Friday, June 20, 2003

I'm taking off ...

Politizine will be on hiatus for a little while. I should be back online sometime in July.


Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Lots of stuff on the campaign front ...
Kerry says Bush misled Americans on war It looks like Kerry has finally decided to come out swinging. It is about time; but too little, too late? We'll have to wait and see.
Former Bush Intelligence Insider Assails Counterterrorism Tactics I was going to post this earlier but I spaced it. This is a pretty good piece about Bush's rush to war. Not surprisingly, the guy is now a Kerry advisor.
Empty words won’t beat Bush John Edwards is profiled in this column but listen to this:
"The first thing you notice about U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, one of the major Democratic candidates for president, is how devastatingly handsome he is."
Oh brother.
Kucinich sees California as 'springboard to the presidency' No word yet on if the NH Greens will be backing Kucinich.
Try Telling Clark He’s Not a Patriot Conason has a column on former NATO General Wesley Clark's whose campaign is going nowhere fast.
Bush Takes Strong Stand Against Iran Nuclear Plans As it all slips away, Bush will find a way to distract the masses.
Impeachable Offense The case can be made that Bush should be impeached. I never thought I would say this but I kinda miss the guy who couldn't keep his cigar and penis out of the interns. Clinton was a disgusting pig and deserved to be impeached, but he never let our friends and neighbors die for oil in the 21st Century's Vietnam. What is the body count so far since The Shrub declared "victory?" Forty-five dead? Pathetic. God help us all.
Gore rally: Just count all the no-shows Few attend draft Gore rally.
Will We See Gore TV? Gore wants to create an alternative TV and radio network. Good for him! Hey, Al, where can I send my radio demo? I can't get on the air anywhere else!! However, the problem isn't just creating a "liberal" network. The problem is that new agencies are profit-motivated. So, they don't dig up the stories that need to be told. More politics in news isn't the answer; more news in the news is the answer.
Middle Class and Out of Work I missed this from the Boston Sunday Globe magazine. Pretty relevant these days since I know all kinds of people un- or under-employed, basically running on fumes. The problem with the economy is more the collapse of the dot-cons and Sept. 11. The politicians have bankrupted the country by eliminating tariffs on imports which pushed the manufacturing base to flee overseas to cheaper labor. The simple fact remains: The American public can pay via welfare or subsidize the employment force via tariffs. Either way, we pay. Isn't it better to have people employed?

Monday, June 16, 2003

Five part series on drug use in baseball
Wow - this thing came out of nowhere. Howard Bryant of the Boston Herald has just unveiled the first of a five part series on steroid use in baseball ["A Tainted Era?"]. Excellent so far. And pretty relevant points about offensive players - as in hitting champions; not assholes - putting people in the stands. I can hardly wait to read the rest of it.

Living the life of Kerry
Yesterday, the Boston Sunday Globe began its seven part series on the life of Sen. John Forbes Kerry, presidential candidate. What a life - boating with JFK, forming a debate society at the exclusive St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and then to 'Nam ... These kinds of features really do make you want to puke. But even in reading the first two, you get a real understanding for the guy and why he is the way he is. The entire series can be found here ["John F. Kerry - Candidate in the making"].

Capuano for govenor?
Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Somerville, made the rounds at last week's Democratic [issues] Convention which kicked off the official start of Kerry's campaign. The Boston Sunday Herald gave Capuano a "who's hot" listing for reportedly impressing delegates who are all abuzz about him taking on Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006. Of course, this should surprise no one. The Herald has always had a soft spot for Capuano, endorsing him in the 1998 8th Congressional District melee. Then again, they also broke the "Capuano accused of favoritism in mobster land deal" story on their front pages so ... who knows? However, I would add, that while he hasn't been specifically relevant in the legislation department, Capuano has been a pretty good representative - consistently voting with and supporting the Progressive Democratic Caucus.

Also in The Buzz ...
The latest number of taxpayers who have taken the option to file under the state's 5.85 percent rate are in: Out of 2.265 million returns only 1,132 filers have opted to pay more in taxes, adding $130,732 to the state's general fund. Hmm. So much for finding the revenues, eh?

Traffic reporters ...
Back to today's Herald: "Roads Scholar" writer Robin Washington has a short and funny piece about visual markers used by traffic reporters on the radio ["Follow your favorite landmark to gridlock "]. He interviewed a number of commuters who all said they didn't know where the markers referenced in traffic reports were. Hey, Robin, tell the traffic people to slow down when they talk. They whip through the reports so fast you often don't know what the hell they said!

Dean wins Wisconsin straw poll
This story made the national wires thanks to Drudge. Presidential candidate former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean handily won a straw poll conducted at Wisconsin's Democratic Convention Saturday []. The most curious thing about this is the national committee's overbearing hand discouraging attendees from casting votes because it believed the poll would sap energy and resources from campaigns. Only 352 out of 1,162 delegates voted. For shame! Actually, it is the exact opposite of what the DNC says. These kinds of polls can buoy a campaign and give it the electability component it might need to succeed, especially in these very cynical times.
However, I would contend that the DNC doesn't like straw polls because the process takes power away from super-delegates and elected officials who essentially choose the nominee and limit the support to a handful of candidates that idiot Terry McAuliffe deems worthy. Note Rep. Dennis Kucinich albeit low third place finish, although ahead of Edwards, Gephardt, Graham, and Lieberman. Nice political site, too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

This morning ...
There are some pretty interesting stories in the news this morning. First, the sad news that bones found in Palmer, Mass. are those of missing lifeguard Molly Bish. I hope that this can bring come closure to the family. This regional story didn't really make the national news the same way other missing women and children stories have.

Note to TV News Editors: I wish that these stories would stay local. I am really sick of turning on my local news and hearing about a 9-year-old girl abducted in San Jose or the latest in the Laci Peterson investigation. I can get this from FoxNews or MSNBC! Please, report the local news. There is so much of it going on that you are missing.

State democrats have finally gotten their way and made history in the process, as noted in the Boston Globe this morning. A new report card will be filed every March by the state committee analyzing whether or not elected democrats adhere to the party platform ["'Report card' to grade Democratic lawmakers"].
On prank value alone, this is pretty cool. It will drive House Speaker Tom Finneran and others bonkers.
But in the end, it is a whole hell of a lot about nothing since most voters will never receive the report card and most voters don't read the numerous report cards put out by special interest groups. The key to getting bad representatives out of office is to find good candidates to challenge them.
Unfortunately, most progressives are either too obsessed with "the movement," or they think running for office, gathering signatures, and begging for money to run a serious campaign, is beneath them.

Speaking of the Globe, why the hell do they cover so much stuff in Framingham, while ignoring stuff going on in Somerville, Cambridge, or Boston neighborhoods? Every day there is something about Framingham. Does anyone even read the Globe in Framingham?

I will post some political updates sometime tonight or tomorrow afternoon. There has been a lot of interesting sh*t going on.

Texas democrats as terrorists, part whatever ...
Yesterday morning, Dan Kennedy of the Boston Phoenix pointed us to the latest on this unbelievable scandal ["In Texas Feud, a Plane Tale of Intrigue"]. It is worth going through the Post's stupid registration process [enabling cookies, typing in your birth year and zip code] to read this one.
It seems like every time I have tried to get on blogger the last week, the site has been down. Hence, there haven't been many updates. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 4, 2003

Green Party successes!
Here are two recent stories via Common Dreams about a green elected mayor in NY and what Maine's only green rep. is doing to get stuff done:
["'Green' Candidate Wins N.Y. Mayor Race"]
["A Party of One in Maine"]
I love the democrats in Maine. 'A green won? Sh*t, we'll have to redistrict him out!' Typical. Even when you challenge the status quo - and win - they will always be out to get you. In West's case, four times is a charm. Maybe there is hope for all the rest of us losers out here.

Teresa's cash off limits to Kerry
["Wife's Fortune Out for Kerry's Campaign"]

Sunday, June 1, 2003

So much for political experts
You have to love the political experts sometimes.
This morning on "Meet the Press," the usual political newspaper pundits sat and talked shop with host Tim Russert. David Broder, Al Hunt, Robert Novak, and William Safire, pretty much agreed that no one is following the democratic candidates running for president and agreed that Bill and Hillary Clinton are smothering the party with their celebrity status. Russert mentioned yesterday's candidate forum in Lake Placid and one of the pundits, I believe it was Novak, said that no one was interested in the primaries. Of course, you expect this from the conservative Novak and I didn't think anything of it.
Then, I opened the Boston Globe and saw buried in a short Associated Press story that "about 1,000 people attend[ed] the forum on rural issues ..." Here is a more extensive story in the NYT: ["Plenty of Campaigning at Rural Issues Forum"]
This is astounding. One thousand people in Lake Placid; population 4,000, with a New York primary that is late in the game. Who says no one is interested or listening? Get a clue pundits, get a clue.
Nader: Greens looking at Dems
Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader confirmed that some greens are thinking of not running a candidate in 2004: "Nader: Greens considering backing Democrat in 2004"
I can confirm that there has been some discussion both publicly and privately about what the greens should do in 2004.
According to an email I received earlier this week, NH Greens had dinner with Rep. Dennis Kucinich on Friday night in Concord, in an effort to woo support from the collection of activists in that state.
Here in Massachusetts, activists have been discussing plans to schedule a series of forums on the topic, in an effort to find some common ground with progressive democrats. While nothing has been confirmed, the plan is to start having the meetings sometime in September, although that could be too late to really do any good.
On the national level, there has been some discussion amongst some of the party hierarchy and long-time activists and founders of the party, with generalized proposals being floated.
I would say more, but you will have to wait for the book …

A Brit photoshop girl developed pictures of British soldiers torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners of war: ["My horror at PoW sex abuse pics"]

A scandal that needs to grow and grow ... or Democrats as terrorists part whatever
["Texas tussle stirs up a scandal"]

So much for charity saving us ...
Conservatives always say that charity can be a replacement for government spending. Well, maybe not: ["Nonprofits cutting back as funding dries up"]
And this doesn't even include the 70 percent cut in funding for rape crisis centers across the state. Shame on the Mass. Legislature!

Boston exec pay
Whoa!: ["Hub's best paid execs: One made $55M last year - is he really worth it?"]

1/20th of 1 percent pay higher taxes
The Boston Herald is also reporting in their The Buzz column this morning that a mere 1,052 residents have opted to pay higher taxes in 2002: ["A duty-free approach"].
Eh, I thought the state was in a fiscal crisis? How come all the people who are clamoring for higher taxes are paying them voluntarily?