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View Full Version : Someone at the Kerry campaign should be fired in the next 10 minutes


Dooby
04-08-2004, 10:00 AM
So Kerry reveals his little economic plan yesterday-a return to fiscal discipline. I missed the national news last night, so I don't know if it was on then. As an aside, the first three points of this economic plan all involve raising taxes, which I find kind of odd. But the point is: today is the day Condi Rice testifies and the nation could care less about anything else. Kerry is going to be knocked off the front page by Condi above the fold and Iraq below the fold. What idiotic timing. Kerry has some people working for him that are just dumb.

MavKikiNYC
04-08-2004, 11:23 AM
As an aside, the first three points of this economic plan all involve raising taxes,

Maybe there's your answer.

Mavdog
04-08-2004, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by: Dooby
So Kerry reveals his little economic plan yesterday-a return to fiscal discipline. I missed the national news last night, so I don't know if it was on then. As an aside, the first three points of this economic plan all involve raising taxes, which I find kind of odd. But the point is: today is the day Condi Rice testifies and the nation could care less about anything else. Kerry is going to be knocked off the front page by Condi above the fold and Iraq below the fold. What idiotic timing. Kerry has some people working for him that are just dumb.

What? The "first three points" are NOT raising taxes, here's a portion of the speech:

"They are spending millions of dollars trying to mislead Americans about the basic facts:[b] If you make less than $200,000, you'll get a tax cut under my plan. If you make more than $200,000 a year, you will go back to paying the same tax rates you did with President Clinton and our country will get health care and education. The top 2% will pay more than they do now. Everyone else will get a tax cut under a Kerry Administration.

Let me repeat: 98% of individuals - and 99% of companies and small businesses - will pay lower taxes under my plan.

(So the first point is a reduction for every taxpayer who earns less than $200K, a return to 2000 rates for those above $200K but less than about $700K, and yes an increase in tax rates for those above about $700K))

Second, we will impose spending restraints so no one can propose or pass a new program without a way to pay for it. And we'll enforce budget discipline with spending caps. During the 1990s, we had spending caps. We cut the deficit in half and then balanced the budget. And along the way, we created 23 million new jobs, increased family income across the board, and gave middle class families a tax cut. Because we limited the growth of government's budget, family budgets were able to grow.

(So the second point is reduced federal spending)

So my budget plan pays for my proposals. In contrast to George Bush's $6 trillion in unpaid-for spending, my plan returns to a concept known as 'pay-as-you-go.'

And in the months ahead, as I put forward new ideas for a stronger, better, more prosperous America, I will state, in specific terms, how to finance them without raising the deficit or middle class taxes.

I have already shown how we can pay for my health care plan and education. But we can and will do more by reducing or eliminating government programs that don't work.

For example, we'll freeze the federal travel budget, reduce oil royalty exemptions for drilling on federal lands, and cut 100,000 contractors now employed by the federal government. We'll streamline government agencies and commissions and reduce out-of-control administrative costs by five percent. And when we're done, the federal government will be smaller but smarter, more effective and less expensive.

The strong spending caps in my plan will insure that spending doesn't grow faster than inflation. If Congress fails to keep spending in line, the budget caps will mean across the board cuts in every area except security and education and mandatory spending programs like health care, Social Security and Medicare.

So when I say a cap on spending, I mean it. We will have to make real choices - and that includes priorities of my own.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I've proposed a major expansion of national service programs to strengthen the values of patriotism, community and citizenship. And I believe we need to make pre-school universal so that every child in America gets the best possible start in life. But with the deficit worsening each and every day of the Bush Administration, we may have to slow both initiatives down or phase them in over a longer period. I don't like that. But those are the hard calls a President has to make.

Third, we will free resources and reduce the deficit by taking on corporate welfare. John McCain and I have introduced legislation to end corporate welfare as we know it. In a Kerry Administration, we will fight for that bill; we will take our case to the public if we have to - and we will pass it. Today, mining companies buy up public lands for five dollars an acre.

And Dick Cheney's old company Halliburton dodges taxes with offshore havens while it gets billions from no-bid government contracts. If I'm elected President, those days will come to an end.

By going after corporate welfare, as John McCain says, we can save tens of billions of dollars a year. Our bill calls for a Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission to recommend cuts and submit them to Congress for an up or down vote - with no amendments.

John McCain can't get anyone in the Bush White House to listen to our proposal. If I'm President, John McCain will get the first pen when I sign this bill into law.

(So the third point is an end to business subsidies/tax breaks)

We can't restore fiscal responsibility unless we have a President willing to bring our divided parties together - and ready to be straight with the public about what we can and can't afford.

We can cut the deficit in half in four years, expand health care coverage, and make it more affordable for the families who already have it. We can invest in education, restore pay as you go rules, and impose spending caps. We can rollback the Bush tax cuts for those at the top - and cut taxes for middle class Americans."

Dooby
04-08-2004, 02:25 PM
A return to earlier rates is either an increase or a decrease depending on whether the earlier rate was higher or lower than the rate is today. By that token, could Kerry raise the top rate to 70% and claim it isn't a tax increase because the top rate was 70% in 1980?

Mavdog
04-08-2004, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by: Dooby
A return to earlier rates is either an increase or a decrease depending on whether the earlier rate was higher or lower than the rate is today. By that token, could Kerry raise the top rate to 70% and claim it isn't a tax increase because the top rate was 70% in 1980?

I'd say that your key word is "raise".

As he said in the the speech, "98% of individuals - and 99% of companies and small businesses - will pay lower taxes under my plan". Sounds like that is NOT a raise to me but a decrease.

Dooby
04-08-2004, 03:04 PM
2. He is also reimposing estate taxes.

And I forget the third, like I said the story has already been pushed down out of the first page on most news websites, so I can't find nor recall the third.

Drbio
04-08-2004, 04:27 PM
Kerry has some people working for him that are just dumb.

Attitude reflects leadership.

MavKikiNYC
04-09-2004, 12:20 PM
Two Central Figures on the Kerry Media Team Go Toe to Toe
By JIM RUTENBERG

Published: April 9, 2004

WASHINGTON, April 8 — When Democratic strategists list the leading factors behind Senator John Kerry's primary-season victories, they put his campaign advertisements near the top, particularly those that featured former Vietnam crew mates vouching for his leadership. So the campaign's announcement last week that Jim Margolis, a chief consultant behind those commercials, would significantly reduce his role because of a contract dispute puzzled party officials. Details of the dispute offer a glimpse into the machinery and growing pains of a presidential campaign as it switches from a primary to a general-election footing. It is then that the risks and rewards grow exponentially, along with the potential financial return to consultants. But the details also underscore the growing influence of Mr. Kerry's senior strategist Bob Shrum.

People close to the situation would speak only on condition that they not be identified, saying campaign decorum did not provide for publicly speaking about private contractual negotiations. But people on both sides agree that the lessening of Mr. Margolis's role was precipitated by a financial decision of Mr. Kerry's campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill. She was determined to reduce the rate of commissions being paid to Mr. Margolis's firm, GMMB, and to Mr. Shrum's: Shrum, Devine & Donilon.

Media strategists customarily collect a percentage of the cost of advertising time that campaigns buy, a factor that helps make them among the best-paid people in politics. Yet people familiar with the arrangements at the Kerry campaign said commissions it had paid to its two main advertising firms were not only equal but also relatively modest, with rates in the low-to-mid single digits. These people said each of the two firms had earned a profit of less than $1 million in commissions so far.

But, campaign officials said, Ms. Cahill wanted to lower the commission rate further, in light of the prospect that the the Kerry organization would be spending tens of millions of dollars more on advertising between now and midsummer than it had initially expected. That would have netted the two firms far more than Ms. Cahill wanted to pay them. Rather than set the new commission structure herself, Ms. Cahill left it to the firms to work it out between themselves, people close to both firms said.

Mr. Margolis, these people said, was unhappy with the terms that Mr. Shrum proposed. That proposal gave Mr. Shrum's firm a far larger share of the smaller commission rate, the notion being that his two partners, Mike Donilon and Tad Devine, were also senior advisers to Mr. Kerry, whereas Mr. Margolis was the only senior partner in his firm who was so closely involved.

Mr. Shrum and his partners also argued that Mr. Margolis's proposal — that the two firms continue to split the commission evenly — would not adequately compensate their firm because, they believed, it was playing a greater role in shaping Mr. Kerry's message, an assessment that Mr. Margolis disputed. Frustrated by the impasse, Mr. Margolis decided to walk away from the creative work, although he will continue buying advertising time for the campaign. Mr. Margolis's allies say they believe the deliberations were devised by the campaign leadership to leave him no choice, giving Mr. Shrum still more power over the message machine.

The Margolis supporters noted that Ms. Cahill had not involved herself in the negotiations at the beginning and had not done much to intervene at the end. Mr. Shrum, who like Mr. Margolis would not comment for this article, is close to Ms. Cahill, while Mr. Margolis was hired by Jim Jordan, the Kerry campaign manager who was fired last fall.

"The truth is he was pushed out," a Democratic strategist familiar with the deliberations said of Mr. Margolis. "They came back with a deal they knew he'd say no to." Officials of the Kerry campaign called that account "imagined."

"No one forced anyone to leave — it just didn't happen," one said. "He chose to leave." Ms. Cahill declined to make any new comment, and Stephanie Cutter, a campaign spokeswoman, pointed back to Ms. Cahill's statement of last Friday, when the dispute became public. "Jim Margolis and his colleagues at the firm," the statement said, "have made an extraordinary contribution to John Kerry's success. We're disappointed that they won't continue in that role."

The two Vietnam spots that Mr. Margolis helped create featured shots of Mr. Kerry as a young Navy officer in the Vietnamese jungle, and war comrades who extolled his leadership retrospectively.

"I think he won Iowa because of those ads and he won in Georgia in part because of those ads," said David Axelrod, a senior strategist for Senator John Edwards of North Carolina, formerly a campaign rival.

Some Democratic strategists, including those who remain close to the campaign, said they were concerned that Mr. Kerry was losing so instrumental a player at so crucial a time. "They've taken a step away from putting the best team on the field," one said.

Others were not as concerned, noting that the Vietnam spots had been developed in a team effort and that most of that team remained. "I've worked with all of them, and they're both great firms," said Joe Trippi, who managed the campaign of Howard Dean. Still, he said, as the Kerry campaign moves deeper into the general-election season, it should be adding consultants, not losing them. Officials with the campaign said they expected to expand their media team as time passed.

madape
04-09-2004, 12:24 PM
More on Kerry's staff

Kerry's New Hate-America Man

By Shawn Macomber
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 8, 2004

If this is John Kerry's idea of moving to the center, then he inhabits an unelectable portion of the far-Left. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee hired a young lefty pit bull, Zach Exley, away from MoveOn.org yesterday, and charged him with the task of lording over the campaign’s online communications. Exley, whose idea of proper political discourse is borderline pathological, is an odd addition to Kerry’s team at the precise moment when the candidate is sprinting away from the word “liberal.”

A former union organizer, Exley first rose to prominence in Democratic circles when George W. Bush publicly berated him during the 2000 campaign via the national press over his GWBush.com website, which mostly made unsubstantiated claims about the Republican presidential candidate’s alleged cocaine use. Bush tried, and failed, to have the FEC bring a complaint against Exley. Instead, Exley received loads of favorable international press and became an instant celebrity. The site remains active to this day, hawking bumper stickers and T-shirts with tender patriotic devotions emblazoned on them, such as: “Imperialism. A Way of Life Worth Bombing For”; “Regime Change Starts At Home”; “Bush is a Punk Ass Chump”; and, oddly enough, for a site selling wares, “Capitalism: It’s Great in Theory, It Just Didn’t Work in Practice.”

Exley then organized another site, CounterCoup.com, the sole mission of which was to “question the legitimacy of a Bush presidency, due to disenfranchisement and disregard for the will of the people.” CounterCoup is no parody site, however. Toggling through the pages one will find material more than vaguely threatening. For example, one page shows a devil on the ground, a broadsword-wielding angel preparing to behead him. The devil is labeled, “Bush Coup,” while the sword the angel sports is christened, “The Spirit of Democracy.” Another box displays a picture of a screaming, lynch mob with the caption, “Sometimes Democracy Requires More Than Voting.”

Just in case the radical content of the site has left you with any question over the political leanings of Mr. Exley, he posts a prominent link to a conspiracy theory-laden article on the World Socialist Website, declaring it a “must read.”

It will be interesting to see how Exley’s well-documented hate-America attitude jives with the Kerry campaigns desperate rush for the center and the crucial independent voters. In a commentary on MoveOn.org last year, Exley urged his fellow Democrats to “reject false, jingoistic patriotism.”

“Our leaders remind us in nearly every speech they make that we live in the greatest, freest, most just nation on Earth,” Exley wrote. “They remind us so often, that one can't help but wonder if they really do believe it…What if America wasn't – or isn't – number one?” Well, let’s start by asking Exley’s new boss whether he believes America is the greatest nation on earth. Like everything else, he probably does…and doesn’t. Exley himself apparently hasn’t even figured out if there’s anything admirable here, and he’s going to lead the internet charge for John Kerry?

Exley steadfastly refuses to apologize for even the most vile ads posted on his watch at MoveOn.org. Exley would not repudiate the now infamous spot comparing Bush to Adolf Hitler, an ad even über-leftist Michael Moore rejected. Asked whether he understood why Republicans might find the comparison in poor taste, Exley dismissed the furor as, “typical Republican bullsh-t.”

The Exley hire, of course, also raises new questions about whether Kerry’s campaign is coordinating with MoveOn.org, which is strictly outlawed under the current campaign finance regime. The group has already spent more than $17 million on anti-Bush ads, with plans to spend much, much more.

This isn’t the first time Exley’s actions have raised eyebrows over what exactly the true role of MoveOn.org is in this election cycle. Several months ago, Exley took a two-week leave of absence from his position as Director of Special Projects at MoveOn.org to rewire campaign software over at the Dean campaign headquarters, a move Dean’s opponents decried as unsavory at the time.

Exley has been sold well, but Kerry may wake up one day in the not-too-distant future realizing he was conned into buying a lemon. Liberals have become so hysterical that they have confused their own hype with results. Exley and MoveOn.org are not super organizers. Their much vaunted “online primary” last year, reported the world over, showed a majority of their flock backing Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich, two folks who did not turn in impressive performances when it came time for actual elections. In fact, Dean, the “straight talking” hero of the internet revolution, has been reduced to giving speeches on behalf of former foe Kerry just to maintain some semblance of relevance. Would someone please explain how this qualifies as success?

And yet, both Exley and Joe Trippi were welcomed like heroes at the recent South By Southwest conference, giving keynote speeches on Kerry’s imminent victory via online organizing. The media loves the idea and keeps it alive. (They thought the internet would deliver John McCain the Republican nomination four years ago, too.) But clearly it has not panned out so far.

Exley touts himself as some sort of martyr for internet Marxism. He’s writing a book this year on “union organization” called Trust the People, but one wonders how much actual fraternizing with the rank-and-file a 23-year-old who seems to have spent quite a bit of time learning internet code actually could have done. No, Exley’s revolt has been decidedly white collar. For example, in an essay on internet organization, Exley writes about how he set up candlelight vigils online. The best part, he explains, was that, “When you signed up, it told you that there were others signed up to attend your local vigil, so you wouldn't be the only one.”