Archive for September, 2007

Edwards campaign will accept public funding.

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Which can only mean one thing..its not going well on the fundraising front for him. The Hill has a short writeup here. A short blurb below:

In a stunning move that was described by one expert as a “Hail Mary” play, John Edwards’s campaign said Thursday afternoon that the former North Carolina Democratic senator will accept public matching funds for the 2008 primary season.

A campaign official told The Hill that the campaign would take in about $7 million for the third quarter, which ends at midnight on Sunday. This would bring Edwards to about $30 million for the year, or about $10 million shy of the campaign’s $40 million goal to compete in the first four states. All of those totals are well below the record-breaking hauls of Edwards’s Democratic rivals, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.). At the end of the second quarter, Edwards had $13.5 million cash on hand. By accepting public funding, the campaign would cap its spending at a sum estimated to be $50 million for the primary.


John Edwards

Mitt Romney: Barking Up The Wrong Tree?

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

In a moment of karmic irony, Mitt Romney’s seemingly limitless desire to court the religious right, through his unabashed demonstrations of opposition to gays, may only be matched by the christian’s displeasure with his Mormonism. Call me evil, but I love when one “fundie flock” has the potential to cancel out another.

Leading the way on an issue almost certain to be resurrected during the general election, Mitt Romney issued a statement this morning condemning the Democratic candidates for their refusal at last night’s debate to rule out teaching about gay issues to second-graders.

Romney said that the answers proved “how out of touch the Democratic presidential candidates are with the American people.”

“Not one candidate was uncomfortable with young children learning about same-sex marriage in the second grade,” Romney notes. “This is a subject that should be left to parents, not public school teachers.”

This is not the first time Romney has seized on teaching about gay issues to young children. In July, he took Obama to task after the Illinois senator told a Planned Parenthood conference that “it’s the right thing to do to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools.” A rival to Romney pointed out that the former governor himself had supported “age-appropriate” sex ed in his 2002 gubernatorial bid.

While I have no particular axe to grind with Romney, I can’t help but view his sudden “do-over demagoguery” as a demonstration of his zeal for power and an important measure of his integrity quotient. I know…he wants us to believe that he has simply changed his mind on abortion and gay rights…and I’m suddenly dating women…yea, right!

The problem the Romney strategy presents for the Democrats is that his insistence on carrying the values torch for the GOP will likely force his primary opponents to jump on the values bandwagon in an effort to prove their christian credentials. The fact that he instantly seized upon remarks made at last evenings Democratic debate support my concerns.

Fortunately (for those opposed to Mitt), Romney has an obstacle which may well prevent him from being anointed as the bastion for bible beaters. You see, they believe he suffers from the ailment of Mormonism…a belief system which many christians contend is unacceptable and nullifies his presidential pedigree. A new survey suggests Romney’s religion may be a formidable obstacle.

MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 26 /Christian Newswire/ —, the world’s largest Christian portal with twelve million monthly page loads, recently asked, “Would you elect a Mormon for president?” President of ChristiaNet, Bill Cooper, responds, “An overwhelming majority of Christians have spoken on the issue, they won’t vote for a Mormon.”

Out of 2,000 Christians surveyed, 59% claimed they would not vote to elect a Mormon for president. Most comments resulted from the belief that Mormonism is a cult, “The church of Mormonism is a cult and I would never vote for a cult leader.” Most in this category also felt that Mormons were not Christians, “A Mormon is not a Christian, and they don’t follow the Bible like Christians do.” In fact, almost all responses in this category suggested that a Mormon’s belief in Christ and God were contrary to a Christian’s belief. “They believe in a different Jesus and a different God,” is an example of one such comment.

I’m not certain how reliable this survey data may be, but one would be naive to think that Romney’s faith will have no bearing on the votes cast by the religious right. From a political strategy standpoint, Romney’s efforts to engage the values voters may complicate the GOP equation. If he forces the other front-runner candidates to the right, it may hurt the appeal of a Rudi Giuliani with moderate and independent voters.

Whatever happens, the GOP race is bound to be a fascinating look at a party attempting to craft a winning identity in the aftermath of the 2006 election. While I have no dog in the show, I suspect Romney may be barking up the wrong tree.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Time For Your Regular Dose Of Twaddle From Ann Coulter

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Folks I wouldn’t keep showing this stuff if so many people didn’t buy into her craziness. This is what you need to be vigilant against.

Democrats should run Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for president. He’s more coherent than Dennis Kucinich, he dresses like their base, he’s more macho than John Edwards, and he’s willing to show up at a forum where he might get one hostile question — unlike the current Democratic candidates for president who won’t debate on Fox News Channel. He’s not married to an impeached president, and the name “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” is surely no more frightening than “B. Hussein Obama.”

And liberals agree with Ahmadinejad on the issues! We know that because he was invited by an American university to speak on campus.

Read the rest here.

Insert your own punchline.

A question and a gripe

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I noticed that, on the sidebar, where the headlines of three posts in each of the various fora appear on every page, no matter what page one views (a wonderful feature, by the way) that not all posts appear there. My question is, why not? My gripe is, I wrote a post in the Election 2008 forum and my post never showed up in the sidebar of any page I viewed. My post was not brilliant. It doesn’t contain info without which the US Republic will inevitably die but I wrote it in the hopes that some would read it and interact there but, unless a person actually went to the Election forum and saw my post, no one would even know that it existed. For example, at this moment, the sidebar lists GOP Front-Runners, the post immediately above my post, Political Strategy, the post two down from mine (and, by the way, skipping a fine post by Tom Baker on Clinton’s health care plan), and a still earlier post, Poll Musings.

This hardly seems equitable.

GOP Front-Runners: There Are No Blacks In America?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Every now and again, news events create a uniquely instructive conflation. Such a situation can be found in the events and the headlines of the last two days. Yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to a question about the mistreatment of homosexuals in Iran with an answer that would befuddle anyone with remotely identifiable cognitive abilities. In suggesting that Iran doesn’t have homosexuals, the defiant leader, who seems so determined to establish his own legitimacy, elicited little more than laughter and ridicule. The response was appropriate and should have been anticipated.

Today, the discussion centers upon the apparent decision by the four GOP presidential front-runners to forego attending a PBS sponsored debate being held at a prominent Black college in Baltimore this Thursday. While the invitations were issued back in March, somehow each of the four leading candidates has declined due to “scheduling conflicts”.

One might be inclined to extend the benefit of the doubt had these same candidates participated in a debate sponsored by the Hispanic television network Univision and a forum in July hosted by the NAACP.

“I think the best that comes out of stupid decisions like this,” said former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts, is “that African-Americans might say, ‘Was it because of my skin color?’ Now, maybe it wasn’t, but African-Americans do say, ‘It crossed my mind.’”

All four GOP presidential front-runners — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson — have said they will not attend a PBS debate at a historically black college in Baltimore hosted by Tavis Smiley.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who’s weighing getting into the race, called that excuse “baloney” and called the no-shows “fundamentally wrong.” On “Good Morning America” today, Gingrich said GOP candidates are making a mistake because “African-Americans have been hurt more by the failures of government” than any other group.

Watts pointed out that some of the candidates with more liberal histories on issues such as guns and abortion have reached out to conservative groups that don’t share their views.

African-Americans are the most reliably Democratic voters around, with up to 90 percent voting Democratic in the last five presidential elections, but Watts and other Republicans including former vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp, and former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, have said that’s exactly why Republicans need to reach out to them.

These no-shows come just days after the Spanish-language channel Univision canceled its debate because only one of the 11 Republican candidates — McCain — accepted.

Frankly, I view the refusal of these GOP candidates to participate in the PBS debate, as well as the prior NAACP forum, in much the same manner as I view the Ahmadinejad statement. For all practical purposes, these candidates are telling Americans that there are no blacks in America.

To understand the degree to which blacks have been ignored by the GOP, one need only look to the sitting President…a man who attended his first NAACP meeting in the sixth year of his presidency. Whether his decision to attend was at all intended as atonement for the poor handling of Katrina can’t be determined…but the about face seems rather suspect.

More telling, Robert Draper, author of the new Bush biography, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, during an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, offered some added insight into the President’s views on the lack of interest in courting black voters. Draper recalls the words of George Bush following his election as Governor of Texas, “The Blacks didn’t come out for me like the Hispanics did, so they’re not going to see much help from me.” Draper qualified his statement…elaborating that the remark was offered as an example of the President’s petulance; not any innate bigotry.

While the President doesn’t speak for all Republicans, the fact that the four front-runners seem to be responding accordingly simply highlights the apparent complacency on the part of the GOP with regard to the issues of Blacks in America. We need candidates who seek to represent all Americans…and that holds true for both Democrats and Republicans.

While not participating in a forum or a debate isn’t the equivalent of the spoken words of Iran’s fanatical leader, the refusal seems to send a similar message…one that would rather ignore an American constituency than address their presence and their issues. Let me be clear…refusing to attend a debate should never be seen on par with Iran’s execution of gays. Clearly, the former is a unwarranted snubbing and the latter is a blatant disregard of basic human rights.

Regardless, I find it fascinating to watch the outrage from the right at the Iranian President on an issue (gay rights) which the GOP has a less than stellar record. When this outrage and this record are juxtaposed with the silence by many on the snubbing of Blacks and Hispanics, it provides an important look into the prevalence of bias and the refusal to acknowledge and address it.

Fortunately, the United States isn’t Iran and our record on human rights issues is commendable and often regarded as a model for the rest of the world. Nonetheless, as we prosecute this war on terror and extremist ideology, we would be well advised to recognize the comparison and contrast found in these recent events. We must avoid the inclination to suspend civil liberties in order to preserve and protect our hard earned freedoms.

Further, we must never forget that our freedoms will prevail so long as we extend them equitably and without bias. What led us to demand and create them will always provide the motivation and the passion to defend them. We can only be defeated by succumbing to our own shortsightedness and fear.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater