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.


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?

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.


Just one word.


Go read it.




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.


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.


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.