upcoming events

in the next two weeks:

see all upcoming events

announcements

Do you have old cell phones or used ink cartridges and want to recycle them? Contact Liz Fossett.

dems poll

Unfortunately our poll cannot be displayed on this page.

georgetown dems blog

read the rest of the blog

alumni

Are you a Georgetown Dems alum? We'd love to hear what you're doing now!

subscribe to our mailing list

mailing list archive

blog

Since I'm back in Kentucky, I've been reading the local papers a bit. This article made me so angry.

The Republicans are up to it again. The article above is quite long, describing the benefits to the Commonwealth and President Bush, should Johnson not be allowed to serve his term (thus giving Sen. Mitch McConnell majority leadership). I'm glad my state could possibly benefit with better earmarks, but we all know the United States will definitely be better off under Democratic leadership.

Besides, the Senate has apparently never made anyone leave because of his mental capacities (think Strom Thurmond).

read more...

Oh, it wouldn't be a Wednesday if Ann Coulter didn't put out another wonderful ranting. Since last week's column was as delicious as this week's, and because I, like all of you, have finals, we will combine her last two columns into one conservative screeching.

The sheer lunacy of Coulter's two columns these last two weeks raise new questions about her mental health. In last week's column, she advocates for torture. Reviewing an interview that Matt Lauer had with President Bush over the 9/11 anniversary, she claims that a) waterboarding (making someone experience drowning) Khalid Sheikh Muhammad is actually a "reward", b) Guantanamo Bay prisoners get "chocolate eclairs", and c) Americans actually love to know that we're torturing suspected terrorists. Well, funny enough, I know no Americans who think waterboarding is a rewarding experience, but that's very anecdotal. And I ran a google search and funnily enough, no chocolate eclairs have been served in Guantanamo, not even the ice cream bars.

But I'm particularly surprised by her allegation that Americans like torture, I mean, that's what I thought, but it's pretty interesting to look at the polling on this. ABC, the dastardly liberal news organization that is owned by the Disney Corporation (turning our kids homosexual with their singing mice), commissioned a poll that pretty clearly makes Coulter look like an ass.

According to the poll, 63% of Americans say that torturing supected terrorists is never justified. Wow, what a bunch of liberal lefties that live in this great country of ours. But that is just media spin, those Americans must think torture means ripping off people's limbs and feeding it to them. Waterboarding, forced nudity, electric shocks, and sexual humiliation are no biggies, and Americans must support those activities. Well, actually, not so much. According to the poll, only 16% think it is acceptable to sexually humiliate terrorist suspects (guess they aren't in love with Abu Ghraib), only 17% like electric shocks, only 19% like forced nudity, and only 21% accept waterboarding as acceptable.

Oh my God, or maybe I should say ya Rabbi, which is the Arabic, cause this nation is made up of a bunch of terrorist sympathizers. It seems that 80% of this country wants us to treat suspected terrorists with, dare I say it, a basic amount of human dignity. Astonishing really! But it's ok for Coulter, it's not like she needs to check her facts before she writes this bullshit. She's a right-winger, and when you're lucky enough to write this crap for a bunch of horny conservative teens who yearn for a date with Coulter at some club that sets Jane Fonda on fire, you don't need facts, hey, you can even make em up as you go along.

But Coulter gets better this week. Her piece is riddled with delicious bits of pure insanity. Take this, when she notes that antiwar Democratic veterans ran and won this year:

To the credit of the voters -- especially the American Legion and VFW -- the Democrats didn't fool enough Americans to even match the average midterm gains for the party out of power.

Well, interesting observation, Ann. Forgetting about 2002, and 1998, when the party out of power in the White House actually lost seats, but looking back before that, we see that the GOP picked up 52 seats in 1994. In 1990, Democrats picked up 7 seats. In 1986, Democrats picked up 5 seats. In 1982, Dems picked up 27 seats, in 1978, the GOP picked up 15 seats, in 1974, Dems picked up 49 seats, and in 1970, Dems picked up 12 seats. Now, I'm no mathematician, but if I'm correct, out of the last seven midterm elections, not counting the last two "flukes", the average gain for a party out of power is 23 seats, and if I included the negative outcomes for 1998 and 2002, the total would be lower. But funny enough, Democrats picked up 30 seats this cycle. I can't add, I'm in the SFS after all, but 30 seems bigger than 23 to me, how about you?

But Ann doesn't need to be correct about the facts, she can just make up her own.

Then there's this nugget:
But the point is: You can't run as a phony patriot and then claim your victory is a mandate for surrender.

Well, I googled every one of the new Democrats elected to Congress this year, and not one of their websites had the words "phony patriot" in them. And I googled the Speaker-designates website and she doesn't have the word "surrender" anywhere on there. Funny Ann, you're wrong again.

Then she goes mouthing off on the geriatrics over at the Iraq Study Group. She said that Vernon Jordan got his claim to fame "getting Monica Lewinsky a job at Revlon when she was threatening Bill Clinton with the truth." I don't know, but I think a guy who can find a job for someone in this economy is pretty impressive. But what's more interesting here is that Ann reveals that Monica was "threatening" the President; this new information should alert the Secret Service, and I call on them to begin an immediate investigation into this likely terrorist Monica Lewinsky. We really should waterboard her, since the American people would be 100% behind it.

Oh, Ann, give us more, we yearn for more:
Have things changed on the ground in Iraq? Are our troops being routed? Hardly. The number of U.S. fatalities has gone from a high of 860 deaths in 2004 to 845 in 2005, to 695 through November of this year. If the Islamic fascists double their rate of killing Americans in the next month, there will still be fewer American fatalities in Iraq this year than in the previous two years.

Admittedly, it would be a little easier to track our progress in Iraq if the Pentagon would tell us how many of them we're killing, but apparently our Pentagon is too spooked by the insurgents posing as civilians to mention the deaths of our enemies.

Moreover, it might seem churlish to mention the number of Islamic lunatics we've killed during the holy month of Ramadan. Half the time we do anything to them, it's "the holy month of Ramadan." It's always Ramadan. When on Earth is Ramadan over?

Well, I for one, am glad that 695 Americans have died, because it's less than the year before. I would have been even happier if 844 Americans died this year, because it would have been one less than last year, and that's a victory, especially when you compare it to all those terrorists we're killing over there. I mean, it's about 3,000 a month, and when everyone with half a brain says those are civilians, they're clearly crazy. Those deaths, all Iraqi on Iraqi, are actually American soldiers killing terrorists. The amazing thing is, that General Abizaid says there are only about 10,000 foreign fighters in Iraq total, so my question for Ann is, if these are all terrorists dying, we've completed the mission, right? Let's go home, then.

But I really got to give it to Ann, these Muslims really keep complaining that it's Ramadan, Ramadan, Ramadan. Well, Schmamadan, it's funny that Ramadan has been over for a couple of months now.

But Ann's conclusion tops it off with a call for 6,000 Americans to die necessary deaths in Iraq. Don't believe me:
If absolutely nothing changed in Iraq over the next few years -- if it didn't continue to get better and if the savages never lost heart (I'm assuming they subscribe to "TimesSelect") -- by 2010, 6,000 brave American troops will have died to prevent another 9/11 terrorist attack on American soil for a decade.

If that's a war Americans think we're "losing," Osama bin Laden was right: We are a paper tiger.

Well, great, four more years, 3,000 more deaths, probably another trillion or two spent, our reputation even more in the toilet and down the drain, I'm glad we have Ann rooting for the team. What a patriot that heinous (fill in the blank) is!

And seriously, in the comments, fill in the blank, and be creative!

read more...

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) suffered a “possible stroke” today and is currently in GWU Hospital undergoing treatment. His prognosis is unknown. Were Sen. Johnson to retire or otherwise vacate his seat, control of the Senate would likely swing back to the Republicans as either South Dakota’s Republican legislature or Republican governor would appoint a replacement, returning the Senate to a 50-50 split, with Vice President Cheney casting the deciding vote.

For now, however, let’s refrain from partisanship. Please keep Sen. Johnson and his family in your thoughts and prayers this evening.

read more...

Ciro Rodriguez won a stunning upset victory in TX-23 yesterday even after this horrible ad ran there calling him a terrorist sympathizer. This gives Democrats 233 seats in the House of Representatives, to 202 seats for Republicans. This could still change if there is a new election in FL-13. But the point is that Democrats, with 233 seats, hold a larger majority than Republicans ever held during their twelve-year Republican Revolution. So for those pundits that say that this country is still a center-right, conservative country, just realize that Republicans have not held this large a majority in the House of Representatives since 1952. And by the way, of the Democrats' 30 seat pick up this year, only half were in states that Bush won in 2004. Therefore, even without those Red-state Democrats winning this year, Democrats would have a majority in the House of Representatives.

Karen Carter lost her race against corrupt Democrat William Jefferson in LA-02. This is a setback, but we will run another Democrat against him in 2008, and this time, we'll beat him, if he's not already thrown in jail by then.

Dennis Kucinich announced he's running for President again. I think Dennis Kucinich is kind of a nutjob and obviously far too liberal for this country, and as a passionate, hardcore liberal, that's saying a lot. But I support his getting into the race, not his candidacy, but his voice. With Russ Feingold out of the race, there are actually few, if any liberals, running in the Democratic primary this year. Barack Obama, John Edwards, and John Kerry come closest, but they are not down-the-line liberals, really. Dennis Kucinich adds a voice, for single-payer universal health care, for gay marriage, for ending the war in Iraq immediately, that no other candidate in the primaries will advocate. We are a big tent party, and it's necessary that we have all ideas in our debates this year, especially so the Democrat who actually becomes President (God willing) will have heard liberal ideas.

Barack Obama, my personal favorite in the 2008 race, gave a roaring appearance in New Hampshire this weekend. He was on the front page of all local, and most national newspapers, after a speech that gave an inkling of the kind of campaign he would run if he decides to make a bid for the Presidency. You can watch the speech here. By the way, for all those detractors that say that Obama has no pieces of major legislation with his name to it, even in the minority as a freshman Senator, take a look at this.

read more...

Quick post today, everybody, in light of finals. Also, I'm going to be a bit more serious than normal. This is an issue that has been touched on briefly, but this article really hit home for me:

"Despite being diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and rated 70 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Damian Fernandez has been called back to duty and told to prepare for another deployment to Iraq.

Two weeks ago, Fernandez, who was discharged from active duty in the Army last year and was working to settle back into civilian life, abruptly received orders to report to Fort Benning, Ga., on Jan. 14.

When the FedEx letter from the Army arrived Nov. 28, he calmly told his mother and girlfriend, "I got my orders," staring hard at them with vacant eyes.

That night, he snapped. He told his girlfriend, Riella Darko, that he wanted to die and asked her to take him to the emergency room of St. Mary's Hospital, where he was placed on a suicide watch. He has since been transferred to a locked ward in the Northampton VA Medical Center in Massachusetts.

His callback orders have not yet been rescinded."

---

I don't know who, exactly, is to blame for this. Rumsfeld, probably, for insisting on using a light force (see: Plan of Attack or State of Denial). Bush, maybe, for starting this mess in the first place. I don't know, but whoever's fault this is:

That is the worst person in the world.

At least this week.

read more...

Last week's caption contest winner: leaveonlyfootprints! Check his entry and others here.

Since Bush has to dress up extensively during the course of his job, today's caption contest features President Bush and Vladimir Putin garbed in another terrific costume:


Have at it.

read more...

I love Christmas almost as much as anyone else. But I can't believe this. Click on the video at the right and watch it and give me some explanations in the comments for what you think the taxpayer money spent on this could have better been spent on and what things the President, his Cabinet secretaries, and his staff could have spent their precious time on more. I'm gonna say the war, but what do I know?

read more...

< type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="350" width="425">>
On Tuesday, TX-23 will have the runoff for their congressional race between Democrat and former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez and Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla. This ad by Bonilla is shameless and doesn't even post a newspaper source to verify its claims. It's completely false. Furthermore, it looks like we could win this race. Ciro is only seven points down in the latest poll, which only had 45% of its turnout model as Hispanic. But the district is 62% Hispanic and Ciro wins Latino voters by a margin of 70-30. I think Rodriguez will win in a nail-biter.

read more...

Free from the constraints of having to moderate (I guess?) his views for re-election, Santorum exits stage far-right with a bang....

By a vote of 95-2, the Senate approved President Bush's defense secretary nominee Wednesday... Two Republican senators -- Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Jim Bunning of Kentucky -- cast the only no votes.
I guess Bob Gates is soft on terror? Or homosexuals? One or the other... Islamofascism, we hardly knew you.

read more...

This is the beginning of a weekly blog posting here at the GUCD blog called Queen of the Wrong. We will be tracking that blonde devil of a right-winger as she spouts illogical soliloquies about inane and irrelevant problems.

This week, Coulter's column (repulsive rant, more like it) is essentially a follow-up to her last column about Muslims and how we should ban them from flying. In it, she supplies us with words of great wisdom like:

After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.
Perfect sense, right? The Klan is a group entirely composed of lynching racists, who wear underwear on their heads and poke holes in them for their eyes. They all burn crosses, they all try to kill Jews, Catholics, blacks, and so much more. And according to Coulter, Muslims are kinda the same thing, right? I mean, they all clearly want to kill large groups of innocent people, and they wear turbans, right? And they like to burn crosses every now and then. It's funny, though, cause I just went to Kinko's and a nice Arab man named Ahmad didn't try to kill me cause I'm Jewish. He happened to be polite and courteous and was extremely helpful. Shame on me for not tipping the man!

In fact, I happened to go to Quick Pita the other night and the employees were extremely generous to me. Somehow, I didn't get the feeling that they were plotting how to kill large swaths of ethnic groups and burn religious symbols.

But what do I know? I mean, I'm sure than some Klan members don't really hate black people either. There are exceptions to every rule, right? Well, not really.

Coulter should just come out and say it, she hates Muslims. She hates them because they failed to convert to Christianity, a religion so peaceful that its adherents have spent two millenia killing more people in His name than other any religion in history. Crusades, violence during the Reformation, colonialism, do these sound like actions of a perfect religion?

Organized religion is inherently dysfunctional, and bound to get caught up in violence. But this kind of tasteless banter that demonizes all Muslims and calls for their humiliation and constant surveillance under a cloud of persistent suspicion is inhumane.

If I had my way, I would imprison Ann Coulter in the body of a man named Jesus Christ, a man who, simply because of his faith alone, faced nonstop persecution and eventually death. But what am I saying, I shouldn't be expecting a rigid faith from a woman who spends her life writing about how our society is not stingy, greedy, or intolerant enough!

In the column, Coulter mentions the Hadith, or the sayings of the Prophet, as justification of why Islam teaches Muslims to kill Jews:
At Reagan National this week, Rabbis joined the Muslims at the prayer protest -- though one imagines they did not share this prayer from the Hadith: "And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!'" In fairness, they usually save that one for the high holidays, like the "Festival of the Six Dead Jews" or "Honor Killing Week."

Nor this one, also from the Hadith: "The Prophet said: 'The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews. Rejoice! Rejoice in Allah's victory!'" (Is it just me, or might some fanatic twist those words into an excuse to kill Jews?)
What Coulter clearly doesn't understand is that in Islamic law, the Hadith is subservient to the law of the Qur'an, which precedes all else. And the Qur'an clearly states that Jews are a "People of the Book" and that murder of innocents is always a one-way ticket to Hell.

But what should you expect from a she-devil like Ann Coulter? I guess a post next week about how Asians should be kept from driving. It wouldn't surprise me. The Queen of the Wrong never does.

read more...

Politicians get a lot of flack for their comments. Joe Biden made a joke about Delaware wanting to be part of the South because it used to be a slave state. But do we honestly believe that Joe Biden is advocating for slavery or supports the ideals of the Confederacy?

Trent Lott remarked that he wanted Strom Thurmond to have been President during Thurmond's 100th birthday party in 2002. He said we wouldn't have all these problems we have today if he were president. Thurmond ran on a campaign of segregation, now and forever. But do we really believe, even with Trent Lott's voting record on racial issues, that Lott actually supports continued segregation?

John Kerry made a botched joke and the media had a field day, but no one really believed that John Kerry was degrading our troops.

Howard Dean made plenty of gaffes in his presidential campaign and said in 2005 that the Republican Party is a party of rich, white men. He made a mistake, obviously exaggerating his point about the GOP's seeming lack of diversity.

The point is, we all make mistakes, we all say things we don't mean, we all exaggerate our point, and we all make sarcastic jokes that sometimes fall flat on their face and offend some.

Even Macaca Felix Allen, Jr. needs to be given an apology for the vicious attacks we laid on him for his Macaca comments. Yeah, it was hugely offensive, but do we really believe that George Allen is a raging racist who considers Indian-Americans lesser human beings, it's a real stretch.

We have to be honest; it's fun to attack politicians we disagree with when they say something stupid like this. But if we really want the media to stop being as lazy as they are when it comes to questioning authority on issues of war and peace, we have to stop feeding their appetite for gorging on the mistakes of politicians. Yes, politicians enter public life and must act responsibly, but they're not gods.

We all make mistakes, and when we do, we apologize, our friends forgive, we move on to more important things, and life goes on. Let's take that lesson to the voting booth.

read more...

Here is a segment that has been shamelessly ripped off from Keith Olbermann’s Countdown on MSNBC. I will document the week’s dirtiest, scummiest, creepiest – in short, worst – people in the news. Use the comment thread to post some nominations of your own.

And now, without further ado…

Worst Person in the World!

Our runner up this week is Bishop Bonifes Adoyo of Kenya. Thought the War on Science was only happening in the US? Not so. Bishop Adoyo is demanding that Kenya’s National Museum relegate Richard Leakey’s collection of early hominid fossils to a back room for religious reasons. Leakey, a former director of the museum, is a world famous archaeologist, conservationist, and paleontologist.

Said Adoyo, “The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact…Our doctrine is not that we evolved from apes, and we have grave concerns that the museum wants to enhance the prominence of something presented as fact which is just one theory.”

Charming stuff, isn't it? Just a matter of time until they start talking about Intelligent Design, I imagine.

But…

Our winner this week is a Democrat! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Senator Joseph Robinette Biden is this week’s Worst Person in the World for remarks he made at a campaign stop in South Carolina. Deciding to play to the “southerners” - or at least his stereotyped idea of them - Biden decided that some slavery jokes were in order:

“The senator…pounced on a member’s announcement that the club would hold its annual Christmas party at the state Department of Archives and History where members could view the original copy of the state’s Articles of Secession.

Biden asked, “Where else could I go to a Rotary Club where (for a) Christmas party the highlight is looking at the Articles?”

Biden was on a roll.

Delaware, he noted, was a “slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.”

The crowd loved it."

---

Hey Joe, tell Trent Lott we said hello.

Well, that’s all for this week. Join us next Monday for your weekly dose of mild outrage. In the meantime, everybody, keep peaceful, .

and whatever you do, take care of your shoes.

read more...

I'm going to try and keep the pictures relatively timely, but this gem from earlier in the year is just too good to pass up. Use the comments to give your most creative caption to the following picture:

The winner will be posted next Sunday in next week's Caption Contest. We want to give Speaker Hastert a fitting goodbye, so do your worst...

read more...

Ripped from Wonkette, a clip of paleoconservatism poster boy Pat Buchanan making a fool of himself of MSNBC...



My favorite line:

"Hey Pat Buchanan! The fact is you and I both know it, there aren't ten republicans on Capitol Hill..."

"I don't give a hoot about the Republican Party!"

read more...

Here is a segment that has been shamelessly ripped off from Keith Olbermann’s Countdown on MSNBC. I will document the week’s dirtiest, scummiest, creepiest – in short, worst – people in the news. Use the comment thread to post some nominations of your own.

And now, without further ado…

Worst Person in the World!

This week, our runner up is Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who caused a diplomatic incident in Nigeria when he arrived in the airport with 200 heavily armed guards (diplomatic missions are allowed only eight pistols). When his guards were not allowed to enter, Gaddaffi stormed off and threatened to walk the 25 miles to the capital to complain. After a several hour stand-off, the Libyans agreed to leave their excess weapons on the plane and were allowed to proceed to the capital.

Oh, those silly dictators!

Our winner this week, in tribute to the man whose routine I have shamelessly stolen, is none other than Bill O'Reilly himself. O'Reilly recently said that Vermont should be forced out of the Union for electing Bernie Sanders to the Senate.

Media Matters has the video.

Bill, I think we'll be seeing more of you in the future. Somehow, I feel it's inevitable.

In the meantime, everybody, keep peaceful.

And whatever you do, take care of your shoes.

read more...

Okay, so he's not actually my Congressman, I'll admit it. And he's not technically a rocket scientist, either, just a nuclear physicist who served for a few years as the head of the Nuclear and Scientific Division of the Office of Strategic Forces at the State Department.

But Rush Holt is pretty smart. And pretty experienced. And he'd make a damn good Chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

For those of you who haven't been following the drama, Congresswoman Pelosi has held back on revealing her choice for the position, long after she revealed her picks for other top posts. Her hesitancy, it seems likely, comes from the fact that she has a difficult decision to make. The most obvious choice (and current senior Democrat on the Committee), Jane Harman (D-CA) is an unlikely pick, given her poor relationship with Nancy Pelosi, as well as her general complacency when faced with Republican and White House demands over the past few years.

The next ranking Democrat-- Alcee Hastings (D-FL)-- is a similarly troubling nominee. Though he has served ably on the Intelligence Committee in recent years, he has more than a few skeletons in his closet. For a Democratic Party that was handed its majority based mostly on frustration with Republican corruptness, his indiscretions might simply be too much to overlook. Twenty-five years ago, then federal judge Hastings was impeached by the Democratic House on charges of perjury and bribery, and then removed from his office by the Democratic Senate. It is interesting to note that a younger Congresswoman Pelosi was one of the House Democrats who voted to impeach Mr. Hastings.

Given the two most senior choices are so ill-suited to chair the committee, I-- and many others in the liberal blogosphere-- feel it is time for some out of the box thinking.

The first name that comes to mind is Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ). He is exceedingly qualified, intelligent, and has a record of standing strong against Bush's Republican party. Perhaps more importantly, as David Corn points out on his blog at The Nation, "this would be a change for Pelosi to send a signal: the Democrats do regard national security seriously and are willing to put aside political concerns to do the right thing. She would be saying, merit matters most when it comes to protecting the United States."

That seems like a pretty good message to send.

So, personal opinions aside-- I am, admittedly, a big fan of Rush's-- Congressman Holt would be an excellent choice for the Chairmanship. He is both an exciting (the Rocket scientist joke never gets old) and responsible choice, and Congresswoman Pelosi should think long and hard before giving the job to anyone else.

read more...

Ok, so I'm gonna update everyone here about Ann Coulter's weekly rants in what she calls her "column," because if we are to fight the right, we have to know how they rant.

So, Ann Coulter's latest shriek is about the absolute stupidity of Muslims believing that boycotting an airline for discriminating against their right to freely worship will do damage to the airline.

Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.
What an intriguing notion! If we dispense of airport security, then white guys like Timothy McVeigh and Richard Reid can blow us up, and you know how safe I feel knowing that white guys kill little innocent babies.
Witnesses also said that the imams were talking about Saddam Hussein, and denouncing America and the war in Iraq. About the only scary preflight ritual the imams didn't perform was the signing of last wills and testaments.
Wow, what an indictment! Denouncing America and the War in Iraq, that must mean you're a terrorist. I mean, just how many people on Earth criticize this war. I mean, Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican of Nebraska, was calling for a pullout from Iraq yesterday in the Washington Post, and called the President "arrogant." He should pull out a last will and testament, start praising Allah, and set off his C4 on his belt already, that dastardly terrorist who served and bled in Vietnam.

More from Queen Anne:
One of the stunt-imams in US Airways' advertising scheme, Omar Shahin, complained about being removed from the plane, saying: "Six scholars in handcuffs. It's terrible."

Yes, especially when there was a whole conference of them! Six out of 150 is called "poor law enforcement." How did the other 144 "scholars" get off so easy?
Thank you, Anne, your enlightening insights into security policy have truly given me a whole new perspective on terrorism and homeland security. I mean, you've convinced me that we should allow torture, set up secret prisons in Eastern Europe to detain people who may have been suspected of stealing bubble gum in 4th grade, round up people who believe in their One, true God, eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, take library records with no legal authority, and start unnecessary wars that screw up the world.

If we do all that, we'll be safe from the terrorists.

read more...

You rarely see the name “Hillary Clinton” without the phrase “frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic nomination” surgically attached to it, and for good reason.

Or so it would seem, anyway.

Sen. Clinton certainly makes a good case for a possible presidential run. Supporters (and not a few detractors) point to two main talking points as to why the senator is the prohibitive favorite to win the nom: 1) Name recognition (undeniable) and 2) An insurmountable fundraising advantage (ditto). As if to prove it, Sen. Clinton spent a record $36 million to ensure a “blowout” reelection victory over her Republican opponent in New York. The money helped Sen. Clinton win by over 30 points—and also made the junior senator from New York the biggest campaign spender this cycle. (The #2 spender? Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who spent $24 mil to get his butt handed to him by Bob Casey.)

I want to direct you to a recent New York Times article on the subject. Since Sen. Clinton took office in 2001, she has spent at least 36 million smackaroos on her reelection, which she won with 67%. In contrast, her colleague Chuck Schumer spent less than half that—about $15.5 million—to get reelected in 2004, and won with 71% of the vote, four points more than Hillary did this year. Sen. Clinton also won a smaller percentage of the vote in New York this year than did Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer, who won 69% in his successful campaign.

Sen. Clinton’s reckless spending has left more than a few Dems a little PO’d. Clinton spent heavily in an effort to win in a blowout that would showcase her nationwide as a candidate who can appeal do independents and Republicans as well as true blue Dems, setting her up for a White House run. But the strategy may have backfired on the good senator.

Netroots bloggers are criticizing Sen. Clinton of “blowing” an appalling $36 million to win what was always a shoo-in campaign, and many longtime supporters and fundraisers are criticizing campaign aides for a “lack of discipline” in spending.

All of this broohaha blows huge holes through the pro-Hillary arguments longtime advisors like James Carville and Mark Penn have been making in private and in the press for the past year and a half. One—that Hillary isn’t as divisive as she is stereotyped, and could win a large segment of moderates and independents—is immediately cast into doubt by the huge amount of money she spent in New York this cycle to create her landslide victory. It was smart strategy; Among other things, her 2006 reelection campaign created a convenient excuse to keep Hillary in New York and out of early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire, continuing the aura of mystery that has surrounded Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 intentions for some time. (Don’t worry about her primary prospects too much, though—Bill was out there instead, doing more than a big of glad-handing in Cedar Rapids and Manchester—a worthy surrogate to be sure.) But the result—spending an absurd amount of money that could have been spent in battleground states like Tennessee—may come ‘round later to kick good ol’ Hil in the butt, should she ultimately decide to run.

But the other consequence of Sen. Clinton’s heavy-handed spending habits may be more problematic in the short term. One of Sen. Clinton’s strongest advantages among the field of possible Democratic contenders is her unsurpassed ability to fundraise and tap donor databases worth millions more than any other candidate. But Hil’s spending—which included $27,000 for valet parking and $13,000 worth of flowers—left her with a much-depleted war chest. As of mid-October (the last time her campaign filed a disclosure with the FEC), she had about $14 million CoH, far less than the $20-30 million her advisers predicted she’d have post-election. This puts the esteemed senator in the same ballpark as fellow '08 hopefuls John Kerry ($13.8 million as of 9/30) and Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana ($10.6 million).

Whether her 2006 spending will become an issue in the '08 primaries is certainly a big question (it's easy to forget that the Iowa caucuses are actually more than a year away), but it certainly warrants asking the question we've all been thinking anyway: How electable is Hillary Clinton?

read more...

I don't have much time to write about this, but everyone should check out this frightening editorial from today's New York Times.

It's about the latest radical ideologue to be given a high-level appointment in the Bush administration, despite a complete lack of knowlege or experience in the field.

What happened to moving forward in a more sensible, bipartisan manner, President Bush?

read more...


... a Democratic House, Senate, and the majority of state houses across the nation.

Plus, I have a class that let me color a hand turkey:

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment with your most thanks-worthy memories of the last year (politics-related, or not).

read more...

People argue with me all the time about Iraq. I argue that we must shift our role in Iraq from policing a bloody and sectarian civil war to an advisory role that focuses on counterterrorism, border security, logistics, force protection, intelligence, and security forces training. I call for a strategic redeployment of our troops to the perimeter of Iraq, and away from the focal point of combat. People say to me that doing this will lead to more chaos. When we argue about Iraq, we talk about it as though this is a case study in International Relations. It is not. Take a long, hard look at the pictures from the field below, and you'll realize why this war is an important topic on which we should focus.

We won this election in 2006 because Americans were tired of seeing these pictures. We can't let those voters down. We can't accept this ludicrous idea from the Iraq Study Group or the Joint Chiefs or John McCain that if we just send more troops, we can win this. There is no definition of victory. There is no meaning to the word "win" here. If we continue to send our troops into the middle of this fight, we will only see more bloodshed. The smartest strategy here is to keep this situation contained, but to withdraw largely from the center of it. We can prevent this civil war from becoming an international headache, but we shouldn't spare another American soldier to make the Sunnis and Shia play nice.

In 2008, I'd like us to have a Presidential nominee who had the good sense to judge this war a mistake from the beginning. Being President of the United States is not something anyone can truly prepare for, but having good judgment on this war is a critical prerequisite for me. Senator Obama and Vice President Gore are the only two possible candidates who opposed this war from the beginning. If Senator Obama does not get in (I hope he does, and Gore is a pipedream to get in), I will have to choose who among the remaining candidates has the greatest judgment on this war, but it will not be easy. Senator Obama should get in, because he is the right person with the right judgment to be President of the United States at this time.

Now, here is what Hell on Earth looks like.
















Don't forget these pictures when you argue about this war in Iraq. This is not a case study, this is real life.

read more...

I know what you thought when you read that: “But I thought the children were our future!?”

True enough.

Youth turnout this November was the highest it has been in twenty years, and it favored Democrats by a whopping 22 percent margin (60% to 38%). This is more than twice as favorable as any other age group.



People associate with a political party in their youth, and it usually sticks. Those who came of age during FDR’s (prolonged) tenure became New Deal Democrats. Many voters from Reagan’s era – now in their 40s or 50s – are reliably Republican. Bush seems to be having a similar effect, except he is driving people away from his party. Our generation is becoming politically conscience in the era of 9/11, Katrina, and Iraq, and the Republican Party is suffering for it.

Young voters believe that America is on the “wrong track” by a ratio of three-to-one.

In nine years, our generation will comprise a third of the total electorate.

The future looks bright. Pun intended.

read more...

What makes us Democrats?

What makes them Republicans?

It's a fascinating question. Some argue that our socialization as children by our parents shapes our partisan affiliation. And certainly, this is part of it. But there are those who buck their parents and those who change party affiliation over their lifetime.

So for those of us who have been Democrats all of our lives and would rather move to China than become Republicans, what makes us fundamentally Democrats?

Yes, we support Democratic policies over Republican ones. And we may even support our candidates more because they're just better people.

We support raising the minimum wage, getting everyone health care, supporting better education, protecting the environment, supporting civil and equal rights, preserving our Constitutional liberties, building alliances and pursuing diplomacy outside our borders. But what joins these ideas? What is our Democratic philosophy that makes us believe in these policies?

I believe that we Democrats believe in two fundamental ideas. The first is the idea of the American Dream. We Democrats believe that at the very core of America lies an idea that if you are a good person, you help others, you work hard, and you play by the rules, it doesn't matter what your race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, age, or disability is, but you too, in this great, meritocratic, tolerant, generous, and forgiving society that is America, can succeed and give your children better than what you had. This fundamental idea is why we Democrats support a better education, health care for all, support immigrants, want to promote tolerance, respect, and diversity, oppose poverty, and want everyone to have a good-paying job.

The second idea in which we fundamentally believe is the Constitution. To us Democrats, we view this document as a sacred scroll, one that provides us with guidance, directs our moral compass, and provides a framework for how we interact with our fellow citizens in society. We take that preamble seriously, and believe in "form[ing] a more perfect union." We believe in that Bill of Rights, that tell us that generally people can say or practice or express whatever they want, unless they are harming someone else, without any interference from the government, and beyond that, with a great deal of respect and healthy discourse from those that oppose your ideas. This constitution, for which we as Democrats dedicate ourselves, charges us with a civic duty to protect the foundational ideas of our country from radical change from any ideology.

And what do the Republicans believe? I believe, and I can't say for sure because I am not a Republican, that they also support two fundamental ideas as well. Those two ideas are the free market and the Bible. Republicans fundamentally believe in the greatness of the free market and the power it possesses, which leads them to mistrust any government intervention in the economy, through taxes, regulations, or spending. But this idea of the free market extends to social life as well, and tells them that diversity, tolerance, and respect must be met by the forces of social supply and demand, and government should not try to promote liberty and tolerance in places where the political and social marketplace won't accept it. When you tie this belief to a fundamental belief in the divinity and infallibility of the Bible, you get a Republican who believes that the word of Adam Smith and God are the will that they must follow. Their mindset is a core adherence to these principles.

Now I am not trying to say that Republicans don't also support the American Dream and the Constitution. They surely do. And Democrats certainly take the free market and the Bible extremely seriously and follow them too. But the priority of Democrats is to follow the Constitution over the Bible in our political lives, and we believe fundamentally that the free market is a means to the American Dream, not the other way around.

What do you guys think?

read more...

If you’ve walked through Red Square recently, you may have noticed flyers promoting the Georgetown chapter of America’s newest third party campaign, Unity ’08. Founded by former advisors to the Ford and Carter administrations and Maine’s former Independent governor Angus King, intends to run a third ticket in the upcoming presidential campaign, featuring a split ticket, or possible independents

Unity 08 is based on the conviction that the two major parties are corrupt, slaves to special interest dollars, and driven to extremism by the influence of their respective bases. The result: American government is paralyzed by partisanship, essentially ignoring the beliefs and issues that matter to the moderate majority of the nation.

Encouraged by the immense potential of the internet for grassroots mobilization, the campaign intends to hold a nominating convention online in early 2008 to select its ticket. The ‘primary’ will be open to all American voters. Although no one has officially declared candidacy yet, some names being thrown around include Sen. Lieberman, Rudy Guliani, Chuck Hagel, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Warner, Wes Clark, and—implausibly enough—John McCain, whom the media still insists on calling a moderate.

If Unity 08 supporters think that the government is unproductive now, they should wait until they put a split ticket in office. The last time this happened, during the election of 1796, which resulted in a Federalist President (Adams) and a Democratic-Republican VP (Jefferson), strife within the executive branch was disastrous, resulting in the 12th Amendment which ensured that such a situation wouldn’t occur again. Furthermore, they assume that there is some sort of parity between the two positions, which is obviously part of the truth. Unless two independents are nominated, the Unity ticket will inevitably represent the moderate wing of one of the two major parties.

Despite their claim that they represent the centrist majority of Americans, like all third parties in America’s winner-take-all electoral system, the Unity 08 ticket will, at most, play the role of spoiler (Perot in ’92, Nader in ’00, etc). Given its reformist mentality, general idealism, and emphasis on corruption, climate change, and dependence on foreign oil, it’s a safe bet to say that Unity will siphon most of its votes from the Democrats.

This is particularly evident when you consider that the controversial social issues it avoids addressing—abortion, gay marriage, and gun control, for example—are powerful wedge issues which drive Republicans, more than Democrats, to the polls.

Loyal Democrats have no reason to fear, however—the Unity ticket is destined to play a minor role, if any at all, in 2008. Decrying the role that special interests play in electoral politics, Unity plans to run solely with private donations. The problem with this plan, though, is that moderates, lacking a strong ideological drive, are the least likely to donate.

Furthermore, while Americans and the media repeatedly disparage the politics of negativity and personal attacks, calling for a more substantive debate, they repeatedly reward these tactics at the voting booth.

Another problem with running an issue-based campaign is that Unity 08 doesn’t actually have concrete positions on them. Sure, they call for bipartisanship and attention to the ‘crucial issues’, but they don’t actually take a stand on any of them. Appealing to disillusioned, generally apathetic voters, Unity 08’s central platform seems to ask: Can’t we all just get along?

No.

We can’t.

Despite its trivial nature, politics deals with serious issues which many Americans passionately disagree on and cannot simply be ignored. It is a forum where people of different philosophies wage ideological warfare, and the means through which our nation comes to a consensus on its core values and priorities. Perhaps this is just the viewpoint of one bitter partisan, but I don’t see anything admirable about conciliatory centrism, particularly when the decisions of our government can mean the difference between life and death.

Our government is far from being truly democratic, and elections are often determined by the most superficial aspects of politics, a vague, warm-and-fuzzy call for harmony is no solution. Yet, while it is easy and fashionable to spout clich├ęs criticizing partisanship, negative campaigns, the overwhelming advantage of incumbency, and the inevitable influence of money on government, it is much harder to come up with constructive policies to improve health care & education, reduce the budget deficit, and make our democracy more representative. It’s even more difficult to do so without disagreement.

One of the reasons that money, incumbency, and superficiality frequently carries the day in politics is because so many people buy into the ignorant maxim, spouted by naysayers such as the Unity 08 crowd, that there’s no difference between the two major parties. Instead of issuing fruitless calls for unity and adding to the unproductive chorus of discontent, they should help voters see past the mudslinging by showing apathetic Americans that despite the medium, the government matters.

As a fellow partisan once said, “Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

read more...

I'm going to go ahead and ramble on about Dean and his 50 State Plan again...

Sure, I am no Deaniac, but his 50-state plan is great (don't get me wrong, I love the Ragin' Cajun as much as anyone...). Reading DailyKos today allows me to remind you how important it is to keep Dean and how we lost the South in the first place. This is what not to do now:
"Now, this doesn't mean we need to abandon the South, belittle the South, mock the South, piss on the South, or ignore the South. A national party with a real mandate needs to be competitive in every corner of our great nation."

He's exactly right. I read What's the Matter with Kansas and hated it. But, I am (sort of) from the South and I understand exactly what Kos and Thomas Frank are saying. The people of the South have been mislead, just as much of the Midwest had been, by Republicans but the Democrats need only to step in. The South was written off bu all of us, especially after '04 with the maps detailing "JesusLand" (http://www.basetree.com/graphics/jesusland.jpg) as everything that was not California, New York, and Hawaii. If I considered myself a true Southerner and planned on living in the South forever, I would have become enraged and voted with the party that was accepting me. Clearly the left wanted nothing to do with the South!

Coming from Northern Kentucky, where a Democrat 2-term incumbent couldn't beat a one-term, Republican party liner, George Bush lover to win his Congressional seat back, I could very much say "Write it off, the South is done! It's finally over", but the Democratic party can not. This year, we picked up seats in the South, which should tell us that these people are just looking for the quality candidates they have not gotten in years. We finally have a chance to encourage good Democratic candidates to run and bring the South to the good side. Let's keep putting money (and faith) behind these Dems in the South and they might just win.

read more...

Following up on yesterday's post, I will now go through each of the 21 Republican seats up in 2008 and how we can target and win in every single one. So here we go!

Wayne Allard is our best pickup opportunity in 2008. Allard has made hints that he will retire after two terms in the Senate. If he does retire, expect either ex-Rep. Bob Beauprez (who just lost a race for governor by double digits) or Reps. Tom Tancredo or Marilyn Musgrave to run for the Republican nomination. Expect all of them to lose as Rep. Mark Udall is already planning to run, regardless of Wayne Allard's plans. Udall's raised over $1 million and will be formidable as Colorado is a blue state rising, with a Democratic governor, both houses of the state legislature, a majority in the Congressional delegation and one Democratic US Senator in Ken Salazar. Plus, Allard has only a 43% approval rating in the state and has only raised $100,000 for his reelection. This should be our Pennsylvania of 2008.

Oklahoma should be a prime pickup opportunity for us as well. Sen. Jim Inhofe is a crazy anti-gay bigot who claimed that never in his family's history had their been a gay member, proudly proclaiming this fact on the Senate floor with a picture of his family in the background. He is unpopular at home, with only a 43% approval rating and only a half a million dollars raised for reelection. If popular Democratic governor Brad Henry runs for this seat, he will easily beat Inhofe, as Henry has a 69% approval rating and just won his reelection with 67% of the vote against Republican congressman Ernest Istook. If Gov. Henry doesn't run, Democrats hold 7 of the other 8 statewide offices in Oklahoma, where Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett each received over 60% of the vote this year as Democrats. If Democrats run anyone of these three candidates against Inhofe, they'll be elected to the US Senate.

Though many think it will be difficult to defeat Saxby Chambliss in Georgia in 2008, he is not a popular Senator, with only 47% approval. He barely won election in 2002, after he smeared triple amputee ex-Sen. Max Cleland. If Sen. Cleland returned to fight for his old seat, I think he could beat Chambliss, who has raised over $2 million. It clearly will take a lot of money to dislodge him, but it's possible. Democrats hold three statewide offices in Georgia, including Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who won 57% of the vote this year, and Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin, who won 56% of the vote this year, and Labor Commissioner Mike Thurmond, who won 55% of the vote this year. If any of those three run, they could certainly upset Chambliss with a bunch of money, and none of them would have to give up their jobs if they lost.

Jon Cornyn is one of the most sinister Republicans in the US Senate. If we could take him down, we'd have scored a major victory. His approval rating is 47% and he's raised nearly $3 million. If Congressman Lloyd Doggett, a conservative Democrat from Austin, challenges Cornyn, it could be a race, considering that Doggett has raised nearly $2 million. Austin Mayor Will Wynn is a Democrat who has deep pockets and could make a race out of it. Dallas Mayor Laura Miller could also make a run of it, as could Houston Mayor Bill White or El Paso Mayor John Cook or San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger. Winning in Texas will never be easy for a Democrat, but running the right campaign and raising enough money, could put Cornyn out of a job.

John Sununu is a very vulnerable Senator. Barely elected in 2002 over ex-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, he is not wildly popular, with only a 50% approval rating. He's only raised $500,000 and New Hampshire is a blue state rising, with Democrats having just taken over the State House and State Senate for the first time since 1911. If you look back to the last time Democrats controlled the Governorship and both Houses of the legislature, you have to go back to 1874. Having also picked up both New Hampshire congressional seats this year, New Hampshire Democrats are poised for a comeback. Considering the state will still play a huge role in the Democratic Presidential primaries in 2008, the Democratic Party here will be very strong. Democratic Gov. John Lynch is wildly popular, with a 74% approval rating, and having just won reelection with the same percentage. I doubt Lynch would be willing to give up the Governorship (New Hampshire Governors run every two years), but if he did, he would cream Sununu. The races for State Senate President and House Speaker in New Hampshire are underway, but whoever the winners are, they should seriously consider taking on Sununu if Lynch decides against a run. A smart and talented in New Hampshire with a lot of money should easily be able to beat Sununu in this blue and getting bluer state.

Lamar Alexander is waiting for a smackdown in Tennessee. With only a 51% approval rating and only $300,000 in the bank, he's not looking great for reelection. If popular Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen decides to run, he will be slightly favored in this race, and would not have to leave the Governorship if he loses. With a 62% approval rating and having just won reelection with 69%, he is very well positioned to beat Alexander. With Democrats controlling the State House and with only a one-seat deficit in the State Senate and half of the TN congressional delegation, there are plenty of candidates to choose from. While Bredesen would have a great time picking up this seat, there are plenty of Democrats who could beat Alexander too.

Norm Coleman is looking extremely vulnerable in a blue state like Minnesota. The only reason he won in 2002 was because Paul Wellstone's funeral was made into a media animal by the GOP. Had Sen. Wellstone lived, he would have easily beat Coleman. But it looks like Al Franken will make a run against Coleman, and if he does, look for him to score an upset and win. If Franken doesn't run, Democrats have a large bench in the state to beat Coleman, who has a 52% approval rating and almost $2 million in the bank. With Democrats now controlling the State Senate and the State House in Minnesota and a majority in the Congressional delegation, any Democratic candidate could have a great shot at picking up this seat. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and State Auditor Rebecca Otto could all make great candidates if Franken decides against a run.

Gordon Smith is a Red Senator in a blue state. Oregon has a deep Democratic bench and control of the Governorship, the State Senate and the State House, as well as five of six Congressional seats. Smith's approval rating is 51% and he has raised over $2 million, clearly afraid of a tough challenge. But Congressmen Wu, Blumenauer, DeFazio, and Hooley are all looking at challenging Smith, with Wu having raised the most with over $500,000 in the bank. Smith is very vulnerable and with a good Democratic candidate, he should be beaten.

Lindsay Graham will be very hard to beat in 2008. And it's not because he's so popular, with only a 53% approval rating and a hatred from SC's right, he could face serious primary opposition in 2008. But with over $2 million in the bank and no Democrat in the state who's popular and holds elective office, it seems difficult to consider beating him. The only Democrat to still hold statewide office in SC is Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, who won this year by 200 votes out of over 1 million cast. Unless there are some strong Democrats in SC that I don't know about, we have very little chance of picking this up, unless Inez Tennenbaum wants to come back and make a run of it.

Pat Roberts in Kansas only has a 53% approval rating and has only raised $700,000 in a run for reelection, signaling a possible retirement. If he retires, it looks like Rep. Moran or Tiahrt will run for the Republican nomination, having raised $1.3 million and $800,000 respectively. But either way, it looks like Democrats have a great chance to pick up this seat if popular Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius runs for the seat. With a 62% approval rating and having just won reelection with 58% of the vote, Sebelius looks well positioned to beat Roberts or take the open seat. But Democrats have a deep bench here, with former Republicans switching to the Democratic Party all over the place and taking a huge number of statewide elected offices. State Attorney General and former Republican Paul Morrison, who just won with 58% of the vote or Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson (a former Republican too) could also run, without having to give up their jobs, either, if Sebelius decides against a run. But either way, this looks like a prime pickup opportunity, with Republican defections everywhere.

Even though Chuck Hagel has a 55% approval rating, he has only raised $100,000 for reelection and is widely expected to retire, probably to run for President. If he retires, Congressional candidates Scott Kleeb, Jim Esch, and former Lt. Gov. Maxine Moul, who all did surprisingly well in their congressional races this year, all getting over 40% of the vote in this deep red state, could all run. Though they would have to raise quite a lot of money to combat Reps. Terry or Fortenberry, they could have a good shot at picking up this open seat if they can raise a couple of million dollars.

Larry Craig has been rumored to be retiring and very well could be, having only raised $300,000 and facing a primary challenge from the right in the form of Canyon County Commissioner Robert Vasquez. A grueling primary fight could leave Craig bloodied, and an open seat could give us the opportunity to run ID-01 Congressional Candidate Larry Grant, who came very close to beating crazy Republican Bill Sali. Though this is a longshot, and Idaho is a very Republican state, having voted down every Democrat running for statewide office this year, it's worth a shot. I'm sure Idaho Democrats could find someone credible to give Craig or the Republican nominee a run for his money.

Mitch McConnell will be Senate Minority Leader and has a lot of money in the bank, $2.6 million to be exact. With a 53% approval rating, he is beatable, and with a good candidate, he could be beaten. If Congressman Ben Chandler, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, State Auditor Crit Luallen, or State Senator Dan Mongiardo made a run for this seat, they all could have a great chance of winning it. It will be tough, and McConnell's fundraising prowess will make life difficult for a Democrat, but if McConnell makes himself look like an ass as Minority Leader in the next two years, KY Dems could beat him.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole could theoretically retire, after humiliating herself as NRSC chair this year and being very old, but is likely to run for reelection. If she does, term-limited Democratic Governor Mike Easley, with a 57% approval rating, should run against her. Dole's fundraising has been anemic, with only $200,000 in the bank. If Mike Easley can raise a lot of money, he could definitely beat Dole. If Easley decides against a run, ex-Sen. John Edwards could decide to return to the Senate if he loses the Democratic nomination for President. If both decide against a run, North Carolina has a huge bench of Democratic statewide elected officials who could run against Dole, though Easley is the clearest choice. Dole has a 58% approval rating, which is strong, but remember that Chafee had an approval rating in the low sixties two years out from his defeat this past Tuesday.

John Warner is expected to retire in 2008, having raised only $700,000 for reelection. With the strong possibility that popular former Governor Mark Warner will run for the seat, John Warner will probably retire to avoid a brutal defeat. With an open seat, and Reps. Tom Davis or Bob Goodlatte likely to run for the Republican nomination, it looks like the only thing that will change about the Senator from Virginia will be the first name, from John to Mark. John Warner has a 56% approval rating, while Mark Warner left the governorship with an 80% approval rating. Against Warner or Davis or Goodlatte, Mark Warner should have an easy time winning a seat in the United States Senate, and he would be foolish not to run. With huge popularity, a winning campaign apparatus, Virginia's turn to blue status, and deep pockets to pay for a run, Mark Warner should be our best pickup opportunity in 2008.

Jeff Sessions has a 60% approval rating, has $1.5 million in the bank, and is from Alabama. While it seems nearly impossible to beat him, conservative Democratic Congressman Bud Cramer has $1.7 million in the bank and could beat Sessions if he runs a good campaign. Rep. Artur Davis has also announced he plans to run for the Senate, though his $250,000 in the bank doesn't look like enough for a statewide race. If Bud Cramer runs, this will be a prime pickup opportunity in 2008. If he doesn't run, ex-Gov. and newly elected Lt. Gov (returning to another old job) Jim Folsom, Jr. could run a good campaign and beat Sessions too.

In Wyoming, Mike Enzi might retire, which could allow popular Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal an easy path to the US Senate. With a 61% approval rating, however, Enzi is not unbeatable in a direct matchup against Freudenthal, who has a 71% approval rating. Enzi only has $200,000 in the bank, and if Freudenthal can raise a lot of money, he should be able to make this a prime pickup opportunity. Having just won 70% of the vote in his reelection, Freudenthal would be formidable as a challenger or in an open-seat race. If he doesn't run, Congressional Candidate Gary Trauner, who could theoretically still win the Congressional seat he's down in by less than a thousand votes after a recount, could run. Trauner would have far less of a chance than Freudenthal, who really should run.

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (approval of 59%) looks like he's finally ready to retire, frustrated by his lack of progress on ANWR and having raised less than $200,000 for his reelection. Though Alaska has looked good for us two cycles in a row, with little success, this year could be different. Tony Knowles could run for the third cycle in a row, though I don't think he has the stomach for it. Ethan Berkowitz, the State House Minority Leader, or State Rep. Eric Croft, could run. But Alaska doesn't have a great crop of Democrats in office. That being said, if Stevens' retirement creates a bitterly divisive and nasty GOP primary that bloodies the nominee, Democrats could have an opening here.

Susan Collins is very popular, but also pledged only to serve two-terms and it looks like she might retire, having only raised $400,000 for her reelection. If she runs again, she will be hard to beat, having a 69% approval rating, though attacking her for breaking her two-term pledge in a blue state like Maine could signal her defeat. If she decides not to run, it looks like Rep. Tom Allen, who has raised $440,000, could take this seat. Run, Allen, run!

Pete Domenici, who has been in the Senate for six terms, and has only raised $265,000, looks ready to retire. With a 66% approval rating, he'd be hard to beat without Gov. Bill Richardson, who has a 69% approval rating, running against him. But if he retires, a lot of Democrats could pickup this seat, including Richardson, Rep. Tom Udall (Mark's cousin, who has raised almost $800,000, could we have two Udalls in the Senate?), Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, Sec. of State Mary Herrera, State Auditor Hector Balderas, State Treasurer James Lewis, or Attorney General Gary King. If Domenici doesn't retire, and Richardson isn't the VP or the Presidential nominee, he should run for this seat. Otherwise, we could relatively easily pick this up with an open seat.

Finally, Thad Cochran (69% approval) in Mississippi simply can't be beaten unless he retires. And thank God he looks likely to do just that. After five terms in the Senate, Cochran's retirement could allow former Attorney General Mike Moore, current Attorney General Jim Hood, Congressman Gene Taylor, Secretary of State Eric Clark, or State Insurance Commissioner George Dale to take the seat. Cochran has raised only $350,000, and if he retires, it looks like MS will be a great pickup opportunity for us.

So there you go, every seat. If everything goes well in every state, with the best candidate running on our side, and huge retirements on their side, it looks like there's not a single GOP seat up in 2008 that we can't win. But assuming retirements are slim, and we don't get our best candidates, we still look like we can make about 10 Senate races competitive, and hopefully pick up 5. If we can make 15-18 GOP seats competitive in 2008, we could end up with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in 2009, which would be terrific.

But let's keep in mind that this list has a number of women, Latinos, African-Americans, and Asian Americans as top candidates for office. As Chuck Schumer works to recruit the best candidate in every seat, he should be mindful of increasing these groups' representations in the Senate in 2009. Tell me all what you think, and let's put the pressure on Chuck to challenge every seat in 2008, and challenge them well. Everyone should individually push for their best candidates in each of their own states as well.

read more...

Democrats did an amazing job this year. We took back the majority in both houses of Congress, a majority of our nation's governors, a majority of state legislatures, and a majority of state legislators for the first time in twelve years. It was a massive victory and we have a lot for which to be proud.

But in 2008, we risk letting our majorities decline or weaken if we are aggressive about pursuing every single Senate, House, and Governor's race in the country as if they were top tier races.

You're crazy, Adam. Come on, challenge every seat?! We'll never be able to win every seat in the House and Senate and every governorship, so why waste our limited resources? Because it works.

Take this year. Jeb Bradley (NH-01) was an entrenched incumbent who had little chance of losing this year. Had we let this seat go unchallenged, we would not have been able to take advantage of the massive wave that hit the House of Representatives this year, electing Carol Shea-Porter to Congress, who, if she works hard, should represent this swing district for years to come. Had we not put up a challenger in FL-16, because Rep. Mark Foley consistently won with over 65% of the vote, we would not have elected Tim Mahoney to Congress after the Foley scandal.

So challenging every seat is critical. Waves, scandals, and personal gaffes (take Allen vs. Webb) can make long-shot races seem extremely plausible and easily winnable in most circumstances. So while I call on whoever is chosen to head the DCCC and the chair of the DGA to recruit great candidates for House and Governor in 2008 in every available seat, where we need to focus our recruitment focus is the United States Senate.

In 2008, Democrats are extremely lucky. Republicans have 21 seats to defend, including 7 freshmen (the easiest to knock off). Democrats have 12 seats to defend (with only one freshman). The picture gets better when you look at blue states versus red states. If you look at states where Democrats control at least three of the following (the Governorship, the majority of the Congressional delegation, at least one Senate seat, the State Senate, and the State House), there are nine states with a Republican Senate seat up in 2008 that meet that criteria, indicating that it is a states with much Democratic potential. Those states are Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Tennessee. By comparison, there are only 2 Democratic Senate seats up in 2008 that have Republicans holding three of the criteria. In other words, Democrats are running in Democratic territory and a lot of Republicans are not running in Republican territory.

Considering that there are expected to be very few open seats on our side in 2008 (Kerry, Biden, Lautenberg, and Rockefeller are the only possibilities, and none are guaranteed) and the GOP is expecting quite a lot of retirements (Allard, Hagel, Warner, and Stevens are all expected to retire and Cochran, Domenici, Collins, Craig, Inhofe, and Roberts have all been rumored to be thinking about it), it seems likely that the Senate field will be extremely favorable to Democrats in 2008. Assuming we have a strong Democratic nominee at the top of the ticket (my favorite is Senator Obama, but whomever you want), we should be able to hold almost all of our 12 seats, and pickup close to half of the 21 GOP seats, if we run strong challengers in every state.

So why don't we take a closer look at the Senate picture in 2008? Here's a state-by-state analysis.

Frank Lautenberg (NJ) will be one of our hardest incumbents to defend come 2008. Even though New Jersey is a reliably Democratic state that demonstrated that to us once again in 2006, Senator Lautenberg is the most unpopular Democratic Senator in the US Senate and one of the most unpopular overall. Assuming he runs, he'll face a stiff challenge from either 2006 GOP nominee Tom Kean, Jr., or US Attorney Chris Christie, or possibly a comeback from Christie Todd Whitman or Tom Kean, Sr., or any other of a number of GOP wannabees. I think Lautenberg will be able to hold them off and he'll certainly be better funded, but watch out for a close race. If Lautenberg retires, our chances of holding the seat depend on the Democratic nominee, who will almost surely be one of the six veteran Democratic congressmen in the state (my personal favorite is Rush Holt of NJ-12). If the Democratic nominee runs a strong campaign, and the Republicans don't nominate their best candidate, Dems should hold this seat easily.

Mary Landrieu (LA) will certainly be hard to defend, as she barely won reelection in 2002, and her approval rating is below 50%. Hurricane Katrina further jolted her popularity, and a sizable portion of her Democratic base has left the state fleeing Katrina. If the Republicans run a strong candidate, who is well-funded, Landrieu will be in the race of her life.

John Kerry (MA) may retire, in which case one of the 10 Democratic congressmen in the state will easily replace him. If he doesn't retire, he'll easily win. This is Massachusetts after all.

Mark Pryor (AR) won an upset in 2002 and is moderately popular with a 54% approval rating. If the GOP doesn't find a strong candidate to run against him (and in Arkansas, Democrats control everything, so it will not be easy), Pryor will easily retain his seat.

Dick Durbin (IL) is moderately popular and lives in an extremely Democratic state with no serious Republicans to run against him. He won handily in 2002 and should have no problem winning reelection.

Carl Levin (MI) is popular, won't be seriously challenged, and will win reelection handily.

Jay Rockefeller (WV) is extremely popular, and will likely not face any serious opposition in a state with few Republicans in elective office. If he retires, expect this to be hard to keep from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R), but if he doesn't, this is a breeze.

Joe Biden (DE) is running for President, and if he retires, his son, Beau Biden, newly elected Delaware Attorney General, is likely to hold the seat. If he doesn't retire, the older Biden will win handily.

Tim Johnson barely won reelection in 2002, winning by about 500 votes. However, he is extremely popular now, with a 67% approval rating. Unless Gov. Mike Rounds (R) runs, he'll breeze to reelection. Even if Rounds runs, Johnson is favored to hold the seat.

Jack Reed (RI) is a Democrat in Rhode Island, and popular to boot. 'Nuff said.

So there you go, even in the worst case scenario, only six Democratically held seats will be remotely competitive in 2008, and the Democrat is favored to win all of those races except maybe Louisiana and West Virginia if Rockefeller retires.

The GOP is not so lucky. But I'll save that for a later post. Stay tuned!

read more...

Many of you have probably noticed the unbelievably virulent civil war that's developing between James Carville and the major progressive blogs. The short version: earlier today, Carville trashed Dean's chairmanship and suggested replacing him with Harold Ford. In response, the major progressive blogs are threatening civil war, with Kos literally calling for a war and Matt Stoller at MyDD threatening to have the netroots pull all funding from the Democratic Party.

Seriously? I mean, seriously? We just scored the biggest political victory for the Democratic Party in a generation. Let's be honest-- for all the media drama about a war between Dean, Rahm, and Schumer, all three did a phenomenal job this cycle. I know people who say Dean sucked, and I know people who say Rahm and Schumer sucked. I like all three. At the end of the day, these three people waged the most successful Democratic campaign of my lifetime.

Carville and the blogs have different ideas of how to win elections; that's fine. I have my own ideas, too. We can and should debate which strategy will carry the party forward. But the absolute last thing we need right now is a civil war in the Democratic party over such a non-issue as who James Carville thinks should chair the DNC. I love James Carville, but he made his reputation in politics by making various inflammatory statements to the media. It's won him a lot of elections-- some would say he single-handedly got Clinton out of the draft-dodging hole that threatened his primary campaign by vigorously fighting the allegations on camera. But is an inflammatory Carville statement really the best reason to launch a Democratic civil war? Come on. Dean won't be replaced as DNC chair; he's done a damn good job, and most of the party realizes that. The blogs need to calm down.

On a related note, Lieberman today reassured reporters that he's still committed to voting with the Democrats. I'm as loyal a Democrat as they come; I supported Lieberman in the primary and Lamont in the general election. Unfortunately, we lost in Connecticut-- but I'd have rather lost that seat than any other Senate election this cycle. Regardless of our problems with Joe, he's going to vote on our side and he's going to give us a Democratic majority. Let's welcome him back (if not with open arms) and move on to dealing with what really matters: implementing Democratic policy and keeping the Senate blue for years to come.

Okay, I know I've earned some flames. I'm ready.

read more...

Hey all, I know this isn't necessarily blog-worthy, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw it.

Check out The Hoya's coverage of our Election Night celebration.

Thanks to everyone who showed up. We all had a fabulous time, and hope to see all of you soon!

read more...

I'm glad we're all still celebrating the major wins from Tuesday (as we will be throughout the weekend I'm sure...), but I want us to take a moment to remember how we got here and how to ensure we stay in power of the Congress.

It looks like we have finally taken down Reagan's legacy; we have stopped the Republican machine and we are moving in the right direction (well, most of us, Northern Kentuckians are, as usual, a few years behind). This momentum should lead to a great push to find meaningful legislation on the issues that are bothering Americans (Iraq, healthcare, border security), but this momentum can be easily lost, just as fast as Bush's approval ratings plummeted in winter 05/06.

Today, the Republicans are not necessarily viewed as the moral guides of our country. Amid Republican money contribution scandals, deceitful campaigns, and more inappropriate sex than Clinton could've imagined, the Dems are back on top of the world. This Congress can not forget how it happened. The party leaders need to make it clear that they will not tolerate these happenings under their watch; the Dems can not muck it up this time. The things that have happened in the last six years have been awful and our country's economy and respect in the world can't take much more. If the Democrats somehow make news with similar scandals in the next few months, we may not get the chance again for this amazing feeling we all have after watching the results come in on Tuesday night.

It's pretty sad that I am even concerned so early with my party messing things up, but history often repeats itself and we must remember our huge loss in 2004 in which many voted for a Republican only because of a Democrat's lack of sound judgement in the Oval Office. The Democrats have got to keep on the right track; we have a lot at stake and need to keep this power for a while...heck, if we continue, maybe we'll have all three branches in 2008. Anyway, two out of three ain't bad!

read more...

I don't think so - Saddam's guilty verdict didn't shock anyone, did it? As the BBC assessed it:

"The news (of Saddam Hussein's death sentence) may persuade a few leaden-footed Republicans - crying into their beers over budget deficits, sex scandals and a mismanaged war - to shuffle to the polls. "

If that's all they have to go on, tomorrow should be a rout.

read more...

I know everyone is concentrated on what's (hopefully!) going to happen tomorrow, but I've got a quick site recommendation for everyone to check out Wednesday morning.

The purpose of BuyBlue is to educate consumers on the final destination of the money they spend on products and services in their day to day lives.

Like Starbucks? Great, the Starbucks corporation makes 100% of their political contributions to Democratic candidates. They're committed to labor and environmental causes to boot.

But if you dial Dominos for dinner, however, or like McDonalds, Wendy's, or Dairy Queen, you're out of luck. These companies, like most other food service corporations donate overwhelmingly to Republican candidates across the country. By buying Big Macs and Flurries, you are unknowinglye making political contributions to conservative causes.

Companies make donations based on ideology in other industries as well. If you're going shopping, stop by American Apparel, ebay, the Gap, J.Crew, or Polo, but try to avoid most major department stores including Target.

Most sports franchises also donate strictly Republican. If you're looking for a computer or ISP, I'd stick with Apple, Inc., since the other companies' donation patterns show a distinct lean to the right.

With so many of our consumer goods funding causes contrary to our beliefs, it would be near impossible to eliminate them entirely from your daily consumption. BuyBlue gives you the option of education, however, and shouldn't be missed.

read more...

I just found out about this website for Progressives to check out. The site gives a 'voter guide' from other Progressive voters so you can vote for the right candidates!

The page is: http://theballot.org/ . I know most of us have already sent in our absentee ballots at G.U., but it's something to look at and use in the future.

read more...

I've been at the John Hall for Congress headquarters all day, and we've got some nasty stuff coming from the RNC right now. They are making robocalls to registered Dems and undecideds in the district (NY-19) that start off saying "I'm calling with some information about John Hall." It goes on to have a negative message. Basically, this is a win-win for the GOP because voters either hear negative information about John or they are called back by the computer as many as 7 or 8 times if they hang up, so they think they are being harassed by the Hall campaign. NASTY! You can hear the actual call here.

Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo, along with a bunch of other blogs, are reporting that this isn't an isolated phenomenon. Apparently, it's happening in districts all over the country. I guess the Republicans decided they couldn't win honestly so they resorted to this.

It's working, too. We've been canvassing for two days now, and we are getting a lot of angry voters complaining about the calls. When we explain that it is the Republicans, the voters tend to be on our side, but how are we going to tell all of the people called that it isn't our fault?

Sue Kelly is clearly very scared. Watch her run away. And hide.

read more...

Read all about it in the New York Times.

U.S. Jobs Shape Condoms' Role in Foreign Aid
EUFAULA, Alabama — Here in this courtly, antebellum town, Alabama’s condom production has survived an onslaught of Asian competition, thanks to the patronage of straitlaced congressmen from this Bible Belt state.
...
Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, has quietly pressed to maintain the unqualified priority for American-made condoms and is likely to prevail if the past is any guide.

No, it's not April 1st.

read more...

Well, she surprised us again. Anne Coulter acted hypocritically and, gasp, might be a felon.

According to this news article, she voted at the wrong precinct in February and could now be in jail for five years! How great is that? She might even write an updated version of Mein Kampf?

Here's the article: http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=42819

read more...

With just a week left in the campaign, and almost all experts predicting huge Democratic gains in Congress, the Republicans pounced on a misstatement yesterday by Sen. John Kerry in which he told an audience of college kids to study and work hard or else they could end up “stuck in Iraq”. As it turns out, this was actually just a mangled version of one of Kerry’s favorite lines from the campaign trail: “Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq.”

True to form, critics from all reaches of the desperate GOP pounced on this bit of fresh meat, blasting Kerry for this seeming insult to the mental capacities of our troops and trying to discredit the entire party by association. House Majority Leader Boehner (R-OH) applied the usual Karl Rove attack formula:

These Americans who are risking their lives in the fight against terrorism in Iraq deserve better than to have their service demeaned by a United States senator. Our soldiers need John Kerry's support, yet John Kerry offers nothing more than disparaging commentary.

As if it wasn’t easy enough to see through this last-ditch election smear, Boehner went on to call on all Democratic candidates to denounce the comment. Amid a media firestorm and myriad calls for an apology, Kerry pulled an October surprise of his own. In an uncharacteristically bold and unapologetic response, Kerry went on the offensive:

If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.

YES!!! Where was this John Kerry in ’04?!

I was so excited I could’ve chest-bumped the junior senator from Massachusetts. While the incident will probably still do the Democrats more harm than good, Kerry’s resolute counter-attack signaled that he and the party have learned from past defeats; that the Republicans aren’t going to get away with attacking our patriotism or commitment to national security any more.

In perhaps the most impressive four-minute speech the Senator has ever given, he attacked the blatant hypocrisy of the Republican Party. Kerry showed Democrats how to fight back, even in the face of a glaring mistake, and inspired the party to stay on the offensive straight through Election Day. He also made a strong case for another run in ’08, inspiring the party faithful and going out of his way to demonstrate that he has learned his lesson from the ’04 campaign, claiming that he will not let the Republicans “swift boat” him again.

This episode will undoubtedly remind Democrats of our last presidential candidate, who, following a heartbreaking electoral defeat, similarly decided to grow a pair. Or perhaps, in the spirit of the holiday, Sen. Kerry was pretending to be someone else.

read more...