Saturday, June 30, 2007

Good point.

It's not the one Major General Jeffrey Schloesser, CG of the 101st Airborne Division intended, but it's a good point nonetheless...
"The last thing that you want to have happen is an Army in combat with people saying that we really question what our government is having them do."
Schloesser was commenting on a perceived lack of support for American troops at home, and he's wrong on several counts in that regard, but it's true that the last thing you want to do is to keep troops in harm's way without a broad consensus at home that the mission is identifiable, achievable and desirable. There is no such consensus about the misadventure in Iraq, and considering the cloud of dishonesty that formed the basis for the ever-shifting mission, there really never has been.

That's why the most genuine, the most American, way to support the troops is to end the war.

Hat tip to Lurch at Main and Central.

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Me neither.

wildcat12 at the John Edwards '08 blog...
I don't particularly care for messages from candidates who selectively use and abuse one demographical group to obtain support from another group.
Me neither.

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Once again…

…our Democratic majorities make a difference that matters.
WASHINGTON - President Bush loses his power Saturday to seal "fast track" trade agreements without interference from Congress, where Democrats blame recent deals for sending U.S. jobs abroad.
Good for Congress. I was fine when they took fast track authority away from Clinton, too. No President should be signing off on international agreements of any kind without consulting Congress. Congressional authorization and oversight is essential to Constitutional government.

Notable quote from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus...
"I have always said that it is more important to get trade promotion authority done right than to get it done fast."
Hat tip to Steve Soto.

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I suppose I'll mostly hold my fire…

…on the potential primary challengers to Darcy Burner until they decide whether and which of them will file. Besides, it's kind of hard to build legitimate issue-based case for or against them, since both Rodney Tom and Christopher Hurst have...


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Random Ten

All Some of That Jazz edition.
Abbey Lincoln - Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe
Dave Frishberg - Old Man Harlem
Eric Skye - A Foggy Day
Eight To The Bar - Sugar High
Chris Connor with the Ralph Sharon Group - Fly Me To The Moon
Curtis Stigers - Days Of Wine And Roses
Billie Holiday - Stormy Weather
Beatlejazz - Love
Eugene Maslov - One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
Evidence - Deuce

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Friday, June 29, 2007

New math.

William Blanchard...
For the first time, coalition fatalities have been over 100 for three months in a row. We’ve never had two months in a row before with more than 100 fatalities.

This will also be the deadliest 4-month period, with 431 coalition fatalities so far vs. 414 during 2/07-5/07 and 412 during 10/04-1/05.

It will be the deadliest 5-month period, with 515 dead vs. 500 during 1/07-5/07 and 499 during 9/04-1/05.

It will be the 2nd deadliest 6-month period, with 601 dead vs. 615 during 12/06-5/07 vs. 559 during 9/04-2/05.

I didn't calculate 7 through 11 months, but it's worth noting that we are about to finish the deadliest 12-month period (calendar months) of the entire war, with 981 coalition fatalities so far.

The previous deadliest 12-month period ended last month with 946 fatalities and before that it was 1/04-1/05 with 906 casualties.

It will also be the deadliest 3-month period for US troops (vs all coalitition troops) with 324 US soldiers killed since 4/1/07 vs. 316 for 11/04-1/05.
…and it gets worse.
+ 5 = 3577


What's "victory" look like?

Like the mother of all bloody Middle East failures
In Israel, Bush said, "terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in suicide attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy and it's not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that's a good indicator of success that we're looking for in Iraq."
Years - decades - of innocent lives lost to terror = success.

Welcome to Bizzaro world...

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Tom Allen gets it.

"People are overwhelmingly looking for an exit strategy and support setting a deadline for getting our troops out of harm's way," said U.S. Rep. Tom Allen's spokesman, Mark Sullivan.
Susan Collins? Not so much...
A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Iraq is a big concern, but not the top one.
Reward good judgement.

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What we know…

My own personal Congressman

For all that we don't know, this much we do know: the Vice President holds himself above the law. And, it is time for the Congress to enforce the law.

...and what to do…
The Vice President likes to say the military option is on the table. Tonight it is time to say the impeachment option is on the table. I'm adding my name to H.R. 333, calling for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

For the good of the nation, the Vice President could leave office immediately. Call it a medical condition; call it a political condition; call it what it is- the departure of a person who forgot that he works for the American people.

Mr. Vice President, resign or face impeachment.
I hope all y'all that have been hollering for impeachment will show the love.

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Back by popular demand...

...and with a photographic assist from the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left, the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat...

"You lookin' at me?"


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Conference committee…

Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest and Martin at Scholars & Rogues have good recaps of this morning's call with the Speaker, with slightly different emphases.

A couple of good lines from my own notes…
Of Osama Bin Laden, Bush said "'You can run but you can't hide', but apparently he could."

The Democrats are pursuing "…an Iraq strategy that is more than one event."

We are "…on the verge of an election that will be a decision for greatness."
The whole damn Party should adopt that last line.

Vote Democratic - Make a Decision for Greatness.

Helluva bumper sticker.

Update: Bob Geiger, who remembered to press 'record' weighs in with more, much of it verbatim.


Heh™ .

Boy, I bet Susan Collins is glad she had Joe Lieberman raising money for her. Lieberman's fundraiser for Collins raised between $120,000 and $150,000. That's some significant money. Too bad for her that the netroots - MoveOn plus blogs - raised more like $250,000 for her Democratic opponent, Tom Allen. So she ends up more than $100,000 in the hole.
You can help dig her hole deeper at the Upper Left ActBlue paqe.

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What Goldy said...

...about Darcy.
"Burner is in the process of putting together a team that should strike fear into the heart of Reichert’s handlers, and reason into the minds of potential Democratic challengers. Burner is also on track to come out of the quarter as one of the top candidates nationwide, but she’s still about $20,000 shy of her target. So if you want Burner to be the candidate in 2008, send a message now by sending her some money."
You can do that at the Upper Left ActBlue page.

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Known knowns.

On a blogger conference call with Speaker Pelosi this morning, John Aravosis expressed concern that a Democratic Congress seemed poised to pass the Goode amendment to the DC appropriations bill (aka the Samuel David Cheney gay-bashing amendment). The Speaker wasn't familiar with the particulars of the amendment, but pointed out Democratic successes in areas like securing LGBT folks protection under the federal hate crime statute. She also expressed confidence that the offending amendment, if passed, would be stripped from the bill in conference. One thing she knew she knew, though, was this…
"I know I don't support it if Virgil Goode is sponsoring it."
Good call.

Sadly, the amendment did pass, 224-200, with 40 Democratic votes providing the margin of victory. I join John in wishing Harry and Nancy every success in conference

More on the conference call to come.


Don't worry, Jim…

…endorse. David Ignatius, on Senator Webb...
...populist anger is part of the Democrats' past, and Webb argues that it's the party's future as well. But he worries that "the people at the top of the party don't comprehend the power of that message" and that as a result the Democrats may miss their best chance in a generation to reconnect with the American middle class.
The obvious solution is to put someone who comprehends the power of that message at the top of the ticket.

You don't need me to tell you who, do you?

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Push me, pull me…

Sen. Hillary Clinton "has publicly disdained going negative on fellow Democrats, but her pollster is apparently probing primary opponents' vulnerabilities in calls to voters in New Hampshire and Iowa," Newsday reports.

"A field office working for Clinton pollster Mark Penn has been testing Democrats' responses to attacks on John Edwards and Barack Obama, according to three voters who say they received calls in recent weeks."
Whether Penn's work fits the technical definition of a push poll (the major argument against the label seems to be that the Clinton campaign hasn't spread its smears widely enough to qualify) is largely irrelevant to me. Message testing is hardly a decent rationale. Attacking Senator Obama for voting to provide necessary resources to troops in the field or John Edwards over his personal wealth and expensive haircut are not fit messages for any Democratic campaign, regardless of how they may poll.

It may be just what you get when you enlist a union-busting pollster as a top advisor, though. There's a graceful way out of this for Senator Clinton. Just one.

No denials, please, or apologies.

Fire Mark Penn.

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From Matt Yglesias...
Democrats had a bill that passed Congress that would have substantially rolled back the war. Bush vetoed it. The GOP helped Bush sustain that veto. When Republicans want to revisit that legislation and vote to override Bush's veto, then they'll be breaking with Bush on Iraq. Until then, both the ones talking a good game and the ones talking bad one are, in fact, backing the President.

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Quote of the Day.

“I’ve never known an administration so willing to operate outside the law, even to operate against the law, in violation of the law, as this administration.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy
Not even Nixon...


Now we know how many holes…

…it takes to fill the Albert Hall Boston Garden for a Romney (ahem) 'rally.'

And you thought it was just the suit that was empty.

Oliver has more.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Don't forget to vote.

The Daily Kos June straw poll is up. John Edwards was leading Obama, 41% to 22%, when I voted, with no one else cracking 10%.

What's it all mean? That it's kind of fun to vote in straw polls, I guess, but I like the results anyway.

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Well, the poison didn't work…

Federal officials have told a small New Jersey importer to recall 450,000 radial tires for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans after the company disclosed that its Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented the tires from separating.
Pay more and live, folks.

Hat tip to Fixer.

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It's not the spending…

…it's the charity for the rich.
Rep. Chet Edwards (TX-17) : “So put that in lay terms, had we not had the tax cuts passed since 2001, according to CBO analysis, the deficit would be how much smaller?”

Dr. Peter R. Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office: “If you just do a simple accounting exercise that takes that estimated revenue effect from the Joint Committee on Taxation and compare it to today’s deficit, it would roughly eliminate the deficit.”
Hat tip to The Gavel.

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Notable quotables.

"I was so impressed by the determined and energetic race Darcy ran last year. She is a great candidate and she ran a great race. With that experience and all of us behind her, I know she will win in '08. I endorse her wholeheartedly."
The Honorable Norm Dicks (WA-06)
"I am delighted that Darcy is running again. I'm happy to endorse and support her again."
The Honorable Jay Inslee (WA-01)
Of course, you'll find Darcy Burner on the Upper Left ActBlue page.



Good, though. And true.


Separated at birth?

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It might be a better question…

…if the answer weren't so obvious. Good question anyway, though, from the DNC...
"How can a man who failed to prepare New York City for a second attack after the first one, who sent firefighters and emergency workers into Ground Zero without respirators and quit the Iraq Study Group to raise money keep America safe?"
Hat tip to Steve Soto.

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Wonder why?

...once again we see that Oregon's Smith, Minnesota's Coleman, New Hampshire's Sununu, and Maine's Collins all sided against the rights of workers to organize.
That's why…

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Good question.

From John Aravosis...
Where is Susan Collins?
Hiding from Tom Allen, I suppose.

And while we're at it, where's that other Woman From Maine?

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Me neither.

Elizabeth Edwards:
"…Ann and I don't hang out with the same people"
Reassuring, if unsurprising.

And me neither, Elizabeth.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An encouraging word…

…from Taegan Goddard.

Political Wire got an advance look at a new Strategic Vision (R) poll in Iowa that shows John Edwards continuing to lead the Democratic pack with 26%...

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The (too) short list...

…via Bob Geiger, who wonders "Where's the rest?"
22 Democratic Senators committed to cosponsoring the bill to restore the Constitutional protection of habeas corpus:
· Joe Biden (D-DE)
· Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
· Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
· Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
· Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
· Ben Cardin (D-MD)
· Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
· Chris Dodd (D-CT)
· Dick Durbin (D-IL)
· Russ Feingold (D-WI)
· Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
· Tom Harkin (D-IA)
· Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
· John Kerry (D-MA)
· Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
· Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
· Carl Levin (D-MI)
· Barack Obama (D-IL)
· Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
· Ken Salazar (D-CO)
· Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
· Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
I'm wondering, where's Patty?

Let's ask her…

Washington, D.C. Office
Phone: (202) 224-2621
Toll Free: (800) 862-5530
Fax: (202) 224-0238

Seattle Office
Phone: (206) 553-5545
Toll Free: (866) 481-9186
Fax: (206) 553-0891

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Quote of the Day.

John Edwards on Leno, via MyDD
"You know there's this strange thing with Elizabeth, she actually says what she thinks."

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What Oliver says.

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More, please.

John Edwards Hits Back Hard


Monday, June 25, 2007

Remember real Presidents?

Landmark Laws of the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration

Clean Air act
Four education bills; College facilities, vocational, Indian
Vocational and Manpower

Pesticide Controls
Civil Rights act
Urban Mass Transit
Water Resources Research
War on Poverty
Truth in Securities
Food Stamp
Housing Act
Nurses Training

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Voting Rights act
Anti poverty program
Arts and Humanities Foundation
Highway Beautification
Clean Air
Water Pollution Control
High Speed Transit

Department of Transportation
Truth in Packaging
New GI Bill
Minimum wage increase
Freedom of Information Act

Education Act
Public Broadcasting
Age Discrimination
College Work Study
Product Safety Commission

Fair Housing
School Breakfasts
Truth in Lending
Sea Grant Colleges
Guaranteed Student Loans
Scenic Rivers
Scenic Trails
Military Justice Code
That's what one-party government can do - when it's the Democratic Party.

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From the "We're better than they are" file...

Lea Anne McBride, a Cheney spokesperson, said Emanuel “can either deal with the serious issues facing our country or create more partisan politics.”
See, we get that the relentless Republican assault on the Constitutional separation of powers is one of the serious issues facing our country.

They don't.

We're better than they are.

Hat tip to Upper Left's favorite highly placed source, The Carpetbagger Report.

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John Kerry or Ed O'Reilly?

What she said.
(And she actually has a vote.)


The spectacle is so miserably sad…

…so disgraceful, that it almost piques my sympathy. Not quite, though. Screw 'im. Via Bob Geiger...
On Tuesday, McCain will attend a $1,000-per-person fundraiser hosted by one of the solid citizens who participated in the despicable swift-boat smear campaign against his "good friend" John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign -- that's how low he's willing to go.

The Arizona Senator will be gobbling sausage and eggs tomorrow morning at a campaign breakfast hosted by none other than Paul Galanti, a Vietnam Veteran who never served with Kerry but didn’t hesitate to surface in 2004 to call the highly-decorated Veteran a "traitor" and appear in the television commercials of those who stooped to questioning the seriousness of Kerry's war wounds.
You know, the commercials McCain described thus...
"I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crewmates have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam."
And I thought he was pretty much as debased and disgraced as possible, given stuff like Fallwell and this…

Just screw 'im.

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Make it so.

Please make it so…

Hat tip to Gordon @ Alternate Brain

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Crazy George's national security sale…

...everything must go!

First, Jim Hightower offers a sobering look at the boom in contracting out government jobs...
The shadowy and highly lucrative world of government contracting has boomed under George W, rising 86% since he's been in office and now totaling nearly $400 billion a year. Get this: There are now more people doing federal jobs under corporate contracts than there are people employed directly by the government. In other words, in today's government, corporate servants outnumber civil servants.
Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? It's worse. A NYT op-ed discloses that...
Today less than half of the staff at the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington are actual government employees, The Los Angeles Times reports; at the C.I.A. station in Islamabad, Pakistan, contractors sometimes outnumber employees by three to one.

…a procurement executive from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave a PowerPoint presentation at a conference in Colorado and let slip a staggering statistic — private contracts now account for 70 percent of the intelligence budget.
And no one seems to know how many mercenaries we've hired in Iraq.

Take back America? Sounds like we're going to have to buy back America first.

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"Power corrupts, and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely"

Nick Beaudrot

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quote of the Day.

Elizabeth Edwards:
"I don't know why somebody else's marriage has anything to do with me," she said. "I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage."
C'mon, John. You know she's right.

Hat tip to AmericaBlog.

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And now...

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reports, I emphasize:

· Coleman (R-MN)
· Collins (R-ME)
· CO Open (Allard, R)
Hit 'em in a weak spot. or ActBlue.

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What Mary said.

Digby! Digby! Digby!


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Me too.

Andrew writes
We at NPI know this because there is no such thing as a moderate.
Me too. And this, too, is true…
The 8th, which has never been represented by a progressive Democrat, is ready to send one to Congress. It's turning blue, but it can't be taken for granted. It will only be won by a Democrat with candor, trust, and faith in progressive values. That candidate is Darcy Burner.
May I add, a Democrat without apology. Yep, that's Darcy.


Good for the goose?

Steve Soto calls Rahm and raises...
Why shouldn’t Congress write into law requirements forcing the entire executive branch to abide by secrecy rules, spelling out specific crimes for violations, and append them to the Executive Branch or CIA budget in 2008 and force Bush to veto it?
Good Great question.

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He may be a devious bastard…

…but if so, he's our devious bastard, and sometimes it takes one to beat one. Rahm Emanuel on a pending amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill…
“The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch. However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President’s funding is consistent with his legal arguments. I have worked closely with my colleagues on this amendment and will continue to pursue this measure in the coming days.”

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Fairly family friendly...

...or slightly dangerous?

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

dangerous (7x) kill (1x)

Hat tip to Fixer.

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Spare Change?

The Upper Left ActBlue page has been updated for '08. Darcy's still there, and my own personal Congressman, of course. along with John Edwards and Tom Allen.

If you just won the Lotto or are feeling otherwise affluent, you can share the wealth right here.

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Ten musical compositions...

...chosen without regard to order or relationship. Good, though...
Shelby Lynne - Rainy Night In Georgia
Utah Phillips - All Used Up
Lee Dorsey - Get Out Of My Life, Woman
Texas Tornadoes - A Little Bit Is Better Than Nada
Harry Chapin - W*O*L*D
Tim Hardin - Simple Song Of Freedom
Johnny Cash - I Still Miss Someone
Pink - Dear Mr. President
Jeff Beck - I Ain't Superstitious
Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!

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Friday, June 22, 2007

What Atrois said.

One highlight of the Take Back America conference was an extended chat I had with Darcy Burner...She's actually capable of holding a normal conversation, and she has a lot of interesting ideas about campaigns and elections.
Not to mention interesting ideas about governance and issues.

If you can't schedule an extended chat, you can check it out at her web page. Then you can chip in.


Works for me.

That Collins Woman From Maine's campaign says Rep. Tom Allen is an "extreme party loyalist."

Works for me.

With the Gentleladies from the Upper Left secure in their seats, this is a Senate race I'll be touting in '08.

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Dangerous words…

…if you think 'economic populism are dangerous words.
"The engine of our economy is not Washington, D.C., or Wall Street. It is the tens of millions of men and women in offices, factories, and fields across America who go to work every day. When we stand up for them, our middle class grows and our economy grows."
Powerful ideas to back them up, too.

Sorry, Chris, the fence has crumbled.

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Good point…

…from Susan Madrak.
If the New York Times hates John Edwards, why, that's a good enough reason for any thinking person to support him.
I'm thinking these fence rails are getting pretty slippery...

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who'da thunk…

…Rudy Giuliani would run into a bunch of actual journalists at a press conference. The DNC blog reports...
Rudy made a quick stop in Iowa yesterday to talk about his "commitments," but was drowned out by reporters asking about the real story: Rudy's no-show at the Iraq Study Group.

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Preznit 26%.

A little historical perspective via Eschaton
...the only president in the last 35 years to score lower than Bush is Richard Nixon. Nixon’s approval rating tumbled to 23 percent in January 1974, seven months before his resignation over the botched Watergate break-in.

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Why we fight.

Because it matters. Via The Gavel...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – By an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 42-1, the House Education and Labor Committee today approved legislation to guarantee the rights of firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical service workers in all 50 states to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Seems so obvious and non-controversial, doesn't it? I mean, 42-1? Why didn't this happen years ago?

A rhetorical query, of course. It didn't happen because despite it's popularity across the political divide, there's just no way it could ever have survived a Republican Committee Chair and a Republican Committee majority.

I want to stop the war and start universal health care yesterday, too, but not getting all my wishes right away doesn't mean our majorities don't matter.

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Quote of the day.

Chris Lehane
"Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election.”

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…+ 14 =



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…served plain by Joe Galloway.
It’s long past time for Congress to reopen the matter of who’s really responsible for Abu Ghraib and let the chips fall where they may - even if that means they pile up around the retirement home of a former secretary of defense or the gates of the White House itself.
If, or more likely, when.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Worth repeating.

Peter Mehlman
So now we're six and a half years into Bush and everyone from Helen Thomas on down is declaring him the worst president ever. What no one is saying is the one overarching reason he's the worst: the Bush administration is the first that doesn't even mean well.

With the possible exception of immigration reform -- and who knows what grotesque financial incentive underlies that -- try to pinpoint even one policy motivated by the desire to lessen human suffering, to improve the life of citizens. Nothing. There is nothing.


What Digby said (™ Atrios)...

...all of us who blog in the progressive blogosphere have a common goal. It’s the same goal of virtually everyone in this room tonight. We want to begin a new era of progressive politics and take back America. We may argue about tactics and strategy, or the extent to which we are partisans versus ideologues (and believe me, we do), but there is no disagreement among us that the modern conservative movement of Newt and Grover and Karl and Rush has proven to be a dangerous cultural and political cancer on the body politic. You will not find anyone amongst us who believes that the Bush Administration’s executive power grab and flagrant partisan use of the federal government is anything less than an assault on the Constitution. We stand together against the dissolution of habeas corpus and the atrocities of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, and we all agree that Islamic terrorism is a threat, but one which we cannot meet with military power alone. And yes, a vast majority of us were against this mindless invasion of Iraq from the beginning, or at least saw the writing on the wall long before Peggy Noonan discovered that George W. Bush wasn’t the second coming of Winston Churchill.
There's more, and more Digby is always better. Sinfonian has the full meal deal.



The Anonymous Liberal
“One of the strangest political developments of the post 9/11 world was the sudden — and totally inexplicable — transformation of Rudolph Giuliani from eccentric mayor of New York City to foreign policy expert…. It’s like treating Ray Nagin as an expert climatologist because he happened to be Mayor of New Orleans when Katrina hit. If Nagin decided he wanted to be the head of the National Weather Service, would anyone take him seriously?”
Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report (and me too, Steve, me too.)


Please stop thinking about tomorrow…

…and start acting today. It's getting harder and harder to stay on the fence with John Edwards running around saying stuff like this...

"And this is it: No more pontificating, no more vacillating, no more triangulating, no more broken promises, no more pats on the head, no more 'we'll get around to it next time,' no more taking half a loaf, no more tomorrow.

"For the men and women who are leaving this country to go serve in Iraq, there is no tomorrow. For women around this country who have, like my wife, been diagnosed with cancer or breast cancer, you can't talk about putting universal health care in tomorrow.

"We need to do these things now. We -- our Party -- we need to be bold, we need to have backbone, we need to have courage. It is time for us to lead again. It is time for us to show the leadership that America and the world needs from us."
Without apology. I like that in a Democrat.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican."
Hat tip to Pacific Views.

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Just a data point.

From the NYT RSS feed:
China manufactured every one of the 24 kinds of toys recalled for safety reasons in the United States this year.
Apparently poison alone is not enough.

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From the "We're better than they are" file.

A grand sweeping bow to Macswain for doing the heavy lifting...


J. Steven Griles (Bushie; Dept of Interior) - GUILTY
Scooter Libby (White House) - GUILTY
Rep. Bob Ney - GUILTY
Rep. Duke Cunningham - GUILTY
Gov. John Rowland - GUILTY
Gov. George Ryan - GUILTY
James Tobin - GUILTY
David Safavian (White House) - GUILTY
Jack Abramoff - GUILTY
Ken Lay - GUILTY
Jeff Skilling - GUILTY
Tommy Noe - GUILTY
Michael Scanlon - GUILTY
Neil Volz - GUILTY
Claude Allen (White House) - GUILTY
Adam Kidan - GUILTY
Chuck McGee - GUILTY
Allen Raymond - GUILTY
Tony Rudy - GUILTY
Mitchell Wade - GUILTY
Gov. Ernie Fletcher
Rep. Tom Delay
John Colyandro
Jim Ellis
Shaun Hansen
Warren RoBold
Dusty Foggo
Brent Wilkes
Sen. Ted Stevens
Alaska State Senator Stevens
Rep. Jerry Lewis
Sen. Conrad Burns
Gov. Bob Taft
Nine Fingers
Ed Buckham

Brent Pfeffer - GUILTY
William Jefferson

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Credit where it's due.

I have my reservations about Hillary Clinton as a Democratic Presidential nominee and I haven't been reluctant to point them out. There's no denying, though, that she's one of the Party's sharper tactical minds, with a fine understanding of campaign planning and organizations. She's absolutely right, for instance, in this response to a question about the likelihood of Senator Obama beating her in the Q2 fundraising race.
"Well, I'm afraid you might [be over-emphasizing fundraising numbers]. Because the real challenge is whether you have a strategy you're pursuing and the resources to implement your strategy. When I ran in 2000, I was outraised and outspent by nearly 2-to-1 by both of my opponents. It never bothered me for a moment because my concern was making sure that I had the resources -- which I did -- to run my campaign as I expected it to run."
A campaign doesn't need the most money, but it does need enough. The question is how much is enough, which is where planning and organization come in. I don't know if, in the end, Clinton will be able to raise the most money in a field which, not so long ago, it was believed she would overwhelm with the fruits of the legendary Clinton Rolodex. I'm pretty sure, though, that if she doesn't get the nomination, it won't be for lack of cash.

She's right about this, too...
"It is complicated and dangerous to withdraw troops."
Of course, it's complicated and dangerous to deploy troops, and perhaps most complicated and dangerous of all to leave a residual force in a theater of operations where there was never a sufficient force to secure the ground. Hillary's plan may be the most dangerous and least productive of all.

Yep, I have my reservations…

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Monday, June 18, 2007

It might look like a lawless administration…

(Washington, DC) - Today, the nonpartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report which found that in a limited number of Presidential signing statements examined, the Bush Administration failed to execute the law as instructed in over 30 percent of the cases.
…but it's just George's confusion between 'executive' and 'executor.' See, he thought he was supposed to kill the laws, not enforce them.

Certainly not follow them.

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Tony Lives!

…in the Pentagon, apparently.
A few weeks after his report became public, (Major General Antonio) Taguba, who was still in Kuwait, was in the back seat of a Mercedes sedan with Abizaid. … Abizaid turned to Taguba and issued a quiet warning: “You and your report will be investigated.”

“I wasn’t angry about what he said but disappointed that he would say that to me,” Taguba said. “I’d been in the Army thirty-two years by then, and it was the first time that I thought I was in the Mafia."

Sounds like General Taguba hates what they're dong to his Army, too.

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Harry's Posse.

Biden's in it...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Did Senator Reid slander the generals, and does he owe them an apology?

BIDEN: No and no. The fact of the matter is, this policy, the president’s policy, is an abject failure. It continues to be a failure. There continues to be denial about the progress that is not being made.
Joe Biden can drive me crazy, but he's a smart guy who's right about a lot of things a lot of us are reluctant to give him credit for (in no small part because he's so often so quick to simply take the credit for himself)

And he knows when to be a Democrat without apology.

I like that in a Senator.

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Good question.

From Big Tent Democrat...
Why Does the Media Not Care About Lies From the Bush Administration?
A very famous man = the same one who said "Some people will rob you with a fountain pen." - once said "Why, oh why, oh why, oh why?" The best he could come up with is "Because, because, because, because…"

But it's still important to ask.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Maybe the best thing...

...about being a dad is the opportunity to become a granddad, so a special Father's Day shout out to the Spitting Image of Upper Left, aka the father of the Smartest and Prettiest Girl in the World, and to the magnificently maternal Younger Daughter of Upper Left's Prince Charming, aka dad to The Quarterback.

And a happy Dad's Day to all y'all, too.

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Good Question…

…for The Carpetbagger Report's Sunday Discussion Group.
Who is the most genuinely scary Republican presidential candidate?
Is "all of the above" a choice?

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And now...


Saturday, June 16, 2007


There's hardly anything more important to a GI than mail call. There's hardly anything worse than this...
The Army said Friday that it has opened an investigation into the recent discovery of 4,500 letters and parcels — some dating to May 2006 — at Walter Reed that were never delivered to soldiers.
Time was, Army mail was handled by soldiers, members of the Adjutant General Corps, who took this stuff seriously. Now it's civilians who take it for what they can get until they get caught.
And it fired the contract employee who ran the mailroom.
I was trained as a 71Foxtrot, and worked as one in Germany before I left for the Jolly Green Jungle.

I would have been courts-martialed and sent to the stockade.

I hate what they're doing to my Army.

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I know it's not nice... celebrate the misery of others, but Darryl has some gossip from the other Washington that brightened my morning…
The rumors from Washington are that Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-8) is absolutely miserable, being a bit player in a fractious, fractured, and demoralized minority party...
C'mon, Sheriff Dave, turn that frown upside down. Resign.

(Y'all know Darcy's running again, right?)

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All I want is lovin' you...

...and music, music, music. Another random ten...
Lovin' Spoonful - Didn't Want To Have To Do It
Edwin McCain - I Want It All
Laura Nyro - Dedicated To The One I Love
Kelly Joe Phelps - River Rat Jimmy
Willie Nelson - Hello Walls
Porterhouse - Steak Sauce Part 2 (Soppin' It Up With A Biscuit)
Rolling Stones - I'm Free
Mar-Keys - Bush Bash
Rory Block - Love TKO
Billy & The Beaters - At This Moment
Any lower upper lefties know if Joey Porter's still funking up Portland?

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Worth repeating.

Christopher J. Fettweis, Assistant Professor of National-Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College:
The American people seem to understand, however -- and historians will certainly agree -- that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation.
Not a bad plan, a bad idea.

Well, a bad plan, too, but a bad idea first and foremost.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Confession time…

…at the Department of Defense.
The military system does not have enough resources, funding or personnel to adequately support the psychological health of service members and their families in peace and during conflict.
Hat tip to georgia10, who offers a good question...
Who will save our troops?
You can bet it won't be a Republican.

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From the "Me too" file.

Bob Geiger's in it...
Harry Reid talks every day about the thousands of American military dead and the tens of thousands wounded as a result of the Bush administration's lies and incompetence. What he told us on that call was that he had the character to tell one of the principals in this mess exactly what he thought right to his face.

And, for that, the Senate Majority Leader should be applauded.
So's that Kerry fella...
Four years into this war, there has been virtually no accountability for the many mistakes and misjudgments that have created this disaster. The White House should focus on finding a strategy that can work in Iraq instead of attacking leaders in Congress who ask tough questions.
And me too.

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And you thought…

this was shameless. These folks really have no bottom. They just keep sinking…
Q: Are there any members of the Bush family or this administration in this war?
SNOW: Yeah, the President. The President is in the war every day.
Q: Come on, that isn’t my question –
SNOW: Well, no, if you ask any president who is a commander in chief –
Q: On the frontlines, wherever...
SNOW: The President.
Frontlines. Jeebus.

What an affront to the grunts in the line of fire.

Mr. Tony and Miss Antionette - tailors by appointment to the naked king.

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From the "Small Favors" file…

The deadline for Wyoming Republicans who want to fill the late Sen. Craig Thomas’ (R) seat was yesterday, and 31 people submitted applications. Lynne Cheney, Dick’s wife, was not among them.
Here's hoping Governor Freudenthal (a Democrat) can find something like a Ron Paul clone in the pile and send a little grief to the GOP Senate Caucus.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Gordon at Alternate Brain
Corporal Kokesh is a better Marine than any of the officers who participated in this travesty. He deserves an Honorable Disharge. Period.


Party like it's 1972.

A timely reminder from driftglass...
Sunday, June 17th is “National Republican Treasonal Affective Disorder” Day.
Make that the 25th Annual, in commemoration of the day that…
...Frank Wills – a security guard at the Watergate Hotel discovered a break in in-progress and called the cops. The PD arrested five men -- Virgilio González, Bernard Barker, James W. McCord, Jr., Eugenio Martínez and Frank Sturgis – and the we were off to the races.
And RTAD is still with us today. There's no cure yet, but there is treatment. The prescription?
...this “National Republican Treasonal Affective Disorder” Day, please give generously of your time and money to a Progressive cause or candidate, so another generation won’t have to wake up to a Constitution again left in tatters by the Traitor Right.
That's the best answer to this very good question...
Isn’t 25 years of Republican treachery, deceit, slaughter and contempt for the rule of law enough?

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Reporting the good news…

…from Rothenberg's Gubenatorial rankings.
· Gregoire (D-WA)
Gotta like it.


Quote of the Day.

Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott:
“Talk radio is running America."
I guess the terrorists have already won.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Roger Ailes the Good…
I. Lewis Libby -- the I stands for "Inmate"...
March, froggie!


The final word?

Steve Benen...
Joe Lieberman told the Weekly Standard, “If Kristol says what I’m doing is right, it must be right.” I don’t think any more needs to be said about Joe Lieberman.
Steve's right. Nothing need be.

Something will be, though, I fear.


Good Question.

From John Aravosis
So, was Petraeus wrong, and if so, what is he doing leading the surge if he has no idea when we'll know how it's going?

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Even Bob Barr…

hates what they're doing to my Army.
Because the military can’t fill its slots, it has lowered its standards, extended tours of duty and increased rotations, further hurting morale and readiness. Conservatives are supposed to favor meritocracy — rewarding ability — especially in the armed forces. Instead, the military is firing badly needed, capable troops simply because they’re gay, and replacing them with a hodge podge that includes ex-cons, drug abusers and high-school dropouts.
Sometimes truth resides in curious corners.

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My "Progressive" Problem.

HTML Menken dips into a minor blog war I'd just as soon avoid, but raises an important point in the process.
...I’ll skip the thing about the war per se right now, and go to the other point this brings up: the definition of “Progressive.” I thought it meant something closer to ‘left-wing’ than ’sensible centrist.’
Most actual leftists who call themselves progressives probably agree. The mainstream liberals who operate under the same label would doubtless demur. Therein lies the rub.

Back in the day, the left end of the American political spectrum ranged from folks who called themselves liberals, somewhere near the center, to folks who called themselves radicals. Radical, though, came to be an umbrella that included groups like the Panthers, the Weather Underground and even the Symbionese Liberation Army. No one was really sure how radical you had to be to be a radical, but it was pretty clear that most weren't going as far as the vanguard insisted was necessary. The more rational elements of the left insisted they didn't want so much to reduce the system to rubble as to make progress toward a more just society. Those radicals adopted the tag progressive.

Meanwhile, the liberal brand was under attack from both the right and left. Were liberals anarchist bomb throwers or hesitant half-steppers? Who knew? A new label was needed, and "progressive" seemed to fit the bill. What we ended up with is a label that was adopted by a broad spectrum of people, most of whom had little relationship to one another outside of opposition to the Republican establishment.

"Progressive," in other words, says practically nothing about who you are or what you believe and almost everything about what you're against. Handy in some instances, but hard to build a movement around.

That's why I prefer to be called a liberal, rather than a progressive. At least liberal means something, even if it doesn't mean what "they" say it means.

Mostly, though, I'm a Democrat. Just a Democrat.

Without prefix. Without suffix. Without apology.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On 'getting it'…

…and not. Seattle activist/consultant Steve Zemke's peeved with the Party...
A bipartisan committee to set the date for the Washington State Presidential Primary picked Feb. 19th, 2008 as the date to allow Washington voters to cast ballots for a Democratic or Republican candidate for President. The Republicans will allocate 50% of their delegates based on this vote. Democratic leaders, who don't get it, will allocate none. Instead they will only choose delegates based on the selections coming out of the party caucuses on February 9, 2008.
Sorry, Steve, but if someone doesn't get it, well, I'm afraid it's you. The State Central Committee, which constitutes the "Democratic leaders" in question, has a responsibility to develop rules that insure the Washington delegation to the National Convention is eligible to be seated. That requires some significant hoops and spins in the area of affirmative action, some mathematical gymnastics to insure that delegates are properly apportioned and, perhaps most importantly, that the Democratic delegates to the Democratic Convention are selected by Democrats. All of those requirements are arguments for our caucus system and against a primary election cobbled together out of initiatives, court challenges and legislation.

But Steve argues that the caucuses are "the antithesis of what the party should stand for." The Party, he argues…
...should stand for a selection process that provides maximum access to the voting public to participate. The caucus does not do that.
There's certainly a time for Democrats to advocate for maximum access and to be vigilant in the defense of voting rights. The delegate selection process, though, isn't that time. Selecting delegates to a National Convention is a serious internal matter for Democrats, not an electoral cattle call for the voting public. Since the state doesn't offer voter registration by political party, and the primary system in place allows voters to choose a ballot from either party with the explicit understanding that such a selection does not constitute a declaration of partisanship, it's necessary to find another means of insuring that our process is secure from the influence and mischief of sundry Republican, Green, Reform Party, Libertarian and independent interlopers. That's the caucus.

It's true that not everyone can attend a precinct caucus. It's also true that not everyone can cast a ballot, even a vote by mail ballot, for any number of reasons. Caucus involvement is a good deal more accessible than critics typically admit, though. If you're in a time crunch, you can register your declaration of partisanship and you Presidential preference and quickly be on your way. You can even run for delegate without attending your precinct caucus. Conversely, for some it's a rare opportunity to meet with other Democrats to discuss issues and campaigns and to give public expression to and solicit Party support for issues important to the grassroots.

In many ways, it's all about the grassroots. Certainly a primary is a boon to the consulting class and the advertising sales profession, but the caucuses are the Party's principle tool for grassroots organization. Caucus attendees are an essential pool of recruits not just for campaigns, but for local Party organizations looking for Precinct Committee Officers and new members. It's an avenue for any voter to begin the journey to selection as a National Convention Delegate, bypassing the backroom process of getting on a campaign slate. It's the most open, transparent and accessible process possible. It's everything, in fact, that the Party should stand for - grassroots activism at the most local level driving the direction of the national Party.

Don't like that? Get to work on voter registration by Party and a closed primary and let's talk.

Meanwhile, Party leaders get the only thing worth getting - Party members expect them to protect the security of our process and the integrity of our selection. That's just what they've done.

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There may be no better way…

…to arouse the ire of some liberal bloggers than to attempt an inevitably futile defense of Joe Klein, and Mudcat Saunders may deserve to be knocked about for his efforts, but I don't understand how personally some folks seem to have taken his opening piece at Swampland. Foolish though his focus may have been, it wasn't a broadside against the liberal blogosphere at all.

His target was pretty well defined, if not specifically linked. He was talking to Democratic bloggers who "who have appointed themselves as intellectually superior and believe the only way to win an argument is to shout the loudest with personal attacks." Now, I'm not real sure who those bloggers are, but I'm pretty sure I'm not one of them and I feel no compulsion to defend them, either.

Likewise, I don't think anyone would slot me into the "Metropolitan Opera Wing" of the Party, the folks Saunders identifies as those who "talk of tolerance but the only true tolerance they ever exhibit is for their own pseudo-intellectual arrogance." Nope, doesn't sound like me. Doesn't sound like you, either, does it? So there's no reason to take offense, right?

Of course, his failure to identify any particular voices has led to charges that he's built a straw man to battle, but is that so? You can call them the "Metropolitan Opera Wing," or "limousine liberals" or the "white wine and brie set," but whatever you call the checkbook activists, you know they're real. They're just not us.

So why the internet ire? Saunders, like his Presidential client, is breaking a taboo that Americans of nearly every political stripe observes for a variety of sometimes conflicting reasons. He's talking about class, and talking about class is making trouble. I noted with bemusement one observer who saw the opera reference and immediately saw gay-bashing. Fact is, most folks, myself included, don't really associate opera with gay folks. Ballet, maybe, and musical theater, certainly, but not the opera. The opera is, at least from the view here in the cheap seats, for rich folks, the tuxedo and fur coat crowd.

And that doesn't sound like me, either, even though I own a tux. Saunders may be wrong about lots of stuff, and he's probably right about some other stuff, but his critique of the self-defined "intellectually superior" doesn't offend me, because it's pretty clear he's not talking about me.

I certainly hope he's not talking about you, either.

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A data point…

…from the interactive database at MulchBlog...
The average adjusted gross income in Washington was $54,331 in 2004. There were 337 beneficiaries in Washington that received more than the statewide AGI from USDA programs in 2003; 444 in 2004; and 437 in 2005.
Lots more, in some cases. The biggest winner? The Broughton Land Company of Dayton, over in the lower right upper left, scored $1,102,051 from the subsidy trough. Most of the money, not surprisingly, goes to the most Republican areas of the state. The affection of rural voters for the Republican Party despite Republican hostility to the public works (is there a single crop raised in eastern Washington without the public irrigation infrastructure) and public subsidies that farmers depend on is one of the sad ironies of American politics.

A wealth of data points for inquiring minds here.

Hat tip to Dan Owens at MyDD.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Well, at least he got something right…

In Parting Shot, Blair Calls Press a ‘Feral Beast’

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From mcjoan...
Note to BushCo: the American people, and the vast majority of members of Congress who are opposed to this war, are not using the oil law as an indication of progress in Iraq. Our measurement of success has more to do with body counts.

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That Kerry fella…

...on the Swiftboat liars:
“Unfit for Command was a pack of lies. I said so at the time. My crew said so. The Navy said so. But a lot of money was put behind the lies. If a lot of money is put behind a lie, it will become the truth for some people — particularly if they don’t get enough of the real truth. I take the blame for not making certain that there was money behind the real truth. That’s what I meant when I said I should’ve come back and coldcocked him.”

An important lesson there, and not just for John Kerry. It's absolutely not true that "Kerry didn't fight back," but it is true that in the end, he fought the wrong battle with the wrong weapon. A victim of his own idealism, perhaps, Kerry thought he was, as he had so often before, fighting against a lie and that the best defense, as it had always been, would be the truth. The truth was out there. Every eyewitness, every official record, it was all consistent. John Kerry was, indeed, the war hero we'd been led to believe. Every other version was a lie, accusations resting on imagination without a shred of truth.

The battle, though, was for volume, not truth. The Swithboat liars, through purchased airtime and vanity publishing, confronted the unvarnished truth by shouting the lie louder, catching the ear of a media which had long since been cowed by accusations of liberal bias into looking for any view that might offer a semblance of some mythical 'balance.' The media adopted the lie as an alternate view worthy of our consideration, following FOX to the bottom of the pit.

Kerry's right. There's no doubt a number of dollars and an amount of effort that might have drowned out the liars. The cost of the distraction to his own campaign plan can't be determined, perhaps, but I don't think it can be overestimated, either. It was a hell of a trap. If Kerry didn't invest substantial resouces in time, message and money into defending his own character and record, his campaign would be crippled by the lie. If he did, his campaign might have been crippled by fighting the lie. None of it, though, would have been possible without the happy acquiescence of reporters, pundits and anchors who knowingly promulgated vicious lies about an American military hero for their own petty motives. None of it could have happened if they hadn't let dollars trump truth.

It's going to happen again, on whatever pretext, against our nominee, whoever it might be. Calling the lies for what they are and exposing the liars for who they are has to be part of every campaign plan until all the Republicans are gone.

Hat tip to Todd Mitchell at The Democratic Daily.

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Worth repeating.

I totally understand the need to provide a patina of bipartisanship, but it strikes me as a big mistake for the American Progress / Century Foundation event to feature Gordon Smith as a speaker...Smith's from Oregon, he's got an eminently winnable seat. The last thing progressives need to be doing is helping him bolster his moderate credentials.
"patina of bipartisanship". Harrumph. As a big-tent Party regular, I'm generally dismayed by the 'progressive first, Democrat on election day' mentality, largely because it leads to this kind of thing. You know, the whole idea of 'good' Repubicans, whether Senator Smith from the lower upper left or those Women From Maine.

Remember, not so very long ago Gordon Smith was a compliant cog in the rubber stamp Republican Senate that abandoned oversight, judgement and the Constitution pursuing their dream of a permanent majority. The combined influence of a new Democratic organizational majority and the proximity of his next election may have liberated Smith's inner Frenchman a bit, but his goal is to remain a Republican Senator and regain a Republican majority.

The 'bad' Republicans couldn't do their damage without the 'good' Republicans.

That's why…

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Should be easy enough.

Political Wire:

McCain Tries to Set Low Expectations

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Of course, there's also the moral point of view…

…and the national security point of view, and some others, I'm sure, but Stuart Rothenberg's mostly right about this from his selected vantage.
First, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill played the issue like a Stradivarius. They forced a vote on a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq, putting Republicans on record supporting the status quo and President Bush, but allowed a subsequent vote to “fund the troops.” That gave their own Members from swing districts the opportunity to demonstrate their support for the military.

From a purely political point of view, Democrats had their cake and ate it too.
Mmm, cake!

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It's good to know…

...that there are some things they still can't do here.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush cannot order the military to indefinitely imprison a suspected al Qaeda operative, who is the only foreign national held in the United States as an "enemy combatant," a court ruled on Monday.

The 2-1 appellate ruling was a major setback for Bush's contention in the war on terrorism that he has the power to detain people in the United States without charging them.

The court panel based in Richmond, Virginia, ruled that the Qatari national involved, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, must be released from military custody.
Judge Diana Gribbon Motz explains what every schoolboy should know…
"The government cannot subject al-Marri to indefinite military detention. For in the United States, the military cannot seize and imprison civilians -- let alone imprison them indefinitely."
No, they cannot. Not this time.

And not for Jose Padilla, whose case was ordered into civilian criminal courts.

Or for Yaser Esam Hamdi, who was removed from detention and returned to his homeland, Saudi Arabia.

And not for you and me thanks to judges who uphold their oaths to defend the Constitution.

Padilla, Hamdi, al-Mari. Three strikes for Bushco's™ 'enemy combatant' policy.

And every schoolboy should know what that means, too.

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I've been assimilated.

This is too good to pass on.
LOS ANGELES -- Paris Hilton says she will no longer "act dumb."
It was an act? Who knew?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

And now...


It's not necessarily a disqualifier…

…but it's not very reassuring, either.
WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has sought out former Secretary of State Colin Powell for advice on foreign policy matters.
Anybody remember what happened the last time Democratic Senators listened to the retired Bush family toady?

He fell on his own damn sword, and there's no reason for a Democrat to pull it out and dress the wound by dressing up Powell's execrable record as a liar and fixer for his military and political bosses.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tune time.

Ten more random picks...
Randy Newman - Political Science
Nanci Griffith with Carolyn Hester - Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound
Utah Phillips - The Telling Takes Me Home
Tom Petty - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
Houston Marchman - Desperate Man
The Temptations - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
Greg Trooper - Muhammad Ali (The Meaning Of Christmas)
Guy Clark - Black Diamond Strings
Railroad Earth - Mighty River
Dan Bern - One Thing Real

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"Leans Republican."

Not the way I'd prefer to hear WA-8 described, but on the other hand, Stuart Rothenberg wouldn't have listed it at all if he didn't judge it in play.

All of which, of course, is a perfectly good pretext for a link to Darcy Burner, who's already busy pushing the 8th into the D column.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Cowboy Lawyer Up, Buckaroos!

Somebody knows there's a there there
“With Congress expected to ramp up the number of probes into the Bush dministration, the White House is beefing up its legal team, creating five new positions in the office of Counsel Fred Fielding.”
Yessiree, it's getting better all the time.

Ten gallon hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Just wondering...

...anybody else out there using the Blogger 'labels' function? Or something like it? What for? How's it working out?

Or is it just another shiny thing?

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Heh™ .

The inimitable Charles Pierce
...Mitt Romney's grasp of the facts as to the beginnings of the Iraq war rival my own gifts at Sumerian grammar.
Mine too, Charles. Mine too.

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Everybody needs a hobby...

...but the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat is so good at this she may turn pro...

From the "Yes, it makes a difference" file.

Matt Stoller gleaned this from Roll Call...
"Republican lobbyists are used to walking into an office and just saying, `I'd like you to do this,'" said one Republican operative who regularly lobbies across the aisle. "With Democrats, you really have to hone your arguments, and you really have to sell them on policy."
Poor babies.

There's a difference between accessibility and acquiescence. There's a difference between Democrats and Republicans.

And it's a difference that makes a difference.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ya' think?

A Clinton administration, like the Clinton campaign, would doubtless be pro-union in a whole variety of ways.
Like for instance, which?

What's the evidence that the Senator, who sat on the WalMart board, for instance, while her husband presided over a right-to-work (under any conditions for scab wages) state, will be pro-union in any effective way at all? Where's the plan? What will she do?

This rings true, though...
Clearly, though, she doesn't really have her heart in it.


Conyers & Nadler.

Dear Dick,
Shut your yap, you crook.

John and Jerry

Speaking as a 'Democratic strategist'…

I agree. Carville ain't one of us.

Not anymore, anyway.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Naming evil…

…is the first step to defeating evil. Former Army interrogator Tony Lagouranis names the deeds he's done…
"If you don't include torturing helpless prisoners in your definition of evil your definition of evil is meaningless."
Hat tip to Dr. Streak.

The trouble with Ron?

Sara sums it up…
As a libertarian leftist, I understand viscerally the charm of Paul's message. Who wouldn't be charmed? He's anti-war, anti-torture, anti-drug war, and anti-corporation -- a real progressive dream date. Until you reflect on the fact that he's also anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-sane immigration policy, and apparently, anti-separation of church and state as well…
…and extends her remarks.


…on the "terror is a tactic" theme, and a cautionary note for those who don't get it, from stillwell
Conservatives simply don't understand the real threat, which is international and domestic terrorism carried out by ideological and religious extremists. The people killed by Tim McVeigh are just as dead as the people killed on Sept. 11, 2001.
Good stuff. All of it.

Just a (constantly increasing) number…



From the "Strange Bedfellows" file.

Tom Tancredo, via Hell's Handmaiden...
"If Senator Edwards is saying that the war on terror doesn’t exist, I would agree”, Congressman Tancredo said. “Terror is a tactic used by the enemy with which we are at war."
He goes on, of course, and the further he goes, the further he goes astray, but this, at least, is a notably lucid observation from one of the GOP primary contestants.

Terror, more accurately, is a tactic used by many enemies of the US, at home and abroad. War has been a particularly ineffective solution, really. The terror busts we hear about are invariably matters of effective and largely traditional law enforcement practices.

Me too.

Lurch at Main & Central...
It is an article of faith of mine that my Army is being broken on the rack of political expediency and personal vanity.
And of course, I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Things you can't do in China.

Read Upper Left.

Kinda flattering, I suppose.

Hat tip to themaiden, also unavailable over there.

Well, when you put it that way…

Rolling Stone:
Rudy Giuliani is a true American hero, and we know this because he does all the things we expect of heroes these days -- like make $16 million a year, and lobby for Hugo Chávez and Rupert Murdoch, and promote wars without ever having served in the military, and hire a lawyer to call his second wife a "stuck pig," and organize absurd, grandstanding pogroms against minor foreign artists, and generally drift through life being a shameless opportunist with an outsize ego who doesn't even bother to conceal the fact that he's had a hard-on for the presidency since he was in diapers.
Nah, I'll still take a pass.

Worth repeating.

A reminder from the DNC blog
Just how close are Libby and Thompson? Take a look at Libby's legal defense trust website, which features a biography of the former Senator. On the website, we learn that he worked with Libby to raise millions and millions of dollars for the legal defense fund. He's also "among 27 prominent Republicans and Bush Administration supporters on the advisory committee." During the Libby trial, Thompson sat in the public gallery with Libby's public relations person.
He's already promised a pardon, though he hasn't announced his campaign.

It's likely that a chance to pardon Libby may be a primary motivator for his Presidential ambitions. His interest certainly seems to have grown as Libby's conviction became increasingly inevitable.

Amnesty for felons. Heckuva platform, Freddie.

From the "They all look alike" file.

Via The Carpetbagger:
As for other Jefferson-related headlines, there’s actually quite a few interesting stories of note. For example, Fox News ran a report on Jefferson’s indictment — and showed a clip of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who is also an African-American lawmaker. As Jill noted, the Fox News footage showed Conyers at a recent Alberto Gonzales hearing, walking by a Gonzales protestor holding up a pink sign that read, “Resign.”
And a good question...
(Note to the Congressional Black Caucus Institute: wouldn’t now be a good time to revisit that partnership with FNC?)

And now, the frog march watch…

Via Atrios:
Via email, Marcy says that the judge is not inclined to give Scooter bail pending appeal, though he will allow for a hearing on that matter next Thursday. If he does deny bail, Scooter will be carted off 45-60 days from now.
"…not inclined."

The hits just keep on comin'.

O frabjous day!

WASHINGTON -- Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Tuesday for lying and obstructing the CIA leak investigation.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Damn straight they're not.

John Edwards at the New Hampshire debate...
But what this global war on terror bumper sticker -- political slogan, that's all it is, all it's ever been -- was intended to do was for George Bush to use it to justify everything he does: the ongoing war in Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, spying on Americans, torture.

None of those things are OK. They are not the United States of America.
Hat tip to AmericaBlog.

Sort of thinking out loud here...

...but if someone can "win" a "debate" and still believe that George Bush's reckless foreign and military policies have made the world or our nation safer, winning a debate really doesn't mean a damn thing about fitness for the Presidency.

Just checking... see if anything's getting through Blogger yet.

First they make us sick…

…with poisoned food, and then…
China makes 70 percent of the world's penicillin, 50 percent of its aspirin and 35 percent of its acetaminophen (often sold under the brand name Tylenol), as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E.
They've got us coming and going.

Hat tip to Mr. Natural at Left Edge North.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

And now...

Steve Gilliard, 1966-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog (, passed away early this morning. He was 41.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

We will post more information as it becomes available to us.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us. We will miss him terribly.

- the news blog team

We're all going to have to work a little harder without him, but no one will ever replace him.

One of the origninals. One of the best.


(N in Seattle checks into comments with more detail, and has more yet, along with a fine tribute and some of Steve's greatest hits, at Peace Tree Farm.)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Good question...

…from litbrit.

Why does the United States afford Most Favored Nation trading status to a country that not only places a lower value on safety--indeed, on human life--than we do, but is quite bald-faced in its admission of same?
If the poison for profit approach to our food supply isn't enough, maybe anti-freeze in the toothpaste will wake somebody up.

I mean, if they just dumped the stuff in our water supply we'd call it terrorism.

Ten tunes for today....

Tom Paxton - Forest Lawn
Ray Wylie Hubbard - Without Love (We're Just Wastin' Time)
Cheap Trick - Ain't That A Shame
Pete Seeger - Hold On (Hand On The Plow)
Peter, Paul & Mary - Day Is Done
Major Lance - Um Um Um Um Um Um
Ramsay Midwood - Spinnin' On This Rock
Paul Revere & The Raiders - I'll Be Doggone
Deanna Carter - Atlanta & Birmingham
John Lennon - The Luck Of The Irish

Speaking of credit where it's due…

…a snappy salute to National Commander Gary Kurpius of the VFW...

WASHINGTON -- The nation's largest combat veterans group on Friday urged the military to "exercise a little common sense" and call off its investigation of a group of Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during anti-war protests.

"Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we're trying to instill in Iraq is not what we're all about," said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus," Kurpius said.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh had already received an honorable discharge from active duty before he was photographed in March wearing fatigues - with military insignia removed - during a mock patrol with other veterans protesting the Iraq war.
It's exactly the kind of response I expect from the leadership of veteran's organizations - the kind that sadly never seems to come from the American Legion, for instance - and it just might inspire a dues check from some of the younger veterans.

Might inspire one from an old soldier too...

Friday, June 01, 2007


From Fred Kaplan:
To say that Iraq might follow “a Korean model” — if the word model means anything — is absurd.

Yeah, but...

Gates told reporters in Hawaii that he is thinking of “a mutual agreement” with Iraq in which “some force of Americans…is present for a protracted period of time, but in ways that are protective of the sovereignty of the host government.” Gates said such a long-term U.S. presence would assure allies in the Middle East that the United States will not withdraw from Iraq as it did from Vietnam, “lock, stock and barrel.”
As I recall, we withdrew from Vietnam "lock, stock and barrel" because there were Vietnamese who were going to keep killing us until we did. Anyone thing there's a "mutual agreement" that will deter Iraqis from the same path? Does anyone believe we can wait out the people who actually live there?


How many more? For how many years?

From the "Credit where it's due" file...

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Bob Riley signed a resolution Thursday expressing ``profound regret'' for Alabama's role in slavery and apologizing for slavery's wrongs and lingering effects.

``Slavery was evil and is a part of American history,'' the Republican governor said. ``I believe all Alabamians are proud of the tremendous progress we have made and continue to make.''
It's late, but it's something.

Something even Goldy will applaud after a decent interval.

No squirrels were harmed... the creation of this post, despite the best efforts of the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat.