• comment on a post Could Evan Bayh Turn Indiana Blue? over 6 years ago

    Indiana is the northernmost Southern state and it's an oddly parochial place--you know when you've crossed any of its borders. The Indiana license plates disappear immediately. I've met very few ex-Hoosiers who have any nostalgia or sentimentality for the place.

    Picking up Indiana does nothing for the Dem candidate. Ohioans, Illini, et al. are not going to be looking to Bayh as a comrade. The classic swing states of the Great Lakes are bigger, more attainable prizes and, to the extent that the VP choice matters, it should go to someone who can help pick up a strategic state, particularly one that its' neighbors also pay attention to. At best, Indiana's neighbors turn their back to the Hoosier state.

  • comment on a post Murdoch purchase of Wall Street Journal complete? over 7 years ago

    It will benefit the Financial Times, Barrons, & the NYT. The Asian WSJ would fit well with Murdoch's other holdings and tends to be pretty lackluster as a source of real news--it's probably what the new WSJ will look like. In general, I suspect we'll see the decline of the sorts of long-term, investigative reporting which provided a major reason for non trogs to read the WSJ. Much as the general lunacy of Forbes (esp. under Steve Forbes) creates a niche for the much better Business Week, a Murdoch WSJ may lead to something to fill a more "independent" niche--perhaps a daily Barron's, a NYT spinoff or something new launched by investors.

    My understanding is that the print WSJ is in decline because of the success of the online version, meaning that advertising is not growing and the print version has run into a wall. As a result the overall WSJ franchise is not growing. It may be that Murdoch wants to develop the online property, although he may be stuck with a paper that has limited growth potential.

  • comment on a post Fred Thompson's Lobbying Past Biting Him In The Ass? over 7 years ago

    Despite indications that the fundies know they've been played, they seem willing to throw their lot in with someone who looks like a winner. OTOH, Thompson's record will make him an absolute sinker if he does become the GOP candidate.

  • comment on a post Senator Cheney? over 7 years ago

    Make the debate about her all gay/lesbian all the time and see how she manages.

  • comment on a post Presidential IQ over 7 years ago

    This was revealed to be something of a hoax when it was circulated a year or two ago. There's really no way to make these estimates with any kind of reliability and many aspects of IQ relate to attention or visual-motor skills which (other than perhaps, Jerry Ford) we have little opportunity to observe.

  • comment on a post Polls Kablooey over 7 years ago

    I'm well past 30 and I dropped my landline once I no longer needed it (I had it solely for myhome security system, now I live in an apartment). It's great not to get phone spam (which even a no-call list doesn't eliminate). Without landlines, campaigns need to use new media via the internet. they also have to go back to grassroots, which is what they should be doing anyway.

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

    Interesting to see the Bushies' analysis of things. There are a couple problems with Comment #2's take: (1) the momentum for Progressives started during Monicagate; the wingnut sites generated more hits, but a loosely collaborative set of sites quickly established themselves. Salon.com also was an important player--it exposed various hypocracies and  its bulletin boards were a breeding ground for participatory journalism (Bush & the national guard) and future bloggers like TBogg. (2) The structure of the right wing blogosphere is less participatory and more hierarchical and will remain so unless there emerges some movement to wrest control of the Right or at least the GOP from the Religious Right and the neocons. It's important to remember that the conservative Braintrust consists largely of people who have been a round since the 60s and are becoming quite elderly. The younger generation are  zealots with no real ideas of their own, but a dangerous amount of energy and authoritarianism. A lot of bad things can still emerge from the Right and further threaten our democracy. OTOH, the intellectual vacuum creates an opportunity for new forces to emerge. The less lockstep elements of the Evangelical movement might be the beginning of one group that fills this void. (3) Whether they are in power or not, the Right acts like an embattled minority. That behavior won't change. It was enough to fortify a movement in the 90s, but it can't grow a movement that has lost sway with people outside of its core group. The Right needs new blood to really mobilize the blogosphere and it will require new ideas and people and some openness to participation or--and this should worry us--a new threat that somehow energizes the authoritarian structure that remains.

  • Vernon Jones, unfortunately, is a crook. His administration in DeKalb County has been rife with cronyism and corruption. He'll drop like a stone if he's the nominee in Georgia. If I still lived there, I'd be forced to vote for some obscure, third party half-wit.

  • comment on a post Puncturing the Gunbelt over 7 years ago

    The South has had population growth (attracting wingnuts from elsewhere--think Newt Gingrich) and economic growth (e.g., transplanted factory jobs) on it side for a generation or so. These dynamics are changing. The demographics of the South are undergoing rapid change because of Latino (and to a lesser and more localized extent), Asian immigrants. It will take a generation for those changes to effect elections, although there already are effects in Florida & Texas. Key employers in the South are leaving or decline-0-jobs are being offshored and employers like Delta Airlines and Coca Cola are in varying degrees of long-term structural trouble. The South has never been totally down or out politically, but the economically dynamic character of the region is becoming hobbled in places like Georgia & North Carolina. A lot of the decline is in smaller businesses (GOP territory) or large corporate entities like Delta which are nominally non-partisan, but functionally Republican. Outside of Florida and perhaps Virginia, I wouldn't see long-term electoral gains for Dems, but the structure of the national GOP will be harmed by these changes.

    Military contracting scandals seem like the next wave of investigation and any meaningful enforcement will affect the South, including Northern Virginia where a lot of this stuff is headquartered. This will certainly harm the fundraising base of the GOP.

  • comment on a post The Fairness Doctrine over 7 years ago

    Blackwell disappeared from view rather quickly. I wondered what bunch of wingnuts would adopt him as their token. Now we know.

  • comment on a post The MySpace Primary and the Feingold Benchmark over 7 years ago

    Myspace trends young and would represent a much more specialized segment of the population than the blogosphere which, itself, is skewed toward the better educated. Edwards' poor showing may suggest a relative deficit among young people rather than a worrisome overall trend. OTOH, whether Myspacers who join candidate sites as friends represent an important segment of the young population is another matter. If Myspace contacts provided unique fundraising that didn't overlap with other sources, then I'd be more convinced that it's an important segment and that it represents something more than people who enjoy looking at ugly, unreadable sites with horrible music.

  • comment on a post Conservatism Weakens America over 7 years ago

    Reminds me of Nixon rejecting basically what we ultimately got in Vietnam. Bush II is much more like Nixon than LBJ.

  • comment on a post When Blogospheres Collide over 7 years ago

    I'nm not so sure the "intellectuals" rate as such (Yglesias periodically gets far out of his depth). Atrios, OTOH, is a PhD who has taught at name brand institutions. TPM is a curious hybrid. Marshall has a journalism practice background, a PhD he finished but doesn't seem to use and political perspective that strikes me as center-left. Indeed, most of these folks are basically center-left. Alterman, Gitlin, TalkLeft, and Nathan Newman have ties of sorts to the left-left, although Alterman & Gitlin are relatively moderate, within this group. What Marshall did with social security was show what the web can do, which mass media can't---follow a single story and hold people responsible wfor where they stand. Little overt activism, but a clear new journalistic form which can draw attention to issues with out being a one issue advocacy operation that cransk out the same propoganda all the time.

    Sawicky is stuck with being an economist; econ was the first social science and one that has hit a wall with its technical and theoretical formulations. Max is much better when he gets beyond his discipline.

    The problem with using a right/left type taxonomy is that the wingnuts have pushed the right far beyond what one would have considered to be "respectable conservativism" (small government, fiscal prudence, tightfistedness leavened with some charity and noblesse oblige, being Christian but not talking about it). As a result, what I used to think of as moderate has now been pushed leftward, which is easy when you consider that a true left with its collection of social democrats, Catholic Workers, War Resisters, not-so-democratic socialists, etc. is largely gone. A few folks are around and there are signs of life in the labor movement, but basically the left-left is pretty dead and many of the people who attract the more visible defacto members of that constituency are authoritarians like Nader or Kucinich (trust me on this, I'm a native Clevelander, I've known members of his family), orthe 90s version of Jerry Brown. Brown has probably found his calling as a mayor. Nader & Kucinich would be disasters as anything other than what they are now.

    Right now there is unity in the left blogosphere because, there is a common, out-to-lunch enemy and there is rough consensus on the big issues. It's not like 2000, with people trying to justify voting for Nader (Tom Tomorrow will never be forgiven for that) and trying to make Gore into
    the same thing as Bush. Probably the same idiots who supported John Anderson in '80. Gore had no charisma and was personally uninspiring, as well as running a weak campaign, but he was a reliable liberal and decent, rational guy. And it was obvious then....

  • comment on a post Dodd jumps in over 7 years ago

    Another dull guy unknown beyond chat shows. His candidacy will go about as far as Biden's.

  • comment on a post Bush Still Buying Rove's Bad Advice over 7 years ago

    Rove also seems to the mastermind of trying to peel off constituencies--enough to create razor thin majorities. The "mandate" nonsense and the "take no prisoner's" attitude of the White House also seems to show Rove's hand.

    He captured the MSM's imagination because he had ideas, was cocky and looked successful. Dean will never get that kind of attention, despite his ideas ana ll that he did--fortunately, he doesn't seem to care.

    The sucking up to Rove reminds me of the early infatuation with Gingrich, although the Washington press corps should have known better (as was the case with the affair he had while criticizing Clinton). Instead, we got all this nonsense about the Toflers, solving our social problems with orphanages. Basically "the flight of ideas" of someone who never achived much as a serious scholar. For awhile he taught at the State University of West Georgia, which is known colloqially as "Sewage (think SUWG and turn it into a word), and far from the leading lights of Georgia's third rate state university system (you have GA Tech, the mediocre but boosterish U Ga and then a bunch of places no one will ever hear of).

    Anyway, the MSM were sucking up and there was no better vessel than Karl. I suspect that both he & Bush will vanish from the media screen two years from now. Failures disappear, esp. when the media wants to forget the tongue bathes once offered to them.


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