Friday, February 18, 2005

2006 senate ruminations

There has been a debate about the PA senate race(s), should Senate Judicary Chair Arlen Specter retire. It goes like this: do you give state Treasurer and son of popular ex-Gov. Bob Casey Jr. a layup against and open seat and let some poor schmuck (probabbly) lose to Senate Buffoon Rick Santorum? Or do you pit Casey against Santorum and let either ex-GOPer Barbara Hafer or 2004 Senate Candidate and ex-Rep. Joe Hoeffel run for the open seat against either Club for Growth pet project ex-Rep. Pat Toomey or ex-DHS ex-Gov Tommy Ridge?

Personally, I favor giving Santorum the toughest battle possible, because he demeans the Senate and the Commonwealth with his presence, which means pro-lifer Casey jr. should take up the gauntlet. Hopefully Arlen will get healthy, but if he has to retire, or tragically dies, then whom should Governor Rendell appoint? Casey, so he can be an incumbent running against Santorum and be even stronger? Or Hafer/Hoeffel, so they will have a better shot at the open seat? I say let the H's have their fun, Casey already has tons of built in advantages, like his Pittsburgh base, which is the same as Santorum which really hurts the old dog-on-man-love guy (since you have to have either Pitts or Philly to be competitive statewide, and Lord knows Philly ain't going GOP on Rendell's watch).

Now on to other senate races, there will be lots to defend, but first and foremost, Democrats have to make sure golden oldies like Byrd don't retire. Stay on buddy, isn't it fun to make speeches against Bush on C-SPAN? Next, fill in some good people to protect open seats, like MN. After that, help the vulerable incumbents, like Ben Nelson in Nebraska, or Bill Nelson in Florida. Then you can target more folks like little Rhodie's Linc Chafee, or other blue state GOPers or DINOs/putzes like Joe Liberman.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

cartoon of the day

from the "you've gotta be kidding" dept

Bush nominated Negroponte to be the Director of National Intelligence. That's right, the man whose prints are all over Iran-Contra and other fun, yet illegal covert activities is the man in charge of all our intelligence thanks to the 9/11 bill.

"Negroponte began his diplomatic career in 1960 and served in South Vietnam before becoming an aide to Henry Kissinger during negotiations in Paris with North Vietnam. From 1981 to 1985, he was U.S. ambassador to Honduras, where he helped carry out the Reagan administration’s efforts, using the Contra rebels, to oust the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He also served as ambassador to Mexico and the Philippines."

This is just like Bush naming Kissinger as the head of the 9/11 commission. Yet somehow I doubt the media will make as much fuss. Why should Negroponte get anywhere near controlling intelegence information and resources, let alone have CIA director Porter Goss report to him?

The Bush Administration is getting closer and closer to fulfilling the fears of George Orwell's "1984" government. Where's the outrage? And why does everything Joe Lieberman touch turn to crap?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

fed up with the lies

According to a Wall Street Journal poll, "1,008 adults, conducted Feb. 10-14, found that 51% Americans consider it 'a bad idea' to change Social Security by allowing workers to invest payroll taxes in the stock market, while 40% think it's a "good idea." That is essentially unchanged since January, despite Mr. Bush's attempt to drum up support for the idea in the State of the Union address and a cross-country tour. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points." 60% of those say their position on the matter is "firm."

People are now finally amenable to my idea of removing the upper cap on Social Security taxes to fund the "crisis" by a 64%-32% margin. Why should Bill Gates pay less than one half of one 100th of a percent of his income and people earning minimum wage have pay much, much more than that (percentage wise)?

51% say the Iraqi election was legitimate...let's see what they think after Iraq turns into Iran, Jr. or there is a major civil war. Meanwhile, Bush is about where he was pre-9/11 50%. I still don't get how this guy won on some level.

the Net best thing

National Journal's Chuck Todd notes, "These 'netroot' groups will do the same for one or more of the candidates -- on both sides of the political spectrum -- in 2008. The netroot groups are as potentially powerful a base in a primary as labor and/or blacks for the Democrats. And this time, the media is going to take netroot groups more seriously, thereby increasing their influence in the next cycle." Todd points to Feingold, Gore, and Clark on the Democratic side and Brownback, Sanford & Schwarzenegger on the GOP side (as well as Thune and Toomey).

And given that Chris Bowers, Markos and other prominant bloggers' dream of Dean as DNC chair has come true, who will be the blogosphere's candidate in 2008?

Well according to a poll on MyDD, it's General Wesley Clark. This isn't a huge surprise since Clark was drafted over the internet and had the second best internet strategy going in 2004, raising tens of millions of dollars online, having his own MyDD/DailyKos style community (called ForClark), and generally a very enthusiastic level of support from bloggers everywhere, being the Deaniac's second choice mostly and the choice of internet folks who didn't jive with Dean like myself.

Feingold is a cool guy, and I liked him when I met him at a Matheson fundraiser in 2000. But he has a couple problems that will be hard to overcome: 1) he's short 2) he's a senator 3) he's jewish. Maybe Joe Lieberman made it ok for Jewish folks to run for the highest office in the land, but I still worry. The things he has going for him are 1) McCain/Campaign Finance Reform 2) no vote on the PATRIOT Act 3) he is from the swingable state of Wisconsin.

As for Gore, his biggest problem is 1) he's Al Gore, the most famous loser of our time 2) he's Al Gore, about as charasmatic as John Kerry [man, what is with Democratic primary voters? Why support such duds?] 3) He has gone off with the noisy but ineffectual and become a screaming red faced banchee. Pluses, 1) he has a great accent that is coming back 2) When he trashes Bush, people listen 3) Hello, name recognition?

I don't want to go into all the same for the other side, other than Arnold has to get a consitutional amendment through before he can run for President or VP (plus, he is too far left on cultural issues to make it through the primary).

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

my fifteen minutes

This morning, I had my interview. Out of the 14 firms I applied to, it looks like this is the only one that wants to talk to me. Still, I am lucky and happy to have had it. It was a good idea to talk to this guy for a while during a on campus recruiting event and a good idea that I put my middle name (and my father's first name) on my resume, since the first question was "are you related to X from Y firm?" It was good to bring my transcripts and resume, because it showed that I had better grades in college and that college was Brown.

I tried to demonstate my knowledge of issues and the law and their firm and them personally. Hopefully, it worked.

Of course, everyone of my friends at law school came up and asked if I had an interview, and I did the same to people before and after. Everyone is a bit nervous about the whole situation and all have no idea what to expect. The interviews are so short (15 min.) and so high stress, combined with wearing suits and heals for girls.

Who knows...anyway, it is nice to have it over with and to have the opportunity to try to win them over. I figure it is hard to forget a 6'3" red head who is a flaming Democrat in a flaming GOP state. At least I stick out.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The fool and his money

Give to the DNC if you want. But don't give to it because of Howard Dean. A lot of Dean-o-philes have being pouring in money (about $100,000 via places like MyDD and DailyKos) to the committee over the weekend solely because the good doctor is now in charge.

The trouble is, Dean is now the chair of the entire big tent party. He can't and won't move the party ideologically. He might have some luck with some reforms, most of which will be giving some power back to the state parties. As far as consultants, he will not hire Shrum et al, but he will still hire the same old people that worked for his presidential campaign sans Trippi (I bet). I think will do a pretty job. I hope he keeps his word not to run for 2008. All democrats, even bitter Tim Roemer, should wish him well and good luck.

To Matt Stoller and Donnie's kids: good work, nice try, it might have happened but for Howard Dean. DFA was too big and established to counter with a overnight blog shop and personal connection. DNC members alright liked Howard since he gave his "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party" speech as a candidate that launched him from obscurity to frontrunner in early 2003.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. Even if no one got you flowers or candy or dinner or a card or whatever, remember: The Third Avenue loves you. In a Platonic way, but keep coming back and reading.