Thanks for coming to Loose Democracy, but I'm too bloggily spread out, so I'm consolidating blogs.
I'm still writing about politics and the ways in which — we hope! — the Internet can help heal our democracy:
Joho the Blog: My main blog, with lots of partisan political views. (Look for the category "politics," if that's what you care about.)
Personal Democracy: A non-partisan group blog on the effect of tech on pol
Greater Democracy: A group blog about politics from a leftish point of view
Many-to-Many: A group blog on social software
Operating Manual: A 3-month group experiment in developing rules of thumb for social software
Worthwhile: The magazine is about what makes work worthwhile. So is its blog.
So, thanks for reading, and I'll see you around the blogosphere!
The Blogging of the Presidency has a calendar of the month when we missed OBL at Tora Bora.
Granny D, the next senator from New Hampshire, writes:
Judd Gregg on the Environment: Not a pretty picture!
Judd Gregg enjoys a reputation for being good on the environment, earned largely by voting on a few local issues and sending money home for some environmental programs, when he in fact always votes with the Bush Administration when his vote is needed. In this way he undermines the large scale health of our environment while he looks good locally. Since 1993, he has one of the two worst environmental records among the senators from New England, according to the League of Conservation Voters. In 2002, he received a 53 percent rating from LCV. In 2001, he received a 25 percent rating. In 2000, he received a 14 percent rating.
He has voted to ruthlessly rollback clean air and clean water laws. As a Bush Yes Man, he voted against protecting our water from arsenic, radon, and microbes, voting to prohibit the EPA from regulating arsenic in our drinking water. Amazingly he voted against increased funding for rural clean drinking water and even personally introduced legislation to gut the Safe Drinking Water Act, and he voted to make the Act's standards voluntary.
Judd Gregg supports drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The oil and gas industry has contributed more than $33,000 to Judd Gregg's federal campaigns since 1991.
He voted to allow logging, mining, and road building in national forests without regard to the impact of these activities on wildlife. He voted to eliminate most toxic chemicals from the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), which is the list of toxic chemicals that industries are required to include in reporting their pollution. This action was done at the urging of polluting industries, led by BASF.
Gregg voted against the fast-response clean-up of rivers contaminated with DDT, PCBs, dioxins, metals, and other pollutants.
He voted against $100 million in funding to clean brownfield toxic sites, and most remarkably, voted against making polluters pay to clean up Superfund sites. The oil and gas and chemical industries have contributed more than $43,000 to Judd Gregg's federal campaigns since 1991.
He actually co-sponsored legislation to weaken the Superfund program by exempting cleanups from meeting the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act standards, letting polluters off the hook for cleanup costs and ending the "polluter pays" principle. It also would have allowed polluters to put fences around polluted sites instead of requiring Superfund sites to be fully cleaned, and would have limited the listing of new Superfund sites and shifted cleanup costs to local and state governments.
He voted against increasing funding to repair and refurbish infrastructure at New Hampshire's (and the nation's) national parks and forests, even though the National Park System and national forests are important to New Hampshire's economy.
He voted for a moratorium on the new listing of species on the Endangered Species List.
He voted against tax incentives to promote energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy sources, making the U.S. increasingly dependent on foreign oil. Despite his pro-hydrogen statement in his debate with Granny D, he voted against encouraging the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
He voted against provisions to ensure that countries entering into free-trade agreements with the United States do not violate environmental provisions in the agreements.
Here are the specific details of his votes: http://grannyd.org/issueenvironment.htm
Beware the "No 18-to-25-Year-Old Left Behind Act."
Matt Stoller writes:
I'm going to go out on a limb and pronounce campaign finance reform a massive success, and then suggest that it should be repealed. On the success side, the new caps on donations forced creative use of the internet to break the Democratic Party's addiction to corporate money, tired direct mail lists, and the corrupt Clinton money machine. It did something similar on the right...
But something screwed up happened along the way - the mess of 501c(s), 527s, PACs, and campaign committees, along with Sinclair (and Stern, Soros, Chamber of Commerce, etc), and the internet, have made validating legal political speech impossible...
Campaign finance reform is one of those topics about which I believe whatever the person I last heard says. Matt is that person. Fortunately, he's someone I have a lot of respect for, so my current (= most recent) opinion is very likely to be correct.
From The Scarlet Pimpernel:
On Wednesday, Oct. 13th, activists across the country will be handpainting signs and putting them up on freeways and major trafficways to express their first amendment right to free and unfettered political speech. So far there are over 650 of us signed in from 175 cities and 45 states, and by the 13th we'll number well over a thousand. The rules are simple: paint a sign and put it up where people will see it. If you use the freeway, I suggest using trees and infrastructure along the sides (approached from off the freeway, please) rather than overpasses. Signs placed off to the side may not be seen by as many per minute, but they stay up for days rather than hours. This event will be getting major national coverage, from Air America, MTV, Pacifica Radio and mainstream national and local news orgs.
My hope is that once people have put up their first sign and seen how easy and effective it is, there'll be no turning back.
OutragedModerates.org have posted the full text of the CIA report on the lack of WMDs, along with the forged uranium documents Bush cited in his 2003 MisState of the Union. You can get them via BitTorrent here.
Geodog, in a comment, points to Cryptome's investigation of the Unidentified Rectangular Object under Bush's jacket during the first debate. Not only does he conclude it was probably a receiver, he has photos of possible devices and lists the frequencies that could be used to provide one's own commentary direct to the presidential tympanum. Cryptome also links to a site with 28 photos that make it pretty clear that the appearance of a URO is not due to, say, a solar flare.
I understand why Ken Mehlman, as the Bush/Cheney campaign manager, in his latest msg pounds on Kerry's "global test" statement, as if working with allies is the same thing as giving them a veto. But I can't figure out how he can talk about Kerry's "repeated denigration of our troops" at the debate. I mean, we were there. We heard him. Kerry could not have been more straightforward in his honoring our soldiers.
Yeah, yeah, I understand the logic: If you think a war is mistaken, you must also think the soldiers are mistaken. It's stupid logic, but I understand it. What I can't understand is why the Republican campaign thinks that, given Kerry's actual statements and his demeanor, which we saw with our own eyes, we're going to fall for this one.
(The subject line of the message is: "Fight the Spin - Spread the Truth!" Beyond spin and all the way to chutzpah.)
Email from Ken Mehlman, the Bush campaign manager:
President Bush spoke clearly and from the heart last night about the path forward - toward victory and security - in the War on Terror. The President spoke candidly about the difficulties facing our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as these countries prepare for their first free elections. The terrorists will continue to fight these steps toward freedom because they fear the optimism and hope of democracy. They fear the prospects for their ideology of hate in a free and democratic Middle East.
President Bush detailed a path forward in the War on Terror - a plan that will ensure that America fights the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan - not in America's cities.
John Kerry failed the one test he had to pass last night: he failed to close the credibility gap he has with the American people as his record of troubling contradiction and vacillation spiraled down to incoherence.
Want to read something that's simultaneously entertaining and scary? Go visit Andrew Gumbel's article in the UK Independent about the upcoming nightmare about voting procedures in Florida. Oy veh, with a side order of chads.
You read 'em Slate. Now you can see them on DVD: Bush's best Bushisms. (I haven't seen it.)