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.