December 2007
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Month December 2007

NH Progressives call on all candidates to debate

Once a report by the Nashua Telegraph’s Kevin Landigan made it to NH’s progressive blog, Blue Hampshire, NH activists quickly became disgruntled over the reported exclusion of presidential hopefuls from the upcoming debate, sponsored by ABC-TV, WMUR and Facebook, this Saturday night. Fare well in N.H., Iowa, or no TV by Kevin Landigran Unless there’s a mega-shock in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses results, this will be the lineup of candidates invited to the pivotal debates that ABC-TV, WMUR and Facebook are sponsoring Saturday night on the campus of St. Anselm College. Democrats: Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson. Republicans: Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Who is left out? Joe Biden, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Collectively, we’re talking about 120 years of elective service in Congress, which is two and half times longer than Obama has been alive. Since this is live television and the stakes couldn’t be higher, all decisions can change. But the sponsors have crafted a comprehensive and controversial set of criteria for candidates to qualify. -snip The ruckus began to grow on: […]

Thoughts for the new year!

The Winter Solstice, 2007, C. E. Greetings to all of you! This epistle has a past, a present and a future. So do we! The Past:   2007 was a pretty good year. I helped some Amaryllis bulbs to grow. I watched some of my other bulbs grow into flowers, despite some serious predation by malignant squirrels. I planted a garden and raised some beans and tomatoes.  My squash plants were a failure, victims of inadequate sunlight and probably raccoons. My ongoing program to bring back songbirds to my yard was successful. The Fall was weird. Leaves did not fall. A sudden freeze left me with leaves on the ground frozen and gutters filled with frozen leaves. Not a good omen! In politics, I helped get a resolution passed at Longmeadow’s Town Meeting in the Spring denouncing Bush’s war in Iraq. We have been doing a weekly vigil to draw attention to the war and to keep the anti-war message in front of the voting public. Public opinion has shifted away from support of the war, but Congress is not willing to cut the funds for it. This disregard for public opinion is going to cost a number of politicians […]

Partisanship and Polarization

Sabutai’s post sparked a heated discussion which gets to the very heart of the Democratic primary. How do we deal with partisan, polarized politics? Reasonable people can certainly recognize how partisan sniping is counter-productive to our national goals. But how can progressives possibly be asked to bridge the divide when the Republican party has consistently shown an unwillingness to compromise on, well, pretty much anything? And besides issues where there are simply ideological differences, how can we be asked to compromise with scientific fact? How can we find common ground with those that believe the Bible can explain dinosaurs? Or those conservatives who have the audacity to call a belief in the scientific consensus of the global climate crisis religious zeal?

Indeed, it does seem that even if progressives wanted to agree find common ground, lightiris nailed the problem:

but what’s an even more trenchant observation is the fact that American politics has arrived at the Continental Divide.  The Mid-Atlantic rift (to harken back to my geology days) of sociopolitical discourse.  No prisoners, playing for keeps.  No. Common. Ground. Exists Anymore.  We are a Balkanized nation, and it’s getting worse, and no politician of today’s manufacture is going to remedy that.

In this post, I want to examine that claim because I think it’s really one of the most important claims about the state of our politics going into 2008.

NYT Editorial: Looking At America

The ability of politicians to build bridges, empower, remediate, etc., has been discussed here at length in the past few days.  I’ve questioned what, exactly, it means to be an American these days because I believe we have lost our way, that this Great Experiment may well be a well-intentioned failure.  I’m not at all heartened by the upcoming presidential election; indeed, it makes me feel even more depressed:

We hate change in America because we’ve been conditioned to believe that American exceptionalism is actually something real and invincible.  If that weren’t the case, this election would look like an entirely different beast.  Instead it looks like every other election in which an unpopular president is ousted and a new unpopular president gets elected to file down the edges the previous president created.

Most successful presidential candidate of 2007

The most successful candidate in the presidential race thus far is no longer running, but succeeded in making his pet issue into THE issue of 2008:  Tom Tancredo.

Most successful presidential candidate of 2007

The most successful candidate in the presidential race thus far is no longer running, but succeeded in making his pet issue into THE issue of 2008:  Tom Tancredo.

Patrick’s First Year

So the Boston Globe today features Frank Phillips’ review of Deval’s first year and nobody comments on it yet?

The article seems to play the big idea on this  basic theme that any novice could have come up with:

It is a decidedly mixed record for a governor who rolled into office with huge popular support and a clutch of big, fresh ideas.

3 & 8 days out

I’m in New Hampshire working on the Clinton campaign through next Tuesday’s primary. What a way to use vacation days.

It’s grueling, but nonetheless rewarding. Like all campaigns, it’s made easier by the fact that we have a candidate in which we believe so strongly.

Cross posted at: http://mattomalley.blogspot.com

Bloomberg thinking hard about an independent run

Don’t count out a significant independent candidacy in 2008 just yet. Buoyed by the still unsettled field, [New York City] Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run. On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock. Former Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma, who organized the session with former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat of Georgia, suggested in an interview that if the prospective major party nominees failed within two months to formally embrace bipartisanship and address the fundamental challenges facing the nation, “I would be among those who would urge Mr. Bloomberg to very seriously consider running for president as an independent.” … Mr. Bloomberg himself has become more candid in conversations with friends and associates about his interest in running, according to participants in those talks. Despite public denials, the mayor has privately suggested scenarios in which he might be a viable candidate: for instance, if the opposing major party candidates […]

Sean Garballey invites YOU to his campaign kickoff and NEW website!

Sean Garballey has a new and improved website:  http://www.garballey.com/  Come check it out! While you may well get his mailing, if you are in Arlington or West Medford, just in case, here is an invite to Sean Garballey’s campaign kickoff party: Join Sean Garballey and friends as he kicks off his campaign this Friday: WHERE:  Sons of Italy Lodge, 19 Prentis Road, Arlington, Massachusetts 02474 [781 643 4255] WHEN:  Friday, January 4, 2007 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM Join us for good conversation about Arlington and West Medford’s needs as well as refreshments and the excitment of a candidate who is committed to the 23rd Middlesex.