Archive for February, 2008

Bumbling Toward Casinos Podcast

Casinos are not going to solve Massachusetts long-standing economic problems. Despite a questionable study underway to claim huge benefits, other cities and states have not gotten the promised revenues.

Instead, we’d like to see:

  • An honest appraisal of the drawbacks and potentials.
  • A comparison to other tacks, like funding new high-tech industries and companies.
  • Fair taxation of existing businesses at the same level as other states.
  • Stop the fixation on casinos and present the viable alternatives.

Posts of the Week

Hail, Massachusetts Liberal! Mike points to a two-shot analysis of the John McCain lobbyist scandal. Right-tards like Rush Limbaugh have fumed about stories in the New York Times and Washington Post, concentrating on passing mentions that some of McCain’s staff feared he and a female lobbyist had a sexual relationship. The much more important angle is the detailed figurative sleeping-with-lobbyists one. McCain has a history questionable practices with influence peddlers. Check the straight talk in Sleeping Around and I did not have financial relations with that woman…

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Attack of the Blogs Podcast

Are blogs actually useful – or are we just a bunch of ramblers who aren’t making a difference through our civil engagement? We kick around how important blogs have or have not become in election campaigns and progressive issues, as well as different ways to improve upon them, especially in being able to bridge the netroots-grassroots divide.

We differentiate among various types of blogs and how they can affect voters and even inspire candidates. In some areas, newspapers are feeling the heat, as when people turn to blogs for opinion while they may ignore or not even read MSM editorials. Other blogs are at their best by attracting people for hyper-local content and layering on their analysis. In some ways, those kinds of blogs can be the most influential – like Lynne’s

Candidates like our own Gov. Deval Patrick wisely encouraged bloggers. In return they got buzz and contributions. In the past four years, the chant that blogs are a bunch of whiners with no readers has dulled to nothing. But has that actually lead to the kind of results and action that the netroots so desperately wants?

Also, we kicked around the Presidential election briefly – including the Obama/Patrick speech-gate and how gender has impacted in the reporting of the election.

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Hillary/Barack Less Filling/More Taste

Ryan and Mike kicked around the virtues, flaws and Presidential potential of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Neither candidate is left enough or progressive enough for Mike. Barack’s partisan talk makes Ryan nervous or worse. He sees that attitude as a real weakness, one portending ineffectiveness if elected. Mike feels this could well the one of those rare times when a candidate of high ideals can get elected and ride a short wave of progressivism and populism in implementing big changes. Ryan remains skeptical and sees Hillary as the candidate of incremental improvements.

Post of the Week

A Southern woman writing on Southern women (and men) intrigued Mike. Ann-Marie Slaughter over at Huffington Post states that The South Has Not Yet Been Won. Be sure to read the passionate comments, from many angles. She contends that “many white men in the South may be voting against Hillary more than they are voting for Obama. That’s not good news for the Clinton campaign.” Yet, even this doesn’t mean they’d choose him over John McCain. She does hold out a little hope — “Obama may be able to convince some of those voters to cross racial lines…”

icon for podpress  Eying Hillary v. Barack [43:24m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Short Super Tuesday Check-In

Mike had a brief (12-minute) Super Tuesday check-in. Ryan and Lynne were off working politics, so the podcast is a placeholder for next week’s post-primary/caucus analysis.

He promised some related links. These include:

Overall, we at Left Ahead! do not believe today’s vote will decide the Democratic race. However, a strong showing by McCain could marginalize Romney.

We expect the Clinton/Obama battle to get into even more substantial issues and continue into the convention. The Republicans have a fantasy that such fighting can only benefit them and that they can use the argument against the eventual nominee. We see a voting public eager to break from the failed war, economic, and domestic policies of George Bush and the obstructionist Congress.

The Democratic candidates are most likely to use their debates and campaigns to refine and clarify their goals. The nominee is likely to emerge fully formed against a Republican who can only promise slight variations on the incompetence and bankrupt policies of the current administration.

Tough luck for the elephants!

icon for podpress  Super Prove Day [11:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download