Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Boston Phoenix endorses Kerry:
I don't know what kind of effect this Boston weekly will have on voters in New Hampshire [they have Portsmouth/Southern Maine, Worcester, and Providence editions as well], but they have come out for their home state senator:

In his nearly 20 years in the Senate, John Kerry has actively dealt with issues of war and peace, terrorism and international malfeasance, social justice and human rights. He’s grappled with the best way to provide health care and education to all citizens. In his private life, he served in Vietnam, where he was three times wounded and twice decorated for bravery. Recognizing the magnitude of our national error, he then helped lead the fight to change policy there, along the way helping to raise two daughters. He understands the balance between the public and the private.
'NAFTA affects everything':
The Village Voice has a whole slew of stuff on the New Hampshire primary, including digital video clips from James Ridgeway [one was an interesting exchange between him and Michael Moore about his support for Clark and Moore's pleading to Ralph Nader not to run]. However, this story really stands out as an example of some of the excellent coverage I have seen in years past from the Voice: ["Pulp Friction"].

Like a lot of other Berliners, [Cynthia Girard]'s angry about the globalized economy. "NAFTA affects everything," she said. "They've been cutting wood up in Canada and sending it to Finland, where there are no environmental regulations." The paper comes back to the U.S., she said, available more cheaply than any product the small Berlin mill, with its antiquated equipment and its relatively high wages, could hope to match.
Kennedy's analysis:
Once again, the Boston Phoenix's Dan Kennedy nails some analysis right on the head, first in defense of the polling before Iowa and how Mike Dukakis called the Iowa Caucuses: ["Media Log"]. Kennedy also has a new walk-around piece with John Kerry in New Hampshire: ["A brand-new campaign"].

Monitor's take on Gephardt:
In another sometimes silly "Ask Primary Man" editorial, Concord Monitor editor Mike Pride gives a two-sided compliment to Dick Gephardt. Pretending to be interviewed by a "Bigtime Beltway Network reporter" [hah!], the reporter asks, Will New Hampshire miss Dick Gephardt? Primary Man's response?

Watching Gephardt's sad concession Monday night and even sadder goodbye the next day was a reminder of how personal politics becomes once the masks are off and the play is done. Gephardt was a throwback: an old trade union candidate resisting the tide of free trade and a global economy. This wasn't just politics to him; it was a view of life. In his grace and humanity, Gephardt set a fine example. His issue - the conditions under which workers everywhere must toil - needs a new and more progressive voice.
Well, he wasn't really a throwback if you listened to him and took what he said seriously. Sure, he may have missed his political time. But the fair trade issue is so damn important the age of its promoters shouldn't matter. The media and public slough off the issue, whether it is a young educated person or a "throwback," with the same flip of the hand. Frankly, the fair trade movement doesn't need "a new and more progressive voice," because that will lead to a more socialistic candidate, who will immediately be attacked by Republicans and big money looking to keep the status quo. What the fair trade movement does need is an educated public who know American trade history. It also needs a fair and balanced approach in economics and business classes at universities. If after hearing both sides, the public still decides that cheap imports are more important than preserving the American family, so be it. But I believe this will lead to an enlightened public - both liberal and conservative - who should be concerned about working families and enslaved foreigners and not cheap imports and failed economic theories like free trade.

Other stuff:
Bloomberg is reporting that Kodak will cut 15,000 jobs or 20 percent of its workforce. They still made a profit, $19 million, but that was down from $113 million last year. Clearly, these cuts are about advanced technology, as more people use digital cameras and less film, and not so much about economics. Kodak has outsourced a lot of jobs already to save on costs.
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby is the target of a probe into the Sept. 11 attacks: ["Probe of Intercepted Messages Focuses on Shelby"]

The investigation centers on the disclosure in 2002 that the National Security Agency had intercepted two messages on the eve of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks signaling that something was to happen the next day. The cryptic messages were not translated until Sept. 12.
One last note on Iowa, from the Joan Jett/Howard Dean rally: ["Jett set"].

When a young Republican hit her instrument, Jett kicked him. "You can hit me, but don’t hit my guitar," she later sneered.
Yeah baby! Don't touch the guitar!