Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Is all lost?
Interesting headline yesterday morning: ["Field commanders tell Pentagon Iraq war 'is lost'"].

An apology: I also forgot to post this a couple of weeks ago: ["AN APOLOGY FROM A BUSH VOTER"]. I especially like this quote:
"With a belated tip of the cap to Ralph Nader, the system is broken, so broken, it’s almost inevitable it pukes up the Al Gores and George W. Bushes. Where are the Trumans and the Eisenhowers? Where are the men and women of vision and accomplishment? Why do we have to settle for recycled hacks and malleable ciphers? Greatness is always rare, but is basic competence and simple honesty too much to ask?"
The perfect Father's Day gift: ["Special forces to use strap-on 'Batwings'"]. Well, so long as you actually aren't in battle with those wings on getting shot at!

Political roundup: GOP straw polls are yielding some unusual results: ["Tancredo wins straw poll in Michigan"] and ["Gingrich is delegates favorite of 2008 presidential race"]. Thinking about Tancredo, this might be something to ponder: ["Fake ID Sellers Dismiss Tamperproof Push"]. I can't believe reporters are floating this one: ["OBAMA IN '08?"]. The guy has barely been a senator. Please. But do check out this interview with former Sen. Mike Gravel: ["Long-form interview with Sen. Mike Gravel"]. And leave Al Gore alone already!: ["Lights, Camera, Al Gore!"]. And the over-rated "netroots" which can't take the place of a good field organization in any election: ["A New Open-Source Politics"].
Speaking of the "netroots," here is a lot of croaking about some of the recent primaries, including the Bilbray-Busby CA-50 race which was held last night. Kos, the most popular mouth piece of this "movement," and his buddy Matt Stoller, go off on it here: ["CA-50: Post-mortem"] and here: ["Progressive Messaging Wins: Tester, Angelides, Winograd, and Bilbray? "].
They are dead-on correct about how a pol crafts a message, what the person stands for, and the insidious beltway mentality [they are a little late to this boat. Some of us have been talking about this for years and years and years ...].

But the problem with much of these post-mortem comments is that these are the same people who were this woman's cheerleaders for months and months and months - writing pieces on her, begging people to give money and lend time to the effort, etc. Kos had her up on his "Netroots Endorsed" list [like somehow he and his fans can stake claim to the name Netroots or something, or can be the only ones who can endorse someone from the netroots ... Ugh, another insiders club?]. And every time Kos talked about the race, he put up a beg link to Busby.
In other words, even though the consultants were blowing through millions and possibly weren't advising this woman properly, they didn't say jack. They kept cheerleading and now they are kicking the woman while she is down and out. It is pretty pathetic if you think about it and goes to the heart of why we should wonder about these folks just a bit before you buy the book or fall into lockstep with them.
Of course, the woman had problems - like this, right before Election Day, blasted all over the Drudge Report - where she is telling illegal aliens that they didn't need papers to vote: ["Busby on defense, says she misspoke"]. But still, there is no reason to be kicking this woman around so much even though she lost in a Republican district by a sliver.
Is the Netroots a "movement"? I don't know. Are a bunch of people in front of their computers anything more than a bunch of people in front of their computers? People in front of computers can write interesting things, create campaigns, talk about strategy, but they won't - and can't - replace a field organization or a real campaign and I don't really think they are a movement per se.

RFK going off on election results: ["Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"]. Call me stupid but I just don't believe the election was "stolen." Were there things done which shouldn't have been done? Absolutely. You can chalk it up to a whole lotta other folks - including Democrats - who have "stolen" elections over the years.

One of my favorite new bands: [The Glass Set]. I love this new band fronted by bandaphrenic Leah Callahan and a former bandmate of mine, Allen Esser, a great drummer. I've been listening to their demo for weeks now. It is pretty good - with strong songs, decent vocals, nice guitar work, and a new band feel not like a lot out there right now. Although, I think the production leaves a tad to be desired. It sounds too much like spackle on the wall - like the band put each piece of the music together track by track. I wonder what they would sound like live - or what they would sound like if they recorded sections of each track live.

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