News Flash: You're Tanking

From the laughing-my-ass-off file! Via Joe Rospars over at the the Dean O-blog, Bush's take on the news:

Yesterday we learned that even though George Bush doesn't feel the need to read a newspaper, he does occasionally skim the headlines.

Bush said he insulates himself from the "opinions" that seep into news coverage by getting his news from his own aides. He said he scans headlines, but rarely reads news stories.

"I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news," the president said. "And the best way to get the news is from objective sources, and the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."

Let's try to look at this morning's reaction to his UN speech through the president's eyes:
'A Vague Pitch Leaves Mostly Puzzlement' -- Washington Post

'Bush to World: Drop Dead! -- The president lays an egg at the U.N.' -- Slate

'GOP Insiders Worry That Bush is Vulnerable' -- USA Today
Nope, no reason to read those stories, Mr. President.

Since he isn't interested in reading about why his presidency is on the ropes, chances are George Bush won't even be skimming the Los Angeles Times look at the Dean Web Team today. But I thought you might like it, complete as it is with quotes from Matt, Nicco, and Zephyr.

And because she's too shy to blog it herself, I'll direct you to an article in the Burlington weekly newspaper Seven Days in which Zephyr makes an appearance. Her penchant for flash mobs drew her into the story -- and the photo (she's on the right).
Thanks much to Matt, Zephyr, Joe, Karl and the whole team over at Dean for America -- what a great bunch of folks!



Issa: No On Recall

From the un-fucking-believable file:
Davis also had unusual praise for the man who bankrolled the effort to throw him out of office. Rep. Darrell Issa said Monday he would urge voters to reject the recall if one of the leading Republican candidates, Schwarzenegger or McClintock doesn't drop out.

If Davis is recalled, Republicans fear that Schwarzenegger and McClintock will split the GOP vote and hand the election to Bustamante, a Democrat.
And these folks have the nerve to call themselves conservatives? What a shame, and what a waste of dollars, resources and energy. Flipped-out Issa has now flipped off all of California -- twice. He's the one who should be recalled, not Gray Davis.

Interestingly, I have -- shock! -- a couple of Republican friends who have said the same: if they believe Bustamante is going to win, they are voting NO on the recall. The logic escapes me, and indicates one other thing: Issa's assertion proves that this thing was political all along, and had nothing to do, specifically, with Davis' "fitness" for office. How pathetic.

You can read another article on the story here.


Let Me Off This Merry-Go-Round!

The time is now, let's get this over and done with! Bush v. Gore aside, and whether Davis is recalled or not, dragging this circus on for five additional months would have been a disaster. It would have further eroded California's economy, and what a colossal waste of funds. From The San Francisco Chronicle:
With stunning decisiveness, a federal appeals court Tuesday unanimously put California's recall election back on the calendar for Oct. 7, sweeping aside warnings of a Florida-style fiasco two weeks from now.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which had sought a postponement, said it would not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, removing the final legal roadblock to the recall and setting up a 14-day sprint among the candidates in the historic election to remove Gov. Gray Davis.

The 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals swiftly overturned a decision issued last week by three of the most liberal judges on the court.

The three judges had postponed the election until perhaps March to give six counties more time to switch over to electronic voting systems from the error-prone punch-card ballots that caused the recount mess in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. The panel repeatedly cited the Supreme Court's Bush v. Gore decision that effectively decided the 2000 election.

The more conservative 11-judge panel acknowledged that allowing the election to go forward now could cause some votes to go uncounted. But the panel said that the candidates, the voters and the state have already spent a huge amount of time and money on the assumption the election would be held Oct. 7.

If the election is postponed, the court said, "it is certain that the state of California and its citizens will suffer material hardship by virtue of the enormous resources already invested in reliance on the elections proceeding on the announced date."

"In short, the status quo that existed at the time the election was set cannot be restored because this election has already begun," the court said in a ruling issued less than 20 hours after the panel heard arguments.
As David Broder points out in today's Washington Post, the March date may not have been so good for Davis anyway:
Take the question of timing. The assumption is that embattled Gov. Gray Davis would have a better chance of beating the recall if courts decided to postpone the voting from Oct. 7 until the regular primary next March. But many Democrats, including some in his own circle, think the sooner the dice are rolled, the better.

In March the ballot is likely to include a referendum on the measure, passed by the Democratic legislature and signed by Davis, permitting illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses. It's an emotional issue, likely to pull a conservative turnout, and not one on which Davis would prefer to stake his tenure.

Another point: State employee contracts come up in January. Given his dependence on union support, Davis will have a hard time holding the line on raises. But any breaks he gives them can be depicted as costing the taxpayers more money, and he's already facing a tax revolt.

Take the related question of turnout. The assumption is that a hot contest for the party's presidential nomination on the March primary ballot would boost Democratic turnout -- and Davis would benefit. But pollsters doing daily tracking on the recall tell me that Davis fares no better in an enlarged turnout than in a small one. One reason is that the recall is favored by more than one in five Democrats -- including almost half those who call themselves moderate or conservative. The disgruntled Democrats tend to be younger, lower in income and education -- more men than women. They are likely to be turned off by Davis's basic strategy of appealing to core Democrats -- including gays, women and minorities -- and to turn out against him.

These two factors, taken together, explain why Davis himself says that he wants an October vote.
I'm inclined to agree. I also believe that Davis made points with the voters by stating that he wanted the recall to go forward on October 7. Now, let's see what happens in the next set of poll numbers.

Though heading in the right direction, I am still having a hard time seeing how Davis beats the recall. However, with new voters and occasional voters in the mix, I'm not sure that polls are accurate. And, Davis must fight a specter that has nothing do with him: voters may throw him out of office simply because they can.

It certainly didn't hurt that he signed the Central Valley air pollution control measures authored by his chief Dem critic, Senator Dean Florez. And, he may benefit from another strange anomaly: perhaps, just perhaps, when voters see 135 names on the ballot, they will blink, throw their hands up in the air, and simply vote NO.



Bush Tanks, Clark Surges

Here's a taste of the analysis over at Kos
Gallup has Bush at *50*

The Gallup poll has always been friendly to Bush. Nothing ideological or nefarious. But whatever methodology they used always gave Bush some of his highest numbers amongst the various polling outfits.

So it's amazing to see a 9-point drop in Bush's approval numbers over the past three weeks. That's no typo. The floor is collapsing under the Bush presidency.

Sep 19-21
Approve: 50
Disapprove: 47

Sep 8-10
Approve: 52
Disapprove: 43

Aug 25-26
Approve: 59
Disapprove: 37

Aug 4-5
Approve: 60
Disapprove: 36

Meanwhile, Clark jumps ahead to a major national lead: (Sep 8-10 results in parenthesis)

Clark 21 (9)
Undecided 17 (20)
Dean 12 (13)
Kerry 12 (11)
Lieberman 11 (12)
Gephardt 9 (15)
Sharpton 5 (3)
Edwards 4 (5)
Graham 4 (5)
Braun 3 (5)
Kucinich 2 (2)

It may be early, but I think it's safe to annoint Clark the frontrunner, allowing Dean to ease back into his original role as the insurgent. Ironically, Clark's entrance has provided Dean with some respite from incessant attacks, as his opponents have all shifted their guns to Clark.
Many of you may not agree, but I truly believe, at least for the moment that this is good news for Dean. Clearly, it's good news for Dems!



Sunday Victuals

- Contribute now! -Welcome Back, Bat, We Missed You

The bat is back! See for yourself over at the O-Blog. After all the bean balls thrown at Dean this week, it felt good to take a swing this morning. The goal is five bats, five million dollars, ten days. That's pretty ambitious so we must keep spreading the word and blow everyone out of the water after the quarter closes.


Poll Vault

A new poll released today that you can read all about at Kos has recall support slipping, Bustamante maintaining a small lead over the Republigoons and other flotsam and jetsam on the ballot.

Better still the odious Prop 54, courtesy of the equally odious Ward Connerly, has sunk like a stone. This is an attempt to create a colorblind society by denying that racism exists and eliminating the tools to quantify the problem. The result will be that the government will be forbidden to measure the effects of racism in the future, so bingo, no more racism.

Thank goodness the message is getting through about this. Let's hope the trend holds.


Distressing Tendencies

Josh Marshall, reluctant hawk and resident sage at Talking Points Memo, has taken much glee recently in joining the pig-pile on Dean movement.

Today he is shocked, shocked, that he received a testy response from one of Gov. Dean's unwashed grassroots supporters. So shocked, in fact, that he posts the email and responds:
There is an awfully distressing tendency among a minority of Dean supporters to serve up no end of lacerating comments about other candidates and then to react with a sort of stunned and outraged shock when anyone criticizes their guy
Um, Josh, aren't you reacting with a sort of stunned and outraged shock when someone criticized you?

But I digress. We here at Points West would like ease Josh's distress and help educate him about the rough and tumble world of presidential primary politics. In that spirit I think it might be a nice gesture if everyone could forward to Josh at talk@talkingpointsmemo.com nice examples of the hatemail and/or attack comments you have read from the wingnuts, fanatics and boors who don't like their guy being criticized. Clearly Josh thinks that Dean supporters are exceptional and he badly needs to hear from you.


Miserable Failure

In the same vein, aren't Dean's critics out there being just a little bit disingenuous? Many of them were the first in line last spring to claim that nobody should attack anybody when Dean was tweaking them for their lousy record on standing up to Bush. But like linen pants and white shoes, intraparty colleagiality was just in fashion until Labor Day.

Now, well, Katie bar the door. Gephardt has even broken new ground online by firing up a site attacking Dean.

Since Josh Marshall and his buddies in DC already think Dean partisans are a vicious and thin-skinned lot, as Pa used to say, let's really give 'em something to cry about.

First assignment: Free beer to anyone who can go out and register miserable-failure.org and post up a site with nothing more than a picture of Dick Gephardt selling out the Democratic Party on Iraq last October.

<--- something like this

with this juicy quote along the lines of:
"This should not be about politics. We have to do what is right for the security of our nation and the safety of all Americans."
Dick Gephardt
That should just about do it for Gep.

The Bat is back. Who's next?

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