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Gibberish Bombast and Bullshit… [UPDATED: DMR final poll] 31 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, The Battle for New Orleans, WAR!.

… and it has given me a headache the size of Texas.  Candidates, their handlers, political writers (almost all), self important “voters”, and the DC jellyfish brigade, too.

And still they ladle out the platitudes and promise us tended rose gardens.  If we are “responsible”, watch our diet, buy their mandated health insurance fangle-dangle, don’t smoke (but be sure to drive alone on the caustic highways, there being little choice in the USA!!USA!! – and do ignore the trucks and the shipping and the exhaust… and don’t look too closely at the Rio Grande river, choking on the factory effluvia), if we do all of that AND there is no stray chocolate on our white cotton gloves, why, Hosanna Lord and Master, that tended rose garden will be very well tended.

Somehow or other.  They all get vague… I read that Hillary now has her music start up loud at the end of her presentations (how are your white gloves doing, lady?) so there can be no Q&A, Edwards cut off questions following an inconvenient one about that 527 (as if it matters, no clean white gloves anywhere in Iowa) and Obama, well, catch him now or, Michelle says, it’s over for them.  They know Target, so they know us.

One is hope one is change one is the fervent warrior.  Change used to be Hope, Hope used to be Unity and Colorblind and, god help us, the Warrrior used to be both Hope and Help.

Hogwash with a pigshit back.

I did get some amusement out of this, NeoCon Lite Peter Galbraith gets his head and his ass handed back to him, in the thread to his Pakistan comment in the Guardian.  What a fucking loon.  Another guzzler of hogwash, smeared in pigshit, ready to sell us into war.

Here, have a rose.  It smells a lot better than the stench out of Iowa.

        rose tramonte


UPDATE, 3:49 am

IOZ read the Reza Aslan opinion piece in the Wapo too.


UPDATE, 7:16 pm

DMR final poll is up:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has widened his lead in Iowa over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards heading into Thursday’s nominating caucuses, according to The Des Moines Register’s final Iowa Poll before the 2008 nominating contests.

Obama’s rise is the result in part of a dramatic influx of first-time caucusgoers, including a sizable bloc of political independents. Both groups prefer the Illinois senator in what has been a very competitive campaign.


The poll reflects continued fluidity in the race even as the end of the yearlong campaign nears. Roughly a third of likely caucusgoers say they could be persuaded to choose someone else before Thursday evening. Six percent were undecided or uncommitted.

The poll also reveals a widening gap between the three-way contest for the lead and the remaining candidates. No other Democrat received support from more than 6 percent of likely caucusgoers.

The findings mark the largest lead of any of the Democratic candidates in the Register’s poll all year, underscoring what has been a hard-fought battle among the three well-organized Iowa frontrunners.

It is also the only recent poll of Iowa caucusgoers showing Obama with a lead larger than the survey’s margin of sampling error, which is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The telephone survey of 800 likely Democratic caucusgoers was taken Dec. 27-30. ::snip::


UPDATE, 1:30 am

     Fireworks Conor Isaacs


UPDATE, 3:16 pm

The world outside Iowahhhh:

   Kenya protests after election

TimesOnline has an article up on the protests the past few days in Kenya.. with a javascript pop-up of photos…

A mob has torched a church sheltering hundreds of Kenyans fleeing election violence, killing at least 50 people, many of them children, as the country’s disputed presidential election set off a bloody convulsion threatening what had been East Africa’s most stable and prosperous democracy.

Four days of rioting has killed at least 228 people, and 70,000 have been displaced in western Kenya by the post-electoral disruption, according to a Kenyan Red Cross report today.

The newly re-elected President Mwai Kibaki said today that political parties should meet immediately and publicly call as the for calm as the opposition leader Raila Odinga told Associated Press that the government is guilty of “genocide” after the deadly violence sparked by the disputed election result.

Fears are increasing that the bloodshed, which marks the worst crisis the country has known for decades, will spread into a larger ethnic conflict between Luo, who generally support Mr Odinga, and the Kikuyu tribe of Mr Kibaki. ::snip::

Ever onward…… 29 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, WAR!.

 archeological site south of Khairpur in Sindh province southern Pakistan

 Kot Diji archaeological and historical site south of Khairpur, Pakistan – Sindh province  [Frederic Ohringer from the Nancy Palmer Agency-EB Inc.]

I scammed this link from Angry Arab, eyewitness accounts and ruminations from a Pakistani journalist writing anonymously…

[T]here are two concurrent stories circulating among journalists in Lahore presently. The first, which was published in the Daily Times, attributes the killing to a 20-something young man on a motorbike with a Kalashnikov who made the shot at point blank. Videos of the shooting that have been broadcast on Indian television channels suggest that the shots were fired out of a pistol from a distance of 30 feet.

At the Lahore Press Club this morning, many journalists made the trek down from the Rawalpindi disaster to Lahore to cover the protest on the mall. From a respected senior journalist, I was given a first-hand account of the assassination.

“Benazir popped her head out of her armoured car for about two or three seconds, during which a gunmen armed with a 9mm pistol fired three shots from 30 feet away, two of which landed in her neck,” he told me. There was an ongoing discussion at the club’s canteen between eyewitnesses, and the consensus was that anyone that can land so many shots in a frame of a few seconds had to have been trained by the military or the intelligence agencies.

There are some residencies that overlook the site of the shooting, and I spoke with some of the house owners about the incident. “Political rallies are apt to happen around these parts, and the police always ask us if they can depute officers from our roof to survey the situation. They didn’t this time. When I asked them about it prior to BB’s arrival, they told me to stay inside and bolt my gate,” one resident told me.

The former chief of the ISI Hamid Gul spoke on a segment on Dawn News TV, where he asked, rhetorically, why the scene of the assassination washed out and cleaned up before forensics were allowed to assess it. Even within the supposedly monolithic intelligence agency there are ongoing questions and dissent being voiced. Where does that leave us?  ::snip::

And… a timely link from JJB in the previous thread… we are lost in deep politics and para-politics.

And lost in Iowa.



Assassino! 27 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, WAR!.

     Benazir Bhutto, after her remains are released from Rawalpindi hospital

Benazir Bhutto’s followers with her body, after release from Rawalpindi hospital.  Photo from TimesOnline…

Another one….

Asia Times is on winter break til the 2nd of January, with an advisory they will drop in and post as events warrant, so perhaps something by tonight…

IOZ says cui bono a bit vague at the moment… 😉  He also warns against too many tears for dear Benazir.  Not to worry!, we are pretty chill here.


Main suspects are warlords and security forces

The main suspects in the assassination are the foreign and Pakistani Islamist militants who saw Ms Bhutto as a Westernised heretic and an American stooge, and had repeatedly threatened to kill her.

But fingers will also be pointed at the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, (ISI) which has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition. Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide bomber struck at a rally in Karachi to welcome her back from exile.

Earlier that month two Pakistani militant warlords based in the country’s northwestern areas had threatened to kill her.

One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top militant commander fighting the Pakistani Army in South Waziristan, who has ties to al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban. The other was Haji Omar, the leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is also from South Waziristan and fought with the Afghan Mujahidin against the Soviets in Afghanistan. ::snip::


UPDATE, 3:03 pm —  bitter cold here….

Pulling this from Madman forward from the last thread:

     Madman in the Marketplace |
    Getty Images page of photos from the rally today, and the aftermath of the bomber.Dec 27, 10:41 AM  — Crazed little revolt on the castle grounds..


Crazed little revolt on the castle grounds.. 24 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements.

  http://trnorton.com  Tennessee Reid Norton

I have no idea what it is, but it looks appropriate to the season… I found it at the site of an animator [to be precise, he calls himself a “professional stop motionist”], Tennessee Reid Norton, and, in the spirit of the season, ripped it off, but with attribution


If anyone needs a christmas story, a real one — set in America today, there is this border story… via Counterpunch.


a bit and a thread…………. [updated] 21 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, AFRICOM, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.

  Brendan Smialowski Getty Images
      Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

“The reason she ought to be president, over and above her vision and her plans is that she has proven in every position she has ever had in life, whether it was in elected office or not, that she is a world-class genius in making positive changes in other people’s lives,” he said.

LOL – what can you do but laugh?  I have pondered this… with Obama compared to RFK as well as Lincoln – why no Eleanor for Hillary?  You know they compare her to Eleanor amongst themselves…. They musta polled and it did not do well.

Another snip:

Clinton stuck mostly to familiar themes in two hour-long appearances Thursday, describing at length what he views as the nation’s biggest challenges. Nearly 15 minutes into his first speech, he added almost as an afterthought that “everything I’m saying here is my wife’s position, not just mine.”


David Corn says with cash and a will to go on, we have – most likely – a slugfest on our hands.  Seems logical.  We KNOW we have slugs.

If he is not blown away by her in the final results, he will be able to carry on. Both Obama and Clinton have plenty of money. And campaigns tend to peter out only when the well gets dry. So Clinton and Obama will continue on to New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Duper Tuesday, a.k.a February 5, when 20-plus states will have primaries or caucuses.

The race could turn into a real slugfest. (Think of one of those Rocky movies.)

I never found a good solution for slugs, not salt, not a pan of beer.  All tht worked for me was collection, gathering them up, each in a plastic baggie and into the trash.  Asphixiation, basically…

Just as a flashback, the tally in Iowa in 2004 was 36 % for Kerry, then 25 for Edwards and 18 for Dean.  I don’t remember the details of the last DMR poll prior to caucus night, but I do recall it did not indicate that was coming.  Polls schmolls.


UPDATE, 11:03 pm – on a cold winter’s night…

I caught Harry Reid on TNH today and, as a xmas miracle, the transcrpt is up on a Friday night before the holiday:

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), Senate Majority Leader: Thank you very much for allowing me to be on your show.

It was all downhill from there... but, in light of an essay I read at HuffPo, there is a telling passage from Reid:

It was us, the Democrats, who realized that parents shouldn’t be buying armor and sending it to Iraq for their sons and daughters, so we pushed, and we got body armor.

We’re the ones that pushed for up-armoring the Humvees and other vehicles. We are the ones that put in the budget we just passed $3.7 billion more for veterans.

Of course, being reduced to this as “accomplishments” is admission of massive failure (in anything approaching a just world, that is), of the miltary apparatus, the congress and the country.

Some telling passages from Bromwich at Huffpo:

And then? The Democrats sat, and watched, and waited. They talked about their social policies. They knew if they waited long enough, the next move on Iraq would be the president’s; and this apparently was what they wanted. They knew that his next move would be to widen the war. They had decided by February that they would not stop him.


Those who appeared most consequential in the scene were not the real movers. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can hardly have carried as much weight in these larger deliberations as Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel. Senator Clinton outranked Senator Reid in fame, fortune, and influence; she was the apparent candidate by acclamation for the presidential race in 2008; and her desires, however conveyed, would count for more than those of an obscure and hesitant lawmaker.

Rahm Emanuel had taken credit for the winning election strategy of 2006. Ascending with the majority, he avoided the substantial issue of Iraq, and addressed the need to get the best armor for the soldiers already there. Emanuel talked about armor, and soon Pelosi was talking about armor. All the while, on the floor of the Senate and in public speeches, Hillary Clinton gave her best energies to free the president to go after Iran.

If the Clinton-Emanuel axis is indeed a more accurate clue to the workings of the party than Reid-Pelosi [oh they just wring their hands and front for the others — Mcat], one may well ask what guided the accommodation of the Bush policy through 2007 by the de facto leaders of the opposition.

 Sold down the river, and we all know it…

Four superbases, we were told in 2003, were to be built for Americans in Iraq, but now there are five or six. As Clinton and Emanuel know, those bases are meant to be permanent.

They will not be used only to secure Iraq and intimidate Iran, but to harry Russia by way of the friendly belt of former republics, and to raise a bulwark against the growing power of China. The missile interceptors we want to install in Poland and the radar station in the Czech Republic, about which Vladimir Putin was said to be unreasonably exercised, could indeed seem, to a suspicious eye, part of the same broad strategy. Camp Bondsteel, built on 955 acres in Kosovo, might also be supposed to make some contribution.

The vice president is not the only American who does not want the Cold War to be over.

To judge by the votes of the 110th Congress, and by what has and has not been said on the campaign trail, some understandings are now clearly in place. The main agreement concerns what is not to be said. If either Clinton or Obama [no need to limit the situation to just The Two  — Mcat] is the Democratic nominee, and if no new insurgency erupts, the Iraq war will drop away completely as an issue of the presidential race in 2008. 

Poor Harry… think the band on his Everlasts broke:

The only way we can get things done is working together. When we get things done, there’s credit for everybody. But I repeat what I said earlier in the show: Everything we’ve tried has been blocked.

We’ve had 62 filibusters that have stopped us from moving forward. We’ve had to work around all that. It’s very difficult to do.

And I’m glad to have Mitch [McConnell] saying that he thinks things are better. I appreciate that very much. I want to work together. I want to work with the White House; I want to work with the Republicans in the Senate.

And I hope that the things work out better next year. If it doesn’t, it certainly won’t be because I haven’t tried.

This nation talks of success, victory, power, dominion of all kinds over the world, engages in self-aggrandisement all day long, but the the reverberating echoes of the defeat, now and to come, is deafening.

I caught Barbara Lee the other day, catching her in the middle of a floorspeech, talking of “the war”, “the genocide”, “the starvation”, “the displacement” – in Darfur.  The Out of Iraq members in the house should disband and apologise for being used as a side show.

If we are not being broken in, and down, for war then we are being set up for war

[D]ebunking the claims of a “genocide against blacks” or an “Islamic holy-war” against Christians, Darfur’s Arab and black African ethnic groups have intermarried for centuries, and nearly everyone is Muslim. The “Save Darfur” campaign is deeply aligned with Jewish and Christian faith-based organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. These groups have relentlessly campaigned for Western military action, demonizing both Sudan and China, but they have never addressed Western military involvement—backing factions on all sides. By mobilizing constituencies sympathetic to the “genocide” label and the cries of “never again” they do a grave disservice to the cause of human rights.::snip::

     Nasser Nasser for AP via msnbc 
        Nasser Nasser for the AP, via MSNBC


“You have to show them you won’t vote for them” 19 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.

     Boston July 2004 
      Assassination? Terrorism? yeah right.

PBS tonight showed An Unreasonable Man, on Ralph Nader.  More than worth it, quite wonderful.

But in the middle was Lawrence O’Donnell… such a classic version of the Irish extraction doofus Dem strategist and whatever else, operative, bit of speech writing (get a glisten off those West Wing scripts)… and of course he said the very thing that matters:

You have to show them you won’t vote for them. 

He added the sub text, also classic… ”working inside the Democratic party”, he ”never had to listen to anything from the left”.

“They had nowhere to go”.

Ain’t it the truth. 

   Boston 2004

[I realise this is not news]


UPDATE, 1:07 am

Richard Holbrooke as street sweeper:

[S]enator Clinton has traveled to more than 80 countries, building relationships that will enable her to begin to restore America’s global standing, beginning on Day 1 of her Presidency. Senator Clinton is a passionate believer in diplomacy, negotiations, and the value of, well, American values. She would outlaw torture and close Guantanamo. She would make us proud again of our leadership role in the world. I know from extensive personal observation that she would be a superb negotiator and diplomat. Hillary would strengthen the U.N. and make it more effective, after the Bush Administration weakened it. :: spin and spit::

Go strangle a chicken, Dick.  You’ll feel better…


About to close the HuffPo (too tough to navigate, some popup or something is just a bear) but I see on their main Politics page (such as it is) that Ken Burns compared Obama to Lincoln.

Let me off this plane.


UPDATE, 12:23 pm

The kid is not stupid:

When Obama’s family heard they would be spending Christmas in a Des Moines hotel room, his 9-year-old daughter cried.

Craig Crawford’s blog at CQ


“Volunteer” military?

256 prisoners held at prisons in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the private military contractor, CACI. The suit alleges the prisoners were repeatedly sodomized, threatened with rape, kept naked in their cells, subjected to electric shock, attacked by unmuzzled dogs and subjected to serious pain inflicted on sensitive body parts.

The suit alleges that employees of CACI directed soldiers to mistreat the prisoners.

Volunteers for what and to whom


ffs! [encore ffs!] 16 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Divertissements, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Paris, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.

       mobile guillotine
It is supposedly a mobile guillotine used in Indre-et-Loire during the period of terror around 1794. The uprights were painted bright red so that the splattered blood could not be seen and it was driven by two coachmen when it had to be transported (always at night) from one city of the administrative department to another.   [ Musée Maurice Dufresne – 17, route de Marnay – 37190 Azay-le-Rideau ]

Now be honest, it is actually quite festive looking

I had to drag out a bit of Revolution to counter this flaming bullshit from the gentleman apologist at the AP, Charles Babington…

[a] new Democratic leadership team overestimated the impact of the Iraq war and the 2006 elections, learning too late they had no tools to force Bush and his allies to compromise on bitterly contested issues.

Both parties seem convinced that voters will reward them 11 months from now. And they agree that Congress’ gridlock and frustration are likely to continue until then – and possibly beyond – unless the narrow party margins in the House and Senate change appreciably.

In a string of setbacks last week, Democratic leaders in Congress yielded to Bush and his GOP allies on Iraqi war funding, tax and health policies, energy policy and spending decisions affecting billions of dollars throughout the government.  [affecting people too — Mcat]

The concessions stunned [don’t send this bunch to Casablanca — Mcat] many House and Senate Democrats, who saw the 2006 elections as a mandate to redirect the war and Bush’s domestic priorities.

Instead, they found his goals unchanged and his clout barely diminished.

Smelling salts to the fake battlefield!  — and loosen their metaphorical corsets.  I do believe they all fainted.

Bush’s scorched-earth strategy may prove riskier for Republicans who backed him, Hess said. Signs point to likely Democratic victories in the presidential and many congressional races next year, he said.  [it will not matter  — Mcat]

That is the keen hope of Congress’ Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

They have admitted that Bush’s intransigence on the war surprised them, as did the unbroken loyalty shown to him by most House and Senate Republicans[his party supported him, stunning!  — Mcat]

Empowered by Bush’s veto threats, Republican lawmakers rejected Democratic efforts to wind down the war, impose taxes on the wealthy to offset middle-class tax cuts, roll back tax breaks on oil companies to help promote renewable energy and conservation, and greatly expand federal health care for children.  [well… that is one version! — Mcat]

Pelosi on Friday cited “reckless opposition from the president and Republicans in Congress” in defending her party’s modest achievements.

Americans remain mostly against the war, though increasingly pleased with recent reductions in violence and casualties, an AP-Ipsos poll showed earlier this month. While a steady six in 10 have long said the 2003 invasion was a mistake, the public is now about evenly split over whether the U.S. is making progress in Iraq.  [bingo!  the “surge” was all about domestic politics — Mcat]

Opposition to the war is especially strong among the Democratic Party’s liberal base. Some lawmakers say Pelosi and Reid should have told those liberal activists to accept more modest changes in Iraq, tax policies and spending, in the name of political reality.  [don’t worry, they did say FU!  over and over… — Mcat]

“They never learned to accept the art of the possible,” said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., a former majority leader who is partisan but willing to work with Democrats. “They kept going right up to the limit and exceeding it, making it possible for us to defeat them, over and over again,” Lott said in an interview.

He cited the Democrats’ failed efforts to add billions of dollars to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which Bush vetoed twice because of the proposed scope and cost. A somewhat smaller increase was possible, Lott said, but Democrats refused to negotiate with moderate Republicans until it was too late.

“They thought, ‘We’re going to win on the politics, we’ll stick it to Bush,'” Lott said. “That’s not the way things happen around here.”

Oh it must smart to be lectured to by Lott.  Son of the Confederacy.

[D]emocrats should force Republicans into all-day and all-night sessions for a week or two, said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar for the right-of-center think tank American Enterprise Institute. The tactic wouldn’t change senators’ votes, he said, but it might build public awareness and resentment of GOP obstructionists in a way that a one-night talkfest cannot.

To date, Reid has resisted such ideas, which would anger and inconvenience some Democratic senators as well as Republicans.

hmmm mmm.


Thanks to Madman for the link to The Culture GhostThe Opposition Party?


UPDATE, 3:23 pm

FFS! encore!

The Hill-o-raptor (as I call it)…


Gee.  That just looks so safe……


storm :: port :: thread 14 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

   storm in Scanectady NY
   Paul Buckowski/Albany Times Union, via Associated Press

Neil Seyboth and his dog, Jack, took a walk in Schenectady, N.Y., on Sunday as a storm brought snow and rain along the East Coast [April 2007]

… just a thread………..


Tour de Farce…….. 13 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.


oh indescribably yum!, on the front page of the Wapo for Thursday

As they mumble, grumble, bitch and moan and, above all else, point the finger (short and limp as it is, lacking knuckles, they TRY to point):

Democrats in each chamber are now blaming their colleagues in the other for the mess in which they find themselves. The predicament caused the majority party yesterday surrender to President Bush on domestic spending levels, drop a cherished renewable-energy mandate and move toward leaving a raft of high-profile legislation, from addressing the mortgage crisis to providing middle-class tax relief, undone or incomplete.

“If there’s going to be a filibuster, let’s hear the damn filibuster,” Rangel fumed. “Let’s fight this damned thing out.” [like he cares… GMAFB!  –Mcat] […] 


Asked about his decision on government funding, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) groused to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call:

“I’ll tell you how soon I will make a decision when I know how soon the Senate sells us out.” [whiner!  bitcher!  — Mcat]

Senate Democrats have fired back, accusing Pelosi and her liberal allies of sending over legislation that they know cannot pass in the Senate, and of making demands that will not gain any GOP votes. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) noted that, this summer, Reid employed just the kind of theatrics Rangel and other House Democrats are demanding, holding the Senate open all night, pulling out cots and forcing a dusk-till-dawn debate on an Iraq war withdrawal measure before a vote on war funding. […and it ws fake!  …and everyone knew!  whiners!  bitchers!  fakers!  — Mcat]   Democrats gained not a single vote after the all-night antics.

“I understand the frustration; we’re frustrated, too,” Bayh said. “But holding a bunch of Kabuki theater doesn’t get anything done.”  [be sure and add that it is BAD theatre!  — Mcat]  […]

Round and round it goes, where it ends… who the fuck cares by now:

As they wrap up their first year in control of the entire Capitol since 1994, Democrats are trying to prove that they can be an equal partner to Bush. But their first 11 months have been politically and legislatively brutal, with congressional approval ratings dropping this week to 32 percent, a notch below Bush’s 33 percent, according to the latest Washington PostABC News poll. Their support plummeted as the liberal base grew outraged over the Democratic inability to counter the president on any war issue, while moderates and centrists looking for bipartisan kitchen-table accomplishments instead saw partisan gridlock. The disputes have at times taken on starkly personal tones. In closed-door bicameral leadership meetings, Pelosi has questioned Reid’s intentions on issues such as war funding tied to troop withdrawal timelines and an alternative minimum tax fix that is fully funded by tax increase offsets, suggesting that his words have not always matched his actions.

    Bloomberg photo, Jan 5 2007 

      Bloomberg photo, from a Jan 5 2007 article, first grafs:

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said they won’t support any proposal by President George W. Bush to increase U.S. forces in Iraq, an option he is considering as he works on a new plan to quell sectarian violence there.

“Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain,” the top two congressional Democratic leaders wrote in a letter to Bush. “It would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.”

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said Democrats are considering options to limit the U.S. involvement, including setting a cap on U.S. troop levels and requiring Bush to obtain congressional approval to exceed it.

On page 2 of the Wapo article, there is talk of irritation between Reid and Pelosi, over pulling earmarks (I have seen him on TV, he becomes nearly hysterical if you challenge him on earmarks, as does Murtha who snaps to something close to incoherent rage… I am sure the WH uses its power, too, to control what might be driven to their states and districts) and chit chat about the Republicans forcing the filibuster.  Weep weep… throw them a hankie… the big baaad Republicans are so mean!

Yeah right.  Impossible to believe them, much less care.

I have not toured the tulle, tutu and toe shoe wearing Blahgs and Box Car sites, but I am sure it is amusing. 

The lame duck jumps all over the toothless Dems.


Because you were dying to know (NOT!)…. 11 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Celebrity Endorsement Count

Do celebrity endorsements matter to voters? Most say no, big names don’t drive voters to the polls — or sway their ultimate decisions. But they do create a buzz — the Oprah Winfrey coverage could continue right through the week — and prompt softer, personality-driven reporting on Obama.

So we at On Call have compiled an endorsement list for all the candidates. The Dems, not surprisingly, outshine the Republicans. If we’ve missed any, let us know …


Hillary Clinton:
Tony Bennett
Barbara Streisand
Magic Johnson
Maya Angelou
Steven Spielberg
Rob Reiner
John Grisham
Carly Simon
Mary Steenburgen
Ted Danson
Billie Jean King
Victoria Rowell
Quincy Jones
Carole King

Barack Obama:
Oprah Winfrey
George Clooney
Scarlett Johanson
Will Smith
Halle Barry
Zach Braff
Jessica Biel

John Edwards:
Jackson Browne
Kevin Bacon
Tim Robbins
Bonnie Raitt
John Mellencamp
Jean Smart
Madeleine Stowe
Lance Armstrong

Chris Dodd:
Paul Simon
Lorne Michaels
Richard Plepler
Paul Newman (did an event for Dodd in Ct., but hasn’t endorsed officially)

Bill Richardson:
Unser brothers (racing legends)
Lee Iacocoa
Martin Sheen

Dennis Kucinich
Sean Penn


Rudy Giuliani:
Bo Derek
Robert Duvall
Kelsey Grammer
Cheryl Ladd
Dennis Miller
John O’Hurley
Adam Sandler
Tom Selleck
Ron Silver
David Zucker

Mike Huckabee:
Chuck Norris
Ric Flair

Fred Thompson:
Pat Sajak

John McCain:
Curt Schilling

Mitt Romney:
Randy Owen


Posted at 03:55 PM |

snagged whole from Hotline on Call…. also Carole Shea Porter (D-NH) has endorsed Obama, as has Hodes.  Maya Angelou has a radio commercial up for Hillary, “my girl” in SC — and, again according to HoC, Bob Vila is in Iowa to stump for Hillary.

MyDD has post up on a poll taken in SC over the weekend, so as OprahPalooza mit Obama and wif were stumping…. some moves of AA votes (LOL prospective votes!) but not a budge (yet! keep hoping!) for white votes.

For some reason, the MyDD poster is surprised:

The shift appears to be due almost entirely to African-American voters who as recently as Dec. 3-4, when the latest Rasmussen poll was in the field, had been found to be abandoning Senator Clinton although it wasn’t clear yet that they were sold on Senator Obama. Thanks to Oprah Winfrey, that appears to be changing.

I find the the fact that Oprah is moving African-American voters exclusively fairly fascinating considering her cultural impact so clearly transcends race.

Just repeating what I posted earlier, this will move some smallish number of Black votes in NC (they go to the polls Jan 29 iirc) and be virtually a wash in Iowa and NH… In my opinion that is.  People might remember she did a full week of promo for Beloved… hmmm?  And her offering this season is a very white rendition of a Mitch Albom story…

gah. Twice over.

In case you need amusement – and I do – here is a treat of juvenalia that I landed on during the night… 8)

Frankly, the best solution would probably be for Bush to come clean on what he authorized and throw himself on the mercy of the electorate. He could just say that he went too far in an excess of caution, and that the buck stops with him. We could probably forgive him…at least we could forego impeaching him or prosecuting the people that followed his orders.

We might even tolerate some extensive pardons. But that is very unlikely to happen. And if the president is not going to accept blame and responsibility, we have little choice but to treat his crimes as crimes. Torture is, after all, a war crime. It’s illegal, as is destroying evidence and lying to federal prosecutors and judges. I know the Village desperately wants to avoid holding people to account for these crimes, but we have a little thing called the rule of law and people’s rights. We can’t just jettison them because they make us feel bad about ourselves.


Carrying a comment of HCfM forward, in the spirit of my little story below:

Et Tu Susan?

Adalah-New York was understandably upset that Susan Sarandon went shopping at the grand opening of Leviev, the jewelry store owned by a Russian/Israeli Jew who has backed the settlements in the West Bank. Adalah wrote her a letter, asking her to cut her ties with the store. Sarandon’s people emailed them back. “We received the information you sent. Ms. Sarandon will do her own exploration on this topic before drawing any conclusions.” Adalah is saying happily that Sarandon is “exploring” the character of the store. This is absurd. No one needs to do an “exploration”; support for the settlements is patently offensive, as offensive as support for Jim Crow in the ’60s. Sarandon, a leftwinger, should join the outcry, and try to redeem the New York liberal establishment on this question


Other than that, we have (I think) a rat on our little back alley.  I had heard sightings of leavings (to be delicate) but the problem had not reached my house or back garden… however… today, when I went to my enclosed back porch to put out a bag (double bagged and tied) of garbage I had put there last night, whatever it is had gotten to my porch and had tried to get at the garbage.

Oh ugh.  Rats, how appropriate to the political season…