Saturday, March 31, 2007

Man Who Helped Elect Bush Now Says "Kerry Was Right" on Iraq

This is a fascinating story in the New York Times. Matthew Dowd is a Texas Democrat who spent six years working to elect George W. Bush President. He then spent four years helping him get ready for re-election and helped his 2004 campaign. He apparently now realizes that Bush has been wrong for America. He says that John Kerry was right on Iraq when he advocated a deadline for getting out last year.

Interestingly enough Dowd has a son who is now serving in Iraq. He is one of the few people that we know about in Bush's inner circle who has a personal stake in what happens in Iraq. That gives him a rather unique perspective for a Bushie, or in his case, a former Bushie.

He also faults Bush for his response to Hurricane Katrina and for not firing Rumsfeld. He portrays as disillusioned and believes that he has an obligation to help make things right, to "restore the balance." He doesn't plan to be involved in the 2008 race, but said that he likes Barack Obama because he is trying to bring Americans together. Be sure to read this article.

Friday, March 30, 2007

MCDAC Democratic Newsletter for March 30, 2007

Spreading Common Sense in Medina County
Repeat Item

On March 17th MCDAC held a meeting to establish two committees to oversee the publishing and distribution of Common Sense, Medina County's only Democratic newspaper. We can still use volunteers for both of these committees. If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to The next date for a meeting of our two committees is April 14, 2007 from 10 am to noon at the Cloverlead Recreation Center.

Medina County Democratic Yard Sign Committee
Repeat Item

We are continuing to strengthen the Democratic Party in Medina County . Yard signs are a very important part of a candidate's efforts to get his/her name and message out to the voting public. Building on the success we achieved and the lessons we learned during the 2006 elections, we want to create a systematic approach to delivering candidate yard signs for every election. The process will include identifying priority locations by precinct, creating a group of volunteers who will assist candidates in identifying locations, putting together and delivering yard signs. We want to create an 'event' to deliver yard signs. The first meeting of the Yard Sign Committee will be held on Monday, April 16th at 7:00 PM at Panera's 4065 Pearl Road in Medina . We will use the meeting to begin to identify the priority sites within Medina County , outline volunteer opportunities and discuss how we will capture and maintain lists of individuals who are willing to post yard signs on their property. Come join the fun as we turn Medina County Blue!! Please contact Mary Ogden at for more information.

MCDAC Blog Entries

MCDAC Blog Entries for 3/23-3/29

For Bush & Rove Everything is About Right-Wing Republicanism

Bush Pulls "Swift Boat" Donor Before Senate Committee Vote

Senate Vote on War Shows GOP is Southern Party

Republican Answer to Republican Corruption? Privatize It!

Democratic Divide: Economic Liberals vs Social Liberals

Bush Justice Department Official to Take 5th Amendment Before Congress

Why Katie Couric Went After John & Elizabeth Edwards

Presence of American Troops Doesn't Cause Iraqis to Kill Each Other

Should Congress Impeach Gonzales?

Project for Excellence in Journalism Report: State of the News Media 2007

Reader Submission: "Drop the Partisanship!" says the Prez

Reader Submission: Liberally Religious or Give Me That Old-Time Liberalism

Fewer Voters Identifying with Republicans

Rove Wants a Partisan Justice Department

When is the Washington Post Going to Apologize for Iraq War Cheerleading?

We are always looking for short postings by Democrats and links to interesting articles. If you would like to submit an article or a link for our 'blog, please send them to
Joyce Kimbler, Treasurer
P.O. Box 1213
Medina, OH 44258

Pat Robertson's Regent University Places 150 Alumni in Bush Administration

Monica Goodling, the Justice Department official who announced that she will take the Fifth Amendment rather than testify truthfully to the Congress about the fired U.S. Attorneys issue, is a graduate of the law school at Regent University. Regent University was started by Pat Robertson. According to its website 150 alumni have taken jobs with the Bush Administration. This is just one more example of the marriage between the religious right and the Bush Administration.

Reader Submission: Transcending Race in Presidential Politics

By now, we all have heard the standard line about Barack Obama: he transcends race and represents a new multicultural identity for America. Such talk is idealistic, to say the least. Obama can indulge his fantasies about creating a new America, but presidential campaigns- and presidential administrations- are not about reconfiguring society. Racial politics, even when it supposedly transcends old racial identities, rarely produces a good outcome for democracy. Whether its inspiration is liberal or conservative, the politics of identity usually leads to the politics of exclusion and stereotyping.

Most of us appreciate why Sen. Obama’s supporters are drawn to him. His eloquence and easy charm create a kind of charisma that has not warmed Democratic hearts since the days of RFK. Bobby Kennedy’s post-JFK liberal idealism was so powerful precisely because it remained untainted by the messy problems of governing. The re-born liberal Kennedy never had to soothe the anxieties of white working-class Democrats fleeing “urban” problems. He did not have to account for the failures of many of Johnson’s Great Society experiments.

In other words, Bobby’s passionate liberalism was never put to the test. He died a martyr, and like all martyrs, he is revered and admired. But politics is a dirty business, like it or not, and a victorious candidate’s liberal idealism cannot survive a presidency intact. Sacrifices will be made, promises will be bent, if not broken, and voters will be left disappointed. Even Roosevelt, Truman, and John F. Kennedy did not have perfect progressive records. If Obama succeeds in winning the nomination, let alone the presidency, his more left-leaning admirers will have their hearts broken.

Of the Senator’s star qualities, one of his most admired is the one over which he had no control in acquiring- his unique racial heritage. For liberals, his family background is a burst of fresh air. In a society dominated by a much-maligned club of “old white men,” Obama’s non-traditional ethnicity is a refreshingly positive change in the political status quo. Of course, many Democrats and progressives are old white men, or are married or related to them. And in some cases white men, old as well as young, achieve good things for the country. After all, Sen. Sherrod Brown is a mature white male, and Gov. Ted Strickland is as white as they come. The original American liberal heroes were such famous old white men as Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. Conservatives are not the only folks a little too preoccupied with the race and ethnicity of their candidates.

As for the very liberal crowd gravitating around Obama, their fascination may begin to diminish as soon as their candidate has to spend more time and energy placating traditional African-American leaders, activists, and rank-and-file voters who aren’t so happy with his non-traditional background. As it stands in the Democratic Party, liberal whites are fonder of Obama than are blacks, who tend to support Hillary. It’s not exactly news that Barack’s takes on social issues are at odds with black church conservatives. Many black Democrats wonder: Can Obama truly relate to inner-city concerns and the historical problems faced by Afro-Americans? Put a different way, they ask: “is he one of us?”

Other black Democratic figures may not possess the charisma of Obama, but they do have something a lot more important- political street cred. It remains to be seen if Candidate Obama, the half white, half Kenyan-American raised by his white Caucasian family, is “black enough” for skeptical black Democrats while not being “too black” for suburban white liberals. As it turns out, liberal racial politics is just as troublesome as conservative racial politics.

Hopefully, many of us won’t have to wait until Election Day 2008 to figure that out. Especially as Hispanic and immigrant influence grows in national politics, many Democrats need to reconsider their definition of pro-minority liberalism. For too long, Democratic advocacy of minority rights has been limited to adoption of the African-American establishment’s agenda. The candidacy of Barack Obama may represent a change in the racial attitudes of Democrats, or it may be a temporary giddy infatuation after years of rule by the very non-inclusive Republican Party. Either way, it’s not in the best interest of the Democratic Party to keep racial politics alive and thriving.

Economic opportunity, equality before the law, and protection of individual liberty are not the passionate causes that they once were, which is particularly strange in this era of globalization and global human rights abuses. Addicted to their fetishes of diversity and multiculturalism, nominal social liberals are diverting the party’s focus from traditional economic issues in favor of pet causes springing from identity politics. As an honorable public servant, Obama deserves better than to become the poster child for the crowds pushing hollow multiculturalism.

Barack Obama may have transcended race in his own life, but America still has a mighty long way to go. It can be argued that the Senator’s background is a challenge to racists and Old Guard activists who want to pigeonhole people into neat little categories. However, nominating him will generate more negative than positive results. In the end, elevating a candidate because of his race and political inexperience does not serve the interests of equality, unity, and good government. For all its progressive hype, Obama’s campaign is yet another example of America’s political obsession with cultural identity. ___________________________________________________________________
Article submitted by kjohns. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of MCDAC or its members.

Bush No Longer Intimidating Democrats on Iraq

In this article from the New York Times, the writers talk about how Democrats have kept their Congressional unity over Iraq even in the face of Bush's tough-guy talk. The fact that Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate have stayed together on the Iraq vote is remarkable. In the past Bush could intimidate enough Democrats from "red" states or Congressional districts to give his policies a veneer of "bi-partisanship".

This intimidation took place because Democrats from such areas were afraid of his political power. Since he is now polling in the low to mid-thirties on job approval, his political power has diminished. The diminishment of Bush's political power combined with the power of being the majority party has emboldened Democrats and led to party unity on Iraq.

If Democrats keep united, they will force Bush to respond to them because it is hard to conduct a war without bi-partisan support for that war. Increasingly Republicans from "blue" states or Congressional districts will be under pressure to desert Bush on Iraq. It will be interesting to see how long Republicans will keep supporting Bush' war as we get closer to the 2008 elections.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

For Bush & Rove Everything is About Right-Wing Republicanism

Although he campaigned as a "compassionate conservative" in order to get power, Bubble-Boy Bush and his "brain", King Karl Rove, are right wing zealots. This is shown by their desire to do away with Social Security, by their response to Hurricane Katrina, by their willingness to use unilateral military force in Iraq, and by the current scandal with the fired U.S. Attorneys.

This is also shown by this article in the New York times about King Karl's influence in picking U.S. District Attorneys. Now, let's be clear about something: all presidents are influenced by politics when making selections for U.S. District Attorneys. Those positions are patronage positions and are political plums that presidents get to hand out.

What makes Rove's involvement in this process somewhat different is that he was interested in advancing a particular philosophy in making these political appointments. That philosophy is dedicated to reducing the role of government in people's lives, to increasing the prerogatives of corporations in our society, and to increasing the power and influence of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. Anyone who gets in the way of their agenda, even other Republicans, gets cut down without mercy.

What is also obvious about Rove and Bush is that all ethical & moral considerations are subordinate to their desire to have a right-wing government. If they have to trash someone's reputation to get and maintain power, lie about their opponents, mislead the Congress, lie to the American people, to name just a few of the things they have done in their political careers, so be it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bush Pulls "Swift Boat" Donor Before Senate Committee Vote

Bush nominated Sam Fox to be an ambassador. Sam Fox is a big-time Republican and is the former head of a national Republican Jewish organization. He is also a person who gave $50,000 to "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" so that organization could run anti-Kerry ads in 2004. Today his past caught up with him. One hour before a Senate committee was to vote on his nomination, Bush pulled it because the word was out that the committee was going to vote against his nomination. What a difference an election makes. You can click on this entry's title to read the CNN article about the Fox nomination.

Senate Vote on War Shows GOP is Southern Party

If you click on the link in this entry's title you will see a regional breakdown of yesterday's (3.27.2007) Senate vote on the Republican amendment to the Iraqi War funding bill. This breakdown was complied by the Washington Post. The amendment was an attempt to strip language from the bill that imposes a deadline for American troops to be in Iraq.

There were 48 votes for the Republican amendment. Of these 48 votes 22 came from Southern states, 12 from Western states, 8 from Midwestern states, and 6 from Eastern states. This is a small example of the regionalization of the Republican Party. Increasingly it is becoming a Southern based party.

Now on the one hand, given the small state bias in the United States Constitution as seen by the fact that each state has two Senators regardless of population and the Electoral College, this works for the GOP. On the other hand, though, you have to wonder how long a party that is increasingly playing to one section of the country can maintain its viability in national politics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Republican Answer to Republican Corruption? Privatize It!

If you click here you can listen to a story that aired today on WKSU by Karen Kasler. The story concerned the audit report that was done on the Bureau of Workers' Compensation concerning the Republican corruption represented by Thomas Noe. Of course, both State Auditor Mary Taylor and Speaker of the Ohio House John Husted assured Kasler that public corruption is really a bi-partisan problem.

Kasler didn't point out in her story that the Noe scandal was the largest scandal in Ohio history, that it occurred under a Republican Governor, that the person involved, Noe, raised money for Bush and Ohio Republicans. She didn't point it out but we will. The recent scandal at the BWC wasn't a bi-partisan scandal, it was a Republican scandal. Noe was a Republican. The people who should have uncovered it but didn't, namely the State Auditor and the Ohio Attorney General, were Republicans. This has nothing to do with any party but the Ohio Republican Party.

The story got even better as Husted advocated privatizing the BWC. So let's see if we get this straight: a Republican fundraiser is corrupt; as a result of this corruption millions of dollars are lost by the BWC; Republican state officials don't prevent it from happening; and after it has happened, the Speaker of the House wants to privatize the system so he can steer more state contracts to his Republican friends in business. Yep, that makes a lot of sense.

We got a different solution: make some Republican crooks do some hard time and make sure that their sentences are known to other people who contract with the state government. Let's have some of that good old Republican law and order that we hear so much about.

Democratic Divide: Economic Liberals vs Social Liberals

Since 1968 there has been a division in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party between what we call "economic liberals" whose main concerns are economic fairness and "social liberals" whose main concerns are social fairness. By economic fairness we mean issues such as increase in the minimum wage, universal health insurance, and barriers to union organization and representation. By social fairness we mean issues such as civil rights for minorities, gay rights, and freedom of reproductive choice. Now, we don't mean to imply that there people concerned with one aren't concerned with the other, but what we are talking about is emphasis, that is, which area progressives emphasize in their concerns.

This division became pronounced with the Vietnam War when a lot of labor organizations supported Lyndon B. Johnson's handling of the war and a lot of progressives became involved in the anti-war movement. People who had been allies in getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed found themselves on the opposite side of a very bitter divide. That division led to a very narrow defeat of Humphrey by Nixon in 1968. It also led to conservatives using wedge issues such as gun control, civil rights, and abortion to divide Democrats. This divide helped Nixon overwhelm McGovern in 1976, and helped Reagan roll up two landslide victories in 1980 and 1984.

Nixon, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, have all used this division to get votes from blue-collar Democrats and win elections. By painting Democratic presidential candidates as being out of touch elitists who didn't represent the values of middle-class Americans, they could win elections. Of course, the irony is that once in office they adopted policies that decimated the power of unions and increased the power of the economic elites that bankrolled their campaigns, especially Reagan and George W. Bush.

Yesterday there were two excellent articles in newspapers that reflected these divisions. One was a news story in the Wall Street Journal on why Hillary Clinton is having trouble raising money in Silicon Valley and the other was an opinion column by Ronald Brownstein of the Los Angeles Times on why Obama is having trouble with union leaders. The Journal article is here and the Brownstein column is here . Both of these articles deal with the divide described above.

Clinton is trusted more by union leaders because she articulates their concerns and values better than Obama. Obama is trusted more by Silicon Valley leaders for the same reason. This division could lead to a Republican victory if the Republicans can nominate a candidate who can package himself as being more in the mainstream and the Democratic nominee as an elitist.

Of course, there are Democratic candidates who can bridge the divide. We saw it here in Ohio with the nomination and election of Sherrod Brown to the United States Senate. Sherrod was against the war from the outset and didn't hide that fact, but a lot of his message was about representing the middle class in Washington. The question becomes whether any candidate who supported the war resolution in 2002 and hasn't made amends for that vote can bridge the divide.

One thing that George W. Bush has done for Democrats is unite us against a common enemy, but it is up to Democrats to make sure we preserve that unity. If we stay united in 2008 we can win the presidential election and maintain our Congressional majorities. If we don't, we won't.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bush Justice Department Official to Take 5th Amendment Before Congress

As the article from CNN linked to in this entry's title reports, an official of the Bush Justice Department is going to take the 5th Amendment instead of testifying about the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. This is actually a pretty smart move, but one that makes her look guilty and will ratchet up the news coverage of the Congressional hearings. It is smart because she has reason to believe that someone in the Justice Department is trying to make her the sacrificial lamb. Apparently she doesn't plan to pull a "Libby" and take one for the team. Can you imagine how the wingnuts would have howled if an official working for Janet Reno had taken the 5th Amendment in front of a Republican Congress?

Why Katie Couric Went After John & Elizabeth Edwards

If you click on the link in this entry's title you can read one of entries on blogs today attacking Katic Couric for her questions of John and Elizabeth Edwards on 60 Minutes. Many such commentators are wondering why she chose the questions she did, why she was so negative in her approach, and why she chose to hide between such questions as "some people say" or "other people say." Many of these same commentators are arguing that Katie Couric is a person who just reflects Republican talking points or that she is an example of the cluelessness of modern day journalists, especially those on television.

Our take is a little different. We think that Ms. Couric knew exactly what she was doing and that was trying to torpedo the candidacy of a populist Democrat. Why would she want to do that? Katie Couric makes a lot of money. She has benefitted from George W.'s reckless tax cuts. She doesn't want her taxes to increase. A Democrat like Edwards, who is pushing an agenda that would benefit the middle and working classes is more likely to increase Katie's taxes. If you want to know why millionaire journalists and pundits parrot Republican talking points, just follow the money, honey.

Presence of American Troops Don't Cause Iraqis to Kill Each Other

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read a New York Times article on how Republican Senators are worried that the Iraqi War is going to cost them more Senate seats, especially the New Hampshire seat of John Sununu. New Hampshire has been trending Democratic for the last decade or so, and this last election saw the defeat of Republican incumbent U.S. House Representatives. In the article there are several Republicans, and at least one Democrat, quoted as saying that you can't set a deadline for withdrawal because all the enemy has to do is out wait you to win the war.

On the face of it, that sounds very plausible, but it ignores one important fact: most of the recent violence by Iraqis is mostly aimed at other Iraqis, not American troops. It is sectarian violence committed by Iraqis upon Iraqis. The problem isn't the presence of the American troops, it is the desire of Iraqis to kill each other for sectarian reasons. American troops don't make Iraqis kill each other, that is something they want to do for their own reasons.

The American responsibility for this state of affairs only goes so far. It is true that we disposed the Hussein government that had imposed order, albeit by oppressing Iraqis. It is also true that this removal has led to an environment where Iraqis are able to kill each other for sectarian reasons, but, in the final analysis, if Iraqis didn't want to kill each other, most Iraqi deaths would not be occurring.

The question that the Republicans supporting Bush don't want to debate is whether the United States should keep incurring causalities trying to stop Iraqis from killing each other. Does the United States want to keep American troops in Iraq long enough for the Iraqis to come to the realization that they shouldn't kill each other for sectarian reasons. If so, how long is that going to take and what is the cost to the United States?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Should Congress Impeach Gonzales?

The Boston Globe ran an opinion piece on Sunday that called for the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Gonzales. The piece was written by Robert Kuttner and you can read it by clicking on the link in this entry's title. Kuttner points out that impeachment is not just limited to presidents and was used once before to impeach a cabinet official, Secretary of War Belknap in the Grant administration. It is an interesting suggestion and we are interested in what you think. Please read the article and then give us your thoughts in the comments section of this entry.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Project for Excellence in Journalism Report: State of the News Media 2007

If you click on the link in this entry's title you can read the State of the News Media 2007, An Annual Report on American Journalism, issued by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, which runs the website The Project apparently issues such a report once a year. This year's report is interesting because it shows a decline in viewership of network news, cable news, and local news on televisions. It also shows a continuing decline in circulation for daily newspapers and a decline in sales for the big three news weeklies, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and Time magazines.

All this shows that the so called "mainstream media" is suffering a loss of users, which will eventually lead to a loss of influence and power. Whether it will also lead to better political and governmental reporting is an open question.

Reader Submission: “Drop the Partisanship!” says the Prez

Americans expect their President to be a statesman- a commanding figure above petty politicking. Yes, politics is the foundation of the democratic process, and a good politician projects integrity, strength, and confidence. The poor politico, in contrast, often confuses integrity with protecting his cronies, toadies, and other assorted flunkies in the “public service.” Relying on cheap tough-talk and John Wayne-style swagger to simulate strength of conviction, this type of pol finds it darn near impossible to admit his failures, even when those missteps and miscalculations mean lost lives and unnecessary political turmoil.

Tough times require statesmen, not back-slapping amateur politicians. Unfortunately for the country, the Oval Office and the West Wing are staffed with a strange mix of failed businessmen, angry ideologues, and vain hangers-on who can’t see the forest for the trees. This most likely explains the President’s advice to Congress on Tuesday to “drop the partisanship” over the unfairly discharged U.S. Attorneys. The Commander-in-Chief’s narrow vision and limited skills in governing prevent him from appreciating the difference between a principled stand and tired political posturing.

Too bad the President won’t dismiss others guilty of far worse political crimes. Who will be held responsible for ordering an ill-equipped Army to occupy a ravaged failed state tormented by a disastrous sectarian conflict, jeopardizing U.S. servicemen and inadvertently contributing to more suffering for innocent Iraqis? Will anyone be held accountable for exploiting the people’s fears and patriotism for the purpose of trimming unwanted liberties off the Bill of Rights?

Instead of telling congressional Democrats to “drop the partisanship,” President Bush should drop the lame frat boy attitude. The true master of disguise, George W. B. is essentially a classic, arrogant, spoiled rich kid dressed up in good ol’ boy clothes. The presidency for the last six years has been an act of cultural drag. For the America of the famed Red State/Blue State divide, the Prez has perfected the role of celebrity Redneck-in-Chief. Shoot first, praise Heaven, and ask questions later.

An insult to real people who do real work for a living, the Bush Gang’s nasty partisanship has been a hallmark of Republican leadership. True integrity, strength, and conviction have been missing in action in the White House throughout the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. For a Bible-believing compassionate conservative, the President has mysteriously authored few initiatives to relieve the economic pressure on blue-collar Americans, whether they live in New York City or south of the Mason-Dixon Line. On the other hand, Bush conservatism has generated plenty of compassion for the wealthy GOP elite and their institutions of privileged greed like Halliburton. All the while, the born-again President and the dethroned, pious Republican congressional leadership made regular efforts to make everyday life harder and harsher for ordinary working people, both poor and middle class.

America needs more principled partisanship on behalf of average people and less hypocritical sermonizing on gung-ho patriotism, never-ending warfare, and fundamentalist morality. The Republican Party would be well advised to “drop the hypocrisy.”
Article submitted by Kevin Johns

Reader Submission: Liberally Religious or Give Me That Old-Time Liberalism

The liberal phobia of organized religion is well documented. Considering the activist history of the black church and the pious fervor of the Social Gospel movement, it is more than a little surprising that American liberalism today tends to shun religion. Of course, there are theories to spare on this issue. Rather than devote more time to soul searching, Democrats need to accept the realities of American politics as they are, and start recruiting more candidates who can sincerely speak the language and understand the faith of Middle America.

U.S. liberalism, and the Democratic Party in particular, seem to have lost touch with the old fashioned faith of working-class and lower middle-class America. With the notable exceptions of African-Americans and white ethnic, blue-collar union voters, the Democratic mainstream is becoming less and less traditionally religious, regardless of some candidates’ attempts to repackage their politics in a Judeo-Christian wrapper.

In spite of the growing disenchantment with Bush conservatism, millions of Americans yearn for political leadership that affirms traditional religious values. If Democrats don’t heed that fact, especially in this post-9/11 climate, the party will lose credibility with the younger generations raised in the new era of religious awareness and resurgent faith.

In an earlier time, Democratic Presidents never hesitated to invoke their faith in times of hope and crisis. Franklin Roosevelt asked for God’s blessing in his request for a congressional declaration of war in 1941. Catholic social activists played a key role in the development of the New Deal. Many clergymen actively supported the labor rights and industrial union movements. Many Protestant ministers and laypeople, along with Jews, Catholics, and other people of faith, occupied center stage during the civil rights struggle. Religious figures also participated zealously in anti-Vietnam War protests.

Ironically, the party that produced the first evangelical born-again Christian president, Jimmy Carter, rapidly backed away from its time-honored relationship with organized religion. From the Reagan years on through the G. W. Bush administration, the GOP began manipulating both the media and the Democratic Party’s establishment into believing that the Religious Right was the true heart and soul of American Christianity. Mainstream moderate Christians and other religious swing voters are now left up for grabs in political contests.

Many liberal Democrats will argue that the party’s gradual alienation from Middle American religion is a natural consequence of the right wing opposition to abortion, gay rights, and other hot button “family values” issues. This, however, is not necessarily the case.

The heart of the Democratic message, and of traditional liberalism itself, is the concern for economic and social justice. So-called values issues are political devices designed to split traditional Democratic constituencies form their original party and to discourage other working people from hearing the party’s call for equality and opportunity.

In an increasingly divided multicultural society, invoking shared faith principles can help unite diverse religious, racial, and ethnic communities who are more accustomed to hearing the self-serving and xenophobic screeds of conservative demagogues and other dishonest practitioners of racial politics. Conceding the “moral” high ground to the conservative movement is a tragically foolish mistake. The liberal confusion of mainstream religion with mythological superstition and social backwardness has helped cripple the Democratic Party’s ability to connect with the rural and evangelical working classes.

Many liberals have contributed to the unfortunate idea that morality must be divorced from politics and government. Instead of making the case for the morality of their convictions, many secular liberals either recite hollow testimonies of their previously unmentioned faith, or worse yet, deride the importance of religious values to the great majority of Americans. That African-Americans, Latinos, and other minority communities are deeply concerned with moral values as well as political equality is strangely lost on too many Anglo/white liberals who see religion mainly as the political weapon of angry suburban and Southern whites. Liberal Democrats should be seeking common ground with people of faith, while acknowledging legitimate differences of opinion on matters of ethics and morals. Turning the party’s back on religion worsens the cultural divide in America by ceding to the Republicans the banner of religion, allowing them to portray values as the inheritance of certain communities.

In recruiting Democrats of faith and reaching out to moderate white working-class Christians, the Democratic Party will be returning to its traditional liberal roots. Ted Strickland’s election is only the beginning- if we choose to follow up on his success.
Submitted by Kevin Johns

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fewer Voters Identifying with Republicans

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an article in the Washington Post about a study that was recently released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. It shows that while 50% of the public identifies with the Democratic Party only 35% identify with the Republican Party. The study also shows that the public is trending away from conservative solutions to problems and towards acceptance of a more active role for government. (You can read the Pew Research Center's summary of the study by clicking here:

Rove Wants a Partisan Justice Department

McClatchy News ran a story that pointed out that the replacement attorneys for the fired U.S. Attorneys have partisan records and were part of a Karl Rove plan to politicize the Justice Department. His plan was to use so-called "voter fraud" cases to intimidate groups that were registering poor people and minorities as voters. The following is a quote from the story that you can read by clicking on the link in this entry's title:

Last April, while the Justice Department and the White House were planning the firings, Rove gave a speech in Washington to the Republican National Lawyers Association. He ticked off 11 states that he said could be pivotal in 2008. Bush has appointed new U.S. attorneys in nine of them since 2005: Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico. U.S. attorneys in the latter four were among those fired.

Since the black-robed coup of 2000 the Bush Justice Department, (and isn't that an oxymoron), has pushed such things as voter identification laws, redistricting, and has worked to push out experienced civil rights attorneys and replaced them with conservative ideologues. Our suspicion is that Rove was scared by the closeness of the vote in Florida, realized that his candidate didn't win that election honestly, and wanted to make sure it never happened again. His tool was going to be the U.S. Justice Department. His aim was to make sure that a Republican president was elected in 2008.

Right now, Karl Rove needs a Republican victory in 2008 or else he is going to be remembered as the man who lost the Congress and the Presidency for the GOP. This is not how he wants to be remembered when he leaves politics. Of course, like with everything else this gang touches, the plan to replace the U.S. Attorneys failed because of incompetence.

When is the Washington Post Going to Apologize for Iraq War Cheerleading?

If you click on the link in this entry's title you can watch a video clip of Representative David Obey of Wisconsin blasting the Washington Post for an editorial it ran this morning criticizing the House of Representatives for its bill on the Iraq War funding. Obey points out that the editorial pages of the Post pushed this war, supported it, and ridiculed anyone who opposed it. The editorial writers of that paper, as well as the publisher, bear some responsibility for the United States being in this war and they bear some responsbility for the over 3000 Americans that have died in this war.

There is a lot of criticism of Hillary Clinton on the Internet for not apologizing for her vote in 2002 supporting war against Iraq. A lot of Democratic activists want her to apologize for that vote. Well, here's what we want to know: when is the Washington Post going to apologize for its support of that resolution in 2002? When is it going to admit that it was wrong to push for war? When is it going to admit that Bush leading us into this war was a mistake far, far graver than consensual oral sex between a President and an intern?

The editorial page of that paper, and all the other establishment organs that supported this war, advocated a war that children of their publishers weren't going to fight. They advocated a war for others to fight. They sooner they get called on this, the better. Obey's comments are a start and long overdue.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Doesn't Executive Privilege Need Conversations?

In the law the existence of a privilege depends on a communication taking place between the person claiming the privilege and another party. For example a patient talking to a doctor, a client talking to a lawyer, or a parishioner talking to a minister or a priest. The privilege exists to protect both parties to the conversation, but can be waived by the party who is seeking the advice or making the confession in the case of a parishioner talking to a priest. It is important to keep these two points in mind when analyzing the controversy over whether Rove, Miers, or other should testify under oath in front of the Congress.

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read a blog entry on Huffington Post by Lane Hudson in which he describes a very interesting conversation yesterday at the White House press briefing. Snow claimed that the President was not briefed on the firing of the U.S. Attorneys and that he did not sign off on the firings. At that point Ed Henry of CNN asked Snow how the White House could be claiming executive privilege if no conversations took place? Snow's anwer, "That's an intriguing question."

That basic point is being lost in the media handling of this issue. Today in the Washington Post there was an editorial in which the editorial writer asks the following question: "is the president not entitled to confidential advice on personnel matters?" Well, yes he is, but so far the White House has not claimed that the President ever received such advice about the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. If there was no communication between Bush and his advisers, then, as Ed Henry asked Snow, how can he claim a privilege?

Further, even if such communication took place, Bush could waive his right to claim the privilege. The media should be asking these two questions: on what basis is Bush claiming executive privilege and why won't he waive the privilege? Instead the reporters are going around just repeating what the Bush administration is saying and what the Congressional Democrats are saying with no follow up questions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Huffington Post Claims Sherrod Brown's Internet Director Created Hillary 1984 You Tube Ad

If you click on the link in this entry's title you can read a blog post by Arianna Huffington in which she claims that Philip de Vellis, who she describes as follows: "the Internet communications director for Sherrod Brown's 2006 Senate campaign, and who now works at Blue State Digital, a company created by members of Howard Dean's Internet Team." Now we are not big fans of Arianna Huffington, although we read her blog. She is a former right-wing conservative who supposedly had this "road to Damascus" experience and has now become this left-wing blogger. Color us skeptical, but she has run columns from both Sherrod Brown and his wife Connie Schultz. She would seemingly have good contacts with the Brown campaign people. So we present this information for what it is worth.

UPDATE: One of our readers pointed out that Philip de Vellis resigned yesterday from Blue State Digital and has confirmed that he was the creator of the video.

Why Bush Won't Let Advisers Testify Under Oath

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read the Washington Post article covering Bush's statements that he won't let Rove, Meirs, and apparently Gonzales, testify about the firing of the U.S. Attorneys under oath and in public. He is spinning this as a stand on principle, claiming that he is defending "executive privilege." He's not. There is a one word reason why he doesn't want his advisers under oath and it is spelled L-I-B-B-Y.

Libby was brought down because he lied to a Federal Grand Jury under oath. Republicans are stressing that a person can be charged with a crime for misleading Congress even if not under oath. That is technically true, but given that Bush controls the Justice Department, that is not likely to happen unless there is a public push for a special prosecutor. That won't happen unless the testimony is seen by the public and it can be fact-checked by websites such as

The Bush Administration just got a vivid lesson in the power of a special prosecutor. The Bushies don't want to go through that again. Hence, Bush will not agree to his advisers being under oath and testifying in public. Before that happens old Alberto will realize that he needs to return to Texas to gaze at the cattle grazing and the oil wells pumping.

Reader Submission: Bush Inspired Bumper Stickers

Bush-League Bumper Stickers

1) (On an infant's shirt): Already smarter than Bush

2) 1/20/09: End of an Error

3) That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway

4) Let's Fix Democracy in This Country First

5) If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran

6) Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.

7) You Can't Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time

8) If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President

9) Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant

10) Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?

11) George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight

12) Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blowjobs Anymore

14) America : One Nation, Under Surveillance

15) They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It

16) Which God Do You Kill For?

17) Cheney/Satan '08

18) Jail to the Chief

19) Who Would Jesus Torture?

20) No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade?

21) Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap

23) Bad president! No Banana.

24) We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language

25) We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them

27) Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood

28) Is It Vietnam Yet?

29) Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either

30) Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

31) You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.

32) Frodo Failed. Bush Has the Ring.

33) Impeach Cheney First

34) Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too

35) When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46

36) The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

Reader Submission: The Case for Impeachment

Ignoring warnings for months by terrorism czar and Presidential Daily Briefings of a pending attack against America. Lying about and possibly commissioning the forging of documents about Iraq acquiring yellow cake uranium. Cherry-picking intelligence and pressuring CIA analysts in the lead-up to the war.

Preemptively invading a sovereign nation that they knew had nothing to do with 9/11 and was not a threat to US. Lying about not having committed to war before the congressional vote to authorize force. Taking fighting forces and intelligence resources away from the pursuit of Osama bin Laden.

Outing a CIA covert agent and destroying her network in counter-proliferation of WMDs for political revenge against her husband.

Making soldiers buy own body armor or dig through trash dumps to ‘up-armor’ their vehicles. Having America’s bravest heroes wallow in the squalor of Walter Reed Army

Authorizing torture at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib resulting in the maiming and killing innocent citizens of Iraq and rendering and torturing an innocent citizen of Canada. Authorizing imprisonment without representation. Abuse of signing statements to circumvent the legislative branch. Firing US Attorneys who don’t pursue Democrats before an election or who bring down corrupt Republicans.

Leaving American citizens fate in the flood waters in New Orleans to a political crony. Illegal surveillance of US citizens. Circumventing and weakening the Constitution. Violating dozens of international treaties.

What does a guy have to do to get impeached? Do you remember when it was as simple as lying about an affair under oath? Tell Congress to remove this administration
before they drag us into a war with Iran.

John Pardee

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Plain Dealer Series on Medicaid Continues

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read the second of three articles on Ohio's Medicaid programs. This one points out that 40 years ago Medicaid accounted for 3% of Ohio's state budget, now it accounts for over 40% of Ohio's budget. This article details the influence that nursing homes have over Ohio's state government. According to the PD this influence is very bi-partisan in that whoever controls the General Assembly gets money from the nursing home lobby, be they Democratic, as in former House Speaker Vern Riffe, or Republican, as in former House Speaker Larry Householder. Check it out, it is very interesting.

2008 Candidate Views on You Tube-3.20.2007

Earlier we posted an entry on how many views various candidates' videos had received on You Tube. We updated as of 3.20.2007. Note that Barack Obama is far and away the favorite of the You Tube set. We are not sure what this means except it is obvious that Barack Obama is attracting a lot of attention from people who use the Internet and are familiar with You Tube. The question is can he convert this enthusiasm into political work such as going door to door, registering voters, putting up yard signs, and doing all the things that you have to do to win elections.

Obama 634307
Edwards 40023
Romney 24961
Dodd 3841
Giuliani 43408
Richardson 14252
Kucinich 13658
Clinton 51305
McCain 20335
Paul 4672
Biden 13763

You can see all the candidates who have videos up on You Tube by clicking on the link in this entry's title.

Monday, March 19, 2007

L.A. Times Ron Brownstein on Dems & Fox News

Brownstein wrote a interesting column in Monday's L.A.Times about the Democrats and Fox News. He said that Democrats were right not to give it legitimacy, but also suggested that Dems need to do with Fox News what Republicans do with other media: both throw stones at it and use it to get out your message. He pointed to the Clinton interview with Chris Wallace last fall as one way to accomplish that goal. You can read the column by clicking on the link in this entry's title and we recommend that you do so. We think you will find the article very interesting.

Legal Basis for Brunner Move to Fire Cuyahoga County BOE

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner demanded today, 3.19.2007, that all four members of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections step down. If they don't resign voluntarily, she plans to replace them on Wednesday. The two Republicans, including Bob Bennett, who is also the Ohio GOP Chair, are vowing to fight Brunner's action. The two Democrats seem to be undecided as to whether they will resign. (If you click on the link in this entry's title you can read the PD story about Brunner's action.)

Brunner is apparently relying on the following section of the Ohio Revised Code:

§ 3501.16. Removal or suspension from office

The secretary of state may summarily remove or suspend any member of a board of elections, or the director, deputy director, or any other employee of the board, for neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance in office, for any willful violation of Title XXXV [35] of the Revised Code, or for any other good and sufficient cause. Except as otherwise provided in section 3501.161 [3501.16.1] of the Revised Code, vacancies in the office of chairperson, director, or deputy director shall be filled in the same manner as original selections are made, from persons belonging to the same political party as that to which the outgoing officer belonged. If those vacancies cannot be filled in that manner, they shall be filled by the secretary of state.

We say "apparently" because the articles we have seen so far don't cite to what section of the Ohio Revised Code she is using to take this bold step. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Board of Elections are used to pretty much running their own show and this action by Brunner certainly puts BOE members on notice that she intends to aggressively oversee their performance in holding elections.

Bushies Not Ready for Accountability

So the Bush Administration is arguing that the New Mexico U.S. Attorney, David C. Iglesias, wasn't fired because of political pressure, he was fired because he did not aggressively pursue "voting fraud" cases. In fact the Bushies even got a New York Times reporter to write a story about that fact. There is only one problem with the story: the Bush Justice Department had selected Iglesias to present his views on voter fraud at a special seminar on the subject. This is how the Washington Post puts it in its article appearing on 3.19.2007:

David C. Iglesias, who was dismissed as U.S. attorney for New Mexico in December, was one of two chief federal prosecutors invited to teach at a "voting integrity symposium" in October 2005. The symposium was sponsored by Justice's public integrity and civil rights sections and was attended by more than 100 prosecutors from around the country, according to an account by Iglesias that a department spokesman confirmed.

So here is what we are supposed to believe: Igelsias was sufficiently aggressive in "voting fraud" cases to be chosen to present a symposium on the subject in 2005 but by 2006 was no longer sufficiently aggressive. If that makes sense to you, its because you are a confirmed Bush supporter and don't care about the facts, or you are a New York Times reporter.

What this shows is that the Bushies haven't factored in an aggressive media being egged on by Democrats who actually have power. In the past they would have floated this story in the New York Times and that would have been the end of it. Now, however, with the media in pursuit of this story, and Democrats wielding power, that stuff doesn't work anymore.
You can read the whole Post story by clicking on the link in this entry's title.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Who's Dumber: Washington Beltway Media Commentators or Matt Drudge?

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read a report from outlining the "reputable" media commentators who repeated Matt Drudge's line about how Bush firing eight U.S. Attorneys was similar to Janet Reno firing all 93 U.S. Attorneys when Bill Clinton took office. To make this comparison you have to ignore the following facts:

1. Clinton's actions were at the start of his first term, Bush's actions were in the middle of his second term;

2. Clinton got rid of U.S. Attorneys appointed by a Republican President, Bush got rid of U.S. Attorneys appointed by himself; and

3. It is customary for an incoming administration to get rid of a prior administration's U.S. Attorneys, even when the incoming administration is of the same political party as George H.W. Bush did in 1989 when he took over from Reagan, it is unprecedented to can your own appointees.

Now such lack of analytical ability is not surprising coming from Matt Drudge. Drudge is a political hack, a partisan Republican hatchet-man who doesn't pretend to be a reputable journalist. The media commentators quoted in the article by Media Matters, however, are a whole another story, especially Mara Liasson from N.P.R. Are we supposed to be contributing to NPR stations like WKSU and WCPN so N.P.R. can hire idiots like Liasson? Oh, and by the way, the answer to the question in this entry's title is Washington Beltway Media Commentators. They actually think they are "objective."

Ohio & the New Economy: PD Article & Graphic

The Plain Dealer ran an interesting graphic with a story on Sunday, 3.18.2007, about Ohio and its place in the new economy. What was interesting was where Ohio is doing poorly. Two of the areas were workforce education and broadband availability. Both of these problems could be addressed by government, but won't if Republican philosophy is followed.

Here's how they could: make a college and/or technical education much cheaper by increasing government expenditures for higher education and increase the amount of education students get in high school and elementary education. Cut the average size of classes in half, increase teacher pay, and have less administrative positions. Encourage local governments to offer broadband access as part of a public utility system.

Here's why Republican philosophy won't allow such changes: the first would require taxes and the second would allow governments to compete with private providers of broadband connections such as Time-Warner. Both are anathema to the free-market ideologues who have power in the Republican party.

Democrats should study this article and familiarize themselves with the report that the article's authors studied. This report should be talked about in the 2007 off-year elections and used as a platform for local office. If you are running in a municipality or township that doesn't have good broadband penetration, use this report to come up with ideas for rectifying that condition. Use that when you talk to voters. Make your campaign about bringing your community into the 21st. century so our children and our grandchildren can compete with Indian and Chinese children.
Click on the link in this entry's title to read the PD article.

Bush's & America's Lost Opportunity in Foreign Policy

Reuters has a story out today, (3.18.2007), about how the Iraq War has undercut the Bush administration and its chances of getting any sort of domestic agenda passed. It has also ended the talk of how the "Boy Genius", aka Karl Rove, aka "Turd Blossom", was going to reshape American politics by forging one party domination of the United States. One commentator points out that America's standing overseas has never been so low and he wonders if even a new administration can turn our image abroad around. (Click on the link in this entry's title to read the whole story).

Which brings us to the topic of this entry. Right after the events of 9-11 Bush and America enjoyed immense popularity abroad. There was broad support for our invasion of Afghanistan. Most of the world recognized that you couldn't allow a country to harbor terrorists who murdered over 3,000 of your citizens to go unpunished. The apparently quick victory in Afghanistan only fortified that sentiment.

If the Bush Administration had stopped there, consolidated its victory in Afghanistan, and helped bring about a secular democracy in Afghanistan, things would have been so much different from the aspect of America's image in the world. The United States would have been seen as doing the right thing.

It wouldn't have been easy. There would have been resistance from elements in Pakistan who might have supported Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. We would probably still have troops in Afghanistan and we would be spending a lot of money in aid to Afghanistan, but such actions would be seen by the rest of the world as necessary. Other countries would have seen that supporting terrorism leads to having governments successfully overthrown. American foreign policy objectives would have been much clearer and more defensible.

Now, all this isn't to say that Democrats at home wouldn't have still had their differences with Bush. Indeed you can make an argument that the best thing that Bush did for the Democratic Party was start his war with Iraq. It has clearly led to a decline in public support for the Republican Party, and has led, along with the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina, a questioning of the basic competence of conservatives. Of course, its hard for Democrats to take any joy in this since it has come at the cost of over 3,000 American military deaths, the deaths of literally thousands of Iraqis, and the total disintegration of America's standing in the world.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

L.A Times Article on Talking Points Memo & the Power of Blogs

The L.A. Times did a story on Saturday about the website which is owned and operated by Josh Marshall. The article, which you can read by clicking on the link in this entry's title, is a very interesting analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of blogging using Marshall's pushing of the fired U.S. Attorneys as a case study.

One thing that the article makes clear is that blogging has a much closer relationship with its readers than mainstream journalism. The article also quotes the founder of company selling blog ad space as claiming that left of center blogs are getting over 160 million page views per month. If that is based just on the blogs that are running ads from his company, then that means that there are many more page views on left of center sites that are not being counted. This blog, for example, does not run any ads and so would not be counted in his research. Check out the article, we think you will find it interesting.

Newsweek Poll: 58% Think U.S. Attorneys Fired Because of Politics

Newsweek magazine has a poll out which shows that 58% of all respondents, including 45% of Republicans, think that the seven U.S. Attorneys were fired for political reasons. Forty-seven percent agreed with the statement that the Bush Administration has introduced politics into too many areas of the Federal government. This U.S. Attorney scandal is a big problem for the Bushies because we Americans pride ourselves for having a "government of laws, not men." We take justifiable pride in our justice system. The sacking of U.S. Attorneys for not carrying out the political bidding of Gonzales and his political hatchet men is not sitting well and the only remedy that Bush has is to have Gonzales resign. The question becomes, though, what does Gonzales know about the Bush administration that Bush doesn't want exposed and what happens if you make old Alberto walk the political plank. (You can read the Newsweek story about its poll by clicking on the link in this entry's title.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

New York Times Calls Republican Allegations of "Voter Fraud" Bogus

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can read an editorial in the New York Times that points out that when Republican party officials use the term "voter fraud" they really mean voter suppression. Since 1960 Republicans have argued that Democrats use "voter fraud" to win elections. This supposed "voter fraud" is how they justify passing legislation that suppresses the vote of minorities and poor people. Why? Because such voters don't vote Republican and Republicans think that such voters don't deserve the right to vote.

We have seen this in Ohio. Last year the Republican General Assembly passed requirements that voters show identification when they vote. Interestingly they made the requirements for voting absentee less onerous than the requirements for voting in person. Now if you stop and think about it, there would be more chance that a voter could commit voter fraud by mail than showing up in person at the polls. Yet, the Republican controlled General Assembly ignored that fact when passing its legislation. Why? Because Republicans believe that more Republicans vote absentee than Democrats. Therefore, they rigged the system to give themselves an advantage.

All of this is done because deep down inside a lot of Republicans think they are better than other people. Because they are better, their votes should count more than other people's votes. It really is that simple.

MCDAC Democratic Newsletter for March 16, 2007

MCDAC Democratic Newsletter for March 16, 2007
Iraq War Anniversary Vigil in Medina

On March 19th, thousands of people all over the country will gather to hold candlelight vigils to observe the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. Together, concerned citizens will solemnly honor the sacrifice made by more than 3,000 soldiers and untold numbers of civilians. As well, a wish to withdraw our troops and establish peace in the Middle East will be expressed. Americans en masse now say we can no longer send our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters under-equipped and unprepared into the middle of an un-winnable civil war. Please join other concerned citizens of Medina at a candlelight vigil on Monday, March 19th. The event details are: Iraq War Anniversary Vigil, Medina City Square, (across from the New Courthouse,) Medina, 8:30 p.m. Please bring a candle. Honor the sacrifice. Stop the escalation. Bring the troops home.

Medina County Democratic Yard Sign Committee

We are continuing to strengthen the Democratic Party in Medina County . Yard signs are a very important part of a candidate's efforts to get his/her name and message out to the voting public. Building on the success we achieved and the lessons we learned during the 2006 elections, we want to create a systematic approach to delivering candidate yard signs for every election. The process will include identifying priority locations by precinct, creating a group of volunteers who will assist candidates in identifying locations, putting together and delivering yard signs. We want to create an 'event' to deliver yard signs. The first meeting of the Yard Sign Committee will be held on Monday, April 16th at 7:00 PM at Panera's 4065 Pearl Road in Medina . We will use the meeting to begin to identify the priority sites within Medina County , outline volunteer opportunities and discuss how we will capture and maintain lists of individuals who are willing to post yard signs on their property. Come join the fun as we turn Medina County Blue!! Please contact Mary Ogden at
for more information.

MCDAC to Hold Common Sense Meeting on March 17th
Repeat Item

On March 17th, from 10 am to noon, the Medina County Democratic Action Committee will be holding a meeting to discuss the future of Common Sense, Medina County's only Democratic newspaper. In 2006 MCDAC delivered approximately 90,000 copies of Common Sense to targeted households. MCDAC wants to establish standing committees to handle both the distribution and writing of Common Sense.

Our goal is to make Common Sense Medina County's source of news about local and county government. To accomplish this, however, we need your help. Please plan on attending the meeting on March 17th at the Cloverleaf Recreation Center located at the intersection of US Route 224 and County Rd. 35, aka, Friendsville Rd. Please let us know by email to that you will be attending.

MCDAC Blog Entries

MCDAC Blog Entries for 3/9-3/15

Sen. Joe Biden calls Bush Iraq policy "God awful."

Reader submission: Employee free choice and Republican disinformation:

"Document dump" reveals extent of White House involvement in U.S. Attorney firing:

Washington insiders want Libby pardoned, the public doesn't:

The danger with the Republican approach to problems:

Why Bush can't pardon Libby now:

Medicaid funding & the Ohio General Assembly:

Rove involved in firing of U.S. Attorneys:

Voters look for character not experience:

Former Republican U.S. Attorneys incensed over firing of U.S. Attorneys:

Giuliani's private life may hurt his 08 chances:

Is Attorney General Gonzales on the Bush Bubble:

Nevada Democrats cancel debate with Fox News after Roger Ailes "jokes" about Obama and bin Laden:

Is the Tax Revolt Era over:

Fired U.S. Attorneys scandal shows why Congressional oversight is important in getting media coverage:

We are always looking for short postings by Democrats and links to interesting articles. If you would like to submit an article or a link for our 'blog, please send them to

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Senator Joe Biden Calls Bush Iraq Policy "God Awful" in Senate Debate

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you can see a video clip of Senator Joe Biden, (D-MD) referring to President Bush's policy as "God awful". The clip shows a very passionate Biden responding to comments of Senator John McCain just moments before in which he said that those who oppose the President's plan should have the "courage" to cut off funding for the troops. Biden's response was to say to McCain "have the courage to tell the President that his policy is God awful." It is a very intriguing video clip.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reader Submission: Employee Free Choice & Republican Disinformation

Republicans opposing the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act are lying up a storm to swing public opinion against the proposed law. Their primary attack claim is that the bill denies workers a free, fair election by secret ballot. Unfortunately, there is nothing free or fair about the current system of voting on unionization. The law is tilted heavily in favor of company power and against the workers.

I have been involved in an unsuccessful attempt to unionize a business. I saw disturbing examples of intimidation and unfair tactics that the Employee Free Choice Act would have prevented. Companies are able to hold “captive audience meetings” to argue against unionization. They are legally able to include certain workers and exclude others. Attendance is mandatory for some and prohibited to others. They are held on company time. Workers trying to unionize are not able to meet on company property without permission of the company. Strong union supporters are usually excluded from “captive audience meetings” so the company position is the only one heard by the workers forced to attend. Sometimes illegal threats or statements are issued at these meetings when the company feels certain that workers attending them will not report them to the federal government.

The burden of proof by law regarding illegal tactics by companies in complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board definitely tilts toward the company. Most companies fail to see violations of labor laws by anti-union “so-called worker committees” (often comprised of quasi-management employees) while pro-union workers are threatened frequently with being fired if suspected of engaging in pro-union activities. The anti-union “so-called worker committees” can operate on company time (which is illegal) without much fear. While most companies will deny knowing about such activity, it seems likely that these companies often secretly organize these anti-union “so-called worker committees” and direct their operations. In almost every case, the company has complete knowledge of their activities.

Supervisors will often threaten employees when no witnesses are present. Threatened workers are often afraid of reporting the threats or do not know the procedure for reporting them. These threats are illegal but very difficult to prove. The company can fire pro-union workers during the election process to intimidate other workers even if the federal government or courts eventually get their jobs back. In the meantime, the union vote will often go against unionization out of fear.The company will sometimes threaten to close the business or move it if the workers vote for a union. This is illegal but it does happen. It is very difficult to prove.

Illegal activity by the company is difficult to prove in part because many companies make rules against bringing recording devices or cameras into the work area. This also makes it difficult to document unsafe working conditions. Workers can lose their jobs trying to document violations of labor or safety laws by the company.Union organizers and union officials do not have access to company property during the election cycle to discuss the benefits of unionization. They are not supplied with phone numbers of employees although the companies do have that information.If you distribute any union materials including union pledge cards on company property during working hours, you can and usually will be fired.

Pro-union workers are often warned about this even when they are not actively involved in the distribution of pledge cards or materials just to intimidate them from speaking up for unionization.The current union election system is not fair or free. It is much like the “free elections” held in Communist countries or other dictatorships.

The Republicans and their large corporate masters are being completely dishonest in the way they frame the issue and describe the current situation.Republicans falsely claim that workers are intimidated into signing union pledge cards. This is so rare as to be almost non-existent. The intimidation is almost entirely on the side of the companies. Companies are in a position of power over workers. Co-workers are simply not in a similar power situation. Only the company is really in the kind of power position to intimidate workers. Criminal behavior influencing union votes is almost always on the side of the company.

The Employee Free Choice Act is designed to stop this criminal behavior and all intimidation of workers. The legislation says that if a majority of workers sign pledge cards in favor of unionizing the union will be automatically recognized by law. It is majority rule. It eliminates the opportunity for the company to block the majority desire for unionization by using illegal tactics and intimidation. A vote against the Employee Free Choice Act is a vote in favor of the current rigged system. It is a vote in favor of company intimidation and illegal company behavior. It is a vote against the workers.

Democrats overwhelmingly support the Employee Free Choice Act. In the House vote, only 2 Democrats voted against the legislation. 13 Republicans voted for the Employee Free Choice Act. The final vote was 241 in favor and 185 against.

Some Senate Republicans may attempt to block a vote on this legislation. If they do, every working American should vote against them. If any Democrat joins them, they should be defeated at the next election. Workers should contact their Senators immediately and let them know their vote on this legislation will determine your vote in the next election.It has been reported that Cheney has pledged that Bush will veto the Employee Free Choice Act. This is the best reason I can think of for voting Democratic in the 2008 Presidential Election if Bush vetoes this pro-worker legislation.

The Employee Free Choice Act is a vote for worker rights. A vote against it is a vote against worker rights no matter how the Republicans spin it.

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio ).
Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919.
Phone: 443-907-2367.
Email: .
Feel free to publish or distribute without prior approval.

Document "Dump" Reveals Extent of White House Involvement in U.S. Attorneys Firing

Reporters from several news outlets including the New York Times and the Washington Post have been combing through documents they obtained from the Bush Administration regarding the firing of the seven U.S. Attorneys. (You can read the Times article by clicking on the link in this entry's title). What the documents show, including e-mail messages, is that a deputy to Harriet Miers, White House counsel and a short-lived White House nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, told the Justice Department on December 4th that "we're a go" for the firing of the seven U.S. Attorneys.

When you combine this story with the stories that appeared earlier in the week about Bush raising concerns over the prosecution of voting fraud cases a pattern emerges of White House wanting U.S. Attorneys fired for political reasons. The political reasons included prosecuting Republicans for corruption (the U.S. Attorney in California); not being aggressive in pursuing Democrats for corruption (the U.S. Attorney in New Mexico); or not aggressively pursuing supposed voting fraud cases (the U.S. Attorney in Washington). All three reasons attack the rule of law in the United States far more than a sitting President supposedly lying under oath in a deposition in a private civil action about consensual oral sex.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Washington Insiders Want Libby Pardoned, Public Doesn't

If you click on the link in this entry's title, you will see the results of a poll taken by CNN in which respondents were asked if Libby, Cheney's former Chief of Staff who was recently found guilty of lying to a Federal Grand Jury, should be pardoned. Sixty-nine percent of those polled responded that he should not be pardoned. Yet, according to a posting on Andrea Mitchell of NBC News claimed on a recent show that polling showed that the public supported a pardon for Libby. What's going on here?

What's going on is very simple: the media elite who live inside the Washington, D.C. "beltway" know Libby, they like him, and they want him pardoned. Mitchell, in particular, is married to the former Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Alan Greenspan, who is a life-long Republican and who blithely told the Congress in 2001 that America could afford Bush's tax cuts because the Federal surplus was "too large" for the economy. Clearly Alan Greenspan is locked into the Republican elite in D.C. and that elite also wants Libby pardoned. Mitchell and others like her are just repeating what they are hearing on the D.C. cocktail circuit.

The United States is ill-served by most of the Washington media. Like Mitchell way too many of them are too connected to the same people who have brought us the Iraq War, Federal deficits, trade policies that hurt American workers, and tax policies that favor the rich and well-connected, to objectively cover them. They make a lot of money and they benefit from the tax policies of this administration. Their children seldom enlist in the U.S. Armed Services. They have absolutely no idea what Bush's policies are doing to the middle class and too many of them simply don't care. The sooner they are put out of work by the Internet, the better.

The Danger with the Republican Approach to Problems

If you click on the link in this entry's title you can read an article about the House Republican Caucus that summarizes the problem with the Republican approach to government. A House Democratic Chair has made arrangments for a group to use a conference room to give a seminar on America's relations with the Muslim world. The Republicans are objecting and calling on the Democrats to retract the invitation. The reason, according to the Republicans, is that the group is an "apologist for terrorism." The group points out that it has been used by the FBI and other governmental agencies for information.

Here's why we think this is important: House Republicans have an adversion to receiving information that doesn't conform with their beliefs. They don't want to hear about global warming, they didn't want to hear whether the Bush Administration's reasons for the Iraq War were valid, they didn't want to hear medical evidence in the case of Teri Schaivo, and they don't want to know whether the policies they push actually work. They believe in "faith-based" government. If they have faith that they are right, that good enough for them and ought to be good enough for the rest of us.

We are fighting two wars involving Muslims. We were attacked on 9-11 by radical Muslims. We get oil from nations that are governed by Muslims. You would think that a member of Congress might want to know more about Muslims and especially the preception in Islamic societies of the United States. Of course, if the member of Congress is a Republican leader or perhaps even a regular Republican member, chances are that you would be wrong.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Why Bush Can't Pardon Libby Now

Newsweek magazine has a story that is out on its online edition speculating that Bush won't pardon Libby until the very end of his presidency. The article goes into some detail about how the Libby case violates the standards for pardons that Bush has allegedly been using. Now we all know that Bush could give a fig about his adherence to standards, his or anyone else's. The real reason why Bush can't pardon Libby right now is that it deprives him of the answer his press secretary gives whenever he is asked about anything to do with the Plame outing: "We can't talk about that because it is in litigation."

This administration has been using that particular dodge to get out of explaining to the media why King Karl Rove hasn't been fired for leaking Valerie Plame's name to the media. Back in 2003, when this all started, Bush said that he would fire anyone who leaked the name of a CIA agent to the media. Under that standard, KKR should have been fired a long time ago. Since, however, he is Bush's brain, that wouldn't have worked out very well. So they had to invent a reason not to answer the question about why Rove is still working at the White House. Presto, the excuse of "we can't talk about that because it is in litigation" was born.

If Bush pardoned Libby, however, there would be no appeal and the excuse would be gone. Because the Bushies use that particular excuse to avoid answering tough questions about Rove, don't expect a pardon of Libby for several months, right around January 19, 2009.

Medicaid Funding & the Ohio General Assembly

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a story by its Columbus Bureau Chief discussing the funding of Ohio's Medicaid program. According to this story a family of four earning $60,000.00 per year would see approximately $1,300.00 of its tax dollars go to this program.

One of the issues that always comes up during debate over Medicaid is how to handle senior citizens and their care. The article points out that in the past the nursing home lobby has managed to get what it wanted from the Ohio General Assembly. That is changing.

One of the changes that is being discussed is to try and shift more people from nursing homes to in-home care which would theoretically save money. Such a policy change, however, assumes that there will be skilled nursing aides to help families cope with caring for sick and disabled senior citizens.

In one of her last acts as State Auditor Betty Montgomery released a report calling for over 100 changes in Ohio's Medicaid program that she said would save over 400 million dollars per year. That report could become the blueprint for changing Ohio's Medicaid program. It will be interesting to see how much the House and Senate GOP leadership are willing to take on the nursing home lobby.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Surprise, Surprise, Rove Involved in Firing of New Mexico U.S. Attorney

In the article linked to in this entry's title by the McClatchy Washington Bureau, the New Mexico Republican chairman admits to asking Rove to help get rid of the U.S. Attorney, David Iglesias. Rove was the person who told the Republican Chairman that Iglesias was going to be replaced. You just knew that somewhere, somehow, Rove's fingerprints would be on this mess.

Paul Krugman of the New York Times asked in a column this weekend about those U.S. Attorneys who weren't fired. Since we know that Gonzales and his puppets at the Department of Justice weren't above using the DOJ for political purposes, and since we know that most of them weren't fired, what was going on with the ones that weren't. How many politically inspired investigations did they start at the request of the Bushies? That is the question that Democratic Representatives and Senators should be asking next week when Congress reconvenes after the weekend.

Voters Look For Character Not Experience

This is from the AP news story linked to in this entry's title:

WASHINGTON — For all the policy blueprints churned out by presidential campaigns, there is this indisputable fact: People care less about issues than they do about a candidate's character.

A new Associated Press-Ipsos poll says 55 percent of those surveyed consider honesty, integrity and other values of character the most important qualities they look for in a presidential candidate.

The story goes on to examine the poll results and also to examine how the various candidates stack up on the whole "character" factor. One of the political consultants quoted in the poll points out that "character" encompasses a matrix of issues, including intelligence and empathy. This poll makes sense because voters don't have the time to get to really know a candidate and never did have the time. Voters have always depended on cues to tell them how to vote.

In the past such cues included a candidate's party identification. That cue, however, is declining in importance and has been for several years. What has taken its place are things such as gender, race, religion, and "character." These cues give voters short-hand information about whether they are likely to agree with what a candidate would do if the candidate is elected.

Now, liberals and progressives have a choice: they can gnash their teeth in frustration and demand that voters look at issues, something that voters aren't likely to do, or they can start running campaigns based on the cues that voters use in deciding who to support. Our recommendation is the latter because we want to win elections not run civic education campaigns.

Republican Attorneys Incensed over Firing of U.S. Attorneys

The article linked to in this entry's title reports on how former U.S. Attorneys, Republicans, are incensed over the firing of the U.S. Attorneys on December 7th, 2006. The former U.S. Attorneys don't dispute the Bush Administration's decision to terminate the U.S. Attorneys, or even necessarily why it was done, but they are upset with they consider the ruining of the reputations of the U.S. Attorneys involved. This article is interesting for several reasons.

One is that Republicans are starting to realize that the man they wanted to be king, Bubble-Boy Georgie, has absolutely no loyalty to anyone or anything but himself and his own family. In the Bush world, people are meant to serve them and once they are of no use, they are disposed of and the Bushes move on. Just ask Donald Rumsfeld.

Second is that, at least in this story, the former Republican U.S. Attorneys don't seem upset that the Bush Administration sacked them for not carrying out political hits on Democrats or for purging U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted Republicans for corruption. They are mad because the professional reputations of the attorneys has been damaged. If true, this says a lot about their priorities both as lawyers and as people.

Third is that Republicans don't seem to have empathy or sympathy for people unless it affects them or people like them. An extreme example of this was when Bush went down to Mississippi and lamented about Sen. Trent Lott's house being destroyed in Katrina while poor people were dying in the streets of New Orleans. If it doesn't happen to them or their friends then it doesn't matter.

Giuliani's Private Life May Hurt His Chances

Just as the public is anointing Rudy, the Political Transvestite*, the front-runner, the media is starting to look at his messy personal life. His first marriage was a 14 year marriage that got annulled when he apparently realized he was married to his second cousin. At the time of that annulment he was already involved with the woman who became his second wife, by whom he had two children.

That marriage fell apart when he got involved with his third wife. It included such scenes as a judge issuing a temporary restraining order blocking the PT from having his mistress over at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's residence, while his children and wife were there. When he left the marital residence, he resided with a gay couple and their dog.

Now, he is married for a third time and running for president. His son, Andrew, told the media this past week that he is too busy trying to become a professional golfer to campaign with his father and that he has some problems with his father's new wife. Apparently Andrew and his sis weren't too happy about how Dad trashed Mom during the whole divorce process. This revelation led to Rudy asking the media not to involve his family in this campaign. A wish, by the way that John McCain, who was involved with his heiress second wife during his first marriage, also voiced.

As the AP article linked to in this entry's title shows, that ain't going to happen. The media long ago gave up serious political journalism for political celebrity journalism. Political celebrity journalism means covering politicians like the entertainment media covers movie stars only with poll results. Political celebrity journalists are about to descend on the story of PT's marriages like seagulls on a dead fish at the beach. Which, by the time they get through with Rudy and his Three Wives, will be an apt analogy.
*We call Giuliani the Political Transvestite because he is pretending to be something he isn't, a social conservative, to get the Republican nomination.

Is Attorney General Gonzales on the Bubble?

The Associated Press ran an article by one of its political reporters in which he speculated that Attorney General Gonzales might have to leave following the revelation that the FBI abused powers granted it by the Patriot Act. (This entry's title has a link to the AP article) This news comes on the heels of the scandal involving the fired U.S. Attorneys. Both stories play into the theme of the politicization of the Justice Department by the Bush Administration.

It will be interesting to see if Gonzales can survive the take-over of Congress by Democrats. The vaunted Bush loyalty only works one way. Bushes expect loyalty but they don't feel like they have to give it. That's because they are better than other people and when it becomes inconvenient for them to have someone in their lives politically, they get rid of them. An example of this is the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. As soon as the Democrats took control of Congress, he was gone.

The same thing could happen to Gonzales and even Cheney. The only person who might be untouchable is Rove and that is only because he knows too much to dump.

Nevada Dems Cancel Fox Debate After Ailes "Jokes" About Obama and bin Laden

The Nevada Democratic Party has pulled out of the debate it was going to hold in August with Fox News. The reason given was the fact that Roger Ailes, the former Republican operative who runs Fox News, made jokes at a speech he gave about Obama when he compared Obama to bin Laden. The real reason, however, might have been the pressure that liberal organizations such as Move On were putting on for the Nevada debate to be canceled. (If you click on this entry's title you can read an article in Politico about the cancellation of the Nevada debate.)

This move will probably draw some criticism from the news media which has a vested interest in making sure that politicians give them access. It is, however, a very smart thing. Fox News is not a legitimate news organization. It is a propaganda machine for the Republican Party. Democrats, by appearing on its programs, are giving it a credibility that it certainly doesn't deserve.

Boycotting Fox News is something that Democrats should have done a long time ago. They should throw their reporters off the press planes, bar them from Democratic events, refuse to return their phone calls, and stop co-operating with them. Would other news organizations criticize them? Sure, but they would get the message that the Democratic Party is not going to co-operate with any news organization in its own destruction.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Is the Era of the Tax Revolt Over?

In the article linked to in this entry's title Mark Schmitt, a writer for The Washington Monthly, argues that just like every political movement has a beginning, they also have an end, and the end of the tax revolt era is at hand. He points out that with what he calls the tax revolt era spanning 30 years, almost every politician in office has come of age during that period. This means that both Democrats and Republicans have been engaged in campaigns where the rate of taxation is an issue. Indeed, if contemporary conservatism was built around opposition to taxes, opposition to communism, and opposition to "big government", the only thing that may be left that is holding conservatives together in the issue of taxes.

Communism is no longer a viable political movement opposing the United States. The Bush Administration has pretty much demonstrated that conservatives don't mind "big government" as long as it makes their supporters wealthy. Campaigning on lowering taxes is about the only thing left for Republicans. If, however, the public is coming to the realization that taxes are necessary to provide services that taxpayers want, then the Republican Party could find itself without a winning issue. Now, wouldn't that just be a shame?

Fired U.S. Attorneys Scandal Shows Why Congressional Oversight is Important

Josh Marshall, creator of the website had a column in The Hill, a newspaper devoted to covering Capitol Hill pointing out that if the Dems had not taken control of Congress the Bush Administration would have gotten away with firing the seven U.S. Attorneys as political retribution. (You can read the article by clicking on the link in this entry's title).

The only reason why this has become a problem for the Bushies is that with Dems controlling the Congress, investigators with subpoena power were able to get the U.S. Attorneys to testify about what happened. This oversight meant that people like Marshall, who has been covering this scandal on his website, could get someone in power to take their allegations seriously. Without the hearings this scandal, like so many others concerning the Bush Administration, would never have came to the attention of most of the public.

This is what happened with this story: first a group of people, notably Marshall, started writing about the firing of these attorneys. Then, a few reporters at a few news outlets picked it up and ran stories, thus making more people aware of what was happening. After that, Senators and Representatives started talking about it and that led to Congressional hearings. Because of those hearings there was much more news coverage, which feeds on itself and produces more coverage.

If, however, there had not been Dems controlling the Congress, the hearings wouldn't have taken place, and the third and most critical component, the huge expansion of the news coverage, wouldn't have happened. That's why Congressional oversight is important and that's why the last two years of the Bush Administration won't be anything like the first six years, a fact for which most Americans will be thankful.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The "Secular Vote" in the 2006 Ohio Senate Race

Right after the 2004 presidential election there were a lot of articles on how the Democratic Party was in trouble with members of the religious right and how that trouble led to Bush's re-election. For a long time this theme dominated the media. Very little attention was given to the other side of the equation and that is whether Republicans were in trouble with, for want of a better term, the secular left.

With the 2006 election cycle, however, some commentators began to pay attention to that side of the equation. John Green, director of the Bliss Center for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, was quoted in an article pointing out that Ohioans who were not regular church goers were organizing politically at the same rate as the religious right. Because of Green's comments, the following article at Huffington Post caught our eye: In the article Bill Scher argues that conservatives have problems with the secular voters that are bigger than the problems liberals have with the religious voters.

Based on that column, we examined the results of the CNN exit poll for Ohio's Senate race in 2006. That examination showed some interesting results.

According to the exit poll, 16% of Ohio voters surveyed attended church more than once a week. Among that group DeWine beat Brown by 62% to 38%. The same poll showed 30% attending weekly and among that group DeWine beat Brown by the much narrower margin of 52% to 48%. Respondents who only attended church once a month went for Brown by a margin of 59 to 48% and they accounted for 13% of the respondents. Respondents who attended church a few times a year accounted for 27% of the respondents and Brown beat DeWine by 69% to 31%. Respondents who never attended church accounted for 13% of the respondents and they went for Brown by a whopping 74% to 26%.

The survey is interesting for several reasons. First of all, it shows that respondents who attend church once a month or less accounted for 53% of the respondents. Second, only among the voters who attended church more than once a week did DeWine have a significant lead over Brown of 24%. They accounted for 16% of the respondents. Brown, however, significantly exceed that margin with those respondents who never attended church when he beat DeWine by 48% and they accounted for 13% of the respondents. Third while the biggest group, those attending church once a week did go for DeWine by 4%, the second biggest group, those attending church only a few times a year went for Brown by 38% of the vote. Brown was able to decisively beat DeWine among voters who have no or little church attendance while staying close to DeWine among those voters who attend church weekly.

A lot of this is being missed by the mainstream media. Most media commentators would not find anything "new" in secular voters voting for Democrats. They probably believe that such voting has been taking place for years. Such a belief is probably correct. What is new, however, may be that such voters are now overwhelmingly voting for Democrats.
You can view the entire CNN exit poll results for the Brown-DeWine race by clicking on this entry's title.