Saturday, April 29, 2006

Stephen Colbert Shames WH Press

I just got through watching most of Colbert's headlining presentation to the White House Correspondence Dinner, posted over at Crooks and Liars.

Unbelievable. Colbert is smart enough to have known that he wasn't going to be applauded by his audience, the WH press corps, as he smacked them down. The truth he spoke is serious stuff, after all, with many many thousands dead and wounded because of Bush and the press' lapdog compliance. The last thing reporters want to be reminded of is that their unquestioning stenography of neocon and administration lies allowed this disaster to happen in the first place.

So, knowing that he was going to be disliked by the ballroom audience and of course Bush (who is, after all a sitting President, and sitting no more than 10 feet away from him at the time), he pulled no punches and delivered absolutely biting material. He had a chance to ingratiate himself with a lot of influential people and be well liked by them - something that likely would have helped his personal career. Instead he gave that up to - for lack of a better description - speak truth to the powerful.

A google search shows that the AP is second-billing Colbert to the President's bit, and this will be not get reported widely, so the press and Bush get lucky as few will ultimately see Colbert's takedown of them. Nonetheless, I'm very satisfied because all of the WH reporters and Bush had to sit there and take it. If even a little of it gets to their consciences, then Colbert has done a great service to this nation. For that he deserves our thanks.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Point is to Win

I've posted a comment over at LamontBlog about whether there are dividends that are coming just from challenging Lieberman. I know that the last thing the blogger who made this suggestion (thirdparty) wants is for people to take their foot off the gas. Or perhaps I should say, not to take their foot off of Lieberman's back so that he can't squirm away to rebrand himself a true fighter against Republicans.

However, I liken this this thought (that the long-term benefits of Ned challenging Joe make the race worth it even if he loses)to the thoughts I get when I'm running a marathon. (I've run 4). You go into the race with your goal in mind (in 2005 it was to break 4:00), but after 20 miles, your mind starts wandering and coming up with all sorts of reasons why you should slow down or take a break, even though that prevents you from achieving your goal. My body was perfectly fine (postrace I was able to walk around without problem and wasn't too sore), but my mind was a powerful foe, full of rationalizations for me to stop or slow down coming at me one after another.

"Think of all the ancillary benefits of having run so well for so much of the race; Use this race as a jumpstart in training for another race in a couple months; It's OK to slow down becasue you'll still finish ahead of so many other people." Everything, it seems, except keeping my pace up where it should be. If I don't fight those thoughts agressively, I'm a goner. It's too damn easy to rationalize easing up, so the last thing I want to do is ponder those thoughts that would give me an easy out.

For somebody who wants to see Ned Lamont win, I can't afford to think about the benefits of him getting close, because it's a reason not to do things I know I should to help the campaign which are out of my comfort zone. It takes the focus from that of participant ("what can I do to help Ned win") to one of observer. Meta-discussions (I think I'm using that word right) are not going to help Ned win.

For Lieberman/Lamont Senate Race

Use the LamontBlog site for its good coverage, as well as to get the links for other good CT blogs - My Left Nutmeg and ConnecticutBlog in particular. The LamontBlog link is off to the right on this webpage, by the way.

I'm mostly doing this post because MLN and CB are great blogs and I wanted to recognize them. When I'm not so sleep deprived, I'll add their links to this post.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Joe's Getting the Love from R's and Anti-Choicers

Posted an item on recently released polling data at My Left Nutmeg.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Joe Lieberman's Staying In Disguise a Little Longer

Lieberman drives me nuts -- on critical things, like the war in Iraq, he'll do exactly what Bush wants, use his talking points, etc. and even when he votes the right way, most often he'll keep his position a mystery until after the outcome of the vote has been determined and his vote's not going to make a difference. It may be good for extracting contributions from lobbyists on both sides (by not making either camp angry at you for actively taking sides), but it's craven and does absolutely nothing to help the causes he's voting for.

Anyways, Joe has been trying to set the stage for ditching the Democratic Party and opposing its eventual nominee (Ned Lamont, a real Democrat) as an independent in the general election. It seems he's not happy that the party isn't simply giving him the nomination automatically. I just posted a comment about Joe's likely betrayal of his Democratic donors on My Left Nutmeg, which is exerpted below:


If Joe leaves to run independent, it will be a lot more than a slap in the face to CT Dems. He will doubtlessly portray Lamont and the Democrats who nominate him as extreme, leftwing, etc in order to position himself as the "reasonable" candidate. Joe will inflict damage on the party, not just Lamont, in his effort to win in the general.

Now, Joe's war chest is not comprised solely of Republican lobbyist contributions -- in fact, a lot of it comes from Democrats who had no idea that Joe would use their money to defeat Democrats when they gave. Frankly, even now, I'd guess few beyond political junkies know how likely Joe is to bolt the party and there are likely solid blue Democrats (little old ladies, etc) giving to Joe who still think they're doing the right thing for the party.

So, the fair, right, and honorable thing for Joe to do would be to offer his contributors the chance to get their money back. If Joe's right that people will still support him even if he's opposing Democrats, then no one will want a refund. I suspect this is not the case though.

I realize Joe's not very likely to make a pledge to offer refunds if he abondons the party. But that shouldn't stop Democrats from demanding he return their money if he does bolt. Moreover, I think identifying and encouraging disgruntled donors to make such a demand would be a great thing.

By the way, saying Joe was not a "real Democrat" before he announced that he's considering leaving the party to run against it was not something I ever said. Now, however, it's perfectly legit to call him a Democrat out of convenience, pretend Democrat, etc because no real Democrat would consider ignoring the will of his party (or even leaving the party before they have a chance to give their verdict) and run against it.

Talking to the ether

I've ended up creating this site only because I wanted to comment on another site and it prompted me to do this. I've got enough obsessions in my life that suck up time, I hardly need another. Well, it might come in handy.