Friday, July 30, 2004

Notes from B/C'04 on Ohio

Very interesting information:
* President Bush and John Kerry remain locked in a close race in Ohio as well. The latest Columbus Dispatch poll (July 14-23) shows President Bush holding a narrow lead over John Kerry, 47% to 45%. The poll also showed that a majority of Ohio voters, 52%, approve of President Bush’s job performance. This is confirmed by the recent Strategic Vision poll (July 17-19), which showed President Bush leading Kerry by 4 points, 48% to 44%.

* The same Columbus Dispatch poll in July 2000 showed then-Governor Bush and Al Gore in a tie as well, 41% to 40%, although George Bush later went on to win the state by 4 points, 50% to 46%.

* Since March 3rd, Kerry and left-leaning 527 groups have spent over $17 million in Ohio, compared to BC '04’s $9 million. Kerry and his shadow campaign have outspent Bush-Cheney by almost a 2 to 1 margin, and have nothing to show for it - the race remains essentially tied in Ohio.

* Despite being massively outspent, President Bush is still in a very strong position in Ohio, and of the reasons is because of our tremendous grassroots organization there. Bush-Cheney '04 now has over 52,000 volunteers in Ohio. Almost two-thirds of all precincts in Ohio (7,575) have precincts chairs, including 88% of target precincts (4,964).
I would imagine we'll start seeing more from the Bush/Cheney team here soon...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Letter to the Editor

I shall "Hobble" this one:
It was not George Tenet or any of the analysts at the CIA who initiated the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was President George W. Bush.

Even if there were no pressure put upon the CIA to tailor intelligence to administration predispositions (which was highly unlikely), it was Bush who rushed this nation to war. He refused to allow the United Nations weapons inspectors to finish their job, which would have demonstrated that there were no weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent security threat to the United States. Further, it is Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, either directly or implicitly, who have insisted that Saddam Hussein is linked to al-Qaida and 9/11. This claim has been proven false over and over again.

The most important quality in a president is judgment. If that judgment is faulty, distorted or rooted in notions that lack a factual basis, this nation is in deep trouble. More than 900 American soldiers are dead, 5,000 have been wounded and there are more dead and wounded to come, given our continued presence in a ravaged and anarchic Iraq. All of that is the result of horrific, disastrous judgment on the part of this president.

The United States has lost the respect of the world. Who will trust us or believe us as long as Bush remains president?

Gerald E. Kerns

That is all...

Springer for Governor?

DDN's Jeff Bruce:
He's serious about Democratic politics, having attended every national convention, either as a TV newsman or as a delegate since 1972. Never been to a GOP convention, not once, not even when he was in the news business.

That passion for politics may propel him back into a race for the Ohio governorship when the seat comes up for grabs in 2006. The former Cincinnati mayor flirted briefly with a run against U.S. Sen. George Voinovich, but gave it up. Now his sights seem to be focusing on Columbus.
Oh, what a splendid race that would be...

Springer really shouldn't embarass himself or his party with even considering a run for political office again.

Tony Hall on Darfur Crisis

An excellent presentation of why Sudan matters to America. Here is the money shot, but go read the whole thing:
First, we should be concerned about a return on our investment. The United States has spent time, energy and resources to negotiate a peace settlement in Sudan. President George W. Bush, Secretary Powell and our new U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Danforth, all have been involved in ending the civil war in southern Sudan. Sudan has seen conflict since its independence, and the war — which began when President Ronald Reagan was in his first term — has claimed more than two million lives.
Second, Sudan is a front in our war on terrorism. Before al-Qaida leaders were sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan, they operated training camps in Sudan. If a huge part of the country were to become an ungovernable wasteland, that would be an invitation for them to come back. As we know from nearby Somalia, a "failed state" does not serve the interests of our national security — or regional or global security.
Third, we need to honor American ideals. We believe in the value of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; not just for ourselves, but as ideals for everyone. These do not exist if you are pursued by marauders who already have stolen your liberty and want to take your life.
If I weren't already behind taking some action in Sudan, this piece would have convinced me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Sunshine Convention

If the editorial board ever bothered to actually speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about John Kerry and the Democrats, their readership would be MUCH more informed. But alas, we get this:
He wants them to talk about what the party wants to do for the country, not about what awful excuses for human beings the speakers think Republicans are. Accentuate the positive.

Actually, it’s not advice, unless you consider the old Kremlin’s input to Pravda to have been advice. It’s The Word.

The Kerry dictum is the latest nail in the coffin of the notion of a national convention as a place where people of diverse views come together to hammer something out. It is now a place were people of identical political interests come together to hammer away, whether positively or negatively.
The problem is, nobody bothered to listen to him or Terry McAwful. The Bush-bashing carries on...just without mentioning his name. What happened to talking about what the Dems were going to do for (to) us? What happened to keeping it positive?

Last night was not full of flowers and smiles. It certainly was not positive campaigning. Granted it wasn't the frothy venom that we all were expecting, but Howard Dean sure isn't pleased.
Sen. Kerry has concluded that there is no longer any point in trashing President George W. Bush for his alleged incompetence or lies or slavish devotion to the oil industry and the wealthy or whatever. The Kerry campaign, for the moment anyway, has decided that people who haven’t bought that caricature yet aren’t going to buy it, and the time has come to try a different pitch on the few remaining undecided voters. For some of those, the most virulent caricatures of the president just make the Democrats look bad, perhaps worse than their target.
What was that about Pravda?

I think middle America sees right through all this nonsense and will vote accordingly.

AK Steel Lay-offs

I don't see any Bush-bashing in this article.
[Alan] McCoy [AK's vice president, government and public relations] said AK has reached out to the AEIF for talks on ways to make the company more competitive.

"We have waited patiently" for a response, McCoy said.

Company leaders contend that AK shoulders $30 of costs for every ton of steel produced that AK's competitors in the integrated steel industry don't carry.
Editors must have had the day off...

Punch Card Ballot Suit

Punch-card voting systems are susceptible to errors, but most of those mistakes are caused by the voter, not the machines, an Ohio election's official testified in the first trial challenging punch-card balloting since the 2000 presidential election.

Dana Walch, director of election reform at the Ohio Secretary of State's office, testified Monday that state studies show the voter makes most errors that lead to punch-card votes not being counted, such as picking more candidates than allowed in a contest.

But the state acknowledges there are some mechanical problems with punch cards, which Walch said are more complex than other types of voting.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state of Ohio, claiming the punch-card machines are not uniform and in several counties are antiquated and don't allow voters to correct mistakes
These are the same types of folks who don't want the electronic machines. Is it just me or is it starting to sound like the liberals don't want ANY method of elections because they will lose no matter which way we do it?

Just asking...

Monday, July 26, 2004

Jane on Jobs

Jane sounds a bit like John Kerry when it comes to talking about the economy and what she would do if (shudder) she were to be elected.

From the campaign site's issues section on jobs:
When elected to Congress, I will work to:

* Develop tax incentives for keeping jobs in America, and eliminate tax breaks for taking jobs overseas
* Work with business and labor leaders to identify and aggressively pursue opportunities for new job creation
* Support small business owners and other entrepreneurs, the most important source of new jobs for our community
* Put an immediate stop to off-shoring of vital and sensitive government data processing
Let's break that down:
Develop tax incentives for keeping jobs in America, and eliminate tax breaks for taking jobs overseas
This is the old outsourcing argument that Kerry tried awhile back. The reality is that we have far more insourced jobs here in Ohio than outsourced jobs. By engaging in such isolationist activity, Jane would risk losing Ohio's insourced jobs. But don't take my word for it, here's a clip from the Organization for International Investment:
U.S. subsidiaries in Ohio have consistently supported a significant number of jobs in the state. They now employ 242,200 Ohio workers - an increase of nearly 7% over five years.

In comparison to other states, Ohio has proven to be an attractive location for international employers, ranking 10th in the United States in the number of employees supported by U.S. subsidiaries.

In fact, the relative portion of jobs in the state supplied by U.S. subsidiaries has remained strong over time. They provide the livelihood for nearly 5% of Ohio's private-sector workforce.
THAT is what Jane risks.

Oh. I know what's next. Manufacturing jobs. Same source:
U.S. subsidiaries support 116,900 manufacturing jobs in Ohio. Manufacturing companies tend to have a strong "multiplier" effect on the economy-stimulating a substantial amount of activity and jobs in other sectors through their demand for inputs from other suppliers.

Overall, approximately 48% of jobs at U.S. subsidiaries in Ohio are in manufacturing industries.
Back to Jane's site:
Work with business and labor leaders to identify and aggressively pursue opportunities for new job creation
Jane would like for you to think that Mike Turner isn't doing his job. Mike Turner has worked hard for Ohio's jobs. For example, he hosted a manufacturing and jobs forum with...
Congressman Rob Portman (OH-2), Congressman David Hobson (OH-7), Congressman John Boehner (OH-8) and Congressman Phil English (PA-3). Manufacturers and representatives include: The National Association of Manufactures, Ohio Manufacturing Association, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Tool and Die Manufacturers Association, Ferno, Dayton Mutual Tool & Die, Crown Cork & Seal, CB Manufacturing & Sales, Candle-lite, and others.

[Topics covered included]: Tax policy issues, medical coverage costs, regulatory burdens, Chinese trade practices, research & development, raw materials, education & training, and other ways to stimulate growth in manufacturing and additional job creation.

Congressman Turner said, "Dayton’s manufacturing base has been an important part of our region’s economic engine. This forum is an opportunity to get together a group of some of the leading Members of Congress with the area’s most important manufacturers so we can hear their ideas to take back to Washington. Out of these discussions, I am optimistic we can build on the economic recovery and create more jobs for Ohio’s families."
Back to Jane:
Support small business owners and other entrepreneurs, the most important source of new jobs for our community
Jane wants you to think Mike Turner is under the influence of the evil HALLIBURTON! or some other big business conglomerate. Mike Turner was President of JMD Development, a real estate development company and corporate counsel for MTC International; hardly Enron or WorldCom or whatever other large corporation is considered evil by liberals this week. (Source)

Mike Turner understands small business and entrpreneurship; as Mayor of Dayton, Congressman Turner established a development fund providing more than $19 million in grants for housing and job-producing projects. The development fund sparked investment which resulted in a renaissance of Dayton’s downtown, after two decades of decline, including a $130 million arts center, a minor league baseball stadium, river front development, loft and upscale housing, additional corporate headquarters, and redevelopment of a brownfield area into a tool and die business industrial park. (Source)

Back to Jane:
Put an immediate stop to off-shoring of vital and sensitive government data processing
And we're back to outsourcing which we've already covered.

And if it sounds like Jane is down on Ohio's economic performance (and it does sound that way to me), you might want to check this article out that I wrote for WMD. And my colleague, Mark Garbett, put this one together.

3:56PM Update

NCPA Senior Fellow Bruce Bartlett says, "Restrictions on outsourcing may save a few jobs in the short run, but they will come only at the expense of better jobs in the future." Read the release to discover why he (and I) knows this...

Editorial: "Kerry should reject ways of the movie"

The editorial board offeers up some unsolicited advice to John Kerry:
At some stage in the presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry should make clear that the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 is not his idea of how to conduct political discourse.
But it is his idea of political discourse. Remember, John kerry didn't need to see the movie because he "lived it."
That might sound like a strange suggestion. It's only a movie, after all. Since when are candidates asked to review movies?
Well, when movies are used as campaign propaganda (officially or otherwise), the candidate should be asked these kinds of questions. That he isn't shows as much about media bias than it does about Kerry's campaign.
But one important question in this presidential campaign is how American politics should be conducted. Things have gotten unduly ugly, now that the left has taken up the right's habit of going through life on a rant. Sen. Kerry has said that he would like to change the tone.
One should ask how it got this ugly. Now the Editorial Board will try to pin this on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy of talk radio and blogs, but the reality is that Michael Moore and Ted Rall are not in the VRWC.
Moreover, this movie is playing a remarkable role. It might not be changing any minds, but it is being used to rev up the Kerry troops. The National Education Association (a teachers' union and a hotbed of Democratic activity) and the NAACP showed the film at their conventions. Other liberal organizations are using it, too.
And what does this say about our teachers and union members that they would buy in to such discredited nonsense? Just asking...
The movie seems to work for some people as entertainment. It does not, however, provide insight. Rather, it uses absurdly cheap manipulations to put the Bush people in a bad light. One example among many: Attorney General John Ashcroft did not lose his Senate seat because voters preferred a dead man. They preferred a dead man's widow.
Of all the errors to pull from this dreadfully inaccurate film, why attack Ashcroft? Because it fits the liberal agenda of the Editorial Board? Isn't this sort of snarky line just the sort of thing the theme of this editorial is trying to avoid? Again, just asking...
As an article in the pro-Kerry New Republic notes, the movie uses "precisely the same weapons as those used by the Republican propaganda machine: disinformation, short cuts, omissions. To portray prewar Iraq as an idyllic country where people danced and had fun and got married, where children played and laughed, borders on the despicable."
What the Editorial Board is doing here by quoting The New Republic is framing the debate in someone else's voice while maintaining "above the fray." The reality is that this is the view of the Editorial Board of the Dayton Daily News, not just TNR. Show me the Republican propaganda machine. Show me the Republican disinformation (and I wouldn't call erroneous intelligence information Republican disinformation). Show me the Republican's short cuts. Show me the Republican ommissions. Demand proof of these folks; don't let them get away with this sort of propaganda.
The point of Mr. Moore's movie is that the president and the people around him are despicable, not just wrong. This is poison to democracy.
It is a poison to democracy...I'll give you that.
To be sure, the emotions that are causing people to like a hateful movie are largely the fault of President George W. Bush. This is what happens when a president pursues a dubious war, offers shifting rationale and turns out to have been simply wrong in his fundamental reasons for war.
Ahh, it's George Bush's fault! There is nothing dubious about the war: Saddam was a threat to our nation, had a history of being a threat to this nation, his neighbors, AND his own people; he was seeking weapons of mass destruction, some of which have been found; Saddam's regime was in material breach of UN resolutions. The rationale for the war has never shifted. The only thing that has shifted is the goalposts for proving what we all took for granted during Bill Clinton's reign in the White House.
Nevertheless, hatefulness is harmful. It can tear the country apart as much as the war itself. It might result in a new presidency, but it might keep that presidency from succeeding.
I can see the Editorial Board breaking out in song...cue the music! Democrats failed to learn the lesson that the Republicans were forced to learn in 1996: voting against somebody rather than for the right guy is not the way to victory. All this talk sounds like the Editorial Board is anticipating a Bush victory yet can't quite seem to say so.
In 2000, during the post-election fiasco in Florida, right-wing radio and right-wing propagandists generally went on an endless tear about how the Democrats were trying to steal an election they had lost. This created a needlessly war-like environment. Candidate George W. Bush refused to distance himself from the ugliness, refused to speak the simple truth: that each party was doing what the other would have done if the situation were reversed.
Ah, it's Sean Hannity's fault. Rush Limbaugh is responsible for George W. Bush's victory in Florida. Don't mind the fact that the President won recount after recount after recount after recount. Liberals have a dangerous tendency to project themselves on to their opponents and this event is no different. They charge that Bush "stole the election" because that is, in fact, what they were trying to do. Don't be fooled by the rhetoric.
If he had taken a different tone then — and consistently — he would have a stronger presidency now and a stronger country. If Sen. Kerry seeks the higher ground now, he will be where an aspiring president ought to be.
The Editorial Board would have supported George W. Bush if only Rush and Hannity played nice while Al Gore tried to make off with the presidency. Anybody believe that?

What political hacks...

"Standards board faces tough task"

Boo-hoo... Cry me a river...
The newly impaneled Educator Standards Board will have to walk a fine line between establishing ambitious standards for Ohio's new and veteran teachers and driving them away from the field at a crucial time, one board member said.
I believe there is a difference between ensuring that our teachers know their business and forcing teachers to endure unneccessary additional time in the often liberal environment of our colleges and universities.

If the standards are knowledge based and not education based, I have no problem what so ever with the board getting tough.

This doesn't sound all that encouraging to me:
Members of the 17-member standards board were appointed last week by the state Board of Education and were handed the responsibility of developing state standards for teachers and principals. The board also will establish guidelines for educators' professional development and will recommend strategies to narrow the "achievement gaps" in student test scores between racial and socio-economic groups, Ohio Department of Education officials said. And it will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the educator standards and to recommend "appropriate corrective action" to the state Board of Education for those who do not meet the standards.
"Professional development" is liberal for more degrees and endless seminars. The achievement gaps between racial and socio-economic groups occurs because the parents treat the schools like a baby-sitting service instead of a valuable investment in their child's future. Our administrators spend more team creating an environment conducive to liberal indoctrination than actually making sure our kids can read and write.
It will be a delicate task.
I should say...
Already, new teachers face stricter certification and licensing requirements than their predecessors. James Uphoff, president of the Oakwood Board of Education and standards board member, said some form of "grandfathering" of new requirements will likely continue.
What they aren't telling is what exactly those "stricter certification and licensing requirements" are... More certifications and tought licensing requirements doesn't make a teacher.
But the Ohio Department of Education clearly expects that veteran teachers "have a real responsibility not to die on the vine," Uphoff said. Experienced teachers must still seek to improve their methods and embrace new technology and equipment proved to help them teach more effectively, said Uphoff, who also serves as associate director for the Wright State University Center for Teaching and Learning.
You see, it is vitally important for our teachers to utilize computers and stuff. Why? I don't know. Teachers never needed all those gizmos to teach reading and writing before...but we better make sure our teachers are certified and licensed in it.
The other Miami Valley representative to the standards board — Shawn Jackson, who teaches social studies at McKinney Middle School in Yellow Springs — brings his own set of training and mentoring credentials to the panel. Jackson is in his 16th year of teaching, evaluates entry-level teachers and helps train fellow teachers to serve as evaluators, and has mentored young teachers as well.
Now, I don't know Shawn Jackson, but Yellow Springs isn't a bastion of conservatism. I can imagine, without to much effort, what kind of blowhard this is... It comes down to pleasing people like Shawn Jackson so you can get and/or keep your job.
Jackson said he sought the Ohio Education Association nomination to the standards board because he feels teachers should monitor their profession much as medical societies do for doctors and bar associations do for lawyers. is THAT much easier to weed out those evil conservatives that way too.
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Bob Taft in March created the Educator Standards Board and spelled out the board's makeup and duties. The board consists of eight teachers from public schools, one teacher from a chartered private school, four school administrators, one school board member and three representatives from colleges and universities. Nominations were submitted by teachers' unions, the Ohio Board of Regents and education associations. Members receive no compensation other than reimbursement of expenses.
And where are the parents? Just asking...

Go read the whole thing...

Another Letter to the Editor

Blogger Rob Bernard tears apart a letter submited by a liberal from Oakwood.

It is recommended reading...

Friday, July 23, 2004

"Checking back with top predictor"

From the Dayton Daily News by Martin Gottlieb:
OK, you’re probably wondering who’s going to win the election.

To put it more precisely, the predictive system that was reported here in January to be saying “Bush,” and again in March, is still saying “Bush.”

That fact is noted here because the system has arguably never been wrong.

It will be wrong eventually, of course. It’s only human. If this is the year, that is not all bad in the eyes of the system’s creator, Professor Allan J. Lichtman of American University in Washington, D.C. He is for Kerry. But he is duty bound to report what the system says.
Okay, I'm with you so far, Marty...
If he is wrong, he will take comfort in being, by his count, 6-1 in presidential elections. And he’ll take more comfort in the prospects of the nation and the world. (He is also predicting that a second George W. Bush term would be a calamity. But he has no system behind him on that one.)
Now dropping a bomb like that is just uncalled for...if you aren't going to explain what the good doctor means, you are better off leaving the comment out.
He bases his elections predictions on systematic study of all the presidential elections in the history of the current two-party system. He has found 13 factors to be most frequently present when the incumbent party wins. None of them is always present. It’s the overall pattern he’s looking for.

This system is better than systems based on one factor — the president’s midyear approval rating in the polls, say, or the state of the economy, or the height of the candidates — because 13 is more than one.
So far so good...
(This isn’t getting too technical, is it?)
Yes, you are so much more superior than the foolish readers who buy your pathetic little rag... This sort of smugness has no place in journalism.
History shows that if eight or more of the 13 factors are present, the incumbent party wins the popular vote. Why eight? No reason; that’s just the way it works out.

Bush has the following factors going for him: (1) His party has gained seats in the House of Representatives over the past two elections. (2) He will breeze to renomination. (3) He is the incumbent president (as opposed to his party putting up a new person).

(4) There is no significant third candidacy threatening him. (5) The economy in the election year is not in recession. (6) There has been no major social unrest — meaning violence — in this country on his watch.

(7) There has been no major scandal (see below). (8) He has achieved a major international success, with the war in Afghanistan going easily (see below). And (9) his opponent is not charismatic or a major national hero.
I'm with you here...mainly because you are spitting out the information from the good doctor...
Some of these are judgment calls, of course. Many Democrats are outraged at the suggestion that there’s been no major scandal, given especially that the Bush rationale for war has collapsed.

Some people, too, question whether the Afghan war should be considered either major or a success, given that Osama bin Laden has not been captured and that al-Qaida lives.
There are Bill Clinton parallels to be made here...
But Lichtman must apply the standards as they have applied in previous elections. He can’t change the definition of “scandal” or “success” now, lest the whole system collapse.

In the past, a military victory need not have been against a powerful enemy to be counted as a success. It need only have advanced American interests in the world in some substantial way. Depriving al-Qaida of its sanctuary was almost universally seen as doing that.

As for scandal, sorry, it has to be about genuine wrongdoing, not about being wrong. And it has to be generally perceived as a scandal, not just apparent to the president’s detractors. And it should be formalized by some institution, meaning indictment, conviction, or impeachment of the president or people near him.
This doctor is smart, yes?
Another predictive system is getting a lot of attention this year. It is based upon presidential approval ratings. Specifically, presidents whose public approval ratings are — like George W. Bush’s — below 50 percent in midyear lose.

However, there has been one exception: Harry Truman, who stood at 39 percent in a May/June Gallup Poll in 1948.
Like polls, approval ratings really don't mean much this early...
Moreover, there have only been a few test cases to look at, because polling is relatively new, and because the approval rating can only be considered when an incumbent president is on the ballot.

By contrast, all of Lichtman’s questions about an election can be answered about every election since the Civil War.
It's confirmed...this guy is smart!
Still and all, some people don’t want to believe. Democrats find all kinds of rationales for seeing a Kerry victory: Iraq is just such an embarrassment to Bush. And Democrats are riled up as never before in memory. And they’ve got money. And the Internet has changed everything. And Michael Moore, Al Franken and the gang are finally fighting back against the right-wing propagandists.

In truth, though, every time there’s an election that even looks like it might be close, people find reasons to believe what they want about the future. It’s easy enough to find them — always.

Which is fine. Sometimes people complain that a system like Lichtman’s threatens to take all the fun out of politics, to make everything seem predetermined and not subject to human effort. But that would be giving the system way too much credit.
The reality is that Iraq isn't an embarrassment. The Democrats ARE riled the point of coming unhinged. The Internet really hasn't changed all that much (and that is coming from a blogger!). And Michael Moore and Al Franken are preaching to the choir while the congregation has left the church.

In truth, as Hugh Hewitt says, "If it isn't close, they can't cheat." And believe me when I say that if it is close, we'll see all kinds of shenanigans. Sometimes belief isn't have to have the votes.

Lichtman's system appears to be quite accurate. I don't know about taking the fun out politics though, the politicans do that pretty well enough on their own. Human effort is still required in order to win an election. People still have to show up at the polls and do what they need to do to make the prediction a reality.
Those of us who believe in it aren’t betting any houses on its accuracy. I harp because it’s kind of fun, because it’s the best system, and because it offers important insights into how elections works. However, being a system devised by humans, it is fallible.
...or so you hope.

Me? I'm voting for Bush/Cheney and think that you should too.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Letter to DDN Editor: "Edwards an excellent choice"

Sometimes you read some of these letters and you just have to write back...

We were lucky in Dayton to get one of the first looks at the John Kerry/John Edwards presidential ticket. Edwards was an excellent pick — he brings a refreshing optimism and an ability to connect with people.

Yes, John Kerry picked well. Actually, Kerry picked the only guy he could. John Kerry picked a disingenuous, unaccomplished liberal who is a friend to Personal Injury Trial Lawyers.
Vice President Dick Cheney represents everything that is wrong with politics in this country.

Vice President Dick Cheney is an experienced politican who is serving his country with distinction. Only partisan hacks think otherwise.
Cheney invited the energy industry to help write an energy policy which it benefited from, at our expense. He came from scandal-plagued Halliburton, which got billions of dollars worth of no-bid contracts. He still holds stock options in that company.

This is nothing new. HILLARY invited the health care industry to help write HILLARYcare policy, which it would have benefitted from had it gotten out of committee and actually passed. "Scandal-plagued Halliburton"? I don't think so. The HALLIBURTON! smear has been debunked by people who don't espouse black helicopter conspiracy theories quite so dearly...
Edwards, on the other hand, has consistently prioritized ordinary people over corporations. He’s been an advocate for middle-class values and policies which help millions of families that are scraping to get by.

Yes, the The Daily Oklahoman (Editorial, “Man Of The People?”1/3/03) was so impressed they declared "[Edwards] is just the latest politician to declare himself one of the people, a populist who will fight for the little guy in the circles of power. In reality Edwards is a multimillionaire, his money made as a high-powered trial lawyer. We doubt you’ll find many calluses on that man’s hands."

And here is the New York Times: "He became rich [representing plaintiffs], racking up more than $175 million for his clients from 1985 to 1997 and amassing a personal fortune of at least $38 million, according to North Carolina Lawyers Weekly." (James C. Mckinley, Jr., "A Journey From A Mill Town Ends With A Run For President," The New York Times, 1/12/04)

Here is some more of Edwards' fighting for the little guy style:

Edwards Says We Need "The Backbone" To Fight Against, "Big Corporations, Pharmaceutical Companies, Big Insurances Companies, Big HMOs." "We can’t deal with the health care crisis in America unless we have the backbone and courage to do what I have been doing my entire life; fighting against big corporations, pharmaceutical companies, big insurance companies, big HMOs." (Sen. John Edwards, Remarks At Democrat Presidential Candidates Debate, Columbia, SC, 5/3/03)

But Since 1997, John Edwards Has Received Over $35,000 From Pharmaceutical Company Employees, Including $25,000 In Soft Money. (Dwight L. Morris & Associates Website; IRS 527 Search Website)

Edwards Received Soft Money From Agnes Varis, President & CEO, Agvar Chemicals -- $25,000 – 2nd Quarter 2002 Report, New American Optimists 527 (IRS 527 Search Website)

Edwards Owns Pharmaceutical Company Stock. According to his 2003 Senate Personal Financial Disclosure Report, Edwards owns stock in Johnson & Johnson and Merck. Edwards sold Bristol Myers Squibb stock, earning between $1,000-$15,000 in income. (Senator John Edwards, 2003 Senate Public Financial Disclosure Report)
President George W. Bush and Cheney have had their chance and failed. This November, it’s time for the American voters to help them step aside, and to let Kerry and Edwards lead us back in a direction we can be proud of.

I guess all that depends on what your definition of failure is. Our economy is recovering from the Clinton/Gore recession. We have liberated millions of people in two countries. Bush and Cheney have done a LOT that this nation is proud of and I see no reason for change now. This November, it is time for the American people to help clue in the obstructionists and naysayers that pessimism is not the answer.
Gary L. Lovings, Beavercreek OH

I'm Matt Hurley and I approved this message.

Gen. Clark Stumps for Jane

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark [war criminal?] will appear at a Courthouse Square rally today in support of Democrat Jane Mitakides, 3rd District candidate for Congress.

Mitakides of Washington Twp. is challenging freshman U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville.

Clark [war criminal?], who sought the Democratic presidential nomination this year, will speak during a 5 p.m. public rally, billed as a program honoring American military personnel and veterans. Afterward, he will take part in a fund-raiser for Mitakides at Crowne Plaza Hotel.

"It's hard for me to put into words how honored I am that he's coming in," said Mitakides, who has been active in political campaigns but is making her first run for office. "I come from a family with very deep military roots and I very much admire Gen. Clark [war criminal?]."
Emphasis and bracketed commentary added.

Jane, Jane, Jane...first it was Kos, now it's Wesley [war criminal?]. She just doesn't seem to exercise good judgement. Either that or she is just so desperate for help that she'll take whatever she can get. I'm not sure which scenario is worse...

I'm not all that concerned. Rep. Turner has three times the money Jane does and doesn't appear all that vulnerable.

Crossposted at WMD.

Politics as Pop Art

The Dayton Daily Democrat's editorial board seems to think it is pretty cool that politics has hijacked pop culture.

They foray in to this field with a mention of OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, a "documentary" about how "fair and balanced" Fox News really is. The problem with this sort of film is that, like the Michael Moore propaganda, if the film maker comes in to the documentary with anything less than an open mind, the film suffers.

Of course, everybody who cares already knows that Fox is out to serve conservatives. The charge that it is serving a conservative White House is not much of a leap.

Here is the thing about FNC: when they do the news, it is about the news; when they do commentary, you know that it is commentary. You can't say the same thing about ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. Bias in the media wasn't invested by Fox, nor is it being practiced by Fox. You can't tell when Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw stop delivering the news and start serving up their own liberal ideology. Neither of those guys stack up to a Brit Hume when it comes to delivering unbiased news. I'd compare them to the likes of Bill O'Rielly, who's job isn't to deliver the news but rather his commentary on the news. And I'd love to see a Hannity and Colmes-type show on the alphabet networks, but I won't hold my breath.

People apparently love to watch people they hate squirm.

I don't know about that. Moore's latest crockumentary didn't really do all that well when you compare it against other movies. Shrek 2 had a higher box office take for crying out loud. Moore plays the victim card very well and so his "victory" at the box office comes off as much more impressive than it really is.

On the other hand, I'm really kind of looking forward to Michael Moore Hates America so there might just be something to that after all.

Contrary to what the editorial board would have you thinking, the broadcast networks are not meeting to decide whether or not they are going to be "fair and balanced." They have decided to be liberal a LONG time ago and I don't forsee any change in the near future. The echo chamber has resonated their garbage for so long that they have become deaf to reality. Hence Fox is the highest rated news station in the nation.

Hollyweird will never portray Ronald Reagan with the dignity and respect that he deserves. Conversely, Bill Clinton will never be played as the pathetic human being he actually was either. And as for "conservative and liberal crime shows" I don't really see a difference there: a conservative crime show would persue any kind of crime be it corporate or welfare fraud. That's the main difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals care about the social ramifications; conservatives just want the criminals caught and justice served.

The interesting question posed in this editorial is whether or not all this politics injected into pop culture will effect voter turnout. Like the editorial board, I don't believe so. At this point all the bomb-throwing is merely firing up the people who were already partisan.

The best hope is that as intensely political Democrats and Republicans file into their adjoining theatres, they will begin to realize that their interest in politics gives them more in common than they thought.

Yeah, right.

With an attitude like that, peace will never get a chance, man! I know, I's the thought that counts. But really, does it?

DDN Editorial on TrouserGate

By Matt Hurley for the TIB Network:

Editorial from the Dayton Daily News:
The flap over Sandy Berger is an example of just how ugly the presidential election is in danger of getting.
This is no "flap" (relevant definition: A blow given with something flat; a slap.) but rather a very serious crime. This presidential race was ugly, as you call it, a long time ago. I recall it getting "ugly" prior to the Democratic primaries. In fact, it's been "ugly" since the President won Florida...even with recount after recount after recount after recount.
Mr. Berger, the national security adviser for President Bill Clinton, has messed up. At least.
IS that supposed to reassure us? Whew! At least it wasn't one of John Kerry's advisors! I hate to break it to you, the recently "informal" advisor to Mr. Kerry used to be called a "top" advisor to John Kerry. And yes, he "messed up" alright. He committed a crime. One that he has admitted to committing when he said he "knowingly" took some documents and "inadvertantly" took others.
At the request of the official commission investigating 9/11, he was poring over some classified documents. He left the National Archives with some of them. He can’t do that. They are supposed to remain in a secure area, lest they fall into the hands of the nation’s enemies. He knew that. He says he didn’t mean to take the documents.
Mr. Berger was not requested to steal documents by the 9/11 Commission. Perhaps President Clinton can shed some light on this: What did HE know and when did he know it.
Some of them still haven’t turned up.
And that would be a problem now wouldn't it...
Now the Republicans are calling for an investigation. That’s appropriate. But they’ve gone beyond that. They have gone to the point of having a cow.
You've got to ask yourself what this article would be about had Condi Rice stolen documents from the National Archive... Having a cow? You betcha!
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, once a relatively restrained voice in politics, but lately determined to show that he can sling mud with the worst, said "What information could be so embarrassing that a man with decades of experience in handling classified documents would risk being caught pilfering our nation’s most sensitive secrets (Mr. Berger) was given access to these documents to assist the 9/11 commission, not hide information from them."
I was not too impressed with Speaker Hastert prior to his leadership on this issue. He was a "relatively restrained voice" because the Democrats were able to walk all over him. Now that he's had enough, he's "slinging mud with the best of them"? I say it is about time.
From that, you would never know that no authority is accusing Mr. Berger of trying to hide any information, much less pilfering secrets. He had legal access to the secrets. And the documents in question were just copies. The 9/11 commission has them, and it is not raising a complaint with Mr. Berger.
Copies with handwritten notes on them become more than "just copies" they are seperate documents that may shed light on some things. It is true that he had legal access to the secrets; but he did not have legal authority to remove the secrets from the National archive "knowingly" or "inadvertantly."
Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay called the Berger incident "a third-rate burglary," invoking Watergate rhetoric.
Like no Democrat has done THAT lately...
"This is not sloppy," he said. "I think it is gravely, gravely serious what he did, if he did it, and it could be a national security crisis."
And the Majority Leader would be correct on this point. We need to know what he took, who he gave information to and what he did with it.
Now the right-wing warriors in the media and elsewhere are sending out frantic messages to their troops, stating as facts allegations that Mr. Berger denies (about stuffing documents in his clothes).
The fact is, he got the classified documents out. I don't really care much whether he stuffed his socks or not. This is merely a deploy the smoke screen tactic in order to change the subject. This man committed a serious crime. Just because he has a D after his name doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
Meanwhile, Democrats are pointing out that the Berger incident actually happened last fall and an investigation was begun then. They say the Republicans raise it now to distract attention from the report of the 9/11 commission that’s out this week, and from the Democrats’ upcoming convention.
Which just goes to show that it is in fact a Democratic leak timed so that with the upcoming convention the story could be swept under the run as quickly as possible. If it were a Republican leak, they would have saved it for an "October Surprise" that you liberals keep waiting for...
This whole flap would hardly be worth pausing over — at least in the absence of some new information suggesting a bigger security problem — if not for what it says about the presidential campaign. It seems to be a harbinger.
Again, this is not a "flap" but a rather serious criminal act that is worthy of doing a LOT more than just pausing over. Ask yourself again what this editorial would be about if it had been Condi Rice who had done this. Harbinger indeed...
Really, though, it’s hard to see what the two parties get at this stage out of getting too far down and dirty. Why should they spin passing events so egregiously that nobody will be impressed except the people who are already on board with them?
Good question for the Anybody But Bush crowd, the 527s, and Moore's Disease infected Ted Rall wing of the Democratic Party that has hijacked the loyal opposition in this country.
The usual purpose of such work is to fire up the troops, to get your side so hopping mad that it gets to work. But this year that’s the last thing that’s necessary. If people start hopping any higher they will soon get above the pull of gravity and will be gone forever.
And who would be responsible for whipping people up in to such a frothy frenzy... I blame the Anybody But Bush crowd, the 527s, and Moore's Disease infected Ted Rall wing of the Democratic Party that has hijacked the loyal opposition in this country.
Given that the riling up is not necessary, the politicians have the opportunity to conserve their own dignity. Whether that means anything to them remains to be seen.
Democrats aren't interested in dignity...they are after power. Nothing else matters to them. Nothing.

Crossposted on WMD