• on a comment on Capitalizing On Hollywood Talent over 8 years ago

    I didn't mean to imply that this was not a for-profit venture for Moxie. My point was more that Spitzer's camp is looking outside of traditional political media producers to get their message out -- much in the way you guys pioneered with the greenscreen feature. This is an example of what media professionals can do for candidates.

    That said, a director can do things like choose to free up her schedule to do a political ad or take less than his usual payment. And I don't think pitching an ad idea to a candidate can be considered an in-kind donation. But the Hollywood pros have to know that their input is welcome, and that campaigns are not going to half-ass their proposals with poor execution. That's where increased coordination is needed.

  • on a comment on Capitalizing On Hollywood Talent over 8 years ago
    Look at the production value of each. There's a way to do the Suozzi ad to put it on par with the Spitzer spot -- better graphical text, slightly softer focus, etc. The Suozzi ad might get the job done, but you can't tell me that an ad looking like that would be acceptable in the private sector for anything but a local business. The Spitzer ad is ready for prime time.
  • on a comment on NJ-Sen: Crisis For Kean Jr over 8 years ago

    It is trending Democratic, and historically, if Republicans want to win state-wide, Bergen is a must win. In a lot of ways, it's a real bellwether county for candidates of both parties. So if Kean Jr can't even get the county organization behind him, it's a real problem.

  • Oh my God, I've never before witnessed a blog comment set-up that effectively executed. Kudos to both of you.

  • I don't disagree that it is a clever move on McCain's part. But the thing is, the reason he's doing it is that he's afraid he would lose.

  • I'm sorry, but I'm not going to accept some report from a rightist think tank like the Manhattan Institute. Then again, you're the same guy who claimed about the Bushes that "at some point the family was a middle class family," which I don't even think most Republicans would believe.

  • It's quite a few hours later, but I hope you're still following this thread, because it's an important discussion.

    I posted what I did because I wanted to advance a narrative that specifically shifted the focus of the malpractice problem to the insurance industry. I still cannot see how my post advanced an anti-doctor narrative, which is why I think it's more about your personal experience with trial lawyers, their wives, other Democrats, etc. I don't begrudge you your baggage on this, but I really think you read what I wrote through the very specific lens that tells you that too many Democrats are anti-doctor.

    The way I see it, my job here is distilling complex issues into something that's easily understandable. So did I treat this topic with brevity and simplicty? Absolutely. This is a blog post, not a book. But I wholeheartedly disagree with your assertion that my whole point was that frivolous lawsuits aren't a problem. Again, this smacks of you defensively reading this in a certain light. Understandable, but I'm still going to respond.

    More specifically, here's the narrative I was putting forth, broken out into a list. 1) A number of malpractice lawsuits could be avoided if doctors were more willing to own up to their mistakes. 2) Doctors are unwilling to own up to their mistakes because they're afraid of being sued. 3) Doctors are overly afraid of being sued because they've been told by the insurance lobby that lawsuits are a bigger institutional problem than they really are.

    The insurance industry has demonstrably raised malpractice premiums not because of frivolous lawsuits, but because of their own bad investment decisions. Does that mean I think frivolous lawsuits are no big deal for the doctors who have to fight them? Hell no! But the way to curb them is not to enact pro-insurance industry 'tort reform' measures, but rather steps like forcing obviously negligent doctors out of the healthcare system and forcing obviously abusive lawyers out of the legal system. Is that anti-doctor? It's certainly anti-bad doctor, but only as much as it is anti-bad lawyer.

    My problem here was never with doctors, but with insurance industry manipulation of a bad malpractice system for their gain. The system may indeed be bad, but let's clear the air about what the real problems and real solutions might be. Otherwise, if we can't reach consensus on a progressive alternative to corporate proposals, no one -- patients, doctors, lawyers -- will get any meaningful help.

  • I disagree somewhat about Giuliani's strength, because I think the campaign to smear him as a liberal -- both whispered and overt -- should prove pretty effective. But if he's going to hurt anyone, you're right -- it's going to be McCain.

  • Just because you're defensive about the topic doesn't make me dismissive and insulting. Read the post again. There's nothing to back up that accusation. I mean, I'm quoting a doctor here and not really offering any conjecture of my own.

    I do believe I specifically laid out a case that the fault here is with the malpractice industry and the way it's impacted medical training, not with doctors. And I'm sorry, but I don't believe that you've not been told a million and one times by rightist politicians and their insurance industry allies that malpractice suits are killing medicine. I didn't accuse doctors of having been brainwashed in one-on-one sessions. We've all been fed this myth through the media for years. They've told you, they've told me, they've told everyone. I commend you if you've been able to block it out.

    And what does it mean to start an appropriate thread? Is this one inappropriate because you don't agree with the premise?

  • HA! It's like super-sarcasm looped back on itself. The mind boggles.

  • on a comment on Mark Warner Open Thread over 8 years ago

    I am so proud of myself that you can't call my bias, it's not even funny. At this point, except for Jerome, I don't think any of us know 100% where we stand.

  • I don't like tip jars, but I had to balance out Bob, who I guess isn't crazy about sarcasm.

  • Like I said in the post, I expected a lot of people to disagree with me. So far, no one's really changed my mind, but a few of the points you raise are good ones, so let me discuss them individually.

    1 & 2 :: I believe this type of data is most useful for general election GOTV, so I'm not 100% sure that it represents a huge advantage for big money Dems over others. Another point is that, while minor candidates might not have the resources, outside groups like labor do, and they can access this data to use in their own GOTV efforts. If the whole operation winds up being Clinton-only, then you're right -- it's garbage. But I have trouble with the idea that Soros would be giving Clinton what amounts to a $10 million in-kind donation at this point.

    3 :: I just don't see this as a 'one or the other' proposition. I think the people investing in it are doing so because they see it as a worthwhile project, not as a way to undercut the DNC. And to point out the obvious, it would be illegal for Soros to give the DNC $10 million. It's not illegal for him to invest $10 million in a private company.

    4 :: Harold Ickes is not going to sell this information to Republicans. It's just not going to happen.

    These are all my opinions and I fully admit I could be wrong. (With the exception of 4, which I think is a matter of fact.) And if I am wrong, I will be intensely disappointed. But right now, I'm very cautiously optimistic about this.

  • I do believe it's the same one.

  • There's a very specific reason I put 'Western' at the front of that. One of my favorite Billy Bragg songs is 'North Sea Bubble,' the lyrics of which I think are relevant to this topic.

    I went out drinking with Thomas Paine
    He said that all revolutions are not the same
    They are as different as the cultures
    That give them birth
    For no one idea
    Can solve every problem on Earth

    So don't expect it all to happen
    In some prophesied political fashion
    For people are different
    And so are nations
    You can borrow ideas
    But you can't borrow situations

    I never said that "democracy is unworkable or antithetical to various areas of the world" or that it "is not the only legitimate governmental type." My point was more that you can't necessarily force drastic change like this from the outside, especially not as a point of policy. I think everyone everywhere deserves the right of self-determination. But imposing self-determination at the barrel of a (foreign) gun is absurd.

    I suspect our positions are pretty similar on this.

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