Sunday, July 25, 2004

Kos is right-We'll be discussing this awhile

Kos is right-We'll be discussing this awhile

Kos has rightfully showcased his thoughts and a discussion about Matt Bai's article which appeared today's NYT Magazine. I haven't read anything as interesting, informative, relevant, and forward-looking in quite some time. Rob Stein's hard work has never before been made so clear to me. Mr. Bai does an excellent job of informing us about the campaign finance laws and the 527s that have come to take their place in politics today. Kos states that, after reading this article, 'it appears it will take the hard work, guidance and money of Democrats schooled in the art of innovation to shake the Democratic party free from its moorings'. I think we should all be as innovative as we possibly can be in the months and years to come. Working together, we can bring forth many ideas and keep alive the hope, among the best of those those ideas, to at last find our David who will slay the ugly Goliath. (as Matt Bai mentions in his Times piece). I'll be talking a lot more about this article.

5 Things Kerry Needs to Take A Solid Lead

5 Things Kerry Needs to Take a Solid Lead

With a presidential race that's so close you couldn't fit a razor blade between the poll numbers to cut through the frozen picture of polarization, John Kerry really needs to work at being more than simply the "Anyone But Bush" already supported by nearly half the nation's voters. He'll need to convince swing voters of a few things. Five things, according to Bill Scher (of Liberal Oasis) at today's Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Kerry will need to be:

1-Reassuring us that a President Kerry will be tough on terror. No matter how some may deny it, the political truth is that the mainstream needs to feel safe and they vote based on their own security. They also vote based on their pocketbooks (and wallets, to be gender-fair). That said...

2-Saying precisely what he'll do with and about the economy. (Note-Have you seen Billmon's essay on the economy at Whiskey Bar? It's mighty good blogfare).

3-Telling his life story in a positive and inspirational way. He may seem to be one of the 'elite', but as the JibJab boys have pointed out, he's "got three purple hearts."

4-Keeping the acceptance speech reasonably short while leaving his audience amazed (as in not snoozing).

5-Kerry will need to make some contrasts between himself and Bush to give his candidacy a rationale..but he shouldn't spend more time criticizing Bush than the time he spends on selling himself.

It's your moment, Senator Kerry. Rack up the supporters. Cha-ching!

Note: I think it would help if the media was to show the rest of the nation that folks from Massachusetts (Boston, particularly) are just as gritty and religious and down-to-earth as anyone from any little town in America. (Speaking of Any Little Town, for some real Boston flavor, there's a song by that name sung by a great Boston-based band called the Push Stars). The Push Stars are Boston Red Sox sportscaster Peter Gammons' favorite band. Which leads me back to John Kerry.

Photo credit: Reuters

I turned on the game (Sox vs Yanks at Fenway) tonight and who do I see? None other than John Kerry throwing the first pitch and cheering from the stands. Asked by Mr. Gammons (during the game) if he'd make the troubling issue of steroid use in sports part of his platform, Kerry replied his major focus would be the war on terror, but commented that steroids defeat what sports are all about. Mr. Kerry also waxed nostalgic (already) about Grady Little (who was fired from the Sox organization following last season).

Bounced Bloggers

Bounced Bloggers

The LA Times covers the disinvited convention bloggers in today's Opinion section. They mention the Democrats won't release a list of whom they've accredited or de-accredited, so it's hard to draw definitive conclusions about the decision-making process regarding the choice few who were left behind. The Times then uses carefully-chosen excerpts from various initially-accredited blogs and provide a guessing game as to which bloggers were bounced shortly thereafter. It seems they are leading us to believe the more outspoken we are, the less likely it is we'll "fit in" to the conventioneers' hoped-for results, which may or may not be true. That's why it was put in the Opinion section, you see.

In my case, they used one of my headlines which had relayed similar ideas to those which had been put forth a few days later by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. I tend to write in the style of an opinion-columnist who does not subscribe to what Mr. Krugman has coined as journalism's "curse of evenhandedness", which is the belief that you must provide a counterpoint to nearly every one of your stated news facts. The result is often no more than a confused blob of flip-flops. If I am freed to say what others won't admit by being put out to "Conventioneers' pasture", so be it. I'm tremendously proud of my body of work. If I'm getting readers from my link at the LA Times today, I hope you will look at some of my archives and decide for yourselves.

In the NY Times today, Adam Nagourney writes that, at this convention, 'Mr. Kerry's most pressing task is not to make a case against Mr. Bush, but to sell himself to voters who either do not know him or do not like him.' DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe is quoted as saying, "This is not going to be about attacking George Bush. People know about George Bush. They want to know about John Kerry."

I believe this is true. People need to know about John Kerry. They don't know enough yet. I suggest many people "know" about George Bush already thanks to people like me. Heaven knows, you haven't gotten enough gut-honest truth from the mainstream media. Think of the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Even Mr. Kerry says he cannot promise there will be no Bush attack ads if he needs to 'fight back' in the near future.

Sometimes you've just got to say it the way you see it.

As I've stated before, I am disappointed not to be playing a part in this convention. I firmly believe the DNCC missed the boat when they sunk my credentials.

Thanks to Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly, here is the image of the quiz on the back of the Opinion section of the LA Times.

July 25 Convention/Blogger News

July 25 Convention/Blogger News

Are you Convention bloggers sniffing your press passes?

Blogger Quote of the Day:
"There's something a bit weird about sitting here at the airport blogging while watching a CNN report about bloggers on the news monitor."


Technorati's Guide to Following Weblogs During the Convention

See Technorati's FAQs about Blogging

According to, delegates arriving for the Democratic National Convention were greeted today (around Boston Common) by 2000 competing protestors who were respectively against the war in Iraq and against abortion.

NY Daily News: Major Networks devoting only one hour a night, from 10-11pm (except Tuesday) for Democratic convention coverage. CNN’s “American Morning” is live from Boston tomorrow through Thursday at 7 a.m.; MSNBC’s “Imus in the Morning,” at 6 a.m., will include live convention updates; will have continuous live, streaming video beginning today at 3:30 p.m. — likewise for

Newsday carries an article today by Press Think's Jay Rosen about blogging the convention.

UMass: UMass Boston and Harvard journalists to produce daily Newspaper at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (See Media Nation)

Joe Gandelman has done the best job, in my opinion, of covering Alex Jones' LA Times' statement about the blogger's low place in the information-chain. [Bloggers Are the Sizzle, Not the Steak]

The NY Times editorial on the Convention.

CSM: Old Boston/New Boston-A Work in Progress

Media Matters: Self-proclaimed non-partisan Bill O'Reilly urged listeners to vote a certain way in his convention preview. He stated: 'Daschle's "no good"; Pelosi's a "nut"; Cleland's "strange". Now, is that fair of Bill and FOX? Does that make Bill an outright liar or simply insincere as he tipsy-toes the unbalanced FOX line? You can hear an audio clip at the linked site.

BBC News Online: Bloggers go mainstream at US conventions
Excerpt: "We're not under a banner of [Fox's slogan] 'fair and balanced'. We are able to a little bit more flippant, more critical, more analytical. That is the nature of who we are, and that is why people read blogs." --Karl-Thomas Musselman

Karmalised has some interesting comments on the Convention-blogging.

At, Adam Penenberg says: "I wouldn't be surprised if Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's The Daily Show were to mock a blogger -- or better yet, mock the mainstream media mocking a blogger." I'd really love to see that. I fully expect Jon, Ed, Rob, Stephen, or Samantha to do a silly segment on the blogger phenomenon. Rob Corddry sniffing his press pass at a candidates' debate comes to my mind. (Watch Debate and Switch here). Are the bloggers sniffing their press passes, I wonder?

(more to follow)



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Who's doing the kidnapping in Iraq?

Who's doing the kidnapping in Iraq?

Juan Cole points out a UPI article by Claude Salhani that suggests the recent kidnappings of truck drivers in a bid to force the companies that employ them out of the Iraq market are being claimed by a shadowy group called the "Black Banners." They have detained six hostages in Iraq: three Indians, two Kenyans and an Egyptian, all nationals from "neutral" nations.(In an update, two Pakistanis have been kidnapped). Mr. Salhani claims 'the "war" in Iraq is suddenly taking a very different turn, and regrettably, not one for the better'. It's not yet clear how this economic warfare aimed at multinationals and their workers will effect the struggle in Iraq, but Professor Cole states what is clear is that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's "peculiar idea that Iraq is 'calming down' is ridiculous on the face of it." Our own soldiers continue to die. There are now over 900 dead.

Richard Clarke Calls 9/11 Report "Toothless"

Richard Clarke Calls 9/11 Report "Toothless"

...because the commission had a goal of creating a unanimous report from a bipartisan group, it softened the edges and left it to the public to draw many conclusions...News coverage of the commission's recommendations has focused on the organizational improvements...Putting these recommendations in place will marginally improve our ability to crush the new, decentralized Al Qaeda, but there are other changes that would help more...Even more important than any bureaucratic suggestions is the report's cogent discussion of who the enemy is and what strategies we need in the fight...In pulling its bipartisan punches, the commission failed to admit the obvious: we are less capable of defeating the jihadists because of the Iraq war...Unanimity has its value, but so do debate and dissent in a democracy facing a crisis.