Sunday, November 19, 2006

The New Blog

Yep, it's up. Also, I have registered a domain name, so the site name has changed. It is still a bit of a work in prgress, but a lot nicier in my opinion. I have some things to do there, but it is functional, and runnin....

Here is the link:

http://theliberalgambler.com/WordPress/

Monday, November 13, 2006

This week...

I will be traveling to Reno, Nevada today on business and will be there the rest of the week. I have a few posts swirling in my head that want out, and I have been noodling with a site design change.

I am thinking about converting the blog to a different host, and could use a few recommendations. I have looked at Word Press and Movable Type, but I'm not sure I want to pay fees. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has done this before, what their experiences have been.

Any pros and cons? Any pitfalls? Any comments would be appreciated, site traffic has picked up dramatically, and I am considering doing several things associated with that. I am also interested in a multi-page blog, where I could pull together another blog, and possibly separate out some topics. I may also, have some guest writing done.

Thanks

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Hayworth Gains Again....but Barely

At the end of today, JD Hayworth has picked up a total of 265 votes in early, absentee and provisional ballots. Mitchell still maintains a lead over Hayworth of 5,667 votes.

Yes, Hayworth is gaining slightly on Harry Mitchell in the balloting, but so far, his average gain has been less than 100 votes per day. If that remains the case, then Mitchell will win the election in the end.

The only way for Hayworth to pick up a win here now is to average well over a 5 to 6 hundred vote gain per day, which remains highly unlikely.

Hayworth should concede this race.

Doooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Avoid Hayworth Hysteria

Okay, I see from a very recent post on Daily Kos, that an individual is beginning to get a bit worried about an election theft in CD-5. It isn't going to happen, and here is why.

First of all, Helen Purcell has been the County Recorder for many years and has been consistently fair. Secondly, there are observers and individual volunteers that count these ballots present from both Political Parties. There is no room for funny business.

In addition, the ballot numbers being tossed around (like 200,000, etc...) are the total absentee and provisional ballots outstanding for all of Maricopa County, and yeah, while we are out here in the desert, Maricopa County is one big place (4th largest County in America). Six out of Eight Arizona Congressional Districts have ballots outstanding from Maricopa County. CD5 does not boast the largest population percentage in Maricopa County.

Estimates are that of the 200,000 ballots outstanding in Maricopa County, there would be about 30,000 to 40,000 that cover CD5 (rough estimate on my part, backed by recent media articles). Now, of these 40,000 ballots, several thousand have been counted in recent days. This is not done by hand necessarily, as Maricopa County uses optical scanners. Voters envelopes are verified, then opened and the ballots fed into machines and counted.

In the 3 days since the election, J D Hayworth has picked up a total of 149 votes and Harry Mitchell still leads by 5,783 votes as of this Friday night. At this rate, it is just about impossible that Hayworth will gain enough votes to make up this margin.

In addition, you can bet that the Democratic Party has people keeping a very close eye on the count.

Chill. Put pressure on Hayworth to concede, sure, but even if he doesn't and simply fades into the night, Harry Mitchell will be the next U S Congressman from CD5 in Arizona.

Hehe....get it?

Day Number Three of the Hayworth Concession Watch

November 10th...Harry Mitchell still leads by 5,783 Votes after another day of ballot counting.

It's time to concede Hayworth.

Senate Changes: A Series Of Tubes

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will also see a major shift in policy with the likely promotion of Senator Inouye to the Chairmanship over Ted "the internet is a series of tubes" Stevens.


This is a huge victory for Net Neutrality. In addition, this is a victory for stem cell research, which we all know of course starts with some kind of tube.

BRILLIANT!!!!

Hey I know, let's send Lincoln Chaffee to head the United Nations!

Sorry, feeling kind of short and blurby today....man have I got a headache.

Hayworth Gains On Harry Mitchell!!

Okay, that headline was a pretty cheap trick, but it's actually true...with an additional 5,527 Ballots counted in the CD5 Race, JD Hayworth has picked up a truly AMAZING 23 votes on Harry Mitchell.

This leaves about 29,000 ballots to be counted and a deficit of over 6,000 votes. Mitchell, intends to head to Congress for Orientation and has tapped former Congressman Sam Coppersmith to begin working on a transition.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Senate Changes: Environment

I will be posting a few of these over the next several days.

With the United States Senate going to the Democrats, we are going to see wholesale changes in government policy.

First up: The Environment and Public Works Committee

Before November 7th, this was headed up by Seantor James Inhofe of Oklahoma who once said, "global warming is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people."

After November 7th, meet your new Chairperson, Senator Barbara Boxer

Remember that recently the State of California just passed sweeping environmental quality changes, and now Senator Boxer would like to see this legislation become a pattern for the nation.

The general public will now most likely regain access to the EPA's library collections.

The Endangered Species Act should also stand.

The Senator will very much lay out the groundwork for a green revolution in America, of course it will take some time due to the fact that Bush has two more years in office, however the table may be set nicely for 2008.

Set The Agenda, Force The Issues and Fullfill The Mandate

There is a lot to fix. Throw everything at this white house, as fast as possible. Fix it all. Go after it, and anywhere that Bush wavers, simply attack. Of course work towards compromise where necessary, but know that there are some very large expectations placed upon the Democratic Party after this election. It's basicaly called hope. Perform successfully, and the strength of this party will only grow larger. Force this President to use his veto in the next 2 years.

Just Do It.

Hayworth to Prolong His Defeat, Ultimately Embarras Himself....Harry Mitchell Demonstrates That He is A Gentleman

According to recent articles, there are still a lot of votes to be counted, and they should be, and I believe this is just one reason why Harry Mitchell has not announced his ultimate victory over Hayworth.

CD5 is a dominate Republican Congressional District, however let's look at some of the numbers here. First, there are 35,000 Ballots outstanding in CD5. A portion of these ballots are Provisional (approx. 7,000 in Maricopa County..give 1,000 of those to CD5). In order to overcome his vote deficit, JD Hayworth would have to take at least 69% of all of these outstanding votes.

Is that possible? I believe the voter registration voter Registration edge for Republicans in CD5 stands at about 65% total. This means that JD Hayworth would need to get a pretty good percentage of early ballot crossover votes by Democrats to gain a victory here.

Given the environment of this election, and the fact that Harry himself garnered many, many Republican crossover votes in this election, this is not a likely scenario for JD to win on absentee votes. Even if the Republican party was successful in targeting Republican JD voters 100% of the time, he would still not overcome Mitchell's lead.

I know it's not 'officially' over, but JD must be on crack.

Arizona Along with Other Democratic Governers...

...should call upon the Democratic majority in Congress to insist on funding federal mandates. There has been some talk that this lame duck Congressional post election session may leave the 2007 budgeting process up to the Democratic majority in order to delay some of the items on Democrats agendas and leave the Dems to deal with the mess that is the 2007 budget. This may also force Dems to look to raising taxes to present a balanced budget to the President and basically "clean up" the mess left by this outgoing "do-nothing" Congress.

Well, fine. Bring it on, and in the process the Democratic majority, along with the Governors of the States of this Union should become very vocal in insisting upon the Federal Government funding its mandates to the States. No Child Left Behind, The Clear Act, Real-ID and SCAAP along with many others should either be gutted, scrapped or funded.

Shifting the federal tax burden to the States is a practice that should be eliminated. If you pass it, and/or require the States to enforce/implement it, you should fund it period.

There is no doubt a great deal of work to be done across this Country by this new Congress, but I believe that they are up to the task.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Arizona Thoughts

The following are some thoughts about the recent election in Arizona.

First of all, it appears that the far religious right agenda may not only be dead nationally, but dead in this State as well. There are several things that are encouraging about this, and some of them will be of a benefit to the church. First of all, churches need to focus on their real mission in life, and that is not promoting political agendas. Government in America is designed to work for all people, and not just for the few. This means that the government must take a broader outlook to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and not push laws that restrict such freedom.

The defeat of prop 107 is a prime example.

In addition, it seems that voters are very compassionate in Arizona, as long as you are here legally, or don't happen to smoke. Voters in Arizona and elsewhere will not tolerate corrpuption, or other misconduct, and this crosses Party lines.

Voters also need to have a compelling reason to vote someone out of office, and a compelling reason to vote someone in. There were several campaigns that had difficulty making this case to many voters. In addition, many Arizona voters will cross party lines in specific races, but there are limits to the number of races where this will happen.

The Arizona Democratic party, very much needs to develop a strategy that places candidates on the ballot in each and every race regardless of the voter registration numbers by district. Finding people willing to run, and live with the short 2 year terms at a low salary is a problem.
Unfortunatley, the salary increse did not go through for Arizona legislators, but maybe the new minimum wage law can be applied, and their salaries could rise...of course, they would need to punch a timeclock.

The Arizona Democratic Party needs to become much more engaged with the Legislative Districts, and assemble ballot signature lists for potential candidates to streamline the ballot qualification process for those who wish to run.

In addition, in 2010, we need real competitve redistricting that does not capitulate to any one interest group or political Party. This will be a tall order, and is quite some time away, but it very much needs to happen.

The Arizona Democratic Party should also work to recruit "fighting Dem" candidates at the local level. I can think of a few out there, but whether they have that desire would remain to be seen.

More Independent voters in Arizona may be ready to declare themselves to a Party and they should be pursued to re-register in this State.

I have one last suggestion, and it would lead to an increased and more engaged voter in Primaries, and that is to place 50% of all ballot Propositions on the Primary Ballots to encourage and give a reason for more voters to come to the polls, especially if they do not have candidates in races. (This will also help Parties to identify voters simpathetic to their cause for general election targeting).

This was a terrific election for Democrats, but now all elected Democrats must earn the trust and respect of the public. This is what I am most looking forward to seeing over the next 2 years.

Bush No Longer The "Decider", Now the "Assessor"

George Bush is now "assessing" himself according to today's speech. Perhaps he will be "assessing" others in his Administration beyond Rumsfeld. How about Rove.

Even more amazing, is his comment that this was a surprise to him. Holy cow, bet that hit him like a ton of bricks. Obviously, the guy likes to be told those things that he likes to hear.

Oh, and where's JD?

Ouch


Punch Drunk

A Very Shrewd Move

House Speaker Pelosi just offered the olive branch of bipartisanship to President Bush and Republicans remaining in Congress. Should Bush now come forward with 'stay the course' in Iraq, he will be the one laying out the ground work for partisan bickering.

Very, very shrewd politically. I'm looking forward to Bush's reponse this afternoon.

"This is not about getting even, it's about moving America forward."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

kudos

The Democratic Party: A Cautionary Tale

The Democratic Party must be very careful not to believe the Republican spin that the party won the House by putting forward a more "conservative" Democrat. This may lead some within the Party to declare that for this Party to survive and grow, that it must move towards the middle on the issues.

The fact of the matter is, is that for the Party to survive and maintain it's newfound majority, it will need to maintain strong working relationships with the Progressive wing (the reverse is also true). We should all unite as "Fighting Dems" and work together for the mandate of CHANGE that this country's voters have given to this Party.

So Many Thoughts Last Night...

and my internet goes down.

What a night. Virtually a clean sweep and the message that voters are sending in this country could not be louder, but will Bush listen?

In Arizona, we have a split Congressional delegation now, with 4 Dems and 4 Republicans...simply amazing, and the cherry on top is that Hayworth has slinked off into the sunset without even a thanks to his supporters....what a guy.

Janet Napolitano has proven that Arizona has thirsted for a leader who can effectively run State Government without scandal...she is the first in quite some time, and the voters rewarded her with a simply amazing margin of victory.

There is no question (never was) about Jim Pederson's commitment to Democratic causes and to the betterment of this country. He put so much on the line for this State, a true patriot. Hopefully, a Webb and Tester victory will render Kyl moot.

While there were some dissappointments, Arizona voters in large measure have shown that they have some compassion for gays and farm animals, but not for illegal immigrants. They also sent a message in part that they would not stand for corruption, except in the case of Rick Renzi who will return to Congress.

It was also simply amazing to me that voters paid quite a bit of attention in this election and did not pass both 'anti-smoking' ordinances, but passed 201 and defeated 206. Also, very nice to see this State's citizens get early childhood development.

32 House Seats, and control of the House, and the very real possibility of the Senate going to the Democratic Party. A resounding message of voter intolerance of corruption and this adminstration's war effort.

Kudos and thanks to everyone that worked to make this happen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exit Polls Indicate Possibility of a Democratic Romp

CNN Just reported early exit polls and had this to say...

The number one issue on Americans minds....corruption!

Also mentioned was that overwhelmingly, this election was much more a national referendum on Bush, etc...and not local. This in and of itself is a very bad sign for Rove, etc...

Could there be some amazing surprises in store tonight!

National Issues 62% v 32% Local

Today's Media Focus

Almost all day today, the media is focusing on campaign dirty tricks, voting irregularities and problems at various polling precincts. This is a good thing, as it will continue to expose some of the more sordid things that various campaigns and campaign supporters will do, expose the very real need for voter reform ONCE AGAIN! and continue to get the general public more and more outraged.

This time around, however many Republicans will surely join the call for the elimination of Diebold voting machines along with other touch screen type voting at the polls and perhaps they will also insist on voter paper trails.

In addition, down in the Tucson area, Man Eegee and Daily Kos are reporting 3 men carrying out voter intimidation tactics against hispanic voters. This is disgusting, and may lead to some legislative reform down the road regarding the carrying of weapons near polling locations. This situation can only get worse, and hopefully the media will be getting some film and identification on these douchebags.

The "Internets" are playing an enormous role today, by instantly publiscizing problems with voting, via YouTube, Kos and direct media notification by bloggers and other voters. Keeping this kind of viligance up may hopefully lead to the severe depression of election day misdeeds, as well as several convictions to come.

I watched yesterday as Rahm Emmanuel declared that after this election is over, the Democratic party will no longer shrug off the robocalling, the disruption and other bad behaviour at the polls. Good for him, and I hope that sentences are handed down accordingly.

NO Party or Person should ever engage in any kind of voter intimidation in this country. We should and shall no longer tolerate this garbage.

Expect Heavy Turnout

I went to the polls this morning to drop off a couple of absentee ballots and vote myself. I did this pretty early this morning, as I always do, and this year this polling location had 8 voter stands. Every one of them was full when I arrived, which thoroughly blew me away.

Lines had not formed yet, but there was a steady stream of folks coming in to vote. Tonight, this polling location will be very busy, with some long lines. I also noticed that the plastic bin set up to hold absentee ballots was not very secure, and was already full! This was a basic plastic rubbermaid tub with a slot cut into its top. Imagine this kind of ballot box in countries like Iraq, Nicauragua, or other places where voter fraud 'happens'. Never happen here right?

For a midterm election, turnout like this will likely be unprecedented, and that should be a good thing for Democrats.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Meaningful Gesture

This was suggested in a post over at the Democracy Cell Project. I think it is very fitting, and I know that the DCP would not mind my extending this thought and action over here.

Following is the post at the DCP blog:

Election 2006
The other night, at a 30-year retrospective for the Liz Lerman Dance Company, Peter DiMuro, her Artistic Director, stepped forward and led the audience through a movement exploration around the issue of genocide. The last gesture in the series we came up with was one in which we wrote the initials of someone who had stood up for us on our palms.

Then we took the initials and gave the hand gesture to the rest of the audience. It was moving and lovely and I had no trouble thinking of whose initials belonged inside that movement.

And tonight I went to the Vietnam Memorial to meet up with Cindy Sheehan and Ann Wright and others for a vigil. Cindy spoke about the hope we all have for tomorrow and for the end of this war, hopefully before the number of names surpass those on that wall.

She also pointed out that if we added the Iraqi names of those killed, the wall would be twelve times the size it is, and if we added the names of the Vietnamese killed, it would be double that.
Who stands up to genocide? Who speaks for those ghosts?

Tomorrow we vote, and it is a most important election, because it is surely our last chance to end this particular genocide. It may be the last chance to end the genocide of the planet.
And I know you all understand this and have already worked blessedly hard to get out the vote. But after you vote yourself, please take a moment to think about those who have lost lives for profiteering, those who have suffered under this administration, and vow to prevent these criminals from continuing with their program of callousnes and callowness.

Write the initials of someone who has stood against them on your hand and say thank you. And then pick up the phone and call your local organization and ask what small thing you can do to make the difference between despair and hope.

Everything counts on this day. Everything.

End

Tomorrow, as I go to the polls to vote, I will have the initials of two people written on the palm of each one of my hands. Both of these people have worked tirelessly over the past several years to prevent everything bad that has happened in America since the Bush victory in 2000 and 2004, and yet despite the setbacks, neither of them have ever given up, in fact each of them began working towards this election the day after the 2004 election, and they have never, ever stopped.

May tomorrow bring each of them victory.

RoboCall The RoboCallers!

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/11/06/18327155.php

Conquest Communications phone number is 804-358-0560. Call and let them know (in a polite and legal way) that you do not appreciate their attempts to subvert democracy and the will of the people. Leave a message for as many of their employee scoundrels as you have patience for. For some background, read http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/11/05/18326780.php.

Robo Caller Doesn't Want Your Calls? By Paul Kiel - November 6, 2006, 2:59 PM Irony of ironies. Since we posted this morning on Conquest Communications, the company that's been conducting hundreds of thousands of often harrassing calls on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee, they've taken down their "Contact Us" and "About" pages.

The pages included the company's phone number and bios of the company's executives. Maybe they were getting too many phone calls? The woman who answered the phone couldn't tell me why the pages were down, only offering, “maybe we’re getting a lot of traffic." When I asked if I could speak to someone who might know why, I was put through to the voicemail of one of the partners.

That call, along with an earlier one to the company, has yet to be returned. The company works exclusively with Republican clients, of which there is a long, long list.

One of the founding partners, David Johnson, is a veteran operative of the NRCC and the former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. ... Later Update: Actually, since posting this morning, Conquest seems to have stripped their website down to everything but its index page.

Poker Players For Pederson

This story is from professional poker player Andy Bloch, who finished second in this years WSOP HORSE event. If you don't know how to play HORSE, I would be happy to teach you :)

http://www.andybloch.com/gl/pub/index.php

How the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" became law... but legislation to secure our rail and transit systems didn't.

I decided to read the Congressional Record to find out which members of Congress were the main people behind the "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" being attached to the "SAFE Port Act," and who spoke up against it. What I found out angered me as much as the Internet gambling legislation itself.

In short, the Republican leadership in Congress put their anti-gambling morality ahead of national security.

Here's how it happend: The Republican leadership in the House of Representatives got the Senate leadership to do what the House couldn't do on its own, attach the anti-gambling act to an unrelated bill (skirting House rules in the process). Then, over the objections of a majority of the House, and in violation of normal House rules, the Republicans removed rail and transit security sections that the Senate had also added to the bill, but left in the gambling parts -- as though somehow Internet gambling was a more germane and pressing issue than mass transit security. If the Republicans had tried these tactics at any other time, they would have failed, but enough Democratic members of Congress voted to give up fighting and suspend House rules so they could pass the SAFE Port Act before recessing for the elections.

If the Democrats had control over one or both houses of Congress, the bill would not have passed when and how it did, if at all. But which members of Congress are most responsible for the anti-Internet gambling bill passing? In the Senate, Bill Frist from Tennessee and Jon Kyl from Arizona. In the House, Jim Leach (IA 2nd district), Bachus (AL 6), Boehner (OH 8), Oxley (OH 4), Goodlatte (VA 6), Cannon (UT 3), and King (IA 5). Unfortunately, there are only a few of them in competitive races.

Jim Leach is most in danger of losing his office. An independent poll a few weeks ago showed him in a statistical dead heat against his opponent, Dave Loebsack. (Loebsack led the poll. 37%-36% with a margin of error of 3%.) If you want to help get Leach out of office, contribute to LoebsackForCongress.org. If you live in Leach's district, vote for Loebsack, and encourage anyone you know to vote for Loebsack as well (and email this to poker players you know). Leach was one of the prime movers of the anti-Internet gambling bill. "Leach calls his Internet gambling bill one of the proudest accomplishments of his current term." Upon passage of the act, Leach said, on the Congressional Record, "the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act... is one of the most important pieces of family legislation this Congress has ever considered." (When Leach was pushing for the bill over the summer, ignoring other issues, Loebsack said: "While the 2nd District loses jobs, Jim Leach can think of nothing more important to do than focus on Internet gambling.")

As The RoboCall Story Grows Legs....

I will Post story links here...if enough of these spread around the internet the MSM will continue to pick up these stories.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=2633458&page=1

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/news_theswamp/2006/11/posted_by_frank_2.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?p=690

http://blogs.chron.com/kuffsworld/2006/11/attack_of_the_republican_roboc.html

http://bbsnews.net/article.php/20061106174213469

http://www.alterinfos.org/spip.php?article630

And now more....

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/11/01/ap/politics/mainD8L49LKG3.shtml

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/01/AR2006110100916.html

http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/15898729.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-dickinson/the-dirtiest-of-tricks_b_33437.html

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/43955/

THE GREAT BACKFIRE

and it may have just cost the Republican's the Senate!

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2620526

Campaign Dirty tricks are being exposed! The media and many attorneys are getting word of what seems to be a co-ordinated campaign among the GOP to thwart Democratic voters by using automated calls to annoy voters.

Get this story out to the media, so that on election day, voters will wake up to Good Morning America, their morning Newspaper and online stories of just what the Republican party is up to tonight.

Convictions to follow....

Headlines I Want To See On Wednesday Morning

Here are a few....add some of your own....

Vaunted GOP GOTV Machine Apparently Broken

Renzi Defeated, Attorney General Announces Indictment

Arizona Now a BLUE STATE!

The 50 State Strategy, A Rousing Success for Democrats

What Went Wrong, JD Still Doesn't Have a Clue

McCain's Tactical Error (with this lead...)

Over the past year and a half, Senator John McCain has increasingly grown closer to the far right in an effort to set himself up to win the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary, but given 2006's Democratic sweep of Congress, has McCain made a grave tactical error?

One can dream, but tomorrow everyone must VOTE!

From The Heart of a Parent

Yes, this is about politcs, and change.

As a parent, I am endorsing Jason Williams for school superintendent.

I have two wonderful children, both are currently attending elementary school here in Arizona. My son, who is doing very, very well is fortunate enough to be enrolled in what is called the PEP program for gifted children at his school. My daughter, who just began is fortunate enough to attend all day kindergarten, but at a monthly cost to us of $165.00.

We are very fortunate to be able to pay for all day kindergarten, along with day care, swim lessons, clothing and other nice things, but my wife and I recognize that many families are much less fortunate. There currently is only one all day kindergarten class at our elementary school and 5 half day classes.

We look at our school's test scores very closely, as well as keep a very close eye on our children's progress. Here is what we have noticed:

1) AIMS test scores in our elementary school are lagging the national average. They are also behind in almost all of the other bench marks. While my children are performing well, others are not, and this is especially disturbing as my children attend a school that is exceeding expectations.

2) My neighborhood is considered a pretty typical middle class neighborhood. Many parents are holding down two jobs to make ends meet and that restricts the time for parental involvement at our schools, but our neighbors and ourselves are constantly rallying up money through school fundraisers and such, but our school is still woefully underfunded. I cannot imagine the hardships that schools in poorer neeighborhoods are facing. These funds get used for the things that as a child, taxpayers purchased, not PTAs.

3) Property values and tax revenues. What?! What does a quality education have to do with this...everything! Our home has appreciated in value much faster because of our local schools. because of that, our property taxes generated are higher relative to areas where schools are not performing. What we pay our teachers, and how our schools are being run have a major fiscal impact on families over the long term. (and the State coffers)

As I go to vote tomorrow, I will be considering all of these things. While I am blessed with two very smart kids, and a good school, even though they rank behind national averages, we can do better.

When you go to vote an incumbent out of office, you have to ask yourself, is there a reason for change. Based on what I just told you, that answer is a resounding, YES. The future of Arizona cannot be held hostage to poor education.

Then you have to consider the other candidate's qualifications. I read some of Jason's qualifications online, and I am impressed. First, this man is a well educated teacher with experience in poorer school districts, so he has a very real first hand understanding of the impact on children who are less fortunate than most.

In addition, he has proven himself to be an effective administrative leader, leading Teach for America in Phoenix, doubling their funding. He has also shown himself to be very effective in cultivating new teachers and bringing more people into this very respected profession.

I have seen nothing in Jason's bio to think that he is not qualified to be our next Superintendent of Public Instruction.

As a parent, I urge you all to vote for Jason Williams!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Polling Flaws With Crossover Voters

Your vote is a secret. While political parties can and do identify those people who consistently vote along with party or non party affiliation, the voter rolls do not tell political parties just how you voted. Enter telephone polling to ask. During those rare times when there is an imminent sea change, many of those polled will not reveal their true intent, but will claim a vote for the member of their own party.

It's a form of denial, a sense of being true to oneself while recognizing that the bums must be thrown out. I will wager you that if you polled every Republican voter in the Hayworth/Mitchell race, you will find that the verbal polling result does not jive with the actual votes cast.

This factor, should make every individual very suspiscious of reported polls in the few days running up to an election. Internal polls suggest very close races in Arizona, but external polling shows significant leads in some of these races. This crossover factor may be the cause.

Whatever, the outcome of the election this Tuesday, surprises are bound to happen.

Also, don't forget to consider the margins of errors in many of these polls and that is why you may find real vaqriances from time to time. The Tennessee Senate race polling of today may be one of these variances.

Most campaigns have their own internal polling operation based upon much more reliable data than external polls. What does all of this mean...well, don't listen to the polls running up to election day, look at the momentum, and get that vote out.

There will always be people making up their minds right up to the moment that they cast those votes.

The Fight to Restore Democracy in America is Starting Here

http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/report.asp?ObjID=SHznm0ARDp&Content=881

On November 1, 2006, The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) joined attorneys in filing a brief in Al Odah v. United States of America, together with Boumediene v. Bush the two cases representing men held at Guantánamo Bay that have reached the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The briefs were the first written arguments to challenge the Military Commissions Act (MCA) in court and argue that either the retroactive suspension of the detainees' right of habeas corpus does not apply to pending cases, or that it is flatly unconstitutional. CCR represents Australian citizen David Hicks, one of the petitioners in Al Odah, as well as hundreds of other detainees at the island prison and coordinates their representation by hundreds of pro bono attorneys.


The brief states: "The Court should promptly affirm [the Lower Court's] denial of the Government's motion to dismiss these cases and, at long last, allow the district court to decide 'the merits of the petitioners' claims' as mandated by the Supreme Court" in CCR's landmark victory Rasul v. Bush. The brief goes on to argue that the Suspension Clause of the Constitution--which states that "the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless... cases of rebellion or invasion… require it"--bars Congress from suspending that right, except under very particular circumstances.

"This is the first opportunity we have had to challenge the constitutionality of the MCA in court," said CCR senior attorney Barbara Olshansky, "and the Constitution is quite explicit on this point: No rebellion, no invasion, no suspension. It's that simple. We at CCR are confident that the court will find in favor of our clients, and in favor of the Constitution."

The government must now file a response to the brief, which is due by November 13. The written briefs will then be followed by oral arguments, on a date to be determined by the court. Until the court issues its decision, all pending habeas corpus cases will not move forward.

CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman said, "The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the hundreds of men detained at Guantánamo Bay have the right to their day in court. President Bush and the Congress have done their best to delay justice for these men; now the courts must insure that justice is not denied."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Stunningly Accurate Article

From The Independent

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article1956547.ece

Bush Flubs a Line...to be Fair, Bring on the MSM!

How About We Turn Him Over For War Crimes Too?

Support OUR Troops...FIRE Rumsfeld, the Military Editorial

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-2333360.php

Time for Rumsfeld to go

So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”

That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War. But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.

One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war.”

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on “critical” and has been sliding toward “chaos” for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.

But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he’ll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.
This is a mistake. It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers’ deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.

A Call For Change

All four branches of the military will run editorials in their newspapers on Monday calling for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. George W. Bush has just reaffirmed his support for Rumsfeld (although he did the same for Brownie too, so maybe there is some hope here).

This can't be good.

The military strategy in Iraq has changed very little since it transformed itself from a liberating force to an occupying one. As an occupying force, it's mission is to maintain the peace while Iraqi leaders would get together and frame a new constitution, elect new leadership and reach compromise for peace. In the meantime, the vacuum of lawlessness acted as a magnet for al Qaeda types who could come in and fight to foster chaos and a loss of control. Religious militias rose to varying levels of power. Only in Northern Iraq, where the Kurds have been based, has the military somewhat achieved order.

As more and more injustices, errors and killing occurs, Iraqi resentment for America has built. Staying the course has meant that the military enter various suburbs of Baghdad and "clear it out". Think of the Willo district as a 'hotbed'...the military enters, goes house to house, attempting to clear the district of weapons and fight any remaining insurgents, only in advance they warn the neighborhood that they are coming. Insurgents go and stay with friends in another neighborhood (say Roosevelt) and wait for the military to clear out Willo of weapons.

Then the US military would do something amazing. They would leave.

The insurgents would return and do a 'cleansing' of those who did not support their cause and establish deeper roots of fear in that community. This process was repeated over and over until recently, when the military decided to stay behind and help secure Iraq neighborhood by neighborhood, and police it afterwards.

Then suddenly a 'pissing match' develops between Al Maliki and the US, and Maliki orders US troops to leave one such neighborhood (in fact one where an American soldier had been kidnapped, and no he did not run off with his bride, he was kidnapped) only to instantly follow Maliki's orders and withdraw border checkpoints leaving a US soldier's captives escape routes and allowing the milita in that neighborhood to regain strength. (One that supports Al Maliki). Fortunately for the missing soldier, the US military is not abandoning the effort to locate this soldier.

With friends like A Maliki, who needs enemies.

So, what to do in Iraq?

There are four choices really.

One. Stay the course. If we do this, our military will ultimately break. Our soldiers have paid an incredible cost and have stayed in Iraq well beyond their reasonable term of service in many cases. This is not an option, and the American people are voting to send the message that staying the course in Iraq is unacceptable.

Two. Increase troop levels and finish the job. Call this the McCain option, and this would mean a draft, or a redeployment of troops from other parts of the world. So without a draft, where would these troops come from? South Korea? Afghanistan? Does this mean that we have given up the hunt for Bin Laden?

Three. Come Home. This may truly be the best option, but what do we leave behind? Surely Iraq would slip into feudalism or all out civil war. Iran may be left alone to operate freely in Iraq and establish a large very powerful nuclear religious country (kind of like the one we have now). What of the Kurds? How would this affect the US economy? While coming home may still be the best option, it is an option of defeat. While we should have never engaged there in the first place, much less doing it "on the cheap" a la Rumsfeld, their are some very real issues should we just leave a vacuum.

Should we call on the world community for support in Iraq? Yes, but that card has been played and international US diplomacy has been damaged beyond short term repair. I don;t see this as a viable option unless we enlist the assistance of Muslim countries that we have been loath to deal with in the past.

Four. Partitioning. This seems to be a pretty solid option for the SHORT TERM. US troops would leave Baghdad and redeploy to the North, Afghanistan and into Kuwait. The US military could lend support diplomatically and militarily on an 'as needed' basis, which would be rare and only with a specific concludable mission of protection of innocent populations and taking the fight to Al Qaeda in Iraq, and take out any facilities that are fostering military insurgency.

A mess to be sure.

If you would like to see some specifics on the military strategy in Iraq, you can visit this US military website here:

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6983&Itemid=30

Friday, November 03, 2006

Condolences to the Family of Jeff Groscost

Our thoughts and good wishes go out to his family.

Bob Ney finally does the right thing...J.D., is it your turn?

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/03/ney.resigns.ap/index.html

Scandal-tainted Ohio congressman resigns

POSTED: 6:22 p.m. EST, November 3, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who pleaded guilty last month in the influence-peddling investigation of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has resigned his seat in Congress, his chief of staff said Friday.

As You Watch...



Pretend that some of these surfers are Hayworth, Renzi, Graf, Kyl, Corker, Santorum, Bush, etc...it's quite refreshing to think of how your hard work will pay off on November 7th.

(To any surfer viewing this, please do not take any offense :)

RIDE THE BLUE WAVE! Clinton Rocks.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1103newclinton1103.html

The lack of noise was no surprise to Clinton, he said. Rather, he has encountered a similar silence throughout the nation."I've been to 27 states at the end of this week and I'm going to 10 more after I leave here, and everywhere I go it's like this," he said. "And do you know why? Because there is something fundamentally amiss in the rhythm of our shared lives as Americans. Something wrong with the way Washington works."Before he could even finish the comment, the crowd erupted.

"I loved it," said Xavier De Castillo, 39. "I'm a Republican, and these were the kinds of words I came to hear that reaffirm a change is needed."

De Castillo voted for the current president twice, he said, but the central Phoenix man isn't voting Republican this time. "I really believe this time around the Democratic Party is the way to vote, straight down the ticket," he said.

Shooting in the Dark, the Safe and Snuggly Edition

Every time I think that this administration has pretty much broken everything it has touched, something new comes along.

How about this one, and this could be the tagline in a comic book...

"Hey Terrorists, why bother trying to buy, smuggle, steal nuclear secrets in order to make your dirty bombs when the US Government will give it to you for FREE!"

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1061856

So, election questions for voters to ponder this year....

Do you feel safer under this adminsitration, really?

Are you better off than you were 4 years ago, really?

Is your house still standing?

Have you lost a child in Iraq?

Do you have a relative suffering from Parkinsons, Alzheimers or another disease that could potentially be cured through stem cell research?

Has your Congressman stolen from you, or fondled little boys?

AND HAS YOUR PRESIDENT'S GOVERNMENT POSTED ON THE INTERNET A COOKBOOK FOR MAKING A NUCLEAR WEAPON RECENTLY?

These idiots have got to go.

NO FUNNY BUSINESS NOV 7!

Democrats! Arm yourselves with your cell phones as you go to the polls. If you see anyone being denied their right to vote or any other finny business, CALL THIS NUMBER!

Election Protection 365 toll-free voter assistance hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Call this number if you see any problems with people voting!

Thanks Zelph

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Creamy White Filling

Arizona Congress Watch brings us the news that Pederson is winning the early votes in an absentee ballot sampling. Open that link up and look inside and this it what jumps out and hits you right between the eyes....

"Among these early voters, Jim Pederson is leading Jon Kyl by 4 points: 44% for Pederson compared to 40% for Kyl, with 4% for other candidates and 12% refused."

This is incredibly significant and shows that dissatisfied Republicans who cannot bring themselves to vote for the former head of the Democratic Party in this State, are also forming a significant block of protest voters, and this could very well spell the end of Senator Jon Kyl's rubber stamping of George W. Bush policies in Iraq.

All American people can understand and honor the sacrifices that our military men and women make for us every day, but the vast majority of American's will not stand idly by and allow them to die for a lie.

I will publicly say that for those 12% of Republican voters who are refusing to make a selection for Senator based upon principle. God Bless you. God Bless you.

A Little Break in the Action



Now get back to work :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Why the Kerry Misspeak Today Will Benefit Democrats

If you haven't heard it yet, John Kerry made a minor mistake today. The response from the White House was to attempt to paint Kerry (and other Democrats) as the Party that does not support the troops.

In John Kerry, they felt they had an easy target. Afterall, he kind of rolled over for a few days during the last election when he got "swiftboated", ushering in a new political term for this century.

Well, John Kerry certainly learned a lesson from 2004. He certainly is not going to allow people to distort not only his record, but the Democratic record in Congress in support of our troops.

So, why is this hullabaloo an advantage for the Democrats? Well, the last thing that the Republicans want the American people focusing on is Iraq, and this adminsitrations failed policies there. Rather, the news from Republicans was going to be "look at this vibrant economy!"...."Look at those gays wanting to get married!", etc...

Instead, this last week of the campaign will be focused exactly where the Democratic Party needs it to be: on the failed policies of George Bush and those Republicans too cowardly to do anything but give this administration a rubber stamp.

So yes, let's talk about Iraq in these final days. Let's forget about Republican Congressmen molesting little boys, Republican Senators using racial ephitets and focus on some REAL POLITICS.

If you would like to read John Kerry's statement you can at www.JohnKerry.com, I am sure you will be hearing his response on tonights news. I assure you, you will be proud of the way that John Kerry is standing up to this administration.

Vote to turn the bastards out!

22,000 People Disenfranchised in Arizona

According to today's broadcast of Democracy Now, Bev Harris reports that up to 22,000 people have tried to register to vote in Arizona only to have their registrations rejected.

The requirement for new voters is that they are able to prove citizenship in order to register. While this may seem reasonable on it's face, many people do not have either a current passport or a birth certificate laying around their house.

Perhaps some of those attempting to register where not in this country legally, perhaps....but does anyone really think that a majority of the percentage of these folks who have been disenfranchised are here illegally?

By the way, we have no idea just who these people are, they may just as easily be Munsil and Kyl voters as Pederson and Napolitano voters. Regardless of your political persuasion or choices at the polls, this is an unjustice.

Monday, October 30, 2006

AZ CD 5 Hayworth v Mitchell Now a TOSSUP!

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! In one of the heavier REPUBLICAN Congressional Districts in Arizona, The Cook Political Report has just moved this race from "Leans Republican" to "Tossup!"
What is refreshing about this, is that many Republican voters are paying attention and have grown tired of Hayworth's garbage. In addition, the Republic's recent endorsement of Harry Mitchell may have helped (either that or they saw the writing on the wall here).
Perhaps as the news spreads of a potential Democrat barnstorming of Congress, Republican voters are going to take the opportunity to do just a little bit of housecleaning. They should. Of course, Democrats will gladly assist them!

Help Defeat Tom Horne!

Okay, we have all seen the papers, the studies, the embarrassment, and once upon a time we could at least say, "Well, at least we aren't Mississippi!", but you know what, those times are changed and now Mississippi is one up on us. Now this would not be a big deal if we moved from 9th to 10th perhaps, but in our case we just hit bottom.

Some, would like to point fingers at our Governor, however SHE HAS FOUGHT FOR EDUCATION bringing us all day kindergarten and has worked hard despite being stymied by this legislature. In addition, the individual the most responsible for education in Arizona has FAILED, and that is Tom Horne!

You know, I didn't think it was possible. Having been 49th, 48th, etc...you would think there was no place to go but up, but somehow Mr. Horne found a way to hit ROCK FREAKING BOTTOM!

NOW To the reason for the POST.

Jason Williams needs our help, and he needs it RIGHT NOW! This race is very much in play and any donation that can be made is a donation for the betterment of our kids futures! (Not to mention Arizonas!)

If you can make a donation, please do so at www.williamsforarizona.com
Jason is running a traditional campaign, and the campaign may be on ActBlue later today. If so, I will put up a link here for an easy donation.

Thanks for your support.