Well, here are some headlines I've found pretty interesting in the last few days. And, my Wall Street Journal finally started its subscription after almost two months waiting for the damn thing! I have the interactive site working. But I prefer to read the newspaper in my hands and not online, even if that is the wave of the future.
First, Sen. John Sununu and Sen. John Kerry may be in a little bind in the next year: ["Approval Rankings for all 100 Senators]. Look at those approval ratings. Yikes! And both are up for reelection in 2008.
Kerry is probably safe but you can see how he might not be. There is uncertainty there. Look at previous polling numbers from the state, like in 2003 when Howard Dean polled higher than Kerry twice before the 2004 primary cycle. Also, Kerry did have at least one tight race, against then-Gov. Bill Weld in 1996, with a Conservative Party candidate shaving off some support.
You could see a multi-level scenario where Kerry might have a problem getting reelected: 1) A well-funded, union-supported Democratic challenger could give him a run for his money in a primary and beat the daylights out of him; and 2) Some combination of a well-financed, popular liberal Republican was on the ballot with a well-financed and aggressive Green-Rainbow Party candidate, in the wake of the primary battle.
OK, "a well-financed Green-Rainbow candidate" is an oxymoron. But Grace Ross became very popular at the end of gubernatorial race in 2006 and both Dr. Jill Stein and James O'Keefe scored impressive numbers, granted, running against Democrats who didn't have any GOP challengers. Again, it would be a really long-shot for this to come together but you never know. In addition, I don't know if a primary challenge to Kerry would even get on the ballot since there is a 15 percent delegate threshold. It would depend on how early the candidate started and whether or not that candidate could firm up the support.
As we've seen, Kerry's support is fickle at best. He is aloof, out-of-touch, and hasn't passed any significant legislation in his years in the Senate. Although, he always manages to pull it off in the end and there is something to be said for that.
Sununu is a different story especially in the wake of the results of the mid-term elections where no one expected Carol Shea Porter to do anything in District 1 and she cleaned Rep. Jeb Bradley's clock. Again, a well-financed, aggressive, and popular Democrat would have to be on the ballot to challenge Sununu, whose name is a legacy in some ways in this state. Although with the dynamic trends of population shifts in New Hampshire, who knows whether that all matters any more.
Gov. John Lynch has already ruled himself out of that one. There have been some rumors that former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen might end her job at Harvard's JFK School and try again. But that 2002 race was a bloodbath and Dems can't use that GOTV phone-jamming scandal as a reason why they lost that one. They lost it because Shaheen was suffocating her own base - like claiming to be for higher defense spending on radio spots which aired on Seacoast radio stations. Who thought of that one?
Second, Sen Russ Feingold has decided not to run for president: ["Feingold rules out 2008 run for president"]. This is terribly disappointing. Sen. Feingold was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act. He was one of the only ones considering a run who voted against invading Iraq. It isn't good enough to say some of the things that Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Hillary Clinton have been saying to cover their asses on their invasion votes or their Patriot Act votes. I'm sorry. If the regular folks of America knew that these votes were unConstitutional and unneeded, then they did too and just ignored the facts.
Next, daddy Bush gets shellacked by Arabs in what he thought was going to be a soft crowd: ["Pop rocked by criticism of W, U.S.A. "]. I'm surprised that guy didn't get his tongue cut out! Oh, that's right, we don't run the world ... yet.
The Boston Phoenix recently turned 40 and put together this Web site in celebration of the milestone: ["40th"]. There are some pretty cool articles in there, which, obviously, I never got a chance to see because I only started reading the paper in the early 1980s.
Have sex on a plane? You're a terrorist!: ["Mid-flight sexual play lands US couple afoul of anti-terrorism law"]. Obviously, they were being stupid. But come on. Does Homeland Security really have to be called for a bit of nookie?
More stupid stuff from that hack Robert Rubin: ["Rubin's Tax Gambit"]. When will the Clintonistas learn? When will they go away? The government doesn't need more money - it needs to spend what it has more wisely. And, if it does need more money, then it needs to get it by ending corporate welfare, subsidies, and giveaways and stop taking money from us working stiffs.
Rehash, rehash, rehash. Do we really wonder why the music industry is in such dire straits? Could it be rehashing the same old thing every year?: ["An Oldies Christmas"]. I am, though, intrigued by the Beatles compilation especially since they have been using pieces from one song, and splicing and mixing them into another. Interesting, indeed.
I meant to post this months ago but spaced. When I was looking for other folks who had been banned from the Daily Kos site, I found this blog entry from another person who was also participating in the site during its early days: ["Payola at DailyKos?"].
Here is another old post which has been sitting the saved bin for awhile: ["Media ownership study ordered destroyed"]. While this is a couple of months old, it points out a number of problems with the commissioners currently running the FCC. And, in the wake of the Clear Channel sell-off in Northern New England and the problems over at Nassau Broadcasting, one has to wonder why anyone would try to squelch this stuff.
The impending change in the Senate and Congress, however, should make things a tad better - or, at least not any worse. Although, I don't know, since it was Clinton and the Republicans who got the Telecom Bill passed in the first place which created this mess. Before the election, I started working on a post about the need for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine, which I never finished. I hope to finish it soon though.
Another old post I've been meaning to put up is this one: ["Longtime Rock Critic, Christgau, axed at 'Village Voice' in Latest Layoffs"]. This is sad. When I lived in NYC and later, when I moved to Boston, I would pick up the Voice religiously just to read the guy's reviews. After reading this piece, I did a Google on "I f*cked Christgau with my AIDS-inflicted dick," which was the name of a song put out by Sonic Youth - or some other downtown art band of the early 1980s, I'm getting so old - which was put together after the band received a bad review from the guy. Imagine being immortalized like that! Christgau has his own site here: ["Robert Christgau"].
Probably the most powerful political ad of the 2006 election cycle: ["Body Armor"].
Can she get sworn in first?
I can't believe the 2008 Congressional elections are already starting: ["Shea-Porter: Republicans are already campaigning"]. And Bradley, what the heck is he thinking? He gets swamped and he actually thinks he has a second chance? Unless Shea Porter really, really screws up, he doesn't stand a chance, especially in a presidential election year with New Hampshire shifting and becoming a slightly more liberal state with each year. And I don't think being concerned about Katrina victims is going to cost her the Congressional seat. We are all still concerned about Katrina victims and we should be.