Sunday, January 11, 2004

Edwards endorsed by The Des Moines Register
Wow - this is a big deal. The Des Moines Register is Iowa's largest newspaper and many describe it as "liberal" in the Boston Globe vein. The Register commends all of the candidate but this is the section to note:

On issues, the major contenders for the nomination aren't far apart. They differ in emphasis and detail, but all have the same general thrust: Roll back some or all of the Bush tax cuts and redirect the money into health care and education. Conduct a foreign policy that is more collaborative and less bellicose. The underlying theme of the Democrats is that the government under President Bush is serving the interests of wealth and privilege, not of ordinary Americans. Howard Dean's call to "take our country back" is the rallying cry. Dean has the slogan, but it is Edwards who most eloquently and believably expresses this point of view, with his trial-lawyer skill for distilling arguments into compelling language that moves a jury of ordinary people. He speaks of there being two Americas: "One America does the work, while another America reaps the reward. One America pays the taxes, while another America gets the tax breaks. If we want America to be a growing, thriving democracy with the strongest middle class on Earth, we must choose a different path."
Nice stuff. A caller on C-Span this morning stated that he was torn between Edwards and Wesley Clark. He then said they went after President Bush with a scalpel - while Dean goes after Bush with a sledgehammer. A very interesting point.

Kerry reportedly nabs another one:
The Burlington Hawk Eye, another Iowa newspaper, is reportedly endorsing Kerry [according to Kerry and the USA Today] but I haven't been able to find the editorial on their Web site. There is also nothing on Kerry's Web site about it either.
["Black leaders split support among many candidates"]. Interesting piece on the black vote which unfortunately concentrates on the top tier candidates and the black candidates, but ignores other endorsements - such as Dennis Kucinich's support from Danny Glover and others.
["Clark hits Dean over payroll tax cut plan"]. More flip-flops from Dean. Plus, I love the line that Dean has "tax envy." That's pretty funny.
["Kerry, Ted K press the flesh in Iowa double-team"]. Gotta love the Boston Herald sometimes - "press the flesh" - hah! What, no waitress sandwich? Where's Chris Dodd?!

Two issues for the future: Former Treasurer Paul O'Neil and the economy.
Let's take O'Neil first. In a new book, the friend of Bono stated that Bush was making plans to invade Iraq since after he was sworn in as president - not after Sept. 11. As I have written here on Politizine and in other columns, we knew the plans for invasion were there, because think tanks were scheming as far back as 1998 to invade Iraq and take over its natural resources. Now, a former Friend of Bush confirms it too.
Then, there is the jobs situation. The December numbers are frightening - 1,000 new jobs - while another 300,000-plus fall off the rolls. At the same time, the Bush administration is cooking up plans to allow millions of illegal aliens to stay in our country and work for wages way below the minimum American wages. While the case can be made that many of these illegals do work Americans don't want to do [especially in the food processing industry - we have all seen the stories about the slaves picking peaches for negative wages], I can't help but think that those 300,000 people would happily push a vacuum around and empty wastebaskets in an office building for a living wage. Especially when you have fallen off the unemployment rolls and you are eyeing homelessness. As well, why are illegals being allowed to get Social Security, the plan that supposedly needs to be privatized because it is going bankrupt! Why are they going to be allowed to bring in numerous family members, which will further burden the tax base, especially in the medical and education fields? And we all know that this won't stop future illegal immigration. They have said that time and time again and it isn't true. More always come. This is a xenophobic position as much as a logical position. An American can't go into Mexico illegally and decide to lay on the beach for years in Cancun and drain the public resources. In Mexico, they jail Americans who illegally enter the country. I can't go to Ireland or Italy, my ancestry, or even Japan, and stay there illegally. Why should we allow it and why are we expected to allow it? It's insane.

And then there is Nader:
["Nader Says a Run Would Benefit Democrats"]. There is some logic to this - but there is also a big stretch. If anything, the opposite is true. The Democrats don't need to be pulled to the left - especially on social issues. They are already there. They need to be pulled to the center because the nation is overwhelmingly moderate to conservative, not progressive, liberal or socialist. However, on economic and corporate issues, Nader is dead-on right. The Democrats need to be pulled to the people's position - and that is more towards Nader.

More polls
Speaking of John Edwards, he leads in a Research 2000 poll of his home state of North Carolina released yesterday: Edwards 40 percent, Howard Dean with 26 percent, Wesley Clark at 7 percent, John Kerry with 6 percent, and Dick Gephardt is in with 5 percent. Undecideds make up 11 percent. However, against Bush, Democrats would lose by 16 to 19 percent.
The Quad City Times, which endorsed Kerry, has poll numbers out this morning: Dean comes in at 23 percent, Gephardt has 18 percent, Kerry has 15 percent, Edwards with 9, and Dennis Kucinich with 4 percent. Undecideds make up 25 percent of the poll.