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The Battle for Baghdad 31 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, Iraq War.
52 comments

   Baghdad rooftops

Pepe Escobar has a very very good article up at Asia Times:

[Q]uagmire Iraq is not a 21st-century video game of Arabs playing extras in a slow-motion Armageddon. This is a wrenching story with rivers of real blood and a terrible accumulation of real corpses. The story was engineered in Washington – and the plot would not be advancing were it not for the United States. The US bears all the moral and legal responsibility for the destruction of the fabled former capital of the caliphate and the de facto Western flank of the Arab nation.

It is in this context that the current avalanche of Iraq-related newspeak in the US should be placed.

The recent bloody holy month of Ramadan in Iraq has reflected the hellish mechanism unleashed by the invasion and occupation – the daily, gruesome banquet of death provoked by state-sponsored terror, counterinsurgency, stoked by sectarian hatred or the total collapse of the social contract.

This logic of extermination of a society and culture was inbuilt in the process since March 2003. … Iraq has been systematically destroyed for more than 15 years, non-stop.

And it gets worse, because for the Bush administration all this death and destruction is just a minor detail in the “big picture”.

   Pace Rumsfeld Abizaid

In a perverse replay of what happened in the Vietnamese jungles, the Pentagon lost the asymmetric guerrilla war raging in the Sunni belt. Sunni Arabs are totally alienated. Seventy percent are in favor of attacking the occupiers, no holds barred. No wonder Saddam Hussein is still popular. This month, about 500 Sunni Arab tribal chiefs and former Ba’ath Party officials in the police, army and intelligence got together in al-Hindiya, 25 kilometers west of Kirkuk, to pledge allegiance to Saddam, qualified as “supreme combatant and legitimate president”.

   Forward Operating Base Omaha

It’s true that Saddam’s regime had already started to disintegrate from the inside after the Gulf War of 1991 – a process coupled with the devastating effects of UN sanctions. The resulting loss of civic spirit accelerated the re-tribalization of Iraq. Even as tribal affiliation nowadays is the only way to solve any problem in Iraq, for the silent majority what really matters is security: nobody is troubled by perceived (by the West) Sunni and Shi’ite divisions; and most Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen share plenty of social, cultural and commercial interests. Contrary to Western-propagated myth, Iraqi civil society as a whole – apart from a few factions – abhors civil war.

The coalition of the drilling
World public opinion must switch to red alert. The real, not virtual, future of Iraq will be decided in December.

The whole point is a new oil law – which is in fact a debt-for-oil program concocted and imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is the point of the US invasion – a return on investment on the hundreds of billions of dollars of US taxpayers’ money spent. It’s not war as politics by other means; it’s war as free-market opening by other means – full US access to the epicenter of the energy wars and the perfect geostrategic location for “taming”, in the near future, both Russia and China.

Very few observers have detailed what’s at stake. In US corporate media the silence is stratospheric.

US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman duly landed in Baghdad this past summer, insisting that Iraqis must “pass a hydrocarbon law under which foreign companies can invest”. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani was convinced, and said the law would be passed by the end of 2006, as promised to the IMF.

  

No wonder: the Green Zone US Embassy colossus has always made sure that the US controls – via well-paid Iraqi servants – the Petroleum Ministry, as well as all key management posts in key Iraqi ministries. The draft hydrocarbon law was reviewed by the IMF, reviewed by Bodman and reviewed by Big Oil executives. It was not and it will not be reviewed by Iraqi civil society: that was left to the fractious Iraqi parliament – which can be largely bought for a fistful of dinars.

The Bush administration needs somebody to sign the law. [...]

Insistent rumors of a US-engineered coup to replace the hapless current premier Nuri al-Maliki have surfaced of late. Poor Maliki, if he clings to a minimum of integrity, can’t possibly sign the oil law. Enter the Washington/Green Zone-backed strongman a la Saddam: a likely candidate is former interim premier Iyad Allawi, who ordered the destruction of Fallujah in late 2004.

   near haditha, US soldiers being fed by a family  AP photo

No matter what happens in the US mid-term elections next month, this is the post-December scenario: Iraq enslaved by the IMF; Big Oil signing mega-lucrative production sharing agreements (PSAs); “partial” troop withdrawal; relentless guerrilla warfare; further disintegration; open road to partition.

Vast swaths of the US electorate have now understood how the whole Iraqi adventure has been built on lies: lies about the causes of war, lies about the methodology of war, lies about the terrible consequences of war.

Inevitably, the current media-targeted avalanche of Iraq-related newspeak had to be also meaningless.

This includes “phased withdrawal”, “empowering” the Iraqi government, “putting security ahead of democracy” and “partitioning Iraq”.  Surrealism in international relations would reach new highs (or lows) with the US ordering by decree that a sovereign nation must dismember itself.  Compared with it, the current carnage in Baghdad – which is already divided anyway – would be a Disney flick.

There’s more: the Shakespearean despair over “Redeploy and Contain” or “Stability First” – newspeak coined by Bush family consegliere James Baker’s Iraq Study Group, staffed with plenty of pro-war neo-conservatives. A notorious casualty of the newspeak war seems to be “stay the course” – replaced, according to Press Secretary Tony Snow, by “a study in constant motion”. Anyway, the winner – after the mid-term elections – will be “Stability First”, which is basically a remix, with a horn section, of “stay the course”.

How can Americans – and world public opinion – be engaged in serious, meaningful debate when the Iraq tragedy is reduced to a mere catch phrase? This incoherent whirlwind, this “study in constant motion”, is the travesty that passes for Iraqi policy debate among educated elites.

   Bridge Euphrates 2003

Another reading is more ominous. It spells the Bush administration and its attached elites losing control – of everything. And that’s how they can become even more dangerous. On October 19, Vice President Dick Cheney once again stated that the only way out in Iraq was “total victory”.

A recent historical parallel is nothing but gloomy. When the US was confronted with defeat in Vietnam, it did not “Redeploy and Contain”: on the contrary, death and destruction were extended to Laos and Cambodia. Baker’s “Stability First” might contain undisclosed subtexts.

“Total victory”, in Cheney’s world view, means that the Bush administration was not, is not and will never be interested in Iraqi, or Middle Eastern, “democracy”.

What matters is control of the lightest, sweetest, most profitable crude oil on the planet, 112 billion barrels of it in proven reserves plus 220 billion barrels still to be exploited, at a cost as low as US$1 a barrel; a cluster of sprawling military bases; the largest embassy/fortress-by-the-Tigris in the world; and the indispensable client regime.

In sum: a “Coalition of the Drilling” secured by the Pentagon’s Long War apparatus. It’s up to ancient and proud Baghdad to spoil the party. Baghdad survived and buried Hulagu. Baghdad survived and buried Tamerlan. Baghdad may as well survive and bury George W Bush.

    Iraq, April 2003

I think about America – and Americans – every day.  In my heart I know we have never stopped being slave owners.

Tizzy Whizzy!! … Whiff of a Tiff? 30 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, Abortion Rights, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la morte de St Germain Dog - the best the BLAHgers had, Political Blogs, Sex / Reproductive Health.
33 comments

In Key House Races, the Democrats move to the Right.  They sure do! says the Cat.

[“M]y guess is that if Democrats are in the majority, it’s going to be because of these New Democrat, Blue Dog candidates out there winning in these competitive swing districts,” Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, co-chairman of a caucus of centrist House Democrats, said in an interview.

But if candidates like Mr. Shuler do help the Democrats gain majority control of Congress, it could come at a political price, which may include tensions in the party between its new centrists and its more liberal political base.

While Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths to promote the views of these candidates, some, like Mr. Shuler, have views on issues like gun control and abortion that are far out of step with the prevailing views of the Democrats who control the party. On some issues, they may even be expected to side with Republicans and the Bush White House.

Democratic officials said they did not set out with the intention of finding moderates to run. Instead, as they searched for candidates with the greatest possibility of winning against Republicans, they said, they wound up with a number who reflected more moderate views. [snip that whip]

What is Boyz in a whiffy squiffy over?  Big Dramatic Tent - BDT, to bullshit everyone, says the NYT article is BULLSHIT.  Right back at you, Drahma Queen…

Stoller (we wuz stabbed!  Front and Back!!  [ooo! ouch!]), Bowers is now up on the roof… whizzing from the heights [emphasis is mine]:

[W]hat position would Democrats be in right now if our campaigns were $300,000,000 in debt and couldn’t run a single ad the rest of the election? That’s where they would be without our money.

[oooo, tell us more... news to us in the box seats... -MCat] 

Where would they be if suddenly 75% of their volunteers disappeared, and most GOTV operations were utterly devoid of warm bodies? That’s where they would be without us. Where would they be if 10,000 precinct captains disappeared a week before the election? That’s where they would be without the silent revolution.

[Boyz is the silent revolution?  Do tell... -MCat] 

Where would they be if the base wasn’t fired up and ready to vote? That’s where they would be without progressive media. Where would they be if they weren’t running on Iraq, finally? They certainly wouldn’t be this far ahead in the polls, and they wouldn’t have done it without pressure from the base. Where would they be without a means to distribute their message directly to millions of progressives every day on every issue? That’s where they would be without the progressive blogosphere.

[Screaming with laughter here! My Whiskers are Shaking!!  - If Kerry had won, and it was Kerry's War, Boyz be so supportive!  So understanding!   - MCat]

Where would they be if they didn’t have more Democrats running for office this year than in any election in decades? That’s where they would be without the fifty state strategy. We re-introduced all of these things to the Democratic Party in the last four years, and basically all we asked in return was for them to play by their own rules and be partisan on behalf of the entire party for a change. They couldn’t even do that.

And I can’t emphasize this enough–we did it all by playing by the rules. I know this, because I was there every step of the way.  [snip]

What about the party’s long move to the RIGHT did they miss, “every step of the way”?  Boyz have facilitated.  Or are they ignorant of what they do, themselves?  Did they miss Kaine, Webb, Casey, all their drooley love [have a bib] for Schweikert?… shafting Cegelis for Duckworth? (I don’t like the rather too centist, whiff of ”faith” in the deal Duckworth, but no real dog in the fight)… McNerney and Hodes were personal ass cover selections for the Boyz… 

The boys bleat and their hearts beat for the Centrist shit.  Or did they miss the whole point of that Libertarian Democrat scheisse from Daddy Kos?

On and on.  Why weep now?  Boyz helped the party move right… Or did they miss what Reid is all about?  What Rahm is all about?  My my, they do public housekeeping for the DSCC, for the DCCC.  They constantly cover Reid’s shakey white hack ass.  Now that is a dirty job.

Too late to pitch a bitch fit now Boyz.  Have a hankie.  And a bottle. I have Opera Glasses to offer to the viewers.  This should be a good one.

It all smacks of extortion.  They wanna piece of pie (pie pay off?  Do you think?).  Did the big bad DC pols promise the Boyz something… and now don’t call back?  Because this weep fest from the Boyz has NOTHING to do with Left Liberal Progressive politics, values, goals or beliefs.  SInce the Boyz share none of that.

Oh you bet I am laughing.

And you KNOW there is more to come:  Boyz on display.  Show up and laugh.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

BTW, thsi is the close of the NYT article… tell me this is not a target voter, a re-capture in this case, for the Koswhackians and the Party… oh they so want him back.  One reason Reid is Leader.  One reason they ran Casey, a virulent pro-lifer, in the most high profile, expensive race.  One reason they are running adamant pro lifers. 

What??, you think Boyz, Blog Maids and out a work H’Wood Producers and Dixiecrats and Former Republicans are not on board with this shit?

Mr. Yelton, 59 and a lifelong Democrat, said he recently changed parties, in part because he believed that the Democrats had suppressed anti-abortion viewpoints. He is running as a Republican for clerk of court in Buncombe County.

“There’s going to be a moderate party for Joe Blow, and whether that party is the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, that’s the battle we’re seeing,” Mr. Yelton said. “I expect to see Hillary Clinton quoting Scripture before it’s over with.”

He does not have to wait.  That bitch ladled out the shame game and the prayer game just weeks after the ’04 loss.  God forbid they look to themselves.

No, as Ron Reagan jr said A DAY AFTER THE LOSSThey will go right and go red.  It is what they know.

I call it now:  the party of mean old men and mean young men.  And the women who hang with that sort.

 ***********************************************************************

More of Bowers…

[E]llen Tauscher, just so you know, when you have a surprisingly strong and well funded primary challenger with tons of volunteers and lots of support in the progressive media come out of seemingly nowhere in 2008, just look over the cliff to see where that challenger is coming from. At the bottom, you will see me standing there, with hundreds and thousand of my friends and colleagues. We will be in the process of forming a human ladder for your challenger to use to climb up the cliff. When s/he reaches the top, don’t be surprised if more than a few of us come along, and suddenly you find yourself outnumbered, even as you stand next to your twenty-seven new friends. And then we will see who gets run over the cliff next.

Sorry.  ET is not worried.  She just is not.  Y’all had your chance.  WInograd who challenged Harmon… and that is just one… Believe me, Ellen is not worried.  The other reason is one word, Lamont.  DId not go well… and there was very little Blogosphere support (blackface notwithstanding, over at the FireyDoggieLakers). 

They ALL noticed the lack of real $$ blog support… 

***********************************************************************

Oh.  The gift that keeps on giving… This is the Big Dramatic Tent’s own comment to lead off his thread:

I tell you where our fights will come (5+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
michael1104, thereisnospoon, Larry Horse, Elise, shergald

Tax and trade policy, not social issues or national security.

Who in blazes is Ellen Taucher? Who does she think is going to listen to her?

Our intellectual leaders on national security answer to names like Clark, Levin and yes, Biden.

Not Taucher and Lieberman.

More at TalkLeft

by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Oct 29, 2006 at 10:14:40 PM PDT

I must go dip my whiskers in cream!  Hold the Opera Glasses for me, be right back!

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  10:00 am

hmmm:  Bowers continues.  I have not had a chance to read it… so this is up here as a PSA.

Laugh… ;)

I am listening to Alan Abramowitz of Emory U… a poli sci prof. C-Span, catching up on Wash Journal of this am.  

Muddying the waters to assist the Repubs.  Or that is my take.  He also makes faces when blacks call in.  Not kidding on that.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE, 10:25 am

Aw.  The Guardian NewsBlog picks up on the Lamont  [LOL] “lost the plothistoire.

[M]r Lamont appears to have lost the plot in recent months, allowing Mr Lieberman, who is running as an independent, to make the election about his independence rather than the war. Mr Lamont is now trailing Mr Lieberman in all the polls. In the last few days, Mr Lamont has returned to Iraq, the issue that helped him to win the Democratic nomination.

He’s rolled out a new TV ad featuring the retired General Wesley Clark, Nato’s former supreme commander. “And now, three and a half years into a failing mission in Iraq, Joe Lieberman can’t seem to say we should change the course. And that’s a real mistake,” says Gen Clark.

But Mr Lamont may have left it too late. He’ll be hoping that this post at My Left Nutmeg, where Laura N managed to persuade still undecided voters to vote for him, is a portent for election day. [snip]

You know, the Democrats are suffering mightily from a couple decades of spotty to no bench building.  Clinton ONLY cared about his personal legacy … (throw a few dollar signs in that comment too).  Oh and the wif.  Yes, pulling ”an RFK”, with a remarkably inarticulate Democrat however, in the carpetbagging to NY.

When Hackett takes some snide swipes as he departs, who is speaking?  Not a Democrat, who speaks with a basis of knowledge.  A party carpetbagger.  Oh come on, he voted for Perot twice. So, what did it all mean?

Davis, a former Repub and self funder, cannot manage to make traction against Reynolds?  Mahoney in FL running in the ‘suddenly gifted to him’ Foley seat, bleats for the Blue Dogs and looks all smiley and non comittal when Pelosi’s name comes up.  Repub and self funder.

I could go on.  The list is long… These people will be less than really interested, no fire in the belly, believe me! then they’ll drift and make personal points (no REAL lasting battle within the party from them, they are basically just cheap imports) as they exit a contentious but brief association (politics is a diversion for them, a lot of vanity in the game) …

And who do you think the [former} Republicans, the "pro-lifers", the Christianists will be voting with?  Damn straight!

Of course, the likes of Tauscher are crowing.  And soon the Boyz will be bowing.  They want IN, they give fuck-all about the country and the people.  Those poor ''people''.  Never any power.

Hell, if she just barely loses, Duckworth might run in the future as a Republican. Since she has a pick of districts...  Having a spotty at best personal voting record.  Tell me, why did Edwards barely vote half of his adult life?  It does not show ''he cared''.  All those years.

And poor Clark thinks he run as the general who ''fixed pot holes'' and waged a war.  General Jackson is now retired, the opposite who tangled with him in Kosovo.  In the past he has been circumspect and declined comment on the WWIII accusations...  He might no be so in the future.  Those stars Clark wears are REPUBLICAN.

In short... there is not a party, imo, to fight for.  Damn straight: the Opera Glasses are to watch the actual, visible structural collapse.  Even if they squeak by in the House.  And I am not really expecting it.

 There was a very clear issue to elevate women, elevate choice, elevate privacy (if they cared) elevate safety for women in Red States.  The party passed.  I noticed.

****************************************************************

UPDATE, 11:10

Tizz Whizz and now there is a monk in the skiff:

[T]he young monk wonders what we are doing sullying our principles by carrying people like Ford, Casey Jr., and Heath Schuler across the stream. The old monk says, I have already put them down, but you are still carrying them.

Not really worth a lift of the Opera Glasses, but what the hell.

Sorry fellas… the righties, DLCers (have you all missed who Clinton and the wif are?  DLC!) Blue Dogs, etc.,  are ALL crowing.  And with reason!

*****************************************************************************

UPDATE, 1:00 pm….

Almost forgot… til the wee Boyz starting awakening on the wrong side of the trundle bed last night (who knew Blue Dogs and NDC was n00z)… I had planned to use this from the LAT on slightly out of view and 527 money, 501(c) as well…

Sterling, Colo. — Unions, corporations and wealthy individuals have pumped nearly $300 million this year into unregulated political groups, funding dozens of aggressive and sometimes shadowy campaigns independent of party machines.

The groups, both liberal and conservative, air TV and radio spots, conduct polls, run phone banks, canvass door-to-door and stage get-out-the-vote rallies, with no oversight by the Federal Election Commission. Set up as tax-exempt “issue advocacy” committees, they cannot explicitly endorse candidates. But they can do everything short of telling voters how to mark their ballots.

As is often the case, some nitty gritty on page 2 (link to a single page version):

Musgrave’s Democratic challenger, Angie Paccione, watched the water ad with a sinking heart. Like many candidates, she regards 527s as a mixed blessing. The independent group has undoubtedly given her campaign a boost; when the national Democratic Party canceled $630,000 worth of TV ads in the district, Patricia Stryker wrote a check for $720,000 to keep anti-Musgrave spots on the air.

But Paccione has no control over the message. Attacks such as the pickpocket dramatization could alienate voters. She considers ads like the one on water a waste of money.

“Clean drinking water?” Paccione said. “Holy smokes! There’s a litany of things you could do against Marilyn Musgrave. Clean drinking water is not one of them.”

Paccione’s own ads portray Musgrave as a conservative ideologue.

Don’t worry, the article hits the Repub money as well…;) 

*****************************************************************************

Update, 4 PM… on a cold, gray SF day…

Blogometer on Bowers v 2.0 and the chime from Big Tent Drahma:

Later Bowers returned to strike a more conciliatory tone:

“We need a broad coalition in order to govern, and neither conservatives nor progressive will ever be thoroughly purged from a Democratic governing coalition. … To keep the coalition together, we need to do three things. First, we all must have an ownership stake. Second, we must all agree to act within mutually agreed upon rules to resolve intra-coalition conflicts. Third, we have to all be working for each other, despite our differences.”

Talk Left‘s Big Tent Democrat looks at the same stories and argues the MSM is trying to create differences among Dems the don’t exist

Other than that, if one reads Blogometer.. Boyz seem to be all about Lamont.  Kind of dear of them.  Right… all about Rules and Loyalty.

Have they heard of politics?

**************************************************************

 UPDATE, 5:20 pm

Reversal here… as I am listening to the debate for SC governor… the moderator asked the Dem running as challenger if he would support Hillareeeeee in ’08.

He just barely managed not to faint.  He sorta gasped out something about hypo the ti cals.

So the Reversal is … every winger, “pro-life”, xtianist, 12 Commandment toter, faith droooling, tiniest little red tent on earth faker running on the Democratic ticket should win win win.

I wanna hear the howling on all sides as those questions fly … Fly for two years. 

And a writer I like – and like when he writes on America, Gary Younge from The Guardian… polls say one thing, people are less sure.

[I]f the pollsters are correct, the US is set for a transformation on a scale somewhere between the Gingrich revolution of 1994, the last Republican legislative revival, and the Blair landslide of 1997. Republicans are about to be crushed by a series of meteorological metaphors – tsunamis, floods and hurricanes are poised to descend on the US electoral landscape with devastating effect.

But, to hear the people talk, you would think the country was in store for little more than grey skies with a chance of rain. Many voters in key districts in the midwest say they are undecided or just plain uninterested. Ask them what will swing it for them and they shrug. The big issues, they say, are Iraq and something else – usually healthcare, the economy or social security. Hurricane Katrina, corruption and terrorism never come up. They will answer questions about the election if you ask them, but it rarely seems to have been on their minds before you interrupted. [snip]

 Not washing out the big wok, not just yet, so as to stir fry a cat next week…  ;)

***************************************************************************

Weekend Open Thread… 28 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
72 comments

   tidal wave, China 2004 

Mark Shields on The News Hour on Friday said, the Dems will win “north of 30″ in the House. 

But !!  Let’s hear it for Stuey (Stuart Rothenberg who writes for Roll Call, here drawn from Suellentrop in the NYT/TimesSelect):

The national political environment currently is worse than it was in 1994, when the Democrats lost 52 House seats, eight Senate seats and 10 governorships, and when Republicans won G.O.P. control of the House for the first time in decades,” writes Stuart Rothenberg [...] .

“If you are looking for a midterm election year that is comparable to 2006, you need to move beyond 1994 to include other recent ‘wave’ midterms, particularly 1974, 1958 and 1982,” Rothenberg continues. “In 1974 and 1958, the president’s party, in each case the Republicans, lost 48 seats. In 1982, Republicans lost 26.”

Citing 1994, 1982, 1974, and 1958, Rothenberg concludes,

“[T]he past four true midterm wave elections saw the victorious party winning 52, 48, 48 and 26 seats, suggesting a reasonable range for success for Democrats this year.” He predicts that the number will be on the high end, and perhaps even larger:

With the national environment being as it is – and given the last round of redistricting, which limits possible Democratic gains – Republicans probably are at risk to lose as few as 45 seats and as many as 60 seats, based on historical results. Given how the national mood compares to previous wave years and to the GOP’s 15-seat House majority, Democratic gains almost certainly would fall to the upper end of that range.

The paucity of competitive districts limits Republican risk, but how much? Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. But if redistricting cuts that kind of wave by half, Democrats would gain between 22 and 30 seats next month. And if the new districts slice Democratic gains by a smaller but still significant one-third, Democrats would pick up from 30 to 45 seats.

Dangerously big waves can be very strong and very unpredictable. They can bring widespread destruction and chaos. Republicans now must hope that this year’s midterm wave isn’t as bad as national poll numbers suggest it could be, because those national numbers suggest a truly historic tidal wave.

Wellllll.

Hard to say.  Little things like Reynolds give me pause.  And paws.  Reynolds of the Page Scandal and the RNCC… Upstate NY-26.  He has regained his edge… (or whatever it is that allows him to poll ahead) … and I have read reports that Davis, a former Republican and self funder running on the Dem ticket, doesn’t really bother to campaign.  Bit of a vanity run perhaps. Two years ago, Davis ran against Reynolds and took 44%, Reynolds winning with 56.

But you have to wonder…

I’d dearly love to say the Republicans have shot their very vicious wad, overshot their wad.  How many times can abortion, gays (married and otherwise) embryonic stem cells championed as babies and all the other non-science, filth, accusation, hatred, division, racism… how long can it go?

If the American people, the ones who still vote … buy it again, post Iraq invasion, post Osama-is-still-free – but both parties use him in ads – post Katrina/Rita, post post post, it will go forever.  I don’t notice that the general run of the public, checking-in right about now for an election, hears much else.  Democrats bleat “health care” and there are good plans for incrementally expanding Medi-Care for instance… but the years go by… and we don’t have full coverage for 0 – 18 for instance, we don’t have national catastrophic health care… but we do have a shiny new, bi-partisan! Bankruptcy bill that specifically did not exempt the 50% who are forced to bankrutpcy from killing medical costs.  Nor did the Amendment exempting mil serving overseas, in-country pass (no surprise). So…Democrats run on “adjusting” Medi-Care Part D or “adjusting” NCLB…

From Nevada’s The Review Journal in May 2005, I find TRJ is worthwhile to track Reid:

[T]he Senate passed the class-action bill 72-26 on Feb. 10 and approved the bankruptcy reform bill 74-25 on March 10. Reid voted for the bankruptcy reform bill and against the class-action bill. Durbin voted against both bills.

Durbin’s comments echoed concerns expressed by some Democrats that Reid gave up leverage on those two votes that might have proved useful in the judicial filibuster battle.

Reid said he has no regrets.

“I think the work that was done showed the American people that we can work together, that we were able to do bills that even my caucus was not enamored with,” the Nevadan said.

Push that gobblygook, old man.

Reid seemed almost dismissive of last-minute efforts by Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and John McCain, R-Ariz., to broker a compromise over the Bush nominations.

“There can be nothing done in any side arrangements — call it whatever you want — that takes away the ability to filibuster and (leaves the) nuke option … still on the table,” Reid said.

The fight to preserve the judicial filibuster, Reid said, is the “most important issue I’ve dealt with in my 40 years of public service.”

A former boxer, Reid compared the upcoming showdown to a prizefight.

“We’ve done everything that we could. We trained hard,” Reid said. “The fight is about to begin.”

Just a morally bankrupt old hack.  And, over and over, it seems his office, Rahm’s office, Schumer’s office and Harlem Day Tripper luncheon hosts know how to play the Boyz.  The Boyz push product.

And maybe if the blogs (AKA:  Blahgs) did not work the same deadly margins that the national Democratic party is working….  I always say, it is Democratic thug work on display.

IF the Democrats had ONCE managed a line vote on a final bill that is going to help to kill the American people, I’d feel differently.

How long can you sell the same issues ?  With no resolution?

***********************************************************************

    The Econimist 8/06

Sorry.  I had to go hunting for this depiction of Rahm from an article in The Economist… after hearing none other than his co-author, Bruce Reed, describe it while discussing the upcoming tidal wave on a C-Span panel I caught today.

Whatever is coming, Reed says we should thank Rahm.  Oh I am sure…

**********************************************************************

UPDATE, 6:15 am

From Spiegel.de, interview with Suskind:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So the average interrogator at a Black Site understands more about the mistakes made than the president?

Suskind:

The president understands more about the mistakes than he lets on. He knows what the most-skilled interrogators know too. He gets briefed, and he was deeply involved in this process from the beginning. The president loves to talk to operators.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The government’s tenor seems to be that, with the transfer of the 14 prisoners, the system of Black Sites is ending.

Suskind: They were the prizes, the most significant of them. Are there others? Of course, they are in various places, in the sort of loose confederation of prisons that are housed simply within countries. The prisoners are farmed out but not beyond the purview of the United States, which is still interested in what they say. The Egyptians, Jordanians and others keep us informed. I assume there are still about 100 prisoners and that the system of Black Sites is continuing. The president has preserved his right to do that.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Does the transfer to Guantanamo mean that the system of the Black Sites will come to an end?

Suskind: No, the president reserved the right to continue this program.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do you expect the announcement of court proceedings against the Sept. 11 masterminds anytime soon?

Suskind: No. Can you imagine what discovery would look like for their attorneys? Constitutional crises are knitted into every step of that traditional legal process.

The process of discovery for who was overseeing the (Black Sites) program would be very complex for the United States, and would lead right into the White House.

My guess is that there will be some push-and-shove and court rulings and challenges and that nothing really significant will happen until January 2009, when a new president is in office.

*******************************************************************

UPDATE, 7:20 pm…

Well.  I am watching the latest debate between two Sons of the South, the reprehensible run for the senate seat in TN. 

 

Harold Ford, a regular on the morning Imus show – apparently the really quite ugly racist, sexist, you name it, slurs lobbed out by Imus, who on most days is a Republican operative, go down just fine with Ford. 

Ford has just stated that he campaigned with his friend Mark Pryor (D-AR) in Nashville the other day.  And Sen Pryor promised him he can be on the Gang of 14.  They will even go public and call it the Gang of 15.  Ford was happy to identify it as the group that kept the filibuster against Bush judges off the table.

I have read as much as I could about this race.  Even trivia like Kos ”not shedding tears” if Ford loses (wow, the cult master speaks, OK for him to be dismissive) over an issue of civil rights that Kos is entirely indifferent about (always willing to eat a fried cat if wrong)  and today Wolcott pushing what I consider simple-minded and flat explanations.  Sorry to be blunt, I think it is more complicated than some suppressed “gay” issue with Corker.  Strikes me as tired Dem party knee jerk.

Unless every race with sex issues is masking some repressed gay issue. Sherwood who apparently attempted to strangle his mistress?  … and had to settle a multi million dollar suit from the woman.

The last place I heard a repressed (I guess) ”gay issue” was the Bruce Reed description of Rahm in the cartoon shown above.  So common that I did not even mention it…

No, in Tennessee, it is the race issue.  But in every possible direction.

One issue is that Ford, every day in every way, makes a promise, tho I read he does not call attention by word to his [possibly historic] run as a ‘Southern Black going to the senate’… but what I hear is a fervent promise to be a servant.  To update things a bit.  He will be as repressive of rights for others as any white Southern senator. He’ll even invoke the God of the 10 Commandments.  He is begging the white establishment to trust him… 

He is applying for the old job of overseer.

And it is not pretty.  He has made himself the white man’s minion in his very happy participation in the Imus show.  Imus comesthisclose to calling Ford his “boy”.  I have listened to that shit now for years between them.

Not pretty. Everybody uses “new”.  New South.  New Democrat.  New new new new new.

No, I see the Old South, still in play.  Both sides.

**********************************************************************

UPDATE, 9:30 pm.

Who says only Republicans vote against their interests?  Line right up, so Casey can hover over your reproductive organs… SO much better than Ricky hovering…. and Think!  It is NON-PARTISAN GOTV !!!!(extra exlamations in use indicates I have surrendered my brains)… SO much better…

Single Women Voters Targeted in Pennsylvania

eRobin reminded me in comments just below about a non-partisan GOTV project she’s involved with in Pennsylvania. Nothing would feel me with more glee than to see Senator Man-on-Dog turned out by a bunch of single women. If you feel the same, head on over here to learn more about PA Action’s smile-and-dial program.

Email thisAdd to del.icio.usDigg This!Scape ThisGoogle Bookmark ThisSlashdot ThisFark ItAdd to Yahoo MyWeb2

But Casey is on track to win anyway?  Right?  Right?.

From the PennAction site linked to above:

1. Please remember that this calling is non-partisan.
We aren’t encouraging anyone to vote for any candidate in particular.
Please don’t mention any candidate’s or incumbent’s name. We are
working on turning out women who are likely progressive voters.

Neat trick. Not a “new trick”, just an old trick.

********************************************************************

UPDATE, 9:50 pm

Oh why deny myself a treat:   Buckley on the “Gay Impasse”.  As I read it, it occurs to me he laughs daily over CT.  And Lamont.  And New Media.  Having chaired an actual movement

And engineered a very successful Trojan Horse.

[P]resident Bush has acknowledged the implications of the New Jersey ruling, and the fever that built up three years ago is reignited. There are men and women in America who have no designs to limit the movements of gay Americans, but who believe that notwithstanding this, there are sanctuaries that are naturally, and organically, reserved for traditional arrangements between men and women. There is something ranging between innocent frustration and raw fury over the proposition that a society of equal rights is required to disregard those characteristics that make up a married couple. Mr. Bush may elect to launch a movement for a clarification of the Constitution.

*********************************************************************

UPDATE, 12:20 PM, Sunday…

… obviously I don’t buy every single little point this Weekly Standard article makes (LOL How could i?)… but it hits on points that just rankle iwth me. 

One is the willing ignorance of too many so called Liberal Acitivist voters.  Everybody owns their vote and I cannot disrespect even votes that horrify me (as in for Bush/Cheney)… but god dammit.  At least make it an informed vote:

[S]omething’s not right with this picture, obviously, but then so many pictures seem out of whack this election year, and nowhere more so than in Virginia. Here George Allen–former governor, favorite of the conservative movement, and one-term Republican senator of no particular distinction–is being challenged by the most sophisticated right-wing reactionary to run on a Democratic ticket since Grover Cleveland. [well... that is crediting Webb with a lot, imo  - Mcat]

It turned out that not many people at Mrs. Langley’s knew much about Webb. As committed activists, they were just happy he’s a Democrat who’s been running even in the polls with Allen and has a fair chance at an upset. And they know he’s a Vietnam veteran whose two Purple Hearts, Silver Star, and Navy Cross testify to unimpeachable heroism. Other things they think they know about him, however, aren’t quite so.

“He’s a war hero, but you know he’s refusing to let the campaign reference his war experience,” one of Mrs. Langley’s neighbors told me. “He refuses to exploit it. That tells you something right there about the kind of man he is.”

The neighbor didn’t flinch when Mrs. Langley played the campaign video, which offered a parade of old combat pictures of Webb and a series of testimonials from his war buddies.

Page 2 has good send up of the silly 2004 Democratic convention and snips from being on the campaign trail with Webb. 

****************************************************************************

UPDATE, 1:50 pm, Sunday…

You gotta believe - and cresting to 13 million of his own money, 6 million the past 30 days alone, iirc - who can say that Lamont does not WIN!… ;)

 Sorry to be blunt, but when they shuffle out the cell phone dodge (frm the comments)… wellllllllllll:

[L]et me pour on a heap of optmism in here, folks. There are somethings about polls that I’ve never liked. I thnk that they have a lot of trouble reaching poor, disabled and senior citizens, many of whom don’t have telephones. They also can’t reach the many people who only have cell phones.

************************************************************************

Another tidbit from Roxanne, Rox Populi:

Prediction: Amy Sullivan will build a whole new cottage industry around a Ford victory

Thus spake Harold Ford Jr. this morning on Fox (according to an emailer):

“What Tennesseans will get is a Jesus-loving, gun-supporting believer that family should come first, that taxes should be lowered, and that America should be strong. When Tennesseans send us to the Senate, that’s what they’ll get in my votes, and that’s what they’ll get in the kind of leadership that we have not had in the Senate over the last six years.”

|

Here’s the latest on Lieberman bragging about the seniority he’ll have if he wins reelection.  Make no mistake, these DC Democrats are only our temporary allies.  They have total contempt for the rules of the party [oh... you thought there were RULES? MCat], and they cheered Joe after he faced us in the primary.  It is no longer reasonable for them to call for party unity, because they no longer have any legitimate claim to call themselves leaders of the party.  They may be leaders for the next few decades simply due to inertia, but it’s very clear that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are liars who think nothing of insulting Democratic primary voters who play by the rules.  

My my.  So unprincipled.  Just name calling.  And 8 days before an earth shattering election to save a nation in a constitutional crisis….  My.

The American people know this.  They know that Democratic Senators are moral lepers, weaklings, and that is the only reason we aren’t further ahead when the Republicans screw everything up.  The Democratic Senate leaders will sell us out at every opportunity, be it torture, Iraq, Alito, Lieberman, the Bankruptcy Bill, or stopping war with Iran.  They aren’t poll-driven, they aren’t fear-driven, and they aren’t driven by strategic differences.  They are simply driven to beat us down, their voters, by any means necessary.  That’s why they cheered Joe.

I am screaming with laughter. {Be sure to vote vote vote vote!)  And Ford and Webb and Casey will be SO FUCKING DIFFERENT?  Oh and Senator Clinton?  What about HER?  Maybe y’all need another ”Day Trippers go to Harlem and stumble”.  Remember!  Bill told y’all he reads blogs.  And Boyz believed him.  What chumps.

It’s sad.  Lamont can win this, and we’re all doing our best to make that happen.  But the important story here is not that the country supports the war, it doesn’t.  Lieberman is running on an antiwar platform, promising to bring the troops home in a transparently dishonest pander to the left.  The important story here is that the DC Senate Democrats and DC lobbyists are not on our side.  They have their own side, a side that is out of touch, immoral, and dishonest.

We can win this fight, as the polls are tightening.  But it would be a whole lot easier without that knife in our back.

How’s the temperature on that bottle?  Little more gin there for you?  Maybe a diaper pin is stuck in the baby? 

What sulky bullshit.  And all over JOE.  Bill Buckley is laughing really hard.

Addendum:

AP: Lieberman Cites Support of Senate Dems As Reason He’s Still Competitive (David Sirota)

There have been great, courageous and heroic Democrats who have come to help the Lamont campaign. But as AP reports tonight, the complicity of most Democrats is what is still keeping Joe afloat.

Posted at 10/29/2006 06:04:14 PM EST – #

Complicity… yes, day in and day out, that is the word.  All of this frantic flutter and flying hoo hoo does make one wonder… did the Boyz think it would all be sunlight and roses with a Lieberman challenge?  Especially using a sort of mixed bag as a vehicle?

Come on.  Really pushing it to call Lamont other than a “Lieberman supporter”. Which he has been in word, deed and dollar bills. 

I never heard all that much authenticity in the pique over the NYT editorial that supposedly got Lamont all hot and bothered (but not enough hot and bothered, we have all noticed).

Oh wellllllll. On to the next great adventure. Tally HO! 

 

**********************************************************************

Who says the Democrats don’t have a plan? 26 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
59 comments

   

From the LA Times:

[R]epublicans are spotlighting that lineup, portraying it as extremist. They jumped on Conyers for calling for impeachment hearings against Bush, an idea Pelosi flatly dismisses. Republicans delight in pointing out that Hastings, before becoming a House member, was impeached as a federal judge.

Democrats say they believe such tactics are designed to mobilize conservatives and will not eclipse their efforts to present a more moderate face to swing voters. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last year made a point of recruiting conservative candidates and even some former Republicans for this year’s midterm election, in some cases muscling out more-liberal contenders who seemed likely to lose in Republican-leaning territory.

“The Democrats are going to retake the House of Representatives by electing conservative and moderate Democrats,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.

“We’re going to move our party back to the middle.”

I wonder, where it has been?  Over and over, they gave Bush what he wanted.  If he needed 3, 18 or 23 Dems in the senate, he got it.  If he needed 1 or 44 or 100 in the House, he got it.  There is NOTHING across three congresses that the Republicans cannot point to and say, “it was a bi-partisan vote”.

Those Republicans!, they can ferret out a stray drop of soft liberal sheep’s blood hiding under the conservative wolf’s still bloody dripping skin:

In Indiana, GOP Rep. John Hostettler is running behind Democrat Brad Ellsworth, a sheriff who opposes abortion rights and same-sex marriage. But a new Hostettler radio ad says a vote for Ellsworth would be a vote for Pelosi.

“Pelosi will then put in motion her radical plan to advance the homosexual agenda,” the ad says.

In Kentucky, ads by GOP Rep. Ron Lewis call attention to the fact that his Democratic opponent, retired Army Col. Mike Weaver, has accepted donations from Pelosi. “He is not a certified conservative,” Lewis said.

But Weaver, a state representative, is against abortion, gun control and same-sex marriage. He founded a conservative group in the state Legislature to push his party to the right.

In North Carolina, Shuler, who is running against GOP Rep. Charles H. Taylor, turned down encouragement to run for the House in 2002 as a Republican, despite his conservative views.

Shuler, a former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, stuck with the Democratic Party, his spokesman said, because he wanted to “help those who cannot help themselves — and that’s the Democratic Party.”

But Shuler dodges the question of whether he would support Pelosi as speaker, saying he wants to interview all candidates for that post.

What I have heard is this sort runs on the Democratic ticket, as it works for an election [there already is a Republican] OR the demographics in a certain area, however conservative, still require a “D” next to the name.  I hear that is why Gene Taylor runs as a Dem… his district would not pull the lever for him in MS.

Whatever. 

All the pro life (which has little to do with abortion but for the vehicle it provides, “pro-life” is the Republican agenda) get together once they reach DC. 

Poor Dems. 

This is a Harper’s article from 2005  (word of warning, not an easy read in some parts, but informative about “PBA” as a vehicle) tracing the medical procedure labeled “partial birth abortion” by the pro lifers, tracing how the issue surfaced and gave the pro lifers extraordinary viability for nearly 15 years.

[T]he term “partial-birth abortion” was invented for purposes of writing legislation. There is no textbook reference to any operative procedure or medical state called “partial birth.” There are a few published medical references to “dilation and extraction,” or “intact dilation and evacuation,” both of which are terms certain physicians have given to the forceps-aided extraction of an aborted fetus all in one piece. One technique for intact removal was described in detail in 1992, when an Ohio physician got up at a National Abortion Federation meeting, presented a paper entitled “Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion,” and inadvertently triggered the cross-country chain of events that escalated into what Kate Michelman, the recently retired president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, now says was the most difficult abortion issue she was ever called upon to confront. “Silver platter” is another way this sentiment is sometimes expressed, among abortion doctors and abortion-rights advocates, or “gift-wrapped.” By this they mean the swiftness, the devastating ease, with which they found themselves ceding their opponents control over the public imagination the month the first Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was introduced in Congress, nearly a decade ago.  [snip]

A straightforward page from the Alan Guttmacher Institute.  89% take place in the first trimestre, as procedures and testing advance, very early abortions (4 weeks and prior) are embraced.  But it is not the pro lifers goal to contain abortion.

No.  They want to contain women.  And the Democrats are helping.  Always have.

*******************************************************************

Lemieux in TAPPED takes a look at the NJ court ruling. [from Madman]  Same sex unions or marriages or whatever.  The issue, as always, is RIGHTS.  Equality.  Equal Access.  Equal protection.  Equal right to privacy.

Full citizenship.

But no, mired in the fake “morals” clause…

Or take a gander at what the REAL Christians are saying already about that soft propagandist, Obama.

Did anyone read the TIME Magazine article on Obama? It really creeped me out. At one of Obama’s speaking engagements he was introduced in the following way: “He’s all of us! He’s not black! He’s not white! He’s not …” The speaker then faltered and realized that she was about to say that He’s not male or female. This kind of a description for anyone is worrysome. I believe that this is exactly how antichrist will be… Not to mention that everything seems to be falling into place for end-times events to occur. Just my humble opinion.

Yes, I believe he will win in 08 and we will be finished by 012. I feel in my soul that he is the AntiChrist. He’s too good to believe. Where did he come from? Where did his name come from? What evil forces are behind him?

Meanwhile Obama says this (laugh now, laugh later too):

And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans). 

Obama yet again:  

”And a pro-union Democrat doesn’t become anti-union if he or she makes a determination that on balance, CAFTA will help American workers more than it will harm them.”

Poor Dems.

I wrote a piece last fall on Obama and the utter foolishness of the Democrats… I only link to the x-post at BMT as it had an excellent comment from “RecordKeeper”:

Re: Amen (4.00 / 4)

And further, it will require us to innovate and experiment with whatever ideas hold promise (including market- or faith-based ideas that originate from Republicans).

Well, that’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve read in a while. The Democratic Party has been broken and trained by the bullies of the GOP. They’ve accepted their new role as the “beta” party to the “alpha” Republicans.

I found Obama’s lecture — this was the term that came to me as well — cautious, reasonable, smooth, seductive, and completely fallacious. I couldn’t finish it because it made me feel enervated and agitated, at the same time. It’s a dangerous piece of writing, for that reason. It’s a winningly political, sugarcoated spoonful of medicine to intended to sedate uppity radicals.

What made me angriest was the part about how the people in Illinois, he’s met in his travels, don’t think Bush is a criminal, or a liar, etc, etc. So, why are these ill-informed, middle-of-the-road, people in utter denial, more important than me, or any of the people venting their spleens in the blogosphere. Why are politicians bending over backwards to cater to a mushy middle, with a total lack of civic awareness. That amounts to the ill-informed dictating policy. Frightening! No wonder we’re in such a mess.

“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or prostitute.” ~ Rebecca West

by Recordkeeper (lavaughn@celestialhealing.com) on Sun Oct 2nd, 2005 at 02:42:25 PM EST

**********************************************************************

UPDATE, 5:33 pm

From the AP in the LA Times:

“Ideologically, there will be more friends coming,” said Nelson, one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate. “The center will have a great deal of influence.”

***********************************************************************

  Irfan Khan / LAT October 26

Sun is blocked by the heavy smoke from a fast moving Esperanza fire. Fire crew is blocked by the fast moving brush over highway 243.  (Irfan Khan / LAT)  Oct 26, 2006

These winds were devil winds,” Boss said. “They came out of nowhere.”
 

Sometimes the CA wildfires seem to mimic the undertone in the nation – or the wars.   The fires from the Santa Ana winds that come in off the desert, then blow hot and hard across the mountains down into the valleys and canyons, this fire, they say, blasted to life in the middle of the night, from arson… Earlier, residents in Riverside Co. were told to “shelter in place” … now they are running for their lives.

One very bad day in Iraq a couple of years ago, the fires from the Santa Ana winds exploded and leapt the coastal road, to the sea.

[G]orgonio View Road, where five firefighters were consumed by flames — four of them dying — is well known to Nye Frank, 68, a former firefighter.  “It’s not a good place to be in a fire,” said Frank, 68, “With winds blowing east to west, you are in a high place, with flames coming uphill. You are quickly in harm’s way.”  [...]

Winds remained so strong they rumbled like earthquakes and shook cars. Flames sometimes a hundred feet high erupted along Highway 243 from Banning toward Idyllwild as the fire grew in strength.  Fires like rolling balls descended across roads where people were trying to escape, forcing cars to retreat back up the road.

The fire wrought its most serious destruction on rural Twin Pines Road, not far from the area of greasewood and scrub oak stands where the firefighters died. [snip]

   LA Times
      (Irfan Khan / LAT)  Oct 26, 2006

I recall being told, when I first moved to Los Angeles and was living on an isolated beach, that the Indians would throw themselves into the sea when the bad wind blew.  I could see why.  The Pacific turned ominously glossy during a Santa Ana period, and one woke in the night troubled not only by the peacocks screaming in the olive trees but by the eerie absence of surf.  The heat was surreal.  The sky had a yellow cast, the kind of light sometimes called “earthquake weather.”  My only neighbor would not come out of her house for days, and there were no lights at night, and her husband roamed the place with a machete.  One day he would tell me that he had heard a trespasser, the next a rattlesnake. …

It is hard for people who have not lived in Los Angeles to realize how radically the Santa Ana figures in the local imagination.  The city burning is Los Angeles’s deepest image of itself.  Nathaniel West perceived that, in The Day of the Locust, and at the time of the 1965 Watts riots what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires.  For days one could drive the Harbor Freeway and see the city on fire, just as we had always known it would be in the end.  Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability.  The winds shows us how close to the edge we are.

Excerpt from Slouching towards Bethlehem, © by Joan Didion.

***********************************************************************

UPDATE, 11 AM Friday

She did not support it before she projected she would not oppose it in the future, dependent on what NY state lege and Spitzer may do… I think that is what Hillareeeeeeeee said here… Snips from The Note:

Sen. Clinton makes news on same-sex marriage:
Sen. Clinton told a group of gay elected officials Wednesday that she would not oppose same sex marriage in New York if the state legislature and governor enacted it. LINK

According to the Gay City News, when Sen. Clinton was asked about plans Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic candidate for governor, has to introduce a gay marriage bill, Sen. Clinton said: “if our governor and our Legislature support marriage in New York, I’m not going to be against that. . . So I feel very comfortable with being able to refute anybody who tries to pit us or pit me against Eliot.” LINK

During a May 26, 2005 interview on CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Sen. Clinton said: “Well, I don’t know many Democrats who support gay marriage. In fact, I don’t and haven’t for, you know, years before I became a Senator.”

*************************************************************************

UPDATE, 5:30 on the Pacific…

Uh no… it means apparatchiks took direction well… but call it “love”… if you wish.  ;)

Feel the Love

DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel Statement issued the following statement on recent “Use It or Lose It” efforts by Democratic House Members and grassroots activists to support the DCCC and Democratic candidates:

“Throughout the cycle, the remarkable grassroots movement for change has buoyed Democratic efforts to expand the playing field, support our candidates, and ultimately win a Democratic majority that can take our country in a new direction,” said Rahm Emanuel. “The recent unity shown between grassroots activists and Democratic Members to ensure that we can compete in dozens of newly competitive districts is heartening to the DCCC and all of our Democratic challengers.”

Yes Virginia, the Democrats believe in Santa Claus. 25 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House.
58 comments

  Inflatable and Inflated...;)

I don’t think even the inflatable reindeer up there believes in Santa Claus… ;)

A commenter linked to this Bob Parry piece in the previous thread, but it is good enough to roll out again (on Donner! on Blitzen!):

Considering everything that’s at stake, many Democrats appear to be devoting way too much energy to their anticipation of victory – and to an obsession with polls about which seats are “in play” – rather than in sealing the deal with the voters.

Oh.  Voters.  Them…

“I’ve moved from optimistic to giddy,” Gordon R. Fischer, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told the New York Times.

“I know a lot of people are in somersault land,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, although he didn’t count himself among them.

Democrats also seem to be hoping for victory by default as Republicans sink under the weight of chaos in Iraq and corruption scandals on Capitol Hill.

Alert the elves to prepare for our arrival!

“I think we have the best chance to take over simply because of the pileup of disasters,” said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y. [NYT, Oct. 22, 2006]

Granted, some Democrats have issued cautionary warnings against over-confidence and many remember their premature celebrations in 2004 when the early exit polls showed Sen. John Kerry winning the White House. Opinion polls two weeks before an election mean even less, especially given the GOP’s reputation for hardball election tactics.

hmmm.  Some even believed they would win well into the cocktail hour on Nov 2, 2004…

But there is a troubling sense of déjà vu as Democrats let Republicans raise alarms on the Right about the dangers of a Democratic victory, while Democrats let up on their warnings to liberals, independents and even constitutional conservatives about what a Republican victory would foreshadow.

Yes… Candy Crowley and her line up of DLCers, Third Way, Red State Dems, and whoever else have a wonderful hatchet job running off and on all day long on CNN.  It was gag worthy.  They say there will be a similar production for the Republican side of the bed. 

Oh I don’t think so:

CROWLEY (voice-over): Asheville, we have a problem.

What’s a Democratic anyway? The party struggles to find itself and Shuler gets an unexpected assist.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CROWLEY: Hardcore Democrats in the 11th District have been waiting 16 years to put one of their own in Congress, but honestly, this is not what they had in mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On a number of issues, on abortion, on immigration, and on gay rights, he’s absolutely indistinguishable from Charles Taylor.

CROWLEY: Ouch. Shuler just doesn’t fit the template. It’s remarkably difficult for a conservative to find space in the party.

The day her husband was nominated, Teresa Heinz Kerry did a meet and greet with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not exactly.

SAUNDERS: You know, I went to a DNC meeting one time, and they said, you know, the Women’s Caucus will meet over here, and the Black Caucus will be over here, and the gays will be over here. We forgot about the big tent. We’ve assembled a whole bunch of pup tents.

COWAN: And many voters, particularly white men, saw that collection of interest groups and said, that’s not me, there’s nothing in it for me.

CROWLEY: This is party with so many identities, it has no identity.

HATTAWAY: When you see an R after the candidate’s name on the ballot, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. Too many people in too many places see a D on the ballot and they don’t know what they’re going to get.

CROWLEY: This is no way to win an election. Democrats have been a minority on Capitol Hill for 12 years. When George Bush’s term ends in 2009, Democrats would have occupied the Oval Office just 12 of the last 40 years. In the last two elections, Gore and Kerry lost the entire South and much of the mid and interior West.

Tell Grover Norquist to move over.  The Dems will let ol’ Mudcat Saunders murder them, and from within.  Why off shore the work?

I was not going to bother to add this, a hard swipe at Rahm… But for the third day the Taps at the close of The News Hour was for 15, 16, 17 names.  Mostly men, from 19 to 40.  I felt like I was being tossed about on sharp rocks.  I am sick to death of the war mongers.

The closing graf:

But Emanuel and his fellow hawks may yet fail to get their way. Major figures among the rulers of U.S. empire, and their well-compensated advisors, from James Baker to Jimmy Carter to Zbigniew Brzezinski to Mearsheimer and Walt, see disaster looming unless the neocons of both War Parties with their dual loyalties to the U.S. and Israel are brought to heel. Second and more important, the people are fed up with the war on Iraq and wary of other wars the hawks like Emanuel have planned for us.The politicians who win office, whether Rove’s Republicans or Emanuel’s Democrats, will have to deal with this rising tide of anger or risk losing their sinecures. That risk is offset by the machinations of Emanuel and others to guarantee that there is no genuine opposition party or movement. And that lack of a real opposition is a problem we must solve.

Brownstein has a piece up in the LA Times… polls – LA Times/Bloomberg – and observations.

Underscoring the midterm election’s volatility, the survey results in all of these contests fall within the margin of error for the polling, which means they are too close to call.

The Democrats need a net gain of six seats to win a Senate majority. Polls in the other key Senate races show Democratic challengers holding consistent — though in some cases narrow — leads against GOP incumbents in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Montana.

If Democrats captured those three seats, won Ohio and held New Jersey, Senate control would hinge on the outcomes in Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.

If Democrats win two of these three races, they would have a 51-49 Senate majority. If they win just one, the Senate would be split 50-50 between the parties and Vice President Dick Cheney would provide the tie-breaking vote in the chamber for Republicans.

The latest Times/Bloomberg surveys underscore the trends that are creating opportunities for Democrats — particularly anxiety about the Iraq war and erosion of support for the GOP among centrists. But the poll findings also highlight the obstacles Democrats face in converting the national current of discontent into gains in conservative-leaning states.

Taegan Godard has polls up for races as well.  I am not a numbers person, but I see cliff hangers.

The latest round of MSNBC/McClatchy polls, conducted by Mason-Dixon, show Democrats “are slightly closer to taking control of the Senate than they were last month.” These results shows Democrats gaining five seats. To take control, Democrats need to win six seats.

Pennsylvania: Bob Casey (D) leads Rick Santorum (R), 51% to 39%
Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse (D) leads Lincoln Chafee (R), 48% to 43%
Missouri: Claire McCaskill (D) leads Jim Talent (R), 46% to 43%
New Jersey: Bob Menendez (D) leads Thomas Kean Jr (R), 45% to 42%
Washington: Maria Cantwell (D) leads Mike McGavick (R), 52% to 37%
Ohio: Sherrod Brown (D) leads Mike DeWine (R), 48% to 40%
Montana: Jon Tester (D) leads Conrad Burns (R), 46% to 43%
Tennessee: Bob Corker (R) leads Harold Ford (D), 45% to 43%
Virginia: George Allen (R) leads James Webb (D), 47% to 43%

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UPDATE, 5:20 am

I don’t know how many articles I have read on Nancy and the damned committees and chairs.  But Isikoff is up with a projection on the god damned mess… and if this has been reported before, I have missed it:

[B]ut much as Democrats might like to see a thousand hearings bloom, there is one thing standing in their way: the Democratic leader herself. Nancy Pelosi, who would presumably become Speaker if the party wins the House, has made it clear that she does not want to turn the Capitol into a courthouse. There will be hearings, and plenty of them, but according to a top Democratic staff member familiar with Pelosi’s plans—who, like all aides, wouldn’t be named talking about strategy—the would-be speaker intends to keep tight control.

The aide says Democratic leaders will have veto power over committee probes—something that in the past was the domain of the committee chairmen themselves.[snip]

The “powerful chairman/woman of the ___________ committee”… but finds he or she is tied to Mother.  And Reid and whomever else…

Great.

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UPDATE, 12:45 pm

“This just in”:

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

N.J. SUPREME COURT: SAME-SEX COUPLES ‘MUST BE AFFORDED … THE SAME RIGHTS AND BENEFITS’ AS MARRIED COUPLES

http://abcnews.go.com?CMP=EMC-1396

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UPDATE…

Achtung!  Heil Sam!

From Hotline On Call:

Brownback Slams NJ Marriage Ruling

The first major national political figure to respond is…. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS):

“The decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court only deepens the constitutional crisis with respect to the protection of traditional marriage, and warrants swift, decisive action by Congress in the form of passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment. Huge social changes should be decided by the people and their elected representatives and should not be forced by the courts.”

 And MPA would be the updated version of DOMA?  So, how many Democrats line up to parse their love, their sacred exclusive love, for the opposite sex?

Enough.  The Republicans always get what they need from the Dems.

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UPDATE…

Well I am up here as the site won’t let me comment.  I think that is being sent way way past the Spam Filter.  Sigh.

Schumer is on Cspan, at the Press Club.  He is all but taking a victory lap.  Oh, the usual caveats… they blur.  It was earlier today, Liddy Dole is there also.

“We never thought we’d be here three months ago, but Here We Are!”

What a fucking idiot.

Over and over, in election year after election year, GE and MidTerms both… the Dems start to purr and preen, they stretch luxuriously – at just being TOLD they are going to win [...]

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UPDATE, 3:15 pm

Tasini on Wellstone, who died a 4 years ago today with his wife, daughter and everyone else in the plane:

[H]e was the only senator running for re-election who had the courage to vote against the Iraq war resolution. And it wasn’t an easy political vote–he was in a tough re-election race but one that I believe he would have won because ultimately Minnesota voters, even those who didn’t always agree with him, respected his integrity and authenticity. Frankly, had he been alive today, I think there would be a huge movement to get him to take up the banner as the progressive candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination (though, with his typical self-deprecating humor, Paul once dismissed his chances of running for president, saying, “I’m short, I’m Jewish and I’m a liberal”) While other senators who want to grab the nomination explain their vote for the war resolution as one that was cast because they were lied to or because of “false intelligence,” Paul had the moral compass to understand that attacking Iraq was immoral, unnecessary and would lead to the pointless deaths of tens of thousands of people.

What would an America be like if Sen. Paul Wellstone had still been in the U.S. Senate? Well, for one thing, Republican Norm Coleman would not be a U.S. Senator. You can bet Paul would have led a filibuster fight against the nominations of now-Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts. My guess is that he would also have stood with Russ Feingold and called for the censure of the president–a position that no other Democrats have the courage to take.  [snip]

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UPDATE, 5:20 pm

Daniel Ellsberg get off a good one, re-capping ’64 and ’02, then on to Iran.. He calls again for an official to step forward, as whistle blower… via Common Dreams   [thanks to Madman]

[E]ven more ominously, Philip Giraldi, a former CIA official, reported in The American Conservative a year ago that Vice President Cheney’s office had directed contingency planning for “a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons” and that “several senior Air Force officers” involved in the planning were “appalled at the implications of what they are doing- that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack-but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objection.”

Several of Hersh’s sources have confirmed both the detailed operational planning for use of nuclear weapons against deep underground Iranian installations and military resistance to this prospect, which led several senior officials to consider resigning. Hersh notes that opposition by the Joint Chiefs in April led to White House withdrawal of the “nuclear option”-for now, I would say. The operational plans remain in existence, to be drawn upon for a “decisive” blow if the president deems it necessary.

Many of these sources regard the planned massive air attack-with or without nuclear weapons-as almost sure to be catastrophic for the Middle East, the position of the United States in the world, our troops in Iraq, the world economy, and U.S. domestic security. Thus they are as deeply concerned about these prospects as many other insiders were in the year before the Iraq invasion. That is why, unlike in the lead-up to Vietnam or Iraq, some insiders are leaking to reporters. But since these disclosures-so far without documents and without attribution-have not evidently had enough credibility to raise public alarm, the question is whether such officials have yet reached the limit of their responsibilities to our country.

Assuming Hersh’s so-far anonymous sources mean what they say-that this is, as one puts it, “a juggernaut that has to be stopped”-I believe it is time for one or more of them to go beyond fragmentary leaks unaccompanied by documents. That means doing what no other active official or consultant has ever done in a timely way: what neither Richard Clarke nor I nor anyone else thought of doing until we were no longer officials, no longer had access to current documents, after bombs had fallen and thousands had died, years into a war. It means going outside executive channels, as officials with contemporary access, to expose the president’s lies and oppose his war policy publicly before the war, with unequivocal evidence from inside. [snip]

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Tuesday Open Thread 24 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
44 comments

 

Chris Hedges has an interesting piece on the political power of genocide – after the fact – in a discussion of the Armenian genocide and the modern use of the Holocaust.

[T]hese questions circle back to the dangerous sanctification of any genocide, the belief that one ethnic group can represent goodness, solely because its members are the victims, and another evil because from its ranks come the thugs who carry out mass slaughter.  Once these demented killing machines begin their work the only thing unique is the method of murder.  The lesson of any genocide is not that one group of human beings is better than another, but that in the intoxication of the moment, gripped by the mass hypnosis of state propaganda and the lust for violence, we can all become killers.  All the victims must be heard.  None are unique.  And all of us have to be on guard lest we be seduced.  We carry within us—German, Jew, Armenian or Christian—dark and dangerous lusts that must be held in check.  I applaud the French.  I hope the French action pushes the Turks toward contrition and honesty.  But I do not wish for the Armenians to covet the Holocaust, to begin the process of sanctifying their own suffering.  When we sanctify ourselves we do so at the expense of others.

In the body of the piece, he writes of the need for Turkey to acknowledge, apologise for their own sake as well as for the Armenians.  And I have to think, as we blame the Iraqis for all that has passed across nearly 4 years since our invasion, who will make us apologise?  No one, I would suppose.

********************************************************************

aemd linked to this in the previous thread, Billmon on an aspect of the Republican … by now I have to call it their instinctive battle plan.

[N]o, what’s interesting is that the Rovians felt compelled to volley back on the sex stuff in a way they never have with more garden-variety corruption charges, like those raised in the Abramoff-related scandals. Clearly, something in their polling or focus group work has convinced them this is different and far more dangerous.

There are exceptions, of course — the Abramoff connnection appears to be sinking Conrad Burns out in Montana, for example — but one gets the distinct impression that graft, bribery and fraud no longer pack much of a political punch with the American electorate. I mean, if the scandals of the past few years (the pecuniary equivalent of projectile vomiting) have had so little effect that the Rovian brain trust doesn’t even think it has to hit back, it tells you something.

Likewise, if the voters only now are putting on a semi-serious anger over the lost war in Iraq — hands down the most deceptive, corrupt and wholly botched government enterprise since . . . well, Hurricane Katrina — you have to wonder what it takes to get a rise out of the American people. But of course we already know what it takes: something that will really get a rise out of them, if you follow me.  [snip]

In fairness, as I share aemd’s take -  and here is a snip of his/her thoughts on Nov 7 from the previous thread

[A]fter the Reed/Abramoff scam, well…the last straw. All the hate backfired, bigtime.

Is it enough to get a solid majority in the House and Senate? IMHO, no. A couple of things are working against the Dems. First is over a decade worth of high tech, balls to the wall, GOP fundin’ and work on their GOTV. While the Dems are playin’ catch up, the GOP is moving to the next level. Second is, well, ego, the final coup. In a year where the GOP is so down in the polls, what a final stroke for the Rove machine to come out on top. Talk about makin’ headlines! [snip]

let me link to Tuston’s comment from the same thread.

A snip:

[M]y reasoning surely would be termed the CT over at daily cocks and cockettes, and I can’t claim to arrive at my answer through any identifiable and verefiable instrument other than my own native internal calculus of intuititive integration of what info I pick up.

I have to disagree that the press are “setting up” the democrats but I think we are getting a dose of hype that won’t be lived up to. (I’ll freely admit that I ay be having a pipe dream, though)

I’m going toss circumspection and caution to my overblown wind as well as abandon my obsession with the satanism of sarcasm and make my own serious prediction of 23 and 5 (hmm those are some familiar primes)  [snip]

Hope and cynicism… ;)  But no graphs.  Not today anyway… 

Killing a chicken at High Noon to read the entrails tho…

**********************************************************************

UPDATE, 9:10 am

Not a graph… ;) but a good read all the same from Who is IOZ [thanks to my emailer]

[S]mith doesn’t come right out and say it, but there’s a name for a political ideology based on a projected, utopian past that can only be reacquired through political acts whereby the cultural radicals are ousted and an imaginary old order restored: conservative.

Kos and his followers imagine themselves bolsheviks of Democratic liberalism, but their political ideology, such as it is, is deeply conservative. It serves up a unidentifiable, unspecified time of general well-being and social harmony, a status quo in which the only change that occured was “progress” in an exceedingly vague sense of a general improvement to the social and economic wellbeing of the society as a whole. It locates the rupture with that vision in certain political triumphs of its opponents, whom it accuses of revolutionarism. It dedicates its political actions to the recapture of such a past, which was taken away, and which must now be taken back. Things were better before, and once we go back, they’ll be better in the future again.

In that confusion of verb tenses you find the abject failure of the dreaming insurgents of the Democratic party.

Don’t miss the comment.  Love that ”grab” metaphor…  paucity of rhetoric on display.

As I read this I heard a very soft shoe debate with Conrad Burns in the run for ND senate….  I had to laugh, the Repub challenger (Grotberg was the name iirc) appeared to run against Burns’ vote for the war.  That pesky IWR the Dems would like to forget.

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Monday in October Open Thread… 23 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Divertissements, Europe, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.
33 comments

   Palais Royal Paris, with sculpture

Post what you like… FYI:  site remains on full moderation so comments may be delayed…

Brave New World?  Hardly… Reinforced New World:

[T]he concrete foundation plunges eight meters (26 feet) into the ground below. Concerned about the risk of car bombs, the building’s planners decided to cancel their initial plan to include an underground parking garage. The decision has puzzled German construction personnel involved in the project. “I suppose the diplomats will have to arrive on foot,” says one of the German experts, referring to the fact that the plan seemingly ignores the need for a place to park the embassy’s bulletproof limousines. According to embassy officials, there will be a spot for the ambassador’s car, but no parking spaces for anyone else.

Instead of an underground parking garage, the €120-million structure now sits on a three-foot concrete plate, which, according to one expert, is strong enough to “support a nuclear power plant.” “You won’t see any moles getting through that,” says one of the German construction foremen. [snip]

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An [un]happy little ditty from the Southern Poverty Law Center

[A]t last year’s European American Conference, a racist pow-wow Duke organizes annually, he implored audience members to enter politics — and start small.

“State representative races can be won with modest budgets and small staffs, while affording the winner possible major media attention and the ability to file and promote legislation that can materially improve our people’s plight,” proclaimed Duke, citing personal experience.

“Most importantly, a state representative office is winnable for political novices and provides an excellent springboard for higher office.”

This electoral strategy for building an extremist political movement in the U.S. was recently echoed by neo-Nazi John Ubele in an essay posted on the website of the Nationalist Coalition, a white nationalist group. In “The 2006 Elections: A Call to Action,” Ubele expounds upon the positive uses of local campaigns, even failed ones, in helping lay the groundwork for a “national pro-White political party.” These include heightened exposure for extremist ideas and organizational and management experience for activists. [snip]

***********************************************************************

NYRoB has a Joyce Carol Oates article on Margaret Atwood.  JCO extracts a particularly dark few lines from Atwood to present near the top:

…and Power Politics (1971) with its wonderfully terse, mordant prefatory lines:

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye

Ah… I think Margaret Atwood does not waste her time looking forward to a future where we neatly choose to care for one another.  Which is what the government sells… faith based, privatisation – and that standby:  white, itinerant charity.

So 19th c.  So feudal.  Fine for serfs. Or slaves…  Not for citizens.  And, that is the thing the government wishes to make malleable.  The rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
The very picture of New Orleans, of Katrina. Once they refine it for the next time… Once the fish hook is readied for the open eye.

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That is enough for now… if I see other things will pop them up… ;)

Sorry to give everyone indigestion… 21 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Beirut, Big Box Blogs, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, la morte de St Germain Dog - the best the BLAHgers had, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
51 comments

  photo from Kiev Ukraine News BLog

I know, I know, quite the distasteful line up – all decked out to support the USA!USA! bought and paid for Orange Revolution… Dkos pushed that little ditty quite hard, as I recall..  But!! none of them (that includes the flagging, rather-too-rightie strumpet that is Kos) is going to exit stage right quietly.

Billmon has a good one up today, on McCain… as I listen to Hillary in her debate yesterday with John Spenser.  uh GO… Go Nobody!

And I read this puffer piece (piece work in my opinion) on the Lamont whateveritis…

The whole Lamont thang reminds me of a Steve Clemons post about the core reality needed for a real insurgent run.  I used it in a piece I did on Ohio (Hackett, Sherrod – and I had no dog! in that, that… whateveritwas…) last February:

…and The Washington Note – Clemons is on point with what is required of insurgency inside the party:

Furthermore, to win this battle for control — some candidates, like Hackett, will have to vigorously run until the end, even if their candidacy looks doomed, or cash-strapped. It is certainly true that a slug-fest between Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett may have harmed the Democratic Party — and may even help Mike DeWine — but to win a seat at the table and to chair the meeting when decisions are being made, the insurgent Dems will have to line up behind a number of candidates willing to go all the way. [...]

A successful insurgency won’t care what Emanuel does. The insurgents will see victory behind both short-term defeats and short-term wins. Hackett needed to go all of the way — win or lose — to give the insurgents validation and strength in the Democratic Party.

Dem insurgents also over-invested in Hackett without lining up the rest of the insurgent candidacies. There are some out there, of course, but not enough. Hackett became the face of their overall campaign which I believe was a mistake.

If I thought the Boyz, Chicklettes (also known as Blog Maids), puffer piece workers, etc., were capable of learning … I’d be less nasty.  If I thought they were the least little bit interested in real political change, real political movement, I’d be less harsh.  Over and over I see Pundit Wanna Bes.  Gee … something we need more of…

(By the way, Stoller will be on C-Span tomorrow am, 7:30 ET… as I am often up for a 4:30 am – PT – Baby feeding right about then, I may catch the earnest toiler in the fields of <cough strangle choke> political movement  uh…work.)

Ah, but why not have fun as they grovel around, do the grubby work of shoring up the tired status quo.

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In other news, Electronic Intifada has a gentle and rather cheering-in-the- midst-of-horror, photo essay on Ramadan in Ramallah. 

   

With the coming of Eid al Fiter and in spite of the depressed economy and Israel’s chokehold on Palestinian revenues and customs, traders and vendors in Ramallah are hoping to make some money.

Some of them are children, since government schools have yet to open in the West Bank because of the strike by government employees.

As well as a sobering essay, short and bitter-sweet, on the uneasy Ramadan in Beirut:

[T]he fifty and seventy percent off sales on the summer collection of clothes and shoes are still being offered in Beirut. Stores are opened just to “keep opened and to fake an idea of work, to keep going till we see what the future holds. We know no one is going to buy any summer clothes now, but we also are scared of paying money to get winter clothes and keep them in display till the next summer.”

Shop owners are “waiting till next month to decide whether to get the new collection, and just keep coming to work to feel as though we are working,” says one shop owner in Hamra Street. Why wait till next month? The answer lies in the “White House, where the emperor decides our future and the future of generations to come. If he decides to hit Iran, then there is nothing on earth that can makes the situation return to normal in the region.” For another shop owner, the reason he waits till next month is related to the domestic situation in Lebanon. “Hizbullah has given the government a truce till the end of Ramadan. They may take drastic steps if the government does not resign and another unity government is formed.” He still thinks it is all related to “what will happen in the region and especially Iran.”  [snip]

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UPDATE, 9:00 pm PT

Catching up on Billmon, a good entry on Weldon… showing why Nov 7, no matter what, will be a struggle.  I think it is a huge diservice to the electorate … all of the soft slobber in the MSM (rise or fall, the Dems are set up) and the flat out stupid triumphalism on the Blahgs.

But you have to give the bloated old pig his due — he’s not going to give up his place at the trough without a hell of a fight.

Weldon may be a blustering, obnoxious, idiotic jerk, but he’s also socially very much in tune with his district. Delaware County is, in many ways, a cultural extension of west and south Philly, which means the older neighborhoods, particularly those down near the river (Weldon’s heartland) have a kind of blue-collar feistiness to them. Weldon’s personality plays there, I think, whereas Sestak comes across as very Navy — quiet, soft-spoken and a little starched, almost waspish, despite his local Catholic school upbringing.

Well…. I have long heard there is a Catholic enclave inside the Navy, among the officer class.  No shock there…

Maybe the tide will carry Sestak’s ship into port nonetheless, but at this point I wouldn’t write Weldon off — politically I mean. [snip]

To ”get well” in this country, we’d have to admit how very sick we are.   it is deeply mixed with the fabric of American life…

That is gonna take some time, a long ways off…

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UPDATE, 10 AM, PT

This is the 2006 Mid Term analysis that Ezekiel mentions in the thread.  They take a strong leading indicator from the candidate who heavily outraises.  They give the nod to Burns over Tester … which really would be a shame.  I am far away, but it does seem that Tester showed a bit of courage, ran a long, nearly two year race… and certainly Burns is a classic crazy mean old coot. Nor was Tester some candidate that Kos found under an organic lettuce leaf.  He is president of the state senate. As for Burns, time for him to go, no question.  Some races are more sharply defined than others.

[E]ven some Republicans privately confess that they are anticipating the election-day equivalent of Little Big Horn. Pardon our hubris, but we just don’t see it.

Our analysis — based on a race-by-race examination of campaign-finance data — suggests that the GOP will hang on to both chambers, at least nominally. We expect the Republican majority in the House to fall by eight seats, to 224 of the chamber’s 435. At the very worst, our analysis suggests, the party’s loss could be as large as 14 seats, leaving a one-seat majority. But that is still a far cry from the 20-seat loss some are predicting. In the Senate, with 100 seats, we see the GOP winding up with 52, down three

We studied every single race — all 435 House seats and 33 in the Senate — and based our predictions about the outcome in almost every race on which candidate had the largest campaign war chest, a sign of superior grass-roots support. We ignore the polls. Thus, our conclusions about individual races often differ from the conventional wisdom. Pollsters, for instance, have upstate New York Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds trailing Democratic challenger Jack Davis, who owns a manufacturing plant. But Reynolds raised $3.3 million in campaign contributions versus $1.6 million for Davis, so we score him the winner.  [snip]

They also give the nod to the males (Talent and Kennedy) over McCaskill and Klobuchar.  I have a suspicion that if women do not pull it out this year, the likes of Rahm and Schumer will not be interested, n ot the least little bit, in recruiting women.

What a fucked mess, over all….

I do agree with their outer boundaries for Dem gains in the House, 8 – 14…

And there is this (part of the basis for the running <laugh now> attempted smack down of Madman at one of the Armando run Box Car Sites is that Madman maintains – and has from the get go - Casey cannot pull it out.  BTW, the Dems ran a lower profile pro-lifer against Santorum in 2000. Klink was his name, and riiiight! did not work then…):

In Pennsylvania, pundits have written off Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, who has raised $17.3 million. His Democratic challenger, Bob Casey, who has raised $15 million, has a large lead in the polls. This is the first serious challenge for Santorum since he was elected in 1994. We see him defying the pollsters on Nov. 7 and hanging on to his seat, with voters from the Western part of the state riding to his rescue.

I have read that Casey barely campaigns two days a week… seems the idea is to hide him and maintain a possibly vaporous lead.  Santorum unfortunately IS the scapper he says he is.  Out there relentlessly, goes every where, shakes every hand.

One thing the Dems have miscaste from the beginning, Casey sr was not the beloved figure they claim he was… We shall see. 

And as a clincher, thereisnospoon is waxing win for Lamont.  GMAFB.

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UPDATE… 1:40 pm

Aw.  I must be truthful and admit, this graph of a year’s worth of traffic, visits and page views, at Oliver Willis does give me a giggle.  “Like Krytonite to Stupid”… is the motto there.

That squishy squish of the squishy center does not taste so good …. oh well… there is encouragement:  He is holding flat for a couple months there. isn’t there a supposedly, possibly realigning Mid Term coming up fast?   And I bet like all the rest, eyeballs flat or falling, OW raised the ad rates. 

Enh.  What ever the rate, it’s too much.  Plus Oliver does not claim to liberal at all at his site. Quite the opposite.  Try for some… constancy, Boyz.  Either you are or you are not. But “Liberal” was a good hook the past few years, wasn’t it?

 I hear the latest game (read, laugh) is Libertarian Democrat.  Or maybe y’all are just Dixiecrats.  That’d be my pick.  Yessuh.

Oliver Willis: Standard

Like Kryptonite to Stupid, OliverWillis.com has been providing liberal commentary in an aggresive way on the web since 2000

www.oliverwillis.com

Ads: 1

$70.00

29,093

Gotta love the Boyz.  And the game.

Boyz Boyz Boyz.

I never said I was gonna be nice.

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UPDATE, 4:20 pm on the Pacific Ocean…

In over the transom… ;)

by BooMan
Sun Oct 22nd, 2006 at 06:42:34 PM EST

In case you didn’t know, Atrios sucks. But, he’s not alone. For example, Matt Stoller and PsiFighter37 and Oliver Willis and thereisnospoon suck too. Of course, Kos sucks. My Left Wing sucks. I suck too. Chris Bowers sucks not once but two times. Armando sucks. Meteor Blades sucks. And in case you are not sure, Steven D sucks too.

Comments >> (4 comments)

Beat those .. uh … those jungle drums… and thanks for the confirmation!  if they don’t suck at the Rahm, Schumer and Reid teat, then they suck at the Kos teat or the Armando teat or the Dana teat… some tied-in teat.  Right.  Not a pretty picture.

And all that suckin’ off a teat, makes them A LITTER. 

Precisely my point.  I do believe a sharpened butter knife landed.  Silly of them to admit it… But the MB advance work was a bust.

Oh…. Addendum:

One would think that Booman would have other, more pressing issues:

Ain’t me who complains about ads, or pushes the stuff in the shop, or worries over lack of diaries… and that all goes back months, iirc.

Booman Tribune: Booman Tribune

A progressive Scoop-powered community that has been mentioned in the Philly Inquirer, the Wash Post, and talk radio. Savvy, well-educated readers looking for news about politics and current events.

www.boomantribune.com/

Ads: 1

$100.00

85,599

Oh that was amusing…
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BTW, listening to Wulsin on C-Span 1, in the run agaisnt “Mean Jean” Schmidt.  I read it is neck in neck.  Good for Wulsin.  Maybe she has staying power the guy who voted for Perot twice did not have.

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UPDATE, 5:20 PM on the Pacific… ;)

I noticed this a couple of hours ago in the London Times feed on the right… but, uh, I was distracted (who knew twaffic gwaphs were so vewy intewesting?)…

so… here it is:

AMERICAN forces are negotiating an amnesty with Sunni insurgents in Iraq to try to defuse the nascent civil war and pave the way for disarmament of Shia militias, The Times has learnt.

The tactic marks a dramatic reversal of policy by the US military, which blocked attempts to pardon insurgents with American blood on their hands after handing over sovereignty to a secular Iraqi Government in June 2004.

The U-turn comes amid the bloodiest fighting for two years and growing domestic opposition to the war as Americans prepare to vote in crucial midterm elections.

Even as President Bush convened emergency talks with his generals and national security advisers to review strategy in Iraq, commanders on the ground were negotiating a peace deal. Observers expect leaders of the Sunni insurgency to join a peace conference early next month.

“There’s been a change in the position of the Americans,” Jabr Hadeeb Jabr, an independent Shia politician and member of the Council for Reconciliation government agency, said. “Before, they refused to give any amnesty to the people killing Americans because there was some dispute about the risk of rewarding their killers.”

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UPDATE, 6:15 pm PT

Well. I am de-light-ed to have helped traffic.  Perhaps some dropped in on the BMT shop as well.

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UPDATE, 7 pm

 Well… I have been listening to Charles Lewis interview Peter Stone of Heist (on Abramoff and all the others…) as I did a few things, but taking a look in the “back room”, it appears that this posting has them in tizzy. In addition to this post with the traffic graphs (let me be helpful, straight UP).

I had forgotten it.  Around the time of the Harlem Day Trippers… and whatever else.  Frankly, one of so many.  Apparently an especially sharp butter knife.  ;)

It is entertaining.  So enjoy…

Oh and I found Josh’s website.  They are “grassroots organisers” who set up “activist communities”.    Fine.  Yes, yes, for clients.  Dear clients, perhaps… ;)

Political work.  And Peter Daou is still a PR / ad guy (blog hurricanes notwithstanding!  Does Harlem Day Trippers qualify?).  But Hillary hired ”a blogger”.

Fine … whatever.  Amateur is fine too, if that is comfy. 

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UPDATE, 11:00 pm.

I gather from a comment in the Mcat thread that Boo has done his usual.  Go beg for attention over at Dkos.  So let’s bookend this minuet.  Why not… ;)

What, do you suppose, happened from October ’05 to October ’06 at Dkos?  And remember, two weeks out from such a hyped election? 

Still the same old 2 seconds for a “visit”…  Page Views at a minute +.

Nothing to sniff at. The Biggest [Political] Blog in the Whole Wide World. 

 But what did happen?

Meanwhile the ad monies just expanded and expanded.  That 7K is for a standard ad.  Not top of the heap “Premium”.

DailyKos: Standard

Reach over one million daily committed progressive activists on the web’s highest trafficked political weblog. Ad inventory is tight to 11/08. Write kos@blogads.com for blogad avails and leaderboards.

www.dailykos.com

Ads: 4

$7000.00

6,282,358

Not the only site on a slide … to where ever.  I thought they, the Liberal (but they are not) Left (but they are not) Progressive (but they are not) Blahgs were ever self-fulfilling of their own hype?, ever expanding?  Some kind of Tulipmania Motherlode?  Yes?

No?

LOL…. There will be a new post by am.  But this one can just sit here for a while.

That was fun, Thanks Boyz.  Oh and Blog Maids, too… not to be forgotten in their attention to Aisle 10!.  I am sure they did something for the cause.

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Friday afternoon Open Thread… 20 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, California / Pacific Coast, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Political Blogs.
25 comments

 

… whatever catches my eye I will pop up on the page… ;)

Rosa Brooks in the LA Times on Hillary’s perfidy on torture.  Somebody should craft a question to Hillary based on Brooks’ close. 

HAS HILLARY CLINTON been watching too many episodes of “24,” or is she just determined to prove that she really is entirely without principles?

Whichever it is, Clinton hit a new low last week, telling the New York Daily News that the president should have “some lawful authority” to use torture or other “severe” interrogation methods in a so-called ticking-bomb scenario. [...]

But … do you really want to see U.S. law outlining exactly how many atrocities can be committed against how many people to — maybe — save a certain number of other people?

Make no mistake — logically, that’s where the ticking-bomb scenario takes you. Clinton insists that she wasn’t really saying that torture should be legal — no, no, of course not. She still thinks that torture is immoral, ineffective and counterproductive. It’s just that for an “improbable but possible eventuality” such as a true ticking-bomb scenario, she thinks that we should make “a very, very narrow exception within very, very limited circumstances.”

And this wouldn’t undermine the Geneva Convention? You’d better believe that countries such as Syria, North Korea and Iran would also just love to carve out some “very, very narrow exceptions” to treaties banning torture. [snip]

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 Oh too funny.  In case you, uh, missed him… catch the exchange between BTD and Gabriel Malor… and the next exchange too…  OG&P.  And recall the antics to come will be happening at a smaller site, by far, than Dkos or Redstate or even Crossed Limp Whatevers…

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UPDATE, 7:30 PM

Another office raided.  Nguyen Tan the OC candidate (challenging Loretta Sanchez) who sent the spurious letter threatening newly registered voters, trying to state that immigrants are not allowed to vote.

From Reuters: 

[C]alifornia state police on Friday arrived at Nguyen’s campaign office with a search warrant shortly before the scheduled news conference. His home was also searched.

“They are looking for items. He is not going to come to the press conference unfortunately because of the intervention of law enforcement,” Nguyen’s lawyer David Wiechert told reporters.

“I have not talked to him about the ramification of today’s events,” Wiechert said.

Scott Baugh, chairman of the Republican Party in Orange County, has urged Nguyen to “do the honorable thing” and withdraw from the race. Baugh said he had information that Nguyen was involved in the letter. [snip]

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UPDATE, 9:45 PM

Well.  This is probably extra hilarious as I went next door and had a glass of champagne. Or two… 

Or, maybe it is just damned funny:

Now, this race is exceptionally strange, because it means that Connecticut is cutting against the national tide pretty aggressively.  Not only is Lieberman doing well, but the three Congressional Democratic challengers aren’t doing as well as they should be considering the national environment.  Is there something in the water here?  Well, no, but there’s a lot of confusion.  There’s something wrong with the conventional wisdom of this race, and that’s impacting voting choices for low information voters.  Right now, the conventional wisdom is that Lieberman’s support is coming from Republicans who support the war and unaffiliated and Democrats who support Joe on other issues.  Lamont carries the strictly antiwar vote, but hasn’t broadened beyond that.  The CW assumes that the war just isn’t that important here.

But does that really make sense?  Is the war is less important in Connecticut than nationally?  I don’t think so.  Could it be Lamont?  Is it because Lamont didn’t successfully paint himself as opposed to the war?  Not likely.  So what is going on, exactly?

I believe the answer is in these two ads.  This is Joe Lieberman’s first ad in the primary. [snip]

It goes on and on and on… and on.

Meanwhile Taegan is running alerts in the Breaking Blue column on the right about every poll showing Lieberman waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead.

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UPDATE,   10:30 am

UK Independent on the seizing of Amara by Moqtada…

[I]n a string of towns in western Iraq, Sunni fighters held “victory parades”.

The US authorities have effectively admitted they have lost the battle for Baghdad despite pouring in 12,000 troops. Major-General William Caldwell said the operation, called Together Forward, “has not met our overall expectations in sustaining a reduction in the level of violence”.  [...]

The Amarah confrontation is especially worrying for Britain because it threatens to jeopardise the exit strategy under which forces have been withdrawn from a several areas with maintenance of security handed over to Iraqi forces. The threat of violence has increased with plans to devolve the country into a federal structure, a move bitterly opposed by Mr Sadr.

Defence sources say this fear of being “sucked back in” was one reasons behind the decision by General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, to speak out about disengagement from Iraq last week. [snip]

 And this at Angry Arab:

So it seems that while US occupation forces are “liberating” Iraq, soldiers of the Mahdi Army are also “liberating”:

“As we have liberated Amara from the British, Basra is next,” he said. “My men are everywhere, can you see the British anywhere? For the people in the street it’s my men who rule the town.”

posted by As’ad @ 8:41 AM link

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My money is on Molly… 19 October 2006

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
72 comments

    

I will be happy to eat a fried cat if I am wrong… btw, I made the same promise last year about FIzzlemas.  ;)

A few snips from her open and her close:

Thursday 19 October 2006

    Stunning coincidence. The verdict in the long-running trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq is now due two days before our congressional elections in November. Astounding. How ineffable.

    Sometimes you know the Republicans have just lost the rag completely. This week, Dick Cheney said to Rush Limbaugh regarding the Iraqi government, “If you look at the general, overall situation, they’re doing remarkably well.” The vice president also acknowledged there’s some concern because the war wasn’t over “instantaneously.” We have now been in Iraq just one month shy of the entire time it took us to fight World War II. Seventy Americans dead so far in October. Electricity in Iraq this year hit its lowest levels since the war started.

    What infuriates me about this is the lying. WHY can’t they level with us? Just on the general, overall situation.

    Put me in the depressive Dems camp. We always look good going into the last two weeks, until we get hit with that wall of Republican money (though I do think Ohio is beyond political recall at this point for the R’s).  [...]

hmmm Well, I happen not to think they have “pulled out” of Ohio. Strikes me as convenient spin…  Tho it may be unwinnable for them, for statewide offices…

 I’m the one who has been writing for two years that the American people are fed up with the war in Iraq and with the Bush administration’s lies and incompetence. I’m the one that keeps beating the Washington press corps about the head over how out of touch it is. I’m the one who has been insisting there’s a Democratic tide out here, and that the people are so far ahead of the politicians and the media it’s painful to watch.

    So how come I’m not thrilled? Because I watched this happen two years ago – same rejection of the Iraq war, same disgust with Bush and Co., same understanding Republicans are for the rich, period, same polls showing D’s with the lead going right into Election Day. And the same geographic gerrymander and same wall of money in the last two weeks. I’m not close to calling this election, and I’m sure not into celebrating anything yet.

I wrote this in May:

Again, little to engage, embolden, energise the base.  They, the Democratic establishment, always want it gifted to them, as some reverse Hail Mary pass, from the White Supremacist Party.   

You can see it in their faces, surely if the nation is on the skids we will win!  [...]

And having been, in the final analysis, good children over everything, from hardly complaining about Abu Ghraib, to mere whispers about the horror of this war, to confusion as to how to handle the gifts Murtha brought (and still brings), to SCOTUS noms to NSA law breaking on wiretapping to, by now, they would likely be so confused over how best to serve their masters that they’d vote for the NEXT god damned war!, and all of that means what? 

…that the Republicans will somehow, from the goodness of their hearts, GIFT THEM WITH SOME GODDAM SEATS?

… tho one might say by now it seems the Republicans are trying to gift the hapless Dems… ;)

Over and over, in election year after election year, GE and MidTerms, both… the Dems start to purr and preen, they stretch luxuriously – at just being TOLD they are going to win (read that charlatan, Ruy Teixeira, in the closing days of October ’04, read it slightly tipsy, out loud with a friend, may as well scream, with laughter). 

Being told they can win is enough for them to relax, take a break.  It never fails.

I fully expect a few surprises… and I fully admit, no desire for the forked tongue’d High Holies, the church congregants wearing it on their sleeve, Dixiecrats, Reagan lovers,  would be Alito voters, etc., to make it.  No desire at all. 

Poor Howard, he has become the Minister of Values.  And I don’t like the look of the Hail Mary borrowing.  I think the likes of Rahm, Schumer, Carville want to bankrupt Howard’s coffers.  Talk about forked tongues.

It, the leadership, is absolutely gut wrenching to observe.  It negates the simple fact, the old fact, the intransigent fact, that power must be seized.

 The Democrats always expose their neck, roll and expose their belly.  There is never that white hot need that makes the break.

Don’t get me wrong… ;)  Official prediction at MCat is 125 in the House and 15 in the Senate.

Swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar…

I’d love to say that the Republicans were on the skids, riding out of town in the dark of night.  That Democrats had strong minds, heads connected to broad shoulders, arms ready to work connected to upright torsos, supported by legs of strength, feet firmly planted.  I never like to see a Republican rise and take office.  No matter where…

 But I cannot say Democrats are the least bit more cogent and committed than they were the last several cycles.  They surely care nothing for my “values”… 

That’s been quite a few cycles now….

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UPDATE: 12:30 am

Just no words left

MIAMI (AFP) – The top US general defended the leadership of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying it is inspired by God.

“He leads in a way that the good Lord tells him is best for our country,” said Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Rumsfeld is “a man whose patriotism focus, energy, drive, is exceeded by no one else I know … quite simply, he works harder than anybody else in our building,” Pace said at a ceremony at the Southern Command (Southcom) in Miami. [snip]

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UPDATE, 3 AM… we are hot and muggy here in San Francisco… waiting for the rains to begin…

… this from Pat Tillman’s brother looks to be remarkable:

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after.  It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military.  He spoke about the risks with signing the papers.  How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people.  How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition.  How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we get out. 

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is.  Something like that. [snip]

 Don’t miss the comment from “lifewriter“, it is the foil for any naivete in the Tillman essay…

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UPDATE, 4:00 am

    Ohio 2004 Election Day

Fitrakis and Wasserman on the “Holy Ghost” turn out elections, the “loaves and fishes” election:

[I]n Ohio alone, four election boards have already eliminated some 500,000 voters since the 2000 election—ten percent of the state’s electorate—from the registration rolls in four Democratic counties. No similar purges have occurred in rural Republican counties. The Democrats have said or done very little about it.

To date there is no logical explanation from John Kerry as to why he conceded with 250,000 votes still uncounted while Bush’s alleged margin was just half that. Nor have we heard about Democrat plans to monitor the ever-larger numbers of electronic voting machines deployed throughout the United States with no paper trail and no transparency for programming codes and memory cards that are privately owned, with no public inspection allowed.

Which is brings us to the Holy Ghost turnout. As Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has reported in Rolling Stone Magazine, in Georgia 2002, U.S. Senate incumbent Max Cleland went into Election Day with a very substantial lead in the polls. He proceeded to allegedly lose by a substantial margin. Church-state operatives like Ralph Reed attributed this astonishing turn-around to an alleged last-minute mass turnout of evangelical voters.

Similar things were said about Florida and Ohio 2004. [snip]

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UPDATE, 9:30  am

Lovely, lovely writing… it can scarcely make the horrific line drawings of Bush tolerable… [thanks to Madman]

[H]e’s the giant red cartoon button that says “Do Not Push!” Elmer Fudd, by which I mean the U.S. Congress, stares at it, strokes his chin, shrugs, pushes. The damn bursts. The waters rush forth.

In a Marvel comic I read as a teenager, I recall the aptly-named villain Apocalypse cackling over this or that do-gooder calling him evil. “I am not malevolent!” he cried, “I simply am!” Is there a truer expression of the essence of Bush, with, perhaps, a greater emphasis on the “simply.” Whereas all the rest of the rogues gallery offers we speculators at least some inkling of an idea of a motivation, Bush remains a cipher, a man paradoxically enraptured by the acquisition of dictatorial power and totally unaware that dictatorial power is what he’s acquiring. “My job,” he said in a moment recently lampooned by Jon Stewart, “is to do my job.”

There, friends, is an American credo. We are being punished by our own reflection.

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UPDATE:  12:15 PM

From Angry Arab… frankly, it sounds just like us.  The King proclaims and the courtiers and various chorus do what they do…

Reform comes to Saudi Arabia. Al-Arabiya TV is jumping up and down. They are hailing the “wise” and “important” decision by the king to appoint a “special committee” for acclamation (bay`ah) of future kings and crown princes. A highly opportunistic member of the insignificant and powerless Shura Council went on TV to praise the decision. The committee–surprise, surprise–will include the sons and grandsons of `Abdul-`Aziz. You may go back to sleep now. I can’t wait for US officials to praise the decision. Bush Doctrine, illustrated.

 Hosanna.  And so on…

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