Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bringing the House Down: Edwards Homecoming Rally Rocks

In Raleigh:
newsobserver.com News:
"The rally had the energy of a rock concert and the air of a college pep rally -- a mood enhanced by rock musician Jon Bon Jovi, who warmed up the crowd."

Friday, October 29, 2004

MSNBC - What Is a War President?

MSNBC - What Is a War President?: "Americans old enough to remember the 1940s�and those of us who learn from history�have a model of a War President. He is one who builds true cooperation with our foreign friends. He is one who is never the aggressor, but once attacked, involves even those closest to him in an all-out effort to win. And he is one who has a plan for the peace such as the Marshall Plan in Europe or reindustrialization in Japan.
A War President isn't self-proclaimed. A president becomes a true War President by leadership that inspires followers at home and abroad. And most importantly, a War President never loses sight of the goals of true peace with honor. "

Thursday, October 28, 2004

"The Triumph of Anything Goes" by David Greenberg

Not new, but still highly noteworthy analysis from historian David Greenberg (Harvard '91):

"Bush and his team have shown contempt for many of the bedrock elements of liberal democracy, including public access to information; a press that interrogates its leaders; a give-and-take between parties that represent different interests; a separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; the preference for reason over the use of force; and the support of legal safeguards to prevent the arbitrary exercise of power by the executive. They have routinely violated the bounds of acceptable political behavior in a democracy.

... the anything-goes attitude comprises
more than the sum total of these instances. It's a philosophy, a set of premises
and prejudices, that scorns deliberation and dissent, exalts brute power, drips
with disrespect for the spirit (if not the letter) of the law, stiff-arms
compromise, and mocks the popular will."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

New Yorker Endorsement for Kerry

Thoughtful, well-reasoned, well-written editorial:

"While Bush has pandered relentlessly to the narrowest urges of his base, Kerry has sought to appeal broadly to the American center. In a time of primitive partisanship, he has exhibited a fundamentally undogmatic temperament. In campaigning for America's mainstream restoration, Kerry has insisted that this election ought to be decided on the urgent issues of our moment, the issues that will define American life for the coming half century. That insistence is a measure of his character. He is plainly the better choice. As observers, reporters, and commentators we will hold him to the highest standards of honesty and performance. For now, as citizens, we hope for his victory."

Slate Votes - It's Kerry by a landslide!

In a creative and democratic alternative to the traditional editorial endorsement, Slate magazine invited their staff to share who they're voting for and why as individuals.
It's a Kerry landslide, but there's a lot of criticism to go around.

One highlight:
"Robert Wright, Contributor: Kerry
He's a long way from being the Messiah, but at least he's not the anti-Christ."
Indeed.

Conversation with a Conservative: Peter G. Peterson

"The Commerce Secretary in the Nixon administration explains that the Republican Party 'has lost its moorings' in recent years." From Mother Jones. View more interviews.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Cleveland 'Plain Dealer': Between Bush and a Hard Place

Editors versus Owners: Why Media Ownership Matters
Because owners trump employees every time. Because journalists are just employees with mortgages to pay and careers to worry about. Because bureau chiefs can be fired (as at Sinclair); editorial decisions can be overturned (as at CPD); stories can and do get rewritten or squashed every day (as at Fox News).

Witness the latest media controversy brewing in one of the most populous and strategically important areas in the ultimate battleground state of Ohio:

"Discussions continue at the Cleveland Plain Dealer to resolve an impasse
between the paper's editorial board and its publisher about who to endorse for
president.

The paper's editorial board, as E&P first revealed,
decided last week that it wanted to endorse Sen. John Kerry, but Publisher Alex
Machaskee, who has final say, prefers President George W. Bush. The paper backed
Bush in 2000. "

Whereas Sinclair's power grab was a boldfaced, almost comical embarrasment, this fight over the Cleveland Plain Dealer's delayed presidential endorsement exposes a more commonplace and insidious reason that media ownership matters. It illustrates that power (owners) will flex its muscle whenever it chooses, and can usually do so with much less fanfare and consequence than in this election. These maneuvers almost always take place behind the scenes, invisible to the public. And consolidation only multiplies the impact. There is no question. Media ownership is a democratic issue.

MSNBC - Big Love for Clinton in Philly

MSNBC -: "People haven't seen Bill Clinton since he went through major life-threatening surgery. The fact he's coming back here and hitting the campaign trail is just sheer political excitement, whatever side you're on. I'm sure the Republicans were watching closely.

And they are trying to figure out how they can get some negative impact of out this to the more conservative parts of the country: the Bible belt, Southern Ohio, perhaps in Arkansas where Democrats are showing some light.
Certainly Bill Clinton carries some negative baggage but here in this city, it's not just a city of brotherly love, it's a city of Clinton love... This is like Lazarus coming out of the tomb."

WolfpacksforTruth.org: The Real Story on George Bush's "Wolves" Commercial

WolfpacksforTruth.org: The Real Story on George Bush's "Wolves" Commercial
Forget polls. This really perks up my day. If you've seen or even read about the new RNC commercial that uses wolves as a metaphor for terrorists you'll understand the genius of this web site, which critiques the commercial from the wolves' [imagined] point of view. Totally hilarious but informative commentary!!! One quote (from one of the wolves): "They told us we were shooting a Greenpeace commercial! When the camera crew showed up, we wondered why they were all driving Hummers. Our agent assured us it was a Greenpeace commercial and they paid TWICE our hourly steak rate."

In addition to being funny, the site contains important information on the Bush record on the environment. What a creative, smart, and to call attention to the absurdities of the Bush-Cheney campaign and their horrendous record.


[Ohio Issue 1] A bad marriage

All those who think that gay rights should be handled at the state level need look no further than Ohio's proposed "Issue One" amendment to see the dangerous consequences this could bring. In Ohio a state constitutional amendment is on the ballot that would not only ban same sex marriage, but also the legal protection of ANY legal arrangements between same sex couples. This would include partnerships and civil unions. So to say that this issue should be decided at the state level is to open the door to the possiblity of widespread discrimination of the kind that not even the Republican party endorses (at least officially anyway).
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
A bad marriage: "The ill-con ceived ballot drive to amend Ohio's Constitution to deny legal status to any consenting adult relationships outside the traditional bond of male-female marriage is a terrible idea. "

Salon.com Politics

Jon Stewart Media Backlash: "By early October, the story that Jon Stewart was Aristophanes reborn -- by way of Edward R. Murrow's gene pool -- was about as revelatory as the news that bloggers were a major journalistic force on the election landscape.
But the moody chasm between early October and late-October is vast. And in late-October, the media is exhausted, frustrated, scared and eager to lash out. Conveniently, they also happen to be shocked, shocked by Stewart's dead-serious scolding of Crossfire hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala last Friday. And so they have turned. "

Salon.com Politics

Eminem gets political!?! "With his history of homophobia and his long-running beef with MoveOn supporter Moby, Eminem is an even less likely lefty hero than Howard Stern. But the just-released video for his new anti-Bush song 'Mosh,' makes 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look like a GOP campaign spot, and it will almost certainly reach an audience that wouldn't think of shelling out for a documentary. "