Dammit! I was "this" close to going a day without a full blog post on the Connecticut Senate race. I could taste the victory this would represent. But Lieberman's campaign refuses to let me take a day off from the race. Aaarghhh!
KOOKY? YES. I just got off the phone with Lieberman's press secretary, and I can confirm that yes, she is a bit "kooky." I had called to find out simply what polling company the senator was using, and she nearly jumped down my throat: "Are you working on a story? Is this for a process story?!" She then ranted about how the campaign was focused on the issues of Connecticut voters, all the while growing more agitated. She terrorized me for a few minutes, asking why I had called, until I told her that I was only a lowly intern who knew nothing and oh, would she please let me go ...?
Needless to say, she didn't answer my question.
Next up, that kooky press operation tried to make hay yesterday of Ned Lamont's brilliant ad man Bill Hillsman for working with independent candidates like Ralph Nader and Jesse Ventura (all the while slily suggesting that Hillsman worked with Republicans).
Well, the Lamont Blog (not affiliated with the campaign) decided to return the favor and look into Lieberman's ad firm, the Glover Park Group. My, my, guess what he found?
Their recent work includes ad campaigns for such staunchly Democratic and progressive interests as Pfizer, Smirnoff Vodka, MCI-Worldcom, and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers Association of America.
Most interesting is Glover Park's stealth work for Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp., at whose behest Lieberman's firm secretly created a fake grassroots organization ("Don't Count Us Out") in order to pressure Nielsen to refrain from making changes in their TV ratings system.
Glass houses and all...
Finally, and this is great news for the Lamont campaign, the Lieberman campaign failed to get the AFL-CIO endorsement for an independent bid.
Connecticut's labor movement goes into the Democratic primary campaign for U.S. Senate deeply divided. As expected, the state AFL-CIO endorsed Sen. Joe Lieberman for reelection at a convention at New Haven's Omni Hotel Tuesday. But in the face of vociferous opposition, it decided to limit its endorsement to the primary, not the general election, said state union chief John Olsen (pictured after the vote).
As recently as yesterday, state AFL-CIO President Olsen said he expected the organization to endorse Lieberman not just in his primary against challenger Ned Lamont, but in the general election, too - even if Lieberman loses the primary and runs as an independent.
That changed in the hours before the federation voted Tuesday afternoon. At a lunch meeting of the organization's Committee on Political Education, delegates from the machinists, teachers and auto workers' unions, who support Lamont, convinced the group to change its mind and limit the endorsement to the primary.
When it came for the voice vote in the Omni ballroom, the "aye"s to endorse Lieberman rang loud and clear. But so did the no votes.
The decision to limit the endorsement to the primary represents a victory of sorts for Lamont's challenge to the three-term incumbent. It leaves open the option that the federation could support Lamont in November against an independent Lieberman candidacy.
The AFL-CIO did endorse Lieberman for the primary, which means Joementum will have their support in August. This was never in doubt. What was in doubt was the November endorsement. And by withholding that at this point, Lieberman's decision to go independent has just gotten a whole lot more difficult.
Lieberman doesn't have a homegrown people-powered movement to help manage his ground operation. He needs the AFL-CIO to help out with that. And they'll only do it (at this point) as long as he remains a Democrat.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has promised “to block a congressional pay hike” until the minimum wage is raised.A new campaign targets Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) as the “leader of the apologist pack” in Congress trying to rubberstamp the Bush administration’s warrantless spying on Americans.Conservative pundit/eyedrops spokesman Ben Stein pens a touching ode to [...]
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While the Bush administration flogs a "stay the course" message and the media focuses primarily on the troop withdrawal issue, the nuts and bolts of trying to get Iraq on its feet are largely overlooked. The economic efforts, in particular, are what will really make or break the nation (assuming it can avoid an all-out governmental collapse). Which is why I would really like to see more analysis on issues like foreign investment there.
According to the article, Iraq's parliament will probably approve a law that allows non-Iraqi investors to have 100 percent ownership of companies, untaxed profit transfers, and 40-year rent leases (with the significant exception of natural resources -- including oil). Most troubling to me is the untaxed profit transfers. While the objections in the article are mostly about the ownership element, Iraq clearly needs foreign investment to help its economy, and I doubt companies would risk investing if they couldn't have ownership control. But I would think it'd be possible to require some level of reinvesting or other benefit to the country and its people, rather than just pulling out all profits to the companies and businesses of other nations.
I'm not an economist, and I'd be curious to hear from people more educated than I. My initial skepticism is based on three factors: first, the law was reportedly written over two years ago, under the Bremer administration of Iraq. Since Bremer's tenure was such an unmitigated debacle, I'm reflexively suspicious of anything that he or his cronies created. Second, it seems there should be measures to keep some of the profits in Iraq. Finally, anything that even gives the impression of Western corporate exploitation is a terrible idea for PR reasons alone.
(Hat tip to Juan Cole for linking the article.)
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via Arthur:"On Friday, the Stryker Brigade was deployed to Iraq. The mother of Ehren Watada, the officer in the brigade who refused to go, sent this letter to explain her son’s actions…read on"
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Yahoo Health:In 1999, responding to questions about his use of drugs and alcohol, George Bush told the Washington Post, "Well, I don’t think I had an addiction. You know it’s hard for me to say. I’ve had friends who were, you know, very addicted…and they required hitting bottom [to start] going to A.A. I don’t [...]
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Chris LaCivita, who orchestrated the Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004, works full-time for George Allen. So it's no surprise the Allen campaign wasted no time in attacking Webb's patriotism.
Unfortunately for Allen, Webb isn't your typical Democrat, and his campaign isn't run by the usual suspects in the Beltway Mafia.
The campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Jim Webb today called the attacks on Webb's patriotism by Allen's campaign, "weak-kneed attacks by cowards" and demanded that Allen and his campaign apologize.
"George Felix Allen Jr. and his bush-league lapdog, Dick Wadhams, have not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb's position on free speech and flag burning. Jim Webb served and fought for our flag and what it stands for, while George Felix Allen Jr. chose to cut and run. When he and his disrespectful campaign puppets attack Jim Webb they are attacking every man and woman who served. Their comments are nothing more than weak-kneed attacks by cowards. George Felix Allen Jr. needs to apologize to Jim Webb and to all men and women who have served our nation," Webb spokesman Steve Jarding said.
On Tuesday, George Felix Allen Jr. and his campaign issued a press release in which the Allen campaign, through Wadhams, implied that Webb's position in support of the Free Speech Amendment to the U.S. Constitution amounted to a political act and not a defense of our Constitution, which Webb fought for and for which he was highly decorated. George Felix Allen Jr. did not serve.
"I believe it is precisely because of bush-league attacks like this that John Zogby, a highly respected, independent polling expert just this week said that Dick Wadhams is not fit to serve as a campaign manager and that George Allen should find a new manager," Jarding said.
"While Jim Webb and others of George Felix Allen Jr.'s generation were fighting for our freedoms and for our symbols of freedom in Vietnam, George Felix Allen Jr. was playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada. People who live in glass dude ranches should not question the patriotism of real soldiers who fought and bled for this country on a real battlefield," Jarding said.
"Is Dick Wadhams willing to publicly say that Colin Powell, John Glenn and Bob Kerrey are unpatriotic for having the same position on the flag burning amendment that Jim Webb has? Ask him," Jarding said.
Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts while fighting in Vietnam.
While Allen was playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada.
Yesterday Daily Kos, MyDD, and Swing State Project, who collaborate on the Actblue Netroots page, added four new candidates. I blogged about Jim Webb, Chris Bowers about Jerry McNerney. Below is the post DavidNYC wrote on behalf of Paul Hodes in NH's 2nd Congression District.
I'm very pleased to announce that Paul Hodes, running for Congress in New Hampshire's second Congressional District, is one of four new netroots candidates. As you may recall, MyDD, DailyKos and the Swing State Project all solicited nominations for the netroots page. Today, Markos, Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and I are each introducing one of the candidates. Chris has already written on Jerry McNerny (CA-11), and Markos has covered Jim Webb (VA-Sen). Matt will soon introduce Linda Stender (NJ-07).
Of course, Paul Hodes needs little introduction to many readers of this site, but I always enjoy taking the opportunity to discuss the candidacies of people I support. If you look back at the criteria we outlined for ideal netroots candidates, you'll see that the Hodes campaign fits perfectly into two key areas: NH-02 is a Dem-leaning district and the seat is a key part of the "Northeast Strategy."
On that first point: In 2000, Al Gore carried the district by a razor-thin margin, 48-47. Four years later, however, Bush remained flat while John Kerry racked up a 52-47 win. Meanwhile, the state as a whole has also gotten bluer: It was the only state to go for Bush in 2000 that switched to Kerry in 2004. It was one of only 18 states (including DC) where the Dem margin increased in 2004, and NH's 3% improvement makes it the eighth-best improvement overall. Among swing states, only Colorado and Oregon showed bigger trends in favor of the Democratic Party.
And speaking of trends, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time in the Northeast. In 1994, as you know, Dems lost a lot of seats in the South - seats where locals had been splitting their vote since Richard Nixon's heyday. Newt Gingrich came along and started convincing folks they should instead vote a straight ticket. The GOP was successful in turning a lot of Dixiecrats out of office, but now it's our turn to make a dying breed of Republicans extinct: the Northeastern "moderates."
I put that word "moderate" in quotes, as I often do, because these alleged centrist Republicans talk a moderate game at home, but go back to Washington, DC and vote for Tom DeLay and Bill Frist to run the show. And while they might occasionally buck the establishment when given permission (a practice known as "catch-and-release"), they vote for George Bush's radical agenda almost every time. These Republicans enable the far right, and it's well past time to stop their bamboozlement.
Fortunately for us, the GOP has given us a number of juicy targets this year. We have competitive races in Dem-leaning, but GOP-held, seats in PA, NJ, NY, CT, and, of course, NH. Charlie Bass, the incumbent in NH-02, is increasingly out-of-step with his district. Appropriately enough for a guy named Bass, he survives thanks largely to the occasional "catch-and-release" reprieves that party elders grant him. But it's up to us to make sure that voters in New Hampshire learn about the real Charlie Bass. Once they do, he won't last long.
And Bass is someone we can definitely get to. He's a lazy fundraiser, and his poll numbers are barely treading water. Paul Hodes, meanwhile, has the energy and the experience to expose Bass and to beat him. But Paul's not there yet - he needs our help.
One of the suggested netroots criteria was that a race not yet be considered "top-tier." A compilation of House race rankings by pro prognosticators puts NH-02 at thirty-third overall among GOP-held seats, just on the periphery of the most-watched races. Hodes has attracted notice from the DCCC, but he hasn't yet been placed on their "Red to Blue" list. We can help make that happen by ensuring that Hodes finishes out the fundraising quarter strong.
The second quarter ends this Friday, June 30th. If Hodes shows good numbers and a sizable warchest, big players who are currently sitting on the sidelines will change their minds. We in the netroots, of course, love a challenge, and it's in our nature to be "early adopters" of up-and-coming candidates. We may not be able to raise the same kind of money the big boys can, but we can definitely get the ball rolling. So, with the deadline approaching, please consider giving to Paul Hodes and the other netroots candidates. We can make a big difference here.
It all started quietly enough, with Jerome deciding to stick with the consulting biz and work for his favorite candidate in the race, Mark Warner. But the relationship was blown wide open in Vegas as Warner made a huge splash. People tried to imply all sorts of quid pro quos between me and Jerome and the Warner operation, but they were missing the real conspiracy all along.
Because under the radar, things have been moving nicely according to plan.
Bill Richardson hired great-guy Joaquin Guerra, an old friend, and made a last-minute decision to hit YearlyKos. That earned my praise.
Wes Clark hit YearlyKos too and has been an avid netroots denizen the past couple of years. I have had corresponded on and off with Wes Jr. over the past few years, and greatly respect the whole Clark family. Cue the praise.
John Edwards rolled out a community scoop site built by Rusty (an old friend, business partner of mine and Jerome who literally built Scoop) and does podcastings that MoveOn's Zack Exley, another friend, loves. Not to mention, Elizabeth Edwards is rumored to be a heavy participant on this site under a pseudonym. And one of my best friends inside the union movement is a HUGE Edwards backer. Praise.
Hillary Clinton hired two friends of mine, bloggers Jesse Berney (formerly of the DNC blog) and Peter Daou (formerly of the Kerry campaign and the Daou Report on Salon). Praise?
Evan Bayh has Chris Smith who I met during the book tour and seemed like a really cool guy. And his operation is aggressively blogging and wooing bloggers.
And suddenly, foot soldiers in the people-powered movement have infiltrated most of the top campaigns, exposing our real goal to all.
It's not to try and win my "endorsement". As I've said before, you are all thinking people and can make up your own minds on who to vote for. You don't need me to tell you. And you wouldn't let me (which is what's so cool about this joint).
The reality is that we have conspired to have people help power the process to pick the next president.
The ACLU reports that it lost by one vote, thank God. But cheer up Republicans, you don't have the flag to make a mockery of but you still have fag-bashing.
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A constitutional amendment to ban flag desecration went to a vote in the Senate Tuesday, apparently heading for an outcome just short of the two-thirds needed to send it on to the states for ratification...read on"
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