Thursday, September 21, 2006

HI-SEN: Akaka & Case on Iraq

For the last week of the Hawaii Democratic Senate primary, I promised a dairy a day to help Akaka, and raise awareness about this race, but that's getting hard! Since we only have two days to go until primary day, I can't stop now, can I?

Hope this doesn't seem lazy, but the email from the campaign listserv today is really good. So I am just going to cut and paste their comparison here. Ironic, because I criticised an Ed Case blogger for doing that... This is different, because rather than cutting and pasting here without attribution, I'm properly giving credit where it's due.

"The two candidates have vastly different records on the Iraq war,
as well as several other issues where Case stood with the Bush administration
while Akaka strongly opposed Bush."

- The Council For a Livable World,
a national arms-control and anti-Iraq War group,
announcing their endorsement of Senator Daniel Akaka over Ed Case

Oh! And if you want my original writings, please see my diary listing. I've written quite a bit about this race already... back to the cut & paste...

On Authorization For War
Akaka Votes Against Giving Bush Authorization To Invade Iraq. Akaka was one of only 23 senators who opposed giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq. [Vote 237, 10/11/02]

Case Would Have Voted With Bush. Until his sudden flip-flop last month, Case had insisted for nearly three and a half years that he would have voted to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq. [Honolulu Star Bulletin, 6/27/06; AP, 12/17/03; Honolulu Advertiser, 1/28/03]

On Faith In Bush
Akaka A “Top Skeptic” From Beginning. Even before the invasion, the Honolulu Advertiser called Akaka a “top skeptic” of Bush’s drive to invade, noting that Akaka had said Bush “has not made a persuasive argument for war or explained the long-term role for the United States in a post-war Iraq.” [Honolulu Advertiser, 1/28/03]

Case Decided To Put Faith In Bush. Case said he supported the war because "I decided to believe my government.” [AP, 12/17/03]

On The Invasion
Akaka Condemns Decision, Presciently Predicts Difficulty With Occupation. Upon the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, Akaka expressed confidence in the ability of the U.S. military to defeat the Iraqi army, but worried that such action would lead to an occupation for which President Bush had not prepared the country. The U.S. is not, Akaka said, "sufficiently prepared either materially or psychologically for a protracted occupation of that country…. We are not as prepared as we should be for the consequences of a war with Iraq." Akaka added that he did not understand why the President "has chosen to fight Iraq at this time or what his objective is in so doing." Moreover, while Saddam Hussein was a terrible dictator, his “actions do not justify going to war now if we are unprepared for the consequences of war and if we do not have a clear exit strategy for getting out of Iraq.” [Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 3/18/03]

Case Praises Invasion Of Iraq. Upon the invasion in March of 2003, Case released a statement praising the decisive action. “Democracy depends on both debate and decision, and with Iraq we have now had both.” [Case Statement, 3/19/03]

On Progress In Iraq
Akaka Calls for Exit Strategy. In November 2005, Akaka publicly questioned Bush’s Iraq policy, “We need an exit strategy from Iraq. The Administration should have had one before the war.” [Akaka Statement, 11/18/05] As the situation deteriorated in Iraq, Akaka urged that “…a reassessment would be really needed at this point in time.” [Honolulu Advertiser, 3/6/06] After Bush suggested that troop withdrawal would be decided by future Presidents, Akaka expressed his strong disapproval, “President Bush says withdrawal from Iraq will be up to future Presidents. This is completely unacceptable. While we must not abandon the Iraqi people until we have provided them with the tools necessary to stand on their own, I am outraged that the Administration has no exit strategy to complete our mission and return our soldiers home safely…I insist that the Administration provide a more comprehensive plan that includes specific criteria to determine if our goals in Iraq are being met and to develop a timetable for bringing our soldiers back to their families.” [Akaka Statement, 4/24/06]

Case Echoes Bush’s Rosy View of Iraq. Throughout the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006, Case continued to parrot the Bush line on Iraq. In September of 2005 Case insisted that things were improving in Iraq and that the media was exaggerating the problems. When Bush defended his strategy in Iraq in a December speech to the nation, Rep. Neil Abercrombie hammered Bush’s speech, saying “it isn’t a plan; it is a prayer” while Case insisted that Bush was “articulating a set of goals that are pretty much what I have been articulating for three years." He also called the speech realistic and said, "I think [Bush] is trying to do the right thing." Finally, earlier this year Case again endorsed the Bush approach saying, “I think we are collectively doing what we must be doing at this point given the reality of Iraq today.” [Hawaii Tribune Herald, 9/8/05; Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12/1/05; Honolulu Advertiser, 3/6/06]

Staying The Course
Akaka Calls For New Direction. Akaka called for a “new vision to strengthen the war on terror” and voted to begin a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Akaka explained his vote by saying, “I believe our country and our military need a clear and decisive exit strategy for Iraq. Tragically, the Bush Administration’s open-ended no plan, no end Iraq policy has failed and it is time to begin redeploying our U.S. forces out of Iraq.” Akaka voted for the Levin-Reed amendment calling for a phased withdrawal beginning this year. He was also one of only 13 Senators to vote for the Kerry-Feingold amendment to redeploy US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007. [Akaka Release, 6/22/06; Vote 182, 6/22/06; Vote 183, 6/22/06]

Case Endorses Bush’s “Stay The Course” Position. Last month, the House passed a resolution endorsing President Bush’s “stay the course” Iraq policy. The resolution also takes a stand against setting withdrawal dates. The resolution was written entirely by the GOP and Democrats were barred from proposing an alternative. Many Democrats felt the resolution was unfair because it conjoined non-controversial measures, such as declaring support for the ongoing Global War on Terror, with controversial measures, such as joining the War in Iraq to the War on Terror. Ed Case abandoned his party, voted for the resolution and joined Republicans in endorsing George Bush’s “stay the course” policy in Iraq. [House Vote 288, 6/16/06]

OH! One last thing - can you please help Akaka with his GOTV fund?

Crossposted to

Monday, September 18, 2006

HI-SEN: Case Supports Bush in Iraq & Guantanamo, and Torture too?

I know incumbent Senator Dan Akaka’s primary challenger, Ed Case, supports President Bush and his war in Iraq. He's one of only three remaining Democrats-in-name-only to back Joe Lieberman’s I-bid for Senate in CT. But this piece of news is simply too much, in light of Republican criticism of Bush’s suggestions to break the Geneva convention, Case's statements go too far. He says the Guantanamo prison camp is run well. He goes further than many Republicans are willing to go!

Ed Case needs to come clean. He needs to clarify his stand on torture and the Geneva Convention, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision. Will he support the President’s torture policies? Or, will he do the right thing and stand by the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? After all, isn’t that what separates us from what’s humane treatment and what’s barbaric?

Here’s the deal. Last summer, Ed Case went to Guantanamo Naval Base with a delegation of folks to check out the prison camp for himself. What gems of wisdom did he impart, post trip? I found this link from Ed Case’s kosopedia page, an article from the Star Bulletin:

Case says Guantanamo prison camp run well…

Democratic Rep. Ed Case said Sunday that the Guantanamo prison for terrorists was being run well and did not match allegations the detainees were being abused and tortured.

…”I think Gitmo is being operated well and operated in a way that is necessary to the safety and security of our country and in a way that is humane under the circumstances,” Case said, using the prison's nickname. “The sum total of what I saw does not match the statements by Amnesty International nor by attorneys for some of the detainees.”

…Case said the prison had some trouble getting started as it was built from scratch in 2002, but that concerns about the camp had been addressed. He said the prisoners were given good food, health care, and access to lawyers. The interrogations were carefully monitored and the questioning was nowhere close to abusive, he added.

...Case said the prison was necessary and believed those who advocate shutting it down are making a “naive statement born of ignorance.”

Parachutec went there first. But before that, a Case consitutent says some interesting thigns, even posting a letter from Case.

Saturday's Hawaii Senate Primary, and Why You Should Give A Who-Haaaa....

Did you support Ned Lamont against Lieberman?
It's a reverse of that primary, as Akaka needs your help to STAY in office.  In this primary (on Sat., Sept 23), it's the incumbent, Dan Akaka, who voted against Bush's failed war in Iraq, who spoke out against Rumsfeld's failed leadership, and stands up for veterans.  He's the ranking member of the Venterans Committee, by the way.  All those Vets in Hawaii should want him to stick around.

Like Lieberman, Ed Case supports Bush's war and likes Rumsfeld.  After his trip to Guantanamo, he didn't seem to understand what the fuss was all about.  Oh, and he is supporting Lieberman in his General Election.  You could call Ed Case the Doppelganger for Joe Lieberman, except Ed Case's more conservative.  Part of his strategy is to appeal to Republicans, his real base, because Hawaii's primary is an open one.  That means Republicans can ask for the Democratic primary ballot on Saturday and vote for their friend Ed Case.  That scares me.  I don't think CT voters could do that, right?

Do you believe Democrats have a responsibility to the regular person over big corporate interests?
Akaka has the backing of groups like labor, social workers, and Progressive Democrats of Hawaii.  Basically, regular, rank-and-file Democrats.  Also, he's received the endorsement of Asian American Action Fund, Peace Action, Senators Inouye, Feingold, Kerry, Obama, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (who came in second in the Hawaii Presidential Primary).  He's supported a number of measures for the little guy.  Take that horrible new bankruptcy law that passed last year.  Senator Akaka fought for the Democratic alternative to the bill that did become law, which would have given needed support to those who declare bankruptcy due to health care crises.  

Ed Case, the cousin of Steve Case of AOL fame, is an active DLC'er.  He has the backing of big business groups like the National Realtors Association and The American Restaurant Association.  The Realtors spent over $600K in TV ads in July alone campaigning for Ed Case.  He supported the DLC efforts for tougher individual bankruptcy laws.  He maid it more difficult for folks to declare bankruptcy, and provided no breaks to people who suffer a health care crisis when unemployed and/or without health care.  They declare bankruptcy because they are sick, but suffer the consequeces for a decade.  It's simply not right.  

Ed Case could have stood for the sort of changes Dan Akaka wanted, but he went with the DLC's efforts to leave no loopholes, supporting big credit card companies.  Compare the crappy new law Ed Case wanted with corporate bankruptcy laws.  Corporations have so many holes in it you could drive a truck through them, including allowing corporations to pass of their pensions, leaving retirees with smaller pensions than they'd planned for.  This sends many seniors, including my own father, back to work to make up the difference just so they could live.  Compare that to another family member who had to declare bankruptcy just because she got sick, and she'll have to suffer far longer than her illness lasted, thanks to 10 years of bad credit.

Do you oppose Bush's War?
Dan Akaka has strongly opposed Bush's failed war in Iraq, speaking eloquently about the sacrifices our troops have made.  He was one of 13 brave Senators to call for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the end of the year.  

Check this excerpt from his website:

In 2002, as chairman of the International Security Subcommittee, Senator Akaka held hearings on Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He attended classified briefings, participated in Armed Services Committee hearings, and listened to outside experts. He concluded that Iraq's alleged WMD programs did not pose an immediate threat and, more significantly, that the President's post-war strategy would not work. He along with 22 other senators made the difficult and (at the time) unpopular decision to vote against waging a war against Iraq.  

He cautioned that before the United States considered invading Iraq, the U.S. should (1) exhaust all means short of war to enforce United Nations resolutions concerning Iraq, (2) build an effective international coalition both to fight the war and to win the peace, and (3) ensure that Iraq did indeed have weapons of mass destruction.

Ed Case strongly supports President Bush, his war, Rumsfeld, the way things are going in Guantanamo, doesn't want the troops to be withdrawn, and has voted for Bush's war every chance he could.


Now, do you give a who-haa?

Akaka needs your help. Donate, blog, & tell your friends.

crossposted to my diaries at dailykos and mydd... I also posted a diary entry yesterday on dailykos that isn't here on my home blog...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

HI-SEN: 7 Days to Save Peace-Loving Akaka from Lieber-Case

Cross-posted to my DailyKos Diary...

If you found your way to DailyKos and, therefore, my modest little diary today, you've probably heard that Senator Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination in Connecticut to pro-Peace/Anti-Bush Ned Lamont. But did you know there's an ideological flip of that primary challenge in the progressive, blue state of Hawaii this year? THIS WEEK, in fact?

Senator Dan Akaka is in the fight of his life in Hawaii, and he needs our help. Dan Akaka voted against Bush's failed war, while Ed Case praised Rumsfeld, Bush, and their failed the war in Iraq. Ed Case is one of three fellow Democrats-in-name-only to stand by Joe Lieberman's independent run for Senate. Like Lieberman, Case is now actively seeking Republican votes. The Hawaii primary is an open one, and Republicans and Democrats can choose whatever ballot they want on Primary Election Day, September 23.

I'd been writing about this race in my occasional diary here this summer, wrote a few at, and some more on my own humble little blog. I have a problem, though. I am not a well-known entity here in KosWorld, and garnering attention for this race has been Herculean to me.

I need your help. Unlike the forces for good which descended in Connecticut to aid Ned Lamont, we can't all carpool from our corners of the mainland to knock on doors for the good Senator Dan Akaka. I did make a modest donation on my actblue page, and I urge you to donate to him too.

Another key thing I need your help with is getting the word out and raising awareness. Please speak out on this race. Please tell others about the reverse Lamont/Lieberman situation Akaka is facing.

I am making a commitment right here, right now: I commit to writing a dairy a day about the reasons Akaka needs our support. Just seven more days until we can send Ed Case back to the beaches of Hawaii for good. Can you help me help Akaka? Let's work together to keep Akaka in the Senate.

If you are reading this far, can you do one more thing? Can you tell your friends about the Akaka race, too, and how it's a reverse Lamont/Lieberman situation? Please ask your friends to donate and blog as well. Thank you!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Akaka getting any progressive blogosphere love?

I hope so!

I just posted this to my dailykos diary, and this yesterday to it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Logan, Former Dem Staffer, 87th in World Series of Poker

Many of you know Ben Logan, my former housemate and former employee on the Wisconsin Democratic Coordinated Campaign in Milwaukee, so I thought I'd post some great news. Heading into day 5 of play, Ben is 38th in the chip count at the World Series of Poker Texas Hold 'Em Championship. If he loses right now with 169 players remaining, he is guaranteed no less than $47K. If he pulls out a win, he gets $7.5 Million. My guess is that he wins at least $100K as a rookie player, and that is huge.

I know, it's not strictly political. But I know many of my loyal readers are friends of Ben Logan's too, and would want to watch him progress in this world famous event. See this post from day two with his picture. I'll keep you posted - and I bet all y'all who are working on campaigns are going to call him to donate to your race! LOL.

Okay, now back to politics.

There are in fact 135 players remaining after the end of day 4 of play, out of 8773 entrants. Ben Logan is guaranteed $47K, no matter what happens from here on out. Ben now has a chip count of $430,000, and has fallen in the ranks to 80th in chip count. But he's at Jamie Gold's table, who leads the entire tournament with an almost $4Mill chip count.

Ben and the other 134 players begin day 5 of play today at Noon, Vegas time.

You can see a live update at this website:

Ben is now in the top 100, and will make $51K, regardless. He's #87 in chip count, and going strong.

FINAL UPDATE Proudly, Ben Logan comes in 87th out of 8774 entrants, giving him over $51K in winnings. Not shabby at all! Both my Dad and my friend Jeff said, "well, $10K a day isn't too bad a job to have!" I am so proud of you, Benji! Great job!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

UPDATE: '06 Hawaii Democratic Senate Primary

AKA the "reverse Lieberman/Lamont" Race...

While most of the progressive blogosphere is watching Lieberman and Lamont's every move ahead of the August 8 Connecticut Democratic Primary, Akaka is fighting hard to fend off Democrat-In-Name-Only (DINO) Ed Case's primary election challenge. Here is a quick update on some of the more important developments in the race for the September 23 Hawaii Democratic Primary. While each of these subjects deserve their own post, here's a quick litany for your comprehensive reading pleasure:

Case Going For His Base: Republicans
This is a must read article from the Honolulu Advertiser about DINO Case's strategy to get out his base of Republican voters. Hawaii has an open primary, after all, where voters can choose whichever primary ballot they wish, regardless of party registration.

The Air War
Senator Dan Inouye appears in TV ad for Akaka. It's my understanding that this isn't the sort of thing Inouye usually does. He's never been in a primary ad for any Democratic candidate in Hawai'i, but he's supported Akaka since Ed Case announced. You can see the ad here. Also check out the TV ad featuring Akaka's eloquent call for peace and an end Bush's failed war in Iraq.

Akaka gets the endorsements representing pro-worker, pro-peace and pro-environment organizations like Hawaii Government Employees Association. Proving his DINO credentials, Case gets business endorsements from the Realtors and Restaurant Associations.
UPDATE: Because of their differing views on Iraq and Bush, it's my understanding that Akaka received the endorsement of Peace Action's national PAC.

Akaka Campaign Manager Blogs From The Inside
Andy Winer, Akaka's Campaign Manager, is now a diarist on dailykos. His first post challenges Ed Case for not stating his positions regarding the Iraq war, Patriot Act, and Bush Administration tax policies on his website and to Democratic groups who request them. He's posted this last Friday about Case's flipflop on PBS funding, which includes his insider views about Case's votes:
Some pundits have compared Case to Lieberman, but to my knowledge even Lieberman didn't vote to kill Big Bird and Elmo.

Iraq Continues As Central Theme In Race
This must read Op Ed by Senators Feingold & Kerry support Akaka's troop withdrawal vote on Iraq:
It is true that Sens. Akaka and Inouye were two of only 13 senators to support this timetable. However, when Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) first stepped up to the challenge of leadership in the House on Iraq, he was alone. Then, recently, 140 House members voted to support his leadership. Congressman Ed Case was not one of them. When we in the Senate began the fight to change course in Iraq, we, too, were almost alone. Ending the Bush administration's disastrous approach to this war isn't about counting votes.

It isn't about legislative strategy or electoral calculation. It's about applying constant pressure to change a broken course

The Lieberman/Lamont = Case/Akaka Connection Continues
Pachacutec crossposted a great comparison of President Clinton's stumping for Lieberman with the potential of stumping for Akaka to firedoglake and huffingtonpost.
Will Bill Clinton Stump for Akaka? Or will he only place his foot on the scale in favor of conservative, pro-war incumbent Democrats who blamed and shamed him during the Republicans’ impeachment overreach?

Coffee Enters Race for Republican Nomination
Look at a portion of the quite candid to-do list disclosure from Coffee:
10. Interview with Senator Elizabeth Dole, Chair of National Republican Senatorial Committee. (All of the above were very enthusiastic about my candidacy, but the money depends on our own ability to fund raise and poll numbers.)...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

JONATHAN MILLER: Compassionate Community Values

Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller is releasing a book this fall, and I can't wait to read it: THE COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITY - TEN VALUES TO UNITE AMERICA. The forward is written by his friend and former boss Al Gore.

Jonathan is one of my favorite politicians in Kentucky, along with Mayor Jerry Abramson, State Auditor Crit Luallen, and State Senator Denise Harper Angel. He's bright, articulate, and foresighted enough to understand that a book like this not only deserves to be written, but might actually make a difference to a once fully-blue-political landscape. I'm ready to see the Bluegrass state turn BLUE for good.

Here's a quick listing of the 10 Values:

1. Opportunity
2. Responsibility
3. Work
4. Family
5. Freedom
6. Faith
7. Justice
8. Peace
9. Respect
10. Security

I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see him run for and become a Senator or Governor of Kentucky, and he'd have my support. He's the kind of politician to restore pride in being a Kentuckian again. Our current governor is an embarrassment, and our Senators spend more time voting in the interests of the large donors and their big businesses, not the people. Jonathan is the kind of person who'll do the right thing for regular, everyday people.

Kentucky has a deep bench of great people, and Jonathan leads the way. He's only a few years older than me and makes me feel like a slacker, but that's my fault, not his :-)

Look for more on this book in the fall.

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