...and the beat goes on.
It has been 751 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”
A Democrat - without prefix, without suffix, without apology.
It has been 751 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”
Bob Brigham breaks the big news on the Hackett campaign in OH-2. Stirling Newberry sums it up nicely.
Hackett has made "The Culture of Corruption" the big issue, and this morning Jean Schmidt walked into it. She claimed not to know Tom Noe. However, as the minutes approved on March 21st, 2002 show that Noe was on the Ohio Regents when Jean Schmidt testified before the Regents on the morning of 21st March, and was on a retreat with "the Ohio Regents" the day before.We could win this one. Amazing, really.
"The odor of corruption not only comes out of Tom DeLay's office, it also comes out of Columbus."Well, there and the White House, of course.
...There is a Supreme Court seat in play, a UN nomination in stasis, death in the Sudan, death in London, and a few things occurring in Afghanistan and here, and our national news stations choose to run stories on the death of a privileged 18-year old? Here's an idea, if these stations are so short of news: Come here. Send an additional 5-15 reporters and cameramen. We have plenty of 18, 19, 20...25, 35, and 45 year-olds dying every day or three. Pick some. Tell their stories to America. Learn who they were before they came here. Follow up on the latest developments in their units. See how their buddies are doing. Interview (when they are ready, if they ever are ready) their parents, spouses, children. Find out who killed them. (Was it Sunni extremists, former Ba'ath party leaders, common criminals, Syrian provocateurs, jihadists...) Help America understand that we are, no kidding, at war.No kidding.
And try to do it without Geraldo this time, ok? Please?
From Iraq, Bob Bateman.
It has been 750 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”
Just another weekend diversion...
|You Are 40% Weird|
Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!
After and extended game of cat an mouse, which saw the NRCC jump in with a six figure campaign to demean an Iraq vet's service and character (they really do hate the troops, you know) in response to the money Paul Hackett was raking in from the netroots, the DCCC unveiled it's own independent spot tying Hackett's opponent to the culture of corruption that infest Ohio Republicanism from Governor Taft on down. There's yet another six figure media buy to go with it.
As of deadline, both the NRCC and DCCC are now in with last minute six figure mail and TV buys…Actually, it's not that hard to fathom. 'Crazy' things happen when we all work hard, and work together.
...Hackett's a unique candidate who has used his Iraq war veteran status to raise a decent amount of blogosphere money. The NRCC didn't want to see Schmidt caught off guard (apparently the campaign's been slow to respond to Hackett's negatives). The DCCC didn't want to go in too soon prompting an earlier entry by the NRCC. It's hard to fathom how the GOP loses. Still, it's a special in August and crazy things can happen.
…and your enemies in your sights. Bill Scher gets it...
The CAFTA vote this week is not the first bad thing and won't be the last.
But the vote may turn out to be a good thing politically, if we handle the aftermath correctly.
How might we handle it incorrectly? If we spend most of our energy lambasting the 15 Dem defectors in the House and the 10 in the Senate.
Those 25 Dems share some responsibility of course.
But it’s the 248 House and Senate Republicans that compromised the bulk of the CAFTA vote that share the most.
1. Judy Collins - Masters Of War...couple pretty hip items in there...
2. Dixie Cups - People Say
3. Gill Scott Heron - The Bottle
4. Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down
5. Donovan w/Joan Baez - Catch The Wind
6. Ma Rainey - See See Ryder
7. The Drifters - This Magic Moment
8. Dan Seals - Bop
9. Everyly Brothers - Wake Up, Little Suzie
10. Carrie Newcomer - Straight To The Point
Like a lot of regular features around here, my coverage of Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Sweeney's daily blog from the AFL-CIO convention has slipped a bit, the result of an erratic work schedule and deadline pressure's in other arenas (yeah, Deej, I'm working on it) It's all here, though, a remarkable document, really, of the thoughts and impressions of a labor leader at a historic time.
Castigating the decision of the Teamsters and SEIU to disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO won’t answer the question about the better path to follow to rebuild the union movement. Those unions say they have a better way to organize themselves to organize more workers and restore the American dream, and they may still get more unions to join them in that effort. The AFL-CIO unions are reorganizing themselves for the same goals and will leave this convention with renewed, if sometimes angry, determination. May they both succeed.It's all good, though, and a careful reading will doubtless teach most folks more than they know about labor's present condition and future promise.
Convention delegates approved a reduction in the size of the AFL-CIO’s governing board that removed eight seats previously held by the four unions – SEIU, the Teamsters, UFCW and UNITE/HERE. But they also allowed those seats to be reactivated if any of those unions return to the fold during the next four years. Think of chairs stacked in the closet next to the meeting room. At least the AFL-CIO will be ready if any of the missing unions return.
“I worked with all of the unions in the ‘Change to Win’ group over the years,” Hill added. “I respect them for their roles in forcing the debate…over the present state of the labor movement…Our door should always be open…Let us firmly stand as one for the mutual benefit of people whose very lives depend of our solidarity.”
Ed Hill, President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
“No union, no middle class; it’s that simple.”
John Sweeney, AFL-CIO President
We can be proud of the changes made by the AFL-CIO at this convention...If this is a house, it was rewired and rehabilitated.
The break-away unions wished the AFL-CIO success as they walked out the door. The AFL-CIO let them know the door remains open for their return. Now, we will see if “the split” fosters a healthy rivalry or destructive competition, whether the new alliances of unions will strive to outdo each other or undo each other, and whether they can continue to make common cause at the local level, where some of our most critical political battles lie ahead.
…of course, with the passage of CAFTA, and especially with the fifteen Democrats who broke partisan ranks and led to the agreement's final passage. I'm particularly disappointed to see the name of the upper left's own Norm Dicks on the list of fifteen, but not, I suppose, particularly surprised.
I don’t need to look at Robert’s record, all I need to do is look at Bush’s. When has Bush’s promises of being a center-focused, bipartisan uniter been anything other than the leaf-and-twig cover of a punji pit? Anyone who honestly thinks this administration deserves a fair hearing of any of their policies needs their head examined.Bush won't nominate anyone who any Democratic President would choose, so there's no reason for any Democrat to support his choice. He's done nothing to earn our indulgence. That's all we need to know.
Gilliard has a good summary (and more) on the campaign in OH-2...
RNC Dumping Cash into Race - Considering that this race should be a cakewalk for Schmidt, that's a sign they are truly terrified. Not clear how much, but looks to be in the six figures. Trying to match our ActBlue scratch, no doubt.…which led me here, a space deserving every Democrat's attention for the next few days.
Republican Group Calls for Election BOYCOTT - Damn, talk about the "Shooting Yourself in the Foot" department. Please, conservatives, take this group's advice!
The Hackett Campaign Needs Volunteers - E-mail to VOLUNTEER@HACKETTFORCONGRESS.COM. Housing is available.
NRCC Poll Shows Hackett Down Just FIVE? - This is according to Tim, and is truly stunning news. No Dem has received more than 30% of the vote in this district in the past two decades. If this poll story is true, that's amazing.
Dayton Daily News Endorses Hackett - Another area newspaper comes through for our man.
Swift-Boating of Paul Hackett Kicks into High Gear - As Atrios says, these chickenhawks have real contempt for those who actually have served in our nation's military. Disgusting.
Folders? Full of records? Can we see? No? Mmmmmmkay.
A First Lady with common sense, a dedication to liberty and the courage to express them, that is...
Cherie Blair yesterday made an extraordinary criticism of her husband's government as she called for the judiciary to stand up to the 'hurly-burly of majoritarian politics' in the war on terror.Pardon me while I swoon.
Judges, she said, should resist political pressure over the conviction of suspected extremists and uphold human rights legislation.
She spoke as Mr Blair was making the opposite case, recounting how judges had thwarted his attempts to throw out extremists and complaining that 'we still have not woken up to what this thing is about.'
· Vice President Dick Cheney
· House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL)
· Senate President Pro Tem Ted Stevens (R-AK)
· Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
· Treasury Secretary John Snow
· Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
· Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
· Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
· Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton
· Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
· Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
· Labor Secretary Elaine Chao
· Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt
· Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson
· Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
· Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
· Education Secretary Margaret Spellings
· Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson
…as always, heterosexually yours.
…with Kansas. Sunflower State native Laura Rozen explains it all (well, a good bit of it, anyway) for you...
A transformation Kansas has experienced in a big way. In short, the Christian far right very savvily runs someone for every single vacant seat, every primary, dog catcher, school board, you name it, again and again, whereas nobody I know from high school in moderate Johnson County is running for anything.…and don't think it can't happen here. That's why Carl Ballard's timely advice is worth the attention of upper lefties. Filing for a whole raft of boards, commissions and local offices - glamorous posts with fire, water and sewer districts that actually affect the quality of people's lives - closes Friday. Some of these races may end up with no filings, and sometimes the first name on the list will ward off challenges. There's a chance to build our Democratic farm team by picking off some low hanging political fruit.
…it really comes down to this…
Democrats are not co-equal partners in running the government, and they have no obligation to try to reach compromises or accommodations with the people who, at the moment, have all the power and, therefore, all the responsibility. Instead, their duty is simply to make it clear where they stand -- say what kind of justice they would like to see, explain why Roberts is not that justice, vote "no," and hope to gain some measure of political power before too many more bad things happen.No heroic efforts reqiured, just vote no and get on about the business of ending the war, hanging Rove by his heels, winning some elections and such like...
…to those who've been paying attention, but over at The Democratic Daily, Ron Chusid notes that there are some new voices in the chorus...
...Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even said that he “objected to the use of the term ‘war on terrorism’ before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution.”And, yep, there's that Kerry fella again...
This sounds like the type of talk which Dick Cheney and other Republicans regularly attacked John Kerry for during last year’s campaign. It’s good that they are beginning to realize the importance of the battle for hearts and minds. Now if they would only learn that, when the United States is attacked, we should respond by going to war against those who actually attacked us.
…in the Marine Corps, but Iraq vet and Congressional candidate Paul Hackett gets my vote for at least full bird in OYE...
"The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there...All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."
…what to make of this snip from Political Wire…
With the support of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democrats are encouraging DNC Chairman Howard Dean to "establish an official relationship with Democrats for Life, an anti-abortion-rights group that the DNC has previously shunned..."…but it does seem to beg the question, which Democrats, exactly, are against life?
Tim Nesbitt illuminates the split in organized labor by comparing the convention of the AFL-CIO to a national constitutional convention...
...we just learned that four states decided not to send delegates, and two of those states decided to set up their own government. So it appears that our unions will soon have two models of governance to choose from.If the CTW unions can find those cooperative organizing efforts, more power to them, but there's little in recent or deeper history to instill much confidence in that outcome. My view of the Teamsters continues to be colored by their behavior during their last sojourn outside the folds of the AFL-CIO when they attempted to break the United Farmworkers Union via sweetheart contracts with California growers. Locally, we've seen the SEIU move hard on the Operating Engineers traditional turf.
The AFL-CIO model will remain a coalition of independent unions. But, if resolutions recommended by its Executive Council are approved at this convention, it should become more effective at coaxing unions into more cooperative models for organizing and bargaining via industry councils.
The “Change to Win” model is still to be seen. If its unions (states) can agree on their jurisdiction (boundaries), they can avoid the disagreements that arise from decades of uncoordinated organizing activity, even if they remain independent. And, they can easily find opportunities to showcase cooperative organizing efforts in industries where they have complimentary interests.
I don't think this split was necessary, and still think it would have been best for the state of progressive politics if both sides could have worked out a deal on federation reform and leadership transition. (Why didn't the insurgents run a candidate to contest John Sweeney? Why didn't they try to move an agenda from within?)
Jesse Lee's got the full meal deal. Here's a snack.
I trust this president. I believe that he will do the right thing.
...I had hoped that the “Change to Win” unions would participate in the convention to carry forward the debate about the future of our union movement. After all, they started that debate, which is just beginning to register with union members and working people who care about what’s happening to their jobs in this country. So why back out of the debate now?It's pretty hard to figure out the reasoning behind the proposition that working people are stronger when they're divided. Seems contrary to the whole point of unions in the first place for me. Of course, Jimmy Hoffa leading the Teamsters out of the AFL-CIO isn't anything particularly new. The SEIU leadership revealed it's willingness to seek advantage through political division in the '04 primaries, so that's not too shocking. UFCW is scared stiff by the specter of Walmart, so I could understand some irrational behavior there. I don't know what UNITE/HERE's particular issues might be, and I'm wondering what happened to the Laborers, who I've generally seen mentioned with the Change To Win unions.
But, four of the “Change to Win” unions (SEIU, the Teamsters, UFCW and UNITE/HERE) decided today that they’re not going to participate in the convention.
The Army's top personnel officer acknowledged this week that the service will probably miss its recruiting goal this year……is all about this…
...an improving economy, competition from private industry and an increasing number of parents who are less supportive of military service……I can't help thinking it must have something to do with this…
Despite months of assurances that their forces were on the wane, the guerrillas and terrorists battling the American-backed enterprise here appear to be growing more violent, more resilient and more sophisticated than ever.I mean, how dumb do they think the working class kids they look to for fodder really are?
…a periodic look at the musings of Tim Nesbitt, Oregon Labor Federation Prez, on the impending AFL-CIO Convention. He sets the stage...
As the convention approaches, it is clear that Sweeney has the votes for re-election. He controls the franchise in the form of the AFL-CIO name, assets and subsidiaries, which are our state federations and local labor councils. But he risks losing a critical portion of the AFL-CIO’s resources (close to 40%) if the “Change to Win” unions walk. And the “Change to Win” unions won’t just walk, because what they’ve been building as they prepare for their “strike” is beginning to look like a whole new labor federation.
...the 400 or so union members who are here representing state federations and local labor councils. Few of these delegates were wearing any union’s tee-shirts at the pre-convention conferences today. And many, including me, are still deciding what amendments and resolutions we’ll support.Maybe it's because the issues hit a little closer to home for the federation folks...
Should these unions leave the AFL-CIO, our state federations and labor councils will have to find a way to reorganize themselves to maintain the participation of all unions at the local level. Stern says that his union is willing to continue to participate in the AFL-CIO’s labor councils and state federations even if they disaffiliate at the national level. But Sweeney calls that approach “pick and choose solidarity.” So, if our unions divide into two separate federations at the national level, can they agree to work together at the local level?My personal fear is that the advocates for division in the Change To Win coalition fancy a revival of the glory days of the CIO. Certainly the 20 years between the CIO's break from the AFL and their subsequent reunion saw dramatic changes in the labor climate and dramatic gains for workers, but when 1935 is your benchmark, it's not at all clear that we could repeat those achievements. We might as likely recreate the original conditions that made them possible.
John Roberts will be confirmed. Democrats shouldn't vote for him.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has attacked violent video games as "a silent epidemic" among children, said she wants a federal investigation into one of the most popular, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."…and this…
Evan Bayh, Hillary Clinton, and Tom Vilsack are all dutifully trecking to Ohio to worship at the altar of the "vital center" ...…and this...
While privacy advocates question their effectiveness, Sen. Hillary Clinton called for New York City subway officials to install more cameras, even though officials said some 5,000 cameras are already in use across all modes of city travel.…leave me wondering what makes anyone think that Hillary Clinton is anything but Joe Lieberman in a skirt.
...on a mission of familial obligation, I was going to offer some counsel to any Democratic Senator hoping to appear 'moderate' by being foolish.
Well, he's been dropping some strong reminders in Democratic Party circles that he's still around. Via Political Wire...
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) "has spent the last seven months raising millions of dollars for Democrats across the country," the AP reports. "Kerry has either contributed or raised more than $4.3 million for candidates and congressional committees since the beginning of the year."While everybody's ga-ga over Hillary raising six million or so for herself, raising four and a half or so for other people is some pretty strong mojo.
Lindsay Beyerstein on the Roberts nomination...
It's really very simple. If you're a Democratic senator, you don't vote for the John Roberts because he's not the kind of person you want on the Supreme Court.Word.
Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Nesbitt will be blogging the AFL-CIO Convention, and I'm looking forward to his dispatches. In preparation, he offers an opening salvo that identifies the divisions without clarifying (to me, at least) his personal disposition. Still, he's straightforward about the issues and opportunities facing the labor movement…
Usually, at these conventions, we celebrate our successes. This time, we will acknowledge our failures and address the gathering threats to our movement. There is a sense of controlled panic that surrounds this convention...I've had trouble covering this story, because I've been conflicted about where I stand. On the one hand, any division in the House of Labor is distressing. 'Solidarity Forever' and all that. On the other hand, the AFL-CIO is hyphenated for a reason. Division is hardly a new phenomenon for labor, politically, strategically or structurally. It's certainly hard to argue that what we've got now is working very well, but 'what else?' is a big question.
…from the General, who snagged it from the Admiral…
With yet another example demonstrating the need to save Seattle's best daily from their predatory 'partner,' the Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorial page cuts to the heart of the Rove affair...
Viewed in the best light, Rove was engaged in leaking information about national security for the political purpose of making the president's sales pitch for the Iraqi invasion appear to have been honest. Whether Rove did anything illegal, he did exactly what the White House repeatedly said he had never done. Rove offered the media information about Valerie Plame's role at the CIA after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the administration's attempts to connect Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction. And Rove's conduct met the standard for removal from his post that the president laid down in 2004 when he promised to fire anyone involved in the leak.…and offers a pretty neat compare and contrast the of Buscho™ internal policies and their prescription for American education...
Schoolchildren, take note. There will still be high standards for you, your teachers and your schools. But at the White House, the rule is a little different: No pal left behind. Unless, of course, he is an out-and-out criminal. That's quite a standard.
Karl Rove leaked a CIA agent to the press for political gain and here are eleven more things wrong with that...
…we're closing in on 1800.
...you haven't forgotten this, have you?
Karl Rove leaked a CIA agent to the press for political gain.I didn't think so...
Harry Reid should make sure that the Democrats make Roberts explain everything and go on the record with his views to the degree possible. They should make the White House work for this one. Reid should keep as many votes in his column against Roberts as he can. And he should forget a filibuster and get this one behind him and get the focus back to more damaging issues for the White House. Why? Because the White House is expecting a long, attention-diverting fight on this nominee, a nominee that the GOP Senate knows they have the votes for already.We're going to lost this one, and we're not going to like it, but there are plenty of fronts we can win on, and that's where our real battles should be waged.
...hasn't happened, and it'll be fairly old by the time I get back to a computer late tonight.
hat tip to Taegan Goddard…
"Several Democrats" are encouraging former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) to run for lieutenant governor of Georgia against Ralph Reed...Run, Max, run.
…are the best authority on troop strength in Iraq, wouldn't you figure the same standard would apply here at home?
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and a top National Guard officer yesterday decried the Pentagon's recommendation to transfer an F-15 fighter unit based in Portland across the country, asserting that the move would make the region less secure.Or maybe they just don't care…
The move, proposed as part of a a national effort to close and realign bases, could endanger tens of thousands of lives in the Puget Sound, said Maj. Gen. Timothy Lowenberg, the Washington National Guard's adjutant general.
The decision that a federal commission is considering is whether to transfer 15 F-15s from the Air National Guard base in Portland -- leaving just two remaining to defend the Pacific Northwest.
Cantwell and Lowenberg said they and other top military or political leaders in the state hadn't been consulted before the Pentagon made its recommendation to the commission. The commission is set to hold hearings on the matter next week.Maybe those of us who grew up in the era of air raid drills at school and NIKE sites on most every vacant lot are more mindful of it than some others, but this really is Ground Zero. Within a couple hours one way or another of my house is a major Army base, and Air Force base and a National Guard camp, all having featured roles in the Iraq adventure, along with a Navy Home Port, a Naval Air Station, a Trident submarine base and a gaggle of Coast Guard stations, major defense and security contractors and, of course, the stuff they don't tell us about. (At least, I kinda hope there's stuff they don't tell us about...)
…over at Big Brass Blog, Shakespeare's Sister offers up the membership roster of the White House Information Group, formed in August 2002 by Chief of Staff Andrew Card “to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad” and “to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities.”
Members met weekly in the Situation Room and included: Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Condi Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Mary Matalin, James R. Wilkinson, and Nicholas E. Calio.Fairly high level of crossover there, but what's really appalling is the amount of representation given to a gaggle of hacks like Rove, Hughes, Libby and Matalin. They seem to have little to offer in terms of regional expertise or policy expertise. The heart of the war plan has always been more political campaign than defense policy, and it's the product of some of the most legendary cheats, liars and double-dealers in the Republican Party.
A helpful reminder…
A list of those who've testified before the grand jury investigating the White House leak:Hell, indict 'em all, let a judge sort 'em out.
· Condoleezza Rice
· Karl Rove
· Lewis I. (Scooter) Libby
· Mary Matalin
· Catherine Martin
· Scott McClellan
· Dan Bartlett
· Claire Buchan
· Adam Levine
· Ari Fleischer
There have interviews as well, done by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. They are:
· George W. Bush
· Dick Cheney
· Colin L. Powell
Kid Oakland issues the call.
Friends, if there was ever a moment to be a proud, screaming, and yes, unreasonable liberal in this country...that time is now.The destructionist cult must fall, before the country as we know it takes the tumble.
Frankly, they're the sum of the parts, the slimy, fetid, pustulent leaking cardboard box of them, the skeletel, blue-white arm of coulter dangling over the edge, the pasty faced doughboys like rover and newtie and denny and spinnin scottie hanging over that edge and vomiting their filth down the sides, the pompous, bleating lies echoing from the box from big time dick, robertson, limbaugh, hume, like the death rattles from the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition. All cut from the same smallpox infested cloth.Definitely a rant worthy of repetition.
...here's the latest list from the MP3 player...
1. Stories - Brother LouieHmmm...
2. Ani Difranco - Wish I May
3. Jimi Hendrix - Love Love
4. Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas & Tracy Nelson - Shouldn't I Love Him
5. Peggy Seeger - Gonna Be An Engineer
6. Louis Prima & Keely Smith - Old Black Magic
7. Lloyd Price - Stagger Lee
8. Roy Head - Treat Her Right
9. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Money (That's What I Want)
10. Rod Stewart & Jeff Beck - People Get Ready
...is there to do on a rainy day in July, wonders the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat...
…that Chief Justice Rehnquist seems determined to stay put. Based on nothing more than a hunch, really, that I've drawn based on a variety of Rehnquist's statements on the role of the courts, court security, etc., I think he's pretty uneasy about the prospects of George W. Bush picking his replacement.
...the U.S. Supreme Court has a well-deserved reputation as one of medical science’s most effective life-support systems.Indeed, it do.
Ezra gets it.
When Mehlman goes before Southern whites and says it was wrong to use race as a wedge issue, then I'll buy his sincerity.In fact, when he secures the resignation of every Republican Congresscritter who has built his career on some variation of the 'Southern Strategy' and recruits a new crop of candidates pledged to abandon it, then I'll buy his sincerity.
A deep hit, please, off whatever bong inspired George Howland's analysis of Dave Reichert's performance as a freshman Congresscritter. Writing about the emergence of Democrat Randy Gordon as a challenger in '06, George offers this...
...Reichert is an incumbent member of Congress who is off to a very impressive start. The former sheriff has demonstrated independence and guts as well as an ability to raise money. (emphasis in the original)Guts? Well, I suppose there's a certain amount of courage required for Sheriff Dave to show his face in public after his vote to support the GOP leadership and cut the COPS funding he found so handy to keep his Green River operation going back in the day.
…to a fellow blogger for spotting the rare point of clarity in the output of the wingnut punditocracy. This time it's Carla at Preemptive Karma, who quotes Pat Buchanan's look at the research of terrorism authority Robert Pape...
What Pape is saying is that the neocons' "World War IV" – our invading Islamic countries to overthrow regimes and convert them into democracies – is suicidal, like stomping on an anthill so as not to be bitten by ants. It is the presence of U.S. troops in Islamic lands that is the progenitor of suicide terrorism.When they're right, they're right. Even when they're far right.
Bush's cure for terrorism is a cause of the epidemic. The doctor is spreading the disease...
…weave an ever wider, ever weaker web of distraction, the DNC offers up the only talking point that matters…
Karl Rove abused his security clearance and leaked the identity of a CIA operative for political retribution.…and every reasonable American knows that's a firing offense, questions of criminality notwithstanding.
...Allen McNeely, head of the state Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health division, said the workers were lured into the arrest by a flier announcing a mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration meeting.This is just so wrong in so many ways.
McNeely said one of the contractors who employed the immigrants faxed him a copy of the flier. It is printed in English and Spanish. It tells all contract workers to attend an OSHA briefing at the base theater and promises free coffee and doughnuts.
McNeely said that neither his division nor the federal OSHA was involved in the arrests. He said the trick has eroded trust between the Labor Department and the workers it is trying to keep safe.
In recent years, the Labor Department has made an effort to reach out to the state's thousands of immigrant workers, especially those in construction, because they are among the most likely to be killed or injured at work.
Those arrested were employees of private contractors doing roofing, electrical, masonry and other construction work on the base. An investigation determined that they presented false documents when they entered the base, immigration officials said.That just doesn't cut it. I'm pretty good at spotting a false ID, and I'm not protecting anything but the sanctity of the legal drinking age. We've got to do better at the gates of our military establishments than at the corner saloon. Who's in charge here?
…how can Karl lose?
"This is a serious investigation. I will be more than happy to comment on this matter once this investigation is complete."Yep, with pals like the Prez...
...to cut to the heart of the matter with his Five Reasons Why Karl Needs To Be Destroyed. My personal fave is number 5...
Reason #5: Karl Rove Looks Like Famous Child Murderers
Karl Rove looks like a cross between Peter Lorre's kiddie killer in Fritz Lang's film M and famous smilin' on the outside, batshit insane on the inside serial killer/clown John Wayne Gacy.
…if you want to see this…
Congress's institutional memory may be too short. Remember Oliver North? He testified under compulsion at the Iran-Contra hearings and succeeded in excluding that evidence at retrial. United States v. North, 910 F.2d 843 (D.C.Cir. 1990).The lesson (hopefully) learned…
...if you expect any one to prosecute, do not call the target as a witness and make him or her testify and compromise any prosecution. Back during Iran-Contra, I couldn't tell whether Congress was handing Oliver North a "get out of jail free" card, trying to get at the truth to embarrass the administration, or both.Let's not screw this one up, OK?
…when somebody awful does something decent? In this case, I was almost driven to read a Robert Novak column, but thankfully Steve Benen did the dirty work at The Carpetbagger Report and serves up the relevant bits...
During an official Fourth of July celebration at the U.S. Capitol, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson bumped into each other. They are both steadfast Republicans, devout Catholics and congenial gentlemen, but to onlookers, it looked like an uneasy encounter. That's because Smith was right about a $2.6 billion shortfall in veterans benefits, and Nicholson's Bush administration was wrong.Credit where it's due. Novak's on point this time. In the Bush/Delay edition of the Republican Party, loyalty to the leadership trumps loyalty to the troops, or loyalty to the nation itself, for that matter.
Being right can hurt in Washington. It drove Smith out of the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairmanship, and it now may cost him becoming International Relations chairman. Nicholson represents an administration that operates on the principle that being in power means never having to admit being wrong. There is no sign of any Bush official or House Republican leader apologizing to Smith.
DeLay found it intolerable that Smith functioned not as an obedient Republican soldier but as a fervent advocate of former U.S. foot soldiers. At the end of the last Congress, the DeLay-headed leadership purged Smith from the Veterans chairmanship and from the committee itself for wanting $2.6 billion more for the Veterans Administration.
…between being a liar and a thief seems to have dissolved completely in the presence of Dixiecrat throwback pal Zell Miller...
Miller "pocketed more than $60,000 in taxpayer funds earmarked for entertainment and other expenses at the Governor's Mansion." Miller "also picked up a check for more than $20,000 for 'unused leave' - a sum to which he was not entitled as a constitutional officer."Just try plucking an extra 80k from your employer's checkbook. Why is this criminal still at large?
The bottom line...and one more reason for progressive Seattle to protect their best daily from the predation of the Blethen gang over at the Times…
The president would bring credit to himself and his administration by firing Rove immediately. Whether or not Rove violated the law, his actions on behalf of the administration broke trust with the American people and with the president's own stated view of the matter. Minimally, enough is known that the president must suspend Rove and cease all contacts with Rove until the investigation is complete. Rove, it appears, cannot be trusted with the United States' secrets. (my emphasis)
"We're reaching the bottom of the barrel."
General Barry McCaffrey, US Army (retired), on the forces available for Bush's war in Iraq.
…from the DNC Blog is that 'Kicking Ass,' the title known and loved by so many, is coming back. I guess I'm genetically encoded to find great omens in small things, but this lifts my spirits more than makes sense.
If I'm going to call the DNC Blog's Jesse Berney out when I think he's wrong, fairness dictates that I give him credit when he's absolutely right…
But let's make one thing perfectly clear: Rove's secret outing of Valerie Plame put partisan politics above the security of our nation. He chose to reveal Plame's identity as a CIA agent, with no thought to the consequences to American national security, simply because it provided an opportunity to smear her husband.Bravo! That's exactly the message I want coming out of the Democratic Party today, and it's a message that should be extended to the recognition that by his betrayal of our national security for base reasons, Rove has enrolled himself in that category of domestic enemies that George W. Bush is sworn to protect us against.
…because, heck, it's Sunday, and other duties beckon.
|You Are an Irish Coffee|
At your best, you are: wild, spontaneous, and outgoing
At your worst, you are: too extreme and reckless
You drink coffee when: you want to keep drinking booze
Your caffeine addiction level: low
…you weren't sure if James Sensenbrenner hated the Constitution, there's this, via The Stakeholder…
In an extraordinary move, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee privately demanded last month that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago change its decision in a narcotics case because he didn't believe a drug courier got a harsh enough prison term.He demanded? Of a Federal Judge?
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), in a five-page letter dated June 23 to Chief Judge Joel Flaum, asserted that a June 16 decision by a three-judge appeals court panel was wrong.
He demanded "a prompt response" as to what steps Flaum would take "to rectify the panel's actions" in a case where a drug courier in a Chicago police corruption case received a 97-month prison sentence instead of the at least 120 months required by a drug-conspiracy statute.
…an oral biography of Sam Rayburn and Oliver's Brand Democrat template, here's our latest feature…
…to a fine Democrat from the upper left, WA State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who got some positive attention from the New York Times in a piece which confirms what many have long suspected (my emphasis)...
A study to be released today by the Center for Justice and Democracy, a consumer advocacy group in New York, may add fuel to that debate. The study, compiled from regulatory filings by insurers to state regulators, finds that net claims for medical malpractice paid by 15 leading insurance companies have remained flat over the last five years, while net premiums have surged 120 percent.But they need all that premium cash because injured plaintiffs are constantly beating them up in court, right?
From 2000 to 2004, the increase in premiums collected by the leading 15 medical malpractice insurance companies was 21 times the increase in the claims they paid, according to the study.
According to the association's data, collected on a voluntary basis by its membership, 70 percent of malpractice cases closed in 2003 were dismissed, 24 percent were settled, 5 percent were tried and found in favor of the defendant and 0.8 percent were settled in favor of the plaintiff.The simple truth is that there's no way to get a handle on the health care crisis in the US without cutting the private insurers out of the deal. They're an industry based on fear, profiting from the spread of misinformation, adding nothing but expense to the actual care of patients.
I've fallen a bit behind…
In Ohio, Gov. Bob Taft (R) is overwhelmed by charges of corruption; California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) seems to have become a magnet for controversy, and former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland (R) is currently behind bars.…and so forth.
And then there's Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), who is up to his ears in a major scandal involving his administration's hiring practices. In fact, earlier this year, documents, including notes and emails, came to light that showed Fletcher's hiring decisions were based almost exclusively on partisanship and not individual qualifications — you got a job in state government if you're a Republican, whether you deserved it or not….
...to our regularly scheduled diversion, another random ten.
1. Tom Paxton - What Did You Learn In School Today?Holds together pretty well, if the last song is a bit jarring in context. Nothing I'm ashamed of, though...
2. Frog Holler - Stray
3. Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama
4. Jerry Garcia - Bird Song
5. Hank Williams - I Can't Help It
6. Rev. Gary Davis - Samson & Delilah
7. Rolling Stones - Stupid Girl
8. Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane
9. Mark Spoelstra - France Blues
10. Aerosmith - Walk This Way
In the wake of the terrorist attack in London, many outraged Westerners are calling for all-out war against Muslims. The problem is, too many of these people are talking about ALL Muslims. That's right, the "nuke 'em till they twinkle" mentality is back. This is what happens, sadly. Emotions run high, and then, eventually, things settle down and cooler heads prevail.
"Minority voices praised the attacks with anti-Western invective, but they were largely drowned out. On one popular Web site, one person wrote: 'How can you gloat and thank God for terrorist acts that were committed in the name of God???? Shaaaaaaaaaaaame on you Muslims. Don't you know that Islam is growing in Europe??? What the heck are you doing mingling things up??? What you're doing has no logic and certainly doesn't fall under the good wisdom God has asked us to follow.' "
"The federation's chief executive officer, Amjad Mehboob, says it is important people realise the vast majority of Muslims around the world reject this sort of violence.
'If it is indeed elements of the Muslim community who have done it, it beholds more so on us to condemn that,' he said. 'This is not what Islam teaches - this kind of activity cannot be condoned and it must be stopped.' "
"The foolish mentality that planned these attacks - devoid of any bravery, honour or morality, and undoubtedly far from Islamic traditions and beliefs - has once again expanded the circle of hatred against Muslims and Islam."
...in which I introduce Atticus Finch.
...but the Lovely and Talented Miss Audrey Hepcat thinks her 'dead cat' impression works best with her eyes open...
...London was savagely and senselessly attacked by a person or persons unknown.
He's right about this...
"The war on terror goes on."And on, and on…
· 1395 days since 9/11
· 1389 days since President Bush promised to bring in Osama bin Laden "dead or alive"
· 483 days since the Madrid train bombings
The time between the Pearl Harbor attack and V-J Day -- the end of World War II:
…behind events like today's. There can be value, though, in the hard lessons such events offer, if we're willing to learn and set our course by what we've learned. Tim Grieve checks in on that Kerry fella and finds him setting a positive agenda for Americans...
There are "thoughts and prayers" for the people of London, expressions of solidarity with Tony Blair, and the obligatory alliteration about how the future belongs "not to fear, but to freedom." But there is also this...It's work we can do, though. Work we must do. Work we need every able hand at home for, too.
...Kerry says that the London attacks "remind us that the fight is far from over" and underscore the need to complete "the unfinished work of homeland security, strengthening our port security, rail security, protecting chemical plants, and securing loose nuclear materials abroad."
What's the state of that work? A spate of recent reports suggests that Kerry has it about right -- "unfinished."
The Rude Pundit spares Rove his wrath...
He will not offer vivid fantasy descriptions of Rove being dragged in handcuffs out of the White House, snorting like a harpooned whale dragging a frigate behind it. He will not take pleasure in the potentially deeply gratifying feeling of schadenfreude that accompanies such hideously hard and enormously well-deserved falls. The Rude Pundit won't do it. He won't allow himself to get caught up in imagining Karl Rove in prison, after his first kitchen utensil sodomizing, screaming like the yapping bitch he's about to become that he'll give up the President in order to be allowed cushy country club confinement, and then, oh, what glorious chaos.Too kind? Well, there's more...
Interesting data points…
How often has each justice voted to strike down a law passed by Congress?Just something to remember when your Republican friends and neighbors start the rant about wanting interpreters, not legislators, on the bench...
Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %
One conclusion our data suggests is that those justices often considered more "liberal" - Justices Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens - vote least frequently to overturn Congressional statutes, while those often labeled "conservative" vote more frequently to do so. At least by this measure (others are possible, of course), the latter group is the most activist.
…that I can't seem to mine for a vein of inspired liberal outrage, Oliver speaks for me...
Why say stuff like this…
Indeed, at the DNC's executive committee meeting in Washington in early June, Dean publicly acknowledged that some congressional Democrats had urged him to tone down his "culture of corruption" rhetoric because they did not want to get caught up in the same ethics probe as DeLay.…when you know it will lead to stories like this...
Washington — Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is trying to get voters to hold the Republican Party responsible for the "culture of corruption" he sees in Washington, but Dean is getting virtually no help from fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives.…and you know damn well none of it is true.
"There's a question about the conduct and the culture that goes beyond the individuals. The speaker's gavel is supposed to open the people's house, not the auction house."All ya'll in search of Democratic spine, looking for a little tough talk from the top, take note - and he didn't have to slam a single D to do it.
…to take public issue with an official organ of my Party, I think Jesse Berney sent a message that's just flat wrong at the DNC Blog. where he posted…
This is the chance for President Bush to turn his second term around and rescue himself from a legacy as the most divisive president in our history.No it's not. George W. Bush picked up the title 'most divisive president in our history' the hard way. He earned it. Some kind of 'compromise' on his fist Supreme Court nomination won't change that, especially in an environment where Sandra Day O'Connor, a classic Arizona Republican in the Barry Goldwater mode, is painted as a champion of liberal governance while Alberto Gonzales is lauded as the last best hope for Roe v. Wade, the 'moderate' choice we should be happy to settle for.
…to Russell Sadler at Blue Oregon for highlighting the kind of story we not only should be hearing more about, but that we should be doing more to create. This time it's the tale of James Chaney, a prominent Eugene Republican, who has abandoned the party with admirable rhetorical flourish...
“We’re poisoning our planet through gluttony and ignorance. We’re teetering in the brink of self-inflicted insolvency. We’re selfishly and needlessly sacrificing the best of a generation. And we’re lying about it,” wrote Chaney.Next time, how about making it your neighbor, or one of the folks at work? You know, the ones who ID as Republican, but just don't belong anymore. OK, they're pretty conservative, and completely shameless about the twin SUVs in the driveway, and don't get them started on taxes…
“While it has compiled this record of failure and deception, the party which I'm leaving today has spent its time, energy and political capital trying to save Terri Schiavo, battling the threat of single-sex unions, fighting medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide, manufacturing political crises over presidential nominees, and selling privatized Social Security to an America that isn't buying. We fiddle while Rome burns.”
“Enough is enough,” wrote Chaney. “I quit.”
I thought I'd follow suit and admit what the most recent ten songs through the speakers were here at the plush Cosmik Towers. Actually, the MOST recent thing was a Podcast of Take Back The Media radio, but that doesn't count as music, so:
That it's happening at all is amazing. That it's happening in Georgia is shocking, or at least it is if you haven't been following the story for a while and had time to get used to the idea. Representatives of The United Church Of Christ met there to approve a resolution that will in all probability pave the way for an endorsement of same-sex marriage.
Big word. One of humanity's biggest and best ideas, too.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.