Tuesday, June 06, 2006

CD8 Post-Vacation Post

When I’m out of the country, or out in the boondocks, I pay no attention to the news. That’s okay, because when I am finally re-connected to the media babble I find that nothing much has changed. The characters may be different, but the play is still essentially the same.

The wrangling amongst anonymous posters in comment threads continues, probably to have no great affect on the outcome of any issue with which they are concerned. The wordy repetition of heart-felt beliefs reminds me of the Shakespearean observation:

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.

Latas supporters seem still to be immensely impressed by the Lieutenant Colonel’s position on Iraq, but I’m blessed if I can see any substantive difference from Giffords’ views.

From the Latas Web site:

* Reposition forces out of the cities, and eventually out of the country, at the earliest practicable date.
* Deploy a quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence in the region.
* Pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy

From the Giffords web site:

*Declare that we will have no permanent bases in Iraq.
*Commit to a targeted plan that brings our troops home as quickly as possible, while transitioning security responsibilities to the Iraqis.
*Encourage European and Middle Eastern countries to help financially in the rebuilding efforts.

On the basis of the Latas position on Iraq alone I see no reason to support him rather than Giffords. Incidentally, detailed statements of the Giffords positions, voting record, and testimonials are available here.


Emersome Biggums said...

Plagiarism. I think she just posted this stuff. Latas has had this up for a very long time. Do we have to go back to the flip flop again? Her original position was quite different and I’m thankful she started listening to the crowd’s response to Latas’ statements in Patagonia. This is the difference Art, Latas has always taken his current position on Iraq.

Liza said...

The fundamental difference between the Latas position on Iraq and the Giffords "position" is that Latas actually had a position when he entered the CD8 race. Giffords did not. Giffords and her handlers have been developing her position on Iraq as it becomes more apparent to them what they think will work in this election. That is a whole lot different than believing in something and being willing to fight for it even when public opinion has not yet arrived. I heard Giffords speak in Patagonia last January and I can assure you she was not fired up about Iraq. Latas was, and that's why I support him.

The situation in Iraq just gets worse by the day. And, we continue to learn more about atrocities committed against the people of a sovereign nation who had the bad luck to be living over all of that sweet crude oil that we need to control. The news today is that the US may be preparing for a major offensive operation in Ramadi. People are leaving the city, hoping to stay alive. Imagine for just a few seconds what that kind of fear is like.

Art, try, at least for a moment, to get past your devotion to Giffords and start giving some thought to where the last five decades of US foreign policy has taken us.

In fact, all of you Giffords fans need to wake up and face north. Iraq is the issue for 2006. We need to elect candidates who understand why American foreign policy is failing and must change. Otherwise, everything else is a moot point because the current direction is not sustainable and the future is bleak and uncertain.

By the way, the Giffords response to the anonymous "attack" letter gave me another reason to not vote for her. Kind of an overreaction, I would say, with Swift Boat and Karl Rove comparisons. Interesting how she can rant about an anonymous "attack" letter but she can't stand up for the people of Iraq who are dying and suffering pretty horribly as a direct result of the US invasion and occupation.

Also, I noticed that Giffords is now a "progressive." What happened to "centrist?"

Liza said...

You must have posted while I was writing. You are right on, sir.

Make no mistake about it, all you Giffords fans. The Giffords position on "Iraq" did not exist when she entered the race. Does it really matter what she says months later? Has she acquired an awareness of what the Iraq invasion was about? Have her handlers figured it out? Do the polls say its okay to have a position against the war?

Liza said...

Art and all other Giffords fans,

One more thing. Here is what Giffords had to say about Iraq when asked last January in Patagonia. What she said at that time obviously doesn't amount to much, mostly just blah blah blah comments. She did start to say something about it being "irresponsible" to pull the troops out immediately but didn't get to finish. I checked her website at the time and didn't see where she had anything to say about Iraq.

GIFFORDS in Patagonia (1/16):

Giffords: "Obviously, the problems in Iraq are one of the major problems that all of us are thinking about, not just across the district and the state, but across the country and the world. There are two solutions that are being put forward and that you hear about in the mainstream, and I think both of them are not appropriate. One is to withdraw immediately from Iraq, and the second, which we hear President Bush saying all the time, is to stay the course. Well, the problem with staying the course is that our very presence in Iraq is fueling the insurgency, and when the Iraqi people and the other neighboring Arab nations believe that our presence there is really more for oil than it is for the Iraqi people and democracy, what that means, unfortunately, is that we are not moving the Iraqi people forward as we need to. The problem, of course, with withdrawing immediately, is that we are there. None of us were here to vote on entering into Iraq. We are there today, and it is irresponsible to just pull out immediately. That being said..."(time called).

Art Jacobson said...

Emerson...Whoever you are... what plagiarism? The latas position was taken from his web site. Do you mean that the similarity of positions constitutes plagiarism?

Liza..as a matter of fact Latas has changed his position. Now he wants to get out "as soon as praticable." Further, Latas is commited to keeping a quick response force in the area. This means he believes we should re-invade--to do what? Guarantee security? Well, there you are again.

Giffords pointed out that it would be irresponsible to pull out immediately.

What's the difference?

By the way, do Latas or his supporters believe that we, as Americans, have a moral obligation to the Iraqi people?

Iraq is a tar baby, and what the nation does to get rid of it will depend on it and not solely on us.

Tedski said...

Latas's position on the growth of corporate power was plagurized from speeches by William Jennings Bryan and Ignatius Donnelly. I demand he pull them from his website.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emersome Biggums said...

Latas has been very clear in his message and your attempt to muddy the waters is a poor argument. He said in the very first forum at Patagonia that he support the Murtha plan and has not change that position. Maybe you should do some better reseach, Art. He hasn't changed any of his position on Iraq.

I'm greatful that Miss Giffords has changed her position. This is music to my ears that she can finally feel this political wind storm. Makes me wonder about her other positions and how firm she is on them.

I guess Miss Giffords never read William Jennings Bryan or Ignatius Donnelly? I'm glad Latas must have to have formed his position and I sure wish the other candidates would do the same, plagurized or not.

x4mr said...

Welcome back, Art. I was wondering why things had gotten quiet here.

I don't understand plagiarism in the context of a political campaign and candidate websites. Isn't it a "free for all"? I'm not clear a candidate is on the hook to cite sources whenever they use what another has said, especially published material. We're not talking about the rigors of academic discourse.

Regarding the three "contenders" I think I have heard every permutation of accusation that campaign A took web material from campaign B. Apparently no one is stealing from the Rodriguez website.

IMHO websites are de facto fair game and it is foolish to put something on a website if you don't want it "stolen." Regarding the one website I must operate, I plan on the competition visiting and taking whatever they want.

Yes, Art, I don't think much changes. At kos someone posted "Aren't we all just talking to walls?"

I wouldn't spend time reading and posting if it weren't of value to me, and it is. I'm glad Art does this and I visit regularly. There is value and it isn't just walls.

However, the "walls" point is a good one in that I really doubt opinions get formed or changed.

What I do think happens is that our opinions get more refined, and this definitely raises awareness. If it weren't for these blogs I would never have even heard of the "real democrat" mailing, or at least not nearly so soon. As a source of information they are great, and while lies and nonsense are everywhere, I think a reasonably astute person can sort it out reasonably well.

Emersome Biggums said...

I didn't say that the Giffords campaign was wrong in it's plagiarism, just stating the fact that they had nothing only one week ago and now everything seems to have appeared, almost out of no where, and the positions all look very similar to Latas' site.

Again, I'm glad she's taking the Latas positions. I'm sure the repugs are noting that, too.

Liza said...

I heard Latas speak a couple of times before he spoke in Patagonia. I heard him before he decided to become a candidate and before Kolbe announced that he wouldn't seek re-election. Latas unequivocally stated his opposition to the invasion of Iraq at those timea and has not wavered. By January of 2006, I would have expected every Democratic candidate for anything to state that the United States had no justification for the invasion of Iraq. Giffords did not make that statement in January. She circled the issue with comments about how we can't stay the course, we can't pull out right away, we're irresponsible to leave and blah blah blah. Her website and her brochures at that time did not clarify what she thought about Iraq. I do not call that clear thinking, my friends.

First of all, women are generally opposed to war. Women have a much lower tolerance for violence than men do, especially middle aged and older women. And, I would expect anyone with political aspirations to stay on top of national events especially the war in Iraq. Admittedly, the reporting from Iraq has been limited in this country, but by January of 2006 there was enough information out there for all of us to be screaming at the top of our lungs that the war has to end and permanent occupation is not an option. And, the Project for the New American Century was not exactly in hiding. Their documents have always been accessible to everyone. The Bush Doctrine, of course, is available on the White House's website. Information was fragmented, but it was out there from credible sources prior to the invasion. Its pretty incredible how the Bush Administration got our dumbed down electorate to accept the WMDs, but I guess you would have to be a Fox News fan to understand that and I'm surely not. I would hope that Democratic candidates dig a little deeper as well.

Obviously, the occupation can't end overnight. None of these candidates should be required to put together an exit strategy. They have no more information about what is really happening over there than the rest of us. However, what I need from a candidate is a statement that the invasion was wrong and I need it when they start out the gate, not six months later.

Furthermore, I expect everyone who is a Democratic candidate for anything to speak out against this war from a place of heartfelt conviction. I am not impressed with positions developed over time and based on polls and other feedback.

Trust me, no one wants to vote for a woman more than I do. God knows there are enough white men in Congress. I should say at this point that Francine Schacter and Eva Bacal spoke out against the war, much to their credit. However, I was impressed with Latas the first time I heard him speak and I think he is the best qualified candidate for this job.

Giffords has offered too little too late on Iraq as far as I'm concerned. Timing is everything. However, money wins so I'm prepared to be very sad.

x4mr said...


Didn't mean to imply you did.

Still, not really buying the plagiarism thing.

I think it's as simple as upgrading a website according to a plan. I would expect further upgrades to the websites of all candidates.

I don't know enough to say how the candidates develop their positions on issues, except to speculate that research, soul searching, and consultation of selected subject matter experts is involved.

Somehow I just don't think Giffords developed her views on Iraq by reading the Latas website.

cc burro said...

I hope you guys/gals are spending as much time canvassing precincts and talking to Democratic voters to activate them as you are with all of this blogging... [talking to walls]

sotto voce said...

Too bad all eyes are focused on Giffords and Latas.

When I listen to Francine Shacter I hear a very consistent message -- get out, build a coalition to help Iraq, and take care of our returning vets. Of course she says it much more eloquently than my boiled up summary.

For me, Gabby is just another politician. Latas I don't know well enough to say, but being a Vet just ain't enough for me and he seems to talk a lot about the problems.

I like Francine because she is a problem solver, good listener, and more than that, she is someone I could trust.

Thanks for listening...

x4mr said...

CC--Absolutely. The election is not determined here.

I think there are reasons why eyes are focused on Giffords and Latas (I would include Weiss).

At an early Tucson Forum (standing room only) many candidates were there, and Eva Bacal announced her drop from the race and support for Giffords.

Will spare you lengthy description, but G, J, and P stood when they spoke and showed energy and, well, "viability." Francine remained seated even when speaking, and while her thoughts may be quite sound, there seemed to be little interest/motivation to connect with those in the room.

Without getting into what is worth paying attention to and what is not and whether this has the slightest value, I was sitting next to an analytical type taking bizarre notes I could not really read, but at the end of the forum I could recognize he had written the initials of the candidates with arrows next to them. The arrows next to G, J, and P were pointing up. All the rest pointed down.

And how hard is Francine really campaigning?

And then, of course, we could discuss funds raised so far.

outlander said...

Typical canvas outside of Tucson:

Questioner: "What do you know about the congressional district 8 race?"

Respondent : What is congressional district 8?

Q: Jim Kolbe's seat.

R: I heard Patty Weiss is running for that...

Q: Do you know who the other candidates are?

R: No. Not really.

Q: Do you think Patty Weiss is a good choice for this seat?

R: Yes.

Q: Would you vote for her?

R: Yes.

Liza said...

cc burro,

I signed up to be a Democratic precinct committee person last year and I worked on the city election. I called voters and canvassed in my own precinct for about three months. I delivered candidates' brochures and paid for the stamps for the vote by mail cards. I think I did my part.

This year is a different story. I just don't feel up to supporting all Democratic candidates whoever they are. It makes more sense for me to volunteer for individual candidates and I will most definitely be doing that this summer. Right now my plan is to volunteer for Latas.

I very seldom write on blogs but I question why you consider it talking to walls? I don't recall how I found this blog, but the people who write here seem to be engaged and reasonably polite to each other. I think that lively discussion is a positive thing, regardless of the forum.

sotto voce said...

x4mr, I don't post here very often, but I stopped back. Should be working. So Francine didn't handle that first meeting very well. All the candidates have had their less-than-stellar moments.

Not sure what circles you travel in, but Francine's been at all the same public forums as the other candidates. At the forum in Douglas, Cochise Community College, one of the students said “She’ll never get elected – she’s too honest.” That depresses me. What a world we live in.

I've seen her all over town. At gatherings for support state-wide candidates and candidates for the legislative districts. At the local PDA and DFA meetings. At nearly all the Pima County Board of Supervisors meetings on the purchase of new voting machines--she's very committed to the integrity of the voting process. She joined with a group of people who delivered a protest to Congressman Kolbe’s office just before the deadline for Medicare part D sign up – no other CD 8 candidate was there.

You can find Francine pretty regularly at Drinking Liberally, where she and other progressive Democrats discuss the issues. Come out and have a drink and meet her. One can hardly critize Francine for not campaigning or not being accessible. She's out campaigning in the community every day.

Sorry for such a long post, but I felt that the data should be on the table, especially on The Data Port. :)

x4mr said...

The "talking to walls" originated at a kos story attacking Giffords that resulted in what I called a "shootout." 66 posts (so far but it seems to have stopped) going back and forth, and one blogger at the very end rightfully noted that no one was having the slightest impact on any other's views--i.e. "talking to walls."

I completely agree that these are useful exchanges (and have said so) or I wouldn't be here. I think these have a lot of value for sharing ideas, different viewpoints, deepening awareness of certain items, etc..

HOWEVER, I think the "talking to walls" concept is alive and well when folks start blasting away at each other, especially with petty negatives about a candidate (or the other blogger!) that accomplish nothing.

sotto voice,
I don't have anything against Francine and I remember her remarks making sense and being reasonable. It is of course feasible my particular "picture" is skewed, but that picture shows G, P, and J. In that order, by the way. Also, my picture (right or wrong) shows Francine's having raised almost no money at all.

Yes, indeed, what a world we live in. I really share your sentiment there.

x4mr said...

My apologies, I try to collect my thoughts and avoid having to post twice, but I forgot to acknowledge that of course Francine is campaigning, but CD8 election this year will probably top 300,000 actual votes cast and maybe more. When I questioned "how hard" it was in the context of what it will take to reach such numbers.

Outlander may have a good point about Weiss today before all those televisions start talking, and they will be talking about someone else.

Maybe I will visit Drinking Liberally, although will have to avoid computer afterwards. I've taken an oath not to booze and blog.

Liza said...


I saw that Kos story about Giffords with the 66 comments just yesterday and I read most of it this afternoon. Now THAT was a lively discussion. And I did see the comment about "talking to walls." Well, these people are obviously hardwired into their positions so there is no way they are going to impact each other's views. Even so, there are still a lot of people who read the blogs and don't write anything. So, its hard to judge how infuential these discussions are and that should be enough incentive to stay polite. I've got to say that Kos has some really good writers and its sort of comforting to know they are out there.

Having said that, I can totally relate to what outlander said about canvassing. You just gotta love that dumbed down electorate. Anytime you start to think that the average Joe Blow is finally getting interested in what is really happening in this country (including his own backyard), canvassing will set you straight.

Blue in AZ said...

I think that the biggest difference between Latas and Giffords on Iraq, besides the fact that she took six months to develop a position and put it on her Web site, is that Latas has so much more experience on the issue, and it comes through when he speaks. He's been deployed to the Middle East five times, he spent time at the Pentagon studying WMDs, and his son went to serve in Iraq as well. I can't think of anyone else who has that kind of experienced or is more qualified to discuss this issue than Col. Latas.

If you go to his Web site and read some of the testimonials from his supporters, you'll see that his experience has made a huge difference to a lot of people:


Thanks for keeping Jeff Latas's name in the spotlight.