Thursday, March 27, 2008

Are we in a Pre-Colonial Situation?

I did a lot of my academic work studying colonialism. In most colonies there was a "pre-colonial" period, in which forces external and internal reshaped society in way that lead to becoming controlled -- both economically and politically -- by an external western power. And in such a way that the colonial power could exert the control with an amazingly small number of its own people.

The key was the creation of a "mediating elite." These were folks who even while local manufacturing was being destroyed by factories in Manchester were making bundles and improving their economic and social positions by selling those products in the local markets. You could see them as economic traitors or of as free marketers. They often seamlessly became the local collaborators with the positions in the colonial administrations once the economic domination was supplemented with political control.

There just seems to be a parallel between this piece of history and people like Sam Walton and becoming rich with Walmart's role in replacing American manufacturing with made in China. There also is a deeper connection with many of the policies of the last eight years that I will explore in later posts.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of course

The Pentagon on Wednesday said an eruption of violence in southern Iraq, where US-backed government forces were battling Shiite militias, was a "by-product of the success of the surge."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spitzer 24/7

CNN broke into their non-stop Spitzer resignation coverage with the BREAKING NEWS that Spitzer had resigned. This was an hour after had happened and they were covering nothing but.

Also, at 11 their Showbiz show is covering "What can Spitzer learn from past Hollywood Sex Scandals", in other words this an excuse to re-cover every juicy star sex scandal for the last century.

Daily Shot To Cover the Political Consultants Convention

I'm going to the American Association of Political Consultants convention in Santa Monica and so is the Daily Show. Here is the e-mail from the AAPC about it (personally, I would love to be interviewed by John Stewart on the couch, but if any of those other guys come by with cameras -- RUN AWAY):

The Daily Show To Cover 2008 Pollie Awards and Conference
Hello Pollie Stars!

Well, the good news is you may get press on the Daily Show - yup the same one that's attracting young voters and the rest of us all over the world. The bad news is to remember that they tend to devise great humor at the cost of their subjects. Comedy Central's hugely popular The Daily Show hosted by Jon Stewart is planning to do a story on The Pollies and has indicated some interest in using your entry in the piece. We have provided The Daily Show a list of firms that have submitted entries. That list includes ONLY the name of the piece, the name of the firm who produced the piece, and the category that the piece was submitted in. We have instructed the producers of The Daily Show to directly contact the firms who have submitted entries in the categories in which they are interested and to ask permission to use a piece on the show. You may receive a phone call or email in the next couple of days from a producer at Comedy Central requesting your Pollie entry. The Daily Show is one of the most popular shows on TV and there is no doubt, this is an unmatched opportunity for free publicity for your work. However, as President of the AAPC it is important that I let you know a couple of things before you turn over your entry to the producers of The Daily Show:
If you are not familiar with The Daily Show, it is a comedy show specializing in satire of the news. The "bread and butter" of their program is to spoof a lot of things that our profession does.
If you are lucky enough to be interviewed by The Daily Show, do not try to "Out-Daily Show" The Daily Show. They are experts at what they do and can edit the piece. Just be yourself and represent your profession to the best of your ability.If you turn over an entry piece to The Daily Show, you do so at your own risk. The AAPC cannot offer any guarantee of how the piece might be used on the program.The AAPC takes a lot of pride in being an advocate for our profession and seeks to put the interests of our profession and membership first. While your entry on appearing on The Daily Show might be prestigious, there is a possibility your entry could be made fun of. That is why, rather than the AAPC turning over all of this year's Pollies entries to The Daily Show's producers, we thought we would give you the opportunity to choose whether to participate or opt out. Please note that the AAPC has not turned over ANY Pollie Awards entries to The Daily Show. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you at the 17th Annual Pollie Awards and Conference!Best Regards, Tony FazioPresident, AAPC

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Settle it Now

Here is my plan to settle it between Barack and Hilary:

-- They have both earned a place on the ticket, they agree that it will the two of them. Order will be decided by who has the most elected delegates when the primaries are over. That way they can still "let the voters decide" but no have the incentive not make this a mutual destruction situation where whoever wins gets a worthless nomination.

-- They also agree that they will switch off -- so Obama is President for 4 years, then Hilary, then Obama is young enough that he can run again. Whoever is VP has enhanced responsibilities -- so Hilary might have more National Security responsibilities in the first administration.

-- An Obama/Hilary ticket also plays to the traditional campaign roles of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. Obama is the ideal inspirational leader and Hilary can certainly fill the attack dog role we will need in going after McCain and the Republicans.

-- Florida and Michigan are re-run as caucuses. Just rerunning them favors Hilary, but having them be caucuses favors Obama. Also with caucuses you are building organizations that will be useful in the general elections while primaries encourage running of negative TV ads which end up hurting whoever the eventual nominee.

I think with that we have a system that will produce a strong ticket without damaging the eventual chances for victory.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


All of the following happened in 1936:

Hitler invades the Rhineland
The Lindbergh Kidnapper is executed
Max Shenling Fights Joe Lewis
General Francisco Franco starts the Spanish Civil War
Jesse Owens stuns the Berlin Olympics
King Edward VIII abdicates for "the woman I love"
Roosevelt Beats Landon for a 2nd Term


John McCain is born.

The Other Roger Stone

The Washington Post Sunday Magazine has a little section where they ask readers to send in their experiences. They asked for true tales of being mistaken for someone else. Here is what I wrote in (we'll see if they take it):

The Other Roger Stone

I happen to share my name with one of the more notorious (at least among my circle) Republican operatives. This has been particularly dicey because I am a Democratic consultant and have a listed number and he has tended not to, so I get his calls.

I first became aware of this when my phone rang at about 4:30 a.m. one morning in 1987.

“This is mmmmm, we met at the Kemp Fundraiser.”
“You heard that Congressman McKinney died.”
Then the caller’s words came tumbling out. “Roger, I need your help. The Democrat is a nightmare, and no one else is conservative enough. We need State Senator XXXX to make the run. I want to go up to him at the funeral and say we have $200,000 lined up. I can’t raise that kind of money. I need your contacts. I need 100 people you can call and will do a $1,000 from them and a $1,000 from the wife. Can you help me?”
“You know there is more than one Roger Stone in DC.”
“I work for Senator Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota.”
“Oh Sh-t. They are going to be laughing at me in cloakroom tomorrow. You’re not going to go to the press with this?”

We got a good story in the Hartford Courant with the unfortunate headline: “Leaving the Wrong Stone Unturned.”

Roger Alan Stone is CEO of Advocacy, Inc. a pioneering political internet services and consulting firm.