Russian Money to So-Called "Conservatives?"

When I put up this diary asking if maybe the "conservative movement" Republicans were really dupes of the Russians or the Chinese, I sure didn't expect to get my answer a few hours later.  

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How Nuts Am I?

Interesting thesis. To the extent the conservative movement and their stranglehold on the American government is for sale to the highest bidder, who has more at stake than foreign governments? - Matt

Every now and then I come back to the idea that the "conservative movement" may have been manipulated by non-American interests.  From What If It's More Than Corruption?,

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Are Progressives Cheap?

In the spirit of blogs-as-open-source-think-tanks I'd like to start a discussion.  Are Progressives cheap? Do you think Progressives give enough money to Progressive organizations and candidates?  

How much is "enough?" Many Christians, even very poor ones, give ten percent of their before-tax income to their churches.  For them tithing is a value.  Do YOU give ten percent of your income to Progressive organizations, causes and candidates?  (I'm not saying that Progressives are in some kind of opposition to Christians here, I'm asking if this can be a core Progressive value in the same way that it a Christian value.)

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The Next Long-Term Narrative -- Democrats Lost Iraq

Watch how a "narrative" develops and expands. Democrats want to "surrender" and "cut and run," such talk is "undermining the war effort" and "hurting the troops" and "aiding and comforting the enemy."It's because the war is going badly and the Republicans are planning to cut and run. It's about blame for the loss in Iraq, and the consequences that will follow. And it's about long-term repetition of a strategic narrative until the public accepts it as solid truth.

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We're Still Only Talking To Each Other

Yesterday I was enjoying chai and conversation at Lulu Carpenter's in Santa Cruz when a well-informed (but not regular blog-reading) friend said she had heard that the people still in New Orleans had refused to get on buses that were provided for them before the hurricane struck.  My friend said that she heard this from a friend.  She watches the news and reads the papers daily - much more since the hurricane struck.  She said that she had not heard this from any formal news source, but this snippet of "information" stuck in her head.

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DCCC Call - I Say Grow The Base

From the diaries--Chris

I participated in a DCCC blogger conference call last night with DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel.  DCCC is an important component if we are going to take back the Congress and it is good that the DCCC is active with the blogging community.

In the call Rahm repeated that they feel they have limited resources and must choose carefully which candidates to support.  To them this means it is not a good use of resources supporting candidates in districts that have often voted largely Republican in the past.  (Also it isn't easy recruiting candidates to run in such districts.)  So they are saying that it is just a fact that you won't win the election in such districts so put the resources where you can win.

I understand this concern, but I think it's a strategy that eats the seed corn.  It's looking for short-term results but with a long-term cost.  As a result of this approach the numbers for next election will be even worse, and so on after that.

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Was Schwarzenegger Paid $5 Million+ to Veto a Bill?

Speaking of California corruption... Chris

California Governor Schwarzenegger indirectly received at least $5 million from "performance enhancing supplement" makers, and vetoed a bill to restrict their use.

More below the fold.

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Responding to the Right's Machine

From the diaries--Chris

Chris has a post, The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix, linking to an Alternet article describing the Right's communications machine.  The Alternet article describes a network of right-wing organizations that I think is the fundamental reason that Republicans are winning elections. I have done quite a bit of research into this network of organizations, as well as looking into ways that it might be countered, and I'd like to offer some suggestions.

I think it is important for all of us to do some research and understand how the Right's messaging machine works, its nature, and the effect it has on our politics because understanding helps us find ways to counter what they are doing.  (Toward that end I have put together a collection of links to articles about this network of right-wing organizations.)

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