Thursday, January 13, 2005

Back on track

So it's been almost a month since I posted and I've got no excuses.

I started law school a week ago at Cardozo Law School in NYC. It should be fun, and it's already pretty interesting.

I'm just going to throw out a few very brief thoughts on the major issues going on and hopefully I'll get to revisit some of these in more depth. Please comment if you have any thoughts or opinions on these issues, so I know which ones are worth revisiting.

Social Security Privitization: This is a huge opportunity for the Democrats to solidify our party and define ourselves in light of our huge minority in DC. It looks like the Democratic caucus is standing together pretty strong on this issue. Minority Leader Reid is doing a good job of keeping our Senators united on this issue and Pelosi is showing herself to be a pretty strong leader.

Bush is trying his favorite strategy of creating a crisis (see Iraq) to make the public feel that reform is inevitable. The fact is that Social Security is safe for 50+ years according to various accounts. While there are some major issues with Social Security, it is no risk of collapse.

I personally feel that a better plan would be to change the age that benefits kick in to better reflect our longer lives, but the Republicans are not interested in ever discussing this. Their issue is not fixing Social Security, but instead finding a new way to give people a tax-free savings account and to drive business to Wall Street and inject life into the stock market.

We can not budge on this.

The best coverage I've seen of this has been at Talking Points Memo

DNC Elections: For the first time ever, there is a ton of attention being focused on the 400+ voters who will determine who is the next head of the DNC.

The current favorite for the nomination is probably Howard Dean who announced his candidacy this week. The former Governor got an unjust rap as an Uber-Liberal during the Democratic primaries, when he is much more of a centrist.

The top centrist candidate is probably former Congressman Tim Roemer of Ohio who has a lot of experience in DC - not always a benefit. Roemer seems to be a 'career politician' and does not seem to be getting a lot of support outside of the Beltway.

Other top candidates are: Simon Rosenberg of the New Democrat Network, Howard Ickes an side to Bill Clinton, Donny Fowler (his father used to run the DNC), Coloradoan Wellington Webb and some other names we'll never hear again after next month.

On a personal note, I met Simon Rosenberg several times when I was working in DC and he was one of the first powerful people in DC to see the Dean campaign as a positive grassroots thing despite his difference over politics. I think he would make an excellent candidate uniting many wings of the party.

I think Rosenberg makes an excellent case study. There are two ways to look at people. Howard Dean as DNC Chair would not be about his policies but about his campaigning - same thing for Rosenberg. They come from opposite sides of the Democratic party but they both represent reform - as does Donny Fowler (though I have some issues with him trashing the Clark campaign when he left). The status quo doesn't work, these guys will expand the party regardless of politics.

I've been getting a lot of good info from Chris and Jerome over at MyDD

I was also going to touch briefly on Payolagate and Voting Irregularities, but I'm tapped out for today.

Please check out Oliver Willis for more info on Payolagate.


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