Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Daily Pulse- Iowa Edition

Some of you might remember The Daily Pulse. I used to do it, well, daily. I've been on hiatus since the '06 elections, but I think it is time to dust it off and see what "the people" are thinking. The methodology is pretty simple- I select my target of editorial pages, a state, a region, an international region, or even certain types of papers (college, GLBT, religious, etc.), then take the first few editorials of a political ilk with national interest. I cut them down to fair use, throw in some comments, and there you have it, The Daily Pulse.

What did I learn from today's Pulse? Dodd might have more support out there than we suspect, a lot of people LOVE Obama for his rhetoric and bipartisanship (reasons, as I opine below, that are poor bases to elect a President today), and Iowa takes this stuff pretty seriously. Also, we are being sprayed with poison chemtrails by the same traitors covering up government involvement in 9/11.

Tell me if you like it, or think it useful.

Cross posted at The Daily Pulse, Daily Kos, and Independent Bloggers' Alliance.

Quad City Times

Barack talks to the paper, and has some pretty good things to say. His "first five phone calls" is interesting, and nothing with which I could argue. I personally have some serious doubts that the world will look at America differently the day he is elected, at least in any way monumentally different than the election of ANY of the Democratic candidates.

Sen. Barack Obama: More than hope

(part of a series. See also Sen. Hillary Clinton: Ready for work, Chris Dodd: A legislative technician who aspires to lead, and Bill Richardson can't wait to be president, and more.)

It’s good to be Barack Obama.


Obama believes America — and the world — is ready for him.

“I think the day I’m inaugurated the world looks at America differently, and I can speak to the world with an authority and a voice that is unmatched by the other candidates, partly because of biography and experience and the fact I have ties to countries beyond our shores.”


Methods, not details, elevate his own health care plan over rivals’, Obama said.

Obama vows a painstakingly open process with hearings and forums. “This will all be on C-SPAN. Nobody may watch it, it may not get high ratings, but it will be an open, transparent process.”


The leading candidate who most ardently opposed war in Iraq believes a slow — he says “measured” — withdrawal is best, by 2010 at the earliest.


Community editorial board member John Wetzel asked Obama the first two work-related calls he would make after winning the presidency. Obama didn’t stop at two.

“The first is to Joint Chiefs of Staff to call them in to provide them a new mission, which is the phased withdrawal (from Iraq) that I discussed.

“The second call is to my ... attorney general nominee to review every executive order that has been issued ...”

“Third call is to my secretary of health and human services to get that roundtable discussion to get health care going.

“Fourth call is to my secretary of energy to get moving on a cap and trade system to deal with greenhouse gases ...”

“The fifth call is to my secretary of state to ... convene a meeting with Muslim leaders in a Muslim country that I will attend and in which I will speak directly with the Muslim world to how they need to align themselves with the West against terrorism and we, in turn, need to shift our rhetoric so we’re not creating a clash of civilizations.

“... And then I’ll call my wife and find out what we’re doing for dinner.”

Here is a Letter to the Editor from the same paper, extolling the virtues of Edwards:

Edwards will fight for women's rights

Every woman in this country has the right to feel safe — at work or at home. ...

John Edwards has shown true leadership on this issue. He has offered his full support to funding the Violence Against Women Act so that every woman has a resource to turn to in a time of need.


The Des Moines Register endorses McCain and Clinton, but you already knew that:

The Des Moines Register's editorial board has endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

The Register, Iowa's statewide newspaper, calls McCain and Clinton the candidates it believes are most competent and ready to lead. ...

"The times call for competence. Americans want their government to work again.

The times call for readiness to lead. Americans want their country to do great things again. They'll regain trust in their government when they see a president make that happen."

In endorsing McCain, who was tied for fifth in the Register's November Iowa Poll of likely caucus-goers, the newspaper's editorial board wrote:

"Time after time, McCain has stuck to his beliefs in the face of opposition from other elected leaders and the public. He has criticized crop and ethanol subsidies during two presidential campaigns in Iowa. He bucked his party and president by opposing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. A year ago, in the face of growing criticism, he staunchly supported President Bush’s decision to increase troop strength in Iraq.


The Register's endorsement of Clinton comes at a time when polls show she has slipped behind Sen. Barack Obama in Iowa.

"Readiness to lead sets her apart from a constellation of possible stars in her party, particularly Barack Obama, who also demonstrates the potential to be a fine president," the newspaper’s endorsement editorial concludes. "When Obama speaks before a crowd, he can be more inspirational than Clinton. Yet, with his relative inexperience, it's hard to feel as confident he could accomplish the daunting agenda that lies ahead."


Here is a Letter to the Editor from a serviceman cut by "don't ask, don't tell," and I don't think he's a Hillary fan:

As a 16-year Army veteran who is currently barred from serving in the military because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I've been keenly interested in the various candidates' positions on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. ...

A studious reading of her purposefully worded response shows us she intends to do just the opposite. Notice that her response focuses on two major issues: the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the behavior of the individual servicemember. ...

Is there hidden support for Dodd? This Letter to the Editor shows at least one ardent supporter:

Thank you, Chris Dodd, for standing up and defending the Constitution and the rule of law when the Senate was debating the FISA bill and was set to pass it with a provision that would have granted retroactive immunity to the giant telecommunication companies for illegally handing the telephone files of American citizens over to the government for the last six years. ...

Dodd canceled all his campaign events so that he could be on the floor of the Senate. To me, the leadership, integrity and convictions of Dodd showed loud and clear. We need this man to be our next president.

How about a few LTEs from the Souix City Journal? I like LTEs. They tell us what the people are thinking, not just the pundits.

Get behind a winner - John Edwards

A John Edwards fan likes his humble beginnings and the fact that he is not a career politician. I'm not so sure. Yes, we all think "career politician" is an epithet, but why not hire a professional to do one of the most important jobs in the world?

Four more years of Republican disasters may forever cripple our nation. ...

Democrats need to pick a winner -- a candidate who hasn't spent decades in Washington. Someone who is not owned by huge corporations and their paid lobbyists; who has not accepted PAC money from those same few rich. We need a candidate who can campaign in every region of the U.S. to help in state elections. Congress is stalemated. A Democratic president will need a true working majority, especially in the Senate, to enact reform.


John Edwards.

Why? From a working class, mill worker family, he rose through his own intelligence and hard work. As a lawyer, he fought to protect average people from injustice. He's got ideas and ideals to solve the dilemma of two Americas: the huge split between the very rich few and the increasingly debt-ridden many.


John McCain - Honesty and Integrity

The title might have pretended to make sense eight years ago, but the day McCain hugged the man behind the "illegitimate black baby" slander he lost any credibility.

Iowans have an opportunity/responsibility to hand the country and the world our educated decision on who best defines honesty and integrity. It’s clear where our own legendary Col Bud Day stands. He spent more than five years in a POW camp with fellow-pilot John McCain and proudly says, “Without reservation, I know Johnny is the best candidate and most prepared to be our next president and commander in chief.”


Mike Huckabee - 'A True Statesman'

This is the only title in quotes. Do you think the editor is having a little fun with this little bit of absurdity? No, Huckabee doesn't make his decisions "based on the political whims." Instead, he bases them on a 2,000 year old fairy tale. That, and whatever will line his pockets.


Any Republican candidate would make a good president. One candidate stands out as a true statesman who does not make his decisions based on the political whims, but on the deep personal convictions that every person has been created equal. The government's role should not be to pick winners and losers, but rather create an environment that all Americans can succeed and live the American dream that he has been fortunate to live himself.

Than man is Gov. Mike Huckabee, and I am proud to support his candidacy for president. Governor Huckabee is a humble person that has won the respect of liberals, moderates and conservatives while not compromising his conservative values that life begins at conception and marriage is between a man and woman. The tax code shouldn't be tinkered with, but abolished and replaced with the Fair Tax. ...

Ron Paul: 'He's right for the country'

Hey, more quotes. Okay, this is a perfect example of the utter insanity, and inanity, that is the Ron Paul phenomenon. Really. Read this one. "Ron Paul" sounds a lot like "John Paul," so does that mean he was sent by God?


Also, it's ironic and thought-provoking that there is Ron Paul and John Paul, the late pope. Two great men, perhaps? There's the leadership ability factor, both as lovers and defenders of human life, from the moment of conception. They fearlessly speak the truth. Humble men and lovers of their homeland who use power to serve God and man.

Do you suppose there's an ethereal nudge or tip about this particular presidential candidate?


The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier has at least one columnist quite enamored of Obama. I hate his questions, because I think picking a President based upon what mythical beings from fairy tales past might do is beyond absurd, and reaching into evil, based upon how other fantasy answers to the WWJD question have worked out. Also, it seems the questions are not honest, but formed to force the conclusion. But hey, that's just one guy's opinion.

3 questions for Iowans caucusing


As we gather and choose, we would do well to ask ourselves three questions: (1) Who is viscerally hated nationally and therefore likely to continue our country's corrosive polarization? (2) For whom would Jesus (or Buddha, or Mohammed) caucus? And (3) Who is most likely to lead us out of our current international quagmires?


(1) Visceral hatred seems to swirl around some leaders more than others.


As goes Bill, so goes Hillary, or Billary as pundits now call him/her. If she manages to gather enough support and overcome that corrosive hatred enough to get elected, she will polarize the country for years.

(2) Which candidate is the most spiritual?


Democrats have to beat the Bible because their candidates fear losing the right-wing religious vote. They're not as obvious about it as Huckabee and Romney, but I don't buy any of them as genuine spiritual leaders. They wear piety like a costume, and Jesus would drive them out of the temple.

(3) Which candidate seems likely to lead us out of our current wilderness? Most candidates offer more of the same: White guys insisting they know what's best for the rest of us. Hillary at least offers women a chance to elect a female president. And Obama offers America and the world a chance at actually recognizing our diversity.


So I'll be pulling for Obama (from out of state, unfortunately) next Thursday. He's the least viscerally hated of the leading Democrats and most likely to accomplish positive changes worldwide. Besides, he opposed that damnable Iraq war before anyone else, and many Republicans admit they could vote for him.

That means he could actually become not only our first black president, but this century's first good president.

Here is an interesting anti-Huckabee column from the paper's Republican columnist. Toward the end (click the link to read the whole thing) he theorizes the Huckabee phenomenon is part of a liberal media conspiracy to prop up the weakest Republican. If only it were true. Imagine running against Tommy Thompson.

Huckabee fails test to be next leader:

Given the poor record of our current government, I believe I could support almost any of the Republican candidates who are currently running on the grounds that they would be an improvement over what we currently have --- except one. I cannot support Mike Huckabee in the primary season.


If you are in a room and hear a person say "yes," and you read in the paper the next day that the person said "no," then you know that the paper's writer is either uninformed and sloppy, or is a purposeful liar.

Unfortunately, I have had a similar experience with Huckabee.


Huckabee said last Sunday on the CBS's "Face the Nation" that he was running to be president of the entire United States, not just the Christian community.


Is this why his ads in Iowa emphasized that Huckabee was the "Christian" leader, especially when the candidate ahead in the polls at the time was what? Not a Christian?


There is another problem.

The media has been generally silent about Huckabee's background and stands on issues when he was governor of the great state of Arkansas.


I have personal experience with both bigotry and propaganda. Huckabee doesn't pass the test.

Iowa City Press Citizen

Another Dodd supporter writes a letter. Hey, maybe he has more support out there than we think. Remember, letter-writers are the type of people that show up at caucuses:

Look beyond speeches to Dodd's substance


And then there's the criminally ignored Sen. Chris Dodd, who I'm caucusing for because he's clearly the most experienced, charming and electable candidate in the field. ...

The "Children's Senator," Dodd wrote the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is generally seen as one of Bill Clinton's signature accomplishments. Whatever the issue, has produced tangible, meaningful results that even the most disingenuous Republican can't deny. And so on Thursday night, while Iowans debate which Democrat gives the best speech, we should remember that the Democrat who gives us the best chance to win next November may well be right under our noses.

How about a few LTEs from The Hawkeye?

Good judgment

The central meme around Obama seems to be that he is the most likely to create successful bipartisanship. I genuinely do not understand that. He has no Washington experience, no chits to cash with members across the aisle, no relationships to fall back upon, just rhetoric. I wish somebody would tell exactly HOW Barack Obama will lead us back to bipartisanship, which Republicans in their leadership have indicated any willingness to participate in such an exercise, and why Democrats should welcome compromise when we are finally on the cusp of victory.

Our Congressman, Dave Loebsack, has endorsed Barack Obama for president. I imagine the courage it took him to do so. He has risked the ire of the Clinton money and influence machine. ...

Unlike Sens. Clinton and Edwards, Barack Obama and Sen. Tom Harkin had the judgment and wisdom to oppose the rush to war based on lies. Experts now estimate the cost of the Iraq war, including treatment for the injured, will exceed 1.5 trillion dollars and the loss of more than 4,000 brave American military personnel.


Our country must stop the dislike that political parties have for each other and work together with a President both parties admire and trust. Hillary Clinton will only continue the divisiveness of the 1990's while Barack Obama will be far less polarizing and able to work with Republicans. He is the best hope for meaningful change in America and is the best candidate the Democratic party has produced for service to America since Franklin Roosevelt. I urge all to join us in truly changing America and the world for the better by supporting Barack Obama at the caucus Jan. 3.

We must win

If Republicans want Hillary then we don't. At least, that's this guy's theory, and who knows if he's right?

My fellow Democrats, our presidential nominee must win in November. ... Ms. Clinton is a good choice and she is vetted, but it scares the heck out of me that she's the Republicans' choice to run against in November. ... We must win.

Okay, if Hillary can't win, who can? This letter-writer thinks she has the answer, in Edwards can win:


There are a lot of great candidates running, but for any of their voices to be heard, we need to win the White House. John Edwards has the ideas and the ability to beat the Republicans head to head, and make sure that all the smart people we have in the Democratic Party can make themselves heard.

From the Muscatine Journal, some LTEs:

Obama represents real change

The fun part here isn't the LTE, but the comment to it. Follow the link to read about chemtrails and global criminals.

On 1-3-08 I will be supporting Barack Obama in the Iowa Caucus. Barack is the candidate that represents real change. He has shown the ability to bring people together to find solutions that will benefit all Americans. ...

Dodd might be ’08 political surprise

If LTEs are any indication this guy just might be right. BTW, another fun comment from the same guy as noted above.

It is entertaining to follow the political pundits as they offer predictions about the outcome of the Iowa caucus. Every four years, we hear the national media tell us what we are thinking and who we will support during the caucuses. But they are always wrong, and I believe we will prove them wrong again this year when support for Sen. Chris Dodd produces this year’s political surprise.


...Chris Dodd has made our communities safer through his support for first responders.

For seven years, Chris Dodd worked on the Family and Medical Leave Act. ...

Winning the Iowa caucus won’t be easy either. But it is the right thing to do to support Chris Dodd because of what he has meant to our families and communities.

Obama gives Americans hope

Part of the reason I do this is because it helps ME decide who I want to support. I continue to have trouble with Obama, because even his most ardent supporters only note rhetoric. Compare this to the Dodd letter above.

I BELIEVE that our country’s future will finally have a chance to be what it used to be. That I can feel how I did when John F. Kennedy was our president. ...

Barack Obama has the wisdom, passion for a better future and common sense experience to lift us up. Personally, I am very tired of the Washington D.C. “old school.” The politicians who work the system with pay backs and their self interests to obtain an office position. Obama hasn’t needed that and he certainly doesn’t rely on an ex-president to have credibility.


An LTE writer to The Sun is having trouble choosing between Obama and Ron Paul. Okay, that's just weird. Again, the reason for Obama is "bipartisanship," but no reason beyond his rhetoric to support the conclusions. Is it enough to simply be inspiring? As we look to undo Bush's damage, do we need inspiration or professionalism? Do we have to choose between the two? Does Obama offer both? Perhaps. Does Edwards? Also perhaps.

Despite ‘muddled’ politics, Obama is the choice

My political philosophy would really seem like a muddled mess to anyone else (it does to me sometimes, to be honest), so describing it here in only a few words would do no good. ...

For several weeks now, I've been torn between Barack Obama and Republican Ron Paul. I see Obama as the best hope for healing the political rifts caused by the current administration. ...

But Ron Paul…the executive excesses of the past seven years have increasingly convinced me that Thomas Jefferson's belief that “that government is best which governs least” is not old-fashioned, but is instead very, very true.


That being said, I've decided I will caucus for Barack Obama tonight.


[Obama] spoke to me with quiet deliberation, very similar to the way JFK spoke in one-on-one interviews filmed during the 1960 election. At the same time, he has a charisma in his speeches that stirs the soul, never more so when he starts to sound like MLK. It’s the rare combination of intellect and charisma that makes Obama such a refreshing force in American politics. Obama has what it takes to turn the country back onto the right path, and that is the most important thing the next president must do.

The Traer Star Clipper

Biden? He's still in this race? Personally, I will never forgive him for the bankruptcy bill.

Biden is right choice for everyone

The media has decided to direct its main focus on just three of the Democratic candidates who are running for the party’s Presidential nomination on January 3rd. ...

Senator Biden was elected to the Senate 35 years ago when he was only 29 years old. During those years he has worked hard and earned the respect not only of his fellow Democratic Legislators, but from the Republicans as well.


Senator Biden is a true public servant. From issues ranging from social security reform during the Reagan administration, legislation to increase access to college, to the Biden crime bill, Senator Biden has a lengthy record of domestic accomplishments.


John Edwards is also getting letter. This one gets the "Letter of the Day" prize for using the word "leeches" correctly.

Opportunity of a lifetime

Yes Folks; you have an opportunity of a lifetime on Jan. 3, 2008 to help change the direction of “our” country and your and our future from what has been happening to our government and our lives. ... He is unafraid to tackle the lobbyists and the huge Drug and Insurance Corporations’ hold on government. He has taken on these leeches and defeated them in the courtrooms for the rights of middle and lower classes of citizens of our country.