January 2005
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Month January 2005

A SUPERB column on social security by FDR’s grandson

If you haven’t yet, you really should read this op-ed from today’s Boston Globe by FDR’s grandson, James Roosevelt Jr.  It’s accurate, powerful, and should be required reading for every Democrat.  If the Dems can just stick to the facts and the message in this column, we will win this battle.

Snobbish Romney Disses Cheese Steak

Romney has turned his back on America and announced that the classic American delicacy a cheese steak sandwich is not good enough for him. "He said the cheese steak had no nutritional value," Pennsylvania Governor Rendell told the Philadelphia NBC affiliate after Romney declined his offer of a cheese steak versus lobsters wager on the Super Bowl. The governors agreed on a bet in which the loser would travel to the winner’s city and sing the national anthem wearing a jersey of the winning team. The last politician to publicly criticize the cheese steak, Pittsburgh-area Pa. attorney general Mike Fisher, was trounced by Rendell in the 2002 gubernatorial race, NBC reported. "A Fisher TV spot during that election, which made fun of the rib-eye steak sandwich, became a campaign issue after the ad appeared on the Internet and in TV news broadcasts. The ad ended with Fisher holding a sandwich from Pittsburgh, proclaiming that he would take it "over a Philly cheesesteak, any day of the week." The ad drew an angry response in the cheesesteak’s home town in 2002," the station said.

Missing the boat on the CJ derby

An op-ed in today’s Globe by Joan Lukey, a lawyer and former president of the Boston Bar Association, shows how people who should know better really don’t understand the considerations that will likely determine who is nominated to replace ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist. 

Lukey’s basic argument is this: no one wants a repeat of 1986 — Bush doesn’t want the controversy surrounding Reagan’s elevation of Rehnquist to Chief, and the Democrats don’t want to give another Scalia a free pass.  Yet Bush wants to name a "staunch conservative" to the Court.  His best option, Lukey concludes, is to "propose a moderate-conservative from the ranks of the existing associate justices"; this is said to be the only way that he could "achieve confirmation of a more socially conservative replacement justice than would otherwise be the case."  Lukey says that Bush should therefore nominate Kennedy or O’Connor to be Chief, which would earn Bush a lot of political capital with the Dems, which he could then burn on sliding in a real conservative into the vacant seat.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  More below.

Overwhelming Support for Dean on MassDems.org Discussion Board

The Massachusetts State Democratic Party’s discussion board about the race for DNC Chair is filled with overwhelming support for Howard Dean. Poster Jana118 writes, " I just got a call today from Johnston’s office [Democratic State Party Chairman Phil Johnston] saying that he is supporting Dean for chair.  Cool." Poster Miles Fidelman, a member of the Newton Ward 2 Democratic Committee, reports that "Last week, the Newton Ward 2 committee voted to endorse Gov. Deanfor the DNC chair – a formal letter should be on it’s way to MA votingmembers of the DNC. Let’s see if we can follow Florida’s example and come out with a State endorsement." Poster WhyBaby writes, "Gov. Dean should not only get the DNC chair, but the whole dining room set!"

Step AWAY from the consultants! Part Deux

Must-read profile on Deval Patrick in the current Phoenix. The article has a lot of really intriguing biographical info, but the main gist is the establishment’s perception of Patrick as a idealistic, naive political unknown who doesn’t know the rough-and-tumble of MA politics, who doesn’t know how to play the game: Then there was the strange letter Patrick sent to prospectivesupporters, in which eloquent tributes to Massachusetts and to the roleof government were coupled with oddly plaintive requests for help.("Tell me your thoughts not just about the political calculations, butabout how I should be thinking about and learning about what peopleneed and how an enlightened, engaged governor could help," Patrickwrote. "… Especially ask your kids what they need in a governor andpass that thinking on.") To some political veterans, it all seemedridiculously half-baked. "To send out letters asking five-year-old kidswhat they think about you running for governor? It?s stupid!" complainsone Democrat. "You don?t know why you?re going to run? Don?t run." "Ifyou want to run for governor," adds Scott Ferson, a politicalconsultant with the Liberty Square Group, "it?s nice to know why youwant to run, instead of saying you?re going to figure it out." Let’s think about this. A political […]

No grilz allouwd

Boy, those cats at the Klub for Growth have a way with words, don’t they? Remember the anti-Dean nyah-nyah in Iowa? "latte-drinking, sushi-eating, freak show" etc. Well, when they eat (and they do eat well at the Klub, don’t you know), they eat their own.  (Thanks again to Josh Marshall, upon whose every word I apparently hang.) Their blog describes an NPR interview with Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) thusly: "[a] nauseating exchange between a boot-licking radio jockey and the pork-loving, misinformed Boehlert," Where does this Klub for Growths meet? In a treehouse? Too bad Governor Thongney doesn’t bring the Klub here. Republicans would be rarer than Shakers when they got done with their act. "Freak show" indeed.

MA Democratic Party Caucuses

The Massachusetts Democratic Party caucuses are coming this weekend and next week. To find the date and location of the caucus nearest you click here to visit massdems.org. All Progressives MUST attend their local caucus if we are ever to grow this Party a new set of balls so it can beat the Republicans. If you have questions, you can contact David Howard, Massachusetts Democratic party Volunteer Coordinator at 617-472-0637 or by email at david.howard@massdems.org.

PBS/WGBH gets SpongeBobbed

Ugh. In lieu of pushing the anti-marriage constitutional amendment (a certain loser in the Senate), the Bush administration is pandering to its homophobe base with micro-initiatives, like this (hat tip to Josh Marshall): This week, the new US secretary of education, Margaret Spellings,denounced PBS for spending public funds to tape an episode of achildren’s program that features [Karen] Pike, a lesbian, her partner, GillianPieper, and their 11-year-old daughter, Emma. The installment of”Postcards From Buster," which is produced locally at WGBH-TV (Channel2) and which had been scheduled to air March 23, was promptly droppedby PBS, which is refusing to distribute the footage to its 349 memberstations. You know what? Let’s have this discussion. Let’s rise to the bait: Gay people are real. Their relationships are real. Their love is real. They have real families. It’s not shocking to show that to kids, and I’ll bet it didn’t even occur to the WGBH folks that it was a big deal. It’s not. (Maybe we should be grateful to Mrs. Spellings for the opportunity to talk about this in a post-election context.) These people are bullying our friends, neighbors, and relatives. There’s decent pushback from Terry McAuliffe in the article — who else […]

Our trusty media outlets, II

Wow, that liberal cheese-eating surrender monkey Teddy Kennedy called for withdrawal of troops from Iraq: Kennedy calls for troop withdrawal in Iraq By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer  |  January 27, 2005WASHINGTON –The American military’s continued presence in Iraq is fanning theflames of conflict, and signals the need for a new detailed timeline tobring the troops home, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said Thursday… While not the first member of Congress to call for a withdrawal of the troops, Kennedy is the first senator to do so. Well, actually he called for a definite timeline. Does anybody think they should just be there forever?

Our trusty media outlets

It’s so very interesting to compare how different media outlets cover the same news story.  As you probably know by now, Deval Patrick has announced that he may seek the Democratic nomination for Governor of Massachusetts.  This story first appeared prominently in the Boston Globe, and was immediately picked up by WBUR, Channel 5, "Greater Boston" on Channel 2, and the Boston Phoenix (and maybe others that I haven’t found).  And that seems appropriate — Patrick’s work in the Clinton administration gave him a genuinely national profile; he would be the first major African-American candidate for Governor in Massachusetts history; and the other likely Democratic candidates (Tom Reilly and Bill Galvin) have significant shortcomings (see related posts here and here). Despite all of that, there have been no news reports about Patrick’s potential candidacy in the Boston Herald.  Until today, that is, when, in an article provocatively entitled "Ex-fed prosecutor’s bid for gov race funds violates law," reporter David Guarino writes that Patrick may have committed a technical violation of state campaign finance law by soliciting funds in a e-mail sent to supporters before his political committee was actually registered with the state campaign finance office. I haven’t seen Patrick’s […]