DraftRuss.Org Blog

Russ Feingold for President

Friday, March 25, 2005

Cheney urged to run for president in 2008

Cheney urged to run for president in 2008 - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - March 25, 2005: "Vice President Dick Cheney, in public and private, is being urged by a small but growing number of conservatives to reconsider his refusal to run for president in 2008. So far, the vice president is unmoved by the fledgling Cheney-for-president boomlet.
'I'm not running for president in '08,' the vice president told columnist and TV host Lawrence Kudlow last week. 'Four years from now, I don't plan to be here.' "

That's scary. Actually, that's scarier than a Bush third term. But with the man's health, I can't see it.

"It's a field of strong individuals, each with a particular weakness," Mr. Barnes said. "Every one of them seems to be weak in one area or another. I don't think Cheney is."

Cheney isn't weak? Well, last I remembered, he had abysmal favorable/unfavorable ratings. I just can't see him selling the "compassionate conservative" message with a smile on his face. Actually, I can't imagine him with a smile on his face, period.

I can just see it now:

"The danger is, if we elect Russ Feingold, you'll have terrorists going through your trash, stealing your kids' lunch money, kicking your dog, and setting off a dirty bomb in your mailbox."

Man of his word

ABC News: The Note: Lessons, Questions, and Choices: "Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is scheduled to spend next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Alabama, returning to the site of his vacation last fall that spurred him to write a Salon op-ed about the need for Democrats to reach out to Americans in the South.
Feingold spends Monday touring Greenville, where he'll visit the high school and a car parts plant and speak at a city council meeting. On Tuesday, he'll visit Montgomery, where he'll visit the Civil Rights Memorial and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Then he heads to Birmingham for a health care round table, talk with community leaders, and speak to a meeting of the city's Democrats"

Senator Feingold said he'd go back to Greenville, and he is going to. I'm sure it'll be very hard to break through some of the barriers that Northerners face in the South. I find it bewildering that every time I go to the South, there still is a animosity toward Northerners. I'm glad to see Senator Feingold hasn't written off the South, like many Democrats. When you refuse to compete in the South, you're conceeding parts of the North that are like the South. Have a safe trip, Senator.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

pairNIC - Domain Name Registration

pairNIC - Domain Name Registration

Russ' folks have set this up:


No - he's not running for Senate in '08. This, my friends, is a VERY positive sign.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Fightin' Russ?

A Senator from Wisconsin spoke these words:

IN these days whenever an American citizen presumes to question the justification, either in law or morals, of our participation in the European war, he is at once denounced by the war party and the war press as disloyal to the country.

The war party in the United States seeks to justify our entrance into the bloody conflict on the ground that it is in the interest of democracy. But every man and every woman knows that there is a struggle going on today in every civilized nation between democracy and autocracy.

Every nation has its war party. It is not the party of democracy. It is the party of autocracy. It seeks to dominate absolutely. It is commercial, imperialistic, ruthless. It tolerates no opposition. It is just as arrogant, just as despotic, in London, or in Washington, as in Berlin. The American Jingo is twin to the German Junker.

In times of peace, the war party insists on making preparation for war. As soon as prepared for war, it insists on making war. If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another, possibly more effective, pretext after war is on.

Before war is declared, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly.

After Congress has been bullied into a declaration of war, the politicians, the press, and the mercenaries of the war party assume authority to deny the right of American citizens to discuss the necessity for the war, or the ultimate object and purpose of the declaration of war.

Today Secret Service men, United States District Attorneys, United States Marshals, United States Court Commissioners, and other federal officials are rankly abusing their authority on every hand. People are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, denied the right to employ counsel, or to communicate with their friends, or even to inform their families of their whereabouts, subjected to unlawful search, threatened, intimidated, examined, and cross-examined. The most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are violated in the name of democracy.

It appears to be the purpose of those conducting this procedure to throw the country into a state of terror, to coerce public opinion, stifle criticism, suppress discussion of the issues of the war, and put a quietus on all opposition. . . .

It is time for the American people to assert and maintain their rights.

Russ Feingold? Nope. But it sure did sound like him, huh? Try Robert M. Lafollette.

My grandfather loved Fightin Bob. In fact, he changed his middle name to Lafollette, and did his hair like him. My grandfather was a South Dakotan, then Iowan farmer.

Back in the day, apparently you could be liberal, AND be a Republican. Long gone are those days. Don't get me wrong, I believe in a big tent party, but why are there still conservative Democrats?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Propaganda Hides Your Scum

I mentioned recently that I support expanding journalistic protection to bloggers. What I don't support is putting up with government-made "news" programs as if they were objective or reliable.

I'm sure that most of you remember when this administration produced a video about the wonders of the their Medicare bill. If you know about that, then I'm sure you also know that the "reporter" failed to say anything about the huge increases in funding that weren't accounted for anywhere in the bill or in discussions about it. That's not only deceptive, it's vile.

But they keep on making this stuff. The New York Times recently ran a story on these prepackaged TV segments, and I, for one, am sick of it. This kind of thing is unacceptable, especially since Bush and pals claim to have the market cornered when it comes to morals. Here's an excerpt from the Times:

Under the Bush administration, the federal government has aggressively used a well-established tool of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve news report that major corporations have long distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least 20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years, records and interviews show. Many were subsequently broadcast on local stations across the country without any acknowledgement of the government's role in their production.

But what can you do? Demand an apology and a promise to knock it off. Contact your Senator and representative in the House. Tell them to put pressure on this administration for their ridiculous propaganda.

Then tell the white house that this is absolutely unacceptable.

ARTICLE: Study: Post-9/11 news drove liberals toward a harder line

ARTICLE: Study: Post-9/11 news drove liberals toward a harder line: "Liberals who gleaned most of their news from television in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks increased their support for expanded police powers, bringing them closer in line with the opinions of conservatives, a study by a UW-Madison researcher shows.
In contrast, heavy newspaper reading by liberals was related to lower levels of support for expanded police powers and for limits on privacy and freedom of information, basically reinforcing the differences between liberals and conservatives, says Dietram Scheufele, a journalism professor who conducted the study."

During the period after the 9/11 attacks, I didn't have cable. I lived on a farm outside of Cedar Falls, Iowa, while I was attending Northern Iowa with a few other guys. I worked at a gas station (that Senator Grassley frequented) and read about 4 newspapers daily out of boredom, between ringing up peoples petro and cigarettes. It was during this time that I first learned about Feingold's opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act, and when I, like many people, started shaping my post 9/11 views regarding sercurity and civil liberties.

I believe that if I had somehow watched Fox News during that period, I'd believe the same thing. But I'm not totally sure about others who aren't as interested in world affairs as me. Perhaps this is because newspapers don't seek to scare the crap out of it's consumers. Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest clearly do.

When I finally got cable, I was astounded at how much off I was from the mainstream cable viewing crowd. I mean, didn't everyone know that Seddam Hussien didn't plan 9/11? Doesn't everyone know that US citizens can apparently be held without charges, or a trial, or even the ability to see a lawyer? Don't people think that's wrong? Why was Donahue the only person on TV with guests that were balanced? Why was he cancelled right away after I got cable? Why don't I have cable now?

MSNBC - Rice says 'I won't run' in 2008

MSNBC - Rice says 'I won't run' in 2008: "During a discussion with editors and reporters at The Washington Times, Rice was asked, Would you consider running for president in 2008?
I have never wanted to run for anything, Rice said in the interview published Saturday. I dont think I even ran for class anything when I was in school."

Well, I never ran for a class office when I was in school, but that doesn't mean I won't run for office someday. But either way, she said repeatedly on the show, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

She wouldn't rule it out in her words, I guess, but the RW blogosphere may need to find a new candidate in '08. If she ever did, I'm still waiting to find out where she stands on issues. I have always assumed she's more of the libertarian type of Republican, rather than the Jerry Falwell type, but who knows.

O'Reilly: "I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. A ... [Media Matters for America]

O'Reilly: "I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. A ... [Media Matters for America]: "O'REILLY: OK, but wait. There's one big, big fallacy in your argument, with all due respect. I agree with you on SpongeBob, and we mocked that, and, as soon as we did that, it went away -- and people say to me, 'O'Reilly, you do X, Y, and Z' -- I saved SpongeBob single-handedly. All right? As soon as I ran it on [FOX News'] The [O'Reilly] Factor [on January 24], Dobson and his crew shut it down. Did you notice that, doctor?
THOMPSON: No, I didn't notice that direct correlation --
O'REILLY: It was over the next day. Believe me, all right? I saved SpongeBob's reputation. SpongeBob's my best friend now."

This man's ego has officially gotten so large his head must have exploded.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Get Off My Property, You Brain-Eating Zombie Blog-Haters!

There has been a buzz recently on the internet about how the U.S. Gov't will, in the long run, react to blogs - especially those with political content. Some have speculated that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law will help those who, essentially, hate internet freedom by allowing them to shut down and fine blogs and political web sites.

Thats not right, and I'm not just saying this as a political blogger. It's one thing to regulate internet-based fundraising, but it's entirely insane to try to classify those who link to a candidate's web site or support a candidate's cause as "contributors to his/her campaign". This debate has been going on mostly between bloggers who are fearful of being wrongfully restricted, and I can understand the concern. It's a big deal to folks like us.

Enter Russ Feingold. Yesterday, Mr. Feingold posted on his new blog at mydd.com. He also promises that he will continue to keep up his blog and respond where necessary. That, my friends, is excellent news.

Here are a few excerpts from Senator Feingold's first blog post:

As one of the main authors of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law, also known as BCRA, it is particularly difficult to hear the mistaken belief that the law was somehow an attack on our cherished First Amendment rights. It is not. The law was found to be constitutional and it accomplished what we wanted it to do without infringing on First Amendment rights: stopping Members of Congress from soliciting enormous campaign contributions from monied interests; and reducing the corrupting influence of big money donations. Despite the naysayers, and despite shamefully poor and often deliberately harmful interpretations of this law by the agency charged with enforcing campaign finance law, the Federal Election Commission, McCain-Feingold worked in the 2004 election.

McCain-Feingold and the blogs both had a positive impact on the 2004 election and many people don't realize how similar their impact truly was. Both the blogs and BCRA empowered average citizens. By channeling the power of average citizens to speak out on the Internet, the blogs revitalized the political process last year. In the same way, the power of small contributions was greatly increased by BCRA, and someone who could only send $5 or $50 to a political party has become a sought-after donor. Many parts of BCRA were handled irresponsibly by the FEC, and bloggers are understandably concerned that some members of the FEC may again try to cause trouble by overreaching in the area of free speech on the Internet.

No one is more articulate than Feingold when it comes to explaining the McCain-Feingold law. He knows exactly what it does - and what it doesn't do. We can all expect that he will continue to work on this issue as vigilantly as he has for years to fill in the gaps where applicable.

The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet. Political news and commentary on the Internet are important, even vital, to our democracy, and becoming more so. For starters, the FEC should provide adequate protection for legitimate online journalists. Online journalists should be treated the same as other legitimate broadcast media, newspapers, etc. and, at this point, I don't see any reason why the FEC shouldn't include legitimate online journalists and bloggers in the "media exemption" rule.

This is dead-on, and I couldn't have said it better. Add this to the list of reasons why Senator Feingold ought to be President in '08.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Gore is out

Politics1 - American Politics, Elections, Candidates & Campaigns: " MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an 'exclusive' Monday night, as he disclosed that former Vice President Al Gore will not challenge Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. Matthews said that Gore wanted to 'end speculation about a campaign that will never occur.'"

Al, you broke my heart. Or not.

Feingold Testimony re: Regulation of Internet Political Activity

MyDD :: Mccain/Feingold Statement regarding possible regulation of Internet Political Activity: "For example, last week the charge was made that McCain-Feingold would go after bloggers. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you know."

There is much, much, more to what Senator Feingold has said regarding his landmark bill. Please follow the story link to read what he has to say.

Many in the so-called "blog-o-sphere" are worried about the impact of the law on their blogs. But I contend that McCain-Feingold is what has allowed the blogosphere grow and become the fundraising force (or virtual ATM machine if you're John Kerry) it is.

Take this snippet of Sen. Feingold's testimony:

We ended the corrupting influence of unlimited corporate, union, and individual contributions. Some thought this would destroy the parties - in fact, they have flourished. In the last election, for the first time in nearly two decades, our parties and our candidates concentrated on raising money from average citizens empowered by our
reform effort. And they raised more hard money in 2004 than they had raised in soft and hard money combined in the 2000 cycle.

So, where did Dr. Dean raise all that money? I swear the only thing that John Kerry's internet team used the internet for was fundraising from small donors. By being able to connect those small donors to causes, candidates, and the parties, the blogosphere has taken advantage and flourished because of the law.

IF the election were held today...

MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today: "four months later, Bush would still beat Kerry, Zogby found, 46-42 percent, with 7% choosing 3rd party."

I think that this really points out how much the Democratic Party needs a leader like Sen. Feingold. Seven percent would choose a third party today, after seeing what kind of a candidate the John Kerry was.

When over half of the country doesn't approve of either Bush's foreign or domestic policy, and he'd still win election, we have a serious problem. And that problem was that people felt there wasn't much of a choice between the parties. Apparently, they still do.

Kerry and Bush were very different, I believe. But Kerry didn't campaign that way. Even he was afraid to be call himself what he is, a liberal.

Bush drops 4 points, Kerry drops 6 points from his total, and "Third Party" increases by 5-6 points. People are disillusioned with both parties, but tell me, what party do you think an increase in support like that would mostly come from?

Follow The Money

ABC News: The Note: Follow The Money: "Zachary Coile of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that on his visit to Washington where he visited with the President, Karl Rove, and Cabinet secretaries Leavitt, Spellings, and Norton, Schwarzenegger spent much of his time raising cash from lobbyists representing drug firms, Wall Street, and the entertainment industry, causing his critics to wonder if he's giving too much access to special interests. Coile Notes that Schwarzenegger collected $500,000 from his 21 Club fundraiser in New York Monday night."

I normally don't have much to comment on California politics, as I don't follow the subject quite as closely as others. But I do remember the now Governator promising to "terminate" the special interests in Sacramento.

Oh, wait. They're not "special interests" if they agree with you, I suppose. Stunning!

McCook Daily Gazette: Story: Hagel in New Hampshire?

McCook Daily Gazette: Story: Hagel in New Hampshire?: "Dear Editor,
Why, one wonders, is Senator Hagel sending his 2004 Year End Report, 'prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense' off to a Democrat in New Hampshire?"

An error, perhaps? Or, rather, I'd count Hagel in for the GOP in 2008. Overall, I don't think Sen. Hagel is nearly as scary as many Republicans, but I am not so cool with using taxpayer money to send his constituent reports to those who aren't his constituents.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Politics1 rocks

Politics1 - American Politics, Elections, Candidates & Campaigns: "Meanwhile, there is also an active draft group -- DraftRuss.com -- that is operating to encourage my favorite hopeful, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), to run for President."

I've been an avid reader of politics1.com for a while now. In the past few months, the site has been less frequently updated than in the past, but is still an excelent resource for all things political. I enjoy the ability to see who is running for House and Senate in all 50 states the most, I'd say.

Either way, Ron Gunzburger, the webmaster of the site, gave us a shout out on his front page, which we're very grateful for.

Ron himself is a Feingold supporter, and mentions this in about every post he writes.

Our Condolences

Daily Kos: "Sen. Feingold's mother just passed away."

I just learned this. I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Senator Feingold's family.