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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Larry Kissell's positive ads and homespun wisdom

The Southern Dem has been doing an awesome job covering Larry Kissell's race against Robin Hayes in NC-08.

Check out this suite of postive ads from the Kissell campaign at the tail end of this post about Hayes unrelenting negativity. Larry is a great candidate; I mean, one honestly just starts to like the guy.

A fantastic quality in a candidate.

Great news out of Idaho

Blogger Lynn Allen of Evergreen Politics links to this story from the red state of Idaho (from the Idaho Statesman):

For the first time since the early 1990s, the outcome of a statewide election appears in doubt with just 10 days to go.

An Idaho Statesman/Today's 6 poll says races for governor, 1st Congressional District and school superintendent are essentially tied.

Now, the state with the nation's highest proportion of GOP legislators has a nail-biter election that will turn on last-minute advertising, debates and organization.

Democrats haven't won a governor's race since 1990 or a seat in Congress since 1992, but a call for change nationally is reaching Idaho. Coupled with Republican candidates who inspire negative feelings, Democrats have a shot.

That is jaw dropping news. And this quote seals the deal:

"At this point in a typical campaign, Idaho Democrats are dispirited and looking for moral victories," said Jim Weatherby, a political scientist who has overseen polling at Boise State University. "This time, it looks like they may actually pull off some major victories."

Update: McJoan at Dailykos.com highlights this story from local blog IdaBlue. Interesting stuff.

Great news out of Kentucky

There's great news out of Kentucky. Local blog the BlueGrass Report cites polling that favors Democrats in both tight House races in the state:

With exactly one week to go until the November 7th election, a new round of independent polling shows former Rep. Ken Lucas (D) with a 50% to 46% lead over Rep. Geoff Davis (R) in the latest Constituent Dynamics poll. Previously, the poll showed Davis with 49% to 46% leads in both of the previous polls taken in August and early October.

Also, the Lucas camp informed me that their latest internal polling -- received within the past week -- confirms their lead, showing the race at 46% to 38%.

Coupled with yesterday's numbers showing John Yarmuth (D) surging ahead of Rep. Anne Northup (R) by a 52% to 46% margin, I think we're now witnessing previously undecided voters casting their lots and breaking sharply towards the Democratic challengers.

This is absolutely fantastic news. GOP Congresswoman Anne Northup has made a living "delivering the bacon" to a district that is nowhere near as conservative as she is. It's hard for Kentucky voters to rationalize that she would keep delivering the pork from the minority. And Yarmuth is a good candidate with DCCC support.

Look out GOP. We're coming.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Blogging 2.0

It's one week out and there's two things that are clear to me:

First, the 2005/2006 period represented a test run for any number of projects and concepts that we will be seeing a great deal more of in the years to come.

The Bloggers' Convention (Yearlykos), campaigns like Use it or Lose It, ACTBlue pages, the rise of Local Blogging, Netroots participation in cultivating and supporting progressive Primary candidates, citizen-created political Media and Video (YouTube), Wide-field targeting a la the 50 State strategy, and online cooperative projects like we've seen here on MyDD and elsewhere...to name just a few.

Second, looking at all these trends, it becomes more and more clear that many of these projects will not go dormant after the election.

Far from it.

I would argue that we are now engaged in a two year battle for governance in the United States, of which the 2006 mid-terms are just the opening bell, and in which, the netroots will play an increasingly important role on the national and local levels.

As exciting as this election is, it is just the trial run for the emerging progressive netroots movement. We are entering the era of Blogging 2.0.


I wrote an essay here a couple months ago called building a netroots wave.  I wrote it in August when there was still time for a blogger to start a blog and impact a race near them.

Since that time I've spent a healthy chunk of my energy building an online group by and for local bloggers called Blogs United.  (You can read more about Blogs United, and find out how to join, here.) That group, with 150 participants, is still in its infancy, but, like all the 2005/2006 projects I mentioned above...this election, far from being an end point, is simply a galvanizing moment to push forward into the next era.

It's clear to me as I interact with local and regional bloggers and hear their stories and issues, that we are about to enter an era in which blogging will move from competing simply with national cable and news media....an era we might call Blogging 1.0 (and an era which is far from over)...and into an era where blogs also begin to merge the functions of the town hall and the local paper on the local level, a moment where local citizen journalism and local grassroots activism merge in this new media environment: Blogging 2.0.

If there is one word that defines Blogging 2.0 it would be infrastructure. One need only look at Yearlykos to realize that we in the netroots are building structures and networks for keeps. If there is one concept that motivates Blogging 2.0 and links the new projects I listed above, it would be this: Blogging 2.0 is about innovating participation. You can see that in a national blogger who is working and empowering local blogs like Howie Klein, you can see that in a local blogger like Ollie Ox whose blog, A BlueStem Prairie nurtures and links to a state-wide network of local blogs in Minnesota. Bloggers are emerging, everywhere, and playing multiple roles. Traditional political roles and modes of operation are being blown wide open.

In that essay on the netroots wave I talked about how local netroots activists were building, slowly but surely, infrastructure that was impacting all aspects of the local political environment. I emphasized how candidates can serve as galvanizing and inspiring forces for the netroots. In some ways, however, I had that upside down; we've seen in the last months how the netroots have emerged as a significant force on our own. You can see that in GOTV this fall.

When people come through the door to work for Jerry McNerney's campaign in CA-11, oftentimes it's the internet that was the critical draw factor that brought them there. The internet organized them, motivated them, informed them and plugged them in to the fight to unseat Richard Pombo in CA-11. In doing so, the netroots movement transformed these activists from passive media consumers into netroots/grassroots citizens who are one step closer to transforming how they interact with their local political environment and party. We are on the cusp of a wholesale change in how the Democratic Party and progressives operate.

More and more the role of local blogger is merging with the role of local Democratic activist and leader. More and more local bloggers are interacting with local journalists and party organizers as well.  Some local blogs have had the effect of tilting the playing field in favor a progressive candidate that the DCCC opposed.

Further, elements of the offline grassroots are learning to use the tools of the netroots. Campaign websites have gone from a place with "smiley pictures" to detailed webs of action options and information sharing. Longstanding Democratic organizations are learning a thing or two from Drinking Liberally and innovating ways to bring people together and support the concept of local grassroots activism.  Traditional advocacy groups are beginning to understand the role and fuction of blogs and bloggers. Prospective '08 candidates built some incredibly powerful online networks in 2006. That was Blogging 2.0 too.

All of these projects are in their infancy. This election season was a trial run for so many innovations.

The critical point here is to understand that reality and how much work there is left to do.  I wrote a light-hearted essay on dKos entitled: You're on the Ground Floor. I sincerely believe that is true for all of us. We are on the ground floor, much, perhaps to folks like Ellen Tauscher's ire. We in the netroots aren't going anywhere but up.

The people we meet and work with this fall are people we should make every effort to stay in touch with.  We are building something together.  This election is but one step in the larger process of building a netroots wave in American political life.

Our job going forward is to roll out the innovations and infrastructure that will make Blogging 2.0 a reality in all 50 states. In the process we will change the face of netroots and grassroots acitivism.

That is no small task.  

While the outcome of November's election is still unknown, there is little doubt about the netroots and the grassroots: we've only just begun.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

bloggers should blog

This is just a low key late night think piece. Basically, there's always this issue about what bloggers should do regarding election time.

Traffic goes up. New readers and eyeballs hit websites. (Not this one much, but I hear rumors of it elsewhere, lol.) There's also pressure for folks to use the blogs exclusively as GOTV tools, to shape content exclusively to match election season.

Well, imo, bloggers should blog. If you do GOTV or you cover political races on your blog, well, by all means you should blog about that. You shouldn't write in a vacuum. (And I remain convinced that if you write about GOTV you should do it too.)

But, in general, the best thing any blogger can do as an election approaches is to do what they do best year round.

That's the point.

General pieces about topics of political interest are FINE. New readers haven't been reading all year...and so they should get a chance to read the latest news AND a blogger's best commentary.

What surprises me is how on community blogs the energy tends to move inward when it should do just the opposite. In some sense, our broadest and most inviting pieces should be written around election time when the most "newbs" will be checking out our sites. It's not necessary to fake anything. The point is to be real and to do what you would normally do.

Imo, now would be an excellent time for a solid piece about the war in Iraq or Social Security. It would also be a great time for coverage of this huge emerging story: how, in state after state, insurgent Democratic candidates are giving GOP incumbents a real run for their money.

I'll try to cover that and the blogs that are part of it these last days before the election.

UNLV Young Dems vs. Jon Porter NV-03

Now, I'm not sure I'll watch this a second time, but the first time around was pretty funny...in a Gong Show kind of way.

(Courtesy of the Las Vegas Gleaner, where you can read about Congressman Jon Porter and other Nevada races.)

attention Northern Californians: CA-11 rising

Babaloo at Say No to Pombo has a great post up right now about how you can help with the race in CA-11. It's called Ramping it Up for McNerney.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

some quick thoughts regarding Googlebombing

I want to say, right off the bat, that the Use it or Lose It campaign helmed by Chris Bowers has been a stroke of brilliance. It reminds me of the web-based $$ innovations that have marked the last two election cycles. Act Blue, the Dean Bat, the small donor revolution and now this campaign to kick some reluctant $-rich Democratic incumbents in the pants. Kudos to Chris and all who've helped.

That being said, I have some real reservations about Chris's other MyDD project: Google Bombing. (Googlebombing, admittedly, is a relatively harmless practice, and one that I've tried and failed at.) Here, then, in brief, are my thoughts.

1) I don't think we should have to google bomb.

A well-developed infrastructure of local political blogs, linked and interlinked, should be able to deliver a Google Page Rank that would get all of us onto search pages for GOP incumbents and issues of the day. I've read a great deal of local blogs over the last year...and linked to them, btw...and it is clear as day that there is already great content on so many blogs. That content just needs to be linked to so that it and the blogs that host it can rise in Google Page Rank. Which brings me to my second point.

2) The "big blogs", ie. any blog with good Google Rank, should LINK TO these smaller blogs

Rather than using their google rank to try, and often fail, at google bombing on a one-time basis candidates we oppose, the "big blogs" should instead link to smaller blogs that write articles about local candidates. I know this sounds elementary. But, for the most part, the big blogs simply don't do enough of this.

In some respects, I would pose my own "Use it or Lose It" challenge to the big blogs. Link from your front pages and your blog rolls to deserving local progressive political blogs! Don't make people cross-post to you...send your readers AND THE SEARCH BOTS, to them. This is a win-win, if these bloggers would implement it. Dailykos and MyDD have HUGE Page Ranks. Their links are like mannah to small blogs. They should use that Page Rank Account.

Finally, I'd like to pose a challenge to the readers and diary writers at all the community blogs.

3) Imagine for one second if all the articles about all the candidates that have been written on Dailykos.com, MyDD, BooManTribune and MyLeftWing had been also been posted on a local, progressive political blog and linked to by one of these blogs.

Those articles would show up in Google Searches. Right now, for the most part, they don't.

That's progressive infrastructure. Let me say this, over the last year of watching and collaborating with the bloggers who run SayNotoPombo, I've see what careful, diligent writing at an independent URL can do in driving the "information stream" about a candidate on the web. This kind of long term investment in writing and coverage of a race is a worthwhile investment. It has ENORMOUS value.

Friends, the point is not to GoogleBomb. The point is to develop netroots infrastructure like SayNotoPombo with mulitiple articles on multiple topics showing up in searches of all sorts. That's a project worth working on in 2007 and 2008.

I'd like to point out that Googlebombing risks killing the goose that lays the Golden Egg. Any googlebomb succeeds or fails at Google's choosing. Not ours. They can change their coding and our results will disappear in a second.

There is simply no substitute for informative articles with kick ass titles and solid links posted at independent sustained URLs.

There just isn't.

Going forward, imo, that's something to think about and innovate around.

Scott Howell's racist ad crafting buoys the GOP

Scott Howell doesn't care if you think he's racist. Hell, he doesn't care if he drags the political discourse in this country into the mud.

Scott Howell is about two things:

a) the almighty dollar
b) doing whatever it takes to get Republicans to win

As Lowell of Raising Kaine writes:

Many of you might remember Scott Howell, the infamous Republican political hit...,er, ad man whose work includes such gems as the racist "Black Hands" ad in Oklahoma (2004) and the disgraceful "Hitler ad" in last year's Kaine-Kilgore race in Virginia.

Well, apparently those despicable ads haven't dissauded Republican candidates from using Howell's fine services. This year, for instance, Howell is hard at work, "crafting the message" for Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN), Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), Mike Bouchard (R-MI), Tom Gallagher (R-FL), Bob Corker (R-TN), and...yes, you guessed it, our own George Allen (R-VA).

So, what's Howell been up to this year? Has he changed his nasty, race-baiting ways? Please, but you jest! Look, let's put it this way: fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and Scott Howell's gotta create race-baiting ads for Republican candidates. That's what he does, and he's damn good at it, if you can call evil "good."

Scott Howell is all about code words and coded messages. He's all about taking the low road...including using racist ploys to craft his ads. If you saw that stomach-turning racist ad that Howell churned out in Tennessee, ask yourself, is that what politics in this country should be about? If that's what it takes for Bob Corker to win...what is that saying about our country? What message is that sending?

Now, Bob Corker, George Allen, Tom Gallagher, Mike Bouchard, Jim Talent and Conrad Burns may have NO PROBLEM with using race-baiting ad man Scott Howell.

That doesn't make what he does acceptable. The Republicans know full well what's going on. The GOP will do whatever it takes to win.

They want power that badly.

Remember that next time you see a "positive" GOP commercial claiming to represent "values voters."

These folks are doing stuff that is just scuzzy.

Exhibit A = Scott Howell.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Soapblox regional blogs

I've been writing and linking to local and regional blogs for a while now and one thread that's woven through all these posts are myriad links to the Soapblox regional blog network.

Soapblox is a Scoop-like platform (it's a Java-based reverse-engineering of Scoop to be precise); what that means in lay terms is that Soapblox blogs are community blogs with user diaries, front-page stories and moderated comments. My Left Wing is probably the most well-known Soapblox blog, but there's a host of regional political Soapblox blogs listed below. If you want to "take the pulse" of regional blogging this election season, I would say that checking out SoapBlox's network of blogs is a great place to start:

The SoapBlox Network

- Below Boston (MA)
- BlueJersey.net (NJ)
- Blue Mass. Group (MA)
- Blue Oklahoma (OK)
- Burnt Orange Report (TX)
- Calitics (CA)
- Fireside 14
- Florida Politics (FL)
- GreenMountainDaily (VT)
- LiberIL View (IL)
- Michigan Liberal (MI)
- Raising Kaine (NJ)
- SoapBlox/Chicago (IL)
- SquareState (CO)
- Texas Kaos (TX)
- WA's 36th District Dems (WA)
- BlueForests.com (WA)
- MassRevolutionNow (MA)
- Netroots Movement (CT)

Pacified the founder of the Soapblox network is always interested in folks who would like to build new regional and local blogs of all sorts, but especially progressive political sites. Visit his website if you are interested.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Revisiting the k/o list

Below you'll find an updated blog entry version of the k/o list. This list, as I've explained before, is a work in progress and a tool for you to use to read about some of the close races in this country where Democrats are taking GOP seats back from Republicans. I will republish it periodically before election day:

the k/o list: updated Sunday Oct. 15th, 2006


candidate name = Democrat running for office
CA-11 = dkos Tag
local blog name or L = local blog
G = google blog search
T = technorati search
R = regional blog
C = Campaign website
$ = ActBlue page

The West

  • Harry Mitchell AZ-05 the Lofty Donkey G R $
  • Gabrielle Giffords AZ-08 R
  • Charlie Brown Dump Doolittle CA-04
  • Jerry McNerney CA-11 SayNotoPombo G R $
  • Phil Angelides CA-Gov GovernorPhil R
  • Ed Perlmutter CO-07 SquareState G R $
  • Monica Lindeen MT-AL L R $
  • Patricia Madrid NM-01 NM-FBIHOP G R $
  • Tessa Hafen NV-03 LV Gleaner R $
  • Peter Goldmark WA-05 R $
  • Darcy Burner WA-08 Evergreen Politics R G $

  • The Midwest

  • Bruce Braley IA-01 $
  • Tammy Duckworth IL-06 WurfWhile G R $
  • Joe Donnelly IN-02 CCINDems G R L $
  • Amy Klobuchar MN-Sen MN Publius G R $
  • Tim Walz MN-01 BlueStemPrairie G T $
  • Patty Wetterling MN-06 Minvolved $
  • Claire McCaskill MO-Sen Blue Girl, Red State G R $
  • John Cranley OH-01 Ohios First G R $
  • Mary Jo Kilroy OH-15 Ohio 15th blog G T $

  • The East

  • Chris Murphy CT-05 CT-05.net G R $
  • Paul Hodes NH-02 NH-02 Prog G R L $
  • Linda Stender NJ-07 Dump Mike T R $
  • John Hall NY-19 Take 19 G R $
  • Mike Arcuri NY-24 Take Back 24 $
  • Joe Sestak PA-07 PA-7 Watch G $
  • Patrick Murphy PA-08 AboveAvgJane T R $

  • The South

  • Christing Jennings FL-13 R R
  • Ron Klein G FL-22 R $
  • John Yarmuth KY-03 BluegrassReport G L $
  • Heath Shuler NC-11 Blue NC G $
  • Harold Ford TN-Sen L R $
  • Jim Webb VA-Sen Raising Kaine G T $
  • Phil Kellam VA-02 VB Dems G $

  • I am not claiming that this list is exhaustive or a substitute for any of the other great lists out there. (Among them Blue America, the combined Netroots Candidates pages of the MyDD, Swing State and Dailykos communities, and eRiposte's amazing national local blog list.) Because I focus on local blogs and what Lynn Allen calls transformational candidates; this list leans towards what I hope is a sweet spot in the 2006 election cycle, races where, with a bit more support and effort from netroots bloggers and grassroots activists, Democrats might just well win and create downticket netroots waves across the nation.

    Exclusion of your blog or race is not meant to mean anything. This list is just a start point in our admittedly much larger effort. Your comments are welcome below.


    Visit Surf Putah

    Surf Putah is the new local blog covering Yolo County California by the blogger who goes by wu ming.

    There's a reason wu ming gets nominated for best commenter in the Wampum awards...and longtime k/o readers will recognise the voice and the insights.

    If this post is the kind of thoughtful and relevant piece we can expect from wu ming...and, trust me, it is...Surf Putah will always be worth a stop.

    What a great way to grab a virtual cup of coffee in Davis, California.

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    It's about Congress, stupid

    Dailykos diarist Eleanor A. points up this must-read editorial from East Tennessee opinion maker Frank Cagle regarding the "conservative vote" and the Tennessee Senate race:

    Which brings us to U.S. Senate candidate Bob Corker, the Republican nominee. Corker is not a conservative. He is a nice fellow and his election would not be a tragedy for Tennessee. But have you heard Corker deplore the corruption, legal and moral, now rampant in the United States Congress? Has he said a word about the deplorable state of his party’s governance? Has he suggested he would lift a finger to clean up this deplorable mess? Has he called for Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign?

    Corker is not a change agent. He is establishment to the core.

    There is only one way for a conservative to make these people pay for what they have done. They have to be punished. If you vote for Corker you are ratifying the “big government conservative” agenda they have perpetrated.

    You can say what you please about Congressman Harold Ford Jr. but you cannot deny his charisma, his ability to mobilize press coverage, his political skills. If you want someone to shake up the U.S. Senate, he is your man. [...]

    What the Congressional Republicans need is for someone to throw a wrench into their well-oiled money machine. Harold Ford Jr. is the tool you need.

    I intend to vote for him in November and urge you to do the same. Do it to save conservatism in America. If you can’t vote for him, abstain.

    This election is about Congress. It's a referendum about Congress, about those in control.

    Whatever agenda the Democrats or the Republicans had going into this fall it has been decisively replaced by a tide of sentiment that this election will be about Congress, about leadership, an up or down referendum about the Senate and the House.

    This election is not about George Bush, 9/11, minimum wage, North Korea, Iraq, drug pricing policy, gas prices, stem cells or any other issue that one might have thought going in. For conservatives, moderates, independents and slumbering Democrats alike in swing districts and states across the country this election is, pure and simple, a gut check about the leadership we look to from the United States Congress. Voters will come at this election from different angles, but the outcome at the polling place will be similar. It's time to vote for a change.

    Candidates like Bob Corker will not get elected simply to add to the mess in DC. Candidates like Harold Ford, Jr. will get surprising support from all corners.

    My advice to Democrats running for Congress is to read the above editorial in full and understand that it's the "flat-footed, pass the buck, make excuses, it's all about maintaining power" mindset of the GOP Congressional leadership that has created this opportunity. They can't clear the stinking smell that Dennis Hastert and Tom DeLay have left in the halls of the Capitol building...and with every passing day that's more and more clear.

    The implicit message from every Democratic campaign must be we are agents of change, we're the party of action. We're folks you can take at our word...and we've got a big can of Lysol ready to spray at business-as-usual in Washington DC.

    Yep, we'll clean out the stink cloud that's been hovering in the halls of this GOP Congress and we'll clean out K-Street too.

    For every flat-footed GOP candidate who's failed to call for Hastert's resignation, there should be a Democrat with a spring in their stride ready to step up with a broom and mop bucket.

    One way or another, the halls of Congress are gonna get a clean up this November.

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Condoleeza Rice and failed US policy on North Korea

    The truth hurts.

    Josh Marshall has the best summation yet of the North Korea detonation:

    let's review the salient facts one more time.

    "Failure" =1994-2002 -- Era of Clinton 'Agreed Framework': No plutonium production. All existing plutonium under international inspection. No bomb.

    "Success" = 2002-2006 -- Bush Policy Era: Active plutonium production. No international inspections of plutonium stocks. Nuclear warhead detonated.

    Face it. They ditched an imperfect but working policy. They replaced it with nothing. Now North Korea is a nuclear state.

    And, yes, when the Democrats win the majority, there will be truth and oversight once again in Washington...

    I'm sure that's of great comforat to Rice, Cheney and Mr. Bush.

    Off the Kuff electronic voting interview

    Charles Kuffner at Off the Kuff has done an amazing interview with Dan Wallach, professor of Computer Science at Rice University.

    This interview is a MUST LISTEN for anyone who cares about voting reform. (Folks are working on a transcription as I write.) Wallach, in my mind, lays out both the substance and the mindset for eventual nation-wide regulatory policy regarding electronic voting. His approach is grounded in academics; it's measured and focused and pragmatic.

    Wallach and Kuff raise enormous, real concerns...concerns shared by many nationwide...but this is not scare-mongering. This is how we will reform electronic voting.

    Go. Listen.

    And if you're moved to do something about electing people who will shape that legislation regulating electronic voting...visit the Secretary of State Project.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    the GOP vs. Moms with questions

    At Blue Jersey local blogger JRB has an excellent piece documenting just how in bed with the GOP the press can be.

    Marcia Kramer, journalist for CBS2 in New Jersey, apparently thinks that citizens assembling to ask questions of a candidate is a "dirty trick." Kramer thinks that a mother with a son in Iraq who wants to ask: "How long will our troops be in Iraq if there's a civil war?" of her GOP candidate is some kind of "sneaky stunt", and not a proper excercise of first amendment rights.

    As JRB writes:

    Let it be clear that Marcia Kramer and Tom Kean Jr's handlers (who fed this piece to her) think that ordinary citizens shouldn't have access to our Senate candidates. In their book, it is a dirty trick (their words, not mine) for the mothers of soldiers to get time with their candidate.

    I guess a mom with a question IS a real problem for the GOP.

    Kean is running for US Senate. He should be able to listen, and if needed, disagree with any one of his consituents. He should be able to state his plan for Iraq clearly to everyone. He certainly shouldn't have a handler brush off the mother of a soldier the way that was done.

    Let me ask this, given what we've seen the last few years: when will the GOP stop vilifying moms with questions?

    A party that repeatedly belittles and attacks moms with questions...and what else is the Mark Foley story about really...doesn't deserve to govern. Will it take the mother of one of the Congressional pages coming forward in public to make that point crystal clear? Any one paying attention to the Mark Foley story...the mom in the background of that IM, the parents in Louisiana alerting Congressman Alexander...it's pretty clear to those paying attention, that the GOP has a "mom issue" this election.

    No wonder Kean is running scared.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    NAACP gives Anne Northup, GOP KY-03 an "F"

    Local blog the Bluegrass Report reports that Anne Northup couldn't make a debate with her challenger, Democrat John Yarmuth, organized by the local NAACP, Urban League and religious organizations.

    According to a spokesperson, Northup...who had a conflicting "dinner engagement" and couldn't attend the event...prefers debates that "address the broadest topics." Yarmuth, restricting himself to "narrow topics" in Northup's absence, addressed Universal Health Care, the minimum wage, the failures of the No Child Left Behind Program and the rising income gap in a time of soaring corporate profits.

    Congresswoman Northup, however, does not fear that skipping this debate will adversely affect her relationship with the African-American community. According to spokesman Patrick Neely:

    Northup has deep and long-lasting ties to the African-American community. She's been honored to serve them, and we believe the African-American community knows the difference between a partisan rally and thoughtful representation."

    Maybe that's why Anne Northup received an "F" rating from the NAACP?

    Sunday, October 08, 2006

    Pombo's Co-author: "Republicans unworthy of retaining control"

    Babaloo at Say No to Pombo has this jaw-dropper.

    Joseph Farah, arch-conservative and co-author, with Congressman Richard Pombo (CA-11) of the book This Land is OUR LAND: How to End the War on Private Property has released a statement regarding the Foley/Hastert affair:

    Following the revelations about Florida Rep. Mark Foley's sexually suggestive e-mails to a 16-year-old congressional page, I have concluded Republicans are unworthy of retaining control of the federal government.[…]

    It's not just what one unfit congressman did. It is how his colleagues, mindful only of defending their own positions of power, reacted [...] they did no investigating because they didn't want to know the truth.

    Stop the presses. There's millions of us who couldn't agree more. Richard Pombo, like his GOP colleagues, is unworthy of anyone's vote. And yes, as Farah says, for those in charge of the GOP, this was about power all along. It was definitely not about taking responsibility of teenagers left in their charge and trust.

    I have a great suggestion for voters in CA-11. Take a look at Democrat Jerry McNerney.

    McNerney is a vote you can feel good about for once.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    the scandal that engulfed a party

    ...and let another find its voice.

    There's nothing I can add to what's already been said so ably by Glenn Greenwald, Hunter, Steve Gilliard, Lindsay Beyerstein, Josh Marshall and Wanda Sykes.

    All I'd say is that don't neglect that these venues and formats...this "push back" machine I've linked to above did not exist three years ago...well aside from the Tonight Show!.

    It may not work perfectly..but its ours. Use it well and wisely.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Foley/Hastert coverage on local blogs

    Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has had absolutely stellar coverage of the Foley/Hastert Page Affair (Josh, along with Hunter at dailyKos, has steadily provided a laser focus on the core issues here.)

    As part of his coverage Josh Marshall has asked local readers to ask their Congressional representatives to go on the record about the Foley/Hastert affair. Here are some of the responses.

    And, here, in no particular order is how local blogs are following Josh's lead in examining this Republican failure of leadership:

  • Say No to Pombo asks for calls to Richard Pombo's office
  • Goldy at Horses Ass covers how GOP Congressman Dave Reichert has scrubbed his web page of photos taken of him with Mark Foley.
  • MN Publius points out that newly vulnerable GOP incumbent John Kline is ducking out of debates with Coleen Rowley perhaps to avoid having to comment on the Foley/Hastert affair.
  • And Dump Mike in NJ-07 points out that once again GOP Congressman Mike Ferguson is returning money from a tainted GOP colleague. At some point, folks in NJ might have a better solution to that situation...
  • Sunday, October 01, 2006

    Sunday October 1st: Democrats rising

    That's not just the news regarding GOP scandals, that's the news all over:

  • In Minnesota, Blue Stem Prairie reports on this hopeful trend from MN-01's local press:
    Richard Hall recently attended a rally for DFL senate candidate Amy Klobuchar, and as he scanned the room at Daube's Bakery in Rochester, he couldn't help but notice a political trend.

    Many of the people there had once been Republicans.
    There's more to this story...take a look.
  • If you don't think the Foley Page Predator Cover Up story will have an impact nationwide, take a look at this story from Ohio, where Mary Jo Kilroy is quite appropriately turning up the heat on Deborah Pryce, a vulnerable member of the GOP House Leadership. This is the Congress that Pryce helped build; hold her accountable.
  • This story about how GOP Congressman takes money from those he supposedly oversees at Blue Jersey is not just a garden variety tale of how our GOP Congress has ZERO oversight or accountability: it's a nationwide theme. They take the money from those they are supposed to oversee and then pretend to look out for us. Funny how that doesn't seem to be working.
  • For a sample of the persuasive and credible tesimony regarding Senator George Allen's racist mindset look no further than Raising Kaine. George Allen, Trent Lott...both current GOP Senators holding membership in that august body of 100 called the US Senate...at some point folks have got to start asking whether this GOP bunch who run the country really represent a 21st Century America.
  • Finally, Evergreen Politics proves that there's nothing like a visual to make a political point...