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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003


DN's Backbone Award: The LA Times and CA Governor Davis,1,4874945.story

posted by Trammell at Tuesday, October 07, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
For those of you that think I'm recall-obsessed, I'll do nothing to dissuade you this week. Today is (finally) election day in California (don't forget to vote!) and as Paul Hogan puts it at Points West:
The recall succeeds by a wide margin and Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes governor....or not. Your guess is really as good as mine, the newspapers', the pollsters' and my Uncle Frank's. The reality is that nobody has any clue how tomorrow is going to turn out.
But the good news is, for better or for worse, we are almost off this merry-go-round and back to focusing on the Presidential race, but not without a few final (Back) bones to throw. First award, The Los Angeles Times printed a series of stories regarding Ah-nold that indicated a troubling and undeniable pattern of sexual abuse and humiliation toward women. For this, they have faced a reader backlash and angry assertions from Ah-nold's campaign that they are in cahoots with Davis and playing "puke politics" even though he admitted that many of the allegations were true. The Times has repeatedly denied such claims, stating that they worked on the stories for months, that none of the women came forward voluntarily, and that no names or information were provided by the Davis campaign. Nonetheless, at least 1,000 subscriptions have been canceled so far....and the paper is on the defensive:
[By contrast] "In the case of Davis, we did, three or four weeks ago, a huge front-page story on our biggest circulation day, Sunday, on the case against him. It was the most comprehensive account of all of his shortcomings that I've read in any publication."

Carroll said the newspaper has also written numerous other stories that were critical of the governor, "about his fund-raising, his use of attack advertising, his links with special interests — I can't count the stories we've done on that." He also pointed to stories about Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, focusing on his acceptance of campaign funds from Indian casino interests and his legal problems with an investment property.

He defended the timing of the Schwarzenegger stories, and noted that the short schedule of the recall campaign made the task more difficult than it might otherwise have been. "We didn't have a story until the day we ran it," Carroll said. "We were working for seven weeks, seeking women, trying to persuade the women we found to talk with us. Investigative reporting of this sort takes a lot of time."
Please send supportive emails to the The LA Times at and if you get a second and live in California subscribe -- they even have a SoCal college discount!

Next, I'm gonna just say it: I love Gray Davis. I haven't liked him much for years, and it's too bad it took him so long to show us who he really is, but folks, Davis is a progressive. Though this LA Times OpEd tries to make it a bad thing, and many other articles have accused him of pandering to the left, personally, I see little political benefit for him in doing so. Faced with the very real possibility of being removed, he has signed incredibly important bills and filled vacancies on the bench with progressives. To wit:
As a result, California government has become a liberal bastion, a development with profound implications for the future of governance.

Davis' recent signing of domestic partners legislation, which grants same-sex couples expanded rights, positions California as perhaps the second-most-liberal state, after Vermont, on the issue of gay rights.

Consumer advocates and environmental groups, staunch Democratic supporters, got what they long wanted. After generally supporting banks and other financial institutions on privacy legislation, Davis signed a bill that, Consumers Union says, "provides Californians the strongest financial privacy rights in the country."

Meanwhile, the Wildlife Conservation Board, composed of Davis appointees, hurriedly called a special meeting to allocate funds to buy Ahmanson Ranch in Ventura County and the last available piece of the Ballona Wetlands in coastal Los Angeles County.
Davis has faced considerable criticism for sigining the bill allowing undcoumented workers to receive a drivers license. I thing it's bogus. These folks come here because cheap-labor conservatives pay them to. They perform back-breaking work for shitty wages so that we can have cheap produce on our tables and cheap food in restaurants, yet we haven't allowed them to drive to the doctor or take their kids to school, for medical care, or even for vaccinations? Critics say that it's a homeland security issue -- I say the security issue is having folks here that have no ID, no fingerprints on file, no home and work data. This improves security, not vice versa. Whether Davis is in office for three more weeks or three more years -- three cheers for Gray Davis! You can contact Davis by e-mail at and other methods of contact are here. Tell him you are a Dean supporter, tell him about the award, and remind him that Howard Dean was the first Prez candidate to campaign with him! It took a little time Gray, but when the chips were down, you finally got some Backbone.

Finally, The Spineless Jellyroll goes to His Hopefullness, Governor Gangbang - The Grope-inator. First he admits the allegations, then denies the allegations, then dismisses it as "puke politics" and says that he will get to the bottom of this (snicker) "after the election." Doesn't he, of all people, know the truth? This guy has such a memory problem, will he make it to work in the morning? Come on. Ah-nold is NO Jesse Ventura, not by a longshot. He's more pre-packaged than the worst Velveeta politician. But hey, why let those pesky, girly, puny facts get in the way when you are on the campaign trail with wrecking balls, pyrotechnics, special effects crews, hundreds of paid extras and Twisted Sister? Attention Ah-nold! Do you think all these women didn't feel like "puking" when you humiliated them? Say what you will, but beyond the widely discredited Paula Jones allegations, Bill Clinton had consensual sex -- and I can guarantee the looked and looked and, why the reverse gender gap? Check out Conan the Vulgarian by Susan Faludi:
Clinton was perceived by men as having lost this control, and worse, lost it to a series of women. He may have been the aggressor, but as a seducer he really meant to seduce, thus exposing an almost feminine sort of desire and vulnerability. For this, he was humiliated, held up like Howard for ridicule in male eyes. No wonder so many women empathized with Clinton: He was essentially shamed like a fallen woman.

Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, is Chad the "playful" cad, going after women, sniggering frat-boy style, for the score. Sex isn't even the prime object here: The women in the Times story were manhandled, not seduced. There is no warning, no courtship. [...]

Humiliation so often seems to be the theme in these tales of Schwarzenegger's conquests, humiliation not just of women but — perhaps even more notably — of the men these women "belong" to. [...] Schwarzenegger was said to have used the wife of Don Peters, another bodybuilding competitor, to shame her — and him. [...]

After Schwarzenegger had bedded the woman, he picked up a phone and, claiming he was dialing his lawyer to reschedule an appointment, asked her to take the receiver. It turned out the number he dialed was her husband's, and while she held the phone, Schwarzenegger yelled into it these words, cleaned up by The Times' censors: "I just [made love to] her! I just [made love to] her!"
Classy dude, eh? You can fill in the blanks. I'd give you contact info, but why waste your time? This guy does not care about your opinions -- trust me. He could give a flying [make love]. So, why not just give a donation to Howard Dean!

And how was your weekend?


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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.