Friday, March 31, 2006

the bomb? the ryder truck? the parking garage?

It has been 994 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

There are just under twelve hours... chip in and make sure that Darcy Burner hits the $320,000 goal that will trigger the $250,000 check from the DNC, and the corresponding reassessment of the race by an array of folks who rank races and help the heavyweight donors target their races.

Like I've said, this is a big deal. This is a seat we can, we should, win. This is how we let the rest of the world know.

If you don't want to kick five or ten (or fify or a hun) in through my ActBlue page, try Carl's, or give directly at Darcy's site.

Just do it. Five. Or ten. Or a thousand.



...don't tell the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat I've used this one before...

I'm a couple days late on this one…

…but it's an important issue in these parts, and lots of those parts, too. From The P-I...
(Superior Court Judge Michael) Spearman ruled Monday that the state's requirement that released felons pay all court-ordered fines and fees before they can vote again violates the equal-protection clauses in the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution.
Judge Spearman is right. He's right that "It is well recognized that there is simply no rational relationship between the ability to pay and the exercise of constitutional rights," and he's right in setting a bright line for voting rights - no ballots in jail - that provides a common sense solution to one of the controversies plaguing our voting system.

Naturally, our Republican Attorney General and our Republican Secretary of State are challenging the ruling, arguing the state's right to maintain a confusing, antiquated and likely unconstitutional regulation.

They're going to do that in the name of The People Of The State Of Washington.

Not this one.

Never believe those down ballot races don't matter, or that partisanship isn't so important for some officials .

Vote a straight ticket and never give an inch.

Hat tip to Goldy.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

and while we're at it remember the first time around?

It has been 993 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Okay, then...

...I seem to have been singularly unsuccessful in convincing my tolerant if not adoring readership that a contribution to Darcy Burner would be an excellent way to commemorate my natal anniversary. A suitable commemoration feast was held, capped by a Bananas Foster ice cream pie in lieu of cake. The Elder Daughter of Upper Left and her Adorable Partner joined us, and brought along some loot (I shared the big box of turquoise Peeps™. Honest, I did.)

The Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left tracked down the Hawaiian shirt with woody wagons that I've been looking for. It's a beaut...

Woodies, a volcano, a beach shack, great colors. Thanks again, sweetie.

I take some solace in noting that Darcy Burner's aggregate contributions via ActBlue have finally passed the thousand dollar mark (I hope Carl got some of the action). Really, though, if the northwest netroots is going to get the kind of attention from northwest campaigns we sometimes clamor for, we've got to do better. The total should be several times that.

There's still time to make a difference for the quarter and to help Darcy make her DCCC match. That kind of attention from the D-trip will generate attention elsewhere, too. This is a big deal. I know begging is irritating, but really, do what you can.

Did I mention…

…that Darcy Burner's going to be a great member of Congress but she needs money and that she's been endorsed by Senator Murray and our entire Democratic House delegation and that she's in the last day and a half of a challenge from the DCCC's Red to Blue campaign, so your five or ten dollars could put her over the top for a $250,000 match and that it's my birthday and I have an ActBlue page and I'm begging and…

Jeebus. Can I be any more pathetic?

Well, I could just post mug shots of Sheriff Dave until you give in

C'mon, slip Darcy some dough.

What's that word?


Yeah. Stu Rothenberg's a wanker.

Me, in my right mind, Stu, for one.

My own personal Congressman…

…is in the news again...
WASHINGTON -- A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Rep. Jim McDermott broke the law 10 years ago when he passed to reporters an illegally recorded telephone conservation between then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his top lieutenants…
It was a split decision by the DC Court of Appeals in the civil case now Majority Leader John Boehner brought against McDermott eight years ago. The case has bounced as high as the Supremes, and doubtless will again, where, up to now, the 1st Amendment has been upheld. Jim's right...
"There is no greater responsibility for a member of Congress than to defend the Constitution, and I fully accept my duty to protect the First Amendment, which is what this case is all about...The American people have a right to know when their government's leaders are plotting to deceive them, and that is exactly what was happening during a telephone call in 1996 involving Republican House leaders, including then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Rep. John Boehner."
John Boehner is suing Jim McDermott for damages he incurred as a result of being exposed as a liar and a cheat, and he's making an end run around the Constitution to do it. The Seattle P-I looks past the courtroom and reports…
Beyond its legal significance, the case also carries political overtones. Democrats have openly promised to run this fall against "the Republican culture of corruption."

Republicans officials denounced Democrats as hypocrites, citing the court ruling against McDermott as proof.
They just don't get it, do they? Jim McDermott stands accused of exposing corruption with no promise of personal gain. The Republican Party is rife with liars, cheats and thieves.

All they can prove is that…

Thanks again…

Ken. This could be kinda fun…

The double nickel.

Yep, it's my birthday. I'm a little old to celebrate birthdays, I guess, but since there have been times in my life I had good reason not to expect this many of them, I appreciate each and every one.

You could, if you liked, help make this one especially memorable. If all the regular visitors to Upper Left that drop by today would just throw five or ten or twenty bucks in the Darcy Burner jar, then she'd be closer to the goal that will yield her a cool quarter million in DCCC cash and I'll be closer to what I really want for my birthday (and Hannukah, and Christmas, and Memorial Day, and...) this year, a new Congress.

Think about it. Don't you want a new Congress, too? Then chip in.

Either way, thanks for just being here. Knowing ya'll are out there is a pretty fine birthday gift all by itself. And if you're feeling particularly flush, there's always the tip jar...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

that the whole world turned just to watch it fall

It has been 992 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

97% wrong.

Dave Reichert votes with George Bush and the corrupt Republican leadership in DC 97% of the time.

I've been feeling kind of crummy today…

…but this little gift from RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman perked me up enough to post...
"The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans."
The White House still holds the reigns at the RNC and they're not about to let a bunch of Congresscritters run away from Preznit 33%.

I'm not sure Sheriff Dave will appreciate that, but Darcy should.

I do.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

down the long stairs in a building so tall

It has been 991 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

How scary is it…

…that a sentence like this just isn't shocking anymore?
"It's not the worst breach of the constitution DC Republicans have pulled of late."

McCain - Some of my best friends are intolerant...

Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.

John McCain, 2/28/2000
American military hero and Arizona Sen. John McCain will deliver the Commencement message at Liberty University on May 13, at 9:30 a.m., in the Liberty University Vines Center...

While Sen. McCain and Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell have had their share of political differences through the years, the two men share a common respect for each other and have become good friends in their efforts to preserve what they see as common values.

Liberty University press release, 3/28/2006
Hey, maybe he can bring a date!

Hat tip to The Nation's Notion.

Monday, March 27, 2006

right off our desk and down the long hall

It has been 990 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Just call it...

…the Ronald Reagan Medical Research Act of 2004 2006.

Via The Stakeholder...
Democrats around the country are counting on the stem cell issue to give them a boost in November's congressional elections. On Monday, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who heads the Democratic effort to retake the House, is to visit New Jersey to join Stender in unveiling Internet ads targeting Ferguson and six other Republican candidates, including Illinois state Sen. Peter Roskam and Rick O'Donnell in Colorado, who oppose stem cell research.
Better late...


Time's new poll has a series of 'which party would do better at' questions. The R's still have a plurality on a couple of security questions, but it's mostly a Democratic sweep. This one rocks my world...

Which party would do a better job of managing government spending?

Democrats ...46%
Republicans ...31%
I mean, I've always believed it, but I've never really thought America ever would.

America's coming home.

Crystal ball?

John Robb via James Wolcott

"Here's a likely scenario for how this will play out: deeper entrenchment within US bases (to limit casualties) and pledges of neutrality (Rumsfeld) will prove hollow. Ongoing ethnic slaughter will force US intervention to curtail the militias. Inevitably, this will increase tensions with the militias and quickly spin out of control. Military and police units sent to confront the militias will melt down (again), due to conflicting loyalties. Several large battles with militias will drive up US casualties sharply. Supply lines to US bases from Kuwait will be cut. Protesters will march on US bases to demand a withdrawal. Oil production via the south will be cut (again), bringing Iraqi oil exports to a halt. Meanwhile, the government will continue its ineffectual debate within the green zone, as irrelevant to the reality on the ground in the country as ever. Unable to function in the mounting chaos and facing a collapse in public support for the war, the US military will be forced to withdraw in haste. It will be ugly."
How I wish this didn't ring so damn true.

So, where do you think he's wrong?

Preznit losing Joementum?

"As I read the law I think the president's tapping or surveillance without a warrant was wrong. It was outside the law."

Joe Lieberman
Wow. Hey, I know. Let's all toss a couple bucks at Ned Lamont and see what we can make Joe say next.

Hat tip to Holden

Sunday, March 26, 2006

when that lone phone rang right off the wall

It has been 989 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

And now...


They just lie.

To us. To each other.

About everything. All the time.

Another for instance...
RICE: ...We have been very clear with the Afghan government that the freedom of religion and the freedom of religious conscience is at the core of democratic development. They have constitutional expectations that have been written in that they will, in fact, live up to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which protects individual conscience on religion.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which monitors such things on behalf of the United States government, tells the truth, in a letter to the Preznit hisself...
On several previous occasions, the Commission has raised concern that the Afghan constitution’s failure to include adequate guarantees of freedom of religion and expression for members of the country’s majority Muslim community could lead to unjust criminal accusations of apostasy and blasphemy. With no guarantee of the right to religious freedom for all individuals, together with a judicial system instructed to enforce Islamic principles and Islamic law, the door is open for a harsh, unfair, or even abusive interpretation of religious orthodoxy to be officially imposed

Saturday, March 25, 2006

which is the number we all called

It has been 988 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Ten more tunes... random.
The Gourds - 1st In Line
The Whites - San Antonio Rose
Hot Tuna - Pass The Snakes
Acoustic Syndicate - Ballad Of Marie St. Lauriette
Railroad Earth - Mountain Time
Patty Larkin - Italian Shoes
David Crosby - Long Time Gone
Coyote Run - The Last Leviathan
Dr. John - Stagger Lee
Sinead O'Connor - The Moorlough Shore

Other than that…

I only have one reservation about Joel Connelly's ringing defense of Senator Cantwell against, in his words, the "'Hey Hey, Ho Ho' crew." I'm not one to cast Maria to the wolves over the symbolic filibuster launched against Samuel Alito, but Joel's just got it wrong...
Several Democratic precinct caucuses have upbraided her for refusing to back a filibuster against confirming Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

The "filibuster" was launched out of the blue by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Was he in Washington, D.C., to lobby colleagues? Nope. Kerry e-mailed the filibuster call from Davos, Switzerland, as he attended the World Economic Forum. Cantwell voted against Alito after refusing to join the pointless publicity stunt.
In fact, the filibuster was discussed by Senator Kerry and others in caucus before he left for a previously scheduled appearance on a panel at the World Economic Forum. Senator Kennedy took the point in Kerry's absence, and Kerry scheduled a red-eye flight so that he could return and pick up the reigns.

Though it wasn't out of the blue, it wasn't a caucus sponsored filibuster. There was no partisan obligation to support it, and Kerry didn't publicly attack those who, for whatever reason, didn't join him. He simply fulfilled a longstanding pledge to join, and if necessary to lead, a filibuster against a Supreme Court nomination he viewed as a threat to the privacy rights protected by Roe.

Maria's vote against confirmation was definitive, and carried every bit as much symbolic value, as a filibuster vote would have. Frankly, there are practical political considerations that sometimes must override sentiment, and I think Maria was well advised to avoid opening yet another channel of attack from the right. It's a petty that there are so many on the left who seem so eager to fill the void with attacks of their own.

Carefully reading Joel's piece might give some of Maria's attackers pause, but I hope he's more careful with his legislative history in the future.

(It's worth noting, too, that in the context of our recent off-year administrative caucuses, "several Democratic precinct caucuses" means, in essence, "several Democrats.")


They just lie. It's as though they can't help it. Or that it's actually encouraged. Or something.

Via Political Wire
...there are eight members of congress whose personal term-limit pledges come due this year: Barbara Cubin (WY), Phil English (PA), Jeff Flake (AZ), Timothy Johnson (IL), Ric Keller (FL), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Mark Souder (IN) and Zach Wamp (TN).

All are Republicans, all are seeking re-election and all are "solid favorites" to win.
And, oh yeah, all are liars.

Friday, March 24, 2006

at ten after nine on nine one one

It has been 987 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Oh well...

...sorry Dawgs. A great run, anyway, and it's been a great tournament, hasn't it?

Made only greater, of course, by the fact that only two places had two teams in the Sweet Sixteen, and they're both named Washington.

And Duke's gone! A great tournament!

It's nice to know...

...that I live in a blue precinct in a blue city in a blue county in a blue state, even if...wait! It's a blue country!

"Radical" Russ did the hard work, and has lots of great maps.

"Make the bed?"

...grumbles the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat. "But I'm not done with the bed!"

Of course, she never is...

Not fit? Won't fit?

Where's Darcy?

Dan Savage spotted a story in the NYT and looked for the local angle...

I quickly scanned the story, looking for Darcy Burner’s name—but she’s not in there. There’s an illo of “Democratic Women to Watch,” and Burner’s not in there either.

Hm. This is oversight on the part of the NYT, and not, I think, an indication that Burner doesn’t have a shot in Washington’s increasingly liberal, increasingly urban 8th District. Still, it would have been nice to see Burner’s name in the piece.
It sure would have been. Of course, if you agree, you can do something about it. Apparently Darcy's still about $60 thou short of the money she needs to earn the 'Red to Blue' match from the DCCC. She gets that and she'll start showing up in all kinds of articles. Five, ten, twenty bucks today is a down payment on a new Congress in November.

Go ahead and click. You know you want to...

Well, that makes three of us.

Diane agrees with Hendrik Hertzberg. Me too.
Feingold has “energized the base,” but to what end? Apart from establishing a beachhead for his own fledgling Presidential campaign, he has succeeded mainly in deflecting the anger of a good many Democrats from Bush to—well, to “the Democrats.”
"The Democrats." Yep…

Tough break for the Zags…

…but at least they fell to a PAC10 team. Now all our hopes rest on the Huskies. The real Huskies.


Bow Down to Washington,
Bow Down to Washington,
Mighty Are The Men
Who Wear the Purple and the Gold,
Joyfully We Welcome Them
Within the Victors Fold.
We Will Carve Their Names
In the Hall of Fame
To Preserve the Memory of Our Devotion.
Heaven Help the Foes of Washington;
They're Trembling at the Feet
Of Mighty Washington,
The Boys Are There With Bells,
Their Fighting Blood Excels,
It's Harder to Push Them Over the Line
Than Pass the Dardanelles.
Victory the Cry of Washington...
Leather Lungs Together
With a Rah! Rah! Rah!
And O'er the Land
Our Loyal Band
Will Sing the Glory
Of Washington Forever.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

in two thousand and one

It has been 986 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Sounding like an old testament prophet...

…President Carter scores in round two of QotD…
"There is a desperate need in America to block and reverse the radical departures from the moral and ethical principles that have made ours a great nation."

President James Earl 'Jimmy' Carter
Jimmy's a Kosack! And his kid is running for Congress. Good stuff here.

Could people be catching on…

…to John McCain's phony pose as a moderate? Matt Stoller 's got the numbers (my emphasis)...
In Arizona, he's taking a beating in his approval/disapproval ratings. He was up 72-24 a month ago, he's now 64-29. That's a 13 point swing. What's more interesting is where the swing is happening. Among Democrats, his approval rating has dropped from 73-24 to 58-32, a drop of 23 points. Among independents, he goes from 72-25 to 64-30, a drop of 13 points…
Maybe it was this…

…or this…

…or this…

…or this…


Another view…

…of IL-06. Beyond winners and losers, Archpundit takes a look at turnout...
Three candidates--all people I think are nice people ran in three different ways. One spent $700,000. One tried to bring in new Democrats. One essentially organized for 3 years.

The grand total of that effort? 4,000 fewer votes in the primary than 2 years ago. Not only did they not make the pie larger, the divided it up between themselves and subtracted 4,000 people.

That takes some talent on all their parts.
Some talent…or a plan.

While a high turnout may seem to be an absolute value from the perspective of good citizenship, it's not always the best thing for a campaign. I have no particular insight into the Duckworth strategic plan, but it seems that of all the campaigns, hers was the best placed to benefit from a low, targeted turnout. No one else had the resourced required for an effective voter ID and GOTV program.

Again, I don't know anything but what I read on the blogs. Still, while it may be a disappointing for the 'good government,' types, the low turnout could be more than an accident.

Come November, the other side will have all the resources needed for a similar effort, of course, which is one reason I've emphasized the need for folks with an interest in any side of the IL-06 primary to rally to the March winner so that we net a November winner to match. Sure, take a minute. Catch your breath. Then come home.

Eyes on the prize.

Another round…

…of Quote of the Day roulette. Let's give this one a spin...
"To me it shows how dangerously incompetent he is. Stay the course, mission accomplished, bring 'em on,' the American people are sick of that. We need to change course in Iraq. I think the president burying his head in the sand is not going to do the trick."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, on the worst. President. ever's plan to leave ending his war to his successor.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

Let's get the guns in a circle…

…facing in. Shake's Sis weighs in on IL-06
Now the Dems expect all of those who labored on behalf of their hometown favorite to happily shrug off the primary defeat and go to work helping Duckworth beat out the GOP challenger. And you know what I’d say if I were one of them? Fuck that.

Yeah, I’d turn up to vote, but I’d be damned if I’d contribute an ounce of my time or treasure helping a DCCC-approved candidate after the DCCC deliberately undermined a viable candidate for no good reason, except their usual, pathetic We know best. Stuff envelopes? Stuff dis.
"…the Dems," huh? Maybe "the Dems" thought that at least some of the folks in the Cegalis campaign were Democrats, too, and now Democrats have a nominee.

On the other hand, I'm sure Speaker Hastert appreciates the support...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

cuz when one lone phone rang

It has been 985 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The winner…

"Dangerous, incompetent, and ruthlessly amoral.

John Aravosis, AMERICAblog

Words to live by, words to vote by...

Another entry...

"This is not a conservative leadership. This is radical leadership. I called them neo-Jacobins. They are radical. They're not conservative. They've stolen my party and I would like my party back."

Former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell Lawrence Wilkerson
And I call 'em destructionists. Either way, sorry, Larry…

It takes a worried man...

Chris Bowers says he's "extremely worried" in the wake of the Duckworth/Cegalis primary in IL-06 yesterday...
Nearly the full-force of the Democratic and progressive electoral apparatus "succeeded" in only helping Duckworth win 44% of the vote in the Democratic primary. This wasn't the blow out I was told it was going to be. This wasn't the blowout I imagined it would be considering the establishment support Duckworth had. It wasn't even close to a blowout. It looks like the final margin will be somewhere around 1,000-1,100 votes. IT was very close, and it was a real nailbiter.

This makes me very worried about 2006. The same people and the same organizations who supported Duckworth remain in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat nationwide in 2006…
Apparently assurances from the Duckworth camp that Duckworth was a lock put Bowers and some fellow bloggers off an effort to gin up some 'netroots' for Cegalis. Might their efforts have been the difference? Impossible to say. It's gotta be frustrating, though, to be had, I suppose. And make no mistake, Bowers was had.

Didn't it ever occur that the reason Duckworth's sponsors lined up such a panorama of institutional support was that they knew she would need it? Cegalis, after all, won this nomination just two years ago. In a low turnout primary (and this one apparently fell 30% or so short of modest projections), virtually every Democratic voter had likely already seen Cegalis' name on two ballots in '04, and almost certainly voted for her at least once (some doubtless thought she was already their congresscritter because they voted for her last time). That's a pretty powerful position to enter with. When you bring along a campaign organization that's stayed organized and active under the auspices of DFA, there was a hill for Duckworth to climb before she was in a position to run from the front. After all, as Bowers had pointed out earlier, "Strong ground games in primaries and other low turnout elections work." The Cegalis campaign was almost all 'strong ground game.'

But what's Bowers really afraid of? That the "same people and same organizations" that he credits with the Duckworth win are "in charge of winning elections of nearly every Democrat…"

Well, no, they aren't.

While Labor and the D-Trip and John Kerry and Dick Durbin, yada, yada, yada all made contributions to the campaign in various ways and degrees, the only person in charge of winning elections is the candidate. The candidate can choose to run with, without or even against any or all of the above. Maybe that works, sometimes, somewhere. While some tasks can, and some must, be delegated, there is work that only the candidate can do, and the candidate who does that work - fundraising, interviews, appearances, managing the campaign manager, cultivating influential supporters - best may not be the winner, but that's the way to bet.

Tammy Duckworth should be credited with a win on the basis of a compelling personal story and a willingness to do the work (believe me, the DCCC wouldn't drop a dollar on a candidate who didn't do the work). Clearly, Chris Cegalis did a lot of work, too. Building a grassroots field operation is political work of the highest order. She didn't, though, get the fundraising job done and whatever advantage she entered with disappeared in a flood of Duckworth dollars. That didn't happen by accident. That happened because Duckworth did the work. Other candidates would do well to study her efforts and profit from her example.

There are lessons to be learned on the other side, as well. Cegalis showed that a strong ground game can keep you close. That's why the candidate with the most money doesn't win every election. Bowers is right about that one. He's a bit off the mark, though, in a couple of his other conclusions...
Believing in a candidate is a lot more effective than either believing in an "electability profile" or working to defeat another candidate. The Cegalis true believers kicked ass.
First, I'd be willing to bet a monetary amount of money that Duckworth's victory party was chockful of people who believe wholeheartedly in their candidate and don't care a whit about 'electability profiles.' This is a Democratic primary. We can afford to credit each side with a degree of virtue.

We can't, though, walk away thinking that Cegalis supporters "kicked ass." They lost. That's important. That's the consideration that has to color every other consideration in any post-mortem analysis of the campaign. Cegalis didn't raise enough money, didn't secure enough institutional support and didn't, finally, turn out enough votes. The Cegalis campaign most certainly did not 'kick ass.'

There's another misstep in Bowers' conclusions, the one that reflects his current state of worry...
The Democratic establishment is weak. I haven't seen this much establishment support line up against someone since Dean. Considering the massive amount of fundraising, big name support, advocacy group support, free media, and direct DCCC contributions, Duckworth will finish way, way under 50%...
But Chris, all that establishment support produced a win. One insufficient to salve your conscience about giving up on Cegalis early, perhaps, but a win just the same. 43% or so in a three way primary is not an awful result if it's a winning result. That's the goal, after all. Considering that Duckworth came from politically nowhere to challenge an organized campaign for a candidate with recent ballot experience, it's a good win.

Like Chris, though, I'm a bit worried. In fact, he's the one who got me worried, with this…
Hold your heads high Cegalis supporters. The Dem establishment that tried to swing this election is going to wish they had you after Labor Day.
Whoever swung what how, we now have a Democratic nominee for IL-06. It's reputed to be a competitive seat. That's all that matters, and it's time for all hands on deck. If the Cegalis supporters haven't licked their wounds and joined the campaign by Labor Day, it's everyone's loss, maybe theirs in particular.

Being there in the fall is how you become the 'Dem establishment.' The Party is, after all, just the people who show up...

Now's the time…

…if you've even thought about chipping in to help Darcy Burner. DFW via Carl...
The Darcy Burner for Congress campaign is presently working hard on fundraising to meet an end-of-March goal of $320,000 on hand. If it is successful, she will be eligible for an additional $250,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue" program.

Her campaign is almost there, but she needs help from you and I for that last push over the top. If you've been wanting to help her campaign financially but haven't done so yet, now is the best time to do it.
Actually, before was the best time, but now will do very nicely.

There are a lot of ways to get some cash to Darcy. There's a link at her place, Carl would be happy to hook you up and, well, you do know how to Google, don't you?

Still, with all those choices, I hope that when you decide to contribute, you do it through the Upper Left ActBlue page. Though I stray far afield some (OK, most) of the time, this blog was started with the hope of having some kind of regional impact, and helping to elect Darcy Burner to Congress would certainly fulfill that hope. On a broader level, if you're one of those who thinks the 'netroots' should have a greater voice in Democratic Party affairs, making your contribution through ActBlue is a great way to pump up our volume a little bit. I know, I know, we don't want to be seen as just a cash cow for candidates, but the cash is important, and it's a tangible measure of our commitment and, well, just do it.

Darcy will appreciate it, I will appreciate it and you know you'll feel better when you've done it.

Go ahead and click.

Early contender…

…for quote of the day.
"The way you support the armed forces of the U.S. is never send them off to die . . . unless American defense or security requires it."

Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Hat tip to Holden.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

of freedom forever

It has been 984 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

They're not coming home…

…until we make it happen, because he's not going to do it.

Via Think Progress (my emphasis)...

REPORTER: Will there come a day, and I’m not asking you when — I’m not asking for a timetable — will there come a day when there will be no more American forces in Iraq?

BUSH: That, of course, is an objective, and that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.
…or by the next Congress, if we keep our wits about us.

Only a Democratic Congress can stop him. Only we can make it happen.

Eyes on the prize.

Hat tip to Atrios.

Monday, March 20, 2006

and quit the hypocritical chants

It has been 983 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Today is the first day...

...of the fourth year of the war that will continue as long as the Republicans are in power.

Pretty damn sad when you think about it…

"'s been the highlight of my career, to be part of this administration."

Vice Preznit Cheney
I mean, jeebus, just imagine what the lowlights must have been...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

put it back in its pants

It has been 982 days since Karl Rove violated his obligations under Standard Form 312 without the White House taking “corrective action.”

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I've been hoarding links…

…for an epic post on the censure debate, but Ezra sums up my general sentiment pretty well...
As it is, a not a serious act. It's a scolding, not a time out; a warning, not an ejection. And since Democrats don't control either house of Congress, it's not even going to pass. So you have a non-actionable punishment with no prospects for manifestation. I don't really see any serious way to evaluate it, then, save for the politics. And unless you think the message that'll rally Americans in 2006 is that the Democrats will officially recognize a slip of paper rebuking George W. Bush, it's not clear why Feingold would find this so urgent that he couldn't risk spoiling the secret by speaking to his caucus.
It's pretty hard not to see this as a grandstand play, with the political calculations focused on 2008 rather than 2006. It's hard to see how putting your colleagues on the spot without warning can be seen as a particularly helpful this year.

If it was a serious proposal, it deserved a serious introduction following a serious debate in caucus. Feingold didn't need permission, but his colleagues deserved more regard than he was willing to offer, given that he's asking for the Party's highest accolade, the Presidential nomination.

I somewhat understand the round of enthusiasm for a Feingold nomination in some corners of the 'pissed off' camp. Hey, I'm pissed off, too. But the clumsy way Feingold handled the introduction and his subsequent turn as a Fox News Democrat don't seem to be the stuff of which endorsements ought to be made.

For that matter…

…I only know what I read in the papers. Civil war? Ask a former Prime Minister...

"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more.

"If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."

Iyad Allawi, fomer Prime Minister of Iraq

Hey, don't take my word for it…

…I was just lower enlisted swine. Ask a General...

(Rumsfeld) has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone else responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld must step down.
Paul D. Eaton, a retired Army major general, was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004

"…incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically." Jeebus. And that's just the beginning...

And now...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

of someone else's desert

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

The continuing chronicle of Preznit30something%...

…33, to be exact. Pew Center poll:

On a regional note…

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


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

You want ideas? The DNC's got ideas

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

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

3. Honesty and integrity to be restored to government.

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

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

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

Yeah, it's that Kerry fella again.

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

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

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

I'm just wild...

…about Harry.

"Three years of occupation and bloodshed…"

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

Friday, March 17, 2006

get our government to pull its dick out of the sand

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Well, duh…

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

Well, that and greed, I guess...

50 pounds of corned beef…

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

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

Top of the mornin'

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

Thursday, March 16, 2006

clean the streets and clear the air

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Phone fu…

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

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

Richard Nixon, Duke Law. '37

No wonder I feel broke…

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

so it's time to pick through the rubble,

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

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

While I may think…

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



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

It was all about getting home.

Hat tip to PSoTD.

Without comment…

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

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

The truth...

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

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

and a change is waiting there

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

I'm trying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 13, 2006

yes, the lessons are all around us

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Preznit 30something%.

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

I'm sympathetic…

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

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

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

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

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

Gee, ya think?

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

Setting Sullivan straight again.

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

It's a matter of priority…

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 12, 2006

and relearn how to rock-n-roll

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

'Maverick' may be his name…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh yeah, some maverick.

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

It's hardly a surprise, though.

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

Ooh, shiny!

One for the wish list...

And now...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

give the big oil companies the finger finally

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

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

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

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

Among these are:

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

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

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

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

The right of every family to a decent home;

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

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

The right to a good education.

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

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

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

Great sweeping bow to Greg.

If you didn't know he's a liar…

…you'd think he was nuts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President George W. Bush, in his latest push to counter rising opposition to the Iraq war as it nears its third anniversary, said on Saturday he believes the country can avoid an all-out civil war because of the increased capability of Iraqi troops.
Gee, it seems like only two weeks ago we were hearing this...
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday.
Jeebus, George.

Ten for today...

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

Friday, March 10, 2006

give the darkness back its soul

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.


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

Hat tip to Goldy.

Preznit 30something%

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

I can't tell the difference, either.

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

From the 'Family Food Fight' file...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there nowhere…

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

Thursday, March 09, 2006

give back the night its distant whistle

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Quote of the Day.

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

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

No news is bad news…

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Put it on the street…

…and tell the GOP to hit the road.

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

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

What have we wrought?

Iraq, 2005.

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

in my own railroad car

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

If you're the praying type…

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


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

Hat tip to The News Blog.

It's been a while…

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

I can't endorse his reasoning...

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

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

i dream of touring like duke ellington

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

Damn straight.

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

What's up with that?

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

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

It's our business.

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

Sic 'em, Howard!

While some misguided souls…

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

Once again, Kerry's kung fu is superior.

Shorter Shaun...

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

If the latest epistle from St. Amy…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Hat tip to Ron Chusid at the Democratic Daily.

Monday, March 06, 2006

through valleys under stars

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

Rove. Treason. Betrayal.

A hatchet best buried…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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