Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fantasy World

I find Matt Stoller nauseating in the same way I find David Sirota nauseating. Both seem to go overboard trying to pick fights with Democrats for reasons real or manufactured. Today, Stoller was on a roll, including this beautiful diatribe:
They know that Democratic Senators are moral lepers, weaklings, and that is the only reason we aren't further ahead when the Republicans screw everything up. The Democratic Senate leaders will sell us out at every opportunity, be it torture, Iraq, Alito, Lieberman, the Bankruptcy Bill, or stopping war with Iran. They aren't poll-driven, they aren't fear-driven, and they aren't driven by strategic differences. They are simply driven to beat us down, their voters, by any means necessary. That's why they cheered Joe.
I find Chris Bowers and Jerome Armstrong to be very informative and useful. Stoller seems to suffer from the same victim pathology of the right wingers like Ann Coulter who rant and rave because they want their place in the limelight or a bigger piece of the pie. Give it a break. You're an insider already! And Bill Clinton has been a loyal Democrat longer than you've been alive.

Angelides' Forsight

I had a long post on the CA budget and California's long-term prospects under our borrow-and-spend governor. Of course blogger problems ended up nixing that. (See California Budget Projects discussion for some info.)

But since Schwarzenegger seems to have the same governing philosophy as Bush, I figured the GAO chief's warnings applied equally to the state and national government:
If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. That's almost as much as the total net worth of every person in America — Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and those Google guys included.
As they point out, politicians are all avoiding the issue.
What they don't talk about is a dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at least should. The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it.

There's a good reason politicians don't like to talk about the nation's long-term fiscal prospects. The subject is short on political theatrics and long on complicated economics, scary graphs and very big numbers. It reveals serious problems and offers no easy solutions. Anybody who wanted to deal with it seriously would have to talk about raising taxes and cutting benefits, nasty nostrums that might doom any candidate who prescribed them.
This is what irked me most about Steve Westly, whom I believed knew better. Right now our government is being run by older people who are not going to have to deal with the reprecussions of this dangerous governing philosophy. As young people, we need to seriously think about our future and how actions--or non actions--today will greatly impact us in the future.

Schwarzenegger got lucky in that CA is getting higher than expected revenues, but these revenues will do little, if anything, to the long term structural deficits the state faces. Angelides, though he probably won't win, was the only candidate with the forsight and the courage to attemp to fix California's real problems. For me, not only is my vote for Angelides about the best candidate for California right now, it's also a vote for my future. And Angelides is the only one who seems to care. In fifteen to twenty years, Californians--whether they want to or not--will have to deal with the effects of Schwarzenegger's borrow and spend philosophy--and our generation is going to be the ones who pay the biggest price.

Sixty Seats

The DCCC now has about sixty seats they are investing in. Tuesday is the last day that contributions will be useful. The DCCC is having a 3-to-1 matching. Donate now.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Vs. Michael J. Fox

I don't even know what to say about Rush Limbaugh mocking Michael J. Fox's Parkinsons Disease (a clip from Countdown is here:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fight The Power

I think I find this a fitting song for this election year and for those of us going to campaign for Jerry McNerney this weekend:
Now that Bush and the GOP are cutting and running from what they were saying last week, it's time to step up the pressure even more.

The Limbaugh Pathology

Ray Seilie's op-ed in today's Daily is satire, right? I mean, our campus is a little above the whole Rush Limbaugh, blame the liberals (and Democrats) and make up some s--- to sound smart pathology. Right?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Not So High Standards

I've joked once about the media's lowered expectations for Bush and the GOP and came across another nugget today:
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a headline reading something like, "Tuition Down Again"?

With real median wages pretty stagnate, the average college student's family has to pay more without earning more. Too bad we don't have anyone in California trying to change that. Oh wait, we do. Phil Angelides wants to roll back Schwarzenegger's tuition increases. Funny how an increase in tuition isn't considered a tax to the Governor, isn't it? Too bad Californians are bombarded by a Schwarzenegger media lovefest instead of talking about important issues like increased tuition rates. It's also too bad that many Californians--even informed ones--don't really know about all the great ideas Angelides has. I do have to admit, though, Schwarzenegger is very photogenic.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Missed the Obamawagon

OK, I don't think I was ever on the Obama '08 bandwagon (I've been on the Clark bandwagon since October '03). I hear what he says--and mostly like it--but I don't know what he really stands for policy wise. I've been to enough speeches and have talked to enough state and federal leaders (and candidates) to become immune to political rhetoric. It may make some tingly inside, but I am much more interested in the nuts-and-bolts of policy. At this point, no matter how exciting Obama is, I don't have any real basis on which to judge him policy wise.

Until I have a way in which to evaluate him on something more than speeches, he is by far in the back of the pack on my list of presidential candidates. That doesn't mean he couldn't easily move up, he just has an enormous amount of ground to cover.

Pants on Fire, Part II

Steve Westly earned my personal scorn for peddling lies about Angelides' environmental record earlier this year. Unfortunately, Schwarzenegger seems to have followed suit in the claim that Angelides was cited by the EPA in one of his ads. (I don't watch much TV, so I'm a little behind, I know.) Not only is Schwarzenegger a liar, but he's an unoriginal liar. (BTW, thanks a lot, Steve!)

There is a reason why Angelides is supported by every major environmental organization. He's got realistic and effective ideas to protect the environment. Many more ideas than Schwarzenegger has presented. But I guess, celebrity and hours in the make-up chair are more important than ideas.

Yes, I'm bitter. Proposition after proposition on the ballot are calling to borrow more money, instead of pay as you go. When in the hell did I become more economically conservative than our so-called libertarian governor? The GOP is just pathological in their "borrow-and-spend" mentality. I don't consider myself a tax-and-spender, but I'd chose that over borrow and spend. We have the boomers again and about to bankrupt the country and we are just borrowing more and more money. I don't want to have to pay more because politicians like Bush and Schwarzenegger like to give the illusion that we can have our lunch for free.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Shut Up and Sing

I've been talking about the Dixie Chicks for a while now. I guess it's time to plug their upcoming documentary:





I always found the burning of music and books funny, but within peoples' rights. There are things I don't purchase out of protest (e.g. iPods) so I don't see a problem with the people that were boycotting the Chicks. But I found the whole ordeal a little surreal in its ugliness and intensity of vitriol--and the labeling as traitorous of anyone who dared to ask questions.

Two Exciting Things on My Ballot: Angelides and Prop. 89

First off, California has the opportunity to elect one of the most competent leaders in the country as governor. Sure he's a little nerdier than Westly or Schwarzenegger, but he's instituted some great programs as state treasurer: used pensions to fund instate emerging economies, developed a plan to promote smart growth, provided teachers with the ability to purchase homes of their own, and used his position to push for divestment from Sudan. His policies have been nationally recognized (e.g. by the Clinton Administration). Sadly, he was the only candidate with the courage to point out that long term California economic prospects are in a precarious situation due to structural deficits, exacerbated by Schwarzenegger's reliance on bond measures rather than making actual budget decisions. Basically, he's been kinda like an irresponsible college student with a credit card and then calls himself a leader. But the positives about Angelides indicate that he could put California on the right track, both short and long term. Democrats who are "not excited" about Angelides should read a little more about his record. Far from being the rogue taxer Westly and Schwarzenegger like to paint him as, he's a fiscally prudent--and wise--leader. Something California could use while the economy is in a so-called "expansion".

The second thing on the ballot that I like most is Prop. 89. I generally hate the initiative process because it's been perverted and manipulated beyond usefulness. It takes a lot for me to consider voting for a ballot initiative, but Prop. 89 is a good idea. And it's something that I feel is necessary, much more so than redistricting reform. It's also something I don't see the legislature ever taking on seriously.

Yeah, I know there are other candidates on the ballot. More on those later. But California could become a global leader in so many areas with an Angelides administration. We probably won't have a chance like this for a long time.

Karl Rove the Non Boogeyman

Some in the blogosphere are rightly rolling their eyes at the intimation by some in the media that Democrats need to be scared of what Rove has up his sleeve. Come on. Rove has nothing new. His campaigns are based on scaring people, dividing the country and trashing opponents. That's all this so-called boogeyman does. He's not a genius or some kind of political guru. He's the guy who throws dirt in the eyes of his opponents. For the last three cycles Dems have allowed that strategy to be effective by complaining instead of responding strongly.

Democratic consultants and politicians who are scared of Rove need to quit complaining about what Rove and the GOP do and adapt to their strategy (which they seem to be doing this time around). They need not sell their soul, just understand what the other side has (cynical politics) and doesn't have (a legislative record worth anything). Of course, I've said this before.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

George W. in Space

The White House's new National Space Policy turns out to be a perfect application of Bush's crappy policies. Simply add "in Space" to an existing position to create the new NSP strategy:
  • Aggressive Militaristic Unilateralism ... in Space!
  • A Rejection of Multilateral Treaties ... in Space!
  • Wonderful, Wonderful Corporate Enterprise ... in Space!

I can't wait to hear about the other plans:
  • Iraq ... in Space!
  • Economically Ludicrous and Socially Unjust Tax Cuts ... in Space!
  • Unfailingly Defend Corrupt and Hypocritical GOP Congressmen ... in Space!
  • etc.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sad Coincidence

I'm on my way to the gym right now and noticed the shirt I was wearing had a Bush quote: "There ought to be limits to freedom." The quote is from 5/21/1999. Coincidence because Bush just signed a bill to get rid of habeas corpus. Sad because, well, it was an atrocious bill. Sigh.

Zombie

Mostly because I've been up for a couple hours working and finally have a minute to sit down. But I always liked this song and it's message:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Another Prediction

Since I'm in the mood for predictions, I'll go out on a limb and say that the Mets will win the NLCS in six over the Cards. I was alive, but young the last time the Mets won the World Series and have been a nominal fan since. Since the Mets have won a World Series every 20 years or so since they joined the MLB, I figure they are about due. Beltran appears to be hitting his stride as well as Delgado which is bad news for the Cardinals and, I'm hoping, for the Tigers.

Update: I realize the Mets lost and are now down 2-3 and there is no chance of a six game series. D'OH! Hopefully I'm better at predicting other things.

Categorical Imperatives

Kant's first formulation of the Categorical Imperative was:
Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it would become a universal law.
Bush's signing of the torture acceptability act Military Commissions Act is a basic repudiation of that formulation. Namely, the U.S. President can do whatever he/she wants but no one better do what we do. This is one of the most shameful acts that the Congress has done in my lifetime. Shameful in terms of disavowment of the Constitution--which used to stand for something sacred--and shameful in terms of it's moral implications.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Two out of Thirthy: Buh-Bye Wilson and Weldon

In 2004 I went to my home state of New Mexico to do some canvassing in good ol' NM-1. (I actually grew up in NM-2.) Unfortunately, Heather Wilson was able to pull another election out of thin air--Kerry won by more than five points. She's always been a good election closer. But I don't think that will help her much this time. The last three polls coming out of NM-1 have Patsy Madrid up by 10, 8 and 8. I'll bet it's a little closer than that, but I've a haunch Madrid wins by five. Madrid has a more aggressive campaign than did Romero (who ran in 2004 and 2002) and there is the anti-GOP sentiment increasingly growing. Being up by ten points in the final weeks is good for Madrid, but since Wilson has been such a good finisher, expect a tightening of this race down the home stretch. Unless, of course, another GOP secret gets exposed. If not, I'll be happy to see Madrid sworn in as the next Rep. of NM-1.

I've been following the whole "Able Danger"/Curt Weldon fiasco for some time now. (Most recently, I mentioned it here. Weldon was also the guy who wanted to fly to Iraq and dig up some WMD personally. The guy scares me more than most people, and not just because I disagree with his votes. Since it looks more and more like he's under investigation, it's likely that he may be tossed out of the House like Wilson.

Prediction

I'm going to come out and predict that Democrats will pick up thirty-two House seats and six Senate seats. However, Lieberman will beat Lamont, caucus with the GOP (or take a position as SecDef) and leave the Dems in the minority. I hope I'm wrong on that last point.

Beyond Cynical

I don't think there is much to add to what Dan Froomkin notices:
The White House issued a solemn statement Thursday commemorating the sixth anniversary of the al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole.

The White House has been citing the Cole a lot lately, as part of its narrative that President Clinton, who was in charge back then, was asleep at the switch when it came to terrorism.

I went back to see what the White House statement was like on the fifth anniversary of the attack on the Cole. But there wasn't one!

And there wasn't one on the fourth, the third, the second or the first, either.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dorky Econ Stuff

For all you non-econ majors out there, there's an extensive literature about the use of markets to predict future events. The idea is simple--set up a trading market where prognosticators can buy "futures" of particular events happening. For example, you can now buy a share of the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series for $5 on Tradesports.com. If the Tigers win, you get $10. If they don't, you're out your $5. In other words, the market is predicting the Tigers have exactly a 50/50 chance of winning the World Series. Economists have done study after study, and the results are clear--markets are extremely successful at predicting the outcome of various types of events.

In particular, economists have found that markets are very good at predicting elections.

Today, the price of a share of stock for the GOP retaining control of the House is $3.84, implying that the markets think that the Democrats have a 61.6% chance of capturing the lower chamber.

Not bad odds.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Backup

It looks like Kevin Drum agrees with what I hinted about a couple days ago: Democrats/progressives are incompatible with libertarians. If Democrats became the Party that put the individual (read wealthy individual) above the whole, I'm pretty sure that I'd bolt rather quickly.

In my former life I read quite a lot of political philosophy and was never convinced of the libertarian philosophy. Not even a little. I'll admit that some libertarian philosophers such as Nozick have strong arguments, but they all seemed insufficient and essentially incompatible with reality and democratic governance. Furthermore, many of the libertarians I've encountered take lines that I'm not sure even Nozick would endorse.

Either way, I think this is an important debate for progressives to have. Personally, I don't think my way of looking at the world is compatible with someon who thinks the estate tax is a greater moral problem than child poverty and starvation. I think people as an end are more important than markets as an end. But maybe someone else can convince me that Dems should court libertarians.

Go Sherrod, Go!

If you didn't know, I'm a big fan of Sherrod Brown running for Senate in Ohio, who is up big in the latest poll. I would say that I'm more excited about Brown this cycle than any other candidate (Webb is probably second). I think I rate Brown as someone I'm more excited about for the Senate than Barack Obama. I think I'm more for trade than Brown, but he's a bright guy and talks about things that few other politicians talk about (e.g. global poverty and the need for vaccines in the third world).

It's All About Turnout

Wow, Dems are leading all over the place. I kinda feel bad for the GOP. Oh wait. No I don't. They have governed and politicked so perversely that I will be glad to see them gone. If we get people to the polls, we'll be in good shape.

I won't bust out the champagne just yet, but...

News flash: Warner candidacy assassinated by mysterious New Yorker "HRC"



Wait. Seriously? Then what the hell is Forward Together PAC all about?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Beyond 2010

I contemplated writing an article for The Stanford Progressive on this topic, but I'm way too busy to be overly coherent and eloquent. I'll leave that to the fine staff over at the Progressive.

If you've been following the polls religiously (a good source is TPMs Election Central more and more "safe" GOP seats are becoming in play this year. If you've been reading much of what I blog about, you know I'm quite convinced that in the long run, the Democrats will be in power--it's only a matter of time. While it's good to focus strongly on the '06 and '08 elections to help usher in the Emerging Democratic Majority, it's also important to begin focusing on the agenda we hope to push forward.

I'll propose two things for now. The first is what so many people have been talking about: economic security. Everyone touts the job creation that happened under Clinton, but few mention the large number of jobs that were outsourced or became obsolete. Economic security means job security in the inevitably more global economy. If small and mobile companies are more prevalent, a national health care and pension system will be necessary to have the smaller companies use their money for innovation and investment. This is such a deep, complex and important topic that too many politicians gloss over because it's painful and won't win elections. But it's worth focusing on NOW, rather than when it becomes too late.

The other part of the agenda I see is global poverty. Our country and the world is becoming more and more intertwined. Whether people believe it or not, I also see us becoming a more humane society (hence the outrage over torture). Global poverty is a moral outrage that we should all be fighting (except perhaps our some of our libertarian friends).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Misinformation

OK, I think journalists deserve almost limitless freedom, but Fox News is making a mockery of journalism and facts. Fair and balanced is a crock, but their "Fun with Facts"(TM) is absurd. O'Reilley, who seems to live in a fantasy world first tried to portray Mark Foley as a Democrat. Now, Fox is portraying Sheldon Whitehouse (the Democratic Senatorial candidate in Rhode Island) as a GOPer while Chafee is the Democrat.

This is embarassing and dangerous. I wouldn't mind so much if Fox started airing a disclaiimer about the varacity of their journalism or become an outright satire news network (which they have been spiraling towards). You can have opinions, but facts are facts and shouldn't be distorted.

A Home For Disaffected Evangelicals

A line from a recent post at MyDD caught my eye:
This scandal has the potential to develop into a long-term voter retrenchment problem for the white, conservative, evangelical Republican base. A lot of them may just go back to not participating in politics altogether.
Perhaps its because one of my best friends is a minister or that I grew up evangelical myself, but I think Dems shouldn't fear wooing some of the disaffected evangelicals.

I think a progressive agenda is more likely by working with evangelicals than, say, libertarians. I'm not advocating a full sail accomodation of all that the religious right has claimed to be fighting for by any means. But I'm definitely a values voter: I vote Democrat because I think they have a demonstrated commitment to civil rights and combating poverty. I wouldn't care about politics if I didn't think that Democrats could reduce poverty, increase health care coverage for children, etc. So yeah, I want to legislate some of my "values". I know many evangelicals who really care about those issues as well and the Democratic Party is the natural home for them until the GOP stops cowing to the Libertarian wing. Dems/Progressives can work on these issues and work together to address some of the other issues.

Abortion. Not everyone gives the same value to a bunch of cells as to a mother. Some people do. So why not work on reducing the need for abortion and the total number. The GOP hasn't been that effective in this. During Clinton's presidency, the abortion rate went down--and choice was never in jeopardy. Based on results, the GOP has historically been utter failures at reducing the number of abortions. A smart, comprehensive policy can protect choice and reduce the number. Both sides win. You won't get that with the current GOP.

There are straightforward and similar compromises where both sides win to much of the current majore divisions. If that were to happen, the GOP would be left with the libertarians and the neocons and be relegated to the dustbin of history unless they seriously modify their positions.

That said, I think it's important for progressives to understand and hold steady on their principle of protecting choice and on other issues. Compromise is not weakness and need not be an either-or position. I guess I say this because I'd rather progressives or Dems align with evangelicals before they align with libertarians. The property rights fetish seems much less willing to compromise than evangelicals. And I do see an end to the current GOP as we know it looming in the near future and the Democratic coalition needs to start planning for that realingment now.

I'm also curious what others think.

Dems Kicking Some Donkey

Debz pointed to some good news already, but three recent polls have Dems up big. In a USA Today/Gallop poll, Dems are up by 23 points. A WashPost/ABC poll has Dems up by 13. And Dems lead by 14 points in an NYT/CBS poll. That last poll also has Bush at a whopping 34%.

It's all about turnout now. If Dems and Indies show up to the polls in large numbers, it will be a blowout. And then I can sleep better at night.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

So it turns out we're right about everything...

Apologies for any excessive posting. A recent Newsweek poll (taken Oct. 5-6 by PSRAI) show the Democrats leading on every single issue, including 'moral values' and terrorism. As I am a big nerd, I obviously made a chart showing the new polling data. Respondents were asked which party they trusted on various issues of national importance. [Newsweek POLL: GOP in Meltdown]

Voilà:

McNerney Internet Ad

Here's great ad I found on YouTube by mccintee. Variants on it are being used for congressional campaigns around the country:

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Libertarian Love

I have way too much work to do but thought I'd pass along some soundbites from a lovely conversation I recently had with a libertarian. Tax collection was morally equated with the holocaust. (I was dumbfounded beyond belief at that one.) Children who are born to deadbeat parents should be left to suffer. Democrats are socialists on par with the Soviet Union. Democrats are "leftists" like Castro and Hugo Chavez. Democrats are horrible theifs. A system that enriches the top ONLY is good in and of itself because no one is any worse off (assuming the increased disparity itself doesn't make the lower any worse off). "Property transfer" (gifts, transfer of estates) should never be taxed while income (a form of property transfer, DUH!) should always be. Taxes for education is a moral abomination. The only reason why this person would't shoot and kill a policeman who pulled them over for speeding is because they fear their own death at the hands of vengeful cops. (I told this person I couldn't respond to that because I don't normally think of killing other people.)

Back to work.

WTF?

Excuse me? How is it possible that even when the GOP are in charge of everthing in Washington, they still manage to blame the Democrats? [CNN]
(Disclaimer: We cannot guarentee the GOP will be in control of Congress come November)

This reminds me of the end of this episode of the Daily Show...
  • "... this time, Democrats must be held accountable for their actions."
  • "Isn't it just like them to make a convenient stink over an unconscionable breach of ethical conduct?"


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Democrats on the Offensive

The Dems are pouring $3.8 million into a lot of House races. With the GOP on the defensive from their own doings, it will be nice to see Democrats taking it to the GOP. They've bloodied us enough over the last several years and it's time to take down their corrupt and embarassing political enterprise.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Overcompensation

Nah, I'm not going to talk about CEO salaries. But lately I've been thinking a lot about bullies in grade school who compensated for various flaws by being overly aggressive and childish. This reminds me so much of the pro-torture bill that just passed. The whole debate reeked of immature children compensating for bad grades or something. Torture is wrong morally, especially considering human fallibility. There is essentially no question about that. Unfortunately, it seemed a few Democratic Senators were so scared of looking "weak on terror" that they put little weight on the morally obvious. That was disappointing and I'd personally love to debate with any Democratic Senator who voted to let the President torture. I'm at a loss as to their reasoning and could use some moral clarification from any of them.

I do understand that the temptation to look tough may cause some to push their moral qualms aside. I've been there myself. But even practically, I've seen little evidence that torture works on the practical level. In fact, most of what I've read indicates the obvious.

This begs the question as to why the ten or so Democratic Senators--definitely a minority--voted for the torture bill. It's clear why the Republicans did it--too pretend they are tough and to score political points. But why did the Democratic Senators vote for it? I'd really like to know that answer. And no, third grade rhetoric no longer cuts it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

WOW

All I can say is WOW! You have to read it to believe it. I really had no idea that this saga was so bad hearing about how they were just "overly friendly emails". Hopefully Foley gets some help. Shame on the GOP leadership for doing nothing about this to protect their colleague and especially the children.

It's time for a drastic change. Cheney is right. We should be nervous and scared about the outcome of this election. But we should fear the reelection of the GOP. The GOP has f*d up Iraq and made us less safe. And they knowingly allowed Foley to use his position to target underage children. This is a travesty.

Update: Seems like many conservatives/right-wingers are blaming "liberals" for Foley's actions. The "blame Democrats" meme seems so ingrained in their being that personal responsibility no longer matters.

A Different World

I'm super busy but noticed this little nugget (via Kevin Drum) coming from Rick Santorum:
You probably remember well when Bill Clinton and the Democrats passed the largest single tax increase in our nation's history in 1993, $293 billion.

That sent our nation into an economic slump.
I think I'm old enough to remember the "slump" that was one of the longest and strongest economic recoveries. I guess when the income of every income level increases, it's called a slump. When only the top half increase it's "strong growth". I'd say Santorum should stick to his Religious chastisement of all things related to sex, but it doesn't seem as if the GOP is much interested in oversight on things like colleagues inviting 15-16 year olds out for ice cream. (That one really creaped me out.)

Angelides MIA

As you're no doubt aware, I strongly supported Phil Angelides in the Democratic primary. I wasn't alone. Most of California's leaders support Phil as well.

I supported Phil Angelides because he has a demonstrated record of innovation and effectiveness. I really believe he is the most competent and effective statewide leader in the country and would easily be one of the best governors. He's used his position as Treasurer to increase funding in state to promote emerging communties(without raising taxes). He also developed a program for smart growth that has been lauded nationally, he initiated a program to provide teachers with loans for houses near their schools and used his position to help get California to begin divesting from Sudan to end the genocide.

Despite his record, there seem to be many Democrats who are apathetic to Angelides' campaign. One thing that people fail to remember is that Schwarzenegger did not govern as a moderate. He bullied his opponents and called them names. He mocked nurses and teachers, tried to decrease pensions for police officers and in large part helped to elect George Bush. If California wants a forward thinking, effective and progressive governor they will vote for Phil. If California Democrats care about national health care and a better education system, then voting for Phil is the first step--as goes California, so goes the nation. Schwarzenegger has a proven record of opposing statewide health care and "stealing" money from schools. More Schwarzenegger means more of the same. He promised to be a moderate during the recall and proceeded to give the state the figurative finger. (Remember the '05 special election.)

OK, so Phil is great. But I have been much less than impressed by his campaign. Schwarzenegger knows Angelides will mop the floor with him in a debate. The big tough guy is running from any real debates. Yet Angelides is not hounding him enough about this. Nor is Angelides reminding voters about Schwarzenegger's about face after the recall or about the special election and his support of anti-choice ballot initiatives. One thing that particularly excited me about Phis was that he stood up for the firefighters, policemen, teachers and nurses when few other statewide leaders did. I hope he starts up his aggressive campaigning again and is no longer MIA.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Angelides Doing Well Amongst Latinos

The New Democrat Network just published a new poll showing Angelides way ahead amongst Latinos in three of the most Republican counties:

Mason-Dixon

Mason-Dixon just released a bunch of polls on every competitive Senate race. Their findings?

If the election were held today, the Democrats could very possibly take control of the Senate. Democratic candidates are leading Republican incumbents in MT, OH, PA, and RI, and Democrat Harold Ford narrowly leads in the open seat race in TN. That's 5 pick-ups. The Democrats need 6 to take control. But Democratic candidates are also tied in MO and VA. The polls also show Democrats holding on to all our own seats.

All these polls, of course, were conducted before revelations about the Republican leadership's refusal to act on knowledge of a predator in among ranks.

GOTV

You go away for a weekend and come back to find out that a Congressman was putting the moves on some underage people. Wow. It seems like there is something new surfacing every other day that shows GOP incompetence, hypocrisy or malfeasance. Despite this, the polls show a close contest in November. We are going to need some serious GOTV efforts here and across the country.

As we begin to work on the hall captains program and other GOTV efforts, it's important to take a minute or two to think about some of the challenges and opportunities for future efforts. There are many challenges when trying to organize young people (we're always moving, doing ten things at the same time, etc.). What are ways that candidates and the Demcratic Party can do to help out our efforts? If you have any ideas to make organizing young people, small or grandiose, I'd like to hear about them. If all you can think of are problems, those would be helpful as well.

In the generation of TiVo, iTunes, and internet browsing, traditional campaigning has become obsolete. How can we harness the true power of technology to make our lives easier? I'll go out on a limb and say that some of our ideas may make it into a national campaign in the near future.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Foley's Folly

If you haven't heard, a new Florida House seat is now in the mix, thanks to an egregious error made on the part of a Republican, and Republican leadership. They knew about this predatory Congressman being in charge of protecting children at the highest levels of our government. Though it is as of yet unclear the complete ramifications of this story, it will be interesting what the Republican spin machine does with it...