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2007 November

Media Matters: Classic Friedman

On November 18, 2007, in Uncategorized, by administrator

Liberals have waited and waited in vain for New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to issue a sincere apology for his vocal support of the Iraq war in its lead-up and aftermath. No voice of left was more responsible for creating the atmosphere which provided cover for spineless Democrats to endorse a misguided and illegal war, despite the fact that they held the majority in the Senate. Instead he grapples and rationalizes his support and tries to find rays of hope in the disaster that is the reality of current U.S. Foreign relations.

In today’s column, Friedman reveals that he has learned nothing from years of writing that has had devastating consequences. Today, Friedman revealed his dream ticket for the 2008 Presidential elction: Obama/Cheney. The columnist suggests that Cheney’s craziness would serve as a robust counter to Obama’s negotiation-centric foreign policy approach, especially with regards to Iran. Nevermind that Cheney’s craziness is the x-factor that gave birth to the implementation of the Neoconservative agenda, generated this country’s Iraq War “strategy,” and facilitated an unprecedented demise of support for US leadership worldwide.

This latest irresponsible idea from Thomas Friedman is further evidence that this man, though brilliant, should not be taken seriously in liberal arenas. Until Friedman takes responsibility for his past war cheerleading and any number of perplexing foreign policy suggestions, liberals should look elsewhere for enlightened punditry.


CU Dems Statement on Solidarity Coalition Demands

On November 13, 2007, in Uncategorized, by administrator

The Columbia University College Democrats, like the Solidarity Coaltion, are frustrated by the group advising offices’ lack of accountability to students. We agree that the system must be reformed so that advisors can help their groups without feeling pressure from the larger administration. Furthermore, the Office of Multicultural Affairs
should be expanded, and we hope that the success of the OMA will serve as a model for student group advising in general.

There are clear and specific ways to address the problems as outlined in the Coalition’s Administrative Reform demand. Students should have significant representation on a committee for student group advising with hiring and firing capabilities. The current system of disconnected offices with poor communication unnecessarily hinders our efforts to improve life on campus.

The CU Democrats will continue to advocate for these reforms. These proposals are nothing new; the Columbia administration has witnessed repeated calls for a more robust student presence in the advising offices. Annual inaction on the part of the administration has the unfortunate effect of forcing students to confuse bureaucratic inadequacy and ineffectuality for disinterest or disregard. It saddens us to see that our peers are forced to resort to drastic measures in order for their voices to be heard, and we wish them health and success.


Media Matters: Yepsen Pulling for Obama?

On November 11, 2007, in Uncategorized, by administrator

David Yepsen is the most prominent columnist in the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s most widely read newspaper. One might think that such a title does not entitle him to overwhelming distinction, but come primary season, Yepsen’s columns frame perceptions about the race.

Over the past weeks, I’ve noticed that Yepsen has penned several rosy accounts of Senator Obama’s momentum in the first caucus state: None more so than today’s blog post about Obama’s performance at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, an event at which the Democratic candidates for the party’s nomination deliver speeches in an attempt to reintroduce themselves to Iowans.

Yepsen had this to say about Obama’s performance: “The passion he showed should help him close the gap on Hillary Clinton by tipping some undecided caucus-goers his way…His oratory was moving and he successfully contrasted himself with the others – especially Clinton – without being snide or nasty about it.” He concludes his post by saying, “Should he win the Iowa caucuses, Saturday’s dinner will be remembered as one of the turning points in his campaign.”

Was Obama’s speech good? I think so. Is it a little too early to begin talking about this as a turning point for the campaign? Undoubtedly so. Obama remains in a statistical tie with Senator Clinton and John Edwards and has shown little ability to separate from the pack, despite his campaign, and even his wife, candidly admitting that he must win the state’s caucus to have any shot at winning the nomination.

Does Yepsen have an agenda outside of serving as a wide-angle lens to the goings on in Iowa? It’s a question worth asking. Take a look at some of Yepsen’s articles, and type up a post if you find something that strikes you as overenthusiastically optimistic about Barack Obama. It’s important. This guy determines what Iowans think about the candidates and what the nation thinks about the Iowa caucus.


Campaign Advance Team Update

On November 2, 2007, in Uncategorized, by administrator

All is well on the Midwestern front. A van of ten eager campaigners arrived at the Lexington, KY Econo Lodge at 6:30 on Friday morning, November 2, 2007. The quaint and rustic domicile provided refuge for a brief but refreshing five hours of sleep. This followed a long night of driving (14.5 hours door-to-door) by Lead Activist Evan Thomas and Media Director Jonathan Backer. The drive featured a heated competition between Backer’s Bob Dylan, Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, and, of course, Bluegrass infused i-pod and Thomas’ techno-beat and NSYNC music selections.

Highlights along the trip include a stop at the world-famous Waffle House at Exit 52 in Pennsylvania on I-81 at 8:00 PM. The advance team commingled with interesting locals and a friendly wait staff. Van occupants distracted themselves by playing the Senator game (naming as many Senators as possible by state) and doing dramatic readings of ex-Congressman Mark Foley’s passionate IM conversations with a Congressional page. After several awkward moments during the readings’ most steamy moments, the voyagers contented themselves with singing along to the Campaign trip’s theme songs: “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Misarables and “Wagon Wheel” by the Old Crow Medicine Show. Possible contender for this year’s campaign song – “Old Kentucky Home” by Johnny Cash.

Stay tuned for more updates once the advance team make contact with Beshear staffer Christine Stoner!