Month: October 2004

Electoral-Vote.Com: “I have decided to come out of the closet before the election. Be sure to come back Monday. Some of you will be quite surprised, I can assure you.”

Update Nov 1, 2004: The news is out, and there was indeed a surprise: I know the guy. Somehow I don’t think that’s exactly what he meant by ‘surprise’. Details here.


Two new clips for you: The first is the BBC’s Newsnight segment on possible voting scandals in Florida, and the second is the full June 1971 Dick Cavett show with John Kerry debating John ONeill.

Remember John ONeill? He’s the Swift Boat Veteran for “Truth” guy who’s made it his mission in life to ruin John Kerry.

Kind of reminds me of someone I met online once. No need to name names…

BBC Newsnight, Oct 26, 2004.
Related BBC story: New Florida vote scandal feared.

John Kerry and John ONeill debate on the Dick Cavett show, June, 1971.
(Thanks to UndergroundClips.Com for the link to the CSPAN Real Video feed.)


As promised, I went Tuesday evening to meet Martin Frost, at a small gathering in a private residence in North Dallas. There were about 30 people there, mostly lawyers, I think co-workers at the law firm which also employees the hosts of the event.

I think the only people Mr. Frost knew well there were the hosts themselves, though I could be mistaken about this. Frost was first a lawyer in Dallas when he moved here in 1970, and in 1978 was elected to Congress.

I had a chance to introduce myself very briefly before Frost gave his short presentation. The only question he had time to ask me was what I do for a living. I told him who I work for, and mentioned weblogs, and I could see the recognition in his face. I think there’s probably no politician in the U.S. any more who doesn’t know at least a little about weblogs.

His presentation was mostly about the race against Pete Sessions — one which has been both very close, and somewhat nasty — about the scandalous redrawing of the TX congressional districts which took place in 2002, just two years after the previous redistricting — and about his recent accomplishments for Texas, including among other things, getting the parties involved in the near-bankruptcy of American Airlines back to the table and to a settlement.

He seemed like a genuine and sincere person, intelligent, and dedicated to service. I understand from talking to some people who have lived here longer than I, that Pete Sessions gives a similar in-person impression. But for my part, watching the debates between Frost and Sessions, I see the same pathology in Sessions that I see in the Bush clan — lots of talk about lowering taxes, family values and security, and very little in the way of concrete policies and plans.

The weirdest thing was that someone turned up at the event that I know. The wife of the harmonica player I played two gigs with a couple of weeks ago, works at the law firm some of these folks were from. Both she and her husband were there. They were very surprised to see me there, as was I.

Anyway, Frost is someone I can, and will vote for. His supporters were fun to talk to, sharp and witty. I had a good time.

P.S. I forgot to mention that Frost had just received an endorsement from the Dallas Morning News. Everyone seemed to be pretty happy about that.


Through an odd turn of events, Cindy and I are going to an evening get-together with Martin Frost, Democrat, running for re-election to Congress in TX. His district is one of the ones that was forced to be redrawn by the Tom DeLay GOP crowd, leading to the unusual situation of two incumbents running for the 32nd district, which includes most of North Dallas — a typically white, middle- and upper-middle-class area, typically more in the Republican camp, than some of the more diverse parts of the city.

Martin Frost has been endorsed by Madeleine Albright, and has been a Dallas local since the 70’s. He was first elected to Congress in Dallas in 1978, and has a law degree from Georgetown, and a Bachelor’s in Journalism, and a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Missouri.

The opportunity came up at dinner tonight with my Dad and his wife, my grandmother, and step-grandfather, John. John’s neighbor is a lawyer here in Dallas who knows Frost, and was invited to the event, which is at a private home here in North Dallas. John wasn’t interested — he’s a Republican — but I chimed in and asked (probably too presumptuously), if I could go in his place. He called his neighbor, who said it would be fine, so there you go. Hobnobbin’ with not just a Congressional candidate, but a Congressman of over 30 years. This’ll be fun.

If I get a chance, I want to talk to him a bit about weblogs. I think he might have an interesting take on what they mean for American Politics in the 21st Century. Tune in on Wednesday for a report…


Tonight I made phone calls to about 40 people in swing states who’d previously expressed a desire to do volunteer work for the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

It was actually surprisingly fun, since I got to talk to people with the cause in common, and share information in addition to encouraging them to do a local door-to-door canvas this weekend. I’d done this kind of thing before, in a past life, and was very encouraged to hear from people how serious they are about getting out the Kerry vote.

Though some people expressed reluctance to go door-to-door, many were already doing volunteer work in another capacity, and most others asked how else they could help. Of the 40 people I called, I only got one hang-up, and 1-in-10 or so said they’d definitely go door-to-door this weekend. Cool!


Electoral-Vote.Com: “It is very likely that multiple vacancies will occur on the [Supreme] Court in the next four years. The court will undoubtedly have to rule on cases involving abortion, the Patriot Act, and other divisive issues. If you are an undecided voter, think carefully about which candidate would make better appointments to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, a president makes far more appointment to the appellate courts than to the Supreme Court, and they hear far more cases per year. … The next president’s appointments could shape the country for decades to come. It is at least worth discussing.”


No, John Stuart won’t be your little monkey boy. Here’s the video [9’18”, 11.1MB].


Alessandra Stanley writes in the New York Times: “Mr. Stewart is very funny, but it is the vein of ‘a plague on both your houses’ indignation that has made his show a cult favorite: many younger voters are turning to the ‘The Daily Show’ for their news analysis, and are better served there than on much of what purports to be real news on cable.”

Politics “New England is at once sleepless, breathless, and full of hope. David Ortiz and the Red Sox just beat the Yankees in two extra-inning playoff games on the same calendar day. This century-long Sox-Yankee show, featuring themes of revenge and redemption, moves back to New York tonight.”

The Astros also had a walk-off win tonight. Jeff Kent, the former San Francisco Giant hit a game-winning home-run in the bottom of the 9th, ending a game which had been scoreless up to that point.

Amazing night of baseball. Would that all the games could be this exciting. Now if only Boston would beat the damn Yankees.


UndergroundClips has the video from Nightline’s rebuking of John O’Neill and the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a GOP-funded group dedicated to trashing John Kerry’s military record and personal integrity.

“This is a must see for people who had any doubts about John O’Neill and the Swift Boat Veteran’s for ‘Truth.’ On the show O’Neil comes off as a political hack and bozo. For more on John O’Neil, check out this on the Daily KOS.

“Nightline actually goes to Vietnam and the exact village where the incident occured that resulted in Kerry’s Silver Medal. The facts support Kerry. O’Neill avoids as best he can discussing the facts from Nightline’s investigation which pretty clearly put him and his group in disrepute.”