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Posted by NewJeffCT in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Jun 30th 2008, 10:58 AM
Before we go and celebrate a potential Obama landslide, we need to remember 1988 when oldish George H.W. Bush was following in the footsteps of a scandal-plagued eight-year Republican president who promoted big business and the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class while running up outrageous deficits. To offset his age, Bush picked the young, but inexperienced and shallow Dan Quayle as his VP candidate.

Now, we have oldish John McCain following in the footsteps of a scandal-plagued eight-year Republican president who promoted big business and the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class while running up outrageous deficits. Will McCain follow Bush Sr and pick somebody young and shallow for his VP?

However, there is a major difference between 1988 and now. While Bush and Atwater certainly used the media to their advantage in 1988, the overall media was not nearly as friendly to Bush as they have been to McCain. Bush Sr. would certainly not call the media his “base” as McCain did that is for sure. For example, I don’t think a pick of 36 year old Bobby Jindal as VP will get nearly as harshly criticized as Bush’s pick of Quayle in 1988 did. In fact, the media would likely fall all over themselves and proclaim how great Republicans are to minorities and how it is a visionary pick for McCain.

On the plus side for Obama vs. McCain, though, is that Reagan was far more popular his last year in office than Bush Jr has been, despite Reagan’s White House being the most scandal-plagued of the 20th century. (another fallout of the deterioration of the media these last 20 years) However, since McSame was not officially in the Bush White House like George H.W. Bush, it might be easier for McSame to separate himself from Bush.

I just wanted to post this as a warning to the irrationally exuberant so we don’t forget to fight hard for our candidate. We cannot afford to have a disastrous August like Dukakis did in 1988 and like Kerry did in 2004. Things like Roe v Wade hang in the balance, as well as having troops in Iraq in four years.

And, I also want to cite some polls from 1988 – The first is from late July, where Dukakis increased his lead to 55-38 from 47-41 in early July. The other was from May where Dukakis held a 49-39 advantage over Bush. See the clips from the NY Times below:

Fifty-five percent of the 948 registered voters interviewed in the poll said they preferred to see Mr. Dukakis win the 1988 Presidential election, while 38 percent said they preferred to see Mr. Bush win. The poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

This represented a shift in Mr. Dukakis's lead from the 47 percent to 41 percent advantage he held in the last pre-convention Gallup Poll, taken by telephone July 8-10. In that poll, 1,001 registered voters were interviewed.

And, the earlier polls:

Michael S. Dukakis is capitalizing on deep public doubts about Vice President Bush and the Reagan Administration's handling of key issues and has emerged as the early favorite for the Presidential election in November, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

Mr. Dukakis, the probable Democratic nominee, ran ahead of Mr. Bush, the almost certain Republican candidate, by 49 percent to 39 percent among 1,056 registered voters.

The survey, conducted May 9-12, represented a significant advance for Mr. Dukakis since a Times/CBS News Poll in March when Mr. Bush had 46 percent and Mr. Dukakis had 45 percent.

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Posted by NewJeffCT in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Apr 03rd 2007, 03:33 PM
Since I have in-laws in China, I tend to follow stories about China a little more closely than most on DU.

In the 5 1/2 years I have had in-laws in China, I have seen several stories about incidents in restaurants where a competitor poisoned the clientele of a rival restaurant. Now, even if it is proven that the poisoner did it intentionally, I would imagine it would be very difficult for the victimized restaurant to survive, as they would likely be shut down for the course of the police investigation. And, would people really be lining up to go there after 40+ people just died there a week or two earlier?

From this, it does not take a Great Leap in logic to see something similar happening in another food-related industry: I think it is a case of industrial espionage/sabotage straight out of the laissez-faire days of American capitalism of the late 1800s.

If you are a rival factory that produces the same pet food that is being sold to a big foreign company, one way to quickly knock off a competitor would be to sneak a spy into their ranks and have them poison the food. Even if it was proven to be industrial espionage, do you think the big pet food company is going to use that factory again?

And, if you wanted to hurt Menu Foods, the poisoner has obviously succeeded. I am sure if they are a public company, their stock has taken a beating these past few weeks. If the company can avoid bankruptcy over this incident, they are going to have to retool their whole supply chain and spend years regaining public trust.

If it was an intentional poisoning, the person (or persons) behind the incident were obviously counting on negligent or corrupt enforcement in China coupled with lax and declining inspections of imported foods here in the US.

Here are a few stories I dug up in 5-10 minutes on google:

This story is about a restaurant in Nanjing, China – I remember it because that is where most of my in-laws live.

Nanjing was the capitol of short-lived republic they had in China from the early 1900s to the Japanese invasion in the 1930s. It's most famous for the "Rape of Nanking" during the Japanese invasion.

NANJING, China -- Rat poison is the suspected cause of an outbreak of food poisoning in China, in which dozens of people are believed to have died.
"Initial investigations indicate there was rat poison in the food that was served to the victims," the China Daily quoted Zhou Qiang, a publicity official with the Jiangsu provincial government, as saying.

He said the poison could have been deliberately put into the food by someone, but public security authorities were still looking into the case that left hundreds of patrons of a small Nanjing store ill.

A bit more here:

I have found several references to the active compound that produced
the poisoning near Nanjing (China). It seems the poisoning was
intentional -- done by a restaurant owner who was jealous of the
success of his cousin's business.

The product that caused the poisonings has been identified as a
popular tetramine rat poison marketed as "Du Shu Qiang," an official
at the Nanjing Military Region General Hospital said. Production of Du
Shu Qiang is banned in China, but the poison is widely used in rural
areas because of its low cost and high effectiveness,
the Shanghai
Daily said on Tue 17 Sep 2002. As little as 5 milligrams of the
poison is enough to kill someone, a local doctor told the newspaper.
The active ingredient is "Tetramine; Tetramethylene Disulfotetramine."
A number of Chinese sites (i.e., in Chinese language) refer to the
product, but I cannot find any really good reference on the
English-language sites. It does not appear to be a common ingredient
in rat poison in the West.

A story here refers to several poisoning incidents:

Abstract The last several years have seen a large number of mass poisonings in mainland China, particularly those caused by illicit rodenticides. One rat poison, tetramine (tetramethylene disulfotetramine) is responsible for a great percentage of death and injury in the People s Republic of China (PRC). Tetramine is an acutely toxic substance with human oral toxicity estimated as low as 0.1 mg/kg, and is widely available in open markets in mainland China—this despite being prohibited for manufacture or sale in the PRC. Being a GABA antagonist, and having an extremely potent effect on the brain stem, many victims can quickly fall into convulsions and die within hours following ingestion. With no known effective antidote at this time, clinical data from the PRC show that acute cases of tetramine poisoning are extremely difficult to treat. The widespread use of tetramine—including its reported sale at a Malaysian outdoor market in September 2002—could exacerbate its hazard to public health, particularly in those areas having large overseas Chinese populations. /

Another article on multiple food poisonings:

The Chinese media have reported recent surge of deliberate food-poisoning incidents around country involving rat poison. A man accused spiking food served by rival restaurant owner executed after 42 people died 300 others became ill after eating poisoned food on Sept. 14 Tangshan, Jiangsu province.
Earlier week, last 70 children two teachers poisoned on Nov. 25 kindergarten Wuchuan, Guangdong province, were released hospital. A doctor who ran another kindergarten jealous rival facility's success had snuck into kitchen put "Dushuqiang" in the salt, but fortunately those who fell ill were saved, Xinhua said on Dec. 9.

China's Ministry Health says received reports 104 "serious food-poisoning accidents" across country in first 10 months year

This is from the BBC on poisoning incidents, including one in a school:

Correspondents say mass poisonings are not uncommon in China, and although most are due to negligence, some have been deliberate.

In August 2001, 120 people fell ill in a restaurant in Ningxiang, Hunan Province, after being poisoned by the owners of a noodle factory.
And there have been several cases of poisoning in schools in recent years.
Most recently, also in Hunan, 92 primary schoolchildren were stricken by poison in their lunch.

Another poisoning incident, but this one does not say rat poison or deliberate:

Over 80 people have been sickened after having dinner at a restaurant in Wuhai City in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the past week.
About 40 people are still in hospital and the restaurant has been
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Posted by NewJeffCT in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Oct 03rd 2006, 12:38 PM
A widely distributed local weekly here in eastern CT used to be very friendly to publishing political opinions - I've had dozens published over the last 2 years or so.

But, after about two months of hardly running anything political, it seems that my local Speak Out in the eastern Connecticut Reminder is back to publishing political opinion letters. Unfortunately, they now seem to be infested with RW opinion. This is despite my probably having submitted 10 or so over the last 3 weeks, with none getting published. (though, I had a couple printed a few weeks back... though none since)

It is anonymous, so you don't need to sign your name to it.

If anybody here wants to submit, here is the link:

Suggested larger towns/small cities in Connecticut to use:

East Hartford
South Windsor
Glastonbury (Laura Ingraham raised here - ugh)

Heck, if you have submitted a LTTE in the last week that is on Bush / Iraq / Republican corruption / etc you can probably cut & paste it into the form in the link above.

Thanks for any help.
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Posted by NewJeffCT in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri Sep 15th 2006, 09:49 AM
Urged on by ethically disgraced neoconservative Newt Gingrich, the latest spin from Team Bush and the Republican Congress, and their supporting cast of thousands in the media, is that we are in the middle of World War 3. Iraq, they claim, is the central front in this war, with the future of America, and freedom itself, at risk before the greatest enemy in history.

If this is true, I have some questions for the thrice-married Gingrich and his fellow neoconservatives like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Lieberman:

If we truly are in the middle of World War 3, why has President Bush not fully mobilized our nation for this epic clash of civilizations these past five years? Why are we trying to fight World War 3 on the cheap with only 130,000 soldiers in Iraq? Where is this generation's Harry Truman to lead Congressional investigations into war profiteering? And, why does Paris Hilton need an estate tax cut in the midst of this confrontation?

If George Bush were truly serious about winning what neocons are now branding World War 3, we should: Bring back the draft to increase the size of our military; turn whole industries over to the war effort so our soldiers won't be without bullets and body armor like they too often are now; raise the top tax rates up to the World War 2 level of 90% so we can pay for the war and not leave our military $50 billion short in equipment like they are now; and start investigations into anti-American war profiteering at companies like Halliburton. Rationing critical items like gasoline and steel is in order as well.

Short of this full mobilization, anybody selling the Iraqi civil war as World War 3 is just trying to scare us into forgetting the lies, cronyism and utterly incompetent bumbling that have become the hallmarks of our Middle East policy. Today, we are a superpower in name only, with less credibility around the world than Baghdad Bob, not even able to defeat a “few dead-enders” in the “last throes” of an insurgency, despite the loss of nearly 2,700 soldiers and having spent hundreds of billions.

(I was writing it in LTTE format, but found out that I'm not eligible to submit a LTTE for a few weeks, as I too recently had one published!)

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