Saturday, March 04, 2006

the graffiti was teasing us

It has been 967 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Ya' know…

Ya' know…

Darcy Burner's probably going to burn up a tank or two running from one caucus location to another today, which makes it an excellent day to chip in some gas money to the campaign.

After we puzzle over the procedure…

…for awhile, we'll argue over issues, and we'll all feel better at the end.

Yep, if you're an upper lefty, today's a red letter day, as the 2006 Democratic Precinct Caucuses assemble at 2:00 in various locations around the state. You can find yours here.

I'm not sure that I've always had fun at the caucuses, exactly, but they've always been rewarding in some way.

Besides, if you don't go, you're prohibited from using sentences that begin "The Democrats should…," "The Democrats must…," etc. for two full years.

Be the Democrats. Caucus today.

Randomly selected…

…from a new directory that's heavy on the blues and the music that people who won't admit that they like country call 'Americana.'
Donna The Buffalo - Conscious Evolution
Doc Watson - Georgie
Johnny Copeland - Nobody But You
Bill Morrissey - Pay Day
Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Spontaneous Apple Creation
The Chambers Brothers - People Get Ready
Charlie Feathers - I Forgot To Remember To Forget
Z.Z. Hill - Cheatin' In The Next Room
Railroad Earth - Mighty River
The Shangri-Las - Leader Of The Pack

Friday, March 03, 2006

and the laundry was waving

It has been 966 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Bright ideas…

…from our champion in WA-08.
• Guarantee local biofuels entrepreneurs access to existing fuel-distribution channels.

• Apply local manufacturing expertise to wind turbines. (Twenty years ago, Boeing built the world's largest wind turbine right here in Washington. Since then, while our country was cutting funding for alternative-energy research, other nations pressed forward and today's largest wind turbine manufacturers are in Europe, the leading producer of the world's fastest-growing power technology.)

• Capitalize on the confluence of our software industry, innovative local utilities, world-class universities and top-notch research labs to design "smart grid" technologies to run electrical grids more efficiently, operate our traffic arteries more smoothly, and design and operate green buildings that will cut fossil fuel dependence without compromising quality of life.
There's more (including a withering assessment of the Preznit's energy opportunism) in Darcy Burner's Seattle Times op-ed.

One thing you can be sure of - none of this will happen while Sheriff Dave's wielding the Bushco™ rubberstamp in Congress.

Reward good ideas.

Tip of the solar powered beanie to Carl.

The damn cat…

…err…the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat is nowhere to be found right now, but she left a mess so she'd better be back soon…

A unificationer…

…not a divisionater.
LUCKNOW, India (AFP) - Three people were killed and several injured when protests in northern India against US President George W. Bush's visit turned into street riots between Hindus and Muslims.

No Boy Scouts need apply...

Gilliard pulls a bit of Krugman from behind the NYT Select wall...
If good luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, bad luck is what happens when lack of preparation meets a challenge. And our leaders, who think they can govern through a mix of wishful thinking and intimidation, are never, ever prepared.

…X 10.

The first time around, Russ Feingold was rather famously the only Senator to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act. Happily, it's a distinction that's no longer his. While provisions related to the eradication of meth labs and port security, along with some subtle changes that make the new version slightly more palatable than the original, give cover to some of the 'aye' voters, now there are ten...
Voting No:

Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
James Jeffords (I-VT)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Yep, that's our own Patty up there. Remember to say thanks...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

and peeked into all the backyards

It has been 965 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Preznit 30something%

Approvals:
CBS News 34%

USA Today/CNN/Gallup 38%

Quinnipiac 36%

LA Times/Bloomberg 38%

FOX News 39%

Hat tip to Ron Chusid at The Democratic Daily.

Remember that Kerry fella?

Well, if you've lost track, there are some Democratic challengers out there that could probably fill you in. From the WaPo's Chris Cillizza...
"...an e-mail Kerry sent from his Keeping America's Promise PAC asking donors to contribute to three Iraq war veterans running for Congress as Democrats: Tammy Duckworth in Illinois's 6th District, Patrick Murphy in Pennsylvania's 8th District and Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's 7th District….raised roughly $250,000 for the three candidates in the first 24 hours, according to Kerry insiders."
I know the stream of mail from JohnKerry.com seems endless, sometimes to the point of irritation even among his fans, and there's a legitimate question about the size of his actual list (I'm at least three of the three million…), but it seems to work.
That list has served to keep Kerry's 2008 prospects alive; it shows that even though he is considered irrelevant by many inside the Beltway, he is still a major presence among party regulars outside of Washington.
Major enough to raise over $2 million for a range of state and federal candidates, as well as partisan and humanitarian causes, during the 2006 cycle. That's on top of the $2 mill he doled out the the DNC, DSCC and DCCC from his '04 Presidential account.

One of the first question we need to ask potential nominees for '08 is what they did to elect Democrats in '06. John Kerry may end up with the best answer, and he may end up surprising the Beltway again.

Scoff if you must, but maybe.

Just maybe…

He's right...

"You never know how well an election will go for an indicted person."

Tom DeLay (R-Leavenworth Sugarland)
…but we can hope…and help.

Liar.



A for instance, as if we needed another...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

cuz once upon a time the line followed the river

It has been 964 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Indeed, we do...

"We have to address the fact that the president has broken the law.”

Sen. Russ Feingold

From the 'Don't Take My Word For It' file...

Kos diarist dreaminonempty looks at the pospects for "Rubber Stamp Republican(s)", finding cause for ulcers in districts where the Bush support numbers have dropped below 30%.

Ranked 14th among the 32 ulcerous districts is the upper left's very own WA-08, home of Upper Left's favorite Democratic challenger, Darcy Burner. If, as dreaminonempty writes, Bush is "the anvil for the Rubber Stamp Republicans," well, cash is the hammer. Today is a good day to donate.

We can win this one. You can help.


Hat tip to Lynn Allen at Evergreen Politics.

Quote of the Day

"I proud to be a Democrat. I believe the Democratic vision for the country is the one that offers the greatest hope for Americans in all conditions and I think the greatest hope for American leadership abroad."

The Honorable Thomas Foley (D-Upper Left), interviewed by Jonathan Singer at MyDD.

Me too, Mr. Speaker, me too...

"I don't know why...

...we would run the risk of not impeaching the man."
Lewis Lapham on the Preznit...
"We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal—known to be armed and shown to be dangerous."
While it still seems to be a notion that's both morally overdue and politically premature, the facts are simply there. The issue now is simply strategic. We don't because we think we can't, and we have good reason to think so. But with, say, a Chairman Conyers...

As always, it comes down to keeping our eyes on the prize.

Jeebus.

You know how dumb the average guy is? Well, it turns out that 75% of them are dumber than that…
CHICAGO - Americans apparently know more about "The Simpsons" than they do about the First Amendment.

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.
Put that in your 8th grade math pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

and find that train ticket we lost

It has been 963 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Home for Christmas?

…Zogby, via Political Wire.
"An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately..."
The same thing, really, since a withdrawal that started today would likely take the best part of a year to complete. Listen to them, and then

Which way did they go?

Steve M. distills another interesting factoid from the CBS News poll...
Bush job approval:
America (Democrats, independents and Republicans): 34%
Republicans only: 72%
They stand by their man better than two to one, and still can't push him above 34%? Whatever happened to the overwhelming hordes of marauding Republicans, organized for battle by the evil genius of Field Marshall Karl? I'll leave it to someone with stronger 8th grade math skills to work out the actual numbers, but they sure aren't making a very scary impression these days.

Now, more than ever, we're mainstream, they're extreme.

Now let's clean up the mess they've made...

The next Gentlelady…

…from the 8th District of Washington gets noticed by the Hotline (along, less happily, with Rick Larsen's Republican challenger) as "well-suited" for the District.
...WA 08 houses many Microsoft employees, giving Burner an easy way to introduce herself. WA has always been an unpredictable state -- witness the Rossi-Gregoire and Cantwell-Gorton races. And both these candidates have gotten off to solid fundraising starts.
Of course, if Darcy's fundraising was just a bit more solid, she might be in the Hotline's Top 25. You can help make it happen.

Hey, it's been a long time…

…I'd a settled for a gentleman's C.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

Preznit 30something%.

34, to be exact.

It's a new low, but somehow that fails to surprise. What does raise my eyebrows a little is this bit culled by Atrios...
HOW ARE THINGS GOING IN IRAQ?
Now 1/2006 5/2004 5/2003
Well 36% 45% 37% 72%
Badly 62 54 60 24
Yep, it seems like at least a few folks out there actually think the war is going well and have still given up on the Commander in Chief.

Well, if you can say that people who think the war is going well actually think...

Monday, February 27, 2006

shoo away the swarms of commuter planes

It has been 962 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

"Complete failure…"

Hale Stewart surveys the economy...
Weak Job Growth - check

Weak Wage Growth - check

Poor Growth in Net Worth - check

Negative Savings - check

Massive Increase in Debt - check
The obvious conclusion?


check and double check...

I don't have a particular axe to grind…

…in the current facilities dustup between the Supersonics and the city. While losing the Mariners or Seahawks would have saddened me considerably, I long ago lost interest in the NBA. In fact, I find some visceral appeal in the "they're millionaires, screw 'em" argument. It's certainly a better one than, for instance, "it's bad for business."

Jon Stahl's been beating the anti-Sonic drum over at Evergreen Politics, mainly on a class resentment line, but most after NBA Commissioner David Stern's testimony about the one stop entertainment facility the Sonics hope to build on the Key Arena site, he writes...
If you, like my state Senator, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, are supporting the remodel in the mistaken belief that this is somehow good for Seattle's bars & restaurants, think again. This is about greedy, incompetent NBA owners like Howard Schultz asking the taxpayers and businesses of Seattle to subsidize his failing business venture.
I don't know, of course, but it may be that Senator Kohl-Welles has taken the time to talk to the bar and restaurant owners and workers on lower Queen Anne and surrounding precincts - they are her constituents too, after all - and discovered that they'd rather try to compete with an enhanced Arena than try to survive without the Sonics (and the Storm, which be the greater loss in my book).

Because, just maybe, having crowds of people out for an evening's entertainment pass your doorway dozens a times a year really is good for the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.

Maybe 'screw the rich' isn't always a good enough answer for every question.

Maybe...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

let us vow to get off of this sauce

It has been 961 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

What he said...

…via Think Progress.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What does civil war look like?

WILL: This. This is a civil war.
Now if somebody would just tell that other George...

And now...

Our Congressmen know…

…who our next Congresswoman should be.



You know how you can help.


Hat tip to Carl.

Good question…

…for the 'stay until it's stable' crowd, from Steve Gilliard.
Are you willing to serve in Iraq to help stablize it? No? Well, the US Army has been there three years and as what you're proposing will take up to a decade, are you going to join the effort?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

here's to our last drink of fossil fuels

It has been 960 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

From the failed objectives file…

It's really somewhat astonishing how poorly our training mission in Iraq has gone.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday.

The battalion, made up of 700 to 800 Iraqi Army soldiers, has repeatedly been offered by the U.S. as an example of the growing independence of the Iraqi military...
That's why we're there, right? To train Iraqis and withdraw?

Or at least that's what Preznit Theytandupwestanddown keeps telling us.

But if that's why we're there, the why can't they field a single independent battalion in an environment that demands brigades, perhaps divisions, for any hope of real pacification?

Are the trainers incompetent, or is the President a liar?

Both, of course, is a valid choice, but I can't help sense some kind of designed relationship of dependency between our military and theirs, one that will require years more of occupation and support.

Glenn Greenwald writes a powerful defense of the case for responsibility…
We have an ethical responsibility to do what we can -- if there is anything -- to help Iraq regain some semblance of stability and peace. We have no right to simply leave the country engulfed by a civil war and drowning in anarchy because we grew tired of our little project or changed our minds about its morality. If we are achieving any good at all with our military occupation – or if we can achieve any good – we have the obligation to do so…
It's persuasive, unfortunately, only if you overlook the use of 'if' or, perhaps, have a more charitible view of Bushco™ than I can muster up.

It's becoming ever more clear that there isn't anything we can do, there isn't anything we're achieving. It's not at all clear that we're even trying.

It's true that we have no 'right' to leave Iraq to its fate alone, but it's equally true that we had no 'right' to be there in the first place. Rights have nothing to do with the debate, in any sense. We were wrong, and we compound that wrong daily.

We may not be the problem in Iraq today, but we are most certainly a problem, and apparently the one that must be solved before the rest can be resolved.

Random ten.

Jazz directory edition...
Duke Ellington Orchestra - Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
Joe Venuti & Zoot Sims - (Back Home Again In) Indiana
Les McCann - Burnin' Coal
Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobin - Meditation
Jessica Williams - Miles To Go
Billy Holiday - Stormy Weather
Liz Lands - In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
The Dixieland Ramblers - Sweet Georgia Brown
Miles Davis - It Never Entered My Mind
Sam Most & Al Viola - On Green Dolphin Street

Quote of the day…

"One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed."

William F. Buckley

Friday, February 24, 2006

and i'm raising my glass in a toast

It has been 959 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

"Why...

...wonders the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat, "doesn't this guy ever shoot my good side?"

Quote of the day.

Belle Waring at Crooked Timber...
“The president is a sock-puppet moron” is supposed to be a snide criticism, not an exculpatory point.

Good question…

…for your 'moderate' Republican pals, via Oliver.
Do you support the imprisonment of doctors for up to five years for the alleged “crime” of performing an abortion, as South Dakota’s legislature demands?

Moyers…

…on the progressive project.
We are standing for the great fundamental rights upon which all successful free government must be based. We are standing for elementary decency in politics. We are fighting for honesty against naked robbery. It is not a partisan issue; it is more than a political issue; it is a great moral issue. If we condone political theft, if we do not resent the kinds of wrong and injustice that injuriously affect the whole nation, not merely our democratic form of government but our civilization itself cannot endure…
Invaluable, as always. Lots more here.


Hat tip to Dave Johnson.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

i'm looking out over my whole human family

It has been 958 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Good grief.

Regardless of your feelings about Portgate, this is absurd.
“The President’s leadership has earned our trust in the war on terror, and surely his administration deserves the presumption that they would not sell our security short.”

John McCain
He knows better. He must.

But he's a Republican, and they just lie.

Enough.

Not one more word about the Senator from Arizona being a 'straight-talking maverick.'

He's a liar, and we already know who his Daddy is…

Good cause...

Please Join

Nick Lampson & Jay Inslee

for a reception to benefit

Reform Without Delay

Saturday, March 11
7 to 9 PM
The Westin Seattle
1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Co-Hosts $2000
Sponsors $1000
Guests $100

VIP Reception for Co-Hosts & Sponsors will precede event
For questions or to RSVP, contact Chris McCullough at
(206) 533-0575 or reformwithoutdelay@gmail.com


Nick Lampson is a former Democratic Congressman from Texas who fell victim to Tom DeLay's gerrymandering scheme and is returning the favor by running against Tom DeLay. Jay Inslee was once upon a time my own personal Congressman, and he's still a favorite. It sounds like a grand night.

Of course, if that's a little steep for your particular budget, or you like to keep your money closer to home, there's a highly recommended alternative...

Good question.

From Sifu Tweety at The Poorman...
At what point does an operating national unity government in Iraq move from speculative fiction to alternate history?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

i've got no room for a lie so verbose

It has been 957 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

That Kerry fella…

…has endorsed Ciro Rodriguez. First Senator on the list.

It's the kind of thing leaders do...

But don't take my word for it.

Ask The Chairman.

Via Eli Sanders at Slog (my emphasis)…
Dean also discussed his 50-state strategy for picking up more seats in Congress, and made special mention of Darcy Burner, who is challenging freshman Republican Congressman Dave Reichert in the 8th District. Burner, a former Air Force brat who joined the Civil Air Patrol as a teenager before studying at Harvard and working at Microsoft, clearly had the most supporters at the event, and perhaps as a sign of the national party's interest in her race, she seemed to get more mentions in Dean's speech than any other candidate...
I'm sure Howard wants you to do the right thing.

From the 'Where are they now?' file…



"The mission of US forces is to kill or capture Moqtada al-Sadr."


Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez




BAGHDAD, Feb. 21 -- In Iran last month, Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr told a government at odds with the West over its nuclear ambitions that he would fight alongside it if the United States attacked.

In Jordan this week, he said in a rare televised interview with al-Jazeera that there was "nothing good" in Iraq's new constitution and shared his thoughts on the fate of the northern city of Kirkuk, one of the most divisive questions in Iraqi politics.
And he still has that army...

In case you weren't sure…

…the DCCC has some reminders of just how important that race in WA-08 is...
· Dave Reichert has taken $20,000 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. No surprise that Reichert voted with Tom DeLay 91% of the time.

· Dave Reichert voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay.

· When Republicans realized it was "impossible to win the communications battle" over the gutted ethics rules, Reichert flip-flopped and voted to put the old rules back into place.

· When Democrats offered a solution to clean up the House by strengthening ethics rules, Dave Reichert voted twice to make sure it never even came to an up or down vote.
Dave Reichert is part of the problem, but we have a solution.

Oh, did I mention that Darcy Burner needs some of your money?

I thought I might have...

Truth.

From Juan Cole
The threat of terrorism and attacks on Americans just went way up.
The port story is another important episode in the tradition of Republican weakness concerning our national security, but this is a far more present danger.

With the dictator deposed and the reconstruction abandoned for all practical (as opposed to profitable) purposes, the last glimmer of a rationale for a continued American deployment in Iraq has been the hope of somehow averting civil war before we could impose a stable government in some form, ideally in the form of a reliable trading partner, I suppose.

That's gone. While some of us have seen the evidence of civil war for some time, from today forward there's simply no room for denial. As Professor Cole says, this is apocalyptic.

It's time to plan and execute a withdrawal of American forces from Iraqi territory, a plan who's only consideration is the safety of American troops.

We deposed the dictator. They have their country. Let them make of it what they will.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation

It has been 956 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I must have told you…

…I'm sure I've told you, how important the Congressional race in WA-08 is. And I certainly mentioned what a great Democratic candidate I think Darcy Burner is. And you must have heard that Chris Bowers says that "...the only thing that is separating this one from becoming top-tier is money."

That's why it's so hard to figure out why you aren't over here right now giving some loot to Darcy.

Give 'til it feels good.

Lie.

via Think Progress

What Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said about Saddam Hussein’s relationship with al-Qaeda on Saturday:
Nobody denies that [Saddam Hussein] was supporting al-Qaeda…Well, I shouldn’t say nobody. Nobody with brains.
Happily, in the interest of balance, they've got the truth to go with it...
What the bi-partisan 9-11 commission said about Saddam Hussein’s relationship with al-Qaeda:
The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.
They're not stupid. They're not misinformed. They just lie.

Which, of course, is why…

Truth.

From digby, natch...
It's not "left" and "right" or "liberal," "moderate," or "conservative" that animates the grassroots. We argue some amongst ourselves on policy, of course, but that's not the rap on the establishment. It's the desire that our representatives wake up and recognise that we are in a new political era in which these designations take second place to "Democrat." That's the environment we are in whether we like it or not --- a country sharply divided by party, not ideology.
And there it is. These are Yellow Dog days. It's straight ticket time. There's just no room for high-minded votes for the 'person, not the party.' This is no time for 'progressive independents.'

The government is organized on party lines, not positions or principles. The fabled 'moderate Republicans' are never there when we need them, but even the most conservative Democrat is with us for the leadership elections.

Democrats, please. Without prefix. Without suffix. Without apology.

Monday, February 20, 2006

#3 the media is not fooling me

It has been 955 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

That was horrible….

...if you want to end war and stuff you got to give some cash to Darcy Burner.

I've been beating this drum for days now. I'll be beating it for days to come.
I'm not proud... or tired.

So c'mon, this time with four part harmony and feeling.

actblue.com/list/UpperLeft


Apologies to the master.

Not retired from politics, exactly…

NEW YORK – Citing the need to help other candidates in the same situation he was in, former candidate for the US Senate Seat in Ohio and Iraq Veteran Paul Hackett is announcing his decision to join Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Political Action Committee (IAVA PAC) today, as a member of the group's Board of Advisors.
IAVA is apparently what's become of Operation Truth, an early vehicle for vets of Iraq and Afghanistan wars to express dissent from Bushco™ policies. It takes a bit of poking to track down the names of the OpTruth principles in their various roles at IAVA and it's associated PAC, but it doesn't take long at all to stumble across Wes Clark's winning smile. With the General so prominently featured and Hackett climbing aboard, this sounds a bit like a alternative to Veterans for a Secure America, better known as the Band Of Brothers. Not quite so.

While the Band Of Brothers clearly understands that Republican control of Congress is as much of the problem as Republican control of the White House, IAVA PAC expicitly disagrees (emphasis in original)…
IAVA PAC will not consider party affiliation in the endorsement process.
In fact, while they've yet to actually endorse a candidate, they have a short list that includes
...Van Taylor, a Texas Republican who is running for the seat held by Democratic incumbent Rep. Chet Edwards.
Kind of begs the question - how much money are Wes Clark and Paul Hackett helping to raise to toss Democrats out of the Congress. Here's some advice the Advisory Board might offer - Democrats only, please.

Without prefix. Without suffix. Without apology.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

#2 america is not a true democracy

It has been 954 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

How many?

The WaPo doesn't seem too sure…
NEW ORLEANS -- The official death toll of Hurricane Katrina is more than 1,300. The unofficial toll of the storm may take that a lot higher.
How many more? We can't begin to know, but...
The daily newspaper has seen a rise in reported deaths. Local funeral homes are burying just as many people as they did last year, though the population has decreased. Families say that their kin who had been in good health are dying, and attribute that to the stress brought on by the hurricane, flooding and relocations.
And oh, yeah, George Bush doesn't care about you, either...

And now...

My own personal Congressman...



…would like you to know that if every voter who is expected to help elect Darcy Burner gave ten dollars to the campaign she would have over 1.5 million in her war chest.

So reports Templarist at Northwest Progressive, who would like you to know that...
...it is time for all Democrats to rally behind Darcy Burner and give generously of our time, our money, our passion for sending a seventh Democrat to Congress from Washington State.
I'd like you know you can visit the Upper Left ActBlue page and donate to Darcy.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

#1 george w. bush is not president

It has been 953 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Things to do today.

1. Report right wing signature gathering activity.


Or, if not today, whenever and wherever you see 'em working on their campaigns to raid the public purse and spread hate and discrimination. Just look for this link in the sidebar...




And don't forget to decline to sign.

Category IV recruits…

…sounds so much nicer than 'cannon fodder.' From a NYT op-ed by Kelly Greenhill...
DESPITE claims to the contrary by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the Army is facing a manpower crisis. The evidence can be found in two separate reports released last month — one commissioned by the Pentagon, the other by Congressional Democrats — and in this simple fact: last year the Army accepted its least qualified pool in a decade.

The Army inducted both more recruits without high school diplomas and more youths scoring in the lowest category of the Army's aptitude test, so-called Category IV recruits.
I hate what they've done to my Army.


Hat tip to Jonathan Zasloff at the Reality Based Community.

Random ten...

...if Blogger lets me.
Ani DiFranco - Studying Stones
Jason Crosby - Wild Tobacco Moonshine
Rod Stewart - Handbags & Gladrags
K's Choice - I Smoke A Lot
Richard Thompson - Ls Flammes d'Enfer
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Ida Red Likes To Boogie
Indigo Girls - Land Of Canaan
Lyle Lovett - Why Don't I Know
Moody Blues - Question
Mar-Keys - Sack O' Woe

Friday, February 17, 2006

and we hold these truths to be self evident:

It has been 952 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

What for?

Pal o' Upper Left N in Seattle departs the friendly confines of Peace Tree Farm for the wilds of Washblog, where he reports on the efforts the 43rd Legislative District Democrats are making to open up the development of the Party's off-year platform, a process which will dominate the upcoming precinct caucuses and will culminate in the adoption of a new platform at this year's state convention.

It's a noble effort, a considerable logistical undertaking by District Chair Dick Kelley and his team. I'm a little jaded by a couple decades of involvement in this process, and I'm not convinced that having more public meetings is the answer unless you could actually have enough public meetings. Still, they're trying, and more power to them.

I hope, though, that before spending too many days and hours on what the platform is going to say, someone gives some attention to the generally overlooked question of what the platform is for. There are a few schools of thought. For the idealists among us, the platform is an opportunity to paint large against a blue sky, to describe the country we would create if we were free of political and economic constraint. Others are looking for an electoral blueprint, a calculated list of positions with general appeal that provide a partisan hook that can give candidates from disparate regions and circumstances a common appeal. Others take a conflicting view - rather than pandering to the pols with an easily digestible package of programs, the platform can be used as a scale to judge the merits of each candidate on the purity of their partisanship. The kind of document that each of these approaches might produce would be different in form and substance.

So good luck to the 43rd, and good luck to all of us, but before we set pen to paper, we need to ask "What for?"

Diamonds?

Pretty, sure, but the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat would like you to know that in her considered opinion, a chair leg is a girl's best friend...

If you really believe…

…that cleaning up the GOP culture of corruption is a winning issue for Democrats, then you gotta love Darcy Burner, who's poised to take out Tom DeLay protégé Dave Reichert in WA-08. Of course, when you point a finger, there are three of yours and at least one of everybody's aimed back at you, so you'd better be sure your own house is in order. Darcy's got it under control...
DARCY’S HOUSE RULES
NO SECRET LOBBYIST MEETINGS: My office will report all meetings that any member of my staff or I have with a registered lobbyist, to be updated on my website once a week.

NO HELPING MEMBERS CASH IN: No member of Congress with whom I have served who becomes a federal registered lobbyist will be allowed to lobby my staff or me on any issue for 5 years after that member has left Congress.

NO HELPING LOBBYISTS CASH IN: No former member of my staff who becomes a registered federal lobbyist will be allowed to lobby my staff or me on any issue for 5 years after they have left my employment.

NO FAMILY LOBBYISTS: No direct relation of any member of my staff or of mine who is a registered federal lobbyist will be allowed to lobby my office or me.

NO LOBBYIST SPONSORED TRAVEL: All trips by my staff or me will either be official trips and thus paid by Congress or they will be paid by each person taking the trip or, if either partisan or campaign related, by my campaign funds.

NO LOBBYIST GIFTS: No gifts will be accepted by my staff or by me from any registered federal lobbyist.

COMPLIANCE: Any member of my staff who willfully violates any of these rules will be terminated.
That's an admirable standard, a model for Democrats everywhere. Remember, we have it on good authority that "...the only thing that is separating this one from becoming top-tier is money."

Darcy Burner is a first-class candidate. You can help her build a top-tier campaign via the Upper Left ActBlue page right here.

Shake's Sis…

sees the light.
Say it with me, Big Brass Bloggers: There is simply not a scrap of integrity to be found among the GOP. Not the tiniest, miniscule, infinitesimal wee remnant of honor among this collection of thieves...
That's why…

Thursday, February 16, 2006

and boy did he ever

It has been 951 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

One more for focus.

Mr. M at Comments From Left Field...
...Bush is apparently breeching the constitution in his efforts to forward a domestic spying program. The white house is currently still involved in the unresolved Valerie Plame affair in which a CIA agent could have been intentionally outted in a fit of political retribution. Congressional GOP members, as well as White House personnel could possibly be involved in one of the biggest corruption scandals of our time as lobbyist Jack Abramoff has confessed to bribery.

Further, last week we saw three key people in government belting out arias as if they were in the Sidney Opera House. Michael "Brownie" Brown, form FEMA director, tired of being the White House's scapegoat has agreed to release the communications between he and the White House during the Katrina incident. I. "Scooter" Libby has pointed the finger firmly at Dick Cheney in regards to Valerie Plame, saying his authorization to leak the name came directly from the Vice President himself. And of course Jackie Boy has insisted that he and the President have had relations. On top of all this, after hemming and hawing, Michael Chertoff, head of homeland security, has admitted that they dropped the ball in the Katrina catastrophy.

And we're talking about a hunting accident?
When the game is fixed, it's best not to spend too much time at the table. We need to play with our own deck for awhile.

Call me if Whittington dies.

It's time...

...OK, maybe a little past time, to make it official. Upper Left (that is, yours truly) endorses of Darcy Burner for US Representative from WA-08.

The Republican incumbent, Dave Reichert, would like to be thought of as an independent minded sort, but he toes the GOP leadership line 97% of the time. Not all that surprising, I suppose, for someone who took $20,000 from deposed Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. Darcy's shown her willingness to talk about that record straight up, and to draw strong distinctions.

There's still time to get in on the reception honoring Darcy and hosted by Congressmen Brian Baird, Norm Dicks, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen, Jim McDermott (AKA my own personal Congressman) and Adam Smith. It's a bit pricy, with suggested contributions running from $200 up, but with that kind of lineup, it's going to be a special night. You can get all the details here.

If that's a bit rich for your blood, but you have a couple dollars you could throw at a truly deserving candidate in a race we could actually win, I've set up an ActBlue page for Upper Left, which for now is completely devoted to putting some money in the bank for Darcy Burner. If you're one of those who would like to see the netroots get more attention, this is a great way to give to a great candidate.

Chris Bowers examined this race and concluded "...○ the only thing that is separating this one from becoming top-tier is money."

Help make this one top-tier.

Heh™.

billmon...
I knew Cheney had heart attacks, but I never realized he was a carrier.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks

It has been 950 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

On the other hand…

…maybe there is a there there
The turn for the worse in Mr. Whittington's health changed the White House response to the hunting accident as well as the response of local law officials in Texas. Officials there said that they were monitoring the case and Carlos Valdez, the district attorney in Kleberg County, said a fatality would require a new report from the local sheriff and, most likely, a grand jury investigation.
…and yet, on yet another hand, maybe a little of that focus is in order...
While the public attention has been very focused on his shooting accident, Vice President Cheney has been using the time to wage a vigorous, behind-the-scenes defense of Bush’s domestic surveillance program.

Hat tip to Talk Left.

Every once in a while…

David Sirota and I are on the same wavelength...
...the people who scream and whine about being "forced out" are the ones who knew they were going to lose anyway. The nihlistic outrage and conspiracy-theory claims over Hackett's announcement is really pathetic. I mean, come on folks, all contested seats are about one thing: trying to "force" the other guy out, whether through the ballot box or through other forms of political pressure. That's the VERY DEFINITION OF POLITICS - and a political candidate who says they are "upset" about political pressure is like a person being on a baseball team and then getting upset that they are asked to play baseball.

Not that I'm that fond of the status quo myself…

...but this...
Crashing the Gate is a refreshing, bold exposé of the status quo party politics that are threatening to make Democrats the permanent minority party. -- Donna Brazile
…makes me wonder if there's not an equally potent threat from 'Democratic strategists' who make their living trashing Democrats for cable news when they can't find an empty teat on the belly of the Party itself.

And Kos? Donna Brazile? Jeebus.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

to look around and see the weather

It has been 949 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

George Bush doesn't care about you.

Think that's shrill? You should see what Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has to say about this...
...After failing last year, the White House is again attempting to eliminate $99 million in preventive health services grants begun under President Ronald Reagan. In recent years, Texas used the money for a cardiovascular program, Mississippi bought child safety seats for poor mothers, Colorado discovered an E. coli outbreak, and New York identified the first cases of West Nile virus, said George E. Hardy Jr., executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials....
.

Everything I need to know…

…about Paul Hackett's noisy political departure is summed up neatly by Matt Stoller (my emphasis)...
...As far as I can tell, Paul Hackett was going to lose this primary. It was always clear that Brown led by a huge amount in name ID, and Ohio, with lots of media markets, is not a state where you can overcome these handicaps without a lot of money. Hackett didn't have this money, and he wasn't going to get it. His campaign was in disarray, and his inexperience as a candidate showed in his sloppy messaging. At the same time, the existing political establishment was predicting a loss for Hackett, and suggesting that channels of money and support not engage his candidacy. And if your gauge is political victory, they were right.
...and if you gauge is not political victory, it's time to put down the pipe.

Eyes on the prize.

Reporting from duty…

The DNC has issued an Annual Report To The Grassroots, and those concerned about the financial burn rate at the Committee might take some comfort in the impressive array of accomplishments the report contains. While the effectiveness of their efforts can't be measured until the votes are counted, Chairman Dean has connected the DNC to ground level activism in a way that hasn't been seen for decades. The current polling tip in favor of Democrats might be written off to Republican ineptitude, but there's been a lot of hard work done by our side, and it's time to give, and take, credit where it's due.

The focus hasn't been on organizing alone, though. Thanks to Dean's coordination with Congressional leaders and others, a set of priorities have been set that give every Democratic candidate the opportunity to connect with a meaningful national agenda, a Clear Agenda...
Honest Leadership and Open Government-- We will end the Republican culture of corruption and restore a sense of responsibility to elected office, and we will pass fundamental reforms that make government more honest, open, and accountable to the American people than ever before.

Real Security -- We will protect Americans at home by getting serious about homeland security, and address the real threats abroad by capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and focusing on actual (not imagined) nuclear proliferation. We will be prepared for the threats of tomorrow, and we will always tell the truth to our troops and the American people.

Jobs in America that will Stay in America -- We will keep good jobs from leaving and ensure that every job in America is a fair deal. We will balance the budget, ensure that the tax code is simple and fair, and create jobs by making America energy independent.

A Strong Public Education System -- We will strengthen our nation’s public schools to restore opportunity and optimism for every American.

A Health Care System that Works for Everyone -- We will join every other industrialized country by making sure everyone has access to affordable health care. We will change a corrupt, inefficient system into one that makes sure the world’s wealthiest country is also the healthiest.
The whole "Democrats don't stand for anything" whine is so 1980's...

Monday, February 13, 2006

The sign off post is a bit early…

…but hey, it's the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left's 18th wedding anniversary…

It has been 948 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

...and mine, too!

Every once in a while…

Kos and I are on the same wavelength...
I still dream of Hackett running for House, pulling off the victory, and then challenging Voinovich in 2010.
Me too.

OK, folks, you've had your fun…

…but hunting accidents happen. Not so much with experienced hunters on organized hunts, maybe, but they happen.

Dick Cheney is a man who will compromise the national security of the United States of America for narrow personal and political advantage. On the heels of news about Scooter Libby's grand jury testimony and bi-partisan calls for an investigation into the flagrant abuse of intelligence information for political ends, a hunting accident is among the least of Cheney's sins and has consumed damn near enough of our attention.

Far be it from me to suggest a deliberate distraction, but there's a machine at the man's disposal devoted to exploiting the trivial to obscure the essential. We don't have to play.

There's a better story about Dick Cheney out there.

Focus.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

i mean it don't take a weatherman

It has been 947 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Oh, sure…

…he's a "different" kind of Republican. From the WaPo...
With a 2008 campaign in the offing, McCain has begun an intensive courtship of Bush's financial and political networks...
Sure. He's sneakier, and, remarkably, he may be even more morally debased.

Quotations from Chairman Dean...

He's right...
"... this President has been weak on defense - not strong. He's been in the White House for five years. We have nuclear weapons in North Korea. Nothing has been done about it. Making little progress in Iran in five years. Sending our troops abroad with no body armor. Misleading the American people about why we're in Iraq. On and on it goes."
…and smart, too...
BUMILLER: Let me talk about Mrs. Clinton.

DEAN: I'm not going to talk about Senator Clinton.

Really, Scotty?



Shown the photograph, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the White House had "found no record of Abramoff's presence but confirmed that it is Abramoff in the picture," Time said.
Kinda makes you wonder…just how many 'unrecorded' visits to the White House did Jack Abramoff make?

And now...

Quote of the day...

"It is my conviction that the vulnerable enterprise called democracy cannot exist without free expression, particularly in the media. Journalists must not forgo the obligation of free speech, which people in other hemispheres are denied."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

That's the kind of radical notion that's produced the death threats that have Mr. Ali living under constant guard. Dan Savage has more at Slog.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

who stole the oval office and that phony election

It has been 946 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Dan's right…

…about Charles this time. I generally don't see this stuff, but I appreciate Mr. Savage's pointer. Sometimes you can be right, even if you, well, are 'right.'
The mob is trying to dictate to Western newspapers, indeed Western governments, what is a legitimate subject for discussion and caricature. The cartoons do not begin to approach the artistic level of Salman Rushdie’s prose, but that’s not the point. The point is who decides what can be said and what can be drawn within the precincts of what we quaintly think of as the free world.

The mob has turned this into a test case for freedom of speech in the West. The German, French and Italian newspapers that republished these cartoons did so not to inform but to defy — to declare that they will not be intimidated by the mob.

What is at issue is fear. The unspoken reason many newspapers do not want to republish is not sensitivity but simple fear.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono poses the central dilemma well…
"[Publication of the caricatures] sends a conflicting message to the Muslim community: that in a democracy it is permissible to offend Islam. This message damages efforts to prove that democracy and Islam go together."
Well, Mr. President, there's your problem. Freedom of expression is a fundamental element of democracy. To the degree it's limited, democracy retreats. In a democracy, it is permissable to offend Islam. Until Islam can deal with that, perhaps democracy and Islam aren't such a good match. And, frankly, I like our way best.

.003%...

…of the tunes now in my digital jukebox, at random.
Lee Valley String Band - When First Into This Country
The Supremes - Stop! In The Name Of Love
The Coasters - Young Blood
The Rolling Stones - You Got The Silver
Heather Myles - Sweet Little Dangerous
John Lennon = Imagine
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Devil With A Blue Dress
The Mamas & The Papas - Do You Wanna Dance
Edwin McCain - Let It Slide
Neko Case - Train From Kansas City

Oops.

They did it again.

Well, not really oops. They did it pretty well, actually. Download the second podcast by Goldy and the Seattle Drinking Liberally gang here.

Friday, February 10, 2006

under the thumb of some blue blood royal son

It has been 945 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

A whoopie cushion?

The lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat is not amused...

Heh™

…via PSoTD.

Words to live by…

Holden's writing about the legend of the Liberty/Library/US Bank Tower invasion, but this is applicable to pretty much everything Bushco™ has to say about pretty much anything.
This is a bogus story, told at this time in order to frighten the nation and too take some of the heat off of Chimpy's illegal snooping program.
They just lie, you know.

Liar.



Lies, lies, lies.



Hat tip to Roger Ailes (you know, the good one).

Thursday, February 09, 2006

...and we are a third world nation

It has been 944 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Affirmative action is one thing…

…but a quota for indicted felons on the House Appropriations Committee? Perhaps a step too far...
WASHINGTON Feb 8, 2006 (AP) Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee.

DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers. The subcommittee also has responsibility over NASA a top priority for DeLay, since the Johnson Space Center is located in his Houston-area district.
I really can't top the response from the DCCC…
"Allowing Tom DeLay to sit on a committee in charge of giving out money is like putting Michael Brown back in charge of FEMA Republicans in Congress just can't seem to resist standing by their man," said Bill Burton, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Gun. Smoke.

Bang.

Scooter drops a dime on the boss...
"Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, testified to a federal grand jury that he had been "authorized" by Cheney and other White House "superiors" in the summer of 2003 to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence in making the case to go to war with Iraq, according to attorneys familiar with the matter, and to court records...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Take away our playstations...

It has been 943 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

It may be just "one resume item…"

…to the GOP, but the service and sacrifice of the 56 candidates for the US Congress who've assembled under the banner of Veterans For A Secure America means a bit more to Democrats. Maybe that's why each member of this band of brothers (and sisters) has another identical resume item - a great bid D after their name.



Some 40 of them, along with former Senator and VA Chief Max Cleland, gathered in the capitol today, an event originally prompted by the attempt to 'swift boat' John Murtha. I can't think of many things that would be better for our country right now than a few dozen more voices in Congress to drown out the attacks on our veteran's military service that seems to have become a central piece of the Republican message these days. Our current roster of 49 Democratic vets in the House (including, of course, my own personal Congressman) and 16 Democratic vets in the Senate need al the help they can get.

Kicking Ass has coverage of today's events, including video. Meanwhile, time spent perusing the bios and platforms at the Band Of Brothers website is time well spent. Time spent clicking the donation links even more so.

Damn it's nice…

…when you do nice things for nice people and it turns out so…umm…nicely.
More than 200 people —from West Virginia and across the country — donated more than $5,700 to Rebrook after reading about his body armor payment to the Army.

Rebrook, 25, who was medically discharged from an army base in Fort Hood, Texas, last week, said he wouldn’t keep the donations. He’s passing along the money to charity and a Louisiana woman who lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. He said the woman’s son helped save his life in Iraq.
I don't know where my 20 bucks will end up, but I'm confident that Eddie Rebrook will put it in a good place.

Freedom of the press…

…belongs to the man who owns a staple gun. The latest utility pole décor on Seattle's Capitol Hill, via Dan Savage.



It wasn't the cartoonist that put the bomb in Mohammed's hat. It was the fanatics who'd blow up Europe over a caricature that put that bomb there. The poor guy just drew what he saw...

Good questions…

…from PSoTD.
You gotta wonder what the hell kind of jonesing Chris Matthews has for Kate O'Beirne. Is this some kind of Popeye/Sea Hag relationship reversal? Honestly, he's putting a show together about Coretta Scott King, and it occurs to him that Kate O'Beirne would be a quality guest - with insight into the Kings? How does that happen? What kind of synaptic connection leads to that?
Actually, excellent questions. Even a modestly reasonable answer eludes me at the moment, though...

Sure…

we wuz robbed. Still, National Fooball Conference champs after thirty long years isn't nothing at all, and hey, are you ready for some baseball?




Pitchers and catchers in 7 days!

Go Mariners!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And a time to every purpose under heaven

It has been 942 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

That magnet is very pretty…

That magnet is very pretty……but the DNC would like you to remember...

...Supporting the troops is about more than slapping an oversized yellow bumper sticker on the back of your car. President Bush and his friend Congresswoman Jean Schmidt can repeat the words ad nauseum, but it doesn't change the fact that Republicans aren't supporting the troops with the policies or resources they need to be successful and safe in their mission.

Supporting the troops would mean helping the 250,000+ veterans who are forced to wait for their disability claims to be resolved by the VA -- sometimes for up to two years.

Real support for the troops is not shown by the Bush Adminstration and the Republican Congress cutting cash from the budget that provides funding for staff responsible for processing those claims.

Support for the troops wouldn't allow this adminstration to use words like "restructuring the VA" when in actuality, hospitals and beds are shutting down across the country. A study in 2002 showed that 150,000 veterans were forced to wait more than six months for a primary care appointment in that year. It's an absolute disgrace.

Supporting the troops would mean sending them into war with the proper equipment to keep them safe and taking care of their needs when they return -- without question and without exception.

And no slogan is going to make up for those failures.

Walking to New Orleans...

Hat tip to scout_prime.
Officials say New Orleans can't handle an influx of traumatized, homeless families, but that may be what it is about to get. Five months after Hurricane Katrina, many of the storm's victims are facing a second crisis. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is ending its hotel subsidy program despite the fact that thousands of Katrina victims have nowhere else to go. Thousands of evacuees will be cut off Feb. 7, and almost all will lose their hotel rooms by early March. Advocates for Katrina evacuees are terrified about what will happen next.

If FEMA deadlines aren't extended, "you're going to see folks homeless -- truly homeless and out on the street," says Mary Joseph, director of the Children's Defense Fund's Katrina Relief and Recovery for Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. None of New Orleans' homeless shelters are in operation and so all the city can offer is a patch of expensive, rain-soaked parkland. "I am scared," says Tracie Washington, a local civil rights lawyer who has represented Katrina evacuees facing eviction from their hotels. "Every indication says to me that we are headed for a catastrophe if we don't do something quickly."
How, umm, uniquely American.

They hate veterans.

We can help.

Via AMERICAblog.
The last time 1st Lt. William 'Eddie' Rebrook IV saw his body armor, he was lying on a stretcher in Iraq, his arm shattered and covered in blood.

A field medic tied a tourniquet around Rebrook's right arm to stanch the bleeding from shrapnel wounds. Soldiers yanked off his blood-soaked body armor. He never saw it again.

But last week, Rebrook was forced to pay $700 for that body armor, blown up by a roadside bomb more than a year ago.

He was leaving the Army for good because of his injuries. He turned in his gear at his base in Fort Hood, Texas.

He was informed there was no record that the body armor had been stripped from him in battle.

He was told to pay nearly $700 or face not being discharged for weeks, perhaps months.

Rebrook, 25, scrounged up the cash from his Army buddies and returned home to Charleston last Friday.
"I last saw the [body armor] when it was pulled off my bleeding body while I was being evacuated in a helicopter," Rebrook said. "They took it off me and burned it."...

....Rebrook, who graduated with honors from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., spent more than four years on active duty. He served six months in Iraq.
John Aravosis is passing the hat for Lt. Rebrook. You can chip in here.

Update: John took the PayPal link down after raising over $5000 in just a couple hours.

To which I can only say hurrah for Lt. Rebrook and yeah for us!

Heh.™

Jesse busts Charlie. Go see.

Hammer. Nail.

BANG!

Belltowner explains it all…

The critics of Maria Cantwell think that withholding support will deliver them more influence. Real influence comes from participating. Those who have power are those who are owed. Gov. Chris Gregoire understood this, and though she has governed largely as a moderate, at every opportunity she has pushed the progressive agenda. Those 133 votes came from King County, not Whitman County.

I support Maria Cantwell. Not despite her votes, but because of them. I want Maria to owe progressives for her victory, so we can push her to be bold again. This will be the first campaign where I plan to take an assertive role. When we win in November, 2006, I want Cantwell to owe me, and I have a lot to say to her.
Eyes on the prize.

Lafayette Lives!

Lafayette Lives!

Our oldest allies to the rescue?
“I know we had a little disappointment earlier with some signals we’re getting from Washington but the international community may be able to fill the gap,” Nagin said when a delegation of French government and business officials passed through on Friday to explore potential business partnerships.
Pass the Bordeaux and frog legs, please.

Monday, February 06, 2006

There is a season, turn, turn, turn.

It has been 941 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Just as the Eskimos…

…are reputed to have a unique and extensive lexicon to describe snow, there's an apparent need for some new words to describe the range of dishonesty utilized by Bushco™. Shakespeare's Sister provides a useful addition…
Oathish: It’s kind of like truthiness, except it describes the congressional testimony of someone who isn’t put under oath, but promises he’d say the same thing either way.
The derivation is from the unsworn testimony of Attorney General Gonzalez, as in
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ testimony was oathish.
Of course, if the precise usage for a particular situation eludes you, you can always fall back on the tried and true. There's one thing you can always say about, well, pretty much anything any Republican says.

They just lie.

They do.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

To everything, turn, turn, turn,

It has been 940 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I really don't care...

...if you don't care about football. Don't watch. But if you care about the health of the local economy, consider what the current local mania means. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that over the course of the Seahawks playoff run a million or so folks across the state have spent at least cool hundred bucks on Seahawk apparel, Seahawk decor, Seahawk snacks, Seahawk bar tabs and my personal favorite, Seahawk tip jars. A lot of them will invest that much or more again today.

The great State of Washington is pulling down about 8 1/2% on each and every one of those dollars, and more than a few of us are having better than average paydays. It's a good day for football fans, and a great day for folks like shopkeepers, bartenders, dishwashers and street vendors. Folks like me. That's not a bad thing.

So, in an hour or so I'm going to go sling beer and brats for a small mob of crazed Seahawk fans at the Cabin Tavern in Richmond Beach (always room for one -or more- more!). We're gonna have a ball, because after all, it's not all about commerce. If you like the game at all, you've gotta love this team.

Best of all, Your National Fooball Conference Champion Seattle Seahawks are gonna win the Super Bowl!

Seattle 31 - Pittsburgh 17


(Update: Oops. Oh well, I was wrong. Great season. Great team. Great day at the pub.)

And, oh yeah...



Still!

OK, so it's illegal.

At least it doesn't work.
Intelligence officers who eavesdropped on thousands of Americans in overseas calls under authority from President Bush have dismissed nearly all of them as potential suspects after hearing nothing pertinent to a terrorist threat, according to accounts from current and former government officials and private-sector sources with knowledge of the technologies in use.
Barton Gellman, Dafna Linzer and Carol Leonnig give Bushco™'s domestic spying program the journalistic third degree, the kind of stuff that keeps us coming back despite so many disappointments with the national media.

Hey, there's almost four hours to kick-off. Read the whole thing.

And now...

Our correspondent from parts unknown…

...AKA Fugitive, offers a comment that merits front page attention...

First, the Republicans who control Washington aren't tough and strong, they're lying sacks of gutter trash. So saying that Dems are weak in the current context really means Dems aren't criminals abusing the government and lying to voters.

Second, there were twenty-five Dems (I think) who stood tall during the cloture vote against Alito, and forty-some who stood against Bush during the actual vote. Is that powerlessness when that's pretty much the entire Senate caucus? And what about Pelosi holding the entire team together in the House the other day? Was that weakness?

Third, Kerry lost by 50,000 votes to an incumbent president during war time. Throw out the gay marriage fiasco and he probably takes Ohio. And if you don't believe me, read this.

Fourth, in about a year the entire country has migrated to an essentially Democratic view of :
-- Iraq
-- The Budget
-- Energy policy
Call them leading indicators. Call them lagging indicators. Bush's poll numbers stink and the country doesn't trust the Congress - which the country clearly sees as Republican-controlled.

Five, the press is so pathetic that anything they say is meaningless. Yeah, it hurts when they repeat lies, but they counted Kerry out early, counted him out often, and he not only won the nominated, he gave Bush the fight of his life when Bush had a war to lean on, 9/11 to lean on, and the bully pulpit to preach from.

So put me down as not being worried about the Democratic Party. In fact, I haven't felt as good about the party as I do right now in a long time.
I'm having another 'me, too' moment.