Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Well, no...


Apparently I'm the only person who is bothered by this, but it's probably inappropriate for "Clinton strategist" James Carville to maintain his pundit seat at CNN during the primary season.
...there's me, too.


…as far as it goes. Robert Kennedy, Jr. ...
“You can’t talk honestly about the environment today … without being critical of the president.”
My modest amendment…
You can’t talk honestly about the environment today … without being critical of the president.
Hat tip to The Democratic Daily.


Goldy highlights SB 6142, Republican State Sen. Janea Holmquist's sixteenth offering of the session:
A member of the legislature may not introduce as prime sponsor more than fifteen bills during a legislative session, excluding committee substitute bills.
It may be a better idea than Sen. Holmquist knows.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good question…

...about Laura Bush, from Shakespeare's Sis
How can she pretend she doesn't understand the significance, the fear, the pain, of one bombing a day, when her husband's entire presidency has been built around one day of bombing?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Quote of the day.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, via The Gavel
"Simply put, the war in Iraq is sapping our strategic base and leaving us with a broken Army."

Worth repeating.

Dr. Black:
“Republicans want to continue the war and Democrats want to end it. It’s that simple.”

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

I get so confused.

“We’re putting down roots,” says Philip Carter, a former U.S. Army captain who returned last summer from a year of policing and training in the hot zone around Baquba. “The Americans are no longer willing to accept failure in order to put Iraqis in the lead. You can’t let the mission fail just for the sake of diplomacy.”
And here I thought putting Iraqis in the lead was the mission.

So, what's the mission this week?

Since you asked…

Anyone else find it interesting that HRC is using bigwigs like Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright to push a Dean-style grassroots online fundraising campaign?
…yes, someone else does.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

And now…

…a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"When I find good people in the party opposed to me, instead of discouraging me, it encourages because it gives us much to fight for in getting them out of the other party into our own."

William Jennings Bryan,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Good questions?

Maybe, if the answer weren't so tragic for so many.

Ann McFeatters wonders in the Boston Herald
When former defense chief Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush were planning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, did they never think to determine how the wounded would be helped? Did they not know that today’s injured soldiers are dealing with far more horrific injuries than in the past because battlefield medicine keeps more of them alive?
The truth is, they just didn't care.

They don't care about you, either.

Hat tip to Joe Sudbay at AmericaBlog.

Oh yeah?

John Roberts: Even some fierce critics of the war feel it's far too early, that the troop increase should at least be given a chance.
Name one.

Once again...'s random ten time.
k.d. lang & the re-clines - Three Days
Ian Tyson - Someday Soon
The Ramones - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
Linda Ronstadt - Love Is A Rose
Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down
Robert Earl Keen, Jr. - The Front Porch Song
Sam Bush - The Ballad Of Spider John
Rick Shea & Patty Booker - I'm No Good Without You
Woody Guthrie - Roll On Columbia
Rodney Crowell - The Rock Of My Soul
I guess the appearance of The Ramones on this list would be considered an outlier by pollsters and statisticians, but always a welcome one.

Friday, February 23, 2007

And then there were…

…well, some incalculable number of candidates, with some perhaps yet to come and others certain to leave.

Vilsack's apparently not one of them, though.

Any disappointment out in blogtopia (™ Skippy)?

The whole point...

...of hiding under the table was simply the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat's scheme to avoid the camera, but this shot proves I'm still smarter than the family cat, doesn't it?

I mean, I feed her, house her, groom her and generally adore her, and in return I get to crawl around under furniture hoping for a photo op.

Pretty smart, huh?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hi there!

Fun with the Upper Left visitor log...
Date & Time:
Feb/22 8:13 AM
IP Address:
United States
Central Intelligence Agency

I feel a draft...

…a poverty draft.
Many of the hometowns of the war dead aren't just small, they're poor. The AP analysis found that nearly three quarters of those killed in Iraq came from towns where the per capita income was below the national average. More than half came from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty topped the national average.

Hat tip to mcjoan.

Going, going…

Fun facts from Brendan Daly at The Gavel.
TOTAL NUMBER OF TROOPS FROM REMAINING PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES: 4,395 (Countries: Poland, Romania, Australia El Salvador, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Latvia, Albania, Czech Republic, Mongolia, Lithuania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, and Slovenia; does not include Denmark’s 460 troops the government just announced would be withdrawn by the end of summer 2007)

AVERAGE TROOP COMMITMENT PER COUNTRY: 220 – however, nearly half of the participating countries have committed 100 or fewer troops to the coalition. (Czech Republic, Lithuania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Estonia, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, and Slovenia)

NUMBER OF COUNTRIES NO LONGER PARTICIPATING IN THE COALITION: 16 (Hungary, Nicaragua, Spain, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, Tonga, Portugal, Singapore, Norway, Ukraine, Japan, Italy, and Slovakia.)

COUNTRIES TRANSITIONING OUT OF THE COALITION: 2Moldova’s 11 troops recently returned home and the country has not decided whether or not to send in a new deployment. [AP, 2/21/07] Denmark’s government announced plans to withdraw their 460 troops by August 2007. [CNN, 2/21/07]

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I still hate what they're doing… my Army.
“We’re behind the power curve, and we can’t piddle around,” Maj. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, commander of the Oklahoma National Guard, said in an interview. He added that one-third of his soldiers lacked the M-4 rifles preferred by active duty soldiers and that there were also shortfalls in night vision goggles and other equipment....

Capt. Christopher Heathscott, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, said the state’s 39th Brigade Combat Team was 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers and also lacked its full arsenal of mortars and howitzers.
The freaking brigade combat team - combat team - is short of rifles and bound for war.

Maybe the Brits could leave some weapons behind for our guys.

Good question.

From Jake Tapper, via The Carpetbagger Report.
“If a major contributor to the Democratic party had been indicted for allegedly trying to provide material support for terrorist training camps — as happened to a GOP fundraiser on Friday — what would happen? What would be the response on talk radio? Cable news?”

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


From driftglass...
...if you find that you are a Conservative, then you can quit bothering to hunt for phantom enemies within, like the Liberal Press and the Dirty Hippies, because you – personally and specifically -- are the enemy.

You – personally and specifically -- are what is wrong with America.

I'm paying attention…

…to the neglect of wounded veterans reported in the Washington Post and elsewhere, and I feel like I should have something to say about it, but it's been over 40 years now since Ron Kovic told the same tale about another war, almost twice as long since the Bonus Marches.

The historical record of America's treatment of combat veterans is hardly exemplary. Shameful, perhaps, but certainly not exemplary. Why would anyone think it would be any better with this gang in charge?

Too much, sometimes. For too long. This stuff is getting numbing.

Graphical hat tip to The General.

Monday, February 19, 2007


…if inconvenient truth about Willapa Bay, and everywhere else, really, from Arthur Ruger, who follows the path from global issue to personal problems. Great stuff.

Yes, please.

More of this.

Al Franken, via Crooks & Liars (my emphasis)...
...I know the issues. But more importantly, I know where I stand on the issues. I'm for universal health care and against privatizing Social Security. I'm for stem cell research and against the president's Iraq policy. I'm for comprehensive immigration reform and against CAFTA. You'll never have to check which way the political winds are blowing to know where I stand.

From more candidates in more places.

It's the best way I can think of to win more elections.

Me too.

Steve Benen:
We want Reid to do more. I suspect Reid wants Reid to do more. So, let’s get him a bigger majority and a Democratic president, and I suspect we’ll see more.
Wisdom there from Yglesias and Publius, as well.

From the "saying more than he meant" file…

The Blue State has a snippet from Fox News Sunday (emphasis found)...
WALLACE: "..aren't Democrats perfectly entitled to say we shouldn't be sending more troops after the ones that are already there?"

GINGRICH: "There's a different — look, I can offer advice. The Senate can offer advice. Any American can offer advice. There's a difference between offering advice, which I think we should do, and legislating."
Newt pretty well covers the entire problem with Republican governance, at least on the Congressional level. In fact, individual members of Congress, from either chamber, may offer advice endlessly, and many do. For the Congress itself, though, as an institution, to offer advice, there is only one available avenue. It's called legislation. That's why, I suppose, it's called the Legislative branch of our government.

The Republican approach? Advise, sure. And attack, debate, demand, deride. Anything but legislate, though that's not only what they should do, it's exactly and only what they're congregated to do.

They want to be in charge and they don't even know what they're job is, or how to begin to get it done.

No doubt,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sheriff Dave…

…via Darryl.
[Reichert] described a meeting with anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan during which one of her companions pointedly asked Reichert how many more soldiers’ lives he was willing to sacrifice to the Iraq War.

Recreating the moment, Reichert trained his hardest gaze on me as if I was that upstart activist and said, “That question offends me. Do you know how many partners I’ve lost as a cop?”
I don't know the answer to that myself, or what it has to do with the question that he finds so offensive, but I certainly hope it wasn't very many.

I'm absolutely certain it's less than 3136.

Each and every one of them offensive.

And now...

...a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"Truth grows in the open field; the sunshine nourishes and strengthens it. It is secret influence which is constantly corrupting government and securing special privileges for the few at the expense of the many."

William Jennings Bryan,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

From the "Me too" file…

“If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from,” Mrs. Clinton told an audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

Thank you, Hillary. I think I will.
Me too.

Random ten time...

Dan Bern - Live Another Day
Billy & The Beaters - At This Moment
Melissa Gibson - Welcome To Stay
Peter Tosh - African
Curtis Mayfield - We're A Winner
Oasis - Stand By Me
Clarence Bucaro - Streets Of Juarez
The Ramones - California Sun
Tom Paxton - Who Will Feed The People?
Lyle Lovett - North Dakota
And a completely non-random anni-vale-versery week dedication to the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left...
The Turtles - Happy Together

"Razors pain you;...

Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful..."

It seems America's executioners are having as much trouble killing as Dorothy Parker seemed to have dying. Steve Benen notes that the current rage for lethal injection is no panacea in that regard, and has a modest suggestion.
"….back to the guillotine."
OK, not really.
"I’m being facetious, of course. I make this suggestion merely to point out that what we seek — a pleasant way to kill someone — does not exist."
Execution, even where permitted, is, thankfully, unusual. It is inherently cruel. Its value as an avenue of vengeance, it's only effective value, demands cruelty.

Again, Democratic candidates should note that John Kerry's resolute opposition to capital punishment was hardly a topic of discussion in his Presidential campaign. It's not an issue that has to be ducked. A candidate may not have to run on the issue, but a candidate needn't run from it. There's no need to equivocate. It's time to eradicate this vestige of barbarism from our culture.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Speaking of AmericaBlog

…you saw this, right?

1) Over 90% of of the attacks that are killing U.S soldiers in Iraq are SUNNI inspired. They are, like, a whole different group of people than the Shia, Mr. Bush. And supported by your three-minutes-in-the-closet friends and financial benefactors the Saudis.

2) 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, not Iran.

3) Bin Laden - yeah, Saudi not Iranian (and still at large, why is that?).

4) Say 'hi' to Bandar Bush for us.

5) Saudi Arabia, not Iran, was one of the three countries that recognized the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan--yeah that one.

6) Tell you brother to lay off the Thai hookers.

7) Saudi Arabia sought nuclear weapons, and may still be doing so.
Well, now you have.

I think some of the current crop of contenders would do well to emulate John Kerry's direct confrontation with the problematic U.S.-Saudi relationship. When Kerry would point a finger at Saudi Arabia it often produced some of the most enthusiastic applause of his appearances (and yes, by the way, people mostly laughed at his jokes, too).

It's something people seem to find easy to understand when it's plainly stated. Profitable Bush family investments don't neccessarily equate to benefial American alliances.

He may be doing it the hard way…

...but the Preznit may end up with one positive accomplishment after all. US News via AmericaBlog...
Bush has ignored the voters' clear message sent three months ago. He could be poised to take his party down with him when he retires to Crawford, Texas, in 2009.
One can only hope.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


...The Gavel, direct from Speaker Pelosi's office.

Good to see Jesse Lee found his way back to blogtopia (™ Skippy).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My own personal Congressman.

"Every veteran, including myself, in this House and in this nation is very proud of our soldiers.

They have done what they were ordered to do, at great personal sacrifice.

It's time for new orders to be issued.

It's time to end the U.S. role in the Iraq civil war and bring our soldiers home."
Sic 'em, Jim!

Full transcript.

Good question.

Chris Matthews on Mitt Romney...
"...what kind of conversion are we talking about whereby a person can simply say 'I swear to God I never believed what I believe.'?"
Hat tip to Digby.


Dr. Darryl...
The “theory” of intelligent design is to evolution what a theory of angels holding up airplanes on strings is to aerodynamics.
Great rant about science education by a real live professor of science.


Republic Congrescritters John Shadegg and Pete Hoekstra pen a 'Dear Colleague' about the anti-escalation resolution in the House (Steny Hoyer's posted a .pdf version of the whole miserable thing. The Carpetbagger Report has the plain text)…
...The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let the Democrats force us into a debate on the surge, or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.
So, they know they lose on the facts and merits. So what have they got? Something shiny, I'm sure...
Rather, the debate must be about the global threat of the radical Islamist movement.
Oooh. The Boogeyman. Good one. Of course Iraq's only making that threat worse, but it's worth another shot, isn't it? Should work as well as it did in, say, November '06.

And if you can't scare the rubes? Cry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Notable numbers.

From DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, via AmericaBlog...
Of the 107 Senators and Congressfolk with perfect 100% ratings from HRC (Human Rights Campaign) in this past Congress, 103 were Democrats and only four Republicans. Of the 156 who rated ZERO, 152 were Republicans. The difference could hardly be more stark.
Would someone get this to those Log Cabin people?

Seems like a long time... some ways, and just a minute in some others, but it was 19 years ago today that my best friend became my Brilliant and Beautiful Bride. People laugh when I tell them I feel lucky every time I come home and find that my key still fits the lock. I mean it. I'm a very lucky man.

The Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left? Well, I try hard to make her feel lucky, too. Still, it seems to be just another of those things she's better at than I am. I'm a very lucky man.

This place, of course, wouldn't even exixt without amazing patience and indulgence on her part. Her favorite part of the blog has always been the comments, when they come. Help me out here and toss a happy anniversary word or two her way in the following thread. And if you like what I do at all, be sure to tell her thanks.

What's the opposite of 'wanker'?

Maybe you only know it when you see it, and the A.P.'s Andrew Taylor shows commendable signs of anti-wankerism as he reports that "Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter."

The clip that impels me to particular praise is this...
The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends — its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office — sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.
Thank you, Mr. Taylor. I suppose a perfect response might have used the "lie" word, but I understand the stretch that entails for a journalist. Still, you used the truth to create context in an admirable way.

As disappointing as that news may be, though, it comes as no surprise. Why, after all, should George Bush care about returning veterans when he doesn't care about soldiers under fire
The Army is working to fill a shortfall in Iraq of thousands of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs — including a rising threat from particularly lethal weapons linked to Iran and known as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFP) — that are now inflicting 70 percent of the American casualties in the country, according to U.S. military and civilian officials.
The only credible explanation for the failure to solve this problem by now, after nearly four years of active combat a lack of concern that has led to a failure to make the protection of our G.I.s a first priority.

In case you were wondering, George Bush doesn't care about you, either.


From Kagro X on the Edwards blogger brouhaha...
This fight, if Edwards is going to be called upon to make it, must be everyone's fight. If the other campaigns cannot demonstrate that they would have displayed the same courage we call upon Edwards to display, then they benefit from the right's strategy of divide and conquer. And to the extent that they benefit, they give a pass to and encourage such attacks in the future, and are powerless to stop them when the next one comes. All they can do is hold on tight, cross their fingers, and pray they're not the next target. And that's no way to win anything. Certainly not the White House....
Since those words first appeared, the wingnuts who ginned up the whole 'controversy' have put pressure on the Clinton and Obama campaigns to denounce Edwards and the decision not to fire his blogging team lest they be branded as his allies in a campaign against Christianity.

There they go again.

It's real simple. The whole notion that John Edwards is "anti-Christian" or "anti-Catholic" is absurd on its face. That's the charge, and it's a lie. Every Democrat on every side of our intramural selection process and our sundry ideological divides should be united in proclaiming the truth.

No waffling. No "if this is so" or "I'm not familiar" or even "I'm sure there's an explanation."

Just the simple declaration that any attempt to paint any Democratic candidate as "anti-Christian" or "anti-Catholic" is a lie. It's an un-American smear worthy of comment only for the purpose of condemnation.

Because this isn't an attack on John Edwards, it's an attack on the Democratic Party, on all of our candidates and every one of our principles. The new cycle of threats isn't aimed at Clinton and Obama, but at the religious liberty and freedom of expression that are part of the legacy of our liberal heritage and are among our richest American treasures.

We can only defeat the continual stream of lies by standing united against the liars.

As Democrats.

Without apology.

Monday, February 12, 2007

In the slightly lower left…

…the DSCC has an ad ready for Oregon's Republican Senator.

They've got one for New Hampshire, too. All they need is your help to get them up and running.

Hat tip to MyDD.

Good idea…

…from Senator Dodd.
On Tuesday, February 13th, I plan on re-introducing the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. The bill will restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees, bar information acquired through torture from being introduced as evidence in trials, and limit presidential authority to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions.
Good deed.
Become a citizen co-sponsor.

Chicks Rule!

I'm really not that interested in most of the music that grabs the attention and airtime of the Grammy award show, but last night's big score by the Dixie Chicks was the right thing for so many reasons, most, but not all, of which, are purely musical. It really is a great album.

Very pleased, too, about the recognition for Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions project, which won in the Best Tradtional Folk Music category. I'm not sure if hard-core traditionalists would call it traditional folk music, but it's music clearly within the folk tradition, and superb under any label. Another one got right by the Grammy voters.

Far too often…

…it is all about race. Via Ezra Klein...
According to the Justice Department, "[in] 2005 there were 3,145 black male sentenced prison inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,244 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 471 white male inmates per 100,000 white males."
I can't really say that I had no idea, but I admit my imagination was unduly stunted. The actual numbers are just shameful. This can't be the kind of country we want to be. This isn't the kind of country we're supposed to be.


Not "electability" again.

Please. But Hillary's making the pitch
"I know what Gingrich tells people privately, I know what DeLay tells people privately, I know what Karl Rove tells people privately. I'm the one person they are most afraid of. Bill and I have beaten them before and we will again."
I'm not sure what anyone tells anyone privately. If I were, well, it wouldn't be private, would it? I do know that it's no secret that Republican pols and fundraisers wave the Clinton name like the bloody flag, though, openly and to apparent productive effect. A few on the left do, to. I'm not sure, though, how that particular brand of notoriety translates into electability.

I'm not saying that the elusive electability is never a proper subject for consideration, though it is never a sufficient one. In this cycle, though, Democrats are blessed with multiple tiers of fully qualified, fully electable candidates. Who among the first tier of GOP hopefuls could match credentials with so-called "second tier" Governor/Ambassador/Congressman Richardson? Which of the first tier Republics has the national security chops of "second tier" candidate Wes Clark? Or "second tier" candidate Joe Biden, for that matter. Chris Dodd ain't chopped liver, and we still haven't looked at Hillary's presumed companions in the first tier, Edwards and Obama.

No, this time around we can take the electability card off the table. We have a surplus of electable choices, just as the Republicans have an embarrassing surfeit of the same. This time we can take the time to make the best choice. That may be the heart of the argument against recent moves to front load the candidate selection process. I think there's great benefit in having as many of our distinguished voices raised in contrast to the pathetic bleatings of our opponents as we can for as long as possible.

And for the record, I don't think Karl was much of a player for Poppy (who fired him) or Dole, but Gingrich and DeLay? Let's get real, they kicked Bill Clinton's butt from pillar to post. They stole the Congress for over a decade and impeached him for gawdsake. Beaten them before? Get real.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And now...

...a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"There is a growing class in this country, an increasing number of our citizens, who recognize that the best legacy a father can leave to his children is not fortune, but a government that will protect his children in their enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and guarantee to them a fair share of the proceeds of their own toil."

William Jennnings Bryan,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Generate this.

Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report
Obama’s campaign has, for quite a while, suggested that he’s not only bringing about political change, but more importantly, generational change. The point couldn’t have been more clear this morning — Obama used the word “generation,” by my count, 12 times in his announcement speech.
You know, the torch is passed and all that. Theoretically great stuff, I suppose, if it were so.

The Census Bureau says the post WWII baby boomers are folks born between 1946 and 1964.


Born August 4, 1961.

I'm not saying it's not his turn, but it looks like we boomers aren't quite washed up yet.

Two can play.

Via Atrios.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said on Thursday that he's planning hearings this spring on executive and congressional travel on military aircraft.

Murtha said he's requested from the Defense Department records on travel and logistics from the past two years. He asked the Defense Department to hand those over within a month.
I haven't had anything to say about the Pelosi airplane controversy because, well, there really isn't one. I figure anytime Tony Snow and I agree, there's no controversy.

Who's going where on military aircraft? There might be some controversy there, alright, and I don't think the folks who started this trip are going to be happy with the final destination.

Oh please.

Oh please.

Margaret Talev for the McClatchy papers…
Having banked on the promise that Democrats would force a change of course in Iraq if they won control of Congress, some of the people who helped the Democrats get there are growing impatient.
And the evidence? Two suburban voters from Illinois, who apparently thought a Democratic Congress in January would mean troops home by February. Are Mr, Fahrenwald and Ms. Rone typical? Who knows...
National independent polling organizations haven't assessed reaction to the stalled Senate debate.


Folks, you can do a lot of things in a hundred hours. The House Ds proved that. You can't, though, undo six years of failed foreign policy and four years of senseless war in thirty days. You just can't.

Patience is a virtue sometimes hard-learned.

Patience is a virtue nonetheless.

Music to listen to…

…until Blogger decides to let me post.
Nanci Griffith & John Prine - Speed Of The Sound Of Lonliness
Jimmy Buffett - Boat Drinks
Herman's Hermits - I'm Into Something Good
Ilona Knopfler - Unchain My Heart
Rickie Lee Jones - Danny's All-Star Joint
Neil Young - Comes A Time
Major - Smart Casual
Tim Hardin - Reason To Believe
Carrie Newcomer - The Gathering Of Spirits
Sly & The Family Stone - Stand!
And a bonus cut, because it took a little longer than that...
The Clarks - Shimmy Low
That last is a power pop gem that people who like that kind of thing will love.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Yet another perch...

...for the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat.

And look how thrilled she is to have it documented!

Why We Fight Write.

Glenn Greenwald...
"As long as Matt Drudge -- and Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, etc. -- rule the world of national journalists, little can be accomplished on any front. Diluting their influence and forcing actual facts into these public discussions is of the utmost urgency, and the growing (though admittedly still incomplete) ability of the blogosphere to achieve that objective is the true significance of the Edwards story."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

From the "me too" file.

Goldy at HuffPo.
By standing up to Malkin and Donohue when it would have been much easier to cave, Edwards has decided to take a blow on behalf of a nascent progressive netroots movement most establishment Democrats neither fully understand nor appreciate.

Whether or not he is my candidate, this blogger is going to stand up for Edwards in return.
I know a couple days can seem like eternity in the middle of a fight, but there's nothing wrong with taking the time to get it right. Another 'not-endorsing yet' cheer for Edwards.

War critics guilty…

…of providing aid and comfort to democracy. So sez the General. As in the General.
"There's no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy. Period."

Gen. Peter Pace, USMC, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Hat tip to Glenn Greenwald.


“For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists, but they’re very brave with the terrorists. If the terrorists ever got a hold of this information, they’d get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad.”

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY)

McDermott quotes McGovern...

"It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes.

"And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us."
…and does the right thing.
...Congressman Jim McDermott said he would introduce legislation that would set a deadline for U.S. withdrawal and say that after that date there would only be funding to pay for the "safe and orderly withdrawal" of troops.

McDermott said his legislation will be based on the 1970 McGovern-Hatfield Amendment that was used as an attempt to end American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Have I mentioned how proud I am of my own personal Congressman?

Quote of the day.

"I don't think 20,000 more troops is Democratic, I don't think 20,000 troops is Republican. I think it's stupid."

Iraq war vet Jon Soltz, co-founder of

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Not particularly satisfying…

…but probably the best outcome he could hope for, given the rules put in place (i.e., no defense allowed)...
A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the court-martial of an Army lieutenant who refused to deploy to Iraq, saying the soldier did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges.

Prosecutors said 1st Lt. Ehren Watada admitted in the document that he had a duty to go to Iraq with his fellow soldiers.

Watada, however, said he admitted only that he did not go to Iraq with his unit, not that he had a duty to go.
Watada's lawyer seems to think double jeopardy is in play, but I doubt it. Best thing for all parties now would be a general discharge for the Lieutenant for the good of the service. The question is how anxious the military prosecutors are to create a martyr for the anti-war movement. I want him on the street, and on the podium, but Ehren Watada is probably a more potent symbol in a cell.

Everybody's better off if that never happens, though.

As I shake off…

…a bit of that ol' blogging ennui (now that 'new' Blogger has decided to let me log in for a while), another from the Norbizness archive of always on target posts.
"Hey! Somebody who I don't respect and who never agrees with me on anything has just written something that I support, in that it mirrors my pre-existing outlook! Game, set, and match, powers that be!"

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Since he asked…

…I've been trying to find a way to respond to Taegan Goddard's call for reviews/advice over at Political Wire that would have more value than a simple pander for the linkback. The previous post, thankfully, provides the necessary hook.

That's just the kind of thing - a nugget about a campaign I'd ordinarily not be watching at all, but which offers me the framework for a post - that I go looking for when I go to Political Wire, and I'm seldom disappointed. It's not always the first stop I make, but that's in part because it's such a valuable reserve of inspiration that I might never get past it.

I also appreciate that when there's Republican related item, it's generally offered without the obligatory layer of snark more overtly ideological sites typically apply. That means I get a clean, fresh canvass for my own snark, should any occur. Yeah, I like that.

I'm loathe to offer any actual advice beyond 'keep it up!' After all, the reason I go there several times a day is because it's done pretty damn well. When he starts finding essential links here on a day to day basis, I'll start advising Goddard on how to 'fix' his blog. I'm happy, though, to advise you to visit Political Wire early and often every day.

First I've seen…

…of this kind of thing, but I'd imagine there are more folks on both sides thinking the same thing. The Hotline, via Political Wire...
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) told a group of reporters this morning that if he's still considered a second-tier candidate by September, "then he'll rethink his candidacy," reports The Hotline.
It's good to keep in mind how very early it is in the '08 cycle. A batch of high profile, front-loaded announcements may catch the eye of political junkies, but there's plenty of time to for new faces to enter arena, and too much time for some to stay in it. Just as reality will inevitably dawn on some, opportunity may knock for others, before real choices will be made by voters and caucus attendees.

There's still time to wait for the decisive pitch.

An apology is in order.

Broder on the DNC Winter Meeting, via The Carpetbagger Report...
One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of “Duty, Honor, Country,” forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military.
How dare he assume that a room filled with Democratic politicians and activists would not have "...much experience with, or sympathy for, the military."

Mr. Broder, you owe an apology to Democrats including not only General Clark, who knows his audience better than you do, but to John Kerry, Charlie Rangel, Jack Murtha, Jim Webb, the whole Fighting Dems crew and countless others. Me, too. And all of our 'sympathizers.' The entire damn Party, as a matter of fact.

Email David Broder. Demand an apology.

Oliver has an eye-witness account of the Clark appearance and a healthy dose of appropriate outrage.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Include me out.

Bush showed up at a retreat for House Democrats to do a little pandering to the new boss...
He said disagreeing with him over the war — as many in the room do — does not mean "you don't share the same sense of patriotism I do."
I don't know about the folks in his audience, but I take some comfort in hoping that they're sense of patriotism is, like mine, very different than that of George Bush.

My sense of patriotism is informed by a respect and affection for the Constitution of the United States. More than any symbol, any person or any territory or possession of the United States, it is the Constitution, the document which enshrines the sovereignty of the people under the rule of law, that we require our public servants to swear fealty to. Bush treats that Constitution as a memo of some vague historical interest, largely unsuitable for contemporary governance.

My sense of patriotism is of a sort that inspires young men and women to enter the service of their country regardless of personal risk, to willingly, deliberately place themselves in harm's way to defend the principles enshrined in the Constitution. George Bush knows nothing of that sense of duty and service.

My sense of patriotism includes a sense of fellowship with my countrymen and women such that when they are victims of injustice or ill fortune, I expect the government, as the agent of our collective purpose, to provide relief, to assist in rebuilding not only devastated cities, but devastated lives. It is a sense of patriotism that looks at the American people, at our wealth of resources, skills, intelligence and compassion, and believes that we can, and where we can, we must. George Bush simply doesn't care.

My sense of patriotism tells me that America is great not because of what we have, but because of who, at our best, we are, and what we may, under the guidance of the Constitution and conscience, we may become.

No, Mr. Bush, you share none of that, and I want nothing of the bundle of bigotry and blindness that informs your "sense of patriotism."

I love my country too much.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

And now...

...a passage from the Prairie Populist.
"Is it the desire of any simply to make our flag feared? Let us rather make it loved by every human being. Instead of having people bow before it, let us have them turn their faces toward it and thank God that there is one flag that stands for human rights and the doctrine of self-government everywhere."

William Jennings Bryan,

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Edwards again.

Same speech. Still right.
"...we are Democrats, the party of action – not reaction. We are Democrats, the party of principle – not appeasement."
I'm still on the fence. Really. If someone else says something as impressive as the stuff Edwards is coming up with, I'll quote 'em.


Meanwhile, it's always great to hear from a Democrat without apology.

Tune time.

Jim Croce - Hard Hearted Hannah (The Vamp From Savannah)
Shana Morrison - God Must Love Me
Edwin McCain - Ghosts Of Jackson Square
Willie Nelson - Hello Walls
Sinead Lohan - Diving To Be Deeper
Cheap Trick - Ain't That A Shame
Little Milton - Grits Ain't Groceries
Indigo Swing - Baron Plays The Horses
The Mamas & The Papas - Do You Wanna Dance
Peter, Paul & Mary - For Lovin' Me
I can't speak for God, but that Shana Morrison track is pretty tasty. Van's little girl's quite a singer in her own right.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Yeah, she's just sitting there...

...but this time the lovely and talented Miss Audrey Hepcat is just sitting there on an entirely different couch. Isn't that exciting?

Not an endorsement…

…(not yet, anyway), but when he's right, he's right. John Edwards at the DNC Winter Meeting...
"This is not the time for political calculation. It's the time for political courage."
2008 will be our best opportunity in a couple decades to elect a member of Paul Wellstone's fabled "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" to the White House. In fact, I think boldness favors our side. We need to make "worth electing" a higher criteria than "electability" this time. This time, we need a Democrat without apology. Proud, principled partisanship must be a first requirement for the Democratic nomination.

By the way, candidate speeches to a roomful of Party insiders almost two years out may seem pretty 'inside baseball,' but four years ago John Kerry's absence for cancer treatment and Howard Dean's impressive performance combined to dramatically change the campaign dynamics of the '04 selection process.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Act locally…

…to stop global insanity. Upper lefties should contact (my own personal) State Senator Darlene Fairley, Chair of the Committee on Government Operations and Elections, and ask her to schedule a hearing on SJM 8003. Senator Fairley can be reached at or (360) 786-7662.

Kudos to Senators Kohl-Welles, et al.


By Senators Kohl-Welles, Kline, Pridemore, Shin, Oemig, Prentice, Poulsen, Regala, Spanel and Jacobsen

Read first time 01/22/2007. Referred to Committee on Government Operations & Elections.


We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled,Respectfully represent and petition as follows:

WHEREAS, The President has proposed an escalation in the number of United States troops deployed in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, United States involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 United States soldiers and the wounding and disabling of more than 22,000 United States military personnel to date; and

WHEREAS, This proposed escalation will further extend National Guard tours in Iraq, the costs to the states of the call-up of National Guard members for deployment in Iraq have been significant, as reckoned in lost lives, combat injuries and psychic
trauma, disruption of family life, financial hardship for individuals, families, and businesses, interruption of careers, and damage to the fabric of civic life in our communities; and

WHEREAS, The American troops have valiantly upheld their duty in 2 Iraq under dire circumstances; and

WHEREAS, More than 357 billion dollars has been appropriated by Congress to fund military operations and reconstruction in Iraq to date, money that could fund desperately needed education, health care, housing, nutrition, and other social services in our communities in the United States or humanitarian assistance abroad; and

WHEREAS, Previous budgets that have prioritized Iraq have led to cuts in critical block grants for states and have increased the federal debt, which compounded by interest payments, will likely lead to even larger cuts in funding for critical needs in the states; and

WHEREAS, Polls show that the vast majority of Americans do not support increasing the number of troops in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, Most military experts oppose escalation in Iraq and press reports indicate that even the Joint Chiefs of Staff have opposed such a strategy; and

WHEREAS, Legal experts on all sides have determined that Congress has not only broad authority, but a long tradition of limiting escalation or forcing redeployment of troops through the Constitutionally designate power of the purse;

NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists, on behalf of the citizens of the state of Washington, respectfully pray that, in a period when the Iraq Study Group, leading military and diplomatic officials, and allies around the world are calling for a reduction in troops and withdrawal of the United States from Iraq, the United States government should not escalate its involvement in Iraq or increase troop levels.

BE IT RESOLVED, That, at a minimum, the President should obtain explicit approval from Congress if he wants to send more American troops to Iraq; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the President from spending taxpayer dollars on an escalation in Iraq, unless the President first seeks Congressional approval; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.