• comment on a post Obama and the Mideast: Pakistan over 7 years ago

    Since when has Pakistan been a part of the Middle East?

  • ...what Barack Obama might say. Jerome and certain others here will attack him for it.

  • ...you're saying we shouldn't go after Al Qaeda?

    If find that idea pretty scary myself.

  • comment on a post The Netroots Should Not Be Fairly Compensated over 7 years ago

    ...or misinterpretation, I'm not sure. But I keep seeing this written in posts on this blog and over at Dkos:

    Media consultants, who offer political and strategic advice and handle political advertising, were paid $1.2 billion

    Chris and Matt and Kos seem to be writing this in such a way as to imply media consultants made this much money. And Chris, Matt and Kos are smart enough to know they are not.

    The reality is that most of that money that was "paid" to media consultants was then used by those consultants to buy advertising. The consultants get a cut of roughly 10%, though it varies from campaign to campaign.

    Now, let's just say this $1.2 billion is split between the two parties, 50/50. That means Democrats spent $800 million on advertising, with consultants therefore taking $80 million.

    If there are 600 consultants, let's do a 50/50 split and say 300 are ours. If we stick with the ratios and say 65% of that 300 are doing media consulting, that means 195 consultants made $80 million dollars.  This comes out to $410K per consultant. Not a bad haul, but nothing like the hundreds of millions these posts try to lead you to think the consultants are making.

    Now, subtract overheard, employees, etc, and you're talking about a lot less than $400K.

    Of course, this is all based on averages and percentages based on the Center for Public Integrity's numbers. The reality is that some consultants made a lot more, some a lot less.

    So why the misrepresentation? The only thing I can think of, and I hope I'm wrong, is that some top honchos in the Netroots are looking to steer more money to their blogs, and the best way to do that is by making it look like their competition (media consultants) are unfairly compensated and taking home waaay more than they really are.

  • ...it's because our dear Obama was right in being against the war.

  • ...is that having American troops in Iraq only makes the situation worse, not better. So if our presence there is only causing further harm to the Iraqis, and your concern is the Iraqi people, the only option you then have is total withdrawl.


  • comment on a post Beware Of Creeping Dear Leader Syndrome over 7 years ago

    Yeah, "Dear Leader" Syndrom (DLS) is present on both sides, but I don't doubt it's more in place with so-called conservatives.

    Ultimately though, I think it comes down to the issue of trust. Do you trust Candidate X? And if you trust Candidate X, then X's decisions must make some sense and have some rationale for it.

    And, although you may be slightly befuddled or unsure if that particular position is the right one, you trust Canddiate X overall. So when X is criticized for that position, you must defend him/her because he/she is, overall, better than the others.

    The problems with this line of thinking is that after a while, you begin to reflexively support Candidate X regardless of what they are saying. This is the full onset of DLS, when the only reason you support or oppose a given position is because Candidate X supports or opposes it.

    But I also think there is a relation between the strength of a case of DLS and how much one is infected by Partisan Hate Psychosis (PHP).

    An example: Support for Rudy Guiliani amongst fundamentalist Christians.

    While they may disagree with Guiliani on a host of issues, their hatred for Democrats makes them support Guiliani since he is the only candidate who can probably defeat a Democrat in the general election.

    Either way, DLS is not going away, but it's best to try to at least reduce it's spread on our side of the aisle, since it's very contagious and has obviously infected too much of our country already.

  • comment on a post Where are the Republicans.com? over 7 years ago

    I think the basic formula for how grassroots political movements come about has stayed the same: Ordinary people with certain beliefs feel unrepresented in the government or public sphere. They then get organized based on their issues, using the tools of the day, and build a grassroots movement.

    Liberals built a movement about workers' rights based on unions, that was later joined by one about civil rights using black churches.

    The conservative grassroots movement came next, consisting of evangelical churches, the business lobbies, the NRA, etc., and used the technologies of the day, such phone banking, direct mail.

    By this point the liberal movement -- based on unions and civil-rights groups -- fell into decline and was eclipsed by the younger, more energetic conservative movement.

    We saw the peak of this dynamic during the decade of 1994 to 2004, when conservatives dominated the national (and to a degree local) agenda around the country.

    Of course, this brings us back to the beginning -- ordinary people, in this case liberals, who feel unrepresented by our public institutions. The liberal movement had fallen. To change that, we created a new movement around our issues (environmentalism, anti-Iraq War, pro-civil liberties), using the technologies of the day (such as the Internet).

    It's simply a matter of a specific group's needs occurring at a specific time in history. That's why we're better at using the Internet. Our needs weren't being served at the same time the Internet had come of age.

    The Republicans won't develop a new model, one that's based around newer technologies, as long as their old one continues to work -- simply put, as long as they don't need a new one.

  • One thing I like about a decent primary is the fact that the GOP doesn't get a chance to focus their oppo-research as quickly. Imagine if we didn't know who the Democratic nominee was going to be in 2004 until early August (or all the way to the convention, as was often the case in the past).

    The Rovian attack machine would have had 2 or 3 guys to spend time researching, spreading out their resources. With less time to fine-tune, this would have weakened their general election attacks as well.

    (I'll bet the "flip-flopping" sound-byte wouldn't have even been a big factor had Kerry not wrapped up the nomination so quickly.)

    Instead, we're gonna get the GOP's Hilary- or Obama- or Edwards-bashing by the middle of Feb.

    2008 is gonna be a looong year.

  • comment on a post The Survival of Internet Radio over 7 years ago

    Question: What was the nature between royalties and early FM radio?

    From my understanding, FM radio was a grassroots sort of thing, with local DJs having a lot of freedom to play what they want, with budgets relatively low.

    Did all these FM stations have to pay royalties to the artists?

    It seems the old relationship between record companies and radio stations was one where record companies were dying for stations to play their music. One gets the impression that radio was a free promo for record sales. Is this wrong?

  • If Senator Ford doesn't like what Democrats in Congress are doing, and wants offer his own bill, he's welcome to...

    Oh wait, Ford lost his bid for a Senate seat. I wonder how a Democrat running on a conservative platform against a conservative Republican in the South could possibly lose. Didn't he have the best campaign of '06 (except for the losing part)?


  • comment on a post And Progressives Go on the Attack Against McConnell over 7 years ago

    The non-stop campaign. I've seen other spots that are airing in varous places right now as well.

    I think this is pretty amazing. Not that I'm opposed to it, I'm just amazed that the political cycle has become essentially continuous, with the briefest of lag times between them. I shouldn't be surprised, I guess.

  • He doesn't have much ID. If you say "Fred Thompson", most people will say who?

    If you say, "Fred Thompson...y'know, that guy who plays the DA from Law & Order?"

    People will say "Ohhh," and think you're talking about Sam Waterston. "He's a Republican? I thought he was liberal?"

    Then you say, "No, not that guy. The other guy. His boss."

    Then you get "Ohhh. That guy? He's running for President?"

    Outside of his homestate, he's not a household name. A somewhat familiar face, and for now, that's about it.

  • comment on a post Obey Smacks the Washington Post Editorial Board over 7 years ago

  • Doesn't surprise me.

    But what does surprise me (a little) is that people think it's not obvious. Your diaries and comments are there for all to see.

    Of course, if they're not really part of the netroots, I guess they wouldn't know that...


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