Saturday, July 26, 2008

John Kerry Faces Uphill Battle for Senate Seat

WCVB Boston is reporting that Ed O’Reilly, (Firefighter, Lobsterman, Lawyer, and candidate for US Senate MA) is challenging incumbent John Kerry to a series of “town hall style” debates during the month of August. O’Reilly, who is seen as a long-shot in the primary, won over the required 15% of delegates necessary to place his name on the ballot this September. Those attending the Democrat Convention in MA, not unlike any other state and party convention, are primarily chosen from among the party personalities; (including elected officials) they are not your average party voter.

John Kerry, photo Wikepedia

When the Democrats go to the polls in September, it is then that the candidate will be chosen to run against the Republican candidate, Jeff Beatty. Although Kerry is always heavily favored to win, one has to take into account that the majority of the Democrats in the state voted for Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, John Kerry came out and endorsed Obama, an endorsement that was covered by every Massachusetts press outlet available. The rank and file were not especially thrilled with this endorsement – the signal – Ed O’Reilly’s ability to get on the ballot – period. When the rank and file go to the polls in September, the outcome may, again, be somewhat different than predicted. Jeff Beatty may be facing Ed O’Reilly, not John Kerry in November.

Ed O’Reilly is the definitive Massachusetts Democrat: demanding immediate withdrawal from Iraq, promoting Universal Healthcare funded by the Federal Government, and, of course, “Marriage Equality” (same-sex). He has an interesting take on Renewable Energy; one that would please any environmentalist Read O’Reilly’s reasonable plan here.

Additionally, O’Reilly is getting enough press to “brand” him within the state, from national CNN interviews to articles in the Boston Globe and has a full slate of appearances around the state this month.

Finally, in an age where electronic media and communications has become critical, Ed O’Reilly has a sharp, easy to navigate and informative Website . John Kerry’s site is less informative, rehashing the "us vs. them" (RoadblockRepublican’, difficult to read and navigate, and containing more information about national issues that may or may not have relevance for Massachusetts.

Why would any of the aforementioned matter in a state where John Kerry is expected to win the primary and go back to yet another term in the State Senate? The rank and file: a Suffolk University poll suggests that 51% of the state voters feel it is time to replace John Kerry – the poll did not specifically name an opposing challenger, indicating that even without branding, anyone on the ballot who is “Not-Kerry” stands a chance at becoming the junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Most important, the primary is not “closed” to party members, independents are able to vote in Massachusetts primary’s (Massachusetts State Election Commission).

Regardless of the outcome of this primary, change in Massachusetts is imminent. Voters view Kerry unfavorably, and should Kerry not make it past the primary, how likely is the DNC to fully fund O’Reilly’s campaign? Meanwhile, Jeff Beatty has both a strong grassroots campaign as well as the backing of the Beltway Republicans; possibly the first time a Republican running in Massachusetts has received national support. How important is this particular seat? Right at the moment – Very because this is the seat that holds the narrow lead for the Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

That could, however, change next week. Should John McCain (who is statistically tied in all polls, despite the Obama 08 Tour), and the balance of the Republican congressional and senate Republican candidates (incumbent or otherwise), hammer home the off-shore oil drilling issue (approximately 75% of American’s surveyed believe drilling to be the answer to our energy concerns), the entire nation would be in play in a year that was supposed to be a walk in the park for the DNC. Why? The Democrat Leadership and candidates continue to bow to the environmental lobby (refusing to allow a vote on repealing the ban on drilling while they hold the majority!). Should the Republican’s begin to take advantage of this situation, it would force the DNC to defend and protect all races, including Massachusetts. Massachusetts will be the race to watch, from the Democrat primary in September to the General Election. Jeff Beatty will be the candidate to watch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The HillPAC and the HuckPAC – “What Issues Matter to You?”

Dream Ticket for the Disenfranchised (photo:

Yesterday, an email was sent out by the HillPAC (Hillary Clinton) asking supporters what issues facing American families matter most. Mike Huckabee’s HuckPAC has sent similar emails in the past few months. Both PACs are designed to give supporters (the politically disenfranchised) a voice and, although each PAC does mention support for one or the others party nominee – it is not the central theme. In comparing both PAC’s one finds that, obliged political speak aside, there appears to be a level of true understanding from both Clinton and Huckabee that all is not well in either party. When Mike Huckabee asks the question: What issues are most important to you? The list of suggested ills (the economy, gas prices) is similar to Clintons (see entire text of email below). With the reality that Democrats and Republican’s alike are not exactly enamored of their party’s nominees, Clinton and Huckabee are doing their best to keep their supporters engaged. The date 2012 keeps coming in conversations with supporters from other sides, but the real question is: Can we, as American’s, afford to wait 4 years?

In this case, one can be of the opinion that the two best candidates in the 2008 presidential race have now formed political action committees to help their constituents and their prospective parties. The constituents, however, with both, appear to come first. In conversations regarding this particular email (and a Vertical Day Email from the HuckPAC), it was suggested that both Clinton and Huckabee join forces, run as independents and save the nation from ruin. As a conservative, John McCain will be the obvious choice, given the extreme left positions that Barrack Obama has taken during the course of his very short career – that said, Clinton was the only candidate (besides Mike Huckabee) with the experience and a plan and yes, of a gender (sorry Governor) that made one believe she would do best as the “mother of our country”, taking care to both protect (of which there was no doubt) and to nurture (again no doubt) – Both Huckbaee and Clinton’s strongest support came from the working class – both populists. Regardless of who McCain or Obama chooses for a running mate, the dream ticket for those who understand that American’s need politician’s they can relate to their ordinary ever day lives – would be a Huckabee-Clinton, or Clinton-Hukcabee ticket. Due to stranglehold both political parties have on the presidential process in general, this is highly unlikely (and granted there would be some, note: some, policy differences), the word utopian comes to mind.

To those who will vote party lines, or cross party lines (more Democrats are uncomfortable with Obama than Republicans are with McCain, despite the overwhelming press Obama receives – or perhaps because of it), in 2008, there is a strong sense that America will suffer for 4 long years before 2012 becomes a reality and the best candidate have their hats in the race once again.

Since 2001, I have served as the honorary chair of HillPAC, an organization dedicated to helping working families. It is our goal to fight for a better future for every child, and for every family. To keep fighting for those who get up every day, no matter what the odds, and never give in. For those who never back down, and those who always stand their ground. HillPAC works to elect Democratic candidates to office who share these same ideals and goals and I'm proud to serve as the honorary chair and I hope you will join me in this mission.

Together, we began this campaign by starting a conversation with the American people, a conversation about where our country was headed and how we could work together to bring about the change America needs.

Our campaign for the White House may be over, but I hope that conversation continues through HillPAC. I'm so grateful for everything you did to help me over the past year and a half, and I want to make sure that as we keep fighting for change, you are just as deeply involved now as you were then.

So let's keep the conversation going. I want you to tell me about the issues that matter to you. I want to hear what's happening with you and your family -- how high gas prices, the war in Iraq, and the struggling economy are affecting you. Your feedback will help steer the direction of HillPAC and how we are going to tackle America's problems together.

Click here to tell me about the issues that matter to you and your family today.

I'm so proud of the campaign we ran together because we focused on the issues that make a difference to people in their everyday lives. And I heard every day on the campaign trail what that meant to the people we're fighting for. All the stories I heard shaped the campaign we ran.

In the weeks, months, and years to come, I won't let my dedication to our values waver and by fighting to make sure Barack Obama is our next President we will finally have a Democrat in the White House who is also dedicated to the things we care so deeply about. I'm going to work as hard as I can between now and November to help Barack Obama win the White House and Democrats win bigger majorities in Congress. I hope you will continue to fight with me because together, if we don't back down and don't give up we can make all the difference.

So let's continue our vital conversation about the direction America is taking. Tell me what you're concerned about right now: the issues that affect your life and the principles you want to keep fighting for.

Let's keep the conversation going -- tell me what you think.

Thank you so much for all you are doing. I'm really looking forward to continuing our great conversation.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

John Kerry Framingham - “US cannot sustain current troop levels”

In a recent campaign stop in Framingham, (Kerry "In Your Corner" tour) John Kerry spoke to approximately 100 supporters at a donut shop – stressing the need to win the White House over his own re-election. When queried by a supporter if there was a chance that troops would be coming home from Iraq, Kerry quipped “"The fact is that the United States cannot sustain the current troop levels" being deployed in Iraq.” (Reported by blog).

Barack Obama and John Kerry are on the same page, along with the New York Times. In an editorial July 17 the Times talked about Obama’s “sensible plan” for withdrawing from Iraq, citing Obama’s statement that the US could not sustain troop levels (paraphrased). Note: This is the same editorial page that declined to publish an Editorial by Sen. John McCain due to the fact that it did not include “timelines, strategy, etc.” Text of McCain’s Editorial here.

The question now is where is Sen. Kerry getting his information? The answer: Admiral Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chief of Staffs testified before the Senate in April that he would like to add more troops in Afghanistan but would have to wait until troops were drawn down in Iraq. A transcript from the Department of Defense of a recent Press Briefing reiterates the Admirals concern regarding the escalation of violence in Afghanistan (Read entire transcript to get a feel for what the Press wants to know).

One has to ask then: "Why aren’t there enough troops to deploy?" It may have something to do with “Authorized Troop Levels”. Authorized troop levels are determined by the United States Budget. As authorized troop levels have risen for all branches (see pdf begins 1990's), recruitment goals have also been increased, as this is an all-volunteer military force some branches of the service may have difficulty meeting the ever-increasing authorized troop levels. That said, re-enlistments are at an all-time high, ( US Army Re-Enlistment Statistics), additionally enlistments are up
(Ventura County Star) due to increased incentives.

Of course, to try and explain authorized troop levels, budgets, and the like to the “masses” is “complicated”, and may not have the "desired" outcome. Therefore it is easier to quip one-liners that may not be quite factual in order to “stay on message”.

Note: (the site that supports Kerry, has not yet listed this Framingham event in it’s “Kerry in Massachusetts section”)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Speculation on an Obama Supreme Court Nominee

The Boston Globe has an article this morning regarding the possibility of a Supreme Court nomination for Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts and friend to Barack Obama. This is, of course, only speculation. That said, what type of justice would one expect this Harvard graduate and form Clinton administration official? It would not be a strict interpretation of the constitution by any means, judging from the legislation ripping through the Massachusetts legislature and being signed into law by Patrick’s speedy pen. A Patrick appointment would be legislation from the bench times one thousand.

In June of this year, Deval Patrick appointed Maureen Monks to the Mass. Probate Family Court , an appointment that was opposed by the Governors’ Council. Monks, a Lesbian Activist, is a founding member of the Mass. Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and pro bono counsel for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. “Yes we can.” Of course, this is just speculation, and in this year’s election cycle, speculators are predicting posts from the V.P. slot to the dogcatcher.

Dress Code for Female Journalist – Wife at Home - Obama World Tour

From, Ben Smith writes about an email the press received outlining a dress code for those journalists accompanying Obama on his visits to Jordan and Israel. (entire email available - click article title) The code, aimed specifically at the female members of the press, included: no nail polish, minimal jewelry and a directive to bring a suitable head covering. It is one thing to be “sensitive” to another culture, however, there are limits. The Obama campaign has reportedly sent Michelle back to the “kitchen”, the Drudge Report had a blurb on a NY Times story regarding Michelle and her stay at home status. After having survived a virtual make-over in order to look the part, Michelle is now being shoved into a closet in case she has anything relevant to say.

What do women have to look forward to in the next few years in an Obama administration? – A back seat.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Iraqi Politicians Wary of Timetables, Optimistic About Bush Negotiations, No mention of Obama.

Baghdad – Al Sumaria TV (Iraqi Satellite TV Network) is reporting that Malaki and Bush have agreed that a time for withdrawal of US troops in Iraq should be set, however, the talks concluded that “the new role of US Forces in Iraq will be for a limited period of time according to the successes of cooperation between national forces and multinational forces.”. Additionally, some Iraqi politicians are wary of a timetable as they feel that this puts pressure on the part of the Iraqis negotiations.

Interestingly enough, there was no mention of Barack Obama anywhere in the Iraqi Press, which is quite extensive. Although translating is a tedious task (free on-line translator included in blogs links), it is worth the time and trouble to gain perspective on what people and politicians outside of the US media might be thinking. The Iraqi Prime Minister, in an interview with German News Outlet, was characterized as being in support of Barack Obama’s plan for withdrawal which was immediately corrected and overlooked by US press (page 32 syndrom). The Progressive Publication Spiegle has been publishing glowing articles re: Obama since his Iowa primary win - it makes perfect sense as there is a shared Progressive ideology. Progressive (Communist) ideology is not confined to the Democratic Party within the United States, or our universities, but rather it is a world wide political machine.) Obama gets another round of praise from the Arabic version of Al Jezeera with the usual “faithful your ['awbaamaa] the American candidate democratic for elections of the presidency” on page 1.

With CBS, ABC, NBC having joined the Obama campaign on the “Obama 08 world Tour”, it is suggested that one do as much as possible to understand what might or might not be news. John McCain has all but disappeared from nightly newscasts, and the media appears to be electing the People’s next president, going so far as to pick and choose what news the people see insuring that anything positive that might aid the aforementioned, is simply “set aside”. This is something that those pesky old men who wrote the Constitution were somewhat concerned about – the usurpation and change of the Republic by the media. (See: The Federalist Papers)

A sample of links to Newspapers and Television stations

Aswat Iraq


Iraq Shabab

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