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Thursday, November 04, 2004



GM, I regret to inform you, The Daily Mirror is a right wing tabloid.


Steve, you persist in using labels. Why? Labels are so judgmental and trite. Besides, the Left Wing Tabloid (NYTimes) employs Brooks, why can't the Daily Mirror employ a left wing bigot?


I would say the NYTimes is a corporate liberal newspaper, somewhere along the lines of a State Department broadsheet. The Daily Mirror is right-wing because, well, it's rightwing. There are only 2 left oriented newspapers in Britain, The Guardian and The Independent. There's nothing wrong with labels when used appropriately, is there?

The rightwing John Fund has some interesting insights into the election, which he hardly sees as all positive or a major mandate. Given the pro-gay workplace rights referendum that passed in Ohio, the 2 minimum wage referendums that passed in Florida and Nevada...and the rest of what he mentions...maybe he's right. Why though do I suspect the Dems will try the move it to the tepid center strategy again?



Roper, for you to lecture us on (exaggerated) Bush-hating and then call Paul Krugman an idiot pretty much negates anything you say. Heal thyself or shut up.

I have a lot of respect for your work Mr. Cooper but on this one, you are WRONG! This election was stolen!

Jim R

Am I being biased to see the connection between Palast's article and the overall sense one gets from the left that they are so right, there has to be some other logical reason it appears they were wrong, like........fraud.

It ties in with how they lost this election to begin with. Attitude!



It's true that people on my side of the divide want to live in a society where women are free to choose and where gay relationships have civil equality with straight ones. And you want to live in a society where the opposite is true. These are some of those conflicting values everyone is talking about. But at least my values...don't involve any direct imposition on you. We don't want to force you to have an abortion or to marry someone of the same sex, whereas you do want to close out those possibilities for us. Which is more arrogant?

We on my side of the great divide don't, for the most part, believe that our values are direct orders from God. We don't claim that they are immutable and beyond argument. We are, if anything, crippled by reason and open-mindedness, by a desire to persuade rather than insist. Which philosophy is more elitist? Which is more contemptuous of people who disagree?


rosedog - I have to say regarding the letter from a sad american, that there is so much bogus information and repetition of Republican talking points that I question whether it is even authentic. Anyone who listened to Air America radio all day long because they thought it was the Democrat's "most important media project" and that Kerry thought terrorism should be dealt with "like any other crime" is not just ill-informed but the architect of their own ignorance.

I'm just not going to swallow some anecdotal, very confused email and tell myself that it means I need to beat up on my side. We need to learn from the GOP, but the only real lesson and message they have is dirty, dishonest tactics and divide and conquer. If that's what it takes, so be it. (Oh, yeah - exploit religioin, but let's not go there.)

There was nothing that came from the Kerry camp as low, dishonest, craven and morally unhinged as the Swift Boats, the preposterous embrace of anti-gay marriage amendments or the cynical pimping of 911.

I look across this country and ask myself who among us wouldn't revoke the tragedy of 911 if we could. An impossible hope, but one any decent American would share. Unfortunately I seriously doubt that the likes of Karl Rove or Richard Perle would agree. They've gained legitimacy from tragedy that they couldn't have reaped any other way, they've exploited it opportunistically for pre-existing agendas and for that I despise them

Just calling spades "spades". To be lied to is one thing, but let's not lie to ourselves about who and what we're dealing with. Let's at least get that straight before we decide who to reach out to and how....


"Am I being biased to see the connection between Palast's article and the overall sense one gets from the left that they are so right, there has to be some other logical reason it appears they were wrong, like........fraud."

Now, that is really wierd, generalizing to the entire left from one particular investigative journalist's article. I could see if such articles were the focus of left journals in the US, but I don't see that in In These Times, The Nation, The Progressive. Sure there are articles on lousy machines, scare tactics against Black voters, fake felon lists, etc., but to equate that with 'the election was stolen' is a really big leap, unless of course one doesn't actually read left magazines and makes assumptions based on what their hearing from Bill Oreilly?


I'd like to thank GM for pointing out the sad american.

At first I reacted emotionally to it when I realized where it was linked through: Instapundit. Figures, I thought.

In the comments I saw SA's points countered much better than I could. Yay for our team!

But then I realized that SA couldn't help herself. Her decision was finally an emotional one. She didn't have the information or the skills to break through the reality distortion field and it is partially our fault for not reaching out to her in a way that's not alienating.

In this dark hour, let's learn from SA and not make the same mistake. I still believe we should devote some of our efforts to exposing and fixing the flaws of the voting system but shouldn't be overly obssesive about it. It should take no more than 10 percent of our future effort. The effort should hum in the background and have an unstoppable momentum.

I call for an "open source" voting system. One that is fully transparent and intensely resistant if not impervious to fraud. One that is in the public domain and free of corporate ties. It should be based on fully verifiable procedures and technology. ISO 9001 certified. Open source software like Linux and encryption protocols like SSL are a must.

The integrity of the vote is fundamental to democracy.

Can you folks on the other side of the aisle support that?


John, you bet. How about this. Register to vote and get your photo taken along with a finger print. You could do it at the county clerks office, the driver's license office, any large grocery store willing to participate and perhaps at kisoks in local malls. The info is sent via modem to a central registrar who then prints out an electronic card used to swipe when you vote. The vote is recorded electronically and your name is ticked off of the eligible voter list. The card would not be a national ID Card as you don't need to carry it and can't use it for anything EXCEPT Voting. The voting records print out a receipt for you, the information is modemed to the central registry using SSL incription.

The only major problem is how to get Chicago Dead Folk to the Registrar.

AS to SA's link coming from InstaPundit, why does it "figure." as I also read Daily Kos, Kausfiles, Marc Cooper and others as well. I have also linked in the past to leftish sites. And your point is?


GM, you sound pretty emotional. My point is, Instie like Madonna is pretty good at pushing people's buttons just as I was apparently successful at pushing yours. As popular as he is, it's an undeniable temptation. It doesn't help at all does it?

Now was your proposal serious? Off the bat, I'll confess I haven't thought through much about a uniform voting system. If you have thought it through let's have a serious discussion if indeed we have common ground here.


Anyone who gives it a fair reading will immediately see on his or her own that beyond the authoritative-sounding "statistics" Palast lays out, he, in fact, has no substantive evidence for his assertion that Kerry actually won the majority in Ohio.

Marc, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here because you're not a statistician, but are you aware that the statistical argument Palast is pushing here is as near as dammit the same argument as that of the Rigobon & Haussman paper on the Venezuelan referendum, that you endorsed on this page? It looks really bad to operate a double standard as blatant as this.


Reg and John.... I don't disagree with either of you at all

RE: Sad American. It isn't that I see her view as accurate from a factual perspective, just heartfelt and instructive. It suggested the confusion that she---and millions like her---were feeling, and showed that our side didn’t communicate well enough to counter the virulent and relentless misinformation on the part of the Bush administration and the RNC.

This isn’t to suggest that the Dems should go into some sort of crazed, leg-gnawing orgy of My Bad. By the same token, I REFUSE to let the DNC and DLC leadership off the hook. The fact that it’s all about the focus groups, not about the vision, has been evident for a long, long time. One has only to listen to how clear and forceful Al Gore has become now that he’s free of any DNC handlers.

One thing that struck me as particularly ironic about SA’s essay, however: She talked about feeling assaulted by listening to Air America. Hey, I believed her. But here's the deal: Air America is undeniably having some mean-spirited, over-the-top, shout-radio moments. But those of us who stand anywhere at all left of center have been dealing with the most vicious and venomous of media assaults now for YEARS, from---not one---but scores of outlets. I've long felt that listening to the noxious rancor spewed on Fox or virtually any AM talk show feels like it might actually CAUSE cancer. Some of those folks sound like they don’t just want to beat us in an election, one gets the feeling they’d like to see us dead. (But I'm sure they mean it in the nicest, most moral, most value-fraught possible way. WWJV - Who Would Jesus Vilify?)

Good OpEd from Kinsley. I’m sick to the point of nausea of the highjacking by the right of concepts like “patriotism”….and now “values” and “morals.” I believe we’ve managed to yank “patriotism” out of their sticky, little fingers in order to place it back in the public domain where it belongs. Now, it looks like we need to launch a rescue mission to free “values” and “morals.”


rosedog - I don't want to let the DLC, McCauliffe or even people in the party I feel more kinship with such as yourself (or myself) "off the hook" in terms of working hard on better definition of core values, articulating a clearer message and better policy that reflects our values, and working on both strategy and tactics - including taking them on in the gutter when necessary. But I'm not going to fall for some of the "hooks" being offered up as GOP talking points that make the mass of Democrats seem like some hopelessly out of touch crackpots who represent nothing but trial lawyers and Hollywood.

As for Air America, I can't stand anything I've heard on it except Al Franken - who is super smart, very fair and mostly funny. He's not an ideological freak and his anger is generally directed at the people who deseve it. He's friends with Norman Orenstein of the AEI and regularly has him on his show, for christ sake. You can't compare Franken to the fanatics who populate Fright-Wing talk radio, or even to Michael Moore for that matter.

I think that a lot of silly, over-the-top stuff comes out of "both sides", but the Right-Wing crazies have had far more influence and airtime. So long as Uberbigot Michael Savage, the meatheaded Hannity and the Lying Dope Addict Limbaugh are on the airwaves, for anyone to say they voted against the Democrats because Air America is too shrill is just plain idiotic.

I think we agree on this. It's just that a lot of the GOP crowing right not isn't driving me to look deeper "inside myself" - it's just confirming the negative view I've had of these characters all along. Plenty of time for reflection, but I'm not about to respond to much of this nonsense I hear coming from the right other than to tell them that they've got plenty of mess in their own house. Frankly, the GOP coalition right now is a Frankenstein's monster of special interests and patchwork ideology. For starters, anyone who thinks that more unbridled capitalism is going to increase the dominance of "conservative values" is profoundly ignorant of history. We saw the cracks in the coalition even before the election was over. And there's very little in the way of policy that any one of their factions actually have to offer over the long term that a majority of Americans are actually going to buy when it really gets laid on the table. The SS privatization scheme is one of the biggest scams ever to hit Washington, for example. And Iraq is obviously going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Triumphalism is great when you've actually triumphed - winning an election isn't a great triumph. It's a responsiblity that one then needs to accept with grace, competence and concern for the broader interests of the country. The likelihood that this gang are going to "triumph" in the areas that really count for Americans is miniscule. They were given a second chance, although clearly a significant majority of Americans have been disappointed by the Bush administration and nearly half consider it a total failure. If they blow this second chance as badly as their first one, the GOP is toast.


"...a lot of the GOP crowing right now isn't driving me to look deeper "inside myself" -

I'm there with you on that one.


"ou can't compare Franken to the fanatics who populate Fright-Wing talk radio, or even to Michael Moore for that matter."

In a sense you're right, in that Moore has no organic ties to the most corrupt elements of the Democratic Party as Franken does. Moore, however, is not comparable to the fright-wing radio talk types either. If you compare his demeanor to Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, or Oreilly...Moore is far more calm, careful, and willing to let another party speak their mind. Moore is not that much different from Jim Hightower, only since he's more successful in terms of fame *and* he's on the left--even if ABB, he's attacked more harshly.


I wasn't equating Moore with Coulter, et. al. I was making the point, as you did in what I consider a negative overstatement, that Franken's politics are more those of a traditional Democrat, with a Wellstone streak. I think that Moore has some opportunistic tendencies as a critic that weaken his arguments, but no way is he simply a hatemongering, totally dishonest vomit machine like Coulter, Hannity, et. al. Moore can act the clown and Franken is a skillful comic, but in my opinion Coulter is like a minstrel - billed as The GOP Feminazi but really just a cross between Don Rickles, Britney Spears and Phyllis Schlafly - concocted as a form of entertainment with no regard for the boundaries of good taste, integrity or authenticity. And of course Hannity & Colmes is as cleverly contrived a couple as Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy. Limbaugh is what Joseph Goebbels would have been like if he'd had a sense of humor, the broadcasting skills of a great AM Jock and a very high tolerance for hard drugs.


I see, ok, we're not that far off. I enjoy Franken lots of the time and he's grown a lot sharper and knows how to deal with media talking heads a lot better now than in the past. I just don't care much for his ties to the DLC...ugh.

silent cal

Very interesting exit poll statistic from Kevin Drum. While Bush increased his support among most voter segments by a few points, with the most notable gains among Latinos and old people, Bush's support in small towns actually decreased by a whopping 9%. That steep decline among a group who are at the core of "red state" mythos throws a definite kink into certain aspects of the "why Bush won" narrative. While "red-staters" like to claim a certain "American authenticity" over blue-state "elitists", I have a feeling what we're mostly looking at is a preponderance of smug suburbanites rolling around in their SUVs (Saudi Arabia's vehicle of choice for Americans). Their numbers are obviously growing rapidly, but if suburbia and it's attendant mall culture is the model exemplar of authentic American values, Bush is a cowboy and McDonald's sells great hamburgers.


Just one more piece of evidence CNN/Fox/MSNBC (the so-called 'liberal' media) are getting it all wrong, thanks silent cal

John Moore (Useful Fools)

I can understand how those on the left dislike right wing talk radio (the only successful kind except in dark blue metropolitan areas). What I can't understand is why they listen to it.

But Fox News? I watch it all the time - it is my wallpaper while I am working at home. The idea that it is strongly right wing surprises me. Sure, the opinion shows have opinions. But the only opinion show I am aware of that doesn't have balance is O'Reilly, and he is erratic in his political views, an ignorant and rude loud mouth that I turn off when he comes on, and probably more conservative than anything else. There is a recent Yale study on media bias. It used an interesting methodology, but I'm trying to avoid an overlong post (try google). It shows the main Fox news show as dead center. It shows the other shows as to the right. It shows all other mainstream media just as far to the left.

BTW, I used to be cohost on a 100 station syndicated show, and I have no idea why anyone listened to us, but they did.

Is Hannity not far enough left on Hannity and Colmes?

The general thesis of liberal mainstream media (except Fox) is proven by the financial failure of left wing radio. Basically, conservative radio is servicing an unserved market, while leftish radio is in a market already served by the MSM.


I liked the comparison of FOX News to wallpaper. It certainly has the same predictability.


"The general thesis of liberal mainstream media (except Fox) is proven by the financial failure of left wing radio."

Liberal radio like Radio America hasn't failed and Jim Hightower was doing well with ratings, but advertisers didn't like his criticims of corporations, had little to do with financial failure as much as actually being populist. Then of course, likewise, MSNBC fired the only anti-war talkshow host, Phil Donahue, who had better ratings than his MSNBC colleague's shout shows...It's hardly the case that there's no market out there for more than panels with very right wing shouters matched against tepid centrist 'liberals'.


WARNING: LIVING IN A "RED STATE" IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH: The three healthiest states are Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont. Among other things, their high rankings reflect low rates of poverty and premature death, safer-than-average drivers and generous spending on public health. Minnesota has ranked No. 1 for nine of the past 15 years and has never been out of the top two.

At the other end of the list are Tennessee, Mississippi and, as in 14 of the past 15 years, Louisiana in last place.

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