Saturday, September 30, 2006


…every vote for a House Republican is a vote for the leadership that made Mark Foley the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and left him there knowing he was hustling teenage boys online.

Another reason that not just Foley and his enabler Hastert, but…

Sometimes music helps.

Sometimes it's the only thing that does. Another random ten...
Ramsay Midwood - Monster Truck
Railroad Earth - The Good Life
Bill Morrissey - Handsome Molly
Judy Collins - Sunny Goodge Street
Kris Kristofferson - Help Me Make It Through The Night
Joan Baez - I Still Miss Someone
Foster & Lloyd - Texas In 1880
Bonnie Raitt - Thing Called Love
Down By Law - 500 Miles
George Jones - On The Other Hand

Birds of a feather.

Darryl defines the flock...

Friday, September 29, 2006

I dunno...

...but the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat looks a little paranoid to me...

Does she look paranoid to you?

Or am I just being paranoid?

"…foolish, desperate talk...

"...from a president who's in over his head in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is frightened of losing an election because of the impulsive, dangerous choices he's made with American lives at stake."

Swopa said it. I believe it.

We'll settle it in November.

I don't always agree…

…with Chris Bowers about everything, but I really hope he's right about this...
· WA-08 moves from "toss-up" to "lean Dem / toss-up"
Help make it true.

Post header of the day…

Osama (R-Pakistani Border) Wins

…and a sad story about Republicans wrecking another valued family.

Hat tip and condolences to Meteor Blades.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bottom line…

…from Chris Bowers.
· WA-08: New Survey USA poll shows Reichert slightly ahead of Burner, 50-48%. The previous Survey USA poll showed Reichert up 54-40, so this is clearly good. This is one of those races that we have to win in order to take the House. Simply put, if Burner does not win, Nancy Pelosi will not become Speaker.

Help make it happen.


…from Tristero.
The truth is that the United States government is presently holding, torturing, and even murdering countless numbers of people who have no chance in hell of obtaining a lawyer, let alone anything resembling a trial. The government is doing this under the direct orders of George W. Bush. There is no law, no bill, and no legislature who can stop him. If Congress were to pass a law unequivocably banning torture and send it to him, he'd use it for toilet paper. If the Supreme Court were to rule against Bush in the harshest and bluntest language, he'd yawn.
George Bush doesn't care about the law.

Or the Constitution.

Or the troops.

Or you.

Objectively pro-torture.

Hastings, McMorris and Reichert.

Time to make the "R" stand for retired.

And thanks to the entire delegation of Upper Left D's for doing the right thing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Course™…

…keeps getting longer.
WASHINGTON -- In the latest sign of pressure on troop strength from violence in Iraq, the Pentagon said Monday that it has extended the combat tour of 4,000 U.S. soldiers, the second time in as many months that an Army brigade has seen its yearlong deployment lengthened.

The 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, which is assigned to Ramadi, the capital of volatile Anbar province, will remain in Iraq 46 more days, defense officials said.
If things are no worse than average (and they are worse than that lately), there will be 105 American troops killed during those 46 days. There are no good days to die, but the days in the weeks of an extended tour may be the worst.

I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Guess they're out…

…of flowers and chocolates, because the greeting committee seems to have disbanded...
Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year. By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.
Most Americans want us out. Most Iraqis want us out. Most of the world wants us out.

Seems like a good time to get out.

If there's a 'must-read' today…

…for the voters of any state with a US Senate race this year, it's Harold Myerson in the WaPo...
It matters not a damn whom Lincoln Chafee chose to support for president. His vote was one of roughly 435,000 cast in Rhode Island in the 2004 presidential election, and roughly 122 million cast nationwide. The election in which his vote did matter was that for majority leader of the Senate. There, he was one of just 100 electors, in a Senate nearly evenly divided. After this November's elections, control of the Senate may well hang by a single vote...

..."Moderate," after all, is only an adjective; "Republican" is a noun. Chafee, Snowe, the whole lot of them, are moderate enablers of an extremist party.
Mike!, too, if you buy his born-again good guy pose. Every vote for any Republican is a vote for the Republican leadership and their "gorge-the-rich, drown-the-poor, stay-the-course Republicanism."

Of course, it's true in the House, too.

That's why…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A data point…

…from the memory hole. Something worth keeping in mind the next time somebody invokes the 'obstructionist Democrats'... 1994, the last year in which there was a Democratic president with a Democratic Congress, Republicans launched more filibusters in one year than in the first 108 years of the Senate combined. At one point, Senate Republicans filibustered five pieces of legislation in one week.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.


...I hate what they've done to my Army.
After Schoomaker confronted Rumsfeld with the Army's own estimates for maintaining the current size and commitments — and the steps that would have to be taken to meet the lower figure, which included cutting four combat brigades and an entire division headquarters unit — Rumsfeld agreed to set up a task force to investigate Army funding...

...The study group — which included three-star officers from the Army and Rumsfeld's office — has since agreed with the Army's initial assessment.

Cutting four brigades? While there are only "two or three" operationally ready to respond to a military crisis?

Of course, soldiers cost money that could be spent on weapons systems and the Pentagon's various corporate sponsors.

That's just one reason Rummy hates soldiers.

But this is insane.

My god…

…they just lie and lie and lie. Condee-lie-za...
"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years."
They're shameless.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another landmark…

…along The Course.
Now the death toll is 9/11 times two.

U.S. military deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan now surpass those of the most devastating terrorist attack in America’s history, the trigger for what came next.

The latest milestone for a country at war came Friday without commemoration. It came without the precision of knowing who was the 2,974th to die in conflict. The terrorist attacks killed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

An Associated Press count of the U.S. death toll in Iraq rose to 2,696. Combined with 278 U.S. deaths in and around Afghanistan, the 9/11 toll was reached, then topped, the same day. The Pentagon reported Friday the latest death from Iraq, an as-yet unidentified soldier killed a day earlier after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bombing in eastern Baghdad.

“[W]e have to stay the course.”
Vice President Richard Cheney

Hat tip to Oliver.

Hammer. Nail.


Needlenose hits it on the head.

Darcy rocks.

Daniel has the update.

I'm hardly his biggest fan…

…but when the Big Dog is on his game, he's right on.

Bravo, Mr. President.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

And now...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How can you protect…

…what you don't even understand? Via Atrios...
Me: But isn’t it the Supreme Court that’s supposed to decide whether laws are unconstitutional or not?

Tony: No, as a matter of fact the president has an obligation to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is an obligation that presidents have enacted through signing statements going back to Jefferson. So, while the Supreme Court can be an arbiter of the Constitution, the fact is the President is the one, the only person who, by the Constitution, is given the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend that document, so it is perfectly consistent with presidential authority under the Constitution itself.
This is the oath taken by every member of Congress, and "and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States," not to mention every buck private in the Army, as required by Article VI of the Constitution.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
OK, it's not "preserve, protect and defend." Clearly, though, the Courts and the Congress are adequately sworn to protect the integrity of the Constitution. There's nothing special about the Presidency in that regard.

In fact, the notion that there's nothing particularly special about the Presidency at all is central to the notion of America. It's just one office in a web of checks balances. Every schoolboy knows that. Bush and his mouthpiece apparently don't.

This is the most un-American administration in American history.

Saturday soundtrack.

Another random ten...
Heather Myles = Sweet Talk & Good Lies
Shelby Lynne - You Don't Have A Heart
Dixie Chicks - Lubbock Or Leave It
Black 47 - Green Suede Shoes
Yardbirds - I'm A Man
Kingston Trio - Scotch And Soda
Blues Traveler - Run-Around
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Roll On Buddy
Dean Martin - C'Est Si Bon
Christine Kane - She Don't Like Roses

Friday, September 22, 2006

Good news...

...from the Rothenberg Report.
In the Senate, we moved three races:

-Virginia from Clear Advantage to Narrow Advantage for George Allen (R)
-Washington from Narrow Advantage to Clear Advantage for Maria Cantwell (D)
-Minnesota from Narrow Advantage to Clear Advantage for the Democrats

I'd like to think...

...that this is an adoring gaze, but knowing the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat as I do, she may just be sizing me up for dinner...

The variety of variables…

…affecting the Washington primary are coming into focus, and there's some bright spots in the outcome for Peter Goldmark in WA-05. Early returns were accompanied by some fretting. Darryl's concern was typical...
Unfortunately, the news is not so good for Peter Goldmark in the 5th CD. His Republican opponent, Rep. Cathy McMorris got 46,340 to his 34,185. Goldmark definitely has his work cut out for him.
The numbers have changed a bit, but the percentages are fairly consistent. With 100% counted, the Secretary of State has McMorris in the lead, 59,963 to 42,540. That puts Peter around 42%, above the 40% number that conventional wisdom has traditionally set as the credibility bar for challengers. Of course, that conventional wisdom was based on the old head to head primary system. Getting voters in eastern Washington to select a Democratic ballot is problematic for a variety of reasons (actually, getting voters anywhere in Washington to select any partisan ballot can be problematic), so I think the numbers are actually more hopeful than they might have been in the past.

That's just one of the relevant variables. Jason Black has some interesting notes on the undervotes in the race that offer more encouragement to Goldmark supporters. More encouragement can be found when the State Supreme Court campaigns are taken into account. The Spokane television market was ceded to John Groen and the BIAW without a response from Justice Alexander, who counted on the Puget Sound region to put him over the top, which almost certainly aided McMorris. Add to that a hotly contested Republican primary for the Spokane County Sheriff driving independents to select a Republican ballot, and Goldmark's 42% begins to brighten considerably.

Darryl's right, of course. Peter Goldmark does have his work cut out for him. Challengers always do. He's been doing the work, though, beating McMorris in fundraising two quarters in a row and battling for every vote, and there's nothing in the primary returns to indicate that he can't complete that work successfully.

Of course, as hard as he works, there's no doubt he needs your help.

This is still one we can win.

Effin A!

Carl's back.

Above all...

Some encouraging words from Stuart Rothenberg (with my emphasis)...

Over the past year or so, I’ve heard more than a few people talking about 2006 as an anti-incumbent election. Well, those people are wrong. We are not going to have an anti-incumbent election in November. We are going to have an anti-Bush election.
Looking toward November, there is no indication that the two major parties both are facing significant incumbent losses. I suppose Democrats could lose an incumbent or two if things go poorly for them, but right now there isn’t a single Democratic seat that ranks in the 25 most vulnerable House seats in the country.

Not one. Not a single one. The vulnerability is entirely on one side of the partisan aisle.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who, then…

…will guard the nation?
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 — Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.
...because it doesn't sound like the regular Army is up to the job right now.
That disclosure comes amid many signs of mounting strain on active Army units. So many are deployed or only recently returned from combat duty that only two or three combat brigades — perhaps 7,000 to 10,000 troops — are fully ready to respond in case of unexpected crises, according to a senior Army general.
Damn, I hate what they've done to my Army.


I dunno. Sounds like a veterinary specialty to me.

If you really want to scare folks, I'd go with Katrino-fascists...

What's wrong with this sentence?

David Postman talks to McGavick (my emphasis)…
"On civility, he said Cantwell and the Democrats — he uses the GOP-approved appellation "Democrat Party" — are running a "good cop/bad cop" campaign..."
How can you talk about civility in politics when you deliberately use terminology for your opponent that is both inaccurate and insulting?

"Democrat Party" may be a minor slur, but it's an intentional one, a legacy of the Gingrich era, the time when the wheels really came off the notion of civility and collegiality in American politics. There is no "Democrat Party," McGavick knows it and everyone, including the media, should be calling him on it.

Because there's really only one way you can talk about civility in politics and use derogatory buzzwords to describe your opponent.

You have to be a hypocrite first.

Birds of a feather…

Via the Patriot Project.
SRCP, Stevens, Reed, Curcio, and Potholm, is the ad firm that trumpets at the top of their client list... well, here it is, so judge for yourself:

Our Clients

National 527's
Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth


Governor George Allen (Virginia)
Governor Lincoln Almond (Rhode Island)
Governor Matt Blunt (Missouri)
Governor Bob Taft (Ohio)
Governor George Voinovich (Ohio)


U.S. Senator George Allen (Virginia)
U.S. Senator Mike DeWine (Ohio)
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (New Mexico)
U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (Illinois)
U.S. Senator Bill Frist (Tennessee)
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
U.S. Senator John McCain (Arizona)
U.S. Senator Don Nickles (Oklahoma)
U.S. Senator George Voinovich (Ohio)
Of course, anyone who associates with the Swift Boat Liars ad agency is shameless, but one seems particularly so in this context as in so many others.

Know who I mean?


Via Roger Ailes...
BOEHNER: Bob Ney clearly admitted to making some big mistakes. And he's going to pay dearly for the mistakes that he's admitted to.

But he's also checked himself in for alcohol abuse. And right now my prayers are with him and his family. It's a sad day for the Congress and a sad day for Bob Ney.

WALLACE: Should he resign from the House?

BOEHNER: That's a decision that he and his family are going to have to make.
Bob Ney didn't admit to "some big mistakes." He confessed to crimes. Federal felonies. He's a criminal.

Apparently that's perfectly OK with the Majority Leader if it's alright with Ney's kids.

Today's GOP. Corrupt. Criminal. Shameless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm not sure…

…how the primary results will track to the general. There are a variety of variables to ponder, and some ballots still outstanding. It's clear that the right wing power grab for the Supreme Court has failed. That's probably the best news of the night, but this may sill be my favorite number...
Darcy Burner 19529

Dave Reichert 19133
Take it as the biggest poll sample to date. And help Darcy take it to the bank.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I've said it before…

…but I'll let Pamela Leavey say it this time.
On Sept. 18, 2001, “Congress authorized the president to attack Afghanistan and use force against any other “nations, organizations or persons” involved in the 9/11 attacks.” They didn’t write Bush a blank check that day, he forged it.

Don't forget to...

It's Primary day in the upper left. While there's not too much on the partisan ballot to get very excited about, there's a real threat to our state Supreme Court from the 'property rights' radicals, where primary results can be final. We need to keep our court by re-electing Justices Susan Owens, Gerry Alexander and Tom Chamber.

And, oh, yeah. If you happen to be voting in SHL 32-0556, don't forget to vote for me!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Who, exactly…

…is this "we" of whom you speak, Senator?
"We Democrats are just, well, confused," Obama writes. He goes on. "Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill-conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action.

"In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning."
Mat Stoller summarizes...
Yes, that means you, if you are a registered D. Obama thinks you are confused, reactionary, anti-military action, anti-market, secularist, and amoral. And he didn't include the dodgy 'some' this time. He just said that this is what Democrats are.
But that just doesn't sound like me. Or my friends. Or any Democratic leader I'm aware of.

So, Senator, "we" is, well, you, apparently, and who, exactly?

Democrats without apology, please.

Word has it…

…that the NRCC's ready to drop $25K on some baseless attacks "issue ads" in WA-08. Yep, big, brave Sheriff Dave is hiding behind DC skirts again.

Can't think of a better reason to toss a few more chips into Darcy Burner's pile. Do it here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

And now...

How, indeed?

How exactly does one convince the teeming masses that Republicans deserve to stay in power despite botching a war, doubling the national debt, keeping company with Jack Abramoff, fumbling the response to Hurricane Katrina, expanding the government at record rates, raising cronyism to an art form, playing poker with Duke Cunningham, isolating America and repeatedly electing Tom DeLay as their House majority leader?

Former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough
Of course, you can try scaring the bejesus out of everybody. It's worked before, but its effectiveness seems to be ebbing. Joe recommends tossing the Prez overboard, but that's proving difficult for many.

Fact is, there's really no excuse for leaving the Republicans in power. There's no excuse, in fact, for leaving them in office at all. Not just the Presnit, or the leadership. Nope,

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Quite a campaign, that.

False starts. Staff shakeups. Gaffes. Embarrassing revelations compounded by confusing responses. The persistent need to self finance. It's all been part of the Katherine Harris Senate campaign for Florida, widely viewed as one of the GOP's most embarrassing efforts.

It's a fair description of the Mike McGavick Senate campaign here in the upper left, too, but Slade Gorton's old hatchet man is often depicted as one of the GOP's brightest lights and best hopes for an upset.

Of course, Harris is batshit crazy. Mike's just dishonest and mean.

Goldy finds another interesting point of comparison.
The latest SurveyUSA poll shows incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) leading Republican nutcase challenger Katherine Harris by a comfortable margin of 53 percent to 38 percent. SurveyUSA concludes that Nelson is well positioned to hold his Senate seat.

By comparison, the most recent SurveyUSA poll of WA’s Senate race shows Democratic incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell leading Republican challenger Mike?™ McGavick by a 53 percent to 36 percent margin.
That's the best they've got, huh?

The Course™…

…so far.


And we're on track for the roughest month since last November.

“As a matter of fact, we will win in Iraq so long as we stay the course.”

President Bush, 7/11/06

Saturday starters.

Nanci Griffith - It's A Hard Life
Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes
Wylie & The Wild West - Yodel Boogie
Railroad Earth - Long Way To Go
Lyle Lovett - Which Way Does That Old Pony Run
Bill Morrissey - Fifty
Cisco Houston - Deportee
Mews Small - Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Crosby Stills & Nash - Wooden Ships
Hank Williams - Lost Highway
A good 'un...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ragin' Cajun.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

"In light of the rantings that went on for 30 minutes here, in the chamber, by two colleagues from the other side, I'd like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party that has sent six and a half billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. That led this country to attack Saddam Hussein, when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden. Who captured a man who did not attack the country and let loose a man that did.

"Americans are tired of boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that despite documenting mistake after mistake after mistake, even of their own party admitting mistakes, never admit they do anything wrong. That's the kind of leadership Americans are tired of.

"I'm didn't come to the Senate to have partisan rantings on the floor, but I am most certainly not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about Democrats not making us safe. They're the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still at loose."
Probably her best since her fabled exchange with Orrin Hatch a few years back. She's still not yielding.

The lovely and talented...

...Miss Audrey Hepcat carves out her corner of Upper Left World Headquarters...


…aren't we confusing the symptom with the cause here?
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The bound bodies of dozens more torture victims were found in Baghdad in the past day, officials said on Friday, fuelling anarchic sectarian anger that a U.S. general said could lead to civil war.
Apparently what a civil war is remains as elusive as whatever it is we're supposed to 'win' in Iraq...

Wowee, pretty scary.

Or not.

Folks are talking about the big GOP GOTV effort in Rhode Island, which, we're told...
...was a potent demonstration of how money and manpower can transform a race even in an unfavorable political environment -- and a preview of the strategy that national party officials say they plan to replicate in the most competitive House and Senate races over the next 55 days.
Well, except that the GOP establishment had to dig deep into their pockets and turn out operatives from across the country just to help an incumbent Senator fend of a primary challenge, and in the end Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, who put forward a relatively low key effort, turned out more votes than the efforts of virtually every interest from every wing of the Republican Party could produce in their high profile primary could produce for their top two candidates combined.

When Democrats do load up their big guns, they turn out to be even more effective. Alan Abramowitz did the math so you won't have to...
GOP turnout in the hotly contested Rhode Island Senate primary was actually less impressive than Democratic turnout in the hotly contested Maryland Senate primary.

When we calculate the votes cast in each primary as a percentage of the votes cast for the party's 2004 presidential nominee we find that the Republican turnout in Rhode Island (64,000 votes) was 37.9 percent of the vote for George Bush in Rhode Island in 2004 (169,000 votes) while the Democratic turnout in Maryland (513,000 votes) was 38.5 percent of the vote for John Kerry in Maryland in 2004 (1,334,000 votes).
The Republicans promise to replicate their efforts across the country. Of course, they can't really do everything everywhere, but since their best efforts in one of the country's most high profile elections fall short of Demcoratic accomplishments in a race that practically no one on the national scene made much not of, well, what can I say.

Bring it on.

(Subtle alterations on the advice of my faithful editor. Better now?)


I'm sitting here listening to Stephanie Miller on the radio when I come across this, from a Stephanie Miller interview in The Progressive...
My personal favorite poll number is the President's 2 percent approval rating among blacks. Which is within the margin of error. Which leads to all sorts of mind-boggling possibilities, scientifically: Is it possible that more black people hate the President than are actually alive today? Do you think black ghosts are coming back to hate him? Do you think they can read black sonograms at this point? Are doctors saying, "We don't know if this is a boy or a girl, but we know this baby hates George W. Bush?"

Hat tip to Bill from Portland Maine.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

While you're over there…

…at the Upper Left ActBlue page doing what you can (you already know you should) for Richard Wright, it's worth remembering that Field Marshall Rove is coming to town for Dave Reichert. It'd sure be nice to see Darcy make more off the visit than than Brand W Dave, wouldn't it?

Good news…

…from WA-04, via Alan at the Northwest Progressive Institute.
Only one in five voters (22%) say they will "definitely vote to reelect Hastings." Another quarter (28%) say they will "probably vote to reelect Hastings." Hastings' combined reelect of 50% is extremely weak for a six-term incumbent and suggests that he is genuinely vulnerable.
Richard Wright hasn't received as much buzz as Darcy Burner and Peter Goldmark, and the perception that his race is tougher is probably sound, but he's been working tirelessly, and, given this new poll, apparently effectively. What's becoming clear is that the more people know about Wright, the more they like him, and while Doc Hastings is very well known, he's not all that secure.

Of course, getting the word out to the folks in the 4th costs a lot of money (it's another one of those expansive rural districts). If we don't win this one, it shouldn't be for lack of grassroots financial support. We have the tools to prevent that.

Like this one.


From Dr. Ron
There is a war going on, but the real war is between the forces of reason and the forces of religious extremism. A President who believes God told him to go to war or that God chose him to be President is on the wrong side.
Y'all do have Liberal Values bookmarked by now, don't ya?

It wasn't so very long ago…

…that the American infantry was known as "The Ultimate Weapon." That's what the sign outside my training grounds said, anyway. (OK, so that was a fair while ago.) That's one of the reasons I hate what they've done to my Army...
...even at existing deployment levels, the signs of strain on the active Army are evident. In July an official report revealed that two-thirds of the active U.S. Army was classified as "not ready for combat." When one combines this news with the fact that roughly one-third of the active Army is deployed (and thus presumably ready for combat), the math is simple but the answer alarming: The active Army has close to zero combat-ready brigades in reserve.
…and it's not getting much better anytime soon.
In addition, even the quadrupling of recruitment bonuses since 2003 has not been enough to attract adequate numbers of talented men and women to meet the Army's personnel goals. Although the Army has accepted more troops with lower aptitude scores and raised its maximum enlistment age, it still must grant waivers to about 1 out of 5 new recruits and has had to cut in half the number who "wash out" in basic training.
Anyone feel a draft?

Pardon my French…

…but no shit, Sherlock.
“The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.”

Colin Powell

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Much like Mike McGavick, it seems that Richard Armitage can't even get his mea culpa straight. Helluva thing, though, when we need to look to Robert Novak for the truth...

Hat tip to Ron Chusid at Liberal Values, who's got the details.

The Honorable Ann Richards



Count me…

…with that Kerry fella.
I’m not interested in asking Mr. Boehner for a clarification or a retraction or even an apology. His statement was very clear, and equally despicable. His words are beyond redemption.
And this...
I’m asking for my 54 Republican colleagues across the aisle, to stand up not just for civility, but for truth, and to come here and condemn Mr. Boehner’s remarks in no uncertain terms if they disagree with them.
…is a challenge worth putting to the entire GOP ticket in the upper left, top to bottom.

Hat tip to The Democratic Daily.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You're soaking in it.

Steve Benen...err...Michael J.W. Stickings, guesting at The Carpetbagger Report.
In Bush's America, the America dreamed up by people like Yoo and Addington and implemented by people like Cheney and the Republican rubber-stampers in Congress, the president enacts laws, interprets laws, ignores law, and is essentially a law into himself (or herself).

Don't think this isn't possible. It's happening right now.
And we can stop it (or start to) in November.

It's the American thing to do.

(H/T to Fugitive for the sourcing heads-up)


From the RSS tease for a NYT editorial...
If a strategy to end the violence in Iraq exists, it seems unlikely that President Bush could see it through the filter of his fantasies.
Shrill? Maybe.

But true.

The Mann.

Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.
If you haven't read it all, read it all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I've said it before…

…but I'll let TChris say it this time...
It took little time after 9/11 for neocons to start repeating the mantra, "Everything changed after 9/11," a phrase that the traditional media uncritically reported. But many things didn't change: the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, the American values of privacy and liberty, and the need for a governmental system of checks and balances.
Some things didn't change.

Some things need to.

Starting with the Congress.

Check out the full post at Talk Left.

Nobody does snark… Maureen.
“One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror,’’ President Bush told Katie Couric this week. I bet. Making up is hard to do.
Liberated by Dr. Ron at Liberal Values.

The Course™...

...charted by Professor Cole.

TUZ KHURMATO - Four oil workers from Iraq's biggest refinery at Baiji were killed by gunmen as they drove close to the northern town of Tuz Khurmato, hospital and police sources said. A fifth man was wounded. . .

BAGHDAD A car bomb exploded in the street as police were leaving [Karrada where they found an explosives cache], killing three and wounding 14 people, mostly policemen.

BAGHDAD - Three people were killed and 15 wounded when a bomb exploded in a popular market in Bab al-Sharji in central Baghdad, police said.

BAQUBA - Clashes between two Sunni and Shi'ite districts in the town of Baquba 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad killed five people and wounded 14, police said, adding that mortars had been fired during the violence.

BAQUBA - Gunmen killed police General Majeed al-Mani and two of his bodyguards while he was on a shopping trip in Baquba, police said.

FATHA - Iraqi soldiers killed four insurgents when they repelled an ambush on a road near the town of Fatha southwest of Kirkuk on Saturday, the Iraqi army said...
There's more, of course.

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

More good news...

…from Darryl, who's been a regular Mr. Sunshine lately.
At 52% Cantwell has finally taken a share above 50% in a Rasmussen poll. Other recent polls have shown Cantwell above 50%, like the recent Survey USA poll (from 28 August) that has Cantwell with a 17 point lead over McGavick, 56% to 39% (3.5% margin of error).
Some good analysis, too...
So, what is going on with McGavick that he has dropped 5 points in the Rasmussen polls while his campaign has been engaged in a media blitz? While, part of his decline may be fallout from the DUI confession, my guess is that the DUI confession is the smallest part of the decline. I think the voters have “caught on” that Millionaire Mike!™ is just a typical Bush Republican who has some problems with veracity.

Pushing thru the market square... many mothers sighing.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

And now...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How goes The Course™?

It all depends on how you look at it…or don't.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren't counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country's sectarian violence.

In a distinction previously undisclosed, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said Friday that the United States is including in its tabulations of sectarian violence only deaths of individuals killed in drive-by shootings or by torture and execution.

That has allowed U.S. officials to boast that the number of deaths from sectarian violence in Baghdad declined by more than 52 percent in August over July.

But it eliminates from tabulation huge numbers of people whose deaths are certainly part of the ongoing conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Not included, for example, are scores of people who died in a highly coordinated bombing that leveled an entire apartment building in eastern Baghdad, a stronghold of rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
The way I look at it, all those dead people count even if we don't count 'em.

Hat tip to Atrios.

Good news…

…poppin' up all over. Darryl has some…
Federal campaign finance reports filed by the two camps Thursday showed that McGavick had $2.78 million in the bank on Aug. 31 compared with Cantwell’s $5.13 million.
Daniel K. has more...
In the two months period of July and August, Burner raised $311,980 (over $217,000 from individual contributors), and has $727,607 on hand.

In contrast Reichert only raised $198,043 (only $111,959 from individual contributors), and has $1,131,479 on hand.

Note, Peter Goldmark's numbers are posted too, and he has raised an impressive $305,007 in the same period, mostly all from individual contributors. McMorris raised only $161,901.
What's yours?

The usual.

Maybe a bit more random than usual, actually...
June Carter Cash - Ring Of Fire
Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Woody Guthrie - Song Of The Coulee Dam
Oasis - My Big Mouth
Ethan Daniel Davidson - Don't Let Them Grind You Down
Carl Perkins - Put Your Cat Clothes On
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
Turtles - Happy Together
The Clarks - Shimmy Low
Dixie Chicks - Bitter End

Friday, September 08, 2006

This week…

…on The Course™.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. troops in Iraq rose to 145,000 this week, the highest since December and 15,000 more than a month ago.

“[Y]ou…cannot be a President in a wartime and not realize that you’ve got to stay the course.”

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, 8/17/06

This is The Fish.

It lives in the kitchen. I'm told it has a name, but I'm not sure I want to know it that well.

Should it survive the attention of the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat (yes, the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left made sure there's a lid), I suppose it will grow on me.

But it looks like sushi.

Hoppy, Gene and...

Ten-gallon hat tip to

A double take…

A double take…

…at Darcy Burner's astonishing 49-46% lead over Sheriff Dave in the new Constituent Dynamics poll of WA-8 sent Goldy in search of the back story...
As for the somewhat surprising results that show Burner with an early lead despite having very little paid media and a huge name ID disadvantage, Broadhead sees this as part of a larger trend borne out across all 30 House races surveyed: that the 2006 election is in the process of being nationalized like no other race since 1994. The difference, as Broadhead reads the data, is that unlike 1994, when it was largely angry white men who turned against the Democratic-controlled Congress, the anger in 2006 is more broadly distributed across the electorate.
Anger. It's about time, because in these times, outrage is the only appropriate response. Helps explain this, too…
President Bush's once-solid relationship with Southern women is on the rocks.
North, south, east and upper left, it's starting to look like, well, morning in America.


Katie Couric to Preznit 30something%...
"I know you care so much about the soldiers in Iraq."
Actually, to be more charitable I suppose it's possible that Ms. Couric, having looked the Preznit in the eye and all, actually believes she 'knows' such a thing.

Either way, it's simply not true. George W. Bush doesn't care about the soldiers in Iraq anymore than he cares about you, and he doesn't give a damn about you (assuming, of course, that I don't get a lot of top tier Republican donors around these parts).

Don't take my word for it, though. There are at least three Republican Senators willing to publicly point out the obvious (emphasis mine)…
The Bush administration has long maintained that no law is needed to establish a system of military commissions, as they are known, for trials of terrorism suspects, but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in June. The administration still contends that military prosecutors should be able to present sensitive evidence to military judges but withhold it from defendants.

But the sponsors of the legislation — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) — disagreed. They have embraced the view of senior uniformed military lawyers that blocking defendants’ access to evidence would violate long-standing due-process standards and set a dangerous precedent for trials of captured U.S. military personnel.
Yep, Bushco™'s mania for, ahem, enhanced interrogation and contempt for due process puts the soldiers in Iraq, American soldiers everywhere, for that matter, in greater danger.

It's not a secret, and for men like Warner, a Navy and Marine Corps vet who became Secretary of the Navy, and Graham, a Reserve JAG officer, and McCain, who knows more than anyone should have to know about what captured Americans face, it's obvious.

Of course, that only makes displays like this even more shameful…

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well, hell…

…me, too. Via Slog...
The detainees were also forced to listen to rap artist Eminem's Slim Shady album. The music was so foreign to them it made them frantic, sources said.


From My Own Personal Congressman, via David Postman
The Republican Party will spend the next 30 days trying to make you afraid. They are afraid of losing power, and the only way they know how to govern is to play the fear game.

It is the Republican midterm election strategy. If they can make you afraid, and keep you afraid, maybe they can cling to power.

For the rest of September, until the moment Republican leaders gavel the Congress into adjournment, Republican speakers will rise and implore the American people to be afraid.

Republicans will call it security, and every time they do, just remember they are speaking in code. Republicans really mean insecurity.
We've been warned before...

America sez…

…heckuvu job, Georgie.
I spend most of my time thinking about how to protect the American people in what is a dangerous world.

The Preznit.

NYT/CBS News Poll
As a result of U.S. military action against Afghanistan, do you think the threat of terrorism against the United States has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?
Increased: 35%
Decreased: 16%
Stayed About the Same: 46%

As a result of the United States' military action against Iraq, do you think the threat of terrorism against the United States has increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?
Increased: 48%
Decreased: 12%
Stayed About the Same: 39%

Right now, is the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan creating more terrorists who are planning to attack the U.S., eliminating terrorists who were planning to attack the U.S., or is the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan not affecting the number of terrorists planning to attack the U.S.?
Creating Terrorists: 54%
Eliminating Terrorists: 15%
Not Effecting Number: 24%
Stop thinking, George. You're hurting the country.

Hat tip to Holden, who has more encouraging results.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Call him "The Mann."

…Mr. Bush, you are accomplishing in part what Osama Bin Laden and others seek—a fearful American populace, easily manipulated, and willing to throw away any measure of restraint, any loyalty to our own ideals and freedoms, for the comforting illusion of safety.
We've been warned before...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


...from Lindsay Beyerstein.
"If we're going to nominate a candidate who will be perceived as a liberal, we might as well run a real liberal candidate."

The Course... a course, of course, of course.

Via Dr. Cole...

AP and Reuters report that 33 bodies, most showing signs of torture, were found in the streets of Baghdad on Monday. The victims were likely victims of reprisal killings from the opposite branch of Islam. Another two bodies were found in the southern Shiite city of Kut.

Iraqi security forces said that they killed 14 Sunni Arab guerrillas planning to attack pilgrims to the sacred Shiite city of Karbala.

12 Coalition troops have been announced killed in the past two days.

“[W]e have to stay the course.”
Vice President Cheney, 6/6/06

Not just a loser…

…but a serial liar since he was a kid. Heck, McGavick doesn't even rise to the level of "truthiness."

Darryl does the heavy lifting. Check it out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I may not be all that…

…but I am, for the moment, "it." Well, part of "it," anyway. PSoTD has tagged me among an illustrious group with this query.
What does the federal holiday, "Labor Day", really mean to you?
First of all, Labor Day doesn't mean "federal holiday" to me. The Feds were late to the game. Labor Day was envisioned and created whole cloth by the labor movement itself. Like the eight hour day, the five day week, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, worker's comp and so many other achievements of working people, the holiday wasn't a gift from a benevolent government or enlightened management, but an affirmation of the value of work, and of workers, by workers themselves.

Organized workers. Organized to work together on the job and in their society.


What's Labor Day mean to me? Ralph Chaplin summed it up pretty well…
When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
But the union makes us strong

Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever
Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!

It is we who plowed the prairies, built the cities where they trade
Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid
Now we stand outcast and starving 'mid the wonders we have made
But the union makes us strong

Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever
Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn
But without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel can turn
We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn
That the union makes us strong

Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever
Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong!
It's a celebration of what we can do together. Of what we're doing now. See Nathan Newman on The Brilliance of Labor today.

(Oh, yeah. It doesn't really mean "holiday" to me, either. I'm working tonight. Drop by The Cabin in Richmond Beach, sing a chorus of Solidarity Forever and I'll buy you a beer.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


this is kinda like what democracy looks like, I suppose...
"The Kurdish parliament decided to remain now inside the federal framework, but at any moment the Kurdish parliament and the Kurdish people perceive it in their interest to announce independence, we will announce it without fearing anyone."
Apparently The Course involves trading that for this...
2 US soldiers and 2 Marines were reported killed by guerrillas in Iraq over Labor Day Weekend.
“[T]hat’s why the President is determined to stay the course.”
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, 8/16/06


And now...

More polls…

…via Hominid Views.

Another SurveyUSA effort for KING-TV, this time focused on three initiatives facing Washington voters this fall. Darryl emphasizes that "Each initiative was presented as a topic, but without information on what a yes vote means and what a no vote means." Here are the descriptions and outcomes…
Initiative 920 would repeal the Washington State estate tax. When asked if they were certain to vote yes, certain to vote no, or uncertain, 10% said yes, 22% said no, and 68% were undecided.

Initiative 933 would affect the way that Washington State government regulates private property. When asked if they were certain to vote yes, certain to vote no, or uncertain, 8% said yes, 25% said no, and 67% were undecided.

Initiative 937 would require utilities to shift toward green energy sources. When asked if they were certain to vote yes, certain to vote no, or uncertain, 10% said yes, 7% said no, 83% were undecided.
Because of abuses of the initiative system, once a populist reform, now largely a tool of specialized hacks for hire, I have a tendency to reject all of them, regardless of topic or merit, out of hand. I'm not a fundamentalist about it, though, and an enthusiastic endorsement by Jay Inslee is just on factor that may lead to one of my rare yes votes for Initiative 937.

The other two are simply awful and the early negative reaction is encouraging. It's a lot harder to move an undecided toward change via a yes vote on issues that actually affect very few folks. People have to be convinced that the status quo is bad enough for them to risk change. People don't much like change.

It's going to take a doozy of a campaign to convince folks that bilionaires and real estate speculators need their help to get by. Pass the popcorn.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Random Ten…

…the relatively rockin' edition.
Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me
Paul Revere & The Raiders - I'm Not Your Stepping Stone
Heather Myles - By The Time I Get To Phoenix
Elvis Costello - Pump It Up
Nancy Griffith - Boots Of Spanish Leather
Rory Block & Keb' Mo' - Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing
Railroad Earth - Long Way To Go
Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito #2
Lynyrd Skynyrd - What's Your Name?
Booker T. & The MGs - Soul Dressing

Friday, September 01, 2006

"So Mr. President…

" are right when you saw the lessons of history are valuable. But the lessons of combating fascism are unity – not division, and alliances abroad – not isolation. And it is you who needs to learn them."
Sic 'em, Rahm!

That's just the punch line. The Stakeholder's got it all.

The lovely and talented...

...Miss Audrey Hepcat meets The Quarterback...

Salt Lake City.

"A crowd of thousands...
...cheered Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson for calling President Bush a "dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights violating president" whose time in office would "rank as the worst presidency our nation has ever had to endure."

The group - including children and elderly and some hailing from throughout Utah - then marched to the federal building Wednesday to deliver a copy of a symbolic indictment against the president and Congress for abuse of power and failure to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
Not Seattle. Not San Francisco. Not Ann Arbor or Cambridge or NYC.

Salt. Lake. City.

A crowd of thousands.

This is starting to get serious, folks.


He loses with men.
He loses with women.
He loses with the young.
He loses with the old.
He loses with African-Americans.
He loses with caucasians.
He loses with all the races in between.
He loses with with the best educated.
He loses with with the least educated.
He loses with the rich.
He loses with the poor.
He loses in the west.
He loses in the east.
He loses in the cities.
He loses in the suburbs.
He loses in the countryside.

Yeah, yeah. SurveyUSA, robo-poll, yada, yada, yada. With all the caveats, it's still a reasonable sample (1000 interviews) and a modest (± 3.5%) MOE, and Maria's up 56-39 over McGavick.

I'll take good news where I find it.

Hat tip to Daniel K., who sifted the crosstabs.