Friday, August 19, 2005

Step away for a day and look what happens...

I wasn't around at all yesterday but boy look's like I missed a good time over at Colorado Pols.

First they wrote a story about the SurveyUSA poll that I had commented on Wednesday afternoon. Of course they cited Colorado Luis and not me but hey, at least they got the story.

And then they ran a story about Bill Ritter fighting back against the outright lies of the anti-growth crowd. Specifically the fuzzy math that John Andrews has employed in his latest ad campaign. That piece seems to have generated quite the buzz with over 150 comments, should make for some choice reading this morning...

Good stuff, perhaps as labor day comes and goes the political season will heat up out here in Colorado.

527's are outpacing their 2004 fundraising efforts...

It looks like the 527's are gearing up to make some noise in 2006. From The Hill,

Soft-money political committees are well ahead of their fundraising pace for the 2004 election cycle, raising more than $48 million in the first six months of this year, according to a review of fundraising totals

Known as 527 groups, after a section of the tax code, the 30 groups that raised the most this election cycle have raised $48.3 million through the end of June, putting them on pace to raise at least twice that much by the end of the year.

The 527's levelled the electoral playing field for Democrats in 2004. The Democrats had a distinct fundraising advantage and thus far that advantage is holding firm,

Of the 30 groups that have raised the most money this year, 19 are either clearly affiliated with labor unions or allied with the Democratic Party. Only eight of the groups were clearly allied with the Republican Party.

The Democratic-leaning groups raised more than $28 million through the end of June. The eight Republican-allied groups raised $18.2 million.

Iraq worries continued...

That growing sentiment that I talked about earlier isn't just a figment of my adled-liberal mind. Indeed the GOP is probably going to be running scared from the war in the 2006 elections. GOP candidates are no longer towing the administrations line and are straying from the talking points on Iraq in an attempt to save their electoral hides.

From Wednesday's New York Times,

A stream of bad news out of Iraq, echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush's Iraq policies, is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday...

..."There is just no enthusiasm for this war," said Representative John J. Duncan Jr., a Tennessee Republican who opposes the war. "Nobody is happy about it. It certainly is not going to help Republican candidates, I can tell you that much."

Representative Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican who originally supported the war but has since turned against it, said he had encountered "a lot of Republicans grousing about the situation as a whole and how they have to respond to a lot of questions back home."

"I have been to a lot of funerals," Mr. Gilchrest said.

Who said it?

"We are seen as occupiers, we are targets. We have got to get out. I don't think we can sustain our current policy, nor do I think we should"

Who said it? Russ Feingold? Howard Dean? Cindy Sheehan?

Republican Chuck Hagel.

He also drew parallels between Iraq and Vietnam this week,

Iraq and Vietnam still have more differences than similarities, he said, but "there is a parallel emerging."

"The longer we stay in Iraq, the more similarities will start to develop, meaning essentially that we are getting more and more bogged down, taking more and more casualties, more and more heated dissension and debate in the United States," Hagel said.

In the last couple of days both Russ Feingold and Chuck Hagel have advocated withdraw with Feingodl pinpointing an exact date (Dec 31, 2006). Both of these men are considering runs for the Presidency and both are positioning themselves as anti-war candidates, coincidence? I think not - Independents and Democrats are solidly against the war and there is a growing sentiment amongst Republican's to get out as soon as possible. Feingold is a progressive Democrat and Hagel is a bit of a maverick Republican but I don't think they are trying to appeal to fringe elements within their respective parties. Their is a burgeoning sentiment in this country that Iraq has not made us safer and has not been worth the costs in American lives and Feingold and Hagel are astute politicians who are tapping into that sentiment.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New SurveyUSA 50 State Presidential Poll

SurveyUSA has just released a new Presidential Approval Rating poll. They have Bush at 41% Approve to 55% Disapprove, a new low for the President. The President is currently at 45%-53% here in Colorado and you can see the Colorado Tracking Poll here.

MyDD has done some more in-depth analysis that I highly recommend you read.
Here is an eye-opening fact about the Survey USA 50-state tracking released today: in every single state, Independent approval of Bush was closer to Democratic approval of Bush than Independent approval of Bush was to Republican approval of Bush. That was the case in every state. Fifty out of fifty. Massachusetts and Utah. California and Alabama. New York and Idaho. In every single state in the country, Independents were more in line with Democrats than they were with Republicans.

Bush's approval is higher than his disapproval in just 10 of the states that he won in 2004. In 21 states he is even or behind, including....

Georgia -4%
Kansas -4%
S.. Carolina -6%
Florida -9%
Tennessee -9%
Kentucky -11%
Missouri -20%
Ohio -23%

I wouldn't want to be Republican running for Congress in any of those states....

Bosnia anyone?

Quotes from when Clinton when committed troops to Bosnia. Thanks to Kos..

"You can support the troops but not the president."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years."
--Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"
--Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

"[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."
--Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."
--Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."
--Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"
--Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."
--Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Colorado Pols on Paccione's lackluster start

I've been complaining for a while now that State Rep Angie Paccione needs to quit being so indecisive and state her intentions one way or another regarding Colorado's 4th Congressional District. Her public statements have been wishy-washy at best, she comes off as indecisive and unwilling to commit.

Today the good folks over at Colorado Pols chimed in on the issue...

If the Presidential election of 2004 proved anything, it's that voters gravitiate to a candidate they perceive to be a strong leader. Paccione is not only indecisive, she's putting herself right out there and saying, "Hey, I can't make up my mind at all - YOU tell me what to do!" Even when Paccione gets a chance to speak out against Musgrave, as she did when the latter announced her re-election last week, she fumbles the punt.

The Pols then turned to Paccione's weak recent comments in the Denver Post last week, which I criticised in a post last week.

Needless to say I'm in complete agreement with the Pols on this one...

USA Today chimes in on Roberts and the right to privacy..

Good stuff from USA Today

Three current justices — William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — have questioned whether a right to privacy exists. The court doesn't need a fourth, not least because the anti-privacy argument is a denial of history and basic American values.

In fact, the right to privacy is older than the republic, protected in the Constitution and affirmed repeatedly in a century of court rulings before the abortion controversy. Though the word privacy isn't in the Constitution, the “right to be let alone,” as Justice Louis Brandeis put it, permeates the document.

I've been saying for a few weeks that if Roberts doesn't believe in a right to privacy he doesn't belong on the court. Aside from the abortion debate the right to privacy is fundamental in American life and it must be protected. Good to see the mainstream media catching on...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Bill Richardson in 2008?

The Los Angeles Times and have both run favorable profiles of the New Mexico Governor recently. I highly recommend both...

Los Angeles Times: A New New Democrat Looks West and Forward What You See Is What You Get

Karl lied to the FBI

Karl, Karl, Karl, tsk, tsk, tsk. You can lie, parse, and obfuscate to the American electorate but don't mess with the FBI. From today's Village Voice

Justice Department officials made the crucial decision in late 2003 to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the leak of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame in large part because investigators had begun to specifically question the veracity of accounts provided to them by White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, according to senior law enforcement officials...

...investigators firmly believed that Rove had withheld important information from them during that FBI interview...

...During his initial interview with the FBI, in the fall of 2003, Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed Plame with Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper, according to two legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter. Federal investigators were also skeptical of claims by Rove that he had only first learned of Plame's employment with the CIA from a journalist, even though he also claimed he could not specifically recall the name of the journalist...

...from the very earliest days of the criminal probe, federal investigators had a strong belief and body of evidence that Rove and perhaps other officials might be misleading them.

What did we fight this war for?

Really, ask yourself that question. First it was for WMD's and vengeance for Saddam's involvement in the 9/11 attacks... but neither of those worked out so it was on to plan B. We were supposed to be liberators, freeing the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein and creating a friendly, secular, and democratic state in the Middle East. Looks like we're going to have to find another reason...

From today's Washington Post
The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say...

...Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent...

... the document on which Iraq's future is to be built will require laws to be compliant with Islam. Kurds and Shiites are expecting de facto long-term political privileges. And women's rights will not be as firmly entrenched as Washington has tried to insist, U.S. officials and Iraq analysts say.

"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."

Last week I quoted at length from Irving Kristol's Confessions Of A Neo-Conservative, in which Mr. Kristol blasted those who were only concerned with the mechanisms and machinery of democracy and not the underlying quality of life, keep that in mind while you read this passage. The Washington Post continues,

"We are definitely cutting corners and lowering our ambitions in democracy building," said Larry Diamond, a Stanford University democracy expert who worked with the U.S. occupation government and wrote the book "Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq."

"Under pressure to get a constitution done, they've lowered their own ambitions in terms of getting a document that is going to be very far-reaching and democratic. We also don't have the time to go through the process we envisioned when we wrote the interim constitution -- to build a democratic culture and consensus through debate over a permanent constitution," he said.

I'd love to hear from the Bush apologists on this one. From here it looks as though 1,853 American soldiers have given their lives to establish an anti-woman, anti-Israeli, Islamist state. This administration has handled this war with breathtaking incompetency and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Congratulations George W. Bush, if you're goal was to create a new client state for Iran then sir all I have to say is Mission Accomplished.