Thursday, July 31, 2003

There is a God ...

Part 1
Reuters is reporting that the evil John Poindexter is resigning: ["Poindexter to Quit Pentagon Post Amid Controversy"].

Part 2
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., is launching an inquiry into the RIAA's nasty subpoenas b.s.: ["Lawmaker seeks info on RIAA dragnet"].

Teamster power?
The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Gephardt will get the Teamster Union endorsement: ["Teamsters Endorse Gephardt for President"]. Everyone is expecting the union to jumpstart Gephardt's lagging campaign but one has to wonder if there are enough Teamsters left working to help the campaign.

Tax spat
Dean and Kerry are bickering again: ["Campaigns spar over tax cut"]. Kerry is partially right on this one; the top tier cuts of the Bush plan need to be rescinded. And this line is pretty good:
"Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class and wind up raising taxes on a whole bunch of people and take away a child care credit and reinstate the marriage penalty."
However - and not to keep sounding like a broken record here - real Democrats did abandon the middle class when they passed NAFTA and GATT - trade pacts which have cost the middle class millions of decent wage, low skill jobs. As well, the gnat of a tax cut that went to working people isn't going to turn the economy around. I finally took a look at my pay stubs this week and the difference since the cuts were passed was a whole $1.25 per week. Big effing deal. You can't buy a latte with that!
But the line of the week goes to Julie Teer, a flack for the N.H. Republican Committee, on Kerry:
"He's Dean with envy and clearly thinks he needs to start making up some ground."
Hah! She has probably been waiting weeks to spout that line off.

Is Al back in?
You gotta to love these stories placed in the media: ["Gore pressured to jump in race"]. I don't know one person who thinks Al Gore should run "for re-election" in 2004. Not a one. Is he floating this because he is bored? Maybe he should start doing some stump speeches to rally the base or build some houses like Jimmy Carter did after he retired from politics. Man, get a life already. Life is good out here in normal land!

Calls to drop out
This article is astounding: ["'Dead men walking' urged to quit '04 race"]. The insiders set up the primaries so a nominee will be known by March. They make campaigns impossible to run without a billion dollars. They assist the media in creating a tier system which kills any campaign which is considered "longshot," "un-electable," or reform-based. These actions essentially guarantee that the insider's candidate wins. And now, they don't even want to have a primary between more than two or three candidates! This is effing outrageous!

Monday, July 28, 2003

'Liz Phair'

Liz Phair’s new self-titled album ["Liz Phair"] hasn’t left my car CD player since I bought it last week. It truly is an amazing little CD but one has to wonder if it can survive the extremely bad reviews and almost zero airplay so far in its early life.
The bad reviews come from Phair’s [and probably management’s and the record label’s] decision to work with the songwriting/production team known as The Matrix. The Martix is Lauren Christy, Scott Spock, and Graham Edwards, the people behind the success of girl rocker Avril Lavigne ["Complicated," "Sk8ter Boi"]. Their production is squeaky clean with a sharp edge; the guitars roar - but reek of the digital cleansing relegated to the Britney Spears and N’Snycs of the world and not rockers with street cred like Phair.
Of course, the perception that Phair is an indie rock goddess is a little far from the truth. Sure, she is the starlet of the indie press and geeks have been in love with her for more than a decade. But major labels have been releasing and distributing her music since 1994’s "Whip-Smart" and Matador, her previous label, is a pretty big indie. And if she is sick of living on chump change and wants to make some serious money, like Lavigne, who can blame her after all these years? She is 36, with a young son. There is no prestige in living poorly. But back to the album.
"Liz Phair" has a lot of her standard story telling songs on this album like "Little Digger," which imagines her son’s jealousy with a new lover. However, surprisingly, the most powerful songs are the ones produced by the slick Matrix team. The songs tend to be sex-fused rockers like "Rock Me" and "Love/Hate," in an obvious attempt to emphasize the sex sells mentality. "Rock Me" is a cynical look at quickies with a younger man; while "Love/Hate" analyzes the war between the sexes and trying times. She also says the f- word a lot, which she has done in the past, and is kinda cool coming from an "older woman." Liz’s voice is distinct; fragile when it needs to be and strong on other moments. Opener "Extraordinary" starts the set off with a pretty catchy and sarcastic chorus:
"… I am extraordinary, if you’d ever get to know me, I am extraordinary, I am just your ordinary, average everyday sane/psycho, super-goddess …"
The production skills of Michael Penn on some songs also add appeal to the album because once you come down from the slick banging of the Matrix songs, you need a little more of the old Phair touch to clear the head.
The album’s first single, "Why Can’t I," is a strong song but a little mellow for a first single. "Rock Me" would have been a better first single - with its "Rock me all night" sex chant, with "Why Can’t I" as a follow up; similar to how Alanis Morrisette successfully followed up her powerful "You Oughta Know" with the more mellow "Ironic."
But hey, what do I know? I am just a music and Liz Phair fan, hah. But seriously, this is a good album and worthy of better comment and airplay. Here’s hoping that Liz Phair gets the big prize.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

A day at the beach …
I love the summertime. And there is nothing like a nice, hot day at the beach. Unfortunately, the Atlantic Ocean is freezing right now. However, I did get to finish "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How we got to be so hated," by Gore Vidal, a pamphlet of 160 pages, in one sitting. The book analyzes how American foreign policy, to feed the Military Industrial Complex beast, has created the terror and drug wars. Most of the material is republished from long Vanity Fair pieces which I already read. But Vidal does touch upon his relationship with Timothy McVeigh and lack of FBI investigation into other people involved in that terrorist attack, which makes it worth purchasing. The book is a quick read and really nails a lot of things right on the head.

Hollywood losing jobs? Join the club
"With your support, we’ll all keep on working …"
If you have watched any of the news channels lately, you probably didn’t miss the new advertising campaign by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. [MPAA] claiming copyright infringement is keeping people from paying their student loans and feeding their families. Check out its site at [""]. This kind of campaign is not unusual; we have seen it from all kinds of special interests looking to influence policy makers and the general public on an issue [or more specifically, members of the public who actually watch the news and tend to be more aware of what is going on in the world]. But the problem with this type of advertising is it generalizes about an issue to get to the viewer to the point where the sponsors wants the viewer to be. This point is often far from the truth of the matter.
Let’s take the jobs issue. Sure, some jobs will be lost as technology modernizes and the ability to get a copy of a DVD or CD without paying the full price – or any price – becomes easier. However, the other side of this is the fact that the entertainment market has not adapted to the new technology or changes in the marketplace. Take any opportunity to copy a product and you can see where the companies have not taken actions on their own part to stem the tide of copyright infringement.
I have some examples listed on the music industry side in my latest column in The Winchester Star: ["Music file-sharers are now criminals"]. But there are others. First, the price of movies is too high. There are too many bad movies that are released competing for the buying public. And the movie industry has destroyed the independent movie theater. How come they weren’t worrying about all those jobs? As far as DVDs – not unlike videos – if people are going to buy them, they will buy them. DVD machines that copy DVDs are extremely expensive – about $800 the last time I looked. Which means a copier would need $1,600 just to start to dub DVDs for a friend. I would think that copies of movies are made for people who are never going to spend $20 for a DVD in the first place. So, the industry isn't losing anything. Similarly to videotape, the industry has never cried about people making copies before. Why now? Business is good in Hollywood. Shut up already. Also, DVD prices are too high. How do I know this? Well, there are a whole slew of DVDs for sale at less than $10 so why aren't the big movies put on sale at lower price? As well, blank DVDs are extremely cheap, about $2 and probably even cheaper for the mass producers. So why are DVDs priced $20 again? More people will buy the product if the product is cheaper. This is simple economics.
Lastly, I like the example given by a columnist on television saying the culture created by Hollywood – one of crime, lack of morals, stealing, etc. – is coming back to haunt the town. Young people have been subliminally taught to think that there are no consequences to their actions, that they are invincible. We all felt that way at 18. Crime is also often glorified in the films and in music. Some of it is lame; some very influential.
Personally, I am not a moralist. But I find these comments were made hilariously on target. You reap what you sow, as the saying goes.
Two last points on this issue: One, as noted in my column, the MPAA [and to a lesser extent the RIAA] should be lobbying Congress to go after imports from the country of China, which is single handedly running the pirate market instead of trying to get at the purchasers of such products. Second, where was Hollywood when factories were getting sent overseas and millions of Americans – many of them buyers of Hollywood products – were losing their jobs? Hollywood was nowhere to be found. In fact, Hollywood was a big backer of the Clinton/Gore administration who basically decimated the working class. Again, you reap what you sow.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Arianna for governor?
Slate is reporting that Arianna Huffington is toying with the idea of running for governor: ["Huffington Fever Sweeps Brentwood!"]. While says her former husband Michael has taken out papers: [""]. And then there is the voting machine controversy: ["California Gets Ready for Recall Election"].

Clear Channel finally being probed ...
The Justice Dept. is investigating how Clear Channel - the mega radio, billboard, concert promotion company - has been accused of threatening musical artists ["Justice Dept. Probes Clear Channel"].

NH: Kerry holds slight lead; Lieberman fading
American Research Group of Manchester, a pretty good polling firm, is reporting that Kerry, Dean, and Gephardt are the front-runners in its latest poll: ["Poll: Kerry Holds Slight Lead Over Dean"]. Gephardt, with a 10 percent showing, and a probable win in Iowa, is in a strong position going into the southern primaries, despite what the experts are saying about his campaign. Lieberman's numbers are shockingly low, considering these numbers are out on the heels of his whirlwind tour of the state with former US Rep. Dick Sweat and his wife during the July 4th holiday weekend.

Bill Bulger and perjury
Missed this from earlier in the week but it lays out a pretty good case on why UMass head Billy Bulger should be in jail: ["Questions remain about Bulger and 75 State St."].

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Sept. 11 report released
Here is the latest on the Sept. 11 report:
["September 11 report raises Saudi question"]
["Congress Details Pre-9/11 Gov't Lapses"]
["Key Lawmakers Spin Sept. 11 Report"]
["Sept. 11 Report Says U.S. Spy Agencies `Missed Opportunities'"]
["Sept. 11 Report Criticizes Intelligence Agencies, But Assigns No Specific Blame"]
["9/11 Congressional Report Faults F.B.I.-C.I.A. Lapses"]
Kucinich pleads with Greens and Naderites for help ...
Having already raised $ 2 million, Kucinich is really pulling out all the stops: ["Open Letter to Nader Voters and the Greens"]
"I am a Democrat, but I understand that Greens and Nader voters are not just liberal Democrats. Still, I note that in Europe, even when political parties disagree on issues, they are often able to work together with each other in coalition. I'd like to raise that possibility again today. And I note that Ralph Nader has suggested that my candidacy is worth supporting. We all know we will do better if we work together. Perhaps we can find common ground on issues and principles. I would like to open up that possibility. And I would like to ask that you give serious consideration to my candidacy for President. Because a better world is still possible."
...But Norman Solomon says greens have other intentions
["Green Party Taking the Plunge for 2004"]
"The Green Party is now hampered by rigidity that prevents it from acknowledging a grim reality: The presidency of George W. Bush has turned out to be so terrible in so many ways that even a typically craven corporate Democrat would be a significant improvement in some important respects. Fueled by idealistic fervor for its social-change program (which I basically share), the Green Party has become an odd sort of counterpoint to the liberals who have allowed pro-corporate centrists to dominate the Democratic Party for a dozen years now. Those liberal Democrats routinely sacrifice principles and idealism in the name of electoral strategy. The Greens are now largely doing the reverse -- proceeding toward the 2004 presidential race without any semblance of a viable electoral strategy, all in the name of principled idealism. "

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Dean surges in Cali ...
The Mercury News is reporting that longshot democratic presidential candidate former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is leading the latest polls in California: ["Democrats take shots at Bush"].

Fake Lieberman site updated
A few months back, I reported that there was a great fake Sen. Joe Lieberman presidential campaign site: You gotta love this line: "A New Kind of Democrat. The Republican Kind." Hah! I just got an email that the site has been updated and after checking it out, it is even more impressive. The build your own missile shield link is hilarious. He even has bumperstickers for sale. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

More on Feinstein
A big "Thank You" to SlaterSue who tipped me off to two stories about the Feinstein/Green Party funds controversy: ["Feinstein may have stepped too far in vote to fund Pico Youth Center"] and ["Police Search Bank Records at the Center of Green Party Controversy"]. For those of you who don't know SlaterSue, she is the infamous creator of the "Hold your nose and vote democrat" bumperstickers that have been floating around and also runs the Miss Monica blog. Meow.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Report: FBI Informant Knew 9/11 Hijackers
About two hours ago, The Washington Post reported that an FBI informant knew two of the Sept. 11 hijackers: ["Report: FBI Informant Knew 9/11 Hijackers"] There have been rumors floating around about this but it is good to see more about it in print.

Green Party Convention
The Post also reported yesterday that the Green Party has agreed to run a candidate in 2004: ["Greens Want Candidate in 2004"]

Democrats Still Lack Favorite For 2004
Pretty good analysis by Balz in the Post: ["Democrats Still Lack Favorite For 2004"] Here is a classic line from an unnamed democratic strategist: "Kerry is lucky because others are running such bad campaigns." Hah!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Suicide? Yeah, right.
Police in the UK are reporting that David Kelly cut his wrists and committed suicide: ["Kelly's family: 'Events made David's life intolerable'"]. These kinds of analysts thrive on stress. And in the end, if he did dime out Tony Blair, he will be considered a hero by the people of Britain who are furious over the invasion of Iraq. Why off yourself? It doesn’t make any sense.

Lieberman: An idiot on trade!
It is really laughable when a senator, educated in the best schools, with access to limitless information about all kinds of issues, actually believes investment tax credits, business incentives, and eliminating the capital gains tax, will fix the nation's international trade problems: ["With eye on New Hampshire, Lieberman vows to save manufacturing jobs"].
"In the interview, Lieberman said about 3.1 million jobs have been lost during Bush's term, about 80 percent of them manufacturing, while 1.3 million middle-class Americans have fallen into poverty and the federal government has scored massive deficits. 'The crisis within a crisis is we're hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs,' he said."
Sorry Joe, you just don’t get it.
The problem with the manufacturing sector is Americans can’t compete with slave wages in China, Mexico, Pakistan, Macao, Eastern Europe, etc. And when you, Bill Clinton, and the republicans, eliminated the very small tariffs we had left on imports, the factories started fleeing to these countries. And how can you blame American business? ['… my labor costs [enter any American city here] are $8 an hour. I can go to the maquiladoras and pay 75 cents. Shit, I can go to China and pay 10 cents …'] As the saying goes, "You can in Yucatan!"
So what is there to keep the jobs in America? The ol' red, white and blue? We can't even get corporations to pay a minimum in income tax; what is going to keep them from fleeing? Well, tariffs once did.
Tariffs built this country. Tariffs preserved American jobs. Tariffs raised revenue instead of government coffers relying on the regressive income tax which takes away 25 percent of the income from most working Americans. That is the problem, Joe. It really is that simple.
So, are you going to stand up with workers or are you going to continue to be blinded by the free trade cultists and elites who have wrecked our economy? If you are the nominee, and you don't get some wisdom of the real world, I will be proudly voting for Ralph Nader again.

Green councilman being investigated
I have been watching this controversy brewing in Santa Monica. Former Mayor and current City Councilor Mike Feinstein is being investigated for allegedly mishandling $30,000 worth of Green Party funds: ["Police seize councilman’s bank records"]. I interviewed Mike back in 1995 and he seemed like a pretty smart guy. But this just proves that even the greens can make mistakes or, allegedly, become intoxicated by lure of campaign cash.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

“... people go missing ...”
The news about David Kelly, a former UN weapons inspector, being mysteriously killed has shell-shocked Britain. The main reason this one murder is such a news event is that Kelly reportedly dimed out Blair to the BBC that his administration "sexed-up" the nuclear Niger claim which Bush used to rush both nations to war.
The incident swept across the American media yesterday morning like wildfire and as I was watching the coverage yesterday morning, all I could think about were the spooks. People don't like to talk about this kind of stuff because it is difficult to fathom. But there are spooks all around us. If the government wants you gone, you will be gone. This kind of stuff happens all the time. Look at Danny Casolaro. Look at Vince Foster [see post below].
Sure, most regular, ordinary people are doing nothing that would warrant a “disappearing.” But, it happens. It happens to government officials; it happens to reporters; it happens to whores; it happens to innocent people who stumble on to strange happenings.
In the film “Repo Man,” there is a spaced-out guy named Miller, played by character actor Tracey Walter, who talks about strange occurrences in the world. Granted, the guy is a bit out there. But his lines are some of the best written in the movie:
"Take South America for example: South America, thousands of people go missing every year. Nobody knows where they go: they just like disappear."
Every time I hear about this kind of stuff happening, I immediately think of Miller.
It seems as though somebody wanted Kelly eliminated. Are we really surprised about this? You aren’t being paranoid if you worry about these things; you are just being aware. There is a big difference.
As an aside, “Repo Man” is coming up on 20 years next year. While I haven’t seen it in awhile, from memory, it seems even more relevant today than it did in 1984. I guess I will have to go pick it up on DVD sometime soon.

Vince Foster incident reemerges
World Net Daily released a story earlier this week about a lead investigator in the Vince Foster “suicide” case, coming forward saying that the whole thing was a sham: [“Tape of U.S. attorney: Foster probe a fraud Investigator says FBI warned 'back down,' White House knew before 9-1-1 call made”]. Most people have forgotten about Vince Foster, but anyone who looks at the evidence in the case knows that the guy was murdered and his body was dumped in the park.

The Niger stuff
It is truly too bad that the American people are asleep at the wheel. These what-seem-like false claims about Saddam Hussein trying to get uranium from Niger should be bigger than Watergate but it only seems to interest the political class. The latest, from Bill Gertz, is that the FBI is looking into whether anti-Saddam Iraqi interest groups here in the United States forged documents: [“FBI probing forged papers on Niger uranium”].

Cheney energy task force eyed Iraq
As if we needed any more evidence. Thanks to Dan Kennedy for posting this on his Media Blog at the Boston Phoenix Web site [, but unfortunately like the Manchester Union-Leader, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, you must register to get it]. Judicial Watch - the same group that dogged Bill Clinton for most of his two terms - is now going after Bush, Cheney, Inc. with the same ferociousness. They sued to have these documents released: [“Cheney energy task force documents feature map of Iraqi oilfields”]. Please note that Cheney was looking at this before Sept. 11. They may have been eyeing an invasion as early as March 2001. Also note that the documents show possible companies who could take over the oil operations in Iraq. Absolutely amazing. Great job Larry Klayman and team!

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Graham eyes Bush impeachment ...
While he didn't come out and suggest it, Sen. Bob Graham came pretty close: ["Democrat Eyes Potential Grounds for Bush Impeachment "].
"If in fact we went to war under false pretenses that is a very serious charge. If the standard of impeachment is the one the House Republicans used against Bill Clinton, this clearly comes within that standard."

The Phoenix agrees
["Why Bush is impeachable"]

Can we get one of these in every town?
Forget Starbucks. Can we get a Sugars in town? ["So-called "Hooters of coffee" draws controversy"] Hey, maybe the waiters can prance around a day or two a week too for the female coffee customers. Hahahah.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Rummy gets nailed
It was all I could do to control myself earlier today when I read the comments made by Spc. Clinton Deitz on the ABCNews site this morning: "If Donald Rumsfeld was here, I'd ask him for his resignation." ["A Big Letdown: Soldiers Learn They’ll Be in Baghdad Longer Than Expected"] Good for you Deitz. Good for you!
However, according to radio news reports later in the day, the Pentagon is considering bringing charges against Deitz - and others - for breaking the honor code by speaking against the head of the Defense Department. I understand the need for order within the ranks but this is ridiculous. I thought Deitz and others were putting their lives on the line for the rights we cherish as Americans, you know, like speaking your mind. It looks like when you put on a uniform and put your life in harms way you lose that right.

So does Greenspan ...
The conscience of America, Rep. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, gave Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan a verbal spanking this afternoon: [""]

Spinning ...
Drudge is reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney is telling GOP leaders that Bush is getting ready to go on a public relations offensive about WMDs, including bringing back Mary Matalin for spin control. Well, bring it on, liar!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Pinkerton on Iraq

Newday's Jim Pinkerton, the pompous ass who appears regularly on the weekly media critic show "Newswatch" on FoxNews, has a pretty good column today about the war in Iraq ["The Iraq War, or America Betrayed"]
You gotta love these opening lines:
"One day, this Iraq War will be thought of as the Intellectuals' War. That is, it was a war conceived of by people who possessed more books than common sense, let alone actual military experience. Disregarding prudence, precedent and honesty, they went off - or, more precisely, sent others off - tilting at windmills in Iraq, chasing after illusions of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and false hope about Iraqi enthusiasm for Americanism, and hoping that reality would somehow catch up with their theory. The problem, of course, is that wars are more about bloodletting than book learning."
Amen to that Jim, amen.

Morse vs. Frank?
Self-proclaimed "right-wing extremist" and WROL talk radio host Chuck Morse is toying with the idea of challenging liberal Rep. Barney Frank. Morse, who lives in Brookline and is of the Jewish faith like Frank, is surely facing an uphill battle. But he is going great guns on the Web. Here is his latest piece about the possible race: ["The many faces of Barney Frank"].

Yes, the host of the sleaziest of sleazy TV talk shows Jerry Springer is thinking of running for Senate in Ohio. This isn't Springer's first time running for office. He was Mayor of Cinncinnati at one time until he cut a check to a hooker and was run out of town on a rail. However, Springer now wants to run for the exclusive club, currently making the rounds on the interview circuit, and even has as Web site: []. On Sunday, I checked out his site and watched some of his videos. Sure, I was initially disappointed that the first words out of his mouth were about his parents surviving the Holocaust before coming to America. In my mind, there is nothing worse than a politician using the Holocaust as a tool in a political campaign. But as he went on, Springer made a pretty good case for himself and surprisingly, sounded like a pretty good populist! Who knows what will happen in that race but it should be a fun one to watch.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Lieberman campaign in trouble?
The Boston Globe reported this afternoon that Sen. Joe Lieberman is shuffling his campaign finance staff after not as good as expected numbers ["Lieberman shakes up campaign "]. Lieberman raised over $5 million, but he is not connecting on the stump, so the cash really doesn't matter in the scheme of things.

Gephardt finally hits on what should be the issue of the 2004: Trade and jobs!
Rep. Dick Gephardt came out swinging over the weekend, laying into his opponent's ignorance about international trade policies ["Gephardt Blasts Kerry, Dean Over Trade Policies"].
"Just understand that when I'm president I will work against and I will never sign a trade treaty of any kind that will send our jobs and our money and our welfare off to the highest bidder around this world," said Gephardt.
Kerry's flack Chris Lehane swiped back:
"We're going to turn the cheek on this one because we respect Congressman Gephardt and are sympathetic to his campaign's frustrations and growing sense of desperation," said Lehane.
Ouch. But too bad Kerry's people don't get it. The gutting of American manufacturing is the nation's biggest problem and frankly, Gephardt is right. Trade is good; economic slavery is not.

Money makes elections go 'round ...
US PIRG releases its latest report analyzing money's influence over the 2002 election cycle: ["The Role of Money in the 2002 Congressional Elections"]
"At least $2.376 billion was spent for the purpose of influencing 2002 congressional elections. This figure falls short of the record-breaking 1999-2000 election cycle, but tops the last non-presidential cycle."
Man, that is a lot of cash!

The NAACP flap
Not surprisingly, many organizations and groups - like the NAACP - want the democratic candidates for president to come to their meetings and convention to pay homage to the rank and file. But, the candidates have agreed that they would only debate in forums sponsored by the Democratic National Committee [DNC], in order to keep the bickering to a minimum and, frankly, let the party elders control the process. ["Candidates agreement to limit confrontations falls apart "]
This is unfortunate; and organizations like the NAACP should be pissy about the blow off by some dems. However, they should also be a little more considerate to the commitments the candidates have already made. Tinkering with the debate format would allow the candidates to adhere to promises they have made and allow their membership to have access to the candidates.
Of course, they can also turn on C-SPAN, like the rest of us, and hear plenty from the candidates!

NH Dems shop for a candidate
The Nashua Telegraph's Kevin Landrigan has a pretty good overview on the state of the NH primary ["Democrats shopping for a favorite"]. I met Landrigan during the 2000 campaign, and he has a good sense of what is going on in NH politics. Kerry, Gephardt, and Lieberman also lead the PoliticsNH Tally Board site:

Saturday, July 12, 2003

The Nader Factor, 2004
The last two weeks have been pretty interesting. First, the USA Today did a piece on consumer advocate Ralph Nader tinkering with the idea of his fourth run at the presidency ["Nader considering another try at White House in 2004"].
"It is quite clear that the Democrats are incapable of defending our country against the Bush marauders,” Nader, 69, says. “They have been unwilling to go all out to stop the destructive tax cuts for the wealthy. They have been soft on corporate crime. They have gone along in almost every issue except judicial appointments. They have cowered, surrendered or divided themselves.”
Then, a few days later, as reported in the New York Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and other newspapers ["Nader Urging Democrats to Back Kucinich in '04 Primaries"], Nader upped the ante, making things a whole lot clearer.
Excepting Cleveland's Kucinich, and at times former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, he faulted the Democratic field for not attacking President Bush with gusto on the Iraqi war and corporate scandals, such as the Enron bankruptcy. Unlike some of his rivals, Kucinich "says publicly what he believes privately," Nader said at a breakfast meeting with reporters. "At this point, I am urging Democrats to vote for him in the primary."
In the article, Nader said he has been approached by Kucinich, Sen. John Edwards, and Sen. John Kerry about primary support. Nader forgot to mention that Rep. Richard Gephardt approached him right after the 2000 race and has not treated him like a pariah – as other democrats have.
The key now is what happens next? Maybe it is time for Gov. Howard Dean to approach Nader and talk – seriously. The greens could help Dean win the nomination but it will take a lot of convincing. Dean’s surge has been pretty impressive. He raked in over $7.5 million in the last quarter of contribution reporting, overwhelming every one of the Washington-based candidates. The campaign noted that a lot of the money has come from people who have never made contributions before, although how they actually know this is a question all its on. Kucinich has also impressed on the stump – especially in Iowa where he has turned a nowhere campaign into a small grassroots movement.
Of course the experts, especially those in the Media Industrial Complex - like always, have been completely oblivious to what is going on with at the grassroots. Strangely, or not so strangely, since these are troubling times, the safe Washington candidates are being ignored by democrats and independents. Look at Gephardt’s campaign – an effort that should be in play but seems to be going nowhere. Unfortunately, he has nowhere to go, unlike most of them. Look at the dreadfully conservative Sen. Joe Lieberman - Al Gore's running mate in 2000 - who is already being tickled by suggestions he end his campaign ["Primary cash flows and cures"].
If by some miracle Dean [or Kucinich] is the democratic nominee, the greens will have a serious quandary on their hands. However, this possibility seems slim at best despite the surging. In the end, the Washington establishment, the Democratic Leadership Council, the “super delegates,” etc., will coalesce around an “electable” candidate – Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman – and the reform movement once again will be washed away like the ocean washes away writing in the sand – and Nader and the greens will be desperately needed.
The hiatus is over …
Politizine is back online.
I decided to take a short break from blogging while I dealt with a minor life change. Check out my column from this week’s issue of The Winchester Star for an explanation ["Life in the suburbs isn't so bad after all "].
Of course, I took a pretty bad time to take a break. It has been an unusually busy summer. The world is "bustin’ with news," to quote Jimmy Stewart from his great Jefferson Smith character in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." There has been so much going on, and I will do my best to catch everyone up on some of the stuff I missed reporting on during the last month. However, while I love doing the blog, I don’t want it to take over my life. As well, I am in the process of trying to finish a small book on the upcoming election and put the finishing touches on my first solo CD. So, unless there is a major emergency, I will probably be limiting posts to Wednesday, Friday, and during the weekend.
Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Politizine will be back online sometime this weekend ... Please check back again soon!