Friday, September 29, 2006

Maybe We Won't Need An Election After All....

...maybe all of the Republicans will have themselves implicated in some illegal activity prior to the November elections, and the election itself will become a moot point.

This afternoon, Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress after being caught having sexually explicit conversations online with underage Congressional pages.

Yes, if you're wondering.... this is the SAME Rep. Foley who chaired the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

This is no small loss for the Republicans - Rep. Foley's seat was considered a safe seat for the November elections, and Rep. Foley also served as the Deputy Majority Whip.

There are any number of jokes to make here, but ultimately there is nothing funny about this. It's yet another hypocritical example of Republicans trying to paint Democrats as "heathen, immoral, and bankrupt of any redeeming values" and then being caught red-handed in their own immoral, illegal activities.

I wonder what Jerry Falwell thinks about Rep. Foley?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 4:01 PM /

Monday, September 25, 2006

If You Want To Bring Up Clinton....

...good. Let's talk about Clinton. In fact, let's let him speak for himself:

If more Democrats would step up and grow a backbone against smarmy alleged "journalists" like Chris Wallace (who wants to be his dad SO much), the Democratic party would be a much, much more successful party:

This is ABSOLUTELY the reason why, if Clinton was able to run again tomorrow, he would win a third term as President of the United States again... despite his moral misgivings, despite his heart problems - all of this would be forgotten. He would win again in a heartbeat. No pun intended.

Clinton has opened a door, and if his fellow Democrats don't walk through it, they're making a huge strategic mistake.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 8:27 AM /

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Need Another Reason?

The War in Iraq is a smaller part of the larger War on Terror, right? We're "fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here," right?

I'm not sure how many voices it will take to convince the Bush Administration and Republicans that they have completely botched their foreign policy, but today there is yet more news that their efforts have created more problems, rather than more solutions:
A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the "centrality" of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.
Keep in mind that this is not a report from an official opposing the Bush Administration, but instead, it represents a consensus opinion of the sixteen spy services within the government.

Americans should be repulsed that the Bush Administration continues to sacrifice the lives of our American troops in an effort that can only be categorized as the main catalyst for civil war in Iraq - an effort that now has officially been reported to actually RAISE the threat of global terrorism, rather than reducing it.

As for the Republicans like Frist who blindly continue to support the President's failed agenda, they do so at their peril, both in November, as well as in 2008.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 4:15 PM /

Friday, September 22, 2006

Yet More Reasons Why The Iraq War Was A Mistake....

... from an ongoing and seemingly never-ending list...

687. World Leaders like Hugo Chavez can take the podium of the United Nations and say things like "The devil came right here... And it still smells of sulfur today." in reference to President Bush's appearance the day prior, and members of the world community applaud.

688. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is able to claim that "The intelligence director told me that (Armitage) said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age....'" The world responds by believing this to be absolutely plausible.

In both of these cases, it is inmaterial whether the charges brough forth by Chavez or Musharraf are right or wrong. It makes no difference whether the sources are reliable or not.

The simple fact is that the United States has lost its credibility and respect within the world community. When people around the globe listen to Chavez or Musharraf and believe their statements over those of the United States, one thing is certain - the reputation and influence of the United States has been reduced to nothing more than that of a common street bully.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 3:32 PM /

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Brief History Of Bush

Yes, it's all as bad as you recall. But if you need a reminder of the timeline, and all of the specific, spastic, and horrific blunders and calculated crimes committed against this country, Sidney Blumenthal was written an excellent piece on Smirking Chimp today.

It's a long article, as it should be - but if you don't have time to read the entire piece, at least take a moment to consider the following abbreviated version, excerpted from the full article:
In his 2000 campaign, Bush permitted himself few hints of radicalism. On the contrary he made ready promises of moderation, judiciously offering himself as a "compassionate conservative," an identity carefully crafted to contrast with the discredited Republican radicals of the House of Representatives.... Seeking to distance himself from the congressional Republicans, Bush declared that he was not hostile to government. He would, he said, "change the tone in Washington." He would be more reasonable than the House Republicans and more moral than Clinton. Governor Bush went out of his way to point to his record of bipartisan cooperation with Democrats in Texas, stressing that he would be "a uniter, not a divider."

Trying to remove the suspicion that falls on conservative Republicans, he pledged that he would protect the solvency of Social Security. On foreign policy, he said he would be "humble": "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll view us that way, but if we're a humble nation, they'll respect us.... Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what's called secret evidence. People are stopped, and we got to do something about that...." Bush's intent was to win an endorsement from the American Muslim Council, which was cued to back him after he delivered his debating point, and it was instrumental in his winning an overwhelming share of Muslims' votes, about 90,000 of which were in Florida.

The Republicans had control of both houses of the Congress and the presidency for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was elected.... Immediately upon assuming office, Bush launched upon a series of initiatives that began to undo the bipartisan traditions of internationalism, environmentalism, fiscal discipline, and scientific progress. His first nine months in office were a quick march to the right. The reasons were manifold, ranging from Cheney and Rumsfeld's extraordinary influence, Rove's strategies, the neoconservatives' inordinate sway, and Bush's Southern conservatism. These deeper patterns were initially obscured by the surprising rapidity of Bush's determined tack.

Bush withdrew from the diplomacy with North Korea to control its development and production of nuclear weapons.... Swiftly, Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty to reduce greenhouse gases and global warming, and presented a "voluntary" plan that was supported by no other nation. He also withdrew the U.S. from its historic role as negotiator among Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs, a process to which his father had been particularly committed.

In short order, Bush also reversed his campaign promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and canceled the federal regulation reducing cancer-causing arsenic levels in water....

Domestic policy adviser John DiIulio, a political scientist from the University of Pennsylvania, who had accepted his position in the White House on the assumption that he would be working to give substance to the president's rhetoric of "compassionate conservatism," resigned in a state of shock. "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus," DiIulio told Esquire magazine. "What you've got is everything - and I mean everything - being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis ... Besides the tax cut ... the administration has not done much, either in absolute terms or in comparison to previous administrations at this stage, on domestic policy. There is a virtual absence as yet of any policy accomplishments that might, to a fair-minded non-partisan, count as the flesh on the bones of so-called compassionate conservatism."

By September 10, Bush held the lowest job approval rating of any president to that early point in his tenure. He appeared to be falling into the pattern of presidents who arrived without a popular mandate and lasted only one term. The deadliest foreign attack on American soil transformed his foundering presidency.
The entire article, and it's encapsulation of the Bush Administration thus far, is well worthy of the time it will take to read. Highly recommended, particularly prior to the November elections, where a majority of votes will be cast in opposition to the recklessness of this Administration, as well as its lack of accountability.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 7:05 PM /

My Bad...

PTF is alive and kicking... conservatives can once again begin to quiver in their boots!

I bought a new laptop today, accessed PTF, and all visible and alive... and NEGLECTED!!!

Well, no more!

I'm still not sure whether the gum in the works was a Blogger issue or a home computer issue, but it's a moot point for now....

We're back up and running!

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:15 PM /

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Nightmare Continues....

Well, today I was actually able to see something on my blog for a change....

That's right... I've been "blind blogging" all week, and I see my stat counter dropping lower and lower, which I can only assume means that others are unable to see it as well.

But today, TEXT actually appeared on my site:
We are sorry, but a temporary problem is preventing
your request from being completed.

The system administration team for Blog*Spot has been notified.

Error: 500
So, if people HAD been able to see it, I guess they can't anymore.

Unlike others who tend to gripe A LOT about Blogger, I'm one of those people who actually LIKE it - I like the ease with which I can post, and it tends to provide just enough versatility for a blogger like me, who knows just enough html to get myself into trouble.

If I can't see my blog, and you can't see my blog, though - does it still exist?

Posted by FleshPresser at 9:24 AM /

Ney May Say "Guilty" Today

Back in January, we profiled Rep. Bob Ney as one of those folks who would likely get caught up in the Abramoff web of scandal.

Then, in August, we reported on his decision to not seek re-election in the House of Representatives. And while House Majority Leader John Boehner asked him to step aside, there was consideration given to the fact that, in giving up his seat, he'd be able to at least make some money on K Street.

Well, today the shit hits the fan, and it's reported that Rep. Ney will plead guilty to at least one criminal charge in the corruption scandal, and may even resign his seat sooner than November. This coming after months of Ney continually denying any wrongdoing whatsoever.

Delay, Ney, Conrad Burns... the list continues to grow and grow. How many more indictments will it take to firm in the American mind the notion of the hypocritical "ethics" practiced by the Republican party? Headed by the President who promised to return ethics, accountability, and integrity to Washington?

Ready for November?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 12:45 AM /

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bush's Celebrity Interpreter

No real reason for posting this today, except for the fact that it's just damned funny! Enjoy!

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:17 AM /

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

DANGER! Mind-altering film clip!!!

Beware, All Ye Who Read This Blog Post!!

Whatever you do.... DO NOT click on this link. This link connects to a clip from the dangerous film, DOAP - Death Of A President, which we told you about last week.

For God's sake, do not even glimpse the film clip, for surely just viewing it will actually persuade you to go out and shoot the President.

Hell, I'm sure you're on a list somewhere in Washington for even READING this post.

So, whatever you do - I implore you - DO NOT VIEW THIS FILM CLIP!!!!

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Posted by FleshPresser at 2:18 PM /

Monday, September 11, 2006

ABC/Disney's Version Of History

Disclaimer: I am, for all intensive purposes, a Disney-ophile. Not rabid.... not collecting all the bizarre Disneyana knick-knacks or anything like that. I just like their philosophy behind entertainment and creating a sense of magic in a world that craves it badly.

Of course, that status is seriously in jeopardy.

It's one thing for Disney to fictionalize and create cartoons out of Greek mythology, or early American history, or Chinese folklore.

It's quite another to take a tragic event in recent American history - one whose wounds are still very fresh - and simultaneously sensationalize the event for the purposes of commercialism and entertainment (and ANYONE who believes that this was done for any other reason than to cash in on sweeps week is TRAGICALLY misguided), as well as to blatently misrepresent the events which they portray.

I have long defended some rather indefensible positions that Disney has been known to take from time to time.

This most recent, however, is simply indefensible.

UPDATE: Seems most Americans saw through the lies and chose to reject them, or just preferred to watch the NFL... on NBC, I'm happy to say.

Posted by FleshPresser at 3:11 PM /

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blind Blogging

Well, today I found a handful of comments waiting for me that have been posted over the last few days, I presume. They all appeared today, and they all said that PTF is coming through loud and clear.

It freaks me out, in that I STILL cannot see it, but it makes me happy that at least it hasn't disappeared.

As such, PTF will trudge onward, blogging blindly until the situation gets resolved on my side. Thanks to all who let me know that I do, in fact, exist.

Posted by FleshPresser at 7:04 PM /

The Week That Was - September 10, 2006

Posted by FleshPresser at 12:31 AM /

Saturday, September 09, 2006


There is TOO much going on for this to be happening!!!

I have no idea if anyone else is able to see any of these pathetic posts. If you can, I apologize for the inane quality, but also ask that you either leave a comment, or e-mail me and let me know that you are, in fact, able to read this....

If it actually IS showing up, it's more important that others are able to read it than whether or not I am, so I will continue to post with the hopes that eventually, Blogger will once again allow me to see my own blog.

This is ridiculous.

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:14 PM /

The Mystery Continues...

OK... I can see that my posts have been published, and I can actually view PTF from INSIDE of Blogger, but not from the outside.

Is anyone else having issues like this? Maybe others are not able to see thier own blogs, as well?

Blogger... are you listening? HELP!!!

Posted by FleshPresser at 6:11 PM /

Thursday, September 07, 2006


OK... now I'm beginning to get concerned.... no comments have been posted... no clue on the whereabouts of PTF.... and no response from Blogger as I cry for help.....

Is anyone else having Blogger problems???

Posted by FleshPresser at 8:54 PM /

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is There Anyone Out There?

Blogger seems to have eaten PTF once again, although I have friends who don't seem to be affected.... is there anyone out there?

Posted by FleshPresser at 11:41 AM /

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's Mourning In America...

That is, if you call yourself a Republican or a Conservative. And the GOP is girding itself to feel the wrath of the American voter.

Every day, less and less Americans are willing to self-identify themselves as Republicans. In October, 2004, there were 37.2% willing to proudly call themselves Republicans. By January of this year, that number had slipped to 34.5%, and today it has shriveled to a paltry 31.9%.

Meanwhile, numbers for the Democrats are on the rise. 36.1% self-identified themselves as a Democrat in January of this year. Today, the number has risen to 37.3%, almost six points over the Republicans.

Also bad news for the Republicans - those claiming to be unaffiliated has grown to 30.8% this month.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, the real campaigns will begin, with just over 60 days left until the elections.

Isn't it funny how, in the past, the GOP has embraced their President, defended his actions, and urged him to campaign with them.

This year, all of that is in the past, and the Republicans are scattering as far away from Dubya as they can. In their ads, Republicans barely want to mention that they are, in fact, Republicans. Look at some of the quotes from ads currently running:
Rep. Jim Gerlach, Republican House member in PA - "When I believe President Bush is right, I'm behind him. But when I think he's wrong, I let him know that, too...."

Rep. Mark Kennedy, a Republican running for the open seat in Minnesota - "I'm a Republican. On issues like taxes and spending, I vote like it. But on other issues, I cross party lines."

Rep. Clay Shaw, a Republican running for re-election in Florida - "I represent the state of Florida, not a political party."

Sen. Jim Talent, running in a close race in Missouri - "Most people don't care if you're red or blue, Republican or Democrat. ... They care about getting things done."
Are you kidding me? This sure isn't what it sounded like just a short two years ago, did it? And if it doesn't matter, why are Repubilcans so quick to demonize Democrats as a whole, attempting in vain to sell to the American people that the world will indeed end if Democrats wind up in power?

Why? Because it's Mourning in America, and the Republicans are scared.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 9:59 AM /

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day

I'm never happy on Labor Day... although it's not an official end of the summer, I've had the "school year" schedule of seasons beaten into me for far too long, and so seeing Jerry Lewis on TV over the weekend always marks the semi-official end of the summer for me.

I came across a nice set of quotes which spoke to the holiday, though, and so I would like to paste them here, coutesy of Details:
The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.
-Cesar Chavez

The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth.
-Wendell Phillips

What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright.
-Samuel Gompers

The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.
-A. Phillip Randolph

With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the race, for the developing of character in men, than any other association of men.
-Clarence Darrow
A couple of other thoughts for this Labor Day - according to the United States Census, over 7.5 million Americans hold down two jobs to earn a living. About 294,000 of them actually work full-time in both positions.

This map documents the change in the median household income between 1999 and 2005.

I am a proud member of a union, and I give thanks for the Labor Movement on this Labor Day - for without unions, a majority of you would not have had today off, let alone such luxuries as a 40-hour work week, a safe work environment, or a guarantee of a minimum wage, even if Congress hasn't found a way to raise it in over a decade.

Posted by FleshPresser at 10:30 PM /

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Week That Was - September 2, 2006

Posted by FleshPresser at 4:01 PM /

Casey V. Santorum - Meet The Press

Clearly, one of the biggest battlegrounds in November will be Pennsylvania, as Americans watch to see if Bob Casey can maintain his lead over Rick Santorum and knock off one of the most despicable Members of Congress.

With 65 days until the November elections, one recent poll showed Santorum closing the gap to just six points, although a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Friday showed Casey sitting on a 56-38% lead amongst likely voters, and a 14 point lead with registered voters.

As I've said in the past, Santorum has only been able to muster support in the high 30s or low 40s, despite the fact that he's spent over $7 million dollars to date in advertising, and the GOP has marked this race as one of their top priorities.

On the other hand, however, is the fact that Santorum is clearly a good campaigner. A bad human being, but a good campaigner. He can't be counted out until November 8th, 2006.

All of this made the first debate between the men - a debate on a national stage - all the more important. As such, I tried to watch Meet The Press this morning with a critical eye, in an attempt to determine if Santorum will get a bounce as a result of this appearance, or if Casey's lead will widen.

My first impressions are that Casey is not a charismatic campaigner, and doesn't have the same amount of energy that Santorum does in arenas such as these. Santorum came out swinging, and struck me as a man who knew the stakes of the debate. Casey, on the other hand, wanted to appear confident, but didn't want to make a mistake. Russert gave both of them some pretty good shots, but overall, I believe that Russert was tougher on Santorum than Casey was - and that could be a problem.

I will also say that, prior to the show airing, Santorum bought airtime for ads immediately prior to MTP. Casey did not. One might argue that Santorum has almost a 4 to 1 advantage over Casey in funding, and as a result, Casey's campaign staff may reason that it's not as important to buy air time and run ads until it's necessary.

Let me be upfront - Casey is not my favorite Democrat running in November. Compared to Santorum, however, he's a world of difference. Clearly, the Democratic party chose Casey specifically to run in Pennsylvania as a candidate that may have some "crossover" appeal to Republicans, because they feel so strongly about removing Santorum from office. At what price, however?

During the show, Casey talked about issues where he doesn't sound much different than some Republicans. He commented on his stands on the Iraq war - he opposes a timetable, and wants to double special forces on the ground in Iraq. He's also a pro-life Democrat, although he does support Plan B as an emergency contraceptive.

Russert was particulary interesting on the issue of Plan B, as he tried to pin Casey to the idea that it was somehow hypocritical to support Plan B and maintain a pro-life position. Just for the record, Plan B is emergency contraception, and is not something like RU-486. Plan B does not work if you are already pregnant.

Casey is in favor of firing Donald Rumsfeld. He believes that accountability should be established both with Congress, as well as with the Iraqi army. He gave Santorum a great shot when he commented that what we need in Iraq is not a "change in terminology, but a change in tactics."

Casey favors repealing the tax cut given to Americans earning over $200,000 a year. He also favors a change in the estate tax exemption levels - $3.5 million for individuals, $7 million for couples, and $5 million for farms and businesses. These changes alone would create a savings of over one trillion dollars over the next ten years.

Rick Santorum is evil. Pure and simple. Those who agree with this assessment, however, should be concerned. During debates like this, he comes across as competent, aggressive, and even likable.

The content, however, is where Santorum will lose. Santorum believes that Rumsfeld has done an excellent job executing the war in Iraq. During the debate, he repeatedly tried to re-frame the war in Iraq, stating that the real cause of civil war in Iraq was Iran - attempting to shift focus almost exclusively to Iran. Santorum believes that Iraq was not a war of choice, but a war of necessity, and he foolishly believes that we haven't been attacked in the last five years exclusively because of the war in Iraq.

Santorum re-stated again this morning that he believes that there WERE WMDs found in Iraq, and that Iraq posed a "grave threat" to the United States - both of which have been proven to be false over and over again. He also stated that he has absolutely no problem with the current domestic surveillance program. Comments like these are going to be where Santorum loses votes, as a majority of Americans do not believe what Santorum believes.

While Santorum only mentions Bush these days to state how he differs from the President, the facts don't lie. Santorum has been a rubber stamp for President Bush. In 2001, Santorum voted with Bush 97%. In 2002, it was 96%. In 2003, it was 99%. In 2004, it was 100%. In 2005, it was 95%. Casey correctly stated that when two politicians agree this much, one of them is clearly not necessary.

In 2001, the United States enjoyed a $281 billion dollar surplus. Today, we own a $260 billion dollar deficit - a difference of $541 billion dollars lost.

In 2001, the national debt was $5.7 trillion dollars. Today, it has grown to $8.5 trillion dollars, or an increase of 49%.

Despite this, Santorum has voted to support EVERY opportunity to increase the debt ceiling, rather than to practice fiscal responsibility.

Early in his career, Santorum advocated for raising the retirement age from 65 to 70. Today, fighting for his political life, he states that there is no need to raise taxes, cut benefits, OR raise the retirement age. His answer is the silver bullet called "personal retirement accounts." These personal retirement accounts, of course, would drain over a trillion dollars out of the social security system - but I guess no one bothered to give Rick Santorum that information.

While I don't think this was a shining moment for Bob Casey, I think that Casey didn't do enough to hurt himself, and that Santorum didn't do enough to help himself. There may be a slight bounce in the polls in either direction in the days following this debate today, but ultimately they will settle back at the place they are right now.

Ultimately, I still believe that Casey wins this race. Santorum has been in office too long and can be blamed for too many of America's problems, and he won't be able to unentagle himself from President Bush.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 1:14 PM /

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Road To Washington - Sept. 2, 2006

Here at the PTF offices, we receive most of the major weekly news publications, and one of the features that I regularly read is the Washington Whispers column in U.S. News and World Report.

While the rest of the blogosphere was reporting on last week's Whispers story regarding Bush's infatuation with farts, there was another story that largely went unnoticed.

Zogby ran a poll which questioned likely primary voters about potential candidates running for President in 2008 - but they didn't provide those who were questioned with names. Instead, they only provided biographies and resumes. So, taking the telegenics and media hype away from each of them how did they fare?

If you're a poll geek like I am, you'll probably find the results as fascinating as I found them.

According to the poll, the results were as follows:

1. Mark Warner..................................14.8%
2. Wesley Clark..................................14.2%
3. Russ Feingold.................................12.2%
4. Evan Bayh......................................11.1%
5. John Edwards................................10.4%
6. Hillary Clinton................................5.6%
7. Bill Richardson................................5.3%
8. former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.......4.9%
9. John Kerry......................................4.9%
10. Tom Vilsack...................................3.0%
11. Joe Biden.......................................2.8%

1. Newt Gingrich................................21.4%
2. John McCain.................................13.3%
3. Rudy Giuliani.................................11.2%
4. Tom Tancredo.................................9.9%
5. Chuck Hagel....................................6.1%
6. Mike Huckabee................................5.8%
7. Bill Frist...........................................5.6%
8. George Allen....................................4.9%
9. Sam Brownback...............................4.3%
10. Mitt Romney...................................3.8%
11. George Pataki..................................2.8%

Some thoughts based on these results:

* Keep in mind that this poll evens out the playing ground a bit, in that it doesn't rely on name recognition at all, but simply takes a snapshot of where likely primary voters stand on various issues at this point in time, almost two years out.

* That being said, who the hell is former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel??? And how bad does it suck to be John Kerry, Tom Vilsack, or Joe Biden and finish lower than Mike Gravel???

* Raise your hands if you're frightened at how high Tom Tancredo finishes in this "issues-oriented" poll?

* Hillary Clinton finishes in SIXTH place. Not a "close" sixth place, either. She's solidly behind the five candidates in front of her. This is a HUGE red flag if you ask me. If she finishes that far back on the issues, imagine what the Rove and the Republicans will do to her in a general election campaign?

* I'm also quite surprised to see a moderate Republican like Chuck Hagel finishing as high as he does for the Republicans. The same can be said about Rudy Giuliani. Remember... this is a poll taken WITHOUT name recognition, and conventional wisdom has been that a pro-choice Republican wouldn't ever become the Republican candidate in '08.

* Candidates who finish higher than I might have expected include Wesley Clark, Russ Feingold (everyone says he's too liberal to run, but maybe this proves otherwise), and Evan Bayh for the Democrats. On the Republican side, I'd say Tancredo, Hagel, and Giuliani were the surprises.

* Finishing lower than I might have expected - Dems: John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry (he might as well just kiss it good-bye right now). Repubs: George Allen and Mitt Romney.

* Finishing right where they belong - Joe Biden, Joe Biden, and Joe Biden.

* No Al Gore on this list, no Barack Obama, and no Condaleeza Rice - very interesting.

I'll be interested to see if Zogby continues this type of polling as the election gets closer - I think I'm a big fan of the idea behind the poll.

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Posted by FleshPresser at 7:07 PM /

A Brief Comment About Comments

For the record, I LOVE receiving comments from people who read PTF - both those who are regular readers, or those who have discovered PTF for the first time.

I do, however, discriminate against a few types of comments - and more often than not, they never make it to PTF for the general readership to see.

The first type is the MAIN reason why you have to type that series of random letters in when you leave a comment - comment moderation filters SPAM COMMENTS. These comments, which have become a prolific problem in the blogosphere, are similar to the SPAM e-mail you routinely receive in your e-mail. I spend too much time writing PTF to have comments clogged with SPAM.

In addition, when those with legitimate comments write, I want readers to pay attention to those comments - if it becomes clear that a majority of the comments are simply SPAM, readers simply begin to ignore the comments altogether.

So, for the time being, I use comment moderation to keep the SPAM out. If anyone has a better way to keep the spam away, I'd be more than willing to try out any other system.

The other comment I tend to discriminate against is the "fly-by strike" - typically uninformed, seeking attention (or a free link to their own blog), or otherwise ignorant in thier comments... rather than try to explain, I'll actually show you one that I received, and dissect it for you.

This was a comment sent regarding the FleshMesh Friday post - since the individual is seeking attention, I've got no problem calling him out - the post is from Senor at the oh-too-cleverly-titled Huffington Compost:
Absolutely disgusting for somebody to make a movie like this of a sitting president.

Comment moderation is for censors. Libs dont like to hear opposition to their ideas.
I dont use comment moderation. I think its for pansies.

Oh, and you guys sure were wrong about Joe Wilson. Read the WA Post today?
OK... now let's take it apart.
"Absolutely disgusting for somebody to make a movie like this of a sitting president."
You may think that this is what I have a problem with, but you'd be wrong... for the most part. He disagrees with my thoughts on the film. I actually LOVE that - PTF focuses on progressive politics, but if you read at the top, I state that PTF is a "...palace for those with a point of view...." That's ANY point of view. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE getting comments from folks who agree with what I'm saying. But it's important to hear from those who don't necessarily agree - and to be able to discuss the differing points of view.

Here's my main problem with the beginning of the comment. There's absolutely NOTHING brought to the table. OK, Senor... you disagree. Great - now back it up. You think it's disgusting to make a film like this - why? Why is it OK to distribute films like Saw or Hostel, and yet films like DOAP are somehow disgusting? If you can't bring anything to the table, don't come to the table. Onward....
"Comment moderation is for censors. Libs dont like to hear opposition to their ideas. I dont use comment moderation. I think its for pansies."
Where to begin here? Well, to begin, this person CLEARLY doesn't read PTF on a regular basis - if he did, he'd notice that we probably publish more dissenting comments than anything else - some of my favorite regular readers are those who bring an opposition to whatever it is that I'm stating.

Furthermore, he not only accuses me wrongly of not liking to hear opposition to my ideas, but generalizes by stating that "libs don't like to...." Anyone that generalizes that "all Liberals are the same" immediately receives my full-throated disdain. But then again, this comes from a guy who publishes his blog in 148-point fonts, has no idea how to format his blog (a personal pet peeve), and uses words like "moonbats," "digital brownshirts," "libtards,"... the list goes on and on. People in the blogosphere who write like this are, in my opinion, uninspired, unintelligent, uneducated, and can think of no more reasonable way to dispute a differing opinion than by generalizing, stereotyping, and name-calling.

But it seems as though Senor is certainly no pansy, and enjoys receiving opposition to his comments, so I'd encourage you to go slumming and visit his blog, and leave as many oppositional comments as you care to - if you can stand reading his very LARGE and thick-headed writing.

To wrap up, he states:
"Oh, and you guys sure were wrong about Joe Wilson. Read the WA Post today?"
Here, he once again generalizes with "you guys" and goes on to comment about something that has NOTHING to do with the post he's commenting on - an obvious ploy to get people to click over to his blog. I also love people who tend to rip newspapers like The Washington POst every chance they get.. that is, until they see something they like. Then it's suddenly their favorite publication.

So, Senor.... is this enough attention that we've given you now? Are you happy that your opposition has been heard? To be fair, Senor is not the first "fly-by" that we've received, and he won't be the last. His comment simply embodied many of the traits that tend to annoy PTF readers.

Make no mistake - we LOVE comments at PTF - agree or disagree (right, Prof?)... we simply ask that you think before you write, and bring something to the table. If you're taking the time to type in all those random letters anwyay, then make it worth your while... and worth the time of those who read the comments.

OK... so this wasn't so brief, after all. But it needed to be said. Now that it has, comment away!!!!

P.S. - If you want to take a look at a group of people who don't like to hear opposition to their ideas, look no further than the Bush Administration!

Posted by FleshPresser at 2:55 PM /