Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Monday, August 30, 2004
THE STATE OF THE STATE
PEACEFUL AND MASSIVE
I hope it remains peaceful and massive throughout the week.
"I've been going to Republican conventions since 1972, and I've never seen a convention with as many protesters in the streets," said David Gergen, who has worked for several Republican presidents, and Bill Clinton. "The irony is that was a convention held here because of echoes of 9/11, but it opens with echoes of Chicago and the Vietnam war.
"The protests are anti-Bush, with heavy antiwar overtones, but this is Chicago without the fisticuffs, without the fight, without the bloodshed - so far," Mr. Gergen added. "To interpret this politically is hard, but my gut is that large, peaceful protests are not what the Republicans want. The protesters are stealing the story for the first day and drowning out the Republican message. If there's violence, that could all change."
IS DAVE MATTHEWS A MENACE TO THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT?
AND ON THE OTHER TEAM...
Friday, August 27, 2004
MAKE EVERY VOTE COUNT
MORE AMERICANS ARE UNINSURED AND POOR
Cleveland now has the highest poverty rates of any city in the nation. Even Newark. No wonder every third ad I see on TV here has the word "outsourcing" in it.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The LAZLO LETTERS: ILLINOIS 2004 EDITION
Whatever else happens this election, the Illinois Republicans have to be commended for providing us all a bottomless well of comedic oddities.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
PLAME CASE HEATING UP
The story's on the front page of today's web version of the New York Times; if it gains traction in the national media this week it's a big problem for the Republicans as they gather in New York City.
TINY TIM WOULD GO
Monday, August 23, 2004
STEVE EARLE'S STILL ANGRY BUT HAVING FUN
Some editing took place to make Earle's comments fit a family newspaper, fitting since he discusses his new song "F the CC." Unedited Earle may be found at his blog.
ANOTHER RUST BELT BUSINESS INSTITUTION GOES DOWN
In other Pennsylvania news, Kerry's still up in the polls, and Joe Hoeffel's still walking the state in an effort to make inroads against Arlen Specter. No word on who's making more progress, Hoeffel or Fingerhut, but they're both getting exercise.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
YE OLDE BACKLASHE
This time around, Bruce is getting the brunt of flak from the media and right-wingers. The Dixie Chicks are on this tour; has there been any criticism of them, or did they get their full dose last year? Good for them for not backing down.
Monday, August 16, 2004
WARREN HARDING WOULD BE PROUD
Say what you want about Gore's shortcomings, his inability to win Tennessee, etc. Had Nader's votes in just New Hampshire had gone to Gore, we wouldn't be undergoing the blatant corporate abuses of the public interest that we're seeing today. The DNC or a 527 should be running ads on this, as well as the Plame disgrace, to put the "compassionate conservative" nonsense to rest.
JUST TELL ME WHAT WE DID HERE!
Sunday, August 15, 2004
OLYMPIC AD OBSERVATION
When VW used Nick Drake, his sales -- total sales over 30 years --quintupled within a month. Buckner has the same haunting, stark acoustic vibe on his song, so maybe he'll make a similar impression. I hope he gets a more positive bounce out of the Olympics than Bush does.
SOMEBODY ELSE'S BLOOD
Harkin also shot back at Cheney, who said in a visit to Iowa on Tuesday that presidential candidate John Kerry lacks a basic understanding of the war on terrorism and cannot make America safer.
He noted that Cheney had several student deferments that allowed him to skip serving in Vietnam.
"When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil," Harkin said. "Those of us who served and those of us who went in the military don't like it when someone like a Dick Cheney comes out and he wants to be tough. Yeah, he'll be tough. He'll be tough with somebody else's blood, somebody else's kids. But not when it was his turn to go."
I'm surprised no one has asked George Bush why his daughters aren't serving in the military.
That's not the only election taking place here. Walkin' Eric Fingerhut is running for George Voinovich's Senate seat, and all of the presidential battlegrounds feature Democratic challengers in House races, like Jane Mitakides in Dayton and Jeff Seemann in Canton. All of these candidates are at funding disadvantages against Republican incumbents, and strong races by all could not only help Kerry win a state which would just about guarantee him the presidency, but could also give Democrats majorities in Congress. If you can help, donate money or time to one or several Ohio Democrats. The link allows for easy, secure donations and also links to individual candidate websites and blogs; most haven't been on the national radar, but these races may have a tremendous effect on U.S. politics.
Thursday, August 12, 2004
THE GOVERNOR IS OUT
...my truth is that I am a gay American. And I am blessed to live in the greatest nation with the tradition of civil liberties, the greatest tradition of civil liberties in the world, in a country which provides so much to its people.Speculation has that "consensual affair" was about to result in a sexual harassment suit, which may have prompted McGreevy to act quickly. In that light, the resignation is more expedient than courageous. But the unambiguous language he used on live television is courageous, regardless of context. I don't recall Elton John or George Michael being so frank about their sexual orientation when they first went public, and they weren't Catholic politicians. McGreevey didn't say he was bisexual, he didn't say he had "caused pain in his personal life" -- he said he was gay, and had an affair with a man, leaving no room for inference or innuendo. And he only apologized for the affair, implying that being gay is nothing to be ashamed about. I hope what he said will give strength to others wrestling with their identities.
Yet because of the pain and suffering and anguish that I have caused to my beloved family, my parents, my wife, my friends, I would almost rather have this moment pass. For this is an intensely personal decision, and not one typically for the public domain.
Yet, it cannot and should not pass. I am also here today because, shamefully, I engaged in adult consensual affair with another man, which violates my bonds of matrimony. It was wrong. It was foolish. It was inexcusable. And for this, I ask the forgiveness and the grace of my wife. She has been extraordinary throughout this ordeal, and I am blessed by virtue of her love and strength.
As for the political fallout, I've heard speculation from folks in New Jersey hoping that this doesn't give Bush momentum in the state. I doubt it will -- I've only seen one poll in twenty showing Bush within single digits of Kerry, and that poll was from the spring. How it might affect House races is anybody's guess. McGreevey was already seen as troubled and unpopular before the speech; he may have actually improved his standing in the state, or removed a burden on New Jersey Democratics this fall. The other speculation concerns who might succeed McGreevey as governor. State Senate President Richard Codey will succeed him immediately, but Senator Jon Corzine may run for the office in 2006. I hope he doesn't. Corzine's not a great speechmaker; his great political talent is raising money, which he currently does as chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. I'd rather have him stay there, especially since Frank Lautenberg will step down after his current term and I don't want to see state Democrats struggle to find two viable Senate candidates. Plus, the governor's office in New Jersey is political poison -- it's very hard to leave office there an admired figure.
Proof again that politics is not boring. And with McGreevey's choice of words, not the same old thing.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
WASTED COHOS CHEERED THEMSELVES HOARSE
HAS NEW BALANCE ENDORSED FINGERHUT?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
TALE OF THE TAPE
The Republican candidate in this race may just be getting started, but according to an exclusive new CBS 2/Newsradio 780 poll, Keyes has a long way to go. 67 percent of Illinois voters prefer Democrat Obama; 28 percent would choose Keyes.Obama also leads 64-30 among independents; Keyes leads 67-27 among Republicans and Obama has the support of "virtually every Democrat." These are the numbers before Keyes began spouting off on how Obama is like a slaveholder for being pro-choice; I suspect the gap between the two candidates will widen once Illinois gets to know its Republican nominee better. Obama could crack 75% in his first statewide general election.
For the latest developments on Keyes, check out Archpundit. His blog had the most detailed coverage of Obama prior to his primary victory and he's been the most consistent source of information on this race ever since.
Monday, August 09, 2004
ALAN KEYES -- DEBATER EXTRAORDINAIRE
PLAME CASE BREAKTHROUGH?
RUNNING FOR OFFICE
Sunday, August 08, 2004
30 YEARS AGO TODAY
Friday, August 06, 2004
UNFORTUNATELY THE ALABAMA DEMOCRATIC PARTY DOESN'T HAVE A VIABLE CANDIDATE
RIP RICK JAMES
REPUBLICAN OR KLAN? (NOT DAVID DUKE)
THE SOUND AND THE FURY
The other reason why the new spate of political activity by musicians is A Good Thing is it will likley increase interest in our political process. Any fan of the democratic process has to want most of the populace choosing to vote, and I don't see voters led to the polls by Bruce Springsteen or the Jurassic 5 to be any worse for the Union than voters coming from their church, union, or employer. Americans grant mass culture and entertainment tremendous importance in our lives and media; if that is the case, why shouldn't it inform our politics?
Thursday, August 05, 2004
'VOTE FOR CHANGE' >> regional tour schedule
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M., John Fogerty, Bright Eyes
Sat., Oct. 2, Cleveland
Sun., Oct. 3, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tues., Oct. 5, St. Paul, Minn.
Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie
Sat., Oct. 2, Toledo, Ohio
Sun., Oct. 3, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Tues., Oct. 5, St. Louis
Wed., Oct. 6, Asheville, N.C.
Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper, Jurassic 5, My Morning Jacket
Sat., Oct. 2, Dayton, Ohio
Sun., Oct. 3, Detroit
Tues., Oct. 5, Madison, Wis.
Wed., Oct. 6, Ames, Iowa
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Keb' Mo'
Sun., Oct. 3, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Tues., Oct. 5, Kansas City, Mo.
Wed., Oct. 6, Des Moines
Dixie Chicks, James Taylor
Sat., Oct. 2, Cleveland
Sun., Oct. 3, Detroit
Tues., Oct. 5, Iowa City, Iowa
Wed., Oct. 6, St. Louis
John Mellencamp, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Sat., Oct. 2, Cincinnati
Sun., Oct. 3, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Tues., Oct. 5, Milwaukee
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING
It's also cheap, which is important because Fingerhut has about a tenth of incumbent George Voinovich's cash. If you'd like to help him make up the difference and maybe advertise on TV rather than blistering his feet, send a few dollars his way. A viable Democratic senate candidate can't hurt the Kerry campaign in Ohio...same is true of Joe Hoeffel in Pennsylvania, Nancy Farmer in Missouri, and whichever candidate wins the nomination in Florida. (I'm guessing that will be Betty Castor.) You can donate to any or all of them here.
KEYES FOR ILLINOIS? (MORE FUN WITH THE ILLINOIS GOP)
I have a feeling he'll decline.
Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country's unity. I don't remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like afterschool programs. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of "one nation indivisible."
It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.
1) Chappelle may star as Rick James in a movie. If you've seen the Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Story on Rick James, you will look forward to a film-length version.
2) This ensures that the Wayne Brady episode of Chappelle's Show (a.k.a. one of the funniest episodes of television since SCTV went off the air) will be released on DVD.
MUSIC AND POLITICS
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
MORE PEABODY AWARDS ARE ON THE WAY
This is good. Print and broadcast news have been affected over the past 15 years by right wing media (radio, then Fox News), leading to loony coverage of Vince Foster, Whitewater and more recently Chalabi and just about everything out of Cheney and Ashcroft's mouths. Getting blasted from popular media with another perspective -- if it's sustained -- should cause another shift in how stories are framed.
INSERT YOUR NAME HERE
Here in northern Ohio, the senate news is less promising. There doesn't appear to be a lot of enthusiasm -- or media coverage -- for Eric Fingerhut in his campaign against Senator Voinovich, and since this is the Cleveland media market, if he's not doing well here he's not going to get much traction in the rest of the state. Maybe a late ad campaign may help -- if you think so, give him some resources to get on the air. On the other hand, people here are charged up to defeat Bush. (And the sentiment is more anti-Bush than pro-Kerry.) Despite the absolute saturation of both campaigns here over the past few months, there is no sense of wanting to be done with politics. Instead, there is a focused, sustained anger at Bush. Again, this is near Cleveland, but more rural, and it sure isn't a bad sign for Kerry.