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September 08, 2006

On the road again...

Will be traveling for a couple of days, so will be checking and approving comments only now and then.

In the meantime, you might check out Capitol Fax, where Rich Miller's question of the day is about Andrea Zinga.

Posted by jcb at September 8, 2006 11:00 AM


Where ya headed jcb? Bringin me back any souveneirs???

Posted by: Robbie at September 8, 2006 07:38 PM


Andrea Zinga handing out American flags should not be considered a natioal security policy. I'm an American. I'm a patriot. The Bush-Cheney Administration has made America less safe, less secure and less optimistic. We have the biggest deficit in US history and the most screwed up foreign policy in decades. Democrats have positive solutions that speak to a smarter, tougher foreign policy.

This should be a great opportunity for Phil Hare and his campaign to spell out what Phil would do in terms of a smarter and tougher national security issue.

Andrea, thank you for making this earned media effort. In the end, if Hare plays it right, it should help elect Phil Hare.

Posted by: grillmaster deluxe II at September 8, 2006 09:39 PM

Robbie -- Just visitin' old friends in Watseka and environs. No souvenirs, unless you want a used plastic coffee cup from a fast food joint. Got several of those.

GM II -- After Zinga's "national security tour" tomorrow, we should know better what her ideas are, beyond flag waving.

Yes, Hare needs to be talking about national security issues, too. He's adding issue statements to his website, but hasn't gotten around yet to the war on terror.

Posted by: jcb at September 10, 2006 10:17 PM

Hare and Zinga discuss terrorism and national security issues here.

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 09:35 AM


I know you typically lean toward her side of the aisle, but doesn't this quote sound a bit odd:

“We face a single, unified evil”

Andrea Zinga - referencing her belief that Iran, Iraq, Al-Queda, and Hezbollah should not be viewed as separate issues.

Who is this "unified evil"? To me this sounds like she is referring to Muslims (or possibly any people native to this part of the world). Don't want to generalize, but that comment seems pretty biased, and possibly racist.

Don't mean to single you out Paladin. I'm really just curious what your view is on all this.

In my opinion Iran, Iraq, Al-Queda, and Hezbollah are clearly different situations, each having many different tentacles.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 11, 2006 12:41 PM

I resisted razzing the D/A for getting scooped on the Hare/Zinga views on terrorism/national security, but I do want to shout loud hosannahs to the D/A (and jcb) for this Election2006 page. All your 2006 election sources and resources in one place.

It's the magic of the internet!

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 12:52 PM

Ok 12:41, here's my view, plain and simple: I want us to kill the bad guys before they kill us.

And gimme a break here, I was just linking to an article where Zinga/Hare set out their views on terrorism/national security---I wasn't endorsing either.

I will say that Hare's claim that "...just throwing money at the problem is not going to solve it." will get him kicked out of the progressive/liberal club. If you can't solve a problem with money and higher taxes, what's a liberal/progressive to do?

Do tell 12:41.

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 01:37 PM

Paladin, how do I go about joining your fan club? You crack me up - and the "kill them before they kill us" comment breaks it down as simply as it needs to be. Thank you!

Posted by: Jim Mowen at September 11, 2006 03:14 PM

The biggest news over the weekend is that the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee admitted to a reporter that 90% of the $50 million they plan to spend to hold onto the US House will be spent on negative TV spots attacking Democratic candidates.

Let me repeat: 90% of the $50 million the GOP is spending to promote their House candidates will be spent on negative attacks against the Democrats.

That is an awful %, an awful reflection of an overly cynical party that acknowledges they don't have enough positive ideas to talk about and would rather spend nearly 100% of their money on negative ads.

I hope voters punish the GOP for this very cynical campaign strategy that preys on the worst in the campaign business.

Posted by: values matter at September 11, 2006 03:18 PM

You make me laugh, vm. What % will the Democrats spend in negative attacks against Republicans?

I know you and Democrats like you want to think of themselves as martyrs and victims and not perpetrators, but vm, do you know what % the Democrats will spend to wave the bloody coathanger of back alley abortions? Spread fear that the Republicans will bring back the draft or take away granny's social security check? Or do a Hillary and say Republicans want to return blacks to the plantation?

Personally, I hope voters punish BOTH parties for this shameless pandering and fearmongering. We deserve better but both Democrats and Republicans will go negative to convince us to vote for them.

Just say NO to negativity!

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 04:22 PM

Oh yeah, vm, I forgot to ask what "positive ideas" the Democrats are offering?

Please tell us. All I see from Democrats is criticism and no alternatives.

Do tell, vm.

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 04:32 PM

I'm with you, Paladin, just say "no" to endless and mindless negative attacks. But there is a huge distinction here. When I say the GOP is going to allocate 90% of their PAID media, that's an all-time record. The typical PAID breakdown usually runs like this. If you're running against me, you would allocate about a third of your paid TV and Radio and newspaper ads to criticizing me for being a bleeding heart liberal who likes to tax and spend, or whatever the message is. That number might reach 50%, occasionally.

Go to congressional candidate web sites. Democratic candidates are full of issue stuff.
Go to the web sites of the early bird candidates for 2008. They're web sites are full of positive, issue-oriented stuff (Vilsack, Warner, Edwards, etc.).

I'm not saying Democrats won't spend money on negative TV or radio. Far from it. I'd be a hypocrite to suggest that. What I'm flabbergasted at is that the national GOP was caught talking about allocating 90% of their $50 million attacking Democrats.

What I'm suggesting is that that is unprecendented and a clear sign that they know they're in trouble, that it's katy bar the doors and that Rove believes the key to victory is a nuclear assault on their opponent.

What a damn shame, really, that that's what we have to look forward to, at least from one party.

Posted by: values matter at September 11, 2006 05:47 PM

Oh, Paladin, one more thing. Exhibit B, for Boston. That was the 2004 Dem National Convention. From Kerry on down, strict orders were given to every speaker that they had to keep their message positive. 90% of the content from the state was positive -- hardly a Republican was mentioned.

Contrast that with the GOP convention that spent four days ripping Kerry apart, ripping his military service apart.

You see why I don't see both parties in the same light on this issue. I see the GOP as much more vicious and cynical with their national message.

This goes back a long ways, but remember 1988 when Dukakis refused to go negative for several months while the Bush campaign, known for going for the jugular, talked about his wife's mental health challenges and challenged his patriotism.

This goes on election after election.

I think Bill Clinton was the first and best Democrat in modern history to know how to give it right back. But the Democrats struggle with the deep, deep level of "do what it takes" cynicism that pervades the hallways of Karl Rove's campaign bungalow in Washington, D.C.

The Republicans may do better on November 7, and they may win a few more than expected (my prediction); but they'll win so ugly I'm not sure what we'll be left with. That doesn't matter. This is about power, Paladin, pure and simple, and keeping the levers (all the R levers) on power.

I can see why you seek an independent party.

Posted by: values matter at September 11, 2006 05:54 PM

The lack of depth and discussion on this issue is startling - blanket general statements have led to the situation that we are in. We need to understand the nature of the enemy and then structure a policy to combat that enemy directly. I want specifics - unfortunately modern political debate, at least during election years is truly nonexistent. Candidates make general statements hoping not to offend anyone for fear of losing contributions. The media is responsible, as well. Whether there is not enough understanding on these issues by the journalists or maybe they fear losing access – either way candidates are not asked sincerely tough questions. The candidates’ feet should be held to the fire by the media. Where are the headlines “Candidate A’s Iraq policy light on details” or “Candidate A more interested in waving the flag than forming a policy”? Just as suggestion. The consultants urge these general statements knowing that a picture of a candidate with a flag beamed into 100,000 households is more effective than any specifics plan. I have said this 1000 times - it is about winning elections not about governing.

Posted by: Rob Mellon at September 11, 2006 06:23 PM

vm, I just now came across your source for the 90% claim----Chris Dodd! Hilarious! I'm sure a Democrat from CN has the inside information on how Republicans are spending their money. hahahahhahahahh! Nice try, but no cigar! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice----it ain't gonna happen----you just blew your credibility vm.

Posted by: paladin at September 11, 2006 08:01 PM

Paladin, my source was the Sunday New York Times, not Senator Chris Dodd. The RNC Chairman and the RCCC Chairman confirmed their 90% strategy. There's nothing hilarious about what Senator Dodd said, either, because he was quoting top GOP sources.

My sources are rock solid -- that is, if you can believe the RNC and RCCC. If you leave it up to them, it could go to 95% negative.

Posted by: values matter at September 11, 2006 09:41 PM

Anon 12:41:
?We face a single, unified evil? Andrea Zinga - referencing her belief that Iran, Iraq, Al-Queda, and Hezbollah should not be viewed as separate issues.

This is not in the right context. Zinga's complete comments are posted at Illinois Review.
Here is the link: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2006/09/candidate_soapb.html#more

From this paragraph comes the lifted quote that appears in the article:
Then?Pearl Harbor and reality and we went in, and we knew we could not pick and choose whether we fought ONLY the Japanese, or the Germans, or the Italians. We knew that it was ONE EVIL fought on different fronts?and that it must be defeated entirely. That?s the core of where we are today. We can?t withdraw from a war we didn?t make, but is being made on us. We can only change the front.

Posted by: The Real Deal at September 11, 2006 10:16 PM

The Real Deal -- thanks for the link. That statement's not up on Zinga's campaign website. Seems odd.

Between the statement on Illinois Review and what she told the QCT, it's pretty clear Zinga's the damn-the-torpedoes-stay-the-course candidate. That way lies disaster, I think.

I see she's also following the president's lead with the "Islamo-facism" talk. Never mind that historically and by definition fascism is "a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual ..."

al Qaida exalts no nation, or race for that matter. Just a religion.

Hauling out "fascist" and talking about WWII is pretty weak.

Posted by: jcb at September 11, 2006 11:21 PM

From Wikipedia:

Some commentators see Islamofascism as a movement defined by Islamists who seek both a return to Sharia law and the violent restoration of a new Caliphate spanning the former Islamic empire, from Spain to Central Asia. (they exalt a nation they have yet to take over)

Other writers have used "Islamofascism" to refer strictly to Islamic movements whose doctrines reflect the influence of propaganda promoted by the Nazis, especially the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Yet others have applied it to all highly politicized strains of Islam, including Shi'a radicalism as practised in Iran.

Some scholars, using the term neofascism in its narrow sense, consider certain contemporary religious movements and groups to represent forms of clerical or theocratic neofascism, including Christian Identity in the United States; some militant forms of politicized Islamic fundamentalism; some militant forms of Jewish nationalism; militant Hindu nationalism in India (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh); and a variety of pagan alternative religions.

Recent definition of fascism is that by former Colombia University Professor Robert O. Paxton:
1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign

If Bin Ladin could take over Saudia Arbia and impose his will on the entire region he would. He hates democracy and uses the Islamic faith as a cover for totalitarian goals and subjagation. The term is used to connect in peoples mind that we are not dealing with resonable people. We couldn't reason with Hitler and we can't with those that follow Bin Ladin. They serve as a threat and that threat is as great as the threat we faced during WW11. Where is the analogy lacking John?

Posted by: Real Deal at September 12, 2006 12:22 AM

Real Deal -- the definition of "fascism" I used is from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which is generally the same definition to be found in other standard dictionaries. Prof. Paxton can re-define all he wants to, but to couple the term with "Islam" merely confuses the issues confronting us; using it "to connect in peoples mind that we are not dealing with resonable people" is to descend into outright propaganda.
Everything that bin Laden has said and written and done indicates religion is his prime motivation, whether he was fighting to get the Russian communists out of Afghanistan (with our assistance) or to get us out of the Mideast. His goals aren't universially shared -- not even close -- by governments or people in the region, but if we start lumping all them together as "Islamo-fascists" or whatever other term that seems convenient during the election season, we will manage to drive more people into his camp.

Here's Pat Buchanan's view on the phrase.

Posted by: jcb at September 12, 2006 10:49 AM

My apologies vm for being dismissive about your sources. I didn't find the NYTimes article, but I found and read the one in WaPo, which seems to be another article about nothing. Without knowing the % Democrats spend on attack ads, it's difficult to tell is 90% to too little or too much.

But as usual, the real information is at the bottom. In the WaPo article we learned that the GOP plans to hit Democrat candidates over their "voting records, business dealings and legal tussles." Gee, Democrats would never attack a Republican candidate over voting records, business dealings and legal tussles----just ask James Beals!

The sad truth is that negative ads work and that is why both parties use them. Remember all those anti-Bush 527 ads financed by the Democrats' Mr. Moneybags, George Soros? Some were quite vicious. The Democrats really used the 527s to their advantage in '04, and I'm sure they will in '06 as well. The Republicans lagged behind the whole election cycle, but when an anti-Kerry 527 finally came out, it was a doozey!

Posted by: paladin at September 12, 2006 11:04 AM

Have you seen this where Andrea Zinga steps in it by saying that racial profiling on planes doesn't bother her?

Even if she really believes this, which she may, she ought to know better. Good lord, Zinga is no political neophyte and you would think, since she has spent her entire life working in media, she would know how to express her thoughts in public. To say nothing of the many times she has seen what happens to politicians who express themselves imperfectly. Sheesh!

Posted by: paladin at September 12, 2006 11:39 AM

You're right, Paladin. But what makes it worse is that she says it's perfectly fine to do that to "middle eastern men" because "they're causing us all the problems." Just a generic, blanket statement about racial profiling.

Posted by: values matter at September 12, 2006 01:42 PM

Just wondering, Paladin, did you get "just say no to negativity" out with a straight face? I've read you on the PP as well as other sites. You regularly strike me as a fiercely negative poster.

Posted by: Barb I at September 12, 2006 02:17 PM

Hey Barb I, you strike me as someone seriously in need of a clue, and here it is----I'm not running for elective office. I have First Amendment rights, even if what I say doesn't make you happy.

And I do hope you aren't Barb Ickes, because that would be richly ironic----a reporter attempting to suppress the free speech of a non-reporter.

Posted by: paladin at September 12, 2006 06:25 PM

If Paladine was an island she would be lonely. Her coalition is so small that they can turn around in a phone booth.

Yes, you have the right to say stupid stuff (you do all the time), but we don't have to listen. With all your conspiracy talk and mouthing whatever the right wing kook of the day says. The whole thing has gotten way to melodramatic. You clearly need a job. A bit more real world experience.

Paladine, we don't care what you say, we are just glad that you only have one vote --- your own. Yikes.


Posted by: Sexton at September 12, 2006 11:36 PM

Zinga blogs on profiling


Posted by: Help Me Understand at September 13, 2006 10:59 AM

Asking whether you got a comment out with a straight face is an attempt to suppress your free speech, Paladin?

Posted by: Barb I at September 13, 2006 11:09 AM