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Archive for May 22nd, 2008

Portraying McCain as Bush Heir Will Fail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:40 am by HL

Portraying McCain as Bush Heir Will Fail
Former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal told U.S. News and World Report that a Democratic strategy in the general election to portray Sen. John McCain as running for a third Bush term will fail.

Said Blumenthal: “I understand people’s political reasons for doing that. I think it’s more helpful to describe [political opponents] as they are… The public doesn’t see [McCain] that way. That’s a hard sell.”

Blumenthal is promoting his newest book, The Strange Death of Republican America: Chronicles of a Collapsing Party.

Unflattering Photos from the Campaign Trail
CBS4: “Their pictures have been taken thousands of times in recent months. Granted, in most of those photos the Presidential candidates put their best face forward, but we found some photos they probably wish hadn’t been snapped.”


FDL Late Nite — Bushvilles: The Latest Fashion In Meltdown Housing

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:39 am by HL

FDL Late Nite — Bushvilles: The Latest Fashion In Meltdown Housing
Well, we all know that California is usually several steps ahead of the rest of the country in fashions — cultural, economic, and otherwise. I fully expect we’ll be seeing programs similar to the one for homeless folks in Santa Barbara cropping up wherever the Big Shitpile is hitting the fan, compliments of the economic stewardship of George W. Bush & Co. Can’t afford a home? Well, you can take up residence in your car in a parking lot at night, just like these fine middle-class housewives do.

bushville.jpg

Reading a CNN report on a homeless woman in California (video here), I came across this:

Harvey now works part time for $8 an hour, and she draws Social Security to help make ends meet. But she still cannot afford an apartment, and so every night she pulls into a gated parking lot to sleep in her car, along with other women who find themselves in a similar predicament.

There are 12 parking lots across Santa Barbara that have been set up to accommodate the growing middle-class homelessness. These lots are believed to be part of the first program of its kind in the United States, according to organizers.

The lots open at 7 p.m. and close at 7 a.m. and are run by New Beginnings Counseling Center, a homeless outreach organization.

It is illegal for people in California to sleep in their cars on streets. New Beginnings worked with the city to allow the parking lots as a safe place for the homeless to sleep in their vehicles without being harassed by people on the streets or ticketed by police.

Well, we all know that California is usually several steps ahead of the rest of the country in fashions — cultural, economic, and otherwise. I fully expect we’ll be seeing similar programs cropping up wherever the Big Shitpile is hitting the fan, compliments of the economic stewardship of George W. Bush & Co.

Can’t afford a home? Well, you can take up residence in your car in a parking lot at night, just like these fine middle-class housewives do.

These transient homes for the once-prosperous deserve their own name, too. I propose we call them Bushvilles.

You all remember Hoovervilles from your history books, don’t you?

They were products of an eerily similar economic policy: favor the wealthy, soak the poor, and screw the middle, then let God sort it out:

hooverville.thumbnail.jpg

A Hooverville was the popular name for a shanty town, examples of which were found in many United States communities during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The name Hooverville has also been used to describe the Tent Cities commonly found in America.

The word “Hooverville” derives from the name of the President of the United States at the beginning of the Depression, Herbert Hoover. They used Hoover’s name because they were frustrated and disappointed with his involvement in the relief effort for the Depression. In addition to financial troubles during the Depression, a drought in the Mississippi Valley forced farmers to auction their land for taxes and reside in Hoovervilles.

These settlements were often formed in horrible neighborhoods or desolate areas and consisted of dozens or hundreds of shacks and tents that were temporary residences of those left unemployed and homeless by the Depression. People slept in anything from open piano crates to the ground. Authorities did not officially recognize these Hoovervilles and occasionally removed the occupants for technically trespassing on private lands, but they were frequently tolerated out of necessity.

There’s certainly no shortage of parking lots these days. And no shortage of the newly homeless. In a world in which economic failure is just a matter of survival of the fittest, the two obviously go together well — though I do wonder what happens when the occupants can no longer afford the gas to drive their cars, either. Most likely those parking-lot slots will become semi-permanent homes, and the lots themselves little cities.

Bushvilles. Has a certain ring, doesn’t it?

[A hat tip to sadlyyes.]


Why Obama Needs To Fight To Seat Florida

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Why Obama Needs To Fight To Seat Florida

Rassmussen tells the tale:

FLORIDA

Obama 40
McCain 50

Clinton 47
McCain 41

Nuff said.

By Big Tent Democrat


Merde Touch

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Merde Touch
Not exactly coffee and cakes stuff this AM, but the tasseled cap notes that authoritarian governments hang together.

Buried in a Department of Justice report released Tuesday are new allegations about a 2002 arrangement between the United States and China, which allowed Chinese intelligence to visit Guantanamo and interrogate Chinese Uighurs held there.

Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare rides upon sleep.

Sweet Sweet Crude
$132…


There’s Something About Hillary

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:36 am by HL

There’s Something About Hillary
What is it about Hillary that has Americans in such a tizzy?


Dem Committees Still Lead In Total Cash, Despite Surge For RNC

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Dem Committees Still Lead In Total Cash, Despite Surge For RNC
The fundraising figures for April show that the Democratic party committees continue to dominate in total cash-on-hand, despite a surge of support for the Republicans as they settled on John McCain as their nominee. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee out-raised…


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:33 am by HL

The Daily Muck
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has seen a recent rash of resignations amongst his lobbyist-riddled campaign staff as he tries to live up to his image as an untethered candidate. The latest to leave the camp is McCain’s national finance co-chair…


No Nightmare Ticket

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:32 am by HL

No Nightmare Ticket

I have no idea what’s in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s head as far as her endgame is concerned. But there is speculation (uninformed, probably) that she wants maximum leverage to pressure Sen. Barack Obama into putting her on the ticket.

That would be a disastrous idea for several reasons.

Wrong Message: It undermines Obama’s central campaign theme of “change,” that it’s time to “turn the page.”

Looks Weak:It would be perceived as a decision made under duress, indirectly undermining his foreign policy argument that he would maintain toughness while conducting diplomacy.

Constant Distractions: The Clintons are a continuing train wreck of psychodrama that would repeatedly distract and overshadow. (Note how far President Clinton’s poll numbers have dropped in recent months.)

Iraq: Obama would have difficulty attacking McCain’s foreign policy judgment on the Iraq war if his running mate displayed the same poor judgment.

The main argument for Clinton is to help bring in more white working-class voters. But just because she’s doing better than Obama with them in the primary is no evidence she’s the only or best option to attract those voters.

For example, Sen. Jim Webb (VA), Gov. Ted Strickland OH), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (AR), former Sen. Sam Nunn (GA), Sen. Evan Bayh (IN), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (WV). Gov. Phil Bredesen (TN), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (MT), Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (KS), just to name a few.

Furthermore, I’m not convinced Obama needs the electoral college help.

He’s beating McCain in seven out of eight major polls taken this month: up 10 points in yesterday’s Zogby poll., others generally around 5-7.

Yes, it’s early for national polls. But keep in mind polls from this month have been conducted after Obama has taken plenty of fire, and McCain has gotten off light.

He may be relatively weak in Appalachia. But he’s still holds PA versus McCain. And a lead that big should help Obama pick up states like Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and maybe more.

Everyone is focused on how to handle Clinton to avoid deep fissures in the party, for good reason. Obviously, Clinton should to be properly considered as any popular figure in the party would.

But expectations can’t get too high either.

A quicker decision may help in that regard. Expectations won’t build too much, and any bad feelings will have time to heal.

There’s no need to draw out the suspense. Obama’s candidacy is exciting on its own.

After Clinton concedes, the veep search should be the first order of business. And when the decision is made, and the vetting is completed, don’t wait to announce.


Onion: The Nightmare Ticket

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Onion: The Nightmare Ticket
Onion: The Nightmare Ticket

US’ Iran weapons report ‘delayed’
US’ Iran weapons report ‘delayed’


Furman University faculty may protest Bush commencement speech.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 22nd, 2008 4:30 am by HL

Furman University faculty may protest Bush commencement speech.
Faculty members at Furman University in South Carolina “have suggested they won’t attend graduation ceremonies because President Bush is scheduled to speak.” Over 200 students and faculty members “signed a statement earlier this month criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war and environmental issues.” But a conservative student group is trying to block […]

Faculty members at Furman University in South Carolina “have suggested they won’t attend graduation ceremonies because President Bush is scheduled to speak.” Over 200 students and faculty members “signed a statement earlier this month criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war and environmental issues.” But a conservative student group is trying to block the protest:

More than 500 members of the Furman community signed a letter released Monday asking that administrators refuse to allow faculty members to skip ceremonies in protest of the Bush visit. […]

“Some professors seem intent on turning what should be a celebration of their students’ accomplishments into a forum to air their political differences with President Bush,” said the letter, released Monday by Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow.

In defense of the protest, one Furman neuroscience professor said, “At a liberal arts college, we really try to train people to think critically and respect other peoples views…And we have been expressing our views in very civil ways.” (HT: Dan Froomkin)