Friday, March 12, 2004


  • Factiod: The typical Massachusetts legislator is a 50-year-old, white, male, Roman Catholic, Massachusetts-born, married Democrat with two children and a graduate degree (about half are law degrees) who ran unopposed in the last election, according to Boston Globe research and analysis.

  • The typical Utah legislator is over 60, white, male, LDS (Mormon), Utah-born, married Republican with 6+ children and 20+ grandchildren who work in business who ran unopposed or virtually unopposed in the last election, according to my memory/Salt Lake Tribune.

  • The last two CO GOP Sens first elected as GOPers -- Sen. Wayne Allard and ex-Sen. Hank Brown -- served as Reps. for the state's fourth CD. So did ex-Rep Bob Schaffer, who is in the running still on the GOP side.

  • ex-AL Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore increasingly sounds like a right-wing protest candidate for the Constitution Party. Slate's Tim Noah interviewed him on NPR and he sure hedges a lot. "I would say that there's not much difference these days between those who run under one party or another because they're all after seeking power. Power's not what the Constitution was about. The Constitution was about a limitation on power. It was about the fact that the judiciary should stick to interpreting the law, not making it." Go, Roy, go!

  • "Citing intense public interest in the gay marriage debate and the potential news value" of Romney's "views, most of Boston's television news outlets agreed" 3/11 "to provide live coverage in the event the governor delivered a short statement after" the vote. What would he say? Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesperson for Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), said Romney "is considering a plan to ask" the SJC "to stop the state from issuing" gay marriage licenses "if lawmakers approve" a marriage amendment. Fehrnstrom refused to "specify what" Romney had in mind, but "acknowledged that the legal options included a petition to the SJC to suspend" its ruling "until the voters had a chance to act" on a marriage amendment. Fehrnstrom: "On an issue as important as the definition of marriage the governor is not going to run and hide" Why hide when you can be on TV for free?
Back to normal, more of the same Bush crap

So now as my site traffic falls back down to earth (see this lovely chart thanks to sitemeter), I should change the subject back to all the other stuff happening in the world:

Nearly 200 people are dead in Madrid, Spain from a series of sequenced bombing attacks that smells like Al-Queada is being denied by ETA, a Basque-separatist group like the IRA in the 1980s. More sure to follow out of this. Keep in mind Spain was part of Rummy's "new Europe" AKA those that went to bat for the Bush Administration on Iraq.

Bush has out a negative attack ad on John Kerry which claims Kerry would raise taxes by $900 billion (cue Dr. Evil), weaken the PATRIOT Act that catches terrorists (like Jose Padilla?) and it uses a "generic terrorist" to do so. This looks like your average South Asian (Indian/Pakistani) with a sinister look on his face and shifty eyes (like that dog on the Simpsons).

"It undercuts the very thing the president committed himself to after 9/11," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. "It tries to create an identity between terrorists and that face. It can only be called a negative stereotype, it can only be called regrettable." Oh by the way, Zogby's the brother of that famous pollster too. "If they wanted to put Osama bin Laden up there that's fine, but using just a face stereotypes," he added, asking Bush to take down the "Muhammad Horton ad"

Bush folks don't get it, telling the Globe that the man was "generic" and not meant to stereotype. The right wing blogophere agrees with the tactic of using an Arab man saying they are "calling a spade a spade" DailyKos, of course, is more on Zogby's side. All of these links are thanks to TNR's Ryan Lizza.

But wait there's more! Bush as a companion dirty radio ad, along with this more "positive" attack ad with a nice fantasy touch, saying Bush will continue to "reduce health care costs" and "create jobs" as well as "reform education" while John Kerry will destroy all this by rolling back the tax cuts for the richest 1%.

First of all, Bush has lost just shy of 3 Million Jobs and created 21,000 jobs last month nearly all of which were government jobs so much for a smaller government George.

Secondly, there is nothing Bush has done to reduce health care costs, the prescription drug bill they force through congress by lying to their fellow Republicans (by threatening HHS officials with their jobs if they told the Congress the real cost estimates would be higher than $400 billion-- they ended up being $551 billion)...Oh and the bill specifically had no cost containment procedures; in fact, the law prohibited the government from trying to save money.

On Education Reform. OK well that is true, you reformed education. But change is not improvement, just ask any school district or state legislature in the country what they think of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). I think you would get an earful about "unfunded mandates."

John Kerry's camp now has a a respons ad to the Bush attack ad up, "expected, the Globe says, "to be aired in the same competitive markets where the Bush ads are running."

Meanwhile, the Colorado Senate race beckons. It is looking more and more like Democrats are poised for a pick up! According to GOP sources of the National Journal, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will announce this p.m. that he will not run. Nor will Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO), according to the Pueblo Chieftain who says the retiring McInnis "reportedly will announce today that he also will forego the race." Also out are CO Gov. Bill Owens (R) and Rep. Bob Beauprez (R) who is choosing instead to defend his razor thin 100+ vote seat in Colorado's 7th. So who's left to challenge CO AG Ken Salazar (D)? Ex-RNC chair Jim Nicholson "indicated he may announce as early as today whether he'll join the race" according to the Rocky Mountain News.

That's the best you can get? Well I shouldn't laugh, just look at now MS Gov. Halley Barbour, also an ex-RNC chair. With that title comes lots of people you know who can give lots of money.

And in the Land of Lincoln, a Research 2000 IL poll of Dem likely voters found Barack Obama with 36% support; Dan Hynes 21%; Maria Pappas 15% and Blair Hull 14%. A poll of GOP likely voters found Jack Ryan with 36% support; Jim Oberweis 16%; Andrew McKenna 11% and Steve Rauschenberger 10%. The state primary is in on Tuesday. Obama vs. Ryan looks to be the results. Can't wait.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

While we wait...

This is my favorite AP picture of what it is like outside the state house:

And this is the best view of what it is like on the inside of the state house:

A little taste of Home

A kid from South Jordan, Utah came to see me. Not over gay marriage (thank the Lord) but because he is a design student attending Utah State -- Go Aggies!-- and was looking at buildings today and just so happened to be touring the state house. (he heard a fellow Utahn was in the building I guess) What a day to see it in action! He was nice and it reminded me of the Utah accent that is subtle but distinctive. Not as distinctive as say a Bostonian accent, but still there. Plus, he had the lovely Mormon-isms of Heck and Dang and so on.

Just to be safe, I mentioned my impending marriage and we avoided talking about the gay marriage issue, since I would bet he is all for banning it, and he probably suspected I was a gasp Democrat. True to form, he had no clue where my alma mater was (Brown) or where Rhode Island was either (I said nearby to help him out). But he was nicely equipped with Western clothing like North Face and one of those rock climber bags that doubles as a school bag. Not that people out East don't wear this stuff, it just isn't the in style there like pea coats are in New England.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Hotline says, "According to a Democratic source, at a 5 pm presser in CO, AG Ken Salazar will get into the CO SEN race, and candidate Rutt Bridges will be at the presser to endorse Salazar. Update: Mark Udall is set to also be there to endorse Salazar."

Looks like CO Democrats managed to clear the field for the best candidate, Ken Salazar, whose brother John is running for a congressional seat at the same time (3rd district). This makes this successful Hispanic family much like their Utah neighbors the white Matheson family.

Both the Mathesons and Salazars will have brothers' names on ballots for a statewide race and a key swing House seats at the same time in November. [Jim is running for re-election in Utah's 2nd and Scott Jr is running for Governor against a huge field of big GOP names] It sounds like both will be unopposed in their respective primaries. I used to think the Mathesons were more like the Udalls (dad creating their political fortunes Mo for the Udalls and Scott Sr for the Mathesons) but now the Salazars may be the heroes of the Democratic party.

What a great pick up this could be! There is no better way to show to America that the Democratic Party cares about Blacks and Hispanics by placing them on the two biggest pickup chances in the US senate (Obama looks to be winning in IL)? It also helps that these guys are terrific candidates, no Al Sharptons here.
Make America Work For You

Ex-Clinton Chief of Staff Harold Ickes (and son of Truman's Secretary of the Interior) has his first ad up from the no-so-secret $100 million soft money pit known as "The Media Fund" which was expressly designed to counter Bush ads when the nominee would have no money left and Bush would have tons.

They combo Howard Dean's "Take our Country Back" Motto with a Kerry style attack on Bush's favoring of special interest over people. In reality though, it just a generic democratic ad attacking Bush where he is weakest: JObs. There is a bit of unionism in there and protectionism, but it also does nothing but bash Bush. No call Senator Kerry or how to vote or where to give money. It does give this lovely website address while it plays in all the same 17 battleground ("purple") states that will be overloaded with campaign comericals again (just make up your mind guys).

Tack on another million spent by Log Cabin Republicans, AKA Gay Republicans, are putting up this ad using VP Cheney's words on gay marriage in 2000 (during the VP debate) against him., and we got two outside groups slinging stuff at the Prez.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

"Where's the Jobs?"

Paul Krugman created this lovely chart and drove home the point in his column today. My favorite 'graph:

"Economic forecasting isn't an exact science, but wishful thinking on this scale is unprecedented. Nor can the administration use its all-purpose excuse: all of these forecasts date from after 9/11. What you see in this chart is the signature of a corrupted policy process, in which political propaganda takes the place of professional analysis. "

Basically, this issue alone is going to sink Bush. Even if you hate gays getting married, worry about your guns getting taken away, still support the war in Iraq, and voted for Bush last time, they might not this time. Why? He has no clue about the economy and he has lost nearly 3 million jobs on his watch. Only 1,000 were created in December, 21,000 in February not nearly enough to avoid being the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs on his watch.

If this fall, people are still afraid of losing their jobs, afraid of losing their health care, and the economy is still idling, then it won't matter how far to the right Bush goes and how much he tried to scare us about John "flip-flop" Kerry, he will be booted out. If this was 2000, maybe he would be in better shape vs. Kerry than Gore, But the fact is, 2004 will be about his horrific record as president. Re-elections are always a referendum on the president, not the opposition. Any look at reality vs. their lies will tell you how to vote.
Ready, set...SPLAT

Of all the proxy wars between Kerry and Bush that will be waged over the next 8 months, the most lopsided so far was on CNN's Paula Zahn's Now last night. On the program to discuss foreign policy was former UN Ambassador and wannabe Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke (the guy who authored most of the Dayton Peace accords) and former Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Pearle.

Boy, it wasn't even a fair fight, just read the transcripts. Pearle has, with the help of Rumsfeld and Cheney, alienated nearly the entire world from the US with the way they pursued the war against Iraq and made up the case for going to war. Further, Pearle also boasts some shady ties to the military-industrial complex (and Saudi Oil) and had to resign in disgrace recently because of all the potential ethics violations regardless of actions regarding Iraq.

Pearle was jumping on Kerry's statement that he has been told my many "foreign leaders" that they don't trust the US anymore and would welcome him being president, or something like that. Pearle was snarkley trying all night (and finally did) say it was France! Ha Ha you are a wimpy French-looking French loving man.

Holbrooke pointed out that it is incredibly obvious that the world hates Bush and that it is hurting our foreign policy goals. He pointed to Turkey, a place Pearle had personally try to bully into supporting the war, and failed miserably. Turkey, Holbrook said, used to love us under Clinton (65% or something) now they hate us (15% or so like us under Bush); don't we need allies like this to win the war on terror and to have won the war against Iraq better?

Pearle was ready for this one with a snarky "Bush isn't running for Prime Minister of Turkey" and "We don't need the approval of other nations to do what's right for America; Bush is going to look out for America's interests."

But he missed the point. Many (in fact most) times, as Holbrooke and Clark have pointed out, it is in America's best interests to work with allies. Certainly, if our security is at stake and our friends aren't willing to help, then we must go it alone. But everyone was on the US's side after 9/11 and Bush said "no thanks and while you are at it, f*ck off too" and then is administration promptly insulted and bullied the world into a winnable war, but have lost the peace thus far. Provisional Constitution or not, we could have eliminated Saddam in a much more multilateral way. Sure France had ulterior motives in Iraq (the UN Oil for Program was a slush fund and the French still want money for all their loans and bids with Saddam), but we still could have at least made them and the Russians look bad. Instead, the world sided with France and Russia; how embarrassing is that?

Bush's record on foreign policy, like his record on the economy and jobs, is objectively horrible. All you have to do is look at what the world thinks of us, all the instability in Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan to see what is wrong. You don't even need to look at the investigation of WMD's or Valerie Plame or the sorry state of homeland security to know that this President has made us less safe, and more scared.

On a lighter note...

My Fiancee, after bowing to pressure, has a blog of her own: SpongeBlog StinaPants. Her first major post is the kind of writing that made me fall in love with her 6 years ago. Lest I get too sappy, MONSTER TRUCKS, GIRLS IN BIKINIS, FOOTBALL! Ok, glad I got that out of my system. Oh, syndicate me via Atom (sorry, I like RSS too but I can't afford Blogger Pro).

Monday, March 08, 2004

T-minus 4 days

In Iraq, they finally signed that constitution, gold pens and all, after a show of strength by Sistani. This Shiite Muslim leader, without a doubt, will be the head of the Iraqi government soon after the Americans leave. Keep in mind too, this is an interim constitution and an interim government. The Shiite clearly hope that they can make Iraq into an Iranian style theocracy. Just goes to show that foreign policy will be topic A or B this year, right up there with the Economy/Jobs. Once again, the President's record on all this is horrific.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, Angus "Beef" McQuilken is not going to request a recount after losing by about 1% or 343 votes. It really has no effect for the gay marriage vote since they weren't going to swear in the winner until next week anyway. I guess Angus thinks he can challenge then-Sen. Scott Brown in November and will win then. Good luck. Oh well, now Republicans have 7 out of 40 seats in the state senate. Big Deal.

Or is it? Romney's strategy of actually challenging incumbents is working and the democratic-controlled legislature is scared, begging their congressmen for money. In other bad news, the Boston Catholic church is so poor now thanks to all their sex scandals that they are closing parishes and schools, needless to say, like military base closing, this one won't go on without a fight. And those same churches have just started calling us up with their parishioners on same-sex marriage. They have the exact same talking points and message. Is this the will of the people or willed people?

Before ruling on Lawrence V. Texas, the landmark anti-sodomy case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave the keynote address to an anti-gay group that was involved in the case, says the LA Times. Not that anyone didn't know how he and Thomas would rule, but please. And this is Bush's ideal of a model judge, one who looks at the "facts" and not his own biases, one who doesn't "interpret the constitution." Scalia is just plain old conservative, one who uses one set of arguments for one case and then abandons these reasoning's when in convenient. Like with Lawrence, he said foreign courts rulings don't matter (when they were citied by Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion), but in another case, Olympic Airways v Husain, he ruled just the opposite way with Kennedy's reasoning [thanks Geekable and Atrios].