Sunday, December 31, 2006
Wilson was high on the House Democrats' target list in 2006. She comes from a district that Kerry carried in 2004, but one that she manages to win. She apparently has decided that losing her seat over George W. Bush's war is not what she has in mind for her political career. According to the Journal's article she is not alone in her decision to oppose Iraqi troop escalation since only one member of New Mexico's five member delegation supports troop escalation.
Wilson called for a re-thinking of American policy regarding Iraq. In what might be a considerable understatement she said that the US seems to "lack focus" on what it is trying to accomplish. She described the establishment of a democratic Iraqi government as an "aspiration" but not something that is vital to American national security.
Wilson is a Air Force Academy graduate and a former National Security Council aide. If she has decided to bail on Bubble-Boy's Iraqi adventure, can other Republicans, especially ones from swing districts be far behind?
Click on the arrow next to this post's title to link to the Journal article.
If you like what you read on MCDAC blog, scroll down and fill out the FeedBlitz subscription form. It is located just above the links. You will be sent a daily listing of the post headlines. You can then click on the ones that you like and read the full entry.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
What Democrats need to do is what Clinton did with Chris Wallace on Fox and that is simply not take their stuff. What a reporter/pundit asks a stupid question, call the question stupid, don't dignify it with an answer or treat it like a serious question. If they are asking "got you" questions, call them on it. They need product, they aren't going to stop asking you on their programs and Democrats don't need to take their crap.
That statement made us wonder if what is needed for America is a mission statement. What is the mission of the United States Government and is this administration fulfilling that mission? The quote from President Ford suggests one such mission statement. That statement might be as follows: It shall be the mission of the United States Government to provide for the security of the American people.
Assuming that would be the mission, how is this administration doing fulfilling that mission? Well, based on what is happening in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and what happened with Hurricane Katrina, not very well. In Iraq it has American troops bogged down in a sectarian civil war; in Afghanistan we are seeing resurgence of the Taliban, the same government that harbored bin Laden while he planned his attacks on America. In New Orleans we saw the complete failure of this administration to protect the security of Americans, before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.
The advantage of having a mission statement is that when you are asked to do something, like say invade Iraq, you would contrast the thing you are being asked to do with the goal of your organization, as set forth in the mission statement. This is just a hunch, but we don't think that if comparing America's mission statement with the Iraq War had been done that reasonable people would have came out in favor of the war.
Because a comparison wouldn't have just meant that looking at this Administration's Iraqi claims, but also whether alternative actions would have worked just as well to protect the security of the American people. At least such an comparison would have forced members of the United States Constitution to defend their support of this war in terms that the American people could understand.
Feed Blitz is protected by copyright and is used by MCDAC with permission.
Here are some of the results:
Percentage of respondents approving of Bush's handling of the war: 37%
Percentage of respondents disapproving of Bush's handling of the war: 42%
Percentage who think that Iraqi War is part of the War on Terror: 47%
Percentage who think that Iraqi War is a separate military action: 47%
Percentage who think that number of troops should be increased: 38%
Percentage who think number of troops should remain the same: 13%
Percentage who think that number of troops should be decreased: 26%
Percentage of respondents who think that it will be more than two year before large number of Iraqi troops are ready to replace American troops: 70%.
Percentage of respondents who think that it will be 10 years before large number of Iraqi troops are ready to replace American troops: 12%.
This poll shows a sharp decline in Bush's support in the military as compared to two years ago. Then 63% of American troops polled supported Bush's handling of the Iraqi War. The full results can be viewed by clicking on the arrow next to the post title above.
Friday, December 29, 2006
This is a small example of why Joe Lieberman drives Democrats crazy. He was so moralistic about Bill Clinton lying about oral sex, but he is not nearly as worked up about George W. Bush getting us into a war under false pretenses. He can't bring himself, even now, after the incompetence of this administration has been shown time and time again, and after he has safely won re-election to criticize Bush like he criticized Clinton. This is what we would like to see one those insufferable talking heads like Tim Russert ask Liebrman: "Senator do you consider George W. Bush's mistakes in Iraq worse than Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky?" We think the answer would be extremely interesting.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
We have this theory that George W. Bush was pushed for the presidency by people who wanted to make Ford and George H.W. Bush look better by comparison. Think about it for a minute. Who wouldn't have taken Ford, Nixon pardon and all, or take his father, awkward syntax and all, over "Bubble-Boy" and his Boy Genius, Rove. After all, Cheney and Rumsfeld served both Ford and BB's father. What better way to improve the historical standing of Ford and Bush I than by getting Bush to start a war with Iraq. Far-fetched, you say? Well, it makes as much sense as going into Iraq to get rid of non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Had more Americans, including media reporters, read Frank Rich's book, The Greatest Story Ever Sold, they would understand what is happening. Rich recalls the infamous quote by Andrew Card, former White House Chief of Staff, that you "don't roll out a new product over the summer", to explain why the Bushies were waiting until the fall of 2002 to announce its plans for Iraq. Rich's book makes the point that with this White House everything is about politics and nothing is about policy, or, perhaps more accurately, policy is always subordinate to politics. Part of politics is marketing. The problem with this White House is that it thinks that everything in politics is marketing.
If you don't roll out a new product over the summer, when shows are repeated on TV and Americans are busy taking vacations, watching Little League games, and relaxing, you also don't roll out a new product when people are distracted by Christmas and the New Year's holiday. Hence Bush's decision to wait until January of 2007 to announce his supposed "New Way Forward" on Iraq.
The irony, of course, is that since the American people aren't as cynical as "bubble-boy" and his incompetent group of toadies, this is going to work against him. He is raising expectations for a genuine "New Way Forward", not just a new catchphrase for the old policy. If he doesn't meet them, he will be in even a worse position with the American public than before.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Here's a suggestion: bring back Al Gore's "lockbox" concept. Pass a law that prohibits the use of Social Security revenues for anything other than funding Social Security and Medicare. Force this administration to show the American people how they are plundering Social Security revenues to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Such a move would seize the financial initiative.
Well, this current war is a Republican War. A Republican President urged support for this war, and a Republican-controlled Congress went along with him. It was a Republican Secretary of State who went to the United Nations and told them that there was proof that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. It was a Republican Vice-President who claimed that our troops would be greeted as liberators.
The result? We have now lost more troops in the Iraq War than we lost civilians on September 11, 2001. ( Article here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061226/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq ) Americans don't feel any safer, bin Laden is still at large, hundred of Iraqis are dying each month because of sectarian violence, and America's standing in the world has plummented. Meanwhile, the Taliban, who sheltered the evil organization that attacked us, is enjoying a resurgence in Afghanistan.
In the 2008 presidential election, the question will be whether the Republican Party nominee can escape political retribution for the horrible mistakes of the Bush Administration. This will be especially true if the GOP nominee is John McCain, who is now calling for more troops to go to Iraq. The only way that could happen would be if the Democratic Party nominee was a person who supported the war and if such a nominee was not able to articulate a foreign policy vision that would avoid such a disaster in the future.
Monday, December 25, 2006
You can read an article about this here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061225/ap_on_bi_ge/katrina_contracts
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Three things are apparent from a reading of this paragraph:
1. All Senators, Representatives, and all officials of the various states have to take an oath to support the United States Constitution;
2. Unlike the oath taken by the President, the Constitution doesn't prescribe any certain language for such an oath; and
3. No religious test can be ever be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the United States.
The oath of office that is prescribed in the U.S. Constitution for the President is found in Article III, Clause 8, and reads as follows:
Clause 8: Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Note that the above oath does not require that it be made upon a Bible and does not include any reference to God, although there is nothing to prohibit a President from taking the oath on a Bible or adding the words "So help me God" to the oath.
According to a Republican Senator quoted in the story Democrats will not be able to get universal health care enacted. If that is true, and we are not sure it is, then that means that reform will be centered around continuation of the employer based system we now use. American's employer based system is putting American business at a competitive disadvantage against companies based in countries that have universal health care provided and funded by the national government. One reason why Toyota enjoys a competitive advantage against American automakers is that Toyota doesn't have the same costs for employee health insurance as American automakers.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) plans to introduce a bill to provide health insurance for all Americans using a centrally financed system of private insurance companies. ( Senator Wyden's website offers links to a more detailed description of his plan. You can link here: http://wyden.senate.gov/ ). If Democrats could deliver solid reform of the nation's health care system, not only would they be doing the right thing, but also the politically advantageous thing.
Considering that over 80% of all Ohio judges start their judicial careers via gubernatorial appointment, this is a very significant development. This should lead to greater transparency in judicial appointments and more diversity in the people appointed. It should also lead to greater confidence in the appointment process.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The numbers don't lie and these are the numbers:
DeWine (R) 53%
Hyatt (D) 39%
Voinovich (R) 56%
Boyle (D) 44%
DeWine (R) 60%
T. Celeste (D) 36%
Voinovich (R) 64%
Fingerhut (D) 36%
Brown (D) 56%
DeWine (R) 44%
In the 10 year period from 1994 to 2004, Republican U.S. Senate candidates averaged 58% of the vote while Democratic candidates only averaged 39% of the vote. This meant that the average Republican victory margin during that period was 19% of the vote. Such an average meant that Democratic U.S. Senate candidates took "a thumpin" from 1994 to 2004.
Sherrod Brown changed that. He beat incumbent Mike DeWine by 12% of the vote. That is huge-particularly in light of the miserable results Democratic candidates obtained during the 1994-2004 period.
The question thus becomes: Why did Sherrod Brown do so well? Although a full answer might depend of more detailed number crunching, a preliminary analysis shows that Sherrod Brown created a strong campaign organization and, just as importantly, talked about issues in a way that appealed to most Ohioans.
Ohio's Democrats would do well to learn these two lessons from Sherrod Brown. One, if you want to win a statewide campaign you need to put together a strong campaign organization. Two, you need to talk about issues that interest most Ohioans, and take political positions that appeal to most Ohioans.
This may sound simplistic but it is something that Ohio's Democratic U.S. Senate candidates were unable to do from 1994-2004.
Mr. Mann is a Columbus attorney who has long been interested in politics.
http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061224/REPOSITORY/612240366 We present this for your enjoyment and note that the campaign for the 08 nomination is beginning earlier than usual. The fact that there is so much coverage of the 2008 presidential race almost two years before the election shows (a) the impact of having so much media as compared to even 2000; (b) the desperation of Americans to get this administration out of power; and (c) the fact that political reporters will always focus on the horserace as opposed to substantive ideas.
Democrats should demand that if Bush wants to increase troops in Iraq, and wants billions of dollars for Iraq's unemployed, then he should propose raising taxes to pay for expanding the war effort. It would be fascinating to see Republicans try and explain why we should spend billions of dollars more in Iraq, but not raise taxes to pay for such expenditures.
Do you think that anyone in the media will get the irony of this? Here we have a conservative Republican, who would never call for such a plan in the United States, urging a plan that he describes as a cross between two plans associated with liberal Democratic presidents. And he is doing all of this with a straight face.
Well, here is a question for Mr. Gingrich and the Bush Administration: why are Iraqis more worthy than unemployed Americans? Why is such a plan a good idea for Iraqis but not for Americans? Are unemployed Americans not good enough for their own government to help?
The only job plan this administration has for unemployed young people in America is to have them join the military so they can risk their lives, apparently to protect American companies while they provide jobs for Iraqis. Democrats need to start asking why we can spend American tax dollars to provide unemployed Iraqis with jobs, but not unemployed Americans. Watching Republicans try and explain the difference would illustrate the difference between us and them.
It would illustrate the difference between a political party that wants to help Americans and a political party that doesn't.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Interesting article about Hillary and Obama and who they would be appealing to if they both ran for president. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16238556/site/newsweek/
In his column Suddes advocates the adoption of a one house General Assembly, like Nebraska's; going from five state-wide elected executive officers to two, governor and auditor; and addressing hot-button social issues. It is a very thought-provoking idea. You can read all of the column here: http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/thomas_suddes/index.ssf?/base/opinion/1166261749183420.xml&coll=2
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell came out against sending more troops into Iraq. Let's see, Powell former Secretary of State, retired Chair of the Joint Chief of Staffs, West Point graduate, and Vietnam War veteran is against sending more troops. Dick Cheney, the man whose advice got us into this mess, is for sending more troops. Whose advice would you take? Well, if you are "bubble boy" you follow Cheney's advice because that way you look "tough" and "strong" and not "weak". Of course, it isn't your children who are going to die in Iraq and it isn't your family that is going to live in fear of a visit telling you that your son/daughter/father/mother/sister/brother has died. It is so easy for this President to be "tough" with the children of other parents. (You can read more about Powell's comments here:
Goodyear was hurting In 2003. The union responded to the crisis Goodyear was experiencing and agreed to allow the company to cut some 6,000 jobs including closing a plant in Alabama, as well as trim pay, health care and pension benefits in order make the company solvent. The company has turned the corner and is now making a profit.
Now, Goodyear wants more cuts at the expense of the workers. Goodyear wants to cut their pay, hurt retiree benefits and close more factories in Gadsden, Ala., and Tyler, Texas that employ about 2,200 union jobs. Mike Roop, a USW member employed at Goodyear stated, "That's a slap in the face, say workers who believe they helped get Goodyear back in the black. "Two billion dollars in concessions in 2003. Now they want more," The company touted the vital role the union played in its $1 billion turnaround plan but investors don't think it's enough. According to the SEC documents, many of the investors, have been pressuring the company to shift jobs overseas for cheaper labor and production costs. Whatever happened to the common good in this country?
Labor Unions have been decimated by corporate America and the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. It is time to help our Labor friends build another workers movement, not unlike the labor/industrial movement in early 20th century, that recognized the dignity of work, fair pay, and a rightful voice through collective bargaining contracts. Will you show your support for signing up to stand with our Labor friends? We are looking for folks to give two hours a week to walk the picket line with our Labor friends. If you don't have the time then can you donate food items for the families of the striking workers? How about making a donation to the USW-L2 strike fund?
(Editor's Note: You can learn more about the Goodyear strike at www.ohiopac.org)
Above submitted by Patrick Carano of the Progressive Democrats of Ameria.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped Betty Sutton, (D-13), to serve on the Rules Committee. This is probably the most powerful committee in the U.S. House of Representatives since it controls the terms of debate of all legislation referred to the House from its various committees. (For more on the Rules Committee, click here: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/United_States_House_Committee_on_Rules
It is rare for a new Congressperson to get an appointment to the Rules Committee. The fact that Sutton was able to get such an appointment shows the respect she is already getting from Speaker Pelosi. Congratulations to Congresswoman Sutton.
Evan Bayh Pulls out of Presidential Race
The 2008 Democratic field for the presidential nomination was reduced by one as Senator Evan Bayh, (D-IN), pulled out. Senator Bayh concluded that he couldn't muster the resources to run for President. You can read more here: http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061216/LOCAL19/612160469
Thursday, December 14, 2006
He does not have the right to decide which laws he will support and which ones he chooses to ignore. For 12 long years the Republicans have thumbed their collective noses at the Ohio Supreme Court and the citizens of Ohio. The Republicans have not worked to form a legal method of funding public education. To the contrary they have created charter schools that are siphoning public dollars off into the bank accounts of corporate diploma mills. In addition, not only have the Republicans not reduced the reliance on property taxes to fund education, they have made it worse. Therefore schools and townships, for example, are forced to return to the voters more often than ever. Ohio’s voters spoke very loudly in the last election. Unlike his predecessor Mr. Batchelder has the opportunity to listen to the Supreme Court and to the electorate and not violate his promise to follow the Ohio Constitution. Nonfeasance is defined as the failure to perform an act that is either an official duty or a legal requirement. Betty Montgomery as Ohio Attorney General chose to look the other way and not hold her Republican cronies responsible for failing to perform their collective duty to perform the legal requirement given them in the DeRolph decision. New Attorney General Marc Dann and Governor Ted Strickland must hold the Legislature responsible. If they do then Ohio’s schools and local governments will benefit and the reliance on property taxes will be lessened. We all need to be Argus-eyed from day one and hold those elected accountable for their decisions.
Congressman Says Bush is in "Deep Shit" in Iraq
Yes, he actually used that phrase when responding to a reporter's question about what plan the Democrats have for Iraq. Rangel made the observation when noting the absurdity of the media allowing Bush to get us into this war under false pretenses and then demanding that Democrats find a solution. A solution, by the way, that Bush would most likely never implement. Rangel's observation, along with a report about what possible Democratic presidential contenders think about Iraq is here: http://www.observer.com/20061218/20061218_Jason_Horowitz_politics_newsstory1.asp
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Dems Win Last House Election of 2006
The Democratic candidate won the last contested House seat of 2006 for Texas's 23rd District. The seat, which was the subject of a lawsuit heard by the United States Supreme Court, had been held for 14 years by a Republican. This win brings to 31 the number of seats in the U.S. House that changed from Republican to Democrat. This last victory gives the Democrats a 233-202 edge in the House. You can get all the glorious details here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/12/AR2006121201601.html
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Frank Proposes New Deal for Labor and Business
Rep. Barney Frank, (D-MA), is proposing a new deal between labor unions, government and business. It is based on creating a universal health insurance program, making it easier to unionize and tying trade deals to environmental and labor regulations. In return business would get relief from governmental regulation. It is a interesting idea. Read more here: http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=12286
Conservatives, Republicans Abandoning Bush Over Iraq
A new CBS poll shows that since the election there has been a 23% drop in support for Bush's handling of the war among Republicans. There has also been a drop for support of this war among self-described "conservatives." Expect more Republicans in Congress to start sounding like Democrats as they see the possibility of even more electoral defeats in 2008. Read the poll results here: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/11/opinion/polls/main2247797.shtml
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sherrod Brown Interview with Mother Jones
Sherrod Brown gave an interview to Mother Jones magazine in which he disavows interest in being a vice-presidential nominee, but talks about why the Democratic nominee in 2008 has to pay attention to Ohio and why that nominee should push a economic populist message. Here is the link: http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2006/12/sherrod_brown.html
Sunday, December 10, 2006
GOP Senator Refers to Iraq War Strategy as "Criminal"
Okay, so maybe it is because Gordon Smith, R-OR, is up for re-election in 2008, but this past week, he referred to the Bush Administration's strategy for Iraq as "criminal." He explained his remarks more fully here: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/12/10/sen-smith-on-iraq-that-is-dereliction-that-is-immoral/ Expect to see more and more Republicans who are up for re-election in 2008 trying to distance themselves from Bush to protect themselves in 2008. Our job? Don't let them get away with it.
Is the Bush Clan Turning on Karl Rove?
According to this item in the US News & World Report, the Bushies are really upset with Karl Rove's performance in the mid-term elections. Apparently bubble-boy believed King Karl when he promised that the GOP would hold the House and Senate. Now, since it didn't, the Bushies have to blame someone and it looks like the scapegoat is going to be Rove. All of this shouldn't surprise anyone. The vaunted loyalty of the the Bush family only goes one way. As soon as you are no longer useful to them, over the side you go. Look at the treatment of Rumsfeld, the former Treasurer Secretary O'Neill, Colin Powell, and anyone else who was loyal to the Bush family, but didn't practice self-delusion when it came to George W's mess in Iraq. Their reputations were attacked, their abilities belittled, and their loyalty repaid with treachery. Why? Because bubble-boy, aka our President, can't stand to hear the truth. Anyway, here is the article: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/washingtonwhispers/061210/has_king_karl_lost_his_magic_t.htm
Sunday, December 03, 2006
53% of Ohioans Voted for Democrats for Congress
Only 39% Will be Represented by a Dem
The Columbus Dispatch ran an interesting article pointing out that while 53% of Ohio's voters voted for a Democrat for Congress, Democrats only won 7 out of 18 contested seats. This disparity between the actual vote and the election results is one of the worse in the country according to the organization Fair Vote. This is because the GOP has controlled the redistricting for Congressional seats after the 1990 census and the 2000 census. Democrats need to consider pushing for a constitutional amendment that will change the way Ohio apportions congressional and state house districts. A system that stressed competitiveness would be better for Democrats and Republicans both. (Click here to read the full Dispatch article: http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/12/03/20061203-A1-02.html )
Economic Populists Take on Entrenched Power in DC
Alternet has an interesting article on how the incoming class of economic populists, including Sherrod Brown in the Senate, will have to fight entrenched power, including a lot of Democratic insiders, on the issue of "fair trade" versus "free trade". (Click here for the link: http://www.alternet.org/stories/44898/ ) It will be very interesting to watch this battle play out, especially in the 2008 Democratic primaries. NAFTA was passed on Bill Clinton's watch, but it is hard to see a lot of support for NAFTA style trade agreements in the 2008 Democratic primaries. Indeed, NAFTA may turn out to be more of liability for Senator Clinton than her support of the Iraq War in 2003. If she was opposed by a candidate who could run against her on both trade and the war, she would have a fight on her hands.
Worse than Truman's "Do-Nothing Congress"
Remember the Republican-controlled Congress that Harry Truman labeled the "Do-Nothing Congress" back in 1948? Well, the departing Republican-controlled Congress can now claim the name. The Congress that met from 2005-2007 will have spent the least amount of time actually meeting in Congressional history; didn't pass any significant legislation; and didn't pass at least 8 of the 11 annual spending bills usually enacted to keep the United States government running. Now, of course, it is somewhat ironic for Democrats to criticize this Congress for not-doing anything when you consider that what they wanted to do was so horrible. They wanted to privatize Social Security; get rid of the estate tax, which only affects the super-rich; and make permanent the reckless tax breaks enacted earlier this decade by their Republican colleagues in concert with their bubble-boy leader. Looking at it that way, maybe them doing nothing was the best we could hope for. It would have been nice, though, if they could have actually worked on solving some of our nation's problems instead of pursuing their narrow ideological agenda. An agenda, by the way, which was rejected on November 7Th. You can read more about this "do-nothing-est" Congress here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/02/AR2006120200764.html
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Death Rate in Iraq Higher for Soldiers from Rural US
Did you know that the death rate for American soldiers from rural areas is higher than for American soldiers from urban areas? Did you also know that rural voters helped Democrats take control of the United States Senate? Check out this interesting website about rural communities. http://www.ruralstrategies.org/default.html
Bush: Worst President Ever?
Columbia University professor writes opinion column for the Washington Post arguing that Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States. Considering that he is battling luminaries like Pierce and Harding for the honor, you will really have to admire the job he is doing at establishing his reputation as the worst president. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/01/AR2006120101509.html