Saturday, December 30, 2006

Word Twisters

Here they come. Conservatives dressed in sheep's clothing trying to capture words of the new political movement as their own. Words like progressive and here in Oklahoma, trying to piggyback the success of the MAPs project to further the ends of enriching the rich.

Enter Vince Orza. Now Vince, for those of you who don't know him, is a former newsreader reformed to restaurant chain tycoon and in his spare time nourishes young minds as a teacher at a local University. He just published this editorial in a local progressive newspaper.

In the article, Vince encourages Oklahoma to be progressive by endorsing his vision of a world-class civilization created here in Oklahoma. His first big ol' "progressive idea" is to create a massive aide to dependant corporations by overhauling the tax code.

Somehow, shifting the tax-burden onto those who work here and away from the shiny new task-master fat-cats that must be bribed to come here, doesn't seem very progressive.

Also, he trots out the usual whipping boy; school consolidation. Many small towns use their local schools as identity, and consolidation (read--elimination) would be a death sentence for many small towns. Note to Vince--authoritarianism is not a progressive idea.

He does, to his credit, link our high incarceration rate to our low funding of education. Should we invest more in schools to allow our citizens to prosper, or failing that, build more prisons to catch them on the back end? An easy decision, really, but one which we have failed on miserably.

Vince touches on using our oil and gas prosperity and encouraging our Indian community to aide in his quest for creating an "American resort and convention mecca..."

One would imagine our Native American community would be more willing to be a cooperative partner if our government would pay its bills.
When banker Elouise Cobell added up the Indian trust money lost, looted, and mismanaged by the U.S. government, the tab came to $176 billion. Now she's here to collect.
[...]
While generations of non-Indians have become rich harvesting the abundant resources of private Indian lands -- which once included virtually all the oil fields of Oklahoma -- Indian landowners have been paid only erratically, and far less than their due. Consequently, even landowning Indians remain among the nation's poorest citizens, joining the 23 percent of Indians in America living in poverty, and the nearly 40 percent who are unemployed. Some tribes fare even worse, and the Blackfeet suffer a 34 percent poverty rate and a 70 percent unemployment rate. Overall, Indians are more than twice as poor as the average American.
[...]

I would be rather reluctant to sign any more treatise if I were them. The lawsuit has been dragging on now for more than a decade. Gale Norton, the head of the Department of Interior named as a defendant has resigned and is now a shill for Shell oil. Hmmm.

But what really got my attention on Vince's article, was his hanging the acronym "MAPs" on it. Every pregnant idea that comes down the pike these days tries to capitalize on the success of MAPs, as though the mindless drones of Oklahoma will hit the yes button in the voting booth because MAPs is somehow a magic word.

I am very proud of the small role I played in passing the original MAPs vote, and deeply resent the wholesale bastardization of the term. You see, Vince, it is a question of value.

I am not an economic whiz kid like Vince, however, I know it takes "X" amount of dollars to run a state. When you give aide to dependant corporations these funds are made up on the backs of working stiffs like me.

New industry means new money, right? It also means very real infrastructure costs like water, sewer, power, transportation, etc.

No, Vince, I cannot endorse a massive corporate welfare program, dressed up like a spoonful of sugar. This merely increases the economic divide and reduces those true engines of Oklahoma progressivism, the middle class.

MAPs for the rich makes No Sense Vince.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Clinton Taps Lady Di's Phone; Rightards Heads Explode

News reports indicate the CIA was wiretapping Princess Dianna's phones up until the night of her untimely death.

This would have occurred during the Clinton Administration, and apparently, they didn't have a warrant. Gasp.

Wingnuts across America are coming all unhinged at the blatant hypocrisy of the left for not crucifying Bill Clinton like we have Dubya for his warrantless eavesdropping.

You see, we on the left are hypocrites for opposing Bush and remaining silent on Clinton for warrantless wiretapping. Clinton is a Democrat and Bush is a Republican, this is the only difference they see.

They fail to see one was legal and the other is clearly illegal.

The applicable law governing wiretaps is FISA, which is limited to U.S. citizens in the United States. Princess Di was neither.

Bush broke the law on this issue, whereas Bill Clinton did not. However, Clinton was crucified for breaking the law (perjury) during the Lewinsky matter. At that time, Republicans demanded the law be upheld as the highest obligation for lawmakers.

I find Republicans to be shallow and wishy-washy hypocrites, only applying their deeply held convictions when it is convenient and politically advantageous to do so.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Inhofe Swan Song

James "Baghdad Bob" Inhofe, R-OK, used his final opportunity as chair of the environmental committee to defend his statement about global warming as "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

He tried this remarkable feat by gathering the like-minded amen section of fossil fuel apologists together for a hearing--a clearing of the air--so to speak, of the pollution spewed by unscientific liberal hacks posing as journalism. It's nice work, if you can get it.

Like David Deming, a geophysicist and a tenured University of Oklahoma geology professor. Now what could a geology professor from the state of Oklahoma, who packs his class with those eager to work for the richest companies in the world, have to offer to Inhofe's swan song?

Especially since Deming has no class:
[...]

Deming is a tenured University of Oklahoma geology professor who has sued in order to regain his place in his department. The lawsuit stems from a December 2003 decision to remove Deming from the School of Geology and Geophysics, where he was an associate professor. In his new position, he could continue to do research, but had to gain permission to teach classes—and the classes he taught would not be listed as geology classes, but as geoscience classes. This change has significantly reduced enrollment in his classes. “I’m a geologist and geophysicist,” he says. “I don’t do geoscience.”

School officials also forced him to move to a new office, a former laboratory in a windowless basement room, the only basement office assigned to a faculty member, according to Deming.
[...]

And when I said he has no class, I meant it:
[...]

On February 18, 2000, Professor David Deming picked up The University of Oklahoma's daily newspaper. That day's edition showcased a syndicated article by gun control advocate Joni Kletter, written in a matter that immediately chafed with Deming. Current gun laws, wrote Kletter, allowed "criminals, youth, and the mentally disabled to quickly and easily kill as many random people as they want."

Deming dashed off a letter in response that was printed three days later. "I just want to point out," he wrote, "that Kletter's 'easy access' to a vagina enables her to 'quickly and easily' have sex with 'as many random people' as she wants." The professor tought his satire was clear enough, but that was before he came close to losing his job.

[...]


(emphasis added). The anvil sharp wit of the professor is breathtaking. Nothing could be more terrifying than serial vaginalists. Especially shilling for companies that take a pole and poke a hole deep into the womb of Mother Earth.

And shill he does. From a commentary he penned for The Washington Times:
[...]
The largest mistake would be to start to move away from petroleum, a proven and economic energy source, to more speculative and expensive sources.
[...]

A geologist, an environmentalist and an economist. Sort of a one-stop-shop for an Inhofe apologist. David Deming is also a member of the E-team of National Center for Policy Analysis, an organizer of conservative groups to impact public policy. The E-team focuses on environmental issues and legislation that may have a detrimental effect toward business interests.

The NCPA has received $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

Slowly the steely grip of corporatists and their enablers are being pried off of the steering wheel of this country.

Inhofe is up for re-election in 2008. The oil and gas business is a very powerful constituency in his home state of Oklahoma, and he has defended their practices tooth and nail. If he does decide to run again, he will be a very formidable incumbent in a conservative state.

All the same, I'd like to see him go.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Young Turks

One of my highlights of Kommander Kos' Las Vegas soiree at Yearly Kos, an annual lefty blogger convention, was meeting, in person, The Young Turks. Now I realize this post is like, way late, but there is a reason that I post this now, which I will get into momentarily.

I was just standing there, next to the media table when this absolutely stunning young lady came up to get her credentials.

"Jill Pike," she said.

Now, I had seen her picture on The Young Turks website, and had heard many people comment on the radio about how attractive she was, but they all fell far short of the mark.

She was the ten most attractive ladies at the convention.

I introduced myself and she graciously invited me back to meet "the boys", Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz, her co-hosts.

Cenk, in particular, can really cut loose a tirade on the radio. He can make a Pentecostal preacher seem like a Methodist. And I'm not kidding.

He also writes some too. That is the subject of this post, Cenk's latest rift on NBC calling the War in Iraq a civil war. It goes something like this:

NBC Says Sky is Blue Email Print

By Cenk

Although the US government and Iraqi authorities have been insisting that the sky is red for months, NBC after much deliberation has decided to call the sky blue. Other news outlets have not come to the same conclusion yet.
When the Washington Post was asked why they are still calling the sky red, they said they knew the sky was blue but they didn't feel comfortable calling it blue when Iraqi government officials were still calling it red.

Tony Snow vociferously objected to NBC's biased coverage of the sky. He said calling the sky blue would only encourage it to be more blue. Snow added that if NBC persists in calling the sky blue, the terrorists would win.

The administration pointed out that if we call the sky something it demonstrably is not, then we will attain victory. When asked what "victory" means, Snow pointed behind the reporters and shouted, "Look, al-Qaeda!"

NBC is currently mulling over the idea of declaring that 2+2=4. NBC is concerned about making this announcement because Dick Cheney has declared forcefully that when you put 2 and 2 together, you get 6 -- and that anyone who doesn't is cutting and running from math. The neo-cons inside the White House say that only a defeatist would get 4 when adding 2 and 2. Bush added that the only way you could get 4 from putting 2 and 2 together is if you stopped counting.

He then smirked as if he had something very clever. Everyone in the room nodded, agreeing that clever words make reality less real.


I think this has something to do with being part of the "reality-based community", but I'm not sure.

And Ben, if you read this, I still say you sound like Christian Slater. Ben is okay with that, because, as he puts it, "Chicks dig Christian Slater."

Monday, November 20, 2006

That's Gonna Leave A Mark

Somebody woke up over at the steno crew, aka the fourth estate

From Dick Meyers over at CBS News:
This is a story I should have written 12 years ago when the "Contract with America" Republicans captured the House in 1994. I apologize.

Welcome to the party, Dick, been wonderin' where you yahoos have been.
Really, it's just a simple thesis: The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos. Together, they comprised one of the oddest legislative power cliques in our history. And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do.

Not supposed to do. I just made a funny noise and got a Scooby Dooby Do neck twist.
The iconic figures of this era were Newt Gingrich, Richard Armey and Tom Delay. They were zealous advocates of free markets, low taxes and the pursuit of wealth; they were hawks and often bellicose; they were brutal critics of big government.
Yeah yeah, get to it before I go to a porn site.
Yet none of these guys had success in capitalism. None made any real money before coming to Congress. None of them spent a day in uniform. And they all spent the bulk of their adult careers getting paychecks from the big government they claimed to despise. Two resigned in disgrace.

Oooh, take 'em to the woodshed.
Having these guys in charge of a radical conservative agenda was like, well, putting Mark Foley in charge of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus. Indeed, Foley was elected in the Class of '94 and is not an inappropriate symbol of their regime.

More than the others, Newton Leroy Gingrich lived out a very special hypocrisy. In addition to the above biographical dissonance, Gingrich was one of the most sharp-tongued, articulate and persuasive attack dogs in modern politics. His favorite target was the supposed immorality and corruption of the Democratic Party. With soaring rhetoric, he condemned his opponents as anti-American and dangerous to our country's family values — "grotesque" was a favorite word.

Yet this was a man who was divorced twice — the first time when his wife was hospitalized for cancer treatment, the second time after an affair was revealed.

Oh, hell yeah. Dick broke out the big wood and splintered it right off.
Dick, tell your friends we need more of this watchdog type of reporting, y'know, instead of the steno type he said she said, while chuckling at the zany politicians. There exists, in the political world such things as objective facts.

Good job, keep it up.

Hit the link above and go read the whole article.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Post Election Analysis

Shit. I almost forgot to do this. Okay, after running all available data, polls, surveys, polisci Dr. Phil drive-by psych 101 vulcan mind melds through my oil filter (now with flavor crystals!) I am ready to announce my post mortem facts:

The Republicans lost because they are a bunch of corrupt, greedy fuckers carrying water for big oil, big pharma and vultures getting fat off of the war. Their policies suck only slightly less harder than they do. They have been taking money out of our back pockets, selling our jobs off to multinational corporations in the downward leveling termed "free trade", and financing their lying assed campaigns from funders getting rich from misery; war profiteers and big pharma. Conservatism is exposed for the authoritarian cult that it really is. They enjoy torture, and the elimination of privacy and human rights for individuals. They admit by their policies that free-trade and raw capitalism is the inherent right for corporations to follow the path of least regulation; exploit the powerless, pollute the unregulated and shelter where taxes don't exist.

Down this path is an America reduced to flabby shoppers who produce nothing except servants for the upper crust and quickly vanishing middle class. Make no mistake, this is a battle of epic proportions. The rich are serious about being rich, and power to them. I still hope to be rich myself one day. But populism is on the upswing, and those anti-American fascists are on their way out.

James "Baghdad Bob" Inhofe Changes Environment

Reality challenged shill for Big Oil, and chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator James Inhofe R-OK, will be replaced by Barbara Boxer D-CA, due to recent control of the Senate going to the Democrats. Senator John Warner R-VA, intends to become the ranking member for the Republicans when the 110th congress convenes. According to the Washington Post:
[...]
Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) announced his intention to become the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, now headed by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has said that global warming is a hoax. Warner has called for action against climate change, and his ascension to a leadership post would accelerate significant changes already underway.
[...]
"That could drastically change the way that committee operates," said Karen Steuer, government affairs chief at the National Environmental Trust. "We might see, on a number of issues, bipartisan legislation coming out of that committee, and that would be a huge step forward. . . . In one fell swoop, it's gone from the Dark Ages to the Space Age."
[...]

The Senator from Oklahoma lives in the Dark Ages

First, however, GOP senators must decide whether Warner's seniority on the committee grants him the right to be the ranking Republican. Inhofe issued a statement saying that he thinks Warner "has misunderstood the rules" and that "I intend to retain my leadership position in the 110th Congress, returning as the Ranking Member" of the environment committee.

Warner responded in a statement: "I carefully reviewed the rules in consultation with the Secretary of the Majority, who assures me that my seniority on the Committee forms a clear basis, under longstanding precedent" for claiming the top Republican spot. Warner will surrender the Armed Services Committee chairmanship and assert his party leadership claim on the environmental panel.

[...]

If the Republicans bounce Inhofe from his leadership post on this committee, it will be because he is an embarrassment and an outright danger to the health and well-being of the world.

In Oklahoma, we need to be sure Inhofe is not re-elected to the Senate. Some village is missing an idiot.

Houston, I Think You Have A Problem

Janitors for Chevron in Houston are on strike. Seems $20 a day with no health care is unreasonable. So they trample the peaceful protesters with police horses, throw 44 of them in jail where they are further mistreated and bail is set at $888,888.00 cash each.

Don't guess Houston and Big Oil got the message. We ain't takin' this shit any more. Freedom of assembly and all that. And as far as reasonable bail, Matt Stoller has more:

The combined $39.1 million bond for the workers and their supporters is far and above the normal amount of bail set for people accused of even violent crimes in Harris County. While each of the non-violent protesters is being held on $888,888 bail ...

* For a woman charged with beating her granddaughter to death with a
sledgehammer, bail was set at $100,000;

* For a woman accused of disconnecting her quadriplegic mother's breathing
machine, bail was set at $30,000;

* For a man charged with murder for stabbing another man to death in a bar
brawl, bail was set at $30,000;

* For janitors and protesters charged with Class B misdemeanors for past
non-violent protests, standard bail has been set at $500 each.

More than 5,300 Houston janitors are paid $20 a day with no health insurance, among the lowest wages and benefits of any workers in America.

He also points out that this has already garnered the attention of Henry Waxman.

So Houston, I think you have a problem.

Growing Pains Of The New Democratic Party

So I see the ragin' Cajin getting all unhinged and stuff on the teevee the other day, calling for Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to be replaced. Seems the wins by the Democrats were not large enough, and he blames Dean for not handing over contributors money from the DNC to finance the punditry and consultant DC class operating out of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee under the direction of Rahm Emanuel.

You see folks, it's always about the money.

This was all spelled out in Crashing The Gate; Netroots, Grassroots And The Rise Of People Powered Politics, a chewy little book penned by The Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas and MyDD founder Jerome Armstrong. They set out to discover why Democrats keep losing elections. What they found were consultants, pollsters and pundits that were all chummy with the DC heads of the Democratic party resulting in placing themselves as a conduit between local candidates and large donors controlled by the DC power structure. As a result, the money came with a team of folks to tell the local candidates how to spend the money, usually on them.

The loyalty of these consultants lay with their paymasters and the continuation of the gravy train, not the winning of campaigns. They would urge candidates to not take strong positions, in fear of being labelled "extremists." It makes it sorta tough to get excited about a candidate who is excited about nothing. When the candidate lost, the consultants would go back to DC and wait for the next poor ideological sap they could shape into their mold.

To be fair, these pundits don't like us bloggers either. From DownWithTyranny:

The thing all these successful candidates share in common is backing by the same dirty-necked bloggers and netroots activists that pundits have been calling the political kiss of death.

(emphasis added) I wonder whose death it is they're talking about?

Of course, their were many other reasons Dems would lose, but this is main one.

Now, back to Dean, Rahm and James.

In an article in the New York Times, Ad Nag says this:

Mr. Emanuel warred with Mr. Dean over his refusal to provide as much money as Mr. Emanuel said he needed.

He said Wednesday that a favored candidate, Tammy Duckworth, the severely injured Iraq war veteran running for an open Republican seat in Illinois, had lost because the Republicans had spent $1 million on negative advertisements against her in the final weekend and that he did not have the money to respond.


Now Tammy Duckworth served our country in Iraq, and left both of her legs over there. She was also for a stay-the-course policy in Iraq, and Rahm continually counseled his picks to not talk about the war. See what I'm sayin'? Rahm broke the rules by getting involved in the primary to support Duckworth, winning the primary by like 200 votes or something. Overall, Rahm spent $3 million dollars to lose this race.

And now they're whining that Dean didn't give them a couple million more to waste.

I get emails from the DNC, the DCCC, and the DSCC (Chuck Schumers committee) all asking for contributions as do legions of other people as well. Those who donated to Dean could have chosen to donate to Rahm so he could flush it down the shitter of yesterday. If Dean would have given donations that he received to enrich the beltway consultant class of running milquetoast campaigns, the system would be difficult to repair.

Dean is trying to build a national party. For too long, the Dems in control have focused on the coasts and Chicago. Those days are in the past, and those of us in the netroots are determined to throw this country on our shoulders and drag it forward.

As far as the rajin Cajin is concerned, I find it interesting that, being close to Hillary and all, he is outraged at the influence Dean holds at the local and state level. These are the people who will nominate the Democratic candidate for President. Sorta makes you wonder, huh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Articles of Impeachment

So what happens when some investigation turns up serious criminal activity from a Republican member of congress? Or several? I can see a situation where the incumbency protection racket kicks in (if you want to know what this is, ask Ned Lamont) and a deal is struck for impeachment brought by Republicans. The Democrats would remain unstained, and Republicans have serious issues with Bushco right now. Would we be left with "full steam ahead" Darth Cheney? Could they get them both? President Pelosi?

I think Bush has more to fear from Republicans right now than subpoena wielding Democrats. The mantra of "Conservatism cannot fail, people can only fail conservatism," is being heralded far and wide. Run this through my oil filter and it sounds like "failures cannot be conservatives." Look for Bush to continue to plummet in the polls as his last, die hard thirty per centers continue to bail. It might be better not to impeach him. All the dirty laundry is fixing to come out--a jacket of many colors should be fashioned for him to wear--he is the albatross of the Republican party--their titular head and the embodiment of all that is conservative.

Let us never forget.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Thumpin'

The Democratic party, in spite of DSCC head Chuck Schumer and DCCC head Rahm Emanuel, gained the majority in both houses of congress. Chuck and Rahm are afflicted with the Corporatist mindset and an affinity for all it entails. Fortunately, a groundswell of populism, fueled in large part by lefty bloggers, was able to overcome wussy-assed Republican-lite candidates hand picked and financed by Chuck and Rahm to at least provide a voice in congress to the middle-class.

The Democrats in the House of Representatives gained 29 seats, some are being re-counted. Rahm picked 22 seats he thought he could win. He won eight. Nearly all of his picks were pro-war. In my book, this makes him a phenomenal loser, wasting huge amounts of money on candidates that did not stand on the right side of a bright line, so clearly visible to everyone else. Who would vote to merely swap one warmongering K-Street buddy for another one? Nevertheless, Rahm quickly jumped out front and made it look like he was leading the parade. John Walsh has the blow-by-blow of Rahms failures at counterpunch.

Chuck Schumer fares just as bad, forcing Hackett out, cautioning Dems against talking about the war, treating the netroots with contempt and remaining so cozy with his Wall Street donors. For more about the problems with Chuck, Pach has a great post up at FDL.

Clearly the American people are tired of fatcats making deals assuming we'll be content with the scraps that fall from their plates. The trickle on policy of Reaganomics have been exposed for the scam that they are; namely, give tax breaks and deregulate corporations, prop up the economy through massive borrowing and pass the burdens of their good times onto the children of America.

Chuck and Rahm seek to just move some nameplates around to get their turn at perks and fondling the swells. The corruption and the disastrous occupation of Iraq has delivered them the power to change our policies and the linear thought process of the Bush junta. Both of these guys hate the netroots, or people powered politics because we will force them to act like Democrats and look out for the middle class. It's what the people want.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is a big day for our country, and once again I'm sure we'll demonstrate to the world what a beacon of light on the hill we are, and a sterling example of fair and accurate elections. I never minded losing on the merits, or messaging, or even coming up short in the rough and tumble world of full-contact politics.

But once again we are troubled by underhanded voter supression tactics and bothersome "robo calls" and perhaps, them damn rickety "privately owned" voter machines. Oh well, wade through the crap and vote.

I have been listening to the pundits divine the polls and national mood and try to determine who will be left standing. In many of the races, they say it is too close to call, and it all comes down to turnout. Turnout hinges mostly on motivation. Republicans have returned to their old mantra; Fear. However, virtually all Democrats, most independents and even many Republicans are just plain angry.

Is it better to run scared or angry?

The answer comes tomorrow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Military Denounces Rumsfeld

I'm just full of "shock and awe". From The Cleveland Leader.

According to MSNBC, an editorial to be published on Monday in the Military Times is said to call for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. The voice of military community saying Rumsfeld must go is huge, and may swing Conservative votes.

The article is reported to say that Rumsfeld should resign or be fired regardless of who wins the majority after the elections on Tuesday.

The Military Times provides publications for the 4 main branches of the military - The Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Times, and the Marine Corp. Times, which is the favored reading of troops overseas, on military bases, and the military families who traditional vote conservatively.

First all them Democrats, then all them Generals, then the rest of the military. Shit, I hear them guys have guns and stuff. Oh well, as long as Pickles and Barney still like him...

Oklahoma Pro-Choice Gains; Pro-Life Diminishes

A recent poll by Survey USA looked at each state's views on the abortion issue. According to this poll, Oklahoma is fairly evenly divided on this issue, 48% pro-life to 47% pro-choice, with pro-life trending down and pro-choice trending up. But if any politician comes out in favor of a woman's right to determine what happens to her body, the fundamentalists immediately attack by labeling them baby killers.

This post is my effort to look at the fundies claims of "abortion is murder" and everything it implies.

Let's take the murder argument seriously. In Oklahoma, a staunchly law and order state, we execute murderers. Especially premeditated ones, where someone was paid to do the hit, doubly so if it involves innocent babies. Never before could anyone deny a more open and shut case. Receipts and cancelled checks are involved, as well as medical records.

Do the fundies advocate the death penalties for these murders? If not, why not?

Some laws, which deny women self-determination of their own bodies, include a rape and incest provision. Sounds reasonable, but is it? Are these politicians advocating the death of innocent babies only if the innocent babies are the victims of a crime?

If the fundamentalists are successful and the deed to a woman's womb is removed from her possession and handed over to the old white guy Talibangelical Crowd of Falwell, Dobson and Robertson, abortions will not stop. They will simply become "back alley" operations and women will die. Perhaps that is the price they should pay for committing the sin of sex.

The entire pro-life ideology breaks down when the facts are present. Pro-life, they are not; pro-coat hanger they are.

Oklahomans need to step up, and not allow zealotry of any kind to cloud their judgement. The outrages demonstrated by the publishing of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad prevented others from publishing them, thereby obeying the dictum's of Islam.

Moral outrage is fine, but imposing one groups morality on another, through legislation, diminishes us all. A woman's body belongs to her. Fundamentalist hysterectomy through legislative means is just plain wrong.

Nuclear Flub

In the rear-view mirror of the Gestalt theory of wartime rationalization, the Cheney Administration hastily agreed with wingnut bloggers to post on the internet documents seized during the invasion of Iraq. Somewhere in there, they surmised, must be the reason why we invaded Iraq. They felt confident someone with the 101 fighting keyboards, armed to the teeth with cheetos and mello yellow, would find the proof that Osama and Hussein were mutual fans of Judy Garland.

But buried within the pile of docs were the directions on how to build a nuclear bomb. Wups. According to The New York Times:
[...]
But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
[...]

Swell. Bush and his Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence (and I use that word vuuury loosely) committees handed over the instruction manual on how to build a nuclear bomb to the entire world, because they hate doing homework and prayed somewhere in the pile of unread captured "intelligence" someone could find what we are doing in Iraq.
Lefty bloggers are hammering these idiots for selling out America. Citizen Hardin Smith is on fire. Atrios on the backgrounder, as is Sadly, No! and Attytood wonders out loud.
Before I hear a bunch of whining on "
civil discourse", which a dog whistle phrase for Republicans which means, "yeah, we screwed up, but can't we all just sing kumbayaa?" I need to point out this little story:

A bird flying south for the winter left too late, and his wings froze up. He crash-landed in a barnyard, landing right behind a cow in the process of a bowel movement. The bird, quickly thawing out in the warm cow shit, soon began chirping. The barnyard cat, hearing this, quickly uncovered the bird and devoured it.

There are three morals to this story

Not all those that shit on you are your enemy.

Not all those that remove the shit are your friend.

If you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, you better keep your mouth shut.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shock & Awe

How bad does it have to be in Iraq when the war profiteers quit and come home? From the San Francisco Chronicle:
[...]
"Did Iraq come out the way you hoped it would?" asked Cliff Mumm, Bechtel's president for infrastructure work. "I would say, emphatically, no. And it's heartbreaking."
[...]

So, after gobbling up $2.3 billion worth of taxpayer money, 52 employees getting killed and dozens others wounded, somehow they feel it's just not worth it.

When it's bad enough to gag a vulture, you know it's pretty bad. Heckuva job Bushie.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What An Honorable Republican Sounds Like



Feel free to take notes.

Bush Abandons Troops, Demands Kerry Apologies

American troops were ordered to remove checkpoints in Baghdad, halting their feverish search for a kidnapped American soldier, by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Yes, you read that right, American military is under the control of a foreign government. When Maliki stands up, Dubya sits down. From the New York Times:
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded the removal of American checkpoints from the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday, in what appeared to be his latest and boldest gambit in an increasingly tense struggle for more independence from his American protectors.
Mr. Maliki’s public declaration seemed at first to catch American commanders off guard. But by nightfall, American troops had abandoned all the positions in eastern and central Baghdad that they had set up last week with Iraqi forces as part of a search for a missing American soldier. The checkpoints had snarled traffic and disrupted daily life and commerce throughout the eastern part of the city.
[...]
Meanwhile our Campaigner-In-Chief demands an apology from Senator Kerry, who aimed at humor and missed, while Maliki orders our troops to abandon their search for their missing soldier, dooming him to torture (everybody's doing it these days) and an agonizing death.

Seems the bigger brouhaha of these two events, bad joke vs. foreign control over American military, the first is by far the most egregious, leastwise according to our "liberal media." If Kerry doesn't apologize soon, why our entire punditry class will become vapor locked.

I would offer this apology:

"I'm sorry that your Commander-In-Chief now resides in the Green Zone of Baghdad and the control of American Soldiers are now under the command of a foreign power, who wish to protect those who kidnapped your comrade-in-arms, and who right now are most assuredly torturing him to death. I'm sorry our President has abandoned each and every one of you, and by extension, all Americans, by handing control of our military to foreign powers. God Help Us All.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gay Hooker Provides Oral Services For Foley



Local Blogger, Wild Bill, is accepting the oral services of famed male prostitute, Jeff Gannon, in the default position of the party of "personal responsibility", blame the Democrats.

From the outset, I suspected Foleygate was a premeditated political dirty trick – and I was right. After a blogger traced the phony website to an HRC staffer the perpetrator was terminated. The New York Times reported the firing, but didn’t seem interested in finding out the name of the person involved. It took another blogger about 6 hours to determine that Lane Hudson was the anonymous website operator.


Yeah, right. Poor sleazebag Foley is a victim of those dastardly Democrats.

And Wild Bill ejaculates enthusiastically all over his blog in anticipation:

Jeff Gannon will be on The Passionate America Show Wednesday November 1st at around 4pm Central Time

Who is Jeff Gannon? Glad you asked:

“Jeff Gannon is a former White House correspondent and contributing columnist for the Washington Blade. He is currently writing a book about his experiences as a Washington journalist and the impact the New Media is having on politics.


No mention of Mr. Gannon's dubious background, or any question of how Mr. Gannon got press credentials to lob softball questions in the briefing room. White House press credentials are not just given to anybody.

This merely underscores the current problem with the Republican party. It is difficult to base your political philosophy on values and personal responsibility, when no evidence exists of having any. Denny Hastert accepted responsibility and then immediately said he hadn't done anything wrong.

If you are a leader you are either a responsible one or an irresponsible one. Hastert just attended a fundraiser here in OKC for Mary Fallin, bringing the Foley matter to the forefront here locally. Now Bill and Jeff will attempt some sort of weird oral game of twister trying to shield the obviously pure Republicans from devious Democratic shenanigans.

This is just a symptom. We are facing multiple serious issues right now. Iraq, Afghanistan, environment, energy, health care--which need some attention. Via Digby:

Let's say you have a problem. You have the choice of two people to solve the problem --- the one who caused the problem, refuses to admit it even is a problem and won't change anything even as the problem grows worse --- or the other one. Which do you choose?

That's the simple logic of this election.

There are, of course, many affirmative Democratic messages necessary for the future. But right now, this is it.


Yep.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Conservatives No Friend To Small Business

You've heard the mantra. Every tax cut conservatives promote, they trot out the "small business" and "middle class" talking points. However, small business doesn't seem to be befitting from the conservative agenda. Since Ronald Reagan took office, with a brief interruption of the Clinton administration, the SBA has slowly been changing the rules to give government contracts to large corporations, in direct violation of the law.

The whole idea behind the SBA is to allocate 23% of the value of government contracts dedicated to companies with 100 employees or less, which, according to the American Small Business League, amounts to 98% of all US businesses. In the last five years, the Bush administration has quietly dismantled the SBA by cutting the funding in half and not prosecuting companies for fraudulently obtaining government contracts set aside for small businesses.

To point out the hypocrisy of the Bush economic policy of punishing small businesses, I include these quotes:

“I understand small business growth. I was one.”


And from the White House web site of Presidential speeches, a search for keywords of "small business" came up with two thousand six hundred and eighty three references. Some examples:

"I understand that the small business sector of our economy is vital for economic growth."
August 10, 2006

The entrepreneurial spirit of America is robust and strong, and small businesses are thriving throughout our great Nation. The opportunity to own a business is an important part of the American dream. During Small Business Week, we celebrate small business owners and employees who are willing to take risks and work hard in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.
March 23, 2006

"I appreciate the fact that our small business owners are taking risks and pursuing dreams, and as a result, you're creating jobs for millions of our citizens."
April 27, 2005

"The dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners are vital to our Nation's economic growth and prosperity. We celebrate Small Business Week to applaud the efforts of America's small business men and women in our communities."
May 15, 2004

As they say on Seinfeld, yadayadayada. The appearance that Bush wants to put forth is clearly that he is a regular Joe and four square behind the little guy--the small business that drives the American economy. However, behind the scenes, he dramatically cuts the funding for the Small Business Administration by half, and the projections are damn near a virtual elimination of the office entirely. According to the director of the American Small Business League, Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of small business contracts.

Many small business owners look forward to Republican administrations under the belief that good business sense has come to town. They rest assured that they have a place at the table and those pesky Democrats will be kept at bay with their knee jerk wonky-assed regulations and cumbersome requirements. While this sounds good, as Bush has amply demonstrated 2,683 times, the reality is that in the conservative worldview, small business is a relative concept--Boeing and Halliburton being the benchmark of smallness.

It is an attractive concept for one to start a business, and through hard work and pride of quality, succeed by ones own bootstraps, without interference or assistance from government. This is the conceit of conservatism; it plays on such beliefs to further the agenda of deregulation, social darwinism and laissez faire economics. What it fails to recognize is our economic structure of today is the result of a couple of centuries worth of tweaking. In other words, all of the wonky Democratic regulations that paint the Democratic party as technocrats and boat anchors that slow down businesses and their ability to function as they see fit, are the very regulations that allow competition to exist.

The results of the conservative "trickle on" policy disaster began by Reagan and continuing on until today will take a herculean effort to clean up, before we hit a global economic crisis that will make our own Great Depression resemble a head cold. We have went from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in the world. We no longer produce, only consume and we import and rarely export. Our country, and our citizens are living on plastic, a situation that is untenable. The only reason the dollar is so strong is because so many countries are heavily invested in us. The Republicans have been running a massive check kiting scheme to prop up the illusion of prosperity, while swaggering around talking about personal responsibility and ownership society.

Knowing full well the public would never support the real conservative agenda of eliminating social security, Medicare and Medicaid, workers unemployment insurance and other social safety nets they deem as redistribution of wealth, they have set forth to bankrupt this country, passing on the burdens that we should bear onto our children and grandchildren. We should be so lucky to have sober, wonky leadership to clean up their irresponsible and downright criminal behavior before a worldwide economic crisis causes catastrophic damage.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Report Card On Troop Support From OK Delegation

The majority of Americans hate the war in Iraq, but remain steadfast in their support for the troops. One would think that would go double for our elected officials, especially in this hypertensive environment.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) have looked at the voting records of all elected officials and produced a single grade report card for each politician. So how does the Oklahoma delegation fare? Not so good.

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) D-

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) F

Congressman John Sullivan (R-OK-1) C

Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK-2) B+

Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK-3) C

Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK-4) C

Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK-05) C

So, out of our seven servants, the lone Democrat gets decent marks for actually supporting our troops with supportive legislation, as opposed to lip service and tough talk.
Golf applause please, for Dan Boren.
This is much the case nationally, as Bob Geiger tabulates the report for us here. It is the Democrats, by far, who truly support our troops, as no Republican gets higher than a C and no Democrat gets lower than a B-. Go check out Bob's page, it shows the hypocrisy the Republicans live by.
I wonder how long it will take the rightards to come out and attack our veterans ranking of those who support them, and those who are full of shit.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Governor Henry Debates Congressman Istook

I just watched the Governor of Oklahoma, in his bid for re-election debate Republican congresscritter Istook (OK-05) on the teevee.
The main parts that interested me was minimum wage and immigration, and both candidates did not fail to disappoint. I looked for a transcript online, so I would b sure to get their responses correct, but either they are not available or my search skills really suck. Anyway, I'll rely on memory, just be advised that I do not pretend to have a photographic memory.
Istook is opposed to providing Oklahomans a living wage, saying that if someone wants a raise, they should work hard and ask their boss for one.
This is the level of disconnect these rightards have. On numerous occasions he advocated tax cuts to employers to stimulate growth, but feels the government has no role to play in seeing the citizens he is supposed to represent are valuable. In other words, corporate welfare and captains of industry feeding at the public trough is acceptable, as is having the lowest possible paid workforce.
Brad Henry waffled on the issue, claiming it was a federal issue. He tried to make the point that if Oklahoma raised their minimum wage and neighboring states did not, then companies would simply relocate to save on costs.
There have been many times in business I have quoted higher prices than my competitor, sometimes dramatically higher. Those who chose not to use my services were apparently not ready for the calibre of quality I produced. Nothing wrong with that. There are some areas where my talent runs rampant and I charge accordingly. Arrogant? Of course it is. But nonetheless if employers are interested in the A-team, shouldn't our state, if they are true believers of our workforce, insist our workers get paid a premium? Are slave wages and stoop work really all that important to our economy? How is our state supposed to lead our neighbors when our leaders don't value the citizens who live here?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Republican Immigration Policy

Who has committed the bigger crime here, the immigrant or the exploiter?
Outrageous.

Past, Present And Future Of This Blog

When I first started this blog, I had no idea what I was doing, and even less of an idea what anybody else was doing. I had heard about "blogs" from the Howard dean campaign and eventually got around to investigating.
My motivation was a serious feeling of alarm early in the Bush administration, beginning with his selection by the Supreme Court into office. That shit just fascinated me. After 9/11 I predicted to a very opinionated co-worker that Bush would fail in his little war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. She was incredulous at my assertion. I opposed the Iraq war, on every reason I could think of, but as of yet, all my beliefs were close held, I had not yet discovered an outlet for my beliefs. Oklahoma, after all, is a red state, which makes me an oddity.
Being odd has never bothered me, simply because I see so many options and understand positions of those who hold differing views from myself, I just happen to disagree.
This has been the major thrust of my blog to this point, a sort of behind the curve disagreement with the current administration and all of his toe sucking lackeys.
My ability to use the internets as a research tool has improved dramatically and I plan on continuing to throw spitballs from the back of the bus through the mid-terms.
However, I feel after that point I need to turn my attention to local matters and elected officials. My two US Senators, my US rep, my state Senator and state rep are all Republican. After the mid-terms I intend to direct ideological questions at each of them, publish them on this site, and expose them for the corporate whores that they are.
Some may feel that I am not being fair by labeling them as such, but as a blogger, I operate as a guerrilla journalist, and I do not like these sumbitches. If they are opposed to a minimum wage increase, then they believe their constituencies are worth less than their sponsors who wield industrial strength erections.
If they believe tax cuts to the "captains of industry" are required to stimulate economic growth, then they are guilty of endorsing corporate welfare.
If they believe locating and exporting each illegal alien is more efficient than confiscating the profits, and revoking licenses of those who profit from their exploitation, then one can only conclude they are weak and slavish lapdogs of the power structure, pretending to be tough by finding some powerless punk to carry around with them as a cartoon demonstration.
As I take on my "representatives" I will gently chide the local Democratic party to take advantage of this, and try to discover why this area has become so red. I feel that too many people have sat safe in their little kingdoms and tried to shuffle around dwindling votes. We cannot be content with trying to "swing" votes one way or another. Their exists a vast untapped market of people who do not vote simply because they feel they have no voice.
It will remain so as long as Republicans remain in office. In other words, we need massive voter registration drives.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Bush Legacy

President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006 this week. The two most contentious parts of the legislation was the suspension of habeus corpus and allowing the President to determine the meaning of torture.
Not being a legal scholar, and being fully aware of previous constitutional assaults, by this President as well as a few others, I am fairly confident this latest affront will also be turned aside.
The question for me becomes, why is this being done in this fashion? Truly Bush has authorized torture and the administration insisted on a retro-active white out protection for the torturers, but to continue the program and suspend habeus corpus?
In my opinion, this is strictly a political move, where mid-term gains by Democrats are threatening to expose multiple criminal acts by the Administration and its lapdog Republican rubber-stamp congress.
By reducing detainees, many of whom were bought and paid for, and not "captured on the battlefield" as alligator bait, this Administration will use this legislation as a political weapon on those who oppose them.
Make no mistake about this law, it gives the President the power to jail whomever he sees fit for as long as he sees fit and no judge has any power to stop him. From the New York Times:
[...]
About 430 people are being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and there is no guarantee that they will ever be tried. The legislation, unchanged by the compromise, would prohibit habeas corpus challenges to these indefinite detentions.
[...]

The President, under this new law, decides if they get a hearing. He is the decider, and the protector. The mighty right-wing wurlitzer is gearing up to paint the Democrats as trying to protect the rights of terrorists.
I predict Democrats will take the house and make major gains in the Senate in spite of this. But when this heinous law is tossed aside by the Supreme Court, this will be used as red meat for Republicans to criticize the court, and to use it as another political issue.

U.S. Led Iraqi Regime Change Part II

It looks like number twelve in the situational reasoning for invading Iraq is nearing euthanasia. Via hard-right newspaper, The Washington Times:
[...]
Leaks from a U.S. task force headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III are contributing to the widespread sense that the Bush administration is preparing for a "course correction" in the coming months.
The options cited most frequently in Washington include the partition of Iraq into three ethnic- or faith-based regions, and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops, with some remaining in neighboring countries to deal with major threats.
Another scenario is being discussed -- and taken seriously in Iraq -- by many of Iraq's leading political players, under which the U.S.-trained army would overthrow struggling Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and replace him with a strongman who would restore order while Washington looks the other way.
[...]
(emphasis mine)
After each reason got exposed for the lie that it was, some Republican hack would pop up with a new one, while simultaneously using criticism for Republican failures as a blunt instrument on Democrats. Like some sort of morbid whack a mole game, the philanthropic venture of "bringing democracy to the Middle East" is being seriously considered tossed aside, and replacing it with a ruthless dictator. Never mind all the preaching about purple fingers and all.
I hear Saddam is available.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Et Tu Kansas?

Dorothy awakens after a going through the looking glass to find Steve Rose, chairman of the Johnson County Sun. And he is not happy.
[...]

In the 56 years we have been publishing in Johnson County, this basically has been a Republican newspaper. In the old days, before the Republican civil war that fractured the party, we were traditional Republicans. That is, we happily endorsed Jan Meyers for Congress, Bob Dole for U.S. Senate, Nancy Kassebaum for U.S. Senate; virtually every Republican state legislator from here, with a few rare exceptions; and most governors, although we did endorse the conservative Democrats George and Bob Docking and John Carlin.

The point is, I can name on two hands over a half century the number of Democrats we have endorsed for public office.

This year, we will do something different.
[...]
Seems Mr. Rose is not pleased with what has become of the Republican Party. And exactly what is that?

The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally.

You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.

To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.

What does to-the-right mean?

It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.

It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.

It means anti-stem cell research.

It means ridiculing global warming.

It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.

It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.

It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.

It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.

It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.

Note, I did not say it means "anti-abortion," because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.

But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.

That's why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.

And now you know why we have been forced to move left.

There's no place like home.

UH. MAH. GAWD.

Just one word.

Digby

Go read it.

Every.

Fucking.

Word.

Minimum Wage Initiatives

Taking a page out of the Jesus Pimps playbook of getting issues on the ballot to bring voters to the polls, and while they are there, voting for your guy, progressives have minimum wage issues on six state ballots.

They all are polling very well--over 70 percent. But the rightards are fighting back. See them mock Moses shilling in favor of slave wages in the lamest fucking ad ever.

National business groups kick it into hyperdrive in Arizona and Ohio, labeling the proposition as a threat to identity theft.
Before Election Day, voters in Ohio and Arizona should ask themselves: Should political appointees have access to my social security number and home address? If they vote yes on ballot initiatives to raise their state's minimum wage they will be doing just that.

Now, why would the National Restaurant Association be opposed to a minimum wage increase? Are they afraid their fatass customers might choose to gnaw on a wheat thin once a week?

And what kind of GOP support did this minimum wage hike receive in Ohio?
[...]
Most of the committee’s GOP members walked out of the room without hearing the testimony of labor leaders, social service providers, and others...
[...]

Oh, and about the privacy thingy, we know how concerned Republicans are about privacy.
L. Camille Hebert, an Ohio State University law professor and author of the reference book Employee Law Privacy, characterized the opposition’s privacy claims as “disingenuous.”


Six states with an issue Republicans turn their backs on, use fear tactics to oppose and denounce to Moses from a burning Bush that is polling favorably at over 70 percent. Aye caramba!

If you think high wages are the answer, vote Democratic.
If you think high wages are the problem, vote Republican.

Overlook Or Oversight

I don't want to hear anymore whining from Republicans about pending investigations if Democrats get control of Congress. Krugman via echidne:

The current Congress has shown no inclination to investigate the Bush administration. Last year The Boston Globe offered an illuminating comparison: when Bill Clinton was president, the House took 140 hours of sworn testimony into whether Mr. Clinton had used the White House Christmas list to identify possible Democratic donors. But in 2004 and 2005, a House committee took only 12 hours of testimony on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

HAD ENOUGH!


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Terrorists Threaten War Profiteers

Found this over at Digby. I guess when the President he insists he only spies on terrorists, he's talking about peaceniks and Quakers.
Internal military documents released Thursday provided new details about the Defense Department’s collection of information on demonstrations nationwide last year by students, Quakers and others opposed to the Iraq war.
[...]
The documents, obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, show, for instance, that military officials labeled as “potential terrorist activity” events like a “Stop the War Now” rally in Akron, Ohio, in March 2005.

The Defense Department acknowledged last year that its analysts had maintained records on war protests in an internal database past the 90 days its guidelines allowed, and even after it was determined there was no threat.

The documents indicated that intelligence reports and tips about antiwar protests, including mundane details like the schedule for weekly planning meetings, were widely shared among analysts from the military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

“There is simply no reason why the United States military should be monitoring the peaceful activities of American citizens who oppose U.S. war policies,” said Ben Wizner, a lawyer for the A.C.L.U.

It's pretty clear, Bennie, Bush is spying on his political enemies. Why do you think he is fighting tooth and nail to prevent oversight? No judge would fail to issue a warrant to spy on terrorists, but no judge would issue a warrant to spy on Quakers.

Republican October Surprise

Pai Mei, of Kill Bill fame, reportedly taught North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il a variance of the "five-point palm exploding heart" technique. The technique used by Kim Jong Il is the "nuclear test seven rotation Hawaii earthquake" sneak attack. Full explanation, coupled with shiny new war graphics, are expected to be supplied by "Foxperts" on the "fair and balanced" news (?) network.

A Potential Democratic Rout

The polls are showing the potential for a landslide repudiation against the Republican authoritarian cult of unlimited executive power and the mewlish rubber-stampers that hangs over their necks like an ax. Clearly, this is a vote against the results of conservatism as opposed to support for progressive issues, as Glenn Greenwald once again posts a root cause of the lack of passion coming from Democratic candidates.
The single most erroneous and destructive premise among the Beltway political class -- which includes the Democratic consulting class along with their intellectual twins in the David-Broder-led punditry circles -- is that anger and passion are the enemies of successful political movements. They preach a mindset of fear and defensiveness -- never articulate a view too strenuously and never be driven by principle or passion because to do so renders one an unmoderate extremist who will alienate normal Americans.

Shorter Glenn: If Democrats are not passionate about anything, voters will not be passionate about them. It is difficult to elect leaders who fail to lead. Citizens who vie for public positions should put positions in front of them, and drag the public towards it, not carefully triangulate based on polling data in an effort to appear popular.
So, it is hoped that these consultants that advise Democratic candidates to get elected, they must be "republican lite" to do so, will either realize the error of their ways, or be kicked to the curb. Arming your candidates with a willow switch to go into battle is indeed very poor advice.
Go large or go home.
Something that is becoming louder and clearer within the Republican party is the meme that conservatism cannot fail, politicians fail conservatism. Witness conservative apologist Andrew Sullivan on Larry King Live:
ANDREW SULLIVAN, AUTHOR, "THE CONSERVATIVE SOUL": Well, I think it gets to the whole idea that they've been in power too long and that they've gotten very used to power and they're abusing their power, not only over pages but spending billions of dollars that they don't have, not protecting the border, and betraying basic conservative principles of limited government. And, it's time to get back to those principles, which means some conservatives are saying kick these people out.

KING: So, you are saying the Bush administration is not conservative?

SULLIVAN: Yes, I am saying that. I'm saying that when you've increased the debt the next generation has to pay from $20 trillion to $43 trillion in five years, when you can't even control your own borders, when you've engaged in a war that you haven't planned for and have no strategy for that's not conservative in my book.

The fair weather friends of the Republican party are trying to save the failed conservative movement by throwing their own under the bus only after they tank in the polls.
The ideological difference between the parties exists on the placement of the exceptional nature of America.
Conservatives believe our strength exists within the power and wealth of our corporations and captains of industry.
Progressives believe our strength exists within the power of the middle class. However, since the middle class is a non-entity for conservatives, they claim progressives do not believe America is exceptional, which implies we hate America.
PRAGER: Neither owns values, but they have different values. And I'll give you one example. This is a topic for, you know, a marathon Larry King show. But one is, the Republicans believe in American exceptionalism and the Democrats believe in a much more universalist vision, like the West Europeans. That's a huge difference. That is why it matters -- laughing doesn't answer it.

See, the daddy party is telling you how great you are, but the Democrats, not so much. Prager lobs this intellectual bomb into the discourse of Larry King and came off sounding like a true believer in the superior Aryan race.
Democrats who fail to define themselves appear weak and rudderless and allow Republicans to define them as such. But no amount of spin can alter the reality of the wholesale mess the Republicans have brought us since Bush took office.
Republicans have defined themselves in the process, with very little help from the Democrats. We can't let conservatives divorce themselves from this reality.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Iraqi Inhofe Is New Baghdad Bob

Jim Inhofe R-OK has left the Red Earth reservation of reality. Back in August, he enthralled us with his keen insights:

“What’s happened there is nothing short of a miracle,” the Senator reported to the Tusla World about Iraq.

And now it appears that civilian deaths are somewhere north of 650,000.

War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports.

Violence including gunfire and bombs caused the majority of deaths but thousands of people died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003, U.S. and Iraqi public health researchers said.

"Since March 2003, an additional 2.5 percent of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict," according to the survey of Iraqi households, titled "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq."

Now, lots of rightards are screaming about these figures, dismissing them as flawed and questionable. They may have a point in that we still have unidentified bodies in New Orleans and an incomplete body count, but the concern for victims of both tragedies from this adminisration are relatively the same. Baghdad Inhofe thinks the war is going smashingly well. I wonder if he talked to this guy?

BAGHDAD, Oct. 12 — Sabah al-Atia sometimes calls home every 10 minutes when he is working to let his wife know he is still alive. After all, his job is one of the most dangerous in the city.

Mr. Atia is a trash collector.

In a city where a bomb could be lurking beneath any heap of refuse, and where insurgents are willing to kill to prevent them from being discovered, an occupation that pays only a few dollars a day has become one of the deadliest. Most of the 500 municipal workers who have been killed here since 2005 have been trash collectors, said Naeem al-Kaabi, the city’s deputy mayor.

“When we are working, we are working nervously,” said Mr. Atia, 29, who started collecting trash during Saddam Hussein’s rule. “We are carrying our souls in our hands.”

The danger to trash collectors is at the root of one of the most visible symptoms of collapse in Baghdad. Garbage is ubiquitous, especially in dangerous neighborhoods, blanketing street medians, alleys and vacant lots in stinking, fly-infested quilts. Trash collection has joined a long list of basic services, including electricity, water and sewerage, that have slipped badly in many places since the American-led invasion.

Trash collectors have frequently refused to venture into especially problem-plagued Baghdad neighborhoods, including Dora, Adhamiya, Jamiya and Ghazaliya, where spasms of violence have often been the norm. Or they have dashed in and out when the danger ebbed, hauling away what they could.

Insurgents have taken to hiding roadside bombs amid the refuse. Trash collectors sometimes stumble upon them and notify the police, but other times they are not so lucky.

To protect the bombs set for American and Iraqi convoys, insurgents have killed scores of trash collectors.

If it weren't for all the trash and bombs and dead bodies everywhere, it sounds like a swell place.

Inhofe, you are a sockpuppet for big oil and war profiteers, both who are dealers for doom.

Crazy Jesus Lady

Peggy Noonan clutches her pearls and heads for the fainting couch:

The Sounds of Silencing
Why do Americans on the left think only they have the right to dissent?

To support her brash headline claiming lefties don't know how to behave in public, she trots out four examples. Columbia University students protesting a Minuteman presentation on illegal immigration, an unnamed blogger complaining about the Chirpy Little Tart putting a grieving father on teevee, blaming the Amish schoolchildren murders on abortion, Barbra Streisand dealing with a heckler, and Rosie O'Donnell harping about gun control.

That's it. Students, an unnamed blogger and a couple of movie stars represent the entire left and her thesis that these examples demonstrate lefties are intolerant of alternate views:

What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn't had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died.


The hypocricy of this whole editorial is absolutely staggering. We have listened to the wingnuts shriek incessantly for years, dragging the debate down into the gutter, calling any criticism of this President "treasonous" and "seditious". The Crazy Jesus Lady is surrounded by the likes of Michelle Maulkkkin, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the Faux News Network that constantly try to quash dissent by labeling all those who disagree with their views as siding with terrorists, when in fact it is now clear that the policies they advocate are terrorist multipliers.

Perhaps Noonan is looking at the polls and seeing a defeat for her viewpoint and is doing a pre-emptive call for civility. Talk to your friends lady, cause I'm not listening.







Friday, October 06, 2006

Crunch Time

Republicans are hoist by their own petard by basing their control on the "values voters." Now comes the time for each activist to gently encourage non-voters to participate. I learned something very valuable in my sales career--every call results in a sale being made. Either they buy my story, or I buy theirs.

Don't let people throw their hands up and say "They're all crooks," because that is what Republicans who run attack ads want. Democrats have to respond with their own negative ads, or be labeled spineless, and campaigns descend into the territory that validates popular low opinion of elected officials.

Challenge this opinion. Vote the crooks out--these people work for us, and do things in our name. America is supposed to be a world leader, and as such, should not be behaving like a soiled brat. Votes in the district I live in very well could end the brutal killings and baby girl rapes of Darfur, not to mention the abomination that is Iraq, a disaster that has our fingerprints all over it.

America can return to being a respected world leader. This power comes from the American people, and this power is weakened and perverted when its citizens fail to hold their servants accountable by voting. Not voting is an endorsement, an agreement with current events. I point this out to everyone I talk to who does not regularly vote. Like it or not, we are the world leader, and it is time for Americans to take this responsibility seriously and perform the duty that makes us so. Not voting counts too.

HAD ENOUGH?

Monday, October 02, 2006

October Surprise Trifecta

Chicken little Democrats have been quivering in the corner waiting for the big bad Rethuglicans to drop the infamous "October Surprise" on them, reversing the national trend against the rubber stampers of Dubya's disastrous reign, allowing them to retain their foot on the throat of the middle class. And then the National Intelligence Estimate leaked out:

The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.


The N.I.E. is put together by 16 of our national security agencies. They basically pile up all their data, sort through it, and put forth an estimate. My phone never rang.

[...]
First of all, when someone is killed, usually it makes someone else upset that they lost their friend or family member. And maybe it pisses off several people. Some have been known to strike back indiscriminately, especially if the death of their friend or loved one was senseless. The Bush Doctrine, for this reason, is a terrorist multiplier.
[...]


Here I am, a truck driver from Oklahoma, all caught up with them and shit.

Then came the release of Bob Woodward's blockbuster indictment of all things Bushwhacked: State Of Denial
[...]
There was a vast difference between what the White House and Pentagon knew about the situation in Iraq and what they were saying publicly. But the discrepancy was not surprising. In memos, reports and internal debates, high-level officials of the Bush administration have voiced their concern about the United States' ability to bring peace and stability to Iraq since early in the occupation.
[...]


Of course, us bloggers on the left have been saying "bullshit" every time Dubya opens his mouth, but this is different. This is Bob Woodward, and he can never be confused with the dirty hippies of the "rabid lambs of the left."

Then came the "hat trick" of the trifecta, if I may mix my sports metaphors: The La Cage Aux Foley
[...]
Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., abruptly resigned from Congress on Friday in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote a former teenage male page.
[...]
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teenÂ’s parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the HouseÂ’s Republican leaders.


So the Republican Leadership new about this letch and let him continue preying on children in the halls of congress for nearly a year. As Think Progress points out:
One of the few members of Congress informed of Foley's actions was Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), currently the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
[...]
As Hill columnist Josh Marshall writes, the NRCC is "the House Republicans' election committee, a political organization entirely separate from the House bureaucracy and the Congress. Marshall notes, "Considering that the issue involved a minor, it seems highly inappropriate to discuss the matter with anyone not charged with policing the House. More to the point, however, you tell the head of the NRCC because you see the matter as a political problem." On May 10, 2006 -- two months after he was informed of Foley's emails -- Reynolds's personal PAC, TOMPAC, wrote Foley a check for $5,000. In July, the NRCC accepted $100,000 from Foley.
[...]


So, we have 16 Federal agencies, who agree with me, that Bush has fucked up the entire Global War on Terror, a prestigious journalist, who also agrees with me, saying Bush has the reverse midas touch, and the enabling rubber stamp Republicans who not only shield Bush by calling critics terrorist sympathizers, but also coddle and shield pedophiles. mmmkay?

Looking at this whole sorry spectacle, I must admit I have mixed emotions, like watching my ex-wife drive off a cliff, in my brand new cadillac. This is my country and these people are supposed to represent American values. I hardly recognize the place anymore. I ache all over.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fight Back Against Republican Sex Scandals Double Standards

Representative Mark Foley's resignation in disgrace over allegations of improper sexual advances towards little boys once again bring the familiar refrain; it's Bill Clinton's fault. The party of personal responsibility and family values are neither. The opportunity exists, for those of us in the netroots, to cast aside one such double standard hypocritical rightard running for the open seat of Oklahoma's 5th congressional district. Mary Fallin, long insulated in her cocoon of Rethuglican cohorts, feels she can step out of the shadows of her long twelve year stint as Lt. Governor, the demanding daily task requires every morning to ask, "How is the Governor feeling today?" Sure, her good buddy Governor Frank Keating threw her projects to make her political bones. But someone else may have been "boning" Fallin.

While Governor Keating was hammering Clinton for his "pecadillos", Lt. Governor Mary Fallin was embroiled in her own steamy little tryst with a hunky Highway Patrol officer assigned to guard her body (yikes!)
The real "body guards" of Fallin's professional career are Frank Keating, a real mucky-muck in the DoJ of the Reagan and Bush administrations,prior to his stint as Governor of Oklahoma, and Bob Ricks, (yes, THAT Bob Ricks, mouthpiece of the FBI at WACO) and who got the cushy job of Oklahoma's Director of Public Safety, from, you guessed it, Frank Keating. Now, think this through, the Governor tells some old chum of his that he appointed to "leave no stone unturned" in investigating the alleged "poking" of his second in command, by one of his ol' buddies employees.
Now, this is sleazy to be sure, and I'll be taking a shower when I'm done writing it, but it is a story that is not being told. Insiders shielding insiders and shrieking violently about immoral behavior(IOKIYAR).
Which brings us to the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma. Political neophyte Dr. David Hunter won the Democratic primary and is facing Fallin on November 7. It is an open seat as Istook wants to be Governor (not gonna happen.) Hunter opposes the Iraq war and the Republican Torture Authorization Act.

I set up a donation page at Act Blue for Dr. Hunter. Please hit the tip jar over their so we can get oversight in congress, and really just bitchslap these rightards and their one-way ethics. Everything helps.

Republicans Shield Child molesters

The party of "family values" has a shiny new member to place on its list of pedophiles. Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) has resigned in disgrace when it became publicly known that he was allegedly sexually harassing a 16-year-old male page via email and instant messages.

As sick as these allegations are, even more distressing is that the Republican leadership has known about this for nearly a year, and were more concerned with protecting their leadership positions than protecting the children of America from pedophiles. Once again, the Republican leadership was willing to trade oversight for overlook and end the session without any investigation and hit the campaign trail. Not so fast, says House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi:

Whereas for more than 150 years, parents from across the country have sent their children to be pages in the U.S. Capitol, the Page School is a national treasure, and the children who attend it and work in the Congress are our special trust;

Whereas, according to press reports, Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) reportedly engaged in highly inappropriate and explicit communications with a former underage page;

Whereas these allegations were so severe that Representative Foley immediately resigned his seat;

Whereas the page worked for Representative Rodney Alexander (R-LA) and, according to press reports, Representative Alexander learned of the emails "10 to 11 months ago"; (AP, September 29, 2006)

Whereas Representative Alexander has said, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem", and the Democratic leadership was not informed; (AP, September 29, 2006)

Whereas all Members of Congress have a responsibility to protect their employees, especially young pages who serve this institution;

Whereas these charges demand immediate investigation, including a determination of when the emails were sent, who knew of the emails, whether there was a pattern of inappropriate activity by Mr. Foley involving email or other contacts with pages or former pages, when the Republican leadership was notified, and what corrective action was taken once officials learned of any improper activity;

Whereas given the serious nature of these charges, the pages, their parents, the public, and our colleagues must be assured that Congress will take responsibility that such egregious behavior is not tolerated and will never happen again;

Therefore be it resolved,

That the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall immediately appoint an Investigative Subcommittee to fully and expeditiously determine the facts connected with Representative FoleyÂ’s conduct and the response thereto; and

That Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is further directed to make a preliminary report to the House within ten days.


That is the text of Leader Pelosi's privileged resolution. It simply cannot be any clearer that the Republicans are unethical and completely uninterested in anything other than their grip on power. It was hard for me to fathom anything Republicans could do any worse than they have already done last Thursday. Friday, they threw the bar on the ground and tripped over it.


One can only imagine what kind of pressure was applied to this lad to STFU. Imagine being a 16-year-old boy and having the power of the future of the world in your possession. Surely someone took a run at him.