• comment on a post How Nader Killed The Green Party over 9 years ago
    The best a third party candidate can hope for is a few fringe races, where the local political "center" is outside either party's center. Either a far right or a far left district. That way the "third" party candidate is actually the second most competitive candidate (the other party most likely doesnt bother to field a candidate).

    Any candidate besides the main two is a vote wasted. Only a small portion of the population is willing to waste their votes.

    In a PR system I would be a Green or something like that...but Greens should stop trying to build from outside, and instead work on moving the country to the left. Kind of like the conservative movement within the Republican party that sparked Goldwater, then Reagan...

  • on a comment on Congressional Loyalty Scorecards over 9 years ago
    one potentially confusing typo first paragraph... we would pick bills that would divide the *GOP in bad ways...
  • comment on a post Congressional Loyalty Scorecards over 9 years ago
    Chris,
       While I think it is an interesting question to exame, your analysis does not include a critical fact. Republicans control the agenda. They get to pick what bills they will be bring up. So they will be picking bills that fit well with the demographics and dynamics of their party. If the dems controlled the agenda, we would propose bills that appealed to the majority of our party with special emphasis on bills that divide the Dems in bad ways.

    A good bill to bring up is one that is good for you both politically and with your grassroots, while it forces the opposition party to pick between the politically advantageous vote and a grassroots friendly vote.

    Political scientists who study the game theory of legislative bodies have shown why theoretical controlling the agenda is synomous with winning. I think this research provides a good example of that conclusion.

    Does it mean Dems are disloyal, and the GOopers are loyal? I doubt it. I think it shows how controlling the agenda can turn the other party's grassroots against it. Granted, the grassroots should be fighting for a more responsive party ALL of the time, but I believe if we set the agenda, you would see the same level of disloyalty out of the GOP. We would divide them and put them between rocks and hard places too.

  • comment on a post OUR Wedge Issues: Energy Indepedence (w/poll) over 9 years ago
    I've been a fan of using the this issue. The oil companies give to the GOP 80-20, so it shouldnt be that hard to get the dems to buck oil companies. IF big oil owned both sides of the aisle it would be impossible.

    Second, what about the fact that the rest of the world is going to develop the tech with or without us? When fossil fuels get to expensive which ever countries' companies has the known-how is going to get giant contract after giant contract for building this stuff. These are going to be high-skill, blue collar jobs. Like building back in Detroit's hey-day or building airplane and military equipment now. These will be high paying jobs open to all Americans. This type of argument appeals to yet another constituency that may not be swayed by the other reasons.

  • comment on a post Philly Mayor Blogging over 9 years ago
    Who cares who picks up the trash, as long as the air and water show is really cool and the lincoln park zoo is free?

    Maybe Philly just needs to learn how to bundle corruption with public entertainment better. :p

  • comment on a post Giuliani over 9 years ago
    If we had a different election type, without primaries, of course he would win.

    Republicans will not support him. Look at McCain. He was much more conservative on GOP bread-and-butter issues and was a shoe-in to crush Gore, but primary voters had no taste for him. The temptation of getting a guaranteed trip to the White House doesn't sway primary voters as much as would be necessary for Guiliani to get the nod.

    Take the average primary voter in "low intensity primary states". I say Iowa and NH prolly get a more representative mix of the population. At later primaries, the proportion of party faithful will go up, and Guiliani will get crushed.

    He's pro-gays, pro-choice, and anti-guns. Probably 20% of country votes single-issue on one of those 3 issues. Primary voters are nearly a majority of these voters, and they will never vote for Guiliani.

    Maybe he has other motives. Kinda like the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton model. Even though winning is a long shot at best, the act of running did alot for them in terms of prestige and credibility.

  • on a comment on Giuliani over 9 years ago
    Kerry wasn't a "centrist." He may have ran a bad campaign, and he may not have been good at declarative sentences, but he was not a "centrist". He was a liberal, and every scoring of his record shows that. Bill Clinton was a centrist. Al Gore was somewhat of a centrist, though a bit more liberal than Clinton.
  • comment on a post No room at mydd for diversity over 9 years ago

     Active time: 20 min. Start to finish: 45 min.

    6 large peaches, cut into thin wedges
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    For biscuit topping
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    1/4 cup boiling water
    Cook peaches:
    Preheat oven to 425°F.

    Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a 2-qt. nonreactive baking dish and bake in middle of oven 10 minutes.

    Make topping while peaches bake:
    Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

    Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes. (Topping will spread as it bakes.)

  • comment on a post Make Sex a Top 2006 Issue over 9 years ago
    i think a vast majority of Americans couldn't describe one substantive difference between Athens and Sparta.

    but...

    I think its a great idea... the commercials would be awesome.

    You could have a gaggle of Chubby Repub's in suits hiding in the closet al a Mission Impossible. A woman is crying as she explained her miscarriage yesterday to her husband. The Repbulicans burst out like FBI agents and cuff the mother and drag her off for not reporting it.

  • I think its a inherent contradition. You can't be pro-people and pro-corporations. Corporate interests go against the interest of people any time corporations are lobbying the govrenment for special treatment. if it really was por-peoplepro-corp, it would already be done.
  • comment on a post British election update over 9 years ago
    but can't they primary (or whatever the English method for a coup from the inside is) Blair? if everyone hates him, can't that other big gun in Labor just take the PM?
  • I think on the left we may spend way too much time getting our panties bunched up about wingnut spew.

    What if we focused on organizing young people around traditionally apolitical causes? Relaxing copyyright protections would be a great issue, I think. How many young people think music sharing laws are too restrictive? I bet alot of the people who can't name their Senator wish they could share music without worrying about a subpeona. Protecting species would be a good issue among young apolitical women, but among apolitical men, it seems like touchy-feely environmentalism is a turn-off.

    For us, when we talk about control of Congress, we know exactly what we expect to have if we get it, and what we will lose if we dont have it. For the vast majority of people, they draw a blank. We have to connect Congressional control with something substantive.

    A side note on bankruptcy. I believe there's is a huge concept in the bankruptcy bill that was missed by us. Now that it is passed, it will get publicity. The line of every debt consolidation commercial will become from now until it goes into effect "hurry and file, it's your last chance to get a fresh start." We should dovetail this free publicity and link Republicans to the restrictions in the bill. Run ads in the same spots people see bankrupcty ads. That group that is probably awfully apolitical, and this may be the only issue they are familiar with come election time.

  • comment on a post Eliot Spitzer Stamping Out Democracy over 9 years ago
    for not endorsing a mayoral challenger in a race, where the challenger has no hope to begin with? Is one endorsement really going to bring down such an "anti-democratic" machine? If it is going to make or break a machine, it isn't much of a machine at all.

    I'd say your title is misleading and unnecessarily inflammatory. I don't think Spitzer is "stamping out" anything by making one endorsement in a mayoral race in a medium sized town. After all if he is as unpopular as you say, why does he keep winning? Here in Chicago, Daley can't lose an election, because he does a good job. The city runs fairly efficiently, and people like it.

    Please don't drag people through the mud for no reason.

  • comment on a post Columbine VS Red Lake over 9 years ago
    In general, I'm not a big fan of satuartion coverage of school shootings. I think its not productive and might possibly encourage other students seeknig attention and infamy to try the same thing...

    that being said.

    Is there any reason besides race that this was not covered? I know Schiavo dominated the news, but why?

    What is bigger news, a bunch of white students getting killed at school or a white, braindead women getting her feeding tube pulled? Does anyone serirously think Schiavo would have dominated a school shooting in let's say Orange County California for coverage? There wasn't even any new 'news' about Schiavo. It was more like watching the slowest train wreck ever; there was no 'breaking' information.

  • comment on a post A 10,000 Member House of Representatives? over 9 years ago
    Does it really increase participation and decrease money-dirven politics?

    The more representatives, less media coverage of individual members get around big votes. It would make selling votes much easier. House members are heavily influenced by money, but compare that to the  state senate here in Illinois. Special interests used to hold up color-coded flash card on the balcony to instruct their guys how to vote.

    No meaningful power means less civic activism. Think about the difference in attention a house , a senate, a presidential candidate gets. The less a politician's vote counts, the less people care about who is doing the voting. The only groups that have a lot at stake in a election would be a group who could back a chunk of candidates. The only people who can back a chunk of cadidates are special interests.

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