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I suppose, to maintain my status as an actual blog, I should link to things, now and then. So:

  • The NYT reports that Antigua and Barbado have gained a ruling from the WTO against a US law which prohibits US citizens from wagering with on-line casino operations licensed there. Essentially, it’s a trade issue, and us free traders all support the opening of this new market, right? Right?
  • My attitude towards Nancy Pelosi goes back and forth, but this contest made me laugh and laugh.
  • Scansion nerds may howl (and you know who you are), but even the title of this poem is worth it.
  • Garry Wills is one of the two people whose views on The Passion I am really looking forward to reading. Haven’t gotten to it yet, but if I link to it, perhaps I will. The other is Kevin Smith, but the only comment of his I’ve seen has been “What controversy?”. I’m excluding people I know; of the, two people I know whose views would be the most interesting, one hasn’t seen it and one has written at some length, which is nice.
  • Yes, I play Yetisports instead of blogging.

Redintegro Iraq,


It's March Madness time again, so I was looking at the Nancy Pelosi contest you linked to last year. It's a cute idea, but foreshadows the Democrats' electoral disfunction. The big idea that is supposed to convince people to vote for Kerry is some incomprehensible number? The problem with health care is drug company and HMO profits? The photo illustrating each outrage is a randomly chosen stock photo of the general subject, rather than anything depicting an actual problem?

You want to convince people that cutting college aid is bad? Put up a photo of a familiy waving goodbye to their college grad while a repo truck takes the family car and little Janey cries looking "for sale" sign in front of their family home. Create negative images that will stick. But the Democrats put up a photo of 3 smiling college grads, which sends the message that the Republican priority is putting happy kids through college.

The text that the Democrats put is "College tuitions at public universities are rising sharply, making college less and less affordable for working families. But the Bush budget is freezing Pell Grants now that students need them most, and even cutting funding for Perkins Loans by $100 million." So there's a nebulous problem not blamed on anyone, and some programs with meaningless names are being cut. If that's one of the 16 worst things in the GOP budget priorities, things must not be too bad.

This pattern is repeated in item after item, and election after election. Each photo should be an effective stand-alone, and linked to a web ad that can be forwarded. The text should clearly articulate a problem everyone can understand, blame the GOP, and include a heart-rending individual example. And each item should be something that would appeal to right-wing media, both because that's how you reach beyond the Democratic base and to encourage in-fighting within the Republican party.

Whatever the most effective issues might be, reminding people that Republicans tried to give cheaper drugs to Grandma isn't it. Private Ryan dead on the ground because he didn't have body armor just might be more persuasive.

Funny concept, though.

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