• comment on a post Vitter's Impact on the Louisiana Politics over 6 years ago

    In most atates the Governor appoints someone to serve until the next geneeral election, at which candidates run to fill the unexpired term.  Here, that would be this November (Gov race) or next year during the presidential.  Presumably either way that would be a Louisiana-style open primary with runoff in December.

  • on a comment on 2008 and Access to Birth Control over 6 years ago

    It is really important to find out where the GOP candidates stand on this issue.  

    For years the anti-abortion movement has tried to use wedge issues like late-term abortion to force the pro-choice movement to defend the most difficult aspects of choice, hoping to peel off supporters.

    A much better wedge is contraception.  Making this the issue really splits off the anti-sex, anti-woman contingent of the Right from the vast majority who support reproductive rights.  It exposes them for who they are.  

    So get the GOP candidates on the record, now, when they are appelaing to the GOP base to get the nomination.  Use it against them in the general.

  • So what are these Dem candidates going to do in the next 3 months to warrant any more money?  Take on Bush?  Investigate the Libby pardon?  Come out against war with Iran?  Put limits on Bush's war power?  Something??Anything??  

    I gave quite a bit in the 2nd quarter, but won't do it again unless I see some serious pushback and backbone from these folks.

  • on a comment on Residual Forces over 6 years ago

    And the occdupation forces we left in Germany and Japan were there (1) to maintain order in countries that had been devastated by war and had surrendered to us and (2) to counter the Russian and then the Chinese Communist governments, which we believed at the time were outr next enemy.  Thie situation is not at all comnparable here.  

    And as for Korea, that war ended in a stalemate, and we left forces in the half of the country that we supported and that supported us.  The parallel today would be leaving troops in the Kurdish-controlled areas.  But even more than Korea, that puts us allied with one side in a multiparty civil war.

    If we didn't have an embassy the size of Vatican City there would be no need for thousands of troops to remain to protect it.  And they can't, anyway.  It is just asking for a seige.

    The real reason the Bush Admin wants to leave troops is to guarantee access to Iraqi oil, such as it is.  That's why we want the oil law passed--so Big Oil can get the black stuff and sell it to us.  There are better ways to deal with this issue--sustainable energy policies, for starters, which have the double advantage of dealing with global warming at the same time.

    Anyone who advocates for leaving substantial forces in Iraq either hasn't really thought this through or isn't levelling with us about their real foreign policy objectives.

  • on a comment on Residual Forces over 6 years ago

    Four years into the occupation, the US military is still manning checkpoints and policing the streets.  We don't have the forces to pacify the country now, and paring down to 50,000 will makes us even less able to do so.  OTOH, our remaining forces will still be targets and will continue to inflame Arabs and the Muslim world generally.  So pacification can;t be the goal here.  The longer we stay the less the iraqis deal with their own problems and the more both countries bleed.  What is "responsible" about that?

    You need to ask yourself, "what is the real mission of the remaining forces?"  If it is to prevent an attack by Iran or someone else, then why can't the forces be kept as they say "over the horizon" in Qatar or Dubai or somewhere where they evidently aren't so disliked, with more in Eastern Europe, say.  

    Occupation, as the Greeks learned, the Brits learned and the Israelis are finally learning, is at least as corrosive to the occupiers as to the occupied, particularly if the occupiers are or aspire to be a democracy.  It is not irresponsible to remove our forces from Iraq in an orderly fashion beginning very soon; rather it is based on a cold, realistic view of what we can and can't accomplish by military force, and the limits of military force.

  • Youth (or progressive generally) contributions are always going to be a drop in the bucket in a Presidential race.  But there are congressional and state leg races that can be very key and where an infusion of cash and volunteers can make a big difference.  Taking out representatives who are particularly bad on issues of importance to young people can make a difference, like the network of gay philanthropists that has taken out a few key state legislators who were behind anti-gay marriage measures.  I don't know what the galvanizing issues would be--I'd guess endless war, endless public and personal debt, stalled upward mobility and global warming, but what do I know as a retired person--but setting up a dynamic where a candidate speaks to young people's issues and is rewarded with contributions and vice versa might have a long-term benefit.

    Young people aren't young forever, but many of the habits made in youth do last a lifetime.

  • comment on a post Independents Rising--Sort Of over 6 years ago

    Democrats lost Southern Whites after 1964, shown by their 10 pt drop in the second table.  Assume that many of these registered Republican after that, the GOP also must have lost many of its moderates to have gained only 1%.  The Indies seem to be (1) former GOP moderates, or people who would formerly have been GOP moderates; (2)left of the Dem Party folks; (3) moderate Dems who have trouble identifying as such; and (4) "true" independents.  All 4 groups are potential Dem voters.

  • comment on a post Primary Calendar Happenings over 6 years ago

    Is there anyone besides me who thinks this is just insane?  I'd really like to see everyone take a deep breath and move one month forward instead of back so the super primary takes place March 4 and no one goes until Iowa on February 4.  Even better, lets start the process in March.  This is just nuts, and the public will be sick of the candidates come September of next year.  Choosing a nominee early isn't going to make Bush leave any sooner.  And although I grant it will help the Dems achieve a single dominant voice, I'm not sure it will be the one I want.

  • on a comment on Disruptive Field Tools over 6 years ago

    And wqe all know from Macaca and other episodes that the internet CAN persuade people not to vote for one person, the first step in persuading them to vote for the other one.

  • on a comment on Disruptive Field Tools over 6 years ago

    And have the candidate(s) address issues of interest to the 18-29 folks, like (presumably) lack of upward mobility, lack of good jobs, debt--both personal and governmental, global warming and effects of climate change in the next 20-50 years, you tell me.  

    If more young people register and vote, candidates will address their issues more.  It's a virtuous circle.  

  • on a comment on Iraq Supplemental Passes House over 6 years ago

    Over.  80 votes for the bill.  Obama and Clinton voted no, knowing it would make no difference.

  • on a comment on Iraq Supplemental Passes House over 6 years ago

    Two different bills.  One authorizes the program, and the other appropriates the money to pay for it.  Sometimes the first is jsut for show.  Remember the fence bill last year?  Congress authorized spending billions on a fence at the Mexico border, but never actually appropriated the money for it.  There will be a second bite.

  • So let's make them scared of a reenergized progressive activist base!

    Stay in it for the long haul, put pressure on the capitulators, donate to and work for the anti-war members and candidates.  Let the centrists fund the rest--they are going to do so anyway.  But we need to focus on electing more of our candidates and not waste time on primaries against centrists who are going to win anyway.

  • Remember a substantial portion of GOP voters are reflexively isolationist--historically much more so than Dem voters.  They went with the Great Decider because of 9/11 and his promise to get those who done that to us, but now that his lies and incompetence have been exposed, they are going back to their default position, which is isolationsism.  Maybe even more so, having been lied to.

  • Your assumption about giving is not necessarily correct.  For example, I have given to far, far more candidates I did not (could not) vote for than the ones I voted for.  I've given to 2 Pres candidates so far this cycle, and gave to 3 last cycle.  While I ended up voting for two of them, they were not my first choice.  Some people give to encourage a candidate to persevere, or to keep a race competitive, perhaps in the hope that another candidate might enter.  

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