July 31, 2005

Seriously, What is wrong with you Sen. Brownback?

This is the last ramblings of Senator Brownback Republican of wing-nut-ville:
This will be one of, I believe, the first time we've ever used taxpayer money to pay for the intentional destruction of human life and that's what this does.
Click on the link to watch the video the Senator on Face the Nation.

According to Senator Brownback funding embryonic stem cell research will be the first time taxpayer money pay for the intentional destruction of human life.

Seriously, What is wrong with you?

July 30, 2005

Jean ‘Talking Point’ Schmidt Is Pathetic

Jean Schmidt, Republican is running for an open congressional seat in Ohio second district versus Paul Hackett, Democrat, Marine and Iraq veteran.

Jean Schmidt is Tom Delay backed rubber stamp politician for President Bush and the Republican majority in the House. She is also pathetic.
but let us say she hasn't found a talking point she doesn't like. When Gregory asked her if Hackett has more credibility about Iraq because he was a veteran and had served there. Jean replied that she went to a soldier's funeral. When David pressed her on Hackett's experience, she replied that he sounds like Nancy Pelosi. When Gregory says that she sounds like the president's talking points, she hesitated...and well just watch. David, don't mess with her talking points. At one point she starts yelling at David Gregory... pretty pathetic.
Click on the link to watch her on Hardball. If you want a straight shooter, a man of this word Vote for Paul Hackett for Congress.

Bernie Sanders

Bernard Sanders Vermont's independent congressman is running for Senate seat left by retiring Sen. James Jeffords.

John Nichols of the Nation writes a profile of the independent congressman from Vermont.
To a greater extent, arguably, than any other progressive politician in the country, Sanders is identified with pocketbook issues. Spending a day with him in the small towns of Vermont is the equivalent of signing up for a walking seminar on the real-life struggles of working Americans--as played out on issues ranging from protecting Social Security, retirement plans and Medicare to expanding access to healthcare, lowering drug prices, raising the minimum wage, helping small businesses get started and keeping family farmers on the land. The conversations are a mix of personal anecdotes and broad-sweep policies, always pulled back by the Congressman to a discussion of the perils of corporate power and lobbying. To be sure, Sanders takes questions about the war in Iraq and other issues, but the breadth and depth of the discussions he gets into regarding the kitchen-table concerns of working Vermonters is remarkable. [..]

"Democrats are not as engaged as they should be on the economic issues that face tens and tens of millions of people," says Sanders. "That's what the Republicans have been playing off. The Republicans jump in and say, 'OK, look. Democrats are not talking about your economic issues. We're not either, but at least we're telling you about the Ten Commandments, we're telling you about abortion, we're telling you about gay rights.' The biggest mistake Democrats make is to take economics off the table."

Sanders keeps issues of economics and corporate power on the table by using his Congressional franking privileges to send out newsletters that, rather than featuring self-serving photos and pronouncements, offer easily accessible tutorials on the damage done to workers, farmers and the environment by free-trade policies, the threat to democracy posed by media consolidation and the workings of a single-payer healthcare system. Every year, Sanders holds single-issue town hall meetings in some of the smallest communities in the state, where he brings in experts on poverty, healthcare reform and other issues for discussions that can run deep into the evening. The crowds are big, often packing the halls. People get to complain. But they also get something else--an alternative view on how the economy of the country and the world might be organized to favor their interests. This long-term, intensive education process is the closest thing to the "secret" of Sanders's success. Vermonters associate their Congressman with serious discussions about complicated issues, and they understand where he's coming from--and that allows Sanders to go places most politicians fear to tread.
The central part of Bernie Sanders' success is that economic populism resonates with voters across the political spectrum.
Sanders has used a willingness to stand up for ordinary Americans' economic rights to win both liberals and culturally conservative, rural white working class voters - the very voters the Democratic Party has lost in its increasing embrace of DLC-style corporate conservatism. The article is a fascinating read that shows exactly why Sanders' success in 2006 is so important, and how Democrats must change course in order to start winning elections again - especially when you consider polls that show Americans are waiting for Democrats to finally go after the Republicans for the GOP's corporate cronyism.

How does Sanders do it? By focusing on kitchen table pocketbook issues - and being willing to honestly assess how Washington, D.C. has become a city dominated by a legalized bribery that gets our government to help powerful interests economically squeeze the middle class. For his candor, he is rewarded with support from all across the political spectrum. As one Vermonter was quoted as saying, "I used to be a diehard Republican. Now, I'm a diehard for Bernie." Exactly - and if more Democrats would follow Sanders' model, they would be hearing that about themselves in their own states.
Go read the whole profile of Bernie Sanders by John Nichols.

Bernie Sanders show the way how Democratic Party can regain the majorities in congress, the first step is not selling out working Americans.

Democratic Party should be paying attention to kitchen table pocketbook issues and to the next Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders.

July 29, 2005

Seriously, What is wrong with you Sen. Santorum?

This is the last ramblings of Senator Santorum Republican of wing-nut-ville, birth control is harmful to women and society and it's "not a healthy thing for our country."

Add birth control to the long list of what conservatives think is evil and harmful to freedom.
How does it harm women? Well, apparently freedom is dangerous for women, since we are, after all, just very tall children who need constant punishment and discipline. Birth control allows women to escape the "consequences" (children are "consequences"--doesn't that make you feel all warm and Hallmark-y) of having sex.
Around 8:00 p.m. next election time in 2006, Senator Santourm is going to be ex-Senator of Pennsylvania. Then, Rick Santourm can spend all of this time preaching this nonsense to this fellow wing nuts.

Seriously, What is wrong with you?

Al Gore

The Best President America Never Had
Mr. Gore had proposed using the now-nonexistent budget surplus to strengthen Social Security. He also backed a Medicare prescription drug program that used the government’s buying power to yield volume discounts - a tremendous savings to taxpayers. Mr. Bush has been a spendthrift of historic proportions - he first engineered huge tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, then started screaming about how Social Security was "bankrupt." Bush’s "privatization" scheme for Social Security was designed to benefit Wall Street, not retirees. His Medicare prescription drug program was not structured to benefit the elderly, but rather the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Mr. Gore supported conservation and fuel-efficiency, touting the emerging technology of hybrid automobiles. Mr. Bush ridiculed those vehicles and allowed energy companies to set America’s energy policies in secret meetings with Dick Cheney. (Mr. Cheney, of course, also ridiculed the idea of using energy conservation as an aspect of a national energy policy). The result, of course, is that the foreseeable oil needs of China and India are skyrocketing, demand is at an all-time high, and domestic gasoline prices are over two dollars a gallon.

Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Gore would likely have carried over a Clinton administration focus on terrorist cells and Osama bin Laden. On the other hand, the Bush administration was actually dismantling America’s anti-terrorist infrastructure at the time of the September 11 attacks. Bush & Co., of course, totally ignored a written warning proclaiming "bin Laden determined to strike in U.S." Would a Gore administration have connected the dots and prevented the horror of 9/11? That, of course, is impossible to assess. What is crystal clear: No administration could have done worse than Mr. Bush and his people. [..]

The difference between a Gore administration and the Bush administration is a stark reminder of what America could have been, and what it has become. Barring a political miracle, we still have more than three years remaining of Bush’s second term, with an impact horizon extending decades beyond. As we seek to endure the times we now live in, it’s worth speculating on the man who might have been the best president this country never had.
Count me as one of the early supporters of a presidential run in 2008 for Al Gore. It is still be big if that he will run but, he is the most capable and qualified candidate in a potential field of Democrats and Republicans.
Gore, if anything, starts in a better position than Hillary. Already defined as a credible candidate, there's nothing Republicans can do that'll make him look unfit to lead (the country, indeed, already voted for him once). If he can keep his recent speaking style, boring won't apply, at least not so much. His credibility with the left-wing of the party is massive and real. Unlike Hillary, who inspires a fair amount of distrust, Gore's endorsement of Dean and his alliance with MoveOn have turned the ultimate establishment candidate into something of a left-wing insurgent. That should make him a fierce online fundraiser, with small donor rolls that'll dwarf even Dean's, a particularly important strength since that great sucking sound you've been hearing is Hillary hoovering all the early money.

But maybe the best argument for a Gore candidacy is that he'd be a capable president during a time when we need one. Read any biography of Clinton you like, you'll invariably exit with the impression that Gore would have been better in the Oval Office than Bill. The guy's an expert on military policy, an experienced hand at foreign policy, and understands the coming energy issues in a way few do. [..]

But it's the foreign policy credentials that, for me, seal the deal. In this period, Democrats should seriously consider nominating a highly competent candidate whom the country, to some degree or another, already trusts. Unless Cheney runs, something I see as overpoweringly unlikely, a mostly-unknown Republican will be taking the stage. Gore can claim more national experience than absolutely anyone they have. And at this point in time, with iraq proving a mess and terrorism remaining a threat, that may be crucial.
Al Gore in 2008!

July 28, 2005

Unreformed Democrats: 15 Democrat Sellouts On CAFTA Has To Go!

The 15 Democratic sellouts were:
Melissa Bean (IL)
Jim Cooper (TN)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Norm Dicks (WA)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX)
William Jefferson (LA)
Jim Matheson (UT)
Greg Meeks (NY)
Dennis Moore (KS)
Jim Moran (VA)
Solomon Ortiz (TX)
Ike Skelton (MO)
Vic Snyder (AR)
John Tanner (TN)
Ed Towns (NY)
David Sirota
Let's be clear - all of these people should never get a red cent from labor unions or the progressive community again, and that goes even for the ones who represent marginal districts. The idea that this was a "tough vote" for a Democrat who represents a swing district doesn't hold water - no one is getting voted out of office over voting against CAFTA, and voting for American workers. Remember, polls show that Americans are sick and tired of Congress passing these corporate-written "free" trade deals that sell out ordinary workers.[..]

To sum up - each of these 15 Democrats ought to pay a price at the polls for their brazen sell out tonight on CAFTA. They undermined their party and America's workers. And the 9 Democrats of these 15 that have been consistently stabbing the Democratic Party in the back - well, they have shown an unfathomable willingness to disregard anything other than corporate campaign cash. They are the reason why Americans are so cynical about the political process, why Democrats can't win key states like Ohio, and, in general, why Democrats are currently in permanent minority status.
It is time for a leaner, faster, and tougher Democratic party. The fat, slow and the weak within the Democratic party needs to go. Those 15 Democrats are the represent the fat of the Democratic party, they are willing to sellout the Democratic party and America's middle class over and over. They are satisfied being in the minority in congress and under Republican control.

We might have to lose some seat in congress to become a leaner, faster, and tougher party but in the long run we will have a message that the Democratic party that stands up for ordinary working people in this country. We need to offer a clear message, those Democrats who constantly undermined working American will have a price to pay. Those Democrats are the reason GOP and the media say Democratic Party stand for nothing. In the long run, a leaner, faster, and tougher Democratic party will win the White House and regain the majorities in Congress. In till then, we need to shape up and cut the fat out.

Unreformed Democrats: Chicago Mayor Daley Has To Go!

I am all for Democrats of all kinds, liberal, green, conservative, moderate, centrist, progressive, new, blue dog, yellow dog or whatever. At long as they are loyal members of the Democratic party and stand up for Democratic values as a liberal I am willing to have a big tent party.

Corruption is not a Democratic value and I am not willing to give corruption a free pass if it has a ‘D’ in front of there name. I agree with Chris Bowers over at Mydd unreformed Democrats have to go.
I have never voted for a Republican in my life, and I never intend to do so. However, if I had any information that would sink Mayor Daley, I'd turn it over to the Cook County Republican Party and Patrick Fitzgerald right now. The proceeds would then immediately be spent on supporting a Democratic primary challenger, like Jesse Jackson Jr., to oust Daley once and for all.
Cook County Republican Party has an offer.
The Cook County Republican Party is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment and conviction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by scandal.

"The arrogance of Richard Daley is appalling," said Gary Skoien, chairman of the county party. "We hope this reward will inspire someone with critical knowledge to come forward."
Hey, if the GOP is willing to give us money to kick out corrupt, unreformed democrats out of political life we such take up the offer and use the money to elect principled Democrats.

July 26, 2005

Is Karl Rove Having an Affair?

This is only speculation, but is Karl Rove having an affair with Karen Alexandra Johnson?

Radar Online Reports:
As a string of foes from John McCain to Richard Clarke can attest, Karl Rove has never been shy about using personal attacks for political gain. But as the Valerie Plame scandal rages on, the Bush administration's in-house bulldog may be forced to endure a taste of his own medicine [...]

For years, political insiders in the Lone Star State have whispered about Rove's close friendship with lobbyist Karen Johnson, a never-married, forty-something GOP loyalist from Austin, Texas. The two first became close when Johnson sat on the board of then-Governor George W. Bush's Business Council over a decade ago. Their friendship reportedly deepened after Bush appointed Johnson--a little-known spokesperson for the Texas Good Roads Association--to a seat on his Transportation Department transition team in 2000. The plum appointment enabled Johnson's lobbying firm, Infrastructure Solutions, to snare such high-paying clients as Aetna and the City of Laredo. Sources say Johnson now frequently travels between Washington D.C. and Austin, where she frequently appears at Rove's side at parties and unofficial functions.

Although there is no evidence that their relationship is anything but professional, the close association between the married White House aide and the comely lobbyist has long raised eyebrows in conservative Texas circles. Asked about the pair, a prominent political journalist who has written extensively about Rove says, "I've heard the stories, but I would never write about Karl and Karen. If you want to keep your job as a reporter in Texas, you make believe you don't see them together."
If so, Mr. Family Values Republican should be call on it. I report, you decide.

Democratic Leadership Council has small ...

... di*cks.

After an in-depth analysis I finally figured it out, DLC has small di*cks. Yes, I said it.

The DLC needs to prove they are just as tough as the GOP. So, they pack there pants with rolled up socks, examples : Will Marshall, Al From & Bruce Reed.

Marshall, From and Reed are only making fool out of themselves, they reinforces right-wing stereotypes and repeat GOP talking points.

Why does the DLC has small di*cks?
Larry Johnson, professional spook, lifelong Republican, was just smeared in the Weekly Standard.

Paul Hackett, lawyer, Marine Reservist, Iraq War vet, was just smeared today, accused of lying about his military record.

So what are we supposed to do, imitate that little coward Peter Beinart and be PNAC's bitch?

I think not.

We are talking about the President's closest aide being indicted for harming the security of the United States.

The DLC is a collection of losers and most of what they say should be ignored.

A drunk monkey could make a mockery of the GOP's claims to any sort of stewardship on National Security, if the argument is framed right. From failure in Iraq to underfunding security at home, to Tora Bora, the GOP has failed this country and those who serve her. But the Vichyite Marshall doesn't get it. He thinks we have to continue the GOP's failed policies. Iraq is a tactical nightmare and a strategic sinkhole. We have no reason to further the GOP's misguided policies there or come up with a solution.

We need new, effective policies and to stop playing the GOP's game of letting them define patriotism. They think it's a code word for big dick, and losers like Marshall want to play along. It's time to cut the shit and tell the truth, the GOP's war is a failure and we need new approaches. Not in the dick stuffed mouth mumbling way he advocates, but honestly and forthrightly.

National Service? Does he mean sending the poor to be crippled in Iraq? Does he mean that?

Well, we know that's bullshit. Because the liberal warhawks and Young Republicans agree on one thing: Iraq is for white trash, niggers and Mexkins, not us. They get pissed when you ask them to serve. And the poor also say "I'd rather work in Wal Mart. No one blows up an IED next to the Sam's Clubs sodas"

The shit coming from Marshall could fill a septic tank. Democrats are not "more dovish", we're just against getting Americans and Iraqis killed for no good fucking reason. 1700+ dead and Iraq is sliding into anarchy. We'd also like to see Osama Bin Laden caught. As in on trial. Or shot in the head eight times. Whatever works. But now since's had four years, Al Qaeda is now a franchise like Subway. Be batshit crazy enough and you can join AQ.

You want a coherent statement on force, here it is: let's work with out allies to stop our real enemies, not to feed Bush's ego, and like everything else in his life, have it turn to shit before his eyes.
The DLC is enemy within the Democratic party, they are happy being in the minority and bashing democrats. I am all for a big tent party, but the DLC is useless.

Paul Hackett: Democrat, Marine & Iraq Veteran

Paul Hackett for Congress!
Hackett's public service revolves around the Marine Corps. In 1982 he enlisted in a reserve officers program while he was a student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He completed law school at Cleveland State before starting full-time active duty in 1989. He continued in the active reserves after returning in 1992 to Cincinnati, where he practiced law in a small firm before launching a solo practice in 1994. Hackett served on Milford City Council from 1995-98; he stepped down after purchasing what he describes as the oldest house in Indian Hill - a recently-renovated, 200-year-old stone structure on the banks of the Little Miami River.

Last year Hackett re-enlisted in the Marine active reserves; he went in with the rank of major and served in Iraq with a governance support team, where part of his job involved organizing convoys to bring money and supplies from Baghdad to Iraqis serving in the regional government. [..]

Hackett, in our view, is a gust of fresh air. If we had to put a label on him, it would be Libertarian Democrat. He says what he thinks and doesn't seem to have much use for the orthodoxy, or the partisanship, of either party. He doesn't want the government telling him what kinds of guns he can own, nor does he want it interfering in family or medical decisions or taking away civil liberties in the name of fighting terror. He regards Social Security more as an insurance program than a retirement savings plan, but wants to put it on a sound footing and would raise the earnings ceiling if necessary to do so.

If elected, he notes, he would be the only member of Congress with direct military experience in Iraq - which, he says, is a fight we should end as soon as possible. He wants to finish the job and get out, and he wants the United States to stop holding hands with Pakistan and to get serious about tracking down those responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

We like Hackett's candor. We're impressed with the freshness of his ideas. We believe his experience shows him to be someone who is action-oriented.

We endorse Hackett for the 2nd District seat.
The GOP is scared of Paul Hackett, they are using ‘swift boat’ lies to smear him. Again, the GOP is putting their political power above Stars and Stripes.

Paul Hackett is not backing down from the chicken hawks.
"All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."
Paul Hackett for Congress!

How Much Would It Cost To Get All These Undocumented Immigrants Out Of America?

$41.2 billion annually
Well, the Center for American Progress today released the first-ever cost assessment of a mass deportation policy for the 10 million undocumented persons currently in the country and the 500,000 that successfully cross the border each year. And guess what? It would essentially drain the Treasury. The data analysis estimates the cost to be at least $206 billion over 5 years ($41.2 billion annually), and could be as high as $230 billion. We arrived at this number even after assuming that 2 million of the 10 million would leave on their own—a pretty large assumption.
So, does immigrant hating Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and former House Speaker Rep. Newt Gingrich have $206 billion laying around?

No, because they political party is spending federal money like a drunken sailors. No offense to drunken sailors.

Tancredo, Gingrich and the rest of there ilk can preach there rhetoric to score cheap political points while only offering ‘round them up, kick them out’ solutions which is not reasonable.
Most reasonable politicians have rejected mass deportation as costly and ineffective measure that would do little to improve our security and could devastate key sectors of our economy. This study puts the nail in the coffin for the “just deport ‘em” crowd.
It is time for effective immigration reform, not rhetoric.
Sens. John McCain and Edward Kennedy teamed up on Thursday to introduce a bipartisan immigration reform bill that would allow some of the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants in the United States to get legal jobs and eventual citizenship. [..]

The proposal would allow illegal immigrants to apply for temporary work permits that could last for six years. They would have to clear criminal background checks, pass an English language test and pay a $2,000 fee to qualify.

At the end of the six years, they and their families could apply for permanent resident status, and five years later for citizenship.
John McCain and Edward Kennedy immigration reform bill will be a good start. Yes, I am bias my parents were immigrants.

(Hat Tip to Think Progress )

July 25, 2005

White House, 12 Hour Gap & Shredding Machines

12 Hour Gap: White House Cover-up of Rove Scandal
So how much information could have been shredding in a Midnight Massacre? Well, it depends upon the shredding equipment. Swing State Project has compared four different shredders to estimate the volume of information that could have been destroyed during the 12 hour gap.
Click on the link to find out what kind of shredding machines the Bush White House might has used to cover up the Rove Scandal.

FL Sen: NRSC Smear Campaign Against Bill Nelson, Obama

The gutter politics of the GOP continues, Senator Bill Nelson is being attacked for appearing with Senator Barack Obama in Eatonville, Fl by the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Nelson was caught off guard when told a Republican group was questioning whether he would be easy on sexual predators simply because he appeared with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in a historically black community of Eatonville, Fla.

After the appearance, the National Republican Senatorial Committee posted items on its Web site asking "Nelson Campaigns With Obama -- Does He Agree With Obama's Record Of Lenience On Sexual Predators?" The site then listed votes Obama made as a state senator on such issues as sex offenders, pornography and adult businesses near schools.
If you must, you can read the NRSC hit piece on Senator Obama and Nelson.

The GOP is running scared in Florida, first they want push Katherine Harris out of the Senate race and now they rushing out attacks against Nelson 16 months before the election. Senator Bill Nelson is right, it is going to get ugly.
Sen. Bill Nelson predicted Republican attempts to oust him would get ugly as he sought re-election next year.
GOP has no shame, as they support, praise, and make excuse for treason and torture they smear Senator Obama as soft on sex offenders. I am disgusted.

It is time for the Democratic Party to step up against the smear tactics of the GOP. The NRSC attacks on Obama are lies, but the truth is ...

GOP is soft on Terrorism!
GOP is soft on Treason!
GOP is soft on Torture!
GOP is soft on Sex Offenders!

July 24, 2005

Political Machine of Mayor Daley

Chicago Tribune reports:
More than 1,200 city workers--most in jobs that are supposed to be free from political influence--belong to a select few groups that have supported Mayor Richard Daley, a Tribune investigation has found.

And most of those employees get their paychecks from City Hall departments targeted in a federal investigation of hiring. [..]

Nearly four out of every 10 people who register voters for the pro-Daley groups have city jobs, according to the Tribune's analysis. [..]

The Tribune compared city payroll records with rosters for political groups that register voters. The analysis suggests extensive connections between city jobs and the mayor's political operation, a finding consistent with federal prosecutors' allegations that Daley administration officials rewarded campaign supporters with jobs and promotions.

More than 11,000 people are listed as election registrars for 218 Chicago civic organizations. About 2,200 of those individuals are city employees, yet seven pro-Daley groups account for more than 1,200 of the jobs.
Politics as usual in Chicago, Mayor Daley supporters on the city pay roll. Now, Mayor Daley wants an independent commission to handle hiring and promotions.
Mayor Daley made it official Thursday. He plans to take most city hiring decisions out of City Hall. The mayor says that is the only way to protect city employees and aldermen from facing constant questions about why people were hired and to protect them from possible criminal charges. [..]

He wants an independent commission, insulated from political interference, to handle hiring and promotions instead of his own administration.
Huh? Instead of this own administration!
As a result, Daley is proposing a new public service commission, located outside of City Hall, to manage the hiring and promotion of 37,000 employees who aren't in management. The mayor and the alderman would appoint the commission members, but there would be clear rules aimed at insulating them from political interference.
Let me get this straight, Delay can not trust his own administration to hire people for city jobs. But, he want to create an independent commission appointed by himself and aldermen (who are politicians) which will lead to insulating hiring decision from political interference.

This is like a Fox appointing an other Fox to guard the henhouse.

I had an idea, A new administration in 2007 for Chicago. It is time for Delay to step down.

FL Sen: Republican Establishment vs. Katherine Harris

According to Fox ‘News’ sources in Washington and Florida the GOP is trying to push Katherine Harris out of the Senate race against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.
According to sources in Washington and Florida, the Republican establishment is not thrilled with the Republican congresswoman's recent announcement that she is strongly considering a run for U.S Senate in 2006. In fact, GOP leaders are actively courting another Florida Republican to run against Harris in next summer's primary.

"The resistance from the establishment is based on their perception, and that's based on public and private polling that she would have a very, very hard time winning," said Stu Rothenberg of the Washington D.C-based campaign tracker, the Rothenberg Political Report.
Florida state Senate President Tom Lee is one of the establishment Republicans who is discourage about a Harris candidacy.
Speaking of a Harris candidacy, state Senate President Tom Lee told the St. Petersburg Times, "I can't recall a time when the party felt so strongly that a particular candidate was going to create problems up and down the ballot."
Katherine Harris still has support within Florida from County Republicans Committee Chairman.
"I frankly happen to be very disappointed to read articles in the media that seem to indicate that the establishment isn't supporting her, I certainly don't get that sense personally," said Manatee County Republican Committee Chairman Mark Flanagan, who estimated that Harris has the support of every GOP county chair in the state.

"Politics is local and Republicans in southwest Florida in particular are proud of Katherine Harris and are very thankful that she has been there for us as citizens and as Republicans," Flanagan added.

"Most of our folks are put off by it and feel that it's not helpful for the Washington people to be putting this out there," said Sarasota County Republican Committee Chairman Bob Waechter. "Katherine enjoys tremendous support here.
Those Republicans might support Harris for Senate, but it will take more than words of support to win the Senate seat. Katherine Harris only received $13,000 worth of contributions in June.
From June 7 through June 30, Friends of Katherine Harris, Harris' campaign committee, received $13,000 worth of contributions from donors such as Ernst & Young and Marriott International.

During the same period in 2004, Harris received more than twice as much in donations. To be clear, it was an election year, but in that period in 2003, also an off-year, Harris saw more than $45,000 enter her coffers.
Kos is right GOP has no gratitude.
$13K? That's gratitude for you, GOP style. You steal an election for them, and this is how they repay her.
Hey, at least they let her run for House seat.

July 22, 2005

Aww, Tom Delay Legal Defense Fund Needs Help

Public Citizen reports:
In the face of continuing ethics questions, embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s financial support from his congressional colleagues continues to plummet. He received only two contributions to his legal defense fund from fellow members in the past three months, according to figures just released by the U.S. House of Representatives.

For the first time, DeLay’s legal defense contributions did not keep pace with his legal fees. In the past three months, DeLay’s legal defense fund raised only $42,900 – $13,311 less than his legal expenses for the same period, which totaled $56,211.92. DeLay’s legal defense fund has spent a total of $90,216 this year.
The only two house members who gave to Tom Delay legal defense fund past three months are Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) contributed $2,000 and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) contributed $5,000.
That total of $7,000 is the lowest amount the fund has received in one quarter from congressional contributors, a Public Citizen analysis shows. In the first three months of 2005, the fund collected more than four times that amount, a total of $30,000, from nine members. Contributions this quarter were substantially below the last quarter of 2004, when current and former members of Congress and their political action committees (PACs) contributed $174,500.[..]

“Clearly, the contributions to DeLay’s legal defense fund are dropping at the same rate as his stock on Capitol Hill,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. “Perhaps members are beginning to realize that there is no monetary fix for the damage DeLay has done to the ethical image of Congress.”
Go read an analysis of contributions to Rep. Tom Delay’s legal expense trust between June 2000 through June 2005.

Poor guy, he help build GOP majorities in the house and now this own congressional colleagues are slowing down their donates to his legal defense fund. It could not have happen to a better person.

(Hat Tip to MoJo Blog )

Democratic Leadership Council & Vital Center

The Democratic Leadership Council is meeting this weekend in Columbus, Ohio.
The DLC National Conversation is a one-of-a-kind forum for governors and other statewide elected officials, legislators, mayors, county executives, council members, business leaders, and citizen activists to come together on a national platform to compare notes and brainstorm innovative strategies for governing in their states and communities.
I have written before, the DLC is no friend of mine or to liberals Democrats.

David Sirota
The DLC also tells the Monitor that "If Democrats are smart, they also will avoid copying Rove's strategy of polarization, using controversial issues to whip up support from a loyal base of voters." How, may I ask, is that "smart?" Last I checked, Karl Rove has won almost every political campaign he's been involved in with that strategy, and now Republicans dominate every branch of government. How is it "smart" not to take some tactical lessons from him? I'm not saying we take our ethics lessons from Rove - but to say that he hasn't been politically successful in winning elections is beyond tone deaf: it's just plain stupid.

Maybe if I put it in corporate terms that the DLCers could understand, it would be more clear. Going to places like Ohio to tell Democrats to continue pushing the DLC's corporate "free" trade policies would be like being the guy who ran a company into the ground, showing up to give a presentation to the company's board, and telling the board that the company should keep doing exactly what its been doing, even it if means complete bankruptcy. The fact is, if you did that, you'd be fired. But in Democratic Party politics, these people aren't fired - they are venerated, as if they have the keys to success. And then we wonder why Democrats continue to lose, and lose, and lose, and lose. What's really amazing is that these professional election losers still can spew their drivel with a straight face.

DLC CEO Al From told the Monitor that there is "a lot of concerns in this country about the way Washington is run and about the arrogance of power in Washington." The same could be said about how the Democratic Party is still influenced by From and his corporate cronies, and about the arrogance of the DLC's corporate-cash power that continues to try to drive the Democratic Party into the ground.
Democrats have a choice to make -- stand with the DLC, or stand with the grassroots and netroots of the party. It's interesting that Democrats with a strong sense of self -- those who truly know what they stand for and are unafraid to say so -- are those least interested in the DLC's snake oil. Obama twice had to demand the DLC take him off their list. California's Phil Angelides -- the next governor of the Golden State given Ahnold's spectacular collapse -- also demanded to be taken off their list. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, who's anti-war floor speech made the internet rounds last year, also demanded to be taken off their list. Western Democrats in Montana -- blood red territory -- have shown no interest in cozying up with the DLC.

It's those Democrats who are afraid of who or what they stand for that seem most drawn to the DLC. It's a shame that Hillary has thrown in with that lot, but it's clear that she's looking for the perfect positioning. She's not confident she can win on who she is and what she stands for, so she's what, looking for cover to the charges that she's "too liberal"? Is she looking to the DLC to help define that "vital center"? [...]

Keep chasing the "vital center", and you'll prevent the Democratic Party from standing for core principles. The GOP polls to find the best ways to sell their agenda, the Democratic Party polls to find that "vital center", and then demands its politicians chase after those popular positions.

Yet time and time again, the public rewards those with convictions (Feingold, anyone?), and punishes those who wanter the political landscape aimlessly, with no moral compass or overarching core philosophy.

The netroots and grassroots both get it. The DLC doesn't. Instead of working as a team, they want to divide. They want to excommunicate certain Democrats from the party. They are as bad as the single-issue groups they love to decry. They are the enemy within. And Democrats that associate with them are telegraphing who they stand with.
Amen, DLC is the enemy within. I rather lose with my liberal principals intact than selling out to the DLC and their corporate donors to reach the so called vital center. The only center the DLC know is between themselves and the GOP as they both get fat off of big business while working classes get poorer and the richer get richer.

Yes, it is class warfare. I am not afraid to say it and the elites are winning hand down. The DLC is preaching the same economy policies of the GOP which has shown to only make their corporate donors wealthier.

The DLC is only for the beltway press, elites and weak at the knees Democratic politicians. At one time the DLC had a purpose, but now it is useless. The only people who would like the DLC to become more of a factor in Democratic politics is the GOP.

July 21, 2005

Schwarzenegger Can't Govern!

Arnold new poll numbers are out.
Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California?"

Approve 34 (40)
Disapprove 51 (49)

President Bush's approval ratings in California

Approve 38 (40)
Disapprove 57 (56)
Ezra Klein
The bottom line is that the Republican's Great Austrian Hope hates governing. He doesn't like crafting bills, working with legislators, balancing interest group, or anything else. He likes appearing in front of people. He likes cutting commercials. He likes giving interviews. So he's attempting to create some weird, quasi-direct democracy in California that'll allow him to simply sidestep the legislative process altogether. Of course, you can't do that, the results don't work.
Matt Singer
The problem is that Schwarzenegger can't govern. And he somehow thinks it is OK to decry special interests while taking money from special interests and vetoing legislation that they oppose. Schwarzenegger is now less popular than George W. Bush in California.

Finally, we've found a politician who makes Gray Davis look ethical and makes Jesse Ventura look like more than a one hit wonder. We could hardly have asked for a better opponent. One could guess, even, that Schwarzenegger is a robot, sent back from the future, to lose.
Who is more of a lame duck Arnold or Bush?

Air Guitar

July 20, 2005

DLC Al From F OFF!

Yes, my friends this is an other DLC bashing Diary. Al From is once again preaching weakness in the face of corrupt, without ethics, beholden to big business and the ‘religious’ right, pro treason and torture Republican Party.
The controversy over the role presidential adviser Karl Rove played in naming a covert Central Intelligence Agency operative could help focus voters' attention on how Washington is run.

But Democrats need to be careful not to focus too much on hounding Mr. Rove at a time when voters know too little about what their own party stands for. If Democrats are smart, they also will avoid copying Rove's strategy of polarization, using controversial issues to whip up support from a loyal base of voters.

So say executives of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a group of centrist Democrats founded to reconnect their party with "mainstream values and aspirations." Several hundred politicians affiliated with the DLC will meet next Monday in Columbus, Ohio, to plot strategies for a Democratic comeback in Congress and the White House.

"This controversy over Karl Rove probably just reinforces a lot of concerns in this country about the way Washington is run and about the arrogance of power in Washington," Al From, the DLC's chief executive officer, said at a Monitor breakfast Tuesday. "I think the way the Republicans have run the city, which they control, will be an important political issue."
Again, take your DLC Al From and shove it!

And, if any ‘smart’ Democrat runs as DLC candidate for President, Congress, or dog catcher I will oppose that person in till Al From is kick out of DLC offices.

(Hat Tip to Steve Gilliard)

Obama hires Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Genocide Expert

Senator Barack Obama has hired Samantha Power the Pulitzer prize-winning author for A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide as an advisor for foreign affairs.
Sen. Barack Obama has snared a high-profile human-rights activist, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and lecturer from Harvard to join his Senate staff, advising him on issues of genocide and the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Samantha Power, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," is expected to become a foreign policy adviser to the Illinois Democrat, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"She has terrific expertise, like Darfur," Obama said. "It's a mutual interest on her part and my part."
With the hire of Samantha Power and his recent visit to the United Nations Senator Obama reveals he plans to take part in global debate on Sudan and on other foreign affair issues.
Freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) visited the United Nations on Friday, taking his first steps to use his unique position -- the son of a Kenyan, the only African American in the Senate -- to pressure African countries and China to do more to stop the genocide in Sudan.

With the U.N. trip, Obama is opening a new phase of his Senate career.

After spending his first six months in the Senate focusing on domestic affairs, Obama will be turning more to the portfolio he holds as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Mark Leon Goldberg over at Tapped likes Senator Obama recent hires on this staff.
I, for one, am very excited about this new hire. The more power Power has, the more thoughtful America’s response to genocide and man-made humanitarian disasters in Africa and beyond will be. (Before the election, I secretly hoped that a Kerry administration would install her in Pierre-Richard Prosper's office.) Also, she’s no liberal hawk. Before March 2003, she had the wisdom to resist the liberal temptations served up by the Michael Ignatieff/Thomas Friedman crowd as she questioned the assumptions of the Iraq war.

Further, after snagging Karen Kornbluh -- the versatile economist and Washington wizard of progressive work and family policy -- this latest move tells me that Obama is determined to form the greatest policy team in the Senate.
The Democratic Party needs a clear voice on foreign affairs issues and especially on Sudan, I welcome Senator Obama increase role on this issues.

July 19, 2005

Judge Edith Brown Clement: The Nominee

My mistake, it is not Judge Edith Brown Clement. John G. Roberts Jr. is Bush choice for Supreme Court.

Judge Edith Brown Clement
Judge Clement was sworn in as a United States District Judge in 1991 and is presently serving as Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Louisiana. She was a maritime attorney in the New Orleans firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre from 1975 - 1991.

Judge Clement received her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in 1969 and her J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1973, and served as law clerk to the late U.S. District Judge Herbert W. Christenberry. She is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Federal Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the Federalist Society, the Tulane Law School's Inn of Court, the Committee on the Administrative Office of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and she serves as the Eastern District of Louisiana Representative on the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council.

She is married and has two children.
Click on this link to read the rest of Judge Edith Brown Clement resumé.

Click on this link to read Judge Edith Brown Clement profile in Wikipedia.

Click on this link to read Judge Edith Brown Clement profile in dkospedia.

People for the American Way: Confirmed Judges Confirm Our Worst Fears
Judge Clement has joined troubling dissents from two important decisions by the full Fifth Circuit. In one, Judge Clement maintained that the scope of an important federal criminal law, the Hobbs Act, should be severely limited on “federalism” grounds. In the other, Clement voted to allow the unlawful firing of a public school teacher. Judge Clement also wrote the opinion in a 2-1 decision reversing a jury’s award of damages for pain and suffering of a mother and daughter killed in a grisly truck accident.
Big Business will support Judge Edith Brown Clement.
"Big business has been a huge supporter of the president," said Thomas Goldstein, a Supreme Court expert and Washington, D.C. lawyer. "It's reasonable to expect that they're going to get a nominee that remains pro-business." [..]

Glenn Lammi, chief counsel of the conservative Washington Legal Foundation, identified at least three possible nominees that big business would cheer: John Roberts Jr., Edith Brown Clement and Janice Rogers Brown. All three are federal appeals court judges.

Corporate America would favor Roberts and Clement because both were once private practitioners who represented business interests -- experience the Rehnquist court now lacks. Given their past experience, the thinking goes, both judges might be friendly to corporate America.
Senator Reid: Senator Reid: Four Years Later: An Early Look at the Impact of Bush Judges on the American People
Race Discrimination

Judge Edith Brown Clement dissented from a 2-1 ruling in favor of African American plaintiffs in a civil rights lawsuit brought against life insurance companies that had maintained dual rate and dual plan policies by race, placing African Americans “in policies offering the same benefits as do policies sold to whites, but at a higher premium.”

The district court denied the plaintiff’s motion to proceed with a class action – which, in all likelihood, would have ended the lawsuit. The Fifth Circuit reversed, with Judge Clement dissenting. Bratcher v. National Standard Life Insurance Co., 365 F.3d 408 (5th Cir. 2004)
I hope this short description of Judge Edith Brown Clement is helpful, let the battle begin.

July 18, 2005

No Felons

President Bush set a new standard for the White House:
"If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration," Mr. Bush said in response to a question, after declaring, "I don't know all the facts; I want to know all the facts."
Mr. President, the fact is you just flip flopped:
President Bush changed his stance today on his close adviser Karl Rove, stopping well short of promising that anyone in his administration who helped to unmask a C.I.A. officer would be fired. [..]

For months, Mr. Bush and his spokesmen have said that anyone involved in the disclosure of the C.I.A. officer's identity would be dismissed. The president's apparent raising of the bar for dismissal today, to specific criminal conduct, comes amid mounting evidence that, at the very least, Mr. Rove provided backhanded confirmation of the C.I.A. officer's identity.
Now, the standard is if you are a felon you can not work in the White House.

Responsibility President vs. Irresponsibility Era

David Brooks on 05/28/2001 - The Responsibility President
The distinctive thing about the Bush approach is that it tries to introduce a responsibility ethic into energy and environmental thinking. In the comments of the Bush administration figures, you can sense a tone of contempt for those who want to burn energy but are unwilling to face the tough choices involved in producing it -- for the people who want electric cars, but not electricity generators, clean skies but not nuclear power. As Paul Gigot recently reported, the Bushies present their plan as the anti-Gray Davis approach. The California governor has tried to blame everybody but Californians for the mess there. The Bush administration has taken responsibility for the national mess that was left to it.
Ed Kilgore on 07/17/2005 - The Irresponsibility Era
Recall George W. Bush's meta-message during the 2000 campaign: it was time for a "responsibility era" to rein in the excesses introduced by the out-of-control Baby Boomer Bill Clinton. The grown-ups, emblemized by Dick Cheney and other Bush 41 exiles, were ready to give America a mature and accountable government.

That has turned out to be the biggest Bush lie of them all. [..]

From the tax cuts to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bushies have consistently pursued their policies in the most completely thoughtless and dangerous manner available to them. And moreover, they have made it definitively clear that no one loyal to the White House can lose his or her job for incompetence, negligence, corruption, or any other sin.

George W. Bush has systematically ushered in an "irresponsiblity era" that is aimed to insulate his policies, his appointees, and his party from any significant oversight or control.
The responsibility president delivered the ear of irresponsibly. No one is accountable, no apologies for mistakes because they never admit to any, party loyalty above loyalty to Stars and Stripes, supporting treason and torture, campaigns of lies, smears, and attacks on anyone who dares to speak out against them, paid reporters to promote their propaganda, lobbyist written bills is now the standard operating procedure of the Republican party.

Credibility Deficit

John Podesta on Meet the Press:
Mr. Rove has created tremendous credibility problems for this White House, for this President, for this country on a matter of utmost national security: whether we can trust him to tell the truth about serious issues involving this war that has now claimed 1763 Americans. And I think that the one thing that is unassailable at the end of this week is that Mr. Rove did not tell the truth in 2003. And I think, given that, he’s hurting the President by staying there, and I think he has a duty to the President. And quite frankly, the President said he would fire leakers, not lawbreakers, and I think if he’s a man of his word, he’ll take that seriously.
The Bush White House is facing a credibility deficit on a whole front of issues, even if they fire Rove this White House is still without any credibility.

July 16, 2005

Condoleezza Rice & Rovegate

David Sirota think it is time to start asking questions about Condoleezza Rice involvement in Rovegate.
I'm thinking we need to start asking Condoleezza Rice some questions. Now, I say that having no proof at all that she was involved. I'm just trying to read what we do know. And if you think about it, Rice really should be on the hot seat. Here is a person who came out of academia and who might not have the appreciation for how quickly you can get burnt down for leaking classified info, and who might think that's all part of "how its done" in Washington's partisan battles. [..]

Also, she was the face of the Bush administration in the lead up to war - she was the front person in defending all the administration's WMD claims, she was talking to all sorts of reporters trying to make the WMD threat seem as menacing as possible. She was the one who allowed Bush's reference to Iraq supposedly buying uranium from Niger to get into the State of the Union address, and then denied it by laughably pretending she never read the intelligence reports debunking the claim - as if we are expected to believe that.
David Sirota points out in Robert Novak article on October 1, 2003, The CIA leak, that Novak describe senior administration official as not a ‘partisan gunslinger’.
During a long conversation with a senior administration official, I asked why Wilson was assigned the mission to Niger. He said Wilson had been sent by the CIA's counterproliferation section at the suggestion of one of its employees, his wife. It was an offhand revelation from this official, who is no partisan gunslinger.
This is the most partisan White House in recent history, but in the media Condoleezza Rice is portrayed as non-partisan. Most of all of the Senior administration officials, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest are very partisan. I agree with David Sirota, Novak is not credible on any issue but, why would he describe senior administration official as not a ’partisan gunslinger’? Novak would not depict Cheney as non-partisan.

Next, Sirota points out Rice's number two, Stephen Hadley , may be implicated in the scandal.
Rove told then-deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley in the July 11, 2003, e-mail that he had spoken with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper and tried to caution him away from some allegations that CIA operative Valerie Plame's husband was making about faulty Iraq intelligence.
This is all speculation on the part of Sirota, but I do find his points to be very interesting. Read the whole post for yourself.

Bob Brigham over at Swing State Project is right.
We know for a fact that at least one other senior Administration official is involved in the leak. Instead of asking which additional senior administration official is involved, I think we need to be asking if any officials are not involved.
Q. Mr. President who was not involved in outing CIA agent in your administration?

July 13, 2005

Calling Talk Radio

The GOP thinks grassroots activities is turning all their supporters to ditto heads, just repeating their talking points over and over.

First they supply you with the talking points.
Jobs & Economy

Pass legislation that promotes economic growth - including making tax cuts permanent.
Strengthen Social Security.
Strengthen high schools to prepare Americans for jobs in the 21st Century.

Strength & Security

Support increased base pay for service members and health care benefits for veterans.
Stand with President Bush on increased defense spending that better prepares and protects our military.
Show support for the President’s improvements in Homeland Security to defend our country.
If you click on the link, you can read all the rest of the talking points.

Then they supply you with tips on how to call talk radio.
Call Early: Call early in the show so you can be sure to be included in the program.

Keep Calling: If the call-in line is busy, just keep redialing the number. You will get through, especially on a local program.

Plan What You Are Going to Say: Print or write out your talking points to help you plan what you are going to say before you are on the air.

Know the Single Point You Want to Make: When you get through, be prepared to give the call screener a quick one-sentence summary of what you will say. The more clear and to-the-point you are, the better your chances of getting on air.

Be Clear and Concise: When you get on the air, sound upbeat and excited to be on the program. Get to your point quickly. If you are referring to something another person has said, be sure to quickly summarize it for listeners who may not have heard it.
Finally, they supply you with the phone numbers to radio shows..
News Beat with Blanquita Cullum 1-800- 510- TALK

Dateline Washington with Greg Corombus 1-800-510- 8255

Battle Line with Alan Nathan 1-800-510- 8255

Janet Parshall's America 1-800-343- 9282

Hugh Hewitt Show 1-800-520- 1234

Hot Talk with Scott Hennen 1-800-279- 9329

The Laura Ingraham Show 1-800-743- 4443

The Jim Bohannon Show 1-866-505- 4626

The Bob Grant Show 1-800-321- 8828

The Dolans Show 1-800-321- 0710

The Rush Limbaugh Show 1-800-282- 2882

Sean Hannity Show 1-800-941- 7326

Jason Jarvis Show 1-860-676- 8306

Common Sense Radio With Ollie North 1-888-99-NORTH

Imus in the Morning 1-800-370-4687

Good Day USA 1-877-541-5250

Jason Jarvis Show 1-860-676-8306

Dr. Laura 1-800-DR LAURA

G. Gordon Liddy Show 1-800-GG-LIDDY

The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly 1-877-9 NO SPIN

Michael Savage Show 1-800-449-8255

The Bob Grant Show 1-800-321-8828

The Mike Gallagher Show 1-800-655-MIKE

The Ken Hamblin Show 1-800-462-6479

The Michael Medved Show 1-800-955-1776

The Lars Larson Show 1-866-509-LARS

The Don Kroah Show 1-888-293-9282

Neal Boortz Show 1-877-310-2100

Point of View 1-800-351-1212

The Larry Elder Show 1-800-222-5222

The Dennis Prager Show 1-877-243-7776
You can even type in your own zip code and get local wing nuts show to call.

You too can become a ditto head for the GOP, use the talking points, follow the tips and call the shows. The GOP why think for yourself, we can do all the thinking for you.

July 12, 2005

The most Shamelessly Partisan Hack ....

... is Fox News chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron.

The Reason Behind Right Wing Attack on Sen. Durbin

David Corn writes in the Washington Monthly the reason behind right wing attacks over Sen. Durbin remarks on mistreatment of prisoners and detainees is the Senator is a threat to the GOP.
The answer is that they went after Durbin because he's a threat. A triple threat, in fact. Today's Republicans may not be competent at planning wars or managing the federal treasury, but when it comes to the politics of attack, they know what they're doing. And they know whom to target. In the last six months, Democrats have scored political successes with an oppositional strategy that has made life difficult for Republicans on Social Security reform, judicial nominations, and the John Bolton confirmation. Durbin, a sharp tactician, has been Democratic Leader Harry Reid's chief partner in concocting that strategy and its details. Durbin is also good in front of a television camera and is often cited by Democrats as the party leader who can best argue the Democrats' case in the media. (He outshines Reid in this regard.) And Durbin, an active member of the judiciary committee and one of the toughest questioners in the Senate, is expected to assume a leading role in the battle over over Bush's nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
One reason why Senator Durbin is a threat to the GOP he and Senator Reid develop strategy to thwart the Republicans plan to eliminate the filibuster.
This spring, for example, when Republicans threatened to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations, Durbin devised the Democrats' contingency plan in case Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) pushed the nuclear button. In such an event, under the Durbin plan, the Democrats would take advantage of the Senate rules—which virtually allow any senator to bring up legislation at any time—and continually introduce popular initiatives: expanding tax credits for health care, raising the minimum wage, and releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve to counter the rising price of gasoline. The strategy held three benefits. First, it would clutter up the Senate calendar, limiting the time Republicans had for their own priorities. Second, because Democrats would be proposing real legislation, Republicans would have a harder time casting them as mere obstructionists. Finally, it would put Republicans on record as voting against measures many Americans support. One of the first bills Durbin lined up for recurring votes was legislation intended to reduce abortion rates by requiring private drug plans to cover prescription contraceptives. Such legislation would place Republicans in the awkward position of opposing a measure designed to lower the number of unwanted pregnancies. The counter-nuclear plan devised by Durbin may well have motivated several Republicans to reject Frist's nuclear option and seek a compromise. (After 14 so-called moderate Democratic and Republican senators brokered a deal that apparently—or perhaps temporarily—defused the standoff, Durbin said the arrangement was “not what I would choose” but “the alternative could have been much worse.”)
David Corn article goes in-depth about Senator Durbin political career and his effectiveness as a Senator and Democrat leader. Go read the whole article.

David Corn wants to know, What are Democrats willing to risk to be a fierce opposition party?
These high-octane, media-driven, partisan spats and disputes may often appear to be trivial or distractions, but they are part of policy and electoral warfare that is real and epochal. The Democrats are not going to win that battle unless they—and Durbin—move past the Gitmo imbroglio and remain fully engaged in the ugly fray.
In order to win the Democrats need to join the GOP in the ugly fray.

IL Gov: DUI & GOP Infighting

Illinois State Senator Steven J. Rauschenberger of Elgin is running for the Republican nomination for Governor, Republican National Committeeman Robert Kjellander think Rauschenberger is a hypocrite.
Republican National Committeeman Robert Kjellander returned a request for a political donation to Rauschenberger's campaign with the note, "Anybody who gets behind the wheel of a car drunk doesn't belong in the state Senate, much less the governor's mansion."

In an interview with the Sun-Times, Kjellander called Rauschenberger "holier than thou," a "hypocrite" and an "also-ran" who is "not going anywhere." But he denied he was trying to force him from the race.

"I am trying to send him a message: Quit soliciting me," Kjellander said. "He runs around the state attacking me for being a lobbyist, and yet my office gets inundated with requests from him for money. All us evil lobbyists, we're not good enough to hold office, but we're good enough to solicit money from."
Robert Kjellander has a point, if you are going to run around the state bashing Kjellander for being a lobbyist then hit him up for money, then you are a hypocrite.
Kjellander also said it’s “hypocritical” for Rauschenberger to criticize him for taking lobbying fees when Rauschenberger collected “consulting fees” from lobbying firms while a state senator.
State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger call the attack on him character assassination.
Potential Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Rauschenberger accused a top party leader Monday of "character assassination" for sending Rauschenberger's political team a note rehashing the state senator's 1994 arrest for drunken driving.

"That was an attempt to intimidate me," Rauschenberger said. "I am extraordinarily embarrassed by my failure in judgment of more than 10 years ago. It was a terrible mistake, but I will not be bullied out of this race." [..]

The Elgin Republican was arrested in west suburban Bartlett in 1994. He said he was on his way home from a GOP fund-raising event at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Chicago. His blood-alcohol level tested at 0.12. The legal limit was then 0.10 but has since been lowered to 0.08.

Rauschenberger said his license was revoked for 30 days, and he underwent court-ordered counseling. He said he has supported 21 bills supported by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

"I do not have a drinking problem today," he said. "In my opinion, I did not have a substantial drinking problem before the arrest. It was a stupid mistake."
Robert Kjellander calls out Steve Rauschenberger for this DUI, but he raise money for Bush-Cheney reelection who both were arrested for drunken driving.
Noting Kjellander's "litmus test" for the governor's race, Rauschenberger questioned whether Kjellander, who ran President Bush's re-election campaign in the Midwest, believes Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney " 'belong' in the positions they currently hold?"

Bush had a DUI conviction in 1976 and Cheney two driving while intoxicated offenses in the early 1960s.

"We're talking about the governor's race," Kjellander told the Sun-Times. "The president was elected. Everyone knew about it. If Steve gets elected with a DUI, fine. I'm just saying I don't believe it's going to happen."

Kjellander defends Bush and Cheney, ‘DUI arrest took place, while Bush and Cheney were young.’ Rauschenberger and Kjellander are making fools out of themselves, and yes they are both hypocrites too.

July 10, 2005

Sunday Odd News Rundown!

Taking a break from political news, lets have some odd news.

Bail Denied for 90-Year-Old Drug Suspect
MOBILE, Ala. - A federal judge ordered a 90-year-old woman and her 60-year-old son jailed without bail on drug charges, saying they might represent a danger to the community if freed. [..]

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gloria Bedwell presented evidence that Lucious Westry is the matriarch of a crime family that engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to sell street drugs, including crack, and prescription medications, such as OxyContin, from their home.

Nine others, mostly relatives of the Westrys, also face drug charges.
How long has these people been selling drugs? I wonder did Westry sell OxyContin to Rush?

Bonuses for bikini-clad bathers anger South Korean women's group
SEOUL (AFP) - A local government campaign to attract more bathers to a South Korean beach resort by offering incentives to swimmers wearing bikinis has upset women's rights activists.

Ahead of the peak summer bathing season, Buan County administration southwest of Seoul renamed its Byeonsan Beach Bikini Beach and promised wearers of skimpy swimsuits a 10-percent discount on bills for hotels, meals and beach equipment rentals.[..]

Women's groups denounced the campaign as exploitation.

"This is an outrageous attempt to stimulate the regional economy by exploiting the female sex," said a statement from the association of women activists of North Jeolla Province.

A campaign to attract more visitors should focus on publicizing the southwestern county's "natural beauty instead of the naked female body," it said.

"We are appalled at this preposterous campaign and cannot suppress our mounting anger," it said.
Ok, I think this is wrong. But, who decide what is skimpy? Do guys get discount for wearing skimpy swimsuits?

Strippers Arrested in Alleged Spanking
JACKSONVILLE, Ark. - Three strippers and two nightclub managers have been arrested for allegedly spanking a Bald Knob trucker at his 31st birthday bash and severely bruising his backside.

After his friends paid $25, Keith Lowery was handcuffed and spanked with a 3-foot-long paddle and a belt while one of the strippers restrained his head with her legs, investigators with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said.[..]

The three women were charged with misdemeanor battery, and they and two other club employees — James Daugherty, 31, and Dena Mitchell, 30 — were charged with participating in an obscene performance at a live public show, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Ok, I admit. I been to a strip club before with friends. Those strippers who give special birthday or bachelor lap dances do get very slap happy with the guys. I will spare all the details of the lap dances. I do understand how this can happen, but still arrested strippers for a lap dance is wrong and they should not get up to 10 years for it.

Couple Sentenced for Hiring Son a Stripper
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A couple pleaded guilty Thursday to hiring a stripper for their son's 16th birthday party and were sentenced to two years probation.

Landon and Anette Pharris, who were charged with contributing the delinquency of a minor, also were ordered to take parenting classes. [..]

The stripper and the man she was with were also granted probation.

Police were tipped off to the party by a photo developer at a drug store who saw pictures of the occasion.

Pharris said after being arrested that she tried to do something special for her son.

"We even had grandpa there," she said.
I agree with punishment of the parents, they should know better. I would not want to get a lap dance in front of grandpa! Well, a stripper for a 16 year old is special and cheaper than a car.

July 8, 2005

How to profit on the War on Terrorism

Step one: Write a book on Terrorism

The Complete Terrorism Survival Guide: How to Travel, Work and Live in Safety By Juval Aviv

Step two: Go on FOX news and scare people.
U.S. Terror Attack — “ Ninety Days at Most ”

Counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv spoke with FOX Fan Central about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror attack.

Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?

I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.
Step three: Has to be shameless and conservative.

(Hip Tip to Tapped)

Blogs & Next U.S. Supreme Court

Blogs seen as powerful new tool in U.S. court fight.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Political groups preparing to battle over the first U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 11 years have a powerful new tool -- Internet blogs -- to spread information quickly and influence decision makers without relying on traditional media.

Web logs likely numbering in the dozens provide a way for the thoughtful and the passionate to publish their views. Politicians are taking notice as they prepare for the first high court nomination fight since the Internet became common in American households.
Which Politicians are taking notice?
"A key part of our strategy is reaching out to the Internet community," said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. [...]

Reid and other political leaders now hold conferences with bloggers in the same way they meet with traditional press.

"I think they are instrumental in getting information out and deconstructing spin," said Eric Ueland, chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican.

"They are much defter and swifter than the mainstream media," he said, adding that blogs are also "very clear in their philosophical and idealogical leanings."
7 percent of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the Internet have created a blog or web-based diary, found in a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. I am part of the 7 percent who have created a blog.
Carol Darr, director of George Washington University's Institute for politics, democracy and the Internet, said those who read and write blogs aren't "the sad, the mad and the lonely." Rather, research shows they tend to be people able to influence others, she said. [..]

Not all blogs are created equal. Many will become "ideological echo chambers" that people read to reaffirm their beliefs, Clemons said. Others will fuel passions on both the right and the left sides of the political spectrum. A few will rise above the pack and become sources of information and not just an advocacy forum.
I know DailyKos fuels my passion on many issues. This blog has rise and continue to rise above the pack. Blogs will play a role in the next U.S Supreme Court, at least that is my opinion.

Sen. Coburn, Terri Schiavo & Medical Files

Coburn says Schiavo autopsy's inaccurate.
"I have on my desk a complete medical file of Terri Schiavo, and I would challenge the accuracy of many of the statements by people involved in that case in terms of her medical condition, and I would also challenge some of the autopsy findings based on what I have on my desk in Washington," Coburn said.
What is Senator Tom Coburn doing with the medical files of Terri Schiavo? The obstetrician and gynecologist turn politician is not trained as a pathologist or medical examiner and he has not examined Terri Schiavo body.

If Senator Coburn find inaccuracies in the medical files, he should share them with is fellow Senator, Bill Frist. Who agree with the finding of the autopsy.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., who also is a physician, said in a speech on the Senate floor: "That is not somebody in a persistent vegetative state. . . . I question it based on the review of the video footage."

After the autopsy results were released, Frist appeared on three network television shows, agreed with the findings of the autopsy and distanced himself from his earlier comments.

"I never, never, on the floor of the Senate made a diagnosis, nor would I ever do that," he told NBC's "Today" show.
Or is the Senator Frist going to flip flop after hear about Senator Coburn remarks about Terri Schiavo?

July 5, 2005

Peter Beinart slams ‘Truth Tour’

As many of you already know, a group of conservatives talk radio hosts are heading to Iraq on ‘Truth Tour’. Peter Beinart of the The New Republic call the ‘Truth Tour’ most pathetic thing I've heard in a long time.
"This is the most pathetic thing I've heard in a long time. They should be ashamed of themselves," said Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic magazine. "They have no idea what journalism is, and to pretend they are journalists is laughable," Beinart added. "You do not achieve victory by not facing reality. I think these are the kinds of people that will lead us to lose there."
Peter Beinart has been wrong on many thing dealing with Iraq, but on this we agree. This is the most pathetic thing I’ve heard in a long time.

This trip is going to be pure propaganda!

July 1, 2005

Supreme Court!

What You Can Do RIGHT NOW
Whatever happens with the Supreme Court nomination battle that is about to ensue, it's going to happen fast. Here are some things you can do right now:
Click on the link!

Rick Santorum: It Takes a Family

Reserve your copy of Sen. Rick Santorum new book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.
It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good is the first book by Rick Santorum. Throughout, Senator Santorum emphasizes that it is the family and not the federal government that must be at the center of an ordered and just society. To advance the Common Good, public policy must act in accordance with this truth. It Takes a Family will reinforce Senator Santorum’s role as the leader of reform minded conservatives in America.
Here is a little sample of the preface of It Takes a Family...
Unlike most congressional Republicans, I represented a lot of people who were poor, but with rich traditions; bitter, but still proud. They also, increasingly, didn’t have much hope. My main district office was in the heart of one of those mill towns, McKeesport. Almost every day my staff and I dealt with chronic problems of poverty and despair that were the result of economic dislocation that was only made worse by a liberal vision of how to return these areas to their former glory. The liberal vision wasn’t working. So what was the conservative vision? What was my vision?

I came to the uncomfortable realization that conservatives were not only reluctant to spend government dollars on the poor: they hadn’t even thought much about what might work better. I often described my conservative colleagues during that time as simply “cheap liberals.” My own economically modest personal background and my faith had taught me to care for those less fortunate, but I too had not yet given much thought to the proper role of government in this mission.
Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger ...
“In this era of adult self-centered behavior, minimally concerned with the well-being of children, this book is a welcome response. I am amazed at the depth and breadth of information, wisdom, and sensitivity. This is the book that will soften people’s hearts to the blessing of commitment to family values.”
Capitol Buzz has read the first 39 pages of Santorum book ...
Santorum's argument (after reading the first 39 pages) is that if you're in a relationship and living with that person outside of marriage, you're a threat to society -- doesn't make a difference if you're gay, straight, bi, whatever. If you don't have a ton of kids, you're a threat to society because it will be easier for your marriage to unravel, etc.

We'll be posting some excerpts from the book over the next few days but we will tell you one thing: Santorum makes at least three references to the Lord of the Rings movies in the first 39 pages of the book so that tells you a little about where he gets his "scholarly" ideas.
For $17.50 you can read the Preacher Senator Rick Santorum sermonize advocate conservatives family values. Or, you can wait in till the book goes on sale. Buy one wing nut book and get the next one 70% or 90% off. Or, you can wait in till Santorum loses this Senate seat in 2006. In which he will personally give this presidential book away for free.