Gun Nut Realignment Thesis Shot Full of Holes By Data

A major source of static in the discussion of Chris's brilliant analysis "End Game on Bush's Approval: Realignment" came from a drearily predictable source: gun control opponents.  There they were, insisting that embracing guns was the silver bullet to solve all our problems.

It just not true. First, let's peek at what they said, and then let's look at reality.

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How To Run The Table In 2006--And Beyond

In his recent diary, "End Game on Bush's Approval: Realignment", Chris argues that Bush's disapproval numbers are so low that they portend political realignment, ala 1994, and that nothing more may be needed on a national level (not in individual races) than simply to run against Bush and Bush-ism.

Basically, I am in agreement.  But I have an idea about how we can do even better by re-educating people about what the Democratic Party really stands for, and has done for the American family since FDR came to power in 1932.  This can both promote the Democratic brand, and--if executed the way I suggest below--thwart GOP efforts to run away from Bush.

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Re-Framing Is The Key To A Sound And Winning Foreign Policy

This diary is a convergent response to two recent diaries. One, by Chris Bowers at MyDD, addressed the use of code words by Democratic hawks to attack other Democrats on security issues-painting them as hopelessly out of the mainstream, when, in fact, it is the hawks who are in the small minority.  However, they still control the beltway debate. The other, by Booman at Booman Tribune, was an attack on framing. My first diary responding to Booman saw him repeatedly mischaracterize what framing is, over and over and over again. In this diary, I take a different approach.  I discuss Lakoff's use of framing to articulate a different foreign policy vision-- one that actually resonates with what the American people already believe... and with proven foreign policy success. This is badly needed, because not only do advocates of withdrawal lack media access, they also lack a common framework of understanding. And that, ultimately, is what framing is all about. Messaging is entirely secondary.

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Why Booman Hates Framing... He Just Doesn't Get It!

Note: Framing is one of the most powerful tools that Democrats and progressives have recently awakened to. It doesn't take millions of dollars to do. The tools you need are all inside your head. Yet, there is tremendous internal hostility that has significantly undercut the potential that's there to be realized. Hence this spillover diary from Booman Tribune

Booman hates framing because he just doesn't get it.  And he just doesn't get it because he's been schooled in the one of the Western Tradition's Big Lies--the Big Lie of disembodied knowledge.

He says:

Understanding Lakoff's framing theories involves understanding basic logic. And I don't feel like giving an academic explanation of all the intricacies of symbolic logic. So, I'll just use layman's terms.

To which media girl quite rightly responded:

Thanks for the contempt

Silly me! I just don't understand logic! Goodness! That means the tarot cards are wrong?!


Again, I think you're arguing with a straw man. Framing is not willy nilly manipulation.

Booman himself is operating inside a frame.  The frame of disembodied knowledge.  And as media girl quite aptly notes, it's a frame drenched in elitism.  It's also utterly wrong.

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GOP Crime Wave Only Scratches Surface

Note: This is a story republished from the current issue of Random Lengths News.  None of the details should come as news to avid readers here, but the big picture may be illuminating for someone you know, particularly in response to the "criminalizing politics" meme.  Feel free to pass on.

Recent indictments and investigations of GOP lawmakers, lobbyists and associates are only the tip of the iceberg, according to longtime observers, including current and former true believers in the GOP cause.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist pulled a Martha Stewart this June. He sold all the stock in his familiy's hospital chain just before the stock plummeted. He's now under investigation for insider trading by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The latest wrinkle--the "blind trust" he used to supposedly insulate himself from conflicts of interest wasn't so blind, after all.

Fortunately for Frist, he's not the most high-profile Republican in hot water these days.

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I Heard Judy Miller In Person Yesterday

Not our usual subject matter here, but truly excellent--Chris

Almost simultaneously with the web publishing her own account of her involvement in the Valerie Plame Affair, New York Times reporter Judy Miller spoke at an awards ceremony by the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) at Cal State, Fullerton, close to Richard Nixon's childhood home. Miller presented an award to `Deep Throat,' Mark Felt, just after the keynote speech by her attorney, Floyd Abrams, who also defended The Times in the Pentagon Papers case, when the paper was somewhat at odds with a Republican Administration, rather than carrying water for one.

Deep Throat ~= Batman

Both Abrams and Miller attempted to equate her with Woodward, Bernstein and Felt as a courageous defender of the First Amendment. Both fell short. Felt's grandson, Nick Jones, who accepted the award on behalf of his grandfather, did much better with a different equation.

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'Serenity' And The Supreme Court

I went to see Serenity, Joss Whedon's film debut, yesterday.  It begins with a presentation of the official story, how Humanity left an overcrowded Earth to colonize nearby space, and found a system rich in earthlike planets and moons, how the progressive core of the more civilized planets fought and won a war against the more primitive periphery.

The scene shifts to where the story is being told, a shimmering outdoor "classroom" echoing archetypes of Golden Age Greece, with a beautiful youngish teacher, and her charges, small children, one of whom asks (paraphrase) "Why would they fight against us? Why wouldn't they want to healthy, happier and more civilized?" There's a bit of back and forth, then one girl who's been furiously working her hand-held electronic tablet looks up and says, "We're meddlers.  People don't like to meddled with."

Who Are The Real Meddlers?on the flip...

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Schwarzenegger Seemingly Sides With Floods vs. People

Cross-posted from Caltics, a group blog of California Politics

GOP Gov Fires Reclamation Board Following Policy Change To Take Tough New Action Reviewing Flood-Plain Developments

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, California's Reclamation Board, which overseas flood control in the Central Valley responded with concern. Its responsibilities include 1,600 miles of levees, most of which have been grandfathered into federal flood insurance programs, rather than passing rigorous inspections.  Further aggravating matters, the Central Valley is now the most rapidly urbanizing region in the state.

On September 16, the board approved what the Sacramento Beedescribed as "an aggressive new policy to begin reviewing all urban development proposals in designated flood zones." The policy would bring pressure to bear on local governments to reject developments in high-risk areas where levees could not be counted on to protect against foreseeable floods.

In turn, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger responded with concern, firing all six members of the board 11 days later (there was one vacancy), and replacing them with a board of six Republicans and one Democrat.  A Schwarzenegger spokesperson claimed that the replacements had been in process for some time, but given Schwarzenegger's secretive style of governing, there were only rumors beforehand, and no outside consultation or explanation.

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AWOL Bush, AWOL Press, The Post-Katrina Edition

Hurricane Katrina laid bare Bush's multiple failures as President, everything from political philosophy to inappropriate affect.  But the obviousness of Bush's failures should not distract us from the failures of America's corporate media, without which Bush could never have become President in the first place.

The striking abandonment of duty by Bush, and every politically-appointed member of his Administration dramatically underscores the enduring significance of a major story that entire corporate media has consistently bungled since day one--Bush's dereliction of duty in the Texas Air National Guard, and the evidence of a high-level coverup to protect him.

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There Is No Right To Privacy In The Constitution, But...

Privacy Is A Constitutional Right

This is not a zen koan. It's a simple distinction.  The Ninth Amendment says:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This recognizes, without naming the existence of other rights.

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