Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And a time to every purpose under heaven.

It has been 914 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Be Afraid.

Be very afraid.
China has resolved to shift some of its foreign exchange reserves -- now in excess of $800 billion -- away from the U.S. dollar and into other world currencies in a move likely to push down the value of the greenback, a high-level state economist who advises the nation's economic policymakers said in an interview Monday.


…but not quite the whole truth. Mark Schmitt comes close...
Abramoff did lots of terrible things and should go to jail, but never forget that every single criminal and unethical act of his was made possible by a public official.
…but precision demands that we point out that every single criminal and unethical act of his was made possible by a Republican public official.

Monday, January 09, 2006

There is a season, turn, turn, turn

It has been 913 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

From the 'Quotations from Chairman Dean' file.

Howie lays it down.
Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal.
Every one a Republican.

A Republican scandal.

The hits just keep on coming...

AUSTIN, Texas - The state's highest criminal court on Monday denied Rep. Tom DeLay's request that the money laundering charges against him be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial.
Seems like the entire Texas judiciary is in on that conspiracy the Bugman's always ranting about.


It's really all you need to know. Hearings? Hell, we already know he's the kind of schmuck who'll say anything to get a job.

Wake me up when he embarasses himself...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

To everything, turn, turn, turn

It has been 912 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The truth...

…dumbed down so that even the dullest pundit or pol should be able to get it. Mark Kleiman explains it all...
Not a corrupt Majority Leader or a corrupt lobbyist: a corrupt system run by and for a corrupt party.
That's why…

Redcoats in the White House?

Good questions from Glenn Greenwald, via The News Blog.
Why don't they call themselves what they are when we first had this argument, Tories. They could even call for the return of Queen Elizabeth as our sovereign leader. If they want a monarchy, why don't they just call for one.

From the 'OK, I'm a fossil' file...

I see that Snohomish County, with the support of the Democratic majority on the County Council, has gone the way of all mail elections. County Executive Ron Sims has his own proposal in the works for King County. The notion seems to be generally well received in the progressive blogosphere, but I find myself saddened.

Part of it's nostalgia. I remember childhood election days as the only days my Mom would walk us to school, so that she could go into the gymnasium and enter a curtained booth to cast her ballot. It seemed like everyone had a parent in tow those days, with lines of moms and dads taking their turn at publicly exercising their franchise, collectively demonstrating the most fundamental responsibility of citizenship.

It made and impression on me, a lasting one, and every election day, whether the ballot is topped by a Presidential ticket or a sewer levy, I proudly join my similarly traditionalist neighbors and cast my vote in person. If that is, as I believe, my fundamental responsibility as a citizen, and that acting in the public square is an inherently valuable part of that act, then it would seem that the government has a corresponding responsibility to afford me a place to do so.

Alas, it is no longer to be, I'm afraid. Though there's talk of some legacy polling places, they'll be distant for most, and no one will be likely to encounter their children's classmates in the parking lot or that friendly guy from across the street whose name you can't quite place at the next polling booth.

It will never be the same.

Part of it's the political consultant in me coming out. 'Twas a time when an absentee program was a managable affair. It just came down to the dollars, really. If you could afford it, your mail vendor would make sure that every absentee voter got a brochure coincident with their ballot. If you couldn't afford it, you had to hope against a close election. There weren't all that many absentees then, but it was dangerous to take them for granted.

Of course, there were all kinds of assumptions made about who those voters were and what their voting behavior was. The basic assumption was that the ballot would be in the return mail within 36 hours or so, so you really got one good shot at their attention. As the number of postal voters has grown, in no small part due to the organized efforts of the state Democratic Party, it seems that more ballots are being returned later in the cycle. That's one of the reasons for delays in the results of some close races, and it looks like a nightmare from a campaign management standpoint to me.

If people are holding an unmarked ballot for a week, or two, or a month, every day holds the potential for a different voting decision. Every campaign that can will have to find a way to put a message in front of that voter every day until that decision is made. That means the last minute blitz that usually surrounds election day, all that mail, all those hits, all the responses, all the blood and gore of election day will start weeks earlier, and take a dramatically greater financial toll.

This might be particularly costly for the winners of contested primaries unless the state finally takes action to move our September primary forward on the calendar. Given the increased campaign costs that are bound to be associated with winning all mail elections, there will be little opportunity for candidates to financially refuel for a similarly costly general election, which will necessarily begin immediately.

And where will all this money come from, you might ask? Don't ask.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just a grumpy old guy, a relic of the 20th century.

One thing is certain. Andrew is right on the money when he writes "...the very concept of Election Day is fading away." I'm just not at all certain that's a good thing for our democracy.

And now...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I’ve had enough of watching scenes

It has been 911 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

If he never goes to jail…

…I think I can live with this.
Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay on Saturday abandoned his bid to remain as House majority leader, clearing the way for leadership elections among Republicans eager to shed the taint of scandal.
Inherent in liberalism, I think, is a certain amount of optimism, reflected in the belief that in the end, a constitutional government of laws can survive the predations of those who would betray the common good for personal wealth and power. It's always nice to see that optimism justified.

Tom DeLay is gone from the Republican leadership because the ruling principle in the Republican caucus is fear. Fear of continued disclosures. Fear of embarrassing connections. Fear of lost elections. Every one of them entangled with the Bug Man is hearing footsteps and looking for a way out, and every one of them is entangled with the Bug Man in one way or another.

Tom's done, and they're all on the run. Time to turn out the hounds!

Havin' a wildcard weekend.

Here's the soundtrack so far...
Peter Tosh - Legalize It
Jimmy Buffett - Cheeseburger In Paradise
Blondie - One Way Or Another
Everlast - What It's Like
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Kinks - You Really Got Me
Randy Newman - Political Science
Townes Van Zandt - Colorado Girl
Prince - When Doves Cry
Bare Naked Ladies - Brian Wilson

Actually, I'm a pretty cool guy...

...for a, well, nerd.

Pure Nerd
60 % Nerd, 30% Geek, 26% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.



Blame the cooler than I Chris Woods.

What are their names?

And on what street do they live?
I want to run right over this afternoon and give
them a piece of my mind...
A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.
During the time in question, any action, or lack of, by "the Pentagon" is the personal responsibility of George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. Every life in their hands, every drop of blood soaking those hands.

God damn them to hell.

Friday, January 06, 2006

All I want is the truth, just gimme some truth now

It has been 910 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.


Love the coinage. Via Oliver...

Murtha was criticized during a Pentagon news conference Thursday, when the chairman of the joint chiefs said Murtha’s weekend criticism was “damaging” troop recruitment efforts.

In a statement released by Murtha, the decorated Marine veteran responded that the real damage to recruitment comes from prolonged deployments, inadequate equipment, and the “lack of any connection between Iraq and the brutal attacks of 9/11.”
Reject the premise of the attack, repeat with your original point. Bang. Murthanized.
Seems to me the recruiters were in a bit of a pickle long before Rep. Murtha sounded off, anyway...

Had to step away for a bit...

...but the lovely, talented and ever vigilant Miss Audrey Hepcat took up her post in defense of the blog...

I'm back, Aud. At ease.

That's nice, I suppose...

WASHINGTON -- Former Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., has donated to charity $1,000 he received from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, his office said Thursday.

Nethercutt, now a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., received the money during his unsuccessful 2004 campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
...though it doesn't seem to cover the $500 that Nethercutt took from Abramoff for an earlier House race. Maybe George figures that only money from unsuccessful campaigns is tainted.

And why aren't we hearing more about the thousand bucks credited to the account of the Chair of the House Ethics Committee from the personal resources of the latest poster boy for the Republican culture of corruption.

What's up, Doc?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Money for dope, money for rope.

It has been 909 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

"The truth is…

...Gingrich is a smarmy, dishonest and corrupt politician."
Hat tip Sweeping bow to David Sirota, for blowing the whistle on Newt's high-minded hand wringing about the culture of corruption he was instrumental in designing. Read it all.

Good question…

…from the best thing about the Clinton administration, Robert Reich, via Tom Paine.
What’s the point of economic growth if most people aren’t any more prosperous?

Colloquy of the Day

JACK SPADARO, former Director, National Mine Academy: We know from the record that the mine, in particular in the past year, has been cited over 180 times for violations of federal mine health and safety law and regulations. And about 90 of those violations were called serious and substantial violations of the law. So we know that it was a very unsafe mine and that there were serious problems with mine ventilation and roof control.

ALAN COLMES: Are you saying that these men should not have been allowed to go down there?

SPADARO: Yes, sir.

COLMES: You're saying this mine should not have been open?

SPADARO:This mine should have been closed. And there were too many serious violations. And the record is very clear.

COLMES: Why was it open then? If you, as a safety expert, feels it should not have been, why was it open?

SPADARO: I think it's because of the current Bush administration's policies toward mine operators and their reluctance to take the strong enforcement action that's sometimes necessary.

And that often involves closing a mine.
Twelve more for the Bushco™ death toll

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

With just a pocketful of soap

It has been 908 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The paucity of posts...

...today isn't a product of blog neglect. I took some time for a long overdue revamp of the Upper Left blogroll, excising dead links and abandoned blogs and adding some of the sites I actually look at on a regular basis.

I encourage you to skim the list to your right and click on an unfamiliar name or two. Good stuff behind every link.

Fallen idols.

Holden's focus was on the George and Jack connection, but the bit in bold is what really caught my eye...
In May 2001, Jack Abramoff’s lobbying client book was worth $4.1 million in annual billing for the Greenberg Traurig law firm. He was a friend of Bush advisor Karl Rove. He was a Bush “Pioneer,” delivering at least $100,000 in bundled contributions to the 2000 campaign. He had just concluded his work on the Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior. He had sent his personal assistant Susan Ralston to the White House to work as Rove’s personal assistant. He was a close friend, advisor, and high-dollar fundraiser for the most powerful man in Congress, Tom DeLay.
True enough, perhaps, in May, 2001, but would anyone use those words to describe Tom DeLay today? Will they ever again?

Sometimes you win something, even if you don't win it all.

And the games have just begun.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me

It has been 907 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Who'da thunk…

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gets the most laughs during oral arguments. During the nine month term beginning in October 2004, Scalia instigated 77 “laughing episodes...”
Though you might'a guessed...
Clarence Thomas had the fewest with no laughs.

Hat tip to Taegan Goddard.

What was it…

…that brought down Duke Cunningham again? Oh, yeah, bribery
23. In exchange for these things of value, from in or about March 2000 through in or about April 2004, defendant ABRAMOFF, Scanlon and others, together and separately, sought and received Representative # 1's agreement to perform a series of official acts to benefit defendant ABRAMOFF's clients, and advancing the application of a client of defendant ABRAMOFF for a license to install wireless telephone infrastructure in the House of Representatives.
Representative #1. The once and future indictee?

Yeah or Ney?

Good question…

…from Dave Johnson at Seeing The Forest.
Why do we have a Constitution at all, except to prevent the kind of abuse Bush is engaging in?

Where it's dark as a dungeon…

...damp as the dew
danger is double pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls the sun never shines
It's a dark as a dungeon way down in the mine.

If you do anything like prayer, the folks in West Virginia could use your efforts.

It doesn't take anything like a revelation from the cosmic muffin, though, to understand that this is intolerable in 2006.
In recent years, the mine has been cited repeatedly for a variety of health and safety violations by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. In a recent 11-week review period that ran from October through December, the agency's inspectors cited the mine for 46 alleged violations of mine health and safety rules and levied almost $3,000 in fines.

The most serious violations included problems with protections against roof cave-ins and the mine's overall plans to safeguard against methane gas and dust buildup.
Forty six violations in eleven weeks. Three thousand dollars in fines.

That's about sixty five bucks apiece. Not even a stiff traffic ticket in these parts. Or, if you prefer, two hundred and thirty dollars for each of the thirteen lives in jeopardy as I write.

I'm waiting for a response from the 'culture of life' crowd that transcends piety, please.

Monday, January 02, 2006

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky

It has been 906 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Good question…

…from John at AMERICAblog.
Exactly how has Bush made America any safer in the past 4 years?

The Bush Barn® Rule.

We break it, you buy it.
When the last of the $18.4 billion is spent, U.S. officials in Baghdad have made clear, other foreign donors and the fledgling Iraqi government will have to take up what authorities say is tens of billions of dollars of work yet to be done merely to bring reliable electricity, water and other services to Iraq's 26 million people.
If the findings of the WaPo article that's sweeping the blogosphere today surprise you, you just haven't been paying attention. The truth is out there, but it seems you have to ask a soldier...
"The U.S. never intended to completely rebuild Iraq," Brig. Gen. William McCoy, the Army Corps of Engineers commander overseeing the work, told reporters at a recent news conference.
And it's a good thing we didn't, I suppose, because we don't seem to be very good at it...
"For every three steps forward, we take one step back. Those are the conditions we face," said Col. Bjarne Iverson, commander of the reconstruction operations center.
So, if we're not going to rebuild the country and their elections were so damn successful, what are we doing that's worth one more American life?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

All I want is the truth now, just gimme some truth

It has been 905 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I really never bought into the tale…

…that Ronald Reagan 'won' the Cold War. There were any number of factors that contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, and while Reagan's economically crippling levels of military investment may have made a contribution, I'm not at all sure that it was particularly decisive.

As time has gone on, it's become increasingly unclear that there was a victory in any meaningful sense at all. Some analysis of our present condition by Dave Johnson makes the key points plain.
So how is the neo-con dream playing out? Russia and China benefit from having the U.S. bogged down in perpetual war against an invisible "enemy" many thousands of miles away. But "Radical Islam" just happens to be their enemy, not ours. It is a disruptive social movement on or inside their borders, not ours, but here we are fighting their war for them. Meanwhile China winds up with the manufacturing that used to be done here and holding the paper for massive U.S. debt. We spend our budget on military while their money is freed up for massive infrastructure investment. Iran winds up with Iraq as a client state.
And we're supposed to be the world's preeminent power in a post Cold War era?

If we won, just what, exactly, did we win? And when did we lose it again?

And now...

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas

It has been 904 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Off in a minute...

...to play host for the New Year's Eve festivities at the pub. The calendar will have likely turned for you before I get back, so let me wish each and every visitor, today, throughout the past year and into the next a new year filled with success, however you may measure it.

And, oh yeah, a new Congress filled with Democrats, too.

Randomly rockin' the new year...

Wild Magnolias - Party
Sandy Denny - Listen, Listen
Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams
Buddy Holly - It Doesn't Matter Anymore
Ricky Nelson - Never Be Anyone Else But You
Taj Mahal - Tit Monde
Dusty Springfield - Tupelo Honey
Nick Drake - One Of These Things First
Dave Mason - Can't Stop Worrying, Can't Stop Loving
Pink Floyd - Arnold Layne
...and at some point in the PM, a very intentional spin of James Taylor's "Auld Lang Syne."

Friday, December 30, 2005

I’ve had enough of watching scenes

It has been 903 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The cat just wasn't that curious...

...about the Xmas tree this year, so none of those 'kitty w/broken ornament' shots this year. I did catch the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat assuming her Jaba the Cat posture, though...

Just about everything…

…that makes me doubt Mark Warner as a potential Democratic nominee is wrapped up in this from Ronald Brownstein.
As Warner begins traveling the country, he is laying claim to a clear brand: the red state savior. Warner presents himself as the candidate whose message of fiscal discipline and social moderation can win back some of the culturally conservative states where Bush romped twice
I guess that's what the Deaners mean by 'Republican-lite.' I just call it Clintonism. Do we really need to revert to the strategy of being a little more like them in the hope that they'll like us more? Or should we be about building a lasting Democratic majority by staking our own ground and giving people good reason to move to our standard?

And speaking of Clintonism, Bob Geiger sums up my doubts about the other Clinton, as well.
...she remains silent and, despite the power and attention she could command, lets other Democrats carry the load in fighting the good fight.

I will vote for her in November but, until she starts acting more like a leader and less like political wallpaper, she will remain a disappointment and, even worse in our time of national distress, wholly irrelevant.
If she's this timid in pursuit of a near certain Senate reelection, why is she even a subject of Presidential speculation? Which core Democratic issue or constituency does she champion? "Wholly irrelevant" may seem like a harsh judgment, but if you're looking to Hillary for leadership, it's wholly accurate.

But she's got Warner to keep her company, at least...


Lynn Allen seems to think state Party Secretary Luis Moscoso has a good idea...
A Unity Coalition of several different Party caucuses, including the African American, Agriculture Rural, Asian Pacific, Disability, Federation of Democratic Women, Hispanic/Latino, Jewish, Labor, Progressive, Stonewall, Veterans and Young Democratic caucuses, is planning to hold a Candidate’s forum and try to get the people running for Chair to come and talk with the Coalition and answer some questions.
  I'm not sure that's a way to get "smarter about how we select the next Democratic Party State Chair." First, the 'coalition' seems to be so broad that the laundry list of concerns from one of the affiliated caucuses is bound to conflict with another, raising the specter of some very public disunity if, say, the YD's ho-hum the worries of aging vets, or the progressive folks admit that they think the labor crowd is a bit too defensive of some of those defense contracts that keep them on the job. Would that happen? Maybe not. Could it? Sure. So, just how smart is it to set up the conditions that would make it possible?

We convene like crazy in this state - statewide, by county, by district - although too often we come together only to split up into our sundry factions. There's plenty of opportunity for family fights when we hash out platforms and endorsements. Do we really need another one, especially over such an inside politics issue as the election of a Party chair? This isn't the time, and some ad hoc forum isn't the place.

In fact, the only people with a vote are the State Committeepersons, who will convene and hash it out among themselves, which is the appropriate forum for questioning the candidates. To the degree they do it well, they'll do it as Democrats, without prefix, without suffix, looking to the good of the whole Party and the pursuit of our platform. I'm not at all convinced we need a public display of our divisions under the guise of 'unity' in the meantime.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

All I want is the truth, just gimme some truth now

It has been 902 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Patrick Henry Democrats…

…working for civil liberties, civil rights and economic fariness. Now there's a memeworthy notion.

It's true, you know. There's a lot of good in the rest of us, but Digby is the best of us.

Inch by inch…

…row by row. Since February, 2005...

-- Those who think Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda have fallen from 64 to 41 percent.

-- Those who believe that Iraq was a serious threat to U.S. security are down from 61 to 48 percent.

-- Those who think Saddam Hussein helped plan 9/11 are down from 47 to 22 percent.

-- Those who think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction are down from 36 to 26 percent.

-- Those who think Iraqi hijackers attacked the United States on 9/11 have fallen from 44 to 24 percent.
Something to consider, of course, when you wonder how the hell John Kerry could have lost an election to G.W. Bush. He ran in a country where most people still believed in Bushco™'s fairy tale about the bogeyman in Iraq. Seems more likely all the time we won't get fooled again.

Hat tip, once again, to Dr. Black.



Commie Girl is actually commenting on local (OC, CA, for her) matters, but there's a universal involved.
But it’s not the conservatism that bothers me: principled stands of any kind are a-okay with me. It’s the nastiness. The nattering classes I’d thought were fringy were in fact the opinion makers.
Some of my best friends self-identify as Republicans. Really. That's been true through all the shifting circles of friends that come from five and a half or so decades of life. One of the reasons I like them is that they care enough to take a stand, even a wrong one.

But they're friendly, not nasty. And mostly conservative types who have nothing in common with the destructionist crew in power today.

The worst of the lot - Commie Girl's 'fringies' - are in charge, more the worse for all of us, Democrat and Republican alike.

Time for the R's to reset their political, ethical and moral compasses. Meanwhile,

Hat tip to Atrios.

Just wondering...

When politicians say something desireable is 'politically impossible,' do they mean their constituents are too stupid to understand, or that the pol is just too lazy to explain?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

From tight-lipped, condescending, mama’s little chauvinists

It has been 901 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Informed, and, as usual...

...definitive comment from Juan Cole, who busts the Top Ten Myths about Iraq in 2005. It's truly essential analysis. I printed it out for regular study.

Truth is power.

I love the winter weather...

...except the part that knocks out the phone lines, resulting in a three day wait for the nice man from Qwest.

The nice man has come and gone, and I'm back, obviously. I'm a bit out of touch, though, since I took my forced exile from blogging as an opportunity for a much needed rest from current events.

Something must have happened, though, and I'm bound to have something to say about some of it, so stay tuned...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Good questions…

…from Robert Steinback in the Miami Herald.
Are we agreeing, then, to give the king unfettered privilege to defy the law forever? It's time for every member of Congress to weigh in: Do they believe the president is above the law, or bound by it?
The whole thing is a pretty good primer on contemporary Presidential lawlessness and the public cowardice that feeds it, in fact.


Yeah, I know. It's still supposed to be the festive season and all, and I hate to be a spoil sport, but damn.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I’m sick to death of seeing things

It has been 898 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Merry Christmas...

...whatever that means to you. Here at Upper Left World Headquarters, it's a purely secular celebration of friends and family, a blend of nostalgic schmaltz, caloric indulgence and, of course, loot.

Some of you attach higher significance to the day, of course, and I hope your observations are meaningful. I attach those thoughts to the menorah in the window across the room from the Chrismas tree, and it's time for happy Chanukah wishes as well.

Later, I'll be unlocking the pub to tend to holiday orphans and those who just need a break from family. In between, I'll have a thick slab of that prime rib the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left is whipping up down the hall after another round of unwrapping when more family appears.

And tomorrow, latkes!

Whatever you may celebrate, however you may do it, peace.

And now...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Money for dope, money for rope

It has been 897 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I'm not the only one….

…giving the "I" word another look. Barrons imagines what just days ago may have seemed impossible, and they get right to the heart of the matter.
Administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the Constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers.
They're right. The deeds involved, however heinous, pale beside the principle.
It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. (emphasis mine)
The rule of law is at stake. Nothing less. It's time to confront old Ben Franklin's challenge and decide whether the republic is worth keeping. And if not?
If we don't discuss the program and the lack of authority for it, we are meeting the enemy -- in the mirror.
Was Pogo prescient again?

I suppose...

...that the continuing war on Xmas dictates that this be a holiday-free random ten, which is fine since the jukebox at the pub is loaded up with three discs of yuletide favorites and I'm getting a bit overdosed. A few of these, though, are so good they're worth a celebration in their own right...
George Jones - She's All I Got
Austin Lounge Lizards - Forty Years Old (And Livin' In My Mom's Garage)
Prince w/Sheena Easton - You Got The Look
Bo Diddley - Hey! Bo Diddley
Iggy Pop - Nazi Girlfriend
Dave Matthews - So Damn Lucky
Peter Ostroushko & Norman Blake - Restless Farewell
Fighting Men Of Crossmaglen - Sean South
Sly & The Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime
Herman's Hermits - Leaning On The Lamp
The Drifters - There Goes My Baby

Friday, December 23, 2005

With just a pocketful of soap

It has been 896 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

"You woke me for what?"

The lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat takes a dim view of my apparent obsession with feline photograpy...

If there's anything like a "community"…

…in the lefty blogosphere, we can't let this happen to Jeanne D'Arc.
I'm afraid my computer, which has been wheezing and sputtering for several months, has finally passed away. I can't really afford a new one, and at the moment I can't imagine how I can keep up the blog with the brief times I can borrow my husband's. Until I can save enough money -- anyone have a suggestion about the cheapest possible reliable computer? -- it looks like this blog will have to go on a long, maybe permanent, hiatus.
After some prodding and some agonizing, she's thrown up a tip jar. Everyone should go there and hit it, not because she needs a new computer, but because she continually puts before our eyes something rare, offering real human responses to terrible human suffering with a frankness that most of us have been conditioned to suppress.

Body and Soul is special. We can't let it go if Jeanne's willing to accept our help.


To turn America around, we must turn Congress around.

Darcy Burner, Democratic primary candidate for WA-8 in '06.

Eyes on the prize.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me

It has been 895 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

He said what?!?

At least 827 American people might beg to differ with the Preznit.
"It's been a good year for the American people."
You freaking twit. Your country - my country, dammit - is at war.

Now, war may be good for Presidential bios or profiteer's bankrolls, but it's categorically bad for children, living things and Americans. All Americans.

How can a country, any country, at war have a "good year"?

"Good year."

Good god.

From the Good Question file.

"What the hell is a war on terror anyway and who other than crazy people think it can be 'won?'"
Hard to put it in the platform, I guess, but it raises a good point.

Sorry, Barry. Your dream is dead.

Ronald Reagan was probably the last prominent Republican to even bother trying to claim the legacy of the widely hailed father of modern conservatism, Barry Goldwater, although the credibility of that claim was as elastic as Paul Krassner's silly putty reality. This crowd doesn't even bother.

Michael Berube shares his thoughts...
People who support a clandestine program of warrantless domestic spying are not “conservatives” or “libertarians.” Neither are people who support the creation of a worldwide archipelago of secret torture sites. Neither are people who support the usurpation of the functions of government by the executive branch; who espouse the theory that the executive branch is the final arbiter of the legality of the actions of the executive branch; and who call for the investigation or prosecution of a free press that dares to report on the executive branch’s secret programs of domestic spying and outsourced torture.
Berube calls them "the radical right." Since they don't want to conserve anything, or build anything, since they're so hell bent on destroying our democracy, I call them destructionists.

Maybe Senator Goldwater was right, after all, though. Maybe it's time for a little extremism in the defense of liberty, because there's a awful lot of it on the other side. Maybe that's our job.

Hat tip to John Willams at Thudfactor

Eyes on the prize.

Atrios paints the target.
"There is a civil liberties issue, and we can have that debate too, but this is about President Bush willfully and intentionally committing multiple felonies."
The President is a criminal. He admits it.

Of course, he's a liar, too, but this time I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Ya' mean it, Ted?

Is the senior Senator from Alaska going to give us all a terrific holiday gift?
But last night, when the Senate voted to strike the drilling provision, Stevens did not take it well. "This has been the saddest day of my life," he said. "It's a day I don't want to remember. I say goodbye to the Senate tonight. Thank you very much."
Don't let the door hit you and all that, but, well, he's a Republican.

They just lie.

I'd bank on having Senator Stevens to kick around just a bit longer...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky

It has been 894 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

It's not just us…

…calling for justice.

Over at the Carpetbagger Report, Steve Benin has compiled a handy roster of some of the right-wing pols, pundits and scholars who are speaking out on Bush's confession that he's guilty of crimes both statutory and Constitutional.

It's important that we keep those voices at the front of the discussion, because, as Steve suggests, this need'nt be a partisan fight. In fact, it shouldn't be. This is an opportunity for Democrats to seize the banner of Americanism, a genuine Americanism drawn from time honored values like no man being above the law, the people alone being sovereign and the government being laws rather than men. It's a banner real Americans will rally to, one that transcends legitimate partisan division.

There are real Americans on the right, despite the corruption of their leadership. This battle is too big to fight without them.

It's not just us, and that's just as it should be.

Another big win…

WASHINGTON - The Senate blocked oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge Wednesday, rejecting a must-pass defense spending bill where supporters positioned the quarter-century-old environmental issue to garner broader support.
…but, jeebus. The defense appropriation?

I keep forgetting. Why do the Republicans hate the troops?

Upper Left…

96.36% pure.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

All I want is the truth, just gimme some truth

It has been 893 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The Prez sez…

…or said, anyway...
"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."
Remember that bit I bolded the next time a wingnut drags out "9-11 changed everything." The Prez sez is isn't so.

Plain truth, please.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller:
"For the last few days, I have witnessed the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General repeatedly misrepresent the facts.

"The record needs to be set clear that the Administration never afforded members briefed on the program an opportunity to either approve or disapprove the NSA program. The limited members who were told of the program were prohibited by the Administration from sharing any information about it with our colleagues, including other members of the Intelligence Committees.

The DNC blog has Reid and Pelosi.

Fair enough, I suppose, but not quite far enough.

While I understand that our leaders must sometimes be more circumspect than rabble like myself, the unnecessary and unconstitutional violation of the 4th Amendment rights of Americans by George W. Bush doesn't deserve the cover provided by phrases like "repeatedly misrepresents the facts" or "very misleading impression."

The President is a liar. And a criminal. And it's time to say so plainly.

And, oh yeah, he's absolutely the

Monday, December 19, 2005

By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians

It has been 892 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.


It really comes down to this.

Hat tip to PSoTD.


John McCain.
Saying that Sept. 11 "changed everything," McCain told ABC's "This Week": "The president, I think, has the right to do this."

"We all know that since Sept. 11 we have new challenges with enemies that exist within the United States of America - so the equation has changed."
Equations be damned, Senator. Everything hasn't changed. The Constitution hasn't been changed. Hell, eight years of the best efforts (largely in pursuit of the war on (some) drugs) of the at least occasionally competent Clinton administration couldn't completely eviscerate the 4th Amendment. There's simply no excuse for letting this unpopular destructionist incompetent get away with it.

McCain's not wrong, he's lying. He knows it, and he should know better.

Oh yeah, lest we forget…

Good question…

…from The Rude Pundit...
Do We Have To Wait Until Bush Purges 20 Million of Us Before We Can Say He's Like Stalin?
...and a good answer, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I’ve had enough of reading things

It has been 891 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The oath.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Nope, not a thing in there about "saving American lives." In fact, as too many Presidents in our history have sadly discovered, sometimes preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution requires the sacrifice of lives.

Whatever his reason, there is no excuse. I've tended to ignore most of the "impeach Bush" chatter, but this could be a turning point.

The President is a criminal, confessed and at large, and his crimes are a specific violation of his oath of office. Impeach the President?

Certainly, they should. Now, maybe, just maybe, they actually could, if some slight number of Republicans in Congress are willing to uphold their oaths.

Maybe. Just maybe.

(By the way, if you don't already read Matthew Gross, his work on this story is a good reason to start.)

"...a secular exercise…

... in demonstrating love through stuff."
Yep, that's what Xmas is to me.

Michael O'Hare writes much worth reading on the holiday battles.

And now...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

All I want is the truth, just gimme some truth

It has been 890 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Too good…

…not to share. From Goldy.
Wing-nuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack boots stomping through the snow,
Yuletide pundits join the paranoid choir
That claims that Christmas has a foe.

Bill O’Reilly knows this turkey of a president
Needs an enemy to fight,
So the ACLU, and George Soros too
Now find it hard to sleep at night.

They know the boobs who watch Fox News
Will blame the “War on Christmas” on the liberal Jews.
And every mother’s child will look in scorn,
To see if Soros really has devil’s horns.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To wing-nuts, one to ninety-two,
Although you’d prefer it be said different ways:
Happy Holidays… f*ck you!
(Personally, I don't have any problem wishing people a Merry Christmas if they're the kind of people who wouldn't mind if I said Happy Holidays.

Actually, I'm all about any holiday with presents...)

Random 10

Actually, it's not only rock 'n' roll. Some of it's not even close. But I do like it. Every bit of it.
Lyle Lovett - If I Had A Boat
The Beach Boys - Help Me Rhonda
Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Skip James - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side
Otis Redding - Shake
The Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock 'n' Roll
Donovan - To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
The Weavers - Rally 'Round The Flag
Blondie - Sunday Girl

Friday, December 16, 2005

From uptight, short sighted, narrow minded hypocrites

It has been 889 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Only ten shopping days…

…until Kwanza. But this can't really be the reason for the season, can it?

Hat tip to the usual suspect.

Ain't she sweet?

The lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat in (surprise) repose...


Damn, it's nice to win one sometimes.
WASHINGTON Dec 16, 2005 — The Senate on Friday rejected attempts to reauthorize several provisions of the USA Patriot Act as infringing too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush administration and Republican leaders.

In a crucial vote early Friday, the bill's Senate supporters were not able to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a threatened filibuster by Sens. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and their allies. The final vote was 52-47.
While I'm celebrating, I admit that I may be too tough on my Party sometimes. Perhaps the Democratic commitment to liberty is stronger than I often suspect. There was near unanimity among Democrats (including, I'm proud to say, the upper left team of Cantwell and Murray).

Four Republicans were willing to stand between the Bush administration and the Constitution, with Bill Frist casting a fifth GOP 'nay' in order to allow him to call for a possible reconsideration. The fact is, though, that the Democrats stood so tall and held together so strong that we could have done it without them.

So thanks anyway to Senators Craig, Hagel, Murkowski and Sununu.

But we don't need you, so it's still true…

From the things that make me go hmmm file.

Over at Pandagon, Pam Spaulding offers some observations on Bob Novak's move from CNN to Fox News, including this telling quotation...
"I don't think that's a factor," Novak said. "In 25 years I was never censored by CNN and I said some fairly outrageous things and some very conservative things. I don't want to give the impression that they were muzzling me and I had to go to a place that wouldn't muzzle me."
So, Bob Novak has felt as comfortable at CNN as he expects to feel at Fox.


I think that tells me more about CNN that about Bob Novak.


…from Ms. Julien at Big Brass Blog.
...as it now stands, Hillary could - in public - shoot a doctor who performs legal abortions, and - in public - chop off the penis of a gay man and…


What's more, she's politically very bright, so I assume she knows this. Which means whenever she lines up with the wingnuts on issues like flag burning, you can safely assume she's not just pandering to the right, she's a believer.

Remember, the same people who put Hillary in the liberal camp told you that Bill was a socialist.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I’m sick and tired of hearing things

It has been 888 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

No Mo Solo for Feingold.

Congrats to Senator Russ Feingold for apparently pasting together the votes for a Patriot Act filibuster, motley though his crew may be. At least it's an improvement on his solo nay vote the first time around.
Feingold finds himself with some unlikely allies, including the Christian Defense Coalition. Notably, the National Rifle Association has not endorsed the Patriot Act renewal that was personally negotiated by Vice President Dick Cheney. The NRA's non-position allows its Senate supporters to oppose renewing the law in its entirety.

"Folks, when we're dealing with civil liberties, you don't compromise them," said Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, an NRA board member.
One of my most consistent disappointments with my Party is our inconsistent record on civil liberties. Of course, as a party, the Republicans are no better. It's a sad truth that neither major party really gives a damn about liberty.

Happily, liberty still has champions on both sides of the aisle, whatever their various motivations. Thanks are due to Feingold for seeking them out and weaving them together.

I don't think Russ does Christmas, so chalk this one up as a Chanukah gift to America.

Only 6 shopping days…

…until winter solstice. Don't forget the kiddies!

You know who. You must. And nobody does it better.


…the Preznit comes clean.

"I'm frankly, I'm not all that familiar what's going on up there in Capitol Hill…"
…or on planet Earth, apparently.

Hat tip, fittingly, to Crooks and Liars.

Sic 'em, Rahm!

The DCCC bites back, big time.

Watch it all and get involved here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

But you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?

It has been 887 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

That settles it.

He's nuts.
BRIT HUME: I want to ask you about some of the people around you and your relationship them and how they stand with you.


HUME: Secretary Rumsfeld?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good. He’s done a heckuva job.

On a brighter note, Think Progress ponders the historical implications...

Quote of the Day.

"I think that Congressman Ney had better get right with his God."

Texas political consultant Marc Schwartz, who is cooperating in the federal investigation into Ney's campaign finances.

Hat tip to the DNC blog.

Sometimes I'm afraid…

Sometimes I'm afraid…

…that he's not just lying, but that he's sincerely delusional. David Stout reports in the New York Times...
On the eve of parliamentary elections in Iraq, President Bush today described the United States campaign there as a blend of idealism, pragmatism and flexibility that would lead to "total victory" over the forces of tyranny and terrorism.
I mean, there's a case to be made that whyever and however we may have gone to war, we're there and we're obligated to stay and try to make the best of it. It's a case that fails, I believe, when posed against those for any of several avenues to withdrawal, but it's an argument just the same.

To believe that some possible outcome exists, though, that will lead to "'total victory' over the forces of tyranny and terrorism" is, quite simply, madness.

He's just lying, right?


Good catch.

Kos compares the website banners in the contested primary to challenge Conrad Burns' Montana Senate seat…

…and asks a question that's important to ask in every state, every district, where someone seeks our nomination. "Who's carrying the "Democratic" flag in the primary?"

Kos is better informed on the race than I am, and firmly in the Tester camp. I don't know if I'm there yet, but this is the kind of thing that's got me on the way there.

Democrats, please.

Without apology.

The facts.

The facts.

From Fred Kaplan, via Oliver.
To put this in perspective: From December 1941 to August 1945, the U.S. government mobilized an entire nation; manufactured a mighty arsenal; played a huge role in defeating the armies, air forces, and navies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; and emerged from battle poised to shape the destiny of half the globe. By comparison, from September 2001 to December 2005, the U.S. government has advanced to the point of describing a path to victory in a country the size of California.

Make that "From December 1941 to August 1945, the U.S. government, led by a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress…".

Next time someone tries that "weak on defense" attack on you, just remind them…

Several fine ways to do so can be found here.

Only ten shopping days…

…(excluding Shabbos) until Chanukah.

Hat tip to the General.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Because something is happening here

It has been 886 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

More on McCarthy…

…from N in Seattle, who gets both the spirit and events of the time right, as I remember them.


From James Wolcott...
The death penalty must be abolished. No former movie action hero--or Yale cheerleader with enough psychological baggage to sink the African Queen--should be entrusted with the power of life and death over his fellow citizens. These are essentially frivolous, uninformed men playacting blue-suited roles of grave responsibility.
And why, indeed, do we kill people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong? A barbaric practice, crudely administered.

Time to stop.

Monday, December 12, 2005

You're very well read it's well known

It has been 885 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Who'll be the next in line?

Paul Berendt has announced his resignation as Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party. It's time, perhaps past time, but it's a mid-term resignation, so his would-be successors, at least those outside his circle of confidence, were caught a bit by surprise.

Still, there's no lack of aspirants. Andrew has an overview of the field - some of the usual suspects from the last round (Greg Rodriguez and Kat Overman), a couple of District Chairs, and some pols who find themselves out of office after recent elections.

Among the latter group, Dwight Pelz may appear to be the powerhouse - past State Senator and King County Councilmember and most recently a candidate for Seattle City Council. Former State Rep. Mike Cooper, though, who tried to make the jump to statewide office with a run for Commissioner of Public Lands, is best known as a career firefighter, but for Mike a significant part of that career has been union activism. Beyond that is his personal activity as a longtime Party activist. Along the way, he helped make the Shoreline firefighters a political force stronger than their numbers might suggest and demonstrated a knack for finding roads to victory for Democrats in some not always friendly suburban precincts. Cooper's own political instincts are sharp, and his efforts have enhanced the stature and influence of both the IAFF and the Democratic Party. Along the way, he maintained a strong record of professional achievement as well, rising through the ranks to become a leader of his department as well as his community.

No endorsement here, not yet, but a head's up. State Chairs can make a difference, and this is an important choice for our Party. Like Mike Cooper, all of the candidates probably have qualities not readily apparent from their surface appeal (or lack thereof). I'll be especially watchful for outreach from the candidates to the thriving northwest blogosphere.

More to come on this, I'm sure.

Who will tell the people?

Who will tell the people?

The NYT gets the ball rolling...
If the rest of the nation has decided it is too expensive to give the people of New Orleans a chance at renewal, we have to tell them so. We must tell them we spent our rainy-day fund on a costly stalemate in Iraq, that we gave it away in tax cuts for wealthy families and shareholders. We must tell them America is too broke and too weak to rebuild one of its great cities.
If it's the truth, if we've given up, it's time to admit it. If we haven't, it's time to stop acting like we have.

And if you let this mess pass unnoticed, you're just as guilty as Bush, Brownie or any of that bunch.

Which side are you on?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

F. Scott Fitzgerald's books.

It has been 884 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.



Growing up, the question of whether or not Jesus saved souls might have been a matter of family debate in the Dale household, but we all agreed that FDR had saved the country. The Democratic Party, more than anything else, was the family faith. At campaign time, it was never a question of which party, but of which Democrat. The first time I made that choice for myself, it was Gene McCarthy.

Getting 'clean for Gene' wasn't that big a challenge for me, really. My dad wouldn't let me wear my hair much longer than the campaign preferred and my mom made sure I had clean clothes. We didn't stop the war that year, or dump the Hump, or really accomplish much of anything we set out to. Sadly, the '68 primary campaign will always be defined more by the havoc in Daley's Chicago than by the legions of Gene McCarthy's "children's crusade."

Still, there was a time. And it was a time.

RIP, Gene, and thanks...

And now...