Thu
Nov 9 2006
10:29 pm

Prominent blogger Digby is dishing a prescription for strong electoral medicine.

Much grist for the mill here:

[Tom Schaller] has also written a book called "Whistling Past Dixie" where he makes the case for a non southern strategy. It's a very interesting thesis that makes a basic point, which nobody wants to admit, but which is undoubtedly true: the conservative majority in the south is much more conservative than the rest of the country and the Democrats simply cannot win by trying to accomodate it. And by conservative, I'm not talking about what we used to think of as conservative, I'm talking about the special regional conservatism that's dominated the GOP since it gelled as a southern dominated party in the early 90's.

This election marks the end of the GOP behemoth for any number of reasons, corruption and incoherence not the least of them. But I think there is also a new awareness that southern conservatism, which leans heavily on cultural indicators and the religious right is not working for most people. The vast majority of gains for the Democrats in this election came from outside the south.

This is an incredibly thought-provoking post. Many of the commenters (no surprise) miss the point entirely. It is especially interesting in light of the candidacy and strategy of one Harold Ford, Jr.

I would offer that Digby has hit upon something important here. Southern conservatism and its self-centered agenda has been thrust into the national spotlight, and undeservedly so. He argues (convincingly, to my eye) that not only has that agenda been repudiated in this electoral cycle, but also that the Democratic Party has demonstrated conclusively that a majority can be held without the South. It's rough reading, but understanding its underpinnings is important stuff.

RTWT, as they say. I'm interested to see reactions to this.

Topics:
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Thu
Nov 9 2006
09:21 pm

First, Alex at Forward with Ford has setup a new blog to continue the dialogue for change. It's called "Alexplosion", and what a great blog name that is!

Second, Chris Jackson at the outstanding Ford Report blog is signing off, but not before serving up an open thread for Harold Ford Jr. supporters in Tennessee to send Jr. a message of thanks and support for a job well done. I can assure you that all of the messages will be forwarded.

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While the president jokes that he will help her measure her drapes, the first woman to ever hold the prestigious (soon-to-be) title of Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives says the new Democratic majority will drain the swamp and effect change in the first 100 hours.

It's hard to find a concise summary (memo to Democrats: bullet points -- check into it), but this Washington Post article says the First 100 Hour agenda will be:

  • Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation."
  • Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step.
  • Cut the interest rate on student loans in half.
  • Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
  • Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds.

All laudable initiatives that I support one hundred percent. To that agenda, I would add the following for the next few days after that:

  • Require the VA to clear up the backlog of claims and restore funding so our veterans and troops returning home from war and their families get the benefits they have been promised and that they deserve.
  • Order a top-down review of all EPA regulations rolled back by the Bush adminstration.
  • Issue subpoenas for Cheney, Rumsfeld*, Wolfowitz*, Cambone, Gonzales, and anyone else involved in codifying torture and violation of habeas corpus into U.S. law to hold them accountable.
  • Issue subpoenas for all of the above and/or anyone else* involved in cooking the intelligence books that led America into the failed war in Iraq on false pretenses and hold them accountable.
  • Order a top-down review of our broken health care and insurance system.
  • Get the Rush Holt Voter Confidence Act out of committee and on to the floor of the House for a vote and funding.

I'm sure KnoxViews readers have other ideas. Let's hear them. There is a short window of opportunity over the next couple of years to a) fix the mess we are in, and/or b) at least call attention to the miserable failures of the Bush administration and the policies of the previous Republican controlled Congress and hold them accountable.

If we do that, we can extend the window of opportunity and open up new windows of opportunity for a better America that benefits everyone.

America voted for change. Congress now holds the keys to change for a better America. We must now call on the Democrat controlled Congress to hold up their end of the deal and not blow it like the Republicans did when they had their chance.

OK, then.

(*Pardon my ignorance, but can Congress subpoena a private citizen? If not, I guess we can all see where Bush was going by firing Rumsfeld. All the more reason to hold them accountable.)

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
06:12 pm
By: Rich Hailey  shortURL

Okay, the elections are over, the Dems are giddy, the Reps are depressed, the independents are confused, and the libertarians are disorganized.

Sounds like the perfect time to consume some adult beverages in celebration or commiseration, or just because you like adult beverages. Besides, I owe SayUncle a beer since Corker won, and this gives me the opportunity to pay up.

So I am happy to announce the next BlogFest will be held on Nov. 17th, once again at Barley's in the Old City, starting at 6:30PM and running until we're asked to leave or get arrested. The location is flexible. I live out in Sevier County, so I don't know all the good spots in Knoxville, so if any of you have a favorite spot you'd like to meet up at, let me know and we'll go from there.

Anyway, to recap:

BlogFest Friday, Nov 17 6:30PM until whenever, at Barleys in the Old City.

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
05:50 pm

Could this be true?

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
04:02 pm
By: talidapali  shortURL
For the amusement of all... 

Now that the election is behind us, and the Democrats control one or possibly both houses of Congress, there's no reason not to admit it: the Right was right about us all along. Here is our 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:
1. Mandatory homosexuality
2. Drug-filled condoms in schools
3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act
4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses
5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State
6. Withdraw from Iraq, apologize, reinstate Hussein
7. English language banned from all Federal buildings
8. Math classes replaced by encounter groups
9. All taxes to be tripled
10. All fortunes over $250,000 to be confiscated
11. On-demand welfare
12. Tofurkey to be named official Thanksgiving dish
13. Freeways to be removed, replaced with light rail systems
14. Pledge of Allegiance in schools replaced with morning flag-burning
15. Stem cells allowed to be harvested from any child under the age of 8
16. Comatose people to be ground up and fed to poor
17. Quarterly mandatory abortion lottery
18. God to be mocked roundly
19. Dissolve Executive Branch: reassign responsibilities to UN
20. Jane Fonda to be appointed Secretary of Appeasement
21. Outlaw all firearms: previous owners assigned to anger management therapy
22. Texas returned to Mexico
23. Ban Christmas: replace with Celebrate our Monkey Ancestors Day
24. Carter added to Mount Rushmore
25. Modify USA's motto to "Land of the French and the home of the brave"
Please address comments to rightwasright (at) gmail (dot) com

 

(link...)

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In a razor thin vote Knox County voters ignored Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and the Knoxville News Sentinel and voted to approve the new pension plan for Knox County Sheriff's Deputies. The Knox County Mayor and the daily paper had launched a campaign to "educate" the voters. A big point was made of how much the pension plan would cost.

However, recently approved decisions like the Midway Industrial Park in the Thorn Grove Community were treated the old fashion way. In other words the cost was never broken down to how many cents on the dollar it would cost in a potential property tax increase. Do you know what is interesting? The pension plan and the Midway Industrial Park cost the same amount of money.

I have an idea where that money could be found...

The final vote after the lone voting machine from Downtown West was fixed revealed a vote of  52,013 yes votes and 51,516 no votes. The pension plan was approved by only 497 votes. I am happy to say one of them was from me. Congratulations to our uniformed officers. You deserved it.

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
01:36 pm

CBS Newsman Ed Bradley has died of Leukemia at 65.

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Jr. talks to the local media

Harold Ford Jr. visited the Knoxville airport to thank his supporters in East Tennessee. He said he had no regrets about his campaign and would not have done anything differently. He said he did not think race was a factor but it didn't matter because he is who he is. He noted that he won in Corker's home town of Chattanooga.

He was glad to see that President Bush took his advice and fired Rumsfeld and that he should have done it earlier. He said Democrats now have a chance to do some good and that they should keep their promise to the people to do something about Iraq, health care, education, and the issues of concern to Americans.

He is not sure what he will do next except take a few days off and go back to work in Congress next week. He says politics is definitely in his future and he loves America and his work is just beginning.

He thanked his supporters and there were tearful goodbyes as he left for Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis to thank supporters there.

I think most of you would join me in saying, "Thank YOU Congressman Ford."

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
01:14 pm
By: WhitesCreek  shortURL

I've been saying all along that we didn't need to impeach George Bush or Dick Cheney, but we do need to conduct some carefully researched investigations with all that new found Congressional Subpoena Power.

And then I saw a headline that read, "Nancy Pelosi, Only Two Heartbeats Away from the Presidency"

And then I got all jumbled up in my thoughts, like, "Would Hillary vote to impeach and make Pelosi the first women to be President of the United States?"

 Highly unlikely but delicious to think about. And not that I would advocate such a thing...

*****

When a Texan speaks, we need to listen. (Not HIM, silly, he's from Connecticut, got those boots the same place as that guy from the Village People...swat I heard, anyway)

Update...I forgot about this one...Good stuff, girl!

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
11:17 am

Just when some voters are recovering from Tuesday's shock and awe this has to happen.

Topics:
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Thu
Nov 9 2006
10:39 am

Please don't do anything stupid for the next two years. Thank you.

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
10:16 am

A thought I had this morning as I pondered the big national win for the "Good Guys" on Tuesday was one I had not really heard mentioned too much (although admittedly I don't watch the pundits round the clock, so maybe it has been mentioned ad nauseam?).  But it seems to me that, at least nationally, the Democrats staked a big ol' flag in the ground and have claimed the moderate/middle-of-the-road voice as their own.  If they can hold on to that claim while also holding the liberal/left base the Republicans should probably be pretty nervous for their near (and maybe long term) future, no matter what state they may be in. 

Continued...

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
09:48 am

It's at the TAC-AIR terminal. I don't personally know where that is, but it's at the exit right before the main terminal exit.

Hope to see you there.

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
08:28 am

Maureen Dowd:

Poppy Bush and James Baker gave Sonny the presidency to play with and he broke it. So now they’re taking it back.

...Two trusted members of the Bush 41 war council, Mr. Baker and Robert Gates, have been dispatched to discipline the delinquent juvenile and extricate him from the mother of all messes.

Heh. Read the whole thing. (By way of the Real Egalia).

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Thu
Nov 9 2006
06:54 am
By: Scott1202  shortURL

Although Shree didn't win, I thought she ran a fantastic race. She is is a super person and would have made a great State Representative. I hope to see her run for office again in the future.

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Wed
Nov 8 2006
11:48 pm
By: Egalia Stanberry  shortURL

My friends,

Continued...

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Wed
Nov 8 2006
09:48 pm
51
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Congratulations, Senator Webb.

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Wed
Nov 8 2006
07:50 pm

Everyone knows that this past election was different but so far no one has put their finger on what it was that made it different. It was the Internet. Actually an Internet site, it was YouTube. The Internet has been around for a long time but until this election the Internet was not a player.

Many people felt the 2000 Presidential Election would be when the Internet would be seen as a vehicle of change. But it wasn't time yet. Something was missing.

So it was a slam dunk that the 2004 Presidential Election would be the Internet Election. But it wasn't to be.

The reason? People don't like to read. They would rather watch. The solution was YouTube. In the advertising world they measure impressions. In Television news Karl Rove and James Carville types worry about the news cycle. So what happens when impressions multiply beyond comprehension and news cycles are extended indefinitely?

Mistakes are amplified and exaggerated.

That is what happened in this election. For George Allen it was macaca. For John F. Kerry it was a bungled joke about education and Iraq. For Harold Ford it was the "Memphis Meltdown" and the "bimbo ad".

In the days before YouTube these "impressions" and "news cycles" where very brief. After all, do people make a video tape of these moments and exchange them with their friends? Of course not, too much trouble. But YouTube changed everything. Hook your TV up to your computer and pesto chango you have a file you can upload to YouTube for FREE. Then you can link it to any number of Blogs for FREE.

The politicians were caught flat-footed. Most mistakes can survive a limited number of impressions and a short news cycle. But what do you do when you say macaca and it never ends? You lose. That is what happens.

But the YouTube phenomena is not just for elections. All across this country every City Council meeting, every County Commission meeting, every State Assembly meeting, and every meeting of the United States Congress is now a potential YouTube adventure.

YouTube is the inverse of Big Brother. The citizens now control the picture. We the people control the image, we control the horizontal, we control the vertical.

A new revolution has begun and politicians should be warned. We are listening to and watching every word you say.

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