• because it sounds just a bit more true than it really is.  It is literally true; Dean took 50.4% of the vote that year.  But his nearest opponent got 37.9%, and the Progressive candidate got 9.5%, so by election day at least, Dean was in no danger of losing.

    I don't say that to take anything away from him or his political courage, but rather just because accurate representation is valuable even when it mucks up the narrative just a bit.  I did not know about the bulletproof vest though; that is pretty amazing on a great many levels.

    Thanks demoinesdem, I really enjoy and appreciate your reporting (and your comments at SSP!).

  • on a comment on Questions for Gavin Newsom? over 4 years ago

    Arrrggg.  mcc's question is much better than mine.  I think mine are vaguely interesting, but trying to get a meaningful comment on 2/3rds out of him is actually important.

  • comment on a post Questions for Gavin Newsom? over 4 years ago

    Have you enjoyed being mayor?  

    (For any other politician this would be a softball, but Gavin actually seems to hate being mayor.  He's whined about not liking the job to the press before, which immediately blew back on him.  So it would be interesting to see if he trips up on the question at all this time, or if he rolls right through it.)

    Has dealing with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors prepared you to work with the Legislature?

    (Newsom's relations with the Board are horrible, even with some of his nominal allies.  He knows this, and he knows that the Legislature is a disaster area.  He should be able to connect working with a "difficult" Board to working with a difficult Legislature, which would be interesting if he does it well, and interesting if he trips up and insults either the Board or the Legislature too egregiously.)

    And now for the good shit:
    You told the Economist that if the San Francisco Chronicle died, "people under 30 wouldn't even notice."  Will newspapers be able to recapture this generation, and do you think social media or other new models will eventually replace them?

    (Gavin got in a spot of trouble with that comment to the Economist; the Chronicle was none too amused by it.  In fact, one of their columnists retorted that "If that's the case, then people under 30 won't even notice you haven't been our full-time mayor for more than a year," and another called him Mayor Twitter.  I left that out of the question, but that comment is a hole that Mayor Newsom dug himself, and it would be very interesting to see how well he is getting himself out of it.  Does he rise to the bait in the question, and predict the eventual dominance of New Media, and further piss off the Chronicle, or does he back up the newspaper, say some pablum about how irreplaceable they are to democracy, and risk looking unhip?  How he responds should be indicative of how much discipline he'll be able to handle himself with going forward.)  

    Why do you want to be governor?

    (Because every candidate for higher office should always be asked this, and ought to have a real answer for it too.)

    -- I think these questions are just tough enough to be real, without being either directly hostile, or fawning.  Thanks for the opportunity to offer them, and I hope the interview goes well!

  • Yeah, but what happens when the compromise is itself compromised back to 60%?

    The knock on card check is that it makes union organizing radically too easy.  I suppose that's bullshit, given who's advancing that argument, but suppose for a moment that there's a grain of truth to it.  This would actually be the route to resolving the problem:  allow the switch away from high-pressure, high-stakes, illegal-management-influence-ridden union elections, and to a card check system, but raise the threshold a bit over a bare majority.  55 or 60% don't strike me as an unreasonable threshold for a card check organizing campaign.  Now, I don't actually know the deep details of organizing; it may be that as in the Senate, 60% is much much much harder to achieve than it sounds.  I'm open to a detail-based argument that anything over 50% is crippling to the possibility of actually organizing anybody under card check.  But theoretically, this would be the way to address the concern that card check at 50% is just too damn unionizeable (and too subject to heavy pressure on workers by union advocates to sign a public-record card).

    Now politically, I'm a bit scared of this; I think we've got EFCA at 50%, and so eroding it to 60% now is a horrible idea, and 70% really is a poison pill hostile amendment.  But, supposing we really don't have EFCA at 50%, I think it would be worth doing at 55%.  

  • comment on a post The Bogotá-Brasilia Axis over 5 years ago

    than Argentina.

    Not really surprised, but I do find it a bit remarkable that union-man Lula is linking arms with Uribe, who was last seen on progressive blogs in the context of the Colombia Free Trade Act, in which context he was held to personify the systematic murder of union organizers.  Interesting.

    Calderon's last appearance in the progosphere was around the time that he stole an election from AMLO, with the help of Carville and Begala IIRC.

    Anyway, it's an interesting axis.  As you can see I'm not much accustomed to cheering for either Uribe or Calderon.

    I do want to like Lula and Morales.

    I would generally class Uribe and Chavez as equally repellent to me, though they achieve that equality of outcome through very different means.  And I freely admit I don't know much of anything either.

    Whatever happened with Michelle Bachelet anyway?  And whatshername Kirchener?  I'd be a lot more ideologically comfortable cheering for them.  ;-)

  • comment on a post Will the real Religious Left please stand up? over 5 years ago

    I sent you an email last week about a post I had up at Open Left regarding a structural innovation to Soapblox or Drupal.

    Did you get that email?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  • comment on a post OH-Sen: Democrats Lead By 10-15 Points over 5 years ago

    Tom Udall too.

    I for one wouldn't want to piss off Mark Warner.  He looks like the kind of guy who would secretly know karate.  You wouldn't even realize you had died.

  • comment on a post Open Thread over 6 years ago

    He keeps bobbing his head up and down WAY TOO MUCH to (over)emphasize the mostly meaningless stuff he's saying.  It makes him look even weirder.  He's kindof got a bizarre face already, so the bizarre head-movements are not helping him.

    The music is decent until the last two seconds, when it goes way over the top.

  • If you're looking for analogies for Texas, try Virginia, Colorado, and Arizona.  Oh yeah, and California pre-Pete-Wilson.

    Texas has some very rapidly changing demographics.  The state is moving out from under the GOP, and Rove of all people knew it.  He in fact was terrified of it, and terrified that his base would do exactly what it wound up doing to him with immigration.

    Virginia was a solidly red state, until suddenly it wasn't.  Demographic changes clicked, and now the WaPo is writing about Virginia as a swing state on the presidential level in 08.

    Colorado likewise.  A solid red state, until suddenly it wasn't.  And California was consistently competitive (Govs Nixon, Reagan, Wilson) until suddenly it was deep blue.  

    The politics actually lagged the underlying demographic changes in all cases.  No one really expected the changes to come until much later than they actually did.

    The final great thing about this is the element of surprise.  Because the reigning party usually underestimates the speed at which the chickens can come home to roost, if you find a candidate who can put together the coalition you've been hoping for quickly, then you can often catch the incumbent completely off guard.

    I'm not saying it will happen, but Rick Noriega, on paper, is the kind of candidate who could put together the coalition that will be governing Texas in 12 years, this year.  Disenchantment with an out-of-touch and off-the-wall state GOP is also high.  Noriega is the kind of guy who could surprise the hell out of John Cornyn.  The number one problem with this scenario is that Texas is way way way expensive to advertise in, and that sucks.  The Colorado Dems had some serious money thrown at them when they pulled their upset, the California Dems have always been well-funded, and I don't know much about Virginia.  But the lack of money -- and I don't mean netroots money, I mean serious money -- is a problem for Texas and Noriega.

    But that's really the only downer.  This is the right guy, and it's either the right time, or maybe two years early (a midterm election would have been much better for this kind of strategy).  But the Texas guys are not all smokin dope when they talk about this stuff.  There are serious underlying trends involved here.  In that sense, it's not like Idaho or Nebraska or Alabama or the other states you complain about hype. Texas is big, and it may take more than two years.  But Texas is moving.

  • Warner, check, Begich, check... Chandler is waiting for the easy target in Jim Bunning.  I don't know who or what we'll have in KY this cycle.  

  • Is the Kennedy thing for real??!  That just seems too awful to believe.  Kennedy was the liberal alternative to Chris John back in 2004!  Without that split in the Dem vote, John probably would have beat Vitter.  wtf...

  • Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania (again!).  That's where the goods are.  Until the Texas redistricting, that is.

    Sadly, we won't have a voice in Florida or Georgia redistricting for a long time.  

    Oh, and Virginia.  Redistricting could help there too.

  • I think we pick up seats in both chambers, but Senate recruiting is not going nearly as well as I hoped.  Alabama, North Carolina, and Oregon have all been enormous disappointments.  Yes, Novick is great, but you know what I mean.  And Brad Miller and Ron Sparks... tears, baby, tears.

    Kentucky and Alaska would be sweet, Texas looks like fun, but KY and AK are NOT in the bag, New Mexico is an open question, and then there's AL, NC, and OR.  That's six winnable seats we may be leaving on the table, compared to only five seats we'll actually be running in (CO, ME, NH, MN, NE, and ID and TX if you're feeling really generous.)  That is a rough recruiting season in my book.  Granted, none of those six states are definitive failures yet, but I'm way nervous about most of them.

  • comment on a post Why Back a Presidential Candidate in 2008? over 6 years ago

    I'm not doing any work in this race yet, nor giving money to pres candidates, because at this point neither Obama nor Edwards is obviously the superior choice.  I have opinions on the race, and I follow the race, partly because the entire country is following it too and has opinions, and it's fun to talk about.  On the last day of Q1, I thought hard, and then sent my money to Jerry McNerney, cause neither Obama nor Edwards had really sold me.  I could have split my donation and given half to each of them to help lift them both over Hillary, but it seemed better to help a vulnerable freshman appear stronger.  So far, I'll probably do a similar thing on the last day of Q2.    I follow the race because it's fun to think and talk about, and because at some point something might indicate that there is a candidate that I really should work hard for, and I won't know it unless I'm watching closely. But in terms of work, I'm not "backing" anyone right now.

    In terms of casual thoughts, I'd rather Obama win, because when it comes to the world's perception of America, Obama represents the sharpest possible break imaginable with the last 8 years.  Electing Obama just makes a statement, on a strictly symbolic level, that electing Edwards or Clinton would not, and that's actually what I care about most.  Obama could even be a worse president on domestic issues and I still wouldn't care.  Can you imagine him taking a world tour after his election?  Assuming he is willing to put political capital on the table to address global warming, which I do assume, and assuming that we elect him with enough of a mandate (and a Senate) to do health care, which I do hope, then everything else is just details.  Actually, that's not true, the real devil is in the details, specifically whether Edwards or Obama allows corporate boardrooms to continue preying on Americans and non-Americans alike.  On that point I think Obama may or may not be properly motivated, and Edwards, while properly motivated, is probably not capable of winning that particular fight.  Maybe in an Obama or an Edwards second term.  But for now, in terms of just undoing the damage of the Bush Administration, I like Obama.

  • Are indies allowed at the Iowa Caucus?

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