Friday, November 30, 2007

Whatever "working" may mean…

“The fact remains that the war in Iraq cannot be won militarily, and that we must begin an orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as practicable.”

Rep. John Murtha(D-PA), Col., USMC (Ret.) and chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee
Call it a surge of reality.

And make it work.

Labels: , ,

Stand by your man…

…or woman with a vote in the Washington State Democratic Party straw poll.

Looks like it will put you on their mailing list, but you should be on it anyway. If you like, they'll forward your info to the campaign of your choice.

Labels: ,

From the "Since you asked…" file.

Steve Soto
Is Obama Committed To Universal Health Care?
Since you asked, no.

A health care plan without mandates will never be universal and makes about as much sense as voluntary Social Security. Obama knows this, he must, but the costs associated with universal care seem to be a higher price than his committment can stand. The necessary subsidies may be costly, but the alternative, well, we're living the alternative, aren't we? Health care for some, only. I don't know how that's working for you, but it's not working at all for me. It might work out better for me under Obama's plan (might not, too), but even if so, there'll be someone else stuck in my shoes.

Labels: , ,

No, dammit…

…it's not "better," it's still deadly.


From the "Context, please" file…

"I think the 'surge' is working…"
It seems to be everybody's favorite pull quote from John Murtha's videoconference from Iraq, but I've got a hunch there's more to the story. Just the same, I suppose it's encouraging to know that the combined resources of American infantry, artillery, armor and air power can be amassed in a sufficient force to suppress a local insurgency equipped with small arms. But Murtha had more to say, and there's more to come...
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Stay tuned.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well, when you put it that way...

The Rev. Dr. Rocket looks at the Unity '08 opportunity before us...
Face it, folks: people who claim to have seen UFOs and who want to return America to the gold standard aren’t trying to deceive the American public by telling them what they want to hear. So when Paul and Kucinich say that they’ll end the stupid-ass Iraq war, I actually believe them...
Believe them? Yeah, me too.

But sometimes it takes more than that, I guess, because, well, no.

Absolutely not.

Labels: ,

From the "Since you asked..." file.

Andrew's fuming over the Legislature's response to the ruling tossing out the I 747 property tax cap (for all y'all in the hinterlands, they've gathered in special session to reinstate the cap, first proposed by his (ok, by every thinking person's) arch-nemesis, Tim Eyman.), and House Speaker Frank Chopp's effort to balance the current heresy with his list of previous progressive deeds...
Instead of responding to Initiative 747 by presenting a progressive vision that incorporates innovative ideas for fixing our broken tax structure, Chopp enthusiastically and proudly embraced the right wing agenda.

And now he's telling the netroots and the grassroots that we should be pleased with all of Olympia's wonderful accomplishments?
Since you asked, sure. We should be pleased with any "wonderful accomplishments," but we shouldn't settle for Chopp's list of 50, or for the next 50 that come up.

We should never settle. We should always agitate, shake the system and demand what we really want.


And better.

That doesn't mean "better than nothing" is nothing, though, so sure. Be pleased, be absolutely delighted with every real gain, every incremental advance toward social, civil and economic justice.

Go ahead and celebrate. But don't settle.

Labels: , , , ,

Madame Tussaud presents...

...The Hall Of Presidents (elected & appointed).

Labels: ,

I'll just take his word for it…

…since I'd be damned before I'd watch the thing. Steve Benen
It’s almost impossible to pick a winner from last night Republican presidential candidate debate in St. Petersburg, Fla., except maybe the entire Democratic field.
Heh™. That's who I was rooting for, anyway.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


David Mizner...
An Edwards victory would be great for progressives; what more, really, do you need to know?
OK, a lot, maybe, but still…

Labels: ,

Fair enough…

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2007 – If you are wounded in combat and discharged as a result, you will not have to pay back your enlistment bonus, Defense Department officials said here today.
But, like Lurch, I wonder...
...what will happen to the GIs who got these dunning letters a year or two ago and actually scrimped, saved, and borrowed from family in order to repay the enlistment bonuses that should never have been clawed back?

Will the Army pay those citizens and veterans interest when they reimburse them?

Labels: ,

It's redundant, I know…

…but Digby's right.
No member of the Bush administration should ever be set out to represent this country abroad again.
Certainly, maybe especially, that one.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Save the date.

Washington State caucus and convention schedule:
Precinct Caucuses - Saturday February 9, 2008
Legislative District Conventions - Saturday April 5, 2008
County Conventions - Saturday April 19, 2008
Congressional District Conventions - Saturday May 17, 2008
Washington State Convention - June 14 & 15, 2008 - Spokane, Washington

Labels: ,

From the "When he's right…" file.

Senator Obama:
"Senator Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she had nothing to do with."
"There's no doubt that Bill Clinton had faith in her and consulted with her on issues, in the same way that I would consult with Michelle. ... On the other hand, I don't think Michelle would claim that she is the best qualified person to be a United States Senator by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work that I have done."

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Just in case… didn't think he was crazy...
"I'm thinking about Ron Paul" as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together "to balance the energies in this country," Kucinich said.
Of course, the idea that he thinks his musings about the bottom of the ticket might matter is pretty nuts, too.

Time for Dennis to join Gravel on the sidelines.

Labels: ,


SandyD at the Edwards campaign blog...
One of the major reasons I support John Edwards for President is BECAUSE I can SEE where we agree and disagree. His proposals are out there for everyone to see. He even tells us the bad news...we're going to have to sacrifice some to turn things around. This gives me hope for the future of our country. It gives me hope that we can engage in a true debate about which paths to follow.
Me too.


It seems to be the big news of the day…

…but it's hard for me to get worked up about Trent Lott's resignation from the Senate, apparently timed to allow him to evade pending restrictions on lobbying by former members. He'll be replaced, after all, by someone chosen by Haley Barbour, which means things won't be getting any better soon.

Good riddance, anyway, I suppose.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Worth repeating.

Susie Hoeller on product safety and my man John...
On the Democratic side, John Edwards was the first and only candidate to devise specific policy positions on product safety. He was out front on food safety back in September and then in early November updated his campaign policy positions with reform proposals for imported toys and medicines as well.
"...the first and only…"

Yep, worth repeating.

Labels: , ,

And now...

Labels: ,

Take heart…

listen to Jerome.
[R]egarding the status of Edwards, I wouldn't listen to either the "dean" of the Iowa press, or the Obama's camp spin, for that matter.
There's been some ado about some doom and gloom Iowa journalist David Yepsen was spreading via FOX News, but unless he's got some exclusive evidence of decay in Edwards' highly regarded precinct organization, ultimately more important than any list of endorsements or barrage of broadcast ads in a caucus environment, I don't know quite what he's talking about, and Edwards himself offers reassurance...
When I ask Edwards if he's concerned about signs of slippage in Iowa, he literally laughs in my face. "We have 99 county chairs and about 75 percent of the precincts covered with precinct chairs," he says. "I know how to run a caucus campaign in Iowa--and so do the people who work for me."
I believe that. I have doubts, though, about Yepsen's notion that an Edwards stumble would accrue to the benefit of Governor Richardson, as well. Nothing about Richardson's campaign, save perhaps his aggressive, if not entirely realistic, timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq, has offered any reason for voters attracted by Edwards' populist stance to make the Governor their second choice, and caucus success is all about second choices. For some of us, Richardson's foolishly pandering support for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution is simply a deal killer, since it's probably the least progressive, and perhaps the least intelligent, proposal from any Democratic campaign.

There's going to be a lot of this in the next few weeks. All the candidates will be declared to be making a move or dying on the vine at some point. Most of it's just moving wind and pouring ink to sell advertising. The best advice, of course, is to keep working and above all…

Labels: , , , ,

Since you asked…

McClatchy headline
Can Rice save her legacy with 'Hail Mary' pass on Mideast?
Since you asked, no.

Labels: , ,

Et tu, CNN?

What's this?
Democrat U.S. House member Julia Carson of Indiana has disclosed to the Indianapolis Star newspaper that she has terminal lung cancer.
Or should I say, who's that? I mean, I've heard of Democratic Congresswoman Julia Carson, and even Rep. Julia Carson, who is a Democrat, but who, what, for gawdsake, is a "Democrat U.S. House member…"

Oh, yeah. It's a Republican slur. Shame on CNN.

My best to Rep. Carson, who hardly deserves the slight at this time.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ghosts of xmas past…

…via artistdogboy, who has a link to a trove of this stuff.

Labels: ,

A reminder…

…for the busy holiday season, from Steve Benen.
Remember the reason for the season — waging a silly culture-war fight that pits communities against one another based on some amorphous religio-political commercial conflict. It warms the heart, doesn’t it?
Oh, yes, indeed it do.

Labels: , ,

The night time is the right time...

...for another random ten.
Emily Lord - One Day At A Time
The Persuasions - Sugaree
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes
Pete Seeger - Talking Atom
Christine Kane - She Don't Like Roses
Jimmy Buffett - A Pirate Looks At Forty
Albert Lee - One Of These Days
Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise - I Thank You
Mark Brine - Once A Soldier (Always A Hero)
Sonny Rollins - Oleo

Labels: ,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Future tense.

Chris Dashiell dusts off his crystal ball…
“Over time, Bush has become an archetype of imbecility and mindless hate. In the psychiatric community, ‘Bush’ has become shorthand for ‘sociopath.’ Although history is a field usually characterized by dissension and extreme diversity of viewpoint, the historical verdict on George W. Bush is remarkably consistent—he is considered the perfect jackass, a figure so odious as to be almost pathetic…"
Whaddaya know, the future is now!

Labels: ,

Duh quote of the day.

Via kayinmaine...
“It’s not a permitted technique in the army field manual and therefore no member of the US military is allowed to do it,” Gates told reporters, referring to the practice that has sparked controversy over the legality of interrogation methods.

“From the military standpoint, I wouldn’t expect military personnel to be involved in waterboarding,” added the new chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs "wouldn't expect" GIs to do engage in torture techniques they're not allowed to do. Not from any standpoint.


Sounds like what they've done to the Navy isn't so hot, either.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

And now…

…a holiday edition of...

I'm thankful for all the traditional blessings - family, football, the feast and, of course, all y'all.

Have a great and grateful day.

Labels: ,

Bring 'em home.

"The improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country. There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result."

Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, US Army (Ret.)

Labels: , ,

In Memoriam.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy,

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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

A bravo for Senator Clinton...
Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, announced today that she will forgo CBS News' upcoming presidential debate unless the network can reach a resolution with its striking employees.

"The workers at CBS News have been without a contract for close to two and a half years," the Senator said. "It is my hope that both sides will reach an agreement that results in a secure contract for the workers at CBS News but let me be clear: I will honor the picket line if the workers at CBS News decide to strike."
I expect no less from the rest of the field, but Hillary's the first out of the gate, I believe.

Labels: , , , ,

Shorter Scott McClellan…

"I lied to you because they lied to me."
Another service of the Committee for Calling Lies Lies.

Labels: , , , ,

Who would Jesus...


Labels: , ,


This is a lie. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino...
Congress, as you know, is away for its two-week break. They did not approve funding for our troops.
This message brought to you by the Committee For Calling Lies Lies.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I like that…

…in a stump speech. John Deeth...
"The current, populist version of the Edwards stump speech has a little rock and roll to it…"


There oughta be a law…

…that says the day you take a bullet, your enlistment contract is paid in full.
The U.S. Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Are you listening Representative McDermott? Senator Cantwell? Senator Murray? With all you've all done for vets (and they've all done a lot), here's one more spot where there really oughta be a law. I hope you're all in line to sponsor Rep. Altmire's bill.

And yes, I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, November 19, 2007

Good for him anyway, I suppose…

…but Marc Ambinder's got the "rest of the story" on Obama's UAW support.
Sen. Barack Obama won a straw poll of UAW Region 4 locals. Region 4 includes Iowa.
48% of the voting members of UAW's Region 4 came from Illinois. Barack Obama comes from Illinois.

22% of the voting members come from Iowa. It turns out that, in today's straw balloting, John Edwards won twice as many Iowa locals as Obama did. But the strength of Obama in Illinois overwhelmed Edwards (and Clinton).

What happened yesterday in Dubuque was not an official endorsement -- it was a recommendation to endorse -- the UAW technically hasn't given its regional council permission to endorse.
A little less to see when you look closer, but it's not nothing.

Labels: , , , ,

Quote of the day.

"One of two things is going on here: either Dave Reichert and his campaign staff are incompetent or they initiated a deliberate effort to mislead the public about their disastrous fundraising in recent months.”

WA State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz
The Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the FEC over Sheriff Dave's incompetence/dishonesty/criminality/all of the above. Goldy's got the goods.

Labels: , ,

Worth repeating.

[T]he fact that the candidate who has staked out the most progressive platform is also polling as the most electable one, is a rather amazing state of affairs...
Yes, it is, though to me it's even more amazing that he's not every Democrat's first choice. He's certainly the one who best articulates our values.

The candidate in question, of course, is my man John.

Labels: , ,

It's probably true…

It's probably true…

…but it's a shame. Steve Benen...
For most political observers, the term “swift-boat” has become a ubiquitous, easy-to-understand verb. Whereas it used to mean lying about an opponent’s military service in order to smear him or her, it’s now taken on a more general meaning: to swift-boat is to fabricate a phony smear of your opponent.
I think the Republican smears against veterans like John Kerry, Max Cleland, even John McCain, based on denigrating their service and belittling their sacrifices, deserve notable distinction, and I think the term "swift-boat" could serve that purpose well. Steve's right, though. It's meaning has been diluted, and in the process, I think it's impact has been, too. Reserved for the Republican efforts to, in essence, put an asterisk next to the record of these veterans, it becomes, by extension, a mark against the record of every veteran, providing another example of the contempt of so many on the right hold for those they send to war.

Why can't we just call a smear, well, a smear? It's a good word. Sounds nasty, doesn't it? Perfectly good word. Better, really, for general use than "swift-boat," because, absent the military context, what the heck does that mean anyway? It becomes a term to hide the smear behind. In fact, if the smear is a lie (and there are other kinds of smears), well, why has the L word become so scarce in our political lexicon? Certainly there's no shortage of lies or liars.

But I'm just bitching. It's too late, I'm afraid, to save "swift-boat." No reason, though, not to encourage calling a smear a smear, and, perhaps especially, calling a lie a lie.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm sure someone will be along presently…

…to explain how this news, like everything else, is actually good for the Republicans. They'll be wrong. Darryl looks at the new Gallup poll...
The Nov. 2-4, 2007, poll finds 54% of Americans saying they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, while 37% have an unfavorable opinion. Ratings of the Republican Party are much more negative, with 40% favorable and 50% unfavorable.
Hey, they like us. They really like us.

Most of 'em, anyway.

Labels: , ,

From the "Since you asked" file.

Steve M. wonders...
Since you asked, no.


And now...


Saturday, November 17, 2007

I don't know…

…how much, if any, real difference celebrity endorsements make, but I'm pleased to find myself in full accord with one of my favorite songwriters…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Jackson Browne says that Democrat John Edwards is the most progressive candidate with a chance at winning the White House, and that he would do the most for working-class Americans.
Yes, he is. Yes, he would.

Labels: , ,

From the "Watch your language" file.

Stan Denski at the Edwards campaign blog...
When people ask me about "socialized" medicine, I ask them about "socialized" law enforcement.

Labels: , ,

I try to keep it at a level…

…even some Republicans might understand.

Hat tip to Fixer.

Labels: ,

Random, randomer...

...randomest. Added a few hundred files and mixed the jazz and pop directories for the most random experience ever offered at this location! Exciting stuff, huh?
String Cheese Incident - Who Am I
Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine
Johnny Cash - I Still Miss Someone
MC5 - Tutti Frutti
Miles Davis - I Thought About You
Chris Daniels & The Kings - Jump
June Christy - Something Cool
Chris Smither - Talk Memphis
Michelle Wilson - They Don't Want Me To Rock No More
John Coltrane - Naima

Labels: ,

Friday, November 16, 2007

They un-volunteer, too.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80% increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Hat tip to Goldy.

Labels: , ,

Quote of the day.

"[E]very question from the audience was pre-planned and censored. That's what the media does. See, the media chose what they wanted, not what the people or audience really wanted."

Maria Luisa, the UNLV student that CNN stuck with the "Diamonds or pearls?" closer to last night's debate.
In hindsight, she should have taken a pass on the opportunity. On the other hand, in hindsight, the candidates might well have taken a pass themselves. It really was a textbook example of how not to do a Presidential primary debate.

Labels: , ,

Give 'em hell, Harry...

...and give 'em damn little else. Majority leadership, via AMERICAblog
With Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments.

I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments.

They would not make that commitment.

As a result, I am keeping the Senate in pro-forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track.

Labels: ,

I'll have to re-read the transcript, I guess…

…because I completely missed most of William Tracy's favorite debate questions. Some of my favorites among his...
• "Congressman Kucinich, let's just pretend for a moment that we lived in some sort of topsy-turvy storybook town where you could be elected president..."

• "Senator Dodd, how would your administration remedy the growing humanitarian crisis in the... know what? Maybe we should save that one for a real candidate."

• "Okay, the next nine or ten questions are for Senator Clinton...."

• "Senator Edwards, I want to remind you to please answer all of your questions in the form of a direct attack on Senator Clinton."

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He had a hometown edge…

…with the delegates from Illinois, but this is a big deal for Obama nonetheless…
DUBUQUE - Delegates of United Auto Workers Region 4, which includes 30,000 members and retirees in Iowa, voted today to support Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The group announced its overwhelming support at the close of a weeklong conference where seven of the major Democratic presidential candidates addressed the group earlier this week.
That's a total of 186,000 UAW workers and retirees in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Congratulations are in order, and offered.

Labels: , , ,

Key Priorities the President Vetoed.

More from The Gavel

$30 billion – National Institutes of Health: Life Saving Medical Research
(3 Months In Iraq)
$14.8 billion – Title I: Education for the Disadvantaged
(45 Days In Iraq)
$11.3 billion – IDEA State Grants: Special Education
(34 Days In Iraq)
$7.0 billion – Head Start: Early Childhood Education
(21 Days In Iraq)
$3.4 billion – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services for Veterans
(10 Days In Iraq)
$2.4 billion – LIHEAP: Heating Assistance for Low Income Families
(1 Week In Iraq)
$2.2 billion – Community Health Centers
(6 ¾ Days In Iraq)
$1.5 billion – Job Training & Career Placement Dislocated Workers
(4 ½ Days In Iraq)
$1.2 billion – Career & Vocational Education
(3 ½ Days In Iraq)
$1.1 billion – 21st Century Learning Centers: After School Programs
(3 ½ Days In Iraq)
$228 million – Veterans’ Employment Programs
(16 ½ Hours In Iraq)
$23.6 million – Homeless Veterans Services
(1 ¾ Hours In Iraq)
$9.5 million – Programs for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries
(41 ½ Minutes In Iraq)

Labels: , , , , ,

Random notes...

...on the Vegas debate. First, it seems everyone has found a chance to take a shot at Bushco™'s lawlessness and neglect, and everyone's found the target. I like that in a Democratic debate.

First notable quote (though I joined the party a bit late...) to Hillary...
"NAFTA did not do what many hoped…"
Perhaps not, Senator, but it's done exactly what many of us warned. Pretty much the same stuff we've been saying about Peru...

More...I didn't get the exact wording, but my ears perked up when Joe Biden used the I word regarding the Bush push for war with Iran.

Ya know, Barack, I really don't want to hear anymore about all your fine Republican friends. Oh well, at least he didn't invoke the bigot from Oklahoma this time.

Richardson's cheap shot at the Democratic Congress sounded like something straight out of a GOP briefing book. Your state needs you, Governor, and the Senate is beckoning. Time to fold this tent.

Gag me with a diamond and pearl (I want both, too) encrusted spoon.

I dunno. I guess I missed the early fireworks show, but I suspect this event won't noticably reshape the campaign.

John fixed it. He had some tough lines for the frontrunner, but I wonder if Hillary is overplaying the victim card. And of course she's playing the gender card (what's the whole 'comfortable in the kitchen' bit supposed to invoke?), but so what. You play the cards you're dealt, after all.

Credit to Obama, by the way, for admitting that missing the vote on Kyl-Lieberman was a mistake, and for taking the hit for that mistake rather than passing it off to leadership or a staff bungle. "It was a mistake," without equivocation, is the model for straight talk.

Labels: , , , ,

From the "Majorities matter" file.

Via The Gavel...
The House has just passed the RESTORE Act of 2007 (Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed, and Effective), H.R. 3773 by a vote of 227-189. This bill provides the Intelligence Community with effective tools to conduct surveillance of foreign targets outside the United States but restores Constitutional checks and balances that were not contained in President Bush’s bill, the Protect America Act (PAA).

Labels: , ,



The political group that agrees with you most is...

LIBERALS usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental rgulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.
The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

Take the quiz.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Nobody believes Reagan is a bigot.
I suppose it's true enough now. He's dead, after all. But surely some of us believe he was a bigot.

At least one of us does, I know, because it's me.

Labels: ,

Quote of the day.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton on the NY driver's license flap...
"When it takes two weeks and six different positions to answer one question on immigration, it's easier to understand why the Clinton campaign would rather plant their questions than answer them."

Labels: , , ,

Good news for Washington schools?

Via Goldy...
King County just dumped today’s results, and added to ballots counted earlier today elsewhere in the state, EHJR 4204, the Simple Majority amendment, now leads by over 5,000 votes statewide.
Still nip and tuck, but a lot better than the election night news. For all y'all in that part of the world we just call 'out there,' schools have faced a 60% supermajority burden and a minimum turnout requirement in order to pass funding levies. This measure would honor the simple American principle of 'majority rules' for school funding in the upper left.

Here's hoping.

Labels: , , ,

Good question.

From David Sirota...
Why when polls show overwhelming bipartisan opposition to NAFTA-style trade policies are two leading Democratic candidates talking out of both sides of their mouths on the issue?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


From Paul Krugman...
"Tim Russert doesn't vote in Iowa."
...and I doubt that Iowa spends a lot of time thinking about Tim Russert.

Labels: , ,

Umm, John?

Fix this.
Between campaign appearances last week, as he rode through eastern Iowa in his campaign van, Mr. Edwards declined to answer whether he would support Mrs. Clinton.

“I’m not willing to talk about that at this point,” he said, waiting silently until the next question was asked.
I get the reluctance to envision outcomes other than victory and all that, but that's just the wrong answer, and you know it. Obama got the answer just right...
"I am a Democrat, and I would support the Democratic nominee," he said. With a smile, he added, "I intend it to be me."
The Edwards campaign would do well to adapt that answer to their purposes, and John Edwards should use the debate stage on Thursday to affirm that all of our options are better than any of theirs. If I didn't think he believed that, I wouldn't be in his camp, but he needs to say it out loud now.

Labels: , , , ,

Talkin' 'bout my generation.

Tom Hayden's always done it as well as anyone...
No one chose to be "extreme" or "militant" as a lifestyle preference. It was an extreme situation that produced us. On one side were armed segregationists, on the other peaceful black youth. On one side were the destroyers of Vietnam, on the other were those who refused to submit to orders. On the one side were those keeping women in inferior roles, on the other were those demanding an equal rights amendment. On one side were those injecting chemical poisons into our rivers, soils, air and blood streams, on the other were the defenders of the natural world. On one side were the perpetrators of big money politics, on the other were keepers of the plain democratic tradition. Does anyone believe those conflicts are behind us?
If there's such a thing as a 'Tom Hayden' Democrat, I'm probably one of 'em.

Labels: , ,

How far do we have to fall…

…to know how far we've fallen? Robert Reich
The splurge is over, folks. As the days of easy money come to an end, what will America look like? Maybe we’ll see a recession in the short term, but more importantly over the long term: the American middle class will have a truer understanding of what it can and cannot afford; a truer sense of what’s really happened to its paychecks; and a more realistic view of where and to whom the economic gains of the last dozen years have actually gone.

Labels: , ,

Monday, November 12, 2007


…is the anniversary of the birth of the Brilliant and Beautiful Bride of Upper Left, which makes it the day that makes all my other days worth living.

Happy birthday, Sal. I love you more than I can say.

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day.

I suppose the usual sentiment is 'Happy Veteran's Day,' but as a veteran, it's hard to gin up a lot of happiness when the news is filled with stuff like this. Or this. Or any of the endless stream of stories about homeless veterans, disabled veterans, unemployed veterans, divorced veterans, suicidal veterans, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Nope, there's not much for veteran's to be happy about these days. A lot to be proud of for a bunch of us, sure, but not many grounds for happiness. Grateful, sure. Those of us who got back are obligated to those who didn't to be grateful.

So, I won't wish you happy Veteran's Day. How 'bout an grateful one instead?


Have a grateful Veteran's Day.

Labels: ,

And now...


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Oh yeah…

…the other war. A reminder from Think Progress...
Six U.S. troops were killed by insurgents today in “the most lethal [attack] against American forces this year.” The death toll for number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan is at least 101 this year, making it the “deadliest for Americans here since the 2001 invasion.”

Labels: ,

Sometimes random…

…is just right. I like this list a lot. Every cut a winner in it's way…
Kingfish - Key To The Highway
HARP - Jacob's Ladder
Johnny Cash - Sunday Morning Coming Down
T. Rex - Ride A White Swan
Chad & Jeremy - Can't Get Used To Losing You
David Gans - Brokedown Palace
Down By Law - 500 Miles
Jerry Dugger - Papa la Ska
Jimmy Cliff - Many Rivers To Cross
Bare Naked Ladies - If I Had $1000000

Labels: ,

From the "Lessons Learned" file.

These days, when that Kerry fella gets slimed, the response is a lot faster and a bit more furious.
Kerry spokesman David Wade issued the following statement today in response to Rush Limbaugh, who said on his radio show that Kerry’s Swift Boat attackers in 2004, “were right on the money and nobody has disproven anything they claimed in any of their ads, statements, written commentaries, or anything of the sort.”

“At first I thought, that’s not Rush, that’s just the OxyContin talking. Nonetheless, this is a despicable but unsurprising new lie from a man whose closest brush with combat came when customs officials tried to take away his Viagra.”
Hat tip to The Carpetbagger Report.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 09, 2007

I resemble that remark.

Via Think Progress
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) accused “left-wing blogs” of making up “conspiracy theories” about the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which passed the Senate last month. It designated part of the Iranian army a terrorist organization. Lieberman called opponents of the amendment “politically paranoid” and “hyper-partisan.”
Well, the "hyper-partisan" bit, anyway. My political paranoia pales beside Holy Joe's own...

Labels: , ,

Duh editorial of the day.

The New York Times explains it all...
One solution would be some form of universal health coverage for all Americans. Then uninsured veterans could get the care they need.
And their kids, and spouses, and parents and everybody. I mean, duh.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My own personal Congressman…

…thinks we should know what they want to get us into. From The Hill blog
A military strike against Iran would involve life and death issues. It’s time for Congress and the American people to see what these life and death issues would look like. I hope that members of Congress and the media will join me in demanding that we publicly conduct a U.S.-Iran war game as soon as possible.
A notion worth considering.

Labels: ,

Really, Hillary?

You believe this?
But I understand – I’m not going to be second guessing governors who have to do the hard work of figuring out what’s best for their state.
Why, then, the US Code? The Voting Rights Act? Civil Rights Act? Why a Constitution? Why have a national government at all?

Governors aren't always right, Senator, and sometimes what they think is right for a state is wrong for a nation.

That's one of the reasons we elect a President, isn't it? To watch out for the nation?

Labels: ,

Duh quote of the day…

…from the Politico.
Despite very poor public approval ratings for Congress, House Democrats are increasingly confident they can make solid gains next fall, and they’re willing to take some risks to do it.
"Increasingly confident." "Despite." Well, duh.

Of course they are. Whatever the polling for gaggle of coalitions and caucuses that we call Congress may be, Democrats are doing just fine, thanks. From the WaPo/ABC poll, via The Carpetbagger Report....
* A majority of Americans (51%) have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party. For Republicans, that number is 39%.

* On the issues, Americans trust Dems over the GOP to handle Iraq (50% to 34%), healthcare (54% to 29%), the economy (50% to 35%), taxes (46% to 40%), and immigration (42% to 35%). The parties are about tied on handling terrorism, with Republicans leading 42% to 41%.

* A majority of voters (54%) want Dems to keep the congressional majority.
Increasingly confident? Duh.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


My own personal senior Senator in the New York Times
“The president is appealing to a very small conservative base of people, his last few friends in the country, to say, ‘I am conservative,’ ” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, a Democrat involved in mapping the party’s spending strategy. “But the problem is, he is playing with American lives while he sends his message to his friends.”
Good catch, Carl.

Labels: , ,

So, why can't Obama…

…bring this game to the debates?
"When I hear her say it was a lonely fight, I have to disagree. Eighty percent of the American people wanted universal health care at that time. It wasn't that lonely," Obama said, greeted with applause from over 700 attendees at the Cedar Rapids community college where he spoke. "The reason that it became lonely was that she made a decision to close the door and to work just with her people."
That's a powerful point, one that Hillary should have to respond to face to face. One of the Clinton legacies is the dismantling of the Single Payer Action Networks and other grass roots universal health care infrastructure that had grown up in advance of the Clinton presidency. Hillary rejected their advice, but there was a concerted effort to enlist their assistance by setting aside their goals in favor of the Health Security Plan, which was designed with the private insurance industry in mind, but couldn't keep them on the farm. In the end we were left with no plan at all and a movement diminished nearly beyond recognition.

Brings to mind another item that's been rolling around the 'to be blogged' buffer for awhile. John Deeth, reporting in the Iowa Independent
Signs and logos all say "Hillary" (no Clinton and certainly no Rodham), yet any speech references to health care invariably include the phrase "I've got the scars to show" for her 1993-1994 role in health care reform.
No, Senator. I've got the scars to show for your failure to enact health care, a failure so catastrophic that it set the cause of universal care back at least twenty years. Really. Scars. From cuts self treated with band-aids when what was needed were a couple unaffordable stitches. So please, Senator, spare me your tale of woe. I can't feel your pain.

Labels: , ,

So, we had an election.

A good one for Democrats, generally. Kos has a nice wrap of of the national gains, from Virginia to Kentucky, Ohio to Mississippi and beyond. Closer to home, there's some gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over a mixed outcome in which the Republicans retained the only partisan race on the local ballot and both the most progressive and the most regressive ballot measures scored victories. Even more locally, it looks like the change needed on my local city council and school board is on its way.

I share the general dismay at Bill Sherman's defeat by Republican Dan Satterberg for King County Prosecuting Attorney. It's what happens, I suppose, when only 25% of King County voters bothered to register an opinion. Shockingly, we weren't the worst. Pierce County came in at 23.5% turnout, and Snohomish County rounded out the dismal performance on the eastern shore of the Sound in a virtual tie with King. That's a lot of folks missing between Everett and Tacoma. Folks we need in order to win.

It wasn't all bad, turnout wise. Out in the hinterlands, the numbers creep up through the 30s, 40s, 50s, up to a peak of 62% in Wahkiahum County. Of course, out in the hinterlands, folks tend to favor those Tim Eyman budget gimmicks and that school levy super majority stuff. Happily, they don't trust insurance companies any more than they do the guvmint, so R-67 was safe, but a 40 or 50% turnout in the Puget Sound region, hardly a lofty goal, would have put a stop to 960 and elected Bill Sherman. Still, the Republican's latest attempt to befuddle the electorate, this time with a nominee with the same last name as Democratic Assessor Scott Noble, was foiled by alert voters and the County Council maintains the status quo with a continuing Democratic majority. (The absence of meaningful challenges in the Council races (sorry, Mr. Pope) no doubt contributed to the low turnout.)

I don't share the dismay of some of my liberal compatriots over the demise of County Proposition 1, the roads and transit proposal. I was genuinely on the fence in the closing days, and ultimately voted against it, despite a barrage of over-sized, multi-folded, full color glossy propaganda filling my mailbox that seemed to provide too much assurance with too little information. Are we back to square one? Maybe that's where we belong.

In the Port Commission races, one of the progressive choices, Gael Tarleton, seems to have secured victory, while the other, Alec Fisken, is on the ropes, hoping for signs of life in the late mail ballots. Locally, the Shoreline School Board gets a shot of new blood with the election of Carl's pal Maren Norton, local high school grad who became student body president at Stanford before law school. Looks like a rising star. The City Council, meanwhile, gets a flock of new faces, which I was hoping for, and who I voted for.

Of course, even in the states that look great from afar, I'm sure local Democrats are suffering over the proverbial ones that got away. Meanwhile, there's a lot of work to do to gin up excitement and turnout for '08. A really terrific Presidential nominee would help. I have a suggestion, of course…

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Via Truthdig

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

There's still time...


From the "Ain't it the truth" file.

More Kos...
We go to DC with the Democrats we have, not the ones we wish we had.

Labels: ,

In related news…

Via Kos...
For the first time in the history of the Gallup Poll, 50% say they "strongly disapprove" of the president. Richard Nixon had reached the previous high, 48%, just before an impeachment inquiry was launched in 1974.

Labels: , , ,


BAGHDAD - The U.S. military announced six new deaths Tuesday, making 2007 the bloodiest year for American troops in Iraq...

With nearly two months left in the year, the annual toll is now 853 — three more than the previous worst of 850 in 2004.
3855 altogether.

God damn.


Monday, November 05, 2007

From the "Pretty Pictures" file…

Hat tip to The Gavel.

Labels: , , ,

Happy Holiday.

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Labels: ,

He's right.

It's wrong. My man John...
But there is a difference between doing everything in our power to keep America safe and a reckless, belligerent policy that actually makes us less safe. The preventive war doctrine was a stunning departure from the policy that had kept America safe during both world wars and during the Cold War. It is wrong on the merits, wrong on the morals, and wrong for America.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

I think she's right.

Senator Clinton
"I don't think they're piling on because I'm a woman, I think they're piling on because I'm winning."
Yep. I just hope it's working.

Labels: ,

Duh News Of The Day.

Specter says he will back AG nominee

Really, was there ever any doubt?

Labels: ,

And now...


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Duty calls…

…if you can call a day involving beer, burgers and football 'duty'. Sadly I pour, not drink the beer, and cook, not eat the burgers, but the football's on a big screen. It's something.

Meanwhile, Pakistan scares the hell out of me.


Let's get it started, uh-huh...

Ten more from the tune trove.
Bruce Springsteen - Jacob's Ladder
Crazy Mary - Voices Of Freedom
Curtis Mayfield - We're A Winner
Amos Lee - Shout Out Loud
Brigitte DeMeyer - Big Boss Man
Black 47 - Bobby Sands MP
Del Rey & The Devils - Luche Libre
astroPuppies - Little Chick Tsunami
Clarence Bucaro - John The Revelator
Arrested Development - Mr. Wendal
Bet there's one or two you've never heard in there.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 02, 2007


Juan Cole
The US embassy in Iraq should be closed. It is not safe for the personnel there. Some sort of rump mission of hardy volunteers could be maintained. But kidnapping our most capable diplomats and putting them in front of a fire squad is morally wrong and is administratively stupid, since many of these intrepid individuals will simply resign. (You cannot easily get good life insurance that covers death from war, and most State spouses cannot have careers because of the two-year rotations to various foreign capitals, and their families are in danger of being reduced to dire poverty if they are killed).
Whatever our relationship to Iraq may be, or may become, 'diplomatic' isn't a word that immediately comes to mind. Even before the Bushco™ move to press reluctant diplomats into service was announced, it's clear that the embassy in Iraq was exceptional. Not only is it planned to be monumental in scale, but there's no expectation that it will be secure, or that the host government will be able to meet its security responsibilities. While Bill Richardson may offer the most comprehensive withdrawal plan, even he concedes the need to leave behind a thousand or so Marines to secure the embassy. That's not, as he's implied, routine duty for Marine Corps embassy guards. Marines are typically dispatched in small units (Cairo is the world's largest detachment, totaling 30 Marines) to handle internal security matters. Countries with whom we enjoy diplomatic relations provide perimeter security for our embassies, just as we do for theirs. If it takes a thousand Marines to do the job, we don't have an embassy, we have a fortress.

Shut it down.

Labels: , , ,

What if they gave a war…

…and nobody enlisted? Via Think Progress...
“The Army began its recruiting year Oct. 1 with fewer signed up for basic training than in any year since it became an all-volunteer service in 1973,” said commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command Gen. William S. Wallace.

I hate what they're doing to my Army.

Labels: ,

Quote of the day.

"We're not always ideologically aligned, but I think she's a good manager and that she's doing a good job of running the state."

Washington State House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt, describing Governor Christine Gregoire, Democrat.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, November 01, 2007

One of the reasons I never miss…

…a chance to read Chris Dashiell (and wish those chances occurred more often) is that he's one of those rare beings who can toss off a line like "Recently I ran across this passage from Plato (Laws, bk. III)…" and make it sound completely normal, like "I was reading the cereal box this morning...".

Time spent in his archives would be time well spent.

Labels: ,


From John Aravosis
Our president is a liar. That's because he comes from a party of liars. All the extremists leading the Republican party know how to do nowadays is lie. They look in a mirror, pick out the worst things they're doing, and then blame the Democrats for it.
It's all they've got, so they've all got to go.

Labels: ,