For The Trees

Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

About the Authors:
Dave Johnson
John Emerson
Richard Reich
Thomas Leavitt


Recent Posts:
Moved to Seeingtheforest.com
This Blog Has Moved
Democracy Arsenal
Thought Crimes
Think Progress
Bill Bradley Describes VRWC in NY Times Piece Toda...
Blog Change Coming Friday
How the Liberal Media Myth is Created
Interest Rates
Finally Leaving Blogger


BEST OF STF:

Dave's:

Articles not at STF:

The ATLA Speech on building a progressive infrastructure
Lowering the Bar
The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law
Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors

On the Right and their communications infrastructure:

Why Republicans Win
Win or Lose
The "Conventional Wisdom" Machine
Some History of the Conservative Movement
HOW TO FIGHT BACK
An Amplifier Of Our Own
Don't Blame the Democrats
How They Do It 1 2 3 4
Getting Rolled

Other:

You're Gonna Get Drafted
Scalia and Self-Government
Who is Our Economy For?
Voting Machine Story Link Collection
What's Wrong with this Picture? (Voting Machines)
Like Meat in the Supermarket
Get Active
Thin Line 1 2 3
Fixing Social Security
Seeing the Forest I, II, III
"Incredibly Positive News"
The Breadth of It
The Republican Crony Club
Moon Bush
Ralph Nader is a Scab


John's Best Of:
Kerry Smear Page
Bandar Bush
9/11 Commission Report Damages Bush -- if you read it
Florida Goon Squad Intimidated the Supreme Court
The Use and Abuse of George Orwell
Zizka's Archives (John's previous identity)
Zizka Sampler


News Sources:
AlterNet
BuzzFlash
Common Dreams
Cursor
Drudge Retort
Information Clearing House
Smirking Chimp
TruthOut
What REALLY Happened

Links to Other Weblogs:




10/19/2002
 



What the Republicans Think They Can Get Away With

Zizka posted a comment to my Iraq Again posting earlier, "God, those people in Georgia must be dumshits if the Republicans think they can get away with this."

Well, I had JUST finished looking at Eschaton when I saw his comment. Eschaton has posted two different entries about Republicans lying, and just lying, and no one calling them on it. One was pointing to today's Daily Howler. It's about the long history of the Republican National Committee sending lies around, and no one calling them on it. Flat out lies, that everyone knows are lies at this point. The second referenced a Crossfire transcript about Republicans lying - JUST LYING - about where the term "privatization" originated.

So to respond to Zizka, the Republicans don't THINK they can get away with this stuff, they KNOW they can get away with this stuff! They just lie, they send out "talking points" full of lies, they post lies on their website, they publicly change their story sometimes in the middle of sentences, and THEY JUST GET AWAY WITH IT. It's all there for anyone to see. Anyone with half a brain knows they just lie. Listen to Rush Limbaugh for ten minutes and you will hear a ten-minute-long series of lies.

AND IT WORKS! That's why they do it! They lie ENOUGH and some of it sticks, and people start to believe it. People still believe that Clinton got a $200 haircut while his plane held up traffic on the LAX runway. How many of you remember when Clinton was acused of selling an Arlington National Cemetery plot to a campaign contributor? It was just a lie and within a few days the press stopped reporting it, so the Republicans just moved on with the next lie. Go to Google and see if that lie is still in circulation. (And read some of the slime-pages this search brings up.) When one lie fades from the headlines, they start up another lie. It works.

Oh, man, this is getting to me. I'm using ALL CAPS in the middle of what I'm saying. The last post I used BOLD ALL CAPS. I think I'll go take a pill.


 



Bush the Uniter

Republican House Speaker Hastert, reflecting the improved "tone" in Washington after two years of Bush the Uniter, who promised to change the tone in Washington, "When partisanship becomes so rigid it makes deal making impossible, the result is a breakdown in the system, and that breakdown is widely seen as simple incompetence" said the statement by Hastert's office.

More changed tone from the Uniting Republicans, same article, "House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, asked as the House adjourned this week why al-Qaida can organize itself after a U.S.-led assault "and the Senate cannot organize itself." His answer: "Al-Qaida doesn't have a Senator Daschle who has another focus."

Ads with bin Laden's face morphing into Democratic candidates. Timing the Iraq campaign for the election. Ready-to-go with ads with Democratic walking with Saddam Hussein. Gotta hand it to those Republicans, they know how to win elections, saying they'll "change the tone" and saying they are "uniters not dividers." WATCH WHAT THEY DO, NOT WHAT THEY SAY.


 



Iraq Again

I wrote this in a reply to an e-mail from a reader today:

Man, if you get me started about Iraq... point-by-point it just doesn't add up, and then we get this Korea nuke situation, where so many of the Bush people's points DO apply, and you find out that they sat on the news for 12 days because it would interfere with their Iraq-war-vote strategy...

So for Korea we will have diplomacy but for Iraq we will have war.

I think that the plan from the beginning was to frame this as "liberals" and Democrats against patriotic Republicans. I think this was the plan even before they came up with specifics of which country would get the war beat! It was about the election, not about Iraq. I'll bet that they took polls and found out that x% more people would hate Iraq than would hate Korea, so they decided to use Iraq for the election.

It's a "wedge issue" they can use to divide people into camps, with the plan being that their camp gets the most people. Republicans have one issue right now - military - so they needed to create an election around the only issue that works for them.

Here's my case - Max Cleland. You can't get much more of war hero material than Max Cleland. (Maybe John McCain.) So here we are with Cleland voting with the President on every single vote. But the Republicans are running ads against him with a picture of bin Laden morphing onto Cleland anyway. (And they're running a draft dodger against him.)

So it wasn't about Iraq or supporting the President at all. It was about getting the public stirred up so they could run ads like that against Democrats. Here's a war hero supporter of the President and he gets ads comparing him to bin Laden.


 



Suckers

Washington Post: N. Korea Issue Irks Congress - Key Democrats Kept in Dark On Admission Before Iraq Vote
The White House withheld North Korea's admission about a nuclear weapons program from key Democrats until after Congress had passed its resolution authorizing war with Iraq, prompting complaints on Capitol Hill that the administration has let politics influence its conduct of foreign affairs.
Suckered again. Never gonna learn.




10/18/2002
 



Send West Wing to BartCop

Someone needs to send this week's West Wing to BartCop. Scroll down below where Dorothy's shoes are clicking heels (until I can figure out how to link to a particular item.)


 



Blah, Blah, Blah, Yada, Yada

A good piece over at Blah3, scroll to "The MBA who wasn't" (until I can figure out how to link to a particular item.)

Remember when the wingnuts were telling us that the corporate scandals were all Clinton's fault because of the moral tone he set during the 90's? (Never mind the tone set by Bush regarding corporate responsibility, when he took office.)

I know, I know, I'm always saying don't pay attention to the specific nonsense the wingnuts spew, those are trees, see the forest, etc., yada, yada. BUT ANYWAY go see this one.


 



Talkleft does Altercation

Take a look.


 



It's the Radio, Stupid!

Reading this story in USA Today, about how the economy isn't getting traction as an issue, and listening to the radio in the car while I ate a sandwich today, I'm thinking about how the public's political information process has changed.

The Republicans have greatly increased their control over the information that the public receives. I drove across the country in 2001, and once you get away from the coasts, news is ENTIRELY a Republican media operation. Every town is right-wing radio, right-wing newspapers, FOX in the motel rooms, etc. There are very few other sources of information.

Coming back from my lunch I'm thinking about how AM radio has been completely taken over by the Republican Party and is being used used as a 24/7 running Republican Party political advertisement. Today's Hannity show, while I was listening, was a blatant full-scale Republican Party ad, asking people to donate, to volunteer to work on Republican campaigns, etc. AS WELL as spewing out the right-wing lies, like that Democrats are blocking the Fatherland Security Bill so you have to vote for Republicans if you want the country protected. (Facts - The Democrats PROPOSED the agency, and the Republicans are filibustering it.)

This use of the AM band is illegal, and it shows where The Party wants to take the country. The Democrats should grow spines and demand that the these stations be fined for making in-kind donations to The Party, and that they put some opposing voices on the airwave.


 



Career Change

I have recently changed careers. I have taken a position at a public policy institute, and will be writing more about this soon.

Until June I was VP Marketing at a tech company competing with Microsoft in an age when big companies can purchase their way out of legal verdicts. I wrote one of my personal favorites, The Retirement Plan of the Unemployed Man in the period of unemployment following the demise of my employer.

2.5 years ago Microsoft was convicted of violating antitrust laws but bought a deal with the Bush administration that effectively set aside the verdict. Yesterday Microsoft reported profits more than doubling, based on a new licensing scheme forcing business users to pay even more for their software.
"Results for the first quarter were exceptionally strong, exceeding our expectations," John Connors, Microsoft's chief financial officer, said in a statement. "During the quarter, we saw broader customer adoption of our licensing programs than we anticipated, as customers recognized the value of entering into long-term licensing agreements for our products."
The "value" is that there isn't any alternative.

After fighting Microsoft, battling right wingers won't be so bad. At least there are alternatives.


 



Talk, Talk, Talk

Bush says, "Now, listen, the foundation for growth is strong, interest rates are low, inflation is low ... productivity is high in America," he said. "But so long as somebody's looking for work can't find work, I think we have a problem."

How come no one is asking him what is he DOING about it??!! Look at what they DO, not what they SAY!

And, by the way, interest rates are low BECAUSE the economy sucks. It is NOT a sign that the economy is doing well. DUH! And someone should tell him that economists are worried about deflation. Inflation being this low is an ominous sign, not something to brag about right now.




10/17/2002
 



Agrees With Me, Must Be Brilliant!

Mary McGory in today's Washington Post, on the subject I wrote about earlier today.
Are Democrats making a major effort to reduce voter turnout in the coming election? Or are they just trying to fight free of the trap they diligently fashioned for themselves on the subject of war with Iraq? By their conduct on the issue in the recent congressional debate, they seemed eager to show there was no difference between them and the Republicans -- a strategy that guarantees voters will ask themselves, when it comes to digging out on a cold November morning, "Why bother?"



 



Reward the Heroes, Still Not in the News

MoveOn.org is up to $1,250,000 in three days. This is just phenomenal! It's worth putting their whole letter up:
Dear MoveOn member,

Amazing. You blew away all our goals with an incredible $1,250,000 raised in three days, from more than 30,000 individual donations. You've really made a difference for these candidates, and you've sent an important message to politicians and pundits.

We raised more than $560,000 for Senator Wellstone, and the campaign's ecstatic. But believe it or not, it's not all about money. The Wellstone campaign believes that in the end the decisive factor will be people on the ground.

Today's recommended action is to get out and help.

Here's a note from the Wellstone campaign:

"When you ask people to help at the end of the campaign, you should mention that our goal is to have 10,000 volunteers who spend all day on Election Day in a get out the vote effort. These people will be making phone calls, knocking on doors, driving people to the polls, and dropping iterature, all over the state. This race has been a dead heat in the polls from the very beginning, and will remain so until the end. Our grass roots army will be the decisive factor in Paul's victory." (if you can help in Minnesota, see the campaign contact info below)

Volunteer for a campaign. Now.

Why?

Reason #19 -- We can't let money in politics win.

We need each of you to be part of the political process and wrest it back from big money and professional politicians. Many folks have given up, and that's exactly why big money has taken over. Believe me, there's a real vacuum of power in the political parties, because they now turn around and find that the meeting halls are empty, that real people have deserted them. With campaign finance reform, they'll have to find another way. Now is the time to take the parties back for real people.

Ideally you will help with a local swing race, where the impact of your efforts will be magnified a thousand times. We've included a list of tight congressional races and other volunteering resources below.

But even if you can't find a local swing race, get out and work. Work for a great candidate running for dog catcher, if that's the best race in town. Call or email their campaign today. Take back your party.

Let us know how you intend to volunteer this election. We'd really like to know how people are making a difference.

Go to: (Oops, had my personal info in it...) Try here: http://www.moveonpac.org/moveonpac/index.phtml

Thanks for everything. The countdown continues,

-Wes, Eli, Joan, Peter, Doug and Carrie
for MoveOn.org PAC
October 16, 2002



 



Punishing Who?

I'm starting to hear people saying that they are so mad at the Democrats for voting for war with Iraq that they'll sit out this election. This is sort of a Naderist view, and I can almost sympathize with it. There really wasn't a difference between the Republicans and many Democrats when it came down to the vote on whether to go to war. And what could be more important than that?

The problem is that sitting out the election might punish the Democrats, but it is cutting off your nose to spite your face. If the Democrats lose the Senate it's US who are really punished. Look at the terrible things Bush has done so far and imagine what will happen if there is nothing in place to hold him back.

But why do the Democrats have to make it so difficult to support them?




10/16/2002
 



Reward the Heroes, Day 2

Yesterday I wrote about MoveOn.org's 'Reward the Heroes' campaign. This update just came in and it speaks for itself:
Our fundraising effort for heroes in Congress has been wildly successful, with almost $900,000 raised in under 48 hours from more than 25,000 individual donations. You folks are amazing. Let's make it a cool million. Just go to http://www.moveonpac.org/moveonpac/viewcandidates.phtml
I did. I hope you will, too.


 



Make Your Own Bush Speech

Make your own Bush speech here.




10/15/2002
 



William Burton

William Burton is writing great stuff lately. Go take a look.


 



Reward the Heroes

If you don't know about MoveOn.org, I recommend you go take a look and sign up for their action updates.

They sent a message out yesterday, "Reward the Heroes," asking us to donate some campaign cash to the candidates in tight races who went ahead and voted against Bush because it was the right thing to do. Here's a bit of yesterday's letter:
"As strategists look back at this election over the years to come, either they'll say, "President Bush manufactured a war and won at the polls" or they'll say, "President Bush manufactured a war and lost at the polls." Your gift today can make the difference."
Well, today they sent another message out. Here's a piece of it:
Good news: in just 24 hours, ten thousand of us have given more than $400,000 for our four heroes in Congress. That's $180,000 to Senator Wellstone's campaign alone. The campaigns are ecstatic. One campaign manager said, "You have no idea what this means to us."
These candidates did the right thing, MoveOn.org did the right thing, now you do the right thing. Get your credit card out and click here.


 



What the Right is Saying about Carter

I subscribe to the far-right Heritage Foundation's TownHall, and they send me a list of right-wing articles every day. Today brings, The Nobel Prize Should Go To Those Who Really Support Peace.

Here's some quotes: Jimmy Carter has "continuously betrayed the principles on which peace depend." He espouses "collectivist ideals", "supported the dictator Castro", "understands nothing of rights and peace."

"In choosing Carter the Nobel Committee has shown yet again that it does not understand the cause of war and so of peace."

"Shamefully, the Nobel Committee has repeatedly awarded its Peace Prize to the bringers of war."

Such pleasant people, those right-wingers. Always ready to speak well of others.


 



Using War

Here's a story about the Republicans using "the war" against them in this election?
In television ads and campaign speeches, Republican candidates have become increasingly bold about using war with Iraq and the threat of terrorism as issues against their Democratic opponents -- even when there is little or no difference between the candidates on issues such as the recent congressional vote to give President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.
Were these Democrats thinking that voting with the President would make a difference in the Republicans using "the war" for politics? "The war" IS politics. (I put quotes around "the war" because I'm not sure that jet planes chasing a bunch of guys on horseback around the desert - and not catching them - merits calling Bush the great "wartime President" they make him out to be.)

Maybe I'm old, maybe I'm not ready for the new millennium where it's OK to politicize these things, and to send kids off to die so you can win an election and vote to get rid of programs for regular people to open the way for ever lower taxes for the rich. And maybe it isn't OK.

The Democrats aren't doing this sort of thing. They aren't running ads that say, "While Bush was on another vacation, and Republicans were busy helping CEOs steal your 401K, the Democrats were trying to warn them to pay attention to the terrorist threat."




10/14/2002
 



Really Good News

From Yahoo News,
An MSNBC-Zogby poll last week, after Wellstone announced he would vote against the resolution, suggests the decision not only didn't hurt his re-election chances but also might have helped them. In a major reversal, the poll showed voters choosing him over Coleman 46% to 37%. A similar poll in September had the Republican leading 47% to 41%. Other polls show Wellstone, who won his last two races with 50% of the vote, a smidgen ahead of Coleman.
Voting against the President, Wellstone moves from behind 41%-41% to AHEAD 46%-37%!


 



Skippy, This is How They Do It

Skippy is fuming about a NY Post column.

So I go look the column's author up on Google, which, 5th entry down, leads me to this page at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Now, look up FPI at Media Transparency then click on Foreign Policy Institute, and you find ... millions and millions of dollars form ... guess who ... Scaife, Olin, Bradley and Smith Richardson Foundations. The "four sisters."

Why waste your time fuming, once you know that it comes from Scaife?

Start here, for more details on How It's Done, and see the bottom of this piece for a bunch of links to articles about these foundations, where it says, "here, here, here" etc...


 



Why No Draft?

Immediately undoing my "light blogging" pledge, I want to ask why there is no talk of reimposing the draft? We're about to enter into a major ground war against a country BECAUSE they have weapons of mass destruction. Isn't there any concern that they'll USE them? If we're not concerned that they'll use them then why are we entering into the war? And if there IS concern that they'll use them, why aren't we starting up the draft?

If Iraq USES weapons of mass destruction we will need to replace the troops killed. That's why they're called weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION. So why no draft? What kind of contingency planning is that? What is going on?


 



Light Blogging

I've been very busy so I won't be putting much up. It seems to be the convention among "bloggers" to post a message that they're doing "light blogging," even though it seems this would be obvious -- you go to the blog, there's very little there that's new, hence there is "light blogging" going on. Maybe people don't want to upset the readers, worried that they'll think the blogger died unless the blogger posts a message saying "light blogging."

Anyway, light blogging today. I'm not dead.

P.S. why doesn't Blogger Pro's spelling checker know the words "blog," "blogger," blogging," or "bloggers?" I used to own a spelling checker company and got so many letters like that... It feels good to complain about someone else's.




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