Thursday, September 28, 2006

Winning on the Ground

In politics it is not the production of the message that costs campaigns money. It is the delivery of the message that runs up the price of campaigning. Consider the production and delivery of Common Sense, MCDAC's Democratic newspaper. It costs MCDAC approximately $0.05-$0.08 an issue to print Common Sense. That is the production cost. The delivery cost, assuming that we use the United States mail is approximately $0.21 cents per copy, assuming that we use a mailing house that can get us a cheaper rate by using bar-coding and bulk rate permits. As you can see, the delivery cost is more than twice the cost of production.

This is not just true for printing a newspaper, it is also true for newspaper advertising, direct mail, radio, and television ads. All of those delivery mechanisms cost far more than the cost of producing the message. In our opinion, this is why Democrats have had trouble winning elections, especially at the local level over the last 30 years.

During that time there has been a steady drop in the number of people who identify themselves as members of one political party or another. This means that there has been reduction in the number of people who depend of party identification to tell them what candidates to support. This leaves name identification as the one of the primary means that voters use to decide what candidates to support. Name identification can be purchased by advertising. This puts candidates with more money at a distinct advantage. Usually, in local campaigns, that means that Republicans have more resources to put into buying name identification. This, in turn, translates into winning elections.

What Democrats need to do is develop alternate means of delivering their political messages. This means developing a core of volunteers who are willing to work on the ground by doing things like door to door canvassing, literature distributions, putting up yard signs, and making phone calls. All of these are effective in delivering political messages, and all of them cost much less than using paid delivery mechanisms.

MCDAC is attempting to build a network of such volunteers in Medina County. We need your help to build this network, we can't do it alone. We want you to help us deliver Common Sense to Medina County voters before the November 7th election. If you are interested in volunteering, please send your name, address, and telephone number to We guarantee that we will put you to work.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Reader Submission: The De-Criminalization of Torture

I don't want to hear about abortion. I don't want to hear about stem-cell research. I don't want to hear about federal judgeships. They are so much noise. Mom, Apple Pie and the American Way are in IMMINENT Danger!
The George Bush Administration and its rubber stamp Republican Congress have decriminalized torture. This is NOT acceptable. The line has to be drawn in the sand. And must be chiseled in stone. This must be stopped at all costs. Our collective souls have been sold. The Republicans wanted a divisive election issue. Well… They have gotten what they wished for.
Tax breaks to the rich, oh bother. Amnesty for illegal aliens … whatever. Budget deficits and economic ruin can wait for another day. Cronyism and political corruption… so what. Global warming, at our leisure.
The GOP compromise bill A.K.A. The Decriminalization of Torture Act is so far out of bounds that it trumps everything. The Geneva Conventions are irrelevant if it is not criminal to break them. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that if there is no penalty there is no crime. All discussions not specifically related to blocking this bill need to be shut down. This bill cannot be allowed to pass. All politicians that love this country and what it stands for must put their bodies in front of this travesty in the making.
This isn't about terrorism. This isn't about fear mongering. This isn't about being reelected. Who cares what happens in the Middle East when our very own country is in mortal danger. It isn't a complex issue.
The facts are short and repugnant. The Decriminalization of Torture act must be defeated. Political consequences be damned. It is time for you to write your congressman. It is time for your outrage. It is time for your courage. It is time that all Americans stand up and be counted. It is time for a filibuster. The enemy is amongst us, and his name is George Bush and his ally, the Republican Congress, who think they are infallible.

Angie Pratt
Reader submissions reflect the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of MCDAC or any of its officers/members.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reader Submission: Nook-yoo-lar Power by Randy Todd

George W. Bush has become the world's foremost authority on which countries should be allowed to possess nuclear technology. How scary is that?! A man who can't even correctly pronounce the word is, apparently, telling every country on the planet exactly who is allowed to build and maintain such things as nuclear power plants. Somehow, one would think that kind of decision making would be reserved for someone who possesses a higher intelligence quotient. Bush barely ranks as what is determined to be "average" intelligence.

Clearly, this Bush administration has demonstrated absolute ineptness regarding foreign policy. In fact, George W. Bush didn't even devise his own foreign policy. If one were to do just a little investigation, one would find that Bush's foreign policy was taken -- almost verbatim -- from an essay written back in the 1990's by a man named Paul Wolfowitz. The essay served as the mission statement of a group of "Neocons," who formed a group of extremely aggressive, ultra-conservatives deemed 'A Project for a New American Century.' Some of the names associated with this group whose ultimate goal is to control the global economy include: Dick Cheney, William Kristol, Richard Perle, James Baker, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, among many of whom are names from former Republican presidential administrations, including the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

In 1997, the aforementioned war mongers sent an official letter to then President Bill Clinton, urging him to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. It's not too tough to see these people had an agenda long before they ever recruited the not-so-bright Bush to be their talking head. The only reason they recruited Bush was name recognition. Given his father's administration's failed attempt at doing away Hussein, one would think having a Bush on the ballot would be the recipe for failure. One could only conclude that George W. Bush could not possibly be the person actually running the country. Far too much of Bush the younger's life history has just gone missing. Of course, when one's father has been the former director of the CIA, it's fairly easy to understand how what should be public record can simply disappear.

This story begins almost 60 years prior to 1997. The Bush family has long been involved in the petroleum industry. Senator Prescott Bush, George W. Bush's grandfather, took his interest in oil to the Mideast, particularly to Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc. Prescott Bush was extremely instrumental in manipulating local politics in Iran, and was largely responsible for the installation of the Shah of Iran. Millions of dollars of Iranian petroleum products procured by the Prescott Bush companies found their way to Nazi Germany. So much oil made its way to Hitler that Bush's assets were eventually frozen by the United States government, because it appeared as if America were directly supporting the Nazis. Needless to say, it didn't make America's traditional allies, England and France, very happy.

In the 1970's, particularly during the Carter administration, the Bush family was still manipulating the political landscape in Iran and Iraq, causing upheaval among the locals. Islamic extremists finally figured out that the Shah of Iran was quite literally giving away the vast majority of profits emanating from its oil fields to American interests. It was destroying the economy of Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini stirred-up the masses which, in turn, resulted in deposing the Shah, and overrunning the American embassy. The American nationals working in the embassy were kidnapped, regularly beaten, tortured and held hostage for months. Iranian nationals in America held protest marches, causing much unrest in American cities. There were daily reminders of the hostages on all the network national news programs.

President Ronald Reagan was eventually elected to office in 1980. Reagan's vice president was none other than George H.W. Bush, former director of the CIA. It's been told by those who were working closely within the Reagan-Bush campaign, that members of that campaign were overtly and covertly negotiating with the Iranian government, trying to secure the release of the American hostages prior to the election. The actions taken by the Reagan-Bush team became affectionately known as the Iran-Contra "Arms-for-Hostages" deal.

The Reagan administration was playing both sides of the fence. Reagan and Bush were supplying Saddam Hussein with arms, money and military advisers to apply pressure on Iran. Hussein had already been warring with Iran for eight years. In fact, a guy named Donald Rumsfeld was present at the signing of the deal; sealing said deal by shaking the hand of his newly found business partner. Hussein had a sweetheart deal he couldn't refuse -- with the most technologically advanced, deadly military minds on the planet -- the United States of America.

On the other side of the fence was Iran. The Islamic fanatics, now in control of the Iranian government, were enticed by American military and CIA agents offering the same weaponry sold to Saddam Hussein, essentially leveling the playing field, in return for freeing the hostages taken from the American embassy in Teheran. Colonel Oliver North brokered the deal, which included laundering the money involved through Central American freedom fighters in El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. Of course, the Central American folks were "friends" procured by George H.W. Bush during his tenure as director of the CIA. All this clandestine stuff was going on, and we haven't even made mention of the so-called 'Cold War' with the Soviet Union. How could American citizens keep track of it all...? They couldn't and didn't!

But what about the Cold War? Well, it also made its way into the area. The Soviet Union tried desperately, albeit unsuccessfully, to invade and take control of Afghanistan. It seems that an extremely rich Islamic extremist from Saudi Arabia, made his way into Afghanistan, to gather together other Islamic fundamentalists in order to fend off the Soviet military. This person whose family is obscenely rich and influential in Saudi Arabia; whose family has long-time ties to the Bush family's oil dynasty in the Arabian mideast started receiving covert funding and arms from the Reagan-Bush administration.

This so-called "freedom fighter" from Saudi Arabia has since become a widely recognized name in the United States -- none other than Osama bin Laden. All that funding from Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush was instrumental in creating and sustaining the Islamic fundamentalists came to be known as the Taliban. It was also the birth of the terror group dubbed al-Qaeda.

Is any of this beginning to sound the least bit familiar?Is it a stretch for one to think that George W. Bush wants his family's business back? It's no small wonder that Iran wants to possess nuclear capability. If for no other reason, it’s only to protect itself from further plundering of its oil fields by the Bush dynasty. Neither is it a stretch for one to believe that Russia has a vested interest in Iran's oil, but Vladimir Putin is prepared to buy it at fair market value. Russia's slipping a few leftover nuclear warheads into Iran would do well to solidify that partnership. Again, it's not surprising that several of Russia's nuclear weapons cannot be located. It's also entirely possible that the "Cold War" never really ended. The Russians were just regrouping. Calling Russia an ally is only something trumped-up by the delusional minds controlling George W. Bush.

What is even scarier is the fact that yet another member of the Bush family is waiting in the wings as the next heir to the American throne. Jeb Bush, current governor of the state of Florida, has already been touted as a possible Republican candidate for a future presidential bid. Depending upon how fed-up Americans become with the lies, deceit and denial of any tarnishing of America's image worldwide, we could have a continuation of foreign policy blunder after blunder, all in the name of world economic and militaristic domination.According to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, America is SUPPOSEDLY mired in a federal deficit of $437 billion.

Congressman Jim Cooper [D-TN] released his new book entitled "Financial Report of the United States." Cooper avidly refutes the U.S. Treasury report as being grossly inaccurate and deceptive. Cooper says the actual federal deficit is actually two to ten times higher than what the Bush administration claims. He also states that the Medicare and Social Security deficits contained in the Bush report are approximately eight times lower than the actual figures.Worrying about the nuclear capabilities of Iran seems to be the least of problems of the Bush administration. Physical destruction of life and landscape are minimal problems compared to the economic destruction of our beloved United States of America.

Every step taken by the current Bush administration has, literally, been disastrous. Even the Herbert Hoover administration cannot come close to the ineptness, incompetence and professional malfeasance of the so-called leadership displayed by the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney administrations from January 21, 2001 to the present. Former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was correct when he exclaimed the United States would be destroyed from within. George W. Bush has rapidly led us down a path of destruction from within. "Nook-yoo-lar" proliferation is truly the least of our problems. By far, the most worrisome, pressing problem facing the United States of America is George W. Bush.
The above reader submission represents the views of its author and those views are not necessarily those of the Medina County Democratic Action Committee.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Why Bush May Want An Endless War

Here is a point that the media doesn't often mention: During the Cold War, (1946-1991), there were 10 presidential elections. Democrats won four of them: 1948, 1960, 1964, and 1976. Republicans won six of them. Not only did the Republicans win the majority of presidential elections held during the Cold War, but three of those Democratic wins were relatively close: 1948, 1960, and 1976. The Republicans only had two elections of their six wins that were relatively close: 1968 and 1980. The other four elections were blow-outs. During the same period there was only one Democratic blow-out and that was in 1964.

The end of the Cold War brought different results in the next three elections. Clinton wins both the 1992 and the 1996 elections and Gore wins the popular vote in 2000 and comes within 600 votes of winning the 2000 electoral college vote. In 2004, however, after the start of the Iraqi War, Bush wins the presidential vote by about 3 million votes. The closest re-election of any president since the end of WWII, but still a vast improvement over his popular vote in 2000.

Now we have Bush telling Americans that we are in another generational conflict between America and Islamic fanatics. This conflict started with the attacks on 9-11 and continued, according to Bush, with the Iraqi War. During that period there has been three elections. In each of those elections Bush and Rove have painted Democrats as weak on terror and not to be trusted with America's security. This resulted in capturing the Senate in 2002 and Bush's re-election in 2004. Take away the events of 9-11 and it is not at all obvious that Bush would have won re-election in 2004 or that the Republicans would still control the Congress in 2006.

Clearly, the Republican Party benefits politically from keeping the American public on a "war" footing. This is because they can paint "liberals" as people who don't understand the threat and are too naive to trust with America's security. This approach was used during the Cold War with a great deal of success and is being used now with regards to America's response to terrorism. Compare the rhetoric of 2006 with the language used by conservative Republicans during the Cold War. It is very similar language. Indeed, the political "father" of Bush and Rove is not Ronald Reagan, but Richard Nixon. Like Nixon, Bush does not heistate to demonize his political opponents or to question their loyalty to America.

All of this is not to say that Bush is totally cynical about the policies he advocates. Like any good salesman, he believes in his product. Like any good salesperson, however, his belief in the product coincides with his personal self-interest. Just like a good salesperson gets commissions from his or her sales, Bush gets political power from his. Thus, like a good salesperson, Bush's personal interest coincides with the successful pushing of his sales pitch, the "War on Terror."
MCDAC authorizes the use of the above without attribution.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bi-partisan to Republicans means Democratic Surrender

When Republicans talk about bi-partisanship they mean that Democrats should surrender. When Democrats talk about bi-partisanship, they mean compromise and trying to find a common solution. That difference is why, until recently, Democrats were getting rolled in Washington.

Here's what would happen: Republicans would pass a bill in the House much different than one passed in the Senate. Then, in conference committee, Republicans would re-write the bill to suit their conservative supporters and, when it got back to the Senate, "red-state" Democrats would be pressured to support it, and it would pass. This was exactly how Republicans managed to pass their reckless tax cuts that have led to huge deficits replacing the surpluses of the Clinton years.

It took about four years for Democrats to wake up and become an opposition party. It really happened when Bush proposed Social Security privatization. Try as they might, the GOP just couldn't find any Democrats willing to support that idea. Without some Democratic "cover", moderate Republicans weren't going to stick their necks out, and so the bill died. They same thing was recently seen with the John Bolton nomination. When Chafee(R-RI), who is in a very tough race, decided to stop supporting Bolton, the vote on the nomination was canceled in the Foreign Relations committee.

More than anything else, the idea that Democrats should become an opposition party is what defeated Lieberman in the August primary. Grassroot Democrats want their party to oppose Bush because they believe that opposition to Bush is necessary for America. Grassroot Democrats don't want their party to compromise on vital Democratic principles. Grassroot Democrats want the same thing as grassroot Republicans, a party that stands for something.

All of this is troubling to Democrats like Lieberman and to some in the media. They decry Democratic opposition to Bush as being the result of something called "Bush hatred." They demand that Democrats compromise their principles so that "things can get done" and "gridlock" avoided. (Interestingly enough, though, they don't demand that Republicans compromise, just Democrats.)

Well, the days when the grassroots of the Democratic Party allowed Democratic politicians to compromise Democratic values in the name of "efficiency" are over. After all, it really doesn't matter if you are "getting things done" if, in the process, you are losing your political soul.
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Vote for DeWine is a Vote for Bush

Much earlier this year, or maybe late last year, a Democrat sent us an email message. In this message, this Democrat praised Mike DeWine for voting against Bush on drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge Area, (ANWAR). Well, it was certainly nice of DeWine to oppose Bush on ANWAR, but here is the bottom line, a vote for DeWine is a vote for Bush.

DeWine supported Bush 96% of the time in the Senate. He voted for Bush's reckless tax cuts, helping to plunge this country back into deficit spending. He voted for Bush's two Supreme Court nominees. He voted for the war in Iraq. He voted this year for an amendment to the budget bill that would have privatized Social Security, even though he is trying to deny he supports Bush's privatization plan. In short Mike DeWine is a Bush clone, only shorter.

Don't be fooled by the corporate media calling him a "moderate." The Republicans have moved the political "center" so far to the right that what used to be referred to as conservative is now called moderate.

Don't be fooled by his "independence" ads, either. Karl Rove wouldn't be helping Mike DeWine raise money and campaign against Sherrod Brown if he wasn't a Bushie at heart. Say what you will about the Bushies, but when it comes to loyalty, these people could teach the Mafia a thing or two.

This is a very simple concept to understand: if you like Bush and what he has done, vote for DeWine, if you don't, then vote for Brown. Just don't tell us that you don't like Bush but are supporting DeWine. That dog won't hunt.
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

White House Press Corps: Not Corrupt, Just Incompetent

This is what the White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, said today at a press briefing: There have been some in the Democratic Party who have argued against the Patriot Act, against the terror surveillance program, against Guantanamo. In other words, there are some people who say that we shouldn't fight the war, we should not detain -- we shouldn't apprehend al Qaeda, we shouldn't detain al Qaeda, we shouldn't question al Qaeda, and we shouldn't listen to al Qaeda. In other words, they're all for winning the war on terror, but they're all against -- they're against providing the tools for winning that war.

Now, here what's incredible: Not one White House reporter asked Snow to name a Democrat who has said that we shouldn't fight the war on terror, or question al-Qaeda, or try and listen to al-Qaeda. Not one reporter thought to ask that simple question. Not one.

Now, if a reporter had asked such a question, then maybe Snow would have tried to wiggle out of the implication he was making by saying that those parts of his comments don't refer to Democrats, but at least he should have been made to spell it out. Instead what he did was use the word "Democrats" when talking about opposition to the Patriot Act, to warrantless surveillance, and to Guantanamo. After doing that, he then makes the leap that being against those things is being against the war on terror, and the reporters present let him get away with it. It is up to reporters to challenge that kind of stuff. It is a simple thing to do, and yet no one did it.

Time and time again Democrats argue that the media is dominated by corporations who are loyal to Bush's economic agenda and that is why reporters don't call him and his underlings on this stuff. Well, there is another explanation: they just aren't that good at doing their job.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why Political Pundits Are Trite

Most well-known political pundits say trite things, offer no new insight into politics, and are content to report and comment on the conventional wisdom inside Washington, D.C. They all say the same thing because most political pundits work for corporations and most corporations don't value risk-taking.

Consider for example the production of movies and television shows. If there is a hit movie or television show, then the following season there are several knock-offs of the original. Why? Because if you are an executive at a studio and you "greenlight" a production that bombs, but is a knock-off of a previous hit, you might not lose your job. If, heaven forbid, you have "greenlighted" an experimental film or TV show that bombs, you better get your resume ready because you could be hitting the bricks.

The same is true in political punditry. If you report or comment on the conventional wisdom, then your editors, supervisors, colleagues, or whoever is important to you are not going to think you are an idiot. If you start giving out radical insight that is not supported by the conventional wisdom, then you have set yourself up for questioning and being made to look foolish.

This is why, even though the polls show that Bush's popularity has been falling steadily over the last year or so, the media continued to act as if the American public still liked Bush. The media had adopted that nugget of conventional wisdom in 2000, it was reinforced in 2001 after 9-11, and reinforced again by his re-election in 2004. Never mind that he got re-elected by an incredibly small margin when compared to other re-elected presidents. The conventional wisdom of the political pundits was that every American voter was just dying to have a beer with good old George. Only recently has it occurred to the political pundits in Washington that the American voters have left the bar and no longer want to pick up the tab.

Once the media gets a theme into its collective heads, then God only knows what it will take to get it out. With the illusion of Bush's popularity it has taken the incompetence of this administration in Iraq and during Katrina to convince the media that these idiots have no idea what they are doing. The American public, however, has been way ahead of them.

Don't think of political pundits as reporters, think of them as your former high school classmates. The well known political pundits are the "cool kids" who set the trend for others. How many of those "cool kids" actually thought for themselves as compared to how many just echoed what others thought? If your high school was like ours, not very many of the "cool kids" were original thinkers.

The bottom line? Don't take the political pundits seriously. They are, after all, only mimicking what they have heard from others.
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Towards A Democratic Tax Policy

One problem that Democrats have is that we have allowed Republicans to control the tax debate in America. We have allowed Republicans to continue to press for irresponsible tax cuts without coming up with a tax policy that would actually help American middle class families without plunging America into debt. Part of the problem is that Democratic tax policy is often framed in terms that only those interested in fiscal policy can understand. Republicans use the message that "Democrats think they can spend your money better than you can." As a recent article we read points out, this is actually the basis of every Republican tax-cutting proposal. (Here is that article's link:

What Democrats need to do is develop a tax-plan that is aimed at the middle class and would still raise sufficient revenue to run the country without borrowing billions and billions of dollars. One Democratic senator who has done just that is Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. Highlights of his tax plan, which he calls the Fair Flat Tax Plan of are:
  • provides higher standard deductions for every individual
  • ends tax provisions that prefer unearned income such as capital gains and dividends over wage and salary income, and
  • provides an unprecedented, refundable 10 percent tax credit for every taxpayer’s state and local taxes – a direct benefit for the more than two-thirds of taxpayers who currently do not itemize their taxes.
  • reduces the 1040 down to a single page
(This list is taken from his official website which can be visited here:

Senator Wyden actually spoke in Cleveland and the City Club about his tax plan in April of this year. The text of his speech can be read here: What we like about Wyden's approach is that he isn't sitting around wringing his hands and whining about how voters don't really, really understand what the Republicans are doing. He is going out and devising his own tax plan and exposing that while Republicans say they are for the middle class, their policies actually favor the rich over the rest of us. He does this by using their rhetoric of "Flat Tax" but adds the essential element of fairness.

All of this is not to say that we think that every Democrat running for Federal office should rush out and endorse this plan. What we are saying is that every Democrat running for Federal office should think about a taxation policy that reduces U.S. debt, helps the middle class, and simplifies the tax code. Since 1980 we have been playing defense on the issue of taxation. A whole generation is enough time to learn how to play offense on taxation.
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