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September 24, 2007 

Another Missourian for Clinton 

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton in her bid to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.
“Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to get our troops home safely from Iraq and tackle the tough challenges we face at home, from moving toward energy independence to establishing universal healthcare for every American,” Sanders said. “Hillary is uniquely qualified to deliver the change this country needs.”
Clinton is currently the front-runner in Missouri and national polls (which are a more general assessment of a candidates popularity during primary season) have also shown her leading the Democratic pack.

Posted by: at 2:04 pm | Category: Presidential Election  |  Link & Discuss (0)

Zogby Surveys Dem Field 

His column is here:

* Hillary Rodham Clinton - She is clearly the frontrunner and I have learned over the years to never bet against a Clinton.

* Barack Obama - Obama is the new Jack Kennedy, voters tell us.

* John Edwards - He is the modern-day Bobby Kennedy.

* Bill Richardson - He is the only Hispanic candidate in a year when the Hispanic vote will grow in numbers again and should be a windfall for the Democrats.

* Joe Biden and Chris Dodd - They in fact are the "turn-key" candidates, meaning they could easily walk into the White House in January 2009 and get right down to business.

* Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel - These are Movement candidates.


Posted by: at 11:28 am | Category: Presidential Election  |  Link & Discuss (0)

September 21, 2007 

Reach Out and Lobby Someone 

The Post-Dispatch's Michael Sorkin is on the verge of slamming down the phone in his efforts to track down the services AT&T says it offers, both on its web site and over the phone. Services it is required to offer as the result of lawsuits.

It's likely he can sympathise with those trying to track down details on the telecom industry's efforts to protect itself from lawsuits alleging privacy violations involving U.S. intelligence efforts.
Sept. 20, 2007 - The nation’s biggest telecommunications companies, working closely with the White House, have mounted a secretive lobbying campaign to get Congress to quickly approve a measure wiping out all private lawsuits against them for assisting the U.S. intelligence community’s warrantless surveillance programs.

Because of the extreme secrecy surrounding the warrantless surveillance program, few if any of the lobbyists and lawyers  are prepared to speak publicly about their role.
A number of lawsuits have been leveled at the telecom companies arguing that their participation in U.S. electronic intelligence gathering efforts violated their right to privacy.

These lawsuits would, naturally, hinge on the nature of the techniques used and information gathered, all details the government would rather the general public not be able to plug in to. To that extent the government wants to see the suits quashed, the phone companies are sympatico given they may be on the hook for financial losses depending on the outcome.

St. Louis has played a minor role in the ongoing debate over telecom participation in domestic U.S. intelligence gathering. It is alleged that the Lou is host to one of the "secret closets" where sophisticated computer systems sift through the billions of bits coarsing through AT&T's fibre.
The importance of the Bridgeton facility is its role in managing the "common backbone" for all of AT&T's Internet operations. According to one of the former workers, Bridgeton serves as the technical command center from which the company manages all the routers and circuits carrying the company's domestic and international Internet traffic. Therefore, Bridgeton could be instrumental for conducting surveillance or collecting data.

Posted by: at 12:06 am | Category: News Stew  |  Link & Discuss (1)

September 19, 2007 

GOP Candidates Skipping Minority Debates 

Key Republican leaders are encouraging the party's presidential candidates to rethink their decision to skip presidential debates focusing on issues important to minorities, fearing a backlash that could further erode the party's standing with black and Latino voters.

The leading contenders for the Republican nomination have indicated they will not attend the "All American Presidential Forum" organized by black talk show host Tavis Smiley, scheduled for Sept. 27.


Posted by: at 10:02 am | Category: Presidential Election  |  Link & Discuss (1)

September 14, 2007 

Military Members' Campaign Contributions Shift Towards Democrats 

The Center for Responsive Politics released a report yesterday that will be an eye-opener among both Republicans, Democrats and observers alike.

Since 2003 campaign donations from members of the military have an increasing blue-shift. In 2002, 23 percent of donations went to Democrats. So far in 2007, 40 has reached the donkey's coffers.

Surprisingly, Sen. Barack Obama has received the most of any Presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat. The Illinois Dem has received $27,000 so far.

On the Republican side, anti-war libertarian Ron Paul, a Congressman from Texas, came in number one with $19,250.

The stereotype of the military is of a Red-hued monolith. Yet since the beginning of the war there have been an increasing number of military members, active or otherwise, speaking out for Democrats.

Now it looks like the money has followed.

Financially, as a whole, military members don't contribute as much as other groups, but this recent shift in "Pay to the Order Of" lines, can be measured more than in mere financial terms.

It's a group Democrats have spent little time talking to because of the perception of a solid Republican base. Yet this should remind Dems that the soldiers arrayed around President George W. Bush at his military-themed speeches, likely cheer Ho-ah! for their Commander during war, not necessarily for his politics.

It's also a reminder that Republicans shouldn't take the martial look for granted. As Bush's use of the military as a backdrop in many of his political speeches has shown, the impact of the image of members of the armed forces is strong. That image can cut both ways. 

Posted by: at 12:30 am | Category: Presidential Election  |  Link & Discuss (2)

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