ARCHIVE: JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2005
THREAD. Nothing new from Lt. Crabtree and the 1/23 Marines
today ... and nothing particularly noteworthy this weekend in
the world of politics ... so "have at it" with this
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.28.05 |
THREAD. Yet another report about
the 1/23 Marines in Iraq. Sadly, correspondent Lt. James Crabtree
writes about another loss as their time there is rapidly winding
down. In political news, it is pretty clear that US Senate Majority
Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is going to run for President in 2008.
Why else would he be making two trips to NH
over the next three weeks! Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
(R) this week made a visit to SC, another early contest state.
US Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) also confirmed his interest seeking
the White House next time. "I'm sounding it out,"
said Biden to the San Francisco Chronicle. However,
he also conceded that Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will be
"the overwhelming, prohibitive favorite" to win the
nomination if she runs. Meanwhile, there is also an active draft
group -- DraftRuss.com
-- that is operating to encourage my favorite hopeful, Senator
Russ Feingold (D-WI), to run for President. In Los Angeles,
a new independent poll shows that City Councilor/former State
House Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa (D) holds a wide lead in
the looming non-partisan primary for Mayor. Incumbent James
Hahn (D) appears to be lagging far behind -- and struggling
to even win the second spot needed to qualify for the run-off.
In Virginia, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) is leading
Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine (D) by a 33% to 26% vote in the
open race this year for Governor, according to a new Emerson
College poll. Suprisingly, the same poll shows that outgoing
Virginia Governor Mark Warner (D) has a decent shot at ousting
US Senator George Allen (R) in 2006. The numbers: Warner-48%,
Allen-41%. A re-election defeat for Allen would certainly derail
his 2008 Presidential ambitions.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.25.05 |
THREAD. Lt. James Crabtree of the 1/23 Marines sent another
update from Iraq -- and, fortunately, it was good news again
this week. In political news, a new independent poll in Alabama
shows that Lieutenant Governor Lucy Baxley (D) would easily
win the Dem gubernatorial nomination next year, and would also
currently defeat either incumbent Governor Bob Riley (R) or
former "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore (R) in a
general election matchup. In Rhode Island, a new poll shows
that moderate US Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) is trailing his
most likely Democratic opponent by a double-digit margin. In
Vermont, US Senator Jim Jeffords (I) looks to be a sure bet
to win re-election next year. On the Dem side, Howard Dean endorsed
Jeffords. On the GOP side, Governor Jim Douglas announced last
week that also likes Jeffords and would not support any GOP
candidate who challenges Jeffords next year.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.21.05 |
THREAD. In Tuesday's non-partisan primary for Wisconsin
Education Commissioner, incumbent Libby Burmaster (D) and State
Senator Gregg Underheim (R) advance to the April run-off. Burmaster
had 61% and Underheim had 29%, with two others far behind. In
Virginia, State Senator Russell Potts (R) has hired consultants
and is apparently gearing up to imminently jump into this year's
gubernatorial race -- as an Independent. In DC, the Washington
Post reported rumors that Senator Joe Lieberman (D) could
be the White House's leading candidate to replace Don Rumsfeld
as Defense Secretary when he likely departs (expected date:
sometime over the next 12 months).
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.16.05 |
THREAD. Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. And, in celebration
of the day, we have a special Valentine's
Day update from our 1/23 Marines in Iraq. In political news,
we've got deja vu all over again (to quote Yogi Berra)
in that it appears a musical instrument playing, Arkansas Governor
-- who even hails from "a place called Hope" -- is
going to run for President in 2008: Mike Huckabee (R) ... Congressman
Mark Kennedy (R-MN) officially jumped into the '06 open seat
contest for US Senate, setting of an open seat scramble for
his House seat ... and Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman (D) kicks
off his campaign this week for Ohio Governor. Former Cincinnati
Mayor -turned-TV celebrity Jerry Springer (D) -- who is trying
to become more
serious and political these days -- also looks likely to
enter same race later this year.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.14.05 |
THREAD. Howard Dean formally becomes DNC Chair this weekend
... Al Franken (D) says he will not run for US Senator in Minnesota
next year, but former US Senator Rod Grams announces he will
run ... fake White House "reporter" Jeff Gannon quits
after being outed as a GOP attack dog in a bizarre gay web scandal
(hmmm, in these days of post-9/11 security measures, how
did he even get Bush White House media credentials under a fake
name and with apparently no real background check?) ...
and, hey, it's been days since I mentioned Senator Russ Feingold
as a Presidential candidate for 2008.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.11.05 |
THREAD. Vulnerable and quirky freshman US Senator Mark Dayton
(D-MN) made a surprise announcement on Wednesday that he would
not seek re-election in 2006 ... a new University of Massachusetts
poll shows Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) trailing likely opponent
Attorney General Tom Reilly (D) by a 45% to 41% vote ... a new
Siena New York Poll shows New York Governor George Pataki (R)
appears headed towards defeat if he seeks a fourth term next
year. The poll showed Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) would
defeat him today by a 51% to 35% vote. In related news, a new
Quinnipiac University poll shows US Senator Hillary Clinton
(D) would defeat Pataki in a Senate race by a 2-to-1 margin.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.10.05 |
THREAD. Howard Dean is now officially the last man standing
in the race DNC Chair, as Tim Roemer quit the race Monday ...
former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed launched
his bid for Georgia Lieutenant Governor ... former US Senator
Rod Grams (R-MN) announced he is considering making a comeback
bid next year against Senator Mark Dayton (D), the guy who ousted
him ... and a new independent poll shows that US Senator Jon
Corzine (D) is holding a lead of at least 2-to-1 over any of
his GOP rivals in this year's open race of NJ Govenor.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.08.05 |
THREAD. We've got a new report -- this time, more upbeat
news -- from Lt. James Crabtree and the 1/23 Marines. Im political
news: Donnie Fowler and Simon Rosenberg both quit the DNC Chair
race on Friday, so get used to saying "Democratic National
Chairman Howard Dean" for the next four years ... embattled
California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley (D) resigned amid
a massive political corruption probe ... and former HUD Secretary
Tommy Thompson (R) told an audience that he may try to regain
his old job as Wisconsin Governor next year.
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.05.05 |
THREAD. Howard Dean appears to be within a handful of votes
of mathematically locking up the DNC Chair race ... it appears
that Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) is quickly building a campaign
team so that he can attempt to position himself as the centrist
alternative to Hillary Clinton ... and former VP Al Gore is
also apparently putting out feelers about entering the '08 race.
Don't laugh, as the eight-year hiatus worked pretty well for
defeated former VP Dick Nixon in 1968. BTW, did I mention --
yes, yet again -- that my preferred choice for President in
2008 is Senator Russ
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.04.05 |
THREAD. With Martin Frost and David Leland also now out of
the DNC Chair race, it looks like its down to Dean vs. Fowler
... and I'd bet on Dean (well, I guess I actually did
bet on Dean, as I gave another contribution to his DFA
group yesterday). There were around 700 comments in less than
24 hours in yesterday's open thread, so here's another to keep
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.02.05 |
The 1/23 Marines lost four more men this week, but the battalion
was able to ensure a safe election day in their region. Lt.
offers his reflections in a new report on
these sad days. In other stuff, Governor Dick Codey (D-NJ) announced
that he will not challenge Senator Jon Corzine in the '05 NJ
Gov race. Howard Dean won the support this week of former DNC
Chair candidates Wellington Webb and Harold Ickes and the Association
of State Democratic Chairs. US Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)
is now floating his name as a P2008 hopeful -- and US Senator
Russ Feingold (D-WI) confirms he's interested in the next White
House contest, too. FYI: I got to chat with Feingold when he
was in South Florida this past weekend. Dean as DNC Chair and
Feingold for President ... that's a combination I'd enthusiastically
by Ron Gunzburger - 2.01.05 |
Lt. James Crabtree of the 1/23 Marines gives us a new
report today with some news ... about news. In other stuff,
Congressman Rob Andrews (D) has decided to stay out of the '05
NJ Gov race.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.25.05 |
We've got a new report today on the
1/23 Marines -- and, fortunately, we finally have good news
again from Lt. Crabtree.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.21.05 |
Dean picked up endorsements this week of the state Dem chairs
in Mississippi, Utah and Oklahoma ... and the entire Florida
delegation of voting DNC members. Potential '08 White House
Feingold is already speaking in Florida next week. Oh yeah,
and Dubya has got something or other going on in DC today.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.20.05 |
In the news today ... umm, actually, I didn't watch or
read any news today ... so you guys can just fill it in today
in the blog.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.18.05 |
We've got a new report from the 1/23 here
(sadly, the battalion lost two more men). In political news,
the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate reported
over the weekend that the final tally for voter turnout shows
that 122 million people -- 60.7% -- cast ballots. That's the
highest turnout since 1968.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.17.05 |
The Jeffersons was to All In The Family
what these guys are to us. Yup, check out these Politics1
alumni sites: NewPolitics1,
The Kentucky Democrat,
The Hotline did a fairly extensive survey of DNC member
(i.e., the only people who get to vote for Dem National Chair).
The results: Howard Dean holds a solid lead, while former Congressman
Martin Frost is a clear second. All others trail far behind.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.15.05 |
"The last thing this country needs is two Republican
parties" - Ted Kennedy, speaking about those Dems who want
the party to move more to the right.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.14.05 |
We've got a new update from the 1/23 Marines in Iraq here
... .Lawton "Bud Chiles (D) announces for Florida Governor
in 2006 ... Howard Dean announced for DNC Chair, but former
DFA Campaign Manager Joe Trippi endorsed Simon Rosenberg for
DNC Chair ... and another P1 alumni site can be found here.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.13.05 |
THREAD. Well, reading the nice comments in yesterday's blog
made me feel a lot like Tom Sawyer, when he secretly attended
his own funeral when the town mistakenly thought he had been
killed. I was approached today by a pro-Dem PAC that said they
may be interested in hiring someone to keep the site running
and updated for the next year or so. There were also two inquiries
from political consulting firms and one relating to a university
program taking over the day-to-day operations for a while. No
guarantees anything will come of these, but stay tuned. Also:
you can find some of our P1 alumni here
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.11.05 |
10, 2005 - LAST CALL (or: "It's not you ... it's me.")
For a while now, I could tell it was time for me to move on
to other projects. I finally made the decision to do so on New
Year's Day ... and then decided to wait a week or so to be really
certain this was what I wanted to do.
my experience in creating and running Politics1. I launched
this one-person, public service educational project in late
1997 and it grew rapidly, gaining a loyal and sizable following.
It also successfully operated "in the black" for the
entire run. I'm rather satisfied with the accomplishments of
Politics1 over the past 6+ years. Still, all good things must
come to an end.
reason I know it is the right time do this is because I've had
this gut feeling for several months now. I first ruminated on
the concept months ago in mid-2004 in the blog. The more I've
thought about it, the more it is clear what I want to do.
what was once "fun" has become dreaded now as hours
of "work" each week, it is time for me to move on.
(Remember, my publishing of Politics1 comes in addition to holding
down a very full-time job as General Counsel &
Director of Administration of a government agency.)
when I feel my writing and humor are losing their edge, then
it is also time to move on. Frankly, I'm finding it very hard
these days to see humor in the sad state of American politics.
importantly -- as appalled and disgusted as I currently am with
our political system at nearly all levels -- I understand the
need for a real vacation away from everything political. That's
why I also turned down every campaign consulting opportunity
that I've been approached with over the past few months for
the 2005-06 cycle. Is this a permanent departure for me from
professional politics? Probably not, but I don't know.
what's next for Politics1?
keep the site online and continue to own it, but without posting
any new updates for at least one year. The only exception
will be the continuing updates on the 1/23 Marines from my friend
Lt. James Crabtree in Iraq. I will continue to post these reports
here until they return home in March
2005, as I understand how important these are to the 1/23 families.
Then, after the 1/23 Marines return home, I don't plan
to post any more updates until at least January 2006 at the
earliest. That is when I will reassess this decision and see
if I want to start it up again.
then, I'll keep checking my email
(so feel free to keep in touch).
get to catch up on a huge pile of books (mainly 20th Century
French, Eastern European and Soviet history) ... spend more
time outside and with friends ... and hopefully get back to
having a relatively normal and more quiet life.
even developing a smaller new web project -- entirely outside
of politics -- as the publisher of the official website of French
national cycling champion Thomas
Voeckler (right). For those who don't really follow much
pro cycling -- aside from Lance Armstrong and his yellow bracelets
-- Thomas was the little-known 25-year-old in last year's Tour
de France race who amazingly captured and defended the yellow
jersey for ten days. Now he's viewed as one of the best hopes
over the next decade to restore France to greatness in the sport.
So, as I wrote above, you can see I'll remain connected -- but
in a different way.
before I turn the lights off and walk out for the last time,
I wanted to thank each of you -- including those who criticized
me for my politics or my web design skills -- for helping to
create the real sense of community we enjoyed in the blog and
on the site.
I want to thank those of you who regularly sent me information
and news tips, who contributed money or purchased ads on the
site, and who helped in so many other ways.
owe a debt of gratitude to the curmudgeonly Howard Dean, who
got me reconnected with politics again as a "true believer."
I was so jaded and cynical for years towards everything and
everyone in politics until I got involved in his campaign (and
even spent primary week freezing in New Hampshire as a Deaniac
volunteer). The Dean campaign ultimately faltered, but through
it I found in myself the ability to believe in "the cause"
Politics1 was a wonderful experience. Every day of it. No regrets.
now it is time to close this chapter and move forward. My best
wishes to each of you.
regards and au revoir,
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.10.05 |
THREAD. I promise new updates this weekend, but this week
at work was too hectic to allow much reflection over the past
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.7.05 |
THREAD. Hint: Ron's job is really keeping him very busy
right now ... so talk amongst yourselves.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.6.05 |
FROM IRAQ: SOME SOMBER NEWS FROM HADITHA DAM. Our special
correspondent Lt. James Crabtree of the 1/23 Marines had the
war strike painfully close this week.
again from the Haditha Dam. I
hope you had a good New Year.
battalion has suffered a tragedy since I was last able to
write you. On New Yearís Day some of our Marines from the
Small Craft Platoon were on a regular river patrol when one
of their Marines was shot in the leg. LCpl Fallonís wound
was minor and after he was evacuated the platoon continued
on with their patrol. Later on, while on the shore, there
was an explosion. LCpl Brian Parrello (right), a native of
New Jersey, was killed and three others were wounded. Two
of the wounded will make full recoveries, but the third, Captain
Jon Kuniholm from Durham, NC, was badly hurt. He later lost
his right arm from the elbow down.
is not easy to write about. LCpl Parrello is only the second
Marine we have lost here. He was an active duty Marine from
the Small Craft Company in Camp Lejeune and his death will
not be forgotten by us. We had a memorial service at sunrise
yesterday and it looked and felt just like the one we did
for Cpl Kolda. Every member of the battalion was present unless
they were on duty or on patrol. It was a very nicely done
and heartfelt memorial. I just hope that none of us has to
see another ceremony like that.
me write a little more about Capt Kuniholm. Jon is my best
friend in the battalion. Thereís no other way to put it. His
being wounded hit me pretty hard and it wasnít until hours
later that we knew Jon would live. As the battalion adjutant
I did the casualty reports on the Marines, and it was difficult
to see his name on them. As Jon's two roommates, Capt Lennon
and I had to pack up all of his personal items to mail them
home. I know Iíve never experienced something like this before.
It was particularly emotional to take down the photos of him
with his wife and their 4-year-old son -- and his sonís drawings
-- while we still didnít know what the outcome would be. Neither
of us knew that the Captain had gone out with the Small Craft
Marines and we didnít know heíd been hurt until they had already
been medically evacuated. We saw the helicopter with the red
cross on it fly off, but only found out minutes later that
Jon was on it.
Captain Kuniholm performed for us on New Year's Eve.
here in the battalion wishes to reach out to LCpl Parrelloís
and Capt Kuniholmís friends and families and let them know
how honored we are to have served with men like them. This
picture of Capt Kuniholm is the only one Iíd ever taken of
him. The picture was from the night before the incident when
Jon played some songs for us at the New Yearís Eve talent
Whitnam -- the company commander for the Small Craft Marines
-- posts a website with a better account of what happened
and who was injured. I donít have the heart to share any more
about it on here. The address is http://smallcraft.tripod.com.
other news, one of our snipers -- Sgt Herbert Hancock (right)
-- was recently recognized on the official Marine Corps website
for his amazing skills in combat. The story can be found here.
Also, Mr Sacco left us today to head home and finish his story
for The Guardian newspaper. He enjoyed his stay with us --
and the feeling was mutual. We also picked up a new reporter
today -- Mr Joe Giordono -- is a civilian reporter with The
Stars and Stripes newspaper and he will be living with us
for about five days. We look forward to being able to show
him around the dam and our area of operations.
you once more for your thoughts and prayers. They mean a great
deal to all of us over here and to all of the families and
loved ones back home.
appreciate James sharing what was clearly a very personal topic
for him. If you'd like to send the 1/23d any care packages,
please address the packages to Lt Crabtree, 1/23 H&S
Co, Unit 41900, FPO, AP 96426-1900 ... and James will
ensure that whatever you ship gets distributed to the Marines
in the 1/23. The 1/23 Marines are scheduled to remain in Iraq
until March 2005. If you'd like to read more about our adopted
1/23 Marine battalion in Iraq, please click
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.5.05 |
THREAD). Whatever you'd like to discuss today.
by Ron Gunzburger - 1.5.05 |