Saturday, March 18, 2006

of someone else's desert

It has been 981 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The continuing chronicle of Preznit30something%...

…33, to be exact. Pew Center poll:

On a regional note…

…Lynn Allen at Evergreen Politics has an encouraging update on US House challengers in the upper left. Darcy Burner's a fave here, of course, and we've mentioned Richard Wright in WA-04, but this is the first word I've had from the Fifth...
Great news! We just got word that Peter Goldmark will be running against Cathy McMorris in the 5th CD which encompasses a large swath of eastern Washington from the Okanogan in the north through Spokane and Pulllman to Walla Walla in the south.
Just a little something from way out here for the 'challenge every seat' crowd. Of course, when 2/3 of your delegation is already D, it's a little easier...

Truth…

…from Liberal Oasis...
Republicans Have No Ideas, Only Enemies.
It's not hard to find complaints that the Democrats don't have any ideas, but that's not really our problem. We have lots of ideas, sometimes too many, with all kinds of intramural sniping between factions. That's fine in a Platonic 'free marketplace of ideas' sort of way but often politically infuriating for those in search of a cohesive message.

You want ideas? The DNC's got ideas

1. American jobs that will stay in America, using energy independence to generate those jobs.

2. A strong national defense based on telling the truth to our citizens, our soldiers and our allies.

3. Honesty and integrity to be restored to government.

4. A health care system that works for everybody just like they have in 36 other countries.

5. A strong public education system so we can have optimism and opportunity back in America.
Those are fine, but they aren't the only ones. These work for me, too...
"Tell the truth; fire the incompetents; find Osama bin Laden and secure our ports and homeland; bring our troops home from Iraq; obey the law and protect our civil rights.

"Stop subsidizing big oil and start investing in energy alternatives; make access to affordable health care a right and not a privilege; reduce the deficit and respect work over wealth; chase the money changers from the temple of democracy; and invest in education and fight for American jobs that restore the American dream."

Yeah, it's that Kerry fella again.

No shortage of ideas there. Big ideas. Democratic ideas.

And what do Republicans have? A parade of bogeymen, all of whom can be dispatched with tax cuts and bloodshed. The contemporary Republican Party is intellectually comatose. There's no visible hope of revival. This is the Republican concept of a 'maverick'…



They're brain dead. Time to pull the plug.

I'm just wild...

…about Harry.

"Three years of occupation and bloodshed…"

Riverbend's back with an anniversary report from Iraq. As usual it, it isn't pretty but shouldn't be missed. There's no better observer of real life in New Iraq®...
Three years and the electricity is worse than ever. The security situation has gone from bad to worse. The country feels like it’s on the brink of chaos once more- but a pre-planned, pre-fabricated chaos being led by religious militias and zealots.
Just go read.

Friday, March 17, 2006

get our government to pull its dick out of the sand

It has been 980 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Well, duh…

Why do you think I call them 'destructionists,' anyway? Digby
I'm beginning to think they are actively trying to destroy the constitution just for the hell of it.
"Because I can" may be a sociopathic motivation, but it's really all they've got.

Well, that and greed, I guess...

50 pounds of corned beef…

…and a keg of Guinness are waiting at the pub. Drop by for a plate and a pint and I'll likely serenade you with a rebel tune or two.

While you anxiously await my return, go see what Eli Sanders has to say about Darcy Burner in the new Stranger. If you're not sure why I'm so excited about her campaign, or why you should be, Eli makes the case pretty well. A key point...
This year, however, Democrats in the deep blue cities of Western Washington don't have to go all the way to Iowa or Ohio. To be a part of halting the Bush agenda, they simply have to drive 15 minutes across Lake Washington.
Or they could (you could) click right here.

Top of the mornin'

...from the lovely and talent Miss Audrey O'Hepcat.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

clean the streets and clear the air

It has been 979 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Phone fu…

…then Blogger fu, now the tournament. Topics are piling up, but you've gotta have priorities.

I don't know how long the Dawgs and Zags are gonna last. It'd be nice to see them both in the Sweet 16. I do know who I want to see fall in an early round...
"I always remember, that whatever I have done in the past, or may do in the future, Duke University is responsible in one way or another."

Richard Nixon, Duke Law. '37

No wonder I feel broke…

March 16 (Bloomberg) The U.S. Congress approved a $781 billion increase in the federal government's debt limit, the fourth time lawmakers have raised the cap since President George W. Bush took office.

The Senate voted 52-48 to increase the legal limit on federal borrowing to $8.97 trillion, up from $8.18 trillion. The House approved the measure last year, meaning the legislation now goes to the president for his signature.
Nine trillion.

$9,000,000,000,000.00

I can't imagine. Thankfully Bloomberg offers a little perspective...
The government will spend $217 billion on interest on the debt this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. By contrast, federal spending for the Department of Education is $83 billion.
Just imagine, for instance, that your monthly credit card interest payments were about three times the cost of of your mortgage. How would you budget look? Would you be asking the boss for a pay cut?

America just can't afford spend and spend conservativsm anymore.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

so it's time to pick through the rubble,

It has been 978 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.


(Alert readers may notice that I've adjusted the time stamp on this one for the sake of continuity. The phone lines here at Upper Left headguarters were just restored, having been down for about 18 hours because of wind damage. We now return you to our regular schedule of chronological rants...)

While I may think…

…he stepped on another part of his anatomy altogether with his censure resolution, it's good to see that the DNC's got Senator Feingold's back. From the Chairman...
"...Agree or disagree with Russ Feingold's censure resolution, it is completely out of bounds to suggest that anyone demanding accountability is siding with terrorists. It is simply un-American to question the patriotism and loyalty of a Senator who wants the Congress to live up to its responsibility."
Damn straight. Click the pic and sign on…

Interesting...

TOP 10 SONGS FOR VIETNAM VETS

1. "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," by the Animals.
2. "Chain of Fools," by Aretha Franklin.
3. "Fortunate Son," by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
4. "(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay," by Otis Redding.
5. "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," by Nancy Sinatra.
6. "The Fightin' Side of Me," by Merle Haggard.
7. "What's Going On," by Marvin Gaye.
8. "Nowhere to Run," by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.
9. "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag," by Country Joe and the Fish.
10. "Purple Haze," by Jimi Hendrix.
…but if there's no room for Grand Funk Railroad's "I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home" or John Denver's "Country Roads, Take Me Home," well, it just can't be right.

It was all about getting home.


Hat tip to PSoTD.

Without comment…

…on his qualifications or prospects in the State Senate primary, this is the kind of news I'd like to see more of...
OLYMPIA — Two-term Republican Rep. Rodney Tom of Bellevue says he is quitting the Republican Party to run for the state Senate as a Democrat. Tom will challenge incumbent Sen. Luke Esser, R-Bellevue.

"I realized the far right has complete control of the party and for me to be effective for my constituents I need to be a Democrat," Tom said today.
Of course...
There is already a Democrat in the race against Esser. Debi Golden of Bellevue, who narrowly lost a race against Tom in 2004, announced her candidacy in January.
…and there's some strong opinion about that. Still, a big step forward for suburban Democrats.

The truth...

…from someone doing something to make it happen.
"Give this country a Democratic Congress and you will see a difference on Day One, and a fundamental change of direction for Washington."
Yeah, that Kerry fella.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

and a change is waiting there

It has been 977 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I'm trying.

Really, I am. I'm reading as many arguments as I can find, trying to find the spark that will light a little fire of enthusiasm for Russ Feingold's censure resolution. Digby makes an impression with this...
It is past time for elected Democrats to begin laying out the case that the leader of the Republican party, the man to whom the congress has blindly followed at every turn for the past five years, is dishonorable. They must begin to create a low hum that reverberates throughout the body politic that says "the Republican party is unethical, untrustworthy, inept and dishonorable." Make people hear it in their heads before they go to sleep each night.

Russ Feingold has just taken the first step to doing this...
…except that Feingold's is hardly the first note of that low hum. The list of Democratic pols and pundits who've challenged the President's honesty and integrity, his honor, if you will, is long and growing longer. Is it the resolution that's the first step toward holding Bush accountable? Well, only if you think that it's likely to pass. Let's face it, if that were likely, Bill Frist would never let the damn thing see the light of day. Since he's apparently ready to vote, you can bet his whip count is rock solid.

Of course, Frist has an advantage that Feingold created. Frist is his party's leader, able to mobilize the entire GOP whip organization and in a position to punish or reward as required to hold his votes together. Feingold didn't even bother with the courtesy of a conversation with his leader before picking this fight.

Still, we see the seeds of real intra-Party problems for the D's with calls like this from georgia10 at Kos…
Mr. Reid, shut that Senate down and force them to consider Feingold's resolution. Up or down vote, that's what's fair, right?
Of course, what's 'fair' has little to do with it. In fact, the Democrats had to move fast to shut down Senate action to avoid a vote. Since Feingold never brought up the idea in caucus, or made that courtesy call to Harry, or distributed an advance text to his committee colleagues, or did anything to at all to lay the groundwork for anything but a legislative debacle, he's really in no position to expect the Minority Leader to "shut that Senate down." He should be grateful that his fellow Democrats rallied to spare him the indignity of a quick defeat (Frist was claiming 85 votes against the resolution). It's a temporary reprieve, though. I'm afraid Feingold made too many mistakes with his loose cannon approach to rescue his resolution now.

Marc Cooper notes the inevitable failure of the resolution and asks some of the questions that have been rattling around my mind…
It's little wonder that most other Democrats went scurrying away from Feingold's resolution. Who couldn't predict that? It's hard to believe that the Senator from Wisconsin, one of the sharpest guys around, didn't fully anticipate this, thereby raising questions about his own intent. Was his move to censure a personal moral statement? A pre-positioning as the "progressive" alternative in 2008? Perhaps. If there's a broader political strategy, what is it?
georgia10 has a suggestion...
The beauty of Feingold's move is that it also forces Democrats to go beyond mere rhetoric. I think it goes without saying though that there better damn well be 44 co-sponsers on Feingold's resolution.
Is that it? Are we going through this so that the doctrinaire left will have another litmus test for Democrats? There "damn well better be" or what? How, in this critical election year, will we punish the two or three dozen Democrats who will likely pass on Feingold's offer of grandstand seats at this show.

Of course, whatever harm it might do to his colleagues and his Party, if Feingold was hoping to generate some enthusiasm for his ambitions, he may achieve some personal goals out of this. If that was a primary motivation, though, it's hardly admirable and not particularly adept, though it's generating some ill-founded hero worship, like this from ReddHedd at firedoglake...
Russ Feingold really stuck his neck out today, and it would be great if he -- and every other Senator -- knew that we had his back. It's a gutsy move, not without risk in the polarized environment that is Washington…
Gutsy move? Well, no. There's no downside for Russ Feingold. What might happen? Some of his colleagues won't support his primary bid? Most never would, anyway. Republicans might depict him as a creature of the left wing fringe? They always have. He won't rise in the Senate leadership? He doesn't want to. He wants to be President. What's the downside for Russ Feingold?

Nope, there's really no downside for Feingold at all. All the risk is placed on others.

Even if this is the right thing, it's the wrong way. Holding Senators accountable for cleaning up the mess Russ Feingold has made would only compound the wrong.

Monday, March 13, 2006

yes, the lessons are all around us

It has been 976 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Preznit 30something%.

Again…
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Growing dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq has driven President Bush's approval rating to a new low of 36 percent, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.
I'm beginning to detect a trend.

I'm sympathetic…

…but unsold. Sure, I’d like to see Bush in the dock as much as the next guy, but I'm not sure Russ Feingold's got the right approach. Feingold's censure resolution may be, as Anonymous Liberal argues at Glen Greenwald's blog, "moderate and reasonable," but that doesn't make it wise.

In fact, the censure resolution, which Feingold unveiled on the Stephanopoulous show apparently without consulting any fellow Senators, let alone his caucus leadership, smacks, frankly, of stunt. Our anonymous friend offers a likely outcome...
...Feingold will undoubtedly be labeled as a rabid partisan by the GOP, someone "extreme" and "out-of-touch." And if history is any guide, this characterization will be reinforced by Feingold's Democratic colleagues who will immediately try to distance themselves from his proposal in order to be seen as "reasonable."
In other words, the resolution will fail. It may never reach the floor. There are reasons, in fact, other than an effort to appear 'reasonable,' that Democrats not be aboard. One might be a reluctance to participate in a futile, if not farcical, campaign that appears to serve no larger purpose than to ehnance Feingold's stature among a certain class of activists who might be helpful in 2008.

If Feingold wants the cooperation of his colleagues, he could try something other than "Tommorow I define the debate. Sorry if that's a problem for you." as his approach. If he wants to be a leader, indeed, the leader, of the Party, he can't operate like a loose cannon.

Personally, I think the grounds exist for impeachment, but the ground has not been prepared for either impeachment or censure. John Aravosis is right...
...in order for this to work, be it impeachment or censure, the Democrats would have to get their messaging straight, otherwise the Republicans would simply Murtha the Dems, painting them as un-American wimps attaching the commander in chief during wartime, blah blah blah. Do the Dems have what it takes to launch an effective censure or impeachment campaign? (And remember, "effective" isn't measured by whether censure or impeachment passes, it's measured by the impact this debate has on the public, on Bush's presidency, and on the coming November elections.)
Especially the coming November elections. Because nothing good will happen until the Republican majorities are gone.

Feingold has apparently erected a grandstand without a foundation. A cheer, I suppose, for trying, and another for the hardy souls who sign on, but for now, I'll just keep my eyes on that November prize...

Gee, ya think?

The Grey Lady strives for understatement...
There are frightening signs coming from Washington that legislators may shortchange distressed homeowners, playing politics as usual with relief funds.
And, of course, we know who runs Washington...

Setting Sullivan straight again.

Oh, hell. Let's just let Digby do it this time.

It's a matter of priority…

…not of principle that keeps me from subscribing to the NY Times 'Select' content. I mean, if some money were to show up in the tip jar, that's a way I'd likely spend some. Meanwhile, big thanks to Atrios for pulling a bit of Krugman from behind the screen…
...what you need to know about John McCain.

He isn't a straight talker. His flip-flopping on tax cuts, his call to send troops we don't have to Iraq and his endorsement of the South Dakota anti-abortion legislation even while claiming that he would find a way around that legislation's central provision show that he's a politician as slippery and evasive as, well, George W. Bush.

He isn't a moderate. Mr. McCain's policy positions and Senate votes don't just place him at the right end of America's political spectrum; they place him in the right wing of the Republican Party.

And he isn't a maverick, at least not when it counts. When the cameras are rolling, Mr. McCain can sometimes be seen striking a brave pose of opposition to the White House. But when it matters, when the Bush administration's ability to do whatever it wants is at stake, Mr. McCain always toes the party line.
Hell, he's not even a nice man.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

and relearn how to rock-n-roll

It has been 975 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

'Maverick' may be his name…

…but it's sure as hell not his game. Jane's right, "If John McCain is going to be beaten in 2008, cracking open the McCain myth has to start now." Actually, it had to start a while back, and a few of us have been doing our bit, with little reminders like this...



…but it's an uphill battle. We're up against things like this lede, from the LA Times
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sen. John McCain, who made his name as a Republican maverick, is going mainstream.

I've never gotten the 'maverick' thing regarding McCain. Except for his, in practical turns, minor dalliance with campaign reform issues, and some typical country-club grumbling about the budget, what's he actually done to deserve it? And moving mainstream? Like this...
McCain was nearly alone on Capitol Hill in defending the administration-approved ports deal involving a Dubai-owned company.
"Nearly alone" just doesn't sound that mainstream to me.

Or this..
He has eased his opposition to tax cuts that he once complained were excessive.
...in which he shifts from the mainstream position of, oh, 60 something percent or so of the American people, to the tax-cut extremism of Preznit 30something%.

Maybe it's his appeal to the most extreme factions of the Republican coalition...
He recently met with the Rev. Jerry Falwell, a leading evangelical conservative whom he previously had denounced as intolerant.
…or his partisan - if not racial - baiting of junior Senators...
To the delight of GOP partisans, he publicly lambasted Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois — a rising star among Democrats — over an ethics and lobbying overhaul.
…that signals his shift to the 'mainstream'?

The New York Times is a bit more clear about just what John McCain is, examining his "full embrace" of the President...
The extent of Mr. McCain's embrace of Mr. Bush was striking, and Republicans here suggested it reflected two political facts: that he needed to reassure conservatives of his loyalty to Mr. Bush, and that, at this point, he was in a strong enough position in this field to have flexibility in presenting himself.
I'm not sure where the 'flexibility' part comes in. Maybe it's that this year, McCain finds political advantage in matching his rhetoric to his record, which has always been that of a faithfully conservative Republican.

McCain has gone to great lengths to establish himself as a doctrinaire Bushista on far more grounds than he's ever been critical of the administration. Most recently...
Mr. McCain praised the president for his failed effort to rewrite the Social Security system, said he supported the decision to go into Iraq and blistered at critics who suggested the White House had fabricated evidence of unconventional weapons in Iraq to justify the invasion.
Let's see. For the war. For gutting Social Security. For the tax cuts. For foreign control of our borders. For the South Dakota abortion ban.

Oh yeah, some maverick.

John McCain, some public relations grandstanding aside, is the very model of a George Bush Republican. Like what we've got? You'll love what he'll give.

It's hardly a surprise, though.

After all, don't they share a liver or something?

Ooh, shiny!

One for the wish list...

And now...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

give the big oil companies the finger finally

It has been 974 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

From the 'Why I am a Democrat' file...

...We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The State of the Union
January 11th, 1944

Great sweeping bow to Greg.

If you didn't know he's a liar…

…you'd think he was nuts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President George W. Bush, in his latest push to counter rising opposition to the Iraq war as it nears its third anniversary, said on Saturday he believes the country can avoid an all-out civil war because of the increased capability of Iraqi troops.
Gee, it seems like only two weeks ago we were hearing this...
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.
Jeebus, George.

Ten for today...

Sinead O'Connor - Do Right Woman
Jim's Big Ego - Mix Tape
Paris Combo - Attraction
Alison Krauss - 9 To 5
Chris Smither - Frankie & Albert
Terror Fabulous - Jah Works
Big Bill Broonzy - I Could Hear My Name A-Ringin'
Carla Thomas & Michael McDonald - When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
Bossa Nova Beatniks - Route 66
Mindy Smith - Jolene

Friday, March 10, 2006

give the darkness back its soul

It has been 973 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Hmmm…

Just the facts.
· 100% from NARAL (2005)
· 100% from the ACLU (2004-05)
· 100% from the Leadership Conference On Civil Rights (2001-05)
· 100% from American Association Of University Women (2001-04)
· 100% From Brady Campaign (2001-03)
· 100% from Children’s Defense Fund (03-04)
· 100% from Sierra Club (03)
· 98% from US Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) (2004-05)
· 95% from NAACP (2005), 100% (2003-2004)
· 95% “liberal quotient” from Americans For Democratic Action (2005)
· 93% from Human Rights Campaign (2001-04)
· 90% from the League of Conservation Voters (2005)
· “Wildlife Hero” from Wildlife Action Fund
So, which way do you suppose I'm leaning in the US Senate race?

Hat tip to Goldy.

Preznit 30something%

The Associated Press...
Overall, do you approve, disapprove or have mixed feelings about the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
Approve: 37% (40)
Disapprove: 60% (57)
Not Sure: 3% (3)

I can't tell the difference, either.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) plans to urge attendees at this weekend's Southern Republican Leadership Conference gathering to write-in President George W. Bush's name in the Saturday straw poll...
After all, they share a liver or something, don't they?

From the 'Family Food Fight' file...

Dropping Rep. Louise Slaughter's report on the costs of Republican corruption from the Minority Leader's website has sent Matt Stoller after Nancy Pelosi's head. Now, there may be grounds for a leadership race in the Democratic caucus when they reorganize next year, but if this is a case in point, Matt doesn't quite make it.

Part of the problem is the report itself, for which Slaughter was immediately charged with using House resources to produce a partisan document. Matt dismisses the charges, noting that "...Louise Slaughter is a member of the House Rules Committee, so documenting the costs of corruption was completely reasonable." Maybe he thinks the House Rules Committee has something to do with enforcing rules related to the finances or behavior of member, but a good American government class would quickly disabuse him of that notion. Rep. Slaughter may have any number of good reasons for launching her investigation, but service on the Rules Committee, which sets the legislative agenda and the rules of debate and order of business, simply isn't one of them.

Similarly, when Slaughter's report was removed from the Pelosi's leadership site, characterized by Stoller as "a final insult," amid concerns about potential ethics charges. As Matt parenthetically notes, hosting the report "…supposedly violates House Franking rules, which are incoherent and a huge mess and part of the tyranny of Republican rule in the House." In other words, he doesn't know what the rules are and finds them too confusing to care about. That's fine, as far as it goes, but if the staffer who made the 'boneheaded decision" to take the report down is "just out of touch" with Matt Stoller's desires, perhaps they're a bit more familiar with the House rules. He doesn't have to care. They do.

Matt closes with a warning…
...In order to build a progressive America, we need to get a real cultural change in Congress, a change driven by strength and leadership.

That's what the netroots wants, and that's what we're going to get. It's going to take time, but we're coming.
It's good to want things, and better to work for them, but real cultural change in Congress will not happen without a new Democratic majority in Congress, so if that's what you really want, well, you have to ask yourself what your words, deeds or dollars are doing to create that new majority. Ranting against a minority leadership that's struggling to operate under rules they didn't create and can't amend, with an agenda that's limited to stopping the absolutely worst stuff the R's dream up while occasionally slipping something half decent through the back door isn't a way to do that.

As for what the legendary 'netroots' wants, well, I think my membership claim is as strong as anyone's, and what I want, well, one of the things I want, is Speaker Pelosi.

Is there nowhere…

…wonders the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat, "where one can hide from this infernal picture machine?"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

give back the night its distant whistle

It has been 972 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Quote of the Day.

Via McCranium...
“We have a congressman who is a national joke that the people of the Fourth District do not deserve.”

Richard Wright, Democrat for WA-04
Wright promises "a campaign based on contrast." If you like the way that sounds, there's a general election account for the district on the Upper Left ActBlue page, right below the pitch for Darcy Burner…of course, if Darcy's as far as you get, at least get that far...

No news is bad news…

…for the news biz, but it seems to me there should be something to write about without just making stuff up. The WaPo's Thomas Edsall offers another entry in the "What's Wrong With The Democrats?" essay contest that our current high standing in the polls seems to require, conjuring up a brewing conflict between a some Democratic consultants and the Party itself…
A group of well-connected Democrats led by a former top aide to Bill Clinton is raising millions of dollars to start a private firm that plans to compile huge amounts of data on Americans to identify Democratic voters and blunt what has been a clear Republican lead in using technology for political advantage.

The effort by Harold Ickes, a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House and an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is prompting intense behind-the-scenes debate in Democratic circles. Officials at the Democratic National Committee think that creating a modern database is their job, and they say that a competing for-profit entity could divert energy and money that should instead be invested with the national party.
Of course, lists - of donors, voters, activist and membership rosters of every variety - have always been part of the stock in trade for political consultants. Back in the day I always had a couple file folders full of names, numbers and addresses to flaunt when I was pitching a job. It was an add-on for me, but some folks make their whole living as list vendors.

Lists go out of date with alarming speed, and serious vendors have serious work to do, and any help offered should be appreciated. Naturally, the DNC is convinced, as they doubtless should be, that they're the best place for the concentration of data and dollars, but there's no real news in the truth that the business of politics is competitive. Someone will always try to produce better data, more useful sorts, faster service or some other advantage, for a fee. It's just free enterprise politics.

This is business as usual, folks, not an ominous rift in the Democratic Party. Ignore the man behind the curtain.

Truth.

From Taylor Marsh at firedoglake.
House Republicans know they're in the last throes of power, with Democrats having "neutralized" the only issue they had going for them. Let's say it again, Democrats now lead on national security, with the Republican Dubai deal exhibit A, the incompetence of George W. Bush exhibit B, with the Republicans controlling Congress exhibit C on Iraq, because they're not doing anything to change the dynamics in the war.
Of course, the only thing they really had going was an illusion, created at the cost of the tradition that our political divisions end at the border. They've squandered our sons, our daughters, our treasure and our trust in service to their illusion.

It's time to say it. Over and over. With a conviction based in the truth.

Democrats are better on national security now because Democrats have always been better on national security.

After all, it's a reality-based issue.

Put it on the street…

…and tell the GOP to hit the road.



The DNC has arranged to have this mobile billboard circle the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis, but they could use a few bucks for the effort. You can chip in here.

Tell the Republican leadership that their time is up and there's no where to hide. And then tell 'em...

What have we wrought?

Iraq, 2005.

No, not according to Amnesty international. Not according to the Red Cross. Not according to Al Jazeera.

According to the United States Department of State. You know, Condi's shop.
The following human rights problems were reported:

· pervasive climate of violence
· misappropriation of official authority by sectarian, criminal, terrorist, and insurgent groups
· arbitrary deprivation of life
· disappearances
· torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment
· impunity
· poor conditions in pretrial detention facilities
· arbitrary arrest and detention
· denial of fair public trial
· an immature judicial system lacking capacity
· limitations on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association due to terrorist and militia violence
· restrictions on religious freedom
· large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs)
· lack of transparency and widespread corruption at all levels of government
· constraints on nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
· discrimination against women, ethnic, and religious minorities
· limited exercise of labor rights
Just wait until the boss sees this.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

in my own railroad car

It has been 971 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

If you're the praying type…

…in whatever form, I'm sure Ann Richards wouldn't mind the benefit of your efforts.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Former Gov. Ann Richards said Wednesday she has cancer of the esophagus and will undergo treatment at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
She tried to tell us, way back when...

Truth…

…from, of all people, Casino Jack Abramoff.
Newt again! It’s sick!
So, so true...

Hat tip to The News Blog.

It's been a while…

…since we've played 'fun with the blog logs,' but this one caught my eye…
Mar/07 9:50 AM
IP Address: 156.33.99.143
Country: United States
City: Washington
Organisation: U.S. senate sergeant at arms

I can't endorse his reasoning...

...but it's hard to argue with Sully's conclusion about the Preznit.
"He is not a responsible human being; he is a phenomenally reckless human being, There is a level of recklessness involved that is beyond any ideology."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

i dream of touring like duke ellington

It has been 970ays since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Damn straight.

Headline from a DNC email..
Dean: America's Security Should Be America's Business
That's really the bottom line on the whole port question, isn't it? It seems like the folks I hear talking across the bar, on either side of the political fence, seem to agree - it's not just that we're outsourcing port management and security to a state-owned enterprise from the United Arab Emiriates, it's that there just don't seem to be any American players in the game at all.

What's up with that?

Maybe the hope that the United States would be the universally acknowledged international leader in port management reflects excessive nationalism, but is it too much to suggest that there must be someone in this country capable of learning the trade?

I don't want control of our ports outsourced to any country for essentially the same reasons I don't want mercenary troops imported from any country to patrol the Canadian border.

It's our business.

And I think that's a case that can move voters.

Sic 'em, Howard!

While some misguided souls…

comletely miss the point of that Kerry fella's line item veto proposal, Gilliard totally gets it.

Once again, Kerry's kung fu is superior.

Shorter Shaun...

...on Sullivan.
Every time Amy Sullivan writes about Democrats and evangelicals, she leaves me wondering if she's ever met any of either.

If the latest epistle from St. Amy…

...proves anything, it's that Ms. Sullivan has a capacity for getting noticed. She's drawn attention from heavy hitters here, there and seemingly everywhere, but given my own history with Sullivan, I can't resist offering another take.

She opens her Washington Monthly piece with a hopeful tale of a skirmish over religious education in Alabama, where an attempt to introduce a curriculum that presents the Christian Bible the "in a historical and cultural context—giving students a better understanding of biblical allusions in art, literature, and music…", leading to headlines like “GOP blocks votes on Bible class bill." She suggests this portends a split between "moderate evangelicals" and the Republican demagogues that exploit them, and that Democrats can reap benefits from this rift.

Of course, the 'Bama GOP isn't responding to "moderate evangelicals" at all. After all, lined up against the entreprenurial evangelical Sullivan champions in the curriculum case were stalwarts of the fundamentalist right, including the Christian Coalition, Concerned Women of America, and the Eagle Forum. It's not that they don't want their Bible taught in public school classrooms. It's that they want it taught as the literal and revealed word of God, or not at all. They are not, in fact, evangelicals in the convetional sense, but fundamentalists, and they are the best organized and most active wing of the religious right. They hate the very notion of 'Bible as literature' classes and they love the 'Bama GOP for their efforts.

Still, Sullivan claims that relatively "moderate" positions on issues like the environment and public education might trump issues like abortion and gay marriage if the 41% of evangelical voters who have such postions would just understand that the Republicans may need them, but they don't really like them. Of course, by Sullivan's own count, we're already getting 22% of those votes, so apparently we're doing something right. What's wrong is our "reputation on religion," which Amy stands ever ready to remind us is simply awful. In fact, it seems to get a little worse each time we're reminded.

To be honest, that's the biggest bone I have to pick with Sullivan. As a Democrat who is as about my religious faith as my political creed, the constant emphasis on how awful our reputation is among the faithful. In fact, I don't theink I've ever attended a Democratic Party meeting, and I've attended hundreds, that wasn't chock full of United Methodists, Unitarians, Congregationalists, Reform Jews, Roman Catholics, and many who'd readily call themselves evangelicals.

Who you won't find in the Democratic ranks are fundamentalists, of any faith, because fundamentalism in any guise is inconsistent with the basic principles of democratic Constitutional government which are the elemental basis of, if you will, Democratic faith. Religious fundamentalism requires, in any consistent application, theocracy, since the demands of God must always precede those of any man, or body of men, or any man-made document or law. At its very core, religious fundamentalism is profoundly anti-American.

There are doubtless those, though, who would gladly give an inch or two on biblical inerrancy if we'd just slide their way a bit on little things like civil liberties for gay folks and privacy rights for women. Of course, such a shift might be viewed as within reason if you believe, with Sullivan that "The immediate post-election conventional wisdom was that Democrats lost because they couldn't appeal to so-called “moral values” voters…"

Personally, I thought the conventional wisdom was that Democrats lost because the attacks on John Kerry successfully undermined his ability to gain the confidence of a fear riddled electorate on the issue of national security, but as they say, different reality tunnels for different sensory funnels. I'm just as sure that Sullivan is wrong as I am that she believes that she's right. Believing that, it appears she's willing to pay the price, finding a number of points from internet censorship to 'abstinence' education to a little more Bible in the classroom, she sees a lot of room for compromise.

It would be worth it, because…
Despite all of the punditry about a “God gap” at the voting booth, this is a better moment for Democrats to pick up support from religious moderates than any other time in the past few decades. That's because evangelicals themselves are the ones who are broadening the faith agenda, insisting that there are issues they care about beyond abortion and gay marriage, connecting Gospel messages about the golden rule and the Good Samaritan to the policies they want their government to support.
The problem is, of course, that there have been evangelicals connecting the Gospel to government, evangelicals who view working for justice as their God ordained witness to the world, all along. For the most part, they're Democrats. If they aren't, and it has anything to do with Sullivan's never-ending refrain that "Democrats are viewed as hostile to religion," perhaps it would be a step in the right direction for Sullivan to admit the simple truth, that Democrats are not, in fact, hostile to religion. Many Democrats are religious, just as many Republicans are not.

Amy's right about one thing…
For 30 years, the Republican advantage among religious voters has come from being able to successfully control the definition of “religious,” conflating it with “conservative” and encouraging the media to do the same.
Perhaps she should strive harder to resist that encouragement herself.

Heh.

WaPo (my emphasis)...
Iraq teeters on the brink of civil war. The Bush agenda is in tatters. And one of his friends is recovering from an accidental gunshot wound inflicted by Cheney on a hunting trip. A particularly unfortunate mishap, as we learned last week, because Cheney wounded one of the rarest birds in America: someone who actually likes the vice president.

Hat tip to Ron Chusid at the Democratic Daily.

Monday, March 06, 2006

through valleys under stars

It has been 969 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

A hatchet best buried…

…sooner rather than later. Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza report on an intramural squabble…
Democratic congressional leaders aren't happy with the way Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is spending money. At a private meeting last month, they let him know.

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) challenged the former Vermont governor during a session in Pelosi's office, according to Democratic sources. The leaders complained about Dean's priorities -- funding organizers for state parties in strongly Republican states such as Mississippi -- rather than targeting states with crucial races this fall.
There's a case to be made on either side, neatly stated in the WaPo article.
…Dean argued that his strategy is designed to rebuild the party across the country, and that he had pledged to do so when he ran for party chairman. Reid and Pelosi countered that if Democrats squander their opportunities this year, longer-term organizing efforts will not matter much.
I'm in full sympathy with Reid and Pelosi's concern about 'the prize,' Democratic Congressional majorities. There are great and growing opportunities before us, and there's no doubt that if we were to "squander" those opportunities, it would be a tremendous setback on the road to restoring Constitutional government in the United States.

On the other hand, it has to be somebody's job to build the party, to create the organizational infrastructure for long term success, not only in elections, but in governance. Dean did campaign on a promise to take on that job, and whatever doubts were raised about his potential as the DNC Chair during the campaign, I don't remember anyone arguing against building that infrastructure.

While Reid and Pelosi argue that there's only one job for the party - winning the next election - Dean's argument is that there are two jobs, and someone's got to pay attention to job two, too. Dean's right. There are (at least) two jobs for the Party, one electoral, one organizational. There's a natural tension, and it's at its hightest in federal election year. Of course, that's not new.

Here's the real problem…
One congressional Democrat complained that Dean has -- at an alarming rate -- burned through the money the DNC raised, and that Republicans may be able to swamp Democrats in close races with an infusion of RNC money.
Joe Trippi took most of the fall for the Dean primary campaign's astonishing burn rate, but whether Howard learned at Joe's knee or Joe was just doing what the boss wanted, it should be no surprise that Dean is a free spender. What made that work, for a time, was Dean For America's amazing ability to reload. No matter how bad the news, no mater how good the fortune, no matter what happened, they would throw up one of those infamous fundraising meters in the shape of a baseball bat and hit the goal in a blink or two. If the folks at headquarters were a few minutes late, the Blog For America comments would fill with demands for a bat. Over and over and over. Trust me, looking at it from the other side in those days, it was intimidating.

Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi have their own vehicles for fundraising and organizing on behalf of their respective caucuses. People whose main interest this year is in Congressional outcomes should direct their attention to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee and/or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Traditionally, the DCCC is the favored entity here at Upper Left, and, in this case, anyway, I'm all about tradition.

Those interested in building a national Party infrastructure via Chairman Dean's version of a 50 state strategy should be writing their checks to the DNC (of course, those who can, and are inclined, should give 'em all some cash). That, for now, is what the DNC is for. That's what Howard told us before he took the Chair. The time to debate that is over. It's time for our Congressional leaders to bury that hatchet.

And maybe it's time for Howard to break out the bat.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Across the Cascade Curtain…

…there's news from Jimmy at McCranium that Richard Wright is staging for another run at Doc Hastings in WA-04, and that he's ready to apply some lessons learned the last time around. Wright writes...
During the last campaign I did not take campaign donations. I spent more than $100,000 of my own money. My assessment of this year’s campaign is that between $600,000 and $1.2 million is needed to realistically have a chance to defeat an entrenched incumbent. I ask for your support with humility and confidence...
Frankly, I like our odds better in the 8th, but this is a seat well worth contesting. Actually, it's been held by a Democrat in recent memory, which isn't true in the 8th. At any rate, you can check out the campaign and consider his case here.

Meanwhile, I've added the WA-04 General Election Fund to the Upper Left ActBlue page. Anybody but Doc, in the end, though it's likely Wright will be the one to reap whatever bounty...

from brick walls and bridges

It has been 968 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Remember…

…the man who says this about the Taliban-friendly UAE (you know, the country that, unlike Saddam's Iraq, for instance, actually had ties to the 9/11 terror attacks)...
"We could not expect better cooperation from the United Arab Emirates," Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Fox News Sunday.
…says this about the war.
MR. RUSSERT: If you were to be asked whether things in Iraq are going well or badly, what would you say? How would you answer?

GEN. PACE: I’d say they’re going well. I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they’re going very, very well from everything you look at…
Look at this, General…

2300



They're shameless. Totally shameless.

And now...

Did you make it?

As usual, attendance at the non-Presidential caucuses was fairly sparse compared to the overflow crowds of '04, when campaigns were driving attendance up in pursuit of delegates. I was pleased, though, to meet some first time attendees, driven to activism rather than distraction or despair.

One of the perks for Precinct Committee Officers is a free pass to the next delegate level during the off-year caucus cycle.



I may take a shot moving on the State Convention again this year.

Anybody else have a caucus story to tell?


Oh yeah, did anybody in the 8th get a look at Darcy or the DVD?

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...