Editor's Notes

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  'Politically Unpopular'December 30, 2005 00:00 It's sad that one of the biggest reasons for proposed laws or policies failing these days is that they are 'politically unpopular.' I've heard it or read it everywhere from FOXTV to newspapers to NPR. Is the phrase not just a euphemism for 'We weren't able to pull the wool over people's eyes on this one'? For example, take the failed 2005 Social Security campaign wherein George Bush and friends spent millions of dollars of taxpayer money flying hither and thither attempting to sell Social Security privatization to the American people. The more they campaigned, the more real citizens saw it as a sham attempt to send billions (trillions?) of dollars into propping up the stock market. Why can't news organizations spell it like it is -- Americans rejected the privatization push because it simply would be bad for America.

Forget 'politically unpopular,' how about 'poor economic and social policy.'

  The Editor After a Day of Surfing Political NewsDecember 23, 2005 00:00 This graphic pretty well describes me after a day of reading editorials and political news articles.
  In Sunday Speech, Bush Is More Humble, But Still FirmDecember 19, 2005 00:00 It's sad that even in this article by the NY Times, the president's new tactic of using apology and assuming blame is referred to as just that... at tactic. Nowhere in the president's comments is the admission that the United States is not in the business of forcibly setting up democracies in foreign countries. Neither did he admit that the war in Iraq has not made America or Americans safer. Instead, his recent comments have cast a pall on the post-war recovery of Viet Nam, claiming that Americans should not abandon Iraq as we abandoned Viet Nam. Has he even looked at the flourishing Viet Nam economy? Does he really think that the country would have benefited if we stayed there and fought? Hell... neither he nor Dick Cheney thought it was worth going to Viet Nam. So how can our president, documented draft dodger, invoke the Viet Nam conflict in his defense of the Iraq war. This president is still as bent on distraction and obfuscation as he ever was. Let's hope congress really curtails his unconstitutional 'war time' powers.
  Literacy Falls For Graduates From College, Testing FindsDecember 16, 2005 00:00 Are we headed toward a land of mediocrity or what? I can't believe that only 30-40% of C-O-L-L-E-G-E graduates passed this literacy test. What the heck are our colleges doing? We are seeing the results of colleges being turned into profit-required enterprises. If the sole purpose of colleges is to sell degrees, then what does education really matter. I'm embarrassed for the US by this article.
  Diver Lends A Hand In Whale RescueDecember 15, 2005 00:00 I don't understand how tales like this don't make more people want to protect threatened and endangered species. Is it just jealousy, spite, or simple resource covetousness that would deny something like a humpbacked whale a healthy life in a healthy environment?
  LAMAR Billboards Reject Democrat AdsDecember 02, 2005 00:00 I just received this letter from the DNC:

Dear ,

This morning I was getting ready to send an email thanking more than 7,000 of you for stepping up to take the fight into the backyard of Jean Schmidt and any other Republican leader who attacks one of our veterans for cheap political gain. We had begun working with Lamar, an ad company in the area, and signed a contract to place two billboards near Jean Schmidt's district office in Portsmouth, Ohio (one on US-52 and one at 1024 Offnere Street). Thanks to your overwhelming response we were also looking into putting up additional billboards in several other locations in the Cincinnati market.

Unfortunately, at about 10 AM, we got two phone calls -- the first came from Lamar's Cincinnati office informing us that because of the content of the ad, they are refusing to continue to work with us. The second call came a few minutes later from Lamar's Huntington, West Virginia office, informing us that despite our signed contract, they were also rejecting our ad. This reversal came more than 24 hours after the DNC had signed a contract with Lamar, and 48 hours after they had accepted the artwork for the billboards you helped pay to put up.

By rejecting these ads, Lamar has limited your right to be heard.

The DNC's General Counsel, Joe Sandler, has drafted a letter to Lamar's chairman demanding that Lamar honor its commitment to run the billboards. They think they can get away with this because they own nearly every billboard in the district, but you can put pressure on Lamar to support free speech by signing on to the letter:


The full text of the letter is at the end of this note, and we will deliver it by noon Friday with the signatures of everyone who wants to be included. The management at Lamar Advertising has seriously miscalculated if they think that thousands of Americans who want to stand up for our veterans will be silenced.

The attack on a decorated combat veteran's courage and patriotism that came out of Jean Schmidt's mouth on the House floor was unacceptable. But Lamar Advertising seems to think that thousands of people coming together and holding her accountable for it is what's really unacceptable.

You can let Lamar know what you think by signing on to our general counsel's letter before noon on Friday:


Republican leaders need to learn they cannot get away with dishonoring the service of veterans to score political points. This is a pattern that needs to stop here and now, and that's why this billboard is so important.

Please forward this message around to let people know what's happening. I will be in touch as this story unfolds.

Thank you,

Tom McMahon

Executive Director

Democratic National Committee