's in retirement, and thinking of how he will be remembered. An endorsement of Obama would be his preference as final political influence. His only other option is to be forever remembered as "the man at the UN meeting" of 2002, and the speech (as Woodward reports) they forced him to make supporting Bush's desperation to invade Iraq.
Friday, August 15, 2008
For many people the sight of Russian tanks streaming across a border in August has uncanny echoes of Prague 1968. That cold war reflex is natural enough, but it is misleading. Not every development in the former Soviet Union is a replay of Soviet history. It is crudely simplistic to cast Russia as the sole villain in the clashes over South Ossetia.
read more | digg story
Through investment firm venture pitches.
As is evident from this discussion, the tax benefits generated by a direct participation in oil and/or natural gas are substantial. The immediate deduction of the intangible drilling costs or IDCs is very significant, and by taking this up front deduction, the risk capital is effectively subsidized by the government by reducing the participant's federal, and possibly state income tax. Each individual participant of course, should consult with their tax advisor.Republicans like to talk about free markets, but very few of them, anymore, really seem to understand what that even is.
Heh. Buy the book yet?
I've haven't had this much fun with a Bat-Shit Crazy Republican publishing a book since O'Reilly anointed himself a cultural warrior, and single handedly saved Christmas.
Among the follow-up efforts to Jerome R. Corsi’s “Unfit for Command,” which inspired the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on Senator John Kerry in 2004, is “Obama Nation.” But the conservative commentator’s book about Senator Barack Obama appears to have distracted him from another project he was planning in January: exposing what he calls the government’s inadequate explanations about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
A YouTube video making the rounds, especially among Obama supporters, mocks Mr. Corsi for a Jan. 29 interview on Alex Jones’s radio show, a forum for those who take a deeply skeptical view of government claims about the attacks. (Mr. Corsi also frequently talks about the “North American Union” and other threats from globalization during his appearances).The clip has Mr. Corsi discussing the findings of Steven Jones, physicist and hero of the “9/11 Truth” movement who claims to have evidence that the World Trade Center towers collapsed due to explosives inside the building, not just the planes hitting them, during the attacks.
You can also enjoy Corsi getting his ass handed to him on CNN.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The New Republic's Peter Beinart and National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg square off on how liberals and conservatives define patriotism, in the interest of political discourse. Watch Jonah carefully position himself early on to make sure you can see his latest book (Liberal Fascism) displayed carefully on the shelf behind him. My distrust of Goldberg aside, this is a valuable conversation. (Length - 60:08)
According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul.
Despite McCain's status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin.
Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" founder has a new book out. Which is too bad for several reasons, not the least of which is that I wasn't done making fun of his last one...
"All his life, Jerome Corsi's been told that we're running out of oil. "I remember driving with my dad in a 1952 Plymouth and listening to him talk about the end of oil," says the 59-year-old New Jersey author. "Hasn't happened yet, and it's not going to happen." What makes him so sure? He doesn't buy the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time...Eighteenth century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov found biological debris in oil and concluded that it must have biological origin. "I'm at the point where the dinosaur theory seems silly," says Corsi. "You take a pile of cats and you bury them, dig them up 10 years later and you don't get oil." "The truth is that there is so much oil around the world that it's been easy to find," Corsi says. "We're awash in oil. There's more oil today in proven reserves than ever before in human history."UPDATE: He's peddling the book on with white supremacists. Go figure.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I'm not sure my reason for excitement over this effort is due to my dislike of Rove and overtly politicized "Justice" Departments, or simply a reaction to the creativity CommonCause has consistently displayed in their online campaigns. Either way, it's worth a mention. Pop quiz: How can you get Karl Rove to show up and answer questions about his role in the politicization of the Justice Department?
2) Hire him as an analyst for your "fair and balanced" cable news network
3) Book an appearance through his website, rove.com
We already know that #1 doesn't work. Rove refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, despite a subpoena.
#2 could work – he recently appeared on Fox News to answer questions from Sean Hannity.* But unfortunately, we don't own a cable network.
So let's try #3! Karl Rove's website says you can book him for an event to talk about "public issues and controversies." We have some questions that fit that bill.
Sign on to our "booking request" to Karl Rove today!
Pop quiz: How can you get Karl Rove to show up and answer questions about his role in the politicization of the Justice Department?1) Issue a congressional subpoena compelling him to testify
The Onion: Proving you can be smart, juvenile, and affect social commentary, at the same time.
I don't often make political predictions. I have fairly unreliable luck, or have a tendency to bet stupid, or perhaps am cursed. One of those three.
The most notable result of my gambling history can be summed up by a Craps table in Wendover that came this close to getting peed on, and blackjack table at the New York New York that I still won't walk within 20 feet of even today.
Still, the majority of SideTrack focus and direction is the direct result of disagreements between writers that inevitably end with a wager.
And my money is on Wesley Clark. You heard it here first.
Craig? Mr. Presser? If I'm wrong, I'll post the audio of me singing "Rainbow Connection" that I have so successfully buried from public ears. If I'm right, I want audio of you guys singing Abba.
Hertzberg speaks. After pointing out (the obvious) that any oil we get from offshore drilling (20 to 30 years from now), or ANWR (reducing gas prices 2 cents in 2025) goes into a world market, with (US DOE's words, not mine) insignificant effects on oil prices, he offers an interesting perspective championed by, of all places, Denmark:
Not a pretty solution, but arguably more effective on decreasing our dependency on foreign oil than a bunch of Republicans sitting in the dark.
Tom Friedman pointed out the other day that the Danes are paying ten dollars a gallon for gasoline. It’s not a problem for them. That’s because most of what they pay goes for taxes that have financed an energy policy so effective that Denmark now gets 20 per cent of its electricity from wind (we get one per cent) and zero per cent of its fuel from the Middle East (down from 99 per cent twenty-five years ago). Now the Danes are getting ready to jack up gasoline taxes even more and use the proceeds to cut personal income taxes. They have this crazy idea that they should tax things they want to discourage, like gas guzzling, and ease up on taxing things they want to encourage, like people working.
But what do they know. They’re just a bunch of foreigners. European socialists, too, probably.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Spelled out by David Sirota, on MoveOn's weak attempt to justify support Bayh for VEEP.
Did nobody but me see Clark's "I'm Not Going Anywhere" announcement today? C'mon!
In effectively OK-ing the VP nomination of a politician who has consistently voted against Moveon's organizational mission, the Moveon leadership lets us in on the secret that I reported in my book: namely that Moveon today operates first and foremost as a partisan appendage. Instead of using the VP question - and the presidential election as a whole - as an instrument to build the antiwar movement, Moveon's quote suggests the organization is willing to go along with almost anyone Obama chooses, regardless of how their career has undermined that movement, regardless of whether Bayh's backers are citing his potential nomination as proof that the Democratic Party should reject the movement Moveon purports to champion.
Just for an example of what an antiwar movement message looks like through the vice presidential prism, just look at this:"He was not only wrong, he was aggressively wrong," said Tom Andrews, national director of the Win Without War coalition, referring to Mr. Bayh. "In my view, he would contradict if not undermine the Obama message of change, turning a new page on foreign policy and national security."
In other words, it's not either or here, folks. Indeed, there is a way to use elections as tools for movements and for change - rather than using elections as ends unto themselves.
Return of the Cold War?
Look out everybody, the domino theory may have been right after all! It’s time to dust off your bomb shelter. Or, if you don’t have one, duck under your desk and cover your head, because the Cold War—the classic game of chicken between the world’s two biggest nuclear superpowers, threatening nothing less than total global destruction—may be back on.What is most revealing in the conflict in Georgia is that for McCain/Bush/Cheney, no lessons have been learned from this administration's foreign policy failures.
Well, maybe not. But according to CNN’s Peter Hamby—who, by the way, you can vote for as DC’s hottest male off-air media type—Sen. John McCain added his voice to the conservative cacophony of concerns about Russian expansionism. In an interview with WITF Harrisburg [Pa.] Public Radio , McCain said the conflict in the former-Soviet republic of Georgia indicates Russian Prime Minister—and former president—Vladimir Putin has his sights set on rebuilding the old feudal Russian Empire, if not the Soviet Union.
And as usually, it's still about oil.
On Saturday, the Obama campaign released a new ad criticizing John McCain's support for turning southern Nevada's Yucca Mountain into the nation's nuclear waste dump. So how is McCain responding to the new ad? Simple -- he's doing the only thing Bush Republicans know how to do: he's lying about Barack Obama's record.
read more | digg story
|I'm reading: McCain Camp Lies About Nevada Nuclear Waste Dump ~|
Posted by craig41 at 9:33 AM
From the inbox:
DENVER — In recognition of the growing power of the Internet and online video, now the primary source of news to millions of Americans, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today the launch of “Countdown to America’s Future,” a series of daily webcasts about the 2008 Democratic Convention, featuring campaign officials and Convention insiders who know what’s happening behind the scenes and the inside scoop to watch for during each night’s televised Convention program.The DNC is making good their promise to produce the most "open" convention to date, aided by efforts such as this. Kudos. Keep an eye on this link for their continued efforts to engage an entire nation of voters.
[...] The 15-minute long segments will air daily at 2:30 pm MT/4:30 pm ET beginning Sunday, August 24 through Thursday, August 28. Each episode will preview key themes of the coming night’s program, interviews with speakers and other Convention participants and provide viewers with exclusive behind-the-scenes news not available anywhere else. The series will also include reports from the campaign trail as Barack Obama makes his way to Denver. A final show will air at 7:00 am MT/9:00 am ET on Friday, August 29, and include highlights from Obama’s nomination acceptance speech at INVESCO Field at Mile High and analysis of the evening’s program.
The still have to compete with the Utah Amicus Blogger Team of course. Watch for announcements of our own coverage plans in the coming days.
Monday, August 11, 2008
After receiving thousands of your phone calls and more than 250,000 letters, the Senate rejected the FCC's plan to let the biggest media companies get even bigger. Tell the House of Representative to take a stand and veto the FCC.
read more | digg story
|I'm reading: Stop Big Media: Veto the FCC New Rules ~|
Posted by Jason The at 6:08 PM
He'd be a "visual aid," says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to their view that whites have lost control of America. Obama's election, says another, would jar whites into action, writing letters, handing out pamphlets rather than sitting around complaining.It would appear stupid has gone viral.
While most Americans have little or no direct contact with white supremacists, organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center keep close tabs; the law center estimates some 200,000 people nationwide are active in such groups
On the issue of offshore drilling, Americans are not saying what Republicans think they are saying.
Notably, a Gallup poll widely cited by the press beginning in June - precisely the time President Bush, Senator John McCain, and Governor Charlie Crist of Florida all began advocating for more drilling - did not ask respondents to choose from alternatives. It simply asked if they would favor or oppose drilling to “attempt to reduce the price of gasoline.” [...] For example, a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that 51 percent of state residents support more drilling; but it also showed that 83 percent want more federal funding for wind, solar, and hydrogen technology. A new Quinnipiac poll bolsters that case, polling Ohioans to find that “57 percent call for renewable energy sources” such as solar power, wind power and fuels as the best way to address the energy crisis, but only “20 percent support drilling in Alaska and currently protected offshore sites,” with similar results in Florida and Pennsylvania.Explains this.
Watch this ad. It's no great shakes, but the guy who ran it just beat Rep. David Davis (R-TN) and won his election with it last night.
Thing is, this is a Republican ad. In a Republican primary.
And it unseated an incumbent Republican Congressman. But not just any incumbent Republican Congressman. An incumbent Republican Congressman who was one of the jokers assing it up on the House floor for the past week, rather comically grasping at the mantle of "revolutionaries" while they were at it.
Just something to think about, in case you know of anybody trying to beat a Republican for Congress this year or anything.
When I was a yout (that's Youth, in Soprano), my parents took the entire family to Hawaii just before my high school graduation. My parents were not loaded at the time.
My parents have also never owned more than one home.
Just a little Monday afternoon perspective for the childishness that passes for political discourse in election years.
In the last two weeks, the major talking points from John McCain about the presidential race have been: Barack Obama is offering a lot of good advice about stuff, Barack Obama is very popular, Barack Obama visits other countries and knows what's going on in them, and Barack Obama is a lot younger than him. I'm at the point where I'm not exactly sure who John McCain is personally planning on voting for.In addition, McCain's voting record is now fundraising for Obama.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
That's one circus where the clown car never ever gets empty.Slow news day at the Moonie Times.
I don't really care much about the profanity. Sometimes it works. For example, take this sentence: David Broder is fucking dense. See? It's true a true statement, made more emotional by the use of profanity, letting the reading know that I really believe he is unable to assimilate new information post 1972, not just kind of.
If we're going to go out cleaning up the blogosphere, I think it's behavior like this that must be stopped at all costs. I don't need to see something like that over my morning coffee.
From his speech in China (emphasis mine):
We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights not to antagonize China’s leaders but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential.If he was at least smiling and fighting off laughter as he gives such speeches, I could respect the man as an asshole with conviction. As it stands, I can only think of him as too dense to recognize the contradiction that is this President giving this speech.
The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings…So America stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates, and religious activists.
Friday, August 8, 2008
(Via The Utah Amicus)
Mark Shurtleff is seeking re-election as Utah State Attorney General. However, many voters are unaware that in 1998 Mark Shurtleff, running as a GOP candidate for the Salt Lake City Commission, was caught removing his opponent's campaign signs by the police.
According to a 1998 article in the Deseret News:
…Mark Shurtleff was caught pulling down one of his opponent's campaign signs…. Shurtleff pulled down the Reberg sign on Union Park Avenue near 7500 South. West Valley resident Allen Hose, who has worked on Democratic campaigns, saw him do it and made a few calls, including to the local police.
The Salt Lake City Tribune also reported:
Republican Mark Shurtleff, who has stressed honesty and integrity in his campaign, admitted his actions to police….
While Mark Shurtleff still claims to espouse “honesty and integrity” as the cornerstone for his current re-election bid to be Utah State Attorney General, in reality he is the best corrupt public official that the unprincipled management team at Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) can buy.
I will have more to say about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in my next blog post. In the mean time, you can read my previous blog posts about Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, here and here.
Run your own political ads for $6.
Get FISA Right (GFR), the internet based activist group begun on mybarackobama.com to alter Sen. Obama's stance on government surveillance and telecom immunity, has moved on in a big way. After losing the legislative battle on FISA the group faced a challenging decision: disband and look for ways to effect government action on illegal surveillance individually or find new causes to organize members around. The active members knew they had captured lightning in a bottle with their melding of dedication to a cause and mastery of internet based activism. What they decided was to take the fight for rule of law and protecting your constitutional rights forward by empowering you to fund their new television ad.
Thanks to the genius of SaysMeTV (a Venice, California, based company that buys cable advertisement space in bulk and sells 30 second spots to individuals) Get FISA Right has prepared and released its most ambitious project yet: a citizen funded television advertisement. GFR's talent rich group plus SaysMe's innovative airtime strategy is empowering supporters to fund it all over America. How much does 30 seconds of cable TV cost? Amazingly, not that much.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Just to keep things clear, Nader is not a progressive. Nor was he in 2004, or 2000.
I mention this simply because I frequent your websites and I often see profiles proclaiming "progressive politics" on blogs rallying for Nader. But facts are important.
(This update brought to you by the newly announced wonder-twin mash up, Nader/Barr '08)
"We've become a nation that defines itself by who we go to war with... and I think we're going to be staring at ourselves, as we should! ... This is our future, whether it works or doesn't work."
Imagine you are a partisan Democrat, and you could go back in time and change the outcome of any single Presidential election. Just one. Which would it be?
Reaganomics, Bushonomics, or whatever you choose to call it. Regardless, it's not working. From today's CAP Economic report.
The newfound prosperity of the top 10 percent of families, "which accounted for 95.3 percent of the nation's income growth between 2002 and 2006," did not trickle down the economic spectrum, and left most Americans incapable of absorbing the rising output of consumer products. Recognizing the precarious condition of the U.S. consumer, corporations retained their extra profits, invested little in new commercial structures such as factories and office buildings, bought back their own stock, and "increased dividends rather than expand capacity." High-income individuals absorbed some of the extra output by consuming luxury items, but most of their "increased income went to savings rather than consumption [...]"
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
If it's true, it should be.
A blockbuster new book from investigative journalist Ron Suskind adds another revelation to the growing canon demonstrating the lengths to which President Bush and members of his administration lied, misled and deceived the American people to pursue its invasion of Iraq.
Bush allegedly ordered the CIA to forge a handwritten letter from the head of Iraq's intelligence service to Saddam Hussein that purported to link the Iraqi dictator to the ringleader of the hijackers who toppled the Twin Towers on 9/11, according to news accounts of Suskind's new book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism. Such use of an intelligence service to influence domestic political debate could be an impeachable offense, Suskind writes.
Despite record numbers, and a steady increase - 3 cycles running - the youth vote still faces many challenges when compared to the record of consistent voting from those age 65 +. Why? Many ideas. This is probably the closest to truth.
Look at this problem from a marketing perspective. If you were Nike and you were selling a sneaker, you would do whatever it took to get your product in front of your target audience, get them into the store, and buy your product. You wouldn't ignore your target market and then whine about the fact that no one was buying your shoes. The same is true for young people and voting. If we want them to get to the polls, we have to put our resources behind efforts to register them, and we have to make our product (voting/democracy) readily and easily available to them.Connery (who I worked with for several months on the MyDD diary rescue project, and found solid respect for) is the author of Youth to Power: How Today's Young Voters Are Building Tomorrow's Progressive Majority and proprietor of the Future Majority.
As demographics and means of political access change, his work is increasingly important. Not simply for understanding how to better win elections, but how to better engage the literal future of our country in deciding our countries theoretical and immediate future through political involvement.
Together they lead to some of the most sound advice I've seen offered to Democrats moving closer to the election.
The same CNN poll that conservatives are crowing about shows that 94% of Americans think that U.S. oil companies are a major (68%) or minor (26%) cause of rising gas prices. The Bush Administration is viewed as a major (54%) or minor (35%) cause of the problem by 89% of Americans. ("Democrats in Congress" are viewed as a major cause by 31%, and a minor cause by 45%).
It is very important that the Obama campaign and Democrats generally make the following points:
(1) McCain's sudden championship of virtually unlimited offshore drilling represents a recent (June 2008) flip-flop conducted in close conjunction with an identical flip-flop by George W. Bush.
(2) This flip-flop was towards the maximum position of U.S. oil companies, now enjoying record profits, who immediately showered some of those profits into the campaign accounts of John McCain.
(3) There's zero evidence that reversing bans on oil drilling offshore or in national wildlife reserves will have any immediate effect on gas prices, and 100% evidence that a oil-o-centric energy policy will perpetuate dependence on foreign-controlled oil markets and U.S. oil companies.
(4) McCain, Bush and the GOP continue to pursue not only bad and oil-company-driven energy policies, but bad and special-interest-driven policies on health care, housing, globalization, pensions, economic insecurity, public and private debt, and income inequality. And that's just the domestic side of the ledger.If Democrats relentlessly pursue this message, then it's all to the good that Republicans have deluded themselves into thinking that oil drilling is the only domestic talking point they need.
On the TeeVee.
I'm of course disappointed. There is nothing I would find more entertaining than the thrill ride that would be Romney campaigning with McCain.WOLF BLITZER: Can you cite one legislative accomplishment that Senator McCain produced during those 26 years in Washington in order to achieve energy independence?No one asked Romney to take a look at McCain's late-18th century accomplishments. Those are legitimately a historical question. It was his more recent actions that were the subject of Blitzer's query. But in any case, Romney's response, translated into English, was essentially "I didn't get that talking point today."
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, I'm not a historian that goes through all of the pieces of legislation John McCain has worked on.
Alas, it is not to be...
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
From the man who has embraced nearly every disaster prone policy of President Bush, promising to promote the same failed leadership into the next decade:
McCain's next ad is titled "I am Out of Touch."
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) latest television ad says that the country is in worse shape now than it was before President Bush began his second term.
“Washington’s broken. John McCain knows it,” the ad says. “We’re worse off than we were four years ago.”The ad, titled “Broken,” shows that McCain is, at least in part, running away from President Bush’s record and looking to win favor with the centrist voters who have supported him in the past.