Its Ralph Reed, stupid. Ralph reed has organized the talking points memorandum to go through the Baptist Church Sermon network.
The catholics work on abortion and other issues. The blue maps there for catholic parish areas are going through solidly red (GOP) held territory.
I think the key to understanding the map is not so much how religion and politics should mix together, they don't at all. They don't even promote identities, ie - you don't see yourself as a christian american, you see yourself as an american, and a christian.
Instead the key is to know where the GOP message machine gets franchised. Baptists are annoyingly capable of carefully crafting statements that accomplish political goals. Note that the policy objectives aren't met, but political goals are.
What you're seeing here is a map of how Karl Rove and Ralph Reed helped push the democratic party off its natural base. The red on this map represents a solidly democratic leaning group of people - and delivered 9 of the last 10 democratic presidential candidates who successfully ran for the white house.
Not identity. These people don't see themselves as democrat or republican, they see themselves as americans. And they are all being told the same thing by the GOP right now: the GOP is messed up, but surely you don't want to vote for the democrats.
And why? Because the Democrats still haven't embraced reform.
Independents in Nevada are worth it - Harry Reid, for example, is a strong democrat - that would be sufficient to qualify him for being an independent democrat given the simpering weakness that has been the hallmark of the past five years.
I think indies, if they are properly courted - can get fairly disgusted fairly quickly with the GOP and be able to convey it. The Dems have been branded into a corner in the silver mining state.
Stollers post is again, that one poison peanut in the mix. its all about validating celebrities.
There is no such thing as an environmental movement championed and led by celebrities. none whatsoever. earth first! , al gore, all the rest - well, its like calling al gore a celebrity. hardly. thats like going to see richard nixon put on a strip tease.
keep the percentages in mind. mother teresa said, if what you give, is something you can't feel. give more. those celebs are like, 20 million dollar men + they might give maybe 100k per each if we're all so lucky which they just use to do a tax write off anyway.
robert kennedy fought eloquently about mercury, in the water - the guy must have properties or something on nantucket. stoler again just picks a well sharpened axe to grind.
Catholic pedophile priests aren't the main issue I have with the church, mostly because I am protestant and I see that as someone else's problem.
DVC is a great book. Go get it, and read it. Its worth the read. I read "holy blood, holy grail" before it, and the first few chapters of this book have set itself up for me so that I can guess a bit where the storyline may go - and I am fairly stoked. I really do want to see the movie, but I guess I'm not.
Actually spike lee's "inside man" is a really good movie. I don't know if its still out there. But go see it if you do.
seriously - bowers is making his argument that there are two kinds of people in the world to ridicule the idea that there is some kind of rift.
The party has its conservative/ hawkish/ jack murtha side. Murtha is a realist also - he sees the military effort there as something more or less being led by complete idiots (like rumsfeld and bush) and he sees courage as a form of intelligent endurance. Murtha stood up against literally nothing that funded defense for his entire term, he's a definite hawk -
Then there's the kucinich side of the party. Both are fairly aligned in the right direction -
Here is the key: there is one party that actually acknowledges what Bush got us into here - that America invaded a country that had nothing to do with our war on terror.
Even, dare we say it (breathlessly) - pick a fight in another country to draw Al Qaeda down in to that country to fight them there?
A mistake of colossal proportion. And one that could come only from a commander in chief with no military experience and no clue of how to pursue the war on terror.
Al Qaeda is setting up a haven there in Iraq - it is like fighting a virus by going out and smearing it on someone. They just breed the damn thing and then cough it all over the world.
There seems to be a more effective way to describe the rift.
The democrats, by and large, see diplomacy and international pressure as a means of solving problems, whereas the republicans see the use of american military might as a means of accomplishing foreign policy objectives.
In the democratic party, for the last two terms of consecutive losses of the presidency, house and senate, coupled with the recent loss of a presidential run from an insurgent within its own ranks (Dean), there have been two doors blown open to have its own ranks torn apart - first, the door that opens into GOP chambers. The key that you can find on lieberman's keychain, and guys like Zell Miller. They are enjoying the idea that they somehow represent the American public despite the fact that they are both vocal advocates of the use of Military force against innocent countries. I say innocent in all the sense of the word that, here in New York, or California, or even Georgia - you were not threatened by Iraq and yet you made war upon them. They never invaded your shore, stole your food or threatened your children - and they were not involved in 911. That was al qaeda.
So, there is that door. That one is best left with a detonation device of some kind and a welcome sign.
Then, there is the door that opens wide into the wierd special interests who know that creating a vocal minority on the internet will accomplish major policy objectives for them. They had their hat handed to them in the 2004 election.
But somehow, between whomever is left over (the indies, the conservative/moderates, the mccain-freaks and the rest of the deaniacs) there is a right edge , and a left ( the - gosh - what was that guys name oh yeah kucinich, the greens, the kerry freaks, and so on) inside the party that clearly see eye to eye and are willing to collaborate to work together.
That said, its still a Karl Rove game. We are dividing people up into teams. Anyone who wants to do that might as well sign a check over to a simpering, hermann goerring look-alike with keys to the white house. Rove loves it when we just can't break away. He bitched about how people watch polls - but thats the beauty of being descended from nazis - they can easily pretend to hate the thing they love. This whole game of the ebb and flow of statistics is pure insanity.
The only way out for everyone is the standard bearer of the insurgency in the party, namely, the CHAIRMAN of the party - Howard Dean, to stand up and lead a big victory - a pure blowout win, in the house and maybe even the senate.
To prove people like Jack Murtha are right.
And that will mean that the Democrats have to have talking points and a real reform agenda. Something everyone can get.
The current and continuing strategy seems to be reform by proxy. the "we're not them" approach. It is soft and weak.
Telling the truth online, can be fixed as well. Remember that story about the font difference for the letter that was supposed to be given as evidence in a sixty minutes / CBS news story about the president's wormy tenure in the national guard?
The first blogger to report it was here in Atlanta. He was called up by the attorney that had started the work in the monica lewinsky / impeachment case against bill clinton.
The blogs picked up that story almost simultaneously - in fact, the blogs were telephoned by 'friends' who immediately picked up the story and ran with it. There were prefabricated emails that were sent around chain letter style.
The "pajama clad bloggers" that ultimately 'toppled' Dan Rather, were telling the truth. But the document, its sourcing to CBS - played an eerie role. It was almost as if, the document were there as a red herring in the first place. It never mattered whether the document had a typo or not, it was still a piece of true reporting - Bush skipped out of his service to the country. The focus of the piece was a factual admission by the former texas speaker of the house, who said he rigged the draft to get George W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard and out of duty for vietnam.
As much as telling lies online sells advertising, in this case, telling the truth online was meant to sell more. That single incident put the conservative blogosphere far ahead of the liberal
Better still was the radio support.
I think one thing that the independents have going for them this year is Air America radio. That station rocks.
It is my observation, at this point, that the so called 'liberal' blogosphere is really just tilted towards factual reporting right now.
If the democrats embrace real reform, we can institutionalize it. Neither party is supporting the bloggers. Feingold is about all we have, in america, that approaches statesman.
There was a post on the board here once about "the bush tax"
I seem to recall it went something like this.
1. bush proposes unfunded federal mandates like no child left behind and hippa, and as a result, states have to raise property taxes - mine went up 100.00 a month.
2. the bush republicans work as handmaiden to the oil company, cheney writes his energy policy with the energy industry heads behind closed doors. Gas prices skyrocket 270% , we pay an additional 30.00 per week / every week. 120.00 a month. The same oil companies are now trying to run advertisements and marketing - paying billions of dollars - to hide the fact that they're just taking the additional premium on gas, as nothing more than a windfall profit. (after all, since when does price per barrel of oil have anything to do with how many refineries you can operate to drive the price per +gallon+ of the pumped gas up or down?)
3. the bush republicans , again in the pocket of the same lobbyists that ran up oil prices - not only got us into a global warming jam but cost us 990 billion dollars and lost lives when they couldnt even respond to a class THREE not FIVE hurricane with their - no other way to describe it - OILY appointments at the head of FEMA
4. These fellows, like Cheney and Bush and Rove, are costing us 120 billion dollars a year in their oil company sponsored / Haliburton Energy contracted war against a country that did not pose any threat at all to ours. None. The same fellows are costing us American lives - and ruining the lives of our soldiers as they are directed to kill innocent civilians. A cost that any christian could not bear.
5. Finally they're costing us heavy at the church - these fellows used evangelicals to get themselves into power, and they're constantly monkeying with a hugely expensive line between church and state. This is a wall that Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams and Tom Jefferson built at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives and millions of colonial dollars. This wall has protected our churches for years.
Lets talk real cost. Tuition is chicken feed. These guys are a multi trillion dollar drain.