Saturday, March 10, 2007

another wasted $3.5 million

Yesterday, I was planning on writting about the ray of hope that Gov. Huntsman's stalling on the high school clubs bill represented, and it is a good thing I hesitated. Today, he signed the monstrosity, creating needless state intrusion and red-tape, all in the name of going after gay-straight clubs. And these clubs will continue to exist fellas.

In other depressing wastes of state resources, it seems we will blow $3.5 million on another primary that no one will vote in and the results won't matter. By placing Utah in the "Super Duper Tuesday" date 11 months from now, we pretty much ensure that our state will be ignored. Why come to Utah when Texas, California, Illinios, and Florida are on the same day? Especially for Republicans, who know that Romney will take the state unless he is so out of the running that it will go to the frontrunner.

In 2004, Leavitt tried a "Western primary" only to see that our state was ignored and Kerry won all of them easily. Even though I was a Clark man, by the time Utah's primary occured, I voted for Edwards because Clark had dropped out by then.

The definion of stupidity, Albert Einstein said, is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

thursday round-up

  1. The bill for a fourth seat for Utah will come up soon. "The committee schedule is still being worked out, although the markups may take pace March 14 and 15." Rep. Cannon is on the committee. Lord help us all. "[DC Delegate Eleanor] Norton said Wednesday that she anticipated the House would pass the bill by the end of the month, before the next recess that starts April 2."

  2. Here is one great thing about all these candidates running for mayor:
    On Tuesday, the City Council voted to direct attorneys to draft an ordinance that could limit such check-cashing businesses from concentrating in certain locations and restrict them based on the city's population.
    Councilwoman Nancy Saxton, who is running for mayor, sought the ordinance. She acknowledged it wouldn't stop predatory lending. Nor would it outlaw check-cashing businesses.
    It's not perfect or complete, but its a start.

  3. This week's sign that the appocolype is upon us (apologies to Sports Illustrated):

  4. I had a jury trial yesterday, sorry for not posting. If you still want to go to the blogger meet and great for a SLC mayoral candidate, there is still time, add a comment or email me (both get emailed to me).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Calling all local bloggers...

If you live in Salt Lake City and would like me meet a mayoral candidate one on one, please contact me via this blogger comment thread. A friend of mine is putting together a blogger meet and greet for said candidate. I have yet to make any commitments, but am impressed this candidate is doing blogger outreach.

waiting for wes, part III

Wes Clark, Jr. scolds those of us who fear a Clark candidacy is DOA.
I'm sitting with General Clark right now

He never said he's not going to run and he's not going to commit to a timeline on when he has to announce. The early campaign season is good for two groups of people - the fundraisers and the consultants. The average citizen won't make up their mind until much later in the game.
Good old bomb throwing Wes Jr. is back.

As right as he is about consultants and fundraisers, the winning nominee will have to have even more money than last time. Lots more. This is not only because of inflation and the quality of the Democratic field, but also because the early February Super Tuesday will even more nationalized. California and other big, expensive media states will all be on the same date. And if Iowa and New Hampshire are won by the same person, it will be a steamroller for that winner. If those two states are split, with close second places of different people, then maybe the Super Tuesday states will also be divvyed up.

However, that is an extremely unlikely scenario...even then, there will probably only be 2-3 folks coming out of that situation. One of them will be probably be Obama and another probably will be Clinton. Even if voters aren't focused in this early, the political talent is. Some of them are actually worth snapping up, especially in an organizational state like Iowa.

Needless to say, I am worried for my man General Clark.

Monday, March 05, 2007

waiting for Wes, part II

Wherein I learn how long I have to wait. Susan Putney, one of the three co-founders of, asked the General the question on every Clark fan's mind:
I went to see Wes on Friday here in NH where he hosted a fundraiser for Carol Shea-Porter in Portsmouth.[...] After working the rooms thoroughly, Wes was introduced and proceeded to talk about the state of the world, Iran, nuclear threats, global warming, alternative energy, the pros and cons of withdrawing troops quickly from Iraq, etc. He was brillant. He was the old Wes that I had heard on CNN and instantly I knew why I had worked my butt off encouraging him to run and then on his campaign. And those in the room, many who supported Kerry or Edwards in 04, were dazzled by his knowledge and the ease with which he discussed world issues. He got everybody's attention there.

Just before he concluded his talk, he said, "I'm not a candidate for President, but I haven't said I won't run". He asked for questions and I couldn't help but be the first to ask, "Wes, is there any chance during the next 3 months you will declare your candidacy?" Everybody chuckled knowing I had supported Wes in 2004. He said no. He told the room that when you're a candidate, they discount your views on everything. He was very happy to discuss policy with high level people because they took him seriously. He knew that would change the minute he declared. ...

Susan is a Clark fan, but she is also an opportunist. As a founding member of Mass4Clark and of the Draft Wesley Clark movement in general, I know. Susan and a few others got upset that the people were getting lots of media attention and decided to start their own website and effort. Some like myself, urged the group not to fracture like this. I said there would be plenty of campaign jobs and jobs in the Clark White House for all of us.

In Boston, we organized a service project day in New Hampshire and tried to get press coverage of it. Yet Susan took all the credit for the effort, despite delivering only herself to volunteer day. We got to see the office she bought for Clark in the sea coast region. It was as nice as any of the other campaign offices, which were right next door (literally). She also took credit for our first 1,000 petitions for him to enter the race, even though she was a mere courier.

But she is loyal and a trustworthy source on this. However, I am with Chris Bowers on this one. I doubt that Clark can be successful if he waits 3 more months to enter. Vilsack's staff will be snapped up. Unless a real contender folds up shop or has a big scandal , I don't see the advantage in waiting. To me, this is like John Kerry's wait-for-it-I-am-not-running announcement. Clark is going to enter the Veepstakes and the high cabinet level-stakes it seems to me. I wish it weren't so, but logic tells me that is what is happening.

So assuming this is true, I am an Obama man. Even my wife, a Wellesley alum and big Hillary fan, is leaning Obama's direction and is annoyed with Hillary's caution. I will still wait for Wes, but I won't hold my breath.

a tale of two speeches

yesterday I was flipping the channels and came across the tail end of Obama's keynote speech at Selma, AL. While he stepped on some of his applause lines, it was a good speech. He talked about civil rights leaders as the "Moses generation" who got us to edge of the promised land but couldn't go there themselves. And he hinted that he was part of the "Joshua generation" of unworthies who who lead the people the last 10% home. This was part of his theme, that he represents a new generation of leadership, one that is not reliving the battles of the 1960s but building upon it. "Don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Ala. Don't tell me I'm not coming home to Selma, Ala. I'm here because somebody marched. I'm here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants," he said.

Obama also talked about the problems facing Black America today. "We have too many children in poverty in this country, and everybody should be ashamed, but don't tell me it doesn't have a little to do with the fact that we got too many daddies not acting like daddies. Don't think that fatherhood ends at conception. I know something about that because my father wasn't around when I was young, and I struggled." He went on to note that if you read his book, you saw he got in trouble because he didn't have a real father figure and it took him a while to get his life on track. Barack spoke about how his greatest fear is that he is becoming one of those fathers by spending so much time campaigning and being away from his daughters.

And it made me think that if someone as brilliant and talented as Obama had brushes with the law and was on a path of self-destruction, what about all those other young Black men who don't have his gifts? It was a profound moment that can get white people of privilege to realize that the project began by Abraham Lincoln and restarted by Martin Luther King, Jr. is still unfinished.

Immediately after his speech, C-SPAN switched to Hillary Clinton's. I was struck by how harsh her tone was, not the words but her manner of speaking. When she turns up the volume to arouse the crowd, she seems to be yelling at them. Obama seems like he is evoking righteous anger, like a preacher. She seems like an angry parent at a PTA meeting that everyone wishes would be quiet. Hillary's trouble is that she married the most gifted politician of our times and is running against another charismatic brilliant orator.

Against lessors, her speeches wouldn't seem so terrible. I remember in 2002, I heard her speak at the DLC National Conversation (their annual convention). She was far and away the best speaker there, compared to John Edwards, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, Joe Lieberman, Greg Meeks, Blanche Lincoln, Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Jim McGreevey, and Mark Warner. She spoke off the cuff and was both funny and good.

These days, Hillary is looking desperate and afraid. She Peppermint Patty-ed herself to a church across the street from Obama's, and even brought down Bill Clinton to march on the bridge with her. I wasn't the only one who thought Obama is having the better of the Clinton's"
In the crowd, one dad who came from Atlanta was sure he was seeing history being made.

"Look at Obama, he's going to be the first black President," said Kenneth Byrd, who proudly took turns hoisting his son, Myles Byrd, 10, and daughter, Erin, up for a look.