This is easy points for us, but the fact is the executive branch ALWAYS invokes every privilege they can in any congressional investigation, whether it's being run by a Dem or a Rep. So, yeah, they're getting what they deserve here, but it's not really a particularly good piece of evidence as to what we already know about this White House. Our guys did that too. Executive branch always feel obliged to use privileges against congressional investigations.
Rudy isn't a threat. The more people see of him, the less they will like. He's mean-spirtied, shrill and vindictive. He had no political future until 9/11 (to be fair, his performance in NYC during that time, was outstanding), but he's not a guy you're going to want to deal with day after day. Many people vote for the guy they liked the best, and they aren't going to like Rudy.
I can't imagine him ever surviving the Republican primaries in the South, either. Conservatives will beat him like a drum on gays and abortion.
If you're going to suggest alternatives, probably will want to come up with a list of Republican names and not Democratic names. Bush isn't going to nominate a Dem UN Ambassador anymore than we would nominate a Rep UN Ambassador if we were in power.
This is a stupid thing to blame the US over. Considering that Iraq has three sizable factions, requiring a two thirds majority in setting up a government is pretty prudent if you ask me. Sometimes I like Cole, and sometimes I think he's just looking for stuff to bitch about. This appears to be the latter case.
Basically, I'm not sure you can take that much from the poll. Barring some new disaster or huge setback there (which is always a possibility with the team in charge of this), I don't think Bush will suffer much as long as he can make withdrawals of SOME troops within the next year.
I think you will see, starting in the next six months, very small and slow withdrawals: just enough to make people happy that troops are coming home. Expect to see 5k troops at a time brought home and, every time they come home, the Reps will hold a big patriotic ceremony.
It will be tough for us because Bush will be able to say he is bringing troops home, but if we push for faster withdrawals, he will say that we are being soft again.
Basically, the poll tells me that the public is still giving Bush a lot more rope than he's really earned.
There are some environmental groups out there that are completely irrational and anti-market. However, most of the reputable groups understand the economic tradeoffs between concern for the environment and economic efficiency.
Rational greens should not be held responsible for the words or actions of groups like Earth First. To the extent so-called environmental activists engage in acts of vandalism or violence, they should be caught put in jail, plain and simple.
I do think greens have hurt themselves at times by not being more discerning in their advocacy positions. Not every idea that is "green" is good. Red herrings such as recycling and energy conservation, which could and should have been dictated by market forces, have distracted us from the most important issues: (1) global warming, (2) preservation of nature, and (3) water/air pollution.
The fact is that it is capital and not labor that is most reponsible for making environmental improvements. Businesses are very adapt and finding cost-effective ways to make their products greener when they have to do. Every time that car companies have been forced to improve emission standards, for instance, they have complained that the new standards were impossible, and every time, they found ways to meet these standards. In short, it's not a win/lose proposition between labor and greens.
It's possible that workers in some industries may lose out as a result of green-friendly reforms. But there's no reason that government policy can't be implemented to ease to financial burden of such changes and train workers for different careers. A reality of this day and age is that people in all fields often have to or choose to change careers.
At a certain point, something has to be done. I remained skeptical about global warming for a long time, probably long beyond the time most people on this board did. At this point, I don't think any reasonable person can deny that (i) it exists, (ii) it poses a massive problem, and (iii) action needs to be taken now.
Labor and greens at a certain point have to establish a dialogue and listen to each other. Not every "green" idea is good; some cost a lot more money than they are worth. I've met a lot of smart environmentalists that understand this, but I've met some dumb ones who don't either. On the other hand, the necessity of preserving the earth for us and our descendants is more important than an individual job.
Americans vote for a party and a candidate. Fine issue distinctions don't matter so much. To the extent we (or the Reps) focus on policy, we lose. Bush played the "you may disagree with me, but at least I stand for something" card to perfection, and Kerry's personal style played directly into that.
The fact is we've lost the last two elections by running two candidates that even a lot of us Dems thought would be terrible presidents. Yet nonetheless, we lost by only a couple of points (or not at all) in 2000.
If we run a strong candidate who communicates well, can avoid pandering, and who appears confident and competent, we will win the next election. If we don't, we can talk about frames and issues and all that stuff all day, and the Reps will kick our asses.
For all the distatse we have for Bush, the man has a certain clarity, confidence and ability to connect with people that Gore and Kerry sorely lacked. Gore's hectoring tone and strange discomfort with himself scared people off. Kerry anemic bearing and confusion of opinions and positions (he only had positions on issues, but never seemed to have a personal opinion about anything) did him in.
So it's simple. We run a strong (on a personal level) candidate, we'll win. What positions he takes on issues is largely irrelevant.