• comment on a post GMail Not Following AOL over 8 years ago

    GMail could still work with certifiers. The problem with the AOL/Goodmail scheme isn't with the concept of email certification - it's with the financial incentives it produces.

    Although the cost to certify an email sender is largely fixed, Goodmail wants to charge per email. And Goodmail is willing to split those charges with AOL. That gives AOL a strong incentive to flag as "spam" as much mail as possible, and to take control away from their customers, by delivering bought-and-paid-for email to their users' inboxes irrespective of those users' email filtering settings.

    Other certifiers don't have that business model, and so don't create the same problems as Goodmail.

  • comment on a post Pew Releases Enormous Public Survey over 8 years ago

    It's way too early to be picking Presidential candidates, but John Edwards' numbers look promising. His approval among Republicans will of course drop once the RWNM cranks up (EVIL TRIAL LAWYER!!!!), but at least they have work to do, and he has a populist streak that could help win back Democratic defectors and "occasional voters." Hillary and Kerry, in contrast, are already defined to the GOP base, and neither is likely to fire up the Democratic base (though Kerry's shown considerable improvement since 2004). And Biden's and Hillary's constant pandering to swing voters' inner conservatives (instead of Iraq and Iran, Hillary wants us up in arms about sexy video games and flag-burners) will undercut Democrats' GOTV efforts. Even if one of them wins, it'll be with crossover support from voters who go with down-ballot Republicans, ensuring a likely return to a GOP Congress even if the Democrats win a house this year.

    Feingold (my personal favorite) might be up there with Edwards in 18 months, but for now, I'll just have to wait and hope. In any case, I can always hope for the VP slot.

    On the GOP side, the poll confirms my fears about Giuliani: he'd be a formidable candidate, and a scary President. (More competent than Bush, but every bit as disrespectful of the Constitution - a very dangerous combination.) Fortunately, he's pro-choice, which probably means he won't be the nominee. But he could still be a VP candidate - I tremble in fear of a Rice-Giuliani or McCain-Giuliani ticket.

  • comment on a post McCain, Moving to the Right, Loses Ground to Hillary over 8 years ago

    I'm not so confident. Remember, we went through this same dance with W - and with Reagan, for that matter.

    Shortsighted media coverage ensures the average American won't remember how he felt about a politician more than a month or two ago. There will be plenty of time for McCain to move to the extreme right - and disavow any flirtations he had with sanity before 2004 - to win his party's nomination by March, and plenty more time for him to back away from such extremism in order to assuage any fears before November. And the media will be covering his ass every step of the way.

  • comment on a post Our Ten Words over 8 years ago

    ... our would-be leaders are holding open casting calls for ideas.

    Not really; they're actually holding open casting calls for soundbites.

    That's not the same thing. We Democrats already know what we believe. We just don't know how to say what we believe in short, TV-friendly phrases that non-Democrats can intuitively comprehend.

    Now, I do find it annoying that we live in a world that expects us to summarize our entire agenda in "ten words or less." But that's the fault of our media, not our "would-be leaders."

  • comment on a post Melissa Bean over 8 years ago

    I'm generally inclined to cut Democrats in red states or districts a good deal of slack. So I agree that 'Kos and Chris are right on Bean.

    But Casey is a very different situation. First Pennsylvania isn't a red state - it's a swing state. Liberals and progressives can win swing states, as Paul Wellstone proved in Minnesota.

    Second, unless I missed something the PA primary hasn't happened yet. We aren't at the "lesser of two evils" stage in Pennsylvania - we can support the candidate of our choice now, then support the winner after the primary.

    Third, there's something to be said for supporting a candidate that "doesn't have a chance." Campaign contributions let that candidate get his message out - even if he's the wrong messenger and the voters reject him, his message can move the electorate. Supporting Pennacchio now could do more to help Casey in November than supporting Casey himself would, since Casey isn't trying to move the electorate. In any case, it helps for the future - PA will vote for a Presidential candidate in 2008, and it'd be nice if voters start thinking about progressive ideals before the Presidential campaign gets underway.

    Finally, the 'Kos-Chris "doomsday scenario" in PA - that Pennacchio might upset Casey, then lose badly to Santorum - is ridiculously unlikely. Chuck probably will go down in flames in the primary, but if he does pull off the upset, what makes anyone think he can't beat Santorum?

    At this point, supporting Casey doesn't make much more sense than supporting Lieberman would.

  • ... but (mostly European, but some US) corporations have indeed been trying to privatize water, both here in the U.S. and in the Third World.

    They've had limited success here, but more in the Third World, with the World Bank and IMF pushing Third World nations to privatize everything.

    And, of course, corporations believe they have the right to pump anything they want into the air you breathe and the water you drink, without having to pay anyone to do so. So you're not exaggerating as much as you might have thought!

  • comment on a post Insider's Disease over 8 years ago

    ... isn't being a team player exactly what we've been begging Democrats to do lately?

    Not quite. "We" have been begging Democrats to take the fight to the Republicans. Certainly, it's easier to do that if we do so as a united "team," but unity for its own sake is (to paraphrase Goldwater rather poorly) no virtue. Our big complaint against both Lieberman and Obama is their utter refusal to fight - or even to understand that the GOP has no interest in compromise. They control everything - they can do pretty much anything they want! The only thing we can do is block some of their worst excesses with an occasional filibuster. There's no point in working as a "team" if the team is unwilling to exercise even that limited power.

    Now on rare occasions, we may find the GOP divided - as with the current battle over immigration. When that happens, there's genuine room for compromise (as with the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill), and I'm confident the netroots have no problem with the Democrats working with the more reasonable faction of Republicans in those cases. But these occasions aren't the rule, and there's simply no point in uniting to work out a compromise with the GOP unless we're willing to block their unilateral proposals.

  • comment on a post IL-06 Pre-postmortem over 8 years ago

    I resolved to stay out of this fight, and ignored John Kerry's appeal for Duckworth and DFA's appeal for Cegelis.

    Looking at the results, I have to believe Cegelis would've been the stronger candidate in November. She got about as many votes as Duckworth for far less money. We all know we can't match the GOP dollar for dollar - we need to start nominating candidates who make more efficient use of their campaign funds. From that standpoint, yesterday was a tough loss.

    Still, Duckworth can win this district, and despite the lingering bitterness, she's a decent candidate. I won't have any problem supporting her campaign.

    One last thing: I feel far less bitter over this election than over the Ohio fiasco. I didn't have strong feelings about Hackett vs. Brown either, but forcing either candidate out because "a primary would be too divisive" was anti-democratic in the extreme. At least here, the DCCC let us have a primary.

  • comment on a post March MyDD Straw Poll over 8 years ago

    Interesting, but where's my voter-verified paper trail?

    I've always liked the IRV concept, although I'm not sure it's a valid system with entries like "other" and "unsure" on the ballot! And I agree with the commenter who wondered where Gore was?

    My first choice was Feingold, who's running away with it right now, but my second choice would've been Gore had he been there.

    At a minimum, "other" needs to be replaced with a write-in prompt, as it would be on a real ballot.

  • The payment encourages AOL to adopt the service and to display a "certified e-mail" icon to users on each "stamped" message, indicating that the message is wanted and safe.

    The problem Ms. Dyson refuses to acknowledge is that "Goodmail's certified e-mail" proves neither that a given email is "wanted," nor even that it is "safe." At best, it proves that the email abides by "Goodmail's" terms of service, so it presumably contains no known viruses or other malware, isn't a "phishing" attempt, and comes from the party it claims to, but there's simply no way "Goodmail" can know whether the recipient wants the email, and in practice, much of their "certified" email is as likely to be unwanted as any other kind of spam.

    In fact, unless AOL starts letting its users access their email via standard Internet protocols like POP or IMAP, their users are at AOL's mercy for email filtering, which means there's no way for an AOL user to filter unwanted "Goodmail" at all. (Look for the same problem with Web-based email services like Yahoo if they adopt "Goodmail" or similar services.)

    "Certified" e-mail isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it'll only work if it's controlled by email recipients, not by mega-ISPs like AOL.

    (Incidentally, Matt, your post could use a little editing. Several grammatical errors make it hard to read.)

  • I'd bet that, as the primary season fades and the general election approaches, the folks at MyDD will be going after Santorum, DeWine, and Burns with all the "fervor" they now reserve for /Lie/berman. But remember: the people reading this blog need no convincing about them. Many do need convincing about /Lie/berman.

  • EDF is one of the more conservative "environmental" groups out there: they're all about "working with" big polluters rather than fighting them. So it's no surprise they'd trumpet an association with McCain.

    I'm not saying EDF doesn't do some good work; just trying to let you know where they're coming from.

  • comment on a post Giuliani Mythology over 8 years ago

    This blog's consensus seems to be that Rudy won't win the GOP nomination, whether he "reinvents" himself as an anti-abortion, anti-gay, pro-gun wingnut or not. Y'all are probably right: the fundies will never trust him, so he probably won't win the nomination.

    I hope so, because Rudy would be a very dangerous candidate in the general election. He got a lot of props on Sept. 11; undeserved props, to be sure, but props nonetheless. And unless Democrats suddenly wake up and nominate a civil-liberties advocate like Feingold, his authoritarianism and anti-democratic instincts (he tried to get his Mayoral term extended in the wake of Sept. 11, despite being term-limited) won't even be a campaign issue.

    Imagine a President as evil as Bush, but not incompetent. It's scary.

    And don't forget, he could still become Vice-President! A McCain-Giuliani ticket would be awfully tough to beat in 2008.

  • comment on a post Super Late Night Thread over 8 years ago

    I should point out that I see no clear evidence of fraud in the returns from Webb county or anywhere else. My point was more that if fraud did occur, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to detect.

    We need to get rid of these infernal machines, not necessarily because they are being used to steal elections, but merely because they could be.

  • on a comment on Super Late Night Thread over 8 years ago
    ... but only 43% (9388/22029) of the district's total early votes. Still well above the 32% (14455/44656) of the district's total votes, but not unreasonably so.

    More to the point, in Webb County, 64% of Cuellar's votes (8145/12265) were early votes. 63% of Morales's votes (454/720) were early votes, and 54% of Rodriguez's votes (789/1470) were early. District-wide, the corresponding figures are 54% (12772/23546), 46% (1334/2893), and 43% (7923/18217). So at first glance, it looks like early voting in Webb county was heavier across the board, not just for Cuellar. (Cuellar got 85% of the vote in Webb county and 87% of the early vote.)

    Is it easier to hide fraud in the early voting?

    If you think paperless electronic voting machines make it easier to hide fraud, then yes. Early voting is on EVMs - no paper trail. But the percentages don't look obviously askew to me. If the Webb EV results are fraudulent, they covered it well. The only way you might catch it is by checking voter sign-in logs, and seeing if either there were more early votes cast than voters who signed in (unlikely they'd be that stupid, but worth checking nevertheless), or else voters who "signed in" but never actually went to the polls (possible, but the fraudulent votes would have to have been added after the polls closed yesterday, otherwise; many voters might have gone to the polls yesterday only to discover they'd already "voted!")

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