Saturday, June 30, 2007

CBS Poll: Bush Presidency is essentially over

The results, obviously, are awful news for Bush -- NYU's Paul Light said, "I think his presidency is essentially over" -- and it's just as bad for a field of Republican presidential hopefuls who are offering voters more of the same.
 
 
If there's any good news for the White House or its allies in the latest CBS News poll, it's hiding under the same rock that Cheney is.
More Americans than ever before, 77 percent, say the war is going badly, up from 66 percent just two months ago. Nearly half, 47 percent, say it's going very badly.
While the springtime surge in U.S. troops to Iraq is now complete, more Americans than ever are calling for U.S. forces to withdraw. Sixty-six percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased, including 40 percent who want all U.S. troops removed. That's a 7-point increase since April.
Fewer than one in five thinks that the troop increase is helping to improve the situation in Iraq, while about half think the war is actually creating more terrorists.
The poll has bad news for President Bush, too. His job approval rating slipped to 27 percent, his lowest number ever in a CBS News poll -- 3 points less than last month and 1 point below his previous low of 28 percent in January. His disapproval rating is also at an all-time high of 65 percent.
 
 
A stunning 75 percent of respondents believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while 19 percent think the U.S. is on the right track. It's the most lopsided response since CBS News first started asking the question in 1983.


  
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Video: Debunking the London Bomb Threat

 

Bush Including Outsourced Slavery in US GDP

 
Federal statistics show that moving American jobs
overseas has not hurt the U.S. economy ­ but
those figures are wrong,
 
according to "The Real Cost of Offshoring," the cover story in the June 18 Business Week.

The growth of domestic manufacturing, writes
reporter Michael Mandel, "has been substantially                
overstated in recent years. That means productivity gains and overall economic growth have been overstated as well."    

Since 2003, about $66 billion has been
artificially added to America's gross domestic
product, he estimates. These discrepencies "could
add fire to the national debate over the true
performance of the economy in President Bush's
second term," the business magazine concludes.

Some leading government statisticians have
already acknowledged the problem, which first was
exposed in detail by Susan Houseman, an economist
at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment
Research in Michigan. But government agencies
have not yet changed their reporting methods.

Business Week's analysis says American firms that
manufacture products or parts in low-wage nations
are creating a "phantom GDP" because they report
their foreign gains as U.S. ones. "Improvements
in the global supply chain are mistakenly counted
as part of U.S. growth," Mandel writes. He specifies:

* Declines in production costs and improvements
in productivity in overseas plants facilities are
included as part of American GDP growth.

* Design work and other research and development
tasks are shifted to lower-wage countries, then
counted as part of U.S. domestic productivity.

* Additional cost savings are reported by U.S.
companies that shift foreign production from
countries like Mexico to even-lower-wage
countries like China. Those savings also show up
as improvements in America's domestic GDP.

Many American workers don't benefit when their
employers reap bigger overseas profits. U.S.
wages and the number of jobs available are not rising.

"Holding down costs by moving key tasks overseas
could be having a greater impact on corporate
earnings that anyone guessed ­ or measured," Mandel writes.

When most U.S. corporations report income and
productivity statistics, they don't separate
domestic work from offshore work. Thus federal
data drawn from corporate reports presents an
unreliable picture of U.S. growth.

"The explosion of globalization has created a
fundamental change in our economy," concludes
Business Week. Government calculations used to
rate the U.S. economy and its impact on Americans must change, too.



  
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Friday, June 29, 2007

How A GOP Congress Caused 9/11

A GOP Congress blocked a Clinton push for anti-terror legislation
CNN, July 30, 1996
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the [Clinton] White House wants. Some they're not going to get." ....[Hatch] also said he had some problems with the president's proposals to expand wiretapping.
So Bill Clinton, rather than just breaking the law as Bush did (then again, perhaps this is why Bush broke the law - he knew from history that the Republicans controlling the congress would oppose his efforts to expand wiretapping), decided to go to the Republican congress in 1996 and ask them for increased authority to do more eavesdropping in order to stop the terrorists - stop September 11. Senior Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, one of the GOP's top picks for the Supreme Court and a GOP committee chair, objected.

The Republicans stopped President Clinton from getting all the tools he needed to stop the next September 11 - well, no, actually they opposed giving President Clinton all the tools he needed to stop the actual September 11. Could September 11 have been stopped if the GOP had given President Clinton the tools he requested to stop Osama and Mohammad Atta from killing 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington?

Maybe we need to ask the Republicans up for re-election why they wanted to appease the terrorists?
President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess."
We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue," Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.
There's even an audio clip of President Clinton practically begging the Republicans to give him the tools he needed to stop Osama and the terrorists. Trent Lott said no. Orrin Hatch said no. Do these men really deserve to run the Congress during a time of war?

Sources:
CNN
1. http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/30/clinton.terrorism/
2. http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/30/clinton.terrorism/clinton.terror.wav

  
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How The Supremes May Have Handed The Dems The White House in 08

When  Mainstream America realizes the Supreme Court has been hijacked by extremest, who do not represent the rest of America, but the 28 percenters, the Right Wing Dead Enders. The majority of the country will see that a vote for a McCain or a Thompson, will just be a continuation of the 28 percent minority opinion.  
Here's the way Justice Roberts summed up the majority's decision to upend school diversity programs in Seattle and Louisville:
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."


  
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Crist and His Veto Pen

 
And The Vetos keep coming: 
 
* SB 682 -- because it limits nursing home inspection visits to one per year rather than one per quarter and because "facilities responsible for providing care to our most vulnerable citizens must remain under strict scrutiny."Download sb_682_veto.pdf
* SB 2512 -- because it reduces the professional development from 300 hours to 60 hours for reading teachers who teach students who speak English as a second language. "I am concerned that this reduction may impede these students' academic, social, and cultural progress,'' Crist said.Download sb_2512_veto.pdf
* HB 1395 -- because it alters the election procedures for the Coral Spring Improvement District, raise pay for board members and allows less competition when purchasing contracted services. Download hb_1395_veto.pdf 
* SB 1030 -- because it raises fees too high for non-criminal offenses to pay for police training programs. "While I support providing as many tools as possible for our police officers, I do not support doing it on the backs of Floridians who have committed non-criminal violations,'' Crist said. Download sb_1030_veto.pdf
* HB 7087 -- because it allows banks to raise late fees on credit card accounts from $10 to $25. "The citizens of Florida are already feeling the combined weight of an immense property tax burden, an escalation in insurance premiums and a sharp rise in energy costs,'' Crist wrote. "I do not support an additional burden on our citizens who are struggling financially." Download hb_7087_veto.pdf
 
When is he going to switch parties?


  
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News and Video's That did not make our Daily Post

 


  
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Matthews vs Coulter vs Elizabeth Edwards

 
 
Why did Matthews have Ann Coulter on just after she wished that a terrorist would kill John Edwards? Because Matthews is running a freak show disguised as a pundit program. Coulter's violent shock statements seemingly boost his ratings, or so he and his producers must think.

But Elizabeth Edwards showed grace and courage in calling into the Matthews program to politely and firmly ask Coulter to stop her vile personal attacks on Democratic political figures and their families. It's well worth watching the dignity of Elizabeth Edwards, the defensive counterattacks by Coulter, and the circus ring leader comments by Matthews.


  
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Broward slots bill become law

 
Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday signed 36 bills into law and allowed a bill that helps out Broward pari-mutuels become law without his signature. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jack Seiler, a Wilton Manors Democrat, allows the four pari-mutuels in Broward to add an additional 500 slot machines and expand their number of hours.
 
Crist, who said he was opposed to the expansion of gambling while campaigning for governor, also signed into law a measure on instant bingo that Gov. Jeb Bush had previously vetoed. The legislation allows bingo halls to sell instant tickets, which are very similar to instant tickets sold by the Florida Lottery.
 
Crist also signed into law a measure sponsored by Sen. Steve Geller, a Hallandale Beach Democrat, that allows condominium terminations without approval of 100 percent of condo owners. Crist also vetoed a bill that would have placed a moratorium on the creation of off-site emergency departments until 2009.
 
Other measures approved by Crist on Wednesday: A bill that lets the owners of grocery stores and malls to bar petition signature gatherers from coming on their property. Crist said that while he was "sympathetic" to those who want be where citizens gather, he said the solution "cannot be to force all  grocers, shopkeepers and restaurateurs to acquiesce to potentially disruptive politically activity at their commercial establishments."
 
Crist also signed SB 2092, which will set school board member salaries by a state formula instead of forcing board members to adopt their salaries at a public meeting.
 


  
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

McCain Death Watch: Quinnipiac Edition

Quinnipiac has released the latest version of its swing-state poll, covering Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. While the results are interesting, here's what I find more interesting: They've started adding a category to the GOP primary results labeled, "WITHOUT McCAIN." (See question 2.)
Now, to those of you who don't spend all your days reading polls like this, the "without" breakdowns are usually reserved for candidates who probably won't be in the race, such as "without Gingrich," "without Rice," etc. This, as far as I know, is the first instance of a major polling organization starting to look publicly at a race without John McCain. (The result, by the way, Rudy Giuliani picks up 6 points in Florida, 6 points in Ohio, and 5 points in Pennsylvania.)
The other Republican-primary headline out of the poll: Mr. Thompson has tied or surpassed Mr. McCain in all three swing states.


The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan

The Enduring Lies of Ronald Reagan

Though the GOP continues to canonize the fortieth president, we can't forget his legacy as a lier and a foreign policy flop

By Susan J. Douglas

The canonization of Ronald Reagan rests crucially on one thing Reagan himself did well: forgetting the facts. It seems timely to exhume a few.
 
Ronald Reagan was a saint, a commanding leader, the gold standard of principled conservatism against whom all current and future Republicans should be measured. This is the new mantra coming out of the Republican race for the presidency as the current crop of candidates scramble, quite understandably, to distance themselves from the walking disaster that is George W. Bush.
In the Fox News-hosted "debate" among the Republican hopefuls, Ron Paul, Rudi Giuliani and others were quick to wrap themselves in the Reagan mantle. When Fred Thompson—actor turned politician—entered the race, he evoked huge sighs of relief among Republicans, who see him as the one best able to recapture the Gipper's magic. Coincidentally, Reagan's diaries, edited by Douglas Brinkley, have just been published and also seek to cast him as "a true American leader".
While much of the neocon agenda is in tatters right now, certainly one of its most successful achievements has been the canonization of Ronald Reagan, which rests crucially on one thing Reagan himself did so well: forgetting the facts. So it's time to exhume a few.
First to go is the myth that Reagan was the most popular president since FDR. Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting reminds us, "During the first two years of Reagan's presidency, the public was giving President Reagan the lowest level of approval of all modern elected presidents. Reagan's average first-year approval rating was 58 percent—lower than Dwight Eisenhower's 69 percent, Jack Kennedy's 75 percent, Richard Nixon's 61 percent and Jimmy Carter's 62 percent." At the end of his second year, (remember the Reagan recession?) Reagan's approval rating was 41 percent; after the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed, Reagan's approval rating stood at 46 percent. His approval rating for his entire presidency was lower than Kennedy's, Eisenhower's and even Johnson's, and at times he was one of the most unpopular presidents in recent history.
Also forgotten is Reagan's own embarrassing propensity to just make things up. Reagan was a dunce and a fabricator. One of his most famous assertions was, "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," and he maintained, wrongly, that sulfur dioxide emitted from Mount St. Helens was greater than that emitted by cars over a 10-year period. (In one day, cars emit 40 times what Mount St. Helens released in a day even at its peak activity.) In 1985, Reagan praised the P.W. Botha's apartheid regime of South Africa for eliminating segregation, a blunder then-Press Secretary Larry Speakes had to correct a few days later.
Other examples abound: During a 1983 Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony Reagan told a story about military heroism that New York Daily News columnist Lars-Erik Nelson wrote never happened. Nelson had checked the citations on all 434 Congressional Medals of Honor awarded during WWII. The scene Reagan described did appear, however, in the 1944 film A Wing and a Prayer. Larry Speakes' response? "If you tell the same story five times, it's true."
And let's not forget the wages of "trickle down" economics and "Reaganomics," from which we have still not recovered. In 1982, the Congressional Budget Office found that taxpayers earning under $10,000 lost an average of $240 from Reagan's 1981 tax cuts, while those earning more than $80,000 gained an average of $15,130. By that fall, the jobless rate hit 10.1 percent—the worst in 42 years, and a year later 11.9 million were out of work. In 1983, the country's poverty rate rose to 15 percent, the highest level since the mid-'60s. In 1984, a congressional study reported that cuts in welfare had pushed more than 500,000 people—the majority of them children—into poverty. Then-Attorney General Ed Meese's response? "I don't know of any authoritative figures that there are hungry children … people go to soup kitchens because the food is free and that's easier than paying for it."
The neocons would have us believe that Reagan was also a foreign policy genius. Space prevents me from detailing his administration's adventures and blunders in Grenada, in Beirut and the visit to the Nazi cemetery in Bitburg. So let's just remember aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, whom Reagan likened to the Founding Fathers, and the revelation that the CIA had produced a manual that taught them, in part, how to kidnap and "neutralize" government officials. Iran-Contra—the secret and illegal selling of weapons to our sworn enemy, Iran, to then fund the Contras—was both a constitutional disaster and a foreign policy blunder about which we were asked to believe Reagan knew nothing. His administration was also thoroughly corrupt: Eight senior officials in his administration were indicted.
Fabrication, lying, cruel and counterproductive policies at home and abroad, bloating of the deficit, widening the gap between rich and poor: These are the Reagan legacy. As Republican candidates seek to wear his mantle, their Democratic opponents need to remind Americans exactly what they are putting on.
Susan J. Douglas is a professor of communications at the University of Michigan and author of The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood an


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gov. Crist Vetos SB900 and more......

The veto pen got a workout Tuesday. Gov. Charlie Crist deep-sixed three more bills, including a priority of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Republican leadership. The bill would have shortened the four-year window for submission of initiative petitions to 30 days.


"This provision significantly burdens the right of Florida citizens to propose amendments to the Florida Constitution by increasing the likelihood that voters, through no fault of their own, will be denied the opportunity to have their voices heard," Crist wrote in a veto message on SB 900 by Sen. Bill Posey of Rockledge.
 
Crist's veto is sure to win praise from a broad coalition of pro-initiative organizations that fought the bill, including Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, Florida PIRG, ACORN and People for the American Way -- not to mention left-leaning groups like the Florida AFL-CIO.
 
All three vetoed bills were sponsored by Republicans.
 
Crist also vetoed a bill sponsored by Rep. Faye Culp, R-Tampa, that he said bypassed an existing management agreement for operation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve in southwest Florida. And he torpedoed a bill by Rep. Ed Homan, R-Tampa, that Crist said made sweeping changes to Florida's Administrative Procedures Act, which regulates state agencies and bureaucrats.


Why {caging} matters

 

 
Last Monday, Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) asked the Justice Department to launch an investigation into allegations of "caging" surrounding former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin. Yesterday, Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D) and Mark Pryor (D) joined them, suggesting that a Justice probe is necessary.
 "We better figure out what 'caging' means."
Monica Goodling, with immunity in hand, recently testified about her knowledge of the U.S. Attorney scandal, and made several references to Griffin and caging. During the hearing, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) said she wasn't familiar with the term and asked Goodling to clarify. Goodling hemmed and hawed, suggesting that caging is "a direct-mail term, that people who do direct mail, when, when they separate addresses that may be good versus addresses that may be bad."
I can appreciate Goodling's hesitation, but that definition is wrong. Dahlia Lithwick explained:
Vote caging is an illegal trick to suppress minority voters (who tend to vote Democrat) by getting them knocked off the voter rolls if they fail to answer registered mail sent to homes they aren't living at (because they are, say, at college or at war). The Republican National Committee reportedly stopped the practice following a consent decree in a 1986 case. Google the term and you'll quickly arrive at the Wizard of Oz of caging, Greg Palast, investigative reporter and author of the wickedly funny Armed Madhouse: From Baghdad to New Orleans — Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild. Palast started reporting allegations of Republican vote caging for the BBC's Newsnight in 2004. He's been almost alone on the story since then. Palast contends, both in Armed Madhouse and widely through the liberal blogosphere, that vote caging, an illegal voter-suppression scheme, happened in Florida in 2004 this way:
The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and — you got to love this — American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.
Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation — and the soldiers were overseas.
This matters in the contest of the purge scandal because Griffin was directly involved with caging efforts in Florida in 2004.

If you put aside the Republicans' law-breaking, cynicism, racism, and assault on democracy, caging is fairly clever. They target eligible voters for disenfranchisement, send them mail knowing it'll be returned, and then use the "caged" mail to limit those voters' access to the polls. This is particularly easy for the GOP when targeting soldiers — remember, that's the pro-military party — who can't check their mailboxes.
What does this have to do with Griffin and the prosecutor purge scandal? Well, Griffin was the research director for the RNC in 2004 and sent a series of confidential emails to Republican Party higher-ups with the suggestive heading "RE: caging." The emails contained spreadsheets with the heading, "Caging," with lists of homeless men and soldiers deployed in Iraq.
From the point of view of the ongoing DoJ scandal, perhaps what's most urgent about the vote-caging claims is that they go a long, long way toward explaining why Karl Rove and Harriet Miers were so determined to get Griffin seated in the Arkansas U.S. Attorney's office, and to do so without a confirmation hearing. If, as the Justice Department has continued to insist, Griffin was eminently qualified for the position, why did he need to be spared the hearing at all costs? And once it became clear that he would undergo a hearing, why did Griffin sideline himself with the colorful observation that undergoing Senate confirmation would be "like volunteering to stand in front of a firing squad in the middle of a three-ring circus?" Griffin — who is now in job talks with the Fred Thompson campaign — sure looks like a guy hiding something, and if vote caging is that something, it becomes even more interesting that the White House was pushing him forward.
Or, put another way, here's what Congress wants to know: Did senior administration officials at the White House and the Justice Department seek to reward a Rove protege who engaged in illegal voter suppression tactics with a U.S. Attorney position? And did these same officials hope to cover it up by circumventing the confirmation process? And does this help explain the White House's role in the purge scandal?
This is why senators are demanding an investigation. Stay tuned.
to view the Caging Files in Exel


PBS Debate Thursday - The Luntz/Giuliani Conflict

Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who PBS has announced will provide "public feedback" following coverage of the June 28 Democratic presidential forum, has shown open disdain for Democratic priorities and candidates and has reportedly been reprimanded and censured by his peers for withholding and misrepresenting polling data and methodology. In addition to leaving out these facts from its press release announcing Luntz's participation, PBS, which referred to Luntz only as a "noted pollster," made no mention of the fact that Luntz has worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a potential general election opponent of one of the forum's participants, and has heaped praise on Giuliani this year.
 
Yesterday Media Matters for America called on PBS and the Tavis Smiley program to reconsider their decision to have the discredited Republican pollster participate in coverage of Thursday's Democratic presidential candidates' forum. With his well-documented Republican ties, history of being criticized and reprimanded by his peers and close relationship to one of the Democrats' potential general election rivals it's clear that Luntz cannot be trusted to provide objective analysis. Short of his removal he should be identified, at the very least, as a Republican pollster with close ties to Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
 
If you need more information please don't hesitate to contact me at your convenience.
 
Karl Frisch
Director of Media Relations
Media Matters for America
202-772-8156
 
 
Luntz -- PBS' pick to survey public response after Democratic forum -- was longtime Giuliani pollster
Summary: As Media Matters for America has noted, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who the Public Broadcasting Service has announced will provide "public feedback" following PBS' coverage of the June 28 Democratic presidential forum, has shown open disdain for Democratic priorities and candidates and has reportedly been reprimanded and censured by his peers for withholding and misrepresenting polling data and methodology. But, in addition to leaving out these facts from its press release announcing Luntz's participation, PBS, which referred to Luntz only as a "noted pollster," made no mention of the fact that Luntz has worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a potential general election opponent of one of the forum's participants, and has heaped praise on Giuliani this year. On the February 7 edition of PBS' Tavis Smiley, after referring to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as the "[b]est communicator out there," Luntz said: "Giuliani, it's about results and success. ... [T]his is a guy who took a city that was on its knees and brought it back to its feet. You can now take your kids there. You can hang out on Times Square at 11 p.m. on a Friday night and not be afraid." Luntz concluded: "Imagine if you could do that for New York , what he could do for America "
Luntz worked for Giuliani during each of Giuliani's three previous political campaigns: his campaign for New York City mayor in 1993, re-election bid in 1997, and aborted campaign for U.S. Senate in 2000. On the second page of the introduction to his book, Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear (Hyperion, January 2007), Luntz describes himself as "[t]he man who worked for Rudy Giuliani, two-time Republican mayor of a city where Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans 5-to-1 (xii)."
In his book, Luntz repeated phrases he had poll-tested in praising Giuliani. For instance, on Page 90, Luntz wrote that the polling he conducted in 2000 during Giuliani's bid for a Senate seat indicated that Giuliani's "personal story and record of accomplishment trumped his political philosophy and where he stood on the issues." Luntz then provided a "capsule biography of Rudy," which he claimed "poll-tested through the political stratosphere." After providing Giuliani's biographical information and accomplishments as mayor, the capsule read: "Today, Rudy is motivated by the same things he learned as a child ... hard work, telling it like it is, a sense of responsibility to community and country, his belief in people, and the power of faith."
During his televised guest appearances, Luntz has repeatedly described Giuliani as "someone who means what he says and says what he means" and criticized Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and other Democrats:
  • On the June 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Luntz said of Clinton : "[I]f she is shown to be a flip-flopper ... [t]hat will undercut her credibility immediately." He went on to say that "[w]hat the Democrats want ... is somebody who says what they mean and means what they say." Luntz predicted Clinton is "going to have a problem later on in her campaign." On the same program, Luntz falsely claimed that "[t]here's data out there that shows that the Democrats have a significant lead over the Republicans in who people want for president. But when you compare Giuliani and Hillary Clinton ... she runs behind." Co-host Alan Colmes corrected Luntz, saying: "It depends on the poll. She runs ahead in some." Indeed, several of the recent polls available at the time of Luntz's comments had Clinton either ahead or tied with Giuliani in a possible general election match-up. A June 15-17 Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll had Clinton and Giuliani tied at 42 percent, but in a June 11-14 Gallup poll, Clinton led Giuliani 50-46 percent. In a June 8-11 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton was ahead of Giuliani 48-43.
  • On the June 14 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz repeated the phrase, saying that "the reason why [Giuliani is] still leading right now is because the number-two attribute after someone who says what they mean and means what they say -- the number-two attribute that the American people want in a president is a leader in times of crisis." Luntz then asked: "Does that not define Rudy Giuliani?"
  • In an April 25 article, Variety reported that "Luntz predicted that [former Sen. John] Edwards [D-NC] will win Iowa but said the next president will be whoever shows authenticity, a person 'who says what he means and means what he says.' " Luntz was quoted as saying: "I pray that it is Rudy Giuliani vs. Hillary Clinton for one reason: It will be the biggest brawl in modern political history. Every guy will be rooting for Rudy. Every woman will be rooting for Hillary. Divorce lawyers will make a mint off this election. And it will be fun to watch."
  • As Media Matters noted, on the March 13 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz described Giuliani as "someone who defines the phrase 'Says what he means, means what he says.' "
  • Again, on the March 2 edition of Hannity & Colmes, Luntz criticized Sen. Clinton and said that Americans "want to look you straight in the eye and they want you to say what you mean and mean what you say and not hide anything."
  • On the February 10 edition of CNBC's The Tim Russert Show, when asked to explain how "[c]redibility is as important as philosophy," Luntz said: "It means that you have to genuinely say what you mean and mean what you say." Later in the show, after suggesting Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is a "flip-flop[per]," Luntz stated: "You want [politicians] to look you straight in the eye and absolutely say what you mean and mean what you say. It's why [Sen.] John McCain [R-AZ] is popular, it's why Rudy Giuliani is popular, and it's why Barack Obama is popular.
  • In a February 4 New York Times article, in which Luntz was identified as "Mr. Giuliani's second mayoral campaign pollster," he was quoted as saying, "No one in New York, not even Ed Koch, could equal Rudy in the phrase, 'He says what he means and means what he says.' "
  • And on the January 19 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, Luntz was asked by host Tucker Carlson, "What kind of language should Giuliani use?" Luntz replied: "First off, I'm not advising him. I worked with him in his mayoral races, but I'm not involved in the presidential." Luntz went on to say: "Rudy doesn't use sound bites. He's the only politician in America that speaks in entire thoughts. And if you look at the transcript of what he says, it's not beautiful. But if you listen to it, he moves people."
Further, in his book, Luntz wrote that "in 1993, when I was working for Rudy Giuliani in his first successful campaign for mayor of New York , I pressed for him to talk about 'public safety' rather than 'crime' and 'criminals.' " Luntz added, "[I]n the polling I did with the voters of New York , I discovered that the public placed a higher priority on 'personal and public safety' than on 'fighting crime' or even 'getting tough on criminals' " (Page 178). During interviews this year, Luntz pushed this notion of "public safety." In his February 7 interview on Tavis Smiley, speaking about what he characterized as Giuliani's accomplishments in New York City , Luntz said: "You can hang out on Times Square at 11:00 PM on a Friday night and not be afraid. New York 's a different place." Similarly, in his January 19 appearance on Tucker, in his praise for Giuliani, Luntz said: "And I've got to tell you, it's not just 9-11 that has an impact. It's what happened in Times Square ; what happened in 42nd Street ."
In a September 24, 2000, article about the 2000 New York U.S. Senate race, The New York Observer reported that while working for Giuliani, Luntz "convened focus groups in part to gauge how these various political personas were received in Mrs. Clinton's new home state." From the article:
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for one, was fully aware of the perils of running against Hillary the Martyr. When Mr. Giuliani was gearing up to run against Mrs. Clinton in 1999, his top advisers -- including Adam Goodman, his media adviser, and Rick Wilson, his chief strategist -- spent a year studying the First Lady's career and compiled a detailed analysis of the roles she had played in politics through the years. Frank Luntz, Mr. Giuliani's pollster, convened focus groups in part to gauge how these various political personas were received in Mrs. Clinton's new home state.
From the June 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
SEAN HANNITY (co-host): Here's my question to you, though.
LUNTZ: Yeah.
HANNITY: Now, we've got -- one year ago, she said no timetables before the same group she spoke to today. Then she goes to timetables, to cutting off funding for the troops.
LUNTZ: Good points.
HANNITY: The ads that can be built around her position seem to me ideal for a Republican candidate.
LUNTZ: And for her, if she's shown to be a flip-flopper -- Hillary Clinton, a flip-flopper --
HANNITY: Hillary Clinton -- big time.
LUNTZ: -- that will undercut her credibility immediately.
COLMES: Frank --
LUNTZ: What Democrats want from somebody is somebody who says what they mean and means what they say.
HANNITY: Right.
LUNTZ: She's going to have a problem later on in her campaign.
COLMES: I keep hearing people like you come on and talk about how big her negatives are and the flip-flopping and --
LUNTZ: It's not people like me. You see it in the polling.
COLMES: -- and yet -- but time -- but her ratings keep increasing. She keeps getting a bigger lead over Barack Obama.
LUNTZ: Among the leftists --
COLMES: She keeps doing better and better as time goes on, not worse and worse.
LUNTZ: Because it's the Democratic Party. But here's what's interesting: There's data out there that shows that the Democrats have a significant lead over the Republicans in who people want for president. But when you compare Giuliani and Hillary Clinton -- actual names --
COLMES: All right, let's hear something about Giuliani.
LUNTZ: -- she runs behind.
COLMES: It depends on the poll. She runs ahead in some.
From the June 14 edition of Hannity & Colmes:
LUNTZ: I'm a language guy. I'm not going to let you drag me into that kind of policy, but I will say this again: I know something about that period. [President] Clinton had plenty of opportunities to get rid of [Osama] bin Laden, and he didn't do it.
COLMES: Well, he had [inaudible]. He didn't do it, because he couldn't do it. We've argued this many times on this show; he didn't have the opportunity to do it. Let me show you --
LUNTZ: But what did Rudy Giuliani do? He talked about leadership. The reason why he's still leading right now is because the number-two attribute after somebody who says what they mean and means what they say -- the number-two attribute that the American people want in a president is a leader in times of crisis. Does that not define Rudy Giuliani?
COLMES: No, not to me -- but now -- but some people, maybe it does. But let me show you what Fred Thompson --
LUNTZ: Most people it does.
From the March 2 edition of Hannity & Colmes:
COLMES: Where's the problem for Hillary here?
LUNTZ: The problem is that the American people want you -- as I am with you right now -- they want to look you straight in the eye and they want you to say what you mean and mean what you say and not hide anything.
This is someone who consistently -- you heard me in the program earlier this week -- praised John Edwards' language --
COLMES: Yep.
LUNTZ: -- praised Barack Obama's language.
COLMES: Yep. Hey Frank --
LUNTZ: But Hillary Clinton -- her language is inconsistent. It has always been because she's not honest with the American people about where she stands.
From the February 10 edition of CNBC's The Tim Russert Show:
TIM RUSSERT (host): Short words, short sentences: Credibility is as important as philosophy. Explain.
LUNTZ: It means that you have to genuinely say what you mean and mean what you say. Words don't work -- despite the title -- words don't work if they don't seem to reflect what people can see, what they can feel. And if you've got a politician or a CEO who's making claims that things are really good when they're not, the public will reject them.
Give you an example on the Republican side: The Republicans in 2004 tried so hard to convince the American people that the tax cuts, if they passed, were responsible for the economy -- things would have been a lot worse. The American people felt the tax cuts were justified to end wasteful Washington spending, but they did not give credit to the tax cuts for where the economy was at. And every time a Republican said it, people didn't believe it.
[...]
RUSSERT: Number 4: Consistency matters.
LUNTZ: Oh, flip-flop. This is -- just ask John Kerry what it is. The joke was: He was for and against Leave No Child Behind, for and against tax cuts, for and against the war in Iraq . If he'd been elected president, he would've been the first individual ever to be able to deliver the State of the Union address and the rebuttal the same night.
We want people who will look you straight in the eye -- and I watch politicians -- how much -- when you're interviewing them -- how much they look down, whether they have notes in front of them. You want them to look you straight in the eye and absolutely say what you mean and mean what you say. It's why John McCain is popular, it's why Rudy Giuliani is popular, and it's why Barack Obama is popular.
From the February 7 edition of PBS' Tavis Smiley:
TAVIS SMILEY (host): Right quick, gotta get some Republicans in: Giuliani.
LUNTZ: Rudy Giuliani -- it's about results and success. All you have to do with him is -- forget 9-11, that's obvious -- 42nd Street , Times Square . This is a guy who took a city that was on its knees and brought it back to its feet. You can now take your kids there. You can hang out on Times Square at 11 p.m. on a Friday night and not be afraid. New York 's a different place. Imagine if you could do that for New York , what he could do for America .
SMILEY: The new book by Dr. Frank Luntz is Words That Work. He's right about this subtitle: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear. Frank Luntz, as always, nice to have you here.
From the January 19 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:
CARLSON: I've been really interested to watch Rudy Giuliani's poll numbers over the past couple of months. You were the first person I ever heard say that Giuliani could be president, and it looks like you were right.
He's pretty liberal, obviously. At least his history suggests he's more liberal than your average Republican primary voter.
What kind of language should Giuliani use? What have you told him to say to primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina to convince them that he's, you know, not an abortion-loving, left-wing, Jane Fonda-protégé type?
LUNTZ: Oh, well, we -- I can tell where you stand on this issue just by the language you use. Giuliani --
CARLSON: Oh, really? Were there hints of my position in that?
LUNTZ: Who would have guessed?
First off, I'm not advising him. I worked with him in his mayoral races, but I'm not involved in the presidential.
Second is that Giuliani himself. He's one of those rare politicians where you -- when you say "Rudy," you know who he is. You don't even have to use his last name. And he's got a story that doesn't have sentences and doesn't have paragraphs, or even pages.
Rudy doesn't use sound bites. He's the only politician in America that speaks in entire thoughts. And if you look at the transcript of what he says, it's not beautiful. But if you listen to it, he moves people.
And I've got to tell you, it's not just 9-11 that has an impact. It's what happened in Times Square ; what happened in 42nd Street -- the idea that you've got the "Taxi Driver," the movie with Robert De Niro --
CARLSON: Yeah.
LUNTZ: People still have that visual of New York in mind, and when they see the way it looks like today, they're blown away.
CARLSON: The New York where you could smoke in bars and they still had big taxis?
LUNTZ: Again, we know where you stand on Rudy Giuliani.
CARLSON: I'm just kidding. Frank Luntz, thank you very much.
— R.D. & M.G.
Posted to the web on Monday June 25, 2007 at 8:06 PM EST
 
________________________________

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Director of Media Relations

Media Matters for America

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For Updates On The Debate Visit ELECTION GEEK '08
 
Media Matters for America is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.


Monday, June 25, 2007

The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth

For anyone interested in where the American public really stands on the big issues that distinguish progressives from conservatives -- including the issues at the forefront of today's political debates -- "The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America Is a Myth" offers hard facts and analysis based on decades of data from some of the nation's most respected and nonpartisan public opinion researchers. This is the evidence that political leaders have a mandate to pursue bold, progressive policies.
This report by the Campaign for America's Future and Media Matters for America shows that in study after study, solid majorities of Americans take progressive stands on a full spectrum of issues, from bread-and-butter economics to the so-called "values" issues where conservatives claim preeminence.
 


Florida Trangender Firefighter May Cancel Dinner With Obama

Firefighter Jennifer Lasko of Delray Beach Fire-Rescue Department,
Was invited to meet with Obama.

When Florida Firefighter Jennifer Lasko told Barack Obama's campaign she wanted to have dinner with the candidate, she mentioned that she used to be an Army soldier and an active Republican who had become an anti-war Democrat. She did not mention she used to be a man.

CLICK FOR THE STORY


also cross posted on my non partisan blog Election Geek '08




Saturday, June 23, 2007

Need Bloggers Help: Fairness for All Families

Hi Everyone,
 
I'm Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida.
 
We are part of the Fairness for All Families the statewide coalition formed to beat the so-called Marriage amendment in Nov 2008. 
 
We are looking for bloggers to join the fight. If you are interested, please send me an email or give me a call at 813-817-6093.

Some Background
As you know, this traditional right-wing wedge issue is used to defeat progressives by driving conservatives to the polls.
The good news is their efforts are begin to fail. AZ became the first state to defeat a similar amendment that bans marriage equality, civil unions and would eliminate existing domestic partnership protections that seniors, police officers, firefighters, universities and thousands of other unmarried Floridians.

Polling shows the majority of Floridians believe the government SHOULD NOT make it harder to protect the people you love. This amendment takes away needed family protections and employee benefits.


We Can Win

More good news:, We Can Win in Florida. Not only is the country trending our way, the 2006 election cycle delivered the first defeat in AZ. Just as significantly, 5 other states including ultra conservative Virginia saw more than 40% of it voters reject the amendment. In South Dakota, 48% rejected the measure.

In Florida we only need 40% plus one to defeat this. More than 50% and we'd drive a stake through the heart of this as an anti-progressive wedge issue that uses gay people as bait.

What We Need:

Web-savvy advisors, blogtastic innovators, passionate progressives willing to shape our online outreach. Seniors are a fast growing online presence and young people own the web. These are key groups we need to reach, persuade and get to the polls in Nov 2008 and you can help.

Join the Fairness for All Families Team

If you are interested in being part of the team send me a quick email. You'll be in excellent company.

More than 110 coalition members and an impressive group of statewide leaders from are at the helm of the Fairness for All Families Campaign including:
Visit the website www.fairnessforallfamilies.org for a complete list.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Fl NAACP President Adora obi Nweze
Fl ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon
Former AARP Leader, Bentley Lipscomb
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, Barbara Devane
Florida Consumer Action Network, Bill Newton
Equality Florida Nadine Smith
The Commerce Group, Pamela Birch Forte
SEIU, Hirma Ruiz


Thanks for the work you do and I look forward to working with you.
Nadine



 
or  call at 813-817-6093.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sneak Preview of Waterloo: The Buschco Rock Opera

 
 
For Your Viewing Pleasure. For A Limited Time
 
Also Showing:
 
Clips from the summer smash Comedy HIT "Lil Bush"
 
 
 
 
 


SB900: Another Prosective


 
 
When the Legislature is not responsive to voters or when industry lobbyists exert an undue level of influence on the political process, the ballot initiative process is the only tool Floridians have to directly address important issues.
Eliminating the citizens' ballot initiative has long been a priority for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Retail Federation and other big-business groups since the passage of the Class Size and the State Minimum Wage amendments, two amendments they vigorously opposed but were unable to stop at the ballot box. Senate Bill 900 represents another part of a multi-stage strategy to end the initiative process. Gov. Charlie Crist should veto it for its attempt to place unreasonable restrictions on signature-gathering -- for instance, a 30-day deadline for submitting signed petitions -- in an already harshly restricted petition process to get initiatives on the ballot.
Florida's Constitution is the most difficult to amend among the states with a ballot initiative, thanks to the 60 percent supermajority required for amendment passage, the mandatory supreme court review of ballot language, a strict single-subject rule, one of the highest numbers of signatures required for ballot placement and a requirement that signatures be gathered from at least half of Florida's congressional districts.
Florida PIRG and other members of the Save the Voters' Voice coalition believe that voters should have the right to amend their constitution. This avenue of direct democracy is important in Florida partly because there is no statutory initiative process allowing Floridians to create laws rather than constitutional amendment, but also because elected officials will not truly be accountable to the public through the power of the vote until we address large systemic issues like our flawed redistricting process and our campaign finance system.
Claims by legislators that citizens are cluttering up the constitution are largely a way to deflect attention from the fact that legislators amend the constitution almost three times as often as citizens through the use of legislative amendments not subjected to the same scrutiny.
We urge Gov. Crist to protect the ballot initiative by vetoing SB 900.
Ashwell is legislative advocate for the Florida Public Interest Research Group (www.floridapirg.org), a non-profit public-interest advocacy organization.