October 2006 Archives

(CO-4) Marilyn Musgrave & Her Thugs Attack genre: Polispeak

The following video clip is of Marilyn Musgrave, the Republican incumbent in Colorado Congressional District four (4). She is one of the most homophobic politicians in the country and in this video she refuses to answer a question posed on behalf of one of her constituents. In a matter of moments the camera person and the interviewer are confronted by some of her supporters who proceed to cover the camera and grab the microphone. Musgrave never answers the question. The clip has been seen by over 40,000 viewers in just 24 hours on You Tube.

The most recent polling indicates that her Democratic opponent Angie Paccione has a slight lead in the race. Musgrave has run a very negative campaign that has sought to undermine Paccione's credibility...an effort that seems to be working to her detriment at the moment.

Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2006 | 8:37 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bush Endorses Sexual Assault & Malpractice genre: Six Degrees of Speculation & Tongue-In-Cheek

In light of the GOP's predisposition to use the remarks of Senator Kerry to make unfounded and spurious accusations and inferences, it seems only fitting to return the favor. The following is a clip from a campaign speech made by the President during the 2004 presidential election. Now that the GOP apparently endorses creatively interpreting the remarks of their opponents, I thought it was appropriate to act accordingly.

In this clip, the President argues that OBGYN's are being denied the opportunity to practice their "love with women all over this country". I can only conclude that the President is in favor of OBGYN's sexually assaulting women and therefore committing malpractice. I am outraged and disgusted and the President owes the women of America an apology and I am calling for an immediate investigation.

Further, taking my lead from Michelle Malkin, I implore my readers as follows:

Attention Democrats: Spread this video; Attention readers: Help support the women of America.

Bush Endorses Assault & Malpractice

UPDATE: More Evidence Emerges: Bush Assaults German Chancellor Merkel

Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2006 | 4:00 PM | link | Comments (12)
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GOP: Doin' The Twist Again genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

The GOP is attempting to take remarks made by John Kerry on Monday in California and turn them into a campaign advantage...one they desperately need given the lack of any favorable news during the last few weeks. I've included a copy of the video clip being distributed across the internet by right leaning blogs that are attempting to make this a major campaign issue. The following quotation contains the actual words spoken by the Senator and I've followed that quote with my own interpretation...one that actually makes more sense than the one attempted by the GOP.

Quote From Senator Kerry:

"You know education...if you make the most of it...you study hard; you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well...if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

In two places I highlighted the use of the word "you" because understanding who "you" is becomes the key to understanding which person Senator Kerry is speaking about and also to whom his remarks are directed. Clearly, he is pointing out that the President (the first you) didn't study the facts, didn't do his homework, didn't make an effort to be smart...all of which resulted in his (the second you) being "stuck" in Iraq.

Any other interpretation simply doesn't make sense. No doubt the wording could have been better...but there is also no doubt that the Senator had no motivation to criticize our military seven days before the election...and every reason to criticize the President's failed Iraq effort.

In fact, Kerry's office released the actual text of the prepared remarks which clearly show who the Senator was speaking about. The text was as follows:

"Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

End of story!

Senator Kerry's Remarks Yesterday

Update: Kerry Responds To Criticism

Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2006 | 12:55 PM | link | Comments (4)
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Will November 7th. Be "Independents" Day? genre: Six Degrees of Speculation

Independent voters

While pundits, strategists, and journalists focus on the enthusiasm levels of the Democratic and Republican base, Stuart Rothenberg, in a new article, suggests that the midterm election may hinge on the independent voter turnout...and he concludes that they may well determine the size of the wave that is likely to put the Democratic Party in control of the House and possibly the Senate.

While all of us following this year's midterms are spending most of our time talking about the GOP's "base" problems and speculating about whether conservatives and evangelicals will stay home next month, we are missing a story that could turn out to be as big, or even bigger: independents.

Independents may not turn out at the same rate as strong partisans in midterm elections, but for dozens of Republicans trying to hold their seats in a potentially strong Democratic wave -- particularly those running in marginal districts -- independents will be plentiful enough at the polls to separate winners from losers. In Connecticut, for example, independents (unaffiliated voters) constitute a plurality of all state voters.

Normally, independents break roughly evenly between the two parties. In the 2000 presidential election, independents went for then-Texas Gov. Bush over Al Gore, 47 percent to 45 percent. Four years later, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) bested Bush 49 percent to 48 percent among independents.

This year, that's not close to being the case. "There just aren't any independents this year," joked one Republican strategist I talked with recently. "There are Republicans, Democrats and soft Democrats."

During the last couple weeks, there has been ample discussion of the ability of the GOP to get out the vote. Many believe that the Republican Party's superior turnout machine and their feared 72 hour strategy has the potential to alter current polling numbers by a percentage point or two in favor of the GOP candidate. However, the fact that independents are leaning so heavily towards the Democratic Party suggests that they will easily offset any GOP advantage. Given the evidence that most voters believe that the country is going in the wrong direction and that Democrats are more enthusiastic than their Republican counterparts, any significant leaning on the part of independents seems likely to add to what many feel will be a wave election whereby conventional analysis is muted by a fundamental and widespread shift that is large enough to skew the outcomes of virtually every contest.

In poll after poll, independents are behaving like Democrats, whether it is in their distaste for Bush and the GOP-run Congress or in their vote choice in dozens of races around the country.

Nationally, a recent Cook Political Report/RT Strategies survey found a mere 33 percent of independents approving of the job Bush is doing. Those same independents favored Democrats, 49 percent to 30 percent, on the generic ballot. A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found Democrats with a 9-point generic advantage among independents.

In a recent Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. survey of Ohio's gubernatorial race, independent voters broke for Democrat Ted Strickland over Republican Ken Blackwell by an astonishing 22 points -- 51 percent to 29 percent.

A recent series of Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg surveys in Senate races found the same thing. In the Virginia Senate race, Jim Webb (D) held a 9-point advantage among independents over incumbent Sen. George Allen ®. In Ohio, Rep. Sherrod Brown (D), the challenger, held a 12-point lead over incumbent Sen. Mike DeWine ®. And in Tennessee, Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) held a 10-point lead over Republican Bob Corker among independents.

Simple math would suggest that if these numbers are substantiated on November 7th, the GOP get out the vote effort cannot overcome such a significant shift...especially if one looks back at the Republican Party's narrow victories in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections where evidence suggests that the GOP had a superior voter turnout effort AND the narrow, but necessary support of independent voters. In my opinion, those historical numbers suggest that any minor shift in independent voter preferences coupled with a strong Democratic turnout would result in a significantly different outcome...one that would result in numerous losses for the GOP. In the end, it won't take much of a shift in voter sentiment to result in significant losses for the GOP. If the numbers are accurate, a big shift is inevitable.

Daniel DiRito | October 31, 2006 | 10:01 AM | link | Comments (0)
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SNL's TV Funhouse Take On GOP Campaign Ads genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 30, 2006 | 7:33 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher New Rules & America Is No Longer # 1 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 30, 2006 | 7:20 PM | link | Comments (0)
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South Dakota Abortion Ban May Backfire genre: Hip-Gnosis

The abortion debate

Many anti-abortion groups saw the near all-inclusive ban on abortions signed into law earlier this year in South Dakota as the vehicle by which they could eventually challenge the validity of Roe v. Wade before the United States Supreme Court. The ban provides an exception to save the life of the mother but it doesn't provide any exception for rape or incest. A new poll seems to indicate that the measure is unlikely to succeed...an outcome that would be a blow to the many supporters who had embraced the ban.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A scientific poll done last week for the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls showed that South Dakotans are leaning against a proposed ban on nearly all abortions in the state.

And the percentage of those who plan to vote no on the ballot measure has increased since the last such survey in July.

The poll of 800 registered voters found that 52 percent opposed the measure that overwhelmingly passed the 2006 Legislature. Forty-two percent favored the proposed ban on abortions, and just 6 percent were undecided.

The poll also found that the proposed ban on abortions would have more support if it allowed abortions in cases of rape and incest.

When the bill was proposed and signed, many felt the lack of exceptions would hurt the chances of voter approval but those in favor chose to take the risk, hoping that anti-abortion sentiment would be sufficient for voters to overlook the lack of exceptions. The poll supports the argument that voters do pay attention and while they may favor some limitations on abortions, they would prefer to do so with reasonable exceptions and they are prepared to reject measures that are perceived to be an overreach.

In the July poll, 59 percent of those against the ban or undecided said they would vote for it with a rape and incest exception, while 29 percent said no and, 12 percent were undecided.

The July to October poll probably helped spur the education and get-out-the-vote campaigns conducted by those on both sides of the issue, said Don Dahlin, associate professor of political science at the University of South Dakota.

Dahlin said the new poll indicates the two sides have split the difference in undecided voters.

"When you get over 52 percent, with as few undecideds and getting as close as we are (to the election), it does look like that the voters' opinion is against this bill," he said. "It is going to be a question of who's going to get their folks out to actually vote."

I would argue that should this measure fail, it will in the future be seen as a strategic error on the part of the pro-life movement. Should the midterm election signal a shift in the electorate towards a more moderate government as evidenced by voting the Democratic Party into power, it will be increasingly difficult for the pro-life movement to pass measures that seek to ban abortions...especially to the extent that might have been possible in South Dakota.

In my opinion, both sides of the abortion debate are locked into absolute positions that make it increasingly difficult to conduct a reasoned debate about any prudent limitations that give women ample choice but also compel them to make decisions about terminating a pregnancy sooner than later. Additionally, a civil dialogue could potentially lead to other less ideologically biased measures that might serve to limit abortions through education or expanded adoption programs. Unfortunately, the lack of trust and respect coming from both sides leaves little room for negotiation.

Daniel DiRito | October 30, 2006 | 2:44 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Borat On Friday Night With Jonathan Ross genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 29, 2006 | 6:49 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Dick Armey: Where The GOP Went Wrong genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Dick Armey

Every now and then, we get a glimpse of a politician that is willing to give a reasonably candid assessment of their own political party. Unfortunately, it is typically a former politician that provides that assessment. Rarely does a politician in office provide voters with such an honest evaluation...which simply reinforces voter perceptions that politics is all about power and less about doing the right thing.

Sadly, statesmanship seems to surface only after the need to win and the goal of advancing rigid party rhetoric is no longer the driving force. Dick Armey provides an honest evaluation of where the Republican Party has lost its way in a new article in the Washington Post.

Somewhere along the road to a "permanent majority," the Republican Revolution of 1994 went off track. For several years, we had confidence in our convictions and trusted that the American people would reward our efforts. And they did.

Where did the revolution go astray? How did we go from the big ideas and vision of 1994 to the cheap political point-scoring on meaningless wedge issues of today -- from passing welfare reform and limited government to banning horsemeat and same-sex marriage?

The answer is simple: Republican lawmakers forgot the party's principles, became enamored with power and position, and began putting politics over policy. Now, the Democrats are reaping the rewards of our neglect -- and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

It seems to me that politics has become a least common denominator equation. Political parties look for voter prejudices in order to gain their loyalty through divisive wedge issues. Negative campaign ads are virtual tabloid trash intended to garner Americans ghoulish attraction to gossip and innuendo regardless of fact. Despite the protestations often heard, voters respond to these ads so there is no incentive to campaign otherwise. We would rather hear about a candidate’s messy divorce or their failure to pay their property taxes on time than to know what kind of a manager each candidate might be once in office...what abilities and insights they can offer as an effective advocate in Washington.

Each November voters become voyeurs and both parties roll out the garbage we seem to seek. Perhaps we're addicted to the misfortune of others because it makes us feel better by comparison...but if that's the case, we're destined to see more of the same each election cycle.

Gingrich and I and a handful of true believers in Ronald Reagan's conservative vision set the goal of retaking the House. The "Contract With America" outlined our platform of limited government. This vision appealed to both the social and economic wings of the conservative movement; equally important, it included institutional reforms for a Congress that had grown increasingly arrogant and corrupt. The contract nationalized the vision of the Republican Party in a way that unified our base and appealed to independents. We championed national issues, not local pork projects or the creature comforts of high office.

Welfare reform in 1996 only affirmed the revolution. Bureaucrats, special interests and the White House all claimed that the sky would fall if we touched this failed Great Society program, but we held firm. When you take on a sacred cow, you must kill it completely -- tinkering on the margins is ineffective. In the end, the reform proved so successful and popular that President Bill Clinton (who rejected the original bill twice) considers it one of the best ideas his administration ever had.

At one point during the welfare reform debates, a member approached me and said, "Dick, I know this is the right thing to do, but my constituents just won't understand." I told him, "So you're telling me they are smart enough to vote for you but not smart enough to understand this?" He ended up voting to pass the bill.

Bipartisanship isn't glamorous and it doesn't incite the vitriol of the party base. Karl Rove and the GOP realized as much and they have made brazen partisanship the centerpiece of their divisive approach to politics...having bet that it would be easier to maintain a majority constituency be defining the enemy rather than outlining an agenda to advance broader goals that might benefit the entire electorate...and the last two election cycles suggested it works quite well.

Since the party [GOP] won the majority in 1994, the GOP Conference had been consistent in requiring offsetting spending cuts for any new spending initiatives. (In fact, during the aftermath of a large Mississippi River flood, Rep. Jim Nussle even waited to find and approve offsets before moving the relief legislation for his own state of Iowa.) But by the summer of 1997, the appropriators -- rightly called the "third party" of Congress -- had begun to pass spending bills with Democrats. As soon as politics superseded policy and principle, the avalanche of earmarks that is crushing the party began.

Now spending is out of control. Rather than rolling back government, we have a new $1.2 trillion Medicare prescription drug benefit, and non-defense discretionary spending is growing twice as fast as it had in the Clinton administration. Meanwhile, Social Security is collapsing while rogue nations are going nuclear and the Middle East is more combustible than ever. Yet Republican lawmakers have taken up such issues as flag burning, Terri Schiavo and same-sex marriage.

They're fooling only themselves.

Pelosi says she would preside over a moderate Democratic majority, and has committed to raising taxes only as a last resort. But Democratic policy goals such as nationalized health care and low-interest student loans are expensive, and dozens of new spending "priorities" will crop up as soon as the election results are tallied. Democrats have promised that all new spending will be offset by tax increases, so will they raise taxes in the run-up to the 2008 race?

In essence, Pelosi will be forced to choose between a vocal base -- expecting immediate satisfaction on issues such as withdrawing from Iraq, legalizing same-sex marriage and the impeachment of President Bush -- or policies that are tolerable to a majority of Americans. That's quite a dilemma: appeasing a base that has been hungry for political revenge since 2000 and 2004, or alienating moderate and swing voters.

The problem is that the partisanship becomes the drug of choice in a back and forth battle of punitive periods of power whereby one side is given the opportunity to impose a measure of revenge on the enemy in order to pay back the base that gave them that power. In doing as much, those voters who prefer bipartisanship are further alienated from the process and many simply choose to ignore politics altogether...thereby perpetuating and reinforcing more of the same.

The likely Republican losses in next week's elections will not constitute a repudiation of the conservative legacy that drove the Reagan presidency and created the Contract With America. To the contrary, it would represent a rejection of big government conservatism. When we get back to being the party of limited government, putting a national agenda ahead of parochial short-term politics, we will again be a party that the American voters will trust to deal with the serious challenges facing our nation.

The 2006 midterm elections will be a success for the Democrats. Republicans will have to manage their own disappointment. Fingers will be pointed, and various villains will be fashioned out of recent events. But the plain fact is that Republicans have been setting the stage for this outcome for nearly a decade, running from themselves and their own principles. We will not find ourselves by conforming to the status quo, but by returning to our Reagan roots.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Armey's conclusion. I wasn't a Reagan fan but I give him credit for speaking to all Americans far more than our current president. One could disagree with Reagan's policies but one didn't necessarily feel that he governed by defining and using those divisions for political advantage. Frankly, there were Reagan Democrats because his rhetoric allowed as much...something that isn't part of today's political equation.

Armey seems to hinge his conclusion on Reagan's conservative credentials and while I respect that observation, I'm not sure that alone brought Reagan his success. He chose to govern as a conservative but that conservatism wasn't filled with divisive social issues intended to polarize. Fundamental conservative philosophy no longer serves the goals of the GOP because they chose to embrace issues that endeared them to voters regardless of their underlying ideology.

Until those who seek office reaffirm their commitment to public service and relegate partisan politics to its proper place, we will continue to swing from one extreme to the other in an ever escalating battle for the power to impose and punish.

Daniel DiRito | October 29, 2006 | 7:45 AM | link | Comments (1)
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"Rush" Introduces Pill-Poppers Oxy-Pak genre: Tongue-In-Cheek

Do you find yourself surrounded by "fake" people? Are you looking for people to take you seriously? Well, there's finally hope. Rush Limbaugh is "happy" to introduce his new product, Rush Oxy-Pak...a convenient combination of Oxycontin, Viagra, and...of course "Rush". It’s guaranteed to make you a hard headed pill popping idiot and it’s the perfect accompaniment for traveling to distant islands when you're looking for a new mistress on the sly.

Rush Oxy-Pak

Rush Oxy-Pak

Daniel DiRito | October 26, 2006 | 9:15 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Mister Ken: The Talking Horse's Ass genre: Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek

Ken Mehlman has defended the GOP campaign ad being run against Harold Ford in Tennessee in which a woman without clothes states that she met Mr. Ford at a Playboy Club. At the end of the ad, she is shown pretending to be holding a phone and saying, "Harold, call me". I thought it would be appropriate to have some fun at Mr. Mehlman's expense since he apparently enjoys "innuendo".

Mister Ken

Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2006 | 4:47 PM | link | Comments (4)
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Iraq: We Made A Mess...Now What Do We Do? genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Dose of truth

If one strung together the Bush administration's explanations of why we needed to invade Iraq, the list would be quite lengthy and ever changing over time...but as it looks more and more like the U.S. is preparing to hand the reigns back to the struggling Iraqi government, I can't help but think of the oft heard expression, "The road to ruin is paved with good intentions". A new article in the Washington Post discusses the growing indications that the Bush administration is in the process of testing the rhetoric for an eventual withdrawal from Iraq that will include the ability for the President and his neocon cohorts to wash their hands of any unfavorable outcome.

It's been coming for a long time: the idea that fixing Iraq is the Iraqis' problem, not ours -- that we've done all we can and now it's up to them.

Such arguments have been latent in the Bush administration's Iraq strategy and explicit in Democratic critiques of that strategy for some time. Now Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has declared: "It's their country. . . . They're going to have to govern it, they're going to have to provide security for it, and they're going to have to do it sooner rather than later."

The implication of these arguments is clear: The United States should prepare to leave Iraq, after which the Iraqis will work out their own troubles -- or they won't. In any event, we can no longer help them. This notion is wrong and morally contemptible, and it endangers American security around the world.

One of the prevailing problems with issues that are politically charged and that are allowed to linger and languish amidst an abundance of partisan rhetoric, is that the need for actual solutions often gets lost in the scuffle. Iraq is fast becoming a casualty of this phenomenon. Almost from the outset, the Bush administration has been forced to play defense as little of the intelligence employed and fewer of the assurances made have proven to be accurate.

While it may not be completely fair to say what I'm about to say, it merits discussion regardless. There is a line in the movie The Color Purple that speaks to bad decisions and the consequences of inappropriate actions that seems applicable to the failures in Iraq...failures that were exacerbated by intransigence and what appears to have been an initial effort to distort the realities in order to facilitate the invasion. I believe the line was uttered by Oprah Winfrey to the man that had made her life a living hell and it went something close to this, "No good will come to you until you do right by me". Our actions in Iraq may well be similarly viewed by those historians who attempt to unravel the quagmire in the Middle East our President so nobly coined as "freedom is on the march" in his bold effort to export democracy.

The current crisis in Iraq is no more just an Iraqi problem than it has ever been. The U.S. military destroyed Iraq's government and all institutions able to keep civil order. It designated itself an "occupying force," thereby accepting the responsibility to restore and maintain such order. And yet U.S. Central Command never actually made establishing order and security a priority. Its commander throughout the insurgency, Gen. John Abizaid, has instead repeatedly declared that America's role is primarily to train Iraqi forces to put down their own rebellion and maintain order.

By allowing violence and disorder to spread throughout the country, the Bush administration has broken faith with the Iraqi people and ignored its responsibilities. It has placed U.S. security in jeopardy by creating the preconditions for the sort of terrorist safe haven the president repeatedly warns about and by demonstrating that no ally can rely on America to be there when it counts.

To this point, I am in full agreement with the analysis offered in this thoughtful article. Further, I accept that the United States has an obligation to bring some resolution to the situation but how that is best achieved remains fully open to debate and wholly subject to doubt. My own moral compass could accept any solution that actually proved to be a solution...even sending more troops if it could be reasonably determined that doing so would solve the problem. Conversely, I could also accept a time-defined redeployment if that would solve the problem. With that said, I struggle to imagine any alternative that can succeed in sustaining order if and when it might be restored...because none of the solutions have the capacity to quickly change the hearts and minds of the Iraqi's and those who stand to benefit from further chaos.

It’s important to understand and define the environment we're in…and it’s not simply a military endeavor nor was it ever reasonable to believe as much. A review of our prior foray into Iraq under the first President Bush makes that clear. It’s also important to sort out the partisan rhetoric that has poisoned the pursuit of the truths we need to acknowledge. During past elections it served the GOP to hold fast to the military solution...and they benefited from attaching Iraq to the war on terror.

At the same time, they succeeded in undermining those who suggested the war on terror would be better executed with improved intelligence efforts and more consistent with a law enforcement template...coupled with aggressive efforts to change the dynamics that were fomenting extremist ideologies. Those efforts include a focused push to resolve the Palestinian situation as well as political, economic and diplomatic pressure and measures to begin the difficult task of bridging the cultural and religious differences that have served to germinate more extremists and therefore more terrorists.

Clearly, the GOP succeeded in portraying those efforts as insufficient. It worked because Americans wanted the threat of terror removed and they wanted it immediately...and what better than a military invasion to demonstrate their demands have been heard. Giving voters cathartic relief kept the GOP in power but failed miserably to combat the complexities presented by growing extremism and terrorism directed at Western Civilization. The reality is that our invasion of Iraq simply added to the complexity...something we are now witnessing with the current conundrum and that has returned as an albatross around the collective neck of the Bush administration and the Republican Party. They succumbed to voter baiting and now they don't know what to do with the aggrieved and angry masses...or how to undo the mess that is now Iraq.

Americans believe that all problems are soluble and therefore that people who aren't solving their problems must not be trying. They need to be "incentivized," either through promises or threats. Many on the left have long been advocating a withdrawal of U.S. forces, or the threat of it, as just such an incentive for the Iraqis. But what if even then Iraqis cannot accomplish the goals we have set for them? Can we then declare that, by establishing the Iraqi army and helping Iraq elect and establish its government, we have done all that honor requires?

No, we can't. Both honor and our vital national interest require establishing conditions in Iraq that will allow the government to consolidate and maintain civil peace and good governance. It doesn't matter how many "trained and ready" Iraqi soldiers there are, nor how many provinces are nominally under Iraqi control. If America withdraws its forces before setting the conditions for the success of the Iraqi government, we will have failed in our mission and been defeated in the eyes of our enemies. We will have dishonored ourselves.

Those who have criticized the administration for failing to send enough troops to fight the war, failing to plan adequately for the postwar crisis and failing to react properly when it came are right. But Democrats should not be so quick to embrace these attacks unless they are willing to accept the corollary: Just because Bush did the wrong thing in 2003 doesn't mean that we can do the wrong thing now.

I understand the argument being made by the author but it is unfortunately another attempt to accumulate political points from a seemingly unwinnable conflict. I hate to be the purveyor of bad news...but that's all that is available at the moment and the sooner someone decides to admit as much to the American public, the sooner we can focus on real solutions and cease the partisan wrangling that serve the few and hoodwink the many.

I'm reminded of another line from a movie...the one where Jack Nicholson forces a poignant acknowledgment when he answers his adversaries demand for answers and the truth by saying, "You can't handle the truth!" Iraq and the war on terror will remain an American problem in need of a solution on November 7th and on November 8th. In a country addicted to instant gratification where politicians are all too happy to accommodate, I'm afraid Nicholson's observation may be spot on.

more consistent wi

Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2006 | 12:19 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Election Dark Horse: This Stupid Economy? genre: Econ-Recon & Six Degrees of Speculation

The stupid economy

I've been watching an interesting trend as we approach the November midterm election. Approximately a month ago, there were cries from Republican leaning pundits for the President and his GOP cohorts to focus their message on the success of the U.S. economy. However, it appears that the economy may actually work against Republican candidates in many races...especially in states like Ohio.

I suspect that the record highs on the Dow Jones Industrial board may actually work against the GOP as it serves more as a symbol of the growing wealth divide that exists in the country and simply reminds struggling voters that wealthy Americans and corporations are profiting while jobs are being shipped overseas, pension funds are being endangered or abandoned, and the mainstay of their economic recovery, the housing market, is fading fast.

Bloomberg has a new article discussing the impact the economy may have on the midterm election.

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats are getting a boost from voters on the big issues of the midterm congressional elections: the economy, the war in Iraq and unhappiness with President George W. Bush's leadership, according to a Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll.

With the elections less than two weeks away, the poll of voters in five battleground states shows voters with a moderate- to-strong preference for Democrats on most issues except terrorism, where Republicans still hold a small edge.

Majorities in each state -- Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, New Jersey and Missouri -- disapprove of the job Bush is doing, and say the country needs to move in a new direction. Democrats score better than Republicans on handling the economy, taxes, gasoline prices and immigration.

The pro-Democratic tilt on issues "suggests that Republicans' troubles run much deeper than just a few swing states,'' said Amy Walter, an analyst for the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan newsletter in Washington. "For Republicans hoping that their base and their voters rally in these last two weeks, it doesn't seem to be happening.''

Those who listened to the President's press conference this morning...billed to contain significant information on the Iraq war...heard George Bush simply reiterate the long held positions with regard to Iraq while tossing in words like adjust, react, respond to changing situations. Frankly, if this speech was intended to be the GOP pre-election pep talk, I'm afraid the team took a nap instead. Regardless, I took note of the President's effort to frame the election as being a referendum on two issues...national security (which party will keep the country safe and address the growing threats from extremists) and if you elect the Democrats they will raise your taxes and that is bad for the economy.

My first reaction was why would the President give a speech on Iraq to frame the election on everything but Iraq...but I digress. If I were a Democratic candidate, I would take the President's words and reframe them. I think Democrats can succeed if the simply tell voters that the GOP is hoping to disguise their numerous failures by extending two hollow offerings.

First, I would ask voters to consider whether the war in Iraq is bringing stability to the Middle East and therefore putting an end to the extremist ideology that seeks to attack Western Civilization. After we arrested and imprisoned the mastermind of the first trade center bombing in the early '90's but they returned in 2001...and we have yet to capture the person responsible for 9/11. We haven't been attacked for five years...but just what does that tell us about whether or not our adversaries (who grow in numbers daily) are planning future attacks? Are our efforts in Iraq distracting us from the real war on terror? I think that has to be a consideration... and raising that point places voter focus back upon the merits of the Iraq war.

Secondly, regarding the Bush tax cuts, the truth is that the average voter received a token reduction in taxes while assuming more national debt than under any prior president. The bottom line is that the country took out a loan to give more money to the wealthy...and that means the middle class (you and your children) will be paying back those loans for decades. We now have two economies in this country...one for the wealthy and one for everyone else. When George Bush talks about tax cuts, he's not talking to those Americans in the latter economy. I would point out to voters that they stand to lose far more of their hard earned money if the housing market continues to decline. A tiny fall in the price of homes will far exceed the minor tax savings that the average American received. The bottom line is that we need an economy that works for all Americans...and this administration isn't offering that to the voters.

Republicans are getting clobbered by voters on the question of which party can best handle the economy even as the stock market hits record highs, gasoline prices plunge and the unemployment rate stands at a five-year-low.

Voters in all five states said the economy is worse off because of the Bush's policies of the past six years. In New Jersey, 53 percent of respondents said worse, versus 26 percent who said better. In Missouri, the margin narrowed to 41 percent to 33 percent.

While a sharp reduction in gasoline prices -- down 83 cents a gallon since early August -- has boosted consumers' disposable income, Republicans haven't reaped a discernible benefit. Voters surveyed in all five swing states said Democrats would do a better job of dealing with high fuel prices, and several respondents said in interviews that they view the decline in prices as just a ploy to boost Republicans' chances on Nov. 7.

Republican candidates are having trouble making their charge that Democrats would hammer American families with new tax hikes stick.

Voters in Ohio, New Jersey, and Virginia say Democrats would do a better job handling taxes than Republicans. The two parties came in about even in Missouri and Tennessee.

While the national unemployment rate remains historically low, at 4.6 percent in September, it is higher in several of the battleground states, including New Jersey and Missouri. Ohio, with a 5.2 percent unemployment rate, has lost 152,000 non-farm jobs since Bush took office in January, 2001. While some new jobs were added in the service sector, about 195,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared during that period.

Looking at the overall poll results, "the message that it's all the Republicans' fault and that Democrats deserve a chance to do better is working,'' said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of the Washington-based Rothenberg Political Report.

The prevailing argument against this President and the GOP is that their actions have done little for the vast majority of Americans...they are out of touch with the issues that impact average citizens...yet they have placed the burden of their policies squarely on the backs of these hard working Americans. It is the middle class that must compete with the outsourcing of jobs, it is they who will bear the burden of a failing housing market, it is they and their children who will have to pay off the national debt and it is their sons and daughters who are giving their lives in a war that is likely increasing the threat to the homeland.

It is time that voters reject the GOP's hollow and wholly insufficient offerings and promises of a brighter future being waved as enticements just days before this election. We simply cannot afford to continue with this smoke and mirrors government.

Daniel DiRito | October 25, 2006 | 10:06 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Stay The Course? Only If It Wins Elections genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Flip flopping

With barely two weeks until the midterm election, the Bush administration seems to believe that they need a new message on the war in Iraq. The Washington Post has an article that discusses the GOP attempts to nuance the issue and the adjusted rhetoric. Call me a skeptic, but nuance has never been part of this President’s equation…which leads me to conclude that the house of cards is in peril.

President Bush and his aides are annoyed that people keep misinterpreting his Iraq policy as "stay the course." A complete distortion, they say. "That is not a stay-the-course policy," White House press secretary Tony Snow declared yesterday.

Where would anyone have gotten that idea? Well, maybe from Bush.

"We will stay the course. We will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed," he said in Salt Lake City in August.

"We will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course," he said in Milwaukee in July.

"I saw people wondering whether the United States would have the nerve to stay the course and help them succeed," he said after returning from Baghdad in June.

But the White House is cutting and running from "stay the course." A phrase meant to connote steely resolve instead has become a symbol for being out of touch and rigid in the face of a war that seems to grow worse by the week, Republican strategists say. Democrats have now turned "stay the course" into an attack line in campaign commercials, and the Bush team is busy explaining that "stay the course" does not actually mean stay the course.

Snow said Bush dropped the phrase "because it left the wrong impression about what was going on. And it allowed critics to say, 'Well, here's an administration that's just embarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is,' when, in fact, it's just the opposite."

Republican strategists were glad to see him reject the language, if not the policy. "They're acknowledging that it's not sending the message they want to send," said Steve Hinkson, political director at Luntz Research Cos., a GOP public opinion firm. The phrase suggested "burying your head in the sand," Hinkson said, adding that it was no longer useful signaling determination. "The problem is that as the number of people who agree with remaining resolute dwindles, that sort of language doesn't strike a chord as much as it once did."

My own experience tells me that people who stand on principle rarely feel the need to tell you they do so...their actions are sufficient. Conversely, it seems to me that those who routinely talk about their principles like a badge of honor are often the first to abandon those principles when it becomes expedient. The difference between these two extremes is obvious. People of integrity and sincerity have the quiet confidence that comes with both and those who lack either need to frequently assert that they possess both because deep down they know that both are absent. To express the concept another way, there are those who know they can lead and there are those who know they want to lead.

For the bulk of the time we have spent fighting the war in Iraq, the Bush administration has held fast to its original strategy...asserting that they were committed to completing the mission even in the face of criticism and growing voter dissatisfaction. Many times the President has acknowledged that the war was unpopular but went out of his way to assert that leaders cannot be concerned about polls when faced with issues of principle. Further, this administration has made a habit of characterizing those who expressed concerns that the strategy was flawed as unpatriotic and weak on issues of defense and national security.

Since the initiation of the war effort in 2003, numerous military officials, who served in the conflict and subsequently retired or were forced to retire, have voiced doubts about the military plan of action. In most instances, their remarks have also been met with criticism and there has been a concerted effort to discredit their observations. To their credit, the Bush administration was able to succeed in connecting the war in Iraq with the war on terror which allowed them to hold voter doubts at bay. This was achieved by reminding voters of the President’s resolve following 9/11 and the need for continued diligence in preventing another terrorist attack...the fear factor. The 2002 and 2004 elections provide the evidence of that success.

Fortunately, time has a way of forcing truth to the surface and it now appears that the Bush administration has reached its day of reckoning. For the bulk of this year, the GOP has waged a relentless attack on Democrats...all the while convinced that they had the votes they needed to succeed in November...a virtual rerun requiring little more than the roll out of their battle tested rhetoric. Unfortunately for the GOP, during this same time frame voter doubt grew as casualties mounted, sectarian violence became civil war, assurances that the end of conflict was in sight were wrong, and, lastly, the assertions that the opposition was in its last throes proved inaccurate. Additionally, the purple fingers of democracy served little more than symbolism as the Iraqi's almost immediately reverted to long held tribal alliances, cultural values, and religious beliefs.

With that said, it isn’t difficult to understand why the GOP is now on the precipice of defeat. While the Republican Party focused on savaging Democrats, they failed to pay attention to the all too obvious realities...realities that did not escape the awareness of the voters they took for granted. As we’ve approached the midterm election, two problems emerged for the GOP. One, voters saw the realities in Iraq and the unwillingness of this President to shift strategies…and that has led to irreconcilable doubts about the President’s judgment and growing skepticism for the sincerity underlying his professed resolve. The bottom line is that voters lost confidence in the attributes they had been willing to assign and attach to this President.

Two, now that the election is upon us, the Bush administration has apparently decided to alter their intransigent adherence to “staying the course"…because it isn’t resonating with voters…and that is giving skeptical voters the final evidence needed to doubt the President’s sincerity. When this shifting rhetoric on Iraq is coupled with revelations that suggest that the GOP may have manipulated the millions of loyal evangelical voters, I believe these moderate voters are in the process of concluding that this President is more concerned with retaining power than acting with intelligence and integrity to serve the best interests of the nation.

In my opinion, it looks to me that Rove/Bush concluded that 2006 could be won with the same strategy that succeeded in 2002 and 2004. Instead, I believe that it forced voters to view the election as a referendum on the policies and priorities of the Bush administration at a time when it could least withstand the scrutiny. It looks like voters are preparing to call a halt to this charade.

Daniel DiRito | October 24, 2006 | 10:01 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Keith Olbermann On The Political Use Of Terror genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Keith Olbermann has certainly found his niche. His new segment called "Special Comment" has become a must see. Olbermann has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to discern clarity out of this thing we call politics and this latest iteration is a searing criticism of the GOP's use of fear for political gain.

Daniel DiRito | October 24, 2006 | 12:19 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Dionne On The "Rising Radical Center" genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

E. J. Dionne offers further analysis on the possibility that the political terrain may be in the process of a fundamental shift in a new article in the Washington Post. Before providing some excerpts from the article and some...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 10:12 PM | link | Comments (1)
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New Poll: Has The Mighty Middle Awakened? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The political climate in the United States has been one of raucous partisanship since the late '90's and it has only escalated over the six years of the Bush administration. Results from the last two elections support the notion...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 4:46 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Borat: First Four Minutes Of The New Movie genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Borat is a character played by Sasha Baron Cohen who achieved fame with his series, The Ali G Show, on HBO. Cohen played a number of characters on his series and Borat has long been a favorite of those...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 3:01 PM | link | Comments (0)
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More Seats In Play Good News For Dems genre: Polispeak

While it may not be scientific to look at trending, there is growing evidence that the GOP is on the wrong side of this one. I keep thinking back to the days following the 2004 election and the statement...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 1:17 PM | link | Comments (0)
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These Are The Stakes - These Are The Stingrays genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

The RNC has released a new ad, "These are the Stakes", that is designed to scare voters as they believe they can win when the public is focused on terrorism and threats to national security. I found another video...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 10:24 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Gay Marriage: Would Court Ruling Be Bad Timing? genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak

With only two weeks until the midterm election and the GOP base appearing to lack sufficient motivation, could a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court on same-sex marriage prove to be the catalyst the Republican Party has been...

Daniel DiRito | October 23, 2006 | 9:21 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Rove & Bush: Bet 'Em High & Sleep In The Streets? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I've never been a gambler and I've never actually understood the mentality. Years ago, I told a friend that we live in a country driven by "chain letter economics" and I'm convinced my perception is truer today than it...

Daniel DiRito | October 22, 2006 | 1:04 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher: Barney Frank On GOP And Gays genre: Gaylingual & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 22, 2006 | 9:14 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Newsweek Poll Shows Dems In Strong Position genre: Polispeak

A new poll by Newsweek, conducted on the 19th and 20th of October, has little good news for the Republican Party as voters continue to favor Democratic control of Congress. As we approach the final two weeks of the...

Daniel DiRito | October 21, 2006 | 9:07 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Tracks To Our Future Are Found In Our Past genre: Happy Remembrances & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

It’s not unusual for me to wake up two or three times during the night...and last night was no different in that regard. Occasionally I’ll get up for a drink of water or make my way to the bathroom…but...

Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2006 | 6:06 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Daisies And Mushrooms: Imagining November 8th genre: Snapshot Thoughts

Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2006 | 2:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Classic Sidney Blumenthal: A Must Read genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I've always found Sidney Blumenthal to be both thoughtful and insightful and his interview in Los Angeles CityBeat doesn't disappoint. He brings a wealth of knowledge and his ability to project how current issues and the associated players will...

Daniel DiRito | October 19, 2006 | 5:27 PM | link | Comments (1)
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GOP: Between Iraq And A Hard Place genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In recent weeks, the U.S. military has stepped up efforts to bring calm to war torn Baghdad and put an end to the rampant sectarian violence. Unfortunately, the news coming from Iraq indicates that the campaign isn't succeeding as...

Daniel DiRito | October 19, 2006 | 11:58 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Colbert Report: The Word On Rationalizing Iraq War genre: Just Jihad & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 19, 2006 | 11:20 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Dem Candidates Singing "Iraq Around The Clock" genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In 2004 most GOP candidates were traveling downstream in their "swiftboats" attacking every Democratic candidate that dared to criticize the Bush administration's war in Iraq. In 2006 you not only can't find the GOP "swiftboat", you can't find a...

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2006 | 10:48 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Keith Olbermann On Military Commissions Act genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2006 | 9:41 PM | link | Comments (1)
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GOP Terror Alert: Flood Warning In New Poll genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Its long been said that what goes around comes around and a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll seems to be an indication that the GOP is fast approaching a first hand encounter with the short end of the...

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2006 | 6:16 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Connections: A "Pink Purge" And Purple Fingers genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I hate to be sarcastic...but not so much so that I won't take an opportunity to point out the difficult position in which the GOP finds itself in the aftermath of the Mark Foley scandal. Here's the snark. The...

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2006 | 9:30 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Op-Ed Melange: Cohen, Thomas, And Dionne genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Sometimes a pending reality check leads people to let down their guard and expose a little more of the core person that underlies the public persona...and then again sometimes a pending reality check forces people to moderate the rhetoric...

Daniel DiRito | October 17, 2006 | 11:23 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher On The Exploitation Of Young Americans genre: Six Degrees of Speculation & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 17, 2006 | 10:09 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Daily Show On Washington Scandals genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 17, 2006 | 9:44 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Borat: Night Of Too Many Stars & In Germany genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 17, 2006 | 9:25 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Former FDA Chief Lester Crawford To Plead Guilty genre: Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, Lester Crawford, has been charged with making false statements and with conflicts-of-interest with regard to stocks he held in companies that were regulated by the administration. Reuters has details of the charges and...

Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2006 | 5:16 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Relativism: P. J. O'Rourke's GOP Endorsement genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The Weekly Standard's P.J. O'Rourke, in a new article titled What's the Smell?, does his best to apply relativism in order to endorse the continuation of GOP control. The problem with his argument, as I see it, is that...

Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2006 | 2:16 PM | link | Comments (0)
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David Kuo: "Tempting Faith" Author On 60 Minutes genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Video-Philes

Find this video and thousands of others at vSocial!...

Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2006 | 1:37 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Election Outcome: Can GOP Win Despite Losing? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

With less than a month until the midterm election, we begin another week with a number of new polls and growing signs that the GOP is scrambling to determine the most effective ways to defend their majorities in the...

Daniel DiRito | October 16, 2006 | 10:59 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Devil's Disguise genre: Hip-Gnosis & Rhyme-N-Reason

I wrote the following poem, The Devil's Disguise, while thinking about politics and religion and how those that embrace one or both are often consumed by the power that each can provide. In recent years, the two have become...

Daniel DiRito | October 15, 2006 | 1:18 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Political Strategy: Fear And Doubt On All Levels genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The following posting is the tenth entry in a continuing Thought Theater dialogue on political strategy. The first posting, Political Strategy: The Opening Dialogue, can be found here, the second posting, Political Strategy: Beyond Extremist Labels can be found here,...

Daniel DiRito | October 14, 2006 | 10:20 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Front And Center: Election Countdown genre: Polispeak

During the 2004 presidential election a website called electoral-vote.com became a popular place to track the latest polling in an all encompassing format. The site is once again tracking the 2006 midterm election and providing daily projections for both...

Daniel DiRito | October 13, 2006 | 11:20 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Some Classic Johnny Carson Video Clips genre: Happy Remembrances & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Get this video and more at MySpace.com...

Daniel DiRito | October 13, 2006 | 9:29 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Piling On: UK General Calls For Troop Withdrawal genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In a stunning piece of news, the leading British general has suggested that the British soon withdraw their troops from Iraq. Should the Brits announce a timeframe for the withdrawal of their military forces or even begin that process...

Daniel DiRito | October 12, 2006 | 6:41 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Iraq Reality Check Estimated Time Of Arrival: 11/08 genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Those who presume that voters are being provided with meaningful information in the run-up to this midterm election may well be in for a surprise on November 8th. While that date may not be totally accurate, the report to...

Daniel DiRito | October 12, 2006 | 4:12 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Poll Shows Voter Moral Compass Shifting To Dems genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

Logic should tell us that no one group has a lock on morality...but don't look at the last decade to discern that conclusion. Nonetheless, the GOP stranglehold on values voters seems to be on the wane as evidenced by...

Daniel DiRito | October 12, 2006 | 1:59 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Nuclear North Korea: Now What? genre: Just Jihad & Nouveau Thoughts & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

As the dust settles in the North Korea blame game, the only thing that remains relevant is what to do next in light of this unfortunate reality. While making accusations might make one feel better, it won't undo what...

Daniel DiRito | October 12, 2006 | 10:58 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Iraq OK's Federalism: Doesn't Apply For 18 Months genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The Iraqi parliament approved a bill that authorizes the formation of regions within the country that will have a substantial level of autonomy however the provision will not be enacted for 18 months. The delay was a concession by...

Daniel DiRito | October 11, 2006 | 12:00 PM | link | Comments (0)
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GOP Seeks To Make Foleygate Gay Inquisition genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Never underestimate the ability of the GOP to transform scandal into spin aimed to obfuscate fact and shift blame. The latest effort involves the revelations that Republican Congressman Mark Foley sent solicitous emails and instant messages to underage male...

Daniel DiRito | October 11, 2006 | 9:24 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Daily Show: Dems & Gays Behind Foleygate genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The GOP is on the offensive in an attempt to blame the Democrats and a "network of gay staffers" for leaking the details about Congressman Mark Foley as well as sitting on the information until it would provide them...

Daniel DiRito | October 11, 2006 | 8:51 AM | link | Comments (0)
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McCain Blames Clinton For North Korea genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

One thing is for certain about John McCain...he learned his lesson in the 2000 presidential primary that you either join the GOP establishment or find yourself the object of its scorched earth approach to king-making and king-breaking. In a...

Daniel DiRito | October 10, 2006 | 3:09 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Campaign Spending: 2 Billion Dollar Border Fence genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The press enjoys providing details on the money raised by politicians and keeping track of the total funds raised by Republicans and Democrats to influence voters. Unfortunately, the reported numbers often fail to account for the many other ways...

Daniel DiRito | October 10, 2006 | 8:54 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Three Polls: Three Reasons For GOP Anxiety genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

With four weeks until the midterm election, the GOP is finding little evidence that they will be able to hold control of the House and may well be vulnerable to also lose the Senate. Three new polls suggest that...

Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2006 | 9:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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GOP Strategy: Blame The Gays, Not The GOP genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

In the wake of the Mark Foley scandal, the GOP has struggled to offer a plausible defense for what appears to have been an effort to cover up the congressman's outrageous communications with underage male pages. While the situation...

Daniel DiRito | October 9, 2006 | 8:07 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Minnie Riperton: Lovin' You Video genre: Audio-Philes & Happy Remembrances & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I first saw Minnie Riperton on the Mike Douglas show and he was amazed at her vocal range...a fact that is never missed when Riperton is discussed. Minnie Riperton never had the chance to explore where her career could...

Daniel DiRito | October 7, 2006 | 2:23 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Reject The Bush Signing Statements: Vote! genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

George Bush and Dick Cheney believe that in the aftermath of the resignation of Richard Nixon, the power of the executive branch was unreasonably diminished. From the outset of their election to office, they have systematically sought to amass...

Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2006 | 10:42 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Daily Show: GOP Plays The Blame Game genre: Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2006 | 10:00 AM | link | Comments (4)
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New Poll From TIME: Scandal Hurting GOP genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Some say the third times a charm, but when it comes to the three most recent polls following the disclosure of damaging communications between Congressman Mark Foley and an underage page, the latest TIME poll suggests the opposite for...

Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2006 | 8:42 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Rasmussen: More Bad News For GOP genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

As they say, when it rains, it pours. In a new Rasmussen Reports poll, the Mark Foley scandal is found to have potentially devastating consequences for the Republican Party. I've previously argued that the scandal might actually increase the...

Daniel DiRito | October 5, 2006 | 12:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Poll Shows Foley Scandal Damaging To GOP genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Some might call it the gift that keeps on giving. Scandals that have legs have a history of clearing the media deck such that there is little else that receives attention. At the moment, that reality is a boon...

Daniel DiRito | October 5, 2006 | 10:52 AM | link | Comments (0)
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MAD TV: Britney...I'm Not A Child (Adult Content) genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 5, 2006 | 9:59 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Court: Pennsylvania Senate A Two Party Race genre: Polispeak

Despite the admitted efforts of Rick Santorum to assist the Green Party in fielding a candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race to take some votes from his Democratic opponent, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that Carl Romanelli did...

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 5:17 PM | link
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Foley Fallout: Evangelicals Will Turnout...Will Dems? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In light of the recent GOP meltdown that is being driven by the Mark Foley scandal, many Democrats are salivating at the possibility that this "values" scandal will suppress the turnout of Republican conservatives and evangelicals. Initially, it seemed...

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 3:03 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Dems Strong In Zogby Poll Of House Races genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

There's nothing like an old fashioned sex scandal when it comes to polling. On the heels of the Mark Foley page scandal, Zogby reports that Democrats are running strong in a large majority of the contested House districts currently...

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 12:29 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Miss Tic Al genre: Front and Center

I Was Told Her Last Name Was "Al"...

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 11:31 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Countdown Chronicles GOP Spin On Foley Scandal genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Video-Philes

If you care to see how desperate the GOP is to shift the blame for the Foley scandal to everybody but themselves, take a look at this video of the usual Republican talking heads giving it their best shot....

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 11:00 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Iraqi Police Brigade Suspended genre: Just Jihad

No, there is not a civil war in Iraq...just ask approximately 700 member police brigade that has been suspended for suspicion of being complicit with sectarian death squads. Some might suggest its time to go back to the drawing...

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2006 | 9:06 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bush Bump Goes Bye-Bye? genre: Polispeak

So much for the Bush bump. What appeared to be the makings of a trend may have been derailed by a string of damaging news for the President and his Party. After an impressive rebound brought about by a...

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 9:59 PM | link | Comments (0)
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GOP Shifting Foley Scandal To Gay Bashing genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

That didn't take long! Call me a cynic and a skeptic but within hours of the announcement by Mark Foley's attorney that his client is gay, a number of GOP operatives were appearing all over the media attempting to...

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 6:05 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The Daily Show On Mark Foley: Part I & II genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 5:48 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Momentum: Has The GOP Lost It? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Like a classic boxing match, where two opponents surge and sink as they are able to land a solid punch, the Democrats and Republicans are in a battle of back and forth as they attempt to gain and hold...

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 3:57 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Is The Foley Scandal A Wedge Buster? genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The dust has yet to settle on the scandal surrounding the resignation of Florida Congressman Mark Foley after the exposure of solicitous emails to an underage male page. Foley's actions are especially damaging to the GOP given his position...

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2006 | 9:13 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Need For An Accurate Assessment Of Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

More than three years into the Iraq war and fast approaching the November midterm election, numerous politicians and countless pundits have sought to explain the U.S. plan for achieving our objectives in the war torn country and the region....

Daniel DiRito | October 1, 2006 | 9:50 AM | link | Comments (1)
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