Saturday, May 22, 2004

Kerry's starting to get foolish

What the hell is this: A convention without a nominee? Please: ["DNC mess could be for nothing: Kerry may not accept nomination in Boston"]. The extra month worth of money spent on advertising during the primary cycle of the campaign isn't going to make much of a difference and can easily be replaced by inspiring campaign events and a vigorous, worthy candidate who fights to earn every vote.
If the campaign is looking to save some money, one option would be to pay staffers lump sums for the work they would do on the entire campaign from the primary campaign account. This would free up tens of thousands of dollars in the general election account which could be spent on ads. Of course, Bush could do the same thing, thereby negating any advantage. In fact, both campaigns are probably paying all kinds of people to do all kinds of things out of separate campaign accounts already so ...
Forgetting about the cash for a moment, Kerry could plan a unique, original, inexpensive, and media-driven post-convention campaign strategy that would render the need for advertising unnecessary. In 1992, the Clinton/Gore campaign did this by launching an acclaimed bus tour of the nation in the wake of their nominations and by publishing their lame book, "Putting People First." It didn't matter that Clinton/Gore never put people first after being elected. They campaigned like they would put people first and they won. Kerry could do an old-fashioned whistle stop train tour similar to the campaigns of yesteryear. The "Kerry/Whoever Train Across America" Tour might be a bit difficult to organize but it would be interesting, picturesque and a lot of fun. Kerry and his running mate could plan an Iowa or New Hampshire ground assault through swing states that never see hands-on campaigning of the early primaries. It could be called the "Meet Every Voter" Tour. Imagine the shock people will have in places like Ohio and Colorado when they see something other than the standard post-convention airport tarmac or stadium events. Imagine the hilarity of Kerry door-knocking in Cleveland with Rep. Dennis Kucinich or in Denver. Imagine the press coverage of such events:
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was door-knocking in Cleveland today, wearing out his shoe leather in an effort to win the state of Ohio in November ... 'I'm gonna fight for every vote, on every block, across this great land,' Kerry said ..."
Newspapers and television stations would have a field day covering this stuff. They wouldn't know what to make of it and the coverage would give voters a direct view of what states like Iowa and New Hampshire get to see all the time.
These are just a few things the Kerry campaign could do instead of this insipid "we won't accept the nomination at the nominating convention" nonsense. What foolishness.

Should Kerry go anti-war?
John Nichols of The Nation seems to think so: ["Election Matters"].
Nader no longer suggests that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats, but he remains frustrated with the Democrats' caution on issues ranging from corporate corruption to the war. At best, there might be a deal to have Nader avoid campaigning in battleground states, but that would sour relations with the Reform and Green parties. More likely, Nader's biggest impact will be to strengthen the hand of Kerry backers--and antiwar activists--who want the Democrat to develop some kind of Iraq exit strategy. Kerry's been promising to "make it unnecessary for [voters] to support Ralph Nader." He could start by stealing a little of Nader's antiwar thunder.
I doubt that Nader would make any deal or if he did, it wouldn't be this early in the game. Knowing Nader, he is probably going to see what he can put together first before conceding anything. Nader has already rejected the "safe-state" strategy suggested by some Green Party members. So, it is doubtful that will happen openly. Nader could conscientiously ignore certain states while campaigning, effectively implementing a safe-state strategy without admitting it. However, if the Kerry folks are smart - and I know they are - they will limit their criticism of Nader and if the race is close, offer Nader some amount of power. We heard rumors in the late 2000 campaign that there were talks between the campaigns. Instead of offering Nader the attorney general's job or something substantial, the Gore folks took to insinuating that Nader was gay because he didn't have a wife or kids. So pathetic.
Here is Nader's view about his meeting with Kerry: ["Nader - Kerry Meet Productive and Positive Future Meetings and Ongoing Communication Planned"].
Then, there is George Will's take on things: ["Princeton's Progressive Spoiler"].
To Democrats who say he cost Gore the election (Nader got 97,488 votes in Florida, which Gore lost by 537 votes), he replies: There were 100 million nonvoters in 2000. Eight million registered Democrats voted for Bush, 250,000 of them in Florida. He asks angry Democrats, "Why don't you scramble for them?"
Exactly. The Democrats lost because their candidate couldn't hold the base. Sure, Democrats in Florida are very conservative but that isn't the point. If they are still registered Democrats, they must have some fondness for the party and its candidates. However, if they left the Democrat Party and registered as Republicans - since that is who these Democrats tend to vote for - then Florida becomes a Republican state which Gore would have lost anyway, Nader or no Nader, right?
Interestingly, the same piece in Friday's Concord Monitor was entitled, "If Kerry plays to Nader fans, he will lose the election," although Will barely mentions such sentiments and leaves them until the end:
Going from lunch to meet with Kerry, Nader sweetly says he will urge Kerry to "make it" -- a Nader candidacy -- "unnecessary." But the only way for Kerry to remove Nader's threat to his election is by adopting an Iraq policy that would make Kerry's election impossible.
Says who, George Will, a member of the corporate/conservative media establishment who supported this insane invasion? I guess Will hasn't been out in the hustings lately because even some of the most militaristic-types are furious about the invasion. The only people who seem to still support the invasion are unstable Sean Hannity fans.
[Update: the Manchester Union Leader published the Will piece too with the headline: "Nader's campaign rests on a single asset: Iraq." So, three different headlines, three different viewpoints, same article.]
Although, insanity goes both ways, as we can see from this article about's ad campaign in Oregon: ["Campaign to urge Nader backers to pull support"] and this article about a group called which will begin airing ads in Wisconsin: ["Anti-Nader ads to start here"]. Here is classic double-speak from the Nader Factor folks:
The issues that Nader supporters care about -- the environment, corporate responsibility, civil liberties, a sensible foreign policy, and fair trade policies -- were undermined by Nader's own candidacy in 2000.
Again, for the millionth time: Gore was a free trader. Gore was vice president for eight years and did nothing to encourage corporate responsibility. Gore started our nation on the road to friendly fascism with the 1996 domestic anti-terrorism act, the precursor to the PATRIOT Act. Gore didn't do a friggin' thing about the environment while in office for eight years. The Clinton/Gore administration didn't do anything about terrorism except bombing aspirin factories to get the Monica scandal off the front page.
Again, for the millionth time: Kerry is a free trader. Kerry hasn't done a thing about corporate responsibility during 19 years in the senate. In fact, not one single bill Kerry has written every passed the senate. Kerry voted for almost all of Bush's - and Clinton's - bad public policy, including the invasion of Iraq, No Child Left Behind, all the bad trade deals which have cost our nation millions of manufacturing jobs, and civil rights-violating anti-terrorism bills.
Will these people never stop? Or, are they eternally doomed by partisan and political cluelessness? It has become clear that a lot of people with lots of money have way too much time on their hands.
As well, the Nader Factor folks are basing their assumptions that Nader elected Bush on some seriously flawed analysis offered by Harstad Strategic Research, Inc.: ["Concerned Progressives"]. Hilariously - or pathetically, depending on how you look at the analysis - Harstad lumps 100 percent of Nader's votes in New Hampshire and Florida into the Gore column, while ignoring exit polls and numerous polling experts from the state who say Nader had little if any effect on Gore's campaign here: ["Debunking the Myth"]. As I have said a hundred times, it just doesn't work that way!
On the flip side, there is some common sense out there. Check out this piece by Bill Kauffman on Counterpunch: ["Nader v. Bush: Why an Underdog May be the Best Antidote to the Neo-Cons"].
Bush and Kerry say nary a discouraging word about the handful of corporations that control the vast majority of television and radio stations and newspapers in the US. In fact, executives of Clear Channel Communications, the homogenising monster that owns more than 1200 radio stations, are significant Bush donors. Nader, unbeholden to the media monopolists who beam witless smut and moronic celebrity-worship into the homes of compliant Americans, attacks the corporate media as "subversive of family values, parental discipline and wholesome childhoods". He's the only candidate in the race with the guts and the sense to tell Americans to turn off the damned idiot box.
And of course, Bush also has third party competition from the right, in the form of the Libertarian Party: ["Bush's Third-Party Threat"].
Lastly, Nader will be on "This Week" with Stephy on Sunday. He is also touring the Northeast and meeting with potential supporters. Nader will reportedly be in New Hampshire on Thursday, May 27. For more information contact Aaron at

Why I love Wonkette!, reason number 2
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how adorable I thought Ana from the Wonkette! blog was after seeing her provocatively batting eyelashes at Howard Kurtz on CNN's "Reliable Sources."
Well, over the last week, Wonkette! has been totally obsessed with the latest D.C. sex scandal which has all the making of a salacious romance novel: ["Washingtonienne speaks!" and various other links on the Wonkette! site].
An aide for a Republican Ohio senator, a self-proclaimed "Staff Ass[istant]," who accepts "gifts" to provide certain sexual acts to certain Washingtonians, playfully blogging about her love life for all the world to read, which eventually leads her to getting canned ... all this story needs is a president perjuring himself and it could be made into a best-seller or major motion picture!
Another blogger, Dredwerkz, reportedly has her picture posted here: [""]

Cold fusion scientist found slain
I meant to post this earlier in the week. Very eerie: ["NFA grad killed"]. I did not know this guy but I do know a couple of his friends. I have always been intrigued by the cold fusion and free energy scientists and the fact for whatever reason, our society never seems to advance. Sure, there isn't much "profit" in some of these technologies. But at the same time, our government has given the big three automakers billions in tax breaks to come up with energy efficient cars and they haven't done jackshit! All they have done is churned out gas-guzzling SUVs and fritted away money studying hydrogen cars - a process that still makes the driver dependent to some form of fuel. Ford is finally releasing a hybrid Escape, its small SUV line, this year, using the Toyota Prius hybrid engine - not its own engine. So what are these automakers spending those billions on?
There have been all kinds of stories over the years about different forms of "free" energy and how certain interests have tried to stop the scientists and inventors. I remember one story my late-brother told me about a friend of his who came up with some new fuel based on saw dust, wood scraps or something like that. The friend said he had to disappear after Men-in-Black-types started following him around. Then there was the guy who invented the home heating system based on two rotating magnets inside of each other. I remember hearing the story that there was interest in his machine but he refused to sell the patent unless the company could guarantee that every American could get the heating system inexpensively. The company refused and he didn't sell the patents.
Most people regard these scientists as crazy. But what if they aren't? What if they are just a few million dollars in research away from limitless and inexpensive energy beyond just solar and wind? Where is the benefactor who cares about humanity enough to make the small investment in one of these machines? Thinking about it now, where is the investigative reporter to compile all these ideas into a book so that other scientists could look at it and work on the ideas together? Isn't that a small price to pay for something that could benefit everyone while at the same time we are giving billions to the automakers to do nothing?

Lie clocks
I got this joke via email this morning:

An American man died today and went to heaven.
As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?"
St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie, the hands on your clock will move."
"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?"
"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."
"Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"
St.Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."
"Where's the George Bush clock" asked the man?
"The President's clock is in God's office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

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