Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Me, for instance.

Cox News Service — Nearly 1.8 million U.S. veterans are without health insurance, and more than half of them said they have no place to go when they are sick, Harvard Medical School researchers reported Tuesday.


The researchers said the uninsured veterans are primarily low- to middle-income workers, aged 44 to 64, who are too poor to afford private insurance coverage but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid or VA health care.

The researchers said the main cause for the large number of uninsured veterans was the narrowing of eligibility for health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2003, the Bush administration limited VA health care eligibility to veterans with combat-related health problems or those making less than $30,000 a year.
Actually, I'm not sure how entitled I feel to VA care. Certainly I agree with the principle that my brother's Purple Heart moves him ahead of me in the line, and retirees, likewise, should have prior call. Still, I'm one of those who simply can't afford to find out whether there's anything wrong with me, because there's really nothing I can afford to do about it. I'm blessed with good health, or at least the sense of good health. Good luck, too. In 56 years, I've never spent a night as a patient in a hospital, never had a broken bone and have no complaints other than the inevitable symptoms of advancing age.

As a single enlistment soldier with no service connected disabilities, I'd be happy to have a spot at the back of the VA line, but there's no line at all for veterans like me. I'm not sure there should be, but I sure wish there was.

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Déjà vu.

Karen Hughes, one of President Bush’s longest-serving advisers, is stepping down from her position...
Good riddance again.

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Since you asked...

The junior Senator from Connecticut...
"Do they not trust Joe Lieberman? Do they not trust me?"
No, Joe.


Edwards won.

But you expected me to say that. Don't take my word for it. Some reviews, via Blogometer
· Andrew Sullivan: "The winner was clearly Edwards. He was concise, aggressive, completely right about Clinton and always on point. He seemed unafraid to take her on, while Obama was still playing a too-careful defense."
· AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay: "Edwards is having a good night."
· MyDD's Todd Beeton: "I think Edwards had a better debate than Obama did, especially when it came to scoring points at Clinton's expense, although I don't think either of them "won it" per se."
· TNR's Noam Scheiber: "Edwards struck me as more compelling, for two reasons. First, his delivery was far more confident and focused. Edwards cut immediately to the issue of Clinton's honesty and kept pounding her over and over again."
· Matthew Yglesias: "I wasn't really watching after the first half hour or so, but it seemed to me that Edwards was doing a better job than Obama of landing blows on Clinton and that something about the dynamic of so many different candidates slamming HRC was weird."
· The Nation's Ari Melber: "John Edwards had the strongest showing, pounding Clinton as the status quo candidate. ... Edwards repeatedly presented himself as the most credible "change" candidate."
Yep, a good night for my man John.

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What we sent them to die for.

Another voice from the front...
“It’s just a slow, somewhat government-supported sectarian cleansing.”

Major Eric Timmerman, U.S. Army, Sadiya, Iraq

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Encouraging words…

…via Political Wire.
"The wealthy Democrats and giant organizations that spent $135 million to make John Kerry president in 2004 are reaching into their pockets for another round," The Politico reports. The mega-donors "are hashing out the details of a planned independent effort that could finance tens of millions of dollars of television advertisements."
Of course, that's exactly the kind of independent investment in Democratic victory that will erase the so-called public financing gap for my man John. There are advantages, too, in terms of latitude with message - supporters can say things that, for various reasons, candidates either can't or won't.

Of course, I'm sure these Democratic financiers will work as strenuously for whichever of the potential nominees ultimately prevails, as will I, but this news really is tailor made for Edwards.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

…+ 1 = 12

Another SEIU endorsement, and an important one, in the Edwards column. Via First Read
After weeks of intense lobbying by the top three Democratic presidential candidates, Edwards has come away with the endorsement of the New Hampshire SEIU.
More built in organizational resources in a state that may be essential to Edwards' prospects, and no carpetbaggers from renegade SEIU states thanks to the International's endorsement rules. Not the national endorsement that might have been ideal, but it's getting close enough to national where it matters.

Yeah for our side.

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Shorter Jonah Goldberg by busybusybusy...
Conservatism's buzz-kill
· The job of conservatives is to obstruct the creation of the liberal society that most Americans really want.
And, of course, the liberal society that the founders envisioned. Whatever else modern Movement Conservatism may be, it's built on an anti-American foundation.

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Meanwhile in New Hampshire…

my man John staked his claim to the reform mantle with a powerful speech in New Hampshire yesterday. This time, it seems, it's personal. True, too…
Today Hillary Clinton has taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any candidate from either party - more money than any Republican candidate.

She has taken more money from the defense industry than any other candidate from either party as well.

She took more money from Wall Street last quarter than Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama combined.

The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.

We have a duty - a duty to end this.

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Hillary ties it up.

Senator Clinton, too, does a Dodd. Via firedoglake
Judge Mukasey has been given ample opportunity – both at his confirmation hearings and in his subsequent submission to the Judiciary Committee – to clarify his answers and categorically oppose the unacceptable interrogation techniques employed by this Administration. His failure to do so leaves me no choice but to oppose his nomination.
Anybody heard from Senator Biden?

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Score one…

…for Obama.
Judge Mukasey has failed to send a clear signal that he understands the legal and moral issues that are at stake for our country, and so I cannot support him…. No nominee for Attorney General should need a second chance to oppose torture and the unnecessary violation of civil liberties…. It’s time to reclaim our values and reaffirm our Constitution.
He's starting to sound like Chris Dodd.

That's a good thing.

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Monday, October 29, 2007


Via Todd
Obama, said (Drake University political science professor Dennis)Goldford, has a cerebral approach that leaves some voters wanting more. While Clinton is running "from the center" and former Edwards is running "from the left," he said, Obama is "running from above."

"He is trying to run against the process and politics as usual itself," Goldford added. "The last person to do that successfully was President Bill Bradley in 2000." (Rimshot, please.)

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It's true.

[T]here isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism.
Nope, there isn't.

The whole piece is true. Read, and fear not.

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Wild weekend.

Well, wild by the standards of the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left and I. Saturday night we joined a gaggle of my colleagues from the perfect tavern for the trek to the Lucky Eagle Casino south of Olympia to see the Smothers Brothers in concert. One of our bartenders, Will, is a longtime friend and former road manager for the Smothers and arranged VIP passes for the bunch of us.

All I can say is that if these guys are appearing in a showroom anywhere near you, go. I laughed till it hurt. After the show, they turned out to be every bit as bright and charming as you could hope, hanging out with us, telling jokes and stories and adding their autographs next to Pete Seeger's on the face of my 12 string.

Here's a shot of Tommy with the BBBUL and myself. Maybe more pics later...

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Sunday, October 28, 2007


Will Durst, via WIIIAI
“The good news is FEMA showed up in California. The bad news is they came to fix the levees.”

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Quote of the day.

"I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life."

Sgt. Victor Alarcon, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division
Hat tip to Oliver.

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And now...



Looks like they broke the Air Force, too...
The Air Force has been forced to use Russian commercial cargo jets to rush mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles from the U.S. to Iraq because it does not have enough C-5 and C-17 planes to do the job, the service’s top civilian official said recently.
I wonder how the service's top military folks feel about that.

Hat tip to Gordon.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Got random if you want it...

Arrested Development - Mr. Wendal
Bill Morrissey - Pay Day
The Beau Brummels - Laugh, Laugh
Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys - Ida Red Loves To Boogie
Al Kooper & Michael Bloomfield - Really
Colleen Coadic - Better Than This
Beausoleil - Valse Bebe
Aerosmith - Rag Doll
Canned Heat - Let's Work Together
Bruce Hornsby - See The Same Way

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Maybe we can't all move to Richland…

…but we can all help keep Jimmy on the air.
...just another $150 could get me another 5 days radio time which I think has been a great asset to the effort. If you have a few bucks to spare, 5, 10 or 20, please consider donating to the campaign.
I'm in for $20 with a challenge to other wet-siders to hop over to McCranium and hit the PayPal button.

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And proud of it.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

Hat tip to tristero.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

From the "Wish I wrote that" file.

The GOP field, as seem by Mr. Pierce

In fact, it's long past time for simple ridicule to become the default position on the entire Republican presidential field. Romney is deeply, profoundly, relentlessly silly; he appears to be enrolled in a course in Human Being as a Second Language. Rudy Giuliani gets crazier almost by the hour and, at any meeting of his foreign-policy advisory team, he's the sanest lunatic in the room. Fred Thompson seems to have been unearthed a week ago in the Valley of the Kings. The second tier is populated by people like Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, neither of whom you would hire to park your car. Ron Paul -- an authentic libertarian crackpot -- is treated as a serious phenomenon even by people who don't believe that the U.N. is speaking through the fillings in Katie Couric's teeth. This past week, we had a general all-hands-on-deck attempt to inflict Huckamania! on the general populace as good ol' Mike announced his disapproval of Charles Darwin. And then there's John McCain, who's spent this entire campaign doing things he'd vowed he'd never do in the last one. I swear to God, they all ought to climb into one little black car and drive into the next debate behind jugglers, high-wire acts, and a parade of circus bears.

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Quote of the day.

"We send 19-year-olds to die and we ask 2-year-olds to pick up the tab."

Senator Christopher Dodd

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It's America 101…

…something every schoolboy knows, or knew, at least, when civics was still a grammar school subject. No man is above the law. None. That's what we're all about, as much as we're about anything at all. If Michael Mukasey doesn't get that, well, then, the New York Times is right...
If Judge Mukasey cannot say plainly that the president must obey a valid statute, he ought not to be the nation’s next attorney general.
After all, the very least we should expect from our top law enforcer is some familiarity with the supreme law of the land.

Hat tip to Jesse Wendel at Group News Blog.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Say it ain't so, Steve!

Colbert Poll Showing Lacks Truthiness


Ezra reminds me...'s been five years.



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Excuse me…

…did I say D-list? Guess I'm doing better than I thought…

C-List Blogger



From the "Majorities matter" file.

Donnie Fowler...
Democrats have passed and gotten signed lobbying and ethics reforms, an increase in the minimum wage, a massive increase in student aid, legislation to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations, and other initiatives. Not too shabby.
Yep. Not everything, but not nothing neither.

All we need now is more and better Democrats.

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Bob Cesca
The United States of America is composed of around 300 million mostly good people who are sometimes misguided, destructive, religious, arrogant, ignorant and self-important -- conditioned to consume everything. We're fat, prone to addiction and we love awful things like Steve Doocy and BK Stackers. We're a lot of crazy things, Senator McCain, but America is definitely not "right of center."
America is, more than it is anything, a set of ideas laid out in the Constitution. Those ideas are applicable, really, to any people in any place at any time. Those ideas can be implemented at a more progressive or conservative pace, but those ideas, the heart, foundation and ultimate definition of America? That's big 'L' Liberalism. Anything less is, well, un-American.

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A dip into the memory hole…

…by Rep. Chet Edwards, Democrat...
"...the last time Republicans passed a VA appropriations bill on time was 1996.”
Worth remembering, and repeating, during the next round of 'do-nothing Democrat' bashing by the Rs.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A swarm of candidate mail…

…reminds me that mail ballots are out. Bah. I'm a voting place voter. For those who have their ballots, though, here's what guidance I have to offer on the questions and candidates I'll be voting on.

Sometimes it's hard to ignore the pleading of friends and stick to my practice of voting no on each and every state ballot initiative, no matter how well intentioned or, for that matter, well crafted. Whatever populist advance the initiative process may have once offered, it has become corrupted beyond apparent redemption.

Happily, the only true initiative on the ballot, I-960, is not favored by any friends of mine whatsoever. It's the one my pals at NPI call the "Paralyzing Government" initiative. They're right. I'll be voting 'no' because there isn't a box for 'you've got to be kidding.'

I-960 may be the only initiative proper, but there are ballot measures aplenty. Next up in the voter's pamphlet is a referendum from the legislature, R-67, which would require insurance companies to pay legitimate claims under the terms and conditions of the policies they issue. It sounds so banal that it's hard to believe it isn't already the law. It isn't. Insurance companies can deny claims at their leisure with impunity under the law.

The kind of fight the insurance industry is waging against R-67 is proof positive that it's a good deal for the rest of us.

Yes on R-67.

Senate Joint Resolution 8206 would amend the state constitution to provide for a 'rainy day' fund. Sounds reasonable. Yes.

SJR 8212 would allow private businesses to contract with prison labor in the state of Washington. Nope.

The state House in in on the act, too, with House Joint Resolution 4204 which would end the super-majority requirement for public school levies. Yes, absolutely.

HJR 4215 affects the way certain higher education funds can be invested. It was non-controversial in the legislature, and will get a yes vote from me.

County measures include Initiative 25, which would create a director of elections, elected on a non-partisan basis. Non-partisan, you say? Never use the stuff. No.

King County Proposition 1 extends a levy that finances Medic 1 emergency medical services. Yes, of course.

Sound Transit/RTID Prop. 1, the roads and transit measure, is both hugely ambitious and expensive. If it passes, and if everything proposed gets built, I still don't think it will solve any of our congestion problems. On the other hand, I'm generally well disposed toward public works in general, and infrastructure investment in particular. It's a puzzle. What do my friends thing? Well, some of my friends are for it, and some of my friends are against it. For now, I'm with my friends.

There are two county campaigns on the Democratic line, Bill Sherman for Prosecuting Attorney and Scott Noble, the incumbent County Assessor. Both are well qualified and fine representatives of our Party. Once again, it's my pleasure to support the straight ticket.

The Port Commission is officially 'nonpartisan,' but discerning Democrats should recognize a certain kinship with Gael Tarleton and Alec Fisken, who will receive my votes.

Knee-jerk anti-imcumbentism isn't usually my cup of tea, but the Shoreline city council is so dysfunctional these days that throwing the bums out seems like the only way through. I'll be voting for new faces - McConnell, Eggen and Scott.

I'm still studying up on a couple of school board races, but I'm pretty much settled on Maren Norton in District 4 and looking hard at other new faces here, as well.

None of this till election day, though, when I'll proudly stand in line to vote in person.

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I'm a couple days behind the story…

…but let me add a rousing hurrah for Jimmy the blogger at McCranium becoming Jim McCabe the candidate for Richland City Council.

It's a write-in candidacy, occasioned by the retirement of an already filed candidate, so there's a huge job of voter education to do, but that's all the more reason to commend Jim for the effort.

So, again, hurrah!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Still here...

...after all these years. Crazy? Probably.

At any rate, a peek into the attic tells me I've been at this for four years as of today. That's almost 6,000 posts for what's getting near a quarter of a million visitors. Like everyone who does this, I'd love more links, more readers and more comments, but by and large I think we've got us a pretty good little 'D' list blog going here.

Thanks for being here to be part of it.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

And now...


Saturday, October 20, 2007

The tree guys were here...

Need some wood?


Still worth doing...

Visit the John Edwards for President website
Join the campaign.
Learn more about One Corps.
Join John's social network.
Become a Citizen Journalist.
Join the e-Team.
Visit the blog
Spread the word!



Bruce Clark, president of the Iowa Postal Workers Union...
“The reason we endorsed Edwards is because we do believe he has the strongest possible positions for working people in general.”
Me too.

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Ten more...

The Big Wu - Puerto Rico
The Drams - Unhinged
Alice Stuart - Hard Time Killin' Floor
Pink - I Have Seen The Rain
Shelby Lynne - You Don't Have A Heart
Alison Krauss - Down To The River To Pray
Bob Hillman - Bolted Down
The Band - The Weight
Alison Moorer - Storms Never Last
Booker T. & The MGs - Green Onions
OK, Terry, what'd I miss?

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Worth repeating.

From an email touting the DFA straw poll

Here's what an Edwards presidency would mean for America:
· CLEAN ELECTIONS: I'm serious about breaking the stranglehold of big money on our democracy. I'm the only leading candidate who has never accepted a dime from political action committees or federal lobbyists. And I'm the only leading candidate to accept public financing because I'm committed to walking the walk on clean elections starting today.

· OUT OF IRAQ: I will end the war in Iraq – period. I believe we should begin withdrawing combat troops immediately and will ensure that we have withdrawn all troops within 10 months—leaving no permanent bases behind. I will end the outsourcing of military operations to unaccountable private contractors. And unlike other candidates, I will never equivocate about a potentially endless military involvement in Iraq.

· UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: I was the first candidate to release a detailed plan for universal health care, and I'm still the only leading candidate with a plan that truly guarantees care for everyone. My plan preserves choice by requiring the insurance companies to compete with a public plan (which may evolve toward a single-payer approach over time), reduces the cost for everyone, ensures every American is enrolled and prohibits any discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.

· SOLVING GLOBAL WARMING: I have the most aggressive plan of any leading candidate. I will lead a revolution in the energy economy to reduce carbon levels by 80% by 2050 and create over 1 million new jobs along the way. My global warming plan got more votes from members than my two closest competitors combined.

· ECONOMIC FAIRNESS: I will lead a national effort to strengthen the middle class and end poverty in 30 years through reforms like raising the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2012, creating 1 million stepping stone jobs, bringing opportunity to rural America, and strengthening workers rights to organize. I am proud to have earned the official endorsement of labor unions representing over 2.2 million current and retired workers—more than any other candidate.

· SECURING THE VOTE: Every American deserves an absolute guarantee that their vote is counted as cast. That means every vote count must be verifiable by a hand count, with access for people with disabilities. And it means that unaccountable, partisan corporations must not be allowed to monopolize the voting process.

· BLUE STATES FROM COAST TO COAST: Poll after poll has shown I'm the one candidate who can really help turn America blue. I'm committed to helping local Democrats win office from Oklahoma to Maine, and to holding Congress accountable to our progressive vision.
Consider just that last point. Which of the other potential nominees can you imagine becoming a progressive prod to Congress? Which will most likely, and effectively, challenge the institutional conservatism of Capitol Hill?

It's not a matter of being 'anti' anybody. It's a matter of a forward and forceful agenda for America that's unmatched among the field.

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Wild night…

…at Upper Left World Headquarters. The big ol' sweetgum tree in the side yard came down in last night's wind storm. Down onto my roof, down onto the neighbor's roof and down all over the back yard.

Nobody hurt, nothing structural broken. Lucky, that. But a wild night.

The tree man says it'll cost the landlord's insurance company $2500.

At least I won't have to rake the leaves this year.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hat trick.

This makes three blogworthy shots from Obama in recent days. The guy is really starting to grow on me. If he could just drop the kumbayah schtick and toss some of this at the Republicans. Wednesday on the Tonight Show, via the Huffington Post
Hillary is not the first person in Washington to declare 'Mission Accomplished' a little too soon.
Worth a hearty heh™.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not brand new…

…but worth repeating. Gristmill...
Edwards has played an indispensable role in this campaign. On issue after issue -- energy, poverty, health care -- he has led the pack with bold progressive policy proposals. In doing so, he's pushed the envelope and made it safe for the other major candidates to strengthen their own plans.

There'd be scant prospect for a progressive debate in the primaries without my man John.

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At last…

...a Pat Paulsen for the 21st century.

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From the "Me too" file.

Local politics matters! And yet I spend all my time arguing for an expansion of health coverage that I already have, and an end to a war I'm in no danger of fighting. It's weird.
Yep. While I have definite opinions about next years presidential contest and have adopted a favorite son for the U.S. Senate all the way over in Maine, I'm woefully under-informed regarding the school board races I'll be making choices on in just a few weeks.

Sadly, that's probably more typical than weird. Still, other than the health coverage (which I don't have), me too

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Shield me!

Send lawyers, guns and money.
The House has just passed the Free Flow of Information Act, also known as the federal shield law. The bill passed by a vote of 398-21, a margin that would easily override the veto which the White House has promised (pdf). The bill provides journalists with a qualified privilege as to sources and information, while at the same time, recognizing the need for effective law enforcement and robust national security. A blogger who regularly engages in journalistic activities – such as gathering and publishing news and information for dissemination to the public – and does so for a substantial portion of the person’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain would be covered by the shield as a journalist.
Big whoop, a shield for what? A dozen or so pure political bloggers (as opposed to professional journos with a blog) raking in a living?

Kos is right. The Senate needs to fix this to make it meaningful.

In the meantime, shield me here.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pretty cool, huh?

"...the President of the United States got his ass kicked by a bunch of bloggers…"
Actually, I think our candidate deserves a lot of the credit, but still, pretty cool.

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Actually, he's better in attack mode.

Senator Obama
Washington lobbyists have chosen their candidate and are determined to provide her with an overwhelming advantage. But you can even up this contest.

In the face of the most entrenched political machine in Democratic politics, I believe a movement of ordinary Americans can change our country.
Yep. I may differ with him on just what that movement of ordinary Americans should do, or at least who they should do it for, at least for now, but otherwise, yep.

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Monday, October 15, 2007


Via seattleforbarackobama
"If I believed in polls, then five years ago I would have backed the war in Iraq like she did."
He shoots. He scores.

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From the "what he said" file.

Iowa State Rep. Art Staed of Cedar Rapids, at the announcement of John Edwards' endorsement by the Iowa (and Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Idaho, Montana and California) SEIU.
"John Edwards is an honest fellow who has his heart set on the right things. He's sincerely more interested in the common people than in multinational corporations."

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Via Jane Hamsher, originally from the journals of Arthur M. Schlesinger…
I made the point that the liberals had stood by Clinton while the DLC people had deserted him and described the miserable Lieberman as a “sanctimonious prick.” Hillary said, “Well, he is certainly sanctimonious,” but showed no eagerness to pursue this line of thought.
Hey, when she's right, she's right, but I wonder if she laughed.

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Who among us…

…didn't? My man John...
"I lived through the inevitability of Howard Dean."

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

And now...


Saturday, October 13, 2007


In fact, non-partisanship has always been a lie… a sham… a fiction, in which even the most casual observer could generally pick out the players without a program. We all know who the liberal and conservative justices are on the state Supreme Court, and we’re usually pretty damn sure about party identification. Likewise non-partisan councils and school boards throughout the region routinely factionalize along ideological if not party lines. Party identification reflects the candidate’s values and judgment, and it is not only dishonest, but fundamentally undemocratic to hide these labels from voters.
That's why I have been, am and always will be Proudly Partisan.


More music...

...inna random style.
Brigitte DeMeyer - Roll 'Em Easy
Aaron Neville - For Your Precious Love
Beres Hammond - Good Love
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Angelyne
Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away
Jack Clement - Gone Girl
John Lennon - What You Got
Muddy Waters - One More Mile
Bob Schneider - Piggyback
Johnny Cash - Sunday Morning Coming Down

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Apparently he doesn't like them either.

Via Think Progress (my emphasis)...
BARTIROMO: Did you see the Republican candidate debate? What did you think? Who came out a winner?
BUSH: Were you there?
BARTIROMO: Yes, I was. I was the co-host.
BUSH: You were trying to hoax me into saying you had brilliant questions.
BARTIROMO: No, that’s not what I’m looking for Mr. President.
BUSH: I didn’t watch. I didn’t watch.
He didn't watch because he doesn't care. Not about them. Not about you, either.

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It's the law.

McCullagh’s Law of Politics: As the certainty that legislation violates the U.S. Constitution increases, so does the probability of predictions that severe harm or death will come to Americans if the proposal is not swiftly enacted.
Dale's Corollary: As the certainty that legislation violates the U.S. Constitution becomes absolute, Republican support intensifies.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Worth repeating.

Ezra Klein
"...there's no such program as socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid."
Hence no "socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid" crisis.

And me? No way I'd debate Ezra on health care either. He's real smart, knows more about it than I do and, well, he's usually right.

That Malkin person might be smarter than I thought.

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Congratulations are in order…

…to Nobel Laureate Al Gore.

He still won't run, which is fine becuse I still prefer that he doesn't, but congratulations.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bewildered, bewildered…

You have no complaint.
You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't,
So listen up buster and listen up good,
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood.

Signed, Dear Abby

She's still giving good advice.

Hat tip to John Aravosis, and a grand sweeping bow to the master, John Prine.

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From the "Wish I'd said that" file.

Juan Cole...
The privatization of war fighting, a major step back to the 18th century favored by the Bush administration as a way of throwing money to its friends, has the disadvantage of roiling diplomatic relations.
Yes. Exactly.

Wrecks the Army, too.

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Good news!

Via Goldy...
The Darcy Burner campaign has announced that it will report raising an impressive $304,901 for the quarter ending September 30. That brings the campaign to a total of $518,630 year to date, with $370,228 cash on hand. The third quarter is traditionally the slowest fundraising quarter of the year.

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From the "Nobody knows ya when yer down" file.

Tim Grieve...
Number of times Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter uttered the word “Bush” during Tuesday night’s two-hour debate in Michigan: 0

Heck, you'd think this guy woulda thrown him a bone for old time's sake...

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Once you start using a mercenary army…

…eventually all you have is a mercenary army.
WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs, reversing the flow of top commandos to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering big salaries.

I don't begrudge those GIs a dollar, but does anyone think that the highest and best motivation for military service is the paycheck? Or should be? Are there not sufficient patriots to guard our borders?

And those who argue that they aren't mercs if they're from here, this is buried at the bottom of the story…
Of the estimated 25,000 security personnel working in Iraq, only about 2,000 are Americans and they earn between $350 to $500 a day, said Doug Brooks, president of the International Peace Operations Association.
"International Peace Operations Association."


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From the "Since you asked…" file.

Scarecrow wonders…
Is There Any Decency Left In The Republican Party?
Since you asked, no. That's why…

Every damned one.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Marshall plan…

…for FISA. When Matt Stoller pinged the Darcy Burner campaign for a statement on the FISA fight, she forwarded this from the late Justice Thurgood Marshall…
"History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when Constitutional rights seem too extravagent to endure. The World War II relocation camp cases, and the Red Scare and McCarthy-era internal subversion cases are only the most extreme reminders that when we allow fundamental freedoms to be sacrificed in the name of real or perceived exigency, we invariably come to regret it."

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Dave ducking Brand W™?

Stuart Rothenberg takes a close look at WA-8 and offers some prudently cautionary but hardly discouraging notes for Darcy Burner fans. In the end he finds that…
Reichert’s ultimate fate depends on voters’ willingness to distinguish him from President Bush and see him as an “independent” legislator.
That's Brand W™ Dave Reichert. This guy…

Well, one of those guys. The other one? Just makes my point.

Meanwhile, have I mentioned that Darcy Burner is featured on the Upper Left ActBlue page?

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Get used to it.

Steve Benen notes
Barack Obama criticized Hillary Clinton by name today. That’s a little unusual.
No, Senator Obama's not following John Edwards by taking Hillary to task over her vote for the next war. Since Barack couldn't be on hand for that one, he's probably best off to avoid highlighting it himself. He's left with the 2002 resolution, which he wasn't eligible to vote for, as fodder to attack Hillary, and attack Hillary he must.

The buzz seems to point toward a Hillary vs. the anti-Hillary showdown over the winter, with the excitement largely coming from the competition for leadership of the anti side, and that's shaping up to be a battle between Edwards and Obama. Expect heightened, and more personalized, rhetoric from here on in, starting with a few rounds of "I'm not her" and evolving into a whirl of "I'm not only not her, but I'm less her than him." Whee.

It's delicate ground to tread in an intra-Party contest, but properly approached it can serve as a sort of polishing grinder that buffs up the eventual victor, regardless of who prevails.

That's my best hope for what's bound to come, anyway.

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I dunno…

BEIJING -- An international media rights group called on China on Wednesday to loosen controls on Internet news and personal expression, calling the country's system of censorship an insult to the spirit of online freedom.
…one the one hand I'm fully supportive of free expression everywhere, but still, I kinda like the idea of being banned in China.

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The lowest in my life…

…and I'm not so young anymore. From the DNC blog...
...manufacturing jobs are at their lowest numbers in 60 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 13,983,000 manufacturing jobs in September of 2007, down from 17,181,000 in December of 2000. That’s the lowest figure since the 13,923,000 reported in June of 1950, 57 years ago.
I hate what they're doing to my country.

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Yes, it is.

John Cole, via Digby...
" is hard to deny what Republicans are- a bunch of bitter, nasty, petty, snarling, sneering, vicious thugs, peering through people’s windows so they can make fun of their misfortune."
…and not worth the effort, really.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Ya' know…

…some of these Iraqis seem like pretty smart fellas. National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie on attacking Iran (via firedoglake)...
“It is not a strategy. It’s a mistake of Chernobyl magnitude.”

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If you've got "the best job in the world…"

…why would you want to be demoted to president? Gov. Richardson
“If it doesn’t work out for me as president, I’ll go back to the best job in the world, governor of New Mexico, in the sunset, riding my horse.”
Of course, I've heard that US Senator from the great state of New Mexico is a pretty dandy job itself.

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She says the sweetest things...

"Sixty is not outside the realm of possibility," said Jennifer Duffy, who tracks Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
AMERICAblog is chockfull of bloggity goodness today.

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Quote of the day.

Via AMERICAblog...
"I don't think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such."

Barham Salih, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq
Guess I'll tuck that in the "Me too" file.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

From the "Civics 101" file.

Chris Dashiell offers a lesson in basic Americanism...
“Just trust us” is not within the American tradition. If anything, it’s an ancient royalist concept of obedience to divinely ordained authority. If all we needed was to trust that our masters were doing the right thing, there would be no need of representation by legislatures, or trial by jury, or a Constitution, or for that matter, the vote.

More here.

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And now...


Saturday, October 06, 2007

One benefit…

…of some time offline was a chance to reorganize a few thousand or so jazz mp3s and to cull a few hundred for a new directory of 'favorites', from which is drawn this week's random ten…
June Christy - How High The Moon
Steve Turre - Steve's Blues
Jessica Williams - Theme For The Eulipians
Dave Frishberg - Cole Porter Stomp
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
Marian McPartland - It Never Entered My Mind
Cannonball Adderly Sextet - Work Song
Dexter Gordon & Wardell Gray - The Chase
Gerald Wilson Orchestra - Groovin' High
Sonny Rollins & The Modern Jazz Quartet - In A Sentimental Mood

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He's the Preznit…

…and you're not.
I always tell Condi Rice, `I want to remind you, Madam Secretary, who has the Ph.D. and who was the C student. And I want to remind you who the adviser is and who the president is.'
So many of the things wrong with George W. Bush are on display in those words and the prideful ignorance that inspires them.

Hat tip to AMERICAblog, where there's more. Possibly worse.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Connection fu...

...long shifts, life. Stuff happens. I'm back.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Distraction.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Since you asked…

Matt Yglesias wonders...
With Pete Domenici set to retire, mightn't this be a good time for Bill Richardson to consider dropping out of the presidential race and running for Senate?
Yes, it might.

In fact, it is.

An excellent time.

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I hate what they're doing…

…to my Army, and I'm not very happy with what they're doing to the Navy, either.
“Defending the country that’s trying to kick my family out is a thought that always runs through my mind.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class Eduardo Gonzalez, USN, whose Guatemalan wife will face deportation during his immanent overseas deployment.


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From the "Majorities matter" file.

One of the most important advantages of Congressional majorities is the opportunity to install Democratic committee chairs. Committee chairs like Rep. David Obey of the House Appropriations Committee…
“As chairman of the Appropriations Committee I have absolutely no intention of reporting out of committee anytime in this session of Congress any such request that simply serves to continue the status quo,” Obey told reporters.
Obey has three requirements for moving a bill.
“I would be more than willing to report out a supplemental meeting the President’s request if that request were made in support of a change in policy that would do three things.
* “Establish as a goal the end of U.S. involvement in combat operations by January of 2009.”

* “Ensure that troops would have adequate time at home between deployments as outlined in the Murtha and Webb amendments.”

* “Demonstrate a determination to engage in an intensive, broad scale diplomatic offensive involving other countries in the region.”
Chairman Obey gets it.

No timeline, no funding. No excuses.

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That's the thing that sucks about speaking truth to power. Because power has a tendency to repeat its lies frequently, you wind up having to do it over and over.
It does, and we do.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Cold War?

It’s not over until Netflix stops carrying Red Dawn.

Hat tip to TheHim.

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The shadow CinC.

Most accounts of Blackwater founder Erik Prince will mention that he's a former Navy SEAL, as though the three years he spent as a junior officer in the 90s was somehow preparation for his current role as commander-in-chief of his own mercenary army. It's actually one of the least interesting things about him. For instance
...Prince's father is Edgar Prince, who founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer. Erik Prince's sister is Betty DeVos, who is married to Dick DeVos, the son of Amway co-founder and Mormon bigwig Richard DeVos. The General Counsel for Erik Prince's Blackwater parent company, the Prince Group, is Joseph Schmitz, the Pentagon's former Inspector General. Schmitz's brother, John Schmitz, Jr. deputy counsel to George H. W. Bush and who is married to the sister of Columba Bush, Jeb Bush's wife. The father of John and Joseph was extreme right-wing Republican Congressman John Schmitz, Sr. Their sister is Mary Kay Letourneau, a former Washington State schoolteacher jailed for having sex with a thirteen year old American Samoan student who she later married.
Hey, a connection to the upper left! Who knew?

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in a nutshell.
1. Take advantage of a shocking tragedy to rush through emergency legislation.
2. Award a fat private contract with almost no oversight.
3. Kick the cost of everything you've done down the road so you can pretend to be for "small government" by never paying for anything.



Home of...
"...acts of random negligence for no apparent reason."
Their words, not mine.

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Proudly partisan?

No problem.

Kos has some results from a Princeton Survey Research Associates poll about what's important to the electorate. Contrary to some perceptions, partisanship just isn't a problem for, well, for anybody, apparently...
Thinking about the campaign for the presidential election in 2008, what two issues would you most like to hear the presidential candidates talk about?
Partisan politics/party bickering

Total: 0

Rep: 0
Dem: 0
Ind: 0
It can't be good news for Obama. Nobody seems to care about what seems to be his favorite subject.

Maybe it's because most people know that we Ds are right and those Rs are wrong.

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You can't fool all the people…

A quarter of 'em, maybe, but not all of 'em. Via The Carpetbagger Report...
By a 2 to 1 margin, those who see little accomplishment in Congress’s first nine months blame the inaction on Bush and the GOP more than they do the majority Democrats. Fifty-one percent place primary fault with the president and congressional Republicans, and 25 percent on the Democrats.

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Good question…

…for Rahm.
If you hate the war so much, why are you paying for it?

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Monday, October 01, 2007


From The Gavel...
Blackwater, which has received over $1 billion in federal contracts since 2001, is charging the federal government over $1,200 per day for each “protective security specialist” employed by the company.
Call it $36,000 a month.

Compare it to the $33 thousand or so that a Staff Sergeant with six or seven years in uniform and, say, a Combat Infantry Badge, a couple Bronze Stars and experience on two or three battle fronts, makes in a year.

I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Almost as much as I hate what they're doing to my country.

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"Libertarians have a lot more rules than the other parties."

Chief Justice Roberts, during oral argument for WA State Grange v. Washington State.
It's the partisan primary case. PDF of the whole sordid affair here. Doesn't sound like we'll be going top two.

Hat tip to Chantel Tales.

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An abundance of riches.

Todd at The Blue State...
This Democratic primary election season is turning out to be the most exciting in American history. There are three rock star candidates; another candidate with a resume that highlights accomplishment after accomplishment; two long-time Senators; one passionately devout political activist; and one former Congressman whose efforts helped end both the Vietnam War and the military draft.
When you put it like that, wow.

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Why we fight...

...and who we're up against. Alterman on the neo-con war planners…
I think these people really are planning a decades-long "war of civilizations," in which they make the world an unsafe place to be an American. They are not conservatives; they are revolutionaries, no less convinced than the Bolsheviks that they alone possess the truth, irrespective of evidence.
Counter-revolutionaries, really. Radical heirs, as I've said, to the revolutionary era Tories. The people that have never much cared for American egalitarianism and liberty, who would amend the Constitution beyond recognition, if not out of existence, to return to open rule by aristocracy (they've succeeded to a startling degree, of course, but they won't admit it yet).

In short, Republicans.

It's why I'm always saying…

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