Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Center for History and New Media

Center for History and New Media

Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians.

Vote Hope, not Fear

tpm / veracifier

& fencing with Thrasymachus

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mark Kleiman & Jeralyn Merritt

The Obama / Clinton thing, in a nutshell, ably articulated by
  • Mark Kleiman (supporting Sen. Obama)
  • Jeralyn Merritt (supporting Sen. Clinton)
see whole diavlog

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lib'ral Lib'ral Lib'ral

How "liberal" is your senator?

& C&L 5.19.2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Millennial Generation

Andrew Sullivan

Something is indeed afoot with the under-40s and the massive generation gap in this election only brings it home. I'm not sure what to make of all their conclusions, but the analysis of Hais/Winograd certainly stimulates:

Millennials’ reliance on the Internet (technology that the Democrats have learned to exploit more quickly than their Republican opponents) and their passion for texting and instant messaging have political implications as well. In placing a heavy value on the opinion of friends and peers, the authors of this book suggest, Millennials are inclined to favor conclusions reached by decentralized decision making, and multilateral rather than unilateral policy making.

Their proclivity for sharing their lives with thousands of others through MySpace and Facebook also makes them “the generation least perturbed by any potential restrictions on civil rights or invasions of privacy that might have occurred in fighting the war on terrorism.” As a more socially tolerant and less divisive Millennial generation becomes a larger part of the electorate, Mr. Winograd and Mr. Hais predict, “the power of social issues to drive our political debate will wane”: wedge issues will lose their effectiveness, and ideological divisions will give way to an emphasis on “successful governmental activism.” “Majorities,” they argue, “will coalesce around ideas that involve the entire group in the solution and downplay the right of individuals to opt out of the process.”

Some find it confusing that the young have shown their highest levels of enthusiasm in this campaign for Ron Paul and Barack Obama. But when you look at politics away from a right-left perspective [cf] and more from a decentralized/authoritarian angle [ed: or a signal/noise angle, or a reality/fantasy angle, or a justice/injustice angle, or a constitutional/anti-constitutional angle], their similarities trump their obvious differences. What we're seeing is a socially inclusive pragmatism in the next generation. It isn't McCain's bag; and it isn't Clinton's. But one day it will be the dominant mode of discourse. The question in this election is whether the older generation has one last spasm of influence. We'll see.

* * * *

See also NY Times review of Millennial Makeover by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

& Glenn Loury 4.18.2008

& Andrew Sullivan 4.24.2008

re NY Times 'Military Analysts' Story ...

Talking Points Memo / NY Times

[O]n Sunday the Times published a blockbuster article detailing how the Pentagon has used a mix of control of access, defense contracts and more to get network "military analysts" to spout Pentagon talking points in their on-camera analysis. In some cases they even appear to have gotten the analysts to report back to them on what news stories the nets had coming down the pike.

Anybody notice any of the networks -- broadcast or cable -- picking up the story?

--Josh Marshall

nb: I have learned that when Josh Marshall wonders about a story like this, it's worth paying attention!

* * * *

& The Daily Show c/o C&L 4.23.2008

& DailyKos 4.24.2008

& Josh Silver 4.24.2008

& C&L 4.25.2008

& DailyKos 4.25.2008

& PBS c/o C&L 4.27.2008

& Arianna Huffington 4.30.2008

& CNN c/o C&L 5.1.2008

& Sen. Feingold c/o C&L 5.2.2008

& Sen. Kerry HuffPo 5.6.2008

& TPM 5.8.2008

& Politico 5.8.2008

& Harry Shearer HuffPo 5.9.2008

& Glenn Greenwald 5.9.2008

& Sen. Reid c/o C&L 5.11.2008

& TPM Muckraker 5.12.2008

& TPM 5.26.2008
The New York Times' April exposé on the massaging of public opinion through "message force multipliers" (a term only the Pentagon could come up with) has now prompted at least two investigations. The program was suspended following the initial NYT report.

The Department of Defense inspector general announced last Friday that it was undertaking an investigation of the program, and the Congress' own General Accountability Office has "already begun looking into the program and would give a legal opinion on whether it violated longstanding prohibitions against spending government money to spread propaganda to audiences in the United States."

The investigations come after the House last Thursday passed an amendment to this year's military authorization bill mandating investigations by the DOD IG and the GAO. Democrats argued that the program amounted to illegal domestic propaganda. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) called the program part of "a military-industrial-media complex" (with apologies to Eisenhower).

Meanwhile, the TV networks have remained largely silent, as their credibility and transparency have been tarnished by the revelations about the program. As Media Matters has documented, the military analysts named in the Times piece appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast networks, cable news channels, and NPR.

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& BarbinMD DailyKos 5.28.2008 (cf. McClellan Memoir)

& Greenwald 4.24.2009; C&L
Pulitzer to NYT's Barstow:
Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.

& 5.8.2009 Democracy Now

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fox Attacks ...

Daily Kos

here's a handy compilation from the Brave New Films Fox Attacks series that shows just how hard the un-American no-goodniks at Fox are working to make sure the world gets a little dumber every day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Robert Reich Endorses Obama

The Daily Dish By Andrew Sullivan

"I saw the ads" — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama's bitter/cling comments a week ago — "and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It's the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we've developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn't possibly believe and doesn't possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I've seen growing in Hillary's campaign. And I've come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can't in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They're lending legitimacy to a Republican message that's wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past 20 years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It's old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It's just so deeply cynical."

& Jon Stewart 4.23.2008

& Robert Reich & Glenn Loury 4.28.2008
& Joe Andrew 5.1.2008

& Robert Reich 5.4.2008 (Clinton / Economists)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

brush it off

Watergate-era Republican backs Obama

. . . Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has won an endorsement from Republican and former Nixon Watergate figure William D. Ruckelshaus.

Ruckelshaus was serving as deputy attorney general in 1973 when he made history as part of the infamous Saturday Night Massacre. He and his boss, Attorney General Elliot Richardson, were fired after they refused Nixon’s order to dismiss the independent counsel investigating the Watergate break-ins.

The former Nixon FBI director and secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency hopes to help Obama defeat Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in the May 6 primary in Ruckelshaus’ homestate of Indiana. The state has been a longtime Republican stronghold in presidential politics.

Senator Obama’s ability to attract not only Democrats, but also Republicans and Independents, makes him uniquely qualified to build the broad coalitions needed to address our nation’s challenges,” said Ruckelshaus in a statement.

* * * *

The Obama campaign said it was embracing the endorsement because of Ruckelshaus’ "understanding of the importance of transparency,” which he gained during the tumultuous years of the Nixon administration, said Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis. Ruckelshaus remains a known and respected name in Indiana, which may draw independent voters to Obama, Griffis said."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jackie Speier in Congress


(the first part is her swearing in…her statement is at approx. 8:00 in)

In office two days and shows more spine than the rest of her Democratic colleagues.

SF Chronicle:
It didn’t take long for Jackie Speier, the newest member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to put her straight-ahead style on display. Just as quickly, some of her new Republican colleagues greeted her with a sample of Washington-style partisanship.

Speier, who won Tuesday’s special election to complete the term of the late Rep. Tom Lantos, went right to work with a speech calling for action on a process to bring the troops home from Iraq. She mentioned Sen. John McCain’s observation that the United States could be in Iraq for 100 years. “History will not judge us kindly if we sacrifice four generations of Americans because of the folly of one,” she said.

Some Republicans booed. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, walked out of the chamber. Speier, an 18-year state legislator known for taking on tough issues and interests, was nonplussed at the mini-controversy.

“The truth is, I think it was a minority of Republicans that were booing - and they represent a minority of Americans who still support the war,” Speier said by phone Thursday.
Quick, can we figure out a way of cloning her?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Obama: Define Success

c/o TPM

Late in the day, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) got his chance to query General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.

We've broken the video into two segments:

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, April 07, 2008

Chief Goof


TPM Reader JM laments how Penn destroyed Hillary's campaign ...
"There's no good reason why Hillary Clinton shouldn't be cruising to the nomination right now. She very easily could have been the candidate of fresh ideas, the tireless worker who would finally deliver on the promise of Bill's administration. For most of 2007 I expected her to roll out a killer argument that would finally convince me that she was a better pick than Obama. "She never did, and increasingly I think Penn is the main reason. His faults suffused and defined her campaign - think small and narrow, don't change anything that worked for Bill, don't roll your proposals into a larger vision, don't suggest that you bring anything to the table but stolidity and experience - and, for targeted voters only, emphasize your gender. Penn took one of the most popular Democrats of the last 40 years and made her into a one-note bore.

"Much of that is Hillary's fault - there's a reason Penn's approach appealed to her, after all. But I'm a bit wistful about what could have been if Hillary had shown even a touch of daring and dumped the architect before he set down this crappy foundation."
There's a lot of truth in this, except for Hillary's and I think Bill's unique responsibility for putting Penn in charge of the campaign (strategy, message, polling, whatever term you want to use). In one sense, a candidate should always be judged by their campaign, even in cases where a good deal is delegated. It's a good way of judging their ability to evaluate people, hold people accountable, etc. And in the final analysis the buck stops with them. It's their campaign.

In the Penn-Clinton case, though, from every account I've ever heard, you had a connection that was much deeper than that consultants and pollsters usually have with the campaign and so deep it was able to survive years of evidence that Penn was an overrated incompetent excelling mainly in being a showboating buffoon. From what I can tell, this was actually pretty widely understood within the Clinton campaign, perhaps especially within the Clinton campaign. But for Bill and Hillary, in some ways perhaps more for her, Penn was the one whose too clever by 5/4 polling nuggets saved them from political oblivion in 1995 and 1996. So he was like a political life jacket, a talisman of some sort. So, all true, but the Penn problem went right to the top.
--Josh Marshall

& ¿good spin?

& Paul Begala 4.11.2008

& Greg Sargent 4.11.2008

& Time c/o TPM 5.8.2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Senator Obama's Speech on the 40th Anniversary of MLK Jr. Death

Full Text

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Icky Politics

TPM Election Central Headline 4.1.2008

Harold Ickes Confirms that Wright is Key Topic in [Clinton Campaign] Discussions with Super-Delegates
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TPM / Veracifier Montage 4.2.2008

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All that by way of background for this take by Reed Hundt (FCC chariman from 1993-97 under Bill Clinton):

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TPM Café 4.2.2008

So Harold Ickes, wooing superdelegates for Clinton, has admitted to our TPM colleague that he tries to gain superdelegate votes for his candidate by explaining that Republicans will use unfair and factually groundless linkages between Obama and Reverend Wright to defeat Obama in the fall. Therefore, he says to the superdelegates, they should pick Clinton not Obama.

All's fair in love, war, and campaigns, which are of course about love and war. But I know Harold Ickes. I've supported Harold's causes. The Harold Ickes I know helped Jesse Jackson, tirelessly fought for civil rights again and again, constructs the proverbial big tent and gathers all Democrats under it ever four years, is a monumentally tolerant person. He is a tough and brilliant fighter; anyone would want him on their side.

But let's take a look at what this Harold Ickes is saying without automatically excusing him as just being a kitchen sink-tossing advocate.

Let's try a reversal as a way to gain perspective on what Ickes is doing. If Ickes were on the Obama team and as such he were trying to win delegates to Obama by explaining that Republicans would attack Clinton for being a woman and as such not suitable for the Presidency, Barack would fire him, the media would explode in ire against him, and he would be shunned by Democratic stalwarts.

It is a given that the Republican campaign professionals will run a morally dubious campaign this fall: they have done that every cycle since Lee Atwater. Ickes doesn't need to explain that to anyone; we get it. But Obama is not now effectively engaging in a first run of a gender-based Republican attack against the hypothetically nominated Clinton. He isn't doing that because

it is just as morally repugnant for a person to repeat someone else's bigoted slander as to engage in that slander himself or herself. [Obama] wouldn't do it because the attribution of gender or race bias to others causes everyone to believe the worst of everyone else. The more people believe others are bigots, the more hate and fear they feel themselves, and the less able any President is to bring about real system-changing reform.
Yet Ickes and presumably others on the Clinton side are talking freely, we are told, about the inherent bigotry of the American people. Ickes is describing, presumably in pungent detail, the racist advertising he imagines that the Republicans will run this fall. By doing so, Ickes is in effect doing that advertising now, to his carefully selected and critically important audience. He is stepping from prediction to performance -- from outlining what the Republicans will do to actually doing it himself now. It makes little practical difference that he puts the slander in someone else's mouth; indeed, he is the first to say it, since McCain has not yet authorized such campaigning.

Ickes' words about race are not the conversation about the topic that Obama asked us to engage in.
We are meant to try to understand the hatred of others, not stipulate to its existence and then flee from its fearful power into the ranks of another candidate.
We should talk about bigotry as something we can collectively talk ourselves out of. That at least is the definition of being Democratic that we Democrats want to espouse. It is that definition, we hope, that is drawing more and more Americans to call themselves Democrats. It's a mug's game to assume we Americans cannot change for the better. It's a loser's Democratic Party that assumes that November will be a referendum on bigotry or that if it were, tolerance would lose. If that is Ickes' assumption, then he needs a dose of hope for the future. And he needs to remember that his own candidate too deserves to be defined by deeds and character, and not by the stereotypes of haters.

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& icky, icky TPM/Veracifier 5.26.2008 (re HRC/RFK thing ...)

& Eugene Robinson WaPo 5.27.2008