December 25, 2006

Christmas Day Message

Pope Benedict XVI
This humanity of the 21st century appears as a sure and self-sufficient master of its own destiny, the avid proponent of uncontested triumphs.

So it would seem, yet this is not the case. People continue to die of hunger and thirst, disease and poverty, in this age of plenty and of unbridled consumerism.

Godfather of Soul

James Brown Dies at 73
ATLANTA -- James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose revolutionary rhythms, rough voice and flashing footwork influenced generations of musicians from rock to rap, died early Christmas morning. He was 73.

Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died of conjunctive heart failure around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music.
Two of my favorite James Brown songs, enjoy.

Try Me

Prisoner Of Your Love

December 24, 2006

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Luther Vandross

December 23, 2006

It's Only The Help

The Republican Party in the House are not even willing to give the help GOP Congressional staffers severance pay.
As the old Congress wound down in a scramble of post-election activity, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered to pay two months’ severance to staff members working on some committees and in House leadership offices. But her offer was scuttled — by Republican lawmakers, who complained they didn’t have the opportunity to study the proposal and look at costs.

The Senate already provides two months pay for displaced staff members. One of the affected House staffers said his comrades are mystified that a plan that would benefit employees of Republicans would be killed by Republicans: “We hope the Democrats revisit it.”
At the same time, President Bush just gave raise to Vice President Dick Cheney with an executive order. But, I'm really sorry to say that ...

Dick 'Big Time' Cheney and the rest of Congress and most senior federal officials will have to wait to get a 1.7 percent pay increase in till the Democratic controlled Congress approves an increase in the federal minimum wage.
Congress opted to put off its pay increases until Feb. 16, not Jan. 1, on the urging of the incoming Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. They say no pay raise should kick in until Congress approves an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $5.15 an hour for the past 10 years.
So, the next time a fool person said, 'the two parties are the same' you can tell them that the Democratic Party looks out for the American workers even for out of work GOP Congressional staffers while members of the Republican Party looks out for themselves. Just remember, according to the Republican Party pay increase for Dick 'Big Time' Cheney is ok, but a severance pay for countless Congressional staffers not ok. It might cost too much.


(Hat Tip to ThinkProgress and Digby)

Most outrageous comments of 2006

Media Matters:
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, blaming America's "obesity crisis" on "the left," "liberal government," and "food stamps": "Because we are sympathetic, we are compassionate people, we have responded by letting our government literally feed these people to the point of obesity. At least here in America, didn't teach them how to fish, we gave them the fish. Didn't teach them how to butcher a -- slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter. The real bloat here, as we know, is in -- is in government." [8/29/06]
It's gets better, read the rest.

December 18, 2006

Toy Soldiers

The men and women of the American military are not toy soldiers. They are real people with real lives and real families. But, to a certain group of people the American military are just toy soldiers on a map easily moved to one corner of the world to an other. One of these people is Robert Pollock of Wall Street Journal's editorial board:
RILEY: Well, I'd like to, personally. I think the president would like to. But I just think that the political reality here would make it very difficult for Bush to do that. Kagan's plan calls for increasing troop levels by some 35,000 over the next two years. In '07? In the run-up to a presidential election? And when congressmen --

POLLOCK: All that means is decreasing -- all that means is decreasing the length of some breaks from tours of duty and increasing the lengths of some tours of duty. That's not a hard thing to do when you've got 1.4 million troops.
For a person unwilling to sacrifice anything to ask men and women of the military to sacrifice even more is disgusting.

December 16, 2006

Say it Loud: '08 McCain is Wrong

Democratic Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico:
The leading advocate for escalating the war is Senator John McCain. I have served with John in Congress and I respect him. But John McCain is wrong, dead wrong to think that we can solve Iraq’s political crisis through military escalation.

There are no quick or easy answers to the crisis in Iraq. Our choices are between bad options and worse ones. Some prefer military escalation. Some choose staying the course. These options are illusions. The only realistic choice we have is to stand down militarily and let the Iraqis stand up and face the political crisis which only they can resolve.
It's about time leading Democrats take Saint John McCain head on and point out the obvious about the Senator and this disastrous Iraq views. There might have been a time long ago that the Senator actually deserved respect, but not now. John '08 McCain is a proven pander, a man without principles willing to travel any filthy sewer in order to become President.

John Edwards Is In

Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards intends to enter the 2008 race for the White House, two Democratic officials said Saturday.

The former North Carolina senator plans to make the campaign announcement late this month from the New Orleans neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina last year and slow to recover from the storm.
John Edwards will be a formidable candidate.

The Paper Candidate

Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana will not run for President in 2008.
During my two terms as Governor and now in the United States Senate, it has always been more about the people I was able to help than the job I held. As you know I have been exploring helping the people of my state and our country in a different capacity. After talking with family and friends over the past several days, I have decided that this is not the year for me to run for President and I will not be a candidate for the presidency in 2008. It wasn't an easy decision but it was the right one for my family, my friends and my state. I have always prided myself on putting my public responsibilities ahead of my own ambitions.
Go read Senator Bayh's full statement.

On paper Senator Evan Bayh would have been the ideal Democratic candidate running in 2008; a young, presidential-looking, two term Governor of a red state turned Senator who is extremely popular with the people of Indiana. But, if you look past this resume the Senator would have been a deeply flawed candidate running in the primary and the general election for the Democratic Party. First off, this economic positions are out of step with Democratic primary voters and with independent voters who increasingly want a populist message. Second, the Senator would have not won the Democratic primary running as a Iraq hawk. It will be disastrous for the Democratic Party to run a candidate who is an Iraq hawk. The Republican party is going to nominate the an uber hawk, mostly likely John '08 McCain, who is going to have President Bush failed Iraq policies tied around this neck. With the American public demanding troops withdraw and with President Bush answering the call of John '08 McCain and Senator Holy Joe Lieberman to send more troops to Iraq, Senator Bayh could have not distant himself from the Republican candidate on the Iraq war. Third, the Senator has no big vision for America and he lacks passion. It's unclear what the Senator stands and where he wants to take the country.

Finally, the Senator does not have the star power of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or Al Gore. Senator Evan Bayh is not the right David to go up against so many Goliaths.

Quote of the Day

Vice President Dick Cheney at the ceremony honoring outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:
In his regard for our people in uniform, in his unwavering strength through unprecedented challenges, in his example of leadership and patriotic service, I believe the record speaks for itself: Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had.
Not to be outdone, President Bush lay it on thicker.
This man knows how to lead… and the country is better off for it

December 13, 2006

I'm Disappointed with Cheney ...

... cutting and running from the Iraq war and President Bush.
"I think we'll see less of him than ever," says the associate. "Iraq is now Bush's baby, and Cheney doesn't want to be tarred with it in the eyes of historians."
It's too late. You can not separate Vice President Cheney from President Bush and the Iraq war. No matter how much they try to blame everyone but themselves the American people know the truth. All of the failures of past years belong to the Republican White House and thier cheerleaders in Congress.

The Democratic Party Put the ..

... beat down on the GOP.
Democrats now have 233 seats in the 110th congress, more than Republicans have had since 1952. the Republican "revolution" never secured this large a majority in the House. We beat them. We did better than they ever did. So much for the vaunted Republican political machine, which recorded record voter contacts, record fundraising, and record early voting this cycle. With their best effort, we beat them harder than they ever beat us.
Victory is sweet.

December 12, 2006

Senator Barack Obama...

... is ready for the Chicago Bears to go all the away.

Bears 42, Rams 27

(Photo via Chicago Tribune)

Hester returns 2 kickoffs for TDs in Bears' win
The game supported coach Lovie Smith's mantra that it takes a village to win. Backed by an Edward Jones Dome crowd of 66,234 that frequently made as much noise for the Bears as against them, the Bears enjoyed a laugher in a season that has not had many of them recently.

Though Devin Hester stole the show with two kick-return touchdowns, the Bears piled up 356 yards of offense in the first three quarters, 191 yards in the third quarter alone, and 372 overall. Rex Grossman threw two touchdown passes, helping them to their highest point total of the season.
Da Bears!

December 11, 2006

Augusto Pinochet Dead at 91

Former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet dies of complications from a heart attack Sunday at age of 91.
Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, whose military regime killed thousands of political opponents in one of Latin America's bloodiest "dirty wars," died Sunday, weakened by ill health, pursued by government prosecutors and abandoned by all but his most loyal defenders. He was 91.

Shorn of his swagger and absent the menacing look he would flash from behind dark glasses, Pinochet at his death was a mere ghost of the emblematic military strongman who played a critical role in the Americas of the 1970s and 1980s.
Go read more about right-wing Dictator who's name represent military repression.

Timeline of Pinochet's Career

Pinochet Is Dead. His Legacy Lingers
... let's bury him now and post an armed guard at his grave site, making sure he again never rises. And then back to the work of healing what he has wrought.

December 9, 2006

Party Above All Else

Members of the Grand old Party put the Republican party above all else even above the welfare of a children. Illinois Republican John Shimkus on why he didn’t tell Page Board member Dale Kildee, Democrat of Michigan, about the inappropriate e-mail messages Republican Mark Foley of Florida sent to a former page.
Dale's a nice guy, but he's a Democrat, and I was afraid it would be blown out of proportion.

Quote of the Day

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on losing the vote for Republican whip.
I wrote 27 thank you letters for 24 votes
With friends like these, you don't need enemies.

I Can't Believe...

... that we are govern by a child.

I'm the Commander in Chief!

December 8, 2006

So Long ...

... Farewell to 109th Congress.
Oh, you sweet 109th Congress. We hate to see you go!

That's a minority opinion, of course. Some three-quarters of Americans think you've done a horrible job. Some even say, with all your (admitted) boozing, (alleged) whoring and (convicted) extortion, you're the worst Congress ever. And frankly, if we didn't know you so well, we'd probably agree with them.

You did only manage to stumble in to work 218 days over the past two years. And your inbox certainly piled up: there's all that intelligence you never questioned, a sprawling disaster of a war you didn't oversee, and of course the largest, most complex government budget in the history of the world, which you failed to rein in -- this year, you didn't even complete it.

And some of you simply lacked the credibility to do your jobs. Like the intelligence chairman who hunted for WMDs in Iraq even after the most ardent WMD-believers in the administration had given up the ghost. Or the most senior lawmaker for environmental issues who insists global warming proponents are brainwashers.

But the haters don't remember how much you've given. A whopping 19 members offered yourselves up for federal investigation! And what goodies you showered us with along the way: The fake charities, the cash in the freezer, the IM chats, the bribe menu, the FBI raids (oh, the raids!). And the hooker rumors, the sudden trips to rehab, the junkets to forced-abortion sweatshop islands, the "prosecutors have assured me I am not a target of any investigations"-s. When is a fundraiser not a fundraiser? You pondered this kind of question. You used your wives to take money you couldn't. And we'll treasure forever your many, many, many, many, many resignations
(Via TPMmuckraker)

They remain bitter to the very end.
"House Democrats have spent every waking moment of the past Congress obstructing any effort towards progress," said Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They have tried to blow up the tracks on immigration reform, tax relief, earmark reform, you name it.

Madden added, "And now in the last few days of this Congress where they have a chance to help make progress, they decide instead to abdicate their responsibilities and play the blame game. Just goes to show they're a party of zero ideas and zero action."
Disgusting. The House Republicans are blaming there incompetence and failures on the Democratic minority in Congress. Rather than owning up to their incompetence the GOP is going out like a spoiled child crying, whining and passing the blame on anyone but themselves. There act might be funny but, the sad fact is that the damage they done America is going to take years to fix. They are still shameless.

Quote of the Day

Democratic Senator-elect from Ohio, Sherrod Brown answering if he has any interest in being Vice President.
No. But anybody that runs for the president will have to go through Ohio, literally and figuratively. The Democrats need to nominate somebody that will be an economic populist, that will stand up for the middle class, that doesn't just want to increase the minimum wage but somebody that will work to put the government on the side of working families. And that means different trade policy, standing up to the drug industry, taking on the oil industry. It means showing that the Democratic Party is a progressive, populist party.

Advantage For The GOP

The Conservative movement with the help of the media has successfully made the word liberal an insult in American politics. So much so that Democrats all over the country run away from the term. This leads to our leaders being called polarizing figures by the media for simply being a liberal. It's a built in advantage for the GOP.

Eric Alterman:
After all, no Democrat running for national office has admitted to being a "liberal" in decades. Some claim to be "conservative." Others prefer "populist." Almost all of them claim to be "progressive," but they usually preface this with another word, like "pragmatic," lest it open up unwanted vulnerabilities. "Liberals" are off the map, except as an epithet.
It's not going to change in till Democrats fight back and place the term liberal back to it's rightful place in American politics. It's have been American Liberals who have been defender of civil, women, worker rights and democracy thru out American history.

President Kennedy, Acceptance Speech at the New York Liberal Party Nomination in 1960.
"What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal." [...]

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

December 7, 2006

Quote of the Day

Bill Bennett:
"In all my time in Washington I've never seen such smugness, arrogance, or such insufferable moral superiority. Self-congratulatory. Full of itself. Horrible."
No, he was not talking about himself or the GOP rather it's the Iraq Study Group who are horrible. Oh, the irony.

Who is Senator Bill Frist ...

... trying to fool?

Destructive partisanship was the standard operating procedure for Republican majority under his leadership.

John '08 McCain hires ...

... sleazy strategist for his Campaign Manager.

John '08 McCain is going to utilize the gutter politics of GOP operative Terry Nelson who produced racist "bimbo" ad attacking Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Harold Ford for this Presidential Campaign. There is no filthy sewer John '08 McCain won't travel to become President, this man is shameless.

One more thing, Terry Nelson is also a lawbreaker.

The Audacity of 5 Day Work Week (pt.2)

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston continues to complain about working five days a week. I might little sympathy for the poor Congressmen, but 109th Congress under Republican leadership were only in session for just 241 days over two years, 13 days less than the “Do-Nothing Congress” of 1948. In those 241 days, the Congress left their work undone.
Congress has tried it Kingston’s way and it didn’t work. The 109th Congress — which has “been in session for a grand total of 103 days this year” — “failed to enact a host of once top-priority legislation on issues such as overhauling Social Security, immigration and lobbying laws.” Congress even failed its basic responsibility of providing a budget for the government, completing “just two of the 11 fiscal 2006 appropriation bills.”
Any normal employer would have fired the an employee who only showed up 103 days a year and who did not finish their duties.

Senator Feingold Speaks ...

... You Listen.
The fact is this commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows not in the description of what's happened - that's fairly accurate - but it shows in the recommendations. It's been called a classic Washington compromise that does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan, and in Somalia which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq. This report does not do the job and it's because it was not composed of a real representative group of Americans who believe what the American people showed in the election, which is that it's time for us to have a timetable to bring the troops out of Iraq.
Watch the Video at Crooks and Liars.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is correct. The Iraq Study Group is just a typical D.C groupthink which the media loves. It's bipartisan commission in name only. If they actually wanted to solve the problems of President Bush failed Iraq policies they would have appointed people who were correct in opposing the Iraq War from the start. But, they rather pose in front of the media and let President Bush continue to stay the course while countless number of Americans live and die in Iraq.

December 6, 2006

I'm Disappointed with Bush ...

... Administration officials cutting and running from the White House.
"Important Bush Administration officials are ready to leave the government rather than undergo two years of hell from Democratic committee chairmen in Congress. Leading the exodus are officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fearing investigation by two chairmen, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI)."
What are they so scared of?

The Iraq Study Group Report

Rep. Nancy Pelosi
"The bipartisan Iraq Study Group has concluded that the President's Iraq policy has failed and must be changed. As the November elections clearly demonstrated, that is an assessment shared by the American people.

"Months ago, House and Senate Democratic leaders suggested to the President that he implement one of the Study Group's chief recommendations - to change the primary mission of U.S. troops in Iraq from combat to training and support, which would enable the redeployment of U.S. forces to begin. Now that the Study Group has endorsed this proposal, I hope that the President will recognize that he must take our policy in Iraq in a new direction.

"If the President is serious about the need for change in Iraq, he will find Democrats ready to work with him in a bipartisan fashion to find a way to end the war as quickly as possible. We are committed to ensuring that the ideas of the Iraq Study Group, as well as the ideas of other thoughtful people inside and outside of government, are given full consideration in that process."
Senator Russ Feingold:
Unfortunately, the Iraq Study Group report does too little to change the flawed mind-set that led to the misguided war in Iraq. Maybe there are still people in Washington who need a study group to tell them that the policy in Iraq isn’t working, but the American people are way ahead of this report.

While the report has regenerated a few good ideas, it doesn’t adequately put Iraq in the context of a broader national security strategy. We need an Iraq policy that is guided by our top national security priority – defeating the terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11 and its allies. We can’t continue to just look at Iraq in isolation. Unless we set a serious timetable for redeploying our troops from Iraq, we will be unable to effectively address these global threats. In the end, this report is a regrettable example of ‘official Washington’ missing the point.
Rep. John Murtha:
On November 7th, 2006 the American public sent a message on Iraq and as the new Democratic majority, we must respond with decisive action. Staying in Iraq is not an option politically, militarily or fiscally. The American people understand this. Today there is near consensus that there is no U.S. military solution and we must disengage our military from Iraq. The ISG recommended that we begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops by early 2008, depending on conditions on the ground. This is no different than the current policy. We must do what is best for America and insist on a responsible plan for redeployment. Iraq is plagued by a growing civil war and only the Iraqis can solve it.

Picture of the Day

(Via Talking Point Memo)

Write your own caption.

Evan '08 Bayh ..

.. has credit card issues.

Is doing the bidding of the credit companies makes a politician centrist? or sensible? or responsible?


The Audacity of 5 Day Work Week

You really have to feel downright sorry for members of Congress.

The new House Democratic majority is going to make Congress work 5 days a week rather than 3 days a week they worked under the Republican leadership of Capitol Hill.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the Maryland Democrat who will become House majority leader and is writing the schedule for the next Congress, said members should expect longer hours than the brief week they have grown accustomed to.

"I have bad news for you," Hoyer told reporters. "Those trips you had planned in January, forget 'em. We will be working almost every day in January, starting with the 4th."

The reporters groaned. "I know, it's awful, isn't it?" Hoyer empathized.
The horror! The horror!
"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays. "Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what this says."
I fully expect the pro-family Republicans are going to mandate a 3 day work week for all Americans and put end to the Democrats anti-worker, anti-family positions.

The horror! The horror!

Quote of the Day

Al Gore:
The fact is, this is a very bad situation. Our country has to find a way to get our troops out as quickly as possible without making the situation even worse in the manner of our leaving. [..]

This worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States. We as a nation have to find a way, in George Mitchell’s words, to manage a disaster. But I would urge the president not to — to try to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for this mistake and instead recognize it’s not about him. It’s about our country and we all have to find a way to get our troops home and to prevent a regional conflagration there.

December 5, 2006

18 Electoral Votes

If the Democratic Party holds the 252 electoral votes John Kerry won in 2004, they only need 18 more to win the Presidency. Tom Schaller over at TAPPED gives us five ways the Demcratic Party can get the 18 eletoral votes they need.
1. Single-shot Florida. Less competitive in 2004 (Bush by 5 points) than during the Year of the Recount, the 27 electors from this least southern of the southern states will be on any Democratic nominee's target list. But she's no lock to win the Sunshine State.

2. Single-shot Ohio. The 2006 midterms revealed Ohio to be trending blue, and with Secretary of State Ken Blackwell out of the way it will be easier to put Ohio's 20 electors into the Democratic column, with two electors to spare. This would be my recommended route.

3. Flip three of the four southwestern states. If John McCain's on the ticket, Jesus couldn't win Arizona for the Democrats. But even without Arizona, Colorado (9), Nevada (5), and New Mexico (5) offer 19 electors and a total of 271 -- exactly the number Bush used to squeeze into White House in 2000.

4 and 5. Flip either of two pairs from the four 36th Parallel states. The 36th parallel forms the southern borders of Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia, with West Virginia's southernmost portion tucked just above. Kentucky (8) and Missouri (11) duplicate the non-Arizona southwestern trio's 19 electors, and the Virginias combine for another 18 -- the bare minimum needed.
The Republican Party never won the White House without winning the state of Ohio. If John Kerry would have picked up few thousands more votes in Ohio he would be our President right now. The state it tending Blue. Ohio just elected Democrat to the State House and sent one of the most liberal members of the House to the Senate. The easiest way for the Democratic Party to reach 270 electoral votes is winning Ohio.

Early prediction: Dems hold all the blue states (252), pick up Ohio (20) and New Mexico(5). Dems win the White House!

John '08 McCain Has a Plan

The uber hawk John McCain's foreign policy is telling people, Stop the bullshit.
Via Atrios and TPM I see that John McCain is sharing his sophisticated foreign policy views again:
"Well in war, my dear friends, there is no such thing as compromise; you either win or you lose."
Heavy duty. And how would we win the war if John McCain were in charge?
“One of the things I would do if I were President would be to sit the Shiites and the Sunnis down and say, ‘Stop the bullshit,’” said Mr. McCain, according to Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, an invitee, and two other guests.
See? There's nothing complicated about this. If only we had a straight talkin' president who would just cut through all the crap and take charge maybe we wouldn't be in this mess today:
Bush: You see, the thing is what they need to do is to get Syria, to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.
If people like what Bush has been doing these past six years, they're gonna love McCain. He too is a big believer in the Classical Shitstopping school of foreign policy.

We are spouse to take John 'O8 McCain seriously as a foreign policy heavyweight?

Evan '08 Bayh

I'm trying my best to have an open mind about all the Democratic candidates for President, but Senator Evan '08 Bayh should not be fighting with Senator Joe '08 Biden over who is the most ridiculous of the '08 Democrats.
Evan Bayh:
White House hopeful Sen. Evan Bayh warned on Monday that Democrats could lose their newfound grip on Congress if the party pursues an ideological course.
"Ideological"? You mean, like governing based on core Democratic principles?

I know Bayh doesn't have any of those. But perhaps he could wait until Democrats propose something "extreme" before he says idiotic shit like this?

The punchline is that Bayh thinks he'll be a serious candidate for president. He refused to send some of his big warchest to the DSCC when we pushed the "Use it or lose it" strategy, denying the national party money when locked in its fierce battle for control of the Senate. Now, after betraying the party pre-election, he wants to lecture it post-election? I don't know why anyone would want to be the Joe Lieberman of 2008, but I guess Bayh wants the title. It's his. Congrats to him.
Running a Presidential campaign as a red state Democrat who is willing to discredit this own party only to promote himself is not a good move. Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana should actually wait in till this fellow democrats actually propose 'ideological' legislation he disagree with before the starts moving to the 'center' in this pursuit of the Presidency. Any Democrat who follows the lead of Joe Lieberman in undercutting the Democratic Party and reinforces GOP talking points should not be taken seriously as a candidate for President.

Paper Trails

Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein of California, the incoming chairmen of Senate Rules and Administration Committee, will push for legislation requiring paper trails for all electronic voting.
We must do everything we can to restore confidence in the outcomes of elections by helping to ensure that every vote cast by an American citizen is recorded accurately and that every eligible voter can, in fact, cast a ballot.

Quote of the Day

Political Wire:
"Well, he claimed that would not see it. That’s why I wrote the book. He’s a reader."

-- Al Gore, quoted by GQ, on whether President Bush had seen his movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
Al Gore does have a sense of humor.

December 4, 2006

My Faith Reminds Me That We All Are Sinners

Senator Barack Obama gave a speech at the 2006 Global Summit on AIDS and the Church titled, Race Against Time.
Like no other illness, AIDS tests our ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes - to empathize with the plight of our fellow man. While most would agree that the AIDS orphan or the transfusion victim or the wronged wife contracted the disease through no fault of their own, it has too often been easy for some to point to the unfaithful husband or the promiscuous youth or the gay man and say "This is your fault. You have sinned."

I don't think that's a satisfactory response. My faith reminds me that we all are sinners.

My faith also tells me that - as Pastor Rick has said - it is not a sin to be sick. My Bible tells me that when God sent his only Son to Earth, it was to heal the sick and comfort the weary; to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; to befriend the outcast and redeem those who strayed from righteousness.
Senator Barack Obama has the exceptional ability of invoking this religious convictions in the pursuit common good.
We are all sick because of AIDS - and we are all tested by this crisis. It is a test not only of our willingness to respond, but of our ability to look past the artificial divisions and debates that have often shaped that response. When you go to places like Africa and you see this problem up close, you realize that it's not a question of either treatment or prevention - or even what kind of prevention - it is all of the above. It is not an issue of either science or values - it is both. Yes, there must be more money spent on this disease. But there must also be a change in hearts and minds; in cultures and attitudes. Neither philanthropist nor scientist; neither government nor church, can solve this problem on their own - AIDS must be an all-hands-on-deck effort.
Absolutely, AIDS must be an all-hands-on-deck effort. Our political, social, economic and religious differences should not prevent us from facing the problems of AIDS.
I also believe that we cannot ignore that abstinence and fidelity may too often be the ideal and not the reality - that we are dealing with flesh and blood men and women and not abstractions - and that if condoms and potentially microbicides can prevent millions of deaths, they should be made more widely available. I know that there are those who, out of sincere religious conviction, oppose such measures. And with these folks, I must respectfully but unequivocally disagree. I do not accept the notion that those who make mistakes in their lives should be given an effective death sentence. Nor am I willing to stand by and allow those who are entirely innocent - wives who, because of the culture they live in, often have no power to refuse sex with their husbands, or children who are born with the infection as a consequence of their parent's behavior -suffer when condoms or other measures would have kept them from harm.
Please, go read the rest of speech.

Unlike most politicians the Senator did not pander to the audience. The Senator spoke clear reality to the evangelical AIDS conference with this disagreements with them over policy. The Senator has no awkwardness expressing this religious beliefs in a public forum. Invoking his own faith on behalf of those who most need it by encouraging involvement by the private and public sectors. The Senator does not wear this faith on this sleeve to promote this political party but he does use religious convictions in the pursuit common good. He should be applauded for it. More Liberals should follow this lead.

Mitt '08 Romney

Well, after those illegal immigrants cut my yard put them in jail.

December 3, 2006

Joe '08 Biden Hearts South Carolina

The Democratic Senator from Delaware wants everyone to know that he really, really loves the South.

Someone needs to tell the Senator that he is running in the Democratic primary for President, not in the Republican primary. So, pandering to a Republican audience in South Carolina about slavery and Southern secession will not help him win the Democratic nomination for President.


December 2, 2006

Why do liberals have...

.. a love affair with Senator John '08 McCain?

The Republican Senator from Arizona is a man of the right, he is a Conservative. If you doubt me, ask Republican Senator from Mississippi Trent Lott who is supporting McCain Presidential run or George Wallace, Jr.

If you are a supporter of John McCain in a misguided attempt to be a "centrist" then, I'm sorry to say that you need to find an other champion. John McCain will promote the repealing of Roe v Wade and would support putting doctors in jail for performing abortions, which are extremist position. McCain is now positioning himself as Bush's heir in courting likes of Jerry Falwell.

If you are a supporter of John McCain because he is a champion of campaign reform then, I'm sorry to say that you need to find an other idol. McCain is now charming the pants off the Millionaires he once said had "Dirty Money". McCain was one of the "Keating Five", got campaign contributions from convicted fraudster Charles Keating. McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from his friend Charles Keating, his relatives, and his employees during this two congressional campaigns in 1982 and 1984 and 1986 Senate bid. The most received by any of the Keating Five. McCain has also abandoned his own campaign reform legislation.

If you are a supporter of John McCain because he is a man of principle, then I'm sorry to say again that you need to find an other saint. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag for own political gains. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University then now he was for it for his own political gains. One of McCain most disgusting moves is caving in to the White House demands on opposition to torture.

Finally on the War, McCain is the biggest hawk in the Senate.
Actually looking past his occasionally "maverick" views is far more important, and it reveals a man who has seemingly learned nothing from the Iraq debacle and who is decidedly out of step with the views of at least two-thirds of the country. I suspect that many people find him more palatable than George Bush because he has consistent principles and a working intellect, but those principles are consistently dangerous and misguided. He might not bumble into disasters the way Bush has, but a deliberate and well planned disaster is every bit as bad as the Bushian kind.

Bottom line: If you think Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer would make good foreign policy advisors, then McCain is your man. However, if you're not insane, that prospect will scare the hell out of you. As it should.
It does scare the hell out of me. If you have liberal principles you should not support John McCain for any political office. Again, the Republican Senator from Arizona is a man of the right, he is a Conservative.

December 1, 2006

Vilsack criticizes McCain on Iraq

Good move.
Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Vilsack on Friday dismissed Republican Sen. John McCain's call for more U.S. troops in Iraq, arguing it would be wrong to "make a big mistake bigger." [..]

"I fundamentally disagree with Senator McCain on this. I think he is wrong. We cannot afford to make a big mistake bigger," the Iowa governor said to a burst of applause at the New Hampshire Technical Institute.

"We've stretched our military too thin and I'm not quite sure where Senator McCain thinks we can get these troops," said Vilsack, who made similar comments during a radio interview.
John '08 McCain is trying to set himself as the 'I told you so' Presidential candidate. The uber hawk is calling for more troops in Iraq, which is his only solution. If President Bush sends more troops and things get worst. John '08 McCain will say, 'I told you so' you still need to send more troops. If President Bush, does not send more troops and things stay the same or get worst. John '08 McCain will say, 'I told you so' vote for me. Which is the most likely scenario to play out. It is a nice little game the supposedly straight talker is playing.

Tom Vilsack is wise to follow this line of criticism against the Senator. Sending more troops is make a big mistake bigger.

Lois Griffin for ...

... Family Planning Czar.

Well, Someone has to Cut my Yard

Mitt '08 Romney is all for kicking illegal immigrants out of U.S.A, but as long as they are here why not let them take care of this lawn.



Illinois is about to increase the state minimum wage to $7.50 an hour.
The Democratic-led Senate sent Gov. Rod Blagojevich legislation Thursday to increase the state's minimum wage by a dollar an hour, a move that would make Illinois' new $7.50 wage rate among the nation's highest and place it atop neighboring Midwest states.

Blagojevich, who championed the increase during his successful re-election campaign, said he looked forward to signing the bill into law. After taking effect in July, the rate would continue to rise a quarter a year until it hits $8.25 an hour in 2010.
Hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers will now have $2,080 to put right back in the economy.
"People working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year earning minimum wage bring home just $13,000," Blagojevich said in a statement. "That's just not enough. Raising the minimum wage will make it a little easier for these families to get by. It means more than $2,080 a year in extra wages next year for workers to meet the obligations of daily life."
This will have a real effect on people daily lives for the better. American workers will have an increase ability to pay the rent on time or to buy a simple necessity of life. This is not something that is abstract just like Conservative economics in which you increase the wealth of the wealthy and hopes it trickles down to the lower classes. The minimum wage will bring actual results for the common good of the American people.

Yes, call me a class warrior. I rather see hundreds of thousands of workers putting $2,080 back in the economy than a hundred of wealthy Americans putting their tax breaks back in the economy.

I Need to Move ..

Commuters brace the weather along Wacker Drive.
(Brian Jackson/Sun-Times)

.. but, to where?

Wintry blast hits area
The first major snowstorm of the season covered highways and streets Friday with a slick, sloppy mess, snarling morning commutes, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations and causing one plane to slide off a runway. [..]

In the Chicago area, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning until noon, predicting snow totals of six to 12 inches. Winds gusted to over 30 mph as the storm arrived in full by the morning rush hour.
I have lived in the Chicagoland area all of my life. Cold weather is no problem for me. But, after I become a paraplegic it's very difficult to travel in the snow alone or with family and friends. My activities slow down a lot during the winter months. I'm starting to think that it would be more convenient if I move to a warm climate.

The issue is that I dislike hot weather. So, does anyone know of place in America that is 65 to 70 degrees year around and doesn't snow?

Blaming the dirty hippies ...

... will not work this time.
Blaming the American people is an excellent political strategy, however, and I hope these conservatives keep it up. There's nothing that betrayed voters like more than to be called stupid, cowardly and traitorous. (I know I've been enjoying it for the last couple of decades.) I'm sure all those independents and moderates who now see through Bush and the Republicans are going to love it too. It really clarifies your thinking.

This isn't the 1970's. They aren't going to get away with blaming the cowardly public this time. There are no hippies to hate ---- just millions of average, taxpaying, middle class Americans who know damned well when they've been lied to. And if they don't, there are many of us out here who will remind them.