Thursday, August 31, 2006

And of course…

…there's The Course.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A barrage of coordinated bomb and rocket attacks on eastern Baghdad neighborhoods killed at least 47 people and wounded more than 200 within half an hour on Thursday, police and hospital officials said.

“As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course.”
President Bush, 7/11/06

Of course…

…it's not just Rummy. Bushco™ is just chock full 'o delusional nuts...
WASHINGTON -- Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Wednesday the No Child Left Behind Act is close to perfect and needs little change as its first major update draws near.

"I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It's 99.9 percent pure or something," Spellings told reporters. "There's not much needed in the way of change."
...her view that the law needs little change is notable because it differs so sharply from others with a stake, including many teachers, school administrators and lawmakers.
That's Republican governance today. Blind and indifferent. And that's why not just one, or two, or a few, but...

More truth…

…from The Chairman.
"You can’t trust Republicans to defend America."

Where, indeed?

Larger image and a back story worth your while at AMERICAblog.


From Keith Olbermann...

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Full transcript and video at Crooks and Liars.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Decisions, decisions.

Fix the country or fight a war?

Guess what the Decider decided.

Lynn Allen knows. CoolAqua has the details.

Another week…

…on The Course.
Violence across Iraq has spiked in recent days, with more than 200 people killed since Sunday in clashes, bombings or shootings — despite U.S. and Iraqi officials' claims that a new security operation in the capital has lowered Sunni-Shiite killings there, which had risen in June and July.
Or, you might say, despite U.S. and Iraqi officials' lies...

Hat tip to Atrios.

Aw, c'mon.

It's time to click on over to the Upper Left ActBlue page and split a twenty or drop a hundred or just put five bucks into the coffers of your favorite.

While all the candidates on the page are deserving of your support, I do have a recommendation. I've been touting Darcy Burner as the candidate to give to if you're only giving to one, but it's time to shift the focus a bit. Darcy's still probably our best bet for a Democratic pick up in the upper left, Peter Goldmark's been coming on strong of late. If you don't know why, or don't know Peter at all, check out the interviews he's done with Lynn Allen of Evergreen Politics and Douglass, guesting at McCranium.

While he's been recently added to the DCCC target list, he's still a little behind the curve. By now, a lot of the money that the DCCC can steer to a candidate has already been allocated. At this point, the kind of grassroots fundraising that blogs and ActBlue are best at facilitating is particularly important to an emerging candidate like Goldmark. He gets it, too, evidenced by his outreach to Douglass and Lynn.

The impending FEC report may be decisive in Peter's ability attract the large donor and institutional money that he needs to saturate a widespread and largely rural district. Every donor, every dollar, that he can add to his totals today matters. Your five (or fifty) bucks just might be the tipping point in the campaign to take back Speaker Tom's seat.

So, here's the link again. Do what you can for Peter Goldmark, and, if you can do more, do what you can for Maria, Darcy, Richard and/or Jim, too.

Just do something.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"The Course..." far.



It's not just NOLA.

“People recognize that it’s been a year and they’re still where they were the day after the storm. Now the volunteer groups are drying up. The money to assist families is drying up. People don’t know what they’re going to do.”

Biloxi, MI City Councilman Bill Stallworth
That Kerry fella's right (again). Action is the only option.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I hate…

what they're doing to my Army.
The Government Accountability Office said accusations of wrongdoing by US military recruiters-increased by 50 percent in the last year.

Criminal violations like falsifying documents and sexual harassment more than doubled. Most of the charges are against the Army. The report showed recruiters were under pressure to meet enlistment goals while the Iraq death toll rises and America's job market is competitive.
Steve Gilliard details a particularly ugly case.

Monday morning Quarterback blogging.

Check the pose...

Arm cocked, ready to fire the long ball. You can just tell he's dreaming of touchdown passes to come.

Can't you?

Well, I can, anyway.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ouote of the Day.

Ya just gotta love the Leader...
“If people are ripping your face off, you have to rip their face off”

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, MC

Hat tip to Pamela Leavey

And now...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The usual.

Saturday random ten...
Jerrry Jeff Walker - L.A. Freeway
Tina Schlieske - Everyday
Red Meat - That's What I'm Here For
Emmylou Harris - You Never Can Tell
Etta James - Dust My Broom
Guy Clark - Off The Map
Bare Naked Ladies - One Week
Lou Rawls - Dead End Street
Buddy Holly - It's So Easy
Randy Newman - Kingfish

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sometimes I wonder...

...if the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat thinks I look like a big piece of food...

Quote of the Day

"Donald Rumsfeld is still at the helm of the Department of Defense, which is absolutely outrageous. He served up our great military a huge bowl of chicken feces, and ever since then, our military and our country have been trying to turn this bowl into chicken salad."

Major General John Batiste, USA (Ret.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mmmm, pudding!

At last, a poll to play with. Via Goldy
According to the poll of 609 registered voters conducted by SurveyUSA, Reichert leads Burner 54% to 41% with only 6% undecided.
As he points out, the ridiculously small undecided reflects one of the flaws in SurveyUSA's robo-polling methodology. CoolAqua offers a few more cautionary points on methodology and MOE. Taegan Goddard has a summary of the report, including these "Key findings…" (emphasis mine)
"Reichert leads by 21 points among men and by 6 points among women. Reichert gets 91% of Republican votes. Burner gets 79% of Democrat votes. 14% of registered Democrats cross over to vote for the Republican Reichert. Independents favor Reichert by 13 points…"
Happily, any "registered Democrats" planning to vote for Dave Reichert don't actually vote in the 8th District, or in the State of Washington, for that matter, for we (alas) do not have partisan registration in the upper left. A small point? Maybe, but a marker, I think, for a certain kind of sloppiness that becomes yet another red flag when analyzing SurveyUSA results.

Just the same, the numbers actually look pretty good for Darcy. The mere fact that Seattle TV is commissioning polls in the race raises her visibility, and right now, for Darcy it's all about visibility.

(I wish they'd poll name recognition alongside preference at this point. After all, the Sheriff who faced down the Green River Killer mano a mano in an encounter so harrowing that it turned his helmet of hair snow white (something like that, right?) is a pretty well known guy. The mom from Microsoft? Not so much, I imagine.)

54% offers little solace to Reichert. If I were spinning for him, I'd be looking for flaws, too, I think. While "13% lead" is momentarily impressive, the glow begins to fade in the light of a substantial MOE. A lead is a lead, of course, but there's not much mileage for an incumbent in one so slight. Conventional wisdom is that the Republicans will lose seats this year, and there's doubtless a triage system underway, and 54% is, at best, at the low edge of respectability. Maybe below the line when the NRCC cuts its losses.

Reichert's been quite open, really, about his reliance on his caucus for his legislative marching orders and political strategy, and he's been a loyal trooper. It'll be worth watching how they pay him back over the next few weeks.

Or how they don't.

Is it George?

Or George?

Via From The Roots...
George Allen is still facing criticism both in and out of Virginia for using the word "Macaca" against a Jim Webb volunteer...Still, that didn’t stop President Bush from headlining a private fundraiser for Allen. At this point it’s unclear whether the affair is private because Allen is embarrassed to be seen with Bush or the other way around.
Of course, there's the outside chance that they're both simply ashamed of themselves.

They certainly should be.

Rank has its privileges…

…so I understand why the New York Times would make room for the Big Dog to bark about the 'success' of a program that has, by his own figures, left 2.8 million mothers off the welfare rolls and out of work.

Kudos to them, though, for correcting the record...
...since 2000, employment rates for single mothers have fallen and child poverty has increased. Caseloads have continued to fall, indicating that welfare is reaching fewer children at a time of rising need...
Robert Reich, the best member of the Clinton administration, then and now, has more, and nails my main issue with the Clinton 'reforms'...
I'm baffled by the way the press has covered the tenth anniversary (this week) of Bill Clinton's welfare reform -- full of praise for a policy that has led to more poverty in America among single mothers and their children than before. I keep reading that welfare reform succeeded because welfare rolls were reduced. Of course they were reduced. People were kicked off welfare. How could they not be reduced?
It's certainly true that if your primary measure of success is the size of the welfare rolls, welfare was 'reformed.' If you have any concern whatsoever, though, for the fate of the families affected. It was a crashing failure.

I worked in human services during the run up to and the first few years of the transition from AFDC to the current system. The system isn't the only thing that changed. So did we, in the face of an increasing demand for services. We extended our food bank hours to accommodate people working at the new jobs that didn't quite provide for both rent and groceries. We kept the soup kitchen stocked with options for kids when school was out and free lunch was their primary daily nutrition. I watched housing assistance at our and every agency evaporate mid-month, every month, creating a steady inventory of families living in their cars, almost invariably including a working adult unable to save two months rent and deposits on eight or ten bucks an hour. But they weren't on the welfare rolls. They could camp in their Chevy with pride.

It's gotten worse since.

Bill likes the numbers. Me, I prefer the people.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I hear quite a bit…

…of this lately…
As November nears, the polls will tighten, Republicans will have their days in the sun, and some Democrats will despair as some Democrats are wont to do.
…and it always leaves me wondering why anyone would want to be wont to despair, or what makes people so damn sure the news is going to be anything but great from here to November. At least some of my eternal optimism is grounded in jesselee's cosmic force, I suppose…
...there will be one thing that keeps my faith strong: there appears to be a cosmic force, one I've mentioned before, doling out justice and karmic balance, and he, she, or it appears to be very active in this election cycle.
What goes around comes around, pendulums swing, tides turn and all that.

Mostly, though, while I know stuff happens, the stuff happening now is sufficient for the day. No need to borrow trouble by predicting it. I may be setting myself up for a fall by expecting the best, but it makes every day a little brighter as I go along, and each task a little lighter.

And, as the best ex-President in the country once asked, why not the best?

We deserve good news, dammit, and I expect it.

Way out west…

…they have a name
For wind and rain and fire.
The wind is Tess, the fire's Joe
And they call the wind Maria.

Lerner & Lowe were, it seems, prophetic. Credit the DSCC blog, From The Roots, with the catch...
VANCOUVER -- The Port of Vancouver's expertise in receiving wind turbine components is helping jumpstart a new economy that could reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and transform Americans into "energy leaders, not energy laggards," U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said Monday at the Port.


Once the 230-megawatt Wild Horse farm is completed at the end of the year, it will power 73,000 Puget Sound-area homes at a rate 25 percent lower than a natural gas plant and 5 percent lower than a coal-fired plant, saving Washington residents an estimated $260 million over 10 years, Cantwell said.

Construction of the wind farm has provided 250 local jobs and brought $240 million in capital investment to Kittitas County, said Debbie Strand, executive director of the Economic Development Group of Kittitas County. It will provide 20 permanent family-wage jobs and, as the county's largest single taxpayer, reduce homeowners' property taxes, Strand said.
Maria's progressive leadership on energy issues is just one reason that, as Goldy reports...
After only a month on the air and a few weeks on the ground actively campaigning, US Sen. Maria Cantwell has widened her net approval rating from a mere 5 to 6 point margin in June and July to a healthy 17 point margin in August.

At 55% to 38%, Sen. Cantwell not only sits comfortably above the 50 percent approval mark where incumbents want to be, but also matches her highest approval rating over the past year in the monthly SurveyUSA poll.
Maria's been working for us, all of us, and it's working for her.

Q & A of the day.

…you’ve been tough on liberals in the past, and you continue to be tough on them now. With your recent shift in viewpoint, have your feelings on liberalism, and the liberal critics of the administration, changed at all?

Obviously since the things they were predicting about Iraq have been proven to be accurate, or at least more accurate than what the administration was saying back in 2003, you certainly have to tip your hat to them.
Joe freaking Scarborough, in Salon.

Well, thanks for the hat tip, Joe. Mine's off to Ron Chusid at Liberal Values.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

God. Damn. Them.

I mean it.

From USA Today
Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.

House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center - half of what the center received last fiscal year.
It's not "Congress," though, of course. It's the Republican Congress.

And it's one more reason…

Monday, August 21, 2006

L’État, c’est moi.

Preznit Thirysomethingpercent.
"We're not leaving so long as I'm president."
George Bush doesn't care about your Constitution. He doesn't care about your Congress. Or your job, or your kids, or your life.

George Bush just doesn't care about you.

Monday morning Quarterback blogging...

...because, well, he's just got to be the cutest baby boy in the world.

I'm not the only one…

…who hates what they're doing to my Army. Joe Galloway looks at the defense budget...
They didn't provide enough money in the current budget to fight the wars, equip the military and fund the bases where those who wear the uniforms, and those who love them, live when they aren't off fighting…

...There isn't nearly enough money to pay for the tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles and Humvees that have been destroyed or worn out by unceasing duty on the battlefields 24/7.

There aren't enough troops in the ranks to staff all the brigades and divisions. So Peter is robbed in those areas of the budget as well...

...All of this leaves our nation without a credible reserve force in case of emergencies elsewhere in the world, and it leaves those outfits just home from combat without the equipment or the troops to train for their next combat tour.

That's how well this Congress and this administration have taken care of our military. They are grinding down equipment and troops and families without a care.
All true, but the conclusion he draws is, well, just silly...
If the latest airline terrorist thing scares you to death, and if you think this much more dangerous world in which we now have to live requires a strong, competent, ready and well-equipped military to defend you, vote against the incumbents in Congress. All of them, no matter what party.
Sorry, Joe, but that's a Republican budget you're talking about, crafted by a Republican Congress to the specifications of a Republican administration for the advancement of Republican policy and profit.

"…what party" matters indeed. It matters a lot.

While some journalists may confuse objectivity with non-partisanship (which is the way I choose to excuse the otherwise estimable Joel Connelly's recent paean to bi-partisan balloting), the objective case is clear. Our legislative bodies are organized on partisan lines, and the Republicans have exclusive control and final responsibility for every bill, every budget, every debacle. Objectively.

Democrats stand ready to lead with real alternatives, alternatives that will begin restoring the American middle class, rebuilding American security and reclaiming American liberty.

It's a partisan matter, and Party matters.

"We're just close friends…"

Sure. Like we've never heard that one.

Via Political Wire
"On NBC’s Meet the Press, John McCain is asked if he would campaign for longshot Republican Alan Schlesinger in the three-way Connecticut Senate race against Ned Lamont and Joseph Lieberman. McCain says no, first pointing to his party-determined appearance calendar but then adding that while he will support the Republican nominee, he couldn’t campaign against Lieberman, whom he calls a close friend and a 'great American.'"
I dunno. Sounds like a love triangle to me.

Just a reminder...

True, I'm afraid, too.

Professor Cole...
"The US appears powerless."
These bastards have so diminished our country.

Goddam them. God. Damn. Them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


From that Kerry fella
"The course of this country in Iraq is making the world more dangerous."
...and no, Joe. You don't just think so. He is giving you hell.

And now...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It comes natural enough…

…I suppose, to an Air Force brat and the sister of an Iraq war vet still on active duty and subject to redeployment. Darcy Burner knows deep down what supporting the troops is really all about. And she knows what it isn't, as she explained to DNC members assembled in Chicago...
“We asked our men and women in uniform to go in and take out a government that we told them was a threat to us and they did that in less than three weeks.

We asked them to ensure that there were no weapons of mass destruction that could be a threat to us and they did that.

We asked them to maintain stability while the Iraqis adopted a constitution and elected a new government and they did that.

And at this point, they are sitting over there getting shot at because the Republican Congress and administration in Washington, DC cannot figure out what their plan is to give Iraq back to the Iraqis and bring our troops home, and that has got to stop.
If we can't give them the Commander in Chief they deserve right now, at least we can give them a Congress that cares. This year, supporting the troops starts in the voting booth.

You can support Darcy right here.

Helmet tip to the General.

Tune time.

Random, natch…
Carrie Newcomer - I'll Go Too
The Greenbriar Boys - Alligator Man
Del Rey & The Devils - Branded Man
Ethan Daniel Davidson - Don't Let Them Grind You Down
Dar Williams - All Men Are Liars
Bing Crosby - MacNamara's Band
Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Dream
George Jones - On The Other Hand
The Beatles - Baby's In Black
Elvis Presley - Little Sister
Yeah, Bing Crosby.

Hey, he's an upper left homeboy.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I may be the last one…

…on the northwest liberal blogger block to tell you this, but you ought to take a minute to click on over to the DCCC's "Candidate for Change" contest. Darcy Burner's on the ballot, and there's plenty of space in the write in window for Peter Goldmark's name (yep, you can vote for both).

There are, as they say, "valuable prizes" at stake, including...
A fundraising email from Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi or DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel to our list;

A phone bank run out of the Democratic National Headquarters for their campaign;

The feature spot on our Web site to get their message out, with a link to their campaign contribution page;

An online chat with the DCCC community to exchange ideas on the campaign and the future of our country.
It's the kind of attention that puts campaigns over the top. It's the kind of attention our candidates deserve. Vote early, balloting ends on August 23.

Modest to a fault...

...the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat wishes I'd just put the damn camera down.

You might be a political rock star…

…if you find yourself becoming the lede in newspapers halfway across the country. The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman writes about Darcy…
RENTON, Wash. -- The evening rush hour has begun in earnest, and "Gas Pump Man," a comic book-like character with a costume made of foam, is on the scene, waving his pump and urging harried drivers to honk if they want lower gas prices. By his side are volunteers for Darcy Burner, the Democratic challenger to Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in this suburban Seattle district, holding a homemade banner urging motorists to "Tell Congressman Reichert to take back the $14 billion in subsidies he gave to big oil."
Brand W Dave gets some ink, too, offering up a quick "who, me?"...
"Part of the political game, of course, is to find the things not going right in the country and to blame it on the political party that happens to be in power," said Reichert…
…and issuing what I take as a plea for public input.
Reichert, the former sheriff of King County famous for catching the Green River serial killer, said he's hearing little concern from the voters. "I rarely hear a lot about the gas prices," he said.
Someone should tell him…

District Office
2737 78th Avenue, S.E. Suite 202
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 275-3438
(206) 275-3437 Fax
(877) 920-9208 Toll free

Washington, DC Office
US House of Representatives
1223 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-7761
(202) 225-4282 Fax

Hat tip to CoolAqua.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


"They're not happy about it, but the anger level has declined," said (Republican pollster Bob) Moore, who is working for Mike McGavick, the GOP candidate challenging Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). "People have gotten used to paying three bucks a gallon."
My personal polling sample is limited mostly to the voices I hear come across the bar, and I suppose voices coming across a bar are often somewhat more emphatic than those answering phone polls might be.

My people are pissed.

And they vote.

If you love this land of the free…

…bring 'em back from overseas.

It's getting worse...
While the number of Americans killed in action per month has declined slightly — to 38 killed in action in July, from 42 in January, in part reflecting improvements in armor and other defenses — the number of Americans wounded has soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January.

A couple more thoughts…

…about last night's kick-off event for Jay Inslee.

Campaign event planners should be tracking down the young jazz trio that opened the show. The were fine players and obligingly extended their set when Jay and the Ambassador were delayed. Bet they can be had for a song, too.

The way Jay opened his own event to Darcy Burner was simply one of the classiest things I've ever seen in politics. While challengers often show up at incumbent's events, it's usually in the hope they can catch a quick introduction and wave while they work the sidelines. Jay put Darcy front and center, and Darcy took full advantage.

This was, of course, outside the 8th, and while I hadn't seen her live and in person myself, I've been paying pretty close attention to Darcy for some time, so I had fairly high expectations. She exceeded them, and judging by the stream of folks heading for the lit tables to pick up her envelopes, I wasn't the only one she impressed. Darcy's main pitch was for volunteers to fill out a heavy schedule of doorbelling and phone banks every day from now to the election. If you've already made all the financial donations you can but still have some time to spare, any time spent working for Darcy may be the time that puts her over the top. You can just click here to get started.

Darcy Burner's no easy act to follow, but Joe Wilson's no slouch as a closer, either. Whether relating anecdotes from his diplomatic career or playfully imagining the upside of the lawsuit (Bob Novak's Corvette in the Wilson garage while Cindy Sheehan camps on Valerie's new ranch land in Texas), he's exactly the kind of intelligent, articulate and seemingly fearless individual that I'd like to think is typical of our ambassadors everywhere. A sharp wit doesn't hurt a bit, either.

If you haven't seen Ambassador Wilson and couldn't make it last night, never fear. He made a very public offer to come back and campaign for Darcy, and Darcy readily took him up on the offer, so there should be another opportunity to meet him in the near future.

I'll put fresh batteries in the camera for that one, I promise.

Ya' know how dumb the average guy is?

It's an old joke, but it turns out we're not that dumb after all. Zogby, via Atrios...
President Bush’s job approval rating dipped two points in the last three weeks, despite the foiling of an airline terror plot and the adoption of a cease–fire deal between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

Well, despite Zogby's apparent expectations, Americans just aren't dumb enough to believe that George Bush merits any credit whatsoever for Scotland Yard foiling an embryonic threat or the current end, however tenuous or temporary, to the deaths of innocents in Israel and Lebanon.

Bush, on the other hand, seems to be stupid enough to believe that Americans are that dumb.

I guess I'm really a words guy…

…not a picture guy, because while I'd never set out for an interview without fresh batteries in my tape recorder (and a spare set in my pocket) when I got to the Inslee kick-off event I had just enough juice in the camera to get one shot in 'econo' mode, which apparently stands for small, grainy shots of people who aren't quite recognizable.

Still, it's an opportunity to mention Darcy Burner, (sort of) pictured below, wowing the crowd (including Ambassador Wilson, seated to Darcy's left. Really, it's him.)

Did I mention that Darcy's a featured player on the Upper Left ActBlue All-Stars?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


MR. SNOW: ...somebody is a terrorist who kills innocent civilians to try to make a political point.
At least 40094 "innocent civilians" have died in Bush's war.

I have to admit, though, I still don't get the point.

A few quick quotes…

…from the Jay Inslee kick-off, featuring Ambassador Joe Wilson.

"I have had enough…"

"I've never been so inspired to be a Democrat."

"I'm optimistic the country has had a bellyful."

"If you see (Jay's Republican opponent) Larry Ishmael, tell him this one's going to harder than getting that white whale."

"I love my country and I hate what the Republicans are doing to it."

"I believe the Constitution is a good social contract and I don't want it replaced by the Book of Revelations."

"I'm not a supporter of the party of treason."
The surprise guest superstar of the night was none other than Darcy Burner, my first in-person exposure. You know how great I keep telling you she is? She's much better than that.

More later...

Joe Scarborough wonders…

Oliver replies.

From the Good Question file.

Thomas Friedman has one for Dick Cheney…
If we're in such a titanic struggle with radical Islam, and if getting Iraq right is at the center of that struggle, why did you "tough guys" fight the Iraq war with the Rumsfeld Doctrine — just enough troops to lose — and not the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force to create the necessary foundation of any democracy-building project, which is security? How could you send so few troops to fight such an important war when it was obvious that without security Iraqis would fall back on their tribal militias?
Actually, he has more, and happily Steve Benen has liberated some of the juicy bits from behind the NYT Select curtain.

Enough said.

"If I knew then everything that I know today and the Republican leadership still brought it up for a vote, I would have voted no," Cantwell said in a statement Monday.
Hat tip to Daniel K.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's probably true…

…but you don't often hear it said out loud. Michael Hood listens to Rep. Hairspray so you don't have to...
Asked if he'd debate with Burner on TV, Reichert said, rather revealingly, "I'd be happy to discuss the issues as the campaign goes on. When you are an incumbent, you hold a little bit of an edge and when you allow your opponent to stand on a stage with you- I'm just being honest with you here- you give her a little more credibility than you might want her, or whoever it might be, to have."
Of course, they hardly ever admit they just vote the way they're told, either.

Hope to see you there!

Not my own personal Congressman, but he used to be, and he's a valued neighbor and friend...

Jay Inslee
and special guest
Joe Wilson
to kick off our
2006 campaign!

Join Congressman Inslee as he kicks off his campaign
for reelection and meet Joe Wilson, the former ambassador
who exposed the truth about the Bush Administration's
pre-war intelligence.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
7 PM to 8:30 PM
Meridian Park Elementary School
17077 Meridian Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133

Suggested Contribution: $25
Seniors, Students, and Activists: $10

For more information, contact the campaign at
(206) 533-0575 or

Good looking family.

Peter Goldmark must be mighty proud of those kids. They made him a great ad.

Of course, he's an Upper Left ActBlue All-Star.

Say the word Senator…

"I can self-destruct in one sentence. Sometimes in one word."

Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)

Jon Tester

Hat tip to Political Wire.

Monday, August 14, 2006

By the numbers.

Interesting data in a direct mail piece from Senator Kennedy for the DSCC

1. $319 billion - earmarked for the Iraq war with no plan for success and no end in sight

2. $10 billion - value of no-bid contracts Halliburton received in Iraq

3. 1 in 5 - the number of American children below the poverty line - an increase of 12% since George Bush took office

4. $300 billion - the projected 2006 deficit under George Bush

5. $40 billion - how much the Bush Administration reneged on the No Child Left Behind Act

6. 6 million - the number of working Americans who have lost their health insurance since George Bush took office.

And the most unbelievable number of all:

7. 0 - the number of mistakes George Bush admits to making in his first term

Reward good stuff at the Upper Left ActBlue page.

Monday night Quarterback blogging...

The Quarterback with Grampa Shaun's first gift.
(I'm sure he'll figure it out soon.)

The loneliest man in America?

Well, maybe not. After all, enough Connecticut Republicans seemed to like Republican State Rep. Alan Schlesinger enough to make him their choice for the US Senate in the recent primary. Out of town, though, Mr. Schlesinger must wonder where his friends went. First GOP chair Ken Mehlman pointedly rejected an endorsement of the people's choice in Connecticut, and now it's the Preznit hisself, Republican numero uno...
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said this morning that President Bush will not endorse Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Alan Schlesinger (R) over Sen. Joe Lieberman even though he's the Republican nominee.
Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, seems to be picking up Republican endorsements quite handily, including Mike McGavick right here in the upper left.

I think the notion that Joe will caucus with the Democrats if he should win in November is an increasingly uncertain one.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


From the Chairman
"The way to help this country is to limit Republican power."
Damn straight.

And now...

Saturday, August 12, 2006


…though I can see where they might think it's Hell. Harry...
"During the 2002 and 2004 elections, Republicans tried to sow fear in the American public by claiming that they were the only ones who could keep America safe. This from the same crowd that has driven Iraq to the brink of disaster, left Osama bin Laden on the loose to attack again, and continues to ignore our security needs at home. Ask any foreign policy pro, and they'll tell you we're less safe now than we were five years ago — and that the Bush crowd is largely responsible."
Less safe. Less free. Less respected.

The way they've diminished our nation is a disgrace.

They've got to go. Every one. Starting this year.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.


The United States on Tuesday formally announced that the Taliban has been completely defeated and can no longer control any territory in Afghanistan.
Reuters - Three U.S. soldiers have been killed in heavy fighting with Taliban guerrillas in northeastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said on Saturday.
They just lie. Troops just die.

Random ten time...

Greg Trooper - This I'd Do
Jimmy Buffett - Pencil Thin Mustache
The Gourds - Ziggy Stardust
Paul Thorn - Fabio & Liberace
Kingston Trio - Scotch & Soda
Suzy Boguss - Comes Love
K's Choice - I Smoke A Lot
The Beach Boys - Shut Down
Oasis - Be Here No
Nanci Griffith - Listen To The Radio
The Gourds second best cover. If you haven't heard their "Gin & Juice," you really ought to track it down.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cylons and Daleks…

…and Who. Oh boy!

I've been meaning to mention pal o' Upper Left Ron Chusid's new blog, Liberal Values, and Sci Fi Friday is as good a reason as any and maybe better than most.

Postman on…


It is also worth keeping in mind, as Wayne says in the comments on the Burner TV spot post, that this is part of the Seattle Times. Standards are different here of course in many ways from what appears in the newspaper. But they're also different than what you'll find at or the Slog. Here, Santorum is a senator.

Snark, apparently, is still within bounds.

Disappointing news…

…in the NY Observer
Word from the campaign is that Bob Kerrey has offered to stump for Lieberman in the fall, which should, if nothing else, allow Lieberman to paint his coalition of political supporters as Republicans -- whose professions of admiration Lieberman can't seem to get away from -- and "independent-minded" Democrats.
…but hardly shocking. As Digby says (and documents), Kerrey "...was Lieberman before Lieberman was Lieberman."

Still no word of any Democrat on any ballot this year for anything anywhere aboard the Lieberman for Lieberman bandwagon, though. Nor should there be.

The lovely and talented...

...Miss Audrey Hepcat in (surprise!) repose...

What she said.

Cantwell spokeswoman Katharine Lister
"The Republican Congress has refused to hold meaningful hearings on no-bid contracts or fraud related to reconstruction efforts in Iraq or even to fund veterans' health care, especially mental heath care, for our troops coming home. The best way to do that is for Democrats to regain control of both the House and the Senate."
Tough, honest and proudly partisan leadership. That's what I'm talking about.

That's what Maria Cantwell is all about.

Eyes on the prize.

Not quite what I expected…

…but that Pacific Northwest Inlander piece on WA-5 is online now. It's less a profile of Peter Goldmark (though he is, indeed, depicted in a fairly flattering light) than a history of previous challengesin the 5th, both Democratic and Republican, for over a half a century and a look at the lessons that history offers. I think there's a good case for the basic conclusions. The first is somewhat sobering...
Lesson One of Eastern Washington politics is that voters here stand by their member of Congress. Republican Walt Horan served 22 years, and Foley served 30. George Nethercutt Jr. probably could have served for the rest of his life if he hadn't given up his seat to challenge Patty Murray for her Senate seat in 2004. That makes the first run for reelection even more crucial here — if Cathy McMorris wins again, she'll be well on her way to enshrinement.
...while the next offers some reassurance in light of the current political environment
Lesson Two is that when Eastern Washington changes horses, it's only after some kind of tectonic political shift. Horan came into office with a lot of other new recruits as World War II got underway; Foley won in the Democrat landslide of 1964, when the country rallied around LBJ's Great Society; and Nethercutt was the sharp end of the Republican Revolution of 1994, a movement still in power. So history tells us it's less about the candidate than it is about what's happening in the nation.
In a nutshell, it's critical for Democrats to take this seat this year, or we face another generation of Republican mis-representation of the 5th District. Happily, this year, Peter Goldmark can win back Speaker Tom's seat.

But not without your help.

It's a fact.

Jesse Lee is a bona fide treasure in the institutional blogosphere.

The DCCC blog, The Stakeholder, is a good example of what an official Party blog can and should be, largely because of his distinctive voice. In a so-called 'reality based' environment that all too often anything but, Jesse is an exception. Even his periodic snarkiness is grounded in solid fact, and his research is always first rate.

Timeline: A Profile in Politicizing Terror is an outstanding example.

Go see.

It just seems to me...

...that the alert should have been sounded when the British terrorists were at large, rather than after they'd been captured and confined.

I have a bit more respect (though it's possibly misplaced) for Scotland Yard than I have for the FBI, so maybe this plot is more significant than the recent farce in Florida.

Maybe not, though. It wasn't, at least, serious enough for Bushco™ to do anything about when it mattered, though apparently they knew.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

From the Good Question file.

Krugman, liberated by Atrios...
The question now is how deep into the gutter Mr. Lieberman’s ego will drag him.

Darcy Burner.

One of us.

Help move it from YouTube to everybody's tube.


Wm. Steven Humphrey on the plot du jour…
Okay, now I'm scared. These guys are like MacGyver!

Speaking of…

…that Kerry fella...
"I'd like to know what these Republicans who never wore the uniform of our country have against those who did. I saw what they did to John McCain. I saw what they did to Max Cleland. I saw what they tried to do to Jack Murtha, and now they're trying the same sick tactics against Admiral Sestak. We've got to knock this garbage back forever. Never, never, never again. These Republican hacks just got on the battlefield with the wrong soldiers and we're going to make them regret it every step of the way. It's up to us to make sure this dog won't hunt anymore. No more lies, no more smears; this time we're not just going to defend our brother vet, we're making the Republicans pay."
Sic 'em, John!

Hat tip Taylor at the Patriot Project

More good news…

…from the eastern upper left. Gerald reports that 5th District Democrat Peter Goldmark is featured in a full and generally flattering profile in the Spokane weekly Pacific Northwest Inlander (not yet online when I check, but expected soon).

It's not all sunshine and lollipops, though...
Then again, there’s nothing like a massive media buy to keep the voters in line, and Goldmark is the clear underdog when it comes to comparing bank accounts with McMorris.
That is a problem.

Of course, that's a problem we can do something about.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh, heck…

…another one. Just because it's that Kerry fella...
“After an intense and competitive primary season, Connecticut Democrats have chosen their nominee and they’ve made a strong statement about the current course in Iraq which is failing our troops. I strongly support Ned Lamont for the United States Senate."

One more...

…from the upper left's very own Lamont Democrat, Senator Maria Cantwell.
“I congratulate Ned Lamont on his victory last night. I respect the decision of the Connecticut Democrats in choosing their nominee and I will support him.”
Any news of prominent Democrats supporting Holy Joe's independent crusade?

Going, going…

The Chairman...
Ned Lamont won fair and square. We have a process, and those who participate in it should respect the outcome. Joe Lieberman should respect the Democratic voters' decision. He has to do what all of us who have lost an election have done: support the winner.
Harry and Chuck and all their pals...
Democratic Leader Harry Reid and DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer issued the following joint statement today on the Connecticut Senate race:

“The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken and chosen Ned Lamont as their nominee. Both we and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fully support Mr. Lamont’s candidacy. Congratulations to Ned on his victory and on a race well run.
Of course, the Big Dog was already on record
Jay Carson, a spokesman for President Clinton, said that the former president and his wife share the same position...

"…he respects the primary process and will support the candidate that wins the Democratic primary."
Time for Joe to go.

Played hooky…

…from my usual Tuesday night duties hosting the weekly neighborhood jam session at the pub in order to attend the Seattle edition of Drinking Liberally last night.

Lamont returns on the big screen, plenty of over the shoulder views of laptop screens scanning the news sites and blogosphere for early reaction (and White Sox v. Yankees updates), and a properly (as in not too) chilled pint of a fine stout that's made, I'm told, on the premises were all appealing features, but better yet, and the real inspiration for my expedition, was the chance to meet some of the folks I read ever day.

I recognized Goldy by voice, appropriately enough, and introduced myself, and he graciously introduced me to Darryl and Michael. Eventually I got a chance for a quick hello with Mollie and Will before they ducked under the cone of silence with Goldy and Joel Connelly for the podcast. Before leaving, I had an enjoyable and informative conversation with Daniel. Overall, a fine group of folks to be in some way associated with. Thanks for your hospitality, one and all.

That's Tuesdays at the Montlake Ale House, 24th E & E Lynn. If you haven't been, you oughta go.

Good news…

…from the dry side of the mountains. EW Politics reports…
Today I received excellent news about Goldmark’s campaign. The DCCC has just announced that the 5th Congressional District has been added to the short list of targeted campaigns across the country. We are finally being recognized nationally as a contested seat!
“National attention is now focusing on the congressional race of Peter Goldmark in Eastern Washington. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated the race as an officially targeted campaign as of August 4.”
Celebrate by tossing a little monetary confetti around here.

There's DCCC link there, too. Reward good behavior.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And so it begins.

Crooks & Liars has the scoop...
A check from Hillary Clinton’s HILLPAC is being cut to Ned Lamont for five thousand dollars. She’s the first one to be counted on and make good on her promise to support the winner of the Connecticut primary...
 Hillary coming out of the gate early seems particularly important to me, because I think she's more likely than most to have the kind of impact on Lieberman that could get him out of this thing once and for all. Having the Big Dog show up at Lamont's next public appearance might seal the deal on a Lieberman withdrawl.

Update: And so it goes...
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh -- who, like Lieberman, has close ties to moderates within the party but is considering a 2008 presidential bid -- quickly announced he would support Lamont.

Most everybody hereabouts…

…has weighed in on Joel Connelly's tut-tutting about the "Vilification of McGavick, the most talented Senate candidate recruited by Republicans in 2006…" in the P.I.. Like most observers, I agree that the ad hominem aimed at Goldy (with a 'y') was off-target, irrelevant and below the standards we've come to expect of the dean of northwest political reporting.

The notion that McGavick's poltical skirts are clean is readily dismissed by Darryl, and Joel must know better. Mike!'s self-righteousness is betrayed by his history, and since Joel was here, he should know better.

Poor, poor pitiful Mike! is a lousy story line.

Actually, the main thing I took from the piece is this...
He sees nothing wrong with exercising more than $20 million in stock options upon leaving Safeco to run.

"The thing all people object to is corporate CEOs making more money while their corporations are failing," he argued.
All people, of course, don't object to any such a thing. The practice is common enough that at least a good number corporate CEOs and Directors don't have any problem with it at all. Most folks do object to excessive reward for failure, though, I'm sure.

What McGavick doesn't get is that a whole bunch of us have a major problem with the whole subject of executive compensation, though, which has spiraled upward while income levels have been flat for workers in general. It's one more factor in the concentration of wealth that is eroding the middle class. McGavick walked away from a job with about $28 million in his pocket. He thinks that's fair compensation for the job he did, but, damn, what kind of job could possibly command such a reward. I work hard 40+ hours a week and make a decent living. A lot of folks work harder and longer for less. My whole family and most all my friends altogether will probably never make $28 million in wages between us in our collective lives.

Executive compensation in the US is economically insane, and Mike! is nuts if he thinks 'I deserved it' is going to sell to Washington workers.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Bye bye…


Don't let the cell door hit you...

I'm glad…

…so many folks are heading for Connecticut for the final push, and I'm sure they can be helpful, but hey, it's summer. Leave the orange stocking caps at home, OK?

And good luck!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

"I can't let my country down…

...I can't let my constituents down; and I can't let the Constitution down."
Always a pleasure to see my own personal Congressman featured on the Kos frontpage. mcjoan has more from McD and some above average boilerplate from the Big Dog.

Quote of the day.

Rahm Emanuel, on the Connecticut primary…
"What's playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening."

Just for Republicans? Sadly, no, but the voters aren't buying.

And now...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Oh, yeah…

...that war.



A couple of fairly contemporary tunes…

…to kick off an otherwise typically fossilized random ten.
Emily Lord - One Day At A Time
Carbon Leaf - Life Less Ordinary
Rick Shea & Patty Booker - I'm No Good Without You
New Riders Of The Purple Sage - Ripple
Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness
Taj Mahal - Johnny Too Bad
Roger Miller - It Happened Just That Way
The Temptations - I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)
Lovin' Spoonful - On The Road Again
The Beatles - Baby's In Black


Rep. Conyers reports on their criminality by the numbers...
Today, I am releasing the final version of my report, the "Constitution in Crisis." The report, which is some 350 pages in length and is supported by more than 1,400 footnotes, compiles the accumulated evidence that the Bush Administration has thumbed its nose at our nation's laws, and the Constitution itself.

Approximately 26 laws and regulations may have been violated by this Administration's misconduct.
That's approximately 26 more reasons...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Well, hell.

I don't really want to write this post, and as a rule I don't write about things I really don't want to write about. Just the same, I can't let the news that Carl Ballard is closing down the Washington State Political Report pass without notice.

WSPR has had an effect on Upper Left that goes beyond the regular exchange of links between us that's been a regular feature since Carl started it up shortly after this place went online. Originally I'd intended to have a much stronger regional focus, but when Carl showed up he did such a great job that he just flat laid claim to a lot of ground I might have covered, ground I was happy to cede so I could get obsessive about that Kerry fella.

When we finally met face to face, I discovered that he not only wasn't 'Carl,' but he wasn't from Ballard, either, but from (almost literally) my own back yard. I've know Carl's alter-ego since, well, I guess he was probably in middle school when his mom (one of the sharpest political operatives in our Legislative District) and I were managing competing campaigns and he was tasked to keep tabs any new stuff on the lit table in our headquarters (lots of paranoia in that campaign).

Later, I chaired the first District Caucus that Carl attended as a delegate. I was proud to see young folks involved in our Party then (the eternally engaging Elder Daughter of Upper Left was the youngest delegate in the room that day, by a couple months. Carl and the ED were high school classmates), and I'm even prouder to see Carl's continued involvement the Party, and his development as a first rate analyst and operative in his own right.

He promises he'll be back soon, with something even smarter and tougher. I can't wait.

He knows he's always welcome in this space.

The whole concept...

...of the "action shot" continues to elude the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat.

And the hits just keep on coming.

More good news...

The new Lake Research Partners survey of likely voters in Washington's 5th District shows Republican Cathy McMorris vulnerable to a challenge from Democrat Peter Goldmark.

With enough resources to communicate Goldmark's strong messages, inform voters about McMorris' voting record, and drive home the potent contrast between Goldmark's priorities and Cathy McMorris' special interest agenda, this seat is winnable.

*In the initial ballot, incumbent McMorris receives less than a majority of the vote against Goldmark despite a vast name recognition advantage. After both candidates get their messages out, Goldmark pulls into a virtual tie with McMorris--37% for Goldmark to 39% for McMorris.

*Bush's favorability rating is only 44%
(very or somewhat favorable) versus 53% (very or somewhat unfavorable) with a plurality (42%) giving him a very unfavorable rating, making Bush a liability for McMorris in the district.

*McMorris' own job performance rating is low. Just 44% rate McMorris' job rating as good or excellent versus 47% who say it is just fair or poor, for a net negative job performance rating (-3%).

*McMorris has certainly not sealed the deal on her reelection, as just 38% are ready to re-elect her. The remaining 62% of the electorate would consider voting for someone else (24%), vote to replace McMorris (20%), or aren't sure (18%).
"With enough resources…"

That's the hard part, of course. You can make it easier at the Upper Left Act Blue page.

From the Good Question file...

…one for Mike! from Josh Feit.
Isn't the GOP effort to pass an estate tax repeal by coupling it with a minimum wage increase (one that takes a slap at working class people like wait staff) and using cheesy tax breaks for Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft to entice Senator Cantwell, redolent of the ugly partisan gamesmanship McGavick claims to detest?
Maria, to her credit, didn't take the bait. She stood up for Washington workers and Washington law.

Reward her here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Exactly the right attitude.
Now some would consider a state like Delaware, where Democrats hold almost every statewide office, pretty "blue" and doing ok by Democratic Party standards. Well almost isn't good enough for Governor Dean:
"We only have seven of nine [statewide] offices," said Dean, former governor of Vermont. "We're not 100 percent Democratic here yet. We still have work to do right here."
Every Republican's gotta go.

OK, so I've been pretty negative…

…about the Army's declining standards for enlistees. There is an upside, of course. For instance, "Jebbie" Bush, Jr, can probably sign up despite his police record

…though he probably won't, of course.

Hat tip to Holden, who has lots more on the Bush Brigade.

Good news keeps coming!

We've still got Tom DeLay to kick around.

Seems like just a minute ago he was the unassailable architect of eternal Republican domination, doesn't it?

Triple threat…

…to thousands of Washington workers. It's in the P.I., via Steve Zemke...
The new federal law would mandate that the minimum wage be as little as $2.13 for workers who get tips, calling it a "tip credit." Folks who earn minimum wage are now paid $7.63 an hour in Washington state -- plus tips. Thus the new law could reduce the hourly wage as much as $5.50 an hour. Washington Republican Reps. Dave Reichert, Cathy McMorris and Doc Hastings voted yea -- and against current state law. (my emphasis)
Reichert's already in full flip mode, but his best effort looks like a flop…
Reichert wrote a letter yesterday to House Speaker Dennis Hastert making it clear he didn't vote for the bill thinking Washington workers would see a drop in their minimum wage.
Credit where it's due. I'll grant that he didn't vote for the bill thinking.

Not about anything but pleasing his GOP masters, anyway.

Happily, here in the Upper Left we've got worthy challengers for each and every seat.

Help 'em all out here. There couldn't be a better time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Rummy's DoD...

"The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years. . . . This is not spin. This is not true."


Safeco shareholder Emma Schwartzman, via Andrew...
"If you or I take money that doesn’t belong to us, it’s called theft. When a Board of Directors and their CEO do it – that’s called corporate waste. Mike McGavick didn’t earn the $28 million, he knew he wasn’t entitled to it, but he took it anyway."

Good news…

…coming in bunches. CQ sez...
...Burner's strong debut as a campaign fundraiser and her growing list of endorsements from key Democratic support groups have made it harder for her opposition to argue that she is a "B-list" recruit. Though Reichert appears to maintain at least a slight edge in the fall contest, has changed its rating on the race to its more competitive Leans Republican category from Republican Favored.

Quote of the day.

My own personal Congressman, via Evergreen Politics...
“I’m trying to defend the people’s right to know and I needed a little help from my friends.”

The (truly) Honorable Jim McDermott
Help him here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh frabjous day!

Via Political Wire...
Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-WA) poll numbers "have improved for the first time in months," according to a new Rasmussen Reports survey. Cantwell now leads challenger Mike McGavick (R) by 11 percentage points, 48% to 37%.
Now we need to drive that number above 50%.

Just wondering... many generations a family has to be in the States to lose 'exile' status? Two? Three?

My grandfather slipped out of Ireland in the face of a cruel occupation. So, am I still an Irish exile or are they finally Cuban Americans?