Thursday, September 30, 2004
Mid-debate report. I apologize for trying to spin this thing before it's over, but is Bush getting stomped here or what? It's only been half an hour, but Bush looks like he's freaking out already and Kerry is rock solid and bringing it. Kerry's not nailing every answer but Bush is throwing out some real laughers, like "I sit down with foreign leaders (long pause) all the time."
OK, there's a lot going on today. First of all, our hits are WAY up and that makes me really happy. I have it set up so these statistics are visible to the public - click on the "sitemeter" button down at the bottom of the page to see for yourself. 132 visitors a week may not sound like much, but it is a fantastic start. Tell your friends! Part of it may have to do with the 20,000 of these that are going out.
Tonight's Debate. If you're looking for a party to watch it with other folks, go here and search on your zip code. Looks like there's at least five within 25mi of 93101. Nice! Make sure to check out Media Matters for America's coverage of the debate pre-spin. The collective IQ of the So-Called Liberal Media seems to be plummetting towards a new abyss. They're doing everything they can to continue obsessing over the horse race and avoid covering the actual issues here, so stay tuned to reliable sources that won't be afraid to fact-check Bush.
Pedro Nava's Campaign Kickoff. This was last night, here are the pics. The News-Press endorsed Pedro's opponent the other day using their usual convoluted logic. (example: why mention regionalism and then not support the candidate who has done examplary work with regional coordination here?) This is fine, since in the past couple of elections the endorsement of the News-Press has been the kiss of death, such as last year's city council election where they bageled out and went zero for three. But this is the kicker: they didn't even interview Pedro. Didn't so much as drop him an email, let alone actually talk to him about where he's coming from. Nice free press we got here, hunh?
Local Democrats Saddle Up is the title of the cover story in today's Independent. It's not on the web yet (I'll write more when it is if I get a chance) but make sure to check it out!
Monday, September 27, 2004
In an effort to at least slightly step up the amount of campaign coverage here, I'm doing as I said I would and posting the link to the pictures from Saturday, where the DSC was tabling at this year's Gay Pride festival. If you were there and I took a picture of you with "Senator Kerry," help yourself and enjoy. I went a little haywire on the pictures of local folk-rock duo Antara & Delilah, but I couldn't help it because they are just so freaking cute - and then they event went mega-turbo cute by pulling all those kids up on stage. By the way, the kids are from an act known so far as "Princesses Gone Bad," who I'm sure will be rocking out completely in a few short years.
Lots of stuff going on this week, of course. Pedro's campaign kick-off is now this Wednesday (Sept 29th from 5:30-7:00 pm at 3208 State Street, their new headquarters. I should have pics from that up later in the week, too. And on Tuesday night at 7, the Chamber of Commerce is having a little-publicized assembly candidate debate. I'm not sure exactly where it is, but if anyone wants to go call my cell tomorrow (455.3003) and hopefully I'll know where it is by then. And Thursday is the 1st presidential debate, the Whammy in Miami. Oh, and tomorrow morning is the county inclusionary housing rumble.
So keep busy. You don't want to be asking yourself on November 3rd if there was anything else you could've done to get these people elected. I'm saving up a rant on how tired I am of people being so negative about Kerry, but maybe I can just get away with linking to this, at least for now.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
If you're not depressed enough about Iraq, read this report from Salon's war correspondent (registration required).
Also, apparently President Bush said the right track/wrong track numbers are better in Iraq than they are in the US at a press conference this morning. (ahha, so he does look at polls!) The video is over at c-span, it's the joint press conference with PM Allawi, about 37 minutes in.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Kerry taking it to the hoop. At some point, the American public is going to realize what dawned on me about a week ago while reading a transcript of Al Franken's show: Senator Kerry has been perfectly and totally consistent on Iraq this entire time. Keep in mind, he voted for authorization of the war, while stating clearly that he expected Bush to use this to do whatever was necessary to deal with Saddam, then Bush went and stupidly invaded Iraq anyway.
This is exactly the sort of thing that the Republicans are counting on being too nuanced for the American public to grasp. But it's sinking in anyway, finally, for a couple of reasons, including message fatigue. The right has called Kerry a flipflopper so often that, while it was sticking for a while, it's actually starting to come unglued. When the answer to any question about Iraq is either "September 11th" (?!) or "Kerry's a flipflopper," eventually it starts to sound off key. I don't imagine it's bleeding through to TV yet, but I have noticed a slight difference, a slight increase in accuracy in the print coverage around this.
The other reason is that Kerry is just plain taking it to the hoop. The message he's been trying to hammer out is finally starting to emerge from behind the wall of noise generated by the Republican machine. The question still remains as to whether enough voters are really listening - and whether there are enough people willing to stand up, volunteer and start telling the truth.
Mea culpa. Speaking of volunteering, I've been blogging less since the campaign started. There are a bunch of reasons for this; unfortunately, one of them is that the depressingly unstoppable flow of disinformation coming from the News-Press has encouraged me to consider other options. Fighting the monoculture of opinion represented on that page has recently overwhelmed my abilities to respond. The groteseque distortions of Assemblymember Jackson's record have continued unabated, and the past three weeks have seen an unbroken and deliberately inflammatory run of anti-inclusionary housing editorial and letters. I can only hope that the more nakedly elitist that page gets, the more obvious its biases become and that even fewer people take it at all seriously.
What I've mostly been doing with my time instead is contributing to the various campaigns that are going on now, and I strongly encourage all who come across this to do as well. The Capps/Kerry office is at 1341 State Street and there's a lot of energy there, but if you're a progressive Democrat you may want to put more energy into helping get Pedro Nava elected to the Assembly. He's in a tough race against a voucher supporting, Wal-Mart consultant Republican, and this Friday at 5:30 he's having a meetup/kick off party at his headquarters, which is in the 3000 block of State (near the Radio Shack), right next to Salon Patine. Come by and get involved!
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
A post at NewDonkey.com neatly encapsulates what I was thinking about labor day yesterday, from the perspective of the south, which I hadn't considered...
If you had to identify one simple reason for this grinding poverty, beyond the legacy of racism, it was the perpetual delusion of southern political and business leaders that the region had to stay poor and dumb in order to attract the capital necessary to eventually climb out of the ditch. Like some of today's third world countries, the South, right up to the 1970s, was paralyzed by the idea that decent wages, unionization, protection of natural resources, business regulation, progressive taxes, and quality education were all impossible because they would "price" the region out of opportunities for economic development. All of the South's social and economic weaknesses were perceived as essential to maintaining a "good business climate." And that benighted belief also helped perpetuate Jim Crow, since the ability to keep roughly a third of the region's population in semi-serfdom gave the South a cost advantage no other part of the country could ever meet.
Despite what the Governator keeps saying, high taxes ain't what's screwing things up here. Not building enough housing, and building in the wrong places so that our energy costs go crazy, IS slowing us down. Holding recent immigrants out of the mainstream of teh economy and keeping them trapped in low wage jobs is slowing us down. Crazy health care costs (from unmitigated gouging by the insurance & pharmaceutical industries) are slowing us down. Being a donor state and getting back only 73 cents for every dollar we send to the feds is slowing us down.
As Hannah-Beth Jackson puts it, taxes are the investment we make in our democracy. This is where growth come from. It's that simple.
From a friend of mine in the bay area, check out this appalling account of his trip to Guantanamo on the Hudson. My feeling is that protests are in general no longer an effective tactic, but there is no excuse whatsoever for suspending civil rights and throwing people in jail for two days.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Open Thread? We don't typically do open threads 'round here, but I noticed that dailykos seems to have crashed hard so if you've got something to say about Bush's speech tonight, click on "comments" and let it rip. The Central Committee meeting was tonight so we missed it; we watched a little on the C-Span rerun but must have missed the part with actual content, or something. The crowd seemed a little tepid, too - maybe they were still tuckered out, trying to digest the chunks of red meat that Crazy Uncle Zell was piling up last night.
Yikes! Jen & I missed last night's RNC action and I forgot to set the Tivo, but I think I get the picture. What was yesterday's theme, "we'll frighten you into submission"? And they accuse us of being wild-eyed? It's an interesting strategy they're trying- they're bordering on 100% negative. I thought the Democratic Convention was a little light on the substance, but it was nothing like what I've seen this week. It's either total schlock (like Mrs. Bush's speech, which I found completely content free) or 100% negative on Kerry. Are people buying this?