This page shows all the posts for the "2006 Elections" Category from E Pluribus Unum
The most current posts are on the main page.

March 13, 2007

White House Implicated Again In Revenge Killing

First, VPOTUS chief of staff Scooter Libby killed Valerie Plame's career (under orders from his boss) to stop Joe Wilson. After his indictment, he resigned. Then, taking a page out of the Jack Ruby manual on law enforcement, WH deputy chief of staff Karl Rove stabbed Scooter in the back to protect the president.

Now it turns out that AG Alberto Gonzalez' newly-resigned chief of staff Kyle Sampson (under orders from his boss?) killed the careers of 8 Federal prosecutors who wouldn't play dirty and supress Democratic votes before the last election. And, in a giddy coincidence, it turns out that WH counsel Harriet Miers' fingerprints were all over this fiasco as well. She, at least, had the good sense get out of the WH 6 weeks ago (shinnying down a bed-sheet ladder in the dead of night), long enough before this latest firestorm to prompt her boss to soon ask the question, "Harriet who? Never heard of her."

Thomas Nast couldn't have come up with a more vile bunch of thugs and bandits (left, click to view larger image).

[Note: This classic Nast political cartoon is entitled “A Group of Vultures Waiting for the Storm to ‘Blow Over’—‘Let Us Prey”]

February 02, 2007

Impeach Bush before he starts a war with Iran (updated)

Cenk Uygur pleads with the Republican party to come to their senses and stop Bush before he starts a war with Iran:

Gas prices at ten dollars a gallon, bombings all over the world, our troops trapped in the Middle East, trillions wasted. How on God's green earth do you think you're going to recover from that?
It's the Republicans who have to realize that this administration threatens their very existence...[I]n 2008 when the Republicans are run out of town en masse and the party is nearly finished historically, people will say, "Why didn't someone warn us?" Well, I'm warning you now. Please, either for your own political advantage or for the antiquated idea of actually helping the country, remove these guys from power before they do more damage. Otherwise, we will all live to regret it.
Uygur, a progressive Democrat, doesn't bother pleading with them: Why not?

[The Dems] stand to gain nearly universal power if this administration actually starts a disastrous war with Iran. Nobody will vote for a Republican on the national level for another twenty years.
This is, of course, why the Democrats are diddling around with non-binding resolutions. They believe that this is Bush's war and they want none of the blame that will be assigned when, someday soon, we all see those helicopters lifting our people off the roof of some building in the Green Zone.

It's smart politics...except our troops will continue to die for a mistake. And, oh yeah, that part about the looming Iran war.

The only Democrat so far who has spoken out is Russ Feingold (and maybe Chris Dodd) who, rumor has it, is going to join the Republicans in filibustering the Warner-Levin non-binding resolution. His reasoning?

Some have argued that any legislative vehicle that could be spun as a rejection of the President’s policies would be worth supporting. I understand that strategy, and it may sound good to some. But when all the spinning is done, what we are left with is the actual text of the legislation, which is an endorsement of the open-ended commitment of the U.S. military in Iraq.

It’s time for Congress to end our military involvement in this war. We must redeploy our troops from Iraq so that we can focus on the global threats that face us.
I understand how important it is to send a clear message to the White House. But we shouldn’t make the compromises made in this resolution just to beat a filibuster. Instead of trying to pass something that everyone can get behind, we should be taking a strong stand. If others want to block it, go right ahead. We have the support of a majority of Americans behind us. We should recognize that and act on it.

Good for him. His voice must be heard.

UPDATE: Breaking news: U.S. not planning for war with Iran, Gates says

SusanG responds:

Leave aside for the minute any analysis of whether Gates is speaking the truth here, or whether recent actions fall into line with his statement. Just consider how frog-boiled this nation has become in the piping hot water provided by the Bush administration since 9/11. Reporting that we’re not going to war – in effect, declarations of non-events – now make up one of the main news stories of the day. We don’t even blink an eye. In fact, we breathe a sigh of relief that at least in official statements, the country has not gone to war between the time when we laid our heads upon our pillows last night and when we staggered to the coffeemaker this morning.

Pity a once-proud country that now rises each day to take comfort in the fact that it hasn’t attacked, or officially planned to attack, another country overnight. And that this is considered headline news.

January 31, 2007

Libertarians handed Senate to Democrats in '06

Apparently, the Libertarian vote in Montana and Missouri was greater than the Democratic margin of victory in both states:

Missouri Senate

McCaskill (D) 1,047,049
Talent (R) 1,001,238
Gilmour (L) 47,504

Montana Senate

Tester (D) 198,302
Burns (R) 195,455
Jones (L) 10,324

I'm tempted to say that Republicans finally paid the price for wanting to shrink government small enough so that it'll fit into your bedroom. However that would be a generalization that probably doesn't apply to either state's voters.

Maybe a more accurate observation would be that mingling religion into policy decisions on stem-cell research was a bad idea. That's closer to the truth of what happened in Missouri, where Claire McCaskill campaigned heavily in favor of the state's stem-cell initiative.

As for Montana, I'm not sure why the Libertarians turned on incumbent Repulbican Sen. Burns. After all, he was a gun-totin, horseback-ridin cowboy, right? Maybe they just saw him as another corrupt member of the big-spending-Washington-insiders' club.

Whatever it is, it shows (again -- remember Florida 2000?) that 3rd parties can still make a big difference in a close election, even when their candidates lose.

(HT to Kos)

December 31, 2006

My Top Ten Most Popular Videos of 2006

This is the Top Ten list of most popular videos I created in 2006. They were posted on both YouTube and Google Video.

10. Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival
This is a 5-minute preview of the films being shown at the festival in January, 2007.

9. Amnesia
Inspired by David Byrne's song of the same name.

8. New Orleans Jazzfest 2006
The international music festival returns to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

7. Jesus Hates Democrats, So Vote AGAINST Stem-Cell Research
Passion of the Christ star Jim Caviziel gets creepy in an anti-stem cell research ad that ran in Missouri. This ad was eventually banned from YouTube -- but the proposition to support stem-cell research won, carrying Claire McCaskill into the Senate.

6. Tai Chi & Cool Jerk
My first video.

5. New Orleans Mardi Gras
Laissez les bon temps rouler! This video is the next best thing to being there.

4. My ad gets shown on The Colbert Report!
You're nobody til Stephen Colbert disses you. Crum-believable!

3. Bring 'Em Home
My daughter and I shot this one day at a municipal park in suburban Detroit; the music is from Bruce Springsteen.

2. Multiple ads for Democratic challengers
As a lark, I did 5 ads for Democratic congressional challengers: Patrick Murphy (PA-08), Paul Hodes (NH-02), Linda Stender (NJ-07), Jerry McNerney (CA-11), and Nancy Skinner (MI-09). I also did a generic ad for the Democratic party. Most got posted on candidate blogs and web sites, etc. Then Carol Gay (NJ-04) saw them and asked me to do one for her campaign. Eventually, Stephen Colbert saw THAT one and the rest is history -- see #4 above. [P.S. Carol lost, but many of the others won.]

And the #1 most popular video of mine from 2006 is...

1. Vote Republican (Because Jesus Hates Democrats)
A YouTuber sent me a video response to one of my candidate ads and I couldn't tell if he was being serious or not. So I, um, tweaked it to remove all doubt. An instant classic!

December 30, 2006

Top Ten Articles Cross-Posted at Daily Kos

(This article was, of course, cross posted at Daily Kos)

Yesterday I listed the ten most read posts at E Pluribus Unum.

Today I'm listing my Top Ten "high-impact" diaries cross-posted at Daily Kos.

First, a word of explanation:

As you may know, there are thousands of diaries (posts) per day at Daily Kos. A tiny percentage become "recommended diaries" and are highlighted on a side-bar panel. An even tinier percentage are placed on the front page of the site. The vast majority of diaries come and go like waves lapping on the beach -- coming and going and being constantly replaced by new waves that also come and go. A "high-impact" diary represents the middle ground between a recommended diary and one of those waves on the beach. It is one of those diaries that gets the "optimum" combination of recommendations, comments and commenters. The system is somewhat arbitrary. Nonetheless, once a day, the high-impact diaries are recognized and share a brief moment of recognition.

These, then, are the diaries I posted at Daily Kos that recieved this recognition in 2006:

10. Connect dots:Cheney,Whittington=Bush lied under oath? (2/13)

8. (tie) Do the Democrats Have A Ground Game Like THIS One? (9/24)

8. (tie) (POLL) Dem Response To al-Maliki (7/25)

7. Fourth Generation Warfare: "You have to hunt like a network to defeat a network." (8/15)

6. NJ-04: Crum-believable! Colbert disses my ad for Carol Gay! (10/23)

5. Screw The Polls: Watch Prediction Markets (8/25)

4. Bush: Hiding a Serious Heart Condition? (8/23)

3. When Bush Taunts, Don't Defend: Attack Him Back HARD (6/29)

2. I'm an anti-war, yellow-dog Democrat -- and a Zionist, too (7/14)

And the highest impact diary I posted to Daily Kos in 2006 was...

1. Suskind: CIA knew "Osama backed Bush re-election" (6/21)

December 29, 2006

Top Posts of 2006

Without further ado (or waiting til Dec. 31), here are E Pluribus Unum's most-read posts of 2006:

10. Dad Gave Me The Keys (Mark Adams)

Wow, a real blog. How cool is this.
Mark's debut at EPU! Dude -- how cool are you?

9. Ohio Republicans, Offers That Can't Be Refused (Mark Adams)

In France, you can't even get away with taking a Viagra before a silly bike race. If they could prove that the Browns and the Cavaliers were "fixing" point spreads, or the Indians were throwing games, there'd be riots on Euclid Avenue. Push some inconvenient voters in the wrong direction, undermine our very democracy, and it's just business as usual.

8. Movie trailer mash-ups
Where else are you going to see the movie trailer for Brokeback To Future? OK, besides and every other blog and website on the Internets. All I can say is: God bless Google.

7. Marbury vs. Madison
I posted this in April, 2005 and it is still one of the most widely-read things I've ever written. It has bounced around in the top 50 sites (out of 175 thousand) at Google for the eponymous keyword phrase -- and it made a star out of our buddy Wince from Kansas:

Some would say God's Law is most high. Perhaps it is, as defined (for example) in the Bible. But we are not a nation that is governed by the church or the temple. Even if we were, all you have to do is look at the Talmud to understand that there is always more than one opinion about everything.

No, we are not a government ruled by the church. We are a government of the people, for the people and by the people. We follow a document that WE wrote.

Some would hope that God guided us in that ongoing endeavor. But if that is the case, it is also certainly true that God helps those who helps themselves.

It's hard to make your way through the difficult questions Wince, I know. But we all agreed, long ago, that this was a job for the people to do. We don't wait for God to judge these difficult cases for us.

6. What does leadership mean?

I think it was Chris Matthews who said voters respond most favorably to the candidate who can best articulate the following simple message: "Follow me!"
Bush did it better than Kerry and he won. The End.

5. Intelligent Design: “The sky is blue because God wants it that way.”
The title (and the post) is borrowed from Nobel Prize winner Eric Cornell. What more is there to add?

4. Commerce Committee to Vote on Net Neutrality Wednesday
This post contained the names and numbers of the everyone on the Senate Commerce Committee and I urged you to call them and tell them to support the Snowe/Dorgan amendment. Net Neutrality survived -- for now. Stay tuned.

3. Top Ten Chuck Norris Facts
Jeez, I didn't even write it. And/But this post ranks #9 out of 480 thousand sites listed on Google. I'm baffled...but endlessly amused (along with, apparently, the rest of the Internets):

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly, the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw was a fatal roundhouse kick delivered by Chuck Norris.

2. Foley Scandal: What's up with Rep. Rodney Alexander?
Major hat tip to Miss Julie, who asked the title question thereby inspiring this post, early in the Foley scandal.

And the #1 most widely-read post of the year...

1. Bush-Cheney Escape War Crimes Prosecution
Go ahead, click the link -- you'll notice that this post was "dugg" 854 times so far (and viewed nearly 4 thousand times at Google Video -- with a strange spike in traffic on the day after Christmas). It's Jack Cafferty breathing fire:

Under the War Crimes Act, violations of the Geneva Conventions are felonies, in some cases punishable by death. When the Supreme Court ruled that the Geneva Convention applied to al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, President Bush and his boys were suddenly in big trouble.
I'll say. Senator Bill Frist, Congressman Dennis Hastert and their Republican stooges passed the Military Commission Act of 2006, destroying habeas corpus -- and allowing Bush-Cheney to get away without a scratch. This is a story that historians will be telling for decades to come.

P.S. Sometime soon, I promise to post E Pluribus Unum's Top 10 most widely viewed videos -- including the one of Stephen Colbert showing (and dissing) my ad for congressional candidate, Carol Gay.

December 10, 2006

Greenwald: Rahm Emanuel Lied? Duh!

by Mark Adams

It's rare that I disagree with Glenn Greenwald, who concludes Did Rahm Emanuel lie about his knowledge of Mark Foley? Yes.: "

Certainly Emanuel attempted to create a false impression while staying, repeatedly, on point -- clinging to the technically accurate, yet misleading, "Never saw them [the Foley E-Mails]."

Now it's being reported that, in fact, Emanuel had indeed heard of, but not seen the salacious propositions of Congressional Pages by the disgraced Congressman, the finger pointing towards a democratic party "dirty trick" releasing this to the press has more credibility.

Glenn asks us to look to the video of Emanuel on ABC where he's asked point-blank, several times, whether he was "aware" of the e-mails, to which he repeats that he "never saw them."

Independent of the question of whether Emaneul "technically lied" -- and far more important -- is the fact that Emanuel was clearly and deliberately misleading. Any reasonable person would have come away from that interview (as I know I did) with the strong impression that Emanuel was completely unaware of any e-mails sent by Foley to the pages, and that he had no reason to know anything was amiss with Foley until ABC broke the story.
Glenn, really? I'm astonished that a wise watcher of all things political couldn't instantly spot that this was weaseling behavior by the head of the DCCC from the get-go. Emanuel was obviously too Clintonesque in this interview.

That's what I took out of it when I saw it. But I also admired the lawyerly way Bill Clinton himself split the hair on the word "is" back in the day. What's not to admire about dexterous word-smiting.

It was quite obvious that Rahm Emanuel was being less than completely candid, and if you missed that, and are now indignant, start paying more attention. He may not have seen any evil, but he was certainly speaking a lot of evil, and now we know it was because he heard some evil.

November 16, 2006

Political Odds & Sods, Thursday afternoon

  • Hoyer beats Murtha. Honestly I'm thrilled that there is a Democratic Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. The rest is detail. As for the traditional media calling it "a setback for Pelosi," get a life -- she's the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives. So far, so good. [P.S. Apparently, the Blue Dogs are not happy with Pelosi's pick, Alcee Hastings, for the Intelligence Committee.]

  • Rahm and Dean shake hands and call it a day. And Carville? Not so much.

  • I saw the headline about the University of California police shooting a student with a taser and ignored it. Why borrow trouble, you know? Then, after seeing it several more times, I finally watched the cellphone video. Honestly, there isn't much to see but, my God, the audio alone is profoundly disturbing. What I don't get is why they tased him, again and again, once he was on the ground. If all they wanted was to take him away, they should have simply cuffed him and dragged him off after the first taser brought him down.

  • The Times wrings its hands in despair over Iraq:
    ...[W]e are sure that even a few weeks more of drift and confusion will guarantee more chaos and suffering once American troops leave. Voters gave the Democrats the floor — and are now waiting to hear what they have to say.
    That's rich -- the Times went along for years while Bush's disastrous Iraq policy unfolded; now that the voters have thrown those bums out of Congress, the editors demand that the Democrats do something about it NOW, or else.

  • Arianna's on a Time Magazine panel to discuss their upcoming Person of the Year issue. Her top pick is Murtha; but her fallback picks are more interesting, among them Stewart & Colbert.

  • Sen. Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation on Thursday to amend the horrific Military Commissions Act, restoring habeas corpus, narrowing the definition of "unlawful enemy combatant," limiting the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions, barring the use of information obtained through coercion, and more. Not a moment too soon.

  • I grew up in Michigan during the years that George Romney was the governor (and a one-time presidential aspirant). So I'm familiar with Romney family mojo. That said, I didn't take Mitt Romney's presidential aspirations seriously until I read today that it was Romney's Bain Capital group that was one of the parties that bought Clear Channel Communications for a cool $19 billion. Holy crap! Most candidates just buy ad time. Romney bought an advertising empire.

November 14, 2006

Thank You Sidharth

by Mark Adams

Never doubt that a small group of comitted individuals can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. -Margarate Mead

Things to Think About:

There's no doubt that the margin of Webb's win over Allen was far smaller than the margin provided by the instant disgust and ensuing fallout from the 'Macaca' comments. Given that, it's literally true that S.R Sidharth, the slurred Webb staffer, flipped the Senate. Himself. His very presence at that event, when combined with Allen's bigotry, ended Republican rule over Congress. So while Isaac Chotiner ably rounds up the various Allen advisors disgraced by their boss's implosion, we should all take a moment to think fondly of Sidharth, the lowly staffer who won Democrats the Senate.

(Via Ezra Klein.)

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. -George Carlin

November 11, 2006


by Mark Adams
Crossposted at Mark's New Site
(Please update your bookmarks and feeds.)

What seems like a couple hundred years ago, I wrote my first blog post. It was about my morbid fascination with the bloviating Rush Limbaugh.

That was before Air America (actually just days before it launched), before Rush was outed as a drug addict, and well before he admitted that everything he said in support of the Bush Administration and the rubberstamp GOP Congress was a Big. Fat. Lie.

Rush and his cohorts ignored the real problems of this country for too long, opting instead to demonize anyone with the temerity to realistically examine our situation (let alone offer a solution) unless they had an "R" next to their name. It's time for America, at long last, to ignore Rush Limbaugh.

Continue reading "Fraud!" »

Rove Speaks

Mike Allen interviews Karl Rove and -- crikey! -- is this guy in denial or what?:
"Iraq mattered," Rove says. "But it was more frustration than it was an explicit call for withdrawal. If this was a get-out-now call for withdrawal, then Lamont would not have been beaten by Lieberman. Iraq does play a role, but not the critical, central role."
First of all, a Democrat beat another Democrat in Connecticut -- and Rove takes comfort in that? But more importantly he ignores the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the room: twenty-five thousand US casualties, six hundred thousand Iraqi casualties, a war-wrapped-in-a-lie-turned-into-a-quagmire and somehow that doesn't play a central role in his party's historic defeat? Hel-lo?
"My job is not to be a prognosticator," he said. "My job is not to go out there and wring my hands and say, 'We're going to lose.' I'm looking at the data and seeing if I can figure out, Where can we be? I told the President, 'I don't know where this is going to end up. But I see our way clear to Republican control.' "
Rove is a Texan accustomed to playing poker. He's been bluffing for a long time and the traditional media has folded each time the stakes were high. But this time he couldn't play the Iraq card and he got his ass handed to him.
"I see this as much more of a transient, passing thing," he said. "The Republican Party remains at its core a small-government, low-tax, limit-spending, traditional-values, strong-defense party. I see the power of the ideas, even in a tough year." He added that he has "fundamental confidence in the power of the underlying agenda of this President," and cited fighting the war on terror, entitlement reform, energy, tax cuts, immigration reform, No Child Left Behind reauthorization, democracy agenda in the Middle East, reducing trade barriers, spending restraint and legal reform.
Honestly, if I were Rove, I'd say the same thing. But the problem for this crew is that we're six years into their song and dance. Everyone has had enough. We know now that we cannot believe anything they say. We know that is only matters what they do. And their record is pretty bad. Bad enough to have soured a large portion of the electorate on their platform.

Rove goes on to spout a ton of historical statistics about midterm elections, as if to lessen the impact of what really happened here. And/But no matter how many "averages" he wants to point to, very few historical analogies match this one -- in one day, the sitting President's party lost control of an entire branch of the government. That's only happened once before in my lifetime -- and I go back to the first Eisenhower administration.

Rove is an enthusiastic historian, but even he has trouble coming up with a parallel for this wild week. "We may look back and see this as a unique expression," he said.
Ya think??

Next Up for Rove: Celebrity Poker on Bravo

CARI.Rove.gifOk, that's a joke, but you know, Rove's mojo was always about the bluffing.
ROVE: I'm looking at all of these [polls] and adding them up. I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to THE math.
Robert Siegel of NPR folded when Rove gave him the stink-eye that day. And so did many others in the media over the years.

But after last Tuesday, it may finally be over for Turdblossom. We've seen his "tells" one time too many.

November 10, 2006

Polls: Why Rasmussen Should Get A Prize

Simply put, they nailed it, calling 11 out of 12 Senate races...


...and calling 12 out of 13 gubernatorial races:

Continue reading "Polls: Why Rasmussen Should Get A Prize" »

It's about Iraq, stupid (part trois)

Arianna Huffington:
Everywhere you look, "experts" are sifting through the rubble of last night and offering standard-issue, conventional wisdom-approved explanations for the GOP's defeat....[But] the GOP lost for three reasons: Iraq, Iraq, and Iraq. Period. End of discussion. Election Day 2006 was an unambiguous repudiation of the Bush administration's failed and tragic policy in Iraq.
She gets it and she backs it up with a list of nearly a dozen candidates who ran strongly against the war and beat established incumbents. She cuts the other way, too, citing several Democratic candidates who ignored the issue and lost (including Lamont!).

And another thing: this nonsense about the country becoming more conservative -- how many Democrats won by being more conservative than their opponents? Can you name one?

So to all the Republicans who think they lost by ignoring the commandments of conservatism: you sound like the old Marxists who still believe that communism can work if you just really, really, just give it another chance.

November 09, 2006

Election postmortem

It's been widely reported that the two most salient issues for voters who went Democratic were the war and Congressional corruption. Generally this favored Democrats who were against the war and hurt Republicans who were perceived as corrupt.

But what if you had a corrupt Democrat -- but one who was also against the war?

Republicans conducted a poll to use against Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat, who was battered by accusations of corruption and who was running against Thomas Kean Jr., an initial supporter of the war. Respondents were given a choice between a candidate with a history of corruption, facing possible indictment, versus a candidate who supported the war. Each received 40 percent, a sobering finding for Republicans.
P.S. Menendez beat Kean.

As for the so-called genius of Karl Rove, I think we can all agree that the guy has always been a masterful poker player -- no one could bluff like that pudgy Texan. But in order to bluff effectively, you have to have decent cards once in a while. This year, it was not to be:

Until the end, keeping in character and hewing to longstanding political strategy, Mr. Rove presented an optimistic front, telling anyone who would listen that the party would hold control of the House and the Senate. Now, his aides say they knew a month ago how much trouble they were in, at least in the House. Three weeks before the election, various efforts to crunch polling data and find a path toward success kept coming to the same best case result: the Democrats would take 17 seats.

Sara Taylor, the White House political director, said that she had still seen a way to win before Election Day but that it would have required holding an "inside straight."

But those kinds of cards were not in the deck for Rove, not this time, and so Turdblossom finally went down to defeat.

And Rahm Emmanuel? Elsewhere, I opined that Howard Dean was not getting enough credit for the Dems' victory. But Emmanuel was superior to Dean in a couple of respects: he was a a brutal competitor and a brilliant tactician -- easily Rove's match during this cycle. While it was Dean who led the way (early on) against the war, who pioneered the use of the Internet in fund-raising/community-building and who relentlessly promoted the (winning) strategy of a 50-state campaign, it was Emmanuel (and Schumer) who got into the trenches and fought with guns and knives to get their candidates elected. I want all of them on my team.

Gathered in the Oval Office with aides at dawn yesterday, Mr. Bush decided to add a name to his call list. “I’m going to call Rahm, the guy did a good job,” Mr. Bush said, according to an aide.

November 08, 2006

Odds & Sodds on the morning after Election Day

  • On a historic day when the opposition party swept the boards, I had to watch from the sidelines because not a single Democrat appeared on my local ballot. Welcome to south Louisiana.

  • Minnesota sends the nation's first Muslim to Congress. Will Michelle Malkin's head explode? I certainly hope so.

  • In 1994, Rush Limbaugh was dubbed "The Majority Maker" for his role as a Republican shill. And/But after that drug addict mocked Michael J. Fox's ads for Amendment II in Missouri, he might now rightfully be dubbed "The Majority Loser."

  • If you think the Republican minority will sit down and shut up, think again:
    [Grover] Norquist predicted that Bush would now govern largely through executive orders rather than working with Congress on legislation. The president could, for example, use orders to lighten the load of capital gains taxes by changing how they are calculated, Norquist said. One other possible executive order, he said, could excite conservative voters in time for the 2008 election: putting the late President Reagan on the $50 or $100 bill.
    The Democrats get another 12 hours or so to feel good about their victory. After that, it's time to play hardball with Bush-Cheney, Norquist and the other extremists in this administration.

  • Webb beat Allen, but there's a recount in the cards and the Attorney General of Virginia is an Allen partisan. I'm just saying. [Note: Maybe Allen forgoes the recount?]

  • Brad DeLong [via Kevin Drum] points out the size of yesterday's Senate blowout: Democrats won about 32 million votes compared to 24 million for Republicans.

  • Other than John McCain and Hillary Clinton, no other 2008 hopefuls were heard from yesterday -- not John Edwards, not Evan Bayh, not Rudy Giuliani, not anyone.

  • Denny Hastert will not run for a leadership position in the House Republican minority. Duh.

  • Voter turnout was more than 40 percent this year, slightly higher than in the last midterm election. And, for the first time in a midterm election since 1990, the Dems drew more voters than Republicans.

These new Dems sure are conservative!


Bush spanks Rove

Heard at today's White House press conference:

REPORTER: ...[M]ay I ask you if you have any metrics you'd be willing to share about your reading contest with Mr. Rove.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm losing. I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was. (Laughter.)

AUDIENCE: [As Bush turns slowly to stare at Rove]. Oooooh!

THE PRESIDENT: He's a faster reader...

Tester wins Montana, Dems lock down the Senate


Just ... wow.

NOW it's time to measure the drapes


Crum-believable -- the Dems win!

  • The Democratic wave overcomes the Republican levees.
    They win the House, the Senate (pending a recount in VA and late returns in MT), the majority of Governorships, and the majority of state legislative chambers (for the first time since 2000).

  • The Republican Party is looking more and more like a Southern Party.
    For the first time in many, many decades, the Congressional majority does not need the South.

  • Bush will speak at a press conference Wednesday afternoon
    Can't wait to hear how that goes. Can't wait to hear what Rove says. Mehlman too.

  • Speaking of Bush, we'll be seeing a lot of vetoes from now on.
    Shoe's on the other foot: now he'll be forced to reject a hike in the minimum wage, reject a repeal of the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices, reject a replenishing of student loan programs, reject funding of stem cell research and reject implementing those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished. In other words, the 2008 campaign for the presidency starts right now.

  • Big Winners
    Speaker Pelosi, Rahm Emmanuel, Howard Dean, Chuck Schumer. And, ahem, Joe Lieberman. They all deserve a victory lap, big-time.

  • Big Losers
    Rick Santorum, George Allen, Tom DeLay, J.D. Hayworth (AZ-05)**, Denny Hastert, George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman. "Dick" Cheney is a vampire so nothing can kill him.
** Congressman Hayworth is the fellow who distorted Jack Murtha's words, ramming through a vote in the House last November on whether the US should "cut and run" out of Iraq.

P.S. A special note of recognition should be accorded Massachusetts Governor-elect Deval Patrick, who becomes the nation's second black governor. He was overlooked in all the coverage of losers Michael Steele and Harold Ford.

(HT to Bill from Portland Maine for the title of this post)

November 07, 2006

Election Day Rendevouz With Destiny: 8pm ET

Walter Shapiro:
The Democrats will be heading for an epic House sweep, if, by 8 p.m. [ET], they have won three GOP-held Indiana seats, at least one in Kentucky, one in New Hampshire, one in Virginia (if Phil Keller knocks off Thelma Drake in the 2nd District) and a minimum of three in Ohio. That new math would give the Democrats nine new House seats -- leaving them just six pickups around the country short of making Nancy Pelosi speaker.

[Note: Dan Aibel did a similar analysis.]

Conversely, if by 8 p.m. Eastern, the Republicans have held their losses to, say, three seats, then the Democrats will once again be reeling from the hidden power of the GOP's turnout operation.

Go vote.

Odds & Sodds, Election Day

Summary of news and notes from around the sphere on Election Day:

Comments are working again; share your experience at the polls

Had some trouble with the comment file -- permissions were messed up. But now it's solved.

So, please feel free to leave a comment today and tell me what happened at your polling place when you went to vote.

November 06, 2006

Odds & Sodds

Just got back in town, too much to write about right now... scan the links below from Kos' front page:

Prediction thread
Both sides trumpet GOTV successes
VA-Sen: Voter suppression in Virginia
Wave and Anti-Wave
MD-Sen: More dirty tricks

I'm disturbed at the multiple reports of the NRCC placing thousands of "false-flag robocalls" in multiple states.

Other than that, I got nothing to add -- I'm still catching up on what's happened today. But obviously, the next 24 hours will reveal whether we'll see some sort of change of course or whether the Republicans will claim a mandate for God-knows-what for the next two years.

Editorial Cartoonists Pass Go, Collect $200

In a scheduling bonanza that probably gave Dick Morris a woody, "Dick" Cheney has gone to South Dakota to hunt pheasants on Election Day. With a shotgun.

November 05, 2006

Pin The Blame On The Donkey

by Mark Adams

The GOP hasn't lost a single seat yet, but the knives are sharp and ready for Tuesday's aftermath.

So, lemme get this straight.

Bush blames Kerry for "insulting" the troops by saying he said something he didn't say, that everybody knew he didn't say and didn't mean, and it just didn't matter.

GOP Majority Leader John Boehner blames the generals and it's no laughing matter, but his attempt to say the buck stops with the guys on the ground and not Rumsfeld, or Bush, isn't criticism of the military is truly a knee-slapper.

The Army Times blame Rumsfeld. evidently missing Boehner's memo and exposing itself as a tool of the Glorious Socialist Revolution For Make Benefit Of Liberal Mainstream Media.

Chalabi blames Wolfowitz, and the rest of the "Pentagon guys" for "chickening out" -- and if they'd listened to him the Iraqis wouldn't have any foreigners to blame.  No, really.

The neo-con chickenhawks spread blame all around, and if you only look at Vanity Fair when they've got a naked pregnant celebrity on the cover, Shakes has the money quotes.  I twist the words below ...

Continue reading "Pin The Blame On The Donkey" »

November 04, 2006

The Saddam Hussein Verdict: 1992 Los Angeles Riots all over again?

Shortly after you read this, the verdict in Saddam's trial will have been announced. I'll leave it to others to speculate as to whether or not the timing of this event was set by the US in order to exert maximum leverage on the midterm elections. If that is so, then I wonder if the rocket scientists in the White House considered that the aftermath may not, in fact, be favorable to the US, or more specifically, to the Republican Party that designed, implemented and managed this disastrous war in Iraq.

Here's what I mean by that:

On one hand, I suppose you might imagine that Bush's brain trust thought that it would be a good thing for people to be reminded of what a butcher Saddam really was. Perhaps Karl Rove thought that if people saw his (Saddam's) ugly mug on TV Sunday and Monday, they'd vote for the Republicans in gratitude for"bringing Saddam to justice."

Maybe so. But sometimes this kind of thing takes on a life of its own.

Consider this:

What if the image on TV Sunday morning isn't of Saddam in the dock, but, instead, Baghdad ablaze like the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after the verdict in the Rodney King police brutality verdict was announced?

Do you think anyone planned for that possibility?

November 03, 2006

Predicting the election outcomes on Friday afternoon, Nov. 3

I don't do predictions -- I watch the ones others make. That said, here are the ones I'm watching:

After seeing a resurgence in the price during September, the Intrade prediction market for "House GOP control" crashed in October and now stands at 25, i.e., traders believe there is only a 25% chance that the Republicans will hold onto their majority.

The prediction market for "Senate GOP control" stands at 69, although a couple of the individual races are very close.

Here are the market prices for seats that Dems look to flip:

  • MT-Sen: Tester 67
  • OH-Sen: Brown 92
  • PA-Sen: Casey 94
  • RI-Sen: Whitehouse 90
Here's one that the Dems look to lose:
  • TN-Sen: Corker 75
So, to capture the Senate, the Dems would have to win both of these seats, but they look to be too close to call:
  • MO-Sen: McCaskill 51, Talent 46
  • VA-Sen: Webb 49, Allen 48
The Intrade market traders don't think the Democrats can pull it off. But that doesn't stop Larry Sabato from saying that the Dems can do it -- he's calling for the Dems to net 6 seats, taking the Senate. He is also predicting that they'll get a net pick-up of 27 in the House and a net pick-up of 7 among the Governorships, for a 29-21 lead.

He also says this:

[T]he Crystal Ball cannot identify a single election for Senate, House or Governor in which a Republican is likely to succeed a Democrat in office. Just imagine how devastating an absolute shutout would be in the eyes of history if this proves to be true!

Sure, we could easily be fooled by more than a few outcomes in this regard on Election Night, and we would probably place the odds of this historical unlikelihood's occurrence at no better than 50/50. But the very notion such a scenario is within the realm of possibilities is a testament to the lopsidedness of this year's theaters of battle.

Sabato will have one more shot at it on Monday morning, so stayed tuned.

Back to the Future: Ask for a paper ballot on November 7

I'm concerned that all this talk about electonic voting machines flipping Democratic votes to Republican ones will have but one net result: the dampening of Democratic turnout. Think about it: if you believe that your vote won't count, why bother to come out to vote at all?

That's why I'd like to suggest that you at least ask for a paper ballot when you go to vote on November 7. It's late to vote via absentee ballot and, honestly, I don't know if your precinct will be prepared to accomodate you with a paper ballot. But it couldn't hurt to ask. And, like any good consumer, ask to talk to the supervisor if the poll-worker blows you off.

Florida flipping votes from Democrat to Republican
Texas flipping votes from Democrat to Republican
Tennessee missing e-vote smart cards

November 01, 2006

Boehner Blames Troops, Not Rumsfeld, For Iraq Debacle

by Mark Adams

Move over Mean Jean.  There's another congressman who wants to take your place as the stupidest representative to ever insult a G.I.

Demotion to Minority Leader isn't enough for this embarrassment to all of Ohio, or even losing his leadership position to become a backbencher (which he rightly deserves).  He shouldn't ever get elected dog catcher again.

GOP HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER JOHN BOEHNER: Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.

WOLF BLITZER: But he's in charge of the military.

BOEHNER: But the fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president.

If this will be known as the year of the Democratic Tsunami.  2008 should be the Great GOP Purge if this guy remains the face of the Republican Party leadership.

This wasn't a blown punch line. This guy is seriously looking for someone, anyone to blame -- even if it's the brave men and women he and his cronies put in harms way.  He's not insulting to the military, he's dangerous.

Leave No Soldier Behind

by Mark Adams

If you don't study, work hard in school, get good grades, when you grow up to be president you're certain to disgrace your nation.

The Paper of Record:

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki demanded the removal of American checkpoints from the streets of Baghdad on Tuesday, in what appeared to be his latest and boldest gambit in an increasingly tense struggle for more independence from his American protectors.

Mr. Maliki’s public declaration seemed at first to catch American commanders off guard. But by nightfall, American troops had abandoned all the positions in eastern and central Baghdad that they had set up last week with Iraqi forces as part of a search for a missing American soldier. The checkpoints had snarled traffic and disrupted daily life and commerce throughout the eastern part of the city.

Hey, I get it.  It was a choice between traffic jams ... or securing the capital and finding our lost GI.  That used to be a no-brainer in the quaint old days of a more chivalrous era.

Like four years ago ... Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 9/20/2002:

"Throughout the history of our nation, we have been blessed by heroes willing to sacrifice their freedom to protect and defend our own.  It is still so today.  In foreign lands and on far away seas, courageous military men and women are fighting to defend our country's freedom.

"They do so knowing that if they should fall on the field of battle, should they be captured or lost, we will do everything in our power to find them and to bring them home,"  That is our pledge to them and to you.

The Carpetbagger makes the point that, "Maliki doesn't have 'command' over U.S. troops, but our soldiers abandoned all the positions in eastern and central Baghdad they had set up just as soon Iraqis told them to."

This happens under the watch of a President who promised exactly the opposite.

Back when we had Beloved Leader the Swaggerer he castigated the Clinton Adminstration for allowing NATO commanders to have US Forces under their command. "Never Happen under my watch" said he.

Dishonorable?  Too mild a word if you ask me.  It's criminal, and Dem Vet shows us just where in the Code of Conduct we find the mandate that we do not leave soldiers behind, a Code that earned many a hero more than just a Button, but a premature trip to Arlington as well.  Heros who, unlike the cretins running the show, knew the meaning of the words, "Honor, Duty, Code"

And now you know why they want to make Kerry a campaign issue, because the truth of the war is something they cannot handle.

Yes, this election is indeed about Iraq, and now it's not just the lies that got us there or the incompetence that turned it into such chaos we can't get out, or the war crimes, or corruption -- but now it's the cowardice of the 1600 crew too.

Do you really need any more proof than this:  Bush wants Rumsfeld, Cheney for rest of term -

(Video) Because of Iraq

VoteVets is running this powerful ad now:

Because of Iraq, Osama bin Laden is still a threat.
Because of Iraq, our military is spread too thin.
Because of Iraq, there are more terrorists in the world.
Because of Iraq, America is less secure.

So if you see commercials telling you to be afraid of terrorism, remember: It's because of Iraq.

It's about Iraq, stupid (part deux)

Iraq is the central issue in this election and the choice is simple: if you think Iraq is going fine, if you want to stay the course, then vote for the Republicans. But if you think we need to change direction, then vote for the Democrats.

This election is your last chance to speak up and be heard -- until 2008.

Do you want to let things ride until then? Or do you think it is time to make a course correction?

Fact is, there are no easy solutions left. But the Democrats will (at least) ask the hard questions and try to find the best solution. On the other hand, the Republicans will just continue to be a rubber stamp for the the Bush administration's failed policies.

It's about Iraq, stupid

At this point, Kerry should get off the stage as quickly and as gracefully as possible. The longer he's in the news-cycle, the more this becomes about him. And this is NOT about him.

It's about Iraq, stupid.

So Kerry should cede the spotlight to the one man who can guarantee victory for the Democrats on November 7.

That man is George W. Bush.

For some unknown reason (and to the great frustration of his own party's candidates), the president continues to talk about victory in Iraq at this late date in the campaign. And/But instead of going back to his office and at least look like he's trying to win that war, he insists on stumping before crowds of Bush loyalists in places like Georgia. And/But in doing so, he keeps alive the one issue that hurts his party and helps the Democrats. He is either unable or unwilling to accept what this election is all about. Democrats, to their credit, HAVE figured it out:

It's about Iraq, stupid.

Democrats know that the closing argument for this campaign is simple: if you like the way things are going in Iraq, vote for the Republicans. But if you feel that we need a change of direction, vote for the Democrats.

Now, like most things in life, it isn't that simple. But, for once, the Democrats understand that when it comes to politics, most voters will only take the time to glance at a snapshot, not the whole movie.

cheerleader.jpgNow maybe Bush is reverting to his former role as a high school cheerleader. Maybe he sees his role as Morale-Builder-In-Chief. But even if Osama is captured -- or delivers another jihad-video -- on November 3, it won't change what this election is about:

It's about Iraq, stupid.

Bush is missing what everyone else sees: that every day we stay in Iraq, two outcomes will become more and more likely. Both outcomes are mutually reinforcing. Both outcomes are bad for Iraq. Both outcomes are bad for the US. Both outcomes lead to defeat in the Iraq war for the US.

It's about Iraq, stupid and Iraq is all about this, now:

  1. Life is going from bad to worse for the Iraqis.
  2. An anti-US Iraqi government is gaining in strength and momentum.
Over twenty thousand US casualties for that?

And/But still, Bush doesn't get it. Or maybe he does and he thinks that being a cheerleader will turn it around. I don't know anymore what he thinks and, really, I don't care. It doesn't matter what he says -- it only matters what he does.

And by staying the course in Iraq, by insisting that victory is around the corner, saying that the insurgency is in its last throes, and/or by bashing Kerry, by saying that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists, he hurts the Republicans and he helps the Democrats.

He doesn't get it. He doesn't get that it really IS about Iraq, stupid.

October 31, 2006

If I were having more fun, I'd have to be twins

Do you ever get the feeling that just about anything might happen this week?

(Video) All hell breaks loose: “Sen. Allen, why did you spit on your first wife?”

With polls showing a Senator George Allen meltdown 7 days before the election, his campaign is getting, well, kind of jittery:
Senator George Allen made a campaign stop in Charlottesville, NC, Tuesday morning...

As Senator Allen was exiting a ballroom, coming to talk to the media, a protestor started yelling and asking, "Why did you spit on your first wife?". He wasn't able to get near the senator as he was tackled by three men wearing Allen stickers, presumed to be staffers. He was pushed and manhandled and ended up on the floor, near windows at the Omni.

"Sen. Allen," says the TV reporter, "was OK."

Well, let's check back with him in 7 days.

Mike Stark, the man who asked the question, was apparently referring to an incident that is allegedly detailed in the sealed divorce records from Allen's first marriage.

And speaking of sealed records, when are we going to see what those Allen arrest warrants are all about that are allegedly mentioned in Allen's application to the Virginia Bar?

Texas machines now flipping votes from Democrats to Republicans

Holy cow -- first Florida, now Texas:

KFDM continues to get complaints from Jefferson County voters who say the electronic voting machines are not registering their votes correctly.

Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket...[and] Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well.

Here's the thing: I know this is a relatively new technology (even though we've had at least two years to roll it out). I also know that there can be problems with calibration on touch-screens. For example, every time I turn on my Treo cell-phone after deplaning, I have to re-calibrate its touch-screen.

But, gosh -- are there ANY reports out there about Republican votes being flipped to Democratic ones?


While you're pondering that question, please remember to be careful when you vote next week. If you are in a district that uses e-voting machines, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR VOTE COUNTS. Double- and triple-check that the e-voting machine tabulates your vote accurately before you leave the voting booth.

October 30, 2006

E-voting machines change Democratic votes into Republican

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

On October 28, the Miami Herald reported that electronic voting machines in South Florida were changing Democratic votes into Republican votes.

Don't let this happen again! On November 7, make your vote count and COUNT YOUR VOTE.

And contact the Miami Herald and insist that they investigate this story further and not let it die.

20 Races to Watch on Election Night

Dan Aibel has compiled a "cheat sheet" for a handful of races to watch on Election Night. If you're a Democrat, you want to see victories here, because that indicates broader success for the party in their goal to take over the House and/or Senate.

In all cases, Republicans are listed first and all times are Eastern Time.

Continue reading "20 Races to Watch on Election Night" »

30-Second Summary: 5 Myths About Turning Out The Vote

Michael McDonald of the Post does a pretty good job of debunking some voting myths:
  1. Thanks to increasing voter apathy, turnout keeps dwindling.
    Fact is, the number of people NOT ELIGIBLE to vote (non-citizens and convicted felons) is rising. Take them out of the model and turnout is steady.
  2. Other countries' higher turnout indicates more vibrant democracies.
    It's hard to make a comparison when some countries make voting manadatory and/or have fewer elections.
  3. Negative ads turn off voters and reduce turnout.
    You could just as easily say the opposite: the most famous negative campaign in recent history (the 2004 "Swiftboating" of John Kerry) coincided with one of the highest turnouts.
  4. The Republican "72-hour campaign" will win the election.
    Evidence shows that might be true when voters are not already motivated by hot-button issues. But during an election dominated by, say, dissatisfaction with the war, GOTV operations might have a smaller net impact.
  5. Making voter registration easier would dramatically increase turnout.
    Fact is, "motor-voter" laws increase registration -- but not necessarily turnout.
You can read the whole article here.

October 29, 2006

Now, more than ever, it's important to vote Democratic

This year, more than ever, it's important to vote Democratic in all House and Senate elections because it is crucial to break up the rubber-stamp Republican majority in Congress. They've enabled the disastrous Bush-Cheney policies on the Iraq war. They've given Bush a blank check to trash the Constitution. They've refused to engage in any kind of meaningful Congressional oversight. And even though your individual Congressman might be good, the fact is, if he's a Republican, he'll vote to stay the course. And what we need now is a new direction.

Michael Kinsley:...

[A] vote for the Democrat is a vote against the Republican. And voting "no" to a record of failure is more important to the functioning of democracy than voting "yes" to any number of promises about the future. It was not Newt Gingrich's Contract With America that caused the great Republican sweep of 1994: It was disgust, skillfully nurtured by Republicans, with the Democratic-controlled Congress.

October 28, 2006

MI-11--Ten Days Filled With Possibility

by Mark Adams

A message from Rosemary's new congressman, Tony Trupiano for Congress (should the Fates allow).
My name is Tony Trupiano and I am a proud Progressive candidate for Congress in Michigan's 11th CD. I am running against a neo-con rubber stamper who believes that America is best served on a platter. He should be ashamed of himself, to be honest. This is only his second term and with your help it will be his last.
Seriously Rose, your guy in the GOP is an embarassment.   Few have enabled this administration more.

Money quote:
Representative is not just a job title, it is a job description. I believe too many that are serving never got that memo.

Olbermann: Death of “Stay The Course”

Keith Olbermann:

We began this week with reports that a mainstay of American politics was in failing health. And all too soon it was clear that the worst was true and that the nation had lost an old and honored friend...Tonight we pause to take the long view, the historic view of the important, the illustrious, and yes, sometimes controversial life and career of Stay The Course...

October 27, 2006

VA-Sen: The Stamp Act

From Lars Sandvik:

"I made this ad as a free gift to the Webb campaign. I felt this would strike a chord across party lines. The Webb campaign and the DSCC "LOVE IT," but tell me that they cannot run it because they did not originate the concept, and their "rules" prevent its use. Webb is at least 4 points behind Allen. I believe that if they ran this ad, Webb would take Virginia. If anyone knows someone with the guts to run this thing on the air, about half a million dollars is all it would take!"

House, Senate, Gov. Elections: What the papers are saying

I took some time today and compiled links to (mostly) local newspaper coverage of House, Senate and Gubernatorial races around the country.

It didn't take that long. And/But tell me if you find this useful/informative. If I see enough comments to that effect, I'll continue to do it through the election.




(HT to The Note)

“Cut-and-Run”: Not the same as “Stop-and-Think”

President Clinton said that.

P.S. Normally, I don't advise integrating your opponent's verbiage in your own defense. But perhaps the exception proves the rule -- if your message can be delivered in 10 words or less.

VA-Sen: Will Allen's smear of Webb succeed...or backfire?

In brief:
Will this be a story about sexual titillation -- or a story about a hero vs. a coward?

In detail:
George Allen is hoping to disgust Virginia voters by rubbing their noses in various graphically violent and/or prurient passages from James Webb's fiction. That slimeball Drudge is obliging by posting the passages as supplied in broad daylight by Allen.

At the very least, Allen is hoping that Webb will be held up to the same kind of ridicule that befell Lynne Cheney and Scooter Libby when steamy passages from their novels came to light. Never mind, of course, that John McCain wrote a glowing review for Webb. Allen is counting on Virginians (translation: rural voters in the southern part of the state) to be shocked and squeamish when confronted by the offending passages.

How should Webb respond?

In brief, he should say that the books are based on fact, not fiction. He should NOT say he made these things up; he should state categorically that he saw these things (and worse) while he was fighting for his country, something George Allen was too much of a coward and a hypocrite to do.

Watch to see if Webb figures this out on his own and/or takes the advice of his supporters. It could make or break his campaign.

P.S. Like the racist sex-smear against Harold Ford Jr., this one has "Karl Rove" written all over it.

UPDATE: James Webb reponds -- forcefully. Do you think his campaign reads the blogs? Sounds like it does.

October 26, 2006

What voters expect (and want) the Democrats to do if they take Congress

In an eye-opening survey, Gallup has found that voters expect (and would approve of) Democrats doing the following things if they take over Congress on November 7:

  • Set a time-table for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
  • Increase the minimum wage
  • Pass legislation to provide healthcare to those who do not have it
  • Allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from other countries
Similarly, voters do NOT expect Democrats to do the following, nor would they approve if they did:
  • Repeal the Patriot Act
  • Take steps to make same-sex marriages legal
  • Cut back on efforts to fight terrorism
Voters expect Democrats to do the following, but they do NOT approve of these actions:
  • Reject most of Bush's nominations for federal judges
  • Increase federal income taxes.
Lastly, voters do NOT expect Democrats to do the following, but would approve if they did:
  • Implement all anti-terror recommendations made by the 9/11 commission.
Bonus round: Voters expect Democrats to do the following and are evenly split on whether they approve/disapprove:
  • Conduct major investigations of the Bush administration.
Here's what Democrats have said they would do in the first 100 hours of a Democratic House of Representatives:
  • Raise the minimum wage
  • Repeal the Medicare legislation that forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower prices
  • Replenishing student loan programs
  • Fund stem cell research
  • Implement those recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission that have thus far languished.
And my Republican friends tell me that they expect Democrats to do the following things (and that they do NOT approve):
  • Make George W. Bush's life a ghastly, living hell
  • Abolish Christmas
  • Provide unlimited nights and weekends for terrorists using cellphones overseas.
  • Install Osama bin Laden as Commissioner of Baseball

Sabato takes a look into his Crystal Ball

Prof. Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia Center for Politics says the following in his latest newsletter:

  • At its most effective, a good field operation is worth only one or two points at the ballot box.
    By comparison, Rove, Mehlman & Co. (who have an agenda) put it at 5-7 points.

  • New Jersey's Supreme Court justices have come to the luckless GOP's aid
    They may have just influenced several key midterm races [including, Ford v. Corker in Tennessee and, I presume, Kean v. Menendez in NJ itself]. No fundraising visit from Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, Hastert, McCain, Mehlman, or Rove could have done this well for the Republicans.

  • Democrats are on track to net 21 to 26 seats in the House, 4 to 6 seats in the Senate, and 5 to 7 governorships.

  • The second-to-last week of a campaign is typically the last week voter persuasion actually works.
    Translation: put those jungle drums behind Harold Ford's name in that radio ad.

  • Republicans are despondent.
    They fear defeat.

  • Democrats are paranoid.
    They fear defeat...will be snatched from the jaws of victory.
Sabato is a pretty reliable observer; and his record in 2004 was almost flawless, missing only 4 out of nearly 500 House, Senate and Gubernatorial contests.

TN-Sen: Ford is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't

Ford's opponents are running racist radio and TV ads against him, reinforcing a stereotype of blacks as chasers of white women accompanied by a soundtrack of jungle drums. I kid you not.

And/But when Ford comes out against the NJ Supremes' decision on gay rights (including civil unions), he is blasted by the left.

I say 6 years of Ford is better than 6 years of ANY Republican.

P.S. If you think Ford is bad, you should take a look at his constituents.

P.P.S. This is not Connecticut and Ford is not Lieberman. I'm just saying.

The George Allen Story

This morning, the Post has published a major article about George Allen. It goes into great and exhuastive detail about his past -- his turbulent family life, his racist past, etc. It's the kind of story that will be used as source material for every piece that henceforth gets written about Allen -- if he wins re-election and later runs for President.

If character counts, if voters make a decision based on who a candidate is more so than what he says or does, then this story is not good for Allen, now or later.

October 25, 2006

Iraq: Stay The Course?

If you think our country is on the wrong track, if you think things are going fine in Iraq, then vote Republican because they'll stay the course.

But if you think we need a change of direction, then vote for the Democrats on Nov. 7.

October Surprise: War Turns Even Deadlier in Iraq

Could it be that the worsening situation in Iraq becomes the main story -- the October Surprise -- between now and November 7?:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The significant surge of violence in Iraq sweeping U.S. personnel, Iraqi armed forces and civilians has made October the deadliest for Americans in Iraq.

The U.S. army announced Wednesday the death of four U.S. Marines, bringing to at least 87 the number of American personnel killed in Iraq this month.

It seems predictable that the Republicans will try to use this news to scare people (including Democratic Congressional candidates) into "staying the course," saying that if we turn things over to the Democrats, things will get EVEN WORSE in Iraq. As if.

Problem is, the president has abandoned "stay the course," pretending like he was never for it all along.

And Democrats? Our message should be the same: if you are happy with the way things are going in Iraq, then vote for the Republicans -- they'll stay the course and you'll get more of the same. But if you've had enough, if you think we need to change course, then vote for the Democrats on Nov. 7.

Jesus Hates Democrats, So Vote AGAINST Stem-Cell Research

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

Jim Caviziel, star of Passion of the Christ, appears in an anti-stem cell ad with a creepy subliminal message.

I won't provide a link to the full ad -- it's easy enough to Google.

But, rest assured, it is a real ad. I understand it will be running tonight on TV during the World Series broadcast -- live from Missouri where Amendment Two is a hot-button issue in the close race between Republican incumbent Jim Talent and Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill.

The anti-stem cell bunch is running this ad to counter the powerful ad featuring Michael J. Fox -- you remember that convicted felon Rush Limbaugh mocked Fox for faking it or purposely going off his meds to shoot the pro-Amendment Two ad.

So now, the anti-crowd is rolling out some other big guns as well -- Jeff Suppan, the starting pitcher for St. Louis in tonight's game also appears in the ad.

Man, if ever there was a reason to root for the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, this is it!

Others appearing in the anti-stem cell ad include Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals and Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond.

These are the battle lines, people: We're for prevention, they're for punishment. One side wants life-saving research to go on; the other side wants to send you to Hell.

Send money to Claire McCaskill's campaign.

What the Democrats and the Detroit Tigers Have In Common (part trois)

If you needed any reason at all to root for the Tigers tonight (who lost to the Cardinals last night to fall behind in the Series 2-1), you have it now: Cards starting pitcher Jeff Suppan will appear in a commercial, to be shown during the game, that comes out against the Missouri ballot initiative favoring stem cell research.

The ad, which will run during primetime, was quickly put together to counter another ad featuring Michael J. Fox -- the ad that Rush Limbaugh called a fake:

"He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act. . . . This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."
So let's review: a private citizen, suffering from Parkinson's disease, becomes an advocate for a ballot initiative that might save his life. A famous celebrity, convicted of drug abuse, mocks his suffering and accuses him of playing politics with his disease. Got it?

So tonight Jeff Suppan, professional athelete, will take the field -- against Michael J. Fox. Suppan will appear in a commercial that is against the interests of everyone who feels that research money should be allowed to be used to find a cure for a disease that Suppan and Limbaugh are fortunate enough never to have been afflicted with.

Suppan will be joined by Jim Cavizel (star of Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ) and Kurt Warner, quarterback for the the Arizona Cardinals.

Go Tigers and go Democrats!

October 24, 2006

What the Democrats and the Detroit Tigers Have In Common (part deux)

Two weeks before the election, before a single early voter has had his vote counted, before even a single vote has been cast in a voting booth, Democrats are now assumed to be the favorites to take over the House and perhaps even the Senate.

I'm not buying it.

Similarly, Jim Leyland (manager of the American League champion Detroit Tigers) has had it with predictions of his team's inevitable victory in the World Series and he wants to set the record straight:

"...I'm tired of hearing about what a favorite we are, and how the Cardinals -- they're happy with their one win," Leyland said. "Let me tell you something about the Cardinals: You have been writing for the last several years, they've got one of the greatest, and some people think the best defensive third baseman, of all-time.

Attention Democrats: Stop it. Stop measuring the drapes in the Speaker's office. I don't want to hear about how we're a shoo-in. Like the Tigers' manager, I want to disabuse y'all of any notions you have that this is going to be a slam-dunk:"[The Cardinals have] the best young player in all of baseball. They've got an eight- or nine-time Gold Glove center fielder, a great player. They've got a Cy Young pitching tomorrow night. They've got the All-America baseball player at shortstop.The Republicans have an overwhelming edge re: cash on hand. The Republicans have an awesome GOTV machine, probably good for an undetected 5-7 percentage points in the polls. And they have a set of gerrymandered congressional districts that were designed to protect incumbents -- Republican incumbents.

"[The Tigers are] a great team," he added. "I don't really think the Cardinals, [are] happy about it. But I don't think they've gotten the credit they deserve. When you start talking about the Cards, you better look closely. They also have probably the best young catcher in baseball. I'm not sure we're favorites."
We Democrats better stop assuming we are the favorites because if anything -- anything! -- keeps us from taking either house of Congress, the traditional media will pivot and declare an historic mandate for the Republicans. And we'll only have our own complacency to blame.

So I don't want to read anymore press clippings or click on any blog posts saying "we're going to win." I much prefer the role of the underdog. I like the idea that we may yet shock the world. I like the idea that Bush and Rove could wake up on November 8 with a nasty surprise while our team is preparing for our victory parade.

Bush Iran War Plans: 4 Strike Groups in the Persian Gulf

London Yank has the update.

Where's Osama bin Laden?

Two weeks to go before the election.

I'm just saying.

October 23, 2006

Top Republicans are bluffing their way through this election

We're into "head-game" territory now.

Republicans -- their party in tatters, with voters verrrrrrrry angry with the rubber-stamp Republican Congress -- have only one thing left: bluff, bluff and more bluff. And/But, in poker, you win if you can bluff your opponents just enough.

Continue reading "Top Republicans are bluffing their way through this election" »

If I were Bush, I wouldn't be bragging about the economy

DarkSyde debunks the myth of the bull market.

Continue reading "If I were Bush, I wouldn't be bragging about the economy" »

October 22, 2006

Crum-believable! I was on the Colbert Report!

(Cross posted on Daily Kos)

OK, he showed one of my videos, and really just part of it, but still...crum-believable!

Continue reading "Crum-believable! I was on the Colbert Report!" »

Bush, Flip-flopper tells a whopper: Stay the course ... or not? Here's proof

Here's Bush saying he's never been "stay the course" and then a video compilation of all the times he (and other Republicans) have trumpeted that lame "policy."

October 20, 2006

Pathetic Predictions

by Mark Adams X-posted @ KOS

Before he went full time into Loonyville, I occasionally saw a comment by Mark Noonan around the 'sphere.  Sometimes I check him out just for sheer amusement and he seldom disappoints.

Yesterday there was this gem at his site, Blogs For Bush:

I'm telling ya, the MSM has gotten it wrong - the polling is bogus: the Democrats are heading for quite the crash on November 7th...and the leadership knows

Note he's not predicting that the GOP will retain an ever so slim margin of control over Congress, but the Democrats will "crash."

I can only assume this means that they will end up with a net loss instead of gaining seats.  I'm also assuming that on November 8th, anything less than a veto-proof 2/3 majority by the Dems (an impossibility in the Senate with only a third of the body up for grabs) will be his "proof" that the Democrats are losers.

Continue reading "Pathetic Predictions" »

AZ-05: Hayworth Surrogate to Jews: "No wonder there are anti-Semites"

JD Hayworth is the Republican incumbent in Arizona's 5th Congressional District. I've heard him speak on TV and radio many, many times. The right-wing noise machine loves him because he is predictably loyal to Bush; he smiles nicely, and can make the requisite jokes with Don Imus. But the bottom line is that he has the style of a bombastic blowhard -- wrapping himself in the flag which, for him, comes in two shades: black and white.

It comes as no surprise that he is the hardest of hardliners on the immigration issue, even going so far as to praise Henry Ford's anti-Semitic "Americanization" program while claiming that he was just urging all immigrants to learn how to speak English.

His Jewish constituents were not impressed.

Continue reading "AZ-05: Hayworth Surrogate to Jews: "No wonder there are anti-Semites"" »

Here's another crater in the moonscape of Republican corruption

It turned out that Congressman Mark Foley, pedophile, was in charge of the Missing and Exploited Childrens' Caucus. Yuck.

Now, we hear that Congressman Jerry Lewis, himself under investigation for corruption charges, is in charge of, well, investigating fraud, waste and abuse of Congressional appropriations.

But wait!

Continue reading "Here's another crater in the moonscape of Republican corruption" »

October 19, 2006

Matt Stoller channels Hunter Thompson


Connecticut Election 2006 has gone off the deep end. It's not your normal white picket fence suburban election, with attack ad facing attack ad. No, this is more like a white picket fence election that suddenly gets bored with life and decides to live in the forest, take a bunch of LSD, trout-fish naked, and taunt a bear cub before ending its life suddenly and with total and inexplicable resolution on November 7.
OK, not quite Gonzo journalism but a pretty good read nonetheless.

Poll Signals More Republican Woes As Disapproval of Congress Grows

The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll illustrates the political price Republicans are paying for dissatisfaction over the war, as well as disgust over the various Republican scandals.

Some highlights:

Continue reading "Poll Signals More Republican Woes As Disapproval of Congress Grows" »

DeWine And Other Whiny Losers

An Ohio Snapshot, by Mark Adams

Maybe Mike DeWine's been abandoned by the GOP, maybe not.
AP - The Republican Party placed $700,000 in television ads in Ohio on Tuesday, a scaled-back ad campaign amid growing doubts by party officials that GOP Sen. Mike DeWine can win re-election in the battleground state.

Regardless, it "proves" nothing, no matter how hard desperate wingnuts click their heels.  While they're buying ads for Mike, it's not as much as they planned, and they don't plan any more.  (I'll note right here that, Ara's rumors notwithstanding, things can always change -- except the wankerness of Ad Nags.)   Mind you, it would be more helpful to DeWine if the RNC could keep its facts straight in the ads it does run instead of just making stuff up.

Continue reading "DeWine And Other Whiny Losers" »

Stirling On Strickland, and the Progressive-Moderate Fusion

by Mark Adams

The ubiquitous Stirling Newberry is usually a go-to guy for the facts and figures needed to debunk the Right-wing noise machine's economic propaganda.  However, his TMP Cafe post describes the political war in Ohio as the "beachhead" that may seal the GOP out of the White House for decades if (and only if) the anti-triagulation strategy of fusing the moderates with progressives pushed by (soon to be) Governor Strickland plays out.

Per his expertise, Newberry keys into the Ohio "independent" voter's perception of the economy.  And he accurately describes at least two, if not more, different independent, moderate voters.

Moderates are realists, make up their own mind, enjoy tax cuts and respect integrity.  Or, they have no problem with big government as long as they get a piece of the action, and respect integrity  Or, are leery of ideological dogma, and respect independence -- which means their representatives better have enough integrity to stand up to the extreme wings of either party.

Moderate Republicans came into play when tax cuts were misrepresented and didn't impact their personal finances the way the gimicksters in Washington advertised, and the GOP showed their universal lack of integrity by not standing up to Bush for his fiasco in Iraq -- "but instead were cheerleaders for failure."

The underlying dynamic is that Republicans haven't really delivered on tax cuts. These people are paying the same in taxes as before, and their wages have stopped going up. Burdened by housing costs and property taxes, they are capable of looking at the total tax burden.


Iraq, then, for the moderates, now looks like pure calculation, a blunder. A Bad Decision. Good deciders don't cover up Bad Decisions, they deal with them.

Continue reading "Stirling On Strickland, and the Progressive-Moderate Fusion" »

Bush on the "Jihadist equivalent" of the Tet Offensive

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times this morning that what we might be seeing now is the Iraqi equivalent of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1968. Tony Snow this morning said, "He may be right." Do you agree?

BUSH: He could be right. There's certainly a stepped up level of violence, and we're heading into an election.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what's your gut tell you?

BUSH: George, my gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave. And the leaders of al Qaeda have made that very clear. Look, here's how I view it. First of all, al Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal. They are trying to not only kill American troops, but they're trying to foment sectarian violence. They believe that if they can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and will cause government to withdraw

Unbelievable. Where do I start?

Continue reading "Bush on the "Jihadist equivalent" of the Tet Offensive" »

October 18, 2006

Don't look back, something might be gaining on you

This is no time for Democrats to stop and pat themselves on the back. Republicans are working hard to get their voters motivated and to the polls:

In a month, the party completed more than a million phone calls and door contacts combined. Bigger states are putting up big numbers -- even Ohio, which lagged behind its targets all summer, has caught up. The RNC is particularly pleased with their progress in New Jersey, where they've rapidly set up a more aggressive version of their 72 Hour Program in light of the state's more competitive Senate race.

These are the numbers that motivate Karl Rove's optimism. The spreadsheets show that Republican volunteers are working hard. There are plenty of volunteers and they seem plenty willing to knock on doors and make telephone calls. That's why it makes sense for Rove, for White House pol. dir Sara Taylor, and for Mehlman to exude uncanny optimism even while their brains pour over pessimistic polls. Right now, a strong volunteer corps on election day working to turn out voters is the only hope they've got. If the volunteers detect a shred of defeatist cross-talk or come across a newspaper article suggesting that Rove is panicked, then they'll start to panic, too.

The point is that top-level Republican optimism is pragmatic, not ignorant.

I've been saying it all along -- politics is like a seesaw. Sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down. What really matters is getting off at the right time. Whoever gets off on November 7 will win this election. All the rest is just a bunch of talk.

Volunteer for the MoveOn Phone Program


The November election is our best opportunity in years to change the direction of our country. We can end Republican control in Washington if we get progressives in key districts to come out and vote.

That's why we've launched Call for Change, one of the largest volunteer phonebanking efforts in American history. MoveOn members will make more than 5 million phone calls to voters in 30 highly competitive House districts plus key Senate races.

This works! We tested this program in a special election in April, and our calls boosted voter turnout more than any volunteer phonebank ever studied. MoveOn members also made 77,000 calls to put Ned Lamont over the top in the recent Conecticut Senate primary.

Now, if we all pitch in, we're going to win back Congress.

Funding Constrains Democrats

Top Democrats think they have a shot at capturing as many as 40 House seats (or more) in November, but that the money isn't all there to put into the right races.

Donations can be sent to:

...or if you want to pick and choose which candidates to support, you can visit ActBlue, the online fund-raising clearinghouse for Democratic candidates. You can browse their directory of candidates and/or view the fund-raising pages set up by some of your favorite bloggers like Kos, Firedoglake, Atrios, etc.

Democrats don't have a plan? Nonsense!


A plan for which topic? There's plenty of plans. More importantly, there's a process for planning and oversight, something sorely lacking for the last six years. I can't wait, and judging by polling of voter enthusiasm, neither can America
There are plans for the first 100 hours (domestic legislation) and there are longer range plans for foreign affairs. Read the whole piece -- then tell your Republican friends to stuff a sock in it.

Republican "Values Voters" getting scarce; major rally flops

Sunday's "Stand for the Family" rally in Nashville was a bust:

The event was originally scheduled in arena with tickets to be sold, but later was moved to a church and free admission. Monday's crowd was substantially smaller than a "Justice Sunday" event held two years ago in the same church.
This is another telltale indicator that Republican voters are discouraged and diminished during this election cycle.

We've already seen all the polls showing the Dems poised to make historic gains in the House, Senate, and Governorships; we've seen the polling models that indicate that fewer voters self-identify with the Republicans; we've heard the stories about the playing field expanding for the Democrats and shrinking for the Republicans; we've heard that the Republican Congressional campaign committees are shutting off money to lots of races previously thought to be competitive; and we've heard they are huddling behind a "firewall" that is crumbling under the heat and fire.

Just 20 more days and we'll know for sure if the Dems can take back the majority. One thing is for sure: it can't happen without your vote on November 7.

October 17, 2006

Modern Women Discriminate: Vote Democratic in 2006

Polls seem to indicate that if you are unmarried, you are more likely to vote Democratic. That said, here's another great (and funny) political ad I came across called "Speed Dating."

Pass it along!

5 Stages Of Republican Scandal:

  1. “I have not been informed of any investigation or that I am a target.”
  2. “I am cooperating fully, but this whole thing is a political ploy by the Democrats.”
  3. “I’m SHOCKED by the mistakes made by my subordinates.”
  4. “I’m deeply sorry for letting down my friends and family. I now recognize that I am an alcoholic. I will be entering rehab immediately, so I have no time for questions.”
  5. “Can I serve my time at Eglin Federal Penitentiary (aka Club Fed)?”
(HT to TPM Reader PT)

October 16, 2006

What the Democrats and the Detroit Tigers Have In Common

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

In keeping with the tone of baseball triumphalism around here lately, I'm including a tidbit from The Note, wherein they float one of their cute, fictional memos to make a point about what the Democrats should do between now and November 7. It's "from" Begala, Carville, Greenberg, et. al. and is addressed to "Leader Pelosi:"

  1. Let's keep our candidates focused ("like a laser beam") on the national "meta" narrative of this campaign -- change v. more of the same. [...]
  2. Play offense every hour of every day for the next three weeks. [...]
  3. Act like winners. [...]
Not bad advice, actually. Then -- surprise! -- they close with this nugget:
Let's follow the trajectory of the Detroit Tigers . . . given up for dead last year . . . surprising everyone with a great summer . . . An early fall swoon . . . followed by a late autumn charge to the World Series . . . good pitching beats good hitting . . . let's keep throwing the high heat at their heads.
Right -- keep them from crowding the plate; make them think twice about digging in. I like it! Now all we have to do is make it happen.

Oh, and the Democrats have to win, too.

I'm just saying.

Covering ALL The Bases

by Mark Adams

It's a very big chessboard out there, and the October Surprise could just as easily be a skirmish with North Korea instead of the "accidental" war with Iran many of us liberal Blogtopians have dreaded.

It's shouldn't be too hard to start some shooting in South East Asia since North Korea has already declared that the UN sanctions constitute an act of war. 

The US-drafted resolution also authorises UN member states to interdict and search cargo ships going to and from North Korean ports for weapons and weapons material.

I know that most of Bush's supporters are too young to remember the Tonkin Gulf, but Cheney's buddy Kissinger sure does.

Never misunderestimate Bush and Rove's ability to switch from one disastrously bone-headed idea to another.  They do, after all, have a plan for disaster, contrary to popular belief.

It seems George Bush is already planning his escape from the US.
Holy Crap, Bush is buying a Paraguay hideout. (Tip to Helli)

Isn't that the last the last refuge for fascist dictators?  Or was that Agentina?

Attention Democrats: Keep Your Eye On The ENTIRE Chessboard

Stop. Just stop.

There's a phrase that describes what Democrats are doing right now: they're measuring the drapes, i.e., they're assuming that they have the November election already won. Democrats need to sober up -- a lot can happen between now and November 7 to turn this thing around for the Republicans.

Yes, I've seen the polls, I've read the insider stories, like the one that has unnamed Republican strategists bemoaning a certain loss of between 7 to 30 House seats. And/But I've read the following story, too, and it sounds fishy -- for a different reason:

The official White House line of supreme self-assurance comes from the top down. Bush has publicly and privately banished any talk of losing the GOP majorities, in part to squelch any loss of nerve among his legions. Come January, he said last week, "We'll have a Republican speaker and a Republican leader of the Senate."
Whistling past the graveyard? Or is something else going on?

Whatever it is, I would advise you to keep your eye on the ENTIRE chess board:

The aircraft carrier Eisenhower, accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage, guided-missile destroyer USS Mason and the fast-attack submarine USS Newport News, is, as I write, making its way to the Straits of Hormuz off Iran. The ships will be in place to strike Iran by the end of the month. It may be a bluff. It may be a feint. It may be a simple show of American power. But I doubt it
This story has not surfaced in the traditional media. Take it at face value.

OH Sen: Don't Forget, Ad Nags Is Still A Wanker

by Mark Adams

Okay, Okay. Settle down everybody.  I'm with you.

My first instinct when reading that the GOP is writing off Mike DeWine was to break out the champagne too.

But look at the NY Times' by-line.  One of our favorite wankers, Ad Nags.

Granted, this is more reporting the news than op-ed, something this monkey with a typewriter might still remember how to do competently when he reviews his worn out syllabus from journalism school.  It's his lack of anything resembling logic which gets him in trouble when he dips his toe in the icy waters of opinion writing.

But I'd like to hold off the celebration until we get this news from another source.

God, I hope it's true.  Nobody in Ohio was looking forward to more inane ads from the same people who gave us the Swift-boaters.

It'll be nice to get my TV back.  But never underestimate Ad Nags' naivete, nor misunderestimate the GOP's ability to lie through their teeth.  This could be a feint, and DeWine has a bunch of his own cash to run ads for the next three weeks.

Just remember.  Ad Nags is objectively recognized as a wanker of the first order, a joke, and perhaps the biggest loser on the face of the Earth.

October 13, 2006

Cleland: "It's al-Qaeda, Stupid."

Wolf Blitzer moderates a debate between former Democratic Senator/war hero Max Cleland and the preposterously high-voiced Terry Jeffrey, editor of Human Events. Cleland is on fire:

JEFFREY: "I believe that were it not for the public dissatisfaction with what's going on in Iraq, the Democrats would have no chance at this time of winning in November. However now, I think they have a very real chance."

CLELAND: "If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his rear end. This has been a disaster - not just for the Republicans - for the country. We are four years into this war and we've lost a lot of fine young Americans there. It's time to redepoy our forces and bring the Guard and Reserve home and refocus on the real enemy. It is Al Qaeda stupid and this crash in New York should just remind us that it's been five years since 9/11. And if we don't get it now - that it's Al Qaeda stupid - we should be sent up the creek."

Congressman calls Abu Ghraib "a sex ring"

Republican Congressman Chris Shays has apparently lost his marbles, again:

Now I've seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture...It was outrageous, outrageous involvement of National Guard troops from Maryland who were involved in a sex ring and they took pictures of soldiers who were naked. And they did other things that were just outrageous. But it wasn't torture.

Earlier in the week he slammed Sen. Kennedy while excusing Denny Hastert's outrageous cover-up of Mark Foley by saying "At least Denny Hastert never killed anyone."

Now, I haven't seen any polls for the race between Republican Shays and Democratic challenger Diane Farrell. But is it possible that the race is tightening up and Shays is, you know, starting to choke?

October 12, 2006

Video: Demand Answers (or Vote for Change)

This excellent 30-second spot will be aired on CNN in about a dozen congressional districts. It was produced by the September Fund, a 527 organized by Harold Ickes, a close advisor to Hillary Clinton.

Olbermann: Bush is "Solid As Iraq"

Keith Olbermann interviews Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for Newsweek magazine, about Bush's press conference on Wednesday...

Wolffe: The idea that Democrats are going out there, as he put it today and he's put it before, that they are waiting for America to be attacked before they seek to protect America it's just nonsense. It sounds great but there is a core problem at the heart of this for the administration.

Continue reading "Olbermann: Bush is "Solid As Iraq"" »

October 11, 2006

Down in the polls, Republicans go after...Sandy Berger?

First Adam Gadahn, an American-born convert to Islam, is charged with treason -- the first such case since World War II.

Now they want Sandy Berger's hide too:

[Former Clinton National Security Advisor] Berger admitted last year that he deliberately took classified documents out of the National Archives in 2003 and destroyed some of them at his office. He pleaded guilty in federal court to one charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material and was fined $50,000.

Ten lawmakers led by House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter, R- Calif., and Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., released a letter calling for the House Government Reform Committee to investigate.

Holy crap -- first they trashed him in that bogus piece of garbage The Path To 9/11, and now this.

Shouldn't the investigation come before the sentencing? I'm just asking.

Republican Congressman cracks under pressure while defending Hastert

Ted Kennedy went to Connecticut to campaign for Rep. Chris Shays' opponent and apparently it was too much for the Congressman:

"I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water, and then have a press conference the next day," said Shays, R-4th District, referring to the 1969 incident in which the Massachusetts Democrat drove a car that plunged into the water and a young campaign worker died.

"Dennis Hastert didn't kill anybody," he added.

Now there's a bumper sticker for you!

Odds & Sods

October 10, 2006

Support Secretaries of State in 2006 Who Will Protect Voters' Rights in 2008

If you're reading this, then you probably already know about the crucial role played by Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, in the 2000 election, e.g., making several key decisions about deadlines and statutory interpretation that ran out the clock on the Florida recount. And in 2004, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell played a similar role in thwarting Democratic efforts, e.g., distributing too few voting machines in Democratic precincts so people would stand in long lines, then give up and go home without casting their votes.

That said, the Secretary of State Project is seeking your support in electing clean candidates to this key role in Ohio, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Michigan and New Mexico.

Hastert does press conference about Foley scandal in front of a graveyard

The Republicans' knack for visual imagery is legendary.


(HT to John)

Bluff or Believable? GOP Officials "Brace" for Loss Of Seven to 30 House Seats

My hunch is that the Republicans are lowering the bar:

Republican campaign officials said yesterday that they expect to lose at least seven House seats and as many as 30 in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, as a result of sustained violence in Iraq and the page scandal involving former GOP representative Mark Foley.
In other words, if they beat the spread, then it's a glorious victory!

Continue reading "Bluff or Believable? GOP Officials "Brace" for Loss Of Seven to 30 House Seats" »

Sign of Weakness: Republicans Target Just 3 Senate Races

OK, this should probably be viewed as evidence of a gathering storm bearing down on the Republicans:

Continue reading "Sign of Weakness: Republicans Target Just 3 Senate Races" »

October 08, 2006

Pick a punchline for this photo

bushhastert.jpgThe Republicans are clinging to power in Congress. And now I understand that they're going to cling to each other (and to Bush, too), hoping they can gut it out one more time. Too bad for the Democrats that the election isn't today. Because they could beat these guys in a heartbeat right now.

Leave your caption suggestions in the comments.

October 06, 2006

Bush 41 Warns of "Ghastly" Future...if Democrats win majority

Bush 41:

"I would hate to think what Arlen [Spector's] life would be like, what Rick [Santorum's] life would be like, and what my son's life would be like if we lose control of the Congress," said former President George Bush in a reference to Pennsylvania's two Republican Senators. "If we have some of these wild Democrats in charge of these committees, it will be a ghastly thing for our country."
Really. Ghastly?

Here's what Nancy Pelosi has said she would try to get done in the first 100 hours of a Democratic House of Representatives:

Continue reading "Bush 41 Warns of "Ghastly" Future...if Democrats win majority" »

Foley Sex Scandal Cover-up: New key player emerges?

David Rogers of the Wall Street Journal reports that one Jeff Trandahl (write that name down) may be the "key" to the entire case.

Who is Jeff Trandahl?

[M]ore attention is beginning to focus on former House clerk Jeff Trandahl, who both oversaw the page program and was close to Mr. Foley.


Kirk Fordham, Mr. Foley's chief of staff until late 2003, has said warnings from Mr. Trandahl about Mr. Foley's conduct were what led him to ask the speaker's office to intervene with the congressman more than two years ago. And last fall, Mr. Trandahl again played a central role when he was dispatched with Rep. John Shimkus (R., Ill.) the chairman of the page board, to warn Mr. Foley against any further emails to a former page from Louisiana.

We're still hearing that everyone was in the dark about "the explicit sexual messaging" that Foley was sending around.
But Mr. Trandahl was in a unique position to recognize the implicit danger in the fact that Mr. Foley wasn't just close to pages on the House floor but was pursuing contact via email.
Does this sound to you like Trandahl holds the key to the case? Or does it sound like he's being set up as the fall guy? Remember -- Trandahl is the former House Clerk, having left his job last November.

P.S. Just curious: is he (or was he ever) a member of that gay cabal?

October 05, 2006

John Mark Karr released, announces run for Mark Foley's seat in Florida

Just kidding.

Karr.jpgActually the judge did drop the child porn charges against him and he was released from jail in California today. Whether or not he's headed for Florida, I can't say. But turn on Fox News -- I'm sure they'll be covering this story 24/7 til November 8th.

So finally, Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief. There's ONE story that isn't about the Mark Foley cover-up, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Condi Rice, or the NIE report or Woodward's book...

Just To Be Clear

by Mark Adams

Steve Soto at The Left Coaster alerts us to the polling data, via FOX:

An internal GOP poll and analysis by a Republican strategist this afternoon concludes that if Hastert stays as Speaker, the GOP will suffer cataclysmic losses next month.

So, when I mentioned the sheer idiocy of Hugh Hewitt earlier, it was not because I disagree with his conclusion that Dennis Hastert should fight with all his might to retain the Speakership.  It was because he arrived at that conclusion for all the wrong reasons.

Actually, for Democrats, the entire fiasco is a win-win.  If Hastert steps down, we no longer have to put up with the President's chief enabler.  If he stays, he's a lightening rod.

Make no mistake.  Hastert needs to go.  But the phrase "The sooner the better" only works if you're a Republican.

Republicans new alibi: "Gay Cabal" shielded Foley

Earlier this week I suggested that Republicans were trying to divert attention away from their coverup of Foley's disgusting behavior by gay-bashing, essentially blaming the whole thing on the Democrats' tolerance of homosexuality.

Now that the strategy has failed, they've taken a different tack -- they have tied these two threads together and are suggesting that a "gay cabal" sought to shield Mark Foley from the authorities. That'll fire up the base! This has Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it.

And you know what's distressing? Katie Couric and CBS News have apparently bought the story at retail.

This will cloud the issue by throwing fear, uncertainty and doubt into the minds of whatever Republican loyalists are still sympathetic to the leadership of this corrupt, rubber-stamp Republican Congress.

The Daily Show: Foley Sex Scandal Coverup

Jon Stewart: "Today it came out that Foley finger-banged two high school sophmores from the Model U.N. on the catwalk of the Rotunda. However, Foley has announced today that his mother smoked while pregnant. So, again, I don't see how this has anything to do with him."

Continue reading "The Daily Show: Foley Sex Scandal Coverup" »

Never mind the bollocks -- here come the terrorists!

The news cycle is awash in the following stories:

But never mind that -- here comes...Abu Ayyub al-Masri and he's still alive!

Had you even heard he was dead?

October 04, 2006

More on La Cage Aux Foley

First, HT to Jane for the title phrase of this post.

Second, it's clear Hastert's days as Speaker are over. If the Republicans keep their majority, they'll probably think hard before voting him in again. And if the Democrats win, do the math. The only question left is this: will he last until the election? My guess is that he will, but that's just my hunch.

Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to point out something you've probably already noticed: that Republican apologists are saying that all of this is the Democrats' fault.

The most ridiculous assertion by Republican loyalists is that the Democrats knew about Foley all along -- emails and IMs and all -- and waited to spring their October surprise. This, of course, is disputed by ABC News who broke the story last week.

Other Republican apologists are suggesting that the Democrats are to blame, in a larger sense, for Foley preying on those pages. Some (e.g., the Christian Right) are saying that "our sex-drenched culture" encouraged and/or enabled Foley. Translation: the Democrats loooooove to drench things in sex. Others (I'm talking to you, Newt Gingrich) have said that Republicans were afraid to pull the trigger on Foley because they'd be accused of, you know, gay-bashing. Jon Stewart had the best come-back for that:

By the way, equating a 52-year-old Congressman who preys on 16-year-olds with being gay may be one reason that the GOP is being accused of gay-bashing.
And no less than the Wall Street Journal editorial page disingenuously suggested that the Democrats were OK with protecting gay scoutmasters so why all the fuss now? But they gloss over an important point -- gay men are not always predatory males, nor are predatory males always gay.

No to all of them. Just no.

The fact is, what Foley did was wrong and everyone knows it. And, knowing it was wrong, the House leadership swept it under the rug, for whatever reason we cannot say. Perhaps they feared losing his seat, perhaps they feared losing face, perhaps they feared losing power. Who knows? But it's clear now that Foley being gay was the least of it.

So for the Republicans to divert attention away from their own corrupt leadership by somehowing equate this scandal with their own anti-gay platform is wrong and no one should be fooled by it.

So, if you've had enough of their crap, vote for change -- vote Democratic. Because that is the only way to say that everyone should be held accountable for their actions.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg joins the masses of clueless, finger-pointing Republicans.

Foley: The Shame

by Mark Adams

The shame of it is, the Pedo-Foley-a scandal* gives the entire GOP apparatus an excuse.

The Democrats were well on their way to an historic victory, reemerging to the seats of power and influence on the merits.  So inept at managing the nation, the Republican stranglehold on all the levers of government exposed them as without the principles necessary to lead America or minimal ability to supervise each other.

And they had no one to blame but themselves.  They had no credible Democratic whipping boy obstructing their great plans . . . if only the liberals/courts/media or brainwashed public would get out of their way, we would all finally see the light of their vision for a better world.

Continue reading "Foley: The Shame" »

By 58-41, Poll Says Bush “Mislead” Us Into Iraq

(Click image to see complete poll results)

In another America, in another time, deliberately misleading the country into war would be an impeachable offense. But with a rubber-stamp Republican Congress, Bush-Cheney are immune from accountability.

This is why you must vote for change. You must vote Democratic. You must do this for no other reason than simply to restore accountability to the system.

It's not going to be easy to overturn the Republican majority. Let's get real: Bush's approval rating in the same poll is 39% (down three points in a week). So, in other words, the guy lies us into a war (resulting in nearly 25 thousand American casualties) and over a third of the public still approves of his performance as president.


But we can take some small measure of encouragement from this: a solid majority (54-37) say that, if the Congressional elections were held today, they would vote for the Democrat over the Republican in their own district. And this poll was done just as the Foley Sex Scandal Coverup started gathering steam.

Vote for Change. Vote Democratic on November 7.

October 03, 2006

Bush loyalist caves, vows to vote Democratic

Yes, it's true: Rosemary is out. She's vowing to throw the Republican bastards under the bus.

Continue reading "Bush loyalist caves, vows to vote Democratic" »

MI-Gov: Granholm wins first debate

Political debates usually find challengers on the attack and incumbents playing defense. But Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm reversed roles on Republican Dick DeVos in their first debate Monday night.

The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall: Latest on PredatorGate Sex Scandal Cover-up

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

Of course, all the stories lead off with the Washington TImes calling for Hastert's head on a platter:

Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.
Damn straight! Throw him under the bus -- if he'll fit.

Continue reading "The Redder They Are, The Harder They Fall: Latest on PredatorGate Sex Scandal Cover-up" »

A Twofer

by Mark Adams

This is the day I've been waiting for.  The reason I blog.

A mea culpa (of sorts), and an outright about-face.

Awesome.  My faith in man(andwoman)kind is restored.

Foley Sex Scandal: Scarborough Weighs In

Joe Scarborough, longtime friend of Mark Foley, wonders:

Reading the first set of e-mails made me uneasy. My friends who knew Mark and I got on the phone and wondered aloud why he would ask a high school kid for a picture . . .
See, that's the thing -- the first set of emails was enough to set off the alarm bells. When Tony Snow calls them "naughty emails," he's being disingenuous. Any of us would have felt a sickening sense of foreboding and done some more follow-up on that.
Where was the Republican leadership over the past year? They knew of Mark’s inappropriate e-mails to a former page but never informed Democratic leaders so they could warn those pages they had brought to Washington.
Never mind that the guy was the chair of the Missing and Exploited Childrens' Caucus. Jaysus!
How could the Speaker of the House not remember being told by the Chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee that Foley had been confronted with his inappropriate emails to a male intern? Does this happen so often in Congress that it was no big deal to Denny Hastert?
Good question. Here's Hastert's response:

Had Enough? Vote for Change, Vote Democratic.

October 02, 2006

You can't make this stuff up

Huge stories, all breaking now, any one of which could swing an election:

  1. Torture legalized & Bush-Cheney pardon themselves
  2. NIE says Iraq war is making terrorism worse
  3. Foley sex scandal and meltdown of House leadership
  4. Woodward's book including Condi's brushing off the CIA shortly before 9/11(among other details)
Are any (or all) of these going to be the tipping point that brings the Dems the majority?

Frist: For The Taliban Before He Was Against Them

Frist, this morning: Bring the Taliban into the Afghan government.


Frist, this evening: Uhhhhm...not so much.

Foley Scandal: 10 Things Republicans Hope Won't Happen Next

First, let's get real about the stakes involved. Here's George Stephanopolous:

Right now it's a category 3 hurricane and it's picking up steam. Republicans all across the country are getting questions about it. But here's the key question: Did any Republican leaders know about those x-rated emails? ...If they did, it's game over. The leadership will have to resign. It will cost Republicans control of Congress. As one top GOP aide told [Stephanopolous] -- 'the place will burn down.'

Continue reading "Foley Scandal: 10 Things Republicans Hope Won't Happen Next" »

October 01, 2006

October Surprise? Here's what the Republicans are up against (so far)

(Video included below)
(Cross posted to Daily Kos)

If I were a Democratic challenger for Congress, I'd use any (or all) of the following issues to beat my Republican opponent like a rented mule.

In no particular order:

The formula is simple:
  1. Bush is atrocious
  2. The Republican incumbent IS Bush
  3. So the Republican incumbent is atrocious.
  4. Had enough? Then vote for change, vote Democratic.

Foley sex scandal, Woodward book remind us (again) of one thing...

...that the rubber stamp Republican Congress shirked its oversight duties on a routine basis.

Throw the rascals out on November 7. Vote for change, vote Democratic.

In Battle For The News Cycle, White House Rolls Out...Mohammed Atta

The Foley sex scandal is a firestorm threatening to scorch the House Republican leadership while the book State of Denial by White House stenographer Bob Woodward reveals a White House determined to hide the truth about Iraq from the American public.

And -- ta da! -- as if on cue, here come the terrorists:

A tape has emerged that appears to show Sept. 11 ringleader Muhammad Atta recording his last will and testament months before the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, according to NBC News and a report in the London Sunday Times.
The tape "has emerged," eh? I bet it has -- and right on time, too.

Look for more nuggets of this sort to come out the closer we get to November 7th.

September 29, 2006

Bombshell Book: “Has Bush Lost Control Of Iraq?”

The video is short -- just 5 minutes. Watch the whole thing, then share it with your friends. Just click the SHARE button (lower right corner of video screen) and insert the appropriate email addresses.

Don't wait -- the election is less than 40 days off. If Bush and the Republicans hold onto their majority, God only knows what's in store for this country over the next two years.

This is what people will be discussing for the next 7 days, at least...

Watch it now and then share it with your friends. Time is tight -- the election is almost on top of us. Get the word out: Vote Democratic and stop Bush before it is too late.

NBC News:

Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, accuses US officials of deliberately trying to mislead the public about the worsening state of the war in Iraq.

Bob Woodward: There is public and then there is private. But what did they do with the private? They stamped it secret. No one is supposed to know. Why is that secret?

The book, to be released Monday, also claims senior US officials in Iraq urgently called for more troops as early as September, 2003 to contain the growing insurgency. But they were ignored -- the assessments considered too pessimistic.

Woodward: The insurgents know what they're doing, the level of violence and how effective they are.

Who doesn't know? The American public.

Continue reading "Bombshell Book: “Has Bush Lost Control Of Iraq?”" »

September 26, 2006

VA-Senate: “The people who failed to prevent disaster in Iraq are not the ones you can count on to fix it.”

Jim Webb knows how to speak plainly and directly about the Republican failure in the Iraq War.

"We need leaders in the US Senate, not followers."

The Party of Bourbon vs. The Party of Gin

Back in the day, political campaigns marshalled their supporters based on broad characteristics such as where they lived. Democrats would concentrate on cities and Republicans, on the suburbs.

But that was then, this is now:

In their search for voters, Republican strategists can quickly pull up information not only about voting histories, age, address and marital status, but also consumer habits, vehicle ownership, magazine subscriptions, church membership, hobbies, major purchases -- even whether a household prefers bourbon over gin. (Bourbon drinkers tend to be Republican; gin is more often a Democrat's drink).

Continue reading "The Party of Bourbon vs. The Party of Gin" »

Olbermann blasts Bush and Fox News

Keith Olbermann:

The nation's freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as Al-Qaeda; the nation's "marketplace of ideas" is being poisoned, by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would've quit.


...the headline is this: Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done, in five years. He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

Continue reading "Olbermann blasts Bush and Fox News" »

September 25, 2006

Today is “Donut Hole Day...”

...when the average Medicare enrollee falls into Medicare Part D's donut hole, the gap in coverage for those beneficiaries with annual drug costs between $2,250 and $5,100.

When that happens, millions of seniors caught in the donut hole will go to the pharmacy this fall and be forced to pay thousands of dollars for prescriptions.

Another fiasco brought to you by the rubber-stamp Republican majority Congress.

Who Will Win the Battle of the News Cycles?

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

In the closing weeks of the campaign season, the White House has begun its final battle to control the daily news cycle and gain the high ground in the traditional media. The stakes are high -- he who controls the news cycle controls the perception of millions of members of his own base. And he who control perception, controls reality. The same thing works on the Democratic base: if our morale goes down because we think the Republicans are turning the tide, it could affect turnout in November.

Last week, the White House promoted the stories of crazy Chavez and evil Ahmadinejad battling gallant Bush at the UN. That was followed by the rumor that Osama had eaten some bad spinach and was no more. Lastly, the White House touted the "torture compromise" and how they "relented" to the Republican "rebels" in the Senate. His base takes heart, while some in our base are discouraged, if even for just a moment or two.

This week opens with Bush grieving in private for the tens of thousands of war casualties that he caused. Oh, noble, sensitive, Dear Leader! No doubt we'll also get some more warnings about TNT -- terror and taxes -- and how the Democrats will destroy our security and prosperity if they gain the majority in November.

Unfortunately, the Democrats do not have the advantage in the news cycle wars because they literally do not have a single spokesman. But stories do get out: there is is toxic report that the NIE is saying that terrorism has gotten worse because of the war in Iraq. And don't underestimate the effect of Clinton's CGI followed by his pushback on Fox News. There are other stories, but you get the picture. Our base gets fired up by those stories.

Obviously, there's a lot at stake: Bush's numbers have risen whenever the White House pushes its narrative; and that alone becomes a story that can control a news cycle. So think of Bush as a parrot with a ball and chain attached to his leg. He can flap his wings for a while and get airborne. But eventually the ball brings him back to earth, exhausted, until the next try.

But there is a more important analogy, one that the White House would surely acknowledge: Bush is on a see-saw along with the Democrats. Sometimes he's up and the Democrats are down; and vice-versa. The only thing that matters is this -- who will get off the see-saw first?

September 24, 2006

Do the Democrats Have A Ground Game Like THIS One?

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

This snippet comes buried in a longer, more negative article about RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman.

Are the Democrats organized like this? If not, why not?

Continue reading "Do the Democrats Have A Ground Game Like THIS One?" »

September 21, 2006

It can't happen here? Think again.

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

I've been around long enough to remember what it was like living under the Nixon administration: subject to the draft, vulnerable to unconstitutional power-grabs like Cointelpro, and witnessing the whole snakepit of lawbreaking that lay beneath what we now call "Watergate." And when Nixon went down I viewed it as a triumph -- the system had righted itself.

Many years later, when Miss Julie worried about the state of the nation should Bush be re-elected in 2004, I told her that the country survived Nixon back then and we'd survive Bush this time.

But I may have spoken too soon.

Continue reading "It can't happen here? Think again." »

September 20, 2006

Republican "Dick" DeVos thinks the sky is blue because God wants it that way


Read this if you really, REALLY want to elect a Democratic majority in November

No matter what you think, no matter what you hear from your like-minded friends, no matter what you hope, this fact is plain: Republicans are better at getting their voters to the polls than Democrats are. And this is the main reason they keep winning elections.

There are lots of reason for that. One big one -- we aren't very good at "profiling." For example, Republicans already know that people who live in the exurbs and drive American made trucks and SUVs are likely to vote for Republican candidates. So they get easily available mailing lists of truck and SUV owners and then they sort via zip code and send direct mail to these folks. Many of these people are already on their lists as likely voters; but many are not. And by finding and convincing the ones that were not previously identified, the Republicans gain a huge advantage over Democrats.

Now I've picked a simplistic example here, but multiply this by 100 times in volume and sophistication and you'll realize that the Democrats are outgunned when it comes to GOTV activity.

So if we want Democrats to take the majority of one or both houses of Congress, we better find sympathetic voters out there and make sure they get to the polls and vote for Democrats.

Now I'm not suggesting that you launch a sophisticated data-mining project this close to the election. But there are things you can do to help bring our people to the polls (HT to Christy Hardin Smith):

One advantage we have as Democrats is that we have a better network of progressive/activist blogs that can spread the word about our candidates. We can generate buzz by forwarding articles like this one to people who do not read blogs on a regular basis.

So, please take a moment right now commit to doing one or more of the things on this action list. Then copy and send this article to 5 of your friends and ask them to do the same thing.

We all want Democrats to take the majority in November, but it won't happen unless YOU take action, NOW.

September 19, 2006

Sen. Allen flips out when asked if his mother was Jewish

What was that all about?

Lowkell puts it in perspective:

As another famous Jew, Sigmund Freud, might have said in this situation, George Allen appears to have some deep-seated "issues" regarding his Jewish heritage - and regarding many other things as well.

In general, Allen has a well-documented nasty/violent streak, as exemplified in the past by his abusive behavior towards his sister (see her book, Fifth Quarter, for how George dragged her upstairs by the hair and held her, terrified, over Niagara Falls).

Aside from Allen's abusive treatment of his sister (as reported by her in her book), there are numerous additional, documented examples of Allen's nasty, snarling side.

For instance, there's Allen's infamous "enjoy knocking their soft teeth down their whining throats" line about "liberals."

There's even an incident in which Allen taunted a man - a Republican, no less - for being a "sissy" because he was wearing a bicycle helmet!

Finally, in the most infamous incident of all, Allen just a few weeks ago attacked a young, South Asian American man from Fairfax, Virginia - S.R. Sidarth - in front of an all-white, all-Republican crowd.

Like the female reporter at yesterday's debate, Sidarth reported being "shocked" at Allen's behavior, and at being called "macaca," a common racial slur in the French Tunisia of Allen's mother.

So here's the takeaway message out of all this: George Allen has a nasty, sadistic, vicious, violent streak that flares up all-too-frequently.

And this guy wants the Republican nomination for President in 2008.


Two polls, two narratives about Bush

USA Today Gallup poll: Bush ratings rebound, approval hits highest level in a year (44%).

Rasmussen Reports: 41% of American adults approve of the way that President Bush is performing his job and 58% disapprove. That's about where the numbers were before the President’s 9/11 speech. In other words, his 9/11 bounce came back to earth. Furthermore, he's been at, or around, 41% in the Rasmussen poll since March.

Polling disparities are not new and neither are disparities in the narrative.

Let's look at the polling disparities first:

The Gallup poll was done between 9/15-9/17. The results of the Rasmussen poll for those same three days (released 9/18) showed Bush trending downward and polling at 41%. The Gallup poll is done twice a month; the Rasmussen poll is released every day, showing the combined results from the previous three days ("3-day rolling average"). Gallup shows Bush trending upwards (from 31% in May to 44% today) whereas Rasmussen has his support flat during the same time.

As far as disparities in the narrative, well, that is the perogative of the news outlet. Gallup's numbers might be the leading indicator of a Bush resurgence, but so many other stories indicate otherwise. It's probably best to discount all of these, on both sides. After all, Bush is not on the ballot this November; Congress is. And if you look at how they are "narrating" their relationship to Bush so far, "radioactive" is a word that comes to mind.

Speaking of Congressional elections: the Gallup poll includes results from the generic "Democrat or Republican" poll, showing it tied 48-48, erasing a 9-pt. Dem lead from the last poll. But inidividual races are polling in each state and district, with the names of specific candidates. In those polls, the Dems are currently ahead, and If the election were held today there is a good chance that they would regain the House and possibly the Senate as well.

So who and what do you believe? Best not to look into the crystal ball because you wind up eating ground glass.

September 18, 2006

Why We Must Not Change The Geneva Convention

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC):

The Geneva Convention is just not some concept; it has saved lives. We adhere to it, and we expect others to do it.

Continue reading "Why We Must Not Change The Geneva Convention" »

September 15, 2006

Senate analysis: Dems in much better shape now than three months ago

Latest polls show Dems in a strong position to win back the November. The good news? They're in the lead now. The bad news? They're in the Yeah, I know: it's only a snapshot.

Dpinzow has the details.

September 14, 2006

Sen. Landrieu: “America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership...”

I've not always been in Mary Landrieu's cheering section. I haven't cared for her membership in the bogus "Gang of 14" or her silence while the Feds shafted New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But she did stand up today and say what needs to be said about the all-encompassing issue of the war in Iraq. Good for her.

September 13, 2006

VA-Sen: Best ad this cycle

If you think the last thing our troops need is more body armor, you better watch this ad right now.

This devastating ad features an AK-47 ("the weapon of choice among terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan") piercing the Vietnam era flak jackets many troops wore in Iraq. Then it shows how the newer, more effective body armor fares against that same AK-47. There's no contest.

Lastly, (an organization of Iraq veterans), calls for the defeat of Virginia Senator George Allen because he voted against supplying our troops with the modern, better body armor shown in this ad.

And Allen wants to run for President someday? No way, baby, no way.

(HT to kos)

September 12, 2006

The decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century? NOT.

Question: Do you agree with the president that the US is fighting the decisive ideological struggle of the twenty-first century?

Brzezinski: I think it's an absolutely absurd formulation...We're dealing with a bunch of fanatics. We're dealing with some foolish fundamentalist haters of the west. We're dealing with some outraged ethnic and nationalist feelings. But to elevate this into a global ideological collision, and directly somehow reminiscent of the twentieth-century struggle with Nazis and communism, is an absurdity which either reflects profound ignorance, or a totally manipulative desire to use public anxiety for political purposes.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Maryland Primary Election Diebold Disaster

Read it and weep.

September 11, 2006

Cheney vs. Koppel on Absolute Security Against Terrorism

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

"Dick" Cheney:

[W]e've done a hell of a job here at home, in terms of homeland security, in terms of the terrorist surveillance program we've put in place, in terms of the financial tracking program we put in place, and because of our detainee policy, where we, in fact, were able to interrogate captured terrorists ...

Translation: Warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention of citizens, torture -- no price is too big to pay to ensure the security of the American people.

Continue reading "Cheney vs. Koppel on Absolute Security Against Terrorism" »

September 07, 2006

Bush + Bin Laden: Helping Each Other

It is widely understood that every time Bush mentions Bin Laden's name, Bush's numbers go up. So the Gang of 500 is all a-twitter that Dear Leader's ballsy move, the transfer of several terror suspects from the CIA-secret-prisons-that-don't-really-exist over to Gitmo, will cause a bump in Bush's approval ratings. Some are even predicting that this development will be the beginning of a turn-around that will allow the Republicans to hang on to their majority in both houses of Congress. That remains to be seen. After all, Bush's numbers showed only a temporary rise after the Brits busted up the London terror plot, whereas the Dick Morris' of the pundit-world had predicted a 10-point rise.


Track it for yourself: Bush is at 41% in Rasmussen's daily poll -- where he's been since March. And other polling is indicating that the Dems will take the House and maybe the Senate. So let's look at the numbers in a week and see where we're headed. My hunch is that you don't reverse a year's worth of dissatisfaction with a week's worth of posturing, but I've been wrong before.

P.S. Today -- as if by coincidence! -- Al Jazeera is airing video of Bin Laden meeting with some of the 9/11 hijackers. Could it be that Al Jazeera (who Bush wanted to bomb during the early stages of the Iraq war) is in cahoots with Bush? Or is it more likely that Al Jazeera is in cahoots with al-Qaeda?

Or, even more likely, is it true that what's good for the goose is good for the gander? You know, as far as Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are concerned, Bush has been very, very, very good for business. So maybe the release of the video helps both sides; Bush gets to scare people some more while Bin Laden gets to burnish his reputation.

Big Dog Barks: Clinton demands that ABC change (or cancel) 9/11 mockumentary

Bill Clinton just kicked it up a notch.

If you haven't done so already, tell ABC how you feel about the factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate content of their upcoming "special" on 9/11.

UPDATE: From Think Progress:

James Bamford, an author and journalist who has written about security issues, appeared on MSNBC to discuss "The Path to 9/11." Bamford revealed that an FBI agent who worked as a consultant to the film quit halfway through production of the mini-series because he believed the writers and producers were "making things up."
UPDATE II: Open Letter To ABC is a new blog that is consolidating all the info on this fiasco. Check it out.

UPDATE III: Oy. The Families of September 11 have also weighed in. Paging Ann Coulter!!

How long will it be before Bush loyalists declare that all this is proof that the mockumentary has "hit a nerve," that Clinton has "something to hide," and that "liberals are shutting off free speech."

    UPDATE III-b: Rose responds, like clockwork, and demonstrates that she sees no difference between a "documentary" and a "dramatization," because, after all, she watched them both on her TV set.

Twenty-Seven New House Polls Indicate Democratic Takeover

Chris Bowers has the details.

In short, Bowers is projecting a 95% chance that the Dems will take the House with a net pickup of 15-23 seats (15 being the magic number for majority control).

In a related story, Larry Sabato is projecting a net pickup of 12-15 seats.

[Note: Sabato is also projecting a net pickup of 3-6 seats for the Dems in the Senate (5 being the magic number for majority control).]

Lastly, the Intrade prediction market for "House GOP control" contracts is at 38, i.e., traders believe there is only a 38% chance that the Republicans will hold onto their majority. This is down 10 points in the past two weeks.

September 05, 2006

Hijacking 9/11

ABC's docudrama, 'The Path to 9/11,' is a mix of fact, fantasy and deliberate distortion adding up to blatant pro-Bush propaganda. Sheldon Rampton shares details.

UPDATE: Richard Clarke Blasts Key Scene In ABC's 9/11 Docudrama:

ThinkProgress has obtained a rebuttal of key scenes from Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism czar for Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, and now counterterrorism adviser to ABC:
  1. Contrary to the movie, no US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden.

  2. Contrary to the movie, the head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was no where near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see UBL.

  3. Contrary to the movie, the CIA Director actually said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single sourced and we would have no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.
In short, this scene -- which makes the incendiary claim that the Clinton administration passed on a surefire chance to kill or catch bin Laden -- never happened. It was completely made up by [the show's writer].

The actual history is quite different. According to the 9/11 Commission Report (pg. 199), then-CIA Director George Tenet had the authority from President Clinton to kill Bin Laden. Roger Cressy, former NSC director for counterterrorism, has written, "Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda."

Tell ABC to tell the truth about 9/11.

September 04, 2006

New Tool To Prosecute Blackwell

by Mark Adams (and Associates)

The controversy surrounding Ohio's new voter suppression election law known as HB 3 (House Bill 3) has been well documented.  The ID requirement is the most obvious hassle (bring an ID to vote, or a utility bill with your name and address if your ID was issued before you moved.)  Also, if you're a naturalized citizen, even if you've been here for 50 years and always voted, they want to see your naturalization papers.  (I'm having flashbacks to an old WWII movie with the Gestapo demanding "Ihre Papieren, Bitte!")

One thing I haven't seen examined regarding this legislation (which for all appearances seems to be nothing less than an attempt by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to create a perpetual Republican majority in the State) is the fact that Kenny himself has provided the Ohio Attorney General a new tool to investigate and prosecute the Secretary of State and his co-conspirators for election fraud stemming out of the 2004 Ohio election fiasco.

The items that won't affect voters personally, but are nonetheless a stab at the heart of the integrity of Ohio elections were succinctly summarized by Ohio 2nd Blog:

HB3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio.

The following analysis was forwarded to me by another attorney who (for now) wishes to remain anonymous.

Continue reading "New Tool To Prosecute Blackwell" »

September 01, 2006

Malcolm X: Karl Rove's Inspiration?

(Cross posted to Daily Kos)

Flash back to Malcolm X in May, 1963:

As between the racists and the integrationists, I highly prefer the racists. I'd rather walk among rattlesnakes, whose constant rattle warns me where they are, than among those Northern snakes who grin and make you forget you're still in a snake pit.
Flash forward to 2006, when so much has been written recently about high-profile Republicans playing the race card. Conrad Burns, George Allen, the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, Joe Lieberman and Pat Buchanan have all done it, some personally, others through their campaign apparatus.

Joe Klein believes it is the handiwork of Karl Rove:

Rove has shown a positive genius for organizing campaigns around poisonous trivia. He will question the patriotism of Democrats (and, once again, be aided by those on the noisome left who believe that the U.S. is a malignant, imperialistic force in the world). He will deploy an ugly, stone-throwing distortion of Christian "values," especially against those Democrats who choose not to discriminate against homosexuals. And if things get really desperate, he will play the race card, as Republicans have ever since they sided against the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
For a political operation that loves to say "up" is "down" and "war" is "peace," this makes perfect sense and actually plays to their advantage. You can hear it now: the Republican party is the party that believes in strong moral values like, you know, honesty.

August 25, 2006

Never Mind The Polls: Watch The Prediction Markets

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

"Follow the money."

That's what Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein. For good or bad, I think it has almost always been true about politics.

That said, there are more than a few "prediction markets" that track buying and selling of contracts that predict outcomes in political races.

Intrade is one such prediction market. It is a trading exchange for politics, current events, financial Indicators, weather & other unique contracts.

Here's an example of how it works:

Continue reading "Never Mind The Polls: Watch The Prediction Markets" »

August 24, 2006

Ever get the feeling that the terrorists are laughing at us?

Click to see full cartoon...

Continue reading "Ever get the feeling that the terrorists are laughing at us?" »

Sabato Looks Into The Crystal Ball

No matter what I say, Larry Sabato keeps trying to forecast the future. Today, he admits surprise that 40 (not 30) Congressional seats are now competitive in this election cycle:

Where does the "Ferocious Forty" leave us? Well, for starters, 31 out of 40 are currently held by the GOP, which means Democrats would need only to win 24 of the 40 to seize control of the House--a much easier feat than previously estimated.
In brief, he's sketching a plausible nightmare scenario: one party or the other emerges with one of the smallest House majorities in US history -- 218-217. It's a nightmare because a small coalition -- say, conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans -- would hold the balance of power. If that happens, look for some members to switch parties, if not vote with the opposition.

I have no idea if he's right. I thought the 2004 election for President was NOT going to be close and I was wrong, again proving that he who looks into the crystal ball is bound to eat broken glass.

August 22, 2006

Polls: Dem challengers closing the gap on GOP incumbents

Connecticut: Lamont and Lieberman (yes, he's a Republican), neck and neck.

Virginia: Webb and Allen, neck and neck.

Tennessee: Surprise! -- Ford and Corker, neck and neck.

August 21, 2006

October Surprise: War With Iran?

Contrary to what I've urged previously, it now looks more likely that the Israel-Lebanon war really might be the undercard to the main bout: US-Iran. Meteor Blades tells it.

Dueling Anniversaries: 9/11 versus Katrina

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

Proceed with caution: emotional hotspots ahead...


The Republicans are counting on the fifth anniversary to remind people of Bush's Bullhorn moment, which was sold as a moment of potent muscular leadership when in fact it was what he had been training for since his days on the sidelines at Andover prep ...

That brings us to the other big pageant this fall. A few days before 9/11 we are going to memorialize another day of national horror: the death of a huge swathe of an American city, while the president and John McCain shared a few laughs over birthday cake.

Yes, of course, but what is the lesson? What is the point? That Republicans are uncaring, incompetant, uncompassionate hypocrites? Duh.

Besides, you have to be careful here because the dueling anniversaries will inflame that part of the Republican base that believes that the lives lost to a hurricane in New Orleans are, in fact, less than the lives lost to turban-wearing terrorists. After all, everyone knows that those people were too stupid to get out of the way, right? Serves 'em right. Every man for himself. If you rely on the government, you deserve what you get.

Oh and by the way: "macaca." Vote Republican.

No, the real lesson is that we're all residents of the state of Louisiana because when the next disaster hits, y'all be just as vulnerable to it as we were, even now, five years after 9/11.

So go ahead and bang the drum slowly, Republicans. Enjoy the dirge. As for the rest of us, it is time to rise up and throw the rascals out because if we don't, we're just sitting ducks, waiting for the next disaster.

Why Won't Whining Work?

by Mark Adams

One thing Democrats should keep in mind during election season is never take the opposition's "advice" too seriously.  More specifically to this election, Democrats cannot stop fighting on every single issue, every day.

The grievances are piled high and deserve attention.  Call it whining if you must, but the litany of mistakes and malfeasance committed by our current crop of Republican rulers can be used as a club to frame the debate on every single issue at stake this November.

Ara bullet-pointed the MyDD braintrust's six-part formula to get a Democratic win this fall.  While even Digby, whose insightful perspectives never fail to inspire, has a "gut" feeling that their "common sense" approach is "uncomplicated and obvious."  I think that their six points have five too many.

Everything they say makes perfect sense, and should be internalized.  However, the last piece of advice, to "pick a fight, any fight" is the sine qua non of the strategy, and they acknowledge that "a resolute willingness to not back off in the face of criticism is key."

Pick a fight, any fight. Voters need to be convinced that Democrats can credibly challenge Bush. Whether the fight is over [choose your battle in the list of administration failures and overreach] Democratic candidates must demonstrate strength through aggressive confrontation where the term "accountability" is more than just an abstraction . . .

Swopa boils it down to bumper-sticker size, getting a "second opinion."  The idea being that on any issue, one party rule has so botched things up that getting a second opinion: a bi-partisan legislative consensus, a judge issued warrant, a meaningful international coalition; is more than reasonable after years of WMDs, "mushroom cloud[s,]" "turning corner[s]," and "We never anticipated the levees would break."  We're not the al Qaeda party.  No one is running as a terrorist, there are no Iranian plants running for Congress or belongs to IFFY (the Islamic Fascists Fraternity of Yankees.)  All we want is a second opinion before George goes off on another attempt to make a sweeping transformation of the world we live in -- like destroying Social Security or Teheran.

I think I've reduced all this fine wonkery into something even a rattled, tired, distracted candidate can call on in the middle of a debate when s/he's put on the spot by remembering one word -- whine.  Any old hack can remember to whine as long as they're coached on how to do it without sounding like a baby.

Continue reading "Why Won't Whining Work?" »

August 17, 2006

What Congressional Democrats Must Do To Win In November

In brief: Face the most important issue of all -- Iraq. And face it by promising to exercise your constitutional authority.

In detail:

Continue reading "What Congressional Democrats Must Do To Win In November" »

August 16, 2006

Strategies for Republicans to help them keep control of Congress

Our favorite Bush loyalist is casting around for strategies to help Republicans keep control of Congress. Isn't it kind of late in the game to bust out of their role as the do-nothing, rubber-stamp Republicans? I mean, never mind that they wouldn't be IN this position so close to the election if only they had, you know, DONE something during their tenure as the majority party.


Regardless, I'll offer some suggestions (in no particular order) for how they can keep their majority:

  1. Get every state with a majority-Republican state legislature to reduce the number of voting machines in Democratic precincts on election day. You know -- one machine per precinct is plenty.

  2. Get churches to aggressively recruit new voters. Tell them that Democrats are queer-lovers who favor teaching our children about man-on-dog sex in the public school while plotting to impeach President Bush.

  3. In each Congressional race, accuse the Democrat of being "the al-Qaeda candidate."

  4. Release another Osama tape on Nov. 2, 2006, which is the Thursday before election day. Or, if no such tape is handy, raise the terror alert to Orange or even Red.

  5. 9/11, 9/11, 9/11.
How about you? What other effective strategies can you come up with?

August 15, 2006

Sen. Allen calls Indian student a monkey -- and gets away with it

What a wanker.

UPDATE: Digby and Wolcott recount the recent history of racist speech-code in this country (much of it refined as part of Republican party tactics) and how well Allen fits in with that tradition.

Feel Safer?

August 13, 2006

Ohio Republicans, Offers That Can't Be Refused

by Mark Adams

This KOS diary by Farmbo reminded me of the story I saw in this morning's Toledo Blade, way before coffee had reached my brain.  It makes me want to remind every Ohio citizen voting for Democrats this fall to remember to bring your ID and proof of residency.  And it wouldn't hurt to "misplace" your Republican uncle's driver's license the day before the election, not that it would matter if he "looks" like a Republican.

BWC tried to keep $215M loss under wraps prior to '04 vote: "COLUMBUS - Less than a week before the 2004 presidential election, Jim Conrad, then head of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, took steps to ensure that a $215 million investment loss in an offshore hedge-fund would not become public, documents obtained by The Blade show."
Between Governor Taft's appointees covering up the scandal that led to the conviction of Bush fundraiser Tom Noe in "Coingate," and the New York Times facilitating the Oval Office's suppression of the NSA wiretapping scandal -- both of which were known but not made public before the 2004 Presidential election -- Ohio Democrats have a lot to be angry about.

Continue reading "Ohio Republicans, Offers That Can't Be Refused" »

August 11, 2006

Lieberman Without Tears

Michael Tomasky writes that one unctuous hawk's demise is not a trend:

At this minute, eight Democratic Senate incumbents who voted in favor of the Iraq resolution are seeking re-election: Cantwell, Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), and of course Joe Lieberman (Conn.), now as an independent. And of those eight, exactly one -- Lieberman -- faced or is facing a serious primary challenge because of the war.
It was about Lieberman's excessive fawning over the president. ... It was about anger... at the notion, widespread among the commentariat, that national-security "toughness" demands support for the mendacious and ruinous policies of the Bush administration in Iraq and elsewhere. And, of course, it was about other things besides Iraq, too.
But wait, there's more:
[There are] eight Democratic Senate challengers to GOP incumbents who are within striking distance of unseating them (or in some cases ahead in current polls). ...[T]he long and the short of it is that if the Democrats manage to retake the Senate, their caucus will in all likelihood be more moderate and have more red-staters than the current one.
Pay attention: the story is still unfolding.

August 10, 2006

Shorter George W. Bush

"Failed terror plot a reminder that everybody should stop complaining about how bad I screwed up Iraq."

Seriously, I heard Dick Morris tell Bill O'Reilly tonight that Bush's numbers will "go up 10 points" to the mid-40's and the Democrats chances will go down the tubes. "I'm tearing up my predictions for the November elections because of this," says Morris.

O'Reilly:"If this had happened on Monday, Lieberman would have won the election because he is tough on terror."

Well, sure. Next, we'll hear that Bush and Lieberman busted the terrorists' door down with a fireman's axe and handcuffed the bad guys themselves.

And in a related story, Republicans are talking up Joe Lieberman's candidacy, all the way from "Dick" Cheney and Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman on down to struggling GOP candidates for the Senate:

Minnesota Republican senate candidate Mark Kennedy, a dozen points behind Democrat Amy Klobuchar in latest poll (Rasmussen, 8/1), endorses Lieberman. So does McGavick in Washington state. He's down 11 points (Rasmussen, 7/17).
That's how bad it's gotten for the Republicans: they're lining up behind a guy who promised to caucus with the Democrats if he wins re-election.

(HT to Josh Marshall)

Tony Snow: Ned Lamont (and Bush 41) are terrorist enablers

Bush loyalists point to a blogger who has doubts about escalating to Code Red. "I see nothing reasonable in these reactions," says Rosemary, with (unintended?) irony. "They are shameful and just a little bit sick."

Fair enough. But if you really want to talk about "shameful and sick," I'd like to refer you to Press Secretary Tony Snow's comments following the defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary yesterday:

...[T]he real question for the American people to ask themselves is, do you take the war on terror seriously, with all the developments going on around the world? And, if so, how do you fight it to win? There seem to be two approaches. And in the Connecticut race one of the approaches is ignore the difficulties and walk away.
Yes. Well. That's the real question? I think the "real question" is whether or not we can believe anything this administration tells us anymore. Their credibility is zero.

But beyond that, Snow (translation: "Bush") is wagging his finger and scolding the 60% of this country who now believe that the war was not worth it.

If that's their strategy for November, then good luck with that. Like they say, "Bring it on."

But wait, there's more:

Now, when the United States walked away, in the opinion of Osama bin Laden in 1991, bin Laden drew from that the conclusion that Americans were weak and wouldn't stay the course, and that led to September 11th.
You heard him: George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States, was a terrorist appeaser.

Now, you can rail against bloggers all you want. But when everything is said and done, this important question still remains: Is there a bigger bunch of morons around here than this current crew in the White House?

August 09, 2006

Lamont vs. Lieberman

In late 1942, in the aftermath of what he called "The Battle of Egypt," Winston Churchill famously said, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." If I'm Joe Lieberman, that's where I'm at this morning.

If I'm Ned Lamont, I'm telling everyone, everywhere, that Joe Lieberman and George W. Bush were separated at birth. Had enough of Bush? Vote for change, vote Democratic, vote for Lamont.

And the bloggers? Boo-yah!

To All Democratic elected officials, whether you be a mayor, a senator, a dog catcher, a president, a congressman, or a county commissioner:

Yesterday, Democratic primary voters went to the polls in...Connecticut. And what happened is what has been happening for the last sixty years or more. The party voters, the people who actually make up the rank and file of the Democratic Party, made their voices heard. They chose the candidate that best represents their beliefs, their ideas, their passion, and their policies at the polls and against the Republicans in November.

[T]hat candidate is Ned Lamont. He is now the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate...

So who the hell are you to question that choice?

If you are a Democrat this morning, you will ethusiastically support Ned Lamont in the fall. You will support him, campaign for him, contribute money to him. You will do for him what you do for other Democratic candidates across this land.

By contrast, Joe Lieberman, a former Democrat who left the Party last night because he could not abide democracy and the will of his party constituents, is to receive none of your hard work, encouraging words, or support, financial or otherwise. He is a party of one, a sore loserman if there ever was one...

If you dare to support Joe Lieberman, in any way, you are no longer a Democrat and we will seek to remove you from office. We will be watching. And we are not asking for much, only that support which you would give any Democrat who wins his primary.

Delaware Dem

As for me? A couple of thoughts:
  • If the Democrats are ever going to offer a clear choice to the Republicans, it'll be with Senators like Lamont, not Lieberman.

  • If you've read anything I've written here over the last four-plus years, you'd think Lieberman would be my guy, right? But no. Lieberman lost me when he pounded that lectern and lectured me about backing the President during a time of war. Things haven't been the same since....

  • ...and it isn't just about the war.
    • There was Lieberman playing footsie with Bush on Social Security;
    • there was his support of the energy bill;
    • there was his refusal to support the filibuster of Alito when it really could have made a difference;
    • there was his membership in that stupid "Gang of 14," when all it meant was that the Dems rolled over for the Republicans;
    • there was his support of the bankruptcy bill;
    • his support of the Republicans on the Schiavo affair,
    • and on and on and on.
    Apparently, to Lieberman, bi-partisanship means doing whatever the Republicans want him to do.

  • Given his steadfast refusal to hold this president accountable for anything -- anything! -- his sanctimonious scolding of Bill Clinton in 1998 is now particularly infuriating.

  • Isn't it ironic: Gore lost Tennessee in 2000 (because he was too liberal) and now Lieberman has lost Connecticut because he wasn't liberal enough.

  • Does this mean that the Democrats are re-living 1968 and 1972 all over again? Listen -- I was around then and this is nothing like that. If you want details, I'll be happy to provide them in the comments.
P.S. Message to Lieberman's webmaster: you are lame, lame, lame -- if your site has crashed (for whatever reason) your first responsibility is to get it up and running again. That should have taken you only an hour or two yesterday. You're going on two days now fellas. Get your s--t together, OK?

August 08, 2006

Ohio Election Tampering 2.0 ?

by Mark Adams

Where is the "tough on crime" crowd when this crap happens?

CLEVELAND -- Election officials in Cuyahoga County have replaced seven of the 13 electronic voting machines assigned to a church in suburban Cleveland because the seals were not intact. Elections director Michael Vu says the seals were in place when the machines were sent to the North Olmsted church, but they were either completely or partially removed when checked at the polling place.

Tuesday's special election is the county's first since a slew of problems in the May primary that led to delayed results and an outside investigation.

(Via Suburban Guerrilla.)

Win Or Lose, "Netroots" gets bashed

by Mark Adams

The mainstream press will lead tomorrow's conventional wisdom that bloggers must die.  It doesn't matter if Lieberman wins or loses, online activists will be blamed for the loss or blamed for leading the Democratic Party off the cliff.  We're evil, period.

An exhausted Chris Bowers sums it up:

Wednesday will be the worst day of press for the progressive netroots in years.  If Lamont loses, we will be branded as ineffectual, irrelevant, extremist, and destructive.  If Ned Lamont wins, we will be branded as powerful, relevant, extremist, and destructive.
Chris correctly states that neither conclusion is accurate or fair.  However, the Righties of Wingnuttostan wish they had a fraction of the "get out of your pajamas and get out there" spirit of Liberal Blogtopia.  You can't buy dedication.  You can't sell passion.  You can't fight ideas with stock options.

The days of wealthy board-room execs deciding the fate of the planet are not over, yet, but you are witnessing the very, very, very beginning of their demise.

August 05, 2006

Look, Another "Hilarious" Atrios Post

by Mark Adams

He's so Funny, especially when he does a little research.  Here's the funny quote he found by a well known Senator:

"If I were President, I'd get a new secretary of defense."
But wait, there's more:

Mind you this was some time ago, and this would only be shocking if the Senator were a Republican criticizing his own party's leadership, right?  I mean, back in 2003 the Democrats were in disarray about their opposition to the war, especially those who had voted to authorize the Iraq invasion.

It took a special kind of courage to oppose the administration on the war that early in the debacle.  What kind of die-hard liberal partisan could say these kinds of things on Face the Nation back then?

Look--look, the administration keeps talking--Ambassador Bremer, President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld, 'Everything's going great in Iraq.' We know everything is not going great in Iraq, even those of us who feel that what we did in Iraq was--was right, that the world is safer with Saddam Hussein gone feel even more intensely that the administration has--has really messed this up by its one-sided foreign policy which--which has kept other countries away from helping us and--and by its failure to have any kind of plan to secure post-Saddam Iraq.
That Joe Biden, what a loon.  Always wanting to internationalize everything. 

What?  That wasn't Biden?  Kerry then.  Kerry was always saying this kind of thing:

Remember General Eric Shinseki, the head of the Army, earlier this year, said that we would need more than 200,000 troops, not just to win the war but more to secure the peace. He was right. Secretary Rumsfeld, the administration, all--they disagreed with him. They, in some senses, demeaned him. The fact is that if the--the administration had a more multilateral, open, cooperative policy, we'd have foreign troops in there helping American troops to keep the peace. We'd have foreign countries paying more of the cost of rebuilding Iraq than they were willing to pledge the other day in Madrid.

Not Kerry?  I dunno, I give.  Maybe Hillary was feeling her oats that Sunday and blurted:

Well, look, ultimately the buck stops at the--at the w--president's desk. He's the commander in chief. He has to take accountability if things don't work well. I'll--I'll--I'll tell you this, that Secretary Rumsfeld told the truth in that private memo, that they haven't been as trusting of the American people to tell us the truth about the fact that we're not doing as well as they--that we should be doing in the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. And--and the worst thing about Don Rumsfeld's time at the Pentagon, the uniform military feel deeply that he doesn't respect them, doesn't listen to them. That--that's not the kind of relationship that we need between a secretary of Defense and the military. Judgment about whether he stays or not is up to President Bush, but if I were president, I'd--I'd get a new secretary of Defense.

Yeah, that sounds like Hillary.  It's obvious from the way she grilled Rumsfeld thursday then blasted him again to the press later, she's always had it in for Rummy.

Ah, WTF.  It wasn't Senator Clinton either?  I guess we'll never know unless we click to the rest of the story.

Continue reading "Look, Another "Hilarious" Atrios Post" »

It's The Stupid President's Stupid War, Stupid

by Mark Adams

There are many good arguments that the best Democratic election strategy this Fall is to wrap Iraq around every GOP candidate's neck and incessantly repeat, "It's the War, Stupid."  It's a similar suggestion to hanging the rubber-stamp label on the "Do Nothing" Congress, or just coming out and identifying the entire GOP as completely void of intellect as their leader, because "It's the Stupiidity, Stupid."  all variations on the "Had Enough" theme.

I cringe when I think of the arrogance it took for Bush to start the Iraq war.  The sheer naiveté it took for a man whose formal business degrees qualified him only to fail at every enterprise he undertook, whose life experience in no way prepared him to even suspect he was in any way capable of transforming the Middle East into a peaceful bastion of democracy -- settling decades of direct conflict and centuries of unrest with a simple promise of "one person, one vote."

Of course, as was always suspected, Bush had absolutely no understanding of what he was doing, how to do it right, or an appreciation of the consequences of the his actions.  The quote you're going to be seeing a lot of from former Ambassador Peter Galbraith's new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, comes to the internetz via Raw Story (HT: SusanUnPC at No Quarter)

Galbraith reports that the three of them [Iraqi-Americans briefing Bush about the likely post-invasion political situation] spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded,“I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!”
I guess "G-Dubz" must have thought that the two oil-rich muslim combatants in the Iran/Iraq war were duking it out over dress-codes.  It does explain his fixation on the idea that Saddam gassed his own people.  What Bush apparently never appreciated was that, to the dictator Kurds and Shia weren't "his" people -- if he considered them human at all.

Continue reading "It's The Stupid President's Stupid War, Stupid" »

August 04, 2006

Sabato's Crystal Ball

David Wasserman and Larry J. Sabato:

Historical trends and big picture indicators--generic congressional ballot tests and approval ratings of President Bush's job performance in particular - have always been heavily stacked against the GOP in this "sixth year itch" cycle, but aggregations of more race-specific indicators are now suggesting that Republicans are headed for their most serious midterm losses in decades.
From his mouth to God's ear.

August 03, 2006

Maybe Murtha was right after all

(Updated below)

On Nov. 19, 2005 over a dozen Iraqis were killed in an incident at Haditha. The Marines initially said that they had been killed by a roadside IED and the subsequent crossfire between them and insurgents. But Time magazine later reported that the killings were a deliberate act by US forces. In May of this year, retired Marine Rep. Jack Murtha said that Corps officials told him the Iraqis had been killed in "cold blood." His statements ignited a firestorm of controversy, with various right-wing Bush loyalists accusing him of cowardice, lying, treason and worse.

Now, apparently it turns out that perhaps Murtha was right.

Evidence collected on the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Haditha supports accusations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot the civilians, including unarmed women and children, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.
And, in an unfortunate illustration of the cliche that timing is everything, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich has filed suit in Washington DC today, stating that Murtha "publicly and falsely accused the involved Marines ... of cold-blooded murder and war crimes."

Wonder who's paying this guy's lawyer?

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has some more on Wuterich's lawsuit.

August 02, 2006

Republicans Cook'd?

Charlie Cook sees the Democrats routing the Republicans in November.

Me? I avoid the crystal ball because I hate eating broken glass.

Colbert begs his favorite Republican, Democrat Joe Lieberman, to appear on TCR

Colbert tries to lure the Senator with a variety of incentives including a CD by Lieberman's favorite singer, Andrea Bocelli. Ack! The last time a politician admitted that Bocelli was his favorite, he lost the election.

August 01, 2006

Colbert does Ned Lamont

"[Ned Lamont] says Joe Lieberman is in bed with the President. I say they're in a menage a trois with America."

July 31, 2006

Blackwell Shirking Responsibilities

by Mark Adams

Via: Election Law Blog, this AP story:  "Blackwell delegates state work as election approaches"

Blackwell has allowed assistant secretary of state Monty Lobb to sign all of the directives and advisories to county elections boards since March. Lobb also has broken six tie votes among county elections boards, The Columbus Dispatch reported for a story published Sunday.

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for the Republican nominee for governor, said Blackwell decided to hand off those duties during the campaign under an Ohio law that states, "The general duties of the assistant secretary shall be such as the secretary of state assigns him."

Frankly, Kenny keeping his hands out of the cookie jar may be a good thing.  The obvious conflict of interests involved with the State's highest election official also being a candidate for the State's highest office leaves us with either nobody in charge, or putting the inmates in charge of the asylum.

Christopher McNeil, an adjunct professor at Capital University Law School and an expert on administrative law, said the public has a right to expect that the elected secretary of state is making the important decisions unless the power has been given to someone else in writing.

"I don't believe our constitution or the statute anticipates allowing the secretary of state to dodge his responsibilities," he said.

State law requires the secretary of state to break tie votes from county elections boards.

The Secretary's defense that there were no complaints when other candidates ran for office while holding another just doesn't cut it.  No Ohio Secretary of State has ever been under such suspicion for election tampering as Ken Blackwell.  

If he wanted to claim clean hands, that his situation is no different than Sherrod Brown or Bob Taft when they ran for office while serving as Secretary of State, he should have spearheaded an exhaustive, high profile investigation into every single complaint that came out of the '04 election.

He had ample opportunity to clear his name and remove the taint left over from before.  He could have fixed the problems and restored our faith in the system itself.  Instead, he was instrumental in defeating the grassroots effort to reform Ohio's election laws.

The fact that he did nothing to restore integrity to the voting process, and that many of the complaints that arose in '04 pointed directly to his own policies, speaks volumes.  He is the poster child for smarmy electioneering and deserves to wear that label.

There's nothing unfair about pointing out the obvious -- Ohio has been, and continues to be poorly served by Ken Blackwell.

This isn't about delegating his current duties to avoid the appearance of impropriety.  This is about him never living up to his sworn duties in the first place.

July 28, 2006

A different kind of poll shows the same result: Republicans in trouble

Joe Conason:

Many polls showing a generic preference for Democrats have appeared over the past several months, and many such polls have been dismissed by Republicans who say that national polling in a contest of 435 districts has little salience.

But the NPR poll is different because, unlike most measures of midterm attitudes, this survey was conducted only in the 50 most hotly contested congressional districts.


Fewer than three in 10 of the voters in these competitive districts say they are likely to vote for the incumbent. Nearly half say they are likely to vote for "someone else." (Twelve of the 50 seats are open, meaning that there is no incumbent, so that question was asked only in the other 38, of which 30 are held by Republicans.) Nearly half, or 48 percent, say they are likely to vote for the Democrat, while 41 percent say they will probably vote for the Republican.

That preference was more than generic -- asked the same question with the names of the districts' candidates, those preferences varied by only 1 percent.

This was a smart survey -- one of the very, very few national surveys that goes into individual Congressional districts to get its results.

Of course, like any poll, it is a snapshot of where we are today. That said, if I were a Republican, I'd be kind of queasy right now.

Or entering the witness protection program:

Most notable among them perhaps is Rep. Tom Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee -- the man whose job it is to defend the House majority. Reynolds has also put up a campaign Web site that doesn't mention his party.

July 24, 2006

POTUS Receives Disturbing Memo, Cuts August Vacation

by Mark Adams

The memo said:  "Democrats Determined To Take Congress."

"As for himself, he is curtailing his traditional August working vacation at the ranch so that he can barnstorm before the midterm elections," writes Allen for Time.

"Their outlook thus far seems so ominous for the G.O.P. that one presidential adviser wants Bush to beef up his counsel's office for the tangle of investigations that a Democrat-controlled House might pursue," Allen continues.

As has been observed time and time again, their real enemy is liberalism.  They will fight terrorists as convenient targets of opportunity.

July 23, 2006

All In...

by Mark Adams

Emptywheel's essay, Who's Driving this War? posits the neocons aggressively opportunistic attitude towards the violence in Lebanon is a do-or-die gamble of a discredited ideology:

The Neocon warmongering now comes not from a position of strength, a confidence that their influence in both the administration and the nation will remain strong. No. It's the desperate act of a compulsive gambler, who after losing big, puts all his remaining chips on the table.

Anyone who's played any serious poker, or if you're more than a casual fan of the endless games of Texas Hold'em on cable TV, has learned that aggressive play is a winning strategy.  Indeed, it's the only strategy.

Bold moves can steal pots even when your cards are weak.  The big bluff is not a desperate move, but the only logical move when you're short stacked.

I've seen many a player make this move and come out on top -- but only if their bluff isn't called.  In the realm of international relations as conducted by the Bush administration however, when the neocons like Bill Kristol and just plain con artists like Newt Gingrich raise the stakes to World War III, liberals are in no position to call the bluff.

Fortunately, there are some sane conservatives whose permanent seats at this game were staked out decades ago.  That's why it is so very important when traditional conservatives like George Will, and founding members of the neocon movement like Francis Fukuyama look the warmongers in the eye and call them on their nonsense.

(UPDATE: Here's a better link to the George Will smackdown of Bill Kristol)

Lieberman in a nutshell (part deux)

"Blame Democrats first" Democrat wonders why he's trailing in Democratic primary.

July 22, 2006

Israel-Lebanon War: What Democrats Need To Say

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

  • Israel has a right to self-defense and self-determination.
  • Hezbollah's war is Lebanon's war. As such, UN Resolution 1559 must be completely implemented including the disarming of all militias, most notably Hezbollah.
  • Egypt, Jordan, the Saudis (at least) should support the reconstruction of Lebanon. And support it in such a way as to make it impossible for Hezbollah to hijack the country into a impossible and bloody war again in the future.
  • Israel's war is NOT America's war. It is NOT the undercard to America vs. Iran.
  • This is NOT World War III.
That's what Democrats should say.

July 21, 2006


by Mark Adams

This is what every Democrat should be saying every day until November:
"Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively, and if after all of this time, and all of this sacrifice, and all of this support, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past."  Richard Nixon, 1968
Tricky Dick knew a thing or two about winning elections during a war. Does DeWine/Brown

by Mark Adams

Analyzing who's lying, distorting and misleading the public in their political ads and public statements is what Fact Check does better than anyone.  Their tear-down of the competing ads issued by Mike DeWine and Sherrod Brown in the Ohio Senate race this week is no exception.

Short version, both ads take liberties with the truth.  Brown's ad, which came out in response to DeWine unleashing the Swiftboaters, spins DeWine's record on national security in in a less than favorable light but FactCheck notes that there is plenty of blame to go around -- so Mike should get a pass for just being another inept pol, just like Brown himself. 

They also find Brown's ad completely accurate on DeWine's vote for normalization of trade relations with China which contributed to outsourcing Ohio jobs (along with 82 other Senators and Bill Clinton).  No lies, no distortions, no fake smoke -- just a mirror that magnifies rather than illuminates.

DeWine misleads the public regarding Brown's voting record vis-a-vis the death penalty for terrorists -- which Brown supported in two separate votes, but voted against the Patriot Act and it's reauthorization which included death penalty provisions for terrorism.  DeWine's amateurish photoshopping of the Twin Towers is duly noted.

We don't think the fake shot is a big deal, since it doesn't portray an event that didn't really happen.  It seems to be an inexplicable act of incompetence on the part of the DeWine campaign.  Having chosen to use images of the 9/11 attacks, which Democrats were sure to complain were unfair appeals to fear, why use a faked picture instead of the real thing?

The fact that DeWine has begun attacking his general election opponent this early in the season is a strong indication that he's concerned about saving his seat.  Indeed, DeWine is on the Democratic Party's hit list as it aims to recapture the Senate.

I take heart in Brown swiftly countering the Swiftboat tactics DeWine has adopted.  Starting ugly this early bodes nothing good for any hopes of a civil campaign season, but Brown looks to be up to the challenge and has the issues on his side.

July 20, 2006

PA-02: Murphy for Congress (A "Had Enough?" video)

I've adapted the "Had Enough?" video series to promote the candidacy of Patrick Murphy (PA-08). Patrick Murphy is an Iraq war vet who supports Murtha's withdrawal plan, and a dynamic, young speaker who has the potential for progressive greatness. Patrick Murphy is not only supported by the local netroots scene in Philly, he is a member of the local netroots scene in Philly.


Donate online: Patrick Murphy's Campaign (NetBlue)

Continue reading "PA-02: Murphy for Congress (A "Had Enough?" video)" »

July 17, 2006

The Senate Takes Up Stem Cells: Something for Everyone -- A Comedy Tonight!

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

The Senate is debating a group of stem cell bills this week. In a nutshell those bills can be described like this:

  1. Real stem cell research ("Lift Bush's Restrictions And Get Down To Work")
  2. Fake stem cell research ("Lots of Loud Talking And Hand-Waving")
  3. Anti-stem cell research ("Prohibit Fetus Farming")
Oddly enough, all three bills are expected to pass with more than enough of a majority; Bush is slated to issue his first-ever veto of the only real one in the bunch, #1.

The other bills are primarily designed to provide political cover and lots of campaign fodder for Senators who might be worried about satisfying the constituents back home, most of whom favor a fully funded program of research. For example, most Senators will vote for #1 because people want it -- yet the Senate knows it will be vetoed by Bush. Most of those same Senators will also vote for #2 because they know it won't make a difference anyway if it passes. And, lastly, most Senators will vote for #3 because it prohibits something that wasn't ever going to have a snowball's chance in hell of happening in the first place.

Something familiar,
Something peculiar,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Something appealing,
Something appalling,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Nothing with gods, nothing with fate;
Weighty affairs will just have to wait!

Nothing that's formal,
Nothing that's normal,
No recitations to recite;
Open up the curtain:
Comedy Tonight!

Something erratic,
Something dramatic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Frenzy and frolic,
Strictly symbolic,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!

Lieberman in a nutshell

Torture is OK but blow jobs are beyond the pale.

July 16, 2006

Generic “Had Enough?” Video Ready

This is a new, "universal" version of the "Had Enough?" videos I did to promote various Congressional candidates.

This one is new and somewhat different. It's something I came up with after reading Kevin Phillips' excellent book, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century.

I'm sure there are things that you'd change. So would I. But I'm throwing this out now, rather than wait until later when it might be more perfect.

Share it with your friends, etc. Click the "Share" button in YouTube.

July 14, 2006

Stewart & Colbert do Lieberman, Novak, Cheney & Rove

Colbert does Lieberman...


...and Stewart does Novak, Cheney, and Rove.


July 13, 2006

Revenge of the Blue States

Walter Shapiro:

Congressional Quarterly identifies 10 Republican-held seats in play in just two states: New York and Pennsylvania. Throw in the three at-risk GOP incumbents in Connecticut plus vulnerable Republican congressmen in New Jersey and New Hampshire -- and, in theory, the Democrats could assemble a House majority based just on turnovers in the Northeast.
The thing most people don't realize is, absent Tom DeLay's mid-decade re-districting in Texas, the House Republicans would have lost seats in the last election. So the fact that the Dems, theoretically, don't need to expect too much from areas outside the northeast -- well, that's fair play.

July 12, 2006

NH-02: Hodes for Congress -- Another “Had Enough?” Video

I produced this 30-second Internet video to promote Paul Hodes for Congress (NH-02). Paul is one of the DailyKos "Netroots Endorsed" candidates. Visit his website and find out more.

Continue reading "NH-02: Hodes for Congress -- Another “Had Enough?” Video" »

July 10, 2006

The Latest Ned Lamont Ad... a winner:

What could YOU buy with $86? What could we ALL BUY TOGETHER for $900 million?

The Morning Journal (Ohio)

[Ohio Gov.] Taft announced this week that state revenues were higher than expected and spending was lower than expected. The state ended fiscal 2006 on June 30 with a $900 million surplus, allowing Taft to order an 8.4 percent reduction in tax withholding, effective Oct. 1.
Politicians LOOOOOOVE to hand out money during an election year. And even though Taft is not on the ballot, the Republican party must be pleased that he is boosting the image of the GOP as tax-cutters.

The Democrats response?

Continue reading "What could YOU buy with $86? What could we ALL BUY TOGETHER for $900 million?" »

“Embryo farming?” It's called STEM CELL RESEARCH

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

If you've been paying attention, you know that Karl Rove recently gave a speech wherein he referred to stem-cell research as "embryo farming." I'm sure he chose that term after carefully determining that Republicans gave more money when that headline slapped them in the face upon opening the latest Republican fund-raising letter.

I think it would be a mistake for Democrats to respond to that kind of crap, but more on that in a moment.

Continue reading "“Embryo farming?” It's called STEM CELL RESEARCH" »

July 08, 2006

The state secrets that weren't secret

Joe Conason:

Right-wingers desperate to intimidate the press have accused the New York Times of treason for publishing details of a terror investigation -- ignoring the fact that everything significant about that operation has been known for years.
They'll do anything to change the subject away from a discussion of Bush's disastrous war in Iraq.

UPDATE: John Amato and Glenn Greenwald want to know why all the Bush loyalists are celebrating the unauthorized leak to the Daily News of the FBI's arrests of alleged terrorists who were talking in Internet chat rooms about blowing up the Holland Tunnel.

July 07, 2006

On Joe Lieberman

Ezra Klein:

Because it's not about the war. Or moderation. Or ideology at all. It's about partisanship.

The lines are brightly drawn, but in unexpected places. You can support the President's war, but you can't protect him from criticism. You can vote with Republicans, but you can't undermine Democrats. You can be a hawk, but you can't deride doves.

The politics here are tribal, and Lieberman's developed too severe a crush on the neighboring chieftain to participate. I've tried to explain why that may be -- he gropes towards praise and recognition, and receives both more readily from the right -- but pop psychology isn't quite the point. And nor is ideology. Or the war.

For all the mockery Bush received, his assertion that "you're either with us or against us" was more widely applicable than he realized. Lieberman's actions convinced liberals that he didn't merely disagree with them, or fear the political ramifications of their positions, but that he was actively against them. And while they can withstand an impressive amount of disagreement, they won't stand for dislike.

Linda Stender for Congress

I produced this 30-sec. Internet video to promote Linda Stender's campaign in the New Jersey 7th.

Continue reading "Linda Stender for Congress" »

July 06, 2006

Jerry McNerney for Congress

I produced this 30-sec. Internet video to promote Jerry McNerney's campaign in the California 11th. He is challenging Richard Pombo. He's leading Pombo in the polls (46 to 42 percent, according to Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) but he'll need your support to send Pombo and his Big Oil buddies packing.

I did this video on my own because I wanted to illustrate a simple formula that I've been preaching about for weeks:

  1. Bush = Bad
  2. Republican Incumbent = Bush
  3. Republican Incumbent = Bad.
  4. Had Enough?
  5. Vote for Change, Vote Democratic, Vote for McNerney
Your candidate can use this video if you like -- just plug in the incumbent's name and voting record. Then plug in your candidate's name.

All I ask? Just let me know if you use it.

P.S. I did one of these for Nancy Skinner's campaign (MI-09) last week...

July 02, 2006

Skinner for Congress

I produced this 30-sec. Internet video for Nancy Skinner's campaign in the Michigan 9th. She is challenging Joe Knollenberg. The MI-9 has been steadily trending Democratic, Kerry got 49% of the vote, Senator Levin carried the district in 2002 and Governor Granholm also got 50% of the vote.

I did this video on my own because I wanted to illustrate a simple formula that I've been preaching about for weeks:

  1. Bush = Bad
  2. Republican Incumbent = Bush
  3. Republican Incumbent = Bad.
  4. Had Enough?
  5. Vote for Change, Vote Democratic, Vote for Skinner
Your candidate can use this video if you like -- just plug in the incumbent's name and voting record. Then plug in your candidate's name.

All I ask? Just let me know if you use it.

June 29, 2006

When Bush taunts, don't defend: Attack him back HARD

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)


President Bush attacked congressional Democrats and the news media at a Republican fundraiser Wednesday night, accusing the opposition of "waving the white flag of surrender" in Iraq...
Ignore the taunts -- don't bother responding to this. And, for sure, don't repeat the words "white flag of surrender."

Instead, relentlessly repeat the Republicans' dismal record of performance and call for a change in direction:

Under the Republican war plan, we have seen over $300 billion wasted, over 20 thousand American casualties lost and still there is no end in sight.
You can extend this approach to every district where there is a Republican incumbent:

Bush = bad
Republican candidate = Bush
Republican candidate = bad.

Remember: do NOT respond to the taunts -- go on the attack and never let up.

So if you still think Iraq is going well, vote for the Republicans because they'll give you more of the same.

But if you've had enough, if you want a change in direction, vote for the Democrats.

Attack, attack, attack. Never let up.

June 28, 2006

Republicans: A party of cultists

(Cross posted at Daily Kos)

A cult can be defined as a group of people devoted to beliefs and goals which may be contradictory to those held by the majority of society. Alternately, a cult can be defined as an interest followed with exaggerated zeal. Either way you define it, it's clear that the Republican formula for success has devolved into appealing to a small cult of very dedicated followers. If those followers come out and vote, it will be enough to sway this fall's election...again.

House Republicans intend to hold votes this summer and fall touching on abortion, guns, religion and other priority issues for social conservatives, part of an attempt to improve the party's prospects in the midterm elections.

The "American Values Agenda" also includes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage — which already has failed in the Senate — a prohibition on human cloning and possibly votes on several popular tax cuts.

"American Values Agenda?" Human cloning? Yes, you heard me.

Nothing on Iraq. Nothing on global warming. Nothing on energy independence, health care, education.


But by pushing votes on a kaleidoscope of issues that have narrow appeal to a small but dedicated band of zealous followers, the Republican party is hoping it can garner enough votes this fall to stay in power. And if they win, it will prove once again that a small cult of very actively involved voters has taken over this country.

Fact is, if Democrats let that happen, then they deserve what they get.

Democrats vow to block pay raises until minimum wage increased


A week after the GOP-led Senate rejected an increase to the minimum wage, Senate Democrats on Tuesday vowed to block pay raises for members of Congress until the minimum wage is increased.

"We're going to do anything it takes to stop the congressional pay raise this year, and we're not going to settle for this year alone," Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at a Capitol news conference.

"They can play all the games the want," Reid said derisively of the Republicans who control the chamber. "They can deal with gay marriage, estate tax, flag burning, all these issues and avoid issues like the prices of gasoline, sending your kid to college. But we're going to do everything to stop the congressional pay raise."

June 27, 2006

What is Voter Vault? The Democrats may have to lose another election before they find out

Everyone Volvo owner I've ever met was a Democrat.

So you'd think that there would be lots of Democratic campaign workers compiling easy accessible direct mail lists of Volvo owners, right?


Republicans have moved well ahead of Democrats nationally in their ability to find previously unaffiliated voters or even wavering Democrats and to target them with specially tailored messages.

Voter Vault, although it is a closely guarded GOP trade secret, is nevertheless easily accessible to on-the-ground campaign workers and operatives should they need to mobilize votes in a hurry.

One suburban African American woman in Ohio, for example, told us that though she tends to vote Democratic, she was deluged in 2004 with calls, e-mail messages and other forms of communication by Republicans who somehow knew that she was a mother with children in private schools, an active church attendee, an abortion opponent and a golfer.

I'm just saying.

Dumbest Law Ever (Part Deux)

From Jim Webb, Democratic Senate candidate, Virginia:

Jim Webb has great respect for our national flag and great respect for our Constitution, and is proud of the many contributions his family has made in defense of both. Like many combat veterans such as General Colin Powell and former Senators John Glenn and Bob Kerry, he does not believe it is necessary to amend the Constitution in order to protect the dignity of our flag.

"This is yet another example of deliberately divisive politics that distract Americans from the real issues that are facing our country," said Kristian Denny Todd, spokeswoman for the Webb campaign.

The Senate is set to vote on this amendment today. Call or write your Senators today and urge them to keep their hands off our Constitution.

It's easy:

  1. Visit this site
  2. Look up your Senator's phone number, fax, and/or email address.
  3. Contact them today, urging them to vote against the flag amendment.
Please do this right now, before you get distracted by the next email, phone call or other matter.

The vote is slated for today. It is crucial that your voice be heard before it is too late and the matter moves to the 50 state legislatures.

UPDATE: Feel free to use the text of this letter I sent to Sens. Landrieu and Vitter:


I strongly urge you to vote against the flag amendment when it comes to a vote in the Senate.

I do not believe it is necessary to amend the Constitution in order to protect the dignity of our flag.

Furthermore, this is yet another example of deliberately divisive politics that distract Americans from the real issues that are facing our country.

Please vote against the amendment.


UPDATE II: Senate rejects the amendment by one vote, 66-34. Senator Clinton reverses course and votes against it.

June 16, 2006

Nationalize the election: Pledge to end the war

(cross-posted at DailyKos)

Yesterday, I suggested that there is a simple and clear way for Democrats to make a clear distinction between themselves and the Republicans: The Republicans want endless war, the Democrats want to end the war.

Now, I think it's time that Democrats nationalize the mid-term elections by offering that choice to voters:

  • If voters want endless war, they should vote for the Republicans.

  • If voters want to end the war, they should vote for the Democrats.
This is a clear choice. It's a choice that requires the Democrats to have a backbone. I think voters will understand that.

Of course the powdered and pampered poodle-pundits will want to know: HOW to end the war?

Continue reading "Nationalize the election: Pledge to end the war" »

June 15, 2006

The choice should be clear: one party wants endless war, the other does not

On Wednesday, Bush again rejected calls for a timetable or benchmarks for success that would allow troops to come home. More and more Americans are convinced that this will be an endless war and an endless occupation.

The death of Zarqawi and the formation of (another) Iraqi government should have been the perfect moment for the administration to declare victory and begin winding down the war. Instead, we got vague assurances and equivication about the eventual outcome.

This makes perfect sense from Bush's point of view -- after all, why would the administration want to give back the absolute power it has seized in the name of fighting this war in the first place?

In the meantime, another grim milestone is passed: 2,500 US military killed.

OTOH, this is the perfect moment for the Democrats to offer a choice. They can pledge that the war will not be endless, the occupation will not be endless. It will end. The Democrats can pledge to do what needs to be done to end the war.

In acknowledging that, it will already have offered a clear choice versus the Republicans.

As for a specific plan, timing and benchmarks -- that is certainly debatable and should be open for discussion. Certainly that would be a meaningful discussion, unlike the useless debate that is occuring in the rubber stamp Republican Congress today.

In summary, the choice should be clear: one party will do what needs to be done to end the war, and the other will not.

June 13, 2006

Attack: Now is the time for Democrats to go on the offensive

Rove is off the hook, Zarqawi is dead, Busby lost in California, Bush's polls are on the uptick -- these are all part of the instant conventional wisdom that says it's been a bad week or two for the Democrats.


The same people are still in charge who meant to destroy the career of Valerie Plame. The same people are still in charge who lied us into a war that has cost over 20 thousand American casualties and $300 billion. The same people are in charge that built a criminal enterprise that ran out of the House Majority Leader's office. And Bush's polls? His approval rating has been below 40% forever.

Democrats would do well to keep their eye on the big picture:

End the war in Iraq: It's over. Our work there is finished. Fact is, we killed Zarqawi from the the air. We could have done the same thing without any boots on ground. With Zarqawi out of the picture, the Iraqi security forces, the ministry of defense, the entire government is as ready as it's ever going to be to take over. Let them have it.

Ending the war will also allow us to end the President's unconstitutional seizure of "war powers." And if the rubber-stamp Republicans cannot exercise its oversight authority, the Democrats will.

Ending the war will also reduce the need for us to borrow endlessly from foreign governments. Under the Bush administration we have borrowed $1 trillion in foreign debt -- an amount equal to what was borrowed under all previous presidential administrations. Borrow and spend, borrow and spend, borrow and spend. It has got to stop.

Getting our finances straightened around will allow us to plan for the day we can be energy independent -- cutting our need for foreign oil. An Apollo-style program will promote jobs, address the problem of global warming and increase our national security.

These are just some of the things Democrats should be standing up for.

You've also got raising the minimum wage, rescinding tax breaks for oil companies included in the 2005 energy legislation, revising the Medicare prescription drug bill to allow the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices, cutting student loan rates and passing the remaining recommendations for improving national security by the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

If I were a Democrat running for Congress, I'd use a simple formula:

Bush = bad.
Republican candidate = Bush.
Republican candidate = bad.

I'd go on the attack and I'd keep attacking without a let up. I'd attack Bush's dismal record in office; I'd tie Bush around my opponent's neck. Then I'd drop them both into the ocean and watch them sink to the bottom.

Attack, attack, attack. Never ease up. Never, never, never. Never ease up.

June 07, 2006

Why aren't Ohioans storming the castle with torches and pitchforks?

This is just crazy:

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, the new concerns center around rules Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell has set for the people who register Ohioans to vote.

At a hearing Monday, lawyers for the Ohio Democratic Party, Common Cause and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now argued that training documents prepared by Blackwell's staff are so vague that people trying to register new voters may believe that they'll be subject to arrest on felony charges if they make even inadvertent errors in the process.

You mean to tell me that the candidate for governor makes the rules for who votes and who doesn't?

Why, Mark Adams, haven't the residents of Ohio stormed the castle and burned it to the ground?

CA-50: Democrats lose self-defined bellweather race

In the end, Democrat Busby got the same 45% she got in the primary and Republican Billbray got 50%. And this was in a district that the Democrats should have won. Jay Cost and Kos have been warning Democrats about complacency for months and yesterday, sure enough, turnout was light and Busby lost.

[Note: Particularly disappointing to me were the robo-calls from Gore and Kerry into the district. IIRC, both of these candidates pulled only 45% in the district in 2000 and 2004 and, voila, after the smoke cleared, Busby got 45%).

Look -- this always was a Republican district (and may always be one). But if Democrats are going to win back the House, wouldn't you think this would be one of the districts they'd take away from the Republicans? C'mon -- the Republican incumbent is convicted of a felony and sentenced to jail and the other Republicans are fighting amongst themselves.

But it was not to be.

Some have said this is a "moral victory" because the Republicans were forced to spend nearly $5 million to defend the seat. Others say Busby stumbled badly at the end. Whatever it is, this morning, a loss is still a loss.

What are the Democrats to do? One thing for sure, they have to get more of their people to the polls. If people really want change they have to vote for it in overwhelming numbers, not the pallid response we saw yesterday. Like I keep saying, it doesn't matter what people say -- it's what they do that makes the difference.

UPDATE: Hesiod says it better than I:

To Rham Emmanuel and Chuck Schumer: If you think the Democratic party will coast into majorities this November by just sitting back and hoping the GOP implodes, you are in for a rude awakening.

The message you should derive from CA-50 is that you better do something to get the Democratic base excited and enthusiastic, or you are going to lose yet again...A dead buffalo could run the Democratic Congressional campaigns this year and pick up SOME seats!...The People WANT to vote for the Democrats. They just don't trust you yet. So long as that is the case, the GOP will be able to play on people's fears and doubts to squeak out narrow victories.

And I'm not talkng about national security here. I'm talking about being a sober, grownup, competent, level-headed party that actually listens to the people, and cares about what they think.

Matt Stoller:
The lesson from last night should be clear. Hiding from progressives and the left will lead to Democratic losses in 2006. Running as a progressive will lead to victory. Running on 'issues' and 'competence' instead of character will lead to Democratic losses. Talking about how the 'American people' care about gas prices and not gay marriage is insulting and loser politics. Running on bullet points is wrong. Running on character is right.
There isn't some magical formula here. The more competitive the district (and yes, Busby did make the 50th competitive), the more critical it is for Democrats to define themselves as Democrats. Because promises of clean government will come from both sides. Promises to balance the budget will come from both sides. Promises to "set American back on track" will come from both sides.

Iraq. Gay marriage. Immigration. Iran. Corruption. Hiding in the grey shadows of these issues will not win us a Democratic majority.

June 05, 2006

Tony Snow likens anti-gay amendment to Civil Rights movement

Has Tony Snow lost his marbles?

Q There is some criticism that the President's remarks today are merely intended to energize conservative supporters since there is little likelihood this is going to pass in the Senate. What's your response to that?

MR. SNOW: ...The President is making his views known. Whether it passes or not, as you know, Terry, there have been a number of cases where civil rights matters have arisen on a number of occasions and they've been brought up for repeated consideration by the United States Senate and other legislative bodies...

By now, of course, you've heard the blind quote about Bush:
Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who requested anonymity to discuss his private conversations with Bush.
That's pretty much the best you can say about Bush at this point: he doesn't give a shit.

June 03, 2006

GoldBergs: Jonah=Hack, Jeffrey=Hack In Training

by Mark Adams

I know Jonah Goldberg is a GOP tool.  Not too sure about Jeffrey.  A quick look at his stuff via Google leads me to believe he's an honest broker, but lazy.

OK, I've rested and have 1.5 cups of coffee in me, took another look and realized where I turned sour on the New Yorker article Ara brought to our attention.  It wasn't Jeff Goldberg's assessment of Howard Dean, which I thought was fair, or the description of the dynamics of the personalities involved in the past and current Democratic Party campaign efforts that turned me off.  He even gave Bill a pass for not showing up at a New Mexico Democratic Party event without any insinuation that there was an intended slight against Dean.  B.R. has that integrity and straight talking thing going for him.

It was his math.

He offers up an uncritical factoid that there are more conservtives than liberals in this country.  I may be wrong, but I've never really accepted this bit of conventional wisdom.

Exit polls consistently show that twenty-one per cent of Americans self-identify as liberal and about thirty-four per cent as conservative,

He takes that "self-identified" liberal/conservative thing as gospel.  I don't.  I've long believed that the word "liberal" has been so demonized by the punditocracy that people who agree with liberal positions right down the line, point for point, will not admit to being liberal when asked the question in a vacuum.

It's almost a game for conservatives to define and redefine "liberals" as they prop up straw-man after straw-man, and then shoot them down like a lawyer in Cheney's duck blind.

Everyone wants to be one of the cool kids.  Call me elitist or snobbish, but when I see pot smoking union members call themselves "conservative", I suspect someone, probably that "liberal media," has brainwashed them.

I smell a rat in those figures, and that's where Goldberg starts his analysis.

John Kerry won 54 per cent of the moderates and still lost by 3.5 points because he won a much smaller share of conservatives.

Kerry lost because Blackwell stole Ohio for Bush.  What is dismissed as conspiracy theory now, will be conventional wisdom when we look back at Bush's legacy.  A swing of 60,000 Ohio votes wins the White House for Kerry.  That's less than the miscounts in Bush's favor, that's less than the purges, that's less than the 1 in 4 newly registered Democrats who were unable to vote and/or whose votes weren't counted.

When the numbers were rigged I'm not to impressed by any conclusions drawn from the numbers.  It's not enough for Goldberg that Democrats to go after the moderate center, he wants the conservative vote too?  Why even try to represent liberals under this analysis?

I came across this Columbia Journalism Review blogpost in my search for more writings by Jeff Goldberg.  It looks at a another bit of "conventional wisdom" just thrown out by Goldberg that left a bad taste in my mouth.  I had the same thought when I read the passage on the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress, but CJR says is much better than me:

Goldberg wrote that while "Democrats have a set of policy prescriptions that they hope to enact if they win majorities in Congress ... they are only muddling toward a Gingrich-style Contract With America, which, in its drama and clarity, gave 1994 voters an understanding of national Republican priorities."

If we were handing out awards for outstanding work in upholding Beltway myths, Goldberg would get a star and a smiley face. But sadly, celebrating mythmaking isn't why we're in business.

The truth about the fabled Contract With America is much different than Goldberg's portrayal; in fact, he is propping up a thoroughly discredited bit of revisionist history. Rather than being the catalyst for the Republican's 1994 victory, as many reporters have since portrayed it, the Contract with America actually made its debut only six weeks before the 1994 election, which makes its effect on the outcome a debatable proposition.

I was thinking that "muddling towards a . . . Contract With America" is exactly what Gingrich and Co. were doing at this point on the calendar, and we also have to be careful not to look like we're just copying them.  Goldberg's then sets up a false dilemma that somehow increasing the minimum wage and making college tuition tax-deductible are mutually incompatible.  That's specious at best.

We're different than Republicans, and we need to shout out that fact, actually sing it.  We can't, ever, just try to be GOP-Lite.  The GOP agenda for America is despicable, their methods corrupt, their ability to govern effectively nonexistent, and their motivations are self-serving and misleading.  They should be loudly denounced, not imitated.

June 02, 2006

For Mark Adams: Why Jeffrey Goldberg makes sense to me

Apparently, Josh Marshall hates the Jeffrey Goldberg article that I've been quoting so much from. Closer to home, so does co-blogger and good friend Mark Adams.

So, Mark: I thought the article good enough to read all the way through, quote here more than once and recommend to my friends and family.

But for Josh, not so much. He speaks for many Democrats when he says this:

What struck me most about [Goldberg's] article was how little grasp Goldberg seemed to have of the divisions and cross-cutting alliances that exist in the Democratic party today. Politicians that are darlings of the Democratic blogosphere appear in the piece as its critics and sworn enemies -- in most cases, seemingly, based on their willingness to provide a quote taking down one of the author's straw men.
Democrats arguing amongst themselves? There's a newsflash! In short, I wasn't bothered by this tone in the article.

Here's the thing: I know that Howard Dean is right -- Democrats have to be a national party. Democrats have to compete everywhere. Like Mark Warner says in the article: Democrats can't just try to perfect the "triple bank shot" approach of focusing on the Northeast and the West Coast and hoping for a win in Florida or Ohio. Democrats have to compete everywhere -- Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and the majority of the Mississippi River states.

[Note: How on earth can you do that? Well, there is a way (see below).]

There wasn't anything in the article that convinced me otherwise -- in fact, I was left with the impression that folks like Warner, Claire McCaskill, Brian Schweitzer, Brad Carson, Harold Ford and Kathleen Sullivan understood that better than the likes of John Kerry, Chris Dodd, and (perhaps) Hillary Clinton.  

Speaking of Howard Dean, I can see where Marshall might be put off by the profile of Dean in this piece; more importantly, I can see how a non-junkie might get the idea that Dean is still a bull in a china shop. But, you know, on certain days, he is. And/but that's what I like about Dean. So I guess I wasn't surprised or dismayed by his portrayal.

On the other hand, I cringed when I read this quote from Chris Dodd:

Dodd is convinced that the Party is so weary of losing that its voters will make their decisions strategically. "The Party won't nominate someone who starts in a hole. They will make that determination if they perceive a person not to be a winner. They want to win. They really want to win.'
Hey, I want to win too. But, sadly, we picked the "electable" candidate the last time. It didn't work out so well.

The article hints at a different kind of Democratic candidate each time it returns to Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana. He may not run; but Schweitzer has gone on the record (elsewhere) as describing the kind of Democrats the party needs:  

Does personal authenticity trump everything else in the minds of voters?

Look, I started this out by saying that Democrats can win if they lead with their hearts. Let people feel you! Don't try to verbalize. Let them feel you first. [...]

If I'm for something, you're gonna know it pretty quick. And if I'm agin it, you're gonna know it too. I'm straight about those things.

Some people can't do that. Maybe they've had a lot of time in politics, or they're lawyers, or it's just their makeup. And they have all these highfalutin pollsters and media people, and they say, "Well, there's this demographic that kind of bleeds into this demographic, and you don't want to lose these over here because you were on this." I don't believe any of it.

I think most people will support you if they know that you'll stand your ground.

Even if they don't stand on the same ground?

That's right.

George Burns used to say that sincerity was the most important thing in show business. Once you learned how to fake that, you'd have it made. Is that what we're talking about?
Just tell 'em what you are. [...]

[D]o you believe in something? Did you have something when you started? If you do, tell 'em what it is. You'll be all right. If you're a kook, you're not going to get elected.

But if you're real, you're normal, you're halfway bright, and you're willing to stand up -- that's the most important thing.

Sadly, recent history shows that (by far) the most important thing is:
  • how you look,  followed by
  • how you sound and lastly
  • what you say.
You can resist that idea; you can even try to reverse it. But even Chris Dodd will tell you: Democrats don't want someone who starts in a hole. And trying to reverse human nature will put you in the hole before you even get started.
"You know who the most successful Democrats have been through history?" [Schweitzer] asks. "Democrats who've led with their hearts, not their heads. Harry Truman, he led with his heart. Jack Kennedy led with his heart. Bill Clinton, well, he led with his heart, but it dropped about 2 feet lower in his anatomy later on.

"We are the folks who represent the families. Talk like you care. Act like you care. When you're talking about issues that touch families, it's OK to make it look like you care. It's OK to have policies that demonstrate that you'll make their lives better -- and talk about it in a way that they understand. Too many Democrats -- the policy's just fine, but they can't talk about it in a way that anybody else understands."

The Moral Yardstick: What it is and why Democrats need to find it

In the absence of everything else, in the absence of a deep commitment to policy wonkery, in the absence of a politics jones, people will judge you with a moral yardstick.

In no particular order, they'll want to know:

  • what shaped your life?
  • What bad experiences did you endure and what did you learn from them?
  • What good fortune have you had and what did you do with it?
  • What are you enthusiastic about?
  • What do you look forward to doing every morning when you get out of bed and your feet hit the floor?
  • Who were your parents? Were they good to you? What was the best part of them that you carry with you today? What about them will you teach your own children? On the other hand, if your parents were bad to you, tell us what you did to rise above that disadvantage.
In short, they'll want to know: what was the crucible in which you were shaped?

They'll want to know these things about you and they will judge you by the answers you give and (most importantly)  they will judge you in how you look and sound when you give the answers.

These are the sorts of things that give people an idea of your moral yardstick. People want to know this because people cannot predict how good a President you'll be. But they can look at where you came from and get an idea of where you'll take them from here on out.

It's simple human nature. You can deny it; you can think it is unimportant; you can try to resist it, or change it. Good luck with that.

That's what I got from the Goldberg article and that's why I, as a Democrat, liked it.

June 01, 2006

Third Way on Iraq: Getting it Right, Then Getting Out

Jeffrey Goldberg describes Third Way's views as "similar to those of the Democratic Leadership Council, which helped Bill Clinton win the Presidency in 1992, but more sharply focussed on the practical business of electing Democrats."

Well, you could count me in the group that thinks the DLC was OK in its day, but that was then, this is now. In other words, it was effective during a time of Republican ascendancy; but now that we've seen the rotten fruit that the Republican tree bore, Democrats need to take a different approach. It isn't good enough to simply be "another cheeseburger;" Democrats need to offer a clear alternative while being realistic about who we're talking to.

This passage caught my eye:

Third Way has distributed a primer on countering the traditional Republican emphasis on national security. It cautions Democrats to "take fear seriously," and says, "Voters will not respond to approaches that ignore fear, mock it or try to intellectualize it away, like calling Bush a 'fear-monger.' " The voters, the guide says, "need to know that you understand the dangers we face." The primer counsels Democrats to "show comfort with the military," and warns candidates not to "pity or patronize the troops when criticizing the war. Remember that they are serving their country and proud of it." The guide goes on to note, "Progressives have always been surprised that the morale among troops deployed in Iraq is quite high -- they are doing their mission."
As you know, I live in "Red Louisiana" and I work in an industry that has put me in close contact with the military. That said, what they're describing makes sense.

Not only that -- they take a very practical approach, developing talking points on what the Democrats will do if they regain the Congressional majority:

  1. Turn up the pressure on the Iraqis
  2. Fix the failed Bush military policy.
  3. Protect our troops and our taxpayers from war profiteering.
This rings true to me.

Claire McCaskill for Senate in Missouri

Claire McCaskill:

Being a Democrat is about balance. It's about being moderate and truthful and strong. Harry Truman, leaders like that, they were strong enough to take on foreign enemies when they needed to, but they were also strong enough to know when not to fight, when to use other weapons besides military force. That's the message the Democratic Party should be sending. We should let the American people know we want to work with allies, work with the U.N., and that we don't like war, but that we'll defend this country's interests with everything we've got.

May 31, 2006

The crumbling GOP base

Jeff Jacoby:

Unless something changes dramatically -- and soon -- the GOP is poised to lose its most reliable voters, and with them any hope of keeping its congressional majority.
And this is from a guy who considers himself part of the Republican base.

Democrats Weigh Risks of Caution

A must-read:

"If you look at the polling data, it's clear that people lack a sense of what the Democrats stand for," said Ruy Teixeira, a public opinion analyst at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) recently identified five initiatives she said the party would pass within the first week if it won control of the House.

Those initiatives are:

  • raising the minimum wage,
  • rescinding tax breaks for oil companies included in the 2005 energy legislation,
  • revising the Medicare prescription drug bill to allow the government to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies for lower prices,
  • cutting student loan rates and passing the remaining recommendations for improving national security by the independent commission that investigated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Perhaps just as important, Pelosi told Democratic House members at a closed meeting this month that the party would not pursue impeachment proceedings against Bush.
I'd say things are so fluid right now that you can't predict at all what's going to happen. There are so many pieces in play that everyone is keeping all their options open for as long as they can. It's just human nature. And, for good or bad, it's smart politics too.

You just have to have nerves of steel, the hide of a buffalo and more ability than a chameleon to blend in with your surroundings.

I love this game!

Democrats' dilemma: Which corrupt Republican should you support?

I guess it breaks down like this: you either support the White House's arrogant and precedent-shattering raid on Rep. Jefferson's offices or you support the rubber-stamp Republican majority's hollow and ironic outrage over it.

What's a Democrat to do?

So far, I've heard reliably lefty Democrats choosing the former as opposed to the latter. The thinking seems to be that a corrupt Congress should not be above the law (and, what the hell, the FBI did get a warrant). That's all well and good.

But many of the same observers are outraged over the unprecedented encroachment by the Executive on the separation of powers as represented by the NSA's warrantless wiretapping & data-mining operations, the entire Patriot Act, Gitmo detainees, enemy combatants, the torture memorandum, the abuse of signing statements, and on and on and on.

On top of all that, many reasonable people (with legal and historical minds greater than my own) have opined that the FBI raid really does represent a serious constitutional breach.

In short, it is debatable.

That said, let's look at the politics of it and try to figure out the winners and losers.


  1. Democrats
    Fact is, the outrage over the constitutional issues has deprived the Republicans the one thing Karl Rove wanted out of this whole thing: shifting the focus from the Republican culture of corruption to the Democrats.

  2. The Unknown Leaker(s) in the Department of Justice
    Who are these guys, anyway and what do they want? He (or they) dropped a dime on Denny Hastert and he also pulled Bush strings by leaking news that Gonzalez was ready to quit over this affair.

  3. Congressional Black Caucus
    They get to argue both sides of the issue. Here's John Conyers: "We've never been told why the search had to be done in the middle of the night." Good point.
  1. Bush
    He can't afford to piss of the House if he wants to get an immigration bill out of committee. Also, can it be possible that Bush had no knowledge of the raid before it went down? Sadly, yes.

  2. Republicans
    As with immigration, this issue has split them right down the middle at a crucial time in the election cycle. No matter what they say or do, they look confused and ridiculous. Hastert is a case in point. After screaming bloody murder, he backed off with this absurd statement:
    In talking points distributed to GOP House members last week, Hastert and other House leaders conceded the perils of their position. "Is this a smart battle for Congress to fight?" the talking points asked. "Perhaps not. Defending Constitutional principles—particularly those related to institutional balances of power—is often not politically expedient and often results in bad publicity."
    Right now, Hastert's reputation with his base is even lower than Pelosi's with hers, and that's saying a lot.

  3. Nancy Pelosi
    In a recent Daily Kos straw poll, taken before her joint-news-conference-communal-howl-of-pain with Denny Hastert, the Minority Leader's approval rating with the netroots was a pathetic 30 percent; this will simply drive it lower.
As I've said before, there is a way for Democrats to handle this without seeming to be just as hypocritical as the rubber stamp Republicans.

I just wish someone would run with it.

May 30, 2006

Nation splits 4 ways on illegals

Interesting polling analysis on the politics of immigration reform:

A USA TODAY breakdown of public opinion, based on Gallup polls taken in April and May, finds Americans falling into four clusters that are roughly equal in size but vary dramatically in point of view. The groups can be characterized as "hard-liners," "unconcerned," "ambivalent" and "welcoming."

Continue reading "Nation splits 4 ways on illegals" »

May 26, 2006

On Hastert, Jefferson, Congress and the FBI

See, I have mixed feelings about this on so many levels.

  • Historical: I can't believe that the Executive branch stepped on 200 years of tradition (if not the law) to investigate a corrupt Congressman -- from Louisiana! What the hell is THAT all about?

  • Political: It's pretty shameful that THIS is the event that suddenly wakes up Hastert and the Republicans. Can you say "rubber stamp Republicans?" If not, the Democrats certainly will..or will they?

  • Democratic Party loyalty: There is a way to handle this and it does not involve "acting like a Republican." Yes, I'm talking to you Nancy Pelosi. It involves:
    1. (Re-)swearing your allegiance to the US Constitution and tying this back to the NSA, the Patriot Act, Gitmo, torture, signing statements, and on and on and on.
    2. It means (at least) paying lip service to the the fact that Jefferson is innocent until proven guilty -- and simultaneously making a retroactive rule saying if you are under investigation, you must relinquish all power except that given to you via the ballot box.
    3. And/but it means that the Congressional Black Caucus needs to get right with Jesus and stop fighting the leadership on this.
That's all I can think of right now.

May 24, 2006

Tell Frist You Support Stem Cell Research Bill (HR 810)

May 23, 2006

Here's what you can expect from the Republicans in the fall

Karl Rove's strategy has always been to spot a weakness in his own candidate and then accuse his opponent of that same weakness -- first. Once he's "exposed" that weakness, he hammers the opponent relentlessly.

This time around, we know that Rove himself has been suspected of (if not indicted for) lying about his role in outing Valerie Plame. So...

...look for Rove to accuse his opponent(s) of endangering national security by leaking classified information about warrantless wiretaps and CIA prisons in Europe.

Mark my words -- the formula is simple and it goes like this: leakers are bad. Democrats love leakers. Therefore, Democrats are bad.

Never mind that the "enemy leakers" were reporting on government misconduct and illegal behavior -- that's nuance and this White House, baby, doesn't do nuance.

Hope the Dems are ready.

May 19, 2006

David Frum: Guard proposal is “spectacular, expensive, unsustainable, ineffective”


[Bush's] plan won't work, and it is not seriously meant to work. It's supposed to look dramatic and buy the president some respite from negative polls - and then it is supposed to fail, strengthening the administration's case for its truly preferred approach: amnesty + guestworkers.
I'd agree except I'd take it even further: this plan fits the profile of most of Bush's presidency -- do such a bad job of governing so as to prove that government itself is bad.

May 18, 2006

Conyers: Oversight, NOT impeachment

John Conyers:

The administration's stonewalling, and the lack of oversight by Congress, have left us to guess whether we are dealing with isolated wrongdoing, or mistakes, or something worse. In my view, the American people deserve answers, not guesses. I have proposed that we obtain these answers in a responsible and bipartisan manner.


So, rather than seeking impeachment, I have chosen to propose comprehensive oversight of these alleged abuses. The oversight I have suggested would be performed by a select committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans and chosen by the House speaker and the minority leader.

May 15, 2006

Bush hoping, tonight, to pacify his base

Bush addresses the nation tonight on the need for sending the National Guard to stop illegal aliens from entering the US.

Glenn Greenwald:

This is a major, major political problem for the White House. The measures which Bush's base demands, the ones necessary to really satisfy them -- a huge wall and active deportation -- are far too extreme for Bush to embrace. And yet they aren't going to be satisfied without extreme measures.

The media loves to talk about how Democrats are being harmed because "the Left" of the party is dragging it towards policies which are too extreme, but the reality is that dynamic is taking place within, and is threatening to drown, the Republican Party.

Bush has very few supporters left. The few he has left are demanding that he adopt immigration positions which he clearly opposes and which would alienate most people in the country. And he is far too weak to satisfy them with symbolic measures.

They are actually debating his impeachment over this issue. What is a 29% President to do?

May 12, 2006

29 percent

Bush Finger.jpgIt was just Wednesday that I was wondering when Bush would dip into to the 20's. Harris Interactive has the results.

P.S. What's the scoop on Cheney -- is he in the single digits yet? And do you think the pollsters will go all "NBA" on him and measure his ratings in tenths of a point?