I just found out that CT Senator Chris Dodd will be coming to Iowa and is holding an event in Marshalltown on Saturday, September 9th from 3-5 pm. I believe this will be Sen. Dodd's first trip to the state in the past few years. I am sure that he will be making stops elsewhere in the state. Dodd has said that he is exploring a run for President in 2008. Here is a look at Dodd on the issues.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
There is a diary on MyDD about the quality of Selden Spencer's stump speech called "Selden Spencer : The Best Stump Speech in America?". The author writes about a speech Spencer made at the Iowa State Fair. Here is the piece from MyDD.
Do you like the accountability theme? Tying government problems back to Bush and the Republicans? Nobody, my friends, does it any better than Seldon Spencer of Iowa in his stump speech at the Iowa state fair. Spencer asks amiably but bluntly, "I see the chaos in Iraq and the incompetence in Katrina and I ask who is holding George Bush and Tom Latham responsible? The answer is nobody. That's why I'm running."
The audio is available on the Des Moines Register website (choose news, then politics, and look at the right hand side of the page). Spencer, a neurologist, is an absolutely gifted stump speaker. He keeps it simple and folksy and got actual and real applause for his speech and his answers to questions (some of which were from stupid wingnuts). He is SO much better than wingnut vet congressman Jim Nussle (who stumbles in his speech and just keeps mentioning Iowa, Iowa values and such incoherently and without reason). he's also a lot better than Leonard Boswell.
Among his nifty answers to questions, on one about abortion and parent notification. "I can't see putting control in the hands of a father who may have caused the problem through incest." He added, "The problem is teen pregnancy. We're 82nd in the world, just ahead of Burundi." On energy, "Tom Latham has voted against mileage standards and for giving $33 billion in subsidies to the oil, coal, and nuclear energies. We need to be sending that money back to the midwest and not to the Mideast." He compares stem cell donors to organ donors, "If people choose to donate their embryos to save lives, that's their choice just like people choosing to donate dad's kidney." If there is any justice, Dr. Seldon Spencer will oust nasty, short-sighted Tom Latham from Congress.
From hearing him speak a couple times in the spring and early summer some things stuck out. First, is that his message is spot on. It is easy to see at things can be better in this country, but no one is taking the lead on the important issues. Next, you can tell that Dr. Spencer is definitely competent to serve as our Congressman. He might not be an expert on every issue, but he listens and is able to think through tough issues. Finally, he is a first time candidate and isn't as polished as the typical politician. Sure, Latham may be smoother, but the last thing we need in Washington are more smooth-talking politicians.
We need more people like Selden Spencer in Washington DC. Dr. Spencer knows what needs to be done to make this country great and his common sense leadership is badly needed.
Dr. Spencer is currently in Afghanistan putting his medical knowledge to good use. You can read more about his trip by reading his blog here.
Head over to Spencer's website and send him a couple of bucks if you are able to.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
From the Des Moines Register...
Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner said in Iowa Monday that the United States should begin to withdraw troops from Iraq, which represents a shift for the Democrat who is taking steps toward a run for president in 2008.Warner will be in Ames and Des Moines today.
But Warner, who kicked off a two-day trip through the leadoff caucus state, stopped short of embracing a timeline to have troops out of Iraq, unlike Sens. Joe Biden and Russ Feingold, who are also in Iowa this week.
Warner's statement that "we've got to find a way out of Iraq" marks a departure from the wait-and-see stance he articulated this summer, when he said withdrawal should be an option. The statement also coincides with growing support among Americans to bring the troops home, which recent polls show a majority of Americans favor.
Noon Story County Democrats - Win in 2006!Here's an article from the Sioux City Journal about Warner's stop their on Monday.
400 Main St.
3:00 Meet and Greet for Sec of State Candidate Michael Mauro
300 Walnut Ave
Des Moines, IA
Saturday, August 26, 2006
From State 29 through the Senior Journal, Chuck Grassley is concerned about a glitch that sent $50 million in over payments in Medicare. I am all for Government accountability, but I wonder what Chuck has done about the $9 billion missing in Iraq?
I have a feeling Grassley thinks that money that goes to our Seniors is bad and money that goes to war profiteers is good.
From the Political Wire, the DCCC has pulled financial support from Leonard Boswell's race in Iowa's 3rd District because Boswell is pulling away from challenger Jeff Lamberti. They also cited an increase in Democratic registrations in the district.
Friday, August 25, 2006
It has been a busy couple weeks, hence the fewer posts I have been making. Last week, my Grandma had emergency surgery and is still in the hospital. I have started my job as a 2nd grade teacher this week (well, I started 2 weeks ago, but finally started getting paid for it this week). The kids come on Tuesday for the 1st day of school, so I have been busy getting my room ready, attending workshops, and planning curriculum. It is fun though. To top it off, my sister-in-law, who is pregnant, went to the hospital today and will probably deliver tonight or tomorrow.
Here are some articles that I was going to blog about, if I wasn't so busy. Since it is back to school time, here is some homework for this weekend.
- Randi Rhodes of Air America Radio interviewed Sen. Byron Dorgan about his new book, Take This Job and Ship It, about the so-called Free Trade agreements. Very interesting interview. (Most interesting statement: Dorgan said the US has a $2 billion a DAY trade decifit.) I am adding this book to my reading list. Listen to the interview here.
- Politics 101: Don't Reinforce Your Opponents' Lies by David Sirota
Take, for instance, the term "moderate." This is a word the American Heritage Dictionary defines as "Being within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme." Yet, it is applied specifically to politicians pundits who, measured against public opinion, are the opposite, like Joe Lieberman (De Facto GOP Nominee-CT), John McCain (R-AZ) and New York Times columnist David Brooks. Think about their major positions: Lieberman likens his opponents terrorist sympathizers, calls them "extremists" on national television, and shills for a war that 60 percent of Americans oppose. McCain actually wants to send more troops to Iraq - again a position only a small minority of Americans supports. Brooks calls for an end to American democracy, saying "voters shouldn't be allowed to define the choices in American politics." Yet, these folks are routinely referred to by the media and political Establishment as leading "moderates," that is, leading voices for positions that are supposedly "within reasonable limits" and are "not excessive or extreme" in relation to the rest of the country's positions.
“If you pretend like you aren’t a Democrat or that your opponent is just a bad politician instead of a bad Republican politician, voters will think you are ashamed of who you are,” writes Stoller. “It’s not about being a proud Democrat, it’s about not being a tool, and voters don’t like tools.” Put another way, when you try to take the Democratic Party out of the Democratic Party, you insult voters’ intelligence, hurt the party’s long-term prospects, and generally look like an idiot.
- Off With Their Heads by Matt Taibi
These DLC types are amazing, they really are. Their pathology is unique; they all secretly worship the guilt-by-association tactics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove, but unlike those two, not one of them has enough balls to take being thought of as the bad guy by the general public. So instead of telling big, bold whoppers right out in the open, they're forever coming out with backhanded little asides like this one, apparently in the hope that only your subconscious will notice. I won't be surprised if they respond to the next electoral loss by a DLC candidate by having Bruce Reed argue in the Wall Street Journal that "bloggers, Queer Eye, and Arabs with syphilis are not the future of the Democratic Party."
- Politicians Middle-Class Delusions by Jonahton Schwarz
Then there are the campaign contributions courted by politicians: the Center for Responsive Politics found that 86 percent of itemized money raised in 2004 came from less than 0.2 percent of Americans. Politicians spend shocking amounts of their time on the phone hitting these people up for cash, and it's safe to assume few among them worry much about hikes in their health care premiums. And when they're not raising money, politicians are rushing off to the TV studio. Lieberman, for instance, is constantly buddying it up on TV with Tim Russert (annual salary: $5 million), Sean Hannity ($5 million plus), and Chris Matthews ($4.3 million second home on Nantucket).
From the Sioux City Journal...
Culver's campaign presented a video of state Senate Republican President Jeff Lamberti's speech at the Iowa State Fair, criticizing the condition of the federal budget. Culver's campaign noted that Nussle is chairman of the House Budget Committee.and more...
"What I want to talk to you about today is the state of the federal budget, or should I say the mess that is the federal budget," Lamberti said during his speech. "That's right. And let's face it, it is a mess."
In his speech, Lamberti called the budget process "a mess because of the process where there is no control, where amendments, special interests, pork barrel projects are added in the middle of the night when nobody knows what's in there and you and I are paying the bills.Many Republicans know the Federal Budget is a mess. They see the handouts given out to the wealthy while social programs like Pell Grants, child-care assistance, and food stamps get cut.
"This year alone there were 19 individual attempts to strike wasteful pork barrel spending from the budget and my opponent voted against all 19," he said.
West said Nussle voted the same way.
"You don't have to take our word for it, look at what the Republicans are saying," West said of Lamberti's speech.
As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Nussle has a lot to do with that mess.
You could give Nussle the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn't cause the huge deficit, but it is very clear that in his leadership Nussle didn't do much to prevent the huge deficit. Do we want a leader who just sits back and watches problems get out of control while cutting programs that help the less fortanate or do we want a leader that sees the problems early on and tackles them before they get out of control?
Nussle has a proven record of sitting idle. We can't afford that here in Iowa, especially since every Iowan owes over $28,000 on the Federal Deficit.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Chet Guinn is holding a fundraiser for Dave Loebsack on Saturday in Des Moines. Here is the info.
Saturday, August 26, 5:00 to 7:00 PMAlso, Loebsack is continuing his walking tour of the 2nd District. Read it about it here.
Old Fire Station #4, 1041 8th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314
(One block west of the Downtown Holiday Inn, parking in the DMACC lot).
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Event Title: Quad Cities Iraq War Forum
Event Type: Iraq War Forum
Organized by: Democracy for America-Quad Cities
Citizens and experts will come together in a forum to discuss the war in Iraq. In our brief time together we will address the following three topics:
1) Iowans for Sensible Priorities will address the economic impact of the war in Iraq on the Quad Cities.
2) Dr. Miriam Meyer and Kirt Sickels of the Veterans Hospital in Iowa City will talk about the mental health needs of our returning veterans, and whether our area is prepared to meet them. They will be joined by attorney Clarke Barnes of Geneseo, a retired Marine Colonel, Illinois Circuit Judge, and Veterans Service Representative.
3) Former Congressman Dave Nagle will discuss our options for getting out of Iraq.
As a special attraction we will have the Carny Mobile!
This forum is being co-sponsored by the Peace Forum of Progressive Action for the Common Good, the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Pax Christi, NAMI Scott County, and the Social Justice Committee of the Davenport Unitarian Church.
Event Date: Saturday, August 26, 2006
Event Time: 9:00 AM
Venue Name: Kahl Education Center, Tenth Floor
Address: 326 W. 3rd St
Zip Code: 52801
Iowa Renewable Energy AssociationClick here for the Workshop Schedules
ENERGY EXPO 2006
Saturday and Sunday, September 9 & 10, 2006
Featuring - Workshops All Weekend
A Renewable Fuel Car Show
Demonstrations of Solar and Wind Energy
Exhibitors from the Non-Profit and Business Communities
Solon High School
600 West Fifth Street, Solon, Iowa
ADMISSION: $5 INDIVIDUAL, $10 FAMILY
Labels: Renewable Energy
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The University of Iowa released its lecture schedule for the upcoming school year. The biggest name is Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, who will be speaking in Iowa City on March 26th.
Valerie Plame, March 26. Plame was a CIA operative whose identity was revealed to reporters shortly after her husband, Joseph Wilson, wrote an op-ed piece critical of the Bush Administration's use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq. Federal prosecutors continue to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought in the leak. 7:30 p.m., Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union.Leading off the lecture schedule is the Yes Men.
The Yes Men, Aug. 24. Included as part of the Welcome Week program, The Yes Men pretend to be powerful people and spokespersons for corporations and organizations by making outrageous comments about workers and consumers to show how corporations often act in dehumanizing ways toward people. The group was documented in the 2003 movie "The Yes Men" and the book "The Yes Men: The True Story of the End of the World Trade Organization." 7:30 p.m., Shambaugh Auditorium, Main Library.
I saw this article by Harlod Meyerson of the Washington Post on David Sirota's blog. Meyerson writes particulary about Bob Casey, who is running against Rick Santorum in Pennslyvania, but closes with this comment on fair trade and Democratic candidates for Senate this year...
And the liberal case for Casey is a strong one -- particularly on trade. A critic of both the North American and Central American free-trade agreements, Casey wants trade pacts that require signatory nations to enforce worker rights and environmental protections. A number of leading Democratic senatorial candidates this year -- Ohio's Sherrod Brown, Vermont's Bernie Sanders (an independent who's in effect a Democrat) and, yes, Connecticut's Ned Lamont -- share Casey's perspective on trade. Their victories would shift, perhaps decisively, the Senate Democratic caucus toward a trade policy in which Main Street is taken at least as seriously as Wall Street. It's a shift, if the Main Streets of central Pennsylvania are any indication, that would come not a moment too soon.Sirota then adds to Meyerson article...
I would add to this list Montana Democratic Senate nominee Jon Tester, who has taken a strong line on trade. If all these folks win, they will join courageous populists like Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Russ Feingold (D-WI). That means we really could see a powerful bloc of Senate votes that could seriously change the direction of our economic policy for the better. Add to that the potential importance of trade in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries (especially with the union-heavy Nevada caucuses moved up), and we’re on the verge of finally seeing America’s sellout trade policy put on trial - and changed.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The Register ran a story about the man who had the "F Nader" personalized license plates earlier this summer. Now there is a guy who has been asked to return his personalized plates that say "ITMFA." John Carlson of the Register has the story.
Keenan directed me to the Web site "itmfa.com".
I could hear him grinning over the phone as I punched in the letters.
Without being too specific here, let's just say it is a political statement about what Keenan and some others think America should do with President Bush.
OK, we'll be somewhat specific. ITMFA stands for "Impeach the m----- f----- Already."
From Selden Spencer's website...
I have been presented with an opportunity to explore America's place in the world post-9/11. On August 24, I will travel to Afghanistan to provide medical assistance through an organization for physicians called Northwest Medical Teams. This trip focuses on what my campaign is about: developing a new vision for America. I want to bring this country back to the greatness the world once admired and respected.
Under George W. Bush and his Republican Rubber Stamp Congress, we are losing our position of leadership in the world. Our military is bogged down in a civil war in Iraq that ties up our resources, and occupation of Muslim land fuels the flames of hatred. Although all eyes are affixed on the debacle in Iraq, Afghanistan presents the long-term perils and opportunities in our most important war, the global fight against terrorism.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Thanks to the Linn Co. Democrats for posting this on their website. This clip is of Joe Biden at a recent stop in Cedar Rapids. Biden explains why Democrats are going to win this fall and and tells Loebsack that he has a serious shot.
Watch the video here.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Richard Doak of the Des Moines Register wrote an article about the death of conservatism.
The rise of the conservative movement was the biggest running story in American politics for the last half century. With relentless zeal, conservatives gradually won dominance in Congress and the courts. Bush's election represented the movement's ultimate triumph.And the need of old fashioned conservatism to return.
Since 2001, conservatives have been in total control - and have watched almost everything go wrong, with no one to blame but themselves.
America needs a strong conservative presence. We need conservatives who believe in fiscal soundness, that two plus two equals four and that debt is undesirable. We need conservatives who honor tradition and caution against rushing into thoughtless change. We need conservatives who want a strong military, but who are reluctant to commit forces to foreign adventures. We need conservatives who are pro-business and want low taxes but who believe in the obligation of the fortunate among us to give back to the country that has blessed them.
In other words, the country needs conservatism as it used to exist in America. Amid the failure of today's voodoo conservatism, traditional conservatives should take back the Republican Party and provide it.
It is these kinds of conservatives that you can have a discussion with and actually come up with a compromise. The conservatives of today operate on an ideology, not a political philosophy that see compromise as undermining their "values." So I ask, where are the old fashioned conservatives?
Some Johnson County citizens have noticed that Jim Leach has been passing out Indian headbands at parades throughout the entire 2nd district, except in Johnson County. Jacki Rand, who is a Choctaw Indian, is a UI Professor in the History Department and teaches American Indian Studies. Rand has been writing Leach letters about this for years. If it is not right to pass out the headbands at Parades in Johnson County, then it is not right to pass out the headbands in the rest of the 2nd District. Now this is similar to Leach saying things in Washington, while saying some entirely different in Johnson County. Check out John Deeth, who beat me to the scoop on this, for more on this.
Meanwhile Leach's opponent, Dave Loebsack, is continuing his walking tour of the 2nd District this week. Loebsack travels from Libertyville to Fairfield talking about universal health care, livable wages, renewable energy, and education.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Today's feature in the Des Moines Register is about the use of TIF districts in Iowa, which includes 6 stories on the subject and will continue tomorrow. I didn't have the time to read everything, but what I did read was pretty good. If you read the stories in the Register you will get a very good background on how TIF is being used in Iowa.
Now, I went back and forth on the emminent domain issue. I think the abuse of TIF districts is far more reaching and harmful than the abuse of emminent domain. There just hasn't been a high profile court case to push the issue to the forefront like Kelo did with emminent domain.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I attended a fundraiser in Ames for Rich Olive that featured John Edwards yesterday. There was a very large crowd (guessing 150 people or so). I had the chance to meet Kevin from Real World Politico. I didn't get emortalized with a picture, but I did have a nice conversation with him. Kevin seems like a common sense Republican (I never thought I would ever say those words together) and did get pictures with Edwards and Dr. Selden Spencer. But anyway, back to the event.
Rich Olive is running for the seat that Stew Iverson held. Olive gave a good speech and 2 things stuck out. He spoke about our education being more than a k-12 system and said that community colleges and our state universities need to be included in the discussion. He also said that renewable energy is more than just ethanol and biodiesel and we need to explore all technologies. Olive is right on both topics.
Despite this being John Edwards' 12th trip to Iowa since the 2004 election, this was my first time hearing him speak. I was most interested in what he would say about Iraq. After hearing Tom Harkin speak earlier in the week , I kept asking myself how Harkin could have voted for the war everytime Harkin brought up Iraq (which was often). Even though Harkin has been outspoken against he war, the fact that he voted for it cut at his credibility on the topic.
Edwards tackled Iraq and his vote for it head on. Right after thanking everyone, Edwards came out saying awhile back he made a tough decision. After careful thought, his vote on the Iraq War was a mistake and he must take reponsibility for it. Edwards got a big ovation when he said, "the path is clear. We must start getting out of Iraq now and the best way to show the world we are getting out is to start getting out." Edwards said he would redeploy 40,000 troops out of Iraq initially with the goal of having all troops out of there in 12-18 months.
Edwards then discussed other events in the world saying that we are reacting to what is happening and asked what are we doing to create the country and world we want our kids to grow up in? He talked about his travels around the world and said that people around the world don't see you, your character and morals. They see US military power, they see genocide in Darfur, they see children born in Africa with Aids. "Where is America?" Edwards asked. "The world needs to see the real America."
The best part of Edwards speech came next. He said that it is time to ask America to be patriotic again. He said that we must gain our independence from oil. Renewable energy is the first step, but it is not enough. We must ask our citizens to start conserving because it is good for the country and good for our children and grandchildren.
I thought Edwards was going to speak more about poverty than he did. He talked about public schools, going to public universities for college and grad school that were supported by tax dollars. "Every step of the way my country has been there for me." He then laid out some things he would do to give people mobility to get out of poverty such as raising the minimum wage, making it easier for unions to organize, crack down on predatory lending, and increase access to college.
He said that it is offensive when the President claims the moral highground while 5 million more Americans living in poverty since 2000. Edwards theme throughout the speech, was "we are better than that." He talked about the social programs that were cut while at the same time billions of dollars in tax breaks went to the oil companies. It is immoral that more money goes to oil companies while less money goes for poor children.
Edwards speech was inspiring. He called on the crowd to get out there and be leaders because we are better than this. I can see why he is so popular. I have a couple of questions for him, but he is near the top of my list of candidates in 08.
Labels: John Edwards
Friday, August 11, 2006
"Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) is flooding Iowa with 25 campaign staffers to help Hawkeye State Democrats in the midterms, a move designed to help build good will with influential caucus-goers should he run for president in 2008. The Indiana Democrat is also sending 15 staffers to New Hampshire as well as three to Nevada and two to South Carolina. The Democratic National Committee is expected to ratify a proposal next week to have Nevada and South Carolina join Iowa and New Hampshire on the early part of the party's presidential nominating calendar. Five staffers will remain in Indiana, where the Democratic senator trained these new campaign operatives at his campaign school 'Camp Bayh.'Wow, 25 campaign staffers here in Iowa. I know the Selden Spencer campaign is getting one of them.
Bayh is not the only potential presidential candidate placing people in important early states this fall. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) has established a similar campaign training program, while Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) has a paid staffer on the ground in Iowa."
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Last night I attended a fundraiser for Tim Hoy, candidate for Iowa House in district 44 at the UAW Hall in Marshalltown. Tom Harkin was the featured speaker at the event. There were around 50 people in attendance including State Rep. Mark Smith and candidates for county races.
Tim Hoy spoke first and discussed the key issues in rural Iowa. He discussed the need for an increase in the minimum wage saying, "there aren't enough hours in a week for a worker who makes minimum wage to make a living." He touched on the need for an educated workforce. He supports traditional family farms. The main part of his speech was about renewable energy and creating jobs and keeping those profits in rural Iowa. Hoy knows a great deal about ethanol, but also spoke about biodiesel.
Hoy then introduced Sen. Harkin. Harkin opened up saying it is going to be a great year for Democrats. The best line of the night was when Harkin said, "Republicans are sinking like a rock, in fact they are sinking in Iraq."
He brought up the Connecticut primary saying that it has less to do with Lieberman than it does with Bush, saying that "Bush has mislead, misguided, and mismanaged our resources in Iraq and it is time to bring the troops home."
Harkin talked about how out of touch Republicans are. He stressed keeping our committment to our troops by not cutting veteran benefits like Bush has done. He used examples of gas prices, gloabal warming, stem cell research, and disbanding the CIA unit that was looking for bin Laden to show that Republicans do not understand the concerns of Americans.
He discussed a provision that he put into a bill 4 years ago that said government departments shall purchase biobased products if the price is competitive. He has gotten Johanns, the Agriculture Secretary, behind this. In September Harkin is sponsoring an event at the Pentagon where vendors of biobased products can pitch their products to the people at the Pentagon. He then said these biobased products will grow the economy in rural areas and create jobs in Iowa.
The most intersting part of the night was when Harkin said that this year isn't like 1994 when the Republicans took control of Congress, but it is more like 1974. The first oil shock was in 1973 and in 1974 we were stuck in an unpopular war. He said he rode the wave in 1974 to get elected and if Democrats work hard, raise the important issues then they will catch that wave this year.
He then made his pitch for electing Tim Hoy saying that nothing is more important that winning control of the Iowa House and Iowa Senate and that "we must make damn sure that Nussle guy isn't elected." By electing Chet Culver and with the help of a Democratic House and Senate, we can start build upon the foundation that Vilsack has built.
This was my first time hearing Sen. Harkin and Tim Hoy speak. Both did a great job and the crowd left excited about our chances in the fall election.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Ned Lamont won the Connecticut Primary for US Senate, defeating Bush's favorite Democrat, Joe Lieberman. Even though he lost, Lieberman's concession speech clearly showed that he is going to run as an independent. Lieberman said he called Lamont and congratulated him on his success. Not his victory, but his success. Then Lieberman referred to the primary as the first half and the second half was coming up this November.
Then later in the night, Chris Matthews had a special edition of Hardball. On the show he interviewed the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, in the race. Schlesinger flat out said that now Lieberman is running as an independent he has a shot. If he was running against just Lamont, it would be very hard for him to win.
The race garnered so much attention that popular blogs Daily Kos, MyDD, Demoractic Underground, and FireDogLake all crashed on Tuesday night.
The local Connecticut blogs really had some great coverage of primary that I am sure will continue through November. Check them out...
CT Bob - has some great videos on YouTube and did his own exit polls of the Primary
MyLeftNutMeg -has 2 posts about the losses the DLC suffered in the Primary
And finally, visit Ned Lamont's campaign site and blog.
Hillary Clinton is the first Democratic Leader to donate to Lamont's campaign. According to Crooks and Liars, her PAC wrote a check for $5,000 to Lamont.
According to the Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, Evan Bayh has endorsed Lamont after supporting Lieberman in the Primary.
And according to blogger CT Bob, Ted Kennedy gave Lamont a phone call congratulating him right after his victory speech.
John Kerry chimes in here.
Political Forecast has a statement form Sen. Russ Feingold about the Lamont victory.
And the DSCC supports Lamont.
Here's a picture of Lieberman singing his favorite song, "Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles. However, Joe decided to change the lyrics a little.
Here are Joe's lyrics...
Can't buy me love, love
Can't buy me love
I'll buy you an Iraq War Mr. Bush if it makes you feel alright
I'll get you anything Mr. Bush if it makes you feel alright
'Cause I don't care too much for voters, voters can't buy me love
I'll give you all I got to give if you say you love me too
I may not have a lot of votes but what I got I'll give to you
I don't care too much for voters, voters can't buy me love
Can't buy me love, Mr. Cheney tells me so
Can't buy me love, no no no, no
Say you don't need no war in Iraq and I'll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of things that money just can't buy
I don't care too much for voters, voters can't buy me love
Visit Ned Lamont's campaign site and send him a couple of bucks this fall if you are able to.
Labels: Joe Lieberman
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll of Americans age 18 to 24 found Bush's approval rating was 20 percent, with 53 percent disapproving and 28 percent with no opinion. That compares to a 40 percent approval rating among Americans of all ages in a separate Bloomberg/Times poll.John Deeth has the story.
Yesterday, BP announced it was shutting down an oil pipeline in Alaska. The Register has an article that outlines the situation and discusses the affect it will have on farmers.
BP, the largest oil producer in the nation, announced Monday that it was closing its pipelines in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay oil field for weeks, possibly months, because of pipeline corrosion. It is the largest oil field in the United States, accounting for 2.6 percent of all U.S. oil supplies, including imports.The price of oil went up $2 a barrel to near $77 and it is expected to go even higher. On NPR yesterday, I heard the host ask one of the experts if we could hit $100 per barrel. Here in central Iowa, we are close to hitting $3.00 a gallon.
All of this brings up the topic of Peak Oil. The Chicago Tribune published a series called "A Tank of Gas, A World of Trouble" that gives an in depth look at where your gas comes from. The article had this to say about Peak Oil...
Below ground, the biggest worry is "peak oil"--the notion that the world's total petroleum endowment is approaching the half-empty mark, a geological tipping point beyond which no amount of extra pumping will revive fading oil fields. Peak oil theory is controversial. Many think it alarmist. Yet even Big Oil is starting to gird itself for possible fuel shortages: Chevron, the nation's second-largest oil company, has bluntly declared that "the era of easy oil is over" and is warning energy-hungry Americans that "the world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered."The Energy Department announced that it is ready to open up the strategic oil reserves to help keep oil prices down. This is short term solution, but the fact is that oil is a non-renewable resource. We need to get to the point where we invest in long-term solutions. We have spent over $300 billion in Iraq. I wonder how many wind turbines, solar panels, tax breaks for hybrid cars, and research in biofuels we could have if we invested that much money on gaining our energy independence.
It is about time Congress offers some long-term solutions. The Cheney Energy Bill passed last summer that was filled with over $8 billion in tax breaks for the energy industry isn't the answer. Congress should make a PR blitz stressing conservation and then get back to Washington and pass legislation increases CAFE standards to improve the fuel economy of cars sold in the United States. Then we need to begin a program such as the Apollo Alliance to get us on the fast track of oil independence.
However, all of this requires one thing and that is leadership. Unfortanately, that is lacking in Washington.Check out Ames Wire's suggestions on how to beat gas prices.
Read the Energy Bulletin for updates and other energy related news.
Monday, August 07, 2006
One of the key issues in Ed Fallon's campaign for Governor was a Clean Elections Law. While I was canvassing for Fallon, the message that money has too much influence in politics resonated with the vast majority of people I talked to. This fall in California, they are voting on a ballot intiative for Clean Elections. Check out this site for more information.
From the Presidential Prayer Team...
Pray for President Bush, to be refreshed and rejuvenated during his usual summer vacation in August which has been cut short this time...
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Rep. Tom Latham better wash the ink off his fingers and watch out.
"What's playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening."What has Tom Latham done other than parrot Republican talking points and vote the way Tom DeLay and Bush want him? Of all the Iowa Republicans in Washington, no one is a bigger empty suit than Latham.
--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), quoted by the Washington Post, on the Lieberman-Lamont primary race and the threats posed to candidates backing the Iraq war.
Dr. Selden Spencer is out there stressing affordable and accesable health care, renewable energy, reducing the deficit, and providing solutiuons to the problems that Americans face. When people start hearing this message and see they have another choice, Tom Latham may find his political career in jeopardy.
I just read a couple of articles by Matt Taibbi, who writes for Rolling Stone. These articles take a look at the DLC and the Lieberman - Lamont race in the Democratic Primary for Senate in Connecticut.
Why the Democrats are Still Doomed takes a look at the DLC and their new mouthpiece, Conservative David Brooks of the NY Times. Taibbi discusses an article Brooks wrote about the Lieberman - Lamont race that attacked Lamont supporters as leftists that are unfairly attacking the nice, squeaky-clean Lieberman.
Taibbi, in a conversation with a DLC spokesperson, then questions who these leftists are by bringing up statistics saying that over 440,000 people visit Daily Kos daily and that a recent Gallup poll showed 91% of Democrats supported some kind of withdrawl from Iraq.
But the most objectionable thing about the Brooks column was its crude parroting of a suspiciously similar DLC editorial published about a month before (See Road Rage, from the August 10th, 2006, issue of Rolling Stone) entitled "The Return of Liberal Fundamentalism." Both columns described Lamont's Internet supporters as "fundamentalist" liberals bent on a "purge" of poor nice old Joe Lieberman, who represents heterodoxy, centrism and bipartisanship. Brooks used the word "purge" twice; the author of the DLC column, Ed Kilgore, used it eight times.Let's be clear about what we're dealing with here. These people are professional communicators. They don't repeatedly use words like "purge" and "fundamentalist" -- terms obviously associated with communism and Islamic terrorism -- by accident. They know exactly what they're doing. It's an authoritarian tactic and it should piss you off. It pissed me off.
I think it is about time an anvil falls on the DLC and then the Democartic party can get back to putting people above profit and winning elections again.
"So let me get this straight," I said. "We have thirty corporate-funded spokesmen telling hundreds of thousands of actual voters that they're narrow dogmatists?"
He paused and sighed, clearly exasperated. "Look," he said. "Everybody in politics draws money from the same basic sources. It's the same pool of companies and wealthy individuals . . ."
"Okay," I said. "So basically in this dispute over Lieberman, we have people on one side, and companies on the other? Would it be correct to say that?" I asked.
"Well, I guess if you live in a cartoon world you could say that," he said.
Check out Taibbi's other article about the DLC and the Lieberman-Lamont race called Lieberman: Bush's Favorite Democrat.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
From the Des Moines Register...
Candidates in Iowa's 3rd Congressional District plan to meet Sunday in Des Moines for their first debate of the highly watched campaign.
U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, a Des Moines Democrat seeking his sixth term, and Republican state Sen. Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny will square off at 2 PM at the UAW Local 450.
The union hall is at 4589 NW 6th Drive.
Labels: Leonard Boswell
“Culver accused Nussle of voting for the No Child Left Behind Act
and then refusing to fund it adequately.
Nussle’s campaign denied those claims.
‘I’d say the Culver camp is playing fast and loose with facts,’
said Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for the Nussle campaign.”
[Omaha World Herald, 8/4/06, emphasis added
FACT: Congressman Jim Nussle Voted for No Child Left Behind. [House Vote #497, 12/13/01]
FACT: Congressman Jim Nussle Voted Against Increased NCLB Funding in 2003. Jim Nussle voted against an amendment to increase funding for No Child Left Behind. [House Budget Committee Vote, 3/12/03]
FACT: Congressman Jim Nussle Voted Against Increased NCLB Funding in 2005. Jim Nussle voted against an amendment stating the sense of the Congress that No Child Left Behind should receive full funding. [House Budget Committee Vote, 3/12/03]
FACT: Congressman Jim Nussle Voted to Cut NCLB Funding by $806 Million. Jim Nussle voted for an education budget that cut $806 million from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) initiative, a more than 3 percent drop. [House Vote #321, 6/24/05]
FACT: Congressman Jim Nussle Voted to Cut NCLB Funding by $784 Million. Jim Nussle voted twice for the 2006 Education Appropriations conference report that included a $784 million cut from No Child Left Behind programs. [House Vote #598, 11/17/05; House Vote #628, 12/14/05]
FACT: “STATES AND DISTRICTS LACK BOTH THE FUNDING AND THE STAFF CAPACITY TO CARRY OUT ALL OF THE DEMANDS OF NCLB.” – Center for Education Policy. The nonpartisan Center for Education Policy issued a study in March 2006, stating: “States and districts lack both the funding and the staff capacity to carry out all of the demands of NCLB, according to our surveys. Some 80% of school districts said they had costs for NCLB that were not covered by federal funds. Thirty-three states reported that federal funds have been inadequate to assist all schools identified for improvement, and less than half of school districts said they have enough money to assist identified schools at least somewhat… The President and the Congress must provide adequate funding for the Act. Both the President and the Congress moved in exactly in the wrong direction last year by approving a cut in federal education spending.” [Center on Education Policy; From the Capital to the Classroom: Year 4 of the No Child Left Behind Act Summary, March 2006, emphasis added]
WHO’S Playing Fast and Loose With the Facts?
1. Why limit the focus of screwing to only one politician? What's the motive?
This one is easy. Nussle is the only candidate running against Chet Culver. If Nussle was running against Harkin, Boswell, Grassley, or any other Iowa politician then it would be an entire different story.
2. Leonard Boswell
I am not a huge fan of Boswell. I am pretty sure that I haven't even written about him on this blog and just posted the link to his campaign on this site this week.
3. Then there is this quote:
"But the restriction that NCLB is bad only if it is underfunded is not Common Iowan's point of view. Re-read his post:Despite the unrealistic goals and massive paperwork...
The bill itself was unrealistic and overly bureaucratic, with or without the funding issue. And yet, all of our politicians voted for it.
If it is agreed that NCLB is bloated and unrealistic, a rational solution is to eliminate it, not to score partisan political points."
The goals of NCLB are admirable, but they fail to look at the statistical realities that walk through the school door everyday. Because of the politicians of both parties, the act is underfunded, so these unrealistic expectations will not even be close to being realized. The act is doomed to fail everytime they vote to underfund it. By not funding it, NCLB has been left behind by the politicians who voted for it.
When it is all said and done, we won't know if NCLB failed because of the unrealistic expections and overly bureaucratic management or lack of funds. At this point, I would say most teachers would say that eliminating it is the only way to go.
I didn't say it, NY Times columnist Paul Krugman did in his column yesterday. The article takes a different look at centrism than the David Sirota piece I wrote about in June, but it still provides an important conclusion.
The fact is that in 1994, the year when radical Republicans took control both of Congress and of their own party, things fell apart, and the center did not hold. Now we’re living in an age of one-letter politics, in which a politician’s partisan affiliation is almost always far more important than his or her personal beliefs. And those who refuse to recognize this reality end up being useful idiots for those, like President Bush, who have been consistently ruthless in their partisanship.Here in Iowa we don't have to look far for an example. In the 2nd District, the Sierra Club and the NEA has endorsed Republican Jim Leach (Yes, I am a member of both groups). It is true that Leach probably does have a decent record on the environment and education. However, if Leach wins, he helps keep a Republican majority in the House, keeps Dennis Hastert as Speaker, and the rightwing of the Republican Party will continue to dismantle our environmental laws and leave all are children behind.
Dave Loebsack has come out with strong positions on the environment and education and to think that he wouldn't do just as good of job protecting the environment and improving education as Leach is ridiculous. Loebsack is an educator for pete's sake (it might be more fitting to change the saying to "for Hastert's sake" in this case).
The Sierra Club and NEA have become, as Krugman says, useful idiots by backing the Leach/Hastert ticket in this race.
Friday, August 04, 2006
The Des Moines Register broke the news this morning that South Carolina might like Vilsack. They have no polls to back it up, just that Vilsack is there today giving a speech. There are a few quotes in the article that are worthy of being discussed.
This quote seems to me to be way off-base and by making a blanket statement about to the black community to be partly racist...
In fact, about 30 percent of South Carolina's roughly 4 million people are African-American, compared with about 2 percent in Iowa.I am not sure how the Corporatist philosophy of the DLC helps the common working American or people in the black community. I discussed that topic here before.
South Carolina's predominantly Democratic black voters likely would not dismiss Vilsack because of his state's profile, Hodges said.
His centrist credentials, especially his chairmanship of the Democratic Leadership Council, likely would be an asset among that bloc, he said.
The Register goes on to add this about Vilsack's chances...
He also would likely be expected to perform well in New Hampshire to survive South Carolina, where a number of Southern candidates would be perceived as having an advantage.Now, Ed Fallon is the only candidate that I have ever seen perform. I am not sure what Vilsack's talent is other than juggling huge tax give-aways while promising to increase funding for education. But hey, that might play well in South Carolina.
Over on Krusty's blog there is a story about the Democratic Party not being prepared for the upcoming election. Krusty makes some points largley based on the Right's obsession with Howard Dean. I won't tackle those issues here. There isn't much hope, just like there isn't much hope getting a teenage girl to take down her poster of Lindsay Lohan.
In the comments section someone posted this that pretty much sums up the Republicans election strategy for the past 10+ years.
Trust me on this one, Pardner: This race will hinge on "social issues," and we're way better at that kind of demagoguery where it counts than you are.Now since I, as a Liberal, am not a demagogue, I decided I better look up the meaning to make sure it means what I think it does. Thanks to Wikipedia here is what I found.
Demagogy (from Greek demos, "people", and agogos, "leading") refers to a political strategy for obtaining and gaining political power by appealing to the popular prejudices, fears, and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalistic or populist themes.Appealing to the popular prejudices, fears, and expectations of the public - typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalistic or populist themes.
Sounds about right. The next time James Dobson says Gays are going to ruin your marriage, Condi refers to 9/11, Steve King calls immigrants cattle, or someone says freedon fries you are witnessing the Republicans GOTV strategy.
Here is an aricle written by EJ Dionne of the Washington Post called "The End of the Right?" that counters what Krusty wrote in his post.
Labels: 2006 Election
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I posted a new poll about who the Democratic Nominee for President should be in 2008. I posted a similar poll back in April. Here are the results of the April poll...
1. Russ Feingold 35%I have added Wesley Clark and Tom Daschle to the list of candidates this month.
2. Mark Warner 19%
3. Al Gore 14%
4. John Edwards 12%
5. Bill Richardson 6%
6. Tom Vilsack 5%
7. Evan Bayh 4%
8. John Kerry 2%
8. Joe Biden 2%
10. Hillary Clinton 1%
Please vote. The poll is located in the right hand column.
Labels: Common Iowan Straw Poll
No surprise here...
Tom Latham Plays Election Year With Iowa's Working Families
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Ames, IA: In an effort to provide political coverage in an election year, Tom Latham and his friends in Congress have connected raising the minimum wage to cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.
Dr. Selden Spencer, Democratic congressional candidate, has a different view.
"This bill does not reflect the values of Iowans. Republicans are once again pushing legislation that will help the wealthiest among us, instead of helping hardworking families with no strings attached."
Democrats have been attempting to bring up a bill that would raise the minimum wage over a period of two years for some time, as the last minimum wage increase was 1997.
Saturday, July 29, 2006 the Republicans in the House of Representatives debated and passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 over a period of two years, but only if estate tax, a tax that affects only the wealthiest of Americans, is cut. Included in those who voted for this bill is Tom Latham, representative of Iowa's 4th Congressional District.
Tom Latham has once again voted to serve himself, George W. Bush and the Republican administration instead of representing his constituents.
It also looks like there will be three debates between Dr. Spencer and Latham. Spencer wants three more to be added. Considering the size of the 4th District (27 Counties), the more debates the better.
To learn more about Dr. Spencer's campaign, please visit his website.
The last 2 months I have had a poll up asking people if they would support Tom Vilsack if he runs for President in 2008. This poll was put up after just 10% of the people polled by the Des Moines Register said they would support Vilsack. The poll on this site had similar results. With 80 votes cast, 80% thought that Vilsack was not Presidential material and should not run. 10% thought he should run, but probably won't vote for him. The remaining 10% said they would vote for him or might vote for him.
Vilsack is going around the state campaigning for Democratic candidates for the Iowa Senate and Iowa House. That is nice, Iowa Democrats have a great chance of taking control of the Senate and the House. However, I feel that if Chet Culver does not win the Governor's race, any hopes of a Vilsack Presidential run are out the window. Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner got a huge boost when a Democrat was elected to succeed him. If that did not happen, I am not sure if we'd even be talking about Mark Warner and 2008. I know that Vilsack has donated money to Culver and Christie Vilsack has campaigned around the state with Patty Judge. It will be interesting to see how much Tom gets out there with Chet before November.
In the mean time, the Register did report that Vilsack will be heading to New Hampshire in September.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The Republicans have once again showed their true colors by linking more tax cuts for the wealthy and the repeal of the estate tax. It is about time for Congress to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage, but this is just an example of one step up and two steps back.
It is about time Republicans forget the death tax and start talking about the Birth Tax.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Aug 1 (Reuters) - The following are security and other developments in Iraq on Tuesday as of 1230 GMT.
Asterisk denotes a new or updated item.
* BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb on Monday south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.
BASRA - A British soldier was killed when a mortar round landed on the British military base in Basra, 550 (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, the British military said.
MOSUL - Gunmen killed a student in the college of Islamic law and wounded another in Mosul, 390 km north of Baghdad, police said. Gunmen killed a man in a separate incident in Mosul, police added. The reason was unclear.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen attacked two minibuses carrying civil servants in the electricity department of Baghdad, killing four and wounding seven, police said.
NEAR KUT - A roadside bomb exploded beside a fuel truck wounding its driver in an area near Kut, 170 km southeast of Baghdad, police said.
KIRKUK - A member of the Arab Consultative Assembly, a gathering for Arab tribes and political parties, was gunned down in northern Kirkuk, 250 km north of Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - Seven people were wounded, including three police commandos, when a car bomb targeting a U.S. patrol exploded on Zayouna district, eastern Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - Nine insurgents and 25 suspected insurgents have been detained by the Iraqi army forces in the past 24 hours in different areas of Baghdad, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
BAGHDAD - A suicide car bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol exploded on Palestine Street, northeastern Baghdad, wounding two civilians, a police source said.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen shot at an Iraqi Army checkpoint in the northern outskirts of Baghdad, wounding five, including one civilian, an Interior Ministry source said.
NEAR TIKRIT - A roadside bomb went off near a bus carrying Iraqi soldiers, killing 20 of them and wounding 13 near Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad.
BAGHDAD - At least 10 people were killed and 22 wounded when a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near an army patrol in the mainly Shi'ite Karrada district of Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said.
MUQDADIYA - Seven people were killed and 15 wounded when a car bomb exploded beside a police patrol near a hospital in the town of Muqdadiya, 90 km northeast of Baghdad, police said.
BAGHDAD - A civilian was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in northeastern Baghdad, police said.
BAQUBA - The bodies of three people were found in Baquba, 65 km north of Baghdad, police said.
KIRKUK - Two policemen were killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said.
Okay. I admit to being a bit confused by the disappearance of the Democratic candidates since the primary. I haven't seen or heard diddly about Culver, Boswell, or even O'Brien for a month or so.
I'm not an activist, of course, so maybe everything is happening behind the scenes. Seems to me though that now might be the time to do some of that grassrooty stuff we're always hearing about -- particularly if I was in Boswell's shoes.
It does seem that the hot summer months are a chance to get out to local parades, hold events in the small towns and get a little free publicity by the local papers. Unfortanately, some of the events the candidates hold are the $50-$100 dollar fundraisers that the common Iowan can't afford.
DFA is once again having their night school conference call tonight. The topic is Leveraging Online Media and how to effectively use blogs. I will be checking it out and hope to pick up a few things to make this site a little better.
As you know, the 2006 Summer Session of DFA Night School
is in full swing, and almost fifteen hundred people signed
up for our first conference call on Breaking into the
Mainstream Media. In case you missed it, tonight is our
next session, Leveraging Online Media.
We'll be joined by Tim Tagaris, Internet Communications
Director from Ned Lamont's Campaign. And we'll go over
blogging techniques, how to network in the netroots, and
getting your story picked up by the mainstream media.
We're about to put the presentation up, so Sign up right
away to download a copy and get the phone number for
tomorrow night's conference call:
We'll be starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. Hope to see you there!
DFA Training Director