Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's a sorry state of affairs…

…when the Spokesman Review editorial page is out in front of our Democratic legistature on progressive taxation...
...The state is relatively rich, but it has a tax code that’s unsuited to tapping that wealth. The result is that high-income households send relatively large sums to the feds and relatively paltry amounts to the state. Conversely, the state taxes the poor at the highest levels in the nation because of the heavy reliance on our regressive sales tax.

If the state instituted an income tax and lowered the sales tax, it could begin to address its chronic budget deficits and lower the tax burden for most Washingtonians. It’s the same argument that was laid out by the Gates Commission several years ago, but lawmakers failed to act.
It's probably true that the S-R is ahead of a lot of voters, too, including (especially?) its east of the Cascade Curtain readership, but the shameful difference is that most of our Democratic legislators already understand the truth that the paper puts so clearly and succinctly.

There are really only two explanations that come to mind for their continued inaction. One is raw political cowardice, the refusal to do - or even say - the right thing for fear of election day reprisal. At some point the question must be put, though. Knowing that our state is on an unstable, inequitable and ultimately unsustainable economic path, what's the point of holding onto a spot in the funeral detail? How can you go back to Olympia again and again knowing that the system is broken at a fundamental level and believing that you can't do anything about it?

The other explanation is no more attractive. It's the arrogance of those who know that our revenue system is deeply flawed, know that there is a solution and know that many - perhaps most - of their constituents can realize a reduced state tax burden and simply don't believe their constituents have the capacity to grasp the legislator's advanced knowledge. I've known a few legislators in my time - even took a shot at becoming one - and I can tell you that they're not that smart and we're not that dumb. The challenge of educating the electorate wouldn't be a small one, especially since we've conceded the debate to reactionary forces for so long, but neither is it an insurmountable one.

For Democrats, leadership on creating a fair and reliable revenue structure for the state is a responsibility we can no longer shirk. This isn't the other Washington. We have big majorities. There are no filibusters. For right now, for better or for worse, we own Olympia, and it's broken. If we don't fix it for fear that we'll lose it, we'll lose it just the same, and have no one to blame and nothing to show.

Hat tip to Goldy.

Labels: , , ,

She's talking about torture…

…but I sense a more universal application. Speaker Pelosi
So any briefing that you would get from the Bush administration on the subject is one that is probably something you're not going to agree with, and two, maybe not the whole truth anyway.
Where, of course, "probably" and "maybe" = "certainly."

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Truth is breaking out all over…

…among the Republican ranks. The Senior Woman From Maine...
In my view, the political environment that has made it inhospitable for a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of a deeper, more pervasive problem that places our party in jeopardy nationwide.
True enough, though "jeopardy" may understate the case a bit, and "nationwide" may overstate it. Things may be rough for Republicans in ME, but I hear they're doing fine in MS.

Labels: , , , ,

From the "False choices" file.

Cheri Jacobus quotes Rick Santorum claiming to quote Arlen Specter exposing himself as an unprincipled hack, which is fine as far as it goes, but then she lays down a challenge...
So, unless Democrats want to go so far as calling Santorum a liar, this is pretty much an open-and-shut case.
OK, I'll bite. Rick Santorum is a liar. It's required of Republicans, after all. He may or may not be lying this time, but he's a liar. Doesn't really seem like much of a stretch.

That doesn't mean, of course, that Specter's not an unprincipled hack (personally, I figure he's a partially principled hack, like the great majority of his colleagues regardless of party), but that's not really the problem for Ms. Jacobus or Mr. Santorum. Their problem is that now Arlen's our unprincipled hack.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He writes the sweetest things...

Stuart Rothenberg
...the chance of Republicans winning control of either chamber in the 2010 midterm elections is zero. Not "close to zero." Not "slight" or "small." Zero.

Labels: , , ,

Speaking of Specter…

…his rep as a "moderate" Republican was based in a large part on his pro-choice views, but jeebus, with friends like these...
Senator Specter supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 50 percent in 2006.
Senator Specter supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 20 percent in 2005.
Senator Specter supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2004.
Senator Specter supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 21 percent in 2003.
Senator Specter supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 0 percent in 2001.
OK, to be fair, he scored 100 in 2007, but his pointedly anti-choice colleague Bob Casey pulled a 65 from NARAL that year, higher than any of Arlen's scores in the previous five years.

And Arlen, the anti-EFCA friend of labor? Don't get me started.

But, hey, welcome!

Labels: , , , , ,

Welcome Senator Specter (D-PA)…

…or, rather, welcome back...
...before 1966 he was a registered Democrat, but decided in 1965 to run as a Republican candidate for Philadelphia District Attorney when he realized he wasn't getting the support of the local Democratic Party for the post and Philly's Republican leader approached him about running.
Any port in a storm, it seems.

But welcome just the same. And tell your old pals the tent's still plenty roomy.

Labels: , , ,

From the "Be afraid…" file.

Paul Krugman...
So Bobby Jindal makes fun of "volcano monitoring", and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack. What else did the right oppose recently? I just want enough information to take cover.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mining the memory hole…

Natch comes up with a nugget…
War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be
no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

George W. Bush, March 17, 2003
From his lips to Attorney General Holder's ears.

Labels: , , , , ,


Andrew Sullivan...
Punishing those responsible for war crimes is not "scapegoating". You know what scapegoating is? It's throwing Lynndie England in jail for following orders given by George W. Bush, while leaving him to the luxury of a Texan suburb.
Accountability in a chain of command should be imposed from the top down (though driftglass reminds us that Andy is a recent convert to that proposition. Better late than never, I suppose.).

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hey, don't take my word for it…

…ask an intelligence source with decades of experience.
"Cheney is full of crap."
As if you needed to be told...

Labels: , ,

It's time for...


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ask Mr. Science.

Professor Myers offers Michele Bachmann (R-Ozone) a science lesson...
She claims that not one study has ever been produced to show that CO2 is harmful, and she goes further to claim that CO2 is a harmless gas. We could correct that in just a few minutes: give me a large tank of CO2 and a small room containing Michele Bachmann, and we'll give her a personal experience.
If you need a lab assistant for that, Doc, just holler. Meanwhile, I'll follow your advice to point and laugh.

Labels: , , ,

On yet another issue…

…my Representative represents me. My own personal Congressman, via The Hill
“Clearly, people all over the country are using marijuana. We have filled our prisons at enormous costs...and we have no money for education….We spend more, and more, more money in [the Drug Enforcement Administration], and rounding up people, and spraying fields, and all this stuff. And, from a social policy, I don’t see any reason not to legalize it, control it, sell it, [and] tax it.”
Me neither, Jim, and thanks for speaking out.

Labels: , , ,

From the "Eyes on the prize" file.

Joe Sudbay
It's mind-boggling that Democratic Senators still worry about bi-partisanship. They act like bi-partisanship is the ultimate goal. That's so wrong. It may come in handy sometimes as a tactic, but, the goal is good legislation.
Sometimes it may be better to do nothing than the wrong thing. Best always, of course, is to do the right thing. Remember that the seeds of failure were written into some Great Society programs through compromise. AFDC was critically flawed in its execution, for instance, to satisfy conservative (including conservative Democratic) demands that welfare not be used to support "able-bodied men." This forced the dispruption, at best, or destruction of the poor families who applied for aid. Having the "man of the house" ducking out the back door when the welfare worker knocked on the front became fodder for sketch comedy, but the real destruction to families (which were disproportionately black, since black families were disproportionately poor) by the attempt to carve out a program acceptable to conservatives continues to haunt our society.

Better, perhaps, as I said, to have done nothing until the right thing could be done, and the right thing is never compromise with the right wing.

Labels: , , , , ,

No, as a matter of fact…

…it doesn't work, and it hasn't helped...
WASHINGTON — The CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to recently declassified Justice Department memos.
And isn't it way past time for the style books to drop the "harsh interrogation" nonsense? They mean "waterboarding or other torture techniques." Why can't they say it?

Labels: , , ,

From the "I'm still a Deadhead" file…

…a random ten.
Not Fade Away (2-28-73)
Row Jimmy (5-21-77)
Jack Straw (2-28-73)
Beat It On Down The Line (8-7-82)
Ramble On Rose (6-19-77)
Smokestack Lightnin' (3-25-72)
Wharf Rat (12-31-73)
The Other One (7--26-87)
St. Stephen (4-71)
St. Stephen (4-27-69)
It appears that Obama's on the bus, too.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 24, 2009

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

Dark Wraith
Unfortunately for the civilized among the populous, the Right-wing cowards who listen to the false bravado of fellow Right-wing cowards will be emboldened to carry on under the delusion that they are - in their sniveling individual lives and the putrefaction of their collective pack - something other than unrepentant, clueless cowards who will run from any fight that is not staged and flee from any battle that is not a mere simplistic simulation of real life, death, and the bravery that compels warriors to risk the former in the blood currency of the latter.
And this? Trust me, he does…
To Sean Hannity: Contact me, son. I know a waterboarding method that will rock your world. Let me do that one to you.

Labels: , , , ,

Just this once…

…I hope a Republican is telling the truth. McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt on the Republican Party, via Political Wire...
"It is near-extinct in many ways in the Northeast, it is extinct in many ways on the West Coast, and it is endangered in the Mountain West, increasingly endangered in the Southwest... and if you look at the state of the party, it is a shrinking entity."
And they say I never cover the good news...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

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

While the timidity of the substantial Democratic majority in Olympia has been pretty frustrating this session, they got this one right...
The Legislature today approved a measure that would restore the voting rights of offenders once they are out of prison, off probation and making a good-faith effort to pay their fines.
Now if we could find a way to stop producing so many felons in the first place. Drug law reform (where reform = repeal, mostly) seems like a productive starting point.

Labels: , , ,

From the "Me neither." file.

Rep. David Obey, (D-WI)...

"I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of the existing Pakistani government to do one blessed thing."
Me neither.

Another reason that the right way in Afghanistan is out.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

From the "Yes, but…" file.

NYT headline...
Banned Techniques Yielded 'High Value Information,' Memo Says
Yes, but...
"The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means," Admiral Blair said in a written statement issued last night. "The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

Labels: , , , ,

From the "Me neither" file.

Secretary Clinton on Dick Cheney...
"I don't consider him a particularly reliable source of information."
Nor I.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Well, it's not "No."

President Obama on prosecuting the originators and enablers, if not the executors, of our recent torture regime...
"With respect to those who formulated those legal decisions, I would say that that is going to be more of a decision for the Attorney General...
We're waiting, Mr. Holder. Let America be America again.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 20, 2009


The New York Times
These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him.
This too…
After eight years without transparency or accountability, Mr. Obama promised the American people both. His decision to release these memos was another sign of his commitment to transparency. We are waiting to see an equal commitment to accountability.
Please, Mr. President, you've brought torture to an end. Bring torturers to justice. Let America be America again.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Of course not...

President Obama...
“I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for things that happened when I was three months old.”
…that's what we have Republicans for.

Labels: , , ,

It's time for...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hand picked random selections?

Sort of. This time I'm dipping into the directory of tunes that are either part of or on their way to becoming part of my Tuesday Night Tunes repertoire, so if you show up at the perfect tavern on a Tuesday, you just might see me hand pick one or more of 'em on the trusty 12 string...
Norman Blake - Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
James McMurtry - I'm Not From Here
Cisco Houston - This Land Is Your Land
Leftover Salmon - Ain't Gonna Work
The Limelighters - Take My True Love By The Hand
Frog Holler - Least Most Wanted
Lyle Lovett - Closing Time
Railroad Earth - Long Way To Go
Greg Trooper - Muhammad Ali (The Meaning Of Christmas)
Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels - Love Hurts

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Solidarity on the high seas…

…kicks pirate (ahem) booty.
We’re American seamen. We’re union members. We stuck together, and we did our jobs. And that’s how we did it.

John Cronan, 3rd Engineer, Maersk Alabama

Labels: , ,

From the "Me too" file.

President Obama...
"I can't say it any clearer: I will be helping Chris Dodd because he deserves the help."
Me too, Mr. President. Polls taken on the heels of a flurry of negative press surrounding Dodd's role in the AIG bonuses (not his only problem at home, but still the immediate atmosphere of the polling) has led to furious hand wringing in some quarters of the lefty blogosphere, including calls for a primary contest. I'm no more enamored of Dodd's parochial relationship to the banking and insurance industries than the next guy, but folks in Connecticut no doubt would look askance at Patty Murray's fealty to The Boeing Company. On war, on civil liberties, on children's and family issues, on and on, though, Chris Dodd's leadership and service has been admirable and often indispensable.

He's in a jam. It's time to rally 'round, not roll over.

Labels: , , ,

…but you can call me "Sire." says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd King.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

Hat tip to Cool History/Lit Geek Gordon.

Labels: ,

Good question.

so, if you put a thousand americans in a large stadium, one of them would be a teabagger.

why are we giving all this attention to that one guy?
Very good question. Wish I had a good answer.

Labels: , , ,

From the "Lincoln wept" file.

Glenn "Jefferson Davis" Beck...
"You can't convince me that the founding fathers wouldn't allow you to secede. The constitution is not a suicide pact. ... [States] have a right to back out."
They're just shameless in their hate for America these days.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

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

Little Green Footballs' Charles Johnson, via Blogometer
"First, this DHS assessment was begun more than a year ago, before Barack Obama was even nominated. It has absolutely nothing to do with 'tea parties,' and it was not done at the behest of the Obama administration. Second, I'm seeing it brought up repeatedly that the report contains a reference to veterans, mentioning that some of these groups are seeking to recruit them. This is nothing more than a fact, and the report even says that only a tiny number of veterans would join such groups -- but that their talents could bring a great deal of capability to the extremists. Has everyone simply forgotten that Timothy McVeigh was a veteran? The DHS report is not intended to target anyone but the most extreme elements of the far right, and it's depressing to see so many bloggers jumping to totally unwarranted conclusions."
Credit where it's due, he's got it just right.

But who'da thunk?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yes, it does.

John Cole
Simply mentally replace the phrase “tea party” with “hissy fit” and it really clears things up.
Thanks for that.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From the "Me too" file.

Via Steve Benen...
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) says he knows of 17 "socialists" in Congress. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont wants to know who the other 16 are.
Me too, Bernie, me too.

Labels: , , , , ,

Chart of the day.

Something to ponder while I fiddle with a 1040A and such, via Ezra Klein...

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 13, 2009


General: U.S. should be out of Iraq by late 2011

Nope, the U.S. should have been out long ago.

Should have stayed out altogether, in fact.

Sadly, we don't seem quite ready to do what we should do now, either.

Labels: , ,


If Obama cured cancer, they'd complain about overpopulation.

Labels: ,

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Fertility Symbol Sweets day!

I'm sure I'm not the only non-Christian who's fond of Cadbury eggs and jelly beans. It's our day too. (Actually, it's our day eve - tommorow the goodies hit the half price rack and the celebration can really begin.)

Just remember, the Peep that is not a yellow chickie is not the True Peep.

Whether the appropriate wish is Hag Sameach, Happy Easter or chow down, though, consider it wished on your behalf.

Labels: , , ,

It's time for...

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

From the "When you put it like that…" file.

Oliver on Governor Palin...
She lies and is a moron… clearly she’s the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
When you put it like that, it's crystal.

Labels: , , ,

Not just because…

…it'll make Blue Gal happy (though that's reason enough), or because it'll make "Thomas Jefferson, Buddha, Mohammed, and Jesus his own self" proud of me. Nope, I'm joining this year's Blog Against Theocracy blogswarm because every little blow for freedom helps and freedom, as always, needs all the help it can get.

Make no mistake, my opposition to theocracy has nothing to do with hostility toward religion. I am a religious person, observant in my way of the Reform Judaism to which I converted some 36 years ago, and part of the genuinely ecumenical fellowship that is Freemasonry.

No, my opposition to theocracy has everything to do with my love for Constitution of the United States of America. Opposition to theocracy is, in fact, a fundamental responsibility of American citizenship. That's why religious fundamentalism of any stripe is a disqualifying characteristic for those who would claim the mantle of patriotism. That's right, not matter how high you wave the flag or how aggressively you emphasize the words "under God" during the pledge, you can't be a fundie and a patriot.

Like the "In God We Trust" god, the "under God" god is specifically and deliberately undefined. That's because the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment prohibits the government of the United States from providing a definition. This country was founded by people with many definitions of god, people and descendents of people who had fled nations with an official definition different than their own. It wasn't by accident that the prohibition against a state religion was the first among the guarantees of individual liberty the framers appended to the Constitution, but even before that they had enacted a prohibition against a religious test for public office. Religious liberty wasn't an afterthought for our founders. They wove it into the body of the Constitution from the beginning, and emphasized it by amendment before submitting it for ratification.

I mentioned Freemasonry, and I take some pride in pointing to the influence of Masons among the founders as the basis for this emphasis on religious liberty. While Masons, upon initiation, are required to make a profession of faith in "God," it is a landmark of the craft that the attributes of "God" are never discussed, other than reference to the existence of a Grand Architect, let alone defined. A "volume of sacred law" is a required feature of a Masonic altar, but I have sat in lodges where the volume in question has variously been the Christian Bible, the Tanakh, the Bagavad Ghita, the Koran and the Diamond Sutra, alone and in various combinations. Any one will do for everyone in lodge. The framers took this a step further, barring the requirement of a profession of faith as a qualification for office. A citizen could be fully a citizen, able to hold any, even the highest, office while practicing any religion or no religion at all.

The "Christian nation" crowd doesn't get that, but neither do the proponents of Sharia law, or the rabbinic enforcers of the Jewish state who make Israel the only country in the world in which I am not a Jew. Of course, there's no serious effort to impose Sharia law on the U.S., or to give a panel of rabbis the power to decide on an individuals fitness for citizenship. There has been, though, a concerted effort, extending over decades, by Christian fundamentalists to present theirs as, if not the official then at least the preferred American faith. They have campaigned to put their theology in our classrooms, courtrooms and bedrooms. Nothing could be more un-, no, anti-American.

When most Americans think of theocracy, they may have trouble coming up with examples beyond the Vatican, but the fact is that many - most, perhaps - countries have state religions that hold various levels of influence in the conduct of government. Regardless of the degree of that influence, though, as soon as a government gives one faith the distinction of being, in the eyes of the state, the "true faith," that government is, to some degree, a theocracy.

The United States is, by design, a theocracy in no way whatsoever. That design, though, that Constitution, our liberties, have been under constant attack from the beginning, and our Constitution and liberties can only be preserved by constant vigilance and ongoing education. Blog Against Theocracy is a part of the process and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Labels: , , , , ,

From the "Me neither" file...

"We're not too worried that Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney are battling it out to remain the face of the Republican Party," a Dem strategist emails First Read.
Me neither.

I'm pleased as punch, actually.

Labels: , , ,

Some of that jazz.

I've been fiddling with the mp3 collection lately and have compiled a new directory of vocal jazz. Here's ten from there.

At random, of course...
Billie Holiday - Lover Man
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Summertime
Charles Brown - Black Night
Sarah Vaughn & Joe Williams - If I Were A Bell
John Pizzarelli Trio - Manhattan
Nat King Cole - Straighten Up And Fly Right
Ann Hampton Calloway - Comes Love
Jane Monheit - Once I Walked In The Sun
Jake Bergevin - Hallelujah, I Love Her So
Curtis Stigers - How Could A Man Take Such A Fall

Labels: , ,

Friday, April 10, 2009

The war drags on...

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The U.S. military says five American soldiers were among seven people killed in a suicide truck bombing in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
It ain't over 'til they're home.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

From the "Just because I'm paranoid…" file.

It's good to see I'm not the only one wondering about the background and goals of the Stevens prosecutors.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Duh headline of the day.

The Capitol Record
Student lobby not in favor of 14 percent tuition hike

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

And then there were four.

Via Steve Benen...
The Vermont House has voted, 100-49 to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill that would allow same-sex marriage. Vermont will become the fourth state to legalize marriages...
Why not Washington?

Labels: , ,

From the "Back in my day…" file.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Fantasyland)...
...And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward...
Back in my day we called it "Basic Training."

My Drill Sargeant wasn't much of a philosoper, though.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 06, 2009

From the "Since you asked…" file.

Josh Harkinson at MoJo wonders...
Are Starbucks and Whole Foods Union Busters?
Since you asked, yep. But you knew that.

Labels: , , , , ,


…has happened 4226 times. SSgt Philip Myers, USAF, is the first we've officially been allowed to recognize and honor on his return.

Thanks, along with my condolences, to his loved ones for making this photograph possible.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

It's time for...

Labels: ,

Saturday, April 04, 2009

From the "Cunning plan" file.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state of Alaska is aiming to collect "several hundred million dollars" from BP as compensation for pipeline leaks in 2006 that hobbled North Slope oil production and cut into state revenue, a state lawyer said...

...the bulk of the 49-page suit attempts to establish the state's claim to "lost" oil revenue by showing BP's negligence in maintaining oil pipelines in Prudhoe Bay and neighboring oil fields.
BP already faces stiff state and federal fines for the environmental effects of its lax business practices, but this notion of recovering tax revenues on earnings that weren't produced because a company didn't operate according to state approved practices is intriguing.

I mean, we've got a little revenue shortfall here in the Gateway to Alaska, too, and the People's Soviet of Alaska may have the solution. For instance, one of the things that our revenue forecasters take into account is the amount of sales taxes that will be returned by major retailers. Recently, those retailers have been somewhat disappointing on the revenue production front and it may be time for a full scale state review of their purchasing, pricing and merchandising practices. If we don't like what they've been up to, it's time to collect our "lost" revenues.

Property owners who are facing declining values will eventually return declining revenues. Make 'em pay the difference or haul 'em to court. And repos? Tax 'em double because they're hurting the whole market.

Or we could just tax the rich.

Labels: , , , ,

From the "Hard travelin'" file.

The Chinuk examines the travails of the "upper-middle crust in town that think of themselves as The Real And Struggling Portlanders."

It's tough out there. Heck, we're down to domestic brie and box wine here at Upper Left World Headquarters, but we've always been a bit short on upper=middle crust pretensions around here. The Chinuk's right, though - PBR's the good stuff and whining is unseemly. He's talking about Portland filtered throught the Oregonian, but every town's got these folks.

Check out the bourgeois bitching over here.

Labels: , , , ,

Baby Bucko blogging.

Ain't he somethin'?

Labels: ,

And again...

...the random ten. Still on a bit of a 'kicker kick...
Buck Owens - Heartaches By The Number
Ramsay Midwood - Hobo Man
Townes Van Zandt - Tecumseh Valley
Woody Guthrie - Grand Coulee Dam
Cisco Houston - Deportee
Guy Clark - Queenie's Song
Jerry Jeff Walker - One Too Many Mornings
The Duhks - Everybody Knows
The Greenbriar Boys - Rambling Round
Frog Holler - Least Most Wanted

Labels: ,

Friday, April 03, 2009

From the "Yes, but…" file.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, via Political Wire...
"The American public understands something must be askew if every single Republican votes against something."
Yes, but most of the American public understands that Republicans themselves are the something askew.

Labels: , , ,

Quote of the day.

The Iowa Supreme Court...
“The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.”
Every victory brings another...

Labels: , ,

Cute kid, huh?

Emmett James, they tell me. His big brother, The Quarterback, calls him "Bucko," though.

7lbs, 1oz, 19 inches.

And ol' Grandpa Shaun couldn't be prouder.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 02, 2009

From the "Me too" file.

Via The Nation...
Dear Mr. President:

We have noted with some concern your announcement that an additional 17,000 US troops would be sent to Afghanistan. As the goals of our seven year military involvement remain troublingly unclear, we urge you to reconsider such a military escalation.

If the intent is to leave behind a stable Afghanistan capable of governing itself, this military escalation may well be counterproductive. A recent study by the Carnegie Endowment has concluded that "the only meaningful way to halt the insurgency's momentum is to start withdrawing troops. The presence of foreign troops is the most important element d riving the resurgence of the Taliban."

The 2001 authorization to use military force in Afghanistan allowed military action "to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States." Continuing to fight a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan does not appear to us to be in keeping with these directives and an escalation may actually harm US security.

In a tape released in 2004, Osama bin Laden stated that al Qaedas' goal was to "bleed.. .America to the point of bankruptcy" in Afghanistan. He continued, "All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note..."

We would do well to pay attention to these threats and to avoid falling into any such trap through escalation of our military presence in Afghanistan.

We are also concerned that any perceived military success in Afghanistan might create pressure to increase military activity in Pakistan. This could very well lead to dangerous destabilization in the region and would increase hostility toward the United States.

Mr. President, in reviewing the past history of Afghanistan and the nations that have failed to conquer it -- Russia spent nine years in Afghanistan and lost many billions of dollars and more than 15,000 Russian soldiers-- we urge you to reconsider the decision to send an additional 17,000 troops and to resist pressure to escalate even further.
Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-HIi), John Conyers (D=MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), Steve Kagen (D-WI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Howard Coble (R-NC), Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC) John Duncan (R-TN), Ron Paul (R-TX), Ed Whitfield (R-KY)…
…and me too.

The right way in Afghanistan is out.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One man's "pork"…

…is another's employment. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) explains How A Bill Becomes A Job
The Forest Service has begun the process of awarding contracts for forest health projects. In Oregon, they’ve already allocated over $10 million with more to come. The Medford (Ore.) Mail Tribune recently looked at how $3 million of those funds will be used. They found that because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 150 people will be put to work promoting forest health and helping prevent wildfires in Southern Oregon, with some of those people to start work immediately. Many of these jobs are coming to Jackson County, which currently has a 14 percent unemployment rate.
Sorry scoffers, turns out that clearing brush is economic stimulus.

Labels: , , , , ,