Sunday, November 23, 2003

Holy sh*t!

The Boston Globe is reporting that Howard Dean leads John Kerry in Massachusetts: ["Dean bid showing strength in Mass."]. This is so huge it isn't even funny.
But that Kerry apparently cannot hold off Dean in his own home state is a reflection of the deep political problems faced by the senator, whose campaign for the Democratic nomination has been hit with internal turmoil and criticism that the candidate has failed to ignite any passion.
Talk about stating the obvious. While I didn't have any specific numbers, I sensed some huge problems for Kerry in Massachusetts in recent months. The first was the money the campaign spent trying to get bodies to the campaign announcement. Then, there are the tons of elected pols who are backing Dean - and others - over Kerry. This all comes back to what I said on Nov. 12: Kerry hasn't done the outreach or made long term friends in his own state even though he was in a relatively safe seat.

Fascism on the horizon?
Thanks to Leroy for sending this article out to me: ["Gen. Franks Doubts Constitution Will Survive WMD Attack"].
"It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important."
Pray this never happens ... but don't be surprised if it does.

Creepy stuff on implants ...
And thanks to another reader for sending this, just in time for Christmas: ["Bio-chip implant arrives for cashless transactions"]. Happy New World Order! Bring on Armageddon ... not!

Edwards' campaign gets the numbers wrong
Perusing through the campaign sites, I noticed that candidate John Edwards had posted an interactive Electoral College map on his Web site ["Interactive Electoral Map"] which allows viewers to be their own strategist. The cool thing about this map is that people can figure out from past elections which states the Democrats need to win in order to beat Bush. It also makes the case I have stated before - all the Democrats need are the states Gore won plus one more.
However, the Edwards folks need to recheck their numbers. According to their site, Bush beat Gore 278 electoral votes to 260 votes. However, Bush only beat Gore 271 electoral votes to 267 votes. Someone will need to fix that.

More poll numbers
A Keystone Poll of Pennsylvania from yesterday shows a three-way race between Joe Lieberman, Howard Dean, and yeah, Al Sharpton: Lieberman 12 percent, Dean 11 percent, Sharpton 10 percent, with Dick Gephardt showing 7 percent and Wesley Clark and John Kerry posting 6 percent. These are not good numbers for Gephardt who should be in a higher position.
American Research Group posted more numbers from New Hampshire on Friday showing Dean with huge numbers: Dean 38 percent and Kerry at 17 percent. However, look at the race for third: Clark at 7 percent, Lieberman at 5 percent, Edwards and Gephardt at 4 percent, and Dennis Kucinich at 3 percent.
On Thursday, Quinnipiac University showed Dean creeping up on Lieberman in his home state of Connecticut: Lieberman 28 percent, Dean 23 percent, Kerry with 14 percent, Clark at 9 percent, and Gephardt with 8 percent.

Campaign notes
A lot has been made about the 30-second TV spot sponsored by the RNC promoting President Bush's leadership during "the war on terror." Despite previously saying that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent war on terror would be "off limits" during the reelection campaign, these ads started airing in Iowa last week.
Here is some of the reaction to the ads:
Dean launched an ad of his own: ["Misled"].
Kerry also released a new TV ad: ["No Mr. President"].
In a press release, Kucinich wrote:
"The Republican National Committee is using money that derives largely from the wealthiest few in America to pay for advertisements aimed at keeping all Americans scared. We will not be frightened into submission. We will not forget the lies we were told about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We will not forget that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. We will remember that for the hundreds of billions we are spending on an unjust and destabilizing occupation in Iraq, we could have an investment in American education that would include free pre-kindergarten and free college tuition. We need to get our priorities straight and not give in to the fear-mongering. I offer America the hope of a new approach and a clear choice in the next election."
On the FBI tracking down anti-war protesters, Dean wrote earlier today:
"I am deeply concerned that the FBI appears to be engaged in a coordinated, nationwide effort to gather information on Americans opposed to President Bush’s unilateral war in Iraq. I am committed to providing local law enforcement with the tools to ensure demonstrations remain safe and peaceful for all involved, but we cannot allow a return to the dark days of Hoover's FBI and COINTELPRO, when the government harassed, smeared, and even spied upon people who criticized U.S. policies. John Ashcroft must remember that questioning the government does not make you a terrorist. In fact, the right to assemble peacefully and the right to petition our government are some of our most deeply held patriotic traditions."
While Dean has been smacking Gephardt in Iowa TV ads, for his support for the war, Gephardt has been striking back, attacking Dean's record in Vermont:
"On August 9th of 1993, four days after that fateful budget vote in the House of Representatives and one day before President Clinton signed his economic plan into law, Howard Dean announced a series of mid-year budget cuts that shocked the State of Vermont. State revenues had come in a little below expectations, so he decided that cuts had to be made. He cut health care services for 2,500 low-income disabled adults. He dropped dental coverage for over 12,000 Medicaid recipients. Monthly welfare benefits were cut. And for those nursing home patients who were forced to go the hospital, Medicaid would no longer pay to hold their bed for them back at the nursing home.
In the end, Howard Dean was forced to back down by state legislators and by Vermont Legal Aid, which sued him for making cuts without the proper authority. In 1993, Howard Dean cut special education funding by a million dollars and refused to increase education funding by the $7 million the State Board of Education said was critically necessary. In 1994, he increased state spending in nearly every area, but froze funding for Medicaid, education, and special education. Children with special needs and ailing low income citizens didn’t warrant even a meager three percent
increase in funding."
On the overtime rule change, Kerry wrote:
"President Bush has delivered another raw deal for America’s workers. Because of his actions, as many as eight million Americans - including fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, nurses, and store supervisors - will be denied the pay their families count on to put food on the table or save for college and a home. Once again George Bush has put special interests and corporations ahead of hard working families. We need a president with the courage to stand up to powerful special interests and put jobs back at the top of the national agenda. As president, I will honor the hard work of Americans determined to earn an honest living by working to rescind Bush special interest overtime rules in my first 100 days."