Clinton On FAUX News

I think I owe my readers who have not yet seen the interview with Bill Clinton on FAUX News, to watch it.   Follow this link to Chris Wallace, and the most jaded ‘news’ operation in America, being put in their place by President Clinton.

Clinton Credible, Bush Petulant

Yesterday a little girl (age 5) and a little boy (age three) took us apple picking.  That is how they described it, and the outing was fun!  It was after I got home that I watched a taped segment of President Bush at a joint news conference with Afghan President Karzai and witnessed first hand how much things have changed in the past 48 hours for this White House.

On Sunday President Bill Clinton gave a powerful performance to Faux News about Iraq and terrorism.  Instead of letting Faux News walk all over the guests, and continue to spread they’re usual load of barnyard refuse, Clinton did a ‘Lyndon Baines Johnson’.  He moved up into Chris Wallace’s space and let him know the lies and distortions weren’tselling anymore.  He pointed and jabbed his finger and set Wallace back in his chair.  (Poor little guy looked like he might have even wet himself.)   Clinton made it clear that Bush must be held responsible for 9/11 and terrorism. That interview by Clinton has injected spirit and muscle into Democrats nationwide.  Too often Bush and Company, along with their mouthpiece, Faux News has played this nation for fools.  Clinton slapped down Wallace and Bush and got more national publicity than the White House had bargained for.

Also on Sunday in the upper right hand column of the New York Times was an article on the National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism. It that showed Bush’s Iraq war is creating more terrorists, and causing more potential damage to our country, in spite of the President’s rosy statements and endless cheer leading to the contrary. 

So on Tuesday at the press conference Bush was rattled and petulant with the press as he smirked and scowled and made more facial contortions than a whore in a brothel.  He knew there was so much national disgust over the NIE that some of it would have to be released.   The public mood, along with a working Fourth Estate (HURRAH!), forced this secretive White House to ante up.  What was released is a damning indictment of a failed policy. 

Whatever up tick in the national polls that the President may have been experiencing after using 9/11 (again) for his personal political goals, will be shown to have evaporated in four or five days with more polling.

The fact that polls show President Bill Clinton has more approval in the country, and is found to be more credible, should produce more smirks, scowls, and irritation for George Bush. 

Poll Of The Day: Wisconsin Races

The Wisconsin race for Governor is getting tighter as everyone expected, and the latest poll shows this contest is exciting.  Rasmussen polling shows Democratic incumbent Doyle leading GOP Mark ‘Give back the illegal federal campaign dollars’ Green,  47% to 44%.

And to prove I will post any poll, no matter how impossible the odds may be for the challenger, Rasmussen polls show Senator Herb Kohl can sleep easy tonight as he leads his GOP opponent 60%-33%.

Hope Lorge did not give up his day job. 

(You may notice at some point when the odds are so horrible I do not use their first names.)

Banned Book Week

September 23-30 is Banned Book Week 

I have never felt so wise that I would consider telling someone else not to read a particular book because I felt the content was not suitable.  Conversely, I have never met anyone so learned that they could tell me what I should not read.  Yet every day there are struggles around the nation to suppress books that people should be able to freely read.  I find this unconscionable.

I grew up loving to read and still consider books to be ‘friends’ and so have a very difficult notion with censoring books.  I loved my little home town library, where as a kid starting in fifth grade, I would go every Friday night after dinner to get a new book.  The neighborly lady who sat in that tiny building soon understood that Ian Fleming was more to my liking than the Hardy Boys.  I recall she tried to steer me to the younger section but when James Bond calls, you must respond.  In short order she and I were friends, and it was understood I had reading interests that were unique to my age.   She never told me I could not read any book I wanted to check out.

The urge to suppress what others read is something I have never felt, though history shows the consequences of such actions.   The scenes from Hitler’s Germany come to mind instantly, but the censors of today are often those you might find in your city.  How do you think books like Ulysses by James Joyce was actually banned in the United States for being obscene?  It happens when some people feel it is their right to mold society to their puritan beliefs.

When we talk today about censors, we are talking about parents who complain about books in the public schools, or public library.  They generally feel that they have some higher moral authority, and some mission based on their religious beliefs, to be able to censor what books others can read.   I find this so silly as I type these words I am really just shaking my head.   

News reports from places around the country (but more frequently in the ‘Bible Belt’) pit education and modern society against irrational thoughts.

In Savannah, Georgia high school seniors had to have permission slips to read King Lear and Macbeth by Shakespeare.  In Merrimack, New Hampshire his work, Twelfth Night, was actually pulled from the shelves as one of the female characters disguises herself as a boy.  Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have much to say about race relations and should never be pulled from any school shelves and yet they are under constant attack.  Books ranging from Of Mice and Men, The Catcher in the Rye, and Blubber have all either come under attack for being in schools or public libraries.

As of late the push to ‘save the children’ has resulted in many children’s books about same sex parents coming under attack.   Books like Daddy’s Roommate is but one of a huge number now in publication that is lathering up the book burning crowd.  What amuses me is that the number of same sex couples with children is growing, and those kids are playing quite nicely with the kids from the families who love to censor.  Exactly what are the censors hoping to accomplish here? 

Those who wish to ban books, at the very core of the issue, are nervous and afraid of the unknown.  The world is moving too fast for them and so lashing out by restrictions and censoring seems to them a smart thing to do.  For the rest of us, the vast majority, we enjoy the confrontation with reality and the pricklier topics that through exploration opens our horizons for a stronger and healthier society.

Poll Of The Day: Mark Kennedy Trailing

The GOP finds the home base of Sinclair Lewis and Garrison Keillor not so friendly again this year.  The latest Minnesota State Radio Poll has Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Any Klobuchar leading her Republican rival,  Rep. Mark Kennedy, 52% to 37%. 

(Trivia note here….Minnesota has the longest consecutive streak of voting Democratic  for president of any state.)

Mark Green Give Back The Money, NOW!

Today Republican candidate for Wisconsin Governor was told by Dane County Judge Neiss that  “the bottom line is that the Elections Board reached the correct result.” In perhaps the best news for those of us who care about the political process the Judge stated he did not feel Green would prevail on this matter.

It is now time for those Republicans who preach law-and-order to ante up with actions that match their rhetoric.  That means you, Mr. Green.  Covering up your guilt by running to a higher court is like Terri Schiavo’s family chasing after more legal rulings.  In the end both are brain dead ideas.

Judge Neiss made a ruling that is now consistent with the complaint from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which was followed by the ruling from the Elections Board.  In addition, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has also weighed in with identical legal findings.

Mark Green has broken Wisconsin finance laws and needs to return the money.  And it needs to be done now. 

It is a sham, and a shame, for the GOP candidate for our highest state office to decide which laws he will follow, and which laws he will break.

Scott Jensen and Mark Green are the epitome of what is wrong with the political process today. 

Where Midterms Stand Today

I think it is time to again look at the large picture of the midterm elections and try to make some sense out of what can be understood at this point in time.  The trends are in place all across the nation for Democrats to make substantive gains in November, but as I stated on my blog several weeks ago, I think my party has made an error along the way to the mid-terms.  While Democrats are eager to cast a ballot now, lets size up the playing field.

First, the positive news.  I think all would agree that there is a very good chance that the House of Representatives will switch parties in November.  I am hoping we can get the 15 seats needed to retire the GOP as the majority, but am not prepared to predict it as of yet.  The reason I am hesitant is the huge amount of stockpiled money just waiting to be turned into negative ads by the GOP in the final weeks of the election that will play on citizen’s fears about terrorism.  The second reason I am holding my words is that there are lots of polls showing strong Democratic numbers, but not all polls are conducted in such a way as to insure a true reading of the race.

If a voter is not likely to vote, or is not forced to chose a candidate between the top two contenders, the end result is not reflective of the playing field.  For the record, I do not give any credit to polls done for mass consumption when conducted by one of the major political parties.  Any poll mentioned on my site will be a credible and independent polling firm or news organization. 

I also discount polls with a large undecided pool of voters.  I understand I am a bit political, as are most of my close friends, but at this point in our fall elections for people to pretend they do not know who they plan to vote is pure poppycock.   A huge ‘undecided’ is a sure sign that either the poll was not conducted professionally or the public is lying.  In either case, the poll is of no use.

As for the United States Senate I just do not see how the Democrats win six seats across the nation.  Unless the polls, which show the Congress to be in such poor regard among the electorate prove to be even worse than shown, I suspect the GOP will retain the Senate.  I am surprised that in both Montana and Ohio the Democrats are keeping their polling momentum against their opponents.   But in New Jersey, and possibly Maryland, Democrats might lose a seat in the Senate.  However, I think it quite likely that Democrats do not lose a single seat in the House.

Now to the problem that has bedeviled my thinking for months regarding the national Democrats.  I well understand that the GOP must be stopped from doing to this country what they have been doing for the past six years.  I know Iraq is a mess and the President’s policy keeps killing our soldiers.  I understand our budget deficit is growing and the Congress is running on red ink.  I know the Constitution is being shredded daily and our civil liberties are being undermined with the aid of the Republican Congress.  I know my party is rightfully opposed to it all, and yet I want them to run on a platform of ideas and counter proposals to include the voters on a mission for the future. 

As I have written here before anger against Bush is not a game plan for governing.  While I well understand the strategy of the races being nationalized, and therefore detailed policy ideas are counter productive, I think my party is often too timid to stand up and say what must be done.  Democrats have nothing to fear from telling the truth.  In fact, after the past six years it would be utterly refreshing.

Finally, I want to size up briefly where I think the race for Governor in Wisconsin now stands.  At this point I think it is Doyle’s to lose.  Mark Green did nothing to upset Doyle in the first debate a week ago.  The Governor made his points on education and played to women on this issue quite nicely, while Green tried to counter punch but never seemed able to land one squarely on Doyle.  I think Doyle won the debate simply because Green did not score at all.  (Though Green did sweat a lot..reminded me of Richard Nixon.)

I think Doyle needs to play to stem cell research in a huge way in one of the following debates as this issue cuts across all party lines as a winner.  Green has staked out his position which runs counter to prevailing moods and Doyle can tip the balance in this race on the medical and economic gains to Wisconsin from this type of research.

While the State Senate is in play the Assembly is solidly Republican and will stay that way.

Poll Of The Day: Frosting On The Cake

This poll result is just for me.  I say that because the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania was over months ago.  Bob Casey, the Democratic challenger to incumbent GOP Senator Rick Santorum is beating and bruising the little conservative all across the Keystone State.  Rasmussen Polls has just released their latest snapshot of the race and Casey leads 49% to 39%.  Casey is too moderate for my personal tastes but he is taking out a demagogue, and that will make Congress a better place.

On Election Night when this race is called minutes after the polls close in Pennsylvania (it will be that type of outcome) there will be a lot of hollering and smiles in our home in Wisconsin.  Santorum is the epitome of what is wrong with conservative, right wing Republicans.   His buffoonish antics while Senator are now biting him in the backside.