Archive

  • If a Protest Happens in DC ...

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math ... but the press doesn't cover it , does it really matter? I think that the answer is yes. Taking a historical view, mostly by looking at the Vietnam War and its opposition, modern anti-war forces are significantly more successful in influencing public opinion.
  • Ask a Werewolf: Iraq and Terrorism

    By Neil the Ethical Werewolf Sometimes werewolves get letters from Democratic Senators. Other times, they don't. The following is a letter I didn't get, but the answer, below the fold, is something I did write. Dear Werewolf, I'd like to earn some respect from the Democratic base for criticizing Bush's war in a way that other Senators haven't. However, I don't have the guts to call for withdrawal from Iraq, and I want my criticism to be something that most Americans already agree with. What should I say? --No Guts, Some Glory (D-Somewhere)
  • Don't Know Much About History: Elite Future Mommies

    By Pepper of the Daily Pepper The New York Times profiled young women with bright futures, all going to Ivy League colleges. Normally, college freshmen have no idea what they want to do with their lives, but these women know exactly what they want. They want to be full-time mothers. At Yale and other top colleges, women are being groomed to take their place in an ever more diverse professional elite. It is almost taken for granted that, just as they make up half the students at these institutions, they will move into leadership roles on an equal basis with their male classmates. There is just one problem with this scenario: many of these women say that is not what they want. Not that there's anything wrong with that (said with a dash of "Seinfeld"). Being a parent is rewarding for many people, but these women are making dangerous assumptions that are limiting their options AND the options of their children. List of said assumptions after the jump ...
  • Get Your Peace On

    Shakes here… In case you hadn’t heard, there was a bit of commotion in DC this weekend, as 500,000 (C-SPAN estimate, via Truthout ) pro-peace and/or anti-war protestors (or, approximately 37 nutzoid radicals, if you read most mainstream media coverage) converged to send a message to the Photo Op in Chief.
  • Pangloss vs. Parental Notification

    By Jedmunds Jumping off of Neil’s post on parental consent laws below, which I think is essentially correct. Briefly, a child needs her parents’ permission to get a tattoo, because she doesn’t have a fundamental right to a tattoo. It’s a choice, if postponed, that isn’t going to irreparably damage the child. And before you go around giving some kid over the counter medications, you should check with her parents first, for the child’s protection with respect to adverse affects or any number of imaginable dangers. But mummy and daddy do not get to decide whether or not their daughter should spend nine-months undergoing a pregnancy and dealing with all of the awesome responsibilities that go with giving birth. Just as the government does not get to decide this for adults, mothers don’t get to decide it for their daughters. We can wring our hands as excessively as we want about it, but there’s really no better alternative. But I think we focus too much on the word “consent,” in what are...
  • A Choice and an Echo

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math Contra Shakes , news that Senate Dems are picking themes for the 2006 election struck me as a good thing, and a sign that the quest to nationalize the elections is well underway. Shakes doesn't like four of the five topics, including retirement security, because they're Republican issues. Retirement Security ? Republican? Even before Bush started his self-immolating quest to privatize Social Security, polls showed the public trusted the Democrats to fix Social Security more than Republicans. I also disagree that "energy indepdence" is a Republican issue. As best I can tell it's dog-whistle politics for the Toyota Prius crowd. As for "economic strength", both parties try to portray their economic agenda as best suited for the public. That leaves one decidedly Republican issue -- national security -- and one decidedly Democratic issues -- health care. I do agree with Shakes that getting out in front of a specific outside-the-box issue, such...
  • What’s Their Plan?

    Shakes here… As the midterms draw ever nearer, Bush’s poll numbers are sinking like a snitch with cement blocked feet, providing the Dems with an opportunity to make some headway come election time. The electorate, however, still doesn’t seem entirely convinced that the Dems are the solution to their problems, and we routinely hear that the Dems lack a cohesive message. So what’s their plan? Via Political Wire , we find that "Senate Democrats have come up with five issue areas that candidates will focus on in the 2006 races." The issues: National security, energy independence, economic strength, retirement security and health care. I like health care as an issue. The reason I like it is because it’s firmly a progressive issue. Even though Bush passed his idiotic, corporate-welfare Medicaid reform bill, I sincerely doubt there’s anyone with two brain cells still knocking around between their ears who believes it was illustrative of a GOP determination to solve the health care crisis in...
  • Know Thine Enemy

    Posted by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math The New Republic has an absolutely riveting account [registration and/or subscription required?] of this year's College Republican National Convention. For the first time in ages, there was a vigorous contest for the chairmanship, a 2-year, $75,000 a year salaried position (in contrast, the chair of the College Democrats is unpaid). Franklin Foer details the convention fight for the nomination, which a sort of X-treme retail politics you won't find anywhere else. This article should be a wake-up call to anyone who thinks Democrats do enough youth outreach (while 2004 was an improvement over 2000, white voters under thirty still went for Bush by a 54-46 margin ), put to rest any notion that Republicans don't have problems with infighting and pettiness, and remind everyone that winning elections has to come first. I don't say this often, but read the whole thing . And if the article is subscription only, order the single issue online, or...
  • Raffy Update: The Bush League Rat Strikes Again

    By Dr. Pepper of the Daily Pepper Back on August 2, I had a lot of fun comparing the fortunes of George Bush to those of his favorite baseball player : Rafael Palmeiro. Bush had won reelection (still hard to say those words) on an ad campaign that emphasized his physical fitness. Slate.com could even plausibly attribute his sucesses to the benefits of steroids , beginning with the high profit margins involved in signing a disproportionately large number of chemically assisted sluggers to the Rangers during his tenure as face of the organization. Not that the Rangers ever succeeded at winning anything, but home runs sold tickets, and selling the ducats makes you buckets o' cash . Now, as we noted a couple of days ago, Bush has gone from meathead to hooch hound. And just like the local wino who wags his finger at everyone else rather than deal with his own addiction, the good old boy has been trying to find scapegoats for his own absolute incompetence, whether it's friend-turned-fall...
  • Ode to Eastern

    By Ezra I love Eastern Standard Time. Love it. Back in the day*, I always forced myself to begin posting by 9am, now that same ethic lets me sleep till twelve. Back in the day, I had to get up fairly early on weekends to write, now, I can wait till the early afternoon and still beat my old hour. Back in the day, there was little incentive to post after 4pm, everyone save my Pacific Timers had already left work. Now? You folks don't leave till I do. It's really beautiful. Tears to my eye and so forth. Nevertheless, time zones haven't made much sense to me, so I looked into them a bit. Apparently, we all used to grunt and tell time by the Sun God, a method that got fairly confusing with the introduction of railroads and telecommunications and whatnot, because time differed not only across vast distances, but from town to town. So a bunch of eager bean counters decided to impose an imperial cartography scheme upon the indigenous village folk, who calmly accepted their fate. Thus, time...

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