Adam Howard

Dissent in Denver

On the eve of the Democratic National Convention demonstrators gathered in Denver. Some were calling for an end to the war in Iraq; others demanding more open debates. Their promise was to "Recreate '68," but a relatively small turnout and an intensive effort by the Democratic Party to keep protesters out of the media eye raised the question of the efficacy and meaning of protest at the 2008 DNC.

The Nation hit the streets to speak with demonstrators, exploring their goals for the convention and their thoughts on protest and dissent around the 2008 election. The Nation's Brett Story spoke with Cindy, an activist and writer from Vermont and Nick, a professor of Political Philosophy in New York along with other protesters from groups like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Alliance for Real Democracy, the Recreate '68 Alliance and the immigrant coalition the We Are America DNC Alliance.

Eliot Spitzer Linked to Yet Another Upscale Prostitution Ring

This entire report comes from the The Huffington Post

Today's NY Post links former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to Wicked Models, a high-priced prostitution ring busted this week. His spokeswoman denies he was a client. Three weeks ago Spitzer stepped down as governor when he was linked to Emperors Club VIP. Based in midtown Manhattan, Wicked Models was run by a buxom blonde named Kristin "Billie" Davis, who also saw clients. Davis, 32, is currently being held on $2 M bail after pleading not guilty to promoting prostitution and money laundering.

Writes the Post:
The ex-governor regularly patronized Wicked Models, the Manhattan-based operation taken down Tuesday, according to financial documents and other evidence unearthed in a yearlong prostitution in investigation, law-enforcement sources said...
A source said Davis personally serviced Spitzer.
"She personally interfaced with Spitzer a number of times" since 2003 before she became a madam, a source close to Davis said.
When asked about the allegation, Davis told The Post, "I can't talk about it." Spitzer's spokeswoman, Anna Cordasco, countered that "Mr. Spitzer was not ever a client of Ms. Davis."

Wicked Models is rumored to a have a client list that includes athletes and politicians. Writes the NY Daily News, who reported the bust but not the Spitzer link:
Investigators Wednesday night pored over the little black book of an alleged midtown madam whose clients are rumored to include athletes and powerhouse politicians.
Kristin Davis, a busty bottle-blond accused of running a $1,600-an-hour call girl service, was jailed on $2 million bail after pleading not guilty to promoting prostitution and money laundering.
"I think any time she got her hands on someone worth bragging about, she might have kept a memento," said Jason Itzler, the self-proclaimed "King of All Pimps," who claims Davis worked for him in 2004. "She was a rock star escort."

Geraldine Ferraro Defends Her Racist Remarks on Obama

EDITOR's NOTE: This blog features several posts covering the ongoing controversy surrounding racially insensitive remarks made by Hillary Clinton supporter and fundraiser, former Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.


Chris Bowers @ Open Left:

This is sad:
"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

At what point, exactly, did Geraldine Ferraro become a Reagan Democrat? when you lose to Republicans that badly, Do you get turned into one in some sort of Borg-like fashion?

Mainly, this response depresses me, since it comes from someone who is otherwise known as a trailblazer fighting the good fight at a time when it was unpopular to do so. I don't want to think of Geraldine Ferraro this way, but this response is crazy.

I guess that Ferraro thinks, as Marc Ambinder wrote, that "running as a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama is soooo easy." Or perhpas she thinks that the only reason Obama is winning the campaign is because so many African-Americans are voting for him. Even if that is true, doesn't it occur to Ferraro that one of the main reasons African-Americans are voting overwhelmingly for Obama is because of statements like this from Clinton surrogates? Here is some love from Ferraro from Jack and Jill politics:
So, being Black is now a CONCEPT.
A CONCEPT, People.
Well, she can CONCEPT this.

This is pretty depressing, but it makes me feel even stronger about my Reagan Dem post from Friday, and the implications it has for the campaign. And Ferraro's inability to win Reagan Democrats despite statements like this is a perfect case in point of my central thesis.


Paddy @ Cliff Schecter's Blog:

Last night I posted this. Now Barack Obama's campaign responds:
A senior adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign called on Hillary Clinton to "repudiate" a comment by one of her top fundraisers that Barack Obama would not be a major presidential contender if he were not black.
"I think if Sen. Clinton is serious about putting an end to statements that have racial implications," Susan Rice, an Obama foreign policy adviser, told MSNBC Tuesday, "...then she ought to repudiate this comment."
Indeed she should.

Dodd Endorses Obama

BREAKING NEWS: Via the Huffington Post

"After a prolonged silence through most of the primary season, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd is rejoining the presidential race on somebody else's team -- Sen. Barack Obama's."
The Connecticut senator, whose own presidential campaign failed to draw enough attention to propel him past the first contest in Iowa, is expected to announce his endorsement of Obama this morning, according to a Democratic official close to Dodd. He'll then campaign with Obama in Ohio.
Obama's campaign hopes that the March 4 primaries in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island will be the victory that clinches the Democratic nomination for him. When he faces Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in another debate tonight -- the last before these pending primaries -- he'll do it with Dodd in his corner.
It's unclear what Dodd's task will be with the campaign or whether he'll be hitting those last two New England states still awaiting primaries next week. But if Obama eventually gets the nomination, Connecticut's two senators will be in opposing campaigns. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is one of Republican Sen. John McCain's staunchest allies.
The Washington Post's Shailagh Murray notes:
Like Sen Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Dodd has been heavily courted by both the Obama campaign and that of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), including numerous calls from former President Bill Clinton. But the veteran senator had been reluctant to weigh in until voters across the country, including from his home state of Connecticut (which Obama won on Super Tuesday) could weigh in.
Much more from AP:

Oscar Nominations Reflect a Good Year for Progressive Films

The Oscar nominations came out this morning and for the most part there were few surprises (Finally, it looks like the Coens are going to win one!). But if you're a progressive film fan there were a lot of reasons to celebrate. First of all, as Think Progress points out:

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Nevada Brothel Owner Pimps for Ron Paul

Ron Paul seems to keep garnering support from the most unlikely or at least not necessarily desirable places. First there were those folks with a bunch of stolen credit cards who gave him a major boost in donations last quarter.

That was followed by the wave of endorsements he received from his rapid fanbase in the white supremacist community. And now, just as polls show Ron Paul climbing into fourth place in New Hampshire. He gets the big guns to come out for him:

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Edwards Tops Iowa Independent Democratic Power Rankings

While the mainstream press hammers away constantly on its Hillary vs. Barack, Barack or Hillary narrative, John Edwards has consistently and quietly maintained a strong presence at or near the top of the Iowa caucus polls. Now a new analysis from the Iowa Independent should give those that support his campaign a new reason to celebrate.

They have put together "power rankings" of all the Democratic candidates based on impression they received from "activists, everyday caucus-goers, event attendees and pundits" based on the candidates' field organization, turnout likelihood, as well as their emotional intuitive impressions of the Democratic field. Despite widespread reports that Hillary is on top with Obama closing fast. The Iowa Independent finds Edwards best positioned to win.

They say if the Democratic caucuses held tonight the results would be:

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Naomi Wolf Warns That The End of America Is Near

Even though her message is frightening, Naomi Wolf wants to assure people that there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. The YouTube video to your right is a terrific speech by Wolf (at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus) about her provocative new book "The End of America" which talks about the parallels between the Bush Administration's tactics and those of fascist dictatorships of the last century.

The same language, images, manipulation that would-be despots have used in the past to break down existing democracies are being employed now. From Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 1930s, and on and on, Wolf finds that all these despots do that same things. Mussolini created the blueprint, Hitler followed suit, Stalin studied Hitler and these methods just get passed down to the next generation of dictators throughout the world. Wolf has summarized their method is ten points:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens' groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

Mark Foley Likely to Get Away With Sexual Harassment of Minors

Way to go Florida! Because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has dragged its feet for months on investigating Mark Foley and his numerous attempts to seduce underage boys of the course of several years, the disgraced former congressman will likely get off scott free.

According to ABC:

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The Daily Show Invades Iraq

UPDATE: The first segment of The Daily Show's live reports from Iraq can be seen here.

For some time now Comedy Central's The Daily Show has been one of the only places on television where you could find honest, intelligent reporting on the situation in Iraq. Ironically, even though their war coverage is often vastly superior to the mainstream press none of the Daily Show cast of correspondents has ever literally been in Iraq while they were doing their reporting, they were filming in front of a green screen before a studio audience in New York...until now.

Starting tonight, the Daily Show will begin airing its first broadcasts directly from Iraq. Here's more from TruthDig:
"The Daily Show" will air a series of reports from Iraq--the real Iraq--taped during a USO outing by "senior military analyst" and former decorated Marine Maj. Rob Riggle (pictured). Along with a field producer and writer for the show, Riggle ditched the green screen for a five-day stint titled "Operation Silent Thunder: The Daily Show in Iraq."

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