Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gilmore v. Gonzales moves forward at SCOTUS

Attorneys for John Gilmore filed their reply brief to the US
Supreme Court in the case of Gilmore v. Gonzales. It's a difficult case to explain. Although it's a simple complaint, a lot of people seem to see it as a frivilous matter. Folks don't get all exercised about having to show ID to travel, and I suppose it's not that unreasonable in terms of safety, but I think it strikes at the very root of the seeds of fascism the White House has planted in America.
Describing the government's opposition brief as "one part legal argument, and nine parts obfuscation", Gilmore's attorneys write that the "question is whether the government can – without any plausible explanation – enforce against the general public a law, the text of which it insists must be kept secret."
That's the key. If we allow the government to make secret laws, even seemingly innocuous ones, it just sets the stage for further encroachments down the line. We're supposed to be a freaking democracy. Our government simply should not be making secret laws.

All the White House has to do to settle this case was to reveal the text of the law. Why should that be a problem? I think it very fishy that they're willing to take this to SCOTUS in order to avoid complying with Gilmore's more than reasonable request.

A copy of the brief in pdf is here from the complete index of filings.

In full disclosure, John is a friend of mine and I'd really like to see this case get more exposure. I'd appreciate any attention bloggers who read me could give the matter.
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George Will bemoans the end of the age of grace in DC

George Will is not loving him some Jim Webb
That was certainly swift. Washington has a way of quickly acculturating people, especially those who are most susceptible to derangement by the derivative dignity of office. But Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.
Abuser of the English language? As opposed to our overly articulate president? I thought Webb expressed himself pretty clearly but when it comes to pompous poseurs, I suppose Will should know. Those Georgie boys gotta stick together.

Meanwhile, I think Mr. Will must be considering changing his occupation from pundit to stand up comedian with this line.
Based on Webb's behavior before being sworn in, one shudders to think what he will be like after that. He already has become what Washington did not need another of, a subtraction from the city's civility and clear speaking.
The city's civility and clear speaking? Yep, damn that Webb for disrupting the genteel and gracious ambience so carefully cultivated by the White House and the GOP in the last six years. Didn't you just know those darn Democrats were going to muck the place up with a bunch of macaca?
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Iraq group - Under study

Well, this was fun. What can we spend eight months studying and do nothing about for the next eight months?

Anybody know how much it cost us to subsidize this tea party?

Meanwhile, via Heretik, here's more DHS fun and games.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

GOP's nightmare -- Webb in 08

I'm loving me some Jim Webb. If the Dems were smart they would be polishing this diamond in the rough for 08. Forget, Hillary and Obama. They're too slick and too establishment to win in the general election. Webb is fresh and he bows to no one. This exchange with Bush at a presidential reception says it all.
"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
It's this kind of in your face independence that will win over swing voters and even woo the redneck Republicans who appreciate brass balls. Of course, the diehard Bush loyalists are already screaming about the new Bush hater, echoing in all seriousness Glenn Greenwald's facetious question, "How dare Jim Webb not answer the Leader's question exactly as it was asked." But the true believers are an ever shrinking group and there's a lot of disgruntled Republicans that are sick of slick professional politicians.

While you're over at Glenn's place, check out his thoughts in that mixed post on the latest kerfluffle over Keith Ellison's request to take the oath of office on the Koran instead of the Bible, since he is after all a Muslim and that is the book he holds holy. I'm not even going to remark on it myself, since Glenn has already said everything worth saying and he has the stomach to link to the wingnuts predictable railing that this spells the end of democracy and is ushering in Sharia law, or some nonsense like that.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bush builds his legacy

You're the president of a superpower and you've really screwed things up. Everything you touched has turned to shit. You got yourself into a war that you can't get out of, you've caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, nobody in your own country likes you and the rest of world loathes you and thinks you're a buffoon. So what do you do? Why build a monument to yourself of course.

Bush is looking to raise half a billion bucks to fund his presidential library and a think tank slated to be built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Bush sources with direct knowledge of library plans told the Daily News that SMU and Bush fund-raisers hope to get half of the half billion from what they call "megadonations" of $10 million to $20 million a pop.

Bush loyalists have already identified wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry as potential "mega" donors and are pressing for a formal site announcement - now expected early in the new year.

"You can't ask people in Dallas for $20 million until they can be sure the library won't be in Waco," one Bush source noted.
Too bad there isn't a town called Whacko. That would be more fitting. But I guess we know what Cheney was really doing in Saudi Arabia this week. And maybe Rove was busy charming the heiresses? I hear he's a real ladies' man.
The half-billion target is double what Bush raised for his 2004 reelection and dwarfs the funding of other presidential libraries. But Bush partisans are determined to have a massive pile of endowment cash to spread the gospel of a presidency that for now gets poor marks from many scholars and a majority of Americans.

The legacy-polishing centerpiece is an institute, which several Bush insiders called the Institute for Democracy. Patterned after Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Bush's institute will hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," one Bush insider said.
In other words he just intends to continue the common practices of his administration. Rewriting history -- one lie at a time -- is their speciality. But still, I would think it would be a hard sell except for this.
There's another major inducement for potential donors: Their names aren't required to be made public.
That can only help. I doubt many people are that anxious to be publicly associated with this failed presidency.

Update: Romunov has the architect's rendering of the place.
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Dear John

Get over it. You had your chance. You blew it. It's over. Time to get out of the way for the good of the country and the party.
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Monday, November 27, 2006

Former AGs file suit to protect Habeas Corpus

I thought this story was way underreported. It seems to me it should be bigger news when 8 former high ranking government officials file suit against the Bush administration.
Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system.

It was the first time that Reno, attorney general in the Clinton administration, has spoken out against the administration's policies on terrorism detainees, underscoring how contentious the court fight over the nation's new military commissions law has become. Former attorneys general rarely file court papers challenging administration policy.

Suspected al-Qaida sleeper agent Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is the only detainee being held in the United States.

The former prosecutors challenged the Justice Department's right to bring al-Marri before a military commission.
This guy is the next Padilla. Same MO on the government's part. They arrest him inside the US. They can't make the case in criminal court so they designate him as an "enemy combatant" and strip him of every legal right under our rule of law and intend to hold him forever without charge.
"The existing criminal justice system is more than up to the task of prosecuting and bringing to justice those who plan or attempt terrorist acts within the United States _ without sacrificing any of the rights and protections that have been the hallmarks of the American legal system for more than 200 years," the attorneys wrote.
The case is before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and is one of three that challenge the premise that detainees may not use civilian courts to challenge their imprisonment. The administration's response is predictably nauseating.
Last weekend, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended the nation's handling of the detainees. He said they are afforded more rights than required. "What is extraordinary, in other words, is how much - not how little - our law protects enemy combatants," he said.
Yeah Al, that would be the legal system that built our country. Does that whining little weasel think we don't know he's such an incompetent lawyer that the only way he can make a case is to cheat?
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Bits and pieces

I made it through the day with this blinding sinus headache and I'm looking at a week off but I have all these good links that I just can't expound on tonight, so I'm going to do a quick hit post so at least they're archived.

The Bush administration finally found those troublesome WMDS. They're here in the US and they're going to renege on the treaty to get rid of them.

No surprise here but it's worth keeping track of, I think. Yet another audit finds the DHS is negligently lax with their accounting procedures on contracts. They're throwing all this money around and no one knows where it's going.

David Sirotta had a good post reminding us that all this bipartisan talk is just a screen to cover the big money politics that goes on behind the scenes. He appears to have about as much hope as I do that the Democratic Party will clean up Congress -- practically none.

And I'm glad to see voter fraud is being addressing by the big name pundits. EJ Dionne had this great op-ed on voter fraud and Paul Krugman also made some good points and the the NYT weighs in with a seperate article that points out why it's important to stay focused on the issue. If we don't start agitating right now to fix these problems and keep it up until they do, we can kiss meaningful elections goodbye in 08.
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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Depends on what your definition of lame is

You know, I don't hate Glenn Reynolds. I never really liked him. I think he's a pompous ass, but I used to kind of admire him. I mean he was an early adopter and in a way he taught us all how to blog -- either by example or antithesis. But I never expected to have to feel sorry for him.

I mean, how utterly pathetic that a once mighty "tipping point" blogger is reduced to schoolyard taunting? And how even sadder that he has to fall back on his adoring acolyte Ms. Althouse for support? And I'm telling you it doesn't bode well for the future of our legal system when tenured law professors suffer from such a paucity of argument that they hurl insults and quibble over syntax rather than putting forward cogent points.

But I take no pleasure in seeing the mighty fall so low. It's a sad day in Blogtopia when Reynolds starts to sound like a man bitter about his growing irrelevance and jealous of a rising star's success, while his relationship with the nominally feminist Ms. Althouse begins to take on the Monica/Clinton dynamic that she professes to loathe so much.
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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Peaceful protests, holy con men, and paid informants - oh my!

I've got a lot of links saved since I've been under the weather that are still worth reading, so here's a few short takes.

Newly released documents from the Talon domestic surveillance programs provide new proofs that our government was compiling terrorist related dossiers on peaceful Americans.
The latest Talon documents showed that the military used a variety of sources to collect intelligence leads on antiwar protests, including an agent in the Department of Homeland Security, Google searches on the Internet and e-mail messages forwarded by apparent informants with ties to protest groups.

“Veterans for Peace is a peaceful organization,” [one] entry said, but added there was potential that future protests “could become violent.”
Right. There's also a possibility that the next PTA meeting in Louisville will become violent but it's not likely. What does seem likely however, is that our government is continuing with the practice despite promises to purge the lists of those files.

You wonder why we have such an uninformed electorate? Maybe it's because local news stations showed more paid ads than they spent on covering the elections. They spent under two minutes on actual news coverage. That about says it all about the dismal state of our media as an information source.

And I loved this one. James Dobson would love to cure the disgraced Rev. Haggard of teh gay that afflicts him, but says it would take about five years and he doesn't have the time, what with all his board meetings and everything. Where was that bible passage that said - thou shalt put money ahead of salvation? Probably the Book of Revelations.
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Friday, November 24, 2006

The Blame Game

It's been going from bad to worse in Iraq this week and it's not getting better. So what's a poor administration hack to do?

Why blame the Democratic Party of course. From the rank and file of Rightopia through the high level war-mongers all the way up to Cheney, they are blaming the current uptick in violence on Democrats, the liberal press, and the rest of us cut and run appeasers for encourging the terrorists. Silly us. If only we had cheerleaded the war and our Dear Leader, it would have been won by now.

Surely this spike in violence has nothing to do with Bush going to Baghdad Jordan, for an announced meeting with Maliki. That seems pretty big to me. Has he arrived announced since the invasion? It's quite a contrast to his usual secretly sneaking in under the dark of night to "rally the troops." And everyone knows he going there to holler at Maliki for not disbanding the militias.

Nah, no possible nexus there. The death squads aren't trying to scare Bush, they're clearly celebrating the Democratic party's victory here, by massacuring each other there. Shame on us for not voting in the Republic party so none of this would have happened.

Correction:I see in reviewing today's news that Bush is actually meeting in Amman Jordan with Maliki. Guess he thinks it's too dangerous to show up in Baghdad himself.
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving thanks

It's traditional to think about giving thanks on this day so after working half the day -- starting at the crack of dawn -- I find myself reflecting on gratitude before I go off for a late Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I find the first thing I'm grateful for is electricity, after having come home last night to a dark and freezing home and I'm grateful I don't live in Iraq where they only get a couple of hours of it a day.

I'm thankful that we still have some semblence of a democracy left after six years of this admistration. I'm thankful Bush hasn't invaded more countries yet and I hope and pray the new Congress can prevent him from doing so. I'm thankful that Americans seem to have come to their senses and realized the gross incompetency of his administration and restored a small measure of the balance of power. I'm thankful that I'm still glad to be living in America. For a while there I thought I might have to leave.

And although I sometimes feel like I'm living in a foreign country, I'm thankful to be living in a place where my breath doesn't freeze in my lungs and my knees don't ache in the arctic cold. And I'm thankful to have this opportunity to affirm what I always thought -- that "red state" people and "blue state" people aren't really that different when you get down to the core values we all hold. We may disagree, on a lot of things, but we're all good people doing the best we can with what we have to work with.

And of course, I'm thankful for you -- my cherished readers -- who have come to feel like friends and family though we have never met on the earthly plane. Thank you for your company and encouragement. I hope every one of you found yourself in a warm place with good company and fine food on this Thanksgiving Day.

[My more personal thoughts on thanks is here.]
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's official -- we've lost in Iraq

Sorry posting has been so light. I just can't shake this cold so I'm going to start today by cross posting this from the Detroit News. I thought it was one of my better pieces lately.
When Henry Kissinger says Iraq is lost, then it's over. The man never met a war he didn't like. If he says it can't be done, we can't win in the sense of a military victory. Of course I never thought a military solution was feasible in the war on terror. I'm long on the record on that score, being one of the few people that was against invading Afghanistan.

Terrorism is an idea, not a place. It can't be ascribed to only certain ethnic groups. And despite all the rhetoric coming from the right blaming Islam, terrorism is not a religion. It's a lifestyle, practiced mostly by brash and idealistic youth and it's grounded in fighting for a cause they see as just and right. You can't fight that by bombing countries into oblivion and killing hundreds of thousands of people.

And it's not about taking away our freedoms, it's about fighting for their own. They don't want to take over the US and install Sharia law. There's no way they could do it if they wanted to. There's not enough of them. They just want us out of their countries.

That's not to say that I support their cause or want them to be able to impose their will on their own people. I don't think anyone should have to live under cruel tyranny but unless and until we're invited to intervene, it's not our fight. Invading countries to "liberate" them so that they may better serve our interests, will always be seen as an act of aggression and inspire some faction to fight against foreign occupation.

Try to think of this way. If the situation were reversed, and the terrorists had the big guns and the mighty military forces to physically take over the United States, in order to "liberate" us from democracy -- would you fight back? If your home was destroyed and your children and other loved ones were killed in the name of freeing you, would you love your liberators?

If we had given the reconstruction to the Iraqis instead of Halliburton, we could have achieved something great in Iraq. As it stands now, the American taxpayer has put out billions of dollars that has ended up lining the pockets of US megacorporations, and a large handful of corrupt politicians in both the US and Iraq. If we were delivering building supplies and medicines and food and most importantly jobs, instead of bombs, almost four years later, you can bet the the Iraqis would be loving themselves some democracy instead of wanting us to get the heck out of Baghdad.
If you don't read that blog regularly because you hate wading through the other bloggers, here's a few links to some of my other thoughts on the larger stories of the last week.

Gilmore takes secret law challenge to SCOTUS.

Should Fox News be classified as enemy combatants?

Privatizing propaganda.

Social Security, Health Care and Food Insecurity.

Why does Laura Ingraham hate free speech and fair elections?

The real class warfare is against the working poor.

Iraqis say Yankees go home.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Autism, Olbermann and Iraqis

Judging from my personal experience, autism is on the rise in America. I think the evidence is strong that it's related to the vaccine routinely administered to babies but we'll never know for sure if Congress doesn't fund the research to identify the source and find ways to remedy this condition. The lovely bartender Maeve has an autistic son and posts a link to a action alert. The bill is being held up in committee and our Congresscreatures need to hear from us to move it onto the floor. Please take 30 seconds to send the insta-letter to yours. This is an important issue to thousands of parents.

Meanwhile, I'm still under the weather but here's a link to Olbermann, who takes W to school on Vietnam.

And I'm going to blog this one at Detroit, so here's a link to an interesting poll. The large majority of Iraqis want us to commit to timetable to get the hell out of Baghdad. Josh has the links to the study.
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Monday, November 20, 2006

When all else fails - blame the bloggers

This idiot at the BBC says The Web is fuelling a crisis in politics.
"What is the big breakthrough, in terms of politics, on the web in the last few years? It's basically blogs which are, generally speaking, hostile and, generally speaking, basically see their job as every day exposing how venal, stupid, mendacious politicians are.

"The internet is being used as a tool of mobilisation, which is fantastic, but it only adds to the growing, incommensurate nature of the demands being made on government."

He challenged the online community to provide more opportunities for "people to try to understand the real trade-offs that politicians face and the real dilemmas that citizens face".
What a crock of crapola. It's about time the politicians start trying to understand the real dilemmas that citizens face and the trade offs the working class has to make every day just to survive. We've got millions of Americans who have to choose between food and medicine, between new shoes for their kids and gas in their car. What trade offs are the politicians facing? Does he mean things like selling out the common good for corporate interests in order to protect their deep pocket campaign contributors? If blogs don't expose them, who will? The MSM isn't doing it.

Guido has the quote of the day in response to this piece.
Guido intends to be a thorn in the side of corrupt politicians for a long time. There is nothing the vermin can do about it, no media proprietor for them to brandish baubles to, no job you can offer, no bribe we will accept. They deserve everything they get, the crisis has been brought about by their lies. In an age where all can be journalists and information is freely available they have lost control of the media. That is their crisis and our victory.
Amen, Guido.
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A little light posting

I'm on the work rotation again but posting was light yesterday because I'm coming with something and feel yucky. I do have tomorrow off so I hope to post more later but for now, this was pretty good flash video commentary on the state of our union. Check out W saves a baby.
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Truth from the mouth of neo-cons?

The growing chorus of White House insiders criticizing the White House is getting to be old news as the neo-cons scramble to distance themselves from an incompetent president but this remark took me by surprise.
Richard N. Haass, a former top Bush State Department official and now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said a radically different approach to world affairs naturally generates criticism. "The emphasis on promotion of democracy, the emphasis on regime change, the war of choice in Iraq -- all of these are departures from the traditional approach," he said, "so it's not surprising to me that it generates more reaction."
The war of choice in Iraq? Anybody remember any White House mouthpiece admitting it wasn't a necessary war before this? I don't.
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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fear and Loathing inside the Beltway

Steve Clemmons rubbed elbows with the high and mighty inside the Beltway and finds a nightmare confirmed. While hobnobbing with 60 of "America's and Europe's leading current and former political personalities" he reports "the conversations -- on the whole -- were about the crappy condition of America's national security position."
People were depressed and dismayed about current conditions. One very, very senior Bush administration official when asked by me what ideas he had to stabilize Iraq and stop our slow bleed situation said he had exhausted what he felt was possible.

Another top tier official when another guest pushed him to move the President into some rational deal-making that might trigger a more fruitful trend, ominously said "don't hold your breath."
Makes those presidential drinking rumors look even more credible, don't you think? Some days I wonder if we're going to survive two more years of this president.
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Unconventional thinking on convention

I run hot and cold with Bill Maher, but I was amused by his take on that "goddammed pice of paper" those of us who aren't King President like to call the Constitution. It starts like this:
Now, I know liberals have been on a high these last 10 days, and it can't be the meth because that's a gay evangelical drug. But let's remember that all that really happened was, Republicans went so batty for so long that common sense seemed like a new idea.

Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that this election brought new thinking to Washington. It didn't. It brought Democrats, who are often just Republicans slowed down a step by a sense of shame.
He goes on to suggest we hold another Constitutional Convention and rewrite the thing. He actually makes some good points.
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Neocons speak - it's not our fault

I'm sure you've heard that Chuckie Krauthammer found a new scapegoat for the failure of the occupation. It's the damn Iraqis fault for being such savages and breaking the lovely democracy we gave them like a bratty kid on Christmas morning who was disappointed in his new toys but the prize for most lame diatribe goes to a commenter at Don Surber's place who recycles this old saw. Here's the choice quote that Don elevates to prime place in his post:
HERE's the truth about Iraq. If this friggin' anti-war movement and ignorant politicians like Nancy Pelosi and the esteemed Jack Murtha, John Kerry, et al, would shut the #$!# up and support the mission, the insurgency and other enemy forces like Al-Qaeda would have submitted long ago. Democrats have consistently given the terrorists HOPE to hang in there, and this last election was the biggest shot in the arm the enemy could have received. They can smell victory and believe the hardest part is over. They are now, they believe, at the finish line and are quite galvinized. The rash of bombings, kidnappings and so on should be expected if you understand that our enemy is in a happy frenzy like a fan at a football game whose underdog team came from behind and is running toward the goal line.

There is no way a bunch of terrorists could ever defeat America if we were unified. The division is what is prolonging the engagment in Iraq. It's that simple. I hold Democrats personally responsible.
Simple or simple-minded is the question but seein as it's all our fault, here's the new plan to win the war. All of us commie, pinko, turrist appeasin lefties just have to call Baghdad and tell those turrists that we changed our mind. We love the war and we wanna stay in Iraq forever. Then those infidels will be so sceered, they're all gonna pack up their IEDs and go home.
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The Rumor Mill churns

There's a couple of late breaking items I didn't get to yesterday that are worth remarking on. My favorite comes via Mikevotes who points us to an item on the rumored departure of Karl Rove. The reason is allegedly that Rove represents a partisan approach that runs counter to Bush's newly stated commitment to bi-partisanship, (like anybody believes that's really true). It seems more likely that Rove's enemies like Trent Lott and Harriet Miers are working behind the scenes to get him ousted. But the conspiracy theorist in me has this feeling that if he goes, it will be just to some undisclosed bunker so he can plot his dirty tricks for 08 on a full time basis.

I find it hard to believe Bush would willingly exile his architect, but then again James Wolcott is hearing persistent rumors in high places that Bush is back on the sauce.

It wouldn't surprise me if it were true. He's not a guy who takes rejection any better than he takes advice and it could explain why Poppy Bush has suddenly stepped forward. Speaking of which, check out the cover of Newsweek. You just know that is pissing Junior off.
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Good news, bad news

Keep this for future reference. A very long list of election problems in the 2006 midterms. Another reminder that election reform should be at the top of the any activist's list of issues.

Paul Waldman has some very good advice for the Democratic Party. Short version - stand up and fight. Act like a winner and you'll be treated as one.

The ties that bind. Suddenly the name Carlyle Group is being whispered in every corner of political punditry. William Rivers Pitt shouts it out with a revealing timeline on just how embedded this secretive little cabal is in our foreign policy. Not to mention just how many billions they're making on the war on terror. James Baker is one of the prime beneficiaries. I'd say that doesn't bode well for the "new" Iraq plan.

Senator elect Jim Webb has a good op-ed at the WSJ on the growing class divide in this country. It can't be restated enough that "The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes." Webb has hope the working class has found their voice and won't sit still any longer for flat wages and health care costs that have risen 73% in the last six years. We can only hope he's right.

And to end with some positive news, the shift of power to the Democrats is good news for net neutrality and other tech related issues that have been defeated until now largely along partisan lines.
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Give me back my old time Democrats

Jon Faulkner at OpEd News reminds us of the difference between conservatives and liberals.
For those who believe there's not a dime's worth of difference in the two parties consider. Social Security, The G.I. Bill, Labor Laws, Environmental Laws, Civil Rights, Bank Deposit Insurance, The Rural Electrification Program, Product Labeling, Truth in Advertising, Woman's Right to Vote and the Earned Income Tax Credit were all the work of liberals as conservative republicans howled their opposition.
That's true enough but it was a long time ago. Faulkner goes on to list the conservative's "accomplishments."
In contrast the republicans initiated cuts in veteran's benefits, they eviscerated education and health care, passed endless tax cuts for the rich, slashed Head Start, and eliminated the Fairness Doctrine. Given more time, elderly Americans would have watched their Social Security checks get turned over to Wall Street investors, for a fee of course. All of these conservative "contributions" have the same thread of commonality - they were passed in the early A.M., on Saturdays, after news deadlines. Like cockroaches, conservatives like to operate in the dark. Turn on the lights and they scatter for the cracks.
And therein lies the problem for today's progressives who would like to claim the Democratic Party as their own again. The GOP were allowed to accomplish this destruction of our formerly humane system of govenment by a meek and compliant Democratic Party that was so busy redefining its image as "centrist" in order to win elections, they forgot that in order to lead you have to stand on principles, not respond to polling. The people want leaders and innovators, not wishy-washy politicians who are afraid to make a move until their focus groups tell them which way the wind blows.
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Pelosi's folly

As the NYT notes in today's editorial, Nancy Pelosi is off to a rocky start. I find it incomprehensible myself that the Democratic Party would think it wise to come of the gate battling over how to distribute their new power. It simply smacks of politics as usual, which is not why the electorate returned them to power.

I mean for Pete's sake, they have until January to figure out who gets what plum assignment. It would have been far more constructive for them to come out united against the power plays that the president and his GOP Congress are planning to pull off in their remaining days. For instance Bush has just renominated six of his worst candidates for federal judgeships. But that didn't make the headlines because the press was too busy covering the intercine battles within the party.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think this spells the doom of the Party, it will pass, but the Democrats promised a new beginning. Playing the same old game of intra-party political payoffs is step backward, not forward. If Pelosi had demonstrated the good sense to hold back on the distribution of appointments, the focus would have been on Trent Lott and not John Murtha. That plays into Rove's hands, not to the benefit of the common good of the party or the people.
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

What's the difference between Pam Atlas and a terrorist?

You got me. I don't see one. Neither do I see a difference between the loathesome spewing of Ann Coulter, Michele Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson and dozens of others of their ilk and the rantings of al Qaeda. All of them routinely call for the reckless murder of Americans. Our resident right wing terrorists are in fact worse than AQ, since they call for the death of their fellow citizens not of out of an ideological conviction, but simply to advance their careers as professional hate-mongers.

One might be inclined to simply ignore their unpleasant pandering and write off their hapless fan base as irredeemably angry, but as Glenn Greenwald details in this post, their violent rhetoric has consequences in the real world. There are numerous instances of law abiding citizens being swamped with death threats after being targeting by one of the high profile, right wingnut extremists. And just this week some nutcase, who apparently subsists on a steady diet of Malkin and Coulter's bile, mailed anthrax-like powder to the pair's very long list of enemy list of Americans who dare to use their constitutional freedoms to publicly disagree with the zealots' party line.

Should we wait until some deluded fan sends the real thing before we confront these terroristic pundits among us? I think not.

Someone needs to hold these self-professed pundits responsible for their irresponsible rhetoric. I would think their victims could sue under hate speech statutes. Certainly, it's clear their goal is to provoke violence with their words. Or perhaps they could be declared enemy combatants for calling for the death of their fellow Americans. That would be the ultimate justice, for them to be snared by the very mechanism they're willing to kill their fellow citizens to "defend."
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Facism takes a step forward

Listen. That sound you hear in the distance, are the jackboots marching toward the future. For anybody who has ever wanted to send me a tin foil hat when I tell you that Bush has a contingency plan to declare martial law and suspend the elections in 08, consider this quote, via Crooks and Liars, that comes from a recent presidential radio address:
One freedom that defines our way of life is the freedom to choose our leaders at the ballot box. We saw that freedom earlier this week, when millions of Americans went to the polls to cast their votes for a new Congress. Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war." (emphasis added)…
Freudian slip? I mean, since when has that ever been a question? As Bob Cesca put it at the HuffPo:
When elections are no longer a given in the mind of the president, it stands to reason that the possibility of somehow canceling future elections might've crossed his mind. And why wouldn't it? He has the tools. He has the National Guard positioned in every state under his control. He can legally disappear and torture anyone he chooses. He can use legal (yet unconstitutional) means to gather information about political opponents to smear and shame them. The president has unprecedented power to do almost anything he wants and the unwavering support of both a major cable news network and, on the fringe, would-be domestic terrorists.

So really. Who the crap needs another Sedition Act? The president is toting a Crawford holster filled with far better tools as he plummets head first into two years of harried political conflict -- the fluttering and charred remains of the Constitution forming a cloud of dust in his wake.

...For me, it's on this issue that I will judge our new Congress. Iraq, energy, global warming, ethics and election reform, and the economy (the debt and middle class tax cuts) are, in tandem, gathered in a close second place. But none of these issues can be addressed until the democratic balance of power is wrested from the hands of the totalitarian tools in the White House and beyond.
That's on my top of my list of agenda items too, along with verified voting and closing the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street. Until we disempower the reckless, power hungry miscreants who are currently piloting our ship of state straight into the reefs of corruption, everything else we do is fruitless.
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Daily Chuckle

With OJ Simpson hitting the talk show circuit to promote his incomprehensible new book -- How I would have killed my wife if I really did it -- Marty Kaplan has some amusing ideas for the future of this new genre for former Bush administration officials.

It's short. Just go read it.
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Move on Christian soldiers

There's a lot of speculation about the effect evangelicals had on the midterms. This op-ed posits that the Democratic Party shouldn't get too jolly about "winning" their votes. Quote of the day:
"Modern Christianity, having lost sight of Christ's teachings, has been co-opted by legalism, materialism and politics. Simply put, it has lost its spirituality.

"Whereas Christianity was once synonymous with charity, compassion and love for one’s neighbor, today it is more often equated with partisan politics, anti-homosexual rhetoric and affluent mega-churches."

--John W. Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, conservative Christian organization, quoted in "Putting Faith Before Politics" by David Kuo
Kuo speculates the fundies are leaning towards taking a break from politics. That could only be a good thing for the church and the state.

[hat tip Jules Siegel]
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The corpse of Habeas Corpus a grim reminder of our danger

Padilla gets all the press but Glenn Greenwald reminds us he is not alone in his plight. Take the less publicized case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a grad student from Peoria, IL that has been held without charge for five years. Al-Marri was swept up in the post 9/11 frenzy. He had been in the country for years and lived a quiet life with his wife and five children.

He was initially charged with some terrorism related crimes -- mainly allegedly lying to the FBI. He suffered through two years of pre-trial motions and was about to get his day in court to prove his innocence but on the eve of his trial, Bush himself charged the man with being an enemy combatant. He was at that point effectively removed from the judicial system and the criminal charges against him were dropped previous to his being turned over to US military custody. He has been imprisioned since then, held without charges in solitary confinement and has been denied contact with the outside world -- including lawyers.

This man was a resident alien, living here legally and peaceably contributing to society when he snatched from his home and clapped behind bars on what seems destined to become a life sentence without having been proved guilty of crime. In fact, one must presume he was innocent all along or else why would the White House not have pursued the case through the criminal courts? Surely an actual conviction of a proveable terrorism related crime would play well not only with the base, but also with all Americans. The only reason it would make sense to have locked him away, is that the government couldn't prove its case and it would have been too embarassing to admit they screwed it up.

This could happen at any time, to any of the miilions of resident aliens who are legally living here. It makes a mockery of everything this country used to stand for. Hell, we've financed and/or fought wars against governments for just these sort of fascist tactics. It's a sad day for the USA when this sort of presidential misconduct is not only allowed to happen -- it's virtually ignored.

It's a frightening reminder of just how far our president has run amok and it should serve as a warning against complacently easing our vigiliance over this administration now that we have restored some small balance of power to the Congress. We're not out of the danger zone yet and we remain in peril until Bush turns over the reins of power to the next president -- that is assuming he doesn't declare martial law first and suspend future elections.
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Monday, November 13, 2006

JoeLo sitting pretty

To nobody's surprise, Lieberman is playing it coy. He'll caucus with the Dems but isn't ruling out making his switch to the GOP official, although he assures us he doesn't feel he owes the GOP anything even though they financed his run, put up a joke of a candidate against him and voted his sorry ass back into the Senate.

But you know what? The more I think about, the less I think Lieberman is really going to be a problem. If he's shown anything in the last few weeks, it's that he is not so much a shameless sellout as he is an irredeemable scumbag. JoeLo is only out for himself and he's sitting in the perfect spot to be wooed endlessly by both sides. He'll love that.

The funny thing is, I'm thinking he'll ride with the Dems now because they got the power. Remembering his unholy alliance with Louis Farrakhan back in the day, he's as likely to sell out the GOP, as not.

And they call Monica Lewinsky a whore?
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The future of the Democratic Party?

I'm loving me some Jon Tester. So far he strikes me as the sort of candidate we need more of -- a populist with actual roots in the working class.
For all the talk about the new Democrats swept into office on Tuesday, the senator-elect from Montana truly is your grandfather’s Democrat — a pro-gun, anti-big-business prairie pragmatist whose life is defined by the treeless patch of hard Montana dirt that has been in the family since 1916. [...]

“You think of the Senate as a millionaire’s club — well, Jon is going to be the blue-collar guy who brings an old-fashioned, Jeffersonian ideal about being tied to the land,” said Steve Doherty, a friend of Mr. Tester’s for 20 years. “He’s a small farmer from the homestead. That’s absolutely who he is. That place defines him.”[...]

On the campaign trail, Mr. Tester spoke often of how “regular folks” just “haven’t been given much of a shake.” He is distrustful of global trade agreements that have hurt farmers, and big drug companies and health maintenance organizations that he says have put medical costs out of reach for many people.

Asked why he became a Democrat in a region that has been overwhelmingly Republican for the last generation, Mr. Tester said: “It started with my parents, who always said the Democrats work for the middle class. And in agriculture, Franklin Roosevelt did a lot of good things.”
Even better, if memory serves, I saw a speech of his where he declared the war on some drugs a failure. If the Dems give me more like him, I might feel like part of the Party again.
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The unbearable emptiness of the political pundit

Well Russ Feingold is out of the race for 08 and within that frame, Glenn Greenwald continues his relelentess assault on the emotionally barren and ethicly bereft punditry inside the beltway.

Glen takes aim at the big game consultants and hits the problem dead center. These over-inflated experts have no soul and no interest in understanding the political process beyond an almost psychopathic preoccupation with advancing their own social standing on the cocktail party circuit. They're apple polishers looking for access, not critical analysts.

Time was their conventional wisdom was on the money, but we were wearing saddle shoes and poodle skirts back then. Now they're dinosaurs and no longer really deserve the credibility they enjoy. In the instant information age, their premises are debunked before they even utter their usual bromides. As Glenn puts it:
Not only do they believe in nothing, they think that a Belief in Nothing is a mark of sophistication and wisdom. Those who believe in things too much -- who display political passion or who take their convictions and ideals seriously (Feingold, Howard Dean) -- are either naive or, worse, are the crazy, irrational, loudmouth masses and radicals who disrupt the elevated, measured world of the high-level, dispassionate Beltway sophisticates (James Carville, David Broder, Fred Hiatt).
I'm thinking our job for the next two years is to do some major disrupting of the Important Pundit comfort zone. If we can break their monopoly on the public dialogue, we'll be getting somewhere.
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Micro voting fraud

This is so sad. Candidate gets no votes -- but he voted for himself .
WALDENBURG, Arkansas (AP) -- Randy Wooten figured he would get at least one vote in his bid for mayor of this town of 80 people -- even if it was just his own.

He did not. Now he has to decide whether to file a formal protest.

Wooten got the news from his wife, Roxanne, who went to City Hall on Wednesday to see the election results.

"She saw my name with zero votes by it. She came home and asked me if I had voted for myself or not. I told her I did," said Wooten, owner of a local bar.

However, Poinsett County results reported Wednesday showed incumbent William H. Wood with 18 votes, challenger Ronnie Chatman with 18 votes and Wooten with zero.
I have to wonder why his wife didn't mention her vote. But nonetheless, as the bewildered candidate says, "It's just very hard to understand." I don't see what other explanation there could be other than his votes weren't counted. Just goes to show that voter fraud reaches really deep into the system.
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Lobbyists on the prowl in Texas

Here's a timely reminder that lobbyist reform needs to start at home.
AUSTIN — A Houston Democratic lawmaker complained Friday that lobbyists may be violating the law by calling House members with promises they will benefit if they support Speaker Tom Craddick for a third term in January.

Rep. Jessica Farrar, a Craddick opponent, said members and members-elect, whom she refused to name, also are being threatened if they don't vote for Craddick.
It's easy to get so focused on Congressional corruption in DC that we forget the lobbyists have concentrated a lot of resources at the state level. When we push for reform, it will important to address local reforms as well or else the big lobbyists will simply redirect their efforts to skewing the laws state by state instead.
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Sunday funny

It's Sunday, the proverbial day of rest, so why not take a little break for an amusing game. This just arrived in the old inbox. Help Bush find his brain.

Give it a try. It's tricky, but it is winnable.
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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Things I learned today

Invest in tin foil folks. The Rove threw the election theorists are coming forward. Atty Tood has the same bad feeling as I do about it. And my uneasiness has not been assuaged by this interview with Karl. Is it me or is he almost admitting he just didn't set the vote shifting high enough?

Meanwhile, problems with the vote tallies are still ongoing. There's massive election fraud in CA, well fraud might be too strong a word but the votes aren't being counted and suddenly voting problems are of concern to the GOP.

As I said in Detroit, Rove is a master chess player and he appears ready to sacrifice even his king for the checkmate. Bush's approval is down to 31%. What does it all mean? Damned if I know, but I think it's a mistake to underestimate Karl.

Moving on, here's some proof that money wins elections. Of course we knew that but the stats are interesting. What we didn't know for sure until now is those misleading robocalls the GOP were placing did succeed in irritating some voters into voting for the Republican challenger.

Meanwhile, you don't hear much about the war but I was shocked to learn the Iraq Ministry of Health actually admits to 150,000 deaths instead of the usual 40,000 they had previously cited. Even more depressing, Maliki says disbanding the Shite militias would be suicidal and he's making noises about putting the sovereignty back into sovereign nation.

On the brighter side, the Dems announced that modifying the Alternative Miminum Tax to take the burden off middle class families is a priority and they're prioritizing White House malfeasance in order to decide what to investigate first.

An saving the best for last, this can only be a good thing. Jesus Camp is shutting down. Thank the Lord.
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Myth making tricks

Glenn Greenwald is on a roll today. He takes us through the process of how a lazy, disengaged media turns fiction into facts. Taking for example the current distasteful business with James Carville stabbing Howard Dean in the back. That snake Carville, who has no right to call himself a Democrat after he betrayed his party in 04, makes one idle remark. It gets repeated like a game of telephone across the usual channels and the media starts reporting it as if it's a major movement within the party to oust Dean.

The eternally irrelevant Jonah Goldberg produces an anonymous email from someone who allegedly was present at Jim Webb's victory speech and claims the audience was hostile to Webb's remarks about the troops, among other things. This, for all we know invented, anonymous email has already been picked up by the 101st Scream Team, who are reporting it as fact and it will eventually filter to the talking heads on the wingnut programs. Ultimately it be used as "proof" Democrats are anti-American hooligans who don't want to fight terrorists.

This is how media myths are made. The 101st Screaming Extremists have assimilated themselves into the MSM Borg. They figured out they could say anything, and if they repeated each other incessantly enough, their fantasies could be made real. They become common "knowledge." That provides a cover for so-called journalists, who are more interested in their social calendar on Capitol Hill than they are in investigating the news, to simply repeat the talking points without having to do any -- you know -- work.

As Glenn points out in an earlier post, our job is to expose these dissemblers and regulate them back to the fringes of society where they belong.
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On a blogroll

I've been meaning to put Romunov on the blogroll for months now. I keep losing his URL, but in a burst of efficiency, I just added him while I had the address handy. We don't always agree -- as in his last comment -- but I like his style and his blog is interesting. Check him out.
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For all those who have served in the past and those currently on the front lines, thanks and Happy Veterans Day.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

The people call for impeachment

This is big. The latest, reader selected poll at MSNBC shows an interesting trend. When I voted, the results read like this.
* Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 87%

* No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors." 4.4%

* No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching. 6.6%

* I don't know. 1.9%
Even in a reader selected poll 87% is pretty startling. I find it much more cheering than having won the election. All of sudden I have a little bit of hope that we can save this republic after all.
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All your November surprises belong to Rove

I'm still trying to make sense of the events of the last few days. I should be feeling happy but instead I'm left with a lingering suspicion that something is not quite right. I mean, pass the tin foil but I agree with nolocontendere. There's a certain shock and awe quality to all this good news at once. Why the November surprises -- after the surprising election?

It stinks of Rove. I have no doubt he could have skewed this election for the GOP. He fed the story line with his bold predictions and the ensuing Diebold glitches that followed shortly thereafter were certainly conveniently timed. Not a bad way to take some steam out of the voter verification movement. And the crucial races, so suddenly narrowing at the end, but going for the Democrat, lends further doubt about the ability of the Diebolds to be manipulated among the skeptics, who were up to that point being won over.

Another big reason for Karl to give this election to the Democrats? It takes the focus off White House incompetency and shines the spotlight on the Democrats' performance instead. You can be certain he'll be working his black arts under that smokescreen. In fact, it's already happening. Rumsfeld's sudden dismissal in the midst of the election chaos deflects scrutiny over the nominee and Gates is not a trade up from Rummy. He's just one more incompetent crony for running a foreign war. However, he just might come in handy if you wanted to declare martial law for instance.

Meanwhile, the Dems are likely to play into Karl's hands. Pelosi's challenge is ethics, not ideology and as Radley points out, she's got a serious problem if she really is going to "drain the swamp." It certainly doesn't look like the denizens of K Street are expecting any big changes.

Meanwhile, the party machine automatons at the DNC pulled the long knives out and are aiming to slice Dean out of the party, allegedly for failing to win every single blessed seat possible. Translate that to mean they're intimidated by the power of the netroots and want to neutralize the movement before it gets any bigger.

But there is good news out all this chaos. Bolton is history. And Mehlman is out, in more ways than one, although I hear CNN scrapped Bill Maher's comments about Ken's sexual orientation.

I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow's surprise is going to be. Maybe Cheney will resign.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Long way home

It's been a long day of traveling and I'm burned out. This is where I've been and this is what I think so far about the incredible events of the last three days.

I'm sure I'll have much more to say tomorrow.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cautious optimism

Well, I'm happy my worst fears weren't realized and it appears the Diebold plan was apparently not put into effect. I have a theory about why this played out the way it did but I'm stuck in Atlanta without internet access and have to leave this computer in a few minutes. So look for me tomorrow night with an update.

All I have time to say now is thanks to everyone for voting and yeah America - at last a little balance to the system of checks and balances.
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Laugh of the day

Best campaign ad I've seen all season.

[hat tip to JZ Souweine]
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All that's left is poll watching...

Sorry posting has been so light lately. I've been scrambling to get ready for a last minute trip to Atlanta and I haven't traveled in so long, it's taking a lot longer than it should to organize. Funny, I used to be able to plan a trip in two hours or less, but then again, in those days I had no one to answer to but myself. Also, with the election so close, I've been concentrating my efforts on changing hearts and minds in Detroit, rather than preaching to the choir here.

If you're interested in my pitch, here's my latest Detroit News posts.
Why we need Democrats to win.

Secret plan for involuntary callup of reserves on the table.

Iraq failure predicted long before invasion.

Democrats do have a plan and it's a good one.

Rumsfeld must go.
Outside of one more post on voting fraud I hope to get to later tonight, I'm pretty much done for this election, but if you happen to be interested in state politics in Michigan, my co-blogger Christine Barry is kicking Dick DeVos' ass.

In any event, I'm catching the redeye in the morning to Hotlanta and although I'm bringing the laptop, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll be able to do. I'm visiting my ex, who I haven't seen in about five years, so I expect we'll have a lot to talk about and I'm not sure about access. But if I disappear, not to worry. I'll be back on Thursday night, and I expect to be refreshed and ready to take up the battle again when I get home.

Visualize victory everybody, and don't forget to vote.
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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Can sane conservatism be saved?

I'm not really a fan of Andrew Sullivan but he has a pretty good piece today in UK Times about what's at stake on Tuesday. Here's the money quote.
We may get, in other words, sane conservatism back again. And it may require a big Democratic victory to do it. Given the level of denial in the White House, this is not really an election. It’s more like an intervention. To save Republicanism from Bush, to save Bush from himself, and to save the world from impending crisis.

But this is a democracy. Only the voters will decide. And we must wait.
Of course, it's not exactly true. We lost our democracy on 9/11 when Bush declared his unitary powers, at least to himself, and it's more like only the Diebolds will decide. But he's right that all we can do is wait. Personally, I can't wait for it to be over.
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War pundits backpedaling as fast as they can

The honest ones like John Cole, just flat out admit they were wrong and take their lumps. Some, like Thomas "just give it six months" Friedman, simply switch positions and ignore their previous cheerleading. But you have to at least give Friedman credit for coming out swinging. And then there's the pundits that are apparently suffering from Busheimer's disease and forget that their previous works are widely archived across the internets.

We'll call these the flat out liars, like Michael Ledeen. Frankly, I rarely read Ledeen myself. At best he bores me comatose and at worst he raises my blood pressure with his convoluted pronouncements. But he is an Important Pundit, that people inexplicably take seriously, so it's no small matter when he pretends to have been against the invasion of Iraq from the git go when, as history records, he was one of its biggest and loudest supporters.

But such is the paucity of right wing ethics, that instead of being called on it by his wingbut peers, they ignore it or worst, praise his political acumen. But then I suppose one can expect no better from that final group of self important pundits who decided to stay the course with our Great Decider and simply descend into third rate hackery.

Sometimes, I wish I had gone to the dark side. How much simpler it would be to avoid all that time consuming research and simply make shit up as you go along, or even easier, just approvingly link to other people who invent it for you.

I understand why the pundits do it. What the hell, they're making gobs of money on their gullible fan base, but I don't understand how their fans allow themselves to be so easily taken in. I mean why would anyone willingly take on the role of useful fools? Don't they get that the deceivers are laughing at them, all the way to the bank?
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The High and Mighty

Who are the 30% who allegedly support this thug?
This morning on ABC, George Stephanopoulos asked Vice President Cheney if he would testify before Congress if he was subpoenaed. Cheney said “probably not in the sense at that vice president and president and constitutional officers don’t appear before the Congress.”
He probably wouldn't testify before God if he was raptured up to heaven either. Executive privilege you know.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rev. Haggard's ragged values

Quote of the day goes to Paul Krassner.
Following in the crotchsteps of Bill Clinton, Rev. Ted Haggard seems to be choosing his words very carefully--to paraphrase: "I did not have sex with that man, Mr. Jones"--as if a hand- or blow-job might not qualify as as having sex. And while Clinton claimed he didn't inhale, Haggard claims he bought methamphetamine but threw it away. Since he called Mike Jones more than once to buy a large supply of meth, that must mean that he threw it away each time.

But, in the words of former Morality Czar William Bennett, "Hypocrisy is better than having no values at all."
[hat tip Jules Siegel]
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Beware of homeland terrorists

Here's the must read of the day. Olbermann on advertising terrorism . He's really on a roll. Keith picks on my theme below and finds the terrorists among us. They're called Republicans.

UPDATE: Add this Alternet piece to your must read of the day. Larisa Alexandrovna perfectly articulates my fears that have also reached near panic level on just how a desperate animal like Rove might react when he's cornered. If the GOP are our AQ, then Rove is our Osama, and you know how much he hates our freedoms.
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Friday News Dump

I often don't blog the big news of the day here because I assume you highest common denonimator readers keep track of it yourselves. But in case you're interested in what I've been saying about the big stories lately, here's some links to my latest Detroit News posts.
White House document dump threatens national security

US auditor in Iraq fired for exposing fraud

Touchscreens are the new "swing" voters.

Get your insults to the troops right here...

Pentagon beefs up homeland propaganda team
And of course there's always more in my archives.
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thank a soldier

I know it's early but it takes a long time for the mail to get to Iraq so I'm going ask you to dig out your Christmas spirit and support OPERATION: LOVE FROM HOME
During this holiday season, let's show our troops we love and support them!!!! From September 30 to November 30, I will be collecting holiday cards for troops stationed in high-combat areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. Being away from home and living in harsh conditions during the holiday season is especially difficult ~ they need to know we have not forgotten them!!! Mail from home helps to keep our troops' morale strong, making a very real difference in their lives.

Send your signed, unsealed holiday cards to:

Mrs. Kathy Orr
P.O. Box 1660
Loganville, Georgia, 30052

If you wish to send an email greeting (which will be printed off and mailed along with the holiday cards), please send an email to:
Kathy has been doing this for a long time and your cards will get to the soldiers. Now more than ever, with the situation deterioating by the second, the men on the ground need to know that they're remembered at home and that we don't blame them for this debacle. So take twenty minutes out of your day and do something tangible to support a soldier.
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The truth hurts - so kill the messenger

Glenn Greenwald points out the ever growing moral decay of diehard Bush supporters. The NYT published yet another leaked Pentagon report and in response, the usual right wing bleaters are calling for the execution of the Times staff for telling the truth, rather than the impeachment of the entire White House for five years of ongoing, outright malicious lies. As Glenn explains it:
This is what the ideal world of the Bush follower looks like: If the Government is waging a war and things are going horribly, the Government has the right to lie to its citizens and claim that things are going remarkably well. If a newspaper is furnished with documents prepared by the military that shows that the Government is lying and that things are actually going very poorly, the newspaper should then be barred from informing their readers about that truth -- and ought to criminally prosecuted, perhaps even executed, if they do so.
The truly frightening part is that the wingnuts are just echoing the Pentagon's own response. Rather than address the discrepancies between their shamelessly false public statements and their Generals' sober realistic assessment of the failing occupation, Rummy and his minions want to cover up their criminal falsehoods by forcibly shutting down the dissenters.

I know our country has survived other administrations that were equally corrupt and as morally bereft as this one, but none were so enabled in their malfeasance by the technological advances available to the generation of thugs and miscreants that control our government today. When speaking truth is considered a crime and exposing gross negligence and nearly continuous governmental wrongdoing is considered treason, it's time to redefine the war on terror.

Methinks we have lost the war already. The terrorists who want to rob us of our freedoms are already here. They sit behind the grand desks in the heart of our nation's capitol, plying their deceits, while their "courageous" keyboard warriors and media lackeys deploy to call for the heads of the truly patriotic Americans willing to debunk the fictions by exposing the facts, at no small cost to their personal safety.
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All that's missing is Tinkerbell

The NYT, in yet another hard hitting editorial, points out the difference between the real world and the world according to Bush.
The man who has the nerve to call himself a uniter has done more to divide this country than a legion of terrorists could hope to acheive.
In Mr. Bush’s world, there are only two kinds of Americans: those who are against terrorism, and those who somehow are all right with it. Some Americans want to win in Iraq and some don’t. There are Americans who support the troops and Americans who don’t support the troops. And at the root of it all is the hideously damaging fantasy that there is a gulf between Americans who love their country and those who question his leadership.
In the world according to Bush, Rummy is doing a heckva job, the occupation of Iraq is going just great, we're winning the war on terrorism because hey, we're taken out the Number 3 man in al Qaeda at least a dozen times now and the Iraqis love us for liberating them from a stable life under tyrannical rule in favor of daily fear and unmitigated chaos. In Bush's fantasy life, flat wages, rising costs, millions of hungry and uninsured Americans, a runaway deficit and horrendous trade imbalances are a mere aside in his booming economy. And in Bush's world of divine revelations, spying on innocent Americans, destroying Habeas Corpus and thus the Bill of Rights, condoning torture and decimating the environment are good things. God told him so. Oh and by the way, New Orleans will rise again -- Halliburton told him that.

The Times wonders, "whether this president will ever be willing or able to make room for bipartisanship, compromise and statesmanship in the two years he has left in office." Hell, I wonder if he'll ever be willing to make room for reality in his fantasical, unitary executive excuse for a brain. I'm thinking it's about time we changed the name of the White House to Neverland.
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quit Kicking Kerry

I'm just disgusted with the whole thing. My thoughts are here at the Detroit News. Meanwhile, I'm off to enjoy the last warm afternoon of the season.
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Cole comes over to the reality based community

John Cole speaks and the 101st Fighting Keyboardists should listen. I always liked Cole, even when he was pitching for the GOP, he offered up a civil and reasoned analysis - that he now found out was based on pure lies.

It takes a big man to admit he was tricked by those he believed in. Cole is huge on that score. Too bad the rest of the 101st are such small minded and petty cowards. They're too scared to enlist in a war they purportedly believe is vital to our safety, and they're too egotistical to admit they were taken in by the frauds in the White House. They could be trying to save our form of democracy from the thieves and liars who are trying to steal it, instead of pathetically currying favor with a corrupt adminstration by aiding and abetting their crimes.

We need more Coles and less Insta-self-important-pundits who care more about protecting their own over-blown egos than they do about snatching our nation out of the hands of rogues and scoundrels.
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