Saturday, April 02, 2005
WMDs a myth. What a surprise
The report also calls for a complete overhall of the intelligence system. What about the people who make the decisions? To me, that's one of the most important places where change needs to occur. This is just me venting, but come on! We should be all over this! This is just one more example of the dems dropping the ball on a situation that we need to take advantage of, not just for political reasons but for the safety or our country and our troops. As my good friend Willy would say, GET ACTIVE!!
Yucca Mountain Data Falsified
Bolton Faces Stiff Fight Over UN Nomination
Here is the article http://www.nhpr.org/view_content_pfv/8291/
I am looking for more information on this issue and on bills in the legislature.
Good thinking.. and reading
A Party Inverted By BILL BRADLEY
Here is a quote about what the republicans do right:
To further the party's ideological and political goals, Republicans in the
1970's and 1980's built a comprehensive structure based on Powell's blueprint.
Visualize that structure as a pyramid.
You've probably heard some of this before, but let me run through it again.
Big individual donors and large foundations - the Scaife family and Olin
foundations, for instance - form the base of the pyramid. They finance
conservative research centers like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute
and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, entities that make up the second
level of the pyramid.
The ideas these organizations develop are then pushed up to the third level
of the pyramid - the political level. There, strategists like Karl Rove or Ralph
Reed or Ken Mehlman take these new ideas and, through polling, focus groups and
careful attention to Democratic attacks, convert them into language that will
appeal to the broadest electorate. That language is sometimes in the form of an
assault on Democrats and at other times in the form of advocacy for a new policy
position. The development process can take years. And then there's the fourth
level of the pyramid: the partisan news media. Conservative commentators and
networks spread these finely honed ideas.
At the very top of the pyramid you'll find the president. Because the
pyramid is stable, all you have to do is put a different top on it and it works
Here is a quote about what the dems do:
To understand how the Democratic Party works, invert the pyramid. Imagine a
pyramid balancing precariously on its point, which is the presidential
Democrats who run for president have to build their own pyramids all by
themselves. There is no coherent, larger structure that they can rely on. Unlike
Republicans, they don't simply have to assemble a campaign apparatus - they have
to formulate ideas and a vision, too. Many Democratic fundraisers join a
campaign only after assessing how well it has done in assembling its pyramid of
political, media and idea people.
Good Reading, thanks Reuben
Friday, April 01, 2005
Getting sick of FACTCHECK.ORG
However I started to get annoyed with them during the 2004 presidential election. It seemed to me that they would find a HUGE lie in an ad by the bushies and then to show they weren’t bias they would spotlight a slight exaggeration by the Kerry side [the mainstream media's standard MO]. I thought, at the time, I was too engaged in the pro-Kerry effort to see things clearly.
Well the last 2 notices from factcheck.org have just been too ridiculous or detached from reality for me to endure. They are either intentionally going after the progressives to silence right wing critics are they are no longer the bastions of objectivism they once were or prehaps some third thing which is far less interesting.
Atrios is right, this is such a bogess thing to “fact check” they’ve got to be kidding.
Most recent factcheck.org Notice:
"A Fictional View of the Filibuster
Liberal group’s ad features movie hero Jimmy Stewart. But historic reality was often ugly.
A $5-million TV ad campaign by People for the American Way portrays the Senate filibuster as a noble tool of American democracy. The ad uses footage from Frank Capra's classic 1939 movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" - a famous scene in which the hero, played by James Stewart, engages in a 23-hour filibuster to prevent his expulsion from the US Senate on trumped-up corruption charges.
Real-life filibusters are another matter, however. They can be used for good or evil. In fact, segregationist Southern senators used filibusters to preserve the poll tax and block civil rights and anti-lynching legislation for generations. Among the real-life practitioners were the late
Senators Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi."
Click here for the full article:
So let me get this straight, it’s misleading to say that the filibuster, a traditional tool of the minority voice in congress, is a noble tool of America democracy because it has been used in the past by racist senators. So I assume that we can no longer refer to the office of presidency as a "noble office of a democratic government" because it has been occupied by bush.. not to mention Reagan, Nixon, Bush sr, etc.
This is Factcheck.orgs Previous Notice about AARP's anti-privitization ads:
“The group's latest TV ad passes off Social Security's problems as minor; claims Bush's solution would demolish the program.
AARP's latest TV ad shows a suburban home being flattened to repair a clogged kitchen sink, and claims that the creation of individual accounts would "dismantle Social Security" and "lead to huge benefit cuts."
The ad is intended to be humorous but presents a distorted picture. It both understates Social Security's financial problems and misrepresents the effect that individual accounts would have.
Social Security's problems are more serious than a stopped-up drain. And the system isn't about to sink like the Titanic, either, as an earlier ad by Bush supporters says. Social Security is more like a home being eaten slowly by termites."
Click here for the full article:
NO the ad doesn’t underestimate the problems of social security. IF we do nothing in 2052 seniors will get 80% of promised benefits. THAT’S IF WE DO NOTHING!!!
And I don’t think it underestimates personal accounts either. But I guess a card board box and canned cat food is objectively better than a demolished house. I mean, the ad didn’t say whether or not you owned the land the house was on.
The credibility of factcheck.org is “more like a home being eaten slowly by termites.”
See how your Legislators Vote!
One win for responsible birthcontrol
Almost last word on SB121 and procedure
Thursday, March 31, 2005
ATV barrier removal legislation.
Getting back to SB121
As you may remember we discussed the state bill SB121 which would take power away from localities and reduce protection of ground water. For more on SB 121 check out Will's Post and My Post. John Gallus emailed me that it came out of committee "with a recommendation of Inexpedient to legislate which should kill the bill." The ATV free NH site talks more about the SB121 bill here: http://www.atvwatch.com/More%20Information%20SB121.htm
Another related ethics story.
Delay Ads, and Congress
I found it while I was looking for info about the new Anti-Delay ads WJCowie mentioned in the post below. 60 mill sounds way to high to me. I heard on air america radio that the spin about it being money from Soros is false too. The right is claiming that this is a Nancy Pelosi and Dem conspiracy. I can't find any solid info on the amount of money and who it is coming from online but I can only hope it is an organized and well funded effort by Dems. Here is some info on the ads from MyDD blog.
Sorry I haven't posted more lately I have been sick.
It's their turn
The Republicans didn't have a problem spending approximately $46M in taxpayer funds to overly investigate and impeach a President that had consensual sex with another adult. They shout that advertisements paid for with private funds is "reprehensible and politically driven". No shit. That's just what the Righties are normally touting, free enterprise.
On a semi-related note and Passport-gate... Lynch transition team appointee and former assistant Sec'y of State Betty Tamposi was the driving force behind the passport search that was included in the "high crimes and misdemeanors" the Clinton administration allegedly committed. Passport gate, as it had become to be called, was directly linked to the Bush 41 Whitehouse. I've heard of reaching across the aisle but I'm not sure if Governor Lynch, R/small d-Hopkington, is aware of which side his bread is buttered on. I think we are finding out much to my chagrin. We'll see if he keeps Benson holdover Kelly Ayotte on his team today. This is the deadline of Ms. Ayottes tenure. RISE UP!!!
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
A fractured House
On to the Ed bill and it appears the new proposal passed with much disagreement as to a solid source of funding. The budget is still being hashed out and the only recourse left to the good guys on this bill would have been to revert back to SB302. Not good for us in the North Country. I discussed the possibility with a highranking Representative, as to the possibility of the deceptive Righty Majority Cowards driving legislation through that has no good results for the publics best interest. The good guys, that again is us and our elected Democratic troopers, are forced to vote for bills that are mediocre at best and are no win situations for anyone except the shlepp that has sponsored new legislation. We all know that John F. Kennedy said in Profiles in Courage that even a mediocre bill is better than no bill at all. Hmmm. I don't know about that and I'm sure we all read that excellent literary work. Anyhooo, we have a new formulation for State Education funding and it's now on to finance for final metrics.
One more thing. Over 1000 bills were introduced this year already. That's down about 10% from last year. Not last term, last year. How freakin many laws do we really need???
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
These updates just in.
The minimum wage bill, HB665, went through committee, 11-2 and came out as "Ought to Pass". This legislation allows for incremental increases of 50 cents over 28 months and hits the floor of the House tomorrow. Helping the people it was meant to help.
Finally tonight, a bill that has been passed around more than a bong at a frat party, or so I've heard, is the dreaded SB121. A smoke screen of rescheduling, changed venues and a long paper trail trying to follow this gem. The destructive ATV trails bill and anti safe drinking water debacle. I think we really need to keep a good eye on this one. It came out of the Senate Committee Wildlife and Environmental as "Inexpedient to Legilslate" but there is more action scheduled to be taken thursday. If it does not pass muster this time, I'm quite certain it will be another closet dealio that so many of our sneaky pols are famous for producing. Remember last terms SB458 and SB302? Well then you haven't been paying attention and I'm not going to remind you now. We do need to saty vigilant with this bill. Especially the special interest, anti environmental, power grabbing type proposed legislation of this nature. More as it happens.
Stretching a dollar, breaking the elderly
Some, including me, have heard many of these solons say the problems will not get solved with the same attempts at calling the property tax some other palatable, nuanced monicker. Even the bad guys agree we need alternative funding and the problems I'm hearing about passing the budget and no courage with the members of the House Ed Com, with their lack of brave souls giving positive solutions, will lead this political junkie to summize that change is indeed in the air and the air is blowing Democrat in the mid-terms. I'll keep you posted on these bills and their fate.
One more thing. Sending a HUGE shout out to our birthday Rep. Scott -still running for change and wake up Mr. Remick- Merrick. The future of the Country and the party. Hey Kathy, look out. If I get a chance to vote at the State party level, you're out and Merrick is in. No question. PEACE!!!
Democrat: Take half a step forward, and then double back.
This is a problem I have been thinking about a lot. The republicans have no bones about taking unpopular stances on issues. It's all about the people’s gut reactions and common sense feelings about issues. This is why polls vary based on how a question is asked. The republicans don’t say “should we be for or against this issue” based on the polls. Or “people are pro-choice so let’s not talk about abortion if we can help it”. They sit down and think how they can frame their policies so that it sounds good to the average person.
anti-indeceny “You don’t want your child looking at pornography do you?” reframed as pro-privacy “You don’t want the government in your bedroom do you?” They frame issues so that the peoples gut reaction is “hey that makes sense”.
The Democrats approach has largely been “let's not talk about these issues because they are controversial”. So you get a lot of democratic politicians that look two faced, cowardly, or like they are hiding something. The average person can easily see they don't want to talk about certain issues. So people who are for that issue will think that the politician doesn't really support it. People against that issue will think that the politician really supports it and won't say. And everyone else thinks the politician is a coward and is ashamed of their own beliefs. When you are afraid to address an issue you lose on both sides of it. Democrats should be thinking about how to frame [talk about] issues so that is appeals to the average person’s common sense.
As Scott said many of these controversial issues are red herrings. The republicans go to them again and again because they know that Dems will futilely try to side set them and look bad in the process. I believe lynch did this very thing in a debate with benson. And it was the only thing that made Lynch look bad in the debate [that made news]. Democrats should state firmly and in their own framing how they feel about these type of issues. Then they can go on to talk about the real issues.
Really there is nothing to be afraid of talking about controversial issues as the republicans have shown time and again. The average person is largely disengaged politically. So if you can frame a simple and reasonable message you are “off the hook”, and you may have even make sense to someone. Most people don’t check the facts or get any deeper into it then that. People don’t even watch the news anymore, I don’t.
One of the things that the Neo Con Death Cult is really good at besides framing issues is then going ahead and speaking about them in a way that energizes their supporters but would scare the crap out of most people. How do they get away with it? Because no one is paying that close attention. The mainstream media is on coast and no one is watching. Unlike democrats and their beltway insider strategists [by the way republicans have been using more and more strategists outside of Washington, while democrats stick to the same old group of losers.] they know that NO ONE is watching. Most people don’t read the NY times or Washington post. I even heard that more people get their news from comedy central's “the daily show” then any other single source.
The way I see it is that democrats should not be afraid to talk about the issues. But they should use their own words and framing. They should also force the republicans to speak on their positions on issues that scare people [i.e. way outside the mainstream]. Make these pro-life politicians come out and say that they want to do away with roe v wade. Force them to either piss off their right wing Christian theocratic base or scare the crap out of the general public.
My biggest problem with Lynch is not with Lynch. He is want he is. My problem is with the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Benson was widely unpopular. So was Bush. This was a great chance to turn over the governor to a progressive candidate who was willing to make large changes in state government that would actually make a difference that would be noticeable by the average person. With all the promises and pledges what will lynch actually do even to make life in new Hampshire better for the average citizen? Anyone wonder why so many people say it doesn't matter who gets elected?
Instead of running a “true blue” democrat and having some real positive changes in this state they put up a centrist. It’s like they don’t believe that people support democratic issues. You know if the republicans were facing an unpopular democratic incumbent they would have put up the most conservative right winger that money can buy.
Why is that? Because democrats believe that the people don’t support their policies? Or is it because the democrats know that their policies don’t really work? That they can only sneak a conservative democrat into office in the wake of a corrupt and unpopular candidate like Benson.
Unlike democrats, republicans are willing to promote their policies in the face of popular opposition. This is why so many average people are attracted to the republican party. Being a democrat means always saying you are sorry for what you believe, being a republican means fighting for your beliefs!
None of this is true, of course, but this is what the democratic party and politicians tell their “base” every time they hide from the issues and reach out to that imaginary swing voter by betraying core democratic principals.
The republicans figured out how to energize their base WHILE reaching out to the average voter. The democratic party knows how to do neither. We even have DLC democrats attacking those who are trying to energize the base [moveon.org, act, michael moore, etc].
Our only hope is in the fact that democratic policies do work and the people by in large support them. Maybe someday the politicians will catch up with the people.