Thursday, July 31, 2008

Most, But Not All, of Our Visitors Live in the United States

The chart that appears below comes from the service we use to track visitors to our blog. As you can see, most, but not all, of our visitors come from the United States. Frankly, we are always amazed that anyone outside of the U.S. visits a blog about Democratic politics, but that's the way of the Internet.

Democratic Pics from July 4th Parades in Medina County

Below are some pictures of Medina County Democrats at July 4th parades in Medina County. Featured are Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman, who is running for re-election; Judge James Kimbler, who is running unopposed this year; Wadsworth City Councilman John Sharkey, who is running for County Commissioner; James Riley, who is running for the State Senate; and Larry Courtney, who is running for Medina County Recorder. Our thanks to Karen Holman for providing these pictures.

The Bush Record: Surplus to Record Making Deficit

So, how do you go from a 86.4 billion dollar surplus in fiscal year 2000 to a record setting deficit in fiscal year 2008? Well, first you elect George "Frat Boy" Bush as President. Next, you give him a GOP Congress that can't say no. You follow that up with reckless tax cuts for the wealthy and you add a needless war with Iraq. Viola! You go from the Federal Government being in the black under Bill Clinton to bleeding red ink under "Frat Boy". See, it really was pretty simple. All you needed was a bunch of Republicans running, or should we say, ruining, our country.

Medina County Fair 2008 Dem Booth Pics

Below are pictures from the Medina County Democratic Party booth at the Medina County Fair. The pictures were taken on July 30, 2008 by Medina County Democrat Carol Gurney.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MCDAC Looking for Dem Newspaper Content for Fall of 2008

This is a scaled down pic of the front page of the June, 2008, edition of Common Sense, Medina County's first and only Democratic newspaper. We are now looking for content for the Fall, 2008, edition. If you have pictures of Democratic events and/or candidates; are interested in sending us a letter to the editor; or want to contribute an article, please send your name, email address, and a short message describing your content to our managing editor, Julie Batey, whose email address is given below.

We are putting together the newspaper over the next month and plan to go to the printer in late September. Our goal is to distribute the paper before the early voting starts in November. We are also looking for advertisers. If you are a Democratic candidate, this is an excellent way to make sure that you shore up your support among Medina County Democratic voters. If you are thinking about running in 2009, this is an excellent way to start getting your name out the Medina County Democrats. Our advertising director is Kate Feeks. Her email address also appears below.

Julie's email address is
Kate's email address is When sending email messages about Common Sense to either Julie or Kate, please put Common Sense in the subject line.

(By the way, in case you are wondering, the blue box below the donkey and cowering elephant is where the address label went.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Do Republican Leaning Women Care that McCain Wants Roe v Wade overturned?

In 2004, during one of the presidential debates, George W. Bush was asked a direct question about Roe v. Wade and whether he wanted that decision reversed. He refused to answer the question and, inexplicably, John Kerry didn't point out that he hadn't answered the question. Bush's failure to directly answer the question led some observers to believe that Karl Rove realized that while saying he wanted Roe v. Wade reversed would help him with social conservatives, it would hurt him with women who may like Republicans on economic issues, but are suspicious of them on social issues.

John McCain, however, when aaked about Roe v. Wade during the Republican primaries, came right out and said that it was a bad decision and should be reversed.
While McCain might deserve points for being candid, this forthright proclamation about Roe could hurt him with women, if they know where he stands.

There is indications, however, that they don't know where he stands. This is from an article in AlterNet:

A February Planned Parenthood poll of 1,205 women voters in 16 battleground states found that 50 percent of women voters don't know McCain's position on abortion, and that 49 percent of women who backed McCain were pro-choice. Forty-six percent of women supporting McCain said they'd like to see Roe v. Wade upheld -- though McCain says he supports overturning the decision. When they learned of his position on Roe, 36 percent of women who identified as both pro-choice and likely McCain voters said they would be less likely to vote for him.

These moderate, often suburban, middle-class women could be critical swing voters this election. At the time of the Planned Parenthood poll, Obama held only a 5 percentage-point margin over McCain with its swing-state demographic, 41 percent to 36 percent.
(You can read the whole article here.)

It would be interesting to see how women in a county like Medina County would respond to knowing that McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. Medina County has a lot of pro-life voters, but it also has a lot of women who are pro-choice although lean Republican. Our guess is that it would cost McCain votes, but we could be wrong.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

McCain Wants to End Tax Deduction for Employer Provided Health Care

As this AlterNet article of July 25, 2008, makes clear, John McCain's health care plan calls for ending the tax deduction that employers get for providing health insurance to their employees. This system, which is the main pillar of America's increasingly dysfunctional health care system, delivers health insurance to about 90% of American workers. McCain wants to end this system and replace it with a system whereby Americans negotiate with health insurance companies on their own.

This is a quote from the AlterNet article linked to above:

His plan is designed -- with sugar and sticks -- to push you to negotiate on your own with the friendly insurance companies. He'll give you a tax credit -- $2,500 for an individual; $5,000 for a family -- to help you pay the price. And he'll revoke the tax exemption for any health benefits your employer provides. Under his plan, those benefits will be taxed as income. McCain says this will reduce our health care expenditures. He might be right. His preferred option -- health saving accounts -- generally features low monthly payments and very high deductibles. People tend to insure themselves against catastrophe and take a chance on routine health care.

On average, this will work pretty well if you are young and healthy and lucky. But if you are sick, if you have suffered serious illnesses in the past, if you have what insurers call a "pre-existing condition," or if you are older and at higher risk, you're in trouble. For many, insurance won't be available at any price. That's why Elizabeth Edwards noted that neither she nor McCain would be eligible for such coverage since both have struggled with cancer. Many more will find adequate coverage unaffordable. Others will have to choose between paying to see a doctor or buying the weekly groceries. You'll be more "sensitive to price," but you might not think that a good thing.

The article's author, Robert Borosage, who is co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, goes on to note that while John McCain extols the virtues of private medical insurance plans, he personally has spent his entire life on a government paid health insurance system. When he was growing up, his father got health coverage for his family because he was in the Navy. Then, after high school graduation, McCain went to Annapolis where he received health care from the government. A year after he left the military, he was elected to Congress and got the best coverage offered to Americans. So, while he wants to end the health care system that most American workers use, he will continue to receive health care from the U.S. Government.

The next time that someone tells you they are voting for McCain, ask them if they have employer provided health insurance. If they say "yes", ask them how they feel about McCain doing away with such coverage. See how that makes them feel.

GOP Is Banking on Oil Prices to Narrow Gap

Republicans are counting on the issue of gas prices to narrow the gap with Democrats in the November elections. Cars with bumper stickers saying "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" are showing up in Medina County. According to public opinion polls, a majority of Americans favor increasing offshore drilling.

What's interesting is that obviously allowing oil companies to drill offshore won't do a thing to bring down oil prices in the short term. Indeed, there is scant evidence that allowing such drilling would ever work because of the global market forces driving up oil prices.

What could work, though, and could be done without any environmental cost is for Americans to start using less gas by car-pooling. Go on Interstate Highway between the hours of 7 AM to 9AM and you will see thousands of cars taking Americans to work. The vast majority of those cars will only have one person in the car. Clearly, if you could boost the number of occupants in those cars to just two, you would save a lot of gasoline. Instead of incentives to make oil companies richer, we need incentives designed to save working class Americans money. We need incentives to get Americans to car-pool going and coming from work.

The GOP won't push proposals that give incentives to ordinary Americans to use less gasoline. First of all, their political allies in the oil industry won't like it. Second, such incentives, in their view, interfere with the "free market", a concept that has religious overtones for most conservatives. Third, as shown by the fact that they won't raise taxes to pay for the Iraq War, they are opposed to asking Americans to sacrifice for the common good.

Democrats need to come up with policy proposals that will do just that and they need to come up with these proposals pretty quick. If they don't, they could see the GOP cashing in on what ought to be a Democratic issue.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How Will Republicans Spin Germans' Love for Obama as a Bad Thing?

This photos from the New York Times gives you an impression of the size of the crowd that attended Obama's Berlin speech. It will be interesting to see how the GOP tries to negatively spin this. We believe that there are millions of Americans who are discouraged by Bush's trashing of our country's reputation abroad and will be encouraged by Obama's success, but we could be wrong.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dueling Ohio Obama v. McCain Polls

On Monday Public Policy Polling released a poll showing Obama with an eight point lead in Ohio. On Tuesday Rasmussen released a poll showing McCain with a 10 point lead. So, just in case Ohio Democrats thought that this election was a wrap, it's time to remember what Hans Solo said to Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars: "Good shooting, but don't get cocky, kid."

Pics of Dems at the Brunswick Old Fashioned Days Parade

A person who was taking pictures of the Brunswick Old Fashioned Days Parade was kind enough to send us some pictures of Democrats in the parade. Even though it was a rainy day, Medina County Democrats were well represented in the parade.

Democrats pictured include United States Representative Betty Suttonof Ohio's 13TH Congressional District; Brunswick City Councilman Vince Carl; Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman; and Medina County Common Pleas Judge James Kimbler. Campaign volunteers pictured include Karen Holman, Joyce Kimbler, and State Central Committeewoman Pat Hanek.

If you have pictures of Democrats at events, feel free to send them to

Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama Leads in Public Policy Polling

Public Policy Polling released a poll that shows Obama beating McCain in Ohio by a spread of 48%-40%. Here is a quote from the press release on the poll:

Raleigh, N.C. – Barack Obama continues to hold a solid advantage over John McCain in Ohio, according to the newest survey from Public Policy Polling. His lead in the state is 48-40, similar to the 50-39 edge he showed in PPP’s June poll. Obama trails McCain 46-42 among white voters, but his 91-6 advantage with African Americans gives him the overall lead.

“Right now Barack Obama is in a pretty good position in Ohio,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “His standing with black voters is not surprising, but he is also doing unusually well with white voters in the state. Whether he can sustain that level of support or not will probably determine if he can take this state.”

The results show a significant gender gap, with Obama leading by 20 points among women but trailing by seven with men. Obama leads in all age groups except senior citizens.

Is Secretary of State Rice a Partisan Hack?

On a lot of levels, Condoleezza Rice is a very admirable person. She is obviously highly intelligent, has a great work ethic, and has a background suiting her for her position. On another level, however, she comes across as a partisan hack.

Raw Story is reporting that the night before Barack Obama left on his foreign trip, Secretary of State Rice issued a directive to American embassies that barred them from arranging certain visits for presidential candidates visiting foreign countries. Here is a quote from the Raw Story article:

The night before presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) left for Afghanistan, Iraq and Western Europe for a tour of US bases overseas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a cable to US missions forbidding them from holding events for presidential candidates or arrange meetings for them.

Rice issued no such cable prior to foreign excursions by presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

In a cable sent late Thursday, according to a copy leaked to the Washington Times, Rice enjoined American diplomats to treat the candidates as "members of Congress visiting in personal or semi-personal capacities," but "with additional restrictions based on rules related to political activity."

"Provide de minimis assistance to the candidate with logistical arrangements," said the cable, according to the Times. "If the campaign staff wants to rent a bus for press, tell them where they can rent a bus."

Rice didn't issue the same demands in advance of travel by Sen. McCain. McCain visited the Middle East four months ago -- but officials told the paper they didn't make similar demands because he was part of an "official congressional delegation."

What's amazing about stories like this is that the Bushies are partying like's it 2003 and they are ruling the world. Unfortunately for them, the media is getting on to their partisan hackery. What worked back in the day, won't work now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pew Research Poll Shows Record High Engagement in 2008 Campaign

The Pew Research Center has a poll out that shows what it describes as "record high" engagement for the 2008 campaign. This is from the Pew article on the poll:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted June 18-29 among 2,004 Americans, finds greater public interest and engagement in the presidential election than during the five previous campaigns. Fully 72% say they are giving quite a lot of thought to this election -- by far the highest percentage at this point in the campaign since 1988. The proportion saying they are more interested in politics this year than during the previous campaign is greater than it has been since 1992. And public interest in campaign news has been consistently higher than in recent elections.

The Pew Poll shows that enthusiam among Democrats is much higher than among Republicans. Here is a summary of the poll results:

A second factor which may also contribute to a Democratic turnout advantage is that supporters of the Republican candidate, uncharacteristically, are less strongly committed to their choice than are supporters of the Democratic candidate. Overall, Obama leads McCain in the presidential horserace by 48% to 40%. Most voters who say they support Obama -- 28% among the 48% -- say they support him strongly. By contrast, only about a third of McCain's backers say they support him strongly (14% of the 40%).

Throughout the 2004 campaign, Bush drew more strong than moderate support by margins of greater than two-to-one. Even in Bush's first campaign, he consistently drew at least as much strong support as moderate support.

You can read the Pew article on the poll here.

Supreme Court of the United States Losing Public Support

The above poll, reported by, shows quite a swing in the approval rating of the United States Supreme Court. In the last two years we have seen the Congress go from Republican to Democratic control; we have seen Bush's approval ratings hit new record lows; we have seen Obama and Clinton attract millions of new voters to the polls; Obama now leads in almost every major poll being conducted in the presidential campaign; and now this poll showing the Supreme Court's approval ratings going downhill.

The question is whether all of this is evidence that the public is rejecting conservatism in government? Is that is so, then the GOP is in for a rough time, but only time will tell.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Iraqi Prime Minister Backs Obama's 16 Month Timetable for Withdrawal

Iraq's Prime Minister reportedly told a German magazine that he backs Senator Barack Obama's 16 month timetable for withdrawing United States combat forces from Iraq. Here is a quote from the Reuters article about his comments:

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

Now why would he agree with Obama? First of all, he wants to pressure the Bush Administration into signing an agreement governing the role of American troops that is favorable to Iraq. The last thing that the Bush Administration wants is the Iraqi PM publicly supporting Obama's positions.

Second, he wants American troops out of Iraq because the Iraq public wants them out of Iraq. Since he has elections this year, he needs to get the public on his side.

Third, he may not trust McCain to actually pull American combat troops out of Iraq. The last thing that Iraq wants is the US to have the capability to take over its oil fields using American troops stationed in Iraq.

Whatever his reasons, though, this puts McCain in a very difficult position. Now it looks like McCain and Bush want us to stay indefinitely while the American and Iraqi publics want us out.