Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why Conservatives Hate The Media

Here's a post over at Liberal Values about why the right constantly criticizes what they deem to be a biased left wing media.

Especially on the issue of Iraq, the media is always targeted for presenting too grim a depiction of the situation. However, Republicans should be happy, as television news goes days sometimes without even covering it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Katherine Harris Condemns Separation of Church and State

No, this isn't liberal spin. This isn't a headline that is only seen on blogs. This is the headline of a Washington Post article. And no, they're not exaggerating.

"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention.

"And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women," then "we're going to have a nation of secular laws. That's not what our Founding Fathers intended, and that certainly isn't what God intended."

arris campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Marks did not respond to questions but said that Rep. Harris encourages Americans of all faiths to participate in government.

14 Points of Facism

Via Blanton's and Ashton's.

Do these seem familiar?

Virginia Turns Bluer

Senator George Allen now trails his Democratic opponent in the most recent poll by slightly more than 1 point, 47.9% to 46.6%.

The Democrats are finally seeing the possibility of winning back the Senate in the horizon. Now there are six close races, with the Democrats needing to win all of them to take control.

Democrats Grow Angry With Lieberman

The Hill predicts some repercussions for Joe Lieberman's independent candidacy even if he wins the election and returns to the Democratic Caucus, especially since revelations that Lieberman's appeals to conservative voters could spark a heavy Republican turnout in three hotly contested congressional districts currently held by Republicans. Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority by the party leadership, putting his promises of "bringing home the bacon" in jeopardy.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Best Political Novels

The Wall Street Journal released a list of the five best political novels:

Anthony Trollope’s The Prime Minister, Charles McCarry’s Shelley’s Heart, Qiu Xiaolong’s Death of a Red Heroine, Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, and Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men.

The only one I've read of those five is All the King's Men, which is based on the story of Huey Long, the legendary demogogue governor of Louisiana. I have to say that I was enormously disappointed to find out that the bulk of the story revolves around the personal life of one of the governor's personal assistants.

BlogSheroes listed a few other suggestions that differed from the Journal. To Kill a Mockingbird, Brave New World, 1984, Animal Farm, The Grapes of Wrath.

As the blogger explains, although the books do not explicitly deal with politics, they are certainly political.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Santorum Finally Gets Within Single Digits

Bob Casey Jr.'s lead in the polls has shrunk to 8% points according to Rasmussen.

Also in Pennsylvania, Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has gained ground, and now leads former football star Lynn Swann 50% to 38%.

Sherrod Brown in Ohio is consistently leading incumbent Senator Mike DeWine (R) by 3 points.

In Alabama and Arkansas, 75% of voters believe in the Bible's literal truth. In Massachusetts, only 22% do.


Yes Robert, there is a problem when you try to help out a federal agency and get $35,000 a year in the deal.

The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that Menendez, during a 10 year period when he was in the House, pushed Health and Human Services to fund the North Hudson Community Action Corp, a non-profit that he rented a three story Union City appartment out to. Over a decade, Menendez collected over $300,000 in rent from his tenants.

Friday, August 18, 2006

We Should Give Bush This One

Over at Journey's with Jood, Jood criticizes President Bush for referring to Muslim terrorists as "Islamo-Fascists."

Although Bush has shown himself to have a pitiful vocabulary when it comes to diplomacy and labels (axis of evil) it's hard to argue with this description of Muslim fundamentalists. Ultimately, what the regimes of Iran and Syria advocate is religious tyranny along with an imperialistic military. Israel is generally the scapegoat, although most of the West, specifically the U.S., is generally seen as agents of Israel.

The only thing that moderates in the Middle East and the U.S. are going to agree on is that democracy is ideal. By calling terrorists fascists instead of islamic radicals or fundamentalists, perhaps we can win more to our side.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hezbollah Defeated Says Bush

Is that so, asks the Bulldog. If Hezbollah was defeated then why was a cease fire necessary in the first place?

The current situation reflects what the Times predicted a couple weeks ago: Hezbollah will be the ultimate victor in any type of military fighting short of total annihilation of Lebanon. Although they don't have the arms that Israel has, every bomb dropped on Beirut brought more Lebanese to the side of Islamic fascism.

Let's be thankful, however, that a cease fire happened eventually.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interesting Point

Democratic Veteran speculates that despite President Bush's lowest approval ratings ever, at 34%, the media will probably instead focus on the arrest of a man allegedly connected to the killing of six year old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey.

Nobody can argue that the War in Iraq is less important than a murder investigation, however, nobody can argue that Nancy Grace is less popular than C-SPAN.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Linda Stender

Linda Stender, the only serious hope to challenge an incumbent Republican in New Jersey, has yet to communicate that she is a better candidate than Rep. Mike Ferguson to the people of the NJ 7th district.

Stender's website needs serious work. Under the issues link, the assemblywoman has only Women's Health. This includes Stender's position on abortion and pre-natal care. This is not enough to win an election in a moderate New Jersey congressional district, and obviously, it shouldn't be enough to win anywhere.

Stender needs to hire better people to run her website.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bush Seeks Exit Strategy At Mapquest

Via The Borowitz Report.

Virginia Senator Criticized For Racism

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) has run into a tougher re-election fight than he anticipated as recently as several weeks ago. His Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, a former Republican and Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan appears to be a competitive candidate. As Larry Sabato puts it:

"Jim Webb is George Allen's worst nightmare: a war hero and a Reagan appointee who holds moderate positions…. Allen tries to project a Reagan aura, but Webb already has it.”

Recently, Webb employed a man to videotape all of Allen's public events. Allen, in an attempt to embarass the Webb campaign, pointed out the camera man at one event, telling the audience to give Mukaka, or whatever his name is, a round of applause. He later told the crowd to welcome him to America.

The man is an American citizen of Indian descent.

Here's the video at MyDD.

GOP Refuses To Endorse Schlesinger

President Bush became the most prominent Republican to decline comment on the Connecticut general election.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said this morning that President Bush will not endorse Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Alan Schlesinger (R) over Sen. Joe Lieberman even though he's the Republican nominee.

Earlier in the week, Ken Mehlman, chairman of the RNC, appeared on MSNBC's Hardball and refused to tell Chris Matthews who he supported in the Conecticut Senate race. He reiterated the point that it was up to Connecticut voters to choose their senator. Ironically, he was in Ohio at the time of the interview, campaigning for Republican Senator Mike DeWine.

If what happened in the Democratic primary was an insurgency, what is happening in the Republican Party is a jihad, says Intoxination.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Women Shift Even More To The Left

A recent poll shows that 45% of Americans plan to vote for a Democratic candidate for the House and 30% would vote for Republicans. The difference among women is even more drastic, with 50% favoring Democrats and only 28% supporting Republicans.

Howard Dean's "pro-women" strategy will be vindicated this November if the Democrats win back Congress.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wow, Another Primary Fight

The media has ignored a highly competitive primary in Hawaii, where the veteran Senator Daniel Akaka (D) is being challenged by Rep. Ed Case. Akaka, 82, leads the 53 year old Case 47%-45% in the latest poll.

Akaka, in the tradition of Hawaii politics, is of Japanese descent, and has served continuously since being appointed to the Senate in 1990. If nominated, Case will likely become the first white senator from Hawaii.

In the overwhelmingly Democratic Hawaii, the Democratic nominee is unlikely to meet a significant challenge from a Republican in the general election.

Most Democrats Happy Lieberman Lost

A Zogby poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Democrats are satisfied with the results of the Connecticut Democratic primary. 79% say they are glad that Ned Lamont won the primary, 12% said they were disappointed with the results, and 11% were unsure.

These are surprising numbers. This indicates a) that moderate and even conservative Democrats are interested in more aggressive opposition to President Bush; b) that most Democrats nationwide were paying attention to the Connecticut primary; c) that Lieberman will probably have to rely more on Republican support at the polls than Democratic support, meaning his support for the war might perhaps become more pronounced.

Bush Plummets In Latest Poll

Via Political Wire:

President Bush's approval rating has hit an all time low. At 33%, Bush's support seems to be eroding in even the most Republican friendly areas of the nation. More importantly, 19% of those who voted for Bush in 2004 say they plan to back Democrats for Congress.

19% actually doesn't seem that high. In 2004, a presidential election year, there were many Democratic Members of Congress who won re-election with large majorities despite representing districts that voted similarly overwhelming for Bush.

Richardson Calls For Lieberman's Withdrawal

Gov. Bill Richardson became the first prominent Democrat to publicly call for Sen. Joe Lieberman's withdrawal from the Connecticut general election yesterday.

If other non-Congressional national figures follow suit it will take some pressure of Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and other Senate colleagues of Lieberman who are reluctant to speak against a former friend, and possibly, future Independent Senator.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bush Isn't Just Dumb

The Daily Background made a good point in response to a bunch of polls that show that President Bush has become an intensely polarizing figure on a number of issues, most notably the Iraq War.

This is good news. More Americans are realizing that the President is not just “dumb” or “incompetent” as the late night shows portray him, but that he is actually a bad President .

A recent Washington Post poll shows that 52% of Americans strongly disapprove of the President's leadership on the war, and another 10% somewhat disapprove, bringing the total to 62%.

Who Said Rovian Tactics?

It looks as if Republicans are getting more involved in the Lieberman campaign than even the most cynical Daily Kos readers believed.

In an ironic twist, Karl Rove, the chief political adviser to George Bush reportedly contacted a senior Lieberman staffer to offer help for the upcoming Independent campaign. He delivered this message:

"The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do." More at ABC.

Now obviously it isn't in the interests of the Lieberman people, who yesterday accused Lamont's team of "Rovian" campaign tactics when the Lieberman website, Joe2006, mysteriously shut down monday afternoon. However, steering key Republican finances, and possibly persuading the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, to drop out of the race could all be accomplished without openly acknowledging that Lieberman co-operated with Republicans.

Meanwhile, Democrats have reacted to Lamont's victory with support.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lieberman Loses, Isn't Finished

This is big. In fact, the media will make this into an even bigger story than it needs to be. A three term incumbent lost to a political novice in a primary, however, Joe Lieberman is not finished. Although Lamont will receive the full backing of the party establishment in terms of funds and other campaign tools, Lieberman might have too strong a coaltion of independents and Republicans to overcome.

It all depends on whether Republicans are willing to abandon their candidate for Lieberman. Recent polls show that they have.

Lieberman Accuses Lamont Campaign Of "Rovian" Tactics

Joe Lieberman might have a reason to pursue an Independent candidacy if he loses today at the polls. Since yesterday afternoon, Lieberman's campaign website has been down due to unspecified technical errors. The Lieberman Campaign has alleged that it is the doing of challeneger Ned Lamont, who Lieberman's people cited as guilty of past use of "Rovian tactics."

If the charges are true, and Lamont is nevertheless elected, maybe he will have a better relationship with the White House than Lieberman did.

Washington Twp Raises Taxes On Sports

The budget cuts for education had to hit somewhere in every town, and in Washinton Twp in Mercer County, they hit the extracurriculars. Now, for the first time, students participating in sports or clubs will be charged a $100 fee. Superintendent John Szabo reasoned that the fee was the only way to avoid higher property taxes.

Sharon made a good point. Football costs a lot more than the chess club. Why should their participants pay the same fee? Although a fee on already popular sports programs isn't a miserable plan, taxing extracurricular programs probably is. There is very little incentive to try out a club on a whim if you're not admitted without an $100 fee. Of course, in the plans defense, this might keep kids trying to pad their college resumes from joining a ton of clubs that they barely participate in.

It's a tough issue.

55% Approve of Their Representative

Although there is much talk about low approval ratings for Congress as a whole, the only number that is truly meaningful is the approval rating that people give their own Members of Congress.

This year, that number is pitifully low, at 55%. Take into account the high numbers that most safe incumbents generally get, and you have many Members scoring below 50%.

However, incumbents aren't the only ones that voters are ambivalent about. Only 48% of voters believe that Democrats offer a clear solution to Iraq and 47% say they do not.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dick Morris For Lamont

Via MyDD:

Dick Morris in March: "[Lamont] need not be taken very seriously. Lieberman is not vulnerable and a primary will only make him that much stronger (assuming Ned even gets on the ballot)."

Dick Morris yesterday: "Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) will lose the primary and will be so crippled by the defeat and Ned Lamont (D) so empowered, that he will lose the general election as an independent."

If there's one person who takes a false prediction seriously, it's Dick Morris.

McKinney Poised to Lose Primary

Cynthia McKinney, the Democratic Congresswoman from Georgia who was made famous earlier this year for hitting a Capitol Hill police officer who stopped McKinney after she bypassed metal detectors while not wearing the proper congressional identification.

McKinney is trailing by a considerable margin in every major poll. An Insider Advantage Poll shows McKinney trailing 53%-40% with only 7% undecided.

However, Peach Pundit, a must read for any Georgian (and maybe a few New Jerseyans) believes that McKinney "will pull it out." Peach suggests that McKinney's charges that her more centrist opponent is backed by Republicans will have an effect with her constituents.

It didn't work the last time McKinney lost a primary as an incumbent. Yeah, she's done it before.

"Values Agenda" Alienates Young Voters

President Bush's approval rating among voters aged 18-24 sits at 20%. 53% disapprove and 28% have no opinion. In Bush's defense, his disapproval rating isn't any higher in this group than the overall population, in fact, it's lower. Nevertheless, it's becoming increasingly clear that the GOP's cultural wedge issues are not winning over American youth, especially when it comes to gay marriage. Just like all other cultural issues, from clothing to interracial marriage, history is on the liberal's side.

Young people voiced strong opposition to the president on many issues, especially Iraq.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


PA governor Ed Rendell surprised Democrats when he praised Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), not once, but twice in the same week. Rendell credited the notoriously right wing senator with effective legislative work in D.C., including vital flood relief funds for PA.

Although Rendell is officially supporting Santorum's popular opponent, Bob Casey Jr., he has been notably less enthusiastic about blasting the most vulnerable incumbent Republican in the Senate than most Democrats.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

New Registered Voters Favor Lieberman

Since May, over 11,000 unaffiliated voters became Democrats, reports the Hartford Courant. In addition, nearly 10,000 new voters have registered as Democrats in anticipation of an important primary election.

Saying these numbers are unusually high is an understatement. However, it seems reasonable to say that they can only benefit Lieberman. It's clear that many centrist or conservative Independents have registered as Democrats in hopes to keep a left winger out of the general election.

Poll Shows Menendez Ahead By Six

Rasmussen Reports shows Robert Menendez beating Kean Jr. by 6% points in its most recent poll, 44%-38%.

However, Rasmussen points out that it's disconcerting for an incumbent to be below 50% this late in the race. Kean is not even close to out of this race yet, but then again, Menendez hasn't even begun to dig into that huge campaign warchest of his.

The Menendez campaign is targeting a $20 million campaign. It's very possible; recently Bill Clinton raised $1 million at one fundraiser for Menendez.

Lassiter Has Words For Stoller

Matt Stoler, the primary blogger at MyDD, a must read for anyone in the blogosphere, has recently been soliciting contributions from readers to fund his frequent trips to Connecticut to cover the Ned Lamont campaign. Stoler said he had already spent $3000 on the primary and was looking for a sponsor who was willing to put up that amount to cover (I assume) his previous expenses as well as his future ones.

The response was mostly positive in the comments section. One lady from Princeton sent in what she considered a small donation; I assume it was a little more than what most of us consider small. Another guy announced that he had sent $50.01 to Matt's Cause. Another man happily sent an unknown amount and offered to treat Stoller to some good Mexican food if he should ever be in New Mexico. However, not every comment was so lavish with encouragement.

The last comment in the thread was made by an old acquaintance of mine on the Jersey blogosphere, Mr. Jay Lassiter (great blog). Stoler's request for donations received this comment from Lassiter:

Don't be surprised to get NO LOVE whatsoever from campaign volunteers from New Jersey. Since you went out of your way to characterize us as "losers" you're not getting a dime from Cherry Hill.

Honestly, I was so disgusted when I read thigs like this:
it makes me glad you're in Connecticut and not here in the Garden State.

You did a lousy job blogging for the Corzine campaign and you turned around and trashed everyone involved on your blog. then you wage what felt like a very personal attact of campaign volunteers in NJ. Then you turn around and ask for $3000 for the privledge of doing....what? raising your own profile?

Here's a tip: what goes around comes around. That goes doubly for goodwill.

That does seem a little harsh Jay. It's hard to disagree with Stoller's point that cash and cynicism play a large role in NJ political campaigns. One of Corzine's most effective strategies was paying people $15/hr to canvas. However, $3000 does seem a little high..gas, train fees...what else brings that to 3 grand?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Scott Garrett

Scott Garrett is very possibly the most rabid of the several right wingers in the New Jersey Congressional delegation. His voting record is certainly out of sync with his constituents stances, nevertheless, it seems that he is a safe candidate this election cycle.

Check out his voting record at Issues2000.

Lieberman Must Change Course

Via Blanton's and Ashton's, Joe Lieberman is in deep trouble. He's trailing by double digits in the polls now, and despite the questionable accuracy of primary polls in the past, it looks like Lieberman will no longer be able to run as the respected establishment candidate fighting off an extremist, as he did before.

Now, Lieberman will be forced to be the independent. He will have to invoke 18 years of nostalgia and respect from Connecticut voters. It's too bad that the former Independent governor of Connecticut endorsed Lamont (probably because he lost a Senate race to Lieberman).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why Is This Not Surprising?

When I looked at the Senate vote on the construction of a fence along the Mexican-American border, I first saw that the vote was 94-3, and then took a guess at who the dissenting senators were. My first thought was Feingold, but I didn't have any idea who the other two were.

It was indeed Russ Feingold, along with Chuck Hagel and Jim Jeffords. A liberal Democrat and two senators who have either become independents or seriously toyed with the idea.

Stender Finally Gets An Issue Up

Linda Stender's campaign finally got around to updating the "issues" link on the campaign website. Now, instead of reading "Coming Soon," it has "Women's Health."

That's not enough to run on Linda. Being Pro-Choice isn't sufficient fire to beat an incumbent Republican. Let's hope they get some other important issues up soon.

Why Don't We Talk About Feingold?

Russ Feingold (D-WI) is one of the most popular presidential candidates in the Midwest. When I visited Wiconsin last month he seemed to be the talk of the town in liberal Madison. However, he has been hardly discussed as a viable nominee in the rest of the country, as most Democrats are busy thinking about Hillary, or, if you're pragmatic, Mark Warner and John Edwards.

Check out New Jersey for Russ Feingold.

Lamont Expected to Win Nomination

Ned Lamont is apparently expected to beat Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in six days. However, Lieberman is far from defeated.

Political Wire speculates that Lieberman is likely to get a new campaign staff for his independent bid for the Senate.

"Expect Lieberman to can anyone who was associated with the 2004 Kerry campaign and replace them with a team of pungent veterans who will take the fight to Lamont."

Really? Fire someone from Kerry's campaign? Who would have thought of that?

Bush Grants Self Permission To Grant More Power To Self

The Onion. It's too bad I haven't linked to these guys yet so far. It should be a daily read.

In a decisive 1–0 decision Monday, President Bush voted to grant the president the constitutional power to grant himself additional powers.