Thank You For The Nomination

I would like to take this opportunity to thank whomever nominated my post, An Ode To My Republican Ex Best Friend for Best Posts in the Lefty Blogosphere.

It was my very first post on my blog, Carrie's Bar & Grill, and was cross-posted here at MyDD as my very first diary.

I am honored that it was considered worthy of a nomination from MyDD.  

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Bumiller to write Condi Bio

According to Editor And Publisher, Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller will be taking a year off to write a bio of Condi Rice.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons:  

1) Bumiller's reporting has occasionally been cited by bloggers for passing on Republican memes.  Is the fact that Condi wants Bumiller to write her bio indicate she believes she'd get more than a fair shake?  

2) Is the timing of this effort intended to coincide with a potential bid by Rice for higher office?  

I've been very skeptical in the past that she'd actually run, but this news certainly gives me pause.

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Where are the Dem one-liners?

When did the Dems last have a line as good as John Kerry looks French?

It's inoffensive, wacky, bordering on the surreal, clearly not reality-based. And viral.

The sort of thing a local news anchor might throw at his colleague as they fill for the weather girl taking her skirt out of her panties after a lightning toilet break.

Or perhaps get bumped up to a quirky 30 second bit at the end of a news broadcast.

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Strategy: Wiretaps as a Wedge Issue

I am a new member here, and this is my first diary, which is a version of something that I posted a similar entry on Daily Kos a week or so ago.  It fell off the map rather quickly, and of those who did read it, few of them got my point.  Here it goes:

I am amazed when I talk with my conservative friends and family from Tennessee to find that many of them still support warrantless wiretapping.  This sets a dangerous precedent by ignoring the fourth amendment.  It is not unimaginable that in the near future, other parts of our Bill of Rights will be in danger as well.  Still, many people support the program stating that they have nothing to hide, and so no one but a "terrorist" should be afraid of the wiretaps.  I have found a way to discuss this with people I talk to that will help them see our concern, while simultaneously chipping away at the right-wing base:

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Stand Up and Tell Us What You Actually Believe


Two years ago this month, I heard John Edwards speak just across the street from where I'm currently sitting. Then-Senator Edwards came to Pomona College in Claremont, California during the thick of the state's primary for a speech promoted as a major policy initiative on poverty.

While Edwards did push his "Two Americas" rhetoric with particular rigor, it was just that -- rhetoric. Edwards may have been taking a risk by bringing up the topic of poverty, an issue seldom mentioned in political campaigns, but he was far from overly ambitious in laying out a vision for combating the problem. I was frankly unimpressed with what I perceived to be a lack of substance in the speech and did not end up voting for Edwards on primary day.

Forward to years to Thursday morning at the University of Southern California. Now former-Senator Edwards was speaking at the Conference on Poverty convened by the Daughters of Charity Health System. What a difference just two years had made.

You can listen to the speech here (a 29.8 megabyte .wav file) and judge for yourself its power and content. For me, it was simply amazing to hear the depth and substance of the address, particularly in comparison to the one I had attended in 2004. Gone were the poll-tested phrases, the multiple planned applause lines, the refinements that come with a presidential campaign. Edwards came to speak about poverty and that is exactly what he did -- with great zeal. Edwards was not at all afraid to speak about the immorality of poverty, calling the participants in the conference into action.

After the speech, some of the others in the audience and I could not help but come to the same conclusion: if only Edwards had used that unreserved tone during the campaign... if only the well-paid consultants had not told him to rein in his language... if only he had given this kind of speech on the hustings...

This is not only about John Edwards. This is much bigger than him. The Economist's America columnist Lexington thinks along similar lines this week in describing the reaction to Al Gore's recent untrammelled speeches on the environment: "Mr Gore is generating far more political capital by breaking the political rules than he did by obeying them."

And this is exactly it. I didn't refrain from voting for John Edwards in the California primary because his language was too unabashedly progressive; I didn't give him my vote because he wasn't taking any real risks with his speech. John Kerry did not lose because he was too liberal, he lost because he hedged his bets too often and refused to speak strongly enough about the issues near and dear to his heart when necessary. The same can be said for Al Gore, who should have won by a much larger margin in 2000.

If John Edwards wants to make another run at the Democratic nomination in two years, he should continue doing exactly what he is doing. The same goes for Al Gore, Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton or for anyone else even potentially looking at the campaign. The next Democratic nominee must be someone who has devoted him- or herself to an issue and be willing to go out on a limb to tell Americans why it is urgent to fix it. The empty poll-tested rhetoric peddled by the Beltway consultants will no longer suffice. It's that simple.

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