Monday, April 26, 2004

How Bush could slaughter Kerry

I don't subscribe to the New York Times but thankfully someone sent me this post: ["The Multilevel Marketing of the President"]. Great. Just what we need to hear. The Republicans are using the Amway method to win Ohio. If they are doing this in Ohio, they are doing this everywhere. And if they are doing this everywhere, John Kerry is doomed.
But let's be honest here: Is anyone surprised? Sure, I am waiting for Kerry to pick his VP but I have to say I am pretty disappointed in his campaign so far. He has done nothing to defend himself against the very powerful ads revealing his flip-flops. Of course, what can he do? The ads are basically true. And the ads are doing surgical damage to Kerry. It is almost as if the Bush folks couldn't wait for Kerry to win even though they were telling everyone that they were actually hoping for Dean!

The body bags of American soldiers being shipped from Kuwait back to the states. Posted by Hello

Also, the body bags are finally being shown shipped from Iraq. Kerry should be out there saying something about it. Of course, I forgot, he voted for the invasion, what can he do? I am on the Kerry and DNC email lists and I have to say that I am just not impressed. It is still early ... but if I were a Kerry fan, I would be getting a bit worried right about now.

Speaking of Kerry ...
There are two good pieces in The Progressive this month about John Kerry. One, by Howard Zinn, asks a very relevant question: ["What Do We Do Now?"] and the other, by the adorable Ruth Coniff, nails it right on the head: ["When Kerry Was Liberal"] . While the pissants at The Nation keep kneecapping Nader, The Progressive keeps telling it like it is.

Disaster movies!

Everyone is all a tizzy about this one. A global warming disaster movie! Wow. ["NASA Curbs Comments on Ice Age Disaster Movie"]. I can hardly wait for this one. Although, it might not be that good. There were other disaster movies of late that I thought might be pretty good but weren't. Those two meterorite movies were only OK. I thought "Deep Impact" might be a good one, especially when I saw the preview with Morgan Freeman playing a president who had to choose which citizens would be saved. At the time, I thought this might inspire a deeper discussion about these types of disasters and who, if anyone, should be saved. Then, during the Sept. 11 attacks, we find out that all the "important people" were huddled off to bunkers around the country. What if it were a more serious attack? How were they planning on continuing the human race? They weren't. They were just saving their own asses.

How come Kelley's race isn't discussed?

The Miami Herald's Leonard Pitts has a great column about the Jack Kelley plagarism issue over at the USA Today and how the media has [or hasn't] addressed the issue: ["An open letter to my colleagues in the news business"]. Pitts' sarcasm - and very important points about the double-standard in how some issues are dealt with in the media - is very relevant.
However, there is a small difference. Kelley wasn't allowed to repeatedly falsify stuff over and over and over again like Jayson Blair was. Kelley admitted to repeatedly lying about his stories but it doesn't appear as though USA Today's editors covered his ass like the editors at the NYT did with Blair. Maybe Kelley was just better at covering things than Blair was. I don't know. Now, it may later be revealed that Kelley was protected and if that is the case, Pitts column - and criticism - is even more relevant.
But as it stands right now, this is the difference between the two plagiarism cases and how they have been handled. It is clear from what has been said about the Blair case that he was given a pass at the Times because of his race. I doubt a white guy pulling those kinds of stunts would be kept on.
Regardless of race, all this stuff really ticks me off. These guys had great opportunities to travel, see different places, tell people's stories, etc. That was their job ... just like I try to do every day at my newspaper job. And they sloughed it all away by lying. It's pathetic. Most of us would give our right arms to work at the Times or USA Today and have their jobs ... okay, not our arms, we couldn't type then. But you get the point. And they just pissed it all away.

Demakis' sneaky exit
Rep. Paul Demakis, D-Back Bay, recently decided not to run for reelection - just weeks before signature papers were due for any potential major party candidates. The Boston Herald broke the story last week ["Demakis to bow out of Legislature"] and the Cambridge Chronicle had a story about his exit ["Demakis to step down"]. At the same time, Demakis has pretty much set up his own heir to the seat by prepping Democratic Back Bay activist Marty Walz to succeed him.
This is typical of Demakis who has a history of not being upfront with his constituents despite his pretty good left-of-center political leanings. He came out in support of a Red Sox megaplex even though most of the residents in his district didn't want a new stadium. He had an aide from Dorchester take his place at the IPOD rezoning study group for the Fenway - instead of someone from the neighborhood. The IPOD later rezoned the neighborhood for a new stadium. And despite all the complaints about the lack of funding for government programs, Demakis voted to approve $125 million in infrastructure payments for the megaplex while at the same time telling people that he was standing up for the regular folks in the neighborhoods. Then, there is the Clean Elections funding, which Demakis said he supported - but only for Democratic candidates.
In other words, Demakis could sometimes be a total hypocrite.
Because of his problems with rightwing Democrat House Speaker Tom Finneran, Demakis' district was shifted around pretty badly and extended all the way up into Cambridge [5 precincts]. The redistricting led Demakis into a face-off with the very impressive Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker. Demakis, unfortunately, cleaned her clock and Decker has reportedly moved out of the district.
The Chronicle states that Boston City Councilor Mike Ross is thinking about jumping into the race which would be very interesting. The likeable Ross would easily put up a well-funded and active race against Walz. A Cambridge candidate or two might make things interesting. And there might be a Republican in the race. Tom Massimo and that other kid named Christopher something who ran in 1998 [Caputo or something, I can't remember his name but he seemed like a nice guy]. Neither Massimo nor the kid live in the district anymore.
Either Ross or Walz would be good candidates to succeed Demakis. Walz cares about neighborhoods and has been very active with the Neighborhood Association of Back Bay and the historic district commission. Ross has been a pretty decent city councilor despite fears that his inexperience and ties to Mayor Tom Menino would get in his way.
In the end, the Back Bay will get better representation with Demakis' exit, no matter who wins.

Kansas Caucuses
Kerry - 289 - 71.9 percent - 32 delegate.
Kucinich - 41 - 10.2 percent.
Edwards - 35 - 8.7 percent.
Dean - 27 - 6.7 percent - 1 delegate.
Uncommitted - 7 - 1.7 percent - 7 delegates.
Clark - 3 - 0.7 percent.